A Challenge to the Climate Research Community

February 2nd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’ve been picking up a lot of chatter in the last few days about the ‘settled science’ of global warming. What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of published research on the topic simply assumes that warming is manmade. It in no way “proves” it.

If the science really is that settled, then this challenge should be easy:

Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

Studies that have suggested that an increase in the total output of the sun cannot be blamed, do not count…the sun is an external driver. I’m talking about natural, internal variability.

The fact is that the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.


116 Responses to “A Challenge to the Climate Research Community”

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  1. ruidh says:

    Find me a peer-reviewed paper that rules out divine intervention as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

    That’s not how science works. In order for an explanation to be a scientific explanation, it first has to be falsifiable. If you proposed a specific natural mechanism which explains the temperature record, it would be reasonable to ask for a refutation that shows that it doesn’t explain what you claim it does. Or, in the alternative, that some other theory explains the record better.

    What is the source of these mysterious “natural variations”?

    • One mechanism is 1% or 2% changes in cloud cover, which can can cause global warming or global cooling, due to circulation changes.

      This occurs in in most if not all climate models on a year-to-year basis. All I am saying is it can also occur on multi-decadal time scales.

      How do YOU explain the Medieval Warm Period? Too many SUVs?

      Or the Little Ice Age? Too few SUVs?

      Or just deny they ever happened?

      Natural climate variability is the null hypothesis. No one has ever ruled it out. They have only come up with a potential alternative explanation, which is fine. But it is being advertised as some sort of ‘proof’, which it is not.

      • Kate says:

        Dr. Roy,

        What are the chances that a coalition of people could challenge the EPA to prove the science it uses to regulate? The Supreme Court demanded that they first prove their contention that climate change is happening because of CO2.

    • So you are saying the null hypothesis is humans are causing the warming. That is the exact opposite of every other discipline of science where the null hypothesis is natural mechanisms are responsible for all phenomenon. Just beause we do not know the mechanisms does not mean there are none. Otherwise Mendel’s work would have to have been rejected because DNA was unknown as the mechanism of genetics. Hell, we still don’t know what causes gravity at the subatomic level.

  2. Martin L. Hoppe says:

    Hi Roy,
    In thinking about the natural variability I think I have come up with a way to show with reasonable probability what the expected “natural” climate temperature is expected to look like for the next couple hundred years or so. I wll send this to you in a separate email shortly. Feel free to do as you wish with it, including throwing it into the trash if you believe it to be worthless.

    What I have done, is taken the temperature graph from ice core data (pre HOCKEY STICK data)for the passed 1000 years. I have assumed that the natural temperature variations go in various interacting, repeating cycles. Thus I first fit the the temperature data with a simple Sin wave. Then I added in a repeating small positive temperature excursion that the data suggests happens about every 230 years. With these two elements alone, it very closely matches the temperature history from 1000-1900. I then used this model to predict the temperatures from 1900-2000, and subsequently from 2000-2100.
    Gave very interesting results in my opinion. It appears to be tracking extremely well what we are experiencing to date.

  3. SBVOR says:

    ruidh (February 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM),

    Okay, I’ll bite…
    Rule out the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as the cause of the warming observed from 1979 through 1998. When doing so, be sure to account for the peer reviewed science demonstrating “an estimated warm bias of about 30%” in the surface temperature record.

    Click here for the evidence to be dealt with.

  4. SBVOR says:

    Martin L. Hoppe (February 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM),

    I too have relied upon data from ice core studies in an effort to put recent trends into proper context.

    When I appended more recent instrument data, I found that both the Arctic AND the Antarctic are experiencing an on-going, uninterrupted 10,000 year cooling trend wherein the latest warming is demonstrated to be not even close to being outside the bounds of natural variation.

    Furthermore, these findings are limited to the context of a single interglacial warming period within the context of one of the three coldest ice ages in the last 600 million years.

    The citation links and more details are found here and here.

  5. Ronald says:

    That is what the good doctor has said. If you are going to make the assertion that runaway global warming is caused by man’s release of CO2 and positive feedbacks, you must have evidence showing that it cannot be caused by some other source and that feedbacks must be positive. How do you decouple CO2 emissions, changes in land use, natural variability, cloud effects, etc? No one has answered this question. The problems with feedback mechanisms is they are used to bring about a much greater rate of warming than is either observed or can be accounted for.

    Conjecture does not form scientific evidence. Models without understanding how feedbacks work are dubious. This is the problem with arguing consensus as it is based on feelings rather than facts.

  6. Bob Mount says:

    Dr Spencer, On WUWT, I queried a claim that atmospheric temperature anomolies could be reliably measured to 3 decimal places of accuracy, using satellite borne sensors. Was I right or not? Indeed, as I understand from your posts, the UAH satellites measure heat energy directly and transform the measurements to temperatures before transmitting the results to Earth. (P.S. Why do we persist in chasing the “global temperature” illusion when your satellites directly measure heat energy, which is what we should be tracking?) Many Thanks, Bob.

  7. I like this part of your reply to ruidh: “How do YOU explain the Medieval Warm Period? Too many SUVs? – Or the Little Ice Age? – Too few SUVs? – Or just deny they ever happened?”

    That’s just what the “Hockey-stick” does. It is a “Denial-stick”

  8. Russell C says:

    Arguably, the “settled science” is a politically concocted talking point. Allow me to offer a secondary challenge to the skeptic science research community to acknowledge that such talking points, including the accusation that skeptics are on the payroll of big coal & oil, are intended as media gate-keepers. I had that brief discussion with Dr Sherwood Idso in August 2010, when he wondered why I was asking about the accusation event that happened more than a decade earlier. I said no amount of current science research & assessments offered by skeptics will carry the day when the public can’t hear about them in an objective manner.

    Only two legs support the idea of man-caused global warming, one saying the science is settled, the other saying its scientist critics are corrupt. Skeptics are chiseling at the first leg now, but what happens if conservative news outlets and new GOP leadership in the US House yank out that second leg? That is exactly the opportunity I detail in my article from last Friday, “Does a huge lapse in mainstream media reporting allow the global warming crisis to stay alive?” http://www.redstate.com/russellc/2011/01/28/does-a-huge-lapse-in-mainstream-media-reporting-allow-the-global-warming-crisis-to-stay-alive/

  9. SBVOR says:

    Russell asks:

    “Does a huge lapse in mainstream media reporting allow the global warming crisis to stay alive?”

    The answer, of course, is a resounding YES! There can be NO DOUBT about it.

    Click here and realize that even the overwhelmingly Leftist Slate.com knows this is true.

    Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., after publishing his absolutely essential peer reviewed science demonstrating “an estimated warm bias of about 30%” in the surface temperature record, correctly noted:

    “The lack of news coverage on this documented bias… is another clear example of the failure of most of the journalism community to cover news that conflicts with the IPCC (2007) perspective.”

  10. HAS says:

    ruidh says February 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    “That’s not how science works. In order for an explanation to be a scientific explanation, it first has to be falsifiable.”

    The null hypothesis here is that natural internal climate cycles cause more than 50% of warming.

    To falsify this is simple.

    Just show man made GHGs caused more than 50% of warming (say with 90% confidence).

  11. tallbloke says:

    I wouldn’t write off solar variability as a cause yet Roy.
    You were right to model the ocean down to 1000m despite what Pierrehumbert said. This means extra solar energy gets stored in the ocean on a multi-decadal timescale.

    Logic says there must be a level of solar activity and cloud cover at which the oceans neither gain nor lose energy. My empirical data study says it is at around 40SSN or its TSI equivalent.

    When you integrate the sunspot number as a running total departing from that ocean equilibrium value it tracks SST remarkably well, once you smooth out the internal oscillations in the PDO and AMO.

    If Nir Shaviv’s peer reviewed paper (JGR) on using the oceans as a calorimeter is near the mark, the 0.25W/m^2 increase in TSI since 1749 gets amplified to around 2W/m^2 and this is enough to explain warming since the LIA, allowing for greater oceanic energy emission as SST rises.

  12. Pat says:

    In answer to the good Dr’s question about the Little Ice Age, according to Gore ice samples studies at the “Man Bear Pig Climate Study Institute”, debris from advanced combustion engine parts WERE found in ancient ice samples which has definitively settled the debate that the Little Ice Age was in fact brought about by the SUVs of the day.

    Of course, no other debris has ever been found since a large meteor struck the planet wiping out all the technology, people, etc., in an era when cancer and the common cold had been cured, as well as war and famine — sort of like hitting the “reboot button on mankind.”

    And Gore’s “Man Bear Pig” institute is keeping their sample confirming these facts under heavy guard in a secret location to protect it from the mouth breathers who believe in things like weather, witch craft and voodoo.

    So don’t go outside and stand in the rain and merely think its raining and rain is wet, my friends — its never as simple as that.

