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Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here' thread

[Edited January 2 2019 -- to remove or replace dead visual-links]

Long ago Jonathan and I got some good traction out of a tangle of issues related to Global Warming slash Climate Change.  I think we are slated to renew or refresh our earlier exchanges.  I am going to poke in links to some he-said/he-saids from a few different threads at different times. One feature of the updated software is an automated 'sampling' of a link posted raw.  See below. 

So this blog entry will be kind of administrative-technical while being built and edited. I haven't figured out if Jonathan and I should impose some 'rules' going in, so your comment may be subject to arbitrary deletion before the field is ready for play. Fan notes included.

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Adam, see what you think of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, especially the revealing map-based representations of opinion. You can drill and zoom down to state, county, district level to track data across a number of survey questions, where some of the answers are surprising. On some measures at least, the thing it is not found only in the UK, Quebec, Canada: Here's a snapshot of several maps which do not always show an expected Red State/Blue State pattern;

[images updated January 2 2019; click and go images]

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Edited  by william.scherk

 

Plug my How To Get Where I Got book of books, Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming. Insert link to Amazon, Library link, and to the intro chapter of Weart's companion website to the book. Make sure you include a link to Ellen's mention of a book review. 

Bob Kolker's June 3 comment is a good hinge. What do we (J and I) think we know about the mechanism Bob sketches? What can we 'stipulate' or what can we agree on, for the sake of argument?

On 6/3/2016 at 9:31 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

CO2 does  slow down the radiation of energy in the infra-red bandwith.  The question is to what degree  given that there are other systems that tend to diffuse and disperse heat (such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Nino, along with convection and the Coriolis Effect that moves warm are to the polar regions).  The scientific fact is that CO2 tends to absorb radiated energy in the infra red range.  That is NOT fabricated.  That is a matter of experimental fact. 

Please see http://scied.ucar.edu/carbon-dioxide-absorbs-and-re-emits-infrared-radiation

The issue is to what extent is the CO2 load of the atmosphere is slowing down heat radiation into space, when such absorbing or radiation occurs along with other heat dispersing processes.   

No denies that putting a blanket on, when it is cold slows down the rate at which one's body radiates heat.  Air is a poor heat conductor and the blanket traps air.  Also the blanket is warmed and radiates half its heat back to the source.  This produces a net slowing down of heat loss.  Heat loss still occurs (Second Law of Thermodynamics in operation)  but the rate of loss is affected. 

Tyndol and Arhenius  established the heat absorbing properties of CO2  in the late 19 th and early 20 th century.  Subsequent work has show the absorbtion to be the case and has measured it even more accurately than Tyndol and Arhenius. 

 

 

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One of the items that causes dispute. From the comments following an article at Forbes: 

What Does 'Scientific Consensus' Mean?

The first comment is followed by a reply from the author, 

[link] If the theory(s) of global warming are indeed science, in the Popperian sense, what observations would constitute falsification? The climate models in use are an embodiment/implementation of many scientific theories and the models predictive record is not good.
“[G]lobal warming — driven by human modification of the ecosystem, particularly the atmosphere and biosphere — is the starting point for discussions about the Earth’s climate”.

 

[link] If the Earth spontaneously cooled, and returned to a stable global temperature akin to what it was in the 1980s or earlier, that would falsify global warming. The warming trend would need to cease and reverse, and that would falsify global warming.
The warming models are good — and actually based on the original model of global warming that’s now more than 35 years old — to within a particular degree of uncertainty. To a smaller uncertainty, they are not good; to a larger uncertainty, they are good. But you’d need warming to stop for global warming to be falsified.

 

 

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I am going to insert a comment from Bob Kolker (Ba'al Chatzaf), which appeared under the front porch topic of Debating the Debates.  I had included a short-form candidate position from Trump, Clinton and Stein, and Bob answered by critiquing Stein. I responded: My post: 

And here is Bob, calling it how he sees it. 

23 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

 

We are currently in a mild interglacial  climatic period.  In fact  all of the major progress in civilization and technology has taken place in the last 10,000 years of so since the retreat of the glaciers.  There is no doubt we are in a warming period with some lapses (like the Little Ice Age of 1300 - 1750 c.e.).   The outstanding question is to what extent human activity has driven this trend.   The scientific quality of the currently accepted and promoted climate sensitivity models  is  questionable.   There is no doubt that the presence of CO2, methane and water vapor in the atmosphere has kept the average air temperature at 33 degrees  celsius above the black-body  equilibrium temperature. This is similar to the effect of a blanket your body heat under the covers on a chilly night.

