Update on Spencer & Braswell: Part II

by Judith Curry

Given the substantial number of comments on Part I, I’m starting a new thread to discuss the post by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick, and Pielke Sr’s response.

The article by Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham, and Peter Gleick is entitled:

Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science

published on the Daily Climate on September 2 2011.

This appears to be  the Climate Rapid Response Team in action; I know that Abraham is one of the leaders of this and Trenberth is on the team.

The title pretty much says it all.  The “damaging impact” of someone’s science?  What damage is being done?  I find this whole concept of someone’s science being damaging as rather scary, and it is not Spencer’s science that I find scary.  Not a proud moment for the Team.

Pielke’s response starts with:

There is an opinion article at Daily Climate that perpetuates serious misunderstandings regarding the research of Roy Spencer and John Christy. It also is an inappropriate (and unwarranted) person attack on their professional integrity. Since I have first hand information on this issue, I am using my weblog to document the lack of professional decorum by Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick.

Pielke concludes with:

Roy Spencer is hardly discredited because there are papers that disagree with his analysis and conclusions.  This will sort itself out in the peer-reviewed literature after he has an opportunity to respond with a follow on paper, and/or a Comment/Reply exchange.  Similarly, John Christy can respond to the Santer et al paper that is referred to in the Trenberth et al article.

What is disturbing, however, in the Trenberth et al article is its tone and disparagement of two outstanding scientists. Instead of addressing the science issues, they resort to statements such as Spencer and Christy making “serial mistakes”.  This is truly a hatchet job and will only further polarize the climate science debate

JC conclusion:  Count me in Pielke’s corner on this one.  The Team is trying to cash in on this event to bolster the credibility of Team science.  This is not the way to do it, and this kind of behavior, particularly from Trenberth who is in a position of responsibility at a government lab, Chair of GEWEX and as a participant of the IPCC, will backfire on them.

The GEWEX link between Wagner and Trenberth seems to provide motivation for the letter to Trenberth.  An apparent gatekeeping issue, in response to a leaky gate.  Learn anything from Climategate, anyone?

845 responses to “Update on Spencer & Braswell: Part II

  1. The resignation by itself seemed a little too over-wrought. The Trenbeth et. al response seems too juvenile. Climate science culture seems like a musical with too much over-(re)acting.

    • It is not just the avalanche of S-B downloads, but the way the paper was hyped in the press as a near-falsification of AGW, which is what caused the avalanche. For many AGW proponents this massive overreaction put the paper into the category of quackery, hence the resignation.

      One of the primary roles of peer review is to weed out quackery, which is always around science. Many AGW proponents believe that skepticism is quackery, a denial of obvious truth, so they work hard to keep it out of the literature. This is how a paradigm comes to dominate a field of science, which is a good thing in most cases. The science settles and the field moves on to new issues. This is progress. It is a bad thing when the science has become politicized, because the science is clearly not settled and the advocacy is political, not scientific.

      • You need to read Pielke’s paper. He sets forth the duties of a journal editor with perfect clarity. Wagner had the option of beginning the formal retraction process or encouraging responses from critics of Spencer’s paper. Wagner did neither. Wagner violated his duties by publicly criticizing the journal’s staff and managing editor, rendered a summary opinion on Spencer’s paper, and several other actions including a bizarre apology to Trenberth.

        Wagner’s stated reasons for being so upset include the bizarre reason that what appeared on private blogs and in the news media was over the top. Excuse me, but if such considerations are to influence journal editors in their official actions then science is finished.

      • Wagner violated his duties by publicly criticizing the journal’s staff and managing editor

        What part of his duties forbid criticizing his co-workers?

        I find this sudden passion for holding the line, refraining from criticism, and keeping arguments about science inside the academy and away from editorials and blogs, quite . . . convenient.

      • What part of his duties forbid criticizing his co-workers?

        Any manager that criticizes his subordinates in public is an extremely poor manager. That’s the job of a manager, to set quality standards and enforce them.

      • Apparently, you have not held a job. Publicly criticizing your employees causes unnecessary harm to them. If they have problems, you should discipline them within the context of your agreements, even to the point of firing them. But public criticism is gratuitous and makes you actionable for defamation.

      • They are not his co-workers, they are his subordinates. By his own admission, they did exactly what they should have. He insinuates that they were corrupt. With no proof and obliquely.

        This is close to actionable.

      • “That’s the job of a manager, to set quality standards and enforce them.”

        And he failed to do so, which is why he is resigning. You might have a case is he failed to take personal responsibility, but obviously he does.

      • Robert,
        He failed in maintaining reasonable standards WHEN he resigned. He had been doing everything quite well up to that point. I was going to have a go at explaining it to you, but I followed the link to your website. Really, linking mass murderers to climate “deniers”? Talking ethical standards to you would be link discussing the finer points of Tango with a goldfish.

      • Really, linking mass murderers to climate “deniers”?

        A climate denier committed mass murder. Whether you think that is a meaningful “link” or not is up to you. I report, you decide. 8)

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, An AGW believer also committed mass murder… tell me how your argument squares with this.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/world/middleeast/30binladen.html

        Peter Wilson, thanks for the pointer.

      • John Carpenter

        Sorry Robert, the link is broken… just google ‘Osama Bin Laden on Global Warming’, plenty of links from there.

      • Wrong. The resignation was because Wagner was induced by the Team to pressure RS to withdraw the paper. When it refused, he had to choose sides: his day job at Vienna University of Technology and the Consensus, or Remote Sensing and scientific standards.
        Remote Sensing is to be congratulated on refusing to buckle.
        Wagner’s apologia is a feeble logical mish-mash; I feel embarrassed for him reading it.

      • “Wrong. The resignation was because Wagner was induced by the Team to pressure RS to withdraw the paper.”

        That’s a complete fabrication. How did you come to believe it? It’s completely the opposite of the reasons Wagner gave. Do you recognize it as nonsense, but are hoping to promote it as an alternate explanation? Do you believe it because people have (already) started repeating this fictional account over and over? Or do you believe it because your bias is so strong you simply will believe anything that affirms you views and nothing that doesn’t?

        I’m sincerely curious. These events are only hours old, and already a full-fledged fiction that contradicts all the known facts is being repeated as truth. We are witnessing the mechanics of denialism, and I want to understand it better.

      • You want to understand nothing. Questioning Wagner’s statement is hardly “nonsense”. Several posters here have already explained why the have great doubts about Wagner’s stated reasons. Pielke Sr has accurately pointed out how little sense his actions make. His apology to Trenberth alone calls his true motives into question. How can anyone NOT wonder at what might be going on ‘behind the scenes’.

        A better question might be why anyone would accept Wagner’s statement at face value. You talk about “a full-fledged fiction that contradicts all the known facts”. The problem is that many of those Known Facts simply don’t add up.

      • “It’s completely the opposite of the reasons Wagner gave.”

        The interpretation makes sense. Its certainly a rebuttable presumption but resigning is usually what you do when the normal course of making what you personally see to be necessary corrections are rebuffed.

        Not stating that upon resigning is designed to afford your opinion greater influence than it actually has or shall we say “had”. Seeking and obtaining a retraction would be somewhat more convincing.at a lower personal investment.

      • “You want to understand nothing.”

        I don’t let what I might want to understand overshadow the actual facts of the matter. What Brian has done is to fabricate out of whole cloth a story that contradicts every fact we have in hand. He is ignoring what Wagner’s statement says, explicitly, and attributing precisely the opposite meaning to it.

        That is not “questioning” Wagner’s statement. It’s the reality-warping effects of a non-falsifiable ideology. It’s honestly very interesting to watch the process in action.

      • Would you care to tell us what control Wagner had over how this paper was covered by the press , if no control how can he be reasonable for it ?
        As for science being politicized, thanks to efforts of some climate scientists it that is horse that has not just bolted but enjoy many years of freedom and died a peaceful death .

      • If Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick wanted to protect the integrity of climate science, they would ask why NASA hid isotopes data from the 1995 Galileo probe of Jupiter (finally released at press conference in 1998 [1]) that confirmed 1975-1983 findings [2-5]:

        Earth’s heat source is NOT steady, as AGW assumes.

        1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3VIFmZpFco

        2. “Elemental and isotopic inhomogeneities in noble gases: The case for local synthesis of the chemical elements”, Trans MO Acad Sci 9, 104-122 (1975)

        3. “Strange xenon, extinct super-heavy elements, and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

        http://www.omatumr.com/archive/StrangeXenon.pdf

        4.”Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in Allende retain record of nucleosynthesis”, Nature 277, 615-620 (1979)

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v277/n5698/abs/277615a0.html

        5. “Solar abundances of the elements”, Meteoritics 18, 209-222 (1983)

        http://tinyurl.com/224kz4

    • Indeed.

      Judith said:
      The GEWEX link between Wagner and Trenberth seems to provide motivation for the letter to Trenberth. An apparent gatekeeping issue, in response to a leaky gate. Learn anything from Climategate, anyone?

      Yes, the GEWEX link is being picked up elsewhere too.

      http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/spencer-and-braswell-2011-resignation-of-journal-editor-doesnt-change-facts/

      • A simple question that I’ve asked multiple times – as of yet, no one has chosen to explain to me how my thinking is wrong-headed. Maybe you’ll take pity on me, tallblock,and help out?

        The GEWEX link between Wagner and Trenberth seems to provide motivation for the letter to Trenberth. An apparent gatekeeping issue, in response to a leaky gate. Learn anything from Climategate, anyone?

        If a prior link between Wagner and Trenberth shows an “apparent gatekeeping issue,” then why did Wagner agree to publish Spencer’s article in the first place?”

      • That would be the leaky gate issue. Apparently this paper did not come to the attention of the editor-in-chief before it was accepted, or the editor in chief was not aware of the potential for controversy surrounding a paper by Spencer.

      • Finally, an explanation that at least approaches plausibility.

        Apparently this paper did not come to the attention of the editor-in-chief before it was accepted,

        Now I don’t know how often a paper would be published without the awareness of an editor-in-chief, particularly in a relatively new and not terribly well-established journal, but I suppose it is possible.

        It seems less plausible to me in that anyone involved would have known that by virtue of the authors, the paper would attract attention and controversy. Be that as it may – I guess your speculation is at least somewhat plausible.

        or the editor in chief was not aware of the potential for controversy surrounding a paper by Spencer.

        Now this, on the other hand, seems to me to be incredibly implausible speculation. At the top of this post you speculated that Wagner and Trenberth were “linked,” well-prior to the publication of the article, and now you’re suggesting that Wagner would not be aware of the potential for controversy surrounding a paper by Spencer?

        Really, Judith?

      • Sorry –

        …anyone involved wouldn’t would have known that by virtue of the authors, the paper would attract attention and controversy – and consequently made sure that the editor-in-chief was involved in the decision to publish.

      • Joshua has certainly got you there.

        Now this, on the other hand, seems to me to be incredibly implausible speculation. At the top of this post you speculated that Wagner and Trenberth were “linked,” well-prior to the publication of the article, and now you’re suggesting that Wagner would not be aware of the potential for controversy surrounding a paper by Spencer?

        The appearance given by such amusing, blatant logical inconsistency is that you haven’t even decided on your narrative yet; you seem to be making it up as you go along.

      • Note in Wagner’s muddled apologia that he starts by asserting that the formal requirements for peer review and publication were met. He then goes on this long peroration which amounts to saying that only pro-AGW articles can be allowed even a hint of Pal Review.

        Apparently he forgot that little rule when he paid attention to the merely “formal” standards in place at Remote Sensing.

      • This is said in his statement:
        “After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics”.
        “Having become”, “studying” (I think there’s an extraneous comma before “and”) are perfect gerunds. Perfect gerunds denote that an activity happens before the action of the finite verb, here “agree”. This clearly means he was not aware of the problems with the paper and had not studied the arguments before now.

      • Judith,
        You’re pretty slapdash with facts here. Trenberth is not Chair of GEWEX. He’s Chair of their Scientific Steering Group.

        What is your claimed link with Wagner?

      • Leaky gate…

        As a wild guess about what happened behind the scenes: The paper was put out in a newly established publication hungry for readership and attention. I would imagine he knew there would be some blowback. However how much blowback clearly shook him up. This was an utter mea culpa, lie down and expose your neck to Trenberth scenario.

        Trenberth likely had a way to get Wolfgang to do his bidding. Leverage. Keep in mind this is *exactly* what the Team has engaged in and what was exposed in Climategate. Its SOP for the. This is also the reason why the paper was not published in a more mainstream climate magazine because The Team has all those places “covered.”

        Yes this is pure speculation, but sadly the higher you go up in the power structure of any organization, the greater the level of dirty politics that are played. Do not doubt for a minute that there is a very juicy back story that triggered this chain of events. In time we may know. I can’t wait ;)

        If it was simply shoddy science that should not have been published, Trenberth would have seen the paper, chuckled at their amateurish approach and gotten back to work. Peer review would, and still can, tear it apart based on science.

        His reaction calls attention to the fact that this paper is Trenberths kryptonite.

      • NB: our blog host normally signs as “curryja”. It was established some time ago that another person was posting as “Judith Curry.” Perhaps this is “our” Judith, perhaps not.

    • Here’s what John Christy said in a comment at WUWT. It seems to be one of the most even-handed comments I’ve seen on either this website or on WUWT:

      J Christy says:
      September 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm
      Some clarifications are needed. The orbital decay effect was discovered by Wentz around 1997 which induced a spurious cooling effect on one of our microwave satellite products (lower troposphere) but not the others. However, most people forget that at the same time Roy and I discovered an “instrument body effect” in which the observed Earth-view temperature is affected by the temperature of the instrument itself, leading to spurious warming (Christy et al. 1998, 2000). This effect counteracted about 75 percent of the orbital decay cooling effect – so the net effect of the two together was almost a wash (a point rarely acknowledged.)

      In 2005, Wentz and Mears discovered an error in the equation we used for the diurnal correction in one of our products (again, lower troposphere) which we quickly corrected and then published a “thank you” to Wentz and Mears in Science for their cleverness in spotting the error with an update on what the magnitude of the error was. Again, the magnitude of this error was small, being well within our previously published error estimates for the global trend. (Note that we were first to discover the diurnal drift problem back in the 1990s and initiated various corrections for it through the years.)

      Roy and I were the first to build climate-type global temperature datasets from satellite microwave sensors, so we learned as we went – and were aided by others who read our papers and checked our methods. My latest papers continue to investigate error issues of our products and of the products of others.

      The review of my one publication in Remote Sensing last year was done quite professionally and it was clear to me and my co-authors that the referees chosen to review the paper were specifically knowledgeable of the various satellite, radiosonde and statistical issues, leading to some substantial and useful revisions.

      Kevin Trenberth was my MS and PhD graduate adviser at Univ. of Illinois.

      • Stirling English

        So Christy worked for Trenberth..

        Hence the vitriol and spleen. The wiser elder statesman look upon their proteges careers with pride (perhaps mixed with wonder and amazement) when they spread their wings.

        But the less well-adjusted can only vent bile and hatred as the younger ones come (as inevitably they must) to outshine the fading stars of their teachers.

        Nuff said.

  2. As a technician not a scientist I have long been of the opinion that climate science went from being less about science than it is about the promotion of a political agenda.

    Not that there are not some honest scientists participating which is why I read this blog, seems as if this is one of the few places on the net where one can hear both sides of the argument. The article by Trenberth and all of the hoopla surrounding the Spencer Braswell paper only re enforces my opinion.

  3. I hope Christy and Spencer consult an aggressive lawyer. Trenberth’s opinion piece looks actionable to me.

    • If attacking scientists’ work and motives on the internet was actionable, the entire “skeptic” community would be living out of a cardboard box.

      • Robert,
        Not true. The facts are against Trenberth and against the Hockey Stick.

      • Sorry, you’re wrong.

      • Sorry, you’re wrong

      • Echolalia: a rarely-described symptom of denialism. :)

      • Okay Robert, Echolalia this definition of denialism…

        Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

        And this is a promise from, you know who…

      • Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! . . . 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

        Doesn’t sound like hypocrites like you are headed for a sunny future, by your own book’s account. I hope you’re ready for that awkward “but I never knew you” conversation. ;)

      • Doubtful, of the two ‘camps’, it is the skeptical side that show far more courtesy imo.

      • I could come up with worse than that just by searching Jo Nova’s site for comments by “Luke”.

      • uh-huh. I’ve seen much worse on the other side. All attacks of this sort are reprehesible, but i don’t think you can use fringe elements on either side to tar the whole.

      • Settledscience –
        After reading you link, if that’s all you’ve got to be upset about, you’d be laughed out of any Marine or Airborne barracks in the world. In fact, I’ve worked with spacecraft techs who could singe your butt far better – at 1000 yards.

        If you’re such a sensitive little flower that those bother you, then you’re an amateur – and incompetent, at that. You wouldn’t be allowed to even clean toilets in a SpecOps facility.

        If you’re gonna impress with the threats your side has gotten, you’ll have to do a LOT better than that. Which is why I dump the email threats I get from warmists – they’re too limpd**k wimpy to bother saving or taking seriously. All they want to do is kill me – whether by shooting, hanging, electrocution, whatever. No imagination, no originality, no style, no panache.

      • I would be more impressed if the grauniad had published some better evidence of these…like actual senders emails, to whom, date and time. police incident number etc etc………..

        Because otherwise they are just the sort of random abuse that any semi-public figure gets used to.

        But I must admit that the grammar and punctuation could be improved in some of them.

      • “If you’re such a sensitive little flower . . .”

        Given your endless whining, pleas to Mommy Curry to save you from other commenters, and frequent hysterical outbursts all over these fora, I think the “sensitive little flower” theme is one little Jimmy ought to stay away from . . . little Jimmy doesn’t want another spanking, does he?

      • Robert –
        little Jimmy doesn’t want another spanking, does he?

        ROTFLMAO!!

        Be careful, Robert – your alligator mouth is making threats that your canary a$$ can’t back up . Do I really have to dig out the comment where you begged for a truce? And only Dr Curry’s intervention saved you?

      • Jimmy, your long history of getting spanked by me in our every encounter is a pleasant memory for me. Feel free to review your past failures if you like. ;)

        These days I mostly ignore you, having whipped you so many times it no longer represents any sort of challenge. Sometimes your little infantile rants catch my attention, and I have to laugh.

      • which reminds me. have you been back to lucia’s since your last beating?

      • Sure, if Mann can rewrite history to get rid of minor inconveniences like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period, then I guess you can do the same to make it so you’ve never lost an argument and everyone respects your opinion.

      • I got tired of the beatings at lucia’s, Stevie . . . hurt my hands. :)

        Seriously, The Blackboard got really boring. If you miss being schooled by me on a regular basis, I’d be happy to drop in. But don’t take my absence personally.

      • You can only attack the science with alternative science. This was an attack on the scientists.
        Bad move.

    • Spencer is a Creationist — maybe God doesn’t want us to practice good science.

      • Really? Christian does not necessarily equal Creationist – except in the minds of those who oppose anyone holding any belief they don’t like. You have evidence he belongs to the “Creationist” camp? I know many scientists, most of them Christians and some of them Muslims – none would subscribe to “Creationism.”

      • Really.

        http://www.cornwallalliance.org/blog/item/prominent-signers-of-an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

        scientists and medical doctors like Dr. Roy W. Spencer (Principal Research Scientist in Climatology, University of Alabama, Huntsville, U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer aboard NASA’s Aqua Satellite, and author of Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor); Dr. David Legates (Associate Professor of Climatology, University of Delaware); …

        Among the declarations of faith that Spencer thus attests to:

        Our Beliefs

        Our common Judeo-Christian heritage teaches that the following theological and anthropological principles are the foundation of environmental stewardship:

        God, the Creator of all things, rules over all and deserves our worship and adoration.
        The earth, and with it all the cosmos, reveals its Creator’s wisdom and is sustained and governed by His power and lovingkindness.
        Men and women were created in the image of God, given a privileged place among creatures, and commanded to exercise stewardship over the earth. Human persons are moral agents for whom freedom is an essential condition of responsible action. Sound environmental stewardship must attend both to the demands of human well being and to a divine call for human beings to exercise caring dominion over the earth.

        “Dominionism” is an anti-Christian, un-Biblical dogma that contradicts the Bible’s actual teaching, which is stewardship over the Creator’s gifts to us.

        http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/the-cornwall-declaration-on-environmental-stewardship/

        WHAT WE BELIEVE
        We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
        We believe abundant, affordable energy is indispensable to human flourishing, particularly to societies which are rising out of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. With present technologies, fossil and nuclear fuels are indispensable if energy is to be abundant and affordable.

        http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

        So, even if Spencer’s methodology was any good — it’s not, but even if it was — he has already confessed to faith-based positions on the primary topic of his “science,” which is really only apologetics for what he has already decided to believe, not based on evidence, but on faith.

      • A very old English word sprang to mind as I read your “Intelligent Design” statement. I cannot use it here.

        All believers in all faiths believe that the world, the cosmos and life are the work of a “creator”. That does not make any of the “Creationist” which is a label applied to those who claim that Gen 1 is a literal account – and ignore the science!

      • So believing in “Creation” makes one a nutcase?

        Hmmm…

        “We will leave an impoverished planet for our children, we
        will have been lousy stewards of creation, we will have destroyed creation for future generations.”

        “Here is my suggestion. Each candidate should be asked whether they will support a
        Declaration of Stewardship for the Earth and all Creation.”

        “It is up to the public to make sure that we get onto a path that
        stabilizes climate and allows all the creatures of Creation to continue to thrive on this planet.”

        http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2007/Iowa_20070805.pdf

        And if it’s within our power to “get onto a path that
        stabilizes climate”, kinda sounds like he thinks we have “dominion over the earth” .

      • settledscience –

        Dominionism is an invention of the eco-left progressives. Ther is no such Christian organization/church/sect.

        The use of the word dominion does NOT imply Dominionism. But thank you for supplying another example (and data point) for my hypothesis regarding progressives and lack of reading comprehension.

      • All believers in all faiths believe that the world, the cosmos and life are the work of a “creator”. That does not make any of the “Creationist” which is a label applied to those who claim that Gen 1 is a literal account – and ignore the science!

        People who believe in “intelligent design” are generally referred to as Creationists. The word would seem, prima facie, to imply belief in the creation of the world by God, which is certainly asserted by the statement above. Dictionary definitions seem to agree.

      • All believers in all faiths believe that the world, the cosmos and life are the work of a “creator”. That does not make any of the “Creationist” which is a label applied to those who claim that Gen 1 is a literal account – and ignore the science!

        Quite right, TGM. But you are putting words in Spencer’s mouth, which puts in my mind another very old English word. Let him speak for himself, as he did here on 8/8/05.

        Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as “fact,” I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.

        The rest of the article gives much insight into how Spencer perceives how the world works. He goes on to argue that “evolutionism” is “based almost entirely on faith,” and that not to allow teaching of other theories of origins runs counter to the First Amendment right of free speech.

        I am sure many find Spencer’s theory of climate as compelling as his theory of origins. I believe I could count myself among them.

      • settledscience writes:

        So, even if Spencer’s methodology was any good — it’s not, but even if it was — he has already confessed to faith-based positions on the primary topic of his “science,” which is really only apologetics for what he has already decided to believe, not based on evidence, but on faith.

        You need to study these matters a bit more deeply. Not one of his scientific publications has in it a so much as one statement from his faith.

        There have been many great scientists who were Christians and there are many scientists today who are Christians. You should not assume that a Christian is somehow impelled to create a science that is influenced by his Christian beliefs.

      • Theo,
        I am not generalizing anything about Christians and I resent your dishonest accusation that I have.

        I already quoted from the documents to which Spencer has chosen to attach his name in approval. He has, among other unscientific positions, signed onto the following faith declaration:

        WHAT WE DENY
        We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.
        We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.
        We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.
        We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.

        It is an indisputable fact that he has stated beliefs that are based on his religious faith, and it is an indisputable fact that some of those beliefs are about physical reality, which is properly the domain of science, not religion. That is unscientific. He is using the tools and methods of science to “reason” backwards, to conclusions that he has already decided, based on no evidence, based only on his religious faith.

      • I am not surprised by that.

        The Gray Monk | September 5, 2011 at 11:19 am |
        A very old English word sprang to mind as I read your “Intelligent Design” statement. I cannot use it here.

        Profanity is the refuge of the inarticulate.

      • settledscience –
        I already quoted from the documents to which Spencer has chosen to attach his name in approval. He has, among other unscientific positions, signed onto the following faith declaration:

        I do not share Spencer’s faith. But I agree entirely with the statements that you think so heinous. Many, if not most, of those statements have been discussed on this blog and are factually supportable. This one, for example –

        Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid.

        Others may be a matter of opinion, but he has as much right to his opinion as you have to yours. And you have no reason to believe that his opinion is informed ONLY by his faith. After all, every statement in that document can validated by plain common sense – or by simple engineering calculations – or by faith – or by science. Your apparent assumtion that Spencer arrived at agreement with those statements by faith alone is nothing but unsupported – and insupportable – opinion on your part. And personally, I have no reason to believe your opinion on this matter.

        If you disagree with him, then it’s YOUR prerogative to prove YOUR point. But NOT to smear him personally on the basis of his religious beliefs. That, as has been said here before, is religious bigotry.

        BTW in this case, I agree with everyting in that statement of denial. For example –
        We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.

        We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.

        We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.

        With the exception of the “Biblical requirement”, all of those statements have been discussed on this blog and have been shown to be accurate. And, being familiar with the Bible, I can attest to accuracy of that part as well.

        If you think you can contest any of those statements, have at it. But don’t come back with “consensus” or “everybody knows” or argument by assertion or any of the other illogical talking points normally used to “prove” the CAGW POV.

      • Drewski
        You denigrate the foundations of civil society and the Creator. The USA was founded on the declaration:

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

        USC The Declaration of Independence – 1776

        Furthermore, you rhetorically attack Spencer by association rather than addressing his scientific arguments. That is despicable.

        Thirdly, Spencer finds the scientific theory of Intelligent Design to be more credible than functions formed by randomness. Study the issues involved rather than cast dispersions. your very post is evidence of intelligent design rather than stochastic processes.

      • You denigrate the foundations of civil society and the Creator.

        Do we really need to bring religious bigotry into the discussion? No one is denigrating your invisible superhero from space. You are free to worship him in any way you chose. That’s what churches, crusades, and religious charities are for. Science works better without taking its marching orders from religion, and if Spencer doesn’t respect that line, it might help to explain why such a smart man does such sloppy and mistake-ridden science.

      • “Science works better without taking its marching orders from religion”

        Yes, we certainly don’t want atheism to give science marching orders.

        Andrew

      • Robert writes:

        “Science works better without taking its marching orders from religion, and if Spencer doesn’t respect that line, it might help to explain why such a smart man does such sloppy and mistake-ridden science.”

        See, Robert, you want to exclude any association with religion from the life of the scientist. You are quite willing to say that a man’s Christianity can explain his poor science. That assumption is religious bigotry. You are perfectly welcome to argue that Spencer’s beliefs have influenced his views on climate science and have made it poor science, but you are going to have to produce some quotations and do some explanatory work.

      • “See, Robert, you want to exclude any association with religion from the life of the scientist.”

        You say “see” but you don’t offer anything to support your assertion.

        When you say “see,” in general there should be some evidence to look at.

      • Robert
        Sadly you know little of the history of modern science. Almost all the founders of each of the major branches of science were Christians. The biblical foundation provided the belief in the rule of law and of law in nature that supported the search for nature’s laws. By denying our history and the very foundations of science, you unwittingly deny the foundations of science and undermine the scientific method and the search for truth.

        Henry F. Schaefer , Science and Christianity: conflict or coherence?

        Vishal Mangalwadi , The Book that made your world

        Scientists of faith: forty-eight biographies of historic scientists and their christian faith. By Dan Graves

      • “Do we really need to bring religious bigotry into the discussion? No one is denigrating your invisible superhero from space.”

        And you talk about religious bigotry? Do you really have that poor a command of the English language, or are you just inexperienced at carrying on a debate based on facts instead of invective?

        After reading your posts, I have to go with the latter supposition…

      • Sadly you know little of the history of modern science.

        As with so many of your assertions, wishing doesn’t make it so ;)

        Almost all the founders of each of the major branches of science were Christians.

        Well, at least we know where you’re getting your “history.” Seriously, though, you gotta supplement that Sunday School nonsense by reading some actual books.

        The biblical foundation provided the belief in the rule of law and of law in nature that supported the search for nature’s laws.

        Yep, that’s why Plato and Aristotle and Pythagoras and Euclid (and Hipprocrates and Thucydides and Pāṇini . . .) could never make any progress with nature’s laws . . . no Pope to guide their studies. Science in Europe really roared ahead when the Bible came on the scene, didn’t it.

      • The irony here is that just as there is no falsifiable hypothesis of Intelligent Design, there is no falsifiable hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. If we’re going to argue that Spencer is unqualified because of his beliefs regarding ID, the same argument would fit those who blindly believe in CAGW.

        The sad part, though, is that as a believer in a higher power, I see Spencer as generally mistaken on ID, and refreshingly correct on CAGW – the fact that he can treat science like science, even when he has some internal superstitious beliefs, represents a potential for growth.

        For atheists who truly understand the falsifiable nature of the evolution hypothesis, but who cannot see their religious faith in CAGW, I find it a disappointing myopia. It represents a unconscious regression into superstition, and worse, it is ruthlessly defended as if it was rational.

        So as a theist, at least Spencer has an excuse for believing in ID. Atheists who believe in CAGW have no excuse.

      • “The irony here is that just as there is no falsifiable hypothesis of Intelligent Design, there is no falsifiable hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

        Perhaps because “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is a straw man, not a scientific theory. Science is not responsible for the falsifiability of stuff you make up. ;)

      • Robert,

        “Perhaps because “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is a straw man, not a scientific theory. Science is not responsible for the falsifiability of stuff you make up.”

        Then why all the worry and concern the IPCC, and all the green advocates are making out of it?

      • “Then why all the worry and concern the IPCC, and all the green advocates are making out of it?”

        How could they be worried about a nonexistent theory fabricated by deniers when they couldn’t find any basis for denying the actual scientific theory of AGW?

      • “How could they be worried about a nonexistent theory fabricated by deniers when they couldn’t find any basis for denying the actual scientific theory of AGW.”

        So are you saying that the computer models, which predict rising sea levels etc, are fabricated. If that’s the case then there is no need for the IPCC to be concerned. I’m glad you’re skeptical and deny AGW is catastrophic

      • Stirling English

        Jesus H Christ! Can you Americans please refrain from bringing god into everything?

      • Study the issues involved rather than cast dispersions.

        You probably meant aspersions. Dispersion is actually what rules over everything; climate science in its most elemental terms is the dispersion of concentrated energy into entropy.

        Spencer and the other guy for hire can’t even tell the difference between the Stefan-Boltzmann law and the Planck distribution.

      • WebHubTelescope
        Thanks for catching aspersion vs dispersion.. My dislexia from working with the latter.

      • dyslexia ;-)

      • Well, you sweet little bigot! Do you want Christians to leave this blog? Do you want Christians to be prohibited from this blog? Do you want Christians prohibited from practicing science? Let us know.

      • With Christians as with Muslims or any other faith: you have a right to practice your religion. You do not have the right not to be offended by what other people say or do as it pertains to your religious sensitivities. It is not bigotry to print an image of the Prophet or to criticize Creationism. If you can’t handle that, you should remove yourself from the discussion. We won’t miss you. No one is forcing you to go, but no one is giving you the right to censor others if you stay. ‘Kay?

      • Can we say the same about the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming? That is to say, you have a right to practice your religion, but you do not have the right to be offended by what other people say or do as it pertains to your religious sensitivities.

        Looking at this episode from the outside, it certainly looks like a case of over-sensitivity from the CAGW camp.

      • The question, which you ignored entirely, was “Is it permissible for people to hold Christian beliefs and post on this blog and practice science?” If the answer is yes, then why is it permissible to criticize a scientist, especially Roy Spencer, for holding Christian beliefs? The only way that such criticism makes sense is if people who hold Christian beliefs thereby disqualify themselves from practicing science. Do you understand what I am calling bigotry and objecting to?

      • Can we say the same about the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming?

        Spencer titled the 8/8/05 article I cited above “Faith-based evolution.” I can see all sorts of articles organized in this way. “Faith-based AGW.” “Faith-based vaccination.” “Faith-based nanotechnology.” In general, “Faith-based X” where X is whatever corner of science or technology is currently under attack from some corner of society.

        The line of reasoning would be the same in all these articles, much as almost every Hollywood movie is yet another variation on a standard plot. “I base my beliefs on faith. How else would you do it, aren’t all beliefs faith-based?”

        Must be about time to go back to faith-based education. Did I hear murmurs of approval?

      • “Can we say the same about the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming?”

        You mean, if such a thing existed? I dunno. AGW is science. Are you not aware of the difference?

      • “You mean, if such a thing existed? I dunno. AGW is science. Are you not aware of the difference?”

        I am aware of the difference. Let’s start off with your concise statement of a falsifiable scientific hypothesis in support of AGW.

        Can’t come up with one? Maybe you’re not aware of the difference between science and religion :)

      • Robert –

        You do not have the right not to be offended by what other people say or do as it pertains to your religious sensitivities. It is not bigotry to print an image of the Prophet or to criticize Creationism.

        Actually, I agree with that (surprise!!) – but those who print an image of the Prophet are subject to serious fatwa mandating death. There are a number of people out there in hiding for making that mistake. And a number for whom the fatwa has been executed – with extreme prejudice. Don’t carry your freedom too far without serious backup.

      • Theo, nobody is criticizing anybody “for holding Christian beliefs.” The persecution complex of “Christians” like you is unbelievable, and insufferable.

        “Do you understand what I am calling bigotry and objecting to?”

        I understand it, and I know that you’re making it up. The problem with Roy Spencer’s dogmatism is that he holds faith-based beliefs about physical reality while purporting to be doing science on the same subject (climate) as his stated faith-based belief, that his god has made climate so stable that no human activity can ever change it. That’s a serious obstacle to doing real science. It’s called “confirmation bias” and it’s what aspects of Scientific practice such as repeatability and peer review are supposed to deter.

        Arranging to have only reviewers who already agree with him gives the appearance that he’s trying to subvert or dodge that process, not respect its rules and work within it. Other than how it seems to interfere with doing proper scientific work, nobody really cares what he believes in the privacy of his own skull.

      • settledscience
        Then apply your “confirmation bias” to everyone who claims the that latest weather excursion is “evidence for global warming” because a belief that the climate is extremely fragile, or because there can be no “design” that includes stabilizing negative feedback loops.

      • David L. Hagen,
        That’s off topic. We’re talking about the fallout from Spencer & Braswell 2011 here, remember?

      • Robert –

        The farm is gone, Jimmy.

      • Let’s start off with your concise statement of a falsifiable scientific hypothesis in support of AGW.

        I don’t see how my teaching you that proves you know the difference between science and religion. It would make more sense if you stated AGW as a falsifiable hypothesis. Come back when you can. I’ll be happy to grade your drafts. :)

      • “It would make more sense if you stated AGW as a falsifiable hypothesis. Come back when you can. I’ll be happy to grade your drafts. :)”

        While you make for a clever argument, Robert, you fail to persuade with your evasiveness :)

        If I state AGW as a falsifiable hypothesis (say, by asserting that it can be falsified by CO2 changes lagging temperature changes in the historical record), you’ll simply cry out “straw man!”

        Why so reluctant to concisely state the falsifiable hypothesis statement of AGW that you ascribe to?

      • Drewski and Robert seem to be concerned with “Creationism” – without having any more than “dictionary” knowledge of the subject. What they fail to understand, though, is that Creationism is not unique to the Western nations or to climate skeptics or to the CWM contingent.

        Creationism, in fact, is common to ALL cultures, ALL religions. It is not a mark of shame, but rather a common bond with all segments of humanity except, apparently, the atheists and the progressive warmist contingent.

        Catholicism, all the Orthodox sects, all the Protestant denominations and sects, Judaism, Voodun, Hinduism, Brahminism, Buddhism, Shinto, ALL the Amerind belief systems, Islam,Zoroastrianism, even the Pre-Columbian (Aztec, Inca, etc) systems ——ALL are very much Creationist.

        So it’s no wonder that warmists like Robert attack Creationism – they’re lonely and, like children, they want attention. But the only way they can imagine getting it is by acting like spoiled brats, which, in truth, they are.

        More – those who think that Creationist belief is a disqualifier for scienific thought and want to claim science for their own are thieves. They are either ignorant of or choose to ignore that the foundations of the science that they so want to be untainted by religion (and particularly Creationism) were laid by those for whom religion (including Creationism) was central to thier life and motivation. Kepler, Newton, Leibnitz, Maxwell, Hooke, Einstein, Mendel, even the Arab scientists of the Middle Ages – ALL were deeply religious. And that apparently did not taint their science. But now those who are not religious would appropriate the science, claiming that personal religious belief is not acceptable for those who would do science. Would they also deny the religious belief and motivation of those past scientists? Is there any question about that? Is there any question in anyone’s mind that that denial would constitute theft?

        The idea that Spencer’s religious belief will necessarily taint his science and that he should not be published is one that has only one obvious precedent in history – Lysenko. Unfortunately, Lysenko’s religion was the same as that of many of those who would deny Spencer’s scientific mindset – atheism. Does anyone remember how that worked out? With that as a precedent, should we then trust atheists with our science? Why?

        And I’ll leave y’all with those questions to ponder. And with the idea that science has been well served by religion for at least the last five millenia.

      • “And with the idea that science has been well served by religion for at least the last five millenia.”

        :0

        Stop, I’m going to bruise a rib laughing.

        Jimmy’s real agenda . . . standing with the Church as they imprison Galileo, standing with Protestants at the Scopes trial to deny the theory of evolution, standing with the fundamentalist Taliban as they burn books of science . . . now we know.

        “Well served” . . . indeed.

      • “the theory of evolution”

        OK Bobbie, we realize you like the theory of evolution. We got it the 10th time you mentioned it.

        Andrew

      • Robert –
        Your ignorance is showing again. But then we already knew that you were totally ignorant of history.

        Without the Church, Western civilization in Europe would have died entirely after the fall of the Roman empire. Not opinion, but fact.

        Of the scientists who laid the foundations for what we call science today – ALL of them were monks or priests. Except for the Arabs who provided much of the knowledge to kickstart Western science. But they were major religious figures as well. Not opinion, but fact.

        The Scopes trial – was a show trial, which the evolutionists lost because the judge would not allow it to become a debate about the science. He thought it was enough of a circus as it was. Did you know that Scopes was, in fact, innocent because he had never taught evolution. He agreed to be used as a scapegoat in order to advance the “cause”. And while he was fined, the fine was paid by those who instigated the trial.

        Galileo – was never imprisoned. He WAS subjected to house arrest due to his own political ineptness (and the agita of an insulted Pope who HAD been his friend). Fact is that he was lucky to escape execution.

        As for the Taliban, you’re on the edge of “scurrilous accusation”. Stupid.

        Yes, Robert – science HAS been well servd by religion. Your ignorance and objection notwithstanding.

      • The catholic church officially accepts evolution, not creationism and Einstein certainly did not believe in creationism. A lot of the scientists you mention did not have the benefit of knowledge about evolution as they lived before it was discovered. Scientists today have no such excuse.

        If they proclaim the evidence points to creationism or that evolution is faith based that’s a clear indication that they’ve let religious beliefs bias their scientific views.

      • lolwot,

        “The catholic church officially accepts evolution, not creationism”

        The Catholic Church teaches that as long as you acknowledge God as the source of creation you can believe whatever unsubstantiated theory you like concerning origins. As it happens evolution doesn’t attempt to explain origins. It can’t.

        Andrew

      • Einstein was Jewish, lolwot. Do Jews believe in creation as an act of God?

        Regardless, Einstein was religious. Did his religion impair his scientific thought processes?

      • “Regardless, Einstein was religious. Did his religion impair his scientific thought processes?”

        actually there is one case where it probably did isnt there

    • Ron –

      Would you consider this comment from Ross McKitirick to be actionable?:

      But all that means is that [Wagner] is even more of a grovelling, terrified coward than he already has made himself out to be.

      • Why would that be actionable? Wagner’s letter opened the door for it and clearly merits it?

      • Stirling English

        If Mr Wagner thinks it is actionable, he can try bringing a suit and find out if its supported by the courts.

        But from what I have read, he does not appear have the brave and stubborn character of Horatius holding the bridge. So I think Mr McKitrick would rightly claim that it was fair comment.

      • It’s interesting to watch deniers cope with the actions of a man with integrity. You really are humorous in your total confusion with something completely outside your experience, like Bedouin contemplating a snowball.

      • Questions regarding integrity:

        When was Wagner’s term as Editor going to expire?

        What kind of salary did Wagner get for his position?

        What kind of external pressure was put on Wagner to precipitate his actions.

      • So you can dish it out, Tony, but you can’t take it?

        Is anyone surprised by this?

      • Hey Anthony, when are you going to let people know how much money you made off all those “donations” from the poor saps who backed that impressive surface station study of yours? You know the one — the study that proved NOAA, NASA and HadCRU were practicing good science all along? BTW why don’t you mention the results of the study much these days?

  4. It’s going to bite the team in the butt by bringing the aerosol fudge factor into the spotlight. Trenberth may have selected the perfect model to show “his” mistake.

  5. It appears the Climate Change establishment has given up on convincing the undecided and is now spending all its resources trying to shore up its base.

    Not a good sign for a political movement.

    • John M,
      Very insightful. Trenberth’s piece reeks of desperation to people who are knowledgable about the issue.

      • and to some of us who are not all that knowledgeable but merely observers. Ad Homs are the last resort of one whose argument is on the ropes

      • I can’t find a single ad hom in that opinion piece.

        Maybe you could point one out?

      • The false statement that Spencer has “a history of making serious technical errors” is an ad hom attack. The authors are not showing any error, they are claiming a history of errors as if Spencer makes more errors than other scientists. It simply is not true and reeks of desperation.

      • you could start with the title

      • I can only conclude that neither of you knows what an ad hom is.

      • I can only conclude you are choosing to ignore the obvious

      • “Trenberth’s piece reeks of desperation to people who are knowledgable about the issue.”

