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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/03/2080621/nationwi...
Nationwide Air Sampling Confirms ‘Methane Emissions Across Large Parts Of The U.S. Are Higher Than Currently Known’
snip
Real-world observations have repeatedly made clear that industrial methane emissions are larger than we think. See “Bridge To Nowhere? NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit.” Here’s yet another study.
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A previous study estimated up to 9% losses from the gas production fields in Utah.

http://www.nature.com/news/methane-leaks-erode-green-credent...

Let's put some numbers on this for comparison. Total dry natural gas production in the US in 2012 was 24 trillion cubic feet.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_prod_sum_dcu_NUS_a.htm

Nine percent of this is 2.16 trillion ft3. If the losses occur upstream of the 29 trillion cubic feet of measured gross withdrawals, then the leakage amount would be greater. But let's use 2.16E12 ft3 for the leakage amount.

At a density of 0.044 lb/ft3, this is 43.1 million tonnes of gas. Using a 72x multiplier for the global warming potential of methane results in 3.1 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent in fugitive losses per year.

The official emissions of CO2 in the US from energy was only 5.5 billion tonnes in 2011.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=90&a...

Hopefully my math is accurate, but if the 9% loss rate is real, the US actually emits much higher amounts of greenhouse gases than have been previously reported. Based on other studies, I think the real leakage rate is around 3 to 4%. This is still significant, when you compare the leakage to the amount of CO2 produced from burning coal.

I am still waiting for the University of Texas study on this subject.
http://www.engr.utexas.edu/news/7416-allenemissionsstudy

Reportedly, the UT study has been completed, and the results are being peer reviewed. I am thinking this study will be more accurate than people driving around with a portable gas chromatograph on an RV.

- Pete
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Pete: Hopefully my math is accurate...

Sorry, it appears not. I think you dropped three zeroes when you converted from pounds to tonnes. Here is my calculation:

-- Start with 2.4x10^12 cubic feet of natural gas produced annually.

-- At 9% leakage, we release 2.16x10^12 cubic feet of natural gas.

-- Using a density of 0.044 pounds per cubic foot, that is 9.5x10^7 pounds of methane released into the atmosphere.

-- At 2240 pounds per metric tonne, that is 42,429 tonnes of methane.

-- If we say that one tonne of methane is the equivalent of 72 tonnes of carbon dioxide, then we have released approximately

-- 3,055,000 tonnes equivalent of carbon dioxide.

That's almost exactly three orders of magnitude smaller than your answer, or a little less than rounding error when compared to the total emissions from the USA of 5.5 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2011.

Now it's my turn to hope that my arithmetic is correct. Unfortunately, I am notoriously bad at arithmetic calculation. Please check.

Loren
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-- At 9% leakage, we release 2.16x10^12 cubic feet of natural gas.

-- Using a density of 0.044 pounds per cubic foot, that is 9.5x10^7 pounds of methane released into the atmosphere.

-------------------------------------------------------------


2.16x10^12 ft3 x 0.044 lb/ft3 = 95x10^9 lb of gas

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gas-density-d_158.html

You have 95x10^7 lbs. I still think I am right.

- Pete
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You have 95x10^7 lbs. I still think I am right.
-----------------------------------------------------

Actually, you had 9.5x10^7, but I still think I am right. This accounts for the three orders of magnitude difference.

- Pete
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Mmm. Let's check some details.

1. Do you agree that we are talking about a release of about 9.5x10^7 pounds of methane per year?

2. Do you agree that there are about 2240 pounds in one metric tonne?

It seems to me that you must have divided by 2.2 (pounds per kilogram) instead of 2240 (pounds per metric tonne).

LC
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1. Do you agree that we are talking about a release of about 9.5x10^7 pounds of methane per year?
-----------------------------------------------------

No. I am saying 2.16x10^12 cubic feet multiplied by 0.044 lbs per cubic foot is 9.5x10^10 lbs, which is 42.4 million metric tonnes using your conversion factor. You said it was only 42,429 tonnes of gas.

Think about this. This issue of methane leakage has received a lot of study from the EPA, academia and the like. If the amount of leakage is so insignificant, would they be spending this much effort trying to quantify it?

- Pete
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This issue of methane leakage has received a lot of study from the EPA, academia and the like. If the amount of leakage is so insignificant, would they be spending this much effort trying to quantify it?

Don't underestimate the EPA.

The EPA Doesn't Love New York
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230354460457643...
You can lead the Environmental Protection Agency to water, but you can't make it think. That's what New York City has learned after suggesting changes to costly, needless regulations that the federal government is imposing on Gotham. The regulations will cost billions, are "truly burdensome" and almost entirely useless, says New York City environmental commissioner Cas Holloway, who wrote a 15-page letter to the EPA explaining what is wrong with its analysis....

The EPA wants the city to build a $1.6 billion-plus cover to prevent contamination by cryptosporidium, a water-born pathogen that causes diarrhea. There’s one problem. The pathogen hasn’t been found in the reservoir despite years of tests and is barely present in the city, with about 100 confirmed cases of illness each year due to the little critter. Mr. Holloway says the EPA “inexplicably” claims that covering the reservoir would prevent between 112,000 and 365,000 cases annually, which is “off by several incidents of magnitude.”

DB2
Three orders of magnitude here, three orders of magnitude there....
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Pete: No. I am saying 2.16x10^12 cubic feet multiplied by 0.044 lbs per cubic foot is 9.5x10^10 lbs, which is 42.4 million metric tonnes using your conversion factor.

Okay, I went back to my spreadsheet to see where the discrepancy lies. It turns out that I started out my whole calculation with a typo, writing 2.4e10 instead of 2.4e13. I should know better.

