Also known as the worst movie ever made. What I'm going to discuss doesn't come even close to "the worst blog post ever made", but, well, you'll see.
So: the backstory. I've been commenting on some of JoNova's stuff. Its not the big time, but unlike WUWT, or BishopHill, or a variety of minor blogs, she doesn't censor my posts. There's some jolly back-n-forth (e.g. at Green climate pornography — cheer for the deaths of the heretics!); she, like-but-not-to-the-same-degree-as AW, really dislikes the "denialist" word; in her case this is a bit odd as I don't appear to have called her such. But ultimately it goes nowhere, and I won't trouble you with the details.
But! Life has got more exciting because they have at last done what everyone has been telling the "skeptics" to do for so long: propose your own coherent theory then. And so (starting with 1, but now we're up to 5 and that's not the lot) we have BIG NEWS: Historic development — New Solar climate model coming. Aand: as you'd expect, its not really a coherent theory, its just a "theory". But don't take my word for it, instead you should read Monkers:
David Evans’ ground-breaking work is a devastating new approach to the climate question. I have been lucky enough to observe the development of this project, and am full of admiration for both Jo and David for their dedication to carrying out a breathtaking research project with no financial reward, simply because it so desperately needed to be done. Let this be the last nail in the coffin of climate extremism. I hope that, as a result of this work, David will be properly recognized by the Australian Government, which – unlike its unlamented predecessor – is open to the possibility that influences other than Man are the principal drivers of the climate. David’s work is heroic in its scale, formidable in its ingenuity, and – as far as a mere layman can judge – very likely to be broadly correct. One should not minimize the courage of David and Jo in persisting unrewarded for so long in what was and is a genuine search for the truth, starting not from any preconception but from that curiosity that is the mainspring of all true science. I wish this project well and congratulate its justifiably proud parents on its birth.
The full "theory" isn't yet available, its being dribbled out to maintain a sense of excitement, but that doesn't stop the acolytes desperately praising it, whilst simultaneously admitting that they don't understand it. But they're sure its brilliant, anyway.
So, wassitallaboutthen? If you pick some temperature record (I'm not sure they were terribly precise about exactly which; and I think that is going to matter, later) and Fourier transform it, you get a sloped spectrum that doesn't look too different from red noise (so a published one, see e.g. fig 5a from Stocker '96 perhaps? We're looking at yearly-to-1000-year time scales; probably there are better available, do let me know). Their version of this is fig 4 of part 2. Notice there is no power at annual scales, because they're using filtered data. And I wouldn't be surprised if the proxies they are (mostly) using mean they don't see an ENSO signal; and probably filter out much of any solar signal too. But anyway, the point is, if you decide that solar variation is Really Important and you Fourier transport the solar signal, there's a big peak at 11 years which (surprise!) isn't in the obs spectrum1. And if you're incautious enough to difference the two spectra to produce a transfer function, you deduce "aha! There is a notch filter in the Earth's climate that somehow removes a pile of variability in a band around 11 years". Yes really.
Saying that this stuff doesn't work gets you very few points, of course, because 99.9% of all theories that originate on blogs are wrong if they're lucky, and not even wrong if not. You need to say why. I think the answer is that diffing the spectra to produce the xfer function isn't permissible, probably for a whole variety of reasons, but most importantly because the data they are using isn't good enough for that level of detail.
However, they take their xfer function seriously, so they need to find an explanation for it. Roll on BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay. These people are not shy about their headlines (yes, I have pointed them to the terrible example of AW's paper but it just bounced off. I'm not sure how they're going to cope when this all falls apart. Will they quietly forget it, like AW and his paper? Will it become part of their background mythology? But I digress). Although its putatively a "physical mechanism" its an unknown physical mechanism, so its called “force X” (from Outer Space). For some odd reason, its 11 years delayed, or something, please don't accuse me of reading all the details, and "Force X has ten to twenty times more influence on temperatures on Earth than changes in the direct heating effect of TSI (a result we will show later)". Um, that was a surprise. I was expecting "force X" to have about the same, but opposite, amplitude; therefore cancelling out the solar forcing. Something that had 20 times the amplitude, but an 11 year cycle, would produce an obvious and visible effect. At this point, either what they are saying, or my own poor understanding, is clearly lacking; so I'll leave you to read their stuff and make up your own minds.
