Fake climate science and scientists

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Alarmists game the system to enrich and empower themselves, and hurt everyone else

by Paul Driessen

The multi-colored placard in front of a $2-million home in North Center Chicago proudly proclaimed, “In this house we believe: No human is illegal” – and “Science is real” (plus a few other liberal mantras).

I knew right away where the owners stood on climate change, and other hot-button political issues. They would likely tolerate no dissension or debate on “settled” climate science or any of the other topics.

But they have it exactly backward on the science issue. Real science is not belief – or consensus, 97% or otherwise. Real science constantly asks questions, expresses skepticism, reexamines hypotheses and evidence. If debate, skepticism and empirical evidence are prohibited – it’s pseudo-science, at best.

Real science – and real scientists – seek to understand natural phenomena and processes. They pose hypotheses that they think best explain what they have witnessed, then test them against actual evidence, observations and experimental data. If the hypotheses (and predictions based on them) are borne out by their subsequent findings, the hypotheses become theories, rules, laws of nature – at least until someone finds new evidence that pokes holes in their assessments, or devises better explanations.

Real science does not involve simply declaring that you “believe” something, It’s not immutable doctrine. It doesn’t claim “science is real” – or demand that a particular scientific explanation be carved in stone. Earth-centric concepts gave way to a sun-centered solar system. Miasma disease beliefs surrendered to the germ theory. The certainty that continents are locked in place was replaced by plate tectonics (and the realization that you can’t stop continental drift, any more than you stop climate change).

Real scientists often employ computers to analyze data more quickly and accurately, depict or model complex natural systems, or forecast future events or conditions. But they test their models against real-world evidence. If the models, observations and predictions don’t match up, real scientists modify or discard the models, and the hypotheses behind them. They engage in robust discussion and debate.

They don’t let models or hypotheses become substitutes for real-world evidence and observations. They don’t alter or “homogenize” raw or historic data to make it look like the models actually work. They don’t hide their data and computer algorithms (AlGoreRythms?), restrict peer review to closed circles of like-minded colleagues who protect one another’s reputations and funding, claim “the debate is over,” or try to silence anyone who dares to ask inconvenient questions or find fault with their claims and models. They don’t concoct hockey stick temperature graphs that can be replicated by plugging in random numbers.

In the realm contemplated by the Chicago yard sign, we ought to be doing all we can to understand Earth’s highly complex, largely chaotic, frequently changing climate system – all we can to figure out how the sun and other powerful forces interact with each other. Only in that way can we accurately predict future climate changes, prepare for them, and not waste money and resources chasing goblins.

But instead, we have people in white lab coats masquerading as real scientists. They’re doing what I just explained true scientists don’t do. They also ignore fluctuations in solar energy output and numerous other powerful, interconnected natural forces that have driven climate change throughout Earth’s history. They look only (or 97% of the time) at carbon dioxide as the principle or sole driving force behind current and future climate changes – and blame every weather event, fire and walrus death on manmade CO2.

Even worse, they let their biases drive their research and use their pseudo-science to justify demands that we eliminate all fossil fuel use, and all carbon dioxide and methane emissions, by little more than a decade from now. Otherwise, they claim, we will bring unprecedented cataclysms to people and planet.

Not surprisingly, their bad behavior is applauded, funded and employed by politicians, environmentalists, journalists, celebrities, corporate executives, billionaires and others who have their own axes to grind, their own egos to inflate – and their intense desire to profit from climate alarmism and pseudo-science.

Worst of all, while they get rich and famous, their immoral actions impoverish billions and kill millions, by depriving them of the affordable, reliable fossil fuel energy that powers modern societies.

And still these slippery characters endlessly repeat the tired trope that they “believe in science” – and anyone who doesn’t agree to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” to stop climate change is a “science denier.”

When these folks and the yard sign crowd brandish the term “science,” political analyst Robert Tracinski suggests, it is primarily to “provide a badge of tribal identity” – while ironically demonstrating that they have no real understanding of or interest in “the guiding principles of actual science.”

Genuine climate scientist (and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) Dr. Judith Curry echoes Tracinski. Politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren use “science” as a way of “declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand…. The purpose of the trope is to bypass any meaningful discussion of these separate questions, rolling them all into one package deal – and one political party ticket,” she explains.

The ultimate purpose of all this, of course, is to silence the dissenting voices of evidence- and reality-based climate science, block creation of a Presidential Committee on Climate Science, and ensure that the only debate is over which actions to take first to end fossil fuel use … and upend modern economies.

The last thing fake/alarmist climate scientists want is a full-throated debate with real climate scientists – a debate that forces them to defend their doomsday assertions, methodologies, data manipulation … and claims that solar and other powerful natural forces are minuscule or irrelevant compared to manmade carbon dioxide that constitutes less that 0.02% of Earth’s atmosphere (natural CO2 adds another 0.02%).

Thankfully, there are many reasons for hope. For recognizing that we do not face a climate crisis, much less threats to our very existence. For realizing there is no need to subject ourselves to punitive carbon taxes or the misery, poverty, deprivation, disease and death that banning fossil fuels would cause.

Between the peak of the great global cooling scare in 1975 until around 1998, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures did rise in rough conjunction. But then temperatures mostly flat-lined, while CO2 levels kept climbing. Now actual average global temperatures are already 1 degree F below the Garbage In-Garbage Out computer model predictions. Other alarmist forecasts are also out of touch with reality.

Instead of fearing rising CO2, we should thank it for making crop, forest and grassland plants grow faster and better, benefitting nature and humanity – especially in conjunction with slightly warmer temperatures that extend growing seasons, expand arable land and increase crop production.

The rate of sea level rise has not changed for over a century – and much of what alarmists attribute to climate change and rising seas is actually due to land subsidence and other factors.

Weather is not becoming more extreme. In fact, Harvey was the first Category 3-5 hurricane to make US landfall in a record 12 years – and the number of violent F3 to F5 tornadoes has fallen from an average of 56 per year from 1950 to 1985 to only 34 per year since then.

Human ingenuity and adaptability have enabled humans to survive and thrive in all sorts of climates, even during our far more primitive past. Allowed to use our brains, fossil fuels and technologies, we will deal just fine with whatever climate changes might confront us in the future. (Of course, another nature-driven Pleistocene-style glacier pulling 400 feet of water out of our oceans and crushing Northern Hemisphere forests and cities under mile-high walls of ice truly would be an existential threat to life as we know it.)

So if NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and other egotistical grand-standing politicians and fake climate scientists want to ban fossil fuels, glass-and-steel buildings, cows and even hotdogs – in the name of preventing “dangerous manmade climate change” – let them impose their schemes on themselves and their own families. The rest of us are tired of being made guinea pigs in their fake-science experiments.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues.

