Extreme Events

My modelling backing began in complex dynamics (e.g. turbulent flows) but most of my experience is in financial modelling.  And I can say with a high degree of confidence that anyone in the financial world who actually bet money based on this modelling approach (employed in the recent Nature article on UK flooding) can be described with one word: bankrupt.  No one in their right mind would have any confidence in this approach.  No one would ever trust a model that has been hand-tuned to match retrospective data to be accurate going forward, unless that model had been observed to have a high degree of accuracy when actually run forward for a while (a test every climate model so far fails).  And certainly no one would trust a model based on pure modelling without even reference to historical data.

Te entire emerging industry of pundits willing to ascribe individual outlier weather events to manmade CO2 simply drive me crazy.  Forget the uncertainties with catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory.  Consider the following:

  • I can think of no extreme weather event over the last 10 years that has been attributed to manmade CO2 (Katrina, recent flooding, snowstroms, etc) for which there are not numerous analogs in pre-anthropogenic years.   The logic that some event is unprecedented and therefore must be manmade is particularly absurd when the events in question are not unprecedented.  In some sense, the purveyors of these opinions are relying on really short memories or poor Google skills in their audiences.
  • Imagine weather simplified to 200 balls in a bingo hopper.  195 are green and 5 are red.  At any one point in time, the chance is 2.5% that a red ball (an extreme event) is pulled.  Now add one more ball.  The chances of an extreme even is now 20% higher.  At some point a red ball is pulled.  Can you blame the manual addition of a red ball for that extreme event?  How?  A red ball was going to get pulled anyway, at some point, so we don’t know if this was one of the originals or the new one.  In fact, there is only a one in six chance this extreme event is from our manual intervention.   So even if there is absolute proof the probability of extreme events has gone up, it is still impossible to ascribe any particular one to that increased probability.
  • How many samples would one have to take to convince yourself, with a high probability, the distribution has gone up?  The answer is … a lot more than just having pulled one red ball, which is basically what has happened with reporting on extreme events.  In fact, the number is really, really high because in the real climate we don’t even know the starting distribution with any certainty, and at any point in time other natural effects are adding and subtracting green and red balls (not to mention a nearly infinite number of other colors).
  • stan

    My biggest problem with published articles like this is not with the idiots who do the work — they are at least furthering their careers. Or with the juournal — it’s furthering its political agenda. My biggest problem is with the other scientists who are either too stupid to understand what BS this is or too cowardly to stand up for reality.

    Incompetence and a lack of integrity create one helluva credibility problem.

  • Nick

    unless that model had been observed to have a high degree of accuracy when actually run forward for a while

    Even this isn’t sufficient. The reason is that it introduces a selection bias. If you run the model against a period of known data not used to train the model, then you will only go forward with models that are successful in this period. That’s a selection bias, and you are effectively only selecting models that work against all the known data. Even a polynomial fit will work well historically, but with a high probability of going wrong when tested against unknown data

    I’ve seen no evidence put forward for more variation in weather, so the existence of extreme weather that is cooling, is evidence against AGW.

  • Renewable Guy

    #########################################################

    •Imagine weather simplified to 200 balls in a bingo hopper. 195 are green and 5 are red. At any one point in time, the chance is 2.5% that a red ball (an extreme event) is pulled. Now add one more ball. The chances of an extreme even is now 20% higher. At some point a red ball is pulled. Can you blame the manual addition of a red ball for that extreme event? How? A red ball was going to get pulled anyway, at some point, so we don’t know if this was one of the originals or the new one. In fact, there is only a one in six chance this extreme event is from our manual intervention. So even if there is absolute proof the probability of extreme events has gone up, it is still impossible to ascribe any particular one to that increased probability.

    #########################################################

    I disagree with your premise. It is a little more complicated than pulling balls out of a hopper. As temperature increases, we have a slightly new dimension of higher humidity in the air. This gears the system up to a slightly higher energy level.

    It’s also not about just naming one storm as that one is the man made storm. When possibly its the whole system. Have the whole stats changed and in what direction? Are there fewer or more storms? What is the intensity of those storms and how does it bear out?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trends_in_natural_disasters.jpg

  • Renewable Guy

    #########################################################

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone#Global_warming

    The strength of the reported effect is surprising in light of modeling studies[146] that predict only a one half category increase in storm intensity as a result of a ~2 °C (3.6 °F) global warming. Such a response would have predicted only a ~10% increase in Emanuel’s potential destructiveness index during the 20th century rather than the ~75–120% increase he reported.[142] Secondly, after adjusting for changes in population and inflation, and despite a more than 100% increase in Emanuel’s potential destructiveness index, no statistically significant increase in the monetary damages resulting from Atlantic hurricanes has been found.[132][147]

    #########################################################

    In the whole system we are seeing an increase in intensity of hurricanes. No statistical increase in monetary damages sounds like we are dodging the bullet so far.

    As sea level rises 1 foot, 2 feet, 4 feet, 6 feet from 20 to 150 years out, I believe there will be different dynamic in the damage at the shoreline.