Oh, and there's also the Brilliant Discovery of the "optimal Fourier transform" which isn't important for the issues in question; but I'm sure anyone reasonably familiar with the misc Fourier transform algorithms available could point out the Prior Art that they've missed.
Re-reading this in Jan 2015, I see that my main analysis of their failure isn't very clear at all. So, to take from me in the comments (and TP in #7),
To simplify: DE has found that the spectrum of the global temperature signal (T) is consistent with simple red noise, when viewed broadly, over the timescales he is looking at; and this should be no surprise (but it is to him). He’s also found that the solar forcing spectrum (S) is also red noise, apart from the peak at 11 years. For reasons that are unclear, he has decided that S is forcing T (even though at other points he denies this assumption is built in, but it is), and therefore that the difference between the spectra represents the xfer function, and hence a notch filter. But another possibility that S isn’t forcing T in any significant way. DE’s “force X” seems to me somewhat like the luminiferous aether – it only needs to exist if you try to impose your view on reality.
1. You don't see the the 11-ish solar cycle in the global surface temperature record. You can see it in other stuff, generally upper atmosphere (e.g. Harry van Loon and Dennis J. Shea, GRL 2012) although the folk at JoNova don't know that (and, ter be 'onest, I was never terribly keen on it when I was in the game). I always assumed you didn't see it because it was so small, and got integrated out by the ocean a-la Hasselman.
* JoNova's "Big News" skeptical climate "model" is one giant circle - Daily Kos
* JoNova's emails to Lubos begging him to return to the fold
* JoNova: Climate Rage: We absolutely cannot have… a rational conversation!
Short version, the absence of an 11-year signal supposedly proves the existence of an 11 year notch filter (and not a generic low pass filter per your last paragraph) which proves... what now?
Actually its horseradish.
60 to 80 percent of the world's horseradish is grown in Madison and St Clair counties in Illinois.
It is not known whether horseradish production is correlated with any 11 year cycle.
Meanwhile, another entry for worst blog post ever
Curry now believes temperatures fix interest rates (with a five year lag, or something). I promise I'm not making this up.
Part three eagerly awaited!
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...
" I think the answer is that diffing the spectra to produce the xfer function isn’t permissible, probably for a whole variety of reasons, but most importantly because the data they are using isn’t good enough for that level of detail."
They could use perfect data and it still wouldn't make sense. The hidden (or at least didn't see him express it) assumption he makes is that the temperature is a function of solar fluctuations, that the sun is a totally dominant driving force. Only then does it makes sense to talk about a filter like he does. If temperature fluctuations are largely driven by other forces like internal variability there is no reason to expect them to have a peak at 11 years just because the sun has.
Evans hasn't shown the existence of any notch filter, just that the sun isn't the main driving force for temperature fluctuations on Earth, even if he doesn't understand this. It's always amusing to watch how these stories spread, all the way over to Sweden and the blogg "klimatupplysningen" where some people are starting to get excited.
First there was Iris Theory....
Just for the sake of argument let's say global warming is purely driven by solar variation. Then to increase global temperature by 1k since the start of the industrial revolution requires a 6% increase in solar output (via the Stefan-Boltzmann law). In turn, because we know the temperature of the surface of the sun has not changed, then the solar radius would have increased by 3% in the last 250 years. That is far beyond the observed solar variability.
Conversely is it reasonable to claim the planet is absorbing 6% more solar radiation. Not really.
What has changes is where in the atmosphere the radiation is being absorbed, where it is radiated back to space, and where and how it is transported through the atmosphere.
Did you mean Monkers, or Bonkers? Just checking. Thanks for posting here for posterity.
All models are wrong. Except those that are not even wrong.
I have been reading Nova's blog over the last few days. It takes denialism to an entirely new level -- they're already congratulating themselves for putting forth a theory that explains absolutely nothing. Evans has worked himself into a pretzel, swallowing his own tail, and in order to rescue himself he proposes an unknown mechanism. Right -- with such things one can explain anything, which is to say, nothing.
