A Turning Point for the IPCC…and Humanity?

September 17th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

A climate modeler increasing his model's climate sensitivity

A climate modeler increasing his model’s sensitivity.

I usually don’t comment on recently published climate research papers, partly because they rarely add much, and partly because other blogs do a pretty good job of covering them anyway. The reason why I say “they rarely add much” is that there are a myriad of theories that can be justified with some data, but rarely is the evidence convincing enough to hang your hat on them.

One of the things I’ve learned in the climate research business is that it is really easy to be wrong, and really difficult to be right. There are many competing theories of what causes climate change, and they can’t all be correct.

But recent events are quite exceptional. A few recent papers on climate sensitivity, and on the previously under-appreciated role of natural climate variations, and the apparent backing-off by the IPCC on climate sensitivity in the upcoming AR5 report, now warrants a few comments from me. (We also have our own paper, slated to be published on October 31, which will present new results on climate sensitivity and the role of natural climate variations in recent warming.)

By way of background, I have always been convinced that the IPCC was created by bureaucrats to achieve specific policy ends. I was even told so by one of those bureaucrats, Bob Watson, back in the early 1990s. Not that there aren’t ‘true believers’ in the movement. In my experience, the vast majority of the scientists and politicians involved in the IPCC process appear to really believe they are doing what is right for humanity by supporting restrictions on fossil fuel use.

But now, with the IPCC unable to convincingly explain the recent stall in warming (some say a change to weak cooling), the fact that they are forced to actually recognize reality and make changes in their report — possibly reducing the lower bound for future warming, thus reducing the range of climate sensitivity — is quite momentous.

It might well be that so widespread is the public knowledge of the hiatus in warming, recovering Arctic sea ice (at least temporarily), continuing expansion of Antarctic sea ice, failed predictions of previous IPCC reports, etc., are forcing them to do something to save face. Maybe even to keep from being de-funded.

For the last 10-20 years or more, a few of us have been saying that the IPCC has been ignoring the elephant in the room…that the real climate system is simply not as sensitive to CO2 emissions as they claim. Of course, the lower the climate sensitivity, the less of a problem global warming and climate change becomes.

This elephant has had to be ignored at all costs. What, the globe isn’t warming from manmade CO2 as fast as we predicted? Then it must be manmade aerosols cooling things off. Or the warming is causing the deep ocean to heat up by hundredths or thousandths of a degree. Any reason except reduced climate sensitivity, because low climate sensitivity might mean we really don’t have to worry about global warming after all.

And, if that’s the case, the less relevant the IPCC becomes. Not good if your entire professional career has been invested in the IPCC.

But forecasting the future state of the climate system was always a risky business. The Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, was correct: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

Unlike daily forecasts made by meteorologists, the advantage to climate prognosticators of multi-decadal forecasts is that few people will remember how wrong you were when your forecast finally goes bust.

Yet, here we are, with over 20 years of forecasts from the early days of climate modelling, and the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

I’m sure the politicians believed we would have had new energy policies in place by now, in which case they could have (disingenuously) claimed their policies were responsible for global warming “ending”. Not likely, since atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, and even by the most optimistic estimates renewable energy won’t amount to more than 15% of global energy generation in the coming decades.

But it’s been nearly 20 years since Al Gore privately blamed us (now, the UAH satellite temperature dataset) for the failure of his earliest attempt at CO2 legislation. Multiple attempts at carbon legislation have failed. The lack of understanding of basic economic principles on the part of politicians and scientists alike led to the unrealistic expectation that humanity would allow the lifeblood of the global economy — inexpensive energy — to be restricted.

Of course, in the U.S. we still have the EPA as a way to back-door policies some politicians desire, without having to go through the inconvenience of our elected representatives agreeing.

But, I digress. My main point is that nothing stands in the way of a popular theory (e.g. global warming) better than failed forecasts. We are now at the point in the age of global warming hysteria where the IPCC global warming theory has crashed into the hard reality of observations. A few of us are not that surprised, as we always distrusted the level of faith that climate modelers had in their understanding of the causes of climate change.

I continue to suspect that, in the coming years, scientists will increasingly realize that more CO2 in the atmosphere is, on the whole, good for life on Earth. Given that CO2 is necessary for life, and that nature continues to gobble up 50% of the CO2 we produce as fast as we can produce it, I won’t be that surprised when that paradigm shift occurs, either.

144 Responses to “A Turning Point for the IPCC…and Humanity?”

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  1. Stephen Wilde says:

    Sitting on the fence is all very well but for some of us the sole issue has been to use real world data to figure out what really drives the obvious natural variability of climate.

    There is indeed “a myriad of theories that can be justified with some data, but rarely is the evidence convincing enough to hang your hat on them”

    so I have spent many years incorporating observations into a coherent overview that complies with basic physics.

    If anyone can find data inconsistent with my New Climate Model such that it is invalidated then I would appreciate hearing about it;


    • gbaikie says:

      So, put Earth is at Venus distance, what happens in 1 million years.
      Then Earth is at Mars distance, what happens in 1 million years?

      How jets streams affected by Milankovitch cycles. And how are they affected different continental topography- such Antarctic at south pole?

    • Charles Higley says:

      The model reads well, but how does the model handle the undulating decline in temperatures since the Holocene Optimum, with each succeeding peak being cooler than the last?

      And Svensmark’s clouds may still be a long term factor that shifts everything one way or the other depending on density.

  2. Speaking of not commenting on recent papers, what did you think about this one… does it corroborate Spencer & Braswell 2011?

    Theoretical and Applied Climatology
    September 2013

    Influence of non-feedback variations of radiation on the determination of climate feedback

    Yong-Sang Choi, Heeje Cho, Chang-Hoi Ho, Richard S. Lindzen, Seon Ki Park, Xing Yu

    Recent studies have estimated the magnitude of climate feedback based on the correlation between time variations in outgoing radiation flux and sea surface temperature (SST). This study investigates the influence of the natural non-feedback variation (noise) of the flux occurring independently of SST on the determination of climate feedback. The observed global monthly radiation flux is used from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) for the period 20002008. In the observations, the time lag correlation of radiation and SST shows a distorted curve with low statistical significance for shortwave radiation while a significant maximum at zero lag for longwave radiation over the tropics. This observational feature is explained by simulations with an idealized energy balance model where we see that the [natural] non-feedback variation plays the most significant role in distorting the curve in the lagged correlation graph, thus obscuring the exact value of climate feedback. We also demonstrate that the climate feedback from the tropical longwave radiation in the CERES data is not significantly affected by the noise. We further estimate the standard deviation of radiative forcings (mainly from the noise) relative to that of the non-radiative forcings, i.e., the noise level from the observations and atmosphereocean coupled climate model simulations in the framework of the simple model. The estimated noise levels in both CERES (>13 %) and climate models (1128 %) are found to be far above the critical level (~5 %) that begins to misrepresent climate feedback.

    • I have not read the paper yet, but based upon the Abstract, yes, it corroborates our paper.

      • Stephen Wilde says:


        Does your paper corroborate or rebut the conceptual overview set out in my New Climate Model?

        • Stephen, your idea that changes in mid-latitude wave activity could be a source of natural climate change is an interesting one. But your step-by-step (20 steps!) explanation of why it occurs, which starts with a change in solar activity and then proceeds with a cascade of effects starting in the stratosphere, is highly speculative. Not necessarily wrong, just speculative. 😉

          Our work does not support it one way or the other, except that we DO believe there are natural cloud changes which in turn cause global temperatures to change. Changes in mid-latitude storminess could be one of those source of cloud variations.

          • Stephen Wilde says:

            Thank you for considering the matter,Roy.

            However, I don’t consider it to be mere speculation but rather a plausible scenario that fits all the observations I am currently aware of whilst complying with basic physics.

            Every hypothesis starts in that way and is then either proved or rebutted by on going observations.

            That your work does not rebut it is helpful to me.

            I await data that cannot fit but do not expect to encounter it 🙂

            You accept that natural cloud changes cause global temperatures to change. They could only have that affect by modulating the proportion of ToA insolation that gets into the oceans.

