Open thread


Feel free to discuss any climate related matters that are not a core topic of another post.

If you somehow claim that climate science has it all wrong, please be so kind to first check out the list here: There’s a good chance that your argument is listed there, with a clear and referenced reply.

Keep it civil; No baseless smears of climate science or individuals. Thanks!


97 Responses to “Open thread”

  1. Scott A. Mandia Says:

    I need help from those of you with research grant experience. I have already heard from several scientists but it would be nice to hear from a few more. I originally posted this at RC last week and am now branching out to this blog and others.

    I have a thread on my blog titled Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part I that responds to the following two claims:

    1) Scientists are getting rich from research grants!
    2) Scientists holding an anti-AGW viewpoint cannot get funding!

    I used my own recent grant experience to debunk claim #1. In a future post called Part II, I want to show examples of how grant money is spent at other institutions, especially the larger research institutions. Essentially, tell me why you are also not getting rich from your grants. You can comment on my blog or send me a private email.

    My email address is

    You can give me as much or as little detail as you think it necessary to dispel claim #1. Before I post part II, I will send a draft copy to any person whose information is being used and you will have carte blanche to edit what I had planned to post. Nothing will appear in my post that you do not confirm.

    I appreciate all the help you can offer!

  2. Tom Fuller Says:

    Scott, I don’t think I have too many research scientists visiting my site, but I could post this on, by way of apology for our little contretemps last week. Let me know.

    I came here to talk about how to have a civil discussion on a weblog that gets interrupted by aggressive commenters on either side. I’m thinking of a practical code of conduct that essentially consists of ignoring them, or acknowledging their existence without addressing their remarks.

    Bart’s thread with VS over the past two weeks is an excellent example. Had there been a way to just ignore some of the commenters and proceed with the conversation, I think it would have been beneficial. I’ve seen the same happen with positions reversed at my site.

    I used to have the fear that silence implied consent–that if I didn’t respond to a hostile commenter that it meant I was either admitting wrongness, showing fear or didn’t have a response available. I now see that they play off that and are there because they enjoy stirring up trouble.

    I’m going to adopt this policy starting now at my site and encourage all who post there to do the same. Sadly, it will have one bad effect–some of the maniacal commenters actually have some interesting things to say, such as dhogaza here and several I could name at my place of business.

    But behaviour counts. That includes me–and I have on several occasions reacted hastily in anger at things I have seen. So, okay. I will be the change I want to see, and try to emulate the more placid demeanor of people like Bart.

  3. Scott A. Mandia Says:

    Tom, that would be very gracious of you. Thank you. :)

    I agree that it is very difficult to keep one’s emotions in check during these types of discussions because the stakes are so high for both sides.

  4. Kweenie Says:

    This site is thriving. Guess who’s responsible? Give two hints; it’s not Dho or Rabett.

  5. kim Says:

    There’s really no need for the stakes to be so high for either side. Carbon Dioxide has an effect; it’s probably small.

  6. John F. Pittman Says:

    VG, Thanks for the two threads on unit root problem. I have placed this post here to try to meet your stated preferences. This is in support of those who have been pointing out that GCM’s are not “physical” in nature. Without getting bogged down in what constitutes “physical”, I would rather point to problems inherent to such a large scale model. This is not to say that such a model may not be useful. But rather, the results must be taken with a grain of salt; meaning from a scientific view, there is interpretation involved. The point of the post is that GCM’s are known not to be “strictly” physical from first principles. They have assumptions and simplifications that do not reflect the real physical world. This should unsurprising. Browing and Kreiss are published and awarded for their work. Pat, Browning, and Schmidt had a good thread on RC about this.

    A complaint of Pat Frank concerning his and Trenbeth’s comments: For example, all GCMs include a hyperviscosity because the Navier-Stokes equations can’t be solved at all the necessary levels of resolution. The hyperviscosity, which is completely unphysical, is the only thing that makes the GCMs integrable — they would catastrophically diverge otherwise. Because there is an unphysical hyperviscosity, the parameterizations in GCMs must also be unphysical in order to compensate. Consequently, GCMs inherently cannot be physically correct. Trenberth’s claim includes an implicit but absolutely central assertion that cannot be true. The physical theory in GCMs is neither correct nor complete.
    From G Browning on Browning and Kreiss: The other major problem is that the solution of the continuum system may contain a complete spectrum of waves, but a numerical model can only compute a finite part of that spectrum. This is a typical and very serious problem. Henshaw, Kreiss, and Reyna have determined the minimal scale that will be produced by the nonlinear, incompressible, Navier-Stokes equations for a given viscosity coefficient (molasses has a large viscosity and air a very small one). Convergent numerical solutions have shown that the estimates of this scale are extremely accurate. If the numerical model does not resolve the correct number of waves indicated by the estimate, the model blows up. If the model resolves the number of waves indicated by the estimate, the numerical method will converge to the continuum solution for long periods of time. Thus, if a numerical model is unable to resolve the spectrum of the continuum solution, the model is forced to artificially increase the viscosity coefficient or use a numerical method that has nonphysical viscosity built into the method. Clearly, the atmosphere contains motions of many spatial and time scales and no numerical model can hope to resolve all of those motions. For large-scale motions in the midlatitudes above the turbulent lower boundary layer, the inviscid, unforced Euler equations on a rotating sphere can be scaled under certain mathematical assumptions. For these motions, the vertical acceleration term is approximately 6 orders of magnitude smaller than the remaining terms in the time dependent equation for the vertical velocity and thus are typically neglected in large-scale weather prediction models leaving only the hydrostatic balance terms. The resulting system is sometimes referred to as the primitive or hydrostatic equations. The neglect of the vertical acceleration term made the equations tractable for computing, i.e. the inclusion of the vertical acceleration term would have required too small a time step to satisfy the stability criterion mentioned above, but altered the mathematical properties of the original system. After the derivation of the hydrostatic equations, approximations of the turbulent boundary layer, eddy viscosity (much larger than the true atmospheric viscosity and sometimes even of a different type, e.g. hyperviscosity), and all kinds of approximations to various atmospheric phenomena (parameterizations) are added onto the hydrostatic equations.

  7. Scott Mandia Says:

    Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part II

    In Part I, I addressed the following two claims:

    1) Scientists are getting rich from research grants!

    2) Scientists holding an anti-AGW viewpoint cannot get funding!

    I then asked scientists from around the world to relate their experiences and if they were getting rich from grant funding. Since Part I, I also did a little more digging and came up with some important information. That information as well as a few examples from those that commented appear at the link below.

  8. VS Says:

    Hi John,

    Just saw your post. Very interesting!

    Would you mind reposting it in the right thread though? :) I think we are soon going to arrive at the phenomenological nature of GCM’s…

    …basically, what you sketched above.

    The thread in question is this one

    Any thoughts on how a GCM (and any theory surrounding it) should be validated? Here’s my (broad) methodological take on the issue.

    Sorry for spotting this very interesting post so late!

  9. Al Tekhasski Says:

    John, you are right on the mark with your description of GCMs. However, climatology does not seem to be concerned with the fact that their models do not converge to more realistic spatio-temporal patterns when the grid spacing is reduced, which is a typical validation technique in precise sciences. They say that it is good enough, and tighter grid will exceed computing capabilities, so they would not be able to calculate long climate runs.

    There are more things that make GCMs unphysical. The models are indeed based on equations for ideal inviscous fluid. As you said, without friction, this ideal fluid is physically supposed to move forever, and numerical artifacts cause models to explode unless they incorporate artificial friction/viscosity at the unphysical level to stabilize LONG TERM BEHAVIOR (or exactly the behavior we need to model climate!). The bigger problem is that when Navier-Stokes Equations are reduced to ideal fluid equations and the small parameter (1/Re) allegedly justifies truncation of terms with second (spatial) derivative, the rank of the entire system is reduced. Hence a huge super-space of physical solutions is lost forever, thrown away. When they re-introduce the artificial dissipation (“viscosity”) on the top of truncated equations to make them computationally stable, the new system is now topologically different from the original one, and becomes even more unphysical, especially in the long run (as I pointed to A.Smith on some other thread regarding “slow” Lyapunov exponents, but he objected).

    More, the things are even worse than that. As it is known in fluid dynamics, a physical system governed by some differential equations is only defined when its boundary conditions are specified. In fact, the boundary conditions are inseparable from the mathematical formulation, and define the entire system behavior. But even the original N-S system has fundamental difficulties when applied to planetary atmospheres. The problem is that the air has vanishing density towards outer space, such that at some point the whole hydrodynamic approximation is no longer valid. As result, the system must be closed by some artificial boundary condition somewhere on the top, which does not improve the model’s proximity to reality. So, formally speaking, one should begin from bare Boltzmann kinetics if one wants the system to be “strictly physical”. Unfortunately, these topics are quite outside the typical curriculum of environmental studies, so please do not expect any understanding here, nor even a reasonable question.

  10. Alan Wilkinson Says:

    VS, considering Al’s comments surely the first question is whether it is possible to forecast climate without a computer of equivalent power to the earth’s analogue system? Then the next question is whether even if you could achieve that, your forecast might be nullified by other completely unpredictable events anyway?

    So are there simpler problems that models can hope to answer usefully?

    It seems to me like stockmarket analysis. There are useful things you can hope to do but you can’t hope to forecast it all.

  11. Alan Wilkinson Says:

    Sorry, should have said John & Al’s comments.

  12. manacker Says:


    [I posted this on your comment policy thread, but believe it may also be pertinent here.]

    I believe this blog can help us solve a dilemma.

    Rather than concerning ourselves too much with the rationale behind those who are skeptical for political or religious reasons of the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat, let us concentrate on those who are rationally skeptical of this premise in the scientific sense.

