The “pause” that isn’t

There’s a good article in the Guardian today but Graham Readfearn, called the ‘pause’ in global warming is not even a thing. I certainly agree with the premise of the article; there’s no real evidence that anything has paused. Surface warming continues, ocean heat content continues to rise, Arctic sea ice continues to declines, ice sheet mass continues to decline.

So, I think maybe from now on, if anyone wants to mention the “pause” here, they’ll have to defined it quite precisely. What are you actually referring to, what time period and what are the uncertainties? Anyway, you can read the article yourself. The reason I thought I would post this is that it also included a short video of Matt England explaining how the unusually strong trade winds have pushed the warm surface waters in the Pacific to the west and forced warm water into the sub-surface layers. This means that a larger fraction of the energy excess is currently heating the oceans, with less heating the land and atmosphere. When these trade winds weaken, this should change and we should see faster surface warming than we’ve seen for the last decade or so. At least, that’s an explanation for the slowdown in surface warming, which – given that the ocean heat content has continued to rise despite the slowdown in surface warming – seems plausible.

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121 Responses to The “pause” that isn’t

  1. BBD says:

    Irritatingly, Prof. England uses the term “hiatus” over and over again (eg here). I know ‘slowdown in the rate of surface warming’ is a bit of a mouthful, but it does have the merit of being correct.

  2. verytallguy says:

    “Hiatus” is the term used in AR5, so I guess it’s official.

    I would very strongly agree with ATTP that it should be properly defined before discussing – different definitions have very different lengths from zero to about 19 years. Generally merely defining it helps appreciate it’s lack of significance,

    AR5 has a (to me) rather unsatisfactory definiton, following from box 9.2:
    a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60… …estimated to be around one-third to one-half of the trend over 1951–2012

    So they have it as lower short term trend, NOT zero rise, and on it’s significance
    “attributable in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced trend in external forcing”

  3. Joshua says:

    So, I think maybe from now on, if anyone wants to mention the “pause” here, they’ll have to defined it quite precisely. What are you actually referring to, what time period and what are the uncertainties?

    I think that’s going to be hard to enforce, but I think it’s a good thing.

    As BBD notes, inaccurate terminology is widespread on both sides. I often read climate scientists (in public discourse if not in their scientific publications) refer to an increase in global average surface temperatures as “global warming.”

  4. Geoff Harris says:

    I usually consider those who talk about a 15 year ‘pause’ (since 1998) to be indulging in blatant cherry picking. Curry did this on Econtalk recently. So it is a puzzle to me why scientific documents such as AR5 should apparently do the same thing. Am I wrong to find the practice dishonest?

  5. OPatrick says:

    There does seem to be a conflation, and not just from the ‘sceptic’ side, of the ideas that there are variations in the temperature record that are amenable to explanation and that there is a pause or hiatus in warming. The phrase ‘natural variation’ also needs definition does it not? There is nothing statistically beyond the bounds of natural variation to suggest that the recent atmospheric temperatures have deviated from the ongoing trend, by my understanding. But to what extent does the evidence of stronger trade winds pushing warm water into the deeper oceans count as explanation of natural variation rather than additional variation on top of natural variation?

  6. Geoff,
    No, I also have an issue with it and it’s my opinion that it’s an example of trying to respond to criticisim without necessary having the courage to say something like “well, actually the whole pause thing is a bit of a cherry-pick and although it’s interesting to try and understand why surface warming seems to have slowed in the last 10 – 15 years, in a long-term climate sense it’s probably not particularly significant”.

    Having said that, trying to understand variability and how it influences warming is clearly worthwhile. Being essentially forced to adopt the terminology that seems to have been created by those who are cherry-picking, however, does not seem optimal.

  7. I think ‘hidden’ is the more appropriate term to use. Similar to what the article said, what we know about this planet’s energy balance and what we believe about GHGs, the heat has to be somewhere–it did not just stop. The heat has been ‘hidden’ because most warming has been based off of SST & land surface temperature, not accounting for more warming in isolated regions (Pacific), as well as climate models not including the PDO and other nifty things about our climate system.

  8. Nature’s Pulchritude,
    Depends what you mean by “hidden”. When some made a big deal out of Trenberth’s “missing heat” comment, most did not realise that he probably understood radiative physics well enough to know that the observed warming was too low for what physics would predict for the energy imbalance. Hence, some of the energy must be going somewhere where we weren’t making sufficient observations. There is no evidence that that is the deep ocean, partly driven – I think as you might be suggesting – by the unnusually strong trade winds that are pushing energy below the ocean surface.

    So, yes, maybe it had been “hiding” (as I think you’re suggesting) but I think it’s mostly been found. 🙂

  9. OPatrick says:

    God, no – “hidden” = PR disaster!

  10. “Hidden” = Unaccounted for due to human inaccuracies. 😉

  11. badgersouth says:

    The concluding paragraphs of Readfearn’s article struck a chord with me.

    “So what really caused the pause in global warming? I think there might be four possibilities.

    “1. Was it headline writers and journalists who, out of necessity, sometimes need to strip nuance and context from their stories?

    “2. Was it climate science deniers who repeated the “no global warming” mantra so often it started to infect even the rational people?

    “3. Was it the internet?

    4”. Was it a crack squad of fairies who secretly changed the laws of physics so the earth doesn’t warm after you have pumped 1,407 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution?

    “Nah! While some thought climate change was on “pause” the reality is that the world’s big fat fingers have been stuck on the fast-forward button.”

  12. BG says:

    Everyone should be gently reminded to refer back to Tamino’s recent analysis of temps 1998 forward, vis-a-vis ‘pauses’ or ‘hiatuses.’

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/global-temperature-the-post-1998-surprise/

  13. badgersouth, yes I think that is a good ending. Be interesting to know from climate scientists themselves if they agree that the terminology was somewhat forced on them or not. I had a brief Twitter exchange with Doug MacNeall this morning about this, but I can never quite work out what people are getting at on Twitter. The same probably applies to what I say of course 🙂

    BG, yes, that was a good post by Tamino. I think I may have actually reblogged it.

  14. guthrie says:

    I agree, hidden is a bad word to use. I think ‘unobserved’ or ‘hitherto unobserved’.

  15. How about “recently found” 🙂

  16. BG says:

    ATTP,

    I do believe that you did reblog Tamino’s post, so one can view it ‘either here or there.’ Much as the heat is ‘either here or there,’ as opposed the ‘neither here or there.’

