The playing field has a natural tilt climate modelers won’t see

Posted: March 29, 2014 by tallbloke in Analysis, Carbon cycle, Incompetence, Measurement, Natural Variation

level_playing_fieldTwitter climate debate warrior ‘Ima Disbelievin‘ sent me this short article which is worth a post. It’s a followup to the Tony Thomas article a week or so back which covered the story about the American Physical Society APS reworking their position statement on climate change and global warming.

In the American Physical Science’s transcript of discussions relating to their upcoming revision of their position statement on Anthropogenic Climate Change, Dr. Collins states:

So, we build climate models. We assume when we construct those models that the net energy balance of the planet was identically zero or effectively zero at the start of industrialization.

My concern/question relates to:

1. We know that the energy balance of the planet was neither identically nor effectively zero at the start of industrialization.

2. We know that the globe had been warming to a certain number of degrees C/decade ever since the end of the little ice age.

3. I can find nowhere the assumption that natural climate change had stopped at whichever date is chosen as the assumed start of industrialization.

Given the above 3 points, why are the models constructed to explicitly exclude any natural component of warming as of the starting point of the run?

It would seem that this omission by itself would guarantee that the anthropogenic forcings needed to be input would of necessity be larger than required if the model actually included the natural forcings which were necessary pre-industry to produce the data confirmed historic temperatures, trend and energy balance at the start of the assumed industrialization contribution to the forcing.

Performing the calibration or verification runs should, it would seem, produce an end product which, at the start of the industrial era, produce an output which would include not just the temperature which matches data at that time but the same trend in magnitude and sign which match the trend known to exist at that time and the same energy imbalance known to exist.

It would seem that any model which did not produce this known energy imbalance at the start of industrialization would be understating the natural forcings by the amount necessary to produce said energy imbalance.

  1. Not quite so. The trend from the beginning of the Holocene (10,000 years before the present), was about ) minus 0.3 Celsius per millennium.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Chris: Sure, but we’re discussing on the terms defined by Dr Collins:
    From “the start of industrialization”.

    Even this is a false flag definition, since co2 didn’t start rising more rapidly until after WWII.

  3. ImaDisbelieving says:

    At any instant a vector and a scalar can be computed for a moving object within a given reference frame. The same is true of systems. There is an initial point chosen to start model runs. Why is the instantaneous vector analog and scalar value not included as part of the model? Why is the model designed to exclude those specifically?,

  4. tallbloke says:

    This is a question about initialisation. The justification used by climate modelers for neglecting long term cycles appears to be that they haven’t accepted an underlying physical basis for them, so they can pretend they don’t exist.

    They need to read this:

  5. DirkH says:

    There are two kinds of warmist modelers, morons who still haven’t understood that it’s one big fraud, and psychopaths who know that it’s ONLY about control and power and money.

  6. The climate models will be forever USELESS because they have incomplete, inaccurate data and do not have the correct inputs as to the beginning state of the climate, therefore any feedbacks the models come up with will be wrong.

    Garbage in garbage out is what it equates to.

  7. David Blake says:

    Rog: “Even this is a false flag definition, since co2 didn’t start rising more rapidly until after WWII.”

    Have you got a source for that Rog? The Law Dome data seems to suggest otherwise:

    Other data from the CDIAC, seem to paint the same picture.

  8. How could a forecast be made if all the variables are not put in. Also the models have no concept of climatic thresholds. I bet my last dollar that every model that has ever made a climate forecast has shown slow gradual trends for the climate ,when in reality the climate changes in sharp jerks after being more or less constant for a number of years.

    When the climate changes it does not do so over many many decades of 100’s of years or even a 100 years, it is much quicker and faster and violent. The models can’t capture this at all.

  9. tallbloke says:

    David B: Well OK, if you want to think of 26ppm in 120 years as rapid. I guess it’s in the eye of the beholders.
    Since the end of that 120 year period in 1950 it has risen 3.5 times more in half that time has it not?

  10. ImaDisbelieving says: seems to support Rog, as does plateau around end of wwII with marked slope increase afterward, from about 310 PPM. in the 100 years prior to ~1950 CO2 rose just ~30 PPM or .3 PPM/Yr, since ~1955 it rose nearly triple, or ~25 ppm in 25 years.

    All is sort of irrelevant though as you can pick a date to start models from based on whatever train of logic you are using.

    This still says nothing of why initial conditions of models are designed to have no direction or magnitude of change.

  11. And how anyone in their right mind could think a 26ppm increase in a trace gas is going to have dramatic climate ramifications is beyond me. It is ridiculous and how this theory has had so many legs baffles me.
    I would say AGW theory is the most absurd scientific theory I have ever come across. Based on a ridiculous argument ,with ridiculous models trying to show ridiculous results. LOL .

  12. nzrobin says:

    No wonder I feel a little wobbly this Sunday morning. New Zealand has fallen off the edge.

  13. carol smith says:

    The Little Ice Age is an interesting period. It is assumed the Sun was in low mode – and perhaps it was. However, was that all that was going on? We have a low Sun mode at present but not any drastic cooling. What about dust in the atmosphere. An opaque sky would reduce the ability of the Sun to warm the surface of the Earth. The witch burnings and religious revolutions going on the 16th and 17th centuries were not sparked just by the cold weather. There was a lot of comets and meteoric activity. This is usually discounted by most commentators as anti-mainstream – but Cromwell and his ilk were inspired by events seen in the sky and meteor showers are acknowledged to have been more common. You may also like to think about the fact that overall the Little Ice Age was marginally lower in temperature than the 18th or 19th centuries. This shows that in some decades temperatures were normal and those decades that were cold were very cold. Can this be explained in a low mode Sun?

  14. Brian H says:

    Heaven’s dirt done it!

  15. Gail Combs says:

    You forgot that the climate is “Chaotic” This goes along with Salvatore Del Prete’s idea of ‘thresholds’

    The IPCC in TAR stated:

    “in climate research and modeling we should recognise that we are dealing with a complex non linear chaotic signature and therefore that long-term prediction of future climatic states is not possible”

    IPCC 2001 section page 774

    Dr. Robert Brown has a good comment on bistable/multistable climate at WUWT HERE

    ….At least two attractors — two are readily apparent in the Pliestocene, with the warm phase attractor nearly stable at pre-Pliestocene levels and the cold-phase glacial attractor steadily decreasing in mean temperature. The other pronounced feature of the data is a steady shift of the length of the glacial periods from 22 ky to 26 ky to 100 ky over the last 600 ky or thereabouts. As was already noted above, we are in one of the two longest interglacials evident in at least the recent record at a point that could reasonably be expected to be the end of it — or not. The LIA was, or should have been, rather terrifying as global temperatures reached the lowest levels they have been across the entire Holocene post Younger Dryas, level that could easily have been critically unstable to the cold phase transition.

    Near critical points in open bistable/multistable dynamical systems, fluctuations often grow. The system has two (or more) states that are both consistent with the given energy flow, and random factors constantly nucleate small domains with the structure appropriate to the opposite phase. Far from criticality, those fluctuations are quickly damped. Near criticality, the feedbacks start to favor their growth rather than their decay and the behavior of the system becomes much broader, with larger oscillatory trajectories around an increasingly unstable attractor. This is what “tipping point” arguments are all about — sometimes there are gross feedbacks (such as ice albedo and latent heat) that one can imagine having a point of no return….

    This is why the whole idea of a climate driven by CO2 is laughable and the data adjustments to give a ‘Linear trend’ ludicrous. You are going to get oscillation around a point, a ‘strange attractor’ until things change enough in several factors to shove the climate into a different pattern. We are seeing one of those shifts happening right now and there is no way a “Climate Model’ can really predict the shift at least at this point.

    Cycles/patterns are going to do a better job of ‘prediction’ at this point than models with 75% or more of the data missing and the programmers not even knowing what the unknown unknowns are.

  16. Gail Combs,

    It is amazing that even smart people such as Richard Lindzen discuss climate change in terms of the sensitivity to a doubling or halving of CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere.

    If this idea was valid it would be a simple matter to arrive at a precise value for a “Constant” that underlies energy policies based on the idea of “Mitigating” CO2. Instead we have wasted untold billions funding “Climate Science” distilled into a fatuous report known a AR5. The pitiful IPCC can’t pin the tail on the donkey.

    So is the sensitivity constant equal to 0.4 K/doubling as Lindzen and Choi suggest? Or is it 1.6 K/doubling that would explain the warming from 1850 to the present? Or is it 4.5 K/doubling as
    in the Arrhenius (1896) paper and in James Hansen’s latest piece of non-science (nonsense). Or is it 16 K/doubling that would explain the last seven glaciations?

    Take a look at slide 35 in this (otherwise excellent) presentation. It shows a sensitivity of 4.5 K per doubling of [CO2] and a sensitivity of 16 K/halving!

    Click to access Catling.pdf

    Who could create such a risible idea? You guessed it. The shameless James Hansen.

    If Hansen’s paper makes it through “Pal Review” let’s demand a retraction. We have no more chance of getting a retraction than we have of getting Michael Mann to admit his Tiljander sediment data was inverted. Nevertheless it will be wonderful to witness the circling of the wagons to protect the deluded Hansen.

    Click to access Catling.pdf

  17. tallbloke says:

    Gail: Great comment. Stuart and I are working on the draft of a paper which will connect the cyclic dots all the way from the Chandler Wobble to the glacial/interglacial timeframe. I appreciate that nature doesn’t work in neat regular amplitude sine-waves, and R.J. Salvador’s latest solar variation model iteration takes account of the non-linearity. Now up to R^2=0.81 for 2000yrs of 10Be/14C TSI reconstruction using planetary periods and their harmonics.