Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Twitter
Support

 

Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

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

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > A single repository of scientific scepticism

Thanks for that information EM.

Well I do have to confess that 0.02% over a third of a century does seem a pretty small proportion to me. I'm not sure what relevance society's consumption of energy has. To make 0.6*10^22J/year look like a large quantity? My reaction on reading your "the annual ocean warming is ten times our entire civilization's annual energy budget was to think "So it's utterly piffling, then."

If somebody told me that they had measured the total ocean heat content with an accuracy of ±5%, I'd have thought that was not bad going, for accuracy. For it to be measured with sufficient precision that changes of less than 0.001% per year can be detected stretches credulity. But I always did detect rat odour when 'anomolies' were being talked about.

Did you get what I was on about when I said that the quote "OHC is always computed with a reference mean subtracted out from each temperature observation. Otherwise the OHC computation depends on the temperature scale used" sound like total nonsense? [Despite about ten of the authors coming from NOAA.]

Any more on my suggestion that nobody knows what the relation is (even if one exists that is not completely chaotic, random and unknowable) between "ocean heat content and "climate change"? Your suggestion that "Ocean heat content is therefore your proper measure of climate change" does not withstand the most basic tests of plausibility of what you can use to measure what.

Feb 23, 2016 at 8:15 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

EM, even if you knew the precise amount of ice change and surface-ground-water changes (and accompanying heat changes) you would not be able to calculate a sea level rise unless you know where that heat has gone in the ocean, and all the other heat distributions to boot.

The density and volume change of seawater is not constant with temperature. Look at it here. If all of Kevin Trenberth's missing heat had gone into fractionally warming very cold water descending at the poles then it would cause only a small fraction of the expansion it might cause if it warmed surface waters in warmer places.

This actually works in favour of Trenberth's argument. He may be disingenuous, but he is no fool. That is why he chose to imagine that the missing heat is skulking in the abyssal depths:
a) because there are no adequate temperature measurements, and
b) because it wouldn't show much of a sea level rise even if it was there.

Of course, absence of adequate data won't fly as support for a hypothesis in mainstream science, but we're talking global-warming "science" here.

Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Hmmm… I am pretty sure that I understand what uncertainty is; I am not sure you truly do – you do seem to think that it gives more credibility to conclusions based upon data that is tenuous, if not near non-existent. Once again, you link to a paper of complete poppycock, EM, stuffed full of wild guesses and the usual disastrous future, all without any real evidence. The more I read of it, the more… well, the only term that could be used is “utter bollocks”… it appears. However, it is a paper that is right up your street, with headlines such as “Human Extermination of Species”. There is precious little observation of definitive climate change, and certainly no examples of how any change has manifested itself. You may want to believe this, EM, but I would like more solid evidence than is being offered.

What will be your mantra should a declining global temperature become evident?

Feb 24, 2016 at 12:14 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Is this another thread derailed ?
(probably by people posting from from the offices of the huge well funded transnational unelected NGOs)

TheBigYinJames titled the thread is "(creating) A single repository of scientific scepticism"

..By rights people going off on a tangent should have started new threads ..It's easy enough to do.

Feb 24, 2016 at 1:48 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen, in hindsight, I have to agree that you were right well before Christmas!

Professional Climatrollogists are paid to disrupt and subvert this blog and it's readership as much as possible. This is of course a great compliment to this blog! The sad fact is that some of the Big Green Blob Cheques are funded by UK taxpayers, through charities, universities and other bodies that can hide/mask their intentions behind self righteous flannel. In Australia, I think it is known as Flannery.

Feb 24, 2016 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” says lead author John Fyfe, a climate modeller at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, British Columbia. “We can’t ignore it.”

Or a sceptic might say; temperatures don't rise as CO2 does.

Or as a the IPCC will undoubtedly say in their next collective braindump; climate sensitivity to aCO2 is effectively inconsequential.

