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Discussion > Soon, Baliunus, de Freitas, Etal

Shub

Re my last comment: I didn't call you a liar.

Are you serious? There must be some explanation, because it sounds like a flat-out lie otherwise.

Close enough for me.

This is wrong btw:

Contrary to your constant refrain, not only is climate sensitivity just defined w.r.t to CO2 (presumably to guide 'policy'), it actually has a distinct physical basis in the climate system as well. x W/m2 of radiative forcing of solar origin is quite different from x W/m2 forcing by increased CO2 conc. mediated greenhouse effect. In fact in some respects it is quite the opposite.

Yes, CS is often expressed in terms of RF from CO2 (or CO2e). No, it is not tied to it. A W/m2 of RF from the sun is the same as a W/m2 RF from GHGs. It's energy Shub. It might take different paths through the climate system but if you sustain a forcing for long enough there is an increase in the amount of energy in the climate system. An energetic imbalance. It warms up.

'In some respects it's quite the opposite'

List them please.

Dec 13, 2011 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike

We spent more than enough time on that. The conversation has developed. Stop trying to edit me out.

And once again, why don't you answer the questions posed four times now upthread?

Or can't you?

Dec 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

You can critique Mann like that, only if you'd had knowledge that the climate system does have high sensitivity a priori. Otherwise it sounds just like adoptiong a position and then attacking evidence that does not fit with that position.

What, like you lot do all the time? ;-)

CS is around 3C Shub. You might as well get used to the idea.

Dec 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike

You want to talk about Willie Soon. There's some discussion of Soon's questionable methods on the Icy news thread (at the end):

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/12/12/icy-news.html?currentPage=3#comments

You won't like it.

Dec 13, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

No BBD, it is not just energy. You've fallen into a tautological blind hole you've to dig out, yourself. You have had enough help. You don't think and waste your time underestimating the intelligence of your fellow commenters.

One situation there is increased forcing, and the other there is incresed forcing with concommitant presense of and increased concentration of CO2. This is especially relevant in comparisons between the previous millenium and the present period, as concentrations of CO2 are (purportedly dramatically) different.

Dec 13, 2011 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

There, that's much better:

No BBD, it is not just energy. You've fallen into a tautological blind hole you have to dig out of it, yourself. You have had enough help. You don't think hard, and you'd rather waste your time underestimating and insulting the intelligence of your fellow commenters.

In one situation there is increased forcing, and in the other, there is increased forcing with the concommitant presence of an increased concentration of CO2. This is especially relevant in comparisons between the previous millenium and the present period, as concentrations of CO2 are (purportedly dramatically) different.

Dec 13, 2011 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD
I'm not sure which questions you are referring to. You ask so many and repeat them so often.
If you know the answers to these questions why are you asking them? If you don't, then I probably can't help you since my scientific knowledge is very limited — about on a par with yours, I think. And if you are trying to put yourself in loco magistro I'm afraid I would want someone a lot wiser than you to teach me.
And I have read the post you refer to (at least I think I have; you're never very helpful in these matters but I assume you are referring to your own post).
As usual, you miss the point. Since your views, highly partisan and very offensive, have been well aired why should I pay the slightest attention to your further ramblings?
And I repeat, this thread is about Soon, Baliunas and de Freitas. If you want to wander off-topic, fine. Just don't complain when somebody reminds you that that is what you are doing and by demanding that we all return to your choice of topic which is not the subject of this thread you simply make yourself look foolish.

Dec 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Shub

In one situation there is increased forcing, and in the other, there is increased forcing with the concommitant presence of an increased concentration of CO2.

Eh? Forcing is forcing. Watts per metre squared are watts per metre squared. What does the 'concommitant [sic] presence of an increased concentration of CO2' mean in this context?

It's all just energy. You have proved, once again, that you are clueless. Bravo!

Dec 13, 2011 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike

So sorry you cannot find something I've reposted four times (in the so far vain hope that someone will address it substantively). Here, once again, are the questions that you pretend you cannot find:

- The real question is whether the MWP is relevant here. This presumes equivalence with the present. Can we assume this?

- If you argue yes, there is a condition. The MWP seems to have been caused by increased TSI. So is there credible, widely-accepted evidence that TSI is the main driver of modern warming?

- A substantial body of work points to increased radiative forcing by CO2 as an energetically sufficient cause for much recent warming. Has it been refuted or even seriously challenged?

- Have observations revealed anyenergetically sufficient alternative?

- If they did, the effect of increased RF from CO2 would still have to be taken into account. If 'something else' is responsible for modern warming, it should be warmer than it is. How do you explain the missing heat?

