## Assessing anthropogenic global warming

This post is really a joint post, written by myself and by Roger Pielke Sr. It’s partly a continuation of a post Roger wrote on Judith Curry’s blog, and partly a consequence of my attempt to answer one of Roger’s question. The latter post resulted in a rather tetchy exchange between myself and Roger which we’ve now resolved, illustrating that it is possible to recover from such exchanges (I sometimes wish more would try to do so – sometimes I don’t, though).

This post is really just intended to be a simple illustration of how one might use the forcing/feedback paradigm to both understand and quantify anthropogenic global warming, and – potentially – as a mechanism for assessing global climate models. It is a work in progress, and this is simply a draft. So, bear that in mind. Comments welcome.

The definition of a forcing is essentially the net change in energy balance (change in net TOA flux) due to external (e.g. solar), volcanic emissions and internally human imposed perturbations (e.g. added CO2) . Typically, it has been defined relative to some baseline time period (IPCC, 2013). This change in energy balance will cause warming/cooling and a temperature response, which will then produce a feedback response. If the change in forcing at time t (relative to $t = 0$ ) is $\Delta F(t)$, and the change in temperature is $\Delta T$ (also relative to $t = 0$) then the radiative imbalance, $N(t)$, at time $t$ is

$N(t) = C \dfrac{d \Delta T(t)}{dt} = N(0) + \Delta F(t) - \lambda \Delta T(t),$ (1)

where $N(0)$ is the imbalance at $t = 0$, and $\lambda$ is the feedback response in Wm-2K-1, $C$ is the heat capacity. If we assume that the system is in radiative balance at $t = 0$, then we have

$N(t) = C \dfrac{d \Delta T(t)}{dt} = \Delta F(t) - \lambda \Delta T(t).$ (2)

It is important to note that the feedbacks are assumed a linear function of $\Delta T(t)$. That this might not be correct is discussed in the post. In addition, there are radiative forcings/feedbacks that are not directly connected to $\Delta T(t)$ as dicussed in NRC (2005), such as from the input of cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei and their subsequent effect on clouds.

We can actually put some numbers in. According to the GISS dataset, the change in forcing between 1880 and 2011 is 1.635Wm−2, and the change in temperature is 0.77K. The feedback response (Soden & Held 2006; Wielicki 2013) is about $\lambda = 1.21$Wm−2K−1. We assume $\lambda$ is positive for a net negative feedback (i.e., minus in Equation (2)). Therefore the radiative imbalance in 2011 should be

$N(2011) = \Delta F(2011) - \lambda \Delta T(2011) = 1.635 - 1.21 \times 0.77 = 0.7 {\rm Wm^{-2}}.$ (3)

If we consider the NOAA Ocean Heat Content data, then it suggests that the oceans are currently accruing energy at the rate of about 1022 J/year. If this is ~93% of the total system heat uptake rate. The radiative imbalance is therefore

$N[NOAA(2011)] = \dfrac{10^{22}}{0.93 \times 3.15 \times 10^7 \times 4 \pi 6370000^2} = 0.67{\rm Wm^{-2}}.$ (4)

We can also estimate how the total system energy changes with time by integrating Equation (2) in time. In other words

${\rm OHC}(t) = \int_0^t N(t) dt = \int_o^t C dT = \int_o^t \left[ \Delta F(t) - \lambda \Delta T(t) \right] dt.$ (5)

Figure 1: Estimate of the change in Ocean Heat Content (OHC) by integrating a simple energy balance formalism.

If we compare the results shown in Figure 1 with the NOAA 0-2000m Global Ocean Heat Content shown in Figure 2, then our results suggest that the system should have accrued about 2 × 1023 J between 1970 and 2011, while the NOAA data suggests about 2.5 × 1023 J over the same period. The NOAA data is also for the oceans only, and so only accounts for about 93% of the change in system energy.

Figure 2: Figure showing the change in 0-2000m and 0-700m Global Ocean Heat Content (OHC) – Levitus et al. (2012).

With respect to other estimates, The heat content of the world’s oceans for the 0-2000m layer increased by 2.4 x 1023 J corresponding to a rate of 0.39 Wm-2, according to Levitus et al 2012. The layer from the surface to 2000 m depth warming rate of 0.39 Wm-2 ± 0.031 Wm-2 per unit area of the Earth’s surface accounts for approximately 90% of the warming of the climate system according to Levitus et al. Thus, if we add the 10%, the 1955-2010 the radiative imbalance is 0.43 Wm-2 ± 0.031 Wm-2. About 1/3 of this heating is at levels below 700m, according to Levitus et al 2012. They concluded that a strong positive linear trend in exists in world ocean heat content since 1955. Since about 2003, the heating rate in the upper 700m was less than in the earlier years back to around 1997 (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Figure showing the 0-700m change in Global Ocean Heat Content (NOAA).

The IPCC reports that the global average radiative imbalance is 0.59 Wm-2 for 1971-2010 while for 1993-2010 it is reported as 0.71 Wm-2. Trenberth and Fasullo (2013) state that the imbalance is 0.5–1Wm−2 over the 2000s.

Our basic calculation would seem to be slightly underestimating the change in total energy. This could be due to errors in the forcings, feedbacks, or temperature response. It is possible that we should lag the temperature response slightly to account for the time it takes for the upper ocean to equilibrate with the atmosphere.

There is also the issue of the heating that has been reported below 700m in the oceans. Levitus et al report [and Figure 2 illustrates] that about 1/3 of the heating has gone into that layer. If correct, this heat is not likely to transfer back to the surface so as to affect weather and other aspects of the climate on multi-decadal time scales. Also, if more goes into the deeper parts of the ocean, there is less to heat the surface – slower surface warming. If less goes into the deeper parts of the ocean, then there is more to heat the surface – faster surface warming. This heat is, however, not sampled when a surface temperature trend is used to diagnose global warming.

REFERENCES:
Levitus S., et al., 2012, World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level
change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L10603.

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.

Soden B.J., Held I.M., 2006, An Assessment of Climate Feedbacks in Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Models, Journal of Climate, 19, 3354-3360.

Wielicki B.A., et al., 2013, Achieving Climate Change Absolute Accuracy in Orbit, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94, 1519-1539

Update:
For a bit of fun, I coded up the simple two-degree-of-freedom model that Isaac Held discusses here. The basic model is meant to represent a mixed layer with a temperature $T$ and heat capacity $C$, and the deeper ocean with temperature $T_o$ and heat capacity $C_o$. The basic equations are

$C \dfrac{dT}{dt} = -\beta T - \gamma (T - T_o) + F(t)$

$C_o \dfrac{dT_o}{dt} = \gamma (T - T_o).$

In this case I integrated the equations for $T$ and $T_o$ using the forcing timeseries. I used $\beta = 1.5$ and $\gamma = 0.5$, which gives an ECS of $3.7/\beta = 2.5^o{\rm C}$ and a TCR to ECS ratio of $\beta / (\beta + \gamma) = 0.75$, giving a TCR of $1.9^o{\rm C}$. You can get the change in OHC using the change in temperatures and the heat contents of the two layers. The basic result is shown in the Figure below. The upper figure shows the temperature compared to GISSTemp (dashed line), the lower shows the OHC since 1950. I did this really quickly and am not trying to match anything exactly. This is just meant to be illustrative, so bear that in mind.

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### 180 Responses to Assessing anthropogenic global warming

1. RickA says:

Very nice.

As a reader I wonder about the .43 versus the .59 (IPCC) and the different periods represented (yours 1955-2010) and the IPCC 1971-2010.

Does this imply a cooling for 1955-1971 to bring down the .59 to .43?

Or can we compare apples to apples somehow?

I thought that new paper (cannot remember the name) just adjusted the record to eliminate the cooling from 1950 to 1978 – so this confuses me.

I really liked it and other than my thoughts above I understood it very well.

Thanks for the effort.

2. Rick A.,
Most of the difference between the 0.43Wm-2, 0.59Wm-2 and the 0.71Wm-2 is whether you are considering the average over the entire time interval (1950-2010) or the decades from 1971-2010, or the most recent decade (2001 – 2010).

Does this imply a cooling for 1955-1971 to bring down the .59 to .43?

No, I think it really just means that it is faster now than it was earlier.

3. RickA says:

Ok – I can see that.

Even a positive but lower warming rate from 1955-1970 could drag the average down – I can see that.

4. Arthur Smith says:

Assuming Roger Sr. agrees with what you’ve posted it sounds like he’s accepted that his previous complaint about an inconsistency was wrong (but now there’s a new smaller discrepancy)?

5. Arthur,
Well, we iterated over this for a while and Roger proof read the final post, so I think that’s the case.

6. BBD says:

‘Iterated’ is good, ATTP 😉

7. rpielke says:

Arthur Smith – And Then There’s Physics and I agreed on this post in its entirety. We now have an effective quantitative framework to assess if there is an inconsistency or not. We also have a tool to assess if global warming has paused, has accelerated, or has continued at its previous near linear rate. Roger Sr.

8. You get the wrong answer if you apply first-order kinetics to model thermal response. I am confident about that.

9. izen says:

To reach this level of coherent and useful agreement from the previous state of disputation is a notable achievement by both parties who both deserve congratulation.

10. Arthur Smith says:

Well, it does look like four different approaches (though they don’t all seem to have consistent error bars – how many sig figs on the 10^22 J/year number for instance?) show the current imbalance (or averaging from 1993 to 2010) at about 0.7 W/m^2, so that’s nice and consistent.

Then there are 1970-2010 numbers which seem a little more in conflict (around 25% apart) – but that is surely because there are strong differences between your Fig 1 and Fig 2 over the 1970-1990 time-frame – not sure what the cause could be. Maybe if you plotted both curves on the same graph something would become more obvious there. Historical temperature and forcing data is probably tricky, I would guess there are many different models with different numbers for that period.

But finally I don’t understand the 1955-2010 numbers, they don’t seem to be consistent with your eq. 4. If the increase over 55 years is 2.4×10^23 J, then from eq. 4 that should translate to an averaged imbalance of 24/55 * 0.67 = 0.29 W/m^2 – but you quote Levitus saying it’s 0.39 W/m^2. Which is right?

11. Willard says:

>(I sometimes wish more would try to do so – sometimes I don’t, though).

Wish or try?

12. Arthur Smith says:

Hmm – WHT has a point – how exactly did you integrate the energy balance formula? Did you put in a specific number for the heat capacity term C? Or just integrate the imbalance given the time-history of temperature and forcing numbers? I’d been assuming the latter (so the differential form doesn’t enter in and WHT’s point would be irrelevant) but now I’m not so sure…

13. Arthur Smith says:

Or maybe eq. 5 (right hand side) answers the questions – looks like a simple integral for given T and F. The difference between your model and observed warming might be a sign that your lambda is too high (sensitivity too low) or there’s a missing time-dependence which I guess gets into the nonlinearities question. Anyway, I’m guessing there’s no need to worry about C (can you derive an effective C from the ocean heat content change that is sensible?)

14. Arthur,
I did the latter. I had a forcing timeseries and a temperature timeseries and assumed that $\lambda = 1.21$ Wm-2K-1 and just did a simple integral. I only had annual values, so it was basically assuming that the forcing and temperature timeseries gives me an average imbalance for each year, which I then use to estimate the change in system heat for that year. I’ll check those numbers you mention in the earlier comment. It’s possible that those are bits written by myself and Roger and that we didn’t try hard enough to ensure consistency.

Willard,
I was intending to mean “try” 🙂

15. Arthur,
We’ve misquoted Levitus. It actually says

The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 x 1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.39 W m-2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09oC. This warming corresponds to a rate of 0.27 W m-2 per unit area of earth’s surface.

The 0.39 is averaged over the area of the oceans only. Averaged over the whole Earth’s surface, it is indeed 0.27Wm-2.

16. Arthur,
This Isaac Held post probably answers the heat capacity question. As WHT is getting at, a simple model like this doesn’t do a good job of reflecting the role of the deep oceans if you try to integrate with a given heat capacity, sensitivity, and forcing timeseries. You can partially fix that by including another degree-of-freedom.

17. Catalin C says:

I think there is at least one further source of the underestimate in the calculation above, and that is the path of the variations in the forcing from the start point to the end point, most likely those from aerosols. Also possibly regional differences (even just NH/SH) and other decadal and multi-decadal ocean cycles might result in an underestimate.

18. Catalin,
Indeed, and I should probably have made that clearer in the post. There is no uncertainty analysis here. I don’t actually have access to a dataset that include the forcing uncertainty. I could probably have estimated it in some way, but this was just intended to be illustrative.

19. Since about 2003, the heating rate in the upper 700m was less than in the earlier years back to around 1997 (Figure 3).

Looking at a graph and then computing a trend starting at the last prominent peak is always a bad idea. You then get [[multiple testing problems]] and the uncertainty becomes huge and nearly impossible to compute. The normal way to compute uncertainties assumes you did not select a specific period to get a trend you like.

20. Victor,
True, that’s a good point.

21. Isaac Held, not Arthur.

22. Rob Nicholls says:

Izen – “To reach this level of coherent and useful agreement from the previous state of disputation is a notable achievement by both parties who both deserve congratulation.” Absolutely.

23. Tim,
Thanks. Getting confused between Arthur Smith and Isaac Held 🙂

24. Magma says:

It’s nice to see there’s the possibility of a civilized reconciliation and agreement.

The gap was not particularly wide, though. Around 2007 Pielke Sr. was holding out a 10^22 J/yr increase in OHC as a “conservative test” of the IPCC’s predicted radiative imbalance. As I recall this was also accompanied by good deal of snappishness, but I don’t have a link to the blog post handy.

25. Magma says:
26. Magna,
Thanks, so essentially the OHC changes since 2003 have satisfied what Roger regarded as a suitable test for AGW?

27. Magma says:

That would be my understanding, yes.

One thing that has puzzled me in the time that I’ve been following this topic is that Pielke Sr. isn’t far removed from the mainstream consensus, with an arguable emphasis on the potential importance of land-use changes and water vapor + cloud feedback. Yet (again as far as I’ve followed it) he’s sometimes bundled this up with comments that could come from Lindzen or Curry. Maybe he just has a contrarian streak.

28. rpielke says:

Magma – You are correct. The monitoring of OHC as presented in the weblog post satisfies my view as to what is needed to monitor global warming. The surface temperature anomaly, by itself, is not needed as the primary metric for this purpose. Thank you for posting the url to my weblog post on this “litmus test”.

In terms of my views on the climate issue, I see the IPCC view as to narrowly focused on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases. It is too conservative. My view on this is shared by quite a few in the climate science community; e. g. see the authors (all AGU Fellows) in the article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-267.pdf

McAlpine, C.A., J.G. Ryan, L. Seabrook, S. Thomas, P.J. Dargusch, J.I. Syktus, R.A. Pielke Sr. A.E. Etter, P.M. Fearnside, and W.F. Laurance, 2010: More than CO2: A broader picture for managing climate change and variability to avoid ecosystem collapse. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2:334-336, DOI10.1016/j.cosust.2010.10.001. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2010/12/r-355.pdf

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., T.R. Loveland, and C.A. McAlpine, 2015: Climate relevant land use and land cover change policies. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., e-View doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00221.1 https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/r-3792.pdf

and see who the authors are.

Roger Sr.

29. In terms of your views on the climate issue, are the IPCC, the NAS, the Royal Society, the APS, AGU, AIP, etc. right to say that most of the warming since 1950 is very likely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases?

30. rpielke says:

Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) – I recommend you read my views on this as part of my participation on the AGU committee that completed that statement.

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2013: Climate Change Position Statement – Dissenting View. Eos, Trans. AGU, 94(34), 301, Copyright (2013) American Geophysical Union. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/r-376.pdf

https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/rpt-851.pdf

31. verytallguy says:

Rpielke,

first, it’s great to see a constructive dialogue between you and ATTP here, kudos.

Second, whilst your links are interesting in that you believe other influences are underplayed, for clarity, could you state whether or not you agree with the rather tortured English of the IPPC attribution statement, viz:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

[IPCC AR5 WG1 SPM D.3]

Thank you!

32. Willard says:

From r-376:

The assignment of individuals with well-entrenched positions (no matter how sincerely held) does not, in my view, provide an opportunity for a balanced, scientifically robust presentation by the AGU community on the issue of climate change.

Does it not exclude the author of r-376?

33. Michael 2 says:

Willard says “Does it (r-376) not exclude the author of r-376?”

Yes, it does not exclude its own author. Roger Pielke Sr’s views are evidently not as “well entrenched” as that of nearly everyone else involved in this topic. Neither, for that matter, are mine. I will be saving and studying this page at some length.

34. rpielke says:

verytallguy

IPCC presents their estimate with respect to radiative forcing estimates in 2011 relative to 1750, that, added CO2 is ~50% of the positive radiative forcings, from Figure SPM.5 in https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WGIAR5_SPM_brochure_en.pdf .

What is the current radiative forcing (yearly averaged “instantaneous”) from added CO2, however, averaged over say 2014 is an important question. Some of the radiative in CO2 forcing in earlier years has resulted in warming already, so how much is still not adjusted for needs to resolved.

There is also the issue as to what are the current yearly averaged “instantaneous” radiative forcings from each of the other human forcings.

The bottom line of the weblog post, of course, is that the observed changes in ocean heat content provide a real world constraint that the forcings and feedbacks have to fit into. This is a real world condition that is not available (or, at the least, is much more difficult to apply) when we use the global average surface temperature anomaly as the global warming metric.

I do not intend to debate this in these comments. If you are interested, please e-mail me offline and we can iterate in the same manner as used to create the current weblog post.

Roger Sr,.

35. rpielke says:

Willard –

“The assignment of individuals with well-entrenched positions (no matter how sincerely held) does not, in my view, provide an opportunity for a balanced, scientifically robust presentation by the AGU community on the issue of climate change.

Does it not exclude the author of r-376?”

Yes it does. 🙂

I prefer to see a set of colleagues who are not deeply involved already in this debate prepare these statements. They should be charged with including all scientifically robust perspectives, not just choose a consensus view.

Roger Sr.

36. Mod, please fix Dr. Pielke’s link. There’s an extra character at the end. Thanks. [Not anymore. -W]

IPCC presents their estimate with respect to radiative forcing estimates in 2011 relative to 1750, that, added CO2 is ~50% of the positive radiative forcings . [from Figure SPM.5 in https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WGIAR5_SPM_brochure_en.pdf .

Yes… and most of the other positive radiative forcings are other well-mixed greenhouse gases.

… What is the current radiative forcing (yearly averaged “instantaneous”) from added CO2, however, averaged over say 2014 is an important question. Some of the radiative in CO2 forcing in earlier years has resulted in warming already, so how much is still not adjusted for needs to resolved. There is also the issue as to what are the current yearly averaged “instantaneous” radiative forcings from each of the other human forcings.

Dr. Pielke seems to be suggesting the IPCC didn’t account for that before saying: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

I’m skeptical.

The bottom line of the weblog post, of course, is that the observed changes in ocean heat content provide a real world constraint that the forcings and feedbacks have to fit into. This is a real world condition that is not available (or, at the least, is much more difficult to apply) when we use the global average surface temperature anomaly as the global warming metric.

Yes, I’ve repeatedly agreed with you on this point for years. Ocean heat content is a better diagnostic of radiative forcings and feedbacks than surface temperatures, over time periods when ocean heat content has been measured “precisely enough” (e.g. Argo).

… I do not intend to debate this in these comments. …

… I prefer to see a set of colleagues who are not deeply involved already in this debate prepare these statements. They should be charged with including all scientifically robust perspectives, not just choose a consensus view. …

I’m not looking for a debate in these comments. Actually, I’m hoping to read a peer-reviewed scientifically robust perspective contradicting that IPCC statement. If someone is charged with including all scientifically robust perspectives, shouldn’t one of the first steps in that process be stating whether or not one agrees with that IPCC statement?

37. Just to be clear, figure SPM.5 shows that most of the other positive radiative forcings are other well-mixed anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

38. jai mitchell says:

Forcing from the perspective of a decadal or multi-decadal average under the regime of constant increasing GHG forcing is a pointless exercise and has already been done with Hansen & Sato (2010). With the increase of SO2 emissions from SE Asia over the previous decade and the 10 year time lag associated with peak warming found in Caldiera & Ricke (2014) we are now experiencing a rapid forcing event that has no modern equivalent, even the 1975 temperature response to Europe and U.S. SO2 reductions will pale in comparison to the locked in and delayed warming effect of this last 10 years’ worth of GHG emissions.

Witness the NODC (actually the National Centers for Environmental Information – NCEI now) ocean heat content chart. This will continue to increase even as we experience unprecedented atmospheric warming through 2015 and beyond. Current TOA energy imbalances are >1,0 and will likely reach 1.5 Watts per meter squared by 2017.

Not on are these the times to try men’s souls, these are the times to STOP BEING SO DAMN NICE.

39. Willard says:

> these are the times to STOP BEING SO DAMN NICE.

There are places too. AT’s is not one of them.

40. rpielke says:

Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) You wrote

“I’m hoping to read a peer-reviewed scientifically robust perspective contradicting that IPCC statement”

The peer reviewed reports below do not “contradict” the IPCC but it very significantly expands on their assessment. Yet this broadening continues to be ignored.

Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., J.H.C. Gash, L. Bravo de Guenni, M. Meybeck, R.A. Pielke Sr., C.J. Vorosmarty, R.W.A. Hutjes, and S. Lutkemeier, Editors, 2004: Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system. Springer, Berlin, Global Change – The IGBP Series, 566 pp. http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences/meteorology/book/978-3-540-42400-0

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/

What is your view on these reports?

Roger Sr.

41. My view isn’t clear that this broadening is ignored. For instance, how exactly is figure ES-2 from your 2005 NAS link any broader than the 2013 IPCC figure SPM.5? This seems to be the other link, but again what exactly is being ignored here?

But just for clarity, could you please say if you think this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

42. rpielke says:

Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci)

What do disagree with below from the 2005 NRC report and, if not, where these issues discussed in the latest IPCC WG1 report?

“Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have particularly heterogeneous forcings. To date, there have been only limited studies of regional radiative forcing and response. Indeed, it is not clear how best to diagnose a regional forcing and response in the observational record; regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing. Improving societally relevant projections of regional climate impacts will require a better understanding of the magnitudes of regional forcings and the associated climate responses.”

“Several types of forcings—most notably aerosols, land-use and land-cover change, and modifications to biogeochemistry—impact the climate system in nonradiative ways, in particular by modifying the hydrological cycle and vegetation dynamics. Aerosols exert a forcing on the hydrological cycle by modifying cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei, precipitation efficiency, and the ratio between solar direct and diffuse radiation received. Other nonradiative forcings modify the biological components of the climate system by changing the fluxes of trace gases and heat between vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere and by modifying the amount and types of vegetation. No metrics for quantifying such nonradiative forcings have been accepted. Nonradiative forcings have eventual radiative impacts, so one option would be to quantify these radiative impacts. However, this approach may not convey appropriately the impacts of nonradiative forcings on societally relevant climate variables such as precipitation or ecosystem function. Any new metrics must also be able to characterize the regional structure in nonradiative forcing and climate response.”

43. For someone who doesn’t intend to debate, it seems like you just gave me a lot of homework instead of answering a simple question.

Let’s consider those first few sentences: “Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have particularly heterogeneous forcings. To date, there have been only limited studies of regional radiative forcing and response. …”

IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 8 section 8.6 seems relevant, as it includes “Spatial Distribution of Current Radiative Forcing” and “Spatial Evolution of Radiative Forcing and Response over the Industrial Era”.

Note that Drew Shindell was a lead author for Chapter 8, and he’s co-authored papers like “Spatially refined aerosol direct radiative forcing efficiencies”.

Did Dr. Shindell ignore his own papers when writing Chapter 8? Did the NAS overlook the fact that their 2005 NRC report had been “ignored” when they later stated that “the need for urgent action to address climate change
is now indisputable.”

In exchange, could you please provide a simple (even yes/no if you like) answer to the question of whether or not this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

44. rpielke says:

Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) Where is the IPCC in the section

“IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 8 section 8.6 seems relevant, as it includes “Spatial Distribution of Current Radiative Forcing” and “Spatial Evolution of Radiative Forcing and Response over the Industrial Era”.

does it discuss the findings we report in NRC (2005)? I also did not see an analysis such as we presented in

Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-312.pdf

[nor was that paper cited either]. Is our paper wrong? If so, it should be refuted. If not, use it in the assessment of this issue.

“This paper diagnoses the spatial mean and the spatial gradient of the aerosol radiative forcing in comparison with those of well-mixed green-house gases (GHG). Unlike GHG, aerosols have much greater spatial heterogeneity in their radiative forcing. The heterogeneous diabatic heating can modulate the gradient in horizontal pressure field and atmospheric circulations, thus altering the regional climate. For this, we diagnose the Normalized Gradient of Radiative Forcing (NGoRF), as a fraction of the present global heterogeneous insolation attributed to human activity. Although the GHG has a larger forcing (+1.7 Wm2 ) as measured than those of aerosol direct (1.59 Wm2 ) and possible indirect effect (1.38 Wm2) in terms of a spatially averaged top-of-atmosphere value, the aerosol direct and indirect effects have far greater NGoRF values (0.18) than that of GHG (0.003).”

In terms of your question is

“is [this] scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

some fraction certainly is. We have a better handle on quantifying based on the global average radiative fluxes as I already presented from the IPCC report.

However, the much more important question with respect to impacts and policy is with respect to regional climate statistics that are concluded to have changed in recent decades. What fraction is due to added CO2 and other human greenhouse gas inputs, changes in land cover and management, human input of aerosols, and natural variations?

It is this question where the focus should.be, in my view. We already know that CO2 has increased in the atmosphere due to human activities. This is solid. Isotopic studies have shown much of it comes from fossil fuel combustion.

Does the answer to your question matter as to whether it is 50% or 25% in terms of warming with respect to the need to limit the increase of atmospheric CO2?

The fundamental issue that IPCC neglected was whether added CO2 and the few other greenhouse gases are the dominate long term forcing of changes in regional and local climate statistics, or if the diverse set of other human climate forcings (and natural variations) are of at least equal importance.

If there is a core of my disagreement with the IPCC focus, it is on this subject. As shown in the papers I have listed in my comments, and in the NRC and IGBP reports, I am not alone in this conclusion.

Roger Sr.

45. Willard says:

> The peer reviewed reports below do not “contradict” the IPCC but it very significantly expands on their assessment.

I am not sure how an assessment is expanded if it remains the same after “including all scientifically robust perspectives”. If including all scientifically robust perspectives would not contradict the IPCC’s assessment, then we should at least accept that the assessment represents all scientifically robust perspectives.

Also, I’m not sure if the IPCC’s mandate is to include all scientifically robust perspectives. I’m not even sure how this would work exactly. Why not simply delegate this task to lichurchur reviews?

***

> does it discuss the findings we report in NRC (2005)?

I thought it was possible to comment on the IPCC’s chapters. If the IPCC has no such comment, due diligence has been missing.

46. rpielke says:

Willard – “Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment, The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

If you conclude the issues raised in the NRC and IGBP reports, not covered in the IPCC report, are not significant, say so. If they are, agree they should have been discussed in the IPCC assessment and lets move on.

Roger Sr.

47. rpielke says:

Willard – Here is another example of what was missed by the IPCC.

Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-267.pdf

“Strategies to mitigate anthropogenic climate change recognize that carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere can reduce the build-up of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, climate mitigation policies do not generally incorporate the effects of these changes in the land surface on the surface albedo, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, and the distribution of energy within the climate system. Changes in these components of the surface energy budget can affect the local, regional, and global climate. Given the goal of mitigating climate change, it is important to consider all of the effects of changes in terrestrial vegetation and to work toward a better understanding of the full climate system. Acknowledging the importance of land surface change as a component of climate change makes it more challenging to create a system of credits and debits wherein emission or sequestration of carbon in the biosphere is equated with emission of carbon from fossil fuels. Recognition of the complexity of human-caused changes in climate does not, however, weaken the importance of actions that would seek to minimize our disturbance of the Earth’s environmental system and that would reduce societal and ecological vulnerability to environmental change and variability.”

Where is this perspective presented in the IPCC report?

Roger Sr.

48. jai mitchell says:

you have absolutely no idea what the 2.5C of locked in warming we have engaged will do to our society and ecosystem. We are truly at the very edge of creating a completely un-adaptable future. Think about what that looks like for a second:

We have already locked in the early mortality of over 2 billion human beings.

49. jai mitchell says:

The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

This is because direct observational data has proven the forcing driver. Therefore the role of CO2 as a primary driver is no longer “an assumption”.

[Snip. -W]

50. We have already locked in the early mortality of over 2 billion human beings.
Evidently, money has more to do with it than climate.

51. jai mitchell says:

In 20 years the 2003 european heatwave ( http://www.unisdr.org/files/1145_ewheatwave.en.pdf ) will be a normal event. The 2025 heat waves will be unlike those seen by humanity, with much more warming still locked into the system. Then Geoengineering will become a reasonable option, leading to shifts in rainfall patterns that will severely impact agricultural activity in areas that are, already today, experiencing severe groundwater resource depletion.

What we do in the next 15 years will determine if modern society gets to survive.

52. willard

‘I prefer to see a set of colleagues who are not deeply involved already in this debate prepare these statements. They should be charged with including all scientifically robust perspectives, not just choose a consensus view.”

Pielke said the same thing about temperature series .

53. rpielke says:

Steven Mosher – Until we do start to have assessments prepared by those not deeply involved, there is no other way to present the diversity of views in such group studies. If you are familiar with “red teams”, that would also work [actually the approach of independent assessments and red teams is complementary].. That (a red team) is in essence what we are doing with the temperature assessment.

Now is anyone in the comments going to refute the science issues I have raised? Or should i take silence on them as agreement? . .

54. anoilman says:

rpielke… No.

55. > Where is this perspective presented in the IPCC report?

Why does it feel like a rhetorical question?

Why shouldn’t we call this a paper?

Has the perspective been submitted as a formal comment to the IPCC?

***

> “Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment,

If diligence has been missing, it may not have been by the IPCC, say because their assessment is not contradicted by the expanded perspectives the sum of all these uncited papers offer.

56. Roger A. Pielke Sr says:

So there is no scientific answer so far to my question. Very revealing.

57. I’ve been a bit too busy to be following this thread, but maybe we can avoid the “gotcha” games?

58. > So there is no scientific answer so far to my question. Very revealing.

Which question, this one:

Where is this perspective presented in the IPCC report?

?

I duly submit that this is a rhetorical question, that this rhetorical question begs another one, i.e. unless this perspective is presented to the IPCC report something earthshattering is supposed to happen, even if it does not contradict the IPCC’s assessment.

***

Speaking of failures to respond, the following have yet to be answered:

(1) [H]ow exactly is figure ES-2 from your 2005 NAS link any broader than the 2013 IPCC figure SPM.5?

(2) [C]ould you please say if you think this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

(3) Has the perspective been submitted as a formal comment to the IPCC?

(4) In what way can we infer that what has not been refuted is robust?

Silence would imply revelation.

59. So there is no scientific answer so far to my question. Very revealing.

Maybe it’s revealing that some don’t intend to debate this in these comments. Or maybe it’s revealing that I was asleep.

Where is the IPCC in the section

“IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 8 section 8.6 seems relevant, as it includes “Spatial Distribution of Current Radiative Forcing” and “Spatial Evolution of Radiative Forcing and Response over the Industrial Era”.

does it discuss the findings we report in NRC (2005)?

Again, that entire section 8.6 seems relevant to the first few sentences of those 2005 NRC findings you quoted. Also note page 719: “Henze et al. (2012) demonstrate a method for providing highly spatially resolved estimates of forcing per component…”

Is our paper wrong? If so, it should be refuted. If not, use it in the assessment of this issue.

I’m sorry they didn’t cite your paper. I know that’s unpleasant, but it’s important to recognize that not citing your paper doesn’t equal ignoring the issue. Note that the IPCC cited Henze et al. 2012 which is “Spatially Refined Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing Efficiencies”. That abstract covers heterogeneous aerosol forcings, so is it really fair to accuse the IPCC of ignoring heterogeneous aerosol forcings just because they didn’t cite your paper?

…In terms of your question is

“is [this] scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

some fraction certainly is. … Does the answer to your question matter as to whether it is 50% or 25% in terms of warming with respect to the need to limit the increase of atmospheric CO2? …

Woah. By “some fraction” does Dr. Pielke mean 25%? The answer to this question matters because understanding physics matters.

I realize Dr. Pielke probably already understands this, but for the benefit of others who might be confused, the IPCC attribution curve for the total anthropogenic effect has a best guess of ~110%. This means that natural variation has acted to offset ~10% of our GHG-induced warming. Only 10% of the GHG attribution curve’s area lies below the “50% attribution” mark, which is why the IPCC says it’s very likely above 50%.

Unfortunately, many people misinterpret the IPCC’s statement as though they’re saying we’re only causing 50% of the warming. Some go even further: 25%.

But there’s a really big physical difference between the IPCC’s best guess of ~110% and a best guess of 25%. The first implies that natural causes are cooling Earth, but the second obliges any scientist who takes it seriously to search for the natural cause of 75% of the warming since 1950.

… What fraction is due to added CO2 and other human greenhouse gas inputs, changes in land cover and management, human input of aerosols, and natural variations? It is this question where the focus should.be, in my view….

Figure SPM.5 and Figure 10.5 answer most of those questions.

… The fundamental issue that IPCC neglected was whether added CO2 and the few other greenhouse gases are the dominate long term forcing of changes in regional and local climate statistics, or if the diverse set of other human climate forcings (and natural variations) are of at least equal importance. …

I don’t see any evidence that the IPCC neglected those possibilities. Again, Figure SPM.5 shows that the IPCC measures a diverse set of human climate forcings, and they certainly don’t ignore natural variations (e.g. Figure 10.5).

… If there is a core of my disagreement with the IPCC focus, it is on this subject. As shown in the papers I have listed in my comments, and in the NRC and IGBP reports, I am not alone in this conclusion.

Again, what exactly is the IPCC ignoring from that IGBP report? (It doesn’t seem to be available online.) Again, I’m skeptical that the NRC report shows a disagreement with the IPCC focus. Again, AR5 did address heterogeneous aerosol forcings. They might not have addressed it the way you’d prefer by citing your papers, but that doesn’t equal ignoring the issue.

And again, if the IPCC ignored that NRC report (which is part of the NAS), why did the NAS overlook that when they later stated that “the need for urgent action to address climate change
is now indisputable.”

If the NRC report really was ignored, shouldn’t there be some evidence that the NAS actually recognized that they’d been ignored?

60. Speaking of failures to respond, the following have yet to be answered:

(1) [H]ow exactly is figure ES-2 from your 2005 NAS link any broader than the 2013 IPCC figure SPM.5?

To be fair Willard, I wouldn’t say that Dr. Pielke failed to answer that question. His quotes came from after figure ES-2 and seem to be intended to modify the understanding shown in figure ES-2.

However, I agree that Dr. Pielke saying “some fraction” and vaguely mentioning 25% and 50% isn’t a clear answer to my simple question of whether or not this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

61. Oops. Correction: This means that natural variation has acted to offset ~10% of our total anthropogenic warming.

62. > I wouldn’t say that Dr. Pielke failed to answer that question.

I wouldn’t characterize this question:

What do disagree with below from the 2005 NRC report and, if not, where these issues discussed in the latest IPCC WG1 report?

as a response.

63. I would, if I thought it might help elicit a clear response to the other more interesting and more important question.

64. Joshua says:

==> “Pielke said the same thing about temperature series”

Is that why he signed on with GWPF? Which of his colleagues in that initiative are not deeply involved?

==> ” Or should i take silence on them as agreement? . .”

It’s always interesting when smart and knowledgeable scientists display overtly fallacious logic.

65. rpielke says:

All – i have tried to focus the discussion on constructively interacting on the specific questions I asked and responses I have given. However, as Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) stated

“Maybe it’s revealing that some don’t intend to debate this in these comments”.

I agree. I found my interaction offline with “and Then There’s Physics” refreshing and in the tradition of scientific discourse. We found areas of agreement we did not know we had until we iterated courteously. We completed an agreed to contribution.

[Whining. -W]

66. anoilman says:

Anders… Sorry.. I’m a tad grumpy. Yesterday I was awoken to the dulcet sounds of my air conditioner at 7 am, and I live in a part of Canada that consoles itself with winter being a ‘dry cold’. In fact a lot of people are wondering why we don’t have more air conditioners in Western Canada. I wonder where that sentiment comes from?

[Chill. -W]

67. anoilman says:

Turbulent Eddie says:
June 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm

“We have already locked in the early mortality of over 2 billion human beings.
Evidently, money has more to do with it than climate.”
http://vizhub.healthdata.org/le/

Actually Turbo, you might want to look into who’s going to be spending the most of their GDP on dealing with the effects of Climate Change. It kinda sticks a fork in the whole notion of GROOOOWTH! In fact it turns it into a precipitous DECLIIINE!

68. Willard says:

> I would, if I thought it might help elicit a clear response to the other more interesting and more important question.

Assuming quotes can suffice for an answer, here could be one to the more interesting and more important question:

I disagree with this claim

“the anthropogenic climate forcing was dominated by increasing GHG”.

This claim is clearly inaccurate. I am surprised that you accept this as your work shows that aerosols from human activities have altered CCN concentrations globally

https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/follow-up-on-the-ams-statement-on-climate-change/

69. Willard says:

Another quote:

This focus on a global average temperature threshold (of +1.5C or 2C), as reported in the news article, and the assumption that reaching this threshold is primarily a function of the emissions of CO2 is inaccurate. The participants at COP15 have been mislead (and the leaked CRU e-mails illustrate why, as alternative viewpoints such as I have expressed in this e-mail have been squelched) .

https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/why-the-cru-and-giss-and-ncdc-global-surface-temperature-anomalies-are-so-important-to-policy/

70. Steven Mosher says:

Joshua

“Is that why he signed on with GWPF? Which of his colleagues in that initiative are not deeply involved?”

In fact the construction of the board of inquiry at the GWPF is the opposite of what Pielke demanded back in 2009-10.

I can pull quotes if you like from his earlier writings.

71. BBD says:

Willard

Willard – “Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment, The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

72. Joshua says:

Roger –

From my perspective, this:

==> “All – i have tried to focus the discussion on constructively interacting on the specific questions I asked and responses I have given. “

is not consistent with this:

==> “Or should i take silence on them as agreement?”

[Chill. -W]

73. John Hartz says:

ATTP:

I’ve been a bit too busy to be following this thread, but maybe we can avoid the “gotcha” games?

Have you been playing Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha again? 🙂

74. Here’s why I doubt the IPCC is ignoring significant research that would contradict their statement. Huber and Knutti 2012 Fig. 3(c):

And a summary of 7 attribution studies over the last 50-65 years:

Notice the total human contributions are all around (or above) 100%, and that 4 of the 7 total natural contributions are negative/cooling. Even the 3 positive/warming total natural contributions are a factor of ~10 too small to be responsible for 75% of the warming.

How could all these analyses be “clearly inaccurate”? Are any attribution studies not “clearly inaccurate”? What huge natural forcing/variability is being ignored?

75. Willard says:

Compare:

Science is moving toward an integrated understanding of our climate system. How this understanding will be woven into public policy is not clear. The complexity of climate understanding requires a linkage between science and public policy so that policy can evolve as our understanding increases. The immediate question is how to minimize the vulnerability of ecosystems and human society to climate change and climate variability. To what extent do current climate-policy initiatives, focused on greenhouse gas concentrations, succeed in providing incentive for actions that reduce undesirable human influences on the climate system and increase resilience to climate change? The integrated perspective on climate change described here raises the importance of human-induced land cover change in global mitigation strategies, but makes comparison with other mitigation strategies more complex.

https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-267.pdf

and contrast:

Significant co-benefits, synergies, and trade-offs exist between mitigation and adaptation and among different adaptation responses; interactions occur both within and across regions (very high confidence). Increasing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change imply an increasing complexity of interactions, particularly at the intersections among water, energy, land use, and biodiversity, but tools to understand and manage these interactions remain limited. Examples of actions with co-benefits include (i) improved energy efficiency and cleaner energy sources, leading to reduced emissions of health-damaging climate-altering air pollutants; (ii) reduced energy and water consumption in urban areas through greening cities and recycling water; (iii) sustainable agriculture and forestry; and (iv) protection of ecosystems for carbon storage and other ecosystem services.

76. Willard says:

77. Jim Hunt says:

Jai – The Lancet don’t exactly say “We have already locked in the early mortality of over 2 billion human beings.” However they have recently released a report from their “Commission on health and climate change”

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60854-6

Numerous PDFs are available in exchange for an email address, plus videos. Contributions from IPCC authors Peter Cox, Mat Collins et al.

The effects of climate change are being felt today, and future projections represent an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health

The implications of climate change for a global population of 9 billion people threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health. The direct effects of climate change include increased heat stress, floods, drought, and increased frequency of intense storms, with the indirect threatening population health through adverse changes in air pollution, the spread of disease vectors, food insecurity and under-nutrition, displacement, and mental ill health.

78. jai mitchell says:

Jim,

Thank you for the link. Just as there are direct and indirect forcing effects from Aerosols there are first order, second order and cascading human health impact effects of climate change. This article discusses the first order impacts that are directly associated with changes in temperatures, sea level rise and hydrological cycles. Second order health effects are those impacts resulting from the human response to these impacts. Displacement and regional destabilization subsequent to these impacts are recognized by the U.S. military to be a current national security threat. Reasonable arguments can be made that the military conflicts of Syria and Yemen have a direct climate component.

The third (cascading) impacts are those associated with second-order driven effects on critical social infrastructure. Basically, the breakdown of the mechanisms of society. Collapse of the electrical generation/distribution system, food and water distribution, fuel source disruptions. These impacts to societal structures are interdependent, as our societies are complex and rely on multiple assumptions of supply and collective civil participation.

For example, a modeled impact of a massive solar flare event disrupting electrical power supplies in the western hemisphere for 1-month leads to cascading failures of liquid fuel supplies which results in the loss of food production and transport. These would be analogous to a cascading failure.

Uncertainty in science and uncertainty in risk/threat assessments are treated in two completely different ways.

79. jai mitchell says:

Sweeping collective societal transformation to increase resiliency and protect from third order destabilzation looks very similar to the WWII wartime response (rationing, collective food production, increased interdependency, massive government spending) I have absolutely no doubt that a truly global effort to enac2t comprehensive GHG mitigation efforts will also incorporate these necessary components, they must!

However, even the 2040 GHG stabilization plan being proposed by the IEA is insufficient to prevent catastrophic climate effects. So, we will continue to ramp up our targets until 2025 (or so) when it will become understood that we have to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2040 and attempts at geoengineering (global dimming) are taken.

rapid warming due to SO2 reduction and 2015-2016 El Nino driven increases in atmospheric water vapor content will ensure 2 decades of rapidly rising temperatures from today.

80. Willard says:

> I can pull quotes if you like from his earlier writings.

I’d like that.

81. Willard

“http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf

““an inclusive assessment of the surface temperature record of CRU, GISS
and NCDC. We need to focus on the science issues. This necessarily should
involve all research investigators who are working on this topic, with
formal assessments chaired and paneled by mutually agreed to climate
scientists who do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the
evaluations.” (–Roger Pielke Sr.)

I reckon that since Roger has a vested interest in the outcome as well as his co author that he should be excluded.

In any case

1. GWPF is not inclusive
2.it does not involve all reasearchers working on the project
3. There was no “mutual” agreement.
4. The panel includes folks who have a vested interest (roger will promote his findings )

82. Willard

Thanks for your tweet pointing me here. There’s quite a long thread above and I won’t pretend to have read it all in detail, so apologies if I missed a key point, but it seems that the key issue from Roger’s comment concerns forcing of regional and local climates, and whether CO2 / well-mixed GHGs are the main driver, or whether more spatially-heterogeneous forcings such as land use change and aerosols deserve more attention. I agree with Roger that they do deserve more attention, although I would also point out that the IPCC has given these important points more attention recently (partly because of folks like Andy Pitman, myself and others trying to make sure this happened).

It was my role in AR4 WG1 to assess the radiative forcing due to land use change, and I did also include a short section on other drivers of regional changes beyond radiative forcing (eg. evapotranspiration) and also succeeded in getting these influences included in a key diagram, but not labelled in the way that I preferred (“non-radiative forcing” as used in the 2005 NRC report, which I quite liked – instead we ended up with the (IMO) clumsy “initial non-radiative effects” – but that’s consensus writing for you…..). I do remember asking Roger if he’d make expert review comments on my chapter, which might have helped, but he felt he didn’t want to be part of the IPCC process. I also made a small land use contribution to the D&A chapter and the biogeochemical feedbacks chapter (in collaboration with Bob Dickinson).

In AR5, I moved to WG2, and as you have noted we did end up with some mention of these issues in the SPM having discussed it in my chapter on terrestrial ecosystems. Also, land use / cover change is included in many of the CMIP5 simulations. However, as Roger notes, land use drivers of regional climate change (via changes in surface albedo and evaporation) still tend to get somewhat overlooked, possibly because they are hard to quantify in a neat way alongside global mean radiative forcing.

83. Thank you very much, Mosh and RichardB!

84. BBD says:

There’s an important difference between what Richard Betts says just above and what Dr. Pielke says (in various wordings), eg:

[Dr Pielke:] Willard – “Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment, The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

Is NOT the same as:

[Richard Betts:] it seems that the key issue from Roger’s comment concerns forcing of regional and local climates, and whether CO2 / well-mixed GHGs are the main driver, or whether more spatially-heterogeneous forcings such as land use change and aerosols deserve more attention.

Dr Pielke’s commentary is characterised by a blurring of local into mesoscale and ultimately global which for many is a problem. As is the concomitant attempt to minimise the importance of CO2 as the key anthro forcing.

85. “According to the GISS dataset, the change in forcing between 1880 and 2011 is 1.635Wm−2, ”
How do you get the change of forcing from GISS dataset?

86. I was referring to this.

87. rpielke says:

BBD – I had to to your reply as you did not accurately present my perspective on the climate forcings. First, the 2005 NRC report writes

“…regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing.” .http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11175&page=5

I was a co-author on the report, but check who else in the community co-authored and signed off on the report. you might be surprised. The report was also peer reviewed.

On your comment that I seek to

“minimise the importance of CO2 as the key anthro forcing”

you are in error. As we wrote in the paper

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/r-354.pdf

we concluded the following hypothesis is the only one that cannot be rejected.

“Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of
these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

Human added CO2, both radiatively and biogeochemically, are first order climate forcings.

Unfortunately the IPCC assessment was too conservative and failed to consider that there are other human climate forcings, some of which may have an equal, or even greater effect, in altering weather and climate on multi-decadal time scales.

Roger Sr..

88. And Then There’s physics – Jun 30, 12:33 pm

89. Unfortunately the IPCC assessment was too conservative and failed to consider that there are other human climate forcings, some of which may have an equal, or even greater effect, in altering weather and climate on multi-decadal time scales.

Is there a paper quantifying all the human climate forcings missed by the IPCC in Fig. SPM.5?

It would be helpful to see a “corrected” version of Fig. SPM.5 showing quantitative evidence of a human climate forcing with a greater effect on the global climate than our added CO2. Regardless, these would be “other anthropogenic forcings” so they wouldn’t be a valid basis to reject this statement:

“It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

A valid basis to reject that statement would be quantitative evidence of this elusive natural forcing/variation which supposedly caused most of the surface warming since 1950.

90. BBD says:

Dr Pielke

Unfortunately the IPCC assessment was too conservative and failed to consider that there are other human climate forcings, some of which may have an equal, or even greater effect, in altering weather and climate on multi-decadal time scales.

My response would be identical to Dumb Scientist’s above.

91. Dumb Scientist

The IPCC radiative forcing bar chart quantifies one particular metric which is generally held to be useful as first-order comparison of the effects of different influences on global mean surface temperature. I contributed to the AR4 version of this (I assessed RF due to surface albedo change) and also made indirect contributions to the TAR version (I made an estimate of the land use RF and sent it to the chapter authors).

However, RF is also recognised as having a number of shortcomings, especially if one is interested in climatic quantities other than global mean surface temperature, and particularly if one is interested in the effects of anthropogenic land cover change or changes in the biosphere due to the direct plant physiological effects of CO2.

Deforestation / afforestation / reforestation affect climate by changing surface albedo, and this is readily quantified in terms of RF. This is fairly simple to diagnose with a climate model, you just do the radiation calculations twice, with different land surface state each time (you only allow one of these to affect the climate – the other is just for diagnostic purposes). However, these land cover changes also affect climate in other important ways, particularly through changes in evapotranspiration – this affects the surface energy budget (by altering the ratio of the sensible and latent heat fluxes) and hence surface temperature, and also the water budget (so the return of water to the atmosphere for precipitation) and cloud cover. These are rather more difficult to quantify in a way which is directly analogous to radiative forcing, and also you can get bogged down in philosophical considerations about what really matters – the energy budget of the planet, or distribution of energy within the system (people, and indeed life in general, can be affected a lot by the latter, even if the net effect on the global energy budget is small). Roger and others have had a few attempts at coming up with a suitable metric (see some of the papers he listed above, and references therein).

Also, CO2 affects plants directly through its influence on photosynthesis and transpiration. The upshot of this is that even if CO2 were not a greenhouse gas, increasing its concentration in the atmosphere would still have an effect on the global biosphere, hydrology and climate, probably increasing surface temperature (although not by as much as via RF) and also affecting precipitation (in ways which vary according to which model you use!!). An of course there is ocean acidification, which again would happen even if CO2 were not a GHG and is not quantifiable in terms of RF. Ozone also has effects via vegetation. Again, this is all very difficult to quantify in a way which is analogous to RF. One interesting paper is here – also I could take the opportunity to recommend an old commentary of mine 🙂 – although none of these solve the problem.

I was told that the UK government tried to encourage IPCC to extend the scope and title of the WG1 Radiative Forcing chapter to go beyond RF, but (as Roger says) the IPCC is still rather conservative in this respect, despite the progress made over the last 2 reports. RF (and related metrics like Global Warming Potential, which then get used to calculate “CO2-equivalents”) are neat and well-understood by policymakers, and I think this is why there is such inertia here. However, if you work out your “carbon footprint” using a tool which uses standard CO2e values based on GWP and hence on RF, my guess is that this does not really reflect your true impact on climate because of all the other factors that it does not include. Nevertheless, the general view seems to be that a simple and workable metric is the way to go, as it at least gives people something to go on (much like the 2 degree target!).

92. Richard Betts, thanks for your interesting comment. I especially agree with this:

And of course there is ocean acidification, which again would happen even if CO2 were not a GHG and is not quantifiable in terms of RF.

Indeed. I think this point needs to be repeated. Our CO2 emissions are causing warming and ocean acidification.

… if you work out your “carbon footprint” using a tool which uses standard CO2e values based on GWP and hence on RF, my guess is that this does not really reflect your true impact on climate because of all the other factors that it does not include.

Sure. Nearly all scientific estimates involve simplifying assumptions and approximations. Assessing anthropogenic global warming is no different, as Richard explained above. Even after GCMs simulate all the factors Richard listed, there would still be more factors left out. As I’ve noted, this would still be true even after we model Earth’s climate baryon by baryon using lattice QCD on a grid with Planck length spacings.

So the question is, are those unmodeled factors significant enough to change key results, like the fact that most of the warming since 1950 was extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together?

Answering this question requires choosing a metric and getting quantitative with it.

… the general view seems to be that a simple and workable metric is the way to go, as it at least gives people something to go on (much like the 2 degree target!).

I like simple and workable. Complicated and unworkable, not so much.

If there is a better, workable alternative metric then I’m all ears. But there needs to be some kind of metric, otherwise it’s meaningless to say that some other unspecified human climate forcing has a greater effect than our added CO2. Greater how?

93. Willard says:

RichardB,

Two questions on that “old” commentary related to these two excerpts.

First question:

Although there is now overwhelming evidence that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming, this does not mean that the overall impacts of each greenhouse gas from each individual source are in proportion to their relative contributions to global warming.

Do you think that the less conservative perspective would change the IPCC’s estimate of the relative contributions of the GHGs to AGW?

Second question:

The existing definitions of carbon dioxide equivalent are vital for the current policy process on climate-change mitigation and should not be discarded in haste. They are limited, however, in their ability to assess the real impacts of climate-change drivers, so comparisons of different greenhouse gases from different sources in terms of radiative forcing are still somewhat like the proverbial comparison of apples with oranges. In time, more far-reaching decisions will need to be taken in the context of conflicting priorities. Current carbon dioxide equivalents will then need to be supplemented with more holistic metrics.

http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0801/full/climate.2007.74.html

Is any holistic perspective robust enough to supplant the metrics used nowadays by the IPCC?

94. John Hartz says:

PS to Willard’s questions to Richard B:

What the heck is a holistic metric?

95. Willard says:

rpielke,

Two questions.

First, how does

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2).

contradict BBD’s impression that your perspective may minimize the importance of CO2 as the key anthro forcing?

A simple way would be to opine on the IPCC’s attribution statement in an univoqual manner. I have yet to see a clear statement from your part on this, even after having searched your website.

***

Second, would you please confirm RichardB’s testimony:

I agree with Roger that they do deserve more attention, although I would also point out that the IPCC has given these important points more attention recently (partly because of folks like Andy Pitman, myself and others trying to make sure this happened).

It was my role in AR4 WG1 to assess the radiative forcing due to land use change, and I did also include a short section on other drivers of regional changes beyond radiative forcing (eg. evapotranspiration) and also succeeded in getting these influences included in a key diagram, but not labelled in the way that I preferred (“non-radiative forcing” as used in the 2005 NRC report, which I quite liked – instead we ended up with the (IMO) clumsy “initial non-radiative effects” – but that’s consensus writing for you…..). I do remember asking Roger if he’d make expert review comments on my chapter, which might have helped, but he felt he didn’t want to be part of the IPCC process. I also made a small land use contribution to the D&A chapter and the biogeochemical feedbacks chapter (in collaboration with Bob Dickinson).

especially the emphasized bits?

In other words, I’d like you to acknowledge that:

(1) you did not submit any comment to the IPCC regarding the new perspective that should in your opinion replace the conservative one it uses;

(2) there are many efforts being made toward the new perspective [i.e. in the IPCC report] you’d like being implemented.

If you could also explain how this new holistic perspective is robust enough to replace the old one, i.e. in a more substantive manner than “it has not been refuted,” that would be nice.

Many thanks!

96. BBD said on June 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm,
“…I must admit my eyebrows rose when I read this from Dr Pielke above:

Willard – “Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment, The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.”

rpielke replied presumably to this and other comments by BBD on June 30, 2015 at 6:05 pm in part by using a quote from a prior co-authored paper:

“”Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of
these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

Human added CO2, both radiatively and biogeochemically, are first order climate forcings.

Unfortunately the IPCC assessment was too conservative and failed to consider that there are other human climate forcings, some of which may have an equal, or even greater effect, in altering weather and climate on multi-decadal time scales.”

Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) gave a reply with a graph on June 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm (but I would also include the prior graphs by Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci) on June 28, 2015 at 12:59 am), and BBD also replied on June 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm which echoes Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci).

In addition to their replies I would first note the following two graphs, the first being a probability density function created by Gavin Schmidt, and second one from the IPCC report showing to what degree various causal factors were trying to warm or cool the planet:

The direct source for these two graphs above is this article, written by Dana Nuccitelli:

“Memo to Jeb Bush: denying human-caused global warming is ignorant”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/may/27/memo-to-jeb-bush-denying-human-caused-global-warming-is-ignorant

“IPCC attribution statements redux: A response to Judith Curry”

When translated into terms that the person on the street can understand, one of the things these two graphs taken together says is that there’s a high probability that 100% of the observed warming was caused by human emitted greenhouse gases and that the warming would have been roughly 10% worse had it not been for some human influences trying to cool the planet.

If one accepts these two graphs along with the other graphs given by Dumb Scientist (@DumbSci), then what could be these “other human climate forcings” that may have an “even greater effect, in altering weather and climate on multi-decadal time scales” than CO2 that would not contradict these graphs? (Note: I underline “multi-decadal time scales”.)

In quest of an answer, the following:

Because of this quote about multi-decadal times scales, which I assume would mean durations of up to 60 years in length, I think it relevant to call attention to the graphs of a 30 and then 60 year running mean (60 year moving average) of the atmospheric global temperature since well into the 1800s as well as a graph of the NMO (with its up to 60 year oscillations), all of which I already gave here along with their sources
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/hmmm-entering-a-cooling-phase/#comment-57068
on May 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm under “Hmmm, entering a cooling phase?”
(Note: The 60 year running mean is the third graph.)

Note 1: This graph of the 60 year running mean going back well into the 1800s clearly essentially cleans out all multi-decadal fluctuations up to 60 years in length and clearly suggests a positively accelerating curve of atmospheric global warming underneath all those multi-decadal oscillations from well into the 1800s to the present that even up to this point is still positively accelerating.

Note 2: It should be clear that a running mean on CO2 output of a similar length would also result in a long-term relatively steady increase over all this time since well into the 1800s, and this is consistent with the curve suggested by the 60 year running mean being as smoothly positively accelerating as it is over all this time.

Notes 1 and 2 taken together imply that if there is a human climate forcing other than CO2 as strong or stronger than CO2 *in terms of multi-decadal time scales* that has been outputted by human activity to enough of a degree to impact a 60 year running mean, then it must have been outputted by human activity in a way that is consistent with this long-term smoothly and positively accelerating curve suggested by this graph of the 60 running mean, which implies that this output was short enough to contribute to only one of the minor blips in this graph or that this output has been like CO2, enough of a long-term relatively steady increase to be consistent with this graph. (The condition of the output of a forcing as strong or stronger than CO2 being unstable but enough to impact the graph of the 60 running mean with more than the minor blips we see is not consistent with the present graph of the 60 year running mean, since it would have caused the type of large, multi-decadal oscillations we see in the 30 year running mean, the type of multi-decadal oscillations that has been eliminated in the 60 year running mean. That is, since the CO2 increase over all this time has held relatively steady, combining it with something as strong or stronger in multi-decadal terms than CO2 outputted in wild fluctuations would have created some multi-decadal disturbances in the graph of this 60 year running mean that we don’t see.)

If this forcing was outputted in a way to contribute to only a minor blip, then we can discard it as inconsequential with respect to what has been causing the long-term positively (and still) accelerating warming we see in this 60 year running mean.

As for the other possibility: If there is a candidate for a human climate forcing other than CO2 that is as strong or stronger than CO2 over multi-decadal time scales that satisfies this condition of being outputted by human activity in enough of a relatively smooth increase up to the present to be consistent with such a smoothly and positively accelerating curve suggested by the 60 year running mean, then what is it? It seems that there is none.

97. rpielke says:

Willard – The perspective in the NRC 2005 report and in themulti-authored papers I have listed earlier, confirm that CO2 is a first order climate forcing. This does not minimize the importance of CO2 as an anthropogenic forcing. However, it is not the only first order forcing. If we can reduce the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere, we will not have “controlled” significant effects of humans on the climate system. My son has a good summary of these other forcings in his book The Climate Fix.

Regarding

“(1) you did not submit any comment to the IPCC regarding the new perspective that should in your opinion replace the conservative one it uses”

Please see my comments on my past experience with the IPCC process in my submission to the InterAcademy Council Review of the IPCC assessment,

I am pleased that there was some progress in the latest IPCC report but, as Richard indicated there is still quite a bit to do.

On

“(2) there are many efforts being made toward the new perspective [i.e. in the IPCC report] you’d like being implemented.”

We have published in the peer reviewed literature quite a few peer reviewed papers on broadening the IPCC perspective (including with Richard as co-author), so I hope IPCC does that. I remain to be convinced, however, based on my past experiences. Gavin Schmidt’s, a Director of a major federal lab, not engaging on the questions I asked, is not an encouraging sign.

In terms of a new approach, it is not a replacement for the global average radiative forcing (although, I have concluded that working with the time integrated (e.g. annual) instantaneous fluxes is more informative). What we need are additional metrics. We have proposed a framework in the paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., J.O. Adegoke, T.N. Chase, C.H. Marshall, T. Matsui, and D. Niyogi, 2007: A new paradigm for assessing the role of agriculture in the climate system and in climate change. Agric. Forest Meteor., Special Issue, 132, 234-254.
https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-295.pdf

With respect to land use effects, we urged a broadening in the paper

Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157.
https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-267.pdf

Note that we concluded that

“Strategies to mitigate anthropogenic climate change recognize that carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere can reduce the build-up of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, climate mitigation policies do not generally incorporate the effects of these changes in the land surface on the surface albedo, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, and the distribution of energy within the climate system. Changes in these components of the surface energy budget can affect the local, regional, and global climate. Given the goal of mitigating climate change, it is important to consider all of the effects of changes in terrestrial vegetation and to work toward a better understanding of the full climate system.”

On one specific metric, we have presented one in

Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-312.pdf

I hope this clarifies my view. Richard’s excellent response also clearly defines the issue.

Thank you for engaging in a courteous and constructive manner.

Regards

Roger Sr.

98. Actually, a simple answer to this question would clarify your view: was most of the warming since 1950 extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together?

Nothing I’ve seen in this thread or its links provides a valid basis for rejecting that statement.

… as Richard indicated there is still quite a bit to do. …

Sure, we still have to model Earth’s climate baryon by baryon using lattice QCD on a grid with Planck length spacings. Even then, there’s no reason to acknowledge that most of the warming since 1950 was extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together. After all, to model cosmic rays without any parametrizations/approximations, we’d have to model the entire universe like that.

But once God lends us His laptop, can we finally find out whether or not most of the warming since 1950 was extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together? Please?

Then maybe we could finally ignore the misinformation being spread by WUWT, Sky Dragon Slayers, et al. and actually take urgent action to address climate change.

99. Andrew Dodds says:

@Dumbsci

That’s silly, speaking as an empiricist I’d point out that all we need are a few hundred identical copies of the earth and a few centuries in which to experiment on them. Simples. Apart from the orbital mechanics.

100. Willard says:

rpielke,

I’m glad that you are pleased to acknowledge the progress in the latest IPCC report but, as RichardB indicated here, it seems you have not submitted a comment to him (and the IPCC) when he asked. This contrasts with what you said earlier:

Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment. The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

Considering that you:

(1) have not submitted comments to the IPCC since 1995, i.e. 20 years ago;

(2) refused to submit a comment to RichardB who was willing to push that very peanut you wish to be pushed;

(3) only now concede that the new metric is “not a replacement for the global average radiative forcing”;

(4) still have to define what “robust” means in that context;

(5) may be going a bridge too far in claiming that that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics is an assumption;

(6) do not acknowledge if (5) conflicts or not with the IPCC’s attribution statement;

(7) have yet to opine on the IPCC’s attribution statement in an univoqual manner.

I duly submit that due diligence has been missing in your own assessment of the actual situation.

***

For now, only (1)-(2)-(3) have been clarified, albeit indirectly. There is a tension between the request for new holistic metrics and your stance regarding the IPCC’s attribution statement. The best way to minimize that tension would be to clarify (7). Clarifying (4)-(5)-(6) may also help.

As a way to clarify (6)-(7), I’d like to know what this counterfactual means:

If we can reduce the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere, we will not have “controlled” significant effects of humans on the climate system.

I don’t think anyone would argue that reducing CO2 is sufficient in itself to control the climate system. Are you suggesting it’s not a necessary condition?

***

I also duly submit that constructive communication may not be implied by a ponderate tone alone. I do not regard coatracking Gavin in your response to me or failing to directly acknowledging (1)-(2)-(3) as “very engaging on the simple questions I asked.” Also, your “you might be surprised” is a bit coy: if you want to note that Mike Mann agrees with you, the best way is to say it.

So Mike Mann and Richard Betts agree with you about the need for new holistic metrics. In contradistinction to their contributions to the IPCC process, you refuse to issue comments since 1995 and go so far as to testify that “it is managed with particular outputs in place before the assessments are even started.” This indicates that the new metrics’ requirement does not suffice to push for the IPCC’s reformation.

Constructive communication starts home.

101. John Hartz says:

Willard:

Re your most recent note to Roger Pielke, Sr…

Nicely done. Thank you.,

102. rpielke says:

Willard – Unfortunately, you are not properly reporting on what I have written. So, here I will answer your specific questions:

(1) have not submitted comments to the IPCC since 1995, i.e. 20 years ago;

Submitting comments is not the only way they are supposed to respond to the available science .I have published in peer reviewed literature raising issues with the science and the process. Even with titles like

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2002: Overlooked issues in the U.S. National Climate and IPCC assessments. Climatic Change, 52, 1-11.http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-225.pdf

I have testified before a subcommittee of the US Congress; e.g.

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2014: Written Testimony for the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Hearing on “Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process for the Process for the Fifth Assessment Report” May 29, 2014, Washington, DC, 11 pp. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/nr-150.pdf Oral testimony at https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/nr-150a.pdf [See the video from the Hearing at: http://science.edgeboss.net/wmedia/science/sst2014/FC052914.wvx%5D

(2) refused to submit a comment to RichardB who was willing to push that very peanut you wish to be pushed;

Richard and I have published a number of papers together. He is very much aware of my views on this, and his and my perspective are actually quite similar, if you would take the time to compare.

(3) only now concede that the new metric is “not a replacement for the global average radiative forcing”;

I have never said otherwise. Where did you come up with that erroneous view? I note you have no citation, etc where I have said that.

(4) still have to define what “robust” means in that context;

I am unclear the context here. Please write the sentence where you want me to comment on.

(5) may be going a bridge too far in claiming that that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics is an assumption;

We refuted the claim of CO2 being the primary first order climate forcing, for example, in

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

Please explain how the 19 of us are wrong. All of the authors are AGu Fellows.

So did the NRC (2005) report.

(6) do not acknowledge if (5) conflicts or not with the IPCC’s attribution statement;

Yes – our finding conflicts with the IPCC attribution conclusions. We said that in the above EOS article

We wrote

“.. the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment did not sufficiently acknowledge the importance of these other human climate forcings in altering regional and global
climate and their effects on predictability at the regional scale. It also placed too much emphasis on average global forcing from a limited set of human climate forcings. Further, it devised a mitigation strategy based on global model predictions. For example, although aerosols were considered as a global average forcing, their local effects were neglected (e.g., biomass burning, dust from land use/land cover management and change, soot from inefficient combustion).”

“We recommend that the next assessment phase of the IPCC (and other such assessments)
broaden its perspective to include all of the human climate forcings. It should also adopt a complementary and precautionary resource- based assessment of the vulnerability of critical resources (those affecting water, food, energy, and human and ecosystem health) to environmental variability and change of all types. This should include, but not be limited to, the
effects due to all of the natural and human-caused climate variations and changes.”

Unfortunately, while there was some progress, as Richard noted, there is much more to do on this. The issue particularly true in the Statement for Policymakers.

(7) have yet to opine on the IPCC’s attribution statement in an univoqual manner.

What? Have you read any of our land use change and aerosol papers?

“I don’t think anyone would argue that reducing CO2 is sufficient in itself to control the climate system. Are you suggesting it’s not a necessary condition?”

We cannot “control” the climate system. I think the word “hubris” fits here. I wish it were so easy.

However, I do agree with you that we need to work to limit the amount of added CO2 in the atmosphere. But not because we know most of its significant radiative and biogeochmeical effects, but because we do not.

Finally, you present your comments in an argumentative way. This was why I left this weblog in the first place. I returned because the author of this weblog worked with me offline in a courteous and professional manner. Why don’t you contact me offline and we can do the same? You might be surprised at how much agreement there actually is.

Roger Sr.

103. Willard says:

> Unfortunately, you are not properly reporting on what I have written.

Show me.

104. Willard says:

> What? Have you read any of our land use change and aerosol papers?

105. Willard says:

> our finding conflicts with the IPCC attribution conclusions.

Unless we can bridge the IPCC’s “conservative” metric with the other more holistic ones, there’s no way to establish if this conflict leads to a contradiction.

Relative to the conservative metric, the IPCC’s conclusion may very well be correct. Relative to another metric, it may even fail to make sense. However, if we accept the new metric is “not a replacement for the global average radiative forcing,” then we need to argue that the IPCC’s own framework does not allow us to reach the attribution conclusions.

In other words, this is first and foremost a matter of internal validity. If I understand Richard Betts (and Mike Mann, if we extrapolate his signature of a document that has not been produced through a transparent process, as recommended by the IAC), rooting for a more holistic metric does not seem to be incompatible with agreeing with the IPCC’s attribution statement.

Concerns about the inertia of consensus building does not a refutation make.

106. Willard says:

> I am unclear the context here. Please write the sentence where you want me to comment on.

“Due diligence” was missing, therefore, in the IPCC assessment, The IPCC omitted significant robust research findings that contradicted the assumption that CO2 is the dominate human climate forcing of changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.

Searching for “robust” on this page should give 30 hits. The only criteria I can find is this one:

Is our paper wrong? If so, it should be refuted. If not, use it in the assessment of this issue.

This reduces robustness to “what has not been refuted.”

Since the discussion concerns a metric, “what has not been refuted” obtains as soon as the metric does not contradict its own axioms. This implies that the IPCC would be required to report all the coherent climate metrics invented to date. If that’s the case, then honest brokerage becomes honest market authority.

We need a more robust conception of “robust.”

107. John Hartz says:

I sure wish that somene could explain what a “holisitc metric” means in the context of climate scince. In addition, can anyone provide a specific example of a “holistic metric” used in any branch of science or engineering?

108. Roger A. Pielke Sr says:

Willard. If you are truly interested in discussing, contact me by e-mail offline. If not, you continue to just grandstand. I have answered all of your questions but you seem to want just argue.

109. BBD – I had to to your reply as you did not accurately present my perspective on the climate forcings. … On your comment that I seek to “minimise the importance of CO2 as the key anthro forcing” you are in error. …

… We refuted the claim of CO2 being the primary first order climate forcing …

Exactly how was BBD in error?

… Yes – our finding conflicts with the IPCC attribution conclusions. We said …

Once again, including more human climate forcings doesn’t conflict with the fact that most of the warming since 1950 was extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together.

(7) have yet to opine on the IPCC’s attribution statement in an univoqual manner.

What? Have you read any of our land use change and aerosol papers? …

Unless your papers show that most land use change and aerosol emissions are somehow natural, citing your papers doesn’t count as an unequivocal opinion on the fact that most of the warming since 1950 was extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together.

110. Willard says:

> This was why I left this weblog in the first place.

Indeed, and as I observed at the time, it’s part of your modus operandi:

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/forcings-and-feedbacks-2/#comment-56971

***

A few days after you presented yours in an argumentative way. Reciprocation is the best learning tool.

I don’t mind much argumentativeness. ClimateBall ™ does not necessarily hinder communication. Scientists are sometimes fierce competitors.

***

> Why don’t you contact me offline and we can do the same?

My main communication objective is quite minimal: I seek a public and quotable response from you regarding the IPCC’s attribution statement. A simple “I agree (or disagree) with the IPCC’s attribution statement” would suffice. For everything else, I can manage with your blog.

111. Willard says:

I don’t consider this

What? Have you read any of our land use change and aerosol papers? …

112. Roger A. Pielke Sr says:

Willard. You clearly are not interested in a discussion. Sorry you won’t interact offline but that is your choice. This will be my last comment in this thread. Readers can decide on my view from the comments I have made and in the papers I referred to, if they are interested in doing that.

113. John Hartz says:

Once again, Roger A. Pielke Sr rides off in the sunset on his mighty stead, Avoidance.

114. Willard says:

A simple “I agree (or disagree) with the IPCC’s attribution statement” would have sufficed.

115. John Hartz says:

Will we discourse about serious issues such as how many “holisitc metrics” can fit into an IPCC report, the beat goes on. For example, see:

New report: the chance to rescue the world’s oceans from climate change is drifting away by Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, The Conversation, July 2, 2015

I suspect that Hoegh-Guldberg’s assessment will generate a flurry of activiy on the climate scince denier websites. Heck, Roger Pielke Sr may even join in by citing every peer-reviewed paper he has written.

116. Funnier version without the irrelevant parts:

117. Willard says:

Here would be one meaning of “holistic,” JH:

Appropriate determination of the relative value in cutting emissions of different gases from different sources therefore remains vital. If we are aiming to avoid greenhouse gas concentrations rising above, say, 550 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent, are the overall impacts the same whether most of this rise is carbon dioxide itself or whether carbon dioxide is limited to much lower levels at the expense of other greenhouse gas concentrations? Will avoiding deforestation that would have emitted a million tonnes of carbon dioxide have the same effect as reducing fossil fuel emissions by that amount? Are biofuels and nuclear power equivalent in terms of their contributions to avoided damages? In all of these cases, the evidence suggests not.

Alternative approach

So if the current concepts of carbon dioxide equivalent are incomplete, what is the alternative? Radiative forcing is neat because it allows comparison in terms of a well-defined quantity, but it does not permit comparison with other drivers of climate change quantified in different units, as illustrated above. The same problem arises in trying to compare effects on the climate system, such as changes in water and food resources. Because the ultimate aim of climate-change mitigation is to reduce the cost of human interference with the climate system, the most logical option is to compare various emissions sources in terms of their final impacts, such as human lives lost, species driven to extinction or economic damages.

At this stage, it is difficult to predict whether such ‘impact-based’ carbon dioxide equivalents of changes in non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases would be greater or less than those indicated by estimates of radiative forcing. For example, although some effects of climate change caused by radiative forcing could be offset by carbon dioxide itself through fertilization and increased water-use efficiency in land ecosystems, carbon dioxide will exert further detrimental effects through ocean acidification.

http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0801/full/climate.2007.74.html

With emphases on the incommensurability of the approaches.

118. John Hartz says:

Willard: Thanks for digging out the excerpt from the Nature paper. It’s most informative.

119. rpielke said on July 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm,

“We refuted the claim of CO2 being the primary first order climate forcing…”

We cannot “control” the climate system. I think the word “hubris” fits here. I wish it were so easy.”

Since it seems that no one has yet challenged what seems to be flat out claims of refutation and impossibility:

On the first comment:

If we restrict ourselves to what the political fuss in the end is really all about, the total amount of heat in the planetary system, the total warming of the planet in the long term, since the 1800s, then this seems to directly contradict what mainstream climate science says (in such articles as the further below). I doubt that more than (I doubt as much as) around 3% of all professional, publishing climate scientists would agree with the notion that CO2 is not the primary driver of that broad upward sweep in global temperatures since the 1800s, as evidences by that ever-present (and still) positive acceleration in global warming communicated by that graph of the 60 year running mean (or “60 year moving average” if so preferred). If it’s not CO2, then, as I asked in my prior comment on July 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm, what could it be? It seems that there really is no other choice.

On the second comment:

It depends entirely on how we define the term “control”. I prefer to agree with what mainstream climate science has to say, which is that CO2 is the control knob for the long term general level of heat in the global system. Yes, I think the term “control” is acceptable as they use it, and this includes all those articles we find all over such as these for the purpose of educating the public as to what the reputable, refereed literature has to say in its ongoing aggregate:

“CO2: The Thermostat that Controls Earth’s Temperature”
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

“How Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Temperature”
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20101014/

“Taking the Measure of the Greenhouse Effect”
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

In my comment above, I gave a link to a comment in which I gave the graphs of the NMO, a 30 year running mean, and a 60 year running mean and their sources. To again address the question of what could possibly be an alternative to CO2 that could have caused what that graph of the 60 running mean communicates, a never-ending (and still) positively accelerating global warming since the 1800s, it would have to boil down to essentially effecting only two parameters:

Let’s reason our way through it, in a way that the average person on the street can understand:

We can change the total amount of heat in a system via two variables, pure and simple: (1) The incoming heat flux and (2) the outgoing heat flux.

(Side note, to anticipate an objection: I think it’s good to generalize and (thus) simplify things, to include with all the more complex and particular things. It’s useful and educational.)

Yes, of course, the various possible combinations of the two counts, but if one of the two can be essentially ruled out by putting enough of a limit on it, then that’s where the generalizing and (thus) simplifying becomes useful and educational.

I think enough of such a limit on (1) has been established by mainstream climate science to show that it’s (2) essentially all the way as the explanation for al this heat over all this time since the 1800s. That is:

To address (1): Has the solar output been going up and up and up nonstop all this time? No. Has the planet’s albedo been going down and down and down nonstop all this time? No. (Note: I use “albedo” as a general term to cover the cooling effects of increased reflected light or the warming effects of decreased reflected light via changes in the surface, clouds, and aerosols.) I think that it’s a done deal that it is not the case that changes in (1) is an alternative to (2) to explain this warming since the 1800s. In this light, I’m reminded of a recent paper such that there may have been some “own goals” committed by some of those argue against mainstream climate science when they argued for that paper that ATTP wrote about and then said the following comment in reply to another:

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/new-albedo-paper/#comment-50408

Quote:
“”The reflected energy from Earth is highly regulated & this regulation by clouds.”
Yes, but this simply implies that the albedo doesn’t change much, not that it responds to balance changes in external forcings.”

If the planet’s ability to change in terms of how much energy it reflects is low, then it should be obvious that this effectively kills in one fell swoop all the various arguments for (1) that involve less reflected light (via less clouds or less galactic cosmic rays and so on) as even just a meaningful contribution to this warming of the whole planet all this time since the 1800s, and that those who argue this way are “barking up the wrong tree”.

To address (2): Has the greenhouse gas effect been going up and up and up nonstop all this time? Yes.

To sum up:

Has there been a sufficiently severe never-ending change in the incoming heat flux over all this time in a single direction to cause the never-ending positive acceleration we see in the 60 year moving average since the 1800s? No. Has there been a sufficiently severe never-ending change in the outgoing heat flux over all this time in a single direction to cause the never-ending positive acceleration we see in the 60 year moving average over all this time? Yes. What gives this “yes” answer? CO2. Anything else? It seems it must be “no” – there is no other candidate that can fit being a cause over this long a time frame of the ever-present positively accelerating global warming that has been going on since the late 1800s as shown by that graph.

It seems clear that this has been repeatedly strengthened by a number of studies over the past few years that have shown the models do very well when other factors are taken into account, including those very recent studies that take into account oscillations up to 60 years in length (and hence some relevance of such as I keep promoting, that 60 year running mean covering over close to one and a half centuries) by Marotzke and Forster (2015) with their 62 year runs and Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) with their NMO (more general than either the AMO or PMO, which denotes the multidecadal oscillations within the PDO) and its oscillations of roughly a half century in duration.

120. Willard says:

> We refuted the claim of CO2 being the primary first order climate forcing, for example, in [r-354]

No such refutation appears in r-354, which is just a letter. Here’s the relevant quote:

We suggest that the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature (e.g. [NRC 2005]) is predominantly in support of hypothesis 2a, in that a diverse range of first-order human climate forcings have been identified. We therefore conclude that hypothesis 2a is better supported than hypothesis 2b […]

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

I have no idea how the identification of a diverse range of first-order human climate forcings predominantly supports hypothesis 2a:

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first-order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). [Some fluff goes here.]

As we can see, this hypothesis says nothing about my (7), which makes Senior’s incredulity unwarranted. For good measure, here’s 2b:

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and are dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, the most important of which is CO2. [More fluff here.]

The claim that 2a and 2b are “mutually exclusive” is at best ambiguous. There’s no a priori reason to exclude the possibility of many first-order forcings and a dominant one, i.e. CO2. More importantly, the two hypotheses rest on incommensurable metrics. Criticizing 2b within 2a’s framework is not the same as showing how 2a, within 2b’s framework, would win over 2b. The concept of mutual exclusion would deserve due diligence here.

So all we have in that letter that would remotely look like a refutation is the claim that the peer-reviewed literature is predominantly in favor of hypothesis 2a. This implies that the IPCC ignores the predominant peer-reviewed literature. Quite a fantastic claim, to say the least, considering that all we have is some handwaving to the unstransparent NRC 2005 report. That Senior constantly handwaves to the same report over and over again (not unlike the usual Pielke-all-the-way-down [1]) makes me doubt that this is the case, unless the predominance trivially applies by some semantic pea and thimble game.

Another data point on the hypothesis that more critical thinking courses should be obligatory in the science curriculum.

***

Compare the section “The need for a better approach” in r-354 with this:

https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/main-conclusions-2/

Most of the talking points are there.

121. Willard says:

122. Searching for “first order” in 11175, i.e. NRC 2005, I stumbled upon a section that starts thus (with my emphases):

Determine the Importance of Nonradiative Forcings

Several types of forcings—most notably aerosols, land-use and landcover change, and modifications to biogeochemistry—impact the climate system in nonradiative ways, in particular by modifying the hydrological cycle and vegetation dynamics. Aerosols exert a forcing on the hydrological cycle by modifying cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei, precipitation efficiency,
and the ratio between solar direct and diffuse radiation received. These aerosol forcings are sometimes referred to as thermodynamic forcings because they affect spatial patterns of diabatic heating. In some cases, aerosols may be able to modify the hydrological cycle without changing the global average surface temperature. Other nonradiative forcings modify the biological components of the climate system by changing the fluxes of trace gases and heat between vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere; the biogeochemistry of vegetation biomass and soils; or plant species composition. Nonradiative forcings have been shown in a few studies to have first-order effects on regional and global climate, although the globally averaged impacts are not yet sufficiently quantified to allow a careful comparison with forcing from greenhouse gases.

No metrics for quantifying nonradiative forcing have been accepted. Unlike traditional radiative forcing, which can be directly related to surface temperature, nonradiative forcings are not easily linked to a single climate variable. No single metric will be applicable to all nonradiative forcings. Nonradiative forcings generally do have radiative impacts, so one option would be to compare them by quantifying these radiative impacts.

For now, I’ll make two observations:

This section does not seem to justify the claim that “the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature is predominantly in support” of non-radiative metrics.

This section contains no citation whatsoever.

123. John Hartz says:

Willard:

This section does not seem to justify the claim that “the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature is predominantly in support” of non-radiative metrics.

Por favor, who made this claim?

124. > Por favor, who made this claim?

The authors of r-354:

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

To be sure, “this claim” refers to “the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature is predominantly in support of (an hypothesis that assumes) non-radiative metrics.” I have no idea if the authors were referring to this specific section of NRC 2005.

125. John Hartz says:

Willard:

Thanks for the clarification.

126. Hi Willard

You didn’t say specifically which IPCC attribution statement you meant, but I can’t think of one that I disagree with (in the form in which they have been very carefully written, to account for uncertainties and also a full range of anthropogenic influences not just GHGs)

The thread above is a little difficult to follow but it seems that there is a lack of precision in citing and quoting various statements including Roger’s and those from the paper being discussed (which I don’t think is inconsistent with IPCC statements if both are read carefully.) This is, of course, quite standard on blog threads (no offence intended!) which is why it is important for people to have a bit of give and take in conversations and not start getting cross or nit-picky with each other…. 🙂

Cheers

Richard

127. it is important for people to have a bit of give and take in conversations and not start getting cross or nit-picky with each other….

Indeed, if everyone did that, discussing this topic would be much more pleasant and constructive.

128. John Hartz says:

Richard Betts:

How dare you! I’ve never been nit pickey with anyone on this or any other comment thread. 🙂

129. Richard Betts,

Sorry if my request wasn’t clear enough. I had in mind something that would in part answer Dumb Scientist’s question on June 25, 2015 at 1:42 am:

In terms of your views on the climate issue, are the IPCC, the NAS, the Royal Society, the APS, AGU, AIP, etc. right to say that most of the warming since 1950 is very likely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases?

The first response rpielkesr gave was these op-eds, none of which answer that question:

***

I also had in mind Very Tall’s question on June 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm:

[C]ould you state whether or not you agree with the rather tortured English of the IPPC attribution statement, viz:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase […]

[IPCC AR5 WG1 SPM D.3]

The second response rpielkesr gave was to raise issues and require a private meeting:

I do not intend to debate this in these comments. If you are interested, please e-mail me offline and we can iterate in the same manner as used to create the current weblog post.

***

On June 26, 2015 at 1:04 am, Dumb Scientist offered this argument to answer da question:

If someone is charged with including all scientifically robust perspectives, shouldn’t one of the first steps in that process be stating whether or not one agrees with that IPCC statement?

The third response from rpielkesr deflected the discussion toward NRC 2005, by far the most cited item by rpielkesr, and a textbook, both of which he presented as “reports.” In fairness, there was also a concession: “The peer reviewed reports below do not “contradict” the IPCC.”

***

On June 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm, Dumb Scientist asked a third time:

But just for clarity, could you please say if you think this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

This question has been met with counter questions by rpielkesr.

***

On June 26, 2015 at 2:14 pm, Dumb Scientist responds to these questions, and asked again:

In exchange, could you please provide a simple (even yes/no if you like) answer to the question of whether or not this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half […]”

This question is met with another squirrel by rpielkesr: “does it discuss the findings we report in NRC (2005)? I also did not see an analysis such as we presented in […].” However, this is followed by almost a response:

In terms of your question is […] some fraction certainly is. We have a better handle on quantifying based on the global average radiative fluxes as I already presented from the IPCC report.

Follows another squirrel: “However, the much more important question with respect to impacts and policy is […]”

***

Then follows a discussion about due diligence, some rhetorical questions, and the reiteration of da question, on June 27, 2015 at 12:09 am:

[C]ould you please say if you think this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 […]

And then rpielkesr took his first leave: “i have tried to focus the discussion on constructively interacting on the specific questions I asked and responses I have given” without answering da question.

***

To reboot the discussion, I focused on the word “conservative” and tweeted you. You paid us your first visit in this comment thread, showing us that it’s quite possible to root for more holistic metrics while working within the IPCC’s more conservative framework.

On the June 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm, Dumb Scientist reiterated da question, prefaced with another one:

Is there a paper quantifying all the human climate forcings missed by the IPCC in Fig. SPM.5? […]

It would be helpful to see a “corrected” version of Fig. SPM.5 showing quantitative evidence of a human climate forcing with a greater effect on the global climate than our added CO2. Regardless, these would be “other anthropogenic forcings” so they wouldn’t be a valid basis to reject this statement:

“It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed […]

You answered in part to that question, showing at least partial agreement with rpielkesr, but not about da question. In any case, on July 2, 2015 at 9:42 am, Dumb Scientist asks again:

Actually, a simple answer to this question would clarify your view: was most of the warming since 1950 extremely likely to be caused by our GHG emissions and other anthropogenic forcings together?

And then emerged some give and take, followed by this intriguing comment by rpielkesr:

We refuted the claim of CO2 being the primary first order climate forcing, for example, in […] http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

There’s one meaning of “refutation” relevant for open letters, and it’s not the logical one. Also note that this refutation is not supposed to “contradict” the IPCC. In any event, rpielkesr took his second leave after this exchange, without even confirming that he did not send you any comment after you asked him.

Here we are.

130. John Hartz says:

Willard:

A diddy we sang as children popped into my head while reading your excellent synopsis of the encounters wih RP Sr.

“Here we go round the Mulberry bush, the Mulberry bush…”

Dang it! Now I can’t get it to stop. Thanks.

131. Richard and I have published a number of papers together. He is very much aware of my views on this, and his and my perspective are actually quite similar, if you would take the time to compare.

His perspective seems to be that he can’t think of an IPCC attribution statement he disagrees with, and that he doesn’t think the paper being discussed is inconsistent with IPCC statements if both are read carefully. Oddly, that perspective seems quite similar to mine.

At the risk of sounding cross and nit-picky, maybe our definitions of “quite similar” aren’t actually quite similar?

Thanks to Willard for his excellent synopsis, and thanks to KeefeAndAmanda and Andrew Dodds for their insightful comments.

Sadly, the no-broadcast theorem would introduce unavoidable quantum noise into Andrew’s “identical” copies of Earth. A merchant of doubt could imply these unmodeled factors introduce too much uncertainty to draw even the most basic conclusions.

Even if he couldn’t keep a straight face through that, it’s easy to complain about Andrew’s sample size. A measly few hundred? No merchant of doubt would accept empirical evidence with a p-value any larger than 10 to the power [whichever negative number you say minus 1]. We’d have to convert 10 to the power [whichever number you say plus 1] galaxies into “identical” copies of Earth for [whichever number you say plus 1] centuries. It’s not so simples when the goalpost is so vague it doesn’t even have to be moved.

Or maybe we could study the paleoclimate record to see what happened when atmospheric CO2 spiked rapidly.

But that’d be impossible. Easier to take over the universe.

132. rpielke says:

Willard – I am online today and making a comment

“In terms of your views on the climate issue, are the IPCC, the NAS, the Royal Society, the APS, AGU, AIP, etc. right to say that most of the warming since 1950 is very likely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases?”

So I will try another way to explain my answer. If one accepts that the natural global climate model runs accurately capture variations in global climate system heat content on multi-decadal time scales, than that statement would be correct. This is because the difference between the anthropogenically forced model runs (from the emissions of greenhouse gases) and natural runs show a warming that can be attributed to human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols (e.g. black carbon).

However, the issues regarding the skill of the models to represent the real world changes in heat content on multi-decadal time scales has not been as resolved as you (and the groups you listed in the question) have concluded. The natural variations appear to be larger in magnitude than what the models have shown. . This conclusion is based on papers such as Stephens et al, 2015:The albedo of Earth [http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf], as well as comparisons between the model runs and observations which show significant differences particularly since the early part of this century [e.g. see figure in http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/%5D..

Until this issue is resolved, we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions. This is why it is more accurate to focus on the global average radiative forcings as discussed in the post this comment is linked to. If you want to build a consensus rather than just arguing and criticizing, discuss where there is agreement and what can be done to answer areas of disagreement.

Roger A. Pielke Sr.

133. Until this issue is resolved, we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions.

We really don’t need input from Roger Pielke any longer. Let’s get some fresh blood in here, in particular in looking at modeling ENSO to determine the natural variability in climate

http://contextearth.com/2015/07/11/enso-transformation/

https://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/1608/enso-revisit#latest

134. Willard says:

rpielkesr,

You claim:

> I will try another way to explain my answer.

Providing an answer would have been better, since you have yet to provide one. A yes or no would have sufficed.

W

135. Actually, I think this

If one accepts that the natural global climate model runs accurately capture variations in global climate system heat content on multi-decadal time scales, than that statement would be correct. This is because the difference between the anthropogenically forced model runs (from the emissions of greenhouse gases) and natural runs show a warming that can be attributed to human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols (e.g. black carbon).

However, the issues regarding the skill of the models to represent the real world changes in heat content on multi-decadal time scales has not been as resolved as you (and the groups you listed in the question) have concluded. The natural variations appear to be larger in magnitude than what the models have shown. .

Of course, if natural variability is larger than we might think, there are a couple of consequences, one of which is that it might have suppressed more warming than we currently expect. Also, if you want it to be responsible for more than 50% of the warming since 1950, that would require it producing about 0.3C, or more, of the warming since 1950, making the anthropogenic contribution much smaller than we think is reasonable (TCR of ~ 0.7C and and ECS of around 1C). Also, if a significant fraction of the warming is associated with internal, natural variability, is that consistent with a planetary energy imbalance that might be in excess of 0.5Wm-2? I would think not, unless you can find a way of this internal variability producing a radiative influence similar to that of the anthropogenic influence.

136. Willard says:

> does essentially answer the question.

I disagree. The question is whether rpielkesr agrees or disagrees with the relevant attribution statement. An agreement is a speech act. There is no “I agree with it” or “I disagree with it” or anything remotely like the explicit expression of the speech act of agreeing or disagreeing on this thread.

Here’s an example of explicit agreement:

And Then There’s Physics and I agreed on this post in its entirety.

Here’s another one:

I agree with Roger that they do deserve more attention, although I would also point out that the IPCC has given these important points more attention recently (partly because of folks like Andy Pitman, myself and others trying to make sure this happened).

Another one, on the question asked:

You didn’t say specifically which IPCC attribution statement you meant, but I can’t think of one that I disagree with (in the form in which they have been very carefully written, to account for uncertainties and also a full range of anthropogenic influences not just GHGs)

If we accept that not to disagree means agreement, and the usual interpretation of the English (i.e. UK) double negation, then Richard Betts just agreed with every attribution statement in the IPCC’s reports.

137. rpielke says:

..and Then There’s Physics – Thanks for a constructive response.

I agree, natural variability might have suppressed more warming than we currently expect. We could soon have a period of rapid heating if this is correct. This is a concern and potential risk that we should avoid by working to develop non-CO2 emitting energy sources. I assume we agree on that.

Two other issues that remain open (at least in my view) is the role of clouds (the so-called iris-effect) and of the deeper ocean as a sink for the heat. The later would not be a loss to the climate system, but it would make it mostly unavailable on multi-decadal time periods (if ever). On the iris-effect, I had assumed this was debunked but new work such as by Stephens et al, and others, seems to suggest this still may be a significant negative feedback.

You may be right that the natural variability may not be able to explain a substantial part of the warming. Your conclusion is reasonable from what we know of the global average radiative forcings (as we define in our post).

However, what I am certain on is that the models are having significant problems in accurately simulating the actual natural changes in the climate system heat budget. Model to model differences is not the appropriate way to determine the natural climate system role. The assessment must be real world observationally based as done in Stephens et al. That study, and others like it, indicate this science issue is not yet satisfactorily resolved.

Roger Sr.

138. Maybe I’ll elaborate on the end of my last comment. We’ve warmed by around 0.6C since 1950. The Planck response is

$\Delta F_{\rm Planck} = 0.6 \times 4 \times \sigma T^3 dT = 1.95 {\rm Wm^{-2}}.$

The change in anthropogenic forcing is about 1.72Wm-2, and the feedback response is around 1.2 Wm-2K-1, giving a net feedback of 0.72Wm-2. If we combine all of these, we can estimate the change in system heat uptake rate assuming all the warming is anthropogenic

$\Delta N = 1.72 + 0.72 - 1.95 = 0.5 {\rm Wm^{-2}},$

which is roughly what the OHC data suggests.

Now imagine that half the warming is natural/internal variability. This would require that the feedback response is small. If so, we would expect to be in energy excess (i.e., losing more energy than we’re gaining). Maybe internal variability could produce a radiative response big enough to explain the observed planetary energy imbalance. However, the physical processes that would produce such a response would be similar to those associated with the feedbacks to anthropogenic warming. So, it seems logically inconsistent to argue that the feedbacks to anthropogenic warming are small, while somehow being large when responding to internal variations.

139. Roger,

On the iris-effect, I had assumed this was debunked but new work such as by Stephens et al, and others, seems to suggest this still may be a significant negative feedback.

The Stephens et al. results appears to suggest that a strong Iris effect would have about a 20% effect, reducing the ECS in the model they used from around 2.8C to 2.2C.

140. rpielke says:

ATTP

“It seems logically inconsistent to argue that the feedbacks to anthropogenic warming are small, while somehow being large when responding to internal variations.’

I agree. This is why the concern on negative natural variations could then result in significant positive natural variations later.

I do question the 0.6C based based on mean T and would rather use Tmax changes for the land part – based on our papers:

McNider, R.T., G.J. Steeneveld, B. Holtslag, R. Pielke Sr, S. Mackaro, A. Pour Biazar, J.T. Walters, U.S. Nair, and J.R. Christy, 2012: Response and sensitivity of the nocturnal boundary layer over land to added longwave radiative forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D14106, doi:10.1029/2012JD017578. Copyright (2012) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/r-371.pdf

and

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/11/r-345.pdf

If we do that, does it change the Planck response significantly. We need the Tmax data to do this.

On the Stephens et al study, that iris effect is actually larger than I would have thought. I think the real wild card is whether the deeper ocean is a sink (buffer) for the heat, and if so, is this a permanent feature or would it shut off, with a resultant rapid warming?

Roger Sr.

141. John Hartz says:

I cannot help but wonder what portions of NOAA’s recently released, annual State of the Climate 2014 report that Roger Pielke Sr. accepts at face value and what portions he has serious concerns about.

142. Roger,

I think the real wild card is whether the deeper ocean is a sink (buffer) for the heat, and if so, is this a permanent feature or would it shut off, with a resultant rapid warming?

Maybe you could explain this, because I don’t quite get what you mean here. As I understand it, if the diffusion rate is high, then we could sustain a larger planetary energy imbalance than if it were low – the transient response would be smaller if the diffusion rate is high than it would be if it is low (i.e., we would be further from equilibrium when we’ve doubled CO2 if the diffusion rate is high, than if it is low). However, ultimately – I think – the equilibrium response depends only on the feedback response, not on the role of the deeper ocean.

143. John Hartz says:

Also, was Roger Pielke Sr. one of the 413 scientists from around the world who assisted NOAA prepare its State of the Climate 2014 annual report?

144. rpielke says:

ATTP –

I agree with what you wrote:

“if the diffusion rate is high, then we could sustain a larger planetary energy imbalance than if it were low – the transient response would be smaller if the diffusion rate is high than it would be if it is low (i.e., we would be further from equilibrium when we’ve doubled CO2 if the diffusion rate is high, than if it is low). However, ultimately – I think – the equilibrium response depends only on the feedback response, not on the role of the deeper ocean.”

What I mean, however, is that if the heat goes into the deeper ocean it is unavailable to affect our weather. Moreover, it shows a deficiency in the models as I am not aware that they have accurately simulated this transfer of heat. Also, the surface temperature anomaly, by itself, is therefore not a robust metric to diagnose the global average climate system heat change.

Roger Sr.

P.S. The one feedback (water vapor) does seem muted, as confirmed by my discussions with G. Stephens on their work. That result supports what Vonderhaar et al found in their study –

Vonder Haar, T. H., J. Bytheway, and J. M. Forsythe (2012), Weather and climate analyses using improved global water vapor observations, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL052094

145. rpielke said on July 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm,

“Until this issue is resolved, we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions.”

It seems that this “cannot” part says that Roger does not agree with the statements that Willard has been talking about. By modus tollens, one cannot agree with statements that imply that we can do and have done what one claims we presently cannot do.

But I think that we can quantify such, since I think that in at least indirect ways certain results show we can, for instance those from Marotzke and Forster (2015) with their 62 year runs and Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) with their factoring in of the NMO. It seems that they have shown that we can mathematically treat these multidecadal variations as random fluctuations, in which case the mathematics reveal the models are fine. That is, what I get from what they did mathematically is that since what is observed is mathematically consistent (meets the mathematical tests) with the hypothesis that the variations are randomly or otherwise fluctuating around the curves predicted or projected by the models, treating the multidecadal variations as “evidence” against the models is mathematically wrong (much like it would be mathematically wrong to treat the “down” parts of the fluctuations in the curve given by the function h(x) = 17cos(x) + x^1.9 to be “evidence” against the idea that the function f(x) = x^1.9 gives the underlying curve around which h(x) fluctuates). And I keep pointing out that if we want to see what is going on underneath all these multidecadal fluctuations, then a 60 year running mean might show it, and it does – I linked to a graph earlier, and it shows a smooth positively accelerating curve still positively accelerating even through all this “slowdown” since the turn of the century, perfectly consistent with the hypothesis just put forth.

In addition, the data are being updated, which might mean that all these studies wondering about why we have these multidecadal “down” parts in multidecadal up and down fluctuations around curves are going to have to be updated and perhaps significantly rewritten – things are getting significantly hotter since 1998, more than they thought. Tamino recently said the further below in response to Chris O’Neill over at the blog Open Mind under “Most Extremely Hotter-than-usual Month”:

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/most-extremely-hotter-than-usual-month/#comment-89305

“…the trend since 1998 is quite statistically significant, but this was not the case before the update including the June anomaly was released a few days ago. There appears to be a lot more changed than just the addition of the June anomaly.

[Response: Starting this month they switched from using the ERSST version 3b data set for sea surface temperature, to using the updated ERSST version 4. I’ll post about the new temperature data soon.]”

146. BBD says:

P.S. The one feedback (water vapor) does seem muted, as confirmed by my discussions with G. Stephens on their work. That result supports what Vonderhaar et al found in their study –

Vonder Haar, T. H., J. Bytheway, and J. M. Forsythe (2012), Weather and climate analyses using improved global water vapor observations, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL052094

Victor Venema made some interesting observations about Vander Haar et al. at the time.

147. Roger A. Pielke Sr says:

BBD – The Vonderhaar et al finding on the trend remains robust as the first author told me. Victor Venema is not up to date on this issue. The humidity tracking with warming that the models produce is not occurring as they have predicted. If the lack of much of an increase in water vapor is correct, it would explain why the warming is more muted than produced In most of the model realizations.

148. Willard says:

One more agreement:

I agree with what you wrote: […]

Another possible agreement:

I assume we agree on that.

Still no explicit agreement from rpielke on the relevant attribution statement by the IPCC.

I’ve heard that discussing where there is agreement and what can be done to answer areas of disagreement was a good thing.

149. Peter Jacobs says:

Hello Dr. Pielke,

You write:

“That result supports what Vonderhaar et al found in their study –

Vonder Haar, T. H., J. Bytheway, and J. M. Forsythe (2012), Weather and climate analyses using improved global water vapor observations, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL052094”

and

“The Vonderhaar et al finding on the trend remains robust”

From that paper:

“Changes to input datasets and selected algorithms were made with each phase of processing, incorporating improved data and processing methodologies, but resulting in several time-dependent artifacts that degraded the dataset’s decadal uniformity. These changes, in combination with the dataset’s relatively short period of record, make the heritage NVAP dataset unsuitable for long-term trend analysis…

The results of Figures 1 and 4 have not been subjected to detailed global or regional trend analyses, which will be a topic for a forthcoming paper. Such analyses must account for the changes in satellite sampling discussed in the auxiliary material. Therefore, at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data. ”

You seem to be saying that the robust reanalysis and bias removal- that this paper explicitly did not do, which the authors note makes any conclusion about a global trend invalid- has been performed.

Can you please point to the peer reviewed methods paper(s) outlining how this was accomplished, as well as their revised, published time series? It would be most helpful to myself and any number of my fellow graduate students to have access to these revised and bias-corrected data.

150. Roger A. Pielke Sr says:

Willard. I have answered your question. I do not know how I can make clearer. It is not a yes or no answer without presenting how the attribution conclusion by the the IPCC was made ( a model to model comparison). If that approach were robust the answer would Yes they are correct. If the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability the answer is No.

Now I have a question for you. Can the models provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales? If so, what papers demonstrate this skill.

Roger Sr

151. Willard says:

No, you did not.

***

> I do not know how I can make clearer.

By saying if you agree or disagree with the attribution statement.

***

> It is not a yes or no answer without presenting how the attribution conclusion by the the IPCC was made ( a model to model comparison).

***

> If that approach were robust the answer would Yes they are correct. If the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability the answer is No.

Does it mean you disagree with the IPCC statement? By statement, I mean the act of stating a proposition as warranted. The IPCC makes an official statement; I have Richard Betts’ indirect agreement on that statement. By agreement, I am referring to any kind of linguistic commitment along the lines of those I underlined earlier.

[RP1] I agree with the IPCC’s conclusion on attribution.
[RP2] I disagree with the IPCC’s conclusion on attribution.

By “IPCC’s conclusion on attribution” I am referring to what has been repeated ad nauseam on this thread, e.g. by Very Tall three freaking weeks ago:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

I want to know rpielke’s agreement on that statement. Just like you did with other kinds of statements expressed in this thread. We have evidence that you know what it is to agree with someone about something. Playing dumb or pussyfooting on some semantic issue is not available anymore. Playing victim and trying to make it about me would yet again be ungentlemanly and speak loudly about your honor as a scientist who spent his last 25 years touting about the IPCC’s reformation of most of its metrics. Whether you need, as a matter of ClimateBall policy, to stay close to Richard Betts while still remaining at an arm’s length from the IPCC is the lesser of my concerns.

The least you can do is to say that you agree or not with the IPCC’s conclusion on attribution.

I dare you, Herr Professor, to agree or disagree with the IPCC’s conclusion on attribution.

And that’s the memo.

152. verytallguy says:

Prof Pielke,

A couple of observations.

Firstly,

the attribution conclusion by the the IPCC was made ( a model to model comparison).

I don’t think this is quite correct.  According to my reading and also

Gavin Schmidt,  after comparing model natural variability to observations,   a substantial additional amount is added to the model variability to allow for “structural uncertainties”.

Without this, the IPCC statement would be *much* more certain.  My personal interpretation of this would be that expert judgement is used to ensure the attribution statement is almost certainly conservative.

You can see more here.

Second, I have to agree with Willard that you have not answered the question.  I genuinely do not know if you agree with it or not from your comments above.  You provided the following excellent suggestion

If you want to build a consensus rather than just arguing and criticizing, discuss where there is agreement and what can be done to answer areas of disagreement.

Using your suggestion, my best guess at your position is that it is the same as that of Science of Doom (as I recall it,  I can’t locate a citation), ie that you *do* agree

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

but would qualify with a confidence level, “low confidence”

Would that be fair?

Either way,  it would be much simpler if could could state whether or not you agree with the statement as-is, and if not,  how you would change or qualify it to properly reflect your views. That would be in the spirit of your suggestion.

Thank you!

153. BBD says:

Very odd about Vonder Haar et al. Hopefully Dr Pielke will be able to clear that up too.

154. rpielke says:

Willard – Show me how you answer this question

Can the models provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales?

Can you just provide a YES or NO to that question? That is what you are claiming I must do. Yet one has to frame the answer in order to address. That is what I did. Move on.

At least verytallguy has tried to do that to some extent. He asked how I would change or qualify it to properly reflect my views. I have done that. If you want (and are actually interested in my views and not just posturing – read my AGU statement –

https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/r-376.pdf

Pielke Sr., R.A. 2013: Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain [May 10 2013]. Minority Statement in response to AGU Position Statement on Climate Change entitled: “Human-induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action” released on 8/5/13. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/rpt-851.pdf

On his model-model discussion, while structural uncertainties starts to address the natural variability issue, that is far from adequate. That uncertainty, for example, does not capture the muted heating and moistening in the lower troposphere that we have seen over the last decade.

If you would like to continue to have a discussion on this thread, lets start, as the webmaster and I did, where we agree with each other. Start with my minority AGU statement.

Roger Sr.

155. Willard says:

> That is what you are claiming I must do.

Not at all. If you feel the IPCC is not warranted to make its claim statement, just disagree with it.

156. Willard says:

> He asked how I would change or qualify it to properly reflect my views.

[I]t would be much simpler if could could state whether or not you agree with the statement as-is, and if not, how you would change or qualify it to properly reflect your views.

The only problem with Very Tall’s formulation is that it’s quite possible to agree with a statement even if it does not properly reflect our own views. Any family man should know.

157. rpielke says:

Willard – You obviously are not interested in a constructive debate. I am giving up hoping you would be open to the type of positive interaction that the webmaster of this site and I have had.

158. John Hartz says:

While we argue over the robustness of GCMs with Roger Pielke Sr., let’s not loose sight of the “big picture” as ably articulated by David Suzuki…

In 1988, when climate scientist James Hansen testified in Washington that human-caused global warming was kicking in, people might have been excused for failing to grasp the significance of his early warning. But there’s no excuse for humanity’s subsequent dismissal and denial of the reality of his statements and the deliberate, aggressive opposition to any action to reduce the threat.

For years, environmentalists have called for an urgent response to runaway climate change. Evidence has poured in from around the world to corroborate Hansen’s conclusions, from melting glaciers, sea level rise and ocean acidification to increasing extreme weather events and changes in animal and plant behaviour and ranges.

The Climate Crisis Is Starting to Create a Global Consciousness Shift by David Suzuki, The Huffington Post, July 15, 2015

159. John Hartz says:

Willard: Congratualtions! You’ve just been “Pielked”!

PS: Are you keeping track of how many times he has done this to you?

160. Willard says:

rpielke,

Since you can’t even explicitly agree or disagree with the IPCC’s attribution statements after being asked many times over many weeks, there’s no reason to play squirrel with you. You already played this trick earlier in the thread, when instead of answering Dumb Scientist’s question, you switched to your ever favorite NRC 2005 and a textbook. A textbook usually implies a division of labor where an author could insert his own pet ideas without the other authors minding much. It’s just a textbook, after all.

If you want to “debate” things, you might wish to debate Richard Betts on this matter, since we already know that he does not disagree with any attribution statement made by the IPCC:

I can’t think of one that I disagree with (in the form in which they have been very carefully written, to account for uncertainties and also a full range of anthropogenic influences not just GHGs).

Either this means your assumption is wrong, or Richard Betts is wrong. As far as I am concerned, your assumption presumes that we need to faithfully model on regional scale before modelling stating anything on a global scale, something I call the meteorological fallacy, in your honor of course.

***

What you call “constructive debate” is actually an invalid form of elenchus. It is invalid because I have no commitment regarding the actual question. This contrasts with you, as everything you offer as argument undermines the IPCC’s attribution statement.

If you want to claim that unless models provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales, the IPCC’s attribution conclusion is unwarranted, therefore you disagree with it, say so and be done with it. Your dog whistling is unworthy of your reputation.

Finally, please leave Socrates’ roles to philosophers. You don’t look credible in it.

161. John Hartz says:

Willard:

You have just opened a Pandaora’s box. 🙂

162. Willard says:

More on warrants:

We already have, therefore, one distinction to start with: between the claim or conclusion whose merits we are seeking to establish (C) and the facts we appeal to as a foundation for the claim-what I shall refer to as our data (D). If our challenger’s question is, ‘What have you got to go on?’, producing the data or information on which the claim is based may serve to answer him; but this is only one of the ways in which our conclusion may be challenged. Even after we have produced our data, we may find ourselves being asked further questions of another kind. We may now be required not to add more factual information to that which we have already provided, but rather to indicate the bearing on our conclusion of the data already produced. Colloquially, the question may now be, not ‘What have you got to go on?’, but ‘How do you get there?’. To present a particular set of data as the basis for some specified conclusion commits us to a certain step; and the question is now one about the nature and justification of this step.

Supposing we encounter this fresh challenge, we must bring forward not further data, for about these the same query may immediately be raised again, but propositions of a rather different kind: rules, principles, inference-licences or what you will, instead of additional items of information. Our task is no longer to strengthen the ground on which our argument is constructed, but is rather to show that, taking these data as a starting point, the step to the original claim or conclusion is an appropriate and legitimate one. At this point, therefore, what are needed are general, hypothetical statements, which can act as bridges, and authorize the sort of step to which our particular argument commits us. These may normally be written very briefly (in the form ‘If D, then C’); but, for candour’s sake, they can profitably be expanded, and made more explicit: ‘Data such as D entitle one to draw conclusions, or make claims, such as C’, or alternatively ‘Given data D, one may take it that C.’

Propositions of this kind I shall call warrants ( W ), to distinguish them from both conclusions and data. (These ‘warrants”, it will be observed, correspond to the practical standards or canons of argument referred to in our earlier essays.) To pursue our previous examples: the knowledge that Harry’s hair is red entitles us to set aside any suggestion that it is black.’ (The very triviality of this warrant is connected with the fact that we are concerned here as much with a counter-assertion as with an argument.) The fact that Petersen is a Swede is directly relevant to the question of his religious denomination for, as we should probably put it, ‘A Swede can be taken almost certainly not to be a Roman Catholic.’ (The step involved here is not trivial, so the warrant is not self-authenticating.) Likewise in the third case: our warrant will now be some such statement as that ‘A man who is proved to have driven at more than 30 m.p.h. in a built-up area can be found to have committed an offence against the Road Traffic Acts.’

http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/Forum/info/ToulLogic.html

163. Willard says:

More on the importance of commitments in dialogues (a technical term in argumentation theory):

A dialogue is an exchange of speech acts between two speech partners in turn-taking sequence aimed at a collective goal. The dialogue is coherent to the extent that the individual speech acts fit together to contribute to this goal. As well, each participant has an individual goal in the dialogue, and both participants have an obligation in the dialogue, defined by the nature of their collective and individual goals.

In some dialogues, the goal is to prove something, and in this type of dialogue, a primary obligation is the burden of proof. A burden of proof is a weight of presumption allocated, ideally at the opening stage of the dialogue, set for practical purposes to facilitate the successful carrying out of the obligations of the participants during the course of the dialogue. The device of burden of proof is useful because it enables discussion to come to an end in a reasonable time.

One important type of dialogue is the critical discussion, well described by van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984), which is a type of persuasion dialogue, meaning that the goal of each party is to persuade the other party to accept some designated proposition, using as premises only propositions that the other party has accepted as commitments.

http://www.dougwalton.ca/papers%20in%20pdf/92typesolog.pdf

Unless and until we have an explicit commitment from rpielke on the relevant attribution statement by the IPCC, the dialogue that is happening on this comment thread belongs more to a quarrel than anything.

It might not be the best of time to brandish again that “but constructive debate” dud.

164. John Hartz says:

Willard:

Unless and until we have an explicit commitment from rpielke on the attribution statement, the dialogue that is happening on this comment thread belongs more to a quarrel than anything.

Roger Pielke Sr has a history of sticking to his canned talking points regardless of the questions posed to him.

165. Albatross says:

Classic projection by Roger Sr.:

“You obviously are not interested in a constructive debate.”

As soon as Roger Sr. gets cornered (which tends to happen often nowadays) he fabricates an excuse to run away, but that is better than him arguing in circles I suppose. Circulus vitiosus.

166. On July 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm, rpielke said,

“Until this issue is resolved, we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions”.

This statement is equivalent to – can be restated as – a conditional. First, it is equivalent to “We cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions until this issue is resolved”. This statement is equivalent (in part by the translation rules in sentential logic that treat the term “until” as a disjunction operator) to the conditional, “If this issue is not resolved, then we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions”.

On July 18, 2015 at 12:10 am, Roger A. Pielke Sr said,

“If the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability the answer is No.”

These are claims in the forms of two conditionals. Since I’ve not seen someone yet challenge the truth of these two conditionals (my prior challenge was not on a conditional, but on the consequent of the first one above), I’d like to do so here.

This is important for two reasons: (1) Roger claimed to answer the question on IPCC attribution in a legitimately conditional way, but these false conditionals are the conditionals he used as answers. Usually, it’s not acceptable to answer questions in a conditional way if the conditionals are not true – but it can be acceptable if they are true. (2) As I will show below, in conjunction with their antecedents these conditionals are direct rejections of the IPCC attribution statement, which means that these conditional answers to the question on IPCC attribution are not really conditional at all – his real answer to the question is actually a flat “No”.

Let’s see the negations of these conditionals all taken together (by the negation of the material conditional) as one conjunction of four statements: We can have the issue in question be not resolved, have the natural model run not accurately capture the real world variability, quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions, and have the IPCC attribution statement be true.

These two negated conditionals can hold – all four statements in this conjunction can hold, and I’ve explained how they or similar statements can hold a number of times, including in my last comment on July 17, 2015 at 8:21 pm. To state what I said in an equivalent way: To test what is projected by models, it is a legitimate method to treat variation – and this includes multidecadal variation – as statistical noise. Given the inductive step of taking auxiliary hypotheses into account (which should always be done), the underlying signal turns out to be statistically consistent with what is projected by the models. This in effect is a confirmation (not a verification, but a strengthening – a literal meaning of “confirm” is “to make more firm”) of the models. The degree of strength or weakness of a model depends on the degree of this consistency. With respect to AGW over the long term view – which includes the AGW signal *underneath* variability of up to roughly 60 years (again, see the 60 year running mean graph for an easy-to-see long-term AGW), the degree of this consistency has been increasing as the models and data continue to update and auxiliary hypotheses are taken into account, and so the degree of confirmation has been increasing as well. This has been confirmed especially with recent studies I keep pointing to such as Marotzke and Forster (2015) and Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015).

For the sake of argument, suppose we take these two conditionals to be true. Then what?

On July 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm, he made it clear that he considers the issue in question to be not resolved, which means that for the conditional “if this issue is not resolved, then we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions”, he holds the antecedent “this issue is not resolved” to be true as a standalone statement. Therefore, by modus ponens, we have the consequent “we cannot quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions” true as a standalone statement. The IPCC statement on attribution implies that we can quantify the fraction of the warming that is from the human emissions. This last standalone statement negates the consequent of the conditional just given, and thus, by modus tollens, we have the *negation* of the IPCC statement on attribution as a standalone statement, which is a standalone “No” answer. From a “Yes” answer, we would derive a contradiction of either this conditional or its antecedent, both of which he holds as true.

Side note: On July 18, 2015 at 12:10 am, he gave the conditional “If that approach were robust the answer would Yes they are correct” in addition to the conditional I already cited, “If the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability the answer is No”. Note that we have the subjunctive mood in the first conditional but that we have the indicative mood in the second conditional. This seems to show a strong counterfactual bias here that suggests that the standalone answer is “No”.

But apart from this, let’s look at that second conditional, “If the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability the answer is No.” It should be clear that he holds the antecedent “the natural model run does not accurately capture the real world variability” to be true as a standalone statement. Then by modus ponens, we again have a standalone “No” answer. From a “Yes” answer, we would derive a contradiction of either this conditional or its antecedent, both of which he holds as true.

And so we have a standalone “No” answer – he does not accept the IPCC attribution statement – derived from each of two pairs of assertions, each pair comprised of a conditional and its antecedent. This holds even though the conditionals themselves are, as shown further above, actually false: We simply grant his assertions and show the derivation from these assertions to the standalone conclusion “No”. That is, he’s painted himself into a corner – if he does accept the IPCC attribution statement, he contradicts the truth of at least two of his four assertions – either the conditional or its antecedent for each conditional.

167. verytallguy says:

Prof Pielke,

At least verytallguy has tried to do that to some extent. He asked how I would change or qualify it to properly reflect my views. I have done that.

I’m not sure where you did this. Certainly, a link to your AGU statement doesn’t do this.

I’ll conclude that you don’t wish to engage on the specifics of the IPCC attribution. It’s a bit frustrating, particularly as I have tried to tease this understanding out. I fear I lack the patience to continue trying further.

168. KR says:

I think Dr. Pielke has made his comment regarding the IPCC attribution statement, which is again:

“It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

Dr. Pielke states above:

“The perspective in the NRC 2005 report and in themulti-authored papers I have listed earlier, confirm that CO2 is a first order climate forcing. This does not minimize the importance of CO2 as an anthropogenic forcing. However, it is not the only first order forcing. If we can reduce the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere, we will not have “controlled” significant effects of humans on the climate system” (emphasis added)

Following further into the IPCC listed forcings (Table 8.6, Fig. 8.17), CO2 is dominant forcing factor, with well-mixed GHGs estimated over 1750-2011 at 2.83 W/m^2, CO2 alone at ~1.7, and a total anthropogenic forcing of 2.3 W/m^2.

Reducing that CO2 forcing alone would remove roughly half the anthropogenic forcings – with add-on effects by reducing black carbon from fossil fuels as well, balanced to some extent by reducing the negative forcings of aerosols. I believe that is “significant” by any measure, but Dr. Pielke clearly disagrees, and hence he disagrees with the IPCC position.

My perception of the discussion here and elsewhere is that Dr. Pielke thinks regional factors (his focus of research) overwhelm global GHG emissions, and cites primarily his own work (something like 16 self-cites in this thread) to support that position. While trying to dodge the fact that he doesn’t agree with the IPCC attribution of forcing components, and leaving in a huff when asked to clarify his position.

In short, Dr. Pielke is in the distinct scientific minority in his views.

169. … On the iris-effect, I had assumed this was debunked but new work such as by Stephens et al, and others, seems to suggest this still may be a significant negative feedback. … [Dr. Pielke Sr. 2015-07-17]

… On the Stephens et al study, that iris effect is actually larger than I would have thought. … [Dr. Pielke Sr. 2015-07-17]

I emailed Dr. Stephens to ask him about Dr. Pielke’s claims. He responded:

“MY paper really had nothing to say about IRIS – the paper I think he is referring to is the Mauritsen&Stevens paper who explored what it would take to create a negative feedback via IRIS. IRIS is largely a Longwave-rated feedback that basically argues that the greenhouse effect of clouds is reduced with warming via reduction in anvil cloud cover- my paper does say there appears significant regulation on the albedo that restricts its variability in time (and space for that matter as it relates to hemispheric differences) and that this regulation involves clouds and that this degree of regulation is missing in models – that is what the paper says – what this implies is I think where Roger is taking this – that there may well be negative cloud-related feedbacks on albedo – I hint at this but the existence of such feedbacks and how they might occur has not yet been demonstrated.” [Dr. Stephens, 2015-07-22 email]

170. Willard – I am online today and making a comment

“In terms of your views on the climate issue, are the IPCC, the NAS, the Royal Society, the APS, AGU, AIP, etc. right to say that most of the warming since 1950 is very likely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases?”

So I will try another way to explain my answer. If one accepts that the natural global climate model runs accurately capture variations in global climate system heat content on multi-decadal time scales, than that statement would be correct. … However, the issues regarding the skill of the models to represent the real world changes in heat content on multi-decadal time scales has not been as resolved as you (and the groups you listed in the question) have concluded. The natural variations appear to be larger in magnitude than what the models have shown. This conclusion is based on papers such as Stephens et al, 2015:The albedo of Earth … [Dr. Pielke Sr. 2015-07-17]

… The one feedback (water vapor) does seem muted, as confirmed by my discussions with G. Stephens on their work. … [Dr. Pielke Sr. 2015-07-17]

… However, what I am certain on is that the models are having significant problems in accurately simulating the actual natural changes in the climate system heat budget. Model to model differences is not the appropriate way to determine the natural climate system role. The assessment must be real world observationally based as done in Stephens et al. That study, and others like it, indicate this science issue is not yet satisfactorily resolved. [Dr. Pielke Sr. 2015-07-17]

After watching Dr. Pielke repeatedly cite Stephens et al. 2015 this way, I asked Dr. Stephens if his paper contradicted the IPCC AR5 attribution statements. He responded:

“It doesn’t contradict it in the sense that IPCC stated that ‘the feedbacks we know of are most likely positive’ and doesn’t thus rule out the existence of negative feedbacks – it’s just at that time the authors weren’t able to identify any negative feedbacks that seemed credible in the recorded literature – my albedo paper is merely suggestive that negative feedbacks might exist – at least wrt albedo which is only part of the story.” [Dr. Stephens, 2015-07-22 email]

171. BBD says:

DumbSci

Thank you for following this up and thanks to Dr Stephens for his response and permission to repeat it here.

My sticking point with negative feedbacks is that unless they are weak, they would make both observed climate variability and palaeoclimate behaviour such as deglaciation under orbital forcing difficult to explain.

172. John Hartz says:

DumbScientist:

How dare you confuse us with the facts! 🙂

173. John Hartz says:

Here’s yet another example of how complex the Earth’s climate system and bisosphere really is…

The Southern Ocean is the cloudiest place on Earth, a condition caused in part by phytoplankton particles kicked up by sea spray.

Plankton Blooms Fuel Cloud Droplet Formation by Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, July 17, 2015

174. Willard says:

A drive by at Judy’s:

Willard – Graeme wrote his reply to you diplomatically. Did you even read their paper? See these extracts from http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf

“Models fail to reproduce the observed annual cycle in all components of the albedo with any realism, although they broadly capture the correct proportions of surface and atmospheric contributions to the TOA albedo.”

“The significance of these shortcomings is not yet fully known, but model studies of hypothetical slab-ocean worlds suggest that interhemispheric changes in albedo can grossly affect the climate states of those worlds, shifting the ITCZ [Voigt et al., 2013, 2014; Frierson and Hwang, 2012] and altering the amount of heat moved poleward [e.g., Enterton and Marshall, 2010].”

How can one do an accurate attribution evaluation if the models have these flaws? Graeme answered you in a diplomatic tone but he is reporting on what their paper found.

You are also being disingenuous. I discussed in length my views on your questions. Interestingly, you failed to answer mine. .

http://judithcurry.com/2015/07/29/assessments-meta-analyses-discussion-and-peer-review/#comment-721515

175. Willard says:

Senior’s tone trolling continues at Judy’s, a useful ClimateBall move to sidestep all that has been said about constructive debates above:

http://judithcurry.com/2015/07/29/assessments-meta-analyses-discussion-and-peer-review/#comment-721586

176. Willard says:

This comment at Judy’s that is awaiting moderation, but may be useful here, as it expands upon the meteorological fallacy:

> Are you looking for accuracy in the comparison of model results to out-of-sample data?

I’m looking for the specification of the concept of accuracy, and more importantly the criterias according to which a model shows “extremely poor” accuracy.

***

> Who are “we”?

Those who have a commitment regarding the claim that GCMs have “extremely poor accuracy,” and those who are interested in studying that question. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I don’t think this fight is of any relevance, except for rpielke’s ClimateBall performances. See below.

In the current context, this question matters because of its purported relevance regarding the IPCC’s main attribution statement. The implicit premise in rpielke’s rhetorical question is that regional modelling is necessary for global modelling. This assumption conceals what I referred earlier to as the meteorological fallacy.

***

There are other implicit premises that may be hidden behind the “unless models predict, they can’t be used for policy” meme. An important one is that we need predictive models for policy, which should remind Denizens of the linear model. Another one is that they should be used for prediction. The latter one is rather jejeune, considering that they rely on economic models, and that economic models are far from being predictive.

As far as I am concerned, GCMs are good enough at projecting scenarios.

http://judithcurry.com/2015/07/29/assessments-meta-analyses-discussion-and-peer-review/#comment-721707

Senior’s doubling down on ad homs and tone trolling. In return, he gets patted on the back by pseudonymous commenters.

Senior does not always reprove pseudonymity, but when he does, he rips off his shirt while doing so.

177. Willard says:

Senior follows on his peddling:

Now it’s BartV’s turn.