So, now I agree with your calculation (after the minor adjustment for metric tonnes).

It would seem that GHG effect of the methane released is much larger than almost everyone realized, if the 9% loss rate is real. It will be interesting to see what the U of T study estimates.

Loren
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Appeal to authority - a classic crime against logic.
http://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Against-Logic-Politicians-Journ...
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Appeal to authority - a classic crime against logic.
http://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Against-Logic-Politicians-Journ......


We see this canard all the time. Only applies to a formal debate, which these discussion boards patently are not.

Count No'Count
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Appeal to authority - a classic crime against logic.
---
Only applies to a formal debate...


Why is that?

DB2
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Why is that?

DB2


What does it have to do with a discussion board? Since when do formal debate rules apply to everything in the world?

CNC
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Ah.
So logic is not necessarily part of your informal arguments.
Good to know.
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It would seem that GHG effect of the methane released is much larger than almost everyone realized, if the 9% loss rate is real.
--------------------------------------------------------------

As I wrote earlier, my gut feeling is that 9% is probably too high. It is not in the producers' financial interests to allow that much gas to escape. Based on other studies, a more accurate number might be closer to 3 to 4%. But this makes the cost/benefit calculation more questionable for the producers. It might not be worth it for them to spend the resources fixing the small leaks if the cost of maintenance is higher than the value of the gas they are saving. Wholesale gas prices right now are very low at around $4. Obviously, the higher the gas price, the more cost effective it becomes to fix the leaks.

And it is not just the gas producers who are responsible for leakage. The aging infrastructure in the Boston area has been shown to be full of leaks.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749112...

Multiply the Boston findings by a few hundred large and small cities across the US, with varying infrastructures, and it could start to add up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global-warming_potential

One way to decrease the concern, however, is to use a smaller number for the global warming potential (GWP). Over 100 years, the GWP of methane is only 25 times worse than CO2. Natural gas proponents sometimes like to promote this smaller number. But I think that approach is a mistake. If this greenhouse problem is as bad as advertized, then we can't afford to wait around a hundred years for the methane to decay. A GWP of 72 over 20 years might even be too small of a number to use. If I draw a curve, the "instantaneous" GWP looks to be closer to 100 or so, making the problem worse in the immediate time frame.

- Pete
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Because science.
One either believes in rational discourse or one does not.
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"Only applies to a formal debate..."

"Why is that?
DB2


Allow me to clarify for the count although I mostly come here to read the posts of AstroPhool and loren and leave.

Appeal to authority is generally considered to be a fallacy in debates because it assumes that said authorities have greater expertise when that may or may not be true.

On the other hand, some people really do have more expertise than others and can be qualified as experts to give their opinions - like doctors and mathematicians and engineers and scientists in certain courtroom settings.

It may well be appropriate for me to defer to loren if he has demonstrated expertise in mathematics, or to Stephen Hawking if he has demonstrated expertise in physics, or to Jim Hansen if he has demonstrated expertise in climate science.

On a board like this it makes good sense for all of us to figure out who has real expertise and who is talking out of his arse and to decide issues accordingly.
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On a board like this it makes good sense for all of us to figure out who has real expertise and who is talking out of his arse and to decide issues accordingly.

Thank you, my friend. The plain fact is that many of the subjects "discussed" are well beyond the expertise of the discussers - all of them. Climate being an obvious one of those. I will state that not one of the contributors here have an iota of expertise in climate science, except possibly Ben Solar, and his credentials are thin (sorry if I understate you, Ben.) Peripheral experience, as with statistics and math, while abutting, are not (necessarily) applicable.

This means there is no "debate" possible. There are opinions and reference to authorities. Nothing else. So some smug know-nothing's claim of a logical fallacy simply shows a desperation to make points. When you have nothing to say, claim a logical fallacy. Especially claim a reference to an authority. Usually spouted by someone who has just lost the point.

This sometimes degenerates to "My authority can beat up your authority".

Count No'Count
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On a board like this it makes good sense for all of us to figure out who has real expertise

You don't need expertise to be right or to lack expertise to be wrong. Climate science has a 97% consensus, the main body made up of these experts, the IPCC has gotten the last 15 years of global temperature wrong. Global temperature is the central most important part of climate change, so it is not as if it was overlooked by the experts or they didn't really try.

I am interested in the truth, not expert opinion. You should be able to demonstrate the truth or point to someone who does.
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So some smug know-nothing's claim of a logical fallacy simply shows a desperation to make points. When you have nothing to say, claim a logical fallacy.

This explains a lot about you. If you are truly interested in learning something, then if called on a logical fallacy, you should say okay, correct and move on. Logical fallacies do not add to the conversation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing them out.

Now if you're just here to score points, then logical fallacy away.
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Thank you for illustrating my point.
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Appeal to authority - a classic crime against logic.

---

Only applies to a formal debate, which these discussion boards patently are not.

Count No'Count


Except these discussion boards are also investment boards.

You don't want logic in an investment board?

So do you want us to invest in global warming for example?


-=Ajax=-
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First:

That fallacy only can be effected if it is being used as a form of proof, and THAT was not done in the first place. Waterfell offered it up as an EXTERNAL indication that the disagreeing calculations were likely to resolve in the direction of more rather than less significance.

Ultimately this was the case.

Second:

When you are dealing with issues of science and engineering fact, NOT matters of opinion, it is desirable to make an effort to "appeal to authority" wherever and whenever real expertise exists, to determine whether you are getting a right answer. You can decide to ignore or argue with that authority, but knowing and referencing the science that has been done already is NOT EVER a logical fallacy. Asserting that it is, is a mistake.
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jck "I am interested in the truth, not expert opinion"

In my opinion, you came here years ago knowing that you were right. The truth, for you, is pre-defined by whether or not the evidence offered supports what you knew to be true when you came here. That is also true of a few of the other really hard core deniers.

