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August global temperature update

Paul Hudson | 16:05 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

The latest global temperature anomaly for August has been released and according to the UAH measure is +0.325C above the running 30 year mean, similar to July's anomaly, shown on the graph below.

Adjusted to the more standard time period, the anomaly is approximately +0.578C above the 1961-1990 time period used by the Met Office and WMO.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    A simple adjustment of the August UAH figure to the 1961-90 baseline, using the average HadCRUT3 over 1981-2010, is 0.578c, but a more meaningful equivalent, based on the relative August anomalies for 1999-2010 is 0.516c.
    Even this figure is unlikely to be very accurate however, since recently the correlation between UAH and HadCRUT3 hasn't been very consistent.
    Both NH and SH anomalies have fallen, but since UAH was previously much higher than other anomaly series, I think that this fall may be a "correction" of the UAH figure, bringing it more in line with the others, so I am not expecting a corresponding fall in, for example, HadCRUT3 this month.
    As a result of the August figure, the 10 year linear trend in UAH has increased from +0.0386c/decade to +0.0489c/decade.
    While this would appear to be a reversal of the recent downward path in the linear trend, I think this is likely to be temporary, due to the relative volatility in UAH anomaly figures. However, it does make it difficult to predict when the UAH 10 year trend will become negative, as is the case with HadCRUT3, RSS and NOAA/NCDC.

  • Comment number 2.

    Once again here are our forcasts for 2011

    Met Office +0.44
    SmokingDeepThroat +0.39
    quake +0.36
    ukpahonta +0.35
    QuaesoVeritas +0.31 (original estimate)
    Gadgetfriend +0.30
    NeilHamp +0.27
    LabMunkey +0.25 (revised)
    millinia +0.24
    Joe Bastardi +0.2
    Ken Sharples +0.18
    nibor25 +0.15

    We will await QV's estimate of the year to date

  • Comment number 3.

    Back in January Paul said:-
    "This means that in the last 11 years, 10 of the global forecasts issued by the Met Office have been too warm. This 'warm bias' in their forecasts, first discussed on this blog, and later by Roger Harrabin, is very small, just 0.05C, and according to the Met Office the difference between the forecast and the actual temperature is within its own stated margins of error"

    Has anyone got a record of their annual forcast against actual?

  • Comment number 4.

    Whether Paul or QV is right with the standard anomaly figure, 2011 moves into the warmest 11 years in HadCRUT's 163 year record. Recall that we had La Nina cooling until mid May (and possibly a new La Nina about to come).

    2011 to date is inside the top ten years to date of UAH and NASA. This is unusual warming, by anyone's standards, considering the prevailing oceanic conditions. It requires a very good explanation.

  • Comment number 5.

    What's the black sine wave that's been introduced then Paul?

  • Comment number 6.

    Spencer added the curve, it's for fun and not for predictive value.

    That's 3 months of UAH above 0.3C which is quite a jump from earlier months. Even adjusting for baseline RSS doesn't show such an increase as UAH. It could be just noise but unless RSS comes in high this month I am beginning to think it's a genuine divergence. The rise is quite a bit high for ENSO neutral conditions and HadCRUT doesn't show anything similar either so I am leaning towards it being some kind of an error in UAH. Perhaps a satellite sensor has gone wrong.

  • Comment number 7.

    Right, now it gets interesting. Hansen's Nino completely failed to materialise, and after only achieving a neutral ENSO we are on our way back down http://t.co/0OaBlcj

    So the question is how far and how fast, and with only 4 months left what effect it will have on the final figure.

    My prediction looking unlikely but I'll stick with it anyway, the anomalies went higher than I expected this summer. So accounting for that I think a figure between NeilHamp and QV's original estimate seems to be the prime target area.

  • Comment number 8.

    QV, you tend to keep an eye on the MET data, have you seen this yet:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/05/cet-vs-meto-a-problem-with-temperature/

    'So, we now seem to have reached a position where the CET is remaining in relative phase with the METO series for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but has become colder than the METO series for England (I have also tried the METO series for England North and England South and you get the same thing). Or, rather, the METO series for England (and English regions) is moving out of phase with everything else.'

  • Comment number 9.

    Stop kidding yourself that Global warming is created by man, it is getting boring and costly. Yes the climate across the world increased for a 10 year period, but it is now on the decline. Any successful business, will try and produce things as efficiently as possible, with the least damage to the environment as possible. Moving our manufacturing production to third world countries, is causing environmental damage, but not man made Global warming. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Comment number 10.

    #8. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "QV, you tend to keep an eye on the MET data, have you seen this yet:"
    I have tended to concentrate more on global temperatures recently but I have confirmed these figures in relation to the Midlands and they do seem to require an explanation.
    Depending on how you look at it, the trend could have started in 1995, or as early as 1976.
    Given that CET is only based on readings from 3 locations, it seems likely that CET is the origin of the discrepancy. I think that the last change in the locations was in 2004, when Squires Gate and Ringway were replaced by Stonyhurst.
    However, I don't know if there has been a change in the METO regional locations over the period.

  • Comment number 11.

    newdwr54 @ 4
    "2011 to date is inside the top ten years to date of UAH and NASA. This is unusual warming, by anyone's standards, considering the prevailing oceanic conditions. It requires a very good explanation."

    Can you expand on this a bit please. I know we've discussed this before but I can't grasp why you think this is particularly unusual since la nina is more descriptive of relative ssts than actual ssts.
    Also, from the last thread, I'd be surprised if a return to la nina conditions actually showed up in global atmospheric temps until late Nov or Dec. There is always a lag of a few months.

    Perhaps these 'double dip' years behave differently for response times? Don't know.

  • Comment number 12.

    #6. - quake wrote:
    "That's 3 months of UAH above 0.3C which is quite a jump from earlier months. Even adjusting for baseline RSS doesn't show such an increase as UAH. It could be just noise but unless RSS comes in high this month I am beginning to think it's a genuine."
    It is true that RSS has been less volatile than UAH recently.
    I am not entirely sure exactly far north and south the UAH measurements extend, but the data files do quote figures for the North Pole and South Pole, whereas the RSS data only seems to cover +60 to +82.5 and -60 to -70 degrees.
    Recently a lot of the highest anomalies appear to have been at the South Pole, possibly below -70 degrees, and I wonder if that might account for some of the difference between UAH and other anomalies, including RSS.
    I haven't looked specifically at the polar regions yet, but the difference between UAH and the others does seem to be much larger in the SH than in the NH.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'll be very interested to see how the remainder of this year pans out. That sign wave is looking quite good!

  • Comment number 14.

    LabMunkey,

    Actually, according to Roy Spencer, it is a "3rd order polynomial fit". His precise words are:
    "Note that this month I have taken the liberty of adding a 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel). This is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever."
    I am afraid that I don't know how, if at all, this is related to a sine wave.
    My knowledge of this is limited, but I presume this is a more sophisticated method of defining a trend than a simple linear regression line.
    I also don't know the significance of using a 3rd order polynomial, as opposed to a 2nd order, or a 4th order one, but it does appear that the 3rd order is the only one which currently shows a downward path.
    Actually I think that the 5th and 6th order polynomials seem to fit better, but unfortunately they both produce rising trends at the end!
    Someone with a better knowledge of statistics might like to comment.

