Monthly Archives: February 2011

Agreeing(?): Part II

by Judith Curry

Part one has engendered considerable discussion.  In addition to the discussion at the Blackboard, Roger Pielke Sr. has written an essay entitled “Missing the point of sensitivity” which is discussed at WUWT.  Josh has prepared a cartoon:


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Agreeing(?)

by Judith Curry

On Lucia Liljegren’s Blackboard (commonly categorized as a “lukewarmer” site), Zeke has a post titled “Agreeing.”    Zeke’s motivation for this is:

My personal pet peeve in the climate debate is how much time is wasted on arguments that are largely spurious, while more substantive and interesting subjects receive short shrift. While I’m sure a number of folks will disagree with me on what is spurious vs. substantive, I think it would be useful to outline which parts of the debate I feel are relatively certain, are somewhat uncertain, and quite uncertain.

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Hiding the Decline. Part V: Discussion

by Judith Curry

The other threads are having problems with the reply threading, here is a new thread that will hopefully facilitate the discussion

Hiding the Decline. Part IV: Beautiful Evidence

by Judith Curry

Continuing the themes of conflict prevention and best practices developed in Part III, I would like to discuss some pages from Edward Tufte’s book Beautiful Evidence, which was introduced here by Steve Mosher (seconded by MrPete).  Of particular relevance is a chapter entitled “Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations: Effects Without Cause, Cherry Picking, Punning, Chartjunk.”

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Hiding the Decline: Part III

by Judith Curry

On the Part II thread, John Nielsen-Gammon summarized the constructive suggestions as follows.  I’ve edited this to intersperse additional comments from John N-G and also Steve Mosher’s comments on these suggestions:

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Hiding the Decline: Part II

by Judith Curry

The significance of the debate over the hockey stick and “hide the decline” is the following:

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Hiding the Decline

by Judith Curry

To date, I’ve kept Climate Etc.  a “tree ring free zone,” since the issues surrounding the hockey stick are a black hole for conflict and pretty much a tar baby, IMO.  Further, paleoproxies are outside the arena of my personal research expertise, and I find my eyes glaze over when I start reading about bristlecones, etc.  However, two things this week have changed my mind, and I have decided to take on one aspect of this issue: the infamous “hide the decline.”

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Pseudo-science versus skepticism

by Judith Curry

John Beddington, Chief Science Advisor to the UK government, goes to war against bad science (h/t BishopHill, dated Feb 14):

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Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation. Part XII: Ravetz’s lecture

by Judith Curry

Over at WUWT, Jerome Ravetz has a guest post, which includes the text of his lecture at the public event in Lisbon, which is entitled “Nonviolence in science?”.  I’ve excerpted what I regard as the more interesting points to serve as the focus for discusion.

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Believing Science

by Thomas G. Brown
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At six, my son began his dinosaur phase.  Like many precocious youngsters, he had the multisyllabic names mastered, could cite the diet of the dinosaurs and in some cases knew the height and weight.   At a time when Jurassic Park was still on the drawing board,  my son lived and breathed dinosaurs.  Somewhere in our attic collection sits a set of prehistoric creatures fashioned in molded plastic — figures that my son never doubted were true representations of the original.
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Long before computer aided reconstruction of skeletal remains became possible, artistic representation of scientific conjecture has been used to ignite the imagination of a public eager for scientific stories while unable (or unwilling) to grasp the methods used in the analysis.  And textbook editors have often found the artists’ depictions more compelling than the scientific results–the most enduring images of dinosaurs are not the fossils, bones and dating methods but the flesh and blood fiction of a Jurassic Park. And the enduring images of evolution are not the robustness of genetics and the amazing adaptation of species in response to environmental changes.   Instead,  the general public is treated to artistic representations of evolutionary ancestry that may, or may not, fit the latest genome research.
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U.S. to kill funding for the IPCC?

by Judith Curry

Rick Piltz at Climate Science Watch reports that the U.S. House of Representatives votes 244-179 to kill funding for the UN IPCC.

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Epistemology of Disagreement

by Judith Curry

For the paper that I am writing on uncertainty and the IPCC, I am including a section on “Consensus, Disagreement, and Argument Justification.”  While googling around on this this topic, I encountered a fascinating body of work by Princeton philosopher Thomas Kelly, which I find mind-blowingly relevant to the climate conflict.  Here are some excerpts from a few of his papers that I found to be particularly provocative.

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On the consilience of evidence argument

On the Uncertainty and the AR5 thread, Fred Moolten and Paul Dunmore provide starkly different arguments for reasoning about multiple lines of evidence.  This issue gets to the heart of the source of much disagreement in the scientific debate about climate change.

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Attribution of Extreme Events: Part II

by Judith Curry

In Part I, I was very unconvinced by strategies for attributing extreme events to global warming.  Today, two new papers have been published in Nature that attribute the recent heavy rains to global warming.  For a summary, see this article linked to at Huffington Post.  The article said:

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Mid 20th Century Global(?) Warming: Part II

by Judith Curry

Part I addressed the mid-20th century surface temperature “bump” (peaking circa 1940).  The IPCC AR4 states in  the figure caption for FAQ3.1, Figure 1:

From about 1940 to 1970 the increasing industrialisation following World War II increased pollution in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing to cooling, and increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases dominate the observed warming after the mid-1970s.

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Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation. Part XI: Convinced or Unconvinced?

by Judith Curry

Josh’s Valentine cartoon has the caption “Share the Love, Man” with a valentine aimed at Lisbon. Almost three weeks after the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation, is anything new evident from the participants that is of relevance to reconciliation?

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The Principles of Reasoning. Part III: Logic and climatology

by Terry Oldberg
copyright by Terry Oldberg 2011

As originally planned, this essay was to end after Part II. However, Dr. Curry has asked me to address the topic of logic and climatology in a Part III. By the following remarks I respond to her request.

I focus upon the methodologies of the pair of inquiries that were conducted by IPCC Working Group 1 (WG1) in reaching the conclusions, in its year 2007 report, that:

  • “There is considerable confidence that Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change…” [1] and
  • the equilibrium climate sensitivity (TECS) is “likely” to lie in the range 2oC to 4.5oC [2].

I address the question of whether these methodologies were logical.

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Blame on Heartland, Cato, Marshall, etc.

by Judith Curry

On the Chris Colose thread,  Andy Lacis wrote:

So, like the tobacco companies before them, they have elected to muddy the waters by deliberately sowing misinformation to confuse and bamboozle the public understanding of what is happening with global climate.

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Uncertainty and the IPCC AR5: Part II

by Judith Curry

I am currently digging into the treatment of uncertainty in the IPCC AR5, pursuant to Part I and the paper that I am writing for Climate Change.

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(Forthcoming) New Surface Temperature Record

by Judith Curry

The preparation of a new land surface temperature record was heralded last week in this news article entitled “Professor counters global warming myths with data.”  The article states:

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study was conducted with the intention of becoming the new, irrefutable consensus, simply by providing the most complete set of historical and modern temperature data yet made publicly available, so deniers and exaggerators alike can see the numbers.

So what is this all about?

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Scale of the clean energy challenge

by Judith Curry

David Roberts at Grist has a really interesting post entitled “The gobsmackingly gargantuan challenge of shifting to clean energy.”  The post is based upon an excellent presentation by Saul Griffith.   Griffith considers a target  of 450 ppm.  The punchline of his analysis:

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Spatio-temporal chaos

by Tomas Milanovic

There are scientists who equate chaos to randomness. I’d put that category at 90%.

There are scientists who equate chaos with Lorenz. They have seen the butterfly attractor picture one day or the other. They know that chaos is not randomness but not much more. I’d put that category at 9%.

There are then scientists who know what is chaos and really understand it. I’d put that category at 1% and much less for the climate scientists.

The chaos one could and should we be talking about as far as climate is concerned is spatio-temporal chaos.

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On Being a Scientist

by Judith Curry

The National Academies has published a new edition of its book:

ON BEING A SCIENTIST
A GUIDE TO RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT IN RESEARCH

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Decadal variability of clouds

by Robert Ellison (Chief Hydrologist)

The theory and estimation of the role of cloud in changing Earth’s dynamic energy balance is an area of fundamental weakness in climate science.  Low level stratiform cloud forms over cool ocean water and dissipates over warm.  The Pacific Ocean is where sea surface temperature (SST) varies most.  SST changes dramatically across the Pacific Ocean as a result of a shifting balance between cold, turbulent, nutrient rich and acidic water rising in the eastern Pacific and the suppression of upwelling of sub-surface currents by a warm surface layer.  A thermally enhanced satellite image as of the 7th of February 2011 can be found at this NOAA site.  It shows the ‘V’ shaped wedge of cold water typical of the 20 to 40 year cool La Niña dominant mode of the Pacific multi-decadal pattern.  It covers a good part of the planet.

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Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation. Part X: Alarmists vs Deniers

by Judith Curry

On Jan 28, a group of climate scientists supporting the IPCC consensus wrote a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators.

On Feb 8, a group of scientists skeptical of the IPCC consensus countered with their letter to members of the U.S. Congress.

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