But you do sometimes prompt people to look at the evidence and offer responses that can be enlightening.
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It's a little more complicated than that. If you were to draw an analogy to a courtroom setting, one question would be whether or not the person really qualified as an expert. In a courtroom setting, unlike a message board, the judge is forced to determine whether the person qualifies as an expert based on education, expertise, etc. before they testify. Then the jury would decide which expert to believe.

Even in a simple personal injury trial you might have treating physicians who qualify as experts and give their opinion, experts hired by the insurance who give their opinions, and a jury who decides who they believe on various issues.

Even if the person qualifies as an expert, they are still subject to the same rules as any other witness - bias, interest in the outcome of the case, and so on.

Even on these message boards where no rules apply, we sort of parrot those arguments when we have our endless arguments about the experts. I have in the past pointed out the hidden funding sources for many of the denial experts and tried to show how they can be turned into prostitutes by the denial industry with tactics perfected by Philip Morris and others here have tried to claim that the entire body of climate scientists that are measuring the impact of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere are doing it to get more research money (or whatever their argument is).

It has been obvious for roughly a decade that the regular combatants on this board are entrenched and only come here to convince each other with absolutely no possibility of that happening.

But...experts really can be invaluable because they do the math and they really can objectively use the peer review process to find errors and omissions, and they really can move forward and learn from the process while most of us are limited by our level of knowledge and have to figure it out as best we can.
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In my opinion, you came here years ago knowing that you were right. The truth, for you, is pre-defined by whether or not the evidence offered supports what you knew to be true when you came here. That is also true of a few of the other really hard core deniers.

JGC, thank you for your opinion on me, I feel it is probably representative of the feelings of the other global warming enthusiasts on the board. However, your perception is wrong, I am not a denier. I suggest you pay attention to what I actually say instead of what you perceive me to be saying.
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It has been obvious for roughly a decade that the regular combatants on this board are entrenched and only come here to convince each other with absolutely no possibility of that happening.

Are you saying I'm wasting your time and mine?

OK.

I thought I was posting so that a conversation would be generated. I have learned so much here because of some great posts about methane vs CO2 emissions, electric cars, nuclear power, meandering jet stream, etc., etc.
But I am certainly one of those non experts entrenched in my beliefs.
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jck: ... your perception is wrong, I am not a denier. I suggest you pay attention to what I actually say instead of what you perceive me to be saying.

Well, then, stop writing ambiguous posts. A typical jck post is very short, highly ambiguous, and tinged with a nasty attitude. You leave much unsaid, and then you snap at people when they try to deduce from your brief dyspeptic remarks what you are actually thinking. We cannot read your mind, we have only your written words to work from.

I often wonder why you, in particular, are so sensitive to arguments from authority. Consider a scientist gathering and analyzing data from a large set of instruments. If these instruments vary in reliability, as they often do, then it would be foolish in the extreme not to discount (give less weight to) data from instruments known to be unreliable. This is not reifying or bowing to authority, it is merely weighing the evidence. Not being a fool, I always evaluate the source when weighing the evidence. What do you do?

Loren
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There are, broadly speaking, 4 camps in the climate debate - Denialists, Skeptics, Warmists and Alarmists*.
The extremes on both sides, and their apologists, like to utilize the standard crimes against logic.

I often wonder why you, in particular, are so sensitive to arguments from authority.
I often wonder why you, in particular, are so embracing of the appeal to authority as a justification. Not what I would expect from a Friend, but I only know a handful so maybe my sample is biased.
I am always suspicious of someone who abdicates their own reason and responsibility by saying "Well, so-and-so says...".

Not being a fool, I always evaluate the source when weighing the evidence.
I evaluate the evidence on its own merit. I may use sources I trust for more data, and I may put data from a suspicious source through a bit more scrutiny, but I always expect the data to stand on its own.
Let me provide an example - I absolutely loathe Michael Moore. He is a self-promoting propagandist of the worst sort. That said, most of his movie Roger and Me is spot on. I don't reject the facts simply because it is Moore spouting them.

This is not reifying or bowing to authority, it is merely weighing the evidence.
This statement absolutely boggles my mind. I know you actually mean it, and I cannot fathom how or why.


-------------
* There are also individuals who label themselves as LukeWarmists. For my part, I group most of them in with skeptics, though they may quibble.
I suspect Loren considers himself a Warmist, though I tend to find him leaning Alarmist upon occasion.
I see jck as firmly in the Skeptics.
I also find most Warmists have difficulty telling the difference between a Skeptic and a Denialist. I blame group-think.
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Wulong: "I often wonder why you, in particular, are so embracing of the appeal to authority as a justification"

That may be the most blatantly false factual claim that I have ever read on this board. Loren is absolutely the first poster on this board to run the math, offer up his work, invite criticism and admit it when he is wrong. There was a post within the last day or two when he ran the math, admitted he made a mistake, and responded accordingly. I rarely see that on this board. It's why he has credibility with honest posters.

Wulong: "I evaluate the evidence on its own merit"

You might as well be arguing "up is down" and "down is up" if you think that you are more inclined to evaluate claims on their on their own merit than loren.

wulong: "I also find most Warmists have difficulty telling the difference between a Skeptic and a Denialist. I blame group-think."

Tragic. A small group of hard core denialists who make no real attempt to understand the math or the science who call themselves "skeptics".
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I often wonder why you, in particular, are so embracing of the appeal to authority as a justification.
---
That may be the most blatantly false factual claim that I have ever read on this board.

