On the rapid disintegration of projections

by Judith Curry

How and why did the scientific consensus about sea level rise due to the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), expressed in the third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, disintegrate on the road to the fourth? 

The Rapid Disintegration of Projections:  The West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Jessica O’Reilly, Naomi Oreskes, Michael Oppenheimer

Abstract.   How and why did the scientific consensus about sea level rise due to the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), expressed in the third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, disintegrate on the road to the fourth? Using ethnographic interviews and analysis of IPCC documents, we trace the abrupt disintegration of the WAIS consensus. First, we provide a brief historical overview of scientific assessments of the WAIS. Second, we provide a detailed case study of the decision not to provide a WAIS prediction in the Fourth Assessment Report. Third, we discuss the implications of this outcome for the general issue of scientists and policymakers working in assessment organizations to make projections. IPCC authors were less certain about potential WAIS futures than in previous assessment reports in part because of new information, but also because of the outcome of cultural processes within the IPCC, including how people were selected for and worked together within their writing groups. It became too difficult for IPCC assessors to project the range of possible futures for WAIS due to shifts in scientific knowledge as well as in the institutions that facilitated the interpretations of this knowledge.

Social Studies of Science published online 26 June 2012.  [link] to abstract

Some background information from the Introduction:

In September 2009, dozens of scientists who study the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) met for their annual workshop at the Pack Forest Conference Center, close to Mt Rainier National Park in the state of Washington. Among the residential cabins and dining hall and in a stand of second growth Douglas firs sat a large log-hewn structure, formed like a gigantic one-room schoolhouse. Inside, fleece-garbed and predominately male Antarctic scientists sat at rows of tables facing the front of the room, listening to research updates from their colleagues.

One presentation hit a sore spot among WAIS scientists. It addressed the stability of the WAIS and whether it would grow (due to additional snowfall) or shrink (due to melting and iceberg formation) in a warming world, thus subtracting from or adding to future sea level rise. The most recent assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) omitted any specific prediction of whether WAIS would lose ice, and if so, how slowly or rapidly it would do so. (A rapid loss is sometimes labeled a ‘collapse’ in colloquial terms, although this is a bit of a misnomer since the fastest conceivable disintegration would stretch over hundreds of years.) In the third assessment report (IPCC, 2001; abbreviated as TAR), chapter authors cited high uncertainty, but they also provided long-term projections for the highest potential rate of ice loss (called an ‘upper bound’) during such a ‘collapse’.1

Based on the then-recent literature, they concluded that WAIS would be stable in the short term. However, in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the fourth and most recent IPCC assessment report (IPCC, 2007; abbreviated as AR4), the authors stated that although relatively rapid loss of ice was already observed from parts of WAIS (due to melting and iceberg formation as the ice flowed off the ice sheet into the ocean), they could not provide an estimate of long-term behavior and the resulting contribution to sea level rise. In addition, the authors decided to exclude from their tabulated, numerical estimates of 21st century sea level rise the possibility of any further changes in flow rate (called ice dynamics) from either Greenland or Antarctica . In short, in the TAR, WAIS was deemed stable in the short term (through 2100) and a highly uncertain numerical estimate was provided for rapid disintegration in the long term. While the AR4 was being written, new observations undermined the previous consensus that WAIS would not contribute significantly to short-term 21st century sea level rise. The great difficulty with coming up with a credible numerical estimate for the short term led to no WAIS prediction – in the short or long term – in AR4. How and why did the scientific consensus expressed in the third IPCC assessment disintegrate on the road to the fourth?

Due to the recent observations and the resulting challenge to the models, AR4 authors decided that there was not enough agreement in the broader expert community to provide an assessment of the likelihood of rapid disintegration. They wrote in the SPM: ‘dynamical processes related to ice flow not included in current models but suggested by recent observations could increase the vulnerability of the ice sheets to warming, increasing future sea level rise. Understanding of these processes is limited and there is no consensus on their magnitude’ (IPCC, 2007: 17). Rather than allowing the IPCC to estimate the potential rate of disintegration over the long term, as with the third assessment, the new observational information gave the authors pause on providing a numerical prediction.

For the near term (21st century), AR4 does not explicitly present a numerical WAIS contribution (TAR did not do so either). Instead it assumed that the dynamical contribution to sea level rise from both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would continue into the future at the same rate indicated by recent observations. The table (below) provides multiple sea level rise estimates based on several greenhouse gas emission scenarios, but notes that the numbers provided are a ‘model-based range excluding future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow’ (IPCC, 2007: 13). Though the later textual caveat suggests that the contribution of the ice sheet to a rise in sea levels could be significantly higher, this statement was overshadowed by the numbers, in the minds of many readers.

Conclusions: Collapsing projections

The disintegration of WAIS projections in the AR4, compared with previous IPCC assessment reports, was the result of multiple forms of novelty colliding with one another: new data, new writing teams, higher visibility for the IPCC, and new structure for the report made an epistemic and institutional jumble for IPCC authors to try to deal with. While the authors agreed that the new data were the primary impetus for the collapse of consensus in this case, the ways in which people and chapters were organized accentuated the high degree of uncertainty surrounding WAIS.

IPCC reports have a specific sort of documentary life, as well as a specific and developing relationship with policymakers. IPCC assessment reports are written with the understanding that there will be subsequent IPCC reports. In this sense, IPCC reports are provisional. In addition, the ways in which chapters are organized, writing teams are formed and managed, and even how the various deadlines are set are as integral to the IPCC process as are the scientists and their publications.

As described in this paper, IPCC authors also sometimes chose to enable some projections while inhibiting others. Other writing teams had been able to make projections of some sort even when consensus was limited. For example, in the case of climate sensitivity, the authors showed the full, wide, divergent spectrum of plausible outcomes  and associated probabilities. Similarly, when assessing the combined ice sheet contribution to long-term sea level rise, Working Group II presented a range of potential outcomes and characterized its confidence in this assessment. In contrast, the approach taken by Working Group I was to step back from presenting a wide range of possibilities. It would be necessary to study many more such cases and also to undertake a deep analysis of the way these assessments are taken up by the policy community to decide which approach is more efficacious.

The decision by the AR4 authors not to make a WAIS prediction emerged from the complex arrangements needed to write a scientific assessment, including the translational tuning necessary for relating data to models and for situating uncertain science into a policy-relevant document. Foucault (1977: 189) suggests that individuals within institutions become emplaced into a ‘network of writing’, becoming entrenched in practices and habits that create policies and other official documents. While the AR4 authors formed such a network, this configuration did not account for institutional misteps – states, bureaucracies, and chapter organization in scientific reports. In the WAIS example, the ‘network of writing’ struggled when the practices and habits of the institution changed, as well as when a radical shift occurred in the subject matter being written about.

The people interviewed about this case never mentioned pressure to come to a consensus, though they suggested various strategies for trying to come to an agreement. Perhaps the authors were correct in not trying to enforce consensus about the rapid disintegration of WAIS when it was clear that there was none.

Alternately, the authors could have considered publishing the range of possible numbers and scenarios, highlighting their lack of consensus and the high uncertainty surrounding the rapid disintegration of WAIS.

How are models, assessments, and projections translated from science into policy relevant documents? We argue that the institutions, such as the IPCC, are acting as the translators and mediators. By examining WAIS projections in IPCC reports – particularly the omission of a prediction in the most recent report – translation from science to policy is enabled as well as hindered by the IPCC institution, an important actor in this drama.

In AR4, expert authors unmade WAIS projections, citing new data, a lack of consensus, and sheer ignorance. The authors also had to grapple with significant organizational challenges.

The IPCC exists to enable production of climate change assessments in a credible manner, and it generally succeeds in doing so. However, the assessment reports shape and are shaped by processes meant to streamline and organize the writing process. Shackley (1997: 79) noted that concern over IPCC chapter writing groups and the IPCC peer review process mimics an ‘enclave’ with a tendency to ‘close ranks’ when faced with criticism.

Elzinga (1996) stated that the IPCC’s apparently closed assessment process can lead to epistemic and paradigmatic skewing. These processes have been subject to critique and review, most notably in the InterAcademy Council review published in 2010, following some errors detected in AR4 (Committee to Review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2010). The IPCC is an institution in the service of science and policy, and it borrows an admixture of organization styles from both.

Within the IPCC, authors, delegates, and IPCC employees use management strategies from both international diplomacy and scientific practice to create each assessment report, using hybrid management to deal with the complexities of research and policymaking in international governance. Hybridizing the powerful regimes of international policy and science, though, requires significant translation between the subjective and contingent understandings of each. Such hybridization also falls under the mantle of ‘science diplomacy’, where scientific information is applied to policy goals.

JC comments:  This is a very interesting case study of IPCC deliberations.  There are no ‘shenanigans’ on the part of the scientists here, in fact Jonathan Gregory stands out as trying to do a consistent job of accurately presenting sea level rise information across the different chapters in the AR4.   The problems as I see it are overconfidence in the TAR, and a failure in AR4 to explicitly confront the changes from TAR to AR4 and clearly identify the reasons for this and the increased understanding of the scope of the uncertainties and ignorance.  The end result was a confusing message to scientists and policy makers alike regarding the topic of the potential role of WAIS in future sea level rise.

The problems that are arose are endemic to the IPCC assessment process itself.  My preference is to include the full range of plausible scenarios (including back of the envelope, semi-empirical and model-based), including a qualitative likelihood assessment if possible.  Because each IPCC assessment report is a provisional document with the expectation of a future assessment, it is important to explicitly note changes from the previous assessment report, including growing uncertainties.

It is clear that there is no ‘consensus’ at all on this topic, and the choice to simply leave out a possible WAIS contribution to sea level rise (possibly positive or negative) doesn’t seem to be useful to policy makers.

Refer to my draft paper No consensus on consensus for my further analysis on how the IPCC might proceed in this type of situation (which is more endemic to the subject IMO than one is led to believe by the IPCC ‘confidence’ statements).

275 responses to “On the rapid disintegration of projections

  1. Well said Dr. Curry.

    • “how the IPCC might proceed”

      EITHER a.) OR b.)

      a.) Immediately disavow all documented cases where experimental data and observations have been hidden, ignored, and/or manipulated

      b.) Abandon 1945 plans for the United Nations to eliminate national boundaries and form a one-world government to:

      1. Promote world peace.
      2. End racism and nationalistic wars
      3. End the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation
      4. Cooperate to protect Earth’s environment and bounty

      We probably all share those noble goals, but not at the expense of :

      5. Governments controlled by people being governed, including
      6. Transparency and veracity (truth) in information given the public

      Here is a brief summary of post-1945 experimental data and observations that were hidden, ignored, and/or manipulated to misinform the public:

      http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-818

      Conclusion: Deceit is not the way to achieve noble goals.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      http://www.omatumr.com

  2. The new consensus should be that human CO2 is reducing solar activity.

  3. Why? Because consensus isn’t really science and has no part of any discussion about science.

    Which means the IPCC is in very,very deep doo-doo.

    • That’s not quite true Fred. In most areas of science a consensus develops naturally. The problem is in new areas of research you often have competing theories and in complicated areas like climate research the data often has large error bars and many unknowns, including unknown unknowns.
      So to try to force a consensus in a new area might push out a competing theory and to try to force one in a complicated area may result in important things being left out or a case being presented that things are more certain than they really are. When it gets politicized, to force a consensus is very problematic.

      But you often have consensus in many areas of science and even in climate change there is consensus about a lot. Even the scientific skeptics agree with many points of the “consensus” on the basics of climate research.

      Now it is true that there are very few things in science that are settled and in principle that should not be the argument against something. The data should be the argument.

      • There is a consensus on Newton’s Laws. Errrr … well … there WAS a consensus.

      • Consensus simply means agreement. There are many areas of science that are not in dispute and a consensus is reached naturally. A consensus does NOT mean that it is a fixed perfect truth that can never change. Very few truths are this way.

        But the consensus on Newton’s Laws was modified to include Einstein’s contributions that only matter under extreme conditions. There was confusion and disagreement as this change took place.

        Which is why science (or any other truth for that matter) should never be considered “settled”. That was my earlier point. Consensus itself is not the problem. It is a forced or false consensus with political overtones that is the problem.

        And the idea, usually NOT uttered by scientists, that the science is SETTLED that is the real affront to the discovery of truth.

      • Bill, you write “And the idea, usually NOT uttered by scientists, that the science is SETTLED that is the real affront to the discovery of truth.”

        Bill, what you write makes complete sense. I woold only like to add to it to emphasise the paramount importance of empirical data. Scientific consensus only comes about when there is overwhelming empirical data to show that the theories are correct. Without overwhelming empirical data, there can be no true scientific consensus. What is called “consensus” by the IPCC is not a SCIENTIFIC, but a POLITICAL consensus.

        The fact remains that there is absoutely no empirical data, from the 20th and 21st centuries, whatsoever, that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmopshere, atmospheric temnperatures rise as a result. None whatsoever.

  4. Nature blushed, January of ’09.
    ===========

    • Odd that. It is almost like Antarctic warming was a validation of the models? There was joy is the world of climate science until about November of that year I believe. Then the flood gates of skepticism seemed to have opened.

  5. …(A rapid loss is sometimes labeled a ‘collapse’ in colloquial terms, although this is a bit of a misnomer since the fastest conceivable disintegration would stretch over hundreds of years.)…

    Interesting and similar to the dry air of the Arctic or Siberia where going from a -50 °C to a -40 °C at one small spot on the globe is extrapolated across tens of thousands of miles and then branded as global warming.

  6. JC says:
    “My preference is to include the full range of plausible scenarios (including back of the envelope, semi-empirical and model-based), including a qualitative likelihood assessment if possible.”

    I say:
    My prefernce is to abstain entirely from presentations to policy makers until the science is truly done–instead of merely conjectured upon. Neither science nor politics benefits from the IPCC’s usual M.O. of touting complete SWAGs very tendentiously.

    • Hank Zentgraf

      I agree, John. The climate science community jumped the gun by many decades issuing projections before their understanding was mature. Time for them to regroup and focus on more careful observations and analysis before making recommendations to policy makers.

      • That’s built into the structure of the IPCC. IF WG1 doesn’t conclude that temps are going to rise substantially, WG2 doesn’t have a job. And if WG2 doesn’t conclude that all he-double-hocky stick isn’t about the break loose, WG3 doesn’t have a job. The fact that they decided to pursue WG3 implies the outcome of WG2, and the fact that they decided to pursue WG2 implies the outcome of WG1 If they really weren’t interested in jumping the gun, they wouldn’t have even convened WG2 and WG3. And the SPM would also be void.

      • The science community is not being paid to focus on careful observations and analysis. The science community is being paid to support decisions that have already been decided. The science community does need and want to be paid. They have little choice. I do think they got suckered in and that most are not doing bad science on purpose, but it is bad science.

        Dr Curry appears to be in a more secure position and it appears that she can make waves without a major loss of employment and funding.

        Thank you Dr. Judith Curry!

      • John Carpenter

        “The science community is not being paid to focus on careful observations and analysis. The science community is being paid to support decisions that have already been decided.”

        I really don’t think you can support this statement with any evidence.

        ” I do think they got suckered in and that most are not doing bad science on purpose, but it is bad science.”

        Suckered in by who? How do you know it’s bad science? Which science is the bad science? This idea is so vague and broad, I find it hard anyone would agree with it. Perhaps you mean ‘climate science’ instead of just ‘science’. Regardless of that probable mistake, the idea still has no merit.