    Scientific (or rational) skepticism is defined by Wiki as follows:

    Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism (also spelled scepticism), (sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a practical, epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence.

    The key here is empirical evidence or data based on actual physical observations as opposed to theoretical deliberations.

    If we take as an example the premise of “intelligent design”, we see that there are many excellent hypotheses in support of this premise, but what is lacking is empirical data based on actual physical observations, which support the premise. For this reason, it does not pass the test of rational skepticism.

    Now, as the Chris Fields youtube clip showed, there are many physical data, which support
    · The fact that temperatures have risen since the modern record started in 1850, in three statistically indistinguishable multi-decadal warming cycles with cooling trends in between, with an underlying overall warming trend of 0.041C per decade or 0.65C over the entire 150+ year period
    · The fact that sea levels have been rising since tide gauge records were started in the 19th century, with several multi-decadal swings in the rate of rise along the way
    · The fact that Arctic sea ice extent has declined since satellite measurements started in 1979 (while Antarctic sea ice has grown over the same period)
    · The fact that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1958, as well as possibly prior to this based on more dicey ice core approximations
    · The fact that humans have been emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, at an accelerating rate since the end of WWII
    · Etc.

    There are also many theories on how greenhouse gases trap and re-radiate energy, hypotheses supported by model simulations on feedback effects, etc.

    But there are no empirical data, based on actual physical observations, which support the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is the cause for the observed changes or that it represents a serious potential threat.

    A detailed statistical analysis, which shows a robust statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature, would be a major step toward providing the next best thing to empirical data to support causation (although that, in itself, would still fall short).

    On the other hand, failure or inability to provide this robust statistical correlation would be a clear falsification of causation.

    Let’s see what is out there.


    [Edit: To avoid doubling up I removed the post from the “comment policy” thread. BV]

  13. Bart Says:


    I don’t doubt that there are ‘rational skeptics’, nor do I doubt that there are ‘pseudo-skeptics’. It’s sometimes hard to see the difference. I’m intrigued by the question why so many people distrust the science in the face of so much evidence and the strong scientific consensus that grew as a result.

    There are many observations that point to human emissions indeed being responsible for the observed warming:

    Satellite measurements of outgoing longwave radiation find an enhanced greenhouse effect (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007). This result is consistent with measurements from the Earth’s surface observing more infrared radiation returning back to the surface (Wang 2009, Philipona 2004, Evans 2006). Consequently, our planet is experiencing a build-up of heat (Murphy 2009). This heat build-up is manifesting itself across the globe.

    Stratospheric cooling; nights having warmed more than days: both point to a GHG mechanism for the observed warming.

    I’m all for applying robust statistical methods to climate data. I’m warning against jumping to conclusions though, which many seem intent on doing.

  14. manacker Says:


    I agree that there have been observations concerning LW radiation (including those recently published by Lindzen and Choi, based on ERBE observations and those published earlier by Spencer et al.)

    It is important to include the SW radiation back into space. Apparently the increase in albedo resulting from increased low altitude clouds with warming have caused an observed increase in outgoing SW radiation.

    The GHG mechanism for increased warming is well known, but it appears that since 2000 the atmosphere has actually cooled as has the ocean since Argo measurements started providing more accurate results in 2003 than the old expendable robots used beforehand. This presents another dilemma, since atmospheric CO2 was rising at record rates over this admittedly short time period.

    So yes, there are observations of outgoing LW radiation that point to a GH effect, but what is important is the shift in total energy balance with increased surface temperature, and the jury still appears to be out on this.

    But these are all side discussions to the main topic here.

    I hope the robust statistical analyses on the CO2/temperature correlation bring us closer to knowing what is actually going on. One thing is sure: however these analyses turn out, they will bring us one step closer to the truth.



    This presents another dilemma, since atmospheric CO2 was rising at record rates over this admittedly short time period.

    That’s a similar dilemma as is posed to the theory of gravity when you see a bird flying in mid air. If you take a slightly longer view or take other things into consideration, there is not much of a dilemma. BV]

  15. manacker Says:


    Birds flying can be explained within the bounds of the “theory of gravity”.

    The planet cooling despite record increase in atmospheric CO2 is a bit more difficult to explain within the bounds of the GH theory, unless one acknowledges that there are other, possibly more powerful, natural forces at play, as the Met Office has acknowledged, or a possible “natural thermostat” effect from clouds, as Kevin Trenberth has recently mentioned as a possible explanation.

    But, Bart, I do not believe it makes much sense for us to get into a debate on these issues here.

    I am very hopeful that your blog will shed new light on all of these open questions, one way or the other.


  16. Tim Curtin Says:

    Tim Curtin Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation (for how much longer?).

    March 27, 2010 at 03:26
    Alan said (on Global Average Temperature etc 27 March 01.57) replying to Alan Wilkinson’s comment, ‘“…Normally such deaths are due to carbon monoxide, not CO2”. … The comment was meant to apply to ‘waste’ more generally, not just CO2. Fact remains … we’re lucky the large (sic) waste volumes are dispersed relatively quickly’. Actually, Alan, 57% of CO2 emissions since 1958 have been taken up by the biosphere, including us by the food we eat, ALL of which derives from photosynthesis using the CO2 you consider to be toxic waste. And by “us” I include the extra 4.5 billion of us now around since 1950, all of us subsisting on CO2-based food. Somehow most of us nearly 7 billion now do eat (if we didn’t, a la Ehrlich and Holdren, we wouldn’t be 7 billion) – but what will we eat when living in Alan’s nirvana of a carbon-free economy? The rising partial pressure of CO2 arising from growing atmospheric CO2 has made a powerful contribution to yields of both phyto-plankton/krill (for whales et al) and wheat and rice for us 7 billion (see Graham Farquhar, too many to list).

  17. Peter Wilson Says:

    Bart says “I don’t doubt that there are ‘rational skeptics’, nor do I doubt that there are ‘pseudo-skeptics’. It’s sometimes hard to see the difference”

    I would agree that not all commentators on the sceptical side are of equal worth. There are always those who will hop on any bandwagon which enables them to beat up on their adversaries, and this issue surely does offer the conservative right (with which I do NOT identify) a plethora of easy points to be scored against “liberals and socialists”.

    I personally ignore such commentators, confining myself to weblogs run by scientifically oriented sceptics ( some of the best are WUWT, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, Jo Nova, Roger Pielke Jnr, Reference Frame and Tom Fuller) and a few by similarly oriented AGW believers, of which this is among the best – (you at least allow a fair degree of open debate, even if you do like a last word in the comments). For this reason, perhaps, am frequently surprised at what it is that believers think sceptics believe, and more so, that they assume I must believe it too.

    For balance, I think you should also recognise a huge variation in the quality and style of “consensus” blogs. While a few attempt to take a scientific view, there are a great many which parrot anything which appears to support their case, but manly seem to exist to heap scorn and insults on anyone who does not swallow their line whole (Climate Progress is the most high profile of this type of site). Even many which claim to be “scientific”, (eg RealClimate, DeSmog, Tamino,) allow only very limited discussion if you do not agree with them, and habitually ignore rebuttals of their supposed “debunkings”.

    Now you may disagree as to who is the most bigoted and intolerant, Rush Limbaugh or Joe Romm, but surely you must agree they are both totally superfluous to any rational debate on the subject.

  18. Bart Says:

    Peter Wilson,

    Some examples you provide as ‘scientifically oriented sceptics’ I wouldn’t classify as such at all, but of course, there is a wide range of both scope and quality in blogs on all sides of the spectrum.

    The blogs you take issue with regarding their stricter comment policy have a good reason to do so imho: To enhance the signal to noise ratio of the discussion. Refuting long debunked claims serves no purpose anymore after a while. Of course that’s in the eye of the beholder, so of course there will be people, many even, who vehemently disagree.

    It appears quite complicated to separate the more rational skeptics from the more irrational ones in comments, and sheer impossibe to apply ‘objective’ criteria to which comments are allowed and which not. Allowing more open debate comes at a cost of having a lot of noise in the thread, often existing of worn out talking points. Everyone makes their own decision as to whether that price is worth paying. So far I think it is, also because the discussion has indeed (to the most part) been very interesting so far.

  19. Peter Wilson Says:


    “Refuting long debunked claims serves no purpose anymore after a while.” An interesting point, and again one which is certainly not confined to the consensus side. I often wonder how many more times I will hear that great urban myth of the “well funded well oiled denial machine”, when the truth of the situation regarding the relative funding of the two sides is diametrically opposite. Surely that one has been debunked too many times to count!

    But I also think the term “debunked” gets abused a lot. There is, as I’m sure you know, currently a list of 104 “debunked” sceptical arguments which keep coming up, at I’m sure you regard all these points as thoroughly well debunked, and their reappearance may, I suspect, annoy you.

    However, I refer you to for a far more devastating point by point critique than I could attempt. “Debunked” might be a good term, if I wasn’t so opposed to it :-).

    Now Lubos Motl may not be a “real climate scientist”, but he is a real scientist,and his criticism carries more weight, in my view, than practically anyone running a consensus blog at present.

    Even if you have seen an argument answered before, that doesn’t mean the discussion is over. As the above example illustrates, a debunking can be debunked

  20. Marco Says:

    @Peter Wilson:
    Why is Lubos Motl “a real scientist” and care to name some people you consider are not?

    Allow me to tell you why I do *not* consider Lubos a “real scientist”:
    His rebuttal is a long list of “wrong; not true; false” statements, without *any* references to papers that support his point. John Cook, on the other hand, refers to many papers in the literature to support his point. A real scientist would do exactly as John Cook does, and not what Lubos Motl does.