Too funny.
I have my problems with Loren, and no doubt he has his problems with me. We are both able to tell each other about them, mostly without rancor.
I'm also able to give kudos to Loren upon occasion and he has thanked me for a post or two.

You otoh... well there's a reason I p-boxed you long ago.

I also find most Warmists have difficulty telling the difference between a Skeptic and a Denialist. I blame group-think.
----
Tragic. A small group of hard core denialists who make no real attempt to understand the math or the science who call themselves "skeptics".

How sweetly ironic :)
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WULong: I often wonder why you, in particular, are so embracing of the appeal to authority as a justification. Not what I would expect from a Friend, but I only know a handful so maybe my sample is biased.

I enjoy reading history. Most scholarly books on history are filled with notes, acknowledging the sources of the information. No one can write a history book (for more than 100 years ago) without using other people's work. The authors invariably cite the authority for their work. Without those acknowledgements, the work might as well be fiction.

For shame! They all sin against the "argument by authority" placard so often raised here by posters too ignorant to argue with the facts.

To repeat my earlier claim, most of the posters here have only unsupported opinions or opinions based on some authority they respect.

Bob runs a steady stream of references to reports he has gleaned. Shall he be disregarded because his observations are not based on his own original work? No one here could post anything at all without some reference to a credible authority.

And now, I resume my lurk mode.

Count No'Count
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There are, broadly speaking, 4 camps in the climate debate - Denialists, Skeptics, Warmists and Alarmists*

* There are also individuals who label themselves as LukeWarmists. For my part, I group most of them in with skeptics, though they may quibble.

I also find most Warmists have difficulty telling the difference between a Skeptic and a Denialist. I blame group-think.


I can go along with all of this, with jgc illustrating the point nicely in the following posts. Any questioning of climate change gets you labeled as a denier.
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Well, then, stop writing ambiguous posts. A typical jck post is very short, highly ambiguous, and tinged with a nasty attitude. You leave much unsaid, and then you snap at people when they try to deduce from your brief dyspeptic remarks what you are actually thinking. We cannot read your mind, we have only your written words to work from.

My position has no bearing on the discussion, so there is no reason to clarify it. When I do clarify it, you can see the results in this thread, so there is no point. I'm not interested in being treated differently because of what my perceived beliefs are. In fact I would rather be challenged than given a free pass.

Regarding the appeal to authority, I can buy it if the authority has actually produced something that can be reproduced and explained how it relates to the discussion. In those cases it is not technically an appeal to authority fallacy. That I have no problem with. However, often it is an appeal to an authority who is sloppy or whose work is not relevant to the discussion.
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WuLong: "I have my problems with Loren..."

Why? Is it because he actually offers up the math that leads to his conclusions, opens himself up to criticism if he is wrong, admits when he is wrong, and you don't?

Is there any reason why you have "problems with Loren" that you are willing to back up with anything resembling an application of math to evidence?
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Any questioning of climate change gets you labeled as a denier.

The difference between a "denier" and a "skeptic" is pretty difficult to discern. Luke-warmer is a viable place for people who think it is happening but not enough to be important. Those people aren't denying anything, just arguing a measurement...

However, for you to be "skeptical" when there is 90+ % agreement about the science by the scientists, as opposed to in "denial" facing that same fact, is simply not a difference that can be measured. As usual, WuLong offers a false taxonomy, taxes us and insults us for not applying it correctly and you go along with his errors.

There are THREE camps in this argument. "Warmists", "Luke-Warmists", and "Denialists" ... the first two accept the science and argue about the data. The third denies that the science is valid. There isn't a place in the science where you can realistically be "skeptical" of it, only of the degree.
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"The difference between a "denier" and a "skeptic" is pretty difficult to discern"

I disagree. A skeptic looks like this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-...

The difference between a real skeptic like Richard Muller, who can study the evidence and change his mind, and the hard core deniers on this board who fancy themselves to be skeptics, is patently clear.
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I disagree. The point I am making is that for anyone who "claims" to be a skeptic, a serious look at the science (provided they are competent) puts them in the warmist or lukewarmist camp. The science does not leave any room any more, for the "skeptic". A real one is a transient phenomenon.
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The point I am making is that for anyone who "claims" to be a skeptic, a serious look at the science (provided they are competent) puts them in the warmist or lukewarmist camp. The science does not leave any room any more, for the "skeptic".

How would you classify someone such as Lu?
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530132443.htm
"Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are to blame for global warming since the 1970s and not carbon dioxide, according to a researcher from the University of Waterloo in a controversial new study published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B this week."

How would you classify someone such as Kilifarska? She looked at ozone levels in the lower stratosphere since 1926 and found that changes in total ozone explain 75% of global temperature changes. The strongest driver for changes in total ozone variability is the multi-decadal variation of galactic cosmic rays. Looking at the next decade, a prediction is made for a cooling of 0.05–0.25°C (depending on the ozone model).

In a earlier paper she proposed an amplification mechanism for producing climate changes:
www.geophys.bas.bg/iono/mid_atmos/QBO-interplay.pdf

Climate sensitivity to the lower stratospheric ozone variations
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682612000867

DB2
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Mistaken.
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The point I am making is that for anyone who "claims" to be a skeptic, a serious look at the science (provided they are competent) puts them in the warmist or lukewarmist camp. The science does not leave any room any more, for the "skeptic".
---
How would you classify someone such as Lu? Kilifarska?
---
Mistaken.


So that should be 'most anyone'.

BJ, while we're on the topic of perceptions and classifications, how do you assimilate the results of something such as the Gregory paper where they conclude "...the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship [between the rate of sea-level rise and global climate change] is weak or absent during the 20th century."
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319....

DB2
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DB2

I don't look in detail at every single study that dissents from the mainstream science hoping to find a "get out of jail free" card.

I look at the whole.

I look at the energy budget for the planet, and I reckon the odds of the physics being wrong.

I look at the things that MIGHT cause it and the things that are happening and reckon the scale of coincidence that might need to be present for things NOT to be where the mainstream of climate science takes us.

Because what I have found is that when something SEEMS to offer an argument that "it isn't happening" all that is needed is to wait a bit and the error in that study will surface. When something SEEMS to offer the "get-out-of-jail-free", all that is needed is to wait a bit, and the error in that study will surface.

My confidence is that the paleo data we have is NOT irrelevant. It gives us a fairly clear picture of the consequences of the current error in judgement called Business-As-Usual. It tells us that the long term warming is apt to be worse than the short term sensitivities; those sensitivities that we are attempting to measure to such precision that we can discern the butterfly that causes the hurricane.

My understanding is that through the last century the warming is still only a small thing, not all the warming we've created has happened yet, and the climate signals aren't so strong as to bite us severely YET... all that is needed is to wait a bit.

I've been watching this argument for 20 years now. The characteristic failure of dissenting arguments is no small thing. In the first few years I was concerned that there might be a mistake when I saw something that disagreed, but I have learned that mistakes invariably are contained in the science that disagrees (or the assertion of its relevance). That has ALWAYS been the case over the 20 years. A VERY long time for a theory to stand if it is in fact fundamentally flawed.

There is only ONE way that such consistency happens. The theory involved is basically sound.

You seem focused very strongly on details and hopeful signs found in individual papers. I simply expect that when something like the Gregory paper is cited as you just cited it there is some misunderstanding...

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/sea-le...

The notion that the semi-empirical models aren't useful is not something I am sure of, the arguments in that post are written by Rahmstorf who does research using them after all, and at this level scientists will and must argue... but it is also not something of great burning importance to the overall theory.
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I disagree. A skeptic looks like this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-......

The difference between a real skeptic like Richard Muller, who can study the evidence and change his mind, and the hard core deniers on this board who fancy themselves to be skeptics, is patently clear.


The problem here is that Richard Muller was never a skeptic but an alarmist. In 2011 he stated "I was never a skeptic." This New York Times story,

...has all been just more desperate warming alarmist spin to keep their dying scam alive. See http://toryaardvark.com/2012/08/01/richard-muller-the-climat...

Here is Muller in his own words:

"I was never a skeptic" - Richard Muller, 2011

"... Muller estimates 2 in 3 odds that humans are causing global warming..." - Richard Muller, 2006

http://junkscience.com/2011/10/24/richard-muller-no-skeptic/...

"If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion - which he does, but he’s very effective at it - then let him fly any plane he wants." - Richard Muller, 2008

"There is a consensus that global warming is real. ...it’s going to get much, much worse." - Richard Muller, 2008

"Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate." - Richard Muller, 2003

http://www.populartechnology.net/2012/06/truth-about-richard...


-=Ajax=-
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I don't look in detail at every single study that dissents from the mainstream science hoping to find a "get out of jail free" card.
I look at the whole.


Looking at the larger picture, there appear to be some serious problems with our current understanding/modeling. For example:

- The models predict that the warming planet produces a noticeable hot area in the tropical troposphere as the moist warm air rises. Measurements show it ain't happening like it should.

- The excess heat is not warming the atmosphere -- 'the pause' -- and observations are now below all the AR4/AR5 models.
www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-73-models-vs-o...

- The excess heat is warming the deep ocean, but I have yet to come across anything but hand-waving on the details and mechanisms. What caused the change to the oceans? Will it switch back in our lifetimes?

I get Arrhenius and greenhouse gases. My questions have to do with what happens down the line. The current state of the art is not firm enough for my liking.

DB2
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You do realize that all 3 of those things are probably basically connected, right?

So there is, FOR THE MODELS, an issue around just how the heat gets into the deep ocean ( What ocean currents take heat down and up? )

However, if the heat is going into the ocean rather than into the atmosphere then why should an ATMOSPHERIC hot-spot/symptom be present?

...and not a word of this bears on the Paleo data.

So...

Will the pause be long?

How will the climate respond when the pause ENDS?

Will temperature changes of the deep ocean affect anything else?

All you have at best, is added uncertainty about the path the warming will take and the effects in the period between now and a stablized climate. Given that the planet's effective radiative energy imbalance is NOT corrected by the deep ocean getting warmed (IT doesn't radiate to space), things are still getting worse, not better.
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How would you classify someone such as Kilifarska? She looked at ozone levels in the lower stratosphere since 1926 and found that changes in total ozone explain 75% of global temperature changes. The strongest driver for changes in total ozone variability is the multi-decadal variation of galactic cosmic rays. Looking at the next decade, a prediction is made for a cooling of 0.05–0.25°C (depending on the ozone model).

The link you posted to Kilifarska's earlier paper no longer works.

Regardless, ozone in the Earth's atmosphere is not produced by cosmic rays but by solar ultraviolet radiation. Ozone production correlates with the cosmic ray background because solar UV flux increases with solar activity (i.e., with a more sunspots), but this correlation does not imply causation. Cosmic rays do not form an appreciable amount of ozone. Instead, higher solar activity increases the solar magnetic field which deflects more cosmic rays away from the inner solar system, thereby decreasing the cosmic ray background. So, more ozone production occurs at times of low cosmic ray background, but this relationship is not causal.

I get Arrhenius and greenhouse gases. My questions have to do with what happens down the line. The current state of the art is not firm enough for my liking.

The role of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide in particular on climate is the fundamental issue. People denying that CO2 affects climate are those I consider "deniers" because ignoring this relation means denying so much established science that the consequences are untenable.

The question of current model predictions, as DB2 points out is quite another matter. There are all manner of deficiencies in climate codes. Processes occurring in small spatial scales are not well-modeled because of limitations on the size of the numerical grids involved. Consequently, the physics of processes occurring on scales smaller than that of the grid (such as condensation) must be parametrized. Neither is the growth and decay of ice sheets included, because of the very different timescales between ice sheet growth and that of atmospheric dynamics. So, no-one claims climate models are perfect, but they can still be used to approximate future climate regimes. Numerical codes in physics are always imprecise approximations of reality. However, to claim that climate models have no relevance at all, as some do, is to enter the realm of "denial". Numerical modeling is widely used in physics and engineering, and there is no evidence that this approach is methodologically flawed. With regard to climate science, models, although flawed, provide the best current estimate of future climate regimes given the realities of present-day computation.

Phil
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So, no-one claims climate models are perfect, but they can still be used to approximate future climate regimes. Numerical codes in physics are always imprecise approximations of reality. However, to claim that climate models have no relevance at all, as some do, is to enter the realm of "denial". Numerical modeling is widely used in physics and engineering, and there is no evidence that this approach is methodologically flawed.

The IPCC climate models have been convincingly been shown to be wrong over the last 5 years. In fact you could arguably call those that still believed in the models denailists because the evidence is right in front of their face that the models are wrong.

Usually what you do at that point is to fix the models then go from there. Many global warming enthusiasts think we should just jump right in and spend a trillion dollars. Science is hard and failure is common, thats why scientists get paid, so I don't see what the big deal is about figuring out what is wrong with the current models and fixing them before deciding what to do. The risk of delaying significant action at this point does not seem to be significant, the majority of the climate change scare has come from the faulty models.
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The question of current model predictions, as DB2 points out is quite another matter....So, no-one claims climate models are perfect, but they can still be used to approximate future climate regimes.

We're a long way from perfection. :-)

Numerical modeling is widely used in physics and engineering, and there is no evidence that this approach is methodologically flawed.

The idea of using numerical modeling for the global climate in fine, although there are those who think its chaotic nature of the climate system does not lend itself to this approach. Also the average model probably has something on the order of 10^6 degrees of freedom. One often runs into what is called parameterization; to the best of my knowledge these are fudge factors put in to make the models produce results that approximate the 20th century climate.

In another thread we mentioned the problem of the (missing) tropical hot spot in the troposphere. In an article in press Varotsos et al. look at the models and write: "We suggest that the vertical amplification of warming derived from modelled simulations is weighted with a persistent signal, which should be removed in order to achieve better agreement with observations."

Plausible reasons for the inconsistencies between the modelled and observed temperatures in the tropical troposphere
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50646/abstrac...

DB2
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"Usually what you do at that point is to fix the models then go from there. Many global warming enthusiasts think we should just jump right in and spend a trillion dollars. Science is hard and failure is common, thats why scientists get paid, so I don't see what the big deal is about figuring out what is wrong with the current models and fixing them before deciding what to do. The risk of delaying significant action at this point does not seem to be significant, the majority of the climate change scare has come from the faulty models. "


So far, despite 20 years of 'fixing models' they fail miserably.

Worse, your 'cure' of 'fixing' models is just fudging the models to correctly predict current temperatures and trends from past data. That will do nothing to insure that they have any hope of correctly predicting the future trends.

Indeed, the record is 100% failure.

So..you are insisting upon more failure?

Not a one of the current models can handle the 17 year plateau in temperatures. They're all rotten to the core.

Now, scientists are running around looking for the 'missing heat' and are clueless, making up excuses..it's buried in the deep ocean.....or in Big Foot's back yard..... really!.....

I wouldn't spend a dime on 'global warming alarmism' until they have a five year track record of accurately predicting the future..and that is no guarantee it will even go past five years.

So far the record is total failure.



t.
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The IPCC climate models have been convincingly been shown to be wrong over the last 5 years.

False. Perhaps you would like to try to back up your hot air with a citation?
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False. Perhaps you would like to try to back up your hot air with a citation?

Are you saying the models predicted the 15 or so year pause? Good luck with that line of reasoning.
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Are you saying the models predicted the 15 or so year pause? Good luck with that line of reasoning.

Don't you remember the graphic from the IPCC, where I blew up the detail and showed that a 15 year horizontal line fit within one standard deviation of the range of projected temperatures?

http://imageshack.us/f/217/ipccsummaryprojectionsg.png/

The models used in the IPCC didn't predict a 15 year plateau in global surface temperature, but it fits within the uncertainty of their projections.

If you were to rerun the models using the actual solar activity over the last 15 years, then they would certainly show less warming and the 15 year plateau would fit within uncertainty even more easily.

So, no, the IPCC models have definitely not been "convincingly shown to be wrong."

Good luck finding a citation to back up your hot air, I'm waiting.
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Don't you remember the graphic from the IPCC, where I blew up the detail and showed that a 15 year horizontal line fit within one standard deviation of the range of projected temperatures?
http://imageshack.us/f/217/ipccsummaryprojectionsg.png/


It doesn't seem kosher to compare the results from a model with a high result for your beginning and from a model with a low result for your ending. You should stick with the output of a given model or go with the multi-model mean.

DB2
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It doesn't seem kosher to compare the results from a model with a high result for your beginning and from a model with a low result for your ending. You should stick with the output of a given model or go with the multi-model mean.


The graph shows the outcomes of the multi-model mean for various scenarios, with one standard deviation shading. My horizontal line falls within the pink shading for the high emission scenario.

Page 14 of the Summary for Policy Makers.