  • Renewable Guy

    ##########################################################
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone#Global_warming

    Although many aspects of a link between tropical cyclones and global warming are still being “hotly debated”,[153] a point of agreement is that no individual tropical cyclone or season can be attributed to global warming.[149][153] Research reported in the 3 September 2008 issue of Nature found that the strongest tropical cyclones are getting stronger, particularly over the North Atlantic and Indian oceans. Wind speeds for the strongest tropical storms increased from an average of

    ((((((((140 miles per hour (230 km/h) in 1981 to 156 miles per hour (251 km/h) in 2006)))))))),

    while the ocean temperature, averaged globally over the all regions where tropical cyclones form,

    (((((((((((((((increased from 28.2 °C (82.8 °F) to 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) during this period.))))))))))))

    ##########################################################

    There are unknowns and yet with just a mild increase in temperatures, here is a reasonably large increase in wind speed.

  • Renewable Guy

    stan:
    My biggest problem with published articles like this is not with the idiots who do the work — they are at least furthering their careers. Or with the juournal — it’s furthering its political agenda. My biggest problem is with the other scientists who are either too stupid to understand what BS this is or too cowardly to stand up for reality.

    Incompetence and a lack of integrity create one helluva credibility problem.
    ##########################################################

    Stan

    Would you care to show an example of what you are talking about?

  • Renewable Guy

    Nick
    ##########################################################
    I’ve seen no evidence put forward for more variation in weather, so the existence of extreme weather that is cooling, is evidence against AGW.
    ##########################################################

    Temperature is changing for the warmer. This does effect weather. How can it not?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

  • Renewable Guy

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/24/nature-magazines-folie-a-deux-part-deux/

    In a sense the guy publishing this criticism of the modeling study of the Enlish flooding. The poorest place to have an impact on the science community is to publish on Watts Up With That. If you want to have an impact on the science community, write his own paper and publish it in a reputable science journal. Writing in WUWT is for political reasons to influence resistance to understanding AGW.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41628051/ns/us_news-environment/

    Extreme weather, warming link is strong, studies say

    WASHINGTON — Extreme rainstorms and snowfalls have grown substantially stronger, two studies suggest, with scientists for the first time finding the telltale fingerprints of man-made global warming on downpours that often cause deadly flooding.

    The two studies — reported in Wednesday’s issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nature and packaged on its cover as “The Human Factor” — link extreme precipitation to increases in greenhouse gases more than ever before.

    One group of researchers looked at the strongest rain and snow events of each year from 1951 to 1999 in the Northern Hemisphere and found that the more recent storms were 7 percent wetter. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to be a substantial increase, said the report from a team of researchers from Canada and Scotland.
    #########################################################

    There is the remainder of the article at the link. Adding to higher tempertures the earth is experiencing of 4% higher humidity and we end up with 7% wetter rainfalls. It only makes sense.

  • Richard

    My understanding is that the world wide humidity levels have been declining over the measured period. It may be a difficult to get higher rainfall with lower humidity!

  • netdr

    Renewable guy

    Since humidity levels have been declining and temperature have remained steady for 12 years I don’t think you are correct ! All of your theories depend upon something which isn’t happening !

    http://climate4you.com/ [Greenhouse Gasses]

    For the same reason the clowns who said the recent snowstorms were caused by CO2 warming are smoking something illegal. The Dec and Jan global temperatures are low and England had the coldest December in about 100 years.

    So CO2 causes both warming and cooling and snow and lack of snow, is that their position ?

    Facts are so inconvenient for the alarmists. The cold winter is embarrassing to the alarmists so now they say they have always said that Global WARMING should cause cold winters.
    .
    Someone should have told these people.
    .
    David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.
    .
    David Viner However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
    .
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

  • Renewable Guy

    Netdr

    http://www.climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm

    Most climate models assume that as an increasing amount of atmospheric CO2 induces slightly increasing atmospheric temperatures, the overall evaporation will increase from the planet surface, and thereby the specific humidity of the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) will increase as well. As water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, additional warming will come about, resulting in a much larger temperature increase than that induced from CO2 alone. Climate models therefore, in general, assume the relative Tropospheric humidity to remain more or less stable, as increasing air temperatures are compensated by increasing specific humidity.

    #########################################################

    You brought up a good page. But I believe there is higher humidity now than in the past and the global humidity will be higher with the future warming temperatures.

    #########################################################

    http://www2.ucar.edu/news/1036/record-high-temperatures-far-outpace-record-lows-across-us

    If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.

    #########################################################

    Thinking and thinking local are two different things. The United States could have a cool year and yet the globe could set record breaking temperatures

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/mar/HQ_04090_satellite_finds_warming.html

    Satellite Finds Warming ‘Relative’ To Humidity
    A NASA-funded study found some climate models might be overestimating the amount of water vapor entering the atmosphere as the Earth warms. Since water vapor is the most important heat-trapping greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, some climate forecasts may be overestimating future temperature increases.

    In response to human emissions of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, the Earth warms, more water evaporates from the ocean, and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases. Since water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, this leads to a further increase in the surface temperature. This effect is known as “positive water vapor feedback.” Its existence and size have been contentiously argued for several years.

    Ken Minschwaner, a physicist at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M., and Andrew Dessler, a researcher with the University of Maryland, College Park, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md, did the study. It is in the March 15 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. The researchers used data on water vapor in the upper troposphere (10-14 km or 6-9 miles altitude) from NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).

    Their work verified water vapor is increasing in the atmosphere as the surface warms. They found the increases in water vapor were not as high as many climate-forecasting computer models have assumed. “Our study confirms the existence of a positive water vapor feedback in the atmosphere, but it may be weaker than we expected,” Minschwaner said

    ##########################################################

    With the ever increasing level of temperatures of the sea surface, it would be hard to imagine that humidity would not increase. And yet with higher temperatures desertification will also increase. The American Southwest is predicted to get dryer than it is now.

  • Wally

    Oh boy, another thread of having Renewable spam us with news releases…

    “But I believe there is higher humidity now than in the past and the global humidity will be higher with the future warming temperatures.”

    You “believe” wrong. Please don’t state beliefs. Just go find the literature: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/adai/papers/Dai_JC06-sfcHumidity.pdf

    Here we clearly see overall negative trends. Land humidity is basically flat for the globe, but is decreasing slightly, and is over all statistically insignificant, while ocean humidity has decreased more, and is statistically significant.

    The author of this paper then goes through a lot of mental gymnastics (read mathematical models) in order to spit out the conclussion that we should see ~5% humidity increase for every degree (C) of warming. But, that just doesn’t jive with the data, when over the last 30 years we see decreasing humidity and increasing temp.

    Anyway, its all pretty much meaningless anyway. 30 years of data in climate studies is simply not enough. Give me a trend that has held up for more like 10K years and I’ll start to listen.

    “The United States could have a cool year and yet the globe could set record breaking temperatures.”

    Only, its not just the US. The world has been very cold Dec-Jan and probably Feb too once that data comes out. Earily in the year, last August mostly, we AGW-believer triumphing the barrily record highs during an extremely strong el nino. Now we have a very strong la nina, and some of the coldest temps we’ve seen in 30 years. Not that I’m proclaiming that just a fraction of a year of data proves anything one way or another, but just the opposite. We all need to understand that these theories aren’t going to be proven right with the next year or even decade of temps reports. For one, our inability to appearently come up with a consistant GMT record casts doubt on what the GMT even is. And second, there are just too many confounding factors, that could take even millenia or more, to work themselves out, in the climate to “prove” anything over even several dozen years. In fact, until someone can explain why temps circa 5+MYA where around what they are today, but with CO2 levels many multiples higher than today’s concentration, I’m going to continue to be skeptical of CO2 really being a “cause” of much of anything, and instead just being a small part of the picture that is easily overwelmed by other factors.

    And as a word of advice, if you want to engage in further discussion, then you’ll need to avoid referencing MSNBC or wiki. Real data, then valid logic Renewable, anything less is just wasting your time, so don’t bother if that’s not what you’re planning on doing.

  • Wally

    Renewable,

    You got a link to the actual research paper for that study, not the press release?

    Also, you do realize water vapor is required to form clouds and clouds increase albedo, which would be negative feedback. You, nor anyone else, can tell me which is dominate over the climate in general. Though simple logic suggests negative feedbacks must dominate, otherwise livable climate on Earth would be unstable, and thus it would be very unlikely to be maintained for the better part of the 4.5 billion years since the Earth formed.

  • netdr

    Renewable guy

    If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
    *********
    That is illogical as Mr Spock would say.

    That just proves that it HAS WARMED prior to 1998 [which isn’t in doubt] and hung at a plateau without much warming or cooling.

    Think about it !

    Something changed in 1998 !

    Since we are at a plateau any particularly warm day could be a record, but a cold day has further to go to set a record.

    That doesn’t mean it has warmed since 1998 does it.

    From 1978 to 1998 without doubt it warmed. Did CO2 have anything to do with it ?

    There were many more El Nino’s than La Nina’s which causes warming. It would have warmed without CO2. Even NASA admits that over a 20 year time span ocean currents can be dominant.

    So there is no evidence there that CO2 causes warming.

    From 1998 to present the number of El Nino years and La Nina years is about equal and temperatures have gone essentially sideways. Why not up by .36 ° C ?

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    All of your arguments hinge on warming in the future which hasn’t happened for 12 years. Since we are at the top of the 60 year PDO curve I’ll bet 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 etc out to 2030 or so are cooler and by that time the CAGW ship will have sunk.

    Here is a peer reviewed paper which explains what is happening better than I can.

    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-temperature-rise-may-be-lower-than-predicted.html

    Essentially there are 2 components of warming a long slow ramp at 1/2 ° C per century [which is not a catastrophe] Superimposed on that is a 60 year PDO [and other ocean ] cycle.

    When the cycle is positive like it was from 1978 to 1998 we appear to be warming fast [actually not that fast– 1.2 ° C warming per century] and the alarmists get alarmed and sign the Kyoto treaty. When the cycle is negative like it was from 1940 to 1978 [approx] the alarmists also get alarmed and stories about global cooling get put in Newsweek etc.

    We have turned the corner on the sine wave and temperatures are heading down for the next 20 years and CAGW won’t survive as a political movement !

  • Check out the following press release:
    “Reps. Waxman and Rush Urge Chairmen Upton and Whitfield to Hold Hearing on Latest Climate Science
    Feb 24, 2011
    Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Ranking Member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield requesting a committee hearing to discuss the two major studies linking severe weather events to man-made global warming. In the letter, Reps. Waxman and Rush state, “It is imperative that the Committee have an understanding of the science of climate change and the impact carbon pollution may be having on the weather in the United States and abroad. We cannot legislate wisely if we do not know what we are doing.””

    Available at:
    http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=news/reps-waxman-and-rush-urge-chairmen-upton-and-whitfield-to-hold-hearing-on-latest-climate-scienc

    It would be good to hold a hearing, just to demonstrate what a fraud these papers are.

  • Renewable Guy

    Wally

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/adai/papers/Dai_JC06-sfcHumidity.pdf

    The results of this study are consistent with previous
    analyses (see introduction) that showed increasing
    trends in surface humidity variables over a number of
    regions. The strong correlation between surface q and
    T on both interannual and longer time scales (including
    the trends) suggests that the increasing trends in global
    q will continue as global temperature rises. The exact
    rate of q increases differs spatially; however, globally it
    is close to that suggested by the Clausius–Clapeyron
    equation with a constant RH. Although global changes
    in surface RH are generally small, they may increase
    substantially on regional scales, as seen over the central
    and eastern United States, India, and western China,
    and the RH increases may be accompanied with increases
    in low cloudiness and decreases in DTR.

    #########################################################

    Out of this conclusion, the authors are saying that there is an increase in RH. RH humidity can stay the same and yet there is more vapor content in the air. RH is based on temperature also.

  • Wally

    Renewable,

    That’s the same paper I linked you to.

    And yes, RH is temp dependent. But, and this might blow your simple mind, temp is also humidity dependent. There is no independent variable between the two. The true independent variable is HEAT. Which is something pro-AGW researchers continuously ignore.

    Also, how do you explain decreasing humidity since 1998 as temps have basically gone sidewise? Total heat content is decrease here, no?

  • Renewable Guy

    Netdr:

    I don’t agree with you. If 2010 is tied for warmest year on record with 2005 at solar minimum. Solar maximum is coming within 5 years and we will break more records.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213101419.htm

    Top 11 Warmest Years On Record Have All Been In Last 13 Years
    #########################################################
    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-temperature-rise-may-be-lower-than-predicted.html

    The link above is an El Nino index for sea surface temperature

    ########################################################

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2010-warmest-year.html

    NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record01.12.11 In 2010, global temperatures continued to rise. A new analysis from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies shows that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, and was part of the warmest decade on record. Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory/Robert Simmon
    › Download PDF WASHINGTON — Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

  • Renewable Guy

    Wally:
    Renewable,

    That’s the same paper I linked you to.

    And yes, RH is temp dependent. But, and this might blow your simple mind, temp is also humidity dependent. There is no independent variable between the two. The true independent variable is HEAT. Which is something pro-AGW researchers continuously ignore.

    Also, how do you explain decreasing humidity since 1998 as temps have basically gone sidewise? Total heat content is decrease here, no?

    #########################################################

    Your own paper’s conclusion shows RH going up.

  • Renewable Guy

    Wally:

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/dessler10b.pdf

    A Determination of the Cloud
    Feedback from Climate Variations
    over the Past Decade
    A. E. Dessler
    Estimates of Earth’s climate sensitivity are uncertain, largely because of uncertainty in the
    long-term cloud feedback. I estimated the magnitude of the cloud feedback in response to short-term
    climate variations by analyzing the top-of-atmosphere radiation budget from March 2000 to February
    2010.

    ((((((Over this period, the short-term cloud feedback had a magnitude of 0.54 T 0.74 (2s) watts
    per square meter per kelvin, meaning that it is likely positive.)))))) A small negative feedback is possible,
    but one large enough to cancel the climate’s positive feedbacks is not supported by these observations.

    Both long- and short-wave components of short-term cloud feedback are also likely positive.
    Calculations of short-term cloud feedback in climate models yield a similar feedback. I find no
    correlation in the models between the short- and long-term cloud feedbacks.

    #########################################################

    Some cloud feedbacks are negative and some are positive. From the paper above, more likely positive.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/mar/HQ_04090_satellite_finds_warming.html

    Using the UARS data to actually quantify both specific humidity and relative humidity, the researchers found, while water vapor does increase with temperature in the upper troposphere, the feedback effect is not as strong as models have predicted. “The increases in water vapor with warmer temperatures are not large enough to maintain a constant relative humidity,” Minschwaner said. These new findings will be useful for testing and improving global climate models.

    ##########################################################

    It appears that specific humidity is increasing in the upper troposhere. Although relative humidity is decreasing slightly.

  • PaulD
  • netdr

    Renewable

    Some cloud feedbacks are negative and some are positive. From the paper above, more likely positive.
    ***********
    The puny warming ability of CO2 of 1 ° C per doubling is a well known fact so all of the catastrophe in CAGW is buried in feedback. The feedbacks must be strongly positive for CAGW to have a chance of being right.

    The jury is out on feedbacks and claiming “the debate is over” when we don’t know the sign let alone the magnitude of feedback is preposterous.

    Lindzen and Choi 2010 found it to be negative.

    They say:
    “We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zero-feedback fluxes thus implying negative feedback. ”

    One study doesn’t settle the question either way.

    They compared the radiation difference when the planet warmed and cooled and compared it to a black body. I believe more radiation for a given amount of warming indicated positive feedback.

    That is using “climate speak” because the whole system is obviously negative feedback or we would be living in a Venus like place right now. They define positive and negative feedback differently than any other science.

  • Renewable Guy

    Wally:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Lacis_etal.pdf

    Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob
    Governing Earth’s Temperature
    Andrew A. Lacis,* Gavin A. Schmidt, David Rind, Reto A. Ruedy
    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important
    climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4,
    and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current
    climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. Noncondensing greenhouse gases,
    which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable
    temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via
    feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect. Without the
    radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other noncondensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial
    greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.

    #########################################################

    Well Wally without GHG’s we freeze, but you seem to think that more of them won’t change things? CO2 knowledge got a big boost in WW2 and Vietnam. The real scientists supporting AGW from your point of view are praying for neg feedbacks.

    The amount of water vapor in the air is related to the amount of CO2. Take the ice cores going back 800,000 years.

  • Renewable Guy

    The puny warming ability of CO2 of 1 ° C per doubling is a well known fact so all of the catastrophe in CAGW is buried in feedback. The feedbacks must be strongly positive for CAGW to have a chance of being right.

    ###########################################################
    About 97% of scientists agree with feedbacks being positive enough for 3oC with doubling of co2.

    #############################################################

    The jury is out on feedbacks and claiming “the debate is over” when we don’t know the sign let alone the magnitude of feedback is preposterous.

    #########################################################

    http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/colose-part1-fig1.png

    ###########################################################

    At the link above there is a summation of the values of feedbacks and their uncertainty ranges.

    #########################################################

    Lindzen and Choi 2010 found it to be negative.

    They say:
    “We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zero-feedback fluxes thus implying negative feedback. ”

    ########################################################

    Lindzen and Choi paper was quite an interesting paper on how to manipulate the data to get the results you want.

    However, a response to this paper, Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top-of-atmosphere radiation (Trenberth et al 2010) revealed a number of flaws in Lindzen’s analysis. It turns out the low climate sensitivity result is heavily dependent on the choice of start and end points in the periods they analyse. Small changes in their choice of dates entirely change the result. Essentially, one could tweak the start and end points to obtain any feedback one wishes.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Lindzen-Choi-2009-low-climate-sensitivity.htm

    #########################################################

    #Lindzen and Choi has had no impact.#

    One study doesn’t settle the question either way.

    They compared the radiation difference when the planet warmed and cooled and compared it to a black body. I believe more radiation for a given amount of warming indicated positive feedback.

    ########################################################

    That is using “climate speak” because the whole system is obviously negative feedback or we would be living in a Venus like place right now. They define positive and negative feedback differently than any other science.

    #So you don’t like how the scientists do things?

    Lindzen and Choi work in the very system you don’t like with the very terms you disagree with.#

  • Renewable Guy

    PaulD:
    Suggested reading to support the proposition that there is alot we do not know:
    1) http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/five-reasons-why-water-vapor-feedback-might-not-be-positive/
    2) http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/13/hurricanes-and-global-warming-5-years-post-katrina/

    ##########################################################

    Anything you would like to discuss in these topics? There is quite a bit to discuss in there.

  • pauld

    Revnewable Guy asks: “Anything you would like to discuss in these topics? There is quite a bit to discuss in there.”

    Sure. On the connection between hurricane frequency and intensity, how about Judith Curry’s conclusion:

    “Hurricane frequency and intensity in the North Atlantic has likely [>66%] increased since 1970. The transition from the cold to warm phase of the AMO is a plausible explanation for this increase. ”

    From Dr. Spencer’s post regarding whether there is a positive water vapor feedback, how about this section:

    “1) Evaporation versus Precipitation

    The average amount of water vapor in the atmosphere represents a balance between two competing processes: (1) surface evaporation (the source), and (2) precipitation (the sink). While we know that evaporation increases with temperature, we don’t know very much about how the efficiency of precipitation systems changes with temperature.

    The latter process is much more complex than surface evaporation (see Renno et al., 1994), and it is not at all clear that climate models behave realistically in this regard. In fact, the models just “punt” on this issue because our understanding of precipitation systems is just not good enough to put something explicit into the models.

    Even cloud resolving models, which can grow individual clouds, have gross approximations and assumptions regarding the precipitation formation process. ” http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/five-reasons-why-water-vapor-feedback-might-not-be-positive/

  • Renewable Guy

    PaulD:
    Lapse Rate is a negative feedback. I don’t know if that is what Dr. Spencer is talking about or not. Water vapor has a supposed lifetime in the atmosphere of about 9 or 10 days. As water vapor during that time it is acting as a green house gas retaining heat from escaping from the atmosphere. WIth higher co2 content we get higher water vapor in the atmosphere.

    http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/colose-part1-fig1.png

  • Renewable Guy

    “Hurricane frequency and intensity in the North Atlantic has likely [>66%] increased since 1970. The transition from the cold to warm phase of the AMO is a plausible explanation for this increase. ”

    #########################################################

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/hurricanes-global-warming-intermediate.htm

    With the seas warming up, there becomes more of a pool of energy to draw upon.

    Hurricane Intensity

    To determine whether warmer temperatures affect hurricane intensity, one study began by defining the potential destructiveness of a hurricane based on the dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of a hurricane (Emanuel 2005). The Power Dissipation Index is found to increase since the mid-1970s, due to both longer and more intense storms. Hurricane intensity is also highly correlated with sea surface temperature. This suggests that future warming will lead to an increase in the destructive potential of tropical hurricanes

  • pauld

    Renewable Guy:
    “The transition from the cold to warm phase of the AMO is a plausible explanation for this increase. ”

    This sentence is what I want to discuss. Is the possible increase in hurricane intensity related to natural climate cycles or AGW. Are you familiar with the acronym “AMO”

  • pauld

    Renewable Guy says:
    “Lapse Rate is a negative feedback. I don’t know if that is what Dr. Spencer is talking about or not.Lapse Rate is a negative feedback.”

    No. His point doesn’t have anything to do with lapse rate.

  • netdr

    Renewable

    About 97% of scientists agree with feedbacks being positive enough for 3oC with doubling of co2.
    **************
    First of all the 97 % comes from a small group who are paid to study climate change I believe it was 70 individuals if I read correctly. Most people who work in some aspect of the climate change industry have no need to understand feedback and probably don’t.
    .
    I have been a systems engineer and I put together large electronic projects, many with feedback of various types. The systems engineers of climate are the ones that integrate the whole picture are the ones which understand and work with feedback. The average ice core driller or flying wombat studier doesn’t, so claiming a cast of thousands believe in it is grandiose.
    .
    Of those that work with feedbacks there are some in each camp and the jury is still out. I expected that the hockey team would try to rebut the Lindzen and Choi 2010 paper, but that doesn’t make their rebuttal right does it ?
    .

    What seems silly to me is that these feedbacks are used to amplify CO2 warming by 3 to 6 but not solar or other causes warming. Sort of like “My Little Pony” ! Solar increase since the maunder minimum [beginning of records] has been substantial. The variation according to “the rough guide” is .1 % from no sunspots to maximum.
    .
    http://sidc.oma.be/html/wolfaml.html
    .
    The Earth is bout 300 ° K and .1 % of that is .3 ° K [but you have to reduce it some like is done with Alternating Current by .707] multiply that by 3 to 6 like Dr Hansen Et all like to do for CO2 warming and it is more than enough to explain any warming since records began.

  • Renewable Guy

    pauld:
    Renewable Guy:
    “The transition from the cold to warm phase of the AMO is a plausible explanation for this increase. ”

    This sentence is what I want to discuss. Is the possible increase in hurricane intensity related to natural climate cycles or AGW. Are you familiar with the acronym “AMO”

    #########################################################
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation#Relation_to_Atlantic_hurricanes

    In viewing actual data on a short time horizon, sparse experience would suggest the frequency of major hurricanes is not strongly correlated with the AMO. During warm phases of the AMO, the number of minor hurricanes (category 1 and 2) saw a modest increase.[5] With full consideration of meteorological science, the number of tropical storms that can mature into severe hurricanes is much greater during warm phases of the AMO than during cool phases, at least twice as many; the AMO is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes.[2] The hurricane activity index is found to be highly correlated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.[5] If there is an increase in hurricane activity connected to global warming, it is currently obscured by the AMO quasi-periodic cycle.[5] The AMO alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human-induced global warming.[2] Based on the typical duration of negative and positive phases of the AMO, the current warm regime is expected to persist at least until 2015 and possibly as late as 2035. Enfield et al. assume a peak around 2020.[6]

    #########################################################

    There appears to be an effect on hurricanes.

    Just this last summer there was exceptionally warm waters in the Atlantic early on in the year. Was it all AMO or a combination of both?

  • Renewable Guy

    netdr:
    Renewable

    About 97% of scientists agree with feedbacks being positive enough for 3oC with doubling of co2.
    **************
    First of all the 97 % comes from a small group who are paid to study climate change I believe it was 70 individuals if I read correctly. Most people who work in some aspect of the climate change industry have no need to understand feedback and probably don’t.
    #########################################################

    As an engineer you are also strongly connected to science just as they are. You have made the assumption that their science papers aren’t matching reality and that there is a group disfunction. When the opposite is true. They must come to data driven conclusions. If it doesn’t meet the several requirements of science, they rewrite or fail.

    You have similar requirements for performance on your job.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback

    Climate change feedback is important in the understanding of global warming because feedback processes may amplify or diminish the effect of each climate forcing, and so play an important part in determining the overall climate sensitivity. Feedback in general is the process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity, and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. Positive feedback amplifies the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it.[1]

    #########################################################

    NetDr:
    What is it that you see that climate feedback is wrong?

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm

    This is a general pulling together of several sources of information. THe field is quite broad and wide.

  • Eric Anderson

    Renewable Guy: “In the whole system we are seeing an increase in intensity of hurricanes.”

    Do you even bother to search out the facts before you regurgitate this nonsense?

  • Ted Rado

    Are you guys still trying to have an intelligent discussion with renewable? Lots of luck!

  • Wally

    Renewable,

    “What is it that you see that climate feedback is wrong?”

    If I may speak for Netdr, the problem is that positive feedback is not stable. Any disturbance, or impulse, whether it is extra CO2, an el nino, volcanic eruption, or a solar cycle, would kick off this positive feedback, which you and other like to believe is H20 vapor. As a system, the climate doesn’t care what the impulse is. So, if the total system is dominated by positive feedback from H20, CO2 is irrelevant. Without a negative feedback dominated climate, a dog fart that adds a gram of CH4 to the atmosphere would kick us off towards an irreversible spiral towards a Venus-like climate. It is simply impossible that our planet could maintained a livable climate for most of the 4.5 billion years its been around, if the climate were positive feedback dominated.

    It might be true that inside certain ranges of temperatures or concentrations CO2 and H2O can form a positive feedback loop, but at some point there simply has to be other factors that will come to dominate. Either the CO2/H2O effect becomes saturated, and negative effects continue to grow in strength, or the CO2/H2O issue goes negative itself. It doesn’t matter if the system is an electrical circuit, a bacterial cell, or the climate of the Earth, positive feedback is not stable. And you don’t honestly expect me to believe the Earth’s climate is not stable do you? Well, maybe you do, I shouldn’t put that past you.

  • netdr

    Your reference on solar influences said:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback

    “In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. In the past century, the Sun can explain some of the increase in global temperatures, but a relatively small amount. ”

    ************
    Here is the fallacy.
    .
    Thinking that there is only a single factor at work in the temperature record and a single phenomena must explain everything to be valid. Even CO2 theory needs aerosols to explain the cooling between 1940 to 1978. This period coincides with a negative PDO cycle so the aerosol theory is bogus in my opinion.
    .
    The warming between 1978 and 1998 was entirely caused by Excess El Nino’s over La Nina’s. [Positive PDO which is a 60 year cycle] Solar influences were negligible during that period.
    .
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    .
    There has been only one short period of 20 years when mankind was supposedly to blame. The pattern has happened 3 times in the 120 years we have taken data and the 1978 to 1998 was right on time. There has been no warming before or since that time.
    .
    The solar influences were from the sun awakening from the Maunder minimum. Feedback continues to today but is very mild. [1/2 ° C per century]. Since the alarmists multiply the effects of CO2 by 3 to 6 depending on how badly they want to scare the public. Since CO2 doesn’t enter into the amplification process it would happen with any solar increase too.
    .
    Since the CO2 feedbacks supposedly happen over centuries is it reasonable to expect all solar influences to stop immediately ? I don’t think so.
    .
    RE: The 97 % consensus figure:
    .

    The 97% number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout. [The subgroup couldn’t be objective because they were paid to find a crisis to keep their paychecks coming.]
    .
    The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth – out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. That left the 10,257 scientists in disciplines like geology, oceanography, paleontology, and geochemistry that were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer – those surveyed were determined by their place of employment (an academic or a governmental institution). Neither was academic qualification a factor – about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma

  • netdr

    The earth has an overall negative feedback I believe it is proportional to the 4 th power of temperature. [Very strong] If it weren’t a warm summer day would cause warming and that warming would cause warming and we would live on a Venus like planet or an iceberg.

    [As it warms more radiation is emitted which cools the planet.]

    The climate scientists have come up with the “Alice in Wonderland ” solution.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    Contrary to all other branches of thought Positive feedback to the climate scientist means less negative feedback. Make sense ?

    Specifically a black/gray body would have a specific negative feedback and if a planet warms less than that it is defined to have negative feedback.

    This is what the Lindzen and Choi 2010 paper proved has happened, and the hockey team has disputed. The jury is still out on that one.

  • Renewable Guy

    And you don’t honestly expect me to believe the Earth’s climate is not stable do you? Well, maybe you do, I shouldn’t put that past you.

    ##########################################################

    The earths climate is surprisly stable. And yet will change with the subtraction or addition of GHG’s.

    #########################################################
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    Any saturation at lower levels would not change this, since it is the layers from which radiation does escape that determine the planet’s heat balance. The basic logic was neatly explained by John Tyndall back in 1862: “As a dam built across a river causes a local deepening of the stream, so our atmosphere, thrown as a barrier across the terrestrial [infrared] rays, produces a local heightening of the temperature at the Earth’s surface.”

    #########################################################

    We also have to trake into account the dry air of the upper atmosphere where co2 will have the greatest impact.

    #########################################################
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback1 Positive
    1.1 Carbon cycle feedbacks
    1.1.1 Arctic methane release
    1.1.1.1 Methane release from melting permafrost peat bogs
    1.1.1.2 Methane release from hydrates
    1.1.2 Decomposition
    1.1.3 Peat decomposition
    1.1.4 Rainforest drying
    1.1.5 Forest fires
    1.1.6 Desertification
    1.1.7 CO2 in the oceans
    1.2 Cloud feedback
    1.3 Gas release
    1.4 Ice-albedo feedback
    1.5 Water vapor feedback
    2 Negative
    2.1 Carbon cycle
    2.1.1 Le Chatelier’s principle
    2.1.2 Chemical weathering
    2.1.3 Net Primary Productivity
    2.2 Lapse rate
    2.3 Blackbody radiation

    ########################################################

    Above is a list of the different feedbacks on this wikipedia site. From what I have read, when more GHG’s are introduced, pos feedback is about 2/3 of the temperature gain in the projected 3 deg centigrade temperature rise. When GHG’s are removed we will head back the other way.

  • netdr

    Cloud and water vapor feedback is easily much greater than all others combined. [Except black-body radiation] If it is negative the sum of all feedbacks is negative. [In the climate science meaning of the word.]

    Just look at a picture of the earth from space. The clouds are reflecting vast quantities of light back into space without causing warming. More clouds would cause more reflection and more blanket effect. The experimental evidence is mixed and the jury is out on the overall effect of clouds.

    There are negative feedbacks like CO2 causing algae and other plants which consume CO2 to grow, possibly that is what they mean by carbon cycle !

    Whatever the outcome, claiming that feedback only applies to CO2 warming is sloppy thinking.

  • Whatever the outcome, claiming that feedback only applies to CO2 warming is sloppy thinking.

    ##########################################################

    You have yet to show climate science has their feedbacks wrong.

    #########################################################

    http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/colose-part1-fig1.png

    Here is a summation comparing different peer reviewed literature to each other. OVer on the right hand side is a summation of the different feedbacks.

    Also if you notice, they have studied cloud feedback also with varying results. Most of them show it is positive.

  • Renewable Guy

    This is what the Lindzen and Choi 2010 paper proved has happened, and the hockey team has disputed. The jury is still out on that one.

    #########################################################

    About 4 different scientists responded to Lindzen and Choi. Lindzen had to rewrite the paper. One of the criticisms is that he only used the tropics to calculate climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity would require the whole globe to calcualte.

    #########################################################

    So far the professional skeptics have humpty dumpty type thinking. Positive feedback is the destabilizing feedback until it finds a new balance restricted by the black body radiation effect as the atmosphere becomes more efficient at loosing heat. Venus has reached a balance at 400C.

    #########################################################

    Here is the fallacy.
    .
    Thinking that there is only a single factor at work in the temperature record and a single phenomena must explain everything to be valid. Even CO2 theory needs aerosols to explain the cooling between 1940 to 1978. This period coincides with a negative PDO cycle so the aerosol theory is bogus in my opinion.

    #########################################################

    There are several fallacies in your reply.

    PDO is not a forcing.

    Whats wrong with looking at the whole picture when it comes to aerosols?

    Opinion is one thing, but does your opinion come close to what the reality is. That is why science is data driven. Such as your job is.

  • netdr

    Renewable

    The PDO is a forcing in that it caused the warming in the 1978 to 1998 period.

    The longer period warming is caused by the effect of starting measurements when the sun was dormant.

    El Nino’s cause the recorded temperature to go up; and a long string of more El Nino’s than La Nina’s caused the run up in temperature from 1978 to 1998.

    It is a matter of record.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    CO2 wasn’t involved at all.

    Why did temperature fall from 1940 to 1978 when there was a preponderance of La Nina’s ?

    [Because that is what you would expect].

    Glibly saying “PDO is not a forcing.” is meaningless. It caused the warming in the only period of warming in the last 1/2 of the 20’the century. For 20 years it was a “forcing”.

    If you are saying that an excess of El Nino’s can’t cause apparent warming for 20 years you are simply wrong.

  • netdr

    Renewable
    .
    The alarmists are running a “shell game” and the smarter ones know it.
    .
    They say the PDO doesn’t explain the long slow warming since records began in the little ice age. They are right but the increase in solar effects does explain it quite nicely.
    .
    They then say that solar effects don’t explain the warming in the last 1/2 of the 20’th century since solar radiation actually dripped a very tiny amount during that period. [This warming period means 1978 to 1998 since there hasn’t been any warming outside of those years.]
    .
    The excess El Nino’s explains this warming nicely.
    .
    No single factor including CO2 can explain both the rising and falling of temperatures sice records began.
    .
    It just seems convenient that the so called aerosols cause cooling in the 1940 to 1978 period exactly when the excess La Nina’s would have caused cooling anyway. Since aerosol effects are unknown the are the “fudge factor” which can be expanded or contracted to cover any discrepancies in the theory. Even the IPCC admits that knowledge of aerosol effects is very low.
    .
    I have played the silly shell game at skepticalscience.org a few times until I got disgusted. The underlying fallacy of the site is that temperatures for the period recorded must be explained by a single cause. Not even CO2 theory can deliver on that impossible requirement.

  • Renewable Guy

    netdr:
    Renewable

    The PDO is a forcing in that it caused the warming in the 1978 to 1998 period.

    ##########################################################
    source?

    ########################################################

    The longer period warming is caused by the effect of starting measurements when the sun was dormant.

    #########################################################

    Are you refering to the solar minimum?

    ##########################################################

    El Nino’s cause the recorded temperature to go up; and a long string of more El Nino’s than La Nina’s caused the run up in temperature from 1978 to 1998.
    ########################################################

    PDO stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. It oscillates around a center. Plus the PDO has a source of energy. The sun. Which is being effected by co2.

    #########################################################
    It is a matter of record.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    CO2 wasn’t involved at all.
    #########################################################

    That’s a pretty definitive statement of what is. CO2 is always acitve. It doesn’t shut down for your convenience.

    #########################################################
    Why did temperature fall from 1940 to 1978 when there was a preponderance of La Nina’s ?

    [Because that is what you would expect].
    #########################################################

    You already mentioned aerosols. IF I have time to look this up, I might some back to it later.

    #########################################################
    Glibly saying “PDO is not a forcing.” is meaningless. It caused the warming in the only period of warming in the last 1/2 of the 20′the century. For 20 years it was a “forcing”.
    #########################################################

    That’s quite forcelfully stated. How sure are you of this?

    #########################################################
    If you are saying that an excess of El Nino’s can’t cause apparent warming for 20 years you are simply wrong.
    #########################################################

    YOu are so confident. Without a change in forcing from GHG’s or the sun, El Nino and La Nina are oscillations that eventually equal zero.