Watch our world warm! How warm was June? What’s the trend?

Summary: Each month brings forth a crop of cherry-picked news from climate alarmists about rapid and severe global warming, usually with little or no reference to any historical context. Why do people listen, as the world’s climate science institutions show us a broader and more accurate picture? Here we look at what scientists tells about the world’s temperature in June. This tells us what’s happened in the past, the trend. It does not tell us what the future hold in store.

“… we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated 5 or 10 years ago”
— President Obama repeating the big myth, speech at Chicago on 30 May 2013

Global warming

Contents

  1. Summary for June
  2. What do the satellites tell us about global warming?
  3. What does the surface temperature data tell us?
  4. Who produces this data?
  5. Some of the key things to remember about global warming!
  6. For More Information

To the right is the usual over-the-top image, about a world for a world roughly one °F warmer than the 30-year average.

(1) Summary for June

Summary for June by Ole Humlum (Professor of Geoscience, U Oslo; bio here):

  • “On average, global air temperatures were near the 1998 – 2006 average , although with large regional differences. For all three surface air temperature records continue to show negative temperature trend for the last 5 and 10 years.”
  • “All five global temperature estimates presently show an overall stagnation, at least since 2002. There has been no increase in global air temperature since 1998, which however was affected by the oceanographic El Niño event.”

Posted at Climate4You, which has a massive storehouse of easily accessed climate data.

Update: putting these numbers in a historical context, from page 10 of “The Recent Pause in Global Warming” just published by the UK Met Office:

UK Met Report, July 2013
UK Met Report, July 2013

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(2) What do the satellites tell us about global warming?

The June 2013 Global Temperature Report
by the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (blue is cold; red warm}

June 2013 Temperature Map
By the U AL-Huntsville for NASA. Click to enlarge.

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Key points from the report:

  • Global composite temperature in June: +0.3°C (0.5°F) above the average for June during 1981-2010.
  • Global climate trend of temperature starting in 16 November 1978: +0.14°C (0.3°F) per decade.
  • Anomalies are computed vs a 30 year base period. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommends using the latest decade for the 30-year average.

Let’s look at the data since 1979. The following graphs show 20 years of cool weather, then 15 years of warm:

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Monthly Anomaly Graph
Done for NASA by the U AL-Huntsville. Click to enlarge.

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Roy Spencer (principal scientists on the team) shows another perspective on this data (at his website). Wide swings in temperature; relatively flat trend since 1998:

Monthly anomaly graph
Data from the U AL-Huntsville. Click to enlarge.

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(3) What does the surface temperature data tell us?

Bob Tisdale shows the data from the Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The average global temperature for June was +0.67° C (1.2°F) above the 1951-1980 average. Again, relatively flat since 1998:

GISS temperature graph
A Land Ocean Temperature Index by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

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This graph focuses on the data since 2000 from the three major sources of global surface temperatures, compared to the 1981-2010 average:

Comparison of the major temperature datasets

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(4) Who produces this data?

(a) About the global satellite data

As part of an ongoing joint project between The University of Alabama in Huntsville, NOAA and NASA, John Christy (professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at U AL-Huntsville) and Dr. Roy Spencer (an ESSC principal scientist) use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about 8,000 above sea level.

Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.

(Source here)

(b) The Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

The GISS Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data is a product of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Starting with their January 2013 update, it uses NCDC ERSST.v3b sea surface temperature data. The impact of the recent change in sea surface temperature datasets is discussed here. GISS adjusts GHCN and other land surface temperature data via a number of methods and infills missing data using 1200km smoothing. Refer to the GISS description here. Unlike the UK Met Office and NCDC products, GISS masks sea surface temperature data at the poles where seasonal sea ice exists, and they extend land surface temperature data out over the oceans in those locations. Refer to the discussions here and here.

GISS uses the base years of 1951-1980 as the reference period for anomalies. The data source is here.

Source here.

(5) Some of the key things to remember about global warming!

While cheering for their faction of scientists, laypeople often lose sight of the big picture — the key elements for making public policy about this important issue.

  1. The work of the IPCC and the major science institutes are the best guides for information about these issues.
  2. The major global temperature measurement systems tell — broadly speaking — the same story since the 1970s: two decades of cooling, two of warming, followed by a pause.
  3. This is consistent with the larger firm conclusions of climate scientists: two centuries of warming, coming in pulses (ie, waves), with anthropogenic factors becoming the largest (not the only) driver since roughly 1950.
  4. There is a debate about the attribution (causes) of past warming — which probably varied over time — between natural drivers (eg, rebound from the Little Ice Age, solar influences) and anthropogenic drivers (eg, CO2, aerosols, land use changes). Other that that stated in #3, the IPCC’s reports make few claims about attribution of climate activity, as this remains actively debated in the literature.
  5. There is an even larger debate about climate forecasts, both the extent of future CO2 emissions and the net effects of the various natural and anthropogenic drivers.

For the past five years my recommendations have been the same:

  1. More funding for climate sciences. Many key aspects (eg, global temperature data collection and analysis) are grossly underfunded.
  2. Wider involvement of relevant experts in this debate. For example, geologists, statisticians and software engineers have been largely excluded — although their fields of knowledge are deeply involved.
Pure alarmist propaganda
Pure alarmist propaganda

(6) For More Information

Other posts about global warming:

  1. Good news! Global temperatures have stabilized, at least for now., 3 February 2012
  2. Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now., 14 October 2012
  3. When did we start global warming? See the surprising answer (it’s not what you’ve been told)., 18 October 2012
  4. The IPCC sees the pause in global warming!, 18 December 2012
  5. Lessons about global warming from Alaska, 9 January 2013
  6. Secrets about global warming that you must not know, least they ruin the narrative, 22 January 2013
  7. Lessons about America to be learned from the Climate Wars, 28 June 2013
  8. Good news about climate change!, 15 July 2013

Now
About forecasts of climate change:

  1. Global warming means more earthquakes!, 19 June 2008
  2. About those headlines from the past century about global cooling…,
    2 November 2009
  3. The facts about the 1970’s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
  4. Global warming causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (yes, this story is real), 27 April 2010
  5. Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses, 17 October 2010
  6. Hurricane Sandy asks when did weather become exceptional?, 28 October 2012
  7. Checking up on past forecasts about climate change, a guide to the future, 6 January 2013

Alarmists use wildly exaggerated images to mold public opinion, and to incite fear

It’s called propaganda.