  13. latitude says:

    “that the vast majority of published research on the topic simply assumes”
    =======================================
    The vast majority of published research also assumes that the data they are working with has not been tampered with…

    The past just keeps getting colder and colder…

  14. peeke says:

    I live in north-west Europe. I have been partly living through what has been called an unprecendented warming. Now, I am actually considering myself an environmentalist: I worry about the decline of natural habitats all around me. This naturally makes me interested in my natural environment. What amazes me to no end is that I am witness to an unprecedented warming and I hardly notice it. Yes, there is odd species moving in but do not overestimate this. The ecological basic make up of my surroundings remains the same, unprecedented warming non the less. For instance through my country runs the south border of the black crowberry habitat, and that hasn’t moved an inch. Yet, since I am also interested in archeology, I know for sure that several species of warmer areas have been far more abundant in the past.

    How can that be? How can unprecedented warming be so indiscernable, whereas previous minute changes seem to have had such a so much larger impact?

  15. Eric Adler says:

    The challenge of this blog post is:

    Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

    In fact the scientists who model the evolution of climate have shown that their models cannot explain the evolution of global average temperature in the past century without anthropogenic forcings, (GHG’s and land use etc.). This is not just one model, but an ensemble of different models by different research organizations.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm

    These models are not perfectly accurate and don’t replicate the details of regional climate, but seem to me strong evidence nevertheless.

    • Ronald says:

      The problem again lies with how do we know it is not a natural variation? We have less than 40 years of satellite data and only about 62 years of CO2 data before we being to go to proxies. How long are the cycles? How do we know the warmth is not natural as the last 150 years we have been coming out of the mini ice age. Maybe it is coincidental or even that the warming earth helped usher along the industrial revolution. The problem lies correlation does not equal causation. How do you disprove all other variables have an effect?

      We know all models are wrong, but the real question is are they useful? Are they overly sensitive? The problem lies with the boundary conditions of any model, the variables along with parameterizations, the algorithms used to process the data, the data discarded and kept, along with the accuracy of the data. We are modeling 150 years of climate with less than 150 years of data. How fine is the mesh? When do the models become unstable? Do they converge or diverge? How much error is introduced per year and where they begin to diverge? How do we know feedbacks are positive vs. negative? What are the other planets doing as far as temperature? Do they seem to be increasing in temperature at relative rate to the earth?

      These aren’t simple questions to answer and even the modelers know there are problems. It doesn’t help that certainty has been applied to very uncertain data and algorithms. My issue is that we went from the earth maybe warming -> man maybe causing the earth to warm -> man is probably causing the earth to warm -> to man is definitely warming the earth without people answering the questions satisfactorily that I posed above.

    • Henk says:

      @ Eric Adler, February 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM
      You state that because scientists cannot correctly model the global average temperature in the past century without anthropogenic forcings this is proof for AGW.
      But that is a far cry from RULING OUT natural, internal climate cycles as the main cause of the recent warming in the thermometer record.
      Models do not prove or rule out anything, they just reflect your assumptions and programming skills. Even if your assumptions are wrong, you can still tweek the model in such a way that its output mimics the past temperature record.
      You have to come up with a stronger case.
      Henk

  16. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    FWIW:

    Here is comment that I posted several times on Romm and Tamino’s blogs and which they always delete. I recently posted this comment on JC’s Climate Etc.

    RE: Cyclic Climate Changes: What the Russians say.

    Hello Tamino!

    The English translation of “Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Productivity by L.B. Klyashtorin and A.A. Lyubushin can be downloaded for free thru this link:

    http://alexeylyubushin.narod.ru/Climate_Changes_and_Fish_Productivity.pdf?

    NB: This mongraph is 223 pages. The Russian edition was published in 2005 and the English translation, in 2007.

    By analyzing a number of time series of data related to climate, they found that the earth has global climate cycles of 50-70 years with an average of about 60 years which have cool and warm phases of about 30 years each. They summerize and review most of the studies published upto early 2005 that show how these climate cycles influences fish catches in the major fisheries.

    The last warm phase began in ca 1970-75 (aka the Great Shift) and ended in ca 2000. The global warming from ca 1975 is due in part to this warm phase. A cool phase has started and they predict it should last about 30 years. See Fig 2.23.

    In Fig. 2.22 and Table 2 they show that increasing world fuel consumption does not correlate with cool and warm phase of the 60 year cycle.

    Several others studies have found this 60 year cycle. During the cool phase La Nina years usually out number El Nino years as was the case from ca 1940-70.

    I haven’t checked to determine if the book was referenced AR4.

    Here is another comment I frequently post on blogs.

    There is another factor that may significantly contribute to regional warming and in particular to the UHI effect: Fine black dust from rubber and asphalt.

    I ask this simple queation: Since 1900, where have the many billions (and billions and billions…!) of pounds of fine rubber and asphalt dust gone?

    The short simple answer is anywhere and everywhere but no one really knows not even the EPA. Synthetic rubber does not degrade upon exposure to sunlight, oxygen or microbes.

    A passenger car tire with an A treadware rating will lose about a pound of rubber over its lifetime. Can you imagine how much rubber is deposited along major roads and highways from 18 wheelers?

  17. Robert says:

    I think here is your one peer-reviewed paper Mr. Spencer showing a clear human signal for the 20th century warming.

    Fig. 6: A & B.

    Abrupt tropical climate change: Past and present by Thompson et al 2006.

    http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/thompson_pnas_2006.pdf

  18. Pooh, Dixie says:

    ruidh says: February 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    “In order for an explanation to be a scientific explanation, it first has to be falsifiable.”

    What a wonderful idea! What is the falsifiability criterion for CAGW? I would love to know. So would many others, who would like to get to work on it.

    No models, please, with their consensus feedback parameters and aerosols that appear for tuning and disappear for scenarios.

  19. Just The Facts says:

    Hello Roy

    It seems that my comment;

    Just The Facts says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 2, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    is caught in the spam bin or perma-moderation.

  20. crandles says:

    The obvious place to start would seem to be
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms2.html

    AR4 Fig SPM.4 together with all the references needed to create/support those diagrams.

    Just the creation of those graphs is not enough. You also need to assess the adequacy of the ensembles arising from multiple different models. If you test on a truth centred ensemble basis you can show the ensemble to be difficient but it appears much more appropriate to use a statistically indistinguishable basis for testing adequacy of ensemble. When you do that they seem pretty reasonable.

    AIUI the models might be a little bit too narrow but nowhere near by as much as necessary to defeat the evidence of the diagrams linked above.

    Dr Spencer counter argument is there could be a negative cloud feedback effect not built into the models. The question then becomes how plausible is this if the models have been built using what we know about physics? Yes there are uncertain parameterisations, but how likely is it that all the models fail to show enough internal variability to explain last 40 years of warming without incorporating GHGs?

    Lots of work goes into finding out what parameters to use and if this work turned up a set of parameters that worked well and showed a lot of internal variability, I think you can bet that the scientists would want to shout about its importance.

    Perhaps Dr Spencer believes that there hasn’t been enough modeling to simply say why do none of the models show what you say and for that to be sufficient to put the burden of proof back on him.

  21. Peter says:

    Let’s turn the question on its head. We “know” that CO2 is a green house gas. The underlying science is over 100 years old.

    Where is the peer reviewed literature stating that climate is insensitive to CO2?

  22. Ross Brisbane says:

    What happens Dr Spencer when we deduct ENSO?
    I would have thought your 2% part of the earth is cooling due to a winter Solace – after all just look out side.
    Further what about the oceanic churn over at the moment with out the powerful La Nina off Australia’s Northern Eastern Coast?

    And what of its collision with some of the warmest seas ever recorded in the Coral sea?

    And why is despite huge cloud covers overs QLD and massive flooding – (the days have been a record dim) we are getting temperature heat waves at 45 degrees Celsius in some places?

    I think your so called variability is taking some huge hit – you said you can bet on my back if it is raging in some of the corner it won’t be raging some else? Care to reconsider that statement here.

    Okay you don’t like neither do I like your character assault – it is unbecoming of you. Stick to the science. Blizzards indeed and heat waves indeed. BTW I think we are marginally bigger then the US in continent.

    Okay we all spit the dummy sometimes and I forgive you but some of your assertions are just plain wrong when it comes to my corner of the world.

    Global warming will resume after this very important message from one ultra mildest AGW believer who only occupies 2% of this earthen sod. Global cooling – what a joke.

    Yes the record heat wave that converted the Russian leader to global warming was yet another just all climate variability phenomena.

    Energy can neither be created or destroyed. We do not get that because of clouds acting like random blinds up or down. That’s your theory – it is a NULL hypothesis like the rest of us. No – I get it because I do not have a pet theory. It is based on the laws of physics and the greenhouse gases. The Earth is holding in more radiative energy from the sun.

    What can an ENSO do? It can sequester the top 70 meters of warmer sea down to its depth in an La Nina switch of ocean currents. It’s like a washing tub at present.

  23. Dagfinn says:

    I have a question about the phrase “settled science”, since some claim this is a straw man invented by climate skeptics, and that no serious scientists have used that term. I don’t think it’s a straw man in any meaningful sense, since all those comparisons of AGW with evolution, gravity and so on are certainly equivalent to claims that the science is settled. But it would be interesting if anyone could document just when the phrase has been used.

  24. Julian Flood says:

    Just looking at the delta 18O graphs, Thompson 2006, I’m struck by the fact that they could be interpreted as showing the ‘warming’ deviation beginning around 1750/1800 AD. In this they are similar to the 12C isotopic change graphs which also begin to change in 1750 AD before really getting going about a hundred years later.