  • Comment number 15.

    I know I have said this before but at the risk of boring you all the latest global temperature anomaly (lower atmosphere) is of limited scientific value, though apparently of enormous policitical value. It tells us little about the heat energy in the earth system. If we are moving into another La Nina that suggest the oceans are already cooling and the heat energy has to pass via the lower atmosphere on its journey into the void of space. That would indicate the earth system is cooling as a whole, but that will not be known until ENSO decides which way to jump and when. Last I saw the sea surface temperature anomaly was pretty flat possibly cooling a little, for what it is worth.

    smoke me a kipper (or a mackerel)

  • Comment number 16.

    13. LabMunkey:

    A better question is why has Spencer added a trend line to his data at all - he doesn't normally?

    The appropriate trend line for data series that run along a linear path, such as a monthly temperature series, is a linear trend line. Dr Spencer steadfastly refuses to add one to the published UAH charts. Why?

    Might it be because it looks like this? :http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/every:13/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend

    By selecting a completely inappropriate "3rd order polynomial fit" to the UAH data Spencer has found just about the only line that currently gives the data an apparent downward trend.

    In reality, the trend over the whole data series just is not there. UAH's official temperature trend is currently +0.14C per decade since 1979.

  • Comment number 17.

    @ Qv # 14

    Yeah you're probably right, i made a quick coment off the appearance (e-gads). Incidentally, i struggle with the 'order' fits too. I 'kind' of understand it, but the applications of them tend to make my head hurt a bit.

    @ #16- newd.

    I disagree that a linear trend line is applicable as the patterns are CLEARLY cyclical. If it were only that simple; though i agree that the current trend line seems inaccurate, at least over this time scale (as the 87-91 cycles are a poor fit).

    A more step wise trend, would seem appropriate, though i don't have time to apply one right now as i'm mid reporting period for a project!

  • Comment number 18.

    15. Spanglerboy wrote:

    "If we are moving into another La Nina that suggest the oceans are already cooling and the heat energy has to pass via the lower atmosphere on its journey into the void of space."

    I thought La Nina conditions simply meant that winds push warm water westward from the eastern Pacific coast causing cool deep water to rise to the surface there? The heat doesn't go 'to space', it goes to the western Pacific, or so I believed.

    Certainly all heat ends up going to space, but it hangs around for a while first. The current situation with the Arctic sea ice suggests that things may not be cooling as rapidly as you fear.

  • Comment number 19.

    The RSS global anomaly for August was 0.291c, down from 0.328c last month, a slightly smaller fall than for UAH. This is about 0.05c lower than I had expected based on the AQUA CH5 temperature for the month.
    The RSS NH anomaly is 0.449c, up from 0.414c, unlike UAH which showed a NH fall, and the RSS SH anomaly is 0.126c, down from 0.237c, a much larger fall than for UAH.
    This brings the UAH and RSS NH anomalies closer together and the SH anomalies even further apart.
    I had thought that the reason for the large fall in the SH anomaly might have been the -60 to -70 degree anomaly "catching up" with UAH, but in fact, that anomaly has actually increased from 0.607c to 0.717c, and most of the fall in the SH anomaly seems to be due to fall in the -20 to -70 degree anomaly. Since the -60 to -70 deg. anomaly was higher, this suggests an even larger fall in the -20 to -60 deg. region, which of course is mainly ocean. Unfortunately the UAH anomaly figures for the polar regions aren't available yet.
    The August global RSS figure adjusted to 1961-90 is 0.438c, which is lower than the equivalent UAH figure. As a result of this, the 10 year linear trend has risen from -0.065c/decade to -0.055c/decade.
    Overall, a bit of a confused picture, which doesn't really seem to make the future look any more predictable.

  • Comment number 20.

    #16. - newdwr54 wrote:

    "The appropriate trend line for data series that run along a linear path, such as a monthly temperature series, is a linear trend line. Dr Spencer steadfastly refuses to add one to the published UAH charts. Why?"

    I am not sure that a linear trend is necessarily the most appropriate, since as LabMunkey points out, the temperature patterns do seem to be cyclical.

    I agree with you however that there is a suspicion that the 3rd order polynomial appears to have been chosen because it is the only one which currently shows a downward trend.

    On the other hand, I am not sure why the 3rd order polynomial is any less appropriate than any other polynomial or a linear trend. If anything, I think that the linear trend is the least appropriate, since it is a very crude method of establishing a trend.

  • Comment number 21.

    Did anyone see the bit about the Arctic sea ice extent and ocean currents on the latest "Weather Show" on the BBC News Channel?
    I was left confused by exactly what John Hammond was saying. He seemed to contradict himself when he said the melting of the arctic ice was not a "runaway feedback process", but in his explanation he also said that "something, I put it to you, is going on". His explanation of what was going on seemed to be that the extent of ice might affect ocean currents, but didn't really explain why that meant the melting wasn't a "runaway process".
    The programme is still available to watch on iPlayer here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0072wbb
    The bit about the arctic is about 13 minutes in.
    If anyone can explain what was beign said, I would be most grateful.

  • Comment number 22.

    Newwdr54 # 18

    Looks like I owe you an apology. You say '......things may not be cooling as rapidly as you fear'. If my post gave you the impression that I know on a day to day basis whether the earth system is warming or cooling, then clearly I have misrepresented my very limited skillset. I thought that when I referred to not knowing until ENSO decided which way to jump might have been a clue as to my cluelessness but alas not. So apologies again and just so we are crystal clear I do not know whether the earth system is warming or cooling at the moment. Makes you wonder if anyone does?

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 23.

    My suspicion, looking at the longer term trends is that we'll see another slight cooling cycle/plateuing, ala '91 (based on nothing but an eye-ball fit), but then it's place your bets time as t which direction it'll go after that.

    The cycles do 'seem' to arrive in pairs between any major shift- though of course this doesn't take into account any anthropogenic factor.

  • Comment number 24.

    Labmunkey # 23

    fair comment

    how is baby LabMunkey? Must be doing his first experiments by now and gleaning some much needed empirical climate data which I am sure he will share with Paul Hudson just to keep this post almost on topic. Ok, scraping the barrel, I know

    stroke me a nipper ?

  • Comment number 25.

    QV @21
    "His explanation of what was going on seemed to be that the extent of ice might affect ocean currents, but didn't really explain why that meant the melting wasn't a "runaway process".

    Mmmm - not very clear.
    I took him to mean that the heavier/dense salt water resulting from ice melt acted as a barrier, preventing warmer waters from causing yet further melting. Without this effect, the warmer waters would make summer ice melt an almost unstoppable process when added to the melt caused by sunlight.

  • Comment number 26.

    #25. - lateintheday wrote:
    QV @21
    "I took him to mean that the heavier/dense salt water resulting from ice melt acted as a barrier, preventing warmer waters from causing yet further melting."
    I thought that at first, but watching it again, he said that "when sea ice freezes, it leaves salt behind", so he wasn't talking about melting ice, but freezing ice.
    So I am just as confused as ever. It is almost as though he was deliberately trying to cause confusion.

  • Comment number 27.

    in which case . . .
    I'm stumped!

  • Comment number 28.

    @spangler#24

    Babymunkey is doing grand thanks- already at nursery now causing all maner of chaos!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think Paul Hudson became a bit agitated yesterday on the Peter Levy Radio Show when someone quoted the science of Ferenc Miskolczi. Miskolczi found from Observation not theory that CO2 displaces water vapour therefore additional Greenhouse warming is zero. Paul wanted to know who it was who quoted Miskolczis science, and then when he was told who it was, criticised the politician not the science. Quite an unusual experience to see Paul using political tactics against a politician telling the truth. - Also I think the melting is not a "runaway process" because Winter follows Summer. “Boom, Boom“.

  • Comment number 30.

    paulcottingham,

    When was that edition of the Peter Levy Radio Show broadcast?

  • Comment number 31.

    paulcottingham @ #29

    If Paul Hudson did indeed get agitated, he did so with good reason, as Miskolczi's claims are nonsense.

    The full scientific rebuttal is in PDF format, so I'm not allowed to link to it. However, if you want to read it, do a Google search for:

    "Rebuttal of Miskolczi’s alternative greenhouse theory" by Rob van Dorland and Piers M Forster.

    Paul

  • Comment number 32.

    PB - nonsense is a little strong.
    I took the bait and ended up at Science of Doom. The thread was quite a heavyweight physics discussion and Miskolczi himself turned up for a while to defend his work. Clearly, most thought he had got it wrong. Personally, I couldn't understand what anyone was talking about - way too many equations! Out of interest, are you saying that you understand this stuff well enough to use the word 'nonsense' or simply that if Stokes and Eli Rabett etc say it's rubbish, then it must be?

  • Comment number 33.

    lateintheday @ #32

    No, I don't claim to be an expert in radiative physics. However, if you check out the rebuttal, you'll see that even Miskolczi's own results are inconsistent with his theory. Also, even leading sceptic scientists, including Spencer, Christy, Lindzen and co. don't dispute the basic physics of the greenhouse effect or the IPCC's stated forcing for CO2. Indeed, Roy Spencer has even done a critique of Miskolczi's claims and repeats many of the points made in the rebuttal:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/08/comments-on-miskolczi%E2%80%99s-2010-controversial-greenhouse-theory/

    Incidentally, I note from my Google search that Realclimate Wiki has a link to a "layperson summary" of the rebuttal, which explains the main issues:

    http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=Ferenc_Miskolczi

    Paul

  • Comment number 34.

    If we assume 0.485 for the August HadCRUT3 then the average for the first 8 months of 2011 will be +0.36. Much depends on what happens to the La Nina for the rest of the year. I thought Met.Office computer models took account of La Nina events. In which case you would have thought they might have got their estimate a little closer, but you never know things might still warm up in the South Pacific.

    quake +0.36 and ukpahonta +0.35 still look like being closest by year end

  • Comment number 35.

    The complete list from 1999 (earliest Met Office prediction I could find) looks like this:

    Year - Prediction - Reported outcome- Difference
    1999 ….0.38…….. .0.26.....................-0.12
    2000……0.41………. 0.24.....................-0.17
    2001……0.47………. 0.40.....................-0.07
    2002……0.47…………0.46.....................-0.01
    2003……0.55…………0.46.....................-0.11
    2004……0.50…………0.43.....................-0.07
    2005……0.51…………0.47.....................-0.04
    2006… .0.45.……....0.43.....................-0.02
    2007……0.54…………0.40......................-0.14
    2008……0.37…………0.31......................-0.06
    2009…>0.40……...…0.44.....................+0.04
    2010……0.58…………0.50......................-0.08
    2011....0.44.........0.36 (Year to date)..-0.08

    For some reason in 2009 they were not certain of their forcast and actually predicted LOWER than the reported outcome. Why are they so consistently HIGH? Next year I think I shall wait for the Met.Office to forcast then take off between 0.6 and 1.0 for my prediction.

  • Comment number 36.

    @35 "Why are they so consistently HIGH?"

    In built assumptions that are not reflected in reality are your best bet there.

    "Next year I think I shall wait for the Met.Office to forcast then take off between 0.6 and 1.0 for my prediction."

    Good idea.

    On a wry note, wouldn't that remove the estimated co2 warming??? ;-)

  • Comment number 37.

    NeilHamp,
    I am not yet in a position to give my final estimate of the August HadCRUT3 figure, but at the moment everything points to a slight fall below last month's 0.459c.
    I presume that M.O. models do take El Nino/La Nino conditions into account, but the problem might be in predicting those conditions. Having said that, I would have thought that current temperatures would be higher than might have been expected when the M.O. made their prediction of 0.44c.

  • Comment number 38.

    The Peter Levy Radio Show was on Radio Humberside and Radio Lincolnshire between 12 and 2pm on Tuesday. The politician was UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall, and Paul Hudson was on the show in the last 10 minutes.

    I edit “Climate Change from Space” for the Mensa International Science Forum. Miskolczi calculated that the Greenhouse effect on Mars added 3 Kelvin to an Atmosphere with 18 times more CO2 than the Earth, he then produced a theory to explain this, we only used the calculated fact not the theory which is not necessary for calibrating man-made CO2 warming on the Earth, we selected Miskolczi because he was the only scientist we could find providing this information.
    The Greenhouse Effect on Earth of 33 Kelvin is calculated using Maths such as Arrhenius and Stefan–Boltzmann and Miskolczi has used this to calculate it to be 3 Kelvin on Mars using NASA data from Mars that has been collected for almost twenty years now. Miskolczi also discovered the greenhouse gas equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922 contained a serious flaw. Milne mistakenly solved the differential equation involved by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere. The point made is that it is not Miskolczi theory that is important, it is the observational findings that destroy the AGW theory. If Miskolczi’s theory is wrong then you still have to explain the observational findings with a new theory. My opinion is that it is simply the constant speed of warming relative to the slowing of the speed of cooling by mass that determines the equilibrium of the surface temperature, as is indicated by the greenhouse effect on Venus and the Moon.

  • Comment number 39.

    #38. - paulcottingham wrote:
    "The Peter Levy Radio Show was on Radio Humberside and Radio Lincolnshire between 12 and 2pm on Tuesday. The politician was UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall, and Paul Hudson was on the show in the last 10 minutes."
    I have had a listen to that programme on the BBC iPlayer and I didn't hear any mention of Miskolczi from either Nuttall or Paul Hudson. I did hear a general reference to climate change in the context of the discussion on energy saving light bulbs but from what I heard, Paul Nuttall's arguments didn't reach the intellectual level of theories by Miskolczi. Frankly, I thought the overall discussion was of a very low standard, i.e. the usual standard of local radio phone-in programmes.
    I didn't think that Paul Hudson became agitated, in fact it was all rather good humoured, and all he seemed to be asking was who had been making comments about climate change, because he hadn't heard the discussion.
    I was a bit surprised by Paul's general attitude, which seemed to be more critical of climate change sceptics than I would have expected.
    "I do hear a lot of people who are completely unqualified to speak about the subject and frankly talk a load of rubbish".
    Does he mean us?

  • Comment number 40.

    paulcottingham @ #38

    Does it not strike you as odd that nobody amongst the experts is backing Miskolczi's claims?

    I suggest you read the rebuttal, which concludes:

    "The alternative greenhouse theory of Miskolczi (2007,2010) results in a constant infrared optical depth with time, meaning that there can be no increasing greenhouse effect with time. Miskolczi suggests that observations show this ratio to be fixed. However, both observations and calculations with physically sound radiative transfer models show that Miskolczi’s theory does not stand up to scrutiny. Moreover, there is ample observational evidence that the most important greenhouse gases, water vapour and carbon dioxide have increased in the last four decades, meaning that the total infrared optical depth is indeed increasing. Finally, direct satellite observations of the outgoing infrared spectrum show that the greenhouse effect has been enhanced over this period. Even the calculations of Miskolczi show a change of optical depth with time. Therefore, neither observations nor radiative transfer theory can support Miskolczi's conclusions."

    I'm no expert, but I'd far rather believe the consensus view, backed up by over a century of research and by observations, rather than one man's claims which are contradicted by observations.

    Paul

  • Comment number 41.

    QV @ #39

    Paul Hudson is adept at keeping his personal views on the subject of climate change away from these blogs. I think he is very wise to do so!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 42.

    21. QuaesoVeritas:

    Re John Hammond's piece about Arctic sea ice on the Weather Show.

    That's the first time I've heard anyone mention "a ring of salty water" around the Arctic ice forcing the Gulf Stream back on itself as an explanation for thermohaline circulation.

    I always thought it was this increased saltiness of the Arctic surface water, combined with its natural cooling due to higher latitudes, that caused it to sink. This sinking effect is what draws the Golf Stream water north in the first place, i.e. it's what creates the northward flow.

    The cold, salty water then flows south as 'North Atlantic Deep Water'. The impression given in the show was that southward flow was merely warm Golf Stream water flowing back on itself. It can't be. The deep water has to be both colder and more salty than the surface water or the two layers wouldn't be stratified in the way they clearly are - and there would be no flow.

    Re feedbacks: They drew a distinction between a 'runaway' feedback, which they suggested would result in a rapid linear melting, and a 'normal' positive feedback, i.e. a long term climate perturbation that amplifies melting in the system over time, but necessarily in a linear way.

    Arctic sea ice extent is governed by both weather and climate. The long term climate trend is causing significant melting, but weather conditions in any given year can cause fluctuations in minimum/maximum extent. For instance 2011 has been a much cooler year than 2010, yet Arctic ice melt is much more extensive.

  • Comment number 43.

    I only caught the last 10 minutes of the radio show but I did not expect Nuttall to have mentioned Miskolczi by name if that was possible, I just heard Levy say something that made me think he must have quoted Miskolczi‘s science.

    As for the rebuttal of Miskolczi. Ferenc Miskolczi points out that NOAA data shows a fall in relative humidity since 1948. When you ignore Miskolczi’s theory, and simply look at the data he unearthed from NOAA, you see the evidence for the cloud cover feedback mechanism. The IPCC models falsely assume that water vapour doesn’t rise and condense into clouds high above the ground. That’s why they get the false conclusion that water vapour amplifies projected temperature rises from CO2, instead of cancelling them out. Also most sceptics are stuck with the IPCC assumptions that have been proven wrong. Such as the IPCC assumption that man-made Global Warming was 0.68 Kelvin. But at least two independent sources calculate that it was 0.01 Kelvin. One using Spectroscopy and Atmospheric chambers and the other the Atmosphere of Mars. This rebuttal could not possibly survive peer review. With billions of pounds of taxpayers money at stake you would expect a rebuttal from the so called consensus desperately trying to keep this corrupt junked on the road.

  • Comment number 44.

    Since when has Mars been a good proxy for earth?

  • Comment number 45.

    #43. - paulcottingham wrote:
    "I only caught the last 10 minutes of the radio show but I did not expect Nuttall to have mentioned Miskolczi by name if that was possible, I just heard Levy say something that made me think he must have quoted Miskolczi‘s science."
    Ah, then I can assure you that the discussion with Nuttall never mentioned Miskolczi or even included any real discussion of the science at all.

  • Comment number 46.

    paulcottingham @ #43

    You're defintiely barking up the wrong tree here, Paul! Even die hard sceptics do not find Miskolczi's claims convincing.

    I don't think the rebuttal was peer-reviewed. However, there is no evidence that Miskolczi's papers were peer-reviewed either. It is clear that the second was refused by several journals before finally being published in Energy and Environment - a journal known to have little or no peer-review. As such, Miskolczi's claims are just that - they are assertions and quite clearly not supported by observations.

    Nick Stokes pointed out a number of fundamental flaws in a discussion over at WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/debate-thread-miskolczi-semi-transparent-atmosphere-model/

    You state that Miskolczi used NOAA data to conclude that relative humidity has fallen since 1948, yet this data is known to have poor long term trends. A more reliable study by Mears et al apparently shows that water vapour is actually increasing at a rate of around 1.2% per decade over the oceans. Furthermore, relative humidity is not directly equivalent to the total quantity of water vapour in the air, as RH is temperature dependent. Therefore, even if RH remains roughly constant over time, the quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere rises with rising temperature.

    You make a number of other unsubstantiated claims. I'm not clear about whether these are from Miskolczi or additonal arguments from yourself. Either way, souces and corroborating evidence are necessary for them to be at all convincing.

    Paul

  • Comment number 47.

    I find it interesting that with the current spat between Dessler and Spencer, both have made some attempt at defending aspects of their own work, not least by correcting each others apparent misinterpretations. Having now followed a number of threads on Miskolczi's theory, it is clear that he is less interested in responding to specific criticisms in a similar manner.
    That doesn't prove him wrong - but it certainly doesn't help his case.
    So while the science is beyond most of us here, we are left to large extent with relying on the credibility of expert witnesses, which as PB points out, come from both AGW consensus and skeptic camps.
    From a jurors perspective, Miskolczi is therefore not persuasive. Ye gods! I'm agreeing with PB and newdwr54 - I'll go and have a lie down.

  • Comment number 48.

    I see that la nina is now 'officially' back according to NOAA.
    Question for our host - does this mean another snowy winter for UK?

    And QV @39
    "I do hear a lot of people who are completely unqualified to speak about the subject and frankly talk a load of rubbish".
    Does he mean us?

