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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rob's Gallop

Sou | 12:28 PM Go to the first of 103 comments. Add a comment

This is for Rob Ellison to continue his various thoughts. Other people can join in if they want to. I'm closing the other thread to further comments, and have transferred some of the latest comments here, to set the ball rolling.

Sou. 19 February 2015 1:08 pm

103 comments:

Rob Ellison said...

Rob EllisonFebruary 19, 2015 at 10:43 AM
'What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.' http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

'A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.' http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

They are talking here about dynamic sensitivity in a complex system. See Ghil's paper here - http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Ghil-A_Met_Soc_refs-rev%27d_vf-black_only.pdf - although it may be too long and too hard for this audience.

The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

[unnecessary slur deleted]

wheelism said...

wheelism February 19, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Please stop trying to conflate Abrupt Climate Change with AGW, Rob. It reeks of ingenuousness.

wheelism said...

wheelism February 19, 2015 at 11:01 AM
BTW, the PNAS-linked paper is...ahem...suspect.

http://www.desmogblog.com/hot-or-not-making-sense-climate-variability

Rob Ellison said...

Rob Ellison February 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM
I actually quoted above the passage quoted by desmog in their conclusion - but there is nothing wrong with the - ahem - science. Desmog has misunderstood the theory and method - but you seem to have misunderstood the blog post. It's like that scene in Life of Brian - the further from the source the less sense it makes. Go to the source if you are capable of it - and not to cherry pick a phase here or there.

It is a different kind of model - such as is the leading edge of a new math for these type of systems. Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

As Tsonis suggests - you need to understand natural variability to disentangle anthropogenic warming in a scientific way. As they say elsewhere - 'the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.'

Rob Ellison said...

Rob Ellison February 19, 2015 at 11:46 AM
It is - btw - a calculation that well beyond 2 + 2 = 4.

A hand is five - another is five.
What do you get - five plus five?
A butterfly.

wheelism said...

wheelism February 19, 2015 at 11:57 AM
It's a fair cop, above. A better check is here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-shift-synchronized-chaos.htm

I believe Sou is somewhat familiar with Tsonis.

dhogaza said...

dhogaza February 19, 2015 at 11:59 AM
Either Kyle Swanson is a liar, or you do not understand the meaning and significance of Tsonis and Swanson, 2009 ... and a quick skim of Ghil's paper suggests the same in that case.

There is nothing of comfort to the denialist case in either one. Swanson wrote an entire post pointing that out.

Rob Ellison said...

Rob Ellison February 19, 2015 at 12:13 PM
I find it interesting that Tsonis is the bad boy and Swanson the golden child - based on the same work.

But frankly between John Cook, desmog and Sou - and Tsonis and Curry? It is not remotely an equal contest.

Gotta go - just checked the BOM - it has Cyclone Marcia hitting me dead on at 4.00am tomorrow morning. Only as a Category 2 thankfully.

I do hope that I have shaken up things a bit around here.

dhogaza said...

dhogaza February 19, 2015 at 12:15 PM
It appears Rob is referring to their review paper of 2012, entitled "On the origins of decadal climate variability". There's nothing of comfort there for the denialist cause - better understanding of decadal climate variability (around the long-term trend) says nothing about the long-term trend itself at all.

Indeed, Rob himself quotes:

"As Tsonis suggests - you need to understand natural variability to disentangle anthropogenic warming in a scientific way. As they say elsewhere - 'the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.'"

Yeah, the wiggles around our steadily increasing gobal mean temperature may surprise us if they are right. On both ends of the spectrum, not just the cold end, as the denialsphere apparently interprets the sentence ...

dhogaza said...

dhogazaFebruary 19, 2015 at 12:19 PM
"I find it interesting that Tsonis is the bad boy and Swanson the golden child - based on the same work. "

I find it interesting that work that quite clearly is aimed at bettering our understanding of decadal variability around a "steadily increasing global mean temperature" (written in a paper co-authored by Tsonis, so I imagine he agrees with it) is thought to undermind mainstream climate science that posits a "steadily increasing global mean temperature" modulated by natural variation ...

dhogaza said...

dhogazaFebruary 19, 2015 at 12:20 PM
"I find it interesting that Tsonis is the bad boy and Swanson the golden child - based on the same work."

From this I infer that you believe that either Swanson doesn't understand his own work, or that he's a liar ...

Rob Ellison said...

Rob Ellison February 19, 2015 at 12:21 PM
'Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the system’s state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.' Michael Ghil

The distinction between linear and dynamic sensitivity a la Ghil is described in this review.

http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

I have quoted extensively from the papers of Tsonis, Swanson and Kratzov - why would what they write in the papers differ from the post at realclimate? It doesn't - you need to understand the ideas in greater depth before cherry picking a blog post.

Joe said...

Joe February 19, 2015 at 12:25 PM
"I do hope that I have shaken up things a bit around here."
HAHA!! Rob, ever consider that you might be wrong? Seriously, do some HW. Start at Tamino's: https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/its-the-trend-stupid-3/

dhogaza said...

dhogaza February 19, 2015 at 12:31 PM
I do understand the ideas in depth, and they do not in any way undermine mainstream climate science. Advance it? Time will tell.

Tsonis and Swanson 2009 predicted flat temperatures for a decade or so as the trend excursion caused by the 1998 super-El Niño dissipates and causes a return to the long-term trend. They suggest this may well be followed by a string of record breaking years in the 2020s.

Where's the comfort in this? At best, they conclude that we'll see bigger wiggles around a trend that might be lower than recent years (as of 2009) suggested, but nothing in their work suggests that the ECS of a doubling of CO2 lies outside the accepted consensus range as published by the IPCC and others.

Tsonis may say otherwise in public, but the papers themselves do not.

MikeH said...

MikeH February 19, 2015 at 12:39 PM
"I do hope that I have shaken up things a bit around here."

No. You have just copied and pasted great slabs of text; you have frequently not acknowledged when you are copying so it is difficult to know what is yours and what has been copied from elsewhere; you appear not to understand what you have copied and you ignore any comment that disputes what you are claiming.