    Then again, I have little faith you will be able to accept this, since you consider Jo Nova and WUWT as credible blogs (even going so far as using the word “scientific” for these venues of misinformation).

  21. manacker Says:

    Folks, we are getting into a silly discussion of “my blog is more scientific than your blog”.

    There are scientifically credible blogs on both sides. Those that censor out dissenting opinion are less credible than those that do not, even if they do so under the ruse of avoiding “refuting long debunked claims” or “having a lot of noise in the thread”.

    The issues are far from resolved. The premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat is far from validated.

    Open debate on the still unresolved scientific issues should continue. A “long debunked claim” may turn out to be right based on new findings and purported “noise” may turn out to be the real signal.

    Most of all, the debate should remain rational, rather than becoming emotional.

    What should not be allowed is “ad hom” attacks, political posturing or blatant censorship of dissenting viewpoints.

    These are, of course, just my thoughts on this.


  22. Peter Wilson Says:


    Lubos Motl (of The Reference Frame) is an accomplished theoretical physicist, and to dismiss him as being unscientific is churlish in the extreme. His rebuttals are very convincing to those with a good knowledge of the subject, although not to you, obviously. The article is very long as it is, and providing footnotes for each would be frankly ridiculous, but you can rest assured that references are available for all of them – I could point you to many of them myself.

    Lubos is utterly scathing of the difference in approaches between the hard and soft sciences, with “climate science” being among the softest of the lot (just above sociology in my view). You guys really need to lift your game to dispute intelligently with someone like that. He regularly embarrasses Tamino and RealClimate, particularly for their defence of 2 sigma results as being meaningful, which is simply not supportable from a scientific point if view.

    As for the other blogs you dismiss as unscientific – clearly you have read more about them than of them. While perhaps not at the technical level of The Reference Frame or Climate Audit (another purely scientific blog), They are open, honest, and tellingly provide links to both sides of any debate – a characteristic conspicuously lacking in many of the consensus blogs, who prefer we should take their word without further investigation. This in itself is a telling difference between the two sides, the willingness to have ones arguments tested (the present blog excepted, I am pleased to say)

  23. Marco Says:

    @Peter Wilson:
    Lubos Motl is a no-longer accomplished physicist, who got himself fired/forced to resign from a top university. Just try and find his publications of, oh, say, the last three years. And a rebuttal contains facts, not handwaving dismissals. I’ll make it easy for you: provide the links for the first three supposed rebuttals of Motl’s list.

    Regarding Motl’s outrageous claim that 5-sigma results are required in science…I’m guessing you never ever have taken medicine in your life? If you do, be aware that the effectivity of most medicines is well below 2(!) sigma, and that in many cases even a 2-sigma ‘significance’ only gets attained by using the standard error of mean. 2-sigma is also extremely common in chemistry and various fields of physics (despite Motl’s claims). Take for example the mass of the neutrino: known at perhaps 2-sigma. Doesn’t stop physicists from using it in calculations!

    Add to that his prior positive announcement of certain results by Henrik Svensmark:
    “I think that Svensmark and a few others must feel somewhat unpleasantly because they have found something that may be a spectacular discovery in their discipline, and possibly the first discovery of this discipline that could deserve a Nobel prize. ”
    Their results were “almost always significant at the 95% level”.
    There, Lubos not being dismissive of a not-even 2-sigma paper. Where is his 5-sigma?

    Motl is being unscientific, and clearly for one reason: he doesn’t want to accept anything that he does not want to accept, and thus comes with the most stupid arguments to dismiss it. Sometimes he even resorts to death threats (which is what ‘made him leave’ Harvard).

  24. manacker Says:


    Pardon me for cutting into your exchange with Peter Wilson, but rather than getting into Lubos Motl’s personality quirks or dwelling on the statement about 5-sigma standards, you should address his 104 observations regarding John Cook’s claims.

    Many (if not most) of these appear to be valid.

    You state:

    Motl is being unscientific, and clearly for one reason: he doesn’t want to accept anything that he does not want to accept

    Are you falling into this same trap, Marco? Think about it.


  25. Marco Says:

    Max, Lubos merely makes claims. Whereas John Cook has his explanations filled with references to the literature, Motl does a load of handwaving; and then the cheering crowd comes in and claims he has provided a rebuttal?

    He’s even thrown in a few appeals to authority (“Lindzen says!”), something you guys so detest whenever someone points to a scientific consensus.

    Your “appear to be valid” comment is not based on facts, but on appearances.

    Finally, I *wish* AGW is wrong. The scientific literature, however, does not grant me my wish or desire. Unlike some, I’m capable of giving up my ideological position.

  26. manacker Says:


    We agree on one thing.

    We both wish that dangerous AGW is wrong (I added in the word dangerous).

    Empirical data (as opposed to model simulations) tell me that AGW itself is likely to be real, but that it is unlikely to represent a serious potential threat.

    This appears to be Motl’s conclusion.

    As I read through Motl’s 104 points of rebuttal to Cook, I see several that have been backed up by scientific papers, which I have seen, and a few others, for which I have not seen the backup papers. And I do not agree with some of Motl’s statements, because I have not seen that they are confirmed by sound empirical data.

    Did Motl refer to Lindzen? Why should this be any more unscientific than if Cook refers to IPCC? Is this an appeal to authority or a valid reference? What is the essential difference between the two?

    Face it, Marco.

    You do not like the conclusions reached by Motl’s rebuttal of Cook’s claims, which you do like, on the other hand, because they reflect your personal beliefs.


  27. Marco Says:

    @Max: the essential difference is that Lindzen is the odd one out. Add Lindzen&Choi cooking the data in Lindzen’s last paper, and he’s lost credibility.

    And Cook’s claims do not reflect my personal beliefs. They reflect the scientific evidence.

  28. manacker Says:


    C’mon, get serious.

    Lindzen+Choi “cooked” the data?.

    The ERBE observations showed that with surface warming the total LW+SW energy radiated back into space increased over the tropics. This was not “cooked”.

    An earlier report by Spencer et al. based on CERES observations showed the same increased total outgoing LW+SW radiation with increased surface temperature.

    An earlier report by Norris showed a similar increase over a prolonged period in mid-latitudes.

    L+C later calculated a negative net “feedback” from the observed data, and this calculation is what has been criticized, not the observations themselves.

    “Scientific evidence”?

    Get serious, Marco.

    Cook’s claims no more reflect “scientific evidence” than Motl’s rebuttal.

    I believe our discussion here is deteriorating into a futile and rather absurd “my report is better than your report” discussion, so let’s cap it off.


  29. manacker Says:


    Just one more point.

    Kevin Trenberth now states that the missing extra energy may be radiated into outer space and that clouds may be playing a “natural thermostat” role, so this is not just an opinion of a single scientist who is the “odd one out”, as you put it.

    There are still many unknowns, Marco.


  30. Marco Says:

    Max, Lindzen&Choi cooked the data, as shown by Trenberth et al. Use a slightly different time frame or a different time period and the results are widely different. This means Lindzen&Choi cherry picked the time frames and time periods, without giving proper reasons to select only those time frames and periods. You might want to read the comment Trenberth et al wrote to Lindzen&Choi. See also here:
    and note, for example: “The result one obtains in estimating the feedback by this method turns out to be heavily dependent on the endpoints chosen. [edit] In TFOW we show that the apparent relationship is reduced to zero if one chooses to displace the endpoints selected in LC09 by a month or less. So with this method the perceived feedback can be whatever one wishes it to be, and the result obtained by LC09 is actually very unlikely. This is not then really indicative of a robust cloud feedback.”

    “If one chooses to displace the endpoints selected in LC09 by a month or less”. That can only mean they actively looked for periods that gave them the desired results. In other words, Lindzen&Choi cooked the books.

  31. manacker Says:


    You opined:

    In other words, Lindzen&Choi cooked the books.

    That may be the way that Trenberth et al. saw it at the time, but every study has a time frame, and one can always find another time frame, over which the results of the study can be put into question.

    Your claim that L+C purposely cherry-picked a particular time frame in order to obtain a specific result is unsubstantiated.

    The fact that Spencer et al. found the same increase in outgoing SW + LW radiation with increased surface temperature also over the tropics based on CERES data leads me to believe that this observation is very likely correct and that Trenberth et al. were very likely wrong in their rebuttal.

    It appears to be most likely the result of an increase in low altitude clouds, which reflect incoming SW radiation, with increased surface temperature.

    Both Spencer et al. and L+C found this over the tropics. Norris found the same over mid-latitudes, as well, over a longer time frame.

    Most recently, Trenberth himself has conceded that clouds may be acting as a “natural thermostat”, thereby sending more energy back into outer space.

    Face it Marco, science moves on. IPCC AR4 WG1 was based on data from mid 2006 or earlier. A lot has happened since then, which refutes some of the claims made way back then.

    The old notion, based on computer simulations at the time and promulgated by IPCC in AR4, that clouds exert a strongly positive feedback with warming appears to be false, based on more recent data. To its credit, IPCC did concede at the time that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”, but even recent model studies using superparameterization for clouds have shown a strongly net negative feedback from clouds, instead of the strongly net positive feedback, as assumed by IPCC back in 2006.

    Time marches on, Marco, and so does scientific knowledge.


  32. manacker Says:


    FYI below are the links to the studies I cited:

    Spencer et al. (observed negative cloud feedback)

    Click to access Spencer_07GRL.pdf

    Norris (observed negative cloud feedback)

    Wyant et al. (negative cloud feedbacks based on model studies using superparameterization)


  33. manacker Says:


    For the link to the Trenberth statement on clouds and missing energy, see “The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat”:

    Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it’s probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.