            Then one needs a cause for the natural cloud changes and I have given you one that does not encounter the problems inherent in the Svensmark hypothesis.

            Isn’t Svensmark (and all his supporters)just speculating ?

          • Stephen Wilde says:

            Actually, every one of those 20 steps is substantiated by real world observations so that none of them individually are speculative.

            Furthermore, I contend that given basic physical principles it would not be logically possible to order them in any other sequence.

            The term ‘speculation’ is not a valid description.

  3. In order to have a solar/climate connection show up the solar conditions have to vary by a certain degree of magnitude over a certain duration of time, anything short of that WILL NOT BE ENOUGH ,to show a solar /climate connection.

    This is why it is hard to show solar/climate connections since the end of the Dalton , to very recently.

    However the sun has gone into a prolonged solar minimum state which is turing out much WEAKER then the conventional forecast thus far ,and IS going to have an impact on the climate going forward if the prolonged solar minimum reaches the many solar parameters I have talked about.

    solar flux sub 90 sustained.
    solar wind sub350 km/sec. sustained.
    UV light off upwards of 50% sustained.
    cosmic ray count 6500 or more sustained.
    solar irradiance off .015% or more sustained
    ap index 5.0 or lower 98+% of the time sustained.

    These solar values folowing several years of sub solar activity in general which we have had since year 2005.

  4. Carbonicus says:

    Roy, we have a precedent for this kinda thing (i.e. faith masquerading as science and as such being turned on its head scientifically).

    “We” (you, John, hundreds of other scientists and non-scientists active in this debate who believe as we do) are Galileo/Copernicus. They are the church.

    Turns out that despite the overwhelming “consensus”, the sun did NOT revolve around the earth, the earth revolved around the sun.

    Same thing playing out, ~400 years later.

    And Mother Nature appears to have a sense of humor, and doesn’t like it when arrogant homo sapiens act as if we are more powerful than her natural processes.

    History settled this in the future. And here, I remind readers of the words of one of your scientific colleagues, Richard Lindzen:

    ” Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st centurys developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.

  5. M Hastings says:

    Well Said Dr. Roy!

  6. Bart says:

    I came here from The Hockey Schtick hoping to see some delicious blubbering from some of your most vitriolic critics over the years, Dr. Spencer. Always the gentleman, I never saw you rise in anger to their baiting. I wonder if their absence is merely indicative of a loss of interest in continually harassing you, or if they have slunk back to their caves with their tails between their legs.

    • Carbonicus says:

      Likely either the latter or they are re-grouping with whatever subterfuge will be most difficult to refute in the time they think it will take them to achieve emissions reduction legislation, nationally and locally.

      Our job is to educate every living person with a brain so that future generations are not robbed of the availability of affordable, reliable, abundant energy on the basis of political pseudo-science.

      Because if they win and achieve such control of energy throughout the globe, it WILL prevent 1-2 billion people from EVER achieving our living standards.

  7. Scott Supak says:

    Slunk back to your caves with our tails between our legs, Bart? Hardly.

    I recently had a conversation with Patrick Michales, CATO’s leading fake skeptic. We were going to bet on what he said was a good bet: that we’d go a quarter century without statistically significant warming. We went back and forth, eventually agreeing on this bet:

    I say we would see statistically significant (p = .05) warming trend for 25 years based on annual data beginning in 1997, using HadCRU4. Lose would pay winner’s charity. When he found out my charity was the Climate Scientists Legal Defense fund, he chickened out.

    Any of you guys ever want to make that bet, let me know. But I predict at first sight of my comment challenging you to put your money where your mouths are, you’ll be running back to your caves with your tail between your legs.

    • Scott Supak says:

      That’s Patrick Michaels.

      • Bart says:

        A) I don’t know you from Adam, and am hardly inclined to make a bet, or even introduce myself personally, to you. I do not make it a habit to make long term bets with strangers who, to all appearances, are raving lunatics whom I’d rather not associate with even on a short term basis.

        B) There is, and has been, a completely natural warming trend since the end of the LIA, so you are proposing basically a sucker’s bet. Whether warming is natural or man-made, there is a statistically significant upward trend. You would win in either case. What we are interested in here is artificial warming above and beyond what would have occurred naturally.

        What would have to be seen would be accelerating warming above and beyond the natural level and correlated with rising CO2. We would have to see warming bearing some remote resemblance to IPCC projections, of which to date, there is none, and there clearly is not going to be – there is way too much ground to be made up for that to be considered a realistic possibility as of today.

        • Scott Supak says:

          “strangers who, to all appearances, are raving lunatics whom Id rather not associate with even on a short term basis.”

          What’s your proof that I’m a raving lunatic? Seems you folks just love to jump to conclusions with very little in the way of proof.

          The heat’s been going into the oceans, folks. I know it. Most of the scientific community knows it. Apparently the only one’s who don’t know it are the ones with some vested interest in fossil fuels.

          Name your bet.

          • Bart says:

            “The heats been going into the oceans, folks.”

            (Giggle, snort) Yeah, that’s the ticket. The atmosphere is heating the oceans! But no, wait, it gets better. It’s heating the lower layers without even causing a ripple in the upper layers. Apparently, the Star Ship Enterprise teleported it down there when nobody was looking!

            Puh-leeze. At some point, big boys have to realize when the jig is up, and face reality.

            “Name your bet.”

            A gentleman’s bet – no money (or, more importantly, contact, required). Temperatures will never jump up contemporaneously into the orange range here.

          • Bart says:

            “Temperatures will never jump up contemporaneously into the orange range here.”

            Or at least, not until the error spread gets so large that it is meaningless. So, lets say, an area maintaining the same mean trend with the same spread past 2015.

          • Hops says:

            I agree it is going into the oceans, for now.

            I don’t agree with the obsession with surface temperature. The rise in sea level due to ice melting, and more so due to thermal expansion, continues unabated.

            As I always point out, you can see periods in the temperature charts in which the trend was DOWN for decades. Placing a bet that a flat period means the climate is relatively insensitive to CO2 is gambling with our children’s planet.

          • Bart says:

            “The rise in sea level due to ice melting, and more so due to thermal expansion, continues unabated.”

            At the same rate it has been for over a century, well before we could have affected it. Which means that hairshirt efforts to stop it are worthy of King Canute. What is the point of futile gestures and self-flagellating contrition for things that cannot be changed?

            “Placing a bet that a flat period means the climate is relatively insensitive to CO2 is gambling with our childrens planet.”

            Placing a bet that it is, and adopting measures which reduce our ability to cope with any exigency, high or low, is gambling with our children’s planet.

          • David Bradley says:

            First of all, I am not a climate expert, nor do I play one on the internet. I am a manufacturing guy who specializes in problem solving. In manufacturing we often maintain SPC (Statistical Process Control) charts to help understand the process. When a trend occurs, we ask “What changed?” A trend represents something outside the process influencing the process. Manufacturing processes do tend to cycle. Now, our cycles are not centuries long, but in many cases, hours. But the SPC charts will show when something changes.

            I hear you say the heat is going into the ocean. Okay, let’s explore that. Remember I am a just a simple manufacturing guy. But my first question is “What changed?”. Either the oceans always absorbed the heat, or they didn’t. Either the oceans absorbing the heat is normal (common cause), or it’s not (special cause). So if you are saying the heat is going into the oceans now, that means it didn’t before? It would seem to me that heat going into the oceans would not be something new, but something that has always been. In which case it would be a moot point. Again, “What changed?”

          • Tim Groves says:

            If you know that all that missing heat has been going into the oceans, Scott, then you’re probably aware that it’s also disappearing down volcanic vents and warming the earth’s mantle. Or haven’t the scientific community told you yet?

      • Wow, Scott, quite a challenge!

        I did a quick calculation, and you would win if the HadCRUT4 temperatures continue the same level of year-to-year variability until 2022 and a decadal warming trend of just under 0.035 deg. C/decade.

        This would be less warming than ALL climate models predict, and so would support our view that the climate system is relatively insensitive to CO2.

        So, why would I bet you on something where you could win by supporting MY view?