    ‘hitherto unmeasured’ until ‘recently measured’

  17. It’s been evident for a while that at least some of the “missing” surface warming is the result of a negative-prominent ENSO index over the last ten years.

    To my mind Mann addressed the key question when he asked — Is there a previously unknown dynamic of global warming that biases the trade winds in favor of La Nina? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/global-warming-speed-bump_b_4756711.html)

    Also, am I the only one who remember the paper where they locate a good portion of the “missing” surface warming at the poles, due to poor coverage of the Arctic, the fastest-warming area on the planet? (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113092217.htm)

  18. TheTracker, I often mention the recent Cowtan & Way paper. As I understand it, whether or not their analysis stands the test of time, that ignoring the Arctic likely under-estimates that rate of warming is – as I understand it – not really disputed. There, however, do seem to be some who continue to claim that warming has paused.

  19. It just seems strange to me that so many climate scientists are writing about the trade winds story without referencing the Arctic piece of the puzzle. Perhaps it is just the amnesia of the news cycle, or perhaps Cowtan & Way just needs to be replicated and otherwise supported before it becomes part of the mental furniture.

    If I were writing a story on “missing warming,” though, I might say: “Just months after one climate analysis found much of the “missing” surface warming may be due due to poor coverage of the rapidly-warming Arctic, another paper argues that a period of stronger-than-usual Pacific trade winds may be pushing some of the heat into the ocean depths.”

  20. TheTracker, that is a good point. One reason may be that even Cowtan & Way still suggests that surface warming is slower than the longer-term trend. So, still some motivation for explaining why slower than expected. But I agree, adding that surface warming is probably not as slow as was thought is worth mentioning.

  21. This might be overly pedantic (or even wrong?), but Prof. England’s phrase “we actually get heat coming back up into the atmosphere” makes me want to pick the same nit I did here:

  22. How is Graham Readfearn qualified to report on the science of global warming?

  23. Shub, why does he have to be. He’s being a reporter. That wouldn’t happen to be a strawman would it? Does rather seem that way. Plus there are quite a number of questions on another post that I think people would like you to answer.

  24. Shub,
    Just out of interest, are you actually interested in making constructive comments here? It doesn’t really seem that way. Maybe you could try a little harder?

  25. I didn’t know how unqualified journalists were reporting on science papers with findings they could not cross-verify.

  26. Shub, you’re going to have to try a little harder to explain what you’re getting at. Just in case you don’t understand how newspapers work, people who are not necessarily experts write articles based on what others may have said or written. Often they may have a relevant background, but not always. They typically talk to those other people, or they talk to other people, or they read their papers. That’s how it works. Typically, it’s called journalism.

  27. jsam says:

    Graham must be at least as qualified as a blogger who only got out of Purdue University courtesy of a streetmap.

  28. And that wasn’t intended as a criticism of your post, at all, merely on observation on the whole media discussion.

    As usual, Phil Plait comes up aces:

    “We do still see a rise in temperatures across the Earth, but interestingly it’s not quite as rapid a rise as the models predict. Why would that be?

    A recent study showed that it is at least partly due to a lack of good coverage in the Arctic. Far northern latitudes are much more affected by global warming than midlatitudes, and if you leave those temperatures out, then you don’t see as fast a rise as you should. That study shows that when you account for this, warming rates in the surface temperatures go up, closer to what the models predict.

    And now we have yet another study that shows that winds are playing a role. Basically, unusually strong winds in the Pacific over the past decade or so have helped drive warm water down deeper into the ocean and dredge up cooler water from below. This has in turn created cooler surface temperatures than expected. It’s not clear if these winds have arisen naturally, as part of the multiyear Pacific cycle, or if they are in turn due to climate change itself.

    Either way, no matter how you slice it, this “pause” is nothing of the sort.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/02/11/global_warming_still_blowing_along.html

    #sciencecrush

  29. Rachel says:

    I like Graham Readfearn. He writes well and is good to read. I have also wondered how the term “hiatus” came into being. Who started using it first? It would be nice if global warming had stopped but as he says, it’s stuck on fast-forward. It’s also perfectly reasonable for him to report on the findings of a recently published scientific paper. Read: I’m confused by your comments, Shub.

    The video is good too but I did notice the bit DumbSci picks up on. I thought it was wrong to say the heat will come back out of the ocean?

  30. Thanks Tracker. As usual, Phil’s excellent article accurately reports on the peer-reviewed literature. This isn’t surprising, given that Phil Plait is such a competent scientist.

    Graham’s article also accurately reported the peer-reviewed literature, unlike articles by “reporters” like Andrew Bolt, David Rose, James Delingpole, etc. Hopefully people with concerns about qualifications will be more concerned with the logs in their eyes than with our alleged splinters. Otherwise we’d be diverted from a possibly meaningful conversation about how energy from our imposed radiative imbalance is currently being partitioned among the different parts of the climate system… into a completely meaningless “conversation” that has nothing to do with science.

    Unless diversion from the science is the point?

  31. jsam, are you implying you actually know who Shub is? Just to warn you, we typically don’t encourage people to reveal the identity of others posting under pseudonyms here unless they happen to have exposed the identity of someone else themselves. As Shub hasn’t done that…. oh wait a minute, he/she has. Feel free, then 🙂

  32. badgersouth says:

    Anders,

    Earlier today I attempted to post a couple of comments on the thread to Antarctic Sea Ice Volume. The posts were calling attention to Mark Brandon’s recent post about the seasonal variation of Antarctic sea ice on his Mallemaroking blog. Neither comment has shown up on the thread. Have you closed it to comments, or is something else at play?

    BTW, I tried to sent the above to you via your email address but it wouldn’t go through. Is the character immediately before the @ the number “1”, or is it something else?

  33. jsam says:

    No, I don’t know who Shub is. Nor would I want to.

    But you do know the blogger I refer to. A Mr Antony Watts. Attended but did not graduate. You can see why he’s furious at those who made it through the education system.

  34. jsam, I mis-interpreted you. Oh well, maybe someone knows 🙂

  35. Okay, just to be clear, I don’t really want anyone to reveal who Shub is even if they know. I have no problem with pseudonyms and I have no real desire to stoop as low as revealing someone’s identity when they would rather it were not.

  36. badgersouth says:

    Anders: Is your email still “andthentheresphysics1@gmail.com”? I ask because when I try to send you a note, it comes back with a delivery failure notice,.