Feb 24, 2016 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat, a realist might conclude the models are rubbish. A climate scientist would argue the models are providing the results they were designed to produce. (which means they are rubbish)

Feb 24, 2016 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Martin A

On anomalies, once more courtesy of NASA. Look particularly at number 7.

Think of it as a calculation convenience. As Essex pointed out, averaging global temperature from raw station data every time is a pain in the butt. Anomalies have two advantages. One is more rapid calculation; the other is that to a scientist studying climate trends or lack thereof , the numbers are easier to understand. For example, plot the temperatures on a world map you see the effects of altitude and coasts. Plot the anomaly and you can see how the rate of increase changes as you move north.

Why use ocean heat content?

There are two ways of looking at climate. In the short term temperatures change with weather, latitude, seasons and microclimate. Using enough sites you can get information for weather forecasting and a bottom up understanding of the system. Unfortunately local data gives limited information about the behaviour of the system as a whole

The other approach is top down. Look at the system in terms of insolation, albedo and OLR. You can then study the climate as an energy exchange system. Since nearly all of the heat capacity of the climate system is in the oceans and most heat ends up there, long term energy imbalance shows up most clearly as changes in OHC.

The link between OHC and climate change is at the ocean surface. Covering 70% of the earth, most energy reaching the surface is absorbed by the ocean surface and mixed into the upper layers. This then returns to the atmosphere and drives air temperature and humidity changes, depressions and larger storm systems. Ocean warming is fastest in the layer above 700m, then slower in deeper layers as conduction carries it down. The deepest layers are water at 4C which mostly comes from the Arctic and Antarctic. Part of the warming comes from a reduction these thermohaline flows.

Ultimately the choice is between the bottom up surface temperature approach and the top down ocean heat content approach. Unless you can suggest a third, better measure?

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Golf Charlie

Professional Climatrollogists are paid to disrupt and subvert this blog and it's readership as much as possible.


I always thought that that professional spoilers were just one of your conspiracy theories. Perhaps you can provide proof.

Mind you,the money would be useful. Who do I apply to?

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Golf Charlie

Professional Climatrollogists are paid to disrupt and subvert this blog and it's readership as much as possible.


I always thought that that professional spoilers were just one of your conspiracy theories. Perhaps you can provide proof.

Mind you,the money would be useful. Who do I apply to?

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Radical Rodent

"What will be your mantra should a declining global temperature become evident?"

I would greet it with enormous relief

You asked me once what would convince me that AGW was over. I think I said a post-2015 GISS global annual temperature anomaly of 0.59C.

Note that the current highs are El Nino related. The long term trend will probably produce anomalies in the high 0.7s when we return to neutral conditions

On uncertainty, could you give me numbers. What are your estimates for the uncertainty in average global temperature and sea level? How did you calculate them?

Feb 24, 2016 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I would greet it with enormous relief
Why? You are aware that those who have whipped up the hysterical fear you have about warming will as easily whip up equal fear about cooling, aren’t you? You, in your evident desire to live your life in permanent fear, will believe any old tripe, so long as it helps maintain your fear level.

As for giving you my numbers – why should I? You will only try and prove me wrong… Oh. That’s already been done. All the data I have is data that has been collected by others, so could be of questionable validity; all I can do is read the conclusions that have been reached with the data given, and use that to assess the reliability of the author(s). The sites you have been linking us to have an awful lot of conclusions, but precious little data; I prefer to accept author(s) whose conclusions can be verified by reviewing the data given, and the methods employed. As I have said before, Nils-Axel Morner has been perhaps the most respected scientist studying sea-levels for several years, if not decades. Using the data accumulated, his conclusions have been that sea level rise is nothing to worry about – the rate has not increased; it might be static or even declining. This is not a conclusion that Believers can accept, thus the name of this previously highly-respected scientist is now mud in their circles.

