Monday, March 18, 2013

Feptic Falsehoods About "Global Warming"

An interview of renowned climate science expert Anthony Joules-per-second by OilPrice.com goes astray right from the very start:
Oilprice.com: We see a lot of confusion among readers over the terminology here. What is the difference between “Climate Change” and “Global Warming”? Which is the more loaded term, and why?

Anthony Watts: “Global warming” suggests a steady linear increase in temperature, but since that isn’t happening, proponents have shifted to the more universal term “climate change,” which can be liberally applied to just about anything observable in the atmosphere.
In fact, the UNFCCC dates from 1992, and was never called the "United Nations Framework Convention on Global Warming."

Likewise, the IPCC has never gone by the name "International Panel on Global Warming."

The 1965 report to the Johnson Administration, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” has a chapter titled "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" that reads (pg 113)
"The possibility of climatic change resulting from changes in the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide was independently proposed by the American geologist T.C. Chamberlain (1999) and the Swedish chemist S. Arrhenius (1903), at the beginning of this century." [Emphasis mine]
(American-centric, they overlooked Arrhenius's 1896 paper, didn't they?)

I've never heard a (real) scientist say AGW implies a steady linear increase in temperature, for a good reason: it's ridiculous. But it's a convenient meme for fake skeptics ("feptics?") -- as long as there is some downward jog in surface temperatures they can cry "foul" and claim it means something.

Skeptical Science has a much longer deconstruction of this interview, which, based on its first sentence, you should not waste your valuable time reading.

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Speaking of short-term trends, a recent paper in Nature Geosciences finds little change in global radiative forcing from aerosols (at least for clear-sky conditions):
Aerosols both scatter and absorb incoming solar radiation, with consequences for the energy balance of the atmosphere. Unlike greenhouse gases, atmospheric aerosols are distributed non-uniformly around the Earth. Therefore, regional shifts in aerosol abundance could alter radiative forcing of the climate. Here, I use multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) satellite data and the Atmospheric and Environmental Research radiative transfer model1 to assess the radiative effect of the spatial redistribution of aerosols over the past decade. Unexpectedly, the radiative transfer model shows that the movement of aerosols from high latitudes towards the Equator, as might happen if pollution shifts from Europe to southeast Asia, has little effect on clear-sky radiative forcing. Shorter slant paths and smaller upscatter fractions near the Equator compensate for more total sunlight there. Overall, there has been an almost exact cancellation in the clear-sky radiative forcing from aerosol increases and decreases in different parts of the world, whereas MISR should have been able to easily detect a change of 0.1 W m−2 per decade due to changing patterns. Long-term changes in global mean aerosol optical depth or indirect aerosol forcing of clouds are difficult to measure from satellites. However, the satellite data show that the regional redistribution of aerosols had little direct net effect on global average clear-sky radiative forcing from 2000 to 2012.
That is to say, you can't blame the "haitus" on China.

The 15-year haitus (which isn't real anyway) isn't going to last much longer, because soon the 1997-98 El Nino is going to fall out the back of the 15-year window, and that will pull down the back end of the linear regression line and quickly make the slopes less negative/more positive.

Besides, using a short interval like 15 years is a sucker's game. Just a few years ago, in spring 2007, the 15-yr trend for HadCRUT4 was 0.29 C/decade. That wasn't any more meaningful on the high end than the current value (0.04 C/decade) is on the low end.

In a few years (unless they're a big volcanic eruption) feptics will be the ones shouting about too-short intervals (or maybe, much like this, complain that it didn't warm from one year to the next, or that yesterday was warmer than today). That should be fun.

9 comments:

Mike Mangan said...

You're entirely dependent at this point on another super El Niño happening before the inevitable stratospheric volcanic eruption. Not an enviable position to be in and certainly not what any of the failed models predicted. You're also about to bump up against Santer's 17 year rule.

Jon said...

