EPIC FAIL: 73 Climate Models vs. Observations for Tropical Tropospheric Temperature

June 4th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Courtesy of John Christy, a comparison between 73 CMIP5 models (archived at the KNMI Climate Explorer website) and observations for the tropical bulk tropospheric temperature (aka “MT”) since 1979 (click for large version):
Rather than a spaghetti plot of the models’ individual years, we just plotted the linear temperature trend from each model and the observations for the period 1979-2012.

Note that the observations (which coincidentally give virtually identical trends) come from two very different observational systems: 4 radiosonde datasets, and 2 satellite datasets (UAH and RSS).

If we restrict the comparison to the 19 models produced by only U.S. research centers, the models are more tightly clustered:

Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models?

I continue to suspect that the main source of disagreement is that the models’ positive feedbacks are too strong…and possibly of even the wrong sign.

The lack of a tropical upper tropospheric hotspot in the observations is the main reason for the disconnect in the above plots, and as I have been pointing out this is probably rooted in differences in water vapor feedback. The models exhibit strongly positive water vapor feedback, which ends up causing a strong upper tropospheric warming response (the “hot spot”), while the observation’s lack of a hot spot would be consistent with little water vapor feedback.

132 Responses to “EPIC FAIL: 73 Climate Models vs. Observations for Tropical Tropospheric Temperature”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Arfur Bryant says:

    Dr Roy,

    ["I continue to suspect that the main source of disagreement is that the models’ positive feedbacks are too strong…and possibly of even the wrong sign."]

    Being objective, might it not also be just possible that the theory (AGW by CO2/nGHG radiative forcing) is incorrect and needs re-visiting? In this universe, that is? :)


  2. Noblesse Oblige says:

    ["I continue to suspect that the main source of disagreement is that the models’ positive feedbacks are too strong…and possibly of even the wrong sign."]

    Probably right, but there is reason to believe that the non feedback forcing from GHGs (variously estimated from 3.4 to 3.8 W/m^2 for 2 x CO2) is also overestimated due to improper treatment of the far wings of the critical 666 CM-1 absorbtion band.

  3. Noblesse Oblige says:

    The graph showing US models only is also interesting. The fact that the US sample does not show the same dispersion as the full ensemble might suggest that there is mutual influence between the US modelers but less so outside the US.

  4. Joel Shore says:


    A few questions:

    (1) Isn’t there a contentious issue with the satellite observations in that the mid-troposphere value from them is contaminated by the tail in the channel that extends into the stratosphere and thus “sees” the cooling trend there? How is that dealt with in the UAH and RSS measurements?

    (2) It is generally agreed that the “hot spot” seen in the models results from the fact that the atmosphere in the tropics is generally constrained to the moist adiabatic lapse rate. So, the lack of a “hot spot” would seem to mean this assumption is wrong, something that I think a lot of people on both sides (e.g., including Richard Lindzen) seem to find hard to believe. Do you believe this assumption to be wrong?

    (3) Isaac Held has pointed out in his blog ( http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2011/12/07/20-the-moist-adiabat-and-tropical-warming/#comment-492 ) that in the climate models (and/or in a simplistic picture where one assumes that the relative humidity remains constant or both?), while the water vapor feedback as a whole is greater in magnitude than the lapse rate feedback (making the net of the two feedbacks positive), one can also consider the water vapor feedback in two pieces: the first piece would be the expected feedback you would get if the atmosphere warmed uniformly and the second piece would be the additional water vapor feedback you get because it warms more at altitude than at the surface. He says that the lapse rate feedback (which, of course, arises completely from this additional warming at altitude being greater than at the surface) is actually larger in magnitude than the additional water feedback that you get due to it warming more at altitude than at the surface. So, all else being equal, apparently a model without the “hot spot” should have a higher climate sensitivity than one with the hot spot. [Admittedly, if the lack of warming is a symptom of a bigger problem with the water vapor feedback, then all else might not be equal...but it is worth noting that, at the most naive level, the warming at altitude is producing a net negative feedback, not a positive one.]

    • (1) the stratospheric influence on tropics (20N-20S) is very small, because the tropopause is so high there. Besides, the models also have a stratosphere, and this is an apples-apples comparison.

      (2) The models do not, to my knowledge, specify a lapse rate, except maybe to initiate convective overturning. There are convective energy transports vertically, and radiative fluxes between layers. The resulting temperature changes are mostly then due to physical processes of vertical energy transfer, not from forced conformance to a particular lapse rate.

      (3) I think Isaac (who is way smarter than me) is, in this case, looking at the problem incorrectly, and neglecting the direction of causation. It is well known that those models with stronger water vapor feedback also have a stronger hot spot (aka stronger negative lapse rate feedback). Deconstructing either the lapse rate feedback or water vapor feedback into components might seem attractive to a mathematician, but the underlying physics suggests it is the positive water vapor feedback which prevents radiative cooling of the upper troposphere, which in turn causes the “hot spot”. Thus, the lack of a hot spot is evidence for a lack of water vapor feedback. I believe this is the physically proper way of looking at the issue.

      • Nullius in Verba says:

        I think what Isaac is doing is separating the radiative properties of water vapour from the latent heat properties due to it changing phase.

        If water vapour was a non-condensing greenhouse gas, like CO2, then it’s increase in the troposphere would increase the temperature at all altitudes equally, because of the coupling forced by the adiabatic lapse rate limit. The temperature-altitude line retains the same gradient but moves up and down with the change in average altitude of emission to space.

        Based on purely greenhouse physics alone, the trend at the top of the troposphere would be the same as at the bottom.

        But a moister atmosphere not only raises the altitude of emission, it also changes the slope of the moist adiabat. So the temperature-altitude line not only lifts, it tilts, rotating about the fixed point at the average emission altitude 5 km up. This rotation results in a shallower gradient, warming the upper atmosphere and cooling the surface. The combination of the two effects is to warm the surface (the GHG effect dominates) but to warm the upper atmosphere even more (both effects are in the same direction, rather than being opposed).

        The ‘hotspot’, defined as a higher trend at altitude, is a consequence of this change in the slope of the moist adiabat.

        It’s absence might mean the absolute humidity is not behaving as expected (e.g. if the increase is smaller than thought, or concentrated into narrow vertical columns that don’t affect the bulk atmosphere, or something), or it might mean that the surface temperature measurements are positively biased.

  5. Nigel says:

    Epic fail

    Miserable fail.

    Disgusting fail.

    Ludicrous fail.

    Expensive fail.

    Chicken little – type. Fail,

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

  6. Mark Bofill says:

    Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models?

    What do you mean? The results are clearly ‘broadly consistent’. They’re in the same graph quadrant aren’t they?

  7. David A says:

    “Re: EPIC FAIL” — Is the point to better understand the climate and better model what future changes man will cause in it, or is this all just a competition with jeers, taunts and gloating?

    I can’t really tell….

    • Joe Freeman says:


      Your point about better understanding and modeling the climate is what SHOULD BE happening.

      But since many politicians (yes, including those at the IPCC) have used the model projections — they’re not even robust enough to be predictions — as leverage to serve their own political agendas, it fair game to point out that THE CLIMATE MODEL PROJECTIONS ARE AN EPIC FAILURE. The model projections that Hansen/Gore/Mann/et al tied themselves to have proven to be utterly worthless. I think that Dr. Spencer’s “EPIC FAIL” is about the nicest way to put it.

