Our Refutation of Dessler (2010) is Accepted for Publication

July 15th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Some of you might remember last year’s little dust-up between Andy Dessler and me over feedbacks in the climate system.

Our early-2010 paper showed extensive evidence of why previous attempts to diagnose feedbacks (which determine climate sensitivity) have likely led to overestimates of how sensitive the climate system is to forcings like that from increasing CO2. The basic reason is that internal radiative forcing from natural cloud variations causes a temperature-radiation relationship in the data which gives the illusion of high climate sensitivity, even if climate sensitivity is very low.

Dessler’s late-2010 paper basically blew off our arguments and proceeded to diagnose cloud feedback from satellite data in the traditional manner. His justification for ignoring our arguments was that since: 1) most of the temperature variability during the satellite record was due to El Nino and La Nina (which is true), and 2) no one has published evidence that ‘clouds cause El Nino and La Nina’, then he could ignore our arguments.

Well, our paper entitled On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance which refutes Dessler’s claim, has just been accepted for publication. In it we show clear evidence that cloud changes DO cause a large amount of temperature variability during the satellite period of record, which then obscures the identification of temperature-causing-cloud changes (cloud feedback).

Along with that evidence, we also show the large discrepancy between the satellite observations and IPCC models in their co-variations between radiation and temperature:

Given the history of the IPCC gatekeepers in trying to kill journal papers that don’t agree with their politically-skewed interpretations of science (also see here, here, here, here), I hope you will forgive me holding off for on giving the name of the journal until it is actually published.

But I did want to give them plenty of time to work on ignoring our published research as they write the next IPCC report. :)

And this is not over…I am now writing up what I consider to be our most convincing evidence yet that the climate system is relatively insensitive.


70 Responses to “Our Refutation of Dessler (2010) is Accepted for Publication”

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  1. Most of the temp. variation during the satelite era is due to El Nino /La Nina,that is correct.

    The question is what causes La Nina /El Nino ? Well we know a cold PDO will favor more La Ninas versus El Ninos.

    Ian Mason ,and other solar scientist think it may have to do with changes in the earth’s rotational rates due the sun’s position relative to the center of mass of the solar system.

    I think this is much more probable then trying to link it to cloud increase or decreases,within themselves ,which could be the result of less/more cosmic rays, which again goes back to the sun as the utlimate driver.

    I say clouds determine temperature not temperature determining clouds,and of course this is what the whole global cooling argument due to cosmic ray increases during a prolong solar minimums is all about.

    Now I think it is possible the distribution of cloud cover can cause the oceans to heat up differently which could perhaps favor an El Nino event over a La Nina event ,but that has nothing to do with temperature changes causing clouds but rather atmospheric circulation changes and perhaps cosmic ray intensity changes effecting the cloud cover, or changing the could distribution , which then maybe helps promote a La Nina /El Nino which if it does form then effects temperature.

    One in my opinion can’t isolate items to see cause and effect, not really. The El Nino /La Nina strength being a great example of this. There are most likly many factors that come into play that have an impact on this ,another one being low latitude volcanic activity, for an example in addition to other items I mentioned earlier.

    Rotational rate changes of earth versus PDO versus SOI index needs to be looked at more in my opinion.

  2. One last point low cloud cover is going to effect temperature in negative way ,especially if low clouds increase in lower and middle upper latitudes. I think a cold PDO is associated with more low clouds, and this can all tie in with the SOI INDEX.

    Al I know is this is very very very complicated. That is my two cents, my understanding or maybe I should say lack of understanding.

  3. ON the climate realist web-site (A GOOD SITE)coming from another source they post a report that shows June 2011 land /ocean surface temperatures were +.58 c above normal, much higher then what Dr. Spencer has shown ,which are the figures I go by.

    How are they coming up with such a large difference? That is my question. What are they trying to do?

  4. I am glad your paper has got published. Both sides of the argument need to be shown for once.

  5. Philip says:

    Great news! Can’t wait to get my teeth into the new papers.

    Philip.

  6. Andrew says:

    salvatore del prete-”they post a report that shows June 2011 land /ocean surface temperatures were +.58 c above normal, much higher then what Dr. Spencer has shown ,which are the figures I go by.

    How are they coming up with such a large difference? That is my question. What are they trying to do?”

    One thing that must be kept in mind is that different people quote different values of the current “anomaly” because they reference different data sets, which are themselves referenced to different periods. For most of the surface temperature data, which they presumably are quoting, the reference period is from the sixties to the ninties, whereas UAH is referenced to 1981-2010 IIRC. Now, in the surface temperature data, the average from 1961-1990 is significantly cooler than 1981-2010, so the anomalies from those averages are larger than would be the anomalies from the period UAH uses. The other difference is that the surface temperature data are measuring, supposedly, the surface temperature (obviously) but UAH is measuring the lower troposphere (much more of the atmosphere is included, so it better captures how the system is behaving IMAO) this is responsible for the greater variability of tropospheric temperatures than those at the “surface” but raises serious questions about why the trend itself is higher in the surface measures…

    I am glad to here that your paper has gotten published Roy! Will it be available from your website at some point or only behind a paywall at some journal site? I do understand that journals must make money, but I am disappointed when I can’t get access to papers without purchasing them.

  7. they used 1971-2000 for the temperature reference point. That would be cooler then 1981-2010.

    Thanks.

  8. nofreewind says:

    This is all so crazy. Look at the temp records from UAH/RSS/HadCrut.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/plot/uah/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979
    Temps were basically stable from 1979 through 1998 at the 0 axis. Then they jumped about .225 centigrade the past decade. So that is .225C for 32 years. And the jump all occurred during one year. Yet this one year jump is unprecedented? Whaaat? And before 1979 the land-based temp’s show flat temperatures since the 1940′s. So we have about .225C jump in 70 years. What I am missing. (except GISS, which I’m ignoring because they are the gang than can’t shoot straight)

  9. Ray says:

    Salvatore,
    The anomaly of 0.58c is presumably NCDC/NOAA, relative to 1901-2000, not 1971-2000. I don’t know of any anomaly which is relative to 1971-2000. Adjusted to 1961-90, 0.58c is equivalent to 0.442c.
    The UAH anomaly was 0.314c, relative to 1981-2010. Adjusted to 1961-90, that is equivalent to 0.567c.
    Consequently, relative to the same base period, the UAH anomaly for June is HIGHER than NCDC/NOAA.
    Incidentally, on the same basis the NASA/GISS anomaly for June is 0.39c, and that for RSS is 0.424c.
    HadCRUT3 has not yet been announced but I expect it to be around 0.4c, relative to 1961-90.
    Consequently UAH will be by far the highest of the anomalies and looking the “odd man out” this month.
    There is no puzzle about the relative anomalies, if you make the necessary adjustments to the same base period, apart from UAH that is.

  10. Ray says:

    nofreewind,
    Why are you using variance adjusted HadCRUT3?
    It isn’t the one normally quoted.

  11. Ray says:

    nofreewind,
    Also, those figures don’t look as if they have been adjusted to the same base period.
    Is it possible to do that on “woodfortrees”?

  12. Andrew says:

    Ray-You can’t adjust UAH to the 1961-1990 period, it has not data before 1979 (except one month). Your anomaly calculations are erroneously conflating the difference in baselines of surface data with the satellite data. Instead, if you really must compare, you should rebaseline the datasets to UAH’s baseline. But your comparison of the anomalies on a month to month basis is fundamentally wrong in any case, since you fail to understand that UAH is not measuring the same thing as the surface data sets. Both RSS and UAH would, if the surface data and RSS were on UAH’s baseline, appear to go well above and well below the surface anomalies on a fairly regular basis. This is because they are measuring the anomalies in the lower troposphere, where ENSO events in particular tend to have an amplified effect on temperatures. To compare the anomalies of RSS and UAH with surface anomalies, put them all on the 1981-2010 baseline, and then divide RSS and UAH by about 1.2 to account for this greater variance.

  13. Ray says:

    Andrew,
    Sorry, but your wrong. You don’t need UAH data for 1961-90, all you need is an overlapping period of temperatures.
    Since we have HadCRUT3 temperatures for 1981-2010, when the average HadCRUT3 anomaly was 0.253c, and by definition the mean UAH anomaly was zero, all you have to do is add 0.253c to the UAH anomaly to adjust it to 1961-90. Of course, this does not always give 100% accuracy for individual months, but over longer periods it is accurate.
    Yes, you could rebase everything to 1981-2010, but if you think about it, it’s exactly the same thing, only in reverse. Effectively what you are saying is that I should deduct 0.253c from the HadCRUT3 figure. I use 1961-1990 because it makes sense to use HadCRUT3 as the standard, since it is the longest data series, and adjust everything to it’s base period. How many people refer to the UAH anomaly as the standard?
    Before you can make any comparison of the various anomalies, it is essential to adjust them to the same base period. Not doing so is what causes a lot of confusion.
    I am well aware that UAH and RSS are not measuring the same thing as the surface temperature datasets. Indeed, for individual months, the satellite do go well above and below ground based anomalies, but again averaged over the long-term they are very similar.
    I still say that UAH is the “odd man out” at the moment, which is clear if you look at the current 12 month averages:
    HADCRUT3 = 0.385c (at end May)
    GISTEMP = 0.408c
    NOAA = 0.395c
    RSS = 0.404c
    UAH = 0.463c

  14. steve says:

    Dr Spencer, when will your Paper be available to read here?

