Wednesday, 19 March 2008

More Inconvenient Truth for the Climate Faithful - Oceans don't know they're meant to be warming up

All predictions of future climate conditions come from climate models. The UN IPCC uses a blend of about 20 models to create high, low and average scenarios.

As I've commented before, climate models have a zero (nil, nada, none, bugger all) percentage success rate at predicting earth's climate. The Climate Faithful use the hilarious example of Hansen's 'Scenario B' to show that models do, in fact, work.

For the uninitiated - Scenario B is one of NASA climate scientist James Hansen's models that proved to be reasonably accurate. "Huzzah!" cried the Climate Faithful, "Models do work!" Unfortunately, Scenario B uses parameters for greenhouse gasses that do not reflect what actually happened - not even close - meaning that the right result was achieved with the wrong method. I don't know how your maths papers were graded when you went to school but when I did if I presented a solution to a problem that got the right answer but with the wrong method then my test would come back with a dirty great X next to it.


It goes without saying that there are a lot of Xs in climate science.

With that as background we now have an article published in NPR The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat, which details that the oceans are not warming up in the manner that they're supposed to be according to climate theory and the predictions of climate models.
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
Seriously? What's not to understand? The robots are telling them exactly what's happening.
This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."
Don't you worry about that, though, all of you Climate Faithful. Climate science has a solid track record at fudging figures, from NASA's GISS data to the Hockey Stick to UHI adjustments and to ground station data manipulation. Just give them a year or so to 'explain' why the robots are producing 'wrong' results and order will be restored.
In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on.
Sounds like a job for Dirk Gentry's Holistic Detective Agency to me.
That becomes clear when you consider what's happening to global sea level. Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands. This accounts for about half of global sea level rise. So with the oceans not warming, you would expect to see less sea level rise. Instead, sea level has risen about half an inch in the past four years. That's a lot.
Or the measurements are wrong. Climate science is all about low-balling previous numbers to make current data look high by comparison.
Willis says some of this water is apparently coming from a recent increase in the melting rate of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
Except for the fact that both continents are quite stable in net ice cover and even the worst predictions of sea levels rises can't create four inches in four years.
"But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says.
That's not "a little bit of a mystery". If it's actually true then it's a huge mystery.
One possibility is that the sea has, in fact, warmed and expanded — and scientists are somehow misinterpreting the data from the diving buoys.

But if the aquatic robots are actually telling the right story, that raises a new question: Where is the extra heat all going?

Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it's probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.
Climate models are spectacularly bad at modelling how much heat makes it into space because they have no capacity to model cloud cover.
That can't be directly measured at the moment, however.
They can't???? But, but, but...ah, what the heck. Wreck economies, spend trillions of dollars. It'll be OK. Not.
"Unfortunately, we don't have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they've been playing during this period," Trenberth says.
Told you. For 'adequate' read 'any'.
It's also possible that some of the heat has gone even deeper into the ocean, he says. Or it's possible that scientists need to correct for some other feature of the planet they don't know about. It's an exciting time, though, with all this new data about global sea temperature, sea level and other features of climate.
"...correct for some other feature of the planet they don't know about"? What did I tell you? Expect a huge data fudge sometime soon.
"I suspect that we'll able to put this together with a little bit more perspective and further analysis," Trenberth says. "But what this does is highlight some of the issues and send people back to the drawing board."

Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming. But they say there are still things to learn about how our planet copes with the heat.
I don't know why they say 'mild' when half the planet has been freezing their collective arses off and all indicators are that lack of solar activity will bring even more cold in years to come.

(Nothing Follows)

14 comments:

hoppers said...

Gosh be careful...Anonymous loves Hansen B, and will get angry when he reads this.

Also you are a free marketeer, which is a terrible thing to be. A return to state ownership is what we need I say, along with some handy trade restrictions - what the hell, why not just go the whole hog and embrace totalitarianism while we're about it.

Jack Lacton said...

good call, hoppers.

don't forget, though, that 21st century socialism is different to the 20th century variety because "they didn't get it right and we will".