      If the so-called “climate scientists” behind this CAGW scheme want to drop the “science is settled” garbage and actually work to understand the many complexities of the climate, there might yet be some real scientific benefits from the models. But I don’t see any sign of that happening.

      • David A says:

        You might think that a group like UAH, which has had their own epic failures over the years, would be a little more humble.

        Alas, Dr. Spencer seems to forget those, and to only view science as a competition.

        This calls his monthly temperature results into question — who seriously believes the errors they make aren’t unconsciously biased towards the cool side?

        • Joe Freeman says:


          I don’t have any history with UAH, so I don’t know what “epic failures” may or may not have happened there. But science, by its nature, is largely built on lessons learned from previous failures. Someone tries something, you learn from it, and you find a way to understand or do things a little better. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

          The problem with the CAGW scheme is that it long ago stopped being about science, and became about politics trying to pass itself off as science. When the ideology became the only important thing, the science became nothing more than a technobabble smokescreen for the ideology. The “science is settled” mantra shows how unscientific the CAGW scheme is. The fact is that science is NEVER settled. There’s always something more to understand or improve or build upon, and the fact that the model results are so hopelessly broken proves that (at best) the right things aren’t being modeled. Maybe we don’t even know what all of those things are. But it’s unconscionable to base public policy on “settled science” that’s so clearly wrong.

          Finally, regarding your non sequitur about Dr. Spencer’s supposed lack of humility somehow tainting his results: I’ve always found the UAH data to be consistent with, and usually very comparable to, data from other (unaffiliated) sources. If there are errors in the published results, I haven’t seen them. If you have anything real to complain about, I’m sure that UAH would like to hear it. Otherwise, you just come off as whining.

        • Scott Scarborough says:

          Like RSS, which has been even cooler than UAH recently?

    • Willywolfe says:

      David, that is exactly what Dr. Spencer is trying to promote. The problem is that IPCC, et al are continuing on touting their failed models as proof of impending doom instead of looking at their failures and trying to improve their models. The political agenda is being promoted with billions being spent to prop up failed science in an attempt to justify a power grab rather than looking at failed models and trying to adjust to get a realistic prediction of actual climate behavior. Dr. Spencer is offering a well educated guess at how to correct the obvious inaccuracies, but they aren’t listening.

  8. The bottomline is the tropospheric hot spot is missing, the AO is becoming more neg. not more positive, water vapor levels are decreasing throughout the atm., the stratopshere shows no sign of cooling,the OHC is no longer rising, anotherwords every major point the AGW models have predicted is FALSE, along with their temperature forecast.

    This theory (hoax)will be obsolete before this decade ends.

    • David A says:

      Salvatore: without even checking I know that at least two of your claims are dead wrong — stratospheric cooling and ocean heat content.

      I’m not going to put up any links, though, because I don’t think it would make any difference to you. You’ve been tossing claims and predictions around throughout the two or so years I’ve been reading this blog, many just as wrong, nearly all made without citations to any data, none ever corrected.

      So I’m not under any illusion that data would alter your mindset. But I am curious: what do you think you’re accomplishing?

      • cohenite says:

        “I’m not going to put up any links, though, because I don’t think it would make any difference to you.”

        It would make a great deal of difference to me; please put up your links; I consider AGW and the multifarious antics of AGW supporters an inexhaustible supply of mirth.

  9. What I am accomplishing is proving the AGW theory is BS, while at the same time coming forth with the real reasons for why the climate is going to change and how.

    What do you say to that Dave?

    • David A says:

      I say the same thing I said above: you never put forth any data to support your claims, many of which are wrong, and sometimes (as here) obviously wrong. You never budge from your predictions, even when they don’t pan out; they’re just repeated like a mantra.

      Without data this is no science.

      • cohenite says:

        “Without data this is no science.”

        See, a humourous nonsensical homily.

        Let me counter; with AGW models there is no science.

        Your turn.

        • David A says:

          That you think there is no science in climate models just tells me you haven’t taken even a minute to look into them.

          • Jean Parisot says:

            Dave A,

            You’ve found the problem. The Climate Models are not science. They are tools to design experiments or plan data collections. They allow us to “do” science. At this point, I’m not sure they even have value for those purposes.

            And they are most certainly not models, when used in the popular connotation of weather models. That is tightly defined ensembles with years of validation work. Their skill is lacking.

  10. salvatore del prete says:

    June 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    From: Salvatore Delprete
    To: salmbswx
    Sent: Wed, May 1, 2013 4:34 pm
    Subject: upper trop temp one last chart for climaate presentation

    Media Gallery


    salvatore del prete says:

    June 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Upper Ocean Heat Content: Ocean Climate


    The plot shows the 18-year trend in 0-700 m Ocean Heat Content Anomaly (OHCA) … Recent estimates are based


    salvatore del prete says:

    June 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    UPPER OCEAN HEAT CONTENT: Home | Plots | Publications | Data

    Upper Ocean Heat Content Anomaly

    The plot shows the 18-year trend in 0-700 m Ocean Heat Content Anomaly (OHCA) estimated from in situ data according to Lyman et al. 2010. The error bars include uncertainties from baseline climatology, mapping method, sampling, and XBT bias correction.

    Historical data are from XBTs, CTDs, moorings, and other sources. Additional displays of the upper OHCA are available in the Plots section.

    Recent estimates are based primarily on Argo profiling CTD float data. Satellite altimeter data from Aviso are used to estimate errors

    The chart with the above article shows OHC , has STOPPED increasing in recent years.

    As far as the stratosphere, warming had taken place in association with the volcanic eruptions of the early 1990′s followed by some cooling since.

    However, I have to clarify my position and say it DOES NOT MATTER if the stratophere is cooling or warming per say, what matters is this , is the cooling less in the higher latitudes in contrast to the lower latitudes (N.H. especially), and recent evidence is saying yes.

    One of the cornerstones of the AGW theory, was that the AO (POLAR VORTEX– N.H. ESPECIALLY ) was to intensify. The EXACT OPPOSITE is happening.

    Just look at the behavior of the polar vortex over the past 5 years or so and you will see that is the case.

    Dave your AGW THEORY ,is BS, and I will be doing my part to show this is so, and what/why will lead the climate to change,and how it will change.

    Dave time will tell, we will find out one way or the other,although I must say it is not looking very good for your side as each month keeps going by with no global warming.

    DOC | NOAA | OAR | Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory | Ocean Climate Project
    7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
    Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Webmaster email


    Leave a Reply

    Name (required

  11. As far as the stratosphere, warming had taken place in association with the volcanic eruptions of the early 1990′s followed by some cooling since.

    However, I have to clarify my position and say it DOES NOT MATTER if the stratophere is cooling or warming per say, what matters is this , is the cooling less in the higher latitudes in contrast to the lower latitudes (N.H. especially), and recent evidence is saying yes.

    One of the cornerstones of the AGW theory, was that the AO (POLAR VORTEX– N.H. ESPECIALLY ) was to intensify. The EXACT OPPOSITE is happening.

