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Global Surface Temperature: Going Down the Up Escalator, Part 1

Posted on 5 November 2011 by dana1981

One of the most common misunderstandings amongst climate "skeptics" is the difference between short-term noise and long-term signal.  In fact, "it hasn't warmed since 1998" is ninth on the list of most-used climate myths, and "it's cooling" is fifth.

This myth stems from a lack of understanding of exactly what global warming is.  The term refers to the long-term warming of the global climate, usually measured over a timescale of about 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization.  This is because global warming is caused by a global energy imbalance - something causing the Earth to retain more heat, such as an increase in solar radiation reaching the surface, or an increased greenhouse effect.

There are also a number of effects which can have a large impact on short-term temperatures, such as oceanic cycles like the El Niño Southern Oscillation or the 11-year solar cycle.  Sometimes these dampen global warming, and sometimes they amplify it.  However, they're called "oscillations" and "cycles" for a reason - they alternate between positive and negative states and don't have long-term effects on the Earth's temperature.

Right now we're in the  midst of a period where most short-term effects are acting in the cooling direction, dampening global warming.  Many climate "skeptics" are trying to capitalize on this dampening, trying to argue that this time global warming has stopped, even though it didn't stop after the global warming "pauses" in 1973 to 1980, 1980 to 1988, 1988 to 1995, 1995 to 2001, or 1998 to 2005 (Figure 1).

skeptics v realists v3

Figure 1: BEST land-only surface temperature data (green) with linear trends applied to the timeframes 1973 to 1980, 1980 to 1988, 1988 to 1995, 1995 to 2001, 1998 to 2005, 2002 to 2010 (blue), and 1973 to 2010 (red).  Hat-tip to Skeptical Science contributor Sphaerica for identifying all of these "cooling trends."

As Figure 1 shows, over the last 37 years one can identify overlapping short windows of time when climate "skeptics" could have argued (and often did, i.e. here and here and here) that global warming had stopped.  And yet over the entire period question containing these six cooling trends, the underlying trend is one of rapid global warming (0.27°C per decade, according to the new Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature [BEST] dataset).  And while the global warming trend spans many decades, the longest cooling trend over this period is 10 years, which proves that each was caused by short-term noise dampening the long-term trend. 

In short, those arguing that global warming has stopped are missing the forest for the trees, focusing on short-term noise while ignoring the long-term global warming signal.  Since the release of the BEST data which confirmed the global warming observed by all other global temperature measurements, climate "skeptics" have been scrambling for a way to continue denying that global warming is a problem, and focusing on the short-term noise has become their preferred go-to excuse.

The Noisy Group

Unfortunately, those making a lot of noise about the noise (and sweeping generalizations that global warming has magically stopped) include several "skeptic" and/or "lukewarmer" climate scientists, who really should know better.  One of these, Judith Curry, is actually a member of the BEST team whose data has been used by climate "skeptics" as "proof" that global warming has stopped.  Unfortunately, Dr. Curry herself fed these myths in a rather dismaying interview:

"There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped...To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate...This is “hide the decline” stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline"

Predictably, Dr. Curry's comments have been disseminated far and wide by climate "skeptics" who desperately want this myth to be true.

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has made similar claims in the comments on Skeptical Science:

"Since 2002, as shown in the lower tropospheric plot and in the upper ocean data, little of that heat has accumulated there. There is not enough melt of sea ice or glaciers to account for it there. "Global warming" has nearly stopped using these two metrics"

Dr. Roy Spencer has taken this argument to the extreme, claiming that based on one cool month in his University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) tropospheric temperature dataset, "the troposphere is ignoring your SUV" and that (perhaps sarcastically):

"While any single month’s drop in global temperatures cannot be blamed on climate change, it is still the kind of behavior we expect to see more often in a cooling world"

These climate scientists really should know the difference between short-term noise and long-term signal, and it's a travesty that they're misinforming the public, the media, and policymakers by conflating the two concepts.

The Signal Comes Through Loud and Clear

On the other hand, other scientists who understand statistics are doing an excellent job explaining the difference between signal and noise.  For example, when asked if BEST showed that global warming had stalled over the last decade in response to the interview with Dr. Curry, Dr. Richard Muller (the BEST team lead) said:

“That’s incorrect...I mean, what they have done is an old trick. It’s how to lie with statistics, right? And scientists can’t do that because 10 years from now, they’ll look back on my publications and say, ‘Was he right?’ But a journalist can lie with statistics. They can choose a little piece of the data and prove what they want, carefully cutting out the end. If I wanted to do this, I could demonstrate, for example, with the same data set that from 1980 to 1995 that it’s equally flat. You can find little realms where it’s equally flat. What that tells me is that 15 years is not enough to be able to tell whether it’s warming or not. And so when they take 13 years, and they say based on that they can reach a conclusion based on our data set, I think they’re playing that same game and the fact that we can find that back in 1980, the same effect, when we know it [was] warming simply shows that that method doesn’t work. But no scientist could do that because he’d be discredited for lying with statistics. Newspapers can do that because 10 years from now, nobody will remember that they showed that.”

