Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Empathy, EU style | Main | The genius of academe »
Monday
Sep162013

A response to the CSAs

Michael Kelly has a letter in the Times responding to the Chief Scientific Advisers' call to trust the IPCC.

Sir, In any form of exact science or engineering, having a discrepancy of a factor of two between theory and experiment would be a source of grave embarrassment. This is not so with climate science where the climate models have overestimated the effect of increasing CO2 on the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere by a factor of two over the past 25 years.

For this reason, the divergence between the predictions of theoretical models and real-world data is growing. If the forthcoming fifth assessment report does not address this problem and its implications in an open and candid manner, the validity of the report will be widely questioned.

Kapow.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (77)

"Oh Lord, our intentions are good....please don't let us be misunderstood."

Alarmist Psalm

(Apologies to Eric Burden and the Animals)

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJB

Where is the experiment measuring the size of the CO2 effect on global temperature?

Answer: there isn't one. Kelly is confusing observations with experiments. Without a controlled experiment to help explain them, observations only tell you what has happened, not why.

Without an actual experiment, Kelly's statement relies on the assumption that observed changes over the past 25 years are entirely due to CO2, with nothing else either adding or substracting from its effect.

I'm very surprised indeed that the assumption that CO2 is the only driver of climate got any traction here!

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

As the CAGW community appears to have nailed its colours to the mast of CO2, I fear that you are being somewhat disingenuous Dr Betts.

How many angels was it that could dance on the head of a pin again..?

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

Re: Richard

You accept then that the running of computer models should not be classed as an experiment?

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

@richard betts.

H'mm.

Whether CO2 is the only driver of climate or not, the essential point - that the models are out by a factor of two - remains demonstrated by observations.

They remain totally unfit for purpose.

And - with respect - the MO team could more usefully spend their time on coming up with a believable plan on how you're going to fix them in short order than in fighting rearguard actions in the press. The cat is out of the bag. Arguing about whether it is exactly tabby or striped is pretty pointless.

.

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

So what is the purpose of the Met Office's models? Ah yes they are for playing games!

Models which cannot be validated are largely useless as most people who have spent their careers in the modelling area would tell you!

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Registered Commenter Richard Betts

There is a growing discrepancy between models and observations, an increase in studies showing lower climate sensitivity and IPCC climate models still running at 3.4C sensitivity.

In spite of that, the IPCC has increased the certainty of man causing most recent warming from very likely (AR4) to extremely likely (AR5). We all look forward to the discussion of this. This is where the validity of the report could fall greatly and probably result in it being the last one.

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

I applaud Richard Betts for asserting that CO2 is not the only driver of recent temperature rise. My view is that it was ENSO plus Asian aerosols reducing cloud albedo, the effect saturating in 2000.

This is predicated on Sagan's aerosol optical physics being wrong, the sign is reversed so it was the real AGW..

As for the CO2 effect, my view is that it is near zero but many would not agree with this until we start to really cool into the new LIA from 2018 onwards.

Let us hope the Met Office starts to detach itself from the IPCC science which is easily proved to be based on incorrect physics starting here: 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf.

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Pesky IPCC reports. Why do they have to put so much down in writing? Here are some remarks from 2007 on 'what has happened' and 'why' (with'very high confidence')


Carbon dioxide is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas

The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use ..

very high confidence[7] that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming

Not only due to CO2 of course, but the other factors used for the modeling (via their presumed effects on the radiation budget) clearly just about cancel out(see the graphic in the link below) leaving the net warming effect claimed dominated by a presumed net effect which happens to be about the size of the presumed CO2 contribution

See http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-human-and.html

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Richard Betts says: "I'm very surprised indeed that the assumption that CO2 is the only driver of climate got any traction here!"

I believe the assumption here is that CO2 is not the driver of climate. I also believe that your assumption that it is linked to a positive feedback mechanism has gained unsustainable traction.

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Prof Betts, a simple question to cut through all the nitpicking.

Does AR5 say CAGW is more likely or less likely in comparison to AR4?

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Swiss Bob - re your question to Richard Betts:

It's my understanding that AR5 (as leaked) says this:

It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010.
That would seem to be a reference to AGW, not CAGW - a nit maybe, but an important nit.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

The Met Office model runs hot, Richard. Does it do so ignorantly or deliberately?
=================

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@ Richard Betts
'I'm very surprised indeed that the assumption that CO2 is the only driver of climate got any traction here!'

No it hasn't here, but it certainly HAS got traction with our government, with the UN and the EU and many other countries around the world who have been constantly devising ways of extracting more and more in taxes (subsidies) from the general population to encourage us create less virtually harmless CO2, (for our own good, of course).

Now where could they have got that idea from ?

Are you suggesting they may have been misled, or have read too much into the politically re-written summaries
of IPCC reports ?

Surely not !

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJazznick

Pesky YouTube clips. Why do they capture so much and stay on the record? Here is a climate scientist way back in 2009, albeit being interviewed by the fanatic who did so much to bring the hideously brutal video 'No Pressure' to the world, opining about what to do to reduce rising temperatures. Quote:

..it is really important that we actually peak emissions in the next 10 years and reduce rapidly after that ..

I wonder what her views on causality and climate and carbon dioxide might be? I guess it is not perfectly clear.

See for yourself, The Met Office's Vicky Pope in Copenhagen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u99gqfdZVzE

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

"Where is the experiment measuring the size of the CO2 effect on global temperature? "

That, Dr Betts, is a question the Met Office should be answering.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Chappell

MikeC

"Sep 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Registered Commenter Richard Betts

There is a growing discrepancy between models and observations, an increase in studies showing lower climate sensitivity and IPCC climate models still running at 3.4C sensitivity.

In spite of that, the IPCC has increased the certainty of man causing most recent warming from very likely (AR4) to extremely likely (AR5). We all look forward to the discussion of this. This is where the validity of the report could fall greatly and probably result in it being the last one."

I suspect that you are wrong about AR5 being the last one. The concept of climate change is a political construct and requires frequent feeding to maintain its propaganda impact. The main source of food is the IPCC. Of course academia loves this because it shovels truckloads of research money in its direction. Politicians will demand the continuance of the assessment reports supported all the way by academia. Unfortunately for them these same reports become the yardstick by which the science can be challenged. They thus offer the "skeptical scientists" the opportunity to deconstruct the claims of climate science, a necessary step along the path of disassembling the political construct. This is and will continue to be a long hard road.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Coe

John Shade
Those pesky IPCC reports

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it!

Omar Khayyam, 1859:
Whater you write in your reports, is your resposibility and cannot be changed. Gotcha

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Sep 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM ConfusedPhoton


Models which cannot be validated are largely worse than useless...

...if you or someone else believes they have any meaning.

In the case of the Met Office's climate models, the Met Office did - and still does believe and maintain that they have meaning. Followed by the Government following the MO's briefings and putting in place the Climate Change Act.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Richard Betts nitpicks about experiment but makes no mention of empirical evidence that stares him in the face. Co2 has risen over the last 17 years and temperature is remaining steady or dropping. How do them apples grab your computer models?

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Richard Betts: 'Where is the experiment measuring the size of the CO2 effect on global temperature?'

As I see it, Richard, it is surely real life. In the real world we have seen a huge increase in CO2 in the atmosphere with no concomitant increase in temperatures, as per the 'hypothesis'.

Perhaps Douglas Adams had it right - in 1978, no less: The mice are running the experiment. And the answer is....

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

RB -"I'm very surprised indeed that the assumption that CO2 is the only driver of climate got any traction here!"

But of course Richard you know that it doesn't. Where it does is in the minds of the general public that trust people ike you, and the heads of politicians that believe more or less whatever the well funded green lobbyists tell them.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Let 'em eat cake, but what cake? Richard is having it and eating it, too.
=================

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Re: kim

> The Met Office model runs hot, Richard. Does it do so ignorantly or deliberately?