Like AW, they're about creating an alternative reality that can fool the unscientific. That's all, but that's enough, and they know exactly what they are doing.
[But unlike AW, they have actually proposed their own theory. I give them some credit for that. But the real test will be how they react to the fallout - this seems very high risk to me, and I can't see how it can possibly end well for them. There have already been a couple of comments on the blog saying "why hasn't AW picked up on this?" and indeed I think they've been disappointed by the rest of the "skeptic"-o-sphere's response, or lack thereof. AFAIK there have been *no* adulatory posts, WUWT has ignored it entirely, the only reaction they've had has been Lubos who has dissed it. Well, and me :-) -W]
Lubov took down his article after an emotional email from Jo N, then after a day he decided that science is science, and put it back up. Lubov taught me a new word, Demagogy, which is word I never had a reason to look up in the past, but as it is thrust in front of me I now see how it fits into this whole farcical "debate". I take Aaron's view that the solar "x" factor falls over on broad field examination (3 watts psm variation over 22 years ), and anything on a global scale that needs logarithmic amplification to be visible is an unlikely smoking gun.
I have put forward my suggestion as to a probable global x factor, and that is life. Human life, for example, does follow an irregular pattern of influence which can have global impacts. These patterns are identifiable by their wars, recessions, and population blooms. Just saying.
That even unpaid amateur scientists are strongly criticizing each other's work here stands skeptics up above and beyond the back patting world of climate “science” proper. Both Willis from WUWT and Lubos have in no way cheerled this new idea on, nor have I so far since the level of uniqueness in the claimed correlation has not been yet offered compared to the same type of signal algorithm applied to test data. I also pointed out that an 11 year delay of an 11 year cycle sounded like mere word play. Here William points out an even stronger version of that issue, that the delayed signal itself would then imprint an even stronger 11 year influence on the temperature plot, unless it cancels out stronger each time, ridiculously.
On the other hand you have climate “science” creating pure scams to garner real misleading headlines:
[Para deleted. You'll remain on moderation while you continue to write like that. I think you'll find anyone else will also remove such -W]
It's odd to harp on Watt's paper that helped inspire the new reference network of ground stations, just because he hyped it upon acceptance by peer review. In scientific fashion it supported a much stronger urban hearing correction than is now applied, one that would bring ground data into better agreement with satellite products, further falsifying the climate models upon which all alarm pivots.
[If you mean Watts' "draft" paper of 2012, you have causality wrong. Obvs. How could it inspire something that occurred much earlier? And he's never tested it by peer review, because he's never submitted it. And the entire thing was grotesquely over-hyped even if he had submitted it -W]
The thing is, you insider activists are most aware of the details of things like Steig's bizarre black box faux Antarctic red trend map and of the Marcott faux hockey stick, which you support instead of condem. Then you psychologically project in cynical fashion this corrupt game onto skeptics as if we too were wrapped up in nefarious agendas. For me, it's a graphics art and now iPhone diversion, as the NASA office two blocks from me here in the Columbia area is a thorn in the reputation of my alma mater, my old lab mate having recently served as chemistry department chairman, so what I perceive as junk science in my midst makes me only so happy to debunk it as a hobby. And, no, I was not happy either when Watts sat on his own stations project results so many years, offering only innuendo via sensationalistic bad station siting photos.
By not similarly condemning the headlines that the fake Marcott 2013 hockey stick grabbed, you've started down the path of basic cult meltdown, handing us simple proof of fraud that is *uncorrected* over time. Some blogger theory, one way or the other as technically savvy skeptics give it the usual skeptical treatment is a puddle of concern compared to the real ocean of denial towards natural climate change.
William asserted that bans on Tamino links was due to fear. How about David Appell here suggesting along with Michael Mann himself that plots of Marcott 2013 bladeless input data should be jailable offenses?!