        How do you know? Did you ask one of us?

      • non sequitur

      • Robert, what exactly is your field of endeavor? I couldn’t find anything on your blog that listed your bona fides. Enlighten me, please. Explain why you are such an unparalleled expert…

        And before you ask, I have no training in the environmental sciences. I do, however, have a background in statistics, and I make a living analyzing datasets, carrying out trend analysis, and reporting results.

      • John Carpenter

        Rick, don’t bother. I have tried to get the same information from Robert for weeks. Robert is afraid to use his real name because he fears a climate denier will send him death threats.

        Robert appeals to authority all things CAGW, regards all skeptics without proper credentials or pedigree as ‘deniers’ as well as the skeptics who are credentialed, acts like an expert via his blog and comments, yet has not the courage to reveal his identity or any legitimate credentials to back up his own big talk. When asked, he says it is the ‘quality of the idea’ that is important, not the credentials. It is strictly a one way street for him. This is not an ad hom attack on Robert, he has offered plenty of evidence of what I have stated within the confines of this thread alone, let alone the many other threads he has commented on here at Climate etc…over the last couple months.

      • “Robert, what exactly is your field of endeavor? I couldn’t find anything on your blog that listed your bona fides.”

        That’s not an accident.

        “Enlighten me, please. Explain why you are such an unparalleled expert…”

        I’d be happy to . . . if you can show me where I claim to be “an unparalleled expert.”

        If you can’t, then you have some apologizing and backtracking to do before we begin, wouldn’t you say?

      • Gee, Robert, I don’t understand. You claim to be “knowledgeable about the issue” (your words), and yet nowhere in this thread do you post any scientific proof of your own to refute the claims in the paper that started this whole brouhaha. All you appear to be capable of doing is copying links to the work of others.

        Thus, based on the evidence here, you are a pseudo-intellectual trying to claim superior knowledge of subjects you know little or nothing about. Not only that, you’re acting like a troll, parroting inane statements in an attempt to drag the discussion off-topic.

        Of course, all you have to do to prove me wrong is post a non-emotional, factual defense of Trenberth or a refutation of Spencer – in your own words. Do you think you can do that?

  6. Trenberth, in his famous “Travesty” email asks a good question about the missing heat his theories can’t explain.

    This latest Trenberth outburst is again a travesty, but this time it is not the missing heat, it is Tranberth that is the travesty.

    A travesty of lies over truth and scurrilous, libelous, innuendo laden personal attacks and drive by smears over scientific integrity.

    Why anyone would ever believe anything Trenberth et al ever write or say again is now open for public discussion. The hole they have dug this time is too deep for exoneration.

  7. This is not the way to do it, and this kind of behavior, particularly from Trenberth who is in a position of responsibility at a government lab and as a participant of the IPCC, will back fire on them.

    Agreed.

    It should be noted, however, that you neglect to mention how very similar behavior from the other side of the debate has been ubiquitous.

    I’ll give you one notable example – from a comment by Ross McKitirick – with reference to Wagner (in a comment at the Air Vent):

    But all that means is that [Wagner] is even more of a grovelling, terrified coward than he already has made himself out to be.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/#comment-54838

    Why do you continuously fail to call out “skeptics” for the behavior you (rightly) find counterproductive from people on the other side of the debate, Judith?

    Very curious indeed.

    • Joshua,
      I think I can answer that one. Christy and Spencer do not make more mistakes than other scientists. In fact, they found a mistake by RSS returning the favor of the one found by RSS. Everyone makes mistakes on occasion, but the charge of “serial mistakes” is ludicrous.

      On the other hand, Wagner resigned over a paper that has not been refuted or retracted. This is singularly odd behavior. I know of no other similar action in the history of scientific publishing. His actions were cowardly.

      • Ron –

        I have no idea whether Christy and Spencer make more mistakes than other scientists.

        I think that it is perfectly valid to ask questions about Wagner’s resignation. The explanation he offered does not seem to tell the entire story. Speculate away.

        I do have a problem, however, when people who consider themselves to be in a position to critique scientific theories draw conclusions based only on speculation and circumstantial (un-validated) evidence.

        I further have a problem when prominent people involved in the debate engage in the kind of behavior that Judith discussed at the head of this post.

        I differ from Judith, however, because I think that sort of behavior should be denounced without regard to which side of the debate it originates from.

        Of course, maybe she will do a post about McKitirick’s behavior, but I hope you’ll excuse me for not holding my breath until she does?

      • The difference being however, one side are the ‘establishment’ and one are not. The actions of the establishment- who supposedly represent the majority, the truth and the final word on the matter are behaving like pathetic children.

        Granted (fully) that there are idiots on BOTH sides, however it is one thing for a blogger to attack someone publicly, it is another for a publically funded individual who is (arguably) in a position of authority and influence to publically attack someone.

        Glossing over the fact that i see the two examples as different anyway (not that i condone either mind).

      • Stirling English

        @Joshua

        I conclude from your repetition above that you have lots of problems.

        Perhaps this is not new news to more regular readers than I ??

      • No it’s not news.

  8. The title pretty much says it all. The “damaging impact” of someone’s science?

    I think your query points the way to the answer. It’s a punctuation issue. They should have written:

    Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s “science”

    Fix’d. Jokes aside, certainly you would acknowledge that science can be conducted in a damaging way. Andrew Wakefield’s “science” on autism and vaccines, for example. The “science” of eugenics, or phrenology. Bad science can be damaging, and the fact that science is ultimately self-correcting does not logically preclude the idea that the mistakes (or deception) can be harmful.

    So I think that there is a good case for reading past the title and examining the argument that Roy Spencer’s science has had a damaging impact.

    • You left out the hockey stick.

      • There are enough hockey stick reconstructions out there now that we can supply an entire team. And don’t forget that Mann was recently exonerated AGAIN by such an eminent inquiry that the great politition himself, Inhofe, endorsed it (of course, that was before he knew that they would back Mann).

        Time for a new whipping horse.

      • Is that why Bloomfield and North agreed with Wegman’s assessment when they testified to Congress under oath?

        And how many times are we supposed to believe “independent” reconstructions that aren’t?

      • People tend to forget this bit of North’s statement.

        “I was also somewhat taken aback by the tone of the Wegman Report, which seems overly accusatory towards Dr. Mann and his colleagues, rather than being a neutral, impartial assessment of the techniques used in his research. In my opinion, while the techniques used in the original Mann et al papers may have been slightly flawed, the work was the first of its kind and deserves considerable credit for moving the field of paleoclimate research forward. It is also important to note that the main conclusions of the Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent research. “

      • As long as we restrict the “main conclusion” to the last 400 years.

      • Drewski,

        The canard that Mann was “exonerated” is getting mighty tedious. Without exception, every “investigation” of Michael Mann was done without any adversarial party asking questions. Those were whitewashes, pure and simple. Mann was even allowed to have a hand in crafting and deciding what questions he would be asked! Exonerated my butt.

        Those Potemkin Village “investigations” were closed as quickly as possible, and the only things they investigated were harmless [to Mann] peripheral issues. Only credulous fools believe that Mann was “exonerated” of wrongdoing.

        And the bribes given to Mann on the heels of Climategate were given to protect the guilty by keeping him in line. One outrageous example was the awarding of a $1.8 million ‘grant’ to study malaria vectors in mosquitos. If it was legitimate, such a grant would properly be awarded to a biologist or an epidemiologist. Instead, the payola was handed over to Michael Mann. That deserves its own investigation.

        Anyone with the least understanding of human nature knows that when big money [as in $billions], reputations and careers are involved, the only way the truth can be extracted from the self-serving ‘good old boy’ establishment is in an adversarial setting, where evidence and witnesses can be presented, and their statements cross-examined under oath. If that ever happens to Michael Mann, I expect that he will serve time in the state penitentiary.

      • “The canard that Mann was “exonerated” is getting mighty tedious.”

        Why do you think you’ve failed to sell this story of wrongdoing by Michael Mann? Why are you failing to persuade?

        Perhaps it’s just the weakness of your argument.

    • Richard Saumarez

      A damaging impact to what exactly?

    • Science has one and only one product: understanding. Understanding is a purely passive state. It requires no action whatsoever. People who say that science or scientific claims are dangerous are confusing the science with someone’s misuse of the science. If Trenberth’s claim is intelligible at all, it is the claim that Spencer et. al. are dangerous.

  9. Copy of letter sent to:

    John P Abraham
    Associate Professor
    St. Thomas University, Email

    Prof. Abraham

    Re: Please rise to professional behavior and restore the civil pursuit of science

    Regarding your opinion piece on Roy Spencer (see posts below) I am very disappointed at your lack of professional conduct. Your polemic politicizes science. You seriously harm the foundations of the scientific method of objective observation, model evaluation and searching for truth.

    Spencer’s articles and posts raise serious scientific questions that have not been satisfactorily resolved. e.g., the foundational issue of the direction cause and effect between anthropogenic and solar/cosmic ray forcings on clouds. See Spencer’s Primer on Our Claim that Clouds Cause Temperature Change. To disparage efforts to discover and sort out these difficult climate factors hinders the progress of science.

    St. Thomas University seeks:
    “Pursuit of truth
    We value intellectual inquiry as a life-long habit, the unfettered and impartial pursuit of truth in all its forms, the integration of knowledge across disciplines, and the imaginative and creative exploration of new ideas.
    Academic excellence
    We create a culture among faculty, students and staff that recognizes the power of ideas and rewards rigorous thinking.”

    In your revised “rebuttal” against Christopher Lord Monckton, you continue to specifically breach St. Thomas’ foundational principles.
    See Monckton’s 2010 “Response to John Abrahams” e.g. you continue your pejorative allegation that Lord Monckton is a “denier of climate change” insinuating that he is denying science and hinting at the Holocaust. Climate is always changing. Monckton has never denied that. You use a misleading rhetorical device to disparage those who challenge your advocacy of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. I find Monckton’s “Response” to better support science and public debate than your unprofessional attack on him.

    To so disparage other scientists for your own benefit when trillions of dollars of public funds are at stake is to further breach your fiduciary responsibility to the public, and to bring disrepute on St. Thomas
    University.

    I appeal to you to raise above partisan politics and activist alarmism and seek the truth in nature with robust experimental discovery to support verification and validation of climate modeling.

    I appeal to you to return to St. Thomas’s foundational principles and to
    the standard set by Jesus who declared “I am the way the truth and the life.”

    Yours sincerely

    David L. Hagen, PhD

    cc Dr. Don Weinkauf – Dean of Engineering
    cc Dr. Samuel J. Levy Vice President and CIO
    cc Father Dennis Dease, President, University of St. Thomas
    2115 Summit Avenue · Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105 · USA

    The science is scuttled: Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth resort to libeling Spencer and Christy
    Response to John Abraham, Christopher Monckton, SPPI Reprint Series, July 12, 2010

    • Your allusion to the Holocaust is dishonest and despicable. Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is a denier of anthropogenic climate change and of the science that establishes that fact. The terminology is well understood, and has nothing to do with WW2 or the Third Reich. Your statement to the contrary is intended to incite and therefore is clearly hate speech.

      • “The terminology is well understood, and has nothing to do with WW2 or the Third Reich.”

        That is, of course, false. The first use of the term “denier,” as applied to people who are skeptical of AGW science, was a direct and admitted reference to attempt a link to Holocaust denial. That usage was popularized by the more annoying AGW fans, and anyone trying to pretend otherwise is certainly either uninformed or in, well, denial.

        Now, of course, the definition is expanding, with “denialism” basically standing for “they disagree with us they must be evil.” It’s being applied to anything and everything, and is increasingly used to slap the anti-science label on anyone who disagrees with the “science du jour.”

      • That’s exactly correct cirby, it’s a good example of the PC culture and selective “outrage” that only increases the partisan divide.

        How about the inane linking of the Giffords shooting to “talk radio” and the “tone”? Or;

        http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2011/09/even-warmists-should-be-appalled/

      • One person’s Denier is another person’s Warmonger.

        What goes around . . .

      • cirby –

        I will note that I think that comparing “AGW deniers” to holocaust deniers is invalid (although I will also not that the objections among many “skeptics” on the basis of “political correctness,” is often amusingly ironic).

        However, I was wondering how you feel about the accusations against Ben Santer – who had family that were killed in the holocaust – of “scientifically cleansing” the evidence for climate change?

        Further – how do you feel about analogizing environmentalists and others who think that GW is 90% likely to be more than 50’% A to Eugenicists – as we have seen Richard Linzen do, and as we have seen “skeptics” do many, many times on these thread?:

      • Joshua –
        I think that comparing “AGW deniers” to holocaust deniers is invalid

        Did you see my last comment? Your opinion has no validity.

        You’ve been invited numerous times to present your case as to why the Eugenics label is incorrect or invalid. You have failed to do so. Until you do so, your questions on that subject are just whining.

        Santer – has made his own enemies. Nobody has had to help him there. As for the “scientific cleansing” I find the term repugnant. I think “data manipulation” would be quite sufficient, if not quite as accurate.

      • JIm –

        I will make note of the fact that you think my opinion has no validity. Why you feel compelled to keep repeating messages like that to me, I have no idea. You have made your opinions about me abundantly clear by virtue of tens of similar comments directed my way.

        If you feel compelled to defend analogizing people that think that GW is 90% likely to be more than 50% A to Eugenicists, please go ahead. I see no reason to give such analogies a shred of credibility by responding to prove that such analogies are invalid. But I will say that I find it very curious that you’d defend such analogizing, yet apparently be so “offended” that “warmists” would compare “climate change deniers” to holocaust deniers. IMO – both analogies are equally invalid.

        Oh – and Jim, any time you’d like to show that you can respond to my actual beliefs about ID, as opposed to your long post where you responded to a series of beliefs that aren’t even remotely close to mine yet apparently attributed to me by you – I would be happy to see what you have to say.

      • Joshua –
        I will make note of the fact that you think my opinion has no validity.

        Still doing the reading non-comprehesion thing?

        I find it very curious that you’d defend such analogizing, yet apparently be so “offended” that “warmists” would compare “climate change deniers” to holocaust deniers. IMO – both analogies are equally invalid.

        That dog won’t hunt, Josh. You object to the analogy – it’s up to you to refute it.

        And I ran out of time tonight – a leaky roof took priority. BTW – you didn’t provide the link to the original discussion you wanted me to read.

      • settledscience
        Re: “Your allusion to the Holocaust is dishonest and despicable.”
        That is EXACTLY why accusing skeptical scientists of being climate “deniers” is so repugnant to most people.

        No scientist that I know of “denies” that climate changes. It has for more than 500 million years of geological history. See: Bob Carter: The geological context of climate change as a basis for policy [carter acs]

        To claim one is a “climate change denier” is to abuse common sense. It is a repugnant underhanded rhetorical attack that insinuates that they are “anti – science” because they raise solid scientific issues over the sad state of climate science and do bow to the “church of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”

        You are the one destroying science – for it is not “settled” – “settledscience” is a political not a scientific statement.

      • Scuttledscience would be more accurate.

      • Roy Spencer’s internal radiative forcing claptrap and Richard S. Lindzen’s iris hypothesis are not “solid scientific issues,” they are denialist pseudo-science, made up to suit religious extremism (Spencer) and oil & coal paymasters (Lindzen).

      • I guess that’s not a personal attack either.

      • actually the iris hypothesis is a hypothesis. The way one settles whether it is true or not is not by calling it pseudo science. Lindzen and Spenser may both be wrong ( they fall outside where I think the truth lies) but I’d hardly call it pseudo science. It’s rather on the order of Mann’s work

      • settledscience
        The scientific method is to raise experimental evidence that supports or negates the hypothesis, not to slander those raising the hypotheses.

        Hypothesis: settledscience is a rhetorician who will provide rhetorical attacks rather than evidence for/against internal radiative forcing or the iris hypothesis.

      • “Roy Spencer’s internal radiative forcing claptrap and Richard S. Lindzen’s iris hypothesis are not “solid scientific issues,” they are denialist pseudo-science, made up to suit religious extremism (Spencer) and oil & coal paymasters (Lindzen).”

        I feel stupider just reading that.

      • Maybe you meant “Goodman fail!”

        http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/ellen-goodman-declares-global-warming-deniers/

        Hmmm… I haven’t seen Joshua disagree with this, so he must agree.

      • Actually, John, I’ve stated many times that I would disagree with anyone who equates “skeptics” or even “climate deniers” with holocaust deniers. My dismissal of such a viewpoint is categorical.

        But in case you missed it, I’ll state it yet again. I reject the viewpoint that “climate deniers” (as distinguished from skeptics) are analogous to holocaust deniers.

        I also categorically dismiss the viewpoint of those who regularly compare environmentalists and/or “believers” in AGW as analogous to Eugenicists – something that Lindzen has done, and indeed, something that we have seen stated very explicitly on these here Climate etc. threads.

        I hope that eliminates any confusion that you might have over my beliefs on the topic?

      • Thanks Joshua,

        Just tweaking you a bit about your insistence that Judith or (anyone else )has to be her own rapid response team whenever you see something that you think she ought to diagree with.

      • John M –

        No rapid response team necessary. She can certainly take her time before criticizing McKitrick for his calling Wanger a “groveling, terrified coward.”

        I’ve never asked of her a rapid response – just a marginally balanced response to similar rhetoric from both sides of the debate.

        It has been lacking over the months that I’ve been reading her blog. I think a couple of months should be sufficient for her to put together the required team.

      • Joshua –
        IIRC, Gore used the term “denier” explicitly in reference to Holocaust denial in his first book in the early 90’s. My first contact with it was a video from speech in the 90’s where he explicitly made the connection.

        You can deny all you want – but it just makes you a “denier” – although not with the same connotation.

      • And Jim – I categorically reject any such use of the term.

      • And Jim – just as a reminder.

        I posted in response to your post to me where you were apparently attributing a long series of beliefs to me that in no way match my actual beliefs. When you get a chance, I’d like to see you respond to what I actually believe. Otherwise, I would be tempted to view your previous post as pontificating about things that you know nothing about (my beliefs re: ID).

        Thanks.

      • Joshua –
        I’m glad you refuse the “denier” label – but do you understand why others do so? And do you understand that the label was applied specifically and explicitly in that connection? More – do you understand how stupid the usage is given the wide range of views of the skeptics?

        I posted in response to your post to me where you were apparently attributing a long series of beliefs to me that in no way match my actual beliefs. When you get a chance, I’d like to see you respond to what I actually believe.

        I’ll look for that tonight.

      • I’m glad you refuse the “denier” label – but do you understand why others do so?

        I understand why some would object to its use when indeed, the intent is to analogize “skeptics” to holocaust deniers. That would be matched by my objection to analogizing people who think that GW is 90% likely to be more than 50% A to Eugenicists. And it is in deference to those who legitimately object to being analogized to holocaust deniers that I am very specific about how I use the term denier.

        However, I think that for at least some portion of those who are “outraged,” they are expressing a faux outrage – particularly ironic since many of the same folks also express “outrage” about political correctness more generally.

        Now to explain further, I categorically reject the use of the term “denier” indiscriminately. When I use the term, I am referring to a very specific segment of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” side of the climate debate. As far as I’m concerned, the term “denier” would apply only to anyone who dismisses any evidence related to climate change on the basis of a priori political, ideological, religious, viewpoints. It does not mean that I am analogizing them to people who deny the holocaust. I do not use that term in reference to anyone in specific, unless I know something about them personally that would allow me to make such an assessment. So since I don’t know you, or anyone who posts at this blog, then you can assume that if I ever use the term “skeptical un-convinced/denier,” the “denier” side of that spectrum is not a direct reference to anyone who posts here or anyone that I haven’t met personally.

        And again, just as I reject using analogies to Eugenicists in the climate debate, I reject using analogies to holocaust deniers in the climate debate.

        But do keep using defending analogies to Eugenicists while denouncing analogies to holocaust deniers. It is quite instructive as to how you approach the debate about climate science.

      • Joshua –
        It does not mean that I am analogizing them to people who deny the holocaust.

        Maybe not in your view. But your view is irrelevant in conversation with others. Example – I know people who casually use the word MF. That may work in their own circle of acquaintances. Outside of that circle, it may get other reactions – like failing interviews or losing promotions or even being fired. And I’ve seen all of those happen. IOW, regardless of your intent, your interaction with others can be negatively affected. Just sayin’.

        BTW – the conversation you’re so interested in having me read – why don’t you point me to it (a link, maybe?) I was gone for several weeks and have no clue where you left it. There’s a lot ground to cover for that time period.

      • Jim –

        It was your post from late last night. In particular, it was the post where you seemed to be attributing to me many opinions that in no way matched opinions that I have. (I have no idea where you got the idea that I held those opinions). If you look elsewhere in that thread, you will see where linked to the post where I actually expressed my opinions on ID in some depth. I suggest that if you want to discuss the issue with me, that you actually read about what I think rather than pontificating without actually knowing what I think – as you have already done.

        IOW, regardless of your intent, your interaction with others can be negatively affected. Just sayin’.

        I agree with that – which is why I’m pretty diligent about making it clear how I use the term. If you catch where I fail to be clear in that regard, please let me know, as I wouldn’t want anyone to misinterpret my intent.

      • One thing that could be said about Eugenics and all of its flaws is that it was bi-partisan. You couldn’t label right or left-wing as there proponents from both ends.

        We can’t say that about AGW. It’s left-wing narrative, Dr. Curry should own-up and speak in very plain terms about the culture of the consensus she belongs to. It’s called honesty.

      • I’m concerned, the term “denier” would apply only to anyone who dismisses any evidence related to climate change on the basis of a priori political, ideological, religious, viewpoints. It does not mean that I am analogizing them to people who deny the holocaust.

        But Joshua, why wouldn’t the term apply generally to anyone who dismisses overwhelming evidence on the basis of “a priori political, ideological, religious, viewpoints”? Holocaust deniers, climate change deniers, moon landing deniers, evolution deniers . . . and so forth. It’s not an analogy, it’s a category.

  10. “I find this whole concept of someone’s science being damaging as rather scary, and it is not Spencer’s science that I find scary. “

    I’m trying to ignore the fact that you contradicted yourself in the space of one sentence. You claim finding science scary is itself scary yet you strongly imply you find team science scary. Which is it?

    In any event examples of “damaging science” are not that difficult to find see Dr Wakefield’s paper on the MMR-Autism link which causes problems to this day.

    “This is not the way to do it”

    Ok, what is the way to do it?

    The issue is this: Dr Spencer holds a scientifically controversial and minority position which has been roundly criticised in the literature by his colleagues. He appears to have side-stepped rather than deal with that criticism by publishing in a journal not familiar with the intricacies of climate science. This has called his integrity into question.

    In order to support your position you must answer this question: Is Dr Spencer justified in publishing in the manner in which he did? Furthermore is he justified in presenting the paper in the manner in which he did via his blog and the media?

    This is not simply a case of a bad or mediocre paper being published. It’s a case of a scientist showing clear intent to get it published despite known flaws and then using that publication to make unjustified claims. I don’t see how it’s possible to criticise the inevitable response to such action unless you support the action itself and think it was reasonable.

    • In any event examples of “damaging science” are not that difficult to find see Dr Wakefield’s paper on the MMR-Autism link which causes problems to this day.

      Jinx!

      Andrew Wakefield’s “science” on autism and vaccines, for example.

      • Oops! It wasn’t there when I started typing. I’ll go with another example (in support of my own claim it’s not that hard to find them):

        Michael Behe

        “In 2004, Behe published a paper with David Snoke, in the scientific journal Protein Science that uses a simple mathematical model to simulate the rate of evolution of proteins by point mutation,[30] which he states supports irreducible complexity, based on the calculation of the probability of mutations required for evolution to succeed. However, the paper does not mention intelligent design nor irreducible complexity, which were removed, according to Behe, at the behest of the reviewers. Nevertheless, The Discovery Institute lists it as one of the “Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design”.[31]

        Michael Lynch authored a response,[32] to which Behe and Snoke responded.[33] Protein Science discussed the papers in an editorial.[34]

        Numerous scientists have debunked the work, pointing out that not only has it been shown that a supposedly irreducibly complex structure can evolve, but that it can do so within a reasonable time even subject to unrealistically harsh restrictions, and noting that Behe & Snoke’s paper does not properly include natural selection and genetic redundancy. Some of the critics have also noted that the Discovery Institute continues to claim the paper as ‘published evidence for design,’ despite its offering no design theory nor attempting to model the design process, and therefore not providing an alternative to evolution.[35]“

        The entire Intelligent Design movement’s motivation was providing sufficient scientific cover for creationism to have it taught in schools as science.

      • sharparoo
        To make those claims against Behe evidences a thorough lack of familiarity with the mathematics and probabilities involved with stochastic chemical processes and random mutations forming new functional folded proteins.
        See Behe’s Edge of Evolution, and Mendal’s Accountant

      • Thank you for illustrating the point regarding damaging science.

      • In the case of MMR, you have to consider whether there has been real damage done, though. The official position is that the MMR vaccine causes one death per million doses. Considering the limited measles outbreaks possibly caused by lower vaccination rates, it’s dubious that skepticism of MMR has caused an increase in the total number of deaths or disabilities.

        I’m not arguing against the vaccine. The risk, if we accept the official figures, is low. What I am arguing against is the concept of damage caused by scientific studies. Yes, it could happen, but it is also possible that there will be damage or loss caused by being too quick to discount studies that seem to be flawed but may turn out to be correct after all.

    • There is nothing scary about science itself! What is scary is the behavior of some scientists.

      • JC: “There is nothing scary about science itself! What is scary is the behavior of some scientists.”

        Such as those scientists who allow their ideological beliefs to dictate their views on what should be scientific issues? Scientists who do not view their role as producing good science but rather as preventing regulations they disagree with?

        Couldn’t agree more.

      • So you’re against climate scientists who are politcally active?

      • Judith –

        Does that include the behavior of Ross McKitrick, when he called Wagner a “groveling, terrified coward?”

        I guess not, huh?

      • Joshua,

        Since I haven’t seen you comment on anything “Robert” has written, I can only conclude that you totally agree with him.

      • Stirling English

        Anybody ever seen ‘Robert’ and ‘Joshua’ simultaneously in the same room?

      • Actually, I have posted to him that I disagree, at times, with his approach to the dialogue.

        I have also posted, in this thread, agreement with Judith’s criticism about Trenberth’s rhetoric. At the same time, I have noted that Judith has failed to criticize similar rhetoric emanating from the other side of the debate, and in particular similar rhetoric emanating from one of the better known players in the debate, Ross McKitrick.

        Why do you suppose that Judith has such an imbalance in her criticism of counterproductive rhetoric?

      • Actually, I have posted to him that I disagree, at times, with his approach to the dialogue.

        A given blog on any controversial topic often becomes dominated by like-minded people. When one dissenter pops up, they are often dismissed as a troll. As dissenters multiply, they become harder to dismiss, and you often see this accusation that they are all the same person (of course, to a true believer, all heresy sounds the same).

        Lately we’re seeing a little more of a pro-science presence around here, and this is only one of many expressions of frustrations you are apt to see if this trend continues.

      • Robert – I’m quite sure that Stirling’s comment was merely a joke, and I think it should be taken in that light.

        Otherwise, we’d be reduced to asking of Stirling and Oliver have ever been seen in the same room at the same time.

      • “Lately we’re seeing a little more of a pro-science presence around here,”

        I thought we were talking about you.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Joshua wrote:

        “Does that include the behavior of Ross McKitrick, when he called Wagner a “groveling, terrified coward?””

        Aha! The “Someone else did it, too” defence against a complaint at wrong-doing.

        This defence is often used by 3-year-olds but, for some reason, it never convinces adults.

        Richard

      • Richard –

        I am not excusing the behavior of Trenberth by virtue of noting the behavior of McKitrick. I have said, repeatedly, that I think that Trenberth’s behavior here (in attacking Spencer) is not justifiable, and counterproductive (also known as stupid).

        My point of raising McKItrick’s behavior is not to justify Trenberth’s by doing so (you will note that criticized Judith for such a style of rationalization in the first post on Wagner’s resignation).

        My point is to highlight an (what I consider to be counterproducdtive) imbalance in Judith’s critical eye toward the behavior of the different players in the climate debate. My goal is to get her to be more even-handed in her criticism.

        I agree with you, whole-heartedly,a that a “Someone else did it too,” (or as I describe it, a “Mommy, mommy, they did it too and/or /first”} defense is juvenile and completely unproductive.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Joshua:

        Thankyou for the clarification.

        You say;
        “My point is to highlight an (what I consider to be counterproducdtive) imbalance in Judith’s critical eye toward the behavior of the different players in the climate debate. My goal is to get her to be more even-handed in her criticism.”

        It is a value judgement as to what is “even handed”. It seems your judgement of this differs from that of Judith Curry. But there is no way to objectively decide which of you is right. Any such decision is a personal opinion.

        This is her blog, not yours, so her judgement is the only one that counts here. If you want a blog that fulfils your judgement of the matter then you have an obvious solution to that.

        Therefore, I suggest it would avoid wasting space on this blog if you were to stop promoting your opinion about it here.

        Richard

      • That was an accurate observation.

      • Joshua,

        A statement of opinion is not libellous. A false statement of fact is.

    • Sharperoo writes to Dr. Curry:

      “I’m trying to ignore the fact that you contradicted yourself in the space of one sentence. You claim finding science scary is itself scary yet you strongly imply you find team science scary. Which is it?”

      There is no contradiction. Science produces understanding and understanding requires no action. Science can be misused and the misuse can be scary. Also, the trappings of science, such as journals, can be misused. However, the misuser is always some human being. Dr. Curry is responding to the claim that Spencer’s science is scary or dangerous, a nonsensical claim on its face, and responding along the lines that those who claim that science can be dangerous are scary.

  11. And closing the tag before it all goes crazy. It should have ended after “This is not the way to do it”

  12. With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown. To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

    I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context. I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.

    • I agree entirely. The behaviour surrounding climate scientits (by and against them) is childish in the extreme. I’d be ashamed to behave as some of these do; especially under a proffesional title.

    • Jonathan,
      In my opinion, the best response is still the one I put forward on WUWT back in February of this year. I am suggesting something well beyond the limited reports put out by NIPCC. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-modest-proposal-in-lieu-of-disbanding-the-ipcc/

      I would encourage scientists of all perspectives to take part in this reassessment with one litmus test – they cannot have defended the defensible. If they have publicly tried to defend “hide the decline,” deleting emails, reconstructions weighted to one tree in Yamal, then they have proven themselves dishonest.

      Actually, a number of mainstream scientists who are growing more skeptical all the time continues to grow. Roger Pielke Sr seems to be edging away from the alarmists. Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Lab is a government scientist who has published papers cheered by both sides of the debate. Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab is also a mainstream scientist who has also published a paper on climate sensitivity which cheered the skeptics back in 2007. Physics professor Richard Muller of Berkeley is also very upset by the shenanigans of the alarmists, which is why he is founded the Berkeley Earth Temperature Project.

      • I hate my typos. I meant to have written “They cannot have defended the indefensible.” Dishonest people defending dishonest actions are themselves dishonest. We need a new reassessment of the science by people who have not abused their own reputations by defending academic misconduct. That was my point.

      • Good point too.

      • I meant to have written “They cannot have defended the indefensible.”

        So no “skeptics” at all? Isn’t that a little one-sided?

      • Robert, what planet do you live on? What skeptic has defended hiding the decline or the Artificial Hockey Stick (produces a hockey stick when the data is red noise) or a conspiracy to delete emails?

        The academic misconduct has all been on one side – the alarmist’s side. As Oxford’s Jonathan Jones points out above, there are a group of mainstream climate scientists who have criticized this dishonesty of the IPCC crowd and tried to be honest in their assessment of the risk of rising atmospheric CO2. I added a few names to the list and I am certain more names could be added, but the list of alarmists who have disqualified themselves is also pretty long – including just about everyone associated with RealClimate.

      • “Robert, what planet do you live on?”

        Third one out from Sol, feel free to visit!

      • Ron,

        Ron Cram | September 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
        “Robert, what planet do you live on? What skeptic has defended hiding the decline or the Artificial Hockey Stick (produces a hockey stick when the data is red noise) or a conspiracy to delete emails?

        The academic misconduct has all been on one side – the alarmist’s side.”
        If the academic were not on the alarmist’s side, no grants, no funding, no job, no money, no food. They (academics) have no choice – to the alramist’s side.

    • I second your recommendation. I hope that your contributions to this discussion will grow larger. Of course, we both hope that some adults will end the need for this discussion.

    • Jonathan, indeed, the behaviour of the ‘activist wing’ of climate science is becoming ever more bizarre and hysterical. And of course self-defeating. I am sure I am not the only one who has downloaded S&B in the last couple of days and read it carefully, searching in vain for the errors that were so awful that the editor had to resign.
      What I find strange is that there are not more rational climate scientists joining the Curry/Pielke/Zorita/Landsea/Maue group. IMHO this is the only hope for the field to regain credibility.

      Labmunkey – nice typo!

  13. Count me also in Dr. Pielke and Dr. Curry’s corner for this issue as well. What I think is quite amazing, which leads me to believe that there is some corruption within the climate science community, is that Wolfgang Wagner actually apologized to Trenberth. This indicates that this paper was very damaging to the CAGW Community, as well as that Kevin Trenberth monitors what goes in and out of the Peer Review Process.

    • Right. Would anyone care to give a rational explanation for Wagner’s apology to Trenberth?

      • Richard S Courtney

        Theo Godwin:

        You ask;
        “Would anyone care to give a rational explanation for Wagner’s apology to Trenberth?”

        Well, this explanation is “rational”.

        Trenberth Chairs GEWEX

        http://www.gewex.org/gewexssg.htm

        GEWEX is a major funder of the International Soil Moisture Network.

        Wagner heads a study by the International Soil Moisture Network.

        http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/insitu/index.php/about-us.html

        Spencer’s paper provides doubt to work published by Trenberth.

        (a) Wagner cites no flaw in Spencer’s paper
        and
        (b) the journal he edits does not retract the paper by Spencer & Bradwell
        but
        (c) Wagner resigns as the Editor and apologises to Trenberth for having published that paper in the journal.

        Simply, Wagner’s ‘day job’ required the apology and the apology was not possible without the resignation.

        Richard

      • Seems like a rational explanation to me.

      • Yep, that is a rational explanation. I doubt that Wagner or Trenberth would embrace it.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Theo Godwin:

        I agree that Wagner and Trenberth would probably dispute that explanation, but their dispute proves nothing about the truth or otherwise of that explanation.

        As Mandy Rice Davies famously said;
        “He would say that, wouldn’t he?”

        Richard

      • Richard, Your explanation might be rational if the facts were true, But they aren’t.

        “Trenberth Chairs GEWEX”
        He doesn’t. He;s the chair of the Scientific Steering Group (more sloppiness from Judith).

        “GEWEX is a major funder of the International Soil Moisture Network.”
        It isn’t. It provides no funds. The funding body is the European Space Agency.

        “Wagner heads a study by the International Soil Moisture Network.”
        ISMN is a cooperative on-line data facility.
        etc

      • Richard S Courtney

        Nick Stokes:

        Your comment is as informative as your usual contributions.

        You say;
        ““Trenberth Chairs GEWEX”
        He doesn’t. He;s the chair of the Scientific Steering Group (more sloppiness from Judith).”

        Hmmm. In context your comment is a difference without meaning.
        At the link I povided ( http://www.gewex.org/gewexssg.htm ) it says;

        “Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth
        Chair, GEWEX SSG
        Head, Climate Analysis Section
        National Center for Atmospheric Research
        Boulder, Colorado USA
        E-mail

        Areas of Interest: Global energy and water cycle, climate variability and climate change. ”

        Please note “Global energy and water cycle”; i.e. Wagner’s business.

        And you say of GEWEX;
        “It provides no funds. The European Space Agency is the funding Agency”.

        Again, this is a distinction without a difference.
        At the link it says;
        “The GEWEX SSG provides scientific guidance in formulating the program for GEWEX and advises the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Program of progress achieved in the implementation of GEWEX, and scientific advances in the understanding of the global energy and water cycle. “

        How do you think ESA decides to award funding for research on “the global energy and water cycle” if not on the basis of “scientific guidance” from GEWEX? Please explain.

        Richard

      • Nick
        “more sloppiness from Judith”

        The post that I think you are referring to was made by somebody called “Judith Curry” Our host usually uses the name, “curryja” with a link to her website. I think “Judith Curry” is an interloper – it has happened before.

      • “Please note “Global energy and water cycle”; i.e. Wagner’s business.”
        That is not his business.

        And he’s not a climate modeller either.

      • “How do you think ESA decides to award funding for research on “the global energy and water cycle” if not on the basis of “scientific guidance” from GEWEX? Please explain.”

        There’s no indication that the European Space Agency relies on GEWEX. Why would they?

        But anyway, the ESA funding decision was made long ago (before T became SSG chair) and the network is up and running. And it is a database on remote sensing of soil moisture. Not “global energy and the water cycle”.

  14. This is truly a hatchet job and will only further polarize the climate science debate

    This hypocrisy rings all kinds of alarm bells for me. Whatever the context, an assertion that a response “further polarize[s] . . . the debate” invariably means “I attacked you because I thought you wouldn’t fight back. How dare you fight back! That’s just going to escalate our conflict!”

    The opposite is true. Bullies need to feel that punch in the nose(*) — it’s going to make them think twice about their lunch money racket.

    (*) Figurative punch, meaning to fight back in the discourse, not literal violence.

    • Robert,

      As previously discussed, your contributions to this blog have struck me as sub-fusc, at best. But this “Bob the Fearless Nose-Puncher” schtick you’ve come up with is great stuff! Why can’t you be this good all the time, Robert?

      Sic ‘em, Champ!

    • John Carpenter

      “(*) Figurative punch, meaning to fight back in the discourse, not literal violence.”

      Way to be politically correct there Robert. Wouldn’t want to end up on a list of ‘alarmist psycho rants’ against skeptics, would ya.

      In all seriousness, don’t you think the ‘higher road’ could have been tread by Trenberth et al? Why descend further into this politicization of science abyss? The beauty of silence is, it speaks for itself. Why should Trenberth make it personal? Do you think the current polarization is a good thing?

      • John –

        If I might step in here, I have a question for you:

        In all seriousness, don’t you think the ‘higher road’ could have been tread by Trenberth et al?

        I will answer that question with a “yes.” Their “behavior” (as per Judith) was low road and more than likely counterproductive by any measure.

        Now, would you make the same assessment of Ross McKitrick calling Wagner a “groveling, terrified coward?,” or indeed, the thousands of similar posts on these threads and others throughout the “skeptical” blogosphere?

        What do you think about Judith’s criticism towards Trenberth with nary a comment about similar behavior from the other side of the debate.

        Do you see how this refers back to the discussion we had the other day about my thoughts on Judith’s imbalance?

      • Joshua –
        Do you see how this refers back to the discussion we had the other day about my thoughts on Judith’s imbalance?

        Judith is far more balanced than you are. You have no room to talk. Even though you will anyway.

      • JIm –

        Anytime you want to respond to my post from last night where I made it abundantly clear that you were pontificating about what I do or don’t say about ID, or what I do or don’t believe about ID – without having even bothered to read what I said about what I believe, feel free to do so.

        I noticed that you haven’t responded yet, and I didn’t want it to slip your mind.

      • And Jim –

        Just an FYI – when I address a specific question to John, I’m not particularly interested in reading a response from you regarding your assessment of my viewpoints. You’ve already made your assessment abundantly clear – notably in comments where you were arguing against viewpoints that you attributed to me but which didn’t mesh with my viewpoints in the least.

        I mean feel free to chime in – but you should know that there really is no need for you to interject such comments. If you’re as interested in the exchange between Jim and myself as you appear to be (by dint of your interjecting yourself into the dialogue), I suggest you go back to the previous Wagner thread and read up on our prior exchange on the topic related to my question in the above comment. After you’ve done that, I would welcome any of your opinions as long as they are on point to a reasonable degree.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        Yes, I would say the the ‘groveling, terrified coward’ remark is no better and unnecessary. I find that many of the participants in the debate about our climate have taken very personal positions. I understand why some would and perhaps it is asking too much for any of them to ‘bury the hatchet’.

        I don’t find Judy’s criticism toward one side of the debate troubling for me because I tend to agree with her position. Is it as lopsided as you find? I will keep a closer watch… however, as I stated previously, we all have our bias’s. My expectation is she will continue to take more balanced positions in the future as I believe she has in the past. She is entitled to her opinions as much as the rest of us, so expect her to use examples to enforce her opinion when they arise.

      • John –

        Just to clarify – I’ve never questioned her entitlement to an opinion. That is a given, IMO. Especially since it’s her blog!

        So why do you think that Judith does not come out and criticize McKitrick for his comment (I would think that by now she is aware of his having made that statement) or the abundant similar comments form “skeptics” on these past two threads?

        Often she says that she doesn’t care what “skeptics” have to say if they aren’t powerful players in the debate. Perhaps that explains why she doesn’t feel compelled to criticize the ubiquitous slandering of Wagner we have seen the past couple of days in comments on her blog? Now, of course, I think that rationale ignores the significant impact of the venom emanating from the “skeptical” blogospherem, but her lack of criticism of McKitrick would fail to be justified even by her rationale that what the little people (paraphrasing) say, doesn’t matter.

        (I should also note that Judith frequently credits her “denizens” for making valuable contributions, and seems to believe that the ideas of non-credentialed parties in the debate should be given more weight, but then turns around and says that the venom emanating from those same sources doesn’t have a significant impact.)

      • well no, this is the first i have seen of mckitrick’s comment and have not yet seen the context for it. I am at an airport ready to board a plane.

        Further comments by an uncredentialed blogger answerable only to him/herself is vastly different from someone in a position of responsibility in government funded organizations.

      • Here’s the link, Judith.

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/#comment-54838

        Take your time (and have a good flight!) – but please read this comment also related to response time:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/#comment-108790

      • Let me rephrase Joshua’s question:

        So why do you think that Judith does not come out and criticize [Joshua] for his [ceaseless, recurrent, unvarying, repetitive, interminable, persistent, unending, oft-repeated, perpetual, running] comment[s] [regarding "Judith's imbalance"]…or the abundant similar comments from [Robert, settledscience, Martha, et al.] on [virtually every thread on this blog]?

