A Stove Top Analogy to Climate Models

September 13th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Have you ever wondered, “How can we predict global average temperature change when we don’t even know what the global average temperature is?”

Or maybe, “How can climate models produce any meaningful forecasts when they have such large errors in their component energy fluxes?” (This is the issue I’ve been debating with Dr. Pat Frank after publication of his Propagation of Error and the Reliability of Global Air Temperature Projections. )

I like using simple analogies to demonstrate basic concepts

Pots of Water on the Stove

A pot of water warming on a gas stove is useful for demonstrating basic concepts of energy gain and energy loss, which together determine temperature of the water in the pot.

If we view the pot of water as a simple analogy to the climate system, with a stove flame (solar input) heating the pots, we can see that two identical pots can have the same temperature, but with different rate of energy gain and loss, if (for example) we place a lid on one of the pots.

A lid reduces the warming water’s ability to cool, so the water temperature goes up (for the same rate of energy input) compared to if no lid was present. As a result, a lower flame is necessary to maintain the same water temperature as the pot without a lid. The lid is analogous to Earth’s greenhouse effect, which reduces the ability of the Earth’s surface to cool to outer space.

The two pots in the above cartoon are analogous to two climate models having different energy fluxes with known (and unknown) errors in them. The models can be adjusted so the various energy fluxes balance in the long term (over centuries) but still maintain a constant global average surface air temperature somewhere close to that observed. (The model behavior is also compared to many observed ocean and atmospheric variables. Surface air temperature is only one.)

Next, imagine that we had twenty pots with various amounts of coverage of the pots by the lids: from no coverage to complete coverage. This would be analogous to 20 climate models having various amounts of greenhouse effect (which depends mostly on high clouds [Frank’s longwave cloud forcing in his paper] and water vapor distributions). We can adjust the flame intensity until all pots read 150 deg. F. This is analogous to adjusting (say) low cloud amounts in the climate models, since low clouds have a strong cooling effect on the climate system by limiting solar heating of the surface.

Numerically Modeling the Pot of Water on the Stove

Now, let’s say we we build a time-dependent computer model of the stove-pot-lid system. It has equations for the energy input from the flame, and loss of energy from conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation.

Clearly, we cannot model each component of the energy fluxes exactly, because (1) we can’t even measure them exactly, and (2) even if we could measure them exactly, we cannot exactly model the relevant physical processes. Modeling of real-world systems always involves approximations. We don’t know exactly how much energy is being transferred from the flame to the pot. We don’t know exactly how fast the pot is losing energy to its surroundings from conduction, radiation, and evaporation of water.

But we do know that if we can get a constant water temperature, that those rates of energy gain and energy loss are equal, even though we don’t know their values.

Thus, we can either make ad-hoc bias adjustments to the various energy fluxes to get as close to the desired water temperature as we want (this is what climate models used to do many years ago); or, we can make more physically-based adjustments because every computation of physical processes that affect energy transfer has uncertainties, say, a coefficient of turbulent heat loss to the air from the pot. This is what model climate models do today for adjustments.

If we then take the resulting “pot model” (ha-ha) that produces a water temperature of 150 deg. F as it is integrated over time, with all of its uncertain physical approximations or ad-hoc energy flux corrections, and run it with a little more coverage of the pot by the lid, we know the modeled water temperature will increase. That part of the physics is still in the model.

Example Pot Model (Getty images).

This is why climate models can have uncertain energy fluxes, with substantial known (or even unknown) errors in their energy flux components, and still be run with increasing CO2 to produce warming, even though that CO2 effect might be small compared to the errors. The errors have been adjusted so they sum to zero in the long-term average.

This directly contradicts the succinctly-stated main conclusion of Frank’s paper:

“LWCF [longwave cloud forcing] calibration error is +/- 144 x larger than the annual average increase in GHG forcing. This fact alone makes any possible global effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions invisible to present climate models.”

I’m not saying this is ideal, or even a defense of climate model projections. Climate models should ideally produce results entirely based upon physical first principles. For the same forcing scenario (e.g. a doubling of atmospheric CO2) twenty different models should all produce about the same amount of future surface warming. They don’t.

Instead, after 30 years and billions of dollars of research they still produce from 1.5 to 4.5 deg. C of warming in response to doubling of atmospheric CO2.

The Big Question

The big question is, “How much will the climate system warm in response to increasing CO2?” The answer depends not so much upon uncertainties in the component energy fluxes in the climate system, as Frank claims, but upon how those energy fluxes change as the temperature changes.

And that’s what determines “climate sensitivity”.

This is why people like myself and Lindzen emphasize so-called “feedbacks” (which determine climate sensitivity) as the main source of uncertainty in global warming projections.


311 Responses to “A Stove Top Analogy to Climate Models”

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  1. Patrick says:

    Why can’t they determine the simple temperature difference between 300 and 400 ppmv with normal air? It seems like a worth while display to start the process of elimination. I’ve never seen the simple calculation.

    Thanks!

    • Roy W. Spencer says:

      What do you mean by “normal air” and “simple calculation”? Can you be more specific?

      • Patrick says:

        Like if we simply quarantined 10,000 parts of air and simply connected 1 carbon atom to 2 of the oxygen atoms already present and measured the results.

      • Patrick says:

        My point is that we have people in Congress who don’t have a clue about climate dynamics, but they seem to continue to get away with injecting fear. Simple calculations for a layman can go a long way towards credibility. The “Climate Apocalypse” is upon us. Showing simple calculations and giving understanding(s) as to why we are by no means even close to an “existential” threat, can go a long way in helping people gain faith towards scientific conservatism. I understand you have your Global Warming 101 page, but I’m thinking we can move the ball forward better using simple displays like you have done with your “2 kettles” analogy.

      • barry says:

        Patrick, the height of the atmosphere plays a very important part in the end result. ‘Optical depth’ is the distance from surface to space that infrared radiation must travel, being absorbed and re-emitted by atmospheric gases.

        Other than building chambers many kilometers in height to ‘quarantine’ parts of air with different amounts of CO2, how would you propose the optical depth of the atmosphere be mimicked.

        Should we/could we replicate convection in these quarantine chambers?

        • Patrick says:

          Barry, I thought about that after I wrote it and propose a location 6 feet above ground at several evenly-spaced across the 0 degrees latitude from magnetic (or geographic) north pole to south pole starting at the equator and every 10 degrees longitude. I am simply trying to simplify the “CO2 Effect” on atmospheric temperature starting with a basic temperature structure based upon evenly spaced 100 ppmv increases and the limitations of that temperature increase to suddenly explode into some sort of catastrophic climate change scenario like those that have been proposed by “legislative scientists” (tic) without getting too deep into the climate dynamics.

          All things remaining constant, what “should” the temperature be at 100 ppmv, 200 ppmv, 300 ppmv, 400 ppmv, 500 ppmv, ….. ?

          Thanks!

        • barry says:

          At 6 feet above the ground your optical depth is 10,000 shallower than the troposphere. CO2 in the atmosphere continues to be present through the stratosphere, and even in the mesosphere.

          The rate at which radiation escapes to space, and therefore the surface temperature, is strongly affected by this optical depth.

          What is the formula by which you will transform the effects at 6 feet above the ground, to a column of atmosphere some miles high?

          If you only want to test that more CO2 = more warmth, you don’t need much altitude at all.

          But if you want to get a handle on how much temperature change comes from a change in CO2 concentration for the whole atmosphere, you can’t do it the way you are suggesting.

    • bdgwx says:

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean either. Simple-the climate is not.

      The closest we have come to a simple formula for the surface temperature response to CO2 is that which Arrhenius helped develop in the late 1800’s. It is dF = S*ln(Cn/Ci) where dF is the change in radiative forcing, s is the sensitivity parameter, Cn is the new concentration and Ci is the initial concentration. Using radiative transfer models (like MODTRAN) it is estimated that S is 5.35 W/m^2. You then need to map that to a temperature using a climate sensitivity multiplier in units of C per W/m^2. It is believed the climate sensitivity is dynamic, but likely between 0.5-2.0 C per W/m^2 for the current era.

      Using Arrhenius’ 2xCO2 estimate of 4C from his 1908 book Worlds in the Making and using S=5.35 we can see that Arrhenius’ early estimate results in a climate sensitivity estimate of about 1C per W/m^2.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        The Svante Arrhenius theory is breathtaking in its simplicity but it is demonstrably false.

        • Roy W. Spencer says:

          I consider it pretty complex, but true, which is just the opposite of what you said.

          • gallopingcamel says:

            You, Scott Denning, Richard Alley, Albert Klein Tank, Judith Curry, Nicola Scafetta, John Christy and Richard Lindzen are high on my list of “Climate Scientists” who can be trusted.

            You are real scientists swayed by facts, evidence and reason as opposed to beliefs and feelings. Also, you all have an extraordinary ability to make complex issues understandable to the general public.

            Sometimes I disagree with one of you and then a debate may ensue. For example I disagreed with Scott Denning when he showed that the GHE (Greenhouse Effect) was 33 degrees Centigrade. It took 18 months of email correspondence before we resolved our differences.

            It was a tactical mistake for me to attack a Swedish chemist who has been dead for 100 years and who would likely be on our side if he was alive today. Instead of attacking someone who can’t defend himself I will set out to convince you that the theory implicit in the IPCC’s AR5 SPM, section D.2 is false.

            My understanding of the IPCC’s SPM is:
            1. [CO2] has a causal relationship with the average global temperature.
            2. The relationship is characterized by a “Sensitivity Constant” in the range of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Centigrade per doubling of [CO2].

            In my experience this kind of discussion is best conducted “off line” but I am willing to do it in public if you wish.

            I have two arguments, one based on logic and the other based on mathematics/physics.

            I will send my initial arguments to you in the form of email attachments. Please check your spam folder in the next 24 hours.

        • bdgwx says:

          The equation is certainly simple, but estimating the sensitivity parameter and equilibrium climate response is complex stuff. Even the late 1800’s when Arrhenius was working on the problem he had to consider snow/ice cover, clouds, latitudinal difference, land vs ocean difference, etc. all the while doing so with lunar radiation data from Langley. So even though the end result may have been a simple estimation equation the amount of work required to get there is astonishing especially considering this all happened in the 1800’s.

    • bill hunter says:

      not liking the analogy at all. The atmosphere has no lid on it. Dr RW Wood established no radiation-based greenhouse effect in a greenhouse. You will get one in a pot of boiling water simply because water is more efficient at cooling than a dry surface and the Latent heat carries off tremendous amounts of heat that are locked in the pan with a lid.

      • Svante says:

        Yes, Dr. RW Wood indeed, plus Gerlich & Tscheuschner who showed that Earth is not precisely like a greenhouse.

        http://www.ing-buero-ebel.de/Treib/Hauptseite.pdf

      • Roy W. Spencer says:

        Bill, you seemed to have totally missed my point. You’ve missed the forest for the trees. I could have used a car engine, or the human body… just about anything that has energy input and output to make my point.

        • bill hunter says:

          Roy,
          It you put a lid on a pot of boiling water you increase the atmospheric pressure in the pot and thus the temperature, if you really want to get serious about it you will bring out the pressure cooker where you can lock the lid down

          So basically your analogy suggests that indeed you can induce warming in the atmosphere by equating greenhouse gases to a lid and viola you have instantaneous understanding that if you imagine a lid or lids in the atmosphere you will have a very strong imaginary argument for warming in the atmosphere.

          Unfortunately the addition of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere does not, like the lid, increase the pressure of the atmosphere.

          So maybe there is a better analogy like an engine or human body to explain the phenomena of greenhouse gases that doesn’t rely on an entirely different physical mechanism. I just haven’t heard it.

          I recognize that greenhouse gases warm the radiating surface of the planet but am well aware that just how they do that has been very poorly described. And so I can get as far as saying greenhouse gases are a necessity for the greenhouse effect we know. However, I can’t say that greenhouse gases are both necessary and sufficient.

          lids, or a multi-paned window, which doesn’t rely on a pressure change are all fun analogies but none of that exists in the atmosphere.

          Indeed if the atmosphere worked like insulated window with 10 panes of glass/layers/lids that would work. In fact that seems to be the model being deployed. A multi-paned window works because it divides the atmosphere up into separate atmospheres denying diffusion of molecules between the separate atmospheres.

          But the atmosphere isn’t like that. In Lindzen’s Iris effect molecules are literally flying round in the atmosphere and its really not possible to predict the effect.

          • Bindidon says:

            bill hunter

            Again: that was not Roy Spencer’s point.

            The answer depends not so much upon uncertainties in the component energy fluxes in the climate system, as Frank claims, but upon how those energy fluxes change as the temperature changes.

          • bill hunter says:

            Bindidon says:

            bill hunter

            Again: that was not Roy Spencer’s point.

            “The answer depends not so much upon uncertainties in the component energy fluxes in the climate system, as Frank claims, but upon how those energy fluxes change as the temperature changes.
            ====================

            Point take Bindidon. My apologies to Roy for not reading the entire piece. The situation is actually much worse than described by Frank. Got be careful of those boiling pot analogies. . . .AOC might experience even more sleepness nights thinking she is going to dunked into boiling water and lid dropped down on top.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          Roy…”Bill, you seemed to have totally missed my point”.

          I am writing this more with humour than anything.

          You stated that the greenhouse effect acts like the lid on the pot. I don’t see how anyone could miss your point with respect to Bill Hunter’s reply.

          I got it as well that you are addressing Mr. Frank’s article. However, in two articles in which you have replied to Mr. Frank’s article you have clobbered those of us who disagree with you over the head by slipping in points that have nothing to do with your article.

          I see the humour in it but you are inviting rebuttals in kind. Perhaps, like me, you like to stick in the needle whenever you can. As owner of the blog you can bar us for reacting but please don’t expect Scotsmen like me to sit on my hands while you make such claims about physics.

          You insisted in a recent article that temperature is nothing more than energy in versus energy out. Temperature is, in fact, a relative measure of heat, and the degree C of the Celsius scale is defined based on the range of relative heat between the freezing point of water and the boiling point of water.

          One degree C, a measure of temperature, is a measure of 1/100th of the heat increase between the FP of water and its BP.

          Both temperature and heat are defined as the kinetic energy of atoms. Heat is the KE of atoms in reality and temperature is a human invention to measure it.

          Then you just had to take a shot about the GHE. I think you should bar yourself. ☺ ☺

  2. Eben says:

    Here is your half way between the data points fix ,
    a very good documentary on climate satellites and their observations, remarkably free of propaganda except a little bit at the end

    https://youtu.be/zbIy0bzPS-c

  3. curious skeptic says:

    what if the lid was no lid at all?
    The doomsayers view the climate system as a ball on the top of a triangle. Push the ball and it is over. I like to believe the climate system is like a ball in a bowl. Push the ball (volcanoes, solar fluctuations, GHG fluctuations etc) and the ball returns. Which of these two systems would likely have persisted the last few million years? If anything, based on our climate history, the bowl is tilted to the cold side.

    • Roy W. Spencer says:

      Even Venus is like a ball in a bowl. It isn’t still warming. It has a stable temperature based upon the rates of energy gain and energy loss. It just gets so hot at the surface because the rate of energy loss is so slow near the surface.

      Same reason the sun gets so hot, even though its rate of energy release from nuclear fusion is weaker, per kilogram of mass, than the heat release by metabolism in the human body.

