GWPF

The “Global Warming Policy Foundation” has released a GWPF Background Paper by Benny Peiser.


It begins by stating what they claim to agree with the scientific establishment about on the subject:

A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome

1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
2. CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from approximately 0.029% to 0.039% over the past 50 years.
3. CO2’s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations.
4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.
5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.

I’ll agree with points 1 through 4. But what’s their explanation for point 5?

There are 5 major estimates of global average temperature, 3 for the surface, 2 for the lower troposphere (the lower layer of earth’s atmosphere). All make their data publicly available. We can use the data to estimate the warming rates for each record, as well as the uncertainty in those estimates (rates were estimated by linear regression, standard errors using an ARMA(1,1) model of the noise in monthly data). Here are the rates for each data source, together with error bars extending 2 standard deviations above and below the estimate:

warmrate

None of the data sources indicates a warming rate of 0.1 C/decade as claimed by the GWPF, they all indicate a faster rate. For the three surface-temperature data sets, the GWPF claim is just plain statistically rejected.

So what’s their basis for that claim?

I have an idea. Suppose instead of fitting a line to the data (by least-squares regression or any other method), you used annual averages, then simply computed the slope of a line from the first annual average to the last one. This would give you a different estimate which we could call the “point-to-point” estimate, one which is far more uncertain than the linear-regression method. It would also give you a lower estimate, because the 1980 value is above the trend line while the 2013 value (or 2012 if you don’t want to use incomplete years) is below the trend line. It’s similar to the trick used here.

We can also compute the point-to-point estimated rates as well as their uncertainties. For instance, using data from NASA GISS the linear regression trend estimate is 0.16 deg.C/decade, but the point-to-point estimate is only 0.1 deg.C/decade:

giss

In fact we can plot these estimates, together with error bars 2 standard deviations above and below, side by side with the linear regression estimates:

warmrate2

I suspect that the point-to-point estimates form their basis for the claim that “Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade.”

In my opinion, their claim falls far short of an honest portrayal, very far short, and is the kind of failure to engage honestly which makes it impossible to have a rational discussion about global warming.

Perhaps Benny Peiser will soon be giving testimony at a Congressional hearing on the subject.

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101 responses to “GWPF

  1. The models they put forward, like “There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years” or the “0.1C per decade” do a far worse job of hindcasting than the vast majority of GCMs.

    I like extending the time-axis on the graphs to show the next 30 years as well as the last 30 years. Kind of like your http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/worth-more-than-a-thousand-words/ graph. If you extrapolate Solomon’s or Peiser’s model into the past or future 30 years, it looks like the absolute bull it is.

    Why should anyone take these stupid models seriously?

  2. Their Section C, “Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus” starts off with this tired point:

    1. There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years, a period about the same length as the warming period that preceded it.

  3. One (in fact the only) advantage of reading about papers like this one is that by now it’s very easy to determine who has a political agenda. As opposed to being genuinely interested in, say, capping global warming.

  4. Lars Karlsson

    Under section “C. Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus”, we find among others:

    “…

    2. Paleo-climate proxies agree that worldwide temperatures were higher and changed faster during other periods of climate change about 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 8,000 and 12,000 years
    ago.

    4. Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to temperature change, rather than
    preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes.


    This is Monckton-level argumentation. These people are simply not interested in a serious debate. For them, it is all about propaganda.

    Judith Curry seems to be impressed though.

    “JC comment: now this is a debate I would like to see, I hope that it actually happens. And I hope this is about science and policy, and not about funding sources for the RS and GWPF.”

    • Brian Dodge

      Since they accept that CO2 responds to temperature, and there isn’t a CO2 blip that corresponds to the alleged MWP, surely they accept that the Medieval Climate Disturbance wasn’t a global warming phenomenon – and certainly wasn’t warmer and higher CO2 than today – &;>)
      Further, since ” Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C” (radiative transfer calculations of CO2 forcing? GWPF fairies and pixie dust?), when you add the positive feedback of “CO2 responding to temperature change” and the basic physics of Clausius/Claperyon water vapor feedback, then surely they would agree the climate sensitivity with feedbacks is in the neighborhood of 3 degrees Centigrade.

      • Andrew Dodds

        I believe that the GWPF is aiming for a kind of Zen Skepticism, is which one accepts all elements of climate science at the same time as passionately believing that they don’t actually apply to the real world.

        Example:

        ‘I believe that a crane has just let go of a piano 500 feet above my head. I also believe in the concept of gravity and the theoretical model showing that a high speed impact of a piano with my head may have disadvantageous consequences. Yet I also believe that I am fine to stay where I am, because ‘catastrophic-being-hit-on-the-head-by-a-piano’ is only really a model prediction.’

      • Bob Loblaw

        …and further to the piano analogy:
        “you can’t justify taking any action to mitigate the problem until after you have conclusively shown that the piano is already causing damage to your head.”

      • skeptictmac57

        Andrew and Bob- I usually don’t use the “lol” term,but I will make an exception this time. Thanks for the LOL :)

      • John Mashey

        Brain: actually, there is a bit of blip for the MWP, see Law Dome CO2, 2000 years.. Given that snow/albedo feedback works in either direction,, it is unsurprising that the MWP and LIA were noticeable in Europe / North Atlantic way more than nearer the Equator or in the SH.

        Actually, if we were in a a “normal” interglacial, without humans, CO2 “should” have down around 240-250ppm about the time the Industrial Revolution started. Keep an eye out for Bill Ruddiman’s next book, Earth Transformed, ~Oct 2013. The research has come along way since 2005’s Plows, Plagues and Petroleum, and it makes much better sense of the last 8,000 years of climate history … It’s been that long since we’ve seen a purely “natural” climate, although human influence was small at the beginning, but huge now. The big CO2 drop into 1600AD was mostly caused y the 50M-person die-off in he Americas and massive reforestration. Add more volcanoes + Maunder Minimum: LIA, until IR got really going.

  5. John Mashey

    But recall that Benny is a social anthropologist who had difficulty analyzing climate abstracts, and had to retract his claims of refuting Oreskes, detailed history here. Then, Monckton’s endocrine surgeon Klaus-Martin Schulte tried again, with no better luck.

    GWPF is very well-connected with American and other thinktanks, you’d think they could do better!

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Who said “Gentlemen Who Prefer Fiction”?

      Gordon Hughes is the wind power denying professor from Edinburgh (his report was even “peer reviewed” — some baroness wrote the foreword). Interesting lot, this.

      • There are quite a few possible interpretations of ‘GWPF’ presented in the initial installment of my analysis of GWPF’s scholarly abilities. The series of posts eventually stretched to six installments & I must confess I found no evidence of scholarship whatever. (That first installment was a bit too long and contorted in its writing. The cartoons helped but a rewrite would have been better.)
        I think the nearest thing to actual scholarship I found was from the GWPF’s Assistant Director (Benny’s boy Philipp Mueller) who demonstrated (see here) he occasionally was able to understand the meaning of half sentences (but not whole ones).

  6. Will we see Richard Tol complain about this ‘paper’ ? Let’s see how honest Richard Tol really is.

  7. Can you explain how you compute the “point-to-point” (blue) uncertainties? I have no idea how to do it, so I am curious.

    (BTW, I would also appreciate if you said how exactly you computed the regression uncertainties for this plot — assuming white noise? correcting the white noise estimates using an ARMA model as in Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 [if so, then ARMA models were fit on which time interval?]? with some sort of bootstrapping?)

    Thanks.

  8. As social anthropologist who has done Zero research or publications in the field of climate science, he has certainly sufficient credentials to do that.

  9. Depressing, but plausible. I’ve seen this ‘point-to-point’ method argued on news sites by some in the past, but one would really think that it’s too bush league even for an outfit like GWPF. But apparently one would be wrong.

    • Argued about? I would just try and sneak it through and hope no one noticed. To argue for it is beyond belief.

    • Well, the guy I’m specifically thinking of on this points apparently feels he knows better than the pros WRT not only climate science, but HIV, quantum mechanics and a few other things I’m not recalling right now. Sort of a serial (or all-purpose?) denier, I guess.

      If he possesses the capacity to feel embarrassment, it’s well-hidden.

  10. There should be a name for this particular all-too-common cherry-pick of comparing two carefully selected points on a graph. Maybe since Bing cherries are a popular variety, it could be called bing-go.

  11. I look forward to Tamino’s release of a Openmind policy paper on sports and the Olympics.

  12. To do what has to be done to get down emissions would be time and resource-consuming enough. (sigh!)

  13. John Mashey

    By amusing coincidence, this just went live. An accidental side effect of some FOIAs about Ed Wegman popped up an email from GWPF Academic Advisory Council Chair David Henderson to his friends around the globe, offering economists’ views on he badness of the IPCC. The list is interesting.

  14. Halldór Björnsson

    Tamino,
    If you agree with item 3, perhaps you can explain what they mean:

    “CO2′s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations. ”

    What do they mean with “greenhouse warming potential”? They hardly mean the well known term “Global warming potential” (GWP), since the global warming potental of CO2 is 1 by definition (GWP is the ratio between the time-integrated radiative forcing of a trace gas relative to that of a reference gas, – and the reference gas is CO2).

    I think that in the first part of this statement they actually want to say that the _radiative_forcing_ of CO2 is dependent on the logarithm of the concentration. Which is, in general, not a matter of dispute.

    [Response: I too assumed they are referring to the radiative forcing due to CO2 concentration.]

    However, if that is what they mean to say why not just say so instead of using a term which invites confusion.

    [Response: Perhaps they are intending to cause confusion. Or perhaps they're simply confused -- I'm certainly not impressed with the level of knowledge displayed by GWPF.]

    But even so, what is then the meaning of the second part of the statment? Diminishing returns of what? Is this simply a description of the shape of a logarithmic curve? In which case the scientific community must be happy that they’ve caught up with John Napier (d. 1617) and the rest of us about basic math.

    [Response: I interpreted it as simply stating that the logarithmic function, as you point out, has decreasing slope at higher values. My guess is that this is inserted to suggest to those not in the know, that the "diminishing impact" implies less danger.]

    My problem with this document is that it is littered with statements that read as gobbledygook. But written as with authority. I’ll grant them that.

    [Response: If you're looking for someone to dispute your opinion, it ain't me.]

    • skeptictmac57

      There is a well known adage that goes: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
      I think a corollary might be in order:
      “Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by lawyers crafting slippery and ambiguous language to allow alternate explanations,and or plausible deniability in the event of liability.”…but that’s just me being cynical I guess.

      • Halldór Björnsson

        It had occurred to me that this was a case of ingorance rather than willfull deceit. However, GWPF and their ideological brethren institutions engage in an inordinate amount of bullshit. Prime examples are in the statment above, what they say sounds authoritative but is on closer inspection meaningless. Meaningless is “not even wrong.”

        Which reminds me of that gem of a book “On Bullshit” by Harry G Frankfurt. He argues that the lier will have to recognize the truth in order to avoid it, whereas the bullshitter simply does not care. His verbiage is simply ment to advance a particular interest, regardless of the facts.

        Thus the bullshit is good for plausible deniability, useful for instance when you have to defend your status as a charity, which the GWPF may have to do soon.

  15. When people cite a cherry-picked date like “there has been no global warming for the past 16 years,” I’m tempted to ask then to identify the date (April 7, 1997? November 25th?, December 31?) on which global warming “stopped.” It’s a good tool to steer the conversationto towards the appropriate — and inappropriate — use of averages.

    • I’m reminded of the opening scene of “Caveman”, 1981, starring Ringo Star. As recall, it started with the introductory titling:
      “One Million Years BC”

      This faded out, and was followed by:
      “Tuesday, October 9th”

      Whenever a ‘skeptic’ points me at a graph, particularly WoodForTrees or other sources that don’t take a lot of work to generate, the first thing I check is the starting date. And if it’s something like “1997.7”, assume it’s a cherrypick.

  16. I noticed they’re using the 99¢ for $1 trick for CO₂, and attempting to minimise it’s apparent significance by expressing as 0.039% instead of 0.04%, which we all know is now 400ppm.

    GWPF = Global Warming Pantomime Foundation!

  17. To me anyway, Parts A B and C are simply a transparent attempt at scientific cover for the real message which is contained in Section D:

    Climate forecasting is no good so don’t bother

    Climate scientists have no integrity, openness or objectivity and their character deficiencies have caused a lot of damage.

    “Decarbonizing” is off the table – its too harmful

    Exaggerated alarmism is not harmless. I am sure Peiser would find Plot 1 of this post exaggerated alarmism since the estimates all exceed the GWPF rate.

    and Peiser thinks no one is going to see through his pile of horse shit?