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Nudging a Climate Illiterate

Excellent post.

Science Matters

Mark Hendrickson writes at The Epoch Times March 28, 2019 Open Letter to a Journalist About His Paper’s Position on Climate ChangeMark patiently lays out information and context for someone to think more deeply about superficial opinions on global warming/climate change. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Commentary

Mark Trumbull, Staff Reporter
The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, MA 02115

Dear Mr. Trumbull,

Last month, in your introductory remarks to The Christian Science Monitor Daily online news stories, you addressed the issue of the Monitor’s coverage of climate change. Your challenge is how to report when you and your Monitor colleagues believe that “human emissions of CO2 are triggering dangerous climatic conditions” while some of your readers do not.

You wrote, “Part of good journalism is to seek out a range of viewpoints rather than just present a story through one lens. But a corollary journalistic responsibility…

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FORCE MAJEURE–The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

From the GWPF:

Henrik Svensmark, 11 Mar 2019

Executive Summary

Over the last twenty years there has been good progress in understanding the solar influence on climate. In particular, many scientific studies have shown that changes in solar activity have impacted climate over the whole Holocene period (approximately the last 10,000 years). A well-known example is the existence of high solar activity during the Medieval Warm Period, around the year 1000 AD, and the subsequent low levels of solar activity during the cold period, now called The Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD).

An important scientific task has been to quantify the solar impact on climate, and it has been found that over the eleven-year solar cycle the energy that enters the Earth’s system is of the order of 1.0–1.5 W/m2. This is nearly an order of magnitude larger than what would be expected from solar irradiance alone, and suggests that solar activity is getting amplified by some atmospheric process.

Three main theories have been put forward to explain the solar–climate link, which are:

  • solar ultraviolet changes
  • the atmospheric-electric-field effect on cloud cover
  • cloud changes produced by solar-modulated galactic cosmic rays (energetic particles originating from inter stellar space and ending in our atmosphere).

Significant effort has gone into understanding possible mechanisms, and at the moment cosmic ray modulation of Earth’s cloud cover seems rather promising in explaining the size of solar impact.

This theory suggests that solar activity has had a significant impact on climate during the Holocene period. This understanding is in contrast to the official consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it is estimated that the change in solar radiative forcing between 1750 and 2011 was around 0.05 W/m2, a value which is entirely negligible relative to the effect of greenhouse gases, estimated at around 2.3 W/m2. However, the existence of an atmospheric solar-amplification mechanism would have implications for the estimated climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, suggesting that it is much lower than currently thought.

In summary, the impact of solar activity on climate is much larger than the official consensus suggests. This is therefore an important scientific question that needs to be addressed by the scientific community.

The PDF report is available here: GWPF

Santer replies to McKitrick

Dr. Santer replied to Ross McKitrick’s Climate Etc critique of Santer.

santer1@llnl.gov

Dear Dr. McKitrick,

I’d be happy to address your concerns in the peer-reviewed literature. I think that would be the appropriate place to respond.

That said, a brief response is necessary to some of the points you made. It would be unfortunate if readers of your blog post were unaware of our prior research – research which addresses many of the issues you have raised.

This is the only response I will make on Dr. Curry’s website.

1. We routinely consider “ANTHRO only” fingerprints – see, e.g., the discussion on page 7 of the Supplementary Material of the 2018 Santer et al. Science paper. That discussion explains why the “ANTHRO only” and HIST+8.5 fingerprints yield very similar results. In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to expect other scientists to read such background information, particularly since it is cited in the Nature Climate Change paper you are critiquing.

2. You suggest – incorrectly – that we never evaluate the adequacy of model-based estimates of internal variability. We routinely make such evaluations. Examples are given in Fig. S7 of the 2018 Santer et al. Science paper and in Figs. 9 and 10 of the 2011 Santer et al. JGR paper.

3. Readers of your blog post might infer that we are unconcerned with differences between modeled and observed tropospheric warming rates. That is not the case. Many of our publications have attempted to understand the causes of differences between simulated and observed warming rates in the early 21st century. In the 2017 Santer et al. Nature Geoscience paper, we find that a large error in model climate sensitivity – Dr. Christy’s preferred hypothesis for model-versus-data warming rate differences – does not explain the temporal structure of these differences.

4. The pattern comparison statistic we use in our “fingerprint” work is an uncentered spatial covariance. It is not a correlation.

5. Even if one ignores all pattern information and considers global-mean changes alone, the amplitude of observed tropospheric temperature changes remains large relative to model-based estimates of internal variability (see, e.g., Fig. 1E in the 2017 Santer et al. Scientific Reports paper). This holds even for University of Alabama tropospheric temperature data.

6. Whether we do or do not remove residual long-term drift from control run data has minimal impact on our results. We only detrend once (over the final 200 years of each control run). We do not detrend each L-year chunk we are processing when we estimate time-dependent S/N ratios.

7. It is true that “rebound” of tropospheric temperature from the cooling caused by Pinatubo contributes to observed warming over the satellite era. You neglect to mention that our group has studied volcanically induced “rebound” of tropospheric temperature since 2001 (see, e.g., Santer et al. 2001, JGR; Santer et al. 2014, Nature Geoscience). The rebound effect is relatively small over the entire 40-year satellite tropospheric temperature record. Additionally, it is impermissible to focus solely on “rebound” from the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991, and to ignore the cooling effects of early 21st century volcanic eruptions. The climate effects of post-2000 volcanic forcing have been studied in a number of publications (e.g., Solomon et al., Science, 2011; Ridley et al., GRL, 2014; Santer et al., GRL, 2015). The effect of these post-2000 eruptions is to reduce S/N ratios for analysis periods sampling temperature changes in the early 21st century.

8. In other fingerprint detection work, we have tested not only against model-based estimates of internal variability, but also against “total” natural variability (internally generated plus variability forced by changes in solar irradiance and volcanoes). See, e.g., the 2013 Santer et al. “vertical fingerprint” paper in PNAS. For changes in the vertical structure of atmospheric temperature, we can detect an anthropogenic fingerprint even against this larger “total” natural variability.

9. The control run distributions of noise trends are Gaussian (at least for tropospheric temperature).

Sincerely,

Ben Santer


 

Here’s Dr. McKitrick’s rebuttal:

Ross McKitrick

Dr. Santer has posted some responses to my essay above, to which I hereby offer some brief replies.

1 & 2:My essay is in response to the new paper and the claims based on the analysis therein. If ANTHRO-only fingerprints would have yielded very similar results, that should have been demonstrated, even with a brief statement and graph in the Supplement. Likewise there is no discussion of the adequacy of the model-based internal variability estimates in the paper. That such a discussion appears in the Supplement to another paper isn’t much help for understanding the issue in the context of this paper.

