re-3: Climate science: observations vs. models


Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors, critics, and a few others

In response to all of you who sent in critiques, I’ve come up with a new and improved version of my article. It gives a more comprehensive overview of climate history, and includes a greater variety of temperature records, all of them from mainstream climatologists, including Phil Jones and James Hansen:

The data clearly indicates that we have not been experiencing any kind of dangerous or unnatural warming, and that we are now descending into at least a century or two of global cooling, and quite possibly, a rapid descent into the next ice age. 


From: David Creighton
Date: 19 January 2010 14:43:37 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: re/ climate

My reading of Dr Hansen, Richard, is that, “The bottom line is this: there is no global cooling trend. For the time being, until humanity brings its greenhouse gas emissions under control, we can expect each decade to be warmer than the preceding one. Weather fluctuations certainly exceed local temperature changes over the past half century. But the perceptive person should be able to see that climate is warming on decadal time scales.” That accords with my own perceptions.

Hi David,
Yes, the perceptive person will note that temperatures have been steadily rising since about 1800, long before human-caused Co2 emissions were significant. Such a person will also note that such a two-century rise was to be expected, as such rises tend to occur about every thousand years in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s been a thousand years since the last one, the Medieval Warm Period. The perceptive person will also note that the natural pattern indicates that the current rise is due to reverse downward, and such a person will not be surprised to notice that the reversal seems to have already begun, in January, 2007. 
This is all covered in detail in the new version of the article. The interesting question is not why we’ve experienced warming, but why high levels of Co2 have had negligible effect on the natural course of climate.
From: atheo atheo <•••@••.•••>
Date: 19 January 2010 17:40:01 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: comments

You may want to subscribe to the comments on your article:


Hi Ron,
Thanks for republishing the article on your distinguished blog, and also for updating to the very latest version just today. The comments on the previous version were helpful.
From: “Anup Shah” 
Date: 19 January 2010 18:35:39 GMT
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Cc: “Tim Murphy”, “david creighton”
Subject: Re: re/ climate

Thanks for taking the time to personally email.
Regarding this bit:
Your objections were very much oriented around challenging
sources, and rather than argue about sources

Yes, I did challenge some of your sources noting that they are repeating
falsehoods or things that have been discredited or addressed many years
ago and are constantly reappearing in different forms of the same
But I also pointed to a few sources that explained things like CO2 seeming
to lag behind warming, about the medieval and holocene periods of extra
warmth and the fallacy of talking about short timeframes. These and more
have been addressed many times and many years ago. E.g. medieval and
holocene warming is mostly northern hemisphere and not global. Talking of
significant cooling in recent years is inappropriate timeframe because of
variability in weather which can be varied for a decade or so — this is a
common topic lately and many disingenuously use 1998 as a reference
because that was abnormally high temperature. and are the two main blogs that
detail these things, as well as scienceblogs which puts together a
compendium of common arguments such as many of the ones you present:
I commend you from working from source data, but I think it is worth
asking some climate scientists about whether or not your interpretations
are accurate or not because much of what you have come to conclude has
been addressed. I appreciate Jim Hansen commented on your article but I
don’t know in what context (the whole premise or just a part of it).
Anyway, this is a rushed reply, so apologies if I missed out something or
got something wrong.
Anup Shah

Hi Anup,
I didn’t really understand Hansen’s brief comment, which was forwarded to me, but I’ve copied him on this posting in case he wants to reply more fully. I’m not interested in whether some expert says my interpretations are right or wrong. I’m interested in how they reach their conclusion. 
I don’t find sites like realclimate to be very useful. I’ve looked at such sites several times, and I find their arguments quite unconvincing. For example, let’s look at the article you refer to, claiming to refute the argument that the temperature drop in 2007 was significant. They begin with this statement:
This argument represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between weather and climate. Climate is generally defined as the weather conditions averaged over a long period, usually around 30 years.

Sounds authoritative, but 30 years is entirely too short a timeframe to understand what’s going on with climate. That’s the kind of short-term thinking that misleads people into blaming warming on Co2. The ‘perceptive person’ would be aware of longer-term patterns. Then as “proof” of their point, they simply quote the projections of the climate models. That is an entirely illogical argument. If the validity of the model is being challenged, the output of the model cannot be claimed as counter evidence, unless it to demonstrate that the model matches observations, which it does not do in the case of the 2007 decline. 
The ‘rebuttal’ sites seem aimed at comforting folks who ‘want to believe’, rather than offering rigorous rebuttals.
If you want to argue with my material, then it makes more sense for you to state your argument in your own words so we can discuss it. I hope you will do so if you respond to the new version.
The northern and southern hemispheres seem to have somewhat different climate dynamics. For example, Antarctica emerged from the last ice a thousand years before Greenland did. One must question the wisdom of trying to ‘average’ systems with such divergent dynamics, apples and oranges as it were. I focus on the northern hemisphere in my article.

From: Tim Murphy
Date: 20 January 2010 18:17:03 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: re/ climate
[off-topic remarks excluded]
When you say about Hanson’s recent article on RC  “The report only reconfirms my conclusions,” you must be joking, it does nothing of the kind. Hanson’s article only points out the short term factors masking long term AGW and as you see even with the worst December for 20 or 30 years (at least in these parts) 2009 was still the second warmest year, incredible.

Hi Tim,
Hansen claims that long-term AGW continues as an underlying trend, but makes no reference to any kind of evidence. And his argument that 2009 is the warmest year is really quite inexcusable. He picks an arbitrary averaging interval, projects it forward, and calls that projection the ‘real temperature’. This ‘real temperature’ doesn’t exist, it is a fiction. He could have claimed that the projection is what the temperature should be, if it weren’t for unexpected variations, but he cannot claim that it is the temperature. 
In my article, I talk about this problem of scientists getting too attached to their models. What begins as a theory ends up being an assumption, as we see above with this assumption of an underlying AGW trend. And they begin to discount real measurements when they contradict the model, as we see also see above.

From: “Herb Kline” 
Date: 20 January 2010 01:07:28 GMT
To: “‘Richard Moore'” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: re-5: global warming – The official NOAA ice core data

Hi Richard,
Do you know whether Climate Science has any idea as to the cause(s) of the cyclical variation in temperature in the bottom-most graph (the one going back some  400,000 years)

Hi Herb,
There’s a NASA tutorial on this topic that I cite in the new article:
The article talks about various cycles in the Earth’s orbit, with periods of about 100,000 years, 40,000 years, and 20,000 years, which interact with one another in complex ways. There are also theories about long-term cycles in solar magnetism. What I focus on is the visible patterns themselves, regardless of what might be causing them. It is recognition of patterns that leads to models, and the first step is to be as clear as possible about the patterns themselves.

From: Bill Ellis 
Date: 21 January 2010 17:04:37 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: “It’s time to pray for global warming”

This article is intriguing but right here in Maine the climiate is changing  We can now  grow crops that in over 100 years on this farm did not grow.  We also note the loss of frogs and fireflies that were common just 70 years age, in my youth.  My father planted all kinds of fruit and nut trees.  Only apples live.  Now I have cherries, plumbs. wallnuts, and other crops.  When I lived in Alaska in my younger days I used to watch polar bears and climb glaciers now both have moved back. 
Something has changed.

Hi Bill,
As I replied to David, above, there have been two centuries of warming, no question about it. But it’s been following a natural pattern, it has not reached dangerous levels, and it has now turned downward. 

From: “M.A. Omas Schaefer”
Date: 17 January 2010 04:36:29 GMT
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Son of Climategate! Scientist says feds manipulated data >> Four Winds 10 – 

Apparently the disappearing (cold temperature) reporting stations weren’t just in Russia:
The UN’s 2007 alarmist report on glaciers supposedly melting was based not on data but on an article from an NGO advocacy group. What’s next, UN policy based on a Rothschild children’s book? Meanwhile, Robert Felix of says that 90% of the glaciers are GROWING around the world, but the information is being suppressed by the controlled media.

From the first article:
     For example, the report said the number of reporting stations in Canada dropped from 600 to 35 with the percentage of stations at lower elevations tripling while the numbers of those at higher elevations plummeted.
Further, a vast majority of the climate stations reporting in the U.S. were either poorly or very poorly sited, taking temperature readings from paved driveways, in a waste treatment facility, on rooftops or near the exhaust from idling jet engines, rather than in open areas.
     Stations in such locations as the Andes and Bolivia have virtually vanished, meaning that temperatures for those areas now are “determined by interpolation from stations hundreds of miles away on the coast or in the Amazon.”



From: Inayat Lalani
Date: 24 January 2010 03:20:43 GMT
Subject: Your article in Aletho News.

Dear Dr. Moore,
Your article “Climate Science -Models vs. Observations” is a masterpiece and should be required reading for lawmakers (present and recent) including Al Gore, and for James Hansen, Bill McKibben and R.K. Pachauri and all the pundits engaged in the high-decibel debate about climate change.
The reason why I am writing to you is to ask you if you would (1) read my new book “Al-Battani Shield – Counteracting Global Warming: A New Approach” if I sent you a copy and (2) write a’forword’ or introduction for an enlarged 2nd edition of it.
You can get additional information about the book at and read a review of the book and the interview I gave the reviewer about it (click on ‘CLIMATE BLOG’ and go to the two links provided).
Inayat Lalani
Benbrook  Texas

Hi Inayat,
Thanks for your encouragement re/ the article. Others did find fault with that version, however, and I think you’ll find the new version more solid. By the way, It’s not “Dr.”, although lots of people do make that mistake. I think I’ve learned more through various dialogs and researches on the net, than I would have learned in any graduate school. I’m looking forward to receiving your book.
From: Dion Giles 
Date: 25 January 2010 03:41:35 GMT
Subject: Yet another IPPC scandal

Hockey stick, Climategate, Himalayan ice[1], and now hurricanes[2].  The wheels are falling off the operation thick and fast.
Dion Giles

(read to the end for recap of the rest).

Hi Dion,
From a logical point of view, yes, the wheels are falling off. And as this happens we are finding out who is really in denial. I’m sure will come up with something about the wheels still working, or perhaps they’ll say a sled was intended all along. Meanwhile, the politicians have heard all they want to hear and are busy preparing to freeze us to death and impoverish us their anti-carbon regime as global cooling takes hold.