What the Science Says

The peer-reviewed scientific literature confirms Muller's comments.  For example, Santer et al. (2011):

"Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming.  A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal.  Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature."

and Easterling and Wehner (2009):

"Numerous websites, blogs and articles in the media have claimed that the climate is no longer warming, and is now cooling....We show that the climate over the 21st century can and likely will produce periods of a decade or two where the globally averaged surface air temperature shows no trend or even slight cooling in the presence of longer‐term warming."

Not only are these short-term "pauses" just noise in the data, but observations show that they are entirley expected, and predicted by climate models (i.e. see Meehl el al. 2011).

Other Physical Evidence of Continued Warming

It's also important to point out that global temperature measurements aren't our only evidence of the long-term global warming trend.  We've observed many physical indicators of global warming (Figure 2).

warming indicators

 

Figure 2: Physical Indicators of a Warming World

When is Warming Cooling?

When constantly confronted with this myth that global warming stopped in 1998, or 2000, or 2002, or 2005, or [insert year], we wonder why distinguishing between short-term noise and long-term signal is such a difficult concept for climate "skeptics."  They remind us of the Penrose stairs made famous by M.C. Escher - a staircase which people can descend forever and not get any lower.  This paradoxical perception of an impossible construction seems to be how climate "skeptics" view the world, which is undoubtedly why they're willing to risk our future on the hopes that 97% of climate scientists are wrong about climate science.

escher stairs

Part 2 of this post examines the "skeptic" explanation of how these cooling periods can add up to a net warming, and why that explanation is physically incorrect.

Note: this post has been incorporated into the rebuttals to "global warming stopped in [insert year]", and Figure 1 has been added to the SkS Climate Graphics Page

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Comments 101 to 143 out of 143:

  1. Rob Painting at 20:57 PM on 5 November, 2012 "... dredged google..." I confess that is the first place I go these days for information; however both the Loeb paper and the Levitus paper have been on my computer for quite some time. On Levitus the 0.09 degrees C change measured over a 55 year period caught my eye. I had earlier been interested in TOA radiation measurements (Loeb)as they in earlier times were put forward as the proof of role of the greenhouse gases, but unfortunately the degree of precision required is perhaps lacking at this stage. The NASA "correcting Ocean Cooling article I found a few days ago, and searches on TSLR sent me to: http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf Showing the imprecision of current satellite data (Icesat, Grace, Jason..) ... (imprecision of 1+ mm/yr) ... hence the proposed GRASP mission to rectify those problems. All of these topics; Argo, Ceres, TSLR, Jason, Grace, and later GRASP, are interlinked. Rob Painting at 20:57 PM on 5 November, 2012
    Do note, however, that Earth's observed energy imbalance is a logical consequence of the increased Greenhouse Effect. Reduce the rate of loss of heat to space, and the Earth must warm to eventually return to equilibrium. So there is a very obvious physics-based foundation which underpins the observations.
    I have no problems with that theory. But I am interested in how precisely we are measuring all this. If all the basic data has some degree of imprecision, and it seems to, we still have a lot of data to collect.
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  2. markx, various... - One underlying theme that you appear to be overlooking (IMO) is that given multiple measurements (ocean heat content, tidal gauges, satellite TOA radiation and sea altimeter measures, etc.), the combination of multiple measures with their own constraints and overlapping observation times (as with CERES and XBT/ARGO transitions) allows us to refine the accuracy of all measurements. The more data you have, the more accurate and precise your measurements. That's basic math - the signal to noise (S/N) improves relative to the square root of the number of observations. Multiple overlapping instruments also permit calibration across instrument transitions. So yes, we can indeed determine temperatures with hundredths of a degree, even with 1/10 or single digit accuracy thermometers - because we have a lot of data, from many different instruments and modalities.
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  3. Here's what you said about Argo, Markx. This site doesn't rely on an oral tradition; there's a database so it's possible to have retrospective. Markx: "It was interesting to note that the errors in the Argo data were detected due to mismatching with Ceres TOA data." But you were wrong. Were you simply asking a question? No, hardly. Quite the opposite; you were not just saying "I doubt it" but making up stories to justify that doubt. Silly. I suggest you use the search function and look up a fellow who used to appear here, one "Berenyi Peter." He'll show you the way to do a really baroque and quality "I doubt it."
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  4. doug_bostrom at 01:50 AM on 6 November, 2012 re: "errors in the Argo data were detected due to mismatching with Ceres TOA data." Hi Doug; I got that information from an article mentioned in a previous post. (-snip-). From NASA – (Titled “Correcting Ocean Cooling”. by Rebecca Lindsey) November 5, 2008 http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php
    “Our team has been involved for many years in constructing time series of net flux from satellite data, going back to the 1980s,” says Wong. The observations started with a satellite mission called the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment and today are being made with Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensors on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.... ....From 1993 to 2003, measurements of heat storage in the oceans agreed with satellite observations of net flux. After 2003, however, surface observations suggested that the ocean was losing heat, while satellite measurements of net flux showed the Earth was still slowly gaining energy. This mismatch was a hint that there might be a problem with one of the data sets.
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] If you are indeed the same markx posting comments here as at Shaping Tomorrow's World (here, for example), please note that SkS has a Comments Policy forbidding sloganeering and accusations of deception. Moderation has already had to be enacted on your previous comments as a result (Note that similar to STW, all comments placed at SkS are audited for compliance).

    Your referenced source is very shelf-dated. For OHC, Levitus et al 2012 is considered the more reliable source on OHC, as it contains actual data to December 2011, rather than on speculation.