        Maybe I should start asking this question day after day, on thread after thread. Nah, that would be excruciatingly boring.

      • Ross McKitrick said
        September 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

        Nick (Stokes), If you think that “Trenberth is not centrally involved” then why is Trenberth’s the only paper cited by Wagner and why do Trenberth&friends say:

        “Kevin Trenberth received a personal note of apology from both the editor-in-chief and the publisher of Remote Sensing.

        http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2011/09/spencer-faulty-science

        Or are you going to hide behind the adjective “centrally” and reply that we don’t know for sure if someone else might have been even more centrally involved? In that case, Wagner must have made multiple personal apologies. But all that means is that he is even more of a grovelling, terrified coward than he already has made himself out to be. As for your claim, what we know is that Trenberth was sufficiently involved to have received personal apologies from Wagner and from the publisher of RS.

        Can you imagine the content of those conversations in a way that does not make you feel ill? Why the hell would any journal editor apologize to an uninvolved third party for publishing a paper that passed their peer review process? No matter how much you might disagree with a paper you read, would you, Nick Stokes, ever dream of contacting the editor and demanding an apology? To do so would be arrogance on the level of psychopathy.

        Ask yourself: not just why did Wagner resign, but why did he apologize to Trenberth? Give us a plausible sequence of events that leads to that outcome, in which Trenberth is not centrally involved.

        Also, Wagner does not say he is resigning because he disagrees with RS management practices regarding referee selection, he is saying he is resigning because of the publication of S&B, even though he can’t point to any flaws in the process and he has not received any rebuttal papers and his own journal doesn’t plan to retract the paper.

        His reasons for resigning simply don’t stand up. There is prima facie evidence that Trenberth communicated with him over this paper, which implies backroom pressure, rather than open debate. You’re not that obtuse, Nick, c’mon. This is an ugly, ugly incident. Pick other things to defend: stay well clear of this horror show.

      • Judith said:
        “comments by an uncredentialed blogger answerable only to him/herself is vastly different from someone in a position of responsibility in government funded organizations.”

        Lol, I wouldn’t describe Ross as ‘uncredentialed’, however Judith does have a point about Trenberth on the public dime, and the lack of decorum Pielke Sr points out.

        So, Joshua, will you respond to this substantive point, or cop out as usual?

      • Further comments by an uncredentialed blogger answerable only to him/herself is vastly different from someone in a position of responsibility in government funded organizations.

        Sorry I missed that from your comment earlier.

        McKitrick is considered by many on the “skeptical” side of the debate to be an absolutely key player in the debate about climate change, and the veracity/viability climate scientists and the work they produce.

        I’m rather surprised to see you so dramatically demean his work, the role he has played in the debate, and the standing that he holds in the “climate skeptic” community.

        Further, I am continuously amazed that on the one hand, you praise your “denizens” for their contributions to your thinking, and you regularly put up posts from “uncredentialed” individuals on your very own blog, yet on the other hand, you diminish the impact of regrettable behavior from “skeptics” merely because they are “uncredentialed.”

        Finally – you fail to apply the same excluding criterion of being credentialed when you highlight the behavior of “warmist,” so why would you then use that criterion as an excluding variable when it comes to “skeptics?”

      • Tallbloke –

        I didn’t respond earlier to Judith’s “substantive” response earlier because somehow I missed the second paragraph – but I have corrected for that earlier omission.

        And please, tallbloke – show me where I “copped out” in previous situations when presented with substantive responses. I would be more than happy to correct any such “copping out” anywhere you can show me that I did so. What’s funny to me is that on the one hand, I get criticized for making my points too often (see GaryM’s post above) , and on the other hand, I get criticized for “copping out.”

        Pretty funny that GaryM’s comment is in the very same hierarchical nest as yours, isn’t it?

      • Well, Ross is a friend and I’m sure that he’ll not be shocked to hear that I think his words cross the line. I don’t think that Wagner is a coward. I just think he did what was suggested. What would you next point be?
        Perhaps we can get back to the real questions at hand.

        1. does it make any scientific sense to resign over a paper when the best course of action is to retract it?
        2. What sense does it make to apologize to Trenberth? as an individual how was he harmed?

        This is just pure silliness that has all the markings of a PR machine move. On both sides.

        there is no simple way back to normal science. Science has never been free of politics and rhetoric, but now it’s on a path of being reduced to it.

      • PR is the key term, even more than politics. This smacks of desperate PR – PR that is now proving massively counterproductive, both in the number of additional downloads of SB11 and, I’m sure, the number of readers of Spencer’s blog.

        There is also, as part of the PR offensive, a coordinated attack on Climate Etc, to try to render it unreadable. But who cares if one or two threads are unreadable? I don’t think Judy should feel under pressure about it. The more serious scientific threads will shine through.

        Finally, nobody should miss the irony that Spencer and Lindzen, who are so often linked together as the denialists arguing from modern data that climate sensitivity is low, have come to totally opposite conclusions about Intelligent Design. The argument from authority is very bad at crossing borders. But this shows something wonderful about an open, truly free society.

      • In all seriousness, don’t you think the ‘higher road’ could have been tread by Trenberth et al?

        They are on a pretty high road as it is. All they did was point to a pattern of mistakes, as well as a pattern to those mistakes. There’s nothing in the letter that remotely resembles the viciousness and hatred directed against climate scientists by deniers. They are a long, long way from stooping to that level.

        So what’s the argument against the editorial? Communicate only through the peer-reviewed literature? Never call a sloppy scientist sloppy in public, but hold the line? “Skeptics” don’t believe any of that as it applies to their own rhetoric.

        The highest of high roads — completely ignoring Spencer — unfortunately leaves the public at the mercy of a well-oiled propaganda machine that relentlessly hypes his bad science, including Spencer’s own wild overhyping of his findings. Engagement or dismissal would seem to be the two options. Dismissal, while justified, has not been successful in persuading “skeptics.” So trying engagement is a reasonable experiment.

        This is inevitably going to be uncomfortable for “skeptics,” because every argument they have directed at climate scientists easily rebounds upon them. Loss of credibility? “Skeptics” have committed plagiarism, falsified graphs, lied repeatedly and in public. Sloppiness and a record of mistakes? Hoo boy. There’s no comparison. Failure to persuade? “Skeptics” have failed to persuade 97% of climate scientists, whilst making inroads only with the most right-wing sections of the public.

        Editorials like Trenberth’s attacking climate scientists must number in the thousands. Your glass house has been throwing stones for years now; by what right do you claim your targets should never pick up a rock?

      • So 60% of Americans are extreme right-wingers? Yale Project poll , 5/11, show 60% view Climate Change as a moderate or less concern.

      • That poll found only 10% of Americans are dismissive of climate change, down from a high of 16%.

        Your error is in counting people who endorse concern about climate change as being on your side. If you ask how many have been convinced that climate change is not a matter for concern, the number is 14%.

        Denialism is treading water, not making converts.

      • Skepticism is not denialism. Almost everyone here “believes” in “Climate Change”. Heck, most here understand that the physics suggest an impact to doubling CO2, about 1 degree C.
        The CAGW dogma will not allow discussion that there may well be no “C” in CAGW, and that natural forces may be predominant.

      • John Carpenter

        Robert,

        The idea is… we should not be ‘picking up rocks’ on either side. Those that are at the heart of the debate, such as Trenberth et al, have a responsibility to address the science, but not to make it a personal issue. Do you not see how the comments made are personal digs? It is not useful on either side of the debate. If Trenberth wants to write a paper refuting the science, by all means, he is more than qualified to do so. This type of behavior does nothing to improve relations with those who disagree with his position. Is that not a goal of a debate with consequences as high as imagined by some involved? Do we not want to reconcile differences in order to move forward in a productive way? I understand this idea is not likely going to happen, but it should be in the forefront of ones mind before speaking out.

        It takes a great deal of composure to hold back ones emotions during a heated debate (I call the likelihood or not of CAGW a heated debate). Trenberth, Ray Pierrehumbert, Hansen, Mann, Jones… they all have a far greater responsibility to behave at the highest level because the work they produce and the ideas they promote are viewed at the highest level wrt influencing policy. The common flaw with all of them is their inability to bite their tongue when the pressure is on or when opportunities arise where they are better off being silent. The lack of personal composure ultimately hurts their credibility because it shows they have skin in the game. Defending your scientific findings with more concurring science is the way… not calling the other guy ‘shoddy’ or worse with no reason why.

        Finally, skeptics who want their science to be held up to the same high level as KT et al need to be held to the same standard.

        Joshua… if you read this… I already know what you are going to say, so don’t bother.

      • The idea is… we should not be ‘picking up rocks’ on either side.

        That’s a fine sentiment, but how does it apply here, when people like Roy Spencer are hyping bad science to the media, which is more than ready to spread that nonsense far and wide?

        I don’t agree that directly addressing the mistakes of Spencer et al, or the fact that these mistakes always seem to point in a given direction, will damage Trenberth et al in the slightest. The opposite may be true, at least in the court of public opinion. Call it “the Dukakis effect” — sometimes, refusing to show emotion makes you appear less credible. How does it appear to the public if “skeptics” keep us a constant drumbeat of hyperbolic accusations of fraud, incompetence, political bias and elitism and climate scientists respond “Well, no, that’s not really true”?

        Cool and collected is fine — the letter sounds pretty cool and collected to me. But you have to be willing to call a spade a spade. Roy Spencer has a long history of mistakes, all aligning with his very open agenda. People are not supposed to talk about that? Why? “Skeptics” would sure as hell want to talk about that sort of record in a pro-consensus scientist. They’d be baying for his blood.

        I don’t claim to have all the answers here. John Abraham did a great takedown of Monckton that was cool and collected from start to finish. I admire what he did, but I don’t approach the debate that way. I’m more likely to express sarcasm, or express outrage, or laugh at absurdity, or mock hypocrisy. Everybody has the right and the responsibility to find their own voice. I find nothing objectionable in Trenberth’s.

      • John –
        Do we not want to reconcile differences in order to move forward in a productive way?

        I’ve seen no desire on the warmist side to reconcile anything. Rather I’ve seen a desire for the skeptics to surrender – and in some cases, even that would not satisfy them.

        Increasingly, I’m seeing the same general attitude developing on the skeptic side.

      • Lovely spanish verse, roughly translated
        If talking is of silver mould
        then silence is of polished gold

  15. When Earnest Rutherford discovered the atom, his work was in opposition the the established orthodoxy. The great Max Planck ( the Trenberth of the day) assured all that the notion of the atom violated the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Rutherford was proven correct. Perhaps climate scientists could benefit by studying the history of scientific development.

    • The great irony is that it was Planck’s discovery of the quantum that made Rutherford’s “solar system” model of the atom finally work (in the hands of Bohr). The quantum explained why the electron does not spiral down into the nucleus. It would be wonderful if Trenberth provided the mechanism that refutes AGW.

      • If anyone were to refute the theory of AGW (an unlikely prospect) it is far more likely to be a scientist like Trenberth operating in the ordinary course of business than it is a “skeptic.”

      • Bobbie,

        AGW is false.

        See, I just refuted it.

        Andrew

      • I doubt that Trenberth will provide anything that refutes AGW, he may be providing a rescaling of CO2 impact relative to overall system. The high sensitivity model he used as an example of how Spencer was wrong also has higher aerosol forcing than many if I remember correctly, to compensate for the for the model drifting from observation. The combination of both higher sensitivity and greater aerosol fluctuation mimics what I would expect with water vapor change (spatially) due to internal oscillations. I would believe a sensitivity to water vapor should precede a sensitivity to CO2 doubling, CO2 is well mixed and easy, water with its three phases impacting both the surface and the atmosphere, not so much.

    • “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” – Ernest Rutherford.

      http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-lecture.html – Rutherford collects a chemistry stamp.

      “The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.” – books.google.co.za/books?id=55lh1B82SLsC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA21 citing an E. Rutherford, 1933.

      Planck can be excused a bit for mistakes on Thermodynamics.

      A lot of smart people even today argue things violate the Second Law when clearly they are true and observable, and the science to explain their confusion has existed for years, as had Planck’s own work done for years before he understood what he meant.

    • The Planck reference is apropos. Spencer doesn’t seem to understand the distinction between Stefan-Boltzmann and Planck.

      This ‘Planck’ or ‘Stefan-Boltzmann’ response
      stabilizes the climate system against runaway temperature changes, and represents a baseline from which feedbacks are traditionally referenced.

      Spencer seems to marginalize both quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics with this mushy conflation of a density effect and an integrated effect. Maybe it is just sloppiness, but I don’t get the impression he has a feel for the physics. He uses lambda (λ) as a feedback parameter, which is very peculiar considering that a physicist would reserve this for denoting wavelength of radiation.

      • Seeing radiation experimentation is his specialty, I expect Spencer is thoroughly familiar with the nuances of both including all the variations in absorption/emission as a function of wavelength for gases, liquids, and solids.
        A charitable interpretation would be to say that is a quick shorthand summary of the magnitude and frequency distribution of black body radiation.

      • Thanks. That could be it. Many of these articles are pretty opaque on first reading, and it takes a while to work out possible inconsistencies.

        What I am trying to work out in my head is the perturbation effect of water vapor. I realize that it is a strong GHG but how much does it really vary globally? It has a residence time of 10 days, which obviously indicates that it precipitates out very easily and there is no adjustment time per se, as it establishes a vapor pressure steady-state only dependent on the temperature. So are they saying that temperature tracks the clouds, or is it that the clouds track the temperature?

      • Yes, but temperature varies diurnally at every point and region of the earth. Albeto and cloud cover are functions that include time of day. There is no steady state any more than a running V8 engine is in Steady State.

      • There is very close to a steady state in incoming energy (from the sun) and outgoing energy (due to radiation from the earth). What perturbs this is the addition of energy that took millions and millions of years to form, in the span of only tens of years. That is the impulse response to nearly steady-state conditions that we are interested in.

        Diurnally, there is a change in the steady state as minimum night-time temperatures are rising more rapidly than maximum day-time temperatures. Do we think this is an albedo and cloud-cover argument?

    • When Earnest Rutherford discovered the atom,

      Namely 1911. Oscar Wilde’s play on that name, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” was written and first performed in 1895, the same year Rutherford moved from New Zealand to join the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. One imagines his friends saying “Come on, you kiwi, let’s go down to London, there’s a play about you.” :)

      Rutherford was proven correct.

      It is fair to say that it was a step along a long path. The Rutherford model is nowadays called the Rutherford-Bohr model because Rutherford’s version failed to account for so-called bremsstrahlung or braking radiation. In his “plum-pudding” model, negatively charged orbiting electrons would be obliged to emit radiation, lose energy, and fall into and stick to the positively charged nucleus. Bohr contributed the discrete energy-state orbital concept that was crucial to acceptance of the theory and got off to a good start what we now call the old quantum theory, which held the fort for over a decade.

      Unfortunately Bohr’s improvement only worked reliably for the one-electron hydrogen atom: the idea of electrons following well-defined orbits as though they were planets failed to account for atoms larger than hydrogen, in which two or more electrons orbiting the same nucleus interacted with each other in weird and wonderful ways. It was left to Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Pauling, Mulliken, etc. to give the modern description of orbitals as probability clouds, with the Pauli Exclusion Principle playing a key role in elucidating the structure of the periodic table.

      Perhaps climate scientists could benefit by studying the history of scientific development.

      You do atmospheric physicists an unkindness to suggest that they aren’t already very familiar with it. They’re expected to know all this stuff by their sophomore year at the latest. I would not allow a Ph.D. candidate to pass their oral qualifying exam who did not know this history and could not relate it to our modern understanding of orbital structure as it arises in atomic shells and molecular bonds.

      • Vaughan I agree with your technical points. The argument I was trying to make (poorly) was that scientists should always be open to new attempts to better understand the science. Trenbreth has made tremendous contributions to climate science. But in his rebuttals he comes off as a high priest defending an orthodoxy. That approach disappoints me. Einstein never accepted quantum physics, but he treated his opposition with respect.

      • Hank, you may be right that Trenberth might have been able to handle Spencer more diplomatically, I wish I was in a better position to judge that.

        I am however able to judge the analogy with Einstein, whose opposition was of two readily distinguishable kinds, namely those he treated with respect and those he (sometimes) didn’t.

        For the first kind, he acknowledged the efficacy of the probabilistic model of the electron but questioned both its necessity (surely it’s just a matter of hidden variables) and its internal consistency (the EPR paper). On the one hand he was well aware that his was a minority opinion, on the other he remained convinced that ultimate truth had given way to expediency. It is unfortunate that he did not live to see Bell’s ingenious clarification of the issues the EPR paper had ingeniously brought up.

        The second kind are represented by those opposing relativity, of which there was understandably no shortage wherever he traveled in the 1920s, both at home (amplified by local politics) and abroad. Here the shoe was on the other foot: Einstein understood why they objected, but in this case he was leading a revolution, not reluctantly following in its footsteps as a dissenter. He had no respect whatsoever for those whose rejection of relativity appeared to him politically motivated.

        Hank, I would be very interested in your view as to which of these two kinds of opposition faced by Einstein at different times in his career bore the greater resemblance to the opposition currently faced by Trenberth, Mann, Santer, Jones, etc.

      • It seems that Einstein imposed conditions to stay married with his first wife, among them we read:

        > You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reason.

        > You will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way.

        > You will stop talking to me if I request it.

        > You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.

        http://www.duhaime.org/LawMag/LawArticle-1096/Albert-Einstein-Family-Law-Relativity.aspx

        It’s tough to know if these conditions were inspired by respect or lack thereof.

        And by the way:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/9859448012

  16. Richard Saumarez

    I was shocked when I read the piece by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick. Two things strike me:

    1) While roundly condemning S&B for shoddy science (on the grounds that they made errors -who hasn’t), they don’t mount an argument to explain why it is wrong.

    2) The article shows very poor political judgement.

    What is the matter with these people? Do they really believe that this behaviour will make criticism disappear and that it will enhance their cedibility? If they do, they are truly deluded.

  17. “Figurative punch, meaning to fight back in the discourse, not literal violence.”

    Unless you’re Ben Santer.

    • Of course Ben Santer was writing a private e-mail to a friend, an email he did not know would be hacked and published, therefore his statement cannot be construed as a threat.

      To find actual threats, we must look to the multitude of deniers threatening to rape children or lynch climate scientists . . . or the denier in Norway that murdered seventy people at a summer camp.

      Since deniers have introduced death threats and actual murder into the discourse, it behooves us all to be very clear in our use of language to avoid anything that may be construed as a threat.

      • Robert,

        Thanks. I’ll bookmark your comment to show to “the undecide”.

        I’m sure they’ll find it illuminating.

      • How over the top dishonest, ad hominem an attempt is this?

        Where are all the liberal whiners complaining at “Godwin’s Law”(when it wasn’t violated I might add)??? This is better?

      • “How over the top dishonest, ad hominem an attempt is this?”

        cwon1,

        The name says it all. ;)

        Andrew

      • Can you provide any evidence of skeptics who have made threats?

      • Yes, I could. Can you? Please demonstrate.

      • Stirling English

        Please provide such evidence. With documentation sufficient to convince.

      • Sorry, the burden of proof is on you if you want to try to deny these widely documented threats.

        Your ignorance — if that’s what is — reflects on your credibility, but does not impose on me any obligation to educate you. ;)

      • No, Robert. The burden of proof is on you since you made the charges. If you can’t provide proof then the logical conclusion is that you’re lying.

        Note – you have to provide proof (links) for ALL of you allegations – not just one or two.

      • Actually no, Robert- the burden of proof is on those making the accusation to provide the evidence to support said accusation. You cannot prove a negative in this context; though given your position on this subject, one can see where you get your ‘scientific methodology’ from.

      • Stirling English

        Robert is a serial killer and eats babies alive.

        It is down him to disprove this widely documented fact.

      • No, Robert.

        You always do this after I’ve schooled you, Jimmy. You starting replying to everything I post, trying to engage me, like a desperate gambler trying to buy their way back into the game and win the farm back.

        Farm’s gone, Jimmy, sorry. ;)

      • “Actually no, Robert- the burden of proof is on those making the accusation . . .”

        Right. And you’re making the accusation that widely documented threats don’t exist. So it’s time for you to back up that allegation with some evidence. If you can’t, your credibility is going to take a hit.

        Better get to work. :)

      • Robert –
        You starting replying to everything I post, trying to engage me,

        No – I only point out your “dumb” comments.

        Oh, wait…..

        I did what you’re claiming at one time (but not to “engage” you), remember? And you begged for mercy.

      • “And you’re making the accusation that widely documented threats don’t exist”

        NO, i’m asking you to provide evidence that these ‘widely documented’ threats DO exist. More specifically, the ones you mention.

        Until you do that, you’re only making baseless accusations. for a change.

      • Robert that is Bang out of order.

        1- It is not a private email if you are using ‘company’ resources to do it.
        2- Provide evidence of these acts you suggest happen or retract that disgusting statement.
        3- Suggesting that ‘deniers’ are of an Ilk with the perpetrator of that horrific act is low, even for you.
        4- Deniers, as a whole do not do this. Fringe elements (which exist on any side of any debate) do any are rapidly and thoroughly denounced.
        ‘Alarmist’s however have the likes of the 20:20 campaign of greenpeace publically and openly threatening ‘skeptics’ and their families.

        Robert, if you are not interested in an actual debate and only wish to throw insluts and accusations then i would suggest you (to use a northern english venacular) ‘Do one’.

      • “3- Suggesting that ‘deniers’ are of an Ilk with the perpetrator of that horrific act is low, even for you.”

        I disagree. Robert has gone to this well multiple times already.

        Andrew

      • “Robert that is Bang out of order.”

        I guess it’s lucky your not my judge. ;)

        “Suggesting that ‘deniers’ are of an Ilk with the perpetrator of that horrific act is low, even for you.”

        But you recognize it as true, or you’d say so. You merely feel it is impolite to point to the association. Why?

      • Well, no, in fact. I completely refute that point unless you can provide sufficient evidence to support your accusations.

        Unless you can it is just another ad hom attack.

        It is apparent, at least in your recent exchanges, that you are only here to attack those with differing views and to obfuscate. One has to ask why? Are you so insecure in your position (onthis point) that your only recourse is to attack with the most vile accusations you can muster?

        I may not be your judge, but i doubt somehow that i am alone in my distaste over what you have written.

        I’d kindly suggest you re-think what you are doing here. IF you wish to contribute, please do; i’m happy to engage. If not, then why bother?

      • “Well, no, in fact. I completely refute that point . . .”

        I do not think that means what you think it means. ;)

      • No, i understand the term. Until you provide evidence of your point, you are doing nothing but making wild accusations. You are therefore unable to assert what you do- i.e. you’re wrong.

      • Mass Murdering Dictators Support AGW!

        “Recently, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi warned that the African delegation he is expected to lead to the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December would walk out of any “negotiations that threaten to be another rape of the continent.”

        The Ethiopian dictator, who was speaking in Addis Ababa at a meeting arranged by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to promote the African negotiating position, demanded that the West pay billions of dollars annually in exchange for Africa’s acquiescence to a global warming agreement. African Union Chairman Jean Ping took an even harder line, threatening to “never accept any global deal that does not limit global warming to the minimum unavoidable level, no matter what levels of compensation.””

        http://abbaymedia.com/News/?p=2895

      • What absolute piffle. Can you cite one (let alone a multitude) example of a “denier” making any threat of the kind you allege? I’ve heard a lot of this kind of accusation lately, and have yet to see a single concrete example. The “death threats to climate scientists” meme is just another myth manufactured by a climate establishment unable to defend its “science” by the scientific method.

        And trying to link climate skepticism to that maniac in Norway is repulsive in the extreme – I had thought the holocaust denier comparison was as despicable as this debate could get, but I was wrong.

      • What absolute piffle. Can you cite one (let alone a multitude) example of a “denier” making any threat of the kind you allege?

        Yes, I could.

      • Stirling English

        Go on then. Show us your evidence.

      • There’s no need: it’s all over the media.

        The burden of proof is on you to falsify the repeated instances that have been documented. Show us your proof.

        Your ignorance does not entail upon me the obligation to provide you with a free education. ;)

      • As above Robert, you’ve got this process backwards. i would suggest that this holds the basis for most of your misunderstandings.

      • As I said above, LM, you’re the one making the claim, so the burden of proof is on you.

        Good luck.

      • Gordon Bennet Robert, YOU’RE the one making the claim not I.

        You’d make a good fundamentalist you know. Completely impervious to reasoned dialogue (or even basic scientific training it would seem).

        Well, good luck and all, but i’m out of this now. No sense wasting my time on the likes of you.

      • And trying to link climate skepticism to that maniac in Norway is repulsive in the extreme . . .

        No one needs to “try”; it’s right in the manifesto he released hours prior to his murder spree. See: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/07/breaking-yes-anders-behring-breivik-is.html

        That’s what a real hit to the credibility of your cause looks like.

      • you know what you posted in no way supports your accusation. You may as well say that all water drinkers are mass murders too….

      • Labmunkey –
        You have to remember that Robert’s reading comprehension problem prevents him from understanding anything he disagrees with or that would remotely threatens his world view. In those cases, he simply invents something that strokes his ego to fill the space.

      • “You may as well say that all water drinkers are mass murders too….”

        Except that I didn’t say all climate deniers are mass murderers. Only that this, particular mass murderer was a climate denier, which I’ve shown. That he was a climate denier is just as certain, as you point out, as it is that he drank water.

        So you’ve basically conceded the point. Thanks!

      • No Robert, asking for your evidence is NOT making a claim. YOU claim that climate scientists are receiving death threats, then demand WE produce the evidence they are not.

        Absurd! Although it does perhaps explain why you cannot see what is wrong with Trenberths behaviour – you both believe the burden of proof can be reversed on your say so.

        Trying to link Brieviks slaughter to climate skepticism is a new low, even for you, Robert. By the same logic, I assume your support for AGW also implies you support the murderous actions of your fellow AGW believer, Osama Bin Laden. Now that’s a REAL hit to your causes credibility!

      • John Carpenter

        Peter, not only that, but a double hit that he was a Muslim fundamentalist. As such, he must also have been a creationist and therefore totally ruining the AGW theory due to religious association… or so I have read such arguments go today. /sarc off.

      • No Robert, asking for your evidence is NOT making a claim.

        No, Peter, you are making a claim that an established fact — the widely reported threats against climate scientists — didn’t happen. That’s your claim. You need to defend it, and I’m starting to doubt that you can.

      • Robert –
        No, Peter, you are making a claim that an established fact — the widely reported threats against climate scientists — didn’t happen. That’s your claim. You need to defend it, and I’m starting to doubt that you can.

        You made the claim – as you have before – and failed to substantiate that claim – as you have before. Until you have substantiated the claim, there is nothing for anyone to defend because your claim can only be assumed to be untrue. This substantiation is particularly your responsibility in this case because at least one of your previous similar claims was proven to be untrue.

      • Hey guys, when someone is prepared to stoop to this level, isn’t it time to stop feeding the trolls?

      • Robert –
        If there’s a faster way to destroy your own credibility than this bilge, I don’t know what it is.

        Oh wait….you didn’t have any credibility, did you.

      • Little Jimmy crying for Mommy again . . . poor delicate flower. :(

      • Speaking of flowers… judging from the recent flurry of responses… there’s evidently A Bee In Bobbie’s Bonnet. ;)

        Andrew

      • Stirling English

        Bobbie floats like a bee and stings like a butterfly.

      • To find actual threats, we must look to the multitude of deniers threatening to rape children or lynch climate scientists . . . or the denier in Norway that murdered seventy people at a summer camp.

        Which “denier climate scientists said this…. Or are these just stupid comments by idiot commenters on a blog?

      • Which “denier climate scientists said this…. Or are these just stupid comments by idiot commenters on a blog?

        Aren’t those two descriptions of the same thing? ;)

      • Only if you consider yourself to be a “denier climate scientist”.

        Double smiley.

  18. My WWE shares are down. I think McMahon needs to get Santer and Michaels into the ring for a no-surrender match.

  19. Robert, you really ought to get your facts straight. The Oslo murderer’s motives have nothing whatever to do with Climate Change, but it seems that some among the AGW camp can’t see beyond his having visited a few climate change websites and left comments. His motives, now established by the Norwegian Police were political and racist inspired. He was and is against the form of International Socialism and creeping Communisation he claims is occurring in Norway and the “flood,” again, as he sees it, of Muslim immigrants.

    You seem to have fallen into the same trap as the UK Media which labelled him a “Fundamentalist Christian” because he’d done some research into the more extreme end of Christianity, without first checking whether he was a member of any Christian Group (He isn’t), whether he attended any Christian Church (He didn’t) or the rambling and somewhat ambiguous attacks he’d left on a number of Christian websites.

    Also, you should check your terminology. “Denier” might be a handy label, but most of the people you label thus do not “deny” the change that is occurring in the climate of the world, but very legitimately question the “science” quite a considerable amount of which has been shown to be based on some very flawed data. The latest outburst by Trenberth et al suggests that they are very much afraid of having the questionable data in their “models” exposed to closer scrutiny.

    It is a well established principle in politics that if you cannot kill the message, killing the messenger scares others away from attempting to carry it forward. That is obviously what Trenberth et al are attempting to achieve. I would also suggest that the Editor’s resignation was far from voluntary and that some very powerful stakeholders gave him the proverbial loaded revolver and told him he had no other options.

    • A fine post but it calls attention to one of the worst board participants at this site; “Robert the fringe” as I think of him.

      As to why the editor resigned there are several other scenarios. He might have seen the opportunity to advance himself inside the consensus with the theatrics. There are a dozen slime ridden options like this to consider. Maybe he’s a true believer and just couldn’t square the boards position but even if he was that principled to that degree how does that change the actual science claims of either side?

      Just scrape Robert the Fringe off your shoe as a rule to live by. It was an especially appauling contribution on this thread.

    • The Oslo murderer’s motives have nothing whatever to do with Climate Change, but it seems that some among the AGW camp can’t see beyond his having visited a few climate change websites and left comments.

      Let’s look at some of the “comments” he felt strongly enough to put in his manifesto:

      That’s exactly what is happening with the Anthropogenic Global Warming scam; too many people are too demoralised to assess true information about Socialism, Communism, and climate change to allow its use for other agendas on the hands of the useful idiots “the leftists” as former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov calls them.

      Where did he pick up this nonsense?

      Please see Lord Christopher Monckton’s speech . . .

      Sounds an awful lot like a denier to me. He has other nasty right-wing beliefs, but what serious hardcore denier doesn’t?

  20. See Roy Spencer’s followup: A Primer on Our Claim that Clouds Cause Temperature Change September 3rd, 2011 …and Why Dessler, Trenberth, and the IPCC are Wrong
    I find Spencer’s raises issues that need to be scientifically addressed, not rhetorically dismissed:

    it’s quite common to ignore previous papers that are not relevant to your own paper. :) Also, Trenberth sat next to me during congressional testimony where he confidently asserted (as I recall) “clouds don’t cause climate change”. . . .
    Are Clouds Capable of Causing Temperature Changes?
    At the heart of this debate is whether cloud changes, through their ability to alter how much sunlight is allowed in to warm the Earth, can cause temperature change.

    We claim they can, and have demonstrated so with both phase space plots of observed temperature versus Earth radiative budget variations here, and with lag-regression plots of the same data here, and with a forcing-feedback model of the average climate system in both of those publications. . . .
    Dessler and Trenberth believe causation between temperature and clouds only flows in one direction :
    Temperature Change => Cloud Change,

    whereas we and others believe (and have demonstrated) it flows in both directions,

    Temperature Change Cloud Change.
    .. .
    Why is this Important?

    Because it affects our ability to find the Holy Grail of climate research: cloud feedback. . . .Sufficiently positive cloud feedback could cause a global warming Armageddon. Sufficiently negative cloud feedback could more than cancel out any other positive feedbacks in the climate system, and relegate manmade global warming to the realm of just an academic curiosity.

    So, How Can We Know the Difference in these Two Directions of Causation?
    causation in the opposite direction [cloud change => temperature change] gives the illusion of positive cloud feedback, even if negative cloud feedback really exists. . . .

    the large time lag involved in clouds-causing-temperature change can be demonstrated with either lag regression, or phase space plots of the data. There is no other explanation for this behavior we have published.

    But Why Does it Even Matter Which Direction the Causation Takes?
    The existence of very low statistical correlation coefficients in all of the previous studies attempting to diagnose feedback in the traditional manner is, by itself, evidence of this effect. . . .
    But Couldn’t the Cloud Changes Have been Produced by Some previous Temperature Change?
    . . . First, I believe the simple answer is “no”, because temperature-causing-cloud changes (cloud feedback) occurs very rapidly

    Second . . .if he really believes that is happening, then he should do LAGGED regression to estimate feedback…. . . when he does that, his weak positive cloud feedback diagnosis will suddenly turn into a negative feedback diagnosis.

    But What Else Could Cause Clouds to Change, Besides Temperature?
    . . . Cloud formation is influenced by countless processes…the presence of cloud condensation nuclei, the temperature lapse rate and temperature inversions, wind shear, the presence of fronts, changes in ocean upwelling, to name a few.. . .
    What it All Means
    This cloud issue has become very contentious because, if we (or those working on the cosmic ray effect on clouds) are correct, it means Mother Nature is perfectly capable of causing her own climate change. . . .
    it then begs the question of whether climate change — both past and future — is more natural than anthropogenic. . . .
    the dirty little secret is that there is still no way to test the IPCC climate models for their feedback behavior, . . .
    The very fact that the 20+ climate models the IPCC tracks still span just as wide a range of feedbacks as climate models did 20 years ago is evidence by itself that the climate community still can’t demonstrate what the real cloud feedbacks in the climate system are. . . .
    global warming-related policy decisions are being guided by models which still have no way to be tested in their long-term predictions.
    Finally, the fact that the media and pundits like Al Gore have been so successful at convincing the public that the climate models are reliable for forecasting the future shows that IPCC scientists have a much, much bigger problem with the media misrepresenting their work than I do.

    See also: More Thoughts on the War being waged against us

  21. Partial honesty can be as damaging as half-a-lie. The AGW debate has matured but many hold on to the old standards of “decorum”. Does anyone really think the critics of Spencer even read the paper? Would the science merrits have changed their minds?

    It’s easy to attack the “consensus” on these events but bigger fish in the story is the hypocrisy of pretending the science rises above the politics in a general way as a rule about AGW. Being in the profession it must be hard to accept that the science is generally corrupt at the opinion edge. Hence, only one side attracts most the media and political labels of “anti-science” etc. By not disclosing the underlying culture of the consensus Dr. Curry is supporting this status quo by omission.

    So the board will go through an especially vindictive spin cycle that has little to do with the “science” topic because yet again the greater goals trump this minor side topic. Dr. Curry is still offering consensus protection even while claiming reform or being a critic.

  22. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Spencer’s history of being wrong is well known to climatologists, and to try to make mention of his “serial mistakes” verboten is to attempt to have a “chilling effect” on scientists’ discussions of peers’ work. Shame on you both!

    Unfortunately this is not the first time the science conducted by Roy Spencer and colleagues has been found lacking.

    Spencer, a University of Alabama, Huntsville, climatologist, and his colleagues have a history of making serious technical errors in their effort to cast doubt on the seriousness of climate change. Their errors date to the mid-1990s, when their satellite temperature record reportedly showed the lower atmosphere was cooling. As obvious and serious errors in that analysis were made public, Spencer and Christy were forced to revise their work several times and, not surprisingly, their findings agree better with those of other scientists around the world: the atmosphere is warming.

    Tough luck Roger and Judith, those are all factual statements. As you consider statements of fact to be “disparagement” and “scary” respectively when the facts do not comport with your errors and those of your fellow climate deniers, science is not the profession for you. It is clearly not the method that any of you are practicing any longer.

    • Where’s the “serial” nature of their mistake?

    • “settledscience”
      The weakness of your rhetorical attack suggests the Spencer & Braswell has substantial scientific merit! The issues Spencer raises show that climate science is now where near “settled”.

      By contrast, William Briggs provides good insight together with technical review:
      Spencer’s Paper Reviewed; Remote Sensing Editor Wolfgang Wagner Resigns

      • In Spencer’s opinion, he & Braswell have made a case with “substantial scientific merit,” what a surprise!
        And while Briggs’ work is respectable, I don’t recognize the opinions of a general statistician who has no publication history in climate, particularly when the link you posted is all opinion and no statistics. Neither he nor Curry nor Pielke have really defended Spencer & Braswell 2011 on the (alleged) merits. They only complain about the manner in which others say that it does not have any merit. This is a red flag, indicating that they all know that it has no merit, and are just circling the wagons out of collectivist instinct to defend a fellow science denier.

      • It matters little what you think of Briggs.
        maybe you should tell GISS who invited Briggs to talk to them about hurricane stats. I’ll say their judgement trumps yours.

        next.

      • ss –
        Neither he nor Curry nor Pielke have really defended Spencer & Braswell 2011 on the (alleged) merits. They only complain about the manner in which others say that it does not have any merit.

        You didn’t read what Briggs wrote, did you. Nor did you read what Pielke said in his previous posts. Either that or you’re bucking for top spot in the “reading non-comprehension” group.

    • settledscience: Your one-sided grasp of the topic is telling, as is your labelling of Roger Pielke, Sr., and Judith Curry climate deniers.

      Also, I see you’ve had nothing to contribute at the website you opened back in July–like you’ve had nothing to contribute on this thread.

    • I’m sick to death with such stupid comments from eco-zealots. The plain simple truth is that decent scientists whose only “crime” is to happen to find evidence against doomsday global warming are constantly being prevented from publishing, from getting grants and are then being libelled by people such as this ******.

      LET THE SCIENTISTS GET ON WITH THE SCIENCE!!!

      • “LET THE SCIENTISTS GET ON WITH THE SCIENCE!!!”

        Exactly. And the “legislators” like Spencer can get on with legislating. And the Christians can get on with saving souls.

      • Weathermen could get on with predicting the weather . . . mining consultants could get on with consulting . . . journalism majors could get on with pretending to be members of the House of Lords . . .

        [Read the above to the tune of "Imagine."]

    • Ah – that didn’t take long!

      As I suggested on another blog, this Trenberth et al hatchet job will be used by the ‘defenders of the faith of AGW’ to spread the smear liberally around, with no evidence given – like, ahem, links to the papers with those mistakes? Shouldn’t be difficult, if they were ‘serial’, no?

      I’d suggest ‘settledscience’ read the post by Prof Pielke – but then, we know, don’t we, that certain people won’t sully their eyes, never mind tax their brains, with going to certain blogs, Pielke sen being one of them.
      Otherwise he’d see for himself what these ‘serial’ mistakes were all about.

  23. JC>JC conclusion: Count me in Pielke’s corner on this one.

    I do and I count it to your credit. EVEN IF Pielke is completely wrong and has been “serially” wrong, the attempt, within the peer review process, to address the “cloud feedback” problem is merit-worthy and deserves more respect than “the Team” is willing to offer. It betrays the nature of “the Team” as a clique, at best, and a conspiracy at worse. It confirms the Wegman charge about networking bias.

  24. By mistake, I posted the following in part 1 of these two threads. I’ll repeat it here, where it is more relevant, with apologies for the repetition.

    It seems to me that before we speak or write, we should satisfy at least two criteria, not one. First, we should ask if what we say is something we believe to be true, and have good reasons for that belief. Second, we should ask what will be the consequences of what we say, and whether those are the consequences we seek.

    I can sympathize with Trenberth et al regarding the first criterion, at least as regarding the scientific content of the recent paper, for reasons I’ve described in detail in the first two Spencer/Braswell threads. I don’t see how Trenberth et al can have satisfied the second criterion – a good outcome for their remarks. I agree that their statement will further polarize the debate and distract from the scientific questions that remain to be resolved in many areas of climatology.

    The voice I definitely would like to hear next, however, is that of Wolfgang Wagner, in hopes of quieting to the extent possible the rampant speculation about his motives and putative behind-the-scenes pressures and maneuvering that preceded his resignation. I have my own set of speculations that differ from some offered in these threads, but they don’t count. What counts is what actually happened, and he can help us understand that. I don’t think anything he says will completely end the speculation, but it will help. Ultimately, the ferment will die down, and science will proceed as it has before. In a better fashion or a worse one? I don’t know.

    • John Carpenter

      Fred,

      I think you are correct about the two criteria. I would offer a third in light of the second criteria… Will what we say improve the discourse of the conversation and if not, does it really need to be said?

      I have deleted many a posts here.. long ones at times, where upon refection and rereading my words I ask myself, is this really necessary? Am I improving the dialogue? Once you hit the ‘post comment’ button, it’s hard to take it back and it’s there for the unforeseeable future for all to read. I take you to be someone with a similar conscience. (I have made my share of mistakes, but they have little influence in the grand scheme of things.)

      I think Wagner has said enough, what you ask for may be interesting, but would likely be used by others to further their agenda perhaps out of context, so why add more kindling… at this point it would be gossip fodder. I don’t see this issue as one where a great malfeasance occurred that requires a more rigorous explanation than what we have now.

      • I think that it would help Science as a whole to have Wagner give the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ as to why he chose the unusual action of resigning because of this paper. If he was pressured–threatened with being blacklisted–threatened with professional shunning–then the story should be told , in public and in the press. If he was merely afraid that these things would result, then he should say so. His public statements so far hint at such, but do not explicitly state so.

        The ClimateGate emails revealed the seamy-side of scientists pressuring journal editors and science journalists in attempts to suppress certain scientific results and opinions. I, for one, would like to know if these types of things continue to the present day and were operative in this
        instance.

    • Your comment is thoughtful and wise, at least in the general case, but in the case of climate science, I object to holding those that the likes of Judith, Marc Morano and Richard S. Lindzen disparage as “the Team” and worse, responsible to be so sensitive about what “will further polarize the debate” when it is the deniers and their oily sponsors that are 100% responsible for polarizing the debate. When their e-mails have been stolen and malicious lies about their contents broadcast around the world, or when the data thieves are in jail and every Murdoch publication and channel has retracted its misstatements about climategate on the front page and in primetime then we can talk about shared responsibility for the tone of “the debate” about climate science. Until then, let’s not help them pretend that any moral equivalence exists.