As Sou notes above, you have also shifted the goal posts from the initial "Climate shifts in more or less extreme ways every few decades" to "saying that the shifts have only taken place in the past few decades"

To be honest, your behaviour reminds me of this

"Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
Cranks rarely if ever acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, and often appear to be uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions."
http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2007/04/30/unified-theory-of-the-crank/

Rob Ellison said...

Remove unnecessary slurs? Seems a bit one sided.

'And the level of pontifical self-congratulation is off the scale! When combined with the kind of content-free, high-falutin' jargonese waffling so well exemplified above, it's like being stuck in an eternal public meeting of mayoral candidates. Ugh.'

There are dozens of snarks and insults aimed at me in the post. And my response - after going yet again into science.

Yet ... is just going to reject the science on the basis of simplistic down home homilies involving elementary math? Go for it ... - it's a really clever look.

Seems pretty mild. Isn't science denial the slur de jour? Did I - btw - just lose a comment for no particular reason?

The real problem is in the other Swanson and Tsonis 2009 paper. It defines a problem for mitigation that warmists are unable to come to terms with - not even the possibility usually. It is why you have lost the plot and the war - and the only possible way the to salvage the situation is to try to reinvent practical and pragmatic mitigation and adaptation strategies. Because - climate is wild as they say.

'Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions '

The physical mechanism are described elsewhere.

'It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent trends among several climate modes act to ‘kick’ the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean. Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean. Similar behavior has been found in coupled ocean/atmosphere models, indicating such behavior may be a hallmark of terrestrial-like climate systems [Tsonis et al., 2007].'

And it has nothing at all to do with an El Nino overrun. I can only imagine that the latter was a blog post for dummies simplification. These shifts - as i have said already - are apparent in the proxy records over a 1000 years - but the last two in 1976/1977 are the best studied. It is not the case that discussing 20th century shifts mean that the earlier shifts disappears.

The real problem is the ' empirical obstacle' to mitigation that arises from a lack of surface warming at least over the next decade or so. Even then it is not guaranteed that warming will recommence. It depends on the size and direction of the departure.

Now I really do have to stock up for this cyclone - bye. I will let you get back to your insular and usually neglected blog outpost.

Sou said...

Did I - btw - just lose a comment for no particular reason?

Not that I can find, Rob. Feel free to repost it.

JCH said...

coupling and synchronization

Look at the green sections on this graph. There are pronounced changes in the direction of the surface air temperature. Are they abrupt climate change in the sense of the YD? No. This is a sideshow.

The first three green segment coincide with abrupt changes in the direction of the PDO. The direction of PDO index is said to coincide with El Nino dominance and La Nina dominance.

Around 1983 the surface air temperature and the PDO diverge. For the first time in the Tsonis graph they diverge. Sou has had graphs showing this divergence, and I have been putting my version of it on climate Etc. for several years.

This is another version.

Why did Tsonis abandon the PDO in 1983? Because the ACO2 had become so strong it tugged the AMO right with it, thus fooling him into thinking the AMO was causing the surface air temperature to diverge from the PDO.

dhogaza said...

He was not, of course, claiming that this is the only source of climate perturbation, nor the only point made in the paper.

Yes, it was his RealClimate blog post. Perhaps you should e-mail him and tell him how poorly he understands his own research ...

Rob Ellison said...

The 4 indices were chosen as capturing the major modes of NH climate variability.

Rob Ellison said...

Oh - and I don't think Swanson understands it poorly. I think you do.

Rob Ellison said...

Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900– 2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in
ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system. Citation: Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007),
A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys.
Res. Lett., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288.\\

These shifts have immense significance in terms of hydrology and biological productivity - they also warm and cool the surface over decades.

'The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems — atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere — each
of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability,
all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.' http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Ghil-A_Met_Soc_refs-rev%27d_vf-black_only.pdf

It is the same simple mechanisms interacting at all scales - which produce an emergent state. Complexity arising from simplicity. That you don't call it the great Pacific climate shift abrupt climate change matters not at all.

tonylearns said...

impressed with Rob's indifference to being sent down to to AAA

Rob Ellison said...

Oh - I see what you have done. Here'O page. The PDO stayed strongly positive to at least 1998. This is warm surface water losing heat to the atmosphere.

http://margaret.atmos.washington.edu/pdo/

It looks a bit like this.

https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/pdo_zps89a7b4c1-1.jpg

It is far from that simple however. Here's a graph from an Amy Clements study showing PDO cloud feedbacks.

https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/clementetal2009.png

And you really need to consider the whole Pacific and not just this north-east bit. Primarily the intensity and frequency of ENSO.

Sou said...

I wonder if Rob knows about the Pattern Recognition journal? He'd be in pattern heaven.

http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/volumes_and_issues.html

JCH said...

It changed direction. That means natural variation added less and less to global warming as the years from ~1983 to well into the 2000s go by. It took an "abrupt" change in direction. Nathan Mantua and other scientists from the Pacific NW are now speculating the PDO has shifted to a positive phase. It's speculation, and it's also exactly what I told you on CE ~2012.

Oh well. You just blast away. No time for listening. It's all about you and what you apparently believe is settled science.

kiss the your negative phase of the PDO goodbye

Bernard J. said...

"But frankly between John Cook, desmog and Sou - and Tsonis and Curry? It is not remotely an equal contest."

Like a broken watch, even a science denier is sometimes right.

In this case though, not in the way that he imagines...

Rob Ellison said...

[Transferred from another article by Sou.]

I don't inhabit blogs much. I have hung out at Judy's quite a bit but frankly a) there nothing new being posted, b) crazies with eccentric theories are given full rein in Judy's little sociological experiment and c) it's got the feeling of of a death spiral up it's own arse. Mind you the climate blogosphere is a coterie of the same people who - from my very limited dabbling - traverse the blogosphere bragging of their blogospheric triumphs and attempting to score petty points. Is the entire climate blogosphere imploding because the essential issues are drowned out by inconsequential pontificating and prattling signifying nothing, You don't go to blogs to learn anything useful.

Is the global temperature changing? For that you need data.

' Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.' http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

The first order differential global energy equation (I made it up myself) is:

d(W&H) = energy in (J/s) - energy out (J/s)

W&H is work and heat - and is mostly ocean heat. You can't actually measure energy in and energy out - or the difference - very accurately in absolute terms. Energy in is given as an absolute - and you need to divide by 4 to account for Earth geometry. Energy out is given as an anomaly. So the only way to say whether the energy imbalance is negative (cooling) or positive (warming) in a period is with temperature measurement in the oceans. Knowing ocean heat - we can decide whether energy in or energy out is greater in the period - and determine why changes are happening in the system - qualitatively at least - by looking at the energy terms. .

Here's Argo from Argo Global Mapper to 1900m - all the available data in monthly temps. It shows a bit of annual change - and a bit of more recent heating maxing out last year.

https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/argo-0-19001.jpg

So what's happened with energy in. Here's the SORCE graph. It shows the current peak in intensity in the 11 year Schawbe cycle.

http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

Here's energy out from NASA's CERES products page.

https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/argo-0-19001.jpg

So copy the images into word and compare to see where the heat is coming from.

Bernard J. said...

(As I said in the thread that originally hosted this blather before it was appropriately sin-binned...)

"So copy the images into word and compare to see where the heat is coming from."

Egads, I think that a new scientific analysis paradigm has been created!

Not.

Rob Ellison said...

They are graphs in time - egads - it is obviously too difficult to look and understand and contrast. Although it is why we have graphs. Pattern recognition.

Rob Ellison said...

The PDO in proxy data has a period of 20 to 30 years. It stayed in the warm mode from 1977 to 1998 and entered a cool phase. The north east Pacific has been warmer but this is far from unknown and certainly can't be read as a signal of a phase change. I'd presume that the historic pattern will continue until it doesn't.

Mantua was speculating that warm sea surfaces were the result of mild winters and had no particular significance.

Essentially - you make tendentious arguments around the flimsiest of evidence - which of course I ignore.

We don't know the mechanisms for the PDO - so can only see shifts after the fact and it takes a few years to work through. Until then - I only know that these regime - and they do have excursions into the opposite phase - last for 20 to 30 years. Times not up yet.

Rob Ellison said...

A blog like this can only exist in some exclusive bubble. These echo chambers exist to rehearse memes which are then taken word perfect into the wider blogosphere to challenge outsiders in a game of escalating memes. They get the ammunition here to fight the ongoing culture war.

The trouble with Sou's is that it is a particularly small and dank niche with spectacularly simplistic to the point of inanity memes. An immensely unsuccessful enterprise.

Bernard J. said...

I hear that there's a new book out - The Joy of Projection, by one R. Ellison.

I'll leave it to others to imagine what its subject matter might be.

Bernard J. said...

Oh, I'm recognising patterns alright. Ones that we all here have seen many times, with various frills superimposed.

The basic design is a recurrent theme though. Lots of squirrels and red herrings. With unicorns and sky dragons to enhance the mythological pechant of the weavers...

Rob Ellison said...

The graphs in question are of Argo, SORCE and CERES data that can be visually assessed - to see some of the complexities. If you cared for science at all.

I started with the proposition that climate - which if you had any depth would have an echo of the father of climate science. It leads to the problem I discuss above - an empirical obstacle to mitigation.
http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/02/robs-gallop.html?showComment=1424312347994#c713829127522427489

But these guys struggle with incorporating these ideas - supported with copious amounts of the most modern science - into the worldview. Much simpler to just go on lambasting deniers.

It is most amusing - I have been banished to here for calling this the nuttiest blog on the block in a post on nutty blogs. Oh the cruel irony.



Rob Ellison said...

... proposition that climate was wild...

Sou said...

Wrong, Rob. You have been told to comment in this thread only, for the time being, because you persisted in derailing threads with off topic, long-winded comments. Your subsequent comment, in which you tried it on again, suggested you can't work out the topic of an article. (Hint - the headline and content generally give a fair indication.)

I have two options. Ban outright, or allow you to comment in a thread of your own, to your hearts desire. I chose to be generous.

It is often hard to tell if comments like Rob's above are a deliberate twisting of facts or if the writer really doesn't understand what he's doing.

There are a lot of people who read this blog, and there've been complaints in the past when I allowed someone to derail and thread-bomb with dense slabs of text. I've since tightened up - though I have given Rob a lot of leeway.

bill said...

With deniers it's always projection.

That would be the same 'author' who's now posted how many thousands of words in how many comments in this same 'unsuccessful' venue - making him, what, the square root of failure?

It's amazing how predictable troll behaviour is; the grand entrance somewhat undermined by the immediate pratfall with trousers around ankles, the copy/paste chummery, the tl;dronery, the gish-gallopery, the hypocritical tone trolling, the flounce which never actually happens, the ringing and none-too-self-aware denunciation that the place is for losers combined with the yogi bera-ish observation that no-one comes here anyway...

How often have we seen the like?

Ladies and gentlemen - we have a type. Or hydra sock-puppets of the same three people, or course...

Rob Ellison said...

It was a very short comment that you suggested was not smart. Well you're the expert.

There was the original comment which addressed blogs in general - I can't see much worth in this one or the climate blogosphere in general. It serves no purpose. The same coterie of people with the same endless quibbling about nonsensical issues like nutty blogs.

The more interesting bit was the comment on the warmest year. The obvious source of added warmth is the current peak in the Schwabe cycle. This won't of course persist. So you have the tiniest increase in a measure of surface temperature over a calendar year - hundredths of a degree - and this will head down as the Sun cools in the current cycle. Perhaps longer term - although I doubt that you are across the research there either.

So it is true the comment was on topic - the warmest year meme that you used - and that the comment that you said was not smart and then banished me here for - called this the nuttiest site of all - in a post on nutty sites.

But I have options too. Go back to ignoring this trivial and little visited blogospheric swamp.

Sou said...

Here is the comment that I said was "not smart". Disputing PG's observation and ignoring my request, and trying to derail the discussion, again, to the subject of your choice:

It was directly to do with the thread Sou - especially if you are going to insist that 2014 was the warmest year. The curious really have to ask why. So start with data. And I was suggesting people look at it - Argo, SORCE and CERES results - and see where the energy is coming from. Rather than making silly point on silly blogs.

I have to wonder if your're blog is not leading the way in nuttiness. .