    Discussions of Earth's energy imbalance are more proper on a more appropriate thread (the Search function yields this as a suggestion). Off-topic comments will be removed. Thanks in advance for your compliance in this matter!

    Sloganeering/intimations of impropriety snipped.

  5. The point is, Markx, that Argo is not calibrated against CERES, which seems to be the feature you're trying to convey in your attempt to show circularity. -Some- floats were discovered to be malfunctioning thanks to having an alternate observation source available, but the data produced by the Argo array does not employ CERES data as its reference standard, which I think is the misperception you're laboring under. In any case if you're bothered with calibration in general then I suppose a kilogram is suspect as well. After all, the kilogram is observation fitted to models, right? And it's only gotten worse as our understanding of physics has improved. 200 years ago a kilogram was very simple; now we know more and a kilogram has become very complicated. Do we know less, or more? Is the kilogram more less useful now, freighted as it?
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  6. Come to think of it, as an exercise I'd like to see Markx apply the same method he's using with climate data to the kilogram. After all, it's arguable that the stability of the world economy and much else depends on the kilogram; an iota of error would be unacceptable. Compared to certainty of the kilogram global warming is just a minor detail-- thinking of the present case ocean heat measurements are derivative of our confidence in the kilogram. Markx, care to give it a whirl?
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  7. "No, but all are interlinked. Each is used to justify the value obtained for the other." Sorry, please show me where the measurement of SLR is dependent on CERES or Argo? Attributing sea level rise requires estimates of the all sources and the errors is involved with doing this is discussed in detail in the original Trenberth paper which I assume you are alluding to. However, the sealevel rise, (which like any measurement has error bars but there is no way to "uncertainty" away the reality) is a fact. To account for it you must consider all the contributors for it. To say the OHC measurement is invalid takes other contributors outside the realms of physical possibility. That is the "sniff test".
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  8. [SNIP]
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    Moderator Response: (Rob P) - See my previous moderator comment. The fallacy in your claim has not been addressed, and you have simply persisted with this nonsensical notion. This is your 2nd warning for sloganeering (and note that this applies to reasonable dialogue peppered with sloganeering). No more warnings will be given, so please take the time to acquaint yourself with the comments policy
  9. (Rob P) - "...See my previous moderator comment. The fallacy in your claim has not been addressed..." Hi Rob. 1. Re the above, sorry, I am really not sure which was the fallacy? The temperatures stated were as published in Levitus etal. The calculated value was from the stated energy accumulation. 2. There are some problems with your comments section. Some very valid criticisms of my methods have disappeared, as have my (slightly humble) mathematical corrections, my temperature calculations being shown incorrectly smaller than they really were by a factor of 10.
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  10. Also the coin has another side. According historical point of view your scheme is about this morning toward noon but not about yesterday or the day before. A thousand years ago Greenland is really green. There are farms and orchards. Today we can find there only polar grass. And according only by this fact all turmoil about accelerated global warming is meaningless. About average the problem is almost the same. Before 10 000 years the ice is at least 3000 kilometers south than today. That means average retreating of ice with 300 meters per year. We can speak about accelerated global warming only if the ice retreating is faster than 300 meters per year. Cheers.
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please familiarize yourself with this site's Comments Policy; additionally, please read the Big Picture post.

    Finally, commenting at Skeptical Science works best if you first limit the scope of your comment to that of the thread on which you post your comment and then follow up on those threads to see what respondents have said in response to you. There are quite literally thousands of threads here at SkS; if you do not engage with the intent to enter into a dialogue to discuss the OPs of the threads on which you place comments, you invite moderation of your comments.

    Off-topic stricken out.

  11. setit-bagain, you are sadly falling victim of "misinformation" (to call it politely). To check out the truth of greenland, see Greenland used to be green. Your 3000 year "reconstruction" has problems compared to any published science (eg see here but for all detail see Ch6 of IPCC Ar4 report. For starters, LIA was not that cold, and MWP was cooler than today. The provenance of the drawing (it couldnt be called a graph) appears to be "climatologist" Cliff Harris. His background is insurance law and has no science publications. Get the correct data before jumping to conclusions. If it doesnt come from peer-reviewed science, then chances are someone is trying to mislead you - usually because proposed action is incompatible with political beliefs.
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  12. setit-bagain, do you accept the greenhouse gas theory?
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  13. From setit-bagain's comment:
    Before 10 000 years the ice is at least 3000 kilometers south than today. That means average retreating of ice with 300 meters per year. We can speak about accelerated global warming only if the ice retreating is faster than 300 meters per year
    ... wait, what? Care to provide some sources for this? In addition I note two rather glaring errors in the Harris & Mann drawing: - "Nomanic Time"? - "Grecian Empire"? Are there any sources justifying this terminology? In addition, the Harris & Mann drawing lists its sources as: Global temperature chart was complied by Climatologist Cliff Harris that combined the following resources: "Climate and the Affairs of Men" by Dr. Iben Browing. "Climate...The Key to Understanding Business Cycles...The Raymond H. Wheeler Papers. By Michael Zahorchak Weather Science Foundation Papers in Crystal Lake, Illinois. [Bold & italics original.] Those don't look like credible sources from the expert literature to me. I fear, setit-bagain, that you have been badly misled.
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  14. (-snip-).
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please familiarize yourself with this site's Comments Policy; additionally, please read the Big Picture post.