      • I believe Jo Nova had a recent article on the dollars spent on research of AGW with the overwhelming percentage to believers vs. skeptics. You don’t get funded if your research would be at odds to “the consensus”

      • John Carpenter

        Dave, I don’t visit her website very much, but a quick scan of her recent posts did not bring up an obvious title of that topic, perhaps you could provide a link to the article. I would rather read it before commenting further. HAP made a much broader statement saying ‘science’, not ‘climate science’, has been suckered into producing research on pre-determined ideas. It’s not a statement I think he can back up, even if he meant ‘climate science’.

        What seems to be evident is manipulation of lead authors of the IPCC to exclude published materials that do not fit with their version of ‘consensus’ in the assessment reports. Since those reports are assembled for policymakers, I do not see them as necessarily the final authoritative say of what the ‘consensus’ truly is. There seems to be evidence that a lot of politics are at play within the IPCC on what the message should be. Here I think a case can be made that some climate science is preferentially treated over other climate science.

      • I believe Jo Nova had a recent article on the dollars spent on research of AGW with the overwhelming percentage to believers vs. skeptics.

        We’ll put that discovery right up there with the fact that the overwhelming majority of archeology research projects are led by people who think the earth is more than 6,000 years old.

      • We’ll put that discovery right up there with the fact that the overwhelming majority of archeology research projects are led by people who think the earth is more than 6,000 years old.

        Good point. Then we could do a side-by-side comparison of government funding for climate studes and archaeological studies.

        Perhaps that would give us an idea of what’s “settled” and what’s not.

    • John,

      I also agree. The ‘full range of possibilities’ isn’t very helpful in policy-making decisions; the related outcomes are usually not comprehendable.

    • John S

      You said:

      I say:
      My prefernce is to abstain entirely from presentations to policy makers until the science is truly done–instead of merely conjectured upon.

      I’d argue for an alternative approach. Realistically, “climate science” has such enormous public interest (in the western democracies) and has such enormous momentum that it is not going to get back into a balanced perspective with other sciences as far as providing policy advice in the near future. It’s going to take a long time.

      Therefore, I’d argue for a different approach.

      My preference would be that the presentation of “climate science” information to policy makers is informed/instructed/directed by the needs for due diligence. That is, the science that is relevant for policy decisions must be presented in a way that is suitable for due diligence.

      To me, this means all the information needed to support the inputs to economic cost benefit models like Nordhaus’s DICE and RICE models must be fully documented to the standard required to support proper due diligence (for decisions to commit to expenditures of many trillions of dollars).

      Nordhaus (2008) (Table 7-2 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf ) shows that the two inputs that cause the greatest uncertainty in the cost-benefit analyses are the damage function (DamCoef) and the climate sensitivity (T2xCO2). The science needs to focus on documenting (to the standard required for due diligence) all the inputs, calculations models etc. that provide the inputs to models like the Nordhaus DICE and RICE models.

  7. “Inside, fleece-garbed and predominately male Antarctic scientists sat at rows of tables facing the front of the room, listening to research updates from their colleagues.”
    Bad enough they were predominantly male. But fleece garbed, too? No wonder the consensus went awry.

  8. Enjoy the global warming while you can…

    The Sun has been the interest of humanity’s smartest people throughout all the great cultures over the longest period of time. Accordingly, an index of the numbers of sunspots represents a long record of solar activity.

    Correlated with variations in changes global temperatures we have compelling observational evidence that solar activity is linked to climate change. The absence of sunspots is related to significant cold phases—e.g., as occurred during the Maunder Minimum.

    Many believe we are headed for another cold phase. The Maunder Minimum lasted 30 years. That particularly cold spell, from 1645-1715, occurred during the Little Ice Age that spanned the 14th-19th centuries. (See—e.g., Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, The Sun Defines the Climate)

      • Exactly!

        1. Sun and Earth are magnetically, electrically, gravitationally connected parts of the Solar System, so named because these invisible fields and a constantly changing stream of particles (mostly electrons, H+ ions, neutrinos) keeps them connected !

        2. Less visible since 1945 have been connections between Liberals and Conservatives, Capitalists and Communists, Atheists and Religionists – united through their common instinct of survival and deep-seated fear of the “nuclear fires that consumed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 Aug 1945 and 9 Aug 1945.

        3. Officially united in establishing the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945, partially disconnected by the election of John F. Kennedy in Nov 1960, and then reconnected by Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to China that ended the space race and the arms race in 1971,

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-818

        I do not understand – but I am now absolutely certain that – international intrigue is the root of the Climategate scandal. I have been told that a NASA Atlas V rocket carried Rover to Mars and advised that this may mean Obama is serious in his threat to invade Syria, despite warning from Russia and China.

        Society is deeply troubled worldwide. I mostly know that I do not know what has happened to the founding principles of the United States of America.

        Regretfully,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

        http://www.omatumr.com

    • What was the level of atmospheric CO2 during the Maunder mini? Ain’t gonna happen.

      • Remember sun and the Earth act in concert. During Maunder minimum CO2 was low, but that has nothing to do what climate did, however the Earth’s magnetic field did

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC1.htm

        sun activity was weak, the earth’s field was strong, that is the combination required. Now sun is not as weak as in 1650 and the earth’s field is 15-20% down on 1650, so no Maunder type cooling, more like 1960’s as extrapolated here

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NV.htm

        from the world’s longest and most reliable temperature record

      • What was the level of atmospheric CO2 following the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm periods?

      • Which, if true, is probably a good thing.

      • JCH

        What was the level of atmospheric CO2 during the Maunder mini?

        Same as it was during the much warmer Medieval Warm Period, which preceded it.

        Oops!

        Max

      • There is no oops Max. The foolishness is to think the world can be the same as it was when CO2 was ~275 ppm. A solar mini can never be like the Maunder. The earth would continue to warm with a Maunder-like sun

      • JCH

        But the question is will reducing CO2 emissions be possible in the real world and if possible are the negatives associated with the proposed reductions in emissions worth the benefits that would result from the proposed cuts.

        A question I have never read clearly addressed is: what benefits will be gained from cutting emissions in the USA today? Will future bad weather be avoided?

      • Rob,

        Mankind and the global village will benefit. You don’t have to know exactly how. You simply need to accept it because Wesayso.

  9. People who matter take little notice of IPCC, else why my graphs would get regular hits from DoD, today’s count is 16 (virginia, tennessee) mostly redirected from the WUWT blog.

  10. The new consensus should be that CO2 is not the cause of global warming. It is the heat emitted from energy use, fossil and nuclear.

    • I think you will find that the heat you mention is about 1/4000 of that we receive from the sun.

      • David Springer

        It’s closer 10,000 times as much but that isn’t the point. Human contribution of heat is highly concentrated near humans and as luck would have it the thermometers in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GCHN) are highly concentrated near human heat sources. Twentieth century warming according to GHCN isn’t so much a record of global warming as it is a record of airport warming.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @DS: the thermometers in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GCHN) are highly concentrated near human heat sources. Twentieth century warming according to GHCN isn’t so much a record of global warming as it is a record of airport warming.

        Poor worn out old argument. I thought climate skeptics had put it out to pasture years ago and it was ready for the glue factory by now. You must not have got the memo.

        The oceans are a terrific heat sink, and hence should not have warmed much since 1960, certainly nowhere near as much as land. Yet here are global sea surface temperatures for 1959-2010 (HADSST2), with a slope of 0.11 C/decade. How are sea surface temperatures “a record of airport warming?”

        Lindzen would point out this graph from 1895-1946 and make the point that there’s no perceptible difference, as can be seen here (for HADCRUT3 but the principle is the same for HADSST2). Lindzen would like you to think that these are just two consecutive upswings of an exceptionally strong ongoing ocean oscillation.

        Actually one small difference is that the slope for 1895-1946 is .093 C/decade, only 85% of 1959-2010.

        But a far bigger difference is the mean: −0.287 C for 1895-1946 vs. .073 C for 1959-2010.

        So in the period from 1920 to 1985 (the midpoints of those two major upswings) the middle of the earlier upswing was 0.38 C lower than the recent one.

        That’s no oscillation!

        Lindzen was careful to hide this fact in his juxtaposition of these two graphs (in the case of HADCRUT3), which he did by sneakily adding 0.4 C to the earlier graph so as to hide the increase, omitting the y-axis labels so you couldn’t deduce this. Had he aligned the two graphs’ x-axes it would be obvious which was which. And climate skeptics complain about hiding the decline!

        (Interestingly HADSST2 also rose by almost 0.4 C in the same period, despite the fact that the sea is a very effective heat sink.)

        Anyway most airports are located outside densely urban areas to provide an adequate landing area, abate noise, reduce risk to nearby populations from crashes, and avoid having tall buildings in the nearby airspace. Airport temperatures would therefore tend to be more representative of rural areas than of urban heat islands. Cities generate far more heat per acre than one aircraft taking off every two minutes. For example Washington Dulles occupies 11,830 acres and had 764 commercial operations (so 382 takeoffs, the main source of heat) a day in June 2012. Denver International occupies 53 square miles (!) and had 1240 commercial operations (720 takeoffs) a day in 2011. Heathrow is many miles out of London, in a relatively rural area, likewise Gatwick. And so on.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        (Can’t do arithmetic in my dotage: 1240 operations is 620 takeoffs or one every 2.3 minutes.)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        (Damn, also miscalculated the difference between the means of −0.287 and 0.073, namely 0.36 C, not 0.38 C. I must be ready for the glue factory myself.)

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Poor worn out old argument. I thought climate skeptics had put it out to pasture years ago and it was ready for the glue factory by now. You must not have got the memo.

        That’s the sort of arrogant, condescending, derisive comment you make frequently that invites the sort of responses that you complained to me about here:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/17/learning-from-the-octopus/#comment-231798.

        You are a hypocrite.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Sorry, where did I attack Max himself, as opposed to his arguments?

        Peter, there’s something about your posts that makes them different from the typical give and take on Climate Etc. I don’t know whether it’s your ad hominem attacks, attacking the person instead of the argument, or the ratio of your mean-spirited remarks to actual content. You’re not exactly Brian Henderson you know.

        Just as I was not alone in my claim that carbon pricing serves to recognize carbon damage, which you dismissed as nonsensical, I am not alone in my complaints about your personality.

        As Steven Milesworthy pointed out to you on the octopus thread, “Ranting at people … won’t help you build your argument.”

        And as Bart R quite eloquently pointed out to you on the same thread, “See, where it’s all personality, where it gets prolonged, wanders off-topic, remains unproductive, goes nowhere, and forgets the ideas, where mistakes are neither realized nor corrected nor the discourse elevated should dispute remain, where there are no clarifying questions but only assumption of wrong, that’s where there’s unpleasantness and where, sadly, you come in.”

        I think these comments get to the heart of the matter. The more interesting question of whether your arguments are sound tends to get lost in these unfortunate personality issues, a point also made by several people here.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Sorry, where did I attack Max himself

        Oops, that should have been David Springer.

  11. While the authors agreed that the new data were the primary impetus for “the collapse of consensus in this case, the ways in which people and chapters were organized accentuated the high degree of uncertainty surrounding WAIS.”

    WAIS problems are just one example of the lack of good leadership in the IPCC. I guess it is inherent in an organisation built on diplomacy rather than science. Like having 34 (different?) models when one good one would do the job. Reading the history of TAR and AR4 above it sounds more like a novelist convention than a scientific endevour. What a mess!

  12. peterdavies252

    I am continually surprised at attempts of both sides of the AGW debate to make projections based on inadequate data. Judith is correct in her view in that climate science in general should and must get a handle on uncertainty and for policy makers and the general public to be given more balanced information on climate change.

    • Climate science has become nothing more than an additional tax on the productive, raising costs and prices on American goods to uncompetitive levels while the schoolteachers of AGW enjoy tenure and fat pensions and contribute nothing of value to society. That’s no way to run a railroad.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Wagathon: Climate science has become nothing more than an additional tax on the productive, raising costs and prices on American goods to uncompetitive levels while the schoolteachers of AGW enjoy tenure and fat pensions and contribute nothing of value to society.

        Your first misapprehension, W, is to think that climate science is unique in that regard. There are probably even more people that feel that way (well maybe not the hypothetical costs) about evolutionary biology. Likewise with the 1931 book “100 Scientists Against Einstein” (still only auf Deutsch as far as I know). Several centuries early many scientists and 99.9% of the public felt that way about heliocentric theories of planetary motions.

        That’s no way to run a railroad.

        Your second misapprehension is that the skills for running a railroad somehow transfer to science. Just because Mussolini could make the trains run on time wouldn’t qualify him to conduct scientific research. He might have been great at getting proposals and papers in by the deadline, but he’d have needed someone else to write them.

      • You are many levels of meaning behind Pratt. I know why schoolteachers lie.

        I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins- it wanteth to laugh.

        I no longer feel in common with you; the very cloud which I see beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh- that is your thunder-cloud.

        Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because I am exalted.

        ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

  13. Thermodynamics explains why AGW is nonsense. If I have time I will say more.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      If I have time I will say more.

      In biblical times it was “time and chance” (happeneth to them all). What are the odds you’ll say more?

      The invention of Hamiltonian mechanics turned this into “time and energy.” Will you have the energy to say more?

      (The full quote, from Ecclesiastes 9:11, includes the climate-relevant phrase “under the sun.” It runs “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” That prose is practically poetry, just beautiful. Those translators were every bit as good with English as Shakespeare. They must have argued about it a lot to get it to that state.)

  14. Thought I’d add one of me low level coments. Naomi Oreskes offers many important contributions ter Climate Science like the above … ‘tracing the disintegration of the WAIS consensus ‘ and studying the ‘outcome of the cultural process within the IPCC…’

    The IPCC is an organisation with stated political objectives that limit critical appraisal of the science. Time fer the IPCC ter go. And Naomi Oreskes could take a holiday too, perhaps on some far away, sinking south seas island?

    • If we must cut the budget maybe we should start with cutting support for organizations like the UN that is opposed to Americanism. The public school system would be next.

      • Where’s my checkbook ! If the UN irks radical right-wimgers, I want to contribute to that organization.

        Better yet, I would contribute to a fund encouraging right-wing radicals to leave the U.S. permanently. Give em’ free one-way fares to any country that would have ‘em. America would be a better place without those whiners.

      • Why don’t the loony-Left just migrate to Cuba or Russia?

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Max,
        You are a great example of American lefty tolerance. Please continue.
        You sound a lot like someone living off of other people’s money, btw.

      • Lurker, indeed I do live off other people’s money through my investments in Treasury Notes, with taxpayers like yourself footing the bill. But I don’t need all of that interest you and others are paying me, so I donate some of it to Greenpeace.

        One of my rules is ” never spend capital on personal consumption.” Because I can’t take it with me when I go to heaven, I plan to leave a big wad of cash to Greenpeace.

      • At least a Leftist that admits to anything–e.g., in this instance that the U.S. is no longer “united.” There is a war on for sure but it is not between the states. It is between the Blue Cities and taxpayers who actually provide something of value to society or they go without.

      • I’ll take New York, Boston, or San Francisco, the places where successful people go because that’s where the action is. You take a Hicksville (name your state), where dull boring losers go. Then you can pay me to have a good time and enjoy my exciting life vicariously.

      • I know of no law that prevents you from writing that check.

        I also doubt you’ll do it. Talk is cheap Max.

        Except maybe in your case, where is simply worthless.

      • He says he measures success by how much enjoyment he gets on somone else’s dime without having to provide anything of value in return.

      • I have provided more than enough value for one person in my lifetime. I could have done even better but the government and minorities held me back.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        I would suggest that cutting the money for deceptive like Naomi’s would be a great place to start cutting.