You also tried it on a third time, trying to derail the discussion, after I'd asked you to stay on topic:

I suppose looking at actual data - Argo, SORCE and CERES - is out of the question? The lack of graphics here mean that you really have to look at the graphs elsewhere to make easy comparisons.

Much easier to wallow around blogospheric echo chambers amusing yourself with the rampant nuttiness of some other group


Bill has nailed it. If it runs the same course as with other people, this will end in tears, not mine, and increasingly abusive comments, and possibly a ban. In which case it will probably be followed by sockpuppetry or intermittent personal attacks - which will be deleted, mostly unread by me or anyone else.

We'll see.

Rob Ellison said...

I have spent a grand total of one day here - on a rainy pre-cyclone day filled with presentiment - it seems longer. It all started with my entry on CE - the subject of the post.

Climate is wild and the societal imperative is to find ways to cope with these utterly unpredictable – not just uncertain – shifts. The best coping mechanisms involve building societal resilience in ways that are not merely compatible with emissions mitigation – but absolutely essential in a broad strategy involving multiple gases, aerosols, population and conservation.

But this is an agenda that needs to be run by global moderates - in opposition to the pervasive political and social extremes of progressive politics.

The response is not really to say anything at all - such as in the comment above. A list of admissions they didn't actually read the potted science but diverse science presented - or it was above their heads. None of them seem very sophisticated technically - none make much reference to actual science - it is all just blogspeak cliches and at best second or third hand triple plus blogospheric unscience.

Perhaps my first mistake was to say that I found progressives inordinately stupid. A sentiment that has been confirmed yet again. I quoted from
The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy by Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner.

'Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about
themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific
language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.49 Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.'

I've don't pretend. We are looking to a prosperous, energy rich future
with the resources to care for people and the environment. It is a culture war - winner take all. There are stark choices between the sides.

Bernard J. said...

The thing with climate-science/global-warming deniers is that with each new maximum record they bleat about measurement error and/or variability, but whenever the latest annual mean is just below the record there's only talk about cooling or stasis. There's no protest that an apparent non-record might actually be a record, no application of the same logic that they use to dispute apparent records.

Even when it's up all they see is down - walking down the up escalator.

That's the real, actual "interesting bit". And it's opening up a whole discipline (or several) of psychological study, in addition to a separate one in the field of ethics and morals.

How fascinating that these deniers replicate again and again the same modus operandi - flashing a handkerchief around, thimblerigging scarcely-seen factoids, but never properly putting on the table their arguments for careful scrutiny under the full light of scientific deconstruction.

With all the pointing at squirrels it's no wonder Rob Ellison's vision seems to be occluded with categorically-incorporated palinopsic impressions of nuts. How apropos.

Rob Ellison said...

Well that was the comment - the subject was the first transposed comment - which if you drop the silly warmest year meme seems fair game and on topic. It seemed relatively polite - although having fun with the nutty blogosphere premise.

My first comment described some up to date and serious climate science. It's all a bit much isn't it.

I don't care enough to bother Sou - and crying about how resistant to ideas this insular crew is seems more than faintly ridiculous.

Bernard J. said...

(...where we came in?)

Hn.

1. Is this clown copy/pasting his own previous incoherencies, in addition to contextless material from others?

2. There be progressives under the bed what's gonna take our future.

3. Thermodynamics doesn't give a shit about culture wars, or about numpties who ignore its laws in their march to "win... [and] take all".

(Isn't this...)

Anonymous said...

"Oh the cruel irony."

And to cap it all you do not understand irony. Or cruelty.

(Are you American by any chance?)



Rob Ellison said...

As far as I can tell - Bernard doesn't actually say anything at all. Denier and psychologically abnormal seems to emerge from the word salad however.

'A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.' http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

This is the perfect summation I think - from the PNAS. Think hard Bernard - is this a product of my diseased imagination - am I misinterpreting things for nefarious purposes?

The surface temperature graph hasn't moved enough to be statistically significant - it certainly hasn't dramatically warmed. But this is the least reliable measure of climate. I linked the the Argo data from the Argo Global Mapper based on the Scripps climatology. It shows a little warming in recent years and is a much better measure. This seems correlated with the Schwabe solar cycle however. But you really don't understand this do you? Just babble on about deniers and take the meds - you'll be fine.

Bernard J. said...

Oh, I think well, thank you very much Rob Ellison. It's you that I worry about.

So quickly now, how many years are required to pick the warming signal from the statistical noise? Conversely - and here's a tricky question - how much would a single year's increment of warming need to be in order to be "statistically significant[ly]" greater than a previous record mean, whether that mean was in the previous year or earlier.

No copy/pasting reams of un-decontructed material. Just two numbers to show that you understand something of the nature of detecting the contemporary warming phenomenon. Can you manage that Rob Ellison? Can you?

Bernard J. said...

And here's a supplementary question in case you manage to finish early, Rob Ellison.

What is actually meant by "warmest mean global temperature on record"?

Bernard J. said...

And Rob Ellison, for a gold star, can you explain the relationship between measurement/experimental error of a particular magnitude, the phenomenon of accuracy in the taking of an increasing number of measurement repetitions, and the approach to the objective value of the parameter being measured?

You get two gold stars if you can explain this in your own words without copy/pasting pages from tangentially-related material, taken out of context.

Bernard J. said...

"As far as I can tell - Bernard doesn't actually say anything at all."

Erm, that has been my point about you for rather a few posts now, and every time I try to elicit from you a concrete point about the human-caused warming of the planet you cast about for red herrings. If you perceive that I am not saying anything it's because:

1) you have been vapid and elusive in pressing your denial of global warming, in an attempt to offer the minimum with which anyone might actually refute you, and

2) you assiduously skirt my questions and (perhaps too subtle?) points that anyone who actually was using their brain might address in order to come to an understanding.

You obviously are not familiar with my pressings of deniers in years past. With my students my pedagogical approach is not to spoon-feed them every last fact, but to elicit from them their own capacities to analyse for themselves. It's always telling for me when I use a variation of this on blogs, and science deniers especially fail to rise to the challenge.

It speaks volumes about their abilities (I use the term generously) to objectively process a problem and arrive at an optimal conclusion.

Bernard J. said...

