Factors besides CO2 – Myles Allen and Wally Broecker

A great video (<3 minutes) from Myles and Wally about how other factors can modify the impact of rising greenhouse gases.

Myles Allen is a Professor in the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department at the University of Oxford.

Wally Broecker is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

29 thoughts on “Factors besides CO2 – Myles Allen and Wally Broecker

  1. Rachel,
    See The Australian article this weekend,”Twenty year hiatus in temperature has climate scientists puzzled”, which covers the Economist article and the latest Hansen paper.If pay walled,it is readable in full at WUWT.
    The Sulphate aerosols theory has been around for at least 5 years,but remains just a theory .The Hansen paper is extraordinary.As long as we keep burning coal, the earth is safe from catastrophe.But when China and India clean up their factories,enter Dr.Faust.
    The fact remains that observed temperature data is parting company with the models.In real science when the model doesn’t predict reality the models are wrong..
    Climate science acknowledges there are more than 20 factors affecting our climate especially that large red orb in the sky.Yet CO2 is the implausibly controlling factor.

    1. Exactly which part of this graph is parting with the model? – http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~ed/hiatus_short.gif
      The observed temperature is sticking with simulation #2 very closely. Where is the twenty-year hiatus? I don’t see it. The line has a positive gradient. Perhaps not as steep from the early 2000s to now, but still up. Do you agree that the gradient of this graph is positive? If so, there is no hiatus.

      Did you read the Hansen paper? It’s here – http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/1/011006/
      Which part of “These plans (to build more than 1000 coal-fired power plants) should be vigorously resisted” implies it’s fine to keep burning fossil fuels?

      You write, “Yet CO2 is the implausibly controlling factor”. I interpret this as, “CO2 does not influence global temperature”. Is that what you think?

  2. I have a question for you. We agree that the Earth has warmed by 0.8C over the last 100 years. Atmospheric CO2 in February 2013 was 396.80ppm. If we continue on our current trajectory, and do nothing about it, atmospheric CO2 will reach 500 – 1000ppm by 2100. Do you think that’s fine?

  3. Rachel,
    I have seen the temperature anomaly chart of Ed Hawkins in the Reading paper link.I am obviously unqualified to critique simulation 2 but you are denying the 17plus ( or 24 year plus or 19year plus ) hiatus on the basis of one chart.The Economist “Falling off the edge ” chart or the leaked AR5 Figure 1.4 or the Chart with David Rose’s Sunday Telegraph recent article are ALL showing the line heading down to the lower model spread line.Further if you go to woodfortrees.org you can see the interactive display of NASA GISS,Hadcrut 3,Hadcrut4,RSS,and UAH for 1979 to now,or 2000 to 2012,or any other period .Neither side of the debate disputes the accuracy of the temperature records shown at woodfortrees.org.
    All records for 2000 to 2012 are flat and RSS is a slight decline ( 0.02 degrees Celsius.)
    In regard to Hansen et al,I would not expect Dr. Hansen to do other than rail against a further 1000 coal fired power stations.May I facetiously ask if he would approve 1000 new gas fired power stations?
    As I have repeatedly stated,it is accepted basic physics that increasing CO2 emissions will warm the atmosphere to some extent but it is the centre of the debate as to whether the temperature increase will be either dangerous or even significant.
    No, I don’t accept an absolute 0.8 degrees Celsius rise since 1880 .Particularly when the Royal Society says the increase has been 0.76 degrees Celsius plus or minus 0.19 degrees.The point of the debate is that 20th Century temperature records worldwide are sketchy.The Fall et al ,and Watts et al 2012 papers show siting errors, adjustments (homogenisation), and other errors in US NASA sites.
    Nobody knows what the 2100 CO2 atmospheric content will be.The suggestion of 500-1000ppm completely ignores the uncertainty of the settled science,and the progress in humanity in delivering its power sources this century.Further I don’t accept the suggested 6 degree rise that is being touted as the upper limit for AR5,nor that the climate sensitivity is 3 degrees on average( UN IPCC AR4).
    May I finish with the quote of James Lovelock late last year.”The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing .We thought we knew twenty years ago…That led to some alarmist books,mine included,because it looked clear cut ,but it hasn’t happened.The climate is doing its usual tricks.There’s nothing much really happening yet.We should be half way to frying by now…..”
    For “We ” can I read UNIPCC etc?

    1. The two graphs you have provided are one and the same. Both are copies of the graph made by Ed Hawkins.

      I have already given you a second graph, which also has a positive gradient, in a different comment from another post, Global warming predictions prove accurate
      It is a prediction made my Myles Allen in 1999 and is pretty much spot-on. Short time frames are not terribly accurate anyway.

      Do you agree that there have been periods of time on Earth when the climate was a lot hotter than now (>3C hotter) and that these times coincided with higher levels of atmospheric CO2? During the Eocene, for instance, when CO2 was >750ppm. There was no ice at either pole, crocodiles lived off the coast of Greenland and Antarctica was a pine forest. Some people would say this sounds really nice. If I liked hot weather, I’m sure I’d feel the same. I personally hate the heat, so I loathe the idea of the planet warming by 2C. Do you accept the predicted 2C warming? It was the Economist article which put it at 2-4C. Do you accept that?

      You mention the “progress in humanity in delivering its power sources this century”. Does this mean you advocate for power sources that don’t release CO2 in the atmosphere? Because it seems like you’re arguing in favour of continuing to dig up coal and gas for burning. Actually, I’m not really sure what your argument is. I’m not sure that you even accept the Earth has warmed over the last Century (ok, 0.76C +- 0.19) yet you seem to accept the basic physics of CO2 and its effect on global temperature. Is your position just that we continue with business as usual, without making any changes to our greenhouse gas emissions? Or is your position that you think the Earth has stopped warming altogether? Or is your position that you don’t think a 2C warming is anything to be worried about?

      When you say, “I don’t accept the suggested 6 degree rise that is being touted as the upper limit for AR5…” it’s sort of a bit like saying to your doctor after he tells you that you have cancer, “Ah, but it’s benign”. Sure doctors get it wrong sometimes, but why would you think you know more than they do?

  4. Rachel,
    Response by Marcott et al at RealClimate first.I have read the entirety of the Response and most of the following comments,the first being a laudatory salute by Sou.
    Now that I have read this Response,may I respectfully ask you to read in full Roger A Pielke Jr.’s blog ,”Fixing the Marcott mess in Climate Science,” followed by Steve McIntyre’s post ,”The Marcott Filibuster,”and then WUWT,on the same topic.In particular ,read Andy Revkin’s updated article at Dot Earth ,”Scientists find an Abrupt Warm Jog after a very long cooling,” in the New York Times.
    I can’t better Professor Pielke’s discussion of the Marcott paper.Look at the 2 graphs shown by Pielke ,the second showing no 20th century uptick whatsoever.Look at how Andy Revkin has withdrawn the Hockey Stick aspect in the NY times .If Science, New Scientist and the rest of the blogs that acted as shills for the authors had the integrity to act as Pielke recommends,I might be prepared to treat their publications as worth consideration.
    As for RealClimate,and the “Response”, It is simply as Pielke and McIntyre state,a filibuster addressing points that are not in issue.Marcott et al has nothing to say about 20th century temperatures.
    On the local temperature app at New Scientist,I am happy to see that Brisbane local temperature seems to be cooling since about 2008/2009,by about 0.2 degrees Celsius.
    On the warming and cooling of the earth and its co-incidence with CO2 Emissions,I am not aware whether the Eocene was 3 degrees hotter than now ,but I certainly dispute the proposition advanced in ” An Inconvenient Truth ” that world temperatures have risen and fallen with CO 2 emissions .This fallacy was found to be an “error” and a departure from mainstream science by Justice Burton in Dimmock v. Secretary of State ( see Wikipedia summary of the case). The full report of the case reveals the 9 errors in the movie including the threat to polar bears, said by his Honour to have not been the subject of any evidence before the Court.
    No, I don’t accept the 2 degree predicted warming .
    I am quite happy for non-fossil fuel generation to be introduced if the source is cheaper and more effective, and if people want to de-carbonise the economy.I just dont want to pay for it as I believe the case for CAGW is not robust at all.My concern is that renewables are unable to replace fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, and the trillions proposed over the next half century are a misallocation of resources.Further the money should be spent in addressing poverty, disease and malnutrition.
    Yes the world has warmed since 1880 , but the amount and cause remains uncertain.CO 2 no doubt is a contributor.
    I am also happy to continue visiting my Doctor rather than self-diagnosing from the Internet,if I suspect I may have cancer.However,if they were medicos,there are some climate scientists I wouldn’t consult.

    1. Yay! We agree and accept: anthropogenic global warming exists. Yes, there is disagreement over how much and how it will play out. I am not qualified to enter into a debate over how much the Earth will warm or what impact this will have on us. I can only read the range of estimates by scientists from around the globe and accept this as our best knowledge at this time. Most of them expect 2C but the range is anywhere from 1.1 to 6C.