In Sligo's testimony to the HoC over climategate she claimed that the models run exactly the same code as the weather forecasting software. In January 2010 a met office official admitted that their annual weather forecast has a warming bias of 0.05C.

Assuming Julia Sligo told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the HoC and did not try to mislead them with half truths then this means that their models have a decadel bias of 0.5C which would significantly affect any calculation of climate sensitivity.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Sooooo, it's not all about man made CO2 - Richard Betts said so.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

But Professor Bob Watson told us that the only explanation for the warming was man made CO2. It couldn't be explained by natural effects.

Sep 16, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"Let us hope the Met Office starts to detach itself from the IPCC science which is easily proved to be based on incorrect physics starting here: 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf." --AlecM

Richard Betts may be approaching his Damascene moment, but it's far too late for the MO as an organization. People caught on to them a long time ago, so there's little hope.

http://www.ehow.com/way_5769732_natural-clown_makeup-removal.html

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Richard Betts: if you re-read the quote:

Sir, In any form of exact science or engineering, having a discrepancy of a factor of two between theory and experiment would be a source of grave embarrassment.

See those words - "exact science or engineering"? He's obviously not talking about climate "science". He's comparing regular science which relies on experimental data and observations with climate science which presumes that the climate can actually be modelled and then, when that fails, still trumpets that 97%™ of scientists are now even MORE confident that the model assumptions (rising temperature with rising CO2 concentration) are correct. Frankly, I surprised that you don't find that embarrassing.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

I seem to remember the Met Office telling us that the warming was due to CO2 because nothing else could achieve the level and rate of warming. The idea that the sun might have something to do with it was mocked. Other sources of natural variability were considered so trivial that they didn't enter the discussion.

However, everyone knows that the AMO, PDO, clouds, solar UV, possibly the solar wind and cosmic particles to name just a few, may also influence climate. In addition, I am quite confident that perturbations to the climate cause other processes to kick in and these generally have a stabilising effect.

The models are very incomplete in these respects, which is why they should under no circumstances be used as a basis for policy making. It is pointless to use them to estimate climate sensitivity for the same reasons. Attaching any importance to these estimates is to give the flawed models more credibility than they deserve.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The good Dr. Betts sounds like he is talking through a substantial coating of egg.
It reminds me of the occasion when Eric Morecambe told André Previn (aka Mr Preview) that he was playing "all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order."

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

In spite of that, the IPCC has increased the certainty of man causing most recent warming from very likely (AR4) to extremely likely (AR5).

According to Matt Ridley, the upcoming IPCC report has considerably widened the possible ranges for ECS, TCS, and likely temp rises.

As a result of this widening, it seems reasonable to also increase the confidence levels. After all, if they suggested a +/- 100C change by the end of the century, they could probably also go for a 99.999% confidence level.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Was disappointed in Richard Betts comment...perhaps it was just a throwaway line that did not translate well. Otherwise its a bit of sophistry...something many people engage in, but Dr Betts has (usually) resisted such antics. Though be fair, he is in an impossible situation....its a bummer when your project goes bump.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermikef2

Schrodinger's Cat

Take a look at Figure 4 here.

http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/co2-causes-arctic-sea-ice-loss.html

Note the Rsquared of 0.84 for the left hand graph, correalating CO2 concentration and sea ice extent. Irradiance, PDO and AO are 0.22, 0.04 and 0.03

Nothing comes close to CO2. If you want to invoke other climatic variables as showing comparable forcing to CO2 you will need to show high correalation coefficients relative to temperature or temperature proxies such as sea ice extent.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterentropic man

RIPCC
looks about right.

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Schrodinger's cat

Look at Figure 4 here.

http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/co2-causes-arctic-sea-ice-loss.html

Note that the Rsquared correalation coefficient for CO2 concentration and sea ice extent is 0,84. Irradiance is 0.22, PDO is 0.04 and AO is 0.03. CO2 stands much higher than the others.

