Senate EPW Hearing: “Climate Change: It’s Happened Before”

July 19th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

OK, so yesterday’s hearing really was entitled, “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now”. I like my title better.

In this exceedingly rare photo of me actually cracking a smile, note my subliminal shout out to the “Coke” brothers (whom I’ve never met, btw…I don’t even know what they do):
Spencer-EPW-testimony-7-18-2013

From the opening remarks made by the Democrats on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, apparently you can see climate change yourself just by looking in your backyard, or seeing how far from shore fishermen must go now to catch fish, or even (help me with the logic on this one) the fact that smoking causes cancer.

I just submitted my updated written testimony (Spencer_EPW_Written_Testimony_7_18_2013_updated) to include the following chart (Click for full size):
2000-yr-temperature-variations

This chart illustrates that, yes, we are currently warm, but not significantly warmer than the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) or the Roman Warm Period (RWP). So how is it we know today’s warmth is human-caused, when the last two warm periods couldn’t have been caused by humans? Hmmm?

And if you want to hit me with a Hockey Stick, might I remind you that there are many more papers supporting the MWP and RWP than there are supporting the Hockey Stick’s slick revision of history?

Or does “consensus” only count when it supports your side?

What’s that you say? The hockey stick is now the “new consensus”? So a scientific consensus can be wrong, after all? Hmmm.

Hearing Post Mortem
The advertised star of the show was Heidi Cullen (aka “de-certify all TV meteorologists who don’t toe the line on global warming Heidi”) who did an admirable job of presenting a litany of half-truths (hurricanes have increased [except in the last 7 years]; strong tornadoes have decreased [but she couldn't bring her self to actually say that]; wildfire acres burned have increased dramatically [but the number of wildfires have decreased dramatically...all consistent with the USFS "let it burn" policy]; droughts and floods have increased [except NOAA's charts say there is no change over the last 100 years], etc.).

Roger Pielke, Jr. was absolutely devastating in his testimony. Here’s a guy who claims to largely support the IPCC party line, even claiming increasing CO2 is having a “profound” effect on the climate system, yet he chides those who would try to use severe weather as evidence of climate change. The evidence simply isn’t there. Very Lomborgian, sans the sexy T-shirt.

During my testimony (in the Flash video, starting about 3:04 for my oral, and 3:23 for follow-up questions/interrogation) I decided to depart from my usual practice of reading of a prepared text to just winging it. There is VERY little you can cover in 5 minutes, and there were a number of things I would have liked to have said, but there simply isn’t time…that’s just the way committee hearings go.

All of the senators were moving in an out of the hearing room for a floor vote, so there were only 2-4 senators present at any given time.

Thanks to all of those who have posted and e-mailed supportive comments…I really appreciate it. Getting flogged in public by Sen. Boxer (last time I testified) and Sen. Whitehouse (this time) is not one of my favorite activities. But I warned the staffers I wasn’t going to be pushed around this time without some pushing back. I think we did OK for a hearing where the witness numbers were stacked against us.


212 Responses to “Senate EPW Hearing: “Climate Change: It’s Happened Before””

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  1. Thanks, Dr. Spencer, for speaking the truth.
    This “global warming/climate change” concept has to be abandoned for humanity to have a chance of survival and stop the advance of global poverty.

    • Noperoynope says:

      Speaking of which… Roy, was it a sort of sworn testimonies? Because, if some witnesses presented the “greenhouse effect” as real despite being familiar with certain argumentation proving that it can not be real, they could be accused of perjury sooner or later. I know, there are too many of them, but still…

    • Hops says:

      “There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age,…”

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/abs/ngeo1797.html

      To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century. At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them. There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period AD 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.

      Published online 21 April 2013

    • B Parsons says:

      Just want to point out that all these comments support Spencer, because the site edits out the disagreers. I have been thrown off this site half a dozen time trying to introduce contradictory information. You guys are [preaching to the choir, and whistling past the graveyard

  2. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    “Getting flogged in public by Sen. Boxer (last time I testified) and Sen. Whitehouse (this time)

    Given that they are both clueless, vacuous politicians, I would take that flogging as a Badge of Honor.

    • Joe Bastardi says:

      I would love to get Whitehouse face to face in a debate. The guy should be next to the definition of clueless when it comes to the tropics, weather and climate. He seems oblivious to the fact that Sen TF Greene of RI helped sponsor the bill for the radar fence in 1961 cause he was sick of big hurricanes running the east coast, blasting his state, without warning. RI was devastated in 38 and 54, ( If Edna had come west 100 miles 11 days after Carol, it would have been a blow that would have taken years to recover from ..2 majors in 12 days..) they were hit hard in 44 and 60. The guys is a walking encyclopedia of weather/climate nonsense.

      If I had guys like that across the mat from me when I wrestled, I would have been a national champ.

      I would be praying for him to come after me.

      Roy sometimes being truthful means you cant be, as people would like everyone to be, nice. It goes double for people who are supposed to be looking out for the good of our nation, they have to have the truth and should be held accountable to it. There is nothing nice about ignorance or distortions and the continued attack on people searching for the truth. They should be treated with overwhelming factual force, letting no nonsensical comment go unchecked until they learn to look, or if they have, tell the truth.

      I am amazed that its come to this. They have the nations economic lifeline by its throat, and there is no excuse for the misery they are causing. Sacrifice without reason is stupidity.

      What you tolerate you teach, and there is no reason to tolerate climatic ambulance chasers and the nonsense they leave spewed all over the highway of facts.

      • Geo says:

        You can’t undo a fart, Joe. Once climatology became politicized, the science from there forward has just stunk!

      • Gary says:

        Whitehouse is worse than clueless because he has a damaging agenda. All it takes in RI to get elected is deep Democrat party roots. But what can you expect when the ballot has a “party lever” that automatically casts votes for the whole slate? Laziness, ignorance, traditional loyalty, and being behold to the power structures makes the voters keep electing the Whitehouse types.

  3. Can’t argue with past history which shows clearly the climae has been as warm or warmer then today then in the recent past

    • Brian H says:

      climate than

      They try to argue, and then silence the rebuttals. Nice work if you can get it.

      • Duster says:

        Did you look at the PAGES web site (http://www.pages-igbp.org/)? Funded by NSF, Swiss NSF, and NOAA. Their mission as presented on their page is, “PAGES facilitates activities that address past changes in the Earth System in a quantitative and process-oriented way in order to improve predictions of future climate and environment, and inform strategies for sustainability.” The paper is merely one more shot in the battle over just how global events like the MWP or the LIA were.

        Remarkably easy to argue that events recognized in one region are synchronous with similar events in other regions. That is why the Wisconsin and Wurm galcial epochs for exeample are given different regional and why even with North America there are regional names to events that time roughly together, but cannot be absolutely proven to be precisely synchronous. The problem is that there never was any reason to assume “precise” synchronization. The paper notes variation between regions at multidecadal to centennial scales. The “Conclusion” highlighted in the article was that recent warming addresses ONLY the last 1,400 years. So, despite high sounding language on their page about addressing much greater time periods (the Pleistocene is mentioned), they address precisely the same putative “paleo” time span as the “team” and the goal remains the same, reducing the significance of the MWP and – apparently – the LIA.

        The fact is that even if the events were not “global,” they were hemispheric in scope with effects from the Pacific coast to Russia at least. The MWP signature is well marked for instance in palynological records from the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin. The effect was so profound that it effected forest growth and water availability for about two centuries. Archaeological evidence reflects a near depopulation of the Sierra Nevada. It is quite likely that global changes are discernible on time scales of less than multi-millennial spans. That is, short of global ice ages and interstadials, we can’t see global changes because it requires very long time spans for regional trends to coalesce into fully globalized effects.

        • Hops says:

          Okay, so something happened in the northern hemisphere.

          What was it?

          Maybe the gulf stream brought exceptional warmth from the tropics, heating the northern hemisphere and cooling the tropics.

          If we don’t know what it was, is there any reason to believe that it is currently in a warming phase and driving the current warming, as opposed to being in a cooling phase and holding back CO2-driven warming?

  4. I doubt very much that the human contributions to greenhouse gases have resulted in a 1% reduction of the earth able to emit longwave radiation out to space.

    Longwave radiation may have been reduced but not due to the human contribution to GHG but rather then by natural processes such as the recent past increase in ocean heat content.

    Natural processes overwhelm the human contributions to CO2 concentrations.

  5. Dr. Spencer if you would take the temperature chart you presented and correlate that to solar activity namely the aa or ap index you will see that solar conditions and temperatures correlate.

  6. I don,t understand we have Medieval warm period high solar activity, we have MAUNDER MINIMUM cold period,we have a substancial increase in solar activity from 1700-1790, the result warmer temperatures, we have Dalton Minimum cold temperatures , we have modern warm period high solar activity.

    What does it take to make some sort of a connection??

    • Robert Turner says:

      I do not understand why the Modern Maximum is never mentioned in these hearings. It is mentioned that solar activity is one factor in climate, but not the fact that it and human forcings have both favored a warming climate system for over 100 years. Now that they are finally diverging (depending on cycle 25) after 100+ years it should be quite clear in the next few decades how much warming is contributed by fossil fuels.

      I’m growing suspicious that the alarmists are fully aware of the waning solar activity and are afraid that its influence will overwhelm our contributions to warming. That may be why there is a sudden push to stifle the fossil fuel industry before the science actually is settled and the flood of lies and half-truths about “extreme weather” is their last ditch effort to do so.

    • Ah – the Mediaeval Warming Period. According to some guy called Michael Mann, it didn’t exist AND it was in fact the Mediaeval Warming Anomaly.

      Clinically insane.

      • MikeN says:

        According to Mann, the nonexistence of the Medieval Warm Period means that climate models vastly overstate warming. He thinks there is a missing negative feedback, like the negative feedback that kept the Medieval Warm Period from getting too warm.

  7. Dr. Spencer on the one hand does not want to support human global warming , but on the otherhand does not want to give an alternative viable reason for past warm /cold temperature periods, yet refers to them as an argument against global man made warming. Worse the solar aa or ap index connection shows a correlation yet not one word about that correlation.

    Something is missing here in my opinion.

    • CJ Orach says:

      You are the one who is “missing” something. The Roman and Medievel Warming is on par with today’s warming when human’s were not emitting CO2 from Fossil Fuel. End of story.

      • Duster says:

        The Roman, Minoan and Early Holocene warm period were warmer than the present. In fact, real “paleo” climate data such as O-18 levels from Antarctica and Greenland indicate a global cooling trend over the last 8,000 to 9,000 years depending on how you date the ice core subsamples.

  8. Roy is still great in my opinion but I wish he would study the solar/climate relationships a little deeper.

    Just my opinion to him, but I respect him much.

  9. Mike says:

    Thanks Dr Spencer for your clarity and always trying to
    use scientific method as it relates to “Climate Change”.

    Although I’m not a scientist I believe that just when you
    think you know it all, it it amazing how much you can learn
    when you open your mind to reasoning and not speculation.

    The Climate Change folks who claim man made C02 is the driver
    behind warming are really closed minded thinkers.

    Continue your work

  10. Mark Bofill says:

    Dr. Spencer, just got done watching the hearing. Well done, and thanks.

  11. Dr. Spencer I suggest a chart or graph should be presented that shows the solar aa index( because that goes back much further in time then the solar ap index) versus the average global temperature.

    aa index goes back some 300 years.

  12. my data shows

    1900-1920 aa index 14, zero temp. change from 1910

    1980-2000 aa index avg., 27, +.6c temp. change from 1910 temp average from 1980-2000

    MAUNDER MINIMUM aa index 0 to 12, -.6c temp. change from 1910 temp. avg. during Maunder Minimum

    I see correlation.

  13. OssQss says:

    Outstanding job Doc!

    Roger was also exceptional.

    Let the truth be told, or at least discovered in the long run.

    Perhaps some government money could now be applied to the study of natural Climate variation at some point. Wouldn’t that be a change of pace……..

  14. So you do not believethe hockeystick of Mann

    Yet you come up with a plot showing MWP RWP and you can say without doubt that the current warmpth is similar to the mwp but no greater.

    Why do you have faith in this unreference plot but none in Manns?

    • Sun Spot says:

      @Fix Or Repair Daily, the Hockey stick of Mann was clinically debunked by Steve McIntyre. I don’t see an unreferenced plot, what are you referring to ??

      • Ted says:

        Are you suggesting that the paleo studies (and many of them) that show the MWP, RWP and although not mentioned by Dr Spencer the Egyptian warm period were not refereed?

        With regard to Mann et al. The weighting in the algorithim used to process the data, the apparent cherry picking of some data and the splicing in of surface temperature records to hide the fact that the dendrochronological data was unreliable.

    • DirkH says:

      FordPrefect;
      marcott & Shakun show that we’ve been cooling throughout the entire Holocene (ignoring the uptick at the end of their result time series, which they admitted is not robust).

      What’s your problem with Marcott & Shakun?

    • Chuck Nolan says:

      That’s easy.
      1. I trust Roy for the science.
      2. I read the climategate emails and the harry read me file.
      Mann’s done nothing to explain any of it.
      Though he doth protest loudly.
      cn

  15. Russell Cook says:

    Repeating what John Droz says, “real science is about adjudicating the facts, not casting aspersions on the source.”

    I thought it was fabulous of you to laugh at Sen. Whitehouse about the religion question, but the slight problem there is only those of us acquainted with the reason why he chose to ask it will get the humor of it.

    Sen Whitehouse and the whole Gore/IPCC crowd loathe debate on scientific matters since the average citizen is likely to hear both sides making plausible-sounding arguments, and by default will interpret the issue to be unsettled science.

    What this issue needs is a ‘have-you-no-shame-Joe-McCarthy’ moment. Impolite as it may have sounded, Sen Whitehouse was in need of a response something akin to “You bring this up because your side seeks to attack my character and credibility rather than take seriously the specific science points at hand here. Your veiled insinuation is as irrelevant as accusing other skeptic scientists of being deniers of climate change, which they are demonstratively not, and as meaningless as accusing them of being paid shills of Exxon, which they are most certainly not, nor has there ever been a single shred of evidence to prove it! Why, Senator, is your side enslaved to this defense tactic?”

    • Bryan says:

      Well put Russell

      I thought Whitehouse lost the plot when he diverted into the religious off topic attack.
      Strangely enough Whitehouse earlier quoted approvingly John Cook of Skeptical Science.
      John Cook is a born again Christian but Whitehouse would not spot the irony since John believes in the ’cause’.

  16. Philip Richens says:

    Very impressive testimony, sound science. Looking forward to reading upcoming paper.

  17. George E. Smith says:

    Dr. Roy,

    You have no idea, how convincingly authoritative you looked, as a result of your “winging it.”

    As a comparison, the image of senator Sessions, running overtime as Whitehouse tried desperately to cut of his (Sessions) listing of your NASA credentials; and he couldn’t even read it off a piece of paper.

    And these are the people we are relying on, to uphold the truth and sanity, against the onslaught of those with an agenda.

    You did us all proudly Roy.

    George

  18. charlesH says:

    Dr. Spenser,

    Sen Whitehorse asked you about three graphs comparing model output to observations.

    a) models vs sat/balloons … shows diverging
    b) models vs surface/sat/balloons … shows diverging with surface higher than sat/balloons
    c) models vs what? no divergence seen

    what is the source for c?

    Whitehorse claimed “c” included the most data and agreed with the models.

  19. charlesH says:

    Dr Spencer,

    I think you should identify which congressmen are Christians before giving testimony in the future. If you are asked about evolution you can ask them about Christ’s birth/resurrection.

    • RodF says:

      There comes a point in every online argument where someone starts bashing Christians or mentioning Hitler. At that point the person in question has lost all credibility and should withdraw or risk looking like a total buffoon.

  20. Gail Combs says:

    Thank you Dr Spencer

    Next time they bring up Christians ask them how many of those who signed the Declaration of Independence were Christians.
    Ask them if we should toss out the works of the following Christians because of their religious beliefs:

    Galileo Galilei, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck, George Gabriel Stokes and James Clerk Maxwell.

    I am agnostic but I see red every time someone uses Christianity as a tool for bashing people.

  21. CJ says:

    Admired your testimony greatly!!
    Your missed opportunity was when it was said that the ‘models’ were based on ‘physics’; next time, include that the ‘models’ are based on ‘guesses of the physics’, but that your observations measure the REAL physics AS THEY OCCUR!!
    Keep looking for the heat…………
    CJ

  22. charlesH says:

    I found the answer to my question above regarding the third graph. It is from Ed Hawkins. It shows the same flat temps but a wider range of computer simulations.

    http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2013/comparing-observations-and-simulations-again/

  23. PaulsNZ says:

    I don’t understand how grown adults can blatantly lie and still think they are perceived as honest intelligent human beings. Maybe I have answered my own doubts!? .
    For me to deny that our climate is a direct result of the Earths place in the orbit of our Sun and that the astronomical and thermonuclear forces are orders of magnitude greater than we can imagine can be controlled and legislated for with a Tax on a by product of live is beyond reason.

  24. OssQss says:

    BTW Doc, here is some of the horrible things the Koch Bros did to us. (Watch the credits at the beginning)

    Yep, Nova. Oh the Horror!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqojtGWIsww

  25. Spadecaller says:

    According to the rigors of scientific discipline,no theory or hypothesis is worthy of any consideration unless it implies the sort of evidence that would prove it wrong.Predictions based on the theory are tested against the facts.How many anomalous results are sufficient to invalidate a proposition?To paraphrase Einstein….a mere one.Such a one is the 20year global warming hiatus.Q.E.D.End of story .Game over.The alarmists lose.In as much that any “explanation” to explain the hiatus after the fact is untestable and hence unfalsifiable,it is completely meaningless from a scientific point of view.In any case,such a factor should have been taken into account when the original prediction was made.I have a message for all alarmists.Stop arguing and start testing.

    • B Parsons says:

      Well you cdn’t be more wrong. Lots of explanations for hiatus – starting with phase lag in ocean warming. Einstein was only referring to general relativity when he said one negative results wd invalidate it. And when there was one – the universe is expanding, all you had to do was put in a cosmological constant.

  26. kuhnkat says:

    Thank you Dr. Spencer.

  27. RW says:

    Roy,

    Do you have a video link to this?

  28. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer, overall very well done. Thank You.

    One small nit to pick, a “theory” generally has some observations (however faulty they may be at the time) to “prove” it, at least until some better quality observations come along (happens all the time).

    The “theory” of the “greenhouse effect” is in fact a “hypothesis” which to date has virtually NO observations (real unbiased observations) to “prove” it. A computer model that mimics the assumptions of a hypothesis and therefore matches the hypothesis IS NOT PROOF.

    An alternative “hypothesis” is that the “GHE” simply delays the flow of energy through the Sun/Earth/Atmosphere/Universe system by a few tens of milliseconds by causing the energy to make multiple trips though the system at very near the speed of light.

    Unfortunately there is no way to observe this delay when the input to the system is “steady state” (Flir cameras will not give us this information). But the delay is fixed by the geometry and the properties of the materials (CO2, Water, etc). Just because you cannot observe it with the available tools does not mean it does not exist.

    If I might humbly suggest, I think you may learn a bit by studying how an optical integrating sphere functions. In “climate science” speak it exhibits nearly 100% “radiative forcing”, yet there is no “net energy gain” present. And in fact an integrating sphere produces a delay to the energy flowing through it which can be observed when a “pulse” of energy arrives. This has been known in the optical engineering community for decades. I have supplied links to this information previously.

    Cheers Kevin.

  29. Gunga Din says:

    I got the impression that Whitehouse used some of Session’s time while he wasn’t there and tried to use it to discredit you as a scientist with the “Creationist” question and also to reinforce his lever (shaped like a hockey stick)to further his agenda.
    You did a masterful job of deflecting the first without compromising and handling the second with more understanding than he expected.
    In his close he had to resort to the “missing” heat being in the ocean since it wasn’t in the air. (If it’s in the ocean and not the atmosphere, how is it effecting the weather?)
    Anyway, Thank you and God Bless

  30. Rob Painting says:

    Roy – It’s curious how the Medieval and Roman periods did not cause global sea level to rise. Was ice tougher to melt back then?

    • John K says:

      Rob,

      Can you provide empirical evidence and/or data (not proxy data) as to sea levels before during and after the Medieval and Roman periods? Or do you simply enjoy making non-sequitors?

      BTW do you have a niece Sally Sculpting or half-brother David Drawing? Just curious.

      • Rob Painting says:

        Your response demonstates that:

        a)You don’t understand what a non-sequitur is. Here’s a hint; google it.

        or

        b)You don’t understand that a globally-coherent warming of the planet will melt more ice, and therefore manifest itself in global sea level rise. You know like the current rise in sea level.

        If either the Roman or Medieval periods were anywhere near as warm as today we’d see evidence of this. Where is that evidence? You have plenty of time to google that too.

        • DennisA says:

          There is plenty of archaeological evidence of the MWP, drawn upon here in this history of Greenland from the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

          http://web.archive.org/web/20041210151138/http://www.um.dk/Publikationer/UM/English/Denmark/kap7/7-1-19.asp

          “Until around 4500 BC, the remains of the mighty ice cap which had been left over from the last ice age covered parts of Arctic Canada and blocked the way to Greenland. The first people arrived in the northernmost part of Greenland in around 2500 BC, and in the course of a few hundred years the ice-free part of the island became home to an Arctic tribe of hunters known as the palaeo-Eskimos. The warmer climate which appeared once the ice had gone allowed the population to increase rapidly.

          Towards the end of the 10th century the climate became warmer, and the change affected all those living in the northern hemisphere. Much of the ice in the seas around the Canadian archipelago disappeared, and baleen whales moved into the area to search for food. Eskimo whalers from northern Alaska sailed east in their large, skin-covered boats and reached Greenland in the 12th century.”

          Note they “sailed east”, they didn’t have icebreakers.

          “During the Viking Age, people from Northern Europe began to move west in the North Atlantic, and in 985 the Icelander Erik the Red began to colonise Greenland. The Norse community was based on agriculture and sealing and was economically dependent on contact with Europe. The society was organised as a free state controlled by the big farmers.”

          It seems like there must have been a lot less ice to allow that sort of extensive translocation, and also significant trade with europe, so it obviously wasn’t tougher to melt.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Nice try, but wrong. That is not evidence in support of a global rise in sea level, that is evidence of a warmer North Atlantic. Scientific research does indeed indicate the North Atlantic was anomalously warm during the Medieval Period – see this image from Mann et al (2009).

            No worries, Roy is a climate scientist he’ll reveal the scientific literature on sea level during the Roman and Medieval Periods which support his claim.

        • MikeN says:

          Rob, is the current rise in sea level higher than the rise in sea level in the early 1900s? Supposedly global warming took effect in the late 1970s, yet from 1870-1970, I am seeing the same sea level rise as since then, which suggests that the sea level rise is due to natural effects and not CO2.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Not quite the Roman or Medieval periods, is it? And your impression of when the Industrial Revolution began, is off by over 100 years.

            Got any evidence of a global sea level rise during the Roman or Medieval Periods?

        • Ted says:

          Rob let’s assume that the vast majority of paleo studies, and history are correct and that the MWP did occur and was as warm or warmer than today.

          Lets assume that it melted all the sea ice in the world; what difference would that make to sea level. Absolutely zero.

          Let’s assume that the temperature at Antarctica was as high or even two or three degrees higher than today; how much of it would melt. Absolutely none.

          Let’s assume that all the water in the ocean that is at 0C was warmed through 4C, (either in the polar regions or in Kevin Trenberth’s deep ocean). What would be the result. Sea levels would fall as a result of the anomalous expansion of water.

          I haven’t looked at the studies of sea level around the MWP, the RWP or the EWP; but paleo studies including ice cores in both Greenland and Antarctica support the fact that they occurred. I think there are a few issues for you to resolve before your argument can considered to be robust.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Ted, handwaving and sloganeering does not draw attention away the the fatal flaw in Roy Spencer’s claim. For the Roman and Medieval periods to have been anywhere near as warm as today, and since they supposedly persisted for centuries (see Roy’s figure above), global sea level rise must have risen. If it didn’t, then clearly no way was it even close to modern-day temperatures. Which means Roy’s claim is totally bogus.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Oh Ted, your idea that melting all the world’s land ice would make no difference to sea level is kinda nutty.

          • David McLay says:

            Ted made the following statement:
            “Lets assume that it melted all the sea ice in the world”. Note the words sea ice not land ice.
            Ice that floats on water and melts does not make the water level rise.

      • Ted says:

        Rob let’s assume that the vast majority of paleo studies, and history are correct and that the MWP did occur and was as warm or warmer than today.

        Lets assume that it melted all the sea ice in the world; what difference would that make to sea level. Absolutely zero.

        Let’s assume that the temperature at Antarctica was as high or even two or three degrees higher than today; how much of it would melt. Absolutely none.

        Let’s assume that all the water in the ocean that is at 0C was warmed through 4C, (either in the polar regions or in Kevin Trenberth’s deep ocean). What would be the result. Sea levels would fall as a result of the anomalous expansion of water.

        I haven’t looked at the studies of sea level around the MWP, the RWP or the EWP; but paleo studies including ice cores in both Greenland and Antarctica support the fact that they occurred. I think there are a few issues for you to resolve before your argument can considered to be robust.

        • Ted says:

          Does distorting what commenters post, and then critcising the distortion that you have created pass as legitimate at skeptical science Rob Painting. Normal people consider it as deceit. Perhaps that’s why so many bloggers no longer visit Skeptical science.

          Most people who post at this site have levels of integrity and veracity that exclude such strategies.

          The fact is that the vast majority of peer reviewed paleo records over the Holocene demonstrate an Egyptian warm period, A Roman Warm period and a Medieval warm period all of which were as warm or warmer than the current warm period. This includes O18 concentrations in ice cores. The fact that you may not like it is irrelevant.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Ted, your “look squirrel” pointing is not going to work. We’ve probably established that you’ve no scientific evidence of global sea level rise during the Roman and Medieval Periods.

    • John says:

      Rob, question for you, not hostile, a real question. What would you expect sea levels to be, relative to today, for the Roman and Medieval Warm periods, and the Little Ice Age, assuming they were worldwide as presented in the graph? What is your view of the relationship between sea levels and wold temps, if the graph by Ljundquist et al above is correct?

      • Rob Painting says:

        John, consider what is happening today with sea level rise.

        • Ted says:

          Where did I say land ice Rob?

          Where is the hand waving, just basic high school physics.

        • nutso fasst says:

          Consider that what is happening today has been happening since the last ice age ended, when sea level was around 400 feet lower and the English Channel and Irish Sea were dry land.

          • Rob Painting says:

            If that was so, it should be simple to provide scientific literature demonstrating a rise in global sea level during the Roman and Medieval Periods. Got any?

          • nutso fasst says:

            Wondering how often the moderator moderates. I’ve had a reply “awaiting moderation” for over 24 hours.

    • Hops says:

      Good point Rob.

      The latest research shows these temperature spikes were regional.

      “There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age,…”

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/abs/ngeo1797.html

      If you read the fine print in Dr. Spencer’s chart, it says “extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere”

  31. NikFromNYC says:

    A generation gap means college graduate urban voters, especially professional women, will be severely turned off by creationism now being linked to skepticism, my comic version of this being here which was tactfully censored by the big blog:

    http://s11.postimg.org/tmommx87n/Father_Roy_Spencer.jpg

  32. Gail Combs says:

    NikFromNYC says:
    A generation gap means college graduate urban voters, especially professional women, will be severely turned off by creationism now being linked to skepticism …..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How in HECK do you get creationism linked to skepticism?

    I am an outspoken skeptic.
    I already said I am an agnostic.
    I am a college graduate female who lived in the combat zone in Boston MA, you can’t get much more urban than that.

    I am also smart enough to know a scientist’s religion has NOTHING to do with how good a scientist he is… Let me take that back.

    A Christian scientist has a moral code that makes him more likely to be honest. The post-modern ‘scientists’ have no problem in lying their heads off to further their ‘Cause’

    Pascal Lamy, Director -General of the World Trade Organization and buddy of Bill Clinton outlines “The Cause’

    “…climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared….

    Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life? ….

    How to provide global leadership? Mobilizing collective purpose is more difficult when we no longer face one common enemy, but thousands of complex problems.

    The Cold War was about the clash, not just of geopolitical interests, but of big ideas… But the Cold War “glue” has disappeared….

    The reality is that, so far, we have largely failed to articulate a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed….

    All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty — rooted in freedom, openness, prosperity and interdependence….”
    http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=9174

    CAGW was never about climate it was always about politics. “… a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed….”

    So we have the IPCC mandate:

    …The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation….
    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    To provide the “…clear and compelling vision of …..where the world should be headed….” and we have UN Agenda 21 and the UN Millennium Summit as the road maps.

    There is nothing in that mandate about finding out how the earth’s climate system actually works because that was never the real goal. Human produced CO2 as the control knob of climate is taken as gospel and all politically sanction research goes from there. The more the ‘research’ can be used to scare the wits out of the common people the better. Hence the much lauded Hockey Stick from Mike Mann.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Gail, you are great!

      I fully agree.

      Have a nice weekend.

      Massimo

    • Ted says:

      Excellent post Gail.

      I think your sentences. “A Christian scientist has a moral code that makes him more likely to be honest. The post-modern ‘scientists’ have no problem in lying their heads off to further their ‘Cause’” defines the divide between Dr Spencer and Rob Painting.

      I loved your honesty and frankness; and being of a vintage that allowed me to reflect on most of it, it meant more to me than it would to many others.

      I hope you continue to post.

      Regards.

      • Hops says:

        Actually, I know many evangelical Christians who will not hesitate to be completely dishonest when it comes to denigrating the theory of evolution, including misquoting scientists, cherry-picking data, and attacking the reputations of the scientists. Sound familar?

  33. Joe Born says:

    Well done, Dr. Spencer.

  34. Gail,

    Applause, loud and long. Both for what you write, and for how you wrote it. W

  35. Snowlover123 says:

    Rob Painting says:

    July 20, 2013 at 3:06 AM
    ====================

    That graph from Mann et al. should be under some questioning now, after a reconstruction from Tibet shows that the MWP was warmer than the CWP. Mann’s diagram shows it as being quite a bit cooler than the CWP.

    http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11434-012-5619-8.pdf

    http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Solar-activity-temp-Tibet.gif

    The study also notes that the temperatures in Tibet (even the Modern warm period) correlate nicely to solar activity.

  36. Carey Hamilton says:

    Dr Roy

    Your testimony was great; the question from Senator Whitehouse about your religious beliefs was totally out of line. What relevance could it possibly have to the panel discussion other than to denigrate you as a “god fearing nut”.
    Shame on him. He is the same senator who runs to the senate floor after every weather event to cry the sky is falling. It is amazing to me, we have effectively killed coal as a viable energy altenative via EPA regulations; oil is next; instead of embracing the oil shale energy boom and potential benefits, Sen Boxer,Whitehouse, et al will do everything in their power to kill economic prosperity.
    I agree with some of the comments above, it doesnt pay to be nice or civil with these folks in these hearings because to them the facts dont matter.

    CH

  37. Robert Monical says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    In handling the creation questions you rightly point out natural science has no explanation for the cause of the big bang or the cause of the appearance of single cell life on earth. Similarly, the great transitions in the evolution of life have sketchy scientific underpinnings.

    A deist might argue the created natural universe needs an occasional miraculous intervention to move things along.

    However, were natural explanations eventually found for all the “miracles”, the deist could continue to argue the natural order itself is the miracle. A C.S. Lewis kind of world view.

    So I think the point that you tried to make in your testimony is with the state of the science today, the appearance of single cell life is indistinguishable from a miracle. You happen to believe it is miraculous. But should natural science ever advance to the point the explanation is not miraculous, as a scientist you would of course embrace that advance in knowledge.

    • cd says:

      Robert

      So I think the point that you tried to make in your testimony is with the state of the science today, the appearance of single cell life is indistinguishable from a miracle.

      I think I might borrow that! Are you a lawyer;)

  38. I am not missing anything, in reference to an earlier post.

  39. David L. Hagen says:

    Roy
    Thanks for standing up for the scientific method and for truth.

    Thanks for your added graph showing the Roman and Medieval Warm periods.

    May I suggest reviewing Murry Salby developments in modeling ice core diffusion (e.g. his April 2013 presentation in Hamburg.) They show a consequent reduction in the apparent amplitude of CO2 variations with increasing ice core age. See Salby’s recent papers. By implication, inverting those results will show much higher CO2 concentrations in the past.

    Yet our civilization is facing the next impending glaciation. with its consequent horrendous devastation of agriculture and consequent massive famines.

    With CO2 more than 20 times lower than prehistoric levels, will we be able to generate enough “global warming” to hold off this next glaciation?

  40. Dan Pangburn says:

    Egregious mistakes have been made by the IPCC and the Consensus. Several of them are discussed at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/ .

  41. Steven Kopits says:

    Roy -

    Dress code for Congressional hearings: suit and tie, no dark shirts.

  42. Aaron shunk says:

    Sea level was about 20 feet higher during the last interglacial or glacial minimum at about 125 thousand years ago. This is what formed much of the modern Florida keys when fossil reefs grew at higher elevations than modern sea level, and the data can be easily observed at windley key fossil reef state park as well as other locations around the globe. So at a different time scale, this analog for natural climate variability shows that we are not outside the realm of natural sea level flux. 20 feet higher is possible without human influence during the last and most relevant warm phase.

    • Aaron shunk says:

      And not to say medieval didn’t exist just it’s a different scale.

    • Rob Painting says:

      So where’s the evidence for global sea level rise during either the Roman or Medieval Periods?

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Rob,
        maybe you are not aware of it, but your request of a “proof of a global sea level during RWP & MWP” comparable to the one supposed to be in course today is at least ingenuous.

        Just considering the current sea levels measurements reliable is laughable for anyone who knows what “measurement” really means.

        I can’t imagine how one could ask for a so clearly impossible to get measurements in so ancient times.

        Do you really believe that someone could infer from any silly proxies those few mm/decades of supposed current sea level rise in RWP or MWP?

        Bah!

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

        • Rob Painting says:

          Massimo, dude, what do you think that graph provided by Roy was based upon? ‘Silly proxies’ maybe? Are they only silly when they disagree with your preconceived notions?

          It is duly noted that you too could not produce any scientific literature on global sea level to support Roy’s claims about the Roman and Medieval Periods.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Rob,
            no dude, you can’t ask Dr. Spencer or me proofs of things that can’t be proven just because you (or the scientists you refer to, not me or Dr. Spencer), relied upon it before.

            I don’t believe that Ljungqvist 2010 paper relies on sea level proxies (that graph come from that paper), because despite it relies on more proxies than all the other papers published (more or less reliable), the word “sea” in that paper is used two times only indeed. And it was used to refer to the sea temperature, not its level.

            Anyways, even if it was true that Dr. Spencer graph all relied on global sea level (as you wrongly supposed, because you continue to ask him about that), the simple fact that one scientists reached a completely different result respect the others does not imply that he is wrong and the others are right. Until it is not proven why the scientists reached different results, that implies only that the used method could be useful to tell nothing about climate instead.

            Please, stop ask about global sea level in RWP & MWP, because it’s a really silly question, do you really believe that you can find a proxy that can be used to establish if in that so ancient times the sea level rose of a so tiny 0.4mm/year (MAX) as it’s supposed today?
            Believe me, if you continue this way, you demonstrate to be at least really ingenuous.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            By the way, about your “your preconceived notions”.

            For your information, I’m an electronic engineer and I rely only on the things that I can see and measure.
            If I didn’t behave that way, I never successfully designed anything, as I did and I’m still doing.

            I’ve no preconceptions at all, give me a single real incontrovertible proof that the CO2 molecule is really so influential on the climate of this planet and I’ll be by your side.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Rob Painting says:

            Massimo, I think we already established that you cannot provide any scientific literature on global sea level that supports Roy Spencer’s claims.

            The most obvious paleo-indicator of planetary warmth is global ice, particularly land-based ice, because it alters global sea level when it melts and drains into the oceans. No global sea level rise occurred during either the Roman or Medieval Periods.

            Kinda punches a big hole in Roy’s claims don’t you think?

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Ok give us the reference about your:
            “No global sea level rise occurred during either the Roman or Medieval Periods.”
            We will read them and tell you about.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

            P.s. Note that my request above is sarcastic, because there is no way to know what the level of the sea was those days with the required resolution of tenth of mm per year you are requesting as a proof of the increased temperature.
            I don’t know what’s your job, I hope you aren’t a consultant for real measurements.

          • Rob Painting says:

            Massimo – it’s very apparent that you have no idea what you’re talking about. That being the case, I’m curious as to why you might think I’m even remotely interested in a critique, from you, of the scientific literature on sea level change throughout the Holocene.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Bob
            “it’s very apparent that you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

            it’s very apparent that you that you never take a detailed look to sea level graphs about Holocene.
            They show data about levels averaged on thousands of years.
            You can’t compare those graph to the current “supposed” measured few mm/years.
            It is like compare apples and oranges.
            It seems you are really ingenuous about that.

            Nothing more to say to you.

            By the way: why am I loosing my time with one how links himself to a so biased and deceptive site such as
            skepticalscience.com?

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Rob Painting says:

            Massimo – I am very familiar with the scientific literature on sea level rise throughout the Holocene. That’s why I have been asking this question. There is no evidence of sea level rise having occurred during either the Roman or Medieval Periods.

            That’s why neither Roy Spencer, yourself, or any other contrarian is able to offer any evidence – none exists. Slogans and “look squirrel!” distractions, may qualify as witty rebuttal in contrarian circles, but any rational person reading this thread is going to realize that Roy is making this stuff up.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            I promised myselft to stop reply you, but I concede myself one more choice.
            Ok, sea level expert.
            Show us when between 2 or 4 kyears ago the sea level rised of 4mm/year and when it did -4mm/year instead.

            By the way, do you know the meanings of “measurement error bars”???

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

  43. Peter says:

    Roy, of course climate change has happened before, and of course there was a medieval warm period and other warm periods before. But all climatologists agree on this. I would be much more interested in hearing your evidence that CO2 cannot be the main long-term driver of climate, which is where you and other climatologists part company.

    • Ted says:

      Peter you should have said, this is where you and “some” other climatologists part company.

      Try doing a poll of atmospheric physicists and see what the result is.

      • Peter says:

        I’m not a climatologist, but thanks, I should say “some” climatologists, I have no idea how many. But I’d be grateful for an answer to the question, if Roy can give it.

        • Jake says:

          Peter, I suggest that you read “Global Warming for Dim Wits” by Dr. James R. Barrante. Using actual, real physical chemistry his work indicates that CO2 reaches its maximum Greenhouse effect at 400 ppm. An excellent read.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi Peter:
          “I would be much more interested in hearing your evidence that CO2 cannot be the main long-term driver of climate,”

          Peter, I would be much more interested in hearing your evidence that CO2 _CAN_ be the main long-term driver of climate.

          I could ask you many silly questions like yours if I don’t have to prove that I’m telling an established truth.

          Until someone will find whether the CO2 is the main driver or not, it’s absolutely correct for an honest scientist, like is Dr.Spencer, to tell the current truth: it’s unknown.
          The real problem are those proven dishonest scientists, who well knowing the limits of their (supposed) findings, continue to repeat their mantra.
          I wrote “proven dishonest”, because reading some of the climategate “leaked” emails, I find no other labels to attach to such subjects.

          In this moment science is not able to establish an answer to your question, and Dr.Spencer very honestly reported it. Because that’s all he did at the senate hearing in subject of this thread.

          And since I’m supposing you are one of those who supports the precautionary approach I ask you:
          did you really want to cut away one of your legs if some doctors that just observed your knee from the outside, tell you that you “could” have a malign cancer on your knee, while some other doctors tell you that you are absolutely healthy looking at least to your knee radiography?

          By the point of view of an engineer (as I am), the current state of climatology is not so different from that; and Dr. Spencer is one of “the some other” who looks at the results of the instruments that they use, instead of just “adjust” the raw data to comply to the CO2 religious belief.

          So please, stop to ask question that you know that doesn’t have an answer. Because Dr. Spencer will never answer to you of course.

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

          • Peter says:

            I don’t know whether CO2 is the main driver of climate or not, I have no expertise in this field. But I do know that several climatologists agree with Dr. Spencer that the climate has changed in the past and yet they have concluded that the main cause is CO2. I have read some of the evidence they give to support this, so I am keen to hear Dr. Spencer’s evidence against it. I thought this was a fair and polite question for him, but in response I am told to stop asking silly questions, and that my question has no answer. The prickliness I am getting in response to such a simple question is surprising.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Peter,
            I don’t know what scientific methods used your “several climatologists” which “agree with Dr. Spencer that the climate has changed in the past and yet they have concluded that the main cause is CO2.”

            If you know how do they concluded that CO2 is the main cause then well tell us, share their truth with us.
            Since surely they told you their untold knowledges to convince a skeptical guy like you that their are right, or not?
            Otherwise why you insist to ask that to Dr. Spencer?

            Tell us the incontrovertible truth of those scientists and if it’s so incontrovertible you shouldn’t take care of what Dr. Spencer say about it, because they should surely have good argumentations to support their findings, and shut up Dr.Spencer without your noisy stupid questions on this thread.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

        • Ted says:

          Thanks for your frankness Peter.

          Here is a link that might help you out. There are forcings other than CO2 that can alter climate.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1kdxxbSmUwQ

          Hope this helps, it may be a bit slow to start.

          You may also find this of interest.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lmjaNO5DD_Q

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      People who propose a theory have to prove it. They have not so far. It is not a skeptics responsibility to disprove it – all they have to do is point out that temperatures are not outside of the natural range of temperatures seen in the past.

      • Peter says:

        Repeating the point that temperatures have been higher or lower in the past doesn’t answer my question. Everyone is agreed they have been much higher in the past, and much lower. So what does Dr. Spencer have to add to this to make it an argument against AGW, rather than just a point of general agreement?

        • Scott Scarborough says:

          No more evidence is needed. No other argument is needed. It is obvious you don’t understand the scientific method.

          • Scott Scarborough says:

            OK, Maybe that was too harsh. The alarmist side does not discuss the fact that it has been much warmer and much colder in the past (even if they secretly agree). That is why it is important to point this fact out as much as possible. As came out in the Senate hearing, the only factors which represent a possible “finger print” of AGW are temperature and rain (no finger print with Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, etc). If these temperatures have occurred thousands of years ago when mankind could not have possibly been a driver, this removes that “finger print.” It’s nice to have a theory. But for it to have any validity it needs verification in the real world. I can propose theories all day long but verification in the real world is what counts, not the number of people who agree or what the President of the United States says. Since the number of people who agree (including scientists, especially scientists, since they get most of their money from Government) is directly dependent on what the Government (ie. President) says. All presidents lie. How do you think they got to be president?

  44. Scott Scarborough says:

    When Cristy’s graph of the models, land temps. and satellite temps. was presented, it seems to me that the Senators did not understand what the plots should have looked like if the model-means and GHG theory were perfectly correct. This would be helpfull in judging the graphical comparisons. If the model-means and theory were perfect, the satellite data should be fare ABOVE the Model-mean (not below it as it currently is) and the land surface data (if that were perfect also) would lie right on the model mean. I doubt that any of the Senators understood this. The point that the Senator was trying to make by bringing this graph up should have been overshadowed by the fact that the satellite data should have been above the land measurements if GHG theory is correct.

  45. Chris Colose says:

    Now that science is done by number of publications, we’ll just ignore the last decade of paleoclimatology and cite a graph, which right underneath it, refers to extratropical NH only…and the paper says since 1990 is unusual…but you know…as long as you have a strawman about consensus to supplement it, the readers will never bother to look at it!

    Way to go Roy, very cute

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      Mann’s hockey stick graph only referred to the Northern Hemisphere also. Look it up.

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      I guess you never heard of upside-down Tillanjer or random numbers in place of actual temperatures producing a Hockey Stick when using Mann’s algorithm. How do I know that these two McIntyre accusations are true? I read the Climategate emails. The “TEAM” said to one another that they are true!

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      Something that only occurs 3 times in 2000 years would be classified as “unusual” in anybody’s book. So what?

  46. Doug says:

    Sen. Whitehouse used the words “could” and “might” many times when questioning Dr. Spencer. They are two of the least helpful and most damaging words used by “scientists” and policy makers who support the theory of AGW. Anything is possible, but we citizens expect and deserve that important policy decisions be based on substance, not supposition.

    Thank you Dr. Spencer and Dr. Pielke for your work and testimonies.

  47. kevin king says:

    Hi Dr Spencer,

    The low point for me was one of the senators bringing up creationism v evolution debate. Surely there must be some rule in the proceedings that prohibits this sort of blatant nonsense. I may disagree with you on evolution or whatever ( I must admit the problem with a lot of evolutionists is they fail to understand that evolutionary theory is not like general relativity for example and it is much more tenuous in fact), but to bring it into this debate was down right disgraceful. It also shows the lack of quality in your Senate. Sorry days.

  48. Grape harvest dates take temperature proxies back to 1370
    some references:

    Grape harvest Paper
    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr_oa/c046p243.pdf

    A plot from paper going back to 1670
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-agyax2W3lLw/UPOBfmi2wyI/AAAAAAAAA5M/1N-BUisRDF0/s640/grape+and+parisian.jpg

    A comparison between grape harves and CET
    http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/6204/grapeharvestcetlongqc0.jpg

    http://www-ecole.enitab.fr/people/kees.vanleeuwen/articles/PI_36.pdf

    So comparing these to the rapid 0.4C shift around 1700 one would expect to see an earlier havest. These are accurate date records as harvest is important to viticulture.

    So why is this massive shift missing? So why is the LIA missing?

    Might I suggest that the plot added to the Specer document is not a treu story?

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Uhmm.
      Take apart the first research which is related to local temperature analyses of Paris region and Burgundy.

      Regarding the last graph, I don’t really understand what the heck one should use the offset days from a standardized harvest day to demonstrate what?
      Here in Italy, I live nearby some hills where viticulture is intensive. A friend of mine is vine-grower too.
      AFAIK the harvest day depends on the taste of the grapes which are periodically checked by the vine-growers and some vinery specialists.
      IMHO that variation of the harvest day depends not only on the average temperature, but on how many sunny days preceded the harvest and how much rain has fallen during those very same days.
      As I already pointed out in a former post of mine in this thread, Dr. Spencer graph has been taken from the Ljungqvist 2010 paper, which seems to be the paper who compared more proxies than other along the NH to see if RWP & MWP where global or local.

      So,I don’t really understand why one should prefer your French localized- single proxy study to discredit the more complete and North Hemisphere extended Ljungqvist 2010 paper.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

  49. Ilya DOndoshansky says:

    Dr. Spencer, I think your initial reaction to the evolution question was correct – to just ask why the senator was bringing up this question. I also think it would have been more appropriate to then refuse to answer that question. You are a climate scientist, not a biologist. You may have an opinion on a scientific question that is not part of your expertise, but that opinion is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

  50. Peter says:

    To Massimo — Thanks for your reply (above) Nobody told me anything and I never said I was convinced by their arguments, I am merely asking Dr. Spencer for his response to the evidence they have published so that I can evaluate all this for myself. Instead what I get it this hostile, saracastic attitude and a demand to shut up. The reason I asked Dr. Spencer is that this is his website and he posted something on the subject. Also, he is an expert in his field and has a thorough knowledge of publicly available papers that have been written on the supposed link between CO2 and temperatures in the geological past, even if you don’t. Thanks, Massimo, I’ll see if someone else has an answer, since you only seem intent on rudely stomping on anyone who dares ask a question you don’t like.

  51. Peter says:

    To Scott Scarborough: From what I have seen, I haven’t found that the alarmist side “does not discuss the fact that it has been much warmer and much colder in the past,” (above) because a lot of research papers discuss it, as do scientists on television talking about the hothouse conditions of the past, and of course the ice ages. This is why I say the variable climate is not a point of disagreement.
    So I am interested to know where the disagreement between the warmists and the skeptics actually lies, since it is obviously not in the fact that the climate has been much hotter and colder in the past. I was expecting to hear some persuasive arguments, and I’m a bit taken aback by the wave of hostility and the calls to “shut up” from, of all people, skeptics – people who I always thought were taking on established science with an open mind. Thank you for accepting that your first response was a bit harsh. See the response from Massimo and others (above) to get what I mean.
    Yes, I do understand that paleoclimatology is a theory, but I would still like an answer to the evidence that’s been presented. For example, why were there hothouse conditions on Earth during the Cambrian when the sun was much weaker than today? How did the Earth escape from ‘snowball Earth’ conditions 600 million years ago? According to some researchers, high levels of CO2 do explain this, and I’ve never heard the arguments against it. I want to be fair to both sides and listen, but so far the only argument I have been given is “shut up.”

  52. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Roy,
    We cannot take your nice graph seriously because there were no thermometers during the Roman and Medieval times until Galileo invented it in the 16th century. And you need thousands of them distributed around the world to get a good measurement of global average temperature.

    Your satellite data is accurate but that’s only 30 years. You see natural variability because that’s all you’re going to see in 30 years. For long-term temperature trend, you should be looking at hundreds or thousands of years. Unfortunately, we only have 150 years of global thermometer measurements. So to be completely objective about it, there is no empirical evidence for or against AGW.

    BTW why are we even measuring air temperature? The heat capacity of the atmosphere is 1/1000 smaller than the ocean. From an energy balance point of view, the atmosphere is negligible. It is equivalent to a rounding error in calculating heat flow.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      I fully agree, and I’m sure Dr. Spencer too.

      My opinion is explained in the last post I left to Peter which follows.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

  53. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Peter,
    I don’t really believe so much in proxy based measurement and as far I know Dr.Spencer too.
    But someone believe in those kind of measurements, so IMHO it’s a good practice to demonstrate that they are at least unreliable. Showing a graph that say a completely different story using the very same data do exactly that.
    It’s not only a question of demonstrate that the climate already changed in the past.

    The scientists who rely on those proxy are the ones who must demonstrate that Dr. Spencer is wrong, not the reversal.
    Because they are the ones who state that those measurement suffice to demonstrate that CO2 is the culprit of any odds.

    you ask:
    “So I am interested to know where the disagreement between the warmists and the skeptics actually lies, since it is obviously not in the fact that the climate has been much hotter and colder in the past.”

    Many already told it here, and me too I did it.
    The question: “is the CO2 the cause of current warming?” is still not answered.
    Who say that it’s settled science (the warmists) are at least ingenuous, if not also dishonest.
    About the faint Sun paradox there are other explanations which are all based on theoretical arguments. So one can choice what to believe as he prefers because are so much the uncertainties that no one should use any of them to decide anything.
    I hope you continue to write here. In no ways I intended to shut up you. I apologize for having lead you to that conclusion. I just wanted to tell you that you are doing that question to the wrong side of the debate.

    Have a nice day.

    Massimo

    • Peter says:

      Thank you for that civil reply, and in that spirit I would certainly like to hear more. If I understand you correctly, the faint sun paradox is the issue of why the Earth was warm when the sun was cool. Yes, that’s what I’m interested in finding out about. I watched a lecture by Lord Monckton, who showed evidence of hothouse conditions during the Cambrian, such as the presence of corals in extreme latitudes. And I saw a TV documentary showing evidence of glaciation near the equator in the pre-Cambrian, and other evidence of a snowball Earth. CO2 is the explanation given by warmists, so what is the explanation given by skeptics? You say there are “other explanations,” but you don’t say what these are.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Peter,
        I’m honestly an electronic engineer and that’s not my field, but as starting point you can read one of the alternative
        explanations:

        http://www.livescience.com/18838-faint-sun-paradox-earth.html

        Note that the reason they searched for an alternative explanation to the one based on the GHG theory is not because they were at some level biased against the GHG theory, but because is well known that the formed rocks in those times clearly show that there wasn’t so higher level of GHGs in the atmosphere that allow the scientists to say that the GHGs were the reason of the high temperature despite the Sun was so weak.
        As I already told you, I don’t give so much importance to paleoclimate researches for solving the CO2 issue, and AFAIK Dr. Spencer too, this is the reason he never reply to you. He is not an expert in paleoclimate. I’m also sure (but to be honest it is only my opinion) that Dr.Spencer had presented that graph not because he rely on it for his researches, but because that was a scientific hearing at a political establishment, and since they (the politicians) based their current choices on similar graphs which showed an “hockey stick”, he just pointed out them that isn’t a settled science, the contrary currently there are no certainty.

        Hope I give you a useful information.
        And I apologize again if in a former post I looked as I want to shut up you, but you must know that I’m Italian and sometimes I use the English language in a wrong way that could lead the reader of the things that I write to very different conclusions than what were my intentions. :(

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

        • Peter says:

          Thanks, Massimo. I checked out the website you linked; unfortunately it is looking at the primordial Earth 3.8 billion years ago, while my question is about the snowball conditions of about 700 million years ago, and the Cambrian hothouse about 500 million years ago. There does seem to be agreement among skeptics and warmists alike that CO2 levels were around 18 times higher in the Cambrian, at a time when the sun was 4% weaker and yet coral reefs were abundant. I am not inclined to ‘believe’ either side on this because I don’t see science as a religion, but since this does fit the CO2-warming model I am looking around for alternative explanations that would also fit. Same goes for the Earth’s thawing after snowball Earth. Again, there is no disagreement between skeptics and warmists that the sun was very weak and the Earth was white (and therefore reflected most of the incoming solar radiation), so something must have thawed it out. I don’t know if CO2 did it or not, it’s just that it does fit, and I just can’t find an alternative explanation. I’ll keep trying some of the skeptic sites.
          Thanks anyway, and I appreciate the apology. I restores my faith that Italians are some of the nicest people in Europe!

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Peter,
            as already said, I don’t know how much paleo researches can be reliable to demonstrate whether the CO2 has so much or has not influence on climate.

            Here you can read a research dated 2000 which explains the Cambrian glaciation and its extinction by continent movement:
            http://www.meteo.mcgill.ca/~tremblay/Courses/ATOC530/Hyde.et.al.Nature.2000.pdf

            Here instead you can take a look at the temperature/CO2 level chart in those times:
            http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

            You can see how the temperature had a down and up pit about 450Myr ago which doesn’t match the CO2 concentration envelope.
            But most of all, note how proxy measurements of CO2 in so ancient times have great uncertainties (the gray area around the black line), this means that all and nothing can be told about that indeed.
            For this I believe it’s much better to concentrate any research on effective measurements of the outgoing long wave infrared radiation of today.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

  54. Massimo PORZIO says:
    July 22, 2013 at 2:27 AM
    The scientists who rely on those proxy are the ones who must demonstrate that Dr. Spencer is wrong, not the reversal.
    ————–
    tfp:
    So
    if you were in a supertanker ship (takes many kilometers to stop) travelling a 40kph towards another tanker.
    Do you say “he will move out of my way” and continue travelling to possible disaster.
    Do you start taking avoiding action as soon as possible because there is a possibility he will not move, or because there may be unforseen current.

    The first possibility allows you to proceed without hinderance. But ther is a very small chance that the other ship will not move. You proceed and only when it is OBVIOUS that he has not seen you do you start to take avioding action. But it is too late. Is this a sensible course of action?

    The second possibility will cost you time and fuel but you pass the ship easily as he has taken avoiding action too. Is this a sensible course of action?

    • Bryan says:

      TFP

      You seem to know as little about the rules of marine navigation as you do about Climate Science.
      The international rules developed will always identify one ship as being ‘the stand on vessel’ and the other as the ‘give way vessel’

      The stand on vessel has the duty of maintaining course and speed.
      The give way vessel has clear instructions about keeping out of harms way.
      For the stand on vessel to timidly alter course and speed could in itself lead to a collision
      Communication between vessels would deal with any additional problems.

      • BEHAVIOR OF SHIP OFFICERS IN
        MANEUVERING TO PREVENT A COLLISION
        Bin Lin*

        cpa=closest point of approach

        On the high seas it is dangerous to
        approach another ship close enough to risk collision
        because any fault from either of the ships may result in
        a collision under that circumstance [1]. The CPA must
        always be a safe distance for passing another vessel so
        as to avoid collision.

        When faced with a head-on situation
        so as to involve risk of collision in compliance
        with the rule of the sea: each vessel shall alter her course
        to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the
        other [9].

        (tfp: taking no action is not allowed unless crossing)

        A ship on collision course with another ship must
        have been observed by sight or radar for some time.
        Any collision that may have developed from an encounter
        rarely happened without enough time for prevention.
        The above steps of preventing a collision are basic


        Fourth, ship officers take collision avoidance actions
        with more caution under poor visibility. When the
        movement of the other ship can be clearly observed,
        they seem to take the risks involved less seriously. This
        may be due to the fact that they have to pay close
        attention when judging the circumstances by means of a
        radar display. The CPAs under different visibility
        situations were investigated in this experiment, and a
        significant difference could be found.

        ————-
        tfp:

        We have NO clear visibility of out future climate We should act to reduce our possibility of real climate change. As with sips the earlier we act the greater the safety margin.

        • Bryan says:

          TFP

          “When faced with a head-on situation
          so as to involve risk of collision in compliance
          with the rule of the sea: each vessel shall alter her course
          to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the
          other [9].”

          You have your answer right here with COLL REG 9

          So why do you invent problems?

          Ships Captains know exactly what to do.
          The other collision regulations cover close quarter manoeuvring in confined waters.

          If you want to worry about catastrophic events what about this one?

          Being hit with a particularly large asteroid would wipe out humanity.
          Should we therefore build vast deep underground bunkers stocked with enough food to feed several billion people for three years?
          I think that this scenario is much more likely than fossil fuel use leading to climate catastrophe

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Not really so.
      Using the radar your are sure of what you see, and you surely avoid the other ships indeed.
      In the AGW reality none had seen the incoming tanker indeed, but who say there is a possibility that an another tanker is on your way, he/she tell you to stop to drive your supertanker forever because there are many possibilities that many other tankers or smaller ships are sailing around you.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

      • @Massimo PORZIO
        We all agree climate is caused by many competing and complimentary factors.
        Modelling is still in its infancy so currently we cannot accurately predict the future. Limited experimentation on “the earth” is not feasible and certainly not wise.

        But what are we doing?. We are doing the full experiment on the only place we have to live. We have no controls in place. We have no way of stopping the experiment if we don’t like the way it is progressing. There are no safety officers protecting us.
        “Experiments” with CO2 that have been initiated will continue for decades after we decide that the experiment was NOT wise. No one KNOWS the outcome – you do not. I do not. Climate scientists only have a consensus view of the outcome.
        You and I may not be affected by OUR experimentation but we may be forcing our descendants to deal with our error.
        It is pointless saying that it is up to AGW proponents to prove their consensus views whilst claiming that anti-AGW people need to prove nothing.
        We all live on this planet we are experimenting on.
        If you could PROVE there is no problem with the experiment then I’m sure you would win this debate. BUT you cannot!

        Just as Peilke said we need many decades to see if the experiment is disastrous – so can we continue the experiment for these decades?

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          “If you could PROVE there is no problem with the experiment then I’m sure you would win this debate. BUT you cannot!”

          This is like asking to prove that eating bananas is not dangerous. You cannot prove a negative. You should prove that it is dangerous. What’s the evidence? Look at geologic history. Warm periods promoted life. We put plants in greenhouses to keep them warm. BTW we are still in an ice age. Temperature today is one of the coldest in 550 million years.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            @Dr.Strangelove,

            by the way, did you know that bananas are the most radioactive fruit?

            http://health.phys.iit.edu/extended_archive/9503/msg00074.html

            Wow! From vegetables potatoes are the same and spinach are “worse”!!!
            I know from a long time, but I still eat them.
            Because I like them :)

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Hi thefordprefect
            Thanks for the link. I visited the blog and continued with my doubts as to the emissive capacity of water vapor and carbon dioxide gas.
            It seems to me that we should totally abandon the theories of Kirchhoff and Planck and Wen in the analysis of IR radiation by gases.É this? We can not apply the law Stefan / Boltzmann will atmosphere.
            Where can I find this new theory?
            thank you
            Tarcisio

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          @TFP
          I’m looking for a tiny proof that CO2 could be just a little dangerous, not so devastating as some scientist are arguing.

          Tell me where I find that proof and at that point I’ll be by your side.

          Note that I wrote “proof” not simulated “proof”.

          I’m an electronic engineer with more that 20 years of designing experience in the industrial field; and now I design redundant safety radio remote controls for the cranes industry.
          All my past and present work included computer software writing for a bunch of different applications.
          I’m sufficiently elder to understand that a computer is a stupid machine, it does exactly what the SW designer want, so I ask the climate scientists to stop use mere statistical simulations to prove their believing and return to do their real job.
          Which IMHO is: theorize, measure the reality, analyze the measured data (without massaging them if possible) and than take a conclusion (which in most case could be not what expected, the past history teaches)

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

          • Massimo say:
            “I’m looking for a tiny proof that CO2 could be just a little dangerous, not so devastating as some scientist are arguing.”
            I’m a electronic technic and work 48 yars wicht eletromagnétic transmition of radio and television, LF,HF and Micro-wave.
            I made some experiments on this issue and conclud the CO2 have noting whitch de climate change.
            See.

            But who determines the climate is CO2?
            Let us make two simple experiments.
            1 – With an infrared thermometer try to measure in a flame of gas lighter, the flame temperature and the temperature of the gases CO2 and water vapor to 4 inches above the flame. We will see that the gases extracted from a flame at about 2,000 degrees but not, we find the wall temperature behind the flame as the flame is between 90 and 95 degrees centigrade. Proof that CO2 and water vapor has no power to transmit IR.
            2 – Let us take the site http://weater.uwyo.edu/cgi-bin/sounding.html the pool’s Manaus-Amazonas – Brazil, jun/26/2013, 12Z (08AM) and 00Z (8pm) we calculate the variations of each 100mb amount of steam (14144 g in 7600m). This change is the transformation of water droplet into steam. Compute the total energy stored in the form of latent heat to be discharged during the night and find him as media for 12 hours, we find 735w/m2 that halved indicates that 367.5 w/m2 will be sent into space and 367.5 w/m2 sent to the ground as counter-radiation or “the greenhouse effect”. Nothing to do with CO2.
            3 – To complete. The transmission efficiency of electromagnetic waves is limited to the body or particles of half wavelength. Water droplets with d> 4microns.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Tarcisio,
            being an electronic engineer, I’m an HAM radio too. So I like to play with electromagnetic toys too :)

            I don’t know if CO2 is so influential or not on the temperature of our planet as someone suppose to be, but I can’t tell it is not influential at all too. I just haven’t found any proof.
            About your temperature measurement on the flame, I have some doubts.
            An IR thermometer is a device which compute the temperature using as a proxy the radiation of the high density body having a known absorptance in its aim. When you aim the hot air not only you don’t know the absorptance of the gases but you don’t know their densities. The air is many orders of time less denser than a solid. So I don’t wonder if you tell me that you measured the temperature of the wall behind the flame.
            Note also that even admitting the air above the flame was CO2 saturated because of the combustion below, the CO2 molecules almost don’t scatter emission at so high temperature. And more, if you used a conventional IR thermometer, it’s internal setup typically works to wavelengths no lower than 4um (about max 724K/450°C).

            For the other two points: I’m not entitled to evaluate if you are doing the right things because I’ve no experience about that.

            Have a nice day

            Massimo

          • D’Avila Tarcisio says:
            July 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

            We will see that the gases extracted from a flame at about 2,000 degrees but not, we find the wall temperature behind the flame as the flame is between 90 and 95 degrees centigrade. Proof that CO2 and water vapor has no power to transmit IR.
            ——————-

            tfp:
            http://climateandstuff.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/thermal%20imaging

            Some of my posts here show exactly what you obseve.
            However CO2 and h20 radiate outside the bandwidth of the camera. O2 N2 do not radiate significantly. Hence, there is no response from the camera for 100C steam or air at 450C until it hits a solid object that will radiate in a black body way.

        • Chris says:

          Your argument assumes incorrectly that there is no cost to reducing CO2 emissions. Is it better to starve people to death (due to increased food prices from biofuels competing with food production for resources), cause mass destruction of rainforest and associated extinctions so wealthy countries can feel good about themselves by reducing co2 emissions, and even push poor farmers off land for co2 credits based on predictions from bad inputs to bad models, or to wait until the evidence is clearer. The solution is currently worse than the disease, and the negative consequences of the solution are real and happening now. Everyone is poorer for it.

          There are no predictions, either in temperature or rainfall that have actually happened and I no longer think climate science is useful, and we should certainly not be making policy decisions based on its predictions.

          • Hi thefordprefect
            Thanks for the link. I visited the blog and continued with my doubts as to the emissive capacity of water vapor and carbon dioxide gas.
            It seems to me that we should totally abandon the theories of Kirchhoff and Planck and Wen in the analysis of IR radiation by gases.É this? We can not apply the law Stefan / Boltzmann will atmosphere.
            Where can I find this new theory?
            thank you
            Tarcisio

          • no new theory – it just that gasses only absorb and radiate at fixed frequencies set by the oscillating modes of the atoms in the molecule.

          • Hi thefordprefect

            But how much energy per degree Celsius or Kelvin??
            Steffan’s law / Boltzmann not apply to gas?

            Tarcisio

  55. coturnix says:

    There are two aspects of evolutionary theory.

    First, The fact of evolution – the fact that, from fossil records as well as molecular cladistics (setting aside possible horizontal gene transfer issues), we know that life forms evolved through time by means of more or less gradual changes to both their morphology and genome. This is a FACT, and denying it is insane. Would you agree with this?

    Now, the second part of evolutionary framework is an explanation of how and why exactly life evolved, and what king of mechanism are necessary to achieve that fact. Indeed this part is not as factual as the fact of have-been evolution. The commonly held idea that evolution is mainly driven by random *point* mutation plus selection is simplified and may not be adequate to account for rapid rates and abrupt changes observed in the fossil record.
    However, the attempt to explain evolution, and particularly punctuated-equilibrium by creationist divine intervention suggests that acts of creation must be either continuous or happen in bunches of rapid events many times over the history of the earth. Isn’t that ridiculous? This argument has been advanced 200 years ago, I wonder what you think of an acts of continuous/punctuated creation/design.

    There is also a third question, the origin of life. Indeed, it is separate from both the fact and the mechanisms if evolution, because we cannot see a factual record of life\s origin nor evolution, who works on permutating and selecting existing material, cannot explain it as well.

    • coturnix says:

      Still however mysterious may be the origin of life, there is no smaller miracle – the existence of life itself! Most people are so used to being alive (duh!) that think only on where the miracle came from instead of appreciating the fact that we are the miracle. Live things are not \machines\ in a sense that the machines human build are, because our machines need to be built and serviced. Once built, a machine slowly declines, unlike living being who can repair and renew themselves perpetually. The body dies, but germ cell line lives literally forever! Why does life exist? Well, because our universe exxists that way. The physical laws, hard to understand (especially qm that has not analogs in our everyday experience) but really very simple compared to the apparent complexity of even simplest life, somehow yield life. so far, there has been no sign of any higher creator constantly meddling with our physiology to sustain life. The life IS NATURAL. If something so miraculous as life can naturally exist, why is it so hard to imagine and believe that it can appear on its own – as a result of the same principles working, that assure its existence and reproduction?

      Of course, the belief is not enough, it cannot replace the evidence and theory on life’s origin which we still lack, but before there is discovery, there is a conjecture, an act of scientific faith in that given hypothesis may be right. No scientists would work on proving their hypothesis if they didn’t BELIEVE the hypothesis is likely true. The only difference is that scientists is supposed to give up his hypothesis once it been disproven. The fact of fossil and dna based evolution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, and microevolution has been observed numerous times, especially in simpler creatures, but also in domesticated crops and animals, and in humans themselves. So I personally find it much more sound to look for evidence and theory supporting abiogenesis than to believe in the creation (and I don’t even start on where creators came from)

    • coturnix says:

      Afterword:

      what is life? I use the next definition: it is a physical combination of two logically separate things, the non-equilibrium, non-linear process(es) and some replicator(s) sustaining its replication by means of the aforementioned process. Together they sustain metabolism and neither of them is clearly alive on its own. The nonlinear structures feeding off gradients of entropy appear and disappear all the time (think of our atmospheric climate or any of its sub-constituents, such as mid-latitude cyclones), but they are fleeting, transient phenomena. On the other hand replicators themselves are just bunches of recorded information, like computer viruses. We do not consider them alive, even though they do replicate themselves, right?

      However, taken together these two phenomena seem to me sufficient to constitute the definition of life. I do not know if this definition can be stripped down even more, but it appears more than sufficient and necessary for life to exist.

  56. Harold Saive says:

    How can climate science reveal anything trustworthy if we know investigators continue to ignore the ongoing and past 25 years of covert, global, aircraft aerosol spraying that mimics what is David Keith’s favorite “emergency” geoengineering plan.

    Statospheric Aerosol Geoengineering(SAG)allegedly works by reflecting sunlight back into space using jet aircraft similar to what is described in US patent 5003186: “The Stratospheric Welsbach seeding patent for reduction of global warming”.

    http://chemtrailsplanet.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/welsbach-chemtrails-patent-us-5003186.pdf

  57. Norman says:

    coturnix,

    Interesting series of posts. One point to consider, if we can think and be aware and have meaning filled lives, and I can easily imagine beings more aware than myself. Why would it be difficult to reason that intelligence and awareness would continue on some upward spiral until you have God? The being that has the ultimate possible intelligence and awareness and with these could achieve powers that could directly obtain results in the material world (if so desired).

    You state there is no evidence or need of higher intelligence to explain life’s variety. Maybe not but it just depends upon your worldview and how you interpret information. Maybe a songbird is just a random fluctuation of genetic information or it could be we live in a universe with a Creator who loves music and made singing animals and gave us minds that enjoy and create our own music just because it pleases us to do so. Which choice is correct? I think it has more to do with how the mind works than an objective reality.

  58. cd says:

    Dr Spencer

    Why are the skeptics always outnumbered at these meetings?

    I thought you performed with great dignity when Sen. Whitehouse made a rather puerile attempt at implicit slander. It looked very spiteful and basically conceded the argument to you both as did his continuous attempt to move the debate toward oceans, as if you guys are “so-like-yesterday”.

    I liked your point at the end showing the dearth of reason and elementary logic coming from the other side. We see it time and again even with recent trends, 1975-1995 it was all so simple CO2 drove climate but after 1995 when temperature stopped tracking CO2 (if it ever did), the system was all too complicated to see the real CO2 signature.

    Dr Francis did not come across too well. She cited one other period of high atmos. [CO2] as a guide to how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to CO2. Seems like you can draw conclusions on just one data point – of course one could point to periods of high [CO2] and low global temperatures from the geological record.

  59. Dan Pangburn says:

    The time-integral of sunspot numbers (with appropriate proxy factor and accounting for radiation from the planet) displays average global temperature since sunspot numbers have been regularly reported http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post_23.html

    Accounting also for the modulation of the net of ocean oscillations, since they have been accurately reported world wide (about 1895), results in a simple equation that calculates average global temperatures to the present with high accuracy (R2=0.9). http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

  60. AGW theory will be obsolete by decade end.

    Dr. Spencer does not go far enough.

    It is the solar magnetic field and geomagetic field strengths that dictate the climate, and all the many secondary resulting effects.

    Prove me wrong.

    weak magnetic field secondary effects

    1. geological activity increase
    2. cosmic rays increase more clouds(weak solar wind 350km/sec or less
    3. ao /aao /nao oscillations more neg.
    4. ozone decreases(short UV light off 50% plus,solar flux sub 90) distribution changes results in point 3.
    5. contraction of the thermosphere
    6. ocean heat content lessens as visible light decreases
    7. solar irradiance (visible light off.2 % or more)results in point 6
    8. albedo increases more snow coverage,preciP. and clouds result of point 2, and point 3.
    9. volcanic activity increases result of point 1, more so2 in stratosphere contributes to a more neg ao if high lat activity. cools surface/warms stratosphere

    10. pdo cold phase/amo cold phase more La Ninas
    11. point 10 caused by length of day changes which can be linked to solar activity or lack of it. IAN WILSON STUDY

    This decade will show this to all be ture.

    WE ARE CURRENTLY PHASING TOWARD A COLDER CLIMATE, IF THRESHOLDS ARE MET THE CLIMATE WILL JERK DOWNWARD IN TEMP., IF NOT A GRADUAL DECLINE WILL OCCUR.

    In order for thresholds to be met the degree in duration and degree of magnitude change of all the above have to be met.

    If you look at the two most recent prolonged solar minimums the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum (weak solar magnetic fields)did the temperatures go up or down?

    The answer is down and this time is going to have the same result.

    AGW theory is a con.

  61. coturnix says:

    Dr. Spencer, I also wondered about another kind of idea to overturn conventional ghg physics that I sumbled upon browsing the internet. I wanted to ask you if the ghg theory has accounted for it, and wether it plays any role in heat transfer.

    What is it I am talking about? A near-field (evanescent) electromagnetic fields. It is a not a very known fact that heat transfer rate between *solid* surfaces increases exponentially as distance between them decreases past around 1 mcm for typical experimet. This is much less than typical thermal radiation wavelength for ambient temperatures, which is around 10mcm, so I do not know if it is directly related to radiative heat transfer.

    However, this aspect of heat transfer is never discussed when ghg theory is. The typical distance between co2 molecules is much less than typical wavelength of thermal radiation at 200-300k, therefore if there were any effects such as these they would indeed influence macroscopic heat transfer physics at altitudes much less than mesopause, where I think the average distance between co2 molecules is comparable to 10 mcm (what a coincidence!).

    I would think that if unaccounted for when measuring absorption coefficients in lab settings with a vessel of co2 with very high concentrations, the near-field energy transfer might skew the results into producing absorption coefficients that are lower than they really are, and thus to a higher sensitivity of increases of co2 than they really are in climate models.

    I am almost sure nearfields do not contribute significantly to heat transfer, but wanted to know what you think of it. Do radiation-emitting atoms also produce significant nf? The non-exponentiality of decay rated right after the system has been prepared might be some kind of indication of that, maybe.

  62. Dan Pangburn thanks for the info.

    In addition the GHG effect is limited by the amount of energy in the earth climatic system.

    Energy in the climatic system is equal to incoming solar radiation and how much is absorbed versus how much gets reflected back to space(albedo)

    Outgoing longwave radiation lags changes in solar radiation changes (most likely)Ocean lag times.

    The colder the oceans the less effect the GHG effect will have due to less evaporation of water, and colder oceans able to absorb more CO2.

    LESS WATER VAPOR /LESS CO2 GIVES A WEAKER GHG EFFECT.

    What effects ocean heat content? It is visible light from the sun which penetrates the ocean to depths of over 100 meters in contrast to infra-red light which CO2 absorbs which penetrates oceans to a depth of ONLY 1 MILLIMETER!

    CO2 is a non player in ocean heat content.

    CO2 /GHG effect is a follower of temperatures changes or the result of temperature changes not the cause of it.

    Just plot temperature changes versus co2 changes and see which one follows the other. If CO2 were the cause of temperature changes it would LEAD the temperature.

  63. Stephen Pruett says:

    So Rob, you agree that sea levels have been rising throughout the holocene? So the rise began long before anthropogenic C02 could have possibly been involved. You seem to think that the less than one degree difference between MWP and LIA (and today for that matter) alone is enough to change the consistent sea level trend since the last ice age. That is a remarkably simplistic view. The current warm period is not associated with an increasing rate of sea level rise, so it is obvious that there is either a lag period and/or other factors that influence sea level rise. You can say that lack of evidence of sea level rise in the MWP or fall during the LIA demonstrates these were not global events, but sea level trends and temperature trends over the last 30 years indicate it isn’t that simple.

  64. Ted says:

    Link to a paper on sea level rise. Note peaks at 1,000 2,000 and 3,000 years before present. Sea level peaks coinciding with the MWP, RWP and EWP’s.

    You will see this in the first graph in the paper.

    I hope this helps those who have a genuine and objective interest.

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/Courses/6140/ency/Chapter10/Ency_Oceans/Sea_Level_Variations.pdf

    M. A. Kominz, Western Michigan University,
    Kalamazoo, MI, USA

    Another link that may be of interest with regard to why C02 may not be the main driver in global temperature.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/present_halting.pdf

    There are many similar papers.

  65. Ted says:

    I’ll let the bloggers on this site decide that.

    Bye Rob

  66. Rob Painting says:

    Actually Ted, reality gets to decide. I linked to the papers highlighted by Jo Nova which demonstrate a decline in sea level around Australia over the last 7000 years. You imagine peaks that do not exist. I understand how you come to that conclusion however – cherrypicking.

  67. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Uhmm…
    Please help me because being Italian some time I have problem understanding English.

    I very appreciate anyone of you who will explain me what Rob Painting want to say about the Jo Nova article he linked before.

    I went to that article and I found this:
    “They peaked at around 1 -2 meters higher than present between 9000 and 5000 years ago, and have been trending down ever since. Our current rate of 30cm/century (if that continues) hardly seems unprecedented or highly unusual. And 10% of that is apparently due to an isostatic “adjustment”. Worse, if you look at the raw data, the rate is closer to zero. Hmm. Lucky we have all those adjustments eh?”

    I’m misreading her, or is Jo just joking and is she simply highlighting exactly that the sea level reconstructions are absolutely unreliable?

    I also clicked on the hyperlink about the isostatic “adjustment”:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/10-of-sea-level-rise-is-due-to-land-rising-too-got-that/

    And again (even if I’m not misreading) she published the following NOAA acknowledges:

    “After correction for atmospheric and instrumental effects, the range measurements are accurate to less than 3 centimeters. The range measurements are subtracted from POD-derived estimates of the satellite orbital height, resulting in ocean height measurements that are good to 3 centimeters (just over 1 inch) relative to the center of the Earth.”

    And more:
    “his accuracy figure pertains to a few-kilometer spot on the ocean surface directly beneath the satellite. By averaging the few-hundred thousand measurements collected by the satellite in the time it takes to cover the global oceans (10 days), global mean sea level can be determined with a precision of several millimeters.”
    So, do they really believe that having 3 cm of maximum precision (admitting that those “correction for atmospheric and instrumental effects” are reliable, which is all to be proven), it suffices to average just some hundred thousand unrelated measurements (I write unrelated, because come from different places) to improve the measurement resolution?
    Bah!

    But returning to Rob linked article.
    After the graphs which correctly show the uncertainty bars of any single proxy, and IMHO just demonstrate that they say all and nothing at the same time.
    I read:
    “The reviewers call for empirical evidence of the past, so we can predict the future.

    - Conclusions
    Fairbridge’s pioneering research led, not to a global eustatic curve as he had anticipated, but to the recognition that the pattern of relative sea-level change in the Australian region differed from that observed in the Atlantic. A series of seminal sea-level studies were undertaken in the following 25 years. The stabilisation of sea level close to its present elevation in the mid- Holocene set the scene for the detailed reconstructions that were undertaken at different locations around the Australian mainland.

    A clearer understanding of past sea-level changes and their causes is urgently needed to better inform our ability to forecast future changes. A concerted effort is required, through the compilation of existing data, renewed fieldwork, dating analysis and modelling to address the issues of whether there have been oscillations of the sea surface and if so, of what magnitude.”

    …?!?!…

    “whether there have been oscillations of the sea surface and if so, of what magnitude”

    What the heck should demonstrate those graphs for you Rob?

    By the way, I could have misread of course.

    So someone help me about it.

    Have a nice day.

    Massimo

    • Norman says:

      Massimo PORZIO

      I think a lot of the problem with comparing the past to now is in the precision of measurements.

      Rob Painting is asking about sea level rise during warming periods of the past. The proxy measurements are not comparable to modern tools. Error bars are large and sea level rises could have taken place during those periods.

      I think comparing proxy measurements with high error bars to modern direct methods might lead to a lot of uncertainty.

      Roy Spencer mentioned that his satellite temperature measuremnents cover the vertical profile rather than the few feet of ground thermometers that can easily be affected by urban heating. The drastic warming predicted by positive feedbacks of climate models does not show up in his method. I think we keep watching and don’t ignore the possibility of dangerous global warming but it is far from a certainty at this time.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Yes Norman,
        I agree with your statements above, but I also absolutely believe that Dr. Spencer did the right thing showing that graph about RWP & MWP.
        Even if I’m sure that it is absolutely not useful to proof anything, it’s a good reply to the infamous hockey stick-like graphs which circulated in last years to push the political agenda of sucking money to the honest citizens to fight the only supposed man driven global warming.

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

  68. Peter says:

    Massimo, Thanks for the two links (above)I read the paper, which suggests there may have been an open strip of water around the equator during snowball Earth. It actually supports the warmist view, but it doesn’t address the question as to how the Earth escaped from this snowball condition. Something must have warmed it. The second link reiterates exactly what I have been saying – that temperatures in the Cambrian were much hotter than today at a time when solar output was much weaker. Once again, it doesn’t address the question of why, or offer an explanation, but it does agree with the warmist argument that CO2 levels were much higher.
    This temperature difference can’t be dismissed as unreliable proxies, because although coral reefs at higher latitudes may not tell us what exact temperatures were during the Cambrian, they do tell us that temperatures were much higher than today, at a time when solar output was much lower.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      I don’t agree with you analyses about those links.
      The first one clearly explained that probably wasn’t the GHGs the reason of the warm climate at the times of the faint Sun.
      The following excerpt says all:
      “An alternative explanation for the faint young sun paradox is that early in Earth history, there were fewer continents because a number had not formed yet; less land mass would have meant less cloud cover, because there weren’t biologically generated particles such as pollen and spores that could behave as seeds around which the clouds could form.
      “The result was that the planet, covered mostly by oceans, was darker, and like an asphalt road on a hot day, could absorb a lot more heat, enough to keep the Earth clement,” Pope told LiveScience.”
      Note that Pope conclusions fully agree with Dr. Spencer analysis about the negative feedback of clouds.

      About the second link instead, I admit that I don’t read it but only the abstract where the researchers declared that they kept the CO2 level close to the current one we experience today, which in few words should mean that they had take account of other temperature driving parameters.
      Anyways the third link with the graph of the last 600Myr shows as the CO2 measurements are not reliable and almost unrelated to the Earth temperature. Unluckily that graph doesn’t show the temperature uncertainty, which I guess it should be relevant too.
      I repeat, instead of you I don’t believe that proxy measurements are reliable for the precision needed to establish a causal relation between CO2 and the Earth temperature.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

  69. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Sea level rise was minimal in the last 7,000 years then it accelerated to 17 cm last century. This indicates thermal expansion of seawater and warming of the ocean. But the ocean-atmosphere interaction is more complicated and may be dominated by natural variability. Climate is about the atmosphere but actually most (about 95%) of the heat is in the ocean.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png

    It doesn’t matter if IR penetrates only 1 mm of ocean surface. That’s enough to absorb the IR and convert it to thermal energy and transmit the heat to deeper levels by convection and radiation. Each 1 mm layer of seawater is radiating IR and transmitting it to the next layer down.

    • Norman says:

      Dr. Strangelove,

      You may be interested in this article. It does cover sea level rise.

      http://www.petitionproject.org/gw_article/GWReview_OISM300.pdf

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        Thanks. Not surprising that sea level rise started around 1850. Burning of coal started rising at that time. Climate sensitivity to CO2 is logarithmic. The first 10 ppm increase has bigger effect than next 10 ppm increase and so forth. Diminishing effect as CO2 increases. Also, the Little Ice Age ended around 1850. Melting of glaciers accelerated and contributed to sea level rise. Melting ice requires less heat than thermal expansion of water so small heat inflow produces big effect on sea level.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Hi Dr. Strangelove,
      you wrote:
      “It doesn’t matter if IR penetrates only 1 mm of ocean surface. That’s enough to absorb the IR and convert it to thermal energy and transmit the heat to deeper levels by convection and radiation. Each 1 mm layer of seawater is radiating IR and transmitting it to the next layer down.”

      I agree with you, but instead of “radiation” I would use the term “diffusion”, because IMHO the radiation should well be fully suppressed by the absorption of water otherwise we should be able to measure it with a submerged radiometer suited for that LWIR band, which AFAIK we don’t.
      And about the capability of convection to move the heat to deeper levels, I’ve some doubts too. Because convection is driven by the differential temperature of the lower and upper layers of the convective cell, the incoming heat from the top should reduce the convective cell efficiency and finally reducing the bottom to top heat pumping.
      If you were refer to Langmuir cells instead, they are not really convective cells because they are driven by the superficial winds, but are effective for no more than 6 meters below the surface.

      http://faculty.gvsu.edu/videticp/langmuir.htm

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        If water is transparent to IR even just 1 mm, the layers would radiate IR and be absorbed after traveling 1 mm. Convection does not only refer to convection currents. Convection is a general term to describe heat transfer in moving fluids. Diffusion and Langmuir circulation are mass transfer not heat transfer. They occur even in fluids with uniform temperature.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Dr.Strangelove.
          “If water is transparent to IR even just 1 mm, the layers would radiate IR and be absorbed after traveling 1 mm.”

          Uhmmm… Ok, I’m not a scientist, but how do you measured the 1mm (or what ever it was) of water transparency, if the radiation is effective in the layers below?
          Once the IR radiation has been thermalized by water, how could it return to an electromagnetic energy, if fluids has no space between their molecules?
          Being an HAM radio too, I would like to know more about that. Could you point-out me a paper that refers to this phenomenon?

          “Convection does not only refer to convection currents. Convection is a general term to describe heat transfer in
          moving fluids. ”
          I agree, but what is alternative motion driver of the convection cells you were refer to the oceans water?

          “Diffusion and Langmuir circulation are mass transfer not heat transfer.”
          IMHO it’s exactly the same of your supposed oceanic convection driven by something other than heat. Only that the other driver for diffusion is well known: the gravitational field. I would like to know what is the convective driver other than heat in the oceans.

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            Try submerged IR thermometer to measure IR in water. All matters above absolute zero temperature emit IR. There are spaces between molecules in fluids.

            Wind, density differential, moon’s gravity and earth’s rotation (Coriolis effect) all cause mass transport in ocean. Diffusion is driven by thermal energy, the kinetic energy of molecules. It is the effect of heat. Convective heat transfer is driven by temperature differential of moving fluids.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Dr.Strangelove.
            “Try submerged IR thermometer to measure IR in water. All matters above absolute zero temperature emit IR.”

            It works of course, but it reads the temperature of the water at the IR thermometer lenses interface with water.
            I guess (yes is just a guess of mine) that if you want to prove that there is a residual EM radiation in fluids, you should put a pulsed thermal source into the water, and see if the IR thermometer measures a thermal pulsation at a certain distance from the source. Radiation runs at the speed of light (or slightly less in matter), so if it exist it should be evidenced because of it’s faster propagation speed.
            Please, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not telling that you are wrong and I’m right. I’m just curious, because it’s the first time I heard about that. I always known that energy in liquid propagates by conduction and diffusion.

            “There are spaces between molecules in fluids.”
            This wonder me too, because I always known that liquids are incompressible. What I learnt (many years ago) was that the momentary spaces between the liquid molecules was due to their continuous bump each other, due to the liquid temperature. And that it was due to the energy exchange between the molecules. The liquid thermal expansion depends upon those bumps.

            “Wind, density differential, moon’s gravity and earth’s rotation (Coriolis effect) all cause mass transport in ocean. Diffusion is driven by thermal energy, the kinetic energy of molecules. It is the effect of heat. Convective heat transfer is driven by temperature differential of moving fluids.”
            Maybe I misunderstood you before, because I fully agree with you now.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Ehm…

            I reread and find an omission:
            “I always known that energy in liquid propagates by conduction and diffusion.”

            Must be:
            I always known that energy in liquid propagates by convection, conduction and diffusion.

            Sorry, but I wrote it during this morning coffee break and as usual my English is not so good, especially when I write too fast.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

  70. Dan Pangburn says:

    Nearly everyone who is paying attention is aware that about 95% of the energy retained by the planet is stored in the oceans. What is less well understood is that this means that the planet has a huge effective thermal capacitance (thermal capacitance is like inertia in a mechanical system). This results in a time constant (the time it takes the system to reach 63.2% of its final (asymptotic) value after a step change in forcing) of 5 years or more which absolutely prohibits the rapid year-to year changes that are reported by the several agencies. Thus the reporting contains substantial random uncertainty (equivalent s.d. of approximately ±0.1C). http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    The IPCC and the consensus have made several egregious mistakes that have misled a lot of people. Some of the mistakes are discussed at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/

    • Norman says:

      Dan Pangburn

      I always enjoy reading your material. Thanks for the links.

      You have clearly shown that a small change in cloud cover or height can do far more to warming or cooling than CO2.

      Some concerns I have read about over at Skeptical Science though, say that clouds are causing a cooling effect now (with a quiet sun), if CO2 is causing warming what happens when the sun gets active again and the cloud cover thins?

      What would be the total effect of CO2 warming and an active sun at the same time? Would we still get into dangerous levels of warming at some point in the future?

  71. Dan Pangburn says:

    Norman – Thanks for the feedback.

    To be a bit more specific, it is change to the area of low altitude (< 3 km) clouds which results in a change to average cloud altitude.

    At least as significant is the change to total cloud area which changes earth albedo. Higher albedo = cooling.

    The effects are complimentary i.e. both in the same direction.

    My research shows that change to the amount of atmospheric CO2 has had no significant influence on average global temperature since temperatures have been accurately measured world wide (approximately 1895). It also shows very high correlation (R2=0.9) between average global temperature and the time-integral of sunspot numbers. This much is not just a theory, it is a calculation using the simple equation that I derived and made available to the public.

    The effect on average global temperature of change to the area of low altitude clouds is also a straight-forward calculation.

    However, the connection between sunspot numbers and low-altitude clouds IS a theory which, in at least some minds, is controversial.

    In summary, active sun causes warming, inactive sun causes cooling, change to CO2 level has no significant effect either way.

  72. Norman says:

    Dan Pangburn

    Have you tried posting your theory and results on Skeptical Science or Open Mind? Wondering how they would view your study. They ask if not CO2 what else could cause the warming. Yes CO2 is rising in the atmosphere but that does not mean it is the chief cause of the warming. You have a valid idea that seems to follow the temperature closely. It may still be that all you have is a correlation and not causation but more study of the issue would be needed to see if this was the case.

  73. Dan Pangburn says:

    Norman – I demonstrated that GW was not caused by CO2 more than 5 years ago and made it public at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html

    At least 4 corroborative records that support this finding are discussed there. Briefly:
    1. The planet plunged into the Andean/Saharan ice age when CO2 was 10 times the present.
    2. Temperature trend direction changes during the last glaciation that are impossible with significant net positive feedback.
    3. Temperature rising before CO2 level rise.
    4. 32 year long down-up-down-up temperature trends of the 20th century while the CO2 level went steadily progressively up. (Lack of correlation demonstrates lack of causation)

    That earth’s average global temperature anomaly trends can be accurately calculated is NOT a theory. It is demonstrated by a calculation using a physics (conservation of energy) based equation. A link to the many documents produced along the way to this discovery is identified in the post script at the end of http://endofgw.blogspot.com/ . The refined version of the equation is at http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    The equation works (R2=0.9) for the time since temperatures have been accurately measured world wide. Zero out the variations caused by ocean oscillations and it matches trends since sunspots have been regularly recorded as shown at http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post_23.html . The AGW theory correlates with the trend for about 30 years 1975-2005.

    As to why some still cling to the failed AGW theory. ‘None are so blind as those who refuse to see’ may apply.

  74. Dr. Strangelove says:

    1. The planet plunged into the Andean/Saharan ice age when CO2 was 10 times the present.

    Climate sensitivity to CO2 is logarithmic. 10x present level gives 12.3 W/m^2 forcing. Ice ages attributed to Milankovic cycles. Solar insolation varies +/- 20 W/m^2 during the cycles. It can easily offset the effect of CO2.

    2. Temperature trend direction changes during the last glaciation that are impossible with significant net positive feedback.

    Long-term trend is warming due to interglacial period. Short-term cooling may be caused by natural variability. Acceleration of warming not cooling is attributed to CO2.

    3. Temperature rising before CO2 level rise.

    Possible since warm ocean releases CO2 to atmosphere. But last 150 yrs temperature and CO2 are both rising.

    4. 32 year long down-up-down-up temperature trends of the 20th century while the CO2 level went steadily progressively up.

    Natural variability PDO, AMO, etc. Complex ocean-atmosphere interaction. But long-term sea level trend steadily rising due to thermal expansion of seawater. Warming ocean is evident.

    Temperature trend in last 100 yrs doesn’t follow the 11-yr sunspot cycle. It’s a short cycle not expected to have long-term effect on temperature.

  75. Dan Pangburn says:

    Dr. Strangelove – 1. The Milankovic cycles are an apparently incomplete explanation for the approximately 100,000 year long glacial cycles and approximately 10,000 year long interglacial cycles of the current ice age (approximately 2 million years long so far). Hundreds of millions of years passed before the next ice age following the Andean/Saharan. Also, the temperature went down and then came back up both at the same high CO2 level. This demonstrates that CO2 had no significant influence. http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    2. The long term (≈9000 year Holocene) trend is cooling. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum . The influence of CO2 change on temperature, for as long as temperatures have been accurately measured world wide (approximately 1895), is again demonstrated to be insignificant. http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    The discovery that there could not be significant net positive feedback revealed that what was being done with the climate models to show warming was a mistake.

    3. The discovery that the temperature change occurred before CO2 change demonstrated that Gore was wrong about the temperature rise being caused by CO2 rise.

    Two periods in the last 150 years were temperature downtrends; 1877-1909 and 1941-1973; both while CO2 steadily, progressively increased. Since 2001 (through June, 2013) the CO2 level has increased by 28% of the increase from 1800 to 2001 while the temperature trend has been flat. The only period when it can be said that CO2 and temperature went up together was 1975-2005

    4. The issue is GLOBAL temperature, so what matters is the net effect of all of those named oscillations plus all of the unnamed, unknown ones all considered together. The net effect accounts for about half of the total temperature change and is determined from what actually happened.

    The equation that I developed agrees with (R2=0.9) the accepted measurements that show a temperature increase of about 0.74 K during the 20th century. Since about 95% of the energy goes into the ocean, it probably also warmed about 0.74 K which is consistent with the 14 cm rise.

    It is a mistake to assume that because it warmed in the 20th century it must be still warming. Ice melts because it IS warmer than it was when the water froze. It says nothing about whether it is still warming.

    The total random uncertainty in the reported annual temperature measurements is about 5 times greater than the variation due to individual sunspot cycles so the weak signal is very well hidden.

    As described in my paper (climatechange90), both duration and magnitude of a solar cycle are important and both are accounted for in the time-integral of sunspot numbers. Sunspot magnitude is related to power so the time-integral of sunspots is related to the time-integral of power which is energy. When divided by effective thermal capacitance and with appropriate proxy factor applied, this equates to the effect that sunspots have on the average global temperature anomaly.

    Many (if not all) really missed the boat when they looked at TSI, didn’t see any effect and ruled sunspots out as a factor. If they had thought of conservation of energy and looked at the sunspot time-integral they may have discovered what drives the average global temperature.

  76. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Arguments on the effect or no-effect of CO2 thousands of years ago are irrelevant because AGW theory refers to CO2 effect in last 150 yrs. They are mutually exclusive. If CO2 had no effect 100,000 yrs ago so what? There were other factors dominating then. Does not follow the same is true now. CO2 is now highest in 500,000 yrs.

    Air temperature will not follow CO2 trend on short-term because of natural variability in ocean-atmosphere interaction. BTW if the ocean warmed but the atmosphere did not, is there global warming?

    Correlation is a weak argument. It is not causation. Atmospheric physics is better. Solve the radiative transfer equations of see if it matches with observations. The maxima-minima of sunspot cycle is 1.3 W/m^2 and it reverses every 11 yrs so it cancels its effect in the long-term. CO2 increase in 20th century gives a forcing of 1.4 W/m^2 without feedback. Enough to increase temperature by 0.4 C. The observed temperature increase in 20th century is 0.6 C. So 2/3 of warming can be attributed to CO2 without feedback.

    We can complicate the scenario by saying there’s an unknown strong negative feedback and an unknown strong positive forcing that makes CO2 a small player. But we have to identify the strong factors and calculate their values and see if it matches observations. Without rigorous physics, it’s all speculations and correlations.

    • Chris says:

      Are you arguing that if the 1.3 W/m^2 from the sunspot cycle disappears (as it has in the past and may be about to again), it will cool?

    • Bart says:

      “The maxima-minima of sunspot cycle is 1.3 W/m^2 and it reverses every 11 yrs so it cancels its effect in the long-term.”

      Only if it is zero mean. There is no actual “cycle”. It is quasi-periodic. It does not, in general, average to zero consistently over any finite period.

    • Norman says:

      Dr. Strangelove,

      I am not sure if you read Dan Pangburn’s argument on his links to his webpage. It is far more than a correlation between sunspot and temperature. His claim is that sunpost cycle effects low clouds that when lower will radiate more energy with net cooling effect and they will cover more area reducing solar flux from reaching the surface. He has demonstrated that a small change in clouds is enough to account for all the current warming. Just wanted you to know he has gone deeper into his idea on his web page.

  77. Dan Pangburn says:

    Dr. Strangelove – Please explain the difference between ‘correlates’ and ‘see if it matches’.

    To elaborate a bit on Bart’s comment, the time-integral of the sunspot numbers (with appropriate proxy factor and reduced by the time-integral of radiation from the planet, in accordance with conservation of energy) accurately matches average global temperature trends since 1610 as noted above in my 7/28 response to Norman.

    Caveats on estimating future temperatures are addressed on page 5 of http://endofgw.blogspot.com/

  78. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Maxima and minima are always measured from the mean. It is trivial if you want to assign zero value to the mean because what matters is the deviation from the mean.

    Exactly how much is the global ave. cloud feedback in W/m^2 from sunspot forcing? How do you know sunspot is the cause? Is this also from correlation? Clouds are notoriously difficult to model. Many things can cause cloud feedback not just sunspot. The climate itself can cause cloud feedback and vice versa. Clouds can be a forcing and a feedback.

    Correlation is derived from regression analysis. Looking at the effect and inferring a cause that may be purely coincidental and trivial. Physics equations define exactly the cause and effect relationship between variables. Matching physics calculation and observation is non-trivial and generally accepted as validation of the proposed causality.

    BTW I have little faith in correlations because I did a study on this few years ago. I found that CO2 and global temperature in 20th century had R^2 = 0.85. But more surprising is when I created a random walk function and correlated it with temperature R^2 = 0.89.

    You can conclude either annual temperature anomaly is random or the correlation is trivial. Take your pick. Analyzing the random walk function, the probability that a randomly selected non-random variable will get good correlation with temperature is P = 0.12. Therefore, if you randomly pick 10 non-random functions and correlate them with temperature, chances are you will get one with good correlation. But the correlation is trivial.

  79. Dan Pangburn says:

    Dr. Strangelove – Apparently you continue to fail to recognize that the equation was derived from the physical phenomena and not a correlation.

    The observation that it correlates very well with measurements is the result of a valid calculation. The idea that clouds are involved is a theory albeit a rational theory.

    The equation is a refinement of an earlier version that can be found by putting “verification of natural climate change” in your search engine and then download the pdf from the Climate Realists web site. That paper has a lot more description of how the equation was derived.

  80. JeffC says:

    Yes – a good article which clearly demonstrates the 1000 year natural cycle. This is something which all climate blogs should pay attention to, rather than messing around with discussions of radiative energy balance, because radiation is not the cause of any climate change.

    I used to respect the “denier blog” P S I but now it seems they have been just about taken over by a certain Alberto Miatello who has written a recent article supposedly “trumping” the “flat-earthers.”

    Seven of them have apparently “helped” with the article which is now supposed to represent their “important new energy model” but is in fact full of errors as several commenters have pointed out.

    But then, in the comment thread which I’ve been watching from the start, they have deleted without explanation several comments which I had read and which clearly and correctly pointed out the author’s errors. I have added a comment of my own which (in case it gets deleted) reads ..

    There is an obvious error in the calculations in this article, because the mean Solar radiation over the whole surface of Earth is most certainly not over 400W/m^2.

    It seems the author has overlooked the fact that, when the Sun’s rays strike the surface at an acute angle, then the intensity is reduced because the energy which passes through a 1m^2 cross-section of the radiation then falls over a larger surface area. For example, if the angle is 45 degrees then the surface area is 2m^2 based on the square of the cosine.

    The overall effect is that the mean intensity is reduced, not by 50% due to half the globe being in darkness, but by about 75% due to the additional fact explained above.

    PSI is barking up the wrong tree in trying to explain surface temperatures using calculations based on incident solar radiation, because the Earth’s surface does not act like a gray body with emissivity 0.88 or whatever. If it did, the Sun could heat the equatorial regions to nearly the boiling point of water, as happens on the Moon.

    I agree with Rojclague below. I trust this comment will not be deleted as I have seen several others with opposing views to the author have been without providing any reason. In my view they were valid comments.

  81. John says:

    “This chart”

    which is in direct conflict with the instrumental record: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4nh/plot/hadcrut4nh/to:1900/trend/plot/hadcrut4nh/from:1998/trend

    There has been around 0.9℃ of Northern hemisphere warming since 1900. The chart shows less than 0.5℃. It’s obviously wrong.

  82. toby52 says:

    I hope you told the Senate what Dr Ljungqvist said about his reconstruction (below), and that is based on a small sample of 30 proxies from the N Hemisphere only? Not sure if I noticed that on the video.

    “Since AD 1990, though, average temperatures in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere exceed those of any other warm decades the last two millennia, even the peak of the Medieval Warm Period”

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      @toby52

      About the 30 proxies:
      AFIK there are many researches around that were trumpeted as reliable (also by the IPCC), which founded their analyses on many less than 30 proxies.
      So, since that wasn’t a Dr.Spencer published graph, I really don’t know why you ask about that. That graph had been submitted and passed the peer-review. So that’s a useful graph to state the current knowledge of what the climate is supposed it was in last two millennia.

      About Dr. Ljungqvist quote:
      Why did you stop to quote his analysis and you didn’t report the following sentence just after it?:
      ” …, if we look at the instrumental temperature data spliced to the proxy reconstruction. However, this sharp rise in temperature compared to the magnitude of warmth in previous warm periods should be cautiously interpreted since it is not visible in the proxy reconstruction itself.”

      (http://www.agbjarn.blog.is/users/fa/agbjarn/files/ljungquist-temp-reconstruction-2000-years.pdf ; see page 347 second column.)

      So the proxy reconstruction itself doesn’t shows any exceeding of average temperatures rises, it’s only if you “splice” the latest instrumental temperature measurements that it looks like they exceed. This is exactly the same hockey stick “trick” of “splicing” in the same graph proxy data and instrumental temperature measurements without a little of calibration, just to impress the average strawman who eventually see the graph.

      Uhmmm…
      It looks as you didn’t behave so honest writing your post.

      I repeat myself, I don’t believe in proxies temperature measurements so much to consider them reliable to evaluate so little anomalies as a tenth of celsius and I believe that Dr. Spencer think that too.
      That graph from Dr. Ljungqvist was correctly shown to the Senate, because it clearly gives a different climate pattern for the last two millennia when compared to all the other graphs which have been published in last years, after having passed at least questionable so called “peer review” processes.

      Have a nice day.

      Massimo

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hoops!…
        I seen that I left “strawman” instead of “man” in my last sentence.

        I rewrote the first writing of it and did that mistake.

        Sorry.

      • John says:

        “after having passed at least questionable so called “peer review” processes.”

        In the case of “Physical Geography” the “peer review” processes are certainly questionable, not to mention how significant a journal it is: http://www.bioxbio.com/if/html/PHYS-GEOGR.html

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi John.
          My quote was just for highlight that in last years some scientist played a strange peer-review process as revealed by the “leaked” climategate e-mails.
          I’m not a scientist and sincerely I don’t like concepts like “impact factor”.
          I don’t know if you are a scientist or not, but considering a scientific publication by its “impact factor”, IMHO it’s like reasoning by “consensus”, which is unscientific.

          What I find very bad in toby52 post is that he implicitly accused Dr.Spencer to have omitted to say to the Senate that Dr.Ljungqvist is convinced that the current rise of temperature is unprecedented despite that graph.
          That is, he accuse Dr.Spencer to be dishonest because he used a graph from a researcher which indeed is agreeing with the other side of the debate.

          toby52 did exactly what he accused Dr.Spencer to have done (but that he didn’t).
          He got a phrase from that research out of its context and used that phrase to discredit Dr. Spencer’s credibility.

          I hope that toby52 isn’t a scientist, and neither a journalist because in both cases that’s an highly unethical behaviour. Behaviour which in my opinion, should require apologies to Dr. Spencer.

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

  83. Gordon Robertson says:

    Hang in there, Roy.

    The alarmist mindset remind me of the McCarthy era in the States where Linus Pauling had his passport lifted for claiming nuclear radiation was harmful. They made him swear he was not a Communist to get it back.

    I laughed at Paulings response to the CIA when they investigated him to find out how he knew so much about nuclear processes. He told them he worked it out for himself. Many people don’t understand that Linus Pauling was regarded as one of the top minds in chemistry of all time. He was a pioneer in quantum chemistry, back in the 1930s.

    It seems the mindset is still present with today’s climate alarmists.