"Just two numbers to show that you understand something of the nature of detecting the contemporary warming phenomenon."

For conciseness' sake I should indicate that the second number would actually be a series of numbers, dependent on the interval of time between a new record year and the previous record. The really interesting aspect of this question though is how the responder is able to address it...

Bernard J. said...

[Hmmm, the comment below was supposed to go in this sub-thread... It's late.]

"Just two numbers to show that you understand something of the nature of detecting the contemporary warming phenomenon."

For conciseness' sake I should indicate that the second number would actually be a series of numbers, dependent on the interval of time between a new record year and the previous record. The really interesting aspect of this question though is how the responder is able to address it...

JCH said...

My gawd you are dense. The PDO has been peaking at around 40 to 45 years. See if you can do the arithmetic. The WW2 peak is around 1943. Add 40 years. 1983. Put your little finger on 1983 and let's see if you can tell the truth. Follow the trend after 1983. Does your little finger go up or does it go down? 17 years to down to 2000 plus 12 years down to 2012 is 29 years of downward trend from the 1983 peak. 40-29 = 11 years to reach the next peak. Enjoy the ride. It's hilarious. You think it's going to go down for 29 years, and then stay flat, below the zero line, for a dew decades? You and Tsonis are out of your minds. I like Tsonis. He had a chance to be one of the most significant scientist in this debate, but in this decade he let his politics rot his science. The freaking proxy record happened at 285 ppm. It could be relevant, or it could have no relevancy at all. The PDO is physics: wind, currents, energy, etc. It does not care about your scratches in the past. It's not really a cycle.

dhogaza said...

Meanwhile here in the Eastern Pacific, we're seeing record warm temperatures in a year when El Niño has turned into The Little Engine That Couldn't.

And despite the cool phase of the PDO used by some to explain the massive anchovy bloom we had in fall 2013 and which appears to be continuing in diminished form this winter (we'll see what happens when the 8-month most active spawning season for this species picks up soon).

Note that temps are warmer than they were during the massive 1998 El Niño year.

dhogaza said...

Oh, Swanson write clearly and concisely:

"We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020."

And reading Tsonis and Swanson's review paper of 2012 makes clear they're still talking about variation about the [greenhouse-gas forced] trend, in fact the words "decadal variability" appears in the title. The 2009 paper argues that the real trend was perturbed by the extraordinary excursion of 1998 and at the time suggested that a series of flat years were in store, that the OLS trend would revert to the pre-1998 value, and that after some time (they suggest 2020) we'll be back to consecutive record-breaking years of warmth.

It's clear. You can't argue around the man's own words, and if you claim his words don't represent the paper he was discussing, you are claiming that the man is a liar.

dhogaza said...

"1. Is this clown copy/pasting his own previous incoherencies, in addition to contextless material from others?"

Yes, repeatedly. copy/paste of stuff he's posted here already, which he originally copy/pasted from stuff he (or others) have posted elsewhere.

Rob Ellison said...

'We develop the concept of ``dragon-kings'' corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point.' http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

So in the presence of abrupt changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation every few decades - what is the warming trend? Swanson in his realclimate post identifies the 'forced warming signal' as the trend between 1979 and 1997. It is some 0.07 degrees C/decade - and it is presumed that this rate will continue over warming and cooling regimes. A simplifying assumption that is very likely too simple.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

It excludes major transitions in ENSO states - and averaging between regimes which have different means and variance. It is the analogous to a stratified stochastic analysis in hydrology. Equally - we can exclude the 1998/2001 shift - characterised by extreme ENSO transitions - and take a trend form 2002.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

You rather silly questions expose a lack of understanding of the dynamics behind surface temperature variability. Not worth going into it with you.

Rob Ellison said...

'Numerically,'our'best'estimate for'the'global'temperature'of'2014'puts'it'slightly'above'
(by'0.01'C)'that'of'the'next'warmest'year'(2010)'but'by'much'less'than'the'margin'of'
uncertainty'(0.05'C).''Therefore'it'is'impossible'to'conclude'from'our'analysis'which'of'
2014,'2010,'or'2005'was actually'the'warmest'year.'

http://static.berkeleyearth.org/memos/Global-Warming-2014-Berkeley-Earth-Newsletter.pdf

I'd noticed this - but promptly forgot it. The meaning of statistical significance in the usual sense.- we might quibble about the margin of uncertainty but it seems hardly worth it. It seems the wrong question. The annual temperature depends on the persistence of higher sea surface temperature during the year. It also depends on drought and the balance of sensible and latent heat at the surface. The surface temperature is the least reliable of indicators. The calendar result even less so.

BBD said...

Not still banging on about this are you, Ellison?

Just as arrogant, cocksure and wrong as you ever were at JCs.


BBD said...

Rob likes to quote Swanson but never did understand what he was actually saying. This is straight from the Swanson article at RC that Rob links above. Emphasis as original:

It first needs to be emphasized that natural variability and radiatively forced warming are not competing in some no-holds barred scientific smack down as explanations for the behavior of the global mean temperature over the past century. Both certainly played a role in the evolution of the temperature trajectory over the 20th century, and significant issues remain to be resolved about their relative importance. However, the salient point, one that is oftentimes not clear in arguments about variability in the climate system, is that all else being equal, climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin.

A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability. The opposite also holds. It’s painfully easy to paint oneself logically into a corner by arguing that either (i) vigorous natural variability caused 20th century climate change, but the climate is insensitive to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases; or (ii) the climate is very sensitive to greenhouse gases, but we still are able to attribute details of inter-decadal wiggles in the global mean temperature to a specific forcing cause. Of course, both could be wrong if the climate is not behaving as a linear forced (stochastic + GHG) system.

tonylearns said...

