Monday, April 7, 2014

Climate Forecasting for the 21st Century

1. The AR5 Reports and Responses.

Following the publication in early August of the final drafts of the AR5  WG1 and Summary for Policymakers   I posted an initial response at
http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/10/commonsense-climate-science-and.html
The opening sentences of  the post summarized the main failure of the AR5 report and indeed the whole IPCC process.

"In the AR5 Summary for Policymakers the IPCC glossed over  the developing cooling trend in global temperatures and so lost the last vestige of its scientific credibility and any claim to be a source of useful guidance on future climate trends for policymakers."

The key factor in making CO2 emission  control policy and the basis for the WG2 and 3 sections of AR5 is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5  - WG1 the IPCC itself is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)

"The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations "

In plain English this means that the IPCC contributors  have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that there is no credible  basis for the WG 2 and 3 reports and that the Government policy makers  have no empirical scientific basis for the UNFCCC process and their  economically destructive  climate and energy policies.

In spite of this the while forecasting about the same amount of future warming as the 2007 AR4 report  the AR5 SPM  report irresponsibly  raised the certainty of the IPCC  forecasts and attributions from 90 - 95% in order to give the impression of more certainty after another 6 years of new  data and work.

The response to AR5  WG1 by the establishment scientists  in the USA and the UK who have invested their scientific reputations and careers in promoting CAGW has been entirely predictable.
On the science side several different ad hoc explanations for the pause have been put forward. Check
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/26/warming-interrruptus-causes-for-the-pause/
Of these the Trenberth's attempt to bury the missing heat  in the Oceans is probably the most popular. However this hidey hole was effectively plugged  by the latest analysis of the Argo data which shows a 90% reduction in the OHC anomalies in 0- 100m water depths from 1983- 2011 compared with 2004-2011. see Table 1 in
 http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_final.pdf
This table also shows significant, although smaller reductions, in the 0 - 300 and 0 -700m depths. In short the oceans are cooling from the top down as one might expect on a cooling planet.

There has been a concerted effort by the political propaganda arms of the establishment Societies
to mislead the MSM and  the public and the Politicians about the findings and implications of the AR5 WG1 report.  See for example
http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/
This document is a scientific shambles  and degrades the standing of science in general.see
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/27/climate-alarm/

The recent NAS /Royal Society report is another propaganda piece along the same lines
http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2014/03/03/new-global-warming-report-a-disgrace-posted-by-tom-harris/
Meanwhile the Obama administration guided by Holdren and Podesta is trying to support its power grab over the US economy via the EPA with its new Climate Data Initiative discussed at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/19/new-impossible-to-ignore-climate-data-spin-initiative-announced-by-the-white-house/

The IPCC lead editors had  already  recognized in their 2011 SREX - Summary for policy makers that in order to support the UNFCC process they had to avoid discussing or dismiss  the temperature trends (pause) as much as possible and try to provide for their Political paymasters scare headlines based on extreme events. They say
“Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”.
SREX  stands for Special Report on Extreme Events and this report drew attention to the probabilities of such events.
The AR5  WG2  impacts report SPM continues the sorry disconnect between the SPMs  and the WG1 and 2 reports themselves.as the political alarmist agenda strives to provide frightening headlines for the MSM and Politicians to justify their climate and energy policies. For specific documentation see

 http://www.climate-resistance.org/2014/04/ipcc-a-damp-squib.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climate-resistance%2FwCKX+%28Climate+Resistance%29

2. The problem with IPCC science and Forecasting in General.
The IPCC forecasters are still trying to scare the public into continuing to fund their failed and futile modeling approach to forecasting and  disappointingly  most contrarians (empirical realists ) still continue to argue using the same basic approach as the IPCC but just come up with lower numbers for the future warming and reduced climate sensitivity. The realist scientists themselves need take on board the fact that the Modeling technique is inherently useless for climate forecasting because models with such a large number of variables simply cannot be computed or indeed even initialized with sufficient precision and accuracy.
see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvhipLNeda4
 
The IPCC itself has been quite open about this and in practice the modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting and have indeed said so in the WG1 reports. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
“Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don't know what future temperatures will be and we can't calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2.This also begs a further question of what erroneous  assumptions (e.g. that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the "plausible" models to be tested anyway. This means that the successive SPM  uncertainty estimates take no account of the structural uncertainties  in  the models and that almost the entire the range of model outputs may well lay outside the range of the real world future climate variability.

The entire IPCC output falls into the not even wrong category and provides no basis for serious discussion yet again most anti alarmist bloggers and almost all the MSM pundits continue to refer to  the IPCC forecasts as though they had some connection to the real world.


3. The Solution

A different non modeling approach must be used for forecasting . Forecasts of the timing and amount of a possible  coming cooling based on the 60 and 1000 year natural quasi-periodicities in the temperature and using the neutron count and 10Be record as the best proxy for solar activity are presented in several posts at
http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

During  the last eighteen months I have  laid out an analysis  of the basic climate data and of methods used in climate prediction and from these have developed a simple, rational and  transparent forecast of the likely coming  cooling.
 For details see the pertinent posts listed below.
10/30/12. Hurricane Sandy-Extreme Events and Global Cooling
11/18/12  Global Cooling Climate and Weather Forecasting
1/22/13    Global Cooling Timing and Amount
2/18/13    Its the Sun Stupid - the Minor Significance of CO2
4/2/13      Global Cooling Methods and Testable Decadal Predictions.
5/14/13    Climate Forecasting for Britain's Seven Alarmist Scientists and for UK Politicians.
7/30/13    Skillful (so far) Thirty year Climate Forecast- 3 year update and Latest Cooling Estimate.
10/9/13    Commonsense Climate Science and Forecasting after AR5 and the Coming Cooling.

The capacity of the establishment IPCC contributing modelers and the academic science community in general to avoid the blindingly obvious natural periodicities in the temperature record is truly mind blowing.
It is very obvious- simply by eye balling the last 150 years of temperature data that there is a 60 year natural quasi periodicity at work. Sophisticated statistical analysis actually doesn’t add much to eyeballing the time series. The underlying trend can easily be attributed to the 1000 year quasi periodicity. See Figs 3 and 4 at
http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/10/commonsense-climate-science-and.html

The 1000 year period looks pretty good at 10000,9000,8000,7000, 2000.1000. and 0
This would look interesting  I’m sure on a wavelet analysis with the peak fading out from 7000- 3000.
The same link also provides an estimate of the timing and extent of possible future cooling using the recent peak as a synchronous peak in both the 60 and 1000 year cycles and the neutron count as supporting evidence of a coming cooling trend as it appears the best proxy for solar “activity” while remaining agnostic as to the processes involved.
I suppose the problem for the academic establishment is that this method really only requires a handful of people with some insight ,understanding and the necessary background of knowledge and experience as opposed to the army of computer supported modelers who have dominated the forecasting process until now.
There has been no net warming for 16 years and the earth entered a cooling trend in about 2003 which will last for another 20 years and perhaps for hundreds of years beyond that. see

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/annual.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat

The current weather patterns in the UK and USA are typical of those developed by the more meridional path of the jet stream on a cooling earth. The Fagan book “The Little Ice Age ” is a useful guide from the past to the future. The frequency of these weather patterns, e.g. for the USA the PDO related drought in California and the Polar Vortex excursions to the South will increase as cooling continues
The views of the establishment scientists in the USA and of  the UK's  CSA and  Met office’s leaders   in this matter post AR5 reveals their continued refusal to recognize and admit the total failure of the climate models in the face of the empirical data of the last 16 years. It is past time for the climate community to move to another approach based on pattern recognition in the temperature and driver data and also on the recognition of the different frequencies of different regional weather patterns on a cooling ( more meridional jet stream ) and warming (more latitudinal jet stream ) world.
All of the warming since the LIA can easily be accommodated within the 1000 year natural cycle without any significant contribution from anthropogenic CO2.
The whole UNFCCC travelling circus has no empirical basis for its operations and indeed for its existence depending as it does on the predictions of the inherently useless climate models.. The climate is much too complex to model but can be predicted by simply knowing where we are in the natural quasi -cycles.
In order to counter the IPCC and MSM's  Pravda like catastrophic warming propaganda independent empirical scientists need to publicize the possibility of a coming cooling and other methods of forecasting  in the social media, the blogosphere ,letters to editors and especially in e mails and letters to politicians.
Because successive  British CSAs  and the US EPA are too lazy or not willing for political reasons to do their own assessments but merely regurgitate the IPCC party line the logical next step would be to urge legislators  at all levels to call for non IPCC sourced independent assessments of future climate trends based on multiple working hypotheses so that impact studies would be broadened to include a degree or two of cooling as an alternative scenario.
The CAGW emperor has no clothes and winter may be on its way. We should take a clear eyed look at what may be in store.

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