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« Lewis on Chen and Tung | Main | UKIP target Climate Change Act »
Friday
Aug222014

It's the Atlantic wot dunnit

Overnight the big climate news has been the new paper by Chen and Tung, which seeks to explain the pause in surface temperature rise, now nearly 18 years old on some measures. Judith Curry has excerpts here, while a layman's summary is available at the Economist.

The story goes that much of the missing heat is to be found in the Atlantic, with a slow-moving current speeding up in recent times so that heat is drawn down into the deep-ocean. The theory seems to be that this process runs over a 60-year cycle, for half the time with the depths warming and the surface cooling and half the time the other way round. Chen and Tung conclude that we are currently in a surface cooling phase, so the pause could last another ten years or more.

The corollary is that the warming at the end of the last century was accelerated by the same process. Indeed, the press release notes that:

 

Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.

Strangely, this conclusion doesn't seem to have made it into the paper itself.

No doubt there will be a lot of banter on the subject today. Doug McNeall has opened up with a little jibe at us sceptics on Twitter:

If I was trying to counter the "pause" news, I'd also talk about post hoc rationalisation. Just a little tip there.

But it is inescapable that the climate models fail to capture this important process, if indeed it is real. This is understandable, given that Chen and Tung don't yet have an explanation for why the process changes.

Once again this brings us back to the thorny question of whether a GCM is a suitable tool to inform public policy.

 

http://judithcurry.com/2014/08/21/cause-of-hiatus-found-deep-in-the-atlantic-ocean/

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Reader Comments (90)

Gosh, it is as if the effects of our CO2 are so weak they are swamped by variation due to other factors.

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Ocean oscillation - who'll have thunk it?

The problem that Chen and Tung have is proving that the deep ocean is gaining energy from increased CO2 in the atmosphere. That its a black box currently is rather convenient. Without real measurements, this remains an unproven hypothesis that the 'missing energy' is there. The deep oceans here are operating as dark matter/energy does - it makes the numbers in the hypothesis add up...

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

The climate scientists need to shut up and go back to the drawing board until they can present a coherent picture of what will happen. This habit of offering bolt on theories is unconvincing at best and risible at worst. Perhaps by the time they know how the climate works we will have alternatives to fossil fuels and we can actually do more about CO2 than whine about it and throw money, literally, to the wind.

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Must have missed that physics class where warm water sinks........

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustAnotherPoster

While they seem to describe a - plausible - natural, physical process, they fail to provide a plausible or even any link to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
Science is advancing rather than being settled. Back to the drawing board to get those missing links - or to get them out of the way.

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterbenpal

Just another reactive hypothesis. We are still living with the GHG/positive feedback hypothesis, that cannot even 'predict' past events; and failed miserably to predict the pause. Now we have another piece of pseudo science, that will be jumped on by the MSM, who will claim that the 'pause' is now explained. And the politicians will breath a sigh of relief.

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Climatologist Gareth Jones notes that the Chen and Tung climate science results are highly uncertain

Fixed it for him.

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Some time ago — can't remember exactly when or where (but probably on here) — I suggested that sooner or later we would see the idea floated that the "missing" heat which had gone and hidden in the deep oceans would suddenly pop out and bite us on the bum though I reckoned that when (if) it did it might just be enough to counteract the worst effects if the 21st century LIA that I still reckon is just round the corner.
And lo and behold!
GIven the heat absorbing abilities of the oceans is this scenario a plausible one, can someone tell me?
I'm with TinyCO2 on this: "This habit of offering bolt on theories is unconvincing at best and risible at worst."

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I don't think the warmists have anything to gloat about. If this paper is right it demonstrates that the science is not settled, the models are inadequate, natural variability is just as important as CO2, they pushed conclusions for policymaking despite ignorance of how the climate works and why should we believe anything they claim?

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Ha! We knew it all along! The globe hasn't stopped warming, it's just stopped getting hotter!

(hmmm... bit confused now).

Seriously, if this result is correct it should be treated by the AGW crowd as fantastically good news, as it implies that we are not all going to fry as there seems to be a nice feedback mechanism that prevents the over heating of the planet.

So I guess they're all out celebrating?

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Registered Commentersteve ta

The BBC has it well covered here.

"We really don't have a lot of data," said Dr Jonathan Robson from the University of Reading, UK.

"So if there is this 60-year oscillation in the ocean, we haven't observed it all, basically we've observed the impact of it. We may have to wait 15-20 years to know what's going on."