I would find Rob rather interesting, except it is just not worth reading everything he writes. He at least says some things that are true, and he is not inventing foolish arguments about how the greenhouse effect is of no consequence, that even me, a college dropout, can see are completely wrong. So we are not dealing with a Moncton
But he uses big fancy words and long sentences to say things that could very easily be said in 1/10 the space and without needing internal translation.
In all of this, what I have gathered is that there are relatively minor variations in climate that have had serious impacts regionally over the last 12,000 years, and that will continue to happen.
black carbon lowers albedo, and there are ocean cycles, and something about the ratio of energy needs that use fossil fuels
Ah. Also that this bog is pretty much a worthless echo chamber, where people are not able to properly understand Rob's brilliance and deep understanding of the real issues, while we titter in our echo chamber unwilling to look at the important facts.
Is that an accurate summary? ( I didn't use big words so I hope commenters respect my ignorance and respond likewise).
Related to the above comment, I would be VERY entertained by a debate between Rob and Moncton.

tonylearns said...

now THAT was very clear.
and that is a point where I find specific fault with a point that Rob made ( 1 that I am able t understand that is).
I foond Sou's blog to be VERY valuable because I am constantly receiving new information from intelligent sources that increase my understanding of a variety of issue. In pretty much all cases, the information presented is from reliable sources that present valid information.
Sou and the commenters here examine arguments from mostly climate deniers, and analyze them in ways that do not ignore well understood science.
Her bog is vilified at science denier sites, but as with SKs and Realclimate, the vilification rarely has any content to back it up, and usually relies on arguments of censorship or on the same sort of misinformation that is their stock and trade.
Her blog also serves a valuable social purpose by exposing the ridiculousness of sites like WUWT.
Curry, is a different matter, as I don't see her as being a denier. I consider her an opportunist. she doesn't actively promote total bullshit science, but she allows free resin to complete foolishness by her commenters, and periodically gets chastened by them for not denouncing the hoax. but she throws them enough scraps of garbage to keep them hoping.
I can't be sure, sine her ideology is clearly libertarian, but she may just be happy to be a big fish in small pond and when the pond dries up, she will argue that she was just trying to be devils advocate and be reluctantly accepted back into the fold.
Sou's ridicule, has very occasionally been somewhat exaggerated, when I have gone to WUWT to see the latest there, but VEY rarely and only by degree, according to my standards.

Rob Ellison said...

That seems typical. I know - let's quote the dumbed down blog version. I prefer Tsonis's version.

Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

I quoted from a different paper above.

'A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.' http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

Rob Ellison said...

This is a dynamic sensitivity - such as I discuss here.in a review aeticle - see Figure 2.

It is highly sensitive near to tipping point - and less so the further away.

It is captured by the NAS definition of abrupt climate change.

'What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.' http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

So - crossing a threshold - the pace of change caused by internal variability - etc.

It is utterly bizarre to miss the fact that I have said this repeatedly. The whole picture includes a modest rate of anthropogenic warming of at most 0.07 degrees C/decade - which if you actually looked at the realclimate post and the paper they derive in a different ways - the likelihood that temperatures will not rise for decades and the utter unknowability of the size and direction of the next climate shift.

Rather than ignoring the sensitivity issue - I began by describing myself as a climate catastrophist - in the sense of Rene Thom. I quoted the NAS a couple of times.

'Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.'

So which bit don't you understand blah blah blah?

tonylearns said...

Rob the main point about the "warmest year" has been the avalanche of arguments that there has been N0 WARMING IN 18 YEARS.
It is a propaganda point that has been hammered over and over again for a few years now. It has been the "final nail in the coffin" the "prof" that Global warming is a scam".
and pretty much every person that I have seen who has discussed this issue in nn denier bogs has quickly made clear that the single year is not what matters, that the TREND is what is important and the trend clearly shows an increase in global temps.
and what was the reaction of the denialosphere ( can I ™ that? I came up with it a few years ago, and never saw it used before)? That the "record" was 0NLY 38% likely. I had my conservative friends on facebook howling about how the evil scientists were willing to lie like that. Even after explaining how statistics work and that 38% over a 130 year period is is really good odds, some still are hanging on to the idea that it was a scam.
In this case, your point is pretty meaningless. You could use your argument with every single year being slightly statistically hotter than the last. It could be 3°C warmer by 2050 without ever being able to be sure that any particular year was the warmest

Rob Ellison said...

This is quite a bizarre ramble. Fancy words and long sentences aye? You should try reading some actual science Tony.

There are more or less extreme shifts in climate that happen every few decades. This seemed to be the original bone of contention. No it didn't according to Sou. But it is so based on seeing climate data through the lens of complexity science.

This creates a dilemma - high sensitivity as discussed below but a lack of surface warming that is likely to persist for decades. This creates an 'empirical obstacle' (sorry about the big words) as discussed by Swanson and colleagues in the quotes provided.

The responses are another thing entirely - you really need to compartmentalise better. Carbon dioxide from electricity generation is some 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. Not counted is black carbon - which is a large forcing. An effective response to the sum of forcing involve building societal resilience in ways that are not merely compatible with emissions mitigation – but absolutely essential in a broad strategy involving multiple gases, aerosols, population and conservation.

I hope I have dispelled some of your obvious confusion.

JCH said...

They never answer the question. The first three regime shifts coincide perfectly with changes in the PDO. The AMO was just meandering around. Then in 1983 they drop the PDO like a hot rock and hook their little wagon to the AMO. And that is why they're expecting global cooling. Curry alluded to it agin yesterday. They went GIRMA. The PDO goes from a really good fit to divergence right when atmospheric CO2 should be making quite a difference. Meanwhile, in 1983 the AMO goes from a poor fit to an almost exact fit. They got fooled.

tonylearns said...

well, you at least tried. And I understood all of that. Notice that I never said I did not understand what you have been saying, just that it was unnecessarily obtuse.
I still do not see an understanding that 15-12,000 years ago there was an ABRUPT climate change, as there was about 2 million years ago, and various ones in between those periods.
the last 12,000 years have seen nothing remotely resembling that sort of abruptness.
the last 200 years have seen global temps from near the lowest of the holocene to nearing the highest of the holocene. Projections based on the increase in GHG's suggest a warmer at least 1°C higher than any time in the holocene. and it could be MUCH higher than that.
YES or N0. will that level of change result in M0RE abruptness than we have seen in the last 12,000 years.
PS. I have not seen anyone commenting to you that has suggested that all climate change is gradual and non abrupt.

Rob Ellison said...

Look - I am not really interested. If you look at the peer reviewed science I keep quoting the surface temperature record is not likely to increase for decades following the 1998/2001 climate shift. So in this light the trend from 2002 is the one.