3. Readers might be concerned about this, but it is not the topic of my post.

4. Noted — nonetheless the point remains that the covariances are not reported.

5. And they are small relative to model-based estimates of warming. This is off topic.

6. Your Supplement says that the noise estimates only rely only on the last 200 years of each control run, which is the detrended portion. If it makes no difference to the results you should have said so. It doesn’t alleviate the problem that there likely should be a warming pattern in the natural-only pattern. Detrending definitely would remove it, though there’s no guarantee such a pattern would have been there by chance in the first place.

7. First sentence: exactly my point. Even if the effect is relatively small, it would produce a “nature-only” pattern similar to the fingerprint, weakening the detection result.

8. Again, what you did in other studies doesn’t change the point of my critique of this study. The model-variability comparator is a critical component of the method and the one used herein looks implausible.

9. What matters is the S/N statistic itself. No specification tests are reported so we have no way of knowing whether the coefficients graphed in Figure 1 are independent and normally distributed.

A Critical Framework For Climate Change

Science Matters

This dialogue framework was proposed for a debate between William Happer and David Karoly sponsored by The Best Schools.  As you can see it reads like an high hurdle course for alarmists/activists.  There are significant objections at every leap in connecting the beliefs.

Happer’s Statement: CO₂ will be a major benefit to the Earth

Earth does better with more CO2.  CO2 levels are increasing

Atmospheric transmission of radiation: Tyndall correctly recognized in 1861 that the most important greenhouse gas of the Earth’s atmosphere is water vapor. CO2 was a modest supporting actor, then as now.

Radiative cooling of the Earth: Clouds are one of the most potent factors controlling Earth’ s surface temperature.

The Schwarzschild equation:  The observed intensity I of upwelling radiation comes from the radiation emitted by the surface and by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere above the surface. The rate of change of the intensity with altitude…

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The First Shots in the Climate Wars

Sierra Foothill Commentary

Joel Kotkin

In launching their now successful protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s gas hike, the French gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) have revived their country’s reputation for rebelling against monarchial rule. It may well foreshadow a bitter, albeit largely avoidable, battle over how to address the issue of climate change.

[. . .]

In California the zealous apparatchiks of the Air Resource Board are working overtime to make life worse for most residents — even though the state since 2007 has trailed 35 states in emission declines. California’s gains are further clouded by the fact that the state exports its pollution to other states as well as overseas. And the fires, which produced massive emissions, were made much worse by state’s mismanaged forest policies — and those imposed on federal lands by environmental groups. (Just because Trump says something doesn’t make it de facto untrue).

Ultimately politics may force a shift…

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Monotonic Climate Science

Science Matters

The Greek word for “one tone” is monotonia, which is the root for both monotone and the closely-related word monotonous, which means “dull and tedious.” Monotone is a droning, unchanging tone. A continuous sound, especially someone’s voice, that doesn’t rise and fall in pitch, is a monotone. Nothing can put you to sleep quite as effectively as a teacher talking in a monotone.

Monotonic climate science was on full display this week as journalists, pundits and tweeters freaked out over a comment by the new US ambassador to Canada.  Her offense:  saying there were two sides on the climate issue and she respects them both.

The story from CBC:  The new U.S. ambassador to Canada said Monday that she believes “both sides” of climate change science.

In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, Kelly Knight Craft said that she believes there is “accurate” science on “both sides” but did not specify…

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EXAMPLES OF HOW AND WHY THE USE OF A “CLIMATE MODEL MEAN” AND THE USE OF ANOMALIES CAN BE MISLEADING

Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations

Alternate Title: An Average of Climate Models, Which Individually Give Wrong Answers, Cannot, By Averaging Them, Give the Right Answer, So A Model Mean Can Be Very Misleading. And The Use of Anomalies in Model-Data Comparisons, When Absolute Values Are Known, Can Also Be Very Misleading

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The 1970s Global Cooling Consensus was not a Myth

From Watts Up With That:

[update, reference sheet is now linked at the bottom of post]

By Angus McFarlane,

There was an overwhelming scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headinginto a period of significant cooling. The possibility of anthropogenic warming was relegated to a minority of the papers in the peer-reviewed literature.

Introduction

Whether or not there was a global cooling consensus in the 1970s is important in climate science because, if there were a cooling consensus (which subsequently proved to be wrong) then it would question the legitimacy of consensus in science. In particular, the validity of the 93% consensus on global warming alleged by Cook et al (2103) would be implausible. That is, if consensus climate scientists were wrong in the 1970s then they could be wrong now.

Purpose of Review

It is not the purpose of this review to question the rights or wrongs of the methodology of the 93% consensus. For-and-against arguments are presented in several peer-reviewed papers and non-peer-reviewed weblogs. The purpose of this review is to establish if there were a consensus in the 1970s and, if so, was this consensus cooling or warming?

In their 2008 paper, The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus, Peterson, Connolley and Fleck (hereinafter PCF-08) state that, “There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.” This conclusion intrigued me because, when I was growing up in the early 1970s, it was my perception that global cooling dominated the climate narrative. My interest was further piqued by allegations of “cover-up” and “skulduggery” in 2016 in NoTricksZone and Breitbart.

Therefore, I present a review that examines the accuracy of the PCF-08 claim that 1970s global cooling consensus was a myth. This review concentrates on the results from the data in the peer-reviewed climate science literature published in the 1970s, i.e., using similar sources to those used by PCF-08.

Review of PCF-08 Cooling Myth Paper

The case for the 1970s cooling consensus being a myth relies solely on PCF-08. They state that,”…the following pervasive myth arose: there was a consensus among climate scientists of the 1970s that either global cooling or a full-fledged ice age was imminent…A review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 shows this myth to be false. The myth’s basis lies in a selective misreading of the texts both by some members of the media at the time and by some observers today. In fact, emphasis on greenhouse warming dominated the scientific literature even then.” [Emphasis added].

PCF-08 reached their conclusion by conducting a literature review of the electronic archives of the American Meteorological Society, Nature and the scholarly journal archive Journal Storage (JSTOR). The search period was from 1965 to 1979 and the search terms used were “global warming”, “global cooling” and a variety of “other less directly relevant” search terms. Additionally, PCF-08 evaluated references mentioned in the searched papers and references mentioned in various history-of-science documents.

In total, PCF-08 reviewed 71 papers and their survey found 7 cooling papers, 20 neutral papers and 44 warming papers. Their results are shown in their Figure 1.

A cursory examination of Figure 1 indicates that there is a 62% warming consensus if we use all the data and this consensus increases to 86% pro-warming, if we were to ignore the neutral papers (as was done in the 93% consensus). Therefore, the Figure 1 data seems to prove the contention in PCF-08 that 1970s global cooling was a myth.