    Will be interesting to see the reaction, especially from
    Andy Dessler & co.

  15. Andrew says:

    Ray, you are wrong, not me:

    “You don’t need UAH data for 1961-90, all you need is an overlapping period of temperatures.”

    The why not use an overlapping period?

    “Since we have HadCRUT3 temperatures for 1981-2010, when the average HadCRUT3 anomaly was 0.253c, and by definition the mean UAH anomaly was zero, all you have to do is add 0.253c to the UAH anomaly to adjust it to 1961-90.”

    This is WRONG! You cannot do what you are effectively trying to do, which is insert warming from before the satellite record that is present in HadCRUT into the satellite anomalies. You CANNOT DO THIS. You are effectively assuming that if UAH had data before the satellite era, it would have had a baseline as much cooler as the surface baseline. YOU CANNOT ASSUME THIS! The ONLY proper course of action is to baseline them to their COMMON PERIOD!

    “Yes, you could rebase everything to 1981-2010, but if you think about it, it’s exactly the same thing, only in reverse.”

    As I just said it is NOT the same thing.

    “it makes sense to use HadCRUT3 as the standard, since it is the longest data series”

    In point of fact it makes less sense to use the longest series! The must be baselined according to the shortest series

    “I am well aware that UAH and RSS are not measuring the same thing as the surface temperature datasets.”

    You are aware of it, which is obviously why you make no attempt to account for that fact before comparing the anomalies.

    “Indeed, for individual months, the satellite do go well above and below ground based anomalies, but again averaged over the long-term they are very similar.”

    You seem to be under the erroneous impression that this is just noise. In point of fact, it is that variations in surface temperature from year to year are amplified aloft (although not the trends for some reason) It is not just “individual months” which is why you will still see this in your:

    “which is clear if you look at the current 12 month averages”

    You MUST account for the different variability of these data before comparing them! Smoothing them is not the appropriate way of doing this. You must divide the tropospheric anomalies by about 1.2, which gives a more apples to apples comparison.

    “I still say that UAH is the “odd man out””

    But your basis for saying so is erroneous!

  16. Kasuha says:

    I don’t see any significant global differences between the four graphs. They differ in details but definitely not on global level.
    And there was clearly no 1-year warming period.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/plot/uah/from:1979/offset:0.251/plot/rss/from:1979/offset:0.155/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.093/plot/square:10/from:1979/scale:4/to:1980

  17. Andrew says:

    When you baseline HadCRUT (the “variance adjusted” though it makes little difference) to UAH’s baseline, the anomaly for May becomes about .087. UAH had an anomaly of 0.14 in May BUT the variability in tropospheric temps is higher. Dividing the UAH anomaly by about 1.2, the general ratio of lower troposphere to surface fluctuations, you get .116. Monthly data is however very noisy, so let’s look at the twelve month periods (the amplification is clearer here, but of the same magnitude, because of less noise) for the twelve months in HadCRUT for the twelve months ending with may, the average anomaly from the UAH baseline period is about .128 and the UAH data it’s about .22, which divided by 1.2 is .183. So recently UAH has been reading slighly higher relative to HadCRUT than normally would be expected, but it is not as large a difference as has been implied.

  18. kuhnkat says:

    “I am now writing up what I consider to be our most convincing evidence yet that the climate system is relatively insensitive.”

    Insensitive?? How would YOU like to be called insensitive!! That’s just MEAN.

  19. Congratulations on the paper’s acceptance Dr Roy!

    It seems the journals are looking for a graceful way to back out of the corner they painted themselves into, by publishing properly executed scientific work.

    I wonder when we’ll hear the
    “It’s not as bad as we thought”
    pronouncement. :)

    Of course, once it is understood that the climate is relativeley insensitive to co2 changes, the question of what caused the rise in temperature in the late C20th comes back to the fore. If it was reduced cloud allowing greater insolation at the surface, then the question of what causes changes in cloud cover is paramount. One contender is the Svensmark hypothesis. My offering is the changes in specific humidity near the tropopause, and the buildup of ocean heat content pushing condensation altitudes higher, where clouds retain more warmth and allow more light through.

    The buildup of ocean heat content will be found to be a function of the accumulation of solar energy derived heat, not increased back-radiation. My simple model predicts a gentle fall in global T over the next few decades if we experience a Dalton type solar minimum.

  20. Pascvaks says:

    From me too, Congratulations! Life’s a real slog sometimes. Keep slogging!

  21. RW says:

    Dr. Spencer – yes, congratulations indeed.

  22. steve says:

    >>>Of course, once it is understood that the climate is relativeley insensitive to co2 changes, the question of what caused the rise in temperature in the late C20th comes back to the fore.
    <<<

    I have to say that someone here posted this link -

    Stratospheric warming – total cloudiness & jet stream
    How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/features-2/wilde-weather/the-sun-could-control-earths-temperature/290.html

    I found this article most interesting as a theory, & it is backed up with data & scientific papers

    • nevket240 says:

      Hard to believe Steve. The sun is only 99% of the solar systems mass. It would need to be bigger to cause ‘climate change’ on our planet. Ask Julia Gillard, the CC expert.

      I would love to see Dr Roy & R Lindzen, Lubos etc debate the ‘experts’ from the UN. People have not been given the science, they have been fed the politics.
      My 2 cents are that we must understand the workings of the universe before we fully understand our little ball of weather.
      Keep up the good work Dr Spencer.
      regards

  23. geo says:

    Dr. Roy–

    You might find this (non-academic) fellow’s paper interesting: http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf

    He’s coming at the cloud cover issue from a different direction than you are, but you still might find a thought or two useful for further exploration. And since so few folks are even trying to come at that issue seriously (yourself being an honorable exception), it’s probably worth a look.

  24. Ray says:

    Andrew,

    “Then why not use an overlapping period?”

    I have done, i.e. 1981-2010.
    In your first reply, you said:
    “Instead, if you really must compare, you should rebaseline the datasets to UAH’s baseline.”
    In order to do that, it is necessary to compare the average HadCRUT3 anomaly for 1981-2010 with that
    of UAH. In the case of HadCRUT3, the average anomaly for 1981-2010 is +0.253c, while that for UAH,
    by definition, must be zero. Consequently, in order to re-baseline HadCRUT3 to the UAH baseline,
    it is necessary to deduct 0.253c from HadCRUT3, which in the case of May 2011, this would be 0.322c – 0.253c = 0.069c,
    compared to the UAH anomaly of 0.14c. Otherwise, the UAH anomaly is 0.071c higher than HadCRUT3.
    If, instead of doing this, 0.253c is added to the UAH figure, to re-base it to 1961-90, the result is 0.393c,
    otherwise UAH is STILL 0.071c higher than HadCRUT3.
    It makes no difference how this is done, the end result is still that UAH. is 0.071c higher than HadCRUT3.

    “This is WRONG! You cannot do what you are effectively trying to do, which is insert warming from before the satellite record that is present in HadCRUT into the satellite anomalies.”
    That is not what I am doing. I am not making any attempt to make any assumptions about UAH before the satellited data were available, I am simply re-basing the existing data to a different time period, using a common period. Personally, I think that you are concentrating too much on the fact that I am rebasing to 1961-90. All I am doing is adding the average difference for the period 1981-2010 to the UAH figure.

    “You seem to be under the erroneous impression that this is just noise. In point of fact, it is that variations in surface temperature from year to year are amplified aloft (although not the trends for some reason)”
    Yes, the variations are amplified, but as you say yourself not the trend. The reason the trends are the same is that we are dealing with anomalies, not absolute temperatures. The UAH anomalies tend to be higher during warm perods and cooler during cool periods, but these variations cancel each other out, resulting in almost identical trends and long-term average anomalies.

    “You MUST account for the different variability of these data before comparing them! Smoothing them is not the appropriate way of doing this. You must divide the tropospheric anomalies by about 1.2, which gives a more apples to apples comparison.”
    Since the positive and negative variations tend to balance each other out, I don’t understand the need for this adjustment factor, which seems to have the overall effect of reducing the UAH anomalies. Could you tell me how it was arrived at?

    In your other response (not sure to which post ), you said:
    “When you baseline HadCRUT (the “variance adjusted” though it makes little difference) to UAH’s baseline, the anomaly for May becomes about .087.”
    This compares to my figure of 0.069c above. Can you explain how you arrived at that figure?

  25. Ray says:

    Kasuha,

    I notice that in your woodfortrees graphs, offset factors have been applied to the UAH, RSS and GISS anomalies, which are very similar but not identical to the ones I use. For example, +0.251 in the case of UAH, while I use +0.253.
    Can you tell me what was the source of those offset factor figures?

  26. Lara Strong says:

    My father a meteorologist and atmospheric physicist published 3 papers in Nature in the 30-40′s concerning evapotranspiration and formation of cloud particles etc. he told us in 1998 already that the AGW was and would always be a tax grab. What insight!