    Just look at the behavior of the polar vortex over the past 5 years or so and you will see that is the case.

    Dave your AGW THEORY ,is BS, and I will be doing my part to show this is so, and what/why will lead the climate to change,and how it will change.

    Dave time will tell, we will find out one way or the other,although I must say it is not looking very good for your side as each month keeps going by with no global warming.

    DOC | NOAA | OAR | Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory | Ocean Climate Project
    7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
    Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Webmaster email

  12. Dave the AGW theory is not based on science , it is based on hope. Hope that will come to an end this decade.

    Dave look athe forecast of the models, not very good.

  13. AGW theory has failed all tests, so alarmists return to the ‘consensus’ hoax
    National Academies of Science defines a scientific theory as

    “a well-substantiated explanation of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”
    Dr Richard Feynman, Cornell Physicist in a lecture explained how theorys that failed the test of data or experiment are falsified (“wrong”) and must be discarded.


    (1) Warming not ‘global’. It is shown in satellite data to be northern hemisphere only

    (2) It is now not warming. Warming (global mean and northern hemisphere) stopped in the 1990s

    (3) Models suggest atmosphere should warm 20% faster than surface but surface warming was 33% faster during the time satellites and surface observations used. This suggests GHG theory wrong, and surface temperature contaminated

    (4) Temperatures longer term have been modified to enhance warming trend and minimize cyclical appearance. Station dropout, missing data, change of local siting, urbanization, instrumentation contaminate the record, producing exaggerating warming. The GAO scolded NOAA for poor compliance with siting standards.

    (5) Those who create the temperature records have been shown in analysis and emails to take steps to eliminate inconvenient temperature trends like the Medieval Warm Period, the 1940s warm blip and cooling since 1998. Steps have included removal of the urban heat island adjustment and as Wigley suggested in a climategate email, introduce 0.15C of artificial cooling of global ocean temperatures near 1940.

    (6) Forecast models have failed with temperature trends below even the assumed zero emission control scenarios

    (7) Climate models all have a strong hot spot in the mid to high troposphere in the tropical regions. Weather balloons and satellite show no warming in this region the last 30 years.

    (8) Ocean heat content was forecast to increase and was said to be the canary in the coal mine. It too has stalled according to NOAA PMEL. The warming was to be strongest in the tropics where the models were warming the atmosphere the most. No warming has been shown in the top 300 meters in the tropical Pacific back to the 1950s.

    (9) Alarmists had predicted permanent El Nino but the last decade has featured 7 La Nina and just 3 El Nino years. This is related to the PDO and was predicted by those who look at natural factors.

    (10) Alarmists had predicted much lower frequency of the negative modes of the AO and NAO due to warming. The trend has been the opposite with a record negative AO/NAO in 2009/10

    (11) Alarmists predicted an increase in hurricane frequency and strength globally but the global activity had diminished after 2005 to a 30+ year low. The U.S. has gone seven consecutive years without a landfalling major hurricane, the longest stretch since the 1860s

    (12) Alarmists have predicted a significant increase in heat records but despite heat last two summers, the 1930s to 1950s still greatly dominated the heat records. Even in Texas at the center of the 2011 heat wave, the long term (since 1895) trends in both temperature and precipitation are flat. And when stations with over 80 years of temperature data were considered, the number of heat records last July were not extraordinary relative to past hot summers.

    (13) Extremes of rainfall and drought were predicted to increase but except during periods of strong El Nino and La Nina, no trends are seen

    (14) Alarmists indicated winter would become warmer and short. The last 15 years has seen a decline in winter temperatures in all regions. In places winter have been the coldest and longest in decades and even centuries.

    (15) Alarmists had indicated snow would become increasingly rare in middle latitudes especially in the big cities where warming would be greatest. All time snow records were set in virtually all the major cities and northern hemisphere snow coverage in winter has increased with 4 of the top 5 years since 2007/08. Also among the east coast high impact snowstorms tracked by NOAA (NESIS), 11 of the 46 have occurred since 2009.

    (16) Alarmists had indicated a decline of Antarctic ice due to warming. The

  14. Dave answer those 16 points. Model failures.

    • David A says:

      I am not going to address these 16 points, because I would like to understand just one of them first and pin you down to it before going further: ocean heat content.

      • Jack Lacton says:

        Let’s discuss ocean heat content, then, David.

        It would take a gigantic amount of energy to cause that rise. Where has that energy come from? How has it been measured?

        • David A says:

          Of course, the consensus view is that OHC is rising due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. See Levitus 2012, or Balmaseda, M. A., K. E. Trenberth and E. Kallen, 2013: Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content, Geophys. Res Lett., 40, 1-6, doi:10.1002/grl.50382, 2013, or any number of other papers on the subject.

          By the way, the heat required for the 0-2000 m region is about 0.7 W/m2 (average over the entire ocean surface).

          • cohenite says:

            Trenberth’s paper on OHC is number 1 on my latest list of the Worst pro-AGW papers:


          • ThinkingScientist says:

            I think you will find the clue about that paper being pretty meaningless is in the word “reanalysis” in the title. This tells us that the analysis “proving” something about AGW is based on analysing the output of a computer model of AGW. It is not based on real world data measurements. In other words, it is an analysis of a virtual world generated by a computer model that has been programmed with AGW.

            How about giving an example of an analysis of actual measurements from the real world?

  15. dave that chart is one of many. I have many charts that show no rise in OHC

  16. Climate_Physics says:

    Climate models don’t work because radiative forcing doesn’t determine surface temperatures.

    An example of the “heat creep” mechanism which debunks the greenhouse effect

    The process of downward diffusion/convection which appears to be transferring heat from cooler to warmer regions does in fact happen in a gravitational field, and this is the non-radiative process which explains all planetary atmospheric and surface temperatures without any need for any greenhouse effect from any radiation. There is no radiation from the Sun in the depths of the Uranus atmosphere, but it’s very hot, because heat does indeed creep down and get trapped there by gravity.

    Suppose before dawn on a calm morning we consider a column of the atmosphere 1Km high. Let’s say the base of the column (at the surface) is 7C and the top is 0C. Hence the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics has done all it will do because thermodynamic equilibrium has evolved spontaneously in a region where we will assume an environmental “lapse rate” of 7C/Km prevails.

    Now, the Sun rises and the lower half of our column of air (from the surface up) is still in the shade of a mountain, but the top half is warmed by the Sun as some of the water vapour and other air molecules do in fact absorb incident Solar radiation.

    So now let’s assume the top half has warmed and it is now 2C at the top and perhaps still 3.5C at the middle of the column. So the top half is still colder than the lower half. But the thermodynamic equilibrium has been disturbed. The Second Law process now has a propensity towards a new thermodynamic equilibrium in which there is more energy to spread around. The extra energy spreads out and some will head towards the surface because the whole temperature plot rises to a higher level which will be parallel to the original plot once thermodynamic equilibrium is re-established and the gradient gets back to 7C/Km.


    • David A says:

      Where can I see proof that projections with your “physics” gives better results than canonical climate models?

      • DougC says:

        Temperature projections were in my March 2012 paper in the Appendix. I predict very slight net cooling until 2028, then 30 years of warming by about half a degree or so, before 500 years of long-term cooling starting within 200 years at the most.

        None of this has anything to do with the discussion of heat creep or the fallacies in the models. My “models” are just based on observation of natural cycles.

        In my March 2012 paper you’ll find several pages of evidence and, in particular, a study in the Appendix showing that water vapour leads to lower surface temperatures (as I would predict from the lower gradient) this being the opposite of what radiative forcing would produce. The study is currently being enlarged to many more cities, but still showing the same result.

        The planet Uranus provides some excellent evidence of a thermal gradient which my calculations show to be about 95% of the -g/Cp value, which again is what I would expect because there is only a little methane reducing the gradient by inter-molecular radiation, as explained in my paper.

        Maybe you have an alternative explanation as to how the required energy gets down into the Uranus atmosphere, do you? Solar input is about 3W/m^2 and that gets absorbed and re-emitted to space all in the uppermost layers. No Solar radiation penetrates far into the atmosphere. So please answer the question, how does the required energy get down there into the 20,000Km depths of the Uranus atmosphere, making the assumed solid core (half the mass of earth) about 5,000K? It does not come from retained heat or from internally generated energy

        • DougC says:

          Sorry, the second paper should have been “February 2013″ namely “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” and the March 2012 paper mentioned first is “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

        • David A says:

          How about starting your “model” at the year 1900, and projecting it forward to now. It predicts what?

          • DougC says:

            I did actually start with 30 year moving averages from 1900 to 1930, updated monthly from then on and with a trend analysis which showed that the long term rate of increase was 0.06 C degree/decade then but reduced to 0.05C degree/decade in recent times. See the Appendix of “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

          • David A says:

            DougC: Where can I see proof that your so-called “physics” reproduces 20th century temperatures better than consensus climate models?

            PS: Please don’t send me to your vanity press.

  17. KevinK says:

    Arfur Bryant wrote;

    “Being objective, might it not also be just possible that the —– hypothesis (sic) (AGW by CO2/nGHG radiative forcing) is incorrect and needs re-visiting? In this universe, that is?”

    Dr. Spencer wrote in response;

    “Just about anything is possible in science.”

    With respect to both Dr. Spencer and Mr. Bryant;

    I suggest that we all look again at the optical integrating sphere, a clear case of almost 100% “radiative forcing”, in truth a tiny little bit escapes from the “exit port”. When two incandescent lamps (with a constant current supply, the correct method of “exciting a lamp” to exclude the temperature versus resistance relationship of any filament) are placed in an integrating sphere they add linearly. This is an empirical observation confirmed many times.

    Here is a tech note from a “integrating sphere” manufacturer, it is a rare device, probably only 0.001% of the population has ever heard of one, but a few folks have worked with them on a daily basis;


    Note section 3.7, it turns out that with a steady state input into an integrating sphere the inherent “delay time” exhibited by an integrating sphere cannot be observed with FLIR cameras, or other “fancy” steady state tools. It requires the still unobtainable measuring tool that can track the transit of individual photons with respect to time as energy flows though a system as complex as the “climate” of the Earth.

    So, you can only observe the “delay time” created by the “greenhouse effect” with a pulse of solar energy flowing through the system. The fact that it can only be observed under specific conditions does not mean that it does not exist.

    I am working on an experiment to demonstrate the the “GHE” only acts to delay the flow of energy through the system.
    It seems clear that the “data” does not in any way “prove” the “GHE” hypothesis.

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • DougC says:

      The greenhouse effect is disproved because the Sun cannot heat planetary surfaces (Earth, Venus, Uranus etc) with direct radiation to the observed mean temperatures. Hence. it doesn’t matter how much you delay cooling, if the surface isn’t made hot enough by direct radiation, then you need a whole new paradigm.

      That new paradigm is all about how “heat creep” enables the required thermal energy to move down by non-radiative processes, all the time restoring the thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will evolve spontaneously. See my other comments or my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” by Douglas Cotton.

      • David A says:

        if the surface isn’t made hot enough by direct radiation, then you need a whole new paradigm.

        You seriously don’t understand the greenhouse effect.

        • DougC says:

          “Atmospheric radiation is strongly coupled to the temperature of the level at which it is emitted. In the troposphere, the temperature generally decreases with height. Effectively, infrared radiation emitted to space originates from an altitude with a temperature of, on average, -19°C, in balance with the net incoming solar radiation, whereas the Earth’s surface is kept at a much higher temperature of, on average, +14°C. An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere, and therefore to an effective radiation into space from a higher altitude at a lower temperature. This causes a radiative forcing, an imbalance that can only be compensated for by an increase of the temperature of the surface-troposphere system. This is the “enhanced greenhouse effect.” (IPCC Glossary of terms)

          Yeah, yeaaaahh, yaaaaaaaaawn! If the Earth is radiating “at a lower temperature” it must be colder. How does “forcing” transfer energy to the warmer surface? Oh yes of course – forcing the law of physics to say what you want to say. Cold atomosphere transfers thermal energy to warmer surface because the Sun can only heat to -19°C so it needs some magic to multiply energy. All radiation from the one height (!?) which (mostly) water vapour makes higher (why? The mode of the radiation from water vapour is at about 3Km) and then, because it’s higher and the gradient is less, the surface temperature is cooler – oh but it has to be warmer, because we want water to have a positive feedback. Yaaaaawn.

          What you don’t understand is what I have explained. If you did understand, then you could explain how energy from the Sun which is absorbed near the top of the atmosphere of Uranus then moves downwards to hotter regions, which it is also keeping hotter, whilst maintaining a dry adiabatic lapse rate even though there’s no surface and no reason for there to be upward convection. Go on – give it a go. How does the energy get down there without any radiation to do the trick?

          • David A says:

            As I said, you seriously do not understand the greenhouse effect.

          • DougC says:

            No? I just quoted the IPCC.

            Now, where’s your explanation as to how the required thermal energy (absorbed near TOA) makes its way down into the Uranus atmosphere?

          • DougC says:

            And you seriously don’t understand the new paradigm which explains atmospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures on all planets, without resort to any greenhouse conjecture in any of its various forms, which I certainly do understand, thankyou, but cannot reconcile with any valid physics that I have ever studied and taught in the last 50 years or so.

            I have no more time to write to you personally, I’m sorry. Perhaps try reading my paper in the PROM menu at PSI and/or this comment just posted today on another thread here and some other climate blogs …


          • David Springer says:

            Hmmm… Doug uses Uranus to make an argument.

            I think that’s wrong. The argument is actually made from from Hisanus not Uranus.

          • Samuel says:

            David, “greenhouse effect” thanks for taking me back to 5th grade.

            Do you understand that NOAA and NASA have already come out a stated that they are now looking back into the greenhouse effect as the formula is signed wrong and makes CO2 have the opposet effect of real lab work. Just take the time to look at it before you make a statment about something so elementry.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      “Note section 3.7, it turns out that with a steady state input into an integrating sphere the inherent “delay time” exhibited by an integrating sphere cannot be observed with FLIR cameras, or other “fancy” steady state tools. It requires the still unobtainable measuring tool that can track the transit of individual photons with respect to time as energy flows though a system as complex as the “climate” of the Earth.”

      Maybe you have misunderstood the meaning of that “delay time” there. They are talking about:

      “rapidly varying light signals, such as short pulses or those modulated at high (radio) frequencies”

      I read that this way: if you are using the integrating sphere to measure the power of a gigabits per second data stream transmitted through an optical fiber, than you get a distorted pulse at the output because of the few hundreds of picoseconds randomized delay of the sphere.
      That is, for example, if you want to measure the full emitted power of a laser driven with data at 1Gbit/s (which is a slow device indeed) the clock retiming circuitry need at least 500ps (because of the Nyquist theorem of sampling), but the multipath reflection of the integrating sphere could extend the jitter so much that the retiming circuitry could run no more.
      I don’t believe the integrating sphere is useful for any GHGs time delay measurements, since the atmospheric LWIR rays are already time uncorrelated because of the surface inhomogeneity.
      Instead I believe that if satellites used one integrating sphere in front of their spectrometers input slit, we probably could have a more realistic measurement of the whole outgoing radiation getting the averaged diffuse transmittance of the atmosphere.

      Have a nice day.


    • Arfur Bryant says:

      Hi Kevin,

      ["It seems clear that the “data” does not in any way “prove” the “GHE” hypothesis.

      Yep, that was sort of my point. A lack of validating data does not necessarily disprove the hypothesis (was you use of [sic] because you didn’t like me calling it a theory?), but I agree with you it certainly doesn’t prove it! The fact is it doesn’t matter how much you believe in a theory, a lack of supporting data means it remains just a theory. Hence my question at the start of this thread. Your integrating sphere looks interesting. I’ll read…



      • David A says:

        Because you don’t know of the data doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist:

        “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997,” J.E. Harries et al, Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001).

        “Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present,” J.A. Griggs et al, Proc SPIE 164, 5543 (2004).

        “Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006,” Chen et al, (2007)

        “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Phillipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)

        “Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate,” W.F.J. Evans, Jan 2006

        “A method for continuous estimation of clear-sky downwelling longwave radiative flux developed using ARM surface measurements,” C. N. Long and D. D. Turner, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol 113, D18206, doi:10.1029/2008JD009936, 2008

        More papers on this subject are listed here:

        This site won’t allow more than a very few links; write me if you want them all (david.appell@gmail.com)

        • Arfur Bryant says:



          Seriously, if you want to believe that a paper entitled [Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997.]
          is actual data that validates the hypothesis that CO2 can play a significant role in effecting the GHE, then you carry on with your belief.

          The authors managed to pick the only 27 year period in the last 163 years where a correlation (but still no causation) can be argued. Since the end of their period, the temperature has hardly changed at all. Where does that leave their inference?

          The papers you quote are not data.

          Be objective.

          In 1850 the CO2 concentration was 280ppm
          In 2013 the CO2 concentration is 400ppm

          That’s a 40% increase (based on DATA) in your ‘significant radiative forcer’.

          During the same period, the global temperature has risen by 0.8C.

          That’s a 2.5% rise (based on DATA) in the ‘GHE’.

          No-one can provide evidence that the 0.8C rise is due to CO2.

          Go figure. Think about it instead of regurgitating meaningless dogmatic drivel.

          • gallopingcamel says:

            You might as well give up. David Appell cannot be confused by facts as he lives in an alternate universe.

          • Arfur Bryant says:


            I know what you mean! (Sigh.)

            But I can’t seem to bring myself to let these so-called experts so callously disregard the scientific method at the same time as they claim some sort of scientific authority.

            It seems that objectivity is a dying trait…

  18. Torontoann says:

    My Bayesian prior on these models was that they are useless..

    I have run the above data through my personal computer called common sense.

    My Bayesian posterior on these models is that they are useless.

    • Arfur Bryant says:


      I suspect that there is a market for your personal computer in the field of climate science! You should be able to clean up… :)


    According to AGW theory the amount of CO2 increase,is suppose to cause the OHC to rise,due to CO2 lowers the amounts of infra-red radiation being emitted from earth to space, at the wavelength of 15 microns. The CO2 absorbs the infra-red radiation re radiating it back towards the surface of the earth,warming the oceans in the process.

    This is nonsense.

    It is nonsense , due to the FACT, that infra-red radiation can only penetrate and warm the TOP 1 MILLIMETER of the ocean and most of that heat being promptly lost again to evaporation. However, in contrast VISIBLE LIGHT (from the sun)which is around the .5 micron wavelength penetrates the ocean waters to a depth of 100 meters!!!

    End of story.

  20. the amounts of water vapor at all levels of the atmosphere have been decreasing over the past many years,therefore a positive feedback between co2 and water vapor seems unlikely

  21. Relative humidity graphs of the atm. over the past 50 years substanciate this fact.

    Getting back to the stratosphere ,less ozone is going to have a cooling effect, which does happen when the sun is quiet and produces much less UV light which is one of the processes in the creation of ozone.

    My point and I apply this to the N.H. for the most part due to the fact the S.H, is so different due to geography which as a result enhances a much stronger polar vortex there in contrast to the N.H. polar vortex.

    In the N.H where the polar vortex is much weaker/less stable mainly due to geographical considerations in my opinion, a change in the ozone distribution in the stratosphere(n.h.) is going to have a much greater effect there. When ozone decreases in the stratosphere it causes warming near the poles relative to the lower latitudes, or it makes the polar regions less cold relative to the lower latitudes.

    This is key to having a weak polar voretx(-AO)and hence creates a meridional atmospheric circulatin which allows the cold polar air to break lose and cool the lower latitudes of the N.H. resulting in overall cooling for the N.H.

    True enough the areas near the N.H pole may be warmer, but the overall effect is to cool the N.H.

    Why? Because a more meridinal atmospheric circulation in my opinion will result in more low clouds, more precipitation and greater snow coverage for the N.H.

    In addition warmer does not matter if the temperatures warm and they still stay below freezing(which is the case near the pole), but what does matter is the overall area of the N.H. that has temperatures below freezing and the duration of time those temperatures are below freezing. Which I maintain happens when the atmospheric circulation features a -AO, which is correlated to very quiet solar conditions.

    • David A says:

      Relative humidity graphs of the atm. over the past 50 years substanciate this fact.

      What graphs?
      Links, please.

  22. Those who have suggested a greater temp. gradient is needed between the poles and the equator to promote N.H. cooling have it dead BACKWORDS in my opinion.

    That would create a much more zonal atmospheric circulation(+AO) which I say would result in warming the N.H. overall.

    Arctic air would be trapped near the poles.

  23. AND YES, I do believe in the GHG effect, but with limits and I think it can be tied to the amounts of energy in the earth/climate system.

  24. edmh says:

    Some simple numbers on the effect of CO2 concentration on temperature

    The temperature increasing effect of atmospheric CO2 is known and universally accepted to diminish logarithmically with increasing concentration: these proportions are agreed by both Catastrophic Global Warming alarmists and also skeptical authorities:

    Immutable historical components:
    CO2 essential for photosynthesis and plant life 0-200 ppmv 86.6%
    pre-industrial element prior to 1850 200 -300 ppmv 5.0%
    since 1850 (IPCC asserts all man-made to date) 300 400 ppmv 2.3%
    totaling 94.9%

    Remaining components that climate change policy could affect in future:
    400 -500 ppmv 1.6%
    500- 600 ppmv 1.3%
    600 – 700 ppmv 1.0%
    700 – 800 ppmv 0.7%
    totaling 4.6%

    To understand exactly what is being disputed and what might be achieved by political action the table below gives the likely warming (without positive or negative feedbacks) that will occur with an increase of CO2 from 400 ppmv to 800 ppmv assuming that the amount of CO2 released by all world nations in future is reduced in future by 50%. It shows the impact of the following countries or country groups. Both sceptical and alarmist assessments are shown.

    CO2 emissions 2011 2011 % sceptic IPCC average
    ‘ooo,ooo tonnes
    USA 6,017 17.7% 0.013°C 0.108°C
    JP RU CA 4,457 13.1% 0.010°C 0.080°C
    KR IR ZA MX SA BR ID TW 4,115 12.1% 0.009°C 0.074°C
    China HK 9,072 26.7% 0.020°C 0.163°C
    India 1,798 5.3% 0.004°C 0.032°C
    Rest of World (~160 Nations) 4,514 13.3% 0.010°C 0.081°C
    EU (27) 4,061 11.9% 0.009°C 0.073°C

    Germany 803 2.4% 0.002°C 0.014°C
    UK 511 1.5% 0.001°C 0.009°C
    France 376 1.1% 0.001°C 0.007°C
    Rest of EU 2,372 7.0% 0.005°C 0.043°C

    World Total 34,033 100.0% 0.075°C 0.612°C

    So the impact for the whole of the EU (27) is between 0.009°C and 0.073°C and for the UK the range is between 0.001°C and 0.009°C that is between 1 – 9 thousandths of degree centigrade.

    To achieve this irrelevant and miniscule result the UK government is willing to annihilate the UK economy to try to solve a problem that does not exist.

    Western politicians should “Have the courage to do nothing”.

    • edmh says:

      as ever tables well set out in MS word dont work In wordpress

      Unravel the data if you can

    • John says:


      Thank you for the presentation. Unfortunately, the demonstrable ability of said western politicians to ignore the many gifts thrown their way by lobbyists seeking confiscated U.S. wealth concomitant with the destruction of U.S. industrial competition and act in the public interest leaves much to be desired.

      The objective fact remains many Americans apparently will sell out themselves and their own country over what can best be described as science fiction. The delusional belief in academics parallels the belief in witch doctors in the middle ages. Accustomed to bowing unquestionably before authority figures of all kinds, far too many people will abandon their own minds and follow the dictates of arbitrary, greedy incompetents offering nothing but stale bromides, unsupported claims of climate catastrophe and both legal and financial enslavement.

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
      H. L. Mencken

      “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
      H. L. Mencken

      “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”
      H. L. Mencken

      “I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.”
      H. L. Mencken

    • gallopingcamel says:

      If western politicians could magically shut down all CO2 emissions across their domains, CO2 would keep rising thanks to the BRIC countries and others that have pragmatic leaders (grown ups) in charge.

  25. MeF says:

    As far as I know, the CO2 based greenhouse effect results from a wrong algorithm firstly used by S. Manabe (which was aware of this weakness of his model). This algorithm treats the heat transfer problem in several artificial steps:

    (i) first a radiation heat transfer which gets the artificial status of radiative perturbation
    (ii) then a so called convective correction supposed to
    (iii) third speculation about possible coupling mechanism on water vapour ,etc.

    The physical truth is that there no perturbative radiation induced by the injection of CO2 molecules in the lower atmosphere, despite the fact that CO2 in absorbing IR radiation. There is no discoupling between the heat fluxes and correct calculations show that no radiative “forcing” is expected from the injection of CO2 in the lower atmosphere. This warming due to CO2 based greenhouse is only due to an artefact, or to the need of getting results from a set of tricky non linear coupled equations…

    Since mots (if not all) the large climate models are based on this algorithm, it is not surprising that they give to some extents the same (wrong) trends.

    • David A says:

      So you think that CO2 doesn’t absorb infrared radiation — is that really your position?

      • gallopingcamel says:

        CO2 absorbs thermal Infra Red in regions around 4 and 15 microns. Nobody has been able to prove that it has any effect on global temperatures. Least of all you.

        Get over it.

  26. Dan Pangburn says:

    Two papers on line, that you may find of interest, provide some eye-opening insight on possible cause of change to average global temperature. The papers are straight-forward calculations using readily available data.

    The first one is ‘Global warming made simple’ at http://lowaltitudeclouds.blogspot.com/. It shows, with simple thermal radiation calculations, how a tiny change in low altitude clouds could account for half of the average global temperature change in the 20th century, and what could have caused that tiny cloud change. (The other half of the temperature change is from natural ocean oscillation which is dominated by the PDO)

    The second paper is ‘Natural Climate change has been hiding in plain sight’ at http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html . This paper presents a simple equation that calculates average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 90%, irrespective of whether the influence of CO2 is included or not. The equation uses a proxy which is the time-integral of sunspot numbers. A graph is included which shows the calculated trajectory overlaid on measurements.

    A third paper, ‘The End of Global Warming’ at http://endofgw.blogspot.com/ expands recent (since 1996) measurements and includes a graph showing the growing separation between the rising CO2 and not-rising average global temperature.

    • John says:

      Hi Dan,

      You stated:

      “This paper presents a simple equation that calculates average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 90%, irrespective of whether the influence of CO2 is included or not.”

      Satellites capable of accurately estimating global temperatures from oxygen microwave emissions (MSU – microwave sounding units)only came into existence in 1978-9. Review Roy’s satellite data if you wish. Prior data consists of spotty earth surface measurements and balloon/aircraft data, not truly consistent global data throughout the earth’s atmosphere.

  27. weak magnetic fields sun/earth make for cold /stormy climate

    That is what is happening. Earth’s magnetic as wel as the sun’s is weakening.

    The weaker earth magnetic field will compound the effects of a weak solar condition Again an AP INDEX 5 or lower 98%+wil compound geological activity associated with weak solar conditions and the increase in cosmic rays and their effectivin producing more low clouds,if the N. Magnetic pole continues to move south to lower latitudes as it is presently doing.

  28. Doug Martin says:

    So the results are consistent with what you would get from my 30 y/o Heat Transfer text (Black) and adjusted emissivity for a 30-50% increase in atmospheric CO2 in the Radiative Heat xfer equation…

    a simple back of the envelope engineering estimate far outperforms these ‘hack’ models

  29. RiverC says:

    Science is dead, gentlemen.

  30. Dan Pangburn says:

    Doug, Is that simple cloud radiation thing all that you noticed?

    There are two other links there. And, those papers show graphs and calculations using published data, not theory and models. Well, maybe the assumption that the planet is going to continue for a couple of decades pretty much as it has for more than a century qualifies as a theory.

    You might also notice that I (as did you) found that noncondensing ghg have no significant influence on average global temperature. But then, that just corroborated what I discovered 5 years ago and made public at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html. The interesting new finding is what caused the average global temperature trajectory since before 1900 to be what it is.

    My undergrad Heat Transfer text was by Kreith.

    • Doug Martin says:

      Dan, mine was Kreith and Black text to be more specific.

      there is a graph of emissivity vs. CO2 concentration… when you do a simple global control volume analysis of the heat transfer to/from earth (dark side) === Q=sAE(Te**4-Tspace**4), assume Tspace=0 (which it is for all practical purposes for radiative heat transfer; you end of being able to reduce this to ===

      E(1975)*T(1975)**4 = E(2010)*T(2010)**4 ===

      taking E from the graph, if you double CO2 T(new) is about 1degR or 2/3 deg C higher than T(old). Which indicates CO2 is a secondary or more likely tertiary factor in global temperatures changes. versus the overblown projections of 10 deg C of these “models” …Clouds, upper level temperatures etc have always been red-herrings used to justify putting documented HxFer properties on the edge of a 95% confidence interval, and using the other extreme from a “statistical perspective” to put “the fear of god (the new atheistic gaia)” into the masses. Belief not science.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        Doug – I wonder how they came up with the CO2 vs emissivity chart.

        My guess is that they calculated what the effective emissivity must be to produce the measured average global temperature (agt) at several different times and then made a graph of effective emissivity vs. the measured CO2 level.

        That would roughly work prior to 2001 because CO2 level and agt were sort of going up together. After 2001 the agt trend has been flat while CO2 level continues to rise so that relation stops working.

        The equation in http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html continues to work and projects a future downtrend for at least a couple of decades as shown in the graph and also that CO2 level has no significant effect.

        Although it is not all that obvious, the part of the equation using the sunspot time-integral is based on conservation of energy.

  31. Optimizer says:

    I like the idea of the article, but not the presentation. What you have is really a bunch of slopes that have been calculated – the plots of the actual lines are irrelevant, and a bit misleading (since they don’t give the true shape of the curves).

    If anything, the statistics being used call for a histogram of the trendline slopes, with the slope from the actual data being shown as an obvious outlier. The plot of the actual data is especially misleading because it shows a number of data points – which don’t exist because this is a trendline, NOT data.

    That gets to my main problem with it, in that it makes it look like there is an upward trend in global temperatures, when the global temperature has been stalled out for 15 years.

    The bottom line is that if you’re going to make plots, use either the real data, not a trendline, or – if “spaghetti” is a problem, use a smoothed version. Plots are for showing the shapes of the curves, not for the display of a scalar statistic for each.

    I’m thinking the shapes of those curves (except for the data) are dominated by an underlying unstable exponential mode. In that respect, it’s not really much different than Dr. Mann’s fraudulent and infamous “hockey stick” graph.

    I’d actually really like to see that plot (with even approximate shapes shown). Heck, maybe I’ll try to track that data down and plot it myself…

  32. DaveinMn says:

    Computers only as smart as data plugged into them

  33. Reblogged at ktwop.
    What is perplexing is the blind faith in the models and reluctance to revisit the assumptions on which the models are based.

    • Robert Murphy says:

      Simple. No one will pay you to not predict a disaster…

      • Arfur Bryant says:



        That’s why the media love this debate! They sell newspapers based on the alarmist hype and use words like ‘catastrophic’ (from the IPCC) and ‘tipping point’. If it (cAGW) all falls apart later, the will just sell more newspapers based on “The scientists got it all wrong”!

        Its a win-win for them…

      • Ben says:

        Really? I recall we paid them a lot to predict the Summer Of Recovery… still waiting four years later.

    • Arfur Bryant says:


      Exactly. See my first post at the top of the thread.


  34. Nick Shaw says:

    Though the differences between the values predicted by the models and those produced by actual observation rightly indicate a failure of epic proportions as you have noted, Dr.Spencer, one cannot help but note the steady, uninterrupted rise in those observations.
    One that continues unchanged after 1998 or so.
    This seems to conflict with the generally accepted “leveling off” of global temperatures since that year.
    Can you help me understand why this could not be used by others to contradict the view that warming has slowed or perhaps, paused since 1998?

    • lateintheday says:

      Nick, you’re looking at a linear trend on the graph above, not actual real world temperatures.

      • Nick Shaw says:

        Sorry, LITD, but that’s not what I’m seeing in the “observations” line. It says it’s the average of actual radiosonde measurements.
        Yes, it’s a trend but, it’s an ever rising trend.
        By rights the trend should have flattened out starting in 1998, no?
        Or am I missing something else?

        • John K says:

          Nick and Roy,

          You make a good point Nick. However, while the annual average radiosonde measurements reflected in the graph above show annual increases each and every consecutive year, the (MSU – radiosonde) temperature data provided by Roy on the monthly graphs do not appear to show annual increases each and every consecutive year but fluctuation. Can you explain that Roy?

          The graph above indicates an increase of scarcely a quarter of a degree centigrade since satellite temperatures began in 1979. However, the average temperature increase reflected in the monthly MSU-radiosonde data-sets that Roy provides seems closer to between a quarter and one-half of a degree centigrade increase over the same time period. While I realize what I’m saying may seem picky, I hope Roy can explain it.

        • lateintheday says:

          Nick, a simple linear trend is represented by a straight line. So, if temps stayed the same for another 20 years, the line would be longer and at a shallower angle, but still show the increase from 1980. Similarly, if the graph was re-drawn and shortened to say 1998 (big el nino year), then the trend line would be shorter and steeper.

  35. Gary Hladik says:

    Dr. Spencer, would it be helpful to add error bars to the observations?

  36. Robert Murphy says:

    You do realize, of course, that Algore could point at this graph and claim it proves everything he said was exactly correct, and the true believers would swoon and give him credit for predicting correctly…

    Lack of evidence, facts, knowledge, or even curiosity is not enough to stop someone from believing what he or she wishes to believe…

  37. aomeone says:

    Very interesting indeed

  38. DougC says:

    You can’t do a valid model for Venus, Roy.

    For radiation to make a surface temperature increase from 730K to 735K each 4-month long Venus day it has to comply with both these requirements, as per standard physics …

    (a) It has to have a flux based on the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, namely about 16,100W/m^2 for 730K. The flux coming into the Venus atmosphere is far less, and hardly any gets through to the surface. How can the atmosphere multiply the flux and how can such flux do so much better at penetrating the atmosphere? Where are the calculations that at least obey the First Law, even though they don’t have a hope of obeying the Second Law, so the whole radiation exercise is hypothetical anyway.

    (b) The radiation has to come from a hotter source. That only leaves the Sun. So the only radiation that can have a hope of doing so is the mere 10 to 20W/m^2 of Solar radiation that gets through the atmosphere. So we have about one-tenth of the radiative flux which reaches Earth’s surface. So if that really could heat a surface to 720K, then why wouldn’t Earth be much hotter still? The whole thing is ludicrous.

    Only the new paradigm in my paper explains what really happens, and it is certainly not radiation that is doing most of the heating, I can assure you. How could it be?

  39. Norm Kalmanovitch says:

    Working from the formulas for the greenhouse effect given in Hansen et al 198,1 Hansen stated it as: “Ts – Te is the greenhouse effect of gases and clouds” and defined Te according to the same formula Te = [So(1-A)/4σ]1/4
    (Hansen, J., D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, 1981: Science, 213, 957-966, doi:10.1126/science.213.4511.957.)
    Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    We can determine albedo “A” from the subtraction of OLR from TSI/4 and using TSI and OLR measurements from satellites we can calculate the greenhouse effect for 1980 and 2010 according to these formulas.
    In 1980 the greenhouse effect was 35.56°C and in 2010 it was 0.14°C lower at 35.42°C.
    The drop in greenhouse effect is entirely due to an increase in OLR reflecting a net decrease in albedo which could only result from a net decrease in cloud cover.
    The model projections are based on a CO2 forcing parameter coupled with a climate sensitivity factor to produce warming that matched the past but has failed to match the future. This is because cloud cover changes and not CO2 increases are the primary driver of current observed temperature changes.
    Project Earthshine measures albedo and this shows albedo decreasing to 1997 and then increasing perfectly matching the global temperature trend of warming until 1997, a standstill until 2002 and cooling since 2002.
    If the climate models removed the fabricated CO2 forcing parameter and replaced it with an albedo factor they would be able to achieve a near perfect match with observed global temperature.

    • Norman says:

      Norm Kalmanovitch

      Powerful conclusions. I believe I had read similar ideas on Climate4you website.

      The link to this webpage has an albedo slide bar that one can change to see how albedo effects the Earth’s temperature. It does show a few % points can have a pronounced effect on temperature.


      I argued a few years ago on Skeptical Science over the same issue.

      I would hope some climatologist working on the powerful computer would program the albedo changes as a primary driver and see how the model outcome predicts reality. So far the models do very poorly (unless you read Skeptical Science, over there they are spot on).

      • David Springer says:

        A paradigm shift in one’s thinking can occur if one realizes that greenhouse gases work by changing the effective albedo. It is non-intuitive because the mechanism doesn’t operate in the visible spectrum. Nevertheless by increasing downwelling longwave radiation on a surface the end result is more entrainment of shortwave radiation i.e. the surface is effectively darkened.


        Sometimes the effects of the greenhouse effect are stated in terms of the albedo of the Earth, the overall average reflection coefficient.


        The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

        That’s not really all that interesting in and of itself. What’s interesting is the fact that if something already has an albedo of zero then the greenhouse effect cannot lower it any further. The ocean at high noon on a clear day in the tropics has an albedo that is practically zero. Therefore greenhouse warming can have no significant effect in that situation.

        Given the above situation (high noon, tropics, clear sky) is where the lion’s share of solar energy enters the earth system the greenhouse effect, on a global average basis, is considerably lessened.

        I’ve been saying for a long time now that the greenhouse effect is really only significant and a matter of concern over dry land particularly in the higher latitudes when the land in question is dry by way of being frozen for some part of the year with an exceedingly high albedo from snow cover.

        Fortunately for people who live and work in those higher latitudes milder winters are a welcome thing. There’s really nothing not to like about CO2 greenhouse warming!

        • gallopingcamel says:

          Dave Springer,
          The idea that anything that modulates the Earth’s albedo and IR emissivity makes a whole lot of sense. A couple of consequences:

          1. It puts water in the driver’s seat rather than CO2.
          2. Clouds provide strong negative feedback as stated by Nir Shaviv:

    • Lance Wallace says:

      Norm Kalmanovitch

      “Project Earthshine measures albedo and this shows albedo decreasing to 1997 and then increasing perfectly matching the global temperature trend of warming until 1997…”

      Should the first 1997 be something like 1979?

    • blouis79 says:

      As far as I can see, Project Earthshine started in 1999. Albedo increasing to 2003, then statistically stable.

      The error bars are too big to plug earthshine data into a GCM and improve forecasting accuracy. (Well if GCM predictions did have error bars.)

  40. David Springer says:

    Lack of tropospheric hotspot is consistent with shortwave warming of the ocean. It is not consistent with a reduced rate of cooling brought about by longwave emission from greenhouse gases. Back to the drawing board for climate change boffins of the third kind.

  41. RyanS says:

    Well duh, obviously the temperature is wrong. 97 % consensus!

  42. TOM TUCKER says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    I’ve followed the Global Warming fiasco pretty much from the beginning and have always believed that it was a fraud. One only has to listen to Al Gore to come to that conclusion.
    I’ve also believed that my side of the political spectrum has done a terrible job in letting this go so far, waste untold billions and penetrate the public consciousness the way it has.
    Your “EPIC FAIL” presentation coupled with the negative feedback/cloud theory should be able to be presented to the public in a simple straightforward way that even the politicians can understand. I also believe that the IPCC is still equivocal about the feedback issue so that this should be woven into the picture.
    Are you involved in any concerted effort to get this story out to the public?
    I know that such a monster as the climate change and green industries will be hard to kill but
    I would be willing to do whatever i can to support such an effort. It’s time that a stake is driven through the heart of this monster.

  43. Shane Hanson says:

    It seems to me, as a scientist, that a simple test could be performed testing the heat transfer characteristics of a change in CO2 concentration from 280 ppm to a higher level like 350 ppm. You could also include the infrared heating at the three low level peaks they claim the heating is coming from. How come I can’t find any papers on those? Being a chemist and having a physics background as well, shouldn’t it be easy to construct such a test? My guess, you wouldn’t want to post those results to support your argument that CO2 is causing the heating, albeit a very small amount of heating.

  44. Ade Lewis says:

    73 models! Is there an upper limit on the number of climate models that the taxpayers of the world have to pay for, or does this parasitic modelling community have a blank cheque? There should be ONE climate model. If they are correct, that’s all they need. Why do we need to keep subsidising subtly different guesses?

  45. Dan Pangburn says:

    Some of the mistakes made by the IPCC and the Consensus are discussed at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/

  46. The models are all set up to keep relative humidity roughly constant in the tropical lower and mid troposphere above the top of the convective boundary layer (above 1.5 km to around 7 km), as the climate warms. This is significant Garbage In.
    However, in their elegant and compelling paper Paltridge et al. (2009) “Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data” show that in the real world relative humidity in the tropical lower and mid-troposphere decreases as the climate warms.
    Part of the Garbage Out is the erroneous tropospheric temperature forecasts.
    Water vapour feedback at the surface, which is where we live, is strongly negative when we take into account the fact that in the real world evaporative cooling increases by around 7% per degree of surface warming (approx. 6 W/sqm) vs around 2% (approx. 2 W/sqm) for a typical model as per Wentz et al. (2007) “How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring”.
    The 2% per degree rate of increase in evaporative cooling at the surface which is 70% oceans is also part of the Garbage Out.

  47. Gixxerboy says:

    Dr. Spencer

    Can you point me in the direction of the actual radiosonde and satellite data – not ‘averaged’. What may be a troll elsewhere is picking at your presentation saying that you have averaged them perhaps because you have ‘something to hide.’


  48. Robin Hanson says:

    Is there a cite to a source so I can see how these models where chosen and applied? What you show looks plausible, but given how controversial this area is, I don’t want to just take your word for it.

  49. Shelama says:

    RPC 8.5 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    There is, indeed, an epic fail in all of this.

    Thanks, Roy. And Tony.

  50. Ryan says:

    Tropical temperatures are the least affected by global warming. Most of the warming occurs at the poles.