Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The IPCC Got it Wrong" {#A} further conversations with Dan Pangburn

The following comment at another thread gives me the perfect introduction into examining another denialists memes, the belief that there has been no warming and that IPCC estimates are way off the mark... proving to denialist's once again that global warming is all a hoax, never mind the upward trending turmoil within our global weather patterns.
Dan Pangburn writes:  The 'experts' estimate of the current trend would put the average global temperature trend about 0.2C higher than it is. The temperature trend calculated using my equation is spot on. 
I have checked the equation as a predictor (but using actual sunspot data) since 1965. It has never been off in predicting the average global temperature anomaly trend by more than 0.06°C. The equation is calibrated using measurements prior to a date and then used to predict average global temperature trends after that date. The predictions are then compared to the actual measurements to see how well the equation predicted. 
That I got it right is demonstrated by accurate calculation and prediction including the flat temperature trend since 2001. Results are shown in the graphs that you saw. The equation predicts an average global temperature downtrend for at least two decades.

To begin you've been accused of butchering the laws of physics, by picking the parts of the equations you like and then substituting fudge constants for the parts you doesn’t like.  
"... as explained at least twice, you’re using a correlation metric, not an accuracy metric, so the most you can say is that your equation calculates “something which is sort of correlated with temperatures since 1895″ with a “correlation” of 88%."  
I'm sure you remember the conversation at
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But, what has really prompted this post is your false claim about estimates being wrong. 

People can't understand models or expert estimates through hostile soundbite!  

We need to take the time to appreciate the complexity of the data and considerations that go into these estimates, only then are you in a better position to judge dodgy claims.

As for explaining some of these more technical aspects, to my mind no one does it better than the volunteers over at ~ they present clear explanations along with references and links so that you can continue your investigation independently.  

So I'm going to take advantage of their generous sharing policy to repost one of their threads.
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Add Frame and Stone to the List of Papers Validating IPCC Warming Projections

Posted on 11 December 2012 by dana1981

Just a few weeks ago, a paper in Environmental Research Letters by Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave (2012) confirmed the accuracy of the global surface warming projections made by climate models used in the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports (the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports).  Now a new paper published in Nature Climate Change, Frame and Stone (2012) has confirmed the accuracy of the temperature projections made by the climate models in the 1990 IPCC First Assessment Report through 2011 (Figure 1).
FS12 Fig 1
Figure 1: Observed changes in global mean surface temperature over the 1990–2010 period from HadCRUT3 and GISTEMP (red) vs. 1990 IPCC business-as-usual best estimate (dark blue), vs. projections using a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM) with the measured greenhouse gas (GHG) radiative forcing since 1990 (light blue) and with the overall radiative forcing since 1990 (green). Natural variability from the ensemble of 587 21-year-long segments of control simulations (with constant external forcings) from 24 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) climate models is shown in black and gray.  From Frame and Stone (2012).

Frame and Stone Methodology

The paper tests the IPCC warming projections using a simple one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM) comparable to the main model used to make the 1990 prediction, using similar input parameters.  Frame and Stone then ran the model using just the radiative forcing (heat imbalance) caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) changes from 1990 through 2011, represented by the light blue line in Figure 1.  Because the IPCC model projection is based on GHGs-only, this is the most applicable comparison.  They also simulated other radiative forcings like changes in solar activity and particulates in the atmosphere, represented by the green line in Figure 1.

Results Similar to Prior Skeptical Science Analysis

We at Skeptical Science previously conducted a similar analysis to that in Frame and Stone (2012).  The 1990 IPCC report ran simulations using models with climate sensitivities (the total amount of global surface warming in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, including all feedbacks) of 1.5°C (low), 2.5°C (best), and 4.5°C (high) for doubled CO2 (Figure 2).
FAR temp projections
Figure 2: IPCC FAR projected global warming in the BAU emissions scenario using climate models with equilibrium climate sensitivities of 1.5°C (low), 2.5°C (best), and 4.5°C (high) for double atmospheric CO2
In reality, GHGs have increased about 20% slower than the IPCC's "business-as-usual" scenario, in part because of the success of the Montreal Protocol in reducing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions (CFCs are GHGs), and in part because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, among other reasons.  
As noted above, the light blue line in Figure 1 is the most appropriate for comparison, and is very similar to our own previous analysis at Skeptical Science (Figure 3).
IPCC adjusted projections since 1990
Figure 3: 1990 IPCC business-as-usual "best" global warming projection reflecting the observed GHG changes (blue) vs. observed average global surface temperature change from GISTEMP (red) since 1990.

