Scientists resolve long-standing puzzle in climate science

Oct 10, 2008
Climate visualizations 1919 - 2099. Image: LLNL

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team led by Livermore scientists has helped reconcile the differences between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics.

Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from computer model simulations archived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL researchers and colleagues from 11 other scientific institutions have refuted a recent claim that simulated temperature trends in the tropics are fundamentally inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.

Climate model experiments invariably predict that human-caused greenhouse gas increases should lead to more warming in the tropical troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) than at the tropical land and ocean surface. This predicted “amplification” behavior is in accord with basic theoretical expectations.

Until several years ago, however, most satellite and weather balloon records suggested that the tropical troposphere had warmed substantially less than the surface.

For nearly a decade, this apparent discrepancy between simulations and reality was a major conundrum for climate scientists. The discrepancy was at odds with the overwhelming body of other scientific evidence pointing toward a “discernible human influence” on global climate.

A paper published online last year in the International Journal of Climatology claimed to show definitively that “models and observations disagree to a statistically significant extent” in terms of their tropical temperature trends. This claim formed the starting point for an investigation by a large team of climate modelers and observational data specialists, which was led by LLNL’s Benjamin Santer.

In marked contrast to the earlier claim, Santer’s international team found that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modeled and observed trends in tropical temperatures.

“We’ve gone a long way toward reconciling modeled and observed temperature trends in the problem area of the tropics,” said Santer, the lead author of a paper now appearing online in the International Journal of Climatology.

There are two reasons for this reconciliation.

First, the analysis that reported disagreement between models and observations had applied an inappropriate statistical test, which did not account for the statistical uncertainty in observed warming trends. This uncertainty arises because the human-caused component of recent temperature changes is not perfectly known in any individual observed time series – it must be estimated from data that are influenced by both human effects and the “noise” of natural climate variability. Examples of such “noise” include large El Niño and La Niña events, which have pronounced effects on the year-to-year variability of tropical temperatures.

The Livermore-led consortium applied this inappropriate test to randomly generated data. The test revealed a strong bias in the method toward “detecting” differences that were not real.

The consortium modified the test to correctly account for uncertainty in estimating temperature trends from noisy observational data. With this modified test, there were no longer pervasive, statistically significant differences between simulated and observed tropical temperature trends.

The second reason for the reconciliation of models and observations was the availability of new and improved observational datasets, both for surface and tropospheric temperatures. The developers of these datasets used different procedures to identify and adjust for biases (such as those caused by changes over time in the instruments and platforms used to measure temperature).

Access to multiple, independently produced datasets provided the LLNL-led consortium with a valuable perspective on the inherent uncertainty in observations. Many of the recently developed observational datasets showed larger warming aloft than at the surface, and were more consistent with climate model results.

Even with improved datasets, there are still important uncertainties in observational estimates of recent tropospheric temperature trends that may never be fully resolved, and are partly a consequence of historical observing strategies, which were geared toward weather forecasting rather than climate monitoring.

“We should apply what we learned in this study toward improving existing climate monitoring systems, so that future model evaluation studies are less sensitive to observational ambiguity,” Santer said.

Other researchers in this international consortium were Karl Taylor, Peter Gleckler and Stephen Klein (all at Livermore); Peter Thorne at the United Kingdom Meteorological Office Hadley Centre; Leo Haimberger at the University of Vienna; Tom Wigley and Doug Nychka at the National Center for Atmospheric Research; John Lanzante at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; Susan Solomon at the NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory; Melissa Free at the NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory; Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia; Tom Karl at the NOAA/National Climatic Data Center; Carl Mears and Frank Wentz at Remote Sensing Systems; Gavin Schmidt at the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Steve Sherwood at Yale University.

Provided by Livermore National Laboratory

Explore further: Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

53 minutes ago

Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become ...

Debating the future of infrastructure

Apr 15, 2014

Cities face much of the burden of preparing for global changes—whether climate shocks, rapid population growth, or population decline, when industries relocate. Beneath every skyline, a city's leaders and ...

Better climate predictions within grasp

Apr 14, 2014

that will improve our understanding of the consequences of climate change and could save the global economy up to $30 trillion - has received funding to develop a more detailed design of the technology and identify partners. ...

Appearance of night-shining clouds has increased

Apr 10, 2014

(Phys.org) —First spotted in 1885, silvery blue clouds sometimes hover in the night sky near the poles, appearing to give off their own glowing light. Known as noctilucent clouds, this phenomenon began ...

Recommended for you

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

2 hours ago

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

User comments : 54

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Rick69
2.5 / 5 (24) Oct 10, 2008
"reconciling modeled and observed temperatures" as in possibly "fudging" the numbers?
SteveS
3.3 / 5 (24) Oct 10, 2008
Dear Rick69 and Modenmystic

I'm sorry but I had to rate your comments as poor, immediately negative and pejorative comments are not a very effective way of starting a useful debate.

My understanding of the article is that a large number of scientists have tried to understand why the climate models have not agreed with observed data. Until it can be shown that their work is in some way flawed surely we should respect their integrity, otherwise we are just shouting down anybody with whom we disagree.
Modernmystic
2.6 / 5 (19) Oct 10, 2008
Dear Rick69 and Modenmystic

I'm sorry but I had to rate your comments as poor, immediately negative and pejorative comments are not a very effective way of starting a useful debate.

My understanding of the article is that a large number of scientists have tried to understand why the climate models have not agreed with observed data. Until it can be shown that their work is in some way flawed surely we should respect their integrity, otherwise we are just shouting down anybody with whom we disagree.


Uh so what? Rate away, it's a free country.
cougar1701
2.8 / 5 (10) Oct 10, 2008
"historical observing strategies, which were geared toward weather forecasting rather than climate monitoring."
I don't get this. If I take a temperature and a weatherperson at the same time and place we should get the same result. Based on the quote we should not as one is trained and the other is not.
CWFlink
3.9 / 5 (14) Oct 10, 2008
The problem I have with manmade global warming is simple... most of the advocates and enemies of the theory have political or financial bias, coupled with a remarkably narrow perspective on geologic history and the adaptability of humanity. Heck, where I live was under 500 feet of water just 10,000 years ago!