      I think the Marcott paper is just a red herring. I have been following the analysis of it on WUWT and various other places. I note that of all the recommended reading you provide, Roger Pielke is the only scientist and he too accepts anthropogenic global warming. He does not claim that the paper itself is incorrect, only that it was misrepresented in a press release.

      Both Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre have been very scathing of Marcott’s paper, in many posts, and yesterday, McIntyre (then reposted at WUWT) said, “[Marcott et al] now concede” that the 20th century portion is not statistically robust. If I recall correctly, they said this at the outset.

      All the criticism of this paper is focused on the 20th Century uptick in a graph which the authors claim is not statistically robust anyway! But the paper is not a study of modern temperature. The study instead seeks to provide a record of global temperatures throughout the entire Holocene. When they make comparisons of this reconstruction with the last 100 years, they use instrumental data from thermometers to get the last 100 years. We don’t need data from tree rings, fossils and isotopes to know what temperatures over the last 100 years have been. Thermometers and even satellites can give us that.

      Now I acknowledge that I have done no post-graduate study in geology, so if a peer-reviewed paper gets published in a very reputable scientific journal, and there is scientific consensus on this paper, and that study recreates a picture of global temperatures throughout the Holocene then I’m not going to say, “they got it wrong”. How ridiculous would I sound? We know what recent global temperatures have been because we have an instrumental record for the last 100 years or so. Thus if scientists can glean from this instrumental temperature record from the present day and the temperature reconstruction for the entire Holocene, that our current rate of temperature change is unlike anything that happened throughout the entire Holocene, then I have to accept that. In fact, none of your recommended readings debunk the Holocene reconstruction.

      On the issue of fossil fuel use, I am more optimistic than you. Did you know that 70% of the electricity in New Zealand comes from renewables? Mostly hydropower, but also increasingly geothermal.

  5. Rachel,
    Thanks for the link on James Hansen’s retirement from NASA GISS.It will be interesting if he engages in litigation with his former employer the US Government.
    On Marcott et al ,See Professor Ross McKitrick in The Financial Post,” We’re not screwed?”,(April 1,2013),via WUWT.

  6. Rachel,
    Read the comments by Sou below the McKitrick article ,and the responses by other readers.
    I really am speechless!

  7. What a bunch of armchair geologists! In 1920, Einstein is reported to have written to a friend:

    “This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”

    There’s a good video interview with Jeremy Shakun (one of the authors) at the bottom of this article in the NYTimes – http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/fresh-thoughts-from-authors-of-a-paper-on-11300-years-of-global-temperature-changes/

  8. Rachel,
    The video by Shakun sheds no light on why ,as Andy Revkin points out in Dot Earth in the NY Times,”Fresh Thoughts from Authors of a Paper on 11,300 years of global temperature changes”‘ April 1,2013,…..”(one question ) being how the authors square the caveats they express here with the more definitive statements they made about their findings in news accounts.”
    Example: ” Recent Heat Spike unlike anything in 11,000 Years”…. Research released Thursday in the Journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures …It shows how the globe for several thousand years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.”…Seth Borenstein , The Associated Press, March 7.
    As Pielke points out in his blog,this conduct of Shakun and Marcott brings Climate Science into disrepute.In their own words,( whether it was buried in their paper or not,and , it was not evident to any reporting journalist),none of the recent data was robust and no conclusion could be drawn about 20th Century warming.Further it is damning that Marcott used the same 73 proxies in his thesis without claiming any 20th century spike.
    The MO of this paper follows Gergis et al 2012, (later withdrawn),and all the Hockey stick papers, namely get a paper with sensational findings into the public arena ,get widespread publicity for them, and then stonewall any valid criticism .By the time the paper is discredited the media have lost interest .
    Marcott et al will not feature in AR5 next year because it is scientifically indefensible and gives no evidence of a “blade ” for a hockey stick graph.
    A five year old child could see the deception in this exercise.Can someone find a five year old child for the RealClimate authors?

    1. Exactly which hockey stick papers have been discredited? I don’t know of any. I did a bit of searching after your Michael Mann diatribe. This is what I found – Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface termperatures.

      Our examination does suggest that a slight modification to the original Mann et al. reconstruction is justifiable for the first half of the 15th century (∼+0.05–0.10◦), which leaves entirely unaltered the primary conclusion of Mann et al. (as well as many other reconstructions) that both the 20th century upward trend and high late-20th century hemispheric surface temperatures are anomalous over at least the last 600 years.

      Then there is study after study that supports the hockey stick – which is that the recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed.

