On the trick to hide the context

Peter Hadfield (potholer54) talks on the deceitful quoting of the emails stolen from CRU in 2009

Juliette Jowit in The Guardian puts some more of them in context.

More like this

Josh Nelson has set up Swifthack.com as a clearing house to correct disinformation about those emails stolen from CRU. Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week is on the stolen emails. It certainly seems true that the quote miners almost always misrepresent what "hide the decline" refers…
Earlier I noted the way McIntyre quote mined the stolen CRU emails. But would an honest analysis of the messages have found? Brian Angliss makes the case that it is impossible to understand the emails without consulting with the authors to find out what the original context was.
The phrase "hide the decline" from the stolen CRU emails has been taken out of context and construed to refer to a decline in temperatures this century when in fact it was a reference to a decline in tree-ring density since 1961. Steve McIntyre knows this, but instead of a correction, he offers…
Some more of the emails stolen from the Climate Research Centre in 2009 have been released. This time they are accompanied by a readme with out-of-context quotes that asserts the purpose of the release is information transparency, but that's an obvious lie, since they've sat on them for two years…

Hi Tim, since you're interested in putting these emails in context I'd like some help with 5315.txt.

In Lonnie Thompson's 2010 paper, "Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options", he writes (abstract), "The ongoing widespread melting of high-elevation glaciers and ice caps, particularly in low to middle latitudes, provides some of the strongest evidence to date that a large-scale, pervasive, and, in some cases, rapid change in Earthâs climate system is underway. This paper highlights observations of 20th and 21st century glacier shrinkage in the Andes, the Himalayas, and on Mount Kilimanjaro."

So the publication date on this paper is 2010 - or six years after 2004.

Now in 5315.txt dated Sep 18 2004, Dr. Geoff Jenkins, who to the best of my knowledge never made such statements publicly, "we have been concerned that people often use the melting glacier on kilimanjaro as an example of impacts of man-made warming. you may have seen some stories countering this on the sceptics websites. ... would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?"

Phil Jones responds saying that he knows this. And moreover, he says that Lonnie Thompson knows it too. "I've heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures - that we don't have access to, and there was little warming in them. The same situation applies for Quelccaya in Peru and also some of his Tibet sites. Lonnie thinks they are disappearing because of sublimation, but he can't pin anything down. They are going though."

So this is kind of a shrug? Yes, we're misleading the public, he seems to be saying, but don't fuss over the detail. The "cause" trumps considerations of accuracy, right?

Now in 2007 it made news that sublimation is causing Kilimanjaro to melt, not global warming.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070611153942.htm

Yet here is Lonnie Thompson in 2010 using Kilimanjaro as evidence for global warming when he evidently knows that it is not.

So how do we get this into a better context than I am able to?

Alex Harvey

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 27 Nov 2011 #permalink

My god Alex Harvey you have got it! The quote cannot be satisfactorily explained! Global warming is obviously not real. A dagger of reason through the very heart of the monstrous conspiracy. Bow down, internet peoples, for a modern day Galileo walks among us!

Any chance anyone could have learned anything new, or sorted anything out, in 7 years, do you suppose? Not wanting to stretch the old intellect there...

I can see why you guys just can't comprehend what a complete non-event this is!

And, yep, I'll cry myself to sleep tonight if Kilimanjaro isn't AGW melt. Any other glaciers in the world, do you think?

And what is it -

about deniers and their amazing inability to use blockquotes?

Potholer54 has some very good stuff on AGW - he started off playing the even-handed card, but the sheer relentless deception that is Denialism eventually became too much!

Gee Alex, have you considered that maybe, just maybe, Thompson had conducted more research between 2004 and 2010?

[Here you go, from 2009](http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102171209.htm):

>Paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson, professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, and his colleagues amassed a trail of data showing the rapid loss of ice atop Africa's highest mountain: ...

>The presence of elongated bubbles trapped in the frozen ice at the top of one of the cores shows that surface ice has melted and refrozen. There is no evidence of sustained melting anywhere in the rest of the core that dates back 11,700 years;

>Even 4,200 years ago, a drought in that part of Africa that lasted about 300 years and left a thick (about 1-inch) dust layer, was not accompanied by any evidence of melting. These observations confirm that the current climate conditions over Mount Kilimanjaro are unique over the last 11 millennia.

Tell me Alex, why is the ice melting at a spot where it hasn't melted in 11,000 years?

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 27 Nov 2011 #permalink

> So how do we get this into a better context than I am able to?

Simple, you stop assuming that there is a conspiracy, stop being so gullible when it comes to mined quotes and be open to the concept there is some actual scientific debate going on. Kilimanjaro's glaciers are really old and them suddenly disappearing like that (along with many other glaciers) should tell you that something pretty abrupt is happening within the earth system.

Remember that even if sublimation is responsible, something must be causing that process to speed up. Given we know the sun hasn't got any brighter lately but we do expect circulation changes to accompany global warming (with associated changes in cloud cover and precipitation), it's still not a wild leap to say global warming is indirectly responsible, even in that event.

But of course this is all largely irrelevant to the whole climate change 'debate' anyway. The deniers keep going for the whole glaciers thing because it's been used by many people as the most visible evidence for global warming. Given that there is still a lot of debate about the ins and outs in it in the science, the deniers think that they can pick it apart and by destroying the headlines, they destroy the story. Unfortunately for them, none of this comes anywhere close to changing the very basic facts that the earth is warming and that human activity is almost entirely responsible. If highlighting the debate about the exact process responsible for a specific glacier's retreat is the best you can do, that's pretty lame, I'm sorry to say.

Alex may believe that (she) can use the word "sublimation" as an incantation that relieves her from the trouble of wondering why Kilimnajaro, along with so many other glaciers worldwide, has suddenly changed after so long.

Scientists are professional sceptics, the delusionals and denialists who've been leading Alex by the nose are anything but.

Context? You really want 'context'? Well, now you have it - in spades - written by Willis Eschenbach in a long and highly-detailed open letter to Dr. Phil Jones in which he calls him "a liar", in fact worse than that, 'a serial liar'. I have enjoyed some knock-about sparring on this subject, both here and elsewhere, but now it gets serious, very serious. Jones has only one choice to make - to sue or not to sue. Until a court gives a decision the accusation stands on the record:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/27/an-open-letter-to-dr-phil-jones-o…

You might, we all might, get more context than we bargained for!

Tim #4, I don't know how likely it is that Lonnie Thompson has genuinely changed his mind since September 2004. I suspect it is extremely unlikely because, quoting Phil Jones again, he took the measurements of local air temperature himself and "_there was little warming in them_". You don't need to be super-smart to see that if there's been little local warming at Mt. Kilimanjaro, then global warming didn't cause the glacier melt. Your 2009 article says nothing about the cause; it's simply about ice loss measurements with a lot of innuendo implicating CO2 emissions.

But let's suppose you're right. Suppose he really has changed his mind. So here is Lonnie Thompson in September 2003:

"Just connect the dots," said Ohio State University geologist Lonnie Thompson. "If things remain as they have, in 15 years [Kilimanjaro's glaciers] will be gone."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/09/0923_030923_kilimanjaro…

Lonnie Thompson has been promoting the "climate change" / Kilimanjaro link since 2002.

Yet here http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro
we can see that there is pretty much a consensus that sublimation is the cause, and that's got nothing to do with global warming. Thompson knows that, just as you know it, just as I know it. And clearly, he always knew it.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Come now Duffer, an [incompetent, mendacious kook](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying…) like Eschenbach stamping his foot on climate nutter Anthony Watts site is hardly 'on the record', depending on how seriously you take your delusions of course. But then I suspect you take your own very seriously indeed.

For the record, I can't read the letter as my education network blocks Watt's site, like David Icke's as a 'cranks and conspiracy' website. Which is quite correct.

Fine, Chek, don't bother to read it, I can summarise it for you: Eschenbach has called Jones a multiple liar. That's it, in essence. It stands on the public record and it is for Jones, not you or I, to respond - or not. If the latter, we will all draw the appropriate conclusion.

>Yet here http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro we can see that there is pretty much a consensus that sublimation is the cause, and that's got nothing to do with global warming. Thompson knows that, just as you know it, just as I know it. And clearly, he always knew it.

Alex, if the video above teaches people one thing, it is that it really helps if you actually read things before you go off making a fool of yourself quoting spurious non-facts. The article you linked clearly says (emphasis mine):

>Those who have studied Kilimanjaro's glaciers agree that more research is necessary. They also agree that the Earth is warming, whether or not Kilimanjaro is good evidence for it. "We are entirely against the black-and-white picture that says it is either global warming or not global warming," said one scientist.

Anyway, Thompson seems to believe melting is important. Other scientists might not. People debate these things according to the merits of the evidence and it is the best explanation that stands the test of time. That's how science works, not by snide quote-mining and character assassination. But let's be clear about one thing: the process of 'sublimation' isn't some mysterious natural phenomenon that occurs independently of climate change, so you're barking up the wrong tree if you think that disproves anything.

we can see that there is pretty much a consensus that sublimation is the cause, and that's got nothing to do with global warming.

Well, now. I wonder what could possibly cause an increase in sublimation?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Rants like Eschenbach's must not be ignored - with a high hit site like WUWT it gets propagated too widly, getting more slanderous at each telling.

For Jones to bring a libel case will cost very little (£3k for the writ - no lawyer needed and UK courts handle international defamnation on the net) BUT how will the wuwts handle it - gagging free speach, picking on innocents - plenty of ways to turn the action against jones.

The major problem with climate is that any disagreement between scientists gets blown up to "there is no consensous". Therefore to publically show disagreement would give ignorant politicians the excuse to ignore what has to be done - lets wait and see takes it outside their elected reign and costs them nothing.

The likes of wuwt disseminates information (false) much better than Realclimate. Science is on a looser.

Alex, I asked you

>why is the ice melting at a spot where it hasn't melted in 11,000 years?

Why are you evading this question?

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

JamesA: "the process of 'sublimation' isn't some mysterious natural phenomenon that occurs independently of climate change"

Not a scientist, but it seems to me that GW does not have to produce higher temperatures if there is somewhere else for the heat to go. Higher temperatures are only one manifestation of increased heat energy in the atmosphere. But heat can instead be soaked up in other processes, such as in subliming ice.

Even simple melting would absorb considerable heat energy, damping local temperature rises. But sublimation is more effective because it represents the latent heat of fusion (melting) + the latent heat of vapourisation. That's a truckload more heat being absorbed, so is it really surprising that local temperatures have not risen massively?

Once the entire glacier is gone and there is no more energy being sucked up by sublimation, we should start to see a rise in temperatures.

Assuming that line of reasoning is correct, I assume that to a climatologist it's such an obvious point that Jones didn't feel the need to state it explicitly when he wrote: "he got some local temperatures...and there was little warming in them... Lonnie thinks they are disappearing because of sublimation". I guess he was writing for an audience that didn't need every principle of Climate 101 explained every damned time...

Sorry, while typing up my screed, I see Richard Simons put it in far pithier fashion.

Yes, indeed, what could it be?

One could point out that sublimation increases in response to a suppression in humidity. And one might also point out that Africa becoming drier is one of the predicted effects of global warming. But who cares? If global warming isn't the direct cause, then that makes Al Gore a liar and means we can all go back to burning fossil fuels with impunity, right?

For what (Watt?) it is worth, in my opinion people like Eisenbach and Watts should be ignored and sidelined as much as is possible. In other words, Phil Jones and UEA should choose not to respond other than to a terse statement that they reject the allegations. They might well win in court, but it will come at a huge financial and emotional cost, and the deniers will frame this as denial of free speech. Far better to treat it with a single line statement, and then ignore all subsequent provocations.

Sometimes it is better to maintain the moral high ground than it is to get dragged into the gutter.

The focus should be on the science - there are very good reasons why the deniers are now relying almost wholly on personal attacks. They know the scientific argument is lost, and are now resorting to the few weapons they have left.

Over the next few years we will the argument shifting to the level of mitgation and adaptation, until they realise that this will represent a golden opportunity for big business to cash in. At that stage at least some current denialists will become zealots for the AGW cause.

Such is the nature of the process.

By GWB's nemesis (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

@GWB:

"the moral high ground"

Oh my giddy aunt, it's the way you tell 'em! Oh, and by the way, what's this "AGW cause" all about? I thought it was all about science, not politics or religion.

One could point out that sublimation increases in response to a suppression in humidity.

It also increases as temperature increases. Sublimation will occur at a faster rate at -3C then it will at -30 C. But then, that's your very basic physics that goes right over the heads of folks like Alex Harvey.

BTW, I attended a lecture given by Lonnie Thompson at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography last spring. He made it very clear that he didn't draw his conclusions from the melting/retreating of any single glacier, but of the collective melt/retreat of glaciers all over the globe. What is happening at Kilimanjaro is happening at high-altitude tropical glaciers everywhere. Warming is certainly a major factor in the Kilimanjaro retreat -- its just that you can't conclude that it's warming based on Kilimanjaro alone. It's that sample-size thing, you know -- another basic concept that goes right over the heads of people like Alex Harvey.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Duffer bloviated again in his faux fop dialect:

Oh my giddy aunt, it's the way you tell 'em! Oh, and by the way, what's this "AGW cause" all about? I thought it was all about science, not politics or religion.

Actually Gavin Schmidt [already answered that](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/two-year-old-turk…)
"Our 'cause' is for good science and accurate information to triumph over fear, uncertainty and doubt. We downplay nonsense, we downplay mis-information, and we try and promote clarity, context and what scientists are actually saying instead of playing up to absurd conspiracy theories, wishful thinking and hysteria. No apologies for that". - gavin

Although with your dishonest insertion of 'AGW' into 'cause' that you slyly slipped in like the inveterate and practised liar you are, I expect Schmidt's terms of reference are way over your supercilious, conspiracy-addled, anti-science, lying low-brow head, Duffer.

Oi! 'GBW', did you catch that? Chek is calling you an "inveterate and practised liar"! I'm shocked, and all because you let the cat out of the bag by referring to "the AGW cause" in your last comment @20. You really must be more careful or the comrades will be on your case!

And here we have before our very eyes e-mail after e-mail from just about every leading so-called 'climatologist' asking, demanding, suggesting, hinting different ways and means of destroying e-mails and/or data and Schmidt, who else?, dribbles his high-sounding hypocritical tosh: ""Our 'cause' is for good science and accurate information to triumph over fear, uncertainty and doubt." And, Chek, you actually support these people! What would be your re-action to the two 'Macs' if they were caught refusing to show their data or destroying e-mails?

And you still haven't told me exactly what this "cause" is. Obviously a "cause" cannot be science, so it must be religion or politics. Which?

Alex Harvey,

So this is kind of a shrug? Yes, we're misleading the public, he seems to be saying, but don't fuss over the detail. The "cause" trumps considerations of accuracy, right?

I realise you've been piled on already but I think this paragraph is revealing about how some people have tried to interpret the emails.

For a start - 'So this is kind of a shrug? Yes, we're misleading the public'. This interpretation appears to be based on nothing that's actually in the email. It simply reveals your own prejudices. Who are 'we'? When have either Jenkins or Jones spoken about Kilimanjaro glaciers to the public?

And this is especially revealing: 'The "cause" trumps considerations of accuracy, right?' Can you find any email in which Phil Jones talks about 'the cause'?

The problematic nature of your interpretations seems to stem from a desire to roll out of context emails sent across a decade into a cohesive plot involving a single character named Clima T. Scientist. If Mann attempted such a dodgy reconstruction of events he would be hung, drawn and quartered.

"Jones has only one choice to make - to sue or not to sue. Until a court gives a decision the accusation stands on the record."

Why would you sue someone for calling you a liar? There would be no way to win that (in the US anyway, which is where Eschenbach is, I'm fairly sure). You'd basically have to prove in court that you have never lied.

WIllis Eschenbach is a liar and kind of a d-bag. OH NO UNTIL HE SUES MY ACCUSATION STANDS.

Eschenbach has called Jones a multiple liar. That's it, in essence. It stands on the public record and it is for Jones, not you or I, to respond - or not. If the latter, we will all draw the appropriate conclusion

Eschenbach is a nobody and his ignorant opinion is worthless.

I don't think you are capable of comprehending just how much nobody cares about any of the "judgments" or "conclusions" or "accusations" from the gutter-dumb denialosphere. Elie Wiesel does not condescend to respond to the Holocaust deniers who call him a liar all the time too, and no serious or educated people "judge" him for this.

Sorry, but I can't tell. Is Duff a Poe?

Just for those who've not yet bothered to watch Hadfield's video. I've decided that I'm going to use his final words as often as possible in as many places as possible.

"I'd rather be the last to get something right, than the first to get it wrong."

A trick to hide the context

http://deepclimate.org/2011/11/28/a-trick-to-hide-the-context/

... it is very clear that a new round of out-of-context quote mining and error-filled âanalysisâ is already unfolding. And the leader out of the gate, so to speak, appears to be Ross McKitrick, whose recent National Post piece on the IPCC and the latest batch of stolen emails is now being spread far and wide.

In one particularly outrageous and error-filled passage, McKitrick accuses IPCC AR4 co-ordinating lead authors Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth of selecting their team of contributing authors solely on the basis of whether they agree with the pairâs scientific views. He even goes so far as to accuse Jones of âdismissingâ (i.e. rejecting as a contributing author) one qualified expert who, supposedly in Jonesâs own words, âhas done a lot, but I donât trust him.â

But the record clearly shows that it was Trenberth who made that last comment, and that he was expressing misgivings about the quality of the researcherâs work, not whether he was on the âright sideâ of scientific issues. And the expert in question, climatologist Joel Norris, was in fact selected by Trenberth as a contributing author. Even worse, McKitrick has reversed the order of the Jones quotes, taken them out of context, and then juxtaposed them to make it appear as if they were part of the same exchange. Meanwhile, an examination of the two separate email discussions show chapter co-ordinators trying to fill out their team with authors who will be able to contribute effectively, in complete contradiction to McKitrickâs central thesis.

So, Ross McKitrick's a liar then. Do you think he will sue me?

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

You don't need to be super-smart

No, but it helps to be at least somewhat smart, and somewhat honest -- a trait that you are simply lacking.

Alex may believe that (she)

Alex is short for Alexander.

Let's be clear here for a second. Duff is ridiculing a scientist for saying this:

>Our 'cause' is for good science and accurate information to triumph over fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Their "cause" is good science. It is not lying, quote-mining, hacking or vexatious FOI's. I proudly support these people, and if you gave a jot about science over your extreme right-wing political agenda, you would too.

Duff's cause is not science. Duff's cause is purely political in motivation.

The likes of Duff will never accept that they've been played by an extremely well organised and co-ordinated black op that has led them into believing the most callow and juvenile nonsense by playing on their inherent ignorance and frustration.

The only avenue open for Duff and his ilk is to not only believe that the 'climategate' scientists who have been traduced by this concerted disinformation campaign are guilty, but also that every National Academy on Earth is likewise also corrupt.

That's how far up shitcreek Duff has paddled. It really is literally incredible.

Paul S, the email shows Phil Jones confirming that he knows Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming. It shows that Lonnie Thompson knows Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming. Point me to where either Jones or Thompson were willing to say the same thing to the public.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

Yet here http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro we can see that there is pretty much a consensus that sublimation is the cause, and that's got nothing to do with global warming.

Where does it say sublimation has nothing to do with warming? Vapor pressure increases with temperature, so that at least has something to do with temperature.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

Yet here http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro we can see that there is pretty much a consensus that sublimation is the cause

Here is a quote from http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro :

One member of Thompson's 2000 party described the melting he observed: "By day, water streamed off the top of the glacier and down its steep sidewalls. . . In some places, the rivulets wandering along the surface had converged to form streams, which catapulted in waterfalls off the top.

I wonder what sort of "sublimation" it is that causes "rivulets wandering along the surface had converged to form streams, which catapulted in waterfalls off the top"? I can't recall ever seeing water vapor waterfalls.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 28 Nov 2011 #permalink

Now in 2007 it made news that sublimation is causing Kilimanjaro to melt, not global warming. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070611153942.htm

But count on Alex to ignore anything that doesn't support his cause:

"There are dozens, if not hundreds, of photos of midlatitude glaciers you could show where there is absolutely no question that they are declining in response to the warming atmosphere,"

And in this thread you have the remarkable phenomenon of Alex repeating a post by Luboš Motl, of all people, blathering idiotically and irrelevantly about the differences between climate science and the physics of FTL neutrinos, and then Alex proclaims that SkepticalScience is "a disinformation site" and goes on moronically to say

When I want the truth I am always interested in the views of experts who refrain from internet advocacy.Ã Of course that's difficult because if they refrain from internet advocacy, it's hard to know what they really think.Ã Of people who do write blogs, I am certain that Roger Pielke Sr, Eduardo Zorita, Hans von Storch, Judith Curry always tell the truth.

Some skeptic he is.

the email shows Phil Jones confirming that he knows Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming

No it doesn't, you stupid lying ass.

It shows that Lonnie Thompson knows Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming.

No it doesn't, you stupid lying ass.

Not even Geoff Jenkins claims in that email that Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming, and certainly doesn't claim to know such a thing, you incredibly stupid and dishonest ass.

Shorter Alex:

People who say what I want to hear always tell the truth.

It shows that Lonnie Thompson knows Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with global warming. Point me to where either Jones or Thompson were willing to say the same thing to the public.

Actually it doesn't. It shows skepticism of claims that the loss is entirely due to global warming, with reference to local data revealing a lack of recent local warming. As others have pointed out though, global warming doesn't necessarily mean warming everywhere all of the time - global warming can also change circulations, humidity profiles, cloud cover, factors which can affect glacier sublimation rates.

Your standard for 'misleading the public' appears to include a failure to call a press conference, or release a statement to the media, every time questionable claims about climate science circulate. As neither Jones nor Jenkins are glaciologists, your standards would require that every scientist with any connection to climate studies would have to individually or collectively be involved in such action to avoid being 'misleaders of the public'.

Failure to attract mass media attention to said press conferences, which would have to occur several times every day under present information-dissemination conditions, would also be enough to condemn all climate scientists.

Alex,

Regarding Lonnie Thompson, Jones' email says 'I've heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures - that we don't have access to, and there was little warming in them.'

Who exactly do you think Lonnie Thompson was talking to in this reference?

>Failure to attract mass media attention to said press conferences, which would have to occur several times every day under present information-dissemination conditions, would also be enough to condemn all climate scientists.

So you get what Alex is playing at.

Since it has been brought up several times, I should point out that there are at least three Alex Harveys (or Alexander Harveys) who post in climate change forums.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

About Jones suiing for libel. You can't be insulted by someone you don't respect.

I give you Willis.

John McManus

By John McManus (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Since it has been brought up several times, I should point out that there are at least three Alex Harveys (or Alexander Harveys) who post in climate change forums.

You might want to change your nickname then, because those other Alex Harveys are idiots only good at uncritical copying and spreading disinformation. Such as the Alex Harvey in #1 of this comment thread, who still hasn't answered Tim Lambert's very simple question.

There's one at collide-a-scape as well who tries to manoeuvre the debunked disinformants into the 'middle ground'. Who needs truth when we have tactics, eh? Mosher teaches you well.

Ha Ha, the ole 'out of context' whitewash attempt again Tim ?
It won't work this time either Timbo. The Scam is over. You have lost. I won the internet.
Have a nice day now ya heer ! :-)

By Billy Bob Hall (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Paul S #43,

I have read the Lonnie Thompson paper of 2010 "Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options". There is not a single mention of sublimation in it, which we all agree is the likely cause of _most_ of the Kilimanjaro melt. Indeed, _Thompson fails to disclose all knowledge of any causes of the Kilimanjaro melt other than global warming_. This is despite the year being 2010, despite referring to the melt in the abstract, despite illustrating his paper with the graphic images of the melt since 1912, and despite discussing the melt in several places in the text in the context of impacts of global warming.

But he has agreed with everyone else since at least 2004 that it has very little to do with global warming - it's just such a fantastic photo though.

To those now claiming that "global warming causes circulation changes which causes sublimation" - why is it that everyone else believes that land use changes like deforestation cause the circulation changes which cause the sublimation? Because if you genuinely cared about saving Mt. Kilimanjaro, which you don't, rather than winning the argument with skeptics at all costs, which you do, you might get out there and start trying to do something that might actually reverse the process.

The process of sublimation, unlike global warming, is eminently treatable. This can be reversed, but it won't be, because you have people like Lonnie Thompson out telling the people of Tanzania and the policy makers that the cure is for China & the US to burning fossil fuels.

Of course if he was out there telling the people of Tanzania to stop cutting down trees, perhaps the Mountain could be saved. But do any of you people actually care about the Mountain?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110305112136.htm
http://www.science20.com/leebert/dont_blame_kilimanjaros_glacier_loss_o…
http://www.skepticalscience.com/mount-kilimanjaro-snow.htm

"Trick to hide the context" my foot.

Alex Harvey

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Neven #48, what I have in common with the Alex Harvey from whatever the c-a-s thread is you're talking about is that neither of us are hiding behind a pseudonym.

To answer Tim's question, "Tell me Alex, why is the ice melting at a spot where it hasn't melted in 11,000 years?" It has very little to do with global warming, and he knows it. It is probably caused by land use changes, deforestation, atmospheric pollution. Once again, all things that could be treated.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex writes:
>To answer Tim's question, "Tell me Alex, why is the ice melting at a spot where it hasn't melted in 11,000 years?" It has very little to do with global warming, and he knows it. It is probably caused by land use changes, deforestation, atmospheric pollution. Once again, all things that could be treated.

Are you sure Alex that this observed rapid melt has very little to do with global warming?

Thompson [points out](http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/PNAS%202009%20paper.pdf) that:
>*Such widespread glacier mass loss, shrinkage, and retreat at high elevations ( 5,000 m above sea level) in lower latitudes (30° N to 30° S), particularly in the thermally homogeneous tropics, suggests the likelihood of an underlying common driver on which more localized factors such as changes in land use, precipitation, cloudiness, and humidity are superimposed.*

And Thompson highlights observation which:

>*suggest that warmer near-surface conditions observed in the region, coupled with observed vertical amplification of temperature in lower latitudes (23â25), are playing an important role.*

Why are you so sure depite this evidence.

> If the latter, we will all draw the appropriate conclusion.

I doubt that very much, seeing as you have a very strong record of drawing inappropriate conclusions from much more robust evidence.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Let's get down to the nitty gritty:

Alex, do you think the planet's surface is warming? And, if so, how much do you think that humans are contributing to it?

You've spent the better part of this thread waxing lyrically about one example - Kiliminjaro - but have ignored the much greater volume of accumulating evidence for AGW elsewhere.

Why focus on this one issue?

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

#51 jakerman, thanks for the link to the Thompson et al. 2009 PNAS paper.

The paper presents measurements of ice loss over a 95 year period from aerial photographs and compares evidence with ice cores to establish that surface melting in some places is likely to be unprecedented in 11,700 years.

(Which implies that 11,700 years ago there had been no ice as a result of natural climate change.)

What I find interesting about the paper is a results section that presents data taken at the Mt. Kilimanjaro sites followed by a discussion section which discusses glacier retreats elsewhere.

The abstract opens, "The dramatic loss of Kilimanjaroâs ice cover has attracted global attention". It sure has. That's because everyone's been told - especially by Dr. Thompson and Al Gore - that it was caused by global warming. The introduction then opens, "Despite their relatively small size the diminishing glaciers of
Kilimanjaro (specifically on Kibo) are now recognized as
symbols of changing climate in Africa".

So there it is; this is important because it _symbolises_ climate change.

The discussion section then acknowledges that others believe that the ice loss is caused by sublimation. (It doesn't seem to mention that Thompson himself once believed this - no cites to earlier Thompson et al. papers.) The third paragraph is hard to follow; the data's all too uncertain, but fig. 8 in ref 10, says Thompson et al., reveals the strongest warming trend at Mt. Kilimanjaro. And there are climate forcings due to land use changes, but they're all too hard to quantify.

From para 4 in the discussion section to the end the paper moves on to discuss glacier retreat elsewhere - elsewhere in Africa, and in S. America, and in Indonesia, and in the Himalayas. If we don't stop emitting CO2, they'll all be gone. The relevance to Mt. Kilimanjaro seems to be that the discussion is about glaciers, and Mt. Kilimanjaro is also a glacier, and all the glaciers under discussion are retreating (because the authors simply don't mention the ones that are not retreating, or the ones that are advancing), and global warming is causing a globally averaged retreat in glaciers. "Regardless of the contributions of various drivers," concludes the paper, "the ice fields atop Kilimanjaro will not endure if current conditions are sustained and adaptive actions to minimize the potential impacts should be developed quickly".

So this is about ice loss data at Kilimanjaro, and some advocacy snuck in at the end published in PNAS.

I still want to see the data Thompson discussed with Phil Jones and colleagues in 2004 that showed little warming at the Kilimanjaro site. This aerial photography of ice loss is also interesting, but I want more. Why wasn't the 2004 data published? Why wasn't Thompson's opinion in 2004 published? It's that there should have been a newsflash or anything - just some other record aside from Climategate emails that documents Dr. Thompson's intellectual history.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

> I still want to see the data Thompson discussed with Phil Jones and colleagues in 2004 that showed little warming at the Kilimanjaro site.

And you still haven't said why you believe Thompson discussed with Phil Jones.

(PS Phil won't have the data, go check with the data source holder, not the scientist)

> Why focus on this one issue?

> Posted by: Jeff Harvey

Because it's the only way Alex can continue to pretend his "doubts" about AGW still have merely skepticism driving it, as opposed to ideaology.

Or was that a rhetorical question?

> Which implies that 11,700 years ago there had been no ice as a result of natural climate change.

You might want to explain how you drew this conclusion. The attempt to elucidate it might be enough for you to figure out why this conclusion does not necessarily follow.

> The relevance to Mt. Kilimanjaro seems to be that the discussion is about glaciers, and Mt. Kilimanjaro is also a glacier, and all the glaciers under discussion are retreating (because the authors simply don't mention the ones that are not retreating, or the ones that are advancing), and global warming is causing a globally averaged retreat in glaciers.

You're half way there. *One* relevance to Kilimanjaro is that if significant global warming continues to occur, there's a reasonable chance that it will contribute to further ice loss there - *regardless* of whether you (think) that warming to date has significantly contributed to date - or not.

> I still want to see the data Thompson discussed with Phil Jones and colleagues in 2004 that showed little warming at the Kilimanjaro site.

And I want to see you try and publish a paper demonstrating that ice can't melt in water because the water temperature shows little warming above zero Celsius while there are decent sized chunks of ice floating in it.

Come back when you can explain why that conclusion is wrong - if indeed you can even admit it's wrong.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 29 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex,

This article from 2004 may provide some greater context. It appears Jones may have slightly misunderstood Thompson (hint: this is why it wouldn't have been advisable for him or Jenkins to make media statements on subjects in which they are not experts). Thompson, along with most glaciologists, thinks (or thought) that sublimation was likely a large contributor of glacier-loss at Kilimanjaro earlier in the century, but that evidence from recent decades shows clear signs that melting has taken over.

'Because if you genuinely cared about saving Mt. Kilimanjaro, which you don't, rather than winning the argument with skeptics at all costs, which you do, you might get out there and start trying to do something that might actually reverse the process.'

This appears to be another narrative made up in your head.

Of course if he was out there telling the people of Tanzania to stop cutting down trees, perhaps the Mountain could be saved. But do any of you people actually care about the Mountain?

I'm concerned about the level of your alarmism about the effects of deforestation. Sounds dogmatic and religious.

Something a bit funny in http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro is this:

Because sublimation is sensitive to humidity, the shift to drier air favored it at the expense of melting, a more energy-efficient mode of ice loss.

If there is a shift to a less energy-efficient mode of ice-loss then that factor alone would increase the size of the glacier but as we all know, the glacier has decreased in size. There can't be too much shift towards sublimation from melting if the glacier is getting smaller.

Remember also that http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro is not a reviewed paper and was released in 2008, before Thompson's later paper (which was reviewed).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

I still want to see the data Thompson discussed with Phil Jones and colleagues in 2004 that showed little warming at the Kilimanjaro site.

http://earthshots.usgs.gov/Kilimanjaro/Kilimanjaro mentions that there are stations on the side of Kilimanjaro that have shown warming but calculations using these records indicate that there is little average warming at the summit. However, the amount of snowfall depends on the temperature during predipitation, and that has probably increased because the lapse rate is lower during precipitation than otherwise.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

Jeff Harvey #53, how would I know?

I am not a professional scientist or a climate scientist so I am like 99% of the rest of us and forced to have an opinion based on a horribly incomplete picture. But I still have to vote. I still have to say things at the dinner table when friends discuss global warming. Can anything realistically be done to stop global warming if it's real? Can climate change really dish out suffering of the same order as WWI, or the Great Depression, or WWII did? Or the 1918 flu pandemic? What about resistance to antibiotics - how is that going to work out for us in the year 2100? What about overpopulation and the fact that we may not have energy enough to feed ourselves - forget about whether it's "clean energy" or not.

I understand a few things in this science debate, but I won't go into the details right now; I'm the first to admit that as a non-expert I could easily be wrong.

What is most important to me - and I suspect to most voters - is that I trust the people who are informing me. To trust someone, you need to like them. Yet most of you people are very hard to even like - much less trust. Show me an example of skeptics dishing out nonsense like your troll here 'ianam' at a place like ClimateAudit - it doesn't happen. Sure, it can be heated - but nothing like this.

But that's not the main issue, and of course there are nutjobs like ianam out there on all sides. The main issue is the way the AGW advocate scientists and their blogging followers close ranks in order to defend the indefensible. Look at Mr. DeepClimate and his campaign to smear the reputation to end the career of Ed Wegman after the latter lucked out with a plagiarising foreign postdoc. It's a disgrace to watch this play out - we all know that Ed Wegman's mostly a bystander in the climate debate. But I don't need to see any nasty leaked emails because you're doing it all in full view of the public, jeering and cheering from the sidelines. And you expect us to be impressed.

Then we have the Climategate scandal and we find that for the most part the followers of the AGW close ranks and defend what is, in many parts, unethical, most embarrassing behaviour. Those of you who defend the indefensible say to the public that you would behave the same way yourselves in private - and moreover that it's fine for AGW advocates to do this. And for the younger scientists reading your blogs, this is the ethical training you give them. This is the standard you set.

And you want me to trust you? I think many of you are just far too deeply in this to see how thoroughly crazy you've all become - and how your own worst enemy is not the crazy skeptics over at WUWT but yourselves - that you behave in precisely the same way as the trolls at WUWT.

So I remain bewildered in the middle, knowing that skeptics tend to be very nice to people like me whereas the zealots on the other side prefer "believe or die". I hope this answers your question.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

> and forced to have an opinion based on a horribly incomplete picture

Nobody here is forcing you to have an opinion based on a horribly incomplete picture.

You're forcing yourself to do that.

> But that's not the main issue, and of course there are nutjobs like ianam out there on all sides

You're not very nice to people who don't agree with you, are you, Alex.

> I still have to say things at the dinner table when friends discuss global warming.

Say "I don't know". It's allowed.

> Can climate change really dish out suffering of the same order as WWI, or the Great Depression, or WWII did?

Yes. Easily.

> What about resistance to antibiotics

That won't help combat global warming.

> What about overpopulation and the fact that we may not have energy enough to feed ourselves

Modern agribusiness uses petroleum products to create fertilisers.

And YOU want to continue using it to heat your home and drive your car???? HOW CAN you whine about starving people when you're doing that? HOW CAN you complain about how can climate change cause problems when drought and flood are a consequence of climate change?

Because you're a fake.

> And you want me to trust you?

No, we want you to get informed before you get an opinion on that information.

> So I remain bewildered in the middle,

To everyone standing on the end of a triangle, THEY are in the middle. and EVERYONE else an extremist.

> knowing that skeptics tend to be very nice to people like me

You mean deniers like people who are deniers, yes?

Try being "middle" on WUWT and being "skeptical" of their claims about AGW being falsified. This has been cookies and cream in comparison.

> "believe or die".

It doesn't matter what you believe. You're still going to die. And climate change doesn't give a fig for your, or anyone's, beliefs.

> Why would you sue someone for calling you a liar? There would be no way to win that (in the US anyway, which is where Eschenbach is, I'm fairly sure). You'd basically have to prove in court that you have never lied.

from my (legal-training-free, based on following the Simon Singh case) understanding, in the uk at least it's very much a matter of how the claim is phrased.

saying "John Doe is lying about such-and-such" can leave you open to an essentially unwinnable libel suit, since to successfully defend yourself you'd have to demonstrate not only that Doe was wrong, but that _he knew this at the time he said it_.

To trust someone, you need to like them.

Awesome. So you base your world view on who is nice to you. That actually explains a lot.

So I remain bewildered in the middle, knowing that skeptics tend to be very nice to people like me whereas the zealots on the other side prefer "believe or die".

Here's an idea. Instead of referring to group 1 as 'skeptics' (positive connotations) and group 2 as 'zealots' (negative connotations), why not try 'deniers' and 'realists' for a while and see how reactions change? Could be an interesting experiment.

I'm interested in the nature of this middle ground you believe you occupy. Where do others lie on the scale? I can see you as a middle ground between WUWT and, say, Greenpeace in terms of rhetoric but do you really think your views would occupy the middle in terms of scientific evidence?

> I can see you as a middle ground between WUWT and, say, Greenpeace in terms of rhetoric

Only if you put a very large middle in there.

The mean point that a reasonable human would be between WUWT and something ecological would make the ecological side the ALF.

Alex Harvey:

What about overpopulation and the fact that we may not have energy enough to feed ourselves

Rather ironic points to make considering that overpopulation is directly feeding into increased GHG emissions and running out of fossil fuel energy makes non-fossil sources necessary anyway. If this is a normal level of discourse then it's no wonder common opinion is much more influenced by smear campaigns than an understanding of how scientific work is done.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink
To trust someone, you need to like them.