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:35 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

The interesting thing is that, if Nils-Axel Morner is correct, and there really is no need for concern about rising sea-levels, your own precious hypothesis is now dead in the water, as the “expanding” oceans that you rely on are not actually expanding, which removes any idea of using “ocean heat content” (by the way, how is this measured?) to indicate climate change, in whatever arcane way that you might have devised.

As an aside, I suspect that one reason you cling to the “ocean heat content” so fervently is that it gives impressive-looking numbers, but how does that relate to actual temperatures: 0.01°C, perhaps? Not so scary when looked at that way, is it?

You are talking absolute poppycock, EM, but have so inured yourself to rejection of evidence that counters your argument, so isolated yourself from real, actual data, that there is nothing that anyone on this site can do to let you see what rubbish you cleave so avidly to. Further conversation would be utterly pointless.

Feb 25, 2016 at 1:09 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

EM 7:38, I suggest you contact John Cook's SKS. It is amazing how many names link back to the same place. Perhaps they could enlighten you with some suggestions or hints.

GMU in the USA seems to have attracted some interest recently, and some of their 'work', like that of SKS associates, has been endorsed at the highest of levels.

Feb 25, 2016 at 2:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie

Gmu?

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Radical Rodent

I want AGW to be wrong!

That is why I spend so much time here, pressing you for evidence.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM as you are interested, GMU-George Mason University, home to mysterious goings-on in climate science funding/agitation

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

…pressing you for evidence”? Have you truly lost it, EM? There is no evidence to support the AGW meme, yet you want me to provide evidence that there is no evidence before you will accept that there is no evidence? Can you not see the utter stupidity of that desire? There is no evidence that there is AGW, therefore there can be no evidence that there is no evidence – surely, that should be evident, even to you?!

What evidence of a non-existence do you want? You may say that there are no unicorns – can you give me evidence to support that claim? I am firmly convinced that there are no fairies at the bottom of my garden, but cannot provide any evidence to support that there are none. Instead, I depend entirely on the simple fact that I can find no evidence of fairies living at the bottom of my garden. You are, in effect, saying that there really are fairies living at the bottom of my garden, yet you will not or cannot provide me with the evidence to support that; instead, you demand that I provide you with evidence that there are no fairies. The ball is in your court, I’m afraid, EM; either provide believable, testable, provable evidence that there truly is AGW, or stop your silly prattling.

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I would greet it with enormous relief

No. It would a personal catastrophe for you. You'd have to focus on one of your other demons (overpopulation,...) to have something to keep your fear level stoked up.

On anomalies, once more courtesy of NASA. Look particularly at number 7.

Thanks again EM. Actually the page you point to is NOAA, not NASA.

As often, the things you point to tell a different story from what I imagine you think they do. Isn't the high bullshit percentage in no. 7 apparent to you?

Absolute estimates of global average surface temperature are difficult to compile for several reasons. Some regions have few temperature measurement stations (e.g., the Sahara Desert) and interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions. In mountainous areas, most observations come from the inhabited valleys, so the effect of elevation on a region's average temperature must be considered as well. For example, a summer month over an area may be cooler than average, both at a mountain top and in a nearby valley, but the absolute temperatures will be quite different at the two locations. The use of anomalies in this case will show that temperatures for both locations were below average.

Using reference values computed on smaller [more local] scales over the same time period establishes a baseline from which anomalies are calculated. This effectively normalizes the data so they can be compared and combined to more accurately represent temperature patterns with respect to what is normal for different places within a region.

For these reasons, large-area summaries incorporate anomalies, not the temperature itself. Anomalies more accurately describe climate variability over larger areas than absolute temperatures do, and they give a frame of reference that allows more meaningful comparisons between locations and more accurate calculations of temperature trends.

Think of it as a calculation convenience. As Essex pointed out, averaging global temperature from raw station data every time is a pain in the butt. Anomalies have two advantages. One is more rapid calculation; the other is that to a scientist studying climate trends or lack thereof , the numbers are easier to understand.