Earth as inferno
Using images to mold your thinking and arouse fear

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52 thoughts on “Watch our world warm! How warm was June? What’s the trend?

  1. I can happily report random local weather variance is providing a pleasant summer here in the deep south. The weather service is predicting the most pleasant late July weather in many years if not decades.

    Perhaps its the CO2, but forest cover in much of the south has increased rapidly in recent decades.

    I still think it makes sense to have plans in place to address the consequences of a resumption of warming if it occurs. Better to plan before the flood than during the crisis. Think Noah.

    1. (1) “I still think it makes sense to have plans in place to address the consequences of a resumption of warming if it occurs.”

      Does anyone disagree about the need for planning? I doubt it. Personally, I consider that grossly inadequate — more prudent would be massive increase and improvement in climate research.

      (2) “Perhaps its the CO2, but forest cover in much of the south has increased rapidly in recent decades.”

      The total acreage of forest land in the lower 48 States declined between the 1930s and the 1970s, but increased during the last three decades. From memory (which might be wrong) the usual explanations are the large reductions in air and water pollution, plus better land management. For details see the EPA’s “2008 Report on the Environment“.

      (3) “a pleasant summer here in the deep South”

      Yes, that’s weather! Most of the US has been running cool during the past 3 months. From NOAA’s website:
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      [caption id="attachment_52924" align="alignleft" width="480"]NOAA 3month temperature anomaly From NOAA[/caption]

  2. You people are out of your depth…….. wanna see Climate Change? Work on the land like I do…

    Deep in the middle of winter, our fruit trees are flowering, fooled into thinking it’s spring. It was so warm last night, I threw off the blankets and today I worked all day with no shirt on. In fact we haven’t had a winter yet….. Here in Australia it’s supposed to be dry in winter, and we’ve had record rains for June and July so far…. pissing down outside as I type… In the last two years we’ve had record floods followed by record droughts…..

    And I suppose all that ice melting in the Arctic is caused by the Russians shining mirrors on the white stuff, like magic?

    You better watch out too because soon……………….. “DC Court Bluntly Affirms Michael Mann’s Right To Proceed In Defamation Lawsuit Against National Review And CEI

    1. Here we see in a pure form the classic Western anti-intellectualism. In this case the prioritizing of one person’s personal e prurience over scientists work to collect data and understand large complex systems.

      It is sad, really. Creationists, astrologers, anti-vaccine activists — it is a long list. Often intelligent well-educated people, but whose political or personal dynamics put them on the side of irrationality.

      As for the specific points raised by mikestasse…

      (1). Australia’s history as a western society — since it’s colonization — is too brief for its farmers to have a deep knowledge of its climate. Unlike Western Europe, which has experienced several medium-term climate cycles — the medieval optimum, the little ice age, and the warming of the past two centuries.

      But it’s original inhabitants did, and their nomadic largely non-agricultural lifestyle was an adaptation to its large brutal climate swings.

      This has been well-documented by scientists, and is knowledge that Australians probably must learn. But comments from several Australians here suggests that many Australians remain ignorant about the climate of their home.

      (2). The melting of the arctic ocean is an especially ignorant example, as it is largely offset by growing ice in the Antarctic Ocean (note that these might have very different effects or feedbacks on he global climate). This is the result of mikestasse getting information from activists, rather than sources like the IPCC that give a broader and balanced picture.

    2. About sea ice

      There is no need to rely on alarmists to tell you the state of the world’s climate, as the major climate science institutions make this information easily available.

      From the National Snow & Ice Data Center

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      [caption id="attachment_52956" align="alignleft" width="420"]NDIDC-seaice-North National Snow & Ice Data Center[/caption]

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      [caption id="attachment_52957" align="aligncenter" width="420"]National Snow & Ice Data Center National Snow & Ice Data Center[/caption]

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      Click to enlarge this graph:

      [caption id="attachment_52958" align="aligncenter" width="600"]National Snow & Ice Data Center National Snow & Ice Data Center[/caption]

    3. About that decreasing arctic sea ice

      The world has been warming for two centuries (bounce-back from the Little Ice Age), so of course sea ice has been shrinking. But the warming pause appears to be affecting this trend as well. Since the eye doesn’t see trends well, here is the June arctic sea ice extent for the past ten years. Ten years means nothing to climate, but its an offset to the unscientific alarmist propaganda of imminent doom.
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      [caption id="attachment_52962" align="aligncenter" width="420"]National Snow & Ice Data Center National Snow & Ice Data Center[/caption]

    4. “You better watch out too because soon……………….. “DC Court Bluntly Affirms Michael Mann’s Right To Proceed In Defamation Lawsuit Against National Review And CEI“”

      That must be one of the most saddest statements of the almost thirty-thousand on the FM website. This post gives nothing but data and analysis from the major climate science institutions, and climate scientists. Conflating that with crude agitprop suggests that mikestasse cannot tell the difference between the two.

    5. I stand with T E Lawrence on such matters. As when his Editor gave corrections to Seven Pillars of Wisdom. His reply:

      “Rather!”

      When the Editor insisted:

      Good!

      The text remained as Lawrence wrote it.

  3. There is investigation for knowledge’s sake, and there is knowledge for action.

    What you are saying is that current knowledge on climate change is insufficient to inform action. This implies that you have criteria to assess the value of current scientific knowledge, and to determine whether this knowledge is enough to drive programs aiming at counteracting, mitigating or adapting to climate change.