Awesome. So you base your world view on who is nice to you. That actually explains a lot.

I wonder how much he's had to do with real estate agents?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

"To trust someone, you need to like them."

And if you're referred to a surgeon who could save your life?

You trust them because others have told you this person is good at what they do, not because you 'like' them. If you find that they're likeable, that's just a bonus.

And speaking personally, I've worked with plenty of people whom I liked a lot - but I didn't trust their work or their judgment or that they'd turn up on time for a meeting. It's entirely possible to like people who aren't reliable or thorough or diligent in what they do.

Trust and liking are not closely linked in my experience.

> To trust someone, you need to like them.

Trust.

Ur doin it rong.

(And some very nice people are more than happy to take advantage of you by that means.)

> Look at Mr. DeepClimate and his campaign to smear the reputation to end the career of Ed Wegman after the latter lucked out with a plagiarising foreign postdoc.

LOL! You disparage scientists explaining the context of quote-mining as "defending the indefensible"...and yet you defend a pretty clear pattern of plagiarism and shoddy academic work by trying to claim "Wegman is a bystander" and pretending that it was all due to a postdoc.

Teh irony, it burns.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

"Trick to hide the context" my foot.

So you're denying that anything from any of these emails has been deliberately taken out of context?

The reason that the proclaimed but not in the slightest "skeptics" are nice to you is because your share their intellectual dishonesty and because you're a gullible git who thinks that me being mean to you has some bearing on what you should believe about the science. You can me a nutjob because ... what? I call you a stupid ass? But you are a stupid ass (whereas I am not a nutjob), someone who is too stupid to know how to evaluate evidence and so instead "trusts" people who are nice to you ... you're a typical mark and you have been royally conned, moron. That's the truth whether you find it pleasant or not.

Instead of referring to group 1 as 'skeptics' (positive connotations) and group 2 as 'zealots' (negative connotations)

Gee, and it's such a surprise that the first group is nice to him and the second isn't.

I'm interested in the nature of this middle ground you believe you occupy. Where do others lie on the scale? I can see you as a middle ground between WUWT and, say, Greenpeace in terms of rhetoric but do you really think your views would occupy the middle in terms of scientific evidence?

Of course he's nowhere near the middle, when the vast majority of climate scientists accept AGW and "No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion" (According to the Wikipedia branch of the great conspiracy and hoax). Alex, you dishonest, ignorant git, who are you going to trust, all those scientists (including thousands upon thousands who didn't have their emails stolen and aren't posting here), or the anti-AGW, anti-science zealots at WUWT who don't call you a stupid ass (because you side with them as to who the zealots, realists, and skeptics are)?

Look at Mr. DeepClimate and his campaign to smear the reputation to end the career of Ed Wegman after the latter lucked out with a plagiarising foreign postdoc.

Not exactly. Wegman took the postdoc's work but only acknowledged her when it was discovered that the material he plagiarised from her had already been plagiarised from elsewhere.

Earth does not care whether or not scientists are likeable. However, I think you don't appreciate how scientists think. Asking questions is fine, but if you express an opinion, you are expected to be able to justify it with evidence. Failure to do so (and denialists are virtually never able to back up their opinions) generally earns a scornful response.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

Paul S #64,

... why not try 'deniers' and 'realists' for a while and see how reactions change?

I am not sure what your experiment is supposed to test. The term 'denier' is an empty term of abuse. It has the same meaning as 'skeptic' with a silent 'lying' or 'stupid' before it. Calling the barking ianam a 'realist' seems unwarranted flattery. This is a 'zealot'. Let's call a spade a spade. Although I don't read Greenpeace I can't imagine any of that lot being crazier or further to the left than commenters here?

I'm interested in the nature of this middle ground you believe you occupy. Where do others lie on the scale? I can see you as a middle ground between WUWT and, say, Greenpeace in terms of rhetoric but do you really think your views would occupy the middle in terms of scientific evidence?

I agree with you that in terms of rhetoric (what I am saying), I occupy a middle ground between WUWT and Greenpeace. And as much as you would like to define the scientific middle ground on the climate issue as the difference between Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen, the middle ground is in fact where I said it is.

Richard Lindzen may represent the most hardline skeptical position - but he has a brilliant career behind him and continues to publish in respected journals.

http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/PublicationsRSL.html

e.g. Rondanelli, R. and R.S. Lindzen, 2010:Can thin cirrus clouds in the tropics provide a solution to the faint young Sun paradox?, J.Geophys. Res,. 115, D02108, 12 pp.

Lindzen, R.S. and Y.-S. Choi, 2009: On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data, Geophys. Res. Ltrs., 36, L16705, doi:10.1029/2009GL039628.

Despite the resignation of the Remote Sensing journal editor, serious scientists like Kerry Emanuel and Isaac Held are on record agreeing that the Spencer and Braswell 2011 paper was a serious study deserving of publication and discussion. Kevin Trenberth may not like it, but he is just one scientist.

This defines one end of the scientific spectrum. The "fringe" is stuff that can't get published - Gerlich & Tscheuschner for example. I don't count that. One line is drawn at Lindzen, Spencer and others who argue that climate sensitivity may be very low.

You don't like this reality, but it is reality. Their papers still get published, and they need to be discussed.

On the other side we have a schism that has emerged over the pause in global warming. There are those like James Hansen and Kaufmann who feel that ocean heat content data is reliable and that it implies that the pause must be accounted for by greater than expected forcing from atmospheric aerosols. Others like Trenberth and the chaps at RealClimate don't buy this - in fact Trenberth is on record saying he "doesn't believe this for a moment". The missing heat is in the deep ocean; the observing system is inadequate.

And of course if they're both partly right - i.e. Trenberth's right that Hansen's aerosol explanation is absurd, and Hansen's right that the ocean heat data is reliable - that pretty much implies that Lindzen is right - the conclusion that no one dares to utter.

So when I say "I don't know" that appears to sit nicely in the middle between RealClimate and Lindzen and others. And the problem for your side is that there is too much hiding the decline going on. Yes, I know what "hide the decline" means. Yes, it meant hiding the decline in Briffa's tree ring reconstruction. I know that. But I see scientists hiding the decline in other places - and all the time - we all do.

A great example is the pause in global warming. Until Climategate 1 came along and we got Kevin Trenberth's now-famous "it's a travesty" quote on record, the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming that even needed to be explained. Which was strange because the pause had been there for a decade already and any Joe Public can look at the temperature graphs himself and see it. Yet I saw the standard response until after November 2009 was to deny that there was any pause to explain. That has all changed now. The last two years has seen AGW scientists "come out" and admit that there is a pause that has to be explained. Thus we have Kaufmann et al. 2011, Hansen et al. submitted, Meehl et al. 2011, and so on.

Let me conclude this post by helping you guys out with what actually convinces me that global warming may be exactly as the IPCC says it is. Occasionally, there are honest bloggers like Isaac Held who calmly, and with an obviously open mind and a spirit of genuine scientific curiosity, explains the reasons he believes in the consensus. He doesn't delete embarrassing posts because when he doesn't know the answer as at RealClimate - just tells it the way he sees it.

It is a shame that there are so few like him.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

> > ... why not try 'deniers' and 'realists' for a while and see how reactions change?

> I am not sure what your experiment is supposed to test.

It's supposed to test whether these deniers are nice to you because you call them nice things whereas the realists treat you bad because you call them nasty things, as opposed to the denialists being just plain old nice and the realists being plain old nasty.

But I guess that rational thought is just slightly beyond your reach.

It's a shame there aren't a few less people like you.

> The term 'denier' is an empty term of abuse.

No.

Whilst it might be used that way - as just about any term can - it quite frequently used as *an observation*.

> It has the same meaning as 'skeptic' with a silent 'lying' or 'stupid' before it.

Do you mean actual scientific I-go-where-the-evidence-leads skeptic, or I-refuse-to-follow-the-evidence-citing-various-non-evidentiary-reasons "skeptic"? Because (a) the two meanings are clearly different, and (b) 'lying' or 'stupid' is redundant in the latter case.

> This is a 'zealot'.

How do you determine the difference between a 'zealot' and a 'realist' if you aren't qualified to judge the evidence for yourself, and you derive your measure of (whom to) trust in part or in whole from your perception of "likability"?

> ...the [scientific] middle ground is in fact where I said it is.

Do you mean middle as in "midway between the two extremes, regardless of where the weight of evidence lies", or "where the weight of evidence lies"? Because one clearly does NOT lie where you say the middle is.

> Richard Lindzen may represent the most hardline skeptical position - but he has a brilliant career behind him and continues to publish in respected journals.

And his continued publications, at least over the last few years, *continue* to get demolished in post-publication peer review - a fact that is vastly at odds with the PR and rhetoric that cites his publications. (You even helpfully cite (IIRC) one of those that fared badly.)

> Their papers still get published, and they need to be discussed.

They do get published, they some of them should be published (and some should be rejected in pre-publication peer review), and they do get discussed. But they *fare badly* in the post-publication scientific discussion despite the great fanfare made about them in the early PR.

And faring badly *should* mean that they are not relied upon to decide where the extremes or the middle lie, or in PR or policy making - or to look at it a different but more important way, they contribute little to nothing towards determining where the weight of the evidence, the *real* scientific "middle", lies.

> And the problem for your side is that there is too much hiding the decline going on.

Where exactly? You say you are not a scientist and you're not qualified to judge the scientific work - but you must in order to make this judgement. Oh, wait...

> A great example is the pause in global warming.

**What** (definition of) pause?

Please ensure your definition is consistent with your claim that it "...had been there for a decade already...", and with the fact that climate change signals need up to 30 years to show up amongst the weather noise. For example, 17 years is sometimes adequate and sometimes not. Are you asserting that over suitable timescales (i.e. somewhere in the range of about 17 to 30 years, validated at a minimum by a test for statistical significance of the trend) that there has been no warming? If so, *when* did this lack of warming start under your criteria?

And if there is a pause...why has the last decade been warmer than the previous? How is that consistent with both your definition of "pause" and the conclusions you draw from your assertion of a "pause"? Wouldn't you expect the last decade to be cooler or essentially the same as the previous?

Feel free to demonstrate why your definition of "pause" should be considered accurate - or modify your conclusions if you discover that is not possible.

This post might be useful if you're not quite sure how to figure out whether warming of the climate has paused or not.

> He doesn't delete embarrassing posts because when he doesn't know the answer as at RealClimate - just tells it the way he sees it.

Do you have any evidence of deletion *because they "don't know the answer"*, and *not* for other reasons?

And you realise (say) WUWT *frequently* deletes comments that go against the party line, e.g. by providing inconvenient evidence and logic?

> It is a shame that there are so few like him.

It is a shame that you think the weight of scientific evidence can be determined by non-scientific assessments or either the science or those who blog about it.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 30 Nov 2011 #permalink

Alex@60:
>I am not a professional scientist or a climate scientist so I am like 99% of the rest of us and forced to have an opinion based on a horribly incomplete picture.

Alex@73
>the scientific middle ground on the climate issue ... is in fact where I said it is.

Can't answer the two most basic questions about AGW because he's "not a professional scientist", but authoratative enough to bluster that he can decide where the scientific middle ground lies.

Obvious hypocrite is obvious...

Whenever a denier like Alex says "the temperature is flat" or "the temperature trend has paused", they mean that one year in the past is as high as the last year.

This isn't a trend.

It seems as well as not being a scientist, Alex is also not a mathematician (to even schoolboy level).

TWO POINTS DO NOT MAKE A TREND.

Even absent that, at 0.17C per decade, when each year has a variation from year-to-year of 0.3C, you need at least two decades to make the variation less than the trend.

Like I said, not even a schoolboy mathematician.

And on the science side, taking two recent years temperatures only disproves CO2 as the SOLE cause of warming.

Since this isn't what the IPCC say, this is a strawman.

Lotharsson @77: The pause clearly started somewhere in the middle of July 2001. I noticed you used a long timescale to hide the decline. Look at my expanded version [here](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:204/from:2001.5). It's obvious that the temperature took a precipitous drop from 777 milliMegaFahrenheits to 769. I predict that in 5000.2 years' time we will have reached absolute zero.

Wow, I see what you mean, Bob! I stand corrected.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Yep!

Bob's cracked it! He's shown that Alex is correct, arriving at his assertion with impeccable logic!

Yep!

I am not sure what your experiment is supposed to test. The term 'denier' is an empty term of abuse. It has the same meaning as 'skeptic' with a silent 'lying' or 'stupid' before it

This is not remotely true and is highly disparraging towards the principles of skepticism. A skeptic is someone who has looked at the available evidence and is unconvinced by the conclusions some have reached, for clearly described scientific reasons. A denier is someone who refuses to accept, or even consider, evidence for ideological or political reasons - e.g. because socialists like it, because greenies... etc.

You don't like this reality, but it is reality.

You should really stop making up these narratives about what other people are doing or liking.

Their papers still get published, and they need to be discussed.

And they are discussed.. a lot. Disproportionately so.

So, in terms of climate sensitivity you're placing Lindzen & Spencer at one end of the scale, presumably the IPCC 2-4.5ºC range is in the middle and those who think sensitivity will be much higher (usually placing a high probability on large dynamic biogeochemical and ice sheet feedbacks) on the other end (?) I'd agree with that.

"I don't know" is not in the middle. It isn't anywhere on the scale.

And of course if they're both partly right - i.e. Trenberth's right that Hansen's aerosol explanation is absurd, and Hansen's right that the ocean heat data is reliable - that pretty much implies that Lindzen is right - the conclusion that no one dares to utter.

That doesn't follow. These two are disputing minutiae: whether the current TOA energy imbalance is ~0.6W/m^2 or ~0.9W/m^2.

The ocean heat content data makes Lindzen's ideas unrealistic. Lindzen published a paper in 2002 disputing that but, looking at Figure 2, it's clear he would need to invoke unrealistically large forcings to match observations to his ideas. Apparently that's what he's been doing since - discarding decades of observational evidence for aerosol effects and insisting that sensitivity can be determined by plotting temperatures against only well-mixed GHGs. The IPCC's 1990 FAR actually did this with the result that a 2.1ºC ECS model matched the observed change over the past 20 years very well. This is well above Lindzen's normal climate sensitivity estimates, which suggests he not only needs to discard aerosols, but also invoke some as yet unknown significant cause of warming.

A great example is the pause in global warming. Until Climategate 1 came along and we got Kevin Trenberth's now-famous "it's a travesty" quote on record, the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming that even needed to be explained.

I think one thing which the emails truely have revealed is the extent to which those criticising climate science have no idea what's actually in the scientific literature. Trenberth published his "it's a travesty" ideas in August 2009, before the emails were released.

Scientists weren't denying that you could plot a trend across certain datapoints and get a lower value than across ealier datapoints. They were saying it's meaningless in terms of the underlying trend since natural variability (ENSO, solar, volcanic) dominates over such short periods. If you adjust for these factors, as Tamino does here (albeit crudely), the pause disappears.

Trenberth and others' papers are part of a movement, largely beginning just after AR4 was published, to better understand the meaning of these interannual and decadal fluctuations. Papers such as Smith et al. (2007), Keenlyside et al. (2008) set the ball rolling in terms of modelling efforts and Trenberth has been trying to increase the quality of available observational evidence. There is apparently going to be a section on decadal projections, which will cover these ideas, in AR5, as stated on RC in September 2009.

Alex,

Let me tell you what the difference is between denialists and scientists plus climate realists.

Its this:

Denialists don't want AGW to be happening

Scientists and climate realists don't want AGW to be happening.

Sounds illogical, its not just think about it. One group or set of individuals thinks the honst thing to do is follow the evidence even if that leads to very unwelcome conclusions. The other group or set of individuals either ignore the evidence or understand it very well and so try and veer it off course because of the inevitable conclusions and they are driven to do this by their worldview, ideologies, motives etc.

Paul S, what exactly do you mean by, "decades of observational evidence for aerosol effects". What evidence are you talking about?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

"What evidence are you talking about?"

The observational record, Alex.

Alex,

You could read the IPCC reports, or this historical take on the science might be helpful.

The most immediately visible pieces of observational evidence are the cooling following large volcanic eruptions - Pinatubo 1991, El Chichon 1982.

The question was so vague, Paul, or so obvious, that it didn't seem worth putting more than "the observational record".

It's not like Alex will actually look, is it.

The term 'denier' is an empty term of abuse

What else could I call the self-proclaimed 'skeptics' who gullibly fall for any piece of rubbish that supposedly supports the idea that climate change is not taking place / is not caused by human activity / is not going to have serious effects? They most certainly are not skeptical.

You repeat the chestnut about a 'pause' in global warming. What is the P value of the divergence from the trend of the past 30 years? Presumably for you to be confident about there being a pause, you have calculated it, or have it available.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Does anyone think that Alex will step up and define "pause" (ideally also answering Richard Simons' question), and point to where it started on the graph I provided?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Calling the barking ianam a 'realist' seems unwarranted flattery.

"barking" is an empty term of abuse. As for whether I'm a realist, I already noted that tone has nothing to do with the merits of a position on the science, and that your conflating them shows what a stupid ass you are, and all you have done throughout is to make clear how your stupidity and assity leads you to being a denier of the science. Again, "No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion" on AGW, but rather than address that, you avoid it and talk about me "barking". What a stupid fallacy-wielding boob you are. And being a boob you blather stupidly about there being a "pause", when such "pauses" predictably and necessarily occur in such noisy systems and have no bearing whatsoever on whether there is a warming trend. That's the truth, whether it is said with a bark or a whisper.

Here's something else that the dishonest stupid ass denier Alex ignored:

"Trick to hide the context" my foot.

So you're denying that anything from any of these emails has been deliberately taken out of context?

I may be barking, but all I hear from Alex is the chirping of crickets.

Although I don't read Greenpeace I can't imagine any of that lot being crazier or further to the left than commenters here?

This is what it always comes down to for the deniers and "skeptics", it seems ... basing their beliefs on their political ideology. But there's nothing left or right about the empirical facts of climate, or about most of the posts of "commenters here".

Richard Simons, there is a pause in global warming - and if the news hasn't reached you that the official storyline has changed then you need to get out of this little echo chamber.

In the Climategate #1 emails Trenberth famously remarked "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't". Now you have doubtlessly been told that he was 'taken out of context'. If that was true, isn't it extraordinary that no one ever restores the original context to prove it? Here is the real trick to hide the context. I challenge to use Google now to find someone who has restored the context to that remark. It won't happen because when read in context it is even clearer that he means exactly what he says - there is a lack of warming, and scientists can't explain it. Just saying it's "internal variability" isn't an answer.

Now this whole article is about explaining the pause in warming from 1998 to the present:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110918144941.htm

Meehl, Trenberth et al. also predict there will be similar pauses in the future.

(You do realise that 'hiatus' is just a synonym for 'pause' right?)

"We will see global warming go through hiatus periods in the future," says NCAR's Gerald Meehl, lead author of the study. "However, these periods would likely last only about a decade or so, and warming would then resume. This study illustrates one reason why global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line."

Of course, what isn't clear in this article is that many - e.g. Hansen - believe that Meehl et al. are fighting a losing battle. The missing heat isn't in the ocean, they say. The answer, say the other camp, is to arbitrarily increase the aerosol forcing to resolve the problem.

So meanwhile, therefore, I am still waiting eagerly to learn all about the decades of research that has reduced the uncertainty of aerosol forcing.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Richard Simons, there is a pause in global warming - and if the news hasn't reached you that the official storyline has changed then you need to get out of this little echo chamber.

Come on Alex! Man up and define how you determine when there is a "pause in global warming" and when it stops. (Or at a minimum point to where it started on the graph I provided, and define how you detect on the graph when it stops.)

Oh, wait - you can't do that because you **want to conflate noise with signal** (i.e. weather with climate) and a definition would give the game away.

> "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't".

Are you *seriously* asserting that he was saying the warming *trend* had stopped, or are you merely demonstrating that you don't know or care about the difference? Do you even understand that he was talking about tracking global energy fluxes, not purely about surface temperatures?

> Just saying it's "internal variability" isn't an answer.

Actually, it is. Internal variability, pretty much by definition, does not generate *trends*. And the concern about AGW is primarily due to the warming *trend*.

Whilst it would be *even* better to understand internal variability in much more detail - to have even better answers to that question - that wouldn't significantly change any of the concern about the trend that overwhelms any internal variability over 2-3 decades.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex,

I find it utterly bizarre that you're still quoting an email after I've given you a link to the actual full paper Trenberth authored on the topic, published before the email. Why not read that to understand the context?

'So meanwhile, therefore, I am still waiting eagerly to learn all about the decades of research that has reduced the uncertainty of aerosol forcing.'

I don't know why you're waiting, eagerly or otherwise. You just need to click on the link I gave you or go to IPCC AR4. Here's a direct link to cut down on the.. er.. waiting time.

Alex Harvey:

And of course if they're both partly right - i.e. Trenberth's right that Hansen's aerosol explanation is absurd

I haven't heard Trenberth say Hansen's explanation is absurd, simply that it's not necessary because Trenberth believes the rate of growth of OHC has not necessarily slowed down over the past 6 years. So when you say Trenberth thinks it's absurd, you're making it up AFAIK.

and Hansen's right that the ocean heat data is reliable - that pretty much implies that Lindzen is right

Only if you make up that Tenberth says aerosols cannot be increasing for some other reason.

Which was strange because the pause had been there for a decade already

So you were sucked in by the "no warming since 1998" bilge.

and any Joe Public can look at the temperature graphs himself and see it.

The only apparent pause is that global mean sea level (the best measure of ocean heat content) skipped a beat in its rise around 2007. This was hardly a decade ago. But Alex Harvey is not here to consider all the facts and debate based on all the facts. He's here to cherry-pick the ones that support his opinion and make things up when his cherry-picks are insufficient for that purpose.

At least Alex is giving us a demonstration of what it takes to be a pseudo-skeptic of climate science.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey 94:

there is a pause in global warming - and if the news hasn't reached you that the official storyline has changed then you need to get out of this little echo chamber.

I challenge you to find anyone who has demonstrated that global temperatures in the last few years have deviated significantly from the trend of the past 30-40 years.

I am not clear why you brought this up. Is it because you think (as others seem to) that global warming has stopped for the long-term? If not, was it just to fog the issue?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Richard Simons, if you want to play games with statistics that's your business. If you draw a trendline over 40 years then you'll be correct by definition that the last 10 years hasn't deviated from the trend. If you draw it over 38 years then you can claim that the pause over 12 years isn't statistically significant due to not enough data. The real issue is if you think that global warming hasn't paused then why not write your abusive emails to Jerry Meehl instead and tell him that he's wrong?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Paul S #96, I assumed you must have meant something that's not in the AR4 because I've read the AR4 report. The page you might want to look at is really this one:

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-2-20.html

As you can see the net uncertainty of aerosol forcing is great enough that it could completely cancel out the CO2 forcing. I thought you were going to tell me that scientists have been able to narrow the uncertainty bands as given in AR4.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

So Alex cannot make a valid case for significant deviation from the 30 year trend.

I think Alex might understand that taking [too short time sets](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/judith-curry-opens-mouth-inserts…) of data gives non-significant information due to the scale of internal variabity

Alex I wonder if Meehl's "hiatus" refers to statistically significant change in the trend or the noise (internal variablity) that dominates the shorter time frames?

Paul S #96, by the way I have indeed read the Trenberth paper you linked. I completely understand the context; it's just that the context is exactly as it seems in the Climategate quote.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

>The real issue is if you think that global warming hasn't paused then why not write your abusive emails to Jerry Meehl instead and tell him that he's wrong?

Can you point out where Richard has abused you? Deniers are always such tender little souls. So quick to squeal "abuse!" every time they are criticised.

jackerman, it is precisely the attitude that you are expressing ("oh it's just noise, oh it's just internal variability") that caused Kevin Trenberth in the Climategate #1 emails to shoot back at his colleagues and admonish them for loose, unscientific thinking - if you read the emails in context of course.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

John, you are correct - there is so much noise on this thread I mistook the comments of others as those of Richard Simons.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex claiming **others** are "playing games with statistics" whilst he refuses to specify how one determines a "pause" in the global warming trend: priceless.

Oh, and Alex: note that Meehl in that article you linked to is NOT implying that the trend has stopped:

> This study illustrates one reason why global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line.

He's addressing the "logic" that (falsely) asserts or implies that climate science says that global warming implies temperatures go up pretty much every year compared to the last (which it does not and AFAIK has never done - Meehl's study certainly did not change anything there), and therefore (fallaciously) concludes that observing (say) a particularly hot year followed by a handful that are not quite as hot suggests that the global warming trend has stopped. Or fallaciously concludes that scientists secretly think this kind of observation might cast doubt on the warming trend or the mechanisms causing it. Or other nonsense.

Climate science has **for ages** known that if you look at annual temperatures in a climate with an underlying warming trend, you **will** see periods where that sort of thing happens. This is because **science** has known **for ages** that when you have a noisy signal, the noise can be expected to dominate the signal for a while every now and then. Heck, that is **precisely** the reason climate scientists calculate and discuss the temperature *trends* to get a sense of how the *climate* is changing - a fact that you still seem to be doggedly determined to ignore in your quest to avoid answering Jeff Harvey's [nitty gritty question (about *trends*)](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…):

> Alex, do you think the planet's surface is warming? And, if so, how much do you think that humans are contributing to it?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lotharsson, you are getting all excited refuting straw man arguments - and it looks like you haven't read or understood the Meehl et al. paper and related discussions - but in any case why don't you ask Meehl how he specifies how one determines a "pause" in the global warming trend? He says the pause is there and he is the IPCC scientist. Why is it that you think I should be the one to explain this?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex:

>jackerman, it is precisely the attitude that you are expressing ("oh it's just noise, oh it's just internal variability")

Strawman quotes to make your case Alex.

My attitue is that the variation observed is not statistically significant different from the 30 year trend. That is a scientific position you are unable to refute. I assume that's why you instead start attacking the straw.

Further more, we observe drivers of internal variation such as enso and cycles such as solar that explain much of the fluctuations either side of the trendline.

Alex please feel free to demonstrate how you beleive Lotharsson is "refuting straw man arguments".

there is a pause in global warming

No, you stupid ignorant ass, there is not. What there is is a noisy signal that goes up, down, and flat, but which trends upwards -- that is what is meant by "global warming", and it will not have paused until the trend line, not the signal, flattens out. People have shown you temperature graphs, which show an obvious warming trend, but you simply ignore them ... that is denial.

and if the news hasn't reached you that the official storyline has changed then you need to get out of this little echo chamber

Once again, No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion on AGW; on the order of 97% of climate scientists accept the reality of AGW. So that "echo chamber" isn't so little. You, being a zealous denier of such facts, play your silly semantic game of referring to a "pause", but even if every climate scientist went along with that label, the "official story line" would still be that the globe is getting warmer -- as shown by the trend line -- and that it is happening because of (as explained by basic physics) the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere due to human industry.

If you draw a trendline over 40 years then you'll be correct by definition that the last 10 years hasn't deviated from the trend.

That's not by definition, that's by empirical observation. You are so stupid that you do not understand the difference between an analytical truth, like "all batchelors are unmarried", and an empirical truth, like "the long term temperature trend is upwards".

it is precisely the attitude that you are expressing ("oh it's just noise, oh it's just internal variability") that caused Kevin Trenberth in the Climategate #1 emails to shoot back at his colleagues and admonish them for loose, unscientific thinking - if you read the emails in context of course

That's not an "attitude" or "loose unscientific thinking", it is basic, fundamental statistics. Through your utter ignorance you throw in that strawman word "just" and then misconstrue it. In science there is never a "just" -- everything is subject to analysis and explanation. But the fact that the variability needs to be explained does not mean that it's not variability! The scientific alternative to "just variability" is not "pause" or "no global warming", it is variability explained. But the need to explain the variability in no way changes the clearly evident fact that the globe is warming ... noisily, with a lot of variability in the signal over the short term (which 10 years certainly is). Nowhere does Kevin Trenberth or Jerry Meehl say otherwise.

Meanwhile, the attitude you are displaying is that of every denier, as you repeatedly ignore the numerous rebuttals of your statements. Being a denier whose views are determined by your political ideology rather than by the entirety of the facts, you will continue to cherry pick the Lindzens and Spencers while ignoring thousands upon thousands of climate scientists and peer-reviewed articles. You trust Lindzen and Spencer because you like them, and you like them because they say what you want to hear. As Jeremy C observed, this is the difference between us -- we all don't want the globe to be warming (except for those on your side who say it would be a good thing or blather about CO2 being plant food), but we are intellectually honest and follow the evidence wherever it leads. It's true that I am a zealot ... about one thing, intellectual honesty. I genuinely despise dishonest scum like you. It doesn't matter to me whether its denial of AGW or evolution or HIV or the efficacy of vaccines, or the promotion of homeopathy or astrology or "God doesn't want gays to marry" ... it's the same dishonest process that brings you to your views, and it stinks.

it looks like you haven't read or understood the Meehl et al. paper and related discussions

Oh yes, I'm sure that you, with the great scientific mind and background, must be right that it is Lotharsson, and not you who has misunderstood Meehl, and that Meehl is now a GW skeptic. What, you say that last bit is a strawman? Well if so, then what is he? Is he a zealot who continues to believe that the globe is warming even though he knows the warming has "paused"? Is he a member of the conspiracy that is perpetrating a great hoax? If he's not either of those, and he not a skeptic, and thus continues to accept the reality of global warming, then it follows that any "skeptic" drawing support from Meehl's position does not understand it. And we can see how you have misunderstood it right here:

By Storing More Heat, Oceans Create 'Hiatus Periods' in Rise of Global Warming

Consider this headline: "Because gangs are stockpiling their weapons, there is a hiatus in the rise of violence in the city". Only a blithering idiot and/or grossly dishonest scumbag (arf!) would view that as grounds for skepticism that violence is on the rise.

Ianam, you're very funny. Woof, woof! What I think is particularly funny is that you seem to think that the trendline is real and the actual temperatures are not. If you think that global warming hasn't paused then why don't you write to Jerry Meehl and tell him that he's wrong?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Ianam, this one's for you:

Email 4195.txt - Phil Jones:

> Tim, Chris,
> I hope you're not right about the lack of warming lasting
> till about 2020. I'd rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office
> press release with Doug's paper that said something like -
> half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on
> record, 1998!
> Still a way to go before 2014.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, refuted by scientific principle like statistical significances now is claim the calculated tend is not real.

Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way? Perhap, if I'm catching Alex's drift, we can measure temperature but if we do math with it, the data looses all relationship to reality.

Reminds me of another silly arguement, which claimed we cannot average temepratures.

Alex please feel free to demonstrate how you beleive Lotharsson is "refuting straw man arguments".

Indeed, because if the arguments that Lotharsson addressed were strawmen, not Alex's position, then Alex's position must be that Meehl's arguments are no grounds for skepticism about global warming ... that Alex agrees that the 'hiatus' that Meehl refers to is the sort of 'hiatus' that occurs when a person drowning in the ocean manages to get their head above water for a moment to grab a breath of air before inevitably going under.

> ...why don't you ask Meehl how he specifies how one determines a "pause" in the global warming trend?

LOL! What a ... precious ... evasion!

> Why is it that you think I should be the one to explain this?

Because **you** are the one who appears to be claiming when he uses the term 'hiatus' he means *pause in the trend that identifies a global warming signal*, without citing any evidence that he does.

And because it's pretty clear to me - and (if I'm not mistaken) practically everyone else with a passing familiarity with the scientific conclusions - that *he doesn't mean that*.

And because so far there's zero evidence here that you understand even the basics of climate science or why properly calculated trends are important in that context - in fact, there's pretty good evidence you're seriously confused.

Hint: when the article you cite references "trend over a decade", they are NOT talking about a period sufficiently long to distinguish underlying trend from signal - as others have pointed out to you earlier on this thread.

Your whole "scientists have been dodgy about this 'issue'" / "the official story line has changed" schtick appears to be predicated on *your conflation* of these differences. When you understand the - very basic, in scientific terms - means by which one identifies a signal in the presence of noise, then you understand that your conflation is an error, and your conclusions that "the official story line has changed" are therefore unjustified by that conflation (and are, for other reasons, an error) - and that Meehl's paper is *right in line with what climate science has been saying all along* and that Trenberth's comments were not about what you think they were about.

Which leads me to observe that you're still dodging Jeff Harvey's "nitty gritty" question, and you're still dodging my question on how you define a pause in the trend taken over a long enough period to identify a warming signal. How about it? (The whole point of my question was to make you think about valid and non-valid methods of detecting trends and changes in trends under different conditions, but I suspect that was too ambitious.)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

>Indeed, because if the arguments that Lotharsson addressed were strawmen, not Alex's position

Alex's postion was that that AGW paused, was it not? Lotharsson calls Alex out for continually failing to define "pause"

>Alex claiming others are "playing games with statistics" whilst he refuses to specify how one determines a "pause" in the global warming trend.

How is Lotharsson not addressing your position?

This is the heart of an argument you are trying to defend, is it not Alex?

If Alex were able to precisely specify how one detects what he calls a 'pause', then we'd have a far more fruitful discussion.

We might then clearly determine whether Alex's definition is anything like various scientists' definition(s), whether a 'pause' under his definition is something that scientists expect to occur every now and then, and if so whether that expectation is a "change in official story line" or has been around for ages, and whether observing such a 'pause' gives any insight into whether global warming as a process will continue and how fast.

But I rather suspect that either (a) Alex doesn't know what he means by a 'pause' because he's merely repeating what he read somewhere and it sounds to him like it supports his conclusions, or (b) that he doesn't want to stump up a definition because it will make it clear to everyone (perhaps even including himself) that such a definition does not support his conclusions.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

What I think is particularly funny is that you seem to think that the trendline is real and the actual temperatures are not.

What is funny and not sad is how stupid, ignorant and dishonest you are. Talk about strawmen ... of course the actual temperatures are real, you dishonest moron ... and so is the long term trend. You are as stupid as those cretins who say that the globe isn't warming because it's snowing outside, as if one negated the other. As you continue to comment here, you demonstrate further and further the depths of your ignorance and stupidity, and your dishonesty as you continue addressing strawmen and ignoring numerous rebuttals and temperature charts that clearly show a long-term warming trend, with ups and downs -- which are of course real, you dishonest sack of shit.

Email 4195.txt - Phil Jones

You are too stupid to understand Jones's motivation. The underlying process of heat accumulation, caused by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, goes on unabated (Meehl et. al.: "By Storing More Heat, Oceans Create 'Hiatus Periods' in Rise of Global Warming"). But as long as morons like you can talk about a "pause" and imply, even though you know it isn't true, that such a pause is cause for skepticism about global warming, then vital action to address that increase will be delayed. (That's a cue for you to tell us how such action will undermine the economy and bring about the end of civilization.)

Alex's postion was that that AGW paused, was it not?

Lotharsson rebutted arguments that a "pause" supports skepticism about GW ... thus by Alex claiming that Lotharsson was arguing against strawmen, he is admitting that his claims about a "pause" do not support skepticism and that he is indulging in sophistry based on semantic games.

Ianam, you have shocked me by getting something right. Let me repeat what you just said:

... then Alex's position must be that Meehl's arguments are no grounds for skepticism about global warming ... that Alex agrees that the 'hiatus' that Meehl refers to is the sort of 'hiatus' that occurs when a person drowning in the ocean manages to get their head above water for a moment to grab a breath of air before inevitably going under.

That is exactly what I am saying. If only I could throw you a bone!

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

(Well, almost exactly. The only bit that's wrong is that I already said I don't know what's going to happen in the future.)

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

P.S.

half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998!

Do you know, Alex, how many years have, at this point, exceeded 1998? How about when the 15 hottest years on record occurred?

Alex Harvey.

[Jeff Harvey](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) and [Lotharsson](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) have both asked you if you think that the planet is warming.

I too am interested in your answer to the question. I am also interested in whether you believe that there is a decline in Arctic sea ice volume in recent times, after a long period of relative stability (id est, a 'hockey stick'). Please note, I am prepared to put your answer to this last to some scrutiny.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

That is exactly what I am saying.

Then you are no skeptic, and must be a "zealot" like the rest of us, but grossly incapable of communicating. If the 'hiatus' is no basis for skepticism, then why are you blathering about it? And why are you denying a long term warming trend? I don't think that what I wrote is exactly what you are saying ... I think rather that you are too stupid to understand what I wrote or its implications.

(Well, almost exactly. The only bit that's wrong is that I already said I don't know what's going to happen in the future.)

So you don't know whether someone out in the middle of the ocean who, at the moment, has his head above water, is going to drown? What, are you stupid or something?

P.S. No one here (other than you) has said anything different from what I wrote about Meehl's hiatus, so if that's "exactly" what you're saying then you have been debating strawmen, and were stupidly wrong to say that Lotharsson didn't understand Meehl. But the fact is that your denial of long term trends contradicts what you say you "exactly" mean ... the bottom line being that you are incoherent.

What I think is particularly funny is that you seem to think that the trendline is real and the actual temperatures are not.

In the analogy, the "actual temperatures" are the actual level of the man in the water as he propels himself upward to gasp some air (which no one denies), and the trendline is his ability to keep himself from going under (which deniers deny and "skeptics" are "skeptical" about).

I don't know what's going to happen in the future.

Cretin.

ahh....the hiatis !

Knox and Douglass â Abstract:
A recently published estimate of Earthâs global warming trend is
0.63 ± 0.28 W/m2, as calculated from ocean heat content anomaly
data spanning 1993â2008. This value is not representative of the
recent (2003â2008) warming/cooling rate because of a âflatteningâ
that occurred around 2001â2002. Using only 2003â2008 data from
\Argo floats, we find by four different algorithms that the recent
\trend ranges from â0.010 to â0.160 W/m2 with a typical error bar
of ±0.2 W/m2. These results fail to support the existence of a
frequently-cited large positive computed radiative imbalance.