 Any body that receives radiation will emit radiation until thermal equlibrium is established (the Stephan-Bolotzman law).  The various gases mentioned to absorb some of the IR  reflection from the surface and slow down the rate of re-radiating the electro-magnetic energy received as incoming solar radiation.  The earth receives about 1400 watts (joules per second)  from the sun.  The geothermal heat from the interior of the earth has a negligible effect on the above surface air temperature.  

It all comes down to our  understanding of the feedback (both positive and negative)  and the current models  are crude.  The problem is extremely difficult because of the complex processes of heat redistribution done by the atmosphere and the oceans and the effects of clouds.  Clouds an either block inbound radiation (producing a cooling effect,  similar to being in a shady spot during a bright hot day)  or they can re-radiate some of the outbound IR back down to the ground.  The full effect of clouds is not yet known.  People are working on it. 

The idea that the climate of the earth depends solely   on  the atmospheric CO2  which is in the concentration (currently) of 390 ppm  is  far fetched.  Unfortunately the issue which should be a study in thermodynamics has become politicized. 

 

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As I've asked before, where might I review the "settled science"? Where are the models which have accurately, reliably, repeatedly predicted anthropogenic global warming? All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions.

J

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1 minute ago, WSS, quoting Bob said:

We are currently in a mild interglacial  climatic period.  

In fact  all of the major progress in civilization and technology has taken place in the last 10,000 years of so since the retreat of the glaciers.  There is no doubt we are in a warming period with some lapses (like the Little Ice Age of 1300 - 1750 c.e.).   The outstanding question is to what extent human activity has driven this trend.   The scientific quality of the currently accepted and promoted climate sensitivity models  is  questionable.   There is no doubt that the presence of CO2, methane and water vapor in the atmosphere has kept the average air temperature at 33 degrees  celsius above the black-body  equilibrium temperature. This is similar to the effect of a blanket your body heat under the covers on a chilly night.

 Any body that receives radiation will emit radiation until thermal equlibrium is established (the Stephan-Bolotzman law).  The various gases mentioned to absorb some of the IR  reflection from the surface and slow down the rate of re-radiating the electro-magnetic energy received as incoming solar radiation.  The earth receives about 1400 watts (joules per second)  from the sun.  The geothermal heat from the interior of the earth has a negligible effect on the above surface air temperature.  

It all comes down to our  understanding of the feedback (both positive and negative)  and the current models  are crude.  The problem is extremely difficult because of the complex processes of heat redistribution done by the atmosphere and the oceans and the effects of clouds.  Clouds an either block inbound radiation (producing a cooling effect,  similar to being in a shady spot during a bright hot day)  or they can re-radiate some of the outbound IR back down to the ground.  The full effect of clouds is not yet known.  People are working on it. 

The idea that the climate of the earth depends solely   on  the atmospheric CO2  which is in the concentration (currently) of 390 ppm  is  far fetched.  Unfortunately the issue which should be a study in thermodynamics has become politicized. 

 

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1 minute ago, william.scherk said:

Donald Trump answers two questions.  1. “You think climate change is a real thing? Is there human-caused climate change?”

I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes — if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not — I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room — but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.

2. “Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?”

Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me — I know President Obama thought it was climate change — to me the biggest risk is nuclear weapons. That’s — that is climate change. That is a disaster, and we don’t even know where the nuclear weapons are right now. We don’t know who has them. We don’t know who’s trying to get them. The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.
 

 

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56 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

As I've asked before, where might I review the "settled science"?

I like the question, though I don't remember you putting it exactly like that before.

I like the question in that it can be answered several ways, or from several levels of  focus.  One such level could be the discrete building blocks of the textbook science, if what a textbook might contain is near enough to what you mean by 'settled science.'  Another level or angle of focus might be a historical reconstruction, a timeline of discovery and consolidation. Another might be focusing intently on where the most uncertainties are.

Where might I review scientific work under the rubric science?  It depends.  If I were you, I would give me an idea of how you came to your position, or more perfectly, taking a position to elaborate upon or defend.

I think I might have asked if you would read Spencer Weart's book.  Did you give that consideration, or did you look at the website that accompanies and expands upon the book?

Why I recommend it is that it filled in the holes in my general knowledge. Who came first, Fournier, Tyndall or Arrhenius? How can I be reasonably sure that the 'greenhouse' effect is sound and foundational knowledge?

