Do scientific assessments need to be consensual to be authoritative?

by Judith Curry

The drive for consensus within the IPCC process, and its subsequent public marketing, has becomes a source of scientific weakness rather than of scientific strength in the turbulent social discourses on climate change. – Mike Hulme

A provocative essay by Mike Hulme is included in the recent volume Future Directions for Scientific Advice in Whitehall.  Some excerpts:

One of the common public expectations of science is that it speaks authoritatively about the way the physical world works and thereby what the physical consequences of different human actions and policy interventions are likely to be. Science and scientists are believed to offer something different to public life compared to that offered by politicians, journalists, lawyers, priests or celebrities. But what is meant by ‘authoritative’? And how does scientific practice best earn and maintain its authority in the face of public challenge and scepticism? The question I wish to answer can be put simply: does the pronouncement of a scientific consensus on an issue such as climate change increase or weaken the authority of science? And for whom exactly are such pronouncements effective – scientists, different publics, policymakers, politicians?

In favour of consensus

The argument in favour of consensus as authoritative is that it reflects what science supposedly is uniquely disposed to be good at: applying rules of reasoning and inference which lead unambiguously and universally from evidence to conclusion. The same evidence presented to the same disciplined mind leads to precisely the same conclusion. In this view, a lack of consensus would undermine the authority of science because it might suggest either that conflicting conclusions had been reached prematurely or that personal or cultural biases and values had protruded into the reasoning process.

This is the position that seems to be implicitly assumed by many protagonists in the climate change debate, whether they be mainstream or critical voices.

It is also the view of many critics of the scientific mainstream who assert that science properly conducted – through unbiased reasoning processes – should lead to unanimous consent. By pointing out the mere existence of minority dissenting positions outside the IPCC’s statements, ipso facto they undermine the authority of science in the eyes of the public. This of course reflects a very particular (purist) view of scientific knowledge which scholars such as Bruno Latour have described as the ‘modernist illusion of science.’ And yet it is one that offers a wide variety of protagonists a useful defence against cultural relativists.

Against consensus

But the argument against consensus as authoritative, at least in the context of wicked problems like climate change and at least in the way in which the IPCC has promoted it, seems to me to be compelling.

First is an argument by analogy. Majority rule works very effectively in maintaining authority in social institutions such as parliaments and the courts, which involve voting MPs and juries. Consensus is not required for a ruling or judgement to carry authority in wider public settings. And whatever differences we might insist on between the nature of scientific enquiry and political (or jury) debate, we must recognise that scientific assessments such as the IPCC are established explicitly as social (i.e., deliberative) institutions which scrutinise evidence.6 There are many other dimensions to the making of authoritative and trustworthy institutions than unanimity amongst members; for example, fair and agreed procedure, respect for dissent, acceptance of outcomes. Maybe the IPCC’s authority – in the eyes of critics and publics, if not also in the eyes of politicians – would therefore be enhanced if it acted on its own rules for minority reporting in the Summary for Policymakers (which it never has).

Second, the requirement of consensus is pernicious – in order to protect the authority of the group it encourages agreement in a group of experts where there is none. Maybe the IPCC should more openly embrace the idea of expert elicitation, or even expert voting as has been suggested by David Guston: “A scientific body that does not partake in … a politics of transparent social choice – one that hides both its substantive disagreements and its disciplinary and sectoral interests beneath a cloak of consensus – is not a fully democratic one.” For example, such an approach to disagreement could usefully have been applied to the case of the sea-level rise controversy in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report. It makes disagreements explicit and better reflects the quasi-rationality of scientific deliberation. Another example of how this might strengthen authority would be the case of the IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group and the embrace of expert elicitation.

And, third, the presence of officially sanctioned – even welcomed! – credible minority views, thereby revealing the extent of dissensus, actually enhances the authority of science. It shows that it is ‘OK to disagree’ and thus indicates that the deliberative procedures of a body like the IPCC  are fair and accommodating to the full range of accredited views. For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics. In the case of large international assessments like the IPCC . . ., the process should not just allow minority reporting in its rules of procedure, but ensure that minority reporting is actively facilitated. As Dan Sarewitz has argued: “Science would provide better value to politics if it articulated the broadest set of plausible interpretations, options and perspectives, imagined by the best experts, rather than forcing convergence to an allegedly unified voice.”

Climategate, consensus and the weakening of authority

The single-minded drive for an exclusionary consensus was the true tragedy of Climategate. Not that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice, but that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data. When these practices were publicly exposed, the tenacity of scientists’ defence of in-group/out-group boundaries paradoxically weakened the public authority of climate science rather than strengthened it. The outcome was the exact opposite of what climate scientists in CRU and elsewhere thought they were doing. As a consequence, climate scientists handed the scientifically-credentialed critics of climate science an easy target – exclusionary practices which run counter to the nature of open debate and criticism. And this in turn handed to politically-credentialed critics of mainstream climate policies a powerful diversionary strategy. It opened the way to convert the agonistic spaces of legitimate and healthy democratic argument about climate policies into distracting – yet attention-grabbing and entertaining – arguments about the authority of science.

By refusing to embrace and legitimise minority reporting, the IPCC has opened the way for powerful counter rhetoric to emerge around the idea of consensus. The relationship between scientific evidence and public policymaking is sufficiently underdetermined to warrant large-scale assessments such as the IPCC finding multiple ways of accommodating dissenting or minority positions. They would be the more authoritative for doing so.

JC comments:  I find this essay to be very interesting and insightful, particularly in context of my own paper No consensus on consensus (which has now been published).  My argument against an explicit consensus seeking approach for climate change science was twofold:

  • it introduces bias into the scientific process
  • it is unnecessary in context of decision making strategies under deep uncertainty, which arguably characterized the complex issues surrounding climate change.

Hulme argues that the emphasis on consensus can reduce the political authoritativeness of an assessment.

In this light, it will be very interesting to see what the reaction is to my forthcoming congressional testimony (scheduled for Apr 25, stay tuned).

632 responses to “Do scientific assessments need to be consensual to be authoritative?

  1. patrioticduo

    “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton

    • David Springer

      The phrases consensual science and bandwagon science are synonymous. I prefer the latter less flattering term. To be authoritative they need to be demonstrable and it only takes one investigator who is demonstrably correct. Anything else is opinion and you know about opinions they’re like aholes everyone has one and they all stink. Consensus opinion stinks REALLY bad.

    • Røyrvik provides a detailed Report on Consensus and Controversy
      The Debate on Man Made Global Warming
      Author Emil A. Røyrvik, Technology’and’Society’ Industrial Management 2013 SINTEF A24071 84 pp

      The first and simplest [conclusion] is that considered as an empirical statement, the assertion that “doubt has been eliminated” on AGW is plainly false. Although as documented the level of agreement in the scientific literature that AGW is occurring is quite extensive, the magnitude of dissent, questioning and contrarian perspectives and positions in both scientific discourse and public opinion on the question of AGW evidently contradicts such a proclamation.
      The second conclusion is that the scientific debate may be considered healthy. The levels and types of disagreement crosscuts most camps and categorizations, so that a presentation of two-sided war with a 97-98% majority consensus and 2-3 % group of sceptics and “deniers” is flawed. . . .
      Thirdly, we see that the normativity in the Brundtland statement has several problems when interpreted as a general statement about the practices, authority and truth claims of science in the context of science. In this context the form of dogmatism expressed by Brundtland, even explicitly
      asserting that raising further critical questions is immoral, is itself unscientific and contrary to the norms of the scientific institution from which she lends her authority in this case.

  2. It would be useful to have the senior leadership of the scientific community, such those of NAS, AAAS, ACS, APS etc. in the US, and the foreign academiies that seem to endorse the consensus vie of climate change explicitly discuss the points raised in by Mike Hulme and you, Judith

  3. “…ipso facto they undermine the authority of science in the eyes of the public.”

    With the IPCC we’ve in effect created a “Ministry of Climate,” something people should find deeply disturbing. George Orwell might well be rolling over in his grave…

  4. Maybe if a theory is unable to stand up under the sunshine of scrutiny, then the theory is a load of crap and those pushing the theory have some other agenda than seeking the truth, wherever it lies.

    • Coupla ‘Thoughts fer Today’ … (do I still have a franchise)
      concerning consensus and certainty from Einstein hisself.

      ‘If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called
      research, would it?’

      (The famous one.)’No amount of experimentation can ever
      prove me right, a single experiment can prove me wrong.’

      jest-a-serf.

  5. Doing science is about addressing problems not pleasing crowds..

  6. Steven Mosher

    ‘The single-minded drive for an exclusionary consensus was the true tragedy of Climategate. Not that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice, but that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data. ”

    Bingo

    • “…revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice.”

      You’re too generous Steven. I would say the M.M. hockey stick involved a pretty substantive fraud. I would also submit that actively scheming to keep alarmist papers from being published revealed fraudulent practices

      • Lousy syntax on my part….last sentence would better read..”actively scheming to keep alarmist papers from being published was by its nature, fraudulent practice.

      • Steven Mosher

        1. Do not overstate the power of your argument. One’s sense of conviction should be in proportion to the level of clear evidence assessable by most. If someone portrays their opponents as being either stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, intellectual dishonesty is probably in play. Intellectual honesty is most often associated with humility, not arrogance.

        2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist. The alternative views do not have to be treated as equally valid or powerful, but rarely is it the case that one and only one viewpoint has a complete monopoly on reason and evidence.

        ##########################

        Consider the counter tactics to over blown claims of fraud.

        From AMAC:

        “Paradoxically, Mann and coauthors’ defense of their paper made use of the ensuing firestorm at skeptical blogs. One key strategy was to cherry-pick criticisms, focusing on some with faulty premises and others that were worded imprecisely. Trivial, evasive, and misleading answers followed. A second notable tactic was the use of non-author RealClimate bloggers as proxies, thus blunting the public-relations impact of grudgingly-made concessions on technical points.
        .
        The message to journalists and the general public: “Even though skeptics’ criticisms are ill-informed, we’ve answered them in the language of science. The indifference of other climate scientists to this kerfluffle shows that there are no genuine issues here.”

        The claim of fraud overcharges the case. This kind of rhetoric works to enrage the already convinced. IT DOES NOT WORK ON THE UNDECIDED

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        pokerguy, Michael Mann’s hockey stick could have been fraudulent without the Climategate e-mails revealing it. As for preventing papers from being published, I don’t think that’s actually fraudulent. It’s definitely dishonest and unethical, but I don’t see a fraud.

        I think what Mike Hulme said is true. Not fair, but true.

      • Shall we open the Box of Intent?
        =================

      • S.M.

        I can see we’re all going to be beating each other over the heads with these 10 signs of intellectual honesty for some time to come.

        No need to re-litigate the hockey stick. The issues are well known and accessible to all. If you’re not willing to call Mike’s trick fraudulent, then so be it. I can’t get inside your head. I’m sure you have good reasons for the conclusions you’ve drawn. But if you’re going to be honest, I don’t think you can just dismiss those who think otherwise. There are too many good and plausible reasons to believe there was fraud involved. Perhaps the best we can do at the moment is agree to disagree.

      • Brandon,
        As to what constitutes fraud in this case, I’m not a lawyer. I’ll settle for “dishonest” and “unethical.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        pokerguy, there may be a case that preventing legitmate work from being published creates a fraudulent record in published work, and thus, is fraudulent behavior. I’m not sure. It’s especially hard to say since “fraud” may mean different things in a legal sense than a scientific one or in common usage.

        I don’t really see that it matters. It reminds me of when Arthur Smith kept trying to paint critics of Mann as accusing him of scientific fraud then saying they didn’t have a case. Like you, I’m fine with “dishonest” and “unethical.” I think those are damning criticisms regardless of whether or not we call something “fraud.”

      • Mann’s hockey-stick is worse than fraudulent. It is absurd. I find the claim that it is possible to know temperatures 2000 years back, to an accuracy of a thenth of a degree – absurd.

      • Steven Mosher

        Pokerguy.

        there is a difference between calling the HS methods wrong and calling the result dishonest, unethical, fraudulent.

        Lets see. to be dishonest it has to be wrong. to be unethical it has to be wrong. to be fraudulent it has to be wrong.

        So we can agree that it is wrong.

        When you go beyond that you are going beyond what is determinable given the current state of evidence.

        So, for example, if I found a mail where he said ‘ I know this wrong, but lets publish it anyway, nobody will ever figure it out ‘ then I’d have some evidence for dishonest or unethical or fraudulent.

        I have no such evidence.

        Put another way.. I think you actually weaken the case against it being wrong by over reaching on the charges about intentions.

        I will say from practical experience with folks who are well known AGWers that I get much more traction by simply arguing the case that the answer was wrong and that the practices were not the best, than you and others get by screaming fraud , especially when it is very tedious work to show that it is wrong.

      • Steven,

        Like the cops might say, I see means, I see motive. and I see opportunity. Moreover, Mann has not comported himself well since that time. That is he’s shown himself to be erratic, vainglorious, and deeply angry…aspects of character that would be consistent with fraudulent behavior. I’ve also seen him to be capable of rank dishonesty when he claims over and over again that those who criticize his works are part of a well funded “denier” campaign.. If he’s not lying, then he’s delusional, which is just as bad if not worse.

        All that said, again, I can’t get inside people’s heads. No, I can’t prove what he had in mind. And you well might get more traction with the warmist crowd by observing certain niceties so as not to step on anyone’s feelings. I appreciate that.

        But of course, I feel no such compunction.I have a right to my opinion as long as I can defend that opinion reasonably well.

      • Just to add wrt to means, motive, and opportunity…After writing that it occurs to me it’s mostly speechifying. The analogy doesn’t hold because it assumes facts not in existence…that is that an intentional fraud was in fact committed.

    • jakehearts the accountant

      Climategate exposed Michael Mann and Phil Jones collaborating to have others delete emails to thwart FOIA requests. Eugene Wahl is on public record saying this occurred and deleted emails in response to MM. May not be fraudulent but it was criminal at the time – despite no prosecution due to statute of limitations

      • jakehearts the accountant

        Ooops, need to be exact about this. Here’s Eugene’s statement.
        On the contrary, Wahl says, he was responding to a request by East Anglia’s Phil Jones that Mann forwarded to him “without any additional comment … there was no request from [Mann] to delete emails.”

      • David Springer

        Mann aided Jones in a criminal act. That makes Mann an accomplice.

    • David Springer

      Climategate revealed a lot more than tsk, tsk behavior.

      The hiding of the decline amounts to scientific fraud. Conspiring to keep articles skeptical of the official CAGW narrative out of peer reviewed journals was, well, conspiracy to commit scientic fraud. Conspiring to delete emails to circumvent FOIA requests is criminal and if it wasn’t for the statute of limitations Phil Jones would likely have been tried and convicted.

    • Can we move on from bashing Mann and his hockey stick and take a crack at the newest hockey stick?

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo1797.html

      “There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between ad 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century.”

      Ding-Dong the witch is dead the Medieval warm period witch is dead.
      However, the reports of the LIA passing are premature.

      Graphically, it is not presented as a hockey stick, but tells the same story.

      • It’s a waste of time, bob. I’ve tried to explain to people here and elsewhere that there never was a global *and* synchronous MWP but to no avail. Either people know what they are talking about wrt this topic, or they don’t and will not be corrected. Show them PAGES-2k and they will close their eyes that little bit tighter and block their ears that little bit harder.

        Probably while jabbering on about “fraud” and “the Team” and “Climategate”.

      • Bob, Can we go from Mann bashing? No. The wiggles or excursions in the paleo is the information. Mann’s method killed all the information and produced unrealistic confidence intervals. Mann was also named in the Steig et al Antarctic paper that smeared temperatures producing what appears to be more warming and once again, unrealistic confidence intervals. For something to be “unprecedented” is should at least be a couple of standard deviations outside of the “norm”. When you overly smooth the “norm” everything is unprecedented.

        If you like, you can call it demanding statistical accountability instead of Mann Bashing, but if the LIA was about 0.7 C less than the “norm”, today’s temperature are not quite one sigma above the “norm”.

      • Captain,.
        Just check out the new reconstruction, it puts us at roughly 2 standard deviations above the average for the whole period.

        I dont get where you put the Little Ice Age at 0.7 C less than normal. 0.9 C less than the last three decades of the 20th century maybe, is that your normal?

        Overstating the coldness and severity of the LIA is what I think you are doing, but it is a common aargument and I don’t buy it.

        Another study comes out reaching the same conclusions as Mann and the rest, they must all be birds of a feather.

      • Bob, the 1800 to 1850 period has two dips to about 0.7 with about a 0.5 dip around 1900 looking at everything but the pollen that looks totally weird, Arctic and Antarctic, using their 1961-1990 baseline.

        If you add in the Arctic trees, you can get a pretty good hockey stick. If you use just the Arctic, Asia and Australasia you can get a great hockey stick. Europe, North America trees and South America though, not that exciting. Europe btw has that more classic MWP LIA pattern with truly unprecedented warming from circa 1125AD to 1200 AD which was also in Asia and South America, about 1.25 C in only about 100 years!

        They have a spread sheet linked http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/pls/paleox/f?p=519:1:1159031812506475::::P1_STUDY_ID:14188

      • David Springer

        There’s not a global and synchronous warming today either. Some 30% of reporting stations report cooling since 1880. What’s your point?

      • bob’s got it, that bird is Nordic and of a cerulean hue.
        ========

  7. I find the subject of scientific consensus more nuanced. After periods of uncertainty that might range from very long (> 100 years for electromagnetism) to long (>50 years for Wegeners ‘continental drift’ plate tectonics) to surprising short ( only a decade or so for Newton’s gravitation or Einstein’s general relativity) the basic science idea becomes a settled consensus even though many details may remain to be clarified.
    Where the IPCC went wrong was trying to pretend such a consensus existed about AGW, ‘science is settled’ to paraphrase APS, ‘97% of scientists agree…’ when it provably did not and was not. The reasons they did that are IMO beyond science. To promote the climate change agenda weaning modern economies off fossil fuels (which both game theory and the tragedy of the commons in economics said would be impossible, and which Kyoto’s failure showed) it was first necessary to remove uncertainty as grounds for procrastination. The residual uncertainty was countered by the so called precautionary principle. Urgent to act anyway. And the urgency was enhanced by utterly ludicrous catastrophy scenarios such as those from Hansen on sea level rise.
    It was the crossover of science into public policy, readily embraced by climate scientists because of the additional funding that flowed to them, that has proven so toxic and troublesome.
    In sum, there is a place in science for consensus, when all the facts are in, all the evidence points one way, and multiple validations exist. But not before.

      • Michael Mann sure frustrates his enemies. They demonize him, try to destroy his career, but all to no avail. Mann stands firm like a knight in shining armor. I admire him.

      • David Springer

        Max _ OK | April 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

        “Michael Mann sure frustrates his enemies. They demonize him, try to destroy his career, but all to no avail. Mann stands firm like the Pilsbury Dough Boy a knight in shining armor. I admire him.”

        Fixed that for ya!

      • Max_OK fingers his Michael Mann bubblegum trading card and sucks his thumb.
        ============

      • Michael was awarded the prestigious Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union.

        David Springer was awarded a prize in a box of Cracker Jacks.

        Kim is prizeless.

    • Understand that those claims of 97% never came from the IPCC or the physical scientists involved. They came from activists. To the extent that they’re based on anything calculated, it’s based on creative arithmetic. I won’t bother with the whole thing, but plenty has been written on the origin of those numbers. It’s not meaningful.

      Like the whole climate issue itself, it’s all done with mirrors starting with poorly framed questions and working through bad accounting to specious conclusions.

      • Sure. But was a non-IPCC effort to reinforce the indefensible consensus meme about AGW science. And to marginalized those scientists who disagreed. Those are fairly easy to recognize political tricks, not appropriate in any dialog about science itself.

      • Careful, though. One thing I’ve noticed about this bunch is that they’ll pack multiple assertions, explicitly and implicitly, into once sentence, and then while you go chasing after one of the assertions, the others are implicitly validated by not being challenged. There’s a rhetorical danger in focusing on the narrow scientific/philosophical issue, and implicitly validating things that are wrong by not challenging them, also. There’s some serious rhetorical martial arts going on here.

      • But the IPCC and most of the CAGW pushing scientists also did not bother to correct the record regarding either the 97% meme or admitting when others work had been shown to have problems.

      • The 97% claim came from Zimmerman’s study where ~10k scientists were surveyed and 77 of the ~3k replies were selected as being from scientists 50% or more of whose published papers were on climate. Of those, 75 (ie. 97%) agreed with the proposition that human activity had an effect on climate. Since a clear majority of “sceptics” would I am sure agree with that idea, the whole “97%” idea is absurd.
        Sorry I don’t have the link to the paper right now but it should be easy to find.

      • A similar number came from the 2010 PNAS Anderegg-Schneider study “Expert credibility in climate change” that looked at the top publishing scientists in climate and categorized them as convinced by the evidence.

  8. Mike Hume writes “For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics.”

    Precisely. And this is what has NOT happened with those who should lead the scientific community; namely the scientific learned societies, headed by the Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and the World Meteorological Society..

    The Royal Society had a recent review of it’s statement on Climate Change, and it guaranteed that nothing would change by choosing only those members of the society who beleived in CAGW to be on the committee. ALL skeptics were deliberately EXCLUDED from the discussions. Now Lord Lawson has got the RS to agree to a meeting with the skeptics, and surely this noble institution should welcome this meeting, invite leading skeptics to attend, have the proceedings open to the public, and generally embrace a skeptical viewpoint. Will this happen? I doubt it, but we can always hope.

    The American Physical Society has recently announced a committee to review it’s stance on CAGW. All the members of the committee, except one, Dr. Judith Curry, are ardent supporters of CAGW. Our hostess is a welcome addition to this committee, but she can hardly be described as a climate skeptic. Will this committee be honest and scientific? I doubt it.

    These are fine words from Mike Hume, but I suspect they will be “All sound and fury, signifying nothing”.. Shalespeare, Macbeth.

    • I do hope that someone does bring to these meetings, the many stories of record snowfalls that have been occurring since October and that are still happening late in April, all around the Northern Hemisphere. When oceans are warm it does snow more. The stories that were spread a few years back about snow being a thing of the past have been busted big time. They said England would not see snow in the future. The future is now and England saw snow.

  9. If something is demonstrably true, a consensus isn’t necessary to acknowledge the thing to be so.

    AGW Movement feels compelled to establish a consensus.

    Deduce from there.

    Andrew

  10. Willis Eschenbach

    A very interesting posting, Judith. It was all good except one part that made me laugh out loud …

    Not that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice, but that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data.

    Their practices were so fraudulent that the only reason they were not subject to a criminal investigation was that the Statute of Limitations had run out. No fraudulent practice? The man is willfully blind.

    Other than that blatant attempt to excuse fraudulent and even criminal practice, it was a good essay … but the sad part is, he’s still madly trying to uphold the mainstream climate science consensus about Climategate, that they did nothing wrong.

    So in spite of his understanding that consensus is not the right path, he still can’t bring himself to take an unblinkered look at Climategate … ah, well, at least he’s moving forwards and writing well and powerfully against the IPCC consensus nonsensus.

    Many thanks, your blog continues to be timely, relevant, and interesting.

    w.

    • Steven Mosher

      1. Do not overstate the power of your argument. One’s sense of conviction should be in proportion to the level of clear evidence assessable by most. If someone portrays their opponents as being either stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, intellectual dishonesty is probably in play. Intellectual honesty is most often associated with humility, not arrogance.

      2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist. The alternative views do not have to be treated as equally valid or powerful, but rarely is it the case that one and only one viewpoint has a complete monopoly on reason and evidence.
      #####################3

      It is fair to say that what Hulme is talking about is fraudulent SCIENTIFIC practice. It’s clear that Jones and other’s failed to carry out their institutional duties ( not fraud) when they failed to respond to FOIA requests.

      failing to respond to a legal request ( the charge would have been contempt of court I believe) is not fraud. To keep things clear I’ll suggest that people should actually call out the actual crime committed. last I tracked it down it was contempt. I could be wrong, but it was not fraud.

      • Not to sure about that Steve. When you submit a paper you have to sign off on the work. Most journals demand that you affirm that to the best of you knowledge all the contents are truthful and you are not witholding data that does not support your thesis. Mann knew exactly how poor his reconstructions were and ‘finessed’ them to a degree that is as close to being untrue as makes no difference.

      • Funders of the dereliction have a claim, but don’t feel damaged yet.
        =============

      • There was no fraud in the common law sense, as a tort. Fraud requires:

        1) A knowing misrepresentation by the defendant to the plaintiff

        This is problematic – publishing even dishonest research is not a representation to any particular person, as contrasted with advertising aimed at potential customers.

        2) Reliance by the plaintiff on the misrepresentation by the defendant.

        No one spent any money or incurred any expense due to the publications. Public policy actions taken by governments might meet this requirement, but the government would have to be the plaintiff, and that just ain’t gonna happen.

        3) Damages to the plaintiff caused by the reliance on the defendant’s misrepresentation.

        Same problem as with number 2.

        There is no claim against a publisher of even intentionally false research by the public at large. It is not unlike trying to use nuisance law to seek damages for CO2 emissions from users of fossil fuels. It simply does not fit the model of a tort.

        You can call anything fraud. But in the common legal usage of the term (something CAGWer are loathe to be limited by), Climategate does not constitute fraud. I prefer to leave the Orwellian redefinition of terms to the progressives.

      • Steven Mosher

        Doc,

        I think we misunderstand each other. WRT climategate it told us nothing about the HS that we already didnt know. Willis specifically referred to the ICO finding which was about the holland matter and the failure to follow FOIA guidelines.. So I’m not re litigating the HS.

        Put another way; Save the outrage for Gleick.. proportional responses
        play better than fire and brimstone.

      • David Springer

        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Mosher. It doesn’t follow that if you accuse someone of something unsavory that the accused is innocent and the accuser is intellectually dishonest. The classic example is “just because I’m paranoid that doesn’t mean no one is out to get me”.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Mosher. It doesn’t follow that if you accuse someone of something unsavory that the accused is innocent and the accuser is intellectually dishonest. The classic example is “just because I’m paranoid that doesn’t mean no one is out to get me”.

        ###############

        huh? well I said or assumed nothing of the sort. The simple fact is that some people continue to take two categorical responses to climategate:
        They committed murder or they were just boys behaving badly. Neither of these is accurate. Hulme ingores certain issues and characteristically willis overcharges the case.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, tort law is concerned about damages. That makes it inevitable the hockey stick wouldn’t be a “fraud.” One might be able to argue Climategate shows fraud in how they responded to FOI requests, but otherwise, I don’t think there are any cases where damage could be shown.

      • Fraud (Cambridge Dictionary) : the crime of getting money by deceiving people

        Research funding was obtained following the HS, and the HS was deceptive. There is a clear case for fraud.

      • Deceptive, meaning Mann intended to deceive with the hockey stick? Where’s the evidence?

        Deceptive, meaning Mann’s hockey stick is a lie? Who proved it’s a lie?

      • Steven – the fraud is that Jones and others, if they are worth their pay, knew theirs was but one solution to a complex problem but by their non-scientific actions attempted to force as the only reasonable solution. Jone’s failure you highlight is a symptom of the attempted larger fraud. You are ignoring motive and a clear attempt and intent to commit fraud, and it is not flattering. No cookie.

  11. Steven Mosher

    Judith,

    Somewhere in the climategate mails– it’s like dumpster diving but if need be I’ll go and find it– there is an exchange on the strategy of de-legitamizing critics. The strategy is laid out to attack critics because they do not publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Along comes Soon, along comes McIntyre and one particularly sharp scientist notes that this was a particular weak point of the PR strategy against the critics. For once a critic got published in the peer reviewed literature, the choices narrow considerably.

    A) Under Mann’s assumption that ‘bad guys” had gotten inside the wire
    one can push for a purge of the journals..
    B) one can make sure that critical papers get the Jones treatment, where
    phil ‘goes to town” on a paper.

    C) One can back peddle from claims about the importance of peer review and stress that it is necessary but not sufficient.

    D) one can play the stupid game of count the papers, which in a science
    debate makes you look like a product manager for Klout.

    Having overstated the importance of peer reviewed literature, one gets stuck with narrow tactical choices once that barrier is breached.

  12. Susan Corwin

    The Problem of “Consensus”
    I view that the phenomena of having a “consensus” is not science, but rather management.

    The Dilbert comics are entirely too close to organizational reality.

    Pointy haired bosses,
        i.e. folk who are highly paid to manage things where they really
        don’t have a clue,
    are entirely too common.

    Unfortunately, having little real knowledge or competence in an area where they need to make a high return/loss decision, they receive conflicting input from the “knowledge folk”. They are forced to assess, not the result/data/science, but the perceived competence of the specific individuals. Additionally, a PHB needs to have CYA to keep their own, well paid, positions, in the case of failure, yet they need to project that they are “right”:

    The “knowledge” individuals then, could argue technical merit but not be either effective nor useful.
    The result tends towards a “belly-bucking contest” to see who is the “dominant’ one and thus the “correct” result.

    If one remembers that there are big dollars riding on the result:
        position, reputation, authority, etc,
    one is then not surprise with bullying, going with the crowd (more CYA), sleight of hand, etc.
    => “Consensus” is just CYA writ large where other course-correcting feedbacks are suppressed.

    The solution?
    There really isn’t one for human organizations.
    Darwinian selection tends to occur but the collateral damage can be huge as the belly-bucking incumbents fight dirty to stay in the money and have little actual risk of personal loss.

    • Susan, since I come from your world, first as a consultant paid for opinions on decisions, than as a senior exec paid for decisions ( and maybe some shared results), and finally as an entrepreneur paid only for results, I can totally relate to your group dynamics. Dilbert is not the half of it. Corporate politics is more viscous than political politics, because results are often more immediate, more personal, and more ‘fatal’. Indeed Darwinian.

      But that is not what academic science should be. The scientific method and critical thinks are not new discoveries. There is a ‘way’. It can be taught, and it can be followed. I did with my NanoCarbons discoveries/inventions for high power energy storage DLC, which is how I wandered into the weirdly fascinating secondary energy issue of climate change.

      Academic tenure should be extended to those who show a willingness to pursue truth independent of politics. In an era of political correctness, that is no longer the case. Science should focus on pursuit of ‘truth’. In an era of politically correct (PC) governmental grant dollars, that is no longer the case. On this, I can speak from personal experience despite recommendations from the governor, senior senator, and senior representative from the state to which the grant dollars would have gone in re the energy materials. (Not a battery, and not exotic with no hope of success, so not PC energy storage). Science journals should hold themselves to the highest standards of disclosure for the sake of replicability, (unlike us mere money grubbing capitalistic inventors). Even that is no longer the case, with a litany from Mann to Marcott just in climate.

      Don’t mean to rant. My basic point above and here is simply that important lines have been disfunctionally crossed. That is correctable. Our gracious hostess is doing her part ‘above and beyond the call of academic duty’ to put things right with this blog. Uncertainty monster, intellectual honesty/dishonesty/laziness, ‘no consensus on consensus’ are shining beacons on some hill (to paraphrase a late great president…). Which is why I spend time here participating, despite the fact that many regular denizens do not seem to grok that basic. Lobbing in an occasion hopefully well referenced and logical ‘fact bomb’ guest post hopefully makes a small contribution to Dr. Curry’s large cause. The Etc. part is much more important than the Climate part to me.
      Highest regards

      • Rud, I work with young, clever and dedicated scientists who don’t have a hope in hell of getting tenure. Holding out a tenure carrot has, I suspect, already had unfortunate consequences. My Institute awards a cash prize for researchers who get a Science or Nature paper. This is going to bite PI’s in the ass when overeager post-Doc’s, with an eye to their future, cut corners. It is so damned easy yo cherry-pick your datasets to get exactly what yo are looking for. Poor mentorship and the loss of institutional knowledge is a recipe for disaster. I see people publishing at rates that mean that nothing they do ever goes wrong. Well my stuff always goes off into the rough >75% of the time. I have a paper in submission that I can’t explain, and I blood well did the work.

      • David Springer

        Dilbert is derived from real world experiences. Departures are talking animals of course.

        You’ve maybe heard that cops keep an unregistered weapon handy so in case they screw up they can tie it to a suspect. In the corporate world one keeps an unpopular employee handy so in case of a screwup there’s someone to blame. We call these the designated scapegoat. No project is without one in a well managed department.

      • David Springer

        A top notch engineer of course arranges things so another department is the designated scapegoat. Rule #1: don’t chit where you eat. The uber-engineer makes another country the designated scapegoat. Personally I had China all lined up to take the fall. The rep as pinko IP-stealing commie bastids makes it a slam dunk. But all my projects with them were wild successes so I never had to execute plan B as it were. Subsequently of course they took over the manufacture of desktop and laptop computers. I write this from a Lenovo which I must say is a faithful ripoff of the laptop industry we pioneered in the US in the 1990’s. I played a very large role in moving the design grunt-work and manufacturing there too. It was in the best interest of the market as a whole. There’s no frickin’ way this silly Lenovo could be designed and manufactured in the US and sold retail for $399 at Fry’s.

      • ” David Springer | April 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm |

        Dilbert is derived from real world experiences. Departures are talking animals of course”

        No experience with Ph.D. students then; you have to all but muck them out.

      • Rud,

        It looks like a few commercial firms in the San Antonio area will be looking for ways to minimize the pain of losing their net metering benifits.

        http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Power-Grab-San-Antonios-CPS-Looks-To-Eliminate-Net-Metering?utm

        ….”Without warning, last Tuesday CPS Energy’s homepage featured an article laying out the utility’s rationale for replacing net metering with a new tariff called “SunCredits.” The new program is set to go into effect for all new solar customers and all current commercial solar energy users in November, with residential solar customers grandfathered into net metering for ten more years. The move is sending shock waves through the solar industry and solar consumers in San Antonio…….”

        PG&E would also like to get rid of net metering.

    • Susan Corwin

      +1

      “Consensus” is just CYA writ large”

      I love it!

      And, as in this case, when there is a preconceived agenda to sell, it ensures that this agenda gets sold.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      Rud , Susan

      You must have worked in some crappy organizations.

      • k scott denison

        Perhaps, but not out of the ordinary.

        While “crappy” as you say, the difference between these organization and “science”, though, is that there is typically some form of accountability in these organization – it is nearly impossible to BS one’s way through an entire career – because at some point one must deliver (or be perceived to deliver) real, measurable results.

        “Science”, on the other hand, seems to be the place to be as long as you are willing to go along with the prevailing winds. Measurable results (papers, funding, etc.) all come with that willingness because the processes of review have been “taken over” by the few, “religious” zealots. Play ball and you’re “in like Flynn”. Fail and you’re not likely to be successful.

      • Steven, at the time it was a Fortune 50 and one of Time’s 10 Most desirable corporations to work for, with about 150,000 employees WW. I was one of the top 15 execs WW. The market cap had expanded by 10x in less than 10 years, making many many millions. So by no ‘objective’ measure, more accurate than any in climate science, was it a “crappy organization” at that time ( to quote your exact characterization).
        It was lauded and fetted, and still full of the human frailties that Susan so accurately describes. What ivory tower do you live in?

        DocMartyn, I feel your pain. And you are good, if your research only goes off into the rough 75% of the time. My batting average has been worse, but in poker terms I learned long ago to fold early. Too bad some of the climate ‘poker’ players have not learned that yet. They will ‘lose’ big.

      • Steven Mosher

        Rud.

        Please note that I said crappy organization, rather than crappy company. So, your retort is really off point. There is no doubt that companies with crappy organizations can be successful, including motorola.

        So lets get to her claims and I’ll relate my experience which is all I have.

        “Unfortunately, having little real knowledge or competence in an area where they need to make a high return/loss decision, they receive conflicting input from the “knowledge folk”. They are forced to assess, not the result/data/science, but the perceived competence of the specific individuals. Additionally, a PHB needs to have CYA to keep their own, well paid, positions, in the case of failure, yet they need to project that they are “right”:”

        1. having little real knowledge
        2. They need to make high return loss decisions.
        3. They receive conflicting input
        4. They judge on the perceived competence of their people rather than the “data” or science.

        I can’t think of a single boss or manager I’ve worked for who exhibited #4. Not ivory tower stuff. Hmm Northrop, and technology companies.

        So like I said maybe you worked in crappy organizations. Good companies, nice profits, but otherwise crappy. I’ve got zero experience with guys who exhibit #4. Maybe you have a bad boss picker. dunno.

      • I’ve worked in some crappy organizations and some great organizations, and many in between, and the best of them are about like Susan describes, and it only goes downhill from there. Tell me about your pet unicorn.

      • Lots of organizations (e.g. Intel, Samsung, P&G) profess, and even practice, the idea that there should be widespread and vigorous debate until a decision is made, after which everybody is supposed to go along and make it work without going back and relitigating the original points. (Even the Bolshevik party had that idea–it was part of what they called “democratic centralism.”) That approach is actually adaptive in many circumstances, because without decision closure no effective implementation can take place. In time-pressured competitive settings, effective implementation in a finite time frame is a necessary condition for success; a sub-optimal decision vigorously executed will often be more profitable than an optimal decision implemented too late.

        But without that vigorous and well-informed debate on the front end, whatever is decided is likely to be right only by chance. I don’t think we’re nearly to that point with climate issues. It seems to me that the situation with climate change is not at all like that of, say, a semiconductor firm that has to make a choice in the next six months about which alternative process technology to commit to for its next generation of multibillion dollar fabs. Rather, to the extent there were any urgency, it would be to start on a path of making small incremental changes over a long period of time. And the evidence even for that, both physically and economically, still seems to me far short of what we should require to close off the discussion and go into implementation mode. The day of the pointy-haired climate boss has not yet arrived.

      • Steven, I had the same experience in the Queensland Public Service as did Rud and Susan elsewhere, where managers who had neither managerial nor specialist skills ganged up to argue that specialist skills weren’t necessary for managers, but didn’t invite the specialists to senior meetings, and demanded one-page briefs for themselves and Ministers on the most complex of meetings. I think that I wrote excellent one-page briefs, including for the Premier or Treasurer on a high proportion of Cabinet submissions for several years, but most decisions were not well-informed and were generally driven more by back-protection/self-advancement/mate-supportship than any public interest. Over 11 years, my analysis was never faulted, but often ignored. Occasionally (not from me) my analysis showing that projects supported with $A100s of millions got into the public domain, the Premier never contested it, just said “We’re doing it anyway.” When projects failed with heavy losses (such as $A450m in one case, $A700m on a pointless dam), those who got promoted for pushing them through never carried the can, nor did the ministers.

        While I found very high standards with many in the UK and Australian public services, there were some areas similar to Queensland. You’ve been lucky.

      • Sorry, “my analysis showing that projects had no hope of success and would incur heavy losses” …

    • John Carpenter

      I had a Dilbert moment today with a very frustrated design Engineer of a leading Aerospace manufacturer. He found a solution to a problem using a material the company I work for can provide. He called me to ask if there was any way of obtaining the material in the form he needs using any other process than the one we use. I had to tell him ‘not at this time’. The current process has been considered environmentally ‘bad’ for quite some time (not the material, but the process by which the material is obtained). Because of this, some pointy haired boss decreed to the engineering department years ago ‘thou shalt not use any material that requires the use of this process on new hardware design… forever’. There is no other way to obtain the material that works for this engineer in the form we can provide using environmentally ‘friendly’ processes. None of the ‘alternative’ materials we have developed will work either, because they do not have the properties the desired material possesses. No other material can as effectively ‘fix’ the engineering problem as the material we can provide wrt to repeatability and cost. His testing of available and similar materials has demonstrated this. The engineer has demonstrated a working solution to a problem that needs to be fixed using our material, but he can’t use it because a pointy haired boss somewhere way up the chain made a decree that the process used to obtain the material was ‘bad’. Oh well, it’s not the first time I have had such a conversation.

      • John, I sympathize, but you’re jumping to the conclusion that using the environmentally unpopular material would not cause significant costs or risks to the company. If the company has some sort of overall “green” policy intended to provide superior PR (and/or lower susceptibility to lawsuits and protests), then they may not want to make an exception for this one case. Sometimes consistently adhering to an overall policy rather than going case by case is optimal, even when you incur high costs in specific cases.

        Of course, it’s also possible that there is no overall policy, that there is an overall policy but it is mistaken, etc.

  13. I would say, as a general statement, a consensus is needed in things that pertain to human health and require decisions on action (drugs, food, safety, environmental) otherwise we end up in a wait-and-see state usually resulting in policies taking place after the effects have become more obvious which may result in finger-pointing at the delayers if the consequences of delay were known beforehand.

    • Jim D

      You have described why “consensus” is a good thing when it comes to resolving policy decisions.

      Hulme has described why it is a poor thing when it comes to science.

      He has also described how it has been misused by IPCC in order to promote a political agenda.

      Max

      • Consensus is not used to resolve science. Its only relevance is in applying science to policy decisions regarding public safety for example. Every scientific paper probably has dissenters, but over time certain views prevail as they are borne out by more supporting information. For climate this could take some time by the nature of the problem.

    • Jim, what is needed in policy-making is not a consensus but that a majority (or those with ultimate decision-making power) is sufficiently convinced on the basis of available information that a certain course is warranted – whether that course is a particular action or no action. Australian PM Bob Hawke was a great believer in consensus, and worked hard to create it, but knew the buck stayed with him – he’d take decisions without consensus whenever he felt it necessary.

  14. What is the consensus among scientists on abandoning the scientific method? William James helps us understand why today’s schoolteachers are incapable of performing a search for pure objective truth such as
    we associate with scientists’ pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.

    Our ‘modern-day’ plastic schoolteachers have the same brain cells of the ancients when, as James observed, objective truth, truth in whose establishment the function of giving human satisfaction in marrying previous parts of experience with newer parts played no role whatsoever. Our modern-day professors of ancient thinking still feel compelled to adhere to their ancient truths for human not scientific reasons and no matter how delusionary they become.

    For example, in the modern-day schoolteacher in whom anti-Americanism has become a reflexive reality we saw this ‘marriage’ of beliefs in global warming alarmism with a hatred of George Bush because both of these ‘truths’ proved useful to the Government-Education Complex during the recent Gorean age and in the end science had nothing to with it.

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that those in academia who were afflicted with ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’ would also be afflicted with Hot World Syndrome. However, from a cause and effect point of view, the order should be reversed. The Left knows that Al Gore would have signed Kyoto in a New York minute!

  15. k scott denison

    I too find the follow sentence interesting:

    “Not that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice, but that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data.”

    The legal dictionary definition: Fraud: A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

    The Dictionary.com definition: Fraud: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

    Using these definitions, I believe that the CRU emails revealed fraud. Most indicative is: “…by concealment of what should have been disclosed…” with respect to the Mann reconstructions.

    • Steven Mosher

      manns work is hardly at the center of the mails. wrong suspect, bub

      • k scott denison

        Huh. Refuse to respond to FOI, “hide the decline” but I’m off base. Cool. So glad you’re around to,play proctor.

      • Steven Mosher

        FOIs were to CRU not mann.
        Hide the decline related to the WMO cover and Briffa’s work.
        durrr.

    • Re Michael Mann, NPR backed away from saying he committed “fraud” in the legal sense. I think NPR wants to make it clear their anti-Mann article didn’t mean Mann did anything illegal when it accused him of fraud. This may have something to do with Mann’s law suit against NPR.

    • k scott, given you quoted Dictionary.com definition of “fraud,” I wouldn’t be surprised if almost everyone who posts at Climate, etc has been guilty of fraud at one time or another.

  16. A problem with publishing a possible minority opinion is that the skeptical viewpoint is fractured into many very small factions, as we see here on this blog, mostly consisting of one scientist each. Even Lindzen and Spencer have differences that may lead to it being hard for them to have consensus on how to even come up with a climate sensitivity with Spencer indirectly having said methods like those used by Lindzen can’t work. How many minority opinions should there be and who gets to write them, and can they criticize each other?

    • Steven Mosher

      Big problem.

      Personally, I would solve it by making the skeptics decide who they would elect to write minority report..So, one might suggest that every chapter have a minority report. if skeptics can’t come up with a system to choose their representatives, well tough. It would actually be funny and instructive to watch them struggle with the problem. I will bet that they could not even field a team to handle a minority report per chapter.. and answer all the comments they would have to address from reviewers..And the stark difference in the quality of the work would be there for everyone to see. in black and white.

      Bottom line: they dont want to write a minority report, they want to folks to deny them.. Give your critics exactly what they ask for.

      • Mosher you are just being inflammatory here now, you have said yourself that with a little Klimate Kash it would be easy to field a minority team.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Models – Tim Palmer, Julia Slingo, James McWilliams, Michael Ghil – many others

        Natural Variability – Clements, Burgmann, Wong, Tung, Latif, Zhang, Zhu, Loeb, Willis etc, etc

        Abrupt climate change – the NAS committee on abrupt climate change – Woods Hole, The Royal Society, legions of others.

        Just the facts Maam. The world is not warming for a decade to three more and the background warming is about 0.08 degrees C/decade. These are the most important questions – and if the fifth assessment report doesn’t answer these simply then the die will cast in favour of ignorance and deception.

        The consensus has passed you by guys.

      • Mosh, see my answer to Jim.

    • No two “mainstream” climate scientists actually agree 100% either. (Some of that popped up in Climategate.) What they do is paper over their differences to present a united front. The skeptics are a more cantankerous lot and less prone to such effective collective action, but that kind of faux-solidarity is common in scientific disputes that have nothing to do with policy. Read David Hull’s Science as a Process for some eye-opening examples from the field of systematic taxonomy–allies joined at the hip in savage methodological battles turned out to be unable to collaborate on textbooks because their views were too different from one another.

    • It’s the same with the consensus hypothesis, which is all over the place. For example, when AGW became significant.

    • Jim, if, say, the IPCC projects a certain position but there are in fact many defensible alternative positions, then this is important information for anyone deciding how much weight to give to the IPCC’s position and claims to particular degrees of certainty. It’s not a question of choosing a sceptic representative, but of acknowledging that a range of reputable scientists have views which differ from the IPCC consensus. This is the approach needed to properly inform decision-makers, it is the way I worked and most economic policy advisers I know work or worked. I often felt that there were strong grounds for a particular policy, but my job was to present the pros and cons of alternatives, not to promote my own preference. That has not been the IPCC approach.

  17. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry argues against  “an explicit consensus-seeking approach for climate change science.”

    A strong argument in favor of explicit consensus-seeking approach to science — and an affirmative precedent too! — is provided by public-health statements like Giovannucci et al., Diabetes and Cancer: a Consensus Report, (CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2010).

    Summary and Recommendations

    • Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of some cancers.

    ● The association may be due in part to shared risk factors.

    ● Possible mechanisms include hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and inflammation.

    ● Patients with diabetes should undergo appropriate cancer screening.

    ● Healthful diet, physical activity, and weight management reduce the risk, and improve outcomes, and should be promoted for all.

    ● Many research questions remain.

    The above is the scientific consensus of the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.

    If the IPCC statements were retitled, “Carbon-Burning and Global Warming: a Consensus Report, would there be any substantial difference in the mode of science being practiced?

    Conclusion  Explicit consensus-seeking is a time-honored scientific tradition, that is appropriate whenever significant public-welfare implications are associated to scientific findings.

    —————–

    Remarks on “Big Carbon”  Obvious to all citizens is that “Big Carbon” oligarchs routinely seek to sustain their wealth and power by systematically cultivating doubt and astro-turfing denialism.

    A common-sense question  If you enjoyed a trillion-dollar yearly revenue stream, would you astro-turf and/or cultivate doubt, to protect that treasure?

    Big Tobacco surely did … and is Big Carbon any different? The world wonders!

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    • Yes, an explicit example of the general case I mentioned above at 12:46pm. I also will note that the difficulty is that politicians get no credit for preventing bad things from happening (as they don’t happen), but they for sure get the blame for not preventing them if someone predicted it and they didn’t act. A precautionary principle of a political kind.

    • What evidence have you that routine cancer screening is effective?
      You have made a case that there is a consensus that cancer screening is a cost-effective method of reducing the deleterious effects of cancer; please cite your evidence.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn politely requests “What evidence have you that routine cancer screening is effective?”

        Thank you for your question, DocMartyn.

        Weinstock’s free-as-in-freedom survey article Progress and prospects on melanoma: the way forward for early detection and reduced mortality. (Clinical Cancer Research, 2006) provides a comprehensive discussion of the multiple, tough scientific issues that are associated with the crafting of actionable scientific consensus statements in regard to cancer screening (or any other scientific topic).

        It is a pleasure to supply intellectually honest references to assist your understanding, DocMartyn!

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      • You have not answered the question. You have instead cited a paper which demonstrates that early detection of melanoma provides a better outcome.
        Now answer the original question.

        What evidence have you that routine cancer screening is effective?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, perhaps I am too distracted carefully checking my spouse’s and my moles to respond to your (frankly puzzling?) questions regarding the merits (or demerits?) of cancer screening.

        Further questions are better addressed to your family physician, DocMartyn!

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      • I am a cancer researcher and work in the worlds largest medical center.
        You asserted that there is a consensus on cancer screening.
        this is not the case in any way, shape or form.
        Indeed, the value of cancer screening and the ability to arrive at an a prior cost/benefit analysis of different screening programs causes levels of disagreement that make the arguments amongst ‘Thermogeddonists’ and ‘Denialists’ look like a vicarage tea party.

      • k scott denison

        Doc, couldn’t agree more. I work for a large medical devices company who would benefit from the idea that screening is cost effective.

        This is one of the areas that FDA and other regulators are very focused on, making false claims about the value of screening.

        What FOMD seems to overlook is the real cost – both monetary and human – of false positives and the downstream, unneeded medical procedures they create. Some of those procedures have measurable mortality rates associated with them. So those false positives not only add to the cost of healthcare, but they may result in deaths.

      • Guaiac X 3 per annum p 40-50 y/o.
        ======================

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        FOMD is mr. bogus today

    • Steven Mosher

      Since you off up that document as an exemplar let’s have a look at

      two things:

      1>Recommendations in this report are solely the opinions of the authors and do not represent official position of the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society.

      2: the large portion of the report dedicated to what is not known, some of which I show below.

      Note FOMD that you selected this study freely and offer it as an exemplar. Accepting that please note the ABSENCE of an endorsement and recall that these folks follow Judith’s suggestion against endorsements. So, you picked it. You want it as an exemplar, so you’ll have to accept that they practice just the kind of thing that Judith asks for. Second, note the clarity and breadth with which they cover unknowns. Again, YOU PICKED THIS.

      “Unanswered questions
      Diabetes has been consistently associated with increased risk of several of the more common cancers, but for many, especially the less common cancers, data are limited or absent (6) and more research is needed. Uncertainty is even greater for the issue of diabetes and cancer prognosis or cancer-specific mortality. It remains unclear whether the association between diabetes and cancer is direct (e.g., due to hyperglycemia), whether diabetes is a marker of underlying biologic factors that alter cancer risk (e.g., insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia), or whether the cancer-diabetes association is indirect and due to common risk factors such as obesity. Whether cancer risk is influenced by duration of diabetes is a critical and complex issue and may be further complicated by the multidrug therapy often necessary for diabetes treatment (as discussed in question 4). What is also required is a better understanding of whether diabetes influences cancer prognosis above and beyond the prognosis conferred by each disease state independently.”

      Unanswered questions
      A critical question is whether the associations between diabetes and risk of certain cancers is largely due to shared risk factors (obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and aging), or whether diabetes itself, and the specific metabolic derangements typical of diabetes (e.g., hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia), increase the risk for some types of cancer. While it is clear that lower levels of adiposity, healthy diets, and regular physical activity are associated with reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and for several common types of cancer, these factors are generally interrelated, making the contribution of each factor difficult to assess. More research is needed to understand the role of specific components of healthy lifestyles independent of others (e.g., diet quality independent of body weight). In addition, further study of those who are of normal body weight but have hyperinsulinemia or are sedentary, and of those who are obese but have normal metabolic parameters, is necessary to better understand the relationship between diabetes and cancer risk. Little is known about how modifiable lifestyle factors influence prognosis in cancer patients. How genetic variants that influence diverse aspects of diabetes (e.g., insulin resistance, β-cell depletion) influence cancer risk may provide insights into the nature of the diabetes-cancer relationship. Addressing these questions will require large, long-term observational studies, with their inherent limitations. Although not powered for cancer outcomes, long-term trials such as the Look AHEAD trial of the effects of weight loss on cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diabetes (48), and follow-up of cohorts in lifestyle studies such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, may provide further evidence for the impact of lifestyle improvements on cancer incidence.

      ‘Major unanswered questions
      As previously outlined, there is a growing body of epidemiologic evidence supporting a link between diabetes and the incidence and/or prognosis of some cancers. It is recognized the association may not be causal; diabetes and cancer may be associated simply because they share common predisposing risk factors such as obesity. However, a number of plausible biologic mechanisms have been described that may account for this link, including effects of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and inflammation on cancer etiology and progression. Mechanisms by which these factors interact with cancer risk require further study. Another important area for investigation concerns the issue of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes in cells of non-classic insulin target organs, such as the breast, colon, or prostate. The assumption that in the setting of insulin resistance of classic insulin target organs (liver, muscle, adipose tissue) at least a subset of cancers remain insulin-sensitive, or that insulin insensitivity to metabolic pathways does not extend to resistance to growth-promoting properties, needs to be more closely examined. How common is this? And what are the dose-response characteristics of insulin stimulation of such cancers?

      Research is ongoing to provide a clearer understanding of these possible links, and this information may be relevant for prevention and optimal patient management. Most of the supporting evidence on biologic mechanisms comes from in vivo and in vitro studies. Since multiple prediagnostic biospecimens are rarely available on cohorts large enough for studies of cancer, many epidemiologic studies are only able to evaluate a single time point when measuring levels of insulin, glucose, or other analytes. The risk of long-term exposure to high levels of insulin is relatively underexplored and has direct relevance to the cancer risk associated with diabetes duration and use of exogenous insulin. In addition, most of the large studies have only fasting levels; postprandial (area under the curve) insulin levels have not been adequately examined.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher, that example was selected because scientists understand the relation between CO2 and AGW MUCH BETTER than we understand the relation between cancer-risk and diabetes.

        The scientific community ethically and rationally offers actionable advice regarding the latter … and similarly for the former.

        So it’s not complicated, eh Steven Mosher?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Steven Mosher

        Fan

        You are cherry picking one aspect ( c02 ) of the agw story and ignoring other areas, can you say aerosols and clouds? The good doctors wrote about all aspects and in that short document dedicated a large portion of ink to what they didnt understand. Furtherm perhaps you neglected to respond to the endorsement point.

        No dodging. did you or did you not proffer this exemplar which follows Judith’s recommendations about endorsements?

        Now, dont go cherry pick the parts of it you liked.. dont go down that road, you’re better than the skeptics you criticize.

      • Or not.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher declares “Fan, you are cherry picking one aspect ( c02 ) of the agw story and ignoring other areas, can you say aerosols and clouds?”

        Lol … “aerosols and clouds” … “aerosols … and … clouds” …

        Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications
        James Hansen, Makiko Sato,
        Pushker Kharecha, and Karina von Schuckmann

        The two dominant causes [of Earth’s energy imbalance] are changes of greenhouse gases, which are measured very precisely, and changes of atmospheric aerosols. It is remarkable and untenable that the second largest forcing that drives global climate change remains unmeasured; we refer to the direct and indirect effects of human-made aerosols.

        Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        [continued]

        Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        [coding error fixed?]

        Aerosol climate forcing today [implies] substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes.

        Aerosol forcing includes indirect effects on clouds and snow albedo.

        Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change.

        First, although climate forcing by human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) is known accurately, climate forcing caused by changing human-made aerosols is practically unmeasured.

        Uncertainties in aerosol forcing and ocean mixing (climate response function) imply that there is a family of solutions consistent with observed global warming.

        Please let me say, Steven Mosher, that it’s *terrific* for everyone on Climate Etc to appreciate that you and James Hansen’s collaboration are entirely in agreement with regard to aerosols!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Steven Mosher

        FOMD.

        You are still avoiding the two issues. The issue is this.

        You provided an exemplar of a consensus document. That document illustrated two key aspects that Judith has asked for.

        A) an unflinching look at uncertainties
        B) no endorsements from organizations.

        I have asked you if you agree with this. That’s a fair question since you provided the exemplar. Your refusal to answer direct questions make you an enemy of more discourse.

      • From the abstract:

        > Epidemiologic evidence suggests that cancer incidence is associated with diabetes as well as certain diabetes risk factors and treatments. This consensus statement of experts assembled jointly by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society reviews the state of science concerning 1) the association between diabetes and cancer incidence or prognosis; 2) risk factors common to both diabetes and cancer; 3) possible biologic links between diabetes and cancer risk; and 4) whether diabetes treatments influence the risk of cancer or cancer prognosis. In addition, key unanswered questions for future research are posed.

        Our emphasis.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard.

        From the actual report

        ‘Recommendations in this report are solely the opinions of the authors and do not represent official position of the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society.”

        Yes, the experts were ASSEMBLED by the organizations, However the organizations did not endorse the findings and the finding remain the opinions of the authors and NOT THE OFFICIAL POSITION of the organization that assembled the experts.

        So. you are no friend of more discourse.

      • The IPCC ain’t the American Diabetes Association. The IPCC is the consensus panel:

        A consensus statement is a comprehensive analysis by a panel of experts (i.e., consensus panel) of a scientific or medical issue related to diabetes. A consensus statement is developed immediately after a consensus conference at which presentations are made on the issue under review. The statement represents the panel’s collective analysis, evaluation, and opinion based, in part, on the conference proceedings. The need for a consensus statement arises when clinicians or scientists desire guidance on a subject for which there is a relative deficiency of comprehensive evidence that might otherwise allow for a more definitive statement to be made.

        Consensus statements are published in American Diabetes Association journals and other scientific/medical journals, as appropriate. Once written by the panel, a consensus statement is not subject to subsequent review or approval and does not represent official association opinion. Listed below are recent consensus statements.

        http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/suppl_1/s139.full

        Our emphasis.

        Here’s what the ADA looks like:

        http://www.diabetes.org/about-us

      • Steven Mosher

        Willard,

        The issue I raised is endorsements by organizations. Not the issue of consensus. But two issues

        1. The issue of official endorsements of publications or positions by organizations
        2. The issue of including extensive material detailing the doubts and uncertainties.

        My point remains unchallenged. the official organizations did not endorse the findings. they explicitly did not endorse them. That preserves their role as an organization. Judith’s has had issues with these types of endorsements in the past by organizations. So its not about the IPCC endorsing anything or the IPCC being the body of consensus. Its about organizations endorsing the work.

        So, this is a factual question. Did these organzations explicitly withhold their endorsement yes or no?

        second. Is this type of refusal to endorse just the kind of thing Judith has been recommending yes or no.

        1. did they withhold endorsement
        2. is this the kind of thing Judith would recommend

        You can start by answering yes or no.

        Nothing follows from your agreement or disagreement but I just want to know if you see the sky is blue when I see the sky is blue.

        If not, there is no discourse

        1. did they withhold endorsement. yes or no
        2. is this the kind of thing judith would recommend. yes or no.

        If you cant answer direct questions, you have no honor

      • Hark, hark, honor, har, har.
        ========

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher, it’s not clear (to me, or anyone?) precisely what you are complaining about.

        • The IPCC is (of course) merely a panel of experts (that’s what the “P” stands for, eh?) … it is *not* a professional organization.

        • Some professional organizations may vote formally to endorse selected IPCC documents … but needless to say, none are compelled to do so!

        As for “scientific authority” in the legalistic sense of the word “authority,” in the end there is none, and in fact *never* has been any!

        Informally, the degree to which a panel statements is regarded as authority is regulated by the number, quality, and unity of the panel members. Thus reasonable folks may differ (obviously!) on the degree to which a given scientific statement is “authoritative.”

        Example The seventy-eight authors of the Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia — whose analysis so strikingly affirms that the Mann hockey-stick is real — can be viewed as a de facto panel of exceptionally competent scientists, whose findings may reasonably be regarded as authoritative to a high degree.

        That’s plain common-sense, eh Steven Mosher?

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      • What does the P of IPCC stand for?

        My understanding is that it refers more to the government representatives that make the formal decisions than to the scientists.

      • Heh, politicians authoritative to a high degree. Fan, what you just said.
        ===============

      • Pekka’s point is a good one.

        More broadly, many people are getting their knickers in a twist over the word ‘consensus’, mostly in relation to their own assumptions.

  18. David L. Hagen

    Hume raises excellent points. The current status of global climate models is abysmal. See Roy Spencer’s Global Warming Slowdown: The View from Space and his graph where he compares 44 CMIP5 models against UAH and RSS temperatures from 1975-2012 for data, and 1975 with projections to 2025 for models.
    ALL 44 models appear TOO HOT compared to the last two years data. i.e., the CMIP5 mean appears to be running > 95% outside of the data (one side of 2 sigma away).
    This strong divergence indicates likely systemic errors in ALL CMIP5 models. The models should be distributed about the data, not all running hotter than the data. Simpler (politically incorrect) nature dominated models like those of Nicola Scafetta appear to be doing much better.
    This IPCC / CAGW striving towards “consensus” appears to have given us a serious case of lemming like political bias towards high CO2 sensitivity. Until the missing or miss calibrated physics is identified, we need ROBUST DISSENT NOT “consensus”.
    Bring on the “Red Team” to kick the tires and identify the problems that the “blue team” is blinded to or politically refuses to acknowledge.
    All IPCC reports should include “minority reports” reviewing the published science that is being ignored by the current political elite. If not, then we need private or government funded dissenting reviews like those of the Non Governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
    Its time to restore “climate science” to the scientific method, not “consensus”.

    It would help to have an “Italian Flag” vote for each section in the IPCC report to show the confidence of the authors in the science reviewed.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David L. Hagen asserts “The current status of global climate models is abysmal.”

      But fortunately, the three *main* pillars of climate-change science continue to gain in strength.

      Focusing solely upon the weakest pillar is tantamount to embracing “magical skepticism” … ain’t that right, David L. Hagen?

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      • An usually I find your posts not worth reading. But I was curious about your three main pillars of strengening climate science. Clicking through, to my amazement discover they are defined by you.
        One of the three is paleoproxies. To the extent that these have been strengening (a debatable proposition), then eliminating the problematic Tiljander which Mann got upside down, recognizing that varve thickness must be adjusted for compaction at increasing depth, revising the dendro errors in MBH,… Shows two things. First, the warmth of the MWP, the cold of the LIA, and the underestimates role of natural variability. Second, that all the more recent paleo proxy estimates suggest significantly lower ECS than the AR4 consensus. I guest posted on that here last year. Both things weaken rather than strengthen the ‘consensus’. So even using your own idiosyncratic definition of climate science pillars, what you say simply is not true.
        Which is why most of your emoticoned postings can safely be ignored on a blog that is attempting to discuss real science.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse
        FOMD suggests  “Let us reflect upon the four pillars of climate-change science:

        • Pillar #1: transport theory and

        • Pillar #2: energy-budget analysis, and

        • Pillar #3: paleoclimate correlations, and

        • Pillar #4: dynamical and/or statistical analysis (uncountably many, see for example Roy Spencer’s 1997 “The State of Climate Measurement Science“).

        Rud Istvan declares “I find your posts not worth reading.”

        Thank you for assisting Climate Etc readers to a better appreciation of the limited scope of your scientific interests, Rud Istvan!

        Please allow me to suggest, that many folks who are bent upon learning as little science as feasible preserve their ignorance by confining their studying/thinking to the tabloid-level gossip that Anthony Watts/WUWT serves-up in steaming heaps.

        Why not switch, Rud Istvan?

        This would eliminate all risk of learning new (and possibly unsettling) climate-science, eh?

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      • FMOD first pillar9transport) is a broken ruin,at best,.his reference to primitive equations is the proof that the problem is little understood.

        Problem 1 There is no theory of statistical mechanics in far from equilibrium systems for transport solutions.

        Problem 2.In harmonic oscillators the classical laws do not hold eg Fourier.

        Problem 3 In (an)Harmonic oscillators you cannot even guess the direction of heat transport as transport is strange Eg Eckmann.

      • David L. Hagen

        fan
        Time for a reality check. See Research to date on Forecasting for the
        Manmade Global Warming Alarm
        Testimony to Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, Space and Technology–March 31, 2011

        The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts of
        (1)a substantive long – term rise in global mean temperatures in the absence of regulations,
        (2) serious net harmful effects due to global warming, and
        (3) cost – effective regulations that would produce net beneficial effects versus alternatives such as doing nothing.
        Without scientific forecasts for all three aspects of the alarm, there is no scientific basis to enact regulations.In effect, it is a three – legged stool.
        Despite repeated appeals to global warming alarmists, we have been unable to find scientific forecasts for any of the three legs.

  19. Who trusts the UN? When it comes to politicized science even a Nobel has become more the mark of the devil than a serious scientific award.

  20. What is point–e.g.,

    Kevin Trenberth: “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to show that specific global and regional changes resulting from global warming are already upon us. The future projections are for much more warming, but with rates of change perhaps a hundred times as fast as those experienced in nature over the past 10,000 years.”

    Wm Gray: “It is by no means clear that the global warming we have experienced over the last 30 and last 100 years is due primarily to humaninduced CO2 rises. The globe experienced many natural temperature changes before the Industrial Revolution. How do we know the recent warming is not due to one or a combination of many natural changes that were experienced in the past? There is no way Dr. Trenberth or anybody else can, with any degree of confidence, say that future global warming may be a hundred times faster than anything we have seen in the past. This is pure conjecture.”

    Trenberth made the And, Trenberth would be the very sort of person who would be tagged to to approve contrary opinions. And, yet his statement above was made in October 2009 and he obviously knows that since then he was wrong back then because now he’s saying we can’t find the heat he just knows is there.

    • Waggy, when you quote people, it’s a good idea to provide links to the original source. Otherwise, readers may suspect you are misrepresenting the speakers by misquoting and/or quoting out of context, and are doing so for your own gain or purpose, which of course could be construed as fraud.

      • If a reader really cared they could Google a debate between Kevin Trenberth and William Gray in October 2009, right?

      • Readers shouldn’t have to look up the sources of your quotes. If you don’t indicate your sources, many will just think you are incompetent at best and crooked at worst.

      • Agree with Max_OK. It’s lazy, discourteous and too frequently associated with blatant misrepresentation.

        You should always link to (or at very least, specifically reference) your sources.

      • Excerpt from, We Are Not In Climate Crisis — Dr. Gray’s rebuttal to Dr. Trenberth’s comments:

        9. “And we should be outraged that our politicians have not represented us well in that way. By the same token, the Chinese ought to be just as outraged that Americans are putting about as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” This statement shows how Trenberth (and the warming advocates in general) have isolated themselves from the economic reality of the global economy. Being “outraged” in Dr. Trenberth’s context means that you believe rising levels of CO2 have been the primary cause of global temperature rise, and that this will continue in the future. I and many of my colleagues do not believe this to be true. We owe our industrial society and elevated standard of living to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have won out over other energy sources because they are the most economic and the most efficient form of energy. We need to maintain a vibrant growing economy so that we can afford a large commitment to research alternate energy sources. This will entail emitting higher amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. To cut fossil-fuel use so drastically would cause a global upheaval beyond anything Dr. Trenberth imagines. It would also create extreme economic hardship and, at the same time, do virtually nothing to alter global temperatures, as no less than global-warming alarmist Dr. Jim Hansen recently admitted in a court of law. It would keep the non-developed and developing world in a state of grinding poverty. In addition, studies have shown that full adoption of, for example, the proposed Kyoto Protocol would reduce warming only six percent by 2100 compared to “business-as-usual.”

        ~ William Gray, Dr. William Gray and Dr. Kevin Trenberth: The Global Warming Debate Continues, (Part II, 10/10/09)

      • BBD
        The chart you linked to seems highly misleading.

        The rate of sea level rise has been approximately 3.2 mm per year +/- .4 mm per year since we have had a reasonably accurate and consistent method of measurement. The chart you linked to had data for prior to the satellite era that is highly suspect especially in showing the large decline in sea level just prior to 1992. In addition the chart misrepresents what should have been expected to happen between from the time AR4 was released and the present time. The chart should have had as a baseline an expectation that sea level would rise at a minimum of 3.2mm per year +/- .4 mm. This should have been the essential floor of expectations. Sea level had been rising at near to that rate for an extended period and there was zero reason to have expected the rate of rise to lower. The planet is near to historical low sea levels. http://www.google.com/search?q=hallam+sea+level+curve&hl=en&biw=968&bih=541&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=b_Z2UfzpHqjj2QXLnYCQDg&ved=0CDQQsAQ

        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        Sea level has risen at a reasonably steady rate since the satellite era (late 1992) with no increase in the rate of rise. Every analysis used by the IPCC to describe the great potential harms of a warmer world assumed that the rate of sea level rise would accelerate, but it has not. You are either being obtuse or untruthful to try to claim that sea level is rising as was expected.

      • Rob Starkey

        Absurd comment. Showing the deep paleoclimate sea level and claiming that this means anything in the context of modern AGW-influenced SLR is ridiculous. Desperate, even.

        The data and graphs in the CSIRO link are what they are. You are simply resorting to evidence denial because you don’t like what the evidence tells us.

        The red curve in both panels is the satellite composite SLR reconstruction – you link to U Colorado’s version. How you can deny what is in your own links is beyond me.

        SLR is real. Just like every other indicator that demonstrates energy accumulating in the climate system as the long-predicted consequence of radiative imbalance caused by GHG forcing.

        Denying the evidence doesn’t make it go away.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The steric sea level rise is some 0.69mm/yr. There is very little change is volume over the period.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=12

      • BBD

        “SLR is real”

        Yep.

        And it has been ever since the early 19th C.

        Lots of decadal ups and downs, though.

        It rose slightly more over the first half of the 20th C (2.0 mm/year on average) than over the second half (1.4 mm/year), but the decadal average rate bounced around from -1 to +5 mm/year.

        Max

      • manacker

        Lots of decadal ups and downs, though.

        Not recently. Just ups.

        Evidence denial.

      • and manacker, if I never see that old, wrong Holgate *poster* again, it will be too soon.

      • BBD

        Sorry you don’t like the results of the Holgate 2007 SL study.

        It gives a comprehensive summary of SL trends in the 20thC.

        Check it out.

        Max

        PS There is nothing “wrong” about the Holgate study. Just “evidence denial” on your part

      • Actually manacker, I agree. I shouldn’t have said “wrong”. I should have said that Holgate (2007) provides some insight into C20th SLR change but that this is of limited use in estimating future SLR.

        Recent decades – eg satellite record – provide evidence of a strong, monotonic trend. Most expert opinion acknowledges that there is a real likelihood of a non-linear response from the WAIS which would drive a non-linear SLR later this century.

        So what you are doing is both evidence denial (satellite record and modern SLR trend) and misrepresentation (pointing back to historical SLR reconstructions as if they were any guide to future SLR).

      • Oh you are tiresome, steven. Do you *seriously* think that Chambers et al. is suggesting that

        – SLR is purely an artefact of an oscillation

        – SLR will therefore fall in the next few decades

        – thermal expansion does not affect SLR

        – AGW does not exist and will therefore cause no SLR because there will be no thermal expansion and no ice melt

        Do you? Really?

        Go away with your nonsense.

      • They are saying to be cautious oh brave climate warrior lest you fall on your sword again.

      • What is the quantified effect of this hypothesised oscillation on SLR trend since 1985? The abstract does not say, but I presume you have read the full paper since you are referencing it here.

      • Answer *all* the questions, steven.

      • And I have no idea what you mean by “again”. My recollection (which is excellent) is that you lose every argument we have because you don’t really understand the materials you reference. Possibly because you haven’t actually read them.

      • Relax, BBD, almost five years ago we were promised that the rise of sea level would be halted.
        ============

      • No, I sure haven’t read the entire paper. I have read what I linked. It seems sort of pointless to know what the estimations are when they aren’t sure it is real, doesn’t it? I am doing the wise thing and waiting to see. You, on the other hand, are doing what you always do, knowing everything regardless of whether what you know is right or not.

      • You are wasting my time again, steven.

      • Hurry, hurry, busy be, building sand castles, against the skeptic sea.
        ============

      • BBD, can changes in heat transport affect the global climate? Yes or no please. I need to see if you can actually learn anything. I already know you don’t remember it if you do.

      • BBD, People like “steven” don’t understand the distinction between oscillations and trends. Or they understand the difference, but prefer to conflate the two as a means to propagate FUD.

      • Web, show me where I lack understanding. A simple paste of an example and an explanation of where my understanding is lacking will suffice.

      • BBD, can changes in heat transport affect the global climate? Yes or no please. I need to see if you can actually learn anything. I already know you don’t remember it if you do.

        WHT is right: you are stupid. You never got the point. OHT does not change by itself. It does so in response to a FORCING. Try reading your own references. You might learn something. Although I doubt it, since you clearly cleave to denial rather than intellectual openness.

      • kim

        Please take your witless trolling somewhere else.

        Thank you.

      • BBD, now I see why you kept pasting that paragraph at me. So tell me, since it was refering to transitions, are we now in snowball earth or have the ice caps completely melted? I haven’t looked yet this morning.

      • steven

        Oh, the penny finally drops does it? Did we finally read the words?

        Now all you have to do is admit that you were wrong. Again.

        At this point you do not get to ask *me* any more questions. Since you picked this fight, *you* can answer the questions I asked you:

        Do you *seriously* think that Chambers et al. is suggesting that

        – SLR is purely an artefact of an oscillation

        – SLR will therefore fall in the next few decades

        – thermal expansion does not affect SLR

        – AGW does not exist and will therefore cause no SLR because there will be no thermal expansion and no ice melt

        And anyway, what are we even talking about?

        – what is the quantified effect of this hypothesised oscillation on SLR trend since 1985?

        Best read your own reference now.

      • What? I have work to do now. You didn’t answer my question. I’ll check back later to see if you understand your error yet.

      • Pathetic.

      • It’s not the ocean that washed away your sand castle, it was your hasty construction.
        =============

      • BBD, “WHT is right: you are stupid. You never got the point. OHT does not change by itself. It does so in response to a FORCING. Try reading your own references. You might learn something. Although I doubt it, since you clearly cleave to denial rather than intellectual openness.”

        Actually it can. Since the atmosphere responds to the oceans, redistribution of the ocean heat content impacts atmospheric circulation which in turn impacts the rate of OHT. I think Dr. Rose used an exclamation point to add emphasis to that little “discovery”. It is kind of like a wave crashing on the beach, The wave gives up energy then regains some of it, but not all. Where did that lost energy go? Where did that energy come from? Opps! Coriolis! That produces ocean and atmospheric circulations which some estimate to to have energy on the order 4 to 8 Wm-2 that has absolutely nothing to due with the Sun or GHGs! All that moving ocean, has inertia and heat capacity. WoW! Whoda Thunk it!

        Nice to seem you haven’t lost your knack with the ad homs :)

      • Here’s the windup, and the pitch…..it’s WILD, into the stands and the runners score. His head said fastball, but his mouth spat at the ball.
        ==========

      • BBD– you are wrong yet again. The most recent data shows sea level declined.

        Yes, sea level has been rising. Since the start of the satellite era (late 1992)it has risen at a pretty steady rate with no increase in that rate. We are on a path for sea level to rise by about a foot between 2000 and 2100. In spite of your untruthful comment, there is no evidence that sea level will rise by the amounts feared by the IPCC in their assessment of harms written into AR4 is there????

      • Rob Starkey

        BBD– you are wrong yet again. The most recent data shows sea level declined.

        Rubbish.

      • You are tedious beyond belief kim.

      • Yeah, I much regret the disparity. You are highly entertaining.
        =================

      • Cappy Dick condescends
        Ringo contradicts.
        Steven can’t read
        The paper says “it is still a small fliuctuation about a highly significant rate of rise” 

        This is like shooting geese in a barrel

      • Fishing gooses in a barrel, Web.

      • How have we survived the 120 meter rise since the last glaciation? How will we survive the 120 meter drop in the next glaciation?

        Ah, yes, warmth was around during one of those phases, thanks be to Heaven.
        ================

      • And Webster mumbles. OHT can change without FORCING. Because of inertia it can overshoot setting the stage for a variety of complex feedbacks. The asymmetry of the ocean distribution in the hemisphere separated by Coriolis effect just adds to the complexity.

        You and BBD chose to ignore the elegance of the complex fluid dynamics driving this aqua world. By what magic does your primarily NH land based warming leap across the equatorial boundary? Up stream diffusion on millennial scales? Wow! That is like a 2nd order effect. Maybe even a third order. Before long things might start getting complicated.

      • BBD
        You are wrong. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2013_rel3/sl_ns_global.txt

        You will note that the latest update from jason2 showing a decline. Look at the data and not just the chart.

      • Rob Starkey

        I cannot believe that you seriously point to interannual variability when we are looking at the multi-decadal trend. Pure WUWT. Just… don’t.

      • Starkey

        Ye gods you did even worse than that. You are calling this significant?

        Barking.

        I’ve emboldened a few values to illustrate just how barking:

        2012.5333 61.476
        2012.5604 64.003
        2012.5876 62.150
        2012.6147 60.066
        2012.6419 52.438
        2012.6690 56.444
        2012.6961 57.787
        2012.7233 64.646
        2012.7504 63.243
        2012.7776 60.095
        2012.8047 56.322
        2012.8319 57.400
        2012.8590 59.197
        2012.8862 62.904
        2012.9133 63.599
        2012.9405 61.718
        2012.9676 58.525
        2012.9948 61.821
        2013.0219 62.013
        2013.0491 64.489
        2013.0762 64.184
        2013.1034 61.387

        Stop wasting my time with rubbish like this.

      • BBD, I am not so stupid as to confuse a transitional phase with a lack of internal variability. Sure, there seems little doubt that external forcing must change in order to go from a warm climate to snowball earth. But since it hasn’t we aren’t talking about a transitional phase.

        “The mean states of the coupled system described above exhibit considerable internal variability on all timescales, from day-to-day variations, the seasonal cycle, and out to centennial fluctuations.”

        Nor am I stupid enough to confuse hypothesis with observations so when I ask if you can explain the Gulf Stream transport observations and you come back with a hypothesis, even one you don’t understand, you are still wrong. You will never admit it of course because if it doesn’t involve CO2 it can’t be real!

        I won’t call you pathetic because I know somewhere in there is a thinking rational human that has just been involved in the fighting too long to exhibit such qualities. Let me know when you can.

      • BBD
        What I find amusing is your inability to acknowledge in a straightforward manner that you made a mistake and that you were wrong. I also find it amusing that you try to muddle the issue rather than address the issue factually in a straightforward manner.

        There is no reliable evidence to show that the rate of sea level rise has shown any increase since we have had reasonably consistent and reasonably accurate means of measurement (late 1992), as was expected by those who feared AGW.

        Can you point to a single paper that described the great harms that humanity would endure and would result from the 1 foot of sea level rise that would occur between 2000 and 2100? No you can’t. They all predicted a much greater rise didn’t they? There is considerable evidence that sea level has been rising slightly for several hundred years but it can not be quantified accurately.

        Try to be honest and reasonable in your analysis. If the rate of sea level rise had tripled since 1992 I would modify my position. Since it hasn’t, and has shown no increase in the rate of rise why don’t you change yours????

      • What paper is that Web? The SLR one? So what? Is it accelerating or not was the question I thought everyone was concerned with answering and not if it was rising. SLR has been going on for some time hasn’t it? It helps to know the question before presenting opposition to possible answers.

      • Starkey

        Oh go away with your nonsense too. Time-wasting WUWT-ian micro-cherry-picker that you are ;-)

        As for this, it is a strawman:

        There is no reliable evidence to show that the rate of sea level rise has shown any increase since we have had reasonably consistent and reasonably accurate means of measurement

        Go back, now, over my comments on this sub-thread, and find the bit where I claim that the rate of SLR has increased over the recent period of observation. Off you go…

      • Steven

        You are now just making a noise. What you are not doing is answering any of my questions.

      • BBD, I am still patiently waiting for you to admit you were wrong about the possibility, not fact that it has happened, that OHT can change global climate. Until you can do that I see no point in answering any question you present. Desperately waiting for me to make a mistake? I do that at times. When someone can point them out I say good point, you are right, and move on. Try it once. It saves on font.

      • BBD
        You display troll like qualities when you fail to acknowledge your errors, post obtuse data and fail to address the macro level issue. In AR4, released in 2007, I agree that the IPCC had pretty modest sea level rise projections which ranged from about 18 cm (7.1 in.) to 59 cm (23.2 in.) with a central value about 38.5 cm (15.2 in.). You should acknowledge that in the intervening years between the publication of the AR4 and now, a host of papers have been published which suggest that the most likely sea level rise by century’s end will be near, or even exceed 1 meter (e.g., Vermeer and Rahmstorf, 2009; Grinsted et al., 2009). And a paper that NASA’s Jim Hansen has in the works suggests the “possibility of multi-meter sea level rise this century.”

      • Among competent SL scientists, even Simon Holgate admits one meter by 2100 is possible, which means even Simon Holgate thinks major acceleration in the 21st century is likely in cards.

        Why anybody thinks there would be evident acceleration, the kind with which nobody can disagree, by April, 2013 is a mystery to me.

      • BBD

        So glad you have rehabilitated Holgate 2007. I’m sure he would be pleased.

        It gives a long-term picture of historic SL rise over the 20thC, showing the strong decadal variability and that there was a slight decrease in average rate over the 20thC.

        All records of any length are based on tide gauge data, of course, since satellite altimetry for SLR only started in the 1990s.

        Satellite altimetry has remained a dicey method of SL measurement, as conceded by the NOAA scientists doing the work, with systematic errors exceeding the rate of measurement.

        http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU04/05276/EGU04-J-05276.pdf

        Carl Wunsch et al. (2007) also conceded:

        Systematic errors are likely to dominate most estimates of global average change: published values and error bars should be used very cautiously.

        .

        http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/Wunschetal_jclimate_2007_published.pdf

        And it measures something totally different from the tide gauges: the entire ocean except regions near coastlines and the poles, which cannot be captured by satellite altimetry, as compared to the SL at various coastlines, where human beings live.

        So the method as well as the scope of measurement is totally different, and apparently not more accurate.

        With such a short satellite SL record, it is hard for me to detect any long-term trends: will the current “blip” of around 3 mm/year slow down again to the 20thC average of around 2 mm/year or will it continue long-term at 3 mm/year? Will satellite altimetry be able to provide us with reliable SL measurements in the future?

        Lots of open questions.

        Until they are settled I’ll keep checking those old tide gauges.

        Max

      • Oh for God’s sake. It’s a waste of f*cking time.

      • You might now surmise why MiniMax does not play fair, BBD.

      • WUWT happened?

        Ringo, Cappy Dick, and Steven go down like bowling pins, that’s WUWT.

      • Funny Web, I don’t feel like I’ve been bowled over. Perhaps you can explain why because to me it looks like someone commenting from the prone position.

      • silly willy

        What’s your definition of “playing fair”?

        “Fair” to me is “grade D” (just before poor, “grade F”)

        I’d prefer “grade A” (excellent) or “grade B” (good).

        And I’d put you around “D minus” (on a good day, which you haven’t been having lately).

        Max

      • Web and BBD rage, willard whines, and Old Man Ocean, he just keeps risin’, he keeps on risin’, along.
        ================

      • steven
        What I usually find is that the more that the fake skeptics howl about something, the more likely that there are creepy crawly things they are trying to hide under the rock. Well, in this case the sea-level rise data that Ringo Starkey pointed us to shows a clear 2 month oscillation in the time series. Sorry Captain Tuna, easy enough to put a 2-month notch filter in the time series data and just look at how much smoother it gets.

        Thanks to BBD and an FFT.

      • Webster, my comment in this sub-thread was directed at BBD’s OHT denial not SLR. I can see the SLR. In fact you can detrend the SLR and compare to the UAH lt and see a nice fit with the steric portion. It is a good check of both SLR and the accuracy of the satellite data.

      • Cappy Dick,
        No, you were getting all excited over what amounts to water sloshing in a bucket. Try to contain yourself.

        Read this blog post and weep:

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/04/filtering-sea-level-rise.html

        “Webster, my comment in this sub-thread was directed at BBD’s OHT denial not SLR. I can see the SLR. In fact you can detrend the SLR and compare to the UAH lt and see a nice fit with the steric portion. It is a good check of both SLR and the accuracy of the satellite data.”

        No even close. BBD won this argument cleanly.

      • Web, you are confused. My comment has nothing to do with anything on a 2 month basis since it is refering to a 60 year oscillation. The only comment in this series of comments I see from Dallas is discussing OHT and not SLR at all.

      • WHT

        Many thanks for delving into the ~2 month oscillation in MSL. I had no idea it was there until Starkey tried it on with his childish and failed attempt at a gotcha.

      • steven

        As well as being tenaciously wrong you are a master at confusing the original arguments. Let’s sort out your mess:

        In the real world, as seen in paleoclimate behaviour

        – Ocean circulation – and so OHT – changes in response to external forcing. We see this for example during glacial terminations, where freshwater flux from orbitally forced melt at high NH latitude temporarily shuts down the AMOC causing NH cooling and SH warming.

        Unforced OHT variability *redistributes* energy around within the climate system but has no significant effect on global climate.

        ***

        – The exit from the albedo-locked icehouse of a Snowball Earth requires substantial forcing by CO2. It doesn’t just “happen”, and changes in OHT are *not* the primary cause.

        ***

        – Attempts to pretend that CO2 is not an essential driver of climate fail because they are contradicted by paleoclimate behaviour

        ***

        You have yet to answer the following questions:

        Do you *seriously* think that Chambers et al. is suggesting that

        – SLR is purely an artefact of an oscillation

        – SLR will therefore fall in the next few decades

        – thermal expansion does not affect SLR

        – AGW does not exist and will therefore cause no SLR because there will be no thermal expansion and no ice melt

        And anyway, what are we even talking about?

        – what is the quantified effect of this hypothesised oscillation on SLR trend since 1985?

        Stop being evasive and answer the questions.

      • steven says:

        “steven | April 25, 2013 at 5:11 am |

        Web, you are confused. My comment has nothing to do with anything on a 2 month basis since it is refering to a 60 year oscillation. The only comment in this series of comments I see from Dallas is discussing OHT and not SLR at all.”

        So I see that you have absolutely nothing to offer but more FUD. If you had mentioned a “60 year oscillation” somewhere, we wouldn’t have to resort to mind-reading.

        As it is, your panic has provided me with the motivation to add a nifty noise filter to the sea-level rise analysis.

        The annoying 2-month OHT ripple is pure noise that can be simply filtered out. As Good Will Hunting would say: How do you like them apples?

      • Nice smackdown BBD. And wouldn’t you know that CD, Starkey, steven, and Max are kind of the cream of the skeptic crowd. Shows you how thin the skeptical counter-arguments are, and how comical the misdirection is.

        I will keep on kicking over the rocks to see what crawls out.

      • Web? I didn’t mention a 60 year oscillation? Did you at least read the abstract I linked before telling me I can’t read?

      • BBD, are you purposely being obtuse? Didn’t I say that transitional phase changes such as your example of getting out of snowball earth almost certainly require a change in external forcing? As far as your SLR questions, read what I wrote in response to Web.

      • No, I am not being obtuse. But you are being evasive.

        You can’t answer my questions can you? Or at least not without admitting that denialist insinuations that SLR being a non-issue are the most egregious tripe.

        Nor have you acknowledged that your attempt to pretend that GHG forcing isn’t the major driver of modern climate change has failed.

        You rely on a mess of confusions and half-truths but it is not going to work with me.

        Now answer the questions. Come on. Do it.

      • Answer what question, BBD? Can you read a paper and get yourself completely confused? Yes, you can. Can you ever admit you are wrong about anything no matter how minor? No, you can’t. Is it worth my time to argue with you? Quite unlikely. Those questions?

      • You are scuppered here steven. Either answer the questions repeated *yet again* above, or go.

      • “steven | April 25, 2013 at 7:52 am |

        Web? I didn’t mention a 60 year oscillation? Did you at least read the abstract I linked before telling me I can’t read?”

        steven,
        One thing you shouldn’t do is rely on the abstract. I usually go to the conclusions section, because that is where you find the emphatic statements. And in this paper, they say:

        “It is important to point out that even if a 60-year
        oscillation is occurring in GMSL, it is still a small fluctua-
        tion about a highly significant rate of rise.”

        Nice of you to send us out on a snipe hunt, and then expect us to do all the heavy lifting.

        I think where you are totally confused is in not realizing that the different rises in the various ocean basins largely cancel each other out, leaving the “significant rate of rise”.

        In my blog post, I further filter out the remnants of a “7 cm peak-to-peak change in the thickness of the upper 110 m of the water column” in the Pacific. What’s left is a smoothly rising sea-level. Interesting and very smart bookkeeping going on here. Those climate scientists are smart cookies.

      • Web, it has been a highly significant rate of rise for some time. I already stated it was the acceleration that they associated with the uncertainty of the oscillation and not the fact that sea level is rising. It is apparent that I am not discussing a two month cycle regardless. There was no heavy lifting required to see that.

      • BBD and foolish webby once again deny the truth and make absurd comments.
        Both seem to deny that sea level is rising at a rate which will equate to about 1 foot of sea level rise between 2000 1nd 2100.
        Both deny the facts that virtually all of the peer reviewed papers forecasting great harms to humanity were based on assumption that sea level would be rising at a much faster rate than has been observed.
        Both seem to deny the long term historical record which indicates that sea level is near to its historic low levels.
        Both seem to deny the observed evidence that there is no increase in the rate of sea level rise that can be associated with increasing levels of atmospheric CO2. 20 years of a pretty steady rate of rise and considerable evidence that sea level was rising for several hundred years prior to that time.

      • Web, they claim anywhere between 31% to 62% as a residual variance after removing the trend. That is certainly enough to cause a false impression of acceleration or deceleration if only a portion of the oscillation is examined.

      • Webster, you have that strawman stuff down to an art. Gotta hand that to ya.

        The response I made was to BBD’s denial of OTH impacting climate without the need for external forcing. If you have the same source temperature and unbalanced loads, varying the flow will vary the total heat capacity. Coriolis effect and tides are the pumps and the hemispheres are unbalanced loads. Get over the “global” mania, there are two hemispheres with different heat loss characteristics.

        The minor season SLR fluctuation is a combination of solar, which is imbalanced toward winter warming with the higher TSI due to the elliptical orbit, snow accumulation imbalance, the NH has more areas to accumulate and other forms of precipitation on land masses. I am so proud of you for finding an ~2mo noise to play with.

      • Rob Starkey

        Both seem to deny that sea level is rising at a rate which will equate to about 1 foot of sea level rise between 2000 1nd 2100.
        Both deny the facts that virtually all of the peer reviewed papers forecasting great harms to humanity were based on assumption that sea level would be rising at a much faster rate than has been observed.

        Wrong. The projections are for a non-linear increase in MSL triggered later this century by a non-linear response (eg accelerating collapse) of the WAIS.

        Read the words. Now eat your straw.

        Both seem to deny the long term historical record which indicates that sea level is near to its historic low levels.

        Rubbish. Read the words. I didn’t “deny” this – I explicitly stated that it was an irrelevance when considering the future forced change in MSL, especially the non-linear component. Another blatant strawman from you.

        What is it with you? Genuinely abysmal topic knowledge, or a deliberate desire to mislead?

      • BBD, they are wannabees with a pipe jammed into a tube which is shoved up their behind. Angry that they can’t find that piece that will collapse the climate science foundation, they figure that a house of FUD mud with a straw roof is an easier target.

        Alas it gives us motivation to see what else they are trying to hide or obscure. Watch how children behave when they are confronted.

      • Webster, you might want to double check, but I think your cheese done slipped off your cracker. That thermally isolated southern continent is the main “window” to space and it will control climate “sensitivity”. Your assumption that the oceans are a heat sink instead of a thermal reservoir is not even wrong.

        Make a note of that.

      • Webby makes yet another in a long line meaningless comments.

        BBD now tries to clarify his beliefs. Now it seems your position is that no, sea level has not shown any sign of increase in the rate of rise in the last 20 years, but you BELIEVE that the rate of rise will increase in the future. BBD- How much longer would the current rate of rise have to be maintained for you to change your belief ? Should others have to modify their behavior because of your belief? You have zero reliable evidence to support your belief .

      • Watch how the children behave. Earlier he was pointing us to a decline in sea level. Now it is that the rate of sea level increase per year is not accelerating.

        Keep digging that hole.

      • More cryptic mumbo jumbo that we have to weed through. What “southern continent” are you talking about, Antarctica?

        Sure its a heat sink, but its lower temperature makes it a poorer radiative conductor to space.

      • Webster, “Sure its a heat sink, but its lower temperature makes it a poorer radiative conductor to space.”

        It makes it a better conductor of internal energy. For all practical purposes it is thermodynamically space or TOA and it maintains a more stable SH meridional flux by limiting the expansion of the water vapor greenhouse.

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Ferreira_JClim2013.pdf

        It is amazing how many “paradoxes” are related to the Greenhouse effect.

        It also provide a more stable sea ice edge thanks to the ACC.

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Transitions_JClim2012.pdf

        The asymmetry of the hemispheres has to be considered. Your ocean heat sink has -2C on one end and 4 C on the other. You don’t think that matters?

      • I really don’t think you understand how thermal diffusion works, in particular how it works with respect to perturbations. But it doesn’t matter, as we are miles apart with respect to how we approach scientific analysis.

      • Rob Starkey

        BBD now tries to clarify his beliefs. Now it seems your position is that no, sea level has not shown any sign of increase in the rate of rise in the last 20 years

        Now you are repeating your lies. I have already corrected this misrepresentation once. Read the words.

        And stop the incessant misrepresentations. Although you are going to be pretty stuck without them, aren’t you? I am under the strong impression that you *cannot* argue with me straight.

        You have zero reliable evidence to support your belief .

        Eemian (MIS 5e) MSL highstand. Where might that >6m increase in MSL compared to the Holocene have come from? Since it looks ever-more likely that the GIS contribution was less that 2m, much of the rest must have come from the WAIS. Holsteinian (MIS 11c) MSL highstand was higher still. WAIS again, perhaps with a greater contribution from the EAIS.

        AGW has already begun to cause energy to accumulate in the ocean (Levitus et al. 2012). Warming oceans melt and destabilise marine ice sheets. The WAIS is a marine ice sheet on a retrograde grounding slope. And we know it has collapsed before, many times (ANDRILL).

        My reliable evidence is the behaviour of the WAIS over millions of years. I don’t think you have the remotest idea what you are talking about.

      • Webster, yes, my approach is nothing like yours. As far as thermal diffusion, you are treating a complex fluid dynamics problem like a simple substrate. That will give you a ballpark. Then if you consider the separation of the diffusion by hemispheres, you will get two new ballparks. Then you should realize that OHT is more than a simple thermal diffusion problem in a substrate.

        You can simplify the problem by considering a pump/radiator heating system with two zones. One zone has a greater flow rate and heat transfer than the other. The thermal energy is not diffusing, it is being mechanically pumped. You can use your estimated thermal diffusion for the upper 100 meters where there is simple diffusion/mixing, but the lower 4000 meters is far from being a simple diffusion problem.

        Then if you do that you will start to understand the Toggwieler et al ocean model and the various time frames involved. The opening of the Drake Passage for example had the impact of nearly two halvings of CO2. That is about 6Wm-2 reduction in average surface energy with zero external forcing. Based on your replication of Hansen, that is impossible. Say hello to another paradox.

      • BBD, Did AGW cause the last collapse of the WAIS? You are mixing AGW impacts with past events that had nothing to do with AGW. If there is major SLR it will likely be due to what ever caused the past occurrences, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, impact events or extreme tidal forcing, but not CO2.

        The same thing as your denial that the change in OHT following the separation of Antarctica and South America had a major impact on climate including the sequences of ice ages. Even the fresh water hosing impact appears to be over stated. You are mixing science with scientific wild ass guesses.

      • No one listens to you Cappy Dick in much the same way that no one listens to Professor Irwin Corey to get any deeper meaning.

        It’s all just so much scientific sounding word salad.

      • Webster, “It’s all just so much scientific sounding word salad.”

        More like Thermodynamic meat and potatoes :) Co2 is a second order forcing so it has lots of competition

      • Capn Dallas

        You are mixing AGW impacts with past events that had nothing to do with AGW.

        No, I am pointing out that warming oceans melt ice and OHC is already increasing rapidly (Levitus 2012). I am pointing out that the WAIS is unstable and sensitive to only slightly higher global average temperatures than those of the Holocene (eg Eemian was ~1C – 2C warmer on average, globally but MSL highstand was >6m).

        If there is major SLR it will likely be due to what ever caused the past occurrences, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, impact events or extreme tidal forcing, but not CO2.

        Why? First, none of these is known to have caused the WAIS to collapse in the past so your list is puzzling going on bizarre. WAIS collapse is associated with interglacial warming. AGW = increased OHC = melting ice. Not a very long stretch to see that AGW could eventually destabilise the WAIS. Remember, the Eemian wasn’t much warmer than the Holocene.

        You are mixing science with scientific wild ass guesses.

        This, from you!? Ha ha ha.

      • BBD, “Why? First, none of these is known to have caused the WAIS to collapse in the past so your list is puzzling going on bizarre.”

        Bizarre? Really? Robert Muller is one that had a theory of impact events being part of the cause of past climate change. That was based on Geomagnetic Field reversals that tend to correlate with glacial/interglacials which by themselves could not cause the changes. Abrupt changes with huge masses of ice typically aren’t related to surface temperature. The ocean temperature under the ice sheets has been measured a number of times with temperatures as low as -2.3C recorded. With top melt, the flow of the ice sheets reduces thanks to gravity. Without greater transport of energy under the sheets, you are swagging. The ACC makes a stable edge for the ice sheets which is the reason they are there to begin with.

        Now with more sea level rise from some other source, portions could float off where there isn’t any basin or depression in the bedrock under the sheet to help hold it in place. This MIT paper seems to think that SLR due to the WAIS and AGW has been overestimated, imagine that?

        http://stuff.mit.edu/~heimbach/papers_glaciology/science_bamber_etal_2009_wais_sealevel.pdf

        That kinda brings us back to all those things I mentioned, don’t it?

      • Capn Dallas

        Abrupt changes with huge masses of ice typically aren’t related to surface temperature.

        Oh my. I have repeatedly said that *warming oceans* melt ice. Just read the words!

        So what of all the work that shows the orbital pacing of WAIS fluctuation and collapses? All wrong? Even though the evidence goes all the way back to the Pliocene (5 – 3Ma)? For example see Naish et al. (2009), which demonstrates:

        well-dated, ~40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth’s axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ~3 °C warmer than today and atmospheric CO2 concentration was as high as ~400 p.p.m.v.

        ***
        Then, to top it off, you come out with this gem:

        The ACC makes a stable edge for the ice sheets which is the reason they are there to begin with.

        Eh? “The ice sheets” of Antarctica are all stable ‘coz the ACC? What?! Look, the marine ice sheets of Western Antarctica are not the same as the *land* ice sheets of the rest of the continent. Not at all. Sometimes you genuinely surprise me with how little you appear to know. But the tell is there. Nobody who understands the unique nature of the marine ice sheets of Western Antarctica could have written that sentence.

      • BBD, “So what of all the work that shows the orbital pacing of WAIS fluctuation and collapses? All wrong?”

        No, orbital forcing also impacts tidal forcing. Remember not every orbital cycle has triggered a glacial interglacial and there have been shifts from 41ka to ~100ka and now it looks like 21ka. If it were just “forcing” it would be a no brainer. So do you have orbital pacing of the WAIS that extends back 50 million years? No, because there are other factors involved.

        That is why there are papers like this, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009PA001809/abstract
        With quotes like this, ” Ultimately, this study suggests that the growth of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets is a result of the global cooling of Earth’s climate since 4 Myr rather than its initial cause. Thus, reproducing the correct changes in the SST distribution is critical for a model to simulate the transition from the warm early Pliocene to a colder Pleistocene climate”

        Guess what they think changed the meridional and zonal energy flux? Ocean Heat Transport, tah dah!

      • Just for fun…

        Those wibbles. What are they like!

        ;-)

      • …I felt a shiver right up me PETM!

        ;-)

      • BBD, Very Good! Orbital variations in solar forcing produce minor changes in climate. For the past 2.2 million years, based on tropical ocean sea floor cores, the standard deviation in temperature is 1.2 C degree +/- a touch and it does tend to correlate with the Milankovitch Cycles. I think I mentioned Glacial/interglacial pacing though. But your paper is kinda neat.

        ” All this suggests that the Elmo horizon characterizes a second pronounced early Eocene thermal maximum (ETM2; Fig. 1), similar to the PETM in both orbital and biogeo-chemical aspects, but of approximately half its amplitude in carbon isotope excursion, rise in sea surface temperature, and carbonate dissolution. ” Golly gee! Why would the St. Elmo horizon “event” be smaller?

        Perhaps, the solar radiant forcing is not the only factor? Hint hint.

      • BBD, Very Good! Orbital variations in solar forcing produce minor changes in climate.

        The PETM and ETM2 were not “minor changes in climate”, Capn. Read your own quote from Lourens 05, where the ETM2 is described as:

        a second pronounced early Eocene thermal maximum

        Note the “pronounced”. Not “minor”. Being about half the size of the PETM is like being half the size of the Matterhorn. It is still very big. Do you know what the PETM was, Capn? I begin to wonder.

        Interglacials during the later Pliocene and Pleistocene are not “minor changes in climate”. Perhaps you would like to re-think this statement?

        ;-)

      • So do you have orbital pacing of the WAIS that extends back 50 million years? No, because there are other factors involved.

        Remind me, Captn, when did Antarctica glaciate?

        ;-)

    • Trenberth, in response to Gray, 2009 (emphasis added):

      The strength of the IPCC report is that it is a consensus report. Far from being a “gross exaggeration” as claimed by Gray, the IPCC report is really solid and conservative. It is not the latest “trendy scientific idea,” Rather it has been widely criticized for underestimating the recent observed changes in the Arctic (record low Arctic sea ice in 2007), and many scientists believe that sea level rise (from melting glaciers) will be much greater than projected by IPCC.

      • BBD

        Yes the IPCC covered the bases by including very wide margins of error in their projections for the future. The margin of error was so high as to include both unimportant climate changes as well as those that could be very disruptive. What Trenberth frequently has done is to argue that even the upper bounds of the IPCC’s estimates are conservative and that far worse harms may result if we do not take his recommended actions.

        When you look at the specifics Trenberth has been shown to be an alarmist. As a example, how is sea level rise going compared to what was forecasted? That IS the single largest potential harm cited in the studies used by the IPCC isn’t it?

      • Rob Starkey

        I thought we were discussing whether scientific assessments need to be consensual to gain authority. Somehow (!) you have managed to twist this around to a critique of KT. This is a strawman.

      • But since you raise a specific example:

        As a example, how is sea level rise going compared to what was forecasted?

        SLR is right at the top of the range of IPCC scenarios.

      • How is SLR going versus forecast? What was the forecast for 2013? I want to read it.

      • Wow, maybe there is some missing heat in the oceans.

      • “SLR is right at the top of the range of IPCC scenarios”
        Yes, and if they had started their projection from 1980 or 1970 instead of 1990 then it would have been around the bottom of the range.

      • sorry, I meant 1985 or 1975

      • …reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses (Galileo)

      • Wagathon

        You are in no position to discourse about reason.

  21. I think consensus is useful, but it has a very specific definition: All active scientists take this fact for granted. If there are still some who do not, even if their number is small (3%!), we have a very different name for it: it is an open question.

    Once that is accepted, one descends into the No True Scotsman issue: those are dissent are actually not real scientists. Anyone who would say that concerning Steve McIntyre or Roy Spencer should be excluded from serious consideration.

  22. William Lenihan

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

    In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” Michael Crichton, Lecture at CalTech, January 17, 2003.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      miker613 wrongly claims “Consensus has a very specific definition: All active scientists take this fact for granted.”

      William Lenihan wrongly claims “In science consensus is irrelevant.”

      Miker613 and William Lenihan, your claims are demonstrably wrong-on-the-facts both historically and in scientific-principle.

      It is a pleasure to supply scientific references to assist your understanding! Please acknowledge these references in your future Climate Etc comments!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Why, because someone disagrees with me? They’re wrong.

      • Sort of like the double-inverted upside down consensus theory. If you disagree with Fan, you must be on the right track.

      • The consensus amongst psychiatrists was that homosexuality was a mental disorder that could be treated with aversion therapy and that erectile dysfunction was typically the result of a ‘Oedipus complex’.
        Many physicians, in the USA, favored compulsory sterilization for the deaf, the blind, people with epilepsy, and the physically deformed. In addition Native Americans and African-American women underwent compulsory sterilization to preserve the white ‘superior’ race.

      • William Lenihan

        I made no claims . My comment is a quotation form a lecture Dr Crichton delivered at CalTech. I do support and adopt his remarks.

        For those of you who know nothing about Dr Crichton:
        “Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton’s 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. He predicted future warming at 0.8 degrees C. (His conclusions have been widely misstated.)”

        “Crichton’s interest in computer modeling went back forty years. His multiple-discriminant analysis of Egyptian crania, carried out on an IBM 7090 computer at Harvard, was published in the Papers of the Peabody Museum in 1966. His technical publications included a study of host factors in pituitary chromophobe adenoma, in Metabolism, and an essay on medical obfuscation in the New England Journal of Medicine.”
        (http://Crichton-Official.com)

        I am confident that Dr Crichton was better educated and a better working scientist than many who regularly bloviate on this website. If you want to trash his remarks, cite authorities rather than libel him. His brilliance and competence is evident from his accomplishments in science, research publications, novels and movies.

      • “I am confident that Dr Crichton was better educated and a better working scientist than many who regularly bloviate on this website. If you want to trash his remarks, cite authorities rather than libel him
        Authorities?”

        That’s quite amusing coming from someone who just dismissed the value of consensus. I mean on one hand you are claiming the importance of the word of “authorities”. But on the other-hand if too many of these authorities were to say the same thing (consensus) you, like Crichton, attack and dismiss it.

    • Steven Mosher

      Its really funny when people appeal to authority and make a doubly bad logical error by picking an authority ( Crichton) who doesn’t know what he is talking about.
      There is, of course, a consensus in science. That’s never been the question. The question is “should we be convinced of a position merely because there is a consensus” on that question there is a consensus in science, that “truth” is not determined by a consensus.

      • Mosh

        Crichton was neither an “authority” – nor was he someone “who doesn’t know what he is talking about”.

        He was a highly intelligent observer of the unfolding of the CAGW hysteria and, on top of this, an excellent storyteller and writer of plausible and entertaining fiction.

        He was also a very persuasive lecturer.

        Don’t “put him down” just because you may not agree with everything he wrote or said, Mosh.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker.

        dont let fellow skeptics try stupid pet tricks. Crichton was wrong.
        Consensus does exists in science ( durrr.. the planets are in orbit around the sun )
        The consensus arguments from both sides are just stupid distractions and crichton added to the noise rather than bring some light.

      • Mosh

        Sure “consensus” exists – in science as well as anywhere else.

        That’s not the point of Hulme’s essay.

        The drive for consensus within the IPCC process, and its subsequent public marketing, has becomes a source of scientific weakness rather than of scientific strength in the turbulent social discourses on climate change.

        It is not the “consensus”, itself, it is the “drive for consensus within the IPCC process, and its subsequent public marketing”, which Hulme critiques.

        IOW it is the “forced consensus” (ignoring or censoring out dissenting opinions and marketing to the public a “2500 scientists can’t be wrong” story of essentially unanimous agreement among scientists to the desired party line).

        If you think about it a bit, I believe you’ll see the difference.

        I did.

        I think our hostess did, as well.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        I dont disagree about “forced consensus” Crichton wasnt making that point. he was blathering

      • Mosh

        OK.

        You and I agree.

        Can’t speak for Crichton (read several of his books and heard him lecture once). Was a good author and seemed like a reasonable guy.

        He can’t speak for himself anymore, either.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        I dont disagree about “forced consensus” Crichton wasnt making that point. he was blathering

        So is Mike Hulme. And not for the first time.

      • William Lenihan

        Mosher, isn’t you education and training in history? A comparison of your CV with Crichton’s should be most interesting.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘William Lenihan | April 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        Mosher, isn’t you education and training in history? A comparison of your CV with Crichton’s should be most interesting.”

        No my education and training is not in history. I don’t know what comparing CVs would teach you. Having a good CV did not prevent him from saying silly things.

    • Consensus is relevant when it comes to predictions from science. For example, some scientists might predict an asteroid strike, and some might dissent from that, and it might even get political with each group saying the other just want more funding or attention for their papers. Climate is like that. The verification takes decades to play out. You can use the past as a guide, or the latest observations, or improve observation systems, or use the rules of physics in models, but that is all you have. Possibly in the asteroid-strike case there will be a majority yes/no view among credentialed experts which would be the best guide, but more likely there would be a consensus probability of a strike.

      • Jim D

        Consensus is relevant when it comes to predictions from science.

        But science based on “forced consensus” (as practiced by IPCC) is not (as Hulme points out).

        Max

      • Consensus is called for specific situations. Remember 1988 when Hansen made the case for a need for climate-related environmental policies, and the IPCC and its consensus reports came out of that kind of appeal. A similar thing happened with ozone and acid rain where a consensus guided policies. The call for consensus also gets a lot of research funded for its relevance to policy. Consensus can’t be forced. If there is a 50/50 split in a scientific opinion, it would show up as that.

      • Jim D

        You (correctly) state that “consensus cannot be forced”.

        IPCC attempted this but (as Hulme points out) it has failed.

        This is the point.

        The side tracks to ozone holes, etc. do not change the relevance of Hulme’s argument:

        The drive for consensus within the IPCC process, and its subsequent public marketing, has becomes a source of scientific weakness rather than of scientific strength in the turbulent social discourses on climate change.

        Pretty clear to me, Jim.

        Max

      • If a significant number of scientists thought the sensitivity was below 2 C per doubling, or that the feedback was even negative, that would have been reflected in the consensus probability range. They didn’t, so it didn’t show up.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        ‘EBMs exhibit two saddle-node bifurcations, more recently called “tipping points”, which give rise to three distinct steady-state climates, two of which are stable. Such bistable behavior is, furthermore, supported by results from more realistic, nonequilibrium climate models. In a truly nonlinear setting, indeterminacy in the size of the response is observed only in the vicinity of tipping points. We show, in fact, that small disturbances cannot result in a large-amplitude response, unless the system is at or near such a point. We discuss briefly how the distance to the bifurcation may be related to the strength of Earth’s ice-albedo feedback.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.0253

        ‘ Recent estimates of climate evolution over the coming century still differ by several degrees. This uncertainty motivates the work presented here. There are two basic approaches to apprehend the complexity of climate change: deterministically nonlinear and stochastically linear, i.e. the Lorenz and the Hasselmann approach. The “grand unification ” of these two approaches relies on the theory of random dynamical systems. We apply this theory to study the random attractors of nonlinear, stochastically perturbed climate models. Doing so allows one to examine the interaction of internal climate variability with the forcing, whether natural or anthropogenic, and to take into account the climate system’s non-equilibrium behavior in determining climate sensitivity. This non-equilibrium behavior is due to a combination of nonlinear and random effects. We give here a unified treatment of such effects from the point of view of the theory of dynamical systems and of their bifurcations. Energy balance models are used to illustrate multiple equilibria, while multi-decadal oscillations in the thermohaline circulation illustrate the transition from steady states to periodic behavior. Random effects are introduced in the setting of random dynamical systems, which permit a unified treatment of both nonlinearity and stochasticity. The combined treatment of nonlinear and random effects is applied to a stochastically perturbed version of the classical Lorenz convection model. Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the system’s state with respect to the bifurcation parameter. ‘ http://130.203.133.150/viewdoc/summary;jsessionid=3FDD924B4BA34833E4EADCB07186AEFC?doi=10.1.1.242.1116

        The consensus is opposed to simplistic interpretations of a linear climate sensitivity. Two paradigms – the control knob and deterministic chaos. One paradigm in which the range of solutions in an opportunistic ensemble are theoretically justifiable and one in which they are not.

      • Jim D

        Whether or not iPCC will consider or reject the recent findings of a much lower 2xCO2 ECS than iPCC had previously reported based on earlier model estimates is an open issue today.

        Most observers, such as Rud Istvan, believe they will continue to defend the old estimates and the CAGW premise, as outlined in AR4.

        But this is becoming an increasingly difficult story to sell.

        Max

      • As mentioned in a previous thread, those model studies with few parameters look to overfit the data by underestimating the size of variabilities that are not in the model. Their sensitivity to end date is a red flag.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Right over your head Jim? Or cognitive dissonance?

      • CH, on the good side, the skeptics are starting to look at the models now, but they are picking and choosing based on the bottom line rather than the methodology.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The realities of models need to be understood by whomever before the results can be interpreted.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

        You really just don’t get it.

      • CH, so you probably haven’t looked at the MIT model in the Lewis paper, and should before supporting it. It has three variables and is tuned to fit past climate without any allowance for variability that is not produced by its three parameters. What do you think of that given your thoughts about chaos? Can such a model fit the data? If so, why does its sensitivity change by 50% by adding another ten years? Some skeptics appear to be very excited by the Lewis and Foster model work.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Temperatures rise:
        • What about impacts?
        • How to adapt?

        The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, i.e., it depends on the
        accuracy and reliability of the forecast …’ Michael Ghil

        http://geoweb.princeton.edu/people/simons/PDF/Ghil-CMG2012.pdf

        Nic Lewis? No – I doubt that Nic has cracked the climate Rosetta Stone.

      • Jim, that example does not require consensus. It requires decision-makers to operate with incomplete and conflicting information, something which they do every day. What they have to determine is the cost-benefit analysis of acting or not acting on conflicting advice re a possible asteroid strike; and, given limited resources, rank this against the costs and benefits of alternative uses of resources.

        If the possible strike is far distant in time, the sensible decision would to leave it to later generations with better information and technology.

  23. The idea of consensus is not relevant in a situation where a self-interested government with the power to destroy your future is funding research to arrive an answer it wants to hear to a problem that does not exist.

    • Pretty nice summation Wag. Will likely never understand your defense of G. Bush whose 8 ghastly years in office will always be a stain on our country’s reputation, but no question you’ve got the climate issue nailed…

      • will always be a stain on our country’s reputation sounds like something that always will be said about anyone who does not meet with the approval of comrades like Castro and Chavez,

      • Me, I didn’t like Chavez, Bush or Castro.
        Though I do have more respect for George Bush than I have for Al Gore.
        And I am a card carrying liberal democrat.

      • Waggy implies pokerguy is a commie.

  24. Judith Curry

    Thanks for this post.

    In making the argument that ”The drive for consensus within the IPCC process, and its subsequent public marketing, has becomes a source of scientific weakness rather than of scientific strength”, Mike Hulme argues that the IPCC forced “consensus” process “introduced bias into the scientific process” (as you put it) and, as a result, revealed an inherent weakness of its scientific position.

    This became apparent with the leaking of the Climategate emails and the subsequent revelations of IPCC “fudging” the data in its AR4 report.

    But in his analysis of “Climategate, consensus and the weakening of authority”, Hulme criticizes the censorship of dissenting studies, yet bends over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to the “consensus” crowd, as far as “fudging the data” is concerned.

    The two obviously went hand in glove. In addition to the overt inclusion of false and exaggerated data, leaving out part of the data is “fudging” the data, by definition. I would have written it slightly differently:

    The single-minded drive for an exclusionary consensus was the true tragedy of Climategate. Not only that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or and fraudulent practice, but also that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data.

    But it is a good essay with plenty of food for thought.

    Unfortunately, based on initial reactions to the new findings on lower climate sensitivity, it does not appear that IPCC will heed Hulme’s good advice and abandon its forced “consensus” process, but rather that it will hang in there and “tough it out”.

    Max

    • PS I see Willis Eschenbach has already made that point regarding the falsification of data by IPCC.

    • Max, my read of leaked AR5 SOD is actually worse than just tough it out. They continue to defend the indefensible using gobbly-gook language ( a technical term of art that perhaps turkey farmers understand, or old WW2 veterans and their military experienced sons). There are chapters with embarassing specifics relating both to UTrH and to cloud feedbacks. IPCat longs to AR4 conclusions despite overwhelming subsequent peer reviewed evidence to the contrary, and are even using Dr. Curry’s uncertainty monster to explain why (although prior to the pause they were certain of the opposite before).
      Something related to the famous quote about remembering history comes to mind…

      • How do they climb down after having made assertions of practical certainty? They can’t, if they wish to maintain the illusion of credibility. Anyone looking to the IPCC for a reasonable and reasoned assessment of the current state of climate science, is bound to be disappointed…

      • pokerguy

        I share your skepticism that the IPCC will most likely NOT learn a lesson from all this and will continue selling its agenda driven party line.

        But I do believe it faces a real dilemma, which our hostess has alluded to in an earlier thread.

        New data are emerging, which raise serious questions regarding the validity of the CAGW premise (as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report). These data suggest that the 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity is vey likely only around half the mean value of 3.2C as predicted earlier by the models cited in AR4.

        This has a profound impact on projections of future GH warming, essentially falsifying the IPCC CAGW premise.

        The dilemma:

        IPCC now has the choice of either

        a) accepting the new data and incorporating it into its forecasts for the future – with the risk of having to back down on future warming projections and losing the “fear factor”, or

        b) “sweeping it under the rug” (Dr. Curry’s words) and losing even more of the credibility and public trust it has already lost – with the risk of becoming irrelevant.

        Rud Istvan apparently thinks they will choose option b).

        AR5 SOD is actually worse than just tough it out. They continue to defend the indefensible using gobbly-gook language

        I tend to agree with him. It appears that you agree, as well.

        But we’ll have to wait and see.

        Max

      • I know it does no good to point out that these recent developments you are harping on are measurements of transient climate sensitivity rather than equilibrium climate sensitivity, never the less they are still within the IPCC published range of equilibrium climate sensitivity so they tend to support the IPCC.

        So as for falsifying the IPCC stand, not so much.

        And again, I don’t know why I post this, but me and a pig are having fun.

      • bob droege

        You write:

        I know it does no good to point out that these recent developments you are harping on are measurements of transient climate sensitivity rather than equilibrium climate sensitivity, never the less they are still within the IPCC published range of equilibrium climate sensitivity so they tend to support the IPCC.

        Obviously you have not read these papers, bob.

        They clearly estimate the 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS).

        Let me offer you some quotes:

        Lewis 2013:

        Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are then derived (mode and median 1.6 K).

        Masters 2013 (not yet published):

        The potential change in the radiative restoration strength over longer timescales is also considered, resulting in a likely (67 %) range of 1.5–2.9 K for equilibrium climate sensitivity, and a 90 % confidence interval of 1.2–5.1 K

        Schlesinger 2012:

        It is also found that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is on the low side of the range given in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

        Ranges found for ECS (using various temperature records) = 1.45°C to 2.01°C

        So you see, bob, that the studies are reporting estimates for the equilibrium climate sensitivity, not the transient response, as you claim.

        Max

      • Great Max,
        Now you cite the papers you were talking about in your previous post, how was I to know which papers you were talking about.

        I thought you were talking about Girma’s graphs.

        Now tell me again how being in the low part of the IPCC range in any way falsifies anything.

      • Max,
        Also, what do you think about Schlessinger’s attribution statements?

        Would you agree that climate sensitivity is in the low end of the IPCC range and entirely attributable to man?

        Dindn’t think so, but thought I would ask anyway.

      • The testing question is whether Manacker accepts ECS is between 1.45°C and 2.01°C.

        In particular whether he accepts ECS is greater than 1.45C.

        How much of 20th century would that imply was caused by rising CO2? An awful lot I would think. Do you accept that most of the 20th century warming was caused by CO2 Manacker? Or do you think ECS is less than 1.45C? (in which case how can you demand the IPCC take seriously a range you don’t accept?)

      • bob droege

        Nothing is “falsified”.

        It’s simply corrected.

        Schlesinger specified his ” low side of the range given in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report” for the 2xCO2 ECS as “1.45°C to 2.01°C”.

        As you may recall, IPCC AR4 specified a range of “3.2°C+/-0.7°C” (WG1 Ch.9, p.633), so this is on the “low side of the range” and around one-half the previous estimate.

        Max

      • lolwot

        Not to get into a silly discussion of “testing questions”, BUT:

        You ask if I can “accept” the upper limit of Schlesinger’s 2xCO2 ECS range of 2.01°C.

        Sure. Why not? It’s just an improved estimate. Seems to lie within the range of several new estimates.

        Can you “accept” the lower limit of 1.45°C?

        Thanks for a reply.

        Max

      • lolwot

        You ask:

        How much of 20th century would that imply was caused by rising CO2? An awful lot I would think. Do you accept that most of the 20th century warming was caused by CO2 Manacker? Or do you think ECS is less than 1.45C? (in which case how can you demand the IPCC take seriously a range you don’t accept?)

        Whoa! That’s a lot of questions at the same time. Let’s go through them one by one.

        1. How much of 20th century would that imply was caused by rising CO2?

        Let’s make the calculation.

        2. . Do you accept that most of the 20th century warming was caused by CO2?

        No. IPCC does not make this claim, either.

        IPCC makes the claim that:

        “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

        Note that this is ”since the mid-20th century” (not the entire 20thC) and it is all ”anthropogenic greenhouse gases” (not CO2 alone). Very likely in IPCC parlance means a “likelihood of 90+%”, but let’s ignore that.

        Let’s check that out against the latest estimates for 2xCO2 ECS..

        Let’s assume “most” means somewhere between 51% and 80%.

        IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM (figure SPM.2.) tells us that (since start of industrialization) the greenhouse radiative forcing was (Wm-2):
        1.66 (CO2)
        1.33 (all other GHGs)
        2.99 total GHGs

        So CO2 was 1.66/2.99 = 56% of total GH forcing.

        But let’s assume that since 1950 CO2 forcing rose to 75% of total GH forcing.

        Temperature (HadCRUT3 linear)
        1950: -0.28°C
        2005: +0.34°C
        dT: 0.62C

        CO2 concentration was
        1950: 311 ppmv (extrapolated from Mauna Loa 1959, estimate by Siegenthaler 1986, based on ice core data)
        2005: 379 ppmv (Mauna Loa, when IPCC AR4 was written)
        C1/C0 = 1.2187
        ln(C1/C0) = 0.1977
        ln(2) = 0.6931

        Case 1: “Most” means 51%
        2xCO2 temperature response

        = 0.51*0.75*0.62*0.6931/0.1977 = 0.8°C

        Case 2: “Most” means 80%
        2xCO2 temperature response

        = 0.8*0.75*0.62*0.6931/0.1977 = 1.3°C

        So we have an observed 2xCO2 temperature response of between 0.8°C and 1.3°C.

        But that’s only the “transient climate response”, excluding what is “in the pipeline” waiting to reach “equilibrium”. IPCC tells us in AR4 that 0.6°C are “in the pipeline” today [AR4 WG1 SPM, p.13]

        Note that this estimate was made based on a mean 2xCO2 ECS of 3.2°C, so might be on the high side with a lower ECS. But let’s ignore that for now.

        So we have a 2xCO2 ECS of between 1.4°C and 1.9°C.

        Looks like IPCC is confirming the Schlesinger (2012) and Lewis (2012) estimates!

        So YES, I can accept the IPCC statement as written.

        In view of the above, your third and fourth questions have become redundant.

        Max

      • The observational data supports 3C for equilibrium.

      • WHT

        The observational data supports 3C for equilibrium.

        Naw, Webby, it doesn’t. Try around half that amount and you’ll have a safer bet.

        Max

      • Max,
        You should try to understand what your skeptic buddy DocMartyn has written, finding 2.4C for an observational transient

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-313686

        “http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/TempvslogCO2_zpsbba18f5c.jpg

        The slope of the plot allows us to state we are about 1.15 degrees warmer that the per-Industrial temperature and that at 560 ppm we will be at 1.2 degrees warmer than at present. The total change we would have for a doubling of CO2 is about 2.4 degrees.”

        I think DocMartyn the scientist did a good job with this. The GISS is a land+ocean data set and so anything derived from this leans to a transient estimate.

        About half the heat is entering the ocean without leading to an immediate temperature rise, so that with 70% of the surface covered by ocean, we can pro-rate the eventual temperature change.
        2.37 = 0.7*(1/2)*dT + 0.3*dT

        Solving for dT, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is approximately 3.6C for doubling of CO2.

        dT =2.37/0.65 = 3.65

        This is above the mean estimate of 3C that most climate models have been converging to.

  25. One of the problems, is that many of the warmists have stated that the skeptics have no science to back their criticism of CAGW. Any recognition by a warmist that there may be some basis for the skeptical point of view is merely giving the skeptics a forum to spread their disinformation.

    This was apparent when Fox News tried to get someone from the warmist side to debate Roy Spencer. From what I could gather, everyone approached refused. The only one who agreed was Gavin Schmidt. And he only agreed if he did not actually debate Roy. On the program, Roy made his statement. Then he left, and Gavin came on, and made his statement. Then Roy came back, and finished the episode.

    This sort of attitude on the part of the warmists does not encourage scientific debate.

    • Steven Mosher

      people who base their arguments on dictionary definitions are ill equipped to say anything of merit about debate

      • The problem is Steve, that in ‘climate science’, one needs to use an agreed definition of what words actually means; things like equilibrium, robust, confidence interval, statistically significant and global all have meanings that appear, to me at least, in ‘climate science’ that are not in general usage.
        People state, with authority, that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and the ocean surface are in ‘equilibrium’ or that the Earth global temperature comes to an ‘equilibrium’. Now if one were not examining the thermodynamics and kinetics of the system it wouldn’t make any difference, but when you are it does.

      • Mosh

        Dictionary definitions are extremely important when debating semantics (which occasionally happens on this thread).

        As an author, you certainly know the importance of using the right words to get your message across.

        But I do not know anyone on this thread “who base their arguments on dictionary definitions” alone.

        Certainly not Jim Cripwell, who (like me) appears to be a rational skeptic of the IPCC CAGW premise and seems to have a good grasp of how the scientific method works, including the key importance of empirical evidence to support hypotheses before they can be corroborated (e.g. Feynman, if you’ll pardon the reference).

        Do you see this differently? If so, how?

        Max

      • Max, you write “Certainly not Jim Cripwell, ”

        This issue of what is and what is not a measurement of climate sensitivity is not over. Climate Etc, is just not the forum to settle what the science is. What the best forum is, I dont know, but what I do know is that this question of the proper numeric value for climate sensitivity is not settled. It will come up again and again, and I am convinced that in the end I will be proven to be correct.

        IMHO, the value of cliamte sensitivity has not been measured in the proper scientific sense of the word, so no-one knows what the value is, nor it’s accuracy. But let us not waste any more time discussing this on Climate Etc.

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker
        “Mosh

        Dictionary definitions are extremely important when debating semantics (which occasionally happens on this thread).

        As an author, you certainly know the importance of using the right words to get your message across.

        But I do not know anyone on this thread “who base their arguments on dictionary definitions” alone.”

        Well, Cripwell for one.

        Jim’s position is that sensitivity has never been measured. That objection is misguided for a couple a reasons.

        A) he thinks there is some categorical difference between measurement and estimation.
        B) he thinks that we can only know what we can measure.

        My position is pretty clear. There is no categorical difference between measuremments and estimates. both exist along a spectrum of accuracy and precision, with “measurements” being most precise and estimates being less precise. And further that our focus should be on the accuracy of the ‘measurements” rather than on Jim’s silly attempt to carve out some special place for MEASUREMENT. Jim’s response was that measurement was categorically different from estimations because
        A) his teacher told him so
        B) the dictionary said so.

        So he bases his argument about the priority of measurement on things that cant be measured. kinda funny as hell.

        Instead he should just focus on the great uncertainty in the metric.

      • “people who base their arguments on dictionary definitions are ill equipped to say anything of merit about debate”

        People who strangle the language to make coherent debate impossible are…well..progressives. Those who practice situational ethics are also invariably fond of situational definitions, like Humpty Dumpty. “When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean neither more nor less. ”

        But to paraphrase our former Orwellian progressive-in-chief -” I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘means’ is.”

      • Steven, you wrfite “My position is pretty clear. There is no categorical difference between measuremments and estimates.”

        Does this mean that if I estimate the climae sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 as 0.0001 C this is the same thing as saying I have measured the climate sensitivity for a doubling fo CO2 as 0.001 C? And if not, then why not?

      • Mosh and Cripwell

        I do not want to enter discussions with you both on the meaning of “estimate” and “measure”.

        They have a somewhat different connotation for me, the latter being more empirical than the former.

        Max

  26. “Do scientific assessments need to be consensual to be authoritative?”

    Breathed a sigh of relief when I read the actual article. My first impression was of somebody being dragooned into an assessment. All those poor climate scientists being forced into signing off on AR4. Oh the horror.

    Words are funny things.

  27. Slightly OT, but just as we were all dozing off regarding the impending CAGW disaster, we get another doomsday prediction (by the same guys that gave us earlier catastrophic economic scenarios resulting from CAGW).

    This time it’s a global economic collapse because of over-evaluated fossil fuel reserves. Right up Webby’s alley.

    Duh!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/19/carbon-bubble-financial-crash-crisis

    Max

  28. MANACKER

    I am intrigued by the Guardian:

    If the agreements hold we are doomed.

    If the agreements don’t hold, we’re doomed.

    All that fossil fuel that is not going to be recovered because we won’t be able to burn it because of emission constraint agreements. We’re doomed.

    If the agreements are not adhered to, all that fossil fuel is recovered and emissions escalate unabated, we will be trapped in earth’s greenhouse. We’re doomed.

    Is there a third choice? unabated CO2 rise, no hot house effect; we run out of easily extractable fossil fuels, Goldilocks put in an appearance, I can put away my snow shovel by the Ides of March and we go onto some other fuel kick.

    • RiHo08

      I’ll go for your “option 3″

      We just recently had another 6 inches of that CAGW induced snow (with over two feet in the mountains), so I’m ignoring Stern and looking for Goldilocks to show up.

      Max

      • You find that unusual in Switzerland?

      • Max_Ch doesn’t get out much.

      • Max_OK and bob droege

        Naw. The recent snow is neither “unusual” nor “unprecedented” (to use some favorite IPCC words).

        But around the end of April it is pretty tiresome.

        And besides, we were warned of “snow-free winters” (and a shutdown of winter tourism) as a result of (human-induced) global warming.

        And IPCC even projected that N. hemisphere snow cover would recede due to AGW.

        Oh well, you can’t guess ‘em all right, even with a fancy computer model.

        Max

      • Max_OK

        Here’s Goldilocks.

        Max_CH

      • Are you sure you are looking at all the snow cover data?

        Last I looked it was decreasing and statistically significant for the summer months.

        Can you give me a link for anyone who predicted snow free winters in Switzerland?

      • bob droege

        I was simply jawboning to RiHo08 about a late spring snowfall, pointing out to you and Max_OK that we had heard earlier words of warning that snowfall in Switzerland would become rare and the winter tourism would die out (so obviously someone got that one wrong).

        You now switch the topic to NH snow cover.

        IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM includes a graph (based on Rutgers data) showing a receding snow cover. Upon closer examination, one sees that this is for March-April (and the data only go up to around 2005).

        So I check out the Rutgers record (there are three).

        http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=1

        http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=2

        http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=4

        And I see that the “spring” snow cover has, indeed, declined slightly, from a 1961-1990 baseline value of 30.5 msk to an average over the past 10 years of 29.1 msk.

        But, at the same time, I see that the “winter” snow cover has increased from 45.1 to 46.1 msk, and the “fall” snow cover has also increased from 18.8 to 19.2 msk, so that overall there has been no change in NH snow cover.

        I assume that IPCC will stick to “spring” data in its new report (since that is the season during which snow cover is shrinking), and skip the rest as unimportant.

        What do you think they will do?

        Max

      • BBD

        (Almost) every Swiss glacier has been receding since they reached their highest extent in 10,000 years around 1850, at the end of the Little Ice Age (Schlüchter et al. 2004).

        Carbon-dated remains of old trees plus other vegetation were used to determine past glacier extent. The two most recent time periods that were identified by these remains were the Medieval Warm Period and the period called the “Roman Optimum”. In both periods the glaciers were smaller than they are today, as shown by this evidence. Similar evidence of other more distant periods of glacial retreat and smaller glaciers than today were also found.

        The study found that during the “Roman Optimum” the glacier “tongues” were actually 300 meters higher than today, which may help to explain why Hannibal was able to cross the Alps with elephants.

        The lowest level of glaciation in the Alps apparently occurred during a period around 7,000 years ago, according to the study. At that time the glaciers had apparently disappeared almost completely.

        But, no, I do not think that this snowfall is going to change the current trend.

        Max

      • manakcker

        The key point is that glaciers are in general recession because of AGW. Paleoclimate change is irrelevant. Misdirection.

        The lowest level of glaciation in the Alps apparently occurred during a period around 7,000 years ago, according to the study. At that time the glaciers had apparently disappeared almost completely.

        Holocene Climatic Optimum. Caused by precessional forcing. Nothing to do with AGW and a total red herring at this point. Like all paleoclimate comparisons with CO2-forced AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Glaciers should respond to warmer temps. Attribution of temperature from 1976 to 1998 to greenhouse is a lot more uncertain due to decadal variability.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/PDO_zps89a7b4c1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

        Decadal variable of ENSO frequency over the same periods.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        TOA flux changes due to associated cloud changes or volcanoes.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=26

        And longer term cloud changes with a dominant effect on surface temperature.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/tropicalcloud.png.html?sort=3&o=32

        For other reasons there is more than enough theory and data to replace an AGW paradigm with an abrupt change paradigm. There is enough data and more to suggest that other factors were more important than greenhouse gases in recent warming.

      • Same old drone. You want to be taken seriously when nobody else agrees with you?

        Then publish. I’ve told you this many times before. I’ve also told you that you won’t get your stuff through peer review because it’s a bunch of half-truths, over-statements and misrepresentation.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        More obnoxious and ill informed babble from someone who understands very little and seems incapable of learning more.

        The PDO is of course well known since Steven Hare described it in 1996 and the statement by the Joint Institute for the Study of The Atmosphere and Ocean statement is obvious enough to be trivial.

        The MEI is from Claus Wolter – world’s leading ENSO expert at NOAA.

        The marked up LW flux graph is from Norman Loeb and the NASA Ceres team and has been published of course.

        The temperature and cloud graph is a combination of ISCCP-FD clouds and HadCRUT3. It is similar to ERBS for the period. It is marked as a climate4you graph – which is Professor Ole Humlum’s website.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/WongFig2-1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=21

        I am terribly afraid old chap that this has all been published before. We know all about it and you are really just a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet with a line in moral arrogance and a habit of cognitive dissonance.

        Nothing to be done but wait for the cool aid to emerge as the planet continues to not warm.

      • I know where your decontextualised snippets came from. We’ve been through all this crap before (is your memory going?). That’s how I know that you have concocted a collective misrepresentation of others’ work in a pitiable attempt to deny the reality of AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I would suggest you explain the context – but I know you are both incapable of processing anomalous information. You remain utterly confused about decadal variability and flailed about wildly until settling on the one explanation that seems to make sense. I am just wrong said with unfailing faith in the morality of the cause, the evilness of deniers and in utter certitude in the silly cult of AGW space cadet groupthink memes. Sorry – the world ain’t warming for decades hence and you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

        ‘This image shows the sea surface temperature anomaly in the Pacific Ocean from April 14–21, 2008. The anomaly compares the recent temperatures measured by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite with an average of data collected by the NOAA Pathfinder satellites from 1985–1997. Places where the Pacific was cooler than normal are blue, places where temperatures were average are white, and places where the ocean was warmer than normal are red.

        The cool water anomaly in the center of the image shows the lingering effect of the year-old La Niña. However, the much broader area of cooler-than-average water off the coast of North America from Alaska (top center) to the equator is a classic feature of the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The cool waters wrap in a horseshoe shape around a core of warmer-than-average water. (In the warm phase, the pattern is reversed).

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        Science is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

    • “Is there a third choice?”

      The third choice is to realize that the doomsayers don’t know one tenth of what they think they do.

      Climate scientists are the post-modern General Jack D. Rippers. Rather than obsessing about fluoride introduced into their precious bodily fluids, they live in fear of a trace amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

      We need a remake of Dr. Strangelove – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Thermageddon,

  29. Not in the bigger picture. Clicked through and read. Does not even get close to the core future fuel availability issues, so is just more MSM intellectual laziness.
    Have previously guest posted here (Maugeri, IEA) on fossil fuel energy. Plus written 1.5 books on it (one mainly, the second not mainly, net my own non-statistical ‘average’).
    Please read then bring counter facts rather than just opinions. Would love some positive counterfacts for the sake of my children and future grandhildren. But I have not been able to find them within Science.

    • Rud Istvan

      Agree with you that the Guardian blurb citing Stern et al. is MSM trash intended to alarm.

      Max

      • Max, the Guardian’s circulation is under 200,000, the UK’s population is 64 million. Can one really classify the G as “mainstream” media when it sells to 0.3% of the population?

      • Gotta laugh at “mainstream” based on circulations. The Times readership is only 0.6% of the UK population. Not mainstream either, ha ha.

      • Web, the Times is high quality and influential, but it’s not “mainstream,” in the sense that it appeals to a fairly restricted segment of its community which would in many ways be distinct from the majority. A bit like The Australian in its community, though the latter is probably a bit more mainstream.

      • Might as well laugh at the New York Times while you are at it. I always do.

        New York Times circulation in 2012 – 1,265,839
        U.S. population in 2012 – 312.8 million people
        NYTimes circulation as percentage of US population – 0.4%

        And declining.

      • For a good account of the decline of the NYT read Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America by William McGowan

      • Faustino

        You raise an interesting point.

        What does it take for a newspaper to be considered part of the MSM?

        Does it depend on circulation?

        If so, what is the minimum circulation required?

        From what I’ve seen, the so-called MSM all rehash the same stories (by AP, UPI or Reuters), adding in their own spin with the editorials and feature articles.

        In most countries with which I am familiar, it appears to me that the MSM is generally “left of center”, with exceptions like the WSJ, Telegraph, etc. which are more to the “right” (but it’s possible that this is only my personal impression.)

        Max

  30. The comments to Hulme’s essay on the pitfalls of forced consensus in the scientific process have confirmed Miles’ Law:

    http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2008/02/miles_law_and_six_other_maxims.html

    Miles’ Law states:

    Where you stand depends on where you sit.

    He codified that which we should know intuitively. We see things and form judgments of things from our own perspective. We need to discipline ourselves to see things from other’s vantage point.

    But (from where I sit) I think there is a fundamental “take home” message in Hulme’s essay that a forced “consensus” process works against the search for truth in science, and is therefore inherently detrimental to the scientific method.

    I do not believe anyone reasonable (no matter where they sit) would disagree with this message.

    They might just disagree that IPCC forced its consensus process and argue that it just happened naturally (as the scientific knowledge evolved).

    A hard sell in view of the observations.

    Max

  31. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘The cool water anomaly in the center of the image shows the lingering effect of the year-old La Niña. However, the much broader area of cooler-than-average water off the coast of North America from Alaska (top center) to the equator is a classic feature of the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The cool waters wrap in a horseshoe shape around a core of warmer-than-average water. (In the warm phase, the pattern is reversed).

    Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns…

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”’ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    ‘The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade, with superimposed AMO-related ups and downs that included the early 20th century warming, the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, the accelerated warming of the 1980s and 1990s, and the recent slowing of the warming rates.’ Tung and Zhou (2013)

    I am inclined to think there is solar amplification in warming and cooling periods in the 20th century – secular changes in cloud as oceans and atmospheric patterns shift. Time will tell with longer and more accurate toa radiant flux measurements.

    I find it difficult to conceive that there is a scientific consensus except in the fervid imaginations of the AGW space cadets.

  32. Since there is no arbiter of a scientific issue (as an example lets arbitrary pick a subject; how about CAGW), the proposal is to choose “consensus” as the arbiter. Since there is no arbiter of when there is a consensus how about we choose “a roll of the dice” to see whether there is a consensus. I’m sure we can reach a consensus that “snake eyes” means there is a consensus on whatever the original issue was.
    I must have slept thru the class when “consensus” was discussed as part of the scientific process. Or perhaps it wasn’t being taught when I went to school and it is now being taught. Or perhaps I have a ringside seat to a new scientific process being made.
    Isn’t changing the subject a debating technique used by the losing side?

  33. There certainly seems to be a general majority of scientists who believe that there is some element of global warming that is driven by human activity and I accept this. It remains moot whether CO2 is the main driver of anthropogenic climate change but it is accepted that humans footprint on the environment is unacceptably large.

    What I don’t accept is some of the predictions made by members of the climate science orthodoxy, on the grounds that insufficient information is being used in support of these conclusions, particularly in respect of any catastropheric rise in sea levels.

    As mentioned in the OP, the issue of management spin being applied to the science of climate change has IMO reduced the overall validity of climate science and increased the level of distrust in the lay community.

    • When you say that humans footprint on the environment is unacceptably large it sounds insane to me when a volcano can put more pollution into the air than every automobile ever driven on Earth and when most of the land on Earth is uninhabited and over 70% of the surface of the Earth is covered by salt water. There more trees in Vermont now than in 1776.

      • Not insane Wagathon.

        Volcanoes are natural enough and there’s not much anyone can do about this except, to be sure not to live to close to an active one.

        I wasn’t thinking entirely about climate but about issues like strip mining, overfishing, plastic waste (have a little flight over the Pacific and check out the islands of floating garbage the size of small European countries), farm land degradation, deforestation, pollution of rivers, streams and underground water acquifers, unnecessary dams (when better water management practices are called for), air pollution from electricity generation, motor vehicles, air, sea and rail transport to name a few.

        Sure many things on this list is progress but better conservation measures are very much needed and should be enforced on non-complying countries.

      • Patrick Moore (Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout… ) knows first-hand how the liberal fascists of the Left took over the environmental movement and destroyed science and civil discourse:

        “Some activists simply couldn’t make the transition from confrontation to consensus; it was as if they needed a common enemy. When a majority of people decide they agree with all your reasonable ideas the only way you can remain confrontational and antiestablishment is to adopt ever more extreme positions, eventually abandoning science and logic altogether in favour of zero-tolerance policies.”

    • Peter, I’m generally in total agreement with your posts, but when you say that “it is accepted that humans footprint on the environment is unacceptably large,” who is it doing the accepting? I’d say that most people in the world don’t think about it. And when you say that certain things “should be enforced on non-complying countries,” who will do the enforcing? What if China is the major non-compliant country?

      There seems to be no capacity to enforce CO2 emissions-reductions on particular countries, there seems to be little capacity to constrain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Most countries will continue to make decisions based on their assessments of what is best for them (or best for their kleptocracy), the US seems to be tired of being the world’s self-appointed policeman, who else could fill that role?

      • Faustino, Another good letter in ‘The Australian

      • Thanks for responding Faustino. My wording wasn’t clear but its me that accepts the fact that human impact adversely on the environment. I try not to speak for anyone else!

        It is my belief that the countries that damage their environments and particularly if the damage extends to international waters, should be compelled to clean up or lose access to World Bank grants and foreign aid funding and the like.

        Economic sanctions seem the only way that things like emissions reductions could be achieved. This could take the form of a import taxes on their manufactured products.

  34. Every step of scientific progress has always been against the “consensus” of it’s time.

    Otherwise it would not have been progress.

  35. “Do scientific assessments need to be consensual to be authoritative?”

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    Let me put it this way. If you have herpes and the AMA tells you it’s incurable, would you waist money on cures being peddled by quacks?

    • The Left has done more to destroy the American culture and society in the last 40 years than since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Cause for alarm?

      • Wagathon | April 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm |

        American culture has been destroyed?!

        On no! Alarm! Alarm! Society is being suppressed by the Left!

        So.. what does America have now, if it isn’t American culture? Is it Russian culture? Are we speaking Russian and didn’t notice?

      • Steer clear of the brown acid.

      • Sounds like you were there!

      • Global warming science is the new pinball wizardry.

      • Waggy, what the hell does that have to do with herpes. My post was about no cure for herpes, not American Culture. Too frequently, you just write whatever pops into your head regardless of its relevance.

        But maybe I’m being too harsh. You may see a connection between herpes and the American culture that just hasn’t occurred to me.

      • Steer clear of tattoos!

      • “Steer clear of tattoos” ?

        A good idea, but that’s not the way herpes is transmitted.

        Waggy, given your knowledge of STD’s, your best bet is celibacy.

      • What if the consensus of opinion was that your ulcer was not caused by H. pylori bacteria and you should stay away from spicy foods if you ever expect to recover?

      • Waggy, that’s one disease out of hundreds. If you think doctors usually are wrong about the causes of diseases, stop going to doctors.

      • So long as doctors have respect for the scientific method you won’t find many global warming alarmists among them. It’s the dumpster liberals that want to throw the babies out with the morals.

      • I don’t know anyone who is “alarmed” about global warming. I know people who are concerned. “Alarmed about global warming” is an exaggeration, and exaggerations are intellectually dishonest. Deniers use the term a lot because they like being intellectually dishonest.

        BTW, I don’t know where you got the idea tattoos cause herpes, but if your doctor told you, he’s incompetent, and you should find another doctor.

      • “Oceans will begin to boil.” ~Dr. Hansen

      • Good, now we can have a whole thread about the difference (or lack thereof) between “alarmed” and “concerned.”

        “Alarmed”…it’s the new “measured.”

      • “Alarmed” is when you are willing to destroy the economy to solve the non-problem of global warming. We need not bother to take the time to ascribe the Left’s irrational acts to fear, superstition, ignorance or a religious belief that salvation lies on the dark side of the comet Hale-Bopp to smoke pot in liberal Utopia with the Heavens Gate cult.

      • Well, I think there’s a difference. Imagine calling the fire department and telling them you are concerned because your house is on fire.

      • The hypocrisy is palpable. The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

      • Waggy, to believe that crock about the Prius and the Hummer, a person would have to be ignorant about cars and very stupid.

      • …or, phony capitalists like GM?

      • p.s., want some Tesla shares… cheap!

      • Government darling Fisker just fired 75% of its workforce. Maybe you can buy the company out of bankruptcy.

      • A test of Gore for the faithful. Is the crash of the green bubble actually costing him money?
        =============

      • My what sharp teeth Gore has!

      • Yep Fisker is down, but that is only 200 million of the taxpayers money. A123, the battery maker with the high tech nanotech approach that didn’t work, was looking for 1.8 billion of government loans.

      • Tesla is starting to look like a company that runs on hot air with a car that is powered by coal and sold with government subsidies to trust fund liberals. A growing part of its revenue looks like what the government wants to with global cap and trade policies–e.g.,

        But here’s something else worth noting:

        Tesla also said in the filing yesterday that sales of so- called Zero-Emission Vehicle credits from its electric cars jumped to $40.5 million last year from $2.7 million in 2011.

        California’s environmental rules require large automakers to sell a certain number of electric and plug-in vehicles in the state annually. Those that fall short can buy such credits from companies such as Tesla that generate more than they need.

        Wait, wait — Tesla has made roughly $37 million since 2011 from selling credits? Who have they been selling these credits to?

        “Ahuja declined to identify which companies bought Tesla credits, and the carmaker didn’t disclose details in its annual report,” Bloomberg notes.

        Huh.

      • GM is as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, so why is Waggy pissing on GM? There can be only one answer. He’s anti-American.

      • The government is baking apple pies now? Good to know.

      • Waggy if you hate America so much, you should leave. If our government bugs you, go live in a country that has less government. America will never have what you want.

      • WE THE PEOPLE of Global Warming, in order to form a more perfect… Who’s the ‘We’ we’re talking about here? Is it those who believe in ‘a physical limit’ and look for others to join them in living the life of a leech perched on the backs of the productive? It is the productive who actually provide something of value to society.

        That an economy can be run by those who provide nothing but demands about what others will do and what others will have and how others shall live is an idea that literally does not work. Do you fear Big Oil making big dollars and destroying the world with their products? If so, then why don’t you also fear the products of the Anthropogenic alarmism industry and all of the money they are hauling in and providing nothing more than a game of make believe about humans destroying the Earth?

      • Waggy says:
        “a leech perched on the backs of the productive”

        Waggy, leeches don’t perch. Maybe you are thinking about birds.

        I suggest: vultures perched on the back of the productive waiting for the poor devils to die from being overworked.

        Or on a more positive note: canaries perched on the back of the productive singing while they work.

      • I defer to your expertise on global vulturism.

      • Waggy, please don’t denigrate vultures. They are nature’s sanitation crew, and save us the trouble and expense of disposing of dead animals, such as the deer we run over.

        Leaches also are helpful. In medicine, they are used in healing the sick. Leaches are our friends.

        Even termites are helpful, despite their bad habit of eating our houses. Without them, we would be butt deep in dead wood.

        So all these creatures were welcomed on Noah’s Ark. Luckily, the termites fasted until the flood was over because they were smart enough to know eating the arc was not a good idea.

      • Too bad Leftists and liberals are not smart enough to know that eating the Golden Goose is not a good idea.

      • Republicans are geese? Nah, wrong bird !

        I would say loons or coots.

      • The Left believes just the threat of global warming caused the dodo extinction.

    • k scott denison

      Max_OK | April 22, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply

      Let me put it this way. If you have herpes and the AMA tells you it’s incurable, would you waist (sic) money on cures being peddled by quacks?
      ——————-
      Read this three times before deciding you are serious. All I can say is “wow”. You are so far off base from reality.

      Here’s a question and answer for you to ponder:

      What is the single biggest determinant of your probability of a positive outcome if you have heart disease (or about any other) in the US today?

      Is it:

      a. Following what the AMA says is the correct course of treatment
      b. How much money you pay for your healthcare
      c. The zip code in which the healthcare was delivered
      d. Access to experimental treatments

      The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is “c. The zip code in which the healthcare was delivered”.

      This is because there a few healthcare organizations in the US where they don’t follow the “consensus of the AMA”. They don’t follow the “expert opinion”. What they follow is the DATA. They measure and analyze the outcomes from years of treating the disease with different courses of actions. They look for what’s common among the positive outcomes and adapt their care protocols accordingly. And then they start all over again.

      Look at what goes on in Salt Lake City (Intermountain Healthcare), Cleveland (Cleveland Clinic Foundation), Rochester, MN (Mayo Clinic) and Danville, PA (Geisinger Health) to learn more.

      • sorry, k scott, I will stick with the AMA.

        The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. Get over it.

      • k scott denison

        If you stick with the AMA you best hope you never have a serious illness. Good luck with that.

        As to Obamavare being here to stay, that forecast is as solid as the climate models. The implementation nightmare is just beginning. We’ll see what 2014 brings once people have a taste of the impact.

    • k scott denison

      ps: you are talking about the same AMA who represents only about 17% of US physicians and who endorsed the Affordable Care Act in spite of 70% of physicians opposing this view (and only 13% agreeing with it). Sounds a lot like the “consensus” of climate scientists.

      • Good point. As our ex PM Paul Keating had once said of the Democrats in the Australian Parliament – unrepresentative swill! Here is yet another organisation who takes a policy position without due respect to the views of significant numbers of their peers who disagree.

  36. The foundation of the IPCC was the start of the politics of climate change.

    Politics intervened to establish an institution of absolute scientific truth.

    Money was laid in the table.

    Large sums. Millions. Billions.

    “We need a scientific evaluation of man made global warming”

    And it would of course be sad to waste all that money and say that there is none.

    Next time we would get nothing, while we were still doing good work. Work that we should be doing anyway.

    So we made sure to put a little concession toward global warming. Just to make sure we could do the work we would be doing anyway.

    More money for research is positive anyway!

    Simple as that.

    • More money for research is positive anyway!
      Consensus Scientists are not really scientists.
      Science must always be skeptic.
      Research by Consensus “People” is not really research.
      This money was wasted.

  37. Meh.

    Consensus and authority are topics for anthropologists studying the behavior of individuals in organizations, not for scientists in organizations to rely overmuch on.

    Parmesan and Yohe are, by all measures of citation count and reference, the strongest authorities in climatology. Ask any hundred climatologists to name their ten, fifty, or hundred strongest authorities and I doubt you will hear their names mentioned more than a handful of times.

    Consensus is a subjective received perception, not a real thing. The same is true of authority. Despite every effort to formalize such things, to prescribe or enforce — as for example the Academy Francais (excuse my horrific spelling, the reason for it will become apparent shortly) attempts to inflict ever-failingly on the French language and no one is so foolish to attempt on English, which is as a result the more vibrant and vital language — sets of authorities or consensus rules.

    The IPCC charter does not tell it to create consensus, but to find out what the consensus is. The IPCC charter does not make the IPCC any sort of authority over science, but merely hands it the responsibility to provide supporting documents for policy.

    And in policy, the authority is that of the governments of nations, not some single government above all nations.

    Frame the topic so naively, so wrongly, as this whole ‘Do blah blah blah need to be consensual’ (which sounds so dirty) and you will never get to any sort of truth about either consensus or authority.

    Consensus and authority in science come out of the validity and strength of ideas and observations, not of the trustworthiness of people.

  38. …conflicting conclusions had been reached prematurely or that personal or cultural biases and values had protruded into the reasoning process.

    Yes indeed:

    • Then there is this

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/07/17/156897485/how-good-were-climate-models-30-years-ago

      Models 30 years ago would have been a good bet it turns out.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hansen was and is definitively wrong. Half of the temperature rise from 1976 was multi-decadal variability and projecting this forward gives a minor temperature rise this century. Simply projecting it forward may not be realistic as the sun cools from its 1000 year Grand Maxima and the decline is amplified through the climate system.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SyunAkasofu.png.html?sort=3&o=40

        ‘Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu is not a ‘climate scientist’ it is said.

        ‘Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, IARC Founding Director and Professor of Physics, Emeritus, was director of the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1986 to 1999 and director the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks from its establishment in 1998 until January of 2007. He originally came to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1958 as a graduate student to study the aurora under Sydney Chapman, receiving his PhD in 1961. He has been professor of geophysics since 1964. Dr. Akasofu has published more than 550 professional journal articles, authored and co-authored 10 books. He has collaborated with numerous colleagues nationally and internationally, and has guided nine students to their Ph.D. degrees.

        Dr. Akasofu’s auroral work has earned national and international recognition. His 1964 paper has become the foundation of the discipline of auroral/magnetospheric substorms and was cited as one of the most quoted papers even in 2002. In 1980, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus by UAF, and in 1981, he was named one of the “1000 Most Cited Scientists.” The Royal Astronomy Society of London presented Dr. Akasofu with its Chapman Medal. He has been honored with the Japan Academy of Sciences Award, the John Adams Fleming Award of the American Geophysical Union, and in 2003, the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, was conferred on him by the Emperor of Japan. Hannes Alfvén medal was awarded by the European Geoscience Union in 2011. He was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1977, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001. In 1985, Dr. Akasofu became the first recipient of the Chapman Chair Professorship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; and in 1987, he was named one of the “Centennial Alumni” by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. In addition, he has received awards of appreciation for his efforts in support of international science activities from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1993 and from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan in 1996. He was the recipient of the University of Alaska Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence in 1997. He also received the 1999 Alaskan of the Year Denali Award, and the 2003 Aurora Award from the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

      • Chief, did you know Akasofu is 82 years old? I hope to live that long despite people in their 80’s ( those I’ve known) being behind the times, forgetful, and a bit slow and confused. I would like to break the age record for males.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        He is still at least 8 times smarter than you – and the graph simply projects recent temperatures – including the decadal variability forward. ‘The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade, with superimposed AMO-related ups and downs that included the early 20th century warming,
        the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, the accelerated warming of the 1980s and 1990s, and the recent slowing of the warming rates.’ http://depts.washington.edu/amath/research/articles/Tung/journals/Tung_and_Zhou_2013_PNAS.pdf

        This obsession you age rather than truth is truly astonishingly bizarre. You have run out of anything to say – there wasn’t much to start with – and now you are simply annoying everyone with your juvenile antics. You have no intention or ability to discuss science so I suggest that you would do best just to go away.

      • Max_OK

        There you go again, with your silly argument regarding the age of Dr. Akasofu, who is undoubtedly a distinguished and very knowledgeable scientist.

        people in their 80′s ( those I’ve known) being behind the times, forgetful, and a bit slow and confused

        I can see no evidence that Dr. Akasofu is any of those. He is certainly less confused than you are at your tender age.

        You’ve just known the wrong 80-year olds. Possibly know the wrong 20-year olds, too.

        And forget your silly argument – it just makes you look more juvenile than you probably really are.

        Max_CH

      • CH, your unquestioning loyalty to Dr. Akasofu is touching. Has he made any other forays into climate science apart from that Girma-esque graphic that led you to be so impressed?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I quote many scientists Jim. But this is one of the most obvious truths in climate science – why would I doubt it?

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/PDO_zps89a7b4c1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I had a a sailing buddy who actually fought and was wounded on the Kokoda Track – and was still practicing medicine at 90. I would have had no hesitation in seeing him as a patient.

      • CH

        Akasofu is completely wrong. Just like Tung & Zhou. Fundamental errors.

        You couldn’t see the flaw in T&Z either as I recall (perfectly). Not very encouraging at all.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        blah blah – you are an astonishingly silly little space cadet with little to say of any subtlety or breadth of understanding.

        A cool-water anomaly known as La Niña occupied the tropical Pacific Ocean throughout 2007 and early 2008. In April 2008, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that while the La Niña was weakening, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation—a larger-scale, slower-cycling ocean pattern—had shifted to its cool phase.

        This image shows the sea surface temperature anomaly in the Pacific Ocean from April 14–21, 2008. The anomaly compares the recent temperatures measured by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite with an average of data collected by the NOAA Pathfinder satellites from 1985–1997. Places where the Pacific was cooler than normal are blue, places where temperatures were average are white, and places where the ocean was warmer than normal are red.

        The cool water anomaly in the center of the image shows the lingering effect of the year-old La Niña. However, the much broader area of cooler-than-average water off the coast of North America from Alaska (top center) to the equator is a classic feature of the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The cool waters wrap in a horseshoe shape around a core of warmer-than-average water. (In the warm phase, the pattern is reversed).

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    • Jim D said on April 23, 2013 at 1:24 am |
      “CH, your unquestioning loyalty to Dr. Akasofu is touching. Has he made any other forays into climate science apart from that Girma-esque graphic that led you to be so impressed?”
      _________

      Girma crossed my mind too.

      Girma should try being a stock market chartist. He could see his results a lot sooner.

  39. Maybe the IPCC’s authority – in the eyes of critics and publics, if not also in the eyes of politicians – would therefore be enhanced if it acted on its own rules for minority reporting in the Summary for Policymakers (which it never has).

    Excellent idea!

  40. IPCC

    A scientific body that does not partake in … a politics of transparent social choice – one that hides both its substantive disagreements and its disciplinary and sectoral interests beneath a cloak of consensus – is not a fully democratic one.

    Thank you.

  41. For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics.

    Thank you JC.

    • Thanks Mike Hulme

    • But not necessarily believe. It’s so easy to be a critic and have nothing important to say.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Mike Hulme is a professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). In 1988, after four years lecturing in geography at the University of Salford, he became for 12 years a senior researcher in the Climatic Research Unit, part of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. In October 2000 he founded the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, a distributed virtual network organisation headquartered at UEA, which he directed until July 2007.[1] He is the founding Editor-in-Chief (since 2008) of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change,[2] published by John Wiley & Sons.’

        Mike Hulme is one of the most respected voices in climate science. The only real question is how much more egregiously trivial nonsense can we expect from Max?

      • Chief, give me a break. Read what I say before commenting. I didn’t mean Hume has nothing important to say. I mean just because someone is a critic, doesn’t mean he has something important to say. It’s easy to be a critic, but not easy to be a constructive critic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You mean read your one line snark about Mike Hume(sic)? Try not to embarrass yourself further.

      • Yes, read what I write, before commenting on what I write.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It easy to be a world’s leading climate scientist, a lead IPCC author and have nothing important to say about the IPCC process or climate science? You don’t have a clue who Mike Hulme is – can’t spell the name even – without a clue suggest he has nothing important to say – and pretend that I have somehow not read your one line snark? Is that it? Pathetic.

      • Chief, I thought if you read what I wrote, you would understand what a wrote. I was wrong.

      • Notice in my previous post I misspell “I”. Misspelling a one-letter word isn’t easy.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Girma | April 23, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply

        Thanks Mike Hulme

        Max_OK | April 23, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply

        But not necessarily believe. It’s so easy to be a critic and have nothing important to say.

        I think I understand well enough the silly one line snark about a person you knew nothing of and which you now try to claim is something else. What I understand is hypocrisy and dishonesty.

      • .
        Girma quoted someone (Mike Hulme ?) saying “For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics.”

        Max_OK replies regarding the quote: “But not necessarily believe. It’s so easy to be a critic and have nothing important to say.”

        It should be clear I was referring to “it’s critics” when I said “But not necessarily believe.” rather than who Girma was quoting. But Chief Hydrologists persists in believing I was referring to Mike Hulme. Attempts to persuade Chief I was not referring to Hume are met with insults, as evidenced by his following remark.

        “I think I understand well enough the silly one line snark about a person you knew nothing of and which you now try to claim is something else. What I understand is hypocrisy and dishonesty.”

        Apparently, when Chief Hydrologists gets a wrong impression, it’s hard for him to get it out of his head.
        I don’t know what more I can do to set him straight.

    • Chief Hydrologist


      Girma | April 23, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply

      For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics.

      Thank you JC.

      Girma | April 23, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply

      Thanks Mike Hulme

      Max_OK | April 23, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply

      But not necessarily believe. It’s so easy to be a critic and have nothing important to say.

      I understand dishonesty and hypocrisy.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Girma | April 23, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply

      For science to be authoritative, it should therefore welcome – indeed seek out – its critics.

      Thank you JC.

      Girma | April 23, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply

      Thanks Mike Hulme

      Max_OK | April 23, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply

      But not necessarily believe. It’s so easy to be a critic and have nothing important to say.

      I have misunderstood? I think it is an exercise in face saving and worse. Jump in and make a silly comment and not admit to the silliness and move on. Communication is not the objective but scoring points in the propaganda blog battles of the climate war. Pointless nonsense in other words in which science and rationality is lost.

      How is this site to be redeemed from serial pests and the wild and ill considered diversions but by honesty?

  42. Chief Hydrologist | April 23, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    “He is still at least 8 times smarter than you – and the graph simply projects recent temperatures – including the decadal variability forward.”
    ______
    Well, that would make him 64 times smarter than you.

    I question his competence because if his advanced age.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Wow – such a clever retort from an adolescent monster. I doubt your competence because – well – you just don’t have any.

  43. Proof positive that “environmentalism” has jumped the shark.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/nyregion/babys-latest-going-diaperless-at-home-or-even-in-the-park.html

    Words do not express….

  44. manacker said on April 23, 2013 at 1:08 am
    Max_OK

    “There you go again, with your silly argument regarding the age of Dr. Akasofu, who is undoubtedly a distinguished and very knowledgeable scientist.”
    _____

    There’s nothing silly about me thinking age is a factor in a person’s thinking. Age extremes (children and the elderly) affect abilities and attitudes.

    I suspect 82 year old Dr. Akasofu’s thinking on climate is influenced by his advanced age. I don’t know his age is factor for sure, but I suspect it. What I do know for sure is I am not impressed with his theory about climate change, a theory which boils down to it’s natural because he sees a pattern in the historical temperature trend. “Its natural” is not an explanation.

    • Ageist.

      • Realist. Everyone ages, including me. To deny aging affects people is intellectually dishonest.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The global surface air temperature record of the last 150 years is characterized by a long‐term warming trend, with strong multidecadal variability superimposed. Similar multidecadal variability is also seen in
        other (societal important) parameters such as Sahel rainfall or Atlantic hurricane activity. The existence of the multidecadal variability makes climate change detection a challenge, since Global Warming
        evolves on a similar timescale.’ Mojib Latif and Noel S.Keenlyside, A perspective on decadal climate variability and predictability, Deep–Sea Research II, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.066

        The existence of multi- decadal variability is one of the most studied and most obvious things in climate science.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/PDO_zps89a7b4c1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        So really we have what can only be described as a stupendously ill informed person being not impressed by the observations of an eminent and honoured scientist because he is 82.

        I just like the pretty picture. The reality behind it is unmistakable for these who eyes to see and half a brain.

      • The works of Akasofu and Tsonis bring to mind tea leave reading and stock market charting. They observe temperature change patterns and project the patterns. That’s not science. Science attempts to explain the cause of the observed. They only say the cause of observed changes in temperature is nature (natural variation), which is lack of an explanation, not an explanation. Where would science be if the causes of all observations were simply attributed to nature?

      • Max_OK, “The works of Akasofu and Tsonis bring to mind tea leave reading and stock market charting. They observe temperature change patterns and project the patterns. ”

        Without a reasonable mechanism to explain the patterns, it is pretty much just tea leaf reading. But in a non-linear system, ignoring those swings is a bit dumb. The only thing that can explain those longer term patterns are ocean dynamics and long term external forcing, since the atmosphere responds quickly.

        Since you compared to the stock market, do you buy on a wild run up or think before investing?

      • There is something more than ageism at work in progressives’ demonization of older folks who disagree with them, especially those who used to be progressive themselves.

        As progressives get closer to the end, they stop being quite so blithe about how there is no such thing as objective morality. From Picasso admitting he was pedaling garbage for years, to that old reprobate Teddy Kennedy writing a tell all biography (that was apparently disappeared by his family), they start to pull away from the group think they have engaged in their entire lives.

        And these guys are more dangerous to progressivism than any conservative or skeptic. They know where the bodies are buried (so to speak). So they must be ostracized or silenced at all costs.

      • Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. …

        Has Tsonis ever referred to it as “abrupt climate change on decadal timescales”?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Climate shifts around 1910, 1945, 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 are not abrupt?

      • That wasn’t the question. The question is does AA Tsonis refer to them as “abrupt climate change”, or not? If not, who added the “abrupt climate change”?

      • Re post by captdallas 0.8 or less April 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        It looks like they are assuming temperature change is just a function of time. Taking that assumption, you can forecast simply by extrapolating an OLS trend line. I don’t see what they did is any better, it’s just fancier.

        In answer to your question about buying stocks, I don’t try to time the market. I dollar average and periodically rebalance my mutual fund holdings.

      • GaryM | April 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        There is something more than ageism at work in progressives’ demonization of older folks who disagree with them, especially those who used to be progressive themselves.
        ________

        Who’s demonizing older people?

      • Max_ok, “It looks like they are assuming temperature change is just a function of time. Taking that assumption, you can forecast simply by extrapolating an OLS trend line. I don’t see what they did is any better, it’s just fancier. ”

        Yep, as long as you include realistic confidence levels. The problem is trying to squeeze too much out of the information and the resulting over confidence.

        Like your stock strategy, slow accumulation will iron out the bumps, but once you reach a point, nearing retirement, you would shift into less risk. With Climate your OLS trend then would be 120 to 240 years to smooth out the shorter term bumps and you would grow more cautious as things started not looking like they should.

        That is not good enough though. There has to be action NOW! So desperation ends up with claims like the confidence interval in treemometers is +/- 0.05 C degrees. Totally ludicrous. Like they say, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

        Tsonis et al work just indicates there are “shifts” or regime changes, not that they can predict the future, but there will likely be bumps to watch out for. Then you can look for things that can cause those bumps. With observations falling outside of the overly optimistic 95% confidence intervals of the models, climate science is hitting some bumps.

      • Captain D – actually I think I’ve read papers out of Tsonis et al that are working on prediction: Kravtsov.

      • JCH, “Captain D – actually I think I’ve read papers out of Tsonis et al that are working on prediction: Kravtsov.”

        Everyone is working on prediction. So far all Tsonis et al have done is shown there are more wiggles that need to be predicted.

        Now when someone explains the 85 DTR shift, they might be on to something.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Climate shifts around 1910, 1945, 1976/77 and 1998/2001 aren’t abrupt?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘By analyzing a lagged covariance structure of a network of climate indices, this study details the AMO-signal propagation throughout the Northern Hemisphere via a sequence of atmospheric and lagged oceanic teleconnections, which the authors term the “stadium wave”. Initial changes in the North Atlantic temperature anomaly associated with AMO culminate in an oppositely signed hemispheric signal about 30 years later. Furthermore, shorter-term, interannual-to-interdecadal climate variability alters character according to polarity of the stadium-wave-induced prevailing hemispheric climate regime. Ongoing research suggests mutual interaction between shorter-term variability and the stadium wave, with indication of ensuing modifications of multidecadal variability within the Atlantic sector. Results presented here support the hypothesis that AMO plays a significant role in hemispheric and, by inference, global climate variability, with implications for climate-change attribution and prediction.’

      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

      Just to introduce a few wriggles and a stadium wave more.

      ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s.’ The Great Pacific climate shift happened in 1976/77 and is a bifurcation in the sense of Tsonis’ synchronous chaos – indeed an ENSO dragon-king. ‘We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

      It is also equivalent to a climate shift or an abrupt climate change – where a shift is defined by Tsonis as a change in the character of ENSO and an abrupt climate change is defined by the NAS it ‘is a transition of the climate system into a different mode on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing.’ It is the 1976/77 shift from La Nina dominance to El Nino dominance – as an example.

      JCH – I am very over fools today who wish merely to play with words with very little wit. If you want to play with words and meaning – at least attempt to understand the common scientific definition before involving others in your silly diversions.

      • Climate is very very very complicated.
        Temperature bounds are very very very simple.
        When the oceans get warm and wet it snows much more for every little bit of warming and that does put an upper bound on temperature.
        When the oceans get cold and frozen, not wet, it snows much less for every little bit more of frozen surface that cannot supply water to the atmosphere and that does put a lower bound on temperature.
        Think about this. Water is abundant. it matters if it is wet or frozen. CO2 is a trace gas and we are only responsible for a fourth of a trace

      • Abruptio placid.
        ==========

      • Tsonis publishes along with a core group of other authors: Swanson, Kravtsov, Wyatt, etc. There are a large number of papers. In none of them that I can find do any of them use the terminology:

        Abrupt Climate Change

        I think they would use it if that were what they are talking about. It’s not what they are talking about. That’s just your twisted spin.

        The only reason I can think of why you would sneak it into the conversation is your fascination with the WHOI’s plea for funding. More money. Hey, good for them. It’s a business.

        As usual you will bully your way through this because that’s just what you are. Chef Hydro: what we know is he can boil water, maybe.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have read a number of papers from Tsonis – but let’s just stick to one for now.

        A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
        Anastasios A. Tsonis
        Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences,
        University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 53201 USA
        aatsonis@uwm.edu

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event in the 20th century is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. Extending this analysis in the 21st century confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in three forced and unforced climate simulations using state-of-the-art models. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.

        So what he is talking about is chaos theory? Emergent behaviour? Right?

        So here is where abrupt climates change is defined – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?term=chaotic&record_id=10136&booksearch=1&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
        – and I very nicely did a search for ‘chaotic’ for you.

        As Sornette said – we ‘emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.’

        Where there is chaos we have bifurcations and all the other terms as well – including abrupt climate change.

        Yours is an egregious example of the hypocrisy and dishonesty that is the standard for AGW space cadets.

  45. Sorry there is a fundamental misunderstanding why consensus science has been chosen. It is to prevent arguments and allow dodgy scientists, politicians and the Green Gravy Trainers to say the science is settled.

  46. ………s and the Green Gravy Trainers to say the science is settled and prevent scrutiny.
    Now turning to Mike Hulme my recollection is that he was not whiter than white when the emails were released. If the following are his words then I wouldn’t give any credence to his views and I believe from memory he was involved in the cause.
    “My work is as Director of the national centre for climate change research, a job which requires me to translate my Christian belief about stewardship of God’s planet into research and action.

  47. “Not that the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) revealed any fundamental faking of substantive data or fraudulent practice, but that they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the open sharing of data.”

    I see above that there was a lot of discussion about the legal definition of fraud. To me, it is just another example of Hulme choosing his words very carefully. He brings to mind a quote from Le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor” about the double agent Bill Haydon:

    ‘Bill’s backside must look like a damn gridiron,’ Control muttered next day. ‘The years he’s spent sitting on the fence.’

    Climategate revealed scientific fraud, which is a different thing to criminal fraud involving money or goods, as Hulme well knows. The Harryreadme emails about the dire state of the data they were using, the deliberate suppression of dissent within their own ranks and the attempts to quash external opposition by unethical means, are all examples of scientific fraud.

    Hulme has a track record of running with the fox and hunting with the hounds as and when it suits him, and this essay is just another example of it. Like Haydon in the novel, he is utterly unscrupulous about how he positions himself in the face of changing circumstances, while keeping his options open.

  48. Climategate was not a ‘tragedy’, but a liberation from the misguided idea that a bunch of second and third rate ‘scientists’ acted in anything other their own individual and collective interests.

    I note that the AGW scare has been going downhill ever since……first the public’s belief in it and now the politicians desire/ability to do anything about it.

    When the true history of its demise is written, Climategate will be seen as the turning point.

    And the delicious, hilarious irony is that the perps brought it all upon themselves……

  49. The climate models don’t take into account the multidecadal oscillations. These people must now come out and admit they were wrong. The global warming trend can not be based on just 30 years as the period of the multidecdal oscillation is about 60 years. To get at the true trend, longer period about 60 years need be taken. When the longer trend period is considered, the current global warming rate is about 0.1 deg C/decade. And this is accelerating at a minuscule rate of about 0.03 deg C/decade every 60 years. This mean the global warming rate (the Secular one) will be about 0.13 deg C/decade in about 2070. But before that, the sun spots may remain low and bring a cooling.

  50. Ian Blanchard

    “The same evidence presented to the same disciplined mind leads to precisely the same conclusion”…

    Anyone that believes that has had no dealings with scientists or other technical experts. It is quite possible, and indeed likely, that two Experts will arrive at radically different conclusions when presented with the same data (I encounter this in Expert Witness work on a day to day basis). Sometimes it reflects the different knowledge and experience of the Experts, sometimes their biases (and this being commercial work for civil claims, there can be a battle between what is true and what your client wants to hear – intellectual honesty demands that you tell your client the truth even if it means they have no valid defence, but it takes some courage to tell them this), and sometimes simply disagreement in interpretation.

    The UK court system requires that, when each side has an Expert Witness covering the same part of the case, the two (or more) Experts meet prior to the Court case and prepare a joint statement detailing those areas where they essentially agree, where they disagree and (at least in outline) why they disagree.

    Something similar would be useful between the AGW supporters and skeptics, so that research could be focussed more accurately on those areas of doubt. I’m aware Steve McIntyre suggested preparing something like this with James Annan (iirc) about the hockey stick debate, but that Annan refused on the grounds that it would not be good for his career (implying that academic politics was in play)

  51. Something similar would be useful between the AGW supporters and skeptics, so that research could be focussed more accurately on those areas of doubt.

    That would be excellent. Who would be the facilitator?

  52. There seems far too much emphasis on the IPCC in Hulme’s essay. It is not the IPCC which creates, ore even encourages consensus. It couldn’t do that even if the key members wished it. From my reading of events, the scientific community was starting towards the same consensus on the effect of increased atmospheric GH gas concentrations well before the IPCC was set up.

    Science doesn’t need an IPCC type body on anything else. So why on climate change? There wasn’t one on the effects of smoking and there isn’t one on the link between AIDS/HIV or on the strength of the theory of Darwinian Evolution. It was foisted on the scientific community, largely, by the Reagan administration and also largely as a stalling measure. If the IPCC didn’t exist, as many sceptic /deniers would wish it didn’t, would the scientific consensus be any different? I’d say not. It could well be that the IPCC has served its purpose and that its continued existence is further politicising a scientific issue which is in need of just the opposite.

    • “Science doesn’t need an IPCC type body on anything else.”

      For once I agree.

      “the IPCC served it’s purpose” ? Yes. It has caused mankind to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on useless renewable projects. A very bad purpose.

      Regardless, we need to close down the IPCC, the sooner the better. And honest scientists need also to condemn it as one-sided and biased.
      Saying like Hulmes: “maybe it has outlived it;s usefullness” is not enough. One must admit it was biased and political and wrong from the start.

    • Hulme’s essay is about provision of scientific information for policy purposes. Clearly IPCC reports are the main source of scientific information about climate change which governments use (that’s the theory, anyway) to make policy, so it makes sense that Hulme would reference them.

      From my reading Hulme’s essay is not really about the areas where there is a strong consensus, such as “more CO2 means higher temperatures”, but on provision of information in any specific areas of weak or no consensus. The sea level example is a good one. Essentially there was a consensus about some processes that affect sea level change – thermosteric, halosteric, some glacier and ice sheet processes – which was used to construct a projection range something like 0.1 – 0.6cm SLR. However, there were potentially important processes which were entirely absent from this projection, and the reason given for their absense was a lack of consensus on magnitude. Some were suggesting the possibility of multi-metre rises, some thought the difference might be negligable or there might even be a slight negative contribution to SLR from these “extra” processes.

      So, one consequence of an approach which prefers consensus is that issues which have no clear consensus might be ignored, even if they’re potentially important. I’ve seen scientists argue that this is the way it should be, once specifically in relation to the sea level projections, because the alternative would essentially mean reporting pure speculation which they characterise as potentially irresponsible.

      If the IPCC didn’t exist individual governments would set up their own scientific reporting processes, as they did/do for HIV/AIDS and smoking. Actually they still do this for climate change, though such panels/reports tend to heavily reference IPCC assessments. Of course, such national assessments would be strongly biased towards presenting information relevant to that country alone. What about all the poorer countries which don’t have the resources available to produce scientific assessments relevant to the effects climate change could have on them?

      • I’ve long thought that China has figured out that global warming, to the extent man can warm it, would be good for their nation.
        =================

  53. Ian Blanchard

    Peter

    In an ideal world this should have been done through the auspices of the IPCC, but I think that ship has sailed. Similarly, organisations like the Royal Society or APS have nailed their colours to the mast.

    We’re back to the question of intellectual honesty and finding someone that both sides can trust to be thorough and even-handed. I’m not sure there is a big name within climate science that both sides would accept without reservation (as a skeptic / lukewarmer, I would suggest Prof Curry if we are talking about an assessment of the scientific case and Pielke jnr on the policy issues, but suspect that more alarmist commentators may consider them too willing to listen to the skeptical case – after all, RPjr’s bolg was identified as ‘skeptical’ for the purpose of Lewandowsky’s moon landings questionnaire…).

    • Ian, you write “We’re back to the question of intellectual honesty and finding someone that both sides can trust to be thorough and even-handed. ”

      We dont need to find “someone”; just “something”. The Supreme Couret of Physics is the hard, measured, empirical data; using my definition of what the word “measured” means. It may take time, but in the end the empirical data will decide which side is correct. Future empirical data hangs like a Sword of Damocles over the house of cards that is CAGW.

      • Steven Mosher

        You built the castle of physics on the quicksand of dictionary definitions and a single professor you took a class from ages ago.

        you see how you did that.. you built your whole position on your notion of measurement.. and then when questioned about that notion you relied on arguments from
        A) the dictionary
        B) authority.

        So your whole objection is founded on your definition. and your definition is founded on quicksand.. unless of course you’ve measured the dictionary or measured your professor..

        You ground your objection on the notion of measurement.
        You ground your notion of measurement on the dictionary.

        Dont you find it weird to ground physics on the dictionary.

      • simon abingdon

        @Steve |Mosher

        (Jim Cripwell) “The Supreme Court of Physics is the hard, measured, empirical data”.

        Which confirmed Newton when it turned out that using “the hard, measured, empirical data” we could actually fly to the moon and back successfully (again and again several times).

        Some physics, some quicksand.

  54. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS: THE CONSENSUS STRENGTHENS

    An authoritative scientific assessment — using diligent, intellectually honest, open, comprehensive methods — has reaffirmed the consensus scientific view that “Michael Mann’s hockey-stick is real, and is caused by James Hansen’s CO2 mechanism” (see graphic summary showing hockey-stick warming).

    Gosh … this work nicely reaffirms Pillar #1 and Pillar #3 of climate-change science, eh Climate Etc readers?

    ——————-
    Conspiracy Theory Interpretation  A massive global-scale scientific conspiracy has orchestrated the release of this faux-science publication so as to neutralize Judith Curry’s Congressional testimony later this week!
    ——————-

    Of course, such conspiracy-theory interpretations are themselves characteristic #1 of denialist cognition, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Three Common-Sense Conclusions  (1) Mann’s hockey-stick is scientifically real, and (2) James Hansen’s scientific worldview correct, and (3) rational climate-change skepticism is slated for extinction.

    It’s not complicated, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Perhaps Judith Curry can explain these consensual, honest, open, scientific realities to Congress *and* to the public, eh?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  55. Jim D | April 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply

    A problem with publishing a possible minority opinion is that the skeptical viewpoint is fractured into many very small factions, as we see here on this blog, mostly consisting of one scientist each. Even Lindzen and Spencer have differences that may lead to it being hard for them to have consensus on how to even come up with a climate sensitivity with Spencer indirectly having said methods like those used by Lindzen can’t work. How many minority opinions should there be and who gets to write them, and can they criticize each other?

    Steven Mosher | April 22, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply

    Big problem.

    Personally, I would solve it by making the skeptics decide who they would elect to write minority report. …

    I don’t think that the solution proposed by Steven is realistic, the only thing that the skeptics have in common is that they are in some way skeptical of the main stream science.

    I don’t think that there are any other solutions that would work in printed media like IPCC Reports. Moving the whole process to the net might have a better change, because net is not short of space and because net offers limitless possibilities for multi-layer solutions. It’s possible to have a main text and links to alternative views. Each of the views (including the main text) may be evaluated by a wide variety of evaluators. It’s not necessary to choose any particular minority opinion, but it’s possible to see, how widely each of them has support.

    Something like what I sketched two years ago might be developed further to a working solution.

    • It’s alturtlenatives all the way down.
      =============

    • Pekka-
      “Skeptics”, imo generally; do not agree that the case has been made that warrants taking economically inefficient actions now in order to reduce CO2 emissions, in the hope that future weather conditions will be somehow sufficiently better to have justified the additional expense. There is insufficient reliable evidence to support the non-skeptic’s conclusions.

      I agree that there are many different flavors of skeptics regarding climate science but all seem to share the basic skeptism referenced above. Most skeptics do not disagree that additional CO2 will result in warming if all other conditions remain unchanged. The issue is that the system does not remain unchanged except for CO2 and that we do not know how much of a temperature rise will occur and when, or what other conditions important to humans will change as a result. The issue is also that the models that many climate scientists based all of their analysis claiming that future warmer conditions would be net harmful to humanity, have been demonstrated to be highly unreliable.

      How can any rational individual not be skeptical of the conclusions predicting doom associated with more CO2?

    • Pekka, you write “I don’t think that the solution proposed by Steven is realistic, the only thing that the skeptics have in common is that they are in some way skeptical of the main stream science.”

      Boy you sure know how to wave a red flag at a bull!! Who decides what “main stream science” means? Is this your definition? In which case I suggest that what you have written is a complete load of garbage.

      Main stream science, to me, means one thing and one thing only. Hard, measured, empirical data, using MY meaning of what the word “measured” means.

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘I don’t think that the solution proposed by Steven is realistic, the only thing that the skeptics have in common is that they are in some way skeptical of the main stream science.”

      Let’s just say that I am counting on skeptics being unable to get their act together. The point will be clear when they fail to get their act together.

      You basically put them on the spot. They will never be able to execute the thing that they demand

      • Why should skeptics bother with the science when they know their arguments will win in politics.

      • Howard –

        …they know their arguments will win in politics.

        “Win?”

        IMO, this debate will be settled in a minimum of 50, or 100 years – based on what happens with the climate between now and then. In the meantime, political combatants will fling Jell-O furiously and pronounce victory many, many times. After all, as we’ve discussed, their reasoning reflects a bias towards being “right.”

        But I don’t see that anyone will win other than by events that are external to what “skeptics” or “realists” do or don’t do.

        In the meantime, will there likely be meaningful climate change policy? I doubt it – but I don’t see that as the result of either side “winning” although many “skeptics” will claim it as such. (we all “win” if we don’t get meaningful climate change – not one side relative to the other.)

        I suspect that a lack of meaningful policy is inevitable unless – in contrast to what (it seems to me) most climate scientists consider probable – there are unambiguously disastrous manifestations of climate change on a relatively short-term time frame.

      • Joshua

        Imo, the winners will reside in nations that build and maintain robust infrastructure. You are right that humanity will not fully understand the impact of more CO2 for many decades.

      • Rob –

        Sure, that would be a “win” – although not in any partisan sense. Of course, only wealthy countries are likely to win in that respect.

        Same ol’ same ol’ there.

      • Joshua:

        What you describe will be considered a victory by people who call themselves skeptics. I didn’t create the world, I’m just describing it.

        Our kids and Grandkids will fix it, just like we fixed industrial and social air and water pollution left to us by our parents and grandparents.

      • Joshua

        Building and maintaining a robust infrastructure is not something that only wealthy countries can accomplish. Actually, countries like India, Pakistan, etc. can also accomplish this if they make it a priority and plan accordingly. Infrastructure construction is a great method of putting the unemployed masses to work to the long term betterment of the country.

      • It’s Techno-Optimists vs. Malthusian Doomsayers. Not even a sporting contest.
        ============

      • Rob Starkey Wrote:
        You are right that humanity will not fully understand the impact of more CO2 for many decades.

        Whats to understand. More CO2 makes green things grow better using less water.

        Warm oceans produce snow that limits the upper bound of temperature just like it has for many thousands of years.

    • “making the skeptics decide who they would elect to write minority report…”

      Who is going to make skeptics do anything? And why would skeptics write a “minority” report?’ Lots of skeptics have written reams of papers disputing the CAGW consensus. Skeptics by nature do not act in the collective. The idea of a central skeptic authority is hilarious to me. Why would skeptics even feel the need to organize in this fashion?

      Particularly on the issue of “climate sensitivity,” a nice short hand term for a complicated issue. Is there a simple linear response of temperature to a doubling of CO2 in an ideal situation ie. all other things being equal? I would assume so. But all things are never equal. So how do you verify whatever number you come up with?

      I know, computer models. Those inaccurate, unvalidated, incomplete programs that are, after all, irrelevant to CAGW.

      To me, arguing about cs is no different from arguing about the global average temperature or predicting the GAT in 2100. We don’t know enough to answer the questions, so why should for skeptics compile any “minority report?”

      • Steven Mosher

        computer models cant be used to verify the estimate of sensitivity.
        Science is not about verification.

    • skeptics accept what is necessary for the cause

  56. Pingback: The IPCC consensus process: lessons from the Manhattan Project, mapping the human genome, measuring GDP… and Charles Darwin | Living on the Real World

  57. Hi, Judith…once again, good catch/insights! Thanks for highlighting Mike Hulme’s work and getting this dialog going. I just posted some thoughts at http://www.livingontherealworld.org/?p=875…continuing best wishes,

  58. A morality lesson: a politician and the mainstream media proclaim a non-existing consensus as being real:

    “In 1992, former Vice President Al Gore reassured his listeners, ‘Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.’ In the real 1992, however, Gallup ‘reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.’ Seventeen years later, in 2009… Climategate broke, reminding us that what had smelled funny before might indeed be a little rotten.” ~Jay Richards

    • k scott denison

      Nice post. This is an area where I am 100% behind your consistent push to publish all data, replicate, etc. I admire your tenacity in this area and the linked article shows what happens when someone takes down a paper that the mainstream media loathes. Funny Steve McIntyre never saw that kind of attention… or maybe I just missed it.

      On a somewhat related tangent and out of curiosity, would you know if there are model runs in the literature where the input is either constant CO2 (no growth) or declining CO2 over time? Would be interesting to see what the models “forecast” under those scenarios.

  59. Take Al Gore, who is sort of the chief propagandist. I think for him it really is a religion. He has this unshakable belief that it’s his mission to spread the gospel of global warming according to Al. So there’s nothing I can do about that. His film is a brilliant piece of work. It looks wonderful when you see it. The fact is of course that the pictures don’t actually prove what he’s saying is true. ~Freeman Dyson

    (http://www.salon.com/2007/09/29/freeman_dyson/)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon asserts: “Al Gore is sort of the chief propagandist.”

      LOL … Al Gore is *so* 20th century, eh Wagathon?

      Modern-day climate-science has shifted to distributed authorship, in which interdisciplinary/multinational teams ranging from eighteen up to seventy-eight persons — and soon many more persons than that! — assume responsibility for honestly, openly, and responsibly fostering a scientific climate-change consensus.

      The emerging system for establishing scientific consensus-building is a big improvement, compared to depending upon politicians as spokespersons, eh Wagathon?

      One reason is, this new, strongly team-based consensus-building scientific method serves to defeat demagogic astroturfing shibboleths, ain’t that right?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgment, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen [UN-approved] experts.” ~Mike Hulme

      • Well, my opinion of Hume just took nose dive, but maybe Waggy isn’t being fair to him.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon asserts: “Consensus judgment [are] reached by only a few dozen [UN-approved] experts.” “

        LOL … here is some very good news for you, Wagathon!

        Of the seventy-eight multi-disciplined scientists who authored “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia” …

        … precisely *zero* are employed by the UN.

        That’s good news for you, eh Wagathon? Because now you are free to study their science without undo political distraction!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Hey Fan,
        Even you must realize that N.O.’s “Merchants of Doubt” is a propaganda screed. When I say “even you,” I don’t mean it in the usual pejorative way. I only mean that despite your one sided AGW position, I’d be surprised if you really buy into that MIchael Mannian crap to the effect that any and all criticisms of the party line have their source in a well funded denialist campaign..

        You know that’s not really true, right Fan?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Pokerguy, it is well-documented that denialist cognition commonly arises in ignorance and fear (which then are cultivated by orchestrated astro-turfing campaigns, in service of commercial/political/ideological ends).

        That’s common-sense, eh pokerguy?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,\spadesuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\spadesuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  60. @ A Fan of More discourse
    I’m not sure what planet you are from but if you tell us we’ll tell you how to get home.

  61. The pro-consensus argument is a laughably weak straw man. The point of consensus is not universal agreement; it does not assume perfect rationality or any other such bunk. It is simply a way of increasing reliability by avoiding “single study syndrome” and sticking to the facts rather than wild speculation.

    Nothing speaks more eloquently to the failure of climate denial than their bitterness against the normal, routine methods of scientific discourse. It announces to all that deniers simply don’t have the facts or the arguments with which to persuade; consequently they can only beg, pathetically, for a generally lowering of the bar to protect their failed attempts to sell their off-brand wares in a skeptical market of ideas.

    • Agreed with the first paragraph. Not as much with the second.

      IMO, there is an argument to be made against an over-reliance on a “consensus” mindset – so I don’t think that the only reason to talk about the problems there is because they “don’t have the facts.”

      On the other hand, there are certainly “skeptics” who stretch that legitimate concern waaaaaaaay beyond what is reasonable – to what often amounts to poor reasoning (implying that there is no legitimate weight to “consensus” viewpoints), or flat out straw man building, as you describe.

      • I get that, and I guess what I would add is that you have to look at the whole process of science — research and publication, where the incentive is to be innovative, groundbreaking, and advance the discourse in some way, and the “body of knowledge” seen in textbooks & served up to policymakers by the IPCC. The latter is appropriately conservative, because it is the basis for future work (and policy) and needs to be reliable. The interests of the minority — and their ability, through argument, to turn themselves into the majority — are protected by the former.

    • “It is better to be wrong than to be vague.” ~Freeman Dyson

    • But 30,000 scientists signed the Oregon Petition!

      So surely numbers are important!

      • I would think the consensus would endorse the Oregon Petition, no matter who signed it. The money quote:

        “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

        How many times have I read the “denials” that there is any C in CAGW? How many denials that there are any predictions of catastrophe in AR4?

        Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all sing Kumbaya to the righteousness of the Oregon Petition’s clear statement of the state of the science?

      • It’s hard to endorse something that is trying to avoid the science.

        As wikipedia puts it: “The scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming, and it is more than 90% certain that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.”

        “On balance the impacts of global warming will be significantly negative, especially for larger values of warming”

  62. “That’s common-sense, eh pokerguy?”

    Hi Fan,

    Always fun. As to the common sense thing…well perhaps. But let’s not over-rate common sense as it’s generally practiced. Ben Franklin had it right it seems to me, when he observed that “common sense is the most uncommon sense of all.”

    Ultimately, I can only speak for myself. I don’t believe my skepticism is based either on fear or ignorance. Ironically enough though, since I started out as a warmist (I remain a NYT’s subscribing, aging hippie democrat), I’d say my initial position was actually based on both.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pokerguy, your manners are excellent, your humor is robust, and your wits self-evidently are sufficiently keen, that I (for one) would never bet against you at the poker table. Sir, you are an outstanding citizen of the Climate Etc forum, and it is always fun to spar with you.

      And yet is self-evidently the case too, that any rationally skeptical persons assessment of the likelihood that “James Hansen’s 1981 scientific worldview is broadly correct“, has been substantially increased by the body of evidence that the seventy-eight authors of Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia have presented to a candid world.

      Ain’t that poker-style common-sense pokerguy? As we see more cards, we understand more soberly that Nature is playing a mighty “hot hand.”

      Conclusion  There is a well-known name for poker-players who cannot/will not/do not assess odds scientifically, and that name is “consistent losers.” That is why climate-change skepticism, carried too far, becomes a consistently losing strategy.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Hey fan, I followed your link to Hansen’s paper. Could you please explain a screenshot from the paper to me? (Hint: please read the caption.)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wayne2 asks “Hey fan, I followed your link to Hansen’s [1981] paper. Could you please explain a screenshot from the paper to me?”

        It is a pleasure to help slake your thirst for knowledge, Wayne2!

        Quick Picture  Hansen did mighty *GOOD*!

        Your insistent desire to learn is commendable, Wayne2! Keep it up!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan, what’s with the SkS links? So impersonal. And the fact that they’re such a bunch of haters should be embarrassing to you with your cute little hearts in your signature and all. SkS makes WUWT look genteel and scholarly by comparison. So, I am disinclined to feed a click to an advertiser on SkS. Please be more personal next time and not so telephone-support-call-drone scripted.

        Anyhow, here’s another hint: were the CO2 projections in the caption accurate? No, there’s a marked divergence, strangely right about the time that temperatures were otherwise soaring. (You may have to access the paper referenced in the caption, but it’s available on someone or other’s blog for free.) Have temperatures fit into the graph’s “probable warming” zone? No. The 30-year GISS mean hasn’t touched that zone. (The 10-year mean has poked its nose in for a couple of years.)

        Also, have you noted that Figure 1’s lines are exponential, while other graphs don’t appear to be so. Probably because of assumptions he makes elsewhere in the paper, like the one about us being down to our last 25% of (natural) gas reserves, which will constrain its use. Boy howdy, he never saw fracking coming!

        And that’s the funny thing about exponential curves, they just keep on rising. Looks to me like temps will have to jump 0.35 degrees or so in the next 7 years if we’re going to catch up to the “probably warming” zone by 2020. We could hope that warming of the oceans wouldn’t drive us towards the top of the zone, as he insists it would, and we — ever the optimists — could hope that the ocean’s diffusion coefficient is near infinity so we would move below the bottom of the zone, but alas it appears to be about 1.3, pretty close to the 1 on which the bottom of the zone is based.

        Yeah, the paper’s not really very close. Considering that WUWT curve-fitters could’ve predicted some amount of global warming back in 1980 (due to the “pattern” of down 1880-1910, up 1910-1940, down 1940-1970), the paper hasn’t done as well as you’d like me to believe.

      • Fan, my unslake-able thirst continues, and I really like the pictures from that paper. Especially Figure 7. I can’t figure out how they got those skinny little 1-sigma and 2-sigma intervals for natural variation. I mean, the text — I hate to read all that technical stuff, but sometimes I get bored with the pictures — talks about 0.1 on decadal scales, and 0.2 over a century, and it mentions that from 1885 to 1940 was an increase of 0.5 degrees, which would exceed the 2-sigma threshold. I wonder if he used model runs to define natural variability, like they do now? Very prescient, especially with “rudimentary” (his words) models.

        I’m hoping that you have some insider’s cultural insight with the obsession with hockey stick pictures, too. For example, Figure 1 from his paper has an exponential curve, that’d result in the oceans boiling some time around 2160 and Venus-like conditions by 2200. (Oh, and 12-19 degrees warming by the 2100.) *That’s* a hockey stick!

      • Wayne2,

        Ad hominems and statistical insights may create a corrosive mix, even in the auditing sciences.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wayne2 says “FOMD, my unslake-able thirst [for knowledge] continues.”

        That is good, Wayne2!

        You will find that your thirst is quenched more effectively, if you focus (as Hansen and his colleagues recommend) on *global* measures of climate change.

        Because the more complete the instrumental coverage, the more prominent, smooth, and steep the AGW climate-change hockey-stick becomes!

        That is the simple reason why, nowadays, pretty much every scientific study affirms that the hockey-stick of AGW is real, serious, and accelerating.

        Gosh, these recent scientific findings are making Hansen 1981 look pretty smart, eh Wayne2?

        “Global shows more than local” is a good 21st century motto for climate-change research!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Thanks Fan,
      Your kind and generous words are greatly appreciated. As you know (because I’ve told you), I’ve come to respect your passion and tongue-in-cheek style. It pisses people off at times, but that’s part of the fun. I don’t see anything like real meanness. It took me a while to understand this, but I think I’ve got it right now.

      Of course I also think you’re wildly wrong most of the time, but that’s part of the fun as well.

      I hope you won’t think me presumptuous when I say I sense in you a kind of purity of intention. That is to say, I think that you want to convert others not because you wish to out-debate them in order to show how smart you are, but because you think it’s the right thing to do given the dangers you perceive. Too bad your fearless leaders like M.M. and the rest of the hockey teamsters don’t see it the same way. Their failure to debate (given the presumed stakes) is shameful, and I think, revealing.

      So, We battle on. May the spirit of friendship and good will be with us throughout.

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘‘The global surface air temperature record of the last 150 years is characterized by a long‐term warming trend, with strong multidecadal variability superimposed. Similar multidecadal variability is also seen in
    other (societal important) parameters such as Sahel rainfall or Atlantic hurricane activity. The existence of the multidecadal variability makes climate change detection a challenge, since Global Warming evolves on a similar timescale.’ Mojib Latif and Noel S.Keenlyside, A perspective on decadal climate variability and predictability, Deep–Sea Research II, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.066

    Consensus couples a depth of ignorance with overweening certainty. They are so convinced of a consensus on something or other that it becomes inconceivable that things won’t evolve as they imagine. This is quite separate from science. The AGW space cadet are quite incapable of processing incongruous information. So when Latif and Keenleyside project non warming for a decade or three, when Swanson and Tsonis suggest something similar based on complex systems theory, when NASA decides the world is in a cool decadal mode there is either an elaborate song and dance to distract from science, a quibbling about words or a complete inability to process the information.

    I sometimes quote from Kyle Swanson at realclimate.

    ‘With that in mind, our paper is fundamentally about inter-decadal variability in the climate system and its role in the evolution of the 20th century climate trajectory, as well as in near-future climate change. The climate system has well known modes of variability, such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that are active on inter-annual time scales. We are interested in how this short time-scale (from the climate perspective!) variability impacts climate anomalies over multi-decadal time periods.

    What we find is that when interannual modes of variability in the climate system have what I’ll refer to as an “episode,” shifts in the multi-decadal global mean temperature trend appear to occur. I’ll leave the details of these episodes to interested readers (here and here), as things get pretty technical. It’s sufficient to note that we have an objective criteria for what defines an episode; we aren’t just eyeballing curves. The climate system appears to have had three distinct “episodes” during the 20th century (during the 1910′s, 1940′s, and 1970′s), and all three marked shifts in the trend of the global mean temperature, along with changes in the qualitative character of ENSO variability. We have also found similar types of shifts in a number of model simulations (both forced and unforced) that were run in support of the IPCC AR4 report.

    The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. Regardless, it’s important to note that we are not talking about global cooling, just a pause in warming.’

    Again – I will refer to NASA – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Or to JISOA – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/PDO_zps89a7b4c1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

    The shift in ocean and atmospheric indices since 1998/2001 is objectively very real. The prospects for warming over a decade to three more is limited. The background rate of warming at most is 0.08 degrees/decade. This is what science is saying. This is all quite evident.
    Yet the AGW consensus – wildly unscientific and hopelessly unqualified AGW space cadets for the most part – continues with the charade of a narrative superficially in the objective idiom of science.

    The global warming narrative is ultimately self defeating as the world continues not to warm from 2002 post the 1998/2001 climate shift – and people everywhere struggle to understand what this means in the context of the simple and misleading messages they have been given.

  64. I think we must consider that the Left may be incapable of even finding the facts upon which to base an intelligent decision about matters of superstition versus reality –e.g.,

    | Wagathon: April 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

  65. sarc on/ BREAKING NEWS
    Steven Mosher claims that there is a measured value of the climate sensitivity for the doubling of CO2 that is 0.001 C!!!!!

  66. Chief Hydrologist

    This is quite fascinating.

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/04/21/blogs/dotkaufman.html

    ‘There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between ad 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period ad 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.’

    It was generally warm 1000 years ago in most places – although Antarctica seems to have had prolonged warming well before that? It cooled down in the interim because of a solar downturn and volcanoes – although volcanoes are a bit dodgy at such a distance.

    1971 to 2000 temperature higher than at any time in ‘nearly’ 1400 years?

    But does it change what is understood – or not understood – about the causes of modern surface temperature change?

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=26

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ISCCP-cloudamount-1_zps4c4f2d1e.png.html?sort=3&o=11

    In the longer term we have variations in ocean and atmospheric patterns that have global impacts – and which may be modulated by top down solar effects. Here we have a 1000 year pattern that is consistent with the temperature trajectory and contains the decadal signature familiar from the instrumental records.

    More salt at the Law Dome = more La Nina and a stronger polar vortex. But no one would expect the impact of ENSO to be globally consistent.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=43

    • Chief Hydrologist

      And really – where do we expect solar activity to go?

      • We’ve got someone someone here who has the guts to tell us where we can put the hockey stick.

        Arguments over data and methods are the lifeblood of science, and are not instances of misconduct.

        However, here I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct, as defined by the NRC. I recommend steps to fix this mess, saving face for all involved, and a chance for this small part of the climate community to take a step back toward unambiguous scientific integrity.

        The paper I refer to is by Marcott et al. 2013, published recently in Science…

        ~ Roger Pielke Jr.

        –> http://icecap.us/images/uploads/marcott2_thumb.jpg

      • Marcott 2013 paints a very troubling picture. A holocene maximum that was only about 0.8C warmer than the little ice age.

      • lolwot, “Marcott 2013 paints a very troubling picture. A holocene maximum that was only about 0.8C warmer than the little ice age.”

        Marcott’s art is rather abstract.

      • Chief I am surprised you think that a greenland ice core is a global temperature proxy! I thought you would know better than that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But I have already linked to the latest regional reconstructions.

        Of course it is regional – it is taken from a single place. It makes little sense that one region can change substantially without having effects further afield. Merely hand waving about it being regional is no reason to reject the data out hand without understanding the limits and the story it tells.

        If you want to play games about words – go play with someone else.

      • Why did you post it if not to contest my claim that “holocene maximum was only about 0.8C warmer than the little ice age”?

        As a regional proxy it cannot of course contest that anyway.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I am not sure what can sensibly be made of this.

      We know there were larger differences regionally and in global averages over just a 1000 years – and much bigger differences at EPICA over the Holocene.

      I think you are so very foolish to make much of paleo data at all – to rely only on one source for your ideas – to not recognise the error bounds with data going backwoods and to be so precise in your claims. To make much of the Holocene seems a little short sighted. There was much more significant climate change – and 120m sea level change – just beyond that horizon.

      The better question to ask is what causes modern change.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=26

      And look for those going backwards – in patterns that will never be quantitative. We will never be able to attribute climate change beyond the past few decades at most.

      • It probably looks more like this Chief,

        But there are still some issues with the goofy way they tried to interpolate into 20 year bins which is suppressing the uncertainty range.

        The page2k shows more of the abrupt changes as long as you don’t pick to long a period for averaging. It has kind of a neat beat that you can dance to.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Please I got it straight out of New Scientist – it must be right.

        I am quite impressed with the continental reconstructions. Does it make a fly speck of difference to how we attribute modern climate change? Absolutely – not.

      • Bart R

        That Al(Gore)Jazeera blurb has the headline:


        Melting in Antarctica is worst in 1,000 years

        but the article then explains that (my bold):

        The amount of ice melting on the Antarctic Peninsula has increased dramatically in recent decades.

        The Antarctic Peninsula is a narrow sliver of land that extends northward from Antarctica to north of the Antarctic Circle toward South America. Unlike the rest of Antarctica, which is much too cold for ice to melt, the AP has apparently been warming for the past 60 years, causing a longer summer melt season and a break-up of ice shelves.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327133707.htm

        But it is a teeny-weeny part of Antarctica.

        And, according to a researcher there:

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/01/0125_020125_antarcticaclimate_2.html

        “The Antarctic Peninsula is an unusual hotspot on the continent,”

        Antarctica has a surface area of around 14 million square km, while the AP has a surface area of around 300,000 square km.

        Antarctica contains ~90% of the world’s ice (~30 million cubic km) including ~180,000 cubic km in the AP.

        The last long-term study based on satellite altimetry (Wingham 2005)showed that, in total, the Antarctic ice sheet gained a small amount of mass from 1993 to 2003,

        http://www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf

        but GRACE observations since around 2005 seem to indicate that this has reversed more recently.

        Interestingly, the Wingham study showed that mass gain from snowfall exceeded mass loss in the Antarctic Peninsula over the 10-year period.

        Max

    • I am seeing what you are seeing Chief, and also the variability stated clearly in the abstract, as well as the graph posted. Forget the obligatory last 1400 year conclusion.

    • manacker | April 24, 2013 at 3:32 am |

      Wow.

      Your redundant restatement of entire articles and taking issue with arguments that were never made appear so wholeheartedly propagandized and spin-filled as to merit comment to that effect, except anyone who didn’t spot that your pattern of frequent redundant restatement of entire articles and taking issue with arguments that were never made was wholehearted propaganda for spin would likely not appreciate the observation.

  67. The IPCC destroyed the consensus of scientists who conclude that no signal of AGW could be seen, and put in its place a science fraud and a fraud against taxpayers and non-taxpayers whose lives have been adversely affected by their money grubbing scheme. It is a global con. A confidence trick on such a grand scale that the only word applicable is fraud.

    http://larouchepac.com/node/12823

    “IPCC’s Santer Admits Fraud
    December 18, 2009 • 10:16AM
    Ben Santer, a climate researcher and lead IPCC author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Working Group I Report, admitted last night on Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory national TV show, that he had deleted sections of the IPCC chapter which stated that humans were not responsible for climate change. Accusing Santer of altering opinions in the IPCC report that disagreed with the man-made thesis behind climate change, Lord Monckton told the program, “In comes Santer and re-writes it for them, after the scientists have sent in their finalized draft, and that finalized draft said at five different places, there is no discernable human effect on global temperature — I’ve seen a copy of this — Santer went through, crossed out all of those, and substituted a new conclusion, and this has been the official conclusion ever since.”

    In response to Monckton, Santer admitted: “Lord Monckton points to deletions from the chapter, and there were deletions from the chapter; to be consistent with the other chapters we dropped the summary at the end.”

    Commenting on The Alex Jones Show today, Lord Monckton said that this was the first time Santer had publicly admitted to deleting the information. Santer was involved in the Climategate email scandal, communicating with other IPCC-affiliated scientists who conspired to “hide the decline” in global warming.”

    The “consensus” continues to be a fraud bolstered by ongoing manipulations of data and so on built on the deliberate fake fisics of the “AGW Greenhouse Effect”.

    Who created that?

    • You quote from Larouche and about Lord Monckton AND you have Alex Jones in there as well!!

      Wow it MUST BE TRUE then.

      Here’s some more TRUTH for you to absorb, from your favorite Lord:

      Lord Monckton: Obama Is An Illegal President

      “I, the undersigned Christopher Walter Monckton, commonly known as The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Peer of the Realm, of Runhams Farm, Harrietsham, Maidstone, ME17 1NJ, being first duly sworn, do hereby state under oath and under penalty of perjury that the facts are true:”
      from the comically titled “Freedom Output”

      blah blah blah…

      Lord Monckton: Arctic sea ice extent is just fine: steady for a decade (claim made in 2010)

      Whoops!

      • lolwot

        Get serious for a moment.

        If Ben Santer REALLY has confessed to having deleted important caveats from the AR4 report, which raised doubts on the man-made cause for global warming, this is a MAJOR confession, which sheds a bad light on the validity of the conclusions and projections of the IPCC report itself (one more).

        Has nothing to do with the other guys you mention.

        Max

      • manacker

        This is an *ancient* lie about Santer spread by Fred Singer. It is as untrue today as it was seventeen years ago.

        You make a mutt out of yourself repeating this dross.

      • manacker

        WRT lies about Santer.

        Read this. Original material, dug out, just for you.

      • BBD

        “An ancient lie”?

        So you cite a letter from some of Santer’s buddies saying he is being maligned as evidence that this is a lie?

        Hmm…

        I’m not saying it’s true or false, since I have seen no evidence either way. I simply said that IF it were true that Santer confessed to this, it would be “a MAJOR confession, which sheds a bad light on the validity of the conclusions and projections of the IPCC report itself “

        And I don’t think you can deny that.

        Max

      • What a vile insinuation. You freely admit to having seen no evidence of Santer’s non-existent wrongdoing, but you repeat the smear anyway.