        Predicting ‘statistically significant warming’ over a 25 year period is pretty meaningless.

        • Scott Supak says:

          Name your bet, then. The heat’s in the oceans. The signal is there. I’m willing to bet on it. How about you?

          • Carbonicus says:

            If it’s in the oceans, Scott, then you should be able to measure it. Which means you should be able to document it.

            Otherwise, the fact that you “know it” and “most of the scientific community knows it” is just an article of faith, which is just about all your side has left to go on (and, truth be told, all your side ever had to rely upon to begin with, since computer model predictions are complex creations based on faith that the model has the input, variables, and interaction of those variable are correct. Given the observed data as compared to IPCC models, it is now evident that the inputs, variables, and understanding of the interaction of those variables is/was wrong. Badly wrong).

          • OK, here’s what I’m thinking of, and you could win even if the warming is below the average climate model prediction:

            The linear warming trend based upon annual average HadCRUT4, 1997 through 2021 inclusive (25 years), would have to be greater than or equal to the trend represented by 1 standard deviation *below* the average warming trend produced by the current CMIP5 models. I can compute what that would be before you agree.

            The bet could be $1,000 to a favorite charity. That should be sufficiently painful for both of us, assuming you are not independently wealthy.

            Lord willing, I will live long enough to see you pay up. I’m thinking maybe some fundamentalist Christian charity. 😉

          • lemiere jacques says:

            you know something sir, your case is exemplary..you do believe in your theory…no doubt about it… it is human but it is a problem to meon a sicntif point of view.

          • Eric says:

            Roy has named his bet…will the troll emerge from under the bridge and accept?

          • JJ says:

            “Name your bet, then. The heats in the oceans. The signal is there. Im willing to bet on it. How about you?”

            I’ll bet … that if the heat is in the oceans no one will give a damn. The lies necessary to invoke general concern over a few thousandths of a degree a few thousand meters down are simply too big to be told, let alone believed.

            This will no doubt be taken as a challenge …

          • Eric says:

            So it appears the troll has returned to its lair beneath the bridge, foiled by Dr Spencer’s counter riddle…judging by the link he provides…it must be an ugly lair at that.

          • Bart says:

            We’re going to look back at the desperate attempt to persuade people the heat has gone down in the oceans as the biggest scientific flail ever. It is astounding that there are people who actually take this seriously.

            Many have said that AGW is a cult, with more in common with religion than science. I dub this part the “immaculate convection”. It’s an explanation worthy of the underpants gnomes, thoroughly lacking the crucial middle step:

            Step 1: heat comes in
            Step 2: ?
            Step 3: it materializes at the ocean depths

            What an embarrassment for science.

          • Scott Basinger says:

            Roy’s proposal is charitable on multiple levels. One full standard deviation *below, that’s giving him something.

    • Pat Michaels says:

      Wow what a lie by Scott. I am impressed, and so shoud you all!

      On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM, Pat Michaels wrote:
      Deal! I’ll have to think about a Chairty.

      I like your idea on Intrade. They do have a 2019 vs 2009 market (probability of warmer: .75, but that says nothing about magnitude which is really the important thing. I would probably bet “warmer”, too. ). I’m a bit more familiar with the Iowa Electronic Market., I may chat with some people around here (Cato) who may know how to set up such a market.

      Here are the numbers, BTW:

      Assume that surface average temperature in the HadCRU record resumes rising at the rate it was rising at for 1976-1997 (can’t use 98 because of the big El Nino). If it rose at that rate with no year to year noise, the trend, beginning in 1997, would become statistically significant (p=.05) after 23 years, or on January 1, 2020. If there is no statistically significant trend in the annual data ending in 2021, I win. If there is at that time, you do.

      So what you are really betting is that warming will resume in the same magnitude as 76-97, next year or the year after that. You could be right, but I’m going to guess under any circumstances that this won’t resolve itself for several years!



      Hey I just figured out a good way to get a lot of publicity–let me talk to Anthony Watts–he’s got the most viewed climate site on the planet.


      • So, Scott Supak lied about you backing out of the global warming bet with him?

        He now seems to have gone quiet after I offered him the chance to win a bet with even less observed warming than most of the climate models forecast.

        • Carbonicus says:

          Welcome to the wonderful world of Thermaggedon-peddling. The moment they are challenged with credible fact, reason, logic, science, it’s always one of two outcomes:

          1) ad hominem attacks

          2) turn and run

        • Scott Supak says:

          Screwing with you wingnuts is just a hobby. I have other more important things to do, so all your joy at my leaving was rather misplaced.

          Further, Mr. Michaels is the liar. Our bet included publicizing the bet on our various publications. It also involved the final agreement on the charities. Neither of these requirements was fullfilled. Therefore, Mr. Michaels never completed the bet he said he would.

          Ergo, the CATO institute’s Denier in Chief is the liar, not me.

          Now, if he, or anyone else, would like to take his “sucker’s bet” as you called it, Dr. Spencer, then let me know where you will publish the bet, and what your charity is, and we’re off and running!

          • Scott Basinger says:

            Reading this fellow’s posts, if you would like to actually bet with this troll, I’d recommend that you obtain a bond from this joker otherwise you’ll probably see the money.

          • Scott Basinger says:

            *never see the money

        • Scott Supak says:

          Scott Basinger says you’ll never see the money Pat.

          Of course, he’s yet another wingnut with bad reading comprehension skills. Pat won’t see the money because if I lose the money goes to his charity.

          It’s right there in the post. All you had to do is read it.

      • Carbonicus says:

        Pat, thanks for clearing the air here. I can’t say I’m surprised that Scott lied about the bet.

        But the proposed bet still has nothing to do with attribution. So what if the statistical trend resumes? Unless someone can establish causation with human emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels, it appears you would be betting not on whether humans are making it “warmer”, but whether it would simply be warmer.

        30 years of this nonsense and still no credible attribution. In the face of 18-23 years of no statistically significant warming by UAH, RSS, HadCrut, NASA, etc., wouldn’t you say that the door is rapidly closing on the attribution argument?

        • Scott Supak says:

          I didn’t lie. Pat’s full of BS. We had a bet he had supposedly agreed to, and then he disappeared. I even wrote back once and asked him why he backed out, and he didn’t answer that. It wasn’t until I mentioned him here that I heard back from him, and then it was only for him to call me a liar.

          Well, Pat? Prove I’m a liar? What’s the lie exactly? That you backed out of the bet? I have the emails. You agreed to it, then you never followed through. I’m guessing you still won’t.

          Like all the rest of you, you’re too chicken to put your money where your mouth is.

      • Scott Supak says:

        What’s a lie, Pat? You backed out. After this mail that you posted here, and I said what my charity was, you stopped writing. I have the emails. It’s not a lie. So, now you’re lying. This is typical of people like you.

        “I am impressed, and so shoud you all!”

        I’m not impressed with your grammar and spelling. The CATO institute is really scraping the bottom of the barrell these days.

        I will bet $250 with anyone here on any bet that involves a set date at which we can determine who won. So, Pat, our bet is still on (and note that even Dr. Spencer thinks it’s a sucker’s bet). If you want to continue with it, please write back. Remember, part of any bet is that we all publicize it on our blogs.

        As for you, Dr. Spencer, here’s what you said:

        “The linear warming trend based upon annual average HadCRUT4, 1997 through 2021 inclusive (25 years), would have to be greater than or equal to the trend represented by 1 standard deviation *below* the average warming trend produced by the current CMIP5 models. I can compute what that would be before you agree.”

        OK, calculate it. I’m a gambler, not a scientist.

        As for Eric, who wants to make silly little troll jokes, well, Eric, got $250? Name your bet.

        I really miss Intrade, where, unsurprisingly, none of you fake skeptics were willing to make money on what you’re so sure of, and where I was raking it in before they shut it down.

        For the record, Intrade had two markets for the 2009 vs. 2019 temp anomalies (they used GISS). One was that 2019 would be warmer, the other that it would be warmer by .2 C. I’ll take either one.