It has meat enough to serve as a general-interest introduction to all the building blocks of what is known to a reasonable degree.

Quote

Where are the models which have accurately, reliably, repeatedly predicted anthropogenic global warming?

I think you would like to see this twelve minute talk from Gavin Schmidt.

 

When you ask me 'where are the models' that predict most accurately or reliably and repeatedly, I think you might mean something like a Global Climate Model, but if not, can you offer more detail?

If I recall correctly, you have no objections to some of the basic and uncontroversial findings of climate science, but you are not convinced yet that converging evidence is good enough to be either skeptical or 'believing' in the simplified claims.  An example of the simplified claim might be:  there is evidence (strong) that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to an increase in the earth's (average) temperature.

I think the basic science is pretty damn sound, the basics of CO2 in the atmosphere and its influence on the warming of the atmosphere. 

So, I am not sure where or if we disagree.

Quote

All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions.

Can you give us an example or two of the failed models you have seen?

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6 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

I think you would like to see this twelve minute talk from Gavin Schmidt.

When you ask me 'where are the models' that predict most accurately or reliably and repeatedly, I think you might mean something like a Global Climate Model, but if not, can you offer more detail?

I'm going to stick this comment from the same debate thread here. Bob is reacting to the TED talk about emergent patterns:

 

16 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I thought it was a rather good talk. Right now our greatest deficiency in dealing with highly non-linear systems is mathematical.  We have a set of equations that will do a good job of both modelling and predicting  The Navier-Stokes equations.  Unfortunately  we do NOT have a good method of producing accurate numerical approximations at all scales.   There is currently a million dollar prize for coming up with a numerical approximation method that works at all scales of resolution.   So far the prize has not been claimed.  

Compared to what the boffins at  CERN do, climate prediction is orders of magnitude more complicated than doing the physics  of fields and particles. That is why the boffins at CERN can give you predictions good to twelve decimal places.  The current climate models are nowhere near so good.

 

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

As I've asked before, where might I review the "settled science"? Where are the models which have accurately, reliably, repeatedly predicted anthropogenic global warming? All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions.

I paste in a fairly instructive extract from Weart's online version of his book. This section was one of the most rewarding for me to study, as I understood the limits, purpose and process and necessity of making up 'models' ...  

The simple models ...

The Discovery of Global Warming                      February 2016

Simple Models of Climate Change

What determines the climate? Explanations proliferated — models for climate built out of little more than basic physics, a few equations aided by hand-waving. All began with a traditional picture of a stable system, self-regulated by natural feedbacks. A few nineteenth-century scientists suggested that a change in the level of carbon dioxide gas might cause an ice age or global warming, but most scientists thought the gas could not possibly have such effects. Yet climate did change, as proven by past ice ages. Some pointed out that feedbacks did not necessarily bring stability: in particular, changes in snow cover might amplify rather than dampen a climate shift. In the 1950s, an ingenious (although faulty) model involving changes in the Arctic Ocean suggested a disturbing possibility of arbitrary shifts. Experiments with fluids made that more plausible. Apparently the interlinked system of atmosphere, ice sheets, and oceans could swing in regular cycles or even in random jerks. Worse, around 1970 highly simplified computer models raised the specter of a catastrophic climate runaway. In the 1980s, the center of research shifted to large and complex computer models. These did not show a runaway, but reinforced what many simpler models had been suggesting: the next century would probably see significant greenhouse warming. Meanwhile the simple models remained useful for exploring questions that the large models could not handle efficiently. ( Basic general greenhouse effect ideas and observations are covered in the core essay on The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect. Technical calculations on how radiation and heat move through levels of the atmosphere are described in a supplementary essay on Basic Radiation Calculations. For the large-scale computer work, see the essay onGeneral Circulation Models of the Atmosphere.)

Subsections: Basic Ideas, Right and Wrong - Elementary Physics (19th Century) - Arrhenius: Carbon Dioxide as Control Knob - Chamberlin and the Carbon System - A Fundamentally Stable System? - Many Sorts of Models (1900-1930s) - Dishpan Experiments - Ewing and Donn's Unstable Climate - Feedback Catastrophes? (1960s) - Budyko and Sellers - Other Planets: Venus, Mars, Ice-Age Earth (1970s) - The Persistence of Simple Models (1980s) - Simple Models vs. Skeptics (1990s-2000s) - A Tool with Many Uses
 
"This is a difficult subject: by long tradition the happy hunting ground for robust speculation, it suffers much because so few can separate fact from fancy."
— G.S. Callendar(1)

SA

-- in a simple sense, there is a well-supported model of the so-called greenhouse effect, to my mind. That might even fit under the rubric "settled science,"  but I don't use that term much.  

Sort of not on topic is the set of temperature records set this past year.   Do you accept as reasonably accurate the products of such as NASA and the other official investigators?  Maybe more fruitful than getting bogged down in the wrongness of all models, or the defects of unnamed models, would be figuring out what knowledge we both agree is reasonably reliable.  So, I am going to take a chance and figure that we won't have too much to argue about on a few basics:  the CO2 greenhouse effect and the actual rise in global temperature. 

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No science is "settled" in the absolute sense.  The settled science underlying the climate and weather models  is thermodynamics,  which has been a substantial and important part of physics  since the 1850's  when Joule,  Kelvin and Claussius  figured two laws of thermodynamics.  1.  energy is conserved and 2.  heat engines have to operate between a high temperature and a low temperature.  The is no way of converting all the heat energy from a hot source completely into work.  Some of the heat must be dumped into a low temperature sink.  This is the second law of thermodynamics. 

Later in in the 19 th century Boltzmann and Stephan figured out that all hot bodies must radiate out their energy until thermal equilibrium with the surrounding are reached.  In short no heated body can become infinitely hot.  Also late in the 19 th century  Tyndal and Arheneous  found that  CO2 (the gas) can slow down the radiation of energy in the infra-red frequencies.   The little CO2 we have in our atmosphere (currently 390 ppm)  along with methane and water vapor keeps the earth at about 288 K roughly.  Without the greenhouse gases the earth would be in a permanent ice age barely above freezing at the equator.  So the  chilly evening blanket formed by the greenhouse gases  keeps the earth about 33 deg Celsius warmer than we would be without them.  Human life would be impossible w.o. the greenhouse gases we have in our atmosphere. 

On a chilly Fall or Winter evening one uses a blanket or quilt.  This slows down the rate at which our hot bodies (310 K)  loose heat while we sleep. The CO2, methane and water vapor in our atmosphere do the same. (Note: the freezing temperature of water at one atmosphere pressure is 273.15 K)

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_equilibrium_temperature

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22 hours ago, william.scherk said:

When you ask me 'where are the models' that predict most accurately or reliably and repeatedly, I think you might mean something like a Global Climate Model, but if not, can you offer more detail?

Yes, I mean something like a global climate model. I mean a set of predictions based on a hypothesis. I mean a proposal to be tested, such as, "If mankind produces X amount of substance Y, then temperatures will increase to Z over the specified period of time." I mean actual, real science. Testable explanations and accurate, repeatable predictions. I mean hypotheses, experimentation, observation, and, of course, the inclusion of falsifiability.

J

 

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49 minutes ago, Jonathan said:
23 hours ago, william.scherk said:

When you ask me 'where are the models' that predict most accurately or reliably and repeatedly, I think you might mean something like a Global Climate Model, but if not, can you offer more detail?

Yes, I mean something like a global climate model. I mean a set of predictions based on a hypothesis. I mean a proposal to be tested, such as, "If mankind produces X amount of substance Y, then temperatures will increase to Z over the specified period of time." I mean actual, real science. Testable explanations and accurate, repeatable predictions. I mean hypotheses, experimentation, observation, and, of course, the inclusion of falsifiability.

I am confused by your approach. 

Did you read and gain anything from the extract and page from Weart's book?

I am not clear at all what your baseline of knowledge is -- where we begin to address disagreements.  What particular  modeling have you set aside as useless (in that they are not to your mind 'actual real science')?  If you can cite something, maybe we can explore just where our two positions diverge. 

In other words, in your own words, let me know what you think is faulty or unsound in the extract and history as described in Weart's history -- if you want to use it as an organizing starting point.

-- in a conversation I might probe you for instances of agreement. We might agree, for example, that the so-called Greenhouse Effect is effectively 'proven' to operate in the earth's atmosphere. Or we might not agree.  Similarly, we might agree that what is known about the effect comes from empirical testing and corroboration. We might agree with the basic equations of radiative transfer, and that in general an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere tends to warm the earth's surface.