>These results fail to support the existence of a frequently-cited large positive computed radiative imbalance.

How so, exactly?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

>... Alex agrees that the 'hiatus' that Meehl refers to is the sort of 'hiatus' that occurs when a person drowning in the ocean manages to get their head above water for a moment to grab a breath of air before inevitably going under.

Alex responds,

>*That is exactly what I am saying.*

So Alex, what percentage of the time has the swimmer had his head below [the line](http://sandcastles.blogs.glam.ac.uk/files/2010/12/1975_2009.jpg) during the last 40 years?

And what evidence do you have that this time will be different to all the other dips during the last 40 years?

> What there is is a noisy signal that goes up, down, and flat, but which trends upwards -- that is what is meant by "global warming", and it will not have paused until the trend line, not the signal, flattens out.

I just thought that this gets right to the nub of Alex's incompetence in understanding what "trend" means, therefore quoted it again for truth.

Alex, until you understand what a trend is and how you calculate it and the confidence in that trend, you will remain an ignorant troll.

As you can see the net uncertainty of aerosol forcing is great enough that it could completely cancel out the CO2 forcing.

I'll assume you're actually talking about the net positive anthropogenic forcing, rather than just CO2. Did you read this bit: 'Statistically, the PDF shown in Figure 2.20 indicates just a 0.2% probability that the total RF from anthropogenic agents is negative'. There is a near-equally low probability of a zero aerosol effect, 90% confidence range is about -0.5 to -2.3W/m^2. The 90% range for total net forcing is 0.6-2.4W/m^2.

If the forcing is very low the surface temperature and ocean heat content observations indicate a high climate sensitivity, as Lindzen's 2002 paper showed. The point is that aerosol effects are now constrained as net negative to a degree that they can't be credibly dismissed.

> ...so if that's "exactly" what you're saying then you have been debating strawmen...

Didn't Alex say there are at least three people posting under that nym on various sites?

I presume at least two of them are posting on this thread, and they don't agree with each other ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2011 #permalink

Cyril your story claims that tidal data from a gauge at Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour shows seas are rising, but rising not as fast as the [global average](http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/).

That does not mean a hiatus.

Artic ice loss is [faster than projections](http://jameswight.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/observed-and-modeled-arct…) and we are experiencing a [global loss of ice](http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice.html).

So you'd be wrong.

These results fail to support the existence of a frequently-cited large positive computed radiative imbalance.

And I suppose that, if I search for my missing keys under the streetlamp but don't find them, that means my keys aren't really missing.

The link provided below

reports on what one guy claims ... but that's proof enough for you!

Alex Harvey:

Now this whole article is about explaining the pause in warming from 1998 to the present: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110918144941.htm

(1998 was first beaten by 2005 by the way.) You are confusing at least two issues.

Issue 1 is that global surface temperature does not increase in lock-step with ocean heat content. To begin with, El Ninos and La Ninas move heat up and down between the surface and the deep ocean. Meehl et al identified another mechanism that does this with a longer period than ENSO's.

Issue 2 (which is the subject of Hansen's 2011 energy imbalance paper) is that ocean heat content (which is directly related to global mean sea level) has not risen smoothly because of variations in net radiative forcing.

So Meehl and Hanson's papers deal with two different issues and you are confusing them. Hansen does not believe that Meehl et al. are fighting a losing battle. They are talking about different things.

None of this has very much to do with estimated climate sensitivity.

The science denial industry tries to create as much confusion about all of this as possible, of course.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

In the Climategate #1 emails Trenberth famously remarked "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't". Now you have doubtlessly been told that he was 'taken out of context'. If that was true, isn't it extraordinary that no one ever restores the original context to prove it? Here is the real trick to hide the context. I challenge to use Google now to find someone who has restored the context to that remark. It won't happen because when read in context it is even clearer that he means exactly what he says - there is a lack of warming, and scientists can't explain it.

It took me 15 seconds (google trenberth+travesty+context), you dishonest asshole (arf!):

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Trenberth-email-scandal.html

Therefore, Trenberth was talking about where some of the warmth has gone, not that there is a lack of warmth.

The article also links to Trenberth's own comments on being taken out of context:

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/statement.html

But no, we shouldn't believe Trenberth on whether his statement was distorted and misinterpreted, we should believe a stupid lying sack of garbage like you who can't use google (bow wow!).

Dumber than dirt lying sack of garbage Alex:

Just saying it's "internal variability" isn't an answer.

Kevin Trenberth:

The global mean temperature in 2008 was the lowest since about 2000 (Fig. 1). Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by accelerating increases of carbon dioxide (Fig. 1) and other greenhouses due to human activities, why isnât the temperature continuing to go up? The stock answer is that natural variability plays a key role1 and there was a major La Niña event early in 2008 that led to the month of January having the lowest anomaly in global temperature since 2000. While this is true, it is an incomplete explanation. In particular, what are the physical processes? From an energy standpoint, there should be an explanation that accounts for where the radiative forcing has gone. Was it compensated for temporarily by changes in clouds or aerosols, or other changes in atmospheric circulation that allowed more radiation to escape to space? Was it because a lot of heat went into melting Arctic sea ice or parts of Greenland and Antarctica, and other glaciers? Was it because the heat was buried in the ocean and sequestered, perhaps well below the surface? Was it because the La Niña led to a change in tropical ocean currents and rearranged the configuration of ocean heat? Perhaps all of these things are going on? But surely we have an adequate system to track whether this is the case or not, donât we?

Paul S, yes - but the LOSU ("level of scientific understanding") for these forcings - in fact for all forcings other than GHGs and ozone - is given as "low" or "medium-low". Thus linear contrails, cloud albedo effect and solar irradiance all show "low" LOSU. As does warming from statospheric water vapour from CH4.

Consider just one example - linear contrails. You probably heard of the recent study that suggested linear contrails could be "contributing more to global warming than all the CO2 that has been caused by the entire 108 years of airplane flight" - which turns out to be 0.031 W/m^2.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-airplane-contrails-worse-co2-emissi…

If so, this warming is well outside the uncertainty bars as published in AR4. And no one seemed hugely surprised - after all the LOSU was given as "low" for contrails.

Then consider that these scientists are under political pressure to present a tidy story. Where LOSU is low, and there is pressure to present certainty to the politicians, there is great scope for the a bias to a positive RF - the politics ensures that the scientists have a significant conflict of interest.

(Look at how Joe Romm and the green lobby has berated the IPCC after the authors decided to admit a little bit more uncertainty than usual in their latest report on impacts.)

So I am afraid I take that 99.8% probability that net RF is positive with a grain of salt.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

> "contributing more to global warming than all the CO2 that has been caused by the entire 108 years of airplane flight" - which turns out to be 0.031 W/m^2.

How long to contrails last on your planet, Alex?

The CO2 lasts for decades to thousands of years (depending on where you want to hide it).

Contrails? Not so long.

You're going to be wrong because you're ill equipped to know what the hell is going on.

Alex,

Several points. What about the huge number of biotic indicators showing species significantly adjusting their distributions polewards and to higher elevations, or else profound changes in migration patterns, phenology, and life cycles? That the climate is warming is well beyond doubt. Natural systems don't lie - they just *respond*. The empirical ecological literature is laden with studies reporting the above phenomena. But why take my word as a scientist who does research in this area for it? Log into the Web of Science and type in the key words *biodiversity* and *climate change* and you get 3872 hits. Type in *climate change* and *species distributions* and you get 4814 hits.

So the planet is warming. The questions remaining are (1) what is the human fingerprint on the warming, and (2) is the warming occurring within normal boundries.

To answer the first, again, 99% of the scientific literature and the views of the vast majority of scientists are in agreement over this. In my scientific career I have met and spoken with many hundreds, and perhaps more than a thousand, scientists about various aspects of global change and climate warming. In all of my years as a scientist (that totals > 20) the number of so-called sceptics I have met I could count on one hand. In 2002 I presented a keynote lecture at a one day workshop on global change at Copenhagen University and the climate scientists I spoke with there told me that the human fingerprint is all over the current warming (and this was way back in 2002). They had no doubts. Why should I therefore believe a few outliers in the field, many of whom have openly and brazenly associated themselves with polluting industries with an axe to grind? If I am a lawyer, and you pay me, I am working for you. Period. Even Lindzen, whom you clearly admire, had to admit before Congressional Testimony in the 1990s that he had once received 2500 dollars a day consulting fees from the fossil fuel lobby. My take on it is this: if these scientists have any brain in their heads, they wouldn't touch a penny of money offered to them by industries with a clear vested interest in denial, particularly if their opinions on climate change concur with those of the said industries. And yet, if one checks the backgrounds of many of the most prominent so-called sceptics, one finds that very many have links to the fossil fuel companies, either directly through funding or by being associated with any number of right wing think tanks that are themselves funded by the same corporations.

I would also be very cautious when relying on web sites for your world view of scientific issues where public policy is concerned. Many sites routinely distort the findings of peer-reviewed studies in order to promote their own pre-determined world view and political agendas. To be honest, the sceptics have become masters of the art: most of them publish little, if anything in the primary literature, but instead, like creationists faced with a wealth of evidence for evolution by natural selection, aim to pick holes in studies they don't like or else go on cherry-picking frenzies and ignore the science that they hate.

You also claim that the sceptical sites are polite... I will not take this vacuous comment at all seriously. When I critically reviewed Bjorn Lomborg's (IMHO) appalling book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist" for Nature and the Union of Concerned Scientists, I was viciously attacked by pundits on the political right and in think tanks and some of the popular media. I received virus-laden emails for months and to this day I still am attacked by Lomborg's veritable supporting army of anti-environmentalists. Check out groups like "Wise Use" and the huge volume of anti-environmetal literature that is available and you will find scientists and green organizations vilified using the most appalling language and smears that you could imagine. So don't come here with the argument that those downplaying human threats to the environment are an honorable bunch; many, perhaps most, at least in my view are not.

With respect to my second point (above), its clearly dishoenst for anyone to claim that the warming has stopped based on the time period in question for a hugely deterministic system. People who argue that the warming stopped by conveniently using 2001 as a starting point are bastardizing science, in my view. Of course shot-term climatic events, such as ENSO, La Nina and others, will exert prpfoundly strong effects on global weather patterns over a short period of time. To truly measure the predicability of any event generated over enormous spatial scales, such as climate maintenance, means that the necessary time must have elapsed to separate stochastic from deterministic factors. In climatic terms, at least when one measures this over the biosphere, we are talking aout 20-30 years at the very least. Whenever I see the sceptics coming out with their pithy 'it stopped warming in 1998 or 2001 or whenever' arguments, I feel like banging my fist against the wall. This is a complete mangling of science, or else, as is equally likely, a singular inability to understand the importance of scale. We are faced with the same challenges in ecology: local trophic interactions are unpredictable, but the property of ecosystems and biomes is far more predictable.

The final factor with respect to the effects of AGW is that the humans have simplified the planet in a myriad of other ways: by overharvesting, slashing and burning, through overgrazing, clear cutting, altering the chemical composition of air and water ecosystems, biologically homogenizing, paving and ploughing, damming and dredging, dousing in synthetic organic pollutants, et al... In combination with these assaults, which have dramatically reduced the capacity of natural systems to sustain themselves and ultimately us, we have added rapid climate change. Current human practices IMO represent the sprint of folly. We should be doing everything in our power to mitigate the highly deleterious effects that our species is having on the planet's ecological life support systems. But, at present, with climate change denial and anti-environmental groups being well funded and organized, I only see us going in the wrong direction.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, given the extra heating from AGW is ~1W/m2, what difference does 0.013W/m2 make to that?

Significant or insignificant?

Especially compared to the error bars on the total forcing.

Go read the IPCC website and the AR4 reports.

Find out what the IPCC say before you go looking for conspiracies of omission, hmm?

Alex,

The AR4 90% range for contrails was 0.003 to 0.03. 0.031 is hardly 'well outside the uncertainty bars'. Also keep in mind that time has passed by since AR4. CO2 forcing, for example, will certainly be 'well outside' the uncertainty bars in a few years' time.

Then consider that these scientists are under political pressure to present a tidy story. Where LOSU is low, and there is pressure to present certainty to the politicians, there is great scope for the a bias to a positive RF - the politics ensures that the scientists have a significant conflict of interest.

Alex, I gave the definition of two words earlier. This is not skepticism you're displaying right now.

Alex Harvey @99:

If you draw a trendline over 40 years then you'll be correct by definition that the last 10 years hasn't deviated from the trend. If you draw it over 38 years then you can claim that the pause over 12 years isn't statistically significant due to not enough data.

You sound very confused. What I want is for you to calculate the global temperature trend over any previous years that you fancy, using whichever data set you prefer. Then you select any recent period of years from the same data set so you can demonstrate, by whichever means you prefer, that the temperatures in recent years are statistically significantly lower than those predicted from the trend you've already identified.

No denialist has done this, despite all the bleating about a 'pause' that they imply is meaningful. This is very basic statistics (feel free to forget about autocorrelation) but it seems to be beyond the abilities of denialists.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

Uh, dropping in a bit late but wouldn't sublimation of ice be subject to climatological changes, like humidity, air currents, and of course temperature, even if it didn't melt directly? I see no reason to take "sublimation" as evidence that Mt. Kilimanjaroo is not being affected by "climate change." Am I right?

"Fine minds make fine distinctions."

Jeff says there are no doubts amongst ecologists that climate change is taking place. When I was active in crops research, I attended several conferences in the early 1990s. Attendees included physicists working on energy and gas transfer by leaves, applied ecologists and various others who were likely to be well-informed. A common topic was 'what can we expect from climate change, and how can we prepare for it?' I recall no-one questioning that it was on the way.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

So I am afraid I take that 99.8% probability that net RF is positive with a grain of salt.

Tell that to the oceans. Yet another ignorant and arrogant pontification by Alex Harvey.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*Then consider that these scientists are under political pressure to present a tidy story. Where LOSU is low, and there is pressure to present certainty to the politicians, there is great scope for the a bias to a positive RF - the politics ensures that the scientists have a significant conflict of interest.*

Yeah the politicians in control of science during AR4 were [interfering with the process](http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/mar/20/usnews.climatechange).

> Then consider that these scientists are under political pressure to present a tidy story.

That remains unconvincing, just as it was all the other times it was alleged.

Ask yourself: what's the *"tidiest" possible* story scientists could present, if they were trying to pander to politicians rather than describe reality? Politicians would *dearly love* to hear that there's nothing to worry about and we should go about business as usual. (Just ask Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd. Or any of the scientists whose work was suppressed or severely downplayed by the Bush administration.)

The fact that they are presenting a story that politicians find deeply inconvenient entirely undercuts accusations that they are lying about their findings in order to make politicians happy.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 02 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff Harvey #146,

I take it you are an ecologist and that your area of expertise lies in climate change impacts. Certainly, no one denies that the world has warmed; the dispute is completely about detection of the anthropogenic signal.

You write,

...it's clearly dishonest for anyone to claim that the warming has stopped based on the time period in question ... People who argue that the warming stopped by conveniently using 2001 as a starting point are bastardizing science, in my view.

I think this is a straw man argument. I am sure it is not your intention to set up a straw man - but there seems to be a disconnect between what skeptics say and what people at sites like this think (or say) skeptics say.

People like Pielke, Douglass and plenty of others have focussed on the ocean heat content data as measured by the Argo network. Everyone agrees that CO2 is a well-mixed GHG and that for all intents and purposes it has been increasing monotonically to the present. The IPCC say that we should therefore be able to measure a radiative imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) of about 0.85 W/m^2.

So the issue is not that there is a pause in the warming, or that global warming has "stopped", but that the present pause may imply that the large radiative imbalance is simply not there - which should be impossible given monotonically increasing CO2 concentrations. If so, as I understand it, climate sensitivity must be lower.

According to Trenberth, Fasullo & Kiehl 2009:

There is a TOA imbalance of 6.4 W m-2 from CERES data and this is outside of the realm of current estimates of global imbalances ...

(i.e. the directly measured value is known to be completely wrong.)

The TOA energy imbalance can probably be most accurately determined from climate models and is estimated to be 0.85±0.15 W m-2 by Hansen et al. (2005) and is supported by estimated recent changes in ocean heat content (Willis et al. 2004; Hansen et al. 2005).

But it is what has happened after Willis et al. 2004 & Hansen et al. 2005 that is the problem: ocean heat content doesn't seem to have gone up.

So note:

1- skeptics say that the TOA imbalance is not "measured" but computed - and this appears to be true - because direct measurements are known to be inaccurate.

2- it is said that the most reliable check on the computed positive radiative imbalance is found in the Argo ocean heat content data.

Thus the "travesty": much of the heat implied by the computed TOA imbalance cannot be detected in the Argo measurements.

Now according to Knox & Douglass 2010, "In our opinion, the missing energy problem is probably caused by a serious overestimate by [Trenberth & Fasullo 2010] of FTOA [TOA flux], which, they state, is most accurately determined by modeling".

The problem I have is that I find it very difficult to find where the ideas of skeptics are even discussed. Who has discussed the Knox & Douglass 2010 paper? On [Pielke Sr's blog](http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/my-comments-on-robert-…), Trenberth is quoted making statements that suggest he didn't even read the paper and says he dismisses it out of hand and that it shouldn't have been published. The response by Knox & Douglass seems compelling - so where do I go to hear Trenberth respond? In the Hansen et al. (submitted) paper, there is no discussion of Douglass & Knox - they are not even cited, despite the fact that they have argued as Hansen does that models are mixing heat into the ocean too efficiently.

On another matter we are still waiting for a response to Lindzen & Choi 2011. We had to wait two years while various scientists tried to block its publication - and now there's no response. Where is RealClimate's response?

I might have responded to some of your other points but this seems to have grown a bit long so I'll leave it here.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex,

As I said, and I reiterate, its pure baloney to talk about a hiatus in warming based on a period of less than 20-30 years. Not for a deterministic system. Those who are doing so are clutching at the last remaining straws of denial. If I were to examine the dynamics of an ecosystem over a short period, and to generate what i interpret to be predictable conclusions on its properties based on that, I'd be laughed out of science.

You also ignore the fact that the skeptics - or denialists as they more rightfully should be called because they won't abandon their ideological ship until its well and truly sunk - are primarily consigned to the blogosphere. Very few of them publish in any scientific journals, and, of those that do, the journals in which they do publish are low down the pecking order. Certainly in the scientific arena the skeptical stuff is indeed discussed - if it has any relevance. Most of it doesn't. Its ideologically driven rubbish - hence why it is ignored. I said it last time and I will repeat it - 95% or more of the climate science community agrees that humans are the primary forcing agent behind the recent rapid rise in temperatures. The only debates that should be remaining is how we can deal with this, what its consequences for natural and managed ecosystems are likely to be, and, ultimately its extent. The discussion of causality has - or should have - moved on 10-15 years ago. That it hasn't is clear evidence of the success of a well funded PR and media campaign, orchestrated in large part by those with a vested interest in denial.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, see:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Dessler-2011-Debunks-Roy-Spencer-And-Ri…
for your oh-so-desired response to LC11. The "blocking" was an attempt to prevent yet another flawed paper to come out. Something you pseudoskeptics seem to be rather upset about. What's all that about? You complain about supposed flawed papers such as MBH98/99, but when Lindzen publishes flawed papers time after time after time after time...you complain scientists are trying to stop his publications!

One last point for Alex:

The two Douglass/Know articles were published in journals with impact factors of under 2 (1.98 and 1.95). I agree that this means they are interesting enough to discuss, but impact factors of this level are not in the upper echelons of science by a long way. it begs the question: did the authors try for much stronger journals earlier? And, if so, this means that they were rejected and eventually settled in the journals were they were published.

One of the problems with the blogosphere is that many bloggers who have no scientific background assume that 'everything is equal' - in other words that any published article must have gone through exactly the same rigorous level of peer-review, meaning that a paper in a low impact climate science journals has as much relevance as one published in Nature, Science or PNAS. But speaking as a working scientist, I can assure people that this is not true at all. The journals with the higher impact factors - especially over 3 to 4 - have much more strict rules for acceptance than journals with lower impact factors. All I am saying is that this should be borne in mind when assessing a paper's quality as well as the content. Out of 10 papers I had published in my field this year, 7 went into journals with impact factors of over 2; 3 of them were over 3. The paper(s) Alex wants discussed are in journals under 2.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Certainly, no one denies that the world has warmed; ...

You don't get out much on the Intertubez, do you?

> I think this is a straw man argument.

LOL! You *really* don't get out on the Intertubez much...

> So the issue is not that there is a pause in the warming, or that global warming has "stopped", but that the present pause may imply that the large radiative imbalance is simply not there...

Ah, so...you decline repeated offers to define what you mean by 'pause', and instead presume it to be in existence and then shift the goalposts over to the *next* playing field.

...where you proceed to suggest that recent temperature observations, when dubbed an (undefined) 'pause', might mean one thing when those observations can be caused by any number of things. Which means the observations that you dub a 'pause' are not particularly useful for investigating the hypothesis you advance because other data and methods are required. (I suspect what you are groping towards is Trenberth's point: that the energy flux accounting models which are based in part on temperature observations do not appear to add up properly...a notion for which dubbing a period of the temperature record a 'pause' is essentially a red herring.)

> ...which should be impossible given monotonically increasing CO2 concentrations...

What exactly do you think the mechanisms (known and unknown, poorly and well understood) that generate "internal variability" in the climate system do to the energy balance in order to shift global temperatures around as much as they do? And what impact is there on the energy balance due to global average temperature being lowered by mechanisms of internal variability below what it would otherwise be?

> (i.e. the directly measured value is known to be completely wrong.)

I do not think the quote you provided means what you think it means as other interpretations of that fragment are entirely plausible, and there is no helpful context...

> The problem I have is that I find it very difficult to find where the ideas of skeptics are even discussed.

You mean, apart from ... in the literature? And a bunch of non-literature websites?

> Who has discussed the Knox & Douglass 2010 paper?

[This was trivial to find](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton-Myth-1-Cooling-oceans.html). And it suggests that:

> ...ocean heat content doesn't seem to have gone up.

is probably an inaccurate claim.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Certainly, no one denies that the world has warmed; the dispute is completely about detection of the anthropogenic signal.

The mind boggles at the willful ignorance and mendacity of such a statement. You're like one of those blind men (read deniers and "skeptics") touching an elephant, the one at the tail, say, claiming that the dispute is completely about the thickness of the rope.

As for detecting the anthrogenic signal: we know the physics of GHGs, we know the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and we know how much of that is due to burning fossil fuels ... "we" being those who are not deniers of facts and science.

The problem I have is that I find it very difficult to find where the ideas of skeptics are even discussed.

Yes, your stupidity and ineptness is indeed a problem you have. And being such an intensely stupid and intellectually dishonest person, you seem quite unaware of how tremendously inept you appear to people who aren't.

Just for the record, I'm a skeptic. I find it very difficult to believe that our atmosphere will warm by maybe 2C this century. Surely someone has made a mistake? It couldn't be that bad. If there is a 2C rise, it won't be pretty.

But, if you'd told me back in the mid 70's how things would change in the next 35 years, I would have had trouble believing you then.

However, the self proclaimed "skeptics" don't influence me at all. They are all over the shop, and, as far as I can see, mostly dishonest, stupid, or both. The skeptical camp are so dumb that they endlessly debate whether the greenhouse effect is consistent with the 2nd law of thermodynamics - even when prominent skeptics tell them that the greenhouse effect is real.

So I'm like someone who has felt the earthquake, and is worried about a tsunami. I don't think its going to happen, or at least it won't be that big, but I'm going to higher ground anyway, because the people who seem to have the best understanding and track record are telling me its time to head for the hills.

By John Brookes (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff #156,

You write,

As I said, and I reiterate, its pure baloney to talk about a hiatus in warming based on a period of less than 20-30 years. Not for a deterministic system. Those who are doing so are clutching at the last remaining straws of denial. If I were to examine the dynamics of an ecosystem over a short period, and to generate what i interpret to be predictable conclusions on its properties based on that, I'd be laughed out of science.

This is another problem. It appears that any amount of data is okay if it supports the AGW theory but if the data contradicts the AGW theory you say I'd be laughed out of science for discussing it.

Thus Trenberth, Fasullo & Kiehl 2009 use a computed radiative imbalance of 0.85 W/m^2 support this empirically with the 10 years of data in the Willis et al. 2004 study. From Willis et al. 2004:

The time series of globally averaged heat content contains a small amount of interannual variability and implies an oceanic warming rate of 0.86 ± 0.12 watts per square meter of ocean (0.29 ± 0.04 pW) from 1993 to 2003 for the upper 750 m of the water column.

So that's the problem. The decision to use 10 years of data wasn't Douglass's idea, and it wasn't Pielke's idea, but it was in fact Hansen's, Willis's, Trenberth's and others'.

And this isn't the only study that is computing climate sensitivity from short periods of data. Aside from the paleo studies, all studies that measure climate sensitivity use short periods of data - in fact even shorter than 10 years.

So I think you are mistaken here.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Before someone jumps on me for this, that's not correct what I just said. I should have said "of studies that don't use climate models at all" and I am thinking of [Forster and Gregory 2006](http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3611.1). I understand there are only a few studies like this - but the point is they do use short periods of data to measure climate sensitivity. So it's incorrect to attack skeptics for using short periods of data to measure climate sensitivity.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Some professors and experts even tried to reach out to Professor Mann, warning him of the danger of turning science into religion by purposefully ignoring evidence. Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office writes:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary. I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

By The Cause (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex,

I still think say that you are sawing sawdust. And why? My point is that the empirical evidence overwhelmingly supports the argument that humans are forcing climate. If you go back to the 1950s and even before, you find that scientists were then arguing that if humans continue to experiment on the atmosphere by pouring huge concentrations of greenhouse gases into it, then by the year 2000 we'd see warming as a result (e.g. Keeling, report commissioned by Johnson administration, 1965, elsewhere).

Were these scientists guessing? Or did they simply put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4? Like other members of the denialati who claim to be objective, you appear to want 100% incontrovertible proof that the human fingerprint is on the present warming. I have seen the same spin put on the current extinction spasm in an attempt to downplay the human component. The so-called skeptics want names of every species, sub-species, population et al. that is purported to be going extinct, and, lacking these fine details, they take the opposite approach and then say that there is no problem. What we do know is that humans, through a slash-and-burn approach to the biosphere, have destroyed huge amounts of natural habitat. Using area-extinction models of exponential decay, which are only based on direct habitat loss, and thus ignore other factors like direct over-harvesting, changes to the chemical environment, climate change etc, we can postulate that a massive extinction event is underway. The models certainly underestimate the extinction rates of local populations. But, for the skeptics, this is not enough: so they insist that we continue to fiddle while Rome is engulfed in flames until more data are in. And by then it is too late.

I stick to my guns and say that the evidence for AGW has accumulated over many years. The planet is warming, particularly areas towards the poles, as workers like Keeling predicted using circulation models in the 1950s. A wealth of biotic indicators show that the warming is ongoing. Given the system is deterministic owing to the scales involved, there are almost certainly lags in cause-and-effect relationships, meaning that if we even stopped burning fossil fuels today the warming would persist for at least two more decades.

I could list hundreds of papers journals that are way beyond the few papers you cite that "must be discussed" liker the Knox/Douglass papers that were published in relatively small journals. What I am saying is that the evidence for a human fingerprint on the recent warming is or should by now be beyond dispute, much as the dispute that humans are profoundly reducing biodiversity should also be beyond dispute. Your tactic, and that of those opting for a lethargic wait-and-see approach, is a dangerous ploy with potentially devastating consequences for humanity and much of life across the biosphere.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, you appear to be deeply confused.

In response to:

> ...its pure baloney to talk about a hiatus in warming based on a period of less than 20-30 years...

you reply:

> Thus Trenberth, Fasullo & Kiehl 2009 use a computed radiative imbalance of 0.85 W/m^2 support this empirically with the 10 years of data in the Willis et al. 2004 study. From Willis et al. 2004:

>> The time series of globally averaged heat content contains a small amount of interannual variability and implies an oceanic warming rate of 0.86 ± 0.12 watts per square meter of ocean (0.29 ± 0.04 pW) from 1993 to 2003 for the upper 750 m of the water column.

Firstly, claims about a 'hiatus in warming' have very little to do directly with climate sensitivity. One might infer that you are throwing a large red herring into the mix in the hope that everyone will forget you (a) refuse to define how one detects a 'pause' or what it is, and (b) continue to base your claims on inappropriate claims about trends based on periods that are too short for the noise level in the observations. (Or perhaps you aren't deliberately throwing red herrings - you just have very little idea what you're talking about.)

Speaking of the latter, you appear to be conflating at least two - and perhaps as many as four - different concepts, which suggests your level of understanding is poor. For example, please define:

- Oceanic warming rate

- Radiative imbalance

- Climate sensitivity

- 'Hiatus (or pause) in warming'

And then, should you realise that these are different concepts, please consider rewriting your entire comment about climate sensitivity calculations in the light of the definitions you provide. Or at a minimum, withdraw any assertions that your citation demonstrates that 'skeptics' are above criticism for claiming that the warming trend has significantly changed by limiting their observations to short periods of data.

Oh, and while you're at it, perhaps you could enumerate all of the papers that you consider "compute climate sensitivity from data", how many years of data they each use, *how many were available at the time from their sources*, and what uncertainty bounds they reported. And to be fair, please indicate the level of acknowledgement the authors provided of uncertainties due to the short period, e.g. as Forster & Gregory 2006 states *right up front in the abstract*:

> The uncertainty range is due to a combination of the short time period for the analysis as well as uncertainties in the surface temperature time series and radiative forcing time series, mostly the former.

And finally, since one wants to assess where the weight of all the evidence lies, please specify what you believe the likely range of climate sensitivity is if one considers the weight of all the evidence except the papers that you think use data periods that are too short. Citations to the body of evidence you think is kosher would be highly appropriate.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

The Cause@ 165:

It's nice to see you know how to copy and paste something from an article you saw in the Daily Tech
, that renowned climate journal.

Too bad you didn't read what you pasted, because if you had you would have noticed that the claim made is disproved by the very excerpt presented. Thorne wasn't talking to Mann, he was talking to Jones. One doesn't even have to read the whole email to figure this out, because in the section quoted he says, "Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary." Thorne has since stated that his concerns were listened to and mostly acted on. His concerns about the satellite data were in large part unfounded, at least when it came to UAH vs RSS. Later in that year (2005) the UAH analysis was found to be in serious error and had to be redone; when it was the same general warming trend was there, where before it had shown a slight cooling.

The article from Daily Tech made many ghastly errors, but the most troubling was the splicing together of two distinct emails from Jones here:

"In one email Professor Jones explains to researchers how to best hide their work to prevent anyone from being able to replicate it and find errors:

I've been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process. Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get â and has to be well hidden. I've discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data."

The bold text was from May 13th, 2009 (email 2440), the italicized from July 28th, 2009 (email 1577). In the first Jones is talking specifically about FOIA requests for emails that were from scientist to scientist in discussing what was to be included in what chapters in IPCC reports. He does not think these are covered by FOIA and that the release of such emails would stifle the free discussion of the science among the participants as they worked on the reports. It was not about holding back data. The second snippet was from an email where Jones was lamenting the time and resources used to fulfill the FOIA request for data:

"Dear All,
Here are a few other thoughts. From looking at Climate Audit every few days, these people are not doing what I would call academic research. Also from looking they will not stop with the data, but will continue to ask for the original unadjusted data (which we don't have) and then move onto the software used to produce the gridded datasets (the ones we do release).
CRU is considered by the climate community as a data centre, but we don't have any resources to undertake this work. Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get - and has to be well hidden. I've discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data. We are currently trying to do some more work with other datasets, which will get released (as gridded datasets) through the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). This will involve more than just station temperature data. Perhaps we should consider setting up something like this agreement below
http://badc.nerc.ac.uk/data/surface/met ... ement.html
I just want these orchestrated requests to stop. I also don't want to give away years of hard effort within CRU. Many of the agreements were made in the late 1980s and early 1990s and I don't have copies to hand. I also don't want to waste my time looking for them. Even if I were to find them all, it is likely that the people we dealt with are no longer in the same positions. These requests over the last 2.5 years have wasted much time for me, others in CRU and for Dave and Michael. Some of you may not know, but the dataset has been sent by someone at the Met Office to McIntyre. The Met Office are trying to find out who did this. I've ascertained it most likely came from there, as I'm the only one who knows where the files are here.
See you all later.
Phil"

They don't have the resources to do all these data searches, so they are done "on the back of the research grants we get". This extra work has to be hidden, not the data!

It's astounding that the people who are accusing scientists of hoaxes and fraud so nonchalantly engage in the most blatant deception themselves. Mick has the audacity to state,

"Of course Phil Jones and his supporters will likely claim that the emails were taken out of context of some larger more appropriate discussion"

This from someone who spliced together two emails separated by over two months. Yeah, I think that qualifies as taking the emails out of context. Don't you?

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex: I think you never responded to my request @149:

What I want is for you to calculate the global temperature trend over any previous years that you fancy, using whichever data set you prefer. Then you select any recent period of years from the same data set so you can demonstrate, by whichever means you prefer, that the temperatures in recent years are statistically significantly lower than those predicted from the trend you've already identified.

If the statistics is beyond you, feel free to ask for help from anyone at WUWT or any other site you frequent. However, I doubt they will be useful, as they are not really into examining science as such.

My prediction: you will be unable to provide the demonstration, probably because you will not even attempt it.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex: I gather that Watt's reversal on the BEST report had no impact on you. What would it take to convince you that denialists, the self-styled 'skeptics', are either gullible or frauds? For myself, I would be inclined to modify that assesment if I were to see this graph presented and discussed at, for example, WUWT.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff,

You ask me why - what is my agenda?

Despite all the hysterical assumptions in this thread, it has nothing to do with ideology - for me anyway. Ideologically, taking action on climate change is exactly the sort of thing I would normally support. My problem is that, unfortunately, after six years of looking at this I still find the actual arguments unconvincing.

Now if that's all there was to it, I would probably assume that I have missed something, not being an expert. It may well be that I have been misled by people who want to mislead me.

But that's not all there is to it. In fact what creates skepticism where there shouldn't be any is that I see the leading scientists who created the consensus simultaneously advocating for a predetermined policy response instead of just doing science. And not only are they simultaneously doing advocacy, but they are not dealing with the challenges by skeptics in an honest, rational way.

Clearly, there is a conflict of interest of sorts for any scientist who is out there doing advocacy as well as science - and we know that means a great number of them. Having a predetermined position on what we should do (or not do) about climate change must necessarily call into question the capacity of such scientists to be objective.

If you believe that Lindzen is self-deluded - then ask yourself why he is self-deluded. You can point to $10,000 he received in the mid 1990s. But that's a bit weak. People bring it up to smear him, but I don't think anyone takes it seriously as an explanation. Instead, people say that he's naturally a "contrarian". So you presumably will conclude that his self-delusion arises because he has been advocating a particular policy response - no action to limit CO2 emissions, all efforts should be directed to adaptation - since the early 1990s. And if that explanation satisfies you, then you need to explain why it doesn't cause you equally to question the objectivity of the likes of Trenberth and the IPCC scientists who are also known to advocate policy responses.

If the case for AGW is really as strong as people make it out to be - then the fact that the public is not convinced would speak volumes about the quality of the advocacy you're doing. Another thing is that I really have to wonder how anyone thinks name-calling helps your case. Does anyone seriously believe that if you call me a "denier" that it will influence me to change my mind or make me stay silent? Or do you think it will annoy me and make me all the more determined to prove you wrong? This is really communication skills 101 and I'm very sorry that so many of you seem so clueless in this regard.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex,

What you have to ask yourself is why thes-called climate change skeptics are so few and far between that they depend on a very small coterie of scientists in support of their argument. Lindzen (who is now 71) and a few others whose names you can count on one hand make up most of the contrarian ranks. Place that in context with a much larger number of scientists on the other side and one should realize that the ratio of climate scientists supporting or opposing the argument for AGW is about 97:3. You'll also notice that the views of contrarians about the dangers posed by tobacco (or, should I say, the lack of danger) are quite similar. Contrarians on just about every issue. Note also that Lindzen is still associated with lobbying groups that are funded by Exxon-Mobil.

A memo leaked from the American Petroleum Institute in the 1990s expressed concern that the climate change denial community relied on the same small number of scientists to support their position, and that this would eventually undermine their position. These names included Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Richard Lindzen, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, Robert Balling, the Idso's etc. Here we are, 15 years later, and yet the same names crop up again in denial circles, with one or two new names added for good measure. This should be evidence enough that the number of contrarians is tiny.

If you are admittedly a non-expert, then what drives your support for a small groups of scientific outliers? I think we all know the answer to that. End of stroy.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*My problem is that, unfortunately, after six years of looking at this I still find the actual arguments unconvincing.*

Which ones are "the actual arguments"?

- That CO2 traps heat?

- That the weight of evidences puts the climate sensitivity on a fat tailed distribution between 1.5 and 10 degrees C per doubling CO2, (with most likely estimate about 3 deg C.

- That high risk positive feedback can be found in the fossil record with in this range of expected climate change?

Which of these states do you dispute?

One final point, Alex:

You make a comment about adaptation. Therein lies the rub. This question that eludes scientists like Lindzen - and he can be forgiven for not understanding much of anything about systems ecology - is not whether humans can adapt to global changes that we inflict on ecosystems and biomes across the biosphere - but whether complex adaptive systems can adapt. This salient point is habitually excluded from climate-change skeptic discussion, for the most part because none of them have any background in ecology. Many of them also appear to think that there are no limits to the expansion of the human enterprise, and that out species is somehow exempt from natural laws.