Well, anything to make life easy for 'climate scientists'.

The primary reason for the use of 'anomolies' is that they know that what they compute has a vague and unknown relation to the actual global average temperature, however you choose, arbitrarily, to define that. The sparsity and spatial nonuniformity of measurement stations, if nothing else, ensures it.

NOAA above said: "Anomalies more accurately describe climate variability over larger areas than absolute temperatures do, and they give a frame of reference that allows more meaningful comparisons between locations and more accurate calculations of temperature trends."

It's just bullshit to justify not using proper measurements. There is no reason at all (if absolute measurements were available) why variability should not be computed from absolute measurements.

It's on the same category as the Met Office announcing "the global temperature series shows that 2015 was 0.75 ±0.1 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average" carefully not mentioning that the actual average global temperature is not known to anything like ±0.1 °C.

As I pointed out before, a paper from NOAA said

"We use the term “ocean heat content” as opposed to “ocean heat content anomaly” used by some authors because “ocean heat content” is an anomaly by definition. OHC is always computed with a reference mean subtracted out from each temperature observation. Otherwise the OHC computation depends on the temperature scale used."
However I try to make sense of it, that NOAA statement about using anomolies just seems complete bollocks. Can you make any sense of it? How is “ocean heat content” an anomaly by definition?

Feb 25, 2016 at 2:01 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

How is “ocean heat content” an anomaly by definition?

When describing and understanding numerical changes most human beings are most comfortable with numbers close to the number of fingers they have. Thus most numbers in science end up as a one or a few digits plus two decimal points and a power of ten. Physical units tend to be designed accordingly.

I worked out the approximate total ocean heat content as 9.23*10^26joules. Say that in 2010 the heat content went up from 9.23*10^26 to 9.23006*10^26 and in 2015 it went up from 9.23036*10^26 to 9.23048*10^26.

Very few of us are able to usefully visualise such a change when expressed in such terms. I certainly cannot.

The ocean heat researchers use three techniques to make visualisation easier.

The first is to work with the change in energy rather than the totals. This makes the numbers smaller and less cumbersome.

Secondly you choose a unit of similar size to the change you want to study. Remember the graph I linked? The y axis was in units of 10^22J. You are now able to say that the OHC has gone up by 20 units in 35 years and the rate has increased from 0.5 units/ year to 0.7units/year. I don't know about you, but I my simple mind finds that much easier to work with.

Thirdly, if you choose to work in units of change, all change is relative. It helps to have a fixed point, an arbitary zero as a reference point. Just as GISS chose the 1951-1980 average as their anomaly zero reference point, the oceanographers have chosen the heat content around 1980.

In summary, those working in the field have defined their approach to OHC in terms of changes from a set point, ie. anomalies.

Feb 25, 2016 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Martin A

It's on the same category as the Met Office announcing "the global temperature series shows that 2015 was 0.75 ±0.1 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average" carefully not mentioning that the actual average global temperature is not known to anything like ±0.1 °C.

I see that you share Radical Rodent's opinion they the uncertainties are larger than the dataset managers quote. RR either cannot or will not quantify his uncertainties or explain how he calculated them. How about you?

Please do not refer back to the Essex paper. I passed it on to an engineer acquaintance with more maths than myself for an independant opinion. His comment on its validity was negative.