However, I find it difficult to believe that the 1970s media “selectively misread” the scientific consensus of the day and promoted a non-existent cooling scare. Therefore, I present an alternative to the PCF-08 analysis below.

Methodology of this Review

In this review, I use an identical methodology to PCF-08, i.e., I examine peer-reviewed scientific journals. Non-peer-reviewed newspaper and magazine articles are not used. A significantly larger number of papers are presented in the current review than were used in PCF-08.

The PCF-08 database of articles is used but this is extended to examine more literature. Note that examining all of the scientific literature would have been beyond my resources. However, my literature survey was facilitated by the work of Kenneth Richard in 2016 (hereinafter, KR-16) at NoTricksZone, in which he has assembled a large database of sceptical peer-reviewed literature.

Some people may wish to ignore the KR-16 database as being from a so-called “climate denier” blog. However, almost all of the papers in KR-16 are from peer-reviewed literature and consequently it is a valid database. It is also worth noting that 16 of the papers used in the KR-16 database are also contained in the PCF-08 database.

The combined PCF-08 and KR-16 databases form the benchmark database for the current review. It was intended to significantly extend the benchmark database but, on searching the relevant journals, only 2 additional papers were found and these were added to form the database for this review.

It should be noted that KR-16 states that there were over 285 cooling papers. However, many of these papers were deleted from the current review as not being relevant. For example, several papers were either outside the 1965-1979 reference period or they emphasise the minor role of CO2 but do not consider climate trends.

I agree with PCF-08 that no literature search can be 100% complete. I also agree that a literature search offers a reasonable test of the hypothesis that there was a scientific consensus in the 1970s. I reiterate that the resulting database used in this review is significantly larger than that used by PCF-08 and consequently it should offer a more accurate test of the scientific consensus in the 1970s.

Most of the papers in the review database acknowledge the global cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s (typically 0.3 °C global cooling). Therefore, deciding between cooling, neutral or warming was relatively straightforward in most cases; namely did the paper expect the climate regime during the 1940s-1960s period to either to continue from the date that the paper was published, or did it expect a different climate regime in the medium-to-long-term?

Notwithstanding the straightforward test described above, some of the papers make contradictory statements and are thus more difficult to classify. Consequently, their classification can include an element of subjectivity. Fortunately, there are very few papers in this category and consequently an inappropriate classification does not materially affect the overall results.

The test criteria are summarised in Table 1.

Classification Test of Classification of Papers Typical Examples from Papers
Cooling Cooling expected to either continue or initiate Kukla & Kukla (1972)“…the prognosis is for a long-lasting global cooling more severe than any experienced hitherto by civilized mankind.”
Neutral Either non-committal on future climate change or expects warming or cooling to be equally possible Sellers (1969)“The major conclusions that removing the arctic ice cap would have less effect on climate than previously suggested, that a decrease of the solar constant by 2-5% would be sufficient, to initiate another ice age, and that man’s increasing industrial activities may eventually lead to the elimination of the ice caps and to a climate about 14C warmer than today…”
Warming Warming expected to either continue or initiate Manabe & Weatherald (1967)“According to our estimate, a doubling of the CO, content in the atmosphere has the effect of raising the temperature of the atmosphere (whose relative humidity is fixed) by about 2C.”

Table 1: Summary of Classification System for Papers

The search terms “global cooling” and “global warming” used by PCF-08 are used in this review but they have been expanded to include “cool”, “warm”, “aerosol” and “ice-age” because these, more general terms, return a larger number of relevant papers. Additional search terms such as “deterioration”, “detrimental” and “severe” have also been included. These would fit into the PCF-08 category of “other less directly relevant” search terms.

Several of the papers in the database are concerned about the effects of aerosol cooling and they state that this effect dominates the effect of the newly emerging CO2-warming science. Indeed, a few papers warn of CO2 cooling.

However, PCF-08 do not include any papers that refer to aerosol cooling by a future fleet of supersonic aircraft (SST’s) but several papers in the 1970s assumed an SST fleet of 500 aircraft. This seems incongruous now but, to show that this number of aircraft is not unrealistic; Emirates Airlines currently have a fleet of 244 (non-supersonic) aircraft and 262 more on order. Therefore, I have included papers that refer to the effects of aerosols from supersonic aircraft and other human activities. Of course, supersonic travel was killed-off by the mid-1970s oil crisis.

Furthermore, a number of PCF-08 and KR-16 papers were re-classified (from cooling, neutral or warming) as summarised Table 2.

Reference Original Amended
Sellers (1969) Warming Neutral
Benton (1970) Warming Neutral
Rasool and Schneider (1972) Neutral Cooling
Machta (1972) Warming Neutral
FCSTICAS (1974) Warming Cooling
National Academy of Sciences (1975) Neutral Cooling
Thompson, 1975 Warming Neutral
Shaw (1976) Neutral Cooling
Bryson and Dittberner (1977) Neutral Cooling
Barrett, 1978 Neutral Cooling
Ohring and Adler (1978) Warming Neutral
Stuiver (1978) Warming Neutral
Sagan et al. (1979) Neutral Cooling
Choudhury and Kukla, 1979 Neutral Cooling
a. Amended Classifications to PCF-08
Reference Original Amended
Budyko, 1969 Cooling Warming
Benton (1970) Cooling Neutral
Mitchell, 1970 Cooling Neutral
Mitchell (1971) Cooling Warming
Richmond, 1972 Cooling Neutral
Denton and Karlén, 1973 Cooling Warming
Schneider and Dickinson, 1974 Cooling Neutral
Moran, 1974 Cooling Neutral
Ellsaesser, 1975 Cooling Neutral
Thompson, 1975 Cooling Neutral
Gates, 1976 Cooling Neutral
Zirin et al., 1976 Cooling Neutral
Bach, 1976 Cooling Warming
Norwine, 1977 Cooling Warming
Paterson, 1977 Cooling Neutral
Schneider, 1978 Cooling Warming
b. Amended Classifications to KR-16

Table 2: Amendments to Classification of Papers in Database

Two examples of the amendments to the classification of the papers in the database are explained below:

1. The Benton (1970) paper is classified as “Cooling” in KR-16 but the paper states that, “In the period from 1880 to 1940, the mean temperature of the earth increased about 0.60C; from 1940 to 1970, it decreased by 0.3-0.4°C…The present rate of increase of 0.7 ppm per year [of CO2] would therefore (if extrapolated to 2000 A.D.) result in a warming of about 0.60C – a very substantial change…The drop in the earth’s temperature since 1940 has been paralleled by a substantial increase in natural volcanism. The effect of such volcanic activity is probably greater than the effect of manmade pollutants… it is essential that scientists understand thoroughly the dynamics of climate.” [Emphasis added]. Consequently, this paper is re-classified as neutral in this review. Not the “Cooling” classification in KR-16 and not the “Warming” the classification in PCF-08).