All the forcing variables you mentioned (AMO, PDO, clouds, solar UV, possibly the solar wind and cosmic particles) may have some effect on climate, but if you want to propose them as serious replacements for CO2 as the main forcing agent your first step would be to show similar high Rsquared values relative to temperature or temperature proxies such as sea ice extent.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterentropic man

The lower the actual warming, the lower the climate sensitivity needed to blame mankind for the increase.
Hence, the lower the warming, the more confidence climate 'scientists' can give to the statement "it's all our fault".
So, if the warming reduced to zero, they would be 100% confident that it's all our fault.

Kafka, anyone?

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commentercui bono

Sep 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM | mikef2

That's where I'm at. In the absence of further input from him, I'm choosing to presume that Richard's comment was a throw-away, intended for comic effect.

For me, right now, the elephant in the room is the absence of anything resembling a rebuttal by the MetOffice of Nic Lewis's observations regarding the idling behaviour of the models.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM | Entropic man

Correlation does not prove cause and effect. That mistake is the root of the current climate fiasco. All the warming rates in the models were based on the assumption that the correlation between CO2 and global temperature was a cast iron cause and effect relationship. Now they all look a bit foolish because there is no longer any correlation and they are likely to look more foolish if the correlation becomes negative, which is very likely.

A rapidly increasing number of papers are showing the Arctic ice extent is cyclical and affected by a large number of factors. I notice you didn't mention the Antarctic ice extent which has a negative correlation with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. So much for global warming theory.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

EM: 'Note that the Rsquared correalation coefficient for CO2 concentration and sea ice extent is 0,84. Irradiance is 0.22, PDO is 0.04 and AO is 0.03. CO2 stands much higher than the others.

Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs... Seems like EM has falsified the Null Hypothesis all by himself. Maybe we can expect a paper on it from him.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

"entropic man says Sep 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Look at Figure 4 here.

http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/co2-causes-arctic-sea-ice-loss.html "

Interesting chart. I trust you have validated by producing a similar chart for Antarctic sea ice which must by symmetry also be shrinking in line with CO2 growth. Oh I just looked and it is increasing. Fail

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

@pesadia

As the IPCC's original remit was "to find evidence of the human link to global warming" (not to find the cause of global warming you will note) one would have thought that their work now is done.

They looked for the link...tried to fix the evidence to 'frame' CO2 and prolong the heavily funded search and succeeded for many years to scare the wits out of most of the world without due cause.

It's all now falling apart. The evidence of dangerous human caused global warming has been shown to be a mirage supported by guesswork, green fanaticism, left-wing political idealism, NGO "charities" and useful idiots from show-biz
and the media (BBC in particular) who wanted to seem trendy, lovable, caring and on-message.

Thanks IPCC for confirming what most of the readers here knew deep down all along - that man's influence on climate is minimal and overwhelmed by natural forces - it has cost, and is still costing us all a fortune to have found this out - now go away and let real science take over.

RIPCC is indeed most apt.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJazznick

Buffy Minton - you have got it!
Replace 'experiment' with 'observational data' and the sense is unchanged. There is an embarrassing divergence to be explained. If it is discussed in AR5 in an obfuscatory manner, in the way David Rose suggests, as opposed to an open and candid manner, I will be right to be concerned about the scientific integrity of the process when modified by all the government non-scientists involved. This is the real test.

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Kelly

son of mulder

Why do you expect an ocean surrounded by land and a high continent surrounded by ocean to respond to climate change in the same way?

Sep 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterentropic man

entropic man --
"Why do you expect an ocean surrounded by land and a high continent surrounded by ocean to respond to climate change in the same way?"
I wouldn't necessarily expect them to behave identically. Why did AR4 forecast similar downward trends for both polar areas?