    I'll get me coat.

  • Comment number 49.

    lateintheday
    I'll meet you down the pub, Paul's in the chair!

  • Comment number 50.

    "I do hear a lot of people who are completely unqualified to speak about the subject and frankly talk a load of rubbish".
    Does he mean us?

    It gets me goat.

  • Comment number 51.

    I am now in a position to give my definitive estimate for the August Global HadCRUT3 anomaly, which is 0.417c +/- 0.05c.
    For those interested, I will now explain how I have arrived at this figure.
    A few months ago, I noticed that there was a fairly close relationship between the HadSST2 (sea surface temperature) anomaly and HadCRUT3. This isn't surprising, since the SST forms a large part of the overall HadCRUT3 anomaly, particularly in the case of the Southern Hemisphere. As it turns out, the accuracy of the predicted SH HadCRUT3 figure is higher than that of the NH or Global figure.
    This doesn't seem to be a direct relationship, i.e. you can't say because the SST goes up 0.1c that HadCRUT3 will also go up 0.1c, so each month, I calculate the relationship between the two figures based on historical data. This relationship doesn't seem to be constant and recent figures seem to produce a more reliable estimate than older ones, but not always.
    In the case of August, the global SST anomaly figure is 0.364c, compared to a July figure of 0.366c, i.e. a very small reduction, but using my formula, this translates into a fall in the HadCRUT3 figure from 0.459c to 0.417c, although recent HadCRUT3 figures have been higher than estimates, so the actual figure could be as high as 0.467c.
    While this estimate does not rely on the UAH or RSS anomaly figures, those for this August do suggest a fall from last month.
    Unfortunately, since the HadSST2 NH and SH figures haven't yet been published, I am not yet in a position to calculate estimated HadCRUT3 figures for those.
    Of course, this approach has only been made necessary due to recent delays in the publication of the actual HadCRUT3 figures.

  • Comment number 52.

    The NH and SH HadSST2 anomalies are now published and the estimated HadCRUT3 figures are as follows:

    NH 0.559c +/- 0.1c (July figure = 0.584c)
    SH 0.321c +/- 0.05c (July figure = 0.333c)

    The average of the above works out at 0.44c, which possibly is another indication
    of a global figure on the high side of my estimate in the previous post.

  • Comment number 53.

    Hmm! Channel 5 of The AMSU temperature chart has risen over September.
    It is now higher than all other years except 2010

  • Comment number 54.

    NeilHamp,
    Actually, the AQUA CH5 temp. fell for the first 3 days of September, part of a 10 day sequence of falls which started on August 25th., but as you say, it has been rising since then.
    Since temperatures normally fall from this point in the year, as was generally the case in 2010, the AQUA CH5 anomaly has also started to rise again, as have temperatures relative to 2010.
    From recent experience it seems likely that temperatures will continue to rise for a few days, and then start falling again, but meanwhile, it seems quite likely that temperatures will actually exceed the equivalent days in 2010 for the first time since July 8th, and that the anomaly for September will be quite high, resulting in a rise in the UAH anomaly to between 0.4c and 0.5c again.
    There certainly doesn't seem to be any sign yet of a rapid fall in AQUA CH5 temperatures that would be expected at this time of the year.

  • Comment number 55.

    According to RSS AMSU global temperatures have fallen over the past few years and the first 8 months of 2011 the 2nd coldest this century. I expect September to follow this trend, since you seem to prefer trends to cycles.

  • Comment number 56.

    Last year I lost all the panels across my garage roof, because of the weight of a foot and a half of snow on it. I now have a metal galvanized painted roof. I have just put 400mm of insulation in the eve's of my house. Last year I had cavity wall insulation. I put my gas and electricity on the protected tariff, before npower increased their costs. I find it very difficult to understand how any body can believe in Global warming by man, it is just an excuse to increase taxation and create jobs for the boys. There hasn't been any global warming for five years. I am prepared for a white Christmas and am insulating myself against profiteering by these foreign capitalists, who now own all our energy companies. Let us now start to produce affordable green energy that takes away our reliance on the far east and Russia. Forget Global warming by man, before it is too late, it is killing our country.

  • Comment number 57.

    #55. - John Marshall wrote:
    "According to RSS AMSU global temperatures have fallen over the past few years and the first 8 months of 2011 the 2nd coldest this century. I expect September to follow this trend, since you seem to prefer trends to cycles."
    Is the above comment addressed to me?
    If so,I don't know how you come to that conclusion, so can you clarify?
    I am no fan of AGW theory myself, so I have no vested interest in predicting
    warmer temperatures. However, if things continue as they are in September, the RSS anomaly could be the highest so far this year.

  • Comment number 58.

    Sheffield_city,
    Regulars to this blog will know that I am sceptical myelf about AGW, but it is clear that UK temperatures have no bearing on global temperatures.
    In fact, according to HadCRUT3, RSS and NASA/NCDC, there has actually been a falling trend in global temperatures over at least the last 10 years. However, HadCRUT3 and RSS actually show a rising trend over the last 5 years. Oddly, GISS, which shows a rising trend over the last 10, shows a slightly falling trend over the last 5 years. Click on "global temperatures" here:
    http://www.climate4you.com/

  • Comment number 59.

    Sorry, I should probably have said:
    "but it is clear that UK temperatures often show little relationship to global temperatures."

  • Comment number 60.

    Another paper to add weight to Svensmark's theory, described by Nigel Calder:
    http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/do-clouds-disappear-4/

  • Comment number 61.

    60. ukpahonta:

    What the paper appears to be saying, according to Calder, is that periods of warming follow sunspot activity. It suggests that since this increased solar activity interrupts the flow of cosmic rays to the earth's surface, fewer clouds appear and it is this that makes the surface temperatures warm up. The bigger the sunspot, the more the disruption to cloud formation and the warmer and longer lasting are the effects.

    Calder goes so far as to say that it may be "impossible?" to explain these observations in any other way.

    Surely it is very "possible" that temperatures on the earth are simply reacting to the increased total solar irradiance levels experienced during sunspots? In other words earth's surface may warm up during sunspots simply due to the increase in solar irradiance reaching the surface, whether clouds are present or not.

  • Comment number 62.

    55. John Marshall wrote:

    "According to RSS AMSU global temperatures have fallen over the past few years and the first 8 months of 2011 the 2nd coldest this century. I expect September to follow this trend, since you seem to prefer trends to cycles."

    1. What do you mean by "the past few years"? Over the past four years RSS temperatures have been rising at a rate equal to +7.4 C per century. If you go back 10 years, then they have been level down to 5/100ths of a degree.

    The WMO and UNEP have always advised that 30 years is the "classic standard" when discerning climate patterns from annual temperature data. Using RSS, this gives a current trend of +1.62 per century. This is very similar to all the other global temperature data suppliers over the past 30 years.

    2. "the first 8 months of 2011 [are] the 2nd coldest this century"

    Another way of saying this is that 2011 year-to-date figures on RSS are the coolest since 2008. However, overall they are the 12th warmest in the RSS data set.

