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Discussion > Explaining a glaring contradiction

BB It's not that I haven't bothered to read SkS but that I find the welter of contradictory and confusing comments overwhelming. I like to start with simple facts (assumptions rather) and see where they lead. For example, if the Earth's surface absorbs 161 W/sqm on average (Trenberth) how long would it take to raise the temperature of the oceans by 1K? Assume that the area of the world ocean is 3.61x10^12 sqm and its volume 1.3x10^18 cum (Wikipedia). Start from there and see what answer you come up with. Tell me what further assumptions you make along the way (specific heat of seawater for example). simon

Dec 9, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

MJ, as I said, if the SkS article is so bad, it should be easy for you to point out where it is wrong. But you provide no justification for rejecting the article; just ad-homs and prejudice.

As I read Betts comment, he said nothing of ocean heat content. The Greek quoted a paper that used a network of sensors that was apparently completed in 2005. Their data covers 2003-2008, a very short period over which to come to any solid conclusions. And for a network of 3000 sensors, covering the whole globe you'd think there would be quite a bit of data to go through, lots of graphs of different areas, calculations etc. But they manage to wrap the whole thing up in one graph and two sides of text (a large part of which is covered by the title, abstract and introduction). They don't even say how many sensors (and where) they used for each year.

Simon, where are the contradictions and your confusions?

On insults, I note that nobody objects to those from RKS. You harvest what you sow. When I am called a 'pratt', I feel free to reciprocate with abandon.

Dec 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB Read the 217 comments at the foot of the page you referenced for innumerable examples. simon

Dec 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon


People on BH will normally quote a scientific paper as a reference, not a website. Where people find those papers will vary and yes some will come from websites like WUWT or Climate Audit but often they will come from googling a subject and following a trail.
The fact that you constantly quote from SKS does sort of indicate that the "facts" you quote are not widely supported.

Dec 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

It is quite simple. You try to answer Simon's question instead of arguing about whether the Skepticalscience article is 'correct'. This is important because the Skepticalscience article doesn't answer the question but sidesteps it.

Why waste time on some unreliable, unscientific source when one can tackle the question directly?

A question such as "Why is the temperature not increasing?" has few possible rebuttals in terms of logical possibilites.
(1) No the temperature is increasing.
(2) Yes the temperature is not increasing. But, that doesn't matter because ...

What skepticalscience is doing today, is (2). Their argument is: "Yes the temperature is not increasing. But, if you look at this other metric, or use this other transformation of the temperature series...something is increasing"

Please pause here and reflect on this answer you are being provided. It contains an acceptance of the questioner, on the facts. There really is nothing more to add. The contradictions in that article - for instance, between the "if we use a 5-year moving average the flat trend goes away" and "if we subtract ENSO and others the flat trend goes away" - are as a result of giving multiple ad-hoc explanations. The former contends that there is no real pause in the warming, while the latter, that there is real warming underling the pause. Good for a chuckle.

Now, if you truly have any explanation for why there is such a long pause in the warming we were all told to expect, give them. Or else let it go. Who wants to listens to your general opinions about 'sceptics', and the like?

Dec 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM | Registered Commentershub


So you really do not understand that if you extended the series of temperature plots to 2012 and then make your 11 year moving average plot, then the basically flat trend post 1998 comes into play, showing little or no warming?

Dec 9, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


To ignore our unwelcome mountain-dwelling troll for a moment, the answer to your original request for an explanation of the glaring contradiction is that there isn't one.

Flat-lining temperatures and relentlessly increasing CO2 levels simply disproves the catastrophic global warming hypothesis. End of story. Everyone except the politically motivated or the delusional knows this.

As you probably already have established, "global warming", "climate change", "climate disruption" and "extreme weather events" are not based on science, but are constructs of advocacy groups with varying social engineering agendas.

Dec 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

It isn't very often I venture into science - so how about this?

Isn’t there an elephant in the room?

Nobody anywhere seems to think that the amount of heat arriving from below is anything other than absolutely stable. But continents drift, volcanoes erupt and the like and absolute stability is very likely a myth. Subsurface volumetric thermal capacity is , I believe, some 200 (or 2,000) times the atmosphere’s and so changes in atmospheric temperatures, grist to the mill here, of a few parts of a degree could be explained, I would have thought, by subsurface temperature changes too small to detect but surely there.

I doubt carbon dioxide, radiation or convection physics or human activity compare.

What price climate science and the anthropogenic warming meme now?

