Ocean, Atmosphere, Ice, and Land - Bumps and Wiggles (8):

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 4:27 PM GMT on June 20, 2010

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Ocean, Atmosphere, Ice, and Land - Bumps and Wiggles (8):

Introduction: This is the eighth (and last!) in a series on understanding climate variability, global warming, and what we might do about it. The series focuses on the past 30 years and the next 30 years.

From the beginnings of the WU Climate Change Blog there have been entries on “natural variability.” A number of known modes of natural variability have been discussed. The most “famous” source of natural variability is El Nino, which is a warming of the sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific. This warming changes the atmosphere, with the impact of these changes realized throughout most of the globe. El Nino and its related cold phase, La Nina, are part of an oscillating behavior characterized by several attributes. First, this is an example of the ocean and the atmosphere varying together - in a correlated way. Second, the ups and downs of the oscillation are not “regular.” That is, the time period is not the same from one oscillation to the next and the peak and the duration of the warm and cold phases varies a lot. Third, despite significant observations and the development of useful theories, we do not fully understand the mechanisms that cause the El Nino – La Nina cycle. Hence, our ability to represent El Nino in climate models could be substantially improved. For the purposes of this article these attributes can be summarized as - a not fully quantified example of the oceans and the atmosphere irregularly varying in sync with each other.

There are many such features in the Earth’s climate; that is, not fully quantified examples of the oceans and the atmosphere irregularly varying in sync with each other. Other important ones are the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. (Summary of such variability) When compared with El Nino, these other oscillations are less well quantified, less regular, and the relation between the atmosphere and ocean is more difficult to describe. Another characteristic of these modes is that they slosh back and forth with characteristic times of several years. Hence, these modes contribute to the bumps and wiggles in the observations that are the subject of this series of blogs. Implicitly and intuitively, when people start to think about climate “prediction,” as opposed to “projection,” it is how to account for these sources of natural internal variability. This is and will be a hard problem. There are a few Big Points I would like to make.

Big Point 1: One of the spurious statements about climate change, climate models, and climate projections is that it is impossible to forecast the climate because we know that “weather” is “chaotic,” and cannot be predicted beyond, approximately, 2 weeks. (Chaos and Weather Prediction from National Geographic) This misconception is, perhaps, based on the idea that the climate is “average weather,” and therefore, we have to predict weather before we can predict climate. Several points – 1) We might not be able to predict weather on an event-by-event basis beyond a few days, but we are likely to be able to (and can pretty well) represent the “average” weather and the correct amount of variability. 2) The definition of climate as “average weather” is, in fact, an inadequate definition of climate based on our experience of focusing on the weather and weather prediction and knowing the most about the atmosphere. The climate is all about the ocean and ice sheets and land and how they interact with the atmosphere and impact people. 3) So the details of Lorenz’s famous and powerful theory about chaos and the atmospheric weather is not exactly relevant to the problem of climate prediction – or more concretely ocean prediction. 4) We know from our El Nino experiences that the atmosphere responds in a, more or less, predictable way to changes in the ocean. (El Nino responses La Nina responses) Therefore, if we can predict the ocean better, we can predict, more accurately, what will happen in the atmosphere and how climate change will impact man.

Big Point 2: Sometimes I hear in the criticism of climate change science that climate models and modelers and scientists do not account for El Nino, the North Atlantic Oscillation and all of these sources of natural variability. That models and scientists do not account for these processes is simply an untrue statement. Climate models that include the interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere do contain modes of variability that are “like” El Nino, the North Atlantic Oscillation, etc. They are like the phenomena that are observed on Earth, but they are not an event-by-event representation of the Earth. And while they are like these events, our ability to simulate these events is far from perfect. Remember, I said earlier, these sources of variability are not fully quantified examples of the oceans and the atmosphere irregularly varying in sync with each other. When we look for signals in the models of warming by greenhouse gases, that warming is deemed significant above natural variability in the models that is comparable in magnitude of what is observed. see wiggles on figure in this blog. When all of the models are added together and averaged, as is often done in the IPCC figures, all of this variability averages out; the projection appears smooth. For the purpose of this series of blogs, the real observations of temperature have bumps and wiggles that are not in the projections that are the source of the discrepancies I have been writing about.

