Open data

Since I’m sitting at the station waiting for a train that is delayed 40 minutes, I thought I would post on something that I’ve been thinking about for the last couple of days. There is quite a lot of discussion about open science. The idea is that we should make everything available; data, codes, papers, etc. Fundamentally this is a good thing, and so what I’m about to say isn’t an argument against it. However, there are almost always unintended consequences, and open science is no exception, which is nicely illustrated by the recent furore over the role of El Niño in surface warming.

It all started with David Whitehouse presenting an analysis on the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) site showing that temperatures have dropped substantially in the last month or so. The argument being made is that this indicates that most of the recent record warming was due to the El Niño, despite what has been claimed by climate scientists. This was then picked up by David Rose in the Mail Online, who claimed that stunning new data indicates that El Niño drove record highs in global temperature, suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions. This was then followed by Ross Clark in the Spectator, who asked gobal temperatures have fallen – so why isn’t it being reported?. There was also the standard Delingpole response, but I won’t bother linking to that.

So, what is the issue? Let’s start at the beginning. The analysis by climate scientists suggests that although the El Niño clearly contributed to recent global surface temperature records, the contribution was such that they would still have been records without the El Niño contribution. The claim being made now is that the recent large falls in temperature show that this is not the case.

Given that they have data showing a sudden drop in temperatures, why isn’t this analysis valid? Well, the first thing is very simply that they’re looking at satellite data; the temperature is for the lower troposphere (which goes from just above the surface to about 10km). You can’t refute a claim about global surface temperatures using data that doesn’t measure the surface.

The next problem is also pretty obvious; the data they’re using is land-only; it is intended to be lower tropospheric temperature over land. You can’t refute a claim about global temperatures using data that isn’t global. The next issue is somewhat subtler. The data the used was the RSS land only TLT version 3.3. They’ve upgraded some of their data to version 4.0, but say

The lower tropospheric (TLT) temperatures have not yet been updated at this time and remain V3.3. The V3.3 TLT data suffer from the same problems with the adjustment for drifting measurement times that led us to update the TMT dataset. V3.3 TLT data should be used with caution.

So, the TLT data has not yet been updated, suffers from a problem related to adjusting for drift measurements, and should be used with caution. The TTT data, which has been updated to version 4, also does not show the same kind of sudden drop in temperature as shown in the TLT data.

I guess I’ve probably made the point I was going to make. If you’re going to present an analysis of some data, you need to know what that data actually represents and you need to know if there are reasons why that data should be used with caution, or if there are reasons why that data might not be appropriate. You can’t simply get data, plot graph, draw conclusion; it typically takes more work than that. There is a reasonably simple rule of thumb that is worth considering. If your options are a global conspiracy to hide something that this data indicates is clearly present, or you’ve misunderstood what the data is really indicating, it’s often best to go with the latter, rather than the former. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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192 Responses to Open data

  1. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    ==> The TTT data, which has been updated to version 4, also does not show the same kind of sudden drop in temperature as shown in the TLT data. ==>

    What do the TTT data show?

  2. I was going to show that, but had to catch the train. Will post it later with the proviso that month to month variations don’t tell us much about long term trends.

  3. 40 minutes not entirely wasted then ;o)

    Open science/data is indeed a good thing, but a lot of people don’t seem to realize that making things available has a very real cost associated with it and it can’t be done for free and needs to be resourced. Sadly in the case of climate science it creates a cost in rebutting incorrect arguments made because people who don’t have sufficent expertise or self-scepticism now have easier access to the data.

  4. For years the ‘skeptics’ wilfully ignored the fact that the 1997-98 peak in temperatures was mainly due to El Niño and used it to claim the subsequent trend in global temperatures was falling. Now—surprise, surprise—suddenly, they’ve become aware of El Niño and claim it was solely responsible for the 2015-16 peak warming. But don’t worry, over the next few years they’ll probably ‘forget’ El Niño again and use its recent peak to claim a new ‘pause’ in the long term temperature trend since 2016.

    I guess the point is that open data provides the library for cherry-picking whatever facts tell the story they want to disseminate to an uninformed public. But we’ll have to live with that. Whatever the issues with open data, keeping it under wraps would only fuel the various conspiracy theories.

  5. JCH says:

    My hunch is it shows… that the surfaces of the world’s oceans, ~70% of the ball, on November 28, 2017 neither indicate krazy kooling is currently underway nor that it is about to commence:

  6. RickA says:

    On the one hand, 2016 was the warmest year ever – and all the warming since 1950 is caused by humans (actually more than 100%).

    On the other hand, we had an el nino in 2015-2016 which moved a bunch of heat from the ocean into the atmosphere and warmed the atmosphere (cannot remember the magnitude – but say 0.3C).

    Now el nino’s are not caused by humans (nor la nina’s).

    But the warming from the el nino is atrributed to humans (because more than 100% of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans).

    The same issue occurs when the atmosphere cools down after the pulse of heat from the ocean is radiated away or rewarms the land or oceans.

    So some of what you are reading about is just caused by pretending that natural variability doesn’t exist anymore (because all warming has to be caused by humans – according to the meme).

    Clearly the el nino warming of 2015-2016 added natural warming to the atmosphere on top of whatever component was already there caused by humans – but we cannot acknowledge that (because it is all humans fault).

    That is the tension which is causing this issue – in my opinion.

    This same thinking also says that all weather is now the fault of humans.

    Why?

    Because the weather is occuring in a world which has been modified by human warming – so every tornado and every hurricane and every drought and even every lightning started forest fire is the humans fault. After all – that fire wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so dry – which is the humans fault.

    So now, every weather event from here forward is humans fault.

    People will push back against this flawed thinking.

    After all – there were forest fires started by lightning before CO2 rose above 280 ppm – so some forest fires are natural.

    El ninos moved heat from the ocean to the air before CO2 rose above 280 ppm – so el nino warming is natural.

    But we have to pretend otherwise today.

  7. ehak says:

    It is worse. You don’t have to use version 4.0. You can stick to RSS version 3.3 TMT or TTT. The drop in TLT3.3 land from September to October is 0.615. The drop for TMT3.3 land is 0.244. TTT3.3 land drop is 0.282. No the same big drop for UAH TLT either (both versions): 0.22/0.23.

    It not necessarily an error. Apart from the extreme cherrypicking, this illustrates how TLT sometimes produces some strange results. Perhaps there are reasons why RSS has not produced TLT for version 4. And reasons for why UAH changed their TLT in version 6 to something quite different than the first versions.

  8. VV’s recent post on statistical significance is well worth reading. Don’t draw inferences from visual inspection of data, state your hypothesis and perform an appropriate statistical test for the support it gets from the observations. There is a reason we have statistical methodology!

  9. JCH says:

    RickA – whatever the amount of energy is that left the oceans during the El Niño, it got there because of green house gases.

  10. Phil says:

    I don’t normally frequent Roy Spencer’s blog, but it seemed appropriate …

    The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for November 2016 is +0.45 deg. C, up a little from the October value of +0.41 deg. C

    and

    Based upon this chart, it now seems virtually impossible for 2016 to not be a record warm year in the UAH dataset.

    Quotes taken from here

  11. BBD says:

    So some of what you are reading about is just caused by pretending that natural variability doesn’t exist anymore (because all warming has to be caused by humans – according to the meme).

    Just wrong.

  12. BBD says:

    @ Joshua

    What do the TTT data show?

    They show this (graphic link may not work):

    Source: ATTP here.

  13. Phil says:

    RickA:

    But the warming from the el nino is atrributed to humans (because more than 100% of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans).

    The statement about 100% warming is in relation to the long term trend. In other words it applies to the green end point in this graph. The El Nino spike (in red) is the natural variability.

    Gavin Schmidt estimates an anomally of +1.25C for 2016. The strength of the 2016 El Nino is broadly comparable to the 1998 El Nino, which, added about +0.2C to the annual anomaly (crudely estimated by subtracting the 1999 anomaly from the 1998 one in the GISTemp data <a href="http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt"here). Based on that, you could predict a 2017 anomaly of +1.05C – in line with Schmidt’s more sophisticated estimate (see end of fivethirtyeight article linked above) and still in the top 3 warmest years but, crucially without the help of an El Nino.

  14. paulski0 says:

    There seem to be two separate issues here.

    1) The October to September anomaly drop in RSS TLT Land 3.3, which is shown to be the biggest month-to-month drop ever in that record. Here this RSS-Land dataset appears to be an outlier. The various UAH datasets show a drop of about half the size for global land average, and nothing. Still on the large side for that record but nothing special.

    Surface land datasets also show a relatively large October-September drop, but again nothing special in relation to all month-to-month changes. However, looking only at October-September changes since 1979, the 2016 drop is a clear record. Maybe there’s a seasonal artifact in the RSS 3.3 TLT analysis which is amplifying October-September changes?

    Also, this is land-only – 30% of the planet. In October land temperatures were heavily weighted by an extreme Eurasion cold spot. I would speculate that this is part of the same weather system which saw extreme warmth in the Arctic. By looking at land-only they are taking the cold part and ignoring the warm part – a biased sample. Global averages of land+ocean saw little change. Whitehouse tries to justify this data selection by suggesting that sea surface temperatures follow land temperatures, but that’s just plain wrong.

    2) The 2016 intra-year drop. As far as I can tell this is not an outlier confined to RSS-land TLT 3.3. It’s a feature of all datasets – land and land+ocean – I’ve seen that the drop in anomaly from beginning of year to present is about the largest on record. It’s actually something I pointed out several months ago, after the spectacular warmth of January/February, that avoiding a 1.0+ºC anomaly would require the biggest intra-year drop on record, and why it wasn’t necessarily unlikely.

    What does any of this mean for our understanding of global warming? Pretty much nothing.

  15. JCH says:

    The way I see it, all of the warming seen in the 2015-2016 EL Niño is likely anthropogenic warming.

    After a prolonged period of El Niño and La Niña and ENSO neutral, one or the other, warming or cooling, will be slightly dominant. That slight amount is the natural variation. Post 1998 ENSO cooling has dominated by a fairly large margin, so anthropogenic warming has been greater than 100%.

  16. BBD says:

    RickA

    Phil wrote:

    The statement about 100% warming is in relation to the long term trend. In other words it applies to the green end point in this graph. The El Nino spike (in red) is the natural variability.

    Now, how many times have I explained the exact same thing to you elsewhere? Four? Five? More? I can’t remember. But you have not moved one inch from your original and incorrect position.

  17. izen says:

    @-RickA
    “But the warming from the el nino is atrributed to humans (because more than 100% of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans).”

    Lance Armstrong lost ALL of his Tour De France title wins because of the bias caused by steroid use. Even though natural athletic ability was a factor in them as well.

    We apply this principle to weather for the same reason. It is not that performance enhancing drugs or increased anthropogenic CO2 prevents natural variation, but that it qualitatively changes the context of any natural event.

  18. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    Well, yes, that graph underlines an important point, in line with Anders’ proviso…”…month to month variations don’t tell us much about long term trends….”, and paulskio’s comment…“What does any of this mean for our understanding of global warming? Pretty much nothing.”

    I was just curious, is all.

    As far as I can tell, the basic frame for this discussion seems to be sameosameo, where we see the pattern as described by johnrussell40’s 2:08 comment.

    ==> For years the ‘skeptics’ wilfully ignored the fact that the 1997-98 peak in temperatures was mainly due to El Niño and used it to claim the subsequent trend in global temperatures was falling. Now—surprise, surprise—suddenly, they’ve become aware of El Niño and claim it was solely responsible for the 2015-16 peak warming.==>

    Which is what I was trying to say here:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/it-woz-el-nino-wot-dunnit/#comment-88407

    ————–

    But to get back to the “open data” topic of the OP…

    I also agree with what johnrussell40 says here:

    ==> I guess the point is that open data provides the library for cherry-picking whatever facts tell the story they want to disseminate to an uninformed public. But we’ll have to live with that. ==>

    But kind of disagree with this:

    ==> Although Whatever the issues with open data, keeping it under wraps would only fuel the various conspiracy theories. ==>

    Conspiracy theories will thrive irrespective of whether data is made available, and I would guess at an unchanged rate. The driving force behind the conspiracy-ideation is deeper than simply the mechanics of whether data are available.

  19. Phil says:

    RickA

    Clearly the el nino warming of 2015-2016 added natural warming to the atmosphere on top of whatever component was already there caused by humans – but we cannot acknowledge that (because it is all humans fault).

    That is the tension which is causing this issue – in my opinion.

    In the fivethirtyeight article I linked to earlier Schmidt includes a graph titled “ENSO impact on Global Temperature Variation” where he graphs the deviation from the long term trend (anthropogenic factor) against the MEI. So Schmidt understands El Nino as a natural mechanism that will temporarily inflate the Surface Temperature Record. So who is/are these “we” that cannot acknowledge this ? Are they made entirely of straw ?

