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Discussion > Climate Senstivity and All That

Got busy at work.

BBD, What exactly are you referring to?

Oct 25, 2011 at 2:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD,

Your earlier response addressed something I didn't say. But never mind, whatever you or I (or even Hansen or Lindzen) choose to emphasize scientifically is not really the point. I agree with the physicist who pointed out that "The only way not to get lost in this awful swamp is to review the basics and decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t."

1. Increased atmospheric CO2 is very likely to have an impact on both climate and on ocean chemistry.
2. It is desirable to decarbonize the energy supply, and sooner or later it will be.
3. The decarbonization strategy to date has been to try to limit energy supplies. It has failed, and if pursued will continue to fail and will further delay decarbonization.
4. Worldwide demand for energy will increase dramatically in the future. It is desirable to try to satisfy this demand.
5. Focusing on the expansion of the energy supply will lead to accelerated decarbonization.

#2-5 remain true IMO, irrespective of our differences on the science over and above #1.

Oct 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Philip,

As per you, why is it desirable to 'decarbonise'? I think coal and petrol have very desirable properties, for instance. Are you talking about their pollution side effects?

Oct 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub,

Yes, and also because of #1, and also because it will help to secure #4.

Oct 25, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Philip

Your earlier response addressed something I didn't say.

Be specific please.

Shub

Busy at 'work'? With your commenting pattern? You must think I'm daft.

You kept me waiting. Now you can do some waiting. But there will be fun later.

Oct 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD,

You misunderstood the point I was trying to make about the Kohler paper (around "Either way, in other uncertain scientific debates, it might easily be taken as some kind of support for Chylek's position"). It's probably worth while for you to reread my original comment a little more carefully (@ Oct 23, 2011 at 11:24 AM), and with your physicist's hat on reflect a little more on how similar the CS numbers are in AR4 and in the Chylek and Kohler papers.

Cheers.

Oct 25, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Philip

reflect a little more on how similar the CS numbers are in AR4 and in the Chylek and Kohler papers.

Sorry, I still don't understand what you are driving at, unless you are simply trying to create confusion. Which isn't your style, so I must be missing something.

My take:

Chylek & Lohmann: 1.3 - 2.3K; median 1.8K

Kohler:

However, in contrast to the results by Chylek and Lohmann (2008a), our analysis shows that medium values around 2-3 K are more likely and high values also cannot be excluded.

IPCC AR4: median 3K

Hansen & Sato (2011) empirical estimate: 3K

Chylek is the outlier. The only way to get C&L's result is to cherry-pick the paleo data - Annan describes exactly what was done (link upthread). Do the analysis correctly, and you get ca 3K.

I'm still not sure what you feel I did not address in your earlier comment.

Oct 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

Unfortunately, the question I asked you two days ago has disappeared over the page, so I will re-post it here for the benefit of others.

Also, it will hopefully serve as a reminder that you have not answered yet.

I would welcome your input into a what-if? exercise.

What would you think if a climate scientist published controversial alarmist studies (rejected elsewhere) in a journal and you found out that he was one of two editors of that journal?

This goes far beyond pal-review. This is self-publishing.

There would be an angry backlash here at BH and across the sceptic blogosphere, surely?

There is more. Imagine this author was also on the editorial boards of two other journals in which his work has been published.

Imagine that his highly contentious work appears only in journals on which he serves in a senior editorial position.

Would this be the most serious conflict of interest in academic publishing you had ever encountered?

Would it be a source of sceptic outrage for the foreseeable future? I think it would, but I'm curious as to your views.

And yes, I will explain all this later. In the mean time, just let me know how you think this scenario would play in the sceptic blogosphere.

Oct 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD,

I promise you I'm not trying to create confusion (there wouldn't be a lot of point really, would there?). What I'm trying to do, is to persuade you that arguments like the one here are a waste of time. Even when I did my little bit of physics research, the atmosphere was known to exhibit chaotic behaviour. Because of this, I'd not expect climate to vary in the simple linear way implied by dT = S dF, except for small changes. Even so, there are a lot of estimates for S and they vary across an entire order of magnitude. From the physics point of view, I'm happy with that. It's what I'd expect, and even this strikes me as quite a good achievement (remember also, that typical simple theoretical arguments put it a great deal higher still!). I'd be surprised if it proves possible to reliably pin it down with much more accuracy. This is essentially why I compared C&L and Kohler in the way that I did.

