Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming: A new study from my colleagues and I vindicates climate models, which are accurately predicting the rate of ocean heat accumulation"

It's good old Prof. Abraham back at the barrow below.  He says that the estimates of global warming yielded by climate models are validated by measurements of ocean heat present.  But the measures of heat are themselves estimates -- so all he has shown is that two sets of estimates tally.   Not hard to do of course but it proves nothing.  It's not even a good con trick

For those of us who are concerned about global warming, two of the most critical questions we ask are, “how fast is the Earth warming?” and “how much will it warm in the future?”.

The first question can be answered in a number of ways. For instance, we can actually measure the rate of energy increase in the Earth’s system (primarily through measuring changing ocean temperatures). Alternatively, we can measure changes in the net inflow of heat at the top of the atmosphere using satellites. We can also measure the rate of sea-level rise to get an estimate of the warming rate.

Since much of sea-level rise is caused by thermal expansion of water, knowledge of the water-level rise allows us to deduce the warming rate. We can also use climate models (which are sophisticated computer calculations of the Earth’s climate) or our knowledge from Earth’s past (paleoclimatology).

Many studies use combinations of these study methods to attain estimates and typically the estimates are that the planet is warming at a rate of perhaps 0.5 to 1 Watt per square meter of Earth’s surface area. However, there is some discrepancy among the actual numbers.

So assuming we know how much heat is being accumulated by the Earth, how can we predict what the future climate will be? The main tool for this is climate models (although there are other independent ways we can study the future). With climate models, we can play “what-if scenarios” and input either current conditions or hypothetical conditions and watch the Earth’s climate evolve within the simulation.

Two incorrect but nevertheless consistent denial arguments are that the Earth isn’t warming and that climate models are inaccurate. A new study, published by Kevin Trenberth, Lijing Cheng, and others (I was also an author) answers these questions.

The study was just published in the journal Ocean Sciences; a draft of it is available here. In this study, we did a few new things. First, we presented a new estimate of ocean heating throughout its full depth (most studies only consider the top portion of the ocean). Second, we used a new technique to learn about ocean temperature changes in areas where there are very few measurements. Finally, we used a large group of computer models to predict warming rates, and we found excellent agreement between the predictions and the measurements.

According to the measurements, the Earth has gained 0.46 Watts per square meter between 1970 and 2005. Since, 1992 the rate is higher (0.75 Watts per square meter) and therefore shows an acceleration of the warming. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of 5,400,000,000,000 (or 5,400 billion) 60-watt light bulbs running continuously day and night. In my view, these numbers are the most accurate measurements of the rate at which the Earth is warming.

What about the next question – how did the models do? Amazingly well. From 1970 through 2005, the models on average showed a warming of 0.41 Watts per square meter and from 1992-2005 the models gave 0.77 Watts per meter squared. This means that since 1992, the models have been within 3 % of the measurements. In my mind, this agreement is the strongest vindication of the models ever found, and in fact, in our study we suggest that matches between climate models and ocean warming should be a major test of the models.


Exactly What's Wrong With Cliff Mass' Approach to Global Warming

Cliff Mass is a Washington State meteorologist who sticks to meteorology. The Solon below, Ethan Linck, thinks Mass should link weather to global warming.  And Linck seems to think he has made a great point by saying that one part of Antarctica is cooling while the rest warms.  He probably should have asked Cliff Mass about that -- because ALL of Antarctic is cooling -- as Zwally's study showed.  Linck is a clown.  He thinks he knows it all when he actually knows nothing

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of climate change denialism is the willful idiocy of using local exceptions to a widely supported trend as evidence that trend is false. Climate science—like meteorology, biology, and political science—is a field defined by intrinsic variation of its object of study, and is reliant on statistical tools with the power to infer signal from noise.

The inherent uncertainty of this pursuit can lead some researchers (like UW’s Cliff Mass) to avoid attributing any single weather event to climate change, even if the event itself is consistent with predictions of weather under future climate regimes, for fear of discrediting climate research more broadly.

(It will not surprise regular Puget Sound news readers to learn this is not a universally supported position. Which is why a recent Nature study highlighting one such local exception—the absence of 21st century warming on the Antarctic Peninsula in the face of overall increasing temperatures elsewhere across the continent—is both good, necessary science, but at the same time it's sure to be seized upon from predictable quarters, the deniers of a widely supported trend, global warming.