  18. Doug Proctor

    Because of end-points, simply using mathematics to determine what is going on is unreasonable. After all, we have brains for a reason, and we study multiple things to get us to understand the bigger picture.

    There is far too much emphasis on blind statistical analysis of one aspect. If your eyeball can’t see what is going on, there isn’t a real pattern but various possible patterns. In that case math will give you the one you set up the process to get. The same way you get a pattern when only one out of 15 datasets has a pattern.

    We need to temper math with our brainpower, not relinquish our thinking to a diode or transistor.

  19. The GWPF statement is also factually vacuous on the model side of things. Not appropriate to refer to a single “forecast” in this sense…large spread over this time period.

  20. I’ve seen the point-to-point trick used to “show” how early IPCC predictions were “wrong” and “alarmist” by running the start point through a local max and defining the trend line from there instead of correctly from the linear regression slope and constant. Of course this adds a constant bias and the warming never catches up given the biased head start and he scientists are “proven” alarmist and wrong.

    It’s good to see you back!

  21. Horatio Algeranon

    “It’s all Greek to Benny”
    — by Horatio Algeranon

    Euclid was a miser
    Much like Benny Peiser
    Two points define
    A trending line
    And Gauss was not the wiser

  22. I wonder if they update their “trend” when last year of the series happens to be a hot El Nino one.

  23. I remember way back when – I think on Deltoid – poor Benben used to try and defend his hilarity in comments. It should have been embarrassing.

    I guess we can take heart that this is the best the denialists can do.

    Best,

    D

  24. Oops – no preview.

    Welcome back!

    Best,

    D

  25. Doug Proctor:

    “If your eyeball can’t see what is going on, there isn’t a real pattern but various possible patterns.”

    Ummmm … no.

  26. Richard Mineer

    What if it’s not just greenhouse gas effects? What if it’s also an accumulation of the growing volume of heat energy released around the globe? The heat dissipates but, does it really go away?

    [Response: If you do the math, you'll find that the energy generated by mankind is small compared to the extra heat accumulated due to increasing greenhouse gases.]

  27. @Doug Procter
    Statistics protects us from seeing patterns that aren’t there and missing patterns that are. Further, work on human behavior psychology about statistical estimates by Kahneman (among others) show that we’re not very good guesstimating even the simplest statistic correct paths. Eyecrometers don’t work and neither do gut feelings or hunches. Humans are not good intuitive statisticians.

    [Response: The eye+brain combination is one of the best pattern-detection systems in the world, which is why "visual inspection" is such a powerful method. But it's also one of the best *false*-pattern-detection systems, which is why mathematical analysis is crucial.]

  28. In early years I was imprinted by the Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) ideas of John Tukey, which emphasize graphical displays designed to highlight basic features of the data, whether or not these are as expected. His insight is that we tend to view ambiguous patterns and see what we expect. But you can’t look at Tukey’s box plot, for example, and see “normal” when in fact there are outliers and skew.

    Tukey had some neat paper-and-pencil versions of regression (based on cross-medians) that resist outliers, do not assume linearity, but now have an historical flavor.

    Thinking of this because I’ve just come into a new dataset where EDA displays, and modern forms of median (quantile) regression, seem ideal. There are so many good tools to choose among now, if your purpose is to find robust patterns in your data instead of just see what you expect.

  29. Nah, they just truncated to get 0.1. Sometime simple is easier

  30. Waste heat calculation; there may be a slight regional effect, according to this
    one recent study.

    G.J. Zhang, M. Cai and A. Hu. Energy consumption and the unexplained winter warming over northern Asia and North America. Nature Climate Change. Published online January 27, 2013. doi:10.1038/nclimate1803

    But remember — this is a story about a single and quite recent paper; check Scholar now, and come back in a year and two or three years, to check for citing papers and see what others made of the idea, and whether this paper’s authors have published further work along these lines. That’s how science works.

  31. Thank dog you’re back. I was suffering from severe graph/numbers withdrawal.

    Does anyone know of a calculation done that shows the consequence of adding the yearly amount of energy going into the oceans, directly into the atmosphere in degrees C? J.Nova has an argument where energy going into the ocean is converted to C to show a tiny increase of .002C/year. A fish I have on a line feels that is too tiny to worry about and I’d like to show him what would happen if that much energy was dumped into the atmosphere.

