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The Sun is the main driver of climate change. Not you. Not carbon dioxide.

Responding to a Tweet about a Graph

On March 31, 2017 on our twitter feed we received this comment and marked up graph from peaceful data boy @jamjoumie  I wish you were applied the same skepticism of methodology to the appallingly misleading visualisations you cite

tweeted christy graph w criticisms

Since twitter is an unlikely forum for full explanations, we offer this blog post written up by our resident climate model and graph expert, Ken Gregory, B. AppSc.  Ken has assessed models for the past decade and provides these insights on the Canadian Climate Model.

Response to Tweeted Graph with Comments

Contributed by Ken Gregory © 2017

Source of the graph is: “JH Christy”, John H. Christy from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

About the notes on the graph below;
1) [Data improperly aligned to visually exaggerate the difference.] The box at the bottom left shows that the linear trend of all times series intersect at zero at 1979, which is the first year of the satellite data. This is the best and fairest way to present the model and data comparisons. The data sets all aligned together at the start, or left side, so you can see how separated they are at the end, or right side. This is like most races, where the athletes start at the same point and you see how separated they are at the finish line.

2) [No uncertainty ranges shown.] It is impossible to estimate uncertainty ranges for a model run, or an average of many model runs. Uncertainty can be calculated when it is due to random events. Climate model trends are dependent on the choices made by climate modelers, like assuming upper atmosphere relative humidity stays constant with warming, or more water vapour and warming causes less clouds, or that urban warming has zero effect of weather stations, all of which are contradicted by data. The choices are greatly influenced by the desire to meet the IPCC and government funding agency expectations, the need to show a catastrophic projection to ensure continued funding, modeler biases, peer pressure, etc.   Uncertainty can be assigned to data measurement, but only to the random error component. Data is also subject to systemic errors, unknown errors, and biases of those interpreting and correcting the raw data. These errors are impossible to quantify. The range of all the model trends is not a measure of uncertainty. The average of the models is the consensus of the AGW theory which is used for climate policy.

3) [Averages together datasets, hiding that they aren’t in close agreement.]  The UAH and RSS satellite datasets trends are both much less than the multi-model average trend, which is about 0.24 C/decade. HERE is a graph of the UAH and RSS mid-troposphere datasets. The trends of UAH and RSS are 0.085 and 0.140 C/decade, respectively. RRS had recently increase the trend from 0.094 in version 3.3 to 0.140 C/decade in version 4. NOAA also publishes a satellite analysis.

4) [Doesn’t include other groups work estimating greater warming.]  There are only 3 groups publishing satellite temperature data.

5) [We don’t live on Mount Everest or in airplanes.]  Nobody claimed this so the comment is irrelevant. The graph is presented as a test of the AGW theory embedded in the climate models. A graph comparing surface temperature trends would not be a proper test as the climate modelers adjust various parameters, especially aerosols, to roughly match the surface temperature trend to the published surface datasets. The greenhouse effect operates primarily in the upper atmosphere, ie, a change in the amount of a greenhouse gas at 11 km altitude has 80 times as much effect as the same change near the surface, so the mid-troposphere is the proper region to test the theory.

~~~~

People often like to say Canadians cause global warming because of our oil and gas industries, but Ken shows in this video that Canadians only cause noticeable global warming in simulations – and then only because these rather exaggerated predictions are the ones favoured by groups in power of climate policy reports…

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32 Comments

  1. Thermalization/reverse-thermalization and the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution of gas molecules explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. A potentially larger threat to humanity than failing to acknowledge that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is failing to recognize what actually does.

    Water vapor (WV) is the ghg which makes the planet warm enough for life as we know it. The WV trend is up as reported by NASA/RSS as shown in Fig 3 of http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com. This analysis provides the explanation of why CO2 has no significant effect on climate and identifies what does (98% match with measured average global temperatures 1895-2016)

    • CO2 is a stable compound in the atmosphere lasting for centuries and water vapor leaves in 9 days. CO2 is the thermostat of the earth. With the handshake of co2 and wv there is a positive feedback creating even more warming than co2 alone.

      https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

      AIRS is the first instrument to distinguish differences in the amount of water vapor at all altitudes within the troposphere. Using data from AIRS, the team observed how atmospheric water vapor reacted to shifts in surface temperatures between 2003 and 2008. By determining how humidity changed with surface temperature, the team could compute the average global strength of the water vapor feedback.

      “This new data set shows that as surface temperature increases, so does atmospheric humidity,” Dessler said. “Dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere makes the atmosphere more humid. And since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, the increase in humidity amplifies the warming from carbon dioxide.”

      • The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the “lifetime” of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere ‘cancels out’. Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, egregiously overestimates the influence on average global temperature of noncondensing greenhouse gases. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than determined by its immediate concentration.

  2. Why would Dr. Christy program the model to increase 1*C in 35 years? Its just poor judgement on his part if he is being a serious scientist. Or he is exagerating the model to be inaccurate on purpose. This model should show also its run to see how well it reproduced the past observations. I got a feeling this model will fail that test with how far it is off.

  3. The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the “lifetime” of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere ‘cancels out’.

    That is quite the statement with no source for me to look at Dan. Care to provide a reference? I have never heard of what you are talking about.

    Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, egregiously overestimates the influence on average global temperature of noncondensing greenhouse gases. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than determined by its immediate concentration.

    I’m thinking you don’t understand what global warming potential means Dan.

    • http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/

      At his link, Gavin Schmidt calculates in a rudimentary way temperature increase from the increased forcing of ghg’s. Gavin is now head of the NASA climate department. There is no mention of global warming potential in this article. And it is detailed and well resourced.

    • That IS the source. It is about time someone pointed it out. I have explained it to you but I can not understand it for you.

      The fact that the EPA got it wrong has caused a lot of folks to be misled.

    • CO2 concentration has been much higher than now for nearly all of earth’s history; hundreds of millions of years. If CO2 actually caused significant warming (and it does not) and if the EPA method of evaluating it was correct the planet would be much, much hotter.

      Gavin Schmidt is a mathematician and lacks the skill set to understand climate. His appointment is just one of the many mistakes of the last administration.

      • You ;have got to be out of your mind Dan. He is head of the NASA cliamte department because he is very very good. He is an expert leading the field. Mathematics is a big part of climate modeling. You want to learn climate, learn it form Gavin.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Schmidt

        Gavin A. Schmidt is a climatologist, climate modeler and Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, and co-founder of the award winning climate science blog RealClimate.[2]

        He was educated at The Corsham School, earned a BA (Hons) in mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford, and a PhD in applied mathematics at University College London.[3] Schmidt worked on the variability of the ocean circulation and climate, using general circulation models (GCMs). He has also worked on ways to reconcile paleo-data with models. He helped develop the GISS ocean and coupled GCMs to improve the representation of the present day climate, while investigating their response to climate forcing.[4]
        NASA named Schmidt to head GISS in June 2014. He stepped into the position left vacant after the retirement of long-time director James E. Hansen, becoming the third person to hold the post.[5] In an interview with Science News, Schmidt said that he wanted to continue the institute’s work on climate modeling and to expand its work on climate impacts and astrobiology.[6]

      • ren – He obviously has you fooled. The incompetence is demonstrated by the epic failure of the GCMs to predict the average global temperature trend after about 2001 (the average of GCMs predicted about twice the temperature increase that actually occurred) as shown at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/ and https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/17/climate-models-versus-climate-reality/ . I got much closer than that predicting from 1990 (Fig 14 in my analysis).

        Even worse, they apparently changed measured data to corroborate an agenda as shown in Fig D at https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/noaanasa-dramatically-altered-us-temperatures-after-the-year-2000 and at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/24/updated-do-the-adjustments-to-land-surface-temperature-data-increase-the-reported-global-warming-rate might even be science malpractice.

      • Dan, everything you have listed is not a science paper. It is a blog.

        Models and observations confirm warming. No model without human influence can replicate the past. All models with human influence show a warming trend. All of them. Take human inflluence out of the model and it shows slight cooling. And models have improved since the IPCC AR 4. Hand cast shows a good match to have confidence in future projections.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_Fifth_Assessment_Report
        AR5 relies on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), an international effort among the climate modeling community to coordinate climate change experiments.[16] Most of the CMIP5 and Earth System Model (ESM) simulations for AR5 WRI were performed with prescribed CO2 concentrations reaching 421 ppm (RCP2.6), 538 ppm (RCP4.5), 670 ppm (RCP6.0), and 936 ppm (RCP 8.5) by the year 2100. (IPCC AR5 WGI, page 22).
        Climate models have improved since the prior report.
        Model results, along with observations, provide confidence in the magnitude of global warming in response to past and future forcing.

      • Ren – A common mistake in science papers (and mistake made by many scientists, even highly respected ones) is failing to realize that TSI or SSN anomalies are proxies for forcing which is a power thing and planet temperature which is an energy thing. It is not rational to compare power (e.g. Watts) with energy (e.g. Watt seconds, i.e. Joules). That would be like comparing your speedometer reading to your odometer reading. The correct comparison is between the time-integral of the forcing anomaly (divided by the effective thermal capacitance) which gives a calculated temperature for comparison with the measured temperature.

        I have yet to see anywhere near as good a match between temperatures calculated using GCM and measured temperatures as obtained by my analysis (98% match 1895-2016).

        A potentially larger mistake than failing to recognize that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is failing to realize what actually does. Beware the still-rising water vapor which is rising about three times as fast as expected from water temperature increase alone.

        Stay tuned.

      • Ren – A common mistake in science papers (and mistake made by many scientists, even highly respected ones) is failing to realize that TSI or SSN anomalies are proxies for forcing which is a power thing and planet temperature which is an energy thing. It is not rational to compare power (e.g. Watts) with energy (e.g. Watt seconds, i.e. Joules).

        So these PHD’s are making this basic mistake. Do you think in peer review, their peers would catch these very basic mistakes as you have pointed out? Seems to me most scientists would not make this mistake to begin with and it would be caught in peer review.

        That would be like comparing your speedometer reading to your odometer reading.

        I don’t think you know the difference yourself Dan. Tell us what you know about watt and joules.

        The correct comparison is between the time-integral of the forcing anomaly (divided by the effective thermal capacitance) which gives a calculated temperature for comparison with the measured temperature.

        Correct comparison Dan? Demonstrate to us what you are talking about. Give us a source.

        I have yet to see anywhere near as good a match between temperatures calculated using GCM and measured temperatures as obtained by my analysis (98% match 1895-2016).

        Again Dan show us what you are talking about.

        A potentially larger mistake than failing to recognize that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is failing to realize what actually does.
        So the IPCC AR5 got it wrong? That is an incredible statement Dan. I don’t see anything to support your position. A scientist would have to have a hell of paper to show this and since you are not a scientist, I need some authority of knowledge on this.

        Beware the still-rising water vapor which is rising about three times as fast as expected from water temperature increase alone.