        If you guys want, we can just model these things like Intrade did, and we can bid and offer back and forth on shares that pay $10 to the winning predictor, and $0 to the loser. Or, dream up your own bets on how the world is not warming. I’ll entertain all of them. Using the Intrade model, even poor fake skeptics could get in on the action.

        As for you, Bart, have you even read Levitus et al? The heat’s going in the oceans big time. Don’t think so? Well, name your bet then.

        Come and take my money, fellows.

        • OK, Scott, I’ve computed the trends for 90 climate models, for which I will post a spreadsheet so everyone can see how I came up with the warming trend under question:

          +0.162 deg. C/decade is 1 standard deviation below the average surface temperature trend from the 90 models (avg. +0.226 deg. C/decade) for the period 1997 through 2021, inclusive.

          For you to win, the computed HadCRUT4 trend in global average surface temperatures would have to meet or exceed this value (+0.162 deg. C/decade, we will ignore whatever error bars there are).

          Do we have a bet? $1,000 to our charity of choice. If either of us dies before the end of 2021, the bet is off.

          • Scott Supak says:

            I bet $250 each time. I like to spread my bets out for maximum impact. And I’m just a working class guy. No big carbon people paying my bills, you know.

            The bet is dependent on us both posting about it. Not a comment. An actual post in our blogs.

            Name your charity. You know mine.

            I’ll look at the numbers and get back to you.

        • Bart says:

          “As for you, Bart, have you even read Levitus et al?”

          Yes. Garbage. If you have an argument, state it.

          • Scott Supak says:

            I have money to bet. I’m sick of arguing with idiots.

            Here’s the bet that’s almost official with Pat Michaels, who started all this by saying it was a good bet we’d go 25 years without statistically significant warming.

            “So the wager is on a statistically significant (p= .05) warming trend for 25 years based on annual data beginning in 1997, using HadCRU4, right?”

            To be clear, I think “p < .05" is the way Intrade would do it.

            Dr. Spencer thinks that's a sucker's bet. Maybe you have a better one?

          • Bart says:

            “I have money to bet.”

            Proving that you have no care for money means nothing. There are guys all around the world strapping on bombs and detonating them in crowds betting their very lives that they will be rewarded in an afterlife. Should we give their religious views greater credence because they are so committed?

            Of course not. This is not the sign of divine inspiration. This is a sign of serious mental health issues.

            “Im sick of arguing with idiots.”

            You haven’t argued anything. You’ve made no points. You’ve explained nothing. You definitely haven’t addressed how heat induced by less than half a century of supposed human-induced global warming is presumed to have been transported to the depths of the oceans.

      • Scott Supak says:

        Oh, Bart, I’ve been arguing for years. Guess I just didn’t get around to you. You want to bet, or not?

        • Bart says:

          I want you to quit grandstanding like a little kid and contribute something, anything at all, to the conversation which is worth consideration. What you are willing to “bet”, or what you feel is true in your heart of hearts, is of no interest whatsoever.

          • Scott Supak says:

            I’m not grandstanding, I’m gambling. And the conversation has been raging here and elsewhere for years now. There’s very little you or I are going to add to the mountains of comment sections where people like us argue with each other.

            So, I propose we bet. I find it’s a great way to cut through the BS and get to the heart of the matter, which is DO YOU WINGNUTS REALLY BELIEVE YOUR OWN BS? If you won’t bet, you probably don’t. At least Pat and Roy are willing to put their money where their Limbaugh loving mouths are.

            What’s the matter? Chicken?

          • Bart says:

            So, you have no contribution to make. Thought so.

  8. Brian D says:

    This year the Arctic being on the colder side, I wondered if the meteor that came over the pole into Russia back in Feb deposited enough material in the upper atmosphere to cause this.

    It was noted this year that the noctilucent clouds came early and strong. Possibly could have affected the polar temps by blocking some of the SW from the Sun? And also the amount of material deposited in the stratosphere may have influenced as well?

    These types of random factors like volcanoes may have a profound effect when they happen on our climate, even if they are short term.

    The climate/weather seems chaotic, but it’s only because of the puny minds of men that we can not perceive the awesome, fluid poetry from the hand of the Creator.

  9. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Just off topic:
    Being a very fan of Muppets from the times of my youthfulness, I can’t be glad to see the character of Mr.Beaker working on climate models.
    If Dr.Bunsen doesn’t make him explode one more time, he will probably do better previsions than dendroclimatologists did till today.

    Great choice Dr. Spencer!

    Have a nice day.


  10. Bantu says:

    The picture (and caption) cracked me up. Thank you for the much needed laugh! And the interesting read following!

  11. Dr. Spencer, as you should know I am of the same opinion as Stephen ,when it comes to sustained low solar activity causing a more meridional atmospheric circulation due to ozone distribution changes which causes the pressures to rise in the higher latitudes in contrast to the lower latitudes ,in the stratosphere. The result being more blocking and a -AO. Colder overall N.H. more clouds,precip.,snow cover.

    In addition unlike Stephen but like Mr. Svensmark , I am of the opinion that a weak solar wind will result in an increase in cosmic rays which will result in more clouds and lower temperatures.

    In addition unlike Stephen but like the Space and Science Center (Mr. Casey) I am of the opinion that sustained low solar activity will result in higher volcanic/earthquake activity due to a very low ap index (with some spikes) and higher cosmic ray counts.

    Those are the three areas which I feel represent or make the strongest case for solar /climate relationships.

    There are others but these three I think are the least speculative.

    • Stephen Wilde says:


      I concede that the Svensmark proposition may have some effect but that the main influence on global cloudiness is the degree of jet stream zonality / meridionality.

      I cannot see how more cosmic rays providing more condensation nuclei below the tropopause could be relevant to the necessary changes in stratospheric temperatures.

      I cannot see how changes in solar behaviour could have an effect on volcanic activity unless accompanied by some gravitational changes but no such connection is necessary to explain observed climate changes during the current interglacial and so Occam’s Razor applies and I do not consider it to be a relevant factor.

      Of course, volcanic activity has a climate effect but I am unable to slot such an effect into my 20 step narrative in the absence of a possible physical mechanism.

  12. Dan Pangburn says:

    Sunspot number time-integral does a good job of calculating average global temperature trend. The mechanism may be explained by Stephen Wilde’s or Svensmark’s assessment or perhaps something else or a combination. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post_23.html

    Most of the rest is explained by ocean oscillations which are dominated by the PDO.

    • Stephen Wilde says:


      Good point about the importance of ocean oscillations.

      See here:


      As a separate issue,I think my proposed link between solar variation, cloudiness and the amount of energy getting into the oceans is helpful in that respect.

      More solar energy getting in enhances El Nino events relative to La Ninas and less getting in does the opposite.

      See steps 6 and 7 and 16 and 17 in my 20 step narrative.


    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      Sunspot has good correlation with global temperature. But correlation is not causation. Solar variability in the last 2,000 years is too small to cause temperature changes. Solar irradiance varies 0.3 to 0.6 W/m^2. If all that heat went to the ocean, sea level will rise 0.4 mm/yr by thermal expansion. The current sea level rise is 3.3 mm/yr. Solar activity can explain 12% of warming at most.

      • Stephen Wilde says:

        Dr. Strangelove,

        That is exactly why one needs to propose some sort of amplification mechanism.

        Ozone changes causing stratosphere temperature changes so as to alter global albedo do the trick nicely, fits all observations as far as I know and complies with basic physics.

        Read my narrative carefully and if you can refer to data that does not fit then please say so.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          The UV absorbed in the stratosphere is around 15 W/m^2. Variation in solar irradiance can increase UV by 0.015 W/m^2. It is miniscule. Besides, the clouds are in the troposphere. Heating the stratosphere by a tiny amount will not change cloud albedo. It does not comply with basic physics.

      • Scott Supak says:

        Is this the Dr. Strangelove of Intrade fame? If so, I’m not surprised! You could always smell fish on the line…

  13. ren says:

    The increase in temperature in the south of visible growth in the absence of ice.

