Where’s the warming?

posted at 6:00 pm on June 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Carbon emissions over the past decade actually exceeded predictions by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), no thanks to the global economic recession.  According to their anthropogenic global-warming theories, global temperatures should have risen significantly as a result.   James Taylor at Forbes wonders what happened:

Global greenhouse gas emissions have risen even faster during the past decade than predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other international agencies. According to alarmist groups, this proves global warming is much worse than previously feared. The increase in emissions “should shock even the most jaded negotiators” at international climate talks currently taking place in Bonn, Germany, the UK Guardian reports. But there’s only one problem with this storyline; global temperatures have not increased at all during the past decade.

The evidence is powerful, straightforward, and damning. NASA satellite instruments precisely measuring global temperatures show absolutely no warming during the past the past 10 years. This is the case for the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, including the United States. This is the case for the Arctic, where the signs of human-caused global warming are supposed to be first and most powerfully felt. This is the case forglobal sea surface temperatures, which alarmists claim should be sucking up much of the predicted human-induced warming. This is the case for the planet as a whole.

If atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions are the sole or primary driver of global temperatures, then where is all the global warming? We’re talking 10 years of higher-than-expected increases in greenhouse gases, yet 10 years of absolutely no warming. That’s 10 years of nada, nunca, nein, zero, and zilch.

Be sure to check out the links, which show charts over varying time sets, but which all show basically the same thing: no real change over longer periods of time. Not in the Arctic, which Taylor notes was supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, nor in the northern hemisphere, or the globe overall.  That’s even true for just the last decade, but it’s especially true over the period of several decades.  Periods of high amplitudes in warming are matched with low amplitudes.

Earlier this week, I linked to a couple of articles from physicists who have expressed considerable skepticism of the AGW hysteria, including one who worked in Australia’s climate-change ministry.  It’s worth revisiting his observation about the science, its models, and what’s missing:

This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

What did they find when they tried to prove this theory?

Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.

It’s becoming even more clear now.  If carbon increases and the predicted warming didn’t follow, then the obvious conclusion is that the hypothesis regarding cause and effect is incorrect — and the missing hot spots are even further evidence of this.

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And the CO2 that mankind adds is actually very, very small.

Badger40 on June 13, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Mankind by the way could add a lot less CO2 by more responsible forest management, like allowing logging which takes all that CO2 tied up in wood and locks it into houses and fine furniture. Instead their absolute hands-off demands means catastrophic forest fires. In the best case the trees mature, fall over and rot into CO2 and other compounds, and are wasted. Can anyone tell us how much CO2 is liberated by the Arizona fire alone? How does it compare to what cars put out?

This is not an admission that I give a damn about CO2, I’d just like to see some consistency from the progs. Maybe that would show that there’s more going on here than a push for world socialism.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2011 at 5:01 PM

You seem to be forgetting that that one reality for you using your car multiplied by several billion other people doing the same adds up to massive amounts of warming.

How many cars do you think there actually are on the roads of planet Earth? Hint: it’s not “several billion”.

Do you agree that at some point the earths atmosphere can no longer deal with the levels of pollution and heat we’re producing?

SauerKraut537 on June 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

To get a feel for the correct answer to that question, it’s helpful to first have an understanding of the magnitudes of the various inputs in the current system.

the earth only has the ability to radiate a certain amount out into space… If we INPUT too much heat so that the earth’s radiating system can’t handle it, then we get AGW.

I happen to think that we’re there now… There are jsut too many people on the planet as it is and all the hunger and poverty that we as humans experience can be alleviated if only we get a hold of our population problem.

SauerKraut537 on June 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Again, to get a feel for how much energy the current system can radiate without getting into a runaway situation, it’s useful to put the relative sizes of the values into proper perspective.

Here’s a set of exercises that can help with that issue.

1. Determine the total amount of solar energy that is captured by the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land surface in an average year. If there were no humans on the Earth, this amount of energy would have to be radiated back out into space over the span of an average year, or temperatures would naturally run away at the top end (given your hypothesis). Hint: the term “insolation” will be useful in making this determination.

2. Determine how much this value can vary based on orbital considerations for our solar system. This will allow a highly conservative upper bound to be set on the “safe” value that the system can already handle without runaway conditions in the absence of any humans (and thus with, by definition, zero AGW).

3. One method to determine the upper-end of thermal “damage” that humans might be able to cause due to heat pollution would be to determine how much thermal energy could be extracted IN TOTAL from 100% of all known sources and reserves of oil, coal, natural gas and mined uranium on planet Earth.