  27. Andrew says:

    Ray-”This compares to my figure of 0.069c above. Can you explain how you arrived at that figure?”

    I have rebaselined to each month individually, which is crucial for comparing monthly anomalies, rather than simply removing the average of all months and years of a period.

    “The reason the trends are the same is that we are dealing with anomalies, not absolute temperatures.”

    No, this is nonsense, absolute temperatures would also show similar trends. The trends are actually not the same, UAH has a trend that is only 90% of HadCRUT’s.

    “The UAH anomalies tend to be higher during warm perods and cooler during cool periods, but these variations cancel each other out, resulting in almost identical trends and long-term average anomalies.”

    But they shouldn’t cancel out, the long term trend should also be amplified. The fact that it is not is an important point which suggest, to me, that HadCRUT erroneously warms too much.

    “Since the positive and negative variations tend to balance each other out, I don’t understand the need for this adjustment factor”

    It is necessary because the tropospheric temperatures are expected to amplify variability (“variability” includes long term trends) as occurs in the short term variations, as long as the same physics applies to long term warming as to short term warming and cooling (no one has given me a good reason to think otherwise).

    “which seems to have the overall effect of reducing the UAH anomalies. Could you tell me how it was arrived at?”

    Sure, although note one could multiply the HadCRUT anomalies by 1.2 to the same effect. The source of the figure is John Christy, who maintains the UAH dataset along with Roy. His analysis of climate model output suggests an expected amplification factor of 1.2. Based on my own analysis of short term variability this may be a little too low (currently my best estimate is about 1.3). Besides that, it is obvious that when comparing records with different variances, they can be expected to diverge from one another on a regular basis. One must account for that when attempting to say one dataset is too high or low at any given time.

  28. Kasuha says:

    Ray: no big science, I just replaced each graph by its mean value and then fiddled with offsets until they were rougly over each other. I didn’t really intend to go into thousandths of degree but ended up using them anyway. My objective was just to put the graphs over each other because it gives better view on the temperature development than the nofreewind’s graph.

  29. Dragontide says:

    Dr Jeff Masters’ account of extreme weather events in 2010 sure makes the climate look sensitive to me.

    2010:

    1. Earth’s hottest year on record
    2. Most extreme winter Arctic atmospheric circulation on record; “Snowmageddon” results
    3. Arctic sea ice: lowest volume on record, 3rd lowest extent
    4. Record melting in Greenland, and a massive calving event
    5. Second most extreme shift from El Nińo to La Nińa
    6. Second worst coral bleaching year
    7. Wettest year over land
    8. Amazon rainforest experiences its 2nd 100-year drought in 5 years
    9. Global tropical cyclone activity lowest on record
    10. A hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season: 3rd busiest on record
    11. A rare tropical storm in the South Atlantic
    12. Strongest storm in Southwestern U.S. history
    13. Strongest non-coastal storm in U.S. history
    14. Weakest and latest-ending East Asian monsoon on record
    15. No monsoon depressions in India’s Southwest Monsoon for 2nd time in 134 years
    16. The Pakistani flood: most expensive natural disaster in Pakistan’s history
    17. The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history
    18. Record rains trigger Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history
    19. Heaviest rains on record trigger Colombia’s worst flooding disaster in history
    20. Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage

    • aaron says:

      DT,

      What was the heat content change?

      While temps were high, I suspect many of these were due to cooling (or a decrease in warming), not high temps. Probably mostly due to natural circulation changes. Probably a consequence of a change in pdo/climate regime.

  30. slimething says:

    Dragontide, just for fun head on over to http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/ and scroll through the hundreds of pages of news clippings from pre “global warming” and “safe” CO2 levels.

    Jeff Masters may not be exactly, how shall I say this……honest?

  31. Dragontide says:

    slimething says:

    “Jeff Masters may not be exactly, how shall I say this……honest?”

    Of Dr Jeff Masters’ top 20 listed above, which one(s) are you claiming did not occur?

    Not only did they all occur, they are part of an unnatural long series of extreme weather events that continues to this day. (which began sometimes between Ivan/Katrina and the four major typhoons that struck the Philippines within a three week period in 2006) Extreme weather events that would normally be stretched out over several decades instead of the few years in which they just occurred.

    And there is still that likelihood of more powerful seismic events, due to more weight on the ocean floor from excessive polar ice melt. (which makes it harder for magma to naturally rise from the ocean floor, allowing more pressure to build)

  32. kuhnkat says:

    Dragontide,

    would you mind posting the data he bases his hallucinations on?? Over half of his claims would appear to be spurious at best.

    Others would have nothing to do with AGW and CO2 and everything to do with natural climate change and the lower output of the sun.

    “Dr Jeff Masters’ account of extreme weather events in 2010 sure makes the climate look sensitive to me.”

    What is your definition of Climate Sensitivity? I am trying not to laugh, but, I could use a good guffaw.

  33. kuhnkat says:

    Dragontide,

    that long series of extreme events stretches all the way back through the proxy records and written history. You should check out the link slimething left. The point is that extreme events have been happening all through history and were probably WORSE before AGW fever.

  34. Andrew says:

    Dragontide’s post is hilarious! So quite literally every weather event is due to AGW? Wow! Sad Roy’s blog tends to eat up as spam comments with too many links as I would provide references quite easily illustrating many of his claims are easily demonstrated to be exactly the reason any statistics student learns to NOT use anecdotal evidence.

    Let’s examine some of his claims, as best I can without invoking the filter:

    “1. Earth’s hottest year on record”

    According to who’s record exactly? Not the satellite record maintained by our host! But what he fails to recognize is just how small the differences that make for “records” are, namely hundredths of degrees, well within uncertainties for anomaly estimates, making claims of individual years as records not a reliable statistic. At any rate, given that we are in a relatively warm period, it’s not surprising that records will be broken by simply varying a little around a high mean, so one cannot infer trends from records. Has there been recent warming? Sure, in the last thirty years, and it’s fully consistent with a climate that is actually quite stable and not very sensitive at all.

    “2. Most extreme winter Arctic atmospheric circulation on record; “Snowmageddon” results”

    The Arctic Oscillation has indeed shown striking negative values recently, but it’s variability nothing to do with global warming, but rather is reflective of our chaotic weather. The question is, is there a trend and is it what we would expect from our theories about how the climate responds to greenhouse forcing? In point of fact, if the implication of pointing to a single year’s extreme negative value was that the AO is decreasing, well this is contrary to what climate models predict with is generally increasing values of the AO, and in 1998 GISS had a paper that claimed such a trend had occurred since the fifties, and their climate model matched this. At that time, the nineties, the AO was predominately positive, and since the fifties had increased, although since 1900 it had been declining:

    Shindell, D,T, et al., 1998, Simulation of recent northern winter climate trends by greenhouse-gas forcing, Nature, 399, 452–455.

    “3. Arctic sea ice: lowest volume on record, 3rd lowest extent”

    The sea ice records of any reliability, that is, those from satellites indicate a decline in extent. Direct measures of “volume” of sea ice have to be modeled, mostly, based more or less on that data. Again, given a slight warming in the last thirty years, that is to be expected. Have to wonder what the sea ice extent was like it times when the Arctic was warmer. Consider the early Holocene, ie from this paper:

    MacDonald, G.M., et al., 2000. Holocene treeline history and climate change across northern Eurasia. Quaternary Research, 53, 302-311.

    The july temperatures along the Northern Coast of Russia, ie along the Arctic ocean, were 2.5 to 7 degrees warmer than present for about five thousand years from about 8000 years before present to about 3500 years before present. Note that despite strong warming in the warmest part of the year, in the Arctic (and all the way to the pole, the warmth relative to the present was probably even greater) the world didn’t come to an end, the Polar Bear (a species that is more than tens of thousands of years old, by the way, possibly over a hundred thousand) did not die out, Greenland did not slide into the ocean…so much for catastrophic consequences of Arctic warming.

    “4. Record melting in Greenland, and a massive calving event”

    What was the melt like in the before the satellite observations that measure this? Probably pretty high during the warm period in Greenland from the thirties to the sixties? Compared to the most recent decade, that three decade period was warmer, and probably experienced more overall melt:

    Frauenfeld, O.W., P.C. Knappenberger, and P.J. Michaels, 2011. A reconstruction of annual Greenland ice melt extent, 1785-2009. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D08104, doi: 10.1029/2010JD014918.

    And what about the melt in about 1100 AD when temperatures were about as high as the early warm period of this century?

    Kobashi, T., J.P. Severinghaus, J.-M. Barnola, K. Kawamura, T. Carter, and T. Nakaegawa. 2010. Persistent multi-decadal Greenland temperature fluctuation through the last millennium. Climatic Change, 100, 733–756.

    “5. Second most extreme shift from El Nińo to La Nińa”

    I don’t quite see what rate of transition from El Nino to La Nina has to do with anything, which I assume is what you refer to, but if the implication is meant to be that ENSO is become more variable, this is not true. Take the Southern Oscillation Index data and take the absolute values, this gives you the evolution temporally of it’s variance, and fit a trend to it. Since 1876 the trend is marginally negative, meaning decreased variability, but the trend is also obviously not statistically significant.