@Mike Mangan

Since you apparently believe that El Nino causes higher global atmospheric temperatures (congratulations on being somewhat in touch with reality), some numbers for you:

Average ONI 1950-2012 = 0.01
Average ONI 1997-2012 = -0.10
Average ONI 1997-2004 = 0.02
Average ONI 2005-2012 = -0.21
Average ONI 2007-2012 = -0.32
Average ONI 2010-2012 = -0.37

Seems like after close to neutral conditions early in the last 16 years, the years since 2005 have been more and more dominated by negative ONI values. Which do you think is likely to happen first, reversion of ONI to something close to the long run average or your "inevitable stratospheric volcanic eruption"?

Paul S said...

Mike Mangan,

Certainly, the failed models haven't got any predictions right, but then the clue's in the name really. I know hindsight is 20/20 but I can't help feeling someone really should have stepped in on this trillion dollar failed model development program. That's bureaucracy for you I guess.

Luckily, some bright sparks have taken it upon themselves to develop totally successful models (TSMs for short) as a complement to the standard failed models (FMs). Call me a risk-taker but I'm siding with the TSMs on this one.

Mike Mangan said...

Who knows when a volcanic eruption will occur again? I just know that it happens often enough. I don't want to see it happen during a La Niña. The Pacific warm water pool is recharged during La Niñas. Volcanic activity can interfere with that process. It contributed greatly to the Little Ice Age. Ask Michael Mann.
If nothing else occurs, then this cycle of negative PDO is the perfect test for the AGW hypothesis. If you believe that the oceans are the planet's thermostat then the period of 2007-2030 (roughly speaking) should show a temperature plateau, just like the 1940-1976 period.
Don't forget that the rate of warming at the start of the 20th century was the same as at the end of it and could not have been caused by co2. Natural forces were at work, warming the oceans, melting the glaciers, and making sea level rise. Those forces work long term and are still at work right now. It's an indicator of how detached from reality you people have become that you so readily dismiss the obvious answers to the mild and welcome warming we have experienced over the last 160 years.

David Appell said...

Mike: Average solar irradiance increased signifantly in the first half of the 20th century, by about 0.6 W/m2, but hasn't changed at all since about 1950 (averaged over a solar cycle):
http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/tsi_data/TSI_TIM_Reconstruction.txt

Jon said...

Don't forget that the rate of warming at the start of the 20th century was the same as at the end of it...

Over what specific period in what temperature record are you alleging this to be true, Mike? When I compare the trend in HADCRUT4 for the first 20 years of the 20th century and the last 20 years of the 20th century, suffice it to say they don't match your description. Nor do they if I compare the first and last 15 years. Ditto if I compare 1890-1910 with 1990-2010- not only do the trends not match they don't even have the same sign. Switching to GISTEMP doesn't seem to help your case.

Natural forces were at work, warming the oceans, melting the glaciers, and making sea level rise. Those forces work long term and are still at work right now. It's an indicator of how detached from reality you people have become that you so readily dismiss the obvious answers to the mild and welcome warming we have experienced over the last 160 years.

Natural forces? Could you be a little bit more specific? Actually, if they're so obvious, why not be a lot more specific?

If nothing else occurs, then this cycle of negative PDO is the perfect test for the AGW hypothesis. If you believe that the oceans are the planet's thermostat then the period of 2007-2030 (roughly speaking) should show a temperature plateau, just like the 1940-1976 period.

To be clear, you do believe the oceans are the planet's thermostat and that 2007-2030 should show a temperature plateau, right?

Rob said...

"Skeptical Science has a much longer deconstruction of this interview, which, based on its first sentence, you should not waste your valuable time reading."

Tr: "I can't refute anything else so I'll just wave my hand like Dogbert and say 'Bah!' "

David Appell said...

Mike: Santer's paper isn't a "rule" -- or do you now consider the outputs of climate models to be natural law? (I doubt it.)

Anonymous said...

I like feptics.

How about fceptics or fkeptics (pron. feptics)?. With the old "s" written like "f".

fkeptics also has a nice sense of what you really think of them.