      • Mike Flynn says:

        Dr Spencer,

        You wrote –

        ” . . . rate of energy loss is so slow . . . “.

        With respect, energy loss results in lower temperature, otherwise temperatures would never drop.

        Cooling, however slow, is still cooling. Your reference to the Sun might be a little misleading. The Sun generates heat internally though nuclear processes. The internal radiogenic heat sources of Venus are largely depleted, and the planet as a whole is cooling.

        As to Venus –

        “A typical rate of cooling is 70K Gyr -1.” – from Mantle Convection in the Earth and Planets.

        So, cooling. Slow, but cooling nevertheless. The Venusian atmosphere is not a perfect insulator, and cannot therefore prevent the surface heat loss proceeding to the cold sink of space.

        I know I’m picky. Hopefully the designers, builders, pilots and mechanics of things like aircraft on which I fly, are just as picky.

        Cheers.

        • Roy W. Spencer says:

          Mike, surely you are smarter than this.

          When you put a pot of water on the stove top and turn the burner on, as soon as the pot of water becomes warmer than its surrounding, it starts to lose energy (“cool”) to the surroundings, even though the water continues to increase in temperature.

          You do understand that, correct?

          • Michael Flynn says:

            Dr Spencer,

            I am as smart as I am – no more no less. Your attempt to dismiss my comment is unworthy of you.

            Try a 200 l drum of water heated by a candle with a flame temperature of 1000 C. If you demand 800 W input, use a pot so big that the water does not increase in temperature. Make the surroundings the same temperature as the burner . . .

            Unstated assumptions just open you to accusations of evasion, and appealing to your own authority. I prefer facts, but there you are!

            I assume you have banned me.

            Oh well.

            Cheers.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Roy…”It just gets so hot at the surface because the rate of energy loss is so slow near the surface”.

        It’s 450+ C at the surface. Here’s an abstract from astronomer Andrew Ingersoll re that temperature…

        https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/JA085iA13p08219?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

        “Pioneer Venus observations of temperatures and radiative fluxes are examined in an attempt to understand the thermal balance of the lower atmosphere. If all observations are correct and the probe sites are typical of the planet, the second law of thermodynamics requires that the bulk of the lower atmosphere heating must come from a source other than direct sunlight or a thermally driven atmospheric circulation. Neither the so‐called greenhouse models nor the mechanical heating models are consistent with this interpretation of the observations”.

  4. JRF in Pensacola says:

    I’ve tried to keep up with the comments here and on WUWT regarding Pat Frank’s paper but there are so many, so I may have missed explanations about the following. I like the concept of “uncertainty” regarding prediction because statistical analyses in the models imply (I think) a more perfect understanding of the underlying science than what is actually known, particularly in a highly chaotic, complex system.

    So, my question regards “The Pause”. The Pause was not predicted in any (is that correct?) of the models (the 20 pots) and I wonder is The Pause an example of Uncertainty raising its head as opposed to just statistical anomaly?

    Have the models been “tuned” (error adjusted) for The Pause and does that error/adjustment propagate?

    My apologies if these are ignorant questions.

    • Roy W. Spencer says:

      The pause was most likely the result of a temporary and natural internally-generated global energy imbalance, maybe due to an increase in clouds, or an increase in vertical overturning of the ocean. The imbalance would only have to be 1 part in 200-300 of the average energy flows in and out of the system. That’s tiny.

      You cannot address the uncertainty in climate model projections without understanding what is in the current blog post. It is a waste of time, and people will be misled by others’ claims and assumptions, whether stated or unstated. What I have described above is as simple as I can make it, and it is the basis of climate change theory.

      If people cannot or will not understand the basics, they should probably just ignore all of the experts.

      • JRF in Pensacola says:

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is appreciated. I do follow your site and WUWT almost daily, but rarely comment, as I don’t want to get over my biology/chemistry skis. Everyone may not always agree with you but you have a calm. reassuring manner that garners respect!

        • Real science does not require hand waving, hysterical predictions of future doom, character attacks on those who disagree, and refusals to share data / debate.

          That’s what junk science looks like.

          A few scientists in the 1970s got a lot of media attention by predicting a coming ice age.

          Most scientists at the time expected global warming, but some of them realized the way to get a lot of attention, and study grants = wild guess predictions of a coming climate crisis.

          That was almost 35 years ago, and the climate scaremongering is still ramping up.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Roy…”The pause was most likely the result of a temporary and natural internally-generated global energy imbalance, maybe due to an increase in clouds, or an increase in vertical overturning of the ocean”.

        I could understand that over a few years, but the flat trend lasted for 18 years, based on the 15 year IPCC claim and three more from your own graph.

    • bdgwx says:

      Correct. The timing and magnitude of the pause was not generally predicted.

      A large source of error in models is believed to be with the forcing inputs. In the case of “the pause” it is believed that aerosols were underestimated due to increased volcanism and pollution. CFC reductions have been implicated as well. When the CMIP5 suite of models is ran with adjusted forcings the output is a better match to observations.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        bdgwx, please stop trolling.

        • Svante says:

          I agree, the pause was just a blip, more like weather than climate.

          Still, captured pretty well by this model + ENSO (blue):
          https://tinyurl.com/y2t4qc9j

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            Svante, please stop trolling.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            svante…”the pause was just a blip, more like weather than climate”.

            An 18 year blip. And ‘pause’ is a suggestion by alarmists that it is temporary. The flat trend was broken by a very strong El Nino and we are waiting to see where the negative trend following it will end.

          • Svante says:

            That’s right Gordon, an 18 year blip, and now it’s broken.

            You will have more pauses in the future, as long as you remember to start counting at a strong El Niño.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        Regarding “the pause”:

        There is a 25-year trend in the current UAH data that is not statistically significant:

        https://skepticalscience.com/trend.php

        Put in 1994 to 2019 in UAH 6.0 and the trend is 0.102 C/decade +/- 0.116.

        If you put in 1995 to 2019, or 1996, or 1997, and so on and so forth, all the trends are not statistically significant.

        I am wondering if, over the next five years or so, there is the possibility of a 30-year trend that is not statistically significant arising…

        Surely that would be…significant?

        • barry says:

          When a trend is not statistically significant, that does not mean that there is no trend.

          Failing to disprove the null does not prove it. Statistical significance has a strictly limited function.

          To answer your question(?), it would be curious, but not conclusive. More study at that time might yield a firmer answer A non-significant trend line alone would not be enough.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            barry…”When a trend is not statistically significant, that does not mean that there is no trend”.

            The IPCC error bars made it clear the flat trend may have been a cooling trend. Their upper error margin is ludicrous, however. It would have meant a 0.2C/decade trend, which is not in keeping with their description of the flat trend as a warming hiatus.

            0.2C/decade would not be a warming hiatus. I think the IPCC fiddled the error margin to save face.

          • barry says:

            We are talking about the trend 1994 to 2019.

            The upper margin is the same as the lower margin – it is the same +/- from the mean trend, which is 0.05 C/decade.

            The term ‘hiatus’ appears in the IPCC document as a popular bit of jargon, which is why it gets quotes over it in the technical summary.

            “The observed GMST has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years (Box TS.3, Figure 1a, c). Depending on the observational data set, the GMST trend over 1998–2012 is estimated to be around one third to one half of the trend over 1951–2012. For example, in Had.CRUT4 the trend is 0.04°C per decade over 1998–2012, compared to 0.11°C per decade over 1951–2012. The reduction in observed GMST trend is most marked in NH winter. Even with this ‘hiatus’ in GMST trend, the decade of the 2000s has been the warmest in the instrumental record of GMST.”

            Ignoring statistical uncertainty, the mean trend is still positive for the period, according to the IPCC [see above, from the technical summary].

            But what is being explored just above is what statistical uncertainty means.

        • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

          “To answer your question(?), it would be curious, but not conclusive.”

          Not conclusive of what?

          • barry says:

            Whether there is a trend or not.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            Well, there would “conclusively” not be a statistically significant trend for 30 years, just as currently there is “conclusively” not a statistically significant trend for 25 years. Usually the argument is made, when pointing out a a lack of statistical significance, that with a noisy dataset you need to have a long enough period of time over which to detect a trend – that the problem is the noise, not the signal. Sometimes people will even suggest 30 years, because of its additional relevance to climate. This is usually when discussing trends over time periods of 20 years or less. You would hope that these people would be happier with a 25 year or 30 year trend, but maybe there are some who are just impossible to please.

            Another problem pointed out when discussing “the hiatus”, is the choice of starting the trend at 1998, the bumper El Nino year. So, a trend starting at 1994 or earlier nullifies that objection too.

            Also, as the uncertainty would be less than +/-0.116, with a 30 year trend (given that it is 0.116 for a 25 year trend), in order for a 30-year trend to still lack statistical significance would require some cooling between now and five years time. The trend itself would have to be lower. In fact, it would conclusively show that there had been cooling over those years.

            If there were such a 30-year trend to arise before five years time has passed, it would also conclusively show that cooling had occurred.

          • barry says:

            “Well, there would ‘conclusively’ not be a statistically significant trend for 30 years, just as currently there is ‘conclusively’ not a statistically significant trend for 25 years.”

            To be precise:

            For the imagined 30-year period there would be no proof of any trend or lack of one.

            Saying that there is ‘not a statistically significant trend’ says almost nothing. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a statistically non significant trend is the same as no trend.

            I’m sure you would not wish to promulgate that basic error.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            “For the imagined 30-year period there would be no proof of any trend or lack of one.”

            …and no proof of any trend over a 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 or 30-year period ought to give some pause for thought. We already have that for all those years up to 25…

          • barry says:

            “and no proof of any trend…”

            Nor proof of a lack of trend.

            The classic climate period is 30 years. There is a statistically significant positive trend in global temperature in all indices that measure it for at least the last 27 years.

            For the UAH6.0 data, the lowest trend of them all, we can say only that there is a statistically significant positive trend at the 95% confidence interval since 1993. After that, the mean trend to present remains positive until 2015 but fails statistical significance.

            Except for the trend running from 1999 to present. That is statistically significant and positive.

            So that’s the statistical uncertainty of global temperature indices. A wider perspective using more indices would determine that global warming has been underway for several decades, and seems to be continuing.

          • barry says:

            “Another problem pointed out when discussing ‘the hiatus’, is the choice of starting the trend at 1998, the bumper El Nino year. So, a trend starting at 1994 or earlier nullifies that objection too.”

            The statistical non-significance of the trend from 1998 meant that you couldn’t say there was a hiatus.

            The skeptic position on this while the ‘hiatus’ lasted, was purely about the mean trend. Any mention of statistical significance was ignored. WUWT and other ‘skeptic’ websites claimed a hiatus, usually referring to Monckton’s graph of the RSS satellite trend, which up until 2016 showed a flat or slightly declining trend line.

            When that mean trend line started to turn upwards, Monckton and others who had been counting the months the ‘pause’ had extended, began to predict its end. The metric was always the mean trend. Statistical significance had nothing to do with it.

            When the ‘pause’, as skeptics had been determining it, ended, there was a sudden interest in some quarters about statistical significance. Eager to keep the ‘pause’ rolling, some adopted the new phrasing – “no statistically significant trend.”

            But no statistically significant trend is not the same as “no trend.” There could well be a real, physically-based upwards trend, but the statistical uncertainty, which is strongly dependent on variability, might be greater than the trend.

            Statistical significance has a very limited function. However much some might hope that a non statistically significant trend means that there isn’t one, that just isn’t the case.

            The problem has always been that ‘skeptics’ have confused the meaning of these statistical applications and tests in order to get snappy soundbytes. Which is why plenty of ‘skeptics’ still think no statistical significance = no change.

            There is an actual statistically significant ‘pause’ in the global temp record – between about 1940 and 1970. The uncertainty interval for that period do not overlap with those for the long-term trend estimates before and after.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            “Except for the trend running from 1999 to present. That is statistically significant and positive.”

            No, it is not statistically significant according to the trend calculator I linked to (Skeptical Science). It is:

            0.137 C/decade +/- 0.147

            All possible recent trends up to a length of 25-years are not statistically significant, in the UAH 6.0 data, according to that trend calculator.

            Your recollection of events regarding discussion of trends is different to mine. Yes I recall the period of time where Monckton wrote his regular updates on RSS discussing a flat trend line of 15 years etc. But prior to that, during that, and afterwards there has always been a discussion of trends that were not statistically significant. And, as I said earlier:

            “Usually the argument is made, when pointing out a a lack of statistical significance, that with a noisy dataset you need to have a long enough period of time over which to detect a trend – that the problem is the noise, not the signal. Sometimes people will even suggest 30 years, because of its additional relevance to climate. This is usually when discussing trends over time periods of 20 years or less. You would hope that these people would be happier with a 25 year or 30 year trend, but maybe there are some who are just impossible to please.”

            Please explain how the 1940 to 1970 pause is statistically significant.

  5. ren says:

    Sudden stratospheric warming in the south will lead to a drop in global temperature. La Nina is on her way.
    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/clisys/STRAT/gif/pole10_sh.gif

    • Roy W. Spencer says:

      Ren, Please stop making off-topic comments.

      • Bindidon says:

        Dear Mr Spencer,

        I perfectly understand your reaction.

        I’m afraid you won’t stop ren until you decide to get him off the blog.

        But that would be a really harsh, unjust decision when you compare his OT comments with the incredible amount of trash produced by some other commenters I certainly don’t need to name.

        And to be quite clear, this permanent, redundant nonsense a la ‘Bindidon, please stop trolling’ is really the most harmless of all.

        Best regards from near Berlin
        J.-P. D.

        • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

          More pompous blah-blah from this website’s most ignorant and pretentious boaster. Never and never would you dare to try such insulting nonsense over at WUWT and Climate Etc. You would be banned from commenting within a day…

          …that’s about all that you normally say, isn’t it?

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Roy…”Ren, Please stop making off-topic comments”.

        Please confirm that someone has not hijacked your name. Does not sound like you.

        • barry says:

          Roy has never said his blog was a free-for-all, but he has been seen to prefer on-topic conversation. He has banned people for repeatedly posting their hobby-horses, and that is consistent with warning ren, who rarely posts on topic, and keeps posting his/her favourite hobby horses.

          I would be glad of a more disciplined discussion here.

          • Bindidon says:

            barry

            100 % agreed.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            Yes, it’s a good job neither of you guys post you own favorite hobby horses.

          • barry says:

            Are you being sarcastic?

            Pray, tell me what my favourite hobby horse is. I’m keen to learn.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            Let’s see:

            “Trends”
            Over-analysis of climate data
            Defending NOAA
            Tarring all skeptics (or ‘skeptics’ as you usually put it) with the same brush

            Just a few off the top of my head.

          • barry says:

            “Trends”

            I talk about that when the latest anomaly comes out, based on previous and ongoing ‘skeptic’ interest in a return of the ‘pause’. Salvatore was usually the instigator; mpainter, too when he was here. And other ‘skeptics’ hoping for that flat line to come back. It’s not off-topic – it’s an ongoing topic.

            I also respond to that topic if others bring it up.

            “Over-analysis of climate data”

            Disagree. I’m currently having a discussion about being careful NOT to over-analyse climate data.

            “Defending NOAA”

            I never introduce that topic. Bashing NOAA is Gordon’s hobby-horse.

            “Tarring all skeptics (or ‘skeptics’ as you usually put it) with the same brush”

            I’m inclined to agree with that one.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            So you have your own favorite hobby-horse.

    • Scott R says:

      Agreed ren. Today the downtrend was confirmed once again with the Nino 3.4 and 1+2 hitting fresh lows at the same time. The global ocean lags and only reflects ENSO thru July 26th or so I think. The big aug drop for the 3.4 region is coming up shortly for the globe.

      ren do you think that the AMO is a 5th harmonic for the GSM? If so, the amplitude of the change on the NA from the GSM will be absolutely huge, which could kill the gulf stream and do serious damage to agriculture in Europe in short time.

      Sorry Dr Spencer about it being off-topic.

  6. Tim Folkerts says:

    Arthur C Clarke famously created 3 tongue-in-cheek “Laws”. Clarke’s 3rd Law is the best known:

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Less famous is his 1st Law:

    When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    In this case, our favorite ‘distinguished but elderly’ scientist, Dr Spencer, is claiming that it is possible for models to make reasonably accurate projections even with significant uncertainties in some of the inputs, and that small changes in CO2 forcing do not get lost in the noise. The fact that models do not go wildly out of control in a few years suggests that such a claim is correct.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      Dim Folk-wit, please stop trolling.

    • Chic Bowdrie says:

      Tim,

      Your logic seems false to me. While “it is possible for models to make reasonably accurate projections even with significant uncertainties in some of the inputs” (by coincidence perhaps), there is no definitive evidence that CO2 has any significant effect on global temperature. Take away the CO2 forcing and tune the models again. Couldn’t they do better than now?

      • bdgwx says:

        When CO2 forcing is removed from models the fit to observations gets worse.

        • Chic Bowdrie says:

          Are you basing your assertion on personal experience or first hand knowledge of what was done? Even so, can you guarantee that what was done eliminated all possible parameter contributions? Furthermore if all were included, isn’t it possible that the model is still flawed and the best fit does not necessarily reflect reality? It seems the models are far enough off to suggest somethings wrong.

          • bdgwx says:

            Absolutely. Models that include all climate forcing agents still have flaws and are wrong in the sense that they still do not match reality perfectly. And no matter how much progress is made they will always have flaws and suffer from some degree of wrongness. And although the wrongness can never be completely eliminated it can be reduced as new information and better understanding is incorporated in the model.

          • bill hunter says:

            “Even so, can you guarantee that what was done eliminated all possible parameter contributions?”

            Exactly. . . .what beyond simply forcing assumptions do we have. We have error in initial conditions, failure to determine if all relevant physics has been employed, failure to determine that all physics employed is both necessary and sufficient. (like installing a moon rotation specification on the axis of the moon and only discovering a problem when trying to install a moon orbit rotation specification on the center of gravity of the earth moon).

            Like we see coming out science where tree rings are determined as a absolute proxy for temperature (except of course when it goes the wrong way then you hide it).

          • bill hunter says:

            bdgwx says: And no matter how much progress is made they will always have flaws and suffer from some degree of wrongness. And although the wrongness can never be completely eliminated it can be reduced as new information and better understanding is incorporated in the model.
            ====================
            Yea I recall a scientists that said something stupid like that a long time ago in an entirely different area. Its mostly related to the flipside of Tim Folkerts comment:

            When a young, inexperienced, and stupid scientist states that something is possible, he is likely wrong.

            When he states that something is impossible, he also very probably wrong.

            The advantage and disadvantage of the young scientist is he not deterred from believing wild ideas. Occasionally one finds an acorn but the landscape is littered with failed ideas.

            Good story on this on Denier J Harlen Bretz over on WUWT https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/14/washington-winery-releases-wine-called-the-denier/

            This is a story of a young geologist who for 70 years bucked the establishment, finally receiving recognition for his work.

            Of course he was a young scientist, and not an inexperienced one or a stupid one. He did his homework in the field to create his theory and gained so much experience from the field work he was convinced he was right. Turns out he was.

            So indeed experience helps, always has, always will.

  7. Dr. Max Dupilka says:

    Dr. Spencer, I have tried to follow most of the discussions here and on WUWT, and I read through Dr Frank’s paper. I was confused by his reasoning. You have provided very clear and concise explanations which I appreciate. Your pot analogy helps me understand the situation much better. I am not a novice in the field as I have a PhD in atmospheric science and do modeling work and research in boundary layer turbulence.
    One question. I believe you have mentioned that the climate models assume climate equilibrium when all the various adjustments/tweaking is done to achieve energy balance. If the climate, like the pot, was not in equilibrium this could have a significant effect on the end results could it not?

    Thanks again for all of you explanations. I have come to understand the basics of climate models much better.

  8. Eben says:

    I do not believe the ” Stove Top Analogy” is valid at all
    At any one time Only a smaller part of the earth surface is receiving the excess energy while the rest is getting rid of it
    The heat is distributed from hotter regions to cooler ones by air and water circulations.
    The CO2 can absorb infrared radiation from the surface if the surface is warmer but CO2 being an IR absorber is just as good IR emitter , meaning if the ground below is cooler below the CO2 speeds up cooling of the air above.
    No blanket or cover works this way so The analogy of cover over the pot on the stove is wrong.
    Or any other claim of CO2 being a form of a blanket

    • Bindidon says:

      Eben

      What are you telling us here?

      “The CO2 can absorb infrared radiation from the surface if the surface is warmer…”

      Why should an IR absorbing substance be cooler than the emitting substance? You confound radiation with heat, which exclusively moves from warm to cold. Photons are not interested in whether the substances they reach are warmer or colder than those emitting them.

      Moreover, why are you talking about CO2 only? The biggest IR absorber near the surface is H2O. CO2’s absorp-tion role takes place far higher, at altitudes where H2O no longer stays in the atmosphere because it is a condensing gas.

      CO2 is a non-condensing gas, is evenly distributed, and exists at altitudes up to 50 km.

      The more CO2 you put into the atmosphere, the more IR will be intercepted and reemitted by this gas in all directions, instead of immediately reaching outer space.

      The higher the altitude at which the absorp-tion & reemission process takes place, the lower the temperature of the intercepting gas, and the lower the energy reaching outer space.

      This is a tiny amount of imbalance compared with all the IR passing unstopped thru the atmospheric window (8-12 micron), where no IR interception takes place.

      But those who REALLY pay attention to the increasing CO2 concentration usually have less the current situation in mind than that we might expect in 50 to 100 years.

      • bill hunter says:

        Bindidon says: Why should an IR absorbing substance be cooler than the emitting substance? You confound radiation with heat, which exclusively moves from warm to cold. Photons are not interested in whether the substances they reach are warmer or colder than those emitting them.
        =========================

        I always cringe when somebody brings this point up. Its nothing but a distraction. “Net radiation” would be the most appropriate interpretation of “radiation” because it does not matter one way or the other if photons emit in all directions or simply flow in a “netted” manner from warm objects to cold objects. You come up with exactly the same outcome.

        But bringing up the bidirectional flow there is always the implication of heat being added to warm object by that flow which of course completely false if you don’t account for the fact the “net” properly accounts for everything. By drawing all these unnecessary vectors in the sky it acts as nothing more than blatant effort to “bedazzle” the observer in believing what he is going to support next as being an incontrovertible fact.

        So from Roy’s earlier description of a forcing: “an imbalance between energy gain and energy loss by the system.
        This is basic 1st Law of Thermodynamics stuff.”

        That properly describes the role of greenhouse gases as a unique forcing agent. But lets not get ahead of ourselves and do something silly like declare that to be the equivalent of a “surface forcing”. The forcing that has incurred is a momentary imbalance between incoming energy and outgoing energy of the system that will need to be resolved. One can only legitimately come close to a concept of primary forcing on the surface in a single layer radiation model. But there is no single layer of absor*tion in any atmosphere. A single layer model is like a solid.

        Multiple layer models need to find some other way in describing the forcing. Of course many in climate science sort of blindly trudges down some kind of ultra simplicity path of lining up chains of molecules that sort of precisely line up all their individual forcings into trillions of big choo choo trains headed back to the surface with all feedbacks verboten by the guards escorting the trains until arriving back at surface.

        Of course all that is nonsense. Warming the system is but one result to consider. I mean what do gas molecules do with they absorb radiation? Increasing their kinetic energy is one possible result, another one might be an expansion of the atmosphere that counteracts that increase molecule kinetic energy.

        And of course the expansion of an atmosphere made up of radiating greenhouse gases is like an iris widening the pupil opening of an eye so more light will pass. And of course thats just a couple of many more issues in an atmosphere that has many other variable like water existing in all 3 phases within the troposphere.

        The way science has chosen to look at it is as described by Roy above. The forcing is occurring at the location of the greenhouse gas molecule. But the way its sold to the public (and that is not entirely the fault of the science community) the forcing is occurring at the surface.

    • Eben says:

      And sadly I have to report the “Stove Top lid Analogy” has been also rejected by the WUVT skeptical resident crowd

      • Bindidon says:

        Sorry, superfluous hint!

        Why the heck shall I bother about ‘the WUVT skeptical resident crowd’ ?
        Most of them don’t even know what they are talking about.

        Apart from some very good comments coming from intelligent, experienced persons, it’s all no more than Pavlovian reflex.

        Germans sometimes have wonderful idioms to explain things. One of them is ‘Wadenbeißermentalität’.

        Perfect fit.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        Bindidon, please stop trolling.

    • Ren, your off-topic comments and lack of understanding of a variety of atmospheric issues has you near the top of my about-to-be-banned list. Not that you aren’t a nice person, but because I don’t want others to be misled by repeated nonsense and crazy theories.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Roy…”Ren, your off-topic comments and lack of understanding of a variety of atmospheric issues has you near the top of my about-to-be-banned list”.

        Good grief!!! Have you read the off-topic junk that comes from climate alarmists on your blog?

        Following your threat to ren, you have that butt-kisser bindidon kissing up to you as he forces his agenda to undermine you with amateur Excel comparisons between UAH data, models, and the crap out of NOAA and GISS.

        Don’t bother banning me, if ren goes, I go.

      • barry says:

        The moon rotation stuff, the denial of the greenhouse effect, the misunderstandings of the 2nd Law – these are coming from so-called ‘skeptics’, who initiate these topics, contrary to Roy’s opinion, and nearly always off-topic.

        I would enjoy more discipline in the conversations. These comment threads could be much improved by encouraging on-topic discussion. Ren is never on topic.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        “The moon rotation stuff, the denial of the greenhouse effect, the misunderstandings of the 2nd Law – these are coming from so-called ‘skeptics’, who initiate these topics, contrary to Roy’s opinion, and nearly always off-topic.”

        Initially (well over a year ago now), the moon rotation discussions were brought up by skeptics. Now, they are brought up, more often than not, by those defending the status quo on the issue.

        As for the greenhouse effect, people want to discuss it! Look around other climate blogs, look at different posts. Those posts that are connected to the GHE in some way tend to attract far more comments than any other type of post. It’s been that way for a long time. And don’t forget barry, you brought the discussion of the “plates” to this blog, which has been one of the most frequently discussed topics over the last couple of years, with discussions often running into the thousands of comments. That’s on you, Mr “so-called ‘skeptics’ initiate these topics”!

      • barry says:

        “Initially (well over a year ago now), the moon rotation discussions were brought up by skeptics. Now, they are brought up, more often than not, by those defending the status quo on the issue.”

        Nope. Want proof? Here it is below:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/09/a-stove-top-analogy-to-climate-models/#comment-388255

        “And dont forget barry, you brought the discussion of the “plates” to this blog..”

        In response to denial of the greenhouse effect. Roy has also tried to rebut this nonsense. There are several posts from him trying to set ‘skeptics’ straight on this subject. And he has banned people for posting nonsense about it in spam-like proportions.

        I’m always happy to let it go, but Huffman demanded I talk about it a few posts ago. I was well over it, but he reintroduced it. ‘Skeptics’ just can’t help themselves.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        barry, I said:

        “Now, they are brought up, more often than not, by those defending the status quo on the issue”

        You linked to a comment from Eben. Eben is defending the status quo on the issue. That’s proof for my point.

        “I’m always happy to let it go, but Huffman demanded I talk about it a few posts ago. I was well over it, but he reintroduced it. ‘Skeptics’ just can’t help themselves.”

        …and you poor “true skeptics” just have to respond, right? There’s somebody literally twisting your arm!?

        Like I said, people discuss the GHE because they want to. That’s true regardless of what “side” you are on. It is a very popular topic for in-depth discussion on blogs.

      • barry says:

        Point is I don’t introduce the greenhouse topic in reply to a completely different topic. This is what skeptics tend to do.

        David A, I see, has introduced the moon-spin rotation thing out of the blue. Well, not really. Eben got there first – and Eben is an AGW ‘skeptic’. That’s the group I’m talking about.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        You’re wrong, barry. Both “sides” of the climate debate go off-topic here, all the time.

  9. Perfecto says:

    The Frank paper demonstrates some basic ignorance, and drags down the skeptic side of this argument. Obviously, the uncertainty in warming is not as large as shown in his Fig. 6 and 7b, because nobody seriously thinks the earth will be 10 C warmer or colder by year 2040. Why is that? Because Frank’s error model is bad. How could this paper get published? Peer review indeed, if your peers are high school students.

  10. Roy W. Spencer says:

    Very often reviewers dont have the expertise. If they do, they often dont have the time to do any more than a cursory review. And even if they do, the author can wear them down with lengthy answers to their objections. This journal ranks 48th out of 49 for Research Gate Impact Factor for Earth science journals. That doesn’t prove anything, it’s just a datapoint.

  11. Nabil Swedan says:

    Climate change is not about meteorology or atmospheric physics. Its effects are, but the front end is life and variations in its size. Models that are not based on variations in the size of life will have a hard time to be accurate and accepted.

    • The models do include LIFE. Humanity is causing atmospheric CO2 to increase. We produce twice the CO2 necessary to explain the atmospheric growth rate. Meanwhile, LIFE (the biosphere) is taking out most of the rest.

      The shape of the CO2 growth curve is perfectly explained with (1) the yearly estimates of CO2 emissions and (2) the simple assumption that nature takes out a yearly amount proportional to the excess above some preferred, background “natural” state.
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Simple-CO2-model-fit-Mauna-Loa-Period.jpg

      Any model shortcomings in the carbon budget are covered by the various radiative forcing scenarios, which can either express how much CO2 humanity is producing or how fast nature is taking CO2 out of the atmosphere.

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        Dr. Spencer,

        I modified your CO2 budget model to include the possible increase in natural CO2 emissions. It’s still a good fit showing that CO2 growth is explained by both the human emissions and some growth in natural emissions which are roughly 20 times greater. Nature treats both emissions the same, not preferentially removing the natural emissions.

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/7tqog25c4ofxnu9/Modified%20Spencer%20CO2%20model.xls?dl=0

      • barry says:

        “It’s still a good fit showing that CO2 growth is explained by both the human emissions and some growth in natural emissions which are roughly 20 times greater.”

        The chart you show absolutely does not identify sources of CO2 – it only shows CO2 content increasing.