    “6. Second worst coral bleaching year”

    Where, and in what record, over what period? Note just high temperatures, but also pollution and many other factors can cause bleaching. Earlier you said that we underwent rapid transition to La Nina, well this would tend to suggest a significant drop in tropical ocean temperatures, which would tend to mean that this particular stressor probably isn’t the reason for any “record”.

    “7. Wettest year over land”

    Since when, what record is this from, and again, what is the actual trend? Precipitation is extremely variable, so records tell you less about trends than they do even in temperature.

    “8. Amazon rainforest experiences its 2nd 100-year drought in 5 years”

    The long term trend, meanwhile, is generally towards greater precipitation:

    Marengo, J.A. 2009. Long-term trends and cycles in the hydrometeorology of the Amazon basin since the late 1920s. Hydrological Processes, 23, 3236-3244.

    “9. Global tropical cyclone activity lowest on record”

    So? Globally there has been no significant trend over the period of globally reliable data.

    “10. A hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season: 3rd busiest on record”

    What measure are you going by, exactly, to determine that it was so busy? It can matter quite bit. But there is no significant trend in Atlantic tropical Cyclones when one takes into account improving monitoring:

    Vecchi, G. A., and T.R Knutson, 2011. Estimating annual numbers of Atlantic hurricanes missing from the HURDAT database (1878-1965) using ship track density. Journal of Climate, 24, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3810.1.

    Note also that every single one of the many cyclones that formed in 2010 managed to miss the US! Now that is impressive!

    “12. Strongest storm in Southwestern U.S. history”

    There is no trend US wide to more storminess or more variable storminess, nor do climate models project any such thing:

    Hayden, B.P., 1999, Climate change and extratropical storminess in the United States: An assessment, J. American Water Resources Association, 35, 1387–1397.

    “13. Strongest non-coastal storm in U.S. history”

    Again, there is no increasing trend in US storms.

    “14. Weakest and latest-ending East Asian monsoon on record”

    Funny, because it was those late monsoon rains that led to the Pakistani flood. But Monsoons are predicted to strengthen, not weaken, and while some weakening occured since the fifties, the trends since 1979, about the beginning of recent warming, are non-existant:

    Chase, T.N., J.A. Knaff, R.A. Pielke Sr. and E. Kalnay, 2003: Changes in global monsoon circulations since 1950. Natural Hazards, 29, 229-254.

    And black carbon, not CO2, may be behind the changes we do see, a recent news story from the BBC reported this. Again, don’t want to risk a link, look it up.

    “16. The Pakistani flood: most expensive natural disaster in Pakistan’s history”

    There is extensive literature documenting that costs of disasters is going up, but from increased economic development, not more or worse disasters.

    “17. The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history”

    But not due to AGW:

    Dole, R., M. Hoerling, J. Perlwitz, J. Eischeid, P. Pegion, T. Zhang, X.-W. Quan, and D. Murray (2011), Was there a basis for anticipating the 2010 Russian heat wave? Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL046582, in press.

    “18. Record rains trigger Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history”

    Again, one should not make reference to individual events, but I am unfamiliar with Australia. Where is your evidence that floods are increasing? According to an Australian BoM website, the trend in most of Australia has been to less extreme rainfall, and as for totals aggregated across the continent, 1974 appears the highest.

    Again, perhaps I’ll trying a link in a seperate post, but BoM has a history of flood flows for Brisbane and the worst floods were in the 1800′s

    “19. Heaviest rains on record trigger Colombia’s worst flooding disaster in history”

    It’s not a disaster if people don’t live their. I would guess that there were worse events in the past, but nobody experienced their effects, because there were fewer people. Beyond that, I know little about Columbia specifically.

    “20. Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage”

    Again, damages will tend to increase because of more people and more stuff vulnerable to floods. This has nothing to do with climate change. Especially since in the last century, Tennessee has been cooling.

  35. Massimo PORZIO says:

    When Dragontide posted his first message I believed he was just an uniformed guy. But after I read his other messages I understood that it is absolutely impossible to convince him that he is writing well refuted “truths”.
    Maybe he is one of those mind corrupted “green soldiers” instructed to go behind the “enemy line” of the AGW skeptics arena to puzzle the science and delay the debacle of their CO2 pollutant theory.

  36. Chuck L says:

    It is futile to try to refute trolls like Dragontide. Their minds are made up and no amount of facts, logic, and science will change their point of view. It is like arguing about religion; faith trumps science, every time.

  37. STEPHEN WILDE -HOW THE SUN CONTROL’S EARTH’S TEMPERATURE,

    IS THE BEST ,CORRECT ARTICLE EVER WRITTEN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. PERIOD!

    His article put’s to shame all the other trash written by so called mainstream climate scientist. Why someone like Dr. Spencer, can’t see the value and sensibility of this article by Steve, is beyond me.

    I have agreed with Steve ,on all he has done with the exception of why the stratopshere might warm overall during low solar activity. I had come around to think if the stratosphere did not warm due to low solar activity ,that at least the stratosphere would warm at the poles ,relative to lower latitudes during low solar activity.

    I have now come to the conclusion that an out right warming of the stratosphere is very possible during prolong solar minimums with active spurts, due to the increase in volcanic activity which would increase the concentrations of so2 paricles in the stratosphere which would cause a net warming of the stratosphere ,while causing a net cooling of the earth’s surface.

    Once more ,the Brewer Dobson circulation, would tend to concentrate more so2 particles toward the poles ,along with ozone, (which is a result of the UV LIGHT,coming from the sun )causing a greater warming effect near the poles in contrast to the lower latitudes. This in turn as Steve has said EXPANDS AND WEAKENS the polar voretex and pushes the jet stream equatorward . This results in a more NEGATIVE AO, which has been the trend of recent years in complete opposition to what the global warming models have said. The global warming models are a piece of junk,to put it in a polite manner.

    Also as Steve has pointed out a smaller laspe rate equals an expanding (less deep)polar vortex and a jet stream movement equatorwards. Air can’t rise as much with a lessser lapse rate.

    Steve, is also correct about the amount of ozone destruction being higher during solar maximum activity(near the poles despite more UV light), due to a stronger polar vortex which can bring down air from the mesosphere which has high concentrations of nitrous oxide which is highly destructive to ozone.

    Steve, is on the correct path and when that is combined with my two cents of how the sun sets the tables for the AO circulation, Volcanic Activity, SOI INDEX, PDO/AMO, which in turn will effect earth’s ALBEDO ,through cloud modulation(perhaps cosmic rays having an impact on clouds)snow cover distribution changes ,and precip.(especially in the N.H.) we have a very strong case that this is what governs earth’s climatic system.

    Yet hardly anyone will listen to this very sensible comprehensive argument that is being put forth.

    As they say time will tell. I am very confident time will prove what has been said by Steve ,and what I have added will be correct.

    It sure beats any other thoughts I have come across on this subject. Infact it leaves them in the dust.

  38. Andrew says:

    Chuck, I don’t intend to convince him, but allowing his comments to go un-eviscerated would give the impression to the causal reader that he might have a point. He doesn’t.

    Oh, it seems I missed some:

    “15. No monsoon depressions in India’s Southwest Monsoon for 2nd time in 134 years”

    As I said above, AGW does not predict fewer/weaker monsoons, but the trend, which is mainly before AGW supposedly began in earnest, may be explained by local black carbon pollution. The solution is obvious: gas powered stoves should replace wood/crap burning in India. This will require their economy to grow and the people to get wealthy, which means they will need to burn fossil fuels.

    “11. A rare tropical storm in the South Atlantic”

    Indeed, such storms are rare. But not because the South Atlantic is too cold, rather it is because there is too much wind shear and and typically no ITCZ over the ocean there. But how frequently do such events occur? There is no way to be sure. For one thing, such storms may have occurred occasionally in the past, but like the North Atlantic, there was much opportunity to miss them. But such events are definitely sufficiently rare as to make it impossible to cite one as a sign of some dramatic, unprecedented change-that’s statistics of rare events 101. However, one such event may have been recorded as having occurred in November of 1923, by the Monthly Weather Review:

    McCurdy Jr, A.J. CYCLONIC DISTURBANCES IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
    OCEAN. Monthly Weather Review Nov. 1923

    Additionally we have the claim of:

    “four major typhoons that struck the Philippines within a three week period in 2006″

    But there is no trend in Phillipines landfalling storms! Nor is there such a trend anywhere in East Asia:

    Kubota, H., and J. C. L. Chan. 2009. Interdecadal variability of tropical cyclone landfall in the Philippines from 1902 to 2005. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L12802, doi:10.1029/2009GL038108.

    Chan, J.C.L. and M. Xu. 2009. Inter-annual and inter-decadal variations of landfalling tropical cyclones in East Asia. Part I: time series analysis. International Journal of Climatology, 29, 1285-1293.

  39. You’re very coy about your journal.

    I guess http://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/

    Do I win a prize?

  40. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thank you Salvatore but I’m not so sure that volcanic effects are doing it.