Until the prejudices are removed from the analysis, and "hype" toned down, I remain a sceptic.

Anyway... we're in for total financial collapse and world wide starvation long before mankind can pollute itself out of existence. ...my "hype".
Velanarris
3.3 / 5 (16) Oct 10, 2008
Effectively this article is stating all climate models other than theirs are no good due to the lack of reconcilable data sets.

Makes sense to me. Basically they're saying what I've been saying, arbitrary values, with arbitrary data when modeled are as accurate as sticking your finger in your ear to determine global climate change.
deatopmg
3.3 / 5 (12) Oct 10, 2008
I will remain suspect of human made global warming for one main reason and a lot of little ones. The main reason is that the IR absorption bands are already ~95% saturated at ~300 ppm CO2. Insignificant amounts of ADDITIONAL IR energy can be absorbed by increasing the concentration of CO2. That being the case, the ADDITIONAL absorbed energy due to the actual percentage increase in CO2 is tiny in comparison with the total amount of energy needed to explain the "observed" warming. [Even though the past few years appear to been have cooling.]

So, where is the warming coming from if it's not CO2??
gmurphy
2.7 / 5 (14) Oct 10, 2008
ok, deep breath, cougar1701, I believe that modern climate monitoring requires every imaginable aspect of the climate to be monitored (solar variance, cloud cover, wind rain etc). Old observational records are more restricted in their observations. CWFlink, the climate has and always will change. We have constructed reasonably accurate records of climate change over hundreds of thousands of years. The heating of the planet since we started pumping c02 into the atmosphere is anomalous. Nothing like the scale of the temperature increases we observe on a global scale have never happened before (locally it has happened though). Velanarris, climate data is variable, not arbitrary. This variability has been steadily decreased as our methods have improved. Its insulting to the quality of work done on this subject to call it "arbitrary". If you have proof of this, please, by all means, provide it. Finally, deatopmg, c02 absorption bands are not saturated. Even if they were, it wouldn't matter in the lower atmosphere, as the absorption band is overlapped by water vapour. However, in the upper atmosphere there is very little water vapour. All the extra CO2 we've pumped into the air has the most effect in the upper atmosphere. That's because it heats up the air enough for water vapour to get hold, which increases the absorption spectrum causing a feedback effect which propagates up the atmosphere. Finally, the last few years seem to be cooling because of the "la nina" cycle (associated with cooling). Also, the sun is going through one of the deepest solar minimums observed in 50 years which also causes cooling. Really, by historical records we should be a lot cooler.
NotParker
3.4 / 5 (13) Oct 10, 2008
Land based global temperatures are contaminated by UHI. The great lie of the AGW fanatics is that UHI is negligible. In fact tests in places like Arizona and Singapore show it to be as high as 4C.
NeptuneAD
2.6 / 5 (12) Oct 10, 2008
SteveS, don't be sorry about rating Modenmystic's comments poorly, most of his comments are baseless and opinionated like that, I always rate him poorly.

I like the article though, even if I prefer to stay on the sideline in discussions like that as my opinion is we have only been here for a short while, so how much do we really know about it.
Velanarris
3.3 / 5 (13) Oct 10, 2008
ok, deep breath, cougar1701, I believe that modern climate monitoring requires every imaginable aspect of the climate to be monitored (solar variance, cloud cover, wind rain etc). Old observational records are more restricted in their observations. CWFlink, the climate has and always will change. We have constructed reasonably accurate records of climate change over hundreds of thousands of years. The heating of the planet since we started pumping c02 into the atmosphere is anomalous.
Anomalous according to whom? Our current records of global climate change are measured in single digits. That's both up and down over the past 100 years.


Nothing like the scale of the temperature increases we observe on a global scale have never happened before (locally it has happened though). Velanarris, climate data is variable, not arbitrary.
No no, the data sets being used are picked arbitrarily. For instance, I'll use from 1970-1995 rather than 1930-1995. You'd assume you'll get a better baseline by using a longer period of time however a lot of the leading AGW proponents say that the time scale doesn't matter. The correlating data does.

But if you have a shortened timescale how exactly can you call it correlation if you're only viewing a sample that fits the output you desire.

It's akin to me saying that all women are blonde and simply ignoring brunettes and redheads.

This variability has been steadily decreased as our methods have improved. Its insulting to the quality of work done on this subject to call it "arbitrary". If you have proof of this, please, by all means, provide it. Finally, deatopmg, c02 absorption bands are not saturated. Even if they were, it wouldn't matter in the lower atmosphere, as the absorption band is overlapped by water vapour. However, in the upper atmosphere there is very little water vapour. All the extra CO2 we've pumped into the air has the most effect in the upper atmosphere. That's because it heats up the air enough for water vapour to get hold, which increases the absorption spectrum causing a feedback effect which propagates up the atmosphere. Finally, the last few years seem to be cooling because of the "la nina" cycle (associated with cooling). Also, the sun is going through one of the deepest solar minimums observed in 50 years which also causes cooling. Really, by historical records we should be a lot cooler.


I'm sorry but you're picking frames of reference that don't leave argument to your supposition.

Firstly, CO2 in the upper atmosphere does not have a positive feedback mechanism as you're describing. Pair that with the method of heat transfer from the tropopause to the stratosphere and you'll see that once you leave the lower atmosphere, your main methods of heat loss and energy transfer are convection and re-radiation.