As I have said many times of different threads on Deltoid, natural systems permit humans to exist and to persist through the delivery of numerous supporting services that, if they were to be captured in full-cost pricing, would be worth many trillions of dollars to the global economy (and more than the combined GDPs of every nation on Earth - see Costanza et al., Nature, 1997). However, because they are externalized in economic price-cost scenarios, we only are aware of their importance when they are added to or lost from the system.

Of course, I don't expect climate-change deniers to spend much time thinking about this, because many of them cannot tell and mole cricket from a giraffe. Moreover, many of them are techno-optimists who think that there are no limits to the growth of the material economy. Their belief is that, as illusory limits are approached, than human ingenuity will intervene and forever increase human carrying capacity. Of course this is utter nonsense, but its the kinds of puerile crap I have to deal with frequently in discussions with those advocating a business-as-ususal agenda.

As a senior scientist with many years experience in my field of research and a publication/citation record that certainly matches Lindzen's, people like him do not intimidate me at all with their views. You may swoon when they speak, and grow all faint with their every pronouncement, but I can see through many of them. And, as I said on the hopefully now defunct Jonas thread, I defer to the opinions of the vast majority of climate scientists who agree with the broad consensus that humans are forcing climate changes that may have serious repercussions down the road. I tend to take their views seriously, even if laymen like you do not.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Robert Murphy @ 168,

That was possibly the best explanation I have read of how the stolen emails are abused. It deserves to have a post on its own.

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

If you believe that Lindzen is self-deluded

Lindzen sees his job as being to hypothesize anything that could possibly be an alternative. That doesn't make him self-deluded. It would seem hypocritical for him to do that and at the same time say that he accepts the concensus. He has no interest in accepting anything in particular. Just because every one of his alternative hypotheses has been shot down in flames doesn't make him self-deluded. He just doesn't have an interest.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 04 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff, I am afraid I see very little connection between what I wrote, and your response.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

> You ask me why - what is my agenda?

Because your stated reasoning for your actions do not explain those actions.

Therefore there is an unstated reason for your activities here.

> Despite all the hysterical assumptions in this thread

The only hysteria here is your pathetic whining about hysteria, Alex.

> My problem is that, unfortunately, after six years of looking at this I still find the actual arguments unconvincing.

This is not the problem of science. It's the problem of your ideology blinding you to the facts.

We too find your arguments unconvincing.

What, for example, is the "hysteria" you're going on about?

> the leading scientists who created the consensus simultaneously advocating for a predetermined policy response

Really. How convenient for your "scepticism". How, for example, do you know that it was predetermined? Or are you talking about "predetermined" in the same way as an alcoholic with liver failure about to take hold being told to stop drinking alcohol? Given the problem is burning fossil fuels, stopping the burning of fossil fuels will stop the problem we're producing getting worse.

PS isn't that whine a little hysterical? After all, these scientists are living on this planet too, why can't they have ideas about how to solve the problem? Or is it forbidden for them to stray out of their "sphere"?

> If you believe that Lindzen is self-deluded - then ask yourself why he is self-deluded.

We know he is. We also know David Ike is deluded. As was "Chemical Ali". We don't really need to know WHY.

> So you presumably will conclude that his self-delusion arises because he has been advocating a particular policy response - no action to limit CO2 emissions,

Yup, it's deluded in the same way as someone telling a heroin junkie that there's no need to come off the heroin.

And with no proof, he's "promoting a predetermined policy", yet this engenders no scepticism for you. Why is that?

> then the fact that the public is not convinced

Don't confuse volume with numbers, and don't pretend you are the public. 73% want more done about AGW.

The greedy don't want to do that, though, and capitalism relies on rewarding greed.

> Does anyone seriously believe that if you call me a "denier" that it will influence me to change my mind

No. Do you seriously believe that anyone here believes that you may change your mind, no matter what the evidence?

> It may well be that I have been misled by people who want to mislead me.

Indeed. How would *you* tell? This is an entirely serious question.

And if the answer is - you don't have a good way to tell -
then you need to ask yourself how lucky you feel if you decide to disbelieve the strong scientific consensus without a reasonable basis.

> In fact what creates skepticism where there shouldn't be any is that I see the leading scientists who created the consensus simultaneously advocating for a predetermined policy response instead of just doing science.

So scientists aren't allowed to have policy opinions - only non-scientists can? What a stupid idea.

Imagine a medical researcher who discovers a certain activity quite frequently leads to very serious medical consequences many years down the road. Are you seriously saying you would disbelieve the claim if the researcher also advocated *not engaging in that activity*?

Or an automotive researcher discovers that a certain property of some oils leads to reduced engine lifetime - and advocates avoiding oils with that property. Would you disbelieve him *because* of that advocacy?

You're using a visible attribute (advocacy) to diagnose a hidden attribute (lack of integrity of research findings) because you believe there's a way that the hidden attribute might lead to the visible. But you've utterly missed the way that the *opposite* of the hidden attribute (integrity of research findings) can lead to advocacy. That means you cannot use the visible attribute alone to make the diagnosis you do. You need instead to find a reasonably reliable method to assess the integrity or otherwise of the research findings because the one you are apparently using is fatally flawed.

> ...they are not dealing with the challenges by skeptics in an honest, rational way.

Which specific challenges by 'skeptics' do you think potentially have sufficient merit that they would change the core scientific consensus - that the planet is warming at an unusually fast rate, and that humans are responsible for a large chunk of it - and are also not being dealt with honestly by scientists? (And how do you know they have sufficient merit, and are not being dealt with honestly, given that you don't have strong scientific skills yourself?)

> Having a predetermined position on what we should do (or not do) about climate change must necessarily call into question the capacity of such scientists to be objective.

That 'logic' does not follow - and it presumes something that does not appear to be true (that the advocacy position pre-dated the scientific findings). I'm fairly sure you don't understand why the logic does not follow. For one thing you certainly don't understand how science works to improve our understanding of reality **despite** the lack of objectivity of humans...including scientists. The claim that heroic objectivity is required and indeed expected of pretty much the entire body of scientists before the aggregate results can be trusted is based on completely false assumptions.

> So you presumably will conclude that his self-delusion arises because he has been advocating a particular policy response...

No. Try again.

> ...then the fact that the public is not convinced would speak volumes about the quality of the advocacy you're doing.

That is also a fallacious argument. (Heck, a large majority of the US believes evolutionary science is quackery. It's got nothing to do with the quality of the evidence or even of the advocacy, and everything with most people's inability to assess that quality and/or unwillingness to accept evidence that leads to beliefs find uncomfortable.)

> Another thing is that I really have to wonder how anyone thinks name-calling helps your case.

I suspect that is a red herring because I doubt that is the motivation for most people who do it.

> Does anyone seriously believe that if you call me a "denier" that it will influence me to change my mind or make me stay silent?

In almost every case where that is done (and I haven't checked this thread to see if it applies to your comments or not), that is not **name**-calling. That is labeling observed behaviour. The difference is profound.

And such a label is often not expected to influence the original commenter, but more often to make other readers think about whether it is accurate or not.

> This is really communication skills 101 and I'm very sorry that so many of you seem so clueless in this regard.

With your advanced communication skills, what would you suggest (in the general case) that one does to fruitfully respond to someone that denies large bodies of evidence they find inconvenient (often instead relying on conspiracy theories, innuendo, and indirect "reasons" they cite for mistrusting the evidence which generally don't stand up to scrutiny) especially after repeated attempts to get them to consider it? (Seriously, have you ever debated with someone on a topic that you know well enough who refuses to deal with the evidence in those ways? And that's before we talk about goalpost-shifting, relying on vague terms and refusing to define them when asked, [question dodging](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…), failing to acknowledge misconceptions that have been demonstrated and especially failing to revise their arguments in the light of that new knowledge, etc. What communications strategy do you think would prove effective in such cases?)

Alex, if you want to be taken as an actual skeptic rather than a denier, you will take a serious tilt at answering [jakerman's questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) - or something else that will demonstrate actual skepticism rather than 'skepticism'. An actual skeptic can fairly describe the scientific case they disagree with, and then point to evidence and solid evidentiary and logical reasons *why*. I haven't re-read the entire thread but I don't recall you even coming close to that.

And if you want actual skeptic credibility you will revisit *and revise* some of your claims in the light of additional evidence and logic that has been provided here. Right?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

On Knox & Douglass 2010, it's not entirely clear what the paper contributes. Lyman et al. 2010 stated there was a flattening of the trend after 2003. Knox & Douglass cite Lyman et. al, then simply repeat that the trend flattens from 2003. Arguably they strengthened evidence that the flattening is, to at least some extent, "real" rather than a function of biases introduced through changing measurement platforms (Argo) at around the same time.

They conclude 'In summary, we find that estimates of the recent (2003â2008) OHC rates of change are preponderantly
negative. This does not support the existence of either a
large positive radiative imbalance or a âmissing energy.â'

(Note that the finding of a 'preponderantly negative' trend isn't really accurate since the trends don't pass significance tests. Nevertheless the conclusion wouldn't change much by substituting in '2003-2008 OHC rates of change exhibit no significant trend.')

They are correct that these data do not support the existence of a large positive radiative imbalance, but the longer term significant trend between 1993-2008 does (calculated to be 0.63W/m^2 in Lyman et al. 2010). Meehl et al. 2011 show that the opposite conclusion - that the short-term flattening is suggestive of a lack of significant radiative imbalance - is also not supportable from the available data because such periods are relatively common in model runs.

Their statement about "missing energy" is odd. Trenberth's contention is essentially all about the post-2003 flattening OHC data, so finding that this period is flat alone doesn't say anything about whether or not there is "missing energy". In fact they cite a paper (Von Schuckmann et al. 2009) which goes down to deeper (2000m, compared to 700m for the other studies mentioned) levels of the oceans, and finds a significant positive trend over the 2003-2008 period. This actually seems to indicate that there is energy not being considered by the traditional 0-700m OHC studies - "missing energy", if you will.

Should be: 'because such periods are relatively common in model runs setup to contain a significant radiative imbalance.'

jakerman #173... obviously everyone agrees that CO2 traps heat. I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C. And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out. (Of course, adaptation to all the other damage humans are causing to the planet - such as deforestation, over population, over fishing, and so on - is quite another matter.)

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

*Jeff, I am afraid I see very little connection between what I wrote, and your response*

Really? The you ought to read my reply again.

You wrote,*So you presumably will conclude that his self-delusion arises because he has been advocating a particular policy response - no action to limit CO2 emissions, all efforts should be directed to adaptation - since the early 1990s.*

And I reply that Lindzen is out of his depth in this area because he doesn't understand the link between climate change and ecosystem functioning. His response is the usual anthropocentric techno-babble which assumes that human adaptation is possible with present technologies. But he falls into the same trap as many who venture outside of their areas of competence by assuming that we humans are in control of our won destiny - that whatever ways in which we simplify natural systems can be dealt with with technological bandages. I argue that its not a question as to whether humans can adapt, but the extent to which our global ecological life support systems will adapt within the range of still being able to provide the critical supporting services that sustain human civilization. Clearly, this point sails over the heads of the skeptics.

You also write this nonsense: *If the case for AGW is really as strong as people make it out to be - then the fact that the public is not convinced would speak volumes about the quality of the advocacy you're doing*

No, the public isn't acepting the overwhelming scientific evidence for a number of reasons. First of all, there are huge amounbts of money flowing from polluting industries to a wide range of libertarian think tanks who in turn are experts at promoting and disseminating anti-environmental PR using all kind of hones techniques such as perception management. Second, people in the overconsumptive west want to assauge themselves of guilt of being part of a system which is driving our planet's ecological systems to hell in a handbasket. When someone comes along telling them that they can have their cake and eat it, many will embrace that with everything they can, and damn the evidence. Third, scientists are often poor at explaining things in a simple way to the public. We are trained in science and not in public relations. We are also, by the nature of our profession, very cautious and work on the basis of probabilities. For their part, many in the denial community express no doubts whatsoever that humans are not at all responsible for the current warming. That is why they love debates: who will the public believe? The honest, cautious scientist or the lying denier who expresses no caution whatsoever? People want cut and dry explanations to complex phenomena, and the deniers give them that in spades. They will argue as if there is no doubt whatsoever that the planet's surface is not warming, or, if it is, its either natural or good for us or bothy. Honest climate scientists, on the other hand, will always express caution as to the outcomes. The public do not want to hear this - they want concrete assurances of outcomes that most of the scientific community just cannot give them at present.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

*And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out*

How on Earth would you know this? Have you even a basic understanding of the relationship between abiotic variables and ecosystem functioning, as well as on the resistance and resilience of natural systems?

This 'we will adapt' nonsense expunges the natural economy. No wonder you don't hear population or system ecologists expounding it but economists and a few scientists who lack any knowledge of the field. I can't wait to hear Lindzen discuss the pros and cons of the rivet popper and redundancy hypotheses, or Hubble's neutral model of biodiversity. Perhaps then he might like to comment on McCarthur and Wilson's models of island biogeography?

Its no small wonder that the adaptation brigade are almost, without exception, laymen.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

> If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C.

Straightforward question: *why*?

How many different methods of attempting to constrain climate sensitivity are you aware of? Which of the studies that suggest 2 C or higher do you think are incorrect, or suspect, or do you dismiss â and why? Which studies do you rely on for your "suspicion" of 1.5 â 2 C, and how have they fared in post-publication peer review?

(Yeah, yeah, I'm almost certainly wasting my time...)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C.

What is the name for someone who makes claims without citing evidence?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

> If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C.

We're already at 2C per doubling, and in the past we've had greater changes in climate, so a reverse forcing is unlikely.

Given that, why would you put money there?

Additionally, given that even 2C means that we're boned just 30-50 years later than if it's 3C per doubling, in what sense is the lower sensitivity a reason to do nothing?

Lars Karlsson @ 175:

Thanks! I just found another spliced quote in that article:

"Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one
single study and approach and discount a wealth of others.
This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary. I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run."

Again, he spliced two distinct emails together, this time the first section in bold is from email 1939 and was written on Feb 20th 2005, and the second italicized sentence was from email 3066 and was written two weeks earlier on Feb 4th 2005. That Jason Mick really has no shame. Unfortunately, the article is being highlighted around the web and read by people who will never do the work to check it. I saw it on the RealClearPolitics website, and they are usually better than that.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey @182

I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C.

On what basis?

I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out.

How well are Texas and the Moscow area adapting to recent heat and drought? How well have Australia, Pakistan and Thailand coped with flooding in the past year? How easy will it be to resettle 20 million Bangladeshis? How many would your home town accept? What will rising sea levels do to saline intrusion into groundwater, already a serious concern in many parts of the world? How will cereal yields be impacted by heat stress reducing pollination? What is acidification of the oceans doing to plankton and hence fish stocks?

I think the reason for your lack of concern is mainly because you have not really thought about it.

I am still not clear why you believe denialists (I don't call them sceptics because they are gullible, not sceptical) are more reliable than the scientists who actually work on the issues. If you were developing a strange growth, would you believe the cashier at the pharmacy rather than 20 doctors, 19 of whom were in agreement?

I see you have still failed to address my challenge at 149:

What I want is for you to calculate the global temperature trend over any previous years that you fancy, using whichever data set you prefer. Then you select any recent period of years from the same data set so you can demonstrate, by whichever means you prefer, that the temperatures in recent years are statistically significantly lower than those predicted from the trend you've already identified.

What's the matter? Is the maths beyond you, or is the problem that you suspect the answer will fail to support your deeply-held beliefs? You need to become more sceptical.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

> No. Do you seriously believe that anyone here believes that you may change your mind, no matter what the evidence?

This is the key point. Ironically, these discussions are barely for the benefit of whichever contrarian is currently active in the thread. Rather, they are for the benefit of other readers who may stumble across them.

I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C. And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out.

So what? You're an ignorant and dishonest moron whose speculations are utterly worthless.

If the case for AGW is really as strong as people make it out to be - then the fact that the public is not convinced would speak volumes about the quality of the advocacy you're doing.

You are such a dishonest git. Indeed the quality of my advocacy is not on a par with that of ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, or The Australian, in part because I lack their resources, but nothing about the strength of the case for AGW follows from my inadequacies as an advocate. According to Gallup polls, 47% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" ... does that mean that the case for human evolution is weak? That you make such absurd claims is proof that you are a dishonest sack of shit whose opinions and and proclamations are worthless, that you are a sophistic ideologue who seeks only confirmation for his prior beliefs.

Another thing is that I really have to wonder how anyone thinks name-calling helps your case. Does anyone seriously believe that if you call me a "denier" that it will influence me to change my mind or make me stay silent? Or do you think it will annoy me and make me all the more determined to prove you wrong? This is really communication skills 101 and I'm very sorry that so many of you seem so clueless in this regard.

Nothing will change your mind because you are a dishonest sack of shit. You will not stay silent because you are a troll asshole. It is a fact that you are a denier, a liar, an asshole, and an idiot. I say it not just because it is true, but to express my contempt for dishonest garbage like you ... and I think I'm pretty good at communicating that. You are clueless because you imagine that you or your opinions are important, that communications here are directed to you as if you were were a colleague acting in good faith, someone with whom one could have a reasoned conversation ... but you aren't, any more than are the trolls who visit evolution blogs to quote scripture or Answers in Genesis and point at the beliefs documented by that Gallup poll as if argumentum ad populum were logically valid. Like you, they have a fixed idea and no argument or evidence will sway them ... the rebuttals of their arguments aren't really for their benefit.

I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out

Spread of malaria and other diseases: Hey, no problem!

More frequent and stronger hurricanes: Hey, no problem!

Increased flooding due to thermal expansion of the oceans: Hey, no problem!

Increased probability and intensity of droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and desertification: Hey, no problem!

Increased probability and intensity of cold waves: Hey, no problem!

Population displacement: Hey, no problem!

Ice free Arctic: Hey, no problem!

Desalinization, acidification, and warming of oceans: Hey, no problem!

Possible end of the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt: Hey, no problem!

Gee, it's so nice to know that there's nothing to worry about because one Alex Harvey suspects that it's a piece of cake.

Alex Harvey:

Does anyone seriously believe that if you call me a "denier" that it will influence me to change my mind or make me stay silent?

If a judge calls someone an habitual criminal he doesn't expect that the criminal is going to change because of that. He's just calling them what they are. However did you think that the name was intended to change behavior?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C.*

You might bet with your wishful thinking. But please give the right for the most vulnerable to bet with the weight of evidence and the risk profile the face.

>*And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out.*

Your guesses are not convincing, particularly when you are taking the risk for others who will bear the greater burden of suffering.

BTW, you do realise we are on track to have a quadroupling of CO2 that is twice doubling. And that massivly increase the risk of significant further positive feedbacks? Do you despute this?

> Ironically, these discussions are barely for the benefit of whichever contrarian is currently active in the thread.

Doubly ironically, the contrarians appears to be entirely unaware of this - and instead think they are here for the "benefit" of those "deluded" people who think that mainstream science by and large gets it pretty much right.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Dear Trolls, do any of you seriously think I have time or interest to even read most of this nonsense you are writing?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff, I am afraid you decided to ignore the main points I was making and jump on a few things I said in passing. Of that, your response appears cut & pasted from websites like DeSmogBlog or SourceWatch. Some of it is wrong, but I'm not about to quibble. You seem unable or unwilling to be polite. I have concluded that it is unlikely that you are objective. Now send back lots of vitriol this way but I probably won't be reading it. If you want to know why the public doesn't listen, don't blame me.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Dear Trolls, do any of you seriously think I have time or interest to even read most of this nonsense you are writing?

Ah! The True Skeptic™ in action!

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Paul S #180,

If the truth is that there's actually nothing wrong in the Knox & Douglass paper, then the problem may well be that in obstinately refusing to concede even an inch to skeptics, the likes of Trenberth and others have created the impression that they have something to hide when they don't.

I might say more but I am afraid I have grown tired of the idiotic comments people are making.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Keeeriste!

Um, who's the troll in the Deltoid context? Where, precisely, do you imagine you are?

And are you this monumentally pompous in real life?

Don't slam the door on your way out.

>Dear Trolls, do any of you seriously think I have time or interest to even read most of this nonsense you are writing?

Yes.

Yes I do.

You just can't respond to it.

Dear Trolls, do any of you seriously think I have time or interest to even read most of this nonsense you are writing?

I might say more but I am afraid I have grown tired of the idiotic comments people are making.

Sooner or later, trolls drop the pretense of being anything else.

I am afraid you decided to ignore the main points I was making and jump on a few things I said in passing

The hypocritical projection is strong in this one.

your response appears cut & pasted from websites like DeSmogBlog or SourceWatch

Because Jeff isn't himself a professional ecologist or anything.

Some of it is wrong

says ecology expert Alex Harvey.

but I'm not about to quibble

"I know you're wrong but I can't say why"

I have concluded that it is unlikely that you are objective.

BWAHAHA! Ignorant troll crank Alex Harvey, despite a demonstrably selective attention to fact, logic, and argument, deigns to judge whether others are objective, and thinks his opinion matters, and implies, stupidly, self-servingly, and fallaciously, that someone not being objective is sufficient reason to ignore what they say.

Now send back lots of vitriol this way but I probably won't be reading it

Nor anything that contradicts his view, using "vitriol" or whatever else comes handy as his excuse.

If you want to know why the public doesn't listen, don't blame me.

Ok, Alex, you incoherent git, we won't blame you for our wanting to know why the public doesn't listen.

Notice how dishonest sack of shit Alex Harvey uses "vitriol" as an excuse to ignore the comments and rebuttals offered by "trolls" here, such as the serious, thoughtful, vitriol-free comments of Lotharsson at `#`179. Intellectually dishonest garbage like AH never acknowledges rebuttals, never admits error, no matter how clear and well demonstrated. Instead, this sort of garbage resorts to a set of familiar techniques such as whinging about tone and projecting his own faults onto others.

Lotharrson:

Alex, if you want to be taken as an actual skeptic rather than a denier, you will take a serious tilt at answering jakerman's questions - or something else that will demonstrate actual skepticism rather than 'skepticism'. An actual skeptic can fairly describe the scientific case they disagree with, and then point to evidence and solid evidentiary and logical reasons why.

Alex's response:

obviously everyone agrees that CO2 traps heat [apparently Jonas is a nobody]. I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C. And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out.

Oops.

Lotharsson:

Straightforward question: why?

How many different methods of attempting to constrain climate sensitivity are you aware of? Which of the studies that suggest 2 C or higher do you think are incorrect, or suspect, or do you dismiss â and why? Which studies do you rely on for your "suspicion" of 1.5 â 2 C, and how have they fared in post-publication peer review?

(Yeah, yeah, I'm almost certainly wasting my time...)

Such vitriol, you troll! No wonder the utterly objective Alex Harvey has no time to read it!

> ...do any of you seriously think I have time or interest to even read most of this nonsense you are writing?

Well, I'm pretty sure - based on the copious evidence that you have provided - that *you* don't have any interest in reading most of the content that demonstrates that your claims are unsupported at best, and clearly wrong at worst.

But other readers do.

And they would be most interested to observe that you are clearly unable to defend your claims despite repeated offers for you to do so - and despite you *clearly* having sufficient time and interest to post plenty of comments - that just happen to NOT address the key critiques of your claims.

> You seem unable or unwilling to be polite. I have concluded that it is unlikely that you are objective.

I have a very polite (and exclusive to you for a short time only!) offer of one lightly used Sydney Harbour Bridge to sell you at a bargain basement price. The current income from tolls make this a very good investment, and usage is only projected to increase. And [don't mind that rather rude bystander over there screeching that I don't own the Sydney Harbour Bridge](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) - he's impolite and therefore not likely to be objective. Take advantage of this offer before I must open it up to some other smart investor!

> If you want to know why the public doesn't listen, don't blame me.

No-one is blaming you because you haven't provided any good reasons why the "public doesn't listen". Actually, that's not entirely true in the broader sense: you have provided a pretty good case study demonstrating how the public doesn't listen, and from which some inferences as to why can be drawn.

But it's clearly not for the reasons you claim.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey complained:

I might say more but I am afraid I you have grown tired of the idiotic comments people are I am making.

There I have corrected it for you.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

Dear Trolls

Alex Harvey is not here to answer questions or debate, just make assertions. Thus he is a troll. A hypocrite too, by the way.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

You seem unable or unwilling to be polite. I have concluded that it is unlikely that you are objective.

If you want to know why the public doesn't listen, don't blame me.

A.K.A. Concern Troll.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

> ...I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out.

You might want to consider [this article](http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-clim…) and [this one](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/too-hot-to-handle-can-we-afford-a-4de…).

For starters.

If they're even in the ballpark of how serious it is, given that we show no signs of sufficiently concerted action to limit future warming to 2 degrees C, or even 3 or 4 at this stage, then we're on the road to most of the human population being seriously fucked. As in, likely *dead* (my emphasis):

> In fact, according to the latest science, says Anderson, "a 4 degrees C future is **incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond 'adaptation', is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable**."

But we shouldn't worry too much, because you suspect - on the basis of no evidence or evident skill whatsoever - that it won't be that bad.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

[Alex Harvey says](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…):

>I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C.

It's your lucky day Alex Harvey, because I am offering you the chance to put money where your mouth is, and potentially win for yourself ten thousand euros.

Strangely, every other denialist to whom I have put this offer has been strangely reticent to engage, but given your hard talk you should be champing at the bit to enter into a legally binding wager with me, based on [one of the alternative options that I describe at post #2080 on the Jonas thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/09/jonas_thread.php#comment-5784133
).

And given your comment:

>And I suspect that adaptation to a temperature rise is not nearly as difficult as commonly made out. (Of course, adaptation to all the other damage humans are causing to the planet - such as deforestation, over population, over fishing, and so on - is quite another matter.)

perhaps you might consider wagering what will happen to polar bear and walrus populations once the Arctic summer ice volume, that is the subject of the first wager group, decreases to zero. I have quite a few options in this regard too...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 05 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex,

If the truth is that there's actually nothing wrong in the Knox & Douglass paper...

I obviously can't speak for Trenberth on what his criticism was about, but their conclusion concerning "missing energy" was, at best, nonsensical and, at worst, contradictory to some of the data they used, as I've explained above.

198 Richard,

Hey, be careful there! ;)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Paul S,

You said above "[Knox & Douglass] are correct that these data do not support the existence of a large positive radiative imbalance, but the longer term significant trend between 1993-2008 does (calculated to be 0.63W/m^2 in Lyman et al. 2010)."

The radiative imbalance is something that varies over time. If we assume that Argo data was accurate before 2003, then the trend from 1993-2008 would yield the average imbalance over that period - not the imbalance in 2008. If you use the 2003-2008 trend, then you would get the average imbalance over the 2003-2008 period.

Trenberth seems to assume that the TOA imbalance as measured today is accurate - in fact he believes it is understated based on the most recent CERES data - and from this concludes that there is substantial missing heat for the recent period. This is the heat that James Hansen has said is "in the pipeline". Trenberth seems to believe that the computed TOA imbalance is more reliable than the ocean heat measurements - thus searches for missing heat in the deep ocean.

So I fail to see the relevance of the Lyman et al. trend from 1993-2008 - even if their numbers are correct.

For the same reason Trenberth has rejected the controversial Hansen et al. 2001 paper which argues that missing heat must be accounted for by a significantly larger than expected negative aerosol forcing ("Asian sulphate hypothesis"). Trenberth dismisses this hypothesis, presumably, for the same reason as he dismisses Knox & Douglass - if the Asian sulphate hypothesis was right, this would mean we should observe a smaller TOA imbalance.

I don't see how you can say that Knox & Douglass is nonsensical without saying that the Hansen et al. paper is also nonsensical.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Bernard J, I did not say that I am skeptical about the Arctic sea ice melt.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Trenberth seems to assume that the TOA imbalance as measured today is accurate - in fact he believes it is understated based on the most recent CERES data - and from this concludes that there is substantial missing heat for the recent period. This is the heat that James Hansen has said is "in the pipeline".

My understanding of 'in the pipeline' is the warming that we are already committed to as a result of the CO2 in the atmosphere right now.

P.S. How are you doing on demonstrating that the global increase in temperatures has ceased?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, why cherry pick the the shallower 700m analysis and the shorter analyis year trend from DK when we have deeper (2000m) [and longer analysis](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton-Myth-1-Cooling-oceans.html)?

There is support for more heat in the ocean, a wider analysis shows it just dose'nt accumualte at the same rate in one spot. The Ocean is dynamic.

jakerman, as noted above even Hansen agrees that the numbers just don't add up whatever dataset you use to get the imbalance of 0.85 W m-2. Hansen, von Shuckmann et al. get 0.59 W m-2 for the 2005-2010 period:

We conclude that that the slow climate response function is inconsistent with the observed planetary energy imbalance. This is an important conclusion because it implies that many climate models have been using an unrealistically large net climate forcing. A further implication is that human-made atmospheric aerosols probably cause a greater negative forcing than has been assumed in most climate studies.

And as Knox/Douglass ask, how come Pielke, Loehle, Douglass/Knox all find less warming than von Schuckmann et al? It would be nice to know an answer other than "that's because they are all deniers".

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*as Knox/Douglass ask, how come Pielke, Loehle, Douglass/Knox all find less warming than von Schuckmann et al?*

They didn't look as deep, and thus left out more than half the volume considered by von Schuckmann.

Richard Simons,

There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend1 (a hiatus period).

Gerald A. Meehl, Julie M. Arblaster, John T. Fasullo, Aixue Hu & Kevin E. Trenberth, Nature Climate Change, 2011.

If you want to know more, then do read the paper. I am not myself interested in your question. But since it is obviously important to you, feel free to report back here once you know the answer.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Here Alex, I can [help overcome](http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Meehl_Natureclim…) your cherry picking:

Meehl et al 2011 show that such hiatus are a relative common part part of the current warming trend (i.e. their scale is not statistically significant in their deviation from the warming trend). And that during these regular cycles with a slightly negative global mean surface-temperature trend (within the overall warming trend), that:

>*the ocean above 300âm takes up significantly less heat whereas the ocean below 300âm takes up significantly more, compared with non-hiatus decades. The model provides a plausible depiction of processes in the climate system causing the hiatus periods, and indicates that a hiatus period is a relatively common climate phenomenon and may be linked to La Niña-like conditions.*

Alex, linking @220 and @218, 43% of the ocean analysed by KD was in the top 300m, while this top 300m was only 15% of the ocean analysed by von Schuckmann.

Alex Harvey, clearly concerned that he is out of his depth, dismisses my posts by writing, *Of that, your response appears cut & pasted from websites like DeSmogBlog or SourceWatch. Some of it is wrong, but I'm not about to quibble*. Then I am ignored because I am not polite enough to him. I suppose that this is another tactic used by the skeptics to avoid thos inconvenient questions, although the stuff they have called Mann, Hansen, Trenbarth and other esteemed researchers defies belief. Just check over at WUWT or CA and one gets the picture.

First of all, everything I wrote about the effects of greenhouse gases on natural and managed ecosystems comes from discussions with colleagues and from my own field of research. Whenever some cornucopian pulls out the 'adaptation' canard, warning bells start flashing, or at least should. Those who go down this route are, almost without exception, right wing economists and politicians, over-rated statisticians, or else a few scientists with no background in the relevant fields. Conveniently expunged from their narrative are how natural ecosystems, already greatly simplified by a wide array of other anthropogenic assaults, will adapt and, most importantly, if they will continue to supply human civilization with a range of critical supporting services, such as pollination, nutrient cycling, pest control, detoxification of wastes, regeneration of soil fertility, seed dispersal, as well as climate control. I'd politely like to ask Alex where his human 'adaptation' scenario fir into a background of fraying food webs, collapsing ecosystems and failing ecological services. I cannot blame the skeptics for ignoring this in their arguments, because most of them have not even a basic understanding of the critical links between environmental health and human well-being. Many appear to believe that humans are exempt from nature's laws and that we could survive perfectly well on a planet "covering crypt of concrete and computers" (to coin a phrase by anti-environmental scribe Peter Huber) in which 80% of its biological diversity has been extirpated.

I also find it amusing that skeptics like Alex pluck figures out of the air like, *I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C* without taking any time to think about the accuracy of their educated guesses or the potential consequences that are embedded in them.

For one thing, even if this purely educated guess is correct, then Alex is suggesting that we continue to throw the dice and experiment with complex adaptive ecological systems that sustain human civilization, and to ignore the potentially disastrous consequences. He clearly does not or should not insure his house against the 1 in a 1000 chance that it will be burnt to the ground in a fire, because the chances of this happening are so small. Is this true Alex? And if not,m why not? Society seems willing to gamble with the chance that climate change is natural, or, if not, that the effects will not be severe. Let us say that there is a 10% chance that humans are responsible for most of it and that inaction would lead to devastating consequences (I think the percentage is much higher but I will use 10% as a framework). Do you think that we ought to ignore it and continue with business-as-usual? At what point do you think that something should be done? And why should we believe those 'guessing' that the average temperature change will be small over those who opt for a quite different scenario? Essentially, the skeptics and their paymasters are gambling with the future of humanity and of the biosphere, and I think that they should be condemned for this.

Moreover, the temperature rise you make in your educated guess ignores regional variations, as well as changes in temperature and precipitation regimes. Regions towards the poles will see much more dramatic rises in temperatures wheres the lower latitudes may experience more prolonged droughts or extreme rainfall events. There will be serious ecological consequences for these events across the biosphere. But you seem willing to cross your fingers and believe that already stressed systems will simply adapt, and humans along with it. Am I correct? Where is your empirical evidence for this? We already know that the planet has a reduced capacity to support man. You appear to have ignored this or to think it is trivial, but I can assure you that most of the scientific community do not. You can pluck a few articles here and there from the usual suspects, but I could, given the time, paste thousands of studies already showing the ecological effects of warming.

The point I am making is that your information is incomplete, and that this impedes your opinion-making processes. To be fair this is something I come across frequently on web sites when I encounter skeptics. The worst thus far has been JonasN, a legend in his own mind and now a whimpering little island confined to his own sad thread. But there have been others. You appear to have an open mind. Good for you. But my advice is to broaden your perspectives and to read the scientific literature across a wider array of fields.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Of that, your response appears cut & pasted from websites like DeSmogBlog or SourceWatch. Some of it is wrong, but I'm not about to quibble.

Well, since you flat out deny it's truth and have nothing to show why it would be wrong, why WOULD you quibble?

A denier never quibbles. They just refuse any evidence they get given.

Just like you did then.

Are you *seriously* surprised you're being called a denier, Alex?

> I am not myself interested in your question.

Yep, I *literally* LOLed. That, along with a blanket refusal to define what you meant by a 'pause', a task now apparently delegated to Meehl et al, says it all.

And Meehl et al's definition is exactly NOT what the 'skeptics' imply when they point to a 'pause' as evidence that (say) global warming concern has been exaggerated.

So let us accept Meehl et al's definition of 'hiatus' as what Alex means by 'pause', noting that it forms an implicit admission of sorts. And that it belies Alex's original claim that "...there was a pause in global warming that even needed to be explained..." (although that has been separately [belied quite solidly already]()http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…).

Such a pause doesn't **need** to be explained any more than the expected path my car will take if I drive it off the road over the edge of that steep hill **needs** to be explained: there's already more than enough reason based on well understood physical constraints to know that the results will be very undesirable. Whilst it is interesting and may lead to other useful discoveries to ponder whether I'm going to bounce of those three rocks over there in sequence or careem off that one large one over there before thudding upside down over that small one below it...focusing on those questions *to the exclusion of* considering the magnitude of damage that can be expected regardless of the specific details is truly foolish.

I note you [still haven't enumerated the different methods of constraining climate sensitivity](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) and explained which ones you dismiss and why. I bet this another question you are not yourself interested in - perhaps because honestly answering it would make it rather challenging to bet on climate sensitivity being "...within 1.5 - 2 C".

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Posted by john byatt on the Dec open thread, reposted here:

[The Real Global Warming Signal](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/), an analysis of the warming signal in conjunction with natural variability factors: ENSO, aerosols and solar output.

And especially for Alex:

> A truly fascinating result is that increased precision [obtained by calculating and removing estimates of the impacts of the natural variability factors] enables us to establish the statistical significance of a warming trend using a shorter time span than with unadjusted data. **All five data sets show statistically significant warming since 2000** [my emphasis].

Hmmmm, sounds like the outline of a reasonable explanation for *the* archetypal Alex-defined 'pause', no? Alex, would you be happy to say that in light of this approach, there's not much evidence for a slowdown in the underlying warming trend, and that ENSO, solar output and aerosol variations appear to explain a large part of the 'pause' that you pointed to much earlier in this thread?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

The 'hiatus in warming' point raised by the deniers is nothing more than a ruse to use as an excuse to continue procrastinating. 2010 was the warmest or second warmest year according to either NASA/GISTEMP or Hadley; be assured that, because it won't be as warm this year, you will soon hear the cry that 'it stopped warming in 2010'. Anything to delay, delay, delay. Of course the warming did not stop in 2001; again, for a system with so many feedbacks and mitigating factors in the short-term, we need at least 20-30 years to eludicate a meaningful trend. As I have said before, the problem with our species is that we have evolved to respond to what we perceive as instantaneous threats to our survival; sudden storms, a bear at the mouth of a cave, an avalanche, a volcanic eruption, and so on and so forth. This is genetcially programmed through millions of years of evolution. The problem is the what we perceive as gradual, incipient change does not register in our genomes. Thus, the gradual loss of biodiversity, or the rate of global temperature change, both fail to be registered by many as serious threats to our survival, so they are downplayed.

But human civilization has existed for the mere blink of an evolutionary eye. Yet the average person probably thinks that a century is a long time. The current rate of temperature rise being experienced on largely deterministic systems is exceptional by any standards. It is this fact that we have to come to grips with, and to stop thinking as if 5 and 10 year blocks are long enough time periods to make meaningful conclusions. The fact that it has warmed as much as it has since 1980 is incredible, given the scales involved. We shouold be very concerned.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex: I don't have ready access to the paper you cited (it's behind a paywall and the nearest library that subscribes is a 2-hour drive away) but from the abstract it seems as though they give it no more significance as regards the long-term temperature trend than could be accorded to similar 'pauses' in the previous 40 years. Why were you implying it was more meaningful?