  14. ren says:

    “We can see that the temperature in the vortex
    center decreases with the increase of height and reaches its minimum at the levels 30-50 hPa (20-25 km).
    The temperature gradients at the vortex edges increase with height in the stratosphere starting from the level
    150 hPa, their maximum being observed at the levels 50-10 hPa (20-30 km). In the troposphere temperature
    gradients are maximal near surface corresponding to Arctic fronts separating the Arctic air from warmer air
    of middle latitudes. Thus, the vortex is most pronounced at the 50-30 hPa levels where the minimum of
    stratospheric temperatures and the maximum of temperature gradients at its edges are observed. We can see
    that the highest values of ion production rate due to GCR are observed in the lower part of the vortex (10-15
    km) where temperature gradients start increasing. On the other hand, the 11-year modulation of GCR fluxes
    is strongest at the heights 20-25 km [Bazilevskaya et al., 2008] where the vortex is most pronounced. Hence,
    the vortex location seems to be favorable for the mechanisms of solar activity influence on the atmosphere
    circulation involving GCR variations. It is also favorable for the mechanisms involving solar UV variations,
    as at these heights (15-25 km) in the polar stratosphere the maximum ozone content is observed.

  15. Stephen Wilde says:


    The polar vortex being above the tropopause is cloud free so in that region any thermal effect from solar variation will be an ozone chemistry matter and not a cloud nucleation matter.

    The GCR variations that go along with solar variations (but oppositely signed)would therefore not be responsible for the changes in stratosphere temperatures that are observed.

    • ren says:

      In the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere? Is it really raises the temperature of ozone?

      • Stephen Wilde says:

        The temperature is related to the amount of ozone because ozone interacts directly with incoming solar shortwave.

        More ozone for a higher temperature and less ozone for a lower temperature at any given level of insolation.

        An active sun appears to reduce ozone and an inactive sun increase it which is the opposite of conventional climatology but the reason may be that the solar effect on higher levels is dominant rather than the solar effect at lower levels and the higher levels appear to be oppositely signed to those at lower levels.

        It seems to be established that the mesosphere cools with reduced ozone when the sun is more active so I propose that the upper level effect in the mesosphere filters down through the polar vortex and more than offsets ozone creation at lower levels when the sun is active.

        Especially above the poles which would then give the correct sign of temperature trend to allow more zonal jets and poleward climate zones when the sun is active.

        • ren says:

          The problem is that in August the temperature in the stratosphere over Antarctica due to insufficient UV (polar night), to cause a strong anomaly. Energy can come from galactic radiation that produces bunches of secondary radiation and ions of the polar vortex. The graph shows that since 2005 the galactic radiation is maintained at a level much higher than in previous cycles strong. Cosmic rays, unlike solar protons, strongly ionizes the air longer than 10 km, which should know aircrew.

          • Stephen Wilde says:

            The Svensmark hypothesis is that cosmic rays seed more clouds. Ionisation assists that process.

            There are no clouds in the polar vortices except of the noctilucent type.

            Are you suggesting that cosmic rays themselves heat the ozone in the stratosphere to a significant degree relative to the changing solar effects on ozone amounts?

            Less UV,EUV,solar protons and NOx in the upper atmosphere when the sun is quiet seems to allow accumulation of more ozone and thus both ozone recovery and a more negative AO and AAO with more equatorward jets and climate zones due to a warming stratosphere especially above the poles.

            Why do we need to involve cosmic rays at all?

  16. Dr. Strangelove says:

    “Or the warming is causing the deep ocean to heat up by hundredths or thousandths of a degree. Any reason except reduced climate sensitivity”

    Roy, warming of deep ocean will reduce climate sensitivity because we are measuring surface temperature. Deep ocean doesn’t affect surface temperature. Also, specific heat of whole ocean is 1,000x greater than atmosphere. Change in temperature will be undetectable. It will appear to be a strong negative feedback.

    Trenberth’s missing heat may be correct but it will not help his cause. Once heat is sequestered in deep ocean, it will probably take centuries or millennium to emerge.

    Step 1: heat comes in
    Step 2: convective heat transfer from surface to lower layers of water
    Step 3: it materializes at the ocean depths

    Ocean has a thermocline average 15 C at surface and 5 C at one kilometer down. Bottom is about 3 C. Heat flows from hot the cold, from top to bottom of ocean.

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      BTW ocean warming is not speculation. Argos and BIOS measured it at 0.055 C in the last 30 years. It seems insignificant but if that heat is transferred to the atmosphere, air temperature will rise by 55 C.

      • First, I would say that deep ocean measurements which claim warming at the rate of 0.02 deg. C/decade are, indeed, speculative. That warming rate is one half (or less) of just the error bars on our global satellite measurements, which (unlike point deep-ocean measurements, which we far and few between 30 years ago) completely cover the Earth every few days.

        Second, the 0.055 deg of ocean temperature causing 55 deg. C of atmospheric warming is physically impossible. I know it’s the same amount of energy either way, but making it sound like this is something that could actually happen is irresponsible.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          First, can your satellite measure ocean temperature at 1,000 m deep? Is your satellite-based mean warming rate greater than 0.02 C/decade? If so, could it be because you’re measuring surface temperature which has much less heat capacity and therefore greater temperature change?

          Second, I agree the atmosphere will not warm by 55 C. The point is to show that a tiny change in ocean temperature represents a huge amount of heat. We may not be able to detect the small temperature change and the ‘missing’ heat.

          • Bart says:

            But, there is no pathway to the ocean depths from above which leaves the upper layers unheated. If you have a farm on one side of the road, and you observe an increasing number of chickens on the other side, it would be very odd indeed not to observe chickens crossing the road.

    • Jim Clarke says:

      Sorry Dr., but that makes no sense. First of all, a gas or fluid that is warmer than the surrounding gas or fluid will rise (convection). Convective heat transfer does not operate downward. Mixing in the oceans is largely mechanical, where wind, ocean currents and Earth topography cause up-welling and down-welling in various locations. Warm water on the surface of the ocean does not ‘convectively’ move down.

      More importantly, we cannot have ‘more heat’ going into the oceans from the atmosphere if there is not ‘more heat’ in the atmosphere. Putting it another way, atmospheric warming cannot make the oceans warmer if there is no atmospheric warming.

      Now, if there was a mechanical mechanism in the oceans that periodically absorbed more energy from the atmosphere (via conduction) than average, then you might be able to claim that the lack of atmospheric warming in the last 15 years was due to that mechanism, (but you would still be hard pressed to explain why that energy shows up in the deep ocean but not at the surface).

      Conversely, such a mechanism would have to produce a time when the oceans absorbed less energy than average from the atmosphere (resulting in atmospheric warming). Such a mechanism would have to be figured into the calculations for climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2. The lack of 21st Century warming indicates a cooling mechanism at least as strong as the warming impact of increasing CO2. Consequently, the warm phase of this mechanism would be at least as strong in the other direction, accounting for at least half of the warming of the late 20th century. The result would be a significant reduction in climate sensitivity to CO2.

      Consequently, AGW supporters don’t gain anything by arguing that atmospheric warming is disappearing into the oceans. If it is, than climate is not as sensitive to CO2 as the claim. If it is not, than climate is not as sensitive to CO2 as they claim.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        Sorry Jim, but you’re talking about convection current which is really mass transfer though it also transports heat. This is a common misconception. Convective heat transfer may or may not involve convection current. I blow my hot cup of tea to cool it. That’s convective cooling but there’s no convection current. The tea doesn’t rise into the air.

        Convective heat transfer can move up and down because it’s not driven by gravity (density differential) but by temperature differential. You mentioned upwelling. That’s heat transfer downwards via mass transfer of warm water going down and cool water going up.

        “atmospheric warming cannot make the oceans warmer if there is no atmospheric warming.”

        Wrong. Warming implies change in temperature. Heat will flow when there’s temperature DIFFERENTIAL between two bodies. If air is 25 C and water is 20 C, heat will go from air to water. Air temperature need not rise to 26 C.

        “The lack of 21st Century warming indicates a cooling mechanism at least as strong as the warming impact of increasing CO2.”

        Heat transfer to ocean will be interpreted as ‘cooling’ because it prevents rise in temperature of air.