No doubt an order of magnitude estimate is almost precisely useless from a policy point of view, and therefore I can't see the point in making a big song and dance out of it. As far as I can tell, the basic simple arguments in favour of decarbonisation already stand up to scrutiny, and arguments over CS simply create confusion when they are exposed up into the policy debate. Here's another example in a quote from quite a nice paper by Mike Hulme from a few years back:-

.. the possibility of abrupt climate change triggered by human perturbation of the climate system is used to support the position of both those who urge stronger and earlier mitigative action than is currently being contemplated and those who argue that the unknowns in the Earth system are too large to justify such early action.

We saw a third example in the TSI thread too. As I mentioned in my earlier comment, I think that the best way to accelerate decarbonization is to focus on expanding the energy supply, because doing this will be accepted by most people and is likely to lead to a diversity of cheap energy sources.

Oct 25, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Example of warmist logic:

"I don't understand what you are saying. That means you must be trying to 'create confusion'."

Oct 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Philip

Ah. Okay. I tend to agree, but this is a climate sceptic blog, so this sort of discussion tends to get airtime. But yes, let's stick to a large nuclear expansion as the obvious and logical response to a pressing need to displace coal from the global energy mix.

Oct 25, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

All you ever do is create confusion. But never mind that for now.

Going back to the previous comment - which you yet again ignored.

As you know, Spence_UK is convinced that Koutsoyiannis is right and climate is self-propelling. This is presumably as it serves as a distraction from what is well understood about the absorption and re-radiation of LW by GHGs.

The thought experiment you have elected not to comment on was prompted by the very troubling nature of Koutsoyiannis' publication history.

Spence_UK boomed this at me upthread:

This isn't about belief, BBD. It's about [Koutsoyiannis'] published, scientific case presented in the peer-reviewed literature. It is a complete, coherent argument providing a model (complete with physical justification) of the natural variability of climate which has not been falsified.

It turns out that this 'published scientific case' was rejected by not one, but two mainstream journals and ultimately emerged* in niche hydrology journals where Koutsoyiannis was co-editor or on the editorial board.

Imagine the fury of the sceptics if a climate scientist was caught doing this.

From Koutsoyiannis' home page:

Demetris Koutsoyiannis is professor in Hydrology and Analysis of Hydrosystems, and Head of the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens. He is also Co-Editor of Hydrological Sciences Journal and member of the editorial board of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (and formerly of Journal of Hydrology and Water Resources Research). He has been awarded the Henry Darcy Medal 2009 by the European Geosciences Union for his outstanding contributions to the study of hydrometeorological variability and to water resources management.

Koutsoyiannis' publication history is here.

I lost count about half-way down the list at 19 papers published in journals on which Koutsoyiannis was editor or a member of the editorial board. The much-discussed 'Random Walk on Water' paper appeared in Hydrology & Earth System Sciences, of which Koutsoyiannis is co-editor.

This goes far beyond pal-review. I cannot recall any example of a conflict of interest in scientific publishing on this scale.

So how much attention should be paid to Koutsoyiannis? He argues that Croll-Milankovitch is wrong and he proposes a new theory of climate at the same time. Extraordinary claims indeed. But what is extraordinary about the purported evidence is the way it has been published.

Funny how not one single 'sceptic' appears to have noticed the jaw-dropping irregularities in the way Koutsoyiannis has been getting his 'case' past 'peer review'.


_______________________________


*Eg:

Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, G. G. Anagnostopoulos, and N. Mamassis, Scientific dialogue on climate: is it giving black eyes or opening closed eyes? Reply to “A black eye for the Hydrological Sciences Journal ” by D. Huard, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56 (7), 1334–1339, 2011.

Anagnostopoulos, G. G., D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, and N. Mamassis, A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55 (7), 1094–1110, 2010.

Koutsoyiannis, D., A random walk on water, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 14, 585–601, 2010.

Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Efstratiadis, N. Mamassis, and A. Christofides, On the credibility of climate predictions, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53 (4), 671–684, 2008.

Oct 26, 2011 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

You are twisiting my words again:

You say:

Example of warmist logic:

"I don't understand what you are saying. That means you must be trying to 'create confusion'."