[Of Jeff's comment] your response appears cut & pasted from websites like DeSmogBlog or SourceWatch.

It is quite easy to check if this is the case. No doubt, in typical 'skeptic' fashion, you did not do the trivial task of checking before making the accusation. I am sure you will also be unable to back up your claim that some of it was wrong.

Why, oh why, do 'skeptics' never check anything before promulgating it? I suppose if they were sceptical, they would no longer be 'skeptics'.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

jakerman, link points to comment in this thread.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

> jakerman, link points to comment in this thread.

Linked comment contains link to full paper.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

"Richard, a full access version of the paper is linked to here."
Thanks

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

Interesting. Meehl et al. write "There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a hiatus period)", giving as their reference Easterling and Wehner, 2009.
However, Easterling and Wehner obviously could not have commented on that particular decade (unless they were prescient). What they actually said was that there had been decades during the 20th century that showed little increase or even a slightly negative trend, then said

The unusually strong 1997-1998 El Niño contributed to unusual warmth in the global temperature for 1998 at the start of this period [1998-2008] resulting in only a small, statistically insignificant positive trend.

They finished their paper with basically, the same as people here have been trying to tell you.

Claims that global warming is not occurring that are derived from a cooling observed over such short time periods [decadal] ignore this natural variability and are misleading.

So, Alex, when we go back to the original source we find they are admonishing you for what you are doing here. Do you wish to try again, or are you beginning to wonder if you have been a little too trusting of denialist sites?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 07 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff Harvey,

I spent some time in #171 answering your question "why?" What is my agenda? In #172 you appear to have not read a word of it and then ask more or less a similar, but more loaded, question at the end - "If you are admittedly a non-expert, then what drives your support for a small groups of scientific outliers? I think we all know the answer to that. End of stroy."

You are unable to discuss any of this without name-calling - "deniers", "denialati" and so on. While your tone rises above these others who are just making abusive, idiotic comments while applauding each other for their perceived mutual cleverness, it's not a huge difference.

Meanwhile, you seem to have missed the fact that I support the Gillard government, I voted for them, I support their carbon tax, and I support taking action on climate change. You missed that, didn't you, while you were busy making all your prejudiced assumptions - right?

You also seem to miss the fact that people in the middle like me are precisely the people you can, in principle, and need to, convince. You evidently know that there are some who will never change their minds. And you presumably understand that there is little point preaching to the converted.

So I find your method of persuasion kind of amazing. It is crystal clear that you want me to believe, but not to think. I have no business thinking because I am not an expert. Well, go try that out on the skeptical public. Here we are in Sydney with the coldest summer in 50 years - sure, it's just weather. But people find this confusing, and they tend to regard their right to think as sovereign. I do suspect that this kind of arrogance does far more to create skepticism than any rivers of money you imagine skeptics to be receiving from fossil fuel interests.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I spent some time in #171 answering your question "why?" What is my agenda?

You seem to have missed the fact that people have pointed out that most of your claims in that comment (from which you seem to claim to derive the conclusions you advanced there and elsewhere) do not stand up to scrutiny.

And yet you apparently reassert the very same positions (including the demonstrably false idea that you are "in the middle"). And you do so without showing any sign of being able to mount a thoughtful and reasonable defense - or of changing a single position in the light of additional data and evidence.

Have you changed your mind on any single thing based on this thread? Because thus far you're doing a very good impression of a classic 'denialist' - and if you don't like that, you might take stock of why you appear that way to others.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

> In #172 you appear to have not read a word of it

Nope, we read it.

We don't believe a word of it.

Because your actions belie your assertion.

"It's a pause" but you can't define a pause.

"I'd be surprised if it's more than 2C" but cannot show why, especially since we're already at 2C per doubling, this would be a surprise.

"I'm not a scientist" but you are willing to tell the scientists they're wrong without evidence.

"I'm in the middle" but we're called zealots and the denialists called skeptics.

"It's a lot nicer over on denialist sites than here" see above, and your refuse to test calling those on WUWT deniers and see how nice they are to you then.

"I'm in the middle" is merely your proposition. Nothing to back it up and plenty of reason to decide that by fiat you're in the middle. Demonstrably you're extreme: 97% agree with the IPCC, 2% not sure yet, 1% disagree.

Here we are in Sydney with the coldest summer in 50 years

Posted December 8. At 9.30 in the morning.

And you'd be, uh, reachable by reason, then?

Coldest summer in 50 years?!

So summer's over in the first week of December.

What name do we have for the newly-designated, non-summer season that spans 2nd week of December to end of February?

Any suggestions?

It's hot in Melbourne Alex. By your impeccable logic I have just proved global warming. Nice work, son.

> Cold week? you are grasping at straws.

Indeed.

> It is crystal clear that you want me to believe, but not to think.

You appear to be confusing *critique of your thinking* with a *command not to think*. Please specify how you determine the difference.

To put it another way, here you are on the receiving end of actual skepticism, and you opine that it causes 'skepticism'. Do you have any evidence for that claim of causality? Has it crossed your mind that 'skepticism' might in fact pre-date exposure to actual skepticism in most cases? And how exactly do you think actual skepticism should be communicated to avoid inducing 'skepticism'?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

And, for that matter, how do you imagine that anyone could hope to communicate a rational message in the face of the kind of numbingly primitive 'thought' that holds that 'it's cold in my city this week, therefore there is no global warming'?

As Schiller said, 'against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain'. It's still true.

Personally, I'm not willing to tie myself in knots attempting to take responsibility for the sullen, wilful, and self-interested obtuseness of others. Let's have accepted reality decided by popular consensus on, say, evolution, immunization, hell, perhaps the existence of angels (very big in the US, in fact, possibly more credible than AGW, I believe!), shall we?

And I really don't enjoy being manipulated by people who claim that 'if only you were nicer to me, I might believe you' or 'You're not doing this the right way, otherwise everyone would believe you'. The hell they would! This is, in my view, one of the most oily and shameful of troll behaviours.

Keeping an 'open mind' to the point of your brain falling out does not strike me as overly commendable. Since you came in on a dreary attempt at character assassination of Lonnie Thompson - a man who can apparently learn and revise over time - you might wish to run your remarkably flexible intellect over the video of his lecture you were presented with.

It is crystal clear that you want me to believe, but not to think.

If you were thinking, then you would not make such a stupid, counterfactual assertion. What we want of you is intellectual honesty, but you seem incapable of it.

Dear Trolls, instead of playing "gotcha" why don't you read and think about what I actually said?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

Here we are in Sydney with the coldest summer in 50 years - sure, it's just weather. But people find this confusing

Then why don't you explain to them the difference between weather and climate, and local and global, Alex?

and they tend to regard their right to think as sovereign

You seem to be referring, not to a right to think, but a right to be wrong without being corrected. And not just a right to be wrong, but a right to say "I'm no fool! It's snowing outside my window, so global warming is clealy a hoax!"

I do suspect that this kind of arrogance does far more to create skepticism

Well yes, the sort of arrogance you just described, the arrogance of holding what one thinks "sovereign" over fact and logic, the sort of arrogance you have ... it does create your "skepticism", a term coopted to justify intellectual dishonesty.

Dear Trolls, instead of playing "gotcha" why don't you read and think about what I actually said?

Says the dishonest projecting troll asshole who ignores what we've actually said and instead goes "gotcha!"

What the dishonest projecting troll asshole means is "Don't think, believe me!" Sorry, asshole, but being thinkers and not just believers, we don't accept your assertions about creating "skeptics", and have explained why.

Did Alex somewhere show any indication that he read and thought about what Lotharsson wrote in `#`241? I seem to have missed it.

Alex, can you acknowledge that we have some genuine reason to think that you're a pot calling the kettle black?

Speaking of reading and thinking, did Alex read and think about his own link?

Mr Fisher also said summer would be cooler than average because of the influence of the La Nina weather cycle, which brings with it greater chance of clouds, rain and humidity.
"Looking further ahead, the summer as a whole is likely to be close to or cooler than average, regarding maximum temperatures. We will still get our hot days but La Nina will increase the chances of extra cloud, humidity and rainfall, hence cooler daytime temperatures," Mr Dutschke said.

What does that imply about what the temperature would be in the absence of La Nina, Alex?

Ah, but asking Alex to think is playing "gotcha". Well, yes, I suppose it is.

>Dear Trolls, instead of playing "gotcha" why don't you read and think about what I actually said?

You thought it cleaver [to copy](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) the title and link to a story title: "Sydney's Coldest Start to Summer in 50 Years".

This in the context of claiming AGW has paused. And in the context of cherry picking studies and misrepresenting scientists by selective quoting.

You are grasping at straws.

You are unable to discuss any of this without name-calling - "deniers", "denialati" and so on.

Like being unable to discuss the color of an apple without using the word "red".

...and, seriously, you go out of your way to wander into a Warmist blog and start antagonising people; but they're the trolls?! 'Projection, much?' to use the jargon...

>Dear Trolls, instead of playing "gotcha" why don't you read and think about what I actually said?

That it was cold in Sydney? This does not mean what you think it means.

it has nothing to do with ideology - for me anyway.

...

In fact what creates skepticism where there shouldn't be any is that I see the leading scientists who created the consensus simultaneously advocating for a predetermined policy response instead of just doing science.... Clearly, there is a conflict of interest of sorts for any scientist who is out there doing advocacy as well as science...

In other words, it's all about ideology ... Alex just doesn't understand what the word means:

the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group

By Alex's thinking, Einstein's letter to Roosevelt calling for development of an atomic bomb was reason to skeptical about fission, and his letter to Truman begging him not to drop it on populated areas was reason to be skeptical that it would hurt anyone, or something. Semmelweis advocating handwashing, Salk advocating use of his vaccine (which he refused to patent) ... and on and on ... Alex depends not on facts, but his stupidity- and ignorance- ridden ideology, the idiotic and utterly false myths that he believes in.

John #253, no that's not what I said. Good guess though.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Dear Trolls, instead of playing "gotcha" why don't you read and think about what I actually said?

Earth calling Alex: how about you try it?

You've had a number of serious straightforward questions posed for you on this thread (and a bunch of evidence you don't seem to have encountered before) that you don't appear to have read and thought about, let alone responded to in light of your claims.

You've had a number of serious straightforward questions posed for you on this thread (and a bunch of evidence you don't seem to have encountered before) that you don't appear to have read and thought about, let alone responded to in light of your claims. (Try counting the number of links in that sentence. Yeah, there are so many I may have missed some thoughtful responses to some of these, but you get the picture.)

And I may have blinked and missed it, but I don't recall seeing any acknowledgement that you have modified any of your conclusions based on this discussion - even though some of them are clearly based on falsehoods and fallacies. Yet you have plenty of time to respond to other things and to sound off about tone rather than substance.

How about engaging with the serious questions instead of ducking and weaving?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lotharrson, I am ignoring troll-like comments, which is 90% of them. Probably I haven't even read the posts you're linking to and I'm not planning to start now. If the poster is not capable of civility, it is not worth my time to read it.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

(*snort!*)

> Probably I haven't even read the posts you're linking to and I'm not planning to start now. If the poster is not capable of civility, it is not worth my time to read it.

If you're going to ignore the inconvenient arguments and evidence, do at least try to stick the flounce.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Dec 2011 #permalink

> You thought it cleaver to copy the title and link to a story title: "Sydney's Coldest Start to Summer in 50 Years".

> This in the context of claiming AGW has paused

Mind you, since it's been colder before, doesn't this prove that it's warming?

(the deniers use this reasoning every time "warmest X for 180 years", why not me?)

> Probably I haven't even read the posts you're linking to and I'm not planning to start now.

I'm not surprised you claim to have not read the comments I linked to - without bothering to check. I am fairly confident you've read most of them, perhaps even all. But it's unsurprising you'd rather give the impression you missed the ones that asked ... inconvenient ... questions than that you have no good answer. And there are rather a lot of those.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

L, if you have a serious question, just ask it. A serious question would be something you expect me to know the answer to and in some way relevant.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

> if you have a serious question, just ask it

We have.

Here's one for you:

What evidence persuades you to be surprised if climate sensitivity to CO2 were higher than 1.5-2C per doubling?

Lotharsson: I don't know what anyone else got but for me most (perhaps all) of those links were broken.

Alex:

After the below summary is a straightforward question, to which I hope you can provide a straightforward answer:

Basic physics allows us to be confident that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global warming, backed up by experimental evidence (stretching back to Tyndall). Empirical data gathered since the 1950s shows that this is in fact taking place, and various empirically-documented characteristics of the CO2 increase shows that the source of the added CO2 is primarily human fossil fuel emissions.

In addition, once again, basic physics (for ice melt & sea level rise), chemistry (ocean acidification) and other empirical evidence (ecological changes, economic damage from sea level rise, acidification, and ecological changes, &c) demonstrates that, on balance, the warming caused by human emissions to date has been harmful to humans and other species and that continued warming will be even more harmful. These findings suggest that human emissions of CO2 are required to be reduced to very low levels and that methods be devised to draw down the elevated levels of CO2 currently present.

Against this body of evidence, one finds a small coterie of contrarian scientists engaged in authentic corporate shilling (e.g. Fred Singer) or in plain bad science (e.g. Spencer or Lindzen or Plimer). The body of work produced by this group has been shown not to stand up to scientific scrutiny.

However, they are aided by a network of amateurs who can be easily shown to distort the evidence and the work of actual scientists during their advocacy (e.g. Watts or Monckton) and a number of politicians and political think-tanks who adopt contrarianism for ideological or financial reasons (e.g. Inhofe) rather than because they have the support of the available physics & evidence.

The bad science and other misrepresentations are made clear at sites such as Skeptical Science, Tamino's blog, Real Climate, or of course here at Deltoid.

So the question is this:

Given the above, on what evidentiary basis and/or expert opinion do you base your objections to the mainstream conclusions of climate science and the policy changes which follow, of necessity, from these conclusions?

Alex:

What evidence persuades you to be surprised if climate sensitivity to CO2 were higher than 1.5-2C per doubling?

If the poster is not capable of civility, it is not worth my time to read it.

Alex: a whole bunch of us have been civil, and you have still put any thought into any reponse or bothered to find any reasonable supporting evidence for your claims. To a scientist, this is really bad behaviour.

Let's try again. On what basis do you say "I would be surprised, at this stage, if climate sensitivity turned out to be as high as 3 C. If I had to put money on it I'd bet within 1.5 - 2 C."?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

Because, dear Alex, we all suspect - oh, let's be honest, we all know - all your answer will amount to, Castle style, is 'it's the vibe'.

A serious question would be something you expect me to know the answer to and in some way relevant.

BWAHAHA! How convenient ... Alex throws out claims for which he can offer no support, and so since we don't expect him to know the answer to "What evidence do you have to support your claim?", he deems it not to be a serious question!

Like all deniers, Alex is a proven lying sack of shit.

L, if you have a serious question, just ask it.

He asked you three serious questions in `#`241, which you have refused to answer, among many others.

You are deeply and fundamentally dishonest person, a shit stain on humanity who does not deserve civility.

> I don't know what anyone else got but for me most (perhaps all) of those links were broken.

Gack - so they are :-(

They were merely a set of 35+ links to comments in this thread with serious questions and/or evidence or logic that suggests various claims were not justified - most of which Alex has found inconvenient to respond to, let alone incorporate into his thinking. Some have been posed multiple times.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

> He asked you three serious questions in #241, which you have refused to answer, among many others.

#225 also appears to go to the core of Alex's claims about a 'pause'.

And way back in #95 there were some important questions and observations. The same applies to #159. And some really important questions in #167. And some potentially profound information in #209. And a question designed to provoke reflection in #234.

Why, it's almost beginning to look like a pattern.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

Cheers! :-)

The youtube series of Potholer54 & Greenman3610 (Peter Sinclair - Climate Denial Crock of the Week) are among my favourite sources on the whole HIRGO (Human Induced Rapid Gobal Overheating) issue. Informative entertaining and just really well done. Thanks.

I gave up on Alex and just want to know if anyone knows who this poster is and what background it brings. Is Alex really this dense or is it being paid to be this dense?

By Mark Schaffer (not verified) on 09 Dec 2011 #permalink

>John #253, no that's not what I said. Good guess though.

You're too smart for me! No, it's not exactly what you said, but as someone else wrote, it's the *vibe*, man.

It's also completely irrelevant and meaningless unless you can find some sort of statistically significant cooling trend.

But wait! Something something pause look over there!

Mark Schaffer @276: if it's being paid someone is wasting their money.

L, your questions seem to be about "how do you define a 'pause'". I already answered you in #107. I don't regard it as a serious question. You are only asking the question because you think you'll be able to say "gotcha!" if I try to define the pause. The question is quite irrelevant because I already accept that CO2 causes warming. What is a fact is that Meehl, Trenberth, Jones and others acknowledge that there has been a lack of warming since the late 1990s. Meehl et al. assert that the global average surface trend since 2000 may have been slightly negative. In short, you are trying to manufacture a disagreement where there isn't one. Now, I am not reading through hundreds of references to earlier posts - so do you have a serious question - i.e. is there something you genuinely want to know? - or don't you?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

L #241, I decide to read this.

You wrote,

To put it another way, here you are on the receiving end of actual skepticism, and you opine that it causes 'skepticism'.

That's quite funny. If you think this is genuine skepticism (other than perhaps Jeff Harvey, Paul S and a few others who may have been drowned out by the bleating of trolls), then I'd hate to imagine what you think "religious zeal" would look like.

Do you have any evidence for that claim of causality? Has it crossed your mind that 'skepticism' might in fact pre-date exposure to actual skepticism in most cases? And how exactly do you think actual skepticism should be communicated to avoid inducing 'skepticism'?

I see, after reading it several times I gather you want me to understand a distinction between "skepticism" and " 'skepticism' ".

Okay, having spent a few minutes trying to guess what you are talking about, I see how it is beautifully Orwellian. You are trying to appropriate the term "skepticism" to those who are not in fact not the slightest bit "skeptical of any IPCC claims". You insert a few term " 'skepticism' " (skepticism with scare quotes) which I assume must be a paraphrase for "denialism". Having now redefined all the terms, you want me to somehow respond in plain English.

So I assume that, in plain English, your question is, "How do you think scientists should communicate their doubts and uncertainty in climate science without causing the public to become skeptical".

The answer to this is very simple. If the scientists did not have a predetermined policy response in mind - if they were not simultaneously advocates - they would not even need to ask this question. If they must ask this question, i.e. if they must work out how they can simultaneously communicate their doubts and uncertainties AND persuade the public to cut CO2 emissions, then it's going to be more difficult for them. No one is going to trust a scientist like Jeff Harvey - it is too obvious that he has an emotional stake in a particular policy outcome. It really is the same as asking fossil fuel interests or Greenpeace to do the science. Once you know they have a political agenda, you know there is conflict of interest underlying their scientific output.

So the answer, I believe, is the one Roger Pielke Jr. recommends. Base the argument for cutting CO2 emissions completely on the truth. You say, "We are not 100% sure what is going to happen in the future. We therefore can only recommend that the science is uncertain but that the risks imply the best course of action is to cut emissions". This is ultimately the long, winding road I took to realise that cutting CO2 emissions is the right policy response. It took several years to realise that, no, it is not black & white as the IPCC tries to present, and it is not black & white as Lindzen & others try to present, so the best thing to do is (1) adopt a policy of cutting CO2 emissions; and (2) put pressure on the scientists to resolve the uncertainties more quickly & to stop doing politics.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey @279

Meehl et al. assert that the global average surface trend since 2000 may have been slightly negative.

I am unable to find this in their paper. Please could you give the exact sentence.

@280

Once you know they have a political agenda, you know there is conflict of interest underlying their scientific output.

Why do you assume that their science is guided by their politics, rather than their politics being guided by their knowledge of the science? It seem to me that you are automatically assuming the worst of scientists, while being consistently willing to accept what denialists are telling you. For example, where do you get the notion that the IPCC presents things as being black and white? It's certainly not from a thorough reading of the reports.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

> L, your questions seem to be about "how do you define a 'pause'".

Nope, that was only one of them, although it was asked several times due to your evasiveness. Try reading them again.

> I already answered you in #107.

You may have "answered me" but you clearly did not answer **my question**, which is why you were called on it in several subsequent comments - and not just by me.

> I don't regard it as a serious question.

No doubt. But it marks you as a bad-faith debater.

> You are only asking the question because you think you'll be able to say "gotcha!" if I try to define the pause.

And here's why it marks you thus: it is ludicrous to simultaneously claim that you have a solid argument that relies on a defined term, but refuse to define it because you assert that someone will play 'gotcha' if you do. Onlookers would be entirely justified reading that as an admission that you feel the need to withhold parts of your argument so that no-one can scrutinise it too closely because you doubt it will stand up - or you don't even know how to define a crucial term in your argument therefore you don't know what you're talking about.

And it is doubly ludicrous to imply (via use of future tense) that you haven't defined 'pause' yet, but also claim that you've already (past tense) answered my question. Although to be fair, you used weasel words stating that you "answered me" rather than my question.

And your mind-reading skills have certainly failed you. I was asking because:

(a) it gave you a chance to distinguish yourself from the denialist position that a 'pause' (under their working definition) means that global warming has stopped or climate sensitivity is low or that somehow the conclusions of climate science are all wrong and there's nothing to worry about. In other words, it was offering you the chance to *improve* your credibility. I note that you didn't exactly seize the opportunity with both hands.

(b) the definition strongly affects the conclusions that you can draw from claiming there is a 'pause'. But since you apparently don't want your argument scrutinised too closely we can simply dismiss it without further consideration.

> What is a fact is that Meehl, Trenberth, Jones and others acknowledge that there has been a lack of warming since the late 1990s.

And again, you **need** to clarify the definitions of key terms that you think are being used by people you quote, especially when asked. For example, does a lack of warming since the late 1990s mean that [no global surface temperature trend is observable over that period](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1998//trend/plot/gistemp/from…)? Hmmmm, perhaps not - so were they wrong about very simple scientific facts, or is it possible that your interpretation of their words is wrong, or is there some other explanation? (Why do you think Richard Simons pressed you to do trend and change-of-trend analysis, and why did I point you to an article by Tamino about a method to get an estimate for the underlying warming trend by estimating and removing some major natural variability factors?)

Does "lack" mean something like "complete absence of" or "less than expected due to the underlying trend, according to our current energy flux accounting methodologies", or something else? Do you even see why the definitions matter, especially if you're relying on argumentation-via-short-quote-asserting-your-own-interpretation?

> Meehl et al. assert that the global average surface trend since 2000 may have been slightly negative.

If so, they would be [hard-put to justify their claim](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2000/trend/plot/gistemp/from:…), although to be fair they may have written that a little earlier in 2011 and the data may have been slightly different then. Oh, wait, [maybe not](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2000/to:2010.11/trend/plot/gi…).

Oh, double wait - their statement in the abstract was "There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the
observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series
shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend", which isn't what you said. (Definitions and precision both matter!) But [the data isn't exactly convincing there](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2000/to:2009/trend/plot/giste…), and you remain oblivious to Richard Simons [pointing out to you](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) that their claim goes back to Easterling and Wehner 2009, and *they* were discussing [1998-2008](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1998/to:2008/trend/plot/giste…), albeit more precisely than you (if only by testing for statistical significance, and explicitly pointing out that these kinds of periods do not imply that the underlying warming trend has ceased or even slowed down.)

> Now, I am not reading through hundreds of references to earlier posts...

What a convenient strawman! Why, it's almost like you're making excuses for ignoring critique. I'd almost be surprised, except that ignoring much critique has been your modus operandi.

> ...so do you have a serious question - i.e. is there something you genuinely want to know? - or don't you?

Sheesh - unable or unwilling to define your *own* argument, and unable or unwilling to follow pointers to comments! Is this primary school where an upthread reference and some reading comprehension is all just a bit too hard?

Yes, I have asked a whole slew of serious questions. Given your most recent claims to have answered one of them with a non-answer, and a complaint about how hard it is to follow pointers to them, I suspect you'd rather look foolish and intransigent than face up to the possibility that some of your positions may not be as solid as you assert.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Composer99 #266, your question is loaded and incorrectly premised.

You evidently believe that fossil fuel interests have paid off the leading skeptic scientists. There is no evidence for this outside of hysterical, sloppy research by people like Naomi Oreskes and the Union of Concerned Scientists. This is then repeated ad nauseum on the internet, but if you dig into it, there's very little evidence to support any of it. Lindzen got $10,000 for four speaking engagements in the mid 1990s - which is a small amount of money. He evidently realised it was a mistake and has not taken any money since. Which is quite a sacrifice, if you think about it, because he probably could have made hundreds of thousands of dollars if he'd wanted to. As far as I can see, it only shows that his skepticism is very genuine.

As for the others, there's no evidence of fossil fuel funding for most of them - despite the list of skeptical scientists being much longer than is generally admitted, see [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream…). You need to then remember that the number of scientists who actually have expertise in detecting the human signal in global warming is not that many. Of these, many keep their doubts to themselves (as can be seen e.g. in the Climategate #1 & #2 emails).

If you then just look at the evidence itself, rather than assume it must be true because everyone says it must be true, it is easy to see that climate sensitivity may have been exaggerated, and that values lower than 3 C are more likely.

We have seen above that Hansen et al. have decided that the TOA imbalance is only 0.59 W/m^2 - much lower than the commonly accepted value of 0.9 W/m^2. In his paper, Hansen admits that (I quote), "...if models were our only tool, climate sensitivity would always have large uncertainty. Models are imperfect and we will never be sure that they include all important processes. Fortunately, Earth's history provides a remarkably rich record of how our planet responded to climate forcings in the past. This record yields, by far, our most accurate assessment of climate sensitivity and climate feedbacks".

He believes that this implies that the aerosol forcing must be a massive -1.3 W/m^2 - but few agree with him. It would be more likely, if he has otherwise done is maths right, that the climate sensitivity is just lower than he wants to believe - a value more consistent with TOA imbalance of 0.59 W/m^2 which I suppose is a bit over 2 C.

Then we have the Schmittner et al. 2011 which finds a sensitivity of around 2 C more likely when looking at the LGM period. We have the Fu et al. 2011 and Thorne et al. 2011 papers which confirm no trend in upper tropical tropospheric temperatures relative to the surface over the satellite era. That is, the trend is found to be not statistically distinguishable from 0 - whereas a key prediction of the GCMs is that the upper tropical troposphere should warm significantly more than the surface.

Earlier we have seen Forster & Gregory 2006 found a lower than usual sensitivity from measured data. A paper by Schwartz et al. 2010 found that climate sensitivity was likely to be lower than predicted by the climate models. And then we have the other side invoking unobservables - "missing heat" - (e.g. Meehl et al. 2011) in order to make the numbers work out. Well, I don't think they're going to find their missing heat because they've had a decade now and we know that they have a lot of "face" invested in finding it, and it still hasn't been found.

Thus, for these reasons mainly, I tend to think that climate sensitivity is heading for a lower value than what is commonly claimed.

Finally, as I've noted above, I do support taking action on climate change. But I also strongly insist that scientists should be carefully discussing the objections of skeptics. This is not happening.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Since he implies the IPCC is not saying 'We are not 100% sure what is going to happen in the future... the risks imply the best course of action is to cut emissions' I can only assume it's based on no reading of the IPCC reports whatsoever! C'mon Alex, 'fess up; all your 'research' comes pre-packaged from denialist blogs!

Tricky questions and counter-evidence all dodged. Evidence for a 'pause' or low-estimate climate sensitivity not provided. Won't even watch a bloody video, fer Chrissakes, by the man who's integrity he kicks off by calling into question, claiming he's looking for 'help' in putting Thompson's views in 'context'.

Whassamatter, Alex, didn't realise there's a big world out there where the 97% majority of real, publishing climate-scientists have produced reams of inconvenient - for you - data and information?

He clearly imagines he's proving something, but I'd bet that to most readers this will be pretty-well the opposite of what he thinks it is!

Cue denunciation of 'trolls' and flouncing...

L, so why don't you just tell me how you think Meehl, Trenberth, Jones and others define the pause? Nothing I have said depends in any way on this definition.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Richard Simons, I already gave you the exact quote in #219. And given that it's a direct quote from the abstract, I struggle to understand why you can't find it yourself.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

> If you think this is genuine skepticism (other than perhaps Jeff Harvey, Paul S and a few others who may have been drowned out by the bleating of trolls), then I'd hate to imagine what you think "religious zeal" would look like.

Pointing to what you believe is trolling and invoking religious zeal merely looks like a distraction tactic when there is quite clearly genuine skepticism on display here. That skepticism (for example) leads to people asking you to define your terms, clarify your argument, provide supporting evidence and evaluate countervailing evidence. (Oddly for someone complaining about the lack of it, your responses have been rather weak.)

What is ironic is that my comment about skepticism was in the context of *your reply to Jeff Harvey*, where you said:

> So I find your method of persuasion kind of amazing. It is crystal clear that you want me to believe, but not to think. ... I do suspect that this kind of arrogance does far more to create skepticism than any rivers of money you imagine skeptics to be receiving from fossil fuel interests.

Hence my questions about how you would **distinguish** critique from being told not to think, and whether you have any evidence for the suspicion you end that quote with.

(Due perhaps to missing the context, your interpretation in #280 is quite a way off as is your restatement of my question. And you continue to repeat some deeply fallacious inferences. In multiple earlier comments I had already asked pointed questions about those kinds of inferences, in the hope that you would start to *think* about whether they were justified - and I wasn't the only one. No such luck yet.)

> You are trying to appropriate the term "skepticism" to those who are not in fact not the slightest bit "skeptical of any IPCC claims".

No. Try again.

And since you went there, do you have any evidence that many here are "not the slightest bit "skeptical of any IPCC claims""? Do you possess knowledge I do not have indicating that they have not examined the evidence and argument (for and against) and found the "for" case persuasive? Do you merely infer lack of skepticism from apparent concurrence? (Or from making the argument themselves?) Would you recognise this inference as fallacious if you thought about it? (This is yet another in my series of serious questions about how you form your beliefs and inferences.)

> Base the argument for cutting CO2 emissions completely on the truth. You say, "We are not 100% sure what is going to happen in the future. We therefore can only recommend that the science is uncertain but that the risks imply the best course of action is to cut emissions".

Er, dude, ..., you realise that's **precisely** what the argument is? I may be misrecollecting but didn't you claim to have read the IPCC reports? How on earth did you manage to come in here full of attitude about the topic **without knowing that that is precisely the argument**? Why, it almost seems like your knowledge of the argument is based on someone else's strawman!

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

bill, there is a world of difference between what is found in the IPCC AR4 SPM, the main report, and then what others say the IPCC says. But you are right - it is probably a mistake to pin the "black & white" characterisation on the IPCC when I should have said "advocates". Advocates like Al Gore, Joe Romm, and others, tend to think that by selling a black & white picture to the public they'll be more likely to vote for action on climate change. In fact, as you can see, the reverse happens. 20 years of black & white and now half the public prefers to think it's a complete hoax. This certainly never happened with Big Tobacco - the general public figured out pretty quickly that cigarettes are harmful.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

L, I have indeed read the IPCC AR4 report. That is, every word of the SPM and WGI report. I seem to recall very distinctly that the IPCC report is (supposed to be) policy neutral. That is, it is supposed to summarise the science. Yet in #287 you tell me that I have restated the IPCC argument for taking action on climate change - and that I am stupid for not realising the same. So let's clarify - do you understand the IPCC as being policy-neutral, or do you think they advocate a policy response? Also, do you agree or disagree with Pielke Jr?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

> There is no evidence for this outside of hysterical, sloppy research by people like Naomi Oreskes and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

You know this is sloppy...how, again?

> Of these, many keep their doubts to themselves (as can be seen e.g. in the Climategate #1 & #2 emails.

So what you're saying is that your interpretation of these "doubts" is not found in the literature, right? And you've verified this? You yourself are skeptical, right?

> But I also strongly insist that scientists should be carefully discussing the objections of skeptics. This is not happening.

Patent bullshit.

Feel free to explain *which* reasonable objections of *actual skeptics* that would have (say) significant policy impact are not being discussed, bearing in mind that we have both the scientific literature and blogs as discussion forums now.

(And you do realise there's a whole bunch of people calling themselves skeptics and making entirely unreasonable objections - and continuing to make them after their lack of reasonable basis is pointed out, right? What term would you use to distinguish this behaviour from actual informed scientific skepticism, so that we know when you're talking about one vs the other?)

> Nothing I have said depends in any way on this definition.

LOL! Well, doesn't that just take the biscuit!

Do you have any clue what you are saying?

> In fact, as you can see, the reverse happens. 20 years of black & white and now half the public prefers to think it's a complete hoax.

Once more - and this is getting to be a pattern - you are drawing inferences of causality that do not appear to be supported by evidence. It seems to me that you can think of - or at least are only willing to cite - one potential cause and therefore claim that must be it, which is a well known fallacy. A moment's reflection will identify several other potential causal factors here and in other cases where you have made a similar argument...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I seem to recall very distinctly that the IPCC report is (supposed to be) policy neutral.

Not in the sense that you apparently mean.

Some of the sub-reports that make up the total report are supposed to be policy neutral scientific summary in that sense - and they pretty much are.

But some sub-reports must - explicitly or implicitly - assesses various policy options (because the question of what the likely impacts will be *is* a scientific question). And one cannot do that without demonstrating that some are likely - in some cases very very likely - to be better than others in important respects. In that sense, the report simply cannot be "policy neutral", because objectively some policies *are* better than others on a variety of metrics.

Speaking of which, if you think that cutting CO2 emissions is not one of those policies "better than others", I'm all ears. Prospects are looking rather bad at the moment and we need an effective response. But you need to back up the claim with suitable evidence.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

There is no evidence for this outside of hysterical, sloppy research by people like Naomi Oreskes and the Union of Concerned Scientists

Oh for God's sake! Evidence of this lack of evidence, please? Have you actually, um, read Merchants of Doubt? If so, did it also manage to mysteriously pass through your head without touching the sides, much as the IPCC reports you claim to have read clearly did! Oh, sorry, that's right - you got the IPCC mixed up with Al Gore, didn't you?

You wouldn't be pulling our legs with any of this claimed personally researched direct 'yeah-I-read-it' style knowledge of yours, now would you? (*Bats eyelashes sweetly*)

> If you then just look at the evidence itself, rather than assume it must be true because everyone says it must be true, it is easy to see that climate sensitivity may have been exaggerated, and that values lower than 3 C are more likely.

You must have awesome mindreading skills. But have you considered the possibility that there are *other* valid and genuine resonse for believing that a value around 3 C might be more likely?

And speaking of looking at the evidence itself, it's quite ... interesting ... that you ignored [my earlier questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) to:

> How many different methods of attempting to constrain climate sensitivity are you aware of? Which of the studies that suggest 2 C or higher do you think are incorrect, or suspect, or do you dismiss - and why?

It's even more interesting given that you claim to have read the IPCC reports which can provide an answer to this question. Instead, you've cited a couple of studies you appear to hang your hat on, apparently disregarding all the others. Why do you believe the ones you cite outweigh the ones you haven't cited?

For example:

> Then we have the Schmittner et al. 2011 which finds a sensitivity of around 2 C more likely when looking at the LGM period.

Their claims have [received at least some early skepticism, at least as far as the claims have been applied to today's climate system, especially when distorted by the media](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/11/ice-age-constrain…) and it may take some time for the issues to play out in the literature. (Which is one reason why you have to assess the entire body of evidence, including waiting for post-publication peer review, not just cite the papers you like.)

In particular, read the sections in that post entitled "Is sensitivity symmetric?" and "Does the model used adequately represent key climate feedbacks?" These point out that the sensitivity calculated in the paper isn't likely to equate to the sensitivity in the current climate system, amongst other issues. The "Response and media coverage" section points out that others have expressed similar concerns, and "Implications" reiterates:

> What is more surprising is the small uncertainty interval given by this paper, and this is probably simply due to the fact that not all relevant uncertainties in the forcing, the proxy temperatures and the model have been included here. In view of these shortcomings, the confidence with which the authors essentially rule out the upper end of the IPCC sensitivity range is, in our view, unwarranted.

It would certainly be good news if climate sensitivity were shown to be lower than previously thought, but at first glance this study alone does not seem strong enough to overturn multiple alternative methods which suggest sensitivity in today's climate system is higher, and the writer of that post claims that:

> ...there would be very little policy relevance to this result even if it were true... Indeed, if one accepts a very liberal risk level of 50% for mean global warming of 2°C (the guiderail widely adopted) since the start of the industrial age, then under midrange IPCC climate sensitivity estimates, then we have around 30 years before the risk level is exceeded. Specifically, to reach that probability level, we can burn a total of about one trillion metric tonnes of carbon. That gives us about 24 years at current growth rates (about 3%/year). Since warming is proportional to cumulative carbon, if the climate sensitivity were really as low as Schmittner et al. estimate, then another 500 GT would take us to the same risk level, some 11 years later.

And that is without taking into consideration recent research that I linked to earlier which suggests that "50%" at 2 C is a serious underestimate for many important risks.

> We have the Fu et al. 2011 and Thorne et al. 2011 papers which confirm no trend in upper tropical tropospheric temperatures relative to the surface over the satellite era. That is, the trend is found to be not statistically distinguishable from 0 - whereas a key prediction of the GCMs is that the upper tropical troposphere should warm significantly more than the surface.

Your second sentence does not follow from your first. Perhaps you should try again.

And it would be good to cite which paper you refer to. For example, is this the same Thorne [who writes](http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.80/full):

> It is concluded that there is no reasonable evidence of a fundamental disagreement between tropospheric temperature trends from models and observations when uncertainties in both are treated comprehensively.