2. The Sagan et al. (1979) paper is classified as “Neutral” in PCF-08 but the paper states that, “Observations show that since 1940 the global mean temperature has declined by -0.2 K…Extrapolation of present rates of change of land use suggests a further decline of -1 K in the global temperature by the end of the next century, at least partially compensating for the increase in global temperature through the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect, anticipated from the continued burning of fossil fuels.” [Emphasis added]. Therefore, this paper is re-classified as cooling in this review (conforming to the KR-16 classification).

Results from Review & Discussion

The review database contains a total 190 relevant papers, which is 2.7 times the size of the PCF-08 database. Of the 190 papers in the review database, 162 full papers/books and 25 abstracts were reviewed (abstracts were used when the full papers were either pay-walled or could not be sourced). Furthermore, 4 warming papers from PCF-08 were not reviewed because they could not be sourced. Therefore, the PCF-08 classification was used for these papers in this review.

The results from the review are summarised in Figure 2.

It is evident from Figure 2 that, for the 1965-1979 reference period used by PCF-08, the number of cooling papers significantly outnumbers the number of warming papers. It is also apparent that there are two distinct sub-periods contained within the reference period, namely:

1. The 1968-1976 period when cooling papers greatly outnumber the warming papers (85% to 15%), if we ignore the neutral papers (as was done in the Cook et al (2103). The 85% to 15% majority is an overwhelming cooling consensus. Additionally, this is probably the period when the 1970s “global cooling consensus” originated because cooling was clearly an established scientific consensus – not the myth that PCF-08 contend.

2. The 1977-1979 period when warming papers slightly outnumber the cooling papers (52% to 48%) – a warming majority but not a consensus.

The following observations are also worth noting from Figure 2 for the 1965-1979 reference period:

1. Of the 190 papers in the database, the respective number of papers are 86 cooling, 58 neutral and 46 warming. In percentage terms, this equates to 45% cooling papers, 31% neutral papers and 24% warming papers, if we use all of the data.

2. The cooling consensus increases to 65% compared with 35% warming – a considerable cooling consensus, if we ignore the neutral papers (as was done in the Cook et al (2103).

3. The total number of cooling papers is always greater than or equal to the number of warming papers throughout the entire reference period.

Although not presented in Figure 2, it is worth noting that 30 papers refer to the possibility of a New Ice-Age or the return to the “Little Ace-Age” (although they sometimes they used the term “Climate Catastrophic Cooling”). Timescales for the New Ice Age vary from a few decades, through a century or two, to several millennia. The 30 “New Ice Age” papers are not insignificant when compared with the 46 warming papers.

Conclusions

A review of the climate science literature of the 1965-1979 period is presented and it is shown that there was an overwhelming scientific consensus for climate cooling (typically, 65% for the whole period) but greatly outnumbering the warming papers by more than 5-to-1 during the 1968-1976 period, when there were 85% cooling papers compared with 15% warming.

It is evident that the conclusion of the PCF-08 paper, The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus, is incorrect. The current review shows the opposite conclusion to be more accurate. Namely, the 1970s global cooling consensus was not a myth – the overwhelming scientific consensus was for climate cooling.

It appears that the PCF-08 authors have committed the transgression of which they accuse others; namely, “selectively misreading the texts” of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979. The PCF-08 authors appear to have done this by neglecting the large number of peer-reviewed papers that were pro-cooling.

I find it very surprising that PCF-08 only uncovered 7 cooling papers and did not uncover the 86 cooling papers in major scientific journals, such as, Journal of American Meteorological Society, Nature, Science, Quaternary Research and similar scientific papers that they reviewed. For example, PCF-08 only found 1 paper in Quaternary Research, namely the warming paper by Mitchell (1976), however, this review found 19 additional papers in that journal, comprising 15 cooling, 3 neutral and 1 warming.

I can only suggest that the authors of PCF-08 concentrated on finding warming papers instead of conducting the impartial “rigorous literature review” that they profess.

If the current climate science debate were more neutral, the PCF-08 paper would either be withdrawn or subjected to a detailed corrigendum to correct its obvious inaccuracies.

Afterword

I reiterate that no literature survey can be 100% complete. Therefore, if you uncover additional references then please send them to me in the comments. It would make this review much better if we could significantly increase the number of relevant references.

Additionally, if you disagree with the classification of some of the references then please let me know why you disagree and I will consider appropriate amendments. Your comments on classification would certainly increase the veracity of the review by providing an independent assessment of my classifications.

References

The references used in this review and their classification are included in the spreadsheet here:

References-Global Cooling Consensus.xlsx

The Picasso Problem

From Watts Up With That:

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Let me start explaining the link from Picasso to climate science by looking at what Dr. Nir Shaviv called “the most boring graph I have ever plotted in my life”.

This is the graph of the changes in the best estimate of the range of what is called “climate sensitivity” over the last forty years or so.

What is climate sensitivity when it’s at home? To explain that, I’ll have to take a slight detour. First, downwelling radiation.

“Downwelling” in climate science means headed down towards the planetary surface. Downwelling radiation is the total radiation going downwards towards the surface. It is composed of sunshine (shortwave) plus thermal radiation from the atmosphere (longwave). In climate science, this quantity, total downwelling radiation, is called “forcing”, abbreviated “F”

The central paradigm of modern climate science is that if you change the amount of downwelling radiation (forcing), that the surface temperature perforce will change. The claim is that everything else averages out, and if the forcing increases, then surface temperature needs to change to maintain the global energy balance. It has to change. It must.

In short, the central paradigm of modern climate science is the following:

In the long run, global temperature change is proportional to global forcing change.

The putatively constant proportion between the two, which is the temperature change divided by forcing change, is called the “climate sensitivity”.

“Climate sensitivity” is often expressed as the assumed change in temperature given a change of 3.7 watts per square metre (W/m2) in downwelling radiation. The determination of this so-called “climate sensitivity” is a central question arising out of the paradigm that temperature change is proportional to temperature change.

Which leads me to the most boring graph below. It shows the changes over time in the estimate of the value of the climate sensitivity.

Figure 1. Changes over time in the estimate of the climate sensitivity parameter “lambda”. “∆T2x(°C)” is the expected temperature change in degrees Celsius resulting from a doubling of atmospheric CO2, which is assumed to increase the forcing by 3.7 watts per square metre. FAR, SAR, TAR, AR4, AR5 are the UN IPCC 1st, second, third, fourth and fifth Assessment Reports giving an assessment of the state of climate science as of the date of each report

It is worth noting that since 1979, entire new scientific fields like DNA analysis have first been envisioned, then have come into being, and now have reached amazing levels of development … and during that same time, what Dr. Shaviv rightly calls “the most important question in climate” has gone nowhere. No progress at all.

