AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

Unchallenging Copenhagen Climate Challenge

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on December 10, 2009

Yet another statement signed by N number of mind-numbingly relevant people is being spammed onto climate related blogs and discussions. This one is called Copenhagen Climate Challenge. Here, I will just comment on some of the things in their statement:

Therefore, there is no sound reason to impose expensive and restrictive public policy decisions on the peoples of the Earth without first providing convincing evidence that human activities are causing dangerous climate change beyond that resulting from natural causes.

So you don’t think that the potential risk of worldwide catastrophe to both mankind and the global ecosystem as a whole is not “sound reason”? Do you take fire insurance only after your house has burned down?

Before any precipitate action is taken, we must have solid observational data demonstrating that recent changes in climate differ substantially from changes observed in the past…

Past has nothing to do with it. All we need to know is that it has created a very risky situation now.

We the undersigned, being qualified in climate-related scientific disciplines, challenge the UNFCCC and supporters of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to produce convincing OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE for their claims of dangerous human-caused global warming and other changes in climate. Projections of possible future scenarios from unproven computer models of climate are not acceptable substitutes for real world data obtained through unbiased and rigorous scientific investigation.

Ok, here goes:

– Earth’s global temperature has increased, as evidenced by surface measurements (latest 10 year means are shown here) and ocean measurements for example, and indicated by changes in biosphere, melting glaciers and polar ice sheets, rising sea level, and vanishing sea ice, to name a few things.

– Carbon dioxide has been shown to be able to absorb heat by laboratory measurements and direct measurements from atmosphere.

– Carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has been observed increasing by direct measurements from atmosphere and it also has been observed that the increase is from anthropogenic sources.

– We have observed, directly from the atmosphere, how outgoing longwave radiation has decreased in carbon dioxide absorption bands and how downward longwave radiation has increased accordingly.

– Everyone who has studied the subject knows that currently our biggest source of uncertainty is the climate feedbacks, but even there we have direct observations of positive water vapor feedback and the latest research on low-level clouds (where the biggest uncertainty has been) also shows positive feedback.

– Just about all major things are working as expected in greenhouse gas warmed world. For example, stratosphere has been observed cooling, as expected. The scientific research also shows that greenhouse gases have been major factor in past climate changes.

– Other forcings are not present strongly enough. It is not the Sun, the clouds, or the cosmic rays.

– None of the above is based on climate models, it’s all observational. There also seems to be others who agree with me on this with well written words.

The biosphere is already reacting badly to the warming, so it’s not something that might happen in the future, it’s already happening.

I ask you this, dear “climate realist scientists”, as most of the information presented above has been available for a long time, how could you have missed this body of evidence?

UPDATE

P.S.
I forgot to say this:

It is not the responsibility of ‘climate realist’ scientists to prove that dangerous human-caused climate change is not happening.

It is your responsibility. Mainstream climate science has already presented the proof in the scientific literature. Now would be your turn to do the same. I won’t hold my breath for that, though.

7 Responses to “Unchallenging Copenhagen Climate Challenge”

  1. Jim Prall said

    Hi Ari.
    Nice comeback to yet another hollow declaration from climate ignorers. I’ll need to update my list with this one; my website already covers ten previous ignore-climate declarations, and contrasts them to the IPCC and some climate activist letters like the Bali Climate Declaration:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate

    This section lists just the signers of statements calling for inaction:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/skeptic_authors_table_by_clim.html

    If you look down the list sorted by number of works indexed in Google Scholar that mention climate, the “skeptics” median output by this count is 2. The median for the IPCC is 93. Qualified experts indeed.

  2. Ari Jokimäki said

    Thanks!🙂

    Hey, I think I have seen your site before. At one point I started assembling a list of scientists who have authored papers where it is explicitly said that mankind is changing the climate. That’s on hold now (with some 100+ names I think), but I probably browsed your site back then also.

    Edited to add: Hmm… I think your list of 2900 climate authors could be used to further determine which ones of them have actually been authoring a paper that says mankind is changing climate. I’m interested in that angle because that is the most honest way to see their scientific opinion on the matter.

    If you look down the list sorted by number of works indexed in Google Scholar that mention climate, the “skeptics” median output by this count is 2. The median for the IPCC is 93. Qualified experts indeed.

    Ahh, but that’s probably because they so often confuse weather with climate. I’m sure they would rank well if you would use “weather” instead of “climate”.😉

  3. Jack Marin said

    – Earth’s global temperature has increased

    The theory as encapsulated by IPCC report is not just temperature increase,
    but increase at a specific rate which is not happening:


    # Best estimate for a “low scenario”[9] is 1.8 °C with a likely range of 1.1 to 2.9 °C (3.2 °F with a likely range of 2.0 to 5.2 °F)
    # Best estimate for a “high scenario”[10] is 4.0 °C with a likely range of 2.4 to 6.4 °C (7.2 °F with a likely range of 4.3 to 11.5 °F)
    # A temperature rise of about 0.1 °C per decade would be expected for the next two decades, even if greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations were kept at year 2000 levels.
    # A temperature rise of about 0.2 °C per decade is projected for the next two decades for all SRES scenarios.

    Even the widely smoothed GISS falls short of the best estimate for low end rate of 1.8 °C.
    The same is true of CRU (before it was yanked), UAH MSU, RSS MSU, and various SSTs.

    RSS MT
    UAH MT
    RSS LT
    UAH LT
    CRU index
    GISS index
    CRU SST

    – Everyone who has studied the subject knows that currently our biggest source of uncertainty is the climate feedbacks, but even there we have direct observations of positive water vapor feedback and the latest research on low-level clouds (where the biggest uncertainty has been) also shows positive feedback.

    You are conveniently omitting the longest term record, the RAOB data, which
    indicates a NEGATIVE feedback

    As the papers on your site also observe,
    there are contradictory analyses of cloud cover, making pronouncements of
    cloud feedback tenuous at best.

    – Just about all major things are working as expected in greenhouse gas warmed world. For example, stratosphere has been observed cooling, as expected. The scientific research also shows that greenhouse gases have been major factor in past climate changes.

    Except:
    * the warming trends are all below the best IPCC estimate for even the ‘low’ scenario, cited above.
    * The stratosphere warmed for the decade prior to El Chichon, warmed between El Chichon’s resolution and Pinatubo, and while the mid to upper stratosphere has cooled since
    Pintubo’s resolution, the lower stratosphere is nearly unchanged.
    RATPAC Strat
    UAH MSU Strat
    RSS MSU Strat
    * the above data also indicate no such tropical upper tropospheric ‘hot spot’ occurred.
    * the raob data cited above indicate drying aloft

    – Other forcings are not present strongly enough. It is not the Sun, the clouds, or the cosmic rays.

    We can say that qualitatively solar increase would account for
    a warming trend through the twentieth century and a maximum in the late twentieth century:
    http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srsun.html

    This sets up a clear experiment going forward, given the ongoing solar slowdown:
    (Solar Slowdown)

    Solar theory predicts a cooling trend.
    CO2 theory predicts a warming trend.
    We can observe going forward which is correct.

  4. Ante said

    The estimated low end 1.8 °C is for the entire century – it says nothing about the short term trends.
    So what do they say about the short term? You cited it yourself.
    “# A temperature rise of about 0.1 °C per decade would be expected for the next two decades, even if greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations were kept at year 2000 levels.
    A temperature rise of about 0.2 °C per decade is projected for the next two decades for all SRES scenarios.”

    Now, to get a real trend of the temperature rise, let’s use the current 30-year trendline. (see tamino for a discussion on the timeframe needed)
    So what do GISTEMP give us if we do a trendline for the last 30 years?
    Answer: 0.18 °C / decade. That’s pretty much “about 0.2 °C” if you ask me.

  5. Jack Marin said

    The estimated low end 1.8 °C is for the entire century – it says nothing about the short term trends.
    So what do they say about the short term? You cited it yourself.

    Right!

    0.2 per decade which none of the observations are close to for this decade,
    and all are below for the last three decades.

    Answer: 0.18 °C / decade. That’s pretty much “about 0.2 °C” if you ask me.

    Check your numbers on GISS.
    I run an app of all global data set trends.
    GISS since 1979 (technically 31 years at the end of this month)
    weigh in at 1.6C per century rate.

    And of course GISS is the high outlier amongst:
    CRU surface, NCDC surface,
    UAH MSU LT, RSS MSU LT,
    UAH MSU MT, RSS MSU MT.

    Not surprising with the large smoothing radius.

    Since Jan 2001, ALL of the above data sets
    indicate a cooling trend with the exception of GISS.

    This trend will vary going forward of course.
    We will all be the scientists observing these numbers,
    but isn’t it ironic that just as soon as the IPCC
    actually put some predictions out with the fourth assessment
    confidently predicting 0.2C per decade,
    with a floor of 0.1C even if CO2 ceased accumulating,
    that the cooling actually started?

  6. Ari Jokimäki said

    Jack Marin,

    Edited to add: sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I was travelling for few days and then this sort of drifted to the background for a while.

    Even the widely smoothed GISS falls short of the best estimate for low end rate of 1.8 °C.

    Where is the research paper that shows that the expected temperature evolution does not match the observations. It is not simply taking a number from a scenario’s end result and then drawing a line from zero to that number, plotting the observed temperature trends on that and expecting that every measured value has to be on that line. It needs to be understood that some feedbacks are slow starters, so the expectation is not simple linear trend, but one that accelerates.

    It also seems to me that Easterling & Wehner (2009) might be something for you to read (you can see also the expected accelerating trend in their figure 2).

    You are conveniently omitting the longest term record, the RAOB data, which indicates a NEGATIVE feedback

    I wonder why is it that the people who come in arguing against AGW so often immediately start throwing around these dishonesty accusations?

    No matter what the subject is, you can always find one or two papers that show different results than the vast majority of the research. In your reference, the authors are themselves warning about the radiosonde data: “It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level.” It seems to me that this paper presents a curiosity at best. They use data that most agree is not very well suitable to what they are doing with it, and they find a strange result in light of other research in the field, so it remains to be seen if there’s something that arises from this to make the radiosonde measurements better. Beyond that, I don’t think there’s anything in this paper that would shake our knowledge of atmospheric physics.

    As the papers on your site also observe, there are contradictory analyses of cloud cover, making pronouncements of cloud feedback tenuous at best.

    Thank you for making this comment; it made me notice that I had wrong link relating to the cloud feedbacks in tha above texts. I have now inserted the correct link.

    It is common knowledge that low-level cloud feedback has been a problem. I noted that latest research about it indicates positive feedback (it would have been nice to have correct link there though). I specifically meant Clement et al. (2009). Sorry for the confusion.

    The stratosphere warmed for the decade prior to El Chichon, warmed between El Chichon’s resolution and Pinatubo, and while the mid to upper stratosphere has cooled since Pintubo’s resolution, the lower stratosphere is nearly unchanged.

    And yet, the big picture on stratosphere shows it cooling as expected. If you want to pick on these minor details, you have to remember that there are many factors that influence stratospheric temperatures and you need to find out which ones were at work on your details before you can claim that things are not working there as expected.

    the above data also indicate no such tropical upper tropospheric ‘hot spot’ occurred.

    It is pretty much safe to say currently that the “hot spot” is there as expected. There still might be some slight tuning needed for models and observations, but it’s there.

    We can say that qualitatively solar increase would account for
    a warming trend through the twentieth century and a maximum in the late twentieth century:
    http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srsun.html

    But when we look closer, we see that it doesn’t actually work:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

  7. Jack Marin said

    Ari Jokimäki said

    Thank you for contributing to this thread.

    Where is the research paper that shows that the expected temperature evolution does not match the observations. It is not simply taking a number from a scenario’s end result and then drawing a line from zero to that number, plotting the observed temperature trends on that and expecting that every measured value has to be on that line. It needs to be understood that some feedbacks are slow starters, so the expectation is not simple linear trend, but one that accelerates.

    Well, complete century predictions are not really verifiable in a human lifetime.

    Fortunately, the IPCC makes a prediction for us to analyze when they say:

    “A temperature rise of about 0.2 °C per decade is projected for the next two decades for all SRES scenarios.”

    Of course, they weren’t explicit with WHICH two decades, but that clearly hasn’t happened
    over the most recent one, two or three decades.

    No matter what the subject is, you can always find one or two papers that show different results than the vast majority of the research. In your reference, the authors are themselves warning about the radiosonde data: “It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level.” It seems to me that this paper presents a curiosity at best. They use data that most agree is not very well suitable to what they are doing with it, and they find a strange result in light of other research in the field, so it remains to be seen if there’s something that arises from this to make the radiosonde measurements better. Beyond that, I don’t think there’s anything in this paper that would shake our knowledge of atmospheric physics.

    Yes, there are lots of problems measuring humidity (which includes satellite measurements)
    None the less, the only available long term data set of humidity indicates not only
    does a modeled positive feedback fail to occur but actually a negative feedback is observed.

    It is pretty much safe to say currently that the “hot spot” is there as expected. There still might be some slight tuning needed for models and observations, but it’s there.

    I have plotted the public data from a GCM (the GISS) and the RATPAC sonde data,
    the UAH MSU data, and the RSS MSU data.

    I created the plot here.

    I will update these when the 2009 data are complete.

    Can you suggest why I am unable to see any evidence of the ‘hot spot’ in the data?

    We can say that qualitatively solar increase would account for a warming trend through the twentieth century and a maximum in the late twentieth century:
    http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srsun.html

    But when we look closer, we see that it doesn’t actually work:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

    The above link is from, as the url suggests, the NASA GISS model.
    The solar data suggests that insolation increased through the
    twentieth century and reached a peak in the late twentieth century.
    If one knew nothing else about any other forcing or circulation changes,
    one would not be surprised that temperatures warmed to a centuries
    long maximum over the course of the twentieth century.

    The solar data used by this model shows a similar story:


    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/IPCC/FORCING/solar.constant.png

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