- S&B and the small group of energy-industry funded, right-wing contrarians they belong to has deliberately and successfully distracted attention from the central issues. For example, if the hockey stick is debunked, what effect will it have on the laws of physics that cause RF from CO2 to heat the climate system?

If you know the answers to these questions why are you asking them? If you don't, then I probably can't help you since my scientific knowledge is very limited — about on a par with yours, I think. And if you are trying to put yourself in loco magistro I'm afraid I would want someone a lot wiser than you to teach me.

Yes, of course. I know nothing. Just like you.

Since your views, highly partisan and very offensive, have been well aired why should I pay the slightest attention to your further ramblings?

May I remind you that your views directly contradict the scientific consensus? I am not the partisan here. You forget yourself in your little flights of self-righteousness.

If you want to talk about Soon's bad science, then why not do so? I pointed you at the discussion of the fundamental problems with his 2005 paper. You are again trying to edit me out, but now also ignoring an invitation to return to a close examination of Soon's work.

Dec 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

At last I understand.
You think you do know the answers to all those questions and you think the rest of us don't.You may be right.
But it's not that we can't answer your questions — some of us on here are quite bright — it's just that we don't really want to because we can think of more fun ways of passing the time! Shame you can't.
Have a nice day!

Dec 13, 2011 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

I am going to take that as a refusal to engage because you are unable to answer the questions.

Being show to be wrong is, I agree, never fun.

Dec 13, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Exactly the reply I expected from you, BBD. I could have written it myself.
You can "take" what you like and if I weren't a gentleman I'd tell you where to put it. The premise that because we refuse to give in to your incessant demands that we all answer whatever questions you care to put to us means that we have lost the argument belongs in the primary school playground. It's a trick we've all used in our time but most of us, fortunately, managed to grow out of it. You evidently haven't.
It's also based on a fallacy, namely that I accept the terms which you choose to lay down for the debate. I simply refuse to be bullied into engaging on grounds of your choosing, that's all.

Dec 14, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

You are huffing and puffing. We both know you can't come up with a coherent 'sceptic' position in the face of even the few simple questions posed above because there isn't one. My problem with 'sceptics' in a nutshell is that they WILL NOT admit that the position is incoherent, contradictory and unsupported. This stubborn illogicality is puzzling and infuriating in equal measure. I literally cannot understand how your minds work.

Dec 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I have already pointed out the incoherence in your own argument, BBD. It is this:

The MWP seems to have been caused by increased TSI.

Seems?

Dec 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

BBD
Don't let it get to you. We haven't a clue how your mind works either. Most of the time you write fairly lengthy posts (and then criticise sam for dong the same thing) full of superficially erudite arguments and lots of links, sometimes to warmist blogs, sometimes to literature which may or not be peer-reviewed (as if that was the only thing that mattered: science is science whether your peers have reviewed it or not) which many of us have neither the time nor the inclination to follow up.
You try (and fail miserably) to sound learned by using technical terms (and abbreviations, as I have mentioned before) which it is quite evident you barely understand. I don't understand a lot of them either but I don't try to give people the impression I do.
Then you hammer us with questions which again are designed to show us all how clever you are but it's noticeable that you normally choose not to answer any put to you with an equivalent of "I asked first" — another playground trait.
You have little or no respect for the people you engage with. If you're not insulting us you're assuming that because we choose not to engage on ground of your choosing that means we can't answer the questions. It ain't necessarily so and I would at least like to be accorded the usual courtesy of assuming that I normally write the truth.
You behave like the worst of the warmists — the minute you realise that someone doesn't agree with your interpretation of the science you devalue them as a human being.
Your problem with sceptics

is that they WILL NOT admit that the position is incoherent, contradictory and unsupported
. Our problem with you is that we don't agree and we object to being categorised in this way by someone whose scientific training and experience is minimal when there are many very experienced and very senior and very well-qualified people in the relevant fields who agree with us to a greater or less extent.
We just find more coherence in their views than in yours.
Live with it.

Dec 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Our problem with you is that we don't agree and we object to being categorised in this way by someone whose scientific training and experience is minimal when there are many very experienced and very senior and very well-qualified people in the relevant fields who agree with us to a greater or less extent.

No there aren't. You are living in a fantasy world, Mike.

You've recently latched on to the idea that I don't know what I'm talking about. I say you are wrong. Provide clear examples to back this up (a single mistake is not sufficient) or stop doing it.

Dec 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Well matthu, we've got a clear correlation between the Maunder and Dalton minima and cooling events. Overall forcing from GHGs doesn't seem to have varied enough to provide an energetically sufficient explanation for the MWP, so solar variation is the only other plausible source for the energy.