    Finally, commenting at Skeptical Science works best if you first limit the scope of your comment to that of the thread on which you post your comment and then follow up on those threads to see what respondents have said in response to you. There are quite literally thousands of threads here at SkS; if you do not engage with the intent to enter into a dialogue to discuss the OPs of the threads on which you place comments, you invite moderation of your comments.

    Off-topic snipped.

  15. Cheers and... In the big picture, there is really no apparent correlation between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures. What's more, there have been ice ages when CO2 has been as much as 10 to 15 times higher than modern levels (for example the end-Ordovician Ice Age). There have also been times when temperature was increasing but CO2 was decreasing and times when CO2 was increasing but temperatures decreasing (during the Silurian and Devonian and during the Triassic and Jurassic, respectively). Cheers!
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  16. setit-bagain, again: context is everything. What else was going on during the Ordovician? And the Silurian, et al? Surely you've read this and this. Yes? And you realize that the same scientists who give you information about these periods in the past are also telling you the AGW and the enhanced GHE are quite real. What papers have you read recently on the GHE and the periods you list? Here's a selection. Again, do you accept the greenhouse gas theory? Does CO2 absorb/emit at pressure broadened bands in the thermal infrared range, the range within which the sun-warmed Earth emits?
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  17. DSL again. Greenhouse gas theory is nothing more than laboratory component. The real world is much more complicated than absorb/emit. It is obvious that planets have compensating tools of which we are not aware. At least for now.
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  18. I see, and so you would explain, say, Puckrin et al. (2004) by claiming . . . ? It just couldn't be CO2, could it? Just couldn't, because there's something we're missing, because it just couldn't be Co2, because . . .
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  19. setit-bagain: Let's take the two graphs you posted. Now, if climate science claimed that CO2 was correlated with temperature, you would have an interesting piece of evidence there. However it doesn't. If you look at the last 10 million years you see a strong correlation, which tells us something, but this is a special case. To understand what your graphs tell us we first need to understand some climate science. Climate is not controlled by CO2, but rather to the top of atmosphere energy balance. The greenhouse effect is only one contributor to that (and the relationship is nonlinear). The others are solar irradiance and albedo. You have to take all of them into account to test for a correlation. So the comparison is based on a straw man argument. Peter Hadfield has a video about it here. How would yo do the comparison properly? First, you need to take log(CO2), not CO2. Secondly, you need to take into account solar irradiance, which has increased significantly over the Phanerazoic. Thirdly, the ice albedo feedback means that the climate has two stable states - a warm one and a snowball state - both of which are consistent with a given level of greenhouse effect. See figure 9 of this article. Hadfield also covers this.
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  20. setit-bagain: Actual climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, and the like already know quite well what the most important forcings are that drive Earth climate, and they already know quite well that CO2 is not the sole forcing agent (even if it is, as per Richard Alley and others, the most important). Your claims on this thread appear to rest on the plainly false misrepresentation that they don't already know these things. I have previously referred you to IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 6 and will now do so again.
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  21. DSL and company, again. The main body of a (-snip-)s claims that CO2 is the key of present climate. That if we will decrease level it will become cooler, and if we increase that, it will become warmer. And it is why? Because nothing else depends on human activity. For instance the water has more dreadful greenhouse effect, but how can be proclaimed the water as a threat on a planet with surface literally dipped in water. Not to speak about solar activity, topography, cosmic particles, position in the galaxy, the orbit of our planet and its angle, etc. Again (-snip-) proclaimed that nothing else of known factors is increasing temperature at this moment. Only CO2, especially CO2 produced by humans. By this way (-snip-) are blowing up the bridge between greenhouse theory and the others of components forming our climate. And of course, I am forced to take a peep at this narrow vision of theirs. Global warming by CO2? Because the forming processes are in neutral position according to the greenhouse theory. Really? Are you claiming that you know, or someone else on this planet knows all impact-factors of the climate? Please, claim it! It will be a ray of fun in this sad, boring internet place. Global warming caused by the terrible greenhouse effect will boil us up. Ok, let’s see. The temperature record of the world is ninety twenties, temperature record of USA is gathering dust…almost a century. In Europe is worse, their temperature record is born in 19-th century… and Europe is a mother of the industrial revolution. Even by pure chance these records could have been beaten. Not to speak in the background of global warming. Instead of absolute records every five years or maybe at least decade we have... Almost all of their witnesses are died by old age. There is no need to be climatologist to start asking questions and then to see the existence of upper limit of the temperature today. Maybe the average temperatures under this limit are increasing or decreasing but the limit is there and I doubt that someone knows the real mechanism of forming of this ceiling. What that means? The equation about climate has too many missing parts to be claimed by someone as absolute predictable. The efforts must be directed exactly for searching and investigation of all missing parts and not to rise up alarm on base of half equation.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] You would do well to cease arguing from personal ignorance and undertake a more thorough study of the science. Scientists have studied these things in vastly greater detail than your extremely limited understanding allows. Inflammatory snipped.
  22. setit-bagain: You do not appear to be reading any of the posts addressed towards you or following links provided for your reference. You have now been advised on multiple occasions that mainstream science is well aware of the various influences on climate, and you have been sent links discussing both this general point and specific elements of paleoclimate, all of which clearly show that your claim to the contrary is unequivocally false. And yet you persist in claiming:
    Not to speak about solar activity, topography, cosmic particles, position in the galaxy, the orbit of our planet and its angle, etc. Again alarmists proclaimed that nothing else of known factors is increasing temperature at this moment. Only CO2, especially CO2 produced by humans. By this way alarmists are blowing up the bridge between greenhouse theory and the others of components forming our climate
    IMO if you are unable or unwilling to give up your obvious misrepresentation of the state of the science - or defend it with reference to some sort of evidence beyond your say-so, you are wasting your time & ours here.
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  23. Composer99 O, yes, expected ray of fun! Composer99, Various influences on climate doesn't mean all of them. Even the simple ones as measure control temperatures. At least half of data about the climate is coming from the cities and it is well known that in cities temperature is higher than countryside. With the same success we can speak about global warming with thermometers in ovens.
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  24. Various influences on climate doesn't mean all of them
    Name them & provide references to support.