Observed Warming Not Natural Variability

Frame and Stone (2012) also simulated the possible range of natural temperature variability since 1990 by using the ensemble of 587 21-year-long segments of control simulations with constant external forcings from 24 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) climate models.  These give a 90% range of about ±0.19° C, and are shown in black and gray in Figure 1.  The observed warming from 1990 through 2011 was approximately 0.39±0.20°C (95% confidence range); thus there is only a very small chance that the observed global surface warming over the past 21 years could be explained purely by natural variability.

IPCC Has Excelled at Global Warming Projections

Ultimately, Frame and Stone note that while there is a fairly large range in the envelope of all climate model projections, and while to some degree they may have gotten the right answer 'for the wrong reasons', the IPCC has thus far done quite well in projecting future temperature changes.
" seems highly likely that even in 1990 we understood the climate system well enough to make credible statements about how its aggregate properties would change on timescales out to a couple of decades, even in the presence of considerable uncertainty surrounding the exact forcing trajectory."
Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave (2012) arrived at a similar conclusion by taking a very different approach, first using the statistical technique of multiple regression to filter out much of the short-term variability, then showing that the IPCC temperature projections have been very accurate (Figure 4). 
RFC12 Fig 1
Figure 4: Observed annual global temperature, unadjusted (pink) and adjusted for short-term variations due to solar variability, volcanoes and ENSO (red) as in Foster and Rahmstorf (2011).  12-month running averages are shown as well as linear trend lines, and compared to the scenarios of the IPCC (blue range and lines from the 2001 report, green from the 2007 report).  Projections are aligned in the graph so that they start (in 1990 and 2000, respectively) on the linear trend line of the (adjusted) observational data.  From Rahmstorf, Foster, and Cazenave (2012).
Frame and Stone have also shown it is very unlikely that natural variability alone can account for the observed global surface warming over the past two decades.
While it has underestimated many climate impacts, thus far the IPCC has done very well at projecting average global surface temperature changes.
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For further learning

Did global warming stop in 1998199520022007, 2010?


Dan Pangburn said...

“…accused of butchering the laws of physics…” Whoever wrote this apparently did not understand the simple physics that I used (the well known law of conservation of energy) and may have not even looked at the method (which is described in detail)). As to the accuracy, well, if the math is unfamiliar, just look at Figure 4 in the pfd made public 10/24/12.

“…based on GHGs-only…” One of the mistakes that the Consensus has made that I mentioned in the pdf made public 8/11/10 was “…artificial enhancement by the users of the influence of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Instead of trying to find out what was causing the warm up, they ASSUMED that it was primarily CO2. That assumption was corroborated by the simultaneous rise in average global temperature and CO2 that took place in the 22 years from about 1976 until 1998. Measurements since 2001 demonstrate that they are wrong.

“…changes in solar activity…” If they had thought to use the integral of sunspot numbers (as a proxy, appropriately reduced by the integral of energy radiated from the planet) as a measure of the net influence of solar activity they might have discovered what really caused the average global temperature trajectory to do what it has done since average global temperatures have been accurately measured world wide.

If you look closely at the graphs, that are presented by Skeptical Science, of the measured temperatures and extend them from the peak of the 2010 el Nino, where they end them, to the present you will see that they corroborate my stuff. The graphs in the pdf made public 10/24/12 for all five reporting agencies include the data that they used along with data from other agencies that believe that theirs is best.

citizenschallenge said...

Reply to Dan's comments:


Actually, as stated before, he not only looked at your method but repeated it.
I think the suspicion is that you're the one who has oversimplified and ignored the physics that's inconvenient to your case.



I notice this telling sentence in your 8/11/10 pdf regarding climate models:
"To perfectly determine how things change..."

This is the thinking of an engineer and it's absolutely appropriate for bridge builders and rocket designers to be constrained by the demand for near total perfection in their models.

However, we are talking Earth Science, where that standard has not, and can not, be applied... or can you share some examples?

But, to claim the lack near perfection in climate models and projections negates all we've learned, is nothing less than crazy-making.
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How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?



That very impressive, learned sounding. But as shared before it doesn't pan out.

It's the sun



No they don't corroborate you conjecture. As shared before your claims don't hold up to the full spectrum of evidence.

Solar Cycle Length proves its the sun

There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature

Dan Pangburn said...

"...looked at your method " the only look at my stuff that I have seen on the web was by Greenfyre and, as I pointed out in posts there, he (inadvertently) corroborated it.