The BEST note referred to puts it at within 0.01 degrees of 2007 and 2010 - from memory. Not statistically significant. But at rate really not a serious indicator.

I have just got an automated evacuation alert - now that is serious - really have to check it out.

BBD said...

That seems typical. I know - let's quote the dumbed down blog version. I prefer Tsonis's version.

And off Ellison goes again, asserting that his own source did not say what he very clearly and inarguably *did* say.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the true spirit of denialism.

BBD said...

If you look at the peer reviewed science I keep quoting the surface temperature record is not likely to increase for decades following the 1998/2001 climate shift. So in this light the trend from 2002 is the one.

One study, Rob. The one study you always quote, which happens also to argue a contentious and so-far uncorroborated hypothesis.

The rate of surface warming might stay relatively low for a while longer yet, but *flat for decades* - as GHG forcing just keeps on rising... ? Not in this universe.

BBD said...

tonylearns

Rob will start rabbiting on about abrupt changes in glacial and deglacial climates, conveniently ignoring that they are the results of physical mechanisms that only operate in glacial and deglacial climates.

And so it will go, on and on...

Joe said...

This is such a painful thread. First, as Tony said above, many (especially Tamino) have pointed that it's the trend not the year that matters...and the trend has been consistently up. Second, in the big picture, it's about energy accumulation not surface temperatures. Energy has been going up by ~10^20 joules per year, and you can see it in the largest heat sink, the ocean. OHC has been clearly rising and sea levels are going up. Also, glacial and Arctic ice are melting. Just too many data points all pointing to the same thing.

Either Rob wants to learn in good faith or he's just being argumentative. As ATTP always says, you can't convince those that don't discuss in good faith. Rob has clearly shown that he isn't discussing in good faith ("Look, I'm really not that interested"). Either that, or he's a genius smarter than the many worldwide scientists contributing to the IPCC. I'll go with the former.

Joe said...

"And so it will go, on and on..."
Bingo

KR said...

The '1998/2001 climate shift'?!?

15 years isn't statistically significant for any of the surface temperature records, any trends identified over such a short period are overwhelmingly variation rather than long term trends. If you look at the long term trends, the trend from 1975 to 1997 is lower (0.155 C/decade, GISTEMP) than from 1975-present (0.167 C/decade) - no hiatus at all. Working from the 1998 3-sigma El Nino is cherry-picking, and trends from a cherry-picked extrema are _far_ less statistically significant, or meaningful (demonstration here).

The Tsonis and Swanson paper is interesting, but their 1998-2001 inflection point is highly dependent on using the HadCRUT3 record, with known incomplete coverage - more complete coverage temperature records such as GISTEMP or the Cowtan and Way analysis are much less supportive of the Tsonis et al cycles. They also appear to be using incomplete forcing data, neglecting average volcanic aerosols, changes in anthropogenic aerosols (for example effects of the Montreal Protocol), or for that matter solar variations - I suspect much of their cyclic effect is in reality due to sum forcing changes rather than internal climate cycles.

[ This focus by Ellison on just one or two papers strikes me as 'single-study syndrome'. There's more to science than any one publication. ]

As to whether a particular year is the 'hottest', well, that current emphasis is IMO because of the denier rants about 'no warming'. The significance is in the trends, not individual and noisy yearly values.

Bernard J. said...

"Carbon dioxide from electricity generation is some 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. Not counted is black carbon - which is a large forcing. An effective response to the sum of forcing involve building societal resilience in ways that are not merely compatible with emissions mitigation – but absolutely essential in a broad strategy involving multiple gases, aerosols, population and conservation. "

Ah, I just twigged - Rob Ellison is a fancy denialist Turing test.

Almost had me there...

Bernard J. said...

"Not worth going into it with you."

In other words you can't answer two straighforward questions.

Thought so.


[Amusingly, Recaptcha said "ermse"...]

Bernard J. said...

"Look - I am not really interested."

And that's the problem - you're not interested in the facts, especially when they contradict your ideology.

Bernard J. said...

Tony Learns observed "You could use your argument with every single year being slightly statistically hotter than the last. It could be 3°C warmer by 2050 without ever being able to be sure that any particular year was the warmest".

I made the same point a couple of years ago in a conversation just like this one, and perhaps even on Hotwhopper. I can't find it now, but I did link to this graph that I posted at Skeptical Science. It demonstrates that one could have consistent underlying interdecadal warming of 2° C per century and never detect it with statistical significance even over a period of 12-20 in the most recent past.

Now, what were you saying about climate shifts Rob Ellison?

Sou said...

As far as I'm concerned and to all intents and purposes, 2014 was the hottest year on record. The chance of 2014 being the hottest year has been worked out at 30% greater (NOAA) or 15% greater (NASA) than it being the next hottest year (2010).

Victor Venema has a nice post on the pickiness of deniers when it comes to the hottest year on record (so far). He compared it to world records in athletics.

http://variable-variability.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/we-have-new-record.html

What makes this hottest year important is the context more than the actual year (eg it could have been 2013 but wasn't, soon it might be 2015 or 2016).

Fourteen of the hottest fifteen years on record have been from 2001 onwards. There hasn't been a coldest year on record in more than a century - not since 1909 (GISTemp).

Last year was 1.2 degrees hotter than the coldest year on record. (It was also 0.2 degrees hotter than the fifteenth hottest year on record, 2008.)

Bernard J. said...

Thanks for linking to Victor's excellent post Sou. It elegantly answers several of the questions that I put to Rob Ellison, so he now has no excuse for stalling and changing the subject, or feigning disinterest in engaging with pertinent points.

I especially like the graphs in Gavin's and rick baartman's tweets. How anyone could refute the solidity of the consensus science and ignore the depauperacy of the denialist pseudoscience in the face of just those two graphs astonishes me - even after all these years...

dhogaza said...

KR:

"[ This focus by Ellison on just one or two papers strikes me as 'single-study syndrome'. There's more to science than any one publication. ]"

Worse - it's "single-study misrepresentation syndrome", since Tsonis and Swanson 2009 don't say what he says it says nor imply what he says it implies.

Joshua said...