    Even the simple ones as measure control temperatures. At least half of data about the climate is coming from the cities and it is well known that in cities temperature is higher than countryside.
    This claim of yours is unequivocally false.
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  25. setit-bagain, you don't get to just make stuff up. Cite your sources, please. "The main body of alarmists claims that CO2 is the key of present climate. That if we will decrease level it will become cooler, and if we increase that, it will become warmer. And it is why?" Unlike H2O, CO2 is a non-condensing, well-mixed greenhouse gas with a residence time of decades to centuries. See Lacis et al. 2010 "Because nothing else depends on human activity." I'm not even sure what you mean by that. "For instance the water has more dreadful greenhouse effect, but how can be proclaimed the water as a threat on a planet with surface literally dipped in water." See link above. "Not to speak about solar activity, topography, cosmic particles, position in the galaxy, the orbit of our planet and its angle, etc." All of this is taken into account in climatology. See this. "Again alarmists proclaimed that nothing else of known factors is increasing temperature at this moment." To a large extent, you are correct. See attribution studies such as Huber & Knutti (2011), Lean & Rind (2008), Foster & Rahmstorf (2011), and Gillett (2012), among others. "Global warming by CO2? Because the forming processes are in neutral position according to the greenhouse theory. Really?" Evidence? "Are you claiming that you know, or someone else on this planet knows all impact-factors of the climate? Please, claim it! It will be a ray of fun in this sad, boring internet place." Are you saying you know there are other significant factors? "Global warming caused by the terrible greenhouse effect will boil us up." Strawman. No one has ever said that. "Ok, let’s see. The temperature record of the world is ninety twenties, temperature record of USA is gathering dust…almost a century. In Europe is worse, their temperature record is born in 19-th century… and Europe is a mother of the industrial revolution. Even by pure chance these records could have been beaten. Not to speak in the background of global warming. Instead of absolute records every five years or maybe at least decade we have... Almost all of their witnesses are died by old age." Hypocrite. You claim you know about CO2 in the Triassic, Jurassic, etc., but you then ignore temperature proxies that extend the temp record far into the past. "There is no need to be climatologist to start asking questions and then to see the existence of upper limit of the temperature today. Maybe the average temperatures under this limit are increasing or decreasing but the limit is there and I doubt that someone knows the real mechanism of forming of this ceiling." You certainly do not. "What that means? The equation about climate has too many missing parts to be claimed by someone as absolute predictable. The efforts must be directed exactly for searching and investigation of all missing parts and not to rise up alarm on base of half equation." Show them! What is the basis of these claims? Evidence! setit-bagain, I am going to strongly suggest to the moderators that your posts be deleted until you address the questions you've been asked. This is not a "hit-and-run" forum. It is a dialogue-based forum, and you're expected to do your part--and point to your sources.
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  26. Setit-Bargain @115: 1) Your temperature chart is derived from a reconstruction by Jan Viezer which is known to not account for the effects of ocean acidification on its temperature proxy. This introduces a cool bias to the temperatures during periods of high CO2, a known cause of ocean acidification. Once corrected, the temperature record looks like this: It should be noted that in response to the paper which pointed out this correction, Nir Shaviv and Jan Viezer acknowledged the correction to be accurate. (They unconvincingly argue that, despite the accuracy of the correction, in determining CO2/temperature correlations, you should use the uncorrected temperature record, which has a cooling bias based on the level of CO2 concentration.) 2) Although you make much of the existence of other forcings in addition to that from CO2, you neglect the largest known forcings over the period since the first evolution of arthropods and vertebrates (ie, the Phanerozoic). Of these, by far the largest is the gradual warming of the sun by 4.1%, which has resulted in a forcing of 9.75 Watts per square meter over the period from 500 million years ago to today. That would require a forcing from increasing CO2 to is the equivalent of 1750 ppmv just to maintain a constant forcing, relative to preindustrial levels. Once both changes in the solar constant and in CO2 levels are taken into account, the forcing history of the phanerozoic is as follows: (As modified from Royer et al, 2004 by Tony Noerpel. The red line represents current CO2 forcing relative to preindustrial levels of 1.8 W/m^2.) Comparing known solar plus CO2 forcing shows that the two combined are responsible for the broad pattern of temperature change over the phanerozoic. You also neglect the crucial impact of continental positions. Throughout the phanerozoic, glaciations have occurred only when there have been large continental masses at, or very near the poles. Importantly, neither of these two other major factors can have any impact over the next half million years or so because of the very slow rate of change of the solar constant, and of continental drift. In other words, while you have neglected the two other most important factors over the phanerozoic; you paradoxically insist that effects of similar magnitude must exist (without evidence) to counter CO2 when the two other major factors are known to not be in play. (More later.)
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  27. SB displays a staggering ignorance of the subject he is trying to argue about. If anyone is reading through this and wondering about these other influences on climate that he attempted to describe, there are multiple relevant SkS posts On the Sun and cosmic rays: http://www.skepticalscience.com/heading-into-new-little-ice-age-intermediate.htm http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm http://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm http://www.skepticalscience.com/ConCERN-Trolling-on-Cosmic-Rays-Clouds-and-Climate-Change.html Talking about rays of fun, the cosmic ray influence hypothesis has not been pumped up much by fake skeptics lately. I guess they were too busy trying to make the US summer heat go away (lost their 1934 argument with that one, but it had a good run), then make Arctic sea ice look bigger and then hurricane Sandy hit. Tough year. On Milankovitch cycles (which should have us in a cooling trend right now if not for other factors), this one is pretty good and not all so boring. I guess SB places entertainment value high on the list, which of course puts SkS at a disadvantage. Every post listed above contains references to science papers, which themselves will reference more scientific publications, plenty to explore for the truly curious. http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-to-explain-Milankovitch-cycles-to-a-hostile-Congressman-in-30-seconds.html Then there is that most peculiar of arguments: "At least half of data about the climate is coming from the cities and it is well known that in cities temperature is higher than countryside". SB there indicates that he might have got his info from cereal box tops sold by Anthony Watts. The Urban Heat Island effect has been the subject of intense scrutiny for the very purpose of improving the accuracy of temperature records. Watts himself was the last one to publish on the subject that was the very premise of his blog's existence and his results confirmed what had been done before by others, including the very early amateur work by John V. (veterans of this will remember) which has been reaffirmed over and over by increasingly refined means. http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements.htm http://www.skepticalscience.com/urban-heat-island-effect.htm There is a rather confused reference to water, which I am assuming to be about the greenhouse effect from water vapor. The distinction between forcing and feedback is most likely beyond what SB has bothered with but for other readers who actually want to know, that question has been explored too: http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm Once again the truly curious readers are encouraged to use the search function. Each post points to a wealth of scientific papers. Apologies for not embedding the links, didn't have the time.
