Table of Contents of Book in the Works

Attached here is a pdf copy of the Table of Contents of my upcoming book, which is presently titled The Flaws, Not Just the Pause.  I’m looking for feedback.  Basically, at this point in the process, what topics have I overlooked?  Please comment, and please do it on this thread.  If you were to comment elsewhere, I might miss them.  Wouldn’t want that.

I had hoped to have the book finished by September, but that completion time is slipping fast.


Bob Tisdale

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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21 Responses to Table of Contents of Book in the Works

  1. Gary says:


    The TOC is quite comprehensive and the scope of this project rivals some academic textbooks.

    My suggestions:
    1. Divide section 1 – Fundamentals into two parts: a) first describing the actual processes and b) then the climate modeling. Keeping the topics separated and in that order, rather than mixing the two, will lead the reader in a logical progression from foundation to superstructure.

    You also might explain why climate models have become so popular. It would be advantageous to point out instances where numerical models have been successful and why — for contrast to why climate models are flawed.

    2. In section 2, move the model forcing parts (2.1 and 2.2) to the end of the section, after natural variability has been grasped by the reader. Since natural processes are the basis of climate change, it make more sense to me to establish that firmly and then demonstrate that numerical models are artificial, even when skillful, and thus something less than reality.

    3. Nothing to add to section 3.

    4. In section 4, lead with a more neutral explanation of what is meant by the term “pause” and how it can mean different things to different people. Some review of the current controversy about it would help (duration, starting point, multiple pause “steps”, politicization, etc.).

    5. Section 5 is the clincher, so keep it clear and orderly — one flaw at a time.

  2. Jim Eagle says:

    Bob: This is a massive undertaking. This is one I will buy, and it doesn’t look like you’ve left anything out except the shabby treatment of skeptical scientists.

    Jim Eag

  3. majormike1 says:

    It looks very promising, Bob. I suggest a brief “begin at the beginning. The long glacial and short interglacial periods of the past million years show a very consistent cyclical pattern, probably an artifact of orbital variation. Within that framework, the oceans play their part, probably differently during an interglacial than a glacial. The glacial maximums are particularly interesting: where did all that moisture come from to fall as snow and build mile-high ice domes over Chicago? From an ice-free Arctic? Anyway, for a settled science, there certainly seems a lot left unknown.Thanks for working to shine light on the vast unknown.

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Gary, thanks for suggestions. I’m still trying to think of things climate models, those used for hindcasts and predictions, are successful at doing.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Jim Eagle and majormike1, thanks.

  6. Gary says:

    Bob, I was thinking of weather models, fluid dynamics models, water flow models, etc. Engineers have had reasonable success with numerical models because they’re simpler and the parameters are better controlled. By contrasting climate models with these you identify the specifics of where climate models make their leap of faith.

  7. John Reistroffer says:

    Hi Bob,
    I agree with majormike1. Some context on pre-historical warming and the related mechanisms is important, This would supply context to such a complicated system, it also fixes the fact that this is not a recent process but rather one that runs throughout all of Earth’s past and can be tied directly to the position and orientation of the earth with respect to the sun. It is unmistakable proof of ubiquitous warming and cooling long before we had evolved from fish.
    Milankovich cycles were responsible for 23 kyr, 40 kyr and 100-400 kyr orbital forcing which caused huge changes in our climate without the benefit of industrial CO2 production.
    It might be a bit of overkill, but in our distant past such as the Late Devonian, Mississippian, Aptian-Albian and Cenomanian-Turonian, in the absence of polar ice caps, oceanic circulation became drastically reduced resulting in well documented oceanic anoxic events that are well documented in the worldwide sedimentary record, where large volumes of the oceans stopped circulating in our “greenhouse” earth.

  8. Pingback: May 2014 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly Update | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  9. Pingback: May 2014 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly Update | Watts Up With That?

  10. dada says:

    Ah, the “citizen scientist” speaketh… the words of wisdom, hear hear!

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    dada, this citizen scientist writeth, not speaketh….maybe occasionally for YouTube videos.

  12. wernerkohl says:

    Hi Bob,
    this overview looks great and I hope you will sell a lot of copies!
    Besides the comments already posted I have nothing else to suggest. (I think in ch. 3.22 you will talk about proxys and the difficulties getting temperature values from them.)

    Your book could become the “climate bible” for laymans. I impatiently wait for it.

  13. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Werner. I wish I could write and prepare illustrations for it faster. But contrary to myth, I am only one person.

  14. In the section under ocean heat content I would include an estimate of the global energy increase using the Argo buoy data. This requires the use of different sources (NOAA, Lyman and Johnson, and others), and a description of the data infillling methods (if those can be found). I tend to think (but I´m not sure) the ocean heat content measured by buoys is still a bit uncertain, but that´s the most reliable data available.

    If we use the data (it´s a simple conversion of the joules per year for the whole surface converted to watts per meter squared to use the more conventional measurement), then we can see the increase in energy in the last decade is not as estimated by ANY GCM.

    My guess is the energy content of the column measured by the Argo buoys is about 85 % of the total above 2000 meters Below MSL (including atmosphere and all land masses). Therefore this is the key measurement available (the scientific community just needs to work on the way that data is massaged to arrive at a single figure for the whole planet in any given moment).

    In this section I would also discuss the energy input from geothermal sources. This is a very small amout of heat, but I noticed some readers expressed a concern that it wasn´t handled well in the general literature. As far as I can see, that flux is less than 0.1 watts per m2, and it represents a constant energy input from below to the surface (the way I visualize it the geothermal flux keeps the deep water layers slightly warmer than they would be, and this in turn reduces the energy flux from the surface into those deep layers).

    Another interesting point about the deep ocean energy content: We may be seeing a slight increase in sea level rise merely because the planet´s surface warmed after the ice age. In other words, is it possible the current interglacial energy transient is still warming up the deepest ocean? Just a musing or an entertaining thought on my part. I´m not sure about the energy transfer rate between the surface and water at say 3000 to 5000 meters below. I´m not sure if it´s treated as a known phenomenom, but is only modeled in static, not dynamic, fashion (???).

    So, in conclusion, the subject should be discussed in detail, because it´s just about the most reliable means to set global energy changes. Too bad we didn´t have the ability to take the deep water temperature 40 years ago.

    Good luck with the book, this type of literature is badly needed.

  15. Bob Tisdale says:

    Fernando, thanks for the comment. I will be presenting ARGO-era ocean heat content, with and without adjustments, and how that relates to radiative imbalance. In fact, I’ve already written those chapters and prepared the graphs, etc.


  16. Pamela Gray says:

    Hi Bob. You have read my comments regarding the possible role La Nada/El Nado and neutral-dead-stop-at-0 may have in predicting what is coming next. Your focus has been mostly on the two extreme oscillations. What thoughts do you have about what I call the slow dripping inbetween stage? I wonder if the length and composition of this Nada/neutral/Nado stage has an important role to play in predicting the “knee” of large scale oscillating La Nina/El Nino trends and can therefore be used as a predictive metric. Could it be that the length of a pause be able to tell us our future? And is there a plausible mechanism that would explain which way we are going to go at the “knee”?

  17. Pamela Gray says:

    Will you be addressing the consistent and nearly stable divergence in the ENSO models? The “statistical models” are always less El Nino-ish than the “dynamical models” (and I know why and so do you-AGW short term fudge factor). The third leg “consensus” model has been the cause of much mirth in me, transforming the group from, “I don’t know, what do you think?” consensus to ,”Lets calculate the ‘I don’t knows’ from the ‘what do you thinks?’ and create an algorithm of our sciencey discussions. It would be interesting to have a chapter on those models in addition to the GCM flaws.

  18. Bob Tisdale says:

    Pamela Gray says: “Will you be addressing the consistent and nearly stable divergence in the ENSO models?”

    I hadn’t planned on it. The ENSO models are a form of weather model, where my discussion of climate models pertain to those used to attribute global warming to man and to make long-term projections.

    Pamela Gray says: “What thoughts do you have about what I call the slow dripping inbetween stage?”

    Other than to say that the Pacific as a whole can generate some unusual spatial patterns in the sea surface temperatures during an extended ENSO neutral phase, I really haven’t studied the subject to any great extent.

  19. nzrobin says:

    Hi Bob,
    You are inspiration to us all — here’s a comment …

    As an aging electrical power engineer I remember being taught some basic thermodynamics about 4 decades ago.
    I wonder if one of the aspects that could be added is some discussion around enthalpy – the latent heats of evaporation and condensation. A description of how much energy is stored in the gas vs liquid.
    I suspect a quantification of this would show how huge the amounts of energy are transported laterally and vertically in the form of vapour and rainfall/snowfall. Some readers may not realise how much energy is transported about the place with apparently not much temperature differential.
    I have not tried to quantify the magnitudes involved but my gut tells me the numbers will very large compared to the presumed radiative properties of CO2.
    Very kind regards.
    And I’ll be looking forward to buying my copy to add to my collection.

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    Your working title seems more like a sub-title or, perhaps, the heading to an introduction. Neither “flaws” nor “pause” seems to reflect the major contents nor will they be much understood by the non-initiated in climate discussions. Something such as “Difficulties of Understanding Earth’s Climate” might be more appropriate and attract more readers, especially now neutral types.

    At “ 1 – ” the all CAPS heading seems to miss the mark on the content of this section. It appears the content is about the “approach” taken by researchers and others to mimic atmospheric warming. Describing this “approach” (radiative effects of gases and energy budgets) is not the same as presenting fundamentals of either GW or climate change.
    In “ 1.1 ” you use the word “surface” while the topics through 1.16 all relate to “atmosphere.”

    At 1.17 & 1.18 “the ocean” is introduced. This seems to be a change in content from what is before and after it, namely explaining about models.

    1.20 GW since 1880: Maybe this should be a 1.0 (right after the Intro). It seems to be basic historical information. Properly worded it could nicely lead into 1.1’s “Since the 1980s,” and so on.

    At 1.2 “Our Planet Was Poorly Named”
    I assume you are going for the water versus earth idea (surface area). An annoyance to me is when folks attribute the “Blue Planet” name to the ocean rather than the atmosphere. Or seem to. So, two things. First look at this image [text explains relative mass of water versus other (rock) for entire Earth – not just surface] …

    … and then look at this one
    When Sun light hits the ocean rather directly it is absorbed and the ocean will look black – not blue. Yet a great majority of Earth images will show the ocean as a pretty blue

    How do they do that?

  21. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks for the feedback, John.

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