    I’ve been told that the early deviation is natural change but I’m not sure how one tells the difference.

    I have asked over on skepticalscience about their point 74, ‘it’s not us’, and how we can allocate the increased CO2 to anthropogenic causes. I am not convinced by the points made so far: it may be that these really basic points are so accepted that no-one bothers to spell out the reasoning behind them. Is the basic assertion of AGW so accepted that it too has not been rigorously set down?

    JF

  25. RW says:

    If you genuinely want to know about studies of this very question, you could read this:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-9-2.html

    But your attitude is a little bit like standing over a corpse at the bottom of a tower block, observing a knife in its back and a person standing at the top of the building shouting “I did it”, and then asking if anyone has disproved the hypothesis that the person jumped.

    Given what we know of the physics of the greenhouse effect, and given that the observed warming is 100% consistent with the theoretical expectations of what should happen if you increase the concentration of a greenhouse gas by 40%, your “natural climate variability” hypothesis looks ridiculous. Far from anyone needing to rule out “natural climate variability”, you need to explain how and why the 100ppm additional CO2 in the atmosphere that is there from fossil fuel burning has different radiative properties to the 280ppm that was already there.

  26. Roger and Terry Carradice says:

    Dr Roy,
    We believe that Professor Pielke Snr. has proposed a test to see whether your ideas regarding natural climate variation or the IPCC ideas re C02-forced climate change are correct. We understand that if you are correct, future climate will be subject to cyclical variability. Under the IPCC model, rising C02 will create a radiation imbalance at the top of the atmosphere which Dr Trenberth estimates at 0.9 watts per sq metre. This will result in the earth’s being subject to a monotonic warming until it reaches a new radiative balance.

    Prof. Pielke states that if there is an imbalance in the incoming radiation, this must result in an increase in ocean heat content. This is because the oceans represent by far the largest heat store on the surface of the earth.

    If the Argo buoy data since c. 2003 are correct, and no defects are found in the instrumentation, and missing heat isn’t hiding, then it’s difficult to see how the IPCC hypothesis can be supported. We believe that Prof Pielke implied in a recent posting that you are winning on points. If the Argo data continue to show no significant change in ocean heat content, then surely this will falsify the IPCC hypothesis.

    PS We believe that the 2010 Argo data are awaited. Can anyone advise where we can find the 2009 data?

  27. Chris Bowman says:

    How can you issue a challenge without first defining what exactly the term “natural, internal climate cycles” means?

    You might as well issue a challenge to find a peer-reviewed paper that rules out the heat generated by time travelling aliens.

  28. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,

    can I cask what you would consider to constitute a falsification of the theory that the observed climate change is the result of “natural variability”? As far as I can see, such a theory is inherently unfalsifiable as the definition of “natural variability” is sufficiently vague (as the mechanisms of this natural variability are not specified) that any climate change we have observed can be blithely attributed to it. It seems unreasonable to expect climatologists to have falsified an unfalsifiable theory, especially since Popperians would suggest that such theories are non-scientific.

    It is easy to say how AGW could be falsified by observations, e.g. by a fifty year cooling period with increasing atmospheric CO2 and the cooling not attributable to other forcings. Thus AGW is at least a scientific theory.

    Best regards

    Dikran Marsupial.

  29. HAS says:

    Dikran Marsupial

    To repeat: “natural variability” = “not man made”. Simple therefore in principle to establish experiments that work with those concepts.

    In particular Dr S’s hypothesis is just the reverse of your last para. Nothing unscientific about it, although since everyone agrees man made GHGs cause some warming, the actual hypothesis needs to be about the extend of this effect (e.g. more than 50%).

    Peter at February 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM should note this last comment.

  30. Dikran Marsupial says:

    HAS, the possibility of falsification is a requirement of a scientific theory, see the work of Karl Popper, this is mainstream phillosophy of science and has been for a long time. For example, an alternative to the theory of evolution is that the observed species of today are purely the result of random mutations and natural selection played no part. That theory has never been falsified, but that doesn’t cast any doubt on the theory of Darwinian evolution. No. Why? Because it is not a falsifiable theory, even though it is almost certainly incorrect, it is a non-scientific argument.

    For Dr Spencers challenge to be meaningful, there must exist the possibility of the falsification of the theory of “natural variation” if it is incorrect. Dr Spencer can demonstrate this possibility exists by giving an example of an experiment or an observation that would falsify that theory.

  31. HAS says:

    Just a couple of thoughts on the evidence required.

    First, others have dealt with the Climate Model derived evidence issue. This runs along the following lines: climate models need to assume a level of CO2 sensitivity to balance, if we assume this level then CO2 is a major cause of warming.

    Others have made the point that this isn’t empirical evidence. To reframe this I’d observe that this body of work is actually testing quite a different hypothesis, namely:

    “Do GCMs adequately represent our climate?”

    Second, there are two parts to Dr S’s hypothesis. What’s the warming been, and what caused it (attribution). The ice core stuff deals with the first (and is controversial, as are tree rings), but just showing warming and even showing it to be unique in the 20th century, doesn’t give you man made GHG causality.

    The kind of thing one should be looking for is studies of fluctuations in CO2 preceding temp fluctuations and that the co2 significantly adds information to the temp fluctuations over and above other potential causes.

  32. HAS says:

    Dikran Marsupial at February 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Man made GHG is a well defined concept, and creates a quite testable/falsifiable set of hypotheses about its impact or otherwise on temperature.

    For example do you find it hard to test:

    “Ho: Man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase”?

    One may have difficulty with the noise and other inadequacies in the data, but in principle you can imagine experiments that could answer that question. Perhaps most important for your argument is that if this is unfalsifiable, then so too is it’s negation which is the AGW Ho.

    Can one falsify “the observed species of today are purely the result of random mutations and natural selection played no part”? Not in that form, but statements about proportions of genes surviving down generations in different environments can.

  33. Dikran Marsupial says:

    HAS: The bottom line is that if the theory that the observed warming is due to natural variability is falsifiable, you ought to be able to give a specific example of an experiment or observation that would falsify that theory. If you can’t, it is a tacit admission that the theory is unfalsifiable. Go for it, give me an example of climate change that can’t happen becuase of “natural variation”.

  34. HAS says:

    Dikran Marsupial

    You need to be more precise in your language. “[A]n example of climate change that can’t happen becuase of ‘natural variation’” has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

    Go back and think about how you might falsify “Ho: Man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase.”

    Or if you find it easier (and are advocating that AGW is falsifiable) then tell me how you’d falsify “Ho: Man made GHG cause more than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase.”

    Once you’ve done that you will have shown us how to falsify Dr S’s null.

    You might also check out the term “high redefinition” and think about how that might be applied to the way you are planning on defining “natural variation”.

  35. Richard Burnham says:

    ‘Natural climate variability’ is not an explanation for anything. If it exists, then it is something to be explained.

    Claiming ‘natural climate variability’ as an explanation would be like claiming chemistry is explained by ‘natural differences between the elements’.

    If you have some mechanism in mind then propose it so it can be tested.

  36. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “You need to be more precise in your language. “[A]n example of climate change that can’t happen becuase of ‘natural variation’” has nothing to do with what we are talking about.”

    Nonsense, I am asking what it would take to “rule out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.” If there is no experiment or observation that would rule out natural internal climate cycles then it is a non-falsifiable, non-scientific hypothesis, and hence not overly surprising there are no peer-reviewed papers.

    I am still waiting for an example of an experiment or observation that would rule out internal climate cycles as the cause of the warming in the thermometer record. For the moment I’ll take that as a tacit admission that the hypothesis is unfalsifiable, but I am open minded. One concrete example is all it will take, go for it.

  37. Kate says:

    Dikran – I’ll wait with you. This is going to be worth it.

  38. Kate says:

    Pat – that was very funny. You made me laugh. Very little makes me laugh anymore.

    Whoddu thunk thirty years ago we’d be sitting on a message board arguing over the catastrophic anger of Gaia.

  39. HAS says:

    Dikran Marsupial February 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Thank-you so you agree that we are testing “Ho: Man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase”, and not finding “an example of climate change that can’t happen because of ‘natural variation’”.

    That would be testing “Ho: All types of climate change can be caused by some type of natural variation”. I’m sure that’s not what you meant (nor that it has much meaning), but you see the virtue of being careful with language.

    I’m at a loss to understand why you (and those in the peanut galleries) find it difficult to see the kinds of experiment that might falsify the Ho above e.g. demonstrate (say) man made CO2 caused more than 50% of the observed 20th century measured temperature increase (appropriately defined).

    It might be hard, and take a accumulation of evidence over time, but it isn’t something that is in principle unable to be falsified.

  40. Kate says:

    Still waiting…………..

  41. HAS says:

    So it is beyond you to design an experiment that might contribute to demonstrating that man made CO2 caused more than 50% of the observed 20th century measured temperature increase, and you believe that a priori it is not possible to test. I assume you believe the same about the negation of that proposition and it it is beyond you to design an experiment to test that.

    Therefore I assume that you don’t think AGW can be scientifically studied.

    Why lurk here?