    RSS's great rival is UAH, the other satellite temperature data provider, which is run by the 'climate sceptic' Dr Roy Spencer. UAH has 2011 year-to-date values as its sixth warmest on record. These small discrepancies have a way of averaging out over long enough time periods.

    3. According to AMSU ch.5, September 2011 (1st-8th) is currently the third warmest 'month-to-date' on their record. I don't know where you got your information from, but it contradicts the data that is freely available on-line.

  • Comment number 63.

    newdwr54
    "Surely it is very "possible" that temperatures on the earth are simply reacting to the increased total solar irradiance levels experienced during sunspots?"

    Sunspots reduce TSI.

  • Comment number 64.

    63. lateintheday:

    It's true that sunspots themselves contribute a cooling on TSI, but the faculae areas that always form around sunspot groups contribute more warming than the sunspots contribute cooling. Periods of increased solar magnetic activity, which are identified by the appearance of sunspots, result in a net increase in TSI.

    So during periods when sunspot activity is high, net TSI at the outer atmosphere of earth increases very slightly.

  • Comment number 65.

    In response to Paul Briscoe. To understand the attempted hatchet job on Miskolczi you have to understand the misinformation. It is easy to understand how this misinformation can lead to misunderstanding Miskolczi’s findings, but not his theory which a fellow Mensa member says once you can understand it, then you can ask a nonsensical question that he cannot answer. The Miskolczi rebuttal is a poor attempt to mislead for the reasons below.

    Relative humidity is the ratio of the absolute humidity to the highest possible absolute humidity which depends on air temperature and pressure. The global average relative humidity at the surface is about 78 percent. It decreases with altitude and is about 37 percent at an altitude of six miles. The relative humidity has been dropping, especially at higher elevations allowing more heat to escape to space. But despite the IPCC’s claims of no change to the relative humidity, the figure from the NCEP shows it to be falling strongly, at all levels of the upper atmosphere and particularly in the upper troposphere. Minschwaner and Dressler show that while increasing temperature increases water vapour and specific humidity, the amount is less that shown by the climate models that assume constant relative humidity. Their modelling shows that the increase in specific humidity is not enough to keep up with the amount needed to keep relative humidity constant for the increasing temperature, and so relative humidity falls. There is no evidence that the NOAA or NCEP data has been fraudulently manipulated by adjustments as has been the case in the IPCC’s Judithgate scandal. If rising temperature causes more water vapour, which will cause more temperature rise, and more water vapour yet again, one would expect temperatures to continue to rise after an El Nino has peaked and result in a run-away effect. But the opposite happened; temperatures fell as the greenhouse equilibrium mechanism restored the balance. The extra greenhouse gases rained out to restore the equilibrium. This proves that there is an equilibrium between warming and cooling that can only be changed by external temperate input, pressure and therefore mass. I am not surprised that he is finding it difficult to obtain peer review with the stakes being so high in what we see as the biggest scientific fraud in history.

  • Comment number 66.

    newdwr54 wrote:
    Since when has Mars been a good proxy for earth?

    A few years ago members of the Space Special Interest group of Mensa wondered why Mars was not being used as a proxy for CO2 induced Climate Change by the IPCC. Discovering that most of Astronomy is taboo for the IPCC, we did our own estimates before we discovered Miskolczi. He is the only scientist we know of that has calculated a figure for the Greenhouse Effect on Mars, this also agrees with our previous calculations. This now makes it possible to use Mars as a proxy as is given below.

    The Warming on Mars raises the average surface temperature by 3 Kelvin to 210 Kelvin from 207 Kelvin. Both Planets can cool much faster than they can warm up, so Mars with almost a 100 percent transparent dry CO2 Atmosphere and without the problems with feedback (other than dust storms) from Water Vapour, Clouds, Oceans or an Atmospheric Mass 2,600 times that of CO2. Then Mars is the perfect example to use to test the theory of CO2 warming on Earth. The Black Body Temperature of Mars is 81.5 percent that of the Earth. The surface has a 7 millibar CO2 atmosphere (0.39 millibar CO2 atmosphere on Earth). So the equivalent 7 millibar CO2 Atmosphere on Earth would produce a temperature of 3.68 Kelvin. If you deduct the 0.24 Kelvin increase for a doubling of CO2, four times you get 2.72 Kelvin for a 0.4375 millibar Atmosphere. This makes 2.7 Kelvin for a 0.39 millibar Atmosphere. The 2.7 Kelvin includes, 1.2 Kelvin for CO2 absorption only, plus half of the 1.5 Kelvin that CO2 absorption shares with Water vapour. Confirming that the CO2 induced Warming on Earth is about 2 Kelvin. The IPCC imposed consensus assumes man caused a 0.68 Kelvin increase in temperature while solar irradiance caused an 0.1 Kelvin increase. Our space group says Terrestrial, Solar and Galactic Magnetic effects on Cosmic ray levels that determine the Earths Cloud Albedo has caused an 0.66 Kelvin increase and Solar Irradiance a 0.1 Kelvin increase. This is confirmed by many different papers ignored by the IPCC. In Astronomy I never consider the respectability of the science or the poshness of the scientist as an issue as Paul Briscoe does, but after the IPCC’s most respected Astronomer is found to have fraudulently manipulated data to fit the IPCC’s assumptions, while the IPCC snubs the rest of Astronomy including Jasper Kirkby’s endorsement of Cosmoclimatology by the CERN CLOUD Experiment then you cannot blame the strong distrust we have here in the Space Special Interest group of Mensa for anyone endorsed by the IPCC. A rec

  • Comment number 67.

    @61.At 09:52 11th Sep 2011, newdwr54 wrote:

    “ … What the paper appears to be saying, according to Calder, is that periods of warming follow sunspot activity. … “

    The paper by Dragić et al discussed by Nigel Caulder does indeed provide powerful evidence that cosmic rays affect cloud formation.
    The paper does not look at sunspot activity or TSI but rather the effect that a Forbush decrease has on the difference between daytime and night-time temperatures.
    A Forbush decrease is a rapid decrease in cosmic rays following a coronal mass ejection. This decrease happens over a period of a few hours with things returning to normal within a few days.
    The difference between daytime and night-time temperature (diurnal temperature range or DTR) is used as a proxy for cloud cover; a reduction in cloud cover would lead to higher daytime temperatures and cooler nights thus increasing the DTR.
    Dragić et al show an increase in the DTR of up to 0.5C following a Forbush decrease. The short time-scales involved seem to rule out other explanations although the results for smaller Forbush events seem to be ambiguous.

  • Comment number 68.

    I must apoligize for mispeling Nigel Calder's name;)

  • Comment number 69.

    paulcottingham @ #65

    "It is easy to understand how this misinformation can lead to misunderstanding Miskolczi’s findings, but not his theory which a fellow Mensa member says once you can understand it, then you can ask a nonsensical question that he cannot answer."

    With respect, Paul, it is years of research in a particular field, rather than a high IQ, which makes someone qualified to properly understand that field. It is a poor grasp of the science which leads to misconceptions. Yourself and your colleagues at Mensa have got things badly wrong here.

    "The global average relative humidity at the surface is about 78 percent. It decreases with altitude and is about 37 percent at an altitude of six miles. The relative humidity has been dropping, especially at higher elevations allowing more heat to escape to space. But despite the IPCC’s claims of no change to the relative humidity, the figure from the NCEP shows it to be falling strongly, at all levels of the upper atmosphere and particularly in the upper troposphere. "

    No Paul, relative humidity generally INCREASES with altitude in the troposphere, as the temperature falls, until it reaches 100% (ie. dew point) - this is precisely the reason why clouds form at higher altitude.

    Up at a height of 6 miles you're into the stratosphere where the situation is different and RH may well be as low as 37% up there. However, recent data shows that the amount of water in the stratosphere is increasing and this is almost certainly having a warming effect on the Earth (although quanititatively this is very small compared to the amount in the troposphere).

    The NCEP data is considered totally unsuitable for monitoring trends in relative humidity in the mid-troposphere. Meanwhile, satellite data actually shows that the amount of IR escaping to space is falling with time and that this is happening at frequencies specific to the greenhouse gases. More recent data from CERES has only added to the certainty over this. Furthermore, clear sky experiments on the ground confirm an increase in IR radiation returning to the Earth' surface, consistent with an enhanced greenhouse effect.

    It may well be that the models assume constant relative humidity for the sake of simplicity (I can't find a reference to confirm this). Even if RH is falling slightly with time, it is the actual amount of water in the atmosphere which matters wrt radiative physics and reliable data shows that this is indeed increasing.

    Paul

  • Comment number 70.

    Oops! Just one correction to my post above...............

    The data actually show that the amount of water vapour has decreased since the year 2000 and this is likely to have had a cooling effect. However, in the 1990's, stratospheric water vapour increased with the probability that it increased the warming.

    Paul

  • Comment number 71.

    Double oops! Another correction...........

    My post at #70 was intended to read:

    "The data actually show that the amount of STRATOSPHERIC water vapour has decreased since the year 2000"

    Paul

  • Comment number 72.

    paulcottingham @ #66

    I believe there is a fundamental flaw in your argument with respect to using Mars as a proxy for Earth.

    You appear to be assuming that the absorption of IR radiation by CO2 is linear when it is in fact logarithmic. Therefore, as the concentration increases, the effect approaches saturation. The concentration of CO2 on Mars is around 20 times greater than on Earth, so the additional warming effect for a doubling of CO2 on Earth is FAR greater than it would be on Mars.

    "In Astronomy I never consider the respectability of the science or the poshness of the scientist as an issue as Paul Briscoe does"

    This is a gross misrepresentation of what I said. I judge science based on whether it is sound and supported by evidence. Mikolczi's work is neither.

  • Comment number 73.

    paulcottingham @ #66

    I'm not doing well tonight - there are too many distractions at home and I managed to click the wrong button and post before I had finished!

    "Our space group says Terrestrial, Solar and Galactic Magnetic effects on Cosmic ray levels that determine the Earths Cloud Albedo has caused an 0.66 Kelvin increase and Solar Irradiance a 0.1 Kelvin increase. This is confirmed by many different papers ignored by the IPCC."

    Please can you point to the papers which conclusively confirm the magnitude of the GCR effect. Last time I checked, CERN had not even proved that GCR's are capable of affecting climate, let alone determined the size of any effect.

    "......but after the IPCC’s most respected Astronomer is found to have fraudulently manipulated data to fit the IPCC’s assumptions"

    If you're going to make allegations of this type, you need to provide evidence to back them up.

    ".....while the IPCC snubs the rest of Astronomy including Jasper Kirkby’s endorsement of Cosmoclimatology by the CERN CLOUD Experiment".

    This is simply untrue. The IPCC hasn't yet had the opportunity to comment on the Kirkby et al paper. However, when I last checked at Realclimate, the scientists there WELCOMED the paper. The scientific community as a whole has NOT discounted the possibility that GCR's could have a significant effect on climate. The problem has been that some individuals have made grossly exaggerated claims for GCR's which simply aren't supported by the work done to date. Kirkby et al didn't do this and have acknowledged that it is still too early to conclude that GCR's have a significant effect on climate.

    However, the biggest problem with what you're claiming is that even if GCR's do affect climate, they can only explain a 30 year warming trend on Earth if there is also a trend of increasing solar activity over the same period - there is not.

    You might want to check out Potholer's excellent new video on this subject:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvztL9r47MI&feature=channel_video_title

    Paul

  • Comment number 74.

    67.RobWansbeck:

    Is it not the case that most CM ejections originate from groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares? In any case the principle is the same: increased radiation energy from the sun deflects GCRs and reduces the seeding of clouds.

    So is there any sustained correlation between periods of increased solar output and cooling of the atmosphere? As far as I understand it night time temperatures have been warming more rapidly than daytime ones. So is there evidence that reduced solar flares have increased night time cloud cover?

    According to Wiki there were a series of four CMEs on August 1st 2010. These resulted in a strong aurorae on August 4. However according to AMSU ch05 August 1-5 2010 were warmer on average globally than in any other year since 2003. The theory didn't match up to the observations on this occassion.

    Perhaps you or someone else could point to quantifiable data that links solar activity to reduced GCR activity and cooling temperatures over a sustained period?

  • Comment number 75.

    @74, newdwr54 wrote:
    “ 67.RobWansbeck:
    Is it not the case that most CM ejections originate from groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares? In any case the principle is the same: increased radiation energy from the sun deflects GCRs and reduces the seeding of clouds. …. “

    Yes, Forbush decreases are more common during periods of high solar activity. It is the principle that GCRs seed clouds that is disputed.

    I think you have your heating and cooling back to front but it's late and I could have misunderstood.

    The point in using Forbush decreases is that they are very short events in climate terms and so avoid all the debate about the accuracy and calibration problems of longer data series. The paper by Dragić et al specifically excludes overlapping events such as your August 1-5 2010 example but still uses fairly large numbers of events to average out weather noise e.g. 35 events with a GCR decrease of greater than 7% showing a DTR increase of 0.35C.

  • Comment number 76.

    @69

    "However, recent data shows that the amount of water in the stratosphere is increasing and this is almost certainly having a warming effect on the Earth (although quanititatively this is very small compared to the amount in the troposphere"

    Objection your honor, extrapolation.

  • Comment number 77.

    LabMunkey @ #76

    You'll probably have noticed that I corrected myself in subsequent posts.

    In fact, stratospheric water vapour increased during the 1990's but has fallen back again since then. Gavin Schmidt speculates on possible reasons for this phenomenon here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-wisdom-of-solomon/

    Unless you dismiss the research confirming that water vapour is a greenhouse gas, it's hard to see how you can challenge the point that this phenomenon will have had a warming (prior to 2000) or cooling (post 2000) effect on the Earth - please note that I didn't try to speculate on whether it was significant.

    In fact, the impression I have gained from my reading is that small changes high in the atmosphere have a disproportionally large effect when it comes to retaining more IR radiation. I'm no expert, but those that are appear to believe that these small changes in stratospheric water vapour do have a significant effect.

    Paul

  • Comment number 78.

    75. RobWansbeck:

    I think I should have specified 'night time' cooling temperatures @ 74 in one or two places.

    If CMEs only have a short term impact on GDTs then they are unlikely to have had much, if any' impact on long term climate change observed over the past 30-40 years. It appears that sometimes they don't even have any effect on GDTs.

    Is there any strong evidence correlating CMEs, or any other regular solar energy output increase, with a sustained reduction in global temperatures? Surely this would be required if it is being argued that the one follows the other, affecting climate?

    (I'm not suggesting that this claim is made in Dragić et al, but it has certainly been inferred on occasion by several posters here.)

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 77.

    All that assumes no, or a net, positive feedback.

    Assumptions Paul.

  • Comment number 80.

    LabMunkey @ #79

    "All that assumes no, or a net, positive feedback."

    No it doesn't! If the quantity of water vapour in the stratosphere increases, it does by definition have a warming EFFECT. The impact of any feedbacks in response to that warming effect is a separate issue.

    That is why I am always careful to use the word "effect" in this context.

    Paul

  • Comment number 81.

    newdwr54
    "Is there any strong evidence correlating CMEs, or any other regular solar energy output increase, with a sustained reduction in global temperatures? Surely this would be required if it is being argued that the one follows the other, affecting climate?"

    Why a sustained reduction? I don't follow.

  • Comment number 82.

    @80

    And yet the context to which that statement was added to suggested that the net effect would be warming- when we do not know this.

    This is the problem, you can try and take all these things in isolation, yet without taking the feedbacks into account you're not ACTUALLY defining anything.

    It's like saying adding more acid to a buffered system should make it more acidic.....

  • Comment number 83.

    @ 80

    Ah, just noticed your corrective posts- i'll go read-y.

  • Comment number 84.

    LabMunkey @ #82

    My comments were in response to various posts by paulcottingham in which he argued in favour of a discredited theory by Miskolczi. Miskolczi theorised that as the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere rises this somehow "squeezes" water vapour out of the atmosphere.

    Miskolczi claimed that the NCEP data showed a fall in relative humidity in the atmosphere with time and that this was consistent with his theory. However, this data is considered totally unreliable in following long term trends in relative humidity and all reliable data shows that the physical amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is actually increasing in line with rising temperature. This is what sound physics predicts should happen and is why water vapour feedback is considered to be positive.

    Stratospheric water vapour is completely distinct from the above, which really relates to the troposphere. The mechanisms causing the changes in stratospheric water vapour are still uncertain. Gavin Schmidt discussed them in the article I linked to. It is therefore not yet possible to say whether the changes are simply internal climate variability, a forcing or a feedback (either positive or negative). All that can be said with certainty at present is that a rise in stratospheric water vapour would be expected to have a warming effect.

    Paul

  • Comment number 85.

    Someone in our group thinks Paul Briscoe is Paul Hudson.

    I am on Holiday for a week so I will try to provide a simple explanation why we think Miskolczi has provided the answers to the problems with the Greenhouse Effect next week.

  • Comment number 86.

    Paul.

    "This is what sound physics predicts should happen and is why water vapour feedback is considered to be positive."

    I'd contest that given the mounting evidence that that is not the case. As ever, the 'sound physics' are an oversimplification Paul.

    "However, this data is considered totally unreliable in following long term trends in relative humidity "

    I'm not familiar with this subject, but this stuck out for me- why is this data considered unreliable, while the other is not?

    "All that can be said with certainty at present is that a rise in stratospheric water vapour would be expected to have a warming effect."

    This is still extrapolation. It is expected, only following the 'expected' outcomes from those pushing one side of a theory, that is all. Now, i'm not arguing either way at present, but you've got to be very careful on these kinds of unsuportable statement.

    IN fact that whole sentence is a mix of contradictory qualifiers- 'certainty' followed by 'expected'. Either poor choice of words or shaky science.

  • Comment number 87.

    LabMunkey @ #86

    "I'd contest that given the mounting evidence that that is not the case. As ever, the 'sound physics' are an oversimplification Paul."

    I'm not familiar with the "mounting evidence" that water vapour feedback is not positive - you'll need to be more specific. The sound physics relates to the fact that warmer air holds more water vapour - I don't know of many scientists who would dispute this. The amount of water air holds is determined by the equilibrium vapour pressure and this increases with temperature, so relative humidity should remain roughly constant as air warms, whilst specific humidity (ie. the amount of water) increases.

    So the physics IS sound. The problem has been in demonstrating that it happens in practice in the atmosphere. Observational evidence for this has finally come from satellite data and the best overall discussion I have seen on the subject is by Dessler and Sherwood (2009). It's called "A Matter of Humidity" and it's another PDF document, so I can't link to it here!

    "I'm not familiar with this subject, but this stuck out for me- why is this data considered unreliable, while the other is not?"

    I have seen several comments from experienced scientists to the effect that the NCEP data is unsuitable for studying trends in RH, but none have gone into detail as to the reasons for it. However, from further reading it appears that the measurements become very inaccurate at lower water vapour concentrations, meaning that changes in RH would have to be pretty large in order to have any certainty that they were real.

    "This is still extrapolation. It is expected, only following the 'expected' outcomes from those pushing one side of a theory, that is all."

    I completely disagree! Unless you deny that water vapour is a greenhouse gas then it is difficult to see how you can argue that an increase in its concentration would not produce a warming effect - that is what a greenhouse gas does! As I pointed out above, I'm not claiming to have quantified the effect, so it could be negligible, although I seem to remember sceptics playing up its significance when it was suggested that falling stratospheric water vapour might have a cooling effect!!

    Paul

  • Comment number 88.

    @78, newdwr54 wrote:

    “ Is there any strong evidence correlating CMEs, or any other regular solar energy output increase, with a sustained reduction in global temperatures? Surely this would be required if it is being argued that the one follows the other, affecting climate? “

    I am unaware of anyone claiming that CMEs or Forbush decreases significantly affect climate. They are used as a diagnostic tool to support the hypothesis that GCRs enhance cloud formation. The paper by Dragić et al provides powerful support for this hypothesis although it does not rule out some other effect of CMEs being responsible.

    You ask: “ Is there any strong evidence correlating CMEs, or any other regular solar energy output increase, with a sustained reduction in global temperatures? ”

    Not for CMEs but there is evidence that solar activity does affect climate although this is disputed.

    For a flavour, look here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/20/indirect-solar-forcing-of-climate-by-galactic-cosmic-rays-an-observational-estimate/

    Don't worry about the WUWT or the link to Roy Spencer if you feel they may be biased but skim through the 419 comments to get some idea of the arguments.

 

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