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Is the ‘anthropogenic global warming’ consensus on the point of collapse? If so, this is just the right time for Chris Huhne to leave the Government

At the very least, let’s hear no more about this theory being ‘incontrovertible’

By on Monday, 6 February 2012

Nuns build a snowman in St Peter's Square. Some scientists have suggested that the cold snap is caused by global warming (Photo: PA)

Nuns build a snowman in St Peter's Square. Some scientists have suggested that the cold snap is caused by global warming (Photo: PA)

As the snow began falling on Saturday, I said to my wife “what do you want to bet that someone will cook up an explanation that all this is caused by global warming”? It was a joke: but when I looked at that morning’s Independent newspaper, there it was already, under the headline “Science behind the big freeze: is climate change bringing the Arctic to Europe?”

The bitterly cold weather sweeping Britain and the rest of Europe has been linked by scientists with the ice-free seas of the Arctic, where global warming is exerting its greatest influence.

A dramatic loss of sea ice covering the Barents and Kara Seas above northern Russia could explain why a chill Arctic wind has engulfed much of Europe and killed 221 people over the past week…

A growing number of experts believe complex wind patterns are being changed because melting Arctic sea ice has exposed huge swaths of normally frozen ocean to the atmosphere above.

The piece mentions the names of one or two of this growing number of experts. I’m glad that at least the piece didn’t say that this was a generally accepted consensus: for, the idea of an incontrovertible scientific consensus behind current ideas of anthropogenic global warming is itself coming under increasingly sceptical scrutiny from another “growing number of experts”, as you will see from a very interesting article which appeared a week or so ago in the Wall Street Journal.

The article is signed by a large number of scientists, whose names I now flourish before you to prove that they exist:

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

The starting point of the article, headlined “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” (subheading, “There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonise’ the world’s economy”) is the resignation from the American Physical Society of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, in a letter which begins: “I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” Dr Giaever had asked simply for the word “incontrovertible” to be removed: the APS refused. He rejoined: “In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?”

The fact is, as the WSJ article says (and as I have said in this column before) that large numbers of scientists don’t accept this supposed consensus, and more and more of them are putting their heads above the parapet to say so. The reason is simple: that more and more “incontrovertible” facts are suggesting that the “consensus” has more to do with ideology than science: the most inconvenient truth, perhaps, is the fact that for more than a decade there has been no global warming to speak of, despite the fact that man-made CO2 continues to grow apace. The scientific establishment has no explanation of this, as emerged with wonderful irony in the so-called “Climategate” scandal in 2009, and particularly in an email from a climate scientist called Kevin Trenberth, who wrote baldly (and he thought secretly) that “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

The fact is that the whole anthropogenic warming theory is based not on observation but on computer models: in this case, it seems, computer models in which so-called “feedbacks” involving water vapour and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2. It is, incidentally, interesting that none of the computer models which feed the theory, not one, predicted the present global warming pause: so why, one might ask, should one have any faith at all in their predictive powers about anything else?

Why, on a Catholic website, bother about this at all? Well, because we have been here before. Attacks on the Church over the Galileo affair have been going on for centuries, especially from the scientific community. Now, however, it is the scientific community which is recoiling from free scientific inquiry in the name of a supposedly “incontrovertible” belief based not on observation but on something else, which some have even called a “substitute religion”. And truly, for many, an environmentalism which warns of a man-made doom approaching us all has indeed begun to take on distinctly quasi-religious overtones: and certainly, an environmentalism of this kind is not going to allow its basic assumptions to be challenged. Man needs religion: and if he won’t have a true religion, he will tend willy-nilly to adopt a false one. As Cardinal Pell puts it “some of the more hysterical and extreme claims about global warming appear symptomatic of a pagan emptiness, of a Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature… Perhaps they’re looking for a cause that is almost a substitute for religion… In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.”

The effects of these “extreme claims about global warming” have had a direct effect on our national life even to the extent of threatening our economy. Coincidentally, this could in fact be a moment when the government might do something about that. On Saturday, Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, had to resign from the government. I can’t, I have to say, see exactly why what he is charged with is such a heinous crime that it may well put an end to his political career, but I’m bound to say that I hope either that it has, or at least that he never gets anywhere near “climate change” policy ever again.