"Figure SPM.5. Solid lines are multi-model global averages of surface warming (relative to 1980–1999) for the scenarios A2, A1B and B1,
shown as continuations of the 20th century simulations. Shading denotes the ±1 standard deviation range of individual model annual
averages"

Go to the pdf version, where you can increase the magnification (Ctrl and + keys) to see detail on shorter time-scales. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm...

If you want to look at the outcomes of from a given model, then you would have to look at the results of many different model runs and see if any sizable percentage of model runs (i.e. more than 5%) showed a 15 year plateau. Real Climate, I believe, has conducted such an exercise and found such plateaus are not uncommon in the model runs.

Another way of looking at the issue is to note that the IPCC says they need multiple decades of data to detect and attribute climate change. So how could 15 years of data be enough to prove the models wrong? Especially when that 15 years include a notable decrease in the solar input not included in the models, and a notable swing from El Nino (warm) to La Nina (cool) dominated conditions in the Pacific, both of which are unpredictable?

Of course we've been over this ground a hundred times ... I won't hold my breath for jck to provide a citation for his 'proof'.
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The models used in the IPCC didn't predict a 15 year plateau in global surface temperature, but it fits within the uncertainty of their projections.

It looks out to me, Blackboard has the best analysis of this generally and they say its out on two of the three temp data sets. That is just one aspect of the models, others are also wrong. Clinging to the model results which are obviously wrong (or perhaps hanging on to interpretations that weren't communicated or really intended) are part of the problem with climate science. They would gain a lot more credibility if they fixed their errors instead of defending them.
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They would gain a lot more credibility...

You would gain a lot more credibility if you could provide a citation for your claims ... one that includes treatment of declining solar input over the last 15 years would be good, since that will be a crucial part of any detection and attribution study covering those years.
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You would gain a lot more credibility if you could provide a citation for your claims ...

Blackboard post:

Currently, if we test beginning in January 2001, we reject the hypothesis that the multi-model mean trend from the AR4 models is correct.

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/ar4-models-since-2001-m...

Another recent article, they even discuss why, and it is not the sun.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50646/abstrac...

Abstract
[1] We herewith attempt to detect plausible reasons for the discrepancies between the measured and modeled tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. For this purpose, we calculate the trends of the upper-minus-lower tropospheric temperature anomaly differences (TAD) for both the measured and modeled time series during 1979-2010. The modeled TAD trend is significantly higher than that of the measured ones, confirming that the vertical amplification of warming is exaggerated in models.
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Don't you remember the graphic from the IPCC, where I blew up the detail and showed that a 15 year horizontal line fit within one standard deviation of the range of projected temperatures?

Ben, you are right that the different lines with uncertainties are for different emissions scenarios. However, the example you showed where the 15 year line was inside the uncertainty limits included the scenario where emissions were held constant at year 2000 values. We all know that ain't happening.

Otherwise, the line went from the top of the uncertainty envelope for the highest emission scenario to just below the uncertainty envelope for the lowest scenario, ex constant CO2 levels.

DB2
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JC links a comment from rgbatduke which is probably the most interesting climate comment you'll read today. It rebuts methodology such as Lucia's and what the IPCC has done.

I will only repost a short portion of it, but the whole thing is worth reading.

http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/14/week-in-review-3/

This is reflected in the graphs Monckton publishes above, where the AR5 trend line is the average over all of these models and in spite of the number of contributors the variance of the models is huge. It is also clearly evident if one publishes a “spaghetti graph” of the individual model projections (as Roy Spencer recently did in another thread) — it looks like the frayed end of a rope, not like a coherent spread around some physics supported result.

Note the implicit swindle in this graph — by forming a mean and standard deviation over model projections and then using the mean as a “most likely” projection and the variance as representative of the range of the error, one is treating the differences between the models as if they are uncorrelated random variates causing >deviation around a true mean!.

Say what?

This is such a horrendous abuse of statistics that it is difficult to know how to begin to address it. One simply wishes to bitch-slap whoever it was that assembled the graph and ensure that they never work or publish in the field of science or statistics ever again. One cannot generate an ensemble of independent and identically distributed models that have different code. One might, possibly, generate a single model that generates an ensemble of predictions by using uniform deviates (random numbers) to seed
“noise” (representing uncertainty) in the inputs.
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So I would recommend — modestly — that skeptics try very hard not to buy into this and redirect all such discussions to questions such as ... why we aren’t using empirical evidence (as it accumulates) to reject failing models.
Calling for the scientific method? Perhaps Loren should inform his widow.

Of course if one does this, the GCM predicted climate sensitivity plunges from the totally statistically fraudulent 2.5 C/century to a far more plausible and stillpossibly wrong ~1 C/century, which — surprise — more or less continues the post-LIA warming trend with a small possible anthropogenic contribution. This large a change would bring out pitchforks and torches as people realize just how badly they’ve been used by a small group of scientists and politicians, how much they are the victims of indefensible abuse of statistics to average in the terrible with the merely poor as if they are all equally likely to be true with randomly distributed differences.
Which has been my case for something like a decade now.
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Otherwise, the line went from the top of the uncertainty envelope for the highest emission scenario to just below the uncertainty envelope for the lowest scenario, ex constant CO2 levels.

Nope. The horizontal line I drew in is no where near the bottom of the envelope for the constant CO2 scenario, which is a pale orange.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/217/ipccsummaryprojecti...

Instead, after about 17 or 18 years it is at the bottom of the light pink shading, which is the bottom of the 1-standard deviation envelope for the high emission scenario, the same scenario I started out near the top of at year zero.

The shadings are more clearly visible if you got the pdf and expand it greatly, which gives you higher resolution than in the image linked above.

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm...
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Blackboard post:
Currently, if we test beginning in January 2001, we reject the hypothesis that the multi-model mean trend from the AR4 models is correct.
http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/ar4-models-since-2001-m...


Is a blog post a credible citation? Not in most scientific circles. Is it credible in your field of medical equipment testing or drug testing or whatever it is you do?

When the IPCC says that multiple decades of data are needed to detect and attribute climate change, why does Lucia think that she can prove the predicted climate change is not occurring using only 12 years of data?

Lucia also writes in that post:

"Multi-model mean starting to reject using estimates of weather based on model spread. This is flitting on and off now and is sensitive to start year.
The flitting on-and-off rejections is precisely what one anticipates will occur if the multi-model mean is wrong. However, it can also occur if the multi-model mean is right and we just happen to hit an unusual weather event. "

It is easy to argue that we have experienced "an unusual weather event." The drop off in solar input has been unusual, as has the domination by La Nina conditions the last 5 years. I'd be willing to bet this combination of events has not occurred in the time period covered by her tests.

So, there's two reasons why that citation is not convincing proof the IPCC models are wrong.


Another recent article, they even discuss why, and it is not the sun.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50646/abstrac...


This citation is a peer reviewed article in a respected journal. Good job! But, the abstract does not even mention global surface temperature, nor does it mention the sun, so I don't see how it is very relevant to the discussion we are having.

If you want to change the subject to how well the models predict the upper tropical troposphere 'hot spot' predicted by the models, well there are all kinds of problems just getting a good measurement of that area: simply subtracting lower from upper tropospheric temperature departures reported by the satellite temperature teams is highly problematic because, for instance, the lower tropospheric temperature reported actually includes some significant weighting all the way up to the top of the troposphere as shown in Figure 1 in this data description page from RSS. Radiosonde temperatures give us more fine grained measurement, but they are extremely spotty across the tropics, especially going back in time.

Add to those problems the fact that variability on the regional scale is far higher than on the global scale, so we probably need even more time to detect climate change for this small part of the global atmosphere than we need for the globe. An obvious example of this natural variability is the El Nino/La Nina oscillation, which has a huge impact on tropical atmospheric temperature variations, and which has trended cold for years now.
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"variability on the regional scale is far higher than on the global scale"

The detailed CERES and AIRS output in that last link I posted, helps show that variability.
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Is a blog post a credible citation? Not in most scientific circles.

Is there something factually wrong with the blog post? No, then it is appropriate to acknowledge. And yes, in my field blogs are considered acceptable as long as they are true, the FDA has a blog where they post and discuss information. Sometimes we just call or email people and ask a question then we act based on that information. If you find yourself depending on peer reviewed literature you will be quickly left behind in my field.

When the IPCC says that multiple decades of data are needed to detect and attribute climate change, why does Lucia think that she can prove the predicted climate change is not occurring using only 12 years of data?

In this case we are not detecting and attributing climate change, this is a separate issue, a strawman. We are determining if the IPCC models are correct.

It is easy to argue that we have experienced "an unusual weather event." The drop off in solar input has been unusual, as has the domination by La Nina conditions the last 5 years. I'd be willing to bet this combination of events has not occurred in the time period covered by her tests.

The IPCC doesn't make these caveats in the graph you cited as proof that they are correct, it is Lucia being thorough and spelling out potential issues with her methodology. If the IPCC had made these caveats, then they would be better off, but they didn't bother. Your insistence that a citation include a discussion of solar activity is a strawman since the IPCC did not make that caveat. Lucia's posts is factually correct and shows that the models aren't following observations, meaning the models are incorrect.

Also, lets be straight here, it is not as if we held the IPCC's feet to the fire, no we have a 0.6C band of temperatures that fall into the range. If you drew a straight line from 1950 temperatures to now and 2100 and gave it +/- 0.3C uncertainty, you'd probably do okay as compared to the IPCC, so it is really a low bar for the IPCC to clear.

But, the abstract does not even mention global surface temperature, nor does it mention the sun, so I don't see how it is very relevant to the discussion we are having.

I said the climate models had shown to be wrong over the last 5 years or so, surface temperature is just one aspect that the models have gotten wrong, they've also gotten other aspects such as troposphere temperatures wrong.

I have cited a peer reviewed paper which showed the models are wrong, which is exactly what you asked for. You are now trying to hand wave the paper away without providing data or actually refuting the paper at all. Which is why I hesitated in spending time on linking citations in the first place, your bias prevents you from having a reasonable discussion on the issue, you knee jerk, strawman, and cherry pick anything to make these models look okay.
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Otherwise, the line went from the top of the uncertainty envelope for the highest emission scenario to just below the uncertainty envelope for the lowest scenario, ex constant CO2 levels.
---
Nope. The horizontal line I drew in is no where near the bottom of the envelope for the constant CO2 scenario, which is a pale orange.


That is correct. I wrote 'ex constant CO2 levels', meaning without that scenario. However, you do go from the top to the bottom of the high emission scenario. It should be noted that the shading represents only one standard deviation, so the models are really much more uncertain that the graph makes them appear. Almost anything is possible if one considers two standard deviations (95% confidence interval) including a drop of 0.5°C in 15 years with the A1 scenario.

By the way, as I've pointed out several times, note that the scenarios start with the year 2000. :-)

DB2
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In this case we are not detecting and attributing climate change, this is a separate issue

So the .2C/decade that Lucia is testing for is not climate change? Riiight!


The IPCC doesn't make these caveats in the graph you cited

The graph I cited shows that a 15 year plateau fits within one standard deviation of the multi-model mean. Consider those caveats and many others built into that standard deviation.


R.e. the tropical tropospheric hot spot, the issues I raise regarding the size of regional natural variability and the measurement issues are both very real.
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