4. Come up with an estimate of how long it would actually take human beings to use up (and thus add the waste heat to the system) all of the heat sources mentioned above. This would allow you to determine an estimate of an annual “maximum impact” heat addition.

5. Compare the magnitude of the annual heat budget that is already “dealt with” without issue by the system, to the amount of extra waste heat that could be produced through the energy consumption of humans. What percentage of extra heat “load” could humans add to the system in this fashion? What is the relative size of this addition to the normal variance that the system already “deals with” without issue?

6. Finally, determine if the fraction of extra heat added in this fashion would be large enough to even measure as a fraction of the current system load.

That final point is, after all, what you seem to have been missing… it’s not a question of whether humans add heat to the Earth’s ecosystem with their activities.

It’s a question of whether that added amount is large enough to make any measurable difference at all in the outcomes of the system. If it’s not, then it’s irrelevant that they “added” something…

In the same way that, technically, synthesizing an extra gallon of water from raw elements and pouring it into the Pacific Ocean would “add to sea level rise”. The question is… would it do so in an amount large enough to be meaningful?

Can you do any of the determinations I listed above, let alone all of them? Without being able to do so, and given what you’ve written, I doubt you can have any meaningful understanding of the magnitudes involved.

Which might explain why you hold such… unusual… opinions about the thermal impact of automobile engines on global temperatures.

VekTor on June 13, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Which might explain why you hold such… unusual… opinions about the thermal impact of automobile engines on global temperatures.

VekTor on June 13, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Very well done!

darwin on June 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Thanks, darwin!

An easier way to get a feel for the relative sizes of these numbers is to take total annual solar energy absorption and divide it by the total U.S. annual energy consumption.

The number is a lot larger than most people think. =)

VekTor on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Do you agree that at some point the earths atmosphere can no longer deal with the levels of pollution and heat we’re producing?

SauerKraut537 on June 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

You do realize for one that the amount of pollution put out changes and we are constantly finding ways to reduce pollution.

I hope your behind nuclear power Sherlock.

CW on June 13, 2011 at 6:29 PM

The number is a lot larger than most people think. =)

VekTor on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Right. Plus when people aren’t thinking to begin with …

darwin on June 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I ran some additional numbers, in order to come up with an easier-to-grasp example. I wonder how close to the correct answer to this question SauerKraut537 could come:

Assume for this question that all humans on the planet Earth are consuming energy at the same per-capita rate as Americans currently do (given that Americans are so-often cited as bad examples). If the goal was to limit the human-caused increase in the heat budget of the planet to 1% over what naturally occurs due to solar radiation, to what size would the human population of the planet need to be limited?

VekTor on June 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM

The evidence is powerful, straightforward, and damning. NASA satellite instruments precisely measuring global temperatures show absolutely no warming during the past the past 10 years

A couple of things. First, looking at the long-term (30+ years graph) at the beginning of Mr. Spencer’s article shows a very definite warming trend over the generation. This is very clear to anyone who bothers to look at it (which I doubt Ed did).

Next, there is no reference to “absolutely no warming” globally in the last ten years. Remember, we are talking about a global average when we refer to global warming – not limiting to certain portions of the lower troposhere between a certain pair of latitudes.

Mr. Spencer goes on (if one bothers to read) to suggest that not all of the global warming is anthropogenic (which has been his theme all along). He in no way denies the reality of human-induced warming, but rather suggests that there are other factors at work as well (so what’s new?).

If there’s any hype, it’s Ed’s hype about Ed’s own take on Mr. Spencers interpretation of the facts. And Ed is way off base. Maybe he should read a little more carefully.

oakland on June 13, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I’ve read some of Hansen’s work in the past. I’m not impressed.
It seems anyone can get a PhD these days.

Really… and how about the atmospheric and climate scientists at every major research university in the US? Are all those PhDs at Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan and Caltech equally inept? Are NASA scientists also a joke?

You can always find a way to frame a set of numbers that ‘disproves’ man-made global warming but you can’t overcome the aggregate conclusions of scientists at all these institutions.

bayam on June 14, 2011 at 12:02 AM

This isn’t completely true. The climate models indicated that certain hot spots would develop early. Since these hot spots haven’t developed one should wonder if the models are based on accurate assumptions.

blink on June 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

What are you saying- that we don’t know if man-made global warming is occurring or that it definitely is not occurring?

bayam on June 14, 2011 at 12:03 AM

What are you saying- that we don’t know if man-made global warming is occurring or that it definitely is not occurring?

bayam on June 14, 2011 at 12:03 AM

It is the alarmists that have the history of fraud, extortion, models that do not match reality, and solutions that are incompatible with freedom, and prosperity that need to find proof that will stand up to daylight and scientific annalists. You know things like showing all your data to scientists with opposing views. I would also like proof that the effects of global warming would be a net bad.

Slowburn on June 14, 2011 at 12:23 AM

The point is that it is difficult to interpret what the upward trend in the Arctic channel 3 data is due to. Stratifying the data by season would probably give some insight.

For now, though, I think the tropospheric (AMSU ch. 5) data are pretty clear: there are no signs of warming in the last nine years in those regions where the strongest warming in the last 30 to 40 years has occurred, that is, in the Northern Hemisphere mid- and high-latitudes. And, there might even be signs of recent cooling over the last few years in the mid-latitudes, but whether this will persist is anyone’s guess.

As far as the Arctic, Ed, this is what Spencer wrote, with respect to “Channel 3″ data (see first sentence). Never said “no warming”.

Then, there’s the second paragraph above which clearly is not concerning the entire planet, nor the entire atmospheric profile of just one portion. And, he alludes to warming there that has occurred over the last 30-40 years.

Dr. Spencer is not a denialist. He is a skeptic. This is what science needs (indeed , scientists are the best skeptics). He does his work thoroughly and carefully, and doesn’t begin with a conclusion – he forms his conclusions based on the evidence and his analysis.

Interesting also that denialists will dismissed the data as “faked” one minute and then quote it the next. What’s that all about, Ed?

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 6:46 AM

This isn’t completely true. The climate models indicated that certain hot spots would develop early. Since these hot spots haven’t developed one should wonder if the models are based on accurate assumptions.

blink on June 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Depends on what you mean by “hot spots”.
On the surface level, the Arctic has warmed a great deal (as predicted by many climate models).

Also, as the earth is essentially a large ball of circulation, “hot spots” aren’t necessarily static with respect to location.

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM

On the surface level, the Arctic has warmed a great deal (as predicted by many climate models).

that’s news to just about everyone.

And, even if true (it isn’t) warmed compared to what, exactly? What is teh standard? Wamer than 50 years ago? 100? 1000?

How is it proven that it has anything to do with man?

Computer models based on manipulated data is not science. Period. When they come up with some other basis to make these claims, then we can talk about “science”. I can make a computer model showing that teh earth will enter an ice age next week.

when someone refuses to release raw data or the programing for their computer models, they are hiding something. Hidnig something is not science.

Conveniently losing raw data is not science. Refusing to release data and fighting FOIL requests is not science. Faking charts and graphs (hockey stick) is not science. Claiming teh himalayan glaciers are melting based on a college students fanciful essay is not science. Claimnig 50 million climate refugees is not science. Ignoring the earth’s history of heating and cooling is not science. Hiding the decline is not science (I know, somehow that is perfeclty acceptalbe behaviour and in accord with good scientific pricinpals and/or was simply trivial and doesn’t matter – and they were exonnerated by their cozy warmest buddies who investigated. I suppose the new standard should be that Goldma Sachs investigate itself for its alleged cover-ups).

there is no science behind the AGW industry. No matter how much you claim there is, there isn’t. Come back in 10 years when we see a) if they have performed any actual scientific research on the hypothesis; and b) how close the predictions have come to reality.

Until then, America will not enact socialist wet-dream economy killing laws for a religious cult. Even if AGW were real, it is China, India and South America that you AGW alarmists need to be worried about, not the U.S. So all of this is pure b.s. to push ideology anyway, even if AGW was real.

Monkeytoe on June 14, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Also, as the earth is essentially a large ball of circulation, “hot spots” aren’t necessarily static with respect to location.

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM

In other words, we predicted hot spots, adn we are going to claim we were right even though nobody can point to any. yOu see, you just can’t see them because they move.

It must be nice to have a theory that is proven no matter what happens. It’s cold today? AGW. It’s hot today? AGW. Hot spots? AGW. No hot spots? AGW. Tornadoes? AGW. No tornadoes? AGW. It hasn’t warmed as much as predicted? AGW – you see there is a “trend” – even though we can’t say how this trend is any different than the all of the past warming and cooling periods the earth has experienced, we can say with certainty that man caused it.

The science is settled. Anyone disagreeing has a bias and an agenda and is a hack. All who support is are pure scientists who are objective and brilliant. No scientists disagree. If a scientist disagrees, he is not a scientist and the oil companies are paying him.

Science is a democracy – see we count how many scientists support something and how many don’t, and if enough support, it is a scientific fact. No need for tests, results, research, studies and the like. As long as we have consensus.

such gibberish.

Monkeytoe on June 14, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Also, as the earth is essentially a large ball of circulation, “hot spots” aren’t necessarily static with respect to location.

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM

The “hot spots” in question are an expected emergent feature of the proposed amplification of GHG temperature increases from the hypothesized (and modeled) changes in atmospheric moisture.

Accordingly, the models predict that if/when GHGs increase the surface temperatures, this will cause greater evaporation, and therefore cause the load of atmospheric moisture (in the tropics in particular) to increase.

Since water vapor is itself a strong GHG, this leads the researchers to predict a roughly 3X increase in the magnitude of the overall temperature change. This kind of “forcing” is what leads many to conclude that the expected severity of the effects of global warming are cause for significant concern.

The vividly illustrated “hot spot” diagrammed in the IPPC AR4 report is one showing a marked increase in the rate of change of temperature in the mid-troposphere which is most pronounced in the tropical latitudes (north or south up to 30 degrees of latitude from the equator). This is a function of something known as “moist adiabatic lapse rate”.

The models predict this behavior because it is assumed that the behavior of the system (with respect to moisture and its movement) will conform to that hypothesized by the researchers.

So when this modeled set of responses fails to manifest, it indicates that the model is likely incorrect… that there is at least one thing that not correctly accounted for.

I suspect this is due to failures in the modeling of cloud behavior (by far the weakest aspect of these models) and/or the modeling of circulation behavior for atmospheric moisture loads.

The absence of this pattern from actual measurements (when it was predicted by the models to be there) should be taken as evidence that the predictions of the models should be discounted until such time as the reasons for these failures can be more convincingly explained.

TL;DR version: There’s “no warming” because the models are broken, and the things that the models are “getting right” may be entirely by accident rather than correct design.

VekTor on June 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Monkeytoe,

See the NOAA report on arctic temperatures here.

Do you have different information to share?

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 9:51 PM

The absence of this pattern from actual measurements (when it was predicted by the models to be there) should be taken as evidence that the predictions of the models should be discounted until such time as the reasons for these failures can be more convincingly explained.

TL;DR version: There’s “no warming” because the models are broken, and the things that the models are “getting right” may be entirely by accident rather than correct design.

VekTor on June 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

The models are being improved all the time.

Remember that models generally predicted the warming occurring now.

Feedbacks and their strengths are a big unknown, but there are some feedback mechanisms that are showing themselves now, such as the release of methane from methyl hydrates in permafrost.

oakland on June 14, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Damn, the comments are fantastic…and I love that you guys give me ammo when talking to Gorebal enthusists!

lovingmyUSA on June 15, 2011 at 4:00 AM

That report shows drastic cooling in the arctic since the fall of 2006. This correlates to the surface area of arctic sea ice. I assume that you’d rather not discuss Antarctica.

Do you have different information to share?

blink on June 15, 2011 at 1:04 AM

You haven’t read carefully, or I have missed something. Quote me where it shows the arctic cooling.

It’s going to take quite a bit of improving for these models to go from wrong to right. And we just don’t understand the science enough to input the proper assumptions.

blink on June 15, 2011 at 1:06 AM

In science, there is no “wrong” or “right”. It’s relative verisimilitude. Scientific models, whether they be about climate, population growth, economics, plasma dynamics, or heat transfer, are never (and will never) be able to make completely accurate predictions to infinite precision.

Climate modelling is a challenge, as is any other. The models have come a long way over the last thirty years – in all of the above that I mentioned, including climate modelling. And, they are improving all the time. THose who don’t understand the methods of modelling (such as finite element analysis) are naturally suspicious. I would suggest reading up on the process of modelling to get some idea of what it’s all about.

In fact, using modelling, scientists have predicted the warming trend we are now seeing (including the strong warming in the arctic). THese predictions began nearly forty years ago, and have basically been supported by temperature data.

Now the challenge is to predict how climate changes will result in the different biomes of the planet due to warming caused by man.

oakland on June 15, 2011 at 6:32 AM

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