        “Consequently, the warm phase of this mechanism would be at least as strong in the other direction, accounting for at least half of the warming of the late 20th century.”

        We have warming and cooling periods in the 20th century. We also have warming and cooling on longer periods – Medieval warm period, Little ice age.

        • Stephen Wilde says:

          “I blow my hot cup of tea to cool it. Thats convective cooling”

          Not so. Any cooling effect is from enhanced evaporative cooling from the faster air flow. Not convection at all.

          “Convective heat transfer can move up and down because its not driven by gravity (density differential) but by temperature differential”

          The temperature differential reduces relative densities and thus weights per unit of volume so that the lighter gas rises. It is driven by gravity.

          All upward convection must be equally matched by downward convection in a stable system.

          Confusion over those issues renders your posts unhelpful.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            This is so frustrating. I’m like a school teacher trying to educate. My last post.

            You’re familiar with car radiator. That’s convective cooling. Notice no evaporation required. So many convective heat transfer phenomena. Amazing people only know convection current and believe all others must be evaporation.

            All those relative densities pertain to convection current. You can’t seem to distinguish between heat transfer and mass transfer.

        • Bart says:

          Dr. Strangelove @ September 18, 2013 at 9:31 PM

          “Convective heat transfer can move up and down because its not driven by gravity (density differential) but by temperature differential.”

          That is incorrect. Conduction is driven by temperature differential, not convection. Convective heat transfer is indeed, inter alia, driven by bouyancy of the material convecting the heat.

    • Bart says:

      Dr. Strangelove says:
      September 18, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      “Heat flows from hot the cold, from top to bottom of ocean.”

      No. Heat flows up. The THC is established by cold water sinking, and warm water rising.

      To get the heat to the depths requires A) the surface layers absorbing the IR radiation from the GHGs, which is quickly attenuated in the first few millimeters and B) churning of the oceans to convect the heat down without leaving any trace of its passage in the upper layers.

      Going back to the immaculate convection, if you will permit a rather crude, and perhaps offensive-to-some, analogy. There is no sign that warm waters ever… er… penetrated through those upper layers, depositing their heat in the ocean’s belly.

      • Bart says:

        The difference is in conduction versus convection. Conduction is from hot to cold. Convection drives hot up and cold down. The idea that the heat conducted to the depths is so ridiculous it bears no further mention. The notion that it convected there, leaving no trace of its passage, is barely less so.

        • Stephen Wilde says:

          Evaporation pulls energy out of the ocean surface faster than it can be conducted downward, hence the cooler ocean ‘skin’ at the very top of any significant body of water.

          That pretty much excludes the possibility of any significant downward conduction.

          Getting energy from air to oceans in any significant quantity is not possible due to the enhanced evaporative response when energy conducts from air to water.

          Only solar shortwave getting past the evaporative layer can heat the oceans hence the primary significance of global cloudiness and albedo.

          More clouds from more meridional jets and more equatorward climate zones when the sun is quiet reduces solar shortwave into the oceans, reduces the recharge process during La Nina events and thus weakens the subsequent El Nino relative to the preceding La Nina event.

          That is why the oceans and then the air cool when the sun is less active.

          That is why there has been no significant El Nino since around 2003 and why the next El Nino will not be as powerful as those we saw during the late 20th century.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            “Evaporation pulls energy out of the ocean surface faster than it can be conducted downward, hence the cooler ocean skin at the very top of any significant body of water.”

            “That pretty much excludes the possibility of any significant downward conduction.”

            What experiments have you done and references do you have to prove it? Get a cup of cold water (1 C) half full. Put it in an oven toaster for 30 minutes. No warming? Still 1 C? Just evaporation? You need another cup of cold water outside the oven for control. The two cups have same temperature?

          • Brian H says:

            Your toaster oven requires some special modifications. The air must not be allowed to heat and conductively warm the cup. The cup must be shielded so that radiation only impacts the water.

            Good luck with that.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            Thanks for the advice. I already thought of that. I will conduct the experiment using nested Styrofoam cups covered with aluminum foil. They act as heat insulators. Aluminum reflects radiation. Styrofoam has low thermal conductivity.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            One experiment I conducted. Tried to evaporate 210 ml of water by exposing to heat from hot flat iron at 150 C. Hot iron 3 inches above water surface. Water in bowl exposed to hot iron for 40 minutes. Result: no evaporation, volume remained at 210 ml before and after experiment. Incredible. I expect a little evaporation. Anybody can replicate the experiment and verify the result.

        • Chic Bowdrie says:

          Just to be clear, heat flows from hot to cold by conduction, but not always up. Convection occurs when denser fluid above replaces less dense fluid below irrespective of temperature. Convection occurs at the poles because salt water gets denser as it gets colder, unlike pure water which expands as it cools below 4 degC.

          That said, I agree with you and Stephen Wilde on this.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        “churning of the oceans to convect the heat down without leaving any trace of its passage in the upper layers”

        This seems miraculous to you. Touch the side of the cup of your hot tea. Hot but is it getting hotter? Temperature relatively constant or getting cooler. Don’t tell me heat isn’t passing from the cup to the aircon room. FYI it’s called convection. Miraculous isn’t it? Heat passed through the cup without leaving any trace of its passage.

        “Convection drives hot up and cold down.”

        Ridiculous. Get a tall glass and pour hot water (100 C) until half full. Then pour cooking oil (25 C) until glass is full. Now tell me if the hot water went up and cold oil went down. Stir it to get convection. Oil remains on top but heat has transferred. Oil is warmer than 25 C. FYI it’s called convection.

        Laymen may want to call it another name but in engineering thermodynamics, any heat transfer between moving fluids is called convection. Heat conduction applies only to solids and stationary fluids.

        • Bart says:

          Ridiculous. We aren’t pouring hot oil into the oceans. There is no narrowly focused jet of hot fluid being forced down into the world’s oceans of any kind. There is only a diffuse downward flow in the polar regions, marking the beginning of a very, very slowly evolving thermohaline circulation, which takes centuries to overturn, when it upwells again in the tropics.

          “Heat passed through the cup without leaving any trace of its passage.”

          Ridiculous. The cup has certainly gotten hotter than it was before the tea was poured in.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            Good you agree with the physics and only think the time scale is ridiculously slow. But it’s not ridiculous because it is really that slow.

            BTW the cup stops getting hotter after the tea was poured. Of course the heat transfer to the air happened after tea was poured.

          • Bart says:

            You’re all over the place here. The cup reached a steady state. Then, when you pressed your finger on it, it started to cool, passing its energy to you, and drawing some from the cup of hot tea.

            This is nothing like the situation we are talking about. The ocean depths are not a separate appendage applied after the upper layers have warmed. Put your finger on the cup, then pour in the hot tea. Your finger and the cup will warm together.

            Besides which, you are talking conduction. This may be your personal pet theory, but nobody in serious science circles is considering it. Conduction down is way too weak to overcome convection up. And, convection down can only occur with an outside force driving it, the churning of the seas to which I have referred previously. Again, this would not transfer heat to the depths without also heating the intervening layers. What they are talking about is an Immaculate Convection.

          • Bart says:

            And, BTW, in your scenario as you have outlined it, there is, indeed, a thermal gradient induced in the cup, in which it is hotter on the tea side, and cooler at your finger, and that gradient will exist until steady state is reached, and your finger warms no more.

            Again, this is a conduction scenario, which is not appropriate for the oceans anyway. But, conductive or convective, the heat cannot pass through the intervening material leaving no trace of its passage.

  17. Dr. Strangelove says:

    “There are many competing theories of what causes climate change, and they cant all be correct.”

    Roy, before we try to attribute a cause, we have to first look at the effect. Is the effect so significant that it requires a particular cause? Start with a null hypothesis. If the observed effect is so large that it cannot possibly be due to chance, then we reject the null hypothesis and start looking for a particular cause.

    IMO so far, there is no sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis. Look at temperature in last 2,000 years. Is current warming “unprecedented?” Roman warm period and Medieval warm period seem comparable if not worse. If ‘noise’ can produce global warming, what is there to explain? Even if CO2 can produce global warming, the effect is indistinguishable from noise. Trying to attribute a particular cause is idle speculation.