  20. izen says:

    Open Science.
    Ha.

    Here is how it works in one field…
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15161896/
    CONCLUSIONS:
    The reporting of trial outcomes is not only frequently incomplete but also biased and inconsistent with protocols. Published articles, as well as reviews that incorporate them, may therefore be unreliable and overestimate the benefits of an intervention. To ensure transparency, planned trials should be registered and protocols should be made publicly available prior to trial completion.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trial-sans-error-how-pharma-funded-research-cherry-picks-positive-results/
    Clinical trial data on new drugs is systematically withheld from doctors and patients, bringing into question many of the premises of the pharmaceutical industry—and the medicine we use.

    Here are the guidelines to prevent these problems.
    http://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/1999pdf13.pdf

    All Planned trials registered and publicly available protocols are still under negotiation as a voluntary option; if it does not conflict with commercial confidentiality!

  21. @Joshua.

    I beg to differ. Sure, ‘skeptics’ will make up conspiracy theories anyway—but an open data policy is fundamental ammunition to defend from any attack on scientists’ integrity.

  22. Open data is a Good Thing.

    Contrarians will shuffle the lines of their own Matrix:

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

    The tears of the world are a constant quantity:

    https://cliscep.com/2016/11/28/hacking-our-own-emails-part-deux/

  23. I think some have already responded to Rick and said what I would have said. BBD has shown the TTT land only version 4.0 plot. Below is the land + ocean plot. To be clear, though, the key point is that you can’t use tropospheric temperature data to refute that El Niño events are not the main cause of the recent global surface temperature records.

  24. Steven Mosher says:

    “Open science/data is indeed a good thing, but a lot of people don’t seem to realize that making things available has a very real cost associated with it and it can’t be done for free and needs to be resourced. Sadly in the case of climate science it creates a cost in rebutting incorrect arguments made because people who don’t have sufficent expertise or self-scepticism now have easier access to the data.”

    That’s fer sure.

    Hmm,, Ok I’ve been an open source, open data, open science, cheerleader for some time.

    There are some definate CONS to the position. Just from my experience let me list them

    1. Reciprocity, You can go to the effort to share your code and data and other folks dont
    follow suit, Ideally one would have a licence that enforced openness on users of the data

    For example.. in Open source if you use my code you have to share share back with the
    same rights. Ideally, one could impose these licences on data,, if you use my data and modify
    it you have to share back the modification.

    2. Misuse, Idiots will misuse your data.. see #1

    3. The help desk. People expect help with open data.

    In an ideal word every science graph posted on the internet would be a part of a science blockchain..

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    “Open data is a Good Thing.

    Contrarians will shuffle the lines of their own Matrix:”

    Willard I have decided that the contrarians should be referred to as Alt-Science.

    ahem

  26. Eli Rabett says:

    Best open data story Eli knows concerns NASA. Back in the pre-Goldin days of the data morgues, all of the data was stored on magnetic tape reels. The PIs were obligated to send the data to NASA, however, as many of them pointed out, nothing obligated them to take time and explain the encoding.

  27. lerpo says:

    At the risk of falling prey to the subject of ATTP’s post, how about this one:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2015/plot/gistemp/from:1970/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1970/detrend:0.839661

    The blue shows a world without global warming since 1970 (probably). The green is the observed linear trend. The red shows the actual temps observed during the recent El Nino. The counterfactual blue El Nino doesn’t even approach the linear trend. Without global warming I suspect the current El Nino wouldn’t even approach an ENSO neutral year in the real world.

  28. RickA says:

    JCH said “RickA – whatever the amount of energy is that left the oceans during the El Niño, it got there because of green house gases.”

    How do you know the energy that left the ocean wasn’t put there 1000 years ago? Or 500?

    Knowing that nature can cause a temperature spike of 1/5 of the total warming from 1850 (about 1C) in 1 year indicates to me that all of the warming since 1950 cannot be attributed to humans.

    Sure, natural variability is supposed to average out – except in all the prior periods when it didn’t.

    Like the Roman warm period or the Medieval warm period.

    Over time periods as short as a century we cannot say with a great deal of confidence that all the warming is natural or all is caused by humans.

    Personally, I suspect humans caused 1/2 the warming and the other 1/2 is natural.

    I do not dispute that it is warm or even the warmest year ever (i.e. since 1750).

    What I push back against is the assertion that it is only human emitted CO2 which caused all the warming since 1950.

    If that were true, than the el nino warming of .2C or .3C gets attributed to humans – which is just silly.

    You might as well attribute all the climate change since the Roman warm period to whatever caused the roman warm period (hey maybe humans burned down a bunch of forests?).

    After all – everything which happened after the Roman warm period happened in a world changed by that event – so all the weather thereafter was modified. Just like all the weather today and hereafter is caused by humans.

    That argument is silly.

  29. RickA writes: “How do you know the energy that left the ocean wasn’t put there 1000 years ago? Or 500?”

    Have you ever really thought of a mechanism for that to work? I mean, seriously? Has the heat been somehow hiding itself, refusing to diffuse into surrounding waters, just waiting for the opportunity to surprise us?

    “That argument is silly” Boy, you got that right.

  30. angech says:

    Steven Mosher says: December 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm
    “Willard I have decided that the contrarians should be referred to as Alt-Science.”
    Reminds me of a joke I just saw on a blog today, not sure where.
    Q. What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    A. Medicine.

  31. Marco says:

    “You might as well attribute all the climate change since the Roman warm period to whatever caused the roman warm period”

    You might, but then you’re not paying attention to facts. Which is kind-a what you’ve been doing for a long time now. You do ‘scientific analysis’ based on your ‘feelings’, as you clearly feel uncomfortable with the idea that the warming trend since 1950 can be completely and totally attributed to anthropogenic sources. You might want to consider the possibility that you simply do not possess the knowledge and expertise to have any reasonable opinion on attribution, and just admit that your opinion is solely based on what you “feel”.

    In short, alt-science (thanks, Steven).

  32. verytallguy says:

    Personally, I suspect humans caused 1/2 the warming and the other 1/2 is natural.

    Why do you”believe” this Rick?

    If you are so enamoured of natural variability, why should it be a positive rather than negative contribution?

  33. paulski0 says:

    RickA,

    Knowing that nature can cause a temperature spike of 1/5 of the total warming from 1850 (about 1C) in 1 year indicates to me that all of the warming since 1950 cannot be attributed to humans.

    This has already been pointed out, but real attribution studies don’t take total warming to mean the difference between two one-year averages. They use trends, or multi-year (e.g. decadal) averages. You seem to be confusing the way “skeptics” approach the issue with how actual scientists go about it.

    Over time periods as short as a century we cannot say with a great deal of confidence that all the warming is natural or all is caused by humans.

    Can you point to statements with a great deal of confidence that all observed warming is human-caused? The IPCC AR5 statement expresses a great deal of confidence that >50% of warming since 1950 is human-caused.

    Personally, I suspect humans caused 1/2 the warming and the other 1/2 is natural.

    On what basis do you believe natural forces have been a strong warming rather than neutral or cooling influence over the past several decades?

  34. BBD says:

    RickA

    How do you know the energy that left the ocean wasn’t put there 1000 years ago? Or 500?

    ORLY? Magical hiding heat? (see Marco, above). Just wow. And as I’ve told you before, several times now, if modern warming was driven by an energy transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, the ocean would be cooling down.

    Let’s have a look at some of that open data, shall we?

    Ooohh…

    Stop tr0lling, RickA. It was boring the first few times.

  35. BBD says:

    @ Steven M

    Willard I have decided that the contrarians should be referred to as Alt-Science.

    I’ll update my style guide 🙂

  36. RickA says:

    paulskio:

    > 50% is fine, because it leaves room for nature.

    However, that message wasn’t dire enough to spur action so it has transormed into “virtually all” of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans.

    For example:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/apr/19/study-humans-have-caused-all-the-global-warming-since-1950

  37. For Rick’s benefit, I wrote a post where I tried develop a scenario in which natural influences contributed more than 50%. It’s very difficult, especially if you try to be consistent. The post is here.

    As far as this

    How do you know the energy that left the ocean wasn’t put there 1000 years ago? Or 500?

    A couple of things. The oceans tend to get colder as you go deeper. Hence you can’t simply transfer energy from depth to the surface, because that would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics (you can’t have a net transfer of energy from a cold to a hot body). You could advect (actually move) a parcel of water from the deep ocean to the surface. However, the deep ocean is colder than the surface and therefore the energy per unit volume is lower in the deep ocean than at the surface. Since water is incompressible, this means that water from the deep ocean will typically contain less energy per unit volume than at the surface. Therefore, it is hard to see how you could store energy for hundreds of years before releasing it into the atmosphere.

  38. Rick,

    However, that message wasn’t dire enough to spur action so it has transormed into “virtually all” of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans.

    The formal attribution was that it is extremely likely that more than 50% of the warming since 1950 was anthropogenic. However, whether you like it or not, the same analysis concluded that the best estimate was that anthropogenic influences were responsible for slightly more than all of it.

  39. RickA says:

    As long as we are talking about a combination of human and natural, I agree.

    It is only when we start talking about 100% human since 1950, or more than 100% (because of human emitted aerosols blocking some of the warming we would otherwise have seen) that I push back.

    Your 50% post was very nice.

    Good job.

    I certainly don’t claim to know the exact percentage of human versus nature (although I opine it is 50/50 based on nothing but my reading) I am not a climate scientist.

    Maybe it is 75% human and 25% nature – maybe it is 51% human 49% nature – I don’t know.

    However, I do feel strongly that ALL the warming since 1950 which we have seen in the atmosphere is not due to humans.

    Just looking at the warming from 1905 to 1945 disputes this analysis.

    Perhaps the scientists are more careful in their publications – but what I read in news articles and blog posts is not so measured.

    So I push back.

    Thank you for your blog.

  40. verytallguy says:

    But Rick, that’s all entirely consistent.

    We’re very sure that >50% is anthro, and think that approximately 100% of it is, are not contradictory at all.

    Nothing has “transormed” [sic]

  41. Rick,

    However, I do feel strongly that ALL the warming since 1950 which we have seen in the atmosphere is not due to humans.

    This isn’t what is claimed. What is claimed is that natural factors have meant that we have warmed slightly less – on average – than we would have had they not occured (i.e., anthropogenic warming would have led to more than has been observed). The suggestion is not that ALL the warming since 1950 which we have seen in the atmosphere is due to humans. It’s referring to the long-term trend, not to every single wiggle.

  42. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Rick,

    What is causing the natural warming? What have you read that suggests this? Why don’t you post some links?

  43. JCH says:

    If you read blogs that wholesale butcher Trenberth, then you can actually believe missing heat can rise up from the depths and depart into the atmosphere… Professor Curry actually told me she knew somebody who claimed they heard Kevin Trenberth say it is possible. At which point I realized something is very very wrong with, how to put it nicely, her common sense.

  44. paulski0 says:

    RickA,

    50% is fine, because it leaves room for nature.

    Maybe it is 75% human and 25% nature – maybe it is 51% human 49% nature – I don’t know.

    It is only when we start talking about 100% human since 1950, or more than 100% (because of human emitted aerosols blocking some of the warming we would otherwise have seen) that I push back.

    Just to make things very plain here, you are essentially asserting that natural cooling trends are impossible. Do you understand this?

  45. Carl says:

    JHC, in the days of the Pause:
    ——-
    NSF Press Release 10-059

    Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats, and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.
    “The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author.
    ———
    Clearly KT thinks ocean heat of the AGW type can circumvent the laws of thermodynamics.

    ——–
    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
    KT, Leaked email

  46. “The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author.

    I seriously doubt that he meant that heat literally. What he almost certainly meant was that the oceans are taking up a bigger fraction of the excess energy than was expected, therefore warming the surface more slowly than expected. His suggestion was that this would – at some stage – change so that a larger fraction would heat the surface, and surface warming would accelerate.

  47. paulski0 says:

    Just looking at the warming from 1905 to 1945 disputes this analysis.

    I actually did a little analysis looking at this a while ago, though with Judith Curry’s preferred 1910-1940. I used the numbers which formed the basis of the 1951-2010 attribution statement, with estimates of equivalent proportional anthropogenic and natural forced contribution ranges for the 1910-1940 period. Found that 1910-1940 warming is absolutely explainable by a combination of anthropogenic, natural forcing and internal variability, though with no clear quantification of apportionment, as I think AR5 stated. Essentially, the framework used to attribute >50% of 1951-2010 warming absolutely allows a warming trend of the magnitude seen between 1905 and 1945 or 1910-1940. Warming over that period doesn’t dispute 1951-2010 attribution.