  34. Marco Says:

    You are, once again, wrong, Max. Trenberth showed that in the study of Lindzen&Choi, in which absolutely no proper argument was given for the chosen intervals, even the tiniest of change in time interval had a HUGE effect on the result. Lindzen&Choi just happened to choose the intervals that gave the biggest negative feedback. Hmmmm….how surprising that someone, by accident, chooses such time intervals. This is regardless of any others finding a negative feedback. One that is, notably, considerably stronger than any of the papers you cite as evidence. Add to that various studies finding the opposite (you could try and read the realclimate entries, they even mention some…).

    And you’d be wise to find and read Trenberth’s actual paper on the supposed “missing heat”. We know how ‘well’ journalists are capable of describing what scientists say.

  35. manacker Says:


    Apparently you did not read the papers I cited.

    IPCC conceded, “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.”

    Following this, Spencer et al. observed a strong negative feedback from clouds over the tropics.

    Norris found the same, including the mid-latitudes, using a longer-term data base.

    Wyant et al. showed that computer models using superparameterization for clouds also show a negative feedback.

    You now accuse the journalist who interviewed Trenberth (when he mentioned that clouds acting as a “natural thermostat” may be an explanation for the “missing heat”) of lying.

    Can’t you see that you are simply shutting out data that goes against your preconceived notions (as you did with Motl’s 104 points of rebuttal to Cook)?


  36. Marco Says:

    And I’m not accusing the journalist of lying. Journalists are for the most part not capable (for a variety of reasons) to accurately describe what people said. Trenberth noted that cloud cover may indeed give a negative feedback, but that this generally is *short term*.

    And then there are such things as a recent paper that claims to have found positive feedback for low cover clouds:

    You are simply shutting out data that goes against your preconceived notions (as you did with Cook’s points by blindly accepting Motl’s claims as a “rebuttal”).

  37. manacker Says:


    Your reference to a positive feedback from low cloud cover over the Northeast Pacific concludes:

    The only model that passed this test simulated a reduction in cloud cover over much of the Pacific when greenhouse gases were increased, providing modeling evidence for a positive low-level cloud feedback.

    The observations by Spencer et al. over the entire tropics plus Norris, also including the mid-latitides, sounds a bit more comprehensive and convincing to me.

    Then you wrote:

    You are simply shutting out data that goes against your preconceived notions (as you did with Cook’s points by blindly accepting Motl’s claims as a “rebuttal”).

    We are on a dead-end street here.

    I could say exactly the same about you.

    Let’s break this off now, before it becomes too repetitive, Marco.


  38. Marco Says:

    @Max, indeed, let’s break this off. I deliberately mirrored your words, and you failed to notice that.

  39. Tony Says:

    Richard Patton, and Willis Eschenbach.

    The linkage with systems engineering and economics goes way back.

    I have been fortunate to have had early grounding in what is now avionics and then a career in the simulation industry, mostly in civil and military flight simulation but with excursions to nuclear plant simulation, etc. So from my perspective, attempts to produce a model of the climate are on a hiding to nothing.

    Anyway, my first job in simulation was with the company that produced the MONIAC simulator of the economy, and I think both of you may be amused by these links;

    PS One of the chaps who worked on them told me that it was amusing seeing the students try their hands as the Chancellor in operating the economy. But because the simulation was based on the Keynesian model, no matter what you did all the pink water eventually ended up overflowing into the bucket marked ‘inflation’, and sometimes all over the floor!

  40. Tim Curtin Says:

    Bart said (6th April) “Nobody expects CO2 to correlate strongly on the local scale. Take it to the open thread please”.

    Tim Curtin Says: OK, here are my last posts, to which evidently Bart cannot muster a reply:

    April 6, 2010 at 10:05
    Bart: at the risk of stating the obvious (to most here):

    1. the “global” is made up of the sum of the “local”. If Einstein’s E=MC^2 had been refuted at say Barrow, it was as he admitted invalid everywhere. Same with Newton. I now have some 50 sets of “local” temperature, natural forcings (eg solar, RH etc) and anthro “net forcings” per GISS across the USA. How big does the sample have to be before it becomes significant? So far at none of the 50 does CO2 (nor at the dozen or so Australian sites I have studied) play any role, in any shape or format, in explaining temperatures changes. Instead of just repeating yourself, which I also find boring, please show your own regression of all relevant data for your own home town that confirms your faith in the magic qualities of atmospheric CO2.
    2. Total forcings vs. only CO2 (at the risk of repeating myself). Which forcings have I left out? I always include surface solar radiation from the Sun (in situ, not up at TOA where it is the same everywhere at 1365 W/sq.m day and night 24/365 for the flat earth assumed by Trenberth & Kiehl, above which there is an apparently stationary sun), relative humidity, water vapour (H2O), windspeed, etc., plus the all-in Net anthro Forcing of GISS that I used in my last (it does not help your cause if you had actually read my results). Please tell me which “forcings” I omitted in last post and where I can find the data – NOAA/NCDC/NREL evidently cannot think of any in their data bases I use that I have not used here.

    (2) Tim Curtin Says:

    April 6, 2010 at 11:16
    Bart: Could you clarify in plain English why according to you the Laws of Physics re CO2 and AGW hold in some places, but not in others, e.g. New York, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Salt Lake City, Houston, Sacramento, LA, San Francisco, Fresno, San Juan (PR), Hilo (Hawaii), Barrow, Tasmania, Queensland et many al.?

    alles van die beste


    PS To repeat: Bart said (6th April) “Nobody (sic) expects CO2 to correlate strongly on the local scale.” If not why not? I thought the Laws of Physics were of universal applicability. In my politically active days in Southern Africa, hardline Dutch-origin South Africans against any form of allowing black South Africans a place in the sun called themselves “verkrampt” (hardline) – and that epitomises Bart, a hardliner in his undying belief that CO2 has a significant role in rising global temperature (such as it is, barely if at all outside measurement error bars since 1900 at only c0.7oC since then), despite ALL evidence to the contrary like what I produced at his Global Average Temperature Increase thread here.

  41. DLM Says:

    Well, I like your work Tim. Why don’t you enlist some help from the team? They can show you how to use the data you already have, to fill in the rest of the earth’s surface.

    Bart said (6th April) “Nobody (sic) expects CO2 to correlate strongly on the local scale.”

    But Tim expects to find some correlation, some damn place. Is Tim just crazy?

  42. Tony Says:

    Climatology is getting the reputation of meta-science. Why?

    When the Layman says ‘how can you show CO2=AGW when the amounts of both CO2 and Temperature are at the limits of measurement technology?

    ‘Ha, well, we use Statistics’

    But when a Statistician points out that the field is misusing statistics, the defence is;

    ‘but the Physics says ….. but BTW what does Unit Root mean?’

    But when a Physicist points out the field is using the term ‘feedback’ incorrectly, the response is;

    ‘ha, but it means what we want it to mean in OUR field.. but BTW what do you mean by ‘governor’

    And when a Meteorologist asks to see how Clouds are accounted for in thier modelling, the response is;

    ‘er… um….’

    Then when a Scientist asks to see the science behind these claims, which wil directly affect the world economy, the response is;

    ‘no, you can’t see my method, my data, or my results .. and we don’t care what you think, because, you see, it is ‘climatescience’ ….’

    Now as a layman, unless I can see some proper behavior of a higher standard, I will say that Climatology looks very much like a second-rate study by third raters, and so ranks below sociology and even below cosmetology in relative uselessness.

    The reason I feel that this needs saying, is that the practitioners in this field were and still are, complicit in the conspiracy to pull off a world-wide crime against the human spirit.

    And if they were at all honourable, they would leave the field, desist from this mendacity, and go and find something useful to do with their lives.

  43. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco, you wrote to me on that other thread:

    [1] Will you please not claim I just dismiss articles which have graphs from AR4, etc.? I dismissed articles from highly dubious sources that have a long history of making stuff up (as in the Daily Mail and The Times, and Jonathan Leake in particular).
    [2] I also dismiss your simplistic interpretation of some of the newspaper articles.

    [1] Sorry Marco, I assumed that you dismissed anything on the WUWT website just as many disciples at RC do…. For instance Doug Bostrom is particularly venomous and has vociferously declared his thanks when ever being given an opportunity at mention of WUWT; to castigate them!

    I’m pleased to be advised that you are not in the same league.
    OK, that’s a step forward. Will you now please respond properly to my comment here? (that has since been ruled OT by Bart; hence change of venue)

    [2] I’m truly puzzled by that. I thought I’d made it very clear that I have a high level of scepticism of media reports on AGW stuff. Please clarify what you mean by my alleged simplistic interpretations

  44. phinniethewoo Says:


    also intriguing:

    ‘These two linear rates should not compare with each other because the time scales are not the same’.

    Well done to the Chinese Government for spotting that. Too bad their valid comment was ignored by the IPCC.

    How can the Chinese government be “ignored” ?
    Sure there must have been a written explanation somewhere??

    If the IPCC ignores the Chinese government what chance do people like M&M etc have?

  45. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco, you wrote on the other thread:

    Moreover, please provide evidence that climate scientists call everyone who does not agree with their results a “denier”. Go ahead, cite the UEA e-mails. There’s a whopping two examples of the word “denier” in there. Or try realclimate, ‘loads’ of examples, too.

    Marco, a simple Google search for “AGW denier” gives 995,000 hits, but other permutations in wording would probably add to that. However, a high percentage of these would be relevant to politicians, journo’s, and alarmist bloggers.

    Recently, I was referred to a Tamino article, and the very first word was ‘denialists’, in the context of AGW sceptics. I skipped the rest of the article for that reason.
    To his credit, I don’t think that Gavin Schmidt himself uses it.
    But, of course James Hansen has used far worse terms than just ‘denier‘, and he has been described as the world’s greatest climate scientist. (or something like that).