Anyway,  back to a couple of engaging points.  You have been disappointed by, or reject, some models as failures.  You wrote: " All of the models that I've seen have failed in their predictions."  

That is a strong statement.  Can you name one or two of these models so  I know  exactly what you are describing?

Here's a reminder of what can infill our mutual in/comprehension:

23 hours ago, william.scherk said:

If I recall correctly, you have no objections to some of the basic and uncontroversial findings of climate science, but you are not convinced yet that converging evidence is good enough to be either skeptical or 'believing' in the simplified claims.  An example of the simplified claim might be:  there is evidence (strong) that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to an increase in the earth's (average) temperature.

I think the basic science is pretty damn sound, the basics of CO2 in the atmosphere and its influence on the warming of the atmosphere. 

So, I am not sure where or if we disagree.

Where do you think we may disagree -- at which level, about which purported evidence?

[removed image]

-- something has mentally bled-in for me from Tony's excursions on 'objectivity' and 'empiricism' ... that each is entangled with the other. Untangling disagreements sometimes depends on lesser forms of reasoning, and yet depends on such concepts as evidence, warrant, support, contradiction, convergence, corroboration.

In that Tony-William world, we depend on 'fact' to assemble into a coherent whole of knowledge, justified belief, or a discrete well-supported opinion.

Edited by william.scherk

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A random thought struck me (or burbled up from the subconscious brook): what if I was effectively ignorant of the the subject of this thread? How would I begin to understand the names of things and the concepts?  What would be the basic questions I would want the answers to? 

I figure there would be ignorant but useful questions. I will brew on that, and stick them back here. How I got here would be how do I get there.  How I formed my opinion would be, how might I form an opinion. Starting from ignorance makes the steps in understanding and integrating concepts more transparent. 

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3 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I am confused by your approach. 

Did you read and gain anything from the extract and page from Weart's book?

Yeah, um, did I miss something? I was asking to be shown actual scientific models/experiments which accurately predicted future observations, not an outline or summation of someone's opinions of how the science is possibly suggestive and potentially useful.

 

4 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I am not clear at all what your baseline of knowledge is -- where we begin to address disagreements.  What particular  modeling have you set aside as useless (in that they are not to your mind 'actual real science')?

I haven't declare anything "useless." Even failed models/experiments can have great use. Science is very much about learning from failed predictions.

 

4 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Can you name one or two of these models so  I know  exactly what you are describing?

I don't know. I haven't made a catalog of failed AGW predictions/models over the years/decades, and they don't tend to remain easily publicly accessible once they've seriously gone down in flames. They just kind of disappear, much like Obama's statements about keeping your doctor or saving $2500 quietly disappearing from government healthcare websites. Maybe do a Google search for "climate model fail"? Sorry that I don't have time to be more helpful.

J

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

s.

 

I don't know. I haven't made a catalog of failed AGW predictions/models over the years/decades, and they don't tend to remain easily publicly accessible once they've seriously gone down in flames. They just kind of disappear, much like Obama's statements about keeping your doctor or saving $2500 quietly disappearing from government healthcare websites. Maybe do a Google search for "climate model fail"? Sorry that I don't have time to be more helpful.

J

The failing predictions can be found on the anti- AGW  websites. 

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Indeed, various "failing" predictions can be found, but the long-failed ones are much harder to dig up. And, technically, and in fairness, the "failing" ones haven't quite failed yet, but are merely appearing to be approaching failure. I don't count those as failure until those chickens actually fail to hatch. And there are always new sets of predictions to take the place of the failed ones, including ones which now hypothesize about the long "pause" that reality naughtily dumped on the scientists' models, and whether it is real or not, and, if so, what caused it, or didn't.

J

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20 hours ago, william.scherk said:

 If you can cite something, maybe we can explore just where our two positions diverge. 

I have cited and quoted Weart's chapter on Simple Models as a primer on where and how the concept of Global Warming formed in the science of the time -- how it came to be, and how it undergirds the rational inquiry that came afterwards.  I recommend to any reader following along: Simple Models (from his book The Discovery of Global Warming, which is available in enriched and updated form at the link).  I recommend the book for its intellectual integrity -- it seeks to explain to a lay reader just how 'the science' of global warming was assembled from the work of many hands, many minds.

Without a historical grounding, I don't think I would be as well-informed as I think I am. 

To the suggestion that I need to go trawl the internet for the 'failed models'  both Jonathan and Bob refer to, I can do that, given some more clues to what they mean by the references.

Here's another useful page from the internet,  Demystifying Climate Models: A Users Guide to Earth System Models (actually an open-access book). I am going to start at the beginning, chapter 1. 

This book demystifies the models we use to simulate present and future climates, allowing readers to better understand how to use climate model results. In order to predict the future trajectory of the Earth’s climate, climate-system simulation models are necessary. When and how do we trust climate model predictions? The book offers a framework for answering this question. It provides readers with a basic primer on climate and climate change, and offers non-technical explanations for how climate models are constructed, why they are uncertain, and what level of confidence we should place in them. It presents current results and the key uncertainties concerning them. Uncertainty is not a weakness but understanding uncertainty is a strength and a key part of using any model, including climate models. Case studies of how climate model output has been used and how it might be used in the future are provided. The ultimate goal of this book is to promote a better understanding of the structure and uncertainties of climate models among users, including scientists, engineers and policymakers.

Chapter

Pages 3-12

Key Concepts in Climate Modeling

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The Gettleman-Rood book is starting off brilliantly for me. In the time before I report, there are some interesting things climate-related posted in Front Porch Threads.  I include here a block of text from Bob.

 

1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The world has been warming up a bit since the depths of the Little Ice Age.  Make that about 1700 c.e.   The warming has been the  effect of natural processes mostly.  You would not want to go back to 1715, the Year without a Summer.  Some warming is the result of CO2 overload (iCO2 does inhibit the radiation in some IR frequencies, this is a scientifically established fact).  Unfortunately the Viros  and the  Ecos  have seized on this  and refuse to consider any other factors that can produce warming such as orbital variations,  ocean effects (particularly the PDO,  el nino/la nina cycle etc).  Nor do the Alarmists consider the issue of cloud formation.  Clouds are the Venitian Blinds of the planet Earth.   But warming is occurring and has followed six Ice Ages  in the past several million years.   The science (such as it is) has been thoroughly mixed  up with politics which is too bad.  It is -possible- that the AGW people may be right.  It is also possible that the AGW may be wrong.  So we must be guided by prudence.  

My proposal is to undertake a massive construction project to generate massive amounts of electricity by fission-heat generation.  We can also build solar, wind and tidal generators but they cannot be the primary source.  Particularly solar and wind generation which is inherently intermittent.   Industry requires  baseline power on -demand-  365/24/7.    Wind and solar cannot deliver that.   Tidal generation and hydro generation are fine but can only be done at sites with the right shape or existence of a high head water source.  Geothermal generation is fission generation in disguise.  But there are only a handful of places on this planet where we can get down to the magma in an economical fashion.  Iceland is such a place.  It is located over a gap between two major tectonic plates.  So the magma is exposed and the clever Icelanders  have taken advantage.   In Reyjavic, the main city in Iceland all the power is generated from geothermally produced heat.   And hydrogen fueled cars and trucks are becoming a big item in Iceland.  Lucky and clever them. 

 

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More from a newish thread touting a CATO publication ... knocking on with Bob and William.

(I'll be editing this over the afternoon so ... no need for alacrity)

22 hours ago, william.scherk said:
On 9/17/2016 at 9:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

The Northwest passage opened for a little while in both the 19 th and 20 th centuries.

I will have to check that, Bob. Can you add some details, please? 

 

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I  wonder if there is a difference between an 'open' Northwest Passage traversed by (this year) a luxury cruise line ... and an earlier traverse or navigation.  I know about the St Roch and its mighty months-long traverses in the 1940s -- but I don't remember offhand an earlier 1800s completion.

 

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On 9/17/2016 at 9:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

At one time Greenland was really great  and was good farm and fodder country.

At which time, and compared to where else and who?  I will have to go digging ... but just to be sure of what you mean, what was 'really great' in terms of climate at that one time, what's the difference from today?

 

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On 9/17/2016 at 9:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Then came The Little Ice age

The Little Ice Age came ... during a time of reduced insolation of the earth? Contemporaneous with significant volcanic eruption? Because magic dragons were decimated by pneumonia?

 

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On 9/17/2016 at 9:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

During the Roman warm period and the Medieval warm period the temperature [...]  was nearly as warm as it is now

Can you put some numbers/estimates to that, for contrast?  

 

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On 9/17/2016 at 9:39 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Michael  Mann who invented the Hockey Stick  jiggered the numbers so that the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm period  never happened.

Are there any temperature series or reconstructions that show the non-jiggered numbers?

 

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 There are surely a few questions to be answered:

  • What was the 'Little Ice Age"? What were its causes?
  • How long did it last?
  • What parts of the world did it effect?
  • Was it a world-wide phenomena, or evident in regional measurements?

\

 

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  • What was the 'Medieval Warm Period'? What were its causes?
  • How long did it last?
  • What parts of the world did it effect?
  • Was it a world-wide phenomena, or evident in regional measurements?

\

 

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-- where do you go, or what sources do you consult when exploring the questions, Bob?

 

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

More from a newish thread touting a CATO publication ... knocking on with Bob and William.

(I'll be editing this over the afternoon so ... no need for alacrity)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a brief review of the saga of the Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age  before and after Michael Mann got a hold of it.

In particular the disparity between the 1990 IPCC report  and Mann's Hockey Stick  ought to make one wonder,  just a little bit.

See: http://a-sceptical-mind.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-hockey-stick

Also look here  http://tinyurl.com/jdh6kxx

(that is a TinyUrl)

Much of the dispute over Mann's "Hockey Stick"  has to do with the thin surrogate data he used.  Tree rings from a single tree for example.  Some of it has to do with his statistical  technique.

You have to understand that much of the climate modelling is statistical in nature and if you know anything about Bayesian Statistics you know that reasonable people have disagreements over prior probabilities.  

I wish there was a hard set of observables that could resolve the climate sensitivity questions but there is not.  Climate modeling is by its nature fuzzy and mushy. Even at CERN   statistical analysis of the data was necessary to show that the Higgs Boson had been spotted.  It was extracted statistically from vast data sets. 

The question of climate will not be settled like the question of the planet Uranus or Neptune.  The people predicting these planets told the astronomers exactly where and when to aim their telescopes and lo!!!!  there were the planets.   For climate it does not work that way.

What I would like to see and have not yet seen is a prediction that says  within such and such a decade (or 50 years period)  Battery Park in Manhattan will be under ten feet of water at low tide.   A prediction like that if verified would give great credence to the model that produced the prediction.  If not verified then it would show beyond doubt that the model was wrong.   But we have not seen any Bright Line Predictions like that.  

 

Also have a look at this piece on The Little Ice Age.  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/02/01/what-caused-the-little-ice-age/#.V97_4_ArKUk

It may have been triggered off by volcanic eruptions.  Also for  a year or two after Mt. Penitubo blew temperatures world wide drop a degree Fahr.   That was because of all the crud that was blown into the atmosphere when the volcano blew. 

Now about the Sun.  The only heat (for all practical purposes) that Earth receives is from the Sun.  However solar variability by itself cannot explain the climate changes.  The big question mark is cloud formation.  Cloud formation is not well understood,  but clouds have a very important effect on earth's temperature. The politically approved climate sensitivity models tend to minimize cloud effects which puts a much greater weight on CO2 overload than might be justified.  It is also possible that the CO2 overload is a consequence of deforrestration.   Trees and plants suck up a lot of CO2.  If we cut down too many trees then more CO2 will go into the atmosphere. That are a lot of factors at work.  The problem is complicated and the politicization of climate has not helped our understanding of the problem.  

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I am out of the country for a week (in the UK). What with all the visiting and sight-seeing, I won't likely be active. See you after the 7th here ...

-- Thanks for the links and additional commentary. I think of you as Luke ...

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a·larm
əˈlärm/
noun
  1. 1.
    an anxious awareness of danger.
    "the boat tilted and the boatmen cried out in alarm"
verb
  1. 1.
    cause (someone) to feel frightened, disturbed, or in danger.
    "the government was alarmed by an outbreak of unrest"

 

-- that was straight from the jaws of Google. Also from them jaws, hoopla:

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North America is awash in warmth and there are no immediate signs of significant winter-like weather on the horizon.

The U.S. experienced its third-warmest October on record, and warmth has continued through the first third of November.

 

North America’s most astonishing warmth this week has focused in Canada, where temperatures have been up to 30 degrees warmer than normal.

“On Wednesday, Winnipeg blasted through a 93-year-old weather record,” reported the Winnipeg Free Press. “Environment Canada recorded 25 other places in Manitoba that basked in warmth, toppling records like dominoes.”

In McCreary, about 150 miles northwest of Winnipeg, the mercury rose to 72 degrees (22 Celsius), obliterating the previous record of 52 (11 Celsius), the Winnipeg Free Press added.

Vancouver set a record high just two days before CBC News reported, and said much of British Columbia had been “extraordinarily warm” in November.

[...]

 

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3 minutes ago, william.scherk said:
a·larm
əˈlärm/
noun
  1. 1.
    an anxious awareness of danger.
    "the boat tilted and the boatmen cried out in alarm"
verb
  1. 1.
    cause (someone) to feel frightened, disturbed, or in danger.
    "the government was alarmed by an outbreak of unrest"

 

-- that was straight from the jaws of Google. Also from them jaws, hoopla:

 

all the more days I could get out and ride my bike.   Moderate warmth never killed anyone.

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4 hours ago, william.scherk said:
a·larm
əˈlärm/
noun
  1. 1.
    an anxious awareness of danger.
    "the boat tilted and the boatmen cried out in alarm"
verb
  1. 1.
    cause (someone) to feel frightened, disturbed, or in danger.
    "the government was alarmed by an outbreak of unrest"

 

-- that was straight from the jaws of Google. Also from them jaws, hoopla:

 

So global warming has degenerated into North American warming?

--Brant

no religion in that

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4 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

all the more days I could get out and ride my bike.   Moderate warmth never killed anyone.

We don't have real winters in Tucson, but our summers broil mad dogs and Englishmen

--Brant

with Trump's victory has warming come to North American politics?

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Bob, you will probably enjoy this article from RealClimate.org ...

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Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics?

Filed under:   — stefan @ 20 September 2016

One of the silliest arguments of climate deniers goes like this: the atmosphere with its greenhouse gases cannot warm the Earth’s surface, because it is colder than the surface. But heat always flows from warm to cold and never vice versa, as stated in the second law of thermodynamics.

The freshly baked Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts has recently phrased it thus in his maiden speech:

It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. That means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it? It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong.

This is of course not only questions the increasing human-caused greenhouse effect, but in general our understanding of temperatures on all planets, which goes back to Joseph Fourier, who in 1824 was the first to understand the importance of the greenhouse effect.

The atmosphere acts like a blanket which inhibits heat loss. In fact according to Roberts’ logic, a blanket could also not have a warming effect:

It’s simple. The body warms the blanket. This means that the blanket cools the body. So how can the blanket warm it? It cannot!

The answer is simple. The warm body loses heat to the cold air. The blanket inhibits and slows this heat loss. Therefore you stay warmer under a blanket.

The Earth loses heat to the cold universe. The atmosphere inhibits this heat loss. Therefore, the surface remains warmer than it would be without the atmosphere.

It is true that the surface loses heat to the atmosphere – but less than it would otherwise lose directly to space. Just as I lose less heat to the blanket than I would otherwise lose to the air, without blanket.

Of course, in neither case is the second law of thermodynamics violated. The heat always flows from warm to cold – just more or less effectively. The processes of heat transfer are quite different – for the blanket it is mainly heat conduction, for the greenhouse effect it is thermal radiation. The climate deniers claim that the colder atmosphere cannot radiate thermal radiation towards the warmer surface. This is of course nonsense. The cool Earth also sends thermal radiation towards the hot sun – how would thermal radiation leaving Earth know how warm the surface is that it’s going to hit? It’s just that the sun sends more radiation back to us  – the netflow is from hot to cold. More is not implied by the second law of thermodynamics.

Thanks to two Germans (Gerlich and Tscheuschner of the TU Braunscheig – deeply embarrassing for this university), the absurd claim that the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics even made it into an obscure physics journal – obviously there was no peer review to speak of. The bizarre article was promptly demolished by some US physicists. Just recently I read the claim again in an article of coal lobbyist Lars Schernikau – with such fairy-tale beliefs of its representatives, one is not surprised by the decline of the coal industry.

The thermal radiation from the atmosphere toward the ground, which allegedly cannot exist, is of course routinely measured, including its increase (see e.g. Philipona et al. 2004, 2012).

And you can even feel it. Those who sometimes sit outside in the garden after dark know this. Under a dense, low cloud layer you do not nearly get cold as fast as on a clear starry night. This is due to the thermal radiation coming from the clouds. They are colder than our body, but warmer than the night sky in clear air.

Roberts said: “Like Socrates, I love asking questions to get to the truth.”  Perhaps he will ponder my answer next time he sits in his garden at night, or slips under a blanket.

[...]

-- more fun on the subject of the Australian climate-expert/Senator at Hotwhopper.

Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to September each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

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