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Discussion > GHG Theory step by step

I trust that you disapprove of such cherrypicking, as I do.

Dec 11, 2017 at 1:30 PM | Entropic man

But you approve of Mann's rejection of cherries that did not add the right shape to his Hockey Stick, even switching from one source of data to another.

Dec 11, 2017 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Em - The models can't handle clouds and can't predict ocean oscillations, two of the biggest effects on climate but ignored by climate scientists. I agree that TSI does not change much but there does seem to be a relationship with climate. The UV content within TSI does change quite significantly and is known to influence ozone production. I suspect that the solar wind has a role. These topics have not received much attention.

The problem with climate science is that the IPCC decided for policy reasons that CO2 was the only driver and that has become the scientific wisdom. That position is now being questioned and not before time.

Dec 11, 2017 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

EM, you know I have a thing about averages. Perhaps you could explain why I should worry about the unsatisfactory global average temperature, or even worse that same duff number presented as an anomaly against a selected thirty-year base, when local temperatures are the only ones we ever experience. That counts even more when talking about a claimed global response based on paleo proxies. The only thing we can do with that is say 'that's interesting, wonder what it means'. The data is unsatisfactory. The fact that tree ring proxies didn't follow the latest warming should have been enough to dismiss them as unreliable. As with the rest of climate claims, it isn't enough to justify political action other than to find out more.

And as long as you stick to the party line and admit no doubt while supporting every dodgy act by your side, I'll think you are motivated more by faith than method.

Dec 11, 2017 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

The problem with climate science is that the IPCC decided for policy reasons that CO2 was the only driver and that has become the scientific wisdom. That position is now being questioned and not before time.

Dec 11, 2017 at 2:34 PM | Schrodinger's Cat

The IPCC was created to justify a conclusion, that had been determined previously, without any evidence. No one can find any proof of a meeting, recording the conclusion determining process, and now, no one can find any evidence to support the conclusion.

Nobody can prove where CO2 Climate Science came from, and its present position seems financially precarious, but its anchoring Hockey Stick is stuck on the rocks.

Dec 11, 2017 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Schrodinger's cat

Clouds are still a weak spot in the models. The models are not precise, but predict that clouds will block less sunlight in future. This is consistent with the current trend in the tropics towards less low level cloud and more high level cloud.

Have you seen reports on the recent paper from Brown and Caldeira. ? It is currently paywalled, but discussed here .

They rated model runs according to their skill at hindcasting outward radiation and cloud cover, then looked at their predictions. The most skilled models predicted warming rates above the average for the whole ensemble, suggesting that the ensemble average prediction is conservative.

Regarding the effect of TSI, the 20th century and 21st century variations have been small. UV does vary more than visible light, but I cannot recall any evidence for a significant correlation between UV intensity and temperature.

If you were correct, there should be a significant correlation between solar cycle peaks and temperature, a roughly 11-year cycle. There should also have been cooling since TSI peaked in the 1970s and has gradually decreased since. Do you have data?

There was one paper claiming a link in, IIRC, 1991, but it turned out to be based on inaccurate data.

Dec 11, 2017 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


I know you have a thing about averages.

It makes it difficult to talk to you about uncertainty, analysis of data and how to distinguish valid scientific conclusions from green or sceptic propoganda.

I suggest you sit down with a a maths teacher and ask him to take you through it.

Dec 11, 2017 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I suggest you tone down the pedagogic attitude, you who think an arithmetic average is the same as a geometric one. Who seems to think that T^4 doesn't matter so the average TSI can be used for illustration.

Dec 11, 2017 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Oh, and while answering SC on the clouds in the models with a fairly unsatisfactoty example, you ignored the ocean cycle part of the question. The models do not model them and there are only hypotheses as to how they happen. Perhaps they just average out, like everything which doesn't fit the meme.

Dec 11, 2017 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda


All becomes clear.

You have read Essex et al(2007). If you have gone down that rabbit hole then further discussion is moot.

On ocean cycles. They are short term variations in the heat balance between ocean and atmosphere, producing a change in temperature anomalies of 0.2C or so.. Because they oscillate, they have no long term effect on ocean heat content or on global temperatures. They are short term noise, rather than drivers of long term change.

Since they are triggered by weather variations they are also unpredictable . In computer models they are added as a random variable in the same way as volcanoes.