  32. I have been watching Murry Salby’s video cast. Does anyone have any comments? If he is right the CO2 temperature relationship is not at all as clear as I had thought, neither is the source of the increase in ppm. But probably you all have views about this?

    [Response: Claims that the CO2 increase is due to anything other than humans burning fossil fuels, are dumber than a bag of hammers. See here.]

    • Re CO2 increase see also http://www.skepticalscience.com/richardson-2013-man-made-carbon.html
      Humlum’s analysis isn’t much different from Salby’s with the same bogus endresult.

      Note that I still cannot understand how some people are so easily fooling themselves. We humans are adding about twice the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere than the annual increase, no one disputes that. So, what would happen if we’d stop our emissions?

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        Yep. We have a very solid lower bound to the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere from the global mining and pumping statistics of coal, oil and gas. But only about half of that appears in the atmosphere as the directly observed CO2 ppmv increase. It’s simple bookkeeping. If the latter CO2 comes from somewhere else (outgassing of the oceans, volcanoes, whatever), then where does all that human-produced CO2 go? (Hint: not the Bermuda triangle… not Area 51)

      • Characteristic denier methodology, isn’t it? Everyone has to make simplifying assumptions–but some make enabling assumptions, if you know what I mean. It’s analogous to the straight cherry-pick, in a way; in one case, ignore inconvenient data as data; in the other, ignore it among the premises of the argument.

      • …and if there is a magical process by which all the CO2 from fossil fuels is removed from the atmosphere, then why does this magical process fail to remove the extra natural CO2 that is supposedly causing the observed increase? Even if this magical process is only 99% efficient and also affects the natural source, then how huge is that extra natural source to be able to cause the observed rise? And how on earth can we not know what it is, if it’s that big? And don’t forget that is needs to mimic the isotope composition of the fossil fuel source, too. Magical, indeed.

      • John Mashey

        Elsewhere:I’ve proposed:
        gremlins create magic warming that happens to be same size as CO2’s.
        leprechauns nullify effects of CO2, to avoid doubling

        But this discussion seems related, but different, which seems to rely on magical tagging of any CO2 molecule, and the jobs are different:
        gremlins generate the CO2 from somewhere other than human, doing the right thing with isotopes
        leprechauns steal the human-generated CO2 and sequester it somewhere or turn it into gold and bury it.

      • @Bob Boblaw : tssss, you warmista obviously don’t want to recognise the fact that atmospheric faeries distinguish between the good CO2 and the bad CO2, and only remove the bad one.
        Because, of course, you have the bad CO2 : it sees some incoming infrared radiation, and converts it to heat. While the good CO2 … it sees some incoming infrared radiation, converts it to heat, BUT it is a good CO2 !
        This is straightforward, but you ecofascistcommunistdenier refuse to understand even this simple fact !

        (pour les francophones, c’est comme le bon chasseur et le mauvais chasseur)

      • Gavin’s Pussycat wrote:

        If the latter CO2 comes from somewhere else (outgassing of the oceans, volcanoes, whatever), then where does all that human-produced CO2 go? (Hint: not the Bermuda triangle… not Area 51)

        C’mon. You really have to submit to key believes of junk science, like conservation of mass, to consider your argument as valid. It’s much more probable that the CO2 from human activities goes in the Bermuda triangle than being the cause of the observed atmospheric increase. If there is even an increase. Or any human activities. The measurements are all forged anyway. And CO2 content in the atmosphere was much higher in the 19th century, as the measurements from the Manchester industrial area prove.

    • Jay Dee Are

      Response to Response: Or a sack of hair. (Credit “Law and Order,” S7E13.)

  33. Horatio Algeranon

    “Trendcating”
    — by Horatio Algeranon

    When global warming rears it’s head
    Trendcate it to zero dead
    When sea ice drops precipitously
    Extrapolate to recovery

  34. Anthony Watts just put up an article by David Whitehouse from the GWPF, basically arguing it hasn’t warmed since 1980. That goes beyond disinformation and denial, it’s nuts!

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/06/the-world-has-warmed-lot-in-33-years.html

    • Sou.
      I think to describe this Whitehouse piece as “arguing” is a bit much. It is incoherent drivel and comes nowhere close to presenting a coherent argument, a flawed argument, an incomplete argument, indeed any sort argument whatever. It is just blather which is all we can expect from Whitehouse. Simply he is incapable of anything else.
      As it may well say at the head of the web page “Go Wild Presenting Flapdoodle.”

    • Thanks. Screen shot saved for posterity…

      ;-)

      Some things’ existence are indeed hard to credit.

    • Please could someone tell the crowd at WUWT (I could try myself, but comments by me at WUWT have notoriosuly vanished in the past) that Whitehouse of the GWPF seems to be just a plagiator. I had discovered long before him that there hasn’t been any global warming since 1979. It’s easy to prove. No statistically significant warming from 1979 to 1993. None from 1994 to 1996 either. And none from 1997 to present day. None of the temperature trends in the three time periods is statistically significant. Therefore, no global warming from 1979 to today!

      http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to-create-false-global-warming.html

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        Yes, a cruel, cruel fate. Try to take it like a man. Someday mankind will acknowledge you and your discovery, remember Galileo!

      • I believe Jan’s being sarcastic, judging from the content of his blog.

      • I thought GP was playing along delightfully…

        The ambiguities of online communication, I suppose.

      • Chris O'Neill

        “No statistically significant warming from 1979 to 1993.”

        Actually, there was no statistically significant warming for 18 years from 1979 to 1997 ( http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php ) for GISS, NOAA, and HADCRUT3. HADCRUT4 just makes statistical significance.

        So global warming stopped at least as far back as 1979 (for 18 years anyway).

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        Yep, so was I, as you could have guessed ;-)

      • I tried at WUWT anyway. It went as I had expexted. I should have made a screenshot.

        I have a better screenshot, though:
        http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.com/2013/06/declared-persona-non-grata-at.html

        I suspect some here will say, “Welcome to the club”.

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        And anyway Jan, you’re doing the wrong test. The interesting test is whether the last 20 (17?) years trend differs from the known long-term trend, not whether it differs from zero. The latter is Alzheimer science.

      • Gavin’s Pussycat,

        It depends on what question do you want to answer. If you want to find out whether global warming has been statistically significant you have to test against the Zero trend as statistical Null-hypothesis. If you want to answer the question whether there is a “pause” or at least a detectable trend change, compared to the highly (more than eight sigma in the surface temperature data since the mid 1970s) statistically significant multi-decadal warming trend, you have to test against this proven warming trend as statistical Null-hypothesis.

      • Richard Mineer

        Global warming is a fact. Why are we having an unseasonably cold Spring near the beginning of Summer? Warm air rising, drawing colder air off the polar ice caps which are definitely melting. The freezer door is open. The causes are the question. As light energy released from distant stars remains visible thousands of light-years later, so remains all the stored heat energy we have and continue to release from fossil fuels and nuclear reactors, etc. Add the natural heat generated by photons from the sun striking matter on earth and throw on a blanket of greenhouse gases. This living, breathing planet continues to attempt to compensate. But, we are getting ahead of her. We humans are nothing more than invading microbes to her and continuing as we are, we will eradicate ourselves and she will recover and continue on without us.

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        Jan,

        If you want to find out whether global warming has been statistically significant you have to test against the Zero trend as statistical Null-hypothesis.

        That’s a legal test but not an interesting one, if you have already a highly significant positive trend over a much longer data period. That’s what I mean by ‘Alzheimer science’ — demanding to demonstrate the same, well established truths over and over again.

        A bit like a denialist taunting you to ‘prove’ that AGW is real, when she could have just read the IPCC reports.

      • Kevin MacDonald

        I had discovered long before him that there hasn’t been any global warming since 1979.

        I think you’re missing atrick here. It’s been well established by the masterful rhetoric of messrs Monckton, Rose and Whitehouse that, contrary to the evidence, warming stopped in 1996. That implies that there was warming prior to this, but has it ever been properly researched (and if it has, can we trust the conclusions, we all know that scientists, particularly climate scientists, tend to conflate “research” with lies)?

        Using woodfortree temperature index, combinging GISS, HadCRUT, RRSS and UAH, and plotting separate trends, one to and one from 1996, we can see that the current plateau has a trend of +0.80°C per century, whilst the earlier “warming” has a lesser trend of +0.76°C per century. What’s less that a plateau? The only logical conclusion is that the 17 years to 1996 was a period of global cooling!