    For those who are curious the article can be found here:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/features-2/wilde-weather/the-sun-could-control-earths-temperature/290.html

  41. Dragontide says:

    Andrew says:

    ““1. Earth’s hottest year on record”

    According to who’s record exactly? Not the satellite record maintained by our host!”

    No kidding! Dr Spencer’s temperatures are nowhere close to actual surface temperatures.

    Andrew says:

    “The Arctic Oscillation has indeed shown striking negative values recently, but it’s variability nothing to do with global warming, but rather is reflective of our chaotic weather.”

    An unusually large amount of chaotic weather. The melting polar ice (due to AGW) is defiantly playing a role. Water absorbs more heat than ice. A lot more. This excess of heat forces polar temperatures farther away from the poles. It happened in the north last winter and is happening now in the south.

    Andrew says:

    “Have to wonder what the sea ice extent was like it times when the Arctic was warmer.”

    Never once low enough to affect he Inuit and other polar dwellers at any time in the past 30,000 years. Only now.

    Andrew says:

    “What was the (Greenland) melt like in the before the satellite observations that measure this?”

    Negligible according to ice core samples.

    Andrew says:

    “I don’t quite see what rate of transition from El Nino to La Nina has to do with anything”

    It did occur. AGW could possibly have an an affect on the ENSO.

    Andrew says:

    Note just high temperatures, but also pollution and many other factors can cause bleaching.

    Warmer temperatures is the leading cause.

    Andrew says:

    “Note also that every single one of the many cyclones that formed in 2010 managed to miss the US! Now that is impressive!”

    Nobody is claiming that AGW gives cyclones the ability to aim. I fail to see what point you are trying to make.

    Andrew says:

    “There is no trend US wide to more storminess or more variable storminess, nor do climate models project any such thing”

    A simple look at historical records can determine variability.

    Andrew says:

    “The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history”

    But not due to AGW:

    Dole, R., M. Hoerling, J. Perlwitz, J. Eischeid, P. Pegion, T. Zhang, X.-W. Quan, and D. Murray (2011), Was there a basis for anticipating the 2010 Russian heat wave?”

    The 300+ consecutive months the world temperature has been above average. (June 2011, was the 316th consecutive month)

    Andrew says:

    “I am unfamiliar with Australia. Where is your evidence that floods are increasing?”

    The Queensland floods was Australia’s most expensive natural disaster.

    Andrew says:

    “It’s not a disaster if people don’t live their.”

    It would not have happened at all without our mutated Mother Nature.

    Andrew says:

    “Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage”

    Again, damages will tend to increase because of more people and more stuff vulnerable to floods. This has nothing to do with climate change. Especially since in the last century”

    The amount of rain that fell is still extremely rare.

  42. I am thinking the voclanic effects might contribute to it.

    The best statement you made Steve, is the troposphere will be modulated by the sea surface temperature, which can either supplement or offset the effect of solar changes. How correct you are ,and that is why I keep saying lag times have to be appreciated in all of this. It takes time for events to unfold. People just don’t understand that concept. They think a weak sun ,instant cool down. It does not work that way.

  43. Ray says:

    Kasuha says:
    “Ray: no big science, I just replaced each graph by its mean value and then fiddled with offsets until they were rougly over each other. I didn’t really intend to go into thousandths of degree but ended up using them anyway. My objective was just to put the graphs over each other because it gives better view on the temperature development than the nofreewind’s graph.”
    Hmm, I am not sure whether that is a valid approach. You have effectively forced the graphs to overlap by fiddling the differentials, but I think you should first calculate the differentials and see if the graphs fit. I don’t think your method proves much. What is interesting is that the differentials are very similar to those I have calculated by using the actual HadCRUT3 anomalies over the other series base periods.

  44. Ray says:

    Dragontide,
    Unfortunately, you have been taken in, “hook, line and sinker” by the AGW propaganda. Even “climagte scientists” agree that no individual weather event can be attributed to “climate change”.
    What this is mostly measuring is the extent to which modern communications can report weather events, not the fact that such events are increasing. You are also confusing the increasing $ value of damage done by such events with the fact that they may, or may not be more extreme.

  45. Chuck L says:

    Dragontide repeatedly cites “facts” without evidence or references. Andrew, on the other hand, provides references, but as I posted previously, for AGW zealots, this is a religious issue as they cling doggedly to the very suspect NASA GISS numbers (although even GISS shows level or slightly falling global temperatures since 1998) as “proof” of global warming.

  46. Ray says:

    Andrew,
    Thanks for the explanations.
    I presume that by rebaselining each month individually, you mean comparing only May anomalies for one data set with May anomalies for another set. I will have a look at doing that in future, and see what differences it makes. However, it sounds like your figure would be close to mine if you didn’t rebaseline individual months. As far as other aspects of the discussion are concerned, I guess we are going to have to agree to disagreee.
    One thing I came across when looking at the HadCRUT3 data is that the mean anomaly for HadCRUT3 itself, over the base period of 1961-90 is about -0.028c, when in theory it should be zero.
    So in effect, an adjustment factor of +0.028c has to be applied to HadCRUT3 anomalies themselves, to adjust them to 1961-90.
    This may seem like a small figure, but it is an average over 30 years. In practice, you would have to increase a single month by about 10c or a single year by about 0.8c in order to make the 1961-90 HadCRUT3 anomaly zero. In fact the 30 year period of the HadCRUT3 anomaly which produces a zero mean anomaly would be 1965 to 1994. I am still trying to understand the implications of this as far as comparison with other data sets is concerned.

  47. Andrew says:

    Dragontide, your reply was pathetic. Your post was devoid of references or evidence for your claims, as is your reply, which ducks and dodges the issues.

    “No kidding! Dr Spencer’s temperatures are nowhere close to actual surface temperatures.”

    The innuendo is striking. You imply that the UAH satellite data is wrong and the surface data right. What evidence do you have for this? Are you even aware of the many limitations of the surface data?

    “An unusually large amount of chaotic weather.”

    You misunderstand what “chaotic weather” means in this context. I was refering to the fact that weather is choatic and varies in an unpredictable manner. You appear to mean that the weather was unusually unusual from you perspective of what “unusual” is. But you present no evidence that the amount of “unsual” weather in 2010 was unusual, you present no evidence that similar events have not happened before. You simply assert, against all evidence to the contrary, that there is more “unusual” weather recently. Again, where is the evidence?

    “The melting polar ice (due to AGW) is defiantly playing a role.”

    “due to AGW” is an assertion. Where is the evidence?

    “Water absorbs more heat than ice. A lot more. This excess of heat forces polar temperatures farther away from the poles. It happened in the north last winter and is happening now in the south.”

    I think you have the physical mechanism by which you are attempting to link heat to more cold quite wrong. Heat can’t “move polar temperatures south”, “cold” is not something that moves around. If the Arctic is gaining heat, then the air masses that ocassionally get ejected down will be warmer. And indeed they are, one year weather not withstanding. The cold air masses that move southward occassionally don’t do so because hot air masses pushed them around, they do so when the meandering of the jet stream, due to chaotic, random variation, results in a “pinching off” that breaks off a bubble of Arctic air. The effect of warming greater in the poles (as observed) is to move the jet stream northward, but it should not effect the frequency of these events, but make them more mild and less cold.

    “Warmer temperatures is the leading cause.”

    I don’t doubt that warm temperatures contribute to bleaching events (these often occur during El Nino, when the tropics are warmer) but again, if one is going to claim that there are record events, something, like pollution, that could induce a trend has to be accounted for before claiming that there is a trend due to warming. Your response is that those factors matter, but not as much as warming. Where is the evidence?

    “Nobody is claiming that AGW gives cyclones the ability to aim. I fail to see what point you are trying to make.”

    But if you think it is increasing the number of cyclones (it isn’t) you must think that it is decreasing their ability to aim to the coasts, since the trend in landfalls is downward, and not based on the last few years of no or almost no landfalls, but on the last hundred some years. Where is the catastrophe?

    “A simple look at historical records can determine variability.”

    So why don’t you look at them? People who have have shown there is no trend.

    “The 300+ consecutive months the world temperature has been above average. (June 2011, was the 316th consecutive month)”

    This in response to me pointing out that the Russian Heatwave was not due to AGW! Incredible. Your comment is irrelevant and besides that is not very useful information for tell us anything other than that all those months were warmer than 1960-90 or so, according to the surface data. So? Again this is irrelevant to the issue we are actually discussing.

    “The Queensland floods was Australia’s most expensive natural disaster.”

    AGAIN you fail to understand that there is more and more valuable STUFF in the way of potential disasters and this means that increases in damages have NOTHING to do with climate change!

    “It would not have happened at all without our mutated Mother Nature.”

    Bald assertions are not facts. Where is your evidence that such an event was impossible before but nature has “mutated” making it possible now? Similar flood flows and even higher flood flows were recorded more than a century ago. They did less damage because there was less to do damage to. Nature hasn’t changed, people have.

    “The amount of rain that fell is still extremely rare.”

    Rare events do happen you know, and they don’t need any “reason” to do so. You assign special meaning to this particular “rare” event, but for no good reason. You fail to demonstrate that such an event can’t happen without AGW, beacuase of course it can. So your comment here misses the point.