        The source of the growth is pretty obvious. Annual turnover is huge, but CO2 didn’t grow with this annual turnover until the industrial revolution. IOW, the turnover never caused an accumulation of CO2, because sources and sinks were balanced. Then human activity caused a change in that balance. We now pump out about twice the CO2 that is added annually, over the long-term. The biosphere has to be a sink for excess CO2 emissions, not a source. It’s basic arithmetic.

        • Chic Bowdrie says:

          Column C contains the possible addition of CO2 from natural sources. It begins with an amount consistent with a prior level of 280 ppm in the air and ends with an amount about 20 times the human contribution consistent with IPCC figures. Let me know if you have more trouble deciphering the spreadsheet.

          What we pump out is 20 times less than what nature pumps out because, yes, annual turnover is huge. But natural sources could also have been growing during the industrial period due to a century long increase in global temperature. Unless you have data that proves natural sources of CO2 do not ebb and flow and specifically haven’t been increasing of late, then you are just asserting facts not in evidence. Opinion.

          I trumped your basic arithmetic with plausible calculus. Now you are going to try and discredit my model with assumptions about what CO2 was doing before reproducible measurements began. Go ahead. I’ll see your assumptions and raise you mine.

          • David Appell says:

            Chic:

            How much CO2 does nature absorb, compared to total CO2 emissions (natural + manmade)?

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            IPCC AR5 WGI reports nature absorbs 210 GtC (circa 2012) and my estimate from modifying Dr. Spencer’s model makes it 242 GtC. Close enough for government work considering an additional 6 or so years have passed.

          • barry says:

            It’s simple arithmetic, Chic. We pump out twice as much as the atmosphere increases. The biosphere has to be a net sink, not a source, in order for a CO2 volume equal to half our emissions to be swallowed up.

            Not only have you not identified any physical sources of natural CO2 increase, your postulate mandates that the biosphere must selectively uptake anthropogenic CO2 over natural CO2. There is no physical mechanism that does that. How does the biosphere prefer to absorb anthro over natural CO2?

            The isotopic evidence proves that the increase is from fossil fuel burning. The fact of ocean CO2 increasing means that the oceans are not a source. The fact that the increase occurs after relatively stable CO2 over thousands of years means it isn’t likely volcanoes (or we would see the evidence). The change of isotopic ratios in ocean CO2 and atmospheric CO2 rules out above ground and underwater volcanos, as does the SO2 content that accompanies volcanic eruptions.

            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

            There is plenty of physical evidence that the source of the CO2 rise is anthropogenic. Tons of evidence, not to mention the simple arithmetic that is hard to escape.

            So when I ask you for sources of natural CO2 to explain the rise, this is the sort of physical evidence required. You also need to explain how anthro CO2 gets preferentially absorbed by the biosphere.

            This debate is over in science, and what is happening now is getting a finer handle on the basic facts.

          • barry says:

            I re-read your comments, Chic:

            “Nature treats both emissions the same, not preferentially removing the natural emissions.”

            Ok, good. Now all you need to do is explain how the rise could be partly natural if we emit twice as much CO2 as is taken up by the biosphere. And if you can find a way to do that, the final step is to demonstrate a natural contribution by pinpointing the sources, using whatever evidence is available – such as isotopic ratio changes in CO2.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            There is nothing simple about tracking CO2 emissions. There are sources and sinks all over the planet subject to changes in temperatures and non-equilibrium rate processes. Unless you can prove that natural emissions have not been increasing as much as 0.6% more emissions/year, then you have no argument. The total sinks (biosphere and oceans) cannot be a net sink while CO2 continues to increase, that is simple arithmetic.

            “Not only have you not identified any physical sources of natural CO2 increase, your postulate mandates that the biosphere must selectively uptake anthropogenic CO2 over natural CO2.”

            The sources of natural CO2 are the same as the sinks, the biosphere and the oceans. They both “breathe” so to speak. I explicitly stated nature does not discriminate when sinking human or natural CO2. That is the whole point.

            You are confused about oceans not being a source and I don’t consider your Engelbeen source definitive. Simple arithmetic is not your friend.

            I repeat for a third time: Anthro CO2 does not get preferentially absorbed. Nature treats CO2 the same regardless of the source. That’s what my modification of Dr. Spencer’s model shows.

            The debate is over in your mind. I get that. Not in mine.

          • barry says:

            “Unless you can prove that natural emissions have not been increasing as much as 0.6% more emissions/year, then you have no argument. The total sinks (biosphere and oceans) cannot be a net sink while CO2 continues to increase, that is simple arithmetic.”

            Anthropogenic CO2 emissions account for twice the amount that atmospheric CO2 has risen since the industrial revolution.

            Total anthropogenic emissions since measurements began at Mauna Loa has been twice the atmospheric increase.

            This not only explains the rise twice over, it demonstrates that the biosphere has to have been a net sink, otherwise the rise in atmospheric content would be equal to or greater than the total amount of anthro emissions.

            We know to a good approximation what global anthro CO2 emissions are. Simple arithmetic makes very clear what is going on. I can’t fathom how this escapes you. Roy gets it easily:

            “We produce twice the CO2 necessary to explain the atmospheric growth rate. Meanwhile, LIFE (the biosphere) is taking out most of the rest.”

            You have not responded to the other lines of evidence that corroborate what is already very clear. It can’t be the ocean outgassing CO2, because oceanic CO2 content is increasing over time, in step with atmospheric. The change in CO2 isotopic ratio over time confirms the source – fossil fuels.

            You can’t pinpoint a source. We already have a well pinpointed source that accounts for more of the rise of atmos CO2 than observed. Your notion of a natural source increase is based on nothing physical at all, just an arbitrary choice of fraction. Do you even have some kind of reference of physical evidence for this notion?

            “Unless you have data that proves natural sources of CO2 do not ebb and flow and specifically havent been increasing of late, then you are just asserting facts not in evidence. Opinion.”

            We have the ice core records showing changes in CO2 content taking 40 times longer to increase by 100ppm. The same records, as well as other proxies, show stable CO2 levels for most of the Holocene, then a sharp rise tightly correlated with the industrial revolution and increased anthro CO2 output, a relationship which continue through the Mauna Loa record.

            If there is a natural source involved, what a remarkable coincidence it started outgassing precisely when we did.

            The explanation of greatest parsimony and corroborated by physical evidence is that humanity’s activities have increased the atmospheric content of CO2 by 40% since the I.R.

            Your explanation is merely wishful thinking. Unless you substantiate it there’s no need to prove what is barely a working hypothesis wrong.

            You might as well ask me to prove that unicorns don’t exist.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            I guess a simple arithmetic primer is required before moving on to the really complex stuff where the numbers get really big and the number of equations get really large.

            “Anthropogenic CO2 emissions account for twice the amount that atmospheric CO2 has risen since the industrial revolution.”

            Let A = total anthropogenic emissions as of 2018 and N = the cumulative increase in natural emissions according to my model that fits Mauna Loa data. A= 441 GtC and N = 3388 GtC. When the 130 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 is converted to GtC it comes out to 277 GtC. So although anthropogenic emissions are 1.6 times the atmospheric increase, the natural emissions are 12 times the atmospheric increase. Mauna Loa doesn’t measure those large increases because most of it is sinked, but not all.

            Perhaps we aren’t interpreting sources and sinks the same. Technically, the biosphere includes land, ocean, and atmosphere. So maybe we should stick to land and ocean as potential sources and sinks for the air where the measurements are made. If the atmosphere is increasing in CO2, then land and ocean can’t both be net sinks.

            Until we agree on this basic concept, we can’t move forward. I’ll wait for you to concur, but for two other comments.

            “If there is a natural source involved, what a remarkable coincidence it started outgassing precisely when we did.”

            It isn’t so remarkable a coincidence that the industrial revolution coincided with the rise in temperatures since the Little Ice Age.

            “Your explanation is merely wishful thinking. Unless you substantiate it there’s no need to prove what is barely a working hypothesis wrong.”

            Wishful thinking only to the extent that neither of us, to my knowledge, have the data proving that natural emissions have not increased enough to account for the vast majority of the CO2 rise.

          • bdgwx says:

            Chic,

            I’m trying to understand your point. Help me out.

            Let…

            A = atmosphere
            O = ocean
            L = land
            F = fossil

            The carbon budget must balance such that…

            dA + dO + dL + dF = 0

            What are you suggesting is happen to dA, dO, dL, and dF? Are each of them > 0 (sink) or < 0 (source)? Can you provide example values for each flux (doesn't have to be perfect) that best describes how you think the carbon budget is transferring mass from one reservoir to another? I'm okay if you want to add another reservoir to the mix. Just give it another letter. The thing I care most about is making sure the budget balances to zero.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            bdgwx,

            Thank you for providing a means of getting to crux of the matter. First of all, yes, I need to add one more term to your mass balance necessary for a minimal explanation of the available data. That term is the sediment (dS) that occurs when carbonate is precipitated in the ocean. There might be a similar land sink term but it is not necessary for this rudimentary discussion.

            What the obvious measurable data says is that dA is increasing, dO is increasing, and dF is decreasing. My model assumes dS is increasing because the ocean is nearly saturated if not supersaturated. I don’t know if dL is increasing or not. Let’s call it zero. Since dF is always negative, then |dF| = dA + dO + dS. [In case they don’t show up, I surrounded dF with absolute value marks].

            dF is 441 GtC, dA is 277 GtC. dO has increased from 1.95 mmol/Kg to at least 2 mmol/Kg at the surface. Here is where it gets messy. CO2 equilibria is affected by ocean temperature and depth. So one have to guesstimate at what the GtC increase in sea water has been. The best I can say is that whatever that number is, it equals the difference between what the ocean absorbed and what was sinked. Assuming the ocean absorbed everything that didn’t stay in the atmosphere (with dL=0), then 441 – 277 = 164 GtC = dO + dS.

            What is difficult for people to get their heads around is that dO and dL are large differences between quantities of CO2 being sourced and sinked on a yearly basis, roughly 20 times the amount of the current human emissions. I admit that an increase in net natural emissions may not be as much as my model suggests. I’m only pointing out that the data still fits that possibility.

          • bdgwx says:

            Chic,

            I accept your addition of S for the carbon precipitate in the ocean. I also accept your assumption that dL is close enough to zero that we can effectively ignore it. So…

            dA + dO + dS + dF = 0

            dF = -447 (it’s a source so the reservoir mass is decreasing)

            dA = +227 (it’s a sink so the reservoir mass is increasing)

            +227 + dO + dS + -447 = 0

            dO + dS = 447 – 227 = +164

            I’m good with that.

            I also agree that the exchanges concerning F are ~20x less than those of L and O.

            And there’s infinitely many ways to arrange dO+dS to get +164. dO could be > 0 (a sink) to still get dO+dS > 0 (net sink).

            Is the argument here that the ocean is a source such that dO < 0?

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            bdgwx,

            “Is the argument here that the ocean is a source such that dO < 0?"

            No, but you are putting your finger on why this is so hard to understand. dO has to be positive, because there is data showing that to be the case. I think what's happening is that as average ocean temperature creeps up, the total dissolved CO2 concentration has also risen. This is counter intuitive, because we know that CO2 is less soluble at a higher temperature. But at a given temperature, a greater CO2 concentration in sea water will result in a greater CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

          • bdgwx says:

            Chic,

            Yeah, I mean I think I agree with you here.

            We do have evidence that the ocean is a net sink right now via pH and alkalinity measurements.

            So…

            d’O > 0

            …but as you say as temperatures rise the effectiveness of the ocean to buffer the carbon decreases such that…

            d”O < 0

            Note I'm using d' as the 1st derivative and d'' as 2nd derivative. In other words, as ocean temperatures rise its effectiveness as a sink declines. All other things being equal the same dF value in the presence of rising ocean temperatures would result in faster atmospheric accumulation. I really don't see a problem with this conclusion.

  12. Steve Richards says:

    Perfecto and Dr Spencer:
    Where did Dr Frank state that the earth will be warmer or colder by 10 C?

    He did not, and you both know it.

    Why keep up the pretense that you understand error propagation?

    His values were explicitly stated to be error ranges/uncertainty values – take your pick – which ever you can manage to understand.

    Dr Frank repeatedly states that his values are NOT TEMPERATURES.

    Please note that in the last paper in Dr Franks reference list, “Uncertainty in Model Climate Sensitivity Traced to Representations of Cumulus Precipitation Microphysics”

    The last few sentences of the abstract
    “The model differences, dominated by shortwave feedbacks, come from broad regimes ranging from large-scale ascent to subsidence regions. Given current uncertainties in representing convective precipitation microphysics and the current inability to find a clear observational constraint that favors one version of the authors’ model over the others, the implications of this ability to engineer climate sensitivity need to be considered when estimating the uncertainty in climate projections.”

    Extracted from the above “this ability to engineer climate sensitivity need to be considered” !!!!!

    All due to clouds not being understood!!

    • First of all you obviously did not bother to read my short post and understand it, while I have spent days wading through Pat’s paper to understand it.

      Secondly, the claim that he was claiming “His values were explicitly stated to be error ranges/uncertainty values” is disingenuous BS. Look at (for example) his Fig. 6b, the vertical scale is temperature and it ranges over -15 deg. C to +19 deg. C. “Uncertainty” means the temperature COULD be that high (or low). Pat is trying to backtrack from his claims now. The context of the wording of the paper also supports this interpretation. If he meant something different, he should not have misled people. But I don’t think he meant something different. The models DO NOT, CANNOT, and NEVER behave with such large deviations in temperature.

      WHY???

      I’ve explained why, multiple times, in multiple ways.

  13. DMA says:

    To make your analogy applicable the the discussion of Dr. Franks paper assume an ability to measure the temperature of the water to the whole degree. Now you know the temperature of each pot but you have a known uncertainty. It is expressed in degrees but it is a statistic describing the quality of the measurement. Your pot model is subject to this uncertainty so its output cannot be presumed to be more accurate than that. No mater how many times you run the model and get the same answer the precision will not make it accurate. If some physical quality depended on the change in temperature over time and that temperature was measured at the given time intervals each measurement would have that uncertainty. If the pot model calculated that quantity by computing the temperature for each period then reiterated the calculation based on that computed temperature the error would propagate according to the functions Dr. Frank applied and would potentially have no predictive capability even if each time it was run it gave the same output.

    • bdgwx says:

      Just trying to understand your post here…so if the error in this analogy were +/- 1 degree and the model were iterated 10x then are you saying the error would be -10 to +10?

      • DMA says:

        bdgwx
        Short answer =yes, almost. The propagation of uncertainty would follow the applicable equations from error analysis for the math involved in the process. But the bottom line is that you would not be able to say anything about the accuracy of the pot model output if the error statistic propagated enough.

    • bdgwx says:

      So what are you thinking the odds of are that the error would be on end of the spectrum either -1 or +1? The odds of 10 consecutive occurrences of this error happening are?

      • DMA says:

        In my profession, land surveying, the propagation equations are designed to give a required reliability (ie. 95%). If I have generated an error ellipse that is bigger than my acceptable accuracy, I could be held professionally reliable for returning an erroneous boundary on my certified plat. Without measuring the closing leg of a traverse I don’t know that boundary well enough to report it or use it to compute tract acreage. The propagation math does not include all of the tails of the probable distribution but it allows for blunder detection. In my experience, when blunders were all corrected, the closing error was substantially less that the final error elipse. It seems to me that Dr. Frank’s approach is saying that the “climate error ellipse” is soon too large to trust the accuracy just like I must not trust my survey measurements without proving their accuracy.