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

'the validity of the report will be widely questioned.'

what is validity? On the surface that seems an easy question, however this is climate 'science' were simply is only a word you can apply to its fanatical followers . Here you need to think about what is that is trying to be achieved for its 'validity 'needs to be seen against its objectives .
Its here we seen the IPCC political nature come to the fore as its success is not related to scientific value , in their own words they do not do science, but on its political impact.
For its highly unlikely that the politicians will read the body of the report , merely see 'highlights '
Sadly that means that its validity in science terms can be minor but its validity in political objective terms major , so expect a report heavy on BS but with enough bullet points for headlines from cooperative press and something to get detail light politician interested.

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

The experiment Richard Betts asks for was done by me 3 years ago. It consisted of comparing the temperatures--at points of equal pressure and over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures--in the atmospheres of Venus (with 96.5% CO2) and Earth (0.04% CO2). See Venus: No Greenhouse Effect. The Venus temperature and pressure data was obtained by the Magellan spacecraft on October 5, 1991; I compared this with the same data for the tropospheric portion of the 1976 Standard Atmosphere, for Earth. The experimental result: The Venus/Earth temperature ratio is amazingly constant, above and below the cloud layer of Venus (and varies only marginally within that cloud layer), and that constant is precisely--precisely--that expected from the different distances of the two planets from the Sun, and nothing else. There is no slightest indication of any CO2 effect (or any other effect) upon the temperatures, just the effect of solar distance, for these two planets. The precision with which the different solar distances alone explains the Venus/Earth temperature ratio--for that portion of the two atmospheres I described above--is quite definitive, and should long ago have become front-page news, and known to everyone. Because it did not, and has not even yet, I maintain there are no competent climate scientists, and there is no valid climate science at all.

I have responded a number of times, over the last 3 years, to climate scientists (like Roy Spencer, and Richard Betts now) bewailing the lack of even the possibility of performing an "experiment" to quantify the CO2 effect upon global temperature ("Earth is all we have, and its climate too complex" is the refrain). Yet when I tell them about the Venus/Earth experiment, and its definitive result against their consensus science, they ignore it. None of them have the moral fiber, and the scientific competence, to confront the definitive facts of the Venus/Earth comparison. What I did, any STUDENT of climate science, much less the "experts", should have done nearly 20 years earlier, and "greenhouse global warming" tossed out of science then.

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

Why have not a single one of the cabal of recent incumbents of the title Chief Scientific Officer, who jointly wrote the Times IPCC defence, themselves not questioned the obvious divergence and also demanded that the IPCC address this problem and its implications in an open and candid manner?

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Kelly is confusing observations with experiments. Without a controlled experiment to help explain them, observations only tell you what has happened, not why.

Seems that he is in good company when talking climate sensitivity


An important aspect of this work is to use both models and observations to try to establish links between physical processes operating in past, present and future climates.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/areas/understanding-climate/climate-sensitivity


Future warming depends on the emissions of greenhouse gases and on the sensitivity of the climate system to increased greenhouse gases (the amount of warming for given greenhouse gas concentrations).
The thrust of this paper is to address the question of climate sensitivity by considering two basic metrics of sensitivity of the climate system: the transient climate response (TCR) and the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS).
Both were originally defined to compare the response of climate models to a specific scenario of increased concentrati
ons of carbon dioxide. Their definition has now been extended to include observational estimates.

The recent pause in global warming (3):

Climate Science, definitions that change with the weather.

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"Sep 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM | erentropic man

Why do you expect an ocean surrounded by land and a high continent surrounded by ocean to respond to climate change in the same way?"

I don't, unlike the IPCC, because I believe there is a see-saw behaviour based, as evident in the data, on oscillations. You seem to believe that you can cherry pick with impunity to try to support the AGW cause.

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

Re: Entropic Man

> Why do you expect an ocean surrounded by land and a high continent surrounded by ocean to respond to climate change in the same way?

Your argument for the correlation between CO2 and Arctic ice is that increased CO2 leads to increased temperature leads to less Arctic ice. If this isn't the case in the Antarctic then your correlation may be spurious and, like your reference says, there is just as much of a correlation for the height of a tree in Kew Gardens.

Sep 16, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>