  48. Dragontide says:

    Ray:

    I am not trying to attribute any individual weather event to AGW. I don’t know what I’ve said to make you think that. I’m pointing out the large number of extreme weather events over a short period of time.

    Populations and communities were growing throughout the 20th century. There was ample communications. (mail, newspaper, telephone, telegraph and then TV) No large number of extreme weather events took place in the 20th century like they are doing now.

    The responses to my post have been absolutely amazing. You skeptics actually think that throwing out forensic evidence is the proper way to reach a conclusion. such procedures only serves to mislead people.

  49. Ray says:

    Dragontide says:
    “No large number of extreme weather events took place in the 20th century like they are doing now.”
    You no doubt have statistics to prove that, not simply hearsay?

  50. Dragontide says:

    Andrew says:

    “You imply that the UAH satellite data is wrong and the surface data right. What evidence do you have for this?”

    Most notably, the melting polar ice.

    Farmers do their planning in accordance with what the the National Weather Service tells them. The NWS obtains data from NOAA. Are there farmers out there screaming foul to NOAA for releasing faulty data? No. Farmers would be in a world of hurt is they followed Dr Spencer’s findings.

    When my local meteorologist says it 98 degrees, NOAA confirms upper 90s for my region, for that time.

    Andrew says:

    “you present no evidence that the amount of “unsual” weather in 2010 was unusual”

    Show me a year that is equal to that of 2010.

    Andrew says:

    “The melting polar ice (due to AGW) is defiantly playing a role.”

    “due to AGW” is an assertion. Where is the evidence?”

    Heal melts ice. Greenhouse gasses pump heat back to the surface. More gasses pumps more heat. Work it out.

    Andrew actually said this:

    ““cold” is not something that moves around.”

    So when I open a door/window in my home in the Winter, how come it gets so cold inside? Are Kirk & Spock beaming the cold air in?

    Andrew says:

    ““The 300+ consecutive months the world temperature has been above average. (June 2011, was the 316th consecutive month)”

    “This in response to me pointing out that the Russian Heatwave was not due to AGW! Incredible. Your comment is irrelevant and besides that is not very useful information for tell us anything other than that all those months were warmer than 1960-90 or so, according to the surface data.”

    If there were some cooler than normal months within the 316 month time period, simple logic would tell you that most heatwaves withing that time would have been less pronounced.

    Andrew says:

    “there is more and more valuable STUFF in the way of potential disasters and this means that increases in damages have NOTHING to do with climate change!” …

    Not by itself. But when you factor in all the other extreme weather events and the short timeframe in which they occurred, a clear pattern emerges.

    Andrew says:

    “Similar flood flows and even higher flood flows were recorded more than a century ago.”

    Se above response.

    Andrew says:

    “Rare events do happen you know.”

    And it would be irresponsible and misleading to not count how many.

  51. Dragontide says:

    Ray says:

    Dragontide says:
    “No large number of extreme weather events took place in the 20th century like they are doing now.”

    You no doubt have statistics to prove that, not simply hearsay?

    That falls on you sir. Which year is equal to that of 2010? I’m not going to research something I know does not exist.

  52. Ray says:

    Dragontide says:
    “That falls on you sir. Which year is equal to that of 2010? I’m not going to research something I know does not exist.”
    Nonsense.
    If you make an assertion, it is up to you to prove it, not me to disprove it.

  53. Dragontide says:

    Ray:

    Since Dr Spencer does not wish a fair playing field. I can’t post links. NOAA posts an annual “Global Hazards” report. On those reports I see the weather becoming more violent each year as the planet continues to warm. Look for yourself at noaa dot gov. I know you would jump at the chance to prove me wrong. Or maybe you can find the information you think exists from the World Meteorological Organization.

    I posted the top 20 of 2010 and made my claim as to it’s meaning. Am I asking too much for you to point out where I might be in error? The only real response I got was from Andrew who pretty much claims it’s just one gigantic coincidence. Is that your position as well?

  54. Andrew says:

    Dragontide: First, I am going to respond to some points you made earlier that I missed.

    “Never once low enough to affect he Inuit and other polar dwellers at any time in the past 30,000 years. Only now.”

    As I said, the Arctic was warmer in the past, for much longer, well within the time frame of 30,000 years. So what you are in effect arguing is that because this didn’t kill off the polar bears or the Inuit, it can’t have actually happened. No. A logical conclusion is you premise is flawed, the Inuit and “polar dewellers” are not negatively impacted by warming. If they suddenly feel the effects now, this is again truly baffling, it means that they have forgotten how to adapt. Their ancestors were a lot smarter and less whiny, apparently.

    “Negligible according to ice core samples.”

    Ice cores, naturally, have to be taken in areas where the ice has persisted for long periods so they have an extensive record going back in time. Those have to be the places that didn’t melt even in climates much warmer than the present, which, again, have occured. This doesn’t answer the question of what the melt was in places that are melting now. Again, if you believe higher temperatures melt the ice, you have to believe that there was much more melt when it was much warmer. So your denial of there being more melt in past, warmer times is denial of evidence.

    “Most notably, the melting polar ice.”

    Huh? How does this relate to showing that the temperature records of UAH are “wrong”? Polar ice is dependent from year to year on the local climate conditions, some years are warmer and cooler, some are windier and less windy. Broadly speaking since UAH shows there has been some warming in the high latitudes of the North Hemisphere, so they are consistent with the “melting”, but year to year the sea ice is not correlated with temperature variations, because those are determined by the wind. Wind also contributes to trends, meaning that the ice is not an indicator of temperature, it cannot be used to argue for or against temperature measures.

    “Farmers do their planning in accordance with what the the National Weather Service tells them. The NWS obtains data from NOAA. Are there farmers out there screaming foul to NOAA for releasing faulty data? No. Farmers would be in a world of hurt is they followed Dr Spencer’s findings.”

    There is a big difference between weather data, and climate data. Is your local meteorologisty going to give similar values of the actual temperatures as the National Weather Service? Sure. They are looking at the same weather reports. Climate data, on the other hand, is not about describing the local conditions day to day but the long term changes. All climate data must be adjusted to account for changes over time that are not climatic (changing instruments, etc.) so the climate data is NOT the weatehr data as it is originally given. For the purposes of weather, for instance, you will report the actual temperature in a city, or at least what the instruments say. But due to urbanization, these may be much warmer than the readings years ago. This is a real local effect, but not representative of global or regional change, so it is supposed to be factored out. So the data are not the same. And of course, the satellites don’t measure the temperatures that are reported to farmers, because they measure different things. But for climate change the measures should show similar behavior. The context in which this was brought up was that the surface temperature set a record. Well, if this is reflective of broad atmospheric warming, the tropospheric temperaturesshould also have set a record. They didn’t quite make it. This suggest that the surface warm anomalies are exaggerating the actual heating of the atmosphere over the period in which they set a new record and UAH did not.

    “Heal melts ice. Greenhouse gasses pump heat back to the surface. More gasses pumps more heat. Work it out.”

    I don’t think you understand. Where is the evidence that AGW in particular is responsible for the ice decline? It is not, also, a mere matter of more overall heat. Again, in a given year sea ice level is determined in large part by how much get’s blown out of the artic basin and melts where it is warmer, at lower latitudes. The ice doesn’t stay in one place and act as a pure thermometer by melting an freezing in accord with temperature changes alone. But a trend toward less ice is consistent with some warming. But it doesn’t tell us quantitatively how much, indeed we can’t easily determine how much is actually due to more heat. And of the supposed more heat, we don’t know how much is AGW. This is a quantitative question. Qualitative think gets you nowhere.

    “So when I open a door/window in my home in the Winter, how come it gets so cold inside? Are Kirk & Spock beaming the cold air in?”

    Take a thermodynamics class. Your home is losing heat, not “gaining cold”. Cold doesn’t get moved around, cold isn’t an actual thing. Heat is. Heat can be moved around and spread around. If the Arctic air is warmer, and arctic air ends up moving south, it will be co0lder than the air it is moving into, but not by as much without warming. In other words these events of arctic air hitting mid-latitudes should be getting less severe, as the Arctic atmosphere gains heat.

    “If there were some cooler than normal months within the 316 month time period, simple logic would tell you that most heatwaves withing that time would have been less pronounced.”

    You are assuming that when you move the mean, the entire distribution is unchanged. In point of fact, even if this were the case, just take the actual global anomalies and subtract them from the temperatures associated with the heat wave. The temperatures will be only very slightly cooler, because the vast majority of a weather event like that is not backround temperature change but the event itself. But the evidence suggests that the temperature distribution does NOT stay constant during warming, in recent warming it is primarily in the coldest times of year meaning that the elevation of warm extremes if any is much smaller than the elimination of cold extremes. The contribution of large scale warming to these events is negligible.

    Beniston, M., Goyette, S., 2007. Changes in variability and persistence of climate in Switzerland: Exploring 20th century observations and 21st century simulations. Global and Planetary Change, 57, 1-15.