  14. Masahiro says:

    The following is posted in every temperature update for as long as I can remember.

    “The linear warming trend since January, 1979 remains at +0.13 C/decade.”

    Could someone please tell me when the linear trend reached this, apparently unchanging, +0.13 C/decade?

    There has to be a plot of these linear trends as they are calculated month after month, year after year, but I have failed to find it.

    Thank you all.

    • Neville says:

      Masahiro here is the York Uni tool and you can check UAH V6 and try different start and end dates.
      If you start at 1978.99 and end at the el nino peak at 1998.99 you have a trend of 0.164 c/ dec.
      Then return to zero at next start date at 1999.99 and finish at next strong el nino peak at 2017.01 and you have a much lower trend of 0.115c/ dec.
      What this proves I’m not sure, perhaps Roy can help us with this problem? Or perhaps Dr Cowton or anyone else?
      But overall trend from 1978.9 to the present day is 0.13 c/ decade.

      http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

    • Bindidon says:

      Masahiro

      “Could someone please tell me when the linear trend reached this, apparently unchanging, +0.13 C/decade?”

      As a source to compute this, you have Roy Spencer’s anomaly time series for the Globe, several latitude bands and some regions:

      https://tinyurl.com/y62sq3xo

      But the file contains only anomalies and, at the end, trends for the entire time series. If you want to view all consecutive trends, you have to compute them yourself using e.g. a spreadsheet calculator.

      Then you see in the spreadsheet that the 2-digit rounded trends move from 0.12 up to 0.13 C / decade in November 2016.

      Here is a chart showing all these rounded trends starting with Jan 1998:

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oXNVNqDPicWbwA9A2NmQhR431h7lrOfT/view

      Thus, the rounded trend has kept unchanged at 0.13 C / decade since now 33 months.

  15. Roy W. Spencer says:

    Math is only useful to physics if it expresses the physics. Dr. Franks math does not.

    • Neville says:

      Well Roy what about the York Uni tool above and my start and end dates for UAH V 6?
      Always amazes me why there’s so little interest in these trends. I know we have the two big volcano eruptions in the earlier period as well.

    • Bindidon says:

      Roy W. Spencer

      “Math is only useful to physics if it expresses the physics.”

      I’m not a physicist, but I think that this is not necessary to feel it was well-said.

      As you certainly know, there is since years a sometimes harsh debate between Pat Frank and Nick Stokes at Anthony Watts’ WUWT, whose kernel substance all the time has been exactly what you just expressed.

  16. Pft says:

    If we cant measure temperature properly, or the fluxes, and if the basic science and assumptions are uncertain or even wrong, then all these models are nothing more than elaborate curve fitting tools. They have a predetermined number in mind , driven by political, ideological and/or financial reasons and simply adjust data, parameters and assumptions to fit their targeted increases. Loe and behold they all end up in the same ballpark despite great uncertainties

    As John von Neumann said

    With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

    It has never been proven CO2 is the prime driver of climate. The negative feedbacks are not fully understood or measured. Climate is not a linear system its a non-linear complex system. The level of understanding of solar and clouds on climate is low. Our understanding of deep ocean currents and their impact on future seas surface temperatures is low. Yet by assuming mans CO2 is the primary driver of any future climate change the modelers have went from
    fitting an elephant with a wiggling trunk to an elephant can fly.

    One need only look at the climate change over the last million years or so. Earth has been a snow ball with regular cycles of glacial periods (100K years) followed by relatively warm interglacial periods of 10-20K years. Some of these interglacial periods were warmer than today. Sea levels were higher. In fact during the current interglacial known as the holocene the holocene optimum was reached 6000 years ago. Temperatures were higher as were sea levels. Coincidentally or not this was the dawn of human civilization

    Over the last 6000 years there have been a number of cooling and warming periods. All without mans CO2

    Not saying CO2 has no influence, maybe it can keep us from the next glacial period. Maybe not. Going to have to ask my elephant.

  17. fonzie says:

    What cold, dark cave did those commenters over at wuwt come crawling out of? (even had one harping on Dr Roy’s pot model)…

    • Mike Flynn says:

      Dr Spencer,

      The title of your post was “A Stove Top Analogy to Climate Models.

      With respect, might I suggest that you place the heat source in a more appropriate position – above the pots – for a start.

      I understand what you are trying to support, but your analogy is open to question here, there, and everywhere.

      Even apart from ignoring the heat source placement, try convincing anybody that 800 W from 3 M2 ice (suitably concentrated using a lens or parabolic mirror), onto the pot from any direction) will result in a water temperature of 150 F. It wont, of course!

      You assume either that that the water is 150 F everywhere, or that this is an average temperature.

      It it is real water, you immediately strike a problem. If heated from the top, your lidded pot will reduce the amount of heat reaching the water – either by reflection or absorp.tion. Just like the real world. The lidded pot will be cooler than the other.

      The water in both pots will not heat throughout. The hotter water will float on top of the cooler. Just like the real world.

      Even if heated from the bottom, the water temperature will be unpredictable at any given location due to chaotic convection – as Lorenz discovered. Additionally, the hotter water will radiate more intensely, and cool faster, due to radiation being proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature. Your temperature probes may be all over the place – just like the real world.

      Now cycle your heat source every twelve hours. If you use a notional heat lamp as heat source, just rotate it on an axis so that in 24 hours it heats the pot for twelve hours, and allows it to cool for twelve hours. Just like the real world.

      Analogies need to be carefully chosen. Pot lids, overcoats, blankets – none explain how reducing the amount of sunlight reaching thermometer (the real atmosphere) makes the thermometer hotter!

      The title of your post was “A Stove Top Analogy to Climate Models. Maybe it provides some insight into why climate models are useless, if modellers refuse to take real world considerations into their programming.

      As you point out in your “Global Warming 101″, ” . . .if energy is gained faster than it is lost, warming occurs but if energy is lost faster than it is gained, cooling occurs.” Completely sensible – and demonstrated by the Earth’s surface cooling since its creation. And by surface cooling at night, and by winter being cooler than summer, and . . .

      Oh, well . . .

      Cheers.

      Mike: Like I said, to demonstrate energy gain and loss concepts, I could have used many things, such as the human body with and without a coat in winter. It doesn’t matter what direction the energy input to the system is from. If WUWT comments are making fun of the analogy, then WUWT must have a pretty science-ignorant audience, because this is just the 1st 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics in their simplest application. If people cannot understand this simple post, they will NEVER be able to offer intelligent comments on Dr. Frank’s paper. Only spout talking points they have heard from someone else. -Roy

      • Go Fish says:

        Bravo Mike! “-and demonstrated by the Earth’s surface cooling since its creation.” I may not yet comprehend the whole of the “science” behind most of the arguments yet but that does not mean I have no comprehension of things that are real or reality!

        • Bondidon says:

          Go Fish

          “… but that does not mean I have no comprehension of things that are real or reality!”

          Reality Nr 1

          While the Sun provides us with about 240 W / m^2 at surface, Earth’s cooling thru radioactive decay etc is about 0.1 W / m^2.

          Reality Nr 2

          Indeed, summers are warmer than winters. But since quite a lot of time, winter month temperatures increase faster than summer month temperatures.

          That, Go Fish, is the reason why you always see historical summer months at top of a sorted list of global averages of absolute monthly temperatures:

          1901 7: 24.14 (C)
          1936 7: 23.06
          1934 7: 23.00
          1931 7: 22.98
          1921 7: 22.92
          1900 8: 22.91
          1897 7: 22.74
          1935 7: 22.69
          1916 7: 22.61
          1910 7: 22.54

          but begin to see more and more recent winter month temperatures at top of a sorted list of global averages of anomalies with annual cycle removal:

          2016 3: 1.04
          2016 2: 1.0
          2015 12: 0.91
          2016 4: 0.76
          2015 11: 0.69
          2007 1: 0.68
          2017 3: 0.68
          2015 10: 0.63
          2010 6: 0.61
          2015 3: 0.61

          That would be even much more apparent if we would not have had a great El Nino event in 2016.

          *
          Data source: GHCN daily (land-only data); anomalies wrt mean of 1981-2010.

          • Go Fish says:

            Bondidon in your view life, science and any other reality is nothing more than a series of mathematical expressions or physics. Moreover, that if one does not comprehend these expressions they do not UNDERSTAND the realities existent around them. The expressions exist whether I understand them or not! As an example lets look at Freeman Dyson and his description of his students’ entry into the world of physics:

            “The student begins by learning the tricks of the trade. He learns how to make calculations in quantum mechanics and get the right answers. To learn the mathematics of the subject and to learn how to use it takes about six months. This is the first stage in learning quantum mechanics, and it is comparatively easy and painless.

            The second stage comes when the student begins to worry because he does not understand what he has been doing. He worries because he has no clear physical picture in his head. He gets confused at trying to arrive at a physical explanation for each of the mathematical tricks he has been taught. He works very hard and gets discouraged because he does not seem able to think clearly. This second stage often lasts six months or longer and it is strenuous and unpleasant.

            Then, quite unexpectedly, the third stage begins. The student suddenly says to himself, “I understand quantum mechanics,” or rather he says, “I understand now there isn’t anything to be understood.””

            Language then or “meaning” (as in equations, encoded meanings, symbols, letters and numbers) is the non material quality that apart from a source such as the human mind, or one much greater than the human mind, has no explanation as to how it could arise! It cannot arise of ITSELF there has to be some other explanation and science with all of its “laws” seems to show their ultimate origin comes from a Supreme being that has revealed Himself in these laws!

            Such is the lot of those who believe they can explain all the intricacies of order in a chaotic system! And do so by mathematical laws!

          • Go Fish says:

            Is it any wonder then how the founders could write in the Declaration of Independence:- “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,”

            The dark ages are upon us as they seem to have had more light in their day than we do in ours!!!!!

  18. Nick Stokes says:

    I’d like to propose an elaboration. Suppose the 20 pots are actually modelling one special Pot whose temperature we really care about. We have limited control over the lid, and it moves in response very slowly. All the pots are subject to variations in ambient temperature (weather, diurnal, people opening doors etc), and are in different places. We have scenarios for what may happen to the Pot lid in the future (including our attempts to control, which will depend on future decisions) and we want to know what will happen.

    I’m thinking here of a basic claim of Pat Frank’s
    “Scientific models are held to the standard of mortal tests and successful predictions outside any calibration bound. The represented systems so derived and tested must evolve congruently with the real-world system if successful predictions are to be achieved.”
    In fact, GCM’s are models in the sense of the pots here. They don’t evolve congruently. They are devices for testing scenarios. They have different ambient variations. But they are useful for working out what will happen to the Pot in various scenarios.

    And yes, some pots may be perturbed by error. They are perturbed by various things that stop them matching the Pot day by day. But as Dr Spencer says, the key thing is the long term variation, which is determined not by the vagaries of a random walk, but by the flux balance which is still comparable for the pots and the Pot.

    In analysing uncertainty, you need to be clear about what you want to know. We’ll have errors in weather; we want to know about climate.

    • Mike Flynn says:

      NS,

      Maybe you could usefully describe the GHE, and forget about pots (or Pots).

      Then someone might propose a testable GHE hypothesis. All part of the scientific method, I believe.

      In case you don’t know, climate is the average of weather. If you have errors in weather, the average is in error, wouldn’t you agree? Just as 132 computer models producing 132 different results (averages all). At least 131 must be in error, but some people think that averaging 131 incorrect results must give a correct result!

      As the IPCC agrees, the atmosphere acts chaotically. Even if it didn’t, Richard Feynman pointed out in a lecture that given the reality of the uncertainty principle, predicting the future state of the atmosphere is impossible, even if having omniscient knowledge of the position or momentum of every particle of the atmosphere – down to the last photon of almost zero energy!

      Good luck with ignoring or denying physical law.

      Cheers.

      Mike:
      Do you basically agree with Dr. Frank’s conclusions? Because it sounds like you don’t believe in the “greenhouse effect”, yet Frank used one component of the greenhouse effect (longwave cloud forcing, LWCF) to demonstrate his point. In fact, he went so far as to say LWCF determines tropospheric temperature (!!!), when in fact it is only one of many energy flux components determining tropospheric temperature. -Roy

      • Nick Stokes says:

        The topic here is pots.

        • Mike Flynn says:

          NS,

          No, the topic here is “A Stove Top Analogy to Climate Models”, according to Dr Spencer.

          Now, climate models apparently involve climate and models. The models seem to claim that a yet to be described mechanism involving CO2 creating hotter temperatures by shielding thermometers from radiated energy, (like holding a blanket up between a roaring campfire and oneself, to use an analogy). Sounds like nonsense to me. What do you think?

          Stick to pots if you wish. You now claim that his is the topic, although you possibly overlooked this when you wrote “Well have errors in weather; we want to know about climate.”, apparently.

          Carry being potty if you prefer. I prefer science, myself.

          Cheers.

    • TimTheToolMan says:

      Nick writes “Id like to propose an elaboration. Suppose the 20 pots are actually modelling one special Pot whose temperature we really care about.”

      Sure, but the error Pat is talking about can be represented by the pots that are “modeling” the special pot, having different sizes and shapes. So…

      “the key thing is the long term variation, which is determined not by the vagaries of a random walk, but by the flux balance which is still comparable for the pots and the Pot.”

      Now you may think your pot model represents the special pot but its final temperature and time to get there will not represent it at all even though it took a very reasonable path to get to equilibrium.

  19. Jim G says:

    If CO2 only absorbs a few narrow bands of IR that mostly the greater amount of H2O already takes care of, how can CO2 be a factor? Also wouldn’t the CO2 absorb and re-emit more IR from the Sun than the IR from the Sun, resulting in greater cooling as CO2 increases? Anyone have links to the energy curves from the Sun’s light and Earth’s heat to compare? I would assume offhand that the Sun’s energy distribution would be generally greater at all wavelengths at the top of the atmosphere than that of the Earth’s surface, barring specific bands that get absorbed.

    Jim G:

    Sigh. This has been explained so many times, it’s hard to believe that it is still a skeptical talking point. No planetary atmosphere is completely opaque to IR radiation, even Venus, which has 220,000 times as much CO2 as Earth. Overlapping absorption bands, pressure broadening of those bands, etc., have all been taken into account in climate models. That’s not where their errors are. -Roy

    • Eben says:

      I have the energy curves from the Suns light and Earths heat,
      but Earths heat loss is extremely variably from place to place and from time to time , you cannot use it in a sensible way, at least I can’t

      • Mike Flynn says:

        E,

        There is not much hope for the US science education these days.

        This from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation –

        “For example, nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), which make up more than 90% of Earth’s atmosphere, do not absorb infrared photons. CO2 molecules can vibrate in ways that simpler nitrogen and oxygen molecules cannot, which allows CO2 molecules to capture the IR photons.”

        That would be news to anybody who has ever taken an air temperature measurement, or heated air using hair dryer!

        I suppose this sort of nonsense comes from the same sorts of people from the NSF who denied Archimedes’ principle (claiming that melting sea ice raised sea levels for 6 years or so).

        CO2 continuously capturing photons? And what then? Do they swell up until they burst? Tuck the photons away with Trenberth’s missing heat until Gavin Schmidt plays with his knob, and causes a photonic eruption?