  42. RW says:

    The bottom line is the amount and rate of warming is well within the range of natural variability and perhaps even below average. For example, according the Vostok ice core the average amount of temperature change per century over the last 10,000 years was about 1 C with some 100 year periods seeing as much as 2 C. The Antarctic is one of the lesser variable areas – the Greenland ice core shows even more variability over the same time period.

    This effectively puts the burden of proof on those claiming the warming was primarily from man’s CO2 emissions.

    (BTW, I’m NOT the same ‘RW’ that posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM)

  43. Dikran Marsupial says:

    HAS, it is sad that discussions of science on blogs tend to end up in evasion of straightforward questions. I’m still waiting for an example of an experiment or observation, but your misrepresentation* of my position and refusal to give a direct answer to my challenge speaks volumes.

    * “Thank-you so you agree that we are testing “Ho: Man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase”, and not finding “an example of climate change that can’t happen because of ‘natural variation’”.”

  44. HAS says:

    Before we go on we’d better be absolutely clear about what is going on here.

    I am saying Dr S’s null is “Ho: Man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase”.

    Do you agree this is the null under consideration Y/N?

    You are saying that there is no way the above hypothesis is falsifiable Y/N?

    You believe that while this hypothesis is unfalsifiable its negation is Y/N?

    You really can’t think of an experiment that would contribute to falsifying the Ho above Y/N?

    Hate to go on misrepresenting your position.

  45. plazaeme says:

    The “null hypothesis” is not a theory, is an assumption. The idea that something you observe is natural, and not “strange” or “unprecedented”, is the assumption you begin with.

    You don’t need to demonstrate something is natural, even if you don’t understand how nature works in this case. If you can’t explain it, what you are showing is your ignorance, not that something “strange” is happening.

  46. Nigel Harris says:

    Dr Spencer,

    If I turn on the gas burner on my stove under a pot of water, and measure a rise in the water’s temperature, would you require me to rule out the possibility that random, natural fluctuations in kinetic energy of water molecules in the immediate vicinity of the thermometer are the cause before I could claim that the gas flames are heating the water?

    We’re adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Physics tells us to expect increased surface temperatures as a result. We’re seeing increased surface temperatures. Global circulation models don’t predict current observations unless human GHG forcings are considered. Is it possible that current temperatures are simply a natural variation? Yes. But if so, the onus is on you to show why and how the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere is NOT leading to significant warming.

    I thought this was what you were doing, and I thought you were making a pretty good job of introducing some genuine questions into the debate, based on what looked like good science. This sort of ridiculous straw-man argument reeks of having given up the fight. It’s the sort of thing I’d expect to see at Anthony Watts’s site. Please don’t sink to their level! Any more of this, and I’ll have to start thinking of you as just another person desperately seeking any pseudo-scientific justification for saying CO2 isn’t the culprit. Rather than the honest, mostly impartial, genuinely skeptical scientist that I thought you perhaps were.

  47. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “Do you agree this is the null under consideration Y/N?”

    No, I don’t. I’ve made it perfectly clear that I am pointing out that the hypothesis of natural cycles is unfalsifiable. The hypothesis of natural cycles *IS* the null hypothesis. If you want to demonstrate that it is falsifiable it is straight forward, just give an example of an experiment or observation that would refute it.

    “You are saying that there is no way the above hypothesis is falsifiable Y/N?”

    No. However the “above hypothesis” to which you refer is irrelevant to the disucussion, which is why I haven’t commented on it. Firstly if one hypothesis is falsifiable that doesn’t mean that the negation of that hypothesis is necessarily falsifiable (e.g. let H0 be the hypothesis that unicorns don’t exist, that would be falsified by the observation of a unicorn, however the negation of that hypothesis “unicorns do exist” is not directly falsifiable – you can’t prove something doesn’t exist by not observing it). Secondly because the hypothesis of natural cycles is not the negation of the hypothesis of AGW (if it were Dr Spencer would not have specifically excluded arguments based on other forcings).

    “You believe that while this hypothesis is unfalsifiable its negation is Y/N?”

    No, see above.

    “You really can’t think of an experiment that would contribute to falsifying the Ho above Y/N?”

    Yes, if models can’t explain 50% of the warming (within the uncertainties involved) then the theory is falsified. This is the advantage of models, it allows climatoilogists to make testable predictions based on their hypothesis. The hypothesis of “natural cycles”, being without quantifiable mechanisms, can’t make such testable predictions, which is why it is unfalsifiable.

    “Hate to go on misrepresenting your position.”

    Can we give the rhetoric a break and stick to the science?

    I have given direct answers to your questions, now it is your turn to give a direct answer to mine: Give an example of an experiment or observation that would refute the hypothesis of natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

  48. HAS says:

    I’m glad we got that clear.

    The fundamental issue is that you don’t accept my characterisation of Dr S’s null (and you agree that if my Ho was the case you could see how to falsify it).

    Not sure why you didn’t just say that and instead told me I was avoiding the question.

    What you are saying that the hypothesis of “natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record”, is different from “man made GHG cause less than 50% of observed 20th century measured temperature increase”.

    Let’s parse that.

    “Natural, internal cycles” if we accept a little shortcut around the word “internal” that you rightly draw attention to, then this equates to “that which is is non made made” (I note that I made this explicit in any earlier comment on this thread).

    If “that which is not man made” causes “most” (i.e. greater than 50%) then this is the equivalent to saying “that which is man made causes less than 50%”. The rest is identical.

    Tell me where I went wrong. In my view if you can see how to falsify my Ho you can falsify Dr S’s null.

    Couple of other quick points.

    1 We are talking about what % of the animals in the paddock are unicorns. Not if they exist.
    2 Climate models don’t produce empirical evidence, see my earlier comment on this above.

  49. Dikran Marsupial says:

    HAS I note you still are avoiding answering my question and instead attempting to sidetrack the discussion again onto a different hypothesis, the flaws in which I have already pointed out. There comes a point where it is no longer reasonable to assume that both parties are engaged in truth seeking scientific discussion. Im my view we have reached that point. If you want to demonstrate that is not the situation, then just give a direct answer to the question.

  50. stephen richards says:

    There is a test for CO² climate variabilty and it’s relatively simple except for one thing. Past temperature records have been nullified by manipulation, adjustment and ????. If they had not been you need only look at past trends during cooling and warming episodes. If the warming or cooling trends were significantly different (NOTE significant) in the late 20th century it might indicate a co² influence. However, one warming episode during a period of increased co² and it would be very difficult to justify that as a statistically significant period.

    On that basis, even with manipulated data, we can say that there was NO SIGNIFICANT difference between the trends of the 20th century. 0.16, 0.14 0.16.

  51. Alexandre says:

    What about the studies that show a decrease in OLR over the last decades?

    After all, an ENSO or NAO-induced warming (to name just two) is not consistent with that.

    What kind of natural cycle would match those observations?

  52. Obscurity says:

    The ultimate strawman, and not to mention a disingenuous question. Are the ‘skeptics’ really this desperate to fabricate debate?

    The sad thing is that Roy Spencer knows the answer to his challenge, because he reads the scientific literature, or at least one hopes he does. He also knows that it is estimated that about 75% of the observed warming of +0.85 K since 1880 or so can be attributed to increases in GHGs associated with human activities.

    You asked for one paper. Here are a few:

    Delworth and Mann (2000)
    Stott et al. (2000)
    Stott et al. (2001)
    Trenberth (2002, JGRA)
    Zwiers and Zhang (2003)
    Santer 2003 (Science)
    Stott (2003, GRL)
    Meehl et al. (2004)
    Knight et al. (2005)
    Knutson (2006)
    Stott et al. (2006)
    Juckes et al. (2007, Clim. Past)
    Murphy et al. (2009, JGR)
    Foster et al. (2010, JGR)
    Schwartz et al. (2010, J. Clim.)
    Hegerl et al. (2011, Nature Geoscience)

    And that is not a comprehensive list, and Spencer knows that too. All one has to do is read AR4. Specifically, sections 9.4.1.2, 9.4.1.4 , 9.4.1.5, also see Figure 9.9 in AR4.

    Now where shall I cross post this?

      • Obscurity says:

        Sorry David, an opinion piece by Pielke does not cut it nor does it refute the numerous publications in the scientific literature which have investigated the contribution and role of internal climate variability. Nor does it rebut the papers published since 2009 on this subject.

        Also, Pielke spoke primarily of aerosols in that opinion piece and how they might affect internal . Well, aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Roy specifically refers to internal climate modes or oscillations.

        Roy asked for ONE paper– there are many as I demonstrated. His juvenile challenge has been met, not only by me but many others in recent days. Not surprising, since it was an absurd challenge.

        Roy is also forgetting that by changing the energy balance we also have the ability to affect “natural” cycles/oscillations.

  53. HAS says:

    Dikran Marsupial February 4, 2011 at 6:04 AM

    “HAS I note you still are avoiding answering my question and instead attempting to sidetrack the discussion again onto a different hypothesis, the flaws in which I have already pointed out. There comes a point where it is no longer reasonable to assume that both parties are engaged in truth seeking scientific discussion. Im my view we have reached that point. If you want to demonstrate that is not the situation, then just give a direct answer to the question.”