Researchers can now monitor global warming due to human activity in real time

Amusing confidence below.  All they have done is a careful back-cast.  But lots of models look good in back casts.  But they still don't yield accurate forecasts. It's just hope below, not accurate prediction

A research team including a Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego climate scientist simulated in a computer model, for the first time, the realistic evolution of global mean surface temperature since 1900.

In doing so, the researchers also created a new method by which researchers can measure and monitor the pace of anthropogenic global warming, finding that the contribution of human activities to warming in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean can be distinguished from natural variability.

Former Scripps researcher Yu Kosaka, now at the University of Tokyo, and Shang-Ping Xie, the Roger Revelle Chair in Environmental Science at Scripps, created the simulation by forcing sea surface temperature over the tropical Pacific to follow the observed variability.

“The climate system includes naturally occurring cycles that complicate the measurement of global warming due to the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases,” said Xie. “We can isolate the anthropogenic warming by removing the internally generated natural variability.”

Climate policymakers have sought to limit the rise of global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels. That figure is considered a threshold beyond which society and natural systems are virtually assured of experiencing significant and dangerous instability. Scientists have estimated that the planet is already roughly 1 degree Celsius warmer at the surface than before the Industrial Revolution.

The 2 degrees Celsius target was reaffirmed during the 2015 Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, that was held in Paris in December. Kosaka and Xie’s research could provide an easily generated and more accurate means to measure society’s success in keeping temperatures below that threshold.

The research is further confirmation of the primary importance of the Pacific in controlling global-scale climate that researchers have come to understand in recent decades. Kosaka and Xie plotted the rise of global mean temperatures over the past 120 years. The rise of temperatures ascends in a staircase fashion with the steps becoming larger over the past 50 years.

When Kosaka and Xie removed as a variable the natural warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean, the rise of global mean surface temperature became a more linear increase, one that began to accelerate more sharply in the 1960s. It had been natural Pacific decadal variations that temporarily slowed down or speeded up the warming trend, leading to the staircase pattern.

For example, global mean surface temperature has not changed much for 1998-2014, a time period known as the hiatus that has been tied to naturally occurring tropical Pacific cooling. Raw data show a warming of 0.9 degrees Celsius for the recent five-year period of 2010-2014 relative to 1900 while Kosaka and Xie’s calculation yields a much higher anthropogenic warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius after correcting for the natural variability effect.

Observed global mean surface temperature (GMST) based on three datasets (black curves in degree C), and the new estimates of anthropogenic global warming (AGM). The simulated GMST change without considering tropical Pacific internal variability is plotted as reference (white curve with blue shading indicating the uncertainty).

“Most of the difference between the raw data and new estimates is found during the recent 18 years since 1998,” said Xie. “Because of the hiatus, the raw data underestimate the greenhouse warming.”

Kosaka and Xie suggest that though Pacific Ocean trends are an essential variable control on global temperature rise, the accuracy of their warming estimate will be improved in the future as other climate modes are added as variables. An international initiative involving more than a dozen climate models is being planned to improve the estimates included in upcoming assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The paper, "The tropical Pacific as a key pacemaker of the variable rates of global warming," appears in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The National Science Foundation and NOAA supported Xie’s contribution to the research. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology supported Ko


You couldn't make it up.  Warmists are treating Inhofe's grand-daughter as an authority

The heading on the article excerpted below was: "Jim Inhofe’s Granddaughter Asked Him Why He Didn’t Understand Global Warming" -- implying that she was the one in the right.

And the temperature rise they refer to was due to El Nino, not carbon dioxide. CO2 did NOT rise in 2015

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is a famous climate denier. He has written a book about global warming, arguing it is a hoax.
Like many Americans — 64 percent of which are concerned about climate change — Inhofe’s granddaughter wants to know why he does not understand the science.

On the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, Inhofe told radio host Eric MeTaxas about a conversation he had with one of his granddaughters, Right Wing Watch reported on Tuesday.

"You know, our kids are being brainwashed? I never forget because I was the first one back in 2002 to tell the truth about the global warming stuff and all of that. And my own granddaughter came home one day and said “Popi (see “I” is for Inhofe, so it’s Momi and Popi, ok?), Popi, why is it you don’t understand global warming?” I did some checking and Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, you have to un-brainwash them when they get out"

Right now, the United States, including Oklahoma, is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave that has left at least six dead. This month, the world learned that the first half of 2016 was the hottest start to a year on record, building on 2015’s record as the hottest year on record — data that strengthen the longer trends signifying the reality of climate change.

Famously, Inhofe brought a snowball onto the senate floor last year in an effort to prove that global warming was a hoax, citing the cold “unseasonable” temperatures. This was in February.


U.S. Hits Record 129 Months Since Last Major Hurricane Strike

No major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States for a record-breaking 129 months, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The last major hurricane to make landfall on the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which slammed into Florida on Oct. 24, 2005--129 months ago.

The 2016 hurricane season--which officially opened on June 1 and ends on November 30--is expected to be “near normal”, with more hurricane activity than last year’s “below normal” season.

“The outlook calls for a 45% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season,” according to NOAA’s 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.

The agency predicts that there will be “10-16 named storms” this season--including “4-8 hurricanes” and “1-4 major hurricanes.” A "major hurricane" is defined as one that is Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which means it has sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and is capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

But because of several “competing climate factors” this year, “there is reduced confidence in predicting whether the season will be above normal or below normal,” NOAA stated.

At a May 27 press conference, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan told reporters that due to the cooling phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), there is “uncertainty about whether the high-activity era of Atlantic hurricanes has ended.”

“During the past three years, weaker hurricane seasons have been accompanied by a shift towards the cool signature of the AMO, cooler Atlantic Ocean temperatures, and a weaker West African monsoon,” Sullivan said.

“If this shift proves to be more than short-lived, if it’s not just a temporary blip, then it could be signaling the arrival of a low activity era for Atlantic hurricanes.”

The last time the AMO entered a cold phase was the 23-year period between 1971 and 1994, when there were only two above-normal hurricane seasons and half were below normal, said Dr. Gerry Bell, head of NOAA’s hurricane forecasting team.

In 2005, four major hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma– struck the mainland of the United States, killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages, according to NOAA.

Since 2005, no Category 3 or above hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States.

President Obama is the longest-serving president to have no major hurricanes strike during his time in office.

During Obama's presidency, four hurricanes have made landfall, but all were at lower than Category 3 intensity: Irene (2011), Isaac and Sandy (2012) were all Category 1 when the hit the mainland, and Arthur (2014) was a Category 2.


Clinton’s VP Pick Targeted Global Warming Skeptics On Senate Floor

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate targeted global warming skeptics on the Senate floor in July, potentially hurting claims the nominee is someone constitutional conservatives can support.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, was tasked with heaping scorn on conservative nonprofit groups in early July for opposing Democratic policies addressing man-made global warming.

Kaine was chosen as Democratic presidential nominee Clinton’s running mate on July 22, no more than a week after the Virginia senator was tasked with criticizing Virginia-based nonprofit groups for not toeing the line on Democratic policies addressing climate change.

There is a cabal of organizations that “knowingly try to misrepresent the status of climate science, and suggest that climate change is not occurring,” Kaine said July 11 on the Senate floor.

The Virginia Institute for Public Policy “makes statements that are promoting a false point of view,” he said, adding, that the free market group “promotes the idea that ‘oh, well, we shouldn’t do anything about it (global warming).”

It is one thing to disagree about how climate change should be approached, Kaine argued, it is quite another to openly deny that the climate is changing.

The inquisition began when Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, directed 19 of his fellow Democratic senators to attack conservative and libertarian organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute on the chamber floors for engaging in what the senators call a “web of denial.”

Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada, as well as Chuck Schumer of New York joined Kaine on July 11 targeting groups like Mercatus Center.

Emily Enderle, a top environmental policy adviser to Whitehouse, who is leading the hit parade, constructed the strategy in an internal email with several leading environmental groups — some of the groups include the Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Clean Water Action.

Conservative groups argued the move by Kaine, among others, is an example of senators unfairly targeting the free speech rights of organizations not falling in lock step with global warming orthodoxy.

“It’s unbelievable the level of coordination the Senate Democrats have taken to political intimidate free market organizations,” Molly Drenkard, a spokeswoman with the American Legislative Economic Exchange (ALEC), told The Daily Caller News Foundation on July 11. ALEC was one of the conservative groups targeted by the senators.

But now some conservatives are attempting to paint a different picture of Kaine, who is currently running against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a candidate many conservatives feel is not fit to be president.

Washington Post columnist George Will, for one, has begun laying down a coda suggesting Kaine might be the most palatable candidate for constitutional conservatives.

“There probably is no Democratic governor or senator more palatable than Kaine to constitutional conservatives,” Will wrote in an editorial Tuesday. “Such conservatives are eager to bring presidential power back within constitutional constraints, and Kaine is among the distressingly small minority of national legislators interested in increased congressional involvement in authorizing the use of military force.”



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