For you to describe this as 'incoherent' shows just how desperate you are. It also shows that you haven't got a clue.

Dec 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I see.

So because there is a good correlation between the Maunder and Dalton minima and cooling events, it must be TSI - even though TSI hardly varies, right?

Oh well, we better incorporate volcanic activity too, to explain the Maunder and Dalton minima.

Well, what about the MWP then? Variability of TSI is too small to explain the MWP.
Well we better eradicate the MWP.

It all fits now. /sarc

Dec 14, 2011 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

BBD,

I don't believe I've posted here before, and while I've just stumbled across this thread, I've been considering some questions lately related to your own and thought I'd respond to yours:

1) "The real question is whether the MWP is relevant here. This presumes equivalence with the present. Can we assume this?"

You don't need to presume "equivalance" to suggest it is relevant. Scientists are using time periods with far more uncertain forcings and conditions significantly different from those today (e.g., the LGM) to estimate climate sensitivity, so it seems odd to suggest that more recent Paleo would be irrelevant. Basically, if the climate of the last ~1500 years has varied more than expected, we would presume the science has something wrong: either the radiative forcings, missing causes of low frequency natural variability, or the response to those forcings (here's one for you...it may imply the sensitivity is actually higher than previously thought!).

2) "If you argue yes, there is a condition. The MWP seems to have been caused by increased TSI. So is there credible, widely-accepted evidence that TSI is the main driver of modern warming?"

Huh? The question of what caused the MWP (if indeed it was significant) is the very nature of its relevance. The forcing from TSI alone would NOT be sufficient to explain it given our current understanding, which again, is why it is relevant. Similarly, the models do a poor job of reproducing the early 20th century warming, and this is even when they rely on an outdated TSI reconstruction. Using a realistic estimate for TSI leads one to wonder what forcing / natural variability we may be missing.

3) "A substantial body of work points to increased radiative forcing by CO2 as an energetically sufficient cause for much recent warming. Has it been refuted or even seriously challenged?"

The RF per doubling of CO2 is approximately 3.7 W/m^2. The important question is the temperature response to this forcing (i.e. the sensitivity). Actually, if you were to assume a 3C sensitivity, we should have seen far MORE warming based on the current CO2 levels...the current way of reconciling the high sensitivity with the limited current warming is the poorly-constrained aerosol forcing.

4) "Have observations revealed any energetically sufficient alternative?"

Once again, this is the very question at hand. If the current science is underestimating other forcings or sources of natural variability (which is a possible implication of the MWP), it would suggest that the CO2 forcing has played a smaller role and the overall sensitivity is lower.

5) "If they did, the effect of increased RF from CO2 would still have to be taken into account. If 'something else' is responsible for modern warming, it should be warmer than it is. How do you explain the missing heat?"

As explained above, the question is sensitivity. We already have "missing heat" based on current levels of CO2, which climate scientists attribute to aerosols. There's another explanation if there is more "missing heat" -- the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is lower than 3C.

6) "S&B and the small group of energy-industry funded, right-wing contrarians they belong to has deliberately and successfully distracted attention from the central issues. For example, if the hockey stick is debunked, what effect will it have on the laws of physics that cause RF from CO2 to heat the climate system?"

None related to radiative physics. But radiative physics alone gets you a no-feedback sensitivity of ~1C. To constrain climate sensitivity, we need more. Setting aside any philosophical/procedural implications that may be raised by a "debunking" of the hockey stick, there would be some lingering questions about climate variability for the science. It's not the most important aspect of climate science, but if it was completely irrelevant, it wouldn't have been included in the IPCC :)

Dec 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTroy_CA

Hi matt

This is from BBD, earlier this year at Bishop Hill, responding to an old Washington DC climate blogger's claims:

"It's interesting how the insinuation by Eli Rabett that the Lisbon Workshop was funded by Big Oil is spreading.


It is, of course, a sly distortion of the facts.
Have a look here for an overview of the Foundation and what it does:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calouste_Gulbenkian_Foundation
Yes, it was originally endowed by oil money. But look again at what it does:

...

Now it all makes sense, doesn't it?

No need for twisting the facts to support the very boring, very tired Big Oil funding smear that really should be quietly taken out the back and buried."

and then later, this, to dear hengist:

Refering to Eli's nonsense about the Gulbenkian somehow being directed in its actions by Big Oil does not count as supported assertion (do read its mission statement - I posted it up for you).

You are not impressing me at all.