Big Point 3: There are certainly other modes of atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions that we have yet to observe. Back in the 1990s while I was at NASA, Arthur Hou and Andrea Molod published a paper looking at the interaction between the tropics and high latitudes. This has been a subject of many papers over the years. There was a result that they found that has stuck with me; namely, they found a high sensitivity of the transport of heat to the Arctic to what was going on with the deep convection in the western Indian Ocean. (Hou and Molod) The “deep convection” is responsible for those incredible and sometimes dangerous storms near the equator that drive the Hadley Cell. (Hadley Cell 1, Hadley Cell 2) The two aspects of Hou and Molod’s study that struck me were first, the high sensitivity mentioned above, and second, how difficult it is to model the western Indian Ocean. In recent years I have been impressed by the body of work that is provided by P. D. Sardeshmukh and his colleagues, in this case, especially Joseph Barsugli. In a two studies focused on tropical sea surface temperature patterns, they find great sensitivity of global weather patterns to, yes, the Indian Ocean. (2002, 2006) (These go along with much more studied sensitivity to patterns in the Pacific.) I, rightly or wrongly, even extract from this work a potential clue about that warm period in the 1930s that gets a mention every now and then. The point, there may be, almost certainly are, ocean-atmosphere patterns that we have yet to observe adequately, much less model. We will need to do this better as we understand the bumps and wiggles in the temperature observations. In my opinion, the most important places to focus to improve our modeling ability are on the West Indian Ocean and the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. These studies need to be process-focused and to explicitly focus of how the ocean and atmosphere (and in the Northwest Atlantic the outflow glaciers of Greenland) couple together. It is a fact of history that we focus most on the atmosphere, next the ocean, and only recently ice sheets and glaciers. We leave the “coupling” to just happen. We must focus on the science of coupling to explain the bumps and wiggles and to develop a predictive capability.

Big Point 4: There are modes of variability that we have not even thought about. We are just beginning to introduce ice sheets into climate models. We already know that there are strong connections between glacial flow, glacial melt, and the presence of warm sea water (Learning Abount Ice, Fast Ice – Redux, Sea Ice in Hot Water). But we have really not had an observing system that would measure all of the components, and those modes of variability would be expected to have long time scales. We are just beginning to get real ice sheet models linked into climate models, and that gives us the opportunity to do some numerical experiments. But even weak-minded modelers, ultimately, rely on data.

Short Summary: What I have posed in this series of blogs on short term variability is that the community of climate scientists need to have a research focus on short-term variability, where short term is a “few” years. By a “few” I mean a couple of years to maybe a few decades. The reason for this focus is not only to develop the foundation for decadal climate prediction, but to also provide the intellectual depth to better use climate model projections, as well as to strengthen the credibility of using climate model projections in applications. It is of critical importance to increase the focus on coupling of components in climate models, with particular attention to the processes important for variability on time scales longer than “weather.”

r

Bumps and Wiggles (1): Predictions and Projections

Bumps and Wiggles (2): Some Jobs for Models and Modelers (Sun and Ocean)

Bumps and Wiggles (3): Simple Earth

Bumps and Wiggles (4): Volcanoes and Long Cycles

Bumps and Wiggles (5): Still Following the Heat

Bumps and Wiggles (6): Water, Water, Everywhere

Bumps and Wiggles (7): Blackness in the Air




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384. idontknowforsure
5:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:
Coral: Lost at sea?

As a result of rising sea temperatures, we are seeing the degradation and eventual destruction of one of the most beautiful ecosystems on Earth. Corals around the world are succumbing to yet another mass "bleaching event"; reefs that were once a rich mosaic of colours are now shockingly white as corals fade and die.

Widespread bleaching tends to be attributed to abnormally high sea temperatures in addition to high levels of light. This happens in times of prolonged calm weather and crystal-clear water. While this may sound like the picture-postcard perception of a typical coral reef environment, it is in fact turbulent waters that keep coral healthy and scientists worry that the current event has the potential to be the worst ever.