    I can not answer your question because I do not understand what you are asking, and when I attempt to clarify, rather than doing so you accuse me of avoiding the question.

    Where I am at is here:

    1 I have taken Dr S’s hypothesis and put it into language that makes it clear that is doesn’t suffer from being “non-scientific” in the Popperian sense.

    2 You have agreed that this rewritten hypothesis is falsifiable and you could falsify it.

    3 You do however argue that the negation of a falsifiable hypothesis is not necessarily falsifiable. I have pointed out that this isn’t the case with the rewritten hypothesis. (We’re dealing with the % of unicorns, so the two hypotheses are complementary).

    4 You argue that the exclusion of external forcings means that the AGW isn’t exactly the negation of Dr S’s. I concede that point, but that can be easily adjusted for.

    5 So in my view the rewritten hypothesis is a well behaved hypothesis/theory in scientific terms. You however continue to refer to “the flaws I have pointed out” notwithstanding 3 & 4 above.

    6 Most problematic, despite 1 & 2 you continue to assert that “the hypothesis of natural cycles is unfalsifiable” and demand that I produce an experiment to disprove it.

    I hope you can see my problem.

    To proceed you really do need to deal with the “sidetrack onto a different [sic] hypothesis”.

    You need to explain what your hypothesis of natural cycles is, and how it differs from Dr S’s hypothesis and my rewrite of it.

    I’m sure if you do produce an unfalsifiable hypothesis I’ll be the first to say I can’t falsify it. But I can’t imagine what that might be since AGW is first and foremost about causality (which tends to be well behaved in these terms).

    Fair enough?

  54. HAS says:

    Obscurity at February 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Just passing by when you posted, and thought “good some real evidence”, but as I worked my way done the list it just seemed to be modelers testing the output of their models, rather than empirical testing of theories.

    If it were me I’d only cross post to sites where the use of model output as if it were empirical observations is accepted uncritically.

    • Obscurity says:

      You are arguing a strawman…Roy said nothing about only being permitted to use empirical data or observations only.

      Yes, there are quite a few papers using models (they are quite useful tools if one can get past one’s misguided notions), but there are also others which are based solely or partly on observed data. And again, Roy asked for ONE paper, that challenge has been met. Done.

      So if I were you I would stop uncritically buying into Roy’s rhetoric and spin. For more information on the science go to skepticalscience.

  55. stephen richards says:

    Obscurity says:
    February 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    All of the papers you quote are by the team. All of them have been reviewed by experts in their fields. None of them is a definitive proof of AGW co² induced warming and I challenge you to produce one paragraph, sentence or anything you wish from those papers right here right now that is definitive.

    Go for it.

    • Obscurity says:

      Stephen,

      Good try, but no cigar.

      “All of the papers you quote are by the team.”
      Strike one. No, they were not all written by “The Team” (which refers to a small group of paleo climate scientists).

      “None of them is a definitive proof of AGW co² induced warming ”
      Strike two. Strawman. Roy specifically asked about the contribution of natural variability to the observed warming, these papers speak to that.

      “I challenge you to produce one paragraph, sentence or anything you wish from those papers right here right now that is definitive.”
      Strike three. How about you actually please read the papers? And demanding for a “definitive” answer is laughable coming from ‘skeptics’ who allege that climate that uncertainty is underplayed by climate scientists. Make up your mind.

      But since you asked– hmm, so many to choose from, how about this one from Trenberth et al. (2002, JGR):

      “For 1950–1998, ENSO linearly accounts for 0.06°C of global surface temperature increase. “

  56. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity,

    The computer models are proven to be a joke.

    I live on the Continental Divide. In my location, the computer models cannot forecast the weather over the next hour, much less the next 100 years. I have been rained on when — just one hour prior — the National Weather Service computers assured me there was a ZERO percent chance of that happening. Conversely, I have seen NO RAIN when — just one hour prior — the same computer models assured me there was a 100% chance of rain.

    Your computer models were created to serve a purely political purpose!

    • Obscurity says:

      SBVOR,

      Ooh, anecdotal evidence about weather from your back yard applied to a global climate problem….very convincing. NWP models are not the same as climate models…also, forecasting weather is an initial value problem, simulating climate is a boundary value problem.

      And be careful about mocking the models, Roy and Lindzen use them too. But I’m sure that in your mind their model results are not a ‘joke’. Right?

      Feel free to step in any time Roy and help these people you, or are you happy to let such misunderstanding pass on your blog?

  57. stephen richards says:

    The quoting papers game is both childish and irrelevent. We know for sure (climategate) that the review process is badly broken and therefore useless. All the papers quoted by the plonkers here are by the team and self reviewed. We also know than none of them contains a definitive proof of AGW. We also know that no-one has yet provided and engineering or scientific quality proof of AGW. I agree that Dr Roy’s phraseology could have been better but so what. We know that untampered temperature measurements of the past 150yrs do not trend closely to co² increases. I could go on and on but it is a complete waste of time arguing with religious fanatics.

    • Obscurity says:

      Stephen,

      “I could go on and on but it is a complete waste of time arguing with religious fanatics.”

      I’m agnostic. How about you?

      But feel free to keep making excuses……

    • Obscurity says:

      DStephen,

      “The quoting papers game is both childish and irrelevent.”

      I’m just doing what Roy asked us to do…how can on earth can that be “childish” or “irrelevant”?

      Yes, de Freitas and his ‘skeptic’ friends did do a good job of subverting the peer review process at Climate Research..good job there were scientists with ethics around to call them on it. Anyhow, Roy did not say anything about no paper being permitted which were written by one or more members of the ‘The Team’.

  58. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity,

    I figured I would have to spell it out for you…

    1) Do you think the inability of the NWS to reliably forecast rain on the Continental Divide has any connection to the false assumptions built into the IPCC computer models regarding the response of water vapor?

    2) Have you noticed that — without these false assumptions regarding the response of water vapor — your entire CAGW cabal crumbles?

  59. HAS says:

    Obscurity at February 4, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Not clear what the strawman is. This usually refers to an irrelevant hypothesis that is then disproved. I was referring to the highly relevant issue of whether model output could be used as evidence for causality (note Dr S explicitly refers to causality).

    If I have a highly complex equilibrium model of the economy that didn’t get absolute GDP right, and failed to adequately model savings behaviour, and every time you put a fiscal stimulus in it reduced GDP would you take that as evidence that fiscal stimuli cause GDP reduction, or would you take that as evidence that you had better look under the bonnet of your model a bit more closely?

    Models don’t give evidence of causality unless each of the underlying steps in the chain (including feedbacks etc etc) have been empirically validated. They haven’t in respect of GHG forcings and temperature, so this evidence only tells you about your models and where to look to improve them (although I suspect here are diminishing returns in improving GCMs), not the real world.

    I take your point about Dr S asking for only one paper. Which one based on real data off your list would you chose (preferably one not behind a paywall)?

    For my part I prefer to read the literature rather than what gets posted on blogs.

    • Obscurity says:

      Maybe I meant to say red herring :)

      All the papers are peer-reviewed, no blogs…alas most of them are probably behind pay walls. Google is your friend though. And again, that is by no means a complete list, there are more papers in IPCC AR4 as I said earlier.

  60. Obscurity says:

    SBVOR,

    Please don’t go all Dunning-Kruger on me. I followed you link, to your blog, and you present L&C09– that paper has been refuted, by Roy Spencer too nonetheless.

    Now let us keep out eye on the ball here please and not get sidetracked by yet more strawman arguments. Roy asked for ONE paper, he has been given at least one paper. End of story.

  61. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity,

    As I recall, Dr. Spencer informally — in his blog — expressed a differing opinion regarding the paper in question. That hardly amounts to the paper having “been refuted”.

    But, I don’t expect your sort to be honest about that or anything else.

  62. Jim R says:

    Robert said:

    “I think here is your one peer-reviewed paper Mr. Spencer showing a clear human signal for the 20th century warming.”

    Nope – that paper merely “implies” something in a passing comment at the end. “These observations suggest that within a century human activities may have…”

    Far from the clear signal you suggest.

    The challenge is to rule out natural phenomena. The paper you’re referring to makes no statement about the cause of the temperature changes.

  63. HAS says:

    Obscurity February 4, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Name your favourite, off the list, that uses empirical data. Don’t worry about paywall or otherwise.

  64. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity,

    If you believe Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Spencer are at odds regarding the water vapor response, kindly compare Dr. Lindzen’s paper to Dr. Spencer’s paper and report back.

    Again, without the false assumptions in the IPCC computer models regarding the response of water vapor — your entire CAGW cabal crumbles.

    • Obscurity says:

      More with the red herrings…this thread is about internal climate variability and its contribution to the observed warming. Could you please stay on topic.

      And the term “CAGW” was fabricated/manufactured by alarmist contrarians and ‘skeptics’– your insistence on using that fabricated term betrays your bias.

      The term is AGW or ACC.

      And it is not “my” cabal, anymore than it is yours.

      Tone down the rhetoric and speak to the matter at hand….Spencer’s request for one paper.