    Michaels, P.J., Balling Jr., R.C., Vose, R.S., Knappenberger, P.C., 1998. Analysis of trends in the variability of daily and monthly historical temperature measurements. Climate Research, 10, 27–33.

    Knappenberger, P.C., P.J. Michaels, and R.E. Davis. 2001. Nature of observed temperature changes across the United States during the 20th century. Climate Research, 17, 45–53.

    Michaels, P.J., et al., 2000. Observed warming in cold anticyclones. Climate Research, 14, 1-6.

    Robeson, S., 2002. Relationships between mean and standard deviation of air temperature: implication for global warming. Climate Research, 22, 205-213.

    “Not by itself. But when you factor in all the other extreme weather events and the short timeframe in which they occurred, a clear pattern emerges.”

    This is nonsense. If not a single one of your events has actually seen a change in similar events, well, they all occured closely together in time. So? Such things have happened before, doubtless. Weather events are constantly happening. You have shown some weather events from 2010. So show, somehow, that these weather events are actually changing with time, then? You can’t quote one year’s worth of events and declare a climate trend. You don’t even have anything to compare it to!

    “And it would be irresponsible and misleading to not count how many.”

    So count up events, and account for improved monitoring, and assess trends over time. You have “counted” in one year those events you think are important. You then assert without any actual counting of past years, that this year is unusual. Sorry but you can’t do that. You can’t just say that there were no similar amounts of events in past years, it has to be shown.

    “Populations and communities were growing throughout the 20th century. There was ample communications. (mail, newspaper, telephone, telegraph and then TV) No large number of extreme weather events took place in the 20th century like they are doing now.”

    We didn’t have sophisticated weather satellites in the early twentieth century, we have ever improving monitoring capabilities from an increasingly advanced network. There are areas that today are heavily populated where at best there were small communities or no people a century ago, or even a few decades ago. We have a dense network of weather radar, before WW radar didn’t exist at all and it took decades to get the network we have now. This is just in the US, around the world there are still massive improvements being made in weather monitoring and reporting. Anyone who doesn’t think that will give the impression of more weather events is a complete fool. Which is what you are, evidently. Studies have been done which actually show how improved monitoring increases apparent weather events but these trends are demonstrably spurious. For cyclones, the tiny shortlive little gales surged up in number when we got satellites up. If one looks at storms less likely to be missed, longer lived ones, that trend disappears, and even becomes negative when one accounts for more ships and planes going out on the ocean and running into the storms, which had to be relied on in the earlier eras. So we can clearly show that there are no real significant changes once one takes these monitoring improvments into account. And go to you beloved NOAA and look up Tornado climatology. They’ll tell you that weak tornadoes appear to be on the rise, well, they say precisely that this is misleading and due to improved monitoring. They say, if you look at the actual strong tornadoes, the ones that do the most damage, the are going down, not up. So it is not “throwing out forensic evidence” it is accounting for specific problems in assessing the data. That improved monitoring makes it look like weather events increase, event when they decrease, is a FACT. It is also a FACT that one can try to account for this. Whenever scientists do so, they find the reality is no change in weather events.

  55. Andrew says:

    Your inability to post links isn’t Roy being unfair. I can’t either. He has an aggressive spam filter. So we are on the same level, basically. I would have innudated you with links if I could but I said several times that Roy’s site makes that next to impossible.

  56. Ray says:

    Dragontide says:
    “I posted the top 20 of 2010 and made my claim as to it’s meaning. Am I asking too much for you to point out where I might be in error? The only real response I got was from Andrew who pretty much claims it’s just one gigantic coincidence. Is that your position as well?”
    It isn’t a coincidence, because it isn’t happening.
    For a start, the NOAA Global Hazard Report only seems to go back to 1998, so there is nothing to compare them with for earlier years.
    The report itself has the following comment:
    “Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCDC at the time of publication. Inclusion of a particular event does not constitute a greater importance in comparison with an event that has not been incorporated into the discussion. Data included in this report are preliminary unless otherwise stated. Links to supporting information is valid at the time of publication, but they are not maintained or changed after publication.”
    I suggest that you look up the meaning of the word “subjectively”.
    I doubt if even NOAA pretend that the information appearing in the report is intended to form evidence for “climate change”.
    I have had personal experience of items being included on the NOAA website which turned out to be incorrect, such as the report by the UKMO that the first 6 months of 2011 were the driest since 1929, which turned out to be wrong, because the UKMO published a news release before the end of the period in question. In fact it was only the driest since 1953 and I think NOAA removed the comment after I pointed that out.
    If this Hazard report only started in 1998, there will be a tendency for more events to be included in it as time goes on, because the compilers of the report will be more attuned to events which might go into the report. In short, once you start looking for evidence of “climate change”, you will find it everywhere. In order to prove your statement it would be necessary to have OBJECTIVE observations for at least 1000 years, collected on the same basis, without any change in the methodology, and to quantify those observations in a manner which can be compared scientifically.
    I have no doubt that you are presenting this evidence with the best of motives, and I wouldn’t go along with those who describe you as a “Troll”. I think that you have genuinely held beliefs, which are shared by a lot of people who have been taken in by the propaganda. At one time I used to be such a person. Hopefully you will “see the light” eventually. Simply ask yourself the question, “do I really know this to be true?”

  57. Dragontide says:

    Andrew:

    When did I say “kill off” in reference to the Inuit? The Inuit claim this is the first time in their history that a lack of sea ice is disrupting their lifestyle. This negates any claims of temperatures above today’s at any time in the past 30,000 years, in the area of which they occupy. It’s the same story from all the other races/tribes in the Arctic.

    Andrew says:

    “Ice cores, naturally, have to be taken in areas where the ice has persisted for long periods so they have an extensive record going back in time.”

    And much of that ice (some of which is older than mankind) is melting NOW. That means it did not melt before.

    Andrew says:

    ““Most notably, the melting polar ice.”

    Huh? How does this relate to showing that the temperature records of UAH are “wrong”?”

    If Dr Spencer’s numbers were right, the ice would not be melting at the rate they are. (btw, June 2011 had the 2nd lowest sea ice extent in the Arctic)

    Andrew says:

    “or instance, you will report the actual temperature in a city, or at least what the instruments say. But due to urbanization, these may be much warmer than the readings years ago. This is a real local effect, but not representative of global or regional change, so it is supposed to be factored out.”

    NOAA factors in the urban island effect.

    Andrew says:

    “Cold doesn’t get moved around, cold isn’t an actual thing.”

    Cold air is an actual thing. Warm air can force it to move. (it’s called “wind”) Let’s backtrack a moment: Do you dispute any of these facts?:
    -Water absorbs much more heat than ice.
    -Greenhouse gasses return heat to the earth’s surface.
    -More & more GGs returns more heat to the surface.

    There’s no dispute on those three points, are there? Now what affect do you suppose occurs as a result of this excess heat in the Arctic? Your previous posts seem to suggest nothing happens at all.

    Andrew says:

    “This is nonsense. If not a single one of your events has actually seen a change in similar events, well, they all occured closely together in time. So? Such things have happened before, doubtless.”

    When? For how long? What was the cause? This really gets to the heart of the matter. What timeframe is equal to that of 2006 to the present? I calculate it last happened million upon millions of years ago, (back when the earth had a warmer bedrock)

    Andrew says:

    “We didn’t have sophisticated weather satellites in the early twentieth century,”

    In the earlier parts of the 20th century and for several centuries before that, it didn’t require a satellite to see the results of an extreme weather event. If a major cyclone, extreme long drought, etc… occurred, the visual impact would linger for years or decades. And century after century, many people had a tendency to write down things they saw. It’s going to take five years to do all the rebuilding here in Alabama, just from the April 27th tornadoes. How about this?: Can you find a timeframe from past few centuries that’s 75% as extreme as 2006-present? I’m giving you 25% of the entire planet to be declared as unexplored land. If not then just the most extreme timeframe you can find please. Face it Andrew. Such a list would have been made public long ago by the skeptic crowd if it existed.

    When I first started posting here, Dr Spencer would push the button to allow posts with links to be shown. Then he stopped when I started pointing out his errors. Dr Spencer stands to appear more accurate with no negative posts. It’s very unethical for a doctor to do such a thing. I can post direct quotes from scientists, but if I do so without posting a link, I risk being accused of copyright violations. We’re only talking about a few minutes per day of the doctors time. All he has to do is glance at each post that awaits moderation to see if some jerk is trying to sell dinnerware or the like.

  58. Dragontide says:

    Ray says:

    “it isn’t happening.”

    So how come your skeptic crowd is not providing video/pics of unaffected people/land in places where NOAA and the WMO claims something major happened? The $34 million the Koch Brothers have spent on skeptic science would have paid for such a venture, several times over.

  59. Andrew says:

    Dragontide-”The Inuit claim this is the first time in their history that a lack of sea ice is disrupting their lifestyle. This negates any claims of temperatures above today’s at any time in the past 30,000 years, in the area of which they occupy. It’s the same story from all the other races/tribes in the Arctic.”
    The short memory and unwritten records of these groups trumps physical evidence to the contrary. Right.

    “And much of that ice (some of which is older than mankind) is melting NOW. That means it did not melt before.”

    Ice is melting along the relatively warm perimeter of Greenland. The Ice Cores are taken from deep within, at high elevation, where it is much colder, because the snow there doesn’t melt much, even today. Those areas got warmer in the past than they are now, and didn’t melt. The whole thing was warmer in the past. The perimeter had to have experienced melt comparable to today at least. This is physical evidence. So apparently heat melts ice, but only today, and not in the past. Absurd.

    “Now what affect do you suppose occurs as a result of this excess heat in the Arctic? Your previous posts seem to suggest nothing happens at all.”

    No, I said quite plainly, the Arctic’s “excess heat” results in, duh, the Arctic being less cold. The air masses that come down from the Arctic over the mid-latitudes will also be warmer than they would be otherwise. There is no reason why warm air would “push” cold air out. That seems to suggest you think that the Arctic winds up warmer than the mid-latitudes when this happens. It does not. It is still colder than the mid-latitudes. Warming reduces the temperature contrast, these air masses, which are driven by the circulation, which will move pole-ward in a warmer world, will themselves be warmer, so the cold they inflict ocassionally on the midlatitudes will be less severe. Now the frequency of such events would change, well, my guess is that if the Jet Stream moves poleward fewer of these air masses will break of as it’s meanderings will be around a generally smaller area. But nobody’s sure about these things. All we know with some confidence is those air masses will be warmer.

    “If Dr Spencer’s numbers were right, the ice would not be melting at the rate they are. (btw, June 2011 had the 2nd lowest sea ice extent in the Arctic)”

    Provide an equation for coverting sea ice anomalies into atmospheric temperature anomalies, and the inverse, that shows that the rate should be higher. You can’t. There is no such inconsistency, you just believe there is.

    “NOAA factors in the urban island effect.”

    In fact I said they do, or say they do, for climate data. But they obviously don’t for reporting your local weather. Your local weather man tells you about the temperature you will experience, not the temperature you would experience if the city hadn’t been built where you live. Weather data is not climate data.

    “When? For how long? What was the cause? This really gets to the heart of the matter. What timeframe is equal to that of 2006 to the present? I calculate it last happened million upon millions of years ago, (back when the earth had a warmer bedrock)”

    You base this on what data, exactly? You don’t seem to understand the issue here. I have cited papers showing no trends in extreme weather when warming occured. You have cited events in 2010, and then claim unless I can personally chronicle a year before there was warming that had many similar events, you claim that there are trends stands. No, it does not work that way. Chronicling individual weather events, deciding what counts as “extreme” accounting for incomplete records, these are all extensive projects. You essentially claim that, since no one has done this work, you can claim that a recent year is unprecedently extreme. When I cite evidence that half your claims are for phenomena which have no long trend, you insist, strangely, that I must aggregate them, and that individual years or bunches of years must have the extreme events all occuring closely together in time. But such an approach is not necessary. If none of the events have trends, then an aggregation won’t have a trend either. Simply as that, and it is also unlikely that the numbers will be larger in recent years, but if there was, since no increasing trends were found in any individual events, yes, that would be a coincidence. The reason I expect you to prove that such a coincidence did occur is because of how unlikely it is. So find your data, and show me that recent years are really high in terms of these events. Show me that improved monitoring doesn’t matter. You are making a claim of extraordinary change in these events. Since you make the claim, you must give the evidence.

    “In the earlier parts of the 20th century and for several centuries before that, it didn’t require a satellite to see the results of an extreme weather event. If a major cyclone, extreme long drought, etc… occurred, the visual impact would linger for years or decades.”

    I have shown that those events which we can detect reliably in the past are not increasing. Again, look at the tornadoes that do the most destruction, look at the landfalling storms which we “can’t” have missed because their damages would be so long lasting. No trends. I provided citations for this. You just insist there are trends, against this evidence.

    “Face it Andrew. Such a list would have been made public long ago by the skeptic crowd if it existed.”

    This is not how one does a scientific investigation and it shows how ridiculous you really are. You cannot just assume that events didn’t happen like this before. It has to be shown. You say that such a list would exist if there were such cases in the past, it would have been available long ago, the skeptics would never miss that! How delusionally conspiratorial you are, thge truth is much more mundane. The fact of the matter is that what reliable records we have indicate no change in any individual extreme, logically therefore no change in overall extremes. You decide that in the absence of adequate scientific analysis, there were no periods like what you see recent years as being. I am not a scientific researcher, I can’t go out and do the extensive work of looking over old weather records to find every event ever and add them up. And if such a list existed, and showed an unprecedented increase in extreme events, well, where is it? Are the skeptics hiding it somehow, even though non-skeptics have just as much ability to dig up the data? Or does adequate data to do a full analysis really not exist?

    Roy has a day job, he can’t constantly check the comments filter. And if you are correct that he only stops hostile posts coming through, then that fails to explain why I have equal difficulty. You are just whining about not being able to post links. Neither can I. Nothing sinister about it.

    “The $34 million the Koch Brothers have spent on skeptic science would have paid for such a venture, several times over.”

    First of all, you misunderstood Ray (and my point) which was that an increase in extreme events is not occuring, not that events themselves are not. Of course they are. They always have and always will. Second of all, you have outed yoiurself as a leftist conspiracy theorist with no interest in science. I don’t see any point in arguing with you any further, anyone with half way decent ability to do checks of my references versus yours, to do the work themselves to see who is right, will see that you are not. Frankly you are lucky that Roy is being so tolerant of your nonsense. Putting up with you and your nonsense is something that lesser men would be completely unable to do.

  60. pochas says:

    Dragontide says:
    July 20, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    “The $34 million the Koch Brothers have spent on skeptic science would have paid for such a venture, several times over.”

    34 million is a pittance, A PITTANCE, compared to the billions the federal government spends to fund their Great Global Warming Tax Grab.

  61. Ray says:

    Dragontide says:
    “So how come your skeptic crowd is not providing video/pics of unaffected people/land in places where NOAA and the WMO claims something major happened? The $34 million the Koch Brothers have spent on skeptic science would have paid for such a venture, several times over.”
    When I said “it isn’t happening”, I meant the increase in events, not the events themselves. And of course, none of the events can be attributed to “climate change”.
    I’ve no idea who the Koch Brothers are.

  62. HR says:

    Roy,

    Did Dessler not get the opportunity to review/comment on the work from the journal editor?

  63. Ray says:

    Dragontide,

    I have taken the trouble to contact NOAA about the purpose of the Hazard Reports, and this is the reply I received:

    “Their chief intent is to more fully describe the impacts and conditions surrounding extreme events. Documenting climate change is not their mission. Their bigger-picture driver is to illustrate the physical, social and ecological impacts of climate behavior, extreme and otherwise, human-influenced or not. However, they are written with an understanding that a warmed world will present higher probabilities – in general – for certain types of extreme events.

    They are definitely ***NOT*** a tool to be used to diagnose climate change. The content, number, size and language in the reports are all subjectively chosen (i.e., an author makes an editorial decision on whether to include them or not). As much as we try to be completely consistent, it is simply impossible to do so. Places with deficient press coverage tend to get underrepresented in these reports, as they are built partially on media and NGO reports. Certain authors may have more expertise in certain phenomena, and may therefore be more. During certain months, we may be extremely busy with other duties and the quantity of Hazards reports may be affected. Some of the topic categories (most recently, Ecological Impacts) were added long after the series was commenced.

    In other words, five reports about fires one year versus ten the next does not imply in any way that the amount of fires doubled, or five more fires exceeded some sort of objective criteria for inclusion. It just means that there were five more reports written, given all of the other circumstances above.”

  64. Now I’ve had the time to read and digest the new paper I want to thank Dr Roy for this excellent contribution to knowledge. I was particularly pleased to note his observation that the mixed layer of the ocean is considerably deeper than 35m away from the tropics, but wondered how that figure is reconciled with graphs showing high water temperatures in the ‘Pacific Warm Pool’ which extend down to depths of several hundreds of metres. How could this water have gained so much energy unless it was mixed down from nearer the surface?

    I believe the empirical measurements of the PWP demonstrate the ability of the ocean to gather and retain energy from the Sun on much longer timescales than hitherto parameterised in the GCM models. The implications for the contribution of solar energy to the late C20th warming should be obvious to anyone who considers the matter.

    TSI (and its proxy, the sunspot number) should be integrated as a cumulative series departing from the ocean equilibrium value to better reflect its effect on ocean heat content, and the subsurface energy hidden from the surface record until El Nino events release it into the atmosphere.

    Late C20th global warming was a solar phenomenon.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/nailing-the-solar-activity-global-temperature-divergence-lie/

  65. Alberto says:

    Dr. Spencer, you may find this interesting: research by the KNMI says that the missing upper ocean heat of the last 10 years was partly radiated into space, partly taken up by the deep ocean (see http://www.knmi.nl/cms/content/99641/tracing_the_upper_oceans_missing_heat), which seems to concur with you paper. However, they expect the upper ocean heat content to pick up again in the coming years.

  66. Charlie H says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    You submit a paper to a publication called “Remote Sensing?” And then blog that this paper is all about climate? I find that curious.