        CO2 is the driver of higher water vapor in the atmosphere Dan.

        Stay tuned.

      • Dear Dan, you are Wrong

        Molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbs energy from infrared (IR) radiation. The energy from photons (inside the CO2 molecule) causes the CO2 molecule to vibrate. Shortly thereafter, the molecule gives up this extra energy by emitting another infrared photon. Once the extra energy has been removed by the emitted photon, the carbon dioxide stops vibrating.

        This ability to absorb and re-emit infrared energy is what makes CO2 an effective heat-trapping greenhouse gas. Not all gas molecules are able to absorb IR radiation. For example, nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), which make up more than 90% of Earth’s atmosphere, do not absorb infrared photons. CO2 molecules can vibrate in ways that simpler nitrogen and oxygen molecules cannot, which allows CO2 molecules to capture the IR photons.

        Greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect play an important role in Earth’s climate. Without greenhouse gases, our planet would be a frozen ball of ice. In recent years, however, excess emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activities (mostly burning fossil fuels) have begun to warm Earth’s climate at a problematic rate. Other significant greenhouse gases include water vapor (H2O), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone (O3).

        Stop spreading nonsense & propaganda and join a more truthful organzation

      • Dan,

        Your statements regarding CO2 not causing warming flies in the face of fundamental, sound and proven science for hundreds of years.

        http://www.wag.caltech.edu/home/jang/genchem/infrared.htm

        Stop your lies.

        NN

      • so what, humans were not around when dinosaurs roamed. No quality of life in our future with high (>400 ppm) CO2. Were at 407 and climbing every minute. What a waste of a good thing.

  4. One thing is certain, it is getting hotter and hotter and it is not the sun causing this rise.
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/sorce/data/tsi-data/#plots

    • The sun affects all climate systems, TSI is not the only relevant measurement. The IPCC reported in 2013 that the warming had been in ‘hiatus’ for the 15 years prior to 2012 – and warming had been ‘at values very close to zero.’ (essentially not measurable) The sun now appears to be experiencing solar hibernation, a typical harbinger of cooling based on 400 years of observations. There is a lag between the heat released from the oceans (which was absorbed from the sun during the past few years of heightened solar activity) and the drop in temperature. Excepting the naturally caused El Nino and coincidence Pacific Decadal Oscillation of last year, there is very little warming – if any – because the margin of error is 1 degree… so could have been warming or cooling. We will only know for sure as time goes on. There has been a spectacular drop in temperature post-El Nino. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/01/spectacular-drop-in-global-average-satellite-temperatures/

  5. Dan PAngburn wrote “A potentially larger mistake than failing to recognize that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is failing to realize what actually does.” This is completely and intentionally a false statement. Point your browser to any actual Science site to verify that CO2 DOES affect Climate.

    Adding more will create further changes to our climate. COAL is NOT the Answer to our Energy needs.

  6. Ren & NN – Apparently you lack the engineering science skill to challenge the erroneous reporting of others and/or are so completely indoctrinated by people whom you assume must be telling the truth that you refuse to even look at, let alone grasp the results of objective observation.

    If you would take the blinders off and critically examine any of the ‘consensus’ reports or even peer reviewed papers you might discover that there is no proof that CO2 has any significant effect on climate. I list six examples of compelling evidence CO2 has no significant effect on climate in the first part of my blog in addition to the explanation of why based on understanding thermalization and the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution in gas molecules.

    • Dan

      Science does not change because you (and your friends) say so.

      It’s been known for centuries that the physical properties of gasses like CO2.

      Hence: Critical Pressure: 7.377 MPa, Critical Temperature 30.978°C
      Ideal Gas Constant of Carbon Dioxide: R = 0.1889 kJ/kg.K.

      Thermodynamic properties[edit]
      Phase behavior
      Triple point 216.58 K (-56.57 °C), 518.5 kPa
      Critical point 304.18 K (31.03 °C), 7.38 MPa
      Std enthalpy change
      of fusion, ΔfusHo 8.647 kJ/mol at triple point[4]
      Std entropy change
      of fusion, ΔfusSo ? J/(mol·K)
      Std enthalpy change
      of vaporization,[5] ΔvapHo 15.326 kJ/mol at –57.5 °C
      Std entropy change
      of vaporization, ΔvapSo 70.8 J/(mol·K)

      If you have found some mathematical error or calculation discrepancy, you should write a paper on this topic and claim the Nobel Prize!

      Meanwhile we will stick to what has been proven for hundreds of years – simply CO2 traps and emits Heat.

    • Dan

      You wrote “CO2 has no significant effect on climate”

      What an incredibly inept and ignorant statement you made above.

      There are only two possibilities here.

      1. You’re a Paid Protester for #BigOil #BigCoal
      2. See above.

      NN

    • Hey Dan

      Why not just respond to your critic directly on Twitter?

      Too complicated?

      ROTF

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