  46. Marco Says:

    Thank you for admitting you were able to find only one example (Grant Foster), someone who isn’t even a climate scientist.

    And please point to evidence that Hansen calls everyone who does not agree with his results far worse than a “denier”. He’s used strong words for those who for political/ideological reasons use false claims to prevent any action to be taken.

  47. A C Osborn Says:

    Tim Curtin Says:
    April 6, 2010 at 13:09
    Tim please stop being so unfair, as warmists on here have said you and VS are using “unsuitable” statistics to show that there is no correlation between increased CO2 and Temperature increases.
    Don’t you know that you have to create a graph that shows both of them rising together a la IPCC and then just say that proves correlation.

    Oh I forgot from 2000 onwards it doesn’t show that does it?

    Oh Well, back to the drawing board IPCC!

  48. Kweenie Says:

    # Kweenie Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 19, 2010 at 14:28

    “The facts are that some failed forecasts have resulted in some people making rather large claims about the Met Office always being wrong. ”

    Actually MET itself claimed that long term predictions are very hard to make (so why bother?):

    “By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look.”
    “Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather.”

    By trying to support the Church of AGW with these kind of predictions, they firmly shot themselves in their feet.

    “Jones has had what he considers really nasty experiences with John Daly.”

    You mean these ones?

    Trying here. Not that I’m objecting moderation, but if the Tamino Trolls are able to spam the original thread, why am I the one being moderated?

    Bart is showing his real colors.

  49. Bob_FJ Says:

    Willis especially, & ALL,
    We should thank you Willis for your link to the late John Daly’s very interesting article from 2001 entitled “Quality Control, CRU Style” (From the other thread here).
    The quoted Email from Phil Jones, (or whomever drafted it), is rather surprising because the author apparently did not think of the possibility that John Daly might have a copy of the data files prior to the changes a few days later by CRU.
    Clearly, several statements in that Email contradicted the original data…. For example:

    “The correct values [per Jones Email] are in the files tavenh/tavensh/tavegl.dat on the ftp site and on the temperature data page”.

    “…Notice [per John Daly] Jones uses `are’ instead of `were’. By the time his email was issued, the offending files had indeed been changed. Those files are now listed on the data section of the CRU website as follows –
    tavegl.dat 13-Aug-2001 14:42 27k
    tavenh.dat 13-Aug-2001 14:42 27k
    tavesh.dat 13-Aug-2001 14:42 27k

    The fact that all three files have identical time stamps indicates that they were copied from another location at exactly the same time.
    Here are those same filenames as downloaded last Saturday (11th August) – tavenh.dat tavesh.dat. These are the hemispheric files and examination of both will show that the hemispheric averages for 2001 (as shown in Fig.4) was obtained by a simple `divide-by-12′ mistake, while the global average was done correctly with a `divide-by-6’…”

    A digital search for the following four words in John Daly’s article: False, Fraud, Lie, and Lying yielded zero hits. Instead, from the title to the end, he refers rather politely to poor ‘quality control’ at CRU.

    Marco & JvdLaan
    1} Have you carefully read the John Daly article?
    2} Do you think that John Daly was unfair in his analysis of these CRU errors and in the content of the Jones Email?
    3} Are you aware of any denial or retraction from Phil Jones to John Daly?

  50. Bob_FJ Says:


    [1] “Thank you [Bob_FJ] for admitting you were able to find only one example (Grant Foster), [2] someone who isn’t even a climate scientist…”

    I don’t know what you think you achieve by being repetitively so provocative and groundlessly assumptive etc, but do you realise that some readers here may not be impressed? You are doing a great job!

    [1] Well actually I did not go looking but made a couple of recollections for you that should not require me going to find links.
    [2] Putting aside your semantics, Tamino, [Grant Foster] certainly claims to be a “climate scientist” and is part of “the team”, as indicated in part by his participation in the Climategate Emails. BTW, is Mike Mann a “climatologist” or a dendrochronologist?

  51. Marco Says:

    I’m not here to impress people, so I could not care less whether I do or not. I also find it quite funny you go after me for being provocative when I just caught you making a sweeping provocative statement for which I asked proof. It’s the same with Willis going all ballistic on me for saying something nasty about John Daly, when he himself has had no problems screaming “fraud” when he didn’t understand where certain corrections came from.

    And could you please point to the place where Grant Foster calls himself a “climate scientist”? He has been involved in publications on climate-related issues, but mainly on the math. Dendrochronology is directly aimed at extracting climate-related information, not much else, so in that sense dendrochronology is directly climate-related. Of course, Mike Mann is not a dendrochronologist, but a paleoclimatologist. Dendrochronology is mostly a subfield of the latter.

    Regarding your questions
    1. A long time ago
    2. Yes and no, his reference to the satellites and rural stations is an attempt to put further doubt on the analysis. He also adds a strawman, claiming that “global warming advocates” refer to CRU rather than the satellites because the former have gone through a rigorous quality control. Wrong. People refered to CRU because it fit nicely with *other* reconstructions (GISTEMP), as well as a host of other observations of warming. Add his repeated claim that CRU is “disputed”, and we see the dog whistle in action
    3. What denial or what retraction?

  52. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco, Reur April 20, 2010 at 10:22, Reur first two rambling paragraphs:
    If you are semantically excluding various species of ‘climatologists’, ‘climate researchers’ and ‘professional meteorologists’ etc, from your definition of “climate scientist“, then you are probably correct in claiming that not many “climate scientists” have referred to sceptics as deniers. (or worse).

    In response to my question: 2} Do you think that John Daly was unfair in his analysis of these CRU errors and in the content of the Jones Email? You wrote:

    2. Yes and no, his reference to the satellites and rural stations is an attempt to put further doubt on the analysis. He also adds a strawman, claiming that “global warming advocates” refer to CRU rather than the satellites because the former have gone through a rigorous quality control. Wrong. People refered to CRU because it fit nicely with *other* reconstructions (GISTEMP), as well as a host of other observations of warming. Add his repeated claim that CRU is “disputed”, and we see the dog whistle in action

    So that would be largely WRT the following extract from the John Daly article?

    We have been repeatedly told by global warming advocates that the `surface record’ compiled by CRU should be believed in preference to the satellite record because of rigorous and scientific quality control exercised by CRU. We now see that this assumption is quite unjustified as the two errors in data handling not only involved the final product of thousands of individual calculations, but were so visible as to make one wonder how such a large staff could not see it.
    Clearly, quality control at CRU is seriously lacking. If such obvious errors can go uncorrected for two weeks or more, what of the errors that might occur earlier in the data processing chain?

    Please note this simple and visually obvious error was reported apparently in quick time by three different sources, but not noticed by CRU, and that John Daly was concerned about the quality control at CRU. (in 2001)

    In response to my question: 3} Are you aware of any denial or retraction from Phil Jones to John Daly?, I guess you misunderstood the question, but anyway, it turns out that there was a related Email exchange initiated by Phil Jones. My thanks to Kweenie below for citing it. Interesting that you claim to have carefully read the John Daly article of 15 Aug “A long time ago” but not his update article of 18 Aug: Quality Control — CRU Style — Update

    Thanks for your comment and the link to the Email exchange update. Sorry….. I did not check that link before!

  53. Kweenie Says:

    # Kweenie Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 20, 2010 at 17:07

    “Thank you for admitting you were able to find only one example (Grant Foster), someone who isn’t even a climate scientist.”

    Well, here’s one from Phil Jones (

    OK so far for “denier” and climate scientists, how about “moron” or “fraud”? (Hint: search on the same website)

  54. Marco Says:

    Good, we finally get to the point: you claimed climate scientists referred to everyone who disagreed as “deniers”. They don’t. Neither does Phil Jones in the e-mail Kweenie quotes. Several do refer to the cheering crowd, that invariably shows up whenever something is not to their liking, as “deniers”. They are. A factual evaluation of their mode of action: they deny the vast majority of literature that points to A, cry foul with even the tiniest of perceived error, and jubilantly refer to literature that may be constructed as being supportive of the diametrically opposed position (which can be anything from no warming via only natural forcing to no danger).

    And yes, my comments are partly related to the paragraph you cite: John Daly sets up a strawman (“use CRU because it is so thoroughly quality controlled”) and then attacks a minor error that was rapidly corrected to proclaim we should not use CRU, but the satellites instead. Notably, a satellite product where the primary people involved made fundamental errors in the analysis in the start (an embarrassing minus sign being just one), and which only very recently has been partly corrected for a seasonal signal (which does not show up in the RSS product). Now, we don’t hear John Daly mention the initial extremely faulty data analysis by Christy and Spencer at all, but he does make a lot of noise over a mistake that was rapidly corrected after being informed.

  55. Marco Says:

    Very good, a reference to “denier”. Now, please show me Phil Jones referred to anyone not in agreement with his results. Can’t? Gee.

  56. manacker Says:


    Hey, who is “denying” that the surface temp record (HadCRUT) has shown “global cooling” after 2000 (despite the fact that the record shows just that)?

    Who is “denying” that the surface has shown warming at a higher rate than the troposphere, even though GH theory tells us the opposite should be true?

    And who is “denying” that the upper ocean has cooled since more accurate Argo measurements were installed in 2003?

    And what about those that are “denying” that there was a historically (and scientifically) well-established warmer period than today called the “Medieval Warm Period”, followed by a cooler period, called the “Little Ice Age”?

    Are you a “denier”, Marco?