  37. Rachel, I’m wondering if it’s really “wrong”. I certainly think that accelerated surface warming is expected when the winds die down, but that’s mainly because the continued radiative imbalance won’t be dumped as quickly into the oceans so it’ll either warm the surface or melt the cryosphere, etc. However, I don’t think it’s impossible for some of the “missing” heat to literally come back up into the atmosphere. I do think any literal escaped heat will be much smaller than the amount of newly trapped heat diverted from warming the oceans to the surface.

    Of course, there’s no practical distinction between literal escaped heat and diverted newly trapped heat, so I definitely feel overly pedantic. But contrarians seem really concerned about this pedantry, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

  38. badgersouth, I thought it was. I’m still actually using wottsupwiththatblog@gmail.com so you could send it there if you want.

  39. BBD says:

    DS

    Agreed – surely when the Trades weaken and the Western Pacific Warm Pool sort of… slumps eastward and SST anomalies go through the roof, that’s what we usually call El Nino?

  40. Rachel says:

    AndThen,

    I have no real desire to stoop as low as revealing someone’s identity when they would rather it were not.

    That’s good. Otherwise I might have had to put you on moderation. 😉

  41. I can’t figure out if the Readfearn guy is trying to report on some scientific findings, or … make jokes. The writer is caught between the two.

  42. Shub, having discussed some science with you before I’m not really convinced that you really understand the difference between a joke and a scientific finding, which may explain your confusion.

  43. BBD,

    surely when the Trades weaken and the Western Pacific Warm Pool sort of… slumps eastward and SST anomalies go through the roof, that’s what we usually call El Nino?

    My impression (as an ENSO amateur) is that warm El Nino SST are due to reduced upwelling of colder deep water, so most of that surface warming is due to diverting newly trapped heat from the deep ocean to land and sea surface temperatures.

  44. DumbSci and BBD,
    Isn’t it kind of a combination. If the trade winds weaken, warm water flows across the surface of the Pacific to the East and increases the SSTs. Some of this warm water must come from sub-surface waters. This then both – I think – releases energy which will produce rapid warming, but also (given the anthropogenic influence) will change the distribution of the energy excess so that surface warming accelerates.

  45. jsam says:

    The huffing and puffing in deepest, derpiest denierdom is “we were told the winds were decreasing!” Nasty cases of single paper syndrome are breaking out. Still, there was an earlier study that, at a headline level (recall how superficial I truly am) does sound contradictory.

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/walker.shtml

    Learned comments will be cut and pasted to my snippets library from whence I shall pass them off as my own. As per normal.

  46. Thalb 2000 says:

    Actually, this is what’s happening during an El Nino event.

  47. BBD says:

    ATTP/DS

    Well, warm water definitely flows from west to east during EN, so I’m holding out for a substantial release of energy from subsurface waters formerly corralled into the West Pacific Warm Pool by the Trades… but I think DS is also correct in what he says. So possibly we get to share the cigar?

  48. BBD says:

    Thalb 2000

    Um, what is?

  49. BBD,

    So possibly we get to share the cigar?

    Sure, I’ve kind of lost track 🙂

  50. Anders, BBD, sure. Both mechanisms likely contribute to faster El Nino surface warming. I’m just vaguely remembering that the slower upwelling was more emphasized the last time I tried to dig into El Nino. Presumably this has been studied, but I don’t have time to search the literature right now. I bet the contributions from both mechanisms have already been estimated from Argo, etc. and compared to AOGCM estimates.

  51. badgersouth says:

    The article, “Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming—for now” posted on Phys.org contains an excellent schematic of the trends in temperature and ocean-atmosphere circulation in the Pacific over the past two decades.

    http://phys.org/news/2014-02-pacific-stall-global-surface-warmingfor.html#jCp

  52. BBD says:

    badgersouth

    Well, that shows what happens when La Nina conditions predominate because Trades are strong and blowing east to west. I’m interested in the reverse case, when they weaken and the ~0.5m high lump of warm water in the Western Pacific slumps east, producing stripe of high SST anomalies right across the equatorial Pacific.

  53. “’I’m not really convinced that you really understand the difference between …”

    Reminded of the time you tried to boil the ocean in your toy model to release CO2. … Incidentally just looked at a study reporting that the methane budget from a bottom-up approach doesn’t account for the increasing atmospheric concentrations.

    Back to Mr Readfearn, retrospective analyses such as the one he describes really do not add anything to our knowledge. I mean, there has to be some explanation for the pause after all.

  54. Shub,

    Reminded of the time you tried to boil the ocean in your toy model to release CO2.

    If you’re referring to this, no, I don’t think I did. One chance, and one chance only. Explain this, or you’re banned.

  55. Chandra says:

    Hi, apologies for a long question, but I’ve been engaged in a discussion with a skeptic who brought up the 15 year hiatus when discussing the assumed energy imbalance caused by CO2. I have understood there to be an energy imbalance and have seen it quantified as being about 1.7W/m2 currently and expected to rise. The skeptic, who appears to be a retired but experienced engineer, electronics perhaps, questions this. Here are some of his observations to me:

    ———-
    1. The properties of CO2 in absorbing and radiating IR over certain wavelengths has been precisely measured and is not open to dispute.

    2. There is no doubt that a planet with an atmosphere of pure CO2 would be warmer than the same planet with an atmosphere of a gas that did not interact with IR.

    3. From there on things are not “well understood” in the way that expression is normally used in science. The radiation imbalance does not come from measurement or observation of any actual imbalance. It comes from calculations based on notions including “radiative forcing” which can exist only in computer models and which is inherently incapable of being validated by observation or by experiment. ([Science of Doom] is not very complimentary about radiative forcing, though mainly because of its approximations.)

    Its very, very hard for me to express how utterly ludicrous or irresponsible the idea of relying on unverified models would be regarded in any of the fields I have worked in. The fact that its widely done in climate science means that the subject just cannot be taken seriously. Its got the word science in its title but, whatever it is, it is simply not science. If learned people believe things about a physical system for which there is no physical evidence – and nothing that comes out of a model is evidence – then their learning has to be regarded as a form of theology. Its faith, not science.
    ———-

    And he goes on later, quoting from Science of Doom / IPCC:

    ———-
    “The radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system due to the perturbation in or the introduction of an agent (say, a change in greenhouse gas concentrations) is the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave; in Wm-2) at the tropopause AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropo-spheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values”. (IPCC)

    In other words, a concept that has no physical existence, that can exist only within computer models and which is incapable of being validated (and, equally, of being falsified). This give a lucid illustration of how climate science is not science, despite having the word in its title and wearing some of the clothes of science. If a concept cant be verified by experiment, it makes no difference how many learned people believe in it, it remains unverified.

    A good principle when things are uncertain is to look for the simplest explanation that requires the fewest assumptions.

    Instead of looking in the deep ocean, under the carpet, or elsewhere, to find what has happened to “the missing heat” that radiative forcing says should be there, climate scientists might well take a hint from Nature. With their models unvalidated, they cannot rule out that Nature is whispering: “Im sorry but the static temperature of the past fifteen years is simply because there is actually no imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy flows. The missing heat is nothing but a phantom conjured up by the approximations and errors in your models.”
    ———-

    I don’t have the necessary smarts to know whether what he’s telling me has much validity, but his mentioning of static temperatures for 15 years at the end indicates to me that he is not as “skeptical” as he would like to suggest. Can someone help untangle this web for me please?

  56. JCH says:

    The issue could be “if” the trade winds weaken. That is what is missing in the discussion. Tsonis and Swanson claim to have found a mechanism that results in a regime shift. If you look at their result, all but one of the regime shifts in the 20th century pretty much coincide with phase shifts in the PDO. Those shifts last for decades. The negative phase is characterized as La Nina dominant. In a La Nina high surface winds mound warm water in the Western Pacific and upwell cold water in the Eastern Pacific. If the regime shift happened around 2000, which is what is being claimed, the the trade winds could cause La Nina dominance until 2030. The Pacific Ocean can provide very cold water for upwelling for a very long time, and it could keep the trend flattish until 2030.

  57. Chandra,
    It’s pretty hard to rebut some of what he’s saying. The radiative influence of CO2 is well understood. There are still uncertainties about feedbacks and about the influence of other anthropogenic factors, like aerosols, But one thing to try and explain to the person you’re talking to is that climate models are actually making projections, not predictions. What they’re really used for is to try and tell us something about what might happen given various different scenarios. They do also get used to estimate climate sensitivity, but the range they give is somewhat indicative of the uncertainties.

    Another factor is that climate science doesn’t rely on climate models. There are multiple lines of evidence indicating what the future might hold. Paleo-climatological estimates of climate sensitivity also suggest an equilibrium climate sensitivity of about 3oC after a doubling of Co2. We also have recent observations (surface temperatures, ocean heat content, polar ice) that indicate that the planet continues to accrue energy.

    As far as the last 15 years is concerned, it hasn’t really been a pause. Surface temperatures have been rising at around 0.1oC per decade, so slower than the longer-term trend, but not stopped. Ocean heat content has continued to rise. However, given what you’ve said about your discussion I would be surprised if you’ll have any success.

  58. JCH, sure “if” is an issue. However, something to bear in mind is that as we continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere the energy imbalance will increase. If the surface temperatures continue to rise slowly then the rate at which energy accrues in the ocean will have to increase. That in itself seems unlikely (i.e., what mechanism can act to continually increase the fraction of the excess energy going into the oceans). Also, the longer it takes before the trade winds weaker, the larger the energy imbalance will be and the faster the subsequent warming will be. So, yes, it could still take a while (we don’t know) but unless there’s something wrong with our basic physics, in a long-term sense, it probably doesn’t actually make any difference.

  59. badgersouth says:

    Chandra: I recommend that you post your questions/concerns on one of the threads at SkepticalScience.com. Because you raise more than one issue, post it on the thread to the SkS Weekly Digest #6. It’s an “open thread.” Skeptical Science authors and other well-informed readers will gladly provide you with all of the ammunition you need to respond to the person you are dialoging with.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Skeptical Science author team and my name is John Hartz.

  60. Chandra, yes I would agree with badgersouth. Others on SkS can certainly give you a more thorough answer than I can.

  61. JCH says:

    ATTP – politically it would/is making a big difference. It will be very difficult to convince politicians to do anything other than BAU.

    My interpretation of Trenberth is that enhanced ocean warming warms the pools of water that ENSO moves around, so all phases of ENSO will get warmer as the hiatus unfolds for however long is it going to last, and that would mean a switch to El Nino dominance would warm at a very aggressive pace. I think the pause has about run its course as I think it started in around1983.

  62. JCH,

    politically it would/is making a big difference. It will be very difficult to convince politicians to do anything other than BAU.

    I’ve no doubt it would. My comment referred only to what would likely happen to our climate, not how our policy makers will likely choose to interpret the evidence presented to them.

    a switch to El Nino dominance would warm at a very aggressive pace.

    Indeed, I would agree. The longer it takes to switch, the more aggressive it is likely to be.

  63. badgersouth says:

    Here are the lead paragraphs of an article that bears directly on this discussion:

    “A new study shows that there is at least a 76 percent likelihood that an El Niño event will occur later this year, potentially reshaping global weather patterns for a year or more and raising the odds that 2015 will set a record for the warmest year since instrument records began in the late 19th century.

    “The study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, builds on research put forward in 2013 that first proposed a new long-range El Niño prediction method.”

    Source: “Study Sounds ‘El Niño Alarm’ For Late This Year” by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, Feb 10, 204

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/study-sounds-el-nino-alarm-for-2014-17052

  64. You toy model failed to emit enough CO2 to produce a significant raise because, that it would be heating of the oceans which would drive out dissolved CO2 and produce a large atmospheric concentration rise, was your assumption to begin with. The real world, obviously, doesn’t work that way.

    Quoting:

    “The amount of CO2 that the ocean can absorb depends on temperature and so, one possibility, is that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is driven by the oceans releasing CO2 as temperatures increase.”

    Here’s methane showing ‘unexpected’ behaviour: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6170/493.full

    By the way, the highlighting of methane at this juncture is because there is apparently a funding problem. Thankfully, this is not conspiratorialism. The scientists themselves admit this: http://www.livescience.com/42986-methane-greenhouse-gas-monitoring-threatened.html

    You’re kind of touchy about your toy model aren’t you? I think I know why but let us not go there.

  65. Shub,
    You said,

    Reminded of the time you tried to boil the ocean in your toy model to release CO2.

    One more go for you. Explain where I tried this (hint : I didn’t). You can either convince me that I did, you can retract it, or you can be banned. Those are the only options. You have precisely one more comment to do one of those three things. It will be the only comment you will be allowed. There is no appeal. There is no other discussion. And, if you choose poorly I will ban you and never communicate with you again. Think very carefully about how you answer this. Given how touchy you were about my moderation, I find it remarkably ironic that you have the gall to comment on me being touchy.

  66. Hey Chandra,

    I see your friend as indulging in a common fallacy of the pseudoskeptical mind: the reification of “models” as something separate and inferior to science not involving modeling (which doesn’t actually exist).

    Climate science has observations, and they have theories and hypotheses to explain those observations. Climate science is complex enough that it is necessary and useful to use computers to express our theories about the climate (as they do in particle physics, cosmology, chemistry . . .). That’s all a “model” is, really. It doesn’t have an independent existence. It’s just a tool that helps explore the implications of our theories and makes them easier to test against observations.

    Without getting into the many, many, separate and independent lines of experimental evidence for the global energy imbalance — and I agree SkS is unmatched for that — when your correspondent brings up the supposed “dependence on models” I suggest you give him your best blank look and ask him exactly what he is referring to — the physics, the observations, or the use of calculating machines to compare the two?

    Models aren’t thinking machines doing science for us. They aren’t HAL, they aren’t Skynet. Arrhenius created the first climate model with a pen and paper, doing calculations longhand, weather cell by weather cell. No computer required.

  67. BBD says:

    Chandra

    Your correspondent says:

    Its very, very hard for me to express how utterly ludicrous or irresponsible the idea of relying on unverified models would be regarded in any of the fields I have worked in. The fact that its widely done in climate science means that the subject just cannot be taken seriously. Its got the word science in its title but, whatever it is, it is simply not science. If learned people believe things about a physical system for which there is no physical evidence – and nothing that comes out of a model is evidence – then their learning has to be regarded as a form of theology. Its faith, not science.

    Following on from The Tracker’s point, is your correspondent aware that James Hansen – no less – is sceptical about climate models? You might wish to pass on Hansen’s on-record statement to that effect as a counter to the strawman argument quoted above:

    TH: A lot of these metrics that we develop come from computer models. How should people treat the kind of info that comes from computer climate models?

    Hansen: I think you would have to treat it with a great deal of skepticism. Because if computer models were in fact the principal basis for our concern, then you have to admit that there are still substantial uncertainties as to whether we have all the physics in there, and how accurate we have it. But, in fact, that’s not the principal basis for our concern. It’s the Earth’s history-how the Earth responded in the past to changes in boundary conditions, such as atmospheric composition. Climate models are helpful in interpreting that data, but they’re not the primary source of our understanding.

    TH: Do you think that gets misinterpreted in the media?

    Hansen: Oh, yeah, that’s intentional. The contrarians, the deniers who prefer to continue business as usual, easily recognize that the computer models are our weak point. So they jump all over them and they try to make the people, the public, believe that that’s the source of our knowledge. But, in fact, it’s supplementary. It’s not the basic source of knowledge. We know, for example, from looking at the Earth’s history, that the last time the planet was two degrees Celsius warmer, sea level was 25 meters higher.

    And we have a lot of different examples in the Earth’s history of how climate has changed as the atmospheric composition has changed. So it’s misleading to claim that the climate models are the primary basis of understanding.

  68. MikeH says:

    @Tracker
    The Cowtan and Way adjustment for the Arctic was still relatively small – as Rahmsdorf explains here it is “within the published uncertainty of the HadCRUT4 data”. So with their adjustment, the trend becomes 0.12C per decade which is still a quarter less than the long term trend since 1980 of 0.16C per decade.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half

    So still room for the Oceans to play a role. The England study accounts for another 0.1–0.2°C and is consistent with prevailing explanation that the heat is going into the oceans – specifically the Pacific.

    Here is an animation that I refer back to whenever I need to visualise what is happening.
    http://esminfo.prenhall.com/science/geoanimations/animations/26_NinoNina.html

    So my understanding based on a scale of trade wind strength – likely way too simple but the paper remains stubbornly behind a paywall.
    1. la nina – trade winds blowing east to west strongest
    2. england – trade winds blowing east to west stronger
    3. neutral – trade winds blowing east to west
    4. el nino – trade winds weaken and may even reverse

    And I agree, Mann’s article made it a lot clearer, particularly these 2 paragraphs
    “The explanation for the speed bump, the authors say, might lie in the stronger-than-normal winds in the tropical Pacific for much of the past decade. The equatorial trade winds are responsible for the upwelling of cold deep water in the eastern equatorial Pacific (why the Galapagos Islands are a cold place to go swimming, despite being located near the equator). That cold water spreads out over a large part of the eastern and central tropical Pacific. Make those winds stronger, and you get cooler surface temperatures over a large region of Earth’s tropics, and modestly lower global surface temperatures of 0.1-0.2C (enough to explain much if not all of the slowing of global warming over this short time frame). The surface cooling is associated, in turn, with greater burial of heat beneath the ocean surface.

    Such conditions are basically equivalent to the flip-side of El Niño, known as La Niña. In other words, the slowing of global warming may relate, at least in part, to the tendency for more frequent La Niña-like conditions in recent years. That gives us stronger trade winds in the eastern tropical Pacific, more burial of heat below the ocean surface, colder tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, and slightly cooler global average temperatures than we might otherwise have seen.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/global-warming-speed-bump_b_4756711.html

    There was a great David Attenborough TV docu on the Galapogos which was filmed over a long enough period to show the fur seals and the marine iguanas flourishing in the cold water and then being hammered by an El Nino.

    There is also a bit more here which explains how large the temperature differentials are (“the western tropical Pacific is 8 to 10°C warmer than the eastern tropical Pacific”).

    “In the eastern Pacific, the northward flowing Humbolt current brings cooler water from the Southern Ocean to the tropics. Furthermore, along the equator, strong east to southeasterly Trade winds cause the ocean currents in the eastern Pacific to draw water from the deeper ocean towards the surface, helping to keep the surface cool. However in the far western Pacific there is no cool current, and weaker Trades mean that this “upwelling” effect is reduced. Hence waters in the western equatorial Pacific are able to warm more effectively under the influence of the tropical sun. This means that under “normal” conditions the western tropical Pacific is 8 to 10°C warmer than the eastern tropical Pacific. While the ocean surface north and northeast of Australia is typically 28 to 30°C or warmer, near South America the Pacific Ocean is close to 20°C. This warmer area of ocean is a source for convection and is associated with cloudiness and rainfall.
    However, during El Niño years, the trade winds weaken and the central and eastern tropical Pacific warms up. This change in ocean temperature sees a shift in cloudiness and rainfall from the western to the central tropical Pacific Ocean.”
    http://www.bom.gov.au/watl/about-weather-and-climate/australian-climate-influences.shtml?bookmark=enso

  69. MikeH says:

    And I almost forgot. The Pacific is huge.

  70. badgersouth says:

    Observation: As illustrated by the high-quality responses to Chandra’s request for assistance, the comment threads to postings on this website can be a valuable teaching tool. Grafitti posts by the likes of Shub only get in the way of serious dialogues.

  71. Observation: badger plays the ref in another thread.

  72. Joshua says:

    Observation: As illustrated by the high-quality responses to Chandra’s request for assistance, the comment threads to postings on this website can be a valuable teaching tool. Grafitti posts by the likes of Shub only get in the way of serious dialogues.

    1. I find Shub’s comments useful – to an extent, because they illustrate the fallacious reasoning that some people bring to the discussion.

    2. I fail to understand how Shub’s comments “get in the way of serious dialogues.” If you think his posts are nonsense, don’t read them. If you want to exchange information about climate change with others, his posts in no way interfere from you doing so.

    3. Seems to me that your comment does not qualify as a valuable teaching tool. Should it, therefore, have been scrubbed?

  73. verytallguy says:

    Observation:

    Chandra was pulling your chain.

  74. dana1981 says:

    For the record, I discussed Cowtan & Way (and a lot of other relevant studies) in my piece on the England paper. I even had a quote from Cowtan in there.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/feb/10/unprecedented-trade-winds-global-warming-oceans

    Graham Readfearn has written about climate science for a long time, and he does it really well, which is why the Guardian picked him up. He has a great style of combining science and witty humor. If you’re going to wonder about why somebody is writing about climate science, ask about people like David Rose and James Delingpole, who constantly distort the science instead of reporting on it. Though as of yesterday, Delingpole is no longer writing for the Telegraph (hip hip hooray!).

    As for the ‘hiatus’/’pause’, I’m not sure where the terminology originated, but the myth started to gain steam when the BBC had that interview with Phil Jones where they asked him about whether the warming since 1998 had been statistically significant (a question I hear rumors they were fed by a contrarian). A leading question and they got the answer they wanted.

  75. badgersouth says:

    Willard: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

  76. BBD says:

    VTG

    Do you think so? I did wonder, but decided to be generous of spirit. What made you suspicious?

  77. Personally, I’d rather give the benefit of the doubt until it’s obvious.

  78. BBD says:

    dana1981

    Though as of yesterday, Delingpole is no longer writing for the Telegraph (hip hip hooray!

    Jubilation, indeed. Does anyone know where he will be going? Because presumably he will pop up somewhere else.

  79. Same as ever: I read this article in the Guardian and I think it’s good.

  80. Paul, just to check. You read Graham Readfearn’s article and you think it’s good? Is that what you’re saying?

  81. verytallguy says:

    BBD/ATTP,

    Sorry to be so cynical, butI have seen the like of Chandra’s approach many, many times before. The “I have a friend who….” is well rehearsed and tedious, and generally results in the purported naif trotting out layers of well worn “skeptic” memes from their “friend” one after another in response to being helped. If Chandra is for real, I’ll eat my underpants. (Chandra – please feel free to prove me wrong…)

  82. badgersouth says:

    VTG: The ones that you are now wearing?

  83. badgersouth says:

    Joshua: I prefer quality to quantity.

  84. pbjamm says:

    VTG,
    While true that the friend often turns out to be the OP trying to look reasonable it does happen in real life. It happened to me right after Climategate where an online acquaintance dropped a gish gallop on me and I had no idea how to respond. It was the start of my journey of investigation into the subject and made me question everything I thought I knew about the subject. I chose not to ask for help in this way but it was tempting. I instead broke it down into small bits and researched them individually. After the first few turned out to be nonsense I concluded that it probably all was (and further reading proved me right). I guess my point is that Chandra might really be looking for answers to a bomb dropped on him and we should at least point him in the right direction and assume the best.

  85. badgersouth says:

    Perhaps “Chandra” is a sock puppet created by Shub?

  86. Joshua says:

    Chandra’s comment did have a tinge of concern, if you get my drift.

  87. Ian Forrester says:

    BBD, it appears as if Delingpole is headed to a new UK based off shoot of Breitbart.com, a right wing web site:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/steerpike/2014/02/delingpole-quites-telegraph-ahead-of-uk-launch-of-brietbart-com/

    BigCityLib seems to think he was booted out rather than quitting:

    http://bigcitylib.blogspot.ca/2014/02/global-warming-denier-james-delingpole.html

  88. Rachel says:

    Badger,
    No, Chandra is not a sockpuppet created by Shub.

    I also think we should give him/her the benefit of the doubt.

  89. Joshua says:

    My advise to Chandra would be to ask her friend whether he is actually interesting in a good faith exchange.

    For example:

    The fact that its widely done in climate science means that the subject just cannot be taken seriously.

    My understanding is that “skeptics” who are interested in good faith exchange believe that the potential for ACO2 to significantly affect our climate is uncertain – not a non-starter. Someone who thinks that the science of climate change cannot be taken seriously, obviously, does not accept that there is any potential for ACO2 to significantly affect the climate. Thus, by definition, such a person would not be interested in good faith exchange, but instead would be seeking to justify a preexisting orientation.

    Instead of looking in the deep ocean, under the carpet, or elsewhere, to find what has happened to “the missing heat” that radiative forcing says should be there, climate scientists might well take a hint from Nature.

    This argument is a straw man. First, it is easily provable that climate scientists study nature and develop their theories in relation to observations of nature. Even if one accepts the influence of cultural cognition in their analysis, and even if one thinks that their estimation of the influence of ACO2 is overstated, if someone argues that they are not “tak[ing] a hint from nature,” then they are misrepresenting the state of the science to a degree that they are engaging in a debate without an intent of good faith exchange.

    With their models unvalidated, they cannot rule out that Nature is whispering: “Im sorry but the static temperature of the past fifteen years is simply because there is actually no imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy flows.

    Someone interested in a good faith exchange of views would not offer such an opinion w/o providing some sort of plausible mechanism for “outgoing energy flows.”

    Thus, it would seem that Chandra’s friend either does not accept the physics of a GHE from ACO2, or is not interested in a good faith exchange. I will give “skeptics” who argue that there is no GHE from ACO2 some credit – at least there is a surface coherence to their views. I can’t understand the physics well-enough to know if the logic of their arguments about the physics is coherent, but at least they aren’t illogically putting together a claim to accept the physics of a GHE from ACO2 while also claiming that there has been a “hiatus in warming” even though we have been adding ACO2 to the climate.

    The missing heat is nothing but a phantom conjured up by the approximations and errors in your models.

  90. Joshua says:

    Obviously, the last sentence wasn’t mine – I left off the last part of my comment.

    The missing heat is nothing but a phantom conjured up by the approximations and errors in your models.

    The certainty of that statement suggests someone that has no interest in a good faith exchange of views. A good faith exchange of views requires at least some respect for uncertainty – at least some appreciation for the possibility of needing more information to form a certain conclusion.

    Chandra, my suggestion to you would be to try discussing food, wine, sports, or some other topic. It seems to me that from what you stated of your friend’s arguments, he is not actually interested in a good faith exchange of views on climate change.

  91. badgersouth says:

    Rachel: My comment re Shub and Chandra was totally “tongue in cheek.”

    PS – I’m a little stir crazy today because I’ve been cooped up in the house for two days due to inclement winter weather.

  92. BBD says:

    Ian Forrester

    Thanks very much. Reading. I thought Dellers would pop up again with the right-wing nonsense somewhere else. Breitbart.com over here in Blighty, eh? It’s spreading. Not good.

  93. Rachel says:

    Badger,
    Ok, sure. I did wonder. Just wanted to clarify though in case Shub saw it.

  94. Chandra says:

    Hi again, and thanks for the various replies to my question. VTG, best spread some peanut butter on those underpants and get chewing 🙂 My question comes as a result of a thread on a discussion thread at Bishop Hill – start at http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/2279346?currentPage=5#item2289211

    The “skeptic” in question does not seem to dismiss the greenhouse effect, as he accepts that a pure CO2 atmosphere would be warmer. He always seems logical and clever when I have discussed with him – I don’t believe him to be a pudding-head, unlike many at BH. On the other hand he seems (from other threads) to take Salby seriously, so maybe his evaluation of evidence is suspect.

    I have read discussion of calculating the imbalance at Science of Doom (see the CO2 series) and these seem not to be based on a GCM, but rather on much simpler 1D models. The author there indicates that there is high confidence from many years of study that these calculations are sort of right. That is convincing to me, but the “skeptic” refuses to address this directly instead countering that the very concept that is being computed is invalid. This could be seen as typical evasion of a difficult question. But from the IPCC quote I posted above it does not seem entirely unreasonable. I was hoping to get some idea from you here that the imbalance has a much firmer basis than the “skeptic” implies.

  95. Chandra, fortunately you’re at a site where people are typically happy to be proven wrong. Maybe not happy to have to eat their pants though 🙂

  96. BBD says:

    Chandra

    I spent an entire (and very long) year at BH attempting to do what you are doing. It was utterly futile. The same people are there in comments, spouting the same nonsense as always. You are ploughing the sea.

    If you are enjoying yourself, fine and good. If it starts to hurt, please stop. It serves no purpose at all.

  97. BBD says:

    I see they still remember me fondly. Look to the top of the page: Mike Jackson Feb 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM.

  98. Rachel says:

    They’re pretty rude there, Chandra. I hope we are not like that to contrarians. I also meant to comment on DumbSci’s link to the thread at WUWT. They are just awful to you too, DumbSci. Credit to both of your for keeping your cool.

    I would probably go with BBD’s approach in that thread and point out Hansen’s quote in his comment above. I also like Peter Hadfield’s youtube video, evidence for climate change without computer models and without the ipcc:

  99. BBD says:

    Rachel

    Mention of Hansen tends to rile them up 😉 For some reason one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists is held in very low regard there. I used to quote from Hansen as often as the conversation allowed it, of course.

  100. Joshua says:

    Chandra –

    Chandra, fortunately you’re at a site where people are typically happy to be proven wrong.

    I was wrong. Apologies.

  101. verytallguy says:

    Chandra,

    I followed your link to BH, which is toxic btw.

    Wow. Was I wrong. And not just a little bit.

    I’m firing up the deep fat fryer and propose to have them crispy with habanero sauce. I think perhaps some tequila from the freezer may also be necessary.

    Respect for debating at BH and also being honest about the limits of your own knowledge there.

    My thoughts – time spent at BH and similar is time wasted, unless it provides an incentive to learn elsewhere. I’ve encountered nowhere better than SOD for that learning.

    My apologies

    VTG

  102. badgersouth says:

    Chandra,
    There are also some responses to your repost of your request on Skeptical Science.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2396

  103. > “I have a friend who….”

    For ClimateBallers who do not know the move, this is called Just Asking Question:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=JAQing%20off

  104. Chandra says:

    BBD, yes your name comes up from time to time. I think they miss you 🙂 You are right of course that it serves no purpose, but it is strangely compulsive. I don’t read much of the main blog threads as I find their constant serving of accusation, insinuation and bile rather nauseating. VTG’s underwear in habanero sauce sounds much more tempting – bon-appetite 🙂
    Rachel, yeah they are rude, but I return in kind – it is part of the fun, I guess. I find it much more agreeable here.

    Having said that it serves no purpose, that is not entirely true. I have learned a lot by having my preconceptions challenged over there. Having to chase down real facts to counter their misinformation lead to all sorts of interesting things. Mostly I just find that everything is much more complicated than it seems at first.

    Thanks to all for the tips, encouragement and links. I have yet to come across anything that I think will cut any ice over there. Anything that refers to Hansen (let alone Mann) or SKS is like a red rag to a bull – they are “liars”, don’t you know. I’ve come to realize that a liar is someone who says something they don’t like or understand (having been called one myself). The “liar” label then spreads around their little world until everyone believes is without knowing why – just like all their other “facts”.

  105. BBD says:

    Chandra

    Having said that it serves no purpose, that is not entirely true. I have learned a lot by having my preconceptions challenged over there. Having to chase down real facts to counter their misinformation lead to all sorts of interesting things. Mostly I just find that everything is much more complicated than it seems at first.

    Yes, I too learned a great deal about how much I did not know. But spending too long in the airless, malevolent darkness erodes the soul, after a while. Remember that you can have a very much more pleasant learning experience in places like this 😉

  106. pbjamm says:

    I like to think that it is not entirely pointless. For every blowhard on WUWT or BH etc there are 10 lurkers. If even one of those lurkers learns something (for once) then it is a win. Some people will change their mind if they learn the facts, maybe not many, but any is success. If you spend time pointing out the inconsistencies, erroneous information, and the downright wrong it will get through to someone. When I stopped and questioned everything I thought one of the key elements (and I realize it is not scientific of me) was discovering how willfully ignorant so many on denier sites were. How could I believe ANYTHING they said if everything I investigated turned out to be wrong. Sure, there may be some nuggets of truth in there but I got tired of digging and gave up on the whole lot of them. Now I have trouble believing them if they say the Sun rises in the east.

  107. pbjamm, thanks for the post. That encapsulates some of how I feel , it may possible to install a spark of doubt into sceptics minds on sites like WUWT as to how they reject climate science. I still believe that if only a few lurkers or even one poster are prompted to go off and check some facts it will be worth all the effort. But it’s hard. Some of the responses are seriously vicious with even a short competition to find out more details about myself being encouraged the last time I posted. I’d still like to debate in areas such as WUWT, but it’s hard to get any point across to a collection of screaming voices. But remember, there are those who post in that area who are reasonable but afraid to agree, if we can support them we can make progress.

  108. Douglas Spence says:

    So far no one has taken up Jsam’s invitation to discuss the apparent conflict between England et al (2014) and Vecchi et al (2006).
    That earlier paper concluded that ” a vast loop of circulating wind over the Pacific Ocean known as the Walker circulation had weakened by about 3.5% since the mid-1800s.” The Trade Winds are the portion of the Walker circulation that blow across the ocean surface .Vecchi et al predicted another 10% decrease by the end of the 21st century.
    See also Tokinaga et al (2012),Nature 491 ,439-443,” Slowdown of the Walker circulation driven by tropical Indo-Pacific warming,” and the papers there listed including Vecchi.
    I am mindful of this in Readfern’s report ,….”England’s study found that climate models had not geared to account for the current two decade long period of strong trade winds in the Pacific”.

  109. Douglas, I don’t really know enough to comment. As jsam says, we should be careful of single study syndrome, so England et al. looks interesting but probably can’t be regarded as definitive at this stage.

  110. Douglas Spence says:

    Anders,
    Thanks for your reply.We will no doubt hear much more on the topic as further papers emerge.

  111. BBD says:

    Douglas Spence

    Vecchi et al. looks at the centennial trend; England et al. looks at a recent decadal and presumably transient phenomenon. The two studies are not in any way incompatible: England14 describes natural variability imposed on a long term trend.

  112. Douglas Spence says:

    BBD,
    Thanks for your thought provoking response.
    Professor England takes this issue further in NBC News ” Global Warming Pause ?The Answer is Blowin’ into the Ocean.” by John Roach.
    “That mode in the Pacific (multi decade oscillation between warm and cool periods) can explain about half of the wind trend.What explains the other half ,remains a mystery.Some evidence suggests it could be linked to warming in the Indian Ocean,although the mechanism, he stressed is unclear.” It is not at all resolved yet why these winds are twice as strong as we would expect just from the oscillation”, he said.
    The picture is further muddled by the fact that longer term climate models have these winds weakening over the 21stcentury;that is to say 100 years from now they should be weaker . The fact that they have gotten stronger over the past 20 years ,I think is a surprise,”England said, adding ,”It suggests that there is something happening in the real system that is not quite captured in the models.”
    Model Failure.( The author then speculates about the shortcomings of models highlighted in this new paper).

  113. Rachel says:

    The article from which Douglas quotes is here.

    As for the apparent conflict between England (2014) and Vecchi (2006), is there really a conflict? I see that contrarian blogs are making out that there is one but I can’t find anything from a reputable source. I think BBD is right. Real Climate wrote about the Vecchi result in 2006:

    Vecchi et al. compared the observed trend in the Walker circulation between 1861 and 1992 to that yielded by simulations from the GFDL CM2 general circulation model, run with and without anthropogenic forcing.

    If we look at what the recent England paper is saying, from their abstract:

    The net effect of these anomalous winds is a cooling in the 2012 global average surface air temperature of 0.1–0.2 °C, which can account for much of the hiatus in surface warming observed since 2001. This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate.

    Note the time periods for both papers. Doesn’t seem to be any conflict here.

  114. Joshua says:

    Given past events that transpired here w/ certain folks, I thought that the following comment from the dogpile over at WUWT, on a thread about England’s study and whether it contradicts earlier studies, was kind of interesting:

    mpcraig says:
    February 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The NCAR report claims that in a warming world, trade winds will weaken. England’s study says that recent warming has not happened because of increased trade winds. That’s consistent.

    Maybe I’m missing something here.

  115. badgersouth says:

    The false conflict meme has indeed gone viral in Deniersville.

  116. jsam says:

    Thank you, Rachel et al. Having looked at your comments and the papers, yes, I agree, there is no conflict.

    But in denierdumb anything goes.

  117. BBD says:

    Douglas Spence

    “[…] The fact that they have gotten stronger over the past 20 years ,I think is a surprise,”England said, adding ,”It suggests that there is something happening in the real system that is not quite captured in the models.”
    Model Failure.

    You are going a great deal further than Prof. England did. The models are not designed to reproduce accurately the natural variability of the real climate system, so claiming that they have “failed” when they do not do so is incorrect.

    It is certainly possible that anthropogenically-forced warming has amplified a transient natural intensification of the Trades just as it is hypothesised to be causing a long-term weakening of the Walker circulation.

  118. BBD says:

    Douglas Spence

    I’ve just realised that I have mistakenly attributed the phrase “model failure” to you when in fact it is a subhead from the article you were quoting. I should read Rachel’s comments a damned sight more carefully 😉

    My apologies for the misunderstanding, although I hope you can see that the general point I was making is not affected.

  119. Bishop Hill commenter says:

    verytallguy says:
    February 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm
    If Chandra is for real, I’ll eat my underpants. (Chandra – please feel free to prove me wrong…)

    I assure you that Chandra is real.

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