===> "I don't inhabit blogs much. I... from my very limited dabbling"

Too funny.

Bernard J. said...

Speaking of evacuation alerts, here are a few more simple questions for Rob Ellison.

How many Category 5 cyclones have hit the Queensland shore in the last 50 years, and how has the frequency of such changed with time? And what are the implications for the latter should business as usual continue and the concentration of atmospheric CO2 rise to 500+ ppm? How might the answer to the last question impinge on the direct costs of the warming that Queensland will experience over this time?

Cugel said...

Sou : "... to all intents and purposes ..."

I think you're neglecting certain intents and purposes :)

Cugel said...

Have you ever watched ducks dabbling? All you can see is their arses sticking up in the air ...

Seems appropriate.

Bert from Eltham said...

It is bizarre that a twit like Rob would even bother to come here. He is a denier of the best sort that evolution can produce. Somehow the most plausible deniers think they can 'pass' as scientists. He invokes the highest form of pseudoscience that sounds correct to the ignorant masses to the point he even fools himself!
To endlessly quote Chaos Theory and Fractals to prove we are totally ignorant is as valid as saying we do not understand turbulent airflow so we should not fly our 420 tonne
My old boss in 1974 who was a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain would call him a blithering idiot.
He is a charlatan!
No more needs to be said!
This is not an insult, it is reality!
By the way my old boss was at Cambridge when the DNA imbroglio was happening.
Bert

Frank D said...

BBD's quote from the RC thread included the very interesting remark: "A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability."

I can see that high climate sensitive would amplify warm years (anomalously hot->difficult to dissipate->warm periods extended), but anomalously cold years would have their "coldness" damped down. Net result would be a similar level of variability to reference conditions. So, obviously, I'm missing something.

Can someone explain for the dumb ones like me why that is the case?

Quick, before the thread-bombing starts again (even though he said he had to go an batten down the hatches, it seemed even Cyclone Marcia couldn't stop the copypasta).

Thx in advance.

Harry Twinotter said...

Climate sensitivity cuts both ways? Ie a large increase in temps due to positive forcing also means a large decrease in temps due to negative forcing - that is what I thought he might have meant.

Rob Ellison said...

I spend little time on the triple plus unscience of the blogosphere - apart from Judy's. As I think I made clear. Even that has worn very thin - there is very little new and the same ossified comments over and over. Pretty much like here - aye Joshua.

But I am a scientist - an engineering hydrologist and environmental scientist. I have studied the Pacific state for decades. I survived Cyclone Marcia. It wasn't all that difficult. I spent the day in a cyclone shelter. A precaution purely. Wind peaked here at 150km/hr - which is not to be trifled with but not a huge problem either. The town lost some pre 1984 housing. Post 1984 housing is much stronger.

Nor it is even close to unprecedented. I'd recommend looking at the work of Jonathon Nott looking at extremes on the Australian coast. - https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/jonathan.nott/ - We ain't seen nothin' yet.

All in all it is a story of successful emergency planning and management. Everything worked liked it should - the spirit was one of forbearance, mutual support, humour, fortitude. Things are rapidly returning to normal. All in all it a story of adaptability and resilience.

Rob Ellison said...

'What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.' National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, 2002

The key ideas are threshold, driven at its own pace by internal mechanisms and chaotic processes. Complexity science suggests that the system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital eccentricities – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

Dynamic climate sensitivity implies the potential for a small push to initiate a large shift. Climate in this theory of abrupt change is an emergent property of the shift in global energies as the system settles down into a new climate state. The traditional definition of climate sensitivity as a temperature response to changes in CO2 makes sense only in periods between climate shifts – as climate changes at shifts are internally generated. Climate evolution is discontinuous at the scale of decades and longer.

You haven't really got the idea of dynamic sensitivity have you. It's an unstable math - http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

Rob Ellison said...

Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

So more cut and paste from reputable sources and peer reviewed science. It's such a failing.

There are thousands of studies on the Pacific state. But the Tsonis et al study put this into a network model. Providing some mathematical justification for 'A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts'.

Climate shifts in the Pacific are pretty obvious - e.g. http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

Now that I have repeated myself - twice - I guess it is time to call it quits on this particular echo chamber.

Bernard J. said...

"Now that I have repeated myself - twice - I guess it is time to call it quits on this particular echo chamber. "

Said without the slightest hint of self-parody...

Anonymous said...

@Bernard

Said ironically? Or without a hint of irony? Who can tell.

Perhaps some sort of ironic Poe.

Bernard J. said...

I'm sure that there's irony - of the sun sort.

Hank Roberts said...

Hm, I've been asking the same questions at RC, pointless to have the same thing in two places.
I'll stick with this one, as it's a dedicated topic.

Hank Roberts said...

R.E. apparently doesn't want to resume in this thread. He's still posting at RC, half of his posts get diverted to the Borehole thead, which he doesn't know about, and he thinks they're "lost" so posts the same material repeatedly. The sum of it all seems to be "until climate science accepts X, nothing else can be said usefully" but what X is exactly, it's hard to tell. What baffles me, after trying to follow some of the sources he claims inspire him, is that those authors don't suggest their work is a fundamental overthrowing of the existing science, as it seems RE does.

Has anyone seen any of his cited sources make claims along the lines of his ideas?

I know, DFTT, but it's an annoying loose end to see the same thing over and over.

Sou said...

Hank, thanks for your comments - I'll try to follow this up shortly. (I'll also change the thread so any comments appear immediately rather than going into moderation - or I might even start a new article. I won't get back to this for a little while - a couple of hours or so.)

Sou said...

Hank, before I delve into this, can you elaborate on which questions you are talking about when you refer to "his ideas"? Are you referring to the Tsonis stuff - PDO-IPO - or something else?

Hank Roberts said...

This sort of thing, continuing: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/05/global-warming-and-unforced-variability-clarifications-on-recent-duke-study/comment-page-1/#comment-629900

Hank Roberts said...

or 'oogle will pull up for example just the last month's results, using the "Search Tools" modifier, thus.

Sou said...

Hank - thanks for the clarification. (I'd almost forgotten about your question :D)

Hank Roberts said...

Maybe best forgotten.
No change in position or direction, while increasing verbosity, getting nowhere.