  57. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco Reur April 21, 2010 at 13:33
    Your astonishing semantics and rambling interpretations are getting a bit monotonous, and are not worthy of individual comment.
    Just some quick clarifications;
    a) The issue was that there was an obvious visual error in CRU’s graph in two different products that escaped their “quality control”. (also in the data calculations)
    b) John Daly did NOT recommend using UAH or RSS instead of HADCRUT as you claim. (and anyway satellites don’t go back to 1850 do they?)
    c) The “explanatory” Email from Phil Jones was strongly and severally contradicted by the data files that John Daly archived, prior to the corrections. However, John Daly was a perfect gentleman and confined his comments to the quality control issues. (without using words like ‘fraud’ or ‘lie’)

    Please see this

  58. Bill S Says:

    Just discovered your site recently–I like the overall tone better than most other sites. I am still undecided and trying to learn the physics–I have no chance with the math. :)

    Anyway, I have been wondering about something for a while regarding the polar regions, surface radiation, and the CO2 absorption spectrum. I believe CO2 absorbs mostly in the 12-18 micron range, with a few peaks elsewhere that are not very relevant. The earth emits longwave radiation according to its temperature, with 100F/38C areas emitting around 9 microns and progressing to 12 microns as the temperature gets down around -10F/-22C. So if the temperature of the surface has to be at least -10F or so for the LW radiation to be absorbed by CO2, I am guessing that it’s only around 10-15% of the total surface area of the earth at any given time (polar regions plus some additional seasonal area in the winters). At that extent, how can the CO2 we now have reflect enough radiation to account for the temperature rise worldwide?

    Thanks in advance for any answers.

  59. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco, further my April 22, 2010 at 00:00
    I should add a fourth clarification:

    d) You have complained that Phil Jones has had a nasty experience with the late John Daly. (or words to that effect). Well yes, that is sensibly true, but as far as I can see the John Daly article merely revealed some deficiencies in the CRU processes, with courtesy and devoid of any nastiness.

    BTW, John Daly died in 2004, long before the Climategate exposure, and perhaps (for example) you should check this out.

  60. Bob_FJ Says:

    Bill S,
    Putting aside that the Earth’s surface is not a black body, this figure of Planck curves for a range of temperatures shows that there is some infra red (long-wave EMR) emitted from hot bodies. It becomes more complicated with a grey body, (like the Earth) but it gives some idea. However I don’t think the figure above is accurately shaped or scaled, and a better idea of shape is given here.
    (this is all I could find with a quick Google).

    The complication is better understood at the quantum level where contrary to intuition, individual molecules have a constantly changing wide distribution of kinetic energy levels which sort-of means a wide range of “molecular temperatures” or emission frequencies..
    Thus, upwelling EMR in the most effective CO2 absorption range is not confined to the cold regions, but thinking about it, it would be very interesting to try and work it out globally….. if only it were not so nightmarishly complicated!

  61. Marco Says:

    Max, I’m not denying that a linear trend line for 2001-2009 for HADCRUT gives a negative slope. However, take 2000-2009 and you already have a positive slope. In other words, I am not the person who makes claims about trends looking at too short periods to distinguish trends.

    I AM denying that there is a supposed absence of faster warming in the troposphere. It’s there:
    Which of course has led to some handwaving “you can’t use wind measurements, you can’t!” And asked why…well…”you just can’t” is the answer I get.

    I am also denying that the ocean has cooled. See:

    Oh, and paleoclimatologists overwhelmingly agree that there is NO EVIDENCE that the temperatures were higher during the MWP and much lower during the LIA. Heterogeneously spaced, both in geographically and in time, yes, some areas have been warmer than they are today. Stop the strawman attacks, Max.

  62. Marco Says:

    I guess you don’t understand the simple concept of creating a strawman, attack it, and then expect others to just roll over.
    Daly created a strawman by a) claiming that HADCRUT was disputed (by whom, and why? Well, by him! Because he just did not want to believe it), and b) that AGw proponents pointed to HADCRUT because it was so much quality controlled. He provides no evidence for that claim, he just claims it is so. And thus he attacks the quality control, to thereby claim it *should* be disputed (back to point a).
    I don’t consider this very gentlemanly.

    Regarding the satellites, please do read what he writes. You can start here:
    (this was written before major errors were found in the satellite record).
    He clearly says we should use the satellites and not trust the land-based record.
    In the piece about CRU Daly claims
    “The satellite recording system has been subject to a number of searching and rigorous reviews by independent scientists, the result of which was the finding of only minor technical errors caused by satellite changeovers and orbital drift, none of which altered the record significantly.” Wrong. In fact, the whole RSS project came about because Wentz et al considered there were major flaws in the UAH product. And there were some major issues, as we now know.

    Finally, remember also that we don’t even know whether we have seen all e-mails. We most likely have not, as Ed Cook also mentions to have been bugged by John Daly before.

  63. manacker Says:


    If you are interested I can provide links to around twenty studies from all over the world using different techniques, which show that the MWP was slightly warmer than today. These are not “strawmen”, Marco, simply independent studies made by scientists. And, Marco, you can be sure that the 80 or so paleoclimatologists who made these studies do not agree with your “strawman” that

    paleoclimatologists overwhelmingly agree that there is NO EVIDENCE that the temperatures were higher during the MWP and much lower during the LIA

    This is no surprise actually, Marco; there are many historical records from different parts of the civilized world at the time that point out the same.

    The whole idea that our climate may have been essentially constant until we started emitting CO2 was created by the Mann fiasco.

    Surely, you don’t place any credence in the comprehensively discredited Mann et al. “hockey stick” study or the many “spaghetti copy hockey sticks” that popped up like mushrooms after a summer rain once the Mann study had been laid to rest as a piece of junk science?

    To your second point: the tropospheric record shows a slower rate of warming than the surface record. (Is this what you mean by a “supposed absence of faster warming in the troposphere”?)

    To measure temperature it is always best to measure temperature (rather than come up with some convoluted other metric as a proxy for temperature, when the temperature measurement does not yield the desired result). And the temperature measurement shows that the troposphere has warmed more slowly than the surface, since satellite measurements started in 1979. Period.

    After 2000 it also shows a slightly higher rate of cooling than the surface record.

    Argo measurements have indeed showed upper ocean cooling since 2003, when they replaced the less accurate expendable devices. If you wish, I can post you the appropriate links.

    Is the cooling since 2000 (in the atmosphere at both the surface and troposphere) and 2003 (in the upper ocean) the start of a new long-term trend, or just a “blip”?

    Who knows?

    You do not. I do not. IPCC does not. This “blip” just raises some interesting questions on where the supposed “missing energy” is going.

    Kevin Trenberth has indicated in an interview that it may be going out into “outer space”, with clouds acting as a “natural thermostat”.

    But even Trenberth does not really know the answer to this dilemma.


  64. Marco Says:

    Max, I know of all those studies, and I always ‘wondered’ why no one dared to make a chronology of those. The reason is, of course, that in many cases high temperatures in place A are cancelled out by low temperatures elsewhere. There’s, for example, a funny record of Antarctica showing one side to be comparately warm, and the other side comparatively cold. Other records miss the last 50-100 years, thus giving a false picture. Etc. etc. etc. But since it contradicts something you think is enormously important for the AGw theory, you jump on it as some kind of ultimate proof. So far all reconstructions, with only one exception, all show the same thing: MWP globally not so warm as present, LIA globally a bit colder, but not so much. Oh, and we’ve moved far, far, along from MBH98 already. Your pre-occupation with that paper is laughable.

    Then the tropospheric warming: it’s actually only around the tropics where more warming is expected. And as expected I already see the handwaving of “you can’t use wind shear”, and at the same time claiming satellites measure temperature directly. Sorry, Max, but temperature is calculated from radiances. Remember how UAH got it wrong for such a long time? Amongst others mistakes in the calculations from radiance to temperature…

    I don’t know how often I need to point out the link to skepticalscience with a nice reference to Leuliette 2009, showing that there simply were big issues with the early Argo data, in particular pre-2004. In fact, Willis already previously found that those oh-so-accurate Argo buoys had some biases that took some major rethinking to get corrected. skepticalscience also points to corroborating evidence from other, independent study that at the very least does not support cooling (Cavenaze 2009).

    New stuff is always interesting, but practical experience shows they need significant scrutiny before they are just labeled as “better”. Argo can, at this moment, only show better coverage than prior methods.

  65. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco Reur April 23, 2010 at 12:29
    If I can stifle a yawn:

    Daly created a strawman by a) claiming that HADCRUT was disputed (by whom, and why? Well, by him! Because he just did not want to believe it), and b) that AGw proponents pointed to HADCRUT because it was so much quality controlled. He provides no evidence for that claim, he just claims it is so. And thus he attacks the quality control, to thereby claim it *should* be disputed (back to point a).
    I don’t consider this very gentlemanly.

    Reur point a): Uh? Out of curiosity, I’ve read through the John Daly article again and cannot find any such claim.
    Reur point b): you mean this extract maybe?:

    We have been repeatedly told by global warming advocates that the `surface record’ compiled by CRU should be believed in preference to the satellite record because of rigorous and scientific quality control exercised by CRU. We now see that this assumption is quite unjustified as the two errors in data handling not only involved the final product of thousands of individual calculations, but were so visible as to make one wonder how such a large staff could not see it.
    Clearly, quality control at CRU is seriously lacking. If such obvious errors can go uncorrected for two weeks or more, what of the errors that might occur earlier in the data processing chain?