I actually said:

Sorry, I still don't understand what you are driving at, unless you are simply trying to create confusion. Which isn't your style, so I must be missing something.

Spot the difference?

Oct 26, 2011 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I said:

"I don't understand what you are saying. That means you must be trying to 'create confusion'."

for your

"Sorry, I still don't understand what you are driving at, unless you are simply trying to create confusion."

which is pretty much the same thing, ...only my formulation is more attributional.

In any case, instead of figuring out what Philip was saying, you failed at it, and decided to make sense of it using his 'history' of commenting (presumably suitably logged in your truthiness index).

You say above:

"Spence_UK is convinced that Koutsoyiannis is right"

As far as I can tell, Spence's conviction about Koutsoyiannis has no relevance here. Nor did he say he was convinced. He brought it up becauase you harped on consensus.

Again, instead of examining the Koutsoyannis argument, you are seeking to dismiss it by referring to publication history.

Your points about his publication history are very interesting - in a Deepclimate kind of sense. But that is a separate issue of its own. They do not have much relevance to the Koutsoyannis' idea which Spence wanted you to discuss. You haven't done that.

So, you haven't confronted the divergence issue, cannot bring yourself to agree/disagree with philip, cannot confront Koutsoyannis, cannot confront the 'small push needed to bring about large change - implies - large sensitivity' idea, etc.

Oct 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

Your response is unsatisfactory.

First, on 'creating confusion'. You say:

which is pretty much the same thing, ...only my formulation is more attributional.

There is either a problem with your comprehension, or you are yet again misrepresenting what I say.

WRT Koutsoyiannis. Either you haven't read this thread, or you are deliberately misrepresenting previous discussion (yet again).

He brought it up becauase you harped on consensus.

Rubbish. Spence_UK was banging on about Koutsoyiannis on a thread in the main forum. We moved the discussion here as it was drifting OT.

You know as well as I do that if a climate scientist published in a journal over which they had direct editorial control the sceptics would go wild. To try to wave this away shows that you will say absolutely anything in the furtherance of your 'argument'. It is laughable.

So, you haven't confronted the divergence issue,

I've attempted to explain why the 'divergence issue' is a non-issue, but you are unable or unwilling to understand the topic. Please stop claiming that I have not 'confronted' this. You know this is a untrue, yet you keep repeating it.

cannot bring yourself to agree/disagree with philip,

I was trying to find out what his meaning was. You misrepresented that above (see beginning of this comment) and now you are doing it again.

cannot confront Koutsoyannis,

Why bother to address Koutsouiannis? The stuff S_UK linked to doesn't overturn Croll-Milankovitch and climate is not self-propelling. This is just contrarian hand-waving which couldn't get past peer review in mainstream journals.

cannot confront the 'small push needed to bring about large change - implies - large sensitivity' idea, etc.

Exactly the same goes for your claim that I didn't 'confront' the 'divergence issue'. I've discussed this at length, and you are either unable or unwilling to understand the topic. Once again, please stop claiming that I have not 'confronted' this. You know this is a untrue, yet you keep repeating it.

Have you nothing better than this? Actually, I know you don't because of the cumulative length of our exchanges.

What kind of impression do you think you are making on others here?

Oct 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I am sorry to have missed your explanation for why models consistently overestimated temperature trends at different timescales, extending to greater than 30 years.

Could you please repeat it for our benefit?

Oct 26, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

No.

Re-visit this:

http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1619335

Start at Oct 12, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Review your own failure to understand thermal inertia.

Have you nothing better than this? Well, obviously not, but I like to keep attention focussed on how weak your 'arguments' are.

What kind of impression do you think you are making on others here?

Oct 26, 2011 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub/Spence_UK

There are two views:

(1) Climate change is self-propelled

(2) Climate change is forced

Those arguing for (1) do not address the point of (2).

What about the increase in RF from CO2?

Oct 26, 2011 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

There is no post at the time you mention.

I thought that the thermal inertia was your attempt at providing an example of a computer model that recapitulated the heat sinking into the ocean depths, not an explanation for why models overestimate temperature trends .

Oct 27, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

There is no post at the time you mention.

Look again, careless and lazy commenter.