  48. BBD says:

    Er, RickA – you totally ignored my response to your “hidden in the oceans for centuries” meme. Are you now prepared to accept that this is impossible (see also ATTP above)? Please say so explicitly or explain in reasonable detail how energy can hide in the oceans for centuries.

    TIA.

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  50. Joshua says:

    Given Trump’s victory, the alt-right may be an obsolete concept.

    An open question is whether any distinction between “legacy” science and alt-science may be similarly trending towards obsolescence.

    Go to @ 14 minutes in:

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio/#/shows/2016-11-30/how-journalists-are-rethinking-their-role-under-a-trump-presidency/114095/@14:40

    I also wonder whether the “openness” of data will become increasingly irrelevant. After all, the data on whether there were millions of fraudulent votes in the election is perfectly open. What difference would the openness of data make when “there’s no such thing as facts?”

  51. Joshua says:

    ==> Clearly KT thinks ocean heat of the AGW type can circumvent the laws of thermodynamics. ==>

    Clearly. Any other explanation just doesn’t make any sense.

    Anders –

    ==> His suggestion was that this would – at some stage – change so that a larger fraction would heat the surface, and surface warming would accelerate. ==>

    Clearly, you are wrong. No explanations other than (1) Trenberth doesn’t understand the laws of thermodynamics, (2) Trenberth thinks those laws aren’t universally valid or (3) he’s lying to promote a hoax in order to advance one-word government are possible. Clearly.

  52. JCH says:

    He meant a process that could load the ocean with energy could change and instead load the atmosphere with energy, which would haunt most reasonable people.

    ENSO moves warm water from the Eastern Pacific to the Western Pacific.

    And so, here we are.

  53. Steven Mosher says:

    Given Trump’s victory, the alt-right may be an obsolete concept.

    maybe not. Killer argument. you sure know how to bring it. damn I never thought of that
    ##################

    An open question is whether any distinction between “legacy” science and alt-science may be similarly trending towards obsolescence.

    Go to @ 14 minutes in:

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio/#/shows/2016-11-30/how-journalists-are-rethinking-their-role-under-a-trump-presidency/114095/@14:40

    ###########

    Huh?
    Perhaps I can be clearer. Many folks have struggled with understanding what climate skeptics
    believe. As I have said before, it seems best described as “anything but C02” that is, they
    are defined in opposition only. They pick one (or several) tenets of climate science and they
    simply oppose it. Rummaging around in the alt right I find similar tendencies.
    With regards to Trump tweets. This guy nails it
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/28/opinions/journalists-stop-taking-trump-seriously-todd/

    Pretty Simple. So for example, when Trump suggests the same fate for flag burners as Hillary Clinton. ( http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2016/dec/02/blog-posting/clinton-did-co-sponsor-legislation-decade-ago-jail/ ) People need to understand that one person meant it
    (Hillary) and the other was just yanking their chain (Trump). One actually tried to do something
    (Hillary) and the other is just expressing anger. One was an actual proposed law. The other was a tweet. This has nothing to do with being “post factual” and everything to do with knowing
    when to take folks seriously. So, I always ask myself, this.. “who is trump trying to piss off”, not
    “is his tweet factual”.. Only idiots who take twitter seriously, would fact check a tweet. If I said
    “f*ck you” would you fact check it? Probably not. If I said Your moma’s so fat… would you
    respond by citing her weight? Nope. The biggest complaint against Trump Tweets is that he might actually make the stupid service survivable. It should die, yesterday.
    #################################################
    I also wonder whether the “openness” of data will become increasingly irrelevant. After all, the data on whether there were millions of fraudulent votes in the election is perfectly open. What difference would the openness of data make when “there’s no such thing as facts?”

    Open data without a chain of custody ( valid registration /voter id) is just open junk.
    Personally I read Trumps tweet as a funny comeback to the conspiracy theories
    about russians hacking voting machines that were not even used or not connected
    to the internet.

  54. izen says:

    @-RickA
    “However, I do feel strongly that ALL the warming since 1950 which we have seen in the atmosphere is not due to humans.”

    I can think of no natural processes that could have directly caused warming since the 1950s. Perhaps you could suggest what physical process in Nature could have caused warming over this period that motivates your strong feeling.

    The best I can come up with is the indirect effect of a lack of large explosive tropical volcanic eruptions.

    @-“Just looking at the warming from 1905 to 1945 disputes this analysis.”

    The warming over that period can be attributed to both human and natural processes (insolation increase). But since then the natural processes have had a cooling effect. This would seem to confirm rather than dispute the analysis that attributes at least all of the recent warming to human influences.

  55. BBD says:

    @ Steven M

    This has nothing to do with being “post factual” and everything to do with knowing
    when to take folks seriously. So, I always ask myself, this.. “who is trump trying to piss off”, not
    “is his tweet factual”

    Fair comment. That’s how I read a lot of his pronouncements too. Just provocation (you might even call it tr0lling; I believe it has been so described). Let’s just hope the Myron Ebell thing is just a wind-up too.

  56. Willard says:

    > I do feel strongly […]

    Wrong modality.

    Try again.

    ***

    > Just to make things very plain here, you are essentially asserting that natural cooling trends are impossible. Do you understand this?

    Boom.

    Perhaps RickA feels strongly so.

  57. Marco says:

    “Just looking at the warming from 1905 to 1945 disputes this analysis.”

    No it doesn’t. It merely shows you do not possess the proper skills to understand what science says. It’s weird you admit that (as in not having the skills) and then immediately decide that it doesn’t matter, and you’re going to give your unqualified opinion anyway, and essentially declare it a fact.

  58. Carl says:

    Wording would be different he meant something else. “Come BACK to haunt us”

  59. JCH says:

    At the time, when people were commenting on RC about what KT was saying about missing heat ad haunting, GS suggested to somebody that they should ask KT what he meant. So I wrote him and asked him what he meant and he responded.

    You folks cannot be satisfied.

  60. I suspect that he didn’t consider that anyone could be silly enough to think that he actually meant that energy would somehow re-emerge from the deep ocean.

  61. I haven’t heard this before. What was his response?

  62. JCH says:

    I told him I would keep it confidential, but you already know his response. Anybody with a brain knows he was not suggesting a violation of the 2nd law was in the works.

    Which is exactly what GS said at the time… the energy going into the deep ocean would come out for a very very long time. I think he said 1000 years, but I believe what he eventually said to me was a persistent reversal of the current situation with respect to the TOA imbalance.

  63. Thanks. Yes, no one reasonable would think that he was suggesting a violation of the 2nd law.

  64. Phil says:

    Here is one dictionary definition of come back to haunt one. It offers as an example:

    I never dreamed that a little thing like a traffic ticket could come back to haunt me years later.

    Carl appears to believe that for this example the traffic ticket does literally re-appear years later …

  65. Joshua says:

    ==> and the other is just expressing anger. ==>

    Right. He’s just expressing his views honestly. You know, speaking truth to power. Just like anyone who isn’t a politician. You know, as an anti-elitist and a champion of non-political correctness. He’s just expressing his feelings. Let’s make excuses for him because he has feelings that he just wants to express.

    It isn’t like he lies, repeatedly, or anything like that, for the purpose of political expediency. No. He just says things that aren’t true repeatedly and takes advantage politically from doing so, because he has an anger management problem. Just a regular guy with an anger management problem.

    Now THAT’s too funny.

    As if his tweets about flag burning was in any way related to the point I was making, anyway. And as if “Clinton does it too” is anything other than middle school lunchroom level analysis. But yeah, that guy’s analysis from CNN was brilliant! Don’t take it too seriously that he’s a serial liar and a hate-monger. Nothing to see there. Just move along. Don’t be an overly-sensitive liberal.

    So I’m always reluctant to identify large-scale societal trends, but I do wonder if something different is happening. The alt-right is no longer the alt-right. The alt-right is the right. Romney is alt-right. Brietbart has a direct channel to the most powerful political entities in the world. And at the same time, there is a rather deliberate effort to undermine “legacy” science just as there is with “legacy” media.

    ==> Personally I read Trumps tweet as a funny comeback to the conspiracy theories
    about russians hacking voting machines that were not even used or not connected
    to the internet. ==>

    Well, that’s nice that you “personally” read them that way. I “personally” read them as the tweets of someone who doesn’t flinch when promoting outright nonsense, who doesn’t flinch when promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories, and that person just happens to hold the most politically powerful office in the world.

    But yeah, the whole Obama wasn’t born in the US thing was just to get people’s goat. Or maybe he was just angry. For years and years.

  66. Joshua says:

    Don’t read these until after my previous comment gets out of comment jail:

    Since we’re appealing to the authority of CNN:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/23/opinions/christiane-amanpour-journalism-in-trump-era/index.html

    And then there’s this:

    https://www.propublica.org/podcast/item/how-journalists-need-to-begin-imagining-the-unimaginable

  67. Joshua says:

    Just keep moving along. Just some people who might be angry…about something or other:

    Maybe Tom Price is angry:

    –snip–

    …Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services … Rep. Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon, is apparently a respected member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

    […]

    AAPS, established in 1943, aims “to fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine” and in its statement of principles urges members to refuse to treat Medicare patients, reasoning government involvement in healthcare is “evil” and “immoral.” The group also rejects required vaccination programs in schools.

    The group’s publication, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, also has publicized a variety of dubious or debunked medical theories over the years. One 2005 article in AAPS’ journal advocated for rescinding the citizenship of so-called “anchor babies,” or the children of undocumented immigrants, who it claimed were responsible for increased leprosy rates. Other articles pushed the myth of a link between vaccines and autism, suggested a link between abortion and breast cancer, and questioned the relationship between HIV and AIDS. The group also once urged the U.S. Supreme Court to release post-mortem photos of Vince Foster, the Bill Clinton White House counsel whose suicide conspiracy theorists believe actually was an assassination. An article separately posted on AAPS’ website even speculated that President Obama’s oratory could in fact be a form of hypnosis, suggesting that he won the presidency by hypnotizing impressionable voters like young people and Jews.

    –snip–

    Hmmm. Obama as hypnotist…Alt-science? Maybe. Or maybe it’s the science of the head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  68. Joshua says:

    “Alt-science” Or the science of the chairman of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee?

    Maybe Lamar just wants to express his feelings. Maybe he’s angry about something.

    Just move along. Don’t be a limp-wristed, overly serious liberal, who’s obsessed with political correctness and can’t take a joke. Don’t take it too seriously.

  69. Albert says:

    Reblogged this on sonofbluerobot.

  70. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “Don’t take it too seriously.”

    It is difficult to take it seriously when the punchline today is that the one person to see past all the Alt-Right flim-flam and controversy over the dubious staff selections, and correctly describe the only actual bit of governance Trump has DONE and claims credit for; is Sarah Palin!

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/sarah-palin-donald-trump-carrier-deal-crony-capitalism-232139

    Meanwhile the news cycle is chewing its way through the cooling claim started by the GWPF. A case study in how a viral meme undermining the mainstream science propagates through the MSM. No data required.

  71. JCH says:

    RSS has apparently not been following the news as their latest News rRelease may show a slight CAGW bias…

    RSS News Release, December 2016:

    Land temperatures in November 2016 have made an unprecedented rebound from the depths of October 2016’s prolonged LIA.

  72. Carl says:

    Phil, I don’t believe it. But yes, KT didn’t believe it either. He was just trying to keep people scared about AGW. And succeeded with you guys. Politicized “science”.

  73. Carl,
    I’ll repeat; I suspect he didn’t expect that anyone would be stupid enough to interpret it as you have. Science communication is difficult, and it is quite easy to misjudge your audience.

  74. JCH says:

    Hilarious… we are now below this level:

  75. Joshua says:

    Carl –

    ==> He was just trying to keep people scared about AGW. ==>

    So I take it that you’re picking option number 3?:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/open-data/#comment-88667

  76. Joshua says:

    BTW, Steven –

    Not to take away from your self-congratulations for inventing a term (as you like to do with “lukewarmer”), I will point out that…

    ==> . As I have said before, it seems best described as “anything but C02” that is, they
    are defined in opposition only. They pick one (or several) tenets of climate science and they
    simply oppose it. ==>

    I think you misunderstand. IMO, is less about be in opposition to tenets of climate science, but it is more about defining an “other” to be in opposition to, so as to reinforce a sense of identity. The latest thread at Judith’s being a perfect case in point, where by aligning the implications of Dan’s work as being biased by his “otherism,” they can reinforce their own sense of being more open-minded – both in being “conservatives” and in being “skeptics.” The tendencies of human nature, such as motivated reasoning and confirmation bias don’t apply to them – they are exceptional.

  77. Phil says:

    Phil, I don’t believe it.

    So you understand that the phrase “come back to haunt one”, refers to the consequences of a previous event intruding into your life; such as being unsuccessful in (say) a job application because of a speeding ticket from years ago.