“I think so. You can't simply claim that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas. I think they're crimes will be obvious in about a decade. When I profiled Michael Mann for Scientific American, he said he thought it would eventually be illegal to deny climate change. I had doubts about that, but maybe.” - Appell
As *he* is well aware, denial of greenhouse theory itself is not a mainstream skeptical argument and is even banned on WUWT. Since he knows this, his statement that is very common among Gore students, objectively amounts to willful slander, an immoral and propogandistic claim that ironically also very much motivates skeptics into online activism.
If you will excuse the lack of in depth knowledge re Fourier transforms and convolution from a simple physical chemist, I still cant see the problem that Lubos and others are focusing on. As I see it the notch (call it what you like) is postulated as a result of there being no signal in the temperature record that matches the TSI signal, and that (with some lag introduced) is consistent with the "force X" imposed by the magnetic flux variation. Am I missing something or is it more complex than that. FWIW I tend to favour theories that can be reduced to simple concepts perhaps derived from, but explained without the need for elegant maths.
[I'm afraid I haven't read what Lubos has written. If I wanted to know something abstruse about general relativity I'd ask him, and respect his answer, and indeed I have done in the past. On matters related to climate his extreme politics tends to blind him, so he's not much use.
I'll answer for my own objections to DE's theory, and those put by commentators here: DE's theory depends crucially on the *absence* of a response to deduce the existence of the filter. However, the absence of a response can be explained more parsimoniously by the forcing simply being too small to be visible over the noise.
To simplify: DE has found that the spectrum of the global temperature signal (T) is consistent with simple red noise, when viewed broadly, over the timescales he is looking at; and this is no surprise. He's also found that the solar forcing spectrum (S) is also red noise, apart from the peak at 11 years. For reasons that are unclear, he has decided that S is forcing T, and therefore that the difference between the spectra represents the xfer function, and hence a notch filter. But another possibility that S isn't forcing T in any significant way. DE's "force X" seems to me somewhat like the luminiferous aether - it only needs to exist if you try to impose your view on reality -W]
WC. That is pretty much my own take on it as well. I assume that there will be more to come in the installments including why from a thermodynamic balance the TSI signal should be present but is blocked by the magnetic derived "force x". At least it is interesting reading so far.
The force X theory does appear to have a weakness. However, I'm prepared to bet the classic models will require significant revision in the future. I base my opinion on the mis tie between model projections and the observations.
To be honest, what made me perk up and get off my lawn chair to start studying this subject was the propaganda statements about the "science being settled". It sounded so authoritative it almost had religious undertones.
I also realize there's a lot of political pressure being put on the "climate science community". I'm fairly familiar with the way the system works, and I can't blame people for being human.
But I sure wish some of the smart young ones would look at the current state of affairs and try to be a bit more creative. I notice there's a tendency to do a lot of work churning out papers by the weight and many of them are just hammering a nail that's already been hammered to death.
What you need is to look for a different tool and a different place to hammer away. And I suspect learning more about cloud behavior and its impact on climate may yield the most rewarding results.
If I understand this correctly, from a bit of a skim, we start with the hypothesis that It Must Be The Sun (I could be more generous and say Maybe It's Just The Sun, but I see no reason to be generous about this nonsense). This has the problem that the input, TSI, over the historical period, is dead flat: almost no variation apart from the 7% annual cycle (distance from the sun) and a 0.1% 11-year cycle (sunspots). Whereas the output, global mean surface temperature, has risen markedly over the same period: whether it even shows an 11-year period is debatable, and *something* has driven it up by *far* more than the amplitude of any such cycle.
So, since It Must Be The Sun, there must be a really deep notch to almost totally eliminate the 11-year signal in the input, and to amplify whatever relatively tiny long-term trend there is in the input into the clear trend we see in the output.
Similarly, if I started out with the hypothesis that (say) the temperature on Wall Street determines the level of the Dow Jones index, then I would deduce the existence of really deep notches at daily and annual frequencies.
Since we are obviously way into Not Even Wrong territory at this point, I see little mileage in figuring out where this "11-year delay" and "force X" are coming from. Maybe Tamino can chase that hare.
Nik, the USCRN issued its first FY report in 2003. That's three years before Watts started blogging!