        The mind boggles!

        Cheers.

        • DMacKenzie says:

          Mike,
          N2 and O2 do not absorb infrared. They are transparent to it. CO2 and H2O absorb the photon and either re-emits a photon, or vibrates more and warms up, which causes it to bump into surrounding molecules. Your hair blower heats air by mostly by conduction and forced convection. But the radiation is significant too as the element is red hot, and there are about 10^19 molecules of CO2 per litre of air blown through your hair dryer, and round about 100 tomes as may H2O atoms for IR photons to bump into as well.

        • Mike Flynn says:

          DM,

          As you said “. . . radiation is significant too as the element is red hot, . . .”.

          In other words, you say N2 and O2 do not absorb infrared, but on the other hand radiation is significant. IR radiation, presumably. If the element is not quite red hot, the air still heats.

          Well, O2 and N2 both absorb and emit infrared. Dry air, scrubbed of CO2 can be both heated by radiation, and allowed to cool, when the heat source is removed. Another example. Liquid nitrogen, evaporates very quickly above its boiling point. It absorbs IR from the environment. Air and all other matter definitely emits IR – which is absorbed by thermometers and can be used to determine the temperature of the air or other matter.

          As a matter of fact, NASA agrees with Tyndall that about 30% of the radiation from the Sun (mostly IR and UV), does not even reach the surface. Yes, at some IR wavelengths, some gases are more opaque and reflective than others. However, cylinders of CO2, O2 and N2, in the same environment, have the same equilibrium temperature, even though they have different specific heats, etc.

          There is much nonsense put about relating to CO2 and other gases only absorbing certain wavelengths. Compress a mixture of gases quickly, say in a Diesel engine. The O2, CO2, H2O, N2 and all the rest, very quickly reach say 600 C. What specific frequencies are generated by the cylinder walls to achieve this feat? Or do the molecules emit specific frequencies? But the others don’t? Maybe its’ magic?

          Not at all. Just normal physics at work.

          Cheers.

  20. JDHuffman says:

    “The lid is analogous to Earth’s greenhouse effect, which reduces the ability of the Earth’s surface to cool to outer space.”

    WRONG!

    The atmosphere has no “lid”. Energy flows freely to space.

    That’s why the GHE is bogus.

    Nothing new.

    JDHuffman, you are free to believe in what you want. But my many posts on this subject have obviously been ignored by you. Start your own blog. -Roy

    • Mike Flynn says:

      JDH,

      Spot on.

      [Mike Flynn, you are free to believe in what you want. But my many posts on this subject have obviously been ignored by you. Start your own blog. -Roy]

      The pseudoscientific GHE true believers deny that temperatures drop at night, or in winter . . .

      “Ah, but . . . infrared!”, they cry enthusiastically.

      From NASA –

      “NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), aboard the Aqua satellite, senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth. The information is used to map such atmospheric phenomena as temperature, humidity, and cloud amounts and heights. In the AIRS imagery of Dorian, captured during the afternoon (local time) of Aug. 29, 2019 . . . ”

      To satisfy those who quibble –

      “The MODIS instrument has 36 different spectral bands (groups of wavelengths), including some that detect thermal radiance, or the amount of infrared energy emitted by the land surface.”

      Gee. Measuring the Earth’s skin temperature with infrared transmitted from the surface through he atmosphere! / sarc on Who’da thunk such a miracle could occur? /sarc off.

      I’ll let the pseudoscientific GHE true believers work what happens to energy actually absorbed by gas molecules in the atmosphere.

      Cheers.

    • barry says:

      “WRONG!

      The atmosphere has no “lid”. Energy flows freely to space.”

      Nope. Energy would flow ‘freely’ to space if there was no atmosphere soaking up and re-emitting the energy lost directly from the surface.

      But on Earth there is a porous obstruction between the surface and space, and energy has to make its way to space through it. Any object that has its rate of heat loss slowed becomes warmer, and thus the average (daytime + nighttime) surface temperature of the Earth is warmer than it would be with no atmosphere, even though the atmosphere also inhibits some direct solar radiation reaching the surface.

      The pot lid gets warmer and radiates heat itself. The energy is not magically trapped beneath the lid (just as atmospheric molecules don’t simply ‘trap’ infrared radiation). What the lid does is to slow the rate of energy loss from the water in the pot to the room (by suppressing convection).

      The analogy between the atmosphere is not about lids – it’s about the rate of heat loss being slowed. It doesn’t matter if the heat loss is convective, radiative, conductive or some combination, the same principle applies.

  21. David Young says:

    Well Roy, This gets to the heart of the issue. Since the truncation numerical errors and the sub grid model errors are larger than the changes in fluxes we are interested in, skill can only be achieved by tuning the cancellation of large errors. In this case, there is no expectation of skill for any parameter not involved in the tuning. This explains why there is essentially no skill in things like regional climate.

    • David, while I agree that it *might* explain why there is *little* skill in regional climate *change* (3 important distinctions, as climate models do pretty well explaining regional climate differences), I’ve already shown that for global average surface temperature, the biases in individual models’ energy fluxes do not seem to matter. Nor any “truncation numerical errors”. Otherwise the models would drift warm or cold, which they don’t. You obviously have either not read what I have written or do not understand it.

      • David Young says:

        I think I understand what you wrote Roy. The models will not drift warm or cold because of simple conservation of energy and tuning for TOA radiation balance. If the ocean heat uptake is roughly right as it appears to be, then the warming rate will be roughly right (at least in the integral sense even though the pattern or warming might be badly wrong as all the hubbub about the pattern of SST warming shows). Science of Doom has a great post recently documenting the lack of skill in patterns by GCM’s.

        My point still stands as well and does not contradict this first point. Numerical errors in any finite difference scheme are at least as large as the third derivative of the quantity times the mess spacing cubed. With a 100 km mesh spacing, these errors are very large. The solutions will be wrong in detail and only tuning can bring into line with data any output quantities.

        The same can be said of sub grid scale models. Even current high Reynolds’ number turbulence models can produce local errors that can get quite large globally (due to the needed convection of turbulence and its constant creation and destruction).

        There is no magic numerical principle by which large local errors cancel out for a chaotic system. Such a maximum principle exists for elliptic PDE’s but not for fluid dynamics. Discrete conservation can help get 5 quantities roughly right in an integral sense if the fluxes are tuned to agree with data. That’s about it.

  22. kevink says:

    Again, as a refresher course in radiative physics, the alleged “radiative greenhouse effect” occurring in the gaseous atmosphere surrounding the Earth merely acts to delay the flow of energy though the system by causing energy to make multiple transits through the system while changing the direction of travel multiple times.

    Since this energy flow always occurs at nearly the speed of light this simply acts as a hybrid thermal/optical delay line and delays the unavoidable flow of energy from the Sun to the Earth and back to the energy free void of the universe by a few fractions of a second.

    There is no “lid” on the atmosphere of the Earth that blocks this forever ongoing flow of energy through the system.

    It’s kinda of sad that Dr. Roy is still playing around with stove top metaphors that do not apply to the flow of energy as radiation which always occurs at nearly the speed of light.

    Cheers, KevinK.

    If the earth system immediately cools to space radiatively, then why doesn’t it just keep cooling no matter what the solar input is? Why don’t nighttime temperatures drop to near absolute zero? It’s kind of sad you still don’t understand the basics of energy transfers, radiation, and temperature. -Roy

    • Steven Mosher says:

      “Again, as a refresher course in radiative physics, the alleged “radiative greenhouse effect” occurring in the gaseous atmosphere surrounding the Earth merely acts to delay the flow of energy though the system by causing energy to make multiple transits through the system while changing the direction of travel multiple times.”

      No.

      GHGs ( c02 included) raise the ERL. the cause the earth to cool less rapidily to space.. otherwise known as warming. It has ZERO to do with the delay

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slPMD5i5Phg

      • Mike Flynn says:

        SM,

        No. Cooling less rapidly is known as cooling by real scientists. Only dimwitted pseudoscientific GHE true believers think cooling means warming.

        Maybe you also think that warming less rapidly is cooling? How bizarre!

        Cheers.

      • JDHuffman says:

        That video is pure pseudoscience.

        At 6 minutes: “There has to be someplace colder for the planet to radiate.”

        The clown is trying to use the WRONG equation. A body does NOT have to have a “cold place” to radiate to. A body radiates based on its surface temperature.

        Steven Mosher has NO knowledge of the relavant physics.

    • kevink says:

      Dr, Spencer wrote;

      “If the earth system immediately cools to space radiatively, then why doesnt it just keep cooling no matter what the solar input is? Why dont nighttime temperatures drop to near absolute zero? Its kind of sad you still dont understand the basics of energy transfers, radiation, and temperature. -Roy”

      With respect Dr. Spencer, I do not believe I ever stated that the Earth System “immediately cools to space radiatively”

      I think a more correct statement would be that the “Earth System Always cools to space radiatively”, 24/7/365…

      “then why doesnt it just keep cooling no matter what the solar input is?”

      Well, in fact, it is always cooling, 24/7/365… At the same time is is also always warming, 24/7/365…..

      “Why dont nighttime temperatures drop to near absolute zero?”

      Well for one thing there is a heck of a lot of thermal capacity in the Oceans…. If the Sun “went out” tomorrow, it would probably take a few years (or maybe longer, I don’t want to waste my time calculating it) for the Earth to reach absolute zero.

      “Its kind of sad you still dont understand the basics of energy transfers, radiation, and temperature. -Roy”

      With all due respect Dr. Spencer I am fully versed in “the basics” of energy transfers, radiation and temperature.

      Sorry that the Radiative Greenhouse Effect is still an unproven hypothesis, but paradigms shift from time to time.

      I’ve burnt out a few clutches doing a paradigm shift….

  23. kevink says:

    My reference to “nearly the speed of light” is in recognition that light travels “very slightly slower” through a gas, liquid, or solid material with respect to the velocity in a vacuum. This slight change in velocity has no effect on the “radiative greenhouse effect” hypothesis.

    Cheers, KevinK

  24. gallopingcamel says:

    Dr. Roy said:
    “Instead, after 30 years and billions of dollars of research they still produce from 1.5 to 4.5 deg. C of warming in response to doubling of atmospheric CO2.”

    It did not take 30 years! The Arrhenius paper was written in 1896 or about 123 years ago.

    When it comes to precision Motorola and airlines aspire to “Six Sigma” which means that less than 3.4 passengers will die out of every million journeys.

    Respectable physicists (like me) aspire to “Three Sigma” which means our hypothesis has a 99.73% probability of being correct.

    Behavioral scientists aspire to “Two Sigma” or a 95% probability of being correct.

    In “Climate Science” after 123 years the “Sensitivity Constant is 3.0 +/- 1.5 degrees Centigrade/doubling of [CO2]. That is a precision of +/- 50%.

    Science that aspires to “One Sigma” (+/- 32%) is rightly derided as “Squishy” yet “Climate Science” fails even that dismal standard…….SINO (Science In Name Only).

  25. donald keith penman says:

    You could call this the pressure cooker model of Earths overall temperature. I wonder if the outside temperature would make a difference, outside the pressure cooker is room temperature but outside the atmosphere is space which has almost no temperature. The atmosphere warms up if the surface is heating it from below but cools rapidly if the surface is not warming it (at night for instance ). The equilibrium between the atmosphere and the surface would be the lapse rate (unchanging ) as energy transferred between two masses decreases with distance and the surface is warming the atmosphere, if the lapse rate is changing the surface is not in equilibrium with the atmosphere. this works fine if the earth can be thought of as one object such as a pot which has the same pot and the same lid but the earth might also be thought of as many pots and many lids which are combined together to form the earth.

  26. Dr Myki says:

    Kudos to Dr Roy for clearly explaining the issues involved with climate modelling.
    I do not always agree with him, but I certainly respect his “luke-warmist” position.

    He also deserves kudos for being willing to read, analyse and publicly critique Frank’s paper. The resulting flack and ignorant comments from “denialists” is something we “alarmists” have dealt with for decades. It is a tedious task endlessly rebutting falsehoods and correcting errors in interpretation.

  27. Stephen P Anderson says:

    It won’t warm any in response to CO2.

  28. Stephen P Anderson says:

    Difficult to believe we have recent warming of the deep ocean when LWIR doesn’t hardly penetrate the ocean surface.

  29. ren says:

    How much will the temperature in North America drop in the winter when La Nina develops?
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/cdas-sflux_ssta_global_1.png

  30. Mark Wapples says:

    Although i like the analogy, as a model it contradicts the CO2 theory.

    The pan lid stops heat loss by restricting convection, something that is never discussed in the climate models.

    Has anybody ever investigated how layers in the Earths atmosphere can prevent convection building up, ie a cold layer can cause the crystallisation of water vapour and cause rain limiting the extent of the circulatory pattern.

    • gbaikie says:

      Convection roughly stops at top of troposphere. Convection in terms rising and falling air mass.
      Air becomes lower temperature as elevation increase and air density lowers and lower density of air will transfer or convect less heat.
      Or I guess you could say, convection builds up closer to surface rather than higher in elevation. In room one gets warmer air near ceiling because warmer air has less density and rises or cooler air falls.
      Most heat in atmosphere doesn’t have air masses rising and falling as way to transfer heat, instead heat transfer mostly occurs by collision of air molecules, and kinetic energy rises and falls and you average lapse rate of about 6.5 C cooler air per 1000 meter of elevation.
      So individual molecules stay put because zillions collisions prevent a molecule from traveling any distance. But if mix a gas with air, say Argon, the argon gas will become evenly mixed with the air {or the argon molecule do move or become evenly distributed within the air].
      And water vapor is gas and “moves” in terms becoming evenly distributed within the air.
      And most surface of Earth is water, and water evaporation is major factor in terms heating or warming Earth’s atmosphere.

    • Bindidon says:

      Mark Wapples

      “The pan lid stops heat loss by restricting convection, something that is never discussed in the climate models.”

      What are you telling here?

      It costs you no more than a minute to find one of the oldest papers linking climate modeling and convection together:

      ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/ezr99.pdf

      From the abstract:

      Cumulus convection is a key process in controlling the water vapor content of the atmosphere, which is in turn the largest feedback mechanism for climate change in global climate models.

      Yet scant attention has been paid to designing convective representations that attempt to handle water vapor with fidelity, and even less to evaluating their performance.

      Here the authors attempt to address this deficiency by designing a representation of cumulus convection with close attention paid to convective water fluxes and by subjecting the scheme to rigorous tests using sounding array data.

      The gap between published science and subjective opinion sometimes is a bit broad, isn’t it?

    • barry says:

      Ramanathan and Coakley in 1978 gave a detailed review of Radiative Convective Models that had been around for some time already.

      http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/people/guido/PHY2502/articles/rad-convec/Ramanthan_Coakley_1978.pdf

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      Bindidon, barry, please stop trolling.

    • David Appell says:

      Mark Wapples says:
      The pan lid stops heat loss by restricting convection, something that is never discussed in the climate models.

      Mark, no.

      Here is a description of a climate model:

      “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0),” NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN464+STR, June 2004.
      http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/docs/description/description.pdf

      Download the PDF and start reading. Sections 4.1 to 4.3 are about convection.

      In fact, the word “convection” appears 49 times in the description document.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      Maybe a fourth person could make essentially the same point. That would be worthwhile.