He has already, for instance, spent hundreds of millions on disfiguring the landscape with wind turbines, of which there are currently 3,000 onshore and several hundred offshore. They produce just one to two per cent of the nation’s power. But there’s potentially a lot more where they came from. In December, Huhne announced that in 20 years’ time there were going to be altogether nearly another 30,000 of these useless things (which most of the time produce nothing at all), at a cost of heaven knows how many billions. Overall, he has steered the Government into making overall “climate change” commitments we almost certainly cannot afford. We may all, for other reasons, be returning to sanity: so now is the perfect time for the Government quietly to reverse all that.

  • FrankG

    “So Frank, if the high level water vapour predicted by the IPCC has failed to eventuate in the form of the tropospheric hot spot, in what way can the temperature rise beyond 1.2C that is attributable to CO2 as stated by the IPCC?”

    If the sun were to suddenly increase its output by 2%, we would rightfully expect the atmosphere as well as the surface to warm up in response. Likewise, if we were to double preindustrial levels of CO2, we would expect the surface and the lower atmosphere to warm. However, unlike the case of increasing solar influence, we would not expect the lower atmosphere to warm through at all levels. Increasing the greenhouse effect should warm the surface and troposphere, but cool the lower stratosphere. In the doubled CO2 scenario, there is a pronounced cooling of higher altitudes, i.e. the stratosphere, and this feature is entirely absent in the +2% solar scenario. This stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of increased greenhouse (as opposed to solar) warming. In other words, the difference in the two simulations is NOT the presence of a “hot spot” in one and its absence in the other, it’s the stratospheric cooling apparent in the increased CO2 simulation. 

    In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), historical forcings were simulated in the Parallel Climate Model, and and the zonal mean temperature responses to each were broken out in separate panels (see section 9.2.2 – Spatial and Temporal Patterns of the Response to Different Forcings and their Uncertainties – in Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis). There was some increase in solar irradiance during the period, which shows up as a modest amount of warming throughout the atmosphere, with some amplification in the upper troposphere (the sort of greenish-yellow and yellow patterns respectively in panel a). As we all know, there was a significant change in GHG forcing during that time, which manifests as surface warming, amplified upper troposphere warming, and stratospheric cooling  (panel c), and the net effect of all forcings was shown (panel f). 

    This is where things went off the rails. Climate “skeptics”, such as yourself, apparently became convinced that the “hot spot” in Figure 9.1c was the fingerprint of anthropogenic warming the IPCC was referring to, rather than stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming. 

    “There is no evidence of anthropogenic global warming & there won’t be until the tropospheric hot spot appears.”

    This claim is unequivocally incorrect. The mistaken belief that the existence of anthropogenic warming somehow hinges on the existence of the tropospheric “hot spot” is wrong – it does not. Period. Tropospheric amplification of warming with altitude is the predicted response to increasing radiative forcing from natural sources, such as an increase in solar irradiance, as well. Stratospheric cooling is the real “fingerprint” of enhanced greenhouse vs. natural (e.g. increased solar) warming. 

  • FrankG

    If the sun were to suddenly increase its output by 2%, we would rightfully expect the atmosphere as well as the surface to warm up in response. Likewise, if we were to double preindustrial levels of CO2, we would expect the surface and the lower atmosphere to warm. However, unlike the case of increasing solar influence, we would not expect the lower atmosphere to warm through at all levels. Increasing the greenhouse effect should warm the surface and troposphere, but cool the lower stratosphere. In the doubled CO2 scenario, there is a pronounced cooling of higher altitudes, i.e. the stratosphere, and this feature is entirely absent in the +2% solar scenario. This stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of increased greenhouse (as opposed to solar) warming. In other words, the difference in the two simulations is NOT the presence of a “hot spot” in one and its absence in the other, it’s the stratospheric cooling apparent in the increased CO2 simulation. 

    In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), historical forcings were simulated in the Parallel Climate Model, and and the zonal mean temperature responses to each were broken out in separate panels (see section 9.2.2 – Spatial and Temporal Patterns of the Response to Different Forcings and their Uncertainties – in Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis). There was some increase in solar irradiance during the period, which shows up as a modest amount of warming throughout the atmosphere, with some amplification in the upper troposphere (the sort of greenish-yellow and yellow patterns respectively in panel a). As we all know, there was a significant change in GHG forcing during that time, which manifests as surface warming, amplified upper troposphere warming, and stratospheric cooling  (panel c), and the net effect of all forcings was shown (panel f). 