  65. Obscurity says:

    You are right, Spencer did not refute L&C09– my mistake, an honest mistake believe it or not. He had issues with Lindzen’s methodology and cold not reproduce his results– a big problem.

    “”(1) I am not completely comfortable with their averaging of the satellite data, (2) I get such different results for feedback parameters than they got; and (3) it is not clear whether their analysis of AMIP model output really does relate to feedbacks in those models, especially since my analysis (as yet unpublished) of the more realistic CMIP models gives very different results.”" [Roy Spencer]

    OK, Murphy (2010, GRL) and Trenberth et al. (2010, GRL) refuted L&C09.

    And I’m affronted that you would suggest that I am being dishonest– enough with the ad hominem attacks.

  66. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity,

    Your sort are using Junk Science for the sake of perpetrating a total gangster government looking to rob the world of $45 TRILLION and you’re “affronted” at my description of what you freely admit was a blatantly false assertion?

    Cry me a freaking river!

  67. HAS says:

    Obscurity

    Apologies, in trying to get the Reply thing working (which I’ve failed to do) I missed your comment at February 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM where you answered my question about which paper you’d regard as your favourite: Trenberth et al. (2002, JGR)

    This choice and your quote from it is I must say strange as this paper offers no evidence that man made GHG’s (or AGW) caused temperature changes in any shape or form.

    The closest it gets is at the very end when it says:

    “The reasons why the change in evolution with the 1976/1977
    climate shift occurred are quite uncertain but appear to relate to changes in the thermocline [Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Giese and Carton, 1999] that could be linked to climate change and global warming [Trenberth and Hoar, 1996; Meehl and Washington,1996; Timmermann et al., 1999].”

    Personally I’d be looking for something more substantial than this as my best shot.

    • Obscurity says:

      Trenberth et al. (2002) was not my “favourite” or ‘my best shot’, it is one of several.

      And again, Roy’s request has nothing to do with CO2 causing warming…

      “Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.”

      You know that, so please stop confusing issues. Trenberth et al. (2002) showed that ENSO was responsible for only a fraction (about 15%) of the observed warming between 1950 and 1998.

      “Personally I’d be looking for something more substantial than this as my best shot.”

      I have a distinct impression that no matter how much evidence is presented to you it will not be ‘substantial’ or ‘sufficient’, or some other reason will be constructed to dismiss the evidence before you.

      Now I have things to do, have a good weekend.

  68. SBVOR says:

    Obscurity (February 4, 2011 at 5:05 PM),

    1) So, you don’t want to address the linchpin of the entire CAGW cabal? Why am I not surprised?

    2) The term CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming) is entirely legitimate. No reasonable scientist would dispute the theoretical capacity for CO2 to warm the planet (on a logarithmic curve). The linchpin point of dispute — which dishonest alarmists prefer to ignore — is whether such theoretical capacity for man made warming would ever prove “Catastrophic”. It won’t — ever.

    P.S.) Attempts to reply under the relevant comment do not work for me (or, apparently, HAS). Could this be related to my use of the FireFox browser?

  69. HAS says:

    Obscurity February 4, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    “And again, Roy’s request has nothing to do with CO2 causing warming…

    “’Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.’

    “You know that, so please stop confusing issues.”

    The only sure way to rule out natural internal climate cycles is to show that something else is doing it. I’m therefore surprised you think I’m confusing things.

    I’d also hope that you too would be on the trail of papers that might demonstrate that, and be suitably reserved about papers that use GCM output or simple descriptive analysis as strong evidence for AGW.

    I’ll just remind you how you started all this:

    “The ultimate strawman, and not to mention a disingenuous question. Are the ’skeptics’ really this desperate to fabricate debate?

    “The sad thing is that Roy Spencer knows the answer to his challenge, because he reads the scientific literature, or at least one hopes he does. He also knows that it is estimated that about 75% of the observed warming of +0.85 K since 1880 or so can be attributed to increases in GHGs associated with human activities.”

    You started by talking about man made GHG’s and their role in temperatures, and ended by being confused by it.

    Have a good weekend too.

    • Obscurity says:

      Keep spinning, quote mining and distorting HAS. No skin off my back. I’m not confused by the radiative forcing of GHGs– many readers here though are.

      I stand by what I said– Roy, knows that the observed amplitude of internal climate modes/oscillations explain a small portion of the the long-term warming, but that they do not explain most of it. Please let him speak for himself….

      Now when is Spencer going to acknowledge that he was just undertaking this exercise to feed fodder to the ‘skeptics’? Again, please let him speak for himself…..

      I’m done here– might have better luck getting blood from a stone.

  70. HAS says:

    Obscurity February 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Actually I don’t think you are as good as you claim.

    You start off saying that Dr S should know better because man made GHG cause most of the forcing.

    I say most of the papers you quote use climate model output output as if its empirical.

    You say that’s not true some are based on real data, and Dr S only asked for one paper.

    I ask you to name the paper, and separately you mention a paper to another poster who asks the same question.

    I say that paper is at best ambivalent on the role of man made GHGs.

    You say man made GHG have got nothing to do with it. I observe that you started this whole conversation relying exactly on this point.

    You say I’m spinning, quote mining and distorting, and please can I speak to Dr S because I think he’ll be an easier touch.

    What you did was waltz in here making provocative statements and when you get a bit of push back you wimp out.

    I say start doing a bit of science and stop doing the politics.

  71. Daleep Bhatia says:

    Thanks Obscurity for getting done. I, and I am sure many others do not have to suffer through the tedium of repetitious posting.

  72. Lionell Griffith says:

    If CAGW is so bloody real, producing proof of it should be trivial. All that was and is being asked for is OBJECTIVE evidence that the CAGW signal is sufficiently above the natural noise level (aka natural climate variation) that it can be reliably seen.

    Subjective confidence levels of 90% won’t cut it no matter how large and papered the consensus. Especially when it is used to justify the destruction of modern technological civilization (the consequence of so called alternative energy sources) and the enslavement of all to all to an unaccountable global political elite (the consequence of putting the thugs at the UN in charge) .

    All I see here is simply more noise piled on top of BS smothered with still more BS. If there is a real signal, it has been long since been swamped with lies, distortions, misdirections, fabrications, deceit, and destruction of the original observational data fully flavored with subjective opinions and an irrational fear of the future.

    People! There is a real world out there with real weather. It is what it is and it will be what it will be. Either we get with the process of discovering what it actually is and adapting to it or we are done for both individually and collectively. The world of make believe does not exist.

  73. Major Mike says:

    Since observation is science, it is absurdly easy to falsify any statement, even one heavily qualified, that warming is caused by increased atmoshperic CO2. Hundreds of observations of past and current warming show it began without elevated levels of CO2, and every warming ended with cooling regardless of atmospheric CO2 levels. The Little Ice Age ended around 1800, and CO2 levels were dormant. Greenland ice cores covering the past 10,000 years show 9,100 of those years were warming than any of the present warming period. The past century had more robust warming in the 1930′s than the 1990′s and 2000′s – and cooling in the period 1950 to 1974 when CO2 levels increased dramatically. If CO2 causes temperatures to rise, why does temperature fall as often as rise as CO2 steadily increases?
    The proof that current climate and weather conditions fall within parameters of natural variabilty is simply that they do. To say that they could not be explained without reference to AGW is to ignore all that has gone before. Thousands – millions – billions of years show that climate change is the norm, not the unexpected.

  74. Lionell Griffith says:

    Major Mike,

    Exactly. In spite all that has happened to the earth during its approximately 4.5 billion years, life is still here and thriving. CO2 has been slightly lower and much much higher than it is today without the sky being set on fire. The climate variation we experience today is well within the range of earth normal. Any signal from man’s efforts that rise above the normal variation is globally immeasurable. Otherwise they would not have to cook the books, hide their methods,lose the raw data, and claim specious “records” since some blink of geological time in the past.

    This is how we can know that the CAGW alarmists are not about science, technology, and life on earth. Any claims they make to the contrary are simply more of their games of Three Card Monte.

  75. Dr. Killpatient says:

    I cannot speak for the rest of you, but as for myself, I await the day when my pet cow “Helga” can fart freely without guilt or fear of retribution.

  76. Jack says:

    I’m so sick of the global warming weirdos — I just want this global warming myth be put to death forever.

    Yes, they’re a bunch of weirdos! That’s how I’m going to address them weirdos from now on.

    I’m relying on real climate science like Dr. Spencer to do the job.

  77. EEWALT says:

    RE: Your Challenge

    Well Doctor, here’s where we stand. You said since the science is settled, your challenge should be easy. Evidently, it was not easy, therefore the science is not settled. Looks like you will have to write the paper yourself.

  78. sherparick says:

    I must admit I am confused. On the one hand there seems to be doubt that the observed warming is really happening or not. On the other, there seems to be an admission that a warming is occurring, but that it is caused by a natural cycle that for the moment remains a mystery. (For instance, if the cause is less during daylight cloud cover, what is the mechanism that leads to less cloud cover during daylight and more cloud cover at night (thereby explaining the observed increase globally of nightime tempertures). Please tell me which is it? Are tempertures rising or not? If not, then no need for an explanation. If they are, what is the hypothesis for the natural cycle leading to the temperture change.