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  28. setit-bagain: "Because nothing else depends on human activity." DSL: I'm not even sure what you mean by that. I believe S-B tries to imply that the conclusion to CO2 being the culprit for the current warming is a result of looking for any human-related cause, ie. a conspiracy. Probably because he/she assumes that the scientists function in a similar fashion as the denialists ('it has to be anything but human'), just on the opposite side. This type of 'argument' is not uncommon among the denialists of lesser skills. And yes, I use the d-word based on the official denialist definition.
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  29. Continuing from my 126, I must first note that the second graph in that post is modified from Royer, 2006, not 2004 as I incorrectly had it. That graph is particularly interesting when compared to a graph of phanerozoic glaciations (from Royer 2004): The comparison shows that glaciations of any sort do not occur unless combined solar/CO2 forcings are equivalent to modern values, and glaciations that extend beyond the Arctic or Antarctic circle do not occur unless they are at, or lower than, preindustrial values. There are some apparent exceptions, but Royer 2006 shows of almost all of those apparent exceptions that the glaciations occur during intervals of low CO2 concentration which do no show up at the resolution of the graphs shown here. Since then, work linked to by DSL has shown that even the end Ordovician glaciation occurred during a period of low CO2 concentration that had not been discovered before. The many apparent falsifications of the connection between CO2 and temperature from the paleo record have now all fallen away! They are shown to be successful predictions of the theory when data of sufficient resolution to truly test the periods in question becomes available. Setit Bagain can only pretend otherwise by using obsolete data with known biases and sticking rigorously to data with insufficient resolution to test the theory.
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  30. Composer99 and company (-snip-)? For instance I posted a diagram about temperature in near history but it was decorated with meaningless history names and volcanic activity. All the same the temperature was there… And many (-snip-) grabbed names and not temperature component. My mistake. (-snip-). I am deeply sorry, but that fashion is not included in my vision about a conversation.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory tone and terminology snipped.
  31. Tom Curtis Neat but incorrect. And it is incorrect because of the lack of sufficient quantity of evidences about oceans. The oldest probes of ocean bottom are younger than 250 millions of years. It is virtually impossible to get a picture about oceans beyond this time border. Our only reliable source is investigation of continental plates. To make a picture different from this on a continent is more likely a fantasy than something serious. To adapt this fantasy according some expectations based on present theories do not makes these claims trustworthy even with convinient tools as acidification as patch against the uncomfortable truth. (-snip-).
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Off-topic soliloquy snipped.
  32. setit-bagain, you said "Hey read this book! O, yes I will, but you read this book!" What book are you talking about? I don't think anyone has linked to a book. They've linked to the published science. Read it. It might be important. You also say that the temperature was in the Harris & Mann chart. Not so. That was a hand-drawn sketch of Holocene temp. Here's something better.
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  33. I don't know what kind of a vision of a conversation you can possibly have SB. I know that SkS is about the scientific litterature found in peer-reviewed publications. They are usually called articles or papers, not books. As a whole, they constitute the weight of the evidence. Your last posts are so confused as to be virtually impossible to sort out. English is not my first language either, I make efforts in order to establish effective communication. If you can't be bothered making that kind of effort, then indeed you are wasting your time here. If you are not willing to consider the weight of the evidence or to examine scientific references provided, you are also wasting your time. Perhaps you should have looked closer at the comment policy and the various statements that explain what is done here before piping up. There are more scientific references on SkS than any other web-site on the subject of climate change. If that's not where your interest is, there are many other sites with different outlooks. What you do next is up to you, but SkS will remain anchored in the published science litterature and the comment policy will remain the same, as will the English language.
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  34. Setit-Bagain, your off-topic misconceptions about early geological history are very entertaining (recommended reading might be Wikipedia on the Faint Young Sun before moving on to more advanced literature such as Royer et al 2004. Re-read Tom's second point in #126. Having opened your musings on this thread with the staggering misconception with the view that Greenland was actually "green" 1000 years ago (as opposed to mostly white with small green patches around the edges in summer, very similar to today), I wonder if you actually have any on-topic opinion about the Escalator? It's such a great graph. Setit-bagain, do you accept that the world is still warming, or do you prefer non-significant trends? [As an absolute aside, Eiríkr Þorvaldsson would probably be laughing if he knew that his marketing trick was still fooling people, a millennium later!]
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  35. setit-bagain @131 objects to the discussion of paleo evidence because "... of the lack of sufficient quantity of evidences about oceans. The oldest probes of ocean bottom are younger than 250 millions of years." This is rather odd because it was he(?) that introduced discussion of paleo evidence to this thread. If he now objects to it, his entire discussion @115 is not only of topic, but hypocritical. Not that he(?) shirks from hypocrisy elsewhere in his discussion. Given the chart he introduced @110, any questioning by him of the quality of data presented by others is hypocritical in the extreme. That is obvious to anybody familiar with the climate science debate and data, but may be less so to casual readers. For the later, therefore, I have overlain the twentieth century record from that chart with the twentieth century record from thermometer measurements (Gistemp): At first glance, it may seem that Cliff Harris and Randy Mann (the authors of that piece of fiction) at least got the mid twentieth century temperatures correct. That is not so. They are as inconsistent in temporal scale as they are incorrect about temperatures, and the dip they show is purportedly the slight cooling in global temperatures that followed the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Anybody who seriously presents the Harris/Mann graph as having accurate information thereby brands themselves as having no concern about accuracy of information provided the propaganda puff pieces they cite support their predisposed position. Setit-bagain has repeatedly so branded himself, not only with the Harris/Man graph but also with claims that the Norse in Greenland grew crops and orchards (they in fact imported grains and fruit, purchasing them with furs); with his citation of an obsolete temperature record of the phanerozoic; and with his neglect to mention (if he even knew) about the fainter sun in the early phanerozoic. Now he brands himself again by insisting that correction for acidification is a "patch against the uncomfortable truth". This despite the fact that the authors of the phanerozoic temperature record he cites accept the validity of the correction. Having so thoroughly branded himself, is there really need to respond further to his obvious attempts at propaganda in lieu of scientific discussion?
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  36. It looks like Cliff Harris and Randy Mann decided to fire up Print Shop again and change the year on the 1998 peak to 2016.

