Firstly, credit to Sou at HotWhopper for the wondering part of the title. It seems too apt to not use it. It appears that either Willis Eschenbach is back from his tour of Great Britain or he’s had a moment to write a post for Watts Up With That (WUWT). It relates to the, soon to be released, IPCC AR5 report and is called Eruptions over the IPCC AR5.
The post discusses how volcanic aerosols influence surface temperature anomalies. Volcanic aerosols reflect sunlight back into space and hence have a cooling effect. Willis attempts to show that the effect is small by removing any long- and medium-term trends from the surface temperature record (essentially, it seems, by subtracting some kind of mean value from the surface temperature anomalies). Essentially, he appears to be considering only the variations about the mean and then shows that when he compares this with periods when there were volcanoes, there is a very small volcanic effect. It all seems a little silly to me as it seems like he’s removed most of the volcanic effect when he removed the trends, so all he’s shown is that volcanoes only have a small effect on the short-term, random variations.
Rather than actually discuss Willis’s post in detail, I thought I would – instead – highlight a particular paragraph. Willis says
I am a climate heretic. I say that the current climate paradigm, that forcing determines temperature, is incorrect. I hold that changes in forcing only marginally and briefly affect the temperature. Instead, I say that a host of emergent thermostatic phenomena act quickly to cool the planet when it is too warm, and to warm it when it is too cool.
So, according to Willis, surface temperatures don’t really respond to radiative forcings. Instead they respond to emergent thermostatic phenomena which, as far as I can tell, is simply another way of saying it’s all just magic.