        The apparent increase in temperatures in the earlier data is nothing more that an illusion, probably a consequence of station drop out (my money’s on Yamal, but I’ll leave the details to McIntyre), the latest attempt by so called climatologists to hide the decline.

      • Very amusing… but, er, isn’t the ‘current plateau’ .722C/century?

      • Kevin MacDonald

        Very amusing… but, er, isn’t the ‘current plateau’ .722C/century?

        My apoligies, I’ve not been in the denial game long and my cherry picking skills are not yet up to scratch; this is the graph I meant to link to. I really should’ve listend to my old Dad; “Measure twice, lie once.”, he always used to say.

      • Ah, that explains it… but, darn it, you made me laugh all over again!

      • And the blue is much better, too–much cooler color…

  35. …existences… awkward reading though it may make.

  36. Global heat content continued to rise, steeply, during this period of ‘reduced warming’ or whatever the preferred term is. Anyone says it hasn’t needs to find a reasonable explanation for this –

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=65

    • No, they just have to deny it convincingly (e.g. with a straight face).

      • [Tasteless quip suppressed here.]

      • Actually they just avoid including ocean heat content as a measure that matters. Unfortunately I think a lot of climate scientists have unwittingly assisted in this by treating the surface air temperatures as THE defining measure of climate change. An accident of history? A result of looking first for signs of climate change in the biggest existing dataset – ie meteorological records? Or a bit of anthropomorphic subjectivity that elevates the temperatures as people experience them (air temperatures) above all others?

        I think climate science communicators should be assiduous in avoiding referrring to the ups and downs of global air temperatures as global warming speeding up or slowing down – not when one look at graphs of ocean heat content or Nuccitelli et al’s combined Total Heat Content of ocean, land, ice and atmosphere can clearly communicate that warming hasn’t slowed at all.

      • When James Hansen started writing papers about AGW in the early 1980s the state of the OHC monitoring system was not good, so there was no way to use it as a metric. ARGO changed that.

        OHC gets trashed a lot on skeptic blogs. They attack it on the basis that the actual temperature increase is very very small. And they attack the claim of deep and abyssal ocean warming as lacking a coherent mechanism/explanation.

      • JCH
        W.r.t. denialistic skepticism of ocean warming, my pet response is to ask them to understand not why the oceans are warming so much but rather why they are so cold. I feel it’s the sort of message that would grab the attention of even the hardest denialist.
        Why is the ocean almost freezing? It can’t be because of the atmosphere that sits above. That has an average temperature of 14ºC. And it can’t be the rocks below it. They get hotter the deeper you go, eventually reaching over 5,000ºC.
        So forget what’s heating the oceans. What’s keeping them cold?

      • Al Rodgers – I am not a physicist. Assuming the sun and its SW into the system is like it is, I would say the enhanced GHE recently has never been strong enough over a period long enough to slow ocean cooling to the point the oceans would no longer be considered cold. I have read blog comments from people who claim the physical makeup of seawater is a factor in its cold temperature.

      • Hope I’ve got this threaded in where I want it to go–just below JCH’s post of 6/16/13@11:23 PM.

        Anyway, thanks, Al, for a fascinating question. I’ll be thinking about that tonight as I walk the dog and prep for bed–and there seems to be a lot to think about.

        My starting point, though, FWIW, is that it’s a ‘top-down’ problem, literally–heat flux through the ground (or should I say, “sea-bed”) is impossibly slow, if I remember the lessons of Fourier’s analysis correctly. So one must deal with radiative exchanges and with evaporation and other exchanges of latent heat, and also perhaps with heat advection from Tropics to Polar regions, and from the surface to the abyssal depths.

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        Al Rodger,
        I think Doc Snow is on the right track. The points in the ocean where deep water is being formed are all at high latitude, where the surface waters are cool. These sink to the bottom and slowly, over thousands of years, replace all the deep water. This is part of the THC.
        In lower latitudes, the ocean is stably stratified thermally; no warm water (27C in the tropics) spontaneously moves to depth. Small amounts of it do move there though due to turbulent mixing and Ekman pumping — which is a bitch to model.

      • I still say what keeps the ocean cold, or could make them very warm, or make them even colder, is what is happening at the top of the atmosphere. The energy that is going into storage in the oceans because of the current TOA imbalance cannot come back out until the TOA imbalance goes the other way.