    What are those criteria?

    It cannot be the fact that temperatures will continue to increase: all studies and models are quite consistent on the long-term status (ECS), their forecasts are much more spread out in the short-term (TCR) regarding speed and amount of increase, but they all agree: temperatures will rise. There is scientific consensus on this point — and one side of the climate change debate argues that this structural consistency is highly significant and enough to justify starting actions right away. You seem to argue otherwise. Why? Are the forecasts too wide apart — but then, how close would they have to be? Are confidence intervals too large — but then, what is your informed criterion for a proper value? Is the exact unfolding of temperature evolution across time — but then, what is your criteria to assess goodness of fit between forecasts and actuals? Is the granularity of the forecasts insufficient — why so? Are parameters affecting climate missing that you deem crucial — have they really not been taken into account? How much more precisely and accurately do we have to know about the relevant mechanisms?

    At some point, this “more funding for climate sciences” will have translated into more knowledge. In brief, according to you, what traits would scientific knowledge on climate then have to exhibit for you to say that we know enough to act (in a significant scale)?

    Notice that, given that climate is hugely complex, chaotic, dynamic system with plenty of feedback loops, we can only expect it to change and bring up surprises even as knowledge accumulates, and that there will always be points of uncertainty that will be matter for hot debates amongst scientists (as in every discipline dealing with natural sciences).

    Actually, the question I raise is something everybody should think about: this is what we know; is it enough to act? If so, why do we not need to wait for more, if not, what exactly do we need more?

    1. Guest,

      What is the basis for action? We can see the inadequate basis for action in your own comment. As I have said a thousand times on the FM website, magnitudes matter. As do probabilities? Only with those numbers can we assess the risk, and match it with the cost of avoidance or mitigation.

      “What are those criteria? “It cannot be the fact that temperatures will continue to increase: all studies and models are quite consistent on the long-term status (ECS)”

      No, that’s not correct in a meaningful sense. While they agree directionaly, they do not agree on the magnitude of the change (more precisely, on the probability-magnitude curve). In fact, estimates of the likely warming are decreasing. This research was described in Good news about climate change!, 15 July 2013 — which provided links to articles about this in the news media, a climate scientist’s discussion, an IPCC report, and some of the peer-reviewed research on the subject.

  4. “As I have said a thousand times on the FM website, magnitudes matter. As do probabilities?”

    We have them. The papers you referred — and which I perused — do provide magnitudes, confidence intervals, etc.

    “No, that’s not correct in a meaningful sense.”

    From the paper “Energy budget constraints on climate response”:

    “Using up-to-date data on radiative forcing, global mean surface temperature and total heat uptake in the Earth system, we find that the global energy budget implies a range of values for the equilibrium climate sensitivity that is in agreement with earlier estimates, within the limits of uncertainty. The energy budget of the most recent decade does, however, indicate a lower range of values for the more policy-relevant transient climate response […] than the range obtained by either analysing the energy budget of earlier decades or current climate model simulations.
    […]
    The range derived from the 2000s overlaps with estimates from earlier decades and with the range of ECS values from current climate models (ECS values in the CMIP5 ensemble13 are 2.2–4.7 °C), although it is moved slightly towards lower values.”

    Which is exactly what I stated: there is general agreement on the ECS — magnitude and intervals are largely “in agreement”, adjustments are “slight”. The TCR issue is different: the short-term/medium-term outlook is a question mark — I did not say otherwise.

    “While they agree directionaly, they do not agree on the magnitude of the change (more precisely, on the probability-magnitude curve).

    Which brings me back to the question which you carefully avoided to answer: how much of an agreement of magnitudes must there be amongst models before you are satisfied we can confidently state that we know what is going on? There will always be adjustments to model forecasts, so how big/small must they be before you consider we have a stable perspective on climate change?

    And by the way: general agreement on a directional trend is statistically significant in a non-parametric way. What this means is that we should now start cataloging in detail and researching possible counter-measures since we are already pretty sure that the temperatures will go one way — upwards.

    1. “We have them. The papers you referred — and which I perused — do provide magnitudes, confidence intervals, etc.”

      They just don’t agree, and there is a clear trend over the past decade — down. You can pick one paragraph from one paper, but that does not change this obvious fact. I find this behavior quite odd: I will give a dozen or more sources saying the same thing — then people confidently give as rebuttal one slice from one paper. Did you toss the others down the memory hole?

      “What this means is that we should now start cataloging in detail and researching possible counter-measures since we are already pretty sure that the temperatures will go one way — upwards.”

      Does anyone disagree? That doesn’t sound expensive, esp compared to the cost of scaling up the climate research program. Just replacing the aging satellites will cost a lot (since we’ll be losing vital coverage soon, that should be a top priority).

    2. Shorter answer: the papers say what they say.

      I cite the papers. I cite what climate scientists and journalists say about the papers. If you disagree, that’s your right. But I’m not going to argue about what they say. Experience has proven that doing so is a waste of time. No matter how small the point, no matter how much evidence I show — climate alarmists don’t care.

      Here’s an extreme case: Lessons about America to be learned from the Climate Wars. Bill Butler says that only “climate deniers” speak of the warming pause. I give two dozen examples of institutional statements, citations of peer-reviewed literature, and statements by famous climate scientists. No change, increasingly specious rebuttals.

      I could provide many more such examples. Life is short, so I just show the data and sources. Each reader decides for him or herself.

  5. Fabius, what is the purpose of posts like this one about global warming and climate change, other than to make fun of people?
    What are you trying to accomplish, exactly? I can’t tell if it’s more than just mockery and smug satisfaction.

    1. Todd,

      Are your seriously asking why would people want to know how the Earth is warming?

      Perhaps you didn’t notice that climate change is a major public policy issue. These posts describe what we know, the consensus as shown by the IPCC and other major climate agencies, and highlight some of the frontiers in climate science. This is especially important given the large volumes of misinformation and disinformation being emitted by both sides.

      Perhaps you could explain why people should not know the information in these posts about climate science (note it’s a series, too complex to be described otherwise).

    2. Todd,

      Secondary purpose of these posts, and the original factor that caught my interest: climate science powefully illustrates our broken OODA loop. It’s one of our top public policy issues, an intense subject of news media attention: and after years of this many Americans (even many of those interested in the topic) are ignorant about many aspects well-established among climate scientists. When anthropogenic factors became dominent (after WW2), that total sea ice is decreasing only very slowly (arctic offset to a large extent by antarctic), and above all about the pause.

      It’s a laboratory about out fitness for the demanding challenges of the 21st century.

    3. Additional color on Todd’s comment:

      Why are you giving people this information is one of the most common responses to these posts about climate science. And perhaps the most interesting. Usually in the context of belief that this information will spoil the PR narrative — ruin the propaganda campaign. (Note: this is a general statement; Todd’s note is too brief to draw any conclusions about his intent).

      The other two common responses to posts citing climate science research:

      Those eminent climate scientists are not real climate scientists.
      The world is warming!

      I love the second item, a wonderful demonstration that true believers are not listeners. They’ll announce “the world is warming” as a rebuttal to a post describing how and why the world is warming. Often followed with personal insults.

      Unfortunately true believers also generate quite a bit of hate mail, some quite violent. That’s not so funny.

    4. Mr Maxmus, I asked what is your goal in these posts. You say it is to inform the public. That is quite admirable.
      I was worried you might have fallen into the all-too-easy trap of tribal assimilation, aka partisan bickering.

      You provide a vital public service, as long as you talk to people, rather than talk past people.

    5. Today’s post is the first in a series attempting to sum up my conclusions about our broken OODA loop, based on ten years writing — and responding to 20 thousand comments and emails.

      As I have written so often, there is something wrong in our society — affecting our best educated and intelligent. I describe it as a broken OODA loop. An inadequate, perhaps wrong, view but the best I can do.

      Our wars in Afghan and Iran, plagues, peak oil, and now climate change — all show deep Dysfunctionality by intelligent people well-read in these subjects. Often quite bonkers, as shown by the difference between the confident forecasts and the eventual outcomes (the last as yet unknown, of course).

      The result might not be pretty. These people are collectively America’s leaders (in the sense of gentry — rank and file leaders, not the plutocrats). What if they’re discredited? On whom do we rely?

      What’s the result for public confidence in institutions if so many warnings and forecasts prove false — swine flu, avian flu, aids attacking mainstream population, failed wars, peak oil delayed for decades or more — and now climate doom.

      As for the tribalism, I don’t believe there is basis for your concern. The comments on the FM website show intense, viperous attacks from both Left and Right — depending on the subject. See examples here:
      http://fabiusmaximus.com/2009/02/25/politics/

      I didn’t include examples of the hate mail and threats (that have caused some authors to bail).

  6. “They just don’t agree, and there is a clear trend over the past decade — down. You can pick one paragraph from one paper, but that does not change this obvious fact.”

    Let us stop here since this is the crux of the matter I have been constantly pinpointing, are let me reiterate once more the question which you doggedly avoid answering:

    In you opinion, how much agreement must there be between different models, and how small the adjustments between successive model versions, before you are convinced we have sufficient knowledge about future climate change so that we can envision taking some action?

    1. The point is that your question is IMO not relevant. The question is not agreement among models. After all, they’re all backtested to agree with history, which gives them an initial agreement.

      I — and others more knowledgable in these matters — have made three points about the current state of climate science. All three are IMO necessary and sufficient for large-scale public policy action (and paying the resulting large costs). All three are IMO quite obvious.

      (1) The models have not been validated through examination by third party experts. In fact, there has been intense resistance to public release of data and methods, which is IMO one of the major factors poisoning the debate — and so responsible for the lack of even simple public policy response. This is IMO inexcusable for an issue of this importance.

      There is a large public policy literature about the importance of outside review. It is standard practice in other public policy issues, such as drug approval and construction of public infrastructure. And it is common sense.

      Climate change policy is too important to be left to run by academic rules. This is not a debate about the age of the universe or the purpose of Stonehenge.

      (2) Past models have not well predicted the actual rise in temperature vs. the actual rise in CO2.

      Compare model output done ten years ago vs past ten year history of temperature and CO2 (a point ignored in many of the news articles trumpeting their success, as they compare actual history vs model runs using scenarios of CO2 increases above actual).

      Given the large number of models, and the large number of runs made for each, validation is not simple. And for confidence, the analysis must be done by a team of third-party experts in the relevant fields.

      (3) The models’ parameters are changing substantially as research continues (the point of discussion in the post I cited). As are forecasts of climate response to increased temperature. Eg, new paleoclimate research suggests that the ice caps have survived past warming eras — suggesting that the sea level rise from warming might be less than the upper range (scary) of forecasts.

    2. Forgot to say about this:

      “In you opinion, how much agreement must there be between different models, and how small the adjustments between successive model versions, before you are convinced we have sufficient knowledge about future climate change so that we can envision taking some action?”

      It is an excellent, relevant, and well-phrased question.

    3. “The question is not agreement among models.”

      You are the one who repeatedly highlights the importance of agreement amongst models relative to “the probability-magnitude curve” (or the lack thereof when a model comes up with somewhat different results).

      And this is suddenly no longer relevant as a decision factor?

      On (1): this is important, but this shifts the issue from consistent results between models to sound model implementations — how much validation do you think must be carried out? What would be a satisfactory validation — without imposing exorbitant verification requirements?

      On (3): parameters change substantially, as they should since knowledge is being built up. I do not view this as a problem per se.

      The fact that “forecasts of climate response to increased temperature” “change substantially”, and in (2) that “past models have not well predicted the actual rise in temperature” exactly refer to my point about “how small the adjustments between successive model versions” before being confident about taking action.

      My question thus remains relevant; but obviously, you do not wish to risk an answer.

    4. Guest,

      “but obviously, you do not wish to risk an answer.”

      My guess is different. It’s that you’re not interested in listening to what I say. I want process standards — the usual procedure when making public policy. You appear to prefer to play climate scientist.

      I’ll say this again.

      “how much validation do you think must be carried out? What would be a satisfactory validation — without imposing exorbitant verification requirements?”

      What about “have third party experts review the models” was unclear to you? They’re the experts, and will decide such questions. It’s a procedural standard, like you rely upon when the doctor administers drugs to your child.

      “how small the adjustments between successive model versions before being confident about taking action.” Do you quiz the Doc about the details of the research validating the treatment?

      Perhaps you are unclear about the point of consulting third-party experts? I suggest looking at some of the literature on the subject. Note that it’s a necessary step, not a panacea — as current research has shown about serious problems with drug review. Even with this process results are often problematic, which suggests how reliable results are without this verification.

      “You are the one who repeatedly highlights the importance of agreement amongst models relative to …”

      Citation? It’s not a point I recall making, let alone “repeatedly”.

      “‘the probability-magnitude curve’ (or the lack thereof when a model comes up with somewhat different results).”

      Yes, that curve is one of the key inputs to public-policy decision-making (the equivalent, in a crude sense, to the determining the hundred-year flood line).

      But the issue IMO is not how many models are used to produce it, but how well they are validated. Quantity is important (we don’t want the answer produced just one way), but quality is even more important. Answering these questions is a matter for a multi-disciplinary team of third-party experts.

      I find it astonishing that you find incomprehensible this standard methodology. You obviously have some different preferences, but I shudder to contemplate what those might be.

  7. I am in agreement with those who criticize your climate coverage as inadequate, or even profoundly intellectually biased. You claim to rely on the IPCC and other world-class scientific institutions for your view on climate science. And yet you consistently quote Humlum, Lindzen, Curry, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, and the like.

    This is a bit underhanded, and for those with some knowledge of the scientific debate on climate, it appears you are deliberately choosing to emphasize the views of a very small but very vocal minority of scientists, whose views do not represent those of the IPCC or any national or international scientific academy or organization.

    This is like saying you accept the modern theory of evolution, but that serious questions remain, as shown by the works of such luminaries as Meyer, Dembski, and Behe.

    Actually, Roy Spencer himself did some work on intelligent design if I recall correctly.

    All of this is to say, you pick and choose some data from the IPCC reports, and some data presented on the personal websites of your chosen small minority of ideologically driven scientists, whose views you then emphasize to the exclusion of the mainstream international scientific community. In my opinion this makes your climate commentary less than credible.

    1. (1) “You claim to rely on the IPCC and other world-class scientific institutions for your view on climate science. And yet you consistently quote Humlum, Lindzen, Curry, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, and the like.”

      (2) “This is a bit underhanded, and for those with some knowledge of the scientific debate on climate, it appears you are deliberately choosing to emphasize the views of a very small but very vocal minority of scientists, whose views do not represent those of the IPCC or any national or international scientific academy or organization”

      First, please substantiate that claim for the people I often cite: Pielke Sr, Pielke Jr, Curry. That is, that their views are not represented in the IPCC reports. Or that their views are in substantial disagreement with the IPCC conclusions that the IPCC states as having high confidence.

      As for John Christy and Roy Spencer, they hold senior positions preparing one of the two satellite-based temperature series — funded by NASA, affiliated with a major university. What you think of them is irrelevant.

      Second, as clearly stated, in many (not all) of these posts I am showing the frontier of climate science. This is absolutely in accord with the statements of IPCC reports, as they state their conclusions in terms of confidence statements. Many areas of climate science are subjects of active research.

      I am citing scientists — most of whom are affiliated with major institutions — who represent these areas of debate. It’s science, not religion.

      (3) “This is like saying you accept the modern theory of evolution, but that serious questions remain, as shown by the works of such luminaries as Meyer …”

      Nice to hear from the Gamma Quadrant: comparing areas of debate in the climate sciences — amply represented in the peer-reviewed literature, done by climate scientists working at major institutions — with creationism. Too bizarre for comment.

      (4) I fear public policy for climate change is following that of energy policy. Work desperately needed, but public confidence sabotaged by the relevant activists’ communities (climate and peak oil) inability or unwillingness to criticize members making unsubstantiated statements, attacking scientists working in the field, and making extreme — and later proven false — forecasts.

      These are kindred, linked issues. We would be in better shape with respect to carbon and pollution if serious funds were devoted to alternative energy when the energy issue re-emerged circa 2003-2005 (with publications of the Hirsch report “Mitigations” by the DOE in 2005). I wonder if ten years from now we’ll be saying the same thing about climate change.

      Facts and science are the tools that work, but — as I have documented at length — in modern America people prefer the techniques of propaganda. I suspect we’re now seeing an inflection point in our history, when these methods burn out from overuse. Posts later this week discuss this in more detail.

    2. “such luminaries as Meyer, Dembski, and Behe”

      My comment assumed that these were creationists. I have never heard of them. If they disagree with evolution, I don’t care to — so didn’t look them up.

      Anyway, as I said, nnoxks’ comparison of them to climate scientists is daft.

    3. Let us be frank: you are citing a very particular cadre of scientists who are well known in the scientific community for their contrarian positions on climate change. You have selected them, apparently very carefully, as the scientists to whom you turn for your climate science. That is not an accurate representation of the scientific discussion – you are giving it a very particular spin. There are many better options out there for a more neutral and apolitical perspective, but you do not choose them. If you are truly interested in facts, not propaganda, James Annan, or Tamsin Edwards, as just a few examples, would suit your purposes far better.