    But yes, KT didn’t believe it either.

    So (in your opinion, with which I agree) Trenberth understood that “the ocean heat coming back to haunt us” also refers to the consequence of so much heat going into the oceans coming back, rather than the heat itself. And he understood that more than the average heat going into the oceans now would inevitably mean less than average in the future, with the further consequence of an uptick in the GMST.

    So, you appear to well understand that Trenberth was not referring to the heat literally re-emerging out of the ocean, but that we would feel the consequences of it later. But then you wrote this

    Clearly KT thinks ocean heat of the AGW type can circumvent the laws of thermodynamics.

    in direct contradiction of your response to me.

    He was just trying to keep people scared about AGW. And succeeded with you guys.

    If you think that I simply believe anything someone says without investigation then you’re pretty naive.

    Politicized “science”.

    Good luck with repealing the 2nd law of thermodynamics …

  78. Marco says:

    Some people apparently forgot already that Trenberth wrote a whole frikkin’ paper to explain what he meant. Or rather, it’s the paper he announced he had written and in which he complained about our limited ability to track energy flows:
    https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2009/11/energydiagnostics09final.pdf

    ATTP, science communication can indeed be difficult, but I think the world of science has learned already decades ago that some people are simply impervious to facts whenever that information does not suit their ideology. Scientists should stop always blaming themselves whenever the other person apparently does not seem to understand what you are saying, and accept that some simply *cannot* understand, in the sense that their strong personal beliefs are a major barrier to any facts that contradict those personal beliefs, even if they have the proper intellectual background to in principle understand those facts are indeed facts.

  79. angech says:

    From Marco.
    Some people apparently forgot already that Trenberth wrote a whole frikkin’ paper to explain what he meant
    “An imperative for climate change planning Kevin E. Trenberth 2009
    natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable.
    . Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by
    accelerating increases of carbon dioxide and other human activities, why isn’t the
    temperature continuing to go up? Was it because the heat was buried in the ocean and sequestered, perhaps well below the surface?
    If surface warming occurs while the deep ocean becomes cooler, then we should be able to see the evidence. Possibly this heat is being sequestered in the deep ocean below the 900 m depth used for the ARGO analyses

    RickA’s naive point does seem to be true despite 4 points of view in opposition to Trembath.

    JCH says: December 2, 2016 at 9:06 pm
    “I told him I would keep it confidential, but you already know his response. Anybody with a brain knows he was not suggesting a violation of the 2nd law was in the works”.

    Trembath ” Or the warming is not really present?” covers this possibility

  80. @RickA:
    
The best guess for the anthropogenic contribution since 1950 is ~105%. The best guess for the total anthropgenic warming since 1861 is ~1°C, which is ~100% of the warming:

    globalwarmingindex.org

    @paulski0:

    Re 1910-1940: I have refined my 2Box-Response model and the warming over this period is now almost 100% explicable by external forcing. Most importantly, it reproduces NH and SH GMST evolution equally good. I’m eventually going to write everything up (I have a poster up about it at AGU), which will provide us with some properly peer-reviewed stuff which puts the claim that 1910-1940 warming was due to some magic internal variability to rest. You’ll hear from me in that regard before submission. I predict it won’t stop Judith Curry to ride her stadium wave horse (or Nic Lewis to ignore physics) tho.

    Re RSS land temperature drop: What you said! Despite the obvious flaws of RSS3.3 TLT itself, the cooling over land in October was due the Eurasian cold. The way dynamics played out, it’s virtually impossible to not attribute it to the declining sea ice in the Arctic. The resulting temperature and geopotential dipole was beyond ridiculous, with Arctic temperatures literally exploding. That said, it’s absolutely not viable anymore to use data without coverage over the poles. It’s equally disingenuous to use land data only in order to ignore the warming. The argument that land cools quicker than oceans after ENSO made me chuckle. I know I sound arrogant now, but that can only come from someone who has absolutely no clue about the climate system and how the atmosphere works. This is how you know someone is a nutjob.

    Interestingly, during last winter we’ve seen what happens if WACCy (Warm Arctic Cold Continent) doesn’t manage to prevail as it did in most winters after 2007 (with this Oct/Nov setting new WACCy standards). Eurasia saw ridiculous warm anomalies which sent temperatures sky rocketing beyond what is expected from ENSO alone. Surely, missing Arctic warming in Summer and the cold anomaly over Antarctica in recent SH winters conspired to bring GMST down quickly. But, as anticipated in June already, it made further cooling towards the end of year much less likely as positive Arctic and Antarctic anomalies would be back in the equation.

    Bottomline: Record-WACCy secured that the land temperature contrast between Jan-Mar 2016 and Oct-Dec 2016 probably reaches record magnitude. But it has little to do with ENSO of course. Only to the extent that the stratospheric polar (NH) vortex gets a tiny ENSO nudge as well which in turn affects WACCy strength to some degree.

  81. JCH says:

    K.a.r.St.e.N – this one hopefully!

  82. JCH says:

    angech – on NPR Trenberth stated the missing heat was either reflected back to outer space or would be found in the oceans.

    If you know of a way to find energy that has been reflected back to outer space, speak up. But as far as I know it would be impossible to find it.

    So the only way he could find out what had happened was to look for the missing energy in the oceans. Obviously, if it’s not there, then it was reflected back to space. At the time he wrote the email the observation system of the greatest country on earth could not trace the flow. He called that sad reality a travesty. He had to wait for ARGO numbers to come in, and he is still waiting. ARGO is not sampling in enough places to completely close out the issue: I believe abyssal oceans and under the ice are two of the remaining holes in ARGO coverage.

    As I understand it some of the missing energy has been found in the oceans, but not all of it. I have not seen a recent accounting.

    The notion he actually meant hidden hot water would come bubbling up from below 3000 meters and just leap past the skin layer and bloom into some sort of monstrous mist of heat is just supreme idiocy.

  83. @JCH:

    Thanks a lot! Yepp, that’s the one, tho was gonna show the updated version with October data:
    GlobalWarmingIndex
    Note the October downtick at the end. That’s because polar coverage is missing. HadCRUT4-Cowtan/Way isn’t updated yet, but there won’t be such downtick at all. Quite the opposite in fact.

  84. RickA says:

    If the ocean couldn’t store heat, there would be no such natural phenomena as el nino

    Here is an example of the ocean storing heat for more than a decade:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86184

    Maybe it is not possible for the ocean to store heat for hundreds of years.

    Or maybe it is (I kind of think it is).

    I am not a climate scientist – so I don’t know.

    All I know is when heat pops out of the ocean during an el nino we don’t know how long it has been in the ocean. Maybe it is from yesterday, maybe from a decade ago, or maybe from 1000 years ago.

    We know the ocean is 120 meters higher than 20,000 years ago.

    Partly from thermal expansion and partly from water melting from glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica.

    I don’t how much is from thermal expansion and how much is from melting, but my reading leads me to believe that SLR has had a positive component from thermal expansion since 1750.

    Still – it seems to me that if more heat was leaving the ocean than is being put into the ocean that there should be thermal shrinkage – and I was under the impression that we don’t see thermal shrinkage.

    Maybe there is thermal shrinkage and I just haven’t read about it yet.

    But it seems to me that the ocean has been storing heat, or we wouldn’t be 120 meters higher than 20,000 years ago.

    After all heat is fungible – like money.

    Heat does bubble up – from lava vents and so forth.

    Also el nino.

    I say again – who is to say how long that heat has been stored in the ocean?

  85. JCH says:

    Of course the oceans can store energy. Each day an amount of energy, sunlight, is drilled into the oceans. Each day a roughly equivalent amount leaves. It’s probably seldom exactly half. If more stays than leaves, the heat content goes up; if more leaves than stays, the heat content goes down.

    If the energy imbalance is persistently one way, as has been the case for a long time, you get this:

    The energy leaves through the ocean skin layer. Read about it.

  86. JCH says:

    K.a.r.s.S.t.e.N – if the image has a PNG at the end of the address, it should show here as an image:

  87. Rick,

    I say again – who is to say how long that heat has been stored in the ocean?

    I don’t how to explain this any more clearly. Of course the ocean can store some energy which can be later released (El Nino’s being an example of exactly this). However, the very deep ocean is typically colder than the surface so it cannot transfer energy to the surface, because that would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A parcel of water from the deep ocean will also carry less energy than an equivalent parcel from the surface, so that doesn’t work either. If you think that some energy can be stored for 1000s of years and then released, then either it has remained just below the surface for that time, or somehow a very hot parcel of water has sunk to the deep ocean and then resurfaced. It’s maybe not impossible, but just extremely unlikely.

  88. Phil says:

    If you think that some energy can be stored for 1000s of years and then released, … It’s maybe not impossible, but just extremely unlikely.

    If this were the case, then it would have to be a regular, if infrequent, cycle. (If it were a one-off event, it would require an identifyable forcing, surely ?) And therefore you would think that there would be evidence of it (the proposed 1000y cycle) in the geological temperature re-constructions, especially given the magnitude of the current temperature excursion. No ?

  89. angech says:

    JCH
    The problem is we do not have a way of adequately measuring the energy reflected back to space but we do have ways of trying to do it.
    One is earthshine reflected back from the moon.
    Another would be total radiance measured by the satellites.
    The problem is that we have a planet with a variable and varying albedo.
    Ice, clouds, plankton growth, dust deposition, volcanoes, vegetation and wind on water effects.
    We also have a source of radiative imbalance or forcing, the increasing CO2.
    The problem is that the rise in CO2 is not consistent with where we expect to find it.
    In a perfect world the air temperature would go up in tandem fairly much straight away, after all it changes through a large range day to night so should change to the level dictated by the CO2
    Level. The oceans should also, but more slowly heat up sand sea levels rise, both polar ice caps should melt more.
    In our non perfect world currents clouds and circulation put things off a little. What Trembath said though is that the changes stopped happening as expected.
    One of his postulates is that the heat was reflected out but we were not able to measure this. A possible mechanism is that increased albedo due to cloudiness or other causes meant we did not and perhaps will not heat up as expected. The other reason would be an unknown mechanism if heat being absorbed by the ocean in a way that we have not yet determined. The third, put up by a number of scientists, involves breaking the second rule of thermodynamics, which we do not want to do.
    The skin of the ocean does not break the rule either, it has to release the heat that comes in commensurate with the intensity and has no way of storing more or less than any other chemical reacting to heat changes.

  90. BBD says:

    Oh for goodness’ sake RickA. Ocean heat content is increasing not decreasing as it would if there was a net transfer of energy to the atmosphere. It’s really not hard to grasp and now JCH has explained this to you as well.

  91. Yes, what BBD said to, of course.

  92. JCH says:

    Trembath (sicO) – stop this. Okay. Stop.

    The rest is redundant. Trenberth already said it far better. Whoever you are, you’re not better at this stuff than he is. I measure people on climate blogs by how they treat Kevin Trenberth. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his Travesty email. His statements and motivations about the missing heat were purely scientific and completely correct. The people who poured abuse on him are abject ___holes.

    Above I said never exactly”half”. I should have said equal.

  93. JCH says:

    Also, as a simple cowboy from the Dakotas, I found myself in awesome awe of the ocean skin layer as I learned about. It is one of nature’s shining stars… the skinny little thing carries a big bucket. Growing up in that frozen hellhole (the one thing RickA is correct about is Minnesota is a slightly colder hellhole than its neighbors to the west,) we could have used something like it.

  94. BBD says:

    angech

    The skin of the ocean does not break the rule either, it has to release the heat that comes in commensurate with the intensity and has no way of storing more or less than any other chemical reacting to heat changes.

    For energy to leave the ocean it must pass through the skin layer. This is only about 1mm thick at most but unlike the water below, the molecules are forced together at the atmosphere/ocean boundary and energy can *only* cross it by conduction. The rate of conduction is set by the thermal gradient across the skin layer (Fourier’s Law). SSTs are typically higher than the atmosphere immediately above, so atmospheric warming reduces the thermal gradient across the skin layer and reduces the rate at which energy can conduct across it and so leave the ocean. Since the solar flux is roughly constant, atmospheric warming causes energy to accumulate in the ocean.

  95. verytallguy says:

    This is interesting from Rick

    I am not a climate scientist – so I don’t know.

    Acknowledging that climate scientists are better informed than he is yet continuing to insist that they are wrong .

    Remarkable dissonance.

  96. RickA says:

    verytallguy:

    Ah – the appeal to authority

    If only everyone would just agree with the experts!

    I am sure you agree with every expert – right?

    No need for a second opinion for you.

    Look – I first got involved in this subject back in 2009.

    I read some stuff which made no sense to me – so I decided to educate myself a bit.

    Everything I have read since 2009 has confirmed my original doubt about this topic.

    Advocate climate scientists overreached and exaggerated to try to spur their desired action.

    They are the boy who cried wolf, as far as I am concerned.

    Look at what Hansen just said – talk about a reversal.

    And why the reversal – because Trump got elected and he knows he has to change tactics to try to achieve his objective. Now he wants to sound more reasonable, while still pushing for his desired action.

    Now all climate science is paying the price – because I (and millions like me) doubt everything climate science as a whole has to say.

    Yes – the Earth is warming.

    I agree with that.

    But I do not think it is a fact that humans are causing that warming.

    Sure, some of it – but not all of it.

    How much humans are causing I certainly do not know – but the natural warming trend certainly didn’t stop in 1750.

    It has been warming for 20,000 years, after all.

    We are in the middle of an inter-glacial.

  97. Rick,

    If only everyone would just agree with the experts!

    I am sure you agree with every expert – right?

    There’s a difference between disagreeing with an expert, and disagreeing with the vast majority of experts.

    How much humans are causing I certainly do not know – but the natural warming trend certainly didn’t stop in 1750.

    We don’t know there was one. My understanding is that without anthropogenic influences we would probably have continued a gradual cooling trend.

    It has been warming for 20,000 years, after all.

    We are in the middle of an inter-glacial.

    Hmm, not really. Most of the Holocene saw a slow cooling trend.

  98. verytallguy says:

    Rick,

    I was merely pointing out the fact that you happily conclude both that climate scientists know better than you and that they are wrong.

    I find that interesting, particularly that you seem able to hold such a contradictory pair of beliefs not merely internally, but openly.

    I don’t find your gish gallop of factoids very interesting, however.

  99. Not sure it is a real Gish gallop, Very Tall. Looks more like a merry-go-round of talking points.

    In ClimateBall parlance, I call this rope-a-doping.

  100. JCH says:

    RickA is right about one thing: Minnesota is cold. After that… good gawd Feynman has made a mess of this “expert” thing.

  101. BBD says:

    In ClimateBall parlance, I call this rope-a-doping.

    AKA peddling 🙂

  102. BBD says:

    It has been warming for 20,000 years, after all.

    We are in the middle of an inter-glacial.

    All these times and still wrong…

    The orbital dynamics that triggered the Holocene deglaciation are long past. As ATTP says, there’s been a generalised cooling trend for about the last 5ka. We should be slowly drifting back down into the next glacial, not warming at a startling rate as we are.

    People keep asking you for mechanisms for this ‘natural’ warming. What are they? NB ‘it came out of the sea’ is a dead one now, so no repeats please.

  103. RickA says:

    BBD:

    I don’t know what the mechanism are.

    All I know is natural influences haven’t stopped.

    If I had to speculate I would point to the Roman warm period or the Medieval warm period and say maybe some of the warming over the last couple hundred years is caused by whatever caused those warm periods.

    I don’t dispute that humans are causing some of the warming.

    I just don’t believe we are causing all of it.

    It doesn’t pass the smell test.

  104. JCH says:

    Natural influences, the one that really matters wrt to the GMST, the EBU, the Eastern Pacific, has stopped working.

  105. BBD says:

    RickA

    I just don’t believe we are causing all of it.

    It doesn’t pass the smell test.

    What are you talking about? What ‘smell test’? You can’t provide a physical mechanism for modern warming but you deny that the scientific explanation is wrong. This is illogical, captain.

    ‘Smell test’ is a loaded phrase. It implies that there is something fishy. You are dogwhistling a conspiracy theory. You are not advancing any kind of scientific argument. So, you just lose.

  106. BBD says:

    If I had to speculate I would point to the Roman warm period or the Medieval warm period and say maybe some of the warming over the last couple hundred years is caused by whatever caused those warm periods.

    First, they weren’t synchronous, they weren’t global and they weren’t as warm as or warmer than the present (not even sure there was such a thing as the ‘Roman Warm Period’). Second, the MCA seems to have been the result of slightly increased solar output and decreased volcanism reducing aerosol loading. There’s a very readable study about the MCA by Diaz et al. (2011). Highly recommended if you are actually interested in learning about this.

  107. BBD says:

    A whoopsie:

    You can’t provide a physical mechanism for modern warming but you deny [assert] that the scientific explanation is wrong. This is illogical, captain.

  108. paulski0 says:

    RickA,

    All I know is natural influences haven’t stopped.

    No-one is arguing that natural influences have stopped. People are arguing that there is no evidence for natural influences being able to cause a warming trend of the observed magnitude over the past 60 years or 100 years or 200 years, or even half the observed magnitude.

    However, let’s ignore that and assume natural influences could be large enough to explain all the warming over the past 100 years – i.e. we assume internal variability could be as large as 1degC/Century. However, since you’ve provided no evidence to indicate a particular direction for this variability, there is an equal probability of it being warming or cooling. That means anthropogenic contribution could be anywhere between 0% and 200% of observed, centering on, yes, 100% anthropogenic.

    If you want to argue for a best estimate anthropogenic contribution of less than 100%, it’s not enough to speculate about other factors since those other factors have an equal probability of causing warming or cooling. You need to show why internal variability must be positive. Otherwise all you’ve really done is increase the upper bound of the climate sensitivity range.

    I just don’t believe we are causing all of it.
    It doesn’t pass the smell test.

    But you’ve acknowledged that there has been a significant amount of anthropogenic warming (50%, even 75% of observed). What is this limit you’re imposing that means it couldn’t be stronger?

  109. JCH says:

    A graph of natural influence, KL Swanson:

    The heavy dark line is the GMST (supposed to be GISS; down’t look right.)

    The dashed line is the heavy line minus the natural influences on the GMST.

    Where the dashed line is above the heavy line, natural influences are depressing the AGW signal.

    Where the dashed line is below the heavy line, natural influences are enhancing the AGW signal.

    Goes both ways. RickA, how do you know it’s going your way?

  110. angech says:

    BBD says: December 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm
    “For energy to leave the ocean it must pass through the skin layer. This is only about 1mm thick at most but unlike the water below, the molecules are forced together at the atmosphere/ocean boundary and energy can *only* cross it by conduction. The rate of conduction is set by the thermal gradient across the skin layer (Fourier’s Law). SSTs are typically higher than the atmosphere immediately above, so atmospheric warming reduces the thermal gradient across the skin layer and reduces the rate at which energy can conduct across it and so leave the ocean. Since the solar flux is roughly constant, atmospheric warming causes energy to accumulate in the ocean.”

    My comments were to do with The heat absorption and heat emission properties of all substances and pointing out that water, with or without a skin layer has to obey the second law of thermodynamics and therefore cannot selectively store heat in an effort to explain the lack of atmospheric heating up.
    Your example above ignores the fact that large swathes of ocean are covered by ice, not a skin and that the air in such paces [Arctic] is usually colder than the sea surface temperature both day and night.
    The SST and atmosphere gradients do the opposite of what you say. The SST in non ice affected areas are generally only higher than the atmosphere above at night when the atmosphere is rapidly cooling and therefore increases the rate of conductive loss due to a greater gradient . During the day air is warmer and the SST is lower than the air temperature so actively puts heat into the sea.
    Solar flux may be constant from the sun but the solar flux received by the ocean is continually changing [never constant] and overall only present for 12+ hours in 24.
    If any energy accumulates in the atmosphere [first] and the sea it is not due to the constant solar flux but to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere minus any increased albedo effects [if any].

  111. JCH says:

    Good gawd…

  112. JCH says:

    angech – I apologize. With the way you wrote your comments, I became confused with who wrote what and to what you were responding.

    I’m somewhat in disagreement with something in BBD’s comment, but I have read it explained two different ways. So I’m going to sleep on it.

  113. Marco says:

    “It doesn’t pass the smell test.”

    That’s because they pass your ideological filter, where a smell is added.

  114. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    I’ve claimed this before, but here again we see one of my universal laws in action:

    Tall’s Law of thermodynamics:

    The frequency a person invokes the 2nd law of thermodynamics in debate is inversely proportional to their understanding of it

  115. angech says:

    VTG you should not throw petrol on a fire, 2nd law of thermodynamics and all that.

    Dikran
    ” SSTs are typically higher than the atmosphere immediately above, so atmospheric warming reduces the thermal gradient across the skin layer and reduces the rate at which energy can conduct across it and so leave the ocean. Since the solar flux is roughly constant, atmospheric warming causes energy to accumulate in the ocean.”

    Energy leaves the ocean all the time.
    It is purely a matter of the energy of the water that is able to emit infra red.
    During the day there is more energy going into the ocean from the sun directly, it gets hotter so it emits more heat. Full stop.
    The atmosphere gets hotter as well, both from the radiation from the sun on the way in and reflected out, but also from the GHG effect absorbing some of the ocean infrared energy and feeding it back to the ocean.
    This means the ocean is emitting not only the absorbed heat from the sun but it is reinforced by the atmosphere and hence emits energy at an even higher rate during the day as the sun rises and the solar flux received increases exponentially and it takes more energy in.

  116. BBD says:

    The atmosphere gets hotter as well, both from the radiation from the sun on the way in and reflected out, but also from the GHG effect absorbing some of the ocean infrared energy and feeding it back to the ocean.
    This means the ocean is emitting not only the absorbed heat from the sun but it is reinforced by the atmosphere

    No, this is wrong. The atmosphere does not heat the ocean. The ocean heats the atmosphere. The atmospheric temperature at the sea surface modulates the rate of energy transfer from ocean to atmosphere.

    Once again, you are making an unholy mess of things.

  117. angech says:

    Basic case.
    Object receiving heat from a source warms up to equilibrium and then emits the same energy at a lower frequency.
    The qualifying factors are amount of heat and distance of source and surface area of emmiter.
    The material is not important as long as it does not vaporise and disperse. So whether it is water or air or molten metal or has a skin or not is irrelevant to the point of how much it heats up.
    GHG’s and atmospheres are problematic in that there is not a clearly defined surface area hence the transparent materials, air and water, have to heat up to a temperature that lets them emit enough infrared back out to balance.
    Heat can only build up until the material is at a temperature to balance heat in, heat out.
    Whether it has a skin and a thermal gradient is irrelevant. More heat comes in and leaves during the day with the sun. Less heat (GHG infrared) at night and overall less heat out.
    The only factor at “steady” insolation which could only happen on a earth rotating to keep the same face to the sun is not the presence of a skin but the level of GHG and then only if it did not result in a change in albedo.

  118. BBD says:

    angech

    Fact: on average, the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere at the surface.

    True or false?

    * * *

    vtg

    Oh yes. Same goes for the inverse relationship law between topic knowledge and confidence in Climateball.

  119. BBD says:

    Whether it has a skin and a thermal gradient is irrelevant.

    Wrong. Read. Try again.

  120. angech says:

    The atmosphere does not heat the ocean?
    Cannot believe you can say this.
    GHG in the atmosphere is the whole reason the ocean is warm in the first place.
    The whole reason the earth’s atmosphere is warm as well.
    Lucia took me to task over this when I tried to argue, being contrarian, that a cold body can not make a hot body hotter.

  121. JCH says:

    ugh… unholy mess covers it.

    10 µm to 10 meters. Water..aka sea surface temperature layers. Air ain’t in there.

    0 to 10 µm is a happenin’ place. Oh well.

  122. BBD says:

    The atmosphere does not heat the ocean?
    Cannot believe you can say this.

    I’m wrong! 🙂 DLR does penetrate and is absorbed (~90%) in the first 10μm.

  123. “angech

    Fact: on average, the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere at the surface.

    True or false?”

    Why am I not surprised that angech didn’t answer the question.

    “GHG in the atmosphere is the whole reason the ocean is warm in the first place.”

    One wonders where the energy that is back-radiated primarily comes from (hint: the surface – including the oceans)?

    “The atmosphere does not heat the ocean?”

    Of course the atmopsphere gives energy to the ocean and the ocean gives energy to the atmosphere, the question is which energy flux is the greater (and hence which heats which), which makes this question rather apposite.

  124. BBD says:

    For clarity: the thermal gradient across the surface skin layer determines the rate of conduction of energy from ocean to atmosphere. DLR affects the thermal gradient across the surface skin layer (it is reduced as DLR increases).

  125. JCH says:

    I’ll try it this way. Nothing is being stopped; it is being slowed down.

    Progressively increasing GHG have slowed the march of heat to outer space by altering a gradient within the skin layer itself, where there is no atmosphere. It’s water. The atmosphere’s temperature is largely irrelevant.

    Once the energy is in 0 to 10 µm layer, the GHG in the atmosphere begin to slow the march of that energy based upon the physics present at that moment. That is essentially outside of the oceans… I think.

  126. BBD says:

    The atmosphere’s temperature is largely irrelevant.

    As I understand it, atmospheric temperature determines the amount of DLR and so sets the thermal gradient across the skin layer so atmospheric T is highly relevant.

    Dikran? ATTP? Anyone?

  127. Dikran? ATTP? Anyone?

    The surface temperature determines the outgoing flux, so it is relevant in that sense. I find all this detail rather unnecessary, though. Adding GHGs reduces the outgoing flux, and the total energy will go up. This will be partitioned between the oceans, atmosphere, cryosphere, etc. If one part gets warmer than its surrounding it will transfer energy to its surroundings, etc. Of course details matter if your want to actually model the flow of energy, which will be important for circulation, but I don’t really see why it’s all that important – in the basic sense – to argue about whether it is the ocean that heats the atmosphere, or vice versa. As Dikran says

    Of course the atmopsphere gives energy to the ocean and the ocean gives energy to the atmosphere, the question is which energy flux is the greater

  128. izen says:

    @-angtech
    “GHG in the atmosphere is the whole reason the ocean is warm in the first place.”

    because they constrain the rate at which the ocean can lose energy to space.

    @-“The whole reason the earth’s atmosphere is warm as well.”

    The atmosphere, like a duvet on a bed, is warmed by the ocean/body beneath it. Any temperature it reaches is mostly a consequence of solar energy absorbed by the surface beneath it. by that process it alters the thermal gradient from surface/body to space/bedroom.

    The reason the Sun is visible is because most of its energy travels through air with little absorption. However the air is opaque to the thermal energy emitted from the surface in the H2O and CO2 absorption bands, and gains energy from the phase changes of water.

  129. BBD says:

    VTG and ATTP – thanks!

  130. JCH says:

    It matters because the buildup of energy in the oceans did not pause when the buildup of energy in the atmosphere did the, oh dear, unmentionable thing…

  131. JCH,
    Well, yes, but I would argue that various internal processes (circulation patterns, etc) can change how the energy is being partitioned between the different parts of the system, potentially increasing/decreasing the rate in which it is accruing in some parts compared to others.

  132. JCH says:

    Yes, but isn’t my claim of irrelevance why OHC is a very different (one iconoclast shouts rather loudly BETTER and a quieter bunch recently agreed, again) metric for AGW than the GMST?

    If atmospheric temperature is determinant, then they would be redundant metrics… I think.

  133. JCH,
    I agree that OHC is a better metric (although we do live on the surface, so the surface warming is clearly relevant). I was simply responding to the discussion about what heats what.

  134. BBD says:

    Yes, but isn’t my claim of irrelevance

    We are talking across each other. What I wrote above is correct. What you say about OHC as a metric for GW is arguable because as AT says, circulation within the coupled atmosphere-ocean system moves energy around too.

  135. JCH says:

    OHC – 0 to 2000 meters

    2014-3, 20.874861
    2014-6, 19.914608
    2014-9, 18.526079
    2014-12, 21.123238 – ONI: +0.4, (El Niño begins) +0.5, +0.6; GISS anomaly – .78 ℃

    2015-3, 23.416958 – ONI: +0.6, +0.5, +0.6; GISS anomaly: .87 ℃
    2015-6, 22.368597 – ONI: +0.7, +0.8, +1.0; GISS anomaly: .77 ℃
    2015-9, 21.546423 – ONI: +1.2,+1.4, +1.7: GISS anomaly: .78 ℃
    2015-12, 22.271896 – ONI: +2.0,+2.2, +2.3: GISS anomaly: 1.07 ℃

    2016-3, 22.996992 – ONI: +2.2, +2.0, +1.6: GISS anomaly: 1.27 ℃

    2016-6, 20.037872 – ONI: +1.1, +0.6, (El Niño ends) +0.1: GISS anomaly: .93 ℃
    2016-9, 19.772640 – ONI: -0.3, -0.6, (La Niña watch) -0.7: GISS anomaly: .91 ℃

  136. BBD says:

    It matters because the buildup of energy in the oceans did not pause when the buildup of energy in the atmosphere did the, oh dear, unmentionable thing…

    The ocean and the atmosphere are out of equilibrium because of increasing atmospheric GHG forcing so the ocean will carry on warming even if GAT increase levels off temporarily.

  137. Eli Rabett says:

    Curry plays Texas sharp shooter.

  138. JCH: “Professor Curry has given a range for when the AMO is going to flip negative: sometime during the 2020’s”

    What? Has she forgotten or discarded the Stadium Wave?

    We should already be through half of the cooling trend if we extrapolate.

    Wyatt on global temperature trend and the Stadium Wave:

    “…a similar projection: one can note that the stadium-trend is consistent with a slowing in the warming of the Northern Hemisphere surface average temperatures, and that extrapolated forward, it would be consistent with the stadium wave if those temperatures continued a decline, albeit with inter-annually paced ups and downs, into the early 2030s. “

    ‘continued a decline’ — exactly which decline are we continuing? It all seemed so clear at one time ….. [/sarc]

  139. angech says:

    Therefore, it is hard to see how you could store energy for hundreds of years before releasing it into the atmosphere.
    Grantham Institute Briefing paper No 14 Sept 2015
    “Ocean heat uptake and the global surface temperature record DR FLORA WHITMARSH,
    Heat is transferred between the surface and the deep ocean by many processes, the most spectacular of which are the sinking and upwelling processes that occur only in specific locations when strong surface cooling occurs. If heat were to be sequestered in the deep ocean due to a change in the large scale overturning circulation it would be expected to stay there for several centuries. ”
    Seems reputable as its other premises re ocean heat uptake are used by others above. It does not specifically say the heat would or could be released into the atmosphere but it implies it very strongly.

  140. RickA says:

    Since energy is fungible, I imagine how long the ocean stores heat depends on the accounting you apply.

    First in, first out (FIFO) or
    Last in, first out (LIFO).

    Does it depend on how you look at it?

    I wonder if the accounting makes any difference?

  141. izen says:

    The heat capacity of water is around 3000 times as big as the heat capacity of air.

    If a Joule of energy goes into the oceans rather than the atmosphere it causes only a tiny fraction of the temperature change it causes in the atmosphere. Therefore that energy is now out of reach of any warmer atmosphere.
    It’s the LAW.

    The oceans are a battery of cold. They can store the extra energy with a very small effect on temperature. The problem is not that the heat comes back out, it is that we run out of cold ocean.

  142. angech says:

    dikranmarsupial says: December 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    Fact: on average, the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere at the surface.
    True or false?”Why am I not surprised that angech didn’t answer the question.

    It was too vague, Does one mean the temperature of the ocean, the sea surface temperature of the ocean or the skin temperature of the ocean?

    The average temperature of the ocean is 3.9 °C so I would say that the atmosphere at the ocean surface is warmer than the ocean.
    You meant either,
    Sea surface temperature, (SST) is the water temperature close to the ocean’s surface, between 1 millimetre and 20 metres below the sea surface according to the measurement method used.
    I would surmise the ocean at the surface [SST] is colder than the atmosphere shortly after the sun rises until shortly after the sun sets.
    In which case on average they would be equal.
    If you are meaning only the skin layer of the ocean you still run into the day night problem.
    Then to complicate matters if one has clouds in the sky over the sea then the atmosphere will have a chance of staying hotter than the sea at night all night but will still warm up during the day even through cloud.
    So no. it is not a fact, unless you wish to say the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere at night

  143. BBD says:

    It was too vague, Does one mean the temperature of the ocean, the sea surface temperature of the ocean or the skin temperature of the ocean?

    Skin temperature. And what I said is correct. You are just being evasive because you are wrong again.

    So no. it is not a fact, unless you wish to say the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere at night

    What I said is correct* and unless you can demonstrate otherwise you are going to have to concede the point. And by show, I mean show. Published research, not empty assertions.

    *On average, the ocean skin is warmer than the atmosphere at the ocean surface.

    This is why the largest energy flux is from ocean to atmosphere, not atmosphere to ocean.

    So let’s try again: on average, the ocean skin is warmer than the atmosphere at the ocean surface. True or false?

  144. angech wrote “It was too vague, Does one mean the temperature of the ocean, the sea surface temperature of the ocean or the skin temperature of the ocean?”

    There is something called “common sense”, the ironic thing about which is that it is so uncommon. Which of those temperatures would govern the exchange of heat between the oceans and atmosphere (hint: the transfer can only occur by conduction or radiation). Of course angech could be trolling again and knows perfectly well what the question was asking.

    Of course angech ignored my question completely. Angech said

    “GHG in the atmosphere is the whole reason the ocean is warm in the first place.”

    I asked:

    “One wonders where the energy that is back-radiated primarily comes from (hint: the surface – including the oceans)?”

    Of course angech can’t answer this one. Most of the suns radiation is in the visible and UV wavelengths, to which the atmosphere is largely transparent, so the direct radiation from the sun warms the atmosphere a bit, (see the Trenberth diagram below, according to which it is 78Wm^-2). However the surface is not at all opaque to visible and UV, so the sun directly warms the surface (161Wm^-2). This warms the surface, which then radiates IR upwards to the tune of 396Wm^2, of which 356Wm^-2 gets absorbed by the atmosphere, which does absorb strongly in IR wavelengths. So it is clear that most of the energy absorbed by the atmosphere (heating it) comes from the surface, not the sun (this is climate change 101 stuff). Note the diagram also shows (IIUC) that evapotranspiration carries 80Wm^-2 into the atmosphere which is released when water vapour condenses as latent heat. I suspect this is strongest over the oceans (and rain forest etc), so even without the IR radiated from the surface, that energy flux is similar in magnitude to the energy the atmosphere absorbs directly from the Sun (which would indicate the oceans warm the atmosphere rather than the other way round).

    So I ask again, if the atmosphere warms the ocean, where is the energy coming from?

  145. BBD says:

    It does not specifically say the heat would or could be released into the atmosphere but it implies it very strongly.

    If modern warming is being driven by energy released from long-term storage in the ocean then global OHC would be falling, not rising as observed.

    Case closed.

  146. angech,

    “If heat were to be sequestered in the deep ocean due to a change in the large scale overturning circulation it would be expected to stay there for several centuries. ”

    It does not specifically say the heat would or could be released into the atmosphere but it implies it very strongly.

    The deep ocean is colder than the surface ocean, and – hence – contains less energy per unit volume that the surface (remember water is incompressible). Therefore the deep ocean cannot warm the surface. There are, however, continuous exchanges of energy, so the energy in the deep ocean may eventually come back to the surface, but it can’t warm the surface, therefore it can’t somehow be responsible for some long-term warming trend.

  147. JCH says:

    Professor Curry cannot understand how the build up of energy in the oceans presents a problem. It’s astounding.

  148. November CO2

    November 2016: 403.64 ppm
    November 2015: 400.24 ppm

    3.4 ppm increase in month on month. I was watching for increase of 2.9 ppm that would be similar to the month on month from April 1999 when rise from a non-EN month was compared with an EN month and came in flat at 2.35 ppm. The rest of 1999 monthly averages fell under 2 ppm because review of a LN year with same month the year before in EL trend was significantly elevated. I can post the monthly averages for the years if anyone wants to see the raw data. It’s available from NOAA/ESRL et al. I cut and paste the data to spreadsheet so that I can do simple formula work with the data. I am willing to send my spreadsheet to anyone who wants to save a few steps.

    So far, no flat month and fall-off pattern developing. We continue to see monthly average increases in excess of 3 ppm over the EN-elevated monthly number from previous year. Current increase rates should be near or under 2 ppm because of the EL bump and recession of same. Not happening yet, we remain in 3 plus ppm increase monthly average. Ugly numbers.

    My concern is with state changes brought on by elevated CO2 numbers and related temps. Crowther’s study and rsults fit that concern with a cyclical EN heat wave (not just EN, AGW exacerbated by EN and random weather fluctuations) potentially creating a significant new source of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    I think we are on track to post 3.36 ppm increase for 2016 annual rate. This also puts on a trajectory that could post April/May monthly average numbers in the 411 ppm range. We should drop into 409.5 range for those months if the EL bump ever disappears.

    CO2 in atmosphere continues to rise and the rate of that rise is not static, it is rising. The rate of increase continues to rise as it has now for decades. Our species emissions numbers are down according to global reports and CO2 numbers continue to rise and are picking up speed. You can take it to the bank, amigos y amigas.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  149. angech says:

    Loved that diagram BBD
    You may notice that incident absorbed radiation at the ocean surface is 161 W/M2 The atmosphere absorbs 78 directly and another 97 by conduction and evaporation. which it sends out to space, ie never goes back to the ocean. Only 70 W/M2 is available to ricochet back and forwards to heat the atmosphere and ocean further. The 70 W/M2 is magnified [counted more than once] by the GHG effect into 235 W/M2 extra that the ocean surface absorbs/receives from the atmosphere.
    I would love to call this the angech multiplication effect *TM of 3.4 for GHG warming but it must have another real scientific name, anybody know?
    This resupplied heat is the reason the atmosphere and in turn the ocean is much warmer than expected.
    No GHG atmosphere, no hot ocean. It is the atmosphere, the GHG blanket that heats the ocean.
    This is your argument not mine.
    The reason you do not like it is that it implies that Oceans will not continue to selectively and unnaturally take up heat in preference to all other materials. There is a well defined equilibrium level for all forcings, probably based on the average real surface area and everything heats up to its own ability, earh Ocean and Air until the outgoing energy balances the incoming energy.

  150. JCH says:

    I don’t think so.

    Of emitted:

    Atmosphere emits 30 to space.
    Surface emits 169 to space
    atmospheric window – 40 to space
    ———————————————
    239
    ==========================
    Sun delivers 341
    not absorbed – 102
    ————————–
    sw delivered for absorption – 239
    ===============

    I think:

    SW – 78
    LW – 97
    ———
    absorbed – 175
    LW to space – (30)
    ————————
    back to surface – 145
    ================
    recycle:

    lw absorbed 333/145 = 2.3 times
    ==========================
    surface imbalance
    161 sw minus lw emitted 97 minus window 40 = 24
    356 minus 333 = 23
    ——————————————–
    Net absorbed = 1
    ==========================

  151. angech says:

    Thanks JCH. It is easier for you I think as you have done more work on it but it is a very complicated scenario when one tries to get into it.
    Surface emits 169 to space
    atmospheric window – a. 40 to space is from the surface
    [some infrared radiation from the cloud tops and land-sea surface pass directly to space without intermediate absorption and re-emission. A large gap in the absorption spectrum of water vapor, the main greenhouse gas, is most important in the dynamics of the window. Other gases, especially carbon dioxide and ozone, partly block transmission.]
    *b. clouds emit 30 to space the picture shows 30 from clouds, 40 from the surface overall window of 70.
    ———————————————
    to add to 239
    ==========================
    Sun delivers 341 not absorbed – 102 sw delivered for absorption – 239
    ===============
    I think: SW – 78, LW – 97 – Not sure how you get this figure, The sun is very bright and I would have thought would be more shortwave though cold tongue edges of the sun plasma might go out far enough to emit some long wave if it cooled sufficiently. SW might reflect more than LW so may be the major part of reflected light.
    The 78 [SW/LW] absorbed by the atmosphere at varying levels does some reheating on its way back out, Makes the atmosphere hotter but technically never reaches the land or ocean.
    LW – 97 This seems to be the figure for thermals 17 and latent heat 80. I agree this would be emitted as LW but it would seem that these are energy packets that are transported high up before they emit and hence probably do not contribute much to rewarming. I do not know how you would account for them in terms of the energy going back to the ocean or land. My gut feeling is if they are emitting high enough they should not be counted as reheating the surface although they obviously do lead to reheating of the air locally on the way out and raise the overall temp which probably leads to more uptake and release of energy by CO2 lower down.
    Techniucally not part of the 333 back radiation effect though as said contribute to making it happen.
    ———
    absorbed – 175 [Should be 161 absorbed at surface]
    LW to space – (30) [[This is LW clouds emit 30 to space see above]
    and atmospheric window – a. 40 to space is from the surface
    ————————
    back to surface – 145 [should be 91 if amended figures OK]
    ================
    recycle:

    lw absorbed 333/145 = 2.3 times [? 333/91 = 3.7]
    Will stop here as I do not think the model is trying to show an energy imbalance at all, just trying to balance input and output as no CO2 increase is postulated.
    Thank you for the figures and trying to work it out as well, I am still struggling with it.

  152. angech,
    What BBD posted is a nice cartoon illustration of the energy flows. I think it pretty much illustrates what I was trying to say. Energy comes in, and the same amount goes out. The system will distribute the energy in such a way that it will always tend towards that equilibrium.

  153. “You may notice that incident absorbed radiation at the ocean surface is 161 W/M2 The atmosphere absorbs 78 directly and another 97 by conduction and evaporation. which it sends out to space, ie never goes back to the ocean. Only 70 W/M2 is available to ricochet back and forwards to heat the atmosphere and ocean further. “

    oh dear angech seems to have ignored the 396Wm-2 radiated into the atmosphere from the surface that is also available to “ricochet back”. It’s clearly marked on the Trenberth diagram.

    “The 70 W/M2 is magnified [counted more than once] by the GHG effect into 235 W/M2 extra that the ocean surface absorbs/receives from the atmosphere.”

    no, it isn’t “magnified”; the energy that is back-radiated from the atmosphere has to come from somewhere (first law of thermodynamics), and the place where it comes from is principally the 396Wm-2 radiated from the surface (which includes the oceans). Thus the surface (including the oceans) warms the atmosphere, which subsequently returns some of that energy in the form of back-radiation.

    “I would love to call this the angech multiplication effect *TM of 3.4 for GHG warming but it must have another real scientific name, anybody know?”

    “misconception”?

    No GHG atmosphere, no hot ocean. It is the atmosphere, the GHG blanket that heats the ocean.

    Blankets (except electric blankets) do not heat anything; they insulate, which is not the same thing. The heat comes from the thing under the blanket, the blanket just reduces the rate at which heat is lost from the system. The body under the blanket heats the blanket, not the other way round.

    This is your argument not mine.

    No, that is a misrepresentation of my position. It is the surface (including the oceans) that warms the atmosphere. The net flow of heat is from the surface to the atmosphere, not the other way round. However the presence of GHGs in the atmosphere causes the surface to be warmer than it would be in their absence, just like a person under a blanket is warmer than a person exposed to the ambient air.

    “The reason you do not like it is that it implies that Oceans will not continue to selectively and unnaturally take up heat in preference to all other materials.”

    You need to understand the physics first before you can work on more complex issues, such as peoples motivations, but no again you are wrong. The Ocean is doing nothing selective or unnatural in this, it is just that you don’t understand how blankets work.

  154. BBD says:

    Er, picture credits to Dikran, not me 🙂

  155. credit to Kevin Trenberth and SkS ;o)

    Although I was surprised to see how far back in the literature similar diagrams can be found, showing how long we have had a good grasp on the basics.

  156. angech says:

    dikranmarsupial says: December 7, 2016 at 8:51 am
    “oh dear angech seems to have ignored the 396Wm-2 radiated into the atmosphere from the surface that is also available to “ricochet back”.
    Sometimes a comment is so good that it just needs to be repeated.
    Thank you Dikran.
    “Blankets (except electric blankets) do not heat anything”
    My bad for using the analogy, we all know it is a crock analogy but most people are happy to wear it.
    Sorry, electric blankets and GHG blankets do heat things , The whole reason we have a warm atmosphere and all that.
    “The net flow of heat is from the surface to the atmosphere, not the other way round.”
    This is where our problems arise.
    I have argued net flow at other sites [Lucia’s ]and for people like us who take things literally this view is correct. However, Spencer and Lucia argue that a colder body can “heat” a warmer body if you take into account the actual energy flows rather then the net flow. Now I do not like it but the concept is there and seems to work. I think most people here do accept the concept of flows both ways and hence a higher heat to the cold body and the warm body than just a straight heat transfer. This means the source actually gets hotter which if you wish to claim the surface as a source [not the best way of looking at things] is the reason the surface gets to 396 when originally all it receives is 161.
    Heat from a colder body.
    Think about it.
    ATTP you are absolutely right. December 7, 2016 at 7:40 am.

  157. Sorry, electric blankets and GHG blankets do heat things

    This is clearly not an appropriate analogy. An electric blanket actually adds energy (by being plugged into a wall that is then connected to a power station). Adding GHGs does not add energy, it simply inhibits the flow of energy out of the system, causing energy to accumulate until the flow of energy out matches the flow of energy in.

  158. angech – forget blankets, electric or otherwise. Br’er Rabbet has The Simplest Explanation.

    Bearing in mind Einstein’s (?)”Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler …”

  159. I wrote: “The Ocean is doing nothing selective or unnatural in this, it is just that you don’t understand how blankets work.”

    angech demonstrated this when he wrote “Sorry, electric blankets and GHG blankets do heat things , The whole reason we have a warm atmosphere and all that.”

    No, the atmosphere is not like an electric blanket, it is more like an ordinary blanket as its primary source of heat is from underneath, not from above, not from internal sources.

    Of course a blanket is only a very rough analogy, most of us here understand that the temperature of the planet is determined by the radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere, not what happens at the surface, but if you are going to use a blanket as an analogy, at least don’t pretend it is an electric blanket, because it isn’t.

    “I have argued net flow at other sites [Lucia’s ]and for people like us who take things literally this view is correct. However, Spencer and Lucia argue that a colder body can “heat” a warmer body if you take into account the actual energy flows rather then the net flow.”

    This is because the definition of heat (rather than energy) is not well understood (certainly not by angech). A colder body cannot heat a warmer body, but it can radiate energy to the warmer body, it is just that the warmer body radiates more energy in the other direction. The colder body can cause the warmer body to be warmer than it would otherwise be, but that is not the same as heating the warmer body.

  160. JCH says:

    angech – the 175 is absorbed by the atmosphere:

    97 lw emitted from the surface
    78 sw absorbed from the sunlight as it passed through the atmosphere… before reaching the surface.
    ————-
    175 absorbed
    —————–
    Of that, 30 lw goes to outer space (this is where your misinterpretation is made)
    and, 145 is radiated back
    =======================

    or

    161 sw absorbed by the surface
    ——————————————
    97 lw to the atmospher 17+80
    40 lw out the window
    23 lw makes it through the GHG obstacle course and makes it to outer space (hidden in the 396)
    1 lw (,9) stays in the earth system
    —————————–
    161
    =====================

    396
    ——–
    (40) lw out the window
    (333) back radiation
    ————————–
    23
    ===============

  161. JCH says:

    Wm2 – lw source or Wm2 sw source… I guess is the way to put it.

  162. Phil says:

    A colder body cannot heat a warmer body, but it can radiate energy to the warmer body, it is just that the warmer body radiates more energy in the other direction.

    If you throw an ice cube into a hot cup of tea, it will melt. If you throw an identical ice cube into a flask of liquid nitrogen, some nitrogen will boil off. In the both cases the ice cubes are emitting the same amount of energy (they have to, they’re identical !). But in the first case the tea has more energy than the ice cube, so it melts. In the second case the net flow of energy is from the ice cube, so the liquid nitrogen is boiled by the energy emitted from the ice cube.

    The GHE doesn’t heat the planet, it keeps the planet warm. Adding more GHG’s increases the ability of the atmosphere to keep the planets warmth. Unfortunately the Sun doesn’t know this, and continues to pump the same amount of energy in as it has always done.

  163. angech says:

    Phil
    Thank you for explaining that even ice cubes and GHG do emit energy.
    You are wrong in stating that GHG does not heat the planet.
    The GHG are part of the planet that does get heated.
    Unlike other gases , but like the surface, they absorb and emit LW.
    Unlike the surface which only, for all practical purposes, sends it out the spread of GHG means that the energy is fed back as well which means it can be reused. In other words the GHG now become a source of energy instead of just a recipient.
    The GHG actually supply energy to the surface that otherwise would have gone straight back into space. They act like a zillion extra miniature suns closer to earth resupplying energy.
    Individually not much, much like an ice cube but n numbers it adds up to double the initial energy that reaches the surface from the sun. 333 in the cartoon

    “The colder body can cause the warmer body to be warmer than it would otherwise be, but that is not the same as heating the warmer body.”

    I just repaste these comments

  164. angech says:

    Phil look up Wiki GHE

    The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.

  165. You are wrong in stating that GHG does not heat the planet.

    GHG do not introduce new energy to the system; they simply stop some of it from leaving, increasing the total energy, and leading to the planet warming. The energy still comes from the Sun. It’s not the same as an electric blanket that actually adds energy, rather than simply changing the flow of energy.

  166. BBD says:

    I think angech is playing definitional games to create the impression of some sort of rectitude on his part which – in general – does not exist.

  167. ““The colder body can cause the warmer body to be warmer than it would otherwise be, but that is not the same as heating the warmer body.”

    I just repaste these comments”

    pretty shabby alternative to actually trying to understand the distinction being made – plus ca change…. I agree with BBD, angech is just trolling.

  168. BBD says:

    In which dikran drives a truck through my carefully-crafted attempt to avoid using the T-word 🙂

  169. beep-beep, out of the way! ;o)

    Difficult this communication, either I am too elliptical (being English) or it’s a case of road rage! ;o)

  170. angech says:

    Dikran,
    Repasting your comments to avoid argument, not promote it. The blog readership is fully aware of atmospheric and ocean heat transmission issues and I will not be upset when others here endorse your comments or if you choose to repeat them again yourself.
    396 is clearly not available to ricochet back in again, 396 is the sum total of all the ricocheted energy that occurred overall before it departed forever.
    JCH, the absorbed surface is 161, from that surface absorption 97 is the amount to the higher atmosphere by thermals and latent heat leaving 64 outgoing as LW to join the 97 and the 78 that was absorbed by the atmosphere without reaching the ground. The others would not seem to be involved in backradiation affecting the surface, only the 64. If you add this to the 333 in backradiation developed by the atmosphere you get a 397 figure for final outgoing LW rather than the 396 in the figure.

  171. angech, yet again you are avoiding the issue that there is a distinction between a colder body causing a warmer body to be warmer than it would otherwise be and the cooler body heating the warmer body (which is a paraphrase of the quote under discussion).

    You have neither acknowledged nor addresses that distinction, so yet again you are “playing definitional games to create the impression of some sort of rectitude on [your] part” and BBD would put it, or “trolling” which is a more direct way of expressing it.

  172. “396 is clearly not available to ricochet back in again”

    rubbish, most of the 333Wm-2 of back radiation returning the energy from the 396Wm-2 radiated from the surface. If it isn’t “available to ricochet back in again”, where does it go?

    Of course I realise that was just a distraction to avoid acknowledging the distinction I was making, but there you go, I have pointed out the distraction is factually incorrect anyway.

    BTW, “ricochet” is a really bad way to visualise the exchange of energy between the surface and the atmosphere, do yourself a favour and stop using it (it gives the impression that the energy just rebounds back, but it doesn’t; the outbound LW radiation is absorbed by GHGs in the atmosphere, but it isn’t immediately re-radiated, some of it is redistributed by collisions with other air molecules) so there isn’t an immediate change of direction as implied by “ricochet”

  173. Roger Jones says:

    Ok. Time to challenge the narrative.

    Budget is different to process – stocks are different to flows – science meets economics. Radiative budgets just tell you where the energy is when it’s measured, not where it has been. So if you add up all the different forcings in watts per m2, it doesn’t matter which order it’s done in, it reaches the same answer (there are a few atmos chemistry wrinkles here but they aren’t a game changer – also shortwave reflection is different to longwave trapping – despite that, the above assumption mostly works). There is good evidence this general additivity works over multidecadal time scales from theory, models ets etc (it’s the first law of thermodynamics, so should).

    However, on shorter time scales, there is no evidence this holds. Where does the heat go after it is trapped – most of it trapped near the surface? Most people think of land as being the place where warming occurs first and is the greatest. Not so. Heat trapped near the surface over land may contribute to land warming (tiny) or ice warming (just as tiny) but most of it will go to the normal sources for heat. If the land is wet, it goes into the latent heat of evaporation, if the land surface is dry, it goes into sensible heat. Now we know that an airmass is equilibrated with the land surface within 300 m of fetch. So all added heat will be so equilibrated into latent or sensible heat over land – until it hits the ocean. Over Australia, the airmass is over the ocean in 3-10 days, over Eurasia, up to a few weeks, but it does hit the ocean eventually. In any year there is 70 m depth mixing between the ocean and atmosphere. The current greenhouse effect being about 2% of total trapped longwave, the ocean has no problem gobbling it up. This narrative depends on the ocean-atmosphere forming steady-state regimes, which there is plenty of theory and evidence for, but not widespread agreement.

    There is little or no in situ warming of the atmosphere because the atmosphere has no intrinsic heat capacity independent of the surface, therefore no physical warming trend. The warming signal overwhelmingly comes from burst of heat from the ocean accompanying regime change.

    As soon as an airmass from the land hits the ocean, any extra sensible heat will be absorbed (poles don’t count, cause the energy there is so small) – most of this is at the equator and low lats. We know that the land emits sensible heat and the ocean absorbs it. The conventional idea of a warming atmosphere is based on idealised models of radiative-convective transfer – the climatic equivalent to the rational consumer in economics. In these models the atmosphere warms as the longwave energy is trapped and is immediately entrained into convective processes to the top of the atmosphere. However, these models overlook horizontal transport and the role of the ocean.

    The only surface at the planetary scale that can act as a dynamic store is the ocean. All of the added heat from ghgs is absorbed by the ocean and entrained into processes associated with climate variability – decadal regimes, ENSO and the like. They act like a heat pump – during regimes climate is in a steady state. As the heat builds, the ocean/atmosphere connection becomes unstable (western Pacific warm pool does this – perhaps other areas also), flipping into a new regime when it hits the tipping point, releasing a burst of heat as it does so, creating step-like warming book-ending steady-state regimes. The warmer climate after a step change increases the efficiency of transport of the added heat to the poles, but also means a more energetic climate, so the climate-related risks increase in a step-wise fashion also.

    The satellite temps reflect the steady state at the surface by showing no trend, then shift when there is a regime change/burst of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. In that, they are even more step-like than surface temps.

  174. Phil says:

    Thank you for explaining that even ice cubes and GHG do emit energy.

    If you don’t want to be treated like a fool, you could always stop behaving like one.

  175. JCH says:

    Roger Jones – I used to put these maps up at Climate Etc., which I believe illustrate some of your points. AVISO recently changed their website, so you have to look at the maps on their website.

    AVISO sea level

    Lower right side, there are choices… switch from time series to maps.

    First one up, 1993 to 2016… Western Pacific usually has a bulge of hot water (ENSO neutral and La Niña dominance.)

    Go to missions and select GFO… 2000 to 2006, Eastern Pacific has a bulge of hot water.

    Select Jason 1… 2002 to 2013, Western Pacific, the “pause!” has a bulge of cold water.

    Select Jason 2… 2008 to 2016… Eastern Pacific has a bulge of hot water.

  176. izen says:

    @-Roger Jones says:
    “As the heat builds, the ocean/atmosphere connection becomes unstable (western Pacific warm pool does this – perhaps other areas also), flipping into a new regime when it hits the tipping point, releasing a burst of heat as it does so, creating step-like warming book-ending steady-state regimes. The warmer climate after a step change increases the efficiency of transport of the added heat to the poles, but also means a more energetic climate, so the climate-related risks increase in a step-wise fashion also.”

    Most of this seems to be mired in an ambiguous use of the terms ‘heat’ ‘energy’ and ‘temperatures’.

    Is this Bob Tisdale’s ENSO ‘rachet’ ?
    His claim I think is that if this ocean dynamic ‘just happens’ anyway it does not need any extra ‘heat’ from CO2. Then the claim is any warming trend is a product of a changing natural ocean dynamic a dominant role for ‘Natural’ variation. (shades of Curry?)

    The problem with that narrative is explaining why ENSO has a long history of zero influence on the global trend.
    Until now.

  177. JCH says:

    Izen – I think zero Tisdale at the very least.

  178. izen,
    Bob’s doesn’t explain how you can have long-term warming and an increase in OHC. I think Roger is simply that the internal dynamics is very complex, as opposed to Bob who suggests that internal processes drive it all.

  179. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “think Roger is simply that the internal dynamics is very complex, as opposed to Bob who suggests that internal processes drive it all.”

    Well yes.
    But why ‘change the narrative’ to a resultant effect? To What is a downstream process that plays an important role in moving and partitioning the energy into temperature changes and ocean storage, but none in determining the amount of energy it is responding too.
    And has a long historical record of being part of the unmodified climate system.

    There may be a problem with this approach. ENSO, AMOC, PDO and all the other acronyms of internal variation have a role in the climate system with defined historical behaviours. This may no longer be the case, although I do not know how robust the conclusions of this paper are.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13502
    These data suggest that during the pre-industrial period internal variability and feedback mechanisms within the North Atlantic substantially mediate the response of the climate system to top–down forcing (TSI, volcanic, atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases). Although, over the industrial period these data imply that internal oceanic mediation of top–down forcing has been overcome by the rate and nature of the NHSAT increase forced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

  180. izen,

    Well yes.
    But why ‘change the narrative’ to a resultant effect?

    Yes, I don’t see much point (publicly, at least) in changing the narrative. However, I can see that maybe it’s interesting to see how the various processes influence how the surface temperature changes.

  181. JCH says:

    If there is synchronization and coupling of modes of variability, and climate sensitivity is on the higher side of the IPCC range, then you could get periods of extreme warming… like the one in which we currently find ourselves.

    This was in the recent prolonged pause paper, but nobody who likes that paper will talk about that paragraph.

    Extreme warming which could last several more years, or maybe just a few more months to all of 2017, but it’s looking like all of 2017 is a distinct possibility.

  182. izen says:

    @-JCH
    “If there is synchronization and coupling of modes of variability, …”

    If the data in the paper I linked DO imply that recent warming has overcome the usual mediation between natural forcings and ocean dynamics…
    Then looking at how things worked in the past may be no help.

    The paper mentions some model comparisons, but I do not know if the idea that the major ocean dynamics could be significantly changed in their role is something that emerges from modelling, is consistent with models or if the models are capable of modifying basic processes at that level.

    I seem to remember some discussion about changes in the AMOC that were derived from model predictions.

    I did notice that the 1000 year annual record the paper has generated is another hockey stick!

  183. JCH says:

    Izen –

    Prospects for a prolonged slowdown in global warming in the early 21st century

    One extreme example shows a warming of almost 1 °C in 15 years—a much greater 15-year warming rate than has occurred in the observations to date (red curves). These spring-back warmings illustrate another important potential consequence of strong internal multidecadal variability as simulated in CM3, and reinforce the need to better understand whether such internal variability actually occurs in the real world.

    The skeptics who like the above paper will not acknowledge that paragraph. They appear incapable of thinking dynamics/nature could instead deliver a heatwave from hell.

    The chaos theory scene in climate appears to be dominated by Tsonis, Curry, etc. and they seem totally invested in the AMO delivering a cool phase in the near future. They have sort of given dynamics a bad name.

    Its my conclusion that this cold wave, the stadium wave, came and went 2006 to 2012. Gone. We are back in what they call a warm regime.

    That I can see, the only way returning to pausing is possible is the return of England’s anomalous wind. It would open up a vast area of cold water on the surface of the Eastern Pacific from the tip of Southern Chile to Alaska.

  184. that hockey stick thing is amazing. What is it about hockey that causes nature to create changes that look like hockey sticks when graphed? I have to start playing hockey, there is something incredibly important happening in hockey.

  185. Roger Jones says:

    What is the effect of changing the narrative?

    1. Science. Should Newtonian mechanics have changed over to quantum mechanics when classical mechanics does so well for so many things? What’s the point of changing from Newton et al to Einstein et al? We might as well ask is there any point changing from Tyndall/Arrhenius to Lorenz? What has Lorenz done for us? Nothing, apparently. Cute butterfly, by the way.
    2. Characterising changing risk. It’s one thing to model strategic responses to a changing climate to a gradual change in risk, it’s another to imagine that climate regimes can change rapidly, escalating risk in areas where all of a sudden there is a rapid shift. These catch managers, planners and operators in all sorts of trouble. Data that I have at hand says there was a 38% increase in forest fire danger index in Victoria Australia before and after 1998, which resulted in a new categorization of fire from extreme to catastrophic following 178 dead, $4 billion damages in the 2009 fires as part of this regime (after previous cat fires in 2003 (Canberra) and 2006 (north-eastern and central eastern Victoria); 21-24 days earlier picking in wine grapes before and after 1998; a 50% increase in days above 35C in the Melbourne region – again a step change. We have abundant data that says similar temperature changes occurred in many other parts of the world then stayed relatively flat – we don’t have access to detailed impact data (as yet), but news report etc on fires in regions of Mediterranean climate, coral bleaching, phenology and a bunch of other indicators suggest that if they were analysed for rapid change it would likely show up.

    So, if we are in the midst of another shift at the moment and it is bringing in another regime of heightened risk, we should discount it as a blip in the middle of a changing trend? Not in my book.

    What’s the difference between this narrative and Tisdale? Tisdale just says there are changes between El Nino events, with lots of hand-waving and no physical explanation – this is just as bad as Foster (Tamino) and any number of others deciding that El Nino is completely independent of external forcing on statistical grounds, with no physical or theoretical grounds to back this up. Some El Nino events are independent, others are coupled into the external forcing process depending on the state of the system. There is no reason within a fully coupled physical system to assume the separate behaviour of linked processes (it’s all energy – why would heat take different pathways when it has the same origin; i.e., radiative capture).

    This narrative has a physical and theoretical underpinning that people without exposure to climate science get straight away in my experience. It’s just those who have grown up in the interlinked process of classical statistics linked to the radiative forcing-convective model who have trouble stepping beyond that. Trouble for the radiative convective model is that it ignores the involvement of the ocean, which happens to cover 70% of the planetary surface. Fine for Venus and Mars but not here. It’s time for climatology to move into the 21st century.

  186. Willard says:

    > there is something incredibly important happening in hockey.

    Here you go:

    You’re welcome.

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