    From Sceptical Science …Dr. Spencer also suggested in his blog post that the “null hypothesis” should be that global warming is caused by natural factors. A null hypothesis is basically the default assumption which a scientific study sets out to disprove. It’s true that until recently, global warming (and cooling) has been caused by natural factors. However, even natural climate changes must have a physical mechanism causing them. Scientists have investigated these natural mechanisms (the Sun, volcanoes, the Earth’s orbital cycles, etc.), and they simply cannot explain the global warming over the past century. Spencer’s new hypothesis – that some unknown mechanism is causing cloud cover to change, which in turn is driving global temperatures – is a new idea with very little supporting evidence. Conversely, our understanding that human greenhouse gas emissions are driving global temperatures has a proverbial mountain of supporting evidence.

    Skeptics like Spencer and Lindzen believe that the default assumption should be one which requires that a very large body of scientific evidence is wrong. The only alternative hypothesis they have put forth cannot explain the many empirically-observed “fingerprints” which are consistent with human-caused global warming. Although Spencer’s unspecified “natural internal cycle” hypothesis has not been explicitly disproved, there is a very low likelihood that it is correct. For this reason, we should operate under the assumption that humans are causing dangerous global warming – an assumption which is supported by a very large body of evidence – until the skeptics can provide solid reason to believe that this scientific theory is wrong.”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/how-we-know-recent-warming-is-not-natural.html

    Printable Version | Link to this page

  79. SBVOR says:

    sherparick (February 7, 2011 at 10:30 AM) sez:

    “On the one hand there seems to be doubt that the observed warming is really happening or not. On the other, there seems to be an admission that a warming is occurring, but that it is caused by a natural cycle that for the moment remains a mystery.”

    1) Multiple examples of peer reviewed science demonstrate “an estimated warm bias of about 30%” in the surface temperature record used by the fully discredited IPCC.

    Ergo, the only reliable instrumental temperature dataset we have is the Satellite data from 1979 to present (data which currently show global temperatures in freefall.

    To compliment the Satellite data, we have quite reliable ice core data which — when combined with recent instrument data from the same location — demonstrate that both the Arctic AND the Antarctic are experiencing an on-going, uninterrupted 10,000 year cooling trend wherein the latest warming is demonstrated to be not even close to being outside the bounds of natural variation.

    The citation links and more details are found here and here.

    2) The “natural cycle” responsible for the rise (and fall) of the CAGW religious cult is no “mystery” to me. I blame the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    Stop your denialism! Face the facts:
    Your totalitarian political religious cult is dead and buried! Informed citizens have quite properly rejected your Junk Science MOVE ON!

  80. cthulhu says:

    “1) Multiple examples of peer reviewed science demonstrate “an estimated warm bias of about 30%” in the surface temperature record used by the fully discredited IPCC.”

    Warming since 1979 in UAH: About 0.14C/decade. In RSS about 0.16C/decade. HadCRUT about 0.16C/decade. GISTEMP about 0.17C/decade.

    The differences aren’t out by anything like 30%.

    “Ergo, the only reliable instrumental temperature dataset we have is the Satellite data from 1979 to present (data which currently show global temperatures “in freefall”.”

    They also show about the same warming since 1979 as the surface records show – see above. Also “freefall” is due to a la nina. Just as temperatures “soared” during the recent El Nino. But again look at those longterm *trends* above.

    Your arctic link, which is actually greenland, suggests temperatures in greenland today are warmer than during the medieval warm period and the roman warm period or whatever it’s called.

    “I blame the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.”

    The AMO has no trend over the 20th century. It’s flat. Global temperature wasn’t flat though. The AMO is positive whenever the atlantic warms faster than the rest of the world.

  81. cthulhu says:

    Lionell Griffith:
    “Exactly. In spite all that has happened to the earth during its approximately 4.5 billion years, life is still here and thriving.”

    That’s a strawman. It’s not a requirement that all life on Earth must be wiped out for there to be a threat.

    “CO2 has been slightly lower and much much higher than it is today without the sky being set on fire.”

    Another strawman. No-one is proposing the sky would set on fire.

    “The climate variation we experience today is well within the range of earth normal.”

    It doesn’t have to go outside the range of earth’s normal to be a problem.

    Sea level 10 meters higher is “well within the range of ‘earth normal’”. Sea level has been much more than 10 meters higher in Earth’s ’4.5 billion year history’. But that doesn’t mean 10 meter sea level rise would be fine. What you aren’t factoring in is that human civilization hasn’t existed for 4.5 billion years, so irregardless of how CO2 changed in the distant past millions of years ago, it didn’t impact us. On the scale of millions of people and cities the relevant history of impacts is only a few thousand years.

    And does the ‘earth normal’ not also cover mass extinction events? Those are obviously very bad things to happen.

    “Any signal from man’s efforts that rise above the normal variation is globally immeasurable.”

    Far from it:
    http://www.cutco2.org/images/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr-2.png

    And this timescale is very relevant to the point above about thousands of years of human modern history. Unprecedented is the word.

  82. cthulhu says:

    Major Mike says:

    “Since observation is science, it is absurdly easy to falsify any statement, even one heavily qualified, that warming is caused by increased atmoshperic CO2.”

    It’s absurdly easy to falsify your statement there. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and contributes warming. Even on your blog you admit that CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect (even though you link to the site ‘A closer look at the numbers’ which is notoriously infamous for it’s wrong figures and reasoning).

    “Hundreds of observations of past and current warming show it began without elevated levels of CO2, and every warming ended with cooling regardless of atmospheric CO2 levels.”

    You are talking about ice core records. CO2 is a feedback in those records. When it falls or rises it provides warming – see above. The observations you claim do not refute that.

    “The Little Ice Age ended around 1800, and CO2 levels were dormant.

    “Greenland ice cores covering the past 10,000 years show 9,100 of those years were warming than any of the present warming period.”

    Greenland ice cores don’t go up to the present warming period. The statistic you quote does not factor in the warming since the end of the ice core data.

    “The past century had more robust warming in the 1930’s than the 1990’s and 2000’s – and cooling in the period 1950 to 1974 when CO2 levels increased dramatically. If CO2 causes temperatures to rise, why does temperature fall as often as rise as CO2 steadily increases?”

    Because CO2 only really started shooting up in recent decades. It’s accelerated. So it’s influence in the later 20th century will be stronger than the earlier.

    “The proof that current climate and weather conditions fall within parameters of natural variabilty is simply that they do. To say that they could not be explained without reference to AGW is to ignore all that has gone before. Thousands – millions – billions of years show that climate change is the norm, not the unexpected.”

    Pointing at the mere existence of past changes is not an explanation for changes now.

  83. SBVOR says:

    “The differences aren’t out by anything like 30%.”

    So, I am supposed to place more faith (literally) in the utterly unsubstantiated assertions of an anonymous alarmist than in directly cited peer reviewed science?

    Is there NO LIMIT to the boundless HUBRIS of these totalitarian cultist LUNATICS?

    “Your arctic link, which is actually greenland”

    Checked a map lately? Greenland is well within the Arctic Circle. If anybody could find any ice closer to the North Pole which was any older than 5,500 years, I would gladly cite those ice core studies. But, even the alarmists at Boulder’s NSIDC freely admit that:

    “5,500 years ago, the Arctic had substantially less summertime sea ice than today”

    What they really mean to say is that nobody has yet found ANY Arctic sea ice older than 5,500 years (if that).

    “The AMO has no trend over the 20th century. It’s flat.”

    Thank you for reiterating the point I already made. Now, with that fact in mind, go back and reread the rest.

    “Global temperature wasn’t flat though.”

    So say the records demonstrated by peer reviewed science to contain “an estimated warm bias of about 30%”. Sorry, I forgot. You’re a denialist who arbitrarily rejects directly cited peer reviewed science deemed to be “inconvenient” to your purely political agenda.

    NEXT?

  84. Jack says:

    sherparick,
    You need to re-learn your climate science. You’ve been brainwashed by COOK.

  85. cthulhu says:

    “SBVOR says:
    February 7, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    So, I am supposed to place more faith (literally) in the utterly unsubstantiated assertions of an anonymous alarmist than in directly cited peer reviewed science?”

    The peer reviewed science shows humans are having a warming effect on the planet. You and your pals I respond to though are basically telling me to ignore that peer reviewed science and go with questionable websites instead.

    You are also all ignoring proper investigation of the consequences of your own claims too. You claim the surface record is 30% too warm. Okay lets explore the consequences of that:

    The satellite and surface records don’t disagree by 30%. So if the surface records are reduced by 30%, the satellite records will now show about 30% more warming than the surface. Is that what you believe? Have you even considered this before? What’s your answer? Do you think the satellite records are 30% too warm as well?

    It’s this failure to explore the consequences of claims that’s the problem.

    “So say the records demonstrated by peer reviewed science to contain “an estimated warm bias of about 30%”. Sorry, I forgot.”

    Another inconsistency. As you rubbish the records showing warming over the 20th century by implying they are unreliable, your pals in other posts are *relying* on the accuracy of the surface records for the early 20th century to make arguments about the rate of early 20th century warming being about the same as in the latter part of the 20th century.

  86. cthulhu says:

    Another inconsistency.

