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It is time to update my widget comparing the global surface temperature, HadCRUT3 (red and blue), the IPC 2007 projection (green) and my empirical model (black thick curve and cyan area) based on a set of detected natural harmonics (period of approximately: 9.1, 10-11, 20 and 60 years) which are based on astronomical cycles, plus a corrected anthropogenic warming projection of about 0.9 oC/century. The yellow curve represents the harmonic model alone without the corrected anthropogenic warming projection and represents an average lower limit.

The proposed astronomically-based empirical model represents an alternative methodology to reconstruct and forecast climate changes (on a global scale, at the moment) which is alternative to the analytical methodology implemented in the IPCC general circulation models. All IPCC models are proven in my paper to fail to reconstruct all decadal and multidecadal cycles observed in the temperature since 1850. See details in my publications below.


As the figure shows, the temperature for Jan/2012 was 0.218 oC, which is a cooling respect to the Dec/2011 temperature, and which is about 0.5 oC below the average IPCC projection value (the central thin curve in the middle of the green area). Note that this is a very significant discrepancy between the data and the IPCC projection.

On the contrary, the data continue to be in reasonable agreement with my empirical model, which I remind, is constructed as a full forecast since Jan/2000.

In fact the amplitudes and the phases of the four cycles are essentially determined on the basis of the data from 1850 to 2000, and the phases are found to be in agreement with appropriate astronomical orbital dates and cycles, while the corrected anthropogenic warming projection is estimated by comparing the harmonic model, the temperature data and the IPCC models during the period 1970-2000. The latter finding implies that the IPCC general circulation models have overestimated the anthropogenic warming component by about 2.6 time on average, within a range between 2 to 4. See original papers and the dedicated blog article for details: see below.

The widget also attracted some criticisms from some readers of WUWT’s blog and fromskepticalscience

Anthony asked me to respond to the criticism, and I am happy to do so. I will respond five points.

  1. Criticism from Leif Svalgaard.

As many readers of this blog have noted, Leif Svalgaard continuously criticizes my research and studies. In his opinion nothing that I do is right or worth of consideration.

About my widget, Leif claimed many times that the data already clearly contradict my model: see here 123, etc.

In any case, as I have already responded many times, Leif’s criticism appears to be based on his confusing the time scales and the multiple patterns that the data show. The data show a decadal harmonic trending plus faster fluctuations due to ElNino/LaNina oscillations that have a time scale of a few years. The ENSO induced oscillations are quite large and evident in the data with periods of strong warming followed by periods of strong cooling. For example, in the above widget figure the January/2012 temperature is out of my cyan area. This does not mean, as Leif misinterprets, that my model has failed. In fact, such pattern is just due to the present La Nina cooling event. In a few months the temperature will warm again as the El Nino warming phase returns.

My model is not supposed to reconstruct such fast ENSO induced oscillations, but only the smooth decadal component reconstructed by a 4-year moving average as shown in my original paper figure: see here for the full reconstruction since 1850 where my models (blue and black lines) well reconstruct the 4-year smooth (grey line); the figure also clearly highlights the fast and large ENSO temperature oscillations (red) that my model is not supposed to reconstruct.

As the widget shows, my model predicts for the imminent future a slight warming trending from 2011 to 2016. This modulation is due to the 9.1 year (lunar/solar) and the 10-11 year (solar/planetary) cycles that just entered in their warming phase. This decadal pattern should be distinguished from the fast ENSO oscillations that are expected to produce fast periods of warming and fast period of cooling during these five years as it happened from 2000 to 2012. Thus, the fact that during LaNina cooling phase, as right now, the temperature may actually be cooling, does not constitute a “proof” that my model is “wrong” as Leif claimed.

Of course, in addition to twist numerous facts, Leif has also never acknowledged in his comments the huge discrepancy between the data and the IPCC projection which is evident in the widget. In my published paper [1], I did report in figure 6 the appropriate statistical test comparing my model and the IPCC projection against the temperature. The figure 6 is reported below


The figure reports a kind of chi-squared statistical test between the models and the 4-year smooth temperature component, as time progress. Values close to zero indicate that the model agrees very well with the temperature trending within their error range area; values above 1 indicate a statistically significant divergence from the temperature trending. It is evident from the figure above that my model (blue curve) agrees very well with the temperature 4-year smooth component, while the IPCC projection is always worst, and statistically diverges from the temperature since 2006.

I do not expect that Leif changes his behavior against me and my research any time soon. I just would like to advise the readers of this blog, in particular those with modest scientific knowledge, to take his unfair and unprofessional comments with the proper skepticism.

  1. Criticism about the baseline alignment between the data and the IPCC average projection model.

A reader dana1981 claimed that “I believe Scafetta’s plot is additionally flawed by using the incorrect baseline for HadCRUT3. The IPCC data uses a baseline of 1980-1999, so should HadCRUT.”

This reader also referred to a figure from skepticalscience, shown below for convenience,


that shows a slight lower baseline for the IPCC model projection relative to the temperature record, which give an impression of a better agreement between the data and the IPCC model.

The base line position is irrelevant because the IPCC models have projected a steady warming at a rate of 2.3 oC/century from 2000 to 2020, see IPCC figure SPM.5. See here with my lines and comments added


On the contrary, the temperature trending since 2000 has been almost steady as the figure in the widget clearly shows. Evidently, the changing of the baseline does not change the slope of the decadal trending! So, moving down the baseline of the IPCC projection for giving the illusion of a better agreement with the data is just an illusion trick.

In any case, the baseline used in my widget is the correct one, while the baseline used in the figure on skepticalscience is wrong. In fact, the IPCC models have been carefully calibrated to reconstruct the trending of the temperature from 1900 to 2000. Thus, the correct baseline to be used is the 1900-2000 baseline, that is what I used.

To help the readers of this blog to check the case by themselves, I sent Anthony the original HadCRUT3 data and the IPCC cmip3 multimodel mean reconstruction record from here . They are in the two files below:



As everybody can calculate from the two data records that the 1900-2000 average of the temperature is -0.1402, while the 1900-2000 average of the IPCC model is -0.1341.

This means that to plot the two records on the common 1900-2000 baseline, there is the need to use the following command in gnuplot

plot “HadCRUT3-month-global.dat”, “itas_cmip3_ave_mean_sresa1b_0-360E_-90-90N_na.dat” using 1:($2 – 0.0061)

which in 1850-2040 produces the following graph


The period since 2000 is exactly what is depicted in my widget.

The figure above also highlights the strong divergences between the IPCC model and the temperature, which are explicitly studied in my papers proving that the IPCC model are not able to reconstruct any of the natural oscillations observed at multiple scales. For example, look at the 60-year cycle I extensively discuss in my papers: from 1910 to 1940 a strong warming trending is observed in the data, but the warming trending in the model is far lower; from 1940 to 1970 a cooling is observed in the data while the IPCC model still shows a warming; from 1970 to 2000, the two records present a similar trending (this period is the one originally used to calibrate the sensitivities of the models); the strong divergence observed in 1940-1970, repeats since 2000, with the IPCC model projecting a steady warming at 2.3 oC/century , while the temperature shows a steady harmonically modulated trending highlighted in my widget and reproduced in my model.

As explained in my paper the failure of the IPCC model to reconstruct the 60-year cycle has large consequences for properly interpreting the anthropogenic warming effect on climate. In fact, the IPCC models assume that the 1970-2000 warming is 100% produced by anthropogenic forcing (compare figures 9.5a and 9.5b in the IPCC report) while the 60-year natural cycle (plus the other cycles) contributed at least 2/3 of the 1970-2000 warming, as proven in my papers.

In conclusion, the baseline of my widget is the correct one (baseline 1900-2000). My critics at skepticalscience are simply trying to hide the failure of the IPCC models in reconstructing the 60-year temperature modulation by just plotting the IPCC average simulation just since 2000, and by lowering the baseline apparently to the period 1960-1990, which is not where it should be because the model is supposed to reconstruct the 1900-2000 period by assumption.

It is evident that by lowering the base line a larger divergence would be produced with the temperature data before 1960! So, skepticalscience employed a childish trick of pulling a too small coversheet from a too large bed. In any case, if we use the 1961-1990 baseline the original position of the IPCC model should be shifted down by 0.0282, which is just 0.0221 oC below the position depicted in the figure above, not a big deal.

In any case, the position of the baseline is not the point; the issue is the decadal trend. But my 1900-2000 baseline is in the optimal position.