  31. pochas94 says:

    The heated covered/uncovered pot analogy should be a clue that what we have is a convective troposphere and that all of these radiative calculations are a bollocks. Because convection is the one and only reason that it makes a difference whether the pots are covered or uncovered.

    • gbaikie says:

      Your insulation of your house is mostly about inhibiting convectional heat transfers {keeps house warm and keeps house cool}.
      And next in importance in terms heat transfer via conduction of heat.

      This roughly the same if had house on Mars or Moon.
      But due to intensity of sunlight on Moon doing something about radiant transfer would become more important.
      Or a greenhouse on Moon could cause air temperature of 120 C, and could keep air cooler by first reflecting the sunlight or partially reflecting the sunlight.

      With earth atmosphere, it’s same thing- sunlight is reflected before reaching the Earth surface, and limit max surface temperature [or car windows rolled up] to 80 C.

      Or max ground temperature on Earth is about 70 C, and require the sun to be near zenith. Or outside the range of 9am to 3 pm, sunlight can never warm ground to 70 C. Or nowhere on Earth is sunlight near zenith outside the 6 peak hours of sunlight.

      This means if could magically stop all radiant heat loss from Earth, Earth temperature or average temperature isn’t very or extremely high- or not vaguely, Venus like.
      And when allow 40 watts per square meter to directly radiated to space [all the times] to emitted to space, it’s even cooler.

      • gbaikie says:

        Also, we say that Earth average temperature is 15 C.
        But if average temperature is 15 C, why is average temperature of the entire ocean about 3.5 C.

        If you could “magically”stop all radiant heat loss, you get an average air temperature being the same as ocean temperature.
        So if average global air temperature was say 30 C, then ocean temperature would be 30 C {it would take maybe a millions year for the ocean to reach the same temperature as air {in world magically prevented radiating energy into space] but it eventually become the same temperature.
        And in terms geothermal energy it would millions of years {say 10 or 100} that can just keep climbing forever- because Earth is heated by radioactive heat- so that way, one be hotter than Venus- but not from just sunlight.

        • gbaikie says:

          Because the Moon’s low gravity. Say you had tall cylinder {a magically structurally strong cylinder] which was 500 km tall, transparent, and on lunar surface the air pressure was 14.7 psi] the air temperature could reach 120 C near the surface, but 200 km higher elevation the air pressure would a lot less and air temperature would a lot cooler.
          But say you a floor at 200 km elevation, the sunlight heat floor could cause the air temperature to 120 C, and cause air temperature at lunar surface to become much hotter than 120 C.
          That’s how Venus is hot at it’s rocky surface.

        • Entropic man says:

          Gbaikie

          “But if average temperature is 15 C, why is average temperature of the entire ocean about 3.5 C?”

          Because of the behaviour of seawater. Like other materials seawater gets denser as it cools. Unlike other materials, density peaks at 4C and then drops again between 4C an 0C.

          This has three consequences.

          1) 4C water sinks to the bottom.

          2) In the tropics the warmest water floats to the surface.

          3) Near the poles water cooler than 4C floats, giving acold surface layer, and floating ice.

          The result is a temperature profile like this.

          http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/Glossary_Climate/gencircocean.html

          The cold deep water is replenished at the poles. Other energy exchange takes place almost entirely at the surface with limited mixing to depth. The surface layers have warmed due to global warming but the depth profile stays similar and most of the ocean volume stays close to 4C.

          • gbaikie says:

            “Entropic man says:
            September 14, 2019 at 2:06 PM
            Gbaikie

            But if average temperature is 15 C, why is average temperature of the entire ocean about 3.5 C?

            Because of the behaviour of seawater. Like other materials seawater gets denser as it cools. Unlike other materials, density peaks at 4C and then drops again between 4C an 0C.”

            You describing freshwater, not seawater:
            https://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/the-oceans/content-section-3.2

            But whether fresh or salt water, water don’t conduct heat well, ice is better conductor.
            But if given enough and the surface temperature was uniform temperature of 15 C, the entire ocean would be 15 C.

            “The cold deep water is replenished at the poles.”
            Yes.

            Replenished faster than warmer air above could possibly warm it due to the very poor conduction heat thru the water.

          • Entropic man says:

            Gbaikie

            There is some mixing.

            Research thermohaline circulation.

          • gbaikie says:

            –Entropic man says:
            September 14, 2019 at 5:37 PM
            Gbaikie

            There is some mixing.

            Research thermohaline circulation.–

            Yes.

            I think there is more mixing than is normally suspected.

            But these magical giant mixers were not suspected by anyone.
            Reminds me of giant serpent encircling Earth, Jörmungandr:

            “In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr (Old Norse: Jǫrmungandr, pronounced [ˈjɔrmunˌɡandr̥], meaning “huge monster”, also known as the Midgard (World) Serpent (Old Norse: Miðgarðsormr), is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and Loki. According to the Prose Edda, Odin took Loki’s three children by Angrboða—the wolf Fenrir, Hel, and Jörmungandr—and tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so large that it was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail. “- wiki

            But these giant mixers, also need a name.

          • bobdroege says:

            Just wanted to mention that seawater has a peak density at -2 C or 28 F. For the average salt content of seawater roughly 35 K ppm.

            It is fresh water that peaks at 4 C, the salt messes that up.

        • Chic Bowdrie says:

          “But if average temperature is 15 C, why is average temperature of the entire ocean about 3.5 C.”

          Apparently the giant mixers at the bottom of the ocean are not working.

          • Entropic man says:

            The Illuminati ordered that they be switched off to create global warming.

          • Michael flynn says:

            CB,

            The mixers are working fine.

            That’s how all the heat entering the bottom of the oceans from thermal vents, mid-ocean ridges, and the slow but inexorable heat released through he crust as the core cools, eventually makes its way to space.

            The water at the bottom is at maximum density. When heat is absorbed, the water expands, and floats upwards a little. On the other hand, water at the surface, water cools, contracts, and sinks.

            After a little while, the familiar thermal profile emerges – dependent on local salinity, of course.

            As part of the convection process, combined with crustal hotspots, the aforementioned vents, ridges and so on, ocean currents form and are maintained, sometimes travelling in reverse directions at different depths. The oceans movements are subject to chaos. Strange, unexpected, and bizarre regime changes occur, to everyones’ astonishment.

            Contrary to the belief of bodies like NOAA and others, cold bottom water does not come from the polar regions, and magically transport itself around the globe. Just ordinary physics in action. No magic required.

            All is progressing as it should, I hope.

            Final comment. I think I have been banned.

            Cheers.

    • David Appell says:

      pochas: most of the energy transfer in the atmosphere is radiative, not convective.

      See Trenberth’s energy balance diagram:

      https://scied.ucar.edu/radiation-budget-diagram-earth-atmosphere

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        David, please stop trolling.

      • coturnix says:

        jesus christ, what a facepalm! first you don’t know the difference between the solstice and the aphelion, and now this. You just keep delivering, don’t you? I mean, did you even look at the frigging diagram?

        Ok, here’s how one reads the diagram (dun-dun-dun): out of 161 watts absorbed by the surface, 22 watts=14% is emitted directly to the outer space and therefore doesn’t even count as ‘energy transfer in the atmosphere’, 17 watt = 11% is removed by thermals aka dry convection, 80 watt = 50% by latent heat aka evaporation, and a mere 374-333=41 watt = 25% by the radiative transfer into the atmosphere. How is 25% ‘most’?

        • bobdroege says:

          You ask

          “and a mere 374-333=41 watt = 25% by the radiative transfer into the atmosphere. How is 25% most?”

          Because you are supposed to add, not subtract!

          • coturnix says:

            Nope, because we’re talking about net fluxes not radiance.

            Think of thought experiment: in a room where you are now, the temperature is probably around 20C, meaning that a wall in front of you radiates about 400W*m-1 of energy towards the other wall, which does exactly the same. So, that means that means that the total energy fluxes in your room if around 800W*m-1! Dig all that free energy! Exccept that it’s not. The energy flux in your room barring for infinitesimally small fluctuations is exactly zero. The radiance is not, but who cares? If you were to actually look into the details of microscopic energy fluxes and take their individual components seriously, you’d have to assign an energy flux to a simple air pressure (enter the sydragon slayers).

            Here’s what i mean. The air in ur room has a pressure of around 100kPa – approximately, the air around me has a pressure of around 87kPa, exct value is irrelevant. So, what is pressure, I ask thee? Pressure is a force per unit are And what is force? It is mass times acceleration BUT it is also *momentum* per unit time. And what is momentum? It is a two times mass time ENERGY! therefore, it is bovious now that ‘static’ actually corresponds to a directional flux of energy, lets calculate it: P=F/S=dp/S*dt => DE/S/dt=P*sqrt(5RT/u)=64.5MEGAwatt*m-2.

          • coturnix says:

            ERRATA to the previous comment: of course 400W*m-2, not W*m-1, and momentum is a *square root* of 2mE

          • bobdroege says:

            Nope, David was not talking about net fluxes, he was talking of total fluxes.

            Photons don’t interact with each other so your post is essentially a nothing post.

            So are you a sky dragon slayer, hey joe, say it ain’t so.

            The sky dragon is still alive and well.

  32. Mik.e Flynn says:

    Roy,

    This was supposed to go elsewhere. I assume you have banned me, but I had already typed it up.

    Dr Frank’s final sentence is “The unavoidable conclusion is that a temperature signal from anthropogenic CO2 emissions (if any) cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables.”

    I agree with this statement. I do not necessarily agree with every detail in the paper.

    As to ” . . . it sounds like you don’t believe in the “greenhouse effect” . . .”, I try not to depend on belief. If someone can usefully describe the “greenhouse effect”, (and I note that you place quotes around this phrase – would you use quotes for the “Seebeck Effect”?), and without even a description, no testable GHE hypothesis can be proposed. This seems to me, to be Scientism rather than science.

    If I have beliefs, I draw them from my notional adherence to the tenets of the Church of Latter Day Factism. Richard Feynman was obviously a believer – he stated “Nature is absurd”, and “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

    Proponents of the GHE don’t have a description, hypothesis, or a theory to bless themselves with!

    Obviously not worthy to join my Church of Latter Day Factism!

    No offence intended – your blog, your rules. I thought a bit of humour might help.

    Cheers.

  33. CO2isLife says:

    The Hockeystick, on which all this nonsense if dependent, makes a sharp Dog Leg in 1902. You can do to NASA GISS and filter for all the stations that existed in 1901, along with their BI. Simply identify Weather Stations that have been in existence since 1902 and have a BI of 10 or less. 10 or less implies a rural station largely removed from the Urban Heat Island Effect. What you will find is that if you control for the Urban Heat Island Effect there has been no warming over the past 117 years. CO2 increased from around 296 to 410 today, and it had no impact of temperatures of stations with BIs 10 and below. Every kid should be doing this experiment in their High Schools.

    Here is the Site: Choose the Weather Station Alice Springs (23.8S, 133.88E) ID:501943260000 as a perfect example
    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data_v3/

    • David Appell says:

      Baloney.

      No warming, but all this ice is melting and the seas are rising and plants and animals are moving poleward??

      The hockey stick is required by basic physics. It’s time you learned that:

      1. temperature change is proportional to forcing change.
      2. CO2 forcing change is proportional to ln(CO2).
      3. CO2 has been increasing exponentially.

      => hockey stick.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      David, please stop trolling.

  34. Brian Jones says:

    I thought most of the global warming occurred during winter and at night. In that is the case heat is being stored and then released long after the stove has been turned off.

    • gbaikie says:

      Well the 10 tons of atmospheric mass per square meter is storing heat, as is the ocean surface- and some amount, the ocean depth.

      Oh, also clouds.

    • donald penman says:

      You have to remember that they use anomalies to claim this and it is actually colder in winter and at night than in summer during the day.

  35. Eben says:

    This thread is a disaster, worse than the moon rotating one,
    Which reminds me , here is a simplified demonstration why the moon rotates while showing the same side to the earth –
    for those really dense among us.

    https://youtu.be/j91XTV_p9pc

    • barry says:

      Good video – but let’s for goodness sake not stray back to this interminable bollocks.

      Gordon – as I said just above – it’s the skeptics who go off topic more than anyone else. Right here.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      Eben – nothing here we didn’t already understand. It’s our argument that you people are unable to grasp.

      barry – those defending the status quo on the moon rotation issue bring the topic up with more frequency than we do.

    • barry says:

      A ‘skeptic’ brought it up in this thread. Eben. Proof rather quickly.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      Huh? Eben is not a “moon’s axial rotation” skeptic, barry.

      Proof rather quickly, indeed.

      • David Appell says:

        What’s your definition of “rotation.”

        Is the Earth rotating? How do you know?

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        David, you’re really not helping barry’s case. You’re making him look quite foolish.

      • barry says:

        Eben is an AGW ‘skeptic’. That is, obviously, what I am referring to. They derail conversations and introduce red herrings with much greater frequency than anyone else here.

        Who constantly posts off-topic stuff? Ren and you, DREMT.

        Huffman’s regular schtick is that because interlocutor A is wrong about X, they are therefore wrong about the unrelated topic under discussion. Often Huffman doesn’t even bother to tie the current discussion into it.

        Flynn’s interminable requests for a definition of the greenhouse effect is in response to any topic under the sun, no matter how unrelated. He wields that schtick the same way Huffman does.

        The people here who accept the science of AGW – you would call them ‘alarmists’ – are far better at replying on topic, and far less inclined to dredge up unrelated disagreements.

        Nobody is perfect, but the tendencies are starkly clear.

        And who is it that sincerely calls for discussion to stay on-topic here? Roy Spencer, Bindidon, David A and me. Only people who understand the AGW effect do that here. The so-called ‘skeptics’? Pretty much never.

        DREMT – why don’t you help out by policing red herrings? You know, do something useful.

        Otherwise, please stop trolling.

        • gbaikie says:

          –barry says:
          September 15, 2019 at 8:12 PM
          Eben is an AGW ‘skeptic’. That is, obviously, what I am referring to.–

          Is an AGW “skeptic” referring to man made global warming which has occurred or “skeptic” about projection {not predictions} about possible man made warming in the future {which everyone who is vaguely sane, including IPCC, is skeptical of. And due to numerous projections which different, one would have to at least pick one and have to be skeptical of others that don’t agree with one which you regard as most dependable}

          I assume you mean to man made global warming which has occurred, and so I want ask how much global warming has been caused by “human activity”. Plus it seems everyone should agree that Urban heat island effects are caused by human activity. And is there anyone skeptical of the warming in regards to UHI effects.

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        “Eben is an AGW ‘skeptic’. That is, obviously, what I am referring to.”

        Eben is not a “moon’s axial rotation” skeptic. That is, obviously, what I was referring to.

        “Who constantly posts off-topic stuff?”

        Just about every regular commenting here. For instance, a discussion about the frequency of off-topic comments is off-topic to this article we’re commenting under.

        Don’t worry, looks like Mike and JD have been banned for having contrary positions on the GHE, so you won’t have to worry about them any more. Banning people for the position they hold is bound to make some people wonder what all the fuss is about regarding that position, and send some inquiring minds in that direction, so I guess hopefully at least some good will come from it.