Anonymous said...

All predictions of future climate conditions come from climate models. - not true.

As I've commented before, climate models have a zero (nil, nada, none, bugger all) percentage success rate at predicting earth's climate - totally untrue

Unfortunately, Scenario B uses parameters for greenhouse gasses that do not reflect what actually happened - not even close - that's just a lie.

Climate models are spectacularly bad at modelling how much heat makes it into space because they have no capacity to model cloud cover. - and that's not true either.

You really are spectacularly ignorant and stupid. You don't have the faintest idea about what's in climate models and your claims about their predictive record are a product only of your feeble mind.

Did you know that a paper was published in July 2007 retracting claims made on the basis of these ocean probes, because the researchers hadn't taken into account two major sources of bias? I would bet a large sum that you didn't know that.

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

How much do you want to bet that not one model used by the IPCC has ever forecasted correctly? Pick a number you can afford, send me an email with your details and we'll set the conditions.

You are confusing the 2007 paper with the new release. They are based on different methods. In fact, the use of the new robots was designed to overcome the issues in measuring ocean temperatures.

Anonymous said...

Fucky,

Specify what you consider 'forecasted correctly' to mean.

No, the new paper does not use 'new robots'. Do you ever read the papers themselves, or just guess what they say?

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

If you have to ask what 'forecasted correctly' means then I have to question your understanding of anything scientific.

It means that at a date, say 1990, any of the models accurately predicted the climate in 2008. Or start in 2000 and predict 2010 and we can wait a few years for the result.

Most people confuse hindcasting with forecasting and don't realise that the former is the result of huge fudges such as the aerosol adjustments.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and what does accurately predicted the climate actually mean to you, you great moron? Every single weather station around the world reporting exactly the temperature the model predicted to within 0.01°C, or the global average predicted to within 1°C, or something in between?

If you're too dense to realise you need to define your terms then it's no wonder you simply don't understand climate science.

Jack Lacton said...

God.You're.Dense, Fudgie.

OK.

1) Pick any model you like.
2) Start in any year you like.
3) If the model predicts the 2007 year data made up of: average temperature (max and min) to within 0.2C and average precipitation to within 5mm and CO2 concentration to 5ppm then you win.

The only caveat is that you must pick a gap of at least 5 years and for the year you pick the forecast must be run with the model in its programmed form at that date until 2007.

That's a pretty simple ask, really.

Anonymous said...

Ah, well, you finally understood that you've got to define your terms, but then you fell into the classic trap of confusing 'weather' and 'climate'. How about rather than expecting a climate model to predict the weather in a given year, you behave more sensibly and give us a criterion for how accurately you'd like a model to have predicted the most recent 9 year mean?

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

For starters, the climate is the simply the sum total of all weather.

You have shown what a complete ass you are with this one, too.

If you'd like to pick a model that gets 9 year running mean for temperature + precipitation (i.e. climate) and CO2 right to within 10% then you win.

Anonymous said...

Well you have a vague understanding of the difference. Maybe in time you'll get a better grip on it.

Anyway, for starters, let's look at temperatures. What do you make of this graph?

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

I challenged you to a bet. If you want to pick one of those models to use as the basis then be my guest. I'll happily take a decent size bet.

Anonymous said...

What a surprise! You make the claim "climate models have a zero (nil, nada, none, bugger all) percentage success rate at predicting earth's climate". I show you that you're talking shit, as you always are, and that if you even did a tiny bit of research, you wouldn't constantly look like a donkey. And then you try to change the goalposts.

Sorry, fucky, but bleating on about how models have never forecast the climate accurately when quite obviously they have is just pathetically unintelligent.

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

I repeat that I have challenged you to a financial bet.

THERE IS NO MODEL THAT HAS EVER GOT TEMPERATURE, CO2 & PRECIPITATION CORRECT.

I gave you generous parameters.

Besides being profoundly incapable of understanding the AGW hooey you're reading you're also an utter coward.