Sea temperatures are at an all-time high. Major bleaching incidents are increasingly prevalent. The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed that 2010 has been the hottest year in recorded history. Prior to this, 1998 was the hottest for 130 years, leading to unprecedented intense bleaching and coral mortality worldwide which wiped out more than 90 per cent of shallow water corals in the Indian Ocean. NOAA's Coral Reef Watch monitors and predicts bleaching events using HotSpots, a measure which highlights areas where sea surface temperatures rise above levels that can lead to bleaching.


How come they don't mention the new corals starting to form in Greenland waters and off Antarctica? They are forming there as those waters heat up, right?
Yes, I know corals take many years to form and the waters mentioned above aren't warm enough yet, but then wouldn't we begin to see more coral formations moving further north over the last 30 years if the oceans are warming?
Please address this topic.
Member Since: January 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
383. cyclonebuster
12:23 PM GMT on June 30, 2010
NW passage open yet?

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
382. cyclonebuster
12:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2010
Quoting panthan63:
i love reading the stuff here. take stsimons for example...he denies saul alinsky, never heard of him before the tea parties. and he says people attacking others credentials are reprehensible, but he, as well as others, belittle and degrade anybody on here, including me, if we are not 'climate scientists'. that is like saying only a lawyer can understand the law. only a trained mechanic can fix a car.
time again, after a few months, i come on here and the scientists against fossil fuels still disregard any variation in planet temperatures since the last major ice age. they say that where the money comes from does not affect research but then go on to say spencer and others get their money from energy companies and are thus just 'hacks'.
what 'climate gate' revealed was falsification and manipulation of data to get desired results. is this ok because they were searching for 'truth'? and when the tobacco companies falsified and manipulated data they were criminals? i really do try listen and read everything i get my hands on, looking for the ah ha moment that convinces me one way or the other. unfortunately, from what i have read here and elsewhere, many scientists have thrown in their lot with the man is responsible for all global warming crowd. scientists here bemoan and belittle those that blog with some religious overtones when they themselves follow the religion of man made global warming. yes i say religion because there is no proof. oh there are theories out the ying yang. and there are mountains of statistical data. the majority of regulators all had the same info on wall street before the meltdown and the majority all agreed things were going fine. the science of money flow and economics is different from climate studies but one has to trust that the 'experts' and 'scientists' in their respective fields know some of what they are talking about.
all i am saying, is what if... just what if the man is soley responsible crowd is wrong? what if there is something bigger going on here? what if man is having an effect, like the local effect cities or deforestation has on weather, but the effect itself is nothing more than a mere 'speed bump' in the overall picture. that we are focusing so much attention on the 'speed bump' that we miss what is really going on?
unfortunately, i have a hunch, an unscientific, unmeasurable hunch that i am right. also unfortunate, is that many scientific discoveries where discovered on hunches.
just as i have no respect for a 'frat rat' that looks down on me cause i do not drive the fancy sports car or where the right shirts or have the right girl on my shoulder, i can have no respect for 'scientists' who look down on anybody without the same degree and field of study. and that is just what a group of the 'scientists' on here do. i do not doubt their credentials. i question their belief that theirs' is the only 'right' answer


Don't worry! One only needs to look at the North Arctic ice to see what is happening to the climate. No need to argue or bicker. I have a hunch the sun will rise tomorrow.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
380. panthan63
3:44 AM GMT on June 30, 2010
i love reading the stuff here. take stsimons for example...he denies saul alinsky, never heard of him before the tea parties. and he says people attacking others credentials are reprehensible, but he, as well as others, belittle and degrade anybody on here, including me, if we are not 'climate scientists'. that is like saying only a lawyer can understand the law. only a trained mechanic can fix a car.
time again, after a few months, i come on here and the scientists against fossil fuels still disregard any variation in planet temperatures since the last major ice age. they say that where the money comes from does not affect research but then go on to say spencer and others get their money from energy companies and are thus just 'hacks'.
what 'climate gate' revealed was falsification and manipulation of data to get desired results. is this ok because they were searching for 'truth'? and when the tobacco companies falsified and manipulated data they were criminals? i really do try listen and read everything i get my hands on, looking for the ah ha moment that convinces me one way or the other. unfortunately, from what i have read here and elsewhere, many scientists have thrown in their lot with the man is responsible for all global warming crowd. scientists here bemoan and belittle those that blog with some religious overtones when they themselves follow the religion of man made global warming. yes i say religion because there is no proof. oh there are theories out the ying yang. and there are mountains of statistical data. the majority of regulators all had the same info on wall street before the meltdown and the majority all agreed things were going fine. the science of money flow and economics is different from climate studies but one has to trust that the 'experts' and 'scientists' in their respective fields know some of what they are talking about.
all i am saying, is what if... just what if the man is soley responsible crowd is wrong? what if there is something bigger going on here? what if man is having an effect, like the local effect cities or deforestation has on weather, but the effect itself is nothing more than a mere 'speed bump' in the overall picture. that we are focusing so much attention on the 'speed bump' that we miss what is really going on?
unfortunately, i have a hunch, an unscientific, unmeasurable hunch that i am right. also unfortunate, is that many scientific discoveries where discovered on hunches.
just as i have no respect for a 'frat rat' that looks down on me cause i do not drive the fancy sports car or where the right shirts or have the right girl on my shoulder, i can have no respect for 'scientists' who look down on anybody without the same degree and field of study. and that is just what a group of the 'scientists' on here do. i do not doubt their credentials. i question their belief that theirs' is the only 'right' answer
Member Since: March 15, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 23
376. cyclonebuster
9:36 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
How much Mercury is in the GOM now thanks to the oil spill?

Why Mercury Is More Dangerous in Oceans
ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — Even though freshwater concentrations of mercury are far greater than those found in seawater, it's the saltwater fish like tuna, mackerel and shark that end up posing a more serious health threat to humans who eat them.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
375. cyclonebuster
9:32 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
The new "Dead Sea".


"The oil spill could enhance the size of the hypoxic zone through the microbial breakdown of oil, which consumes oxygen, but the oil could also limit the growth of the hypoxia-fueling algae," said R. Eugene Turner, Ph.D., professor of oceanography at Louisiana State University. "It is clear, however, that the combination of the hypoxic zone and the oil spill is not good for local fisheries."

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
374. idontknowforsure
9:28 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
So Idnontknowforsure are you saying that climate denialism can't be modeled? That there is no theory or hypothesis that denialism can be measured against? That denialism makes no predictions?

Sure looks like you are!
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
So Idnontknowforsure are you saying that climate denialism can't be modeled? That there is no theory or hypothesis that denialism can be measured against? That denialism makes no predictions?

Sure looks like you are!


I find your remark really silly and perhaps a little stupid. Perhaps you didn't understand what I was trying to say.
I certainly didn't say the words or ideas you tried to put in my mouth. But, then you spend a lot of time doing that, don't you, putting words in people's mouths they never spoke. Kind of vile, a tactic like that.
Did you learn that from Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky?
Member Since: January 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
373. cyclonebuster
9:13 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
A new study shows the Arctic climate system may be more sensitive to greenhouse warming than previously thought, and that current levels of Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about significant, irreversible shifts in Arctic ecosystems.

Led by the University of Colorado at Boulder, the international study indicated that while the mean annual temperature on Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic during the Pliocene Epoch 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit, or 19 degrees Celsius, warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher than present. The vast majority of climate scientists agree Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping atmospheric gases generated primarily by human activities like fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

Artist’s rendering of the Beaver Pond site on Ellesmere Island, in Canada's High Arctic, as it may have looked about 3 to 5 million years ago.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
372. sirmaelstrom
7:02 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
№ 371 @SSIGG

Hmmm...my post was largely meant to be sarcastic, as I'm not sure how much computing power would be required to compile and run some of the computer models anyway.

However, I have looked for this before without success yet apparently some of the IPCC models do seem to have source code available in the last link you posted (most do not). Of course,the last time I recall searching for this was a few years ago at least. Still, as my post implied that none were available, I will admit to being incorrect in this instance (I hate when that happens).

Thanks for the link, regardless. I will probably download/review and compile/run some of these if possible, assuming I am able to find the time.

Out for now; may possibly may be back later.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
370. sirmaelstrom
5:15 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
I sure would like to see the source code for the IPCC models. Can anyone provide me with a link? [sarcasm intended].
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
368. sirmaelstrom
5:06 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:


What no its not - its been climate science for three decades. \

Since you have the NERVE to attack these people's credentials and life's work with a few quacks, a high school degree, an internet connection and some vague statements by a couple (AT MOST) legitimate yet questionably funded scientists .

You now need to prove it.

In writing here.

If they cant model the basics of their science then what use are they?


LOL. You have no idea of my qualifications. I doubt that most of the people on this board have relevant academic qualifications better than Dr Spencer. Regardless, I don't spend my attacking people's credibility on here as some people do. I try to stay to a discussion of the science. To get into the motivations and politics would be far too contentious for a message board in my opinion. I do hope that you at least don't dispute that funding for climate science has increased exponentially as the concern over AGW has grown, and that it far exceeds any amounts spent on studies skeptical of AGW.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
366. idontknowforsure
5:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:


What no its not - its been climate science for three decades. \

Since you have the NERVE to attack these people's credentials and life's work with a few quacks, a high school degree, an internet connection and some vague statements by a couple (AT MOST) legitimate yet questionably funded scientists .

You now need to prove it.

In writing here.

If they cant model the basics of their science then what use are they?


Pardon me if I jump in here for just a second. This quote bothers me "If they cant model the basics of their science then what use are they?"

Has it ever occurred to you that some things can't be modeled? I'll tell you what. Show us a proof that all natural phenomena can be modeled. A proof of that should be easy to find if it has been proven.

Florida show us the proof.
Member Since: January 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
365. sirmaelstrom
4:58 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:


the problem is that within atmospheric science the numbers and proportions basically work on a level that at least appears to be correct. X expected CO2 = X expected warming
Fossil fuels = amounts of CO2 modeled.

At least in my limited experience reading. There is considerable interdependence. You wont be able to pull out one variable with out disrupting the entire understanding.

I also trust the experts and the professional organizations.

The overwhelming vast majority (not to be stated lightly because it is true) ARE in consensus of the basics AT LEAST.


CO2 alone cannot be shown to be responsible for current nor projected amounts of warming. The effects of feedbacks in the climate system that are assumed in the climate models is what is in doubt.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
363. sirmaelstrom
4:55 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
From the Wikipedia entry for Lord Oxburgh:

"Lord Oxburgh was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR, as of 1 January 2002, and is a member of the International Academic Advisory Panel of Singapore and the Hong Kong University Grants Committee.[9] He is honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association,[10]chairman of Falck Renewables, a wind energy firm,[11] an advisor to Climate Change Capital. He was chairman of D1 Oils, plc, a biodiesel producer, in 2007, and a director of GLOBE, the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment.[12]"

Source is in the article.

Was he a good choice to investigate the Climategate emails? Do you think his ties had an influence on the findings?

* * *

You know, I really detest this side of the AGW debate. I believe that this issue is so politicized that bias exists everywhere. I still think that, on the whole, the science can be evaluated on it's own. If it is bad science it should be rather easy to refute.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
360. sirmaelstrom
4:46 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
№ 359

Many climate scientists' funding is based on finding evidence of AGW. No AGW, no more funding. Do you think this influences the results?
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
358. sirmaelstrom
4:37 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Do you think that someone with ties to "green-energy" would be disreputable also?
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
357. sirmaelstrom
4:35 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Some of the statistical errors in Spencer's works.


I only see one error attributed to Spencer in that article, and I suspect it is the same one that he has long since corrected and explained on his website. If you want a link, I'll find it for you when I have more time (it was a few years back).

You think pro-AGW scientists never make mistakes?
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
353. sirmaelstrom
4:13 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Ahhhh Roy Spencer the energy company spokesman.


And so it begins...
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
351. sirmaelstrom
4:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
№ 347 @Biff4ugo

Cloud feedbacks are definitely very uncertain given our current knowledge. A better understanding of this will aid in better future climate predictions. Roy Spencer has discussed clouds quite a bit. A few of these are below.

Clouds Cool the Climate System…But Amplify Global Warming?
New Paper from Roy Spencer: PDO and Clouds
Are Clouds The Main Cause Of Climate Change?
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
350. sirmaelstrom
3:52 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Well, the increased CO2 is from human emissions, but the effects are too small to be measured, so the warming is a result of (what else) the PDO, AMO, sun, etc.


LOL. You'd do better to stick with explaining your own opinions rather than misrepresenting mine. Unless of course you actually want to read what I post and accurately relay the information. Of course, I suppose that would take away from the time spent trying to discredit my sources.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
349. sirmaelstrom
3:45 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
So you have a counter theory to explain de glaciation and permafrost melt as well as increased CO2 in the atmosphere and another methodology for the physical atmosphere retaining heat?


Do I have a theory? LOL. I'm no more a climate scientist than you are. Like you, I read as much as I can on the subject and form my own opinions based on others' theories and research. I do have opinions, and I have been sharing them here for about four months. But I will at least address your question as to my opinions.

Deglaciation and Permafrost melt? Errr...Warming? It's certainly warmer now than 100 years ago, so naturally ice melt has taken place, although this varies due to regional temperature trends. If you want to go further back, it is also obvious that it is warmer now than it was during the last ice age, when glacier and permafrost extents were certainly greater than today.

Increased CO2 in the atmosphere? I've stated several times that I believe that anthropogenic emissions are a significant reason for the overall increase in CO2. Other contributors are changes in land use/deforestation and changes in sea temperature.

Physical atmosphere retaining heat? Physical atmosphere? As opposed to the nonphysical one? I'm going to assume you want what my opinion is concerning recent warming. In short, we probably believe that most of the same processes are responsible but disagree on the significance of each. Certainly I believe that CO2 increases have a warming effect. This is well documented and there is not much disagreement; however everyone agrees that CO2 alone cannot be solely responsible for observed estimates of warming. I also believe that feedbacks such as snow/ice cover, clouds, water vapor etc exist but that their contributions are uncertain. I do believe that the IPCC models assume without sufficient evidence that the net feedback of these is more positive than it is; I'm not convinced it is overall positive at all. Certainly clouds have a complicated effect on temperature and are simulated in the models in an overly simplistic way, owing to our lack of understanding. Natural changes that we measure with indices such as the PDO, AMO etc obviously seem to have some effect. Long-term trends in the PDO, despite being detrended from the average warming signal, still exhibits a remarkable correlation with warming trends over the past century. But our understanding of what drives the PDO and why it correlates in this way is undermined by not yet having enough data. Solar influence also has an effect, and likely contributed to the onset and end of the Little Ice Age, but it's contribution in the last half century is debatable. I know I have seen other hypotheses proposed as well but I think the ones aforementioned cover it pretty well. I have no doubt that we may discover other contributors to warming as more climate study is done.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
348. biff4ugo
2:45 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png
Just for counterpoint. though the Arctic is pushing -1 million km sq. below 2 sigma, the Antarctic is pushing +0.5 million km sq. above 2 sigma. Any movement outside of two standard deviations is worthy of note. If you look at both graphs, remember that the y axis has different scales.
It is a net global loss of sea ice, but I'm glad there is extraordinary growth to offset some of the loss.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 116 Comments: 1604
347. biff4ugo
12:32 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Who has their head in the clouds?
Clouds are a huge issue, since when the water vapor becomes a liquid droplet; it also goes from being a GHG and thermal insulator to a solar reflector and ground shade producer. Even the act of transition, condensation, releases heat.
Getting a grip on total precipitable water in the atmosphere and knowing what phase it is in, for how long , and where, could tell us more about global temperatures. That knowledge may improve climate model predictions.
On the flip side there may be anthropogenic sources of gasses or particles that inhibit nucleation or increase evaporation. Shortening the time atmospheric water stays liquid would be a huge GHG producer. Something like that might have a bigger impact on global climate than CO2 or methane.
An increase in daytime clouds and decrease in nighttime clouds cool areas regionally. Knowing these trends and temporal patterns would be a boon for modelers.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 116 Comments: 1604
343. sirmaelstrom
11:10 PM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
I dont see the point of warming denial now, there is not much question warming is occurring.


I don't question warming has occurred. I question specifically how much warming has occurred, how much is due to anthropogenic emissions, the validity of warming predictions claimed by the IPCC, and the consequences predicted by the IPCC. I also expect that regardless of what policies are undertaken in the US that a peak CO2 concentrations of around 450-500 ppm are probably inevitable. I think money would be better spent on adapting to changes if/when they occur, rather than spending money trying to fruitlessly prevent changes that may or may not occur.

I also have no problem with alternative fuel sources, provided that they are competitive with the sources we use now. I think that eventually alternative fuel sources will become economically feasible and that fossil fuels will be phased out. I don't see a sudden end to fossil fuel use in the very near future as being plausible however, especially in developing countries.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
340. sirmaelstrom
10:09 PM GMT on June 28, 2010
@ JFLORIDA

Quote: "[...]and whats up with that?"

LOL. I see what you did there...

On a different tack, did you ever get the MHTML files to work in your browser? I was going to mention that I was using Firefox. If you were using IE, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the problem.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
339. sirmaelstrom
9:40 PM GMT on June 28, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
So in 58 the poll was at a considerably lower latitude. Also these singular events do not correspond necessarily with highest global temperatures ever recorded and none seem to be in consecutive year relations to each other.

I have to say so? and whats up with that?


I am not sure what you are trying to say, but I will make assumptions and try to clarify...

I noted that the magnetic pole was at a lower latitude in 1958 as a response to Biff4ugo asking if the pictures I posted were at the geographic or magnetic pole. I'm quite sure they refer to the geographic pole.

The pictures I posted are singular events and say very little by themselves, but they say no more and no less than the webcam shots that MichaelSTL posted. That is the point I was making.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
335. sirmaelstrom
8:53 PM GMT on June 28, 2010
I find this interesting concerning a proposal by Roger Pielke submitted to—and rejected by—the National Science Foundation.
Link

From the rejection letter:
"It is clear that revisions have been made, and it is clear that reviewers see merit in the project. Nevertheless the proposal was turned down, principally because the Program has determined that other proposals in this competition were of higher priority."

This a good demonstration why science isn't done by "keeping score" of how many papers favor one particular side or another. Likewise, it is another reason why the PNAS paper is meaningless. Pielke has a good summary at the end of the article in the link:

"NSF program managers have considerable ability to slant research that they fund with insufficent transparency of the review process. This has become quite a problem in the climate science area where, as one example, in recent years they have elected to fund climate predictions decades into the future[...]" [Emphasis by Pielke]
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
334. sirmaelstrom
8:05 PM GMT on June 28, 2010
№ 332

Concerning your Scientific American link:

Ah...the "black-list". Spencer Weart, who is an AGW proponent, had an interesting comment about the publication of this study on SkepticalScience.com, a pro-AGW site.

[Quote:]
Although I am personally "convinced by the evidence" and am surprised at the number who are not, I have to admit that this paper should not have been published in the present form. I haven't read any other posts on this; the defects are obvious on a quick reading of the paper itself. Here's what I saw: Many scientists might have been "unconvinced by the evidence" and yet chosen not to volunteer to sign a politicized statement that "strongly dissented" from the IPCC's conclusions -- which is the only criterion the authors of the paper had. What if they weakly dissented or are just, like many scientists, shy about taking a public stand? You don't have to invoke groupthink, fear of retribution or all that.

The statistics are certainly interesting, but must be interpreted as "2-3% of people who have published 20 climate papers are willing to publicly attack the IPCC's conclusions." That is, to me, a surprisingly high fraction, although I think it can largely be attributed not to the scientific process but to the unfortunate extreme political polarization, which can induce blindness... on both sides.

[End of Quote; Emphasis mine]

Spencer Weart's comment is № 12 here.



Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580

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I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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