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  • Rossby waves and surface weather extremes « RealClimate
    re not there yet but the latest research seems to be a giant step in the right direction We all look to RealClimate to keep us up to date 4 Chris Dudley says 10 Jul 2014 at 9 27 AM The work of Russell et al 2013 http pubs giss nasa gov abs ru00200g html suggests that the reduction in temperature gradient with latitude continues with even greater warming and shows up in the Southern hemisphere as well by 8xCO2 http aom giss nasa gov CO2 TSvsLAT jpg One wonders if resonances might affect the South even sooner 5 Kevin McKinney says 10 Jul 2014 at 10 53 AM Interesting indeed Thanks for this summary 6 Hank Roberts says 10 Jul 2014 at 2 47 PM Can you relate this to today s weather news since people have apparently already been asking if this is another polar vortex item http abcnews go com US summer colder story id 24503103 which points to the picture for July 10th at the moment this may change http www cpc ncep noaa gov products predictions 610day 610temp new gif A cool mass of air heads toward the United States from the upper regions of Canada and Alaska this week according to the National Weather Service ABC News Ginger Zee says the weather pattern is not an actual polar vortex though 7 tokodave says 10 Jul 2014 at 6 50 PM Hank See Jeff Master s post here for a discussion http www wunderground com blog JeffMasters comment html entrynum 2722 This is very interesting work and directly linked to my interest in extreme weather events as they relate to mining operations and long term reclamation and water management issues 8 Gordon Kenney says 11 Jul 2014 at 1 02 AM Fascinating Corroborating evidence about jet stream perturbations The observations by Dr Francis help me to understand the chaotic climactic response we are undergoing Change may be more rapid than our ability to conclusively prove any theory Thanks to everyone for their efforts in helping us to understand our world 9 Alfio Puglisi says 11 Jul 2014 at 1 38 PM Francis and Vavrus GRL 2012 argued that a reduction of the north south temperature gradient would cause weaker zonal winds winds blowing west to east and therefore a slower eastward propagation of Rossby waves Maybe I am getting this backwards but shouldn t polar amplification increase the north south temperature gradient rather than reducing it 10 wili says 11 Jul 2014 at 2 51 PM I thought there were some problems with the Barnes paper It it really the case that there have been no changes in Rossby waves Can we really not attribute any of the stuck patterns that we have been seeing so far to greater amplitude of Rossby waves If not then what is causing these increasingly stalled weather patterns 11 Chris Dudley says 12 Jul 2014 at 9 41 PM Alfio 9 The poles are colder that the equator If the poles warm faster then the difference in temperature between the poles and the equator is reduced which means the gradient is reduced So far this seems to only affect the North pole 12 Jesper says 13 Jul 2014 at 6 37 AM Alfio Puglisi since the arctic is colder than the equator a relative increase in arctic temperature will decrease the temperature gradient I also got this wrong first time I read it 13 prokaryotes says 13 Jul 2014 at 9 29 AM Re Wili i think the Barnes study points out that Arctic amplification can not explain trends in midlatitude weather patterns alone Though the study found a significant decrease in the month October November December and concludes but this trend is sensitive to the analysis parameters Not entirely sure what that means but i guess more studies are needed This video seems to be relevant when Trenberth made similar points 14 Chris Reynolds says 13 Jul 2014 at 9 55 AM Pole Equator temperature difference using NCEP NCAR surface temperature data http farm9 staticflickr com 8223 8350036681 cdc6191164 o jpg Where Arctic 90degN to 65degN Mid Latitude 65degN to 25degN And the above plots show mid lattitude minus Arctic That s from an old blog post so it s not been updated past 2012 Note the lack of change in summer melting sea ice pegs the temperature to zero reducing sensible temperatue change Tangentially related UK Annual average rainfall data from here http www metoffice gov uk pub data weather uk climate datasets Rainfall date UK txt Calulated as anomalies from the 1951 to 1980 average annual rainfall and plotted here https farm4 staticflickr com 3891 14457253230 dfc9e409d5 o png See what happens after the mid 1990s the range shifts upwards 15 Chris Reynolds says 13 Jul 2014 at 10 06 AM 10 Wili There were no problems with the Barnes paper Dr Barnes was correct Francis Vavrus 2012 didn t manage to show what they claimed to show What Screen Simmonds have managed to do is identify what F V2012 didn t Barnes never said the effect wasn t happening She concluded that the wave elongation reported by FV12 is at least partially an artifact of the poleward shift of the isopleths with polar warming Screen and Simmonds 2013 also showed that F V2012 s method was picking up artefacts of their method Barnes concluded The Arctic is changing rapidly and these changes will likely have profound effects on the Northern Hemisphere This study however highlights that the relationship between Arctic Amplification and midlatitude weather is complex Which cannot be read as a dismissal of the premise F V2012 were studying 16 Chris Colose says 13 Jul 2014 at 3 55 PM Thanks Dr Coumou I m sure that I m confused here but since the aim of the paper is partly to make some contact with the Francis et al hypothesis wouldn t the appropriate wave amplitude metric to examine be the meridional extent of selected isopleths at say the 500 hPa level or higher see below The paper examines reanalysis output of height anomalies averaged over a fairly broad swath across the mid latitudes and selected regions whose relevance is a bit less intuitive for me with respect to what Dr Francis and others are postulating Just my 0 02 for discussion purposes but there are still a lot of dynamical mysteries relating to the issue of Arctic sea ice mid latitude weather variability For example the decreased pole to equator temperature gradient discussed in the post is primarily expressed close to the surface and manifested seasonally whereas the opposite situation is true near the tropopause where the upper tropical troposphere warms up much more than the polar tropopause regions It s not obvious to me at least why the mechanisms controlling the lower layer thickness anomalies should win out when talking about wave propagation along the Polar jet The dynamical trends in the Southern Hemisphere for example seem strongly linked to ozone trends that are occurring much higher up in the atmosphere Moreover although the vertical gradient in east west wind is slaved to the pole to equator temperature gradient in order to obey the thermal wind balance the vertical gradient in north sound wind depends on east west temperature gradients which could be important when thinking about regional and basin by basin trends If the underlying mechanisms were simple in that they were elegantly connected only to low level temperature gradients CMIP5 should have no problem simulating with trends in the prevailing wave propagation characteristics Since the observations and simulations of propagation changes are equivocal the underpinning theory not well established and the whole hypothesis focuses on the wintertime mid latitudes that exhibits very large unforced temperature variability any dialogue about climate wintertime weather connections should probably keep in mind the closing sentences from the Wallace et al letter in Science here But to make it the centerpiece of the public discourse on global warming is inappropriate and a distraction Even in a warming climate we could experience an extraordinary run of cold winters but harsher winters in future decades are not among the most likely nor the most serious consequences of global warming 17 Salamano says 14 Jul 2014 at 7 31 AM From the why didn t I think of that department the fact that this obvious relationship between high amplitude waves and extreme weather wasn t yet documented statistically makes for the easiest paper project ever It s like 101 type stuff Kudos to them for seizing the opportunity However and I think this RC post also alludes I m left quite wanting on how little implications the research leaves us with I realize it may not have been the focus of the paper but everybody wants to know what exactly is going to be the result of greater differential Arctic warming Will it be weaker zonal waves or high amplitude quasi stationary waves But while we re on the subject of intuitiveness isn t it hard to make a case for high amplitude quasi stationary waves I mean they rarely are stationary with the exception of cut off lows and with those there s much less room for extreme weather seeing as they often modify in terms of temperature and don t provide adequate breeding grounds for tornadoes nor hurricanes at least on the trough side And when viewed in another light doesn t this research continue to cast a pall on those who wish to insta denigrate those who would suggest that The Science might be unsettled toward conclusive statements on future Tornado Hurricane climatology 18 wili says 14 Jul 2014 at 8 32 AM Thanks prok and Chris R for those illuminations I would also love to see Chris C excellent points at 16 addressed My first guess is that it is the great amount of warming in the lower Arctic lower atmosphere that changes the height along which the jet stream flows Temperatures gradients higher in the atmosphere would have less of an effect I would think But need I add I m no expert 19 Hank Roberts says 14 Jul 2014 at 7 43 PM Alfio Puglisi says 11 Jul 2014 at 1 38 PM Maybe I am getting this backwards but shouldn t polar amplification increase the north south temperature gradient rather than reducing it See more at http www realclimate org index php archives 2014 07 rossby waves and surface weather extremes comment page 1 comment 571957 No Say to make numbers up the poles are zero C and the middle of the planet is 70C Difference is 70C Then we get warming with polar amplification the poles are 4C and the middle of the planet is 72C diff is 68 9C and 74C diff is 65 14C and 76C diff is 62 and so on The poles are warming faster and the average difference between the poles and the middle of the planet is lessened Not a realistic example just a thought experiment 20 Jean François Fleury says 15 Jul 2014 at 6 42 AM A lecture of Jennifer Francis about her hypothesis http www youtube com watch v 4spEuh8vswE 21 Alfio Puglisi says 15 Jul 2014 at 8 32 AM Chris Jesper Hank thanks for the explanation In hindsight it was blindingly obvious 22 wili says 15 Jul 2014 at 9 17 AM Does Prof Frances model work for the southern hemisphere My impression is that it is specifically oriented toward the northern hemisphere I hear that NZ is currently experiencing a rather extreme stuck pattern If such stuck patterns are also increasing in the southern hemisphere don t we need another mechanism to explain it than we do for the northern hemisphere Stupid question IIRC average atmospheric humidity has risen by about 6 Wouldn t that have an effect on how everything in the system behaves Could this be part of the explanation for increasingly stuck systems In other words do heavier systems laden as they are with more water vapor tend to move more slowly 23 mati says 16 Jul 2014 at 7 01 AM this presentation http www fields utoronto ca programs scientific 10 11 biomathstat Langford W pdf has some worrying implications if the ferrel cell completely disappears what then will the weather be of more concern is the bifurcation implying abrupt climate change is in the offing 24 prokaryotes says 16 Jul 2014 at 7 29 PM Arctic Warming and Increased Weather Extremes The National Research Council Speaks 25 Piotr says 16 Jul 2014 at 9 31 PM Wii 22 Do heavier systems laden as they are with more water vapor tend to move more slowly thye would be heavier only if the air mass is ladden with water droplets If water vapour remains as water vapour i e as gas then the air with more water vapour is LIGHTER the average molecular mass of water molecule is 18 while the average weight of molecule of air should be around 28 But then again if the other air mass is also more humid these increases in humidity would at least partly cancel each out as it is the relative difference in density that matters 26 wili says 16 Jul 2014 at 9 38 PM Ah I see that water vapor is actually less dense than dry air As Gilda Radner used to say Never mind http en wikipedia org wiki Water vapor Water vapor density http www youtube com watch v V3FnpaWQJO0 27 Gordon Lehman says 16 Jul 2014 at 11 30 PM Maybe it s just me but there seems something wrong with the tendency over many years for surface thermal surface lows to form cyclonic rotten centers beneath subtropical Rossby ridges The idea has always been that these ridges are salients of tropical air moving northward aloft and they are supposed to be cooling and sinking So how in this regime do you get monsoonal moisture and warm sea surface anomalies moving north as is happening right now off California The obvious answer is that all that sunshine bakes the surface so much that convecting air overmatches the sinking pressure and forces the subsidence to the edges That notion works pretty well over land which is where monsoons are supposed to be but the current rascal is offshore and it is a tongue rather than a circular cyclone and its moisture is being entrained in the macro anticyclonic flow and flung eastward across the Klamaths and the Rockies Just noticing Also just checking to see if perchance the Berlin Wall has come down 28 Hank Roberts says 17 Jul 2014 at 10 19 AM water vapor is actually less dense than dry air Fun facts from physics the Wright Brothers made that discovery after flying at the wintertime North Carolina beach they packed up and went home The next summer in Ohio their aircraft didn t fly They figured it out 29 wili says 17 Jul 2014 at 1 28 PM Thanks Hank and Piotr John Abraham now has something on the subject of the main post over at Skeptical science https www skepticalscience com global warming extreme weather jet stream waves html 30 Chris Colose says 17 Jul 2014 at 1 37 PM mati 23 This notion of an equator to pole Hadley cell is quite implausible in my mind for a planet exhibiting Earth like rotation rates Such a state would require enormous angular momentum dissipation of the upper level flow in the current climate twin constraints of near angular momentum conservation and the thermal wind equation demand latitudinal confinement of the circulation You don t need to appeal very much to the baroclinic instability that occurs in the mid latitudes to arrive at this conclusion even if it s a critical part of Hadley cell termination in the real world There are more compelling ways to start thinking about equable climate dynamics but I don t view any of this as particularly relevant for the small amounts of global warming we re talking about in the 21st century 31 Kevin McKinney says 17 Jul 2014 at 2 50 PM 22 Does Prof Frances model work for the southern hemisphere My impression is that it is specifically oriented toward the northern hemisphere See more at http www realclimate org index php archives 2014 07 rossby waves and surface weather extremes comment page 1 comment 573093 I wouldn t have thought so since the Southern sea ice isn t crashing and Antarctic warming is barring the peninsula mostly still small enough to be hard to detect Therefore the preconditions for the posited effect don t exist in the Southern Hemisphere despite the situation in NZ that you refer to 32 Bob Loblaw says 17 Jul 2014 at 6 38 PM Yet more fun facts from flying A standard pilot s phrase for reduced aircraft performance is high hot and humid They refer to high altitude hot temperatures and high humidity all of which lead to lower air density Lower air density means less lift from the wings 33 HR says 20 Jul 2014 at 9 03 PM The 1940 s seem to have experienced a similar period of arctic amplification Given that many of the regions covered by this work will have fairly good data in this period is it possible to see similar processes back then 34 Phil says 21 Jul 2014 at 8 56 AM Bob Loblaw says 17 Jul 2014 at 6 38 PM Yet more fun facts from flying A standard pilot s phrase for reduced aircraft performance is high hot and humid They refer to high altitude hot temperatures and high humidity all of which lead to lower air density Lower air density means less lift from the wings In prop aircraft it also means less thrust from the prop for the same reason I recall after a summer of flying lessons flying on a frosty morning

    Original URL path: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/07/rossby-waves-and-surface-weather-extremes/ (2016-02-13)
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  • The most common fallacy in discussing extreme weather events + Update « RealClimate
    than my dice example though writing Suppose observations showed conclusively that the bear population in a particular forest had recently doubled What would we think of someone who knowing this would nevertheless take no extra precautions in walking in the woods unless and until he saw a significant upward trend in the rate at which his neighbors were being mauled by bears The doubling of the bear population refers to the increase in hurricane power in the Atlantic which he showed in his Nature article of 2005 an updated graph of his data is shown below from our Nature Climate Change paper A decade of weather extremes Related posts Extremely hot On record breaking extremes The Moscow warming hole i For the math minded if a dice has a probability of 1 n to roll a six a normal dice has n 6 and you roll it k times the probability p to find m sixes is p k k m m n 1 k m n k Comments pop up 59 59 Responses to The most common fallacy in discussing extreme weather events Update 1 2 Next 1 Patrick Brown says 25 Mar 2014 at 1 35 PM Here is the 1 flawed reasoning you will have seen about this question it is the classic confusion between absence of evidence and evidence for absence I think that we need to be very careful with this logic as it gives you an excuse to believe any relationship that you want to believe in There is a reason that science uses the null hypothesis of no relationship and then tries to prove that wrong beyond 95 certainly The reason is that its very easy to come up with supposed relationships and we need a check on ourselves to make sure that the data actually supports our supposed relationship I am wondering if you support the mantra absence of evidence is not evidence of absence when it comes to claims about cosmic rays causing global warming I am using this example because there is a reasonable physical link between the two but the observational data does not support the link I consider the observational evidence to be pretty damning to the supposed link but maybe I should reconsider we estimate that it would take at least another 50 years to detect any long term trend in U S landfalling hurricane statistics so powerful is the role of chance in these numbers Like with the dice this is not because the effect is small but because it is masked by a lot of noise in the data spoiling the signal to noise ratio To me this DOES mean the effect is small I think it makes total sense to compare the effect relative to the natural variability in the data Going back to cosmic rays if there is an effect it must be tiny relative to other sources of variability given that no effect is detectable in the observational data Reply The calculation by Kerry Emanuel specifically applied to a 75 increase in hurricane power I would not call that small but perhaps that is a value judgment The key issue here is that some tests with data are highly informative but some are not and there is a way to tell the difference For example rolling the dice 120 times rather than 12 times would allow you to distinguish with high confidence between a normal dice and one that rolls twice as many sixes The proper framework to calculate how informative data are is Bayesian statistics That is why I included the word prior in my dice example a key term of Bayesian statistics and I refer back to this near the end where I talk about good physical reasons to expect that global warming will increase certain types of extremes even prior to doing any data analysis I can t give an intro to Bayesian statistics here Wikipedia does a good job but it provides a mathematical formula that allows you to calculate by how much any new data should change your prior expectations In the example above 12 rolls of dice should not change it much but 120 rolls surely would That is why a negative result is not the same as an uninformative result Rolling the dice 5000 times without anything suspicious showing up is a negative result but a highly informative one You can apply the same to the data tests about a link of climate to galactic cosmic rays My article is about people who point to uninformative statistics to draw strong conclusions which are not warranted from these data Stefan 2 Tokodave says 25 Mar 2014 at 1 38 PM Thanks Stefan SKS has a related post on extreme weather events which includes some of the Munich Re information Another metric which is useful in looking at this is weather related electrical grid disruptions Evan Mills from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab put together a presentation on this a while back http evanmills lbl gov presentations Mills Grid Disruptions NCDC 3May2012 pdf 3 Kevin McKinney says 25 Mar 2014 at 3 10 PM 1 But Patrick bear in mind that there is no shortage of folks out there clamoring to assert that absence of evidence IS evidence of absence when it comes to climate related matters Your points are well taken but miss this crucial facet Stefan is not I think proposing a change in scientific standards of proof but rather debunking an ideologically motivated fallacy prevalent in blog science Stefan thanks This wraps up a number of points in a very neat bundle and is I think very clear Considering extreme events over the current millennium so far including several mentioned above I arrive at the unscientific but not unreasonable rough estimate that climate change so far has cost on the order of 100 000 premature deaths and in excess of 100 billion US That s big in absolute terms but small relative to total global economic output and population But then that s for just 7 C warming 4 Ami Palmer says 25 Mar 2014 at 3 13 PM The article is correct to point out that this is one of the common lines of poor reasoning used but it is not the most common fallacy used in discussing extreme weather as it pertains to climate change That fallacy would be the fallacy of confirming instances used on both sides The fallacy of confirming instances is committed when as you might guess an arguer only points to evidence that confirms their hypothesis ignoring disconfirming evidence and the entire data set On the denier side it goes like this it s very cold where I am colder than usual which is an instance of evidence that confirms that AGW is false On the AGW side the same fallacy is used during heat spells droughts it s very hot where I am hotter than usual which is an instance of confirming evidence for AGW As I m sure many of you know both lines of argument confuse weather for climate but the underlying fallacy is that the entire data set isn t being considered Reply Ami I did consider including this as an example The statement last winter was cold where I live hence I doubt global warming is just an extreme example of drawing unwarranted conclusions from one uninformative data point Stefan 5 Jim Larsen says 25 Mar 2014 at 4 26 PM nice post but it s a die not a dice 6 Sam says 25 Mar 2014 at 5 39 PM Thank you for this very enlightening article I d pass it on if I wouldn t fear that those most in need of reading it would simply stop reading after the very first sentence because it s too difficult for them to wrap their head around In order to understand those people who are simply yelling It s not true with hands over their ears and eyes it would be interesting to look at them from a psychological point of view I would assume very quickly we see fear I seriously think none of these climate change deniers lets just keep destroying our world people actually believe themselves Or at least they are very good at fooling themselves What would be the result of even daring to believe that the climate is changing It would rob them of so many certainties It would point out their responsibility and at the same time be so overwhelmingly huge and insurmountable that they would feel weak I know I do I can barely live with it Sometimes I wish I could put my head into the sand and fool myself into thinking everything s just fine But for many feeling weak is just not acceptable It s simply not an option And in order to not feel weak when faced with realities of climate change you need to do accept your responsibility and do something There is a great need for everybody to change in our own behavior in our actions and to engage in causing change in industries and governments And what is even scarier than feeling weak Having to change 7 robert says 25 Mar 2014 at 6 11 PM Extremely helpful post For Patrick 1 regarding your critique of the classic confusion between absence of evidence and evidence for absence it may help to recall this post is about statistical evidence This is tied up rather nicely at the end reminding us that the evidence for tried and true physics is there even absent the statistical evidence On that line I think is where your GCM example comes up short Yes there are physical mechanisms to connect GCM s to aerosol formation however GCM s aren t the only forcing on the system In particular we have a very strong reason to connect GHG s to observed warming and multiple lines of physics and data for bracketing the magnitude of this effect which all but relegates GCM s to the trivial influience at best bin So no statistical connection and physics that suggests at most a minor influence 8 Aaron Lewis says 25 Mar 2014 at 8 29 PM All the heat in the system affects all the weather All the weather is affected by all the heat in the system AGW adds heat to the system There is no old heat and new heat there is only heat and all the heat affects all the weather With the additional heat there is enough heat that weather that we have never seen before can occur However that does not mean that the kinds of weather that we have seen before are not being affected by the additional heat from AGW It is not that the dice are loaded it is that we are playing with more dice Even if the dice are loaded the highest one can roll from two dice is a twelve However with more heat in the system we are seeing record after record being broken This is like rolling 13s 14s and 16s Yes we are still rolling some lower numbers but somebody has slipped more dice into the cup and soon enough we will be rolling 19s and 25s Reply This is the classic question of whether extreme events are getting more frequent or more extreme The dice analogy is limited here because dice have a finite range of numbers For extreme events in contrast you have a probability distribution curve without such a cut off value the more outlandish the extreme the less likely it is This part of the distribution is the tail So an increase in extremes can be described as an increase in probability of an extreme with a given value say temperature or an increase in this value for a given probability of occurrence These two things are actually just two different ways of looking at the same thing and not two different phenomena Stefan 9 CoHD says 25 Mar 2014 at 9 18 PM Patrick Browm who knows how large the effect is That is the purpose of research What it says is that with the static and number of events it will take 50 years to have any certainty Does not mean the effect is small 10 Actuarial Eye says 26 Mar 2014 at 4 30 AM Even for an actuary the behaviour of a distribution at its extremes is not intuitive As you suggested above changing the mean by a small amount massively increases the size of a tail as you ve shifted much more of the distribution up I wrote a blog post about the Australian bushfires along these lines http www actuarialeye com 2013 10 20 extreme weather events theyre not as extreme any more Basically if you only care about the extreme events they become massively more likely even with just a small increase in the mean of a distribution If as I have also read the distribution itself becomes more extreme then you magnify the effect In Australia the extreme events are bushfires which come from extreme heat and wind at the same time and are probably more linked to temperature than cyclones The Climate Institute here in Australia has done a fair bit of research on this topic linked in my post above which is probably worth wider distribution There is less signal to noise ratio for bushfires than there is for tropical cyclones hurricanes 11 WJ Long says 26 Mar 2014 at 4 46 AM Thank You Stefan for your intuitive article Some of the argument you present would appear obvious to the logical mind and indeed are Although one could argue successfully that in some of these cases the disturbances in weather patterns although amplified by GW would not have been overly destructive without other considerations some man made and some naturally occurring The drought in California has been exasperated by the need on the farming industry drawing water from an aquifer that s essentially sand Soil compactions from over pumping and lack of rain has collapsed the aquifer beneath the San Fernando valley to the point where if it where to rain excessively now one would get lakes on the surface and would not refill the aquifer The disparaging numbers you pointed out between the noted cold events and the number of high heat events are one of the most telling observations we have as an indicator of GW I ve read several papers about the war in Syria and agw These paper tried to and successfully did put a reasonable spin on political events and policy that were plausible to an uneducated political reader that is was politics and not the prolonged drought that caused the reduction of 75 of agro output and nearly that much in death of farm animals and thus the war Personally I m not buying into that without the prolong drought which was predicted by NOAA there would not have been the destruction of the food production of Syria No matter what the political landscape was Now on to Hurricanes it s reasonable to believe that all storms are subject to agw to one degree or another Not being that familiar with the conditions in the North Pacific hurricane Haiyan a category 6 Hurricane may fall into the category of unequivocally Amplified by agw That said Hurricane Sandy was not and there s the rub there has just has not been enough time to extrapolate a significant pattern to these storms to include them into the solid block of caused by AGW I could tell you why but it s a lot of typing I just do not have the time right now Best Warren 12 Timothy Beushausen says 26 Mar 2014 at 5 48 AM When I see the deniers abusing statistics I usually skim on without analyzing the logic of whatever scientistic fallacy they are relying on This article has clarified matters greatly for me but it still seems to me that those mistake absence of evidence for evidence of absence are deliberately abusing logic for ulterior reasons that are perhaps unfathomable Those avidly searching for any excuse for complacency can certainly find a rationale in every form of logical abuse It is high time we simply ignore these mindless purveyors of misinformation and get down to the real work of transitioning to the Solar Age 13 WebHubTelescope says 26 Mar 2014 at 8 17 AM This result is partly a consequence of the law of large numbers and the affine transformation of a stochastic distribution In the simplest case if the mean increases as N then the standard deviation increases by N sqrt N sqrt N The SD term is the epistemic noise based on counting statistics This is also observed in statistical mechanics where the Boltzmann and Fermi Dirac and Bose Einstein distribution all show a similar fluctuation scaling with temperature As absolute temperature goes above zero the fluctuations increase as a function of temperature That s what the physics says It would take a very unusual situation for the variance to tighten with increasing temperature Take the case of the sun Even though the sunspot activities look small relative to the suns output these are huge fluctuations in local temperature That s because the sun is so hot to begin with 14 Pete Dunkelberg says 26 Mar 2014 at 8 39 AM Note the famous expression The die is cast Dice is plural 15 Roger Pielke Jr says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 01 AM Hi Guys Thanks for your interest in our work We went into that smokey bar and did some math on those dice You can see it here http iopscience iop org 1748 9326 6 1 014003 fulltext The math is easy and we d be happy to re run with other assumptions Or you can replicate easy enough More generally the burden of proof for those arguing about the existence of a celestial teapot lies with those who assert its existence not those who can t see it See http en wikipedia org wiki Russell s teapot Thanks 16 Pete Dunkelberg says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 02 AM Thanks Stefan for this Bayesian update Here at dosbat is another calculation http dosbat blogspot co uk 2014 02 uk wet summers post 2007 how unusual html with a different method suggested in the first comment Is this post reasonable in your view 17 Pete Dunkelberg says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 22 AM And now the hard one cumulative likelyhoods How should we estimate the cumulative likelyhood of a very extreme event occurring at least once within a certain number of future years For instance what is the cumulative likelyhood of a combination of drought and floods causing a very widespread famine before 2030 2040 2050 I do not expect anyone to figure this out quickly but I think you will agree that it is worth working on 18 Steve says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 29 AM As Jim Larsen says in comment number 5 above the word should be die and not dice Die is the singular one die dice is plural two dice or I suppose two dies Hence if you lose one die that s bad but a pair o dice lost that s terrible 19 Ray Ladbury says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 43 AM Stefan I agree that extreme values are very difficult metrics to use However extremes are an example of order statistics which can provide a fairly complete description of the distribution Has anyone been looking at use of order statistics to discern changes 20 Dean Myerson says 26 Mar 2014 at 10 27 AM When describing the delay in using statistical evidence as proof due to the noise it is important to point out to many people that when you get that proof it applies to the past as well as the time when it is found An analogy I like is with the Great Recession When the crash hit and everything plummeted we ALL knew we were in a recession But the government office in the US that makes official statements on recessions waited a year or more to see the trends in the GDP before declaring that we had been a recession all that time 21 Dean Myerson says 26 Mar 2014 at 10 43 AM I think it s also worthwhile to point out that statistical evidence only provides correlation Either way you need the physics for causation and attribution 22 Kevin McKinney says 26 Mar 2014 at 11 45 AM 12 I don t think that we can just ignore them unfortunately Affecting the social economic and political climate sorry that s cringe worthy is essential to effect the transition to a low carbon economy and these folks are part of that mix Can t let the discussion get swift boated That said it s also important to rebut with efficiency and dispatch There is indeed substantive work to be done and it surely is possible to waste inordinate amounts of time wrestling with the pig 23 Fred Moolten says 26 Mar 2014 at 12 38 PM Oh my goodness I certainly agree that continued warming will increase the frequency of a variety of extremes related to heat sea level precipitation etc and in fact some of that is already happening But please please don t repeat the absurd claim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence Of course it s evidence of absence what it s not is PROOF of absence It doesn t take a huge amount of Bayesian inference to encounter innumerable examples of absence of evidence providing evidence of absence in criminal trials as well as everyday life Even in the examples given it s easy to see how the results of the dice roll provided evidence not PROOF for the fairness of the dice by shifting the probabilities away from those expected with dice that yield six twice as often as fair dice 24 David C says 26 Mar 2014 at 1 22 PM Stefan it s an interesting analogy but I m not sure I m convinced Patrick Brown s post 1 above on the null hypothesis is a very good one particularly as it relates to your claim that physics allows us to know that these things will happen in the future Essentially I think your physics examples greatly simplify what is an extraordinarily complex system For instance basic physics tells us that aerosol emissions will all things begin equal cool the planet but that doesn t let me leap to the conclusion that our planet is getting cooler the opposite is in fact the case Aerosols are but one among many basic physics processes occurring at the same time and the net result of all of these processes working together is what translates into actual effects we can see taking place in real life Let s take your hurricane example I have no disagreement whatsoever with the physical processes outlined by Kerry Emanuel but you can t simply leap to the conclusion that it means we re in for greater hurricane damage in the US because of this Climate change also has the ability to affect ocean currents wind patterns and probably a dozen other factors that determine the size and strength of these storms Heck some still believe climate change could stop the Gulf Stream if that happens how many hurricanes would hit the US As you are well aware this is a significant reason why the climate models have to be as complicated as they are basic physics in a vacuum can t always get us to the right answer Starting with a null hypothesis and demonstrating statistical significance is far from perfect but it prevents people including those on the other side from citing basic physics as proof something will happen in our complex world regardless of what the actual data say You may well be right that many of the results we re seeing are because the dice are currently loaded against the science but in my opinion that kind of conclusion is simply not scientific 25 Fred Moolten says 26 Mar 2014 at 2 54 PM While waiting for my earlier comment to appear I want to apologize for having used the unnecessary adjective absurd to characterize the claim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence The claim is not correct but it s understandable given the ease of confusing evidence with proof There was no need for the excessively critical word 26 Steve Metzler says 26 Mar 2014 at 4 54 PM As long as we re talking about extreme weather events and attribution although Kerry Emanuel is usually the go to guy for the study of increasing tropical cyclone intensity his 2005 and 2011 linked to above by Stefan papers being the most cited there is a limitation of scope in that only the North Atlantic basin is covered by these papers AFAIK Admittedly the data from other ocean basins is much more patchy However I came across a paper last year that the rabbit had posted a link to in the aftermath of Haiyan and found it quite compelling as well as easily accessible to this non scientist The increasing intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones The authors used a technique called quantile regression to overcome the patchiness of the data and found Atlantic tropical cyclones are getting stronger on average with a 30 year trend that has been related to an increase in ocean temperatures over the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere 1 4 Over the rest of the tropics however possible trends in tropical cyclone intensity are less obvious owing to the unreliability and incompleteness of the observational record and to a restricted focus in previous trend analyses on changes in average intensity Here we overcome these two limitations by examining trends in the upper quantiles of per cyclone maximum wind speeds that is the maximum intensities that cyclones achieve during their lifetimes estimated from homogeneous data derived from an archive of satellite records We find significant upward trends for wind speed quantiles above the 70th percentile with trends as high as 0 3 0 09m s 1 y 1 s e for the strongest cyclones It s no slam dunk by any means With the exception of the South Pacific Ocean all tropical cyclone basins show increases in the lifetime maximum wind speeds of the strongest storms The increases are greatest for cyclones over the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans Consistent with earlier results only over the North Atlantic is there a significant increase in average tropical cyclone intensity But that s already 6 years ago and there will be more studies of this nature no doubt And data quality coverage also improves over time Not one to steal the rabbit s thunder here s a link to the original post for context Narderev Sano at the Warsaw Conference 27 barry says 26 Mar 2014 at 8 41 PM With normal dice the chance to get exactly two sixes in this experiment is 30 with the loaded dice it is 13 At the risk of dropping my dunce cap at your feet shouldn t the second percentage be higher than the first It reads like it s less likely to roll a six with dice loaded to prefer sixes Response The loaded die gives more sixes than the fair one the expected value is 4 in 12 throws but it is less likely to give exactly one or two sixes It is much more likely to give 4 or more Think of a distribution being shifted to higher values gavin 28 Hank Roberts says 26 Mar 2014 at 9 46 PM more studies That one http www nature com nature journal v455 n7209 abs nature07234 html has been cited by almost 400 since 2008 29 Killian says 26 Mar 2014 at 10 30 PM It s interesting that six and seven years ago I used the same reliance on physics logic and common sense to say the climate was changing overall much faster than was thought at the time I said the physics paired with the changes we were seeing changes the literature said shouldn t have been happening yet had to indicate a higher sensitivity Had to I was told repeatedly I had to prove it a clear impossiblity given the lag between current conditions and scientific process Glad to see at least one scientist is getting more comfortable with saying we know things must be happening even when we can t yet provide the evidence let alone proof As things move faster and faster and we fall further and further behind the climate change curve being comfortable with knowing as opposed to direct evidence and proof will be ever more critical because policy and action will increasingly proceed much faster than evidence collection can be done Get comfortable with uncertainty ladies and gents 30 Tim B says 27 Mar 2014 at 2 42 AM Wait isn t this really a case hundreds of rolls of the dice and picking pattern clusters Hundreds of rolls will undoubtedly have clusters of highs and lows We have thousands of thermometers California warmth and polar vortex cold are connected by random weather not by a cluster of temperature Similarly Sandy and storm surge are affected by sea level rise but high tide is much more of an issue as is the angle it hit The ongoing nor easter is more powerful than Sandy but sea level rise doesn t appear to be a factor The drought in California is anthropogenic but mostly farming and population Really the metric for damage should be against non weather related incidents vs weather related ones The Tsunami s and earthquakes would be a random metric to compare to hurricanes Japan is fortunate enough to have all three The Tsunami destroyed a nuclear reactor That doesn t mean Tsunami s are getting more powerful That was not possible 50 100 years ago Really though this statistics problem is one of many rolls and it s so extensive that finding 3 sigma events is probable if you don t have a good a control for spatial variation A flood here a drought there hurricane here hurricane there etc is a poor argument that those events are statistically significant or related 31 Paul S says 27 Mar 2014 at 5 38 AM David C I agree with some of your points but regarding null hypothesis significance testing we re talking about datasets which we believe a priori will not demonstrate significance according to standard detection methods even in the presence of a trend When we expect the null hypothesis will not be rejected even if it s wrong what conclusions can be drawn from a result which fails to reject the null What s the point in such a test 32 John McCormick says 27 Mar 2014 at 7 17 AM How about a bit of discussion on the next extreme weather event coming to theaters near you the 2014 El Nino 33 David C says 27 Mar 2014 at 8 42 AM Paul S I actually think the IPCC does a very good job of this with it s confidence evidence and agreement and likelihood ratings Extremely Likely in this parlance generally matches the statistical significance test To your question if you have a physical process that reasonably describes an event and can also see a trend in the data say with 80 certainty I think that s something worth discussing and the IPCC assessments often do What I reacted to in Stefan s post is his claim that basic physics can still let you know something will occur when you don t see any trend at all i e the loaded dice example In my mind AR5 also got this right when it stated for the most part limited lack of evidence and low confidence in extreme trends for floods on a global scale