CO2's absorption index at 280ppm is saturated at 10 meters. So any action in the upper atmosphere is negligible as the upper atmosphere starts between 16km and 8 km from the surface of the planet depending on latitude. There is no proven upper atmospheric feedback loop, especially seeing as CO2 is a relatively heavy gas compared to N2 and O2 which make up the majority of our atmosphere. CO2 concentrations in the upper atmosphere are incredibly thin and not substantial enough to cause changes in lower levels of the atmosphere. In regard to water vapro yes it sinks CO2 in the troposphere but it's also reflective to incomming UV and visible spectrum, lowering the amount of available black body or IR that can be trapped by CO2 and other GHGs. This effect shows stronger correlation with temperature increase and decrease than CO2 concentration above 100ppm.

Getting to the la nina el nino cycle it's interesting that it's counted when it shows a trend contrary to the model, but when it reinforces the model it's deemed negligible. One could say that the past decade of temperature change is due to the particularly strong el ninos occuring at the time.

As for the solar minimum and solar maximum cycle if you look at the cycle it is about a 23-28 year cycle from min to min. 14 years ago, global warming was just starting to become popular again. 28 years prior, global cooling, 42 years prior, global warming was theorized.

Do you see a pattern?
MikeB
3.4 / 5 (11) Oct 10, 2008
"We've gone a long way toward reconciling modeled and observed temperature trends in the problem area of the tropics", said Santer, the lead author of a paper.

"We've gone a long way"? In other words they have not reconciled it.

"Problem area of the tropics"?
No problem unless you trust Atari climate models.

Their own words show that the study is lacking.
ErickS
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 11, 2008
Concerning saturation of IR bands:

- What about Venus?
- What about the IR bands that are absorbed by water vapour but not carbon dioxide?
Velanarris
4.4 / 5 (10) Oct 11, 2008
Concerning saturation of IR bands:

- What about Venus?
- What about the IR bands that are absorbed by water vapour but not carbon dioxide?
What about Venus?

And as for the bands that H2O occupy, H2O is the most potent greenhouse gas and humans are measured as a 5% contributor through our agricultural practice. The difference is, H2O has just as many negative feedback mechnisms as it does positive and as such tends to maintain an equilibruim.
gmurphy
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, your co2 data is incorrect. You got those figures off an anti-global warming website (big surprise there). The paper that supposedly derives these results is not published, check on google scholar. This is a science website. Try to be scientific. If you want to talk to other obstinately obtuse idiots who agree with your flawed data, by all means do, but do not inflict it on those who respect the integrity of scientific insight.
Velanarris
3.5 / 5 (11) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, your co2 data is incorrect. You got those figures off an anti-global warming website (big surprise there). The paper that supposedly derives these results is not published, check on google scholar. This is a science website. Try to be scientific. If you want to talk to other obstinately obtuse idiots who agree with your flawed data, by all means do, but do not inflict it on those who respect the integrity of scientific insight.


You want to site your sources before you attack mine? How about I site mine before you assume where the figures come from?

"The absorption peak depends on the spectral resolution which was 2/cm for this spectrometer. With a finer resolution, e.g. 0.5/cm, the peak would become higher and sharper, thus yielding a higher extinction coefficient. The R- (DeltaJ = 1) and the P- (DeltaJ = -1) can be clearly identified as well as the Q-branch (DeltaJ = 0) of the n3 band (15 µm or 667 cm-1). The n2 band (4.2 µm or 2349 cm-1) which only has an R- and P-branch, was measured as well. The decadic extinction coefficients at the band maximum were evaluated as

e = 29.9 m2/mol for n2 and e = 20.2 m2/mol for n3

To calculate the transmission in the total atmosphere, an average CO2 content was taken (from the volume of the atmosphere and the mass) as c = 1.03*10-3 mol/m3. Inserting the above molar extinction, the value for c and the homosphere layer thickness (h = 105 m) into Lambert-Beer's law, yielding a decadic extinction

E(n2) = 29.9 m2/mol * 1.03 * 10-3 mol/m3 * 105 m = 3080

In the same way we find E(n3) = 2080. This means that the transmission T around the peak maxima, defined as 10-E, amounts for 357 ppm to

T(n2) = 10 -3080 and T(n3) = 10 -2080

These are extremely small transmission values which are making any greenhouse increment by CO2 doubling absolutely impossible. Jack Barrett found similar results [2] using spectroscopic and kinetic considerations - tapping into a vasp nest and creating a still vivid discussion [7 - 10].

Inserting e = 20.2 m2/mol for the n3 band into Lambert-Beer's law, using 357 ppm for the CO2 concentration and a 10 m layer, we find the extinction

E = 20.2 m2/mol * 0.0159 mol/m3 * 10 m = 3.21

As the transmission T = 10-3.21 is 0.6 per mille, we conclude that the relative absorption around the peak is 1-T = 99.94% which takes place already within a 10 m layer near ground."

From: The Climate Catastrophy
http://www.john-d...fact.htm

As you'll notice, it's far from an agw skeptic paper, but the data is readily available on both sides of the discussion.

And your "integrity of scientific insight" is comming directly from the desks of politicians. They're well known for their scientific integrity....
gmurphy
2.3 / 5 (12) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, the reason the author of the website you've provided hasn't successfully published that paper is because the arguments he uses are flawed. If he had a valid paper, he would have published it. He doesn't, so he uses the web, like every other nut. Face it man, you're a fanatic grasping at straws.
Velanarris
3.2 / 5 (11) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, the reason the author of the website you've provided hasn't successfully published that paper is because the arguments he uses are flawed. If he had a valid paper, he would have published it. He doesn't, so he uses the web, like every other nut. Face it man, you're a fanatic grasping at straws.


No, it'd probably be because he's dead. Died before he finished it. It's a summary paper of his listed sources. Why don't you give those a read. Better yet, how about you read anything that you've touted as fact in your AGW support statements? The difference between you and I when it comes to this discussion is I'm open minded enough to read anything I can get my hands on, where you've simply repeated what you've "heard".
gmurphy
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 11, 2008
he's not dead, hug heinz is an anti-global warming fanatic and has published results from 2006. The paper on that website is from 1998. This is one of his papers http://www.ingent...art00006 Open the door Velanarris, let reality back in.
gmurphy
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 11, 2008
I didn't say he wasn't a published scientist, I said the paper you sourced your co2 absorption data from wasn't published. Your move idiot.
gmurphy
2.4 / 5 (11) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, you stated this : "CO2 in the upper atmosphere does not have a positive feedback mechanism as you're describing". Here is a paper proving you wrong both an empirical observations and theoretical predictions, I can't get the link to work so look for "The Role of Water Vapor Feedback in Unperturbed Climate Variability and Global Warming" on google.
Velanarris
3.7 / 5 (12) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, you stated this : "CO2 in the upper atmosphere does not have a positive feedback mechanism as you're describing". Here is a paper proving you wrong both an empirical observations and theoretical predictions, I can't get the link to work so look for "The Role of Water Vapor Feedback in Unperturbed Climate Variability and Global Warming" on google.


This paper is a study of tropospheric H2O radiative forcing. There's no description of the upper atmospheric process through which CO2 creates a larger positive feedback that you're speaking of. That is if we're both referring to the Alex Hall paper.

Secondly, this paper is based off of a modeling mechnism that has been found to be factually incorrect according to the article that we're currently commenting on.
barakn
2.8 / 5 (12) Oct 11, 2008
I see that deatompg and velanarris are once again spreading the same lie that CO2 infrared absorption is saturated or close to it at current concentrations. Velanarris's assertions are especially egregious, stating the absorption is 100% saturated within 10 meters. It is not. Look at this graph of absorption by various atmospheric components (keeping in mind the scale is transmittance, so the dips are absorbances):
http://earthobser...tion.gif
Note in particular that between 10 and 14 microns there is a great deal of under-saturated absorption peaks that don't coincide with peaks from other atmopsheric components. Also note that this is absorption by the entire thickness of the atmosphere, not just 10 m of it.
gmurphy
2 / 5 (12) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, your missing the point, its a feedback mechanism. As soon as warming gets a hold in the lower atmosphere it propagates upwards. Here's another CO2 absorption spectrum graph: http://home.casem...5124.gif Your facts are obsolete Velanarris
Velanarris
3.8 / 5 (12) Oct 11, 2008
Velanarris, your missing the point, its a feedback mechanism. As soon as warming gets a hold in the lower atmosphere it propagates upwards. Here's another CO2 absorption spectrum graph: http://home.casem...5124.gif Your facts are obsolete Velanarris


My data is quite current.

Barakn, that graph shows CO2 as not absorbing anything past 6micron or so and that it's absorbing a great amount of IR between 2 and 4 micron. Here's an accurate picture.

http://en.wikiped...sion.png

If you'll notice, CO2 is listed as being saturated or overwritten by other gasses on it's respective wavelengths. Sources are at the bottom of the linked page.

gmurphy, I'm not missing the point. My point that you set out to refute was "CO2 in the upper atmosphere does not have a positive feedback mechanism as you're describing." You supplied a paper about lower atmospheric H2O forcing which is based off of an obsolete model.
jburchel
4.4 / 5 (8) Oct 12, 2008
It is easy to defend a theory for which any event is automatically considered evidence. Anybody heard of Karl Popper? Global Warming is not a scientific theory. It is pseudo-scientific, like Marxism or Freudianism. It makes no falsifiable claims, and all incoming information can be used to make the argument in favor. What a crying shame so many so-called scientists are on this bandwagon. The love of money (NOTE: NOT MONEY ITSELF) has corrupted science. Where are we heading? Will science just be abandoned?
gmurphy
2.2 / 5 (12) Oct 12, 2008
Velanarris, your assertion that the model is obsolete is based on an unpublished paper, which I've already pointed out. It says a lot that you still fall back onto unpublished unverified papers when I can simply go directly to google scholar for my sources. Finally, this image http://home.casem...gifshows that a doubling of co2 will increase the IR absorption. Your total commitment to spreading misinformation about this subject is staggering. For example, you immediately stated the author of your "paper" was dead when I pointed out that he didn't publish it. Your exact words were "Died before he finished it". Now, when this was pointed out, you claimed you misread. Nowhere on that page does it suggest the author has died. I think your full of shit, I have a phd in evolutionary algorithms, I'm a fully qualified scientist and frankly I'm wasting my time on a lost cause like you.
yor_on
2.2 / 5 (10) Oct 12, 2008
Kind of strange with all those seeing the scientific community as lier's and cheats?

Wanna hear something sad.
while some(?) pays good money on debunking your future.
The carboncycle don't give a sh**.

It takes fity years at least for our manmade CO2 to finish its cycle in the atmosphere into the so called heatsinks (primarilly the oceans).

Those oceans are now getting both acidic (unable to sustain life as we know it) by the C02 and unable to take up more CO2.

I saw that one of the ideas behind the so called 'clean coal' project was to use

" Ocean storage, a technology still in its early stages, involves injecting liquid CO2 into waters 500 to 3,000 meters deep, where it dissolves under pressure. However, this method would slightly decrease pH and potentially harm marine habitats. All forms of CO2 storage require careful preparation and monitoring to avoid creating environmental problems that outweigh the benefits of CO2 containment. "

Now, this is f*ng Brilliant isn't it:)

And that carboncycle means that if we stopped all man made CO2 today (Cars coal plants etc etc) we would still have to look at a rising CO2 level for at least fifty years before any 'dip' would show itself.

So?
MikeB
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 12, 2008
"we would still have to look at a rising CO2 level for at least fifty years before any 'dip' would show itself. So?"

I think the 'dip' just showed itself.
Velanarris
4.3 / 5 (10) Oct 12, 2008
Velanarris, your assertion that the model is obsolete is based on an unpublished paper, which I've already pointed out. It says a lot that you still fall back onto unpublished unverified papers when I can simply go directly to google scholar for my sources. Finally, this image http://home.casem...gifshows that a doubling of co2 will increase the IR absorption. Your total commitment to spreading misinformation about this subject is staggering. For example, you immediately stated the author of your "paper" was dead when I pointed out that he didn't publish it. Your exact words were "Died before he finished it". Now, when this was pointed out, you claimed you misread. Nowhere on that page does it suggest the author has died. I think your full of shit, I have a phd in evolutionary algorithms, I'm a fully qualified scientist and frankly I'm wasting my time on a lost cause like you.


Nice, very nice. The article we're commenting on is quite published. Re-read my comments.

As for your phd, good for you, it's too bad that you're effectively a mathematician with no understanding of chemical process to suggest that a model using a linear relationship is accurate when the real world effect is logarithmic.

You've been propagandized to the point where no one can help you but yourself.
Velanarris
4.4 / 5 (10) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, the article we're commenting on does not say the models are obsolete. It says the difference between the models and observed climate data was due to a flawed statistical set and reliance on old data sets. With new improved data and better statistical analysis there is greater cohesion between them. Note that it was never suggested that the models were obsolete.
So the fact that they are flawed and working off of bad data means they're just fine and dandy in your opinion?

Furthermore, your previous statement about there being too little CO2 in the upper atmosphere because CO2 is heavier is completely flawed. If it was that heavy it would simply lie on the surface of the planet choking out all life.
Ok the atmosphere is made up primarily of N2, O2, and trace gasses. CO2 Let's see, it's O2 and C meaning that it weighs the same as O2 plus the weight of a Carbon atom. So that makes it heavier than O2. And seeing as Nitrogen is lighter than Oxygen I'm willing to bet that N2 is lighter than CO2 as well.

And by the way, for CO2 to be toxic you would need a concentration of 70,000 parts per million. Not 350-380 ppm.

Of course you never provided any citations prove this, further evidence you simply spout whatever you feel like hiding behind the anonymity of an internet message board.
No what I'll do is stop assuming you know anything about science and baby step you through every conversation we have.

Furthermore, you stated that there was no proof of heating in the upper atmosphere, from the article we're commenting on : " Many of the recently developed observational datasets showed larger warming aloft than at the surface, and were more consistent with climate model results. ". This is in direct contradiction to your statement.
No it's not, the frame of reference is "Climate model experiments invariably predict that human-caused greenhouse gas increases should lead to more warming in the tropical troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) than at the tropical land and ocean surface." Meaning LOWER atmosphere. Not the UPPER atmosphere.

L2Read.
gmurphy
1.1 / 5 (10) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, the data wasn't bad, there was uncertainty in it which conflicted with the models. This uncertainty has now been removed and the conclusions are still the same. Do you understand that?. You stated CO2 was too heavy to cause a feedback loop. You are incorrect. This article states quite clearly that the models and observations show more heating as you go up the atmosphere. This is written in the article. Read it. I know you seem to have some difficulty coping with multiple frames of reference but I'm sure you could give it a try. Your argument about the semantics of upper vs lower is pedantic and the last refuge of a beaten man. I admit should have specified more clearly that the feedback effect exerts itself more as you go up the atmosphere but I had not anticipated your literal and simple mind. The very fact that you argue about this shows that you don't have any actual facts to use to defend yourself. Not that you had any facts to begin with. What strikes me is that your convinced that I'm a victim of propaganda. You seem to think that this all a great conspiracy. Such mental behaviour is typical of people who don't have much control over their lives. http://www.physor...136.html Maybe you should get some help. Better yet, try publishing an article in a climate journal or conference. Let us know how you do. Of course if they don't publish your work, you can always fall back onto the conspiracy hypothesis. Do let us know...
Velanarris
4.3 / 5 (9) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, the data wasn't bad, there was uncertainty in it which conflicted with the models. This uncertainty has now been removed and the conclusions are still the same.

Yes, this uncertainty has been "removed" through adding more layers of calulations to the model. Effectively they've rebalanced their equations to make the model match the observed data.

A PhD in Comp Sci would call this "tampering."


Do you understand that?. You stated CO2 was too heavy to cause a feedback loop. You are incorrect.
I absolutely did not. I said CO2 is a heavier gas than O2 and N2, and to that effect, as CO2 is such a sparse gas in our atmosphere that by it's weight alone it will not have as much relevance to the upper atmosphere. This is agreed upon by the models for climate variability that you tout as accurate, as well as known physical properties of gasses under IR stimulus.

This article states quite clearly that the models and observations show more heating as you go up the atmosphere. This is written in the article. Read it. I know you seem to have some difficulty coping with multiple frames of reference but I'm sure you could give it a try.
Well that's pretty well physical fact. Heat rises due to the molecules moving at a greater velocity through vibration due to the absorption of energy of any form. What you're not understanding is what happens after that when the molecule must return that enrgy to it's environment to stay with the second law of thermodynamics.

You energize the molecule and it will "rise" by being faster moving, or vibrating, than it's contemporaries until such point that it leaves a state of equilibrium with it's surrondings and releases that extra energy through re-radiation. The re-radiation is omnidirectional unless faced with an explicit barrier for transferrence.

Your argument about the semantics of upper vs lower is pedantic and the last refuge of a beaten man.
Absolutely not, take the time to familiarize yourself with the layers and processes of heat transferrance through the atmosphere and you'll see why I am saying you are not looking at a proper frame of reference.

For instance, the hottest part of our atmosphere is not the part we live in. It's the furthest out, which you'd probably believe to be the coolest due to it's interaction with space. It's far from a semantics argument.

Here's some reading, it's on your level of understanding: http://www.window...ers.html


I admit should have specified more clearly that the feedback effect exerts itself more as you go up the atmosphere but I had not anticipated your literal and simple mind. The very fact that you argue about this shows that you don't have any actual facts to use to defend yourself. Not that you had any facts to begin with.
If I have no facts, then why do you have to fight this hard to prove your point? It's simple, because the data I have brought to the table in this conversation is in stark contrast to your preconceptions. Seeing as the burden of proof is not on me I have a wealth of existing data to use to support my stance, which I have. You however, have to search and interpret your data to bring an argument to the table. Couple that with your lack of understanding on the matter and you break down into purile insults.

What strikes me is that your convinced that I'm a victim of propaganda. You seem to think that this all a great conspiracy. Such mental behaviour is typical of people who don't have much control over their lives.
As green guilt can be extrapolated out to be a byproduct of too much free time and recycling ill quoted facts, as you're prone to do, is a sign of an addled mind.

http://www.physor...136.html Maybe you should get some help. Better yet, try publishing an article in a climate journal or conference. Let us know how you do. Of course if they don't publish your work, you can always fall back onto the conspiracy hypothesis. Do let us know...


Sorry, I'm too busy reading the studies that are released to further my understanding of both points of view. It does look like you're too busy sorting through relevant facts to find the one nugget of info that helps your cause. As for your "conspiracy" hypothesis, that's great, take an established dynamic, and supplant that those who oppose it are unjust, or ignorant of reality. When it is you, sir, who cannot see the forest for the trees.
Velanarris
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 13, 2008
I think my tampering statement requires clarification.

How wouold one retake measurements in time, when that point in time has passed?

You can't. You can only reconcile the available data within a particular degree of accuracy.

Let's say I had an astral body I wanted to take the temperature of from my station from 1950 until now, and every 25 years the equipment would become more precise. Let's further say that the accuracy of my data becomes more precise by a factor of 10.

I take a measurement in 1950 of 2000k, plus or minus 100.

Data range of 2100k-1900k

1975 I take a measurement of 2250k, plus or minus 10

Data range of 2240k-2260k

In 2000 I take a measurement of 2285k, plus or minus 1.

Data range of 2284k-2286k.

Now someone takes my data and creates a model describing the temperature change on that object over time.

His model assumes my equipment measure high every time so he uses my reading and subtracts the entire standard of deviation.

So his graph would start at 1900k and end at 2284k, difference of 384k

It's an impressive graph. Now someone else decides that I always measured low. His graph starts at 2100k and ends at 2286k. Difference of 186k

Well you now have two different models using the exact same data with two very different results, but which one is correct? Which one has been tampered with? Technically, both of them.

Truth is, when you manipulate the statistics using the stated standard of deviation you will come up with wildly different answers and there is no reconciliation that can be done. The data sets are no good because the precision of the measurement was and is still garbage.

Unless you can go back in time with more accurate equipment and re-take the reading, you cannot fix the modeling to be accurate.

Now this is a simple representation, with more point sof data the variation could be even more wild, requiring a person to create a mean or median line to interpret the data.

Effectively the graph coould look like this:
http://en.wikiped...00_years]http://en.wikiped...00_years[/url]

Where the blue line is the average and the red the actual readings.

With enough mean and median interpretation it could end up looking like this:
http://en.wikiped...00_years]http://en.wikiped...00_years[/url]

When the actual data would look like this:
http://www.john-d...-LIA.gif

(Pictures above are used as examples only and are not proving a point other than the fallacy of median and mean graphing of inprecise data)
CaptSpaulding
5 / 5 (7) Oct 13, 2008
http://www.nature...8a0.html

According to this, CO2 enters altitudes over 20km by tropical upwelling, not diffusion. However it does follow the same basic trend as ground level in overall increase. There is a very clear decrease in CO2 in the upper atmosphere relative to other gasous species.

Just figured since everyone seems to be insulting each other repeatedly, I would throw in my own 5 minutes of research. Oh, and I figure a nature article on direct sampling of atmosphere percentages gets to qualify as a worthwhile source for everybody.

I personally don't know how much of warming is human or not. I know it is happening, but I also know that correlation IS NOT causation. Every high school chemistry/physics student is taught that. As always, the earth most DEFINITELY goes through abrupt warming and cooling cycles: http://en.wikiped...ture.png

If you notice, we are at the end of an ice age, which means it is warmer than it used to be and historically we still haven't hit our peak. We might be screwed regardless. Alternatively we should refocus our efforts on ending deforestation and, if for no other reason than it seems to just make good sense, continue to explore more efficient/clean/safe power production.

Oh, feel free to call me a tard, idiot, etc. because frankly I don't care. It is clearly an argumentum ad hominem, making the entire argument look weak.
Velanarris
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 13, 2008
Spaulding, you're about as far from a tard/idiot/etc as you could possibly be.

I do have another graph for you that's rather interesting in regards to our "currently leaving an ice age".

http://www.seed.s...emp2.jpg

Unfortunately this graph is proxy data from the Vostok ice cores in antartica. Fortunately, they are the exact same ice core samples that the alarmist charts come from.
gmurphy
1 / 5 (8) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, this is from the article : "Santers international team found that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modelled and observed trends in tropical temperatures." Nothing was tampered with. Furthermore you use simple models in your tampering argument while arguing against simplicity in models when they're used in global warming predictions.

Furthermore, the article that Spaulding links to states that the variance in CO2 levels is 1% from the tropopause to the mid-stratosphere (given that we're currently at 380ppm). This is hardly a decrease.

You also say you have a wealth of existing data. That sounds a bit weak as you have previously used data from an unpublished source. Where is this data?, inquiring minds would like to know.

I don't understand your reference to green guilt?

Last but not least, your assertion that you're "too busy" to write a published paper which disproves the global warming "conspiracy" is a joke. I mean, c'mon, at this stage I expected better. Maybe you could use the "wealth of data" you've got squirrelled away to back it up.
Velanarris
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, this is from the article : "Santers international team found that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modelled and observed trends in tropical temperatures." Nothing was tampered with.

Right, and the very next line states:
"First, the analysis that reported disagreement between models and observations had applied an inappropriate statistical test, which did not account for the statistical uncertainty in observed warming trends. This uncertainty arises because the human-caused component of recent temperature changes is not perfectly known in any individual observed time series %u2013 it must be estimated from data that are influenced by both human effects and the %u201Cnoise%u201D of natural climate variability. Examples of such %u201Cnoise%u201D include large El Niño and La Niña events, which have pronounced effects on the year-to-year variability of tropical temperatures. "

So effectively they had to re-estimate the data set. Re-estimate....
Furthermore you use simple models in your tampering argument while arguing against simplicity in models when they're used in global warming predictions.
Wait a minute, you'll have to show me where I argued that the models were too simple. So far I've argued that the models are flawed due to operating off of bad datasets, and tampering with constants to produce results that fit expectations. Hence my statement
Yes, this uncertainty has been "removed" through adding more layers of calulations to the model. Effectively they've rebalanced their equations to make the model match the observed data.

Meaning they've added a second layer to the model which changes the data sets prior to modeling.

Furthermore, the article that Spaulding links to states that the variance in CO2 levels is 1% from the tropopause to the mid-stratosphere (given that we're currently at 380ppm). This is hardly a decrease.
The tropopause is where the stratosphere meets the troposphere, meaning that from the start of the stratosphere to the middle of the stratosphere CO2 is homogenous.
I completely agree with that. This does not make any statement to the comparison of CO2 ppmv in the troposphere compared to the CO2 ppmv in the stratosphere.

You also say you have a wealth of existing data. That sounds a bit weak as you have previously used data from an unpublished source. Where is this data?, inquiring minds would like to know.
Let's step away from published and unpublished as it has zero bearing on scientific fact. If we really want to get into this argument we need only look at the volumes of published and peer reviewed papers on such theories as the steady state theory, to show that being published, vs. not being published really means nothing when compared to fact and the scientific process.

I don't understand your reference to green guilt?
Didn't think you would.

Last but not least, your assertion that you're "too busy" to write a published paper which disproves the global warming "conspiracy" is a joke. I mean, c'mon, at this stage I expected better. Maybe you could use the "wealth of data" you've got squirrelled away to back it up.
Or I could write one and you could misread that a few hundred times and think it agrees with your parroted information.
gmurphy
1 / 5 (8) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, they didn't re-estimate the data. They calculated it correctly for the first time. Your insinuating that they have manipulated the data to fit the model. Do you know how insane that sounds?, you don't have a shred of proof for this statement. Either provide evidence or admit you're wrong.

The fact that you say that whether data is published or unpublished has zero bearing on scientific fact shows you are not a scientist. Data only has value once it has passed a rigorous peer reviewed process. Everything else is speculation. You don't seem to appreciate the importance of this fact. Now, maybe you have data which has been scientifically generated but if you can't get it published its pretty clear that it's flawed in some fundamental way.

Why don't you write the article so then?, try and get your theories published. Its clear from this exchange you believe that the data from this article has been tampered with. Why don't you start there?
Velanarris
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 13, 2008
Velanarris, they didn't re-estimate the data. They calculated it correctly for the first time. Your insinuating that they have manipulated the data to fit the model. Do you know how insane that sounds?, you don't have a shred of proof for this statement. Either provide evidence or admit you're wrong.

The fact that you say that whether data is published or unpublished has zero bearing on scientific fact shows you are not a scientist. Data only has value once it has passed a rigorous peer reviewed process. Everything else is speculation. You don't seem to appreciate the importance of this fact. Now, maybe you have data which has been scientifically generated but if you can't get it published its pretty clear that it's flawed in some fundamental way.

Why don't you write the article so then?, try and get your theories published. Its clear from this exchange you believe that the data from this article has been tampered with. Why don't you start there?


I've had to explain my points and your own points to you several times here. I've had to clarify topics and subjects as well as assist you in understanding the terminology at play. Now you want to engage in sophistry. We have nothing further to discuss.
mikiwud
5 / 5 (4) Oct 13, 2008
The "models" show a hotspot in the tropical mid troposphere compared to the tropical lower troposphere according to the IPCC.
If you look at http://www.junkscience.com it shows the new graphs from this study and this hotspot is still not there.Its there in the write up but not in the data.
gmurphy
1 / 5 (5) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, the fact is you have criticised a scientific paper in an unscientific manner. Therefore your criticism has no virtue from a scientific perspective. Lets leave it at that.
Velanarris
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, the fact is you have criticised a scientific paper in an unscientific manner. Therefore your criticism has no virtue from a scientific perspective. Lets leave it at that.
If that is the reality you'd like to substitute, then have at it.
gmurphy
1 / 5 (5) Oct 14, 2008
that is the reality. Where is this data you speak of?, why do you rely on on unpublished data?, why do you deliberately spread misinformation?, I am not going to let this rest, you can't answer my criticisms so you deflect the issue.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
that is the reality. Where is this data you speak of?, why do you rely on on unpublished data?, why do you deliberately spread misinformation?, I am not going to let this rest, you can't answer my criticisms so you deflect the issue.


Well that's simple, the data and their processes are outlined in the paper summarized above. Go read the paper. What their calculations did was adjust temperature readings by establishing a satellite decay constant and adjusting temperature for distance based off of that constant.

this is pure manipulation due to the fact that satellites do not have a constant rate of decay. If satellites had a constant rate of decay we wouldn't need the US airforce to spend millions of dollar a month in calculations to maintain the accuracy of the GPS network. Secondly, after establishing their constant rate of decay they still did not find the hotspot they were looking for. It was in the model but not in the data. That's also listed in the paper and completely contrary to the predictions of AGW.

If you had even a basic inkling of what you're talking about this would not have run on as long as it has, and if we want to talk about deflection how about we take a look at your counter points. Oh wait, the only one produced was a paper on H2O forcing in the lower atmosphere to refute my statements on CO2's role in Upper atmospheric effect. Let me ask you a few questions:

Did you actually read the entire paper you proposed as a foil to my statement?

If you did read it entirely, did you understand it?

If you did understand it did you assume I wouldn't read it when you brought it to the table, or did you assume I wouldn't understand it?



gmurphy
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, you say you don't have time to write a paper, yet you found time to over the last few days to form counter-arguments to my arguments. Evidently you have plenty of time. I assert that the reason you haven't published is because you can't. Prove me wrong, that's all I'm asking, Come back when you've got your published article. Then I will accept your validated scientific criticism of the article we're commenting on.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, you say you don't have time to write a paper, yet you found time to over the last few days to form counter-arguments to my arguments. Evidently you have plenty of time. I assert that the reason you haven't published is because you can't. Prove me wrong, that's all I'm asking, Come back when you've got your published article. Then I will accept your validated scientific criticism of the article we're commenting on.
Countering your arguments is easy. Designing and implementing bullet proof experimentation when I don't have the time or means to do so is an entirely different matter. BTW, more sophistry so I'll counter with the same.

Since you're such an expert at claiming I'm using invalid points for my arguments why don't you design an experiemtn to prove your point and write a published paper. Then maybe we can take you seriously.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
By the way, going to answer my questions or continue to deflect the conversation?
lengould100
3 / 5 (2) Oct 14, 2008
I will remain suspect of human made global warming for one main reason and a lot of little ones. The main reason is that the IR absorption bands are already ~95% saturated at ~300 ppm CO2. Insignificant amounts of ADDITIONAL IR energy can be absorbed by increasing the concentration of CO2. That being the case, the ADDITIONAL absorbed energy due to the actual percentage increase in CO2 is tiny in comparison with the total amount of energy needed to explain the "observed" warming. [Even though the past few years appear to been have cooling.]

So, where is the warming coming from if it's not CO2??
I will remain suspect of human made global warming for one main reason and a lot of little ones. The main reason is that the IR absorption bands are already ~95% saturated at ~300 ppm CO2. Insignificant amounts of ADDITIONAL IR energy can be absorbed by increasing the concentration of CO2. That being the case, the ADDITIONAL absorbed energy due to the actual percentage increase in CO2 is tiny in comparison with the total amount of energy needed to explain the "observed" warming. [Even though the past few years appear to been have cooling.]

So, where is the warming coming from if it's not CO2??


Sorry, that old canard (The main reason is that the IR absorption bands are already ~95% saturated at ~300 ppm CO2.) is flat wrong.

Example, see complexity of IR absorbtion charted at http://www.john-d...data.gif

If your theory held, then only the very narrow band tight around 667 um would be absorbed. The broad V shape of the absorption, with apparently a lot more scope for broadening, obviously indicates a lot more complexity.
Velanarris
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 14, 2008

Sorry, that old canard (The main reason is that the IR absorption bands are already ~95% saturated at ~300 ppm CO2.) is flat wrong.

Example, see complexity of IR absorbtion charted at http://www.john-d...data.gif

If your theory held, then only the very narrow band tight around 667 um would be absorbed. The broad V shape of the absorption, with apparently a lot more scope for broadening, obviously indicates a lot more complexity.


we already went into this a few post upwards.

That chart is an example of re-radiative study. The page you pulled it from explains the chart.
gmurphy
1 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, I've learned a lot from the exchange. I entered into this thinking you could be reasoned with. Now, I realise my mistake. You cling to global warming scepticism when the entire scientific community agrees that the world is warming and it is due to CO2 pollution by human beings. This should have warned me of the fallacy of arguing with you.

This is the best you will ever do, spreading misinformation doggedly on the internet. You will never rise above this.

I will close with a quote from Max Planck : "truth never wins -- its opponents just go extinct."
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
Velanarris, I've learned a lot from the exchange. I entered into this thinking you could be reasoned with. Now, I realise my mistake. You cling to global warming scepticism when the entire scientific community agrees that the world is warming and it is due to CO2 pollution by human beings. This should have warned me of the fallacy of arguing with you.
Yes, it's tough to argue with someone who uses facts against propaganda when your argument is based on propaganda. The entire scientific community does not agree on AGW. There is no great concensus on the topic of AGW. There are no hard facts supporting AGW. Climatology is one of the most difficult sciences to work within due to a lack of experimentation. The system is too large and complex to properly simulate in a lab, so the best we can do is create models based off of prior data. Problem is we don't have a readily available amount of accurate data because we didn't really become interested in climatology until the dust bowl in the late 20's and through the 30's in the US. Now a science that is in it's virtual infantcy is trying to determine political and social policy. Well, sorry, I don't buy into hype machines. Words like concensus and overwhelming majority do not work within the world of science as there is no concensus or overwhelming majoirty. There is fact, theory, and fallacy. On both sides of the argument the highest level obtainedthus far is theory. Now regardless of how well based in fact these theories are they are still theories as they cannot explain multiple aspects of the climate system, nor can they explain the system as a whole. That's my stance, it's never waivered. Global warming is or has happened. I don't believe it's anthropogenic because the numbers and models thus far do not match up, and to throw my belief behind it is akin to holding it as my religion as belief without hard evidence is faith.

This is the best you will ever do, spreading misinformation doggedly on the internet. You will never rise above this.
My information thus far has been accurate, certifiable, and experimentally sound. I understand your frustration on the topic as you've listened to what others have told you and now you're finding the established base of your faith has been dismantled by a faceless person on the internet. I'm very sure that's a deep wound to live with.

I will close with a quote from Max Planck : "truth never wins -- its opponents just go extinct."


As I will close with a quote from Former US Senator Timothy Wirth
"What we've got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."

Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Oct 14, 2008
Anyone else who'd like to speak to my commentary on this issue will be doing so without reciprocation.

There is a well penned article by one of the experts that is rather in line with my stance on AGW/AGC here:

http://www.canada...0507.htm
GrayMouser
5 / 5 (3) Oct 16, 2008
...I have a phd in evolutionary algorithms, I'm a fully qualified scientist...


EA as in artificial intelligence? In that case you no more qualified than I am. Outside of computer science you are not expert in the subject matter.

On the subject of computers and software engineering I am qualified to comment and, given the state of the art in programming (especially by people that are not CS techies) I would say that the models being used are questionable.

More news stories

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.