Yes, settled science, all models 100% validated.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I did the numbers a while back and if all of the "missing" heat of 3W/m2 for the last 10 years is going into the ocean below 2km (where it can't be measured) it would have raised that water 0.029°C. Firstly how would that temperature be measured in a vast ocean. Secondly, when that water came to the surface, how could it heat the air more than that temperature? The post hoc theories don't extend to the real world of thermodynamics.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

This explanation implies that the current slowdown in global warming could last for another decade, or longer, and then rapid warming will return. But Tung emphasizes it’s hard to predict what will happen next.
A pool of freshwater from melting ice, now sitting in the Arctic Ocean, could overflow into the North Atlantic to upset the cycle.
“We are not talking about a normal situation because there are so many other things happening due to climate change,” Tung said.

From Judith Curry's post
I knew it wouldn't be long before I started tearing my hair out!
The paper seems to provide a plausible explanation for the pause; it explains the 60/70 year cycles (which Gavin Cawley is trying to tell me on the Salby thread on Discussion don't exist); it sets a possible scene for a case that the effect of CO2 on temperature is over-estimated and that global warming is cyclical, that the anthropogenic input is considerably less than we are being led (by the nose) to believe and that armageddon is not within sight.
Maybe.
But we can't have that so we must include the section that I have highlighted above.
This "pool of freshwater from melting ice" presumably existed in the 1930s when records tell us that the Arctic was about as ice-free as it has been in the last few years. Since it didn't do any "overflowing" then why are we to assume it might do now?
And the quote from Tung begs so many questions it is almost impossible to know where to start.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I look forward to Bob Tisdale's dissection of this.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Oh, how very Goldilocks.

Bit of a problem with the whole global warming thing, inasmuch as, there hasn't been any for the thick end of 20 years. But look! What's this?! A hitherto unknown mechanism whereby pretty much the EXACT amount of global warming that we should have had but haven't, has been sucked down to somewhere where it CAN'|T BE MEASURED!! Phew! Nice one! Carry on with the windmills, everyone....

Gotta love a bit of ex post facto Deus ex machina, if you know what I mean.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

They make it up as they go along.

Not a bad principle in general when you are not sure of what you are doing. But not so good if you are advising govts to waste trillions on the basis of the disasters predicted by your 'science'.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

…so the pause could last another ten years or more.
How terribly convenient; argumentum post hoc indeed.

“We are not talking about a normal situation because there are so many other things happening due to climate change,” Tung said.
As climates have changed constantly throughout the past 4.5Bn years, or so, why is this so different, now?

And this “pool of fresh water”… I always understood that fresh water, being lighter than sea water, tended to be on the surface, a fact that can cause interesting effects on ships; what is so special about Arctic fresh water that it sinks without mixing with the sea water? There is the odour of a whole herd of bulls about this.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"Must have missed that physics class where warm water sinks........"
Sinking warm water is not inconsistent with AGW

"when that water came to the surface, how could it heat the air more than that temperature?"
Violating the Law of Thermodynamics is not inconsistent with AGW

"We may have to wait 15-20 years to know what's going on."
Perpetually moving the goalposts is not inconsistent with AGW

Avoiding the truth is consistent with AGW

signed a climate muppet

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

it rains a lot around the atlantic..I can attest to that

Now what is rain ?
It is a process of condensation of water vapour (gas phase) into droplets (liquid phase), whereby
the forming droplet RELEASES energy in the form of radiation.
This droplet forming + energy release does NOT happen at the sea surface but HIGH UP in the atmosphere.

One would expect that all these rabid released photons find their way to the GALAXY, closeby, rather than in ocean waves, wouldn't you.

Anyway am sure the orientals have convincing formulae to show otherwise..

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul the Nurse

Jeremy Poynton
Me too.

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I take it this paper is from the Department of Stating the Bleedin' Obvious?

Ocean thermohaline circulation – the oceanic conveyor belt – is a well-known, and pretty well-understood, phenomenon. The ocean conveyor system has existed for millennia, including periods when global temperatures were much higher than today.

What is it about today's modest temperatures that's going to cause a problem with this long-established circulation?

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

Will the Next El Niño Bring an End to the Slowdown in Global Surface Warming?

" Posted on August 21, 2014 by Bob Tisdale

Rebuttal to Chen and Tung (2014) highlighted in “Cause for ‘The Pause’ #38 – Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean“........"