hail thunderstorms tropical cyclones drought dryness on a global scale and trends for both frequency and intensity of hurricanes We do know that there are trends in temperature extremes and precipitation extremes which are backed solidly by physics in a warming climate but for the other metrics we don t really see trends at all That doesn t mean these things won t happen it could simply be coincidence with the dice loaded against us but every year that goes by without a trend makes that less and less likely there are probably other physical processes working to counteract those we ve identified There is a tendency on our side to ascribe every possible bad thing that happens to global warming though not as much as the other side does whenever it s cold or snows regardless of what the science says As much as we know about basic physics I would still like to see at least some kind of a trend borne out in actual data before we can confidently know they will ultimately lead to the effect we re claiming in the real world 34 David C says 27 Mar 2014 at 9 12 AM Paul S I actually think the IPCC does a very good job of describing what conclusions can be drawn with its confidence evidence and agreement and likelihood metrics Extremely Likely in this parlance is loosely associated with statistical significance 95 100 but the IPCC discusses many other confidence and likelihood levels in AR5 To answer your question if one has a physical process that reasonably describes what should happen in the real world coupled with a trend say to the 80 significance level I think it s definitely something worth discussing especially if we don t have the data to reach 95 significance Where I disagree with Stefan is that I don t think that with basic physics you can know something will happen when you don t see any trend at all as in his loaded dice example I think the IPCC also got it right when discussing extremes in AR5 Although there are definite trends and physical processes to explain them in temperature and precipitation extremes the IPCC in AR5 WG1 Chapter 2 states a lack of evidence and or low confidence in trends for hurricane intensity frequency small scale severe weather hail thunderstorms tornados and both drought and floods on a global scale though drought and flood extremes will almost certainly change on a local level That doesn t mean these extreme events won t happen more frequently the dice could be loaded against us but it doesn t give us any confidence to know that they will either 35 Paul S says 27 Mar 2014 at 12 52 PM Roger Pielke Jr It looks to me that your paper essentially finds the same results as Kerry Emanuel s which was already highlighted in the post In Discussion Emanuel s paper states We caution that the question of when a statistically robust trend can be detected in damage time series should not be confused with the question of when climate induced changes in damage become a significant consideration Thus if climate change effects are anticipated or detected in basin wide storm statistics sensible policy decisions should depend on the projected overall shift in the probability of damage rather than on a high threshold criterion for trend emergence This seems to get to the heart of the matter so do you agree with this principle 36 tamino says 27 Mar 2014 at 4 47 PM Roger Pielke s reference to Russell s celestial teapot is the kind of misdirection I ve come to expect from him The example is irrelevant Not only is there no evidence for such a teapot there is

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  • The global temperature jigsaw « RealClimate
    to ENSO PDO IPO would presumably be expected to correspond with a small reduction in the rate of energy accumulation Regarding the Otto et al 2013 paper IIRC their results were largely insensitive to the hiatus in the HadCRUT4 data because their method used decadal averages much like the lower panel of Figure 1 above 2 Matti Virtanen says 17 Dec 2013 at 10 07 AM The IPCC has therefore never tried to predict the climate evolution over 15 years because that s just too much influenced by random internal variability such as ENSO which we cannot predict at least as yet edit As we all remember the IPCC said in AR4 explicitly For the next two decades a warming of about 0 2 C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels a further warming of about 0 1 C per decade would be expected 10 3 10 7 Since 2000 the concentration of CO2 has increased at BAU speed but warming has been insignificant RSS now shows a 207 month period with 0 0 trend Sadly Rahmstorf does not offer any falsification criteria for his promise prediction projection guess that warming will resume Response That AR4 quote does not make a specific forecast for a 15 year period It is from one of those yellow boxes in the Summary for Policy Makers which highlight key findings in extremely condensed form as can be seen by the imprecise phrasing e g about 0 2 C without specific error bars its intention is to give you a rough indication of how much warming the models project on average in the early part of the 21st Century But the SPM also very clearly shows the error bars in Fig SPM 6 probability distributions are shown for the warming by the year 2020 2029 which even include a small probability of cooling Unless you quote mine out of context you have to say that the IPCC AR4 already very clearly communicated the fact that short term trends can vary widely due to natural variability Stefan 3 prokaryotes says 17 Dec 2013 at 10 44 AM Re the Arctic data gap Polar amplification of warming arises because the initial baseline simulations underrepresent the warmth of ancient greenhouse climates Because this issue continues to affect all coupled ocean atmosphere models e g 22 24 the warming Fig 3 represents the expression of positive biotic feedback mechanisms missing from earlier simulations of these climates obtained with prescribed PI concentrations of trace GHGs Link Does the interpolation of the data gap account for the underrepresented initial baseline according to Beerling et al 2011 4 Jonathan Gilligan says 17 Dec 2013 at 11 29 AM Judith Lean s Bjerknes Lecture at the AGU last week gave a very nice perspective on these issues as well 5 Dikran Marsupial says 17 Dec 2013 at 11 33 AM Is anybody aware of any papers that demonstrate that there is statistically significant evidence for the existence of a change in the underlying rate of warming It seems to me that the onus should be on those who are confidently claiming that there has been a genuine hiatus in surface temperatures to demonstrate that the apparent flattening is not explainable by the natural variability in the data I ve not seen this done and my initial experiments on breakpoint detection seem to suggest that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that there has been a change in the underlying rate of warming 6 Fred Moolten says 17 Dec 2013 at 1 05 PM Paul S 1 Since the Planck Response dominates over positive feedback responses to temperature wouldn t a La Nina like failure of surface temperature to rise lead to an increase rather than a reduction in energy accumulation compared with accumulation during a surface warming presumably a small increase so that the observed rise in ocean heat content would still be substantial 7 Fred Moolten says 17 Dec 2013 at 1 11 PM To clarify my above comment I was suggesting that the observed rise in ocean heat content would be substantial with or without the La Nina effect representing primarily the persistence of a long term warming trend 8 RB says 17 Dec 2013 at 1 49 PM The Otto study s TCR estimates for the 2000s would be unaffected by whether Levitus or ORAS 4 is used for OHC estimates is it not But regarding ECS what are your thoughts on this post implying that satellites don t confirm the change in OHC circa 2005 thus arguing that ORAS 4 pre 2005 estimates are high due to data errors 9 Mal Adapted says 17 Dec 2013 at 2 41 PM Dikran Marsupial Is anybody aware of any papers that demonstrate that there is statistically significant evidence for the existence of a change in the underlying rate of warming A couple of months ago Tamino said By at least one calculation the difference is statistically significant but doesn t cite the source As always his piece is well worth reading anyway 10 Hank Roberts says 17 Dec 2013 at 3 10 PM See Tamino s http tamino wordpress com 2013 09 21 double standard 11 Chuck Carlson says 17 Dec 2013 at 3 22 PM Why hasn t the pause been debunked just by noting that it starts at a point nearly a decade s worth of warming above the trend in 1997 And if we include the pause in the long term trend the trend actually goes up These seem like powerful points but I ve only seen Gavin note them not the IPCC or Met Office 12 Philip Machanick says 17 Dec 2013 at 3 34 PM The major physics at play here is that as long as there is less outgoing radiated energy than incoming temperatures must increase until we are back at equilibrium ENSO and deep ocean heating are blips in the bigger scheme of things If the oceans release energy to the atmosphere that doesn t fix the long term imbalance If we are in a lower than normal solar cycle that is also a blip Increasing GHG concentrations slows outgoing radiation This stuff is all interesting and useful but we should not forget the big picture when looking at what influences the blips 13 Hank Roberts says 17 Dec 2013 at 3 35 PM see also http tamino wordpress com 2011 04 11 co2 shame CO2 is rising faster now that it was just a few decades ago We can even estimate how the rate of increase is changing by calculating the difference between CO2 concentration each month and its value 12 months previously to figure its annual change 14 Philip Machanick says 17 Dec 2013 at 3 48 PM Stefan the intro says various ingredients are small and not simply additive while further down you say all these factors indeed contributed to a slowing of the warming and they are also additive but nothing explicitly links these two statements together Maybe you could clarify Matti Virtanen 2 Check out Figure 1 Decadal averages are moving up pretty consistently with prediction Do you have a source for your RSS analysis Not anti science blog I hope Response Sure what I called additive at least to good approximation are the radiative forcings Not additive are ENSO and ocean heat uptake since they are two ways at looking at the same thing again to reasonable approximation Stefan 15 deconvoluter says 17 Dec 2013 at 4 07 PM Re Paul S at 1 and Fred Moolten at 6 Prolonged suppression of Planck feedback I tried to explain this here Thought experiment It looks as if there would be a greater sea level rise for a given amount of added greenhouse gas 16 Fred Moolten says 17 Dec 2013 at 4 13 PM RB 8 ORAS 4 may have overestimated OHC uptake but perhaps not as much as implied in the link you cited see e g OHC data Regarding ECS equilibrium climate sensitivity I think there are difficulties estimating anything truly resembling a Charney type ECS from data involving OHC uptake and forcing estimates because these estimates are fraught with so many uncertainties and because the values that are calculated even if accurate bear an uncertain relationship to how the climate would behave at equilibrium My preference would be to refer to these as estimates of effective climate sensitivity rather than ECS Even the conventional notion of ECS involving the short term Charney feedbacks doesn t represent an equilibrium result which is better represented by Earth System Sensitivity estimates Maybe the word equilibrium should be omitted from all climate sensitivity estimates from the shortest term values TCR to the longest and most comprehensive Earth System since all the different forms of sensitivity estimation seem in my view to be looking at somewhat different phenomena and should not necessarily yield the same values 17 michael sweet says 17 Dec 2013 at 4 36 PM Mal Adapted Tamino s reference to statistically significant refers to the warm period that ran from 1992 to 2006 not the current hiatus 18 Ray Ladbury says 17 Dec 2013 at 5 32 PM Matti Virtanen Ever hear of physics Try it sometime It s great 19 GlenFergus says 17 Dec 2013 at 5 53 PM As always a fine clear well written piece Stefan But err apropos of nothing much would hiatus be one of those big words for ordinary things 20 GlenFergus says 17 Dec 2013 at 6 12 PM Fred at 6 That is what Kosaka and Xie found in their elegant little model experiment see their supplementary Figure 3 I hope all you modellers out there are busy replicating extending 21 Dave123 says 17 Dec 2013 at 8 32 PM I m wondering if anyone has collected the model runs with long hiatus periods in them and looked for commonalities for example extended periods of La Ninas or anything else It would be fascinating if there was only a small group of associations could lead to targets for further research Apologies if this has already been done If not anyone looking for a slightly pre retirement Chemist to take on as a visiting scientist on a project like this 22 Fred Moolten says 17 Dec 2013 at 9 27 PM I think Matti Vertanen 2 probably got his claim about the RSS data from Monckton on WUWT and while Monckton is not a particularly credible source in my opinion I think the RSS data are probably as claimed I also agree that model predictions of 0 2 C surface warming per decade were clearly inaccurate but on the larger question of climate trends they were probably not very far off What has happened over recent decades is that planetary warming has continued unabated as evidenced by ocean heat content OHC increases while surface warming has slowed and tropospheric warming as measured by RSS has halted The reasons clearly lie in the shift in the distribution of the accumulating heat in the ocean to greater depths with less remaining on the surface Models are still not skillful enough to anticipate the timing of these shifts but they are not too bad at getting the planetary trends right or at least keeping their estimates within reasonable proximity to observed trends even if on the high side of observations The OHC data are critical to any analysis of surface temperature change In particular as discussed above internal climate oscillations warm the surface by losing OHC while external forcing by CO2 or other modalities warms the surface by increasing OHC This permits us to apportion surface temperature change over long intervals on the basis of OHC change An important quantitative consideration of this principle has been discussed by Isaac Held at Heat Uptake and Internal Variability It indicates that the current combination of post 1950 warming OHC rise and the geographical distribution of temperature change renders a substantial contribution to the warming from internal variability highly unlikely and the role of greenhouse gas forcing accordingly the likely contributor to a very large fraction of the observed warming 23 Chris Colose says 17 Dec 2013 at 10 16 PM Stefan They argue that an explanation for the pause in global warming would have to explain this particular pattern But this is not compelling there could be two independent mechanisms superimposed I don t understand how your objection to the Cohen recommendation follows from the fact that multiple mechanisms may be important Isn t this whole problem one of trying to tease out the small contributions from external forcing internal variability instrumentation uncertainty or mis