    • Fred,

      Please allow me to pose a few questions to you for your consideration and reply, as you might have the opportunity.

      Without speculating about the particular circumstances of the Wagner episode, does Dr. Trenberth have the power (or represent those with such power) to:

      -Inflict reputational damage on fellow climate scientists through other than the conventional channels of scientific debate in professional conferences, peer-reviewed publications, and the like?

      -Influence the flows of money to research from one or more sources?

      -Influence employment, promotion, tenure decisions of fellow climate scientists and/or their graduate students?

      -Influence the survivability of science publications–especially a fledgling one like Wagner’s publication?

      -Influence fellow climate scientists’ access to publications to include the quality and rigor of the peer-review?

      Appreciate any insight you can provide.

      • Mike – I believe that Trenberth and many others have the power to exert “influence” in the areas you mention, although not necessarily to determine outcomes. In some cases, the influence can be used wisely, and in other cases, that would be hard. An example of the latter is “reputational damage” outside channels of scientific debate, where I think Trenberth et al overstepped appropriate boundaries.

        One problem with all of this, however, is that the Internet has radically changed the nature and channels of scientific debates, and here, Spencer has some accountability for making claims about his work that would be questionable in an environment where only “conventional channels” are considered appropriate. That’s not an excuse for Trenberth, however, who has not for the first time spoken when he should have kept quiet.

        I have done my best to see this from an objective perspective, Mike, but that is hard, because I’ve read Spencer and Braswell’s paper in detail, and I found it so deficient that I see some credence in the claim that its submission to Remote Sensing was a subterfuge designed to avoid scrutiny by reviewers sufficiently expert in the area of the paper to have found good reason to recommend rejection. My reasons are given in the earlier thread of a few days ago and a much earlier one when the paper first appeared, and I won’t repeat them here, because this thread is about the behavior of scientists rather than the science per se. Anyone who revisits those threads will also find comments that disagree with mine.

      • Yes Fred, and your exchanges in those threads with Chief Hydrologist and Paul show that the deficiencies you ascribe so vehemently to SB11 are a matter of opinion. There is plenty of scope for reasonable disagreement.

      • Fred,

        Thank you so much for your thought provoking and engaging reply. For what its worth, I always hold your comments in the highest regard and that is why I addressed my questions to you.

        Again, my thanks.

  25. I come back to something I cannot find an answer to. There is no Supreme Court of Science; some organization which rules who is right or wrong on an issue appretaining to science. So how can we decide who is right on this issue? In the end, the observed data will be the deciding factor, but it may be a long time before such data is available. In the meanwhile, how can there be a decision as to who is correct?

    • Jim, that is why science doesn’t take sides. It doesn’t say “things are correct”, it instead says what has been disproven. What should happen is all those with evidence should publish the evidence in a way that they can be checked. Those with interpretations should ALL (as long as they are decent quality) publish their interpretations and then the scientific community will mull it all over and whilst it may come to some general consensus as to what is most likely, the final arbiter is as you say the facts.

      But climate “science” has turned that around. Things are now true because there is a consensus, and now only those whose evidence supports the consensus are allowed to publish.

    • Jim, science is a highly distributed or “social” activity. This means the decision as to who is correct is only made if and when most people decide it is correct. I hate to use the now-loaded term consensus, but that is basically how it works. Controversies often last for decades, or even centuries. It took about 200 years for most astronomers to finally use the Copernican theory. The debate between particle and wave theories of light lasted for hundreds of years, when both sides turned out to be right, or wrong, depending on how you regard quantum theory.

      Calling for a decision is to misunderstand science. Decisions are only made quickly on the policy side, where time is often of the essence, not on the science side.

      • David, may I say I have enjoyed your posts for the last few days?

        I rarely agree with anything you say, but recently I find myself nodding along.

        You make the critical distinction between the scientific discourse, in which “decisions” per se are not really necessary, and all answers are by definition provisional, and discourses that make use of science, like medicine, or engineering, or public policy, in which decisions often have to be made based upon the available science despite uncertainty.

      • Blimey, Robert, steady on or I will be forced to nod along in agreement with you!!

  26. Another angle on this is the implications of the word “damaging”. It is presumably based on the linear model of science and decision making (http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/06/linear-model-of-science-and-decision.html). But the linear model does not work. The ability to keep “bad” information from the public is not what determines the success or failure of climate policy. This would be true even if the attempts didn’t backfire.

  27. The rapid response team is taken directly from the spin machine of New Labour that gave us for example the “unequivocal evidence of WMD” in Iraq where the “threat was real imminent”. We saw the damage that did to politicians. Politicians who everyone half expects to be “economical with the truth”. It ruined the reputation of those politicians, but now it is going to destroy these “scientists”.

    Science is impartial. If you are not impartial you are not a scientist. There is no better evidence that a group are not scientists than that they feel they have to hire PR or spin.

    These attack dogs groups have no other purpose than to disparage those doing work that happens to contradict them. The public look with horror when the politicians do it. When people claiming to be impartial scientists are doing it they are …. well …. it’s insane, you can’t be a scientist and behave this way.

    • “Science is impartial. If you are not impartial you are not a scientist”

      NO! We are human being and we have all the faults and failing that human being have. However, we deliberately design our studies so that we mitigate as much as possible our innate bias. I work on Autism, using cells from ASD and familial and non-familial controls.
      I never know which is ASD, Twin/Sib or Male/Female nor do I know what I am titrating with (a,b,c or d). I deconvolute out the data as #12, #13, 314 e.t.c. and as a, b, c, and d. Only when I have all the raw and deconvoluted data archived do I get the ID’s,
      Last Friday was the first day, after 18 months work, that I was able to compare degree of severity vs. changes I had observed. My final unblinding.
      I am not alone in working like this. It is SOP in biomedical sciences.
      We conduct our science blind because we know we are all lying bastards, we lie to ourselves all the time, it is in our nature. If you look at fixed cells expecting a high dead/live fraction you will take pictures of more dead than alive cells, and vice versa. You have to train yourself to take images in a standard area and not ‘cruise’.

    • Scottish Sceptic
      Note the importance of “double blind” research in medical science.

      When will we see similar “double blind” validation and verification of global climate models?
      e.g. apply the same data input to test the performance of each model?

  28. I have a question as to whether The Climate Rapid Response Team is the same thing as “The Team” that I thought was associated with Real Climate. I recall seeing Climate Audit using “The Team” as shorthand quite a bit.

  29. As a layperson let me say that the very public actions of the Team and in some cases opponents are damaging the reputation of SCIENCE and Scientists to the general public.
    Prior to all this ugliness when a new scientific report or discovery was announced the public gave it little thought. We had no idea if it was significant or not but overall we felt confident and in some cases proud that scientists were continuing to poke and prod in a relentless unbiased search for the truth that hopefully would lead to the betterment of us all. Now of course we understood that scientists were indeed human and subject to all human frailties but we had confidence that SCIENCE and more importantly Scientists had set up a filtering process a Scientific Ethos of sorts to limit those human flaws. Sadly the actions of Climate Scientists and the inaction of Scientists of all disciplines are disabusing us of that naïve belief.
    Before these very public and seemingly very petty actions by Climate Scientists the public saw a white lab coat as representing not only ordinary rules of morality but also Honesty, Bravery, and a deep love for the Scientific Method. More and more I fear the public now sees it as a sign of a salesman.

    • It’s the very open way they get involved in this corrupt partisan push, spin, even the way they run attack website and no doubt write all the wikipedia articles that shows this is not a few isolated individuals who are considered “rogue” elements in an otherwise good subject. It’s the whole subject that is rotten to the core, and with all respect to Judith Curry, the real scientists don’t want to have anything to do with websites & politics, because all they want to do is the science.

      • Scottish
        I can’t agree that the whole subject is rotten to the core or perhaps I just want to believe it is not.
        Scientists need to step up and put an end to this very public display of what I and probably many others consider Un ethical behavior. I understand why they do not want to get involved with the actual science because it has become an emotionally charged issue. Even worse is the attitude of both sides that If You are not With us You are Against Us. If this public mudsling and possible stage managing by some scientist is allowed to continue all Scientists and therefore SCIENCE as a whole will be tarnished.

  30. Well Nice to see that the conversation about Spenser gets diverted into questions of death threat emails, creationism, and other retarded topics.
    .
    Nothing useful here.

    What a waste of denizen time.

    Judith, At some point a modicum of moderation is useful. There is nothing wrong with scoping a discussion. At CA Steve does this all the time. When these food fights start your better denizens go elsewhere. And then you cant learn from them.

    • i know, bad timing for all this, i’m at an airport, i will try to do a bit of cleaning up before i get on the plane
      Hopefully people will spend some time at the weather weirding thread instead

    • It is sad, and I agree with you. This discussion has become a mess that’s hard to wade through.

      For instance, one thing I’d like to know is why Christy is mentioned by Trenberth et al. when he isn’t even an author of the paper under discussion. Why was he dragged in and disparaged?

      • 1. Christy was not “disparaged.” Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick’s statements about his work with Spencer are factual and impersonal descriptions of extremely lousy work that Spencer & Christy have done together.
        2. Christy was not “dragged in.” Since his work with Christy is by far Roy W. Spencer’s most prominent work, the identity of his primary collaborator, John Christy, is normally mentioned when Spencer’s satellite “science” is mentioned. If you search for “spencer satellite temperature” a lot of what you’ll find is by Spencer & Christy. It’s just a fact that their best known work is together. There’s nothing nefarious about mentioning one when the other must be discussed.

      • There is when the paper being discussed is Spencer and Braswell. Braswell is only mentioned twice, in passing, and then they veer off on Christy? This is not reasonable, and indeed disparages Christy.

        And if you think Trenberth et al. are being factual, then point out the scientific facts that contradict them that they do not address–Trenberth sure didn’t.

    • Steven
      Well I suppose when the cats away the mice will play:-)
      Regards

    • Steven,

      For what it’s worth, it’s not clear to me that moderation will save the “discussion” on this thread.

      Wagner’s resignation and its ramifications seem to have powerfully touched a nerve. Robert’s frenetic and outlandish diversions, for example, seem to me no more than a part of a larger partisan, hopped-up push back on this thread by an alarmed orthodoxy. And it seems to me a testimony to the influence of this blog, that the orthodox partisans seem to have selected this blog as the site for their must-win “big move.”

      And moderation isn’t going to inspire an amiable, informative chit-chat on the part of those running scared at the moment. Rather, the value of this thread is the very spectacle we behold and what it must say about import of Wagner’s resignation.

  31. Steven,

    What about when the moderator simply minimizes the clear political posture of so many of the team and in fact the “consensus” in a larger sense?

    “Settled science we’re not talking about anymore” didn’t just happen overnight.

    It’s clear from the forum where the pent up demand is. Kinda hard to discuss a spagetti chart when some one calls you a Holocaust Denier as a starting point.

    • Except no one has ever called you a “Holocaust Denier.” You’re a climate change denier. There are many different types of denialism — climate, vaccine, moon landing, Holocaust, HIV — with common characteristics. To say they are related is not to say they are identical — saying someone is a gambling addict does not imply that they are a heroin addict as well.

      • What do you mean climate change denier be precise? Who has said the climate does not change? Or do you mean people who disagree with the hypothesis that man made CO2 emissions will cause dangerous global warming? Please be precise.
        The use of the term denier is used to denigrate people who do not agree with the made up consensus.
        The vicious attacks on Professors’ Christy, Braswell and Spencer and also their colleagues is exactly what the Fiddlestick Team and their supporters are all about.

      • What do you mean climate change denier be precise?

        Thus wikipedia:

        Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons.[1] Typically, these attempts take the rhetorical form of legitimate scientific debate, while not adhering to the actual principles of that debate.[2] Climate change denial has been associated with the energy lobby, industry advocates and free market think tanks, often in the United States.[3][4][5][6][7] Some commentators describe climate change denial as a particular form of denialism.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

        Denialism has been defined as:

        Denialism is choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth:[1] “[it] is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event”.[2]

        In science, denialism has been defined as the rejection of basic concepts that are undisputed and well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a topic in favor of ideas that are both radical and controversial.[3] It has been proposed that the various forms of denialism have the common feature of the rejection of overwhelming evidence and the generation of a controversy through attempts to deny that a consensus exists.[4][5] The terms Holocaust denialism and AIDS denialism have been used,[6][7][8][9][10] and the term climate change denialists has been applied to those who refuse to accept that climate change is occurring.[11][12][13][14] Several motivations for denial have been proposed, including religious beliefs and self-interest, or as a psychological defense mechanism against disturbing ideas.

        Hope this helps.

      • So Robert, I think I’m beginning to get the idea. So if you, Robert, deny that you’re an earwig with zits, then you’re an earwig-with-zits denier. Is that it? Is that how it works?

      • I asked you to be precise and you respond with a “definition” of climate change denial, when the term you used was climate change denier. I asked a simple question who denies that the climate changes.
        Very easy are you now able to answer my very simple question.

      • You left this part out from the Wiki page:

        “Several commentators, including Goodman, have also compared climate change denial with Holocaust denial”

      • I asked you to be precise and you respond with a “definition” of climate change denial, when the term you used was climate change denier.

        A climate change denier is one who engages in climate change denial. Don’t be dense.

        I asked a simple question who denies that the climate changes.

        Simple and irrelevant. I answered the reasonable question and ignored the dumb one.

        You left this part out from the Wiki page

        I wasn’t attempting to cut and paste the entire page; that would be stupid.

      • The common usage of “climate denier” or “climate science denier” is not dictated by Goodman, nor by Goodman together with “several commentators.”

        Wiki:
        “Several commentators [out of what, hundreds? thousands?], including Goodman, have also compared climate change denial with Holocaust denial.”

        And they have done so explicitly, whereas “denial” is such a well-known psychological phenomenon it is part of the popular lexicon.

        If somebody does not explicitly call you a “Holocaust denier” they do not intend to call you a Holocaust denier, and when you falsely accuse somebody of that, you are engaging in hate speech.

      • Robert:

        “That would be stupid.”

        And?

        Settledscience:

        Pointing out that some very well known commenters explictely link sceptics to holocaust deniers is hate speak?

        I see now why you are so convinced of the CO2/climate link.

      • “Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance”

        What consensus? I mean what exactly is the consensus position that people are denying?

        The extent of warming?

        CRU says it has warmed by perhaps 1C since 1850.

        When they correct the SST blip in the 1940s are they arguing against the consensus?

        If I say it has only warmed .9C.. am I arguing against the consensus.

        And excuse me but climate science is not ONLY about the current significance of warming but it more about the FUTURE. whats the consensus there.

        Is asking the question “what consensus?” a form of denial?

      • Robert
        Thus “climate denier” is a derogatory rhetorical attack that is NOT part of the scientific method. It is used for political purposes to sway the public. Those who use it use underhanded, devious, and repugnant methods.

      • No, John M. You have dishonestly characterized what I said.

        What I really said is

        If somebody does not explicitly call you a “Holocaust denier” they do not intend to call you a Holocaust denier, and when you falsely accuse somebody of that, you are engaging in hate speech.

        When you have not been explicitly called a “Holocaust denier” but you dishonestly claim to have been called a Holocaust denier, then it is you that is engaging in hate speech, not those you falsely accuse.

        It is perfectly clear to any honest person that I never said any such thing about the very few who actually do explicitly liken climate science deniers to Holocaust deniers. Trying to equate others’ behavior to those which you know are a tiny minority is where you’ve gone wrong.

      • Ahhh…I see.

        The ole backwards triple axel double reverse Goodman’s Law move.

        I give you 7.5 out of 10. (10 for originality, 5 for execution).

      • Total disinformation since everyone in your cult know exactly what the code means. It’s part of the eco-left lexicon.

        The hypocrisy is stunning but no surprise.

        Next another reference to Godwin’s Law?

      • It’s part of the eco-left lexicon.

        That doesn’t make you sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist at all. Well done.

        I must have mislaid my copy of the eco-left lexicon, though. Do you know where I can pick one up? Is it online?

      • “I must have mislaid my copy of the eco-left lexicon, though. Do you know where I can pick one up? Is it online?”

        The NYTimes is a good source to start with.

  32. ” I find this whole concept of someone’s science being damaging as rather scary, and it is not Spencer’s science that I find scary. “

    So, Judith, whose science do you find scary?

    But you must find your blog a scary place. The proposition that climate science is damaging (“trillions of dollars…”) is a constant theme.

    • Its the hypocrisy Nick. If 6 birds die in a tar sands pond, oil companies are fined 10s of thousands of dollars or more and environmentalists act as if the world is coming to an end … but if 6 golden eagles die in a wind farm (and thousands of other birds and bats) concerns are dismissed by environmentalists as a just the cost of doing “good”.

      • Bruce

        Tip. Iceberg. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2010/10/26/edmonton-more-ducks-tailings-pond.html

        If 1600 ducks die, the company is fined $3 million.

        And then the hundreds more birds die.

        You’d think a $3 million lesson and blistering criticism from the possibly the most pro-oil government in the world would be learned by an oil company with two years to shape up.

        Your iceberg is tipped the wrong way. http://studentaffairs.case.edu/farm/doc/birdmortality.pdf

        If you’re really concerned about birds, you’ll ban cats.

        If you really want to protect eagles, you’ll restrict highway speeds in eagle areas to 30 mph.

        Nothing about the ratio of concern you express for birdstrikes on windmills adds up.

      • I knew you would come to the bird killers defense.

        “The 86 huge turbines on Wolfe Island, just outside Kingston, Ont., began to produce power about a year ago, and an on-going count of bird and bats that have been killed by the blades has been conducted since then.

        A consultant’s report covering the period between July and December of 2009 was released recently, indicating that 602 birds and 1,270 bats were killed by the turbines over that stretch. While the report says the numbers of dead birds and bats are similar to other wind farms in North America…

        http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/wolfe-island-windfarm-turbines-deadly-for-birds-bats/

      • “Nationwide, about 440,000 birds are said to be accidentally killed at wind farms each year”

        “California’s attempts to switch to green energy have inadvertently put the survival of the state’s golden eagles at risk.”

        “Another recovering species, the California Condor, is also said to be at risk from the giant blades.”

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394945/The-green-killer-Scores-protected-golden-eagles-dying-colliding-wind-turbines.html

      • “But the Altamont, which captures strong winds off the Pacific Ocean, is also a key migratory corridor and wintering spot for raptors. Studies have tried to quantify how many bats and birds are killed by turbines in the Altamont each year, but the task is difficult because scavengers often eat the corpses.

        Shawn Smallwood, a renowned expert on birds and wind turbines, estimated that about 2,000 raptors are killed each year, along with as many as 8,000 other birds and bats. Young birds learning to fly are particularly vulnerable.”

        http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18778324

        (The story implies bird deaths will go down if there is upgrade, but the Wolfe Island story proves otherwise)

      • John M

        Good luck putting the cats on treadmills.

        Bruce

        You hadn’t meant the question rhetorically? Answering your own straw man questions seems a bit cornfield fetishist.

        Notice how you go from something only an order of magnitude above actual figures (thousands) to hundreds of thousands to 10’s of millions all in the same thread, changing your tabloid-based story as you go.

        I found a peer reviewed publication with balanced figures putting the bird kill into perspective.

        Clearly, wind turbines at << than 0.1% of the total is a tiny concern, though concern it remains.

        Why do you keep hanging onto this obvious fabrication, when the evidence that you are clearly wrong is so insurmountable?

      • Bart R,

        Cats on treadmills? Why was that addressed to me?

        I’d hate to have to respond “Your reading skills really are suspiciously blindered.”

      • maybe if we tie scarecrows onto each blade

      • Scarecrows on blades?

        Quick, submit a grant proposal before the stimulus money runs out!

      • Bart R, if 1600 ducks warrant a 3 million dollar fine, how much should the fine be for 440,000 per year?

        Has any wind farm operator/killer been fined? How much?

      • Bruce

        Wow.

        Your reading skills really are suspiciously blindered.

        60 million bird deaths by cats have resulted in how many fines to cat owners?

        Where was your outrage before wind turbines, when power lines caused bird deaths? (And still do, at many times the rate of wind turbines.)

        These inflated numbers you credulously drag out from your self-interested and untrustworthy sources, why do you repeat them when there are so many easily verified true figures available?

      • Maybe we need someone to do a bird kill/$ subsidy analysis.

        Or maybe a joule/bird kill ratio.

      • Maybe we need someone to do a bird kill/$ subsidy analysis.

        Or maybe a joule/bird kill ratio.

        No source of power is entirely clean, obviously. Anything has downsides ramped up to an industrial scale. That’s one reason why conservation and efficiency are part of the puzzle. Saying all power generation has downsides does not mean all the downsides are created equal. Making the world hotter than it has been for the last several million years will kill more birds than wind turbines ever could. And unlike wind turbines, that will kill a lot of people, too.

      • Making Noticing the world is hotter than it has been for the last several million years will kill more birds than since 1934 will hurt very few birds compared to the 10s of millions of birds slaughtered by wind turbines.

      • “will kill”

        I guess you needn’t bother yer purty little head about that uncertainty monster.

    • She’s saying she’s finding the concept is scary that someone could claim science as damaging. The “concept” is scary. As this claim was made by Trenberth et al. And it’s the claim by Trenberth that’s scary: that ideology that published science could be damaging.

      And it is scary. It’s horrifically scary to hear someone in a government position state that. If you are a published scientist, you should be afraid of such sentiments. You should never be afraid of science itself, which is what Dr. Curry was pointing out when she said “it is not Spencer’s science that I find scary”.

      Reading comprehension is important my friend.

    • To add another point. No one on this blog or any other should ever claim that climate science is damaging. Period. It is not right to do so.

      However, it is right to claim that specific public policies being adopted in response to the science are damaging. That is true. And that is the realm of politics, not science.

    • I stated previously, it is the scientists’ behavior that I find scary, not to mention politicians and others that use science in inappropriate ways. Science itself is not scary.

      • Neither should politics in the U.S. certainly. It’s not helpful that connections to agendas be obfuscated, the backstabbing conspiracy culture gets a free ride when what is obvious is ignored.

        Are most AGW advocates (regardless in the science area or not) largely left-of-center in general? Why can so few from the insider side admit this?

  33. Mann has been exonorated again?

    Interesting Trick or Cheat?

  34. I love this battle of the nerds. Oh I am a nerd, a big ,as in physical, nerd, no one took my lunch or the lunches of any nerds around me.

  35. Pielke,
    What “person (sic) attack?”

    There is an opinion article at Daily Climate that perpetuates serious misunderstandings regarding the research of Roy Spencer and John Christy. It also is an inappropriate (and unwarranted) person attack on their professional integrity.

    That is preposterous, and dishonest. The article “Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science” states only that Spencer’s “science” is lacking, nothing about his character and honesty. Pielke’s claim to the contrary is absolutely false. To be clear, I am saying that Roger Pielke, Sr. is a liar. Nowhere in the referenced “Opinion” by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick is the word “integrity” even used, and the word “honest” appears only in reference to the inadequate peer review, which cannot be considered a controversial characterization since it is Wagner’s own stated reason for resigning!

    Remote Sensing is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal much with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should have received an honest vetting.”

    Unless one assumes that Spencer was responsible for vetting his own paper, that reference cannot be honestly construed to refer in any way to Spencer himself. Pielke’s claim that Trenberth, Abraham or Gleick committed any personal attack against Spencer (or Braswell, or Christy) is a lie.

    • This statement by Trenberth et al.:

      “Over the years, Spencer and Christy developed a reputation for making serial mistakes that other scientists have been forced to uncover.”

      If you do not understand why this is wrong, then I suggest you read up on what liable is. And, the scientific process while you’re at it.

      Moreover, did not the ex-Editor in Chief of Remote Sensing say that the peer review process did not fail, and that the paper was honestly vetted? That was written plain in his letter. So what are Trenberth et al. saying then? They are accusing someone of dishonesty or negligence, but who?

    • From the Trenberth, et al. article:

      “Over the years, Spencer and Christy developed a reputation for making serial mistakes that other scientists have been forced to uncover.”

      Attacking one’s professional reputation is what is commonly known as “slander per se.” It is the attack on professional reputation, rather than personal, that makes it actionable “per se,” because of the greater likelihood that damage to a person’s professional reputation is likely to have actual monetary damages.

      However, even for slander per se, there is the question of whether Spencer and Christy are “public figures,” in which case they would have to show “actual malice” to actually prevail in a defamation law suit, meaning the comment was false, and Trenberth et al. knew or had reason to know it was false.

      The comment could thus be slanderous, but still not sufficient to justify litigation. In any event, a trial regarding the alleged “truth” of the allegation would make for wonderful theater.

      • We could run it back to back with the Mann – Ball case, something for both sides to Cheer/Boo. :)

      • Alan D McIntire

        Trenberth et al could have wirtten the malicious phrase to read,
        Spencer and Christy, unlike Mann, were quick to acknowledge errors, make corrections, and give credit where due.

  36. I think leaving Robert to make a complete and utter idiot of himself was an excellent strategy, even if it was by not being available to moderate.
    He has done more to discredit his “side” of the argument than even Trenberth.

  37. Richard S Courtney

    Settledscience:

    I think you should take more care with your use of the word “lie”.

    You assert;
    “The article “Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science” states only that Spencer’s “science” is lacking, nothing about his character and honesty. Pielke’s claim to the contrary is absolutely false.”

    In fact, the article is a series of unsubstantiated smears that include this;

    “Spencer, a University of Alabama, Huntsville, climatologist, and his colleagues have a history of making serious technical errors in their effort to cast doubt on the seriousness of climate change.”

    This statement appears to be a serious libel in that it imputes a motive which – if true – would define Spencer as a pseudoscientist. But it is not true and Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth make no attempt to prove it is true. And it is hard to imagine a more egegious personal attack on a professional scientist.

    Richard

    • Richard

      Are you suggesting there should be some sort of criminal investigation into Dr. Spencer’s pseudoscientific practices?

      A congressional committee of some sort?

      That seems unkind.

    • Is Roy Spencer not “a University of Alabama, Huntsville, climatologist?”

      • Richard S Courtney

        settledscience and Bart R:

        Your replies make no sense.

        Bart R:
        The paper by Spencer and Braswell is not “pseudoscience”. Indeed, the egregious attack by Trenberth et al. on the paper by Spencer & Braswell cites no flaw in that paper and the journal which published it has refused to withdraw it.

        settledscience:
        Your claim that being a climatologist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, pertains to motive proves your reading comprehansion skills are at a level which explains all your posts.

        Richard

      • Richard

        I know ‘paper’ and ‘practices’ contain some letters in common, but to confute the one with the other. Tch.

        Read harder and froth less.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Bart R:

        I apologise that I failed to recognise that you were discussing some undefined “practices”.

        I made the error of assuming you were discussing the subject of this thread and – considering your usual posts – I agree my assumption was silly of me.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        I know you don’t like going down in that cesspool you call RealClimate, but that is where you will find Trenberth’s evidence for flaws in the Spencer and Braswell paper.

        This is a key bit:

        “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have
        already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which
        was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.
        In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a
        minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it
        essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review
        process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly
        accepted by the journal.”

        and the key bit of the key bit
        (cf.[7])

        which is of course

        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFOW_LC_GRL2010_GL042314.pdf

        If Trenberth already published that the models match the TOA energy balance, Spencer and Braswell should have refuted that analysis in their paper, but they did not, they didn’t even cite Trenberth, Fasullo, O’Dell and Wong 2010.

        Now who is doing poor science.

      • That paper is largely addressed to Lindzen and Choi. Roy Spencer is doing the decent thing and allowing L&C’s later paper which dealt with these criticisms stand for Trenberth to respond to.

        How can Trenberth publish that “the models match the TOA energy balance” when the measurement error on the TOA balance is ~5W/m^2?

      • Tallbloke,

        What measurement error would be acceptable for Trenberth to be able to make that statement?

        And you are right, that Trenberth et al (2010) was in part addressed to the Lindzen and Choi paper, but Wagner’s point was that Spenser and Braswell should have addressed Trenberth et al (2010) in their paper precisely because they were addressing the same topic.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Bob Droege:

        Thankyou for your helpful comment (it is in stark contrast to other responses to what I wrote). I reply as follows.

        Firstly, the content of the attack by Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth states no problem with the paper of Spencer & Braswell (S&M). Their attack is pure ad hom. and throws in an insult to Christy who did not coauthor that paper.

        If S&M is so very wrong then Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth could have mentioned at least one clear error in S&M if only as an illustration in their attack. And finding such a clear error would have been easy if the supposed rebuttal of S&M on RealClimate had found one.

        Indeed, the failure to prove S&M is erroneous by stating such a serious flaw tells any unbiased observer that Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth do not know of a flaw in S&M with sufficient merit for them to be willing to publicise it.

        Secondly, whatever is on RealClimate is irrelevant. The publication of Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth is a personal attack on the science of Spencer and Christy with no justification. If the paper by Spencer & Braswell had been trashed by rebuttals in the peer reviewed literature – especially in a letter to the publishing journal, Remote Sensing – then such an attack may possibly have been warranted. But whatever somebody has posted on a blog cannot possibly justify the blog publication of Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth which consists solely of personal abuse.

        Thirdly, S&M does not rely on work by Trenberth, Fasullo, O’Dell and Wong. Indeed, it can be interpreted to provide doubt to their work. If people want to make such an interpretation then that is their choice, but there is no requirement that Spencer & Bradwell should. Their paper notes that it conflicts with other work and anybody is able to decide which other work that may include.

        Since when has it been a prerequisite of publication that a reference to work of Trenberth has to be included even when the published study does not utilise any work by Trenberth?

        In conclusion, the attack by Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth says much about them and nothing about the work of Spencer & Braswell.

        Richard

      • Richard

        The subject of this thread?

        Given that elsewhere I’m commenting on cats, I must admit to a certain threadskippiness.

        However.

        The topic appeared to me about conduct, since it was repeated throughout the commentary that sparked this particular topic and was the main thrust of Wagner’s resignation. Spencer’s conduct and hype and the failed vetting of Spencer’s paper by a Spencer-friendly editor and peer review.

        If you need a refresher on pseudoscience in journals, just Google ‘Sokal Hoax’.

        If you need a refresher on pseudoscience in conduct, it appears Dr. Spencer is furnishing this adequately. Perhaps pay closer attention to him.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Bart R:

        Science consists of attempting to find fault with a conjecture, hypothesis or theory and amending or rejecting the conjecture, hypothesis or theory in the light of any such determined fault. Thus, science consists of a continuing attempt to gain as close an approximation to truth as possible.

        Pseudoscience consists of ignoring or rejecting all empirical evidence that conflicts with an accepted conjecture, hypothesis or theory and seeking anything which supports it. Thus, pseudoscience attempts to bolster an adopted assumption of truth.

        I know of no example whereby the studies of satellite data by Spencer are pseudoscience, and I suspect you don’t either (drum roll to announce your responses with irrelevant references to Spencer’s religious beliefs).

        But the attack on Spencer and Christy by Trenberth et. al in attempt to reject the paper by Spencer & Bradwell is a clear example of pseudoscience.

        Richard

      • RSC,
        Spencer and Christy used to claim that satellite data showed cooling. They were dead wrong, and never figured it out for themselves. Other scientists had to do that work for them.

      • Richard S Courtney

        settledscience:

        You assert;
        “Spencer and Christy used to claim that satellite data showed cooling. They were dead wrong, and never figured it out for themselves. Other scientists had to do that work for them.”

        Your assertion is untrue, but so what?
        If it were true then it would prove Spencer and Christy are good scientists who amend their work as and when needed amendments are brought to their attention.

        This, of course, is a clear difference from the despicable behaviour of Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth who have published personal abuse of Spencer and Christy in response to a paper coauthored by Spencer which provides doubt to work of Trenberth.

        Richard

      • Again, what “personal abuse” exactly?

        Trenberth, et al, only said S&B are wrong. That seems to me like fair criticism. Nobody said they’re wrong because they’re insane from syphilis or because they are too busy having sexual relations with poodles to check their own work or something.

        Nothing personal. Spencer just isn’t a very good scientist is all.

      • Nobody said they’re wrong because they’re insane from syphilis or because they are too busy having sexual relations with poodles to check their own work or something.

        New hashtag!

        #insanefromsyphilisorbecausetheyaretoobusyhavingsexualrelationswithpoodlestochecktheirownwork

    • Settledscience:
      Further to Richard’s comments, Spencer & Braswell’s paper was NOT retracted, indicating there were no major errors by the peer review. Spencer further stands by his paper.
      The scientific method is for other scientists to publish to show where the evidence better fits other models etc. NOT to politically attack them.

      • “indicating there were no major errors by the peer review”

        I think Wagner addressed that in his resignation announcement, when he emphasized that “formal” peer review process is not where he lays the blame.

        Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process.

        He then goes on to take the blame himself, which makes sense, since he’s resigning, not asking for anybody else’s resignation.

      • Richard S Courtney

        settledscience:

        Please think before posting.

        Wagner says the peer review process applied to the S&B paper was correct.
        The journal refuses to retract the S&B paper.
        No flaws in the S&B paper have been stated anywhere (including the scurrilous attack by Trenberth et al.).

        You are spouting nonsense (and I suspect you know it).

        Richard

  38. Not enough tinfoil in the world to protect one’s brainwaves from the nonsense radiations of the high level orbital conspiracy nuttiness going on here.

    A backchannel from “the Team” blackmailed a journal EiC into resigning his post and what the wider public will inevitably see as stomping to tatters the ribboned career reputation of the infamous Spencer crackpot doing clearly hack science prejudiced by Dr. Roy’s well-known preconceived notions and riding it and every journal he hoaxes into the ground?

    Oh come off it.

    To pluck the mask from the face of the pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the crown of thorns.For shame.

    • I’m not commenting on the content, but that’s a mighty impressive run-on sentence.

      I think you mean “in what” not “and what,” though. Otherwise it’s both a run-on sentence and a sentence fragment, and that sort of grammatical atrocity is reportable to the ICC.

      • Robert

        Thank you.

        I take special care to make my run-on sentences more interesting by varying conventional grammer.

        Nothing I detest so much as consensus language.

    • Remote Sensing should release all relevant emails. As should Wagner. I would like to see the phone logs too.

      • Bruce

        Surely you mean, “As should Wagner, Spencer, Braswell, the managing editor and peer reviewers.”

        Of course, it’s a ludicrously invasive thing to do.

        As you will no doubt make up whatever you want to support your view in the end, why not just skip to fabricating some stories for yourself?

        Throw in a few aliens and talking marsupials, so it doesn’t seem too improbable.

      • You meant Spencer and Braswell’s email, surely?

        As well as their finances and speaking engagements, phone logs and visitors.

  39. Here’s the personal attack: “Unfortunately this is not the first time the science conducted by Roy Spencer and colleagues has been found lacking.” The author offers some vague generalizations without actually noting that the errors he’s alluding to were discovers 9and corrected) via the peer review process.

    Pielke is right on target (again). You have to be in serious denial to not see this…

    • That is absolutely not a “personal attack!” It is commentary on the quality of their work, which of course is a statement of their opinion, but it is not an opinion about anybody’s character. The opinions stated deal strictly with the quality of Spencer’s work.

      “Unfortunately this is not the first time the science conducted by Roy Spencer and colleagues has been found lacking.” (Trenberth, Abraham, Gleick)

      Critique of a colleague’s work is not a “personal attack” and to claim such, is unprofessional as well as absurd.

      Your complaint about “vague generalizations” suggests you did not follow the link from the Opinion piece by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick, to a more technical critique by Trenberth and Fasullo. Regardless of any agreement or disagreement with that analysis, it is certainly not “vague.”

      “The author offers some vague generalizations without actually noting that the errors he’s alluding to were discovers 9and corrected) via the peer review process.” (Steve)

      That is simply untrue. Not only do they note that Spencer’s errors were discovered and corrected, they indicate who found and corrected them, specifically “that other scientists have been forced to uncover” and correct Spencer’s errors, because he has failed to find them himself before publication.

      Their errors date to the mid-1990s, when their satellite temperature record reportedly showed the lower atmosphere was cooling. As obvious and serious errors in that analysis were made public, Spencer and Christy were forced to revise their work several times and, not surprisingly, their findings agree better (after correction) with those of other scientists around the world: the atmosphere is warming.

      Over the years, Spencer and Christy developed a reputation for making serial mistakes that other scientists have been forced to uncover. Last Thursday, for instance, the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres published a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientist Ben Santer. Their findings showed that Christy erred in claiming that recent atmospheric temperature trends are not replicated in models.

      This trend continues: On Tuesday the journal Geophysical Research Letters will publish a peer-reviewed study by Texas A&M University atmospheric scientist Andrew Dessler that undermines Spencer’s arguments about the role of clouds in the Earth’s energy budget.

      Not only does that say perfectly clearly that Spencer has been corrected, it says who corrected him, and on which errors.

      • Stirling English

        Remind me when Trenberth and Fasullo’s remarks passed peer-review and were published in a proper science journal?

        We are told repeatedly that such a process is an absolute requirement before any opinion can be even considered.

        Has that staute been rescinded in the last week?

      • 2010

      • Stirling English

        @bob droege

        The remarks as referenced above were peer-reviewed in 2010?

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/

        Amazing. Now climatologists do time travel too! They can have work peer-reviewed a year before it is even done! Trenbeth and his cronies really do have the mystlc powers of foresight they like to claim for themselves. Do they predict lottery numbers as well …or the 4:40 at Lingfield Park?

        Do try to keep up.

      • Stirling English

        @Bob Droege

        Here are the actual results from Lingfield, 4:40 today

        10 Punita 13/8 F
        5 Invasor Girl 22/1
        4 Idols Eye 6/1
        9 Ran

        Just wondered if Kevin and his Mysterious Disappearing Energy Cabal managed to get good odds? Do tell.

      • You clearly have no understanding of the meaning of professionalism. The discredible Fiddlestick Boys stated that “Over the years, Spencer and Christy developed a reputation for making serial mistakes that other scientists have been forced to uncover”
        This is an attack on their integrity also, look at the little snipe, that other scientists had to uncover their mistakes, as if they were hiding things. Of course they are placing their standards of data manipulation and incompetence on professional scientists because they believe all scientists act unprofessionally as they do.
        In their pathetic unprofessional attack they provide not one joy of evidence nor any scientific critique. Why? Because they are incapable of doing so.

  40. simon abingdon

    Judith, I’m afraid this entire thread Update on Spencer & Braswell: Part II (so far 209 comments) is a complete waste of time. Nothing new at all. Just an unseemly brawl.

  41. The resignation was like an honor killing- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
    The Spencer and Braswell paper brought dishonor upon the community (the brotherhood, “the team”).
    As you know by now, I don’t condone the outrageous and unscientific behavior of “the team,” but neither do I think all this tabloid journalism (blogging) gets us very far. The team continues to discredit itself and needs no help from us. I agree that peer review and other issues are involved and require a response. But whether or not the Spencer and Braswell paper (or the CERN) is true or flawed will not determine the outcome of this juvenile “food fight” to use an image from yesterday’s posts. Only the empirical evidence- temperature evidence- will determine who’s right and who’s wrong. The evidence is ambiguous and likely to remain that way for a long time. The evidence certainly does not presently support the IPCC models, any of them. Humans always want to know the future, and so soothsayers and fortune-tellers always have an enthusiastic following, even in science, it appears.

  42. Of course it’s an attack…the inclusion of the entire section was intended to belittle and disparage them…of course, that was the intent of the article…

    What are the specific facts from the publication from Dr Spencer that are in dispute?

    • Stirling English

      Do we think that this attack was a good strategic move and strengthened the public trust in alarmist science? Or does it show up the authors as petty-minded, unscientific egocentrics snivelling because somebody else is gaining all the publicity?

      Just wondered.

    • I already told you where the recent “Opinion” piece by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick references “the specific facts from the publication from Dr Spencer that are in dispute.”

      The basic material in the paper has very basic shortcomings because no statistical significance of results, error bars or uncertainties are given either in the figures or discussed in the text. Moreover the description of methods of what was done is not sufficient to be able to replicate results. As a first step, some quick checks have been made to see whether results can be replicated and we find some points of contention…
      So are they replicated in climate models? Spencer and Braswell say no, but this is where attempts to replicate their results require clarification. In contrast, some model results do appear to fall well within the range of uncertainties of the observations. How can that be? For one, the observations cover a 10 year period. The models cover a hundred year period for the 20th century. The latter were detrended by Spencer but for the 20th century that should not be necessary…
      SB11 appears to have used the full 100 year record to evaluate the models, but this provides no indication of the robustness of their derived relationships. Here instead, we have considered each decade of the 20th century individually and quantified the inter-decadal variability to derive the Figure below. What this figure shows is the results for the observations, as in Spencer and Braswell, using the EBAF dataset (in black). Then we show results from 2 different models, one which does not replicate ENSO well (top) and one which does (second panel). Here we give the average result (red curve) for all 10 decades, plus the range of results that reflects the variations from one decade to the next. The MPI-Echam5 model replicates the observations very well. When all model results from CMIP3 are included, the bottom panel results, showing the red curve not too dis-similar from Spencer and Braswell, but with a huge range, due both to the spread among models, and also the spread due to decadal variability…
      Consequently, our results suggest that there are good models and some not so good, but rather than stratifying them by climate sensitivity, one should, in this case, stratify them by ability to simulate ENSO. In the Figure, the model that replicates the observations better has high sensitivity while the other has low sensitivity. The net result is that the models agree within reasonable bounds with the observations.

      One sentence stands out in particular.

      “When all model results from CMIP3 are included, the bottom panel results, showing the red curve not too dissimilar from Spencer and Braswell, but with a huge range, due both to the spread among models, and also the spread due to decadal variability.”

      To reproduce Spencer & Braswell’s results requires a very large uncertainty, which means that their conclusions cannot be nearly as definitive nor dramatic as Spencer’s press release and James M. Taylor’s subsequent op-ed at forbes.com claimed. So, Trenberth has been very clear about his problem with the methodology in Spencer & Braswell 2011, and has been very clear in turn about why those flaws should not have passed peer review, and his critiques have all been in the proper professional language.

      Pielke Sr’s and others claims that Trenberth, Abraham and/or Gleick have committed any “personal attack” against Spencer, et al are simply frivolous and dishonest. They add nothing to any discussion of the scientific merit (or more accurately, lack of any) in Spencer & Braswell 2011, and fabricating untrue claims of “personal attacks” which have never happened only subtracts from all honest attempts at informed, respectful discourse.

      • omg you are using UnReal Climate as a reference? UnReal Climate is a heavily censored blog run by the Fiddlestick Team who are incapable of leaving their barricade to defend the abject nonsense they regularly publish on their blog and also the papers they have produced in the past, which have been shown to be at best incomptence and at worst data manipulation. They will of course carry on fighting the cause until they lose their grants or become employable.

      • Now, that is an ad hom if I ever have read one.

      • Stirling English

        No error bars and a lack of detailed method sufficient to allow replication?

        Surely they should be congratulated on following the highly regarded and frequently robuslty defended procedures of Nobel Laureate Mike Mann and his Team?

      • Stirling English

        Your best riposte? As weak as Wagner’s backbone if it is.

      • The data used was CRUTemp3 and CERES – not commonly reported with error bands. The statistical method was a lagged correlation – a quite simple and common procedure.

        Comparison with models? ‘It is not controversial to state that climate models are deficient in terms of tropical variability in the atmosphere on
        many timescales and a more realistic simulation of ENSO events in coupled simulations remains a high priority for model developers.’ Trenberth et al 2010. Obviously the models have gotten a lot better quickly.

  43. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Science is based on physical data and the physical data provided by Roy Spencer with the UAH MSU global temperature dataset differs only slightly from the RSS MSU temperature dataset strictly from the computational process used. Both these datasets which in spite of being far more precise than the surfaced based data (because the physical biases of sampling are not present to the same extent in the satellite data), the HadCRUT3 dataset, the NCDC dataset and even the GISS dataset all are more or less consistent with the two satellite based datasets.
    Since all five datasets statistically show no global warming so far this century in spite of 29.6% increase in CO2 emissions since 2000, anyone who claims a relationship between CO2 emissions and current clobal warming is in violation of proper scientific practice.
    The 31 years of satellite measurement of OLR show an average OLR of around 232Watts/m^2 with a range from 227Watts/m^2 to 237Watts/m^2 in response to the annual seasonal variation in absolute global temperature between 12°C and 16°C due to the significantly larger temperate landmass in the Northern hemisphere.
    The 2009 update of Trenberth’s energy balance diagram shows OLR of 238.5Wattsd/m^2. Since this is 7Watts/m^2 higher than the actual measured average and is more than a full Watt/m^2 higher than any value measured in the past 31 years, if one were to criticize someone for violating science protocol it would not be Roy Spencer whose basic data and computations are readily available for scrutiny by anyone who whishes to do so; it is Trenberth for using contrived values for OLR in his energy balance computations instead of using actual physical data measured directly by satellites.
    Trenberth uses 341.3Watts/m^2 for incoming solar radiation, and 101.9Watts/m^2 for the albedo resulting in 239.4Watts/m^2 to be accounted for between the permanent uptake of energy by the Earth and the OLR.
    What would happen to this energy balance if Trenberth had remained true to proper scientific practice and used the measured value of 232Watts/m^2 instead of his contrived 238.5Watts/m^2?
    This might seem trivial but the 6.5Watts/m^2 is far greater than the 3.71Watts/m^2 that the CO2 forcing parameter inputs for a doubling of CO2 so this error is in fact significant enough to more than wipe out the entire catastophic global warming predicted for a doubling of CO2.
    Roy Spencer has remained true to proper scientific practice; can the same be stated about Trenberth?

    • 31 years of satellite measurement of OLR show an average OLR of around 232Watts/m^2

      Norm – Could you provide a source for that statement?

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        More importantly can you find a source validating Trenberth’s 238.5Watts/m^2 of OLR in the 2009 revision of the Energy balance or why he changed this from the 235Watts/m^2 used for OLR in the 1997 version.
        Why did Trenberth change the albedo from 107Watts/m^2 in 1997 to 101.9Watts/m^2 for the 2009 version?
        Changing components of an energy balance without providing any reference for, making these changes is a violation of science protocol and that is what this post is about.
        If you want to find the source for the 232Watts/m^2 do what Trenberth should have done and research existing data. (If you are too lazy to do that I will give you the hint that there is a graph of this data prepared on the http://www.climate4you.com website.)

      • Norm – Could you link to a source (e.g., a web page) that shows what you state- an average OLR of 232 W/m^2?

      • Fred, this number seems to have come from climate4you, where unfortunately for Norm, it is an estimate based on just the IR window region, so it takes no account of GHG emissions that change OLR over time. We know that only the broadband OLR is relevant to the actual climate.

      • that’s surprising. I was expecting a field of science to be overturned on a blog

      • Norm – I repeated my request for a source to document your claim of an average OLR of 232 W/m^2, because the link you gave didn’t have it. That repeat request may have disappeared into the spam filter or other hiding place, but it doesn’t matter.

        The reason is that after clicking on links from that page, I came across your “source”, except that it didn’t show OLR over the entire thermal IR spectrum of Earth’s emissions, but only in a window region. The total IR has always been averaged as higher, and Trenberth’s paper averages a set of different values from different sources to get 238.5 – those weren’t just his own data. Some values exceed 238.5 and some are below it, but none is as low as 232. That’s incorrect for total OLR.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        To Jim D
        When you measure OLR from satellites you actually sample the OLR intensity over many thousands of samples over the entire Eartyh and then average the values because the individual values are entirley dependent on the temperature of that area of the surface that the OLR is radiated from. Measurements do not take into account GHG emissions because emissions have no effect on OLR. What they do measure is the effect from these so called GHG’s if in fact they cause any change to the insulating effect of the atmosphere. If you weigh yourself the measurement only tells yopu your weight it doesn’t tell you if you are overweight underweight or what your body fat percentage is; all it tells you is your weight and it is up to you to figure out any of these other things by adding information from other sources.
        Direct measurement of OLR is just that a simple (though rather sophisticated) measurement of the daily outgoing longwave radiation averaged over an entire month and displayed graphically. We can tell that this data is completely free of any tampering because for some reason there were spurious results for december 1994 and January and February 1995 which wewre left in the data and not filtered out.
        The only reason that global warming is still an issue nine years after the world had already started to cool is because people who have no actual first hand knowledge do not have the ability to question the false information presented by those who use the authority of their academic credentials to promote thier claims. The philosophical term for this fallact of logic is Argumentum ad Verecundiam more commonly known as apeal to authority in which proper scientific verification is circumvented on the false assumption that something is correct because of the authority resulting from someone’s stature.
        If you had first hand knowledge you would not be making such a silly comment about direct OLR measurements not accounting for GHG emissions; which by the way do not really exist in a scientific context because there is no proper scientific definition for GHG that allows the term to be used in proper scientific discourse.

      • Norm, do you know what the OLR in the atmospheric window region measures directly, and what it infers? It is not looking at GHGs or changes in them. They extrapolate the window measurements which is only a fraction of 232 W/m2 to the whole OLR spectrum with assumptions that GHGs stay the same over time. The more recent satellites measure the whole spectrum and come up with larger and ore accurate numbers.

      • Norm
        Miskolczi found OLR of 250.05 W/m2 from TIGR2.

        http://miskolczi.webs.com/EGU2011_FM_MZ.pdf

        He points out a 22.5 W/m2 error in Kiehl and Trenberth, BAMS, 1997, Vol.78, No. 2 (Fig. 7) etc.

        http://miskolczi.webs.com/kt97_comments.pdf

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        David,
        The entire energy balance is based on incoming energy and outgoing energy and the processes that result in the outgoing energy being less than the energy flux from the sun averaged over the surface of the Earth.
        We have physical measurements of both incoming and outgoing energy flux and we have theories and models with which we try to quantify the processes in between these endpoints.
        Unlike Kiehl and Trenberth who base much of their argument on published supposition and make the horrible error of not leaving any energy in their balance to create fossil fuels, Miskolczi rigorously sets about working from the actual spectral effects from atmospheric gases and provides a properly justified but theoretical scientific case for demonstrating the errors of Kiehl and Trenberth.
        The advancement of science does not come about from a discussion about which theoretical computation is more correct but instead comes from the determination of what causes the difference between the theoretically calculated value and that which is physically measured.
        Since we do have measured values for the surface averaged incoming energy flux and the outgoing energy flux we have constraints for modelling the processes between these two endpoints. There are essentially four basic components to this each of which is extreemly complex and beyond measurement. The first is the albedo and while we have no way of measuring cloud variation and variation in the surface reflectance Project Earthshine has given us a reasonable measure of changes to the albedo and these changes closely match the observed global temperature trends indicating that changes in albedo primarily from changes in cloud reflectance is the most likely factor for changes in observed global temperature trends.
        The second factor is the insulating effect of the atmosphere of which well over 90% results from atmospheric water in the form of clouds and water vapour with the remaining 10% due primarily from CO2 and ozone with just a slightly detectable effect from methane and a trivial effect from all the other gases named in tyhe Kyoto Accord that is so small it can’t even be detected on measurements of the Earth’s radiative spectrum. Since CO2 is increasing at 2ppmv/year but there has not been any detectable change in OLR resulting from this increase; it is safe to say that CO2 increases have not have any more than a trivial insignificant effect on the Earth’s energy balance.
        The last two factors are the energy permanently taken in by the Earth systems and the energy generated within the Earth that is transmitted to the Earth’s surface. We have no way of estimating either of these two factors directly so the only way to do so is to determine the combined value of these two factors from the remaining factors in the energy balance.
        The measured value for OLR is approximately 232Watts/m^2 and the theoretical values computed by Kiehl and Trenberth are 235Watts/m^2 in 1997 and 238.5Watts/m^2 in 2009 resulting in these two factors having a net influence of either 3Watts/m^2 or 6.5Watts/m^2 depending on which version you chose. If we use Miskolczi value of 250.05Watts/m^2 this combined net contribution from geothermal heat transfer and the permanent incorporation of incoming energy into the Earth’s systems we get 18.05Watts/m^2.
        If this was an issue of science for the purpose of advancement of our understanding, the question would be is the value of the net effect from the combination of geothermal heat transfer and permanent energy uptake 3, 6.5, or 18.05Watts/m^2; but as this entire issue is nothing more than a politically motivated fabrication the only question of concern seems to be who said what about whom and were they justified in doing so.
        Miskolczi presents work in full accordance with proper scientific practice; Roy Spencer presents work in full accordance with proper scientific practice. There are so many unjustifiable flaws in the work by Trenberth that this cannot be considered to be in accordance with proper scientific practice. In this regard exposing errors is also within proper scientific practice so Roy Spencer has remained true to honest practice of science in exposing these shortcomings and should be commended for his efforts and nasty comments by people ignorant of the factual information are completely out of line.

  44. The climate science that Dr. Trenberth endorses and has contributed to was born defective, and blaming others for damages is a travesty.

  45. I believe this is all preparatory to Albertus Magnus’ launch of the 2nd Children’s Crusade on Sept. 14. I am hopeful this second will fare as well as the first.

  46. genealogymaster

    I am by no means an expert in climate science nor is the large group I get together with to discuss climate change. We look at what has been said on both sides and are becoming more convinced that CAGW is not settled by any means. We find scientists like Dr. Trenberth to act childish and we have found all the investigations mediocre at best. The central issue in the climategate emails to us was never fully developed and investigated. We hope to see intelligent conversation and helping us with the facts but we don’t see it. From some on the CAGW side they are particularly against it at all and we all wonder if your paper is so sound why in a lot of cases are you so afraid of data and code being examined by other climate scientists no matter what their belief in CAGW is. It can also be said there are some on the skeptic side you are the same.

    All I can say is this from the large group of people that I meet with to discuss this we have seen no reason to believe Dr. Trenberth or other scientists who make personal attacks. I’m not going to say either is right or wrong. Please show us all evidence we are not convinced in CAGW. We keep hoping that the IPCC and the team will allow intelligent debate but it appears it won’t happen. Are we wrong to question and be upset by these personal attacks. They make themselves look childish and foolish in the public eyes. The institutions which appear to be allowing them to run unchecked do not look good in the public eye either. Can we ever have a reasonable debate in public on the science?

    • As I have already asked others, what “personal attacks?”

      All I can say is this from the large group of people that I meet with to discuss this we have seen no reason to believe Dr. Trenberth or other scientists who make personal attacks.

  47. “Team science”

    Why adopting that vocabulaire? It has a quite antagonizing tone to it for a self-professed bridge builder.

    • Seconded.

      Based on the unscientific sources she promotes (Anthony Watts, Jo Nova) and the impossible double standards she applies to legitimate scientific sources, the only bridges she appears to be attempting to build are to the oil and coal funds that Willie Soon is documented as having received, for doing “science” in the corporate interest.

      • genealogymaster

        Why this fixation on big oil? Why do you not cry outrage over the opinion piece the IPCC did on renewables? Where a greenpeace member was lead author and the greenpiece dogma was promoted as best. It has since been proven to be seriously flawed.

    • Why adopting that vocabulaire? It has a quite antagonizing tone to it for a self-professed bridge builder.

      I noticed that also.

      It seems that as time goes on, Judith is moving more and more towards one side the debate. Advertising her posts at WUWT, adopting the language from one side of the debate, rationalizing the overhyping from the “skeptical” by pointing to the “warmer” side and saying they did it first, actively criticizing divisive rhetoric from bloggers on one side but neglecting to proportionately criticize over-the-top rhetoric from bloggers on the other side, criticizing an exaggeration of certainty on one side but not carefully measuring certainty on the other, apparently concluding that only one side of the debate has something to learn from the tribal behaviors displayed in Climategate.

      • Joshua:

        You never fail to entertain!! LOL

        Roy Weiler

      • As evidence by your apparent dedication to reading my posts.

        I’m flattered.

      • “It seems that as time goes on, Judith is moving more and more towards one side the debate.”

        Granted I got here late, but it seems to me Dr. Curry has been playing it closer to straight lukewarmer recently. There was that post on the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, the one by the officer from the Navy’s climate change task force, and the “green dragon” stuff in which she really showed no deference at all to the psuedoscientific nonsense.

        I wouldn’t say she is even-handed in her criticism of the opposing sides, and I think she is taking precisely the wrong lesson from her arguments about uncertainty, but she doesn’t seem more denier-ish lately to me. Maybe even somewhat less so.

  48. Do we think that this attack was a good strategic move and strengthened the public trust in alarmist science? Or does it show up the authors as petty-minded, unscientific egocentrics snivelling because somebody else is gaining all the publicity?
    Just wondered.

    I’ll go with petty-minded, unscientific egocentrics…but it’s not because someone else is gaining publicity…it’s because someone has published research that doesn’t align with the alarmist’s [your term] deeply held beliefs. Once you know the truth, it’s annoying for others to contradict you…you can gather that same emotion from several of the posters here today…

    • Do we believe “this attack” ever happened, or do we read the actual words and understand them?

      Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick said that Spencer has a history of being wrong, and not noticing it until other scientists point it out. That’s a critique of his professional ability, not an attack on his person.

      • Yes, this is known as ‘Libel per se’.

        Having errors pointed out by others is an essential part of scientific progress. Unless you are Phil Jones of course.

      • So which is it? Pointing out errors is libel per se or “an essential part of scientific progress”? You can’t have it both ways.

      • Peer reviewed criticism is part of scientific progress.
        Hatchet jobs on biased websites isn’t.

      • Yes…and this has been clearly pointed out by numerous people on here and elsewhere. At what point do you realize you are wrong?

      • I realize that you are wrong.

        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/libel+per+se

        libel per se n. broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis), or dishonesty in business. Such claims are considered so obviously harmful that malice need not be proved to obtain a judgment for “general damages,” and not just specific losses.

        All the statements Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick made about Spencer’s career of errors are factual.

        If I decide to say that the reason that Spencer is so often wrong is that “Roy W. Spencer is insane due to an advanced, untreated case of syphilis” then that would likely be libel per se, but I am not actually claiming that his many errors have occurred because “Roy W. Spencer is insane due to syphilis,” I’m just noting that as a hypothetical example that would be libel per se if I did say it, to show how inaccurately that legal jargon is being bandied about here.

      • Cute, but again, you are missing that which is clearly seen by others…

      • It’s also in accurate.

        You obviously have not followed the long history of spenser posting corrections they have made to their methodology. He’s very open about the changes. They are not that significant in the grand scheme of things. rather like all the changes hansen has made to Gisstemp or the changes Mann made to several papers after publication.

  49. Richard Saumarez

    It is interesting that on this blog, which is discussing the outrangeous, and to most peoples’ eyes disgusting, behaviour of some of the most supposedly distinguished climate scientists, there is a toxic, effervescent, didactic, polarising and marginally intelligent group who are showing the same qualities of intolerance and mediocre scientific ability.

    Irrespective of the scientific merits of the S&B paper, I have never encountered such a load of ill-mannered louts as “Joshua”, “Sceptical Science” etc.

    If you have something to say, I suggest you use your real names in your posts – it will enable us to discover if you are anything more than a bubble of toxic hot air!

  50. The Trenberth, et al rapid response team on the journal level and the Joshua, Robert et al rapid response team on the blog level. Very wearying and, thus no doubt, achieving their goal.

    • Paul –

      I was just hoping that you might elaborate on what the goal is that I’m apparently achieving?

      • Distracting, disrupting and misdirecting the conversation in order to keep serious conversation to a minimum. Look at the content and tone of the blog today and in Jan/Feb 2011 to see the difference.

        Not that I don’t sometimes enjoy the rabbit trails, but they don’t contribute to serious conversation or to learning.

      • JIm –

        I have no goal of distracting, disrupting, or misdirecting anyone’s conversation.

        I am merely posting comments to express my opinions on the various topics at hand.

        If you find them disruptive, or distracting, or if they misdirect any of your conversations, I suggest that you try not reading my posts, and that you certainly stop responding as frequently as you do.

        I know that some people are utilizing software that enables them to not see any of my posts. I’m sure that if you asked, they would provide the software for you to use also.

      • You can’t credit Joshua for that – he’s just one person.

  51. Anyway back to Intelligent Design. What is that all about?

    Is the idea that AGW is false because God won’t let man hurt the planet?

    Is that the general gist of why a bizarrely large segment of the population deny AGW is possible?

    • Note – I am not saying everyone who denies AGW does it on religious ground (I am sure most of it is political) but is the religious angle significant in itself?

      I had this thought today recalling how often I’ve read people arguing that scientists “arrogantly” assume man can affect something so big as the climate. Religious origins to that?

      • I would really like to see crosstables on climate change denial and religious belief, church attendance, evolution denial, and other conspiracy theories.

        The best thing I’ve found is the “Six Americas” survey, which confirms a lot of what you would expect:

        * Deniers are politically conservative (overwhelmingly).
        * Deniers are more confident that they have “all the information” than any other group.
        * Deniers are extremely distrustful of virtually everybody — scientists, government, media, basically anybody they asked about, deniers distrusted them.

        Anybody seen a survey on climate change with good crosstable data? I’m actively looking for them.

    • Let’s not forget the large number of people who think the hard-AGW theory is true – because it fits in with their Gaia-centric view of ecology. I’ve run into a lot of very serious AGW supporters over the years who might as well have James Lovelock’s picture tattooed on their foreheads.

      For that matter, the vast majority of people who believe in the “modern” theory of AGW know almost nothing about the actual science involved – and that includes most of the scientists who believe in it, too. I’ve reduced “real scientists” to blubbering confusion by merely asking them what multiplier they favor for CO2 versus water vapor (CO2 heating is X degrees, what amount of “extra” H2O positive feedback heating comes with it?). Most “true believers” don’t even know that’s a primary part of the theory. For that matter, I’ve never met anyone in person who knows about the assumed multiplier.

      At that point, it’s not science, it’s religion.

      • I assume you accept the theory of evolution. So which model of speciation do you favor? don’t blubber now or I’ll have to conclude it’s a religion for you.

      • “I assume you accept the theory of evolution”

        I think this may be your problem lolwot: you assume too much. Not scientific.

        Andrew

      • Evolution is falsifiable – simply find a rabbit fossil in the pre-cambrian.

        Now, what observations, past, present or future, would change your faith in either AGW or CAGW?

        Be specific.

      • A rabbit in the cambrian would not falsify it. It would just be a major inconsistency. There is too much consistent positive evidence for the theory at this stage for such a finding to literally falsify it.

        AGW is a fact. Man is warming the climate. More relevantly though man is increasing CO2 at a rate unprecedented in earth’s history – as far as we know and CO2 has significant impact on radiative transfer in the atmosphere and pH in the surface ocean. So it’s an untested change.

        It’s like handing out untested drugs to children. Fundamentally dangerous. And the models are saying it’s “very likely” the drugs will harm the children. And we have people arguing that models are just garbage-in-garbage out so of course it’s fine to hand untested drugs out to children.

        Now how do we falsify the hypothesis that handing out the untested drugs will harm the children?

        Kind of misses the point doesn’t it? The lack of falsifiable hypothesis for the danger doesn’t make the danger go away.

      • A rabbit in the cambrian would absolutely falsify it. The thought that we could find a rabbit in the cambrian, and not question the idea of natural selection creating complex life forms from simpler ones is ludicrous.

        “The lack of falsifiable hypothesis for the danger doesn’t make the danger go away.”

        Ah, the precautionary principle. The problem, of course, is that when you get it wrong, you can do incredible damage. Say, for example, banning the use of the safe and effective chemical DDT to control malaria in Africa, resulting in millions of deaths, or demonizing dietary fat and promoting the consumption of chronically toxic carbohydrates leading to increases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

        You have no idea what dangers lie ahead, and it is on the whole, more likely that the corrective action suggested by CAGW (or even AGW) alarmists will cause more harm than it could possibly prevent.

        That all being said, at least you’ve fessed up to AGW being a non-scientific belief system, lacking a clearly falsifiable hypothesis.

      • “A rabbit in the cambrian would absolutely falsify it. The thought that we could find a rabbit in the cambrian, and not question the idea of natural selection creating complex life forms from simpler ones is ludicrous.”

        There is overwhelming DNA and fossil evidence that humans evolved from apes. A rabbit in the cambrian would not falsify that or any of the many other areas with similar evidence.

        A rabbit in the Cambrian is the cute old days example of falsifying evolution when there was little evidence. Nowadays there is too much evidence for a single observation to falsify it all.

      • As for the precautionary principle, by invoking that you are admitting CAGW is a threat! If it wasn’t a threat there would be nothing to be precautious about!

        The fact is that CAGW is falsifiable: By continuing with business as usual and finding out it doen’t cause a catastrophe. But I take it you are asking for some other test.

        Well tough, just because you can’t envision a simple convenient test doesn’t make the threat “unscientific”. I don’t even see how that argument even makes sense.

        I pointed out the analogy of handing out untested drugs to children with the hypothesis being that the drugs will harm the children. Like CAGW that hypothesis concerns a threat. Like CAGW it’s falsifiable by carrying out the action and finding out the children survive. Like CAGW a lot of people don’t think we can afford to risk that.

        Would you call the hypothesis that the drugs will harm the children unscientific? I don’t even know what that means – the hypothesis is clearly sound. It’s as if you want to recklessly ignore the risks by using the excuse that the threat is not “falsifiable”.

      • “A rabbit in the Cambrian is the cute old days example of falsifying evolution when there was little evidence. Nowadays there is too much evidence for a single observation to falsify it all.”

        Okay, how about 2 rabbits in the Cambrian? A rabbit and a gorilla? A human? If you can at least admit that there are observations that could falsify evolution, then we’re on the right track.

      • “As for the precautionary principle, by invoking that you are admitting CAGW is a threat! If it wasn’t a threat there would be nothing to be precautious about!”

        The precautionary principle, as I’ve outlined it, shows the problems you have when you have misdiagnosed something benign as a threat, and then take actions that are more harmful than the status quo.

        “The fact is that CAGW is falsifiable: By continuing with business as usual and finding out it doen’t cause a catastrophe. ”

        For how long? We’ve had 15 years of increasing CO2, and a stall in temperature increases, and humanity is still thriving. Do we have to continue for 50 years before you admit you’re wrong? Is there *anything* besides just waiting and seeing that would falsify CAGW, or is this a game where there is no way of deciding if you’re correct until the future arrives?

        “I pointed out the analogy of handing out untested drugs to children with the hypothesis being that the drugs will harm the children.”

        Carbon emission restriction is an untested drug in your analogy.

      • Evolution would not be falsified by any of those examples. It would just have to be revised. How does finding a human in the cambrian falsify all the DNA and fossil evidence that humans and apes share a common ancestor? It’s just inconsistent. It would be like finding a planet with a square orbit. It would be inconsistent with gravity, but it wouldn’t falsify it.

        “For how long? We’ve had 15 years of increasing CO2, and a stall in temperature increases, and humanity is still thriving. Do we have to continue for 50 years before you admit you’re wrong?”

        You can’t conclude the impact is safe when the changes have only just begun. For example we’ve had 0.7C warming so far, and much of that has really bought us back to conditions during the MWP. Another 3C warming will take us well beyond max temperatures for millions of years. Beyond anything humans have ever lived through. The same is going to go for ocean acidification and other impacts like sea level rise.

        “Carbon emission restriction is an untested drug in your analogy.”

        How does that make carbon emissions safe though? You seem to be arguing that carbon emissions are safe because stopping emissions is dangerous. That makes no logical sense. At the very least you are ignoring that carbon emissions are not safe.

        There is a fundamental danger of altering the climate in unprecedented, untested ways. It’s not merely some speculative threat.

        You know even seasoned CAGW skeptics balk at the danger of wild geo-engineering proposals and understand the immense danger of playing with the climate in unprecedented ways. It’s just they apply a special filter when it comes to CAGW.

      • Stirling English

        @lolwot

        ‘There is a fundamental danger of altering the climate in unprecedented, untested ways. It’s not merely some speculative threat’

        Care to explain why I shouldn’t classify this as yet another ‘Now children, if you aren’t good and do what I tell you, the bogeyman will come and get you’? threat.

        I;m quite happy to worry about specifc things that might be very nasty. But generalised ‘the sky is falling’ stuff is just childish and immature.

        What actual threats do you perceive? With what likelihood? What is the evidence for these threats.

        Please be specific, not merely panicky.

      • “It would be like finding a planet with a square orbit. It would be inconsistent with gravity, but it wouldn’t falsify it.”

        Wow. That’s some wild assertion there. That’s like a flat-earther saying a satellite photo of a round, spherical planet would be inconsistent with a flat earth, but it wouldn’t falsify it.

        “Another 3C warming will take us well beyond max temperatures for millions of years.”

        I take it you’re an MWP denier then?

        “You seem to be arguing that carbon emissions are safe because stopping emissions is dangerous. ”

        The problem you have is that we *know* destroying economies by stopping emissions is dangerous. You only *speculate* that carbon emissions are unsafe.

      • “I take it you’re an MWP denier then?”

        The MWP was nothing like 3C warmer than present. In fact we may have already passed the peak of the MWP.

        “The problem you have is that we *know* destroying economies by stopping emissions is dangerous. You only *speculate* that carbon emissions are unsafe.”

        You are avoiding the issue again. Claiming something else is *more* dangerous is avoiding the issue of whether rising CO2 is itself dangerous.

        If rising CO2 is dangerous then there’s no basis for you to claim the threat is faith based.

        Really it’s silly – it’s like claiming the threat of nuclear terrorism should be dismissed because it isn’t falsifiable.

      • @ Stirling English

        “What actual threats do you perceive? With what likelihood? What is the evidence for these threats.”

        The threat is dangerous climate change. Humans are adapted for the modern climate. If climate changes enough from that then it will cause harm.

        The risk is that currently ongoing untested changes in CO2 level caused by man will result in such change as to cause harm.

        The evidence being that CO2 levels are rising at a rate that is possibly unprecedented in Earth’s history coupled with the strong impacts CO2 has on several Earth systems (the greenhouse effect and surface ocean pH being just two). This incorporates the uncertainty – uncertainty works both ways.

      • “You are avoiding the issue again. Claiming something else is *more* dangerous is avoiding the issue of whether rising CO2 is itself dangerous.”

        So when you do a cost benefit analysis, you feel comfortable ignoring costs, and only looking at benefits? Or ignoring benefits and only looking at costs?

        There is no evidence that rising CO2 itself is dangerous. There is plenty of evidence that raising the price of energy is.

        “Really it’s silly – it’s like claiming the threat of nuclear terrorism should be dismissed because it isn’t falsifiable.”

        The threat of nuclear terrorism from buddhist paraplegic monks isn’t falsifiable either. Should we take that threat seriously?

        “The MWP was nothing like 3C warmer than present. In fact we may have already passed the peak of the MWP.”

        What observations would falsify your MWP hypotheses?

      • “The evidence being that CO2 levels are rising at a rate that is possibly unprecedented in Earth’s history coupled with the strong impacts CO2 has on several Earth systems (the greenhouse effect and surface ocean pH being just two). This incorporates the uncertainty – uncertainty works both ways.”

        If uncertainty works both ways, then are you also willing to entertain the possibility that it is just as likely that this unprecedented rise in CO2 levels is going to be a benefit to all life on the planet, including humanity?

        Or are you certain the uncertainty must only go in your direction? :)

      • It’s more likely to cause harm than be a benefit because we are adapted to current conditions and a move in any direction from those conditions will require re-adaptation (or worse).

      • “There is no evidence that rising CO2 itself is dangerous.”

        I disagree. There’s evidence that CO2 has a significant impact on climate. Directly there’s it being a strong greenhouse gas and impacting ocean pH. Beyond that other things get affected indirectly too (eg sea level rise from the warming caused by the strong greenhouse effect, carbonate issues with rising ocean pH). In fact virtually everything is touched by these changes and everything will respond differently.

        There is also evidence that climate has changed significantly in the past, to degrees that would cause harm for man. So there’s no safety mechanism in climate to rely on. There are certain bounds of CO2 that are tested from past climate, we lived through it so we can presume it’s ok.

        The danger is in elevating CO2 way beyond those past boundaries, so that we can no longer have confidence that the change will be safe. We saw what happened with the introduction of significant amounts of CFCs – a previously untested change.

        It is like the analogy of an untested drug. We are introducing something to the system that significantly affects the system but has not been tested. if it were being done deliberately everyone would understand the danger – if North Korea had a battery of factories deliberately pumping millions of tons of sulfur hexafluoride into the atmosphere, the strongest known greenhouse gas, people would immediately understand the threat to the extent that there would be calls for military action against NK.

        It’s only because the changes we are doing are uncontrolled (which is hey really worse) and unintentional that people find room to pretend it isn’t dangerous.

      • “It’s more likely to cause harm than be a benefit because we are adapted to current conditions and a move in any direction from those conditions will require re-adaptation (or worse).”

        I challenge the premise – although we may have adapted to life in Minnesota and places further north, with expensive heating oil, heavy clothing and a large transportation system for fresh foods, removing those adaptations (lowering our survival costs) would be of incredible benefit.

        Simply assuming that the status quo is the most optimal situation for humanity (or the world) is a huge assumption. Just imagine a world where the entire globe was arable, from the north pole to the center of antarctica. Just imagine a world where cooling costs were no worse than those endured in the tropics, and there was no such thing as a heating cost. Just imagine a world where biodiversity explodes because of increased habitat ranges.

        You’re engaging in pure speculation (as am I with my counter example), and unless you can strengthen your hypothesis by providing some sort of falsification possibility, you remain in the realm of speculation.

      • “There’s evidence that CO2 has a significant impact on climate. ”

        Having an impact does not mean that the impact is dangerous.

        “In fact virtually everything is touched by these changes and everything will respond differently.”

        Which may mean there are uneven distributions of winners and losers, but you don’t make any compelling argument that the losers would outnumber the winners.

        “There is also evidence that climate has changed significantly in the past, to degrees that would cause harm for man.”

        Funnily enough the most harmful climate changes would be cooling, not warming. Iceball earth is much scarier than tropical rainforests in Antarctica in the Late Eocene.

        “There are certain bounds of CO2 that are tested from past climate, we lived through it so we can presume it’s ok.”

        We lived through the dark ages and the little ice age, does that mean that going back there would be “ok”? You’re making huge assumptions here that have no foundation.

        “We saw what happened with the introduction of significant amounts of CFCs – a previously untested change.”

        And tell me, what happened with CFC emissions? For review: http://reason.com/blog/2007/09/27/ozone-hole-science-revisited

        “It is like the analogy of an untested drug. We are introducing something to the system that significantly affects the system but has not been tested. ”

        Why can’t you accept that your prescriptions for actions are just as untested?

      • “At that point, it’s not science, it’s religion.”

        Those aren’t the only two options. Most people cannot explain to you the evidence for the Big Bang, or the theory of evolution, or the atomic theory, but most people have the common sense to know that the things generally agreed upon by scientists are likely true. Common sense suggests that in order to maintain a major scientific theory not supported by the data would be an extraordinarily improbable world-spanning conspiracy. So if the Big Bang theory was nonsense, likely we’d know.

        You don’t have to know about science to think rationally. There are rational, common sense arguments for trusting the consensus of scientists on a given issue. Hence I would propose a “two-hit” hypothesis for climate change deniers: they must both lack the scientific literacy to perceive the overwhelming evidence for AGW, and they must lack the common sense to accept that the overwhelming majority of scientists are probably not wildly wrong about the subject they’ve spent their lives studying.

        Since one would have to be very unlucky to be born without scientific aptitude or common sense, I hypothesize a third element, causing the syndrome: ideology, allowing one to suppress both scientific reasoning skills and simple common sense.

      • “trusting the consensus of scientists”

        Appeal to consensus. Bobbie loses again. :(

        Andrew

      • For laypeople it’s all they’ve got.

        Consensus is a proxy for correctness. It’s not a perfect proxy but it’s the best one available.

      • “Consensus is a proxy for correctness. It’s not a perfect proxy but it’s the best one available.”

        Positively medieval mentality there. Thank whatever deity or non-deity you’d like that the process of the scientific method strictly avoids the poor proxy of consensus :)

        Consensus is the last gasping defense of people who can no longer rationally defend their beliefs :)

      • Richard Saumarez

        What rubbish!

        Many of your “deniers” are highly qualified scientists who are trained in the evaluation of evidence and how to test a hypothesis.

        Consensus does not play an evideniary role in science.

        Your arraogance is breath taking and reflects the subjects of this post -“If I say so, it is correct”

      • More than a few of those “qualified denier scientists” manage to balls it up big time (comparing modern warming with GISP2 and forgetting GISP2 ends in the 19th century is a common one). If they’d stuck with the consensus rather than imagining they had the competence to find some big flaw in a field they don’t publish in they’d have fared better.

      • Stirling English

        ‘but most people have the common sense to know that the things generally agreed upon by scientists are likely true’

        Like Phlogiston, the Luminiferous Ether, the Earth being 20 million years Old (Kelvin), the miasma theory of cholera……….etc etc etc ??

      • He said “likely”

      • I’ve reduced “real scientists” to blubbering confusion by merely asking them what multiplier they favor for CO2 versus water vapor (CO2 heating is X degrees, what amount of “extra” H2O positive feedback heating comes with it?). Most “true believers” don’t even know that’s a primary part of the theory. For that matter, I’ve never met anyone in person who knows about the assumed multiplier.

        Forgive me if I’m slightly skeptical about that. Water vapour feedback is a prety basic part of the case for AGW – I would be very surprised if anyone who had made a rudimentary attempt to understand the scientific arguments wasn’t aware of it. Would the average Joe in the street be aware of it? Possibly not, just as they would not neccessarily be aware of the details of evolutionary theory, but I don’t think that proves anything.

  52. “Perhaps because “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” is a straw man, not a scientific theory.”

    Very well then, Robert, could you set the stage by concisely stating the falsifiable hypothesis you believe is being defended? I’m more than happy to abandon my straw man if you can provide an actual, falsifiable hypothesis to speak of.

    • You want falsifiable hypotheses? Here’s one:

      1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas

      I’ve got more if you want

      • CO2 being a greenhouse gas does not necessarily mean:

        a) increases in CO2 cause anything but negligible warming;
        b) increases in average global temperature cause more harm than good

        CO2 is one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. I cannot derive from that fact that human released CO2 in the 20th century will doom the earth to runaway warming and destroy vast swaths of humanity as sea levels rise 50m.

        Why not try and be more specific about a falsifiable hypothesis of either Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, or its lesser cousin Anthropogenic Global Warming?

      • There can be no single specific falsifiable hypothesis for what you want. The subject is not simple enough to offer one, anymore than there is a single specific falsifiable hypothesis for the theory of evolution.

        There are lots of falsifiable hypotheses but not a single one that covers the entire concept of “CAGW”. Sure I could just make one arbitrarily up, like:

        1) Greenhouse gas emissions result in 3C warming and this will kill 9 million people.

        But what if we only get 2.9C warming and only 8 million people die. That would falsify the statement above, but would that falsify “CAGW”?

        And of course the term “CAGW” is itself vague. Some people might not regard the death of 9 million people as “catastrophic”.

      • Well, at least you admit that you’ve got a belief system, rather than a scientifically falsifiable hypothesis.

        I would further posit you could also have the following:

        1) Greenhouse gas emissions result in 3C warming and this will save 9 million people;

        2) Greenhouse gas emissions result in 2.9C warming and this will save 8 million people.

        Either of those is just as reasonable, as a matter of faith, as your two options.

        And of course, some people might not regard the saving of 9 million lives as beneficial :)

      • Why not try and be more specific about a falsifiable hypothesis of either Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming

        Why are you asking other people to explain your theory?

        You proposed “CAGW” as a theory. You should explain it, and how it can be falsified.

        As for AGW, an actual scientific theory, do you not think that it can be falsified? Is that what you are claiming? I don’t think you really believe that — if you did, you would not have felt the need to fabricate the straw man of “CAGW.” People only do that after they realize the argument against plain AGW is lost. :)

      • AGW is an amazing theory. It’s both unfalsifiable and has been falsified “countless times” on WUWT

      • Okay, let’s take you at face value – there is no such thing as CAGW. Even if humans are causing global warming, it will either be negligible warming, or it will be on the whole beneficial. I’ll stipulate to that.

        Now, we can work on the lesser cousin AGW.

        Can you concisely state a falsifiable hypothesis of AGW? Any set of observations, past, present or future that would refute that hypothesis?

      • “AGW is an amazing theory. It’s both unfalsifiable and has been falsified “countless times” on WUWT”

        When all you have is an empty suit to argue against, what recourse left is there than to fill it with straw? :)

        And of course, when asked to fill the suit with a clear statement of a falsifiable hypothesis, what else can you do but dance around the request? You believe. You have faith. You’ve decided to use the imperfect proxy of consensus.

        In the meantime, honest scientists of character continue the hard work of expanding the bounds of our knowledge by the ruthless application of the scientific method and its inherent skepticism.

      • Even if humans are causing global warming, it will either be negligible warming, or it will be on the whole beneficial.

        So now we know your hypothesis. Now you just need to prove it. Convince us.

      • “So now we know your hypothesis. Now you just need to prove it.”

        Another clever, but unpersuasive argument. By placing the burden on me to prove my speculative thinking, you’ve implied that the null hypothesis is your position.

        Given a null hypothesis of “climate changes naturally”, how would you state your falsifiable hypothesis of AGW? Or does your position depend on redefining the rules? :)

      • Actually the more I think about this AGW is a consequence of scientific theories, not a theory in itself.

        That man will warm the climate for example is a consequence of the greenhouse effect coupled with the observation that humans are raising CO2 levels.

        Well it’s even more complex than that because the net warming from humans doesn’t just involve CO2, but other greenhouse gases and it factors in the cooling effect of aerosols being dwarfed by the CO2 forcing.

        All these things are falsifiable (CO2 being a greenhouse gas, the greenhouse effect, that humans are increasing CO2 levels, etc).

      • Also I stand by my comment you didn’t like. While you are here claiming AGW is not falsifiable countless other skeptics all over the internet are claiming AGW has been falsified. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to find 2 or 3 comments on this thread claiming AGW has been falsified.

      • “All these things are falsifiable (CO2 being a greenhouse gas, the greenhouse effect, that humans are increasing CO2 levels, etc).”

        However, they are not, by themselves, sufficient to prove an otherwise unspecified hypothesis of CAGW (or even AGW). You cannot simply chain together these very simple hypotheses and demand that a much more sweeping and complex one is true.

      • “In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to find 2 or 3 comments on this thread claiming AGW has been falsified.”

        Which, I’ll gracefully admit, is arguing against a straw man. The problem is that you won’t provide an actual falsifiable hypothesis to stand behind. When you say “AGW is a consequence of scientific theories, not a theory in itself”, you’re essentially asserting that AGW is a belief system, not science.

        Produce your falsifiable hypothesis of CAGW or AGW, and then we can play the science game. Until then, we’re speaking of religion.

      • I’ve already given you a potential falsification of CAGW – namely that catastrophe does not happen.

        As for AGW, that would be falsified if it could be shown man isn’t having a warming effect on climate. A more specific falsification would be to show that rising CO2 doesn’t have a warming effect. Another would be to show that human activity is not increasing CO2 levels.

        “However, they are not, by themselves, sufficient to prove an otherwise unspecified hypothesis of CAGW (or even AGW).”

        Unspecified being the key word. Explain what you think the AGW hypothesis is in your own words. I mean you are asking for potential falsification of AGW so you must have some idea in your head of what AGW is. You obviously don’t accept my definition.

      • “I’ve already given you a potential falsification of CAGW – namely that catastrophe does not happen.”

        Catastrophe hasn’t happened yet. How many years do I have to wait for you to accept you’ve been falsified? Is this like the various claims of the apocalypse that keep getting pushed further out when it doesn’t actually happen?

        “As for AGW, that would be falsified if it could be shown man isn’t having a warming effect on climate.”

        You’re asking to prove a negative, and on top of it, you’re ignoring the magnitude of any given effect on climate. Specify what observations, past, present or future, that would falsify your hypothesis.

        “Explain what you think the AGW hypothesis is in your own words.”

        I would probably generally state it as “human CO2 activity has a measurable warming impact on global average temperature that can be readily discerned from the background of natural climate change and other human effects that may cause cooling, and this warming impact will be, in general, neutral in impact for humanity and the biosphere”. A more specific AGW hypothesis statement, that would actually be specific about exactly how much of an effect it would be…say, 0.01C greater than normal given 1990 level emissions, or 1.0C greater than normal given 1990 level emissions. The problem, of course, is that we don’t understand all the internal and external drivers to any reasonable specificity to make those kinds of claims – asserted human impacts are unscientifically divined by creating fudge factors that make models fit, without actually *knowing* how realistic those models are (or more to the point, *knowing* how unrealistic those models are. If you predict, say, 0.01C, and only see 0.005C, you make up a fudge factor that makes up the difference. Any observation can be ignored by creating an ad hoc special pleading – the hallmark of religion :)

      • Obligatory Popper reference:

        http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html

        Read it with an open mind and maybe you’ll learn something.

      • “Catastrophe hasn’t happened yet. How many years do I have to wait for you to accept you’ve been falsified?”

        You have to wait until CO2 has at least peaked. I mean come on, if CO2 is to rise to 800ppm then how can you conclude Co2 won’t cause dangerous climate change when CO2 isn’t even quarter of the way there?

        Also so far it has likely been warmer than present at other points in the Holocene, and in previous interglacials. But if warming continues a few decades more we will break that and enter territory uncharted for millions of years. Which makes it even more absurd to prematurely dismiss the threat.

        “You’re asking to prove a negative, and on top of it, you’re ignoring the magnitude of any given effect on climate. Specify what observations, past, present or future, that would falsify your hypothesis.”

        Global temperature not rising over the next few decades would do it, barring supervolcanoes or anything with a dramatic cooling effect happening. Of course that would falsify that man is having a warming effect (AGW), it would just falsify that the warming effect was not substantial enough to dominate.

      • “You have to wait until CO2 has at least peaked. ”

        Okay, so by that token, in order for me to accept that say, Revelation is falsified, I can simply say we need to wait until the 4 horsemen have arrived before we can falsify it? Not a very risky argument to make – CO2 may not peak for thousands of years.

        “But if warming continues a few decades more we will break that and enter territory uncharted for millions of years.”

        And given the uncertainty, would you agree that it is just as likely that this uncharted territory will be incredibly good for humanity, as well as incredibly bad?

        “Global temperature not rising over the next few decades would do it, barring supervolcanoes or anything with a dramatic cooling effect happening. ”

        Isn’t that a cop out? That is to say, let’s say there is no super volcano, or no massive aerosol outburst, and we don’t see global average temperatures rise (they’ve stalled for quite a while now already). Honestly, wouldn’t you then simply blame the cooling on some unknown X factor, to preserve your assertion that CO2 is a strong driver of temperature?

      • lolwot
        Try
        Distinguish anthropogenic warming from the null hypothesis of naturally forced climate variations over 30 years with a 95% confidence level.

        See Loehle & Scafetta 2011.
        See Lucia’s Data comparisons at The Blackboard.

        The uncertainty in cloud variations alone make that difficult.
        Lack of including ocean oscillations in global climate models further amplifies the uncertainties. etc.

  53. Instead of being diverted by the tedious trolls here, why not read the actual story behind all this on WUWT? That’s no criticism of this excellent blog but simply that the mechanisms behind this astonishing outburst from Wagner et al are dissected and opened to view.

    • Anthony is that you?

      • Not at all, Anthony would post in his own name. Hardly has any need to do otherwise, unlike Trenberth et al.

    • the mechanisms behind this astonishing outburst from Wagner et al are dissected and opened to view.

      ie made up.

      • Stirling English

        So Wolfgang Whatever woke up one bright summer morning and in a fit of unsound mind spontaneously decided to resign because somebody on a blog had said a nasty thing about a paper published in his journal??

        Yeah right. Of course it was that way. And so likely in the luvvyduvvy world that is climatology.

        I don’t see whatshisname being offered a responsible position ever again. Not only can he not handle the heat, he doesn’t even know where the kitchen is. Spineless.

  54. Bootlicking and MoneyGrubbing Climate Thugs

    “Wagner is apparently the director of a group that wants to start a Soil Moisture Network. For this, they have asked the help of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).

    GEWEX in 2010 announced the appointment, by acclamation, of Kevin Trenberth, as its new Chairperson. (page 3 of this newsletter). On Page 4, is the announcement that the Soil Moisture Network (which is the department Wagner runs) is looking for help. Not, coincidentally, on Page 5 is an article on how cloud albedo is overestimated in models, thus it’s worse than we thought.

    In the conclusion of this cloud albedo discussion, is some boot licking directed at the new Chairperson.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/05/journal-deliverance-the-true-story-of-the-climate-hillbillies/

  55. Judith, you have some seriously disturbed smartarse boys succeeding in ruining the fine reputation of your board. Ban them. This should be a board for grown-ups only.

  56. A little comic relief, which seems appropriate.

  57. I have a question for the Warmers on Climate Etc. Since Skeptics and Deniers make up a big part of the climate blogosphere, what demographic are the Warmer Theatrics in this thread supposed to be aimed at? I mean, what kind of activity is this marketing supposed to drive?

    Andrew

    • I didn’t realize commenters were supposed to have marketing agendas. Have I missed something?

      • lolwot,

        I didn’t say commenters were “supposed” to have anything.

        Andrew

      • I didn’t realize commenters were supposed to have marketing agendas. Have I missed something?

        He measures others accord to the stature of his own soul.

        It’s sad. :(

  58. Why didn’t Spencer and Braswell(2011) cite Trenberth et all (2010)?

    • Spencer comments: Sept 5th.

      Our paper not only didn’t ignore previous work on the subject (as we have been accused of by Kevin Trenberth), our main purpose was to show why the commonly used data analysis methods in previous works was wrong. To accuse us of ignoring previous work reveals either total ignorance or deception on the part of our critics. (Publishing a paper that “ignored previous work” was a central reason given by the Editor-in-Chief for his resignation).

  59. Andrew –

    Not sure how you define “warmer,” but regardless, why do you assumethat their “theatrics’ (whoever they are and whatever that means) is aimed at a demographic?

    Maybe they are simply expressing their beliefs – no different than any of the commenters at this site. Why do you assume that they are “marketing” something?

  60. Joshua,

    A Warmer is someone who believes in Global Warming.

    “Maybe they are simply expressing their beliefs”

    That is a possibility. But people simply express their beliefs in a comment or two. After a dozen comments by the same commenter in a thread that have basically been given in previous threads over and over. It’s not simple expression anymore.

    Andrew

    • Not to mention that they were conspicuous by their absence on the original thread on S&B11.
      One single, short posting from Joshua, and that’s it. Nothing at all from SS or R****t, zero, nada, zilch.
      If the paper was so full of shortcomings, how come there wasn’t a peep out of them then?
      Or did they really have to wait for someone else to tell them what to think before they all weighed in?

    • Andrew –

      But people simply express their beliefs in a comment or two. After a dozen comments by the same commenter in a thread that have basically been given in previous threads over and over. It’s not simple expression anymore.

      How many times, in how many threads, have you expressed your beliefs about “warmers,” about AGW, about climate scientists, etc.? As I recall, you have made many comments that are essentially very similar on those topics.

      Do your last two comments mean that you are “marketing” something towards a demographic? If so,what are you marketing, and what is your target demographic?

      And when people express a comment, and other people respond, what do you suggest they do so as to avoid your speculation about their intentions other than the intention of expressing their opinions?

      • Joshua,

        I don’t claim to be simply expressing my beliefs, like you implied that’s what you were doing. I’m a Denier, and my agenda is to expose The Global Warming Hoax in every way I have the ability to. Just so that everyone knows where I’m coming from.

        Do you have an agenda, Joshua?

        Andrew

      • Andrew –

        I’m primarily interesting in exploring the debate and the political influences on the debate. One good way for me to check my own biases is to exchange views with people who have differing viewpoints from mine. My exchanges with people like BillC, or John Carpenter, or gene, or even sometimes steven mosher help me to understand some issues better. And reading the more technical posts from some participants (the relatively few who don’t seem overtly tribally driven) are also educational.

        To the extent that I do have an agenda, it would be to highlight the poor behavior on the “anti-AGW” side of the debate for those who think that there is some significant imbalance.

        But for the most part, I would say that is foolish and presumptuous for anyone to think that they can “market” anything to any particular demographic w.r.t. the climate debate. But even more so, the tribal influences on the demographic heavily-enough engaged to read and participate on a climate blog are strong enough that very few “marketing” techniques would be even remotely effective. Add on to that the phenomena of motivated reasoning and confirmation bias, and a “marketing” goal would be even that much more unrealizable.

        Finally, I am genuinely amused by many of the comments of the more convicted “skeptics,” and I get a kick out of making fun of them.

      • ROTFLOL!!!

        I had given up reading your posts, but now I find I cannot resist as they always provide a good chuckle!!

        Roy Weiler

      • You are like the Climate Jester!! ROTFLOL!!

        Roy Weiler

      • As I said above, Roy – I aim to please.

        And as always, thanks for reading.

      • Joshua:
        It is just a shame you always highjack these threads away from the science (which I am interested in) and to your personal issues (which I could not care less about). Very sad. But you do provide entertainment I suppose. As a good Jester should!

        Roy Weiler

      • Roy –

        If you couldn’t care less about my “personal issues,” then why do you read my posts and comment on them.

        And I will point out that Andrew asked a series of questions to which I responded. As such, wouldn’t you feel that the responsibility for “hijacking” her would lie with Andrew? Or in fact, yourself, for continuously responding to my posts – none of which were initially directed towards you?

      • Joshua:
        Actually I am just glad you have done so much to advance Dr. Curry’s blog. You singlehandedly increase the number of comments in a way no other individual could do.

        For that I salute you :)

        Roy Weiler

      • Thanks Roy –

        You singlehandedly increase the number of comments in a way no other individual could do.

        But you should know that many of your fellow “skeptics” in this thread have voiced the exact opposite opinion.

        Of course, I agree with you on this one.

  61. From Trenberth, Abraham & Gleick: “…it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should have received an honest vetting.” First, I disagree that it did not get an adequate peer review. Reading Wagner’s resignation statement shows that it did. They simply didn’t like the results of that peer review, took it out on Wagner, and forced him to resign. He not only knuckled under but profusely apoligized to Trenberth for publishing a peer-reviewed paper. Reminds me of Stalin’s show trials in the thirties. As to a paper not receiving an honest vetting, an article by Trenberth & Fasullo is a prime example of that in “peer reviewed” literature. It appeared in 16 April 2010 issue of Science and is called “Tracking Earth’s Energy.“ Global net energy budget is shown as a graph that takes account of net radiation received, ocean heat content change, and other net energy changes from melting sea ice, glaciers, etc. His graph shows it all adding up neatly until 2004 when energy starts to disappear. By 2008 eighty percent of global energy is “missing“ and he has no explanation for that. He asks the reader: “Is the warming associated with the latest El Niño a manifestation of the missing energy reappearing?“ First, for someone who has published about El Niño he shows ignorance of the fact that El Niño is a periodic phenomenon. He is also ignorant that the warming from an El Niño comes from the warm water that it carried across the ocean as it spreads out along the west coast of the Americas. He could have learnt this from my book if he had bothered to read it as I suggested to him. And by 2008, the end of his data set, there was a La Niña, not an El Niño active in the Pacific. I originally thought that some physical process could be behind the energy theft but upon re-reading the paper I noticed this sentence: “Since 2004 ~3000 Argo floats have provided regular temperature soundings of the upper 2000 m of the ocean, giving new confidence in the ocean heat content assessment.“ Now what do you know, new equipment comes on line and energy does a disappearing act! If I had been the reviewer I would simply have sent him back rechecking and calibrating the equipment until the discrepancy was resolved. But apparently papers by global warming big shots just get waved through.

    • What shameless self-promotion!

      • Yes, linking to your own blog is indeed.

      • ROTFLOL, you and Joshua are just too funny!!

        Roy Weiler

      • Thanks, Roy.

        I aim to please.

      • Sounds like a practical direction to go learn the science and get it right. Ignoring the textbook is not a very bright start.

      • The title “What Warming?” indicates it is more a polemic than a textbook.

        Nice try. You might make better one-liners if you follow the links, to at least see what it is that you’re wisecracking about.

      • settledscience: you are obviously ignorant enough to judge a book by its cover. In it you will find scientific proof of the following climate science issues:
        1. The so-called “late twentieth century warming” that Hansen told us about did not happen. Instead of a steady increase of global temperature in the eighties and nineties we find an up and down temperature oscillation for twenty years until real warming starts in 1998.
        2. ENSO is caused by a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific.
        3. Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming but is caused by warm Atlantic currents like the Gulf Stream entering the Arctic Ocean. It started suddenly at the beginning of the twentieth century. Prior to that there was nothing but two thousand years of slow cooling in the Arctic.
        That is settled science, not the idiotic source of your acronym. I suggest you spring for the book if you want to learn more real climate science.

  62. “lolwot | September 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    You want falsifiable hypotheses? Here’s one:

    1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas

    I’ve got more if you want”

    That’s just a statement of fact.

    But do please tell us how the theory ‘that the current levels of CO2 will lead to much extras warming which will be catastrophic” can be falsified?
    After all that’s what this is all about. It’s a basic principle of science. No falsifiability no theory.

    And, by the way, scientists should be looking for that falsifiability [like Spencer] not continually piling on evidence which seems to fit the theory.

  63. Once again R. Pielke did provide the soundest comment and analysis of Trenberth’ paper.

    Indeed I remain totally speechless facing the baseness of Trenberth’ behavior. It is definitly unbearable and unworthy of the scientist he pretends to be. Actually his shameful and unjustified ad hominem attacks did bring all the climate scientists’ community into disrepute.

    This community cannot stay without reaction in such a situation: its honnor is at stake and its only option is now to call for Trenberth’ resignation. Otherwise it would appear as accomplice to Trenberth’ attacks, which would definitely seal its own discredit.

  64. Sincerely, I think Trenberth is really struggling with the process of coming to the realization of his own severe limitations in defending the so-called settled science after having been so broadly unsuccessfully in containing the accelerating climate skeptic surge. Although it is difficult, I think it is good for a person to find one’s limitations. More balanced science one might therefore find.

    Sitting on the naughty step (thanks J. Jones) would probably help Mr. Trenberth in that regards. : )

    John

  65. Wagner attributes the error of the S & B paper passing peer-review to the ìnadvertent selection of three reviewers who `probably`hold skeptical views similar to those of S & B. By saying this, and saying the paper didn`t pass technical muster, his saying that the 3 reviewers were either incompetent or corrupt or both incompetent. If I were one of the three reviewers I`d be pretty upset. And he didn`t even say they were skeptics, only that they `probably`held similar views.

    The acceptance of the paper apparently condemns the reviewers. It is like back in the witchcraft days: any lawyer who defended the witch was automatically also a witch or witch-supporter and was to be burnt.

    Guilt by association was good enough in King James day. I guess it is good enough still.

  66. ” The Team is trying to cash in on this event to bolster the credibility of Team science. This is not the way to do it, and this kind of behavior, particularly from Trenberth who is in a position of responsibility at a government lab, Chair of GEWEX and as a participant of the IPCC, will backfire on them.”

    I’m sold. But the important question is how? I’ve long since lost my youthfully fuzzy belief in Karma. The warmist community will certainly buy into the Trenberth narrative that a “bad” and “dangerous” paper was somehow “mistakenly” published, if iI’m understanding it correctly. And that’s the community with all the power these days.

    The only way this will break apart is from the inside. And I don’t see that happening. I only get more and more depressed these days. How can one read Andrew Revkin’s recent claim in the NYT’s Review of Books that “the overwhelming majority of scientists believe humans are influencing climate in potentially calamitous ways” when most of us understand he damn well knows better, without getting depressed. Even Dr. C., who energetically enough denies a link to extreme weather, continues to make blanket statements that humans are indeed influencing climate. Well then, in what meaningful way? And what is the evidence that would justify such apparent certainty.

    I have to stop reading these blogs. JUst not good for my blood pressure.

  67. The debate is more partisan than science. If there was detailed survey of IPCC members this would be formalized. If we can see how even the more rational warmers like Dr. Curry obfuscate this key fact we can see why most consensus members hide their political culture all together. It advances the AGW agenda but is a form of dishonesty.

    Board Liberals or Socialist (or worse) and all AGW advocates;

    Joshua
    Robert
    lolwot
    settledscience
    thingsbreak
    sharper00
    webhubtelescope

    Is there any member of the “team” who could be called “conservative” in the American sense of the partisan divide?

    Anything we can conclude about this unusual pattern for a field of “science”?

    • cwon1,
      AGW has never been about science. AGW has always been a hysterical apocalyptic cult that makes sciencey sounding claims to justify imposing horrible public policies.
      We went through this about 100 years ago when some racists and bigots temporarily hijacked evolutionary science. Eugenics, too, was immensely popular with the self-declared intellectual/progressive class.

      • Eugenics was bi-partisan as one difference. There were some class line trends and you could link some of the ideas to progressives who evolve into “The Population Bomb” thinking. It was complicated while AGW is more simple except there is a huge PC cover that goes under the title; “it’s science” and all the coded messaging that goes with it.

    • Thank you. I have only been participating on Climate Etc for about a week, yet apparently I know which buttons to press.
      These forums are actually pretty good for debugging primitive ideas and pilfering bits of knowledge to make the objective arguments stronger.

    • “Board Liberals or Socialist (or worse) and all AGW advocates;”

      I don’t remember ever discussing politics or economics. Interesting how you’re able to conclude “Socialist and AGW advocate” from discussion of climate science.

      • Are you claiming you are not a consensus advocate? Are you claiming your politics are “conservative” with something more exact than labeling David Brooks of NYTimes as such?

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/22/climate-bloodhounds/

        Are you saying you’re not a liberal, leftist or eco-green sympathetic?

        http://wottsupwiththat.com/2011/05/11/what-climate-science-has-come-to-a-rap-music-video-with-expletives/

        Do you really think you are hard to profile socially of politcally? Dr. Curry can just read our threads and determine we are mostly “middle aged, white men and conservative” but she has no idea what the political leanings are of the “consensus” even if she is a member for what, 30 years +?

        Just say what’s on your mind sharper00.

      • “Do you really think you are hard to profile socially of politcally? “

        I think that you haven’t a clue of my beliefs because I haven’t stated them. Consequently your opinion is purely a projection of your own biases.

        No doubt a creationist would detect that I must be an atheist and hate Christians.

    • It’s a blacklist!

  68. “As obvious and serious errors in that analysis were made public, Spencer and Christy were forced to revise their work several times and, not surprisingly, their findings agree better with those of other scientists around the world: the atmosphere is warming.”

    We know well that the upper atmosphere is presently cooling and the lower atmosphere is warming, but there is absolutely not a single study that demonstrates that the atmosphere as a whole is warming. If anyone has a proof, please show me.

  69. Wow, I am amazed at the wasted space here. I know it’s almost impossible to have a rational discussion on a lightly moderated blog but there needs to be a little self policing here.

    There are 4 or 5 people that take up 75% of the threads taking pot shots at each other and going of on wild tangents.

    1) S&B11 is not a paper on creationism.
    2) Dr. Spencer is not creating policy by submitting papers.
    3) The IPCC specifically exists to help implement policy.
    4) The term “denier” is disingenuous because it intends to link every one not specifically endorsing the IPCC’s assessment in a general group to be characterized as anti-science even though most disagree with different areas of the conclusions and by varying degrees.
    5) False premises are routinely thrown around as facts, i.e. that skeptics engage in death threats (although this is little more than an allegation by one climate scientist under investigation at the time) with no legal action taken to support it or any publication of emails etc. This is not to say it never happened, but if it did, it does not speak for a whole group of people, just as I don’t think every one that supports AGW thinks every one who does not is as bad as a racist.
    *6) No one seems to ask for proof of the three reviewers bias. This is not a trivial allegation against respected scientists and escapes any due process. People are quick to believe this little conspiracy with absolutely no proof while dismissing the theory of pressure by Trenberth et al. in light of their published emails (right or wrong) which in no uncertain terms describes this exact strategy.
    7) The current AGW theory remains a “theory” and is constantly being revised and adjusted. There is no point in “denying” something that has yet to be validated as much as some people think it is unassailable fact.
    8) Any paper or scientist that is deemed “skeptical” is given short-shrift.
    9) Saying that “97% of scientists agree with AGW” is akin to saying “97% of Yankees fans think they should win the world series every year” considering its source.

    I hope everyone can stay a little closer to the topic the thread is written to address.

    • It’s quite a food fight today. AGW is an old debate with slower moving science than the political divide that exists can accept. With the great carbon control agenda shot to hell and “hope and change” era ready for the dust bin of history there are always those left in the bunker to the very end. Count the warmers as excellent examples like the old women wandering around Red Square holding pictures of Stalin to this day.

      S&B is an especially humiliating event for consensus drones, another example of just how raw and politically owned so many of the tools of science are just operatives of petty “team” of hacks. Best debate solution?
      Go into an ad hominem, emotional rant phase to change the subject.

    • I don’t read 6 as an “accusation” because it is (part of) Wagner’s reason for resigning, meaning that he is taking responsibility for it. If he did mean to accuse somebody else, he would not have resigned. Or, “accusation” is a very odd word to choose to refer to Wagner’s self-criticism, which is his prerogative. And that prerogative is the bottom line. Even if you disagree with him about Spencer & Braswell 2011 being a steaming pile of rubbish, it’s his prerogative to consider it such, and to consider it a failure on his part, and to consider such failure grounds for resignation.

      It’s entertaining that so many consider themselves better judges than Wolfgang Wagner, of whether Wolfgang Wagner should resign. :)

      PS Where did 8 go?

      • Ha, 8 was automatically turned into a smiley face.

        As for 6, I’m not accusing anyone of anything, my intent is to try to get people to look at both side a little more objectively if that is possible.

        As I read it, three reviewers were said to have been “skeptically biased” by Wagner with no stated reasons other than it is the only explanation for how the paper was accepted even though curiously he also states:

        “Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/pdf

        It just seems like a tortured explanation where he seems to try to simultaneously accuse the reviewers of bias and also state they did nothing wrong.

        How would you feel if you were characterized this way in public without a response or justification?

        It may just be my own shortcomings, but I can’t follow Wagner logically without assuming some kind of non-scientific reasoning.

      • “As for 6, I’m not accusing anyone of anything, my intent is to try to get people to look at both side a little more objectively if that is possible.”

        How does repeating discredited denier talking points help people be more objective?

      • “How does repeating discredited denier talking points help people be more objective?”

        You’ll have to be more specific.

      • So you have no answer to how repeating discredited denier talking points helps people be more objective?

      • Ok, lets see. You must be right.
        1) S&B11 is a paper on creationism
        2) Dr. Spencer is in charge of creating climate policy.
        3) The IPCC does not help implement climate policy
        4) Anyone who disagrees with the conclusions in AR4 does not believe in science.
        5) There are many documented cases available of death threats by “skeptics” against climate scientists available for viewing and all skeptics support them.
        6) Wagner was clearly not accusing the three reviewers of bias:

        “Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/pdf

        7) Current AGW theory is proven fact and accounts all aspects of current warming.
        8 ) Every paper that is skeptical of AGW in publication is given equal consideration.
        9) 97% of all scientists believe all the conclusions in AR4.

        Now you have two lists to pick from. I would spend more time trying to look for rational in your response but then I noticed you screen name has your link in it and………… wow, good luck with all of………… that stuff.

        I invite everyone here to click on it an see what you have to say. My dialogue with you is finished, if you want to claim victory, congratulations. I apologize to the thread and its host for the space I have taken in vain.

    • Eli prefers rejectionist

    • 2) Dr. Spencer is not creating policy by submitting papers.
      3) The IPCC specifically exists to help implement policy.

      Dr Spencer clearly wants to influence policy making by casting doubt on AGW.

      The IPCC specifically exists to inform policy.

      • OK, let’s try that formatting again.

        2) Dr. Spencer is not creating policy by submitting papers.
        3) The IPCC specifically exists to help implement policy.

        Dr Spencer clearly wants to influence policy making by casting doubt on AGW.

        The IPCC specifically exists to inform policy.

      • Stirling English

        Run the ‘clearly wants to influence policy’ bit past me again, please.

        And make a clear (qualitative or quantitative) distinction between Dr. Spencer’s actions in having a paper published and any other individual(s) doing the same. Can you demonstrate that he has a unique desire to influence policy that others do not?

        If not then your comment is trite and unsubstantiated.

      • Spencer’s own words –
        “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism.
        I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        So not only does he claim that it is desirable for him to influence policy, he claims to have already done so. I didn’t say that Spencer was unique, I merely answered the claim that “Dr. Spencer is not creating policy by submitting papers”, but I would say that he comes uncomfortable close to admitting that his political views are driving his scientific work, as opposed to, say, Hansen whose political activities are driven by what he considers the science to be telling him.

      • Stirling English

        Citation for Spencer please

      • All the time you won’t argue about the paper, about the science, you’ll argue about Spencer’s motives. And what about Braswell? Who here has the slightest clue about the motives of Braswell? I find that truly shocking. Hasn’t his cat mixed with the pets of oil company executives? Didn’t someone he meet recently have a half-sister that knew a Mormon?

        It doesn’t matter if Spencer has reasons to want to find out that AGW is not as big a problem as some say. I think we should all feel like that, by the way. I can’t see any attempt to do something about mankind’s CO2 emissions that will not drastic harm to the poor. And Spencer has spelled this out as well as anyone:

        Why doesn’t it matter if this is his motivation? Something called the scientific method, which knows nothing about motive. That’s the wonderful thing. It also means that most of this thread is junk. But the video I’ve just embedded I don’t think is.

      • Stirling English

        Andrew
        Seems like you missed this bit, clearly presented beneath the quote you cited

        ‘(NOTE: My statement that “I view my job a little like a legislator” has caused quite a stir, especially over at ThinkProgress. This was a rather poor analogy…my point was that a federally-funded person like myself can be against excess government spending, that’s all. I did not mean to imply I wanted to be a de facto legislator. The context of the full comment, above, should have made that clear. And, once again, ThinkProgress reveals the hypocrisy of those who think its OK for Al Gore to play a climate scientist, or NASA’s James Hansen to actively campaign for Malthusian energy policy changes and for presidential candidates – in violation of the Hatch Act, as NASA employees are told during their annual ethics training classes.)’

        Comments?

      • Stirling,

        I initially took the quote from another site, not Spencer’s, so I hadn’t seen that clarification. It does make the second paragraph of the quote seem more reasonable, but being “against excess government spending” is not really the same as “minimizing the role of government” and it is clear in his main post that he is in favour of the latter (he says “the main role of the government in the economy is help ensure people play fair…and then get out of the way”).
        But that still leaves the statement “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism” – it seems pretty clear to me that he considers that he has had an influence on government policy.

      • Stirling English

        Wow

        Scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit there, Andrew.

        He published some papers. He thinks they may have had an influence on policy. Big Deal..hold the front page! I guess most scientists would hope that somebody somewhere took some notice of them and their work. Several names who are quite wedded to personal and political publicity spring to my mind….

        But is there anything else you have that makes Spencer so uniquely and irredeemably wicked among all climatologists?

      • Andrew

        Realising that you find any ‘scientist’ who dares to do anything at all political to be repugnant, I am sure that you will be shocked to the core and deeply disappointed to know that Dessler (he of the superquick paper guarding orthodoxy against the barbarian hordes) counts ‘climate change policy’ as a major part of his research interests. Worse, he has worked as a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

        I look forward to reading your condemnation of this man in similar terms to your initial remarks (prior to your fuller understanding) of Dr Spencer.

        Shall I have long to wait?

        Ref: http://atmo.tamu.edu/profile/ADessler

      • Does he want to influence policy? Yes. Does he “create” policy? No.

        You can’t just substitute my words so we all talk past each other. I don’t see any policy that has been created attributed to Dr. Spencer.

        The IPCC can not “inform” a policy that has been implemented as a direct result of its recommendations, time is linear after all.

  70. ian (not the ash)

    thank god for the ‘page down’ button…

  71. Speaking of “tone” of debates;

    “Will Barack Obama condemn Joe Biden and Jimmy Hoffa for calling Republicans ‘barbarians’ and ‘son of a bitches’ ”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100103267/will-barack-obama-condemn-joe-biden-and-jimmy-hoffa-for-calling-republicans-barbarians-and-sons-of-bitches/

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/09/05/jimmy_hoffa_at_obama_event_on_gop_lets_take_these_son_of_bitches_out.html

    A few weeks ago Joe Biden labeled the “Teaparty” ………”Terrorists”

    If we want to play the “sensitivity game” Dr. Curry should ban “denier” as the ad hominem smear that it is, use it you get banned. Or we should pretend that we don’t understand what the label means in Newspeak?

  72. Richard S Courtney | September 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    [regarding Joshua's tiresome Battle of Judico]

    This is her blog, not yours, so her judgement is the only one that counts here. If you want a blog that fulfils your judgement of the matter then you have an obvious solution to that.

    Therefore, I suggest it would avoid wasting space on this blog if you were to stop promoting your opinion about it here.

    Hear! Hear! Very well said, sir. Perhaps our gracious hostess could be persuaded to conduct a poll in order to determine how many denizens would appreciate Joshua (and others of his ilk) taking your advice!

  73. Michael Larkin

    Judith,

    This has to be the worst thread I’ve ever seen here. I have a habit of skipping over troll posts, and responses to them. On this thread, there was hardly anything left.

    Seriously, if the software allows, I would suggest that the posts/responses of well-known trolls automatically be held, pending release if anything actually useful is said.

    I don’t know where these guys get the time to do their trolling. maybe they suffer from OCD or something.

    • I was really, really bored a while ago, and wanted to see if I was overreacting in thinking this thread was simply being hijacked like so many others. So I blew a few minutes and came up with the totals: the three most prolific CAGW antagonists posted 126 of 465 comments at the time I checked. Over a quarter of all posts, out of 465, by three progressive cranks.

      I was willing to waste the time to count them, but no way am I masochistic enough to actually read all that irrelevant drivel. But it confirms that their interest is not in dialogue, but the internet version of filibustering. Maybe they can’t silence this blog, but they sure are trying to make it so boring people stop reading and contributing as much.

      It’s like panning for gold and some goofball keeps dumping piles of mud in your pan. The substance is still there, but you have to sift through a lot more dreck to find it.

      • shorter GaryM:

        “Waaaa! I know I’m wrong and I don’t know how to fake it any longer! I blame the Progressives.”

      • And the quality of their comments speaks for itself.

      • Perhaps you need to find another blog at which pro-science folks are more effectively censored.

        There is no commandment from on high that says people agreeing with you need to dominate comment threads on this blog. Judith Curry is somewhere in the middle . . . accepting the basic theory of AGW, but feeling that aggressive mitigation is not necessarily needed right now. It stands to reason her blog would attract comments from people on different sides of the issues.

      • The number of comments alone does not particularly concern me. The lack of content of the vast majority of those comments does not particularly concern me. The fact that so many comments come from so few commenters alone also does not concern me.

        It is the number of comments, their lack of substance, and their limited source combined that demonstrate that you and your two doppelgangers are solely interested in filibustering.

        No one is censored at this blog. Nor am I suggesting you be. I am just highlighting your tactics, in hopes other commenters might begin to ignore the three of you as I almost always do.

        There are many other frequent comments here from AGW and CAGW adherents. No one that I have seen has objected to them. Fred Moolten is one example that comes readily to mind as someone who is a full flegded CAGW acolyte. And no one suggests he comment less, or decries his lack of substance.

        I read this blog precisely because of the pro-AGW hostess and pro_AGW/CAGW denizens. But not the filibusaterers like you.

      • Your concern trolling does not particularly concern me. The average quality of your comments suggests that to avoid hypocrisy, you should immediately quit the blog. Thanks!

      • ss,
        Thank you for demonstrating why you AGW believers are fools.

      • GaryM,

        The moderator can’t identify which political party is supported by most of the consensus. Don’t you think that encourages the troll culture you are speaking of?

        You have to reach a basic level of honesty to have open if unfortunately overly partisan conversation. We’re getting an object lesson in just how delusional life in the ivory tower academic world of AGW is. So the “I only want to talk science” is in itself a filibuster since it’s obviously a very partisan spin process. Associations are purged of dissent, papers are blocked, dissent targeted and smeared. Holocaust deniers, settled science, modern racists, Taliban, anti-science only in the past month from people who claim to be responsible or are in authority positions in the debate.

        “Slowly, the face of the land changes by the people we admire”- Melvin Douglas in Hud

        Board trolls are the least of it Gary but they are another symptom. I’d be questioning the ambivalent postures of Dr. Curry that set terrible examples. The AGW minions follow the leadership and Dr. Curry is a leader. That she refrains personally is only one credit, that she is silent about her peers political inclinations is inexcusable. The consensus needs to be outed internally by people with courage.

      • cwon,

        You are complaining about tactics progressives have been using since long before I was born. And you are also complaining about moderates/independents (like Dr. Curry) who do not side with conservatives. To this complaint also I say – twas ever thus.

        If you think winning the climate debate depends on “the consensus [being] outed internally by people with courage,” I can understand your pessimism. But you are wrong.

        Copenhagen was not derailed by consensus whistle blowers. The Obama administration did not run away from cap and trade screaming like little girls because of a sudden change of heart at Real Climate. And the EPA’s attempt to backdoor central planning of the energy economy will not be rolled back by the sudden conversion of Gavin Schmidt.

        This blog is interesting to me because it’s primary attraction is the opportunity to engage in a discourse with those with whom I disagree, with courtesy and respect. That is why the filibustering is so disappointing.

        But the climate debate will not be settled on Climate Etc., or WUWT, or Real Climate, ClimateProgress, Climate Audit or the Air Vent. It will be won, or lost, at the ballot box. And primarily the U.S. ballot box. And there I very much like conservatism’s chances. The vitriolic tactics of the progressives is just evidence that they see the political landscape the same way.

        Dr. Curry provides a forum, uncensored, where people of all persuasions participate. The intent of my criticisms above was a forlorn hope of clearing some of the detritus from the comments here by shining a light under the filibusterer’s rock.

        The best antidote to bad speech is not censorship, but to counter it with good speech.

      • I can respect your comment. I do think my request is mutually exclusive of Dr. Curry renouncing warming views or changing political parties. I just think it’s a basic minimum of conversation to admit what is common knowledge, the AGW consensus core is partisan left/green and they behave as such under various euphemisms to protect their goals. Dr. Curry offers and assist by using terms like “advocate” instead of defining what kind of “advocate” when objectively it’s realtively easy to predict. By offering the same debating obfuscations Dr. Curry offers encouragement to poor debate from the various trolls. I don’t think it’s a form of censorship. My theme has been that false moderation can by leverage be even more damaging than the antics of Joe Romm, Trenberth or Al Gore. Certainly the troll culture hurts their cause but how is Dr. Curry offering basic political identity protection to the consensus advancing understanding?

  74. Politics

    In one of the most asinine, self-promoting, sniveling, absurd, nakedly political moves Wolfgang Wagner has resigned, with trumpets blazing, his editorship of Remote Sensing.

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=4311

  75. Michael Larkin

    Thinking about it further, does the software allow you to limit the number of posts per contributor? If that was, say, 10 per thread, then that would automatically limit the possibility of trolling.

    • All out of arguments?

      Mute the opposition!

      Classic.

    • cleaning up the thread now

    • Michael Stanton

      Newsgroup clients of yesteryear sometimes included ‘Bozo Filters’ which you could tailor to collapse (hide) posts by people on your personal Bozo list. Threads were then much easier to read. You could still expand them if you were feeling curious or just had buckets of time to waste.

      Any WordPress plug-ins available ?

    • Actually once upon a time I concocted a mechanism for a monetary system where commenters could ‘pay” to hear from certain people. And people who nobody wanted to hear where impoverished.. So no hard limit you had to actually produce words that people were willing to “pay” to hear.

      The currency was quatloos. Maybe i’ll re start that plug in for wordpress.

      Arrg. where’d i put that code

  76. There is no place in Science for the shenanigans from the vitriolic threesome, we all know what is accepted as appropriate. As someone suggested we, as the scientific community, should send them to the naughty square until they can play nicely. The whole debate, or more usually lack of it, never ceases to amaze me – SHAMEFUL display!!!

  77. Looks like the CRRT is present in force here, today. Too late, wrong forum, lads. The damage has been done elsewhere.

  78. “S&B is an especially humiliating event for consensus drones”

    This to me is more germane than political persuasion. Drones is exactly right. Rarely have I encountered a group so unimaginative, uninspired, and unaware. If you want to get really depressed, take a quick visit to DotEarth and read a few posts from the true believers. The rank vapidity and ignorance are absolutely appalling, especially from a bunch of people who think of themselves as intellectually superior.

    I agree they should be humiliated. But I’m not sure they have the capacity.

  79. Can anyone doubt that Trenberth has screwed up his PR in a major way? I’m really curious what he could have been thinking.

    When I read the extraordinarily nasty ugliness of a few commenters here, I wonder the same thing. Do they really think they are helping their cause? I would guess that most of the folks who frequent here are able to influence a large number of voters (family, friends, fellow workers). Does the nasty bunch think they are changing minds? Do they realize the damage that they do? Does Trenberth have some degenerative disease that eliminates the brain’s ability to process PR? Has it spread to the nasty bunch? Is it caused by global warming belief?

    • Can anyone doubt that Trenberth has screwed up his PR in a major way?

      Yes, they can. Trenberth pwnd Spencer in a major way. That’s why you’re hearing the shrieks from deniers . . . they are shrieking in pain.

      If you want to argue that criticizing a scientist’s work on a blog destroys your credibility, how much of the “skeptic” canon are you left with?

      • Point to one factual statement that Trenberth stated in his opinion piece. Pwnd? Not a chance. Read again, all of the pertinent papers. S&B intellectually humiliate their detractors. An op-ed asserting, “no it’s not!” from 3 alleged scientists, seals it.

        But, given each ones unique history, it is not even a small wonder. ….. is this the same scientist that believes the null hypothesis should be nulled? Or what of Gleick? The most ardent defender of photoshop? And then there is Abraham…….. mister I have to delete 10 minutes of blathering because he out-right lied about what Chris Monckton was stating?

        Each person, all three, are laughable caricatures of what a real scientist should represent. They are not scientists, they are advocates with credentials.

      • Suyts –
        They are not scientists, they are advocates with credentials.

        Credentialed but not eduated. :-)

      • “Point to one factual statement that Trenberth stated in his opinion piece.”

        “S&B intellectually humiliate their detractors.”

        What you have to remember to that Trenberth’s audience are not in the kind of deep denial of reality you suffer from. Your ability to fabricate a imagined world in which discredited nonsense that caused the editor who published it to resign in shame is a big win . . . it’s just delusion. The broader public doesn’t share your delusion.

      • Robert –
        You’ve failed to either answer the question or to make any valid point. Again.

  80. “JC conclusion: [...] This is not the way to do it, and this kind of behavior, particularly from [...] who is in a position of responsibility at a government lab [...] will backfire on them.”

    Say it with a song:

    “So now you’d better STOP and rebuild all your ruin.
    Peace & trust can win the day despite all your losin’.”

    — Led Zeppelin

  81. I think it would be great if some sort of Reddit-like up vote/ down vote system could be employed. Posts with enough down votes are automatically minimized so that you have to click to read them. This pretty rapidly erases the worst trolls from most discussions. Note, I am NOT advocating the silencing of any one side or another. A code of ettiquite is necessary — meaningful contributions should not be down voted. But all that endless dreck so on display in this thread would disappear almost immediately, and such a system also has a way of cutting short all the many often equally pointless replies. Would certainly make wading through threads like this more bearable.

    • You are asking for a code of etiquette on a thread about a breach of etiquette?

      Here is a different thought. We should start enforcing the law. It is a violation of the law to scream “fire!!!” in a crowded building. I’ve heard the screaming of “fire!” since my memory. The harm and damage done is incalculable.

      Why we lend vapid people such as Trenberth, Abraham, and Gleick any validity is beyond me, but, many do. Watch them run to the exits! Justice isn’t optional.

  82. is somebody paying these trolls to filibuster this thread? There is no better indication of global screamin butthurt.

    To judge from the trolly wordcount, Wagner is ‘an hero’ of epic purportions…lol
    (too bad encyclopediadramatica is gone )

  83. Tom Wigley on Christy and company:

    “The good has been the positive
    interactions between most of the people — a really excellent bunch.
    I have been very impressed by Carl Mears and John Lanzante.
    At meetings, John Christy has been quite good — and there were
    good and positive interactions between John and Roy and the RSS
    gang that helped clarify a lot. Outside the meeting, in the email world,
    he has been more of a pain. He has made a lot of useful suggestions
    for the ExSumm — but he keeps accusing the AOGCMers of
    faking their models (not quite as bluntly as this). In the emails there
    are some very useful exchanges from Jerry Meehl, Ramaswamy and
    Ben detailing the AOGCM development process. We will be
    writing a BAMS article on this in the summer — much of what happens
    in model development is unknown to the rest of the community. The
    ‘faking’ idea prompted me to write a tongue in cheek note — also
    attached. As far as I know, John will not raise this particular issue
    in his dissentin views.
    To accommodate dissenting views, the report will have a “dissenters’
    appendix”, with responses. You will get this at some stage — the
    deadline for dissenters to produce is Jan 31, and we will not finish
    our rebuttals until mid Feb. The dissenters are John C, and (far worse)
    Roger Pielke Sr. All of the rest of us disagree with these persons’
    dissenting views. Roger has been extremely difficult — but the details
    are too complex to put in an email. On the other hand he has made
    a number of useful contributions to the ExSumm and other chapters.
    Suffice to say that he has some strange ideas (often to do with the
    effects of landuse change) that are interesting but still, in my view,
    speculative — but testable.
    We have yet to see the dissents — and it would not be ethical for
    me to say any more than I have already.
    Best wishes,
    Tom.

    • Steven –
      wrt Roger P, Sr and land use changes –
      For about 10 years (until 2006) NASA produced papers on a regular basis on land use effects on warming. Wigley may not have thought much of the effort, but NASA did – and spent a lot of money doing the research. IIRC, there were some surprising results that have never showed up anywhere but Pielke’s blog. Pielke’s “strange ideas” aren”t so strange if one actually does the research.

      • The point is this: some people on this thread want to make christy and spenser out to be utter fools.

        Wigley said different.

        Wigley in fact said many smart things in the mails. People forget that

    • How John Cristy got thrown into this discussion is telling. I’ve read the paper a couple of times, his name doesn’t seem to be on it……..

      It isn’t the science they are debating.

  84. So..

    Has anyone good links to comments from the principles since the resignation?

    Any expansions from Drs. Wagner or Spencer, any peer reviewers or editorial staff?

  85. Jones on the christy Spenser “mistake”

    Also, confidentially for a few weeks, Christy and Spencer have admitted
    at the Chicago CCSP meeting that their 2LT record is wrong !! They used the wrong
    sign for the diurnal correction ! Series now warms – not quite as much as the
    surface
    but within error bands. Between you and me, we’ll be going with RSS in Ch 3
    and there will be no discrepancy with the surface and the models. Should make Ch 3
    a doddle now ! Keep quiet about this until Bern at least. Can tell you more then.
    RSS (Carl Mears and Frank Wentz) found the mistake !
    The skeptic pillars are tumbling !
    Cheers
    Phil

  86. Phil Jones for the win! Thanks, Mosh.

    • There is more christy spencer stuff in the mails, but this is getting off track

      • I hope so, because the charge is “serial mistakes”.

        No one thinks they haven’t made mistakes. They are being set apart from the rest of their field as borderline incompetent.

      • The borderline incompetent charge started several years ago with the publication of books such as “Taken by Storm” by Essex and McKitrick. This did the skeptic community no favors as their arguments could easily be dismissed. Everyone else has been trying to live this down, but it really tainted the opinions of climate scientists as to the quality of the counter-arguments.

  87. “Also, confidentially for a few weeks, Christy and Spencer have admitted
    at the Chicago CCSP meeting that their 2LT record is wrong !! They used the wrong sign for the diurnal correction ! . . .RSS (Carl Mears and Frank Wentz) found the mistake !”

    So Trenberth was right about a pattern of errors over many years . . . and about other people having to correct their mistakes.

    FTW, indeed.

    ‘gnight

    • Robert all science is a series of serial errors. But if you’d like to examine another case of serial errors by a scientist I will suggest one . You won’t like it.

      • Was it Bernoulli?

        Everyone hated that guy, even his kids.

        Or that astronomer with the silver nose who died when his bladder exploded at a feast?

        Or Newton. From stabbing his retina with needles to tasting heavy metals as part of lab work, a series of serial mistakes and no one really liked him much at the end, except Pope. The epigrammist, not the guy in Rome.

        I love guessing games.

        Am I close?

    • BlueIce2HotSea

      Robert-

      Spencer admitted and corrected the errors, which he says was within his error bounds.

      Suppose your accountant told you that your net worth was $100.00 + or – 5 cents. Later, an error was identified that put your corrected net worth at $100.02. It hardly seems fair to characterize the accountant’s work as “extremely lousy”. In fact, most people would sympathize with the accountant for having to put up with a jackass of a boss.

  88. The CAGW establishment is running out of spokespersons. Every one of their front men have made fools of themselves in public so the best they have left is Kevin Trenberth who comes across as arrogant and angry.

    Poor Pachauri! Is there even one of his supporters who commands respect among real scientists?

  89. Don’t forget this:
    “We will see that the greenhouse effect, itself, presents little cause for alarm from increasing levels of CO2since the effect is modest. Concern is associated with the matter of feedbacks that, in models, lead to amplified responses to CO2. Considerations of basic physics (as opposed to simply intercomparing models) suggests that current concerns are likely to be exaggerated.”

    http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/acs-2011-lindzen1.pdf

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

  90. Anything that might appear to discredit and “damage” the notion that there is a consensus on global warming, aka climate change, among all scientists must of necessity be a scary notion to “the team,” since their whole agenda is to promote the idea that there is no question about its total acceptance among scientists. Someone in the public might notice!

  91. From reading this above I have decided that a person’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof) should not prevent that person from the correct application of scientific method.

    I have also decided that impugning the motives behind what a person writes is idle speculation and of no relevance to an objective debate on the content and context of what has been put forward for discussion.

    The prior reputations of the contributors means nothing to me because I read everything at its face value and I know that we all can learn something from each other, no matter how dull or biased such contributions may seem to be.

    Finally, it is a human attribute to make mistakes. It has been the best way for me, in particular, to learn. However, in the rush to publish new material, it seems that careless mistakes are on the increase and that many people seem too quick to jump to conclusions.

  92. Dr. Curry,
    I agree with Pielke Sr. as well. His exchange with Gleick is worth reading a second time. Note how he tries to persuade Pielke to blog the story of Wagner’s odd resignation so that it is being viewed as “deserving credit not critisism” when in fact, Pielke has already declared the event to be “very unusual behavior”. Team pressure all around!
    Cheers
    Big Dave

  93. Obviously the post by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick has no substantiation. Its a disgrace for these 3 persons to denounce Dr Spencer. Shame on Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick

  94. Hi Judy,
    I did not read through all the comments but just want to thank you for the links. I work with satellite data and I found the paper of Spencer thought provoking. I look forward to seeing the rebuttal in GRL (although agree with someone who mentioned it should be in the journal Remote Sensing). As an observer (of the earth and the blogosphere), these discussions are invaluable.

    Rose

  95. I posted this initially on the previous thread in error. My comments on poor quality refer to this Part 2 thread!

    Dr Curry,
    I agree with a number of other commenters regarding the poor quality of this thread. I think it is the worst thread I have ever seen on Climate Etc.

    Rather than trying to clean it up, it might be less effort to initiate a new thread with clear guidelines on content.

    In terms of my personal interest, I am not interested in hearing anything further on Spencer’s religious beliefs, his serial incompetence, nor how he likes his breakfast eggs in the morning. They are all equally irrelevant to the validity of S&B11.

    I am much more interested in a continued informed debate on the validity of S&B11 and the REASONS for the massive over-reaction to it. The Trenberth and Fusillo non-rebuttal at RC, the highly public resignation of Wagner and now the highly unsavoury personal attack on Spencer by Trenberth.

    Is the reaction just because it is a bad paper? Well, it may turn out to be a bad paper, but I don’t think so. I have not yet read a single defensible rebuttal. (In fact, one of my questions is why Trenberth and Fusillo so pointedly failed to address the main conclusions in the paper, when they had a free hand on RC.) In any event, if the paper has no merit, it justifies a retraction procedure or a dignified well-crafted rebuttal in the literature – or even a dignified well-argued rebuttal posted on a respectable blog – not this public theater of the absurd, with unsupported assertions and increasingly unpleasant attacks on the character, competence and religious beliefs of the author. He can believe in the flying spaghetti monster as far as I am concerned provided he does not invoke its divine inspiration in support of a technical argument in THIS paper.

    In my view, the over-reaction relates to the imminence of AR5, but what in particular makes this paper deserving of such a heavy-weapon response? The reaction is clearly NOT caused by the main conclusion of the paper, which is that you cannot derive feedback unambiguously if there are variations in radiative forcing. I believe that there are two major possibilities, but I would be very interested in other opinions. The first is that it lends some evidential support, using an independent approach to data analysis (lag regression), to the conclusion of Lindzen and Choi – that the GCMs do not match the observed short-term flux response. The second is that it rebutts Dessler 2010, who used a zero-lag regression of flux derivative for clear-sky and all-sky data, under a stated assumption of no significant radiative forcing component during the period 2000 to 2010, to conclude that cloud feedback really is positive.

    But which of these triggered the over-reaction? The first would get right up Trenberth’s nose, given his published attempt to rebutt Lindzen and Choi on methodological grounds. If this is the trigger, then it might explain why Trenberth is leading the reaction troops, and is willing to risk carrying a major stain on his own reputation in the longer-term. In the general scheme of things, however, I think that it is the second issue – the Dessler rebuttal – that is much more important to the coherence of the IPCC narrative.

    Equiibrium climate sensitivity cannot be derived from (just) a match to temperature and heat data. It is mathematically impossible. To justify a high climate sensitivity the IPCC must therefore be able to defend the physics of the individual feedback mechanisms, of which cloud feedback is the most uncertain. For similar reasons, they must firmly resist any suggestion that clouds might respond to any influences other than temperature or temperature-dependent effects. In context, this means resisting GCR modulation of clouds or ENSO modulation of clouds in a manner which permits cloud structure (and flux modification) which breaks the dependence between temperature and clouds.

    I therefore think that it is this second issue – the ability of AR5 to argue that they have observationally supported evidence via Dessler for positive cloud feedback – that is probably causing the most headaches among the AR5 authors. But who knows?

    • I haven’t even bothered to comment on this particular thread. Just too much noise.

      I decided to spend some time writing up a short program to count the authors and how prolific they have been. It isn’t perfect, but comes within a couple comments of wordpress. I checked this thread and the last S&B thread. Here are the comment counts of the most prolific authors. They account for roughly 1/3 of the comments in each thread.

      Thread S&B part 1
      980 comments by 153 authors
      Bruce 74
      Joshua 60
      tallbloke 42
      Joel Shore 41
      Robert 41
      Louise 37
      Jim Owen 31
      David Wojick 30

      Thread S&B part 2
      645 comments by 135 authors
      Robert 85
      settledscience 42
      Joshua 39
      Jim Owen 24
      John M 29

      • Note to judith:
        On your second thread you have two classic trolls and one incurable thread jacker (Joshua) destroying your brand.

        Personally, I’d put Robert and settledscience on a time out.
        A. they have their own blogs where they can engage people.
        B. they are not regulars

        Lucia has some interesting timeout or time delay throttles. Basically, when someone hogs the conversation you put them on moderation. not censor ship…

        Joshua? Well, Joshua really doesnt contribute ANYTHING of substance about a topic, he just makes the topic YOU, That’s ok in small doses. but again letting a thread jacker dominate the numbers is death for your brand. And this is your brand

      • Another interesting comment: I’ll suggest you read the following below.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/#comment-109514

        I find it fascinating that so many comments are directed at how I am “hijacking” threads. It seems there are three simple solutions to that problem. The first would be for people to not respond to my posts. If someone feels that my posts are irrelevant, then why would they respond anyway? Have you noticed how few people respond to Oliver’s posts? Why is that? Is it because my posts are more irrelevant than Oliver’s? But even beyond the responses to my posts, what about the numerous posts complaining about my “hijacking?” Truly interesting that I am being held responsible for the many posts that complain about my participation.

        The second solution is for Judith to make it clear that she considers my posts to be “hijacking” of some threads, and make it clear that only certain threads would be appropriate for my comments that are not targeted directly to technical questions that I’m not qualified to discuss. You will note that when she specifies a post as being technical in nature, I respect that categorization (even though usually on such threads there are many posts that are directed primarily at tangentially-related political issues) .

        Obviously, the third solution is for her to ban me as an incorrigible “thread-jacker” – as has been called for many times now. Obviously, Judith has the right and opportunity to do that at any time. As long as she doesn’t do it in the way that Anthony Watts banned me – by leveling a false charge and then not allowing a straight-up defense to be posted – I have absolutely no problem with her banning me. All I would ask is that she look over this thread, and explain to me why my posts, as opposed to say those of cwon, or Jim Owen, or Bruce, are more “thread-jacking” in nature based on a criterion other than, simply, a difference in orientation toward the debate. In fact, I would welcome such an explanation from anyone who doesn’t think that they have some deep insight – without ever having met me – into my “motivations” or “intentions” behind my posts.

      • I did delete the exchange with Watts, which was off topic. I delete about 1/3 of Oliver’s posts, the ones that seem bot-like in their repetitiveness. If a post is somewhat off topic and not too lengthy, I leave it.

      • Thanks –

        Fair enough —

        All I’d ask in response, then, is that you delete comments when they use Anthony’s website, or the moderation policy at RealClimate, as evidence of some vast asymmetry in the tolerance of “warmists” and “skeptics” for open debate. I have read many, many such posts. That would seem to me to only be fair, as I see no reason why they would be any more relevant than my posts on Anthony’s moderation policy. If you think there is some difference there, I’d appreciate an explanation.

      • Actually no, you aren’t banned, that’s just your impression and I never used the word. You are however in the “troll bin” for which your comments receive extra buffering and consideration.

      • Anthony –

        Sorry for my mistake.

        Why did the post where I defended myself against your facile and specious charges about posting on the taxpayers dime go into your troll bin and remain there?

        Would you care to apologize for your specious analysis or would you care to re-post my defense (at your site would be more appropriate, of course)? And while you’re at it, would you mind commenting on how much “courage” it takes to make facile and specious charges and then not allow a defense pointing out your error? And if you doubt the specious and facile nature of your charge, would you care to put some money up pending an agreed upon method for validating your charge?

      • Joshua let me be clear.
        Everybody thread jacks at some point in their internet life.
        We all talk about our favorite topic more than other topics.
        you will see me try to thread jack to climategate.

        Understand that its hard to determine what is germane and what is not germane.

        Having said that, you repeatedly admit that you cannot comment on the science. If i were you, then I would recognize that more often that not you are going to be on the edge of being germane.

        Since you walk that line i’ll suggest that you do it lightly. its the combination of thread jacking and high comment count that causes the problem.

        If you want to talk alot, get some more topics.
        If you want to say the same thing over and over, do what Oliver does.
        Say it once at the beginning and then leave the conversation to people who actually have something interesting to say. like Fred M.

      • steven –

        If you don’t mind, I’d like to recap a bit.

        As far as I can recall, I’m being told that I’m troll and that I’m thread-jacking for the following reasons:

        (1) My posts are off topic

        IMO, defining what is and isn’t “off-topic” is subjective. But either way, my posts are no more “off-topic” than any number of other posts found in most any thread. Clearly, the attribute of being off-topic is selectively applied to my posts: My posts are often about the political overlay onto the climate debate. That is also the subject of many other posts on virtually any other thread at Climate Etc. No matter how you slice it, the attribute of being “off-topic” does not distinguish my posts.

        (2) My posts are rude

        A quick comparison of my posts to those of many people who respond to my posts quickly dispels this claim. For example, look at Stirling’s post below calling me OCD, or in fact many of your own posts in response to me – where you’ve called (me and?) my opinions “stupid,” called my posts “retarded,” etc. Take a look at virtually any post from Chief or Willis if you need examples of rudeness. The attribute of being rude does not distinguish my posts.

        (3) My posts are about Judy

        Very few of my posts are about Judy (if any). Other posters make Judy the topic of their posts, but they are not called a troll or accused of thread-jacking for that reason. My posts are about potential biases in the opinions expressed by others, Judy being among them. The vast majority of the posts put up here at Climate Etc. are about the potential biases in the opinions expressed by others. The attribute of being about Judy (or of being about potential bias in the opinions of others) does not distinguish my posts.

        (4) My posts are irrelevant

        The determination of relevance, as is the determination of “off-topic” (not necessarily the same thing, I guess) is, IMO, entirely subjective. But even if it weren’t it seems to me that the large number of responses that are written to my posts disproves the claim that my posts are irrelevant. Look at the posts of others (say Oliver, or cwon, or stan, or Gary, or Wege… — I don’t remember is full nic) that rarely get any responses. If my posts were uniquely irrelevant in some way, it would stand to reason that people wouldn’t respond as opposed to respond at a relatively high rate. The number of responses my posts elicit seem to be direct evidence that my posts are, actually, relevant. Now it could be argued that some responses to my posts are merely to insult me, or to call for me to be banned, or to complain about my posts – and so they aren’t a direct indication of the relevance of my posts. But still – only a minority of responses to my posts fall into that category (maybe 10%?)– and my counterargument is that the amount of animosity generated by my posts is directly attributable to their relevance to the political thread of the climate debate. I would argue that my clear political orientation is what drives the animosity and vitriol so evident in the responses I get. I would argue that the reason why other political posts don’t generate the same depth of reaction is simply an artifact of the balance of political perspective represented among our beloved “denizens.” Is it valid to say that representing a minority political opinion makes me a troll or hijacker? I say no. But either way, the attribute of being irrelevant does not distinguish my posts.

        (5) My posts are monotonic

        Many other posters write many posts largely making the same point. Take Chief, for example, and his posts about decades of cooling, and ENSO, “pissant” leftists, etc. Haven’t you read essentially the same post from him tens of times. Take a look at Bart R speaking to that characteristic of Chief’s posts:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/#comment-109848

        In fact, I recently came across a post at RealClimate where Chief was making that same point five years ago.

        Are not cwon’s posts, or those of wege-whatver, or gary, or stan, or yours about climategate, not more often than not making similar points?

        IMO – the attribute of being monotonic does not distinguish my posts

        (6) I post too much

        Ok – maybe here we’re on to something. But my counter-argument here is that the reason I post as much as I do is that other people respond to my posts. Relatively few of my posts are at the top level of nests. Most of my posts are in response the comments of others. Sometimes my posts are because someone has responded to a top-level post of mine, and sometimes my posts are because someone has responded to a comment I inserted in a nest/string already started. But either way, most of my posts are direct response to a comment directed towards me. To reiterate – the reason why I post as much as I do is because people respond to my posts.

        Now Fred is someone who posts a lot, and who people respond to quite a bit, but he isn’t called a troll or accused of thread-jacking. Although not as often as I, he is often the target of rudeness (take a look at virtually any response to his opinions from Chief or Willis, or Max’s discussion of Fred’s writing style if you’d like examples), and I have to say that he stays above the rancorous fray admirably, and more than I do – but although he’s not infrequently the target of rudeness he isn’t called a troll or accused of thread-jacking. The overlap between his and my posts is that the opinions expressed are minority opinions – so that’s the explanation for the rudeness common to comments directed at the two of us. But the distinction between our posts is that his posts are pretty much exclusively about technical matters related to the interpretation of the science and mine are pretty much exclusively about the political and/or ideological overlay onto the climate debate. So the attribute of my posts that distinguishes mine from Fred’s is the nature of the topics we post on. That’s why I get more abusive response, and that’s why I get called a troll and accused of thread-jacking even though others post a lot also and others post on political issues also.

        What I’m left with after my analysis is that I am somewhat uniquely called a troll and accused of thread-jacking because of combined attributes: I post a lot (mostly in response to other commenters), and most of my posts are oriented in a politically unpopular opinion at Climate Etc. But ironically, that only reinforces the main theme that I post on: (1) political ideology is largely determinative in how people align themselves in the climate debate and, (2) being that most posters at Climate Etc. are on the “skeptical” side of the debate, this site is solid evidence that rudeness and closed-mindedness (as represented by accusations of trollhood and thread-jacking) is equally well-represented on both sides of the climate debate.

        Anyway – a long explanation of my thoughts. Nothing there that I haven’t written before – but I do find it interesting that at a site where there are a lot of smart people who are trained in analytical processes, no one has cared to deconstruct the weaknesses in the arguments I present on this topic – and the only responses I get seem to only prove the points that I made above to be accurate.

        But here’s the bottom line.

        Instead of throwing a pity-party for each other because of how damaging my posts are, maybe anyone who thinks that my posts are irrelevant, or about Judy, or off topic, or rude, or anyone who thinks that I post too much, should just simply not respond to my posts. There – a simple solution to all your problems with my posts.

        And BTW – take a look at the S & B III post – you will see putatively “off-topic” posts in a thread that is specifically designated as a highly technical thread. None of those putatively “off-topic” posts were made by me. Will we see accusations of trollhood? Accusations of thread-jacking? Time will tell. Will Judith remove those posts? Time will tell.

      • Well, my solution is to start a technical thread this evening, and leave this thread for those who actually enjoy what is going on here. It is difficult for me to keep up with the huge volume of comments the past few days, it is this bizzy about once every two months.

      • Steven there are two point regarding thread jacking;

        Most of the threads are thread jacked on topics, most everything from either side is shot down by the other side over uncertain measurements of the impossible isolation of “all else equal” starting points. Decades go by, no agreements on the co2 cycle, sink capacity, temp data sets etc. etc. It’s like a discussion on String Theory, popular themes in Phychology or Economics. Tie it end to end and you will go no where on hard climate conclusions on big topics like co2 impacts in the real world. Sure they are all different but “proving” something isn’t all that simple. It’s not like observing “gravity” in normal conditions with everyday matter on earth. It’s fuzzy, abstract and difficult to isolate inputs.

        Most people are interested in the political results for or against the IPCC power drive. That’s why the board breaks down largely on party lines.

        Here we have spellbinder of AGW dorkism, an editor of a paper is doing his best impression of Cincinnatus returning to his plow after blowing his foot off among his Alarmist peers and letting a sliver of dissent in the public door. It’s humiliating which is alway going to lead to emotional backlash to change the subject in anyway possible. Hense they are out in droves on this thread slaving for the consensus in a massive topic change. It’s human nature. The science part will be hashed out over time and will get praised or trashed by the usual formula along the usual party lines most likely.

        My theme has been on the moderator enabling and watering down huge and obvious agenda bias that is very easily identifiable. Call Dr. Curry out on that and the troll issue will take care of itself.

      • Ok – last post from me on this sub-topic (on this thread, at least):

        Steven Mosher | September 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

        [...]

        Joshua? Well, Joshua really doesnt contribute ANYTHING of substance about a topic, he just makes the topic YOU,

        and:

        cwon14 | September 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        [...]

        My theme has been on the moderator enabling and watering down huge and obvious agenda bias that is very easily identifiable.

        So, I am repeatedly called out for being a “thread-jacker?”

        What is the distinguishing criterion? The fact that my posts elicit more responses?

        I would suggest that the reason for that difference in number of responses is that there are more people on this site who disagree with my analysis (thus eliciting a subsequent nest of exchanges between me and them) than there are that disagree with cwon’s – although ironically, cwon’s perspective is almost indistinguishable from mine (I could have written cwon’s statement for him) – outside of our starting orientation towards the political dimension of the debate.

      • Joshua, the issue is this. While the topic of JC (moi) was frequently discussed on the initial threads (i.e. a year ago) as people tried to figure out what I was up to (or to discredit me), people tired of this topic as a) they figured out what I was up to, or at least developed an opinion and b) efforts to discredit me have failed. So people have moved on from this topic. This of some relevance when the thread is about “me” (say the one year anniversary thread), but not relevant on a topical thread and won’t be allowed on a technical thread

      • Sorry for adding one more post on this sub-topic – (moi).

        Thanks for that response.

        I try to distinguish between having the topic of my posts being you (which I try to avoid, although I don’t always succeed), and having the topic be the quality of your analysis.

        cwon, on the other hand, has often stated that the topic he’s focusing on is you – an extension of his focus on your political orientation (in frequently calling for you to identify your political orientation, to explain your history of support for political candidates, etc.).

        I don’t (often?) offer conjecture on your political orientation, but on whether or not there are (sometimes) biases intrinsic or (explicit or implicit) to your analysis. And although I do go there, clearly, more than some people would like, or perhaps more often than is justified by an objective interpretation of your analysis (I never claimed to be perfect), a relative minority of my posts focus on that topic. Quite a few other posters, as well, make potential biases in your analysis the topic of their posts. More often my posts focus on potential biases in the analysis of other posters – but that description would probably apply to the vast majority of other posts at Climate Etc. as well.

        If you (or anyone else) could explain to me whether there is a criterion that differentiates my posts about potential bias in your (or other posters’) analysis from other posts that also focus on potential bias in your (or other posters’) analysis – outside of starting orientation or the fact that they elicit more responses – I will heretofore make an effort to respect that criterion as exclusionary.

        An honest question: should the fact that my posts (arguably?) elicit more responses than those of others be, in and of itself, an exclusionary criterion? If you say it is so, how should I address that problem?

        A final note: it is not my intent to discredit you, but at least in my eyes if not those of anyone else, to examine your credibility by asking you to address potential biases in your analysis. There is a distinction – if it seems that at times I cross that line, I apologize; it is not my intent. In balance (and I have said this in one form or another many times) I find your contributions to the “climate debate” to be credible – my questions about potential biases notwithstanding.

      • Most people don’t talk about my potential bias, they merely respond to your posts

      • Most people don’t talk about my potential bias,…

        But sometimes they do. And sometimes I do. But mostly they talk about bias in other posters’ analysis – which is also the subject of the majority of my posts.

        Honest questions: I assume you’re not saying that I should not discuss potential biases in your analyses, but that I should about it less? What is the universal criterion that would apply in that regard (so that I can judge what to do and what not to do) that would also apply to other posters?

      • This is low;

        “cwon’s perspective is almost indistinguishable from mine (I could have written cwon’s statement for him) – outside of our starting orientation towards the political dimension of the debate.”

        Why do I have the sudden urge to burn my clothes?

        Next;

        curryja | September 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
        Most people don’t talk about my potential bias, they merely respond to your posts

        If we follow this logic we would ban “d” and “r” next to the names of our congressman while they debated on TV. I see your position but it’s carried too far if we pretend the consensus, of which you are member, doesn’t have a political leaning and that it doesn’t influence the posture of the debate. You can name names or not but certainly the consensus you arrived from has a political culture and it would be a reforming gesture if spoken it in plain English. The cow left the barn long ago on the “we’re just talking science here” like it’s 1989.

        Does Climate Depot grow off the grass for no reason? You need a huge amount of hypocrisy to play off for the AGW debate to get this animated. The consensus can handle it, just be candid about what they are generally about on the political spectrum.

      • “John M 29″

        Hey, gimmee a break, Mosher’s gaining on me.

      • I just logged another

    • @-Paul_K | September 6, 2011 at 6:49 am
      “I am much more interested in a continued informed debate on the validity of S&B11 and the REASONS for the massive over-reaction to it. ”

      A lot of what you call a ‘massive overeaction’ (pre-judging much?!) is not solely to the paper, but as Wagner explains in his resignation letter, to the massive disjunction between the content of the paper and the claims made by Spencer and others for its significance that went FAR beyond anything justified by the content of the paper.

      That dissonance between the conclusions of the paper and the claims made in the ‘media’ make many suspect this was a ‘Trojan Horse’ paper.
      A superfically mundane paper with innocuous conclusions that is published in an obscure journal that does not conventionally deal with the subject. Once published much more extravagent claims are then made for its importance, – the Greeks come out of the horse!

      However there is a glaring error in logic in the SB11 paper. Its the mistake, made before by SPencer, of attributing causation to clouds in ENSO events. He specifically names them as a FORCING rather than as a feedback.
      This is reversing any credible causal pathway. If for some reason the Pacific ocean currents did NOT move heat around in the way we identify as ENSO events then the cloud changes instanced by Spencer would not happen. And if for some reason the cloud changes were surpressed it is obvious that the movement of thermal energy in the oceans would STILL happen – with very minor differences I suspect.

      It is Spencer’s past form in erroneously claiming an EFFECT is a CAUSE that repeated YET again is probably part of the irritation this paper has aroused in others.

      • Irritation? That I can understand. (Please note I’m not taking a position there on clouds and ENSO, just on human nature when people disagree on such a thing.)

        Irritation happens in other scientific fields all the time. But not, as Jonathan Jones said so well, this throwing of the toys out of the pram when one doesn’t get one’s own way, with some of the most senior specialists in the field then joining in and crying like babies.

        I don’t even mind – as long as no government ever takes these guys seriously again.

      • Izen,
        “Prejudging?” No my comments are post hoc.

        I am interested in seeing how you describe the “glaring error” in the S&B11 paper, especially after now reading the Dessler rebuttal paper.

        “However there is a glaring error in logic in the SB11 paper. Its the mistake, made before by SPencer, of attributing causation to clouds in ENSO events. He specifically names them as a FORCING rather than as a feedback.
        This is reversing any credible causal pathway…”

        Does this come from your interpretation of Spencer’s paper or from other blogs? The reason I ask is because what Spencer makes clear in his paper is that his hypothesis is that cloud variation may not be SOLELY due to temperature (temperature-dependent feedback). Temperature induces cloud variation as a feedback, but cloud variation, for reasons other than temperature change, would behave as a forcing in its own right.

        The reason I ask is because I have now seen this mis-representation in a number of places, the most recent being in Dessler’s rebuttal to S&B11. Dessler starts his paper with the fallacy of the excluded middle – suggesting that the argument is between temperature causing clouds VERSUS clouds causing temperature change. It is starting to look like a pre-prepared defence.

      • @- Paul_K | September 6, 2011 at 8:41 am |
        “Does this come from your interpretation of Spencer’s paper or from other blogs? ”
        Mine, the reference to clouds as a FORCING just kinda leaps out….

        @- “what Spencer makes clear in his paper is that his hypothesis is that cloud variation may not be SOLELY due to temperature (temperature-dependent feedback). Temperature induces cloud variation as a feedback, but cloud variation, for reasons other than temperature change, would behave as a forcing in its own right. ”

        If so he is maintaining a degree of obscurity about WHAT the “for reasons other than temperature change” are that would make clouds an independent variable. Perhaps I missed it. but I saw nothing in the SB11 paper that would indicate anything OTHER than a response to temperature changes that alters cloud cover.

        @-“The reason I ask is because I have now seen this mis-representation in a number of places, the most recent being in Dessler’s rebuttal to S&B11. … It is starting to look like a pre-prepared defence.”

        perhaps you might consider the possibility that when a large number of people with a reasonable level of competence examine a bad bit of science they can all identify the faults. After all if the faults are real, the common identification of them would only appear to be collusion or conspiracy to those unable to accept the existence of faults….

        Other posts have covered the issue of causation, forcing, feedback and independent/dependent variables pretty well, but there is an interesting issue with the suggestion that SB11 may have been invoking (apparently silently!) some OTHER factor that would alter cloud cover than temp so that it IS an independent variable.

        Svenmark’s GCRs have been mentioned, but despite Kirkby claiming that the CERN/CLOUD experiment had NO implications for the GCR hypothesis of causing climate effects, I think the sentence in the abstract –
        -”We find that ion-induced binary nucleation of H2SO4–H2O can occur in the mid-troposphere but is negligible in the boundary layer.”-
        reduces the probability (Baysian!?) that the specific role of GCRs on low altitude cloud in the Svensmark hypothesis is correct. The paleoclimate aspect of his hypothesis has already suffered refutation. The claim that regular paleoclimate shits could match regular transitions of the rotating spiral arms fails in the face of recent discoveries that the structure of the galaxy is an asymmetric barred spiral with the Sun near the zone of co-rotation. (where the rotation of the galactic disc matches the movement of the density wave of a spiral arm. It turns out the Earth traverses all the spiral arms in just over 500Myrs. With irregular gaps between the spiral arms the transitions within the +500Myrs are also irregular removing any correlation between paleoclimate cycles and spiral arm transitions.

        What the CERN/CLOUD result did show was that soluble organics, sulphides and NHx complexes are required for the formnation of cloud condensation nuclei at the rate seen in observations of the real atmosphere. Given the massive effect fossil fuel consumption has had on the sulphur cycle and the accompanying addition of SOx NOx and other chemicals to the atmosphere there may be a source of MUCH greater influence on cloud variations, over the timescale of human fossil fuel use and in synchrony with the CO2 changes. As such cloud variation, independent of temperature COULD be a significant independent variable, a true cause or forcing of the climate given the great GHG/albedo effect they have, perhaps it deserves greater investigation ?

      • @Izen,
        Same challenge I offered to Fred Moolten. Show me where Spencer has argued that cloud forcing initiates ENSO or that clouds can only be a forcing and not a feedback. Sure, he argues that some cloud formation/variation is not a temperature-dependent feedback, and hence needs to be treated as a forcing in its own right. But check out the language used by Dessler:
        “Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed:
        clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.”
        In the context of S&B11 versus Dessler 2010, the source of radiative forcing actually makes no difference; the only question is whether there was any significant radiative forcing in the period 2000-2010. If there was, then Dessler is wrong. Spencer believes from both phase-space and lag regression that he can see a significant radiative forcing component in that data – which he attributes to cloud forcing. Whether it is due to GCR modulation or the weather changing due to non-temperature-related movements in oceanic and atmospheric currents, or some unknowm mechanism, is a secondary question in my mind.

      • Wagner resigning for what he claims is a misuse of the paper is a ridiculous and transparently false excuse.
        Your acceptance of it speaks more about your credulity than anythign to do with climate science.

  96. Richard Saumarez

    I have a modest proposal for Dr Curry, which I hope she won’t think is being provocative.

    It stems from this controversy, which has made many of us start to focus on the issues and will start to really scrutise the S&B paper and the forthcoming Dressler paper. Although we are not climate scientists, some of use have skills in other fields that can be applied to the question of feedback.

    My view is that the whole definition of “feedback” in climatology is difficult because of its poor definition. The current formulation, although it is linear, do not appear to me to conform to a generalised definition of feedback as used in control theory. However, there is a substantial body of scientists and engineers to whom feedback is their bread and butter and have, possibly, a clearer idea of how to disentangle the relationships between “forcings” and “feedbacks” and how to identify them.

    As an outsider, one is struck by how difficult it is to perform a formal experiment in climate science, yet the question of feedback demands experiments, as opposed to models, to identify critical system behaviours.

    I wonder if you might invite some control theorists/engineers to ponder and post on the assumptions, and their limitations, about feedback in climate science and suggest how critical measurements might be made?

      • Richard Saumarez

        These illustrate my problem exactly. The classical feedback theory and the stability of a system is dependent on phase, not simple lag. Hence my feelings that the formal consideration of feedback in climate are incompletely formulated.

        It is well known that feedback in some non-linear systems leads to stable limit cycles, yet the climate “feedbacks” as discussed do not seem able to give rise to oscillations, which may in fact occur.

        Hence, I stand by my comment that a good control theory perspective may give valuable insights in how to define and measure feedbacks.

    • I wonder if you might invite some control theorists/engineers to ponder and post on the assumptions, and their limitations, about feedback in climate science and suggest how critical measurements might be made?

      Welcome aboard. Don’t feel like you need an invitation. If you have some interesting ideas, it will rise to the surface. There are enough eyeballs looking at the comments to filter out the good stuff.

    • Semantically, it’s not complicated. Forcing is an independent variable, and feedback is a dependent variable. I think the problem in this context is defining where the bottom of the causal stack is. Strictly speaking, clouds can’t be a cause, but they can respond to something other than CO2. That may be the source of the confusion; the “consensus” (for lack of a better term) lingo revolves around CO2 being the cause of everything, therefore “forcing” isn’t forcing unless it responds to CO2.

      If you set the CO2 obsession aside, it’s actually pretty straightforward.

      • That seems to me to be a very succinct summary for someone not well-versed in the science.

        Some questions:

        Is it really true that consensus view is that CO2 is the “cause of everything?”

        Strictly speaking, clouds can’t be a cause,…

        In other words, clouds can’t change independently. That seems to me to be a fairly non-controversial statement. Why, then, do people doubt an assertion that clouds are not a forcing?

        And then it would seem that to say that clouds affect climate without identifying the correlated independent variable would be wholly incomplete. Is that not, essentially, the criticism of S&B’s argument? What do they assert is the forcing (independent) agent behind the impact of clouds on climate?

      • “In other words, clouds can’t change independently. That seems to me to be a fairly non-controversial statement. Why, then, do people doubt an assertion that clouds are not a forcing? ”

        By that logic:

        It seems to me that CO2 can’t change independently. [CO2 is emitted by either natural or anthropogenic sources, and is absorbed or limited by the same] That seems to me to be a fairly non-controversial statement. Why, then, do people doubt an assertion that CO2 is not a forcing?

        The only “forcing” that I can think of that changes “independently” of other processes on Earth is the Sun, so I guess the only forcing we need to worry about is solar. Joshua apparently agrees with Oliver Manuel. Who knew.

      • That sounds a team that could scare even the Team.

      • Educate me, Gary.

        Obviously, amounts of CO2 are dependent upon rates of emission. But that doesn’t mean that CO2 is not acting as an independent variable within the dynamic system we call climate. does it?

        But “independent” of that question, let’s go with your reconstruction of my comment above – to indicate that CO2 is, in fact, a dependent variable that is correlated to the independent variable of “forcings” in the sense of amounts of CO2 emissions (anthropogenic plus natural).

        That still doesn’t answer the question of what are the independent variable(s), i.e. “forcings,” that are correlated to the dependent variable of clouds? The CERN Cloud study suggests cosmic radiation (variation of which, of course, would depend on other variables – I suppose there is no end to this question unless you believe in a supernatural being that controls it all, and even then you’d have to ask why that supernatural being would choose to make changes in cosmic radiation to determine the independent variable, and of course, then you’d have to ask why that supernatural being was created, etc.) but offers no solid evidence that correlates changes in cosmic radiation to measures of change in our climate. What do S&B propose to be the independent variables that are correlated clouds and with measured changes in temperature? Further, have they quantified the correlations (between clouds and temperatures) in ways that fit with records of the Earth’s climate? It seems to me that critics of their paper say that they haven’t. Are those critics wrong, or is my understanding mistaken?

      • On a somewhat less sarcastic note.

        Real Climate defines climate forcings as “the changes that affect the energy balance of the planet” and “first order forcings” as “To my mind, the ‘first-order’ forcings would be the ones without which you can’t really do without in assessing global climate change. I would therefore argue that for the global mean the well-mixed GHGs and the counterbalancing reflecitve aerosol effects are ‘first-order.’”

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/09/what-is-a-first-order-climate-forcing/

        Real Climate defines “aerosols” as “…solid or liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere, consisting of (in rough order of abundance): sea salt, mineral dust, inorganic salts such as ammonium sulfate (which has natural as well as anthropogenic sources from e.g. coal burning), and carbonaceous aerosol such as soot, plant emissions, and incompletely combusted fossil fuel.”

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/02/aerosols-the-last-frontier/

        Since aerosols are first order forcings, I see no reason clouds would not be first order forcings as Gavin defines them, if the assertions in S & B 2011 prove to be accurate.

      • Joshua,

        I have only read the abstract and intro, and am not about to engage in a defense of a paper on the substance of the science, when others can and are defending it more eloquently than I. I have no firm belief one way or the other at this time.

        My only point was that your argument that clouds cannot be a climate forcing because they are not “independent” is logically false.

      • My only point was that your argument that clouds cannot be a climate forcing because they are not “independent” is logically false.

        It seems to me that if you’ve proven an illogic in my argument – it would be that CO2 is an independent variable, as opposed to my question as to whether clouds are an independent variable.

        Be that as it may – looking at it as a system dynamic, without accompanying (specific) quantification, can’t you say that CO2 functions as an independent variable irrespective of what is causing changes in the level of CO2? Obviously some “skeptics,” although I’m told it is a minority, would argue that you can’t. But then wouldn’t those “skeptics” who reject CO2 as an independent variable have to likewise reject S&B’s hypothesis?

        Perhaps the same argument can be made about clouds – but then you’d have to correlate (quantity or quality) changes in clouds with changes in climate, and it seems that the criticism of S&B’s paper is that they haven’t done so?

      • Joshua,

        What I know about CO2 I mostly learned at Real Climaee, so take it with a grain of salt. One of the first questions I had was what caused ice ages to end, before man started burning fossil fuels, what is it that caused warming. That led me to this article at RC:

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/

        “Second, the idea that there might be a lag of CO2 concentrations behind temperature change (during glacial-interglacial climate changes) is hardly new to the climate science community. Indeed, Claude Lorius, Jim Hansen and others essentially predicted this finding fully 17 years ago, in a landmark paper that addressed the cause of temperature change observed in Antarctic ice core records, well before the data showed that CO2 might lag temperature. In that paper (Lorius et al., 1990), they say that: “changes in the CO2 and CH4 content have played a significant part in the glacial-interglacial climate changes by amplifying, together with the growth and decay of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, the relatively weak orbital forcing.'”

        “Several recent papers have indeed established that there is lag of CO2 behind temperature…In other words, CO2 acts as an amplifier, just as Lorius, Hansen and colleagues suggested.”

        So as to the question of whether “CO2 functions as an independent variable irrespective of what is causing changes in the level of CO2,” the answer is, according to RC, it depends. Sometimes CO2 is a forcing that leads warming, and sometimes it is a feedback that lags warming caused by other processes.

        In other words, it is not an either or thing. Something can be both, a forcing and a feedback at different times and under different condition, which I took to be the point of the Spencer paper in dispute.

      • That’s precisely what I’m driving at. I think S&B took a little bit of a shortcut by suggesting clouds were a “cause”. It think what they meant was that clouds were responding to some forcing, which for the purpose of the paper would go unidentified, because they didn’t want to go wandering off into Svensmark land. It’s not necessary to propose an alternate mechanism for cloud forcing to make the point that S&B were making. Their argument was made purely on radiation balance grounds.

        What that leaves them with though, is clouds acting as if they were a random forcing. Actually calling them a forcing however, was a mistake, because it implies something that isn’t true. It doesn’t mean the paper’s wrong, but they get a 5 yard penalty for poor communication.

      • Please excuse my elementary understanding of the physics, but it seems that this post is, essentially, an answer to the questions I proposed here:”

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/#comment-109498

        If my lack of understanding is so vast that my questions are essentially a non-sequitur to you post, or alternatively just complete nonsense, just say so and I’ll drop my attempt to parse the technical discussion.

      • There was a short cut, which is pretty interesting. Their use of the word forcing implies to me that they genuinely believe it is a forcing due to an internal variation. They can’t really say that without defining the mechanism that causes the clouds to behave as a forcing or they are just cyclomaniacs. So they try to show that the clouds are behaving as a forcing due to some unknown mechanism which is easily misinterpreted as not knowing a feed back from a forcing. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

        To attempt to show that the clouds are a forcing due to a natural internal variation would require a much longer paper and still be stuck with defining the mechanism despite Tsonis et al and other papers that show that the internal variations are somewhat predictable. So we are stuck with information that indicates the climate change can be more accurately predicted but not allowed to use it due to a technicality.

      • That’s the other interpretation, which has different issues.

        The forcing/feedback thing is easy to intuit. Imagine a mobile. You bump it. It jiggles. Forcing, feedback. Pretty simple.

      • P.E. Right, they believe the natural internal variation not due to climate change jiggled the mobile.

      • To be clear, I don’t believe that’s what S&B believe (though I could be wrong). I think they just were fast and loose with their words. Which is also double plus ungood in science. But scientists in general, including the major “team” scientists, are also horrible communicators. They all need to take remedial English composition.

      • P.E. that is totally true, their communications skills could use some help. It is just my interpretation of the intent of the paper, where they may be truly meaning cloud forcing.

      • “Svensmark land?” That sounds a little dismissive for someone who has just had his theory strengthened by the CERN group. Besides, there are other mechanisms in play for causing clouds. You have heard of dimethyl sulfide, correct? According to Wikipedia at least, dimethyl sulfide can be oxidized into several compounds which have “the potential to create new aerosols which act as cloud condensation nuclei.”

        The penalty belongs to Dessler who falsely concludes clouds are strictly a response to temperature. But it is not a five yard penalty. I think it is enough to call the paper trash.

      • The penalty belongs to Dessler who falsely concludes clouds are

        strictly a response to temperature

        Would you mind pointing out the statement where Dessler does that? Has it already been posted in this thread?

      • To expand on what P.E. says, “In simple terms, radiative changes resulting from temperature change (feedback) cannot be easily
        disentangled from those causing a temperature change (forcing).” from SB11. A forcing is an independent variable and feed back is a variable dependent on THAT independent variable. Feed back is limited to its forcing. If the clouds are independent of THAT forcing, they can be a forcing even if they are forced by something else. That is Spencer’s point, that the all of the temperature change does not appear to be dependent on sea surface temperature, ENSO variations. Spencer’s paper may be total bunk, but he is trying to disentangle a portion of cloud impact not directly associated with standard forcing expected, but due to internal variability, “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000-2010 was due to ENSO8], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.. ” That partially would be due natural variability, i.e. this ain’t your normal ENSO. He might have better said, “since much of the temperature variability during 2000-2010 is inconsistent with expected warming and due to ENSO…”

  97. From the latest Dressler paper (copied from WUWT):

    “Conclusions
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming). ”

    I’m wondering if someone should point out there has been no significant warming over the last decade. It seems to be an argument lacking in substance.

    • Steven,
      You need to get up to speed. To justify his calculation of cloud feedbacks Dessler 2010 NEEDS to assume a zero net forcing over this period, and hence no warming. No irony intended.
      If there was any significant forcing component during the period his analysis, based on a zero-lag regression, is blown. Hence he must argue that all temperature variation came from ENSO events. All other forcings, solar, GHG, aerosol, and especially any CLOUD variations that can’t be related to temperature changes induced by ENSO were all suspended in the period 2000 to 2010. Pretty convenient all-round really.

      • I haven’t paid attention to this one. It doesn’t sound like you can come up with anything meaningful this way to me but I’ll accept I don’t understand the argument instead of it lacking substance. Thanks for the readers digest version.

    • Cp dΔT/dt = S(t) + N(t) − λΔ

      ‘Equation (1) states that time-varying sources of non-radiative forcing S and radiative forcing N cause a climate system with bulk heat capacity Cp to undergo a temperature change with time away from its equilibrium state (dΔT/dt), but with a net radiative feedback ‘restoring force’ (−λΔT) acting to
      stabilize the system.’

      Dessler finds that:

      Cp dΔT/dt = S(t) approximately.

      That is N(t) = λΔ and are relatively small. S(t) is calculated as a residual.

      SB11 use the simple model to illustrate point – Dessler uses it to discount clouds. Hmmm.

      • CH,
        I hope that someone can track the pea under the thimble on this one. Dessler actually starts with what looks like two inoccuous substitution of terms for Spencer’s Equation 1. You then need to track what he does with them.

        Spencer’s equation has a radiative forcing term (ANY radiative forcing) and a non-radiative flux term, the latter being energy ADDED to the surface-connected climate system. Typically, for a simple planetary energy balance model, the latter term is left out on the basis that it is excursive – it comes and goes and only effects short-term internal redistribution of energy, which does not affect the long-term net gain or loss. Leaving out this term, the total radiative net flux (F – lamda*DeltaT) then is often equated to total rate of change of planetary energy gain or loss – normally manifest as OHC.

        Spencer shows (without refererence to the observational dataset) that ANY component of radiative forcing would invalidate Dessler 2010. The first thing that Dessler does then is he replaces the total forcing term, with a cloud forcing term, under the assumption that all other forcings are zero over the relevant period. In his subsequent tests of data variance and model comparisons, he then apparently assumes that all forcings are zero except for his specifically estimated cloud forcing.

        The second substitution is to treat Spencer’s non-radiative term – which originally related to internal energy added to the connected climate system (like thermohaline-driven or advective energy changes from deep ocean) as though it were the same as the whole variation in OHC instead of the fluctuations due to ENSO (Effectively, he assumes F-lamda *deltaT = 0). Unsurprisingly he comes up with a very large standard deviation for this value.

        I have still not fathomed what values were used in the figure 1 model results. Anyone??

  98. I have been wondering define first of all the system to which feedbacks apply. ENSO is a physical Earth system involving winds, currents and clouds.

    ‘El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C). These observations have been collected and published in ICOADS for many years.’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

    Surface temperature forcing occurs firstly as a result of ocean/atmosphere energy dynamics – flow to a cool ocean in a La Nina and from a warm ocean in an El Nino. The non-cloud component. There is also a cloud radiative component. ENSO doesn’t cause clouds – or alternatively is caused by clouds. ENSO is, inter alia, clouds. Less low level cloud in El Nino and more in La Nina. Unforced natural cloud variability with significant interannual and decadal changes in the radiative flux.

    As Judith suggests in relation to the PDO and AMO and extreme events – this is a system whose dynamics are different in kind and separate from global warming. Very little of CERES variability is caused by greenhouse gases – because the effects over such a short time are minor by anyone’s estimation. Most of the radiative variability is ENSO, most of the global rainfall variability is ENSO, most of the global temperature variability is ENSO. The variability is due to the complex system itself and the idea of an ENSO ‘feedback’ makes no sense at all.

    The question as to whether ENSO can be used to determine cloud feedback from global warming seems answered in the negative. Indeed, Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

    Zhu, P., Hack, J., Keilh, J and Zhu, P, Bretherton, C. 2007, Climate sensitivity of tropical and subtropical marine low cloud amount to ENSO and global warming due to doubled CO2 – JGR, VOL. 112, 2007

  99. “Hey Jude don’t make it bad? :-)

  100. Andy Dessler’s rebuttal paper is in press.

    here’s my review:

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/dessler_2011_grl.pdf

    Nutshell: it’s rubbish!

    • Ah, that’s the paper I linked by accident and you’re all on your honour not to download it. :)

      My article is here:

      http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/desslers-spencer-rebuttal-scuttled/

      • Since there is now at least one discussion of Dessler (tx Rog) that is critical of his paper in the blogosphere, should we be expecting the imminent resignation of the Editor of GRL?

        Will Whateverhismname Was’s petulant and spineless actions prove a catalyst to others foolish enough to publish something that somebody else took exception to?

        This could be the start of a revolution. Suicidal editors jumping off high buildings throughout academe…..

      • Stirling English

        Or Pachauri ritually disembowelling himself at a press conference – muttering only ‘2035’ as he expired.

      • “… should we be expecting the imminent resignation of the Editor of GRL?” Good idea! But no skeptics control any government funding, no actions expected and no worry for any suicidal events, shameless like Phil Jones!

      • Hi Tallbloke,
        I’d slow down a little if I were you. I think that Dessler 2011 has got a load of problems. However, your suggestion that Dessler is not accounting for cloud reflection seems to be based on his unfortunate terminology in the text. If you track through his calculation of DeltaRcloud, you will see that it is the total clearsky (LW + SW)net-total allsky (LW + SW)net. It purports to account for SW reflectance and LW emission effects.

      • Fair point.
        Here’s the unfortunate terminology:
        “In Dessler [2010] (hereafter D10), the energy trapped by clouds each month over
        this period was computed (LC11 calculated similar values). If all of this energy is
        assumed to be a climate forcing — i.e., unrelated to surface temperature changes —
        then I can use these values for ∆Rcloud. This yields σ(∆Rcloud) = 0.5 W/m2″

        Fisrt of all, given that there was little temperature change over the decade, it’s not surprising this is a small value. Perhaps it’s surprising it is as large as Dessler states. But “Energy trapped” is definitely not ” Net energy trapped and reflected“.

        I haven’t got a copy of Dessler 10 to see how he calculated deltaR cloud.

    • Definitely garbage. Waste of my time and bandwidth to look at it (dessler’s)!

    • tallbloke,
      Thanks for the writeup. Well done. While the Dessler paper made a couple of reasonable points, for the most part I felt like it was trying to convince me the sky wasn’t blue. These guys are so desperate, they seem to be losing touch with reality.

      I found the following statement in Dessler very surprising:

      Thus, the lead- lag relation between TOA flux and ∆Ts tells us nothing about the physics driving ∆Ts.

      Radiative imbalance doesn’t affect temperature? Really? That’s their position?

      “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make crazy.”

  101. It is quite simple.Trenberth went public with a statement that the paper should not have been published. Trenberth then contacted the editor of the journal and threatened him with withdrawal of research funding – he made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Then the editor resigned with a mea cupla and personal apology (!) to Trenberth.

    How barbaric can you get..?

    • “How barbaric can you get..?” This is the reality AGWers manipulate the world and control behind the scene. Disgusting pseudoscientists. Only defunding AGW will bring back real science to the world.

      • It could be Wagner lined up a new job (there is carrot and/or a stick), it’s a question of proof of course.

        Defunding advocacy science is a way to go. It’s hard to do in practice, if an oncologist thinks he has a cure should we fund people equally who might think he’s a quack or just incorrect? How and who gets to moderate? What is all the moderators have interests in promoting what turns out to be well concealed or abstract cancer claims that become “consensus” over generations? Who would be left to dissent?

        Of course it would be tough but not impossible to scale a health care policy on a global authority basis as AGW is trying to do. A global FDA or general EPA might be the next attempt.

      • “A global FDA or general EPA might be the next attempt.”

        EPA was excellent in the 70s and 80s, good in th 90s and 00s, poor in the 10s due to loss of common sense and went too far to be a reasonable Agency. I will not count on it. Maybe FDA can be an option.

  102. Alan D McIntire

    “TAV” has a link to this paper:

    http://www.gewex.org/images/feb2010.pdf

    “An analysis by Prof. Graeme Stephens in the article
    on page 5 suggests that solar radiation reflected by low
    clouds is significantly enhanced in models compared to
    real cloud observations. This finding has major implications
    for the cloud-climate feedback problem in models.”

    Note Trenberth’s associaton with the GEWEX paper. Why didn’t Trenberth throw a hissy fit over the publication of Graeme Stephens’ article, which substantively agrees with Spencer-Braswell on climate sensitivity.

    • Alan,
      Thank you for the link. Actually, it appears Stephens is saying cloud albedo is reduced by clouds with rain or drizzle. So this would be closer to Trenberth’s position. Stephens paper appears to be much more reasonable than Dessler’s paper.

      Spencer cites a 2005 paper by Stephens, but not this paper. But then again, it does not look like this paper is peer-reviewed and so there is no reason for Spencer to cite it. It makes me wonder whether AR5 will try to cite it though.

  103. Perhaps some of the more scientifically inclined here can explain to me where I am wrong in this, but I tried to understand the Dressler excerpt from the perspective of a CAGW true believer.

    The abstract says “The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010. An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations.”

    The author wrote “whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes..” which would mean either increases or decreases in surface temperature, which makes Tallbloke’s and others’ critique that Dressler ignores the reflective effect of clouds on surface temperature glaringly obvious.

    From a purely scientific perspective, whether clouds are a positive or negative feedback, they have to be accurately accounted for in climate models, and do not appear to be. But for a CAGW advocate like Dressler, it seems to me that the whole ball game is whether the undisputed increase (except as to degree) in surface temperature in the recent past can be explained in part by clouds.

    But in the PR debate on CAGW, cap and trade, etc., the consensus cares only about warming. If clouds cannot contribute to warming as a feedback, then their claim that the only explanation for recent warming is CO2 still stands (in their own minds at least).

    It is not surprising that a paper written so quickly is poorly written (in the grammatical/communication sense). And the claim that Dressler ignores the reflective effect of clouds is of course accurate. But I think the issue the paper intends to address is more that clouds cannot be blamed for any of the recent warming, and therefore we must still decarbonize the global economy.

  104. I am a researcher and publisher in an engineering discipline. Do you lot have any idea how bad your politicisation is looking? Sure you have the rivers of gold right now, but you are corrupting science. This will catch up with you in the next ten years..

  105. In reviewing the conversations from yesterday what stands out is how just a very few people managed to control the course of it all through the day. At times inserting red meat diversions (religion) and platitudes aimed at creating churn without really creating conversation. It will draw further dry comment from them to suggest this was all tactical, but that is what it appears to have been.

    This blog was pwned for a day. Score 1 for the dark side of science.

    • talent like that, ya, she don’t come cheap.
      =============

    • It should be noted that I read a series of many similar comments and resisted posting a response, but at this point I think one is called for.

      In reviewing the conversations from yesterday what stands out is how just a very few people managed to control the course of it all through the day.

      Assuming that I am one of the accused – how can I “control” whether or not people respond to my comments, or the exact nature of their response?

      At times inserting red meat diversions (religion) and platitudes aimed at creating churn without really creating conversation.

      What makes a question about the reasoning of someone who believes that ID is a “scientific theory,” based on “scientific evidence” become more or less of a “red meat diversion” than someone who believes that a climate scientist is driven by a “pissant leftist” agenda, or career aspirations, or a dogmatic devotion to the “religion of AGW?”

      ..aimed at creating churn without really creating conversation.

      Why are responses to my comments any less of a “conversation” than responses to other comments posted at Climate etc.? Further, if there are a greater quantify of responses to my posts than there are to ubiquitous posts calling attention to the AGW cabal – are the relatively few responses to those other posts more of a “conversation” than the greater number of responses to mine? Are the “aims” of those other posts qualitatively different than the “aims” of my posts?

      Of course, if in fact you comment was not directed at me, or if it was directed at the posts calling attention to the “AGW cabal,” no need to respond.

      • Stirling English

        Don’t flatter yourself. Or overestimate your own importance.

      • I’m doing neither. I am responding to the comments of others regarding my “importance.” In fact, I am saying that I see a huge disconnect between the actual importance of my posts (relatively little) and the importance being attributed to them by others (apparently quite a bit):

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/#comment-109515

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/update-on-spencer-braswell-part-ii/#comment-109188

      • And Stirling –

        Any time you’d like to address the questions I’d ask, I’d love to read your opinion.

      • Stirling English

        Rest assured that any time I find any of your questions relevant to the topic under debate or otherwise of interest, I will be happy to give my opinion.

        But as they have yet to show any signs of either characteristic, I will occupy my time elsewhere.

      • Joshua, i would put you on a time out for a consistent and persistent thread jacking.

        Just a time out. or perhaps put you in moderation. I’d advise you that like others ( Oliver for example) you tend to say the same thing or same type of thing over and over. That’s FINE as long as your comment count is in order with others. It’s not. So you need to take a time out OR add another topic to your bag of tricks.

        That’s what I’ll suggest.

        So, you can thread jack, everyone does occassionaly. And deciding whats germane is hard. But you cannot thread jack and pile up huge stats on numbers of comments. Just sayin.

      • Stirling English

        I believe that there are good treatments available for those with OCD. Joshua might feel better by investigating those for a while.

      • What if, Joshua, I wasn’t thinking of you at all because I find your posts among the most dull and dozeworthy of any found on any blog in any hemisphere and don’t read them? Had you not responded specifically to me I’d never have seen your response.

        But I agree with you on your point that you haven’t the talent to drive much anywhere, certainly not a forum. While you are highly predictable nobody is going to blame you for being cunning.

        Sorry to burst your bubble. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKGrmSMScdI&feature=fvsr

    • Couldn’t agree more! I usually come to Dr Curry’s blog to get a good summary of both sides of the argument. This thread reads like Edgar Allen Poe!

    • dp,
      The AGW movement relies completely on hijacking the public sqare.

    • In reviewing the conversations from yesterday what stands out is how just a very few people managed to control the course of it all through the day
      Quite so. But it is probably an “automatic” tactic. Sort of a way of live.

  106. Richard Saumarez

    I have just gone to the GRL website to purchase a copy of Dressler’s rebuttal of S&B.

    However, it informs me that the” paper is not available for purchase”.

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories but is because the great unwashed couldn’t possibly understand or is it because, if the public are denied access, they are unable to criticise it?

    The fall out from this affair is getting more fantastic on a daily basis.

    • Richard, send your money to JCH, then click here.

      • JCH

        Sorry, the nesting and format meant I didnt realise your post contained the same info as mine-you were first :)

        tonyb

      • Wow.

        I mean, I’d known SB11 was weak and wobbly, but looking at the way the rebuttals are likely to go, I don’t doubt Wagner’s exercise in discretion is by far the better part of valor.

        One is moved toward pity.

        Was SB11 deliberate in excluding contrary data?

      • I think they will argue that they showed the most and least sensitive and played on the belief that middle of the road models would fall in between.

        Bad move.

        The models that fit best ALL have sensitivities in the 3.4 region.

        More to the point they have TCRs in the 1.6 to 2.2 range.

      • “played on the belief”

        ?!

        Jawdropping.

        This passed peer review?

        Rebuttals are going to be mayhem.

      • lol Bart, considering the tripe Dressler and GRL just published, I think its past time that we realize the politicization of “peer-review”. While Wagner’s resignation caused some tongue-in-cheek remarks about the blogosphere being now part of scientific discourse, it is becoming clearly evident the more stringent reviews occur in the climate blogs.

  107. I will do a Part III this eve, on the Dessler paper. Extremely bizzy this week, I will do my best to put together some analysis

    • Dessler lost credibility when he made cliams anyone familiar with climate and weather knows to be untrue regarding droughts, and with his assertion that ‘any climate change is bad’ in a recent PBS interview.
      Dessler is a poster child of politiczed science, having worked under Gore to promote fear of AGW.
      He fills a similar spot in AGW that Ehrlich occupies in population/resource issues.

    • Please Dr. Curry, take the time or assign a moderator to remove the trolls and hijackers.

      • Well people disagree on who are the trolls and hijackers. When comment traffic is high on a controversial and technical thread, some noise is to be expected. If people find a particular exchange to be objectionable, the most helpful thing for me is to send me an email with the link to the objectionable post that leads the nesting.

      • “people disagree on who are the trolls and hijackers.”

        No regrets unilateral decisions are best here…

      • Time for the Zamboni.

        Wholesale erasure. People learn not to have food fights when days and days of comments are sent to the bit bucket.

  108. I have a related post up at the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media:

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2011/09/editors-apologetic-resignation/

  109. I highly recommend that everyone takes a look at Lubos’ critique of the Dressler paper, especially table 2. If Lubos is correct in his assertations, then basically A.D. has confirmed S&B’s paper …..

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrew-dessler-clouds-dont-reflect.html

  110. “The GEWEX link between Wagner and Trenberth seems to provide motivation for the letter to Trenberth. An apparent gatekeeping issue, in response to a leaky gate.”

    Any actual evidence for this being the motivation? You being a scientist, and all.

    • Bigcitylib:
      Any actual evidence for AGW yet??

      Still waiting for greenhouse here.

    • There’s a better, stronger link to this than the claim that all “denier” scientists / bloggers are getting rich by taking money from “big oil”. There are a few who have, but many have not.

    • The process of argument here is called abduction.

      You note something surprising:
      1. An editor resigns rather than retracting a flawed paper.
      2. The editor apologizes to an unharmed party.
      3. The unharmed party slags a person who has nothing to do with the paper.
      4. The unharmed party and the editor are linked through GEWEX.

      Then you explain: IF A is the case, Then B is not surprising.

      Abduction. Its actually a part of scientific reasoning. Ask Oreskes, she defends its use

      • “The unharmed party and the editor are linked through GEWEX.”
        Are they? Could you elaborate on that?

      • I’m making no claim about the truth of any of these facts. I am explaining how the process of abduction works. The process works as CS Pierce explains by noting something surprising and then hypothesizing that
        “A is not surprising, if B is true”. personally, as I have mentioned before I have some issues with this type of reasoning, however, Oreskes and others argue that this is an acceptable form of scientific reasoning, I enjoy seeing where that leads.

        However, now that you raise the issue of the linkage between Trenberth and Wagner. I would say the best way forward is to start with your conception of what counts as no link between between the two.

        If you can start by defining what you mean by “no link” between the two individuals, and if you can define, in advance, what would make you change your mind about there being no link between the two, then we can go in search of evidence that will change your mind. However, what counts as a link for some may not count as a link for others. What is surprising for some, is ordinary for others. So discussions where you ask for “proof”, are really not discussions until you stipulate that

        1. You are open to evidence
        2. what kind of evidence will convince you.

        So, I’m happy to discuss whether there is any link between the two men or no link between the two men. But first we would have to start by defining terms and defining the type of evidence that would cause each of us to change his mind.

        Things I would count as links:
        former teacher/student relationship
        connection through relatives
        employment at the same institution
        funding from a common source
        co authorship
        data supplier and data consumer relationship
        common board membership.

        basically a whole list of things that we use to ordinarily assess conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest.

        Again, the style of the argument here is more interesting to me than anything else. From my perspective, if you ask me to bet I would say the following:

        ‘I bet if I had wagner’s and Trenberths and Dresslers and Mann’s mails about this issue, you would find that Wagner’s decision was not his idea. I bet you would find that it was suggested to him.”
        Do I expect that others should make the same judgement?
        no.

        What evidence would make me change my mind? A full data dump of mails. I have a belief, that belief is falsifiable. And I can stipulate in advance what it would take for me to change my mind. I also recognize that my basis for belief may not be compelling to you. I’m not however trying to convince you. I would not try to convince you until you stipulated items 1 and 2 above.

        I suspect that if I produced a mail from Trenberth to Wagner suggesting that he resign that some people would argue that this was not proof that it wasn’t wagner’s idea to begin with.

      • And here I thought abduction meant kidnapping.

      • yes words have more than one meaning.

        In fact, the whole argument over exceptional weather is a form of abduction:

        Surprising weather we are having!
        Not so surprising IF AGW is true.

        That’s the form the argument takes. The responses to this can be categorized like chess moves in a game.

        A. The weather is not that surprising and needs no explanation.
        B. Other hypotheses could explain the weather.

        Once you see abduction at work, then the counter responses are easy.

        Wagner’s resignation was surprising.
        Not so surprising if you consider the following…

        More people should study the forms arguments take

  111. The Dessler paper is so bad I wonder if it’s a bluff to lull Spencer and Lindzen into thinking they have a cake-walk. Maybe someone will suddenly leap out of the far side of the AGW bus with something even closer to the AR5 deadline…

    By the way, when is the AR5 deadline?

    • A solid rebuttal to SB11 is still possible but the Dessler paper certainly is not it. I’m not sure when the AR5 deadline is, but they have ways of getting around the deadline anyway.

      I think the problem is the Dessler/Trenberth tribe (still not sure what to call the alarmists) is so confident in their viewpoint and in their political power that they don’t think they need to produce careful science. I don’t think putting out a bad paper was an intentional ploy, because this will definitely hurt Dessler’s reputation even among the mainstream scientists.

      Reading the paper gives me the feeling it was written with both desperation and hubris – as if Dessler was desperate to convince us the sky is not blue and so full of hubris he feels he is “very likely” to succeed.

  112. Lubos has an interesting take on the Dressler paper. In the end, he says, it actually supports part of SB11’s conclusions.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrew-dessler-clouds-dont-reflect.html

    • I don’t know if it supports SB11’s conclusions, but it does show that the model picked by Trenberth to dismiss SB was a bit of an outlier. To me that could reflect poorly on Trenberth.

  113. Steve McIntyre has commented on Dessler 2011 and Dessler 2010. See http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/06/the-stone-in-trenberths-shoe/

    It is getting worse for Dessler.

  114. Dessler (2011) makes two major conceptual errors.

    Cp dΔT/dt = S(t) + N(t) − λΔ (1)

    ‘Equation (1) states that time-varying sources of non-radiative forcing S and radiative forcing N cause a climate system with bulk heat capacity Cp to undergo a temperature change with time away from its equilibrium state (dΔT/dt), but with a net radiative feedback ‘restoring force’ (−λΔT) acting to stabilize the system.’ SB11

    Dessler finds that λΔ < 0.4 W/m2 and N(t) = 0.5 W/m2. Thus:

    Cp dΔT/dt ≈ S(t)

    ‘To evaluate the magnitude of the first term, C(dTs/dt), I assume a heat capacity C of 168 W-month/m2/K, the same value used by LC11 (as discussed below, SB11’s heat capacity is too small). The time derivative is estimated by subtracting each month’s global average ocean surface temperature from the previous month’s value. Temperatures used in this calculation come from NASA’s Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Application (MERRA) [Rienecker et al., 2011]. The standard deviation of the monthly anomaly time series, σ(C(dTs/dt)), is 9 W/m2′. (Dessler 2011)
    .
    The term is large and dominates the equation. The problem emerges from the fact that sea surface temperature (SST) change is dominated by ENSO ocean dynamics and not by atmosphere/ocean coupling. The changes in SST are assumed by Dessler to be the result of non-radiative forcing only and as a result vastly over estimates this term.

    Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures have an origin in the abysmal depths. Deep oceanic currents are driven by thermohaline circulation and by the rotation of the planet. The deep currents interact with a sun warmed surface layer that is a hundred or more metres deep. Deep ocean currents occasionally push through the warm surface layer in the south eastern Pacific in one of the major areas for upwelling on the planet. Upwelling subsurface water is both frigid and rich in nutrients leading to booms and busts in biological activity affecting fisheries, mammals and birds off the Pacific coast of South America. This area is designated as Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) No. 13, is amongst the most productive environments in the world and is known as the Humboldt Current. A good introduction is provided by National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at their LME13/Humboldt Current web page.

    The thermal evolution of the Humboldt Current is best understood in terms of ENSO. ENSO is an oscillation between El Niño and La Niña states over a 2 to 7 year cycle. An El Niño is defined as sustained SST anomalies greater than 0.5O C (in the Nino 3 region) over the central pacific. Conversely, a La Niña is defined as sustained SST anomalies less than -0.5O C. The oscillations are driven by complex interactions of cloud, wind, sea level pressure, sea surface temperature, planetary rotation and surface and subsurface currents. The short explanation is that the Pacific trade winds set up conditions for a La Niña. Trade winds, south-easterly in the Southern Hemisphere and north-easterly in the Northern Hemisphere, pile up warm surface water against Australia and Indonesia. Water vapour rises in the western Pacific creating low pressure cells that strengthen the trade winds piling yet more warm water up in the western Pacific. Cool, subsurface water rises in the eastern Pacific and spreads westward. At some point the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out eastward across the Pacific.

    The other error is less critical. Dessler manipulates the data to get cloud radiative anomalies. Bur because we are talking about ENSO dynamics involving wind, cloud, temperature, water vapour and cloud – the use of the all sky flux as used by SB11 is more appropriate when looking at a suite of changes and not simply cloud.

    ‘From these data, I extracted the part of ΔRall-sky caused by changing clouds, hereafter referred to as ΔRcloud. To do this, I took cloud radiative-forcing anomalies (ΔCRF) and adjusted those to account for the impact of changing temperature, water vapor, surface albedo, and radiative forcing, ultimately yielding ΔRcloud. ΔCRF is the change in TOA net flux anomaly if clouds were instantaneously removed, with everything else held fixed, and it is determined by subtracting ΔRall-sky, obtained from CERES measurements, from the clear-sky flux anomalies ΔRclear-sky, obtained from a reanalysis system.’

    • Chief

      Sorry, but everything you’ve said here sounds more like you’re backing the D11 ENSO-dominated rebuttal than the cloudy SB11 original.

      “It’s still the ENSOnomy stupid.”

      • The primary source of climate variations over this time period is the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is a self-sustained coupled
        atmosphere-ocean mode of variability (10). During the El Niño phase, monthly and global-average surface temperature are several tenths of a degree Celsius warmer than during the La Niña phase, and these climate variations have previously been used to quantify the water vapor feedback.’ Dessler 2010

        There is no disagreement about the source of the changes. Clouds are part of the equation as is water vapour. TOA net flux can change 3W/m2 in months as a result.

        ‘El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C). These observations have been collected and published in ICOADS for many years.’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        ENSO is a natural system involving clouds etc that is the source of most climate variability and is separate from any consideration of global warming.

    • “Dessler finds that λΔ < 0.4 W/m2 and N(t) = 0.5 W/m2.”
      This is mixing things up a bit. Dessler’s Eq 1 is different. He didn’t say N(t) = 0.5 W/m2. He said σ(ΔR_cloud) = 0.5 W/m2. That is, the standard deviation of at particular component of N is 0.5. He said that water vapor forcing, another component, is comparable.

      He has a section on ENSO near the end.

    • I agree with Bart R. Spencer’s S(t) is SUPPOSED to be the ENSO-dominated non-radiative energy addition. I share your concern however that Dessler has maximised the calculation of the amplitude of its flux contribution, and minimised the same for radiative forcing, but I think you have missed the how.
      Recall that the key issue for Dessler 2010 is actually whether or not there is a significant radiative forcing present or not – ANY radiative forcing. Spencer has shown, and this part is not controversial, that the presence of any radiative forcing decorrelates the flux response to temperature; more specifically any radiative forcing would make Dessler’s 2010 zero-lag flux-temperature regression less useful than a bag of horse manure. If Spencer’s N(t) term is significantly non-zero, then Dessler 2010 is wallpaper. So logic might suggest that, if he had a good case, Dessler should have been focused on proving that there is no evidence of ANY radiative-forcing in the data. If he succeeds in showing that there is negligible radiative forcing present, then Dessler 2010 is defended, and he can move on and easily address and dismiss the secondary question – whether or not there was a CLOUD forcing component involved.
      Dessler, however, chooses to focus on a different question, (misrepresenting Spencer’s argument in the process) – namely whether clouds cause temperature change (exclusively) or temperature changes cause clouds (exclusively). To test this question, Dessler starts with the UNSUPPORTED ASSUMPTION that there was zero radiative-forcing over the period, with the possible EXCEPTION of this absurd cloud forcing proposed by that fool Spencer.
      This allows him to misrepresent Spencer’s model by substituting the cloud forcing term (DeltaRCloud) for the total forcing term in the original model. This is important because this expression has meaning in its own right and it is not the same as the total forcing, the amplitude of variation of which must of necessity be larger.
      His next step then is to calculate the relative contributions of the total radiative forcing relative to the non-radiative flux addition whoops I mean the relative contribution of the DeltaRCloud to the non-radiative flux addition. This is now where the previous substitution comes in very handy. He substitutes an estimate of DeltaRCloud which comes directly from … Dessler 2010. It is abstracted directly as far as I can see from the net flux calculation with confounded feedback and forcing. Dessler estimates the standard deviation of this DeltaRCloud “radiative forcing” to be 0.5.
      He makes the sd of the LW feedback term approximately equal to DeltaRCloud by allowing the feedback parameter to vary as well as the temperature for reasons which are totally unexplained. This then means that all of the OHC gain – close to 100% – can be attributed to non-radiative forcing or ENSO in this case. Hence by assuming at the start that there is no radiative forcing component, he ends up proving that ..er.. there is no radiative forcing component.

    • Chief Hydrologist,

      Thanks for the scientific analysis. Bart R is just an ignorant – spreading misinformation.

  115. My apologies – I left out the standard deviation which is a measure of the magnitude. The values were all derived as standard deviations.

    The section on ENSO criticises SB11 for using a random walk. It doesn’t impact the calculation as this is . Water vapour is removed by the calculation of a cloud radiative forcing. Although I suggest if you are looking at ENSO it shouldn’t be.

    The equation is from SB11 – but is the same equation as D11.

  116. From Spencer & Braswell: Part III

    Bottom line: S&B and LC papers do have flaws, as discussed on previous Climate Etc. threads. Dessler (2011) adds relatively little to this debate. None of these papers are particularly useful in evaluating the sign or magnitude of the cloud feedback.

    Nevertheless, all this stuff is like crack cocaine for the climate blogosphere :) .

    Moderation note: this is a technical thread, moderated heavily for relevance. Make your general comments on the Part II thread.

    Nice double tap oxymoron there … Of great subjective interest but from the standpoint of making objective progress it is insignificant. Thus Part III will be heavily moderated

    Uhm, would it not occur to you that a whole lot of this Climate Etc. stuff is intensely snarled up in subjective head cracking on all sides?

    In particular, scientists are clueless as to their own subjective involvement.

    For example … Nobel laureates ask Obama not to approve pipeline Nice to see that 9 Nobel laureates saying it’s so makes it so! … very objective that.

    A while back it was suggested … to follow the money

    Following the ‘subjectivity’ leads almost immediately into hitting a brick wall. Suppose that means being blinded by the light of truth in this fantasy.

    You prefer to discuss ‘Climate, Etc.’ from an objective perspective. Seems like a good plan.

    There are oodles of undeclared subjective assumptions lurking around. These hidden assumptions confuse and mislead. They perpetuate the fantasy.

  117. From:http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2011/09/cloud-climate-research-skewered

    The latest analysis confirms – as most atmospheric scientists have long held – that the reverse is true: Clouds change in response to temperature changes.

    Yes, that is correct but the prime mechanism for temperature change is not at all that envisaged. The temperature change is due to the descent of ozone into the troposphere as described here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/20/the-character-of-climate-change-part-3/
    and here:http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/03/a-climate-change-dynamic/

    RE ENSO. As Chief Hydrologist says: is a natural system involving clouds etc that is the source of most climate variability and is separate from any consideration of global warming.

    No. The origin of ENSO is not easy to explain but it is the very essence of the nature of surface temperature change in both directions, call it global warming if you must. ENSO is ultimately driven by change in sea surface pressure at high latitudes due to the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and troposphere and the inter annual variations in ENSO relate to what we know as the Southern Annular Mode and the Northern Annular Mode. The short and long term variations are perceptible in the trend in the Arctic and the Antarctic Oscillation Indexes. Unfortunately, neither index goes back far enough, the AO only to 1950 and the AAO only to 1979. If we could push the AAO back to 1950 we would gain an entirely different perspective on this index.

    Ultimately the AO and the AAO closely reflect atmospheric pressure at the poles. If one maintains that ENSO forces the polar circulations one ignores the coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes that manifest as a pattern of Geopotential height variations throughout the atmospheric column that is in turn deterministic of surface atmospheric pressure. And the pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies that arise in consequence of the flux of ozone into the troposphere (and the resulting change in cloud cover) is intimately related to the GPH anomalies.

    So, ENSO can be described in terms of surface pressure anomalies that manifest first at 60-70° south with knock on effects across the globe, not least via a symbiotic relationship with the evolution of surface pressure in the Arctic.

    But, perhaps all may be just too hard to grasp without a blow by blow description which you can get via the links above.

    Dr Curry, if you could host a dedicated thread on this issue I would be delighted to participate. There will be another post on WUWT shortly (at Anthony’s whim) that might be of interest. It relates the SAM to change in rainfall and sea level in the south west of western Australia where I live. So, we see how change in the Antarctic has knock on effects elsewhere. The knock on effects are just as important here as in the Arctic and what happens in the Arctic is very important in the evolution of short term change in ENSO.

    • Erl,

      ENSO is a system involving Kelvin waves and Hadley and Walker cell circulation in the equatorial Pacific. There are temperature effects involving both energy transfer – to a cool ocean in a La Nina and from a warm ocean in an El Nino – and cloud changes involving both SST and convection changes. This is a natural phenomenon – is the most significant source of surface temperature variation and is not an artifact of AGW.

      But I think you are right about polar SLP – and said as much here – http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/

      There is also an audio/visual on ENSO which is worth understanding.

      There is no correlation between SAM and ENSO – and so I have been thinking in terms of a transient impulse/response. A negative SAM pushing storms and cold Southern Ocean water onto the South American coast and triggering a La Nina. The July SAM index was -1.52 – the August value is not yet available from the British Antarctic Survey. This pushed the last of the winter storms and snow onto southern Australia and New Zealand as well as pushing cold southern water into the region of the Humboldt Current.

      See this for instance for August rainfall in Australia.

      Triggering the La Nina that evolved rapidly in August? In other words. an impulse at the right time will trigger a La Nina but otherwise have no effect on ENSO – explaining the lack of correlation.

      Cheers
      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • Robert, thanks for your reply. I don’t think we are an ocean apart here but I don’t expect to persuade you in this post. A Skype conversation on the subject would be useful.

        I did read every post that you contributed in part 3.

        Yes I agree when you say this: “It is a simple matter of correlating the ENSO state to temperature. ”

        And for temperature to rise at the surface there has to be an increase in energy available at the surface and that demands that some of the clouds disappear. What could cause that? More ozone from the stratosphere entering the troposphere at high latitudes (coupled Stratosphere/troposphere circulation) and being fed towards the equator by the counter westerlies traveling in precisely the same direction as the trades. Hence the V pattern that you see in figure 2 athttp://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/20/the-character-of-climate-change-part-3/

        El Nino represents a failure of the trade winds and the westerlies in the southern hemisphere to build to peak strength between December and March. It is observed as a fall in the surface air pressure in Tahiti in relation to Darwin both well and truly in the southern hemsiphere.

        The Westerlies and the trades vary together in both hemsipheres. The phenomenon that reduces the strength of the north westerlies in the southern hemisphere is the rise in surface pressure at 60-70° south and a fall at 30-40°south, the former the sink latitudes for the westerlies and the latter the source.

        So the westerlies fail in the southern hemisphere as atmospheric pressure rises at the south pole and also at 60-70° south. These vary together (on all time scales) due to the strength of the coupled circulation. If this happens during northern winter, surface pressure falls in the Arctic (rising AO) the night jet stalls, NOx injection falls away, stratospheric ozone levels increase, the coupled circulation is invigorated and pressure falls at 50-60°north and this is associated with cloud loss (when global cloud cover is at its maximum value) and a strong rise in global sea surface temperature. When the coupled circulation in the Arctic injects ozone into the troposphere it is working with high octane air in terms of its ozone content, much more than in the southern hemisphere.

        If this does no make sense please prompt me for a clarification.
        So, as you see there is a connection with the AAO and the AO but via the effect of the stronger circulation in the south on the weaker ‘winter only’ circulation in the north.

        The SAM dog U tube presentation is a very good explanation of the relationship between the SAM and southern Australian rainfall. But it does not explain the atmospheric physics as well as it might. Basically reduced surface pressure (high SAM) in Antarctica increases atmospheric pressure at 30-40°south. Yes, in that circumstance the fronts that elevate the moist tropical air causing rainfall do not reach far enough north.

        Rising SAM (falling surface pressure in Antarctica) is the source of ‘Global Warming’. Pressure fell and upper stratosphere temperature above the pole rose strongly from 1948 to the early seventies and jumped in 1978 at the time of the Great Pacific Climate Shift. At the root of the problem is reduced night jet activity and relatively high ozone levels (yes high) over Antarctica. The AO might dictate the shifts in short term temperature that we monitor as ENSO but it is the AAO or SAM that governs the long run trend. The Arctic sets up the steps but the Antarctic governs the slope of the staircase and determines whether it slopes up or down.

  118. Bad Andrew | September 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply

    >Joshua,

    I don’t claim to be simply expressing my beliefs, like you implied that’s what you were doing. I’m a Denier, and my agenda is to expose The Global Warming Hoax in every way I have the ability to. Just so that everyone knows where I’m coming from.<

    You are expressing your belief about this 'Global Warming Hoax', simply or not. You also self-acknowledge it as an 'agenda'. Where you're coming from is just a different direction, not an inherently better one.

  119. WHY BE IN A HURRY?
    We don’t know if carbon dioxide will cause significant warming. There has been no appreciable warming this century, but we cannot predict whether things will stay the same, get warmer, or get colder.
    If we are worried about our descendants 200 years from now, let’s work to help our descendants one hundred years from now fix the problem. There is no evidence whatsoever for a “tipping point”
    Wind and solar are not the answer. They are too expensive. Nuclear is a solution, but we may have to wait ten years for general acceptance of this to develop.
    The one thing that will not help is sending ourselves broke by dislocating the entire economic system. See Bjorn Lomberg. He is no climate change skeptic!
    To promise something like “a five per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020″ is not very helpful and is not attainable. A fifty per cent reduction by 2120 is probably easily achievable – if we need to achieve it. Look at how computers have developed. Look at advances in medicine. We have the entire genome.
    The solution to the problem is not in the hands of climate scientists or politicians but engineers.
    Or perhaps basic scientists, if we ever get nuclear fusion to work!
    We now have Argo. We can measure the heat of the ocean. Other measurements are pretty superfluous The Ocean is where the heat ends up.
    Measuring other things can perhaps shed light or mechanisms, but Argo tells us exactly what is happening
    So let’s go gradually.
    And let’s all be friends!

  120. So, it’s been a few weeks. Let’s see what some people said that we didn’t discuss here.

    The following article practically tars and feathers Roy Spencer with his own brushes with well-funded nonprofit (ie tax dodge) groups.

    http://www.southernstudies.org/2011/09/climate-science-contrarian-roy-spencers-oil-industry-ties.html

    Why has no one caught on to these blatant-seeming tax cheat groups and thrown them in jail for using nonprofit status to lobby and merchandise (routine for-profit business functions) so shamelessly? This on its face is Enron accounting on steroids, and shocking in a USA where innocent common American millionaires are now facing being forced to pay more tax just so some foreign-owned oil company can dodge a few bucks in business taxes.

    And here:

    http://www.livescience.com/16097-clouds-climate-change-debate.html

    Appears a well-researched and even-handed pasting of SB11 within the context of the events surrounding the hype.

    But here:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2011/09/18/can-we-really-call-climate-science-a-science/

    The once well-regarded name in business mags continues its anti-science death spiral into ignomy with this really familiar-sounding paint job.

    So glad I stopped reading Forbes years ago before the stink got this bad.