      You asked for examples of disagreement between the scientists you quote and the IPCC. Here is an example with Humlum, whom you quote above in this very article:

      The IPCC states, in it’s 2007 summary for policymakers: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” Moreover, “Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important anthropogenic GHG.”

      Humlum states, on his own website (which you link to above): “The diagram above thereby demonstrates that CO2 can not have been the dominant control on global temperatures since 1958.” That is, if I am not mistaken, a view “in substantial disagreement with the IPCC conclusions that the IPCC states as having high confidence.”

      I could similarly substantiate my claims with regard to some of the other scientists mentioned, although in other cases (i.e. Judith Curry) this is impossible as their views are notoriously difficult to pin down.

      Michael Behe, by the way, is an advocate of intelligent design, not a creationist, and is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. He doesn’t deny the main mechanisms of evolution, he just notes how much uncertainty there is about everything. Sounds mighty familiar to me.

      One thing we can certainly agree upon is that more funding for energy and climate research is desperately needed, and we should have been preparing for the last twenty years.

    4. I cited Humlun once on this website, in a very narrow issue — a simple matter of statistics, which he amply documented. That does not mean that I endorse everything he says, or even cite him as a broad authority.

      I was specific in challenging you to give an example regard those scientists who I frequently cite as authorities. You have not done so.

      As I said — and you ignore (as activists usually do to rebuttals) — I cite a wide range of sources. The people I listed do work within the range of respectable climate science, addressing areas identified as questions in the IPCC’s reports.

      You are however, exhibiting a common behavior of anti-intellectuals: scientists are authorities when they agree with you, but not when they disagree with you.

      If you believe those scientists are not respectable climate scientists, cite something in the peer-reviewed literature or IPCC saying so. That they hold so high positions and high-octane C.V.s says that actual experts disagree with your amateur assessment.

      As for intelligent design vs creationism — if you say there is a big difference, I’ll take your word for it. But comparing “intelligent design” with established climate scientists is still daft, and tells us more about you than the state of climate science.

      Let’s see if you can do better.

    5. nnoxks,

      Let’s do the shorter version.

      “Let us be frank: you are citing a very particular cadre of scientists who are well known in the scientific…”

      Let’s be frank: you are making stuff up (to be charitable about it). The citations from these scientists who you don’t like are a small fraction of the content I’ve posted about climate science.

      Most of the content are excerpts from the peer-reviewed literature (mostly from other scientists), or reports by major climate agencies.

    6. I find it astonishing that nnoxks would doubt the accuracy of simple calcuations by a climate scientist like Ole Humlum (Prof of Geosciences, U Oslo).

      See thisfrom page 10 of “The Recent Pause in Global Warming” just published by the UK Met Office. It matches Prof Humlum’s numbers.
      .
      [caption id="attachment_53022" align="aligncenter" width="600"]UK Met Report, July 2013 UK Met Report, July 2013[/caption]

    7. A final thought – in the article above you mention that: “While cheering for their faction of scientists, laypeople often lose sight of the big picture.” What I am saying is look to the mote before the beam. The scientists you quote most frequently are very much a particular “faction.”

    8. No, I am not making stuff up. The Pielkes, Curry, Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, etc., do belong to a particular faction of climate scientists. This is not information that will be found in the scientific literature, I grant. However, it is evident from merely spending a little time reading up on the subject, and to flat out deny it is disingenuous.

      That said, I do agree that the evolution analogy goes a little far. I do not argue that the scientists you are citing (at least, the Pielkes, Curry, Spencer, and Christy) are outside the range of reasonable climate scientists. In fact I concede that they are legitimate and expert climate scientists in their respective fields. What I contend is that they are part of a particular faction of climate science and that you consistently put forward their views to the exclusion of the scientists whose views you disagree with.

      Since you didn’t like my Humlum example, here’s one from Curry regarding the primary conclusion of the 2007 IPCC report I quoted above. She has stated in a recent interview: “I don’t think the high confidence level [>90%] is warranted given the uncertainties.” So that is a pretty significant disagreement with the main IPCC conclusion.

      But, in my opinion, her first sentence in the interview is the real giveaway: “The climate is always changing.” That is a straight-up standard no-bones-about-it propagandizing obfuscatory worthless talking point. Why is an expert climate scientist like Curry using these kinds of phrases? I don’t know, but it doesn’t make me trust her as a source for climate science, despite her impressive CV.

      Interview here:

      http://oilprice.com/Interviews/The-IPCC-May-Have-Outlived-its-Usefulness-An-Interview-with-Judith-Curry.html

    9. nnoxks,

      You cannot remotely justify anything you’ve said, just like the other climate activists on this thread. Disproven again and again and again, you display the failure to learn. I will give two last replies to your falsehoods. The only thing I’d like to hear from you afterwards is an apology.

      “You claim to rely on the IPCC and other world-class scientific institutions for your view on climate science. And yet you consistently quote Humlum, Lindzen, Curry, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, and the like.”

      There are 124 posts about climate change on the FM website. How many cite those names you give (many posts cite several)?

      • Humlun:…1
      • Lindzen:..7
      • Curry:…13
      • Spencer:..8
      • Christy:..7
      • Pielke:..23 (that includes both Jr and Sr)
      • Contrast: Phil Jones (head of the UK Climate Research Unit): 14
      • Contrast: Michael Mann (of “hockeystick” fame): 1o

      Phil Jones is the most often cited. Curry and Pielke Sr are the next most often cited (10% of the total), because of the volume of their work, long history and senior role in the climate sciences, and participation in many high-profile climate science organizations (such as Curry’s role as a lead scientist in the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature Group, designed to bring a new and neutral perspective to this important issue). Michael Mann is the 4th most often cited. So much for your guess-stated-as-fact.