    Major Mike writes: ““Greenland ice cores covering the past 10,000 years show 9,100 of those years were warming than any of the present warming period.””

    So 9,100 years were warmer.

    But SBVOR posts this graph of greenland ice core, which correctly takes into account warming since the end of the ice core data:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_cHhMa7ARDDg/SsZbFvC5SJI/AAAAAAAABLY/uZxh6g17bmE/s1600-h/GISP2_10Ke.jpg

    Which doesn’t support the “9100 years were warmer” at all. In fact most years in the past 10,000 years in that graph are cooler than present.

    So we have two contradictory statements made. And before anyone says it doesn’t matter, consider where Major Mike got his claim from: skeptic blogs. Monckton has made the claim, Easterbrook made an entire WUWT post devoted to the claim (which has not been updated with a correction).

  87. andrew holder says:

    It is a bit disingenuous for those people replying here to avoid the thrust of Roy’s question and to hide themselves behind Null Hypothesis based arguments. For decades society has been bombarded with AGW propoganda to such an extent that one could be forgiven if we were to blast ourselves into space searching for the next habitable planet in order to save ourselves.

    Most people I think now realise that we are entering a deep cooling phase – so why pretend that natural cycles and phenomenae cannot explain warming trends? Since the pro AGW brigade are not exactly financially destitute, considering their limitless resource budgets, I would have expected some genuine real scientific study that can prove once and for all that man(=CO2)is responsible for additional warming this century.

    If I was paid handsomely for 30 years producing literature portraying doom and gloom and then realising that perhaps I might just be wrong then I guess I can understand Trenberth, Mann and others position of trying to save themselves from scientific oblivion. But please resist the temptation to avoid the hard questions being asked – sooner or later society (and yes even the politicians) will find you out.

    (PS. 12 months ago I started reading the weather science blogs, such as WUWT and RC and I can tell you one thing, I wasn’t a skeptic until I started to look at the lack of real science being trawled at RC and other pro AGW sites. There is no question that the skeptic position is relevant and relatively quickly will become the majority position in society- perhaps as soon as 2030).

  88. cthulhu says:

    “Most people I think now realise that we are entering a deep cooling phase”

    On what basis?

    I think the answer is: politics.

    Belief in global cooling is a knee-jerk reaction against global warming much like how in politics if you disagree with someone you must disagree with them on all topics. It hasn’t escaped by notice that many of the commenters here who have links to their own blogs are US conservative political activists.

  89. SBVOR says:

    cthulhu,

    I call you out for your pathetic attempt to refute directly cited peer reviewed science with utterly unsubstantiated alarmist claptrap rhetoric and your response is to simple do more of the same?

    You are an unworthy opponent whom I shall not waste another moment on.

    andrew holder sez:

    “There is no question that the skeptic position is relevant and relatively quickly will become the majority position in society”

    Click here and examine the results of a recent Scientific American survey — we’re already there (big time). The totalitarian political religious cult of CAGW is dead and buried! The remnants of their political tyranny are still with us. That is the next battle front.

    Click here & expose the fully discredited IPCC.
    Click here for some basic climate change science.
    Click here to debunk the hysteria topic by topic.

  90. Bob says:

    The AGW hypothesis has a major flaw, and that is the global temperatures haven’t gone up over the last 12 years, they are less flat, as Phil jones confirmed in his testimony in the house of Commons in the UK.

    This means there is some “mechanism” that is at least as strong as CO2 warming. Interestingly those on the AGW side of the debate refer to them as natural causes.

    Before anyone dismisses causes other than CO2, they must first understand the “break” on global warming.

    On the “Natural Cycle” side of the argument this flattening fits, and this year we are witnessing what looks likely to be the coldest year of the century. Further more since the La Nina is at record levels, it is likely that next year will be the second coldest year of the century.

    So for those in this debate that have simply disimissed natural causes, can you please explain your reasoning with respect to the cooling this year and expected next year?

  91. SBVOR says:

    Bob sez:

    “global temperatures haven’t gone up over the last 12 years, they are [more or] less flat, as Phil Jones confirmed in his testimony”

    Just to clarify…

    1) The alarmists at NOAA admit there has been no global warming since 1998:

    “The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the “ENSO-adjusted” trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade.”

    2) Phil Jones admits there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995 (an admission which, by the standards of NOAA, officially invalidates ALL the IPCC computer models — see the prior link for proof).

    3) Coincidentally (or not) the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) began its warming phase around 1978 (one year before satellite based temperature records began). That warming phase plateaued around 1998 and is likely to drop like a rock around 2018.

    Click here and see why — in relation to Dr. Spencer’s challenge — I believe the AMO created and destroyed the totalitarian political religious cult of CAGW (just as the previous cooling phase of the AMO created and destroyed the global cooling hysteria of the 1970’s).

  92. sillyfilly says:

    Maybe this paper might shed some light on natural internal variability such as ENSO: not that their conclusions were in any way accurate. Yet if the paper is correct in its internal machinations, there is still a postive residual of some ~0.9dC unexplained by natural, internal factors.

    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D14104, 8 PP., 2009
    doi:10.1029/2008JD011637
    Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature
    J. D. McLean
    Applied Science Consultants, Croydon, Victoria, Australia
    C. R. de Freitas
    School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
    R. M. Carter
    Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

  93. Smokey says:

    It is not anecdotal. SBVOR is pointing out the inability of GCMs to predict.

  94. SBVOR says:

    SillyFilly,

    1) The abstract for your cited paper does not hint at anything close to what you suggest. If you can provide a free copy of the entire paper, I’d be happy to examine it.

    It appears as though the only natural driver investigated was the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). The SOI is highly relevant. And, I agree with the assertion that:

    “the SOI… shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation [over the last 50 years]”

    But, the SOI is far from only internal climate cycle. There are many others that we know of — and, almost certainly, others we don’t yet even have a hint of.

    2) I would argue that the most significant internal cycle was not addressed at all — The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Ergo to argue that “there is still a positive [sic] residual of some ~0.9dC unexplained by natural, internal factors” holds no water at all (pun intended).

  95. Big Z says:

    AMO positive
    1925-1965, 1995-present
    AMO negative
    1966-1994

    PDO postive
    1925-1945, 1977-1998
    PDO negative
    1946-1976, 1999-present

    Warm AMO/PDO in the 1930′s and 1940′s. Warm AMO/PDO 1990′s.
    Cold AMO/PDO in the 1970′s. You may say there is no trend, but the North Atlantic Hurricane Season (NAHS) is very dependent on the combination of these oscillations (as well as ENSO state). So it clearly affects something. For example…

    A positive AMO leads to a more intense NAHS
    From 1950-1965 9 seasons ACE > 100
    From 1966-1994 6 seasons ACE> 100
    From 1995-pres 11 seasons ACE> 100

    A negative AMO leads to a less intense NAHS
    From 1950-1965 2 seasons ACE < 70
    From 1966-1994 14 seasons ACE < 70
    From 1995-pres 3 seasons ACE < 70

    I use ACE to correct for the potential that tropical cyclones were missed in the 1950's and 1960's from lack of observations over the open Atlantic. Heck, even in 2005 the NHC missed a tropical storm (which they later added to the total).

    Data for thought.

    Z

  96. Marc says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Seems like a fair challenge, though I wish you specified terms for “recent” and perhaps “thermometer record”.

    Generally (to be a tad cute), Mayer, Robert, “Remarks on the Forces of Nature” (1841) rules out internal processes (or climate cycles) as the cause of Earth’s warming.

    I’m not sure that Mayer was peer-reviewed, so I nominate Murphy, et al. 2009, “An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950.”

  97. SBVOR says:

    Marc (February 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM),

    1) Multiple instances of peer reviewed science demonstrate “an estimated warm bias of about 30%” in the surface temperature records. Ergo, how can we trust ANY paper which relies upon that tainted data?

    2) I submit that the satellite data collected since 1979 are the only reliable global instrument data available.

    3) I challenge (again) anyone who believes they have successfully ruled out natural variation as the primary driver of observed warming since 1979 to explain to me how they ruled out the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as the primary driver.

  98. dough0 says:

    In June’s 2010 Journal of Cosmology Qin-Bin Lu published a peer reviewed paper which explains the warming in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To be published requires the paper to be reviewed by a least 5 independent experts with no connection to Lu

    In a nutshell he found CO2 forcing has not changed since 1850 due to a saturation effect in the 2 relatively narrrow wavebands it forces in. All the warming was caused by CFCs which force in what is know as the “atmospheric window” where 80% of the earths radiation used to be virtually unfettered untill 1950 when CFCs became widely used and released. CFCs are a plastic gas that were restricted in 1987 and totally banned in 1996 as they were and still are destroying our protective ozone layer. Global temperature correlations from 1850 to 2010 were as follows. CO2=.02 and CFCs=.96. CFCs act linerly as they are nowhere close to their saturation level.

    Roy, you are the top guy and you are the one to review Lu’s paper and his mathematics and conclusions. I have read it throughly and find no flaws in his reasoning or data but you have greater skills in this area.

    Please take a look at it and share your thoughts!

    http://journalofcosmology.com/QingBinLu.pdf