Dec 11, 2017 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Dec 12, 2017 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I hadn't read Essex et al 2007. I still haven't. You'd think you could google it, but it doesn't come up even ahead of a realclimate critique. That gave me the gist. Now I suspect a problem. There's no proxy that gives global average temp. When they do global average for today, they use thousands of thermometers, all calibrated and looked after. That is in no way comparable to any proxy study. The output of any proxy study is local and subject to a great deal of interpretation. What they may show is variations over regions which indicate different weather while the global temp is essentially no different. Those who wish to claim global temps did this that or the other may do so. It's just a matter of interpretation. Equally any unwanted result is 'just local'. My claim of an LIA can be dismissed just as I dismiss the flat handle of the hockey stick. Didn't Gergis et all use three southern hemisphere proxies (from memory, no time to look it up right now)?

There's a village two miles from me that has far worse weather due to local geography. They've got a foot of snow up there now. Someone moving down the hill from there to a little west of here will get all the benefit of a century's temp change under AGW theory. Tell me how that's a big deal.

Dec 12, 2017 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Sounds like you are living in a warm spot. When the great Thermageddon arrives, you're gonna fry!

Dec 12, 2017 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


Here you are.

Essex at al (2006)

Sorry, I must have hit 7 instead of 6 when I wrote that last post.

Dec 12, 2017 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


20,000 years ago we were in a glacial period with ice sheets reaching as far South as London.

What quantitative measures would you use to describe the difference between 20,000 years ago and today?

What measures would you use to describe the transition?

What measures should we be monitoring to detect any warming or cooling trends which might be happening now?

Dec 12, 2017 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

What measure? Well, if it's cold in that village up in the Chilterns it is little compensation to them if it's warm here. What we should worry about is local/regional climate, especially as climate models have little skill in that area and are therefore, currently, useless. As an example I am told that in the last ice age the ice got as far south as Aylesbury twenty miles north of here, halted and retreated back to the Arctic ocean. I can't blame it, I've been to Aylesbury, but I guess people lived right here throughout. Regional/local weather matters to people. Global average not so much.

Dec 12, 2017 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Your debate about temperature measurement made me think of this:
I would be more inclined to believe these temperatures than the cooked/baked/homogenised/massaged ones!

Dec 12, 2017 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Em – If you read my views on models then you will not be surprised that I take the Brown and Caldeira paper with a pinch of salt. The ability to hindcast does not mean that a model has predictive skills or that it is valid so it seems strange that they should use its hindcast ability to rank predicted cloud cover.

It is generally accepted that flawed models should not be used for the bits they seem to get right. This because that part nay not be right for the right reasons and the rest of it, which is wrong, may have an influence on that result.

Attaching meaning to the ensemble average seems amazing to me since by definition that is the average of wrong results. It seems that Brown and Caldeira have gone out of their way to break every convention in the use of scientific modelling. Imagine an aircraft engineer adopting their practices.

Clouds clearly have a massive impact on solar heating as we all know from sitting on a beach and witnessing a massive temperature drop when a cloud passes over. Climate scientists can’t model clouds because of the resolution and don’t understand much about them either, so they usually assume they are constant overall. Even the measurement of clouds is embryonic and therefore there is very little data.

Of course, clouds can help warming too, which complicates matters, but there is no doubt that a small change in average cloud cover would produce a change in climate. I believe that the sun modulates cloud cover in some way and that this is hugely important. I see no reason why we should assume that cloud cover is constant. The Svensmark GCR proposal has been accepted, I believe, but the effect is thought to be small. Maybe we should debate cloud cover, give it some thought.

Dec 12, 2017 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I would like to propose an experiment with Entropic man with everyone else very welcome to join in. Bear in mind that this is a festive proposition if you get my drift. Global warming is depositing white stuff but the wine is good.

I assume that we agree that solar cycles might influence our climate but we lack the evidence and the mechanism. If you do not agree, EM, then please intervene and put me right. My assumption is based on numerous graphs showing such relationships but lacking in explanations.

I know that amongst EM’s skills is the ability to point out the established theory and the established facts. I think we all have every confidence in EM being right, but we sometimes disagree with those who created the theory and facts and were in a position to present them as being established. Bluntly put, EM agrees with the establishment and a few of us who also frequent this place, do not.

I lack EM’s skills and I admire them. I wish I had them. I am driven by other things. I believe that water vapour as a GHG controls our atmosphere together with the unique water cycle, its latent heats, its clouds but mainly by its oceans and their heat contents. I believe CO2 has a minor role of much less consequence.