      Let’s look at two representative articles about climate change. How many citations? Any reliance on a small “faction”?

      The rest of your comment is equally false. This line is especially bizarre, showing your near-total ignorance about this issue. Curry was making an important point, and one widely misunderstood by the public.

      But, in my opinion, her first sentence in the interview is the real giveaway: “The climate is always changing.” That is a straight-up standard no-bones-about-it propagandizing obfuscatory worthless talking point.

    10. I added to the roster Phil Jones (head of the UK Climate Research Unit) and Michael Mann — both leaders in the mainstream of climate science. They are among the 4 most-often cited climate scientists on the FM website.

    11. There is much to respond to here. I will take it one step at a time.

      First, when you refer to apologizing for “making stuff up” my guess is that you are referring to my statement: “Let us be frank: you are citing a very particular cadre of scientists . . . .” I implied that you cited exclusively or mostly to this particular group of scientists. You showed very plainly that was not correct. I do apologize for that misrepresentation.

      Looking back on our earlier exchange, I also see that my initial post implied that you were deliberately choosing your sources in an attempt to mislead or provide disinformation. I also apologize for that implication.

      Although I do have proper respect for Plato, I agree with your rejection of the noble lie, and I completely retract any implication of intentional deception. I am also posting this message on the original comment stream.

      That having been said, I disagree strongly with your representation of climate science to the layperson. Since this thread is out of date, however, I will respond further at http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/08/08/global-warming-climate-53498/

    12. nnoxks,

      That is a very gracious apology. Among the 29 thousand comments posted here — a disturbingly large fraction with mistakes — there are very few apologies. Other than mine, that is (too many of those, unfortunately — too many mistakes, no matter how carefully I try to avoid them). This puts you in the top tier of commenters here, IMO.

      Trivia note: the statement I was replying to was “The scientists you quote most frequently are very much a particular ‘faction.'” As you note, that is clearly not correct.

    13. nnoxks,

      “That having been said, I disagree strongly with your representation of climate science to the layperson. ”

      Since I provide almost nothing but lengthy excerpts from the IPCC, major climate agencies, and peer-reviewed literature — with which you seem quite unfamilar — I hardly consider you be a valid judge. More broadly, your statements show a marked lack of understanding about the nature of science, which makes your attempt to evaluate these things of little value.

      This is a distinguishing characteristic of lay alarmists these days. Quoting the IPCC and such to them brings forth cries of “denier”. Major climate scientists are smeared, as your comments demonstrate. All this is sad and ignorant, and has poisoned the public policy debate. They — you — are IMO the major reason we have been unable to formulate an effective response to climate change.

    14. Please consider deleted from the above post the sentence stating: “I am also posting this message on the original comment stream.”

  8. FM, it may come as some surprise to you that I am not a “Creationist, astrologer, anti-vaccine activist”. I firmly believe in critical thinking, and condescending statements like this do you no favours…..

    The colonisation of Australia may be ” too brief for its farmers to have a deep knowledge of its climate”, but the history of the dumping of gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere is even briefer. In any case, we have extremely good climate records here, documented by Aborigenes who colonised Australia even before those who left Africa reached Europe. I bet you didn’t know THAT did you….?

    It is well known that the medieval optimum and the little ice age were LOCAL events. There is no climate record of it happening, THAT is for sure.

    “But it’s original inhabitants did, and their nomadic largely non-agricultural lifestyle was an adaptation to its large brutal climate swings” is total crap. There was ONE ice age during the Aborigenes’ habitation in Australia, and that’s it. No wild swings at all.

    “But comments from several Australians here suggests that many Australians remain ignorant about the climate of their home” is truly insulting…….. To see truly ignorant people, I go to America!

    The statement “The melting of the arctic ocean is an especially ignorant example, as it is largely offset by growing ice in the Antarctic Ocean” is inaccurate, because half of Antarctica is shrinking and the other half is growing.

    And I don’t get my “information from activists”, I go straight to the source……. I happen to know a Climate Scientist (http://www.peakprosperity.com/guest/mark-cochrane) and he feeds me info which I publish on MY blog, such as:
    http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/weather-whiplash/

    I don’t know where you get your data, but it looks nothing like the data I read…. maybe yours comes from ‘activists’…. denialism activists!

    1. My statements are all consensus statements. I’ve lost interest in debating freshman science with you. If you give citations for your assertions I will comment on them. Authorities only, please.

      My statement of Antarctic sea ice is proven by the graph on this very thread from the NSIDC.

      The wild swings in Australia’s climate has been known for generations, and is one of the reasons given (conjecture) for the slow material development of its inhabitants (the best-known description of this is IMO Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.

      “It is well known that the medieval optimum and the little ice age were LOCAL events. There is no climate record of it happening, THAT is for sure.”

      There is a large body of evidence that the little ice age was a global event. That it was local was a claim made in the 1990s, largely made in defiance of previous work. Several recent paleoclimate studies clearly show the LIA.

    2. What amazes me about your site is that I agree with just about everything you publish, EXCEPT climate change. I really don’t understand why you can see all the other conundrums facing civilisation, yet don’t understand how critical and dangerous AGW is…

    3. Ah, true believers. What can one say but quote scientists to them. In vain.

      I have had hundreds of these debates since starting this futile quest in 2003. Peak Oil is here; civilization will destroy us! Terrorists under my bed; only wars and torture can save us! The climate doom is upon us!

      In all these cases the relevant experts did not support the wild claims. Nor do they with respect to climate change. mikestasse and his fellows need to curl up some evening with the IPCCs Extreme Climate report and read it cover to cover. They will feel better in the morning.

      Hopefully, although this is too much to ask, they will awaken willing to support increased funding for climate science — and the procedural changes to the IPCC and related institutions than can build public support for necessary actions. Even basic ones, like implementing the recommended conflict of interest measures.

