Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Science deniers at WUWT getting in hot water with Frölicher - but sorted

Sou | 1:47 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

There is a new paper in Nature Climate Change by Thomas Lukas Frölicher et al, which suggests that even if we stopped emitting any carbon dioxide at all, temperatures may still rise over time.  From Nature World News:
Immediate effects of the sudden carbon shutoff would be a cooling effect. But as time progresses, the model predicted gradual warming starting about 100 years after the hypothetical shutoff. Within 400 years of the shutoff, the model predicts global temperatures to rise 0.37 degrees Celsius (0.66 Fahrenheit). The rise seems small, but the researcher note that since pre-industrial times, global temperature has only risen by 0.85 C (1.5 F).

What the researchers investigations suggested was that over time, the oceans would absorb less heat, particularly oceans near the polar regions.  So even though there would be a reduction in radiative forcing after carbon emissions stop, the world could still continue to heat up.  The abstract of the paper explains it:
The reason is that the warming effect of decreasing ocean heat uptake together with feedback effects arising in response to the geographic structure of ocean heat uptake overcompensates the cooling effect of decreasing atmospheric CO2 on multi-century timescales.

Their study also states that estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) that are based on regression of the imbalance of Earth's energy against surface temperature are biased.  I presume they mean biased low. (This supports what some scientists have been suggesting based on paleoclimatology findings, and what many of us have been concerned about.)

The bottom line is that we could be sealing a fate of two degrees with just another 750 gigatonne of carbon.  25% less than most carbon budget calculations.

Anthony Watts just copied and pasted the press release and made no comment except for his headline, which read: The ‘worse than we thought’ model. On any other website that headline would be read as reflecting the content of the paper. At WUWT it was a signal to moan that "all the models are wrong". (Archived here.)

From the WUWT comments

Talking of getting in hot water (weren't we?), the comments at WUWT can be grouped into four categories.  You might quibble a bit with how I've allocated them.  There is overlap and some comments would fit into more than one category.  (All mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation are made by the authors of the comments.) The categories I settled on are:
  1. Unadulterated science denial and pseudoscience AKA The Stupid it Burns
  2. Fervent missionaries of the Scientific Illiterati
  3. Personal incredulity - all the models are wrong
  4. Why try if we're going to boil anyway
  5. Conspiracy ideation - the scientists are only in it for the money and variations

Because I got a bit carried away and collected so many comments this time around, I've put in a break to save page space and bandwidth of readers.  If you are on the home page and want to numb your brain, click here to see the comments as I've sorted them into the categories listed above (archived here).

1. Unadulterated science denial and pseudoscience AKA The Stupid it Burns

Credit: Plognark

Stuart Lynne says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm
If, as many scientists now think, CO2 has little effect on what we perceive as global warming, then the very obvious conclusion is that eliminating our output of CO2 will have no effect on global warming. Up or down or sideways.

Gil Dewart says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm
Climate and weather are full of “lag effects”. Hottest time of day and of year, for example. Perhaps many of the “climate change” effects we see today are “lagging indicators” from the end of the “Little Ice Age”.

Richard G says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm
As usual, no mention of the Biosponge thT SOks up CO2.
“Today, the average rate of energy capture by photosynthesis globally is approximately 130 terawatts,[8][9][10] which is about six times larger than the current power consumption of human civilization.[11] Photosynthetic organisms also convert around 100–115 thousand million metric tonnes of carbon into biomass per year”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis

Ron House says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Hang on… Every time I point out to people that the Earth has had far more CO2 in the past, the universal response has been “yes, but that happened gradually, today it is happening rapidly”. That, according to every warmist I have encountered, has been the CRITICAL difference. And here we are now, assuming, not merely a quick change, but an INSTANTANEOUS one? The effrontery of the dishonesty is even more appalling than the dishonesty.

LdB says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm
Ok I am calling foul and garbage on this most excess heat is going into deep ocean physics says so.
If heat is hiding in the deep ocean in the arctic then there is a mechanism that is doing it because you have a large amount of heat concentrated into a small area distant from where the energy arrived that is a driven process. If the process wasn’t driven it would quickly establish a new equilibrium and then you have a problem because you would get something that looked exactly like “the pause”.
If sensible heat was trapped by a driven mechanism it has to radiate IT’S THE LAW OF PHYSICS. Lets see those dipsticks that believe this garbage can work out how long even just the units of time would be enough to tell them something. Guess what you would be able to measure it because it has a very clear fingerprint … of dear not so hidden now and the theory is testable :-)

Steve O says:
November 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm
A planet with frozen poles strikes me as inherently unstable. How do we know that the global temperature would not self-stabilize at a higher level all on its own? Perhaps what we see in the historical record as global climate cycles were set in motion by extraordinary events such as major asteroid strikes. Maybe the earth is occasionally getting rung like a bell. If this is the case, then no amount geoengineering or carbon mitigation is going to prevent the earth from finding its natural level.

mikelowe2013 says:
November 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Strange how this turkey thinks that atmospheric warming is likely to continue for hundreds of years after CO2 emissions cease, yet that warming seems to have ceased already even though CO2 continues to rise. Is there something I’ve missed here, or is he totally delusional / irrational?

wws says:
November 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm
Meanwhile, it’s 33 degrees and raining in East Texas tonight.
but the long term models said that today was supposed to be 64 degrees. Oh, but I know, this is just “weather”.