specified forcing in the case of model world The relevance of the underlying spatial pattern may be tied very much to the contributing terms I d agree if the hiatus is simply a product of external forcing and we re comparing the internal variability of observations vs a model since the variability is very high in Eurasian winter but if we re interested in things like the ocean state prevailing modes of variability etc then this may project onto the Eurasian DJF signal seen in the obs Response Just saying that the explanation for the pause need not have anything to do with the pattern of winter cooling over Eurasia It might have an ENSO PDO style spatial pattern as shown by Trenberth And the Eurasian winter cooling could be a separate superimposed effect with no impact on global mean temperature and hence nothing to do with the pause I think it is important to be clear about this Stefan 24 Matti Virtanen says 18 Dec 2013 at 12 48 AM Who is Monckton Let the numbers do the talking the RSS data is here http data remss com msu monthly time series RSS Monthly MSU AMSU Channel TLT Anomalies Land and Ocean v03 3 txt 25 Dikran Marsupial says 18 Dec 2013 at 5 15 AM Mal Hank Michael many thanks for the response Taminos article is on a slightly different topic although the point he makes is spot on as usual Tamino also had an excellent set of three articles on step changes which is the sort of thing I am interested in but he didin t look at the hiatus http tamino wordpress com 2012 01 09 steps 26 J Bob says 18 Dec 2013 at 10 19 AM Here s an interesting item from the CryoSat people Oct 2013 ice volume is about 9000 km3 up from 6000 in 2012 http www esa int Our Activities Observing the Earth CryoSat Arctic sea ice up from record low Watching the 2010 2013 Oct data it look like it s the highest in the 4 years of taking data Also definitely higher then the PIOMAS model predicts http www esa int Our Activities Observing the Earth CryoSat CryoSat reveals major loss of Arctic sea ice To bad we don t have a longer record 27 Philip Machanick says 18 Dec 2013 at 10 41 AM Matti Virtanen 24 thanks for pointing to the numbers If you try to find a trend over that period it is close to zero but so is the correlation In other words the period is too short for the trend to break out of the noise If you are not familiar with the concept of statistical significance look it up 28 Ray Ladbury says 18 Dec 2013 at 10 43 AM Matti Virtanen Now why would you pick 1996 and why RSS I mean you have a plethora of choices of start date and date series Why that combination Could it be because RSS seems to be much more strongly affected by ENSO than the terrestrial data sets or even UAH Tamino has also looked at this and found that RSS was odd man out Cherrypickers cherrypick Film at 11 00 29 Hank Roberts says 18 Dec 2013 at 11 39 AM At least he s consistent always turning in the same direction 30 Hank Roberts says 18 Dec 2013 at 11 40 AM oogle Matti Virtanen climate 31 Paul S says 18 Dec 2013 at 12 02 PM Fred Moolton 6 The Planck response or lack of is the counter balance which would make any effect small My reasoning for expecting a reduction in energy accumulation is based on the observation that models with greater sensitivity tend to transiently develop greater imbalances given equivalent forcing time series This means the rate of energy accumulation is dependent on feedbacks as well as forcing even though higher sensitivity models trigger larger Planck responses During a period in which surface warming is stifled by internal variability the rate of energy accumulation would be influenced only by the forcing there would be no difference between a high sensitivity model and a zero feedback model assuming zero dimensional models the reality with regionally varying temperatures and feedbacks would be more complex Given that greater sensitivity matters for the magnitude of imbalance a period during which this higher sensitivity is not activated should mean a slower rate of energy accumulation than would be the case during a period of normal variability 32 Dan H says 18 Dec 2013 at 1 10 PM Short term temperature changes can be interesting as to their specific causes However we shuold be looking at longer term trends Over the past century both a linear fit and polymeric fit culminate at a similar value for 2013 Even though they diverge by over a tenth of a degree at times Indeed the short term temperature may even dip below the long term trend as indicated by the polymeric fit However this does not indicate that the long term trend will deviate significantly from the established trend http www climate4you com 33 Fred Moolten says 18 Dec 2013 at 2 07 PM Paul

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  • statistics « RealClimate
    al imply that information about the future regional climate is more blurred than previously anticipated because of large scale atmospheric flow responsible for variations in regional climates They found that regional temperatures and precipitation for the next 50 years may be less predictable due to the chaotic nature of the large scale atmospheric flow This has implications for climate change downscaling and climate change adaptation and suggests a need to anticipate a wider range of situations in climate risk analyses Although it has long been recognised that large scale circulation regimes affect seasonal inter annual climate and decadal variations the expectations have been that anthropogenic climate changes will dominate on time scales longer than 50 years For instance an influential analysis by Hawking Sutton 2009 link to figures has suggested that internal climate variability account for only about 20 of the variance over the British isles on a 50 year time scale More References C Deser R Knutti S Solomon and A S Phillips Communication of the role of natural variability in future North American climate Nature Climate Change vol 2 pp 775 779 2012 http dx doi org 10 1038 nclimate1562 E Hawkins and R Sutton The Potential to Narrow Uncertainty in Regional Climate Predictions Bull Amer Meteor Soc vol 90 pp 1095 1107 2009 http dx doi org 10 1175 2009BAMS2607 1 Comments pop up 59 Trying to shoot the messenger Filed under Climate Science statistics gavin 7 November 2012 Does this sound familiar A quantitative prediction is inconvenient for some heavily invested folks Legitimate questions about methodology morph quickly into accusations that the researchers have put their thumb on the scale and that they are simply making their awkward predictions to feather their own nest Others loudly proclaim that the methodology could never work and imply that anyone who knows anything knows that it s simply common sense Audit sites spring up to re process the raw data and produce predictions more to the liking of their audience People who have actually championed the methods being used and so really should know better indulge in some obvious wish casting i e forecasting what you would like to be true despite the absence of any evidence to support it Contrarian attacks on climate science right More Comments pop up 105 Older Entries Newer Entries Site Google Custom Search Recent Comments What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Jim Eager What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Patrick Eriksson What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Kevin McKinney Anti scientists Carbomontanus What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Spencer Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis SteveS What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Chris Colose Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System doiknow What is the best description of the greenhouse effect James Powell Unforced Variations Feb 2016 Jim Galasyn With Inline Responses Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic

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  • New On-line Classes and Models « RealClimate
    03 AM Tried the hurricane and permafrost models a little I think I need to play with them a lot more before I will understand them Python course needs the on demand mode because last time I started learning it I had to rush off to give information to the Illinois state legislature 8 Dee says 7 Feb 2016 at 11 15 AM I m nearly done with this round of Dr Archer s Coursera course The models are worth trying out If you decide to work with the models I highly recommend watching the videos explaining how to use them I also recommend the course The quizzes can be a bit frustrating at times some of the questions aren t all that clear but the course gets into some depth and really helps pull all the different parts of the subject together At least it does for me Response There s a way to lodge suggestions on question wording or grading People do that and I can go through and edit the questions and gradually the rough edges get smooothed out David 9 Antonio Sarmiento G says 7 Feb 2016 at 1 10 PM Thanks David your effort is really valuable for both teaching and reserach Cheers Antonio 10 Mal Adapted says 7 Feb 2016 at 1 57 PM Kevin Cowtan Python is an excellent choice it s a clean modern and well designed language it s our default choice for teaching students Well I feel old When I was taking programming classes Pascal was the clean modern and well designed language I write a lot of Python myself these days mostly as a replacement for Perl My Python scripts are still pretty much procedurally oriented but I profoundly appreciate all the work other public spirited programmers have done that I can just import In time Python scripts may need only one line from future import completeSolution O brave new world That has such technology in t 8 D Response I learned Python for this class never used it before Yes old David 11 Chris McGrath says 7 Feb 2016 at 4 21 PM Thanks David I always recommend your Global Warming Understanding the Forecast book to my environmental law students I ll add a recommendation for your online lectures Thanks so much for your ongoing and deep commitment to public education 12 Jacques Talbot says 8 Feb 2016 at 5 24 AM David You state that there are no longer any time constraints built into the Coursera system for your course However for me as of to day Coursera says that next session begins feb 22 and only the 6 preview is available Did I miss something Merci Response Yeah I see what you re saying I m not sure I put in a query to my contact at Coursera and will advise It could be that they start a new batch of people every month or something The genius of the Coursera system is to get traffic going in discussion forums so they do want to keep some sort of critical mass going a large enough group of people at the same point in the course But once you re enrolled in the class you can go as fast or slow as you like although there are suggested deadlines to keep you on track with email reminders David 13 pjkar says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 12 AM I took this course 2014 and found it to be an excellent comprehensive overview of the sciece of global warming issues The number cruncher exercises were challenging but provided insight into the modeling of climate science phenomena I continue to use the climate models the course provided to test out scenarios of interest in a back of the envelope kind of way Very insightful These kind of things definitely bring you closer to the science The best thing about this course is that the professor is a dedicated climate scientist and teacher who excells at both I think anyone not a professional in the field but with a hight degree of interest in it as most of us here would find this course to be a very rewarding learning experience I know I did 14 Jacques Talbot says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 32 AM David Thanks for a fast answer Batching makes sense to me Jacques Response I got this from my contact at Coursera The default now is a cohort model new every 4 weeks which groups learners together for a more structured experience to learn with others Although there are deadlines no one is penalized for lateness and they can transfer from one cohort into the next if for any reason they do not complete This is an article in more detail for learners https learner coursera help hc en us articles 206713063 Session Schedules Also please encourage the learners to reach out to the Learner Help Center as that is the best place for them to get questions answered quickly 15 Chris Colose says 8 Feb 2016 at 3 10 PM David Brian Rose at University of Albany has a Python based climlab package that is appropriate for studying N layer greenhouse models among other things like insolation distribution e g plotting latitudinal seasonal changes on orbital timescales basic heat transport concepts etc You may find it useful in the future 16 dominik says 8 Feb 2016 at 6 53 PM Isn t there also at least one python c crosscompiler so you get the best of both worlds 17 richard pauli says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 20 PM Thanks for your excellent paper on why you don t believe in an immanent methane catastrophe I scanned it briefly but it leaves open the question of rapid methane releases that could strongly influence Arctic regional climates If Spikes of methane emission during late deglaciation become somewhat more intense then should rapid increased heating by methane be possible because of too many unknown factors Seeking

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  • Unforced Variations: Feb 2016 « RealClimate
    a schematic in the Slingo and Palmer paper quoted that shows the situation There is first of all model uncertainty irreducible imprecision due to divergence of models solution as a result of sensitive dependence and structurl instability There is secondly climatic uncertainty due to the unpredictability of internal variation http rsta royalsocietypublishing org content 369 1956 4751 What we have with ensembles of opportunity is nothing that approaches the perturbed physic method In each of these model ensemble comparison studies there are important but difficult questions How well selected are the models for their plausibility How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS Simplistically despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision Optimistically we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving Pessimistically we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision cf ref 23 Realistically we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence op cit 64 Killian says 7 Feb 2016 at 3 02 PM Go organic sequester carbon Rodale says 40 of current emissions sequestered if only current ag land used IIRC 40 from one simple change Science Daily thinks it s a good idea too https m facebook com photo php fbid 3596673718764 id 1331124071 set a 1489543801833 2064618 1331124071 source 56 65 Susan Anderson says 7 Feb 2016 at 3 22 PM Ric Merritt 26 indeed But over time the scrolling mouse had too much use Killian that s me told hope that made you feel better Still think Admiral Titley is wonderful https www washingtonpost com news capital weather gang wp 2015 12 14 commentary after the paris pact thoughts on the ted cruz climate change hearing 66 Susan Anderson says 7 Feb 2016 at 3 28 PM Lawrence Coleman yes to all thanks I had been wondering for ages about the increased water vapor we all know about the increased energy and disruption but the WV is getting quite striking and worth mentioning weather models operate on historical events and the change is happening too fast for that though despite our all too human way of thinking about the short term that El Nino will be over this summer or thereabouts Recent US East Coast storms have mostly exceeded forecasts sometimes doubled 67 and Then There s Physics says 7 Feb 2016 at 4 22 PM the results Ken so stoutly defends don t mean what he thinks they do Nor does the quote from the IPCC I wasn t defending any results I was simply pointing out that there is no suggestion that we can make precise predictions about future states At best we make projections conditional predictions and even then they are typically presented as some kind of distribution of results Whether they are perturbed physics ensembles or multi model ensembles doesn t change this point 68 Robert says 7 Feb 2016 at 5 06 PM Well will small mercies never cease My comments are appearing I have mined a number of sources in my quest to spread FUD with links but by all means read the sources I have other than on infrequent and random occasions when something comes to my attention given up on climate blogs of any description They are for the most part superficial aggressive and boorish Comment 54 comes to mind as an example Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations 1 1 the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions in other words beyond a certain forecast lead time there is no longer a single deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor figure 1 which suggests that nonlinear systems such as the atmosphere may exhibit regime like structures that are although fully deterministic subject to abrupt and seemingly random change http rsta royalsocietypublishing org content 369 1956 4751 I wonder if it is all deterministic Are comets and volcanoes random Are the large scale patterns temporal and spatial of atmosphere and ocean circulation completely deterministic Too philosophical Even if ultimately predictable using the QBO lol the complexity of the system ensures that for practical purposes prediction remains problematic Complexity science is far from a crazy and marginal theory There are in fact three possible climate theories equilibrium periodic and random and chaotic It may sound radical even heretical to many but random and chaotic is the best science https i2 wp com watertechbyrie files wordpress com 2016 01 ghil png But even if climate is not the problem the solution in the first instance is restoring the organic content in agricultural soils and in restoring global ecosystems The new green revolution 69 sidd says 7 Feb 2016 at 11 15 PM Re upvote downvote hide comments thats already happening the moderators have votes and the borehole perfect wish they would kill more comments Re increasing water vapor more than WV content i think the hydro cycle is accelerating Re three possible climate theories equilibrium periodic and random and chaotic is that four random and chaotic are not the same 70 Chuck Hughes says 8 Feb 2016 at 12 58 AM Of course the risk with this is that certain people could come in and run up the downvote counts on comments we d all consider worthwhile Perhaps the voting privilege could be restricted somehow Comment by Christopher Winter 5 Feb 2016 I just gave you a downvote 71 Chris Machens says 8 Feb 2016 at 2 57 AM Btw I love the new website loading time its like instant loading Feels like RealClimate is now hosted on NASA s mainframe 72 Lawrence Coleman says 8 Feb 2016 at 7 26 AM 66 Susan Thanks for that I suppose as climatologists you should look at the unfolding situation over many years but I also seems to me like you that the speed of the process seems to be ramping up An article in the Australian newspaper by a noted climate scientist also mentioned the fact that the climate active methane timeframe should be brought from it s overall effect over 100 years to 20 years That changes the figures from 26 fold more damaging than CO2 to 100 fold more damaging respectively The arctic is melting at a phenomenal rate it should be ice free in the summer in only a few more fleeting years not over long extended periods favoured by Climate modellers The atlantic gulf stream dipole has sprung up also in the past few years and the El nino shows no sign of drastically weakening I believe climate scientists have to take this quickening in account and shorten their reference frame Re I find null school the best site for jet stream analysis Cheers 73 zebra says 8 Feb 2016 at 8 38 AM Robert 68 random and chaotic What I find annoying about these discussions is that they devolve into rhetorical definition games rather than reaching for better understanding So I could say something like But we reserve chaotic for systems that are deterministic but unpredictable and random applies to quantum physics yadda yadda But I would rather understand your point which requires that you explain what you mean in this context I may have missed something but could you give some indication of the scale both in space and time you are talking about and the variables under consideration Are predictions of less ice and higher humidity in question for example How precise does irreducible imprecision have to be to be useful 74 Kevin McKinney says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 18 AM 68 Gotta say that third graph which purported to illustrate random and chaotic appeared to me to be anything but So the point remains pretty unclear 75 ozajh says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 17 PM Does anyone know whether the current Mauna Loa YOY CO2 delta 4 35ppm is a record or close to a record 76 ozajh says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 32 PM I was referring to the weekly delta Although it would appear a couple of the daily numbers look CONSIDERABLY higher 77 jgnfld says 8 Feb 2016 at 10 44 PM Re 68 If you are speaking of the orbits of comets yes they are indeed chaotic over the long haul 78 Killian says 9 Feb 2016 at 3 57 AM LC 52 Lawrence Coleman said What I have found is there is little progression of ideas many just keep round and round in circles I wish everyone could broaden and loosen their perspective somewhat instead of steadfastly holding on to intractable thoughts and mind constructs The trick is knowing whether an idea or construct is a concept one recognizes as being germane and relatively well developed If one doesn t one may not understand what they are reading Happens a lot here There Everywhere 79 Killian says 9 Feb 2016 at 4 03 AM Re 65 Susan Anderson said Killian that s me told hope that made you feel better Not my intent nor aim Yours perhaps And perhaps nothing learned I can only try And the world turns 80 Killian says 9 Feb 2016 at 4 08 AM Concave and convex So simple The Cliff Notes approach to the stability of Antarctic ice shelves 81 Killian says 9 Feb 2016 at 5 10 AM This past summer I suggested a stronger El Nino correlation to ASI conditions than previously found in the literature found here EL Nino playing a role in ASI minimums And we are now seeing some record low ASI http mashable com 2016 02 05 arctic sea ice hits record low for january pTqgSiWRgiqx I think my scenario for new lows in 16 due to influx of EL driven heat are looking pretty good I do however always caution predictions scenarios for the notoriously variable ASI prior to the first week of July are a fool s game Except maybe this time Also there s a possible eyeballed correlation with early January lows and September lows too at least recent years so take a gander at that part of the curve 82 wili says 9 Feb 2016 at 12 12 PM Big discrepancy between Scripps and NOAA C02 readings here https www co2 earth daily co2 399 47 vs 406 27 Any ideas what s going on 83 Tom Roche says 9 Feb 2016 at 3 15 PM Can anyone point me to a list of world s largest GHG emitters by site What I mean I have recently heard a few times but with variations the factoid that half of global anthropogenic GHG emissions are produced by some small number of sites with that number varying between 100 and a few hundred The only examples of such sites that I ve heard are the Navajo Generating Station and the Wadi cement kilns Lists of global anthropogenic GHG emissions esp CO2 by nation are easy to find and I ve even seen a few by region e g US states Canadian provinces as well as global gridded emissions by type e g EDGAR But I ve never seen global lists by site which presumably is more fine grained spatially Can anyone point me to one or more such lists of good repute 84 Hank Roberts says 9 Feb 2016 at 10 38 PM For Tom Roche for a first take suggestion by an amateur reader try this https www google com search q satellite co2 source map site location Note the dates for the satellites capable of obtaining this information This may help https en wikipedia org wiki Orbiting Carbon Observatory 85 Edward Greisch says 9 Feb 2016 at 11 47 PM 68 Robert Book by Lisa Randall Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs says comet impacts are not random The big ones are at intervals of 30 million to 35 million years more often than at other times due to a thin disc of dark matter hypothesized to exist inside the galactic disc visible matter The dark matter perturbs the orbits of Oort cloud objects as the solar system goes up and down through the dark matter disc Measurements of star locations over the next 5 years should confirm or deny the hypothesis The book was written before the hypothesized Planet 9 that is in the process of being searched for http www scientificamerican com article how astronomers could actually see planet nine 86 Chuck Hughes says 10 Feb 2016 at 12 56 AM See if you can spot the silver lining on this cloud http www lse ac uk newsAndMedia videoAndAudio channels publicLecturesAndEvents player aspx id 3363 87 Hank Roberts says 10 Feb 2016 at 10 26 AM For Wili who thinks there s a big discrepancy Don t rely on second hand information from blogs you may not easily figure out how they re spinning the facts look at the science sites for example http www esrl noaa gov gmd ccgg trends The last year of data are still preliminary pending recalibrations of reference gases and other quality control checks The Mauna Loa data are being obtained at an altitude of 3400 m in the northern subtropics and may not be the same as the globally averaged CO2 concentration at the surface 88 Hank Roberts says 10 Feb 2016 at 10 32 AM Oh and Wili did you look down the page at the source that got you wondering about a discrepancy It says right there CO2 Earth presents year over year comparisons This may include data collected by two different CO2 monitoring stations This comparison may be considered of value for public education purposes However it does not reflect scientific practices and any conclusions about long term trends for atmospheric CO2 should be based on longer term more precise data comparisons that are available The site you found is in the top three for a Google search on CO2 the other two are a notorious denial spin site and Wikipedia Looks to me like someone s done a good job of Search Engine Optimization Check their ads 89 Tom Roche says 10 Feb 2016 at 11 56 AM Tom Roche 83 http www realclimate org comments popup 19095 comment 642406 Can anyone point me to a list of world s largest GHG emitters by site Hank Roberts 84 http www realclimate org comments popup 19095 comment 642415 try this https www google com search q satellite co2 source map site location Thanks but I ve done a fair bit of websearch myself and the OCO 2 data that I ve seen anyway is about concentrations Obviously one can work top down from that to emissions or work bottom up from other data but both of those are above my current expertise Moreover the factoid that half of global anthropogenic GHG emissions are produced by some small number of sites with that number varying between 100 and a few hundred is in the wild Presuming folks aren t just making it up I m guessing that factoid comes from published research has anyone got a link to that 90 mike says 10 Feb 2016 at 12 01 PM for those of us trying to sort the CO2 levels I think it makes sense to compare apples and apples so you need to decide which location you are going to watch and stay with it I like MLO for CO2 Gavin is correct of course that there is significant day to day variability in the concentration but if you simply watch over time probably years or decades you will see the pattern Then you also have to correct for known large influences like El Nino volcano activity etc and maybe what you are left with is some sense of the trend of anthropogenic CO2 concentration though that is mixed with other warming planet sources that are one step removed from the human caused global warming You can make an educated guess at global smokestack and tailpipe emission levels but it may be harder to create an educated guess at the secondary sources like CO2 released from warming thawing permafrost etc Sorting these sources probably does not matter because a GHG is a GHG is a GHG As they build in the atmosphere we can expect the planet to warm and we may not like the warmer planet as much as we liked a planet with a lower concentration of GHG in the atmosphere For me this is a way to see the forest and not be totally distracted by the trees The forest is the accumulation of GHG in the atmosphere I use CO2 as proxy for all GHG for now because the CO2 earth appears to do a good job of presenting the CO2 numbers in a way that I can sort The long term trend that I see in the CO2 levels is that we may have moved into a period when we may be seeing annual increases of 3 ppm It s way to soon to know that for certain El Nino may be driving us out of the more recent 2 ppm annual increase and we may drop back to a lower level when the current El Nino dissipates but who knows for certain And GHG is GHG is GHG The actual raw number of CO2 concentration is useful in cutting through the chatter and noise to see if current and historic attempts to reduce GHG accumulation in the atmosphere Even if we have not

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    they have professional science journalists on staff to create a steady flow of articles This site should not compete with that but complement it When something significant even significantly stupid comes out this is where I look for a competent analysis 13 singletrack says 1 Feb 2016 at 10 47 PM In a thread having a preamble suggesting we need more interest I apologize for having only a relatively boring question or cluster of questions Having read a lot about solar radiation at the top of atmosphere I have seen virtually nothing about where exactly that is For the purposes of measuring radiation budget what altitude is considered top of atmosphere realizing it s no doubt somewhat arbitrary in any case Where do measurements of this value come from 14 Hank Roberts says 2 Feb 2016 at 1 51 AM top of atmosphere I m just a reader not a scientist all I did was try your question in oogle Here s one discussion there s no single answer to the question http mynasadata larc nasa gov glossary top of atmosphere Another simple enough answer oogle turns up it s where you can assume that The only quantitatively important energy sources to the whole system are radiative fluxes to and from space TOA top of atmosphere fluxes That s from ATM 623 Climate Modeling Brian E J Rose University at Albany Lecture 1 Planetary energy budget which would be worth looking through as a good introduction to the idea 15 MA Rodger says 2 Feb 2016 at 4 16 AM Spencer has posted for January The interest in the satellite data is what it shows of the El Nino Note this is UAH TLT v6 0beta Spencer is posting The Jan 2016 figure is still below the peak of the 1998 El Nino temperatures and is the 5th warmest on record at 0 54ºC for comparison Jan 2016 is 0 05ºC above Jan 1998 with top spot still held by April 1998 at 0 742ºC The UAH rise continues at a lower pace than 1997 98 Nov to Jan was 0 21ºC which compares with the 1997 98 figure of 0 398ºC While we await to see what RSS will do it does begin to suggest that the temperature measured by the satellites through this El Nino up at 4 000m may not exceed the 1998 values 16 tony lynch says 2 Feb 2016 at 5 02 AM Well something had to be said 17 barry says 2 Feb 2016 at 6 04 AM singletrack 13 I have had the same question for years For the purposes of measuring radiation budget what altitude is considered top of atmosphere TOA Tropopause Outer limit of the exosphere 18 Barton Paul Levenson says 2 Feb 2016 at 6 43 AM Singletrack The Top of Atmosphere is technically at 100 km altitude the Karman Line In practice 99 or more of the mass of the atmosphere is below the stratopause at about 48 km up The Solar constant at TOA averages about 1360 8 W m 2 according to the latest figures Since Earth is a sphere 4 π R 2 as opposed to just π R 2 this means 340 2 W m 2 on average over the whole surface With an albedo somewhere around 0 3 modern estimates range from 0 28 to 0 33 a disappointingly huge set of error bars the climate system absorbs 238 14 W m 2 I ve got too many significant digits here of course corresponding to an emission temperature of 254 6 K 19 zebra says 2 Feb 2016 at 8 01 AM Since comments about off topic comments appear to be on topic let me try to inject a little scientific inquiry into the mix What makes it signal and what makes it noise And what kind of noise is it I can t get the analogy right in my mind but pink red white whatever help would be appreciated Subjectively or eyeballing the graph it strikes me that there is a lot of repetition including actual cut and paste of exactly the same language Also lots of long winded rambling type diatribes containing those repetitions That kind of thing is what I find most off putting not just uninteresting But it s also the kind of thing that could be moderated by a clever algorithm which I don t have the skills to produce but I suspect someone out there does Lacking that something as simple as an upper limit on comments for individuals would probably be beneficial As to whether something is off topic I think the moderators could help by being clearer about this perhaps even by tagging comments as such rather than censoring them We advanced chimps are capable of learning coughbeingconditionedcough that way after all I m also going to point out that some of the questions that are clearly specific to climate science don t get answered maybe they could also be directed by a simple tag to FAQ where appropriate 20 JCH says 2 Feb 2016 at 8 18 AM discussion about the TOA top of the atmoshere As a layperson I think of it as the lowest atmospheric layer at which the only energy leaving from within in my world reflected SW has never been within the earth system is long wave radiation 21 wili says 2 Feb 2016 at 11 20 AM theo 8 for heaven s sake How much clearer could I be that I am not talking about banning people for asking the occasional odd question Reading comprehension much But there needs to be some warning system and then a hard limit on people who get stuck on one off topic topic and use up all the oxygen in the room I do think that it would be a good idea to have a set of alternative sites to point them to if they want to discuss their particular bugbear But often these trolls are already well aware of those alternative sites Tell me what it is in your case that you so desperately and oddly want to discuss and maybe I could find such a site for you 22 wili says 2 Feb 2016 at 12 35 PM New work on the to me anyway interesting possible causal connections between climate change and volcanic activity http phys org news 2016 02 volcanic eruptions ice age caps html Increase in volcanic eruptions at the end of the ice age caused by melting ice caps and erosion much faster warming than cooling can t be caused solely by changes in the Earth s orbit it must be at least to some extent related to something within the Earth system itself Erosion by contributing to unload the Earth s surface and enhance volcanic CO2 emissions may be the missing factor required to explain such persistent climate asymmetry Pietro Sternai et al Deglaciation and glacial erosion a joint control on magma productivity by continental unloading Geophysical Research Letters 2016 DOI 10 1002 2015GL067285 23 Patrick says 2 Feb 2016 at 2 30 PM Ya ll need a Facebook 24 Hank Roberts says 2 Feb 2016 at 6 00 PM Facebook Twit 25 Hank Roberts says 2 Feb 2016 at 6 02 PM Click it that s a link to climatescientists A public list 26 Susan Anderson says 2 Feb 2016 at 10 55 PM Well that s rather sad One of the boringest serial offenders has already held forth above It s not about being wrong it s about being so sure one is right one loses a sense of perspective It isn t necessary to be wrong to be a bore and or overly free with your opinions of others On the whole as a layperson I exercise some care about posting here but I do sometimes find gems and useful information such as the identification of the 300 scientists going after NOAA via the political anti science zoo now in charge of our Congress I m sure I ll be seeing that one around and it is useful to be forewarned We are in a pickle aren t we I m strongly for the climate science from climate scientists idea Circumstances have changed day jobs but the detailed analysis sits in the background for people like myself who exercise their amateurism in hopes of alleviating the ranker forms of wrong For a wonderful bit of advice on how to make a difference I strongly recommend Admiral Titley s commentary advice here https www washingtonpost com news capital weather gang wp 2015 12 14 commentary after the paris pact thoughts on the ted cruz climate change hearing 27 Chris Dudley says 3 Feb 2016 at 9 02 AM It seems to me that climate models do tell us something about planning for future infrastructure Recently anticipated effects on stream flows and temperature were analyzed for power generation http m phys org news 2016 01 worldwide electricity production vulnerable climate html edit new rules 28 richard pauli says 3 Feb 2016 at 9 34 AM Thank you Susan the subject is dynamic and touches everything I get the most interesting links from comments here but yes it requires personal filtering I must pass along a great interview with George Monbiot one of the foremost progressive political thinkers in Britain today Very recent https youtu be X9ViX90ehOQ 1 hour is worth it He writes for the Guardian 29 Ric Merritt says 3 Feb 2016 at 12 51 PM I recommend not getting your knickers in more of a twist than necessary about silly comments that is which may render sterner measures from the moderators unnecessary For example Susan Anderson 26 mentioned a serial offender who already appears in the comments to this post I had to scroll up to see the forgotten comment whose contents I hadn t read the first time scrolling by and didn t read at this second glance either I ve never bothered with more ingeniously managed filtering but I use quick scrolling quite a bit Works for me 30 Magma says 3 Feb 2016 at 2 12 PM For whatever it matters the updated signatory list of the petition supporting Lamar Smith s harassment of NOAA scientists now lists 302 names As before most are retired many are not scientists and few worked in any field relevant to climate 82 of the signers are non Americans working or living outside the U S 58 signers also signed the 2010 petition to the APS about its climate change statement 31 Mal Adapted says 3 Feb 2016 at 2 47 PM I m a regular visitor here and an occasional commenter The contributions of knowledgeable people on climate science issues and context for the science that s being discussed elsewhere are of great value to me and even the UV threads are worth winnowing for those BPL s reply to Singletrack at 18 is an example Where else could I so conveniently ask a question like Singletrack s and get that kind of concise and specific answer Serial bores can be exasperating but I m aware of the timesink heavy moderation would entail for the site maintainers and I m not really bothered by content free comments Like Ric Merritt I don t find it hard to skim over boring exchanges by quick scrolling If other commenters call my attention to something worth noting by a serial bore I can simply scroll back to those comments and respond or not as I feel appropriate If I don t check in with the monthly UV thread for a few days I usually haven t missed much What s the problem 32 Hank Roberts says 3 Feb 2016 at 4 59 PM Barry and Singletrack a more elaborate amateur attempt mostly in hopes of drawing out a real scientist to correct my poetry here top of atmosphere gets defined in various papers because it s not a definite physical target everyone can point to When you read a paper do you find it defined for that paper s purposes It may simply be a known term that s assumed to mean what it means in context TOA would be where a photon headed out toward space isn t likely to encounter a molecule that would absorb it for radiation physics TOA would be where where one molecule heading outward isn t likely to bounce off another molecule for diffusion I d guess TOA would be where when ultraviolet breaks up water molecules there s a good chance the hydrogen will be swept off into outer space instead of recombining chemically with oxygen or something else That s apparently how Venus and Mars lost their water the hydrogen got away escaping at the top of their atmospheres tho for different reasons Venus close to the Sun sunblasted Mars no magnetic field to hold the solar wind at a distance that sort of thing It s where you can assume there s no atmosphere on the outward bound path That has to be an assumption of not enough matter there nothing likely to make an impact on whatever particular question is being looked at 33 MA Rodger says 3 Feb 2016 at 6 44 PM RSS is also posted for January with very similar outcome to UAH The Jan 2016 figure is still below the peak of the 1998 El Nino temperatures and is the 4th UAH 5th warmest monthly anomaly on record at 0 663ºC UAH 0 54ºC This is 0 113ºC UAH 0 05ºC above the equivalent period back then Jan 1998 with the warmest anomaly on record still April 1998 at 0 857ºC UAH 0 742ºC Both satellite records show a slower paced rise than 1997 98 Today s RSS Nov to Jan rise was 0 234ºC UAH 0 21ºC which compares with the 1997 98 figure of 0 392ºC UAH 0 398ºC This does suggest that the temperature measured by the satellites through this El Nino up at 4 000m may struggle to exceed the 1998 values A graph comparing temperature records for the two El Ninos is here usually 2 clicks to download your attachment MEI for January will be posted in a day or so Not graphed there NINO3 4 continues to track a little above 1997 98 with predictions indicating to an El Nino very slightly longer in duration than in 1997 98 when NINO3 4 hit zero at the beginning of June SOI has been having a bit of a rest over recent days 34 Chris Colose says 3 Feb 2016 at 7 10 PM wili 22 We had a two week Volcanoes and Climate summer school out in Iceland back in late summer both Peter Huybers and Charlie Langmuir attended who have advocated feedbacks between volcanic activity and glaciation deglaciation e g here If you asked me whether it was important before this event I would have said no since we usually think of the oceans as dominating the carbon cycle changes on this timescale A lot of the geophysics was new to me but I ve been convinced that volcanic activity does listen to de glacial like changes in ice volume sea level with some nuances about what type of volcanoes you re talking about and that there s good evidence of this in the past Still the CO2 feedback might be on the order of 5 ppm so I still think it is second order when trying to reach carbon cycle closure at the orbital timescale and not big enough to have substantially altered climate 35 Hank Roberts says 3 Feb 2016 at 7 23 PM Hmmmm Is there a statistical geological epidemiologist in the house Is there a worst case for vulcanism triggered by deglaciation If we melt the ice caps say 100x faster than nature did in the past does the geology respond with the events in 1 100th the time That could shake things up Only a few years ago nobody knew about subduction earthquakes or the likelihood and possible magnitude of them nor about remotely triggered earthquakes What other rate of change event surprises may be in store 36 Hank Roberts says 3 Feb 2016 at 7 26 PM Pictures speak louder sometimes they whine or scream from the link I just posted follow it to this map Locations of remotely triggered earthquakes in 1812 1886 wow http pasadena wr usgs gov office hough triggered eqs jpg 37 Killian says 3 Feb 2016 at 10 42 PM Re 29 Ric Merritt said I recommend not getting your knickers in more of a twist than necessary about silly comments that is which may render sterner measures from the moderators unnecessary For example Susan Anderson 26 mentioned a serial offender who already appears in the comments to this post I had to scroll up to see the forgotten comment whose contents I hadn t read the first time scrolling by and didn t read at this second glance either I ve never bothered with more ingeniously managed filtering but I use quick scrolling quite a bit Works for me Someone with a modicum of intelligence and self control Whaddaya know It matters not that you don t like someone Susan The trick is to keep your mouth shut about it because surprise they likely think the same of you Or more likely don t give even the tiniest rats hind end what you think Pointless to even bother Solve problems leave your ego and judgment out of it Simple 38 Robert McLachlan says 4 Feb 2016 at 2 54 AM Does anyone know the status of Richard Seager s theory http www ldeo columbia edu res div ocp gs on the relatively small effect of the Gulf Stream on climate Seems relevant in view of the current influence of AMOC slowdown on the weather on the eastern seaboard and on local sealevel rise 39 B

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  • Unforced variations: Jan 2016 « RealClimate
    a sustainable system They tend to be utterly clueless unless it involves resource intensive toys and machines What do they know about key lines needs analysis soil remediation and soil building Nada No I will not be calling an engineer to design sustainable locations I will cal them to help with specific elements such as a windmill made from parts in a junkyard setting up a localized power grid etc But the system God help us if the engineers take over Collapse would be assured That said engineers should be naturals at regenerative design as it is based on First Principles thinking systems thinking and patterns and flows But asking engineers to step away from mech tech and apply engineering to natural systems is a tough sell ymmv 25 zebra says 3 Jan 2016 at 11 02 AM Eward Greisch 22 Here s a quote from wikipedia On May Day 1970 a sleek futuristic aeroplane lands outside of what remains of Everytown The sole pilot John Cabal emerges and proclaims that the last surviving band of engineers and mechanics have formed a civilisation of airmen called Wings Over the World They are based in Basra Iraq and have renounced war and outlawed independent nations Perhaps you ve watched that movie a few too many times Seriously and it relates to some other commenters on how to move things in the right direction you can t change things by keeping everything the same Some dinosaurs may have to die FF companies and utility companies are at the top of the list When I said previously that you bear a remarkable similarity to those in the denial camp it is particularly in this fear of innovation and embrace of authoritarianism The market will do the job of deciding about mitigation and adaptation just fine as long as there is an actual free market rather than the paternalistic feudalistic approach you appear to favor The role of government should be to create and maintain that market 26 Killian says 3 Jan 2016 at 11 33 AM 173 previous UV A team of researchers has derived the first theoretical equation to demonstrate that global warming is a direct result of the build up of carbon emissions since the late 1800s when human made carbon emissions began From 2014 but I don t remember seeing it In case anyone else missed it Comment by Killian 30 Dec 2015 Killian do you think we ve reached the point where other sources are driving our annual increase of CO2 noticeably higher I believe you said earlier something is cooking somewhere I took that to mean that there s more to our annual increase in CO2 than human activity alone Are the potential feedbacks having a discernible effect on the annual increase This question is open to anyone else who may know I was just looking at post 145 Comment by mike and trying to figure it out Thanks Comment by Chuck Hughes You may recall I have thought so for a long time I ve thought the methane clathrate permafrost melt issue was more serious than considered by many for a long time since 2007 I am not as apocalyptic about it as some in the sense that I don t think we re getting 2 ppm yr from natural sources yet Yet However I also think we ve never been here before The planet has never been here before There is no analogy in Earth s history Risk assessment in that case means assume the worst The worst case is imo something like 2 10 ppm a year from the Arctic above and beyond what has been up till now and I think we are extremely close to seeing that begin to kick in for one very simple reason Kilometer wide pingos on the Siberian Shelf Wasn t but 8 years ago we heard that melt created lakes in the Arctic had tripled in number in less than ten years Then the methane seeps from large areas of the shelf Then massive blowouts on land last year Now km wide pingos on the Arctic Sea floor Yeah somethings cooking So yeah I am apocalyptic in the long term if we don t start cooling the oceans again before those clathrates start hitting 2 ppm yr Is that happening now I ve got a bad feeling about this massive El Nino being that moment in history everyone points to and says that was the year everything changed That of course would be absurd but it might be accurate to say this was the year the world at large had an Oh isht moment while simultaneously losing the war I have to still hope because I have an 8 year old son I have no choice Thus my hope is the EN will not fully tilt the Arctic into uncontrollable collapse of clathrates and permafrost What I think is happening now is the usual EL CO2 boost of 2ppm but bigger because of the preconditioning of the clathrates and permafrost as well as multiple other myriad preconditionings globally I am hoping that s the case CO2 peaks in May so we have a bit of a wait on our hands The numbers are roughly thus 404 in 2015 2 3 anthropogenic yr supposedly not increasing in rate 2 El Nino induced push 408 3 Anything over 408 3 means we need to figure out right quick whether that means emissions continue to rise or did this EN boost even more than usual or is the Arctic humming the first bars of our finale Is a skinny haggard polar bear skin wearing former fat lady about to start singing I said sensitivity was higher than thought Seems Gavin et al now agree Said risk assessment was the only sane metric for policy Seems Mann et al now agree according to an AGU talk Michael just gave I have said for a long time also as goes the Arctic so goes the planet I m not the only one But I have been one of those saying the clathrates were a more urgent issue that most in the scientific community thought Feel free to ask the sub sea pingos their intentions right Good news is as I have previously linked a paper briefly played with modeling a return to pre industrial CO2 and found the polar ice sheets started recovering within decades That implies a planet cooler than in 1953 Hope is eternal until it dies in a coal mine its yellow feathers spread over E Dickinson s grave 27 Edward Greisch says 3 Jan 2016 at 12 00 PM See lectures at http climatestate com 28 Hank Roberts says 3 Jan 2016 at 12 26 PM Folks Gavin has work to do Off topic posts and drama are wasting his time More self control Please 29 Omega Centauri says 3 Jan 2016 at 1 52 PM I can accept Ed G as a technocrat But in fact no one has a system of pure technocratic governance as Ed wishes for Public perception and misperceptions end up having a huge effect on those decisions and in the case of Ed s favored solution they create very stiff head winds Folks like myself have simply decided that Ed s option is just not going to become a significant part of the solution path and have moved on from there In case case too much animosity between technocrats offering different technologies is harmful 30 Treesong says 3 Jan 2016 at 2 05 PM Edward Greisch 22 Your position seems incoherent to me Different mitigation plans have different consequences and by saying plan X is the best you are saying that your definition of best is the right one which is an inherently political act Others may agree with you on what the possible consequences of various plans are and still not agree that plan X is best Still others may rightly argue that in dealing with a system as complex as climate engineers are not competent to assess the probabilities of various consequences on their own This applies more to geoengineering than various low carbon technologies Me I favor a mix of technologies including nuclear and conservation with a carbon tax as a start in that direction But I don t think we d have a free market even if government never passed another law 31 Kevin McKinney says 3 Jan 2016 at 2 46 PM 23 And add to that the further deterioration of Saudi Iranian relations consequent to the execution of Imam Nimr http www bbc com news world middle east 35216694 Rough ride Probably 32 zebra says 3 Jan 2016 at 2 52 PM Treesong 30 I don t want to continue too off topic but this particular misconception really annoys me You too appear to have been indoctrinated by the right wing campaign that started after WWII to redefine the term free market A free market exists when there is a balance of market power between buyers and sellers Such a condition can only be maintained with strong government intervention In this particular area of buying and selling electricity the government can intervene easily by strongly regulating or taking over the grid and making it operate under the kind of rules that govern shipping companies Everyone can buy and sell under equitable terms I can buy electricity from my neighbor s rooftop solar or Mr Greisch s N plant or Farmer Joe s wind farm where he also grazes cows So after we get the carbon tax those different options along with conservation will find the appropriate balance and the right generating method will be matched with the right consumption application I think people simply can t get their heads around just how distorted the current paradigm is 33 Barton Paul Levenson says 3 Jan 2016 at 3 17 PM EG 22 The choice of how to do mitigation is in the jurisdiction of the engineers who do the engineering at electric generating companies All others are usurpers BPL Shorter Ed We hereby declare that we are King for the rest of Our natural life 34 Ray Ladbury says 3 Jan 2016 at 3 31 PM Dan H 15 That is utter complete claptrap First there are well established methods for ascertaining whether a trend has changed with statistical significance Second if you divide the rather short satellite data series in half you don t have enough data to establish any trend on either side of the dividing line 35 Kevin McKinney says 3 Jan 2016 at 9 00 PM 33 BPL Shorter Ed We hereby declare that we are King for the rest of Our natural life Yes just so Barton And rather a King Canute at that 36 Chuck Hughes says 4 Jan 2016 at 1 05 AM Nor is the choice of how to do mitigation in the jurisdiction of politicians or diplomats or MUSICIANS or preachers or management or the general public The choice of how to do mitigation is in the jurisdiction of the engineers who do the engineering at electric generating companies All others are USURPERS Comment by Edward Greisch Seems like I remember mitigation being OT at one point I guess it s our only choice now So anyway What s your deal with musicians Ed Did a Mariachi Band screw up your Bar Mitzvah I ll show up at your daughter s wedding with some bagpipes an accordion and a didgeridoo After everyone scrams I ll eat all the food you you Upstart 37 Chuck Hughes says 4 Jan 2016 at 1 13 AM Comment by Killian 3 Jan 2016 11 33 AM Thank you for the thoughtful answer 38 Chuck Hughes says 4 Jan 2016 at 3 20 AM Rough ride Probably Comment by Kevin McKinney 3 Jan 2016 I m guessing that there are some indirect connections between Saudi Arabia and Climate Change If food and energy are being subsidized by the Saudi government and those subsides are paid for by high oil prices abroad then it seems to me at least that sooner or later the money source will dry up and the S A economy would collapse in a big way Food prices would skyrocket and then we re off to the races If S A appears to be weakening I can easily see how that would create a power vacuum I am not an expert on the Middle East but I ve always heard that in the event of a Climate crisis the trouble would likely start there How bad can it get and how soon What would the global impacts be How much of a role if any does Climate Change play in this situation Thoughts 39 Killian says 4 Jan 2016 at 5 13 AM Re 37 Chuck Hughes says Comment by Killian 3 Jan 2016 11 33 AM Thank you for the thoughtful answer And you the question Re 30 33 35 et al Funny Is not all the above being better basically saying it is best Funnier none of you are using a germane metric Because engineers say so Uh no The kitchen sink cause no opinion left behind Uh no There is one metric What can the ecology support It starts and ends with that Everything between that Alpha and Omega of ecosystem must be filtered through the capacity of that ecosystem The conversation rarely starts there thus germane solutions are rarely on the table FYI 40 Urs Neu says 4 Jan 2016 at 6 10 AM 11 17 We should be very careful in linking two or more events just because they happened at the same time unless we have a plausible physical mechanism 1 Arctic warm episode The recent warm episode in the Arctic was due to a far north reaching long stretched rossby wave transporting warm air within short time from low to high latitudes Such patterns can occur occasionally and accidentally and happened before While there do exist influences of El Nino on atmospheric circulation patterns see e g http www esrl noaa gov psd enso enso description html El Niño primarily influences the pattern over the Pacific North American region An influence on this particular wave over the East Atlantic Europe is not that obvious and probably low Thus my suggestion no link at all or rather weak 2 The storm s over Iceland and in the Arctic The strong storm over Iceland was mainly a dynamical and in the main phase a stationary phenomenon that did not much contribute to the transport of the warm air to the Arctic The storm was a near surface phenomenon that influenced the winds only on part of their way from south to north Surface storms produce strong winds only regionally and do not produce long range transport In contrary cyclones follow the direction of the overlaying jet stream or rossby wave flow Long range transport of air is primarily a matter of rossby waves jet stream not of small cyclones even if they are strong A second point is the influence of Arctic amplification on circulation This is quite tricky because there are competing effects on the one hand and there is the difficulty of climate models to simulate changes in circulation on the other hand Competing effects a While there is a strong decrease in the meridional temperature gradient at the surface the gradient higher up in the troposphere does not decrease in the same way or even increases due to less warming over the Arctic and stronger warming over the tropics in the upper troposphere Therefore we might have a change in the vertical temperature gradient within the polar front which might influence circulation in a yet hard to predict way b While a decrease in the temperature gradient in principle might generally slow the flow and thus allow more meridional and stationary flow we have to keep in mind that meridional patterns in rossby waves mainly occur with strong temperature gradients because meridional patterns allow a better meridional transport of warm and cold air masses and thus a better balance of temperature in the atmosphere What the effect of the reduction of the meridional temperature gradient might be we can also see in the summer although it is not exactly the same conditions you won t find large amplitude waves in summer My feeling is consistent with subjective observation that the amplitude of rossby waves will rather get smaller and that hemispheric wave patterns i e wave paths wave positions will get more persistent There is not many analysis of recent changes in wave dynamics since this is a quite tricky thing and cannot be captured by principal component or similar analysis usually used to describe circulation or teleconnection patterns Analysis often is limited to blockings which is the easiest pattern to capture because it s stationary 41 Kevin McKinney says 4 Jan 2016 at 8 22 AM 38 My thoughts the Saudi situation FWIW and IMO the Saudi regime is just one iconic member of a club facing difficulties just now because of the low price of oil Other prominent members Russia Iran Venezuela Cuba is sort of a secondary member because they are financially supported by Venezuela If the club were actual instead of metaphorical Canada might have observer status Mr Harper s success in turning a mixed economy into a true petro state was incomplete but while the Canadian economy is still growing it s doing so in a pretty feeble manner right now The Saudis are unique in that they are the ones primarily responsible for the oil price collapse They decided to turn on the taps and try to drive US frackers out of business It may be working a bit now but the pain for the Saudis has been much longer and worse than they seem to have counted on They ve burned through a considerable chunk of

    Original URL path: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/unforced-variations-jan-2016/ (2016-02-13)
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