Since 1979, the amount of computing power that we have available, both as individuals and large organizations, has skyrocketed. My trusty PowerMac has more computing ability than most universities had available in 1979. The cost has dropped as well, from $100,000 per “MIPS” (million instructions per second) to less than $1 per MIPS today. And the speed has gone through the roof, with supercomputers running climate models at more than a trillion floating point operations (which have the lovely name of “TeraFLOPs”) every second. The number of people investigating the value of climate sensitivity has also grown over time. And billions and billions of dollars have been spent on trying to answer the question.

So … since the Charney report on climate sensitivity in 1979 we’ve had huge, stupendous increases in:

Computing power working on the question

Hours of intensive research applied to the question

Discussion, debate, and interest in the question

Money spent on the question

And despite those huge increases in time, work, discussion, and computer power, the investigation of the question of the value of climate sensitivity has gone exactly nowhere. No progress.

How can we understand this scientific oddity? What is the reason that all of that valuable time, money, and effort has achieved nothing? I mean zero. Nada. No movement at all. The most boring graph.

Let me suggest that climate science is the victim of what I call the “Picasso Problem”. Pablo Picasso once said something that has stuck with me for a long time. He said:

“What good are computers? They can only give you answers.”

Now, I wrote my first computer program in 1963, more than half a century ago. I was sixteen. It ran on a computer the size of a small room. I’ve been programming computers ever since then. I’ve written programs to do everything from designing fabric patterns for huge catenary tents, to calculating next year’s tides from this year’s tide tables, to making the plasma-cutting files to guide the cutting of the steel parts for building 25-metre fishing boats, to analyzing the data and doing the math and creating the graphics for this very post. And over the years I’ve made big bucks with my succession of computers.

So when I read that Picasso was dissing computers with that statement, my initial response was to say “Whaa? Computers are great! What is this mad artist on about? I’ve made lots of money with my computer. How can they be no good?”

But upon more mature reflection, I realized that Picasso was right. Here’s what he meant:

Even the best computer can’t give you the right answer unless you ask it the right question.

To me, this was a crucial insight, one that has guided many of my scientific peregrinations—don’t focus too much on the answers. Put some focus on the questions as well.

So regarding climate science, what is the wrong question, and what is the right question? Once again, please allow me to get side-tractored a bit.

I first got interested in climate science around the turn of the century because of the increase in serial doomcasting regarding some rumored upcoming Thermageddon™. So I started with the basics, by learning how the poorly-named “greenhouse effect” was keeping the earth far warmer than the temperature of the Moon, which is at the same distance from the sun.

However, along the way, I read that the best estimate of the warming over the entire 20th century was on the order of 0.6 degrees Celsius. When I read that, I thought … “Whaa … less than one degree??? All this fuss and the temperature has changed less than one degree?”

I was surprised because of my experience repairing machinery which had a governor, and my experience with solar energy. I viewed the climate as a giant solar-driven heat engine, wherein the energy of the sun is converted into the ceaseless movement of the atmosphere and the ocean working against the brake of friction against the mountains and shores and the endless turbulent losses.

When one analyzes the efficiency or other characteristics of a heat engine, or when one uses tools like the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to convert temperature into the equivalent amount of thermal radiation, you have to use the Kelvin temperature scale (abbreviated “K”). This is the scale which starts at absolute zero. Temperature is a function of the motion of the molecules or atoms involved. And absolute zero is where molecular motion stops entirely.

You can’t use degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit for these calculations, because °C and °F have arbitrary zero points. You have to use the Kelvin scale, it’s the only one that works. Kelvin has the same size units as Celsius, just a different zero point, which is at minus 273.15°C (minus 459.67°F).

Now, the average surface temperature of the Earth is on the order of 14° Celsius, which is 57° Fahrenheit … or 287 Kelvin. And with that average global temperature of 287 Kelvin, the global temperature variation of 0.6 K over the 20th century is a temperature variation of a fifth of one percent.

This was the oddity that shaped my investigation of the climate … during a hundred year period, the temperature had varied by only about one fifth of one percent. This was amazing to me. I’d had lots of experience with governed systems because of my work with electrical generators. These need to be tightly governed so that their speed remains constant regardless of the changing load on the system. And what I’d found in my work with mechanical governors is that it’s quite hard to regulate a mechanical system to within one percent.

Yet despite droughts and floods, despite huge volcanic eruptions, despite constantly changing global cloud cover, despite all kinds of variations in the forcing, despite the hemispheric temperatures changing by ~ 13°C twice over the course of each and every year, despite the globe being balanced on a greenhouse effect which is holding it on the order of ~ 50°C warmer than the moon … despite all of those variations and changes, the average temperature of the Earth didn’t vary by a quarter of one percent over the entire 20th century.

That is amazingly tight regulation. Here’s a real-world example of why I was surprised by that stability.

I was looking at the speedometer today with my truck on “cruise control”. Cruise control in your car is a governor that keeps the speed of the vehicle the same regardless of changes in load on the truck. I set it for 50 miles per hour. Up and down hills it varied by plus and minus one mile per hour. That’s a computer-controlled engine that is speed-regulated to within ±2%, pretty tight regulation … but the Earth’s temperature is far better regulated than that. It stays within less than plus or minus one tenth of a percent.

To me at the time, that thermal stability was a clear sign of the existence of some unknown of natural thermostatic processes that acted in a very efficient manner to maintain the Earth’s temperature within those narrow bounds. So my own quest in the field of climate science was to find out what the natural phenomena were that explained the tight regulation of century-long planetary surface temperatures.

Which left me in a curious position. All of the established climate scientists were, and still are, trying to find out why the temperature is changing so much. They spend time looking at graphs like this, showing the variations in the Earth’s surface temperature:

Figure 2. HadCRUT global average surface temperature anomaly.

On the other hand, because I’m someone with an interest in heat engines and governors, I was trying to find out why the temperature has been changing so little. I spent my time looking at the exact same data as in Figure 2, but expressed in graphs like this:

Figure 3. HadCRUT global average actual surface temperature (the same data shown in Figure 2) and also the approximate average lunar temperature, in kelvin.

And that brings me back, after plowing that distant field, to the question of climate sensitivity and to Picasso’s prescient question, viz: “What good are computers? They can only give you answers.”.

I say that we have made zero progress in four decades of attempting to measure or calculate climate sensitivity because we are using our awesome computer power to investigate why the global temperature changes so much.

For me, this is entirely the wrong question. The question that we should be asking is the following:

Why does the global temperature change so little?