From the above:
[1] Cries of "Big Oil" did not impress BBD a while back, but now they do? If you believe in the "RF heating the system", it doesn't lead to crying hoarse about "Big Oil", does it?

[2] Referring to Eli Rabett's post about Big Oil did not count as a 'supported assertion'/evidence for BBD, but referring to Greenpeace documents about Soon's Big Oil connection is supposed to count for us?

BBD,
You can change your own mind and argue with yourself. You are really not in conflict with anyone else here, but yourself.

Dec 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Thank you, Troy_CA.
That was a most interesting and well-summarised answer for the rest of us. I can live with all of the answers you have given and so it would be gratifying to think that BBD might concede at least a couple of the points you have made, but I guess the points you make are diametrically opposite to what BBD has already formulated in his own mind.

Dec 14, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Troy_CA
In the light of your answers to BBD's questions above, you might be interested in this post just up at WUWT.
http://tinyurl.com/7ab8n7e
The study at Yale concludes that only one-third of the climate impact from aviation can be laid at the door of CO2 and that desulpherising jet fuel would have a net cooling effect on the climate.
How far can we extrapolate that, I wonder, and identify the increase in air traffic over the last 60 years and especially the last 30 as a possible source of forcings that we have so far not been able to identify?

Dec 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Troy_CA

Thanks for your response. The name's familiar. CA? WUWT?

My thoughts:

1/. 'You don't need to presume "equivalance" to suggest it is relevant.' But you do need to presume equivalence. Without it, any comparison between the MWP and the present climate states is meaningless. We need equivalence of sensitivity to changes in RF during the MWP and the present. And we have it. Nobody is suggesting that the climate system has changed since the MWP. It's not at all like looking at the LGM or the It behaves now as it did then. But it was not forced by increased RF from CO2 during the MWP, so it must have been something else. Solar variation remains the only other plausible source of increased RF.

2/.You appear to be making some assumptions about GAT during the MWP. What are your references for the assertion that 'the forcing from TSI alone would NOT be sufficient to explain' the MWP? (I don't want to get off into models and hindcasting here).

3/. Something of a non-answer. I asked if the scientific basis for AGW had been challenged successfully. What are your sources for the claim that if CS is ~3C we should have seen 'far MORE' more warming? Agreed wrt aerosol uncertainty though.

4/. 'If the current science is underestimating other forcings or sources of natural variability'. Where's the evidence? What other forcings? You can't argue for this scenario and an over-estimate of forcing from CO2 unless you can back it up. This applies to your suggestion that CS has also been over-estimated.

5/. You are continuing the argument, without evidence, that CS is substantially lower than ~3C. Without recourse to 'mystery forcings' we are left with the strong likelihood of CS being ~3C. Aerosols and energetic accumulation in the deep ocean are the most likely modifiers of the effects of CO2 forcing on atmospheric temperatures.

6/. As I said, debunking the Hockey Stick does nothing to AGW theory. We appear to agree on this. But of course I also agree that the prominence of the Mannean Hockey Stick in TAR was misleading.

Just to summarise:

- The MWP and the present are equivalent (the climate system responds to forcing in the same way)

- The only plausible source of RF that might have caused the MWP is solar variation, perhaps amplified by low volcanism/aerosol loading. There are suggestions that a persistent La Nina and positive NAO resulted and this further amplified and prolonged the effects of the initial forcings

- There is no evidence that similar forcings are causing modern warming

- There is a large body of work that points to RF from CO2 being the main cause of modern warming

Mike Jackson thinks that this is off-topic, but it isn't. Soon & Baliunas (2003) is used to claim that modern warming is natural variability. They argue this on the basis of the MWP being as warm or warmer than the present in terms of global average temperatures. This is highly contentious, as we know ;-). Rather than argue the equivalence in GAT between the MWP and the present, I am curious about the equivalence in forcings. There's no observational evidence to support the argument that whatever caused the MWP is also causing modern warming. Current best understanding is that RF from CO2 is the most plausible energetically sufficient driver of modern warming.

Dec 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

You are setting up a false equivalence. Those claiming that Big Oil was behind the Lisbon Workshop had no evidence. Those stating, as a matter of fact, that Soon has been solely funded by the energy industry for a decade are correct. The Lisbon Workshop was also rather different from Soon's controversial publishing history, affiliations and funding.

I freely admit to having changed my views on the influence and intentions of the energy industry when it comes to distorting energy policy. I have also freely admitted to being wrong about a low climate sensitivity.

Dec 14, 2011 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

So you freely admit to changing your mind (not a problem), but are clueless enough to actively harangue people who are just like how you were before?

Dec 14, 2011 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub