Heartland’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change: A Skepticism Tipping Point?

July 17th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
Heartland Institute President Joe Bast opens ICCC9 in Las Vegas.

Heartland Institute President Joe Bast opens ICCC9 in Las Vegas.

I’ve been thinking about the recent “skeptics conference” in Las Vegas.

First of all, this was easily the most energetic of the Heartland conferences held over the years. Clearly, we skeptics feel our point of view is being vindicated, that (1) warming is relatively benign, (2) warming is only partly human-caused, (3) the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere appear to greatly outweigh the risks, and (4) there’s little that can be done about reducing CO2 emission anyway, until we have new energy technologies sufficient to meet global energy demand.

I have to wonder just how massive such a conference would be if the government were to actually fund research into natural causes of climate change. The funding is so severely stacked against the skeptics’ side that our movement remains at a mostly grassroots level.

But they can’t ignore our arguments any longer. For many years we had been hearing from the “scientific consensus” side that natural climate change is nowhere near as strong as human-caused warming…yet the lack of surface warming in 17 years has forced those same scientists to now invoke natural climate change to supposedly cancel out the expected human-caused warming!

C’mon guys. You can’t have it both ways! They fail to see that a climate system capable of cancelling out warming with natural cooling is also capable of causing natural warming in the first place.

Secondly, the conference was very well organized. To all appearances, it went very smoothly. I was struck by the variety of styles and messages presented by the keynote speakers.

I thought Patrick Moore’s talk was the most powerful. As a 15-year member of the original Greenpeace movement, Patrick described how that organization morphed from helping to hurting humanity.

Lord Monckton closed the conference with a clever poll of the 600+ member audience that revealed a 100% “consensus” that climate does indeed change (there were no “climate change deniers” there), and that humans probably contribute to that change.

I only got to attend a small fraction of the non-keynote talks given, due to repeated requests for interviews by the media. There were three parallel sessions, so at most you could only attend 1/3 of the talks. This is typical for conferences, though. Fortunately, all the talks were videotaped and are available at the Heartland website. The quality of the panel presentations varied greatly, but that’s to be expected given the relative infancy and lack of institutional funding of the movement.

The real benefit of the conference was the opportunity for the movers and shakers in this business to talk one-on-one, as well as to talk to concerned citizens who attended the conference. A wide variety of skeptical opinions on the subject were represented there, which is a good thing. I personally believe we know so little about the causes of climate change that we need to keep the lines of communication open (although readers here know I also believe the theory that there is no “greenhouse effect” is misguided).

To me, it feels like a climate skepticism tipping point has been reached.


69 Responses to “Heartland’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change: A Skepticism Tipping Point?”

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  1. Karl Ayers says:

    You said “…a clever poll of the 600+ member audience that revealed a 100% “consensus” that climate changes (there were no “climate change deniers” there), and that humans probably contribute to it…”
    I think you left a phrase out because it doesn’t make sense the way it is stated.

  2. Karl Ayers says:

    I reread it. Now I get it. Good.

  3. AlecM says:

    There is a GHE, but it does not involve well mixed GHEs, the effects of which are countered by the non well mixed H2O.

    This is empirically proven by real data!

    PS Congratulations for your talk at the conference.

    • not sure what you mean. We’ve known since the 1960s that 60-70% of the potential surface warming from all GHGs is never realized because of surface evaporation and convection involving one of the GHGs (water vapor). Is that what you are referring to?

      • AlecM says:

        1. The’ back radiation’ argument leading to the ‘Enhanced GHE’ is not accepted by any professional engineer or scientist taught standard physics, specifically mean net surface IR = Δ[Irradiance] = [396 W/m^2 - 333 W/m^2] = 63 W/m^2. Irradiance, as calculated by the S-B equation, is the potential energy flux to a sink at absolute zero; it is not a real flux or, worse, a heat flow as claimed by many. Real heat flux = -Δ[Irradiance].

        2. We are left with the ‘CO2 bite’ in OLR. The IPCC claim that this leads to ~3 W/m^2 extra ‘forcing’ for doubled CO2 is correct so long as you remember that ‘forcing’ = Irradiance. Net surface IR falls by 3 W/m^2; to maintain constant sum of convection, evapo-transpiration and radiation, surface temperature rises by the ~1.2 K needed to restore OLR.

        3. Lower atmospheric processes (a few hours) give strong negative feedback, reducing GHG-AGW to near zero. The multiple mechanisms are subtle, involving clouds and variable lower atmosphere humidity. OLR = SW thermalised. Surface temperature range is minimised and the mean is constant for constant cloud albedo. Solar change alters cloud and ice albedo but these are minimised by other processes, e.g. extra SW ocean heating increases evaporation. There is also strong biofeedback.

        The mathematical physics of Gaia isn’t yet complete (the physicists persist in their dumb grey body atmosphere assumption), but is getting there. In short; the variable atmospheric humidity gradient, well established experimentally, plus cloud changes offset well-mixed GHG effects, but it’s a damned complex and subtle control system which engineers like me perceive but which has been missed by most!

  4. Gary says:

    The conference looked professional and the streaming worked flawlessly for those who couldn’t be there in person. It was good to see the level of collegial good behavior despite the recent bickering that’s erupted on some websites. Patrick Moore’s journey through and beyond GreenPeace was revealing. The damage done by their corporate zealotry ought to be quantified and broadcast more widely. Congratulations on your recognition by the Cornwall Alliance. Their position favorably stands in contrast to the GreenPeace fanaticism.

  5. John says:

    I think the simple soundbite-style message the masses need to hear repeatedly is that the Earth has been in many past ice ages with CO2 at many times the current level. That one simple fact is the most powerful, imo.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Yeah, but the last couple million years have been relatively stable with humans now supposedly screwing things up. Not sure how good your argument is or isn’t… (If you happen to have beach front property with the threat of rising sea levels then I think not)

  6. Frank K. says:

    In my view, the debate has never really been about “climate science” but about the attempt by extreme, left-wing, progressives (some of whom are employed as “scientists”) to hijack the global warming issue so as to fundamentally change society and our standards of living. Their overt extremism (on display every day in the media) is why I will fight, to my last breath, their campaign to destroy of our freedoms and liberty in this country.

  7. Johan says:

    “… if the government were to actually fund research into natural causes of climate change.”

    Should it really matter under what header the research is funded? Researchers following the scientific method should come to the “correct” conclusion(s) anyway, in this case that anthropogenic emissions don’t seem to explain that much. They should then ask for funds to investigate what in their minds may be (more) relevant.

    I believe many scientists are just opportunists. If all it takes to get some funding is to start the paper with “climate change blah blah blah …” and they then get on with the real work, not all that much would change.

    Also, it is my feeling that most scientists at heart are “sceptics”, but their PR is just not as good as that of a relatively small clique who lost the ability to think outside their own flawed models.

    • A lot of government research is in response to research announcements of opportunity from the government that “directs” the kind of research that will be done…e.g., human influences on climate.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        So it seems you are saying those in government who take our tax money, hard earned as it may be, give it away arbitrarily for whatever research they may personally desire?

  8. And if I may indulge in my own bit of ICCC9 presentation self-promotion (ignore my initial moment of brain fade in my Panel 9 talk http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/49736025 ), this particular climate conference may have been the first to address head-on the baseless notion that skeptics are paid shills of the fossil fuel industry while also turning the tables on the origins and people associated with that 20 year-old+ accusation. To break through to the larger public, we have to detail how skeptics don’t manufacture doubt, they point to doubt about aspects of AGW that have been pre-existing from the start, and we also have to detail how it is the enviro-activists who’ve manufactured doubt about the credibility of the skeptics.

  9. Gunga Din says:

    I think for 17+ years Ma’ Nature has had her finger on the scales. The “Sheeple” have noticed, despite the CAGW efforts to explain where the “missing heat” is hiding, that nothing new is going on.
    (IE Has anyone else noticed that The Weather Channel stopped mentioning the record high and low for the day on their “Weather on the 8′s” last November?
    Hard to give the impression that anything is unusual when it’s happened before.)

  10. geran says:

    “…(2) warming is only partly human-caused…”
    >>>>>>>

    Too bad “skeptics” still refuse to move away from this one. Humans are NOT causing any warming!!!

    • Dan Murray says:

      It’s a bone thrown by gracious winners to intransigent warmists.

      • geran says:

        You’re being too gracious, Dan!

        The “skeptics” that have tried to claim CO2 was heating the planet (known as “Luke-Warmists”) have been wrong. The REAL skeptics explained that CO2 was NOT a heat source. Then, the Lukers claimed that CO2 was “trapping the heat”. Skeptics explained that that was not happening. The Lukers latest claim is CO2 is “slowing the cooling”. Their mantra changes, but their message still seeks to vilify human progress.

        They need to get off the CO2 kool-aid, admit they made a mistake, and become 120% skeptical of CO2 induced AGW.

        * IPCC “science” is terribly flawed
        * Climategate
        * Sagging global temps with increasing atmospheric CO2
        * NOAAgate
        * Recent record cold/snow in winters and now record cold in summer

        • Leonard Weinstein says:

          CO2 increase alone, with no other change, would increase the temperature. If you do not understand that you do not understand the physics of the issue. It is the fact that there are other changes that result in the final net effect, including possible negative feedback (probably from cloud and aerosol variation), and large natural variations (from the ocean currents, clouds, solar variation, volcanoes, and the basic chaos of the complex system) dominating the small potential CO2 effect. The resulting temperature can be hotter, colder, or go up and down, but that does not change the validity of the basic physics of so called atmospheric greenhouse effects.

          • Johan says:

            Alas, the sceptics’ side (as well as the CAGW side) also includes the lunatic fringe. I believe dr. Spencer calls them dragonslayers, and he spends way too much time combating them. You don’t argue with lunatics, you send them to the asylum. But I suppose he derives some pleasure from fighting them.

            I also think this division between “warmists”, “luke-warmers” and “sceptics” is pointless (BTW, WUWT classifies dr. Spencer as a luke-warmer). By definition every scientist is a (real) sceptic. It would make a lot more sense to distinguish scientists from political activists, and to keep the looneys at bay.

          • AlecM says:

            Point 1: I am not a dragonslayer; they invited me to join but I didn’t.

            Point 2: the IPCC ‘consensus’ has got ALL the IR and radiative physics wrong. This must be a record for any international research.

            Point 3: CO2 can only affect surface temperature indirectly; increased irradiance (called ‘forcing’) reduces net surface IR so the surface warms to increase convection and evapo-transpiration to restore heat output to atmosphere = surface SW thermalisation. Sit on the beach and erect or remove a wind break to do your own experiments in coupled convection and radiation. The idea that the surface irradiance, at black body level, is a real heat flux has been taught to far too many people in the atmospheric sciences, and it goes all the way back to Carl Sagan who made a bad mistake in cloud aerosol optical physics.

            Point 4: there is zero net surface IR in the 15 micron CO2 band. This is because the Poynting Vectors of the atmospheric Irradiance for this self-absorbed band are equal but opposite to the same wavelength surface IR Poynting Vectors. Thus they cancel. This comes from Maxwell’s Laws, terra incognito to atmospheric science. In general, surface heating rate = – Δ[Irradiance] = [396 W/m^2 - 333 W/m^2] = 63 W/m^2; mean surface operational emissivity = [1 - 0.84 atmospheric emissivity] = 0.16 = 63 W/m^2/396 W/m^2 [16 deg C mean surface temperature].

            Point 5: there is some net surface IR absorbed by atmospheric GHGs; the 23 W/m^2 (mean). This is the non self-absorbed H2O bands for which the absorption coefficient is so low that the atmospheric thickness convolved with humidity is insufficient. None of this energy can be thermalised in the gas phase. Most goes indirectly to Space. The corollary is that ‘back radiation’ only increases with [well-mixed GHG]; no positive feedback.

            Point 6: the 1.2 K climate sensitivity is real but the effect of strong negative feedback in the atmosphere reduces it to a much lower level. I am developing physics which shows it is reduced to zero: no CO2-AGW or CH4-AGW because atmospheric processes offset all the effect of increased clear sky irradiance to the surface.

            Point 7: other processes cause the temperature fluctuations, the most important being variation of cloud area and albedo. This is what drives the end of ice ages and some of the 1980s and 1990s warming.

            Sorry; but until atmospheric science teaches correct physics it has no chance of developing, It’s a 45 year plus failure; textbooks and teaching need changing.

          • geran says:

            Leonard, Leonard, Leonard, if you think that a molecule of CO2 at 0ºC can raise the temperature of another molecule that is at 15ºC, then you have no clue of the physics involved.

            CO2 is NOT a heat source.

            But, you get to choose whatever religion you want to believe in.

          • geran says:

            Johan–The distinction is that Dr. Roy allows opposing views of science on his blog. That alone qualifies him as a “scientist”. Irregardless of his academic credentials, he is willing to hear from opposing scientific views. He does not live in fear of open debate.

            WUWT censors science.

          • geran says:

            Go get em, AlecM!

        • Brian H says:

          As I posted above, the “some degree of human causation” mealy-mouthed lukewarmist concession to AGW would be more persuasive if there was a speck of real-world validation or successful prediction/projection.

          The blatant failures of all such attempts conclusively falsify the hypotheses of CO2 as a driver and AGW.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Geran, please elaborate on your position that humans aren’t causing “any warming”… Oh, and again, are you really Dr Lindzen?!

      • AlecM says:

        Humans have caused warming via increased aerosols reducing cloud albedo. There is near zero CO2-AGW, as is apparently being proved empirically.

        The same mechanism causes the amplification of δtsi at the end of ice ages.

      • geran says:

        Fonz, light a candle. Light ten candles. Light 100 candles. Call all your friends and have them light 100 candles. Have the entire HUMAN population light 100 candles.

        Note the resulting increase in global temps.

        Zip, zero, nil, nada, de rien, zed, naught, need I go on?

  11. Dave Andrews says:

    Meanwhile NOAA comes out today with its review of the climate in 2013, and, as expected, the mantra continues that “man-made” climate change is a the bogeyman. I appreciate all of the work by the honest skeptics, but I fear no “tipping point” has been reached. I hope I am wrong. It is still an uphill battle, I think, because the mainstream media and educational systems are completely invested in the charade.

    • David says:

      I can not believe it…here in the biggy left, climate change scared Santa Fe there was a radio show about how we need fossil fuel and alt. energy is not hacking it..this has never happened here before..maybe the tipping point has begun

  12. jimc says:

    Tipping point? I’m not sure I know what that means. A tipping point for whom? I think skeptics have been skeptical for a long time – climatologists like Spencer probably for decades. It seems the general public – those with eyes and reason – have also been there more-or-less for a long time. (Healthy suspicions of operations like the environmentalists, media, the Feds, and the UN support that view.) Maybe Spencer means on-the-fence scientists. I hope so. But, from what I see, the environmentalists, leftist political class, and media are only doubling down on their words of hysteria. I don’t think they’ll let up no matter what.

  13. Ivan says:

    “(1) warming is relatively benign, (2) warming is only partly human-caused, (3) the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere appear to greatly outweigh the risks, and (4) there’s little that can be done about reducing CO2 emission anyway, until we have new energy technologies sufficient to meet global energy demand.”

    I am not sure whether many skeptics would agree with your characterization of their position. Your summary actually summarizes the thinking of the PC professors who criticize alarmism but want to be “respectable” in the same time. It seems that the following summary would be much more correct with regard to the position of an ordinary, average skeptic:

    1 There has been no warming for 17 years,
    2. Global warming is not human-caused, but a product of natural climate variability.
    3. “Global warming” as a problem is a scam and a fraud, as proven by the Climategate emails.
    4. SOBs do not care about the costs of mitigation policy; moreover, higher the cost, the better (see under “my policy will necessarily make energy prices skyrocket” Obama). They don’t give a damn whether “we” can afford it or not; they can.

    • Johan says:

      I do not know whether your summary is a more correct assessment of the “ordinary, average sceptic’s positon” or not, but I would certainly hope not. But to say that dr. Spencer’s summary is PC is definitely wrong! To paraphrase Freeman Dyson (interview in The Independent, 25 February 2011), arguments in climate science have become so heavily politicised; it has become politically incorrect to say that the dogma’s are wrong. In this case, the settled dogma is that the climate models are real.
      Also, what gives you the right to boldly claim that 2) is a scientific fact? As so eloquently stated by dr. Spencer in his presentation, we know almost nothing about global warming. If you have a theory / model that is infallible, I would urge you to publish it, albeit in the fiction section. Scientists do not deal in certainty.
      And it is not even relevant whether 3) and 4) are true or false. Those are political arguments, and you are making the same mistakes a clique of climate scientists is doing, politicizing.
      Maybe you have taken Sun Tzu’s words too literally: “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

      • Brian H says:

        Paraphrased, in a debate James Taylor put it like this:

        To justify Alarmists’ recommended mitigations, ALL of the following must be true:

        1. Significant warming is occurring, and is dangerous.
        2. Mankind is a significant or dominant cause of that warming.
        3. Alteration of human contributions is possible and affordable.
        4. Alteration of human contributions will be effective in slowing or stopping cooling.

        Since none are true, much less proven, mitigation should not be attempted.

  14. greg says:

    “…mainstream media… are completely invested in the charade…”

    “…media are only doubling down on their words of hysteria…”

    In England it was a litle warm yesterday (30 C, wheew!), because a wind from the South is wafting a little Spanish air our way. If you were watching the British Open, you will have noticed how nice it is at Hoylake.

    For ten minutes yesterday morning, the main TV channels treated this as a matter of life and death (literally) with fatuous adice to keep our grannies out of the sun and to hydrate with water (what else, what an oxymoron).

    Finally, the highly-paid TV presenter looks seriously into the camera with all the gravitas that a typical arts-educated, pretty-face, reading from an autocue, can muster, and tells us – you guessed it -

    “Scientists say this was caused by global warming.”

  15. greg says:

    ‘litle’ should be ‘little’.

    ‘adice’ should be ‘advice’.

    I should get the peanut butter out of my key-board.

  16. Tim Wells says:

    It’s the first decent summer we have had in the UK for a long time, we have had some bad winters the last 5 years, with the exception of last year. In 1976 which was the best summer I can remember they were talking about a mini ice age. Al Gore is a hypocrite of massive proportions, why doesn’t he give away some of his houses cars and stop flying around the world spouting his rubbish.

  17. Thanks Dr. Spencer for the “Satellite Temperature Data” They cannot be denied by anybody. (On either side of the argument)

    • geran says:

      If the “Satellite Temperature Data” comes through government “handling”, it MUST be questioned.

      1) Climategate
      2) NOAAgate

  18. greg says:

    “…flying around the world…”

    I remember reading* an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow in which she said that she took her cans and glass from the UK with her, when she popped back to LA (by First-Class air, I suppose) to consort with all the other trendies and luvvies, because “they recycle things better there”.

    *Of course, I stopped reading (with joy!) as soon as the dentist said he was set up for my root canal.

  19. CO2 is anon player when it comes to the climate as I have been saying for years.
    Solar on the other hand is a major player through primary and secondary effects.

    Many of the speeches given at the climate conference are saying the same things I have been saying.

    Joe D’ Aleo , Willie Soon among many others are worth listening to.

  20. SOLAR CLIMATE MECHANISMS AND CLIMATE PREDICTION

    MECHANISM ONE

    One solar climate mechanism/connection theory which has much merit in my opinion, is as follows:

    A BRIEF OVERVIEW. At times of low solar irradiance the amounts of sea ice in the Nordic Sea increase, this ice is then driven south due to the atmospheric circulation (also due to weak solar conditions) creating a more northerly air flow in this area.(-NAO) This sea ice then melts in the Sub Polar Atlantic, releasing fresh water into the sub- polar Atlantic waters, which in turn impedes the formation of NADW, which slows down the thermohaline circulation causing warm air not to be brought up from the lower latitudes as far north as previous while in lessening amounts.

    This perhaps can be one of the contributing solar/climate connection factors which brought about previous abrupt N.H. cool downs during the past.

    This makes much sense to me.

    NAO= NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
    NADW= NORTH ATLANTIC DEEP WATER

    To elaborate on the above, when the sun enters a prolonged solar minimum condition an overall reduction takes place in solar spectral irradiance, namely in UV light (wavelengths less then 400 nm). The shorter the wavelength, the MUCH greater the reduction.

    UV light reduction likely will cause ocean heat content and ocean surface temperatures to drop, due to the fact that UV light in the range of 280 nm-400nm penetrates the ocean surface to depths of 50-100 meters. A reduction in UV (ultra violet) light then should have a profound effect on the amount of energy entering the ocean surface waters from the sun extending down to 50-100 meters in depth, resulting in cooler ocean temperatures.

    This ties into what was said in the above in that if ocean waters in high latitudes such as the Nordic Sea, were to be subject to cooling the result would be much more sea ice which could impede the strength of the thermohaline circulation promoting substantial N.H. cooling.

    Adding to this theory is fairly strong evidence that a decrease in UV light will result in a more meridional atmospheric circulation (which should cause more clouds, precipitation and snow cover for the N.H.0), due to changes in ozone distribution in a vertical/horizontal sense which would cause the temperature contrast between the polar areas of the stratosphere and lower latitude areas of the stratosphere to lesson, during prolonged solar minimum periods. Ultra Violet light being likely the most significant solar factor affecting ozone concentrations ,although not the only solar factor.

    This could then set up a more -NAO, (high pressure over Greenland) which would promote a more Northerly flow of air over the Nordic Sea, bringing the sea ice there further South.

    MECHANISM TWO

    A reduction of the solar wind during a prolonged solar minimum event would cause more galactic cosmic rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere which would promote more aerosol formation thus more cloud nucleation. The result more clouds higher albedo, cooler temperatures.

    Compounding this would be a weaker geo magnetic field which would allow more galactic cosmic ray penetration into the atmosphere , while perhaps causing excursions of the geo magnetic poles to occur in that they would be in more southern latitudes concentrating incoming galactic cosmic rays in these southern latitudes where more moisture would be available for the cosmic rays to work with, making for greater efficiency in the creation of clouds.

    MECHANISM THREE

    MILANKOVITCH CYCLES overall favor N.H. cooling and an increase in snow cover over N.H high latitudes during the N.H summers due to the fact that perihelion occurs during the N.H. winter (highly favorable for increase summer snow cover), obliquity is 23.44 degrees which is at least neutral for an increase summer N.H. snow cover, while eccentricity of the earth’s orbit is currently at 0.0167 which is still circular enough to favor reduced summertime solar insolation in the N.H. and thus promote more snow cover.

    In addition the present geographical arrangements of the oceans versus continents is very favorable for glaciation.

    MECHANISM FOUR

    High latitude major volcanic eruptions correlate to prolonged solar minimum periods which translates to stratospheric warming due to an increase in SO2 particles while promoting more lower troposphere cooling.

    One theory of many behind the solar/volcanic connection is that MUONS, a by product of galactic cosmic rays can affect the calderas of certain volcanoes by changing the chemical composition of the matter within the silica rich magma creating aerosols which increase pressure in the magma chamber and hence lead to an explosive eruption.

    Muon densities increase more in higher latitudes at times of weak solar magnetic activity, which is why volcanic activity in the higher latitudes will be affected more by this process.

    These four mechanisms make a strong case for a solar /climate connection in my opinion, and if the prolonged solar minimum meets the criteria I have mentioned going forward and the duration is long enough I expect global cooling to be quite substantial going forward.

    THE CRITERIA

    Solar Flux avg. sub 90

    Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

    AP index avg. sub 5.0

    Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

    Total Solar Irradiance off .15% or more

    EUV light average 0-105 nm sub 100 units (or off 100% or more) and longer UV light emissions around 300 nm off by several percent.

    IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

    The above solar parameter averages following several years of sub solar activity in general which commenced in year 2005..

    IF , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.

    The decline in temperatures should begin to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24.

    NOTE 1- What mainstream science is missing in my opinion is two fold, in that solar variability is greater than thought, and that the climate system of the earth is more sensitive to that solar variability.

    NOTE 2- LATEST RESEARCH SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING:

    A. Ozone concentrations in the lower and middle stratosphere are in phase with the solar cycle, while in anti phase with the solar cycle in the upper stratosphere.

    B. Certain bands of UV light are more important to ozone production then others.

    C. UV light bands are in phase with the solar cycle with much more variability, in contrast to visible light and near infrared (NIR) bands which are in anti phase with the solar cycle with much LESS variability.

    © 2014 Southwest Weather

  21. What we are all doing here is coming up with reasons( lunar included) that probably are all playing a role in the climate. I think noise in the climate system makes it exceptionally hard to see the reasons we claim that effect the climate are so. In addition to noise the climate system often will have factors going on at the same time which are trying to throw the climate in a different direction and some of these factors at times exert a bigger influence then at other times on the climate and sometimes some of these factors can bring the climate to a threshold which then really makes it next to impossible to see how the other factors are still influencing the climate.
    At the same time the given beginning state of the climate is constantly in flux which then either enhances or moderates all the factors that are playing a role in the climate.
    The end result is we have a discussion with many points of view.
    My best shot once again which I am sure some will agree with , disagree with or half way agree with.
    These four factors either combined or in some combination are responsible for all the climate changes on earth. If one agrees with this then one will also have to agree that global climate change is synchronous.
    MY FOUR FACTORS
    The initial state of the global climate.
    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.
    b. climate was closer to the threshold level between glacial and inter- glacial 20,000 -10,000 years ago. This is why I think the climate was more unstable then. Example solar variability and all items would be able to pull the climate EASIER from one regime to another when the state of the climate was closer to the inter glacial/glacial dividing line, or threshold.

    Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account. I have come up with criteria . I will pass it along, why not in my next email.
    a. solar irradiance changes- linked to ocean heat content.
    b. cosmic ray changes- linked to clouds.
    c. volcanic activity- correlated to stratospheric warming changing which will impact the atmospheric circulation.
    d. UV light changes -correlated to ozone which then can be linked to atmospheric circulation changes.
    e. atmospheric changes – linked to ocean current changes including ENSO, and thermohaline circulation.
    f. atmospheric changes -linked also to albedo changes due to snow cover, cloud cover , and precipitation changes.
    g. thickness of thermosphere – which is linked to other levels of the atmosphere.

    Strength of the magnetic field of the earth. This can enhance or moderate changes associated with solar variability.
    weaker magnetic field can enhance cosmic rays and also cause them to be concentrated in lower latitudes where there is more moisture to work with to be more effective in cloud formation if magnetic poles wander south due to magnetic excursions in a weakening magnetic field overall.
    Milankovitch Cycles. Where the earth is at in relation to these cycles as far as how elliptic or not the orbit is, the tilt of the axis and precession.
    less elliptic, less tilt, earth furthest from sun during N.H. summer — favor cooling.
    I feel what I have outlined for the most part is not being taken as a serious possible solution as to why the climate changes. Rather climate change is often trying to be tied with terrestrial changes and worse yet only ONE ITEM , such as CO2 or ENSO which is absurdity.
    Over time not one of these one item explanations stand up, they can not explain all of the various climatic changes to all the different degrees of magnitude and duration of time each one different from the previous one. Each one UNIQUE.
    Examples would be the sudden start/end of the Oldest, Older and Younger Dryas dramatic climate shifts, the 8200 year ago cold period, and even the sudden start of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

  22. Griffing says:

    Dr Roy — you mention repeatedly that way more money funds research looking for man-made global warming than for natural global warming. Do you have any citations for this? This would be a great number to publish!

    • geran says:

      Griff, are you a poster doll for extremism?

      Why would you ask such a question?

      Are you willing to bet that tax-payer dollars are not being wasted on AGW?

      Do you not understand how $$$ controls “institutional science”?

      Where have you been?

  23. KR says:

    17 years? In the RSS data, now – amazing how the emphasis keeps changing from UAH to HadCRUT to RSS depending on which has the lowest trend at the moment.

    Any familiarity with statistical significance? Or recognition that there is no statistical significance to such claims? So much noise over short term variations, primarily the ENSO – and so little meaning.

    Sigh.

    • Brian H says:

      Groan.

      Any familiarity with the Null Hypothesis? Before AGW can even be considered an alternative, the assumption is that ongoing natural variation encompasses and explains observed events. Failure to disprove the Null means the alternative need not be considered. 12-17 years is merely the duration of such recent failure.

      • KR says:

        And that null, natural variation only, has been disproven – repeatedly. Natural forcings are moving in the wrong direction (cooling over the last 50 years) for current climate change, and there is no accounting for current warming without including anthropogenic factors. That null hypothesis is long gone.

        12-17 years is a set of blatantly cherry-picked intervals – hunting through the data to find the longest period that shows a flat trend. And those cherry-picks ignore statistical significance, noise rather than significance. Note that if you cherry-pick for a result the required amount of data to establish significance goes up by roughly an order of magnitude.

        For any of the instrumental series, over any time span ending in the present:

        * There is no period where warming is invalidated, against a null hypothesis of no warming.
        * Against a null hypothesis of the long term warming trend, there is no period where a “no warming” hypothesis is validated.
        * Over any period with enough data to show statistical significance, that data shows a statistically significant warming trend.

  24. Kristian says:

    KR says, July 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM:

    “And that null, natural variation only, has been disproven – repeatedly. Natural forcings are moving in the wrong direction (cooling over the last 50 years) for current climate change, and there is no accounting for current warming without including anthropogenic factors. That null hypothesis is long gone.”

    Hahaha! Is it indeed? You people saying so doesn’t mean it is. Your bubble model world doesn’t represent the real world.

    Earth’s climate is run by the Sun and the ocean. Simple as that. That’s the null hypothesis.

    The ocean fluctuates Earth’s climate around a long-term solar mean: warming, cooling, warming, cooling.

    http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/how-the-world-really-warmed-between-the-70s-and-the-00s-part-i/

    http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/how-the-world-really-warmed-part-ii-step-1/

    http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/how-the-world-really-warmed-part-iii-steps-2-3/

    Can you please provide us all, KR, with the empirical evidence, ANY empirical evidence, from the real Earth system that +CO2 >> +T.

      • KR says:

        Looking _only_ at attribution studies, I would note Lean and Rind 2008, Huber and Knutti 2011, Tett et al. 2000, Foster and Rahmstorf 2011, and most of the references in IPCC AR5 Chapter 10, “Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional”. (12 and a half pages of primary literature referenced there).

        Add to that AR5 Chapter 8, “Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing”, discussing and referencing among others direct satellite observations of top of atmosphere radiative changes in CO2, H2O, CH4, and other GHG bands.

        • Kristian says:

          You don’t even know what I’m talking about, do you KR?

          I don’t want someone’s opinion about why we’ve seen warming, nor someone’s interpretation of what some temperature data is really showing.

          I want actual empirical evidence (observational data) from the real Earth system showing that a gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 is in fact responsible for the general rise in global temperatures we’ve observed over the last 50-60 years, specifically since The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976/77 (when the tide turned).

          Where and how do you see in the temperature record since 1970 that CO2 caused ‘modern global warming’? No models. No hypotheses. No ‘basic physics’. No circular arguments. Pure observational evidence, actual scientific real-world testing of a claim’s worth. You know, like in the scientific method.

          It’s one thing to simply claim as a given that +CO2 >> +T. To actually show empirically that your claim is in fact valid and operative out there in nature at large is a very different thing.

          It’s never been done. Just claiming and then insisting even with a total lack of observational support is pure pseudoscience, KR.

          Just give us ONE piece of evidence. No blah-blah-blah papers. Hard data. +CO2 >> +T.

          Shouldn’t be so hard, KR.

          • KR says:

            You’re right, Kristian, it isn’t that hard. But it requires basic physics, observational evidence (direct measures showing TOA spectral changes from GHGs), consideration of other influences on climate (sun, volcanoes, land use, GHGs, aerosols, and cyclic influences such as the PDO), and the timing and relevant fingerprints of those different influences (stratospheric cooling and nights warming faster than days are for example significant differentiations between solar and GHG forcings). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_of_recent_climate_change for a very simple discussion of this.

            But since you’ve _ruled out_ those basic physics and the hundreds of papers on observational evidence and attribution studies I pointed you to in the last message, in essence denying anything that might challenge your point of view, I don’t see that it’s a discussion worth having with you. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Or read the references…

  25. Kristian says:

    KR says, July 23, 2014 at 7:59 AM:

    It appears, KR, that you suffer from a reading impairment.

    Here are my words verbatim once again:

    “I want actual empirical evidence (observational data) from the real Earth system showing that a gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 is in fact responsible for the general rise in global temperatures we’ve observed over the last 50-60 years, specifically since The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976/77 (when the tide turned).

    Where and how do you see in the temperature record since 1970 that CO2 caused ‘modern global warming’? No models. No hypotheses. No ‘basic physics’. No circular arguments. Pure observational evidence, actual scientific real-world testing of a claim’s worth. You know, like in the scientific method.

    It’s one thing to simply claim as a given that +CO2 >> +T. To actually show empirically that your claim is in fact valid and operative out there in nature at large is a very different thing.”

    What about these words did you not comprehend, KR?

    I ask you to give us just ONE piece of such stated evidence, suggesting that this shouldn’t be so hard. Your answer: “You’re right, Kristian, it isn’t that hard.”

    And then you proceed by presenting … absolutely NO such evidence whatsoever. What’s the matter, KR? Couldn’t find it? Doesn’t exist?

    I’ll give you one more shot at proving you’re more than just a bluff.

    “But it requires basic physics (…)”

    I know basic physics. Do you? What basic physics are you referring to? That CO2 absorbs and emits IR within certain bands of the EM spectrum? Yeees, and …? This is not the hypothesis. This is not the claim of AGW.

    “(…) observational evidence (direct measures showing TOA spectral changes from GHGs) (…)”

    You mean CO2, CH4 and O3? The trace gases. Not H2O. Not included. Nor the atm window. That is, not TOTAL OLR out through the ToA. Which is all that matters. And which has increased over the last three decades, in step with temperatures (ERBE+CERES, ISCCP-FD, HIRS). While atm CO2 has simultaneously increased steadily all the way.

    ALL available data from the real world shows this progression: surface temps UP >> tropospheric temps UP >> OLR from ToA UP, and sfc temps DOWN >> trop temps DOWN >> OLR from ToA DOWN. We NEVER see the opposite course of events, KR: OLR from ToA DOWN >> trop temps UP >> sfc temps UP. NEVER. That’s real observational evidence that your claimed mechanism for warming is but a claim. Mumbo jumbo.

    “(…) consideration of other influences on climate (sun, volcanoes, land use, GHGs, aerosols, and cyclic influences such as the PDO) (…)”

    Mean solar input matters only on long timescales, across ocean cycles. The global ocean simply fluctuates Earth’s climate around the long-term solar mean. Volcanoes are irrelevant to climate. Their effect on the climate system only lasts 1-3 years and then it’s gone. Land use is only locally and regionally relevant, but could influence temperature readings. Same with UHI. GHGs are of course totally irrelevant, except from being the effective coolants of the Earth system to space. Aerosols are only your climate model fudge factor. In the real world, they are only of local and regional importance. Only the aerosols from stratospheric volcanic eruptions will have a measurable global impact.

    Ocean cycles? Yup. There it is. Pacific Ocean climate regime shifts. The cause of the modern global warming from 1976 to 2001. Easily seen in the data. Unlike your CO2 fantasy. Thank you.

    “(…) stratospheric cooling (…)”

    You know of course that the lower stratosphere stopped cooling 20 years ago, after the effect of Pinatubo had dissipated. All the while, atm CO2 has continued to mount. Why is this never mentioned in AGW circles, I wonder …? Again, the data is there.

    “(…) and nights warming faster than days (…)”

    You seem to be ill-informed on this, KR. Nights haven’t been warming faster globally than days over the last 35 years. The duration of the modern global warming era. Same with winters vs. summers. There was a huge shift in both of these parameters with The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976/77, when modern global warming started. Subsequently, however, there has been no further divergence. If anything, rather the opposite as of late.* All of this can easily be verified for instance on the KNMI Climate Explorer site. You should check it out. Lots to learn for a poor know-nothing SkS alarmist. You know, real data. From the real world.

    *You carefully draw the trendline across this late 70s shift of course. Only goes to show how deviously your lot operates.

    So you see, it pays to actually look at the DATA behind the claims.

    It seems all you’re capable of doing, KR, is spouting the completely unsubstantiated talking points from the alarmist propaganda bureau that goes by the name of SkS (we all know what you’re about).

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Or read the references…”

    Ironic. You have shown clearly that you have no water to offer, KR.

    • KR says:

      Out of that post of yours I think I can see one, only one, statement that is even slightly supported:

      “CO2, CH4 and O3? The trace gases…” – The radiatively active gases at thermal IR wavelengths, where noncondensing greenhouse gases are not traces but are instead _dominant and controlling_ components of atmospheric behavior.

      “Not H2O.” – Water vapor is increasing as per the Clausius–Clapeyron relation, ~4% increase since the 1970′s, as observed (Dr. Spencer himself in a recent post discusses rising water vapor), and the spectral greenhouse effect thereof is indeed observed by satellite (Soden et al 1995, ERBE). Your statement is completely, utterly, erroneous.

      Increases in water vapor with rising temperatures is the first feedback to the observed CO2 forcings, roughly doubling the effects in positive feedback – as per basic physics, the effective emissivity of the Earth to space as observed at TOA.

      “TOTAL OLR out through the ToA…has increased” – From 1955-2010 there has been an average imbalance at TOA of ~0.4 W/m2 (Levitus et al 2012), and unless you are claiming that insolation has increased as well over that period (it has actually decreased, as observed) outgoing LWR has _not_ increased. Again, incorrect.

      “Volcanoes are irrelevant to climate” – Really? Single eruptions have a short term effect, but the relative lull in volcanic action (the average number of eruptions) from the 1920′s to 1950′s is one of the _major_ factors in early 20th century temperature trends. The Deccan Traps eruptions appear to have dropped temperatures by 2C. You are wrong.

      “the lower stratosphere stopped cooling 20 years ago” – The lower stratospheric temperatures are complicated by changes in atmospheric composition (ozone and water vapor) and structure from tropospheric warming. The upper stratosphere has shown “mean cooling of 0.5–1.5 K/decade during 1979–2005, with the greatest cooling in the upper stratosphere near 40–50 km” – Randel et al 2009, JGR. Significant stratospheric cooling is observed if you aren’t cherry-picking your data.

      Minor point of agreement: The DTR has not changed (to statistical significance) over the last couple of decades, as maximum and minimum temps have increased at nearly the same (high) rate over that period, but it has declined −0.032°C/decade since 1976 (Vose et al 2005).

      The mid-1970s change in warming rates you repeatedly refer to matches with forcing changes, including anthropogenic factors – without increased GHG’s and relatively decreased aerosols we would have seen cooling over that period. This only reinforces the physics of AGW.

      Again, basic physics, observations, and but a few of the references I pointed you to. Your assertions here simply couldn’t be more wrong.

      The simplest set of observations that I would point to are the observed decreases across GHG spectra at TOA, increasing temperatures, observed water vapor increase and GH trapping as a positive feedback, and the ongoing TOA imbalance as observed in ocean heat content. Increased CO2 (and other GHGs) lead to a TOA imbalance with a water vapor positive feedback as the largest short term amplification, leading to warming.

      But again, since you don’t want to hear anything about “basic physics”, I suspect you won’t find any of that convincing. And with that, I’ve spent too much time talking to someone who isn’t listening.

      Adieu.

      • Kristian says:

        Another post from KR where he shows his utter lack of scientific understanding, simply parroting talking points from the SkS website. What a clown.

        Another entire post dedicated to wild, handwaving attempts at diversion from what he knows he can’t answer.

        So I won’t be bothering with them. I’m just here to point out to the readers that KR once again evades my very simple and straightforward question:

        Where do we see in, and how do we know from, the real-world observational data that the gradual increase in atm CO2 from 1950 to 2014 was responsible for the modern global warming that occurred (in three steps alone: in 1979, 1988 and 1998) between 1976 and 2001?

        The answer is of course: Nowhere. No way. It is all conjecture.

        The AGW hypothesis is a pure example of a circular argument.

        KR here, of course, wouldn’t know one if it bit him in the rear.

  26. Kristian says:

    Alright. I guess I don’t have anything better to do :p

    This is fun, though :D

    KR says, July 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM:

    ““CO2, CH4 and O3? The trace gases…” – The radiatively active gases at thermal IR wavelengths, where noncondensing greenhouse gases are not traces but are instead _dominant and controlling_ components of atmospheric behavior.”

    Are they indeed? Says who? Santa Claus? Here is what happens in the troposphere, KR: The solar-heated surface warms the lowermost air layer through conduction and radiation. It also evaporates WV into the air. This heating and input of water molecules creates buoyancy, convective currents that brings the surface energy up into the tropospheric column, along the lapse rate. On the way up, but mainly from the hgher reaches of the troposphere, the surface energy is then radiated out to space. H2O is nearly responsible for all of it:
    http://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/stratosphere-radiation-by-species-1460.jpg
    http://chriscolose.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/upwelling_brightness1.jpg

    • Kristian says:

      “Not H2O.” – Water vapor is increasing as per the Clausius–Clapeyron relation, ~4% increase since the 1970′s, as observed (Dr. Spencer himself in a recent post discusses rising water vapor), and the spectral greenhouse effect thereof is indeed observed by satellite (Soden et al 1995, ERBE). Your statement is completely, utterly, erroneous.

      Increases in water vapor with rising temperatures is the first feedback to the observed CO2 forcings, roughly doubling the effects in positive feedback – as per basic physics, the effective emissivity of the Earth to space as observed at TOA.”

      Problem is, KR, the more H2O in the atmosphere, the cooler the mean surface temperature. H2O effectively blocks out amost 80% of potential solar heat input (reflects or absorbs it) before it can ever reach the surface. Why do you think tropical rainforest areas are consistently cooler annually than tropical/subtropical desert areas by several degrees?

      Also, H2O is THE radiator of heat to space from the troposphere. No other gases matter at all at this level.

      Also, you alarmists all ‘misunderstand’ what the Clausius-Clapeyron relation really is. It’s not a positive feedback to the warming of the air above a water surface. It’s a negative feedback to the warming of the water surface itself. It is a CAUSE of the air above that surface also warming (by the transfer of latent heat):
      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/Images/hatm_ANN.png
      http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/surface-1/rain_ANN.png

      The surface always warms first. THEN the air/atmosphere above it. The surface heats the troposphere. Hence, its temp goes up (or down) first. Not the other way around. It’s in all the data out there. You know this, KR. Or …?

      ““TOTAL OLR out through the ToA…has increased” – From 1955-2010 there has been an average imbalance at TOA of ~0.4 W/m2 (Levitus et al 2012), and unless you are claiming that insolation has increased as well over that period (it has actually decreased, as observed) outgoing LWR has _not_ increased. Again, incorrect.”

      What nonsense. Our best available data (from several different sources) tells us clearly that total OLR from the ToA has increased over the last 30+ years, with global temperatures. And you try to turn this into a decrease anyway …? One thing’s for sure, KR, if there really IS such an imbalance, then it’s certainly not there because of a reduction of the outgoing.

      You know of course that TSI itself is pretty irrelevant to how much SW is absorbed by the surface and the oceans. Albedo rules. And not just average global albedo. The albedo over very specific parts of the ocean – the tropical oceans, first and foremost the Pacific. And what controls the cloud cover distribution in the tropical Pacific (and North Atlantic and Indian Oceans)? Something called ENSO.

      Strangely (?) there was a huge drop in mean evaporation rates from the tropical Pacific from 1975/76 to 1976/77, with the drop in mean wind shear across the basin following the significant drop in the SOI, causing the Great Pacific Climate Shift.

      • Kristian says:

        ““Volcanoes are irrelevant to climate” – Really? Single eruptions have a short term effect, but the relative lull in volcanic action (the average number of eruptions) from the 1920′s to 1950′s is one of the _major_ factors in early 20th century temperature trends.”

        Er, no it isn’t. That’s just you trying to explain away the real reason for the 1912-37 warming: the ocean cycles. Exactly the same as for the 1976-2001 warming. An absence of volcanic eruptions to explain warming! That has got to be the lamest alarmist ad hoc excuse ever! So you’re saying that the climate system needs an occasional volcanic eruption every once in a while to avoid warming?

        Again, back to the data. Both the El Chichón and the Pinatubo eruptions impacted global temperatures. But only for 1-3 years. After that, no trace of any residual effect. They have absolutely NO effect on medium or long term trends.

        ““the lower stratosphere stopped cooling 20 years ago” – The lower stratospheric temperatures are complicated by changes in atmospheric composition (ozone and water vapor) and structure from tropospheric warming.”

        Yeah, blah-blah-blah. Trust the alarmists to always provide an endless string of ad/post hoc excuses. Nothing about this when the actual cooling was on. Then it was all CO2. Strange how that works …

        “The upper stratosphere has shown “mean cooling of 0.5–1.5 K/decade during 1979–2005, with the greatest cooling in the upper stratosphere near 40–50 km” – Randel et al 2009, JGR. Significant stratospheric cooling is observed if you aren’t cherry-picking your data.”

        Thanks for making this point, KR. In the stratosphere radiation is actually in charge, because convection is gone. And what it does in the upper reaches is COOL to space. So more radiatively active gases – more cooling. Nothing strange about that.

        “Minor point of agreement: The DTR has not changed (to statistical significance) over the last couple of decades, as maximum and minimum temps have increased at nearly the same (high) rate over that period, but it has declined −0.032°C/decade since 1976 (Vose et al 2005).”

        Yeah, 2005. Is that data up till 2003? 2004?
        Newer data added here for your convenience:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/icru_dtr_0-360E_90–90N_n_1979:2014a.png

        Compare the first few years with the last few years. We can all see that nothing of consequence has happened in 30-35 years when it comes to global DTR, KR. Ups and downs along the way, yes. But … it’s right there.

        The mid-1970s change in warming rates you repeatedly refer to matches with forcing changes, including anthropogenic factors – without increased GHG’s and relatively decreased aerosols we would have seen cooling over that period. This only reinforces the physics of AGW.”

        KR, are you being serious?! Are you in denial? Have you ever heard about The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976/77. It is VERY well-studied, VERY well-established, VERY well-documented. The global temp curve matches NINO3.4 across that shift. The switch from cooling to warming occurred in the Pacific climate regime, not in your imaginary forcing ratio. Again with your favourite fudge factor, the aersols. They do whatever you need them to do, don’t they? So they just happened to be gone exactly at the point when the Pacific decided to turn and thereby fooled everyone into thinking that the oceans maybe have something to say in governing our global climate. When it was really all to our credit.

        “And with that, I’ve spent too much time talking to someone who isn’t listening. Adieu.”

        Priceless!!

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  29. MNoakes says:

    Unfortunately Mr.Moores opinion on climate change was misguided at best, purposeful misinformation and industry jargone at worst. He conveniently forgot a key set of data points in his 600 million year scientifically accurate graph of CO2 and tempurature change. Failing to include additional critically relavent and scientifically accurate data showing the speed of current climatic tempurature change parallels catastrophic climate changing events over the past 600 million years and critically relavent data showing direct correllation between the CO2 and temperature spikes being perfectly synchronized with global mass extinctions over the past 600 million years seems to be currious omissions to the topic… don’t you think? Not to mention, the rise of modern species ocurring over the past 6 million years (during the most recent onset and ongoing ice age) For such a distiguished expert to omit such key and relavent data in his mission to prove his point does leave one wondering if an underlying agenda may be at work.