Feb 25, 2016 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

RR either cannot or will not quantify his uncertainties or explain how he calculated them.
As I have explained before, and will attempt to explain again – I have no idea what the uncertainties are, and am pretty sure that very few uncertainties expressed (“…±0.1°C…”) are nothing more than figures dreamt up and presented to make the presenters’ figures more believable – “Oooh, look... ’e said it’s accurate to within 0.1°C! That must mean ’is work is dead accurate, an’ yer gorra believe dat…”

Of course, doubting the uncertainties is a philosophy that is somewhat outside your own comfort-zone; it would appear that you cannot accept an unknown, therefore feel obliged to put some “known” limits to the work, ignoring the questionable reality of that figure. I wonder how you plan your journeys, given that there is no way that you could predict whether the traffic lights will be red or green before you get to them. Now, could you explain how you arrived at your “ocean heat content” figure? That should be interesting, seeing the near non-existence of data to base it on; just a few thousand readings of several million cubic kilometres of ocean, and almost all of them from the more easily accessible portions of it – in other words, there are vast areas from which we have absolutely NO data, whatsoever. You are making some seriously-flawed leaps of logic.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

EM - thanks for the other replies.

Martin A

It's on the same category as the Met Office announcing "the global temperature series shows that 2015 was 0.75 ±0.1 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average" carefully not mentioning that the actual average global temperature is not known to anything like ±0.1 °C.

I see that you share Radical Rodent's opinion they the uncertainties are larger than the dataset managers quote. RR either cannot or will not quantify his uncertainties or explain how he calculated them. How about you?

EM - although though I am not completely certain, I believe that the Rodent is a she-mouse.

Please carefully re-read what I wrote. I did *not* say that the uncertainties in the datasets are larger than *claimed*. Here's an expansion of what I said.

How would you define the *real* global average temperature? I imagine you might, if pressed, define it as follows:

- measure the temperature once per second, at every square millimetre over the Earth's surface for precisely one year, at a height of 1m, if you wish. (Note - I'm not saying this is practical; it would be a definition of what it is that you'd like to measure if you could.)

- Add all the numbers you have accumulated and divide by the number of seconds in one year and the number of square millimetres on the Earth's surface. Call the result Tₐᵥ.

Is that a fair definition of global average surface temperature for one year? I'll assume it is.

Now how many measuring stations are used? A few thousand over the entire Earth's surface? Let's assume 5000 to be generous (I read somewhere that NOAA uses about 1500 land based stations and around 1300 buoys in the world's oceans). That makes it about one sensor per 100,000 sq km. But they are not uniformly distributed. Some areas eg Northern Canada, the Australian outback, central Africa) have very few.

If somebody were to make a ridiculous claim, it would be for them to demonstrate its validity. It would not up to those who point out its ridiculusness to prove that it is invalid.

With that low density of spatial coverage, if anybody were to claim that the results from averaging the measured temperatures is within ±0.1 °C of Tₐᵥ, it would be a ridiculous claim.

I don't think anybody has made it - climate science keeps very quiet about it and talks about 'anomolies' sidestepping that fact that they have no idea whatever how far what they come up with is from the true, but unknown, Tₐᵥ.


___________________________________________________________________________________


I passed it on to an engineer acquaintance with more maths than myself for an independant opinion. His comment on its validity was negative.

EM. When you say "I asked somebody who knows more maths than me and he said it was crap", can you see how utterly unconvincing that sounds? It's pathetic.

Please let us know in brief summary why your acquaintance said the paper was invalid. It would be very interesting.

Raff and you so far have only come up with the fact that one graph was labelled in celsius rather than some other scale.

As I have pointed out once or twice, that in no way invalidated the point that was being illustrated. So it would be interesting to haveeven just *one* well argued reason why the Essex paper is invalid.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, I discussed it a few times already. Not interested in repeating the exercise. The Rabett long ago [1] discussed the book "Take By Storm" where the same ideas are developed. I'm only regurgitating what I read there and elsewhere, so take a read there if interested. If not, hey ho!

[1] http://rabett.blogspot.com/2005/11/temperature-rex-bites-essex-and.html

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff - yes I had imagined that the "Fig 1 uses the wrong temperature units so the paper cannot be taken seriously" idea had come from somewhere like that. As I pointed out before, the paper itself made the point that that the illustration would still be valid if other temperature units had been used.

Feb 26, 2016 at 8:14 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A