"This is the thinking of an engineer " Not even close to true. If you had absorbed the entire paragraph, in context, you may have realized that I was pointing out one of the deficiencies in the GCMs.

"...all we've learned" you have been misled.

"How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?" Measurements demonstrate that the influence, if any, of CO2 is small. CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 is 89.5 ppmv and since 2001 is 23.2 ppmv. The agt trend since 2001 is flat.

"...doesn't pan out" "...don't hold up " Well, the accuracy of the equation is only 88% but it is improving every year: 2000, 81%; 2005, 85.8%; 2011, 88%.

Solar cycle length and solar cycle amplitude are equally important and are both accounted for in the time integral, which is what I use. That is why my stuff works and no one else's does.

skepticalscience is a thinly disguised Warmer's blog.

citizenschallenge said...

¶1 I'm not so sure Greenfyre would agree.
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¶2 Too bad you didn't absorb any of the lessons GCMs offer researchers
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¶3 How?
Define and defend.
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¶4 That was a poor choice of words. Rather than "fudge factors" I should have pointed out that you approach all of this with a certain 'writer's license'.

And you've got some creative sciencie calculations there, but it is science fiction and repeating the same lines ad infinitum does more to underscore that truth than anything else.
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¶5 So you claim. . . so how many other scientists have taken up your cause?
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¶6 I'll never convince you Dan, but perhaps there are others out there interested in understanding all of this a little better, might I suggest:

Climate Change: The Role of Flawed Science
An analysis by Peter Laut – November 2009

The trouble with sunspots

Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) fact sheet
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¶7 " is a thinly disguised Warmer's blog."

Oh boy your stripe are showing there.
Why do you feel so comfortable saying such a thing?

I suspect, you just don't like them because of your politics. It's one of the things about the contrarian crowd - they don't want anyone having access to the full spectrum information.

Can you define and defend your condemnation of SkS?

What is wrong with's representations of the science?

What is wrong with their links and references back to that science that they offer?

What is wrong with their clean, moderated and dynamic discussions?

Dan Pangburn said...

"What is wrong..." In spite of intensive training by scores of people, the GCMs have done a poor job of calculating the past agt and have failed miserably in predictions of the last decade. Where as, my equation has calculated agt with 88% accuracy since it has been measured accurately world wide including the flat of the last decade.

citizenschallenge said...

Dan your calculations do nothing to anticipate the warming that is being observed throughout our oceans.

Global Climate Models are valuable tools in the hands of the educated who are trying to learn about our climate system. You on the other hand, seem to be driven by your pet project of correlation fitting, rather than taking the knowledge where it leads us.

You've got some creative calculations there, but they are one dimensional and in essence science fiction. . . and repeating the same lines ad infinitum does more to underscore that flaw than anything else.
~ ~ ~

For those who want to learn about Global Climate Models, their strengths, weakness and usefulness some good faith learning is required. Here's a good starting place:

"National Academy of Science: Climate Models 101"

"IPCC: Climate Models and Their Evaluation"

"American Institute of Physics:
General Circulation Models of Climate"

"Global Warming: Man or Myth"

"NASA - GISS: Global Climate Modeling"


I notice you do nothing to defend your slur regarding the climate science information website known as, guess it's must be more a gut reaction than anything founded on facts.

citizenschallenge said...

CC wrote: "You've got some creative calculations there, but they are one dimensional and in essence science fiction"
~ ~ ~

By that I mean, you've isolated your work by steadfastly talking right past the complaints and flaws knowledgeable people have pointed out to you. Rather than looking at the substance of other's complaints you shrug 'em off with an air of uppity contempt.

Real science isn't done like it, it require a certain humility in the face of incoming information. Along with a desire to digest as much information as possible to build one's learning on.

But, your pdf's and the way you present your comments... well, evasiveness and defensiveness does not breed trust. I don't trust your isolated position, a position starved of the intellectual nourishment the full community of scientists.

Far as I've been able to tell, your work hasn't been echoed in any but that extreme conspiratorial thinking portion of the echo-chamber. No real climatologists, or grad students are taking up your discovery and investigating it further. Yet, rather than engaging with explanations, you write off serious critiques with an shrug... as your long train of web comments shows.... makes me wonder how much of your science is emotion based?

Gotta admit, all this begs the question: why should I/we/anyone take your claims seriously?

opit said...

As a lay person scrutinizing claims as to why predictions of the future are wrong - are you really serious ? - the claims about surface temperature variations on a water covered globe in elliptical orbit around a star wandering through a galactic orbit in which it presumably is exposed to varying amounts of impacts from interstellar dust ( and heated internally by nuclear reactions ) really looks one dimensional when looking at the basis of calculation. And then there is the question of being able to make a sensible determination of energy balance.
Researchers Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature'

citizenschallenge said...

Am I serious about what? You're mighty vague.

From what you write, I believe you are confusing the "map" with the "territory"

From the article
~ ~ ~
"He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically locally, it is meaningless to talk about a a global temperature for Earth. The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average."

Then he goes off the deep end with a totally off base analogy using phone numbers.

Fact is, scientists have been observing the various components of our global heat distribution engine - and warming is clear throughout our biosphere.

And our weather is clearly transitioning into a more extreme and unpredictable regime - and we understand why that is happening.

And there were predictions made and those predictions are coming true with a vengeance - but you want to quibble about minute flaws in temp representation, rather that learn the important lessons of what's happening on our warming planet.
~ ~ ~

We have set in motion detectable warming at all levels of our atmosphere and biosphere that will have increasingly profound impacts on our life styles and expectations as we move forward.

~ ~ ~

citizenschallenge said...

As for the last line of the above article
"What Bjarne Andresen and his coworkers emphasize is that physical arguments are needed to decide whether one averaging method or another is needed to calculate an average which is relevant to describe the state of Earth."

Well again, the thing is Earth is being observed quite well:

Global warming is unpaused and stuck on fast forward, new research shows
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Earth From Space HD 1080p / Nova

opit said...

You say it is quibbling about minutae to argue about warming when it is not feasible to measure the aggregate of such ? Science is based on measurement. That is why it is particularly interesting that Dr. Roy Spencer in charge of satellite temperature measurement ( and many NASA scientists ) dispute not just particulars, but the representations of gross change being linked to CO 2 rise.
NASA is therefore an interesting resource, as it is contradicted by its own staff.
Now I know Daily Mail is not a scientist's resource - but when such are challenged as unreliable, the field is open
So my assessment comes out more like
And the representations for AGW are arrogant and unwilling to accept alternative representation as worthy of consideration. Yet such is the basis for general acceptance - not 'peer review' of 'true believers.'
Here is a view as extreme in its way as that.
Another citation of the letter with better particulars
When John Hindracker weighs in, all question as to whether this is a political question becomes moot.

citizenschallenge said...

Your, first article by James Delingpole with a H/T to Marc Morano

These people are politically motivated operatives - not investigative or science reporters, and certainly with no climate science trainging, they are feeding you verifiable lies that you want to believe, so you accept and refuse to look further.

But, they are verifiable lies just the same!
Get an education:
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Your 2nd article written by "Joeforamerica" at the website of some rightwing radio shock jock. Again folks who know nothing about climate, but are politically very angry.

As for the coming ice age - nonsense. OK, if society had not come along it is quite probably Earth would be heading into an ice age. But the simple physics of increasing our planet's GHG insulation by a third and increasing - has precluded that possibility. But, you would have to want to learn about those known facts, to understand such geophysical realities.

Incidentally, if you take the time to serious look into it, you'll find that our cryosphere is melting throughout our planet - that's a sign of warming, not an ice age.
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Your 3rd is a letter to the editor, with somebody's response. What does that have to do with understanding science or Earth's observations.

Also, aren't youz the onez screaming "science isn't about consensus" - then why are youz waving that petition put together by a bunch of survivalists scrambling for a buck and their NAS document fraud... er look-a-like, by Fred Seitz
< >, Robinson, Sallie Baliunas, < > Willie Soon < > (both oil-backed scientists) and Robinson’s son Zachary. That silly Oregon Petition was a political ploy and has nothing to do with understanding what we are doing to our atmosphere and how will be impacting future conditions here on Earth
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In the professional field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change and additional anthropogenic CO2 may cause great disruption to the climate.

citizenschallenge said...

opit, it is Ironic that you take offense at the notion of "quibbling about details" then use known fraudsters as your references as though they know anything about accurately and honestly presenting science.

Shame on you!

citizenschallenge said...

Well opit, thanks for inspiring me to get off my butt and write another blogspot post.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why trust Roy Spencer?...or the "NASA 50"…or the Oregon Petition for that matter?"

This post was inspired by a couple comments I received from a character who goes by "opit".
His comments and links are text book examples of ideology driven willful ignorance overriding honest curiosity and a desire to learn about our home planet.