2011-07-21 02:10:42Michaels Mischief #1: Continued Warming and Aerosols
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Have a look at this response to Michaels' last Forbes blog post.  John made some graphics of Michaels contradicting himself, but he doesn't think the quotes are very contradictory.  For example, Michaels twice saying 'no warming', but in between saying 'no statistically significant warming'.  To me that's a blatant contradiction (as I discussed in the text below the graphic), but John is unimpressed.  So let us know what you think about those.

Michaels Mischief #1: Continued Warming and Aerosols

2011-07-21 08:55:12
Chris Colose

colose@wisc...
128.183.2.130

I also think these statements aren´t very contradictory. The lack of statistical significance in warming could mean no warming (although not necessarily so); we have warmed since 1995, but focusing on the contradictions here isn´t very persuasive.  You can find much better ones, for example saying there is no warming, but then saying the warming is caused by the sun.  I don´t follow Pat Michaels to know everything he says. It might be a good idea to contact someone like Tamino too for better statistical insight on this matter.

In any case, there´s a lot more to focus on with Michaels in his article that you could spend time on rather than playing gotcha games with his sentences.  You could talk about how aerosols actually do complicate the matter of climate sensitivity rather than being a tool to make any answer look right, as Michaels seems to imply.  You could put more emphasis on the factors which cause temperatures to flatline over timescales of a decade or two, making these sort of ¨climate sensitivity is low¨ estimates pointless.  The fact is that there is a lot of natural variability (see the Easterling and Wehner 2009 paper) so there´s really nothing surprising here, but his cherry-picked time interval is a big deal. 

In fact, his sentence:

¨The other problem — and climate flatliners hate me for pointing this out — is that the beginning of the period of “no warming” includes the warmest year in the instrumental record, caused by the great El Nino of 1997-1998. In a modestly warming world, starting off at or near an anomalously high point pretty much assures little or no warming for years afterward.¨

Directly goes against his own position!! Why would he start with a decade or so of data when we have over 100 years of good data to work with?

You abruptly switch over to using a different (NASA GISS) dataset, and this causes differences between your graph and his last graph; for example, his shows the SH cooling over 10 years.  There´s a lot of questions readers will ask about this, and you also don´t want to imply that climate sensitivity or Michaels being right/wrong is dependent on the temperature dataset that you use.  Also, the differences in thermal inertia between hemispheres is correct, but it doesn´t explain anything relevant to the point he was trying to make, which is that we should somehow see a predoimant flatline or cooling trend in the North.

By the way, at RealClimate, gavin recently left a comment that ¨The rise in aerosols from Asia is not an exclusively Chinese issue - and compared to the increase in aerosols earlier in the 20th Century from the US and Europe, is happening much closer to the equator. Thus the hemispheric contrast is likely to be less pronounced. But you have to be careful about statistical attributions like this in any case - I'd be much happier looking at the GCMs that are actually driven by the emission changes to say anything about the spatial patterns of change expected.¨

You also need to fix some sentences up, for example, ¨Let's set aside the fact that declaring that the many lines of evidence that climate sensitivity is not low based on little more than a superficial analysis of 10 to 12 years of surface temperature data is not a wise or scientifically robust action¨ needs to be split up.

 

 

2011-07-21 11:09:58
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.85.70

Yeah, the first claim about contradictory statements is weak. I know what you mean, but it's too nuanced for most readers to grasp. But it does contradict what Michaels was saying only a couple of years back at one of those deniers conferences  (try viewing at the 57 minute mark)

From Michaels blog - "Kaufmann’s team looked into how sulfate uncertainty impacted its results and decided that it was relatively minor"

Rubbish. This from the Kaufmann (2011) abstract:  

"We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations."

Michaels - "There is very little exchange of air between the northern and southern hemispheres, and basic climate science shows that most sulfates from China will rain out before they get across the thermal equator."  

Not so, the modelling studies I linked to in my post show that Asian aerosols can get well up into the upper atmosphere and become dispersed into both hemispheres. From Rasch (2000):

The ROW (rest of the world) effect is greater than Asian aerosols, but only a small percentage of actual emissions originate there. But look at the impact Asian aerosols have on both hemispheres. North America and Europe not so much.

This bit needs a re-write: "He posits that since aerosols have a short atmospheric lifetime and thus aren't well-mixed throughout the atmosphere (unlike greenhouse gases), if they have a significant cooling effect, it should be observed primarily in the northern hemisphere, where China is located". 

Dana, you also show that ocean heat data graph. Von Schuckmann  and Le Traon show that the ocean down to 1500 metres is still gaining heat. If climate sensitivity is low, why is the ocean below the well-mixed layer warming up?

I suggest also the odd word here and there be altered, so as to not appear so antagonistic.

2011-07-21 14:40:51
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.238

Chris - Michaels didn't cherrypick the timeframe.  Well, he cherrypicked November 1996, but he's actually been very consistent in saying that if you choose 1998 as your starting point, you shouldn't expect to see much warming thereafter.  It's Kaufmann who chose 1998.  Michaels just picked up their ball and ran with it.

I made a bunch of changes based on the other comments from Chris and Rob though.  I think it's a bit better now.

2011-07-21 16:38:53Still running with the contradictory quotes?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Don't feel too attached to them - we can always resurrect that idea for a future post with more blatant contradictions (eg - http://sks.to/plimervsplimer).

2011-07-22 01:06:19
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Yeah I don't see why not.  I'm either going to have them in quote form or in 'bubble' form because they're central to the post.  I like the bubbles.  But if people think they detract from the post or something, I'm open to removing them.

2011-07-23 03:35:16
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Those opening quotes are devastating....brilliant!  That is what happens when you try and deceive and lie.

This is late in the game, not sure whether or not it will help, but this it is a good meta study on dimming and brightening that is in press.

2011-07-23 04:44:31
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Aha, somebody besides me likes the quotes :-)

That's a really interesting study Alby - deserves its own post, I think.  I'll mention it here though, and maybe add in Wild's Figure 2.

2011-07-23 05:03:36
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

No worries Dana.

I tried the othe rday to get sulphur emission/inventory data up until say 2010 or 2009, but had no luck.  The most recent data people seem to be quoting are up till 2005.  We know that since 2006 and 2007 China has been introducing scrubbers in many of their coal-fired stations, see here.

Update:  Just found this paper.  SOx emissions peaked in 2006 and slowly declined in 2007 and 2008.  They still have a long way to go, but it is encouraging that the decline took place during a time of rapid economic growth.  They could be back to circa 2000 values around 2016 or so.

2011-07-23 05:39:36
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Yeah looks like Chinese SO2 emissions peaked in 2006 as you might expect.  Good news for their health, and for killing the 'global warming stopped' myth.

2011-07-23 08:01:41
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.226.173

Dana -thumbs up from me brudda.

Albie - thanks for the paper. Some useful pics in there. 

2011-07-23 09:14:52
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

You are welcome Rob.

2011-07-23 11:54:36
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.176.146.78

Brilliant!  Thumbsup!

 

Obligatory nit-pick:

The Rest of the Picture

It should go without saying that it's unwise to declare that the virtually all ...

2011-07-24 20:03:34
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.82.223

Dana, I pointed this out in the general threads, thought you might want to include it (although the paper has yet to be published) but it completely demolishes Michaels argument about hemispheric trends:

Hatzianastassiou (2011)

"In the present study, we investigate the evolution of GDB (Global dimming/brightening) for the period 2000-2007 using a spectral radiative transfer model with input data from global satellite (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, ISCCP; Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS) and Reanalysis projects (National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Centers for Atmospheric Research, NCEP/NCAR), with the aim to provide local, regional and hemispherical aspects of the phenomenon and to identify possible causes.

An overall global dimming (based on coastal, land and ocean pixels) is found to have taken place on the Earth under all-sky conditions, from 2001 to 2006, arising from a stronger solar dimming in the SH (SSR = -3.84 W m-2 or -0.64 W m-2/yr) and a slight dimming in NH (SSR = -0.65 W m-2 or -0.11 W m-2/yr), thus exhibiting a strong inter-hemispherical difference."

How do you like dem apples? Michaels is simply affirming the dimming trend observed. What a retard.

2011-07-24 20:21:11
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.82.223

Conceptually the Hatzianastassiou (2011) paper fits in with some of the papers I'm going through at the moment. It turns out that aersols have a far greater impact in more pristine regions, than in heavily polluted ones. The effects of increased aerosols are non-linear, once they reach a threshold they begin to work in the opposite direction, because the increased loading absorbs so much incoming sunlight it warms the cloud layers and causes them to evaporate.

In other words the extra aerosol load in heavily polluted areas causes a brightening effect. This phenomenon might explain recent surface solar radiation trends in China. Then there's the stratospheric trends from volcanic aerosols (Vernier (2011) which has caused a global dimming trend too. Guess that 'noughties' slow-down makes sense now. 

2011-07-25 05:57:30
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.238

Thanks Rob, I added a bit about Hatzianastassiou.  It's all very complicated because HadCRUT shows more of a decline in the warming trend in the SH, while GISTEMP shows more of a decline in the NH (in fact no decline in SH).  But Hatzianastassiou says there should be significantly more of an aerosol cooling effect in the SH.  But of course aerosols aren't the only temperature inflence - I don't know how ENSO varies between hemispheres.

Anyway, bottom line is that Michaels is grossly oversimplifying things.

2011-07-25 07:04:11
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.207.223

I understand the difference in ocean temp between GISS and NOAA, because NOAA use Reynolds version 3 - no satellite data because it has a cooling bias. But Hadley and GISS both use version 2 IIRC, so wonder what the difference is? Anyways, wandering off the beaten path now.