    • Beth

      Ah luv them lo-level comments. Gives the thread s’m class. Keep’m comin’…

      Max

  15. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Dr. Curry, you are absolutely correct to draw attention to the growing problem of climate scientists who irrationally underplay the risks of climate change.

    Please let me recommend William Freudenburg and Violetta Muselli’s much-referenced study “Global warming estimates, media expectations, and the asymmetry of scientific challenge” (2009) as an introduction to this fascinating and vitally important field of study.

    There are of course many familiar references to this phenomenon in the popular culture. For example, authorities timidly and wrongly downplay the risks of shark attack in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and of epidemic plague in Sinclair Lewis’ Arrowsmith.

    When it comes to climate change, the rate of probability-increase is accelerating that “we’re all gonna need a bigger boat”, eh?   :eek:   :!:   :eek:

    That is why care must be taken that the inherent conservatism of science does not inappropriately understate the risks of  sharks    plague   climate-change.

    Thank you for introducing this fine topic Judith Curry!   :!:   :!:   :!:

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      fan,
      That you would choose as an example of underplaying risk a movie that falsely misrepresents and overplays the risk and danger of shark attacks to support your alarmist neurosis is the best laugh of the day.
      Irony, thy name is fan.

    • Latimer Alder

      @A Fan

      Jaws is a very good movie. But I don’t think I’d be looking to the excellent Mr Spielberg to provide the definitive, unvarnished objective truth about the risk of shark attacks. He is being paid to provide thrills and spills for the cinema audience, not a sober thesis on probabilities. In that world, ‘artistic licence’ is positively encouraged.

      BTW : There is no objective evidence that the UFO landing in his other film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ ever occurred. Nor that ET was a real creature

      I hope these debunkings do not come as a shock to you.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer Alder, please reflect that movies like Jaws and Dr. Strangelove, and books like Arrowsmith, are not mainly about sharks, bombs, and medicine … they are all three of them very largely about denialism. Specifically, these works all focus upon the hilarious-yet-tragic consequences of the Dunning-Kruger effect that so commonly is associated to denialist cognition.

        That is where these works get their humor *and* their dramatic power, eh?

        That is why, when it comes to climate change, “we’re all gonna need a bigger boat”, eh?

        How may I further illuminate your appreciation of these works, Latimer Alder?   :)   :)   :)

      • @A Fan

        You’re barking!

        As told to LA

    • Fan

      HUH?

      [Suggestion: Read lead post again.]

      Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Manacker, what Jessica O’Reilly, Naomi Oreskes, and Michael Oppenheimer are suggesting (in oblique academic language) is that the IPCC consensus-achieving procedure is evolving so as to “disintegrate” more easily, such that IPCC projections are *less* alarmist than the objective scientific evidence warrants.

        In other words, climate-change science is becoming more “chicken” about drawing conclusions from research.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

        It’s not complicated, Manacker!   :!:   :!:   :!:

        Oh wait … well maybe it *is* kinda complicated, eh? Doh!   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • @A Fan

        Why can’t your cronies, heroes and heroines write in simple straightforward language that I and my mates in the Dog And Duck can understand?

        There is no virtue in writing ‘obscure academic language’. Don’t forget that the word ‘obscure’ is both an adjective and a verb.

        There is no virtue a writing style so turgid that man in the street takes one look at the dense and turgid prose and giving up with ‘F..K me, I can’t work out what on this w*nker is talking about’

        There is no point in having earnest discussions about ‘climate communications if none of you put together in a room for a day would even be capable of writing a simple sentence like

        ‘The cat sat on the mat’

        when the pretentious and stupid

        ‘The small feline quadruped (normally kept as a domestic pet or plaything or for the control of rodential infestations) was recumbent (but not somnolent) upon the woven or knitted floor covering (often made of wool or cotton) designed to prevent griming an/or damage to the underlying substructure and/or provide warmth’

        is avalable to you all.

        There is absolutely no point in complaining that your message is being misunderstood when you cannot present it in a form comprehensible outside the narrow and controlled world of academe.

        And you cannot turn a weak argument into a strong one by adding smileys. No matter how often you do it.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Lassie: And you cannot turn a weak argument into a strong one by adding smileys. No matter how often you do it.

        Lassie, you misunderstand the purpose of emoticons, namely as a succinct method of disambiguation. Surely you’ve encountered the expression “surely you’re joking?” Emoticons anticipate that question by allowing one to abbreviate “I’m joking of course” to two ASCII characters. Likewise for “hint hint nudge nudge,” “that really bums me out,” and lots more. Please don’t get mad at emoticons merely because they’re not part of traditional linguistics.

        If as you seem to be implying there an emoticon for “my argument is irrefutable,” I would greatly appreciate your pointing it out. I don’t know where you got the idea that any of the usual ones mean that.

        On your request for simple language for simple explanations of how the climate works, if you would kindly give examples of simple explanations of lapse rate or line spectra for absorption and emission, then it would be easy to give equally simple explanations of the operation of the climate.

        If you’re unable to do that, then here’s the default explanation. Certain gases called greenhouse gases, for example water vapor, CO2, methane, etc., trap the infrared radiation from Earth that would prevent it from freezing over. The levels of these gases over the past few centuries have remained relatively constant. Starting around the middle of the last century however these gases have begun to increase to levels not seen in the last million years as observed in ice cores.

        The small concern is that this has raised the global temperature half a degree above what it would have been without them. The bigger concern is that the likely culprit, CO2, has been increasing lately at such a dramatic rate that by the next century global temperature will be 4 C above today’s.

        In parallel with this increase in temperature is an increase in the polarization of two points of view. One point of view is that this increase won’t happen, or if it does it will be too small to matter. The other is that such an increase will create a planet vastly different from what we’ve seen over the past few millennia.

        Let me know if this is too complicated and I’ll take a shot at simplifying it.

      • Fan

        Yeah.

        What O’Reilly et al. are concluding regarding IPCC’s evolving propensity to understate rather than overstate the “C” in CAGW may not be “complicated”.

        But, hey, that doesn’t make it “real”.

        Got it?

        The problem with the IPCC “consensus” process is that it is a political process, not a scientific one (as the authors point out).

        So one cannot logically expect to get an objective scientific summary from IPCC, only a subjective political summary.

        And, if the “politics” require a bit of exaggeration of the “science”, so be it.

        And how about O’Reilly et al. – are they part of the “consensus”?

        Max

    • Not all scientists underestimate risks. Stephen Schneider had a famous quote on this. Just be sure to include the part where he said he hoped he did not have to lie and exaggerate. His colleague, Eichmann, no, Ehrlich has made a career out making outrageously incorrect claims and then rarely gets called out on them. At least not by the green/eco movement nor by many faculty in biology, env. sci., and sociology dept’s. around the country. I know this because he is a hero of someone I work with and was invited a few years ago to give a talk at the biology dept. of my university. It’s not too hard to find quotes where Ehrlich says some pretty scary things about culling the human population in order to save us from future starvation. He definitely had some authoritarian tendencies but is still looked on by many as some kind of eco-prophet, even though he was wrong on all the major issues. And he is a Stanford biologist. So, no, not all scientists conservatively underestimate risk. The statement from the IPCC that the Himalayas would be snow free in 20 years was in the final report, even though now they have thoroughly retracted it.

      Myself, I will wait another 10 years and see how the climate goes.

      • Ehrlich, P.R., and A.H. Ehrlich. “The Population Bomb Revisited.” The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1, no. 3 (2009): 63–71. http://dea.org.au/news/article/the_population_bomb_revisited_by_paul_r._ehrlich_and_anne_h._ehrlich

        Note: The original website has expired. http://www.ejsd.org/docs/The_Population_Bomb_Revisited.pdf

        Page 68: “On the population side, it is clear that avoiding collapse would be a lot easier if humanity could entrain a gradual population decline toward an optimal number. Our group’s analysis of what that optimum population size might be like comes up with 1.5 to 2 billion, less than one third of what it is today. We attempted to find a number that would maximize human options – enough people to have large, exciting cities and still maintain substantial tracts of wilderness for the enjoyment of outdoors enthusiasts and hermits (Daily et al. 1994). Even more important would be the ability to maintain sustainable agricultural systems and the crucial life support services from natural ecosystems that humanity is so dependent upon. But too many people, especially those in positions of power, remain blissfully unaware of that dependence.

      • Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote that human population should be decreased to 1.5 to 2 billion, yet they added to the problem by having a daughter

        Sounds like Al Gore, jetting around to preach low carbon footprints…

      • Max

        If all couples only had 1 child doesn’t the population decline?

      • Rob Starkey

        If all couples only had 1 child doesn’t the population decline?

        Not nearly as fast as if they had NO children.

        Right?

        Max

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Not nearly as fast as if they had NO children.

        Max makes an excellent point. If every couple had no children then by 2100 CO2 would be back to where it was in 1900.

        Actually less, since nature has been drawing down a good 50% of our emissions and will take a while to stop doing so if we stop emitting that abruptly.

        By 2150 we could easily be back to snowball earth, with approximately the same number of humans then as the last time (speculated to be half a billion years ago) to appreciate the irony.

        (Yes I realize this contradicts David Archer’s Long Thaw theory, which unfortunately totally neglects the point about nature drawing down at all times since 1800 what we used to emit 30 years ago. The Long Thaw badly needs reexamining.)

        (And no, I don’t agree with Max that every couple should have no children. Even the Chinese target of one child is too low.)

      • Vaughan, as a fan of The Long Thaw, I would dispute what you said. The CO2 in the atmosphere/ocean-surface system is not so easily removed. You have to wait for the currents to sequester it into the deeper ocean, which takes along time. The only reason it appears so fast is because the chemical equilibrium at the surface is fast due to the high CO2 exchange rate over the large ocean surface area.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Jim D: The CO2 in the atmosphere/ocean-surface system is not so easily removed. You have to wait for the currents to sequester it into the deeper ocean, which takes along time.

        This assumes that the passage of CO2 to the deeper ocean is a significant factor today. It’s a great question, and one that I only have the vaguest of intuitions about. Not that that ever stopped me. :) (Sorry about the emoticon, Lassie.)

        I would have thought the impact of CO2 on the ocean today is mainly on the carbonate at the top, which CO2 converts to bicarbonate thereby lowering the pH.

        It seems to me that essentially all the CO2 that’s going into the ocean is being buffered by carbonate to turn it into bicarbonate. The upshot is a decrease in ocean pH.

        If we abruptly stop emitting CO2, ocean pH will gradually return to its level as of a century ago. This will be accomplished by turning the bicarbonate back to carbonate (the reaction being entirely reversible).

        An electrical analogy would work here. The bicarbonate is like a charge (in coulombs) that has accumulated in a capacitor that a voltage has caused. Remove the voltage and the capacitor will discharge according to the available leaks.

        Remove the pressure created by increasing CO2 and the ocean bicarbonate will gradually drive back to carbonate. I would expect that to maintain the existing level of CO2.

        A more commonly mentioned use for additional CO2 is enhancement of vegetation. If Audrey II’s counterpart here gets greedy about CO2 and we cut off her supply, she’s going to draw down what’s available until it can’t support her. That scenario could pull down CO2 much further than the bicarbonate-back-to-carbonate scenario. This would offset the ocean’s tendency to maintain CO2 at a high level.

        Not an easy thing to forecast! (Hopefully Lassie doesn’t count exclamation points as emoticons.)

      • Vaughan, I am not an expert on the ocean chemistry, but I think the equilibrium is also determined by the CO2 in the atmosphere in contact with the ocean, so what we have in terms of the ion balances is an equilibrium, and the ocean pH is not going to change by itself. Upwelling will bring up water with less carbon that can sequester more CO2 from the atmosphere, but in the hypothetical situation of a stagnant ocean, the balance would remain as is.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I would analyze the Long Thaw more carefully as follows.

        A reasonable estimate of atmospheric CO2 between 2000 BC and 1800 would be a more or less steady 600 GtC or 280 ppmv (using the conversion 1 GtC = 28.97/12/5.14 = 0.47 ppmv). Every year about a third of that, 200 GtC, was emitted from the surface to the atmosphere, and an equal amount (to preserve equilibrium) was returned to the surface.

        CDIAC data shows that for at least two centuries humans have been doubling their contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere about every 30 years. Our total contribution since 1850 came to 363 GtC from fossil fuel and 163 from land use changes, a total of around 530 GtC, with last year’s contribution being respectively 10 and 1.5 GtC (so fossil fuel has been growing faster than land use changes).

        The result of these additions is that the original 600 GtC of atmosphere has grown to 394/.47 = 840 GtC. This 240 GtC increase represents 240/530 = 45% of our contribution since 1850. That implies that 55% of what we added to the atmosphere has been drawn back down somehow. (This is in addition to the natural background rate of 200 GtC up and 200 GtC down.)

        If we do the corresponding calculation for 2011 alone instead of 1850-2011 we get 11.5 sent up and 2.5/.47 = 5.3 GtC remaining up, or 5.3/11.5 = 45% again (give or take a percentage point).

        So remarkably the fraction remaining in the air, 45%, seems to be constant no matter how much we emit.

        Now suppose for the sake of argument we were to cease all human emissions, including halting land use changes. Would you expect the 45%-of-our-emissions figure to remain the same, implying that atmospheric CO2 would stabilize at its present level (since 45% of zero is zero)? Or would you expect that whatever process removed 6.2 GtC last year would do so again in the coming year? Give your reasoning.

        My expectation would be the latter, 6.2 GtC would be removed in the next year, on the ground that what’s on the surface is responding only to the current level and not to the rate of change.

        But this would drive the level down at least as fast as it had been increasing. That would slow down the absorption of CO2 in such a way that as the level approached 280 ppmv equilibrium would be restored and we’d be back at the good old 200 GtC up/200 GtC down every year as it was thousands of years ago.

        (Another consideration is that nature’s response to our current level may be constantly delayed, and in getting caught up nature might draw down even more in the early stages of no human CO2 emissions, but let’s put that possibility aside for now.)

        If you buy my argument, this leaves only the question of how fast the rate of CO2 absorption would decline back to its old equilibrium level.

        I conjecture that it would follow the mirror image of its exponential growth, if not faster. That would imply that in 50 years CO2 would be back down to its level of 50 years ago, namely 315 ppmv, in the early days of the Keeling curve, or even below, and at that time would be decreasing at the same rate it was increasing 50 years ago.

        Comments, objections, etc?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        So remarkably the fraction remaining in the air, 45%, seems to be constant no matter how much we emit.

        Sorry, what I meant by that was “no matter what year we look at.” If we doubled the rate of emission every 10 years instead of every 30 I would expect a considerably bigger proportion to remain in the atmosphere because nature would have a harder time keeping up. I expect that it’s the constant doubling period that makes for the constant absorption fraction over the years.

      • Vaughan,

        Qualitatively I do agree but not quite quantitatively. The annual addition is shared almost immediately (with a delay well less than one year) with the topmost ocean. Therefore the removal is not in total determined by the present level. That effect is certainly at least several percent of the annual addition but probably less than 10%.

        Fair amount of effort has been put in developing compartment models that present a realistic approximation of the removal of carbon from atmosphere. The results tell that the simple proportionality to a deviation from some equilibrium value is not a good description and that there are significant deviations from that even after the most immediate effect I mentioned in the first paragraph. There’s a general agreement that the removal would be relatively fast for a few decades. That could be close to your guess, but after some 50 years or so the concentration would decrease at a significantly slower rate. An effective average lifetime has been estimated to be a little more than 100 years, but the tail would be very long and far from following an exponential decline with time constant of 100 years. A non-negligible fraction would remain for hundreds of years and a little even much longer.