Dec 9, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Simon, read 217 comments - are you kidding? Those who wrote the comments were people like you and me. In other words they most likely don't know what they are talking about.
Dung, I don't constantly quote SkS; only on this thread have I mentioned it and that because the page is relevant to Simon's question.
Shrub, you frame the question as, "Why is the temperature not increasing?", and then suggest there are only two ways to answer it. But the sensible answer to the question is, "What do you mean by 'the temperature'?". Trying to answer your question without defining what is meant is a fool's errand.
Uncle, good luck with that one.

Dec 9, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

In order to argue with the troll, one now has to redefine commonly-understood terms now.

Dec 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Registered Commentershub

I consider it a huge success to have my arguments completely ignored by a troll.

Dec 9, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

Scottie, why would I take what you say seriously when for you 3000m below sea level is too deep and presumably 3000m above sea level is too high. How much of the earth do you want to exclude in order to confirm your idea that temperatures are "flatlining"? The temperature of what exactly?

Dec 9, 2012 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

"How much of the earth do you want to exclude in order to confirm your idea that temperatures are "flatlining"? The temperature of what exactly?

Dec 9, 2012 at 11:48 PM | BitBucket"

For the benefit of the mountain dwelling troll I post the following from the Aug 21 session of 'unthreaded' :-

"Interesting snippet on the Daily Telegraph website


Aug 21, 2012 at 8:35 AM | SandyS>>>>>

So the statistical lack of warming over the past 15 years can be totally ignored and they all carry on as if it's the 1980's all over again........

Aug 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM | RKS"

"RKS: no, the last 15 years cannot be ignored. To date, this flatlining is still (just about) within the range of

natural variability simulated by the models, so on the face of it, it doesn't disprove the models. However, it is

part of our research programme to understand the reasons for this - is it just internal variability, or negative

external forcing (sun, aerosols, etc) - or indeed is it the case that the positive forcing has been

overestimated? There are genuine scientific questions here, which should not be dismissed.

Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Richard Betts"

Even a troll can understand that a senior scientist, such as Richard Betts, is referring to a 15 year flatlining in mean global temperature as measured by satellites and ground stations.

No mention of some unobserved magical and completely hypothetical ocean current that somehow forces hot surface water to the cold bottom of the sea for 15 years plus, and which somehow switched on at exactly the same time that the 22 year period [1975 - 1997] of global warming, out of the past 72 years of cooling [1940 - 1975] or flatlining [1997 - 2012], ceased.

The senior scientist says global temperatures have flatlined - end of arguing over that fact which occurred during a period when atmospheric CO2 levels increased by one third, unless you are a self admitted scientifically illiterate, as our current resident troll is.

As an exercise one might follow the excellent advice from Lord Monkton's post on WUWT:-

"Step 1. Get the monthly mean global surface temperature anomalies since January 1997 from the Hadley Centre/CRU. The data, freely available online, are the U.N.’s preferred way to measure how much global warming has happened. Or you could use the more reliable satellite data from the University of Alabama at Huntsville or from Remote Sensing Systems Inc.

Step 2. Put the data into Microsoft Excel and use its routine that calculates the least-squares linear-regression trend on the data. Linear regression determines the underlying trend in a dataset over a given period as the slope of the unique straight line through the data that minimizes the sum of the squares of the absolute differences or “residuals” between the points corresponding to each time interval in the data and on the trend-line. Phew! If that is too much like doing real work (though Excel will do it for you at the touch of a button), find a friendly, honest statistician.

Step 3. Look up the measurement uncertainty in the dataset. Since measuring global temperature reliably is quite difficult, properly-collated temperature data are presented as central estimates flanked by upper and lower estimates known as the “error bars”.

Step 4. Check whether the warming (which is the difference between the first and last value on the trend-line) is greater or smaller than the measurement uncertainty. If it is smaller, falling within the error-bars, the trend is statistically indistinguishable from zero. There has been no warming – or, to be mathematically nerdy, there has been no statistically-significant warming."

If you're 3000m up a mountain adjust for lapse rate as previously suggested.

As for what convection currents MIGHT be happening at 3000m below sea level, you're guess is as good as the next arm waving 'climate' scientist.

Dec 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

The 'enhanced greenhouse theory' states that *surface warming* increases or decreases until the system finds radiative balance. It does *not* state that as surface heating occurs, such energy will be transported into the ocean depths. Surely the enhanced greenhouse theory does not require immediate, relentless equilibration from the system, but, if there is no continued increase of surface temperature even in the face of an increase in the agent that is supposed to cause dysequilibrium, it does give pause for thought.