    This is where things went off the rails. Climate “skeptics”, such as yourself, apparently became convinced that the “hot spot” in Figure 9.1c was the fingerprint of anthropogenic warming the IPCC was referring to, rather than stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming. 

    “There is no evidence of anthropogenic global warming & there won’t be until the tropospheric hot spot appears.”

    This claim is unequivocally incorrect. The mistaken belief that the existence of anthropogenic warming somehow hinges on the existence of the tropospheric “hot spot” is wrong – it does not. Period. Tropospheric amplification of warming with altitude is the predicted response to increasing radiative forcing from natural sources, such as an increase in solar irradiance, as well. Stratospheric cooling is the real “fingerprint” of enhanced greenhouse vs. natural (e.g. increased solar) warming. 

  • FrankG

    You clearly have absolutely no understanding of this issue

  • Anonymous

    Frank, you’re being disingenuous: Regrading your comment – ‘This is where things went off the rails. Climate “skeptics”, such as yourself, apparently became convinced that the “hot spot” in Figure 9.1c was the fingerprint of anthropogenic warming the IPCC was referring to, rather than stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming.’

    If you read my post above it says the troposphere needs to warm at the same time as the stratosphere cools, so we’re in agreement. The problem with this though (for you, the IPCC, and the AGW hypothesis), is that only the stratosphere is cooling & this is a result of ozone depletion as a result of man’s CFC output. The upper troposphere is not warming (faster than the Earth’s surface) which invalidates the hypothesis. As you say yourself you need both ‘stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming’. A cooling stratosphere by itself proves absolutely nothing with regards to CO2 emissions.This is what the IPCC predicted according to the computer models:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

    And this is what was observed in reality:

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hot-spot/hot-spot-model-predicted.gif

    Oooops!! Now Frank, since there is no tropospheric hotspot to prove the changing atmosphere as predicted by the IPCC, which in turn disproves the positive feedback from oceanic water vapour, how can the atmosphere warm beyond the 1.2C stated by the IPCC without the water vapour needed to amplify it?

    Face it Frank, the IPCC predicted a cooling stratosphere combined with a warming troposphere and reality proved their prediction wrong. The claim that you seem to be making that the cooling stratosphere alone is proof of AGW and the warming troposphere is irrelevant is the real comment that is ‘unequivocally incorrect’. The AGW hypothesis collapses without the positive feedback associated with the warming troposphere/cooling stratosphere – the most it can warm is 1.2C max., and only if total atmospheric CO2 is doubled.

  • Anonymous

    Frank, you’re being disingenuous: Regrading your comment – ‘This is where things went off the rails. Climate “skeptics”, such as yourself, apparently became convinced that the “hot spot” in Figure 9.1c was the fingerprint of anthropogenic warming the IPCC was referring to, rather than stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming.’If you read my post above it says the troposphere needs to be ‘warming as the stratosphere cools’, so we’re in agreement. The problem with this though (for you, the IPCC, and the AGW hypothesis), is that only the stratosphere is cooling & this is a result of ozone depletion as a result of man’s CFC output. The upper troposphere is not warming (faster than the Earth’s surface) which invalidates the hypothesis. As you say yourself you need both ‘stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming’. A cooling stratosphere by itself proves absolutely nothing with regards to CO2 emissions.This is what the IPCC predicted according to the computer models:http://www.ipcc.ch/publication…And this is what was observed in reality:http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com…Oooops!! Now Frank, since there is no tropospheric hotspot to prove the changing atmosphere as predicted by the IPCC, which in turn disproves the positive feedback from oceanic water vapour, how can the atmosphere warm beyond the 1.2C stated by the IPCC without the water vapour needed to amplify it?Face it Frank, the IPCC predicted a cooling stratosphere combined with a warming troposphere and reality proved their prediction completely wrong. The claim that you seem to be making that the cooling stratosphere alone is proof of AGW and the warming troposphere is irrelevant is the real comment that is ‘unequivocally incorrect’. If you’re not making that claim then you need to show the other half of the cooling stratosphere/warming troposphere theory – the warming troposphere. The AGW hypothesis collapses without the positive feedback associated with the warming troposphere/cooling stratosphere – the most it can warm is 1.2C max., and only if total atmospheric CO2 is doubled. What you need to do to prove the hypothesis is show a cooling stratosphere combined with a warming troposphere (12km high and at the same time as the Earth’s surface is warming) but it doesn’t exist, which is why no one else has shown it either. The hypothesis has been proven false as a result for a long time now, kind of makes you wonder why some people keep ignoring it, especially when they prove themselves wrong with their own words which are 100% correct – ‘stratospheric cooling coupled with tropospheric warming’. It doesn’t exist.

  • FrankG

    To start, lets be perfectly clear about this. A “tropospheric hot spot” is emphatically NOT the same thing as troposheric warming, so don’t conflate the two issues. You say “since there is no tropospheric hotspot…” As I have explained in my previous comment, a “tropospheric hot spot” is not a fingerprint of AGW and was never been claimed to be so by the IPCC or anyone else. Read section 9.2.2 of WG1 in AR4 where the models of this are explained in detail. 

    Your claim that the stratosphere is cooling because of ozone depletion doesn’t hold weight. Multiple satellite measurements and ground-based observations have determined the ozone layer has stopped declining since 1995 while temperature trends continue.

    Now, what does the evidence say about whether the troposphere is warming? We have satellite data plus weather balloon measurements of temperature and wind strength. The three satellite records from UAH, RSS and UWA give varied results. UAH show tropospheric trends less than surface warming, RSS are roughly the same and UWA shows warming greater than surface. The difference between the three is how they adjust for effects like decaying satellite orbits. The conclusion from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (co-authored by UAH’s John Christy) is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy between model and satellite observations is measurement uncertainty.

    Weather balloon measurements are influenced by effects like the daytime heating of the balloons. When these effects are adjusted for, the weather balloon data is broadly consistent with models  (Titchner 2009, Sherwood 2008, Haimberger 2008). Lastly, there is measurements of wind strength from weather balloons. The direct relationship between temperature and wind shear allows us to empirically obtain a temperature profile of the atmosphere. This method finds the troposphere warming faster than the surface. (Allen 2008).

  • FrankG

    To start, lets be perfectly clear about this. A “tropospheric hot spot” is emphatically NOT the same thing as troposheric warming, so don’t conflate the two issues. You say “since there is no tropospheric hotspot…” As I have explained in my previous comment, a “tropospheric hot spot” is not a fingerprint of AGW and was never been claimed to be so by the IPCC or anyone else. Read section 9.2.2 of WG1 in AR4 where the models of this are explained in detail. You’ve linked to it but you don’t seem to understand it!

    Your claim that the stratosphere is cooling because of ozone depletion doesn’t hold weight. Multiple satellite measurements and ground-based observations have determined the ozone layer has stopped declining since 1995 while temperature trends continue.

    Now, what does the evidence say about whether the troposphere is warming? We have satellite data plus weather balloon measurements of temperature and wind strength. The three satellite records from UAH, RSS and UWA give varied results. UAH show tropospheric trends less than surface warming, RSS are roughly the same and UWA shows warming greater than surface. The difference between the three is how they adjust for effects like decaying satellite orbits. The conclusion from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (co-authored by UAH’s John Christy) is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy between model and satellite observations is measurement uncertainty.

    Weather balloon measurements are influenced by effects like the daytime heating of the balloons. When these effects are adjusted for, the weather balloon data is broadly consistent with models  (Titchner 2009, Sherwood 2008, Haimberger 2008). Lastly, there is measurements of wind strength from weather balloons. The direct relationship between temperature and wind shear allows us to empirically obtain a temperature profile of the atmosphere. This method finds the troposphere warming faster than the surface. (Allen 2008).

  • Joe

    Of course, Rcephd.  For you to question the Haruspices as they chant their divinations is obviously verboten.  Only the acknowledged experts in the field of examining sheep entrails are allowed to comment on climate change.  At the very least, you must worship at the feet of the UEA climatologists, as they dispense their wisdom through clouds of incense, whilst issuing loud lamentations.  Others of less rigorous upbringing, must stay outside the inner courtyard, kneeling and keeping their eyes cast down, acknowledging their ignorance, and wearing the humble sackcloth of the non-illuminati.

  • Chillcast

    You mean Chris Huhne being charged for avoiding a speeding ticket?
    Wow! Whats new? On the basis of that, we are all going to hell.

  • Chillcast

    1970s O level science didn’t cover quantum physics in any detail, which is what you would need to understand the basics of the greenhouse effect.

  • Chillcast

    The warming does fall within the range of predictions pjected by the models. If you only include the natural forcings, then yes it would be cooler.

  • Chillcast

    I suggest the author leaves the technical appraisal of wind turbines to those that are qualified. Neither Chris Huhne nor the government has spent hundreds of millions on wind turbines. For someone who is apparently from a religious background I find it disturbing that such misinformation is so willing given. The system that aids wind energy is financed from within the renewable energy industry and is paid for via energy bills, not by the government. Maybe you dislike paying more, but at least get your facts correct and stop spreading lies, because as a Christian (I assume) you should know what happens when you do that.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding your tropospheric hot spot ‘fingerprint’ comment. I never said it was a fingerprint, the IPCC computer models however are based on the assumption of upper atmospheric water vapour amplifying the initial warming threefold. This phenomena does not exist so before you continue avoiding the issue please answer the following question:

    If this water vapour, predicted by the IPCC, water vapour that is necessary to amplify the initial warming of CO2, is not there how can the initial warming be amplified?

    It doesn’t matter what caused the warming in the upper troposphere, but if it’s not there the amplification part of the hypothesis falls apart. I’ll be very interested in your explanation as to how it can warm beyond 1.2C without the positive feedback. Lower level WV doesn’t count as it has a tendency for negative feedback.

    Regarding the papers you’ve quoted. (BTW they look like the standard papers that John Cook quotes from Scepticalscience and are all debunked (notice he doesn’t mention the ones that debunk them).

    Sherwood 2008 shows there is practically no warming in the troposphere, he just tries to hide the fact by dishonestly changing the colour coding:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/sherwood-2008-where-you-can-find-a-hot-spot-at-zero-degrees/

    Haimberger is really Santer et al 2008 and is debunked also. Basically he stretched the error bars so far that they might be able to find something, although he didn’t actually find anything (desperate):

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/the-models-are-wrong-but-only-by-400/

    Allen 2008 is really Sherwood 2008 (see above). It’s pretty desperate when the hot spot can only be found by discarding real temperature measurements from real thermometers in favour of a wind shear proxy, & as mentioned above they found practically no warming at all.

    Try these papers, they’re up to date & peer reviewed. I’ll give the articles with them as summaries, but the papers are easily accessible via the articles:

    McKitrick, McIntyre, & Herman 2010: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/the-models-are-wrong-but-only-by-400/

    Fu, Q., S. Manabe, and C. Johanson 2011: http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/this-is-90-certainty-really-yet-another-paper-shows-the-hot-spot-is-missing/

    It’s worth bearing in mind that as you’ve stated the satellites basically give the same results as the radiosondes which reinforces the fact that there is no hot spot. I don’t care whether you think it’s a ‘fingerprint’ or not, the hypothesis fails without it due to water vapour feedback needed to amplify the temperature failing to eventuate. The computer models take account of a positive feedback that doesn’t exist, which is why they’ve failed. You can try to side track using the fingerprint or stratosphere (ozone is the scientifically accepted reason) arguments in order to avoid the issue, but I’m calling you out:

    The hot spot is proof of atmospheric water vapour that amplifies the initial warming of CO2. Since it doesn’t exist, and the water vapour feedback theory fails as a result, in what way can the temperature rise beyond 1.2C?

    I’ll give you a clue, it can’t. No hot spot, no positive feedback, no AGW.