    So long as the null hypothesis stands, it is just ‘noise’ or natural internal variability.

    • If the temperature changes, something must have caused it to change. The possibilities are many, including natural, internal variability (climate chaos). Anytime I use the term “climate change”, it also includes any change due to natural internal variability.

  18. Might one of the papers you’re referring to with “recently published climate research papers” be the paper ‘Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide’?

    I’m curious to what you’re referring as you don’t mention those papers.

  19. pissed off says:

    can you please not have ads for MacKeeper – its junk

  20. Niels A Nielsen says:

    The Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, was correct: Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
    Niels Bohr no doubt repeated that sentence but although the sentence is Danish Det er svrt at sp, isr om fremtiden it was not said by him first. The origin is unknown but it was probably said originally by a Danish parliamentarian in the years between 1935-1939.

    Another Danish parliamentarian asserted that:
    “If that is a fact, I deny it”

    Who said the IPCC? 🙂

  21. ren says:

    A Phenomenological Study of the Cosmic Ray Variations over the Past 9400 Years, and Their Implications Regarding Solar Activity and the Solar Dynamo
    McCracken, K. G.; Beer, J.; Steinhilber, F.; Abreu, J.
    AA(Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology, University of Maryland), AB(Eawag), AC(Eawag), AD(Eawag)
    Solar Physics, Volume 286, Issue 2, pp.609-627 (SoPh Homepage)
    Publication Date:
    Abstract Copyright:
    (c) 2013: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
    Bibliographic Code:

    Two 9400-year long 10Be data records from the Arctic and Antarctic and a 14C record of equal length were used to investigate the periodicities in the cosmic radiation incident on Earth throughout the past 9400 years. Fifteen significant periodicities between 40 and 2320 years are observed in the 10Be and 14C records, there being close agreement between the periodicities in each record. We found that the periodic variations in the galactic cosmic radiation are the primary cause for periods 250 years. The spectral line for the Gleissberg (87-year) periodicity is narrow, indicating a stability of ≈ 0.5 %. The 9400-year record contains 26 Grand Minima (GM) similar to the Maunder Minimum, most of which occurred as sequences of 2 – 7 GM with intervals of 800 – 1200 years in between, in which there were no GM. The intervals between the GM sequences are characterised by high values of the modulation function. Periodicities < 150 years are observed in both the GM intervals and the intervals in between. The longer-period variations such as the de Vries (208-year) cycle have high amplitudes during the GM sequences and are undetectable in between. There are three harmonically related pairs of periodicities (65 and 130 years), (75 and 150 years), and (104 and 208 years). The long periodicities at 350, 510, and 708 years closely approximate 4, 6, and 8 times the Gleissberg period (87 years). The well-established properties of cosmic-ray modulation theory and the known dependence of the heliospheric magnetic field on the solar magnetic fields lead us to speculate that the periodicities evident in the paleo-cosmic-ray record are also present in the solar magnetic fields and in the solar dynamo. The stable, narrow natures of the Gleissberg and other periodicities suggest that there is a strong "frequency control" in the solar dynamo, in strong contrast to the variable nature (8 – 15 years) of the Schwabe (11-year) solar cycle.

    • ren says:

      Several scales of cosmic rays.
      1.Promieniowanie the galactic energies up to 10 ^ 20 eV.
      2.Jego penetration into the atmosphere is highly dependent on the strength of the solar wind.
      3.After penetrated the atmosphere is concentrated at those points where the Earth’s magnetic field is weakest, so in these places its action is clearly observed. I think it is enough to disturb the polar vortex.
      4.Największa air ionization occurs in certain layers, where the air density is suitable.

  22. John K says:

    Hi Roy,

    You wrote:

    “Im sure the politicians believed we would have had new energy policies in place by now, in which case they could have (disingenuously) claimed their policies were responsible for global warming ending. Not likely, since atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, and even by the most optimistic estimates renewable energy wont amount to more than 15% of global energy generation in the coming decades.”

    Thank you for clarifying an often missed point. CO2 levels will increase no matter what the IPCC does. The Mona Loa data you provide indicates rising CO2 levels since 1958 when measurements began, with the apparent exception of two years where levels remained approximately unchanged. Moreover, if I remember correctly the 1958 data measured CO2 levels at approximately 350 ppm, while today’s CO2 levels fall around 400 ppm. Nineteenth century (1880) atmospheric CO2 measurements came in around 280 ppm supposedly. If accurate, the implication is clear. To halt atmospheric CO2 growth human CO2 production must at a minimum be reduced to levels not seen for over a century and all this must be done with a world population of 7 billion and growing. No one has any concept as to how this can be done as indicated by the far too obvious fact no serious proposal has ever been made.

    Many of us find it difficult to believe that the few sentient people serving in academics, politics and industry have not known this all these years. Therefore, one finds it hard to accept anything climate alarmists from these disciplines say as having any credibility and the many schemes and proposals to separate people from their access to the world’s resources as anything but fraudulent. If my conclusion does not derive from the data please indicate the error.

    • goldminor says:

      The Mauna Loa chart shows that in 1959/60 the low/high was about 314/320. What puzzles me is how can co2 be the main culprit to the warming, when the yearly gain is so similar for the entire length of the chart? The increased co2 output from 1958 till now must be quite large. How is it that we do not see an increase in the yearly growth rate of co2?

      Speaking of co2, after taking another look at the yearly ML co2 record, the year 1998 sticks out as the largest gain on record. The next biggest years are 2012, 2010, and 2002. All of these years are ‘hot’ years. It seems that most of the larger yearly gains coincide with a warm peak. The last 2 digit gain years were 1992/93, cool downtrending years. Wouldn’t this be a matter of extra co2 from natural sources being released from the extra atmospheric heating? If so, wouldn’t this be showing that the rise in yearly co2 is to some extent due to the warming trend that the Earth has experienced since the late 70s?

      • goldminor says:

        The year 1987 is the 2nd biggest gain, and it occurs on a warm spike. I didn’t see that at first.

      • John K says:

        Hi Goldminor,

        It shouldn’t surprise us to observe accelerated CO2 increases during and following warm periods. Higher temperatures foster (speed-up) many chemical reactions and allow for an increase in many living processes that produce CO2. It would also speed-up the chemical breakdown of other airborne hydrocarbons like methane down to simpler forms like (you guessed it) CO2. The plant life should love it.

  23. Steven Kopits says:

    Really a great post.

  24. Henry Bowman says:

    Neils Bohr said Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.

    Actually, I thought Yogi Berra said this. And, I’m pretty sure Yogi did not read much of Bohr’s writings.

  25. Roy says: “I continue to suspect that, in the coming years, scientists will increasingly realize that more CO2 in the atmosphere is, on the whole, good for life on Earth.”
    I hope they do!

  26. If politicians are good at one thing, it’s ensuring their survival and that of their families. If man-made CO2 was really bringing us to catastrophe, we’d have multiple laws for its reduction in place and being rigidly policed, right now. If the climate system’s insensitivity to CO2 created by our acts is the elephant in the room, the Copenhagen climate summit was the dog that didn’t bark.