Aug 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Note on the tweet by climatologist Gareth Jones: few people are aware of the fact that the uncertainties in the OHC trend figure from the Science paper shown in the tweet are 1-sigma, which, if you get hold of the data (done that) you will see that you cannot even conclude confidently (> 95% significance) that the 1950's OHC content was lower than the current OHC (although not that likely, but that's another story).

Tells you a lot about uncertainties in estimating long term OHC trends.

Always take them with a grain of salt (pun intended ...).

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJenne

Jenne: as the ocean heat content (as I assume OHC means) has only recently been started to be measured on anything approaching the scale to give realistic results, what sort of conclusions are being leapt at to say that it has risen since… well, any time before 2005, really?

Keep your salt cellar full, would be good advice (ask any salt seller).

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

You asked for Bob Tisdale's take.
Here's his conclusion at WUWT

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more papers that admit natural variability contributed to the warming from the mid-1970s to the turn of the century and suppressed the warming in the 21st Century. When will the climate science community admit they’d tuned their models to a naturally occurring upswing in the warming of global surfaces from the mid-1970s to the turn of the Century, and as a result their projections of future global warming are way too high? (Answer: Probably not in my lifetime.)
Nor in mine, Bob!

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

It's not April already, is it? That's the only explanation I can think of for such a Tung in Chen excuse for the missing heat.

Pointman

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

I am confused. Verily. As Jack Dawkins points out thermohaline circulation is a well known phenomenon as is the AMO. In the BBC bit Tung apparently says "We probably may have another 10 years, maybe shorter as global warming itself is melting more ice and ice could flood the North Atlantic, but historically we are in the middle of the cycle."

So we are in the middle of a 60-70 year cycle but we probably only have another 10 years before the CAGW monster returns. Does not compute. Tung also mentions 2006 was turning point for saltiness. Add 30 years from 2006 and we get to 2036. Is that 10 years away? My calculator says 22 years.

WTF?

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

Pointman

I first read the paper in the Prague Daily News - definitely Tung in Czech

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

As ,I think both Tallbloke and the Chiefio have stated in the past, orbital variation causes changes to the strength of tides and have a sixty year cycle. A similar cycle in the strength of ocean currents would come as no suprise.

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The Hockey Schtick keeps a running total of scientific papers that explain the pause. This is the 38th scientific paper with an explanation. None of the models factor in any of these causes. That means that no matter what goes into the model you get garbage out.

Aug 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell Klier

Ah but it's the ocean conveyor and the Sun wot did it, said the stars of man made fictions - speaking in Tungs..... hot air and very naturally.

Yeah but Joe Bastardi among others got there 'n' all:

Joe Bastardi
20. Juli 2014 at 18:45 | Permalink

The forecast for this was made on the Oreilly Factor in about 2007 after the PDO flipped. The forecast was for temperatures, as measured by OBJECTIVE SATELLITE OBSERVATION to return to where they were in 1978 by 2030. Since the PDO flip, the earth has cooled a bit according the NCEP data. I expect the greater downturn, enough to counter the warming from the flip to the warm PDO in late 70s and adaptation that took till mid 90s, to start when the AMO turns cold for good in several years. What goes around, comes around, and there is nothing new under the sun..we can just measure it now in a way we could not before
No Tricks zone here.


Of course, when if flips back to warm by then it'll be too late. Because, Britain will be so far back fixed into a eco warrior styled wonderland........ a self imposed technological regression - to an agrarian economy, a pre industrialized era somewhat akin to that of the late middle ages and its not just the greens who are fundamentally desirous of forcing the nation to go into reverse gear - is it?

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Doug McNeall tweeted

If I was trying to counter the "pause" news, I'd also talk about post hoc rationalisation. Just a little tip there.

Non-experts have been looking at temperature graphs for years and saying there seems to be a cyclical pattern, that does not fit well with the rise in greenhouse gas levels. Lord Turnbull on May 2011 for instance.
http://www.thegwpf.org/andrew-turnbull-the-really-inconvenient-truth/
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has been saying similar things for much longer.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Regardless of the vagaries of the thermohaline circulation which was a 7:1 bet to cause a mini ice age some years ago ( Horizon: the Big Chill). The fact that the BBC brazenly admitted a "pause" this morning blows any pretence of accelerated global warming at present. On the same page you can find stories on global warming melting the Greenland ice sheet- they cannot have it both ways.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefor Jones

Golly, perhaps someone ought to tell the doom-mongers at Avaaz who sent me this today:-

"Scientists are screaming from the rooftops that climate change isn't just a bit of warming and some more storms. No exaggeration, our actual *survival* is at risk -- this is a fight to save the world.

Our biosphere is in a fragile balance. Warm it a bit, and feedback loops start to kick in. Warming melts the arctic ice that reflects sunlight, which means more sunlight absorbed, which means more warming, which melts more ice etc. etc. These feedback loops have begun, and they're approaching 'tipping points' where they spin out of our control, threatening everything we love.

The UN understands this, and they've called an emergency summit of world leaders in New York to discuss action, even inviting our movement into the meeting! The problem is, our heads of state are politicians, not scientists, and they respond to public pressure. They see the polls, but they ask, "where are the protests?" Sept. 21st is our answer.

With thousands of organisations from unions to faith groups, and hundreds of thousands of people already signed up, we're about to launch the biggest climate change mobilisation in history, with marches from New York to Paris to Rio. On September 21st, we need to shake the world. To get there, we need to mobilise thousands of organisers, saturate subways and airwaves with ads, and mount an effective media operation.

If 50,000 of us contribute just a small amount in the next 5 days, we can make it happen. It's time to save the world, let's launch the movement that can do it.
This mobilisation has one goal: to show turnout. For a full 15 minutes, world leaders at the summit will have to sit and listen to our message, through images, videos, and more. The more of us hit the streets, the more powerful message we send to politicians that urgent action is their priority. New York is the focus, since that's where the summit is, and a huge turnout in the United States (which has traditionally lagged on climate change) will be most politically powerful.

Small donations from 50,000 of us in the next 5 days will allow us to:

purchase hundreds of radio and subway ads in New York and key cities to drive turnout
recruit hundreds of organisers to engage thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of marchers
mount a serious media operation and engage celebrities to ensure the march gets covered
create big and bold stunts to create buzz in the media
bring 'climate survivors' and spokespeople from vulnerable communities to provide the media with powerful voices from the front lines of climate devastation
build an offline network of organisers, volunteers and allies that will deepen and strengthen all of our campaigning for years to come"

Climate survivors, indeed! What a bunch. Sounds like Geldof - send us the effing money.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

Actually a 60 year cycle fits the temperature data quite well.

Taking 2002 as the most recent maximum, there is another peak at 1942 and one at 1882. Troughs occur around 1912 and 1972.The approximate anomaly values in chronological order are -0.1C, -0.45C, 0.1C, 0.0C and 0.6C.

Note that the drops from peak to trough are 0.35C and 0.1C. The rises from trough to peak are 0.55C and 0.5C.

After the 1882 peak there was a sharp decline, after 1942 a smaller decline and after 2002 no decline at all.

I suggest that the best fit to the data is a 60 year cycle with a range of 0.3C. Superimposed on that is a long term trend of temperature rise, possibly accelerating.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

"Must have missed that physics class where warm water sinks…"

Think back to the section on density. Saltier water is more dense and sinks. Thats the 'haline' part of thermohaline circulation.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Pollock

suggest that the best fit to the data is a 60 year cycle with a range of 0.3C. Superimposed on that is a long term trend of temperature rise, possibly accelerating.

You think?

Now get thee gone virtual wraith.

Aug 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Perhaps the warm phase of the Atlantic cycle is responsible for some of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the solubility of the gas in the ocean reduces with increasing temperature. The warmists are very prone to confusing the issues and have been known to confuse correlation with causation and also whether temperature leads atmospheric CO2 concentration or vice versa.

Aug 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

saltier water sinks..quite: that's why everybody drinks sweet seawater when they just sip it from the surface..innit

Aug 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul the Nurse

It's not even whether warm water can sink, it's that it sinks without having passed through and having been thusly detected in the top 700m first. That's the unphysical part! As if Poseidon had just pulled it straight down to Davy Jones Locker. When the Argo floats were launched nobody expected such a phenomenon and if any skeptics had suggested such a thing they'd have been rightly laughed at. Somehow though the laws of physics just don't matter to climate scientists and their fanbois. They just need to be politically correct, not factually correct!

Skeptics did though predict a natural oscillation (probably related to the ocean somehow and likely via the PDO) was causing the 79-98 rise and hence would cause a subsequent pause - or even cooling - later on. Belatedly, the pause-deniers have realized we were correct but instead of admitting that, they just blatantly claim credit for the notion that just a few years ago they said was impossible.

Aug 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Entropic man,

Thanks for pointing out the bleedin obvious.

Aug 22, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

I think the right way of looking at this is as a bath with two open plug holes of variable size being filled with water. The water entering the bath is sunlight heating the sea surface, one plug hole is heat radiation to space, the other is heat diffusion to the deeper ocean. Both plug holes act to cool the sea surface.