    I don’t know why you need proof in the opening remark, but isn’t that tantamount to what you yourself have implied? It is indisputable that the article discusses a visibly obvious error in the graphs which CRU failed to notice. (it being different and even worse in the secondary presentation in the ‘climate monitor’) Also, the Phil Jones explanatory Email, (if he wrote it), made statements which were wrong when compared with the original data files archived by John Daly. And, he was polite in response and confined his conclusions to the quality control issues.
    Finally, unless you can point me to where the claim in a) is, I fail to see how you can find a circular argument.
    I don’t have time to review your link and comments on CRU versus satellites, but obviously the chronology is important, and you did admit in part:
    “…(this was written before major errors were found in the satellite record)…”
    I’ll see if I can find the energy to look at it maybe this evening. (Ha capito?)

  66. manacker Says:



    The satellite data don’t confirm the theory that it should be warming more rapidly in the troposphere than at the surface (so the readings must be wrong, along with the balloon readings – let’s do some “wind shear” studies to validate our theory).

    Argo data show upper ocean cooling since 2003 while the earlier unreliable XBT devices introduced a warming bias and the theory says it should be warming (must be errors in the Argo readings).

    Thermometers (even those next to AC exhausts) tell us it has cooled after 2000, despite record CO2 increase (must be something wrong with the thermometers – maybe it’s a “cooling bias” introduced by the AC exhausts).

    Thermometers all over the world show an urban heating bias (the thermometers must be wrong, so let’s do a “calm night – windy night” reconstruction to validate the theory).

    Studies from all over the world, using several different paleo-climate methodologies, show us that it was warmer than today during the MWP and cooler during the LIA (let’s ignore all these and hang our hat on one bristlecone pine study, that has since been comprehensively discredited – and some copies; besides, it may have been cooler somewhere other than where all these studies were made).

    Do you see a trend here?


  67. manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    skepticalscience also points to corroborating evidence from other, independent study that at the very least does not support cooling (Cavenaze 2009)

    You cannot be serious about using sea level data from satellite altimetry to “correct” Argo temperature measurements (and show apparent warming, when Argo shows cooling, even if Willis himself acknowledges this cooling but calls it “just a speed bump”).

    The sea level readings using satellite altimetry are notoriously inaccurate (as Carl Wunsch pointed out).

    But then, even the NOAA scientists making these measurements have pointed this out as well.

    Click to access EGU04-J-05276.pdf

    However, every few years we learn about mishaps or drifts in the altimeter instruments, errors in the data processing or instabilities in the ancillary data that result in rates of change that easily exceed the formal error estimate, if not the rate estimate itself.

    Forget the Cazenave study: this is another example of an inaccurate “proxy” being used when the measured data do not confirm the theory.


  68. Marco Says:

    Max, I see yet another handwave from your side:
    “I don’t believe the wind shear stuff, so it’s not true”. Why don’t you publish a comment as to why this is wrong?

    Same goes for the Argo vs satellite stuff. You are aware that Argo was not complete until 2005? That several issues have been found with its data? You question the satellites, and blindly accept a very new analysis tool that has ALSO been found to contain many problems. That’s confirmation bias.

  69. Marco Says:


    Perhaps YOU can find evidence that “global warming advocates [have repeatedly stated] that the `surface record’ compiled by CRU should be believed in preference to the satellite record because of rigorous and scientific quality control exercised by CRU”, as John Daly claims.

    And yes, John Daly could not have the hindsight that the satellite record was found so wrong a few years later. But I cannot but wonder what he would have said when it WAS found to be so wrong. You will see that he praised the satellite record to no end.

  70. manacker Says:


    You are truly wasting your breath with this silliness.

    Argo (a major improvement over the old system) surprised everyone (including Josh Willis), by showing cooling of the upper ocean, thereby raising serious questions concertning Hansen’s “hidden in the pipeline” postulation. Willis danced around the observed data a bit, but finally admitted that there was an observed “speed bump” in upper ocean warming (the “scientific” way to say that is was actually cooling).

    So to counter this embarrassing observation, Cazenave comes out with a “well sea level is rising, so the ocean must be warming no matter what the fancy Argo devices tell us”.

    This is silly enough, but when one realizes how grossly inaccurate the satellite altimetry readings of sea level really are, it becomes downright absurd.

    And you fall for this?

    How about buying a bridge from me – I can give you a great deal on one in Brooklyn?


  71. manacker Says:


    “Wind shear” is another red herring.

    Observed temperatures do not match the “theory” (so they obviously must be wrong, right?

    So let’s set up a “proxy” – hey, how about wind shear?

    Let me give you a tip, Marco.

    If you want to measure temperature, measure temperature.

    Do not do dumb stuff like measuring “wind shear” as a proxy or even sillier stuff like measuring “calm night / windy night” temperatures to disprove UHI distortion.


  72. Bob_FJ Says:

    Do you have anything substantive to say in response to my comment above?
    For instance, I notice that you ignored my:
    Finally, unless you can point me to where the claim in a) is, [quoted below] I fail to see how you can find a circular argument.
    Does that mean that you agree?

    “Daly created a strawman by a) claiming that HADCRUT was disputed (by whom, and why? Well, by him! Because he just did not want to believe it)…”

    Incidentally, I’ve yet to see any evidence for your claim of nastiness emanating from John Daly. (but I agree that Phil Jones would find it very unpleasant to have certain things exposed.)

    You should apologise to the memory of the late John Daly

  73. Bob_FJ Says:

    I’ve now had a better look at the second half of your penultimate comment above, concerning what you regard as John Daly’s “satellite sins”.
    Thank you for the link to his ten-year-old article, which I found to be very interesting and logical WRT contemporary knowledge back then.

    ALL, it’s a good read! (taken rationally)

    Marco, I can’t see why you object to it, but anyway, let’s go on to your latest related comment:

    “…And yes, John Daly could not have the [fore]sight that the satellite record was found so wrong a few years later. But I cannot but wonder what he would have said when it WAS found to be so wrong. You will see that he praised the satellite record to no end.”

    Let’s read that again: “…But I cannot but wonder what he would have said when it WAS found to be so wrong…”
    I guess you assume that he would have said something nasty eh? And did not balloons contemporaneously agree quite well with the MSU satellites, ten years ago?

    Any chance you could provide a few more links to some of your bold assertions? For instance, in your first comment, you mentioned: “…Wentz et al considered there were major flaws…” I did a quick Google but was put-off time-wise because Wentz et al have been quite prolific.

  74. Marco Says:


    Simple challenge, really. Considering all your dismissal of the methods in the literature, why don’t you publish that criticism? Why is it that you are willing to do all this handwaving, but not put in the evidence into the literature, that you supposedly hold, that those methods are wrong?

  75. Marco Says:


    I would actually expect John Daly NOT to say anything nasty about the satellites, considering his many years of support for the latter. Did weather balloons support the satellite measurements? Not really.

    Regarding Wentz et al: why do you think they did their own analysis?

    And I have no intention to apologise to the memory of John Daly. I consider his tireless work to cast doubt on the work of certain climate scientists a disservice to this world.

  76. manacker Says:


    No one says that any methods are “wrong”.

    Just that it is stupid to use proxies when real data are readily available.

    And that it borders on dishonesty to try to use proxies to invalidate real data that do not match the desired result.

    And (as in the case of sea level to invalidate the inconvenient observed Argo cooling) it is absurd to use a totally inaccurate proxy method to invalidate a real measurement.

    That’s all.


  77. Bob_FJ Says:

    Bill S, Reur enquiry above concerning the effect of temperature on CO2 absorption bands, Marco has cited this John Daly article which also discusses it.

    Perhaps I should add the following considerations without putting any magnitude to it:
    * Although the most responsive band widths shift position in the Planck curve according to T, the total emission increases with the fourth power of T.
    * As T increases, then nominally so too does water vapour which of course is more powerful and wider in spectrum than CO2.
    Far more important I think is that solar energy is very much less up there, and even at 45 degrees latitude it is nominally 41% less per unit area at year average. So why does not Milan at 45 degrees or London at 51 degrees get really really cold with such a massive reduction of energy from the sun? Well, put simply, mostly because of heat transfer from the low latitudes from airflow and ocean currents.
    It makes me smile when I hear of alarming albedo feedback forcing when perennial ice and snow melts, despite that solar energy is massively lower in those regions. Also, the albedo of water at high latitudes approaches that of old snow because of low solar zenith reflection. (check it out at sunset over water)
    Oh, and also, whilst there may be some offset from scattering, not only is there a reduction of solar energy per unit area, but it has a much longer path through the atmosphere.

  78. Bob_FJ Says:

    Bill S
    Sorrry, the second link above should be:

  79. Bob_FJ Says:

    Marco Reur April 26, 2010 at 09:47

    [1] I would actually expect John Daly NOT to say anything nasty about the satellites, considering his many years of support for the latter.
    [2] Did weather balloons support the satellite measurements? Not really.
    [3] Regarding Wentz et al: why do you think they did their own analysis?
    [4] And I have no intention to apologise to the memory of John Daly.
    [5] I consider his tireless work to cast doubt on the work of certain climate scientists a disservice to this world.

    [1] But, did John Daly say anything nasty about climate scientists in that article? Also, what do you think was bad about his logical discussion on contemporaneous knowledge of a divergence between surface and satellite records? (that’s ten years ago ….. I think ~four years before his death)

    [2] “Not really“? …..Pass…..yawn

    [3] Perche Marco? Non so.
    Maybe because some of the rational considerations worked through by John Daly were considered worth investigating and funding? BTW, which Wentz et al study are you talking about? …. I did ask!

    [4] You should apologise to John Daly for accusing him of nastiness, being ungentlemanly, using strawman circular arguments and so-on, in your various rants. There is no evidence of that in the two articles you cited as demonstrating such sinfulness. (here’s the other article)

    [5] Have you heard that scepticism is a healthy process in science? Do you refuse to read the GRL journal because it sometimes publishes papers that run contrary to “the consensus”? (much to the chagrin and the proposed editorial “corrective” action plans discussed by some scientist’s in the Climategate revelations)

  80. manacker Says:


    Let’s do a bit of “crystal ball” work, as IPCC does.