  • Anonymous

    I think Rcephd displays a very good understanding of the issue – facts & observation always trump theory & speculation. It’s the basis of good science.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding your tropospheric hot spot ‘fingerprint’ comment. I never said it was a fingerprint, the IPCC computer models however are based on the assumption of upper atmospheric water vapour amplifying the initial warming threefold. This phenomena does not exist so before you continue avoiding the issue please answer the following question:If this water vapour, predicted by the IPCC, water vapour that is necessary to amplify the initial warming of CO2, is not there how can the initial warming be amplified?It doesn’t matter what caused the warming in the upper troposphere, but if it’s not there the amplification part of the hypothesis falls apart. I’ll be very interested in your explanation as to how it can warm beyond 1.2C without the positive feedback. Lower level WV doesn’t count as it has a tendency for negative feedback.Regarding the papers you’ve quoted. (BTW they look like the standard papers that John Cook quotes from Scepticalscience and are all debunked (notice he doesn’t mention the ones that debunk them).Sherwood 2008 shows there is practically no warming in the troposphere, he just tries to hide the fact by dishonestly changing the colour coding:http://joannenova.com.au/2010/…Haimberger is really Santer et al 2008 and is debunked also. Basically he stretched the error bars so far that they might be able to find something, although he didn’t actually find anything (desperate):http://joannenova.com.au/2010/…Allen 2008 is really Sherwood 2008 (see above). It’s pretty desperate when the hot spot can only be found by discarding real temperature measurements from real thermometers in favour of a wind shear proxy, & as mentioned above they found practically no warming at all.Try these papers, they’re up to date & peer reviewed. I’ll give the articles with them as summaries, but the papers are easily accessible via the articles:McKitrick, McIntyre, & Herman 2010:http://joannenova.com.au/2010/…Fu, Q., S. Manabe, and C. Johanson 2011:http://joannenova.com.au/2011/…It’s worth bearing in mind that as you’ve stated the satellites basically give the same results as the radiosondes which reinforces the fact that there is no hot spot. I don’t care whether you think it’s a ‘fingerprint’ or not, the hypothesis fails without it due to water vapour feedback needed to amplify the temperature failing to eventuate. The computer models take account of a positive feedback that doesn’t exist, which is why they’ve failed. You can try to side track using the fingerprint or stratosphere (ozone is the scientifically accepted reason) arguments in order to avoid the issue, but I’m calling you out:The hot spot is proof of atmospheric water vapour that amplifies the initial warming of CO2. Since it doesn’t exist, and the water vapour feedback theory fails as a result, in what way can the temperature rise beyond 1.2C?I’ll give you a clue, it can’t. No hot spot, no positive feedback, no AGW.

  • FrankG

    Im not sure why you keep linking me to articles on atmospheric physics written by a microbiologist, but I have read them anyway.”Sherwood 2008 shows there is practically no warming in the troposphere, he just tries to hide the fact by dishonestly changing the colour coding”The only way you can say this is if you naively assume that much greater temperature changes are expected than those shown. This is not the case. 0.15° + or – 0.07°C per decade is within uncertainty of the roughly 0.17°–0.22° expected on the basis of surface trends of 0.12°–0.14°C per decade (CCSP 2006; Santer et al. 2005)”Haimberger is really Santer et al 2008 and is debunked also. Basically he stretched the error bars so far that they might be able to find something, although he didn’t actually find anything (desperate)”The article you link to talks about* this paper, Consistency Of Modelled And Observed Temperature Trends – Santer et al 2008. I did not reference that paper, but this one, Toward Elimination of the Warm Bias in Historic Radiosonde Temperature Records—Some New Results from a Comprehensive Intercomparison of Upper-Air Data – Leopold Haimberger, Christina Tavolato, and Stefan Sperka 2008 which you can read here http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2008JCLI1929.1*I say “talks about” but all it really says is that Santer “replied in 2008 [to claims tropospheric observations were inconsistent with models] by discovering a lot of uncertainties, and stretching the error bars. Since the broad errors bars overlapped he could announce that the hot spot wasn’t really missing (even though he didn’t really find it either)” No explanation, just that. I have read both papers, so perhaps you could expand and explain to me what exactly is wrong, and why, with the conclusions of either paper (the one I actually referenced or the one I never even mentioned). “It’s pretty desperate when the hot spot can only be found by discarding real temperature measurements from real thermometers in favour of a wind shear proxy, & as mentioned above they found practically no warming at all.”There is a direct relationship between wind shear and temperature which is well understood. Look up the thermal wind equation. The proxy was used because it eliminates biases and uncertainties such as, for example, daytime heating of balloons, or decaying orbits of satellites. And as mentioned above, they found warming consistent with expectations from models.”Try these papers[...]“The first one, (lead author an economist, I note) is a brilliant lesson in how not to compare models to data. They’re comparing an ensemble of models to data, but doing so by checking whether the observations match the ensemble mean. Well of course they don’t. Even the models don’t match the ensemble mean – and this difference will frequently be statistically significant (depending on how much data you use). Are you seriously going to argue on the basis of this that the models don’t predict their own behaviour? If not, why on Earth should it be considered a meaningful test of how well the models simulate reality? Have you even read this paper? You’ve been saying that the temperature observations under discussion are meaningless and that there is no trend, but the results of this paper *depend* on observing a trend.The second paper you refer to shows that the TUT has warmed since 1979 but at a rate only very slightly higher than lower altitudes. However, it still suffers from the same calibration issues as other attempts to get warming trends out of satellites (as aknowledged in the paper itself), and only captures a fraction of the era of AGW. If you look at change over the longest period available (since 1958), everything matches up pretty well, a finding on which several studies now agree. This means we must be careful not to over-generalise observations during the shorter, satellite era.You again mention ozone as the cause of stratospheric cooling but fail to explain how this can be so, given that ozone has stopped declining since 1995 while temperature trends continue (hint – ozone is not the culprit).”The hot spot is proof of atmospheric water vapour that amplifies the initial warming of CO2. Since it doesn’t exist, and the water vapour feedback theory fails as a result, in what way can the temperature rise beyond 1.2C?”As demonstrated previously, you can’t say that the hotspot doesn’t exist. You *can* say its inconsistant. But whether it exists or not, your conclusion makes no sense. We care about warming near the surface, and there is no reason why less warming aloft would mean a more or less sensitive climate (your argument relating to the water-vapour feedback rests on a misunderstanding of climate physics). If upper tropospheric temperatures are indeed behaving differently to expectations, this would challenge our current understanding about how energy is transported within the atmosphere. But it would have no direct repercussions for global warming, which is instead fundamentally about energy exchanges between the planet and space. We might indeed revise our estimates of future warming up or downward, but we can still be confident of warming. If you have no other basis on which to question AGW, I suggest that you change your name on here, because what you are is a moist adiabatic lapse rate sceptic.