      See: Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water. Their conclusion:
      “We find that early–21st-century temperatures of Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming.”
      Twentieth century warming in deep waters of the Gulf of St.Lawrence:A unique feature of the last millennium. Their conclusion:
      “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.”
      Ammonium concentration in ice cores: A new proxy for regional temperature reconstruction?. Their conclusion:
      “The last decades of the past millennium are
      characterized again by warm temperatures that seem to be unprecedented in the context of
      the last ∼1600 years.”
      Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling. Their conclusion:
      “The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction occurring between 1950 and 2000.”

      As Joe Romm (PhD in Physics from MIT) points out, “It appears that, unless you are willfully blind or directly in the employ of the fossil fuel industry, the evidence – of climate change, as well as of Mann’s scientific bona fides – is undeniable.”

      If you have an issue with a catchy news heading, then write to the newspaper and let them know. If you have seen a legitimate flaw in Marcott’s methodology, then write another paper debunking his and get it published. Personally, I don’t see any problems with it but I also recognize, that I’m not qualified to.

      According to Australia’s top scientists and science bodies, climate change is not coming, it’s already here.

  9. Rachel,
    The link you gave me to “”Climate change is not coming it’s already here” relates to the ABC coverage of the Angry Summer Report And The Critical Decade :Extreme Weather Report .Both are only good for a laugh ! See Professor Murry Salby’s comprehensive demolition “Last Summer was not actually angrier than other summers”,(The Australian, April,4,) Dr.Salby is professor of Climate at Macquarie University.These papers are a prime reason why the Commission will be axed later this year if a Coalition government gets in.They are for the gullible or feeble-minded,and are easily rebutted by consulting the satellite record for the entire Australian continent for 1979-2013 which Dr. Salby does in his article .Peer reviewed according to the ABC ! They are just picking the odd anomalous weather event and pretending it’s the new climate.A new low even for the Commission .As Salby says, none of the Commission has any expertise in climate science nor even meteorology.
    On Joe Romm, only comment….beneath contempt.
    On Amman and Wahl,s paper validating MBH 98 etc.I assume you are joking.Whole enquiries and books have been written about the Team’s hilarious endeavour to revive the hockeystick through this flawed paoer .Read any of the Books on the Climategate E-mails.Read the e-mails themselves Even Briffa thought their usage was dodgy.The Wegman and NSF enquiries found the bristlecomb data was inappropriate for these paleontologogical reproductions and yet Amman and Wahl ,also members of the Team, repeated their usage.
    Still sceptical’

  10. Tamino has made a post over at Open Mind – http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/smearing-climate-data/ – which tests Marcott’s analysis by plugging in some artificial temperatures at random periods over the 11,000 years, that match the rate of increase over the last 100 years, to whether they’d show up and they do, like an elephant on a train.

    I think Salby’s criticism of the climate commission’s panel of experts is a bit unfounded. There are people on it, Will Steffan for instance, who clearly have expertise in climate science. But more interesting to me is that apparently Murry Salby thinks temperature increase is causing CO2 increase – http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/bag-of-hammers-ii/
    And another account of it here – http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/04/murray-salby-and-conservation/
    Unfortunately I am unable to listen to Salby’s talks at the Sydney Institute without a password and they don’t appear to be available in any academic publication.

    On the topic of hockey sticks, science is rebutted by science, not by books. Take a look at all the books confirming creationism available from Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/My-favourite-books-on-creationism/lm/R2JWTK4TYRNATU Doesn’t make it true.

    Did you know that Edward Wegman has had a paper retracted for, omg, *PLAGIARISM*!!!! http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167947307002861

      1. Cut and paste:- “One committe says some plagiarism occurred in backup material (probably due to lack of citations) while a second committee says “poor judgement, but no misconduct”.

      2. And the University issued him with a reprimand. I don’t think I have said anything other than that he plagiarised, which he did.

  11. There’s a really good interview with Simon Lamb from Victoria University and Kim Hill from NZ National Radio – http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20130406-0905-simon_lamb_thin_ice-00.ogg, recorded this morning.

    Simon Lamb is a geologist and amateur cameraman who spent the last six years making the film, Thin Ice – The Inside Story of Climate Science – http://thiniceclimate.org/blog/details/2658/thin-ice-the-inside-story-of-climate-science

    It’s due for release online on April 22nd. He went in search of “extremists and alarmists” and wondered whether dishonest climate scientists were bringing all scientists into disrepute. He had to find out for himself. He went all over the world, including beneath Antarctica’s glaciers. “Who are these scientists”, he asks. “Are they searching for the truth? or are they peddling a lie?”

  12. Rachel,
    Why would I give any credibility to statistician and folk singer Tamino,a.k.a Grant Foster,when you repeatedly denigrate Steven McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick who have discredited the Hockeystick graph in peer reviewed papers.Further,McIntyre and Anthony Watt have unmasked the completely misleading nature of the Marcott paper which stands exposed as telling us nothing other than that the Holocene period has seen a cooling over the last approximately 11,250 years of 1.3 degrees F.,and no evidence of an uptick.
    As one commentator has said to Tamino,”Grant,I find it just plain bizarre that you wrote all this and never even mentioned Steve McIntyre ,who first figured what Marcott had done wrong ,and whose excellent work is the whole reason you wrote this.”
    All Tamino did was to throw some artificially generated spikes into the mix,run a process that doesn’t show the code or work and then say trust me.His work is not credible.

  13. Rachel,
    I forgot to comment on the Wegman point and OMG,Plagiarism.Is this relevant to my post? The Wegman Inquiry was backed up by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in finding that bristlecomb and fox tails were unreliable temperature proxies and recommended against their use.That leads into the infamous “Hide the decline” e-mail by Keith Briffa where for the WMO graph in 1999, he reproduced “Mike’s Nature trick.”The decline was that shown by their proxies after 1960, which clearly evidenced cooling not warming.The trick by both Mann and Briffa was to tack on surface temperature records in replacement for the apparently unreliable tree ring proxies and show in AR3 and one paragraph in AR4 a confusing “spaghetti graph” to convince policy makers that the research showed an incontrovertible temperature spike in the late 20th century.
    The charge against Wegman of plagiarism, I presume ,comes from the Desmogblog or similar,dirty tricks files! From your comment I assume that you are tongue in cheek.May I say it is the most shocking thing to come out of Washington since it was revealed that the late Senator Edward Kennedy cheated on his Harvard law exams!
    Lastly ,the science.The UAH March monthly update for the satellite recording of the lower troposphere temperature anomaly shows plus 0.18 degrees Celsius warming since 1979.To this we can add the comment of flatlining for all 5 world temperature gauges this century.
    At some point the UNIPCC are going to have to produce some scientific explanations that go beyond fairy tales of Extreme weather events.

    1. The link I provided to the Wegman paper is not to desmog, but to the journal itself. Here it is again:

      From the journal:
      “This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and co-Editors, as it contain portions of other authors’ writings on the same topic in other publications, without sufficient attribution to these earlier works being given. ”

      It is relevant to your comment because this paper was part of the Wegman Report. More information about it here – http://www.csicop.org/si/show/strange_problems_in_the_wegman_report/

      Have you read the Wikipedia account of the Wegman Report? One of the reviewers for this report was Grace Wahba. She is quoted as saying: “Hey, they used my name and they said I was a referee. He sent it to me about 3 days beforehand and I sent him a bunch of criticisms which they didn‘t take into account.”

      I provided four links in a comment above (http://quakerattled.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/factors-besides-co2-myles-allen-and-wally-broecker/comment-page-1/#comment-1163), all to academic publications, that support the hockey stick findings. There are more, but I think it’s futile for me to provide them for you because you don’t seem to accept these, instead choosing to accept the word of someone who has done no postgraduate study in mathematics and who also has a clear conflict of interest.

      I don’t know the background to these things so when you tell me all the dreadful things about this scientist Michael Mann, I feel the need to verify them for myself. So this is what I’ve gone and done and all I can find is study after study that confirms his findings (see above) and no less than 8 independent investigations that all find him innocent of research misconduct. These were conducted by Pennsylvania State University, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK), Independent Climate Change Review (UK), International Science Assessment Panel (UK), United States Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce (US) and the National Science Foundation. Are you saying that every one of these investigations is wrong? And simultaneously asking me to trust a report with allegations of plagiarism and some dodgy peer-review?

      I think your comment about not placing too much credibility on Tamino is warranted. I do not like that he blogs anonymously. My own research has revealed that he is called Grant Foster and he appears to be a statistician but provides no information about his educational background or who he works for. He has published a few papers and his affiliation is with Tamino Analytics, although I’m not sure who or what they are. But this is about the same amount of credibility I give Steve McIntyre except that Steve McIntyre has a clear conflict of interest which should immediately make you question everything he writes. And yet you don’t.

      So let’s just agree to disagree. It’s great for you, living in Brisbane, that the Earth is not warming, that the ice caps are not melting, nor the sea level rising, because it would be awful to live in a hot, humid place like Brisbane and have the knowledge that is was going to get even hotter. That would be horrible. So lucky for you that this whole global warming thing is a hoax.

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