I get the impression that only one of those plug holes (the radiation to space) is currently being halfway seriously modelled in GCMs, allowing the IPCC to claim that every change in climate is due to anthropogenic influence on that plug hole. But, clouds are still a major uncertainty for that plug hole.

The ocean heat sink plug hole is probably still at the Mickey Mouse modelling level.

Aug 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

JamesG said:

It's not even whether warm water can sink, it's that it sinks without having passed through and having been thusly detected in the top 700m first. That's the unphysical part! As if Poseidon had just pulled it straight down to Davy Jones Locker.

Although I am sceptical of the convenience with which the heat is allegedly happening to be going somewhere we aren't looking, it is still possible. If the flow rate increases while measured temps remain the same, more energy is being moved.

Aug 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

'The standstill may last another twenty years - BUT THEN GLOBAL TEMPERATURES WILL INCREASE RAPIDLY...'

Oh - perleeeease - DO try to think up something better than that...

Silly me - of course, that's when all his 'missing heat' trapped at the bottom of the oceans will suddenly burst to the surface...

Meanwhile, we'll sit and watch what happens to Belgium...

Aug 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Taxpayer funded entrail reading.

Aug 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

So Chen and Tung will they publish their full workings and experimental Data for ANY independent evaluation.
Or will they do a Micheal Mann and hide it and when asked will claim a witch hunt by Big Oil funded deniers.
Then go to court to get it out of them

Aug 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

What heat exactly is missing? Are we missing a 3W/m2 predicted - pardon, projected (a projection can not be falsified) by some IPCC models - or are we missing an unexplained 5W/m2 discrepancy in the best avaliable data, CERES?

Aug 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

If they can explain this I am satisfied:

Warm water has a lower density as cold water.
So it will rise to the surface (and mix with the cold water).
Explain to me how this warmer water stays in the deep ocean without rising to the surface.

Either my education stinks or the rules of physics have changed in the last 40 years.

Warm water in the deep ocean?

H. Kal

Aug 22, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Kal

Once again this brings us back to the thorny question of whether a GCM is a suitable tool to inform public policy.

Bish, as always I am slightly bemused over why you think GCMs are so central to climate policy.

Everyone* agrees that the greenhouse effect is real, and that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Everyone* agrees that CO2 rise is anthropogenic
Everyone** agrees that we can't predict the long-term response of the climate to ongoing CO2 rise with great accuracy. It could be large, it could be small. We don't know. The old-style energy balance models got us this far. We can't be certain of large changes in future, but can't rule them out either.

So climate mitigation policy is a political judgement based on what policymakers think carries the greater risk in the future - decarbonising or not decarbonising.

A primary aim of developing GCMs these days is to improve forecasts of regional climate on nearer-term timescales (seasons, year and a couple of decades) in order to inform contingency planning and adaptation (and also simply to increase understanding of the climate system by seeing how well forecasts based on current understanding stack up against observations, and then futher refining the models). Clearly, contingency planning and adaptation need to be done in the face of large uncertainty.

*OK so not quite everyone, but everyone who has thought about it to any reasonable extent
**Apart from a few who think that observations of a decade or three of small forcing can be extrapolated to indicate the response to long-term larger forcing with confidence

Aug 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

I disagree, Richard.
Four or five years ago I would probably have agreed but I'm afraid that now I think that the only people who agree that "the CO2 rise is anthropogenic" are those who have stopped thinking. Some of the rise is anthropogenic but since the correlation with increased temperature is poor why should anybody care?
And why do we need GCMs whose predictive capability is zero to "inform contingency planning and adaptation" when that seems to include such political wheezes as not draining the Somerset Levels or building on flood plains because we aren't going to have as many floods or advising everyone to re-design their gardens for a Mediterranean climate?
I'm never quite sure whether it's hubris or chutzpah you guys suffer from but trying to second-guess nature is not very bright. The largest uncertainty I see these days is how far from reality the next Met Office long-range forecast will turn out to be and how Auntie Julia will manage to convince herself that it was actually right if you include large enough error bars.
(And you will also have to take the blame for idiots like the EU who think that reducing the power of vacuum cleaners will save electricity and at the same time do a better job. Oh yes you will, because it is the output of these GCMs as spun by the climate activists that are "informing" (LOL) the politicians' decisions! You want us to adapt; they make the decisions as to how. Wrongly, usually.)

Aug 22, 2014 at 6:01 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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