For thinking brains that is.

(Post written using warmie terminology)

Dec 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Registered Commentershub

RKS, note that Betts did not say that global warming has stopped, only that the measured temperature has flatlined.

Dec 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

RKS, note that Betts did not say that global warming has stopped, only that the measured temperature has flatlined.

Dec 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM | BitBucket>>>>>>>

If it hasn't gone up, it's stopped warming!!!!!!!

Now please go away you childish adolescent idiot!!!

Dec 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

I've made a formal complaint about the disruptive activities of the BB troll.

I suggest any others who find the deliberate disruptions to threads intolerable do the same via the 'contact' label at the top right of the page.

Dec 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

RKS, if you measure the temperature of a bowl of melting ice, it will not change much until all the ice has melted. But it is absorbing heat nevertheless.

Dec 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I pointed out earlier that the guys who pushed this view should have been clear that their theory is called 'ocean heat content increase' rather than 'global warming'. You did not respond.

I have also pointed out that if the earth absorbs heat and does not raise surface temperature as a result, it cannot participate in the enhanced greenhouse effect. We effectively have 16 years of non-participation. You have not responded.

You argument about bowls of melting ice is, in effect, as follows: "Yes, the temperature (aka the surface temperature, aka the global average temperature anomaly) has not increased. But, ... yada yada yada bowl of melting water etc etc" Which in turn implies that you have accepted simon's original premise and question. By doing that you have effectively repudiated your original skepticalscience article which claims that the lack of surface warming since 1998 is a "myth".

People are smart. People are post-alarmist. Get with the program or get out.

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Registered Commentershub

As I have offered before, if ten people politely ask me politely to leave, I will.
Polite, mind, which will be a challenge for some.

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB - your gratuitous rudeness, lack of intelligence and contempt for data makes you an essential part of this party. Regarding your irrelevant post about ice and warming, how does that square up with the increase in ice cover shown on this graph:

I provided a link, because I know you like links. You can ignore links safely whereas ignoring direct quotations and reverting to ad hom abuse just makes it obvious that you are a troll.

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Instead, why not try answering the question asked, assuming the intellectual integrity of the person(s) asking the question?

The lack of surface warming is a serious concern. It raises many questions:

1) Did we attribute to anthropogenic influences that which would otherwise occurred too?
2) Will such long pauses occur in the future too?
3) Is this global anomaly really a good index of measuring global warming?

among others.

These are interesting questions and have implications for how we'll take in the climate issue, even if one believes in the gospel. Question (3) is where you are driving at, it seems. Instead of being a smart ass about it, why don't you write out your explanation, in your words, and refrain from using stupid sources like skepticalscience?

The aim of an article such as skepticalscience's is to say: this is a non-problem, move along. The longer it gets with the same trend, the more seriously we need to take the question posed, SS or not.

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Registered Commentershub

Diogenes, your link is just for the antarctic, but I guess you knew that. Try
for a combined view of sea ice area (a new minimum this year).

Shub, you seem to think the ocean is not part of the globe in 'global' warming. Simon's question was about global warming having stopped. He used the surface temperature record as a proxy for that, but it is not clear that it must be.

Dec 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

The longer it gets with the same trend, the more seriously we need to take the question posed, SS or not.

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM | shub>>>>>>

Out of the past 72 years the globe warmed for just 22 years between 1975 and 1997.

Cooling occurred between 1940 and 1975 [leading to fears of an impending ice age] and temperatures have flatlined since 1997.

The link between CO2 and temperature is looking increasingly tenuous. As with [pre Mann] ice core measurements, CO2 concentrations since 1997 appear to follow temperature increase rather than lead [cause] temperature rise.

Bob Tisdale, posting on WUWT, has made detailed studies of ocean behaviour and his work is well worth looking at to see what's really happening as opposed to nonsensical climate models.

I believe it was NOAA who said that if warming stopped for 15 years it would be time to re-examine the models. Let's see if they do.

The UK Met Office report that the UK has just had its coldest autumn for nineteen years, leaving 2012 on course to be second coldest year since 1996. The current Solar minimum is bound, as usual, to lead to colder temperatures and the CO2 just keeps on increasing.

And why is it that Mars, with a much higher amount of CO2 per cubic metre of atmosphere, is so bloody cold?

Dec 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

Dec 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM | BitBucket

As I have offered before, if ten people politely ask me politely to leave, I will.

Please don't go. Your presence here gives me a superiority complex.

Dec 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie