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A pickle

The must-read post this morning is Judith Curry's coverage of a new paper by Kosaka and Xie in Nature. The paper received some attention yesterday, the BBC reporting that it explained the 21st century temperature plateau, saying it was due to...

natural cooling in part of the Pacific ocean.

Although they cover just 8% of the Earth, these colder waters counteracted some of the effect of increased carbon dioxide say the researchers.

But temperatures will rise again when the Pacific swings back to a warmer state, they argue.

However, as Judith Curry notes, if the cause of the pause is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation then size of the rise in the last decades of the twentieth century must have been heavily influenced by it too. And, unmentioned in the text of the Kosaka and Xie paper, she notes that when the paper's authors ran their climate models without greenhouse gas forcings they still got a considerable rise at the end of the twentieth century: in her (eyeball) estimate, more than half the magnitude of the rise when greenhouse gases were included.

In other words the majority of the 20th-century warming may be natural rather than anthropogenic.

Which looks like a bit of a problem for the IPCC's imminent announcement that it's all down to us.

Footnote: I'm going to get into terrible trouble with Doug Keenan if I don't mention this paper by Gerald Roe of the University of Washington. It's entitled "Feedbacks, Timescales and Seeing Red" and looks at applications of feedback analysis to geophysical systems, including the PDO. Roe concludes that "By these statistical measures, the PDO should be characterized neither as decadal nor as an oscillation (but it is in the Pacific)", although this statement comes with caveats that are worth reading. I surmise that we are still far from understanding what is going on here. It's all a bit of a pickle.

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Reader Comments (60)

But the science was settled years ago. I remember being told so by various Government Ministers, including various Environment and Energy Ministers, by PM Gordon Brown, by Ed Milliband and by Bob Watson, chief scientific advisor.

Aug 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

That's odd though, conditions are and have been vacillating about neutral for some time ... but anyway, that now confirms that El Nino warms the Earth's temperatures just as La Nina cools same. All much like a natural cycle ... maybe Dr Tisdale's educational writing is paying dividends ?

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

"settled science" is an oxymoron. Anyone who invent or uses the term outside of satire is an idiot.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Isn't this just a long-winded way of saying "natural variation"?

Which is itself a way of saying "nobody understands".

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Totally off subject and re your use of advertising. Is it coincidence that the main ads are for greenhouses or similar? How appropriate.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBill Irvine

The much vaunted "models" are turning into the epicycles of Ptolemaic cosmology. They should be scrapped rather than adjusted.
However, it would be a bold mainstream AGW promoting climate scientist who came out and said that. Now, I do not say that Judith Curry has done such a thing (has she?) but she has pretty much implied it.
I do not admire many people these days...but Judith Curry is one of them. She will continue to be one of them, if not for her scrupulous fairness and politeness, or for the correctness or otherwise of her science, then for her sheer courage.

To Philip are right, of course....BUT the apologists all say that the politicians THEMSELVES decided that the science was settled without any input from the scientific community, who were (in retrospect) quite clear about the uncertainties. No, really! I have been told this frequently!

It is all some sort of continuing sick joke and a reeking puddle of puke on the car park of science.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

I wonder if this particular penny will ever drop at the Guardian.....

Guardian: - Climate Change - Cooling Pacific has slowed temperature rise

now, just possibly a warming Pacific caused a proportion of the temp rise in the 1980's - 1990's?

but no, John Abraham's (his and Cook's 97% consensus blog) is spinning it..

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I'm getting the hang of natural variation now.

On the bus I overheard a climate scientist explaining the solar system to his son:

Boy: Why do the planets move around in the sky?

Climate Scientist: Normally they stay in the same place except for natural variation which shakes them around every night.

Boy: What about the Moon?

Climate Scientist: Well, it was moving to the left but that was masked by it moving to the right.

Boy: How many planets are there?

Climate Scientist: It's worse than we thought. Pluto was on the list of endangered planets and The Planet Formerly Known As Pluto has not been seen since 2006.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

'However, as Judith Curry notes, if the cause of the pause is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation then size of the rise in the last decades of the twentieth century must have been heavily influenced by it too.'

The ‘magic’ effects of CO2 , were by anything which supports ‘the cause’ must be down to it were anything that does not cannot have anything to do with it , covers this issue.
So yes its ‘possible ‘ for the Pacific to ‘mask’ warming now but have nothing to do with past warming . Such is power of the three card trick of climate modelling .

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

And my 2013 new year prediction comes to pass... by the end of the year models will be backward-predicting the hiatus.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I must say I like the "cause of the pause" and the "size of the rise".
You're not thinking of a new career writing comic verse by any chance, are you?

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Copy of my comment on Judith's site:
Well you won’t be surprised to see that the good old Guardian is spinning this as supporting AGW theory on the “pause”: unlike Judith they imply that the PDO has an effect in the cool phase but not in the warm phase.

Surprise, surprise.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Savage

I wait for the BBC to cover Dr Curr's ver valid point. I guess I dare not hold my breath whilst I wait.

Aug 29, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.  Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the weather was going to be. 

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that
the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the
village should collect wood to be prepared.  

But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.  He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"

"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.   

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.  One week later he called the National Weather Service again.  "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" 

"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."   

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.  Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again.  "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"  

"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."   

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.   

The weather man replied, "The Indians are collecting wood like crazy."

Aug 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterManniac


And my 2013 new year prediction comes to pass... by the end of the year models will be backward-predicting the hiatus.

I need your model on my laptop.

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Time for a climategate email quote?

“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably “

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

On another thread (Masters and Dessler), some commenters discussed feedback equations. I had been trying to work an old sketch of mine into a more intelligible form, but rather doing than that, I'll just point to Roe's figure 2. It should be noted that there's an egregious typo in that diagram though -- the system output is written as ΔR when it is in fact ΔT.

Please make the correction in your work-books.

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

If you take out the 0.7C rise attributable to us, according to the IPCC, from the 50's to the 00's then this decades 0.3C reduction due to natural variation hiding the CO2 warming...... then in theory the temperature should be around -0.7C on the graph 1a. Brrrrr.
Just think how cold it would of been if it wasn't for us, well done everyone, keep up the good work.#


Aug 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Greens see no disconnect in supporting the idea that: Cooling is natural, but warming is man-made.

It is a tribute to post-Modern thinking, in which facts and common sense are an annoying intrusion.

Aug 29, 2013 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

This morning's Metro (free newspaper at local Tube station) picks up the story. "Global heat rise 'is only on a break'."

Global warming is on hold but will come back 'faster than ever', researchers have warned.

In the meantime, it's sitting at the bottom of the ocean, reading the paper and enjoying a KitKat.

Aug 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Aug 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

There was of course a simple warmista solution to the 'cooling' ... adjust the current empirical temperatures upward and historical temperatures downward. The People feel the mental dissonance of physically cool temperatures versus being told that it is warmer ... and they become confused little didums.

Aug 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred


I wonder how the current crop of scientists will feel in 30 years when all their erroneous readings are adjusted?

Aug 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

The abstract from the Nature paper follows an increasingly familiar pattern:

Firstly, a description of their work which, as night follows day, leads the logical reader to the conclusion that the global-warming hype was indeed just that. That natural variation is both complicated and hard to model is confirmed, but no mention of why anyone should have ever thought otherwise. No mea culpa or apology.

Secondly, a slightly incongruous sentence or two, perhaps hastily added, to the effect that CO2-based global warming is still coming to get us.

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Strange that we never see any posts disagreeing with posts on BH.

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Having spent 20-odd years dismissing natural variation as making any major contribution to global warming when it was warming, they now invoke the power of natural variation to justify 15-odd years of NO warming, in order to prop up their failing theory of man made warming!

Did they predict this 'pause'? Any of them? If they didn't - and they didn't, then why should anyone now believe they have magically discovered the art of accurately predicting the future climate?

By what mechanism is this 'missing heat' avoiding landfall and exclusively falling into the ocean?
By what mechanism is this 'missing heat' being transferred to the ocean depths?
How has this 'missing heat' sunk to the bottom of the ocean without leaving any trace whatsoever in the upper ocean?
Why did it not avoid landfall and exclusively dive into the ocean before the 'pause'?

Let's not beat about the bush; these people are desperate to explain a problem that is threatening to eviscerate their agw theory, and to find an explanation that keeps their gravy train on the rails. No 'missing heat' = climate theory collapse. they know that full well, hence their eagerness to discover something, anything, to explain away the problem.

Yet when asked to provide evidence for this new-found theory, they can provide absolutely none.

Sorry, but they are liars.

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

In 2001 the science was settled, temperature rise in the period 1975 - 1998 could only be explained by AGW.

In 2012 it was clear that there was a temperature hiatus that was not predicted and was contradicting they start finding natural variation to explain the hiatus, even though they had previously claimed that all natural variability was accounted for in the models.

In explaining the hiatus they accidentally publish a graph showing that the model that explains the hiatus accounts for 0.4 of a 0.68 degC rise modelled over the period 1975 - 1998 (close to 60% of the temperature rise over that period) without invoking any AGW theory.

If that finding is confirmed it means that "climate sensitivity" to CO2 could be below 1 degC (perhaps close to Fred Singer's 0.6 degC prediction from over a dozen years ago).

Of course, with a bit more humility and further work to look for natural mechanisms, they may discover that the 0.28 degC (approx.) now attributable to AGW may also turn out to be natural. After all, natural variability must be able to warm as well as cool, otherwise we would be in permanent ice age.

As Barry Woods quoted above from Climategate "What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably “.

Yup. As I have stated so many times, the likes of Michael Mann will go down in infamy as charlatans when this sorry mess finally unravels. And I will be writing fora personal apology from the likes of Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and all the others who slurred my credibility with their public statements about "deniers" and "flat Earthers".

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

"Strange that we never see any posts disagreeing with posts on BH.

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn"

Actually, we do John. I need direct you no further than Entropic Man, who posts here quite regularly.

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Michael Hart

But why so few, that is what confuses me! Maybe BH is only engaging us with similar takes on the situation, how will it help get the message out, if we are just talking to ourselves?

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

It's another bloody climate model. Why does everyone react to model outputs as real data including JC.

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commentercd

The valuable comment from Thinking Scientist above is nicely complemented by what physicist R.G. Brown of Duke University said on the thread at WUWT:

R.G. Brown at WUWT

...As I’ve been hammering home on this blog ever since I read AR4′s summary for policy makers in some detail, the average of 40 models that individually fail and hence can be rejected in favor of the null hypothesis when compared to actual data is a statistically meaningless average of 40 failed models. One successful model is worth more than 40 thousand failed models, no matter how small the “standard deviation” of the failed model average gets.

We can now get out the popcorn and watch the proponents of the failed models try to convince the general scientific community (and themselves!) that even though the entire ensemble of results produced by their model(s) one at a time lies 95% or more outside of reality, those models are correct where a model that also contains the same physics but happens to agree with the data is incorrect. An excellent test for the honesty of the community compared to its political and economic polarization....

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Michael Hart

But why so few, that is what confuses me! Maybe BH is only engaging us with similar takes on the situation, how will it help get the message out, if we are just talking to ourselves?

Aug 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
I do try to disagree with myself quite regularly, John (in private at least). But I think it'll be disrupting this thread if we continue discussing the bigger picture here. How about a discussion post?

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

You're right, sorry, a discussion post would be good.

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

We don't just talk to ourselves.
Haven't you noticed the number of times people "report back" from attempts to put a point of view at The Guardian or RealClimate or other sites only to find their contribution disappears into a black hole?
Or report on attempts to get their MP to behave like something other than an 'I Speak Your Weight Machine' programmed by the DECC?
Look at the side bar; there are a number of warmist blogs.
I agree that an echo chamber is fairly useless as a means of communicating your views but you have to remember that most of the people we are trying to communicate with don't want to hear our views.
And remember the quote from Upton Sinclair (frequently repeated here): "“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it".
Says it all, really.

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

This latest paper worried me when I read the details on Judith's site, and subsequently read that Bob Tisdale had the same concern. Basically, it seems that if you input real world temperature into the model, then the model output more closely tracks real world temperature.

I realise that the input only represents an area of approx. 8% of the real world, but this would seem to mean that the entire world temperature tracks just that 8% - or alternatively, only that 8% area is varying significantly.

So what has this new model proven? That the output follows the input? Hardly surprising.

Aug 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

And remember the quote from Upton Sinclair (frequently repeated here): "“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it".

That is the same for every industry...isnt it? So not a valid reason not to adapt the way BH communicates with the warmists? Anyway, I started a dicussion forum

Aug 29, 2013 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Just another model that happens to coincide with what we like to think? Maybe. I really do not know why we get excited when a climate scientist discovers something sceptics have been going on about for years. Does this validate sceptic status? Does it mean the likes of BobTisdale may now be counted among 'real climate scientists' and their views taken seriously?

A while back, when the met office was having their meeting about the pause and trying to explain it, I commented that they ought to buy Tisdale an air ticket and get him to tell them what he has found. I repeat the suggestion.

Aug 29, 2013 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Now that I see another "John" has posted, for today I'll call myself "The Original John." At least I THINK I've posted here before the interloper!

Now to serious business. Here is the meat of Judith Curry's view of the new paper attributing La Nina conditions to the lack of warming for 10 or 15 years, depending on how you want to view the data:

"I’m not sure how good my eyeball estimates are, and you can pick other start/end dates. But no matter what, I am coming up with natural internal variability associated accounting for significantly MORE than half of the observed warming.

...I have long argued that the pause was associated with the climate shift in the Pacific Ocean circulation, characterized by the change to the cool phase of the PDO. I have further argued that if this is the case, then the warming since 1976 was heavily juiced by the warm phase of the PDO. I didn’t know how to quantify this, but I thought that it might account for at least half of the observed warming, and hence my questioning of the IPCC’s highly confident attribution of ‘most’ to AGW.

Although this was not a specific conclusion of the paper (the focused on the period 2002-2012), the conclusion jumps out from their Fig 1 (and my eyeball analysis)...."

Aug 29, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Original John

Hey I am spreading the word on LinkedIn - in 2 groups that I am in.

3 years ago I would have been afraid to do this.

Aug 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Hold on, though. From what I can make out, the PDO is more a rough sinusoid in shape than square-wave (the transition from a cool phase to a warm phase and back is not a step change but rather more gradual) but the purported global temperature rise went from being more-or-less linear (to an approximation) to having zero slope (again, to an approximation) essentially overnight. It still doesn't make a lot of sense.

Aug 29, 2013 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric T

I think the paper, whether intentionally or not, establishes a number of important precedents in the peer-reviewed literature. For a case to be heard by politicians, it has to be in the peer-reviewed journals and its a bonus if it comes from climate scientists who are not considered to be "serial deniers" or some such.

The precedents now established in a high status, peer-reviewed journal which is regarded as a credible source by politicians, MSM are:

1. That climate science formally acknowledges there has been in a hiatus in temperature increase that has lasted for 12 years or more.
2. That existing models including CMIP5 cannot account for and did not predict this hiatus.
3. That if the new model described is the best to explain the hiatus, then a corollary is that around half the warming over the period 1975-1998 can also be explained by this model as natural, not AGW.
4. That previous models do not include all possible natural responses and therefore they are incomplete and the science is not settled.

Don't agonise over detail - precedence like this is what allows politicians to get off the hook and change direction. It gives them an opportunity to change their mind without losing face. Give us more of these with natural variability. Everyone of 'em shakes the edifice of climate science a little harder.

Aug 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Rhoda: "Just another model that happens to coincide with what we like to think?"

I agree with you here, and if I put my science hat I have to take this model with a pinch of salt, like all the other models before that I don't like.

However, the climate scientists have staked a considerable amount of their reputation and credibility on "the science is settled"; "its man wot dunnit"; based on "experiments" with climate models. Now they have just handed me a gert big stick in the form of a climate model that clearly outperforms CMIP5, expalins the hiatus and, unfortunately for the climate scientists, also ends up showing natural variability that they previously did not consider can account for half the warming at the end of the 20th Century.

Now that they have handed me that enormous stick I am sure as hell going to take every opportunity to beat them with it. And grin while doing it.

Aug 29, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Aug 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Spot on! You are absolutely correct. Climate science has accepted natural variability as something real. That is a total game changer. (Trenberth had done the same thing with his "missing heat" in the deep oceans. There must be some natural process of ocean mixing that moves the heat into the deep ocean and it is not explained by radiation from the sun or by the greenhouse effect.)

Aug 29, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

The Bishop writes:

"Roe concludes that "By these statistical measures, the PDO should be characterized neither as decadal nor as an oscillation (but it is in the Pacific)", although this statement comes with caveats that are worth reading. I surmise that we are still far from understanding what is going on here. It's all a bit of a pickle."

Of course we do not know enough about the PDO, ENSO, the AMO or anything similar to declare that they are decadal or an oscillation. That is because none of our research money is going to actual physical investigation of any of these processes. What is needed genuine empirical research in the oceans. Neither models nor statistics can substitute for empirical research in these cases. (Will climate scientists ever learn humility?)

Aug 29, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Regarding Fiona Harvey's article in the Guardian, here is part of a post that I did at WUWT last night:

"The big point here (in Curry's discussion of the article at her site) is that modelers have shown that a model of natural variability alone (that incorporates the observed data for ENSO) shows a 0.4C increase in temperature while the CAGW traditional model of natural variation (without observed data for ENSO) plus anthropogenic warming shows only 0.68C increase from 1975-1998. In other words, on the model discussed in this article, most of the warming is natural and not anthropogenic.