After much thought and even more research, I say the reason that global average temperature changes so little is that temperature is NOT proportional to forcing as is generally believed. As a result, the so-called “climate sensitivity” is not a constant as is assumed … and since it is not a constant, trying to determine its exact value is a fool’s errand because it has none. That’s why we can’t make even the slightest advance on measuring it … because it’s a chimera based on a misunderstanding of what is happening.

Instead, my hypothesis is that the temperature is maintained within narrow bounds by a variety of emergent phenomena that cool the earth when it gets too hot, and heat it up when it gets too cool. I have found a wide variety of observational evidence that this is actually the case. See the endnotes for some of my posts on my hypothesis.

But hey, that’s just my answer. And I freely agree that my answer may be wrong … but at least it is an answer to the right question. The true mystery of the climate is its amazing thermal stability.

Finally, how did an entire field of science get involved in trying to answer the wrong question? I say that it is the result of the 1988 creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by the United Nations.

In 1988, the field of climate science was fairly new. Despite that, however, the UN was already convinced that it knew what the problem was. Typical bureaucratic arrogance. As a result, in the UN General Assembly Resolution 43/53 from 1988, the Resolution which set up the IPCC, it says that the UN General Assembly was:

Concerned that certain human activities could change global climate patterns, threatening present and future generations with potentially severe economic and social consequences,

Noting with concern that the emerging evidence indicates that continued growth in atmospheric concentrations of “greenhouse” gases could produce global warming with an eventual rise in sea levels, the effects of which could be disastrous for mankind if timely steps are not taken at all levels,

And in response, it jumped right over asking if whether or not this was scientifically correct, and went straight to taking action on something that of course, the General Assembly knew nothing about. The Resolution says that the General Assembly:

… Determines that necessary and timely action should be taken to deal with climate change within a global framework;

Calls for action always make bureaucrats happy. So the IPCC, an expressly political “Intergovernmental” organization, became the defacto guiding light for an entire field of science … which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Now, up until that time, and since that time as well, every other field of science has managed to make amazing strides in understanding without any global “Intergovernmental” panel to direct their efforts. We’ve had astounding successes with our usual bumbling catch-as-catch-can scientific method, which involves various scientists working fairly independently around the planet on some scientific question, sometimes cooperating, sometimes competing, without needing or wanting anyone to “summarize the science” as the IPCC claims to do.

And given the lack of progress shown by the “Most Boring Graph” at the top of this post, I’d say that the world should never again put a bunch of United Nations pluted bloatocrats in charge of anything to do with science. If we had set up an “Intergovernmental Panel on DNA Analysis” when the field was new, you can be certain that long ago the field would have gone uselessly haring down blind alleys lined by nonsensical claims that “97% of DNA scientists agree” …

Over at Dr. Judith Curry’s excellent blog, someone asked me the other day what I didn’t like about the IPCC. I replied:

Here are some of the major reasons. I have more.

First, it assumes a degree of scientific agreement which simply doesn’t exist. Most people in the field, skeptics included, think the earth is warming and humans may well have an effect on it. But the agreement ends there. How much effect, and how, and for how long, those and many other questions have little agreement.

Second, it is corrupt, as shown inter alia by the Jesus Paper

Third, it generally ignores anything which might differ from climate science revealed wisdom.

Fourth, it is driven by politics, not by science. Certain paragraphs and conclusions have been altered or removed because of political objections.

Fifth, in an attempt to be inclusive of developing countries, it includes a number of very poor scientists.

Sixth, any organization that ends up with Rajendra Pachauri as its leader is very, very sick.

Seventh, they’ve ignored actual uncertainty and replaced it with a totally subjective estimate of uncertainty.

Eighth, it lets in things like the Hockeystick paper and the numerous “Stick-alikes” despite them being laughably bad science.

Ninth, it makes “projections” that have little to no relationship to the real world, like Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5).

Tenth, it generally excludes skeptics of all types, either directly or because skeptics know better than to associate with such an organization.

Eleventh, anyone making “projections” that go out to the year 2100 is blowing smoke up your fundamental orifice.

Twelveth, it is far, far too dependent on untested, unverified, unvalidated climate models.

Thirteenth, the IPCC generally thinks without thinking about it that warming is bad, bad, bad … which is the opposite of the actual effects of the warming since the Little Ice Age.

Fourteenth, the IPCC was given the wrong task at its inception. Rather than setting out to find what actually controls the climate, it was given the task of finding out how much CO2 we could emit before it became dangerous. That tasking assumed a whole host of things which have never been established.

Fifteenth … aw, heck, that’s enough. I have more if you are interested.

So … that’s the climate Picasso Problem. The field of climate science is trying to use computers to find an answer to the wrong question, and as a result, the field is going nowhere.


Here, we’re still in haze and smoke from the Camp Fire, and the number of fatalities is over seventy. I’m wearing an N95 mask when I go outside. Here’s the latest smoke map … Anthony Watts is up in Chico, in the bright red spot at the top, over 100 micrograms per cubic metre of smoke. I’m near the coast to the west of Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, where it’s much better but still bad.

Keep a good thought over the fire victims, it’s hard times for all.

My best wishes to every one,

w.

PS—As usual, I ask that when you comment, please quote the exact words you are discussing, so we can all understand both who and what you are replying to.

FURTHER READING: These are some of my posts explaining my hypothesis regarding why the global temperature is so stable, and providing evidence for the hypothesis

The Thermostat Hypothesis 2009-06-14

Abstract: The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature.

Which way to the feedback? 2010-12-11

There is an interesting new study by Lauer et al. entitled “The Impact of Global Warming on Marine Boundary Layer Clouds over the Eastern Pacific—A Regional Model Study” [hereinafter Lauer10]. Anthony Watts has discussed some early issues with the paper here. The Lauer10 study has been controversial because it found that…

The Details Are In The Devil 2010-12-13

I love thought experiments. They allow us to understand complex systems that don’t fit into the laboratory. They have been an invaluable tool in the scientific inventory for centuries. Here’s my thought experiment for today. Imagine a room. In a room dirt collects, as you might imagine. In my household…

Further Evidence for my Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis 2011-06-07

For some time now I’ve been wondering what kind of new evidence I could come up with to add support to my Thunderstorm Thermostat hypothesis (q.v.). This is the idea that cumulus clouds and thunderstorms combine to cap the rise of tropical temperatures. In particular, thunderstorms are able to drive…

It’s Not About Feedback 2011-08-14

The current climate paradigm believed by most scientists in the field can be likened to the movement of balls on a pool table. Figure 1. Pool balls on a level table. Response is directly proportional to applied force (double the force, double the distance). There are no “preferred” positions—every position…