Nick says:
November 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm
Re: “In the long term, the temperature increase could be 25 per cent greater than ASSUMED TODAY.”
So great are the uncertainties in the global surface temperature record, that nobody knows by how much global surface temperatures have changed since 1850.
For all we know, global surface temperatures could have risen by 0°C since 1850, in which case the surface of the world is warming at rate of 0°C per ~163 years. If that rate were to increase by 25%, it would still be warming at a rate of 0°C per ~163 years.
The uncertainties involved in measuring the overall temperature of the oceans, from surface to sea bed, are no less than those involved in measuring surface temperatures.
Apologies to all at WUWT for endlessly repeating the same point.

C.K.Moore says:
November 26, 2013 at 12:00 am
Frohlicher needs to cut the long talk and just come out flat-footed and say it: CO2 is magic! At 400 ppm those 400 CO2 molecules impart enough kinetic energy to the remaining 999,600 other molecules comprising air to destroy earth as we know it. And it keeps doing this in spite of changing seasons and day and night–not to mention the vagueries of H2O changing state, moving vast amounts of heat around and generally confounding the whole process.

Michel says:
November 26, 2013 at 12:10 am
If 25% more warming means additional 0.25 to 0.5 °C to the lack of current warming what’s the heck? About 2/3 of the released CO2 remains in atmosphere (overall balance since 1750, and yearly releases and concentration rise show this). Beyond releasing enthalpy of solution of CO2 when dissolved in water (-19.4 KJ/mole at room temperature) the trapped CO2 does not play any role on forcing and warming.

ronald says [Sou: This one is long but I just had to post it in its entirety]:
November 26, 2013 at 2:36 am
Nice, alway as i reed the word model i know its totally wrong. A wrong input gives a wrong output. But if you believe your input is wright then you also believe your output is right. Also there is the point of the wrong temperature data witch go’s up by the month. They believe the earth is warming in stet of colling so thats what they are looking at.
Some thing like that happens in Holland right now. Yes is weather but is sent weather climate and climate weather? Ye I now strange but look the climate your in makes the weather. A warm climate gifts a warm weather pattern and a cooler climate o well you see it. That way a warmer climate never could have a rely cold winter.
Oke back to the weather, where looking at winter time now and it becomes colder how much? The weather models don’t know it and are swirling all over the place. Why is that? Why is it so difficult for a model to predict winter? Why for that matter is it difficult to predict every weather other then the usual? There are two re sens.
One: the models look in the past to see correlations, so they look back to warmer situations.
Two: weather people think the earth is warming and snow is a thing from the past.
You see that the model looks back and get wrong signals as input whit the result that the output is wrong to.
Even if the model sees cooling then there is some weather geek who don’t believe that because the world is warming.
Agwers live in a virtual realty totally ignoring the real world and the only thing they believe are the models they make up whit the wrong data they made up to. And even if there is a signal like the pause in warming they don’t understand that because of the models telling different.

2. Fervent missionaries of the Scientific Illiterati

Jeef says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm
This story requires the classic English response: “Oh, for f***’s sake”.
Apologies in advance if mods think this is OTT.

Eliza says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm
I am surprised that WUWT would want to give any attention to drivel like this

R. de Haan says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Just another scientific report that deserves a permanent place in the round dossier after you run it through the shredder. This is all horse sh?t of course smoked in the ETH Zürich’s crack pipe.

John West says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm
“We cannot rule out the possibility that” this is all just a dream I’m having and when I wake up it all goes poof!

hunter says:
November 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm
What an ignorant scenario these alarmists use to make the completely predictable, disreputable refrain: “it is worth than we thought”.
Why not a scenario that shows what would happen instantly if 1800 gigatons was removed from the atmosphere?
These rent seeking clowns are just trying to keep the $ billion per day of tax payer money flowing to their community.
It is almost as if they are just going through the motions.

jorgekafkazar says:
November 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm
“…the heat trapped by the CO2 goes into the ocean sooner or later…”
Applesauce, balderdash, baloney, bilge, blarney, blather, bosh, bull, bunk, claptrap, codswallop, crapola, drivel, drool, garbage, hogwash, hokum, hooey, horsefeathers, humbug, malarkey, moonshine, muck, piffle, poppycock, punk, rubbish, tommyrot, tosh, trumpery, twaddle, whatlysenkospawned.

3. Personal incredulity - all the models are wrong

Bill_W says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm
I’m glad that they published this important work based on a single climate model. Now they can try the other 75 climate models one at a time and publish 75 more papers. I presume that they picked a model in the middle so they can publish 38 more papers saying it is even worserer than we thought in the last paper. Then if it does get cool, they can start on the climate models on the other end and work backwards. It’s called climate simulation masturbation. And we pay for it.

Louis Hooffstetter says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm
“Frölicher and his co-authors… use one of the world’s leading climate models for their calculations…”
Garbage in, garbage out.

Billy Liar says:
November 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm
I think I’ve got climate model fatigue. I couldn’t care less what’s happening in the dream world of climate models. Uncannily, they never predict the only thing we know that is almost certain to happen – the next glaciation

Truthseeker says:
November 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm
“The model is closer to reality,”
Well it would be almost impossible for these models to get any further away ….

Two Labs says:
November 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Model outputs are not data.
Will this madness ever end?

Timo Kuusela says:
November 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm
“Single climate model”,and if others are used, the result is different.Good grief…

John piccirilli says:
November 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm
The models have to be right, one of gores brain washed climate reality
Pinheads just told me so, and he proved it by showing ten data points
which they are based on so they must be right. Sceptics are the same
People who said smoking did not cause. Sarc ( al did own a tobacco farm but
No mention of this fact.

DEEBEE says:
November 26, 2013 at 2:32 amWaiting for the day when these model jokers stop behaving like newly minted grad students in love with their models. It is amazing that the bubble of hubris is not burst by exposure to reality. Do a reality check on the selected model and then try to understand why it does not work most of the time.

wsbriggs says:
November 26, 2013 at 3:30 am
As a graduate of the ETH this saddens piece me tremendously. The Department of Physics used to be home to people like Wolfgang Pauli, and Albert Einstein, now there is the sad image of “progressive” science taking them back to before the age of reason.

4. Why try if we're going to boil anyway

cynical_scientist says:
November 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Brought to you by the
“we’re all doomed anyway so why bother”

Louis says (extract):
November 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm
So even if humans completely stopped making any contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere, we are still doomed. In that case, what possible reason is there to cut CO2 emissions? We might as well burn our fossil-fuel candles at both ends and enjoy life while we still can.

M Courtney says:
November 26, 2013 at 1:11 am
Weret hsi study to be accurate it would blow away any justification for reducing CO2 emissions.
Hundreds of years if warming would happen anyway… so the emisssions would now be irrelevant.

5. Conspiracy ideation - the scientists are only in it for the money and variations

knr says:
November 26, 2013 at 2:48 am
We cannot rule out the possibility that climate change is even greater than previously thought, says the scientist.
We cannot rule in the possibility that climate change is even greater than previously thought, says the scientist.
One gets reaserch money in and helps keep ‘the cause ‘ on track the other does not .
But both are equally ‘valid ‘
Guess which one climate ‘scientists’ would go for.

Kurt in Switzerland says (extract):
November 26, 2013 at 1:28 am
Keep those R&D Swiss Francs coming our way, so we can get even better at what we do. And on the odd chance that we’re proven wrong – which can only be done from, say 2060 or 2080 – we’ll have been dead for decades by then anyway, so you can’t even hold us responsible!

Frölicher, TL et al (2013) Continued global warming after CO2 emissions stoppage. Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate2060


  1. I'm MCourtney.
    Shame that you don't correct my typos and still record them for posterity. It's a bit like snapping people on a beach holiday in their inebriated gracefulness and putting them on your own mantelpiece.
    Strange and just a little creepy.

    Still, the point remained. That paper was pointless. If it was right then there was no possible policy but the entirely sceptical "adapt".

    And yet, unfortunately for our side, it was not justified in being right.

    1. Why is the paper pointless? It does not mean there is no possible policy. Also we need to predict what is going to happen to plan adapting. Your comment is accurately filed under "Why try".

    2. MCourtney - Your comment was nonsense. We are already committed to further warming until the current level of emissions and radiative imbalance rebalance over time, but we can _always_ make matters _worse_. By, for example, emitting more.

      Some adaptation to what's already in the pipeline is unavoidable. But mitigation is still less expensive than adaptation, and still a very good idea.

    3. MCourtney:

      1. Your comment has already been recorded for posterity at WUWT. That was your doing.

      2. If I changed comments that other people wrote I'd quite rightly be accused of fudging or tampering or misquoting.

      3. What Jammy said.

      4. What KR said.

      5. Read the article again, then the paper.


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