If you read only Alarmist commentary on the article, such as what you find in the “Guardian,” you will not be told what Dr. Curry just told us. Instead, you will be pointed to the years 1998-2013 and told that the importance of the article is that it shows that natural variability explains the “pause” in warming and that warming will resume once this natural variation is complete. Such Alarmist authors will never make the obvious point, obvious to many, that if ENSO explains the pause then it also must explain at least a proportionately large part of the warming that preceded the pause. The conclusion must be that warming is less than Alarmists had thought and less by at least half."

In fact, Fiona Harvey's article addresses only the years 1998-2013 and is shamefully silent about the years 1976-1998.

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

so no longer 'missing heat ' its now 'delayed heat ' what next 'to be created heat ' ?

of course by given no time scale the authors use the classic ' in the future ' get out knowing that its scientifically worthless without a time scale , but very 'useful' for grant hunger researchers keen not to have their claims blow up in their face any-time soon.

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

For those that don't see where I am going with this, think of the following dialogue:

Warmista: "Climate models show that man causes warming"
Me: "But the paper showing the model runs of Kosaka and Xie are the only published model that can reproduce the hiatus in temperatures in the 21st Century"
Warmista: There is no hiatus, 97% (or whatever) of the warmest years were in the 21st Century yada yada".
Me: "But the Kosaka and Xie paper confirms there is a hiatus and the models you cite fail to reproduce it"
Warmista: "Its probably in an obscure sceptic journal, or not properly peer reviewed"
Me: "Its published in Nature. Are you saying that Nature does not publish proper, peer reviewed papers?"
Warmista "Well that paper does model the hiatus, yes, but they still confirm AGW causes the wamring"
Me: "But if you accept the paper is ok, then you also have to accept that in modelling the hiatus they also show around 60% of the wamring could be natural"
Warmista: "Well it doesn't mean their result is correct"
Me "Its peer reviewed and published in Nature. Do you mean that it is possible to be peer reviewed and be published in Nature with a result that's wrong?"
Warmista ".........."

(Warmista now in double bind - cannot diss paper without accepting peer reviewed papers in Nature could be wrong, can't accept results of paper because suggests warming could be partly natural).

That's why I like this paper. The warmistas are going to be damned whichever way they spin it.

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Maybe I am not the only one thinking that, after time for reflection and discussion with the like minded, Fiona Harvey and her pals are going to be calling Kosaka and Xie "Deniers!"

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

I picked up the free rag called Metro on the way back from a trip to Edinburgh today. In this paper (p.17) were two half page articles on CC, one of which was "greater risk for world's largest ice sheet" from research at Durham University on the Eastern Antarctic, showing that "it is more susceptible to the effects of climate change than previously thought" [Haven't I heard that phrase before?]

The other one was headed "Global heat rise 'is only on a break' " [reported by one Etan Smallman], about, you've guessed it, the Kosaka and Xie paper . Global warming will pick up we are warned, when the Pacific Ocean, which has cooled recently, begins to reheat....." .It was only in the final paragraph that it reported that "the global surface warming is primarily casued by natural variability of the ocean and is therefore, very likely to be temporary."

So there you have the story a la Metro. I don't think I'll bother to pick it up another time.

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Theo - if they start dissing a peer-reviewed paper in Nature, then its open season on any</> paper in Nature, or any other high profile warmista peer-reviewed journal. After all, if its wrong, how can it have got past peer review, unless...maybe peer review has flaws? If they try and undermine the credibility of this paper, they undermine the credibility of all peer reviewed papers.

Aug 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Aug 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Of course you are right! But what can they do? They cannot have mainstream climate modelers publishing in Nature that (A) half the warming from 1976-1998 was caused by natural variation, specifically ENSO, or (B) that the superior climate models, superior in matching observed temperatures, account for natural variation as they do.

If they concede that half of the warming was natural rather than anthropogenic, or just concede that it is a serious consideration, then the catastrophic part of CAGW is finished. If they concede that natural variation must play a role in climate models then they must surrender their guiding belief that earth's temperature is a function of radiation from the sun and the amount of CO2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere.

As Steve Garcia pointed out at WUWT, the work by Kosaka and Xie could have been done long ago. What were the modelers thinking that caused them not to do it? Does someone have some explaining to do?

Aug 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

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