Estimating Cloud Feedback From Observations 2011-10-08

I had an idea a couple days ago about how to estimate cloud feedback from observations, and it appears to have panned out well. You tell me. Figure 1. Month-to-month change in 5° gridcell actual temperature ∆T, versus gridcell change in net cloud forcing ∆F. Curved green lines are for…

Sun and Clouds are Sufficient 2012-06-04

In my previous post, A Longer Look at Climate Sensitivity, I showed that the match between lagged net sunshine (the solar energy remaining after albedo reflections) and the observational temperature record is quite good. However, there was still a discrepancy between the trends, with the observational trends being slightly larger…

Forcing or Feedback? 2012-06-07

I read a Reviewer’s Comment on one of Richard Lindzen’s papers today, a paper about the tropics from 20°N to 20°S, and I came across this curiosity (emphasis mine): Lastly, the authors go through convoluted arguments between forcing and feed backs. For the authors’ analyses to be valid, clouds should…

A Demonstration of Negative Climate Sensitivity 2012-06-19

Well, after my brief digression to some other topics, I’ve finally been able to get back to the reason that I got the CERES albedo and radiation data in the first place. This was to look at the relationship between the top of atmosphere (TOA) radiation imbalance and the surface…

The Tao of El Nino 2013-01-28

I was wandering through the graphics section of the TAO buoy data this evening. I noted that they have an outstanding animation of the most recent sixty months of tropical sea temperatures and surface heights. Go to their graphics page, click on “Animation”. Then click on “Animate”. When the new…

Emergent Climate Phenomena 2013-02-07

In a recent post, I described how the El Nino/La Nina alteration operates as a giant pump. Whenever the Pacific Ocean gets too warm across its surface, the Nino/Nina pump kicks in and removes the warm water from the Pacific, pumping it first west and thence poleward. I also wrote…

Slow Drift in Thermoregulated Emergent Systems 2013-02-08

In my last post, “Emergent Climate Phenomena“, I gave a different paradigm for the climate. The current paradigm is that climate is a system in which temperature slavishly follows the changes in inputs. Under my paradigm, on the other hand, natural thermoregulatory systems constrain the temperature to vary within a…

Air Conditioning Nairobi, Refrigerating The Planet 2013-03-11

I’ve mentioned before that a thunderstorm functions as a natural refrigeration system. I’d like to explain in a bit more detail what I mean by that. However, let me start by explaining my credentials as regards my knowledge of refrigeration. The simplest explanation of my refrigeration credentials is that I…

Dehumidifying the Tropics 2013-04-21

I once had the good fortune to fly over an amazing spectacle, where I saw all of the various stages of emergent phenomena involving thunderstorms. It happened on a flight over the Coral Sea from the Solomon Islands, which are near the Equator, south to Brisbane. Brisbane is at 27°…

Decadal Oscillations Of The Pacific Kind 2013-06-08

The recent post here on WUWT about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has a lot of folks claiming that the PDO is useful for predicting the future of the climate … I don’t think so myself, and this post is about why I don’t think the PDO predicts the climate…

The Magnificent Climate Heat Engine 2013-12-21

I’ve been reflecting over the last few days about how the climate system of the earth functions as a giant natural heat engine. A “heat engine”, whether natural or man-made, is a mechanism that converts heat into mechanical energy of some kind. In the case of the climate system, the…

The Thermostatic Throttle 2013-12-28

I have theorized that the reflective nature of the tropical clouds, in particular those of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) just above the equator, functions as the “throttle” on the global climate engine. We’re all familiar with what a throttle does, because the gas pedal on your car controls the…

On The Stability and Symmetry Of The Climate System 2014-01-06

The CERES data has its problems, because the three datasets (incoming solar, outgoing longwave, and reflected shortwave) don’t add up to anything near zero. So the keepers of the keys adjusted them to an artificial imbalance of +0.85 W/m2 (warming). Despite that lack of accuracy, however, the CERES data is…

Dust In My Eyes 2014-02-13

I was thinking about “dust devils”, the little whirlwinds of dust that you see on a hot day, and they reminded me that we get dulled by familiarity with the wonders of our planet. Suppose, for example, you that “back in the olden days” your family lived for generations in…

The Power Stroke 2014-02-27

I got to thinking about the well-known correlation of El Ninos and global temperature. I knew that the Pacific temperatures lead the global temperatures, and the tropics lead the Pacific, but I’d never looked at the actual physical

Albedic Meanderings 2015-06-03

I’ve been considering the nature of the relationship between the albedo and temperature. I have hypothesized elsewhere that variations in tropical cloud albedo are one of the main mechanisms that maintain the global surface temperature within a fairly narrow range (e.g. within ± 0.3°C during the entire 20th Century). To…

An Inherently Stable System 2015-06-04

At the end of my last post , I said that the climate seems to be an inherently stable system. The graphic below shows ~2,000 climate simulations run by climateprediction.net. Unlike the other modelers, whose failures end up on the cutting room floor, they’ve shown all of the runs ……

The Daily Albedo Cycle 2015-06-08

I discussed the role of tropical albedo in regulating the temperature in two previous posts entitled Albedic Meanderings and An Inherently Stable System. This post builds on that foundation. I said in the latter post that I would discuss the diurnal changes in tropical cloud albedo. For this I use…

Problems With Analyzing Governed Systems 2015-08-02

I’ve been ruminating on the continuing misunderstanding of my position that a governor is fundamentally different from simple feedback. People say things like “A governor is just a kind of feedback”. Well, yes, that’s true, and it is also true that a human being is “just…

Cooling And Warming Clouds And Thunderstorms 2015-08-18

Following up on a suggestion made to me by one of my long-time scientific heroes, Dr. Fred Singer, I’ve been looking at the rainfall dataset from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Here’s s the TRMM average rainfall data for the entire mission to d…

Tropical Evaporative Cooling 2015-11-11

I’ve been looking again into the satellite rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). I discussed my first look at this rainfall data in a post called Cooling and Warming, Clouds and Thunderstorms. There I showed that the cooling from th…

How Thunderstorms Beat The Heat 2016-01-08

I got to thinking again about the thunderstorms, and how much heat they remove from the surface by means of evaporation. We have good data on this from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellites. Here is the distribution and strength of rainfall, and thus …

Where the Temperature Rules The Sun

I’ve held for a long time that there is a regulatory mechanism in the tropics that keeps the earth’s temperature within very narrow bounds on average (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the 20th Century). This mechanism is the timing and amount of the daily emergence of the cumulus cloud field, and the timing and emergence of thunderstorms.

Where the Temperature Rules The Total Surface Absorption

Reflecting upon my previous post, Where The Temperature Rules The Sun, I realized that while it was valid, it was just about temperature controlling downwelling solar energy via cloud variations. However, it didn’t cover total energy input …