    The place where the temperature line crosses the baseline in is now somewhere between 2016 and the 2020s.

    Is this progress?  


    http://www.longrangeweather.com/images/gtemps.jpg

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  37. As the result of a twitter conversation about this H&M graph I did some analysis which you might find interesting - feedback welcome.

    https://climatechatter.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/comparing-data

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Link activated.

  38. As suggested, I am transferring comments from New Research to Climate Myth #65

    Thank you MA Rodger and Eclectic for your help, but I am puzzled how the GHG effect for increasing Earth's surface temperature by 33 deg C ties in with Stefan-Boltzmann simple radiation calculations.

    If we take the measured values of 0.297 and 0.612 for the Earth's albedo and emissivity respectively, and 342 Watts per square metre incoming energy from the sun, then we find energy balance at 288.5 K.  Very good.  This without mention of GHG effect.  So I'm puzzled.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] You are missing quite a few important details - starting with albedo.

  39. Eddieb @138 , 

    I'm not sure how your earlier comments came through to this thread, but things may as well stay here (unless the moderators wish to move it to Myth #65 or elsewhere).   The listing of Climate Myths, on top left corner of every page, is numerical (for convenience of reference by readers) . . . but once you click on a Myth, and arrive at the thread, there's unfortunately no Number readily visible, to confirm that you have arrived at the correct destination.

    Eddieb, it sounds like you would be aiming to get into the ground floor of self-education about "greenhouse" & related physics.  It is not an intuitively obvious effect, and you need to learn and carefully think your way through the physical mechanisms involved (which concern the radiative physics of the "radiatively active gasses" ~ which is not at all like in a garden greenhouse, where the warming effect comes primarily from reduction of convective heat loss).