These two positions are apart. Our approaches are different too, EM, I think, enjoys the certainty of existing facts that fit the story. I don’t think they do fit the story and I am driven by finding a different set of facts that do a more convincing job.

I propose a joint project. How might the sun affect global temperatures? This involves research, discussion and proposals. It can amble along at the pace set by us alongside all the usual stuff in this thread and topic set by others.

I think I am right in saying that EM has been in teaching. I have been in R&D. Let us combine to do this project. It is for enjoyment and curiosity and not to be taken too seriously. What do you think? One admin point. Can I suggest that in the unlikely situation when you contribute to the project, your first word is “Astra” which I think is Greek for the Stars! Those that are not interested can ignore us.

I think it would be interesting for you as an ex teacher to try R&D and me as an R&D man to have the imposed discipline of a stickler for the facts. Together we might reach a possible truth that we share. That is my dream objective.

Dec 12, 2017 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Scrodinger's cat


Where causation exists you usually find correlation.

Offhand I can think of four placed you might look.

The transition into the Holocene showed 5C warming. The Sun is generally reckoned to have produced a bit over 1C of that directly due to changes in Milankovich cycles.

The Maunder Minimum is linked to the LIA. The MM started after the LIA and ended before the end of the LIA, but may have added extra cooling in the 17th century.

In modern times the Sun has varied by a small amount on an 11 year cycle and weakened slightly since the 1970s.

Can you show correlation between solar activity and temperature for any of them?

Dec 13, 2017 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Schrodinger's cat

Remember that you have a threshold to cross.

The noise level of both the modern and the best proxy day is about +/- 0.1C.

Yuu seek significant changes in temperature due to changes in solar activity. Anything less than 0.2C is not significant.

Dec 14, 2017 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Dec 14, 2017 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Global warming is depositing white stuff but the wine is good. [...]

I know that amongst EM’s skills is the ability to point out the established theory and the established facts. I think we all have every confidence in EM being right,.."

Wow. What kind of wine are they serving, SC?

Dec 15, 2017 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

This could be interesting

"Quote of the week: The clouds, the 1%, and the ‘holy grail’ of climate science

Anthony Watts / 36 mins ago December 15, 2017

People send me stuff.

Today my inbox got what some people might describe as an important clue to finding the “holy grail” of climate science. It’s a big step forward, it’s an even bigger step to get those entrenched, invested, and employed in the “CO2 rules the climate” theory industry to accept it. The battle of self-correcting science is about to be fought.

In a few days, I’ll be able to tell you what it is, since it is embargoed, but for now, I wanted to remind you all of this quote from the past:

“The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”

That’s from Dr. Roy Spencer’s book: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists 

My advice: get a copy between now and Tuesday, and read it.

Also, on the subject of clouds and climate, this analysis by Willis Eschenbach is also well worth reading, because it illustrates the self-regulating mechanism Earth has due to cloud action.

Where The Temperature Rules The Sun ........ "

Dec 15, 2017 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I've just joined in again after several days of no internet connection. I believe that the problem was at the local exchange, but in order to move the problem along to that you have to have hours of testing the phone line, your broadband, your equipment, then get an engineer who tests all of the above in more detail and changes your router and master socket, then you continue with the problem.

If your hours on the phone get cut off or none of the above worked, you have to phone up again. If the last person you spoke to was in Newcastle, then the next one could be in Belfast or the Midlands. You have to start again at square one.

Due to the limits of human endurance on both sides, being cut off by bored BT technicians and the sheer pointlessness of going around the same loop endlessly, the chances are that you arrive at square one without achieving anything.

By this time, the people at the exchange may have corrected their fault, removing your problem, remaining blissfully unaware that you have endured days of torture. All is well that ends well, unless you forget or are too late to cancel the engineer's visit. It could cost you well over a £100 just to take part in the useless system.

Given the process I have been through, I just cannot see how it is possible to identify and resolve a problem at the exchange.It is much faster to let them discover it for themselves and correct it eventually. And much less stressful for you.The system is designed so that talking directly to someone at the exchange can never happen.

Dec 15, 2017 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

A classic description of BT broadband syndrome.

I know countless BT customers who have been through this cycle.

Luckily I am in a cable area so have a reliable high speed connection.

Recommendation: migrate away from BT.

Dec 16, 2017 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards