Lindzen and Choi's new paper out — confirms negative feedback, unlike AGW climate models

Abstract: To estimate climate sensitivity from observations, Lindzen and Choi [2009] used the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent responses in the top-of-atmosphere outgoing radiation from the ERBE satellite instrument. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SST were used to evaluate feedbacks. This work was subject to significant criticism by Trenberth et al. [2009], much of which was appropriate. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper in which the various criticisms are addressed and corrected. In this paper we supplement the ERBE data for 1985-1999 with data from CERES for 2000-2008. Our present analysis accounts for the 36 day precession period for the ERBE satellite in a more appropriate manner than in the earlier paper which simply used what may have been undue smoothing. The present analysis also distinguishes noise in the outgoing radiation as well as radiation changes that are forcing SST changes from those radiation changes that constitute feedbacks to changes in SST. Finally, a more reasonable approach to the zero-feedback flux is taken here. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics and extend the effect of these feedbacks to the global climate. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zero-feedback fluxes thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric GCMs [global climate models] forced by the observed SST are less than the zero-feedback fluxes consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The observational analysis implies that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.”  “On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications”  h/t The Hockey Schtick

Posts on Lindzen and Choi 2009 here, here, and here.

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8 Responses to “Lindzen and Choi's new paper out — confirms negative feedback, unlike AGW climate models”

  1. Eric Adler Says:

    The correction of Lindzen and Choi to their original paper, which they admitted was in error, was submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research Feb 2010.
    The paper is not really out yet. It has not been published, and it is not clear if it has been accepted for publication. I guess the Journal has been bitten once, and is not eager to publish something by these authors a second time. I am sure it will get a more thorough review this time.

  2. jblethen Says:

    The abstract indicates that the original paper (Lindzen and Choi (2009)) “was subject to significant criticism by Trenberth et al. [2009], much of which was appropriate”, which is addressed (corrected) in the 2010 paper. However the results of the 2009 paper still stand in the 2010 paper.

    It is not surprising that it hasn’t been published yet, considering the gauntlet of hostile “hockey team” reviewers that must be run in order to publish. See Refutation of Steig et al. 2009 finally published and McKitrick and Nierenberg 2010 Rebuts Another Team Article

  3. jblethen Says:

    The new paper has now been accepted for publication by the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences after Lindzen gave up on getting it published in PNAS. It confirms all the results of the 2009 paper. Read about Lindzen’s difficulties with PNAS here.

  4. Rob Says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for following up on the Lindzen and Choi saga.
    As a physicist, what do you make of the large amount of scientific flaws in Lindzen and Choi 2009 ? And Lubos Motl’s exposure of one of the most blatant of these flaws back in 2010, right around the same time that this paper (with the blatant flaw and all) was promoted on Fox News as the “end of the (AGW) scam” ?

    And what, as a physicist, do you make of the contradictions in findings between Lindzen and Choi 2011 and other papers (Trenberth et al 2010, and two others) which analyzed the same data with the same methods (FLUX/SST analysis to obtain climate sensitivity) ?

    An unexplained inconsistency between scientific finding that caused Lindzen’s paper to be rejected by at least 2 reviewers at PNAS.

    And what do you think of the negative feedback bias in Lindzen and Choi 2011 “lead and lag” method, which I explained in a post on Judith Curry’s blog :
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/10/lindzen-and-choi-part-ii/#comment-75640

    Just curious : Considering the vast amount of scientific flaws in Lindzen’s work exposed, as a physicist and a scientist, do you still think that “results of the 2009 paper still stand” ? Or do you think it is time to reconsider Lindzen’s extremely low sensitivity results, and instead look at the other scientists that report contradictory results from the same (ERBE) satellite data ?

  5. jblethen Says:

    Rob, your comment on Lubos’ blog back in 2009 concerning the Lindzen & Choi 2009 zero-feedback error was well taken, as noted by Lubos, but LC2011 has corrected that error.

    LC2011 explains (p. 11) why their results differ from those of Trenberth et al. 2010 and Dessler 2010. You claim their lead-lag method has a negative-feedback bias, but you have not confirmed that quantitatively.

  6. Rob Says:

    John,
    Fig 11 shows the temperature response given a feedback factor. It’s a mathematical formula given the definition of feedback factor.

    How does this explain how the feedback factor obtained by Lindzen differs from the feedback factor obtained by Trenberth and Dessler and half a dozen other scientists using the same ERBE data ?

    You claim their lead-lag method has a negative-feedback bias, but you have not confirmed that quantitatively

    That is the statement a passive, ignorant bystander could make. But not a scientist.
    A scientist would respond with “Rob, you are talking out of your arse, and this is why”, or “Rob, you have a point, and the bias is given the standard deviation in the FLUX noise and the SST noise”.

    So I ask you again John, as a scientist, what do you think of the negative feedback bias in Lindzen and Choi 2011 “lead and lag” method ?

  7. jblethen Says:

    Rob, I said page 11, not figure 11.

    Re your claim of negative-feedback bias, I don’t know if you have a point of if “you are talking out of your arse.” I don’t see that your qualitative claim (as expressed in Judith’s and Lubos’ blogs comments) is necessarily true. Why don’t you work it up quantitatively?

  8. jblethen Says:

    Interestingly, Dessler 2010 analysis using CERES clear-sky data and HadCRUT3 data yields negative cloud feedback. Also, Dessler 2010 analysis using HadCRUT3 data and a 4-month lag also yields negative cloud feedback.

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