Rose down the rabbit hole

To follow-up on his previous article, where he claimed that stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions, David Rose has a new article in which he claims that Now SECOND set of data shows world temperatures have cooled… and spikes were caused by El Nino – NOT by man. His previous article was very heavily criticised, both in the media, and by scientists. His new article is now claiming that he was right all along, and that his critics are green propagandists.

What I find quite remarkable is that David Rose is essentially presenting his own scientific analysis, despite numerous scientists pointing out that he is wrong, and despite having no actual expertise. However, David Rose is being a little cleverer in this new article, as he has slightly shifted what he’s claiming; he’s now talking about spikes, rather than records. Let’s remind ourselves of what he said in his first article

Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming.

Others have argued that the records were caused by El Nino, a complex natural phenomenon that takes place every few years, and has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions by humans.

The new fall in temperatures suggests they were right.

What’s being suggested by some scientists is that the recent record warm years were not caused by the El Niño; they would have been records even without the El Niño contribution. The reason being that the contribution from El Niño is typically around 0.2oC, or less, and hence even correcting for this leads to these still having been record years.

hadcrut4_globalI thought I would try, here, to illustrate the basic point. The figure on the right shows the HadCRUT4 monthly data relative to the 1961-1990 mean (blue), a 12 month running average (red), and the linear trend from 1970 – October 2016. I’m ignoring the uncertainty in the trend (it would be about ± 0.03oC) as it isn’t really relevant for the basic point. This will also be a little simple, so if you want more detail, read Tamino’s posts.

The table below shows the mid-year trend values, and global annual averages for a recent years that have either been record years, or close to record years. Let’s start with 1998. The mid-year trend value was 0.336; the global annual average for that year (which was associated with a strong El Niño) was 0.537. This is consistent with the El Niño enhancing global temperatures by maybe two-tenths of a oC. Of course, there may be other factors that also influenced this, but it was unlikely to be much more than this. Now consider 2014. The mid-year trend value and the global annual average are quite similar; there is little El Niño effect, and yet it still beats 1998. What about 2015? The global annual average is almost two-tenths of a oC higher than 2014, and yet the El Niño had only just started. There was almost certainly some El Niño influence, but probably not as much as two-tenths of a oC (most estimates suggest a bit less than 0.1oC). Hence, 2015 would probably have beaten 2014, even without some help from the El Niño.

Year Mid-year trend value Annual global average
1998 0.336 0.537
2005 0.458 0.545
2010 0.545 0.558
2014 0.615 0.576
2015 0.632 0.761
2016 0.649 (0.817)

We don’t yet know about 2016 (it’s not yet over) but the average to October is 0.817. It may be that it will only be warmer than 2015 because of a larger El Niño contribution, but that doesn’t change that the recent records were not simply because of the El Niño. I’ve also seen analyses suggesting that 2016 would still beat 2015, even if corrected for El Niño.

I should, however, make some things clear. This is a very simple analysis. The linear trend is not a perfect representation of the forced response, and variations from that trend do not necessarily correctly represent the variability about the forced response (if anyone thinks I’ve blundered spectacularly here, feel free to let me know). However, what this does indicate is that this variability is typically (for annual averages, at least) at the level of two-tenths of a oC, or lower. Hence, this variability (mostly El Niño in the last year or so) cannot explain the recent record warm years, as suggested by David Rose.

A couple of others things for David Rose to ponder (if he bothers to read this, that is).

  • David Rose seems to suggest that he would prefer a politer debate about climate change. If so, maybe he should avoid using pejorative labels (like green propagandists) to describe those who disagree with what he presents. He doesn’t have to, but if he does he should probably avoid complaining when he gets labelled in a way he doesn’t like.
  • David Rose seemed really put out about being regarded as a science denier. If this was genuine – rather than feigned – maybe he should avoid RTing, and associating with, those who very obviously are. Two examples would be Steven Goddard and James Delingpole.

Addendum:

One of the most amusing things about this whole saga was a Mail Online article about
‘Science doesn’t care about your opinion’: The Weather Channel launches scathing attack on Breitbart for ‘misleading’ article on climate change
that failed to point out that the origin was really David Rose in the Mail Online.

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175 Responses to Rose down the rabbit hole

  1. Just as I was finishing this, I noticed Michael Mann tweeting about his paper which says

    We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change

  2. Mike says:

    We’re all walking up the AGW hill and he thinks that the yoyo of El Nino/natural variation that we’re playing with is the story.

  3. Mike,
    Yes, essentially. Of course, he’s now somewhat cleverly written his new article as if he was only referring to the yoyo part, but that is a rather nuanced interpretation of his earlier article, and is a strawman response to what has been claimed by most scientists.

  4. Mike Coday says:

    I bet Rose has little or no trouble finding funding for his “studies.” Rose can join avoid the duress of the war on science and rub shoulders with wealthy and influential people as a side benefit of his politically convenient theories about climate. I think it’s easy to see what Rose’s science is all about.

  5. One of the rhetorical tricks is to compare El Nino peak in the monthly averages, which is much larger, with what scientists said about annual averages, where you see El Nino much less because the peak was just a few months. Or to compare what happened in 2016 with what scientists said about what happened in 2015, where the influence of El Nino was smaller.

    I should, however, make some things clear. This is a very simple analysis. The linear trend is not a perfect representation of the forced response

    Karsten’s Global Warming index is more advanced. Basically the same answer.

  6. Karsten’s Global Warming index is more advanced. Basically the same answer.

    That’s good to know 🙂

  7. Joshua says:

    On this same topic, someone who has some purchase with, FWIW, those that like to call themselves “lukewarmers. ”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-newspaper-claim-about-global-temperature-is-deeply-misleading

    Perhaps Anthony, Judith, Lucia, Matt, and the rest of the self-identified” lukewarmers, ” will contact David to let him no of their outrage over David’s use of” propagandist” – (although I don’t recommend anyone hold their breath until any of them do so.)

    I found that article by Zeke to be clear and convincing… would appreciate any critiques.

  8. Joshua says:

    And that’s why I have (mostly) tried giving up on using html tags from my phone.

    Please turn off italics after “outrage?”

    [Mod: fixed]

  9. Joshua,
    I think Zeke’s article is good. I don’t have any criticisms, but then I haven’t worked through it in greadt detail.

  10. Harry Twinotter says:

    In the article David Rose talks about HadCRUT4, yet is still showing what looks like RSS. Again he is presenting the chart in a way to avoid showing the long-term trend for context. Using a baseline of 1978-1998 (20 years) seems a bit odd too, there is enough data to use a standard 30 year baseline.

    So he is willfully deceiving his readers. If there is ever a climate change “crimes against Humanity” trial, at least his name will be near the top of the list.

  11. Harry,
    Yes, the top figure looks like HadCRUT4, but the bottom still seems to be the RSS TLT version 3.3 land only, that should be used with caution.

  12. Harry Twinotter says:

    ATTP.

    Yes, it does look like HadCRUT4 and the data shows the drop only get the temp down to the trend line – David Rose obviously has a low opinion of his readers and assumes they will not spot the contradiction. I also notice he is calling the 1998 a “strong” peak and 2016 a “very strong” peak even though the two El Ninos were roughly the same strength. My god the man is a jerk.

    I think the true focus of this set of articles is the “cost” estimate of renewable energy policy. The average reader probably will not pay much attention to a climate change denier article, but they will to a hip-pocket article.

  13. Harry,
    Indeed, and this is after Andrew Dessler pointed out that he has seen no evidence to suggest current El Nino much stronger than 97/98 El Nino.

  14. Willard says:

    From David Rose’s political hit job (with an emphasis to underline the death of expertise):

    The report, The Cost Of The Climate Change Act, is by Peter Lilley, the Conservative MP and former Trade Secretary. […] The report will be published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the think-tank founded by Lord Lawson. Sometimes attacked for its sceptical view of climate science and energy policy, its advisory council includes some of the world’s leading experts.

    Cue to Doug’s list:

  15. MarkB says:

    ATTP: What I find quite remarkable is that David Rose is essentially presenting his own scientific analysis, despite numerous scientists pointing out that he is wrong, and despite having no actual expertise.

    I don’t think it’s the case that Rose dreams this stuff up, rather he’s just one of the conduits for the spread of climate misinformation. The scientific bits of these articles, such as they are, generally trace back to the GWPF, Heartland, or other such think tank. A necessary feature of these articles is quotes from plausible (to a credulous audience) experts, so the think tanks are important both in providing the story basis and “expert quotes”. That the science does not withstand rigorous scrutiny is besides the point.

    I doubt that I’ve said anything here that isn’t obvious to those involved in the online climate debate.

  16. David Rose: “When February produced a new hot record for that month, at the very peak of El Nino, newspapers in several countries claimed that this amounted to a ‘global climate emergency’, and showed the world was ‘hurtling’ towards the point when global warming would become truly dangerous. Now, apparently, the immediate threat has passed.

    I guess David Rose missed that hundreds of millions of people were affected by El Nino causing, depending on the region, flood and droughts. For poor people depending on farming the threat is far from over.

    David Rose: “The report was, in fact, based on Nasa satellite measurements of temperatures in the lower atmosphere over land

    Rose must have missed that in the review of his first article, it was already explained that most of the microwave radiometers are actually flying on NOAA satellites. Their main job is operational retrievals of humidity for weather prediction. (They were never designed to be used for climate change research.)

    David Rose: “spikes were caused by El Nino – NOT by man … El Nino is not caused by greenhouse gases and has nothing to do with climate change.

    Rose must have missed that in the review of his first article, it was already explained that El Nino is not the opposite of man-made. As Vincent Emmanuel wrote:

    Preliminary research suggests that strong El Niño events (like the 2015 and 1997 ones) could become more frequent under business as usual scenario. See, e.g.: Cai et al (2014) Increasing frequency of extreme El Niño events due to greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change

    I guess the Daily Mail and its unholy counterpart Mail on Sunday cannot afford a journalist to spend some time reading up on the topic and talking to scientists to get the story right. I guess they have more important articles to write such as:
    “Red hot! Doutzen Kroes sizzles and twerks in multi-strap corset swimsuit as she puts on a racy performance for Love Magazine’s Advent calendar White hot!” and
    “Myleene Klass flaunts her flawless figure in skimpy cut-out swimsuit as she frolics on the beach in Dubai. A Klass act as always”

  17. Richard Alley did a great job at AGU Chapman Conference 2013, showing how there will always be pauses to exploit, and he neatly links these to his life story …

    Most politicians would recognise this kind of abuse of data by Rose et al, because its what they do with job data, GDP, etc. all the time (lies, damn lies, and statistics, no less).

  18. Mark,

    I don’t think it’s the case that Rose dreams this stuff up, rather he’s just one of the conduits for the spread of climate misinformation. The scientific bits of these articles, such as they are, generally trace back to the GWPF, Heartland, or other such think tank.

    Yes, this is often the origin. The latest article, however, seemed to be his own extension of what was presented by the GWPF and he seems to defend it himself, rather than deferring to his sources.

    Richard E.,
    Yes, a great video. What he says at 10:50 is particularly apt

    • Shut up during year of rapid warming, then
    • Claim global warming stopped, until next year of rapid warming.
    • Repeat ad infinitum
  19. angech says:

    “What’s being suggested by some scientists is that the recent record warm years were not caused by the El Niño; they would have been records even without the El Niño contribution.”
    Fair enough, we are at a plateau of global temperature rises so most years should naturally be warmer than 50 years ago.
    “The reason being that the contribution from El Niño is typically around 0.2oC, or less, and hence even correcting for this leads to these still having been record years.”
    Not happy, the typical contribution is quite different from the actual contribution and this has to be taken into account. From all accounts 1998 and 2015/16 were exceptionally strong El Nino’s and this should be given some credence. Eyeballing the chart a rise of 0.6 from bottom to top so mean of 0.3 not 0.2 for 2015/16 and even more for 1998. Not that that represents a lot of difference but….correcting for this might have made them not record years, or not by a lot.
    Well that is 2 data sets, needs a lot more yet to prove anything.

  20. angech,
    Where are you getting 0.3 from?

  21. JCH says:

    Where is the calculation for all of the anthropogenic warming erased by the 07-08, 10-11, and 11-12 La Niña events? The 21st century is La Niña/ENSO negative dominant.

  22. JCH – c’mon, get with the program. Iff you’re a pseudoskeptic you’re allowed to only subtract out the El Nino years, *also* correcting for La Nina years is a completely useless exercise.

  23. JCH says:

    I see… skeptic science may not be great… but at least it’s always inconsistent.

  24. Nick Stokes says:

    ” Now SECOND set of data shows world temperatures have cooled”
    Focusing on “Now”. Here is a plot of HADCRUT 4 by month (more datasets here). I have green-ringed the period of actual drop, which was from March to May. After May, it remained warmer until October, which was cool because of the Siberia freeze. Even so, October was warmer than the 1998 annual average. It’s old news, and no surprise. Went up, came down.

  25. verytallguy says:

    One of the most amusing things about this whole saga was a Mail Online article about ‘Science doesn’t care about your opinion’: The Weather Channel launches scathing attack on Breitbart for ‘misleading’ article on climate change that failed to point out that the origin was really David Rose in the Mail Online.

    Words fail me. I genuinely can’t comprehend how people can be quite so dishonest and still sleep at night.

    Still, seems about par for the course for 2016.

  26. izen says:

    It is a measure of how partisan, at least on one side(!) the climate wars have become that the Mail will only allow comments on a climate article if it contends with the mainstream science.
    Any article that reports climate effects or findings in line with AGW and mainstream science will have the message;
    ” Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.”
    As is the case with their report of the big jump in methane levels.

    But then given the level of vitriol expressed even when a David Rose article supports the denialist position, they have probably found it impossible to moderate the comments in reply to accurate reporting.
    David Rose is clearly telling his consumers what they want to hear.

  27. “Eyeballing the chart a rise of 0.6 from bottom to top so mean of 0.3 not 0.2 for 2015/16 and even more for 1998”

    The mean is not halfway between the maximum and minimum, it isn’t even the definition of the median. Sorry angech, at least get the data and put it in a spreadsheet and calculate the mean before you start questioning others. Also attribution by eyeball is not a very good way of going about it, personally I’d rather look at a paper, such as Foster and Rahmstorf, who have actually performed a statistical analysis of the data.

  28. vtg,

    Words fail me. I genuinely can’t comprehend how people can be quite so dishonest and still sleep at night.

    Indeed. This is one of the issues with what Doug McNeall suggests. Whatever tactic we use, we are constrained to present only what is consistent with the scientific evidence and to, where appropriate, provide all necessary caveats and uncertainties. Given that, it is very difficult then to deal with situation where other parties do not have such constrained, but also have the tendency to run off complaining if anyone accuses them of being dishonest, or mis-informing, etc.

  29. MikeR says:

    ATTP

    There is only a small (10%) decrease in slope when the two major El-Ninos are removed see https://s20.postimg.org/9znkcmvdp/RSS_with_and_without_EL_Nino.jpg , An interpretation (maybe naive) is that El-Ninos contribute about this much to the overall trend.

    Anyone like to comment whether this is a reasonable assumption.

  30. MikeR,
    I suspect that’s simply because you’re removed the El Nino contribution at the end of the time series. I don’t think it really tells you much about what the actual contribution would be; although maybe I’m missing something.

  31. MikeR says:

    ATTP, Yes in total agrreement. The above was for the cherry picker’s new favourite data set RSS v 3.3. If you use the,surface records the difference in trends will be much less due to the smaller amplitude of the El-Nino signal.

    Rose’s imputation that the latest El-Nino is the only reason for the record temperatures is clearly bollocks. Excuse the language.

  32. Jim Hunt says:

    My alter ego’s (somewhat idiosyncratic) take on David Rose’s most recent article:

  33. izen says:

    @-MikeR
    “Anyone like to comment whether this is a reasonable assumption.”

    It is reasonable if you have a mechanism for ENSO events to generate energy at the surface comparable to 10% of that retained by rising GHGs.
    Historical evidence indicates this has not happened in the past. ENSO cycles may more reasonably be regarded as a feedback causing internal variation than a forcing.

  34. izen says:

    The best measure of how much influence the El Nino event had on temperatures in comparison with the long term trend (in the sense they CAN be independently described) will be in the Ocean Heat Content data.

    While the historical data are uncertain, they are consistent with physical models that indicate that the OHC falls during El Nino events and rises during La Nina events. The ENSO cycle is a temporary shift in how the energy is partitioned between surface and ocean.

    However more recently the OHC shows little change during the ENSO cycle, the trend dominates from the late 70s onward with little sign of a slowdown of energy accumulation even during the strong 1998 El Nino.

    If OHC falls as dramatically as RSS TLTv3 land only, then DR could have a point about the record year being a ENSO artefact.
    If OHC shows little deviation from its recent monotonic climb, then the 2015/16 EL Nino is just a foretaste of what temperature is required to get anywhere near energy balance within the oceans.

  35. JCH says:

    I think the only recent El Niño where there is a perceptible lasting decline in OHC is 97-98. And my hunch is it did not start dropping until the 98-01 La Niña was well underway. The data will tell.

    …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. … Roger Jones

    So I think 97-98 happened when the PDO was trending persistently downward, and 15-16 happened when the PDO was violently ramping up to a warming peak. It’s appears to peak rapidly and fall back just as quickly.

  36. Jim Hunt says:

    Mr. Rose’s claims become ever more extreme. In even more shocking news he asserts on Twitter:

    I don’t “deny” human emissions cause global warming.

  37. guthrie says:

    So why the scare quotes around the word deny?
    Mind you, we know he doesn’t deny, he just uses lots of words and elisions and misunderstandings of the science to present a result which can be understood as him denying the facts, but in which he doesn’t actually say so.

  38. John Hartz says:

    Tamino does another takedown of Rose in…

    Climate Denier David Does It Again, Open Mind, Dec 12, 2016

  39. This video showing a discussion between David Rose and David Whitehouse is well worth watching. The main reason I say that is because to an outdside observer, it would seem like a discussion between two reasonable people, who presented a perfectly reasonable representation of some data, and were then attacked by these nasty bloggers, etc.

    What I found interesting, though, was how they come across as if they really understand this, and that what they’ve concluded was obvious. No recognition that maybe the reason they were being criticised was because it’s not obvious and they simply know so little, that they don’t even realise how little they know (in the case of David Whitehouse I find that unlikely since some of what I’ve seen him present is so obviously nonsense, that it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t know). There’s also absolutely no recognition that maybe some of the criticism was warranted; they were completely justified in what they present and the criticisms were completely unwarranted.

    The final bit was maybe the most remarkable. David Rose says:

    ..the Breitbart author, James Delingpole, said that he thought that this was the final three years of the climate scam…soon he’d be able to declare victory in this struggle. I don’t think it’s going to be like that, I think this is going to be a very vexatious issue for a very long time to come.

    Well, yes, it probably will be very vexiatious for a very long time to come, because we have people like Delingpole calling it a climate scam and people like Rose (who pretends to be reasonable) seeming to see no real issue with that.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/david-whitehouse-david-rose-discuss-reactions-to-post-el-nino-cooling/

  40. Jim Hunt says:

    It’s such a shame that “Comments are disabled for this video” 😦

    If I may I’ll endorse this quote by David Whitehouse here instead:

    There’s something about the nature of the debate which is inherently nasty, unscientific, that is very depressing considering it’s such an important topic

  41. He told me to f**k off recently too, Must be a theme.

  42. izen says:

    Don’t be to hard on Rose. It must be upsetting when people tell him he is talking clap when it is just his job to be the public orifice through which the GWPF product is dumped on the public.

    And you are not even the intended target audience. Nothing he writes is directed towards scientists. He is not trying to change minds, certainly not those with any knowledge of history or science.

    @-“I don’t think it’s going to be like that, I think this is going to be a very vexatious issue for a very long time to come.”

    It might be interesting to know why Rose thinks it is going to be vexatious for a long time.
    Without rising temperatures and a changing climate what factors would keep it an issue?

    The replacement of fossil fuels with alternatives for reasons of cost and clean air will ‘fuel’ a conflict between the old energy business and new, even without the advantage of being a claimed step in responding to AGW so I supose there is always that. One way coal can defend its position is claim that efforts to remove/replace it are based on ‘Green dogma’ not cost and pollution advantages for the alternatives in developing nations.

  43. JCH says:

    You guys are not giving him his due. He’s discovered the EPNO… the El Petia Northern Oscillation. The oscillation occurs periodically along equatorial region of the Siberian tundra… during its warm phase, El Petia, the tundra melts and all of Santa’s reindeer die of anthrax. During its cool phase, La Kushka, the earth’s continents under that lie under the RSS land satellite experience little ice ages and that nasty villain Gavin Schmidt is all at fault as poor children freeze and he should be fired.

  44. angech says:

    …and Then There’s Physics
    “angech,Where are you getting 0.3 from?”
    ATTP you said “The reason being that the contribution from El Niño is typically around 0.2oC, or less,”
    Four ways.
    -0.1 from 2015 [you said] and 0.2 from 2016.
    -Eyeballing the chart a rise of 0.6 from bottom to top so mean of 0.3 not 0.2 for 2015/16 and even more for 1998.
    -The last two El Nino’s have been a lot bigger than the typical El Nino so one can assume that 0.2 should be much less than the current rise.
    -An El Nino is a rise of > 0.5 for more than 5 months and this last El Nino certainly went a lot longer and higher than that. I would think that if you averaged the temperature from start to end of where it went over 0.5 for until it went down and the length of time that that figure would be greater than 0.3 for a year.
    I agree on the numbers you posted for the years that it appears to be under 0.3 for the 2 years combined
    2014 0.615 0.576
    2015 0.632 0.761
    2016 0.649 (0.817)
    0.576 to 0.817 but this ignores the fact that both years were not complete years and the effect should be over the time El Nino is actually occurring.

  45. Okay, you seem to be referring to something different. I’m referring to how much it can contribute to a global annual average. You seem to be referring to some estimate for how much it might contribute across all of the thing that you regard as the El Nino spike. That, however, lasts longer than one year, so can’t be the contribution to the average for one year.

    0.576 to 0.817 but this ignores the fact that both years were not complete years and the effect should be over the time El Nino is actually occurring.

    Only 2016 is not a complete year and the point is that the records refer to annual global averages. The point is not to determine the effect of the El Nino over it’s entire time, it’s to determine how much it contributes to a global annual average.

  46. pete best says:

    The daily mail online is obviously a conduit for news worthy stories as it reports on denial and climate impacts equally. It just seems to be a portal for news with little idea of what its actual stance is.

  47. angech says:

    ATTP , I agree we are estimating different concepts and an 0.2 rise would be typical in most years as the effect may be spread between 2 years or not last a whole year in a typical El Niño. At the stage we are in which is either an upward trend or a pause the temperatures will always be high with or without an El Niño spike. Look forward with interest to the 2017 as to whether JCH or I get the most jabs or jibes in as CO2 rise v actual temp plays out.
    I hope to win the battles in the next 3 months and on but the war for 2016 looks won by JCH.

  48. I agree we are estimating different concepts and an 0.2 rise would be typical in most years

    Which is essentially the point. The difference between 2015 and 2014 is such that even if you corrected for the El Nino, 2015 would probably have been higher than 2014. Therefore, it wasn’t because of the El Nino, as David Rose continues to suggest.

  49. Jim Hunt says:

    Izen – I’ve been carefully deconstructing Mr. Rose’s recent public pronouncements and there can be no doubt whatsoever that, contrary to your suggestion, he sincerely believes that “of course… there’s a long term warming trend”:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/12/post-truth-global-and-arctic-temperatures/#comment-216633

    A very vexatious issue for a very long time to come!

  50. JCH says:

    Basically, I won 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. But hey, who’s counting?

    I suspect all of these calculations are wrong. You need to do it with the PDO index. I don’t trust the IPO. It seems to have AMO DNA in it.

  51. angech says:

    2015,20016 yes If pause back 2017 we will have to redebate

  52. angech wrote “2015,20016 yes If pause back 2017 we will have to redebate”

    of course there has to have been a pause in the first place for the pause to be back in 2017.

  53. angech,
    A single year doesn’t make a “pause”. It almost seems that some people think that the figure below is showing what should be done, rather than an example of how not to do things.

  54. BBD says:

    The evergreen contrarian fallacy of confusing interannual variability with the evolution of the long-term forced trend…

  55. JCH says:

    When I summarize the ONI from 1984 to 2014, I get -14.6. That is La Niña/negative PDO dominance. That is natural variability, a vast area called the Eastern Pacific, desperately trying to cause global cooling for 29 years in a row.

    2014, 2015, and 2106 (so far) have taken that to +5.4.

    None of the 2016 warming is natural. Not a speck of it.

  56. izen says:

    @-BBD
    “The evergreen contrarian fallacy of confusing interannual variability with the evolution of the long-term forced trend…”

    Using the eyeball (angtech?) method of statistical perception it appears that interannual variability is falling in most climate metrics over the last few decades+
    Of course this may be an artefact of greater uncertainty in older records, or the absence of major volcanic eruptions for a few decades. But it does ‘look’ as through the range of inter-annual variability and its frequency are shrinking as warming, sea level rise and OHC gains continue.

  57. Jim Hunt says:

    Since Anders doesn’t seem to have mentioned it yet:

  58. BBD says:

    Filched from JH’s Great White Con blog:

    Worth a thousand words, most of them unprintable here…

  59. BBD says:

    @ izen

    Not really seeing it but as you say, it’s eyeballs not analysis.

  60. BBD those who can’t learn from blog discussions are doomed to repeat them. Unfortunately we are doomed to the same fate along with them…

  61. BBD says:

    I must have done something truly dreadful in a past existence…

  62. @Jim Hunt … I think we need a child psychologist not a climate scientist to unpick the game playing of David Rose. It looks like classic attention seeking behaviour, flitting between acceptance and rejections, pleasantries and anger. When the boy wants attention, you need ways other than logic to elicit better behaviour. But daddy Dacre is unfortunately a vey bad daddy, so don’t expect a change in beahviour any time soon.

  63. Richard E.,
    From what I’ve read, he might even be copying Daddy Dacre.

  64. Jim Hunt says:

    BBD – NOAA have just published their own verdict on 2016 Arctic temperatures:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/12/arctic-sea-ice-news-from-agu/#ReportCard

    Rose seems strangely silent on the topic, though he did opine “We shall see” on the BEST November data.

  65. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ATTP:

    From what I’ve read, he might even be copying Daddy Dacre.

    Hmm.

    But while we’re doing physics, does anyone know where Dr John Cooper Clarke got the punchy guitar riffs that he played behind his many, many and still continuing plugs for his 3-hour spot on Radio 4 Extra last Saturday?

  66. @Jim – the Arctic Report Card 2016 was featured in a AGU presentation. Unequivocal.

    http://arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card

  67. BBD says:

    Jim Hunt

    Not encouraging at all.

    * * *

    @Vinny

    But while we’re doing physics

    Daddy Dacre and co. aren’t doing physics; they’re doing misleading media. It’s different.

  68. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: You may want to add a second addemdum to you OP — a reference and ink to:

    Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Report by Bob Henson & Jeff Masters, WunderBlog, Weather Underground, Dec 6, 2016

    In particular, Figure 2 of the article addresses many of the points and counterpoints stated in this thread.

  69. izen says:

    @-Vinny Burgoo
    “But while we’re doing physics, does anyone know where Dr John Cooper Clarke got the punchy guitar riffs…”

    Hugh Cornwell ?

  70. BBD says:

    Beazley Street bop, the soundtrack of progress.

  71. russellseitz says:

    The countdown has begun to The Great White House Whitehouse – Rose Climate Debate,
    featuring Scottie Nell Hughes as Moderator

  72. Leto says:

    The Arctic Report Card states…
    “The average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2016 is by far the highest since 1900, and new monthly record highs were recorded for January, February, October and November 2016. ”

    This could be interpreted as a high temperature in 1900, and then another high temperature in 2016, not quite reaching the record set in 1900. I don’t think that is what was meant. Given the eagerness of folks to misinterpret things, maybe alternative wording would be appropriate?

  73. Jim Hunt says:

    @Richard – See also the video of the AGU press conference on the R/V Lance’s 6 month expedition embedded in the Central Arctic:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/12/arctic-sea-ice-news-from-agu/#NICE2015

    Many things we experienced took us by surprise.

  74. angech says:

    …and Then There’s Physics says: December 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm
    “angech, A single year doesn’t make a “pause”.
    dikranmarsupial says: December 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm
    “angech wrote “2015,20016 yes If pause back 2017 we will have to re debate”
    of course there has to have been a pause in the first place for the pause to be back in 2017”.
    The concept of a pause has been around for 18 years now.
    The concept is anathema to AGW.
    So there are people who deny the existence of a pause.
    Most here. Dikran, Tamino, probably ATTP.
    Fine .
    But one cannot deny the existence of the concept of a pause.
    This has been widely debated here.
    So if one admits the concept of a pause then I can debate ATTP in that if a single year can break a pause then a single year can make a pause.
    Unfortunately a pause can be as long as a piece of string so the arguments will tend to fly by each other and we will each be right in our own definition.

    Jim Hunt says: December 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm uses a graph showing this very problem of definition on Arctic warming.
    If we look a the graph as a whole it is easy to see that big deviations have occurred in the past in either direction but overall they track each other.
    Taking the last year, with a known El Nino, which causes related warming effects later in the poles and is within the range of natural variability [See the large drop in 1961-eyeballing] and saying that therefore the Arctic is on a warming pathway is no different to a skeptic taking an 18 year pause in some data sets and saying a pause is occurring.
    Both have the same possibility of being right short and long term but go against the natural trends.

  75. Jpio says:

    “if a single year can break a pause then a single year can make a pause”

    A week of rain can break a drought. Is a week without rain a drought?

  76. Harry Twinotter says:

    angech.

    There is no ‘pause’, not even a concept of one. The IPCC AR5 does not mention it.

    If you are going to talk about a “pause” (or even a concept of one), then please define the term to us first.

  77. izen says:

    Sceptic Dictionary;

    Pause: Any period of time where the inter-annual variation renders the underlying known trend statistically indistinguishable from zero.
    Statistical methods may be selected to maximise the probability of this result.

  78. Jim Hunt says:

    @angech – You should probably consult Bill the Frog:

    How to Make a Complete RSS of Yourself (With Sausages)

  79. angech wrote “But one cannot deny the existence of the concept of a pause.”

    if you are going to go in for sophistry, then at least try and make it a bit more subtle than this pathetic attempt. Nobody was questioning the existence of the concept of a pause. We were questioning the claim that a pause actually existed. Of course you know that perfectly well and are just trying to spin out the distraction a bit further….

    “Unfortunately a pause can be as long as a piece of string so the arguments will tend to fly by each other and we will each be right in our own definition.”

    No, that is what is known as “bullshit” (choosing your definition to suit your argument without caring whether it is actually valid). Scientists on the other hand are capable of defining a pause more objectively, e.g. using an appropriate statistical test. Unfortunately the observations don’t pass that test, but that hasn’t stopped those who don’t understand statistics from applying the eyecrometer or substituting an obviously inappropriate test (e.g. “no significant warming since…”), simply because they don’t like the result of the appropriate statistical analysis”.

    As Andrejs Dunkels said: “It is easy to lie with statistics. It is hard to tell the truth without it.” (presuming of course that we are interested in the truth, rather than just affirming ones existing position – that makes it even more difficult as it only happens by accident ;o)

  80. BTW note the evidence that angech has provided so far for the existence of a pause is approximately nil. The evidence that he might change his mind on the grounds that he has been unable to provide any evidence is also approximately nil.

  81. Magma says:

    @Leto — Yes, absolutely. I don’t know why researchers and communication offices continue to make this obvious mistake. Apart from being needlessly ambiguous, it is an open invitation to misinterpretation, inadvertent or deliberate.

    “By far the warmest year in records going back to 1900 (or 116 years)” is much clearer.

  82. JCH says:

    angech and the rest of Professor Curry’s flock of lukewarmers are sitting on fake chairs in a fake terminal building beside a fake airfield on some South Sea island waiting anxiously praying for a fake cargo plane full of spoon bending witch doctors who will perform their CPR magic physics on the bloated gasbag carcass formerly called the pause.

    There hasn’t been a good old-fashioned global cooling event since the 19th century, long before any of these people were born, and yet, they still believe every downward wiggle means it’s right around the corner… Professor Curry… AMO cold phase… now put off to the 2020’s.

    angech, you do know that the 2020’s are not next year, right?

    Old-fashioned cooling means the GMST goes way way down to something that could be called cold… like it used to in the good old days when America was great… cowboys and indians… train robbers… mule teams… low IQ Presidents.

  83. RickA says:

    Harry said “There is no ‘pause’, not even a concept of one. The IPCC AR5 does not mention it.”

    The IPCC AR5 doesn’t mention a best estimate for ECS either. Perhaps it doesn’t exist either?

  84. Marco says:

    Indeed, RickA, at the time the AR5 was finalized there was no best estimate for ECS.

  85. BBD says:

    …but now it is understood that the EBM estimates are biased low, the best estimate is once again ~3C per doubling.

  86. Willard says:

    > The IPCC AR5 doesn’t mention a best estimate for ECS either. Perhaps it doesn’t exist either?

    A Paws refers to a thing in the world, and a best estimate to an authoritative opinion about the world.

    Oh, and this –

    No advocacy there. No activism either. Move along, nothing to see.

  87. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Izen, that’s a shrewd guess. You’re prolly right.

    Chung chikka chikka chikka chikka, chung chikka chikka chikka chikka… Effing earworms.

  88. Vinyy Burgoo says:

    BBD: Nope.

    (That’s just wrong.)

  89. BBD says:

    It was meant to be the antidote, not a replication. An earworm to displace an earworm…

  90. JCH says:

    Decade-long deep-ocean warming detected in the subtropical South Pacific

    We further demonstrate that this heat accumulation is consistent with a decade-long intensification of the subtropical convergence, possibly linked to the persistent La Niña-like state.

  91. Willard says:

    > (That’s just wrong.)

    RTFR:

    It’s not as if contrarians had no grasp of ostinati.

    In musical terms, Judy reminded in her tweet above that David Rose forgot the freedom fighting refrain.

  92. Harry Twinotter says:

    RickA.

    “The IPCC AR5 doesn’t mention a best estimate for ECS either. Perhaps it doesn’t exist either?”

    Warning! Subject change! 🙂

  93. angech says:

    dikranmarsupial says: December 14, 2016 at 9:56 am
    “BTW note the evidence that angech has provided so far for the existence of a pause is approximately nil.”.
    Grantham Institute Briefing paper No 14 Sept 2015 a very important paper.
    “Ocean heat uptake and the global surface temperature record DR FLORA WHITMARSH,
    Executive summary
    There has been a long term increase in global surface temperatures over the
    last century. A slowdown, sometimes referred to as a hiatus, in this long term
    trend has been observed over approximately the last 16 years. Whilst there is
    ongoing debate as to the severity of the hiatus, a slowing or even a reversal of
    the temperature trend is not unprecedented. Historic temperature records show
    a variation over decades and a similar change of pace was observed between
    1940 and 1975.
    Note this is only evidence for the concept of a pause since you are adamant that no pause has ever existed in recent times.

  94. Marco says:

    Hiatus =/ pause.

  95. angech says:

    Harry Twinotter says: December 14, 2016 at 4:26 am
    “angech.There is no ‘pause’, not even a concept of one. The IPCC AR5 does not mention it.
    If you are going to talk about a “pause” (or even a concept of one), then please define the term to us first.”
    Well, one try only since they “do not exist”..
    In regard to the temperature records, of earth, of which there are several in recent times.
    Let us say records from 1970 onwards as this allows Satellite V observer and surface temperature, though this will unfortunately have to cover lower troposphere which will cause quibbles..
    One could even use the higher altitude satellite records though as one shows cooling this might not be a good idea.
    A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend. This is well shown in the Skeptical science elevator graphs supplied by ATTP which shows 5 episodes of what one could call pauses.
    In the bigger picture longer time frame one finds no pause.
    This does not invalidate the concept and meaning of a pause.
    When one has a sequence that is open ended and continuing there will be times when the temperature average flattens out, a pause, or falls, a drop.
    Now at some stage in any open sequence there will come a time when the trend changes.
    It could be dropping CO2, Sun cycles, La Nina or natural variation as some examples. W2hen it happens it will start with a flattening of, a pause.
    Skeptics may live in hope, or a mirage. but by definition they are able to refer to a pause. Denying that the cycle naturally has pauses and drops due to a worry that saying so will let skeptics bleat they have won just makes your own arguments seem contrived instead of sensible.”
    “The IPCC AR5 does not mention it”
    Google it. Lots of other sources, credible and not so., talk about a pause recently. Even
    dikranmarsupial said 05/09/2014 at 7:55 pm at Telford”s “Incidentally, the proposed method gives a hiatus period of 16 years for the UAH dataset and 26 years for the RSS dataset.”

  96. A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend. This is well shown in the Skeptical science elevator graphs supplied by ATTP which shows 5 episodes of what one could call pauses.

    No, that is not really what it is showing. It’s showing that if you choose a short enough time interval, you will almost always satisfy what some regard as the conditions for a “pause” (read Richard Telford’s post, that I linked to above). However, that’s simply because, on short timescales (decades) the variability swamps the long-term trend and the trend is statistically indistinguishable from 0. However, we continue to warm. So, by your argument we would almost always be in a period during which warming has paused, and yet we’d continue to warm. That clearly does not make any sense. Hence, defining a pause over a time interval over which a trend could not be detected doesn’t make any sense.

  97. verytallguy says:

    Angech,

    paragraphs aid readability, a lot.

    Use of paragraphs also helps the author to ensure a structured argument, rather than a braindump.

    VTG

  98. angech is being utterly dishonest again with his selective quoting. He writes:

    “Even
    dikranmarsupial said 05/09/2014 at 7:55 pm at Telford”s “Incidentally, the proposed method gives a hiatus period of 16 years for the UAH dataset and 26 years for the RSS dataset.”

    You might think from that that I am saying there actually has been a hiatus, but the quote comes from my criticism of Ross McKittrick’s nonsense test for a hiatus. Lets see what angech left out, here is what I actually wrote

    Incidentally, the proposed method gives a hiatus period of 16 years for the UAH dataset and 26 years for the RSS dataset. Both of these datasets are derived from the essentially same raw satellite observations. This rather suggests that the analysis of the maximum tend length is not very stable as small changes in the interpretation of the satellite measurements makes a very large difference in the outcome. Essentially, given the other uncertainties, the method for deriving the maximum “trendless” [sic] period is not particularly important.

    It is ironic that the last line of the paper ends “Overall this analysis confirms the point raised by the IPCC report [1] regarding the existence of the hiatus and adds more *precision* to the understanding of its length” [*emphasis* mine] given that the maximum durations for the two most similar datasets varies by fully 10 years!”

    The bit in bold is the bit angech quoted, but the rest of the post is about how obviously non-sensical “the proposed method” is, given that it gives such different answers for essentially the same satellite measurements.

    Given that angech has been repeatedly dishonest in his selective quoting on this blog, I can no longer put it down (following Hanlon’s razor) to thoughtlessness, the data are now only consistent with this being quite deliberate bullshit/trolling.

    A quote more representative of my position would be:

    “I don’t think there are many that would disagree that there is an apparent hiatus, but the statistical analysis needs to be sound. As I pointed out, if you take the effects of ENSO into account (e.g. by regression) the hiatus essentially disapears, which suggests that while there is an apparent hiatus, we cannot assert that there has been a change in the underlying rate of warming (just a redistribution of heat between the surface and oceans). Statistical analysis that doesn’t take into account known physics is liable to produce a misleading answer”

    “A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend.”

    Difficult to think of a less statistically robust definition of a pause than that, which would be more susceptible to cherry picking support for your existing position. Even McKittrick’s definition is better!

    “This is well shown in the Skeptical science elevator graphs supplied by ATTP which shows 5 episodes of what one could call pauses. “

    which is of course lampooning that practice as being nonsensical – duh!

  99. Angech that is a quote, not evidence. Show me statistically significant evidence for the existence of a slowdown in the rate of warming, that isn’t it (unless you can give me a page reference in that report giving the test).

  100. I wrote “if you are going to go in for sophistry, then at least try and make it a bit more subtle than this pathetic attempt. Nobody was questioning the existence of the concept of a pause. We were questioning the claim that a pause actually existed. Of course you know that perfectly well and are just trying to spin out the distraction a bit further….”

    angech wrote:

    “…Note this is only evidence for the concept of a pause since you are adamant that no pause has ever existed in recent times.”

    If you are caught out in a bit of sophistry, angech, it is a good idea not to immediately repeat the same bit of sophistry, at best it shows you are not paying much attention to what others are saying to you, and more likely that you are just trolling.

    and please drop the rhetorical misrepresentation. I am adamant of nothing, but if you want to assert there has been a pause, then I want statistically significant evidence that a pause exists, that is not an unreasonable request, given there is little physical reason to suppose there has been a change in the rate of warming and that the apparent hiatus is explainable by ENSO + volcanic forcing.

  101. Jim Hunt says:

    @angech – It seems that you still haven’t consulted Bill the Frog’s magnum opus?

    Please note that Bill graciously gave the Good Lord Monckton the right of reply, but he declined.

    Need I say more? Is a picture worth a thousand words?

  102. verytallguy says:

    Need I say more? Is a picture worth a thousand words?

    Might be worth two thousand if it were updated to 2016…

  103. Roger Jones says:

    ATTP,

    I like this blog, your posts, the responses and the debates but if you keep posting statements like the last one about the pause, which is so misdirected, I’m in a permanent wince. Any more of that I will have to go away to preserve my sanity (hooray, everyone says, it really is Christmas).

    If statistics show a trend, that’s one thing but the system – in this case the atmosphere, has to be warming gradually for the physical system to be obeying a trend. Asides from statistics, there is no experimental evidence to say it does so (too hard to build a physical experiment). All the evidence comes from old radiative-convective models, inferences that if you nudge the system it will respond incrementally and statistical inference from models and obs. None of those should fill you with confidence.

    The atmosphere does not and cannot hold heat energy by itself. So it does not warm gradually as extra heat is trapped by ghgs. That heat goes into the ocean (very small amounts into land and ice). For the warming to be gradual therefore, the heat has to be released gradually from the ocean. It is not. It is held and released as part of regime changes. This is a complex system, not some simple Gaussian operation built to keep Excel warriors in employ.

    The Skeptical Science elevator is a device to show that warming is a trend. What if there are real step changes in the data that show a step-ladder and there is a physical explanation as to why this can be the case?

    A statistical pause and a physical pause have to be one and the same thing to sustain your argument, so you have to be very sure you are correct. There is no physical evidence for gradual change in the literature aside from what I mentioned above (which is circumstantial) – not a jot. But there are bucketloads of evidence for non-gradual change, based on palaeoclimate, hydrometeorology that are consistent with our understanding of Lorenzian strange attractors. These maintain a steady state until they overload and then switch into a new state. An added mechanism is needed to release the heat collected by added ghgs (see Peyser et al, GRL 10.1002/2016GL069401 for what I interpret as that trigger). So called ‘pauses’, which would actually be steady state regimes, may be very real, but so would be the externally-forced step changes between them, when the whole system shifts up a notch. The burst of heat comes from the western Pacific warm pool, accompanied by a regime change. There may be other mechanisms but we don’t know these yet. The elevator chart might be mostly right, but for reasons the denialists never expected and the climate community seems totally blind to.

  104. Roger,
    I’m not really sure that we’re saying anything different. I’m simply pointing out that if people define a pause as being a period over which the trend is not statistically different from 0, then virtually every 10 – 15 year period is a “pause” and that doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t think what I’m saying has any real relevance to what you’re discussing.

    A statistical pause and a physical pause have to be one and the same thing to sustain your argument, so you have to be very sure you are correct.

    You might have to explain what you think my argument is, because I’m not sure what you think it is what I’m trying to say.

    So called ‘pauses’, which would actually be steady state regimes, may be very real, but so would be the externally-forced step changes between them, when the whole system shifts up a notch.

    Yes, I agree that this could be possible. My argument is not against this. My argument is really that discussions of a “pause” can be misleading if we define it in some simple way (such as a period over which the trend is statistically consistent with 0) because we could then always be in a period of a pause (and I suspect that this could be true even if a step jump happens during that period) despite us clearly warming on longer timescales. What I’m trying to say is related to this, where McKitrick basically came up with a Recipe for a Pause.

    In a sense the point is that there are already people arguing that we’re heading back into a “pause” because global temperatures dropped in the last month or so. This just seems like silly semantics intended to suggest that we’re no longer warming. Even if we do warm as you suggest (periods of steady state, followed by step changes) this wouldn’t really be suggestive of “pauses in global warming”. It’s simply suggestive that it isn’t smooth and continuous.

  105. Roger,
    If it helps, what I’m trying to get at is what Richard Alley suggests at 10:50 in this video.

  106. Jim Hunt says:

    Sorry Mod. Fat finger problem! Image should be:

  107. izen says:

    @-Roger Jones
    ” For the warming to be gradual therefore, the heat has to be released gradually from the ocean. It is not. It is held and released as part of regime changes.”

    The accumulation of energy is gradual. It a second order effect that alters how that energy is partitioned between atmosphere and ocean at any one time.

    @-“There is no physical evidence for gradual change in the literature aside from what I mentioned above (which is circumstantial) – not a jot.”

    There is strong direct evidence that the input of extra energy is a gradual change, not a stepwise function. The Keeling curve, the ERBE obs, sea level rise and the OHC all show a smooth progression since ~70s

    @-“So called ‘pauses’, which would actually be steady state regimes, may be very real, but so would be the externally-forced step changes between them, when the whole system shifts up a notch.”

    The ‘Whole System’ does not show jumps and steady states, only the surface temperature as a second order effect of ocean dynamics. That can have a small effect on the annual global average, and even bigger effects on regional surface trends. But it has no effect on the gradual rising input of energy. It can only respond.

    @-“The burst of heat comes from the western Pacific warm pool, accompanied by a regime change.”

    What is this ‘burst of heat’ specifically ?
    A reduction in the amount of deep cold water flowing to the surface to absorb energy with much less temperature change than if it was absorbed by the atmosphere. The trouble is we run out of cold ocean eventually and there is no credible mechanism to increase the amount of upwelling.
    Again you seem to be conflating temperature, heat and energy in ways that are misleading.

    @-“The elevator chart might be mostly right, but for reasons the denialists never expected and the climate community seems totally blind to.”

    The elevator chart IS right. It shows the internal variability in the way the incoming rising energy is partitioned between ocean and surface. The input forcing and the measured accumulation of energy is smooth and gradual. secondary dynamics modulate how that energy affects the system, changing the rate at which it expressed as temperature both in time and locality.
    But the underlying accumulation is a continuous process.

    Think of it like music. The lead melody may hold a fermata, but the basic tempo of the song continues underneath.

  108. verytallguy says:

    Jim,

    I hate to say it, but Tamino’s graph is much better looking than yours. Sorry!

    Also, he uses the 1970 to 2000 trend then extrapolates, whereas you use the trend over the whole period.

    Here’s my version of that with WFT, but I don’t think there’s a way to extrapolate it, so I’ve overlaid the central trend line instead. There’s no appreciable difference including the post 2000 data.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2000/trend/offset:%200.4/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2000/trend/offset:-0.4/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2017/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2017/trend

  109. ATTP “I’m simply pointing out that if people define a pause as being a period over which the trend is not statistically different from 0, then virtually every 10 – 15 year period is a “pause” and that doesn’t make any sense to me.”

    It’s also a [willful]] misuse of statistics as a failure of the trend to reach statistical significance does not mean there has been no warming. I say willful as this has been pointed out repeatedly.

    Roger wrote ” What if there are real step changes in the data that show a step-ladder and there is a physical explanation as to why this can be the case?”

    Science mostly works by reduction to the most plausible explanation. Given that the apparent step-ladder nature of the observations is reasonably well explained by a combination of a GHG driven long term trend and the effects of internal climate variability (principally ENSO) and volcanic forcing, the physical explanation would have to be more plausible than that. I have an open mind, but I do need evidence and explanation, not just “what if…” to entertain it as a serious possibility.

    Also science tends not to analyse with the eyecromter (or at least not only that) and requires statistically significant (even given the problems with frequentist NHST, they are still a valuable sanity check) for the asserted phenomenon. Is there statistically significant evidence for the existence of a step-ladder, or is it just a cognitive bias that causes humans to be very good at seeing patterns where none exist (which is why we have statistics)?

  110. FWIW, the real problem in discussing the pause is making the distinction between the forced and unforced (i.e. internal climate variability) responses of the climate system. The existence of an apparent slowdown in the rate of atmospheric warming (the statistical evidence for which is not statistically significant BTW) does not imply there has been any change in the forced response of the climate, which is the thing that matters in a discussion of anthropogenic climate change related to fossil fuel emissions. As I said on the thread at Richard Telford’s blog, the statistical analysis needs to consider what we know of the physics (and be clear what is the question we want to ask).

  111. verytallguy says:

    Very nice Izen

  112. Andrew Dodds says:

    Certainly gave me paws for thought.

    (Sorry. Christmas cracker time)

  113. JCH says:

    Politically, you will never get a population to meaningfully address AGW until you explain to them exactly what is happening.

    “This is all noise” is an incredibly horrible explanation. Which is why Tamino et al are where they are. To the general public, taking away all the noise and revealing the underlying trend looks like 3-card Monte. The flat spot is there.

    The real issue is… can this system actually experience a cooling regime… a prolonged period where there is a significant drop in the GMST… where we live.

    Because Professor Curry will be selling President Trump two really easy things in which to believe and to buy into: one, nobody, in relative terms, lives in the Arctic; two, her stadium wave theory means we are on the cusp of a prolonged cooling phase. Meaning, he can safely tell the American people: fire the scientists and drill baby, drill. As daft and deluded as angech is, – angech is fully invested in Curry’s seductive nonsense – angech is mountains smarter than Trump and his army of tea party morons.

    angech expects a pause because it’s highly likely there will be a pause. That it will end with an explosion of natural El Nino warming in an unknown number of years is not his failing… it’s the failing of science. For calling it nothing but noise.

    I don’t know that I agree with Roger on the trigger. I also dislike “the ocean dumps energy into the atmosphere”. There is no pause in ocean warming. I would suggest people stop talking as though there is one.

  114. izen says:

    @-JCH

    Agree, the driving force is gradual and constant (Keeling curve), that the weather moves that energy around in time and space gives any claim of a smooth trend pausable deniability.

    Throw in a large volcano in the next few years and we can look forward to another decade plus of “See, no warming since 2016…”
    And the angtechs, Roger Jones and GWPF will speculate about extra unknown factors.
    While unless emissions change the underlying process continues.

  115. Jim Hunt says:

    VTG – In actual fact the original animation was courtesy of the fine folks at SkepticalScience. Please forgive me, but I concentrate on Arctic animations. Here’s this morning’s for you:

    Izen – A nice job on temperature. Can Snow White “borrow” it?

  116. izen says:

    Borrow all you want!
    If you can think of improvements let me know.
    That was an exercise in ‘how fast can I do this’ so its a bit clunky…

  117. BBD says:

    It’s good, Izen.

  118. JCH says:

    Please, do not lump Roger Jones in with angech and GWPF… I think you are completely misunderstanding him. But I’m just a C student hanging out with C students. So I play guitars that don’t have magnets, like this one: rosewood, spruce, steel strings, a few chords, and some Fish Scales:

  119. Please, do not lump Roger Jones in with angech and GWPF… I think you are completely misunderstanding him.

    Yes, of course. I didn’t think anyone had, but you’re correct that this would be a completely inappropriate comparison.

  120. JCH says:

    GISS NOV in at .95 ℃. It’s a Rosey temperature anomaly.

  121. I would hesitate to lump anyone in with angech, given his recent behaviour, roger certainly isn’t in that category – he writes papers with science in them. FWIW my lutes don’t have any magnets either, don’t play those new-fangled guitar things much anymore ;o)

  122. It is also interesting to consider how the running 37 months averages have developed. This can be seen in the graphs published by Prof. Ole Humlum on the website climete4you.
    On the following graphs the satellite records for UAH and RSS are plotted in the first one, and all temperature records (UAH, RSS, HadCrut4, GISS, NCDC) in the second one. The 37 months running average has been continuously record high since some time in the middle of 2014 according to all the temperature records analysed by Ole Humlum.

    UAH
    and RSS

    All
    temperature records

  123. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: How close are you to finalizing the algorithim that will determine when a comment thread has crossed into the Twilight Zone?

  124. izen says:

    Sorry, the Roger Jones lumping was my bad.
    I was judging on 2 posts that triggered my ‘heat/energy/temp’ ENSO conflation response.

    My admiration for the unelectrified is unbounded.

    Its probably reached the Outer Limits.

  125. JCH says:

    Nobody took the bait. These are the Fish Scales, hillbilly style:

  126. Willard says:

    > this would be a completely inappropriate comparison.

    A guest post by both would still be welcome.

  127. Jim Hunt says:

    Thanks Izen. Here you go:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/12/post-truth-global-and-arctic-temperatures/#comment-216676

    I hope that’s OK? Let me know ASAP if not!

    Scroll down a bit and you’ll note that “the Global Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) number for November has just appeared”.

    2015 +1.02C
    2016 +0.95C

  128. A guest post by both would still be welcome.

    Both? 😉

  129. BBD says:

    A guest post by both would still be welcome.

    I’d like to second that as far as Roger is concerned. I always find his comments interesting. I’m well aware that a possible response to this might be a polite version of ‘RTFRs and it’s the Christmas hols’ and I would of course never mention this again.

  130. I hope that the graphs linked to my previous comment will be visible this time.

    It is also interesting to consider how the running 37 months averages have developed. This can be seen in the graphs published by Prof. Ole Humlum on the website climete4you. On the following graphs the satellite records for UAH and RSS are plotted in the first one, and all temperature records (UAH, RSS, HadCrut4, GISS, NCDC) in the second one. The 37 months running average has been continuously record high since some time in the middle of 2014 according to all the temperature records analysed by Ole Humlum.

  131. I’d like to second that as far as Roger is concerned.

    I know Roger has been working on a step-change hypothesis, so would be welcome to post something here. However, it might be easier just to direct others to his site.

  132. Pehr,
    What are you trying to get to work?

  133. ATTP, I wanted to make the linked graphs to be visible by using html-code with the a and img tags. But I must have made something wrong.

  134. Pehr,
    If you have a link for a graph (jpg, gif, png,…) and you put it on line by itself in the comment, it should then appear.

  135. ATTP, I will try by simply pasting the links here. Keep your fingers crossed 🙂

  136. ATTP, thanks! I tried to make it much more complicated than necessary …

  137. Harry Twinotter says:

    angech.

    This is the only part of your reply that appears to contain a definition:

    “A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend. ”

    I can see some problems with your definition:

    – you are assuming the Global Mean Temperature estimates define global warming. By themselves they do not as they only include the atmosphere. Global warming also includes the oceans. So you cannot claim global warming has “paused” by just looking at the atmosphere.

    – your “pause” depends on which temperature data set you use.

    – no mention of statistical significance of the “pause” trend.

  138. Windchaser says:

    “A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend. ”

    ^^ Yeah, it’s going to be extremely rare for the trend to be exactly zero. By which definition, there will almost never be a pause.

    Angech, you probably want to include some error bars. In which case, you’d also need to distinguish between a true close-to-zero trend (low trend with low error bars) and noisy data (trend simply indistinguishable from zero; high error bars).

  139. > I tried to make it much more complicated than necessary …

    Leave that to me. For everthing else, there’s Trevor:

  140. angech says:

    JCH says: December 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm GISS NOV in at .95 ℃. It’s a Rosey temperature anomaly. Zeke Hausfather @hausfath “November 2016 was, somewhat unexpectedly, the warmest Nov ever on land. Stay tuned global Nov temps once more data is in. @BerkeleyEarth”
    “Unexpectedly? it is GISSTEMP after all”

    VTG sorry about the paragraphs. Dikran, you will be pleased to know my son agrees with you, says he shudders when he reads my comments. Upset him and me considerably .

    Harry Twinotter says: December 15, 2016 at 10:04 pm
    “angech.This is the only part of your reply that appears to contain a definition:“A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend. ”
    I can see some problems with your definition:”
    This is where we are all having problems.
    There is no problem with the definition.
    Only with the time frame one chooses to use.
    The shorter the time frame the more often [spurious] pauses occur, but also spurious rises.
    Stretch it out a little and the pauses [seem to] disappear with these data sets.
    Herein the problems.
    The time frame chosen delineates the result and choosing one shorter or one longer for an apparent result and claiming meaningfulness is still choosing the time frame that suits one’s argument.
    For the purposes proposed here we need time frames that are much longer and non existent in the way we would like to have them. Where the trend provably corresponds with the CO2 input
    Data for 200 years.
    We are all hand waving in the dark, Jumping on a short term rise in temp with an El Nino is no different to jumping on an 18 year old apparent pause in some data sets, just feels better.
    Dikran, taking a definition, Temp rise and then adding conditions [Take out ENSO or whatever] is not right.

  141. izen says:

    @-angtech
    “Jumping on a short term rise in temp with an El Nino is no different to jumping on an 18 year old apparent pause in some data sets, just feels better.”

    The difference is in the amount of energy involved.
    The energy accumulated during the ‘pause’ as evident from SSTs, OHC and sea level rise is many orders of magnitude greater than the energy involved in an El Nino event.
    But that probably dosn’t make you feel better.

    Looking at things differently can help?

  142. The two 37 months mean curves (black smoothed curves), given in the two graphs in my comment December 15, 2016 at 9:50 pm, to a large extent are averaging out the effects of El Nino and La Nina. For the whole period from 1980 there is a clearly seen temperature increase. Before ca 2000 the curves are increasing faster than for the whole period. After ca 2000 the curves are rather flat until the middle of 2014.

    After the middle of 2014 the curves are increasing above all previous temperature values. At least until the middle of 2015 the 37 months mean should not depend on the last El Nino warming, so there is one year of record high 37 months mean values that are not due to the last El Nino. .

    It will be very interesting to see how those 37 months mean values will develop during the next five years. There is ca five years to the first so-called “global stocktake” according to the Paris agreement, where the global warming issue should be reconsidered “in an comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science” (Article 14).

    https://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf

  143. Susan Anderson says:

    Angech, in the matter of good faith argument, you convict yourself of preferring to waste people’s time rather than do the actual work of looking at what you present honestly and actually respond to the skilled responses so many people offer you. They are patient, not being familiar with the endlessless of the techniques of distraction, and deserve better.

  144. JCH says:

    Pehr – I like that.

    See if this works. I changed the PDF to PNG… Colorado sea level rise updated to 12-11-16… absolutely no sign of global cooling.

    And, November PDO has rocketed up to 1.88 from October’s .56. Time of your life, uh angech?

  145. JCH,

    Colorado sea level rise

    Presumably not actually sea level rise in Colorado? 😉

  146. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote ” Dikran, you will be pleased to know my son agrees with you, says he shudders when he reads my comments. Upset him and me considerably .”

    and yet your behaviour remains unchanged. And no, it gives me no pleasure to hear that at all.

    “There is no problem with the definition.”

    Yes there is. There is a good reason why statisticians do not use your method of estimating a trend, which it that it is not robust (i.e. it depends strongly on the noise, if you shift the window by a small amount you can get a big change in the trend estimate, which is much less the case for the usual least-squares method).

    “Only with the time frame one chooses to use.”

    Follow the WMO guidelines then and use a 30 year period for trend estimation, which is short enough for the forcings to be approximately linear, but long enough for the effects of e.g. ENSO to be small (i.e. to get a reliable estimate).

    “The time frame chosen delineates the result and choosing one shorter or one longer for an apparent result and claiming meaningfulness is still choosing the time frame that suits one’s argument.”

    This is rhetorical nonsense. If you choose a short timescale, you will be looking at the internal variability, if you use a long timescale, you will be looking at the forced response. The problem is “contrarians” making bogus arguments about the forced response while looking at a period dominated by the internal variability (e.g. no global warming since X). The timescale determines what you can argue about, not what the argument is.

    “For the purposes proposed here we need time frames that are much longer and non existent in the way we would like to have them. Where the trend provably corresponds with the CO2 input
    Data for 200 years.”

    Usual “contrarian” trick of asking for impossible requirements. We don’t need 200 years, 30 is fine, and indeed is the timescale that climatologists tend to use (c.f. WMO).

    “We are all hand waving in the dark,”

    No, you may be doing that, but some of us understand statistics, and some have a good grasp of basic climatology as well.

    “Jumping on a short term rise in temp with an El Nino is no different to jumping on an 18 year old apparent pause in some data sets, just feels better.”

    Of course nobody is jumping on a short term rise in temp due to El-Nino. In fact most of the discussion has been about determining how much of the rise is not explainable by El-Nino. More disingenuousness 😦

    “Dikran, taking a definition, Temp rise and then adding conditions [Take out ENSO or whatever] is not right.”

    Rubbish. ENSO is a physical process, which is obviously going to have an effect on temperatures, so controlling for ENSO in determining the underlying trend is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and indeed there are peer-reviewed papers on this (e.g. Foster and Rahmstorf).

  147. Andrew Dodds says:

    Well, if all the ice caps melted, the oceans warmed up by 30 degrees or so, and a few big comets or water-based KBOs impacted, then Colorado would have a sea level. Measuring it might not be a high priority under such circumstances, though.

  148. Jim Hunt says:

    Susan – You are very kind, but in actual fact many of us are all too familiar with the endlessless of the techniques of ClimateBall ™ and Brandonlini’s law!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit#Bullshit_asymmetry_principle

  149. verytallguy says:

    actually sea level rise in Colorado?

    You alarmist bed-wetting Chicken Little!

  150. JCH says:

    I think angech is accusing me of jumping on El Niño.

    Which is not true. I was on this long before the 15-16 El Niño was a gleam in Daddy Nature’s eye.

    What I jumped on was the imminent ramp up of the PDO. During the Great Depression the GMST took off like a rocket… with no El Niño events… just ENSO neutral and some La Niña.

    The PDO is a beast. The AMO is a child… a declawed kitty… a lion with no courage, and it has a large number of climate scientists completely bamboozled. There is no AMO led, 60-65-year cycle.

    These are the ramp ups of the PDO, 1930 to 1943; 1972 to 1987; and 2013 to who knows?

    1998 may not have been a step up in warming. The step up could be now. Look at Pehr’s graph. The PDO was not really all in in 1998. Nov PDO – 1.88… strongly positive… the current PDO ramp up is most likely not over.

    Over at Cesspool Etc., the geniuses are selling the rapid global cooling from the 15-16 El Niño. Tamino is trying to sell Mark Twain some statistics. Situation normal, ___ ______ __.

  151. Jim Hunt says:

    JCH – “Over at Cesspool Etc.” I’m currently endeavouring to quantify “the 15-16 El Niño”, preferably with Prof. Judy’s professional opinion:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/12/post-truth-global-and-arctic-temperatures/#comment-216695

    Ristvan has bitten, but tells me:

    First prove you are just not more loser snark

    before pointing me to Bob Tisdale instead!

  152. Roger Jones says:

    Dikran comment #89270

    By separating the trend (signal) from variability (noise), you are assuming that external forcing and internal climate variability are independent. Foster and Rahmstorf did the same thing – they did not prove anything – they got a result consistent with their initial assumptions. As have all who have undertaken similar analyses. The jury is out on whether the internal and external processes are independent or interact with each other. I am 100% convinced they interact, that the externally-forced and internally generated components are producing a nonlinear signal on decadal timescales. If this is the case, the climate wars cannot be fought using trend analysis in the way it has been used and some (though not all) of angech’s objections hold.

    The WMO 30-year average is a compromise for convenience, not a theoretically robust position – this is widely understood in the climate science community. Charlotte Werndl, a philosopher of science, has recognised this and tried to get a definition of climate that gets around this. She ended up selecting regimes based on external conditions – I don’t think this is entirely correct – climate has internally-generated regimes that interact with external forcing much like a heat engine, where external forcing will enhance the internal processes. If we take on Lorenz and see those regimes as the involvement of strange attractors forming processes such as ENSO, the PDO – IPO, the AMO, the AO and so on that maximise entropy in transferring heat from the equator to the poles principally, and from the surface to the top of the atmosphere as part of that process, then the idea that steady-state regimes switch from one mode to another to maximise the efficiency of this process is not outlandish. If we increase the imbalance of the whole system by trapping extra heat how will it respond? It has to get that energy to the top of the atmosphere and the poles at a greater rate than it has been – how will it do that? By some new process, such as gradual change, or will it enhance the existing processes?

    The conventional narrative has some of that added heat being trapped in the atmosphere and the rest going into the ocean to be released at some undetermined time by some undetermined process. The statistical assumption is that this release is gradual but it has no theoretical backing. All of what we know at present is coming through statistical inference but most of the statistics currently being applied are nowhere near sophisticated enough to explore these questions.

    It is important to separate questions of detection and attribution from understanding of ongoing observations and their interpretation. The long-term complex trend is unassailable. If shorter term hiatuses, pauses, fluctuations or regimes are to be interpreted in the face of full-on denialism, the scientific understanding of what is actually going is critically important. The current statistical arguments are totally wanting in this regard.

    “Jumping on a short term rise in temp with an El Nino is no different to jumping on an 18 year old apparent pause in some data sets, just feels better”

    What if the El Nino 2014-16 is a contributor to the signal by helping to release a massive amount of heat in that has been gradually stored the western Pacific warm pool (as reflected in high rates of regional sea level rise). If that heat floods back from west to east over the Pacific, with a reversal of winds and a sea level seesaw it will reach the atmosphere (see Peyser et al GRL 10.1002/2016GL069401 though with my interpretation). A regime change that emplaces higher sea surface temperatures across a wide expanse of ocean will sustain these higher temperatures in the atmosphere, because the atmosphere is pretty much a slave to the surface.

    For this reason, controlling for ENSO in a statistical sense by assuming that every ENSO interacts with the signal and noise in the same way, is not the right way to go. The system is more dynamic than that. So no, we are not hand-waving in the dark, but neither should we be over dependent on statistical inference without a robust theoretical underpinning for the processes that may be involved.

  153. Jim Hunt says:

    Prof. Judy has awoken:

  154. Roger,

    I am 100% convinced they interact, that the externally-forced and internally generated components are producing a nonlinear signal on decadal timescales.

    I would agree that this is probably true, but in terms of understanding (or trying to quantify what is happening) thinking in terms of a forced response and variability about that response seems reasonable. If there was no change in external forcing, we would still have variability. It may not be the same as would be the case, given the presence of a change in external forcing, but that still doesn’t mean that one can’t think in terms of forced + variability.

    If this is the case, the climate wars cannot be fought using trend analysis in the way it has been used and some (though not all) of angech’s objections hold.

    Yes, but the linear trend analysis is simply a way of analysing the dataset. I certainly don’t see it as attempting to really suggest that there is an underlying linear trend on top of which there is some variability. It’s simply a way of (quite crudely) quantifying the long-term warming. I’m pretty sure it’s not linear, but I think it would be hard to quantify it if one used something more complicated than a linear trend.

  155. Roger “By separating the trend (signal) from variability (noise), you are assuming that external forcing and internal climate variability are independent.”

    yes, which is of course unlikely to be completely true, but that doesn’t mean that it is not a useful approximation.

    “Foster and Rahmstorf did the same thing – they did not prove anything – they got a result consistent with their initial assumptions.”

    I agree they didn’t prove anything (but then again, “proof is for mathematicians, editors and alcohol”). However they did show that the observations were reasonably well explained by ENSO and volcanic forcing, and so there is no need to invent any new physics to explain it. In other words, an alternative explanation must be more plausible or better supported than the explanation we already have in order to be more persuasive. This is Occam’s razor – not a law of science, but a useful guideline.

    I am 100% convinced they interact, that the externally-forced and internally generated
    components are producing a nonlinear signal on decadal timescales.”

    I agree, the question is how much they interact, and whether it is sufficiently large that the trend + weather noise analysis is unreliable.

    “If this is the case, the climate wars cannot be fought using trend analysis in the way it has been used and some (though not all) of angech’s objections hold.”

    I don’t think the climate wars are fought using trend analysis, but with physical models (at least from the mainstream science perspective, it is largely the “contrarians” that like to make strong arguments based on trend analysis).

    “The WMO 30-year average is a compromise for convenience, not a theoretically robust position – this is widely understood in the climate science community. “

    yes, that was the intent of what I wrote, it is a compromise. A theoretically robust position is unavailable as it would depend on the expected rate of change of the focings.

    ” The statistical assumption is that this release is gradual but it has no theoretical backing.”

    I don’t see that at the moment. ENSO affects that release and it isn’t gradual.

    “If shorter term hiatuses, pauses, fluctuations or regimes are to be interpreted”

    I think it is important to first determine whether there is reasonable evidence that these hiatuses, pauses, fluctuations or regimes actually exist (i.e. there is something that needs interpretation). Unfortunately human beings are very very good at seeing signals where no signal exists, and we should be cautious about asserting their existence without at least the sanity check of a reasonable statistical test.

  156. Roger wrote “For this reason, controlling for ENSO in a statistical sense by assuming that every ENSO interacts with the signal and noise in the same way, is not the right way to go. The system is more dynamic than that. So no, we are not hand-waving in the dark, but neither should we be over dependent on statistical inference without a robust theoretical underpinning for the processes that may be involved.”

    I think I already covered this in my previous post, but as angech initiated this, I think I probably should address it specifically.

    If you want to assert that controlling for ENSO is not the way to go, then you need to show that the interaction between the forced response and the unforced [sic] response is large enough to invalidate the analysis. I am not aware of that having been demonstrated. As GEP Box said “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. I don’t think anyone is saying that the unforced response plus weather noise is 100% correct, but the climatologists seem to have found it useful. Overturning that paradigm requires substantial evidence.

    ” but neither should we be over dependent on statistical inference”

    as a statistician, I completely agree. As I said, the Foster and Rahmstof analysis doesn’t prove anything. However it does show that, under assumptions that the majority of the climate science community seems to find reasonable, the apparent hiatuses etc. are reasonably well explained by processes we already know about, and hence do not call the current mainstream position into serious question (just the normal incremental science that most of us work on it iteratively improve our understandin). However, that doesn’t mean that the regression analysis can be dismissed because of an assumption that has been questioned without providing strong evidence that it is false. Instead we moderate our distribution of plausibility of the various explanations accordingly.

  157. izen says:

    @-Roger Jones
    “By separating the trend (signal) from variability (noise), you are assuming that external forcing and internal climate variability are independent. ”

    No such assumption is required.
    If you measure the amount of a known smooth gradual change in input, (keeling curve) you can detect in the output of a noisy system you get the sensitivity to, and amount of distortion or variation, that the system causes.
    There is no inherent assumption the distortion of the input signal is independent of it. In most systems that have a noisy output in response to an input, there is a link. The noise commonly increases with input in electronic circuits for example.

    Comparing the output to the input signal from a system producing a distorted output gives a measure of how the system has interacted with the input. The assumption that the input and system have interacted in some way to change the output IS implicit. That it is a simple addition of an independent noise is not.

    @-“I am 100% convinced they interact, that the externally-forced and internally generated components are producing a nonlinear signal on decadal timescales. ”

    Yes.
    This was the point made in the recent clam paper of annually resolved N Atlantic sea temps. It claims there is evidence that the internal ocean dynamics dominated dominated the variability until recently when the much larger anthropogenic forcing is driving the ocean dynamics.
    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.

    @-“If shorter term hiatuses, pauses, fluctuations or regimes are to be interpreted in the face of full-on denialism, the scientific understanding of what is actually going is critically important.”

    The shorter term hiatuses, pauses, fluctuations or regimes tend to be confined to the air/land surface temperatures.
    OHC, sea level and ice mass balance all show a much less noisy output in response to the input forcing.

    The scientific understanding of what is actually going on at the level of short term variation in the atmosphere, or regional changes in weather patterns may be beyond present capabilities. The understanding of how a smooth rise in CO2 forcing that leads to a smooth rise in OHC is then expressed as ENSO and PDO and all the other acronymic reified metrics that are ascribed weather agency will need better computers for that degree of regional/temporal resolution.

    Paleoclimate can give some indication of the boundary conditions.

    @-“For this reason, controlling for ENSO in a statistical sense by assuming that every ENSO interacts with the signal and noise in the same way, is not the right way to go. The system is more dynamic than that.”

    Yes.
    The idea that you can ascribe some metric to this El Nino event (super?) in comparison to past events and therefore subtract it from the air temperature to derive the ‘real’ temperature, and then declare that there has been no warming from GHGs would be silly.

    The test of how dynamic the system is will be how much effect this ENSO event has on the underlying measures of climate change. If OHC or any of the other proxy measures of energy accumulation, in Joules, (not temps or ‘heat’) has changed from the close match to the measured input (W/m2) then internal dynamics are a tail that can wag the dog.

  158. Leto says:

    Roger wrote””If this is the case, the climate wars cannot be fought using trend analysis in the way it has been used and some (though not all) of angech’s objections hold.”

    I am not aware of angech saying anything sufficiently coherent that it could be called a well-formulated objection, much less an objection that “holds”. Which bits of his opinion dump did you think had some merit?

  159. angech says:

    dikranmarsupial says: December 16, 2016 at 8:55 am
    “There is no problem with the definition.”
    “Yes there is. There is a good reason why statisticians do not use your method of estimating a trend, which it that it is not robust (i.e. it depends strongly on the noise, if you shift the window by a small amount you can get a big change in the trend estimate, which is much less the case for the usual least-squares method).”
    “Only with the time frame one chooses to use.”
    ” We don’t need 200 years, 30 is fine, and indeed is the timescale that climatologists tend to use (c.f. WMO). Follow the WMO guidelines and use a 30 year period for trend estimation, which is short enough for the forcings to be approximately linear, but long enough for the effects of e.g. ENSO to be small (i.e. to get a reliable estimate).”

    “The WMO 30-year average is a compromise for convenience, not a theoretically robust position – this is widely understood in the climate science community.”

    I was defining a pause, which is a subset of a trend, in simple terms. Simple definitions have a habit of being most robust as complexity is the enemy of robustness.
    “A pause is any period of time when the starting and ending temperature dates have a zero trend”
    Just a simple statement. No adding ENSO. Just looking at the bit of information provided.

  160. angech says:

    Roger Jones says: December 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm
    “By separating the trend (signal) from variability (noise), you are assuming that external forcing and internal climate variability are independent. . I am 100% convinced they interact, that the externally-forced and internally generated components are producing a nonlinear signal on decadal timescales.”
    The money quote for people discussing probabilities. It leads to non linear outcomes not always in the way people predict and it means conventional probabilistic outcomes are basically wrong”
    [For Leto.”I am not aware of angech saying anything sufficiently coherent that it could be called a well-formulated objection”]
    izen says: December 16, 2016 at 1:25 am
    “@-angtech“Jumping on a short term rise in temp with an El Nino is no different to jumping on an 18 year old apparent pause in some data sets, just feels better.”
    The difference is in the amount of energy involved”.
    It is not a matter of the amount of energy. It never was the amount of energy. It was the time frame. The time frame chosen delineates the result and choosing one shorter or one longer for an apparent result and claiming meaningfulness is still choosing the time frame that suits one’s argument.

  161. izen says:

    @-angtech
    “It is not a matter of the amount of energy. It never was the amount of energy. It was the time frame.”

    It is ALWAYS about the energy. In politics the rule is follow the money. In physics, chemistry and biology it is follow the energy.
    The time frame is relevant in determining how much energy change there is in a unit time. Like a wage, if there is a doubling in your hourly rate, then for the same time period you will be twice as rich. Or hot.

  162. Jim Hunt says:

    Only marginally off topic:

    Any chance of a “retweet” or three?

  163. angech wrote “I was defining a pause, which is a subset of a trend, in simple terms. Simple definitions have a habit of being most robust as complexity is the enemy of robustness.”

    O.K., so you are going to ignore the criticism of your definition and ignore the fact that no competent statistician would use it because it is not robust (the an explanation for which was given – if you change the start and end dates by only a small amount you can get a very different results, which means it is a recipe for cherry-picking). Complexity is not the only enemy of robustness, and least-squares trend analysis is hardly rocket science.

    Angech earlier wrote: ” Dikran, you will be pleased to know my son agrees with you, says he shudders when he reads my comments. Upset him and me considerably .”

    I’m sorry, but if that hasn’t made you question your behaviour, perhaps you should seek help. I shall no longer respond to your posts, so please do not mention mine.

  164. Jim Hunt says:

    In earnest conversation with David Rose’s managing editor I’m at least mildly surprised to discover that:

    We have had no other complaint

    Hence said editor has only just become au fait with the learned commentary available at:

    http://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/stunning-new-data-indicates-el-nino-drove-record-highs-global-temperatures-david-rose-daily-mail/

    I have foolishly promised:

    I’ll endeavour to come up with a definitive (and even longer!) list for you.

    Suggestions on a postcard please to yours truly by Boxing Day. For additional background on how the IPSO game is played see for example:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/02/a-letter-to-the-editor-of-the-sunday-telegraph/#Feb20

  165. Pingback: Rose down the rabbit hole | privateclientweb

  166. Pingback: 2016: A year in blogging | …and Then There's Physics

  167. Pingback: And so it begins! | …and Then There's Physics

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