        At what point we could say that so little is left that it’s not a worry any more seems to be a controversial issue. Some scientists wish to tell that reaching that point would take thousand years or more, but I’m not convinced that we have to wait so long. My own idea is that it would be in the range 100-200 years and even less if we do not start from a very high peak value.

      • The step like change in the sinks is interesting for a number of reasons,

        1)The sink response to a decrease in land use change in temperate climates and/or increased bio system response .

        2) The range of estimates in FF emissions,and the weighting change in the emitters, in coal use.

        Andres 2012 Provides some analysis on the problems

        http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/9/1299/2012/

      • Vaughan, my reasoning for a slow decline is that the equilibrium is reached by a quick adjustment between the ocean and atmosphere. There are indications that the flux in each direction are more than an order of magnitude greater (perhaps 80 times, if I recall) than the net flux into the ocean. To me, this indicates the equilibrium is a robust one between the surface ocean and atmosphere. Stopping the manmade input of GHGs would have little impact on these natural fluxes that keep the equilibrium, and this can only change as the surface ocean changes via vertical overturning on various time-scales that bring up deeper water that has not been subjected to such high CO2 values before. The equilibrium is close to what is expected by Henry’s Law (although I understand it is more complicated due to ocean chemistry). As the atmosphere/ocean warms, less CO2 as a fraction stays on the ocean side, as happened in the ice age recovery when CO2 increased by 100 ppm by this change in equilibrium. It could be about 10-15 ppm per degree warming. We see evidence of this in warmer years like 1998 when the CO2 increase was faster than average.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Pekka, your estimate is within my own error bars, so quantitatively I don’t see much difference between us. I’m perfectly fine with 100-200 years. Richard Muller and Mark Jacobson both have similar times in mind, way lower than David Archer’s pessimistic estimate. Jacobson is willing to go as low as 90 years.

        Jim D, why wouldn’t your argument “Stopping the manmade input of GHGs would have little impact on these natural fluxes that keep the equilibrium” apply equally to starting the manmade input? We know what the impact on equilibrium of starting was, from which we should be able to determine the impact of stopping. I agree with Pekka that my basic model is overly simplistic, but the corrections are relatively small and don’t yield anything like Archer’s multi-thousand-year estimate.

      • Vaughan, the equilibrium sets the ratio of atmospheric to surface-oceanic CO2. This is an equilibrium with a short time constant because a typical CO2 molecule only spends a few years in the atmosphere before being replaced by one from the ocean. Increasing the total CO2 in this joint reservoir does not affect this ratio, which is only a function of temperature. Therefore adding CO2 to this reservoir shows up in both parts almost equally very quickly. Where can it go once it is added to this reservoir? The only place is the deeper ocean, which has a much longer time constant.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Jim D: Where can it go once it is added to this reservoir?

        A few hundred years ago nature was exchanging 200 GtC a year in each direction between the surface and the atmosphere. Today we’re adding 11.5 GtC and nature is still adding 200 GtC, but pulling down 206.2 GtC so that only 5.3 GtC is accumulating annually in the atmosphere.

        So to answer your question, it can join the 206.2 GtC currently being pulled down.

      • Vaughan, the reason I disagree with that is that the interface has to respect the chemical equilibrium, which is approximately that the number of CO2 molecules per mole of atmosphere has to balance the number per mole of ocean water. This is a tight constraint. the flux maintains that in the same way as water saturation is maintained by a large water vapor flux in both directions.

      • “So remarkably the fraction remaining in the air, 45%, seems to be constant no matter how much we emit.

        Comments, objections, etc?”

        Vaughan,
        My own view of that 45% number is of the impulse response to a continual forcing function. The impulse response (i.e. Green’s function to physicists) should eventually decay to zero, but the fact that the forcing is continuously applied, makes the actual response a convolution of the impulse response with the forcing function. By the nature of the forcing this just happens to place it at what looks near a 55% level of incorporation (and 55% remaining) .

        That’s part 1 of the explanation.

        Part 2 is that the impulse response does not look anything like a damped exponential response derived from a first-order system. In practice and in theory, CO2 has a hard time sequestering and it will only do so by the process of diffusion, which is a random walk into and out of possible sequestering sites. Only through this process will it try to reach an asymptotic steady state. It is well known (and this partly stems from my background in semiconductor research) that the solution to the diffusion problem in this type of scenario has a decay that follows a 1 /sqrt(time) dependence:
        {1\over{\sqrt{Dt}}}
        This result explains the long tails of sequestering and describes the process as an adjustment time rather than the residence time which only applies to a first-order exponential response.

        The Bern model of CO2 response time sequestration quoted by the IPCC is described in this long document by Enting et al.

        http://62.225.2.55/files/meetings/workshops/other_meetings/application/pdf/enting_2001a.pdf

        Equation 9.2 describes a sequence of exponentials
        I plotted this curve along with the diffusional square root solution on this
        Wolfram Alpha plot

        If you look at what the Bern model says and as David Archer has explained in The Long Thaw, there is a fraction of excess CO2 which never sequesters. This number is close to 13%. I don’t really believe that, but instead suggest that he simply look at the uptake rates described by the square root function. For extremely long-times, it appears that a fraction still remains, which you can see from the long tails of the square root function.

        So what the Bern model does is a numerical solution to the diffusion problem, representing the migration of CO2 to sequestering sites as a slab compartment flow problem. They then approximate it as a series of exponentials so someone else can use that function. But I contend that this is equivalent to a solution of the diffusion problem with an effective diffusional time constant of 30 years. But in diffusional space, a time constant of 30 years is huge and has no meaning as a first-order exponential time constant. That is why they have to approximate as a series of exponentials, with each exponent becoming progressively larger to account for the diffusional tail. It is actually quite intuitive for anybody experienced with models of diffusion.

        I think that the Bern model is doing everything correctly but for whatever reason, they didn’t think to place it in a simpler abstract diffusional context. Hansen did this for heat diffusing into the oceans, but Enting didn’t do this for CO2. That is the only odd part of the puzzle to me.

        Everything makes sense to me, and you may want to update your thinking with this explanation as a guide.

      • My thought experiment on this is to imagine the whole ocean is just the shallow surface layer, maybe a few hundred meters thick. What happens to the atmospheric CO2 concentration then when this ocean has reached equilibrium with the atmosphere after emissions have stopped. The CO2 would have nowhere to go, so it would stay fixed. It is only the presence of a deeper slower-access reservoir that allows any draw-down at all. Paleoclimate carbon cycle models can maintain steady very high CO2 concentrations for hundreds of millions of years (more than just Henry’s Law of the temperature effect) because when there is more carbon in the system it is difficult to remove because the rocks have to sequester it ultimately. With our current state, it is not quite that extreme, because the deep ocean is a big reservoir having lower CO2 levels than the surface ocean, but nevertheless it is slow to get it there.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @WHT: My own view of that 45% number is of the impulse response to a continual forcing function … That’s part 1

        That’s my view too, so we have at least a common language.

        Part 2 is that the impulse response does not look anything like a damped exponential response derived from a first-order system.

        Still with you.

        In practice and in theory, CO2 has a hard time sequestering and it will only do so by the process of diffusion,

        Whoa, where’d this “only” come from? (Pekka, would you say “only” here?) That’s a bit like modeling an invasion as a diffusion of troops randomly walking in and out of houses and trenches and so on as though they were drunk while ignoring that the defenders will be trying to kill or capture as many of them as possible and the wild animals in the nearby forests will be trying to eat them. How Space Invaders worked in that 1970s video game.

        Everything you point out there sounds like theory to me. I love theory that’s readily seen to be consistent with experiment. For example I can believe your random walk model for doping semiconductors by sputtering or ion implantation, but that’s a setup that’s simple by design. The real world is much more complex, and that’s what our power stations are launching those CO2 molecules into.

        Observationally the surface would appear to have absorbed 55% of all the CO2 we emitted since the start of the industrial age. But what happened over those centuries also appears to have happened in the year 2010, during which the surface absorbed 55% of all the CO2 we emitted that year.

        This says to me that the surface has been absorbing 55% of our emissions for a long time. You and Archer can theorize all you want about how it will be different in the future, but to me it’s just theory until we actually see some sign of change in that steady 55% number.

        And since you haven’t argued that the 55% is a function of rate of emission as opposed to current CO2 level, I would think that stopping emitting abruptly would result in CO2 decreasing faster than it’s been increasing, modulo the points Pekka made about that overly simplistic model.

        Incidentally I notice that Archer considers 4000-5000 GtC a “large” amount to emit. The CDIAC datasets claim that over the past two centuries we’ve emitted 560 GtC including land use changes. This nearly order of magnitude increase over all our previous emissions will not happen overnight, or even in the next fifty years. In the absence of any empirical evidence to date it is sheer alarmism to be making predictions today as to the likely impact on CO2 residence time of such a “large” emission of CO2. We need more data on how increasing CO2 is changing the carbon cycles in order to make pronouncements based other than on pure theorizing.

        Archer’s argument that the ocean will cease being a major carbon sink once all the carbonate has been turned to bicarbonate is nice in theory, but the carbonate compensation depth is currently around 4-5 km, is not changing anywhere near as fast as atmospheric CO2, and has a very long way to go before all the carbonate in between is turned to bicarbonate by CO2. Until then I foresee the ocean continuing to draw down some 60% of what the Earth’s surface as a whole is drawing down in the way of our CO2 emissions. Happy to take that back if there’s any reliable empirical evidence to the contrary.

        (I also have to wonder why the swimming pool approach of bring the pH back up by adding carbonate is worse than just standing by helplessly while the CO2 continues to acidify the ocean. Latimer Alder might protest mining the White Cliffs of Dover for that purpose, but there are other coasts with carbonate, and likely other sources besides coasts as well, e.g. stirring up the ocean bottom a bit.)

        A more likely scenario, it seems to me, is that by 2060 one of the existing nuclear fusion approaches will have been turned into a practical energy source making coal-fired plants uneconomical. This will be long before atmospheric CO2 has turned enough ocean carbonate into bicarbonate to make the difference Archer is talking about.

        Archer does write extremely well, and therefore convincingly, enough to convince Alley and Hansen anyway judging by the back cover. But his articulate eloquence only makes his extreme alarmism about “the long thaw” all the more dangerous, not only in leading to bad policy but in drawing attention away from the much larger threats of increasing global warming and ocean acidification, whose deleterious effects can be seen at first hand today. (Oops, sorry, forgot I was on a climate skeptic blog, please pardon my insensitivity.)

    • Fools who continually post smiley faces should not be taken seriously!

      Links to papers suggesting that “consensus estimates” may understate potential harms is not relavant to a situation where no consensus has happened.

    • fan,

      Do you believe the crap you post or do you just enjoy tossing it against the wall to see if anyone takes notice?

      Whether it be the media or augovernment authorities, both have a long record of overblowing proported risk.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @timg56: Whether it be the media or augovernment authorities, both have a long record of overblowing proported risk.

        If you were one of a bunch of frogs in a slowly warming pot of water, you’d be the one still saying “come on in, the water’s fine” just before the lot of you passed out from the heat.

        (Yes I realize that’s not a scientific argument. Was yours?)

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Vaughan,
        The frog boiling myth seems to be very persistent.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        …said the frog.

  16. Some cross-disciplinary candidates, for anyone with three hours who wants an idea of what I suggest (http://prezi.com/_fdaogoswjn1/climate-literacy-online-university-degree-certification/) as an introduction to the fundamentals of Chaos, Reductionism and Bayesian Reasoning about complex systems before people try to untangle the Climate debate as presented at Climate Etc:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_njf8jwEGRo&feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axUgEAgrSB8&feature=relmfu

    These are videos of two pretty good thinkers; although they make some glosses and propagate a couple of errors needlessly, they provide a pretty good jumping-off point, I think.

    What do you think?

    • Liked Sapolsky. Haven’t watched others.

      • What did you think of Sapolsky’s discussion at about the 1:27:00-1:31:00 mark, about publishing and citations?

      • Well, I stopped before then ( at the break). However, I have skipped to that point in Sapolsky’s lecture to try to answer your question. Perhaps the editors of those journals were just being nice to Sapolsky by complimenting him on his study, but thought (a) it was not the kind of thing their audience wanted, (b) it would cause waves, or (c) it wasn’t really very good.

        I’m not sure what you have in mind on “citations.”

      • Max_OK | August 23, 2012 at 1:45 am |

        Since we have only Sapolsky’s testimonial about his student’s paper to go on, we have plenty of room to be skeptical about it, and your suggested alternative explanations of what may have really gone on make good sense to consider.

        The question of citations is, as John Carpenter | August 23, 2012 at 8:18 am | points out, the assumption that citation count equates to quality. This is the intuitive yardstick of published science. Many rely on citation as a yardstick of quality — to the extent of many caught self-citing and friend-citing just to manipulate the citation indices.

        But it’s this mechanism of seeking to use the obscure Fractal Dimensionality of variability in measurements in studies (something unlikely to be gamed by authors) as a way of detecting quality in reports that interests me especially. Think of it as a form of paleoqualitology, counting the tree rings of published papers to determine if there’s a trend in global quality within a field of study. Sapolsky’s fields including soft and hard sciences, one would expect interesting bifurcation of outcomes.

        Plus, entertaining lecture.

      • John Carpenter

        I’m not sure I completely agree that only the most important papers that really matter are the ones that get lots of citations and the ‘junk science’ gets ignored, i.e less cited papers are not good research. Interesting that it appears they selected only the top 10% cited papers to perform the analysis on in order to reduce the ‘noise’ in the data. Where else has that been done? Further interesting he had a hard time finding an appropriate journal to accept publication of the work and it has no citations yet…. what does that say about his work according to his own definition?

      • John Carpenter

        On the whole, I really did enjoy that lecture. He clearly described some concepts I did not really understand correctly, the ‘strange attractor’ being a good example.

    • Bart R

      Since you ask: “What do you think?” I’ll respond

      A buncn of pseudoscientific-sounding nonsensical psychobabble.

      Max

      • manacker | August 23, 2012 at 6:21 am |

        You caught that, too, did you?

        Sapolsky might have been wrong in about half of what he said, varying from the problems of citing Aquinas (the God that cannot sin also lets bad things happen to good people; the God that cannot make a copy of Himself is also the Trinity; any map-maker can tile the globe with triangles whose angles sum to 270 degrees) to a bizarre lack of understanding of what scale-invariate means to talking about millions of decimal points on measures that would take the object of discussion so far below Planck Length as to be meaningless in Physics, to a fundamentally silly picture of the society of the Dark Ages, and on and on.

        But I didn’t refer people to Sapolsky because he’s completely right — far from it. I offered the reference because unless people are thinking skeptically at this level of nuance and analysis, with this level of understanding and synthesis, able to conversantly use these standard terms of art and be familiar and comfortable with this type of discussion, then they’re not up to speed to assess what they read about Climate.

      • > I offered the reference because unless people are thinking skeptically at this level of nuance and analysis, with this level of understanding and synthesis, able to conversantly use these standard terms of art and be familiar and comfortable with this type of discussion, then they’re not up to speed to assess what they read about Climate.

        Let alone Climate Etc.

        Go Team!

      • On the value of drilling down.

        Click on willard’s name.

        Look around a bit.

        Eventually, you’ll find this really interesting and worthwhile link: http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/08/the-best-ever-description-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/

        Which is a bit like the myth of Bacchus and Selenus; what we thought was just plain-old “willard” opens up into fruitful and copious pastime.

      • Vaughan Pratt | August 25, 2012 at 3:07 am |

        Are we witnessing the disdain for the Applied sometimes evinced among the Theoretical?

        Should I ask them likewise about toroidal tiling problems, while collected data to extrapolate actual odds?

        I mean, I’ve met a not a few map-makers who aren’t brilliant, but what deep-dark secret from your past have we stumbled upon, sir? Did a map-maker once steal your girlfriend?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        No, the applied simply have different skill sets from the theoretical. Generally neither shines on the other’s turf. Proving that the number of such triangles is unique is a distinctly theoretical question (though I would have to admit that a map-maker well grounded in spherical geometry shouldn’t find it too hard). The number of commonly used conformal projections of the globe onto a plane is likely to be easier for the map-maker than the theoretician—Wikipedia lists eight but neglects to point out that only four are in common use.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Bart R: any map-maker can tile the globe with triangles whose angles sum to 270 degrees

        Indeed. But what fraction of them can tell you whether there’s such a tiling with other than 8 triangles?

        Substitute either “mathematician” or “climate skeptic” for “map-maker” and the fraction changes dramatically, albeit in opposite directions.

      • Not all claims can be disproven by a single counterexample. However, for a claim beginning, “It is impossible for God to..” and ending “..create a triangle with more than 180 degrees,” a single counterexample suffices.

        Though I think you sell map-maker’s short. Some of them are pretty crafty.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Bart R: Though I think you sell map-maker’s short. Some of them are pretty crafty.

        Oh come on, Bart. Have you ever met even one single crafty map-maker?

        What are the odds you could find even one non-mathematician map-maker who could tell whether 8 was the only possible number of triangles?

        Crafty map-makers are about one per generation. Like Martin Behaim who figured out in 1492 you could project a map of Earth onto a sphere. Pretty creative considering that was the year Columbus sailed for the East Indies and discovered the West Indies instead.

        Crafty mathematicians are a dime a dozen, stuck with teaching jobs in obscure universities.

      • BartR,

        Thank you for refining the meaning of the word “misrepresentation”:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/30198068542

  17. lurker passing through, laughing

    The consensus fell apart because the IPCC process is not even wrong about being wrong. The consensus falls apart because the alarmist climate consensus is not even in the ball park.

    • The consensus is a HOME RUN !

      Deniers are losers.

      • Max,

        The game ain’t over and the “threat is real” team don’t have a bullpen to speak of.

    • lurker passing through, laughing | August 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

      Speaking of not even being in the ball park, are you going to field a team for Factball, or forfeit?

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        We will leave the forfeit to your side: a great deal of demonstration, and nothing more than social mania to show for it.

      • lurker passing through, laughing | August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |

        What’s that? It sounds like clucking.

        You got nothing to back up what you say, so you just say it louder.

        Field some players. Or you can’t.

  18. Inside, fleece-garbed and predominately male Antarctic scientists sat at rows of tables facing the front of the room, listening to research updates from their colleagues.

    Sheep being led to the slaughter?

  19. No, evil scientists conspiring.

  20. Sheep like to congregate in flocks and will follow a leader w/out question.
    Ref ter me Catalogue of Collectives …

  21. Chad Wozniak

    Oliver K, M., Wagathon, Beth C, jebmack –

    Thanks to all (again) for all your cogent comments on the AGW fraud and its perpetrators.

    I frankly don’t care if some dishonest crimiinal-reactionary-leftist politician posing as a scientist loses his livelihood behind his false statements. That is only the just deserts for the liars and thieves and tyranny advocates these people are. I hope it happens to all of them, and the sooner the better.

    I myself left academia decades ago because I found the academic establishment’s view of free speech to exclude anything they didn’t agree with. Because I didn’t buy into the obsession of the historian community with Thomas Jefferson’s sex life, and because I had good things to say in my writings about American institutions, I was unable to publish my scholarship (I hold a PhD in American History) and therefore had no chance oif ever attaining tenure. Hence, back to school for an MBA – and at least some sanity in the business world. The @#$%&*!!’s that would have denied me tenure were constantly saying how much more humane and efficient the Soviet system was, than ours in the US – some truly astonishing ignorance for such (supposedly) highly educated people.

    I suspect that the same disconnect from reality that I observed while teaching at university obtains for the AGW crowd, and for many of the same reasons. You think you know everything, and the end justifies all means including lying, stealing and intimidation, and you’re getting paid lots of stolen money to crank out your @#$%&*!!, so why not go AGW?

    I agree the IPCC is a destructive force with only political and no genuinely scientific objectives. It obviously exists only to provide protection for disseminators of disinformation and a way for them to steal more of our taxpayer dollars to finance their comfy lifestyles – with Al Gore as their role model. Ir’s high time there was a thorough criminal investigation of the IPCC and its membership for making false statements on applications for government grant money, using taxpayer money to conduct and finance a political campaign, and other likely offenses.

    And yes, jebmack, thermodymanics is another nail in the AGW coffin – let’s hope so.

    The mendacity and effrontery and sociopathy of the AGW crowd are truly breathtaking.

    • While looking for pages on Alabama legislating against Agenda 21 I came across this post wondering how close to the USSR Constitution came to the aims of Agenda21: http://joannenova.com.au/2012/06/agenda-21-alabama-may-have-outfoxed-it-why-you-should-care/#comment-1067738

      ““Funnily enough, the U.S.S.R. Constitution did that too. Chapter 2, which promulgates the importance of common property to improve “purity of air and water”, “plant and animal kingdoms”, and “improve the human environment”, is ironically entitled “The Economic System.” Even the Soviets openly admitted that their “environmental concerns” were purely means to an end of state wealth after taking over private land.”

    • “Oliver K, M., Wagathon, Beth C, jebmack –

      Thanks to all (again) for all your cogent comments ”

      My goodness I nearly fell off the chair there. This blog is becoming more like an act at Edinburgh Fringe every day

  22. very confusing! why use ‘disintegrate’ as term for rejecting model, when your main study concerns disintegrating ice. let’s be clear which one actually disintegrated.

    • Because even in a study discussing scientific methodology and sociology, they just couldn’t help but use alarmist language.

      I agree. A poorly thought out choice of words.

  23. Judith Curry

    O’Reilly et al. pinpoint the basic problem with IPCC as an objective, scientifically oriented advisory group.

    In analyzing why the IPCC “consensus” position on the demise of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet came unraveled, O’Reilly et al. conclude (bold face by me):

    IPCC authors were less certain about potential WAIS futures than in previous assessment reports in part because of new information, but also because of the outcome of cultural processes within the IPCC, including how people were selected for and worked together within their writing groups.

    Yikes!

    An objective, scientific fact-finding group, such as IPCC is touted to be, arrives at different scientific conclusions ” because of the outcome of cultural processes within the IPCC, including how people were selected for and worked together within their writing groups”, IOW because the membership and cultural processes of these “objective” groups were different?

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    [Clue: Check definition of word “objective”.]

    You conclude:

    The problems that are arose are endemic to the IPCC assessment process itself.

    AMEN!

    Max

  24. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It is not clear that Climate Etc regulars have grasped that the substance of the argument that Judith Curry has posted is this: IPCC projections regarding future climate-change are overly conservative and should be made stronger.

    The reason is simple: “Nature cannot be fooled”, and to the extent that Nature is accelerating her melting of the ice-sheets (thank you Neven!  :grin: ), then it necessarily follows that strongly-held moral and economic beliefs must adapt to Nature’s realities.

    In particular, prudence and rationality both require that fundamentalist libertarian / freemarket advocates here on Climate Etc prepare answers to the natural question: “How will my moral and economic beliefs adapt to a future in which Nature proves that James Hansen’s worldview is the correct one?”

    Luke Skywalker’s celebrated answer: Noooooo! That *CAN’T* be true!! That’s *IMPOSSIBLE*!!! was of course, both factually incorrect and emotionally juvenile, eh?   :grin:   :opps:   :grin:   :oops:   :grin:

    We can do better than *THAT*, surely!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

    • Fan

      Yep.

      “Nature can’t be fooled.”

      Right now she’s proving that by not showing any warming of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” in over 180 months (= 15 years), despite projections of rampant GH warming (by James E. Hansen and the IPCC) and unabated increase of GHG concentrations to new record levels.

      Max

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @manacker: Right now she’s proving that by not showing any warming of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” in over 180 months (= 15 years), despite projections of rampant GH warming (by James E. Hansen and the IPCC) and unabated increase of GHG concentrations to new record levels.

        Max, you’re using the same proven strategy politicians have been using ever since democracy was invented: tell the same lie often enough and the half of the population that’s below average intelligence will vote for you.

        Why not actually LOOK at the HADCRUT4 temperatures (I’ll use HADCRUT3 here for your benefit since you seem to be still living in the dark ages) for years 15 years apart? Since the year y = 1970 there has not been one single year y whose temperature T(y) was greater than T(y+15).

        In fact the gap is almost always very large. For the year y = 1981, the temperature was a mere 0.029 C higher 15 years later. For all other years since 1970 the temperature 15 years hence has been more than 0.029 C higher, in fact 0.246 C on average.

        Relative to 1996, the temperature last year was 0.203 C higher, seven times the corresponding gap for 1981 and fairly close to the average for the entire period since 1970.

        Anyone who tells you the temperature over the last 15 years has shown no warming is lying through their teeth. Warming is continuing like a blast furnace, with no sign of letting up when measured over 15 years, the smallest statistically significant period (if even that—Santer says 17 years).

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Ok. First you need to tack /from:1995.6/trend on to the end to read your graph. Then it’s clear that the Northern Hemisphere is increasing and the Southern not. How do you interpret this?

      • Yes the correct graph is

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3sh/from:1995.6/plot/hadcrut3sh/from:1995.6/trend/plot/hadcrut3nh/from:1995.6/plot/hadcrut3nh/from:1995.6/trend

        Darn IVP are ubiquitous.

        This is not a binary problem , such as ocean inertia, the solar cycle etc.

        It seems to be more of a dynamical response such as the decrease in zonal winds in the SO 40s-60s,The increased cloud response into the mid latitudes and into the south pacific is clearly seen in the decrease in surface irriadiance in the 21st century,whether this is a signal of one of the expected outcome’s of the stabilization of CFCs etc is open,

      • Vaughan, But the data is base line dependent. Is the northern hemisphere leading or lagging? Compare the extratropics and tropics using from half and last half base line. Better compare using the three decadal base lines, 80s, 90s and 00s. :)

        Now what happens if say from 1900 to 1980 the northern hemisphere were colder than normal relative to the southern hemisphere? Then from 1980 to present, the NH caught up? Since you are using anomaly and not actual temperatures, it would appear that the NH was causing global warming.

        You might think more is happening than actually is. Then if you keep adding stations that were below “normal” for your base line, there would “appear” to be more warming :)

      • Vaughan Pratt

        The yellow line (LOTI 24S – 44S, i.e. SH) has the greatest ratio of sea to land. One would therefore expect it to be the straightest. It does look that way. Both SH and NH are rising, but NH is oscillating more widely, consistent with land being more responsive to fluctuations. I have no guesses as to how much of the difference between NH and SH is attributable to global warming vs oscillations.

      • Vaughan, A guess is about all you can make since the SH data is pretty sparse prior to 1960ish. Not only have the difference in thermal mass because of the ocean/land ratio but also the average land elevation increases the range of NH variation. With the 1995 to 2010 base line you at least get a better perspective of the oscillation impacts.

        The equator to 44S though does give a better indication of the large changes in thermal capacity which because of the slow time constant, provides some help in predicting decadal change, at least based on the limited instrumental history.That appears to indicate rapid disintegration of projects, though I am sure this system has some surprises left in her.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        True enough.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      fan,
      What is clear is that you are an ill informed kook.
      Your reliance on cheesy SF and B movies to inform your arguments is most entertaining.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Manacker, in your worldview, why are the oceans steadily warming, the ice-caps steadily melting, and the sea-levels steadily rising? Not to mention it’s getting pretty dang warm here on land too!   :eek:   :!:   :eek:

    • I get it now.

      You get a royalty for every emoticon you use. The rest is simply filler.

  25. And how will you answer?:

    “How will my moral and economic beliefs adapt to a future in which Nature proves that James Hansen’s worldview was promoting fraudulent science?”

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/19/week-in-review-81812/#comment-231324

  26. Chad Wozniak

    And how do I answer you, Fan?

    It ain’t happenin’, bro, ’cause James Hansen’s worldview is so self-evidently fictitious and delusional – though there certainly is method in his madness..

    By the way, Myrrh, isn’t “fraudulent science” an oxymoron? But I’d have to agree that “oxymoron” generally describes the so-called “science” propounded by the AGW tyrannists. Sort of like “Soviet journalism.”

    And Fan, your reference to “libertarian / free marke advocates” sounds rather too much like you’re opposed to liberty and free markets. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I’m a little touchous about anyone who wants to take away my freedoms – and my money to use for destructive purposes. There has been enough history of servitude on this benighted planet. We don’t need any more.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chad, as with a great many Americans, my political views are founded largely upon respect for well-crafted checks-and-balances, wise compromises, and respect for Nature’s final arbitration … in essence the same political view as America’s Founders and Framers.

      It’s remarkable how offensive the reasoned political principles of the Founders and Framers are to far-left and far-right denialist demagogues, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      And yet, history shows plainly that the Founders and Framers reasoned views have given offense to denialists, ever since the founding of the American nation!   :)   :)   :)

      Fortunately we need not heed ideology-first denialists overmuch, as Nature has the final authoritative say!   :)   :)   :)

      That is good news, eh Chad Wozniak?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • David Springer

        A fan of *MORE* discourse | August 23, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply

        “Chad, as with a great many Americans, my political views are founded largely upon respect for well-crafted checks-and-balances, wise compromises, and respect for Nature’s final arbitration … in essence the same political view as America’s FBounders and Frlamers.”

        Fixed that for you John Sidles of University of Washington Medical School.

      • So that people don’t get a bad impression of UW School of Medicine, my urologist who did my prostate surgery was originally on the falculty there. He is a first rate surgeon.

        For all I know Dr Sidles is as well. He’s also a lousy historian. But hey, we can’t be experts in every subject, even if some think they are.

    • By the way, Myrrh, isn’t “fraudulent science” an oxymoron? But I’d have to agree that “oxymoron” generally describes the so-called “science” propounded by the AGW tyrannists. Sort of like “Soviet journalism.”

      Real Science, the discipline, doesn’t exist the moment there is any deliberate manipulation of data etc., this is called fraud in science, science fraud, fraudulent science, because, the discipline is geared to investigating the real world around us and building on knowledge gained through the generations.

      Sometimes frauds can be easily spotted, such as I’ve shown for AGW fisics basics (though most people don’t look because they’ve never been exposed to the real physics which it tweaks), but some more difficult to analyse, example here:

      http://www.science-fraud.org/

      The Missing Link was of course our most famous Science Fraud, The Piltdown Man, it set back scientific investigation more than forty years. The AGW fraud was much better organised, deliberately organised to deceive, and is now firmly established in the education system.

      PhD’s teaching that carbon dioxide an ideal gas which will spontaneously diffuse into the empty space atmosphere under its own molecular momentum bouncing off the other ideal gas molecules in elastic collisions and so thoroughly mixing that they can’t be unmixed without a huge amount of work done (as for example it would take to separate again the ink from the water it was poured into), that is, ideal gas molecules with no weight, volume, attraction, not subject to gravity because they have no mass, etc. In other words, AGWScienceFiction fisics has created a different world and is passing it off as if it is our real one. Those promoting this fake world and fake atmosphere having failed to examine its basic claims are unaware they have no sound in their world, so they can’t hear this..

      They can’t see the joke here because arguments from those presenting this fake AGW fisics fail to recognise there is no internal consistency, cohesion, between the parts of their fisics. They’re too busy arguing about backradiation to wonder why they have no convection in their world and so continue quite happily to extrapolate from their fake basics claiming such nonsense as the heat we feel from an incandescent lightbulb is the visible light, because built on their premise that shortwave heats land and oceans..

      Sigh.

      (An incandescent bulb radiates around 95% thermal infrared, Heat, to 5% visible light, Light.)

      They don’t realise how, quite frankly, stupid their basics, because real physics has been expunged for the oiks in order to promote AGW.

      That’s why they can never provide any actual physics of show and tell for any of their claims, how does visible light heat the water of the oceans directly?

      They can’t fetch this supposedly well known experimental data backing their claims, because it doesn’t exist. They can’t find it either..

      All I can hope to do is show how the basics have been manipulated by sleights of hand tweaking real physics, by AGW excising such real world science facts as the Water Cycle and carbonic acid rain and giving the properties of direct thermal energy from the Sun, thermal infrared, Heat, to shortwave Light, and so on. Because these can’t be spotted unless one knows the real science being fraudulently tweaked.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      @Chad Wozniak: James Hansen’s worldview is so self-evidently fictitious and delusional

      Bravo! Spoken like a true scientist of 2000 BC.

  27. This is another one of your guys climate skeptics.

    I now tally close to 30 skeptics with alternate theories to the conventional physics model of the greenhouse effect And that is just the ones that comment on Climate Etc. And it doesn’t include commenters that just say NO and anti-agree, without having an alternate theory. At least the guys with an alternate theory provide a laugh.

    Today’s laugh is the theory that CO2 does not thoroughly mix in the atmosphere. The fact that it has a MW of 44 instead of the average near MW 30 apparently forces all of the CO2 close to the surface. All I can say is : If you want to live, Don’t go to the basement!

    • “For over a century, CO2 has been recognized as a workplace hazard. It is significantly heavier than air and many fatalities from asphyxiation have resulted from entry into pits, tanks, sumps or cellars where CO2 has accumulated and displaced oxygen.”

      http://www.conspec-controls.com/prodresources/gas/Conspec_Controls_Gas_Facts-Carbon_Dioxide-CO2.pdf

      I suggest you never ever consider organising a p*ss up in a brewery..

      • Indeed, during my time as an engineer involved in the brewing industry we would remove a dead body from an empty fermentation tank. The chap would have climbed down into the tank without , first, opening the manhole at the tank’s bottom. Once I recall there being two dead men, the second had obviously gone in to help a colleague. Sometimes it seems the training doesn’t take.

        My understanding, engineering that is, was that CO2 being heavier than air would settle to the bottom of the tank. Opening the lower manhole would allow the CO2 to flow out onto the brew house floor. Nobody ever died from asphyxiation on the brewhouse floor because , I guess, we don’t breathe through our feet.

      • Like who cares about your anecdotal stories?

      • Anecdotes, if true, are those recalcitrant facts which serve as exceptions to prove the rule. Every sound theory must be able to accommodate and explain in a manner consistent with its general conclusions those pesky anecdotal counter-examples.

      • An excellent anecdote and I for one appreciated its telling.

        You of course can continue believing AGWScienceFiction which teaches that carbon dioxide is thoroughly mixed in the atmosphere and can’t separate out, but it’s your loss. Reality is much more interesting.

        Thank you Keith AB

      • You are most welcome Myrrh.

      • So since water vapor has a MW of 18 which is less than 2/3 of the average MW of air, why does it feel humid when you walk around Atlanta in the summer. According to Myrrhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the water vapor should separate to higher altitudes immediately.

        The reason a helium balloon rises is due to displacement of pressure in a column of air. Release that helium atom by atom and it will only gradually work its way up in elevation, interfered with by diffusion and convection.

        I will tell you what. Myrhhhhhhhhhhh does not understand much about statistical mechanics, diffusion, and the role of entropy in physics.

      • Keith AB | August 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |

        The phenomenon of “dead air” is well-known and not nearly so uncommon as some would believe. It happens in breweries and in sewers, swamps and mushroom farms, mines and chemical processing, silos and strange locales. Your anecdote, though merely anecdotal in much the same way as “2012 is what Global Warming will be like” is anecdotal, does testify that the effect can be real.

        Your conclusion about feet, however, not so much.

        It’s well known that there is a relationship for vertebrates between body mass and sensitivity to CO2 concentration: the smaller the body, the more susceptible to succumbing to high CO2 levels. So at the level of your ankles, any mice, voles, rats, shrews, badgers, weasels, housecats or like vermin ought have been piling up noticeably were the gradient so steep on the open floor as you suppose.

        Were you wading through dead rats in the brewery?

        It takes very specific circumstances to stale air so much that CO2 settles and concentrates to lethal levels. (Which are still only a tiny fraction of overall air. 400 ppmv is perfectly safe; 4000 ppmv will be unpleasant immediately; 40,000 ppmv will likely kill you, a mere 4%. And is it wet or dry, acid or degenerating into Carbon Monoxide, or mixed with other toxins?)

        So this ‘not well mixed’ thesis remains as overstated as poetry or madness.

    • WebHubTelescope | August 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |

      While there is a gradient to relative CO2 concentration that has been well-documented (for example, 300 km up the relative CO2 concentration is about one fifth the sea-level CO2 concentration), this cannot be deemed unmixed in any sense.

      The stratigraphy of CO2 has been invariate since the atmosphere formed, as the Partial Gas Law sets out.

      This doesn’t work in favor, either, of arguments against the GHE: as CO2 concentration increases and the geometry of its distribution in the shell of atmosphere responds by partial gas law mixing rules, we see that the logarithmic relationship of CO2 and temperature is very slightly skewed because we’ve been measuring CO2 concentration at the densest part of the column, and the top of the column is much less concentrated.

      This is of course just a mathematical oddity, and it’d take an obsessive genius to work out the multivariate distribution calculations necessary to determine if the effect rises above measurement error; when we’re talking about something as infernally dynamic as climate sensitivity, an effect that hardly makes much difference.

      So, while there’s a mixing influence, it’s clearly not a counterargument to GHE.

      • While there is a gradient to relative CO2 concentration that has been well-documented (for example, 300 km up the relative CO2 concentration is about one fifth the sea-level CO2 concentration), this cannot be deemed unmixed in any sense.

        Please fetch “well documented” for a fifth of sea level concentration at 300 kilometres as this is the Thermosphere and carbon dioxide would have to pass through the Stratosphere and Mesosphere and Ionosphere to get there, and it’s heavier than Air.

        And, there ain’t none there, molecules disassociate in outer space:

        http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/applychem/atmosphere.html

        Above 100 km is the thermosphere and ionosphere where the temperature increases from 200 K at 100 km to 500 K at 300 km. The temperature goes even higher as the altitude increases. activity as the altitude decrease. In the outer space, most particles consist of single atoms, H, He, and O etc. At lower altitude (200 – 100 km), diatomic molecules N2, O2, NO etc are present. The ionosphere is full of electrically charged ions. The UV rays ionizes these gases. The major reactions are

        In the ionosphere:
        O + h v ® O+ + e
        N + h v ® N+ + e
        In the neutral thermosphere:
        N + O2 ® NO + O
        N + NO ® N2 + O
        O + O ® O2

        The stratigraphy of CO2 has been invariate since the atmosphere formed, as the Partial Gas Law sets out.

        As your imaginary atmosphere in a test tube sets out..

        This doesn’t work in favor, either, of arguments against the GHE: as CO2 concentration increases and the geometry of its distribution in the shell of atmosphere responds by partial gas law mixing rules, we see that the logarithmic relationship of CO2 and temperature is very slightly skewed because we’ve been measuring CO2 concentration at the densest part of the column, and the top of the column is much less concentrated.

        This is an example of the gobbledegook which passes for science in AGWSciFi fisics – the atmosphere an imaginary container in a lab against which ideal gases bounce when they’re not bouncing off each other are extrapolated to stratify as if real world conditions ..

        ..I take it this imaginary shell you have in your empty space atmosphere is what prevents the direct thermal energy of the Sun from reaching your imaginary Earth’s surface?

        Carbon dioxide is heavier than Air, which means, it sinks displacing Air and falls to the ground.
        Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle, which means, that every time it rains the atmosphere is cleared of the carbon dioxide around which falls to the ground – all rain is carbonic acid.

        Which means, It is not well-mixed in the atmosphere, It cannot accumulate, because, it is subject to gravity. Real gases are subject to gravity, heavier than Air, they sink, lighter than Air, they rise.

        From the above link:

        The troposphere is where all weather takes place; it is the region of rising and falling packets of air. The air pressure at the top of the troposphere is only 10% of that at sea level (0.1 atmospheres). There is a thin buffer zone between the troposphere and the next layer called the tropopause.

        The major components in the region close to the surface of the Earth are N2 (78%), O2 (21%), Ar (1%) with variable amounts of H2O, CO2, CH4, NO2, NO2, CO, N2O, and O3. The ozone concentration in this layer is low, about 8% of the total ozone in the atmosphere is in the troposphere.

        Do you know what a “packet of air” is?

      • Myrrh | August 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

        Good catch. I have zero clue where 300 km came from; I’d been mis-remembering old information, think I may have subconsciously rounded to 100 km from 85-90km, and from 40/380 to “about 1/5th” in misremembering the silly details of how CO2 peters out. Thanks for spotting the error.

        http://troll.phys.spbu.ru/papers/IACP322.pdf

        Abstract—The paper presents the profiles of mesospheric carbon dioxide content determined in the height range 60–90 km from the outgoing limb radiation measured in November 1994 with the CRISTA satellite instrument in the CO2 15-μm band. The satellite data are interpreted by a combined method with allowance for the effect of nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium. This method lies in simultaneously retrieving the profiles for the kinetic temperature, pressure, carbon dioxide content, and vibrational temperatures of the lower vibrational states of the four most abundant isotopic modifications of CO2 molecules. The carbon dioxide mesospheric vertical profiles are analyzed on the basis of about 300 atmospheric scans (all radiation spectra measured in the range from the minimum to the maximum tangent height) measured over the latitude belt 50° S–65° N.
        It is shown that a decrease in the carbon dioxide volume mixing ratio with height begins, on the average, at a height of 70–75 km. This height is significantly lower than that predicted from numerical models of the upper atmosphere. However, this result is in complete agreement with the carbon dioxide retrieval data obtained from the CRISTA instrument measurements on the basis of a distinctly different approach, which is based on radiation measurements in the 4.3-μm band and numerical simulation of the nonequilibrium populations of CO2 vibrational states. This agreement indicates that our results are highly reliable. However, some events of CO2 uniform mixing up to a height of about 85 km were also revealed. The mean profiles of the carbon dioxide volume mixing ratio measured for the middle latitudes of both hemispheres differ from each other at a height of 90 km by no more than 40 ppmv. The mean latitude gradients of the CO2 volume mixing ratio in the middle and upper mesosphere reach 4.8 ppmv per 10°. The CO2 concentration decreases from southern (spring) toward northern latitudes (fall).

        As for what is a “packet of air”, I imagine given the context you’re talking about either a belch, or flatulence. ;) Because other than catching a failure to bounds-check on my part you’re speaking so outlandishly about atmospheric chemistry it’s impossible to tell if you’re being poetic or lunatic, but in either case many orders of magnitude more extremely off than my 300km and 1/5th approximations.

      • In typical net discourse, Myrhhhhh would be considered a troll. But in the rareified atmosphere of climate skepticism he is considered a valued asset. A FUD machine of highest order. He is condoned because he gets the job done, which is essentially putting in his minutes and not getting antagonistic with the sane scientists. It shows that he is civil and thus serious. There is a pattern here, an architecture for fake skepticism.

        Or is it that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?

      • As for what is a “packet of air”, I imagine given the context you’re talking about either a belch, or flatulence. Because other than catching a failure to bounds-check on my part you’re speaking so outlandishly about atmospheric chemistry it’s impossible to tell if you’re being poetic or lunatic, but in either case many orders of magnitude more extremely off than my 300km and 1/5th approximations.

        I was referring to this which I quoted:

        “The troposphere is where all weather takes place; it is the region of rising and falling packets of air.”

      • WebHubTelescope | He is condoned because he gets the job done, which is essentially putting in his minutes and not getting antagonistic with the sane scientists. It shows that he is civil and thus serious. There is a pattern here, an architecture for fake skepticism.

        There are several meanings of sceptic, none is applicable to me.

        I am however, quite fascinated by the clever fakery which has gone into creating AGW fisics and the serious zeal which is put into maintaining that this faked fisics is real science by the adherents of the unproven beliefs of AGW.

        I’ve just changed to “of the unproven” from “to the unproven”, because of course there’s no actual hypothesis of AGW and its adherents create their own explanations when they can’t explain the internal inconsistencies. I’ve rather enjoyed discovering here another variation to explain why the direct thermal energy from the Sun doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface and plays no part in heating land and oceans, it seems the Sun doesn’t produce much heat at all so it’s not that there’s an invisible shell barrier blocking it…

        So, what’s your version of why carbon dioxide is well-mixed in the atmosphere?

    • > This is another one of your guys climate skeptics.

      I’m not sure to whom “this” refers.

    • The scientific part of man made global warming is the relationship between forcing and change in CO2 concentration given by:

      dF = 5.35*ln(C/Co)

      The unscientific part of man made global warming is IPCC’s “accelerated warming” given by:

      http://bit.ly/OaemsT

      This data shows, the oscillations in GMST before 1970s are smoothed out. The warming phase of the oscillation after 1970s is untouched and is called man made global warming.

      IPCC’s Magnification factor = 0.18 deg C per decade / 0.06 deg C per decade = 3

      True climate sensitivity = IPCC’s Climate sensitivity / 3 = 3/3 = 1

      Climate sensitivity without feedback = 1.2.

      Therefore, the climate system has a slightly negative feedback.

    • WEB,

      I don’t pay attention to alternate theories. I simply look at the claimed threat(s), compare them to what is actually happening and then look at the proposed measures being touted as necessary to save us from the threat(s) and realize that
      a) simple arithmatic will tell you they will have zero impact to CO2 and hence whatever impacts to climate it has

      and

      b) they carry a hugh potential burden to those who adopt them.

      That tells me that the proponents are either stupid (which I doubt) or have some other objective in mind.

      That analysis requires zero physics.

  28. If you want to live, Don’t go to the basement!

    Agree.

    Head fer th’ hills!

    An’, podner, that ain’t no water frum high tides, neither.

  29. Maybe,* as fan says, ‘Nature cannot be fooled’ but humans sure can be.’
    :-) :-(

    * So what about floraand fauna camouflage and disguise that deceive predators and prey?

    • David Springer

      Nature does not comply with toy models of nature.

      A scientist friend of mine, an emeritus comparative biology professor who passed away recently, told me years ago “Hypotheses have to make sense. Facts don’t.” One needs to keep in mind that climate models are hypotheses written in the language of computers while climate consists of facts. When the models become more trusted than the facts we’ve abandoned modeling and taken up dogmatic narratives. In so-called climate science that ship sailed in the 1970’s when global cooling was the big scare story and she hasn’t returned to port yet.

      • Not just in the language of computers.

        I’ve seen many popsicle bridge competitions where model bridges are rendered in the language of Popsicle Pete.

        A digital watch is just a model of an analog watch, which is just a miniaturization of a pendulum clock, which is just a model in cogs and wheels to represent approximate synchrony with the relative movements of the rotation of the Earth and — in extended cases — the orbit of the Moon and varying of seasons and on and on.

        All our tools of reckoning are models; our every sense merely models some objective. Eyeballs? Construct dots, lines and curves in our visual cortex as models of retinal stimulation by light. Ears? Not dissimilar. From there, our mentation uses complex behaviors of pattern processing to subject models to cogitation. It’s turtles all the way down.

        There’s nothing special about computer models out of all this.

      • David Springer

        Bart R | August 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply

        “A digital watch is just a model of an analog watch, which is just a miniaturization of a pendulum clock, which is just a model in cogs and wheels to represent approximate synchrony with the relative movements of the rotation of the Earth and — in extended cases — the orbit of the Moon and varying of seasons and on and on.”

        Not even close.

      • Springer certainly has an arcane view of the role of computers.

      • Bart,

        While I sometimes don’t agree with your opinions, I almost always enjoy reading what you post.

      • timg56 | August 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

        Thank you. I almost always disagree with my own opinions, but invariably enjoy when they’re taken apart and put back together in a more pleasing or correct or interesting configuration.

        So I like reading what you post sometimes, too.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Springer asserts  “Nature does not comply with toy models of nature.”

        David Springer, for the past three whousand years, the history of mathematics, science, engineering, and medicine has been very largely the history of demonstrating that your assertion is … just … plain … wrong.

        Fortunately!   :)   :)   :)

        Isn’t this correct, David Springer?   :)   :)   :)

      • David Springer

        No, it is not correct John Sidles. Models are made from nature. Nature is not made from models.

        Got it?

        Write that down!

      • David Springer

        I’m not sure what you’re saying, Bart.

        My contention is that models of nature are conjectural and nature itself is factual. It’s basically the difference between fantasy and reality.

        Assuming you’re able to distinguish between fantasy and reality I can’t quite see how you can possibly disagree. Do you disagree?

      • I agree with Dave on this one Bart.

        I don’t get your point. The logical fallacy link is “pretty weak sauce” as a coworker used to say.

      • David Springer | August 23, 2012 at 10:40 am |

        Models are many things. We make some models, but we’re not the only ones who build models, and we’re certainly built with some models.

        The visual cortex models the retina; the auditory processes of the brain model the cochlea. The sensory receptors in each case model or reflect patterns in the light and soundwaves they receive as part of a process of modeling the objectives (which is why eyeballs have lenses, to produce objective images). The firing of neurons in the brain is neither the actual object being modeled in the mind, nor is it even the transitive sensory image in the eyeball or inner ear.

        Chimpanzees build and use tools, by a process that molds the shape of sticks for example to fit the shape of holes by bending and breaking. Not a very complex act of model-craft, but a natural one.

        All that, and I don’t disagree that Nature is not made from models; I simply disagree that you’re holding the bull by the right end. Not only does Nature not comply with toy models, it often doesn’t comply with natural ones such as the models in our brains made out of neurons and synapses. Focus on the form factor, whether it’s computers and computer language or popsicles or test tubes and beakers or gold foil or oil drops suspended on static electricity, is simply missing the point that it’s all models.

        All modeling is an attempt to simplify a more remote or unknowable aspect of Nature into a more immediate or obvious one; this Simplification is closely related to the notion of Reductionism. You can never directly know Nature by any sense without resort to some model, as all you know of your senses is what the neurons model.

        Heck, even writing something down is encrypting a pattern that describes and models (by the Worfian Hypothesis that symbol cannot be divorced from meaning) the objective correlative.

        See? Simple.

      • “Climate Etc abusers and deniers”

        We have a description for you too, Fan.

        “Clown”

        Andrew

      • The skeptics need these Captains and Sergeants and Chiefs and other authoritarian types to keep all the crackpot counter arguments from falling apart.

        They play a vital role in the contrarian and skeptical ecosystem, keeping their defenses fortified.

      • So fan seems to have pulled off the notable trick of alienating both sceptics and warmists simultaneously.
        Tonyb

      • Speaking only for myself,

        Marines, current or former, on average rank much higher on the respect ladder than PhD’s. Although I have several people who have PhD’s who rank at the very top of my respect ladder, my Uncle Bill for one, (who was also a retired Nacval Officer, and several professors, including one who I recently learned passed away early this year at a too young age.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        BartR, DS, BA, Robert, and all other Climate Etc abusers and deniers … at the end of the day, history shows us plainly that ideas matter … abuse and denial and demagoguery don’t. Isn’t that right?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        So take a tip from the immortal Publius and play nice, boys!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • That’s some weapons-grade hypocrisy from CE’s resident passive-aggressive tool.

        Fanny, perhaps you are familiar with that useful fable about motes and planks?

        Perhaps revisiting your own history of childish insults, spam comments, and picking fights with strangers could be an excellent first stop on your barnstorming tour to improve the quality of discourse at CE?

      • Steven Mosher

        I dunno Robert. Fan and I have made our peace. You might try finding the good in what he says and leave the rest. He will of course go off the rails now and again, but try experimenting with finding a common ground with him. And forget the past abuses. After all, the planet is at stake. I would think you’d try any strategy to get more people aligned with your point of view.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        At the end of the day, Mother Nature — and no other authority — will determine whether James Hansen’s worldview is scientifically correct.

        We would all of us be fools, to take Nature’s decision personally in any respect, eh?

        And we would be fools too, to imagine that any amount of abuse, cherry-picking, and sloganeering, could influence Nature’s decision in the slightest?

        “Nature cannot be fooled” … and she is perhaps the sole judge of whom that can be said!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        It was Thomas Jefferson who said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

        Similarly in the 21st century we may say “We tremble for our planet, when we reflect that Nature cannot be fooled; that her accounting books must eventually be balanced exactly.”

        These views are — all of them — wisely conservative in the truest and most enduring usage of that word, eh?

      • Fan

        As you say, nature can not be fooled but nature takes longer to weave her complex pattern than a few tens of years.
        Tonyb

      • Robert,

        a +10 on this one.

        Proof that people can always find something to agree on, no matter how opposed their point of view may be.

      • peterdavies252

        Totally agree with Mosher. There’s always common ground to be found and there is no need at all for insults and/or abuse when posting.

        The problem with web comments is that they are published and therefore subject to defamation laws whereas the spoken word in private is not published and remains a matter only between them.

      • Totally agree with Mosher. There’s always common ground to be found and there is no need at all for insults and/or abuse when posting.

        What perhaps both you and Steven missed here was that Fanny took a discussion in which I was not even participating as an opportunity to call me an “abuser[] and denier.”

        Now, I don’t mind that — if he wants to start slinging insults without provocation, I’m happy to pay him in his own coin. He’s a whiny, passive-aggressive, Category V hypocrite, so that makes it very easy.

        But in the future, feel free to direct your remarks about “insults and/or abuse” to the proper source.

      • peterdavies252

        I understand your POV Robert but I think that if you reply to snark with non snark you will find that your views will be more widely read. Joshua will agree with this I think.

        As an aside, I find your perspective, and that of Joshua, on many issues to be balanced, notwithstanding that you are firmly in the AGW camp. I am still trying to figure out where Joshua stands.

      • > Nature does not comply with toy models of nature.

        She only complies with Chuck Norris.

        He still roundkicks her in the face, nonetheless, when he feels like it.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @David Springer: “A scientist friend of mine, an emeritus comparative biology professor who passed away recently, told me years ago, Hypotheses have to make sense. Facts don’t.”

        David, while I think that’s a charming philosophy that surely would have appealed to Shakespeare, both Einstein’s theory of relativity and the Heisenberg-Schroedinger theory of quantum mechanics fail that test.

        26 years after Einstein published his theory of relativity, a 1931 book “100 scientists against Einstein” said the hypothesis of relativity made no sense. And as Richard Feynman said of quantum mechanics, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t.

        More recent examples are the hypotheses of plate tectonics, and of quasicrystals (skeptic Linus Pauling loved the pun “crazy crystals”) which earned its inventor a Nobel prize last year.

        Having been trained as a physicist myself, I am particularly attached to those hypotheses that make no sense. If one of them turns out to be correct, those who followed your scientist friend’s advice that hypotheses have to make sense may well be in the running for tenure but probably not for a Nobel prize. Appointments-and-Promotions committees have a very hard time with hypotheses that currently don’t make sense. Yet that’s how science makes progress: through hypotheses that make no sense.

        At first.

  30. David Springer

    What Curry is saying is that in the case of WAIS the goalposts weren’t moved they were REmoved.

    Nice.

    • The Antarctic is one of those inconvenient truths. Without water vapor amplification it is an indication of no feedback climate sensitivity. So there are some that get ecstatic when they see indications of warming that agree with their models and bummed out when it doesn’t. There is not a lot of curiosity about why things differ from the models, too much at stake perhaps?

      What is possibly really bad is since the Antarctic is a good indication of no feed back climate sensitivity, it could be a good indication of tropopause sensitivity, indicating a CO2 temperature sensitivity that is not all that well explained in the models or theory. That is a real PITA since the troposphere warm spot may not pan out, things might be a touch more non-linear than anticipated.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Lassie asks “Why can’t you [scientists] write in simple straightforward language that I and my mates in the Dog And Duck can understand?”

    That’s a *TERRIFIC* question, Lassie!   :)   :)   :)

    In her 5-minute video Why are climate scientists so conservative?, author Naomi Oreskes explains her work to the folks at the Dog and Duck.

    Lassie, Naomi’s video will be illuminating for you!   :)   :)   :)

    Naomi Oreskes says  “Climate change isn’t just about fear and anxiety, it’s about protecting the things we love. “

    Judith Curry, your efforts in raising folks’ consciousness here on Climate Etc are much appreciated.

    Thank you, Professor Curry!   :)   :)   :)

  32. FYI: This analysis was after the release of the FAR/AR4, and refers to Steig, 2009 (Steig and Schmidt, 2004). McIntyre shows that the data is really sparse for the continent of Antarctica; understandably, there are few stations. Perhaps the 2007 authors suspected something like this, but were overridden.

    McIntyre, Steve. “Dirty Harry 4: When Harry Met Gill.” Blog. Climate Audit, February 2, 2009. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5054

    “Having identified Harry as a highly leveraged series in the AWS reconstruction, I decided to plot the GISS version against the READER version- this is the sort of routine plot that I do all the time. I had several versions of scraped GISS data, I had a vague recollection of a screw-up last June involving READER data (more on this in a moment) and thought – hmmm, let’s compare an old version with a new version, which yielded a plot looking like the one below (the script for this is in the first comment). As you see, there are HUGE differences between the new Harry and the old Harry.”

    ….

    “The difference between “old” Harry and “new” Harry can now be explained. “Old” Harry was actually “Gill”, but, at least, even if mis-identified, it was only one series. “New” Harry is a splice of Harry into Gill – when Harry met Gill, the two became one, as it were.

    “Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in “New Harry” arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It’s a mess.”

    McIntyre, Steve. “West Antarctic Stations.” Climate Audit, February 1, 2009. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5044

    McIntyre, Steve. “Steig Versus Hansen.” Scientific. Climate Audit, January 31, 2009. http://climateaudit.org/2009/01/31/steig-versus-hansen/

    • On this blog I have referred to the underestimate of SLR by the IPCC several times.

      You do understand that they published an underestimate?

      • I understand that you assert that they published an underestimate of Sea Level Rise.

      • The IPCC SLR numbers in 2007, a range of 18 cm to 59 cm, did not include dynamic ice loss.

        The table (below) provides multiple sea level rise estimates based on several greenhouse gas emission scenarios, but notes that the numbers provided are a ‘model-based range excluding future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow’ (IPCC, 2007: 13). Though the later textual caveat suggests that the contribution of the ice sheet to a rise in sea levels could be significantly higher, this statement was overshadowed by the numbers, in the minds of many readers.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        JCH,
        You seem to complaining that the IPCC let facts get in the way of their fear mongering.

      • What facts, Hunter? What facts?

        Since the publication of the SLR underestimate, most SLR scientists have published significant increases in the estimate. Simon Holgate, the great “sober” SLR scientist accepts 1.5 meters by 2100 as the new upper limit, and he acknowledges there may be an acceleration of the rate of SLR after 1990.

      • So the lurker is hunter.

    • “McIntyre shows that the data is really sparse for the continent of Antarctica”

      On a related note, McIntyre has discovered that grass is green. But that’s just for starters. If his latest FOIA requests go through, he may soon be in a position to break the story that water is, in fact, wet.

    • Further: Mulvaney, Robert, Nerilie J. Abram, Richard C. A. Hindmarsh, Carol Arrowsmith, Louise Fleet, Jack Triest, Louise C. Sime, Olivier Alemany, and Susan Foord. “Recent Antarctic Peninsula Warming Relative to Holocene Climate and Ice-shelf History.” Nature (2012). (PayWalled) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11391.html

      Abstract: Rapid warming over the past 50 years on the Antarctic Peninsula is associated with the collapse of a number of ice shelves and accelerating glacier mass loss. In contrast, warming has been comparatively modest over West Antarctica and significant changes have not been observed over most of East Antarctica, suggesting that the ice-core palaeoclimate records available from these areas may not be representative of the climate history of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here we show that the Antarctic Peninsula experienced an early-Holocene warm period followed by stable temperatures, from about 9,200 to 2,500 years ago, that were similar to modern-day levels. Our temperature estimates are based on an ice-core record of deuterium variations from James Ross Island, off the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. We find that the late-Holocene development of ice shelves near James Ross Island was coincident with pronounced cooling from 2,500 to 600 years ago. This cooling was part of a millennial-scale climate excursion with opposing anomalies on the eastern and western sides of the Antarctic Peninsula. Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia. The connection shown here between past temperature and ice-shelf stability suggests that warming for several centuries rendered ice shelves on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula vulnerable to collapse. Continued warming to temperatures that now exceed the stable conditions of most of the Holocene epoch is likely to cause ice-shelf instability to encroach farther southward along the Antarctic Peninsula.

      Mulvaney, OBE, Robert, and Dr. Nerilie Abram. “New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming: Press Release.” Scientific. British Antarctic Survey, August 2, 2012.

      http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1892

    • Gary

      Although I voted for Obama and also think he has done a very poor job as president, I think the probability of Romney getting elected is very low. I am not a republican, but respect Rove’s ability to forecast what needs to be done to win.

      http://www.rove.com/election

      BTW- have you looked at Romney’s energy plan. I think it makes a lot of sense economically. http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/103646979?access_key=key-rejvwoec17zfipua6av

      • Rob Starkey,

        Karl Rove is best at forecasting what is best for Karl Rove. He is desperate to keep the GOP as far to the left as he can. Which explains in large part why GW Bush moved so far to the left (where he was much more comfortable) in his second term.

        Rove’s predictions are like the polls engineered by the MSM, they are designed to elicit a response (and get him work). He tries desperately to convince Republicans to abandon core conservative principles in search of the votes of the “we don’t need no stinkin’ ideology” moderates.

        Obama and Romney are about 1-2 % apart, in polls that predict Democrats will turn out and vote more than Republicans this year by about 8 per cent. Rove is basing his projections on those same polls. If you think that is how the turn out will actually look in November, I have some Solyndra stock I can sell you cheap.

      • Gary

        When the election gets closer perhaps we can make a wager on the outcome.

      • Absolutely. Though if past history is any indicator, as we get closer to November, all the polling agencies will begin more realistic sampling, and it might not be even close any more.

      • would you wager today at even money?

      • Absolutely, proceeds to and agreed charity. I would feel guilty taking your money myself at such odds.

      • Gary

        How much?

      • Your idea, you name the stakes.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Rove is a lefty now?
        lololol.

      • David Springer

        Undecided voters historicallty go against the incumbent. So a statistical tie at this stage of the game means a win for Romney when the undecideds break his way. Obama’s base is nowhere near as energized as it was in 2008 and a great many people who voted for him are disappointed in the lack of hoped-for change. Those prior Obama voters might not vote for Romney in great numbers but pure apathy will cause them to just not vote at all. On the other hand Romney’s choice of VP has super-energized not just the conservative Republican base but has also energized younger voters both because of Ryan’s comparative youth and because Ryan is telling them the same thing Rick Perry was telling them – they’re getting shafted paying into a Medicare and Social Security system that is broken and won’t be there when they need it.

        There’s a fine line to walk to be sure. Obama will be pushing out hundreds of millions of ads in swing counties of Ryan pushing old people over a cliff while Romney will be pushing even more ads (his fund-raising is much higher than Obama’s) of Obama as the Pied Piper leading herds of young people like lemmings over the same cliff.

        One might also want to keep in mind that Obama/Biden outspent McCain/Palin by almost 3:1 in the 2008 in an environment where being Republican was made radioactive by 8 years of Republican rule and neocon wars. There’s not a whiff of the necons about Romney/Ryan and the team itself is far superior to McCain/Palin. I mean let’s face it, Palin could talk up a crowd into a fervor but she wasn’t really bright or experienced and certainly not ready to become POTUS if the ancient McCain didn’t last 4 years. McCain’s a fixture in the senate without a voting record that gets anyone on either side excited.

        If the difference between 2008 and 2012 are made apparent by the above and acknowledged as disadvantages for the incumbent then perhaps the only thing that will be convincing is who actually wins on November 4th. May it be the better team. To be quite honest I’m more concerned about the senate changing hands because with partisan gridlock in congress things still improve but it will probably be more painful and devisive than it needs to be.

      • “…with partisan gridlock in congress things still improve but it will probably be more painful and devisive than it needs to be.”

        We are at a point in history where there is an active debate regarding the relative value of socialism vs. the free market. A debate that has never been heard or engaged in by the public at large, let alone the vast majority of politicians of both parties. It is going to get much worse before it gets better.

        If you think it is bad now, wait as the election draws near, and polls show progressives likely to lose both houses of congress and the presidency. Romney has already been accused of killing some poor guys wife, and Ryan of wanting to kill grandma. Everything either one of them says is called evidence of racism. And let’s not forget the GOP “war on women” (brought to you by the party of the molester and putative rapist Bill Clinton – key note speaker at their convention no less). And all this with polls showing Obama in the lead.

        Progressives have never been known to go gentle into that good political night.

        You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

      • Gary M

        Sitting far away in scenic Switzerland, I’m inclined to agree with your prognosis.

        The Obama campaign machine will become even more nasty as it becomes more desperate – and Romney’s will fall into the trap of following suit.

        So the real debate, as you point out, between “big government all-out socialism on borrowed money” and “limited government free market capitalism with a social face but fiscal restraints” will not take place.

        A pity.

        But, as they say, “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings”

        Max.

      • If you think it is bad now, wait as the election draws near, and polls show progressives likely to lose both houses of congress and the presidency. . . . And all this with polls showing Obama in the lead.

        Rarely is the crippling inability of deniers to face reality illustrated so perfectly. Gary can’t even finish one paragraph without directly contradicting himself.

      • Hard core leftist Senator Sen. Clare McKaskill on Bill Clinton: “I think he’s been a great leader but I don’t want my daughter near him.”

        And don’t get me started about the late, “great” Teddy Kennedy.

  33. My Climate Debating Summary

    The scientific part of man made global warming is the relationship between forcing and change in CO2 concentration given by:

    dF = 5.35*ln(C/Co)

    The unscientific part of man made global warming is IPCC’s “accelerated warming” given by:

    http://bit.ly/OaemsT

    This data shows, the oscillations in GMST before 1970s are smoothed out. The warming phase of the oscillation after 1970s is untouched and is called man made global warming.

    IPCC’s Magnification factor = 0.18 deg C per decade / 0.06 deg C per decade = 3

    True climate sensitivity = IPCC’s Climate sensitivity / 3 = 3/3 = 1

    Climate sensitivity without feedback = 1.2.

    Therefore, the climate system has a slightly negative feedback.

    • David Springer

      There is a further question as to whether the feedback in reality is negative such that there won’t even be a 1.2C rise per CO2 doubling. The highest mean annual temperature ever recorded was 34.5C from 1960-1966 in Dullal, Ethiopia which is a salt desert 100 feet below sea level at 8N latitude. Dullal gets 2-3 inches of annual rainfall so as well as the hottest place on the earth it’s among the dryest as well.

      This raises two important questions.

      1. If water vapor has a positive feedback then why is the hottest place on the earth a very dry place?

      2. If no-feedback CO2 causes an increase in temperature then why has the record in Dullal set over 50 years ago not been broken given that the only thing that has changed about Dullal since 1960 is that atmospheric CO2 in Dullal has increased 25% from 315ppm to 395ppm?

      No one among the AGW faithful has given me a satisfactory answer to either of those questions. Other than crickets chirping the only response was that there are many factors that determine mean annual temperature. Undoubtedly that’s correct but in Dullal there don’t appear to be any factors that have changed and we are still left with the fact that the hottest place in the world is also one of the dryest and that a 25% increase in CO2 did not raise its mean annual temperature. These are the facts. Feel free to provide consensus climate model assumptions which explain these facts.

      • No one among the AGW faithful has given me a satisfactory answer to either of those questions.

        Were you by any chance paying them to educate you in basic science and math?

        A few hours a week at a community college would serve you better.

        Remember: ignorance on your part does not constitute an obligation on my part. ;)

  34. Curiuos George

    Any “climate consensus” is currently built on on an extremely shaky foundation. We simply don’t know yet enough about climate – and not even about weather. Computers are not yet powerful enough. We should abandon this farce and attempt to do a better weather forecast. Potential benefits are huge. Only planet saviors will be out of luck.

    • David Springer

      We don’t know enough about feedbacks to increased CO2 to say if the feedbacks are positive or negative. The evidence points to negative with or without water vapor as a factor (Dullal, Ethiopia). Even David Springer is suprised that in the the dryest possible real-world circumstance where essentially no change except for a 25% increase in atmospheric CO2 there was no observed increase in surface temperature to go with it.

      • Positive or negative feedbacks is irrelevant. The heat transfer problem at the Earth’s surface and at the TOA needs to be solved (properly analyzed) first. On the face of it, CO2 either cools or does nothing (insignificant effect). The question is also if it’s possible to significantly change the atmospheric CO2 without changing the climatic factors. Observations tell not really.

    • C George, good thoughts. Climate prediction is incredibly complex. I am not confident about a global average temperature including night, day, tropics and artics. Much less what it was 1,000 years ago. Especially when derived from tree rings that are impacted by rain as well as temperature. We are in the investigation stage until models predict changes with some fidelity. 15 years with no temperature increase except when they go back and change the data to lower past temps and increase present ones. Computors are pretty powerful but the software is lacking. Weather forcasting first and then extend it out with those models into the future.

  35. After scanning these comments I conclude that no one has read WUWT today. The link below is illuminating, especially the included link titled IPCC Sausage Factory.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/22/first-look-hit-on-the-head-with-a-hockey-stick-some-selected-emails-from-the-recent-noaa-foia-release-2-years-later/

  36. Max, Let us know when you write the check

  37. Hmm .. climate science based on models and apocalyptic scenarios, not real world evidence on feedback…. and behind the ‘science,’ political activism out to destroy the capitalist economy, Dokterrs Strong, Strangelove and Company.

    The battle in the long war between the parliamentary democracy of the Open Society and the centralist aims of the Closed Society is on going. From the Cold War ter Green Environmentalism and the global controls of the faceless men , er forgot Naomi, and the faceless women. Down with the IPCC and UN Treaties, I say !

    (And read the above links ter WUWT and Jo Nova.)

  38. The AGW sand castle was built by smoothing all GMST oscillations before 1970 and leaving the warming phase of the oscillation after 1970s untouched and calling it man-made.

    http://bit.ly/OaemsT

  39. All the IPCC WGI reports should have come to the same conclusion.

  40. Pielke Jr, Monckton, Curry… and Oreskes?

    No, no. Oreskes gets it. So do most of us, at this point:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/the-ipcc-sea-level-numbers/

    Not to dissimilar from consensus. It’s about the change in how sea level rise is reported, including WAIS. This is not unintelligible.

    The last report bases estimates only on thermal expansion of the ocean; TAR did that and also attempted to include the potential for land-based ice sheet disintegration.

    “The TAR would have had similar ranges to those in Table SPM-3 if it had treated the uncertainties in the same way”

    Too bad Oreskes’ title is being abused by deniers to distract from this review of the scientific literature and policy advice. The literature shows the ice sheets are melting.

    Try to drag yourselves up to speed and understand what the science, and especially the most current science, actually indicates (see work by Schaeffer, for example).

    The issue is more rate of rise and the decision we make at this time in regard to AGW, like the decisions made all the time by society on important issues, is… well, important.

    You want precise numbers? Not going to happen. And you don’t need them, to get the picture. Don’t pretend you do.

    Critical thinking does not involve shrugging, and buckling down for the ride. At least, that is unnecessarily nihilistic and powerless. Or self-centered, if you happen to be people who will be least impacted or who have the resources to cope.

    Oh, I see. An uncritical fan of Ayn Rand, hmm?

    • “The projections include a contribution due to increased ice flow from Greenland and Antarctica at the rates observed for 1993 to 2003, but these flow rates could increase or decrease in the future.”

      From summary for policy makers. The projections do include ice flow.

      • Yes, it just extrapolates what is happening now to be on the conservative side. It doesn’t say anything about tipping points like the WAIS collapse that would add ten feet to sea level, possibly because they knew that would attract all the attention and they can’t be certain of it (given the focus of the response to An Inconvenient Truth).

      • Jim D, some may argue it was conservative and it will increase. Some may argue it was taking a short term increase in ice flow trends and assume that it would continue at that rate. They couldn’t achieve an agreement so they went with what was happening. The fact remains that stating ice flow was not included at all is completely erroneous.

      • If anyone said that they ignored all ice flow, even that going on now, I would disagree, but I don’t see it.

      • Martha | August 24, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply

        “The last report bases estimates only on thermal expansion of the ocean; TAR did that and also attempted to include the potential for land-based ice sheet disintegration.”

      • The original post says AR4 decided not to assume any changes in flow rate from Greenland and Antarctica.

  41. Martha,

    I am curious if you can provide one example of the sort of decision we need to make?

    By that I mean an example which would have a real impact.

    Forget physics.

    Forget complex modeling code or statistical analysis.

    All one needs is simple arithmatic to understand that not one of the myrid proposals or actions, be it cap and trade, a carbon tax, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, etc, etc, etc, will impact world climate over the next 100 years. If a decision of measure or action will make zero difference, why do it?

    • tim
      Your false premises lead to false conclusions. And I really don’t think it is reasonable to demand that I repeat everything, here, that was ever published or discussed, just for you.
      I’m not your secretary.

      • Martha,

        I see you are a tap dancer.

        I did not ask you to repeat “everything” that was ever published or discussed. I made the simple request for one example. That should not take much effort on your part, unless you can’t come up with one.

        And exactly what false premises have I started out with? I’ll bet you can’t even identify my premise. (I’ll help you out – it is the fact that the US and Europe make up only a portion of the amount of yearly CO2 production and that even if any or all of the proposals put forth to limit CO2 were to be put in place and achieve their stated targets, the impact to global CO2 would be insignificant with regard to the impact of CO2 on climate change.)

        You are correct on one point. You are not my secretary. And based on how you responded, I am not sure you would be qualified for the job, as you clearly did not understand what I wrote.

      • Which false premise?

        This one: “If a decision of measure or action will make zero difference”

        You attempt to make the conditional argument : if a decision/measure/action will make zero difference, why do it?

        If p then q.

        If you take a closer look at what you are arguing, it is something like…

        Measures and actions will make zero difference. Only measure and actions that will make [some difference] [a lot of difference] [some difference to this or that group of people] should be taken. Such and such [a group, a value, an ethical or economic or political consideration] matters most because… blank. Therefore, you conclude something along the lines of ‘There is no good reason to take any form of action’.

        What do you think happens to your argument, when Not p?

      • Martha,

        Is English a second language for you?

        Or maybe it is common sense that is foreign.

        Most people understand that spending resources on a course of action which is assured of not achieving the goal it claims to address is a waste of those resources.

        Here is a real life example for you. A power plant I once worked at had a pigeon problem. Pidgeons had found a place they liked, but as the pidgeon poop was a health hazard, the company needed to get rid of them. They spent more than $100,000 on the effort, using high tech noise makers, fake owls, calling in experts, all to no avail. They finally had to resort to requiring employees who had to work in the area to wear a mask. (They rejected the solution originally presented to them – eliminating the pidgeons with a shotgun. )

        It does not require a PhD to recognize that the company wasted $100,000. But then that was peanuts to the several million they spent on replacing check values because they believed they had a failure problem caused by flow issues. Turned out they were wrong about the cause of failure and the money spent on corrective action was wasted. and if they could have done it over, they would have acted differently. That is what I mean when I say it is a waste to enact measures that will have no effect.

      • Martha

        You really are trying to dance and not really answer a simple fair question.

  42. “The fact remains that stating ice flow was not included at all is completely erroneous” steven
    “If anyone said that they ignored all ice flow, even that going on now, I would disagree, but I don’t see it” Jim D

    Then steven re-pastes, in response to Jim, apparently in an attempt by steven to support his own absurd statement, that I said ““The last report bases estimates only on thermal expansion of the ocean; TAR did that and also attempted to include the potential for land-based ice sheet disintegration”

    Whoa steven. And major points for Jim D.

    Steven apparently does not know what we are talking about.

    Obviously, the science and discussion of the science in regard to ice melt is a huge part of the fast-evolving science in both reports. One would have to be unconscious, to be unaware of this. However, as noted, it is reported differently in TAR than in RAR; and in the latter, the reliable estimates are those for thermal expansion.

    All of the above is correctly noted by others, discussed in the science links, in the post, and in commentary by Ms. Curry.

    No one can do steven’s reading, for him.

    Nice to talk with you, Jim D.

    • I know what the science says. When you say only the thermal expansion is included perhaps I didn’t read thermal expansion and ice flow into that. My mistake?

      • “the last report bases [reliable] estimates only on thermal expansion of the ocean.”

        Does that help? Or maybe “the last report bases estimates thermal expansion”

        Yes, either is much better phrasing.

        The central point in the abstract and paper and commentary that we are discussing here, is “the decision not to provide a WAIS prediction in the Fourth Assessment Report”

        We are discussing the difference between how the literature, which obviously includes ice melt (especially of interest to those of us in the North) is reported between the Third and Fourth reports. The difference being discussed is the above, namely, the “decision NOT to provide a WAIS prediction in the Fourth Assessment Report”. Right?

        Maybe, you can make an effort to read comments in the relevant context. Your effort to understand what someone else says, is part of your responsibility for dialogue.

        Apparently, it is difficult for many people to understand the difference in how the science was reported. The estimates (including important upper limits) of SLR in the Fourth report were based on thermal expansion in contrast to the Third report, based on thermal expansion AND ice melt. Confidence levels for estimates based on thermal expansion in the last report were high; for ice melt, low. For reasons already explained in the report itself, in the above paper, in Ms. Curry’s comments.

        My apologies for distracting you to such an extent, from the main point of this paper, and this post. On the other hand, my friend, you are making it abundantly clear why Ms. Curry is correct in her commentary that reporting practice made it very difficult for some people to get this one point.

        So thank you, because I will now take another look at her arguments, in that regard.