      • JCH.
        You are of course entirely correct. It is the atmosphere that does the warming & the cooling both.
        I wasn’t trying to be testing here, rather to suggest a way to give denialists pause for thought, although a ‘pause’ may be underestimating the length of time they would require.

        The cooling of the oceans is done by the polar climate which is the most unstable under AGW. Cold salty water is more dense so it sinks and lurks in the depths insulated from warmth by the bulk of the oceans. When its down there it also has added density due to the pressure which makes the ‘sinking’ a little less vigorous.
        Unfortunately I can’t point to a good link that explains it all.

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        JCH sure; e.g., the deep-water formation points are communicating thermally with the atmosphere, so the downgoing water will track its temperature there. If temps go up, heat will be net transported downward. But it still takes thousands of years for these temp variations to propagate through the full deep-ocean volume.

    • JCH, Al, I just can’t help but think that, even if it doesn’t go back a long way, OHC data for the last few decades – the period in which warming clearly begins showing itself – does reveal a more fundamental and direct change in the climate system than does surface air temperatures. And will show changes as they happen into the foreseeable future.

      Of course serial deniers will go out of their way to be critical, because reference to OHC data clearly shows something clearly that they desperately want obscured – that warming has not slowed, stalled, reversed. Of course it’s something that SAT’s don’t actually show either, just can be made to seem to show by looking at too short samples.

      I think Dana Nuccitelli and co use combined ocean, land, ice and atmosphere heat content data and graphs to good effect against claims that warming has “slowed” over the past decade and a half. How long a minimum sample of OHC to achieve a statistically significant trend? I have to look to others to get that answer but I suspect it’s a lot closer to the length of an electoral cycle than SAT’s can ever be.

  37. Horatio Algeranon

    “Never attribute to stupidity that which is “explained” by Monckton”

    “All the Skeptics Love Malice”
    – Horatio Algeranon’s rendition of “All the Young Girls Love Alice” (by Elton John and Bernie Taupin)

    Raised to be a skeptic by the lying rule
    Malice was the spawn of the Audit school
    With a double crossing game in the back of his brain
    And a simple case of Scientist-doesn’t-love-me blues
    Reality it seems was just a dream
    He couldn’t get it on with the facts on the scene
    But what do you expect from a Czech whose just sixth-String?
    And hey, hey, hey, you know what I mean

    chorus
    All the skep-tics love malice
    Slander and malice they say
    Come over and tease Mann
    Come over and sleaze Mann
    Malice it’s my turn today

    All the skep-tics love Malice
    Slander and malice they say
    If I give you his e-mail
    Will you promise to spam Mann?
    Wait ’til the end of the day

    Chris-to-pher Monckton with a chunk out of his brain
    He is like acting like he’s Einstein when in fact he’s insane
    Getting his kicks at the scientists’ expense
    And it was only last Tuesday they caught him in a fraudulence
    And who could you call your friends down at WattsUp?
    One or two light-weight contenders for the Tony Cup
    And what do you expect from a pseudo-skeptic yo-yo?
    And hey, hey, hey, oh don’t you know
    [repeat chorus ad nauseam]

  38. Finally! GWPF charity status challenged (although UK Charities Commission may be weak, we;ll see).
    Lord Lawson’s climate-change think tank risks being stripped of charitable status.

    • Good. Liars shouldn’t be subsidized. Even if it does prove ultimately unsuccessful, this challenge is salutary.

    • arch stanton

      While IRS action against Heartland seems less probable these days (given the current status of “scandals”), I still have hope.

  39. John Mashey

    501(c)(3)s are not 501(c)(4s), and the IRS regularly revokes the former.

    Citizens United…
    big flood of new groups claiming 501(c)(4), some of which I’d had to guess were clueless.
    Big increase in relevant IRS staff: not likely.
    Still unknown: total number of requests they got or for whom, because they properly won’t tell you status of groups in progress.

    Although IRS didn’t handle this all that well, but if Congress wants to blame IRS, they might try simplifying the law, or even just better clarifying what a 501(c)(4) is and is not allowed to be, in such a way that IRS folks can take one look at an application and be pretty sure. This stuff is seriously murky, even for (3)s, which have more stringent requirements.