  27. Eric Barnes says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Thank you for your thoughts and the lightly moderated forum. This cat appreciates it. 🙂

  28. David A says:

    Hi Scott
    Even money.
    On a strip of avg lower trop for year rss 2014 – 2004 + .02, 2015 – 2005 + 02 etc
    If the number is positive u win. Negative I win.
    .2 is around middle of models. I’m giving u free amplification.
    How about a strip of 10 years at $10,000 a year.
    We each put up 100,000 into an escrow account And each year the winner takes out 20,000

    2019 rss lower troposphere over under 2009 avg +.2 c

  29. Arno Arrak says:

    Roy: forget about sensitivity, it is zero. We are living through a so-called “pause” or “hiatus” of warming that has lasted so far for 15 years despite the highest atmospheric carbon dioxide in recorded history. And it is not the only nor even the longest pause on record. Satellite data indicate that from 1979 to the beginning of the super El Nino of 1998 there was no warming at all. How do I know this? Because the data are available and I used them. To get the mean temperature of an oscillating record, put a dot in the middle of each line connecting an El Nino peak and its neighboring La Nina valleys and connect the dots. For some reason you are confused about the La Nina of 1992/93 which you have chosen to mark Pinatubo cooling, which it is not. I am sorry to say that almost all climate scientists, you included, still believe that such a thing as volcanic cooling exists after I proved in my book that it does not. (If in doubt, read the book.) With that, the dots in the satellite record of the eighties and nineties give us a horizontal straight line which designates lack of warming for 18 years. There is only a narrow gap between this no-warming zone and the twenty-first century warming “pause” that is just wide enough to accommodate the super El Nino and its accompanying step warming. That step warming raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius in three years and then stopped. This, and not an imaginary greenhouse warming, is why all twenty-first century temperatures are higher than the twentieth century temperatures. This step warming is the only warming during the entire satellite era. This may be news to many because in ground based temperature curves there appears a warming in the eighties and nineties dubbed the “late twentieth century warming.” In doing research for my book “What Warming?” I realized that this warming was fake and said so in the book when it came out. It took two years but finally last fall GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC decided all in unison to stop showing that warming and aligned their data with satellites. This was done in secrecy and no explanation was offered. I consider this joint action tantamount to an admission that they knew that warming to be fake. The two no-warming periods end to end now give us 34 years that are free of greenhouse warming. Knowing this, would you think that any earlier warming could have been greenhouse warming? I doubt it very much, the probability is close to zero. Clearly any earlier warming considered greenhouse warming is simply natural warming, misidentified by over-eager climate scientists looking for proof of global warming. The explanation for the Pause and earlier no-warming period is of course the absence of the greenhouse effect. This has caused such desperation in warmist circles that learned papers have appeared in Nature claiming that the missing heat is just hiding in the ocean bottom. I don’t know what to say about this except that technician-level papers are now foisted upon us as real science. The absence of the greenhouse effect is an integral part of Miskolczi theory with which you at one time seemed to disagree with. Miskolczi differs from Arrhenius in that he incorporates all simultaneously absorbing greenhouse gases while Arrhenius only treats carbon dioxide alone. In Miskolci theory there exists an optimum absorption window that the gases present jointly maintain. For earth atmosphere the major absorbers that count are carbon dioxide and water vapor. The IR optical thickness of their joint absorption window is 1.87 which corresponds to 15 percent transmittance or 85 percent absorbance. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb and the optical thickness begins to increase. But as soon as this happens water vapor begins to diminish or rain out until the optimum value is restored. This reduction of water vapor is equivalent to negative water vapor feedback, the exact opposite of what IPCC is trying to sell us, and its effect is opposite too. He published this in 2007 and by 2010 he had found a way to prove it experimentally using existing data. NOAA has a database of weather balloon observations going back to 1948 and he used it to study the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere over time. He found that absorption had been constant for 61 years while carbon dioxide at the same time went up by 21.6 percent. This means that addition of this substantial amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. That is why there is no greenhouse warming now, why there has been none since 1979, and probably never at any other time in history. It invalidates all doomsday climate predictions using the greenhouse effect. Since they have been used to justify passing emission control laws these laws were passed under false premises and should be voided. And naturally the sensitivity is zero because doubling CO2 does not have any warming effect.

    • Stephen Wilde says:


      There is a greenhouse effect but attributable to atmospheric mass rather than GHGs.

      If the total of GHGs were to change there would simply be a change in the atmospheric circulation which would neutralise the potential thermal effect by adjusting the speed of energy flow through the system.

      However, the data produced by Miskolczi suggests that the total amount of GHGs does not change.

      Whether that is correct or not any permanent change in optical depth as a result of composition changes within any atmosphere would upset radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere and eventually result in the gaseous atmosphere either heating up until it is lost to space or cooling until it congeals on the surface.

      Thus optical depth must be kept stable for atmospheres to remain in place long term.

      Global air circulation adjustments ensure that optical depth remains stable and ToA radiative balance is maintained.

      Those circulation changes are a consequence of changes in the net rate of global convection.

      The water cycle is so efficient in transporting energy that it reduces the necessary scale of circulation adjustments. Without the water cycle the winds on Earth would be far more vigorous.

  30. Gunga Din says:

    Thank you and God Bless!
    (I know that “God” can’t be scientifically proven but why should the Guy who invented it need to be?8-)

    • John K says:

      Hi Gunga Din,

      You may not know what you think you know. Read Aristotle and the argument of the “prime mover.”

      Thank you for your post.

  31. goldminor says:

    I like the word ‘plateau’ to describe the last 16+ years. Turning point indeed, it is hard to ignore the direction that nature is taking. One might almost call it providential in it’s timing.

    Reading around today,s current topics, the thought came to me ‘what if the 2012 Arctic summer cyclone had not happened last year? Would we have had significantly greater sea ice buildup for this year?’.

  32. Yoda says:

    Difficult to see, always in motion the future is.

  33. Bill says:

    Dr. S: Why do you even bother to engage some of these fruitbats? They are nothign but a distraction from legitimate discussion.
    BTW; with all the blather about shrinking arctic sea ice (not supported by the raw data from RADARSAT2 by the way) has anyone worked out the actual level of projected sea level rise if the myth were to be true? (assumptions in a worst case scenario of instantaneous mass melt of all ice in the world and all resultant water going directly into the oceans-none to atmosphere, lake, pond, river, swamp, bottling, etc)? I have to wonder what the actual change in sea level would be in that case; perhaps as much as 3-5 cm world-wide?


    • torontoann says:

      From shrinking ARCTIC ice – nil, because it is already
      floating in the sea.

      From disappearing ANTARCTIC ice – 50 meters, because it
      mainly rests on land; there is 26 million cubic kilometers
      of it. It is calculated to be disappearing at the rate of
      69 cubic kilometres a year. THAT will cause a sea-rise of one-ten-thousandth of a meter per year – if it can be measured.

  34. David A says:

    Not chicken at all.
    Happy to bet in size.
    I made u an offer that u should jump on if u believe the models.

    Plate 1 indicatest he major radiativep rocesserse sulting
    from the stratospheriace rosolc loudf rom a major
    volcanic eruption. The most obvious and well-known
    effect is on solar radiation. Since the sulfate aerosol
    particles are about the same size as visible light, with a
    typical effective radius of 0.5 xm, but have a singlescatter
    albedo of 1, they strongly interact with solar
    radiation by scatteringS. ome of the light is backscattered,
    reflectings unlightb ack to space,i ncreasingth e
    net planetary albedo and reducing the amount of solar
    energy that reaches the Earth’s surface. This backscattering
    is the dominant radiative effect at the surface and
    resultsin a net coolingt here.M uch of the solarr adiation
    is forward scattered, resulting in enhanced downward
    diffuser adiationt hat somewhact ompensatefso r a large
    reduction in the direct solar beam. The longest continuous
    record of the effects of volcanic eruptions on atmospherict
    ransmissiono f radiation is the apparent
    transmsisio. n record [Duttone t al., 1985;D utton, 1992]
    from the Mauna Loa Observatory(P late 2) showni n
    Figure 1. The effects of the 1963 Agung, 1982 E1 Chich6n,
    and 1991 Pinatubo eruptions can be clearly seen.
    Although the Pinatubo eruption produced the largest
    stratospheric input of the three, the center of the E1
    Chich6nc loudw ent directlyo verH awaii,w hileo nlyt he
    side of the Pinatuboc loud was observedT. he Agung
    cloud was mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, so only
    the edge was seen in Hawaii. Figure 2 shows separate
    direct and diffuse radiation measurements, also from
    Mauna Loa, which show not only the strong reduction of
    direct radiation by the 1982 E1 Chich6n and 1991 Pinatubo
    eruptionsb ut alsot he compensatinign crease( of
    slightlys mallera mplitude)i n the diffuser adiation

  36. Volcanic eruptions always result in a cooling of the earth.

  37. thank, I thoroughly enjoyed scaning your article. I really appreciate your wonderful knowledge and the time you put into educating the rest of us.

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