    The Earth gains heat from solar radiation (of course!) and loses almost-precisely the same heat flux outwards into space, in the form of infra-red radiation (from the radiatively active gasses H2O, CO2, CH4, NO2, O3, etcetera).   As very rough figures to remember, the outwards IR heat loss is : 60% from H2O; 30% from CO2, and 10% from the minor gasses.

    I gather you are already somewhat aware of these actions, and the SB radiative formula.   I am not clear where your uncertainty lies.   Perhaps you are not separating the IR radiation from the Earth's surface . . . from the IR radiation from the upper atmosphere where the heat flux actually leaves the planet.   Please excuse my usage of words like flux and heat and radiation and energy ~ in common parlance these are jumbled together and used rather unrigorously : but the underlying meanings are obvious enough when you think about the context.

    Chase up the widely-known energy flux cartoon by Trenberth et al.   It shows the influxes, outfluxes, reflectances, convections, H2O-phase-changes, back-radiations etc.

    Commonly, scientists talk about the planetary heat loss as occurring at Top Of Atmosphere [ TOA ] but the TOA outwards flux is not happening at a narrow precise altitude (e.g. 6023 meters or whatever).   It is happening at a band of altitude, varying with latitude and season etc., and is happening at a different band for H2O, a different band for CO2, a different band for CH4, and so on.

    Between the solid surface and the TOA, is where the "greenhouse" effect occurs.   I could give you a neat analogy with football players doing running exercises . . . but my post here is already rather too long.

    Have a look at some of the eye-catching Climate Myths, which are great for doing some piece-meal self-education on climate science.

    If you wish to "relax" while gaining info, then I recommend the Youtube videos by Potholer54.   There are a couple of dozen or so of them [and a separate series debunking Anti-Evolution].   Potholer54 is a science journalist, who presents his info as based not on opinion by Talking Heads & Propagandists , but based on the actual science demonstrated in peer-reviewed papers from reputable science journals.   His videos (usually about 10 minutes long) educate you somewhat indirectly, by meticulously debunking all the nonsenses coming from "the usual suspects" such as Moncton, Ball, Youtuber pundits, and even Al Gore too.   Debunking, with listed references so you can check yourself on what he himself has said ~ and check on the misinformation / propaganda / downright deliberate porkies spouted by the anti-AGW brigade.

    I recommend Potholer54, because I believe it is likely you will find his videos informative and vastly amusing in their humorous style.   Entertainment +++

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Energy balance diagram can be found here. Science of Doom has detailed walk through the calculations here.

  40. eddieb @138,

    To address your puzzlement directly, the Stefan-Boltzmann equation with albedo to reduce insolation accounted for - this does produce the 255K a global temperature. By adding the emissivity term at the value you use, the result is 288K, the average temperature of the global surface, rather than the effective temperature of the atmosphere at the altitude which emits energy to space. I think you will find that the value for emissivity you use, 0.612, is derived and used as an expression of the 33K GHG effect and is not a measured value.

    The use of the emissivity term in Stefan-Boltzmann for use in a climate model is fraught will difficulty. The added complexity is not worth the effort, not least because emissivity considerations will be heavily wavelength-dependent and absorbivity (involving reflectivity/transperancy) also enters the mix. I would be happy to explain these difficulties further, but it is a dead-end in global climate modeling without entering the very-complex.

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  41. Thank you again, MA Roger and Eclectic, for your help. Very interesting.

    eddieb

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  42. eddieb:

    Let me try to give another explanation. First, emission of radaition is given by Planck's Law, which tells you how much radiation is emitted at any wavelength, as a function of temperature and emissivity. Emissivity is correctly applied at a specific wavelength, not across all wavelengths as it is typcially used in the Stefan-Boltzman law. However, for solids and liquids, emissivity is usually fairly constant over a wide range of wavelengths, so it is not a bad approximation to treat it as a constant in some cases.

    The Stefan-Boltsman law is the sum total of all radaition emitted at all wavelengths - essentially, the area under the curve described by Planck's law.

    Now, to get back to your comment at #138. The earth's surface temperature is about 288K, as you describe. The surface emissivity in the infrared is not as low as you have suggested though - in fact, most natural surfaces are close to 1:

    https://www.thermoworks.com/emissivity_table

    So,  a surface at 288K would emit something like 390 W/m2 - much more than the 240W/m2 that balances absorbed solar radiation. The issue is that the surface can't emit this all directly to space - the atmosphere blocks this.

    THere are two ways to resolve this in the Stefan-Boltmann model:

    1. The atmosphere must be having a blocking action that makes the earth-atmosphere system behave as if the surface has an emissivity of 0.612, The reduction in apparent emissivity is a measure of the greenhouse effect.
    2. It isn't the surface that is emitting IR radiation to space. In essence, the blocking action of the atmosphere means that the amount emitted to space comes from somewhere up higher in the atmosphere. Because the upper troposphere is colder, we can say that it looks like it is the upper troposphere that is emitting to space, not the surface. That's where we will find the 255K temperature suggested by the Stefan-Boltzmann law with an emissivity of 1.

    Both of these are pretty simplistic descriptions of what is happening, because the atmosphere does a lot of things other than radiation, but the basic ideas are sound: the atmosphere prevents the earth surface from emitting IR to space like a black body, and what does reach space is usually emitted at high altitude.

    I hope this helps.

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  43. This is eddieb.

    Thank you, Bob Loblaw, for your very interesting and helpful contribution.

    AEBanner

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