Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New paper shows no "hot spot" as predicted by climate models, invalidates AGW

A paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters shows the mythical "hot spot" in the upper troposphere predicted by climate models is indeed still missing. The paper shows little change in the upper tropospheric temperature measured by radiosondes and satellites from 1979-2011, while climate models instead predicted a significant increase over the same period. The paper confirms others showing that the so-called "fingerprint" of man-made global warming does not exist and therefore the computer models are based upon incorrect assumptions.

Related posts on the fabled "hot spot" 

Key Points
  • Warming amplification in models exceeds satellite-observed
  • Comparisons of models with radiosonde data only partially support this finding
  • Results are sensitive to dataset choice and upper tropospheric level analyzed
Dian J. Seidel
Air Resources Laboratory, NOAA, College Park, Maryland, USA
Melissa Free
Air Resources Laboratory, NOAA, College Park, Maryland, USA
James S. Wang
Air Resources Laboratory, NOAA, College Park, Maryland, USA
Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
A recent study of 1979–2010 tropical tropospheric temperature trends in climate model simulations and satellite microwave sounding unit (MSU) observations concluded that, although both showed greater warming in the upper than lower troposphere, the vertical amplification of warming was exaggerated in most models. We repeat that analysis of temperature trends, vertical difference trends, and trend ratios using five radiosonde datasets. Some, but not all, comparisons support the notion that vertical amplification in models exceeds that observed. However, larger ranges of radiosonde trends compared with those for MSU, and the sensitivity of results to the upper-tropospheric level analyzed, make it difficult to conclude unambiguously that models are inconsistent with radiosonde observations. The larger ranges are due to the availability of more radiosonde datasets with different approaches for adjusting measurement biases. Together these two studies highlight challenges of using imperfect observations of tropical tropospheric temperature over a few decades to assess climate model performance.


  1. Of course there's no hot spot. There's no evidence at all for any radiative greenhouse effect either.

    Science should always be backed up by empirical evidence, so I thought I'd summarise what empirical evidence exists for the main points I have made. Links and references for all these have been provided in previous posts and/or papers and articles (such as this) which I have provided before.

    There is empirical evidence ...

    (a) that the heat transfer between two blackbodies is in accord with the quantification in Section 4 of my paper.

    (b) that air in equilibrium in a tall sealed insulated container will be warmer at the base than at the top, the difference being explained by the same adiabatic lapse rate which is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity - no coincidence.

    (c) that placing a cool blackbody close to a warmer one does slow the radiative rate of cooling of the warm one.

    (d) that evaporative cooling accelerates to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling of the water surfaces.

    (e) that low clouds at night slow overall cooling of the land surface at night, this being because the compensating effect of conduction takes a longer period.

    (f) that surplus thermal energy in the atmosphere (causing temperatures above the plot based on the lapse rate) will be radiated away

    (g) that radiation from a cooler atmosphere does not transfer thermal energy to a warmer surface, and nor does conduction or convection.

    (h) that the surface temperatures of all planets with atmospheres can only be explained using the solar intensity and the adiabatic lapse rate. This is very clear cut on Venus where the surface hardly receives or emits any energy, so most heating of the atmosphere occurs when the atmosphere absorbs incoming Solar radiation. You cannot explain Venus temperatures using any radiative greenhouse effect, because such does not exist here, there or anywhere.

    1. Thanks Doug & agreed

      Also, the "hot spot" would require an impossible reduction in entropy, prohibited by the 2nd law, and therefore it has not formed and never will form.

    2. Regarding (c) above. Would the temperature differece between the 2 bodies be a factor in the rate of cooling?

  2. Very irritating when they don't cite the papers they don't like (by Christy and Douglass).

    See also the new paper by Po-Chedley and Fu at .


  3. This paper is one of a series of "climb down" papers in the debate about the tropical hot spot. In late 2007, Douglass had a paper accepted showing the inconsistency between models and tropical trophosphere temperature measurements (see ) which had been known for a decade. This paper caused Ben Santer to go ballistic (his first draft reply was over 90 pages) and the final publication of the Douglass paper was delayed until the publishing of the Santer "rebuttal" (but without giving Douglass et. al. any chance of reply). However, within two months the Santer publication was evicerated by McIntyre and McKitrick, who showed that the Santer analysis did not survive updated data. Althouth their paper was not published (due mainly to the climate activist network subvewrting peer review) it was fatal for the "team" trying to ignore the discrepancy. The "team" seems to be able to ignore compelling argument from outside their group, but the final analysis that made it impossible to ignore the discrepancies was the paper (referenced in the current Seidel paper), by Fu, Manabe and Johanson (2011, GRL). Since Dr. Manabe is one of the "godfathers" of AGW climate modeling, his paper showing signficant differences between models and observations could not be ignored, and eventually Santer published a paper last year accepting that the discrepancies are real (although he "favored" the explanation of problems in observations rather than model deficiencies) (Thorne,, JGL, 2011). They admitted "agreement between models, theory, and observations within the troposphere is uncertain over 1979 to 2003 and nonexistent above 300 hPa".

    Melissa Free is one of the co-authors of the present paper, and was a co-author of the "evicerated" 2008 Santer paper mentioned above.

    Finally, they should have cited the two papers by Ross McKitrick on exactly this topic (see and the new paper in Climate Dynamics at .


  4. Doug,

    C, only applies in a vacuum.

    Therefore it has no place in discussions about the so called "greenhouse effect" hypothesis or AGW fraud.

    By the same token, (i.e. we do not live in a vacuum) d is also irrelevant.

    Sorry, no bony for Roy Spencer.

    Will Pratt

  5. McIntyre and McKitrick was published, just stalled by the 'Team' for 18 months.