    Let’s assume that the “positive feedback” assumptions of IPCC are really correct and that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is REALLY 3.2°C±1.3°C (as opposed to barely 1°C without any assumed feedbacks.

    As we both know, there are a lot of reasons to doubt whether this is really the case, but let’s ignore these for now.

    Pre-industrial (1750) atmospheric CO2 levels are estimated by IPCC to have been 280 ppmv, and today (2010) we are at 390 ppmv, as measured at Mauna Loa. The modern HadCRUT record started in 1850, when CO2 was at an estimated 285 ppmv

    So we have increased by 390/285 or 37%, and using the exaggerated IPCC feedback assumption (average value), we should have seen a temperature increase of 1.4°C since 1850.

    But wait! We only saw half of that = 0.7°C.

    And several solar studies tell us that half of this warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years), leaving only 0.35°C warming from CO2 and all other factors since 1850.

    This is only one-fourth of the “predicted value” using the IPCC estimates! Hmmm… Something is fishy here. (Let’s don’t make ourselves look foolish by bringing up a “hidden in the pipeline” postulation here to try to rationalize this discrepancy).

    But let’s for a moment ignore this discrepancy and blindly accept that the IPCC estimates on 2xCO2 climate sensitivity (with all the exaggerated feedback assumptions) are correct.

    Over the past 5 years atmospheric CO2 has increased by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.4%. This is the same CAGR we have seen for the past 50 years.

    IPCC has published several model-based “scenarios” and “storylines” to come up with temperature forecasts for the distant future.

    The lowest of these (B1) assumes that CO2 will increase at a CAGR of 0.48% (somewhat higher than the recent or longer-term past record, but still not unreasonable).

    The two highest scenarios (A2 and A1F1) assume atmospheric CO2 levels that are not possible to ever reach (1280 and 1580 ppmv, respectively), as they exceed the total amount of carbon contained in all the optimistically estimated fossil fuel reserves on our planet, so they can be discarded as “physically impossible” (how IPCC could make such an obvious error is hard to imagine).

    The middle three scenarios (A1T, B2 and A1B) assume CO2 CAGR of 0.65, 0.80 and 0.86%, respectively. With the ever-growing scarcity of petroleum products and the many actions directed at replacing fossil fuels selectively, it is not reasonable to assume that we will suddenly see a sharp increase in the CAGR of CO2 emissions (or atmospheric concentration) beyond what we have seen over the past 5 or 50 years. In other words, these “scenarios” are also unrealistic and can be discarded.

    So we are left with scenario B1.

    This scenario (using the exaggerated IPCC climate sensitivity, but fortunately not falling into the trap of deferring any “delayed warming due to energy still hidden in the pipeline”) tells us that temperature in year 2100 will be 1.1 to 2.9°C higher than the 1980-1999 average, or 0.8 to 2.6°C higher than the 2009 temperature, with an average increase of 1.2°C over today.


    Even with all these exaggerated assumptions, this does not seem like anything to be concerned about. [Besides, if we went from the actual past observation, even this prediction is too high by a factor of 2 to 4.]

    And when we consider that the first decade of the 21st century has actually cooled rather than warmed, despite record increase of CO2, it makes the IPCC predictions look even sillier.

    What do you think, Bart?

    Do you seriously believe that the higher IPCC predictions have any merit whatsoever? Or do you believe, as I do, that they are basically exaggerated BS, for the reasons I outlined above?

    Just curious if you have an opinion on this.


  81. manacker Says:


    Just to follow up on the IPCC temperature projections, we have established on the other thread that the net feedback from clouds is most likely strongly negative, based on recent physical observations plus new improved model studies using superparameterization.

    These tells us that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is most likely between 1.0 and 1.5C.

    The top end of the range also happens to be the bottom end of the assumed IPCC range in AR4 (prior to these new studies).

    We can then calculate the estimated temperature increase from today until 2100 as follows:

    Increase using 2xCO2 CS of 1.5 to 4.5C (previous calculation) = 0.8 to 2.6C

    Increase using 2xCO2 CS of 1.0 to 1.5C (revised cloud feedback) = 0.6 to 0.8C

    This is about the same warming we have actually seen since 1850 and is REALLY nothing to worry about, Bart.

    You may not wish to comment on all this, but it seems very pertinent to the on-going debate surrounding AGW impacts and what (if anything) we should try to do about them, so it fits on this thread.


  82. Bart Says:

    Max wrote:

    we have established …

    Who are you kidding?

  83. manacker Says:


    You ask

    Who are you kidding?


    The superparameterization study shows a strongly negative net feedback from clouds, as do the physical observations of Spencer et al.

    Whether this means that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is 1.0 or 1.5C is another story, but at least it’s pretty clear that it is not much over 1.5C, and certainly not 4.5C (upper limit of IPCC AR4 estimate including strongly positive cloud feedback assumption).

    New data come in and old assumptions are invalidated. That’s the way it goes, Bart.

    But, tell me, what do you think the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity should be, based on latest knowledge about cloud feedbacks?


  84. Harry Says:


    Can you invent more nonsensical terms? What a bull****

  85. manacker Says:


    Read this and (if you are intelligent enough) you’ll learn something new.


  86. manacker Says:


    You questioned the relevance of superparameterization for providing improved climate modeling for cloud feedbacks.

    The quote below is from a Stephens et al. study prior to the development of the superparameterization technique for determining cloud feedbacks:

    Click to access Stephens_JClim_2005.pdf

    Despite the complexity of the cloud feedback problem, it is argued that the basis for understanding such feedbacks, in part, lies in developing a clearer understanding of the association between atmospheric circulation regimes and the cloudiness that characterizes these “weather” regimes. One of the factors that has limited progress on the topic specifically concerns the problem of the parameterization of cloud processes in global models and the limited evaluation of these representations.
    While GCM climate and NWP models represent the most complete description of all the interactions between the processes that establish the main cloud feedbacks, the weak link in the use of these models lies in the cloud parameterization imbedded in them. Aspects of these parameterizations remain worrisome containing levels of empiricism and assumptions that are hard to evaluate with current global observations.
    For example, the relationship between convection, cirrus anvil clouds, and SST is a recurring theme in many feedback hypotheses (section 5) yet the connections between convection and cirrus in parameterization schemes is highly uncertain, in many cases empirical, and difficult to evaluate with observations. This is one area where observations are needed to evaluate cloud parameterization processes and feedbacks derived from these processes.

    Doesn’t sound like bull**** to me, Harry.

    And these are the techniques that enabled modelers to more accurately determine that the net feedback from clouds is negative, rather than strongly positive, as assumed by all the more primitive models cited by IPCC.


  87. JvdLaan Says:

    Congratulations Max, you turned almost every thread here into a Manacker Monologue. Makes you wonder, don’t you think?

  88. manacker Says:


    Try saying something intelligent.


  89. JvdLaan Says:

    I will, but are you willing too?

  90. manacker Says:


    No problem.


  91. Bob_FJ Says:

    Over at RealClimate, I’ve had three purely technical on-topic enquiries that were deleted in moderation without any footprint or explanation. The thread was: “What can we learn from the last millennium?”
    Screen copies from that thread follow.
    Can anyone offer an opinion as to why they were deleted?

    [1] BobFJ says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    23 May 2010 at 8:04 PM
    I’ve joined the discussion late, but upon a quick look through, I notice that Mike and others here have stressed that whilst the MWP/MCA is said to exhibit regional warm and cold periods, the net claim is that the MWP was flat.
    However, this calls into question any millennial proxy study based on tree rings, since as I understand it, the regions in which MOST trees were sampled were in the high latitudes and/or altitudes in the NH. (where presumably it is assumed that snow cover and a few other things were constant over the millennia)
    It could hardly be more regional than that, like not many people live there, so if regionality is important and that issue is not resolved, what is the point in drawing any conclusions from it?

    [2] BobFJ says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    24 May 2010 at 8:04 PM
    [Same text as above]

    [3] BobFJ says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    28 May 2010 at 5:22 PM
    There were comments earlier that the MWP/MCA exhibits regional warm and cold periods, and the consequence was that the so-called MWP was flat.
    However, as I understand it, the regions in which most trees have been proxy-sampled were in the high latitudes and/or altitudes in the NH.
    If this is so, why does this not pose a regionality issue of its own?

  92. Bart Says:


    Your post has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

  93. Bart Says:

    Whoops, didn’t see that this was the open thread. Perfectly fine to comment here of course.

    The sensitivities re the hockeystick are quite high, so they’re bound to be more strict on that. I guess that a claim that Mike found/wanted the whole 900 years to be more or less flat was not appreciated. That view has evolved over time; see his newer papers.

  94. Bob_FJ Says:

    Bart, thanks for your comment,
    Well actually, I was not just referring to MBH99, but also to a later collection of other reconstructions (13 or so?) that rely entirely or mostly on proxy tree-ring data. There is no question that these depict predominantly very regional data in unpopulated higher latitudes and/or higher altitudes in the NH. Yet, at the same time, much other evidence of the MWP is dismissed by “the consensus” as being regionally all out of phase with the other regions, thus resulting in nil net anomalies. Ho hum!

    Yes, deletion of my comments without comment by RC clearly showed that I touched a raw nerve.

    Yet, I did not even mention that tree ring proxies can only apply when the trees are actually growing, which excludes winter and summer nighttime, I do believe. On the other hand, global average temperatures used to assess global warming since 1850/1880 include diurnal and all-season averages, not to mention some 71% of the earth’s surface covered by oceans, and also the not insignificant SH!

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  96. climatesight Says:

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