      I’ll bet otherwise on all counts.

    4. I hate to make assertions without giving evidence, although I know it is wasted effort.

      “It is well known that the medieval optimum and the little ice age were LOCAL events. There is no climate record of it happening, THAT is for sure.”

      Log onto the Science Magazine website and search for “little ice age”. Lots and lots of articles discussing its magnitude and scope, many showing evidence of it in the Southern Hemisphere.

      Two recent ones:

      “Little Ice Age Cold Interval in West Antarctica”, Orsi et al, Geophysical Research Letters, May 2012 — “This result is consistent with the idea that the LIA was a global event, probably caused by …”

      A major one, with several co-authors senior scientists w/ the IPCC: “A Reconstruction of Regional & Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years”, Marrcott et al, Science, 8 March 2013 — Look at the paleoclimate graphs.

      In addition there is a large body of regional research. Picking the one they showed on top:

      “The Little Ice Age as Recorded in the Stratigraphy of the Tropical Quelccaya Ice Cap”, L Thompson (a leading researcher in this field) et al, Science, 17 October 1986 — “{this} confirms the worldwide character of this event.”

  9. RE Antarctica……..

    Mark Cochrane, a climate scientist who started the only thread worth reading on Peak Prosperity these days recently wrote this when asked about such a prospect:

    “Getting 6 C by 2050 seems farfetched unless we intentionally trigger the so-called clathrate gun. Even then, I am not sure that it is likely to happen that quickly simply due to the thermal inertia of the oceans and glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. Roughly 90-95% of the incipient energy imbalance goes into warming or melting water. We’ve warmed by around 0.7C in the last 30 years or so. Getting an extra >5C in the next 40 years would require truly massive changes in greenhouse gases and Earth’s albedo. This certainly wouldn’t mean that all is well if we don’t manage this incredible feat of climate suicide in 40 odd years. We may get there yet around 2100.

    Such rapid warming would lead to greatly accelerated mass loss from the icesheets in Greenland, Western Antarctica and increases from East Antarctica. Melting those giant ice blocks would be a giant heat sink that would attenuate the rise in temperature but it would do so at the cost of flooding the worlds oceans very quickly. In other words, although we might not warm so fast the cost would be rapid sea level rise of several meters this century, flooding coastlines and yielding terrible storms. As things stand, most estimates are for 1-5 meters, which will make many, many cities untenable.

    Some recent food for thought on that score came out in the last week in Nature Geoscience showing much of the western Antarctic icesheet is warming twice as fast as predicted (see BBC article here, and Bromwich et al 2012 abstract here))”

    “The map is just correlation coefficients but the warming has been 2.4C between 1958 and 2010. While Greenland gets much of the press, the Western Antarctic ice sheet may be more unstable because most of it is currently grounded below the waterline. Basically the ice is frozen to the ground or still too heavy to lift but once the water level gets higher, then much of the sheet could rapidly float (just like an ice cube in your glass) and collapse with an ultimate 5 m sea level implication. The big brother in East Antarctica only has 30% below water line but that is another 20-25 m of sea level. Ultimately, if we somehow manage to stay on the ‘business as usual’ emissions path then over the next few centuries we will have changed coastlines world wide with 10s of meters of sea level rise (See Hansen new pdf).

    Lest you think he is just a harbinger of doom touting positive feedbacks, Hansen and Sato (2012) see exponential increases in the rate of ice melting/sea level rise with a 5-10 year doubling time, they ultimately believe that once we reach about 1 m of sea level increase that strong negative feedbacks from all of the melting icebergs will dampen the temperature rise and hence slow the exponential rate of increased melting. I can’t grab the figure from the pdf, but if you go to the Hansen and Sato pdf linked above and scroll down to Figure 9 you will see the future simulations with (left) and without (right) ice melt. As you can see the melting would lead to a much cooler North Atlantic and a moderate cooler Southern Ocean with an overall global amelioration of land temperature increases. If you think the ice will somehow hold off from melting, plan for a heck of a lot warmer near future.

    Overall, if we manage to keep finding more and more fossil fuels to burn or accidentally release (melting permafrost etc) then we will have an atmosphere akin to what existed 32 million years ago before Antarctica froze up. It would take a while, hundreds to thousands of years, but we’d be putting an end to ice ages for the foreseeable future.”

    I don’t know how you post embedded links and graphics in ‘reply mode’, but you can find them all here http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/have-we-fired-the-clathrate-gun/

    1. Thank you for citing “Damn the Matrix”, but I will stick with peer-reviewed literature, the IPCC, and the major climate agencies.

      The literature shows intense debate about many of these issues, as is reflected in the IPCC reports — which assign a confidence level to each statement for policy holders.

    2. Twit…….! That’s MY blog, and all the links are IN IT! Do you obfuscate just for fun…???

      Mark Cochrane is one of the IPCC’s adjudicators, so you know……

    3. mikestasse,

      If you have a link to share, pls do. You’ll note that the citations I’ve given have been to authorities (or, sometimes, to posts that are largely citations of authorities).

      Looking at the other side of the dialog, your assertions have not proven accurate. And you — like most climate activists — have not responded when I provide contrary evidence. All I get in reply is more assertions that you are right.

      It’s like debating with pretty girls handing out religious tracts in the airport. Virtually (i.e., without the presence of the pretty girl). It doesn’t inspire me to continue. In fact, it seems a total waste of time.

      This is why I’ve turned off comments several times — as have so many others running websites.

      Can you respond with evidence to a single point I’ve made in rebuttal?

    1. Mikestasse,

      What is your point about this? So one study says central Antarctica is warming. What relevance is this too anything discussed here?

      This discussion thread is like a nightmare, trapped amidst the intellects of Laputa. Since their flappers are off (probably getting high), they ignore everything I say — lost in their own fantasies, chattering to themselves.

      That is to say, it’s like every other climate thread.

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