        “The people here who accept the science of AGW – you would call them ‘alarmists’ – are far better at replying on topic, and far less inclined to dredge up unrelated disagreements.”

        Hogwash.

        “And who is it that sincerely calls for discussion to stay on-topic here? Roy Spencer, Bindidon, David A and me. Only people who understand the AGW effect do that here. The so-called ‘skeptics’? Pretty much never.”

        This discussion is off-topic. I sincerely call for it to stop. I don’t want to discuss the moon’s lack of axial rotation on this thread, either. I sincerely call for that to stop.

  36. ren says:

    Water vapor packages are lighter than the air around them. The water vapor molecule has a low molecular weight.
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/sat/satlooper.php?region=gom&product=ir

    • barry says:

      Though ren is harmless, this interminable off-topic posting would not be missed by me.

      • Bindidon says:

        barry

        I understand your point. But what I would miss even far less are all these incredibly stupid comments like

        “barry, please stop trolling.”

        originated by a troll nicknamed ‘Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team’.

        Who the heck gets us rid of that?

      • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

        Openly calling for censorship, eh, Bindidon?

        • bobdroege says:

          Says the stooge openly calling for censorship.

        • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

          Politely (or even impolitely) asking people to “stop trolling” is not “calling for censorship”. They’re more than welcome to keep commenting, and trolling, if they wish…and I’m sure they will.

          Bindidon is clearly hinting at getting another ban from Dr Spencer, for me.

          That’s calling for censorship.

          • bobdroege says:

            Yeah, but when you do it say a thousand times it does indeed appear to be censorship. You have more than worn out your welcome with that repeated phrase.

            What Bindindon should have asked is

            “Will no one rid me of this troublesome Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team?”

            Now that wouldn’t be a call for censorship either.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            bobdroege, please stop trolling.

          • bobdroege says:

            Now if I only had four medieval Knights from Normandy to do my bidding.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            Say that a thousand times, and according to your “logic”, it would become “censorship”.

          • bobdroege says:

            But I haven’t said it a thousand times, you know, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts you might have a logical argument.

            But you don’t, and you are the troll, constantly asking people to stop trolling.

          • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

            If you said it a thousand times, it still wouldn’t be a call for censorship.

            Trying to get Dr Spencer to ban me is a call for censorship.

            Sure, asking people to stop trolling can be seen as trolling. Oh well. Does that mean that the people I ask to stop trolling are not trolling? No. That depends on whether or not they’re trolling…

            …every regular here has trolled from time to time. Nobody is prepared to admit it though.

          • bobdroege says:

            What does it take to get it through your thick skull that what would be nice is if you stopped with your stupid please stop trolling comments.

            We would welcome your on topic comments, however it appears you don’t know enough science to do that.

  37. Jgc says:

    What would you say if after adjusting the flame and lid, different pots have different temperatures, with variations of up to 3.5C among them. Wouldnt this imply a worrying inability for the pot models to replicate the energy balance of the earth? Even after many adjustments.
    That is the actual figure for current GCMs.

  38. Gordon Robertson says:

    roy…”The lid is analogous to Earth’s greenhouse effect, which reduces the ability of the Earth’s surface to cool to outer space”.

    Roy…the lid blocks real particles of air from leaving the pot. It also changes the air pressure inside the pot/lid container, which affects the water temperature.

    There is no analogy between that lid and a trace gas making up 0.04% of the atmosphere. The analogy, if any, is to the ability of glass in a greenhouse to block heated air from rising.

    You have never explained how that trace gas can affect the dissipation of heat at the surface. CO2 can only trap infrared energy in proportion to its mass. Most surface radiation should bypass the CO2 as if it’s not there.

    In order for the trace gas to affect the dissipation of heat at the surface, it would have to block the rising of heated air molecules, as does the glass in a real greenhouse.

    That heated air is 99% nitrogen and oxygen.

    With regard to radiation, Stefan-Boltzmann tells us it’s the temperature of the atmosphere in contact with the surface that controls heat dissipation radiatively.

    See Net Radiation Loss Rate….

    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/radiation-heat-transfer-d_431.html

    q = e.sigma.A (Th^4 – Tc^4)

    q = net radiation heat loss
    e = emissivity
    sigma = Stefan Boltzmann constant
    A = area of radiation
    Th = hot body absolute temperature
    Tc = cold surroundings absolute temperature.

    Of course, as a meteorologist you will know far more about surface/atmosphere processes. Ideally, the surface and atmosphere, at the surface, should be in thermal equilibrium. However, air heated at the surface will rise and cooler upper air will replace it. That recycling should cool the surface by affecting Tc.

    Lindzen pointed out that without that convection the surface would average about 72C. Lindzen’s point seems to agree with the equation above.

  39. ren says:

    Does CO2 have a greater impact than ENSO on the water vapor content of the atmosphere?
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/global.png

  40. ren says:

    A vertical temperature gradient allows the heat transferred by vater wapor to be released in the troposphere.
    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_MEAN_ALL_EQ_2018.png

  41. Bindidon says:

    For those interested in reactions to Pat Frank’s guest post at WUWT – reactions similar to all those made by Roy Spencer – here are two home posts make by Nick Stokes:

    – How errors really propagate in differential equations (and GCMs)

    https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2019/09/how-errors-really-propagate-in.html

    and, written a few days before:

    – Another round of Pat Frank’s “propagation of uncertainties

    https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2019/09/another-round-of-pat-franks-propagation.html

    As I wrote upthread, Nick Stokes argues since longer time against Pat Frank’s opinions, especially concerning
    – the relevance of systemic errors;
    – how GCM’s exactly do work.

    Look at it; it is not my role to emit any opinion concerning all that stuff.

  42. David Appell says:

    Roy, in 1982 Exxon scientists produced a climate model that has been accurate. How did they accomplish that?

    https://debunkhouse.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/xom1.png

  43. Dan Pangburn says:

    The observation is that, at least since it has been accurately measured worldwide, WV has been increasing about TWICE that expected from temperature increase. Therefore, for periods of a few years or more, WV increase has been driving temperature increase, not the other way around. Calculations are provided in Section 8 of my blog/analysis (click my name).

    Typical relative IR absorbing ability of the greenhouse gasses water vapor and CO2 at zero altitude are shown in this graph calculated by Spectracalc/Hitran using Quantum Mechanics: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ECWhyyDUYAA1P89?format=jpg&name=medium
    http://spectralcalc.com/spectral_browser/db_intensity.php . At zero altitude, on average, there are about 10,000/410 ≈ 24 H2O molecules for each CO2 molecule. The relative absorb/emit of H2O vs CO2 can be determined by the ratio of sum of the line lengths for each on the Hitran graph. The ratio of the line-length sums divided by 24 calculates that each H2O molecule is about 5 times as effective at absorb/emit of thermal (LWIR) radiation as a CO2 molecule.

    The tiny % increase in ground level absorbers from increased CO2 is countered by the large % increase in emitters to space above the tropopause with the end result that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Climate sensitivity is not significantly different from zero.

    • David Appell says:

      Dan Pangburn says:
      The observation is that, at least since it has been accurately measured worldwide, WV has been increasing about TWICE that expected from temperature increase.

      Prove it. With a scientific paper, not your blog or calculations.

      • coturnix says:

        >>>not your blog OR CALCULATIONS.
        <<<
        lol, freudian!

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        DA,
        The simple calculations are proof enough. It is appalling that Climate Scientists were too obsessed with CO2 to even look. If they would have looked they, like me, would have discovered that WV increases about twice that from temperature increase alone and therefore WV increase drives average global temperature increase, not the reverse. This proves that their theory that warming from CO2 produced temperature increasing feedback from WV is bogus.

    • Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:

      David, please stop trolling.

  44. David Appell says:

    Roy wrote:
    Thus, we can either make ad-hoc bias adjustments to the various energy fluxes to get as close to the desired water temperature as we want (this is what climate models used to do many years ago); or, we can make more physically-based adjustments because every computation of physical processes that affect energy transfer has uncertainties, say, a coefficient of turbulent heat loss to the air from the pot. This is what model climate models do today for adjustments.

    Roy, GISS’s code is publically available (unlike your’s!). Show us where they do these adjustments.

    NASA GISS GCM Model E: Model Description and Reference Manual
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html

  45. gbaikie says:

    –This is why climate models can have uncertain energy fluxes, with substantial known (or even unknown) errors in their energy flux components, and still be run with increasing CO2 to produce warming, even though that CO2 effect might be small compared to the errors. The errors have been adjusted so they sum to zero in the long-term average.

    This directly contradicts the succinctly-stated main conclusion of Franks paper:

    LWCF [longwave cloud forcing] calibration error is +/- 144 x larger than the annual average increase in GHG forcing. This fact alone makes any possible global effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions invisible to present climate models.–

    I don’t think “cloud forcing” makes “anthropogenic CO2 emissions invisible to present climate models”

    It seems if I held this view, I would have to have high uncertainity about the amount warming due to “anthropogenic CO2 emissions”

    Or how could rule out that doubling of CO2 doesn’t cause 10 C of warming if being made invisible by large variation due to “cloud forcing”.

    I don’t think global average temperature changes much.
    As I have said, I think global temperature is connected to average volume temperature of our oceans {which is about 3.5 C}.
    But we have global weather {and regional and local weather} which can vary the air temperature {regionally and locally} by quite a bit. It fluctuates a lot in various regions, but global temperature is restrained/confined by ocean temperature and giving average global air temperature of about 15 C.
    And as I said, global air temperature is not really global temperature, it’s a proxy of global temperature. And if using this proxy, requires measuring the air temperatures over long period of time, which said to be 17 or 30 years [or more than 30 years.
    Or the “real global temperature” could be measure every second but basically remains the same second to second. Or real global temperature 10 years ago was about 3.5 C and today it’s about 3.5 C. And make it interesting you have measure to thousandth of degrees to get change in a year’s time.
    And instead it’s a lot easier now, to measure the global air temperature proxy for global temperature.
    Or ocean temperature is global temperature, ocean temperature affects ocean surface temperature, and ocean surface temperatures is dominate factor controlling global air temperature, but one also have weather effects {including clouds] which affects air temperature. But clouds don’t have much effect in short term {decades} on the temperature of the ocean, and not even much effect upon the surface temperature of the ocean. Or clouds would seem to have stronger effect upon land surface temperatures {which are minor part of the Earth surface].

    I think what makes the effect of rising levels of CO2, invisible, is takes long time to increase the CO2 levels, and the effect of doubling CO2 levels is a global warming of about .5 C. And our measurement of global air temperature is not been accurate enough to detect such a small change in temperature.

    One could also ask the question, assuming CO2 does increase global air temperatures, where on Earth would increase air temperature the most.
    Say would the drier areas in middle of Canada have largest warming effect from higher CO2 levels.
    Or seems quite unlikely it will be uniform temperature increase- some regions would warm more than other regions. And if not Canada, where?

    • gbaikie says:

      From above:
      –Dr Roys Emergency Moderation Team says:
      September 16, 2019 at 9:09 AM
      Ill just put this link near the top of the comments:

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/09/additional-comments-on-the-frank-2019-propagation-of-error-paper/#comment-388652

      As I have said, it seems to me the greatest uncertainty is what causes a lowering global temperature.
      More specifically, what caused the cooling of the Little Ice Age.
      Or to look further back in time, what caused the cooling from the warm period of the last interglacial period, called the Eemian.

      One could focus on the Eemian, simply because I am unaware of anyone who dispute that about 120,000 years ago, Earth had higher average global temperature. Nor, that cooled a lot after 115,000 year ago.

      And there are some people who want argue that LIA was not global and etc. Of course I am sure if some might argue that Eemian was not global- other than the sea level rise part of it, would seem to make that a difficult obstacle.
      Though I don’t much argument about the lowering of sea levels during the LIA as getting in the way of arguing that LIA was not global.
      As far as I am aware, the average ocean temperature during Eemian was higher, than fell after 115,000 year ago. And the ocean temperature warmer during Eemian.
      But prior to LIA, the ocean temperatures were warmer and sea level was higher, and ocean cooled and sea levels dropped during LIA.
      And then in present time, ocean warmed and sea levels measurable warmed.
      If looking for large changes, Eemian has that advantage, but I think closeness in time of LIA is large advantage.

  46. tonyM says:

    Dr Spencer:
    I hope that the prolific number of articles and posts from you since your op is a good guide to your positive recovery.

    Re the debate with Pat Frank both of you are to be commended for the cordial interchange. I appreciate it has fallen flat without an understanding and resolution. I wonder whether both parties have not been at fault here. I see two main areas of irritation viz.

    a) You were gracious enough to state that you did not understand what he was describing as it did not fit into your ideas and experience with error level (including words to the effect of not having any problems understanding the climate literature etc) and he should explain his position clearly. He had explained it in terms of persistent error but added ‘physicists, chemists and engineers understand it so why don’t climatologists grasp it.’

    I agree that does not clarify it; it is brusque. Nevertheless he felt he had stated that it was an uncertainty and not an actual T measure (in response to the fast divergence or error bounds from the model T measures).

    b) You response was that he had not stated this at the outset and considered it BS and that he was simply covering for what was ‘clearly’ an egregious or absurd situation that the T could diverge so far from calibrated and constrained models (ie reality).

    Here you are wrong; he is being genuine, the spread is not a measure of where the model may land and he has not made it up after your interaction. This has been his position all along and the evidence is in prior interchange with others such as Nick Stokes, Patrick Brown and others.

    The evidence from his debate with Brown over 2 years ago is worth reading:

    Pat Frank says:
    January 29, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    https://patricktbrown.org/2017/01/25/do-propagation-of-error-calculations-invalidate-climate-model-projections-of-global-warming/#comment-1427

    This is a response to Dr. Patrick Brown and his critical video. It consists of multiple parts, and is pretty long. So, I’ll post each section separately, so as to make reading and response easier.

    Before proceeding to specific points, I’ll mention that in minute 12:35, Dr. Brown observed that the ±17 C uncertainty envelope in RCP 8.5, derived from long wave cloud forcing (LCF) error is, “a completely unphysical range of uncertainty, so it’s totally not plausible that temperature could decrease by 15 degrees as we’re increasing CO₂. And it’s implausible as well that temperature could increase by 17 decrees as we’re increasing CO₂ under the RCP 8.5 scenario. But as I understand it, this is the point Dr. Frank is trying to make.”

    A temperature uncertainty statistic is not a physical temperature. Statistical uncertainties cannot be “unphysical” in the sense Dr. Brown implies. The large uncertainty bars do not indicate possible increases or decreases in air temperature. They indicate a state of knowledge. The uncertainty bars are an ignorance width. I made this very point in my DDP presentation, when the propagated uncertainty envelopes were first introduced.

    It is true that the very large uncertainty bars subsume any possible future air temperature excursion. This condition indicates that no future air temperature can falsify a climate model air temperature projection. No knowledge of future air temperature is contained in, or transmitted by, a climate model temperature expectation value.

    Dr. Brown continued, “So he’s essentially saying that when you properly account for the uncertainty in the climate model projections, the uncertainty becomes so large so quickly that you can’t actually draw any meaning from the projections that the climate models are making.” On this, we are agreed.

    —————
    I’d like to see this explored more if possible as the debate had started really well. Forgive me if I have not captured any significant points clearly as most of my reading has been done on my phone and am going from memory. I have just got my computer back.

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