A presentation such as this, going as straight to the point as this one does, will necessarily rely on a fairly extensive ‘back catalogue’ of supporting graphs, figures and clarifications, most of which were generated in response to the likely questions and objections that might arise along the way, in the course of the argument being set up. Seeing how addressing these at every turn and having to substantiate all choices made at each single step would bog down and/or sidetrack the presentation to such an extent that the overall message would ultimately become lost in the noise, they will however have to remain in the background for now, rather kept ready at hand for the next round, so to speak. My point is this: Let the argument, as it stands, be presented first, to its completion – and then bring on the critique.
INTRODUCTION – THE THEORY BEHIND
The ‘AGW (CO2) warming hypothesis’ (really just another name for ‘the general idea of an «enhanced greenhouse effect» causing global warming’) says that, as the total content of CO2 in the atmosphere rises over time, so will global temperatures – in short: «Temps should go up». The scientific method demands that any scientific hypothesis should be able to make predictions like this, statements or claims about the world that can be tested, thus allowing us to either strengthen or weaken our trust in the explanatory power of our hypothesis. However, if there is to be any point in performing such a test, the prediction being tested needs to be relevant, i.e. it should be more or less unique to our particular hypothesis. So is «Temps should go up» a relevant prediction? No. It’s a prediction, but it’s not a relevant one. Because it isn’t specific enough. It isn’t unique to the ‘CO2 warming hypothesis’. It cannot separate between one proposed cause and another. For example, ‘more solar heat being absorbed by the Earth system over time’ would be an alternative explanation of multidecadal global warming to the «enhanced-greenhouse-effect» proposition. Both would predict the world to get warmer. So how do you choose one over the other? You hone in on an observation that would be unique to your favoured explanation. And now you’ve got yourself a relevant prediction to be tested …!
We, after all, want to find the cause behind the observed effect (‘global warming’), not the effect itself – that has already been found. That’s merely our starting point.
Turns out the results from my last blog post were challenged even before I published them. In a paper from 2014, Allan et al., the alii notably including principal investigator of the CERES team, Dr. Norman Loeb, went about reconstructing the ToA net balance (including the ASR and OLR contributing fluxes) from 1985 onwards, just like I did; in fact, it’s all right there in the title itself: “Changes in global net radiative imbalance 1985–2012”. I missed this paper completely, even when specifically managing to catch and discuss (in the supplementing post, Addendum I) its follow-up (Allan, 2017). The results and conclusions of Allan et al., 2014, regarding the downward (SW) and upward (LW) radiative fluxes at the ToA and how they’ve evolved since 1985, appear to disagree to a significant extent with mine. I was only very recently made aware of the existence of this paper, by a commenter on Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog, “Nate”, when he was kind enough to notify me (albeit in an ever so slightly hostile manner):
This post contains three addenda to the next post; additional/further explorations that I feel have more of a tangential than a fundamental bearing on the main argument laid out there, still, I would say, providing some definite extra depth, scope and context to it. The figure numbering here will simply carry over from the main post (ending with number 31.), and all figures referred to in the text or captions below (but not in direct quotes) numbered somewhere between 1. and 31. will be from that post, unless otherwise noted.
In July I wrote a blog post where a strange and very conspicuous step change indeed in global mean temps relative to the trended AMO (North Atlantic SSTa), occurring across the 8-year period of 1963-70, was pointed out:
As you can clearly see, the two curves generally follow each other in remarkable style all the way from 1860 till today, except for the relatively sudden and substantial global upward shift taking place across the last half of the 60s, being firmly established by the end of 1970. After this point, the curves are back to tracking each other to an equally impressive degree as before the shift, only now with the global raised 0.25 degrees above the North Atlantic.