I thought that the thermal inertia was your attempt at providing an example of a computer model that recapitulated the heat sinking [etc]

As I said above, you do not seem capable of following the discussion. Perhaps now, having definitively demonstrated that it's all over your head, you will give up.

Oct 27, 2011 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

And you seemed to have missed this:

Shub/Spence_UK

There are two views:

(1) Climate change is self-propelled

(2) Climate change is forced

Those arguing for (1) do not address the point of (2).

What about the increase in RF from CO2?

Oct 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I've been asking about the Santer et al 2011 figure as shown in the skepticalscience diagram, I provided a link to. Its right there, in the post above your 9:46 one.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/SanterFig6.png'

[1] Your 'explanation' to why models show increased trends is, because, "it is too high".

:)

P.S: thanks for that answer Prof Obvious. 'Something is showing increased values because it is high'.

[2] Your second 'explanation' was that, the models have always shown high trends because the heat is sinking into the oceans.

:)

P.S: If you asked about a discrepancy (in anything), and, if you reply by saying that the discrepant amount (of whatever it might me) is hidden somewhere (especially where no one can get at), that doesn't count as an explanation. That counts as making stuff up.

And you call this: "...I've discussed this at length...".

I think, between you and me, I am the idiot definitely.

Oct 27, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

It gets better. Not only is there uncertainty about the rate of energy accumulation in the deep ocean, there's uncertainty about the amount of energy reflected back into space by stratospheric aerosols.

Two reasons why the MMM may be running high compared to observations, neither of which conflict with the physical cause of warming (RF from CO2).

The difference between rationalists (eg me) and you is that I see uncertainty as uncertainty, while you try and use it as a mechanism to 'refute AGW'.

What you are doing is illogical and pointless, so yes, I would have to agree with your last sentence.

Still dodging questions about the increased RF from CO2, I see. What will the excuse be this time?

Oct 27, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

What I am 'using' the gulf between model and reality, is, not relevant at all. Especially when I have not done any 'using'.

The constant overestimation of trends, simply suggests that the mechanism by which temperature increases are derived in the models, is incomplete. It is in all likelihood wrong. Who cares, if it refutes or confirms AGW after that. A deterministic model has to get everything right. Else, it is either wrong, or not useful in a deterministic manner. It is quite simple .

So you admit that you (or anyone) don't really have an answer, and you are just making stuff up. And you called that an 'explanation' which you discussed at length.

Oct 27, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

The 'gulf'? The MMM is slightly below the TLT observations. Interesting that for you, this is a 'gulf'.

The most likely reasons are as stated: ocean mixing not correct; aerosol estimate too low. To you, this is 'making stuff up' rather than working towards a better understanding of what is happening.

So while you disingenuously pretend that you are not 'using' these things, you very clearly are. Dishonest, or just lacking self-awareness?

And please note: neither of these possible explanations for the slight divergence invalidates the modelled physics of atmospheric radiative transfer, if that is what you are trying to say here.

I repeat, to the rational observer, this is uncertainty about the cause of a slight divergence. To the dogmatic contrarian, it is 'proof' that AGW is 'refuted'.

All that this behaviour proves is that the person doing it doesn't understand the science and is fundamentally denying the radiative physics underpinning the greenhouse effect.

When you do that, you step outside the framework of rational debate.

For example, you think that even the lukewarmers are wrong. You have said as much in comments at BH. You don't think there's any connection between CO2 and warming, and those that do are deluded or worse, trying to take over the world with their evil socialist agenda.

That's just mad. This is what happens when you get carried away by paranoid imaginings instead of just reading the mainstream literature and using your brain rationally.

You have to separate out the various issues, and you don't seem capable of doing so. For example, the models aren't the best way of estimating climate sensitivity. Paleoclimate change is better because, as Hansen says, the physics are complete, and exact.

Empirical estimates such as H&S11 come out at 3C. Just like the models. So, the probable explanation for the current divergence is that it is a transient effect. A reduction in heat uptake by the ocean or in aerosol loading (or both) is all it would take to bring observations into line with the MMM.

I'll give you the last word, because what you say is so revealing about the way your mind works:

So you admit that you (or anyone) don't really have an answer, and you are just making stuff up. And you called that an 'explanation' which you discussed at length.

Oct 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD