More evidence that current warming is not unusual

In a previous postI reported research from Norwegian marine sediment cores and temperature proxies that showed that the current warming period was not only not unusual but also cooler than the Medieval and Roman warming periods.

Reference:

Sejrup, H.P., Haflidason, H. and Andrews, J.T. 2011. A Holocene North Atlantic SST record and regional climate variability. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 3181-3195.   Abstract here.  Their graph:

Norwegian-temps1

A commenter on the previous post dismissed the research saying it was for only one region and did not necessarily represent global temperature history.

Well, here is more research showing that the results found in Norway were similar to results found globally:

Reference:

Bertler, N.A.N., Mayewski, P.A. and Carter, L. 2011. Cold conditions in Antarctica during the Little Ice Age — Implications for abrupt climate change mechanisms. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 308: 41-51.

From ice cores, the researchers were able to identify the temperature differences of the Medieval Warm Period (AD 1140 to 1287), the Little Ice Age (AD 1288 to 1807), and the Modern Era (AD 1808 to 2000). They found “the McMurdo Dry Valleys were 0.35°C warmer during the MWP than now, accompanied by warmer conditions in the Ross Sea.”

Reference:

Liu Y, Cai Q F, Song H M, et al., 2011, Amplitudes, rates, periodicities and causes of temperature variations in the past 2485 years and future trends over the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Sci Bull, 56: 2986 2994, doi: 10.1007/s11434-011-4713-7.

These researchers show that the Medieval Warm period was at least as warm as the current period.  See my post on the paper here.

Reference:

Hu, F.S., Ito, E., Brown, T.A., Curry, B.B. and Engstrom, D.R.  2001.  Pronounced climatic variations in Alaska during the last two millennia.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 98: 10,552-10,556.

Using sediment cores from Farewell Lake in the northwestern foothills of the Alaska Range, the researchers found that surface water temperatures during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period were the same as those now.

Reference:

Hong, B., Liu, C.-Q., Lin, Q.-H., Yasuyuki, S., Leng, X.-T., Wang, Y., Zhu, Y.-X. and Hong, Y.-T. 2009. Temperature evolution from the ä18O record of Hani peat, Northeast China, in the last 14000 years. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 52: 952-964.

Using cores extracted from peat deposits in Northeast China, researchers used oxygen-18 analysis and concluded that the Medieval Warm Period in China peaked about 900 AD and was 1 C warmer than the current warm period.  They also found that “sudden cooling events, such as the Older Dryas, Inter-Allerod, Younger Dryas, and nine ice-rafted debris events of the North Atlantic are almost entirely reiterated in the temperature signals of Hani peat cellulose ä18O.”

Reference:

Millar, C.I., King, J.C., Westfall, R.D., Alden, H.A. and Delany, D.L. 2006. Late Holocene forest dynamics, volcanism, and climate change at Whitewing Mountain and San Joaquin Ridge, Mono County, Sierra Nevada, CA, USA. Quaternary Research 66: 273-287.

Using temperature reconstruction from tree rings, the researchers concluded that the Medieval Warm Period in Nevada was “significantly warmer” (+3.2°C) than present.

Reference:

Kaniewski, D., Van Campo, E., Paulissen, E., Weiss, H., Bakker, J., Rossignol, I. and Van Lerberghe, K. 2011. The medieval climate anomaly and the little Ice Age in coastal Syria inferred from pollen-derived palaeoclimatic patterns. Global and Planetary Change 78: 178-187.

Analyzing pollen contained in sediment cores from alluvial fans, the researchers found evidence that suggests “three peaks centered on ca. 1115, 1130 and 1170 cal yr AD suggest similar or warmer temperatures compared to AD 2000.”

Reference:

Neukom, R., Luterbacher, J., Villalba, R., Kuttel, M., Frank, D., Jones, P.D., Grosjean, M., Wanner, H., Aravena, J.-C., Black, D.E., Christie, D.A., D’Arrigo, R., Lara, A., Morales, M., Soliz-Gamboa, C., Srur, A., Urritia, R. and von Gunten, L. 2011. Multiproxy summer and winter surface air temperature field reconstructions for southern South America covering the past centuries. Climate Dynamics 37: 35-51.

Using multiple temperature proxies, the researchers concluded the warmest decade of this Medieval Warm Period in Southern South America was AD 1079-1088, and that was about 0.17°C warmer than the peak warmth of the current warm period.

Reference:

Holmgren, K., Tyson, P.D., Moberg, A. and Svanered, O.  2001.  A preliminary 3000-year regional temperature reconstruction for South Africa.  South African Journal of Science 97: 49-51.

These researchers deduced temperature variations from stalagmites in caves.  They estimate that the Little Ice Age between AD 1500 and 1800, was about 1°C colder than they are presently.  During the Medieval Warm Period at around AD 900 temperatures reached 2.5°C higher than at present.  Another exceptionally warm period was noted in the late fifteenth century, when temperatures rose more than 3°C above the current level.

The foregoing gives just a few examples showing that climate is cyclical and current temperatures are not unusual.  There is still no credible evidence that I am aware of that supports the contention that our carbon dioxide emissions are the major cause of recent warming.  For another overview see here.

In the current warm period, temperatures are increasingly artifacts of poor station siting that creates a warming bias (see Surfacestations.org) In a study of U.S. stations it was found that “9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.”  Part of the problem is that many stations are in or near growing cities and suffer from the Urban Heat Island effect, i.e., during the day, the sun heats concrete and asphalt which then radiate heat at night making temperatures in the cities (and at the stations) warmer than rural areas.  And, there is also the problem of data manipulation by government agencies with an agenda.

For some additional perspective, the graph below shows global temperature as measured from satellites, beginning in 1979.  Although atmospheric carbon dioxide has been increasing, there does not seem to be a corresponding temperature response.  In the graph, temperatures before the strong El Nino event in 1998 show no trend.  Temperatures after 1998 also show no trend.  The difference is temperature levels before and after is attributed to shifts in global atmospheric cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Nino.

UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2014_v5.61

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127 comments

  1. Jon has apparently recognized that Global climate cannot be extrapolated from regional data. So instead of one paper from one region, we get eight. Climate experts have analyzed SEVERAL THOUSAND such papers to arrive at the conclusion they do.

    Have there been regions of the earth that experienced warming anomalies in the past two millennia? Yes, of course. Jon has shown studies that confirm that. From these eight studies can we deduce Global mean land, sea and atmospheric temperatures. No way.

    Organizations such as USGCRP and the IPCC are tasked with looking at ALL the studies, ALL the available data. They compare and analyze (collate) all the data and come to conclusions supported by all the evidence. There is a difference between extrapolating from all the known facts and extrapolating from ‘cherry-picked’ regional evidence. Most often it’s the difference between right and wrong.

    Next, Jon brings up the issue of the siting of temperature measuring stations. At one time this was an important question. Were UHI effects contaminating the evidence? The answer turned out to be yes, but only slightly. But more importantly, proper statistical analysis can weed out poor data. We can (and scientists do every day in practically every field of endeavor) assign different weights to different data according to the statistical probability of its usefulness. UHI is not something that climatologists ignore. It’s not something Anthony Watts and Jon DuHamel know about but climatologists do not. It’s very well accounted for in the literature. There are many unknowns in climate science, but UHI is not one. Ask former skeptic Richard Muller.

    Lastly, Jon shows us the Christy/Spencer UAH MSU data. From this Jon apparently expects to see temperatures in the mid-troposphere follow in lockstep with CO2. Why? In the very next sentence he notes that ENSO perturbs the trend. And many other natural effects (eg., Pinatubo) also do the same in the opposite direction. He then goes on to say there is no trend in the data since 1998. Global climate trends have no statistical significance on such short timelines. Jon, do you never weary of people telling you that ten year linear regression coefficients are not statistically significant, because of the large oscillations due to ENSO? If you include the confidence intervals for these coefficients they will all include 0.  Zero…so they cannot be used to assess whether warming is slowing, accelerating or is constant. JP

    1. The AGW hypothesis is that carbon dioxide emissions are causing major unusual warming. I have presented 8 examples from all continents except Australia, showing the warming is not unusual. To disprove a hypothesis only one contrary example is needed. But AGW proponents need consensus of thousands.

      John has not yet presented any credible evidence to support the AGW hypothesis or its corollary: Show that cutting our emissions as proposed will make a real difference. John claims that IPCC et al. look at all the data, but we have seen from the climategate emails that they have ignored and supressed the data that does not fit their hypothesis. We also know, as I’ve shown in previous posts that some government agencies apply “corrections” to the data so it better conforms to their agenda. John is still arguing by appeal to authority rather than presenting physical evidence.

      The climate system is complex and carbon dioxide may be part of the equation, but it is apparently a very small part, easily overwhelmed by natural forces, and therefore nothing to be concerned about.

      1. Once again you conflate ‘evidence’ with ‘hypothesis’. You say, “To disprove a hypothesis only one contrary example is needed.” That is correct if, by example, you mean an example of a falsifying hypothesis. To disprove the null hypothesis, one need only provide one falsifying hypothesis. What is your alternative hypothesis? I don’t mean vague ramblings about UHI or ‘natural variations’ or various ocean oscillations, but rather a cogent hypothesis. I would very much like to see such an hypothesis. I mean that sincerely. JP

      2.  You said, “If you are invoking the IPCC as your source of “overwhelming” evidence, then I say you have none.”  None? So every piece of evidence that IPCC presents must be ignored? Every unfortunate scientist cited by IPCC is instantly and irrevocably wrong?Remember, the IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. It simply reviews and publishes, and those who are not published have an opportunity to write a rebuttal which is then published.  So thousands of articles by hundreds of authors, most having nothing to do with the IPCC other than being cited by them; all have NO evidence. Are you serious? JP

      3. Let’s lay this fatuous “appeal to authority” stuff to rest. The strength of an argument from authority depends upon two factors:
        1. The authority is a legitimate expert on the subject.
        2. A consensus exists among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion.

        A  misuse of an argument from authority commonly comes in the form of a false inductive argument.  This occurs when an inference relies on individuals or groups without relevant expertise or knowledge.  (e.g. when a a scientist trained in geology and untrained in climatology opines about the state of the climate.) The strength of an argument from authority depends upon two factors:
        1. The authority is a legitimate expert on the subject.
        2. A consensus exists among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion.

        A  misuse of an argument from authority commonly comes in the form of a false inductive argument.  This occurs when an inference relies on individuals or groups without relevant expertise or knowledge.  (e.g. when a a scientist trained in geology and untrained in climatology opines about the state of the climate.) Refer to: Salmon, M. H. (2006). Introduction to Critical Reasoning. Mason, OH: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 118–9.
        JP

      4. And of course experts can’t be wrong. Your argument is very similar to “the Bible tells us…” therefore it must be so.

      5. Dogmatic nonsense.   You preach religion, not science.  You criticize and demean the critic, merely practicing his right of skepticism.  If authority is the basis of your contention, it begs the question as to your own expertise.   Since you have denied being a climate scientist,  by what authority do you lecture others on the subject?     Your practice of overposting, repeated talking points  and harassment of the blogger and others, are an affront to proper etiquette and fairness.  By  “occupying” Wry Heat  you are bullying and discouraging past commenters from posting here.    It doesn’t take a PhD to understand the scientific method, and most degreed scientists (including geologists)  are qualified evaluators of scientific fact and methodology.  I know of no science, other  than climatology, apparently,   that is consensus-based.   Science is neither democratic nor is it authority-based, and good science stands on its own merits, criticizing itself relentlessly,   requiring no promotion.   The climate does not respond to boatloads of scientists, no matter how much hot air they produce.  You need to move on and get a life.  Sincerely, Rich“Don’t expect the world to conform to your understanding,   your understanding must conform to the world”    (Dr. John Parsons)”I never submitted the whole system of my opinionsin religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything elsewhere I was capable of thinking for myself.”  (Thomas Jefferson) 

      6. Rich, Your comment does not seem to address the topic of Jon’s post, but rather appears to be an emotional reaction to my commenting style. I try to stick to the subject of AGW. I also try to pay close attention to the commenting guidelines, but I can get carried away at times. If I offended you, I apologize.

        I’ve seen others make the comment that for proponents, AGW is a “religion”. I never understood that. Like a lot of curious twelve year olds, I went through a period of questioning religion. I looked up the definition in my dad’s big unabridged dictionary in his study. I even memorized that definition and have remembered it ever since: “Religion-a concern for that which exists beyond the visible world, as differentiated from philosophy in that it operates through intuition or faith rather than reason.” I imagine there are as many different definitions of religion as there are dictionaries, but I still remember that one. I certainly don’t accept the Theory of AGW on faith or intuition, and I certainly don’t “believe in” it. Reason tells me that there is an approximately 95% probability that human activities will cause a ~3C-5C increase in Global Mean temperature by the year 2100. Amen. JP

      7. Pardon the rant, but my main point was in response to one of your favorite talking points, appeal to authority.    I found your response rather dismissive and deflective, JP.  Going back to your comment, if I understand you correctly,  valid authoritative arguments (based on inductive reasoning)  require qualified experts in the subject science, and cite as invalid argument a geologist “opining” on climate.  You impress with your knowledge of the literature, yet you have admitted that you are not a climate scientist.  So once again my question to you, which you did not answer:  what expertise makes you an “authority” on climate science?   I’m sure you wouldn’t want us to think of you as merely some academic with an obsession for climate journals.  Tell us about yourself, JP.  Be the authority.    

      8. Hi Rich, No Prob. I like your passion. Just got a minute, but I’ll address your point this afternoon. Later, JP

      9. Rich, Jon has often questioned what he calls an “appeal to authority” as if it were an inherently improper form of reasoning. That’s not correct. I was simply pointing out that appeals to authority are improper only if the authority does not meet the two criteria I stated. Appeals to authority can be, and often are, powerful inductive arguments. I gave an example of a fallacious appeal to authority with a reference from a common undergrad textbook.

        Rich, I have repeatedly emphasized that I am not an authority on climate science. It would be very easy to form a false statistical syllogism by making me part of the argument. JP

      10. So you’re no expert;  join the club.  Your uncharacteristic display of modesty is appreciated.   Yes, arguing a point by invoking the opinion of “expert” is a powerful tool of persuasion;   ask any marketing executive or politician.    But beware of “questionable authority”.   Experts are not always right and are often wrong, can be corrupt or incompetent.  I know of many people in my own science field who fit that bill, who attempt to “blow you away” with dogged  displays of knowledge and  repeated reference to authority.  This can be a turn-off not only to peers but to laypeople as well.  I sincerely hope you can take this to heart,  JP.   As usual , you get the last word.

      11.  For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. That has been done for AGW. When mathematics is applied to the Earth’s energy budget, no system that includes only natural forcings has been found that gives the results that we empirically measure. When the forcing from anthropogenic CO2 emissions and their consequent radiative trapping in the atmosphere are added to the mathematical formulas, they agree with the empirical measurements. This is probably the most powerful emerical evidence for the Theory of AGW.

        Let me know how the math on your hypothesis works out. JP

      12. By mathematics I presume you mean models. John’s argument boils down to this: It must be carbon dioxide because we can’t think of anything else. I’ve heard Jonathan Overpeck use that argument.

      13. You are right Jon, my argument “boils down” to the Mathematics.

        a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is a model. The word ‘model’ has many other connotations to non-scientists, many of whom may not understand that a mathematical model is simply a set of equations.

        “It must be carbon dioxide because we can’t think of anything else.” Not exactly. More like: “The physics of increased atmospheric CO2, expressed mathematically, match empirical measurements of changes in Earth’s environment expressed mathematically. Other proposed mechanisms do not.” JP

      14. Apparently Jonathan is yet to read the “climategate” emails, or the news on the aftermath (numerous independent enquiries). Of course, the stolen emails show no such thing – only scientists frustrated with the damaging harrassment of propagandists trying to obstruct their noble work and mislead the public into a false sense of security, allowing them to continue their dirty profits.

  2. http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-comprehensive-review-of-the-causes-of-global-warming.html

    Here is a skeptical science summation of eight  different studies summing  up the different attributes affecting the climate.

    green house gases
    solar activity
    volcanic activity
    human aerosols
    el nino southern oscillation 

    quote….The agreement between these studies using a variety of different methods and approaches is quite remarkable.  Every study concluded that over the most recent 100-150 year period examined, humans are responsible for at least 50% of the observed warming, and most estimates put the human contribution between 75 and 90% over that period (Figure 2).  Over the most recent 25-65 years, every study put the human contribution at a minimum of 98%, and most put it at well above 100%, because natural factors have probably had a small net cooling effect over recent decades (Figures 3 and 4)……end quote

    It appears Mr. Duhamel is still trying to prove AGW is insignificant if at all. I would say this set or collection of papers coming to the same conclusion from different methods.  Human contributions exceed the natural variations.

    1. Hey RG, How are you. It was getting a little lonely in crazy-town. Tim really does yeoman’s work over at SKS. Nice synopsis. JP

  3. Hey RG
    I see your still spamming the same SkS links again.

    For those who don’t know  RG is a warmist who is incapable of thinking for himself, and instead resorts to linking to the same old SkS articles again and again.

    He recently attempted to try and “debate” us skeptics on the website Climate Change Dispatch, where he got thrashed. Not only did he not answer any of the points we made, he clearly didn’t even bother to read what we provided him. All he did was spam links to Skeptical science literally dozens of times.
    You can see all of it here
    http://climatechangedispatch.com/home/9790-please-global-warming-alarmists-stop-denying-climate-change-and-science
    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/9818-sea-level-rise-during-the-hottest-year-ever
     

    1. You have a kangaroo court over there. You guys think very highly of yourselves over there. Want to go back to natural variation argument?  8 different papers show that it is human causes exceeding natural variation. If you were able to listen a little better it might more worth my while.

      1. RG we all explained to you the flaws in the papers yet you just ignored us.
         
        “If you were able to listen a little better it might more worth my while.”
         
        RG might I remind you of the numerous times when you failed to address the points that me and other commenters made. As well as all the times when you failed to read what we provide you. If you like I can provide you with links to all the comments that you failed to answer.

    1. Adam, I’ll take a look. The “900 peer reviewed papers” rings a bell….just can’t place it offhand. Sounds like you might be an actual skeptic. I may not be able to get back to you right away, but check back. I won’t ignore you. JP

      1. RG, yeh, it’s heartland again. I was a little naive I guess, and didn’t even have time to look at the addresses of the links earlier. I like to give everybody the benefit of doubt when I first hear from them, but there isn’t anything new here at all. I’m going to look at Adam’s “Cloud Mystery” tomorrow. Maybe there’s something interesting there. I wasn’t going to bother with Dispatch. The “we really got him” stuff seems to indicate that someone thinks this is a game. It’s starting to look like more heat than light.

      2. “The “we really got him” stuff seems to indicate that someone thinks this is a game.”
         
        I do not believe this is a game. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that. I was merely trying to show that numerous times RG failed to answer the questions we asked him, and repeatedly showed that he hadn’t even read anything we provided, He just kept repeating the same things over and over again.

      3.  THere are about 5 or 6 of you and I can’t answer all your questions? Interesting.  You also deny that black body radiation is an invalid theory when it comes to describing  global warming. Ask all the scientists in the field that. Its showing up indirectly in a great deal of the discussions describing why AGW is valid.
        http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

        The physicist writing this paper describes radiative transfer theory as one of the most productive physical theories of the last century.

        This tells me its an old theory. Infrared thermometers use this theory to give you temperature without touching the surface. Very handy thing to have. It also describes extremely well the radiative transfer of energy from earth to space. You have only denied this is even true, when it is dominant in all of science and accpeted.

    2. Adam, I only had time to briefly look at the pop-tech link. The presentation is interesting and I’ll analyze it. Perhaps we can discuss it after I’ve had that opportunity.

      You must know the weaknesses of the NIPCC material, as it’s been widely critiqued; but if you’d like to discuss any specific topic raised there, I’d be happy to do that.

      As far as the links to Dispatch, I’m not familiar with it. Adam, I’m not interested in “thrashing” anyone nor am I interested in seeing someone else be “thrashed”. My interest is strictly scientific.

      I’ve always felt that the issue of climate sensitivity vis a vie cloud feedback potential would be one where a truly open-minded skeptic might add something fruitful to the debate. With that hope in mind, I’ll check out the Cloud Mystery link you recommended. JP

      1. Adam, Just got a little time. I use the word critique with it’s plain language meaning. Critiques on the NIPCC are all over the net. You can find them as easily as I.  

        The Tropospheric hotspot issue is, like the cloud issue you mentioned, a topic worthy of discussion. And one a “true skeptic”, one who is actually interested in advancing the state of the art, would want to investigate. I have a couple hours work to do, after which I’ll be happy to investigate those two subjects with you. JP

      2. “Critiques on the NIPCC are all over the net. You can find them as easily as I.  ”
         
        JP the critiques are usually not from credible sources. the NIPCC report cites peer reviewed literature, but the couple of critiques I’ve found have cited virtually nothing, and usually just cherry pick out little bits of the report rather than confronting the whole argument.
         
        See also here

      3. Adam, To continue: I AM assuming you meant to say ‘tropospheric hotspot’ and not ‘tropical hotspot’.
        The tropospheric hotspot is not, as many skeptics apparently think, a signature of AGW. It is an expected result of any type of atmospheric warming, as it is the expected result of changes in the moist adiabatic lapse rate. JP

      4. JP the claim that the hot spot is due to “any warming” is simply a myth started by pro-AGW blogs as a strawman attempt to explain away its absense. These links here and here answer the warmists claims.
         

      5. I’ll review those links this evening. Just so we’re clear, you did mean to say Tropospheric Hotspot not Tropical Hotspot. Right? JP

      6. Adam, I reviewed both the links. Here’s a headline from your first link: “Claiming that a response to any warming is a fingerprint of anthropogenic warming is twice as silly.” I agree. As far as I know, climatologists don’t claim that a Tropospheric Hotspot is a fingerprint of anthropenic warming. Just the opposite. Unless I’m missing something, warming for any reason would cause a decrease in the rate of temperature drop in a parcel of air as altitude increases. Basic saturated (moist) adiabatic lapse rate response.
        If you could give a brief description of the point of the rest of the article, I’d like to see it. I can’t make heads or tails of it. The Jonova link seems to conflate the “fingerprint” issue with the inability of certain models to accurately show a lapse rate response that agrees with ST observations. I know of no climatologist who’s trying to “explain away” this issue. On the contrary, they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. JP

      7. John Parson here is a link to the graph of model predictions of tropospheric temperature trends, from the IPCC AR4
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-1.html
        Figure 9.1. Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999 (°C per century) as simulated by the PCM model from (a) solar forcing, (b) volcanoes, (c) well-mixed greenhouse gases, (d) tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes, (e) direct sulphate aerosol forcing and (f) the sum of all forcings. Plot is from 1,000 hPa to 10 hPa (shown on left scale) and from 0 km to 30 km (shown on right). See Appendix 9.C for additional information. Based on Santer et al. (2003a).
         
        Look at charts C and F John. That is what the models predict for greenhouse warming.  Greenhouse forcing is very clearly distinct from natural forces. C and F are the only two that show a hot spot.
         
        John Parsons do you disagree with the IPCC?
         
        Quotes from the paper I gave you
        “In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs.”
         
        “however an essential place to compare observations with greenhouse models is the layer between
        450 and 750 hPa (Schneider et al., 1999), where the
        presence of water vapour is most important.”
         
        “We have tested the proposition that greenhouse model
        simulations and trend observations can be reconciled. Our
        conclusion is that the present evidence, with the application
        of a robust statistical test, supports rejection of this
        proposition.”
         
        The real climate article provided no reference for their claim that the hot spot was due to “any warming”. They just expect you to take their word for it. They didn’t once reference AR4 or the graphic above. And all the other websites the claim the hot spot is due to any warming simply link back to RC as their evidence.
         
        And JP if you still disagree with me on the cause of the tropospheric hot spot, then perhaps you could maybe quote a section from the IPCC saying that the hotspot is due to “any warming”. Or perhaps you could provide one peer reviewed paper clearly and explicitly saying that the hot spot has got nothing to do with anthropogenic GHG’s.
         
        If not, then maybe you could ackowledge that you were wrong about this issue.
         

      8. Adam, I will review your material today and get back to you this evening or sooner. The presentation above seems a lot more coherent than the Scott and JoNova links you provided before. You do understand that I acknowledge the inadequacies of models in this regard?

        “All models are wrong.” But some are useful. JP

      9. Adam, somehow the thread broke to the reply icon below. I’m not saying there is no Hotspot. We need to separate the “fingerprint” issue from the measurement issue, and both from the issue of the model predictions. I’ll try to do that today, if I get the time. I won’t ignore it. JP

      10. “I’m not saying there is no Hotspot”
         
        JP here is what 28 million weather balloons show

         
        Do you believe that every single one of them is giving out flawed data?

      11. Adam, the reason the panels show different degrees of Hotspot signature can be found in the difference in effect for each of the forcings. Panel C shows a greater warming because CO2 is a more powerful forcing than the natural forcings shown in the other panels. I’ll address the other issues you brought up as time allows.   JP

      12. “Adam, the reason the panels show different degrees of Hotspot signature can be found in the difference in effect for each of the forcings. Panel C shows a greater warming because CO2 is a more powerful forcing than the natural forcings shown in the other panels.”
         
        JP I’m not sure how this supports your argument. You’re basically acknowledging that there is indeed a significant difference in tropospheric temperaute predictions for co2, compared  to natural forcings. 
        The greenhouse gas fingerprint is markedly different from the rest and dominates the overall predicted pattern in graph F. If it was due to any warming you would expect the graph to be the same in all boxes. The very fact that it’s not there shows the models are wrong in assuming co2 is the primary driver of climate change.

      13. “Or perhaps you could provide one peer reviewed paper clearly and explicitly saying that the hot spot has got nothing to do with anthropogenic GHG’s.” Of corse not. Warming from GHG’s fits the category of “any warming”. JP

      14. Adam, Lapse rates don’t have fingerprints. The Hotspot shows up in short term and even some decadal measurements. We don’t presently know if the models are “wrong” or our measurement records are “wrong” or some part of both. You don’t need to assume anything about the veracity of AGW to make it the null hypothesis. That’s the beauty of the scientific method.

        Adam, you and Andrew keep avoiding the question: “What happens when we superimpose carbon emissions of 8 Gt/yr (circa 2011 and growing) to a carbon cycle that had near steady state inputs (and outputs) of ~0.4 Gt/yr?”. JP

      15. Adam, I read the link and the R/C post it references. If you believe that the Scott post is the more persuasive, then there is no evidence I can provide that will move you from your position regarding NIPCC. I would be interested in any mechanism(s) they might propose that explained the observations of our climate we’ve seen over the last several decades. At least you are attempting to define such a mechanism by investigating GCR. Perhaps an alternative hypothesis will come from GCR research. As far as I’ve been able to determine, the NIPCC doesn’t even attempt to define ‘natural variability’. I can’t blame them. JP

      16. “I would be interested in any mechanism(s) they might propose that explained the observations of our climate we’ve seen over the last several decades.”
         
        John Parsons I recommend that you read the book ‘Chill’ by Peter Taylor. It is an excellent summary of all the natural forces that drive our climate, as well as explaining all the scientific evidence against the CAGW theory.
         

      17. Adam, Believe me, I’ve seen a good deal of “the scientific evidence against the CAGW theory.” What I want to know is, what’s your hypothesis. JP

      18. JP the skeptics side of the argument is not just a single hypothesis. It’s a huge collection of the wealth of scientific data an evidence. Once again, I suggest you read the book I recommended. I also suggest you read ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ by Andrew Montford. It not only covers the flaws in all the paeleoclimate data, but also reveals some of the political processes common for the IPCC and pro-CAGW science.

      19. As has been discussed here before, AGW is a scientific hypothesis. To falsify it requires an alternate falsifiable hypothesis. Each alternate hypothesis must be tested. If you expect that I, or anyone; can or must disprove all potential alternate hypotheses for you to be satisfied that AGW Theory is useful–that’s not going to happen. Nor is it how the scientific method operates.

        Regarding your comment on Montford’s book, that “It …covers the flaws in all the paeleoclimate data…” Great. He should submit it for peer review (if he hasn’t already), and the field will be all the better for it. If he has a cogent, falsifiable alternate hypothesis; he should present that.   JP

      20. JP you keep talking about AGW as if it was an almost proven theory. You can’t just be skeptical of alternate hypotheses, yet just assume that AGW is valid.
         
        “Each alternate hypothesis must be tested.”
         
        Yes, that is right, but it also applies to AGW. And from my own research the majoritty of the evidence seems to be against the AGW hypothesis. If you like, I could list out all the failed predicitons of the GCM’s, which are used to support AGW.
         
        “He should submit it for peer review (if he hasn’t already), and the field will be all the better for it.”
         
         

      21. JP the majority of what is in Montford’s book has indeed been peer reviewed. Although, the book itself has not been peer reviewed (all books are non-peer reviewed), the book uses data that has been pointed out in scientific studies, which explains all the flaws in the hockey stick temperature reconstructions.

      22. “I would be interested in any mechanism(s) they might propose that explained the observations of our climate we’ve seen over the last several decades.”
         
        John Parsons I recommend that you read the book ‘Chill’ by Peter Taylor. It is an excellent summary of all the natural forces that drive our climate, as well as explaining all the scientific evidence against the CAGW theory
         

  4. “To disprove the null hypothesis, one need only provide one falsifying hypothesis. What is your alternative hypothesis?”
     
    JP I suggest that you look at the peer reviewed papers I have provided. I also suggest you watch the documentary ‘The Cloud Mystery’ which explains all the evidence that cosmic rays are the primary driver of our climate.


    1. Adam, I’m pleased to see that you actually understand the process. Clouds are definitely an area that a skeptic would want to investigate for possible alternative hypotheses. I’ll check it out. JP

  5. “Remember, the IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. It simply reviews and publishes, and those who are not published have an opportunity to write a rebuttal which is then published.”
     
    JP here are a couple of links regarding the IPCC you might want to take a look at
    http://www.noconsensus.org/ipcc-audit/findings-main-page.php

    http://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/ipcc

    And for an 880 page rebuttal to AR4
    http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2009/2009report.html

    As well as
    http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/2011report.html
     

    1. Looks like I’ve got a pretty heavy homework assignment. This may take a while. Look forward to the discussion. JP

    1. Adam, The PopTech site is very interesting. I had heard of the famous/infamous “900 papers”, but had never seen the site before. I presumed it was like the silly “Oregon Petition”. It’s not. It’s actually much more like CO2 Science. 

      Both these sites report (republish) journal articles which are often, although by no means exclusively, genuine studies of earth sciences and climatology. They then presume to make inferences or come to conclusions that the authors themselves often do not. Jon chased me down this rabbit hole with CO2 Science. I did some original research on the topic, which I can provide to you if you leave your contact info with Jon. Rather than providing the abstract and /or conclusions of the authors, the folks at CO2 Science create there own”description”. When I actually hunted down the papers (many of which required paying a fee), 60% didn’t even mentioned the topic under which they were catalogued. It went downhill from there.

      PopTech is similar in some respects, but they are much more transparent, sophisticated and far more careful. (CO2 Science sets a pretty low bar.) They do, however, also presume to make conclusions that the authors don’t. PopTech does publish rebuttals and it’s interesting to see the back and forth. Most scientists ignore this use of their work, as it’s just too time consuming with little to no reward. I recently sent a copy of some of Jon’s work, where he made claims based on the recent work of a highly respected climatologist. He was kind enough to respond saying this happens so often he simply doesn’t have the time to rebut these misuses of his work. Two others I contacted did take the time to address the misuse and/or misrepresentation of their papers. I can send you several examples if you are willing to spend a few hours of research.

      Adam, as you know, entire journal articles have been published about PopTech’s use of journal articles. So we certainly aren’t going to say anything here that either vindicates or convicts the “900 papers”. I am grateful you brought the site to my attention and would be happy to discuss any papers listed there, or anywhere else. I am going to analyze the site more extensively and that just takes time. 

      Speaking of time. I didn’t have enough to review the “Cloud Mystery” link. I will do that. I did review all the others you mentioned with the exception of Dispatch. Thanks Adam.  JP

      1. JP I don’t visit Co2 science that much, since I find the Poptech list must more accessible. I can’t comment on what your saying about co2 science, but I do not believe that they are misrepresenting papers. I think the most likely explanation is that they are simply looking at the data presented in the paper and coming to  a different conclusion than the author themselves. I’ve provided peer reviewed papers in a debate that I was accused of misrepresenting, even though I tried to explain it to them.
         
        Take for example this paper here
        ‘Extending Greenland temperature records into the
        late eighteenth century’ by Vinther et al (2006)
         
        Their conclusion is
         
        “The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature
        record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the
        warmest decades.”
         
        Now, the authors of this paper include two prominent AGW scientists. Yet, I’m sure you could see how the data in the paper could be used as evidence against AGW. JP just because the authors of a paper disagree with how their paper is interpreted, that doesn’t mean its dishonest. It’s just looking at then evidence and making up your own mind,
         
        JP if you have any questions regarding the Poptech list, then I suggest that you contact Andrew, who put the list together. I have had numerous contact with him and I assure you that he will answer all your questions and any possible critism you may have regarding the list.

      2. Adam, regarding CO2 Science you said, “I think the most likely explanation is that they are simply looking at the data presented in the paper and coming to  a different conclusion than the author themselves.” In some cases that’s exactly right. In others, however, they are just sloppy. You are wise to use their information sparingly and carefully. 

        PopTech is a whole different animal. I don’t know Andrew, but I’ll try to see where he’s coming from. From my limited exposure, PopTech is among the most sophisticated of the sites with an anti-AGW Theory agenda. And in their case, you would be correct to say that they often come to conclusions about journal articles that the authors did not. To me it seems the appropriate way to deal with such a situation is to publish a rebuttal. Without peer review, any comments about what the paper says, or its implications, are simply opinion pieces. Nothing wrong with that. I will say from my short experience with the site that they don’t exhibit the sloppiness of CO2. I’ll do some further review of the site and, over time, let you know if I find something I find interesting.

        Let’s take MVP as an example, as it appears many of the “900” seem to focus on this issue. Why not just do a meta study of the published facts and submit it for publication? I really don’t understand what the quibble is all about. I think any fair judge would say there was a MVP and it was probably pretty close to mean twentieth century T. So….? 

        Adam, I reviewed every link you provided. It took all day. I even eventually reviewed the chronicles of “Dispatch”. Not a pretty picture. What’s the question we want to answer? The question I wanted answered was, “Are human activities causing climate warming?” I wanted the scientific answer to that question. A scientific hypothesis was formed. Predictions were made based on the hypothesis and now the process of testing (experiment and measurement) are well on their way. So far, the hypothesis has held up pretty well. But what’s far more important to a scientist (that’s me), is that no scientific alternative hypothesis has falsified the AGW Theory. The GCR hypothesis may someday do that. It’s not impossible. It certainly hasn’t come close yet. And I know of no other that has. You may know of other alternative scientific hypotheses you think do falsify the null hypothesis. I’m a skeptic, so I’d love to see one. 

        Adam, you’ve got to cut me a little slack on the document review. The Scarfetta paper alone was 60 pages. “Whoa, big fella!” You had a complaint that folks weren’t reading your links. Well I am, and it’s a lot easier for you to pop a link than for me to review it. And I think we need a little more altitude anyway. We need to define what it is we are trying to accomplish.  I’m suggesting that the Theory of AGW is doing a pretty good job of explaining what’s happening with our climate. You can let me know your position. From the links you provided, I get that you are a skeptic, but I’ll let you state your own position.

        I will review the two new Scarfetta links, as he surely “…has some “splainin'” to do.” after CC and it’s Causes. But then, let’s slow down on the reading assignments for a bit. 

        I’ve got to make a buck, but will be back later this evening. If Jon needs to close this thread, we can pick up a new one later. Thanks Adam, JP

    2. Adam, I’ve reviewed the Scarfetta link you provided. If you are interested in my analysis, just let me know. I’d be happy to discuss my conclusions with you. JP

      1. It was submitted for peer-review in GRL and I am not surprised he would have trouble getting it published if the GRL editor and reviewers are friendly to Gavin, which would likely be the case.

      2. Scarfetta is trying to fit his Levy Walk model to the data. Others believe the proper model fit is a Levy Flight. I’m not qualified to draw any conlusion independently. The modelers need to duel this one out. Perhaps you can tell us how you came down on the side of Scarfetta. JP

      3. John Parsons just because the author has published a reply, that does not mean that the original critism was wrong. JP almost every single comment published in the peer reviewed literature also has a reply. That’s how the peer review process works, but that doesn’t mean that every single comment is wrong.
         
        Look JP, I understand that every author should have the right to reply to criticisms of their paper. However, to those who read it, basically simply whoever has the last word ‘wins‘ the argument. The majority of published comments have responses, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the comment is wrong.

        For example, I suggest that you read Shaviv and Veizer’s 2003 paper
         

        And a critique
         
        And the author’s replies

        ‘Detailed Response to “Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide and Climate” by Rahmstorf et al. ‘
        http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/%7Eshaviv/ClimateDebate/RahmstorfDebate.pdf

        ‘Further response to “Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide and Climate” by Rahmstorf et al.’
        http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/%7Eshaviv/ClimateDebate/RahmReplyReply.pdf

        If you read them, you will see that Rhamstorf’s paper reply to Shaviv was irrelevant to what they were saying, yet S&V weren’t allowed to reply further. The simple existence of a reply does not mean the arguments have been refuted.
         
        Also JP, now correct me if I am wrong, but am I right in thinking that since you only linked to the internet page rather than the actual PDF, that you have not actually read R&R’s reply to S&W. Therefore you are simply assuming that they refuted their arguments.

      4. Adam, Yes. My intention was to show that this “dueling papers” game can get out of hand, particularly when discussing very esoteric subjects.The topic here was S/W. I don’t have the expertise to form an independent judgement on that level mathematics. Do you? JP

      5. Adam, I can think of one exception, if the author is an AGW skeptic then they may not be provided the courtesy of being able to reply to criticisms of their paper. 

    3. Adam, I don’t think he’s a “renowned solar physicist”. Nicola Scafetta is a research scientist at Duke University Physics Department. His research interests are in theoretical and applied statistics and nonlinear models of complex processes. Prof. Scarfetta is at the very cutting edge of modeling. He is not a climatologist. I don’t have the expertise to even analyze his models, let alone pass judgement on them. I therefore rely on the scientific consensus to inform my judgement as to the value of his claims. Perhaps you do have the knowledge of complex mathematical modeling that allows you to form an independent conclusion about the usefulness of his models. If, like me, you do not; I would be interested in why you accepted Scarfetta’s hypothesis and not that of the majority of scientists who do have that expertise. I’m often amazed by folks who, like Jon, refer to climate models as useless “computer games”, when the most qualified skeptics of AGW are all completely dependent on modeling. Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, Scarfetta and many others. Maybe you can explain this seeming inconsistency.

      1. John, please provide the objective criteria for determining who is a climate scientist.

        Skeptic criticisms of “computer modeling” specifically refers to GCMs not any complex mathematical formula run as a computer program. 

        Spencer, Christy, Lindzen and Scafetta are not dependent on GCMs. 

      2. Andrew, You have a good point. I don’t know what “objective criteria” one would use to determine who is and who is not a climatologist. I suppose Naomi Oreskes working definition might be a reasonable one. Regarding Prof. Scarfetta, in his bio he doesn’t call himself a climatologist; but using the Oreskes model, he would undoubtedly qualify. 

        When you say, “Skeptic criticisms of “computer modeling” specifically refers to GCMs not any complex mathematical formula run as a computer program.” Are you speaking for skeptics in general or for yourself. If it’s the latter, I would have thought you knew better than most that GCM’s are ensembles of models. To speak of GCM’s, and skeptics, in such sweeping terms; belies your knowledge of both. JP

      3. Now you say he would qualify but in your previous comment you explicitly stated he was not one. So what is it? Clearly who is or is not considered a “climatologist” is subjective.

        Technically all GCMs are is computer code labeled “GCM”. Scientists understand them to be complex mathematical models run on a computer.

        The majority of skeptics (especially those who do not study the climate) use the term, “computer model” to mean GCMs or “computer climate models”. They are not referring to mathematical models in general. Laymen are more loose with their words. I try to be more careful but I never have any problem understanding what skeptics are talking about. Skeptical Scientists  like Christy, Lindzen, Michaels and Spencer will be much more careful with their terminology.

        The confusion comes from the use of the word “model”. Please provide a dictionary definition for your use of the word. 
         
        When a word has multiple meanings and definitions certain scientists incorrectly believe only their use of the word can be correct. This happens with words like “prove”. In these cases it is best to ask for clarification instead of making assumptions.

        It is ironic you would question my knowledge of computer models when just about every non-computer scientist I talk knows next to nothing about computer systems let alone their limitations.

      4. Andrew, I said you had a good point. What do you want, a basket of fruit? I reached the same conclusion as you,  “Clearly who is or is not considered a “climatologist” is subjective.”

        model  (mdl)
        A systematic description of an object or phenomenon that shares important characteristics with the object or phenomenon. Scientific models can be material, visual, mathematical, or computational and are often used in the construction of scientific theories. American Heritage Science Dictionary, 2006

        Andrew, I’m not questioning your “knowledge of computer models”. I question your presumption to speak for skeptics.   JP

      5. Most skeptics would simply define “computer models” as “computer simulations” and as I said, would contextually be   referring to GCMs. They would certainly not be referring to the mathematical/scientific definition you are using for “model”.

        That should clear up the confusion. 

      6. “I don’t have the expertise to even analyze his models, let alone pass judgement on them. I therefore rely on the scientific consensus to inform my judgement as to the value of his claims.”
         
        John Parsons you are a scientist. I do not know what your qualification is, but regardless you should know that your statement above is most certainly not how science is done. Science is based on facts and evidence, not how many people agree on something. What you are saying is basically, that you don’t know better so you rely on the majority opinion.
         
        John it doesn’t matter what the “scientific consensus” says. It wouldn’t matter if every single scientist in the world said the theory was right. JP if the data says the theory is wrong, then the theory is wrong. Simple as that.
         
        And might I also point you to this list here of skeptical scientists
         

      7. Adam, I wasn’t describing “how Science works”. I was describing one way I get information in an area of study where my expertise is not at the high level of others. JP

  6. I will be showing the movie “Earth The Operators Manual” at the church I go to for free movie night. THis is on PBS by Richard Alley out of Penn State. Richard has been a Climatologist for about 35 years and is one of the best climate communicators I know. Its really a great film.

    1. RG, What a great presentation. I recently recommended Richard’s book, ‘The Two Mile Time Machine”, to Jon. Your guests are in for a treat. Back about 3 PM to address Adam. JP

  7. Adam, Since my earlier post, I did have an opportunity to check out ‘Cloud Mystery’. I didn’t know this was the Friis-Christiansen/Svensmark work on GCR research. I’m very familiar with their work as well as the CERN studies. I’m also familiar with the most recent work on Aerosols and Nucleation. Pretty deep weeds; but if you’d like, I’d be happy to answer any questions I can. You might want to familiarize yourself with the literature of other climatologists dealing with both men’s work. Although both have made some very unfortunate errors in the past, I think everyone is excited to see the results of the new CERN studies. I’ll review the Scarfetta link tonight. JP

      1. Yes, I do agree with the cosmic ray-cloud theory. I have read ‘The Chilling Stars’ (highly recommended reading) and I’ve read many of the peer reviewed papers supporting his theory, and so far the evidence is looking pretty strong.
         
        The majority of the criticism of Svensmark’s work doesn’t actually attack the empirical evidence provided, and mainly focuses on minor points like forbrush decreases. The majority of the criticism has been answered anyway.

      2. Adam, Just so I’m clear: you support Svensmark’s hypothesis or Scarfetta’s hypothesis? JP

      3. All of Scafetta’s papers clearly reference and support Svensmark’s theory. They are not two different theories, Scafetta has simply expanded on Svensmark’s theory by linking in solar correlation with planetary movement, supporting a celestial climate driver.

      4. The exact amount is a bit uncertain, since the science is not settled on how strongly the mechanism affect climate, but the best estimates are somewhere between 50% to 80%. There’s also some controversy regarding the actual temperature data itself, since the satellites and radiosondes show less warming than the surface data. This would need to be taken into account.

      5. Adam, Well, we don’t have long to wait to test the theory. Both gentlemen seem to predict cooling over the next few decades. I believe Scafetta’s predicted cooling begins in 2005, is that right?

        Adam, let’s pick up the conversation on Jon’s next Climate post. This thread is getting too tough to follow. JP

  8. “It does not matter who you are, or how smart you are, or what title you have, or how many of you there are, and certainly not how many papers your side has published, if your prediction is wrong then your hypothesis is wrong. Period.” 
    Richard Feynman

    1. Jon, If you haven’t had the opportunity already, read “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!” What a mind. What a life. JP

    2. Interesting coincidence that you chose that quote. Or perhaps you knew that ‘PT’ (above) is Andrew, whose raison d’être is the number of papers he ‘has’. That’s 900. JP

      1. “Or perhaps you knew that ‘PT’ (above) is Andrew, whose raison d’être is the number of papers he ‘has’.”
         
        No that’s not true. Skeptics are not saying that the simple numbers of papers on the list are evidence against CAGW. We’re saying it’s the actual evidence and scientific data provided in the papers, is overwhelming evidence that the theory should be questioned.  John Parson it has been repeatadly claimed by AGW proponents that there are no peer reviewed papers supporting skeptics arguments.
         
        You realize that there are something like two or three thousand studies all of which concur which have been peer reviewed, and not one of the studies dissenting has been peer reviewed?

        – John Kerry, U.S. Senator and Failed 2004 U.S. Presidential Candidate
         
        The fact that it has been shown that over 900 papers supporting skeptics arguments exist, show the claim to be conclusively wrong. The fact is JP is that their is huge scientific backlash to the theory, both among scientists and the scientific literature.

      2. You are correct Adam, there has been a “backlash”; but it’s not among climatologists.

        You are also correct that Sen. Kerry’s statement is demonstrably false. I won’t hold you responsible for what other’s say, and would appreciate reciprocity.

        The fact that “900 Papers” are the first two words of the website’s title might make one reasonably question your opening paragraph. I, however, don’t think it’s a big deal one way or the other. As Jon’s quote from Dick Feynman accurately points out, no one position get’s to claim validity for their hypothesis by adding up the number of papers. JP

      3. So Christy, Lindzen, Michaels and Spencer ect… are not “climatologists”?

        The number of papers is specifically listed in the title to show that the amount of scientific literature existing to support skeptic arguments is extensive and cannot be ignored (or denied). The list is a resource not a theory.

      4. “The list is a resource not a Theory.” A resource for what? And for whom? And where IS the Skeptical Theory that describes superimposing carbon emissions of 8 Gt/yr (circa 2011 and growing) to a carbon cycle that had near steady state inputs (and outputs) of ~0.4 Gt/yr? JP

      5. A resource of peer-reviewed papers for skeptics. It covers many areas from alternative climate theories to simply that X is not caused or made worse by ACC/AGW.

        There are various skeptical theories on the list that have been published. Such as Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory or Singer’s 1,500-year climate cycle theory. Others like Scafetta’s propose that the solar influence is larger than the IPCC claims with the anthropogenic influence being smaller.  Scafetta’s and Svensmark’s theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive as each can account for a separate fraction of the warming the IPPC currently applies to anthropogenic sources.

        Skeptical theories do not include hysterical alarmist views on the amount of warming induced from increased carbon emissions. 

      6. Andrew, from your analysis of the literature, what is your estimation of the effects of the additional 8 Gt/y of C on the formerly equilibrated carbon cycle?   JP

      7. I do not support the theory that there ever was some 
        ideal climate equilibrium state, let alone that the climate system is ever in “equilibrium”. 

  9. Stephen Hawking: “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.”

    1. This is part of the great contribution of Karl Popper. He showed how no idea, truth or principle can ever be proven.  Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. The term “falsifiable” does not mean something is made false, but rather that, if it is false, it can be shown by observation or experiment. This was one of the great philosophical achievements of the twentieth century. The corollary being that no hypothesis is scientific if it cannot be falsified. A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable. JP

  10. Anatomy of a discussion:
    In a previous post I presented evidence that the Medieval warm period was just as warm if not warmer than the current warm period thereby falsifying the contention of AGW proponents that the current warm period is unusual. John Parsons complained that the one example I cited was just a local phenomenon. (I guess all climate, like politics, is local). In this post I presented more evidence showing that this local or “regional” effect was global, again falsifying the AGW contention. What followed was nitpicking of and deflection from the main point beginning with John’s assertion that “several thousand” experts can’t be wrong. And through all this, John still has not offered credible physical evidence to support the claim that the current warm period is unusual. We are seeing an example of: If the facts don’t fit the theory, bury them in B.S.

    1. Jon said “… John’s assertion that “several thousand” experts can’t be wrong.” What I actually said was, “Climate experts have analyzed several thousand such PAPERS to arrive at the conclusion they do.” Nowhere do I say “experts can’t be wrong”; nor would I ever.

      He goes on to say, “In this post I presented more evidence showing that this local or “regional” effect was global, again falsifying the AGW contention.” Do you honestly believe that Global Mean Atmospheric Temperature is established by the eight samples you cited? If you somehow believe you have falsified the Theory of AGW, I suggest you seek peer review. If you are right, you are about to become a very famous man.   JP

    2. http://www.skepticalscience.com/Summary-of-Hansen-Nov-2011.html

      1951 to 1980 baseline. James Hansen is comparing the world regions anomalies to 2003 to 2011. I have read over this several times and get something new out of it each time.

      1 sigma events occur 33% above and below a mean (or central point)
      2 sigma events occur 2.43% above and below
      3 sigma events occur .13% above and below

      if you look at fig 3 up in the rt hand corner are the percentages of the points lieing in the sigma ranges.
                              sigma
       ………-3. -2…-1 ….0 …. +1…+2..+3 
      1955   0… 2… 45…32…. 20…1…..0
      2010  0….1….15….18….34…18.. 13

      The near normal distribution expected is close to what 1955 is. If you go back and look at 1965, and 1975 you will see similar numbers provided by Dr. James Hansen. +3 sigma is the very hot category. THe -sigmas are decreasing and the + sigmas are increasing all through the last decade which is the hottest decade in instrumentaltemperture history.

      James Hansen won prizes by being first to explain the climate science. Love him or hate him, he is good at what he does.

      Dr. Parsons. Please correct or add to this if you have time. I put a zero in the middle because Hansen had seven numbers across the top of his colored world maps. Have I done this correctly? If not what is the proper way to display this? Basically I have made a zero sigma category and that may not be correct.

      1. RG, I’m not an expert, but you are showing a normal (Gaussian) distribution. The zero point represents the apex of the curve, so I don’t see a problem with that. Of course the ‘zero’ category is actually twice as large as each other category. JP

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