  • FrankG

    Yes, im sure it was “facts & observation” that led Rcephd to accuse people of being unethical and changing data to fit a theory when they have been exonerated by multiple independent investigations. 

  • FrankG

    Anyone can comment, but don’t be outraged when you repeat arguments that have been refuted a thousand times before and someone calls you out on it. And yes, acknowledged experts in climate science do tend to know a bit about it. That’s pretty much axiomatic. Other people can have their own views as well, but ask yourself this: when you’re ill, do you go to your doctor or your accountant?

  • Anonymous

    Personally I prefer to believe the words of the ‘scientists’ themselves in their own emails from their own hands than the outcomes of any whitewash investigations whose terms of reference excluded the relevant issues. If you don’t want to find something wrong, exclude the issue from the investigation & avoid questioning anyone who might give you an undesirable answer:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/03/singer-on-climategate-parliamentary-inquiry/

    There are other more indepth articles on this point but I can’t be bothered running around looking for things for those too lazy to do it themselves. Try examining all points of view before accepting what the AGW liars are telling you – their lies are so blatant you’d have to be blind not to see them (unless you don’t want to see them of course).

    Have you found that upper tropospheric water vapour yet Frank & if not, how can it warm beyond 1.2C? Or perhaps you’d like to exclude that from your terms of reference when examining the issue of AGW. It is a touch inconvenient as it invalidates the whole theory, etc.

  • Anonymous

    What if your doctor has a history of malpractice, dishonesty, and he’s killed all his patients through quackery? facts speak louder than words, where’s the upper tropospheric water vapour & how can it warm beyond 1.2C without it?

  • Anonymous

    I suppose you can find a tropospheric hot spot after all – all you have to do is ignore the data readings of over 30,000,000 weather balloons and 2 satellites that corroborate each other & measure the temperature using …. wait for it …. wind? Strange the global temperature refuses to rise which further corroborates the data of the satellites & the radiosondes. Whatever it takes to get the desired result huh frank. I wonder if they went to the same trouble with the stratosphere readings, after all they measure it the same way. Luckily no one really takes the AGW con too seriously anymore, there is no empirical evidence to back it up after all.

    BTW, I see someone flagged a previous post of mine as inappropriate – getting a touch desperate perhaps frank? I would too if I was trying to promote AGW in the face of the observed data.