Because that seems to be at least somewhat at odds with your statement.

> Earlier we have seen Forster & Gregory 2006 found a lower than usual sensitivity from measured data.

By which you mean 1.0-4.1 K equilibrium warming due to doubling, and using data over a relatively short period that may be unreliable. How exactly does an uncertainty range that includes 4.1 K per doubling exclude "normal" estimates of around 3 K? (And this was pointed out to you before. And there are **very** good reasons to think anything less than 1.5 to maybe even 2 K is too small which suggests the lower bound is unsound - and that has been pointed out to you before.)

> A paper by Schwartz et al. 2010 found that climate sensitivity was likely to be lower than predicted by the climate models.

That would be particularly relevant if the only evidence proferred for climate sensitivity were models. I asked before and you have declined to answer: please enumerate the range of methods and sources used to provide sensitivity estimates. Feel free to mark each one as "derived from model" or "not derived from model" as you see fit.

And which paper did you mean - [this one](http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/pubs/BNL-90903-2010-JA.pdf), perchance? It says:

> ...We argue that this discrepancy is therefore due mainly to offsetting forcing by increased concentrations of atmospheric aerosols and/or to climate sensitivity being lower than current estimates; the discrepancy cannot be apportioned between these two causes primarily because
of present uncertainty in aerosol forcing.

...which does NOT support your claim. They say it's primarily due to two factors but they can't separate them; you assert it's likely to be one of those two rather than the other (despite having earlier argued that the other has great uncertainty). And it's not hard to find [unimpressed commentators](http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-schwartz.html) explaining their reasoning, either.

I also note that the paper says:

> Even if the earthâs climate sensitivity is at the low end of the IPCC estimated ââlikelyââ range, continued emission of CO2 at the present
rate would exhaust in just a few decades the shared global resource of the incremental amount of CO2 that can be added to the atmosphere without exceeding proposed maximum increases in GMST.

> And then we have the other side invoking unobservables - "missing heat" - (e.g. Meehl et al. 2011) in order to make the numbers work out.

And I am skeptical (as I indicated before, and you ignored) that this issue has a significant impact on the determination of climate sensitivity - it seems to be primarily about improving understanding of the mechanisms of trendless natural variability. Feel free to provide some evidence to the contrary this time around.

> Well, I don't think they're going to find their missing heat because they've had a decade now and we know that they have a lot of "face" invested in finding it, and it still hasn't been found.

You apparently didn't read other people's comments pointing you to [deep ocean studies](http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=1&t=106&&n=798).

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

er,

"genuine resonse" -> "genuine *reasons*"

"my earlier questions to" -> "my earlier question"

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lotharsson, thanks for exposing Alex's continued cherry picking and selective quoting of the bits of papers. All too common I'm afraid.

L, yes it is the same Peter Thorne.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

But I also strongly insist that scientists should be carefully discussing the objections of skeptics. This is not happening.

What do you think realclimate.org has been doing?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 10 Dec 2011 #permalink

Chris O'Neill, where is the response from RealClimate to the Lindzen & Choi 2011 paper? The rushed Desler 2011 response isn't serious at all; it appears that Dessler hasn't even read the Lindzen/Choi paper and is _guessing_ that their argument is similar to Spencer/Braswell (it is not; clouds are irrelevant to the point Lindzen/Choi are making - a fact that Dessler seems completely unaware of). Even I can see that the errors in the Dessler paper - as far as its fundamental misunderstandings of Lindzen/Choi is concerned - should have been picked up and rejected in peer review. Incidentally, here is another giveaway that there is absolutely nothing 'skeptical' about the 'skeptical science' website. Instead of picking this up, they just parrot Dessler without any apparent understanding.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lotharsson @280

I presume it is this one.

I too presumed that that was the paper Alex was referring to. However, what they say is "There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a
hiatus period)." It was other decades that showed a slightly negative trend. As far as I can see, they nowhere say in their paper that 2000-2009 had a negative trend, even slightly. Sure, it's probably just careless thinking and quoting on Alex's behalf, but cumulative careless thinking adds up to major errors and is typical of the people who deny that global climate change is anything to be concerned about.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey @286:

Richard Simons, I already gave you the exact quote in #219. And given that it's a direct quote from the abstract, I struggle to understand why you can't find it yourself.

But they did not write what you are claiming they wrote!

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

PS Alex - don't feel bad about inaccurately quoting Meehl et al.'s paper. In the days when I reviewed papers, I'd check as many of the references as I could. Although some people were always spot on, an appallingly high proportion were careless, with about 1/3 of the papers making significant errors, e.g. switching fall/spring, insecticide/fungicide and in one cases quoting their own previous results as being the opposite from what they actually got. Always go back to the original if a citation seems unexpected. BTW I wrote to Nature about it. They published it, with two mistakes in my name and address!

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

> ...where is the response from RealClimate to the Lindzen & Choi 2011 paper?

RealClimate != the entire climate science community. And sometimes these things take time.

Would Lindzen & Choi 2011 be the paper that presents equilibrium climate sensitivity calculations in Table 2 (0.7 K "most likely", 0.5-1.1 K at 95% intervals) for a CO2 doubling, spends some time comparing these results to models - but somehow finds it not worth comparing to the real world observation that we've seen 0.8 C rise already for a 40% increase (i.e. about half a doubling in logarithmic terms), and we're not even at equilibrium yet?

Please explain why exactly would you give it any weight, given that it appears fundamentally inconsistent at first blush with straightforward temperature and CO2 observations, and AFAIK advances no plausible explanation for the (apparently) blatant inconsistency?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

> But they did not write what you are claiming they wrote!

Indeed. I have pointed out several other cases where Alex's interpretation or rephrasing of an author does not appear to be what the author intended.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:
If you expect to be taken on good faith, it would help if you read what other people write instead of reading what you want. It would also help if you desist in attempting to base any argument on the hacked CRU emails. That is, very bluntly, getting into tin-foil-hat territory.

You will notice in my [previous comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…), I describe exactly one person as a genuine corprate shiil - Fred Singer. I don't really care if any other contrarian scientist is getting money from fossil fuel companies or not - although between you & SourceWatch, whom should I believe about fossil fuel funding?

That said, the primary criticism of contrarian scientists is first and foremost that they do bad science (e.g. Spencer & Braswell 2011).

Then again, your tendency to misread what others write certainly seems to be a well-marked phenomenon.

You are only asking the question because you think you'll be able to say "gotcha!" if I try to define the pause.

For shit stains like Alex, trying to get them to act in good faith and play by the rules of rational debate is playing "gotcha".

But they did not write what you are claiming they wrote!

Alex, not understanding the subject, engages in a cargo cult version. He is apparently genuinely too stupid to understand the difference between the quote in `#`219 and his various paraphrases. And of course he is completely clueless as to the significance of, and too dishonest to mention, the very next sentence from the abstract:

However, the observed energy imbalance at
the top-of-atmosphere for this recent decade indicates that
a net energy flux into the climate system of about 1Wmô2
(refs 2,3) should be producing warming somewhere in the
system4,5.

Hey Alex, you pathetic ignorant asshole,

This certainly never happened with Big Tobacco - the general public figured out pretty quickly that cigarettes are harmful.

Tell that to my father, who smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes for 23 years, all the while TV commercials, popular culture, and even doctors were telling him that it was harmless or even beneficial.

Alex Harvey:

where is the response from RealClimate to the Lindzen & Choi 2011 paper?

So your skepticism only began with Lindzen & Choi 2011. Forgive me for thinking you've been skeptical for years.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

> That said, the primary criticism of contrarian scientists is first and foremost that they do bad science (e.g. Spencer & Braswell 2011).

And the secondary criticism is that many of them massively overhype their bad science in the press before other scientists get a chance to seriously address it - and they seem perfectly willing to leave people believing the hype after their work has been debunked.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Richard Simons #302, I don't feel bad at all about misquoting anything because I didn't misquote anything. Let me cut & paste it for you again this time from the PDF version.

There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend1 (a hiatus period).

As I said to Loth, I have no interest in saying this means anything other than what it says at face value, viz. that temperatures didn't rise during the 2000-2009 period.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey lies once again:

I have no interest in saying this means anything other than what it says at face value, viz. that temperatures didn't rise during the 2000-2009 period.

To prove that this is a lie just check [here](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2000/to:2009/plot/best/from:…) where the "Best" data we can find show a significant increase in temperatures during that period.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

> As I said to Loth, I have no interest in saying this means anything other than what it says at face value, viz. that temperatures didn't rise during the 2000-2009 period.

And several different people have explained several times that the objection is not that your direct *quote* is transcribed incorrectly but *your paraphrase/interpretation is wrong*:

> Meehl et al. assert that the global average surface trend since 2000 may have been slightly negative.

No, they did not. It's really not that hard to understand, (unless perhaps your argument depends on quoting some authority you think backs you up).

The **only** part of Meehl's sentence that plausibly applies to "2000-2009" is "shows little increase", NOT the "even a slightly negative trend" part. This is based on the reference "1" at the end of that sentence, and on the temperature data itself. Heck, I even [pointed you to graphs](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) that demonstrate that the interpretation you put on it is *plainly falsified by the data* (0.14 C trend in that decade doesn't inspire confidence in the "shows little increase" characterisation, and certainly refutes the "slightly negative" claim you make) - and asked you to consider the implications, which you apparently did not.

But heck - your interpretation is even **more basically wrong** than that. Meehl talked about "decades" and you talk about "since 2000". It should be obvious to primary school kids that these are different periods.

What I find astonishing - well, actually, I don't - is that you repeatedly defend your misrepresentations on this comparatively trivial issue but apparently don't have the time/resources/answers/interest to respond to a whole bunch of even more important critiques. Par for the course thus far...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

The original

There have been decades, such as 2000â2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a hiatus period).

Your version

temperatures didn't rise during the 2000-2009 period. [my emphasis in both]

See the difference?

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

#305 C99, yes I did misread your post.

The next problem becomes your assertion that they do bad science. Obviously that's just another ad hominem, and avoids the issue that they don't always do bad science - and that those on the other side don't always do good science. The Spencer & Braswell 2011 paper has not been adequately discussed. Kerry Emanuel of MIT stood by his initial impression that it is a good paper even a month after all the controversy had blown up. As with Isaac Held.

You may complain that they hype their results - but that's also what scientists on the other side do. What you must really think is that it is fine to hype results that superficially confirm AGW and anything that challenges the hypothesis should be hidden.

As an example the latest Santer-16 study (Santer + his 16 coauthors) was hyped a great deal, reproduced in mainstream media the world over. Meanwhile, nobody ever heard about the other studies Thorne et al. 2011 and Fu et al. 2011 which were quietly published that confirmed that the tropospheric "hotspot" can not be detected in the satellite data, with a tacit concession that the skeptics were right (Douglass, Christy et al. 2007).

What reason is there to suppose that Lindzen/Choi 2011 is bad science? It must be now one of the most peer reviewed papers to have been published in years. It addressed all the criticisms of the earlier 2009 paper from Trenberth et al. and others, it addressed criticisms from about three rounds of peer reviews and two separate journals, and it passed a separate peer review at APJAS. The authors believe their result is robust. But no one will discuss it - except to pretend that it is "discredited" because A. Dessler, who didn't read it, says so.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Richard Simons, yes I see. You are splitting hairs, and apparently pretending not to see the words "slightly negative trend" which are also in your sentence. Obviously, it depends on the starting point and the dataset as to whether there was "little increase", "no increase" or a "slight decrease". In the UAH dataset, for example, the 1998 year is still the record. In the GISS dataset, 2010 is the hottest. Do we really have to keep playing this game? I am kind of bored with it.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

What I find astonishing - well, actually, I don't - is that you repeatedly defend your misrepresentations on this comparatively trivial issue

Have you ever known a denialist to admit to having slipped up on anything, no matter how trivial? Most find it almost impossible to even confess to not knowing something but prefer to do the most amazing contortions to avoid answering.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, I note with bemusement you say,

But heck - your interpretation is even more basically wrong than that. Meehl talked about "decades" and you talk about "since 2000".

See, I think Meehl means "decades" in the sense "some _decades_ will show a lack of warming, _such as_ the decade 2000-2009". I don't believe Meehl is claiming that the lack of warming will persist for decades plural. Do you? Or are you disputing that the period 2000-2009 is a decade = 10 years?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey.

I'm reluctant to join in when others are already pulling the feathers from your chicken, but really - are you as dense, illogical, and unable to parse as you are presenting yourself to be?

And why do you, as so many other denialists do, dance around playing semantic games rather than directly addressing the substantive issues of science that may (or likely, may not) support your case that global warming is not a problem?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth/Richard Simons, I can see this lack of warming is a deeply personal, upsetting thing for both of you. Should we just change the subject?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, could you provide evidence Dessler did not read LC11? After all, in the *same* paper Dessler points out the problems in S&B11, he points out the issues in LC11. The whole problem is also that it did NOT address many problems of reviewers. Hence it rejection from one journal (and another journal stopping the blatant attempt to abuse the NAS membership of Lindzen).

> The next problem becomes your assertion that they do bad science. Obviously that's just another ad hominem...

Er, no. That's demonstrable from how badly their papers have fared in post-publication peer review. It is possible that Lindzen (say) might get something decent published in the future because he once had the capability, but AFAIK he hasn't had anything of significance fare well in a long time. You might hope Lindzen & Choi 2011 stands up to scrutiny (Dessler certainly disagrees), but as I pointed out before, and reiterate below, I don't like his chances on that score...

> The Spencer & Braswell 2011 paper has not been adequately discussed.

Bullshit. There has been quite a reasonable amount of discussion - perhaps you should try looking for it?

> Meanwhile, nobody ever heard about the other studies Thorne et al. 2011 ...

...who as I already pointed out also wrote in the same timeframe:

> It is concluded that there is no reasonable evidence of a fundamental disagreement between tropospheric temperature trends from models and observations when uncertainties in both are treated comprehensively.

So perhaps you could cite *which* paper you think supports your claim and, noting that Thorne appears to rebut your claim in that quote, explain why in your mind you think he does not. Or would you prefer not to cite it in case it doesn't support your claim?

> ...and Fu et al. 2011 which were quietly published that confirmed that the tropospheric "hotspot" can not be detected in the satellite data, with a tacit concession that the skeptics were right

Again, citation please. Your paraphrases of what papers say have not been entirely reliable and frequently suggest you don't understand what you're saying.

> What reason is there to suppose that Lindzen/Choi 2011 is bad science?

You mean other than Dessler (even if you disregard his reference to clouds), and the fact I already brought to your attention that [current post-industrial warming is way higher than their sensitivity would indicate](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…)? And other than the panoply of methods for inferring climate sensitivity that disagree with his?

> Or are you disputing that the period 2000-2009 is a decade = 10 years?

Seriously, you don't get it? I'm disputing that (given that we're at the end of 2011) "since 2000" = 10 years. Your sloppy equivalence on that point doesn't help your credibility.

> In the UAH dataset, for example, the 1998 year is still the record. In the GISS dataset, 2010 is the hottest.

Er, dude, they were talking about *trends* in time-series, not annual records. The "...or even a slightly negative **trend**" ought to have given that away. And trends being the subject, that is why I plotted a trend on a graph for you. Go plot your own trend graph if you feel the need, and see if you get a negative trend for either 2000-2009 or "since 2000". I'll wait.

And they were talking about global *surface* temperatures. What does *UAH* measure again?

If I were making mistakes this basic, I would be trying to figure out where I went wrong and improving my thinking, and refraining from making strong assertions about far more complex logic & evidence. You just seem to double down instead...

> Loth/Richard Simons, I can see this lack of warming is a deeply personal, upsetting thing for both of you. Should we just change the subject?

How amusement! You reassert that you read minds and use it to try to wave a large red herring to distract from your litany of unsupported claims, even embedding a false assertion in your statement. Why, it seems almost pathological...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, how about you plot a graph at woodfortrees.org that demonstrates "this lack of warming" in the global surface temperatures that you assert, and provide the URL here. Then we can all see what you mean by it. Please include at a minimum a trend line. If it helps, start with the one I linked to earlier and modify it to your heart's content.

Or would that be too much like defining 'pause'?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Oh Loth, you old thing you.

Seriously, you don't get it? I'm disputing that (given that we're at the end of 2011) "since 2000" = 10 years. Your sloppy equivalence on that point doesn't help your credibility.

I think I have seen the light! Your point is that there are in fact 11 years - heck, 11.94 years today on the 12th December 2011 - since January 1, the Year of our Lord 2000. And I carelessly (oh the dishonesty! the disingenuity!) I described this period as a "decade"! I am so sorry! I am spanking myself now for such carelessness!

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Marco #320, the evidence that Dessler did not read the Lindzen/Choi paper is very obvious to anyone who actually did.

Let me quote Prof. Dessler:

In recent papers, Lindzen and
Choi [2011, hereinafter LC11] and Spencer and Braswell
[2011, hereinafter SB11] have argued that clouds are not an
important source of radiative forcing for the climate â
meaning that clouds are also an initiator of climate change.

But in fact, the Lindzen & Choi paper says nothing of the sort.

Dessler appears to have casually glanced at the LC11 paper, read the equations perhaps and looked at the pictures, but then gets everything else wrong, presumably because Dessler can remember that he had been having an email discussion with Spencer and Lindzen, and Lindzen was suggesting politely that Dessler wasn't listening to what Spencer was saying.

So, Dessler claims that Dessler 2011 equation (1) is the same as LC11 equation (8). But it's not. I am not a mathematician but even I can see that it's not the same equation at all. Dessler has a term for delta R_cloud. Lindzen/Choi do not have any such term! Instead, they just have a term Q(t) which they define in three parts, the third part of which is "(iii) Q_3 = internal radiative forcing (e.g., from water vapor or clouds)".

In short, LC11 is saying _nothing about clouds_ per se _at all_.

But according to Dessler, "delta R_cloud is the change in TOA flux due to clouds (including both solar and infrared contributions). Note that delta R_cloud is not a feedback in this formulation â it is a forcing and is independent of surface temperature (the cloud feedback is in the âlDTs term).

So it's just completely wrong.

Later, "LC11 base their conclusion that clouds are a forcing
rather a feedback on a plot like the one in Figure 1 (see Figure 9 of LC11)." Another dead giveaway that Dessler just looked at the pictures but didn't read the text!

Dessler's paper wasn't peer reviewed properly, and it shouldn't have been published. It is a hatchet job, and it's quite disgraceful that it was published at all, and that people claim on such a flimsy basis that the LC11 paper is now "discredited".

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

Loth, that is a fantastic tool - thanks! Here is the trend you asked for.

Didn't take him very long (22 minutes) to find the best cherry-pick and post about it, did he? One could be forgiven for thinking his business is cherry-picking.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

And after playing with L's tool I find:

[GISS Temp LOTI 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/giste…) - slightly negative trend.

[GISS Temp dT 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/giste…) - very slightly positive trend.

[HadCRUT3 variance-adjusted 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/h…) - slightly negative trend.

[HadCRUT3 unadjusted 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/ha…) - negative trend.

[RSS MSU 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/rss/from:…) - negative trend.

[UAH 2000-2009](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2009/every/plot/uah/from:…) - negative trend.

This is great - I seem to have proved that Meehl et al. are right. There is a _slightly negative trend_ in global average temperatures in nearly all datasets from 2000-2009. Of course, it's not statistically significant (Easterling & Wehner 2009) but then ... that's exactly what I said way back in #99?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Marco writes:

>Alex, could you provide evidence Dessler did not read LC11?

Add that one to the list'

We're still waiting for Alex to define the pause, which he thinks has has occurred with AGW. And Still waiting for him to demonstrate the poor research in Oreskes MOD. And that's just for starters.

A longer list still would be the number of times Alex misrepresents authors by selective quoting, and ignores evidence by simply cherry picking the morsel that he likes.

Alex you should examine the process you uses that consistently leads you to excise the bulk of evidence that contradictions your cherry pick.

Perhaps you ought to change the current sources that you have been trusting.

Alex, according to Dessler equation 8 in LC11 can be rewritten as the equation Dessler shows.

And that they don't say anything about clouds per se proves to me you have not read LC11 (ha!). It is filled with a lengthy discussion on *clouds*. Specifically on clouds. Not a combination of water vapor and clouds, no *clouds*.

It's also funny they claimed four main criticisms to LC09, ignoring the fifth: a seemingly non-arbitrary choice (in ohter words, cherry-picked) of periods that happened to give the desired answer.

> Here is the trend you asked for.

**No, it is not.**

(Which is kind of why I asked.)

I challenge you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills by figuring out why it is not. If you succeed it will improve your reputation here for sloppiness just a smidgin.

Hint: you have been sloppy with definitions in the past.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

It's amusing to watch Alex reiterate his complaints about Dessler's response to LC11, all the while ignoring the elephant in the room - we've already seen more industrial age warming than LC11 predicts for an equilibrium response to a doubling of CO2 - and we've only forced one half-doubling, and those warming effects have not reached equilibrium yet.

I'm all ears though. I'm sure Alex has a good reason to believe this is consistent with Lindzen & Choi's sensitivity calculations. An impressively large forcing hitherto unknown to science, perhaps? It can't be a new positive feedback - those are incorporated into sensitivity.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 11 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, over 10 years you cannot exclude any trend within about 0.3C of the one calculated from global mean temperatures.

Since this definitely includes the IPCC best estimate of +0.17C quite comfortably, you cannot use that graph (which, by the way, wasn't a decade) to prove the trend has paused.

Olaus just furthur illustrates what a jackass he is. JonasN pastes up a webcam of a protest from Durban and old Olaus pastes it over here, knowing that Jonas is strnaded on his own island of profound ignorance. What's worse, is that Jonas's aim in putting it up was to belittle environmental NGOs for protesting the appalling blocking tactics put up by the rich polluters (Canada, United States, Japan) who want to keep fiddling while Rome burns.

The irony of Jonas' insidious stupidity (and Olaus' sycophantic adoration of his idol) is that these clowns abhor small, essentially weak groups of environmentalists whilst giving the big power brokers, the corrupt, fraudulent banks and the immensely more powerful environmentally destructive multinational corporations a free pass.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff, you sure are a harmonious fella. The level of goodness running through your veins are almost Devine. No hate and evil in sight, just love, humility, and forgiveness. :-)

An earlier post went into moderation; probably it had too many links.

Now, despite my saying as far back as #99 that the trends are irrelevant and the question "how do you define the 'pause'" is beside the point, Richard Simons, jackerman, Lotharrson and others just can't give up on playing "define the pause". They want to play this game because they think they will bait me into saying, "the pause is the negative trend between year X and Y in dataset Z" so that they can jump up and say, "Aha! He's a denier! Did everyone see that? He CHERRY PICKED the start date! He ignored lack of STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE!"

So I must disclaim once again that I find this game boring and juvenile. It is nothing but an excuse to ignore the actual point, which is about missing heat, not the pause. We all know you can make statistics say almost anything you want - and still forget, if you choose to, that temperature trends have no predictive value whatsoever.

Now, having said all that, again, I did play with L's tool - it's fun after all! - and I find it worth reporting, nevertheless, given all the jeering and nonsense, that my reading of the Meehl abstract is 100%. Highlighting "little increase" is completely wrong, and highlighting "slightly negative trend" captures the point they were making. In all datasets there is a slightly or even significantly negative trend between the years 2000-2009 with the possible exception of GISS Temp dT, where there is a barely positive trend.

Of course, I know that none of these trends are likely to have statistical significance - I made this well known point in #99.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

>trends are irrelevant

That's when I stopped reading.

Olaus,

I express "love, humility and forgiveness" to those who deserve it.

You don't qualify. I have been a working scientist for 20 years, and there's few things I abhor more than those who twist the findings of empirical research than those who aim to promote a pre-determined world view. The anti-environmental lobby fits this description well, along with the politically-driven dupes who act as their useful idiots.

Alex: your posts are becoming ever tiresome. Its amazing to scientists how low the denialists - er skeptics - will stoop, to do anything to downplay AGW. The graph Bernard pust up shows how stochastic processes at small scales become deterministic (and significant) at longer time scales. AGW has been taken seriously by the scientific community since the late 1980s, and by the late 1990s the evidence had grown significantly. By now, it is incontrovertible. For their part, the think tanks, astroturf lobbying groups, PR firms and their corporate paymasters, along with a puny sub-set of the scientific community, are searching under every little patch of grass to justify further procastrination. One weeks its smearing Michael Mann and his hockey stick; the next it is 'the sun', the next it is 'the warming stopped in 1998'(or, now 2000), etc. etc. etc. To be honest, its utterly pathetic. I have seen the same thing done by many of the same people in order to downplay the effects of acid rain on forest and freshwater ecosystems, overharvesting, loss of biodiversity and other human assaults across the biosphere.

Get it through your head, will you: the warming has not stopped. In Europe, the warmest springs and summers have all occurred since 2002. The Arctic is warmer now than at any time in thousands of years. And by now I mean that: NOW. Species are still adjusting their migratory patterns, breeding cycles, flowering phenologies, distributions, and other biotic parameters to temperature changes occurring NOW. Not in 2000 or 2003. NOW. Got that? NOW!

You once seemed to me like a reasonable guy, but as your tiresome posts have progressed it has become clear that you are as ideologically driven in your narratives as the likes of Duff, Jonas, Curtin, Olaus, Sunspot, and the other right wing comedians who have ventured in here from time to time. Underlying this heart-wrenching apparent concern for the 'scientific truth' is a political ideology that seeps through every time. Given that the actual number of denialists - er skeptics - is abyssmally small, its up to you and the others to blow their contributions to the knowledge base out of all proportion.

If only you people knew how intellectually isolated you really are. Thanks to the internet, you get the impression that there is some huge swell of denialism - er skepticism - regarding climate change. I can assure you that amongst working scientists the number who question the evidence for AGW is puny, and certainly not as large as you would like many to believe.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Marco, yes they discuss the cloud feedback - obviously. Obviously, one of Lindzen's core research interests is cloud physics. Obviously, Lindzen's iris hypothesis is about clouds; and the Lindzen/Choi result is a development of Chou & Lindzen 2005 which primarily discussed iris. And obviously, if the water vapour feedback is positive (Soden et al. 2005) then the cloud feedback has to be negative in order for Lindzen's purported observations of low sensitivity to be possible.

But there is little evidence in Dessler's paper that he even realises that the Lindzen/Choi argument is completely different to the Spencer/Braswell argument.

The Lindzen/Choi paper is explicitly neutral on mechanism. They follow on from earlier papers like Lindzen & Giannitsis 1998 and Forster & Gregory 2006.

"...the present analysis is a direct test of feedback factors, it does not provide much insight into detailed mechanism", they say.

There is a great deal of intricate, detailed discussion of possible causes but nothing that in any way justifies Dessler's caricature.

The paper has nothing but a superficial resemblance to the Spencer/Braswell argument. The Spencer/Braswell argument is about the impossibility of distinguishing forcing & feedbacks from clouds. They make no explicit claims about climate sensitivity. Completely different.

This is presumably why Trenberth, at least, is more careful not to claim that his arguments (in his response to Spencer/Braswell) have any relevance to LC11.

Curiously, I note that one serious paper is now citing LC11 - Chung & Räisänen 2011 GRL, "Origin of the Arctic warming in climate models". And Chung et al. apparently have a better understanding of what LC11 are saying, restate their arguments accurately, and are sensible enough to not cite the Dessler 2011 response. Indeed Chung & Räisänen believe their result potentially supports the LC09/LC11 papers.

"Assuming that the forcing is represented correctly, the implication is that either (1) the modelâsimulated net feedback is too large (i.e. too positive) at low latitudes
(<60°N), or (2) the feedback is too small (i.e. too negative) in the Arctic, or both. The first scenario would provide some support to the findings of Lindzen and Choi [2009] who argue that at low latitudes the real feedback is less positive than in climate models (or even negative), with the implication that models overestimate the global climate sensitivity."

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

(On re-reading, I see the Chung & Räisänen gives a misleading impression out of context. It continues to present a second possibility that doesn't support Lindzen/Choi at all. Thankfully, though, it shows that there are some scientists still out there with open minds.)

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff, it is funny to me that you are a scientist and then show interest only in my responses to these trolls baiting me for a definition of a pause, despite that I have explicitly, repeatedly, declared no interest in it. Obviously, I am tired of this nonsense too. I wanted to talk about communication - but I don't see that anyone has any interest in that topic - including yourself.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

I never saw any evidence why you'd be surprised if the climate sensitivity were more than 1.5-2C per doubling.

Avoiding the issue, Alex?

And you wonder why you are called a denier...

One last point:

The much vaunted Lindzen-Choi paper is published in the "Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences". The impact factor of the journal is 0.855. I repeat that: 0.855. That's about as low as one can get in a journal in their field. This isn't to say that it wasn't peer-reviewed, just that the peer-review process at this low level is weak and not nearly as rigid as in higher journals.

I just reiterate what I said in my last posting. You will never, ever see a paper in my field of research - population ecology - getting any media or blog attention if it is published in a journal with an impact factor under 2. Or probably under even 4. Of the ten papers I published this year, only one was in a journal under 1.0 (Journal of Insect Behavior: 0.989). Seven of my papers were published in journals over 2.0.

So it makes one wonder: why would such a supposedly important article end up in such a lowly journal?

Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y. That's why. Scientists as a rule always try to publish their findings in the best journals available because these journals strengthen credibility of their work. So did Lindzen and Choi have their paper rejected at several better journals before entering the bottom-feeder category? Or did they realize that their paper was weak and decide to start low?

Notice also how the denial-o-sphere screams from the hilltops about the paper. No doubt that's where our dear Alex found out about it. Probably from CA or Lubos Motl or WUWT. Note how these appalling web sites don't say much about the journal in which it was published. Their rants try and give the impression that the study is Earth-shattering in its impact on the field.

Alex: try again. Let's see you actually discuss a contrarian article that is published somewhere with a little IMPACT.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> They want to play this game because they think they will bait me into saying, "the pause is the negative trend between year X and Y in dataset Z" so that they can ...

You lie about my thinking and motives, Alex, even after you have been corrected. Doesnât exactly help your burgeoning lack of credibility.

> It is nothing but an excuse to ignore the actual point, which is about missing heat, not the pause.

How amusing!

Your main point does not seem to be either missing heat or pause; it appears to be standard denialist talking points â sensitivity is most likely low, and even if it is not weâll easily adapt, âskepticsâ donât get a fair hearing, and hey why is everyone so shrill and how deeply untrustworthy does that make them seem, eh?!

And when you are called on the weak to non-existent support for some of those points you frequently ignore it and simply shift to another claim. Speaking of which:

> ... still forget, if you choose to, that temperature trends have no predictive value whatsoever.

Good grief! I don't recall anyone here saying or even implying that.

But the long term trend *is* fairly strongly tied to the underlying causes, which *do* have predictive value when properly handled â and over climate-scale time periods "pause" and "missing heat" are largely irrelevant to their predictions. Missed the key point much?

> ...my reading of the Meehl abstract is 100%. Highlighting "little increase" is completely wrong, and highlighting "slightly negative trend" captures the point they were making.

Even more amusement! Not only are you incompetent on the definitions, but you are also crashingly incompetent on the execution!

Look, since youâre stumbling about so ineptly trying to provide the trend I asked for or the ones Meehl might have been referring to, let me help you out a bit and save you some work at the same time.

Which data sets on woodfortrees represent **global surface temperatures** (and which **do not**)?

And given that, what are the trends for the data sets represent global surface temperatures over 2000-2009? Please provide approximate trend estimates to two significant figures per decade and note which ones are negative. (BTW, on woodfortrees.org for data sets with monthly samples you need to specify "To"=2010 to include all monthly samples up to but not including the first in 2010 â but thatâs not the error Iâm talking about. Iâll accept "To"=2009 for the moment â especially since Iâve made that mistake in the past.)

Then please provide your assessment of the accuracy of the following claims:

> Highlighting "little increase" is completely wrong, and highlighting "slightly negative trend" captures the point they were making. In all datasets there is a slightly or even significantly negative trend between the years 2000-2009 with the possible exception of GISS Temp dT, where there is a barely positive trend.

And if you still consider them accurate, please provide a link to the graphs you generated which you believe demonstrate this, and in turn Iâll provide mine for comparison.

Bet you donât.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> despite my saying as far back as #99 that the trends are irrelevant and the question "how do you define the 'pause'" is beside the point

Then why did you say that there was a pause? If you can't define it, then how can you say it happened?

Loth/Richard Simons, I can see this lack of warming is a deeply personal, upsetting thing for both of you.

Not at all. I just selected it as an example of the careless citation you do. Would it make you feel happier if I add that I think Meehl et al. should have written 'apparent pause'? From their comments elsewhere they clearly do not view it as a real pause in warming but merely a consequence of quasi-random variability, and the way in which they phrased it gives people like you something to pounce upon.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> â sensitivity is most likely low, and even if it is not weâll easily adapt

Isn't one "adaption" the reduction of CO2 production by burning fossil fuels?

That's as much a change as "move your ports inland" or "move further north" et al. which are posited as options to "adapt".

We adapt to a world where CO2 overproduction production is a bad thing by not producing CO2 the same way.

Richard Simons, end topic. Okay?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, if you can work out which datasets are the global average surface sets and which ones aren't all by yourself, you must be really, really smart. :)

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Oh, wait, Alex, your earlier post with multiple links has shown up at #329 so we can see which graphs you think support your claim about Meehl et al. (that all relevant data sets have negative trends over the given period).

So Alex, were you *trying* to cherrypick, or do you just not know what you're doing?

> GISS Temp LOTI 2000-2009 - slightly negative trend.

Er, no. Your link is for 2001-2008 inclusive (i.e. first monthly sample of 2001 to the last monthly sample of 2008), although the 2008 error is understandable for someone who hasn't used the site before, as I explained above.

Try again with Meehl et al's decade span (2000-2009 inclusive) and then report the trend.

> GISS Temp dT 2000-2009 - very slightly positive trend.

That link is for GISTEMP LOTI again. Although "GISTEMP dTs global mean (extrapolated)" over 2001-2008 *does* have a slightly positive trend. And no, it's not even a "possibly not negative trend" either so your earlier characterisation of it that way is false.

> HadCRUT3 variance-adjusted 2000-2009 - slightly negative trend.
> HadCRUT3 unadjusted 2000-2009 - negative trend.

Try again with the correct year span.

> RSS MSU 2000-2009 - negative trend.
> UAH 2000-2009 - negative trend.

Ask yourself: **what** do these measure, and is it what Meehl et al were referring to?

Finally - and most importantly - ask yourself how you made these mistakes, and yet were so sure you were correct. Did you bother looking at the graphs to see if they showed what you thought it showed? Why did you start the graphs at 2001 when Meehl et al started at 2000? I mean, you had to deliberately a different finger to type the "1" in 2001 after the "0"s, when Meehl et al said 2000-2009...so it's not a typo. And have you even bothered to click on the links to other graphs that people have pointed you to that undermine various of your claims, or do you simply ignore them? If you have seen those graphs, what made you so sure that your interpretation was correct? If you haven't seen those graphs, what made you so sure your interpretation was correct?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Harvey stop lying:

In all datasets there is a slightly or even significantly negative trend between the years 2000-2009 with the possible exception of GISS Temp dT, where there is a barely positive trend.

You are a despicable liar. Your dishonesty may work in the slime laden locale you call home and dwell in. It will not work here where honest people will call you on it every time.

You are an arrogant, ignorant, selfish and dishonest piece of slime smeared flotsam floating around in a sea of bile and nonsense.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Loth, if you can work out which datasets are the global average surface sets and which ones aren't all by yourself, you must be really, really smart. :)

Snark only works if you aren't claiming falsehoods or missing the point.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Harvey stop lying...

To be fair, it is possible that he's personally deeply incompetent - and all of his "analysis" of the strengths or otherwise of contrarian papers is regurgitated from elsewhere (especially since that analysis seems to be frequently at odds with the wider set of evidence, and ignorant of - say - devastating critiques of Spencer and Braswell).

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

But flat-out lying fits the facts quite well too.

Hmmmm, what further data would help distinguish between the two? And I don't think we can rule out both at the same time either on the evidence before us...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lotharsson said:

But flat-out lying fits the facts quite well too.

He is completely dishonest. A single cherry-pick for one graph could be interpreted as "incompetence". However, when he double cherry-picks to get the result he wants that is complete dishonesty.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, it looks like I got what I deserved for allowing myself to be drawn into your juvenile game. Yes, I got the dates wrong. I am very happy about this tool though - the conversation hasn't been completely worthless!

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Yes, I got the dates wrong

How could you manage this when you were so certain of your results?

Or did you have to find out the evidence while here on this thread because your assertion was made on faith, rather than evidence-based?

Wow, it is called "confirmation bias".

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Harvey whined:

Loth, it looks like I got what I deserved for allowing myself to be drawn into your juvenile game

No, you got what you deserved because you are so completely dishonest.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Ian Forrester, you are right. I was paid by Exxon Mobil to fool you all into thinking there was a slightly negative trend from 2000-2009, when in fact the trend is from 2001-2008. I really thought I'd get away with it, but Loth is just too smart.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Wow, it is called "confirmation bias".

OK, so that's how you got your idea that there was a pause then: you wanted there to be one, so you accepted the statement from those friendly deniers that there was one.

Now you know better to check what they say before repeating it.

Getting things wrong isn't bad, as long as you're learning from it.

Ian Forrester, you are right. I was paid by Exxon Mobil to fool you all into thinking there was a slightly negative trend from 2000-2009, when in fact the trend is from 2001-2008.

It doesn't take Exxon Mobil to turn you into a dishonest ass, it's your nature.

I really thought I'd get away with it

Let's consider what it is that you didn't get away with. If there was not a negative trend from 2000-2009, then warming hasn't paused after all, has it? When everyone acknowledges that there are ups and downs, when you yourself acknowledge that these short-term trends are not statistically significant, when your own source repeatedly notes "a net energy flux into the climate system", then what sort of person keeps blabbering about a "pause" as a basis for skepticism, and then accuses Lotharsson of playing a "juvenile game"? I can tell what sort: a lying, corrupt sack of garbage, a shit stain on humanity.

Loth/Richard Simons, I can see this lack of warming is a deeply personal, upsetting thing for both of you.

You know that's not what upsets them but, like all denier scum, you can't help but lie about even the most trivial things.

the actual point, which is about missing heat

There is no more any "missing heat" than there is a "missing link" in evolution, you stupid dishonest sack of shit. Rather, per Meehl et. al., there is "a net energy flux into the climate system ... excess heat in the climate system ... this excess energy ...". Shit stain deniers like you play dishonest word games, capitalizing on amphibolies like "missing heat" to intentionally mislead. But I believe that you know full well that it isn't the heat that is missing, just our knowledge. And even knowing that, you are so bloody stupid that you play a game of "out of sight, out of mind", pretending that the heat isn't there, and increasing all the time without pause.

Wow, in the sense that you all wish to claim, I never asserted any existence of a "pause" in the first place. You are all just wasting my time - as well as your own time - discussing a straw man argument. Discussing it ad nauseum. This has been pointed out to you repeatedly. What there is, though, is a "lack of warming", in Trenberth's and Jones's words, and significant "missing heat" measured in Joules (Trenberth 2009). This is enough missing heat that the imbalance at TOA may have been exaggerated by as much as 0.4 W/m^2 (the figure Hansen would obtained befored invoking unobservables / ad hoc assumptions like the Asian sulphate hypothesis and what he calls a "delayed Mt. Pinatubo effect" in order to make up the shortfall). So to repeat, Loth and others are just playing silly games with words and trying to impress a non scientist with first year level statistics in order to avoid any discussion of the real point.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Sorry, 0.4 W/m^2 is not Hansen's figure, but the difference between the TOA imbalance that Trenberth et al. 2009 believes exists (1 W/m^2) and Hansen's figure (which is 0.59 W/m^2).

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Ianam, woof, woof!

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Wow, in the sense that you all wish to claim, I never asserted any existence of a "pause" in the first place.

Except for this comment where you assert it no less than 7 times in a single post.

A few gems you gave us- "The last two years has seen AGW scientists "come out" and admit that there is a pause that has to be explained."- #73

"Richard Simons, there is a pause in global warming..."-#94

"The real issue is if you think that global warming hasn't paused then why not write your abusive emails to Jerry Meehl instead and tell him that he's wrong?"-#98

In DENIAL much?

> Loth, it looks like I got what I deserved for allowing myself to be drawn into your juvenile game.

Ah, the "my critics are merely engaging in a juvenile game" manoeuvre which allows one to pretend that serious critiques simply have not been made. It looks to me like you *missed the point* of my critique(s) - or maybe it is merely that your understanding of critique remains at a juvenile level?

Labelling it thus allows you to conveniently redirect the conversation away from the fact that you have been horribly incompetent at *the very basics*, some of which you still don't appear to have cottoned on to yet. At the same time you are confidently advancing critiques of papers on an apparently more sophisticated basis without any apparent inkling that your incompetence at *that* level of cognition and domain expertise is quite likely to be even worse.

And it probably redirects away from any serious self-reflection on how you acquire beliefs (despite numerous earlier questions aimed at provoking such thought) and on whether those mechanisms need to be improved, and - given that you have confidently made simple verifiable claims that turn out to be false - whether you have made other false or unsupported claims that need to be revised, or have claimed more evidentiary support than is justified. To be fair you have at least identified "confirmation bias" as a factor in this example - so trying to figure out whether you're experiencing that in other areas, and how to minimise its impact, would be valuable.

The label also redirects away from the fact that you apparently really *really* don't want to discuss the wider implications (and evidence) of climate science but rather would focus on a relatively minor point as if it's the main game, e.g.:

> ...Loth and others are just playing silly games with words and trying to impress a non scientist with first year level statistics in order to avoid any discussion of the real point.

Projection (and mind-reading again), much?

I and others have asked you many many pointed critical questions about *real points* that you have blithely ignored - including questions designed to make you *think*. (I previously compiled a list of 35+ comments on this thread that had such questions, but the links were munged by the blog software.) It is clear thus far that you have no wish to discuss *those* real points or to improve your thinking processes.

Heck, *even if* we restrict ourself to your self-identified 'real point' of 'missing heat', there has been plenty of discussion of it - especially on the relative lack of importance of the issue in the pantheon of climate science compared to the importance you appear to attach to it. The fact that you don't acknowledge such discussion, or don't like it, or aren't willing or capable of understanding (apparently new) information provided to you on the topic does not equate to "avoiding discussion". If anything here, *you* are avoiding discussion of *those dimensions* of the 'real topics', and of related topics that flow from your claims (see 35+ comments on this thread, for example). And the only person you appear to be fooling here on *that point* is yourself.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Except for this comment where you assert it no less than 7 times in a single post.

To be fair to Alex, he's hanging his hat on "the sense you all wish to claim" being something like a statistically significant change in the long term warming trend. And some commenters have pointed out that if he has that definition in mind - or hopes that his readers will, even if he won't come out and say it - then his comments are flat-out wrong.

But to be fair to those commenters, and to be more than fair to Alex, he's played "juvenile games" by refusing to specify the sense that *he* means for pretty much the entire thread, and is currently denying the plainly evident fact that some of us *have* engaged with the sense of 'pause' that he appears (by implication) to have in mind.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Dec 12th:

>*...in the sense that you all wish to claim, I never asserted any existence of a "pause" in the first place. You are all just wasting my time...*

Alex [Dec 1st](pause):

>*A great example is the pause in global warming. Until Climategate 1 came along and we got Kevin Trenberth's now-famous "it's a travesty" quote on record, the mainstream scientists denied that **there was a pause in global warming***

Alex you are the one trying to inject false assertions of *"a pause in global warming"*.

After playing games for so long you now try and run away from your little game. Shameful.

>To be fair to Alex, he's hanging his hat on "the sense you all wish to claim" being something like a statistically significant change in the long term warming trend

Except Alex, unlike those he selectivly quoted for false support, claimed a puase in global warming. The scientist on the other hand observed a non-significant pause in some data sets of surface temperature.

Ianam, woof, woof!

That juvenile response because you are unable to refute a word of what I wrote.

To be fair to Alex, he's hanging his hat on "the sense you all wish to claim" being something like a statistically significant change in the long term warming trend.

That's like saying that, to be fair to Alex, he's lying through his teeth ... because he is: he repeatedly asserted categorically that there was "a pause", never qualifying that claim in any way. To now talk about our sense of the word is, from the other thread, a fallacy of shifting ground, aka a "Monckton Maneuver".

any discussion of the real point

Just what is the real point, as you see it, Alex? Again, from Meehl et. al.'s paper: "a net energy flux into the climate system ... excess heat in the climate system ... this excess energy ...". That heat is present in the climate system ... do you deny it?

Back in `#`73 you asserted that "a schism that has emerged over the pause in global warming ... that pretty much implies that Lindzen is right". Now that you have abandoned the claim that there is a pause "in the sense that you all wish to claim", what does that do to your inference about Lindzen being right? Of course, Paul S already addressed this directly.

Alex, you wrote

the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming

but if they meant it "in the sense that you all wish to claim", then you have denied it too, right? And isn't that sense the proper sense since, as you say, "none of these trends are likely to have statistical significance"? Of course, when you wrote that, you referred to #99, where you demonstrated yourself to be innumerate and intellectually dishonest ... the one playing games with statistics is clearly you, with your carving out of short-term statistically insignificant surface temperature data sets (and not even getting those right) to argue for a "pause in global warming" when in fact "the observed energy imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere for this recent decade indicates that
a net energy flux into the climate system of about 1 W m-2 should be producing warming somewhere in the
system".

> That's like saying that, to be fair to Alex, he's lying through his teeth...

Yes, it was close to saying that, but I think in light of your comments I can go further. You point out that Alex wrote:

> in the sense that you all wish to claim, I never asserted any existence of a "pause" in the first place

If that's not true then it is a lie (either to us, or to himself). If so, we're done. However, if it is accurate then it must mean that when Alex wrote:

> the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming

he meant scientists *denied* the existence of an "Alex pause", not "slowdown in climate-scale global warming trend". I'm pretty sure this is false, and it's obvious it would be a particularly stupid claim for a scientist to make - and hence stupid for Alex to make - given the clear dips in the 20th Century's temperature record.

So either *this* is a lie, or Alex is deeply confused, or he is more than ordinarily stupid. But given that Alex has been corrected several times on this point and still asserts it, and that he almost certainly would strongly dispute that he's particularly stupid, I'm comfortable saying Alex is lying - either to us, or to himself.

So I agree. Disregarding the objective falsehood of at least some of Alex's claims, Alex is lying on (at least) one of these points. And I'm pretty sure there are others...

...and that doesn't count assertions he reiterates after strong challenges have been made - and ignored.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

he almost certainly would strongly dispute that he's particularly stupid

Presumably he would, but it's hard to justify that in light of the stunning idiocy of #99, in which he indicates that he thinks that to talk of statistical significance is to "play games with statistics". It seems that when Alex acknowledges that "none of these trends are likely to have statistical significance" ("I made this well known point in #99"), he is just saying that he realizes what "games with statistics" "mainstream scientists" were "play"ing when they "denied that there was a pause in global warming".

> ...but it's hard to justify...

Oh, I agree - but it's amusing to note that it's a legitimate option that he could choose in preference to acknowledging that he's lying or mistaken (neither of which are likely admissions based on the evidence here).

That said, my bet is that he acknowledges neither lie, stupidity or error - and instead tries to shift the subject again whilst mind-reading other people's motives and thoughts, and ignoring numerous substantive critiques of some of his other claims.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, in #377 you seem to have, perhaps unbelievably, committed yourself to something. You say that it would be fine if instead of "pause" I had said "slowdown in climate-scale global warming trend". Is that right?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> ...you seem to have, perhaps unbelievably, committed yourself to something.

Your incredulity flies in the face of available evidence.

And I suspect you have

(a) completely missed the critique.

(b) committed another Logic Fail.

What exactly do you think that I have "committed myself to" in #377 that I have not done previously?

> You say that it would be fine if instead of "pause" I had said "slowdown in climate-scale global warming trend".

You need to clarify *which* of *your* statements that used "pause" you are referring to. I'm guessing the second one quoted there.

If so, your paraphrase is incorrect. I said it was false to claim that mainstream scientists denied the "Alex pause". It does not automatically follow that a different definition of "pause" would make your quoted statement "fine".

For example, using the mainstream scientific definition of "pause in global warming", then (if "denied" means what context indicates that you seemed to mean by it, i.e. disagreed with a claim that is most likely true) your statement would still be false, but on different grounds.

What would be "fine" would be to state that "Mainstream scientists have pointed out that the climate-scale global warming trend continues". But that would eviscerate much of your setup in #73.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

So why not just say, "the temperatures didn't go up"? You should try it - you might find it cathartic. Try saying this Loth: "the temperatures didn't go up".

Here is Trenberth (2009), showing you how it's done:

The global mean temperature in 2008 was the lowest since about 2000. Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by accelerating increases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses due to human activities, _why is the temperature not continuing to go up_?

You see, it's okay to say that now. You won't become statistically illiterate. You'll just find that all of a sudden you are speaking in plain English. Why not give it a go?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

I said it was false to claim that mainstream scientists denied the "Alex pause". It does not automatically follow that a different definition of "pause" would make your quoted statement "fine".

Obviously, but Alex is truly too stupid to understand that.

So why not just say, "the temperatures didn't go up"?

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110112_globalstats.html

Once again, moron, the temperatures go up and down.

You won't become statistically illiterate.

Says someone who cannot grasp even the most basic statistical facts.

Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by accelerating increases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses due to human activities, _why is the temperature not continuing to go up_?

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/58535-deep-oceans-store-…

Gerald Meehl "... This study illustrates one reason why global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line."

...

"This study suggests the missing energy has indeed been buried in the ocean," Trenberth says. "The heat has not disappeared, and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences."

> You should try it - you might find it cathartic.

Your attempts to infer or predict my emotional state are becoming increasingly clownish. Give up while you're behind.

> You won't become statistically illiterate.

No, but doing so in many cases will lead many people who aren't statistically literate to the wrong conclusion - precisely as you have attempted to do on this thread. There's a bloody good reason why scientists and people who want to *clearly* discuss scientific work generally use more precise terms than you are advocating.

For example, as has been pointed out to you on this thread, some people say "the temperature hasn't gone up over a certain period" when they mean that the ending temperature of that period isn't higher than the starting temperature...which has nothing to do with climate trends OR internal variability, and almost always means someone is being misled. That is why we speak of *trends* rather than temperature going up or not.

And as has been **repeatedly** pointed out to you on this thread, even your claims that "temperatures haven't gone up" over various periods are false, which is why the *periods* we are discussing should be specified in any such claim.

That's pretty much why I don't use your formulation.

And even more incredibly, your question about my formulation has essentially **nothing** to do with the point you were responding to (but one could be forgiven for assuming it has everything to do with you ignoring inconvenient questions and critique). Your list of unanswered points continues to ... er, go up.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Hottest+years+have+been+past+sci…

Thirteen of the world's hottest years on record have occurred in the past 15 years ... "Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Niña event, which has a relative cooling influence" ...

Why didn't Lotharrson say that "the temperatures didn't go up"? Because a) he doesn't believe that and b) it isn't true. Why did Trenberth say it? He didn't. What he said is "why is the temperature not continuing to go up" ... that means, why doesn't it go up monotonically (I know that you are ignorant and stupid, but I think you're capable of using a dictionary); as Meehl said, "global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line" (which is one form of monotonicity). To make any sense of this at all, you must think in terms of statistical trends. But from you we have "the trends are irrelevant", statistical significance is irrelevant, and "We all know you can make statistics say almost anything you want ... temperature trends have no predictive value whatsoever". What an ignorant fool you are.

And even more incredibly, your question about my formulation has essentially nothing to do with the point you were responding to

Which was, to recap, that when Alex wrote

the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming

He either did not mean that

the mainstream scientists denied that there was a slowdown in climate-scale global warming trend

or he was telling a falsehood.

So let's talk about Fu et al. 2011 and Thorne et al. 2011.

[1] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) GCMs (General Circulation Models) predict a tropical tropospheric warming that increases with height, reaches its maximum at ~200 hPa, and decreases to zero near the tropical tropopause. This study examines the GCMâpredicted maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere using satellite MSU (microwave sounding unit)âderived deeplayer temperatures in the tropical upperâ and lowerâmiddle troposphere for 1979â2010. While satellite MSU/AMSU observations generally support GCM results with tropical deepâlayer tropospheric warming faster than surface, it is evident that the AR4 GCMs exaggerate the increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere during the last three decades.

Citation: Fu, Q., S. Manabe, and C. M. Johanson (2011), On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L15704, doi:10.1029/2011GL048101.

In their conclusion:

While strong observational evidence indicates that tropical deepâlayer troposphere warms faster than surface, this study suggests that the AR4 GCMs may exaggerate the increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere in the last three decades. In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity and to the change of atmospheric circulations, it is critically important to understand the causes responsible for the discrepancy between the models and observations.

In Thorne et al. 2011 (JGR, "A quantification of uncertainties in historical tropical tropospheric temperature trends from radiosondes") they come to similar conclusions and even discuss the dreaded possibility that the climate models are missing a fundamental forcing mechanism (they don't mention it by name but the 'cosmic ray hypothesis' is a possible forcing mechanism that is not in the models).

In Fu et al.:

The trends of T24âT2LT from both observations and models are all positive (Figure 2), indicating that the tropical upperâmiddle troposphere is warming faster than lowermiddle troposphere [Fu and Johanson, 2005]. But the positive trends are only about 0.014 ± 0.017 K/decade from
RSS and 0.005 ± 0.016 K/decade from UAH, which are not significantly different from zero.

So what verbal contortions will you recommend to hide this particular decline? This is the trend since the beginning of the record - in 1979 - and the trend difference from 0 is not statistically significant. It is a key prediction of the AGW theory, and it is pretty close to falsified by the observations now. Is it really so unreasonable to want to see discussion of the Lindzen/Choi hypothesis?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> What he said is "why is the temperature not continuing to go up" ... that means, why doesn't it go up monotonically...as Meehl said, "global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line...

Agreed.

Although it's a bit tragic that #91 and #106 gave Alex enough info to grok these concepts and 280 comments later he's still not demonstrating that he gets it.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> So let's talk about Fu et al. 2011 and Thorne et al. 2011

Good to see a usable citation - thanks.

Why, exactly, do you want to talk about this when you are incapable of understanding basic statistical concepts and those papers appear to rely on more advanced ones? Oh, wait - it is in order to advance the "Lindzen & Choi" hypothesis - which appears to be refuted by far more basic observations than the ones that you cite in those two papers, but you refuse to respond to my questions about that.

Interesting.

And you might want to use your awesome statistics and science skills to consider whether:

> ...the trend difference from 0 is not statistically significant.

leads logically to:

> ...is pretty close to falsified by the observations now.

It would also be fruitful for you to define the term "...increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere..." - especially since it is derived from satellite measurements, and you earlier displayed some fundamental misconceptions about what they measure (and **still** don't appear to have twigged to your error.)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

One more question, not particularly well considered as I'm out of time.

If the climate over the last century or so has warmed much faster than indicated by Lindzen & Choi's climate sensitivity calculations, does that imply an unknown positive forcing?

And if an unnamed forcing is invoked on behalf of the idea that tropospheric observations haven't warmed as fast as models suggest, wouldn't that forcing be negative?

If negative, wouldn't Lindzen & Choi be in direct conflict with the ideas you advanced about Fu and Thorne?

And ... going back to earlier unanswered questions, why do you think Thorne is saying an additional forcing is needed to make the models work, when the Thorne reference I provided earlier from the same time period says a full analysis indicates that models & observations are in essential agreement?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

And one final quick question.

How *exactly* is climate sensitivity defined, and how do tropospheric observations relate (or not) to that?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I never asserted any existence of a "pause" in the first place

Lets have a look:

> On the other side we have a schism that has emerged over the pause in global warming

> Posted by: Alex Harvey | December 1, 2011 2:51 AM

Hmmm.

*Is it really so unreasonable to want to see discussion of the Lindzen/Choi hypothesis?*

Yes it is, when the Lindzen/Choi hypothesis is published in a bottom-feeding journal. The only citation that stinker is likely to get is the one is already has: Dressler's rebuttal in a much stronger journal.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Nah, Bernard - he's just asking someone else what he should say next, and they're not getting back to him as quickly as they normally do ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, I have to say it brings me a smile to see that your response to the new situation is to press on with technical questions that you (hope) I don't know the answer to in order to undermine my credibility without you having to actually say anything.

Static stability is the resistance of the atmosphere to vertical displacement by the earth's gravitational pull. Here, it is referring to the well known feature of climate models where the trend in Co2-induced warming in the upper tropical troposphere is known to be proportional to the trend of warming at the surface, where 1/3 to 1/2 the trend at the surface is the Co2 contribution - a result that is robust across all the GCMs (Lindzen 2007).

I don't see anything in the Fu et al. paper that suggests any fundamental disagreement with Lindzen 2007 either. Their conclusion is, "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity and to the change of atmospheric circulations, it is critically important to understand the causes responsible for the discrepancy between the models and observations".

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Jeff, you evidently missed that LC11 has already been cited by a serious paper and taken seriously. See #342. Chung was one of the critics of the LC09 paper - and he offers that he may have found some supporting evidence for the Lindzen/Choi hypothesis.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth #391,

If the climate over the last century or so has warmed much faster than indicated by Lindzen & Choi's climate sensitivity calculations, does that imply an unknown positive forcing?

I don't see why it has to imply that, although that would obviously be one possibility (e.g. the Svensmark theory). I can think of plenty of other possibilities of course.

And if an unnamed forcing is invoked on behalf of the idea that tropospheric observations haven't warmed as fast as models suggest, wouldn't that forcing be negative?

No, I don't see how that follows at all. Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming.

If negative, wouldn't Lindzen & Choi be in direct conflict with the ideas you advanced about Fu and Thorne?

Sorry, what ideas? You seem to think that because I advocate discussion of Lindzen/Choi I must think it is right. But I don't. What is so hard to understand about someone wanting to see proper discussion? It amazes me that you don't also want to see this discussion, in fact. And in any case, no, I don't see Lindzen/Choi as being in conflict with Fu et al.

And ... going back to earlier unanswered questions, why do you think Thorne is saying an additional forcing is needed to make the models work, when the Thorne reference I provided earlier from the same time period says a full analysis indicates that models & observations are in essential agreement?

Thorne is not saying that. Thorne is discussing a possibility. If you read the paper, Thorne is holding on to the hope that the observational uncertainty can still save the GCMs. He discusses the possibility of a new forcing in the event that the models can't be saved. It is clear that this is not what he thinks is going to happen. But then, Thorne is one of the scientists who has a lot of "face" to lose here. And I can't reconcile some of his public statements with his peer reviewed statements.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

In #397 my wording is bit off, should be "where the warming trend in the upper tropical troposphere is known to be proportional (2.5:1) to the trend of warming at the surface". Or quoting Lindzen, "Stated somewhat differently, if we observe warming in the tropical upper troposphere, then the greenhouse contribution to warming at the surface should be between less than half and one third the warming seen in the upper troposphere." (2007 E&E, "Taking Greenhouse warming seriously").

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I don't see why it has to imply that, although that would obviously be one possibility (e.g. the Svensmark theory). I can think of plenty of other possibilities of course.

Like?

> Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming.

No, it's not at all obvious.

It's like saying "obviously, the waves are another cause of some of the rise in sea levels".

> You seem to think that because I advocate discussion of Lindzen/Choi I must think it is right. But I don't.

OK, we'll ignore you on the subject then.

>*Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming.*

Please explain how you understand that *"[i]nternal variability is obviously [a] cause of some of the [30 year] surface warming [trend]*".

And

>>If the climate over the last century or so has warmed much faster than indicated by Lindzen & Choi's climate sensitivity calculations, does that imply an unknown positive forcing?

>*I don't see why it has to imply that...I can think of plenty of other possibilities of course.*

Ditto to Wow, such as?

Earlier Alex writes his editorial on Fu and Thorne:
>>*So what verbal contortions will you recommend to hide this particular decline? This is the trend since the beginning of the record - in 1979 - and the trend difference from 0 is not statistically significant. It is a key prediction of the AGW theory, and it is pretty close to falsified by the observations now.*

Loth replies:
>If negative, wouldn't Lindzen & Choi be in direct conflict with the ideas you advanced about Fu and Thorne?

Alex replies:

>*Sorry, what ideas? You seem to think that because I advocate discussion of Lindzen/Choi I must think it is right. But I don't. What is so hard to understand about someone wanting to see proper discussion?*

Alex, this isn't the first time you've been caught out in this way. What are you doing?

Wow #402 / jackerman #403, well there is solar irradiance which is poorly understood. There are forcings from land use changes. Possibly warming effects from aerosols (e.g. black carbon, atmospheric brown clouds). And then of course there is the possibility that there are forcing mechanisms that we simply haven't thought of yet.

By Alex Harvey` (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

jakerman #403, the PDO has been positive during the recent period of warming. Presumably, some part of the warming trend is the PDO signature. The trend is also presumably still skewed by the super El Nino of 97/8 and the very strong El Nino of 2010.

However when I wrote, "Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming", I left out a word. I meant to say, "Internal variability is obviously another _possible_ cause of some of the surface warming".

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

jakerman #404, I have no idea what you're talking about. I think Loth is confused. The argument in Thorne et al. would be, presumably, that if we really are reading a much-lower-than-expected GHG signature in the surface warming based on lack of an tropical upper tropospheric "hotspot", then another positive forcing may be required to explain why the surface warmed. Loth seems to think Thorne is saying the opposite, that a negative forcing would be required to explain why the upper troposphere didn't warm. I suppose it is possible this is what Thorne means, but I think Loth just has it backwards. Happy to be corrected, if you think I'm wrong about this.

As for why you think I have to believe that Lindzen/Choi is compatible with Fu et al. and Thorne et al. - well this is just more "gotcha" games. As it happens, I can't see any conflict between Lindzen/Choi and Thorne/Fu et al. - but it's quite possible that there is conflict that I haven't seen. If so, discussion of both will help us all to understand it better. This isn't a problem for me, however. My primary concern is to advocate discussion of ideas that you people don't want discussed.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Wow #401, read Lindzen 2007 (E&E "Taking greenhouse warming seriously"). SkepticalScience are just trying to bury the issue now that the data isn't supporting the theory. It was hugely important right up until it began to appear likely that the hotspot isn't supported by the data. The upper tropical tropospheric hotspot has been a key prediction of the climate models for decades - one of the earliest. Why do you think all of Santer's papers on the subject have had such a ridiculously large number of co-authors? It is because this issue is hugely important. Santer's papers admit that the upper tropospheric hotspot is indeed a _fingerprint_ of greenhouse warming. It wasn't skeptics who said this; it is what Karl, Santer et al. have always said. This is why both the National Research Council (2000) and US Climate Change Science Program (Karl et al. 2006) were set up - to find this hugely important but apparently absent hotspot. Let me quote Fu et al.'s conclusion again: "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity and to the change of atmospheric circulations, it is critically important to understand the causes responsible for the discrepancy between the models and observations." Of course, if we believed SkepticalScience we'd be fobbed off into believing it is hardly important at all - a mere curiosity. SkepticalScience is a propaganda site, I am sorry to say.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

>...the very strong El Nino of 2010.

Heh?!

What criteria do you use to define and identify "the very strong" El Niño last year"?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex, there is also the warming caused by greenhouse gases, which is well-understood and is a totally uncontroversial warming mechanism that was thought of 200 years ago.

Lindzen and Choi, on the other hand, are demonstratedly wrong. Bin 'em and switch to stuff that actually matches reality and observations.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I have to say it brings me a smile to see that your response to the new situation is to press on with technical questions that you (hope) I don't know the answer to in order to undermine my credibility without you having to actually say anything.

So your concerns about lack of discussion apparently stem from your congenital inability to *recognise* a discussion, combined with your ongoing hallucination that you can mind-read. Noted - so that I can ignore all future whines about lack of discussion, such as:

> It amazes me that you don't also want to see this discussion, in fact.

(Except to note that it's a monumentally stupid thing to say *to someone **engaged in the discussion** at hand*!)

And you appear to be labouring under the illusion that you *have* some credibility here, and "press on" under that delusion despite committing and not acknowledging a series of egregious gaffes. (Remind me again, what do RSS and UAH measure, and is that what you cited them for? And how does a positive trend that doesn't exclude zero at statistical significance "pretty close to falsify" the prediction of a positive trend? And...oh, never mind - savvy readers already know.)

And please answer my important request for the [definition of climate sensitivity and the relation to tropospheric observations](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/on_the_trick_to_hide_the_conte…) before you go any further.

> Static stability is the resistance of the atmosphere to vertical displacement by the earth's gravitational pull. Here, it is referring to the well known feature of climate models where the trend in Co2-induced warming in the upper tropical troposphere is known to be proportional to the trend of warming at the surface, where 1/3 to 1/2 the trend at the surface is the Co2 contribution - a result that is robust across all the GCMs (Lindzen 2007).

You'll have to explain to me how "atmospheric resistance to gravitationally driven vertical displacement" equates to (in some context "here") "a warming trend relationship between the surface and upper tropical troposphere" as I have not seen them equated before.

And as you subsequently noted:

> In #397 my wording is bit off,... (Lindzen 2007).

So when you apparently cited Lindzen 2007, you weren't saying those were his words - you were writing your own interpretation? Please do not give the impression that you are citing a paper when you are writing your own understanding of it. People might think you make a habit of misleading readers.

And some readers might wonder why you resort to citing E&E, given the well known quality issues with that journal. Is that the only place where support for this claim appears?

You might also want to check into comments (IIRC by Gavin Schmidt to one of the Pielkes) that the atmospheric warming trend amplification compared to the surface is expected to be <1 in some places (e.g., over land, IIRC) rather than >1 everywhere as commonly quoted, although I suspect that was for a different layer of the atmosphere.

> Their conclusion is, "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity and to the change of atmospheric circulations, it is critically important to understand the causes responsible for the discrepancy between the models and observations".

That seems pretty uncontroversial. Models fall short in all sorts of ways, and modelers are constantly working to improve them.

But IIRC you cited these papers in the context of your belief that climate sensitivity is likely to be a lot lower than commonly thought, and I don't yet see from what you have relayed how this paper supports that belief. In addition, you **still** haven't twigged to the fact that there are a bunch of non-model methods for estimating climate sensitivity which are completely untouched by any of these critiques - and you haven't proposed a viable mechanism for the observation of more than twice the warming to date that would be expected from the sensitivity calculated in Lindzen & Choi 2011.

> I can think of plenty of other possibilities of course.

Why, yes, so can I. But you appear to discount most of those by proposing a particular interpretation, and you certainly haven't bothered to share any other possibility with us. Why don't you try, and then analyse what the other possibilities mean for your interpretation, and then consider how one would use evidence to distinguish between the possibilities?

> Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming.

Bloody hell. *That* is particularly clueless.

As has been explained previously several times, along with the reason why **trends matter**, internal variability over climate timescales is - pretty much by definition - **trendless**. And since we're allegedly talking about anthropogenic global warming, then **by definition** we're talking about **warming over climate timescales**.

Why exactly do you think people tried to drum it into your recalcitrant brain that you need to carefully define what you mean by "pause in global warming" so as to indicate whether you're talking about trends over climate timescales or not?

Now, in the light of that new repetition of basic climate science facts, would you care to revise your answer to my question:

> And if an unnamed forcing is invoked on behalf of the idea that tropospheric observations haven't warmed as fast as models suggest, wouldn't that forcing be negative?

Take your time and think it through.

> Sorry, what ideas?

Are you that deficient in English comprehesion skills?

What ideas? The interpretation of and implications you advanced as being supported in some sense by Fu and Thorne. Do you actually not remember what you wrote, and can you not scroll up to refresh your memory? Are you merely copy-pasting from somewhere else without any understanding of "your" position? (Got to admit it's not easy to exclude that possibility given the evidence on this thread.)

> You seem to think that because I advocate discussion of Lindzen/Choi I must think it is right.

Er, dude, wasn't it you who cited it as evidence at least supporting your view that climate sensitivity is likely to be quite a bit lower than the generally accepted most likely value? That would be an example of "thinking it is likely to be right" and all the other sensitivity studies likely to be wrong.

> And in any case, no, I don't see Lindzen/Choi as being in conflict with Fu et al.

You assert that, but don't offer any reasons why one should think that, even in response to my questions that point out that at least at first glance, one might be forgiven for thinking that they are. In that case your assertion can be ignored.

I see relatively sophisticated and grammatically correct positions laid out by you that you appear entirely unable to defend when asked. I am having serious difficulties believing that you truly understand much of what you claim or write.

> Thorne is not saying that. Thorne is discussing a possibility.

Sheesh, stop dissembling. So let me rewrite it to avoid confusing your delicate interpretive faculties.

Why do you think Thorne says in one publication that models & observations are in agreement if you carefully look at all the data, if Thorne also suggests in the paper you cite that an additional forcing may be necessary to make models and observations agree? It seems clear to me that the two claims are quite likely to be mutually exclusive.

And:

> I can't reconcile some of his public statements with his peer reviewed statements.

I'm not asking you to. My questions were about his publications.

At this point Alex is arguing against Alex, and I don't know which one will win.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Santer's papers admit that the upper tropospheric hotspot is indeed a fingerprint of greenhouse warming.

You'll be needing a citation to back that up - and then to demonstrate that it has not been refuted by subsequent work. Think you can manage it?

> Wow #402 / jackerman #403, well there is solar irradiance which is poorly understood. There are forcings from land use changes. Possibly warming effects from aerosols (e.g. black carbon, atmospheric brown clouds). And then of course there is the possibility that there are forcing mechanisms that we simply haven't thought of yet.

And NONE of these are "internal variability". You don't appear to have a clue what you're talking about.

> the PDO has been positive during the recent period of warming.

The PDO is an **oscillation**, which **by definition** is trendless.

Yes, you might get anomalous effects if you only look at the temperature records for the last few years, but that's precisely why we look at sufficiently long **trends**, and why we insist that people make it clear when they're talking about periods that are too short to reliably detect trends or not.

Speaking of which, when you vaguely refer to "the recent period of warming", what the heck do you mean?

> ...well this is just more "gotcha" games.

Known the rest of us as part of "discussion".

> The argument in Thorne et al. would be, presumably, that if we really are reading a much-lower-than-expected GHG signature in the surface warming based on lack of an tropical upper tropospheric "hotspot", then another positive forcing may be required to explain why the surface warmed.

Try reading what you wrote again and pondering whether "presumably" is "actually".

Another positive forcing does not help, unless you *also* have a mechanism that changes the surface to troposphere trend relationship. And if you have *that*, then you don't need another forcing. Of course, it could be a forcing that also changes that relationship, but you'd want to be explicit about that in your hypothesis then, wouldn't you?

(And no, I don't know what "the answer" is, as AFAIK there are still other explanations that cannot be dismissed without further evidence. But that also means that it's challenging to accept your favoured hypothesis without further evidence.)

> My primary concern is to advocate discussion of ideas that you people don't want discussed.

Er, no, it most clearly is not. You take great exception to the discussion when it happens.

And if you actually wanted *deep scientific* discussion, then you're in the wrong place. You should be asking for discussion at places where a bunch of climate scientists hang out, like RealClimate or perhaps SkepticalScience. But instead you're here peddling your misunderstood wares whilst claiming that:

> SkepticalScience is a propaganda site...

despite the links to papers and the robust discussion of the science in comments there.

Makes one think, don't it?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

And Alex Harvey is a propagandist, I'm not sorry to say (because I am not a tiresome hypocrite pretending to be Solomon.)

Kudos to those patiently kicking his arse in public as a useful demonstration, as the evasion and smug dissembling is extremely tiresome. And intentionally provoking. It is, however, another very public demonstration in itself.

>*SkepticalScience is a propaganda site, I am sorry to say.*

I'm sorry to disagree with you, again. I'd suggest that you need to reassess your sources given the false claims you made, the cherry picking you used, and the selective quoting you've employed to misrepresent authors.

And now:

>*The upper tropical tropospheric hotspot has been a key prediction of the climate models for decades - one of the earliest. Why do you think all of Santer's papers on the subject have had such a ridiculously large number of co-authors? It is because this issue is hugely important. Santer's papers admit that the upper tropospheric hotspot is indeed a fingerprint of greenhouse warming.*

The tropospheric hotspot is a figer print of warming, not of GHG forced warming. So it theorecitally should be there given we have seen a lot of warming regardless of the driver of the warming.

On the other hand, the [figer print of GHG forced warming](http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm).

And we've certainly observed stratospheric cooling. So we know both its warming, and the we have the GHG forcing figer print.

> On the other hand, the figer print of GHG forced warming.

Add that to the long list of points Alex is determinedly not comprehending...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, this is not a discussion. While I am sincere, it is a one-way discussion. Your main interest is to seize upon trivial errors and declare "gotacha" so that your friends like barking Ianam will clap.

So you write,

You'll have to explain to me how "atmospheric resistance to gravitationally driven vertical displacement" equates to (in some context "here") "a warming trend relationship between the surface and upper tropical troposphere" as I have not seen them equated before.

Here is my understanding - recall that I am not an expert.

In order for greenhouse gases to warm the planet, incoming shortwave radiation (sunlight) is balanced by reflected sunlight and outgoing longwave radiation. Greenhouse gases emit longwave radiation both upwards and downwards so that longwave radiation is more likely to escape at higher altitudes. Much of the outgoing radiation is emitted from the tropical upper troposphere, also called the "characteristic emission level".

However, when carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, there is more CO2 to emit longwave upwards and downwards and this means that the height from which it tends to escape gets higher in altitude. But, as you go higher in altitude, the atmosphere gets colder. Thus, longwave radiation is emitted from a colder atmosphere and this creates the radiative imbalance at the TOA. The atmosphere then warms - particularly at this characteristic emission level - until the radiative balance is restored.

Now, in the models, the ones that do our computations of climate sensitivity, a stable relationship is observed between the warming at the characteristic emission level and the warming at the surface. That is, it warms ~ 2.5 times faster at this level than at the surface. After all, it is warming at this level that is the warming directly caused by the radiative imbalance. This warmth is then moved to the surface by the atmospheric circulations.

I believe that "static stability" is the property observed in the models where this stable trend relationship between warming at the characteristic emission level and warming at the surface is observed even as that level rises in altitude with CO2 increase. If you think any of this is wrong, do say so. I might learn something!

Next point - yes I made a minor error paraphrasing Lindzen 2007. That's why I quickly corrected it. No, I see citing Lindzen 2007 as not the same as quoting Lindzen 2007. But good pick up - "gotcha!" - well done Loth!

Er, dude, wasn't it you who cited it as evidence at least supporting your view that climate sensitivity is likely to be quite a bit lower than the generally accepted most likely value?

_Obviously, no._ Lindzen/Choi's argument is either right, or wrong. If it's wrong, it doesn't bear on anything. If it's right, it proves that my guess (climate sensitivity is around 1.5 - 2 C) is also wrong.

You assert that, but don't offer any reasons why one should think that, even in response to my questions that point out that at least at first glance, one might be forgiven for thinking that they are.

It is pretty ludicrous that you expect me to guess what you are thinking, and then expect me to attempt to refute my guess. If you think there are reasons why Fu/Thorne conflicts with Lindzen/Choi - say so. As I have said above, I think you are confused on the point - but since you are unwilling to explicitly say what you are thinking, who knows.

Why do you think Thorne says in one publication that models & observations are in agreement if you carefully look at all the data, if Thorne also suggests in the paper you cite that an additional forcing may be necessary to make models and observations agree?

I already answered this. If you tell me which other paper you are referring to, I'm happy to read it. But as I said, Thorne has a lot of face to lose here. I don't believe his statement, e.g. at RealClimate recently - published after Thorne et al. 2011, can be completely reconciled with what he said in the Thorne et al. 2011 paper. The Fu et al. paper is more explicit.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

jakerman #414, yes that is what they are saying - now. That appears to be the climate newspeak on this issue. Peter Thorne says now it's not a fingerprint after all. Or a "fingerprint of warming" (which is a pretty ludicrous concept if you think about it. A "fingerprint of warming"?? - isn't the "fingerprint of warming" just the... uh... the measurements of the... uh... warming?) But go read the papers yourself, e.g. Santer, Thorne et al. 2008, IJC, "Consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere". This is important because it is a fingerprint of GHG warming. See also Manabe & Stouffer 1980 to satisfy your historical curiosity.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, I do admit that some of the discussion at SkS is quite good - although some of it is no better than the quality of discussion in this thread, e.g. Pielke's attempts to hold a rational discussion was hijacked by a troll-like moderator. It may depend on who is doing the moderation. But many of the posts are nonsense.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*But go read the papers yourself, e.g. Santer, Thorne et al. 2008, IJC, "Consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere". This is important because it is a fingerprint of GHG warming. See also Manabe & Stouffer 1980 to satisfy your historical curiosity.*

Alex, if you are correct, then cite your evidence, don't be vague. Here quote from [the paper](https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2008/NR-08-10-05-article.pdf) you cite.

@Harvey, 416:
"If you think any of this is wrong, do say so. I might learn something!"

Your 'explanation' of the tropical troposphere hot spot is ALL wrong. The "characteristic emission level" and the upper tropical troposphere are two entirely different things.

Yes it is true that increased [CO2] caused an increase in altitude of the "characteristic emission level". This causes cooling of the stratosphere - which is, as pointed out above, actually a fingerprint of [CO2] induced warming, and has been observed. This has nothing to do with the Tropical Troposhere amplification of surface warming.

The Trop Trop hot spot is a consequence of the moist adiabat, - basically, the release of the latent heat of vaporization when water condenses as it rises, transports heat into the upper trop trop, and amplifies warming. This has nothing to do with the "characteristic emission level.'

Once again, Alex, you demonstrate that you really don't know a damn thing about the subject about which you are so damn convinced of the conclusions..

jakerman, yes you have the right paper. Read the whole introduction. It's not long. The research is presented in the context of fingerprint studies for identification of the CO2 signature.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lee, do you believe Lindzen 2007 also gets this wrong or have I misread it?

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Harvey again, @421, refers to a Santer et al paper that shows there is no discrepancy between models and observations of the upper Trop Trop,. Alex claims as follows:
"The research is presented in the context of fingerprint studies for identification of the CO2 signature."

ye sis i indeed in that 'context.' The argument had been made that since the models could not get the trop trop right, then other features that are claimed to be fingerprints (such as stratospheric cooling) can not be relied on.

A key sentence from teh itnroducti fo th eSanter paper is:

"One recurring criticism of such findings is that the climate models employed in fingerprint studies are in fundamental disagreement with observations of tropospheric temperature change (Douglass et al., 2004, 2007)."

Read that sentence carefully, Alex. The models are claimed to be in disagreement with the trop trop temperature change, and therefore the models must be flawed and can not be relied upon for fingerprint analyses - such as stratospheric temperature trends.

Nothing in that paper says that the Trop trop warming is a fingerprint of AGW. Not one thing.

In addition to not knowing what you're talking about, Alex, you also can't accurately read a relatively simple introduction.

Alex no need to keep being vague, you have the text now show me where it condradicts the claim the the hot spot is expected for all warming (solar forced etc and not just just GHG forced warming).

Alex, I rather doubt that Lindzen has published a fundamental confusion of the radiating level with the tropical troposphere, so it is almost certain that you have badly misread it. You've shown a tendency to do so, in just your last couple posts. You are certainly wrong.

> Loth, this is not a discussion.

So...you wouldn't recognise a discussion if one dropped on your head. Point noted for future reference.

> While I am sincere, ...

...you give many reasons to believe that you are not, and few to believe that you are. You might consider attempting to improve the ratio.

> ...it is a one-way discussion.

Bollocks.

You have presented some claims and speculations, and when people *have engaged in discussion with you about them*, you claim both that there is no discussion, and that there is a discussion but it is one-way. (Alex v Alex - who will win?)

Well, it is one-way to a certain extent - but primarily because **you** refuse to engage with the people who are discussing things with you. I had 35+ links before; now it would be well over 40. You're not holding your end of the discussion up, Alex. A sincere discussion would see you at a minimum acknowledge your errors and modify your claims in the light of those corrections, and engage with substantive questions or critique that suggest that your claims are not sufficiently supported on the evidence provided thus far. I've seen precious little of that.

> Your main interest is to seize upon trivial errors and declare "gotacha" so that your friends like barking Ianam will clap

And again your mind-reading skills fail you. One begins to suspect that your belief in them is sadly misplaced.

And the "gotcha" errors you complain about are **not trivial**. They are about fundamental issues that you must understand if you want to reason effectively about climate science. Would you expect to debate the finer points of multivariate calculus with someone who insists that the set of rational numbers is identical to the set of real numbers? Or that adding "n" to itself N times equals n.N rather than n.(N+1)?

Another class of error response that you classify as a "gotcha" is illustrated by this case:

> But good pick up - "gotcha!" - well done Loth!

These types of errors that undermine good faith and effective discussion - which you claim to seek, so quit whining about them if you want people to believe you.

Alex, contrary to your intuition, my main interest is in figuring out the best model of the world and figuring out which claims about the world are unlikely to be accurate or useful, and improving the general level of public understanding of the difference. The fact that you seem to be prone to making claims that are unjustifiable may lead you to conclude I'm just in it for "gotchas", but that would be a fallacious inference. And making that inference would also require that you ignore (or fail to understand the point of) the probing questions I make intended to either make you *think* or see if there's an idea there that can improve my own thinking.

> But many of the posts are nonsense.

Given that you are capable of egregious basic errors, how exactly do you know this? Is it on the basis of your own analysis, or someone else's? If it is someone else's, how do you know that they are correct - especially if they are saying that the majority of scientists in the field are wrong, and most especially if they have a history of making that claim without being able to support it when it is scrutinised?

(Regular readers should start laying bets on which of the predictable non-scientific responses might be employed...)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lee, by the way I used Lindzen 2007 simply because I have found his exposition of the theory easier to understand that in many technical treatments. Lindzen writes:

The main greenhouse gas, water vapor, generally maximizes at the surface in the tropics and sharply decreases with both altitude and latitude. There is so much greenhouse opacity immediately above the ground that the surface cannot effectively cool by the emission of thermal radiation. Instead, heat is carried away from the surface by fluid motions ranging from the cumulonimbus towers of the tropics to the weather and planetary scale waves of the
extratropics. These motions carry the heat upward and poleward to levels where it is possible for thermal radiation emitted from these levels to escape to space. We will refer to this level (which varies with the amount of water vapor at any given location) as the characteristic emission level. Crudely speaking, the emission from this level is proportional to the 4th power of the temperature at this level. [...] Largely because of the motions of
the atmosphere, the temperature decreases with altitude to some level known as the tropopause. The height of the tropopause varies with latitude. In the tropics, the
tropopause height is about 16 km. Near 30° latitude, the tropopause height drops to about 12 km, and near the poles it is around 8 km. Below the tropopause, we have what
is called the troposphere. The characteristic emission level is referred to as Ï = 1. Ï is a non-dimensional measure of infrared absorption measured from the top of the
atmosphere looking down. Crudely speaking, radiation is attenuated as eâÏ. The level at which Ï = 1, is one optical depth into the atmosphere, and radiation emitted from
this level is proportional to the 4th power of the temperature at this new level. When the earth is in radiative balance with space, the net incoming solar radiation is balanced by the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR or thermal radiation or infrared radiation; these are all commonly used and equivalent terms) from the characteristic emission level, Ï = 1. When greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, the level at which Ï = 1 is raised in altitude, and, because the temperature of the atmosphere decreases with altitude (at the rate of approximately 6.5° C per kilometer), the new characteristic emission level is colder than the previous level. ... Because Ï = 1 is now at a colder level, the outgoing longwave radiation no longer balances the net incoming solar radiation,and the earth is no longer in thermal balance with space; this imbalance is what we
refer to as the radiative forcing. In order to reestablish balance, the temperature at the new Ï = 1 level must increase to about the temperature that had existed at the
initial Ï = 1 level. In practice, the Ï = 1 level is typically in the neighborhood of 7â8 km in the tropics and at lower levels in the extratropics. It is the warming at Ï = 1 that is the fundamental warming associated with the climate greenhouse effect (to distinguish it from plant greenhouse which operates in a very different manner).How warming at the Ï = 1 level relates to warming at the surface is not altogether clear. It is at this point that models prove helpful. Figure 4 shows how temperature
changes when CO2 is doubled in 4 rather different General Circulation Models (Lee et al., 2007). The runs shown differ from those that were run for the IPCC in that the
models were simplified to isolate the effects of CO2 forcing and climate feedbacks. Also the models were run until equilibrium was established rather than run in a
transient mode in order to simulate the past. Thus, they isolate greenhouse warming from other things that might be going on (the transient situation will be discussed later). What is shown is the temperature averaged around a latitude circle as a function of latitude and height. Following common meteorological practice, height is replaced by pressure level. Pressure decreases approximately exponentially with height. 100 hPa (hecto Pascals) corresponds roughly to 16 km; 200 hPa to 12 km; 500 hPa to 6 km; and 1000 hPa to the surface. What we see is that warming is strongly peaked in the tropical troposphere near the Ï = 1 level (which actually differs from model to model because the amount of water vapor differs among the
models). Roughly speaking, the warming at Ï = 1 in the tropics is from more than twice to about three times larger than near the surface regardless of the sensitivity
of the particular model. This is, in fact, the signature (or fingerprint) of greenhouse warming. Stated somewhat differently, if we observe warming in the tropical upper
troposphere, then the greenhouse contribution to warming at the surface should be between less than half and one third the warming seen in the upper troposphere.

Later we have a quite different spin on what I take to be the same point that Thorne seems to be making about "300 hPa not necessarily being greenhouse warming":

Greenhouse warming must appear in the
neighborhood of 300 hPa, but warming at 300 hPa does not have to be greenhouse warming.

So throughout Lindzen seems to be using "characteristic emission level" and the altitude of 300 hPa (which I understand as approximately the same pressure level as "tropical upper tropospheric hotspot" tends to refer) interchangeably, so I equated them - perhaps imprecisely.

I can't otherwise see that my condensed summary is inaccurate - but still listening. So is it my understanding of Lindzen, or Lindzen that is the issue here do you think?

I trust that unlike me, you _are_ claiming to fully understand this material.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Loth, seizing on a mistake that I acknowledged and corrected in order to prove that I made a mistake is stupid. Just like claiming "gotcha!" after I described a period "after 2000" as a "decade" is stupid.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Oh dear, I see that I used quotes in #427 when I meant to indicate a rough paraphrase of Thorne. To save Loth from having to say "gotcha!" again I must clarify that I wasn't quoting Thorne, but paraphrasing him. I have used punctuation inaccurately here and am deeply sorry for this. :)

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey @416

In order for greenhouse gases to warm the planet, incoming shortwave radiation (sunlight) is balanced by reflected sunlight and outgoing longwave radiation.

Greenhouse gases warm the planet because incoming shortwave radiation (sunlight) is not balanced by reflected sunlight and outgoing longwave radiation.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Loth, seizing on a mistake that I acknowledged and corrected in order to prove that I made a mistake is stupid.

You've given no context so I don't know what you're referring to, but I suspect you're *still* missing the reason why I do it. And it's *not all about you*.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Richard Simons, I am describing the equilibrium situation - why the planet is 33 C warmer than it would otherwise be without an atmosphere containing greenhouse gases. I made your point in the next paragraph.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

If the climate over the last century or so has warmed much faster than indicated by Lindzen & Choi's climate sensitivity calculations, does that imply an unknown positive forcing?

I don't see why it has to imply that, although that would obviously be one possibility. I can think of plenty of other possibilities of course.

Such as?

Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming.

He's quite happy to consider internal variability as a major cause of century-scale warming but when it comes to a period of 8 years then no, internal variability is unacceptable.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lee #423, I suppose you are right that nowhere in that introduction is the tropospheric hotspot itself said to be a "fingerprint". I suppose the IPCC AR4 doesn't have a sentence quite like this either - even if it's got a section devoted to reconciling the trends. I admit, I am of course influenced by the fact that Lindzen is an expert, and he asserts that the hotspot is indeed a signature of greenhouse warming (he says it's _the_ signature), and he provides plausible physical reasoning. It is also hard to believe that the IPCC, the NRC, the CCSP, RSS, and Santer et al., would invest so much time and money investigating a feature of climate models that is of little importance. I also find it strange that nowhere in those papers does it say, "by the way, the hotspot is NOT a fingerprint of CO2 warming, but we are investigating it anyway". It seems to me that for decades now we have been told that the answer lies in the observational uncertainty. And now that the point is close to being resolved in favour of the skeptics, the goalpost seems to have moved and it doesn't matter whether there's hotspot after all.

But I do take your point. It would be good to find an authority explicitly claiming it as a "signature" of CO2 warming who is not Lindzen.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Chris O'Neill, that is rubbish of course; I said nothing of the sort.

Somewhere above Lotharrson has claimed that internal variability can't explain warming because it is "trendless" "by definition".

Lotharrson:

As has been explained previously several times, along with the reason why trends matter, internal variability over climate timescales is - pretty much by definition - trendless.

This is wrong. If you _define_ internal variability as variability on a 1-10 year timescale, then of course it will be "trendless" on a 100-year timescale. And of course that is correct, and it is correct "by definition". (No need for "pretty much by".) But there are internal cycles in the climate system that may operate on much longer time scales. For example, the hypothetical Bond cycles would operate on a 1,500 time scale (Bond et al. 1997). These cycles, if they exist, would have a trend in the present - if we knew for sure that they existed and if we had some way of identifying their signal in the global average temperatures.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

>it is also hard to believe that the IPCC, the NRC, the CCSP, RSS, and Santer et al., would invest so much time and money investigating a feature of climate models that is of little importance.

Of course its important. The hot spot should be there (regardless of the forcing source) and lack of it suggests at least a measurement issue. Which is why they should and did investigate. And have thus reduced the discrepancy between models and observations.

Alex, do you know what your problem is? From a scientist's perspective (my own), we are all very suspect when people question scientific areas in which 99% of the evidence - theoretical and empirical - points in one direction. You've latched onto an article in a bottom-feeding journal and a few others that question the human fingerprint on the current warming. My take is that you've stumbled on these studies because of surfing through several climate change denial sites - CA, WUWT, Lubos Motl, Pielke Srs etc - and reading their interpretation of them. The very fact that these sites have heavily promoted an article (Lindzen/Choi) is a less than mediocre journal should set off warning bells. The same sites and people routinely deride articles in Nature, Science and PNAS that support the argument for AGW, and then promote a weak paper in a virtually invisible journal with everything they can muster. Remember that most of these sites are run by people who have no background in climate science and who wear their ideological hearts on their sleeves.

Your hero, Richard Lindzen, is one of the very few credible climate scientists who has challenged the human fingerprint over the recent warming. Still, he is an outlier, and his views on tobacco suggest that he may be letting his own ideological views cloud his judgment. In an interview with the BBC in 2007:

"Exxon Mobil has been accused of backing groups that support the minority opinion, against what is seen as the main consensus. It confirms it backs the Heartland Institute, for example, which describes global warming science as a "fraud." In 2005 Exxon Mobil's chairman and chief executive, Rex Tillerson defended funding such groups.
"We're going to continue to support groups that we think have good scientists involved," he said. "The fact that they take a contrary view I don't view to be bad." *This attitude has strong backing from Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who describes Exxon Mobil as "the only principled oil and gas company I know in the US." "They have a CEO who is not going to be bamboozled by nonsense," he adds.*

Principled oil and gas company? With its environmental record? I rest my case.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

> I admit, I am of course influenced by the fact that Lindzen is an expert, and he asserts that the hotspot is indeed a signature of greenhouse warming (he says it's the signature), ...

...and he has confidently pronounced other things that have turned out not to be true as well. And a bunch of other experts have said he is wrong.

Argument by authority isn't particularly convincing. That's why scientists insist on evidence.

> And now that the point is close to being resolved in favour of the skeptics...

I suspect you are still mistaken, at least if you have in mind the examples given earlier. (Hence my questions that you did not answer.)

If you want to observationally rule out (at a given level of confidence) a hypothesis that says a certain trend should occur (disregarding issues with measurements, which abound with radiosondes and are not great for satellites), you need a data set which rules out the expected trend with a suitable level of confidence. The fact that a data set does/does not rule out a different trend - such as a zero trend - at that level of confidence is not relevant.

> But there are internal cycles in the climate system that may operate on much longer time scales.

Are they internal, or not? I see solar and lunar tidal postulated for Bond cycles. Do you have a better example?

> These cycles, if they exist, would have a trend in the present...

Yes, they would, if they existed. But the magnitude of the trend impact might also be tiny. Which is why I deliberately said "pretty much by" rather than "by" definition - if you're going to argue there's a significant impact to the climate-scale trend due to internal variability you need to back it up with specifics, because most internal variability mechanisms we know about don't have that kind of impact, and AFAIK most of the time when people reference "internal variability" they aren't talking about long timescales.

(On the question of impact, please calculate how large a contribution to (say) the global 30-year moving average trend one might expect from a hypothesised Bond Cycle event. Show your working. Compare with the impact of other known forcings over a recent 30-year period.)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey quoting Lindzen 2007:

Roughly speaking, the warming at Ï = 1 in the tropics is from more than twice to about three times larger than near the surface regardless of the sensitivity of the particular model. This is, in fact, the signature (or fingerprint) of greenhouse warming.

One thing Lindzen doesn't explain is what, exactly, the warming that is occurring in the upper troposphere is the signature of.

But some people seem to have difficulty with the concept of signature, i.e. if two persons have exactly the same signature, how does that mean the signature belongs to just one of them?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

Alex Harvey:

Chris O'Neill, that is rubbish of course; I said nothing of the sort.

So why do you go on and on and on about the "pause" from 2001 to 2008 inclusive if you will accept it as being internal variability?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

> But some people seem to have difficulty with the concept of signature, i.e. if two persons have exactly the same signature, how does that mean the signature belongs to just one of them?

And Alex, jakerman's link demonstrated the effect of an increase in solar radiation via a model. In the troposphere the effect is fairly similar to the effect of more CO2.

That *ought* to have been enough to convince you that the "tropospheric hotspot" isn't a "signature" of GHG-forced warming (as in could only be caused by GHG-forced warming), regardless of whether Lindzen says or implies that it is. Who are you going to believe - Lindzen or your lying eyes?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

> SkepticalScience is a propaganda site, I am sorry to say.

And you know this how?

What EVIDENCE do you have that leads you to that conclusion?

The definition in denierspeak is:
propaganda site = exploding cherished denialist canards.

Heck, propoganda to a fundamentalist libertarian is "anything that agrees with anything agreeing with government".

Lotharsson/jakerman, the diagram referred to at SkS is indeed persuasive. I remain puzzled for the moment why (a) Lindzen who is an expert presents the "fingerprint" idea as if it is a well known fact; (b) why Lindzen's physical explanation - which has the decided advantage that it makes sense to me! - seems to differ from the one presented at SkS; and importantly (c) if Fu, Manabe et al., in their conclusion, are not referring to the same physical theory as Lindzen when they say, "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity", then I would like to know what they do mean. In any case, I would need to think about this more.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

> why (a) Lindzen who is an expert presents the "fingerprint" idea as if it is a well known fact

Because his need is not to advance science but to pander to denial of AGW.

> (b) why Lindzen's physical explanation seems to differ from the one presented at SkS

See above.

> (c) if Fu, Manabe et al., in their conclusion, are not referring to the same physical theory as Lindzen when they say, "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity"

They aren't.

> then I would like to know what they do mean.

Read their paper.

> In any case, I would need to think about this more.

No "would" about it.

Unless you're considering the option of not thinking about it some more.

PS reading their paper would aid in thinking about this more.

Alex Harvey:

"why Lindzen's physical explanation - seems to differ from the one presented at SkS"

How do they differ? They look basically the same to me.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

> Wow #402 / jackerman #403, well there is solar irradiance which is poorly understood

But accurately measured.

And doesn't explain the temperature change UNLESS the cliamte's sensitivity of temperature to forcings is much, MUCH higher than the IPCC levels.

> There are forcings from land use changes

Yup. In the IPCC reports there's an entire chapter on it.

> Possibly warming effects from aerosols

And black snow is a little easier to see by satellite on white snow. Plus what percentage would those aerosols be?

And remember: aerosols also cool. Just look at the temperature after a large volcanic eruption.

> And then of course there is the possibility that there are forcing mechanisms that we simply haven't thought of yet.

But with all the mechanisms we have, we can explain the current and past climate.

There's not a lot of room left for any other mechanism.

Maybe it is the number of pirates that causes warming, hmmm?

Plus the PDO is why you have to take several decades to get a trend.

Think: what does the "D" stand for?

Now do you see why your "pause for a decade" has absolutely no meaning? You have to correct for the decadal oscillations' partial cycle having been completed.

But despite "knowing" PDO (where you may not know anything about it, merely have been told of this "proof of AGW falsity" and know nothing other than that), you didn't do that, did you.

Did you not know what the PDO was?

Alex Harvey at 434:

"Lindzen is an expert, and he asserts that the hotspot is indeed a signature of greenhouse warming (he says it's the signature), and he provides plausible physical reasoning."
I was fairly surprised that he said that, actually, because he is wrong. The Trop Trop hotspot is a robust feature of the different GCMs, from any warming, not just AGW. It is expected, a basic consequence of the moist adiabat. If it does not exist, not only are the climate models getting it wrong, but some of our basic understanding of basic physics must be wrong. It is not a signature of AGW- it is a robust expectation of any global warming from any cause. It is certainly no tTHE signature of AGW - stratospheric cooling is a robust prediction of warming from [CO2], as distinct from other causes of warming. If you want an AGW-specific signature, it is stratosphere cooling - which, of course, has been observed.

"It is also hard to believe that the IPCC, the NRC, the CCSP, RSS, and Santer et al., would invest so much time and money investigating a feature of climate models that is of little importance."
It is a robust feature of the output of those models, for any source of warming. Disagreement between such a robust feature of the models, and the real world, would point to a flaw in the models. Thus, ti is important - but not as a fingerprint of AGW, but as a verification of the accuracy of the models (and of our understanding of some pretty basic physics, for that matter)..

"And now that the point is close to being resolved in favour of the skeptics, the goalpost seems to have moved and it doesn't matter whether there's hotspot after all."
No one is claiming that it doesn't matter if theres a Trop Trop hotspot. What is being claimed, and demonstrated, is that historic measurements of trop trop temperatures are very poor and trend analysis is subject to a lot of error, and that if errors are properly included, that the trop trop measurements are not inconsistent with the model outputs. This is pretty much the opposite of "the point is close to being resolved in favour of the skeptics"

"But I do take your point. It would be good to find an authority explicitly claiming it as a "signature" of CO2 warming who is not Lindzen."
What would be good is if you stopped relying on occasional passages from "authority" who seem to back the position you want to believe, and actually take the time to read and understand the field you are attacking as a "skeptic."

Loth, this is not a discussion. While I am sincere, it is a one-way discussion. Your main interest is to seize upon trivial errors

For Alex, an exchange is only a discussion if everyone else agrees with him. If they point out his repeated major and fundamental errors, they are playing "gotcha".

so that your friends like barking Ianam will clap

Lotharsson and I are not friends, and I would bet that he would prefer that I shut up so that you can't dishonestly and fallaciously use my "barking" as one of your excuses for ignoring substantive rebuttals. And this sort of claim about Lotharsson's motives ineluctably demonstrates your insincerity.

SkepticalScience are just trying to bury the issue now that the data isn't supporting the theory ... SkepticalScience is a propaganda site

So says the inkwell calling the paper black.

Lindzen is an expert

Oh, well, then he must be right, and all the experts who disagree with him are wrong and/or propagandists, because ... well, you identified it once before: confirmation bias.

Lotharsson/jakerman, the diagram referred to at SkS is indeed persuasive

Ha! Their evil propaganda is even more effective than we possibly could have hoped!

Idiot.

I remain puzzled for the moment why (a) Lindzen who is an expert presents the "fingerprint" idea as if it is a well known fact; (b) why Lindzen's physical explanation - which has the decided advantage that it makes sense to me! - seems to differ from the one presented at SkS; and importantly (c) if Fu, Manabe et al., in their conclusion, are not referring to the same physical theory as Lindzen when they say, "In view of the importance of the enhanced tropical upper tropospheric warming to the climate sensitivity", then I would like to know what they do mean. In any case, I would need to think about this more.

Alex, the answer lies here:

The Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when incompetent people not only fail to realise their incompetence, but consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. Basically - they're too stupid to know that they're stupid.... The Dunning-Kruger effect is a slightly more specific case of the bias known as illusory superiority, where people tend to overestimate their good points compared to others.... The effect can also be summarised by the phrase "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".[1] A small amount of knowledge can mislead a person into thinking that they're an expert because this small amount of knowledge isn't a well known fact. For a potent example, consider former children's TV presenter and science advocate Johnny Ball, who in 2009 stunned audiences by denying the existence of climate change....

So why do you go on and on and on about the "pause" from 2001 to 2008 inclusive if you will accept it as being internal variability?

Because he is (ineptly) playing "gotcha". Two weeks ago he asserted

A great example is the pause in global warming. Until Climategate 1 came along and we got Kevin Trenberth's now-famous "it's a travesty" quote on record, the mainstream scientists denied that there was a pause in global warming that even needed to be explained. Which was strange because the pause had been there for a decade already and any Joe Public can look at the temperature graphs himself and see it. Yet I saw the standard response until after November 2009 was to deny that there was any pause to explain.

and he has never retreated from this lie.

P.S.

I explained the irrelevance of Alex's "gotcha" in #110, but he ignored my substantive points (as he has ignored so many substantive points that he has no rebuttal for):

You, being a zealous denier of such facts, play your silly semantic game of referring to a "pause", but even if every climate scientist went along with that label, the "official story line" would still be that the globe is getting warmer -- as shown by the trend line -- and that it is happening because of (as explained by basic physics) the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere due to human industry.

...

it is precisely the attitude that you are expressing ("oh it's just noise, oh it's just internal variability") that caused Kevin Trenberth in the Climategate #1 emails to shoot back at his colleagues and admonish them for loose, unscientific thinking - if you read the emails in context of course

That's not an "attitude" or "loose unscientific thinking", it is basic, fundamental statistics. Through your utter ignorance you throw in that strawman word "just" and then misconstrue it. In science there is never a "just" -- everything is subject to analysis and explanation. But the fact that the variability needs to be explained does not mean that it's not variability! The scientific alternative to "just variability" is not "pause" or "no global warming", it is variability explained. But the need to explain the variability in no way changes the clearly evident fact that the globe is warming ... noisily, with a lot of variability in the signal over the short term (which 10 years certainly is). Nowhere does Kevin Trenberth or Jerry Meehl say otherwise.

Although now that we know that Alex thinks that "the trends are irrelevant", that "We all know you can make statistics say almost anything you want ... temperature trends have no predictive value whatsoever", that "Internal variability is obviously another cause of some of the surface warming" (this is apparently obvious because Alex can imagine entirely fictional 1500 year cycles of internal variability), we can understand how Alex can't make any sense of a distinction between Trenberth, as a climate scientist, calling for a scientific understanding of the internal variability, and quote mining Trenberth as if he were somehow raising doubts about global warming.

BTW, while Alex has said many stupid things here, I don't think any surpass, or capture the depth of his stupidity, ignorance, and lack of comprehension displayed by his comment in #112:

What I think is particularly funny is that you seem to think that the trendline is real and the actual temperatures are not.

I see solar and lunar tidal postulated for Bond cycles.

From
http://geography.cz/sbornik/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/g08-4-1wanner.pdf

A number of trigger
mechanisms is discussed (see Table 1), but a theory for the Bond Cycles does not exist.
Based on spectral analyses of both, forcing factors and climatological time series, we argue
that one single process did likely not cause the Holocene cooling events. It is conceivable
that the early Holocene coolings were triggered by meltwater pulses. However, the late
Holocene events (e.g., the Little Ice Age) were rather caused by a combination of different
trigger mechanisms. In every case it has to be taken in mind that natural variability was
also playing a decisive role.

but Alex is right -- if the facts were completely different, we would have to reach different conclusions.

Lee, I am still not sure if you regard Lindzen's physical explanation as wrong, or just the bit about the "fingerprint". I suspect it is only latter - in which case this may be a merely semantic disagreement. I am particularly interested in any criticism of Lindzen's physics. In particular, he seems to be able to explain why the warming occurs without mentioning the moist adiabat - except that at the end of the section Lindzen does say:

Note that the amplification of the warming signal with altitude shown in the model results might be partly due to the tendency of temperatures in the tropical free troposphere (ie, the part of the troposphere above the trade wind boundary layer which extends to about 2 km altitude) to follow what is known as the moist adiabat, but that does not alter any of the above arguments. It simply identifies an important part of the physics involved in relating the temperature at Ï = 1 to that at the surface.

Lindzen's physical argument makes a certain amount of intuitive sense to me - even if I am (evidently) still struggling with all the details. (Perhaps you'll say that's the danger of Lindzen's treatment!) In his explanation, the moist adiabat is not needed to explain _why warming occurs first at Ï = 1_. And in the sense that Ï = 1 _is_ the _source_ of the warming (agreed?) from greenhouse gases, it makes a certain amount of sense to describe it as a "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming - even if that's not what others mean by the "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming.

Lindzen also says,

...if the source of surface warming were at the surface (as would be the case for forcing by solar variability or ocean fluctuations), and there were feedbacks
associated with greenhouse warming (for example the water vapor feedback), the amplification due to the feedback should occur first at the Ï = 1 level... In such cases,
the absence of relatively greater warming at Ï = 1 would suggest the absence of positive feedbacks and potentially the presence of negative feedbacks.

From this, would it not follow that Lindzen would say, if presented with that persuasive diagram over at SkS, "sure, of course the models are showing a tropical hotspot when forced by solar radiation - that is the positive feedback from greenhouse gases". He might reiterate that the experiments he referred to were run to isolate CO2 warming - and perhaps suggest we read Lee et al. 2007:

The runs shown differ from those that were run for the IPCC in that the models were simplified to isolate the effects of CO2 forcing and climate feedbacks. Also the models were run until equilibrium was established rather than run in a transient mode in order to simulate the past. Thus, they isolate greenhouse warming from other things that might be going on (the transient situation will be discussed later).

Meanwhile, I had another read of Fu et al. and I see the bit about climate sensitivity refers to a few other papers - I'll read them later.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

>*it makes a certain amount of sense to describe it as a "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming - even if that's not what others mean by the "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming*

That is inappropriate if people are using the finger print as a term to distingue between 'suspects'. It is sloppy to select an attribute common to all 'suspects', such as the Trop Trop Hotspot.

Alex Harvey:

And in the sense that Ï = 1 is the source of the warming (agreed?) from greenhouse gases, it makes a certain amount of sense to describe it as a "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming

It is actually warming there so if you want to take that as a "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming then yes the "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming is there.

...if the source of surface warming were at the surface (as would be the case for forcing by solar variability or ocean fluctuations), and there were feedbacks associated with greenhouse warming (for example the water vapor feedback), the amplification due to the feedback should occur first at the Ï = 1 level...

This would also apply with forcing from CO2, BTW.

In such cases, the absence of relatively greater warming at Ï = 1 would suggest the absence of positive feedbacks

So is he now suggesting the lack of hotspot means the absence of positive feedbacks rather than the absence of any form of increased GHG (in particular CO2) forcing? If that's what he was intending all along then why didn't he make it clear that it is "the hotspot of GHG feedback"?

would it not follow that Lindzen would say, "sure, of course the models are showing a tropical hotspot when forced by solar radiation - that is the positive feedback from greenhouse gases"

There is nothing about GHG (H2O) feedback that says there should be a hotspot when there is feedback and no hotspot when there is no feedback. This is because if H2O was not a GHG, its remaining properties would still mean it is expected to cause a hotspot. Feedback just means Ï = 1 moves higher still in the atmosphere. How the Troposphere behaves below that has nothing to do with why Ï = 1 moves higher.

But why don't you ask the folk at realclimate? Even though you have difficulty understanding their explanations, it's worth trying.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Dec 2011 #permalink

> If that's what he was intending all along then why didn't he make it clear that it is "the hotspot of GHG feedback"?

Because it's only recently his previous explanation was shown to be wrong.

Duh.

> so that your friends like barking Ianam will clap

> Posted by: Alex Harvey | December 13, 2011 10:55 PM

lets look at the barking idiot:

> Ianam, you're very funny. Woof, woof!

> Posted by: Alex Harvey | December 2, 2011 2:36 AM

> Ianam, woof, woof!

> Posted by: Alex Harvey | December 12, 2011 6:20 PM

Chris O'Neill, Lee, Lotharrson, and others:

So I have thought about it some more. The Fu et al. paper begins:

One pronounced feature in GCM (general circulation model)âpredicted climate change in the 21st century is the much enhanced maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere near â¼200 hPa [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007]. This feature has important implications to the climate sensitivity because of its impact on water vapor, lapse rate, and cloud feedbacks [e.g., Colman, 2001; Hartmann and Larson, 2002] and to the change of atmospheric circulations [e.g., Held, 1993; Butler et al., 2010]. It is therefore critically important to observationally test the GCMâsimulated maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere.

I also tried to read Colman 2001 although it is a fairly technical paper.

So we agree that Lindzen's argument about the tropical hotspot should be disregarded (until it is discussed in the literature by other experts). We agree that it is not a "fingerprint" of CO2 warming in the same way that stratospheric cooling is said to be.

However, we the hotspot is still critically important. Thus, whether it is or isn't a "fingerprint" of greenhouse warming is a somewhat moot point. Continued failure to observe the hotspot at the predicted magnitude may not prove that CO2 is not causing warming (and of course no one disputes that CO2 is causing warming in the first place), but it may suggest that all of the models are likely to be useless for calculating climate sensitivity.

From what I can see, then, failure to observe the hotspot at the predicted magnitude would suggest that all arguments implicating Co2 as the cause of warming that derive from GCMs would be invalid - which is the bulk of them. We would be left with only arguments from paleoclimatology - and those few studies that derive climate sensitivity from short periods of data - e.g. Forster & Gregory 2006.

So we can also see that SkS site is downplaying the importance of something that is - we should all agree - is of critical importance.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 15 Dec 2011 #permalink

> From what I can see, then, failure to observe the hotspot at the predicted magnitude would suggest that all arguments implicating Co2 as the cause of warming that derive from GCMs would be invalid

This says more about your inability to see clearly than about the role of CO2.

Since we see ground temperatures rising, since the tropical hotspot is a result of water vapour condensation, and since we know that the radiosondes used to measure the vertical profile were to help record weather not record for climate and therefore were not made to be consistent over decades in their readings, we have no reason to think that the hotspot is anything other than a result of our poor measurement of the atmospheric profile by radiosonde.

Alternatives would be:

1) water vapour doesn't condense when cooled

2) thermometers cannot read temperature

neither of which are likely.

> So we can also see that SkS site is downplaying the importance of something that is - we should all agree - is of critical importance.

No to the downplaying and no to the "of critical importance".

Lee #450,

No one is claiming that it doesn't matter if theres a Trop Trop hotspot. What is being claimed, and demonstrated, is that historic measurements of trop trop temperatures are very poor and trend analysis is subject to a lot of error, and that if errors are properly included, that the trop trop measurements are not inconsistent with the model outputs.

No, that is not what it says in Thorne et al. 2011 (T11) or Fu et al. 2011 (F11).

T11:

A comprehensive analysis of the uncertainty in historical radiosonde records has yielded trend uncertainties of the same order of magnitude as the trends themselves. It is highly unlikely that these uncertainties can be unambiguously reduced, at least using the neighborâbased HadAT approach or variants thereof. It remains unclear whether observed tropical tropospheric behavior is consistent with basic theory and the tightly constrained expectations of current climate models. Over the full period of radiosonde record, the estimates produced herein are in statistical agreement with model expectations all the way up to the tropical tropopause. Over the shorter satellite era, a discrepancy remains, particularly in the upper troposphere.

So there is so far no way of reconciling upper tropospheric trends with satellite data.

F11:

It is shown that T24âT2LT trends from both RSS and UAH are significantly smaller than those from AR4 GCMs. This indicates possible common errors among GCMs although we cannot exclude the possibility that the discrepancy between models and observations is partly caused by biases in satellite data.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 15 Dec 2011 #permalink

Lee #450,

The Trop Trop hotspot is a robust feature of the different GCMs, from any warming, not just AGW. It is expected, a basic consequence of the moist adiabat. If it does not exist, not only are the climate models getting it wrong, but some of our basic understanding of basic physics must be wrong.

You are refuting a straw man argument here. As you know, I think, skeptics are not saying that there is no warming in the upper troposphere, but that it is not warming at the predicted magnitude. Are you claiming that the predicted _magnitude_ of upper tropospheric warming can be derived from basic physics without GCMs? Lindzen certainly explicitly says that it can't. So if you are not saying this, then none of the quoted text here is relevant to the point. And I think you know that, and I think SkS knows that.