[Thanks; I knew it was earlier but couldn't be bothered to look it up. There's a reckless disregard for the facts from Nik that I find rather disturbing; I think he really needs to come back and resolve the disparity between his words and reality -W]
So basically they are saying that for solar forcing to explain the majority of climate change, we need to posit some additional forcing, originating from the sun that we don't already know about that cancels the 11 year cycle and nothing else.
[That's kinda what I was expecting, sort of. Except that somehow they seem to end up deducing a delayed (by exactly one cycle, so makes no difference) force that is, for some inexplicable reason, about 10 times as strong. I got totally lost at that point -W]
Isn't this exactly what Ockam's razor suggests we should avoid doing (certainly if there is no evidence for the additional entity, other than the apparent need for it by the theory)? It also means that everything we know about the greenhouse effect must be wrong, including why the Earth is warmer than its effective grey-body temperature.
[Ah, but for them, a theory that requires "everything we know about the greenhouse effect must be wrong" is actually a bonus -W]
Stating your hypothesis and making predictions is good science, ignoring Ockam's razor and assuming well-understood physics is wrong without evidence, rather less so.
Yes, really they are introducing two additional entities, one explicitly (force X) and one implicitly (which explains the natural, rather than enhanced, greenhouse effect). There is a good reason for having more confidence in (relatively) simple theories.
Terry, there is also paleoclimate, which I'm assuming Evans and Nova studiously avoid.
Just so re the CRN, Marco, and indeed planning for it began about 10 years before that.
At the time RP Sr. wrote the posts that resulted in the Watts surface station project, it was pointed out to him (by me among others) that the CRN was already partially in place and would be complete soon, and that, even with short-term data from a partial network, the careful pairing of each CRN station with a high-quality USHCN station should provide all the data needed to check for biases in the USHCN record.
But through repetition, the idea that the surface record is biased high has become one of those things that all good deniers know to be true, which I can only assume was RP Sr.'s objective.
Wow... Jo Nova looks like a "Newb in Filter Land". She came across a table with Koolaid on it, and a sign saying, "Drink Me". GULP
Filters cause no end of grief if you aren't careful. I'm perpetually fighting filter 'noise' in trying to remove noise from my signals.
Perhaps Jo should take a course on remedial filters for newbs 101?
[To be fair, I don't think JN herself claims any knowledge of the details - that's all down to DE -W]
Evans' method basically comes down to this: he finds no signal in the temperature data, such as an 11-yr solar cycle, so proposes that the signal is delayed by 11 years by this "Force X."
But there is no 11-yr signal, delayed or otherwise. So what has he found? Nothing, literally. He is caught in a loop he invented.
From the JoNova article.
"The carbon dioxide theory is clearly inadequate, as readers here know only all too well... The initial aim of this project is to answer this question: If the recent global warming was associated almost entirely with solar radiation, and had no dependence on CO2, what solar model would account for it?"
You start with an unphysical assumption, perhaps then not surprising you end up with an unphysical answer.
Horseradish, I tell you.
Dikran: So basically they are saying that for solar forcing to explain the majority of climate change, we need to posit some additional forcing, originating from the sun that we don’t already know about that cancels the 11 year cycle and nothing else.
Eli: Scafetta weeps.
In physics speak, bunnies call this the Fifth Farce
Such is the speed of light in the Blogosphere that images of Planet Watts may take two years to arrive here.
Eli @ 29
These may be relatives of the gremlins that create global warming working with the leprechauns that magically nullify the effects of CO2.
Well, do recall Who is 'Rocket Scientist' David Evans? (and read the comments, including my long one on calibration of Stanford EEs)
[Thanks for that link. The "skeptics" are all so puffy when it comes to their credentials, its pathetic. And rather than confess, they then twist words -W]
Granted I may not have fully understood what they did, but that's not going to stop me from commenting.
To test their method, they should replace the solar activity time series with noise plus an arbitrary signal of random period T, and repeat the analysis.
If they always get a "notch filter" for any given T (5 years, 17 years or whatever), then we know that their procedure doesn't show anything meaningful.
Have they done such a test?
[There's no sign of anything like that; there is a sekrit 170 page doc or so its said containing the Ultimate Truth but we are not yet worthy enough to see it -W]
There's a reckless disregard for the facts from Nik that I find rather disturbing; I think he really needs to come back and resolve the disparity between his words and reality
NikFromNYC appears to be possessed by Morton's demon, so it's unlikely he'll recognize any disparity.
We've all encountered deniers who are similarly possessed. Are there really any genuine skeptics who are still unconvinced by the evidence for AGW?
For a bit of background on the players in this adventure, and some amusement,....
I came upon this while examining Nova's talk up of Evan's "green" credentials.
I read some of Evans' OFT paper. It finds that if you synthesize a signal by adding a few sine waves of arbitrary frequencies, then a method which assumes that the signal is made up of a few sine waves of arbitrary frequencies does a better job of recovering those sine waves than does a more general spectral analysis. So long as there's not too much noise present. And it offers a crude method to do that (he could have found more sophisticated approaches by googling something like "multitone frequency analysis").
Along the way it contains gems such as "the effects of the solar cycles here on earth are often due to the square of the sun’s magnetic field strength, which repeats about every 11 years but is a squared sinusoid rather than sinusoidal".
Watching The Deniers looks at some of the other views Evans (and Nova) hold. Popcorn worthy stuff including Evans views after COP15:
"[COP15] was a narrowly averted global coup, an attempt to seize a great deal of power by stealth without the knowledge or explicit consent of the world’s people. It can only have been kept silent with the active support of the world’s media. But because of that silence, the coup has never been acknowledged, so the people of the world are unaware of it and further attempts could be made. Climate “science” is clearly flawed, but it is an excuse for a massive power play."
Your readers might also be interested in my take on the hypothesis, here:
"Jo Nova would hysterically respond my blog post explaining why David Evans' "notch filter" solar model of the climate is wrong. Like most alarmists, she is simply not willing to discuss science in the calm, matter-of-fact way. Some emotions, demands for compassion, and ad hominem references always seem to be more important for her than the truth"
The Evans & co "model" is a huge exercise in unphysical chartism, and one of the best illustrations of this is the claimed huge impact of nuclear tests (almost 0.4 deg C).
The justification for this is incredibly weak and largely qualitative: "Nuclear bombs contribute aerosol dust, but moreso, it’s radioactive too (a bit of a cosmic ray effect?)". A link to a speculative paper is also provided (Fuji et al. 2011), and it is surprising how trusting they are of this one paper.
Take a look at the quantitative data, such as the transmission of atmosphere measured over decades, and you can see that the contribution of nuclear tests to atmospheric dust was tiny relative to the contribution from volcanoes (e.g., see http://pubs.usgs.gov/pinatubo/self/fig9.gif). For some reason Evan's & co didn't try cross checking against this quantitative data. Their loss.
[JN is still defending the nooks; see my reply at http://joannenova.com.au/2014/06/big-news-viii-new-solar-model-predicts… At some point, they're going to realise that particular aspect is hopeless; at least, that would be the good result. The bad result would be just more bluster, or twisting papers. We'll see -W]
Everyone is missing something. It is well known that climatological variables do not follow the TSI, and the reason is that variation in the TSI is almost entirely in the UV which is absorbed above the tropopause by ozone and oxygen
FX = mX.aX
mX = the Evans' mass of ignorance
aX = the rate of acceleration of jumping to false conclusions
In other words Force X is the crushing Stupidity pushing Evans into the dunce's corner.
Yeah, I get that.
Hnnn. Sub tags don't work here.
Still, intent should be clear.
I suspect that there exists a previously-unrecognised topological entity: the Evans-Dunce corner...
It would appear to be analogous to a Klein bottle and exhibits the property that, no matter how much the inherent action of the Force X that is manifested by ridiculous pseudo-scientific woo would appear to push said woo into this corner of apparent conclusive refutation, the woo cannot be held contained even though the boundaries of fact and reason appear to be able to contain it.
Denialist moles live in a warren of Evans-Dunce corners, and they are powered by Forces X, Y (...do we have to act?), and Z(zzz).
I'm not going to comment on the quality of the science at this point. But regarding the premature announcement of alleged breakthroughs via press releases (or blogs), I'll merely mention two proper names: Pons; Fleischmann.