        I cannot ever remember using the old cliche but there’s a first time for everything:

        Shame on you.

      • David Springer

        Monckton may be right about Obama. Only the SCOTUS can decide and they ducked hearing the case ostensibly on technical grounds but in reality on Pandora’s Box grounds. It is argued that a natural born citizen is defined as one whose parents are -both- US citizens. Obama freely admits one of his parents was not a US citizen and worse the non-citizen was his father.

        The definition of natural born citizen comes from Law of Nations (1758) by Emerich de Vattel. It was a contemporary guiding legal treatise employed by US founding fathers.

        From Law of Nations, book 1, chapter 19, section 212:

        The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.

        If this were not the case the founders, who were no dummies, knew that if an enemy of the United States sired a child with a woman who was a US citizen that the child could become president of the United States. Imagine if you will the son or daughter of Osama bin Laden becoming president of the United States. This would be legal if not for the definition of natural born citizen in Vattel’s Law of Nations.

        I’m not commenting on whether or not I agree with Vattel nor whether I think it fair or just that a son or daughter is presumed to have the national loyaties of his or her father especially in the age of jet travel. I’m just saying it should be adjudicated and until it is it remains a valid question of what exactly is the difference between a regular citizen of the United States who may hold any office except POTUS and a natural born citizen who may also become POTUS.

      • Only for the office of the Chiefest of Executives is the distinction between ‘native-born’ and ‘natural born’ made, and the meaning of the distinction is not yet adjudicated, heh, nor likely ever will be.

        Amusing about Santer. Who else did the deed?
        ==============

      • patrioticduo

        But is Ben Santer admitting that he deleted information that was contrary to the consensus opinion of the IPCC? YES. I don’t care if Hitler himself was in the interview. Ben Santer admitted it. It’s a fact.

      • But is Ben Santer admitting that he deleted information that was contrary to the consensus opinion of the IPCC? YES.

        NO. He was *misrepresented*. If you are remotely interested in the facts you can read a detailed account of what really happened – in Santer’s own words – here.

        We can consider this a litmus test of your intellectual integrity.

      • Peerless BBD needs no other reason to be excluded from a jury.
        =============

      • “I’m not saying it’s true or false, since I have seen no evidence either way. I simply said that IF it were true that Santer..”

        You should assume it’s false. That’s what I do. Assuming what comes out of Monckton’s mouth is a pile of BS has worked to date.

    • The subject was Santer admitting science fraud in the IPCC report which set the con rolling.

      The IPCC was set up to push the con, the real scientists didn’t play ball and one man committing gross science fraud became the “consensus of scientists” claimed by the IPCC.

      Tim Ball has a good brief summary: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/25/ben-santer-elected-agu-fellow/#comment-648327

      “His involvement with the 1995 IPCC Report “Chapter 8″ fiasco was an early warning signal of what was going on within the IPCC through members of the CRU. Fred Singer and a few others were vigorously attacked for daring to speak out.

      “The original Chapter 8 draft submitted by Santer and approved by the group didn’t have specific evidence of a human signal

      “Finally we have come to the most difficult question of all: “When will the detection and unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change occur?” In the light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in the Chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, “We do not know.”

      “This was changed by Santer to accommodate the SPM to read,
      “The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points toward a discernible human influence on global climate.” ”

      AGW/CAGW has scam written in all the way through it, and Santer admitted his part in it – and that remains the truth whoever reports it.

  68. Go, go Galileo

    I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. …

    The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis…

    Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly…reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”

    ~David Deming

    • Amusing to see skeptics defending Easterbrook. Something as complex as hockey stick statistics and skeptics all claim to understand and tut-tut.

      But Easterbrook’s basic abuse of GISP2, nah they are too dumb to understand any of that. Supposedly.

      • McIntyre & McKitrick (2003, 2005a,b,c,d), the NAS report (2006) and the Wegman report (Wegman et al., 2006) have all independently ascertained that Mann’s PC method produces spurious hockey-stick shapes from a combination of (i) inappropriate centering of the data series, (ii) non-random or biased selection of small data samples, and (iii) inclusion in the calculation of proxies that are known not to reflect a reliable temperature signal (notably, bristle cone pine datasets).

        The re-interpreted graph placed on RealClimate was only corrected for error (i). It still incorporates the bristle cone pine data series, and still does not pass the tests of statistical significance originally claimed to have been used. Removal of the bristlecones destroys the hockey stick shape—a point acknowledged by the NAS panel (p. 107).

        The NAS Report (p. 50) also stated that inferring temperature from bristle cone pine ring data is fraught with uncertainty:

        In old age, these trees can assume a “strip bark” form, characterized by a band of trunk that remains alive and continues to grow after the rest of the stem has died. Such trees are sensitive to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Graybill and Idso, 1993), possibly because of greater water-use efficiency (Knapp et al., 2001, Bunn et al. 2003) or different carbon partitioning among tree parts (Tang et al., 1999). ……. Further evidence comes from a recent review of data for mature trees in four climatic zones, which concluded that pine growth at treeline is limited by factors other than carbon (Kšrner 2003). While ‘strip bark’ samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions, attention should also be paid to the confounding effects of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition (Vitousek et al. 1997), since the nutrient conditions of the soil determine wood growth response to increased atmospheric CO2 (Kostiainen et al. 2004).

        In conclusion, the RealClimate posting failed to address the substance of the criticisms presented by McIntyre and McKitrick, and upheld by the NAS and Wegman panels.

        [See, The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, Response to comments by Dr. David Wratt – Letter (11 August 2006)]

      • Yes I think that goes some way to confirming what I said Wagathon.

        can you provide an equally detailed criticism of Don Easterbrook’s presentation of GISP2 graphs?

    • When Waggy isn’t cherry-picking he’s picking nuts.

      David Demi is a nut’s nut.

      Deming thinks if guns should be registered, so should vaginas. His reasoning: both guns and vaginas are dangerous.

  69. Pingback: ‘Consensus’ in science « DON AITKIN

  70. None of the above. Scientific assessments need to be unequivocally compelling in terms of the evidence presented. .Everything else is just opinion of various shadings.

    • There is noting equivocal about what we know about the cause of global warming and global cooling — nominally, it’s the sun, stupid. Everything else is dogma.

  71. Their claim that my publications “have not passed through rigorous peer review” is false. Virtually all of my 180 publications were peer-reviewed. The real joke here is they “fully support the 2007 IPCC report,” but Donna Laframboise in 2011 documented that 30 percent of the references used were not peer-reviewed, so using their own standard, they would be forced to reject the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report!

    ~Don Easterbrook

  72. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING CLIMATE-CHANGE NEWS !
    Roger Pielke’s criticisms answered !!
    Shaun Marcott et al. vindicated !!!

    Roger Pielke complains  “I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via [NSF] press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct.”
    NSF Press Release states  “When you combine data from sites around the world, you can average out those regional anomalies and get a clear sense of the Earth’s global temperature history. What that history shows, the researchers say, is that during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about [0.7 degrees Centigrade]–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about [0.7 degrees C] “

    Gee whillakers … the quantitative NSF assertions that so outraged Roger Pielke have been stunningly vindicated (picture here!) by the seventy-eight scientists of the PAGES 2k Network, in this week’s sure-to-be-cited “hockey-stick” affirmation Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia.

    Kudos to Roger Pielke for keeping folks on-their-toes, fact-wise!

    But uh … shouldn’t Roger Pielke fact-check his own toes now? … by handsomely and publicly acknowledging that Shaun Marcott et al. (and the NSF press officers) have got their climate-change “hockey-stick” facts right?

    I’m sorry sir. Those *ARE* the numbers!” … isn’t that right?

    The world wonders!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Whoops, here’s a working link to this week’s study of Ahmed et al., “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia,” that has so stunningly affirmed the scientific reality of the Marcott/Mann climate-change hockey-stick!

      Ayes, Climate Change lassies and laddies … “Nature cannot be fooled” … and this is the common-sense reason why the work of Mann and Marcott was destined to be vindicated.

      These scientific facts aren’t complicated, eh?

      Mighty sobering, to be sure … but not complicated.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan the abstract is interesting.

        Past global climate changes had strong regional expression. To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century.

        Not sure this helps your argument.

  73. Interesting.
    As a manager, the statement:
         Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period
         ad 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature
         was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.
    would cause me to rate the person a "slower/marginally meets".

    I view that using real thermometer temperatures to
              derive an absolute result by comparing them
    them with proxies thermometer temperatures
             is dangerous, at best, and deceitful in general.

    Unless they can hypothesize a physical basis for past variation in the proxies,
         such as the "long term cooling" they mention
    I would conclude that they
         have no clue:
    They are making it up, comparing apples with oranges.

    If a person "claims" they know how something is happening now,
    but don’t know why similar/related phenomena happened before
         but bombastically claiming they are "right",
    I just view that as belly-bucking for position in the hierarchy.

    For example, until the Minoan and Roman warm periods are understood,
           the current kerfuffle just seems silly,
    expensive, but silly organizational/human centric, jousting for position.

    • The Left abandoned the flat handle of the ‘hockey stick’ but won’t ever admit Al Gore’s use of it was a knowing and purposeful fraud. In fact, global warming has been abandoned altogether for the new threat of climate weirding which pretty much is any weather event that makes the news. As it is now, climatology itself has become an indictment of the government-education complex that is doing all it can to support an socio-political shift to Euro-communism. The average American’s pocketbook is fast becoming the property of the state as all economic opportunity is outsourced to places like China, Brazil and India.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Susan Corwin regards herself  “As a manager”

      With respect, Susan Corwin, mebbe it would be a good thing, if yah *stopped* thinking “as a manager” … and yah *started* thinking as a CEO?

      Let’s say that by hard work and diligence you’ve risen to be the universally respected — even beloved! — chief executive officer of an organization that’s been around for a couple of millennia, but whose headquarters are only about 25 meters above sea-level.

      Two CEO-Grade Questions  What is the probability that James Hansen’s scientific worldview is substantially correct? What actions are required, both practically and ethically to ensure that headquarters stays above water for the *next* couple of millennia?

      Susan Corwin, let’s pretend that we’re *not* responsibility-dodging middle-managing wafflers … let’s state a no-waffle numerical probability for the statement “Hansen’s science is right.”

      FOMD’s no-waffle number: 0.70

      Susan Corwin’s no-waffle number: _________

      Judith Curry’s no-waffle number: _________

      Other Climate Etc regulars are welcome to join in!

      Responsibility-dodging no-metric wafflers, your no-consequence waffles are not solicited!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • No company in history will ever last millennia unchanged because entrophy always kicks in.

        FOMD is apparently unaware of this phenomenon and this is why he/she so strongly supports Hansen and Co with respect to the positive feedbacks built into their hypothesis of AGW.

        The fact that the world’s climate has operated between remarkably narrow bandwidths over millennia apparently counts for nothing. It is indicative to me of the predominance of negative feedbacks rather than positive feedbacks.

        So FOMD thinks that Hansen is 70% likely to be right. My own take on the quality of scientific endeavour is based on the 80/20 rule (80% bulldust 20% paydirt) and IMO the maximum likelihood that Hansen’s science is right would therefore be 0.20.

    • I think the main reason for the Holocene cooling is orbital variation, specifically the precession cycle. Half a cycle ago, the tilt favored Arctic melt by having the northern summer closest to the sun. This ended the last Ice Age. Now 12000 years later, the northern summer is furthest from the sun, favoring Arctic sea ice to stay all year. During the Holocene we went from an unfavorable to a favorable state, Arctic sea ice grew leading to albedo cooling of the earth since the warm Holocene Optimum, and now we are in a period when Arctic sea ice should be in its optimal state relative to the orbital parameters and the earth should be coolest in this part of the cycle. Clearly other factors mean Arctic sea ice is not in this state any more as global temperature started rising again within the last two centuries according to the data, which seems to be causing the summer ice cap to reduce in area, which also feeds back via albedo to warming.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Davies assesses  “IMO the maximum likelihood that Hansen’s science is right would therefore be 0.20.”

      Peter Davies, in providing a quantititive assessment, you are far more brave than most skeptics/denialists! It is striking that neither Susan Corwin, nor Judith Curry, nor any of Climate Etc’s resident skeptics/denialists have dared (to date!) to venture any quantitative assessment what-so-ever.

      Why do skeptics/denialists so commonly waffle, the world wonders?

      By the way, the lifetime likelihood of a smoker getting lung cancer are … about 0.20.

      That is a mighty striking coincidence, eh Peter Davies?

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      • Don’t put skeptic and denialist in the same box/sentence. Further, I guess you like your science to be dogma where no “waffle” is allowed. That’s your problem. You’re not skeptical. You’re part of the religion of the cult of AGW. And you’re rapidly ruining Climate etc because of that. I maybe skeptical but that just means I am uncertain. There’s nothing uncertain about dogma. But there is a heck of a lot of uncertainty in the science and politics of your cult.

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘For example, until the Minoan and Roman warm periods are understood,
      the current kerfuffle just seems silly,
      expensive, but silly organizational/human centric, jousting for position.”

      ############

      one need not understand a single thing about the roman warm period to make a risk assessment about the wisdom of dumping C02 into the atmosphere.

      Regardless of what caused the roman warm period ( if it existed) Regardless of what caused the MWP ( if it even existed ), we know with more certainty that doubling c02 will add somewhere between 1 and 6C
      to the current temperatures.

      Lets put that another way. If you take the evidence you use for the mere existence of a roman warm period as a standard of proof, then the evidence for the impact of C02 on temperature is stronger than that evidence. Put still another way… we are more sure that C02 doubling will cause between 1 and 6C of warming than we are of the existence of the roman warm period. So your position, that we must understand the Roman warm period first, is an epistemic flaw of the first order. Understanding it has little to do in fact nothing to do with the basic physics we can use to establish that addding c02 will warm the planet not cool it and will warm it somewhere between 1C and 6C and that if the C02 during the roman period was twice what it was that the temperature during that period would have been 1 to 6 C higher. Arrhenius knew nothing about the roman warm period when he calculated the expected effect of adding C02 and no amount of data from that will change the fundamental physics. Understanding that period batter could shrink the uncertainity to 1-3C or 2-4C but nothing, absolutely nothing you could learn about that period would make dumping c02 a risk free activity

      • And adding the 1 to 6 degrees to global temperature will be, on balance, better for the environment than for temperatures to remain the same and far, far better than if temperatures were to drop the same amount. And, dumping all of that CO2 into the atmosphere will be, on balance, good for the environment too. Especially since we are actually rather perilously close to the concentration where upon plant growth is severely stunted and or entirely ceases.

  74. Well, somebody in this classroom used authority to achieve consensus:

    • Ever heard of Snopes…?

      • Wagathon | April 24, 2013 at 12:20 am |

        Fact checking? You? Not thorough, accurate or correct fact checking, but it’s a start.

        When you did your fact checking, did you get http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/sciencetest.aspUNDETERMINED

        .. or a different result?

        You seem to imply by citing the authority of Snopes (a decent enough authority on webscams) a consensus has been arrived at.

        Yet Snopes has only surmise and conjecture to date.

      • You must believe in the tooth fairy… if an animal has sharp teeth it must be meat-eater True or False?

      • wiki says about Job 4): In the divine speeches in Job, Behemoth and Leviathan may both be seen as composite and mythical creatures with enormous strength, which humans like Job could not hope to control. But both are reduced to the status of divine pets, with rings through their noses and Leviathan on a leash.

        Is the all-powerful The One — i.e., CO2 with its mythical properties that cannot be observed in nature — what passes for Leftist metaphysics?

  75. I get it, Waggy. You can’t find the job you want. Maybe you should lower your sights. A minimum wage job could be a stepping stone to something better.

    • To Leftists and phony capitalists every job is a hamburger flipper job.

    • It wouldn’t hurt you to work at McDonald’s. If you can’t master burger flipping, you could mop, sweep, take out the trash. Just keep your mouth shut around customers. McDonald’s wouldn’t want patrons annoyed by winger talk.

  76. And the consensus appears to be building, not by the efforts of people to control the group, but by the mounting evidence:

    http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/22/17864735-global-warming-study-suggests-human-causes-dating-back-to-1800s?lite

    Unlike the sort of uniform and overly simplistic version of events that might be seen by manufactured consensuality (still sounds dirty), we find nuance, surprises, unexpected details that tend to prove in ways no one considered even a few years ago the ever growing, and speedily evolving, consensus.

    To be an authority on the consensus, one must be not a master over other scientists, but have mastered knowledge and technique, methods of reasoning and understanding of data.

    Do you see the difference between this, and what is claimed in the ideas of our host?

    • Yes, it is the confidence of the consensus in their mounting evidence that has them quibbling with skeptics on a luke warmer’s blog over the difference between measure and estimate. Or is it alarmed and concerned?

      I expect Real Climate will be shutting down any day now, having won the debate.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/04/21/blogs/dotkaufman.html

      This is the continental reconstructions that seem quite interesting. But does it say anything about 20th century attribution? Absolutely – not.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=26

      I know. It is a consensus of crazies.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Seriously – such hyperbole in the service of blog article that is seriously misinformed. Typical space cadet behaviour.

      • Rob
        You will find the following an interesting reading.
        xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        Communicating Climate Science
        Mojib Latif

        Figure:

        There is a broad scientific consensus that the climate of the 21st century will warm in response to the anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, but by how much remains highly uncertain. This is due to three factors: natural variability, model error, and emission scenario uncertainty. We as climate scientists should stress this uncertainty when talking to the public. Dealing with uncertainty is an integral part of our daily life, and we are used to assess the risk of certain steps we take. Nobody would board, for instance, an aircraft that will crash with a probability of only ten percent. Emphasizing in the public discourse too much the consensus – which is an artificial construct – can be very dangerous, and the climate research community can lose its credibility when not clearly stating publicly the uncertainties.
        Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have skyrocketed since the start of industrialization and reached values unprecedented in man’s history. The globally averaged surface air temperature of the planet has warmed during the 20th century, global sea level has risen, and many mountain glaciers and Arctic sea ice have considerably retreated. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that a significant share of 20th century warming is driven by the increase of GHGs. They will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere over the next years and possibly even decades, which together with the inertia of the climate system will support further warming. But what else do we really know about the climate of the 20th and 21st century?

        Surface air temperature (SAT) during the 20th century displays a gradual warming and superimposed short-term fluctuations (the figure shows observed annual Northern Hemisphere and Arctic SAT as red lines). The upward trend contains the climate response to enhanced atmospheric GHG levels but also a natural component. The temperature ups and downs around the trend – which are particularly pronounced in the Arctic – mostly reflects natural variability. The scientific challenge is to quantify the anthropogenic signal in the presence of the background climate noise. Natural climate variations are of two types, external and internal. External fluctuations need a forcing, a change in the boundary conditions. Volcanic eruptions and fluctuations in solar output are examples. The Philippine volcano Mt. Pinatubo, for instance, caused a short-lived drop of global SAT in 1991; and an increase of the solar radiation reaching the earth may have contributed to the mid-century warming during 1930-1940. The anthropogenic influence is also considered as external.
        One way to estimate the external contribution to the 20th century SAT change is to run climate models with observed natural and anthropogenic forcing. The average over all IPCC models is the consensus (black lines). The spread (gray shading), however, is large, partly because natural variability can be also produced internally by the climate system itself. A well-known example of an internal fluctuation is El Niño, a warming of the Equatorial Pacific occurring on average about every 4 years. The record event of 1997/1998 “helped” to make 1998 the warmest year to date globally . The last year also happened to be an El Niño year, which supported, for instance, weak Atlantic hurricane activity. The event still persists and was partly responsible for January 2010 being one of the warmest Januarys on record. Different initial states yield different realizations of internal variability in models even under identical external forcing, one reason for the spread, as integrations are performed in ensemble mode with different start conditions.
        To some extent, we need to “ignore” the natural fluctuations, if we want to “see” the human influence on climate. Had forecasters extrapolated the mid-century warming into the future, they would have predicted far more warming than actually occurred. Likewise, the subsequent cooling trend, if used as the basis for a long-range forecast could have erroneously supported the idea of a rapidly approaching ice age. The detection of the anthropogenic climate signal thus requires at least the analysis of long records, because we can be easily fooled by the natural fluctuations, and we need to understand their dynamics to better estimate the internal noise level.

        The spread also reflects model error. Climate models are based on basic physical principles. As such they are fundamentally different to empirical models which are used, for instance, in economic forecasting. Climate models, however, are far away from being perfect. Errors in annual mean SAT, for instance, typically amount to several degrees in some regions . Limitations in computer resources dictate the use of either reduced or relatively coarse-resolution models. As a consequence many important processes cannot be explicitly simulated; they must be parameterized. Some processes like cloud formation or some radiation processes are not completely understood and differently represented in the models, which adds to the uncertainty.
        One way to compare models is by means of the climate sensitivity which is defined as the equilibrium change in globally averaged SAT in response to a doubling of the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration (from 280 to 560ppm ). IPCC AR4 stated that the value ‘…is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C’. In the IPCC definition likely refers to an outcome or result when its likelihood is greater than 66% probable. Very unlikely means a probability of less than ten percent. Thus there is a non negligible probability that the climate sensitivity is either considerably smaller or larger than 3°C. Apparently, just communicating the consensus, the best estimate, is inappropriate. The uncertainty in climate sensitivity itself is in my opinion a good reason to demand reductions of global GHG emissions, because the possibility of ‘a dangerous interference with the climate system’ cannot be ruled out with high confidence.

        To predict the future climate we have to consider both natural variability and anthropogenic forcing. The latter is taken into account by assuming scenarios about future GHG and aerosol emissions. The scenarios cover a wide range of the main driving forces of future emissions, from demographic to technological and economic developments. IPCC AR4 published only climate projections based on such scenarios with no attempt to take account of the likely evolution of the natural variability. This by definition yields relatively smooth trajectories if the results are averaged over many models. In the real world, the natural variations will introduce a large degree of irregularity, and even short-term cooling may occur during the next years . This could have been explained better to the public, as in some media reports the existence of Global Warming has been questioned after for more than ten years no global SAT record has been observed2. Had we emphasized more the uncertainty, that debate which confused many people could have been avoided. Albert Einstein once said that we should make ‘things as simple as possible, but not simpler’.

        Mojib Latif is a Professor of Climate Physics at Kiel University and Head of the Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics Division of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Germany. He is Contributing Author of the IPCC Reports 2001 (TAR) and 2007 (AR4).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I quoted this again just yesterday. Prof Mojib ‘global warming’ Latif projected non warming with an initialised ocean model for 10 years in the model. I just don’t think that models – or indeed our understanding of these things – are very good. But the non-warming is obvious from ocean and atmospheric indices. The space cadets suggest that the future will be different to the past – there is very little to suggest that this is the case. At most 1 degree of warming by 2050 offset by solar modulated cooling.

        To be honest – it could be a problem but the space cadets don’t understand how so we won’t tell them.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      To be an authority on the consensus, one must be not a master over other scientists, but have mastered knowledge and technique, methods of reasoning and understanding of data.

      Do you see the difference between this, and what is claimed in the ideas of our host?

      The study is the new continental temperature reconstruction published in Nature in the past few days. What it says is that it was generally cooler in the past several centuries and somewhat warmer before and since. Saying that it suggests anthropogenic influences back to the end of the little ice age is stretching the point to the point of AGW buffoonery.

      Yes I see the difference. It is between buffoons who freely invent on the basis of a blog article that has only semblance of reason and – well – someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

  77. Tomas Milanovic

    Rob Starkey

    Skeptics”, imo generally; do not agree that the case has been made that warrants taking economically inefficient actions now in order to reduce CO2 emissions, in the hope that future weather conditions will be somehow sufficiently better to have justified the additional expense. There is insufficient reliable evidence to support the non-skeptic’s conclusions.

    I agree that there are many different flavors of skeptics regarding climate science but all seem to share the basic skeptism referenced above.

    Among the noise on this thread yours comment was the most relevant one allowing to understand about what is and is not consensus.
    I will make it even clearer.

    The skeptics in their overwhelming majority contest the C in CAGW. If I should make an estimate, I’d say 99%. This has of course very little to do with science because the C is put forward by people like economists, biologists, ecologists, psychologists, activists and last but not least politicians. Neither of these does physics.

    Regarding the real science of AGW which is where the physicists are, the spectrum of skeptics si indeed very large.
    Basically some contest the A, (e.g mostly the unicity of CO2 attribution)some contest the G and virtually nobody I know contests the W.

    So clearly while I for example 100% disagree scientifically with the skeptic Dr X because he demonstrably got his maths wrong on a technical point of AGW, I 100% agree with the same Dr X about the non existence of C in CAGW.
    This is because there is no serious science in there – just misguided qualitative impact studies on time scales where the extrapolation of hypothesis makes no sense.
    As a horrifying example of anti science and ridiculous extrapolations is the Stern report (of course what should one expect from an economist but being wrong?), but the list of similar non sense would be longer than this thread.

    • Tomas Milanovic

      The skeptics in their overwhelming majority contest the C in CAGW. If I should make an estimate, I’d say 99%. This has of course very little to do with science because the C is put forward by people like economists, biologists, ecologists, psychologists, activists and last but not least politicians. Neither of these does physics.

      I agree with your first sentence. But what does physics say about the “C” in “CAGW”.

      Can physics tell us the damage function (the economic damages per degree of warming)?

      Regarding the real science of AGW which is where the physicists are,

      If that were true, it seems, to me physics would be irrelevant to policy. Have I understood correctly what you are saying? If not, can you please explain how physics can inform policy, such as providing the needed inputs for policy options analysis, cost/benefit analysis, robust analysis?

      Following are some of the main inputs for the Nordhaus RICE and DICE models for analysing policy options (http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf , Table 7-1, p127):

      Rate of growth of total factor productivity
      Rate of decarbonisation
      Equilibrium temperature-sensitivity coefficient
      Damage parameter (intercept of damage equation)
      Price of backstop technology
      Asymptotic global population
      Transfer coefficient in carbon cycle
      Total resources of fossil fuels
      Discount rate
      Probability the chosen solution will succeed in the real world of politics and economic constraints

      How does physics contribute any of these inputs?

    • Nordhaus (2008) “A Question of Balance” has a chapter on the Stern Report. Near the start of the chapter he says:

      To begin with, the Stern Review should be read primarily as a
      document that is political in nature and has advocacy as its
      purpose. The review was officially commissioned when
      British chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown “asked Sir
      Nick Stern to lead a major review of the economics of climate
      change, to understand more comprehensively the nature of
      the economic challenges and how they can be met, in the UK
      and globally.”

      For the most part, the Stern Review accurately
      describes the basic economic questions involved in global
      warming. However, it tends to emphasize studies and findings
      that support its policy recommendations, while reports with
      opposing views about the dangers of global warming are
      ignored.

      Putting this point differently, we might evaluate the
      Stern Review in terms of the ground rules of standard science
      and economics. The central methodology by which science,
      including economics, operates is peer review and reproducibility. By contrast, the Stern Review was published without
      an appraisal of methods and assumptions by independent
      outside experts, and its results cannot be easily reproduced.

      http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf, p167.

  78. Tomas, I’m an economist, I wouldn’t have been wrong like Stern because I understand (1) that economic forecasting, which I don’t do, is the weakest part of the profession, (2) that we lack the capacity to make sensible estimates of the economic situation more than a decade or two ahead, and (3) I’ve long advocated that economic policy should focus on measures which most enhance our capacity to deal well with whatever future emerges, acknowledging that it will always surprise us. Most economists I know take a dim view of Stern’s work.

    I also liked Rob Starkey’s comment. I think that the “C” has come mainly from rabid environmentalists and from left-wingers who always look for an opportunity to push their agenda in disguised form.

  79. Maybe it’s important to correctly identify the central question of the essay.

    People recognize that information interpreted by human beings is value-laden so it is necessary to be reflective, aware, open and critical of uncertainties/limitations. People also recognize the importance of timely/important scientific information. That results in the question: how to better or best balance these two needs.

    And maybe a related question is how to best or better balance the public interests at play when science is presented to decision-makers resistant to social change.

    • I thought it was ‘guns or butter’, not ‘best or butter’.
      ====================

    • Martha, I’m not sure that I understand your questions. Yes, we need to be self-aware, to understand our own fallibility and that of others, to be able to discriminate and choose on the basis of often uncertain or limited information. Whether as individuals or as policy-makers, we do this all the time, we have to determine whether or not to seek further information before acting. And some of the information will be scientific.

      Resources are not infinite, people may have conflicting needs and/or values, and we often have to balance a variety of needs and interests. This is inherent in policy-making, and various techniques have been developed to deal with it, for instance in economics the concept of a Pareto optimum and cost-benefit analysis. These don’t tell us what choices to make, but help to clarify the outcomes and trade-offs of alternative options. Some decision-makers are opposed to social change, others seek it. Social change is not necessarily inherent in policies to deal with any global warming, although many of the policies proposed and/or adopted would have significant economic, and consequent social, implications. Many sceptics think that political activists are seeking to use the threat of “catastrophic” anthropogenic global warming to bring about the political and social changes they favour – I’ve certainly seen this approach, of using people’s concerns on a particular issue to promote changes in line with activists’ views which are not directly related to that issue, in action since the 1960s.

      One broad rule of policy-making is “one issue, one policy” – not to conflate issues and attempt to deal with, e.g, emissions reduction and favoured social change with one policy instrument. I.e., if we need to deal with global warming, determine how to do so with the greatest benefits at the least cost. Resolving any social issues should be a separate exercise. Running disparate issues together leads to a loss of clarity, and is unlikely to lead to the best solution to any of the issues (if there is a “best” solution, given people’s differing values).

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘And maybe a related question is how to best or better balance the public interests at play when science is presented to decision-makers predisposed to social change.”

  80. IPCC produces publications for mass public and governmental policy makers. They are not obligated to produce peer-reviewed papers stating every single uncertainties.

    I see nothing wrong with that. Are you really expecting senators/congressmen/John Doe in the street to go through all the details before they can vote? Its hard enough to give them a big picture already.

    Just like this blog, nobody is expecting blog-posts here to be peer-reviewed before publication, is there?

  81. Mojib:

    Had forecasters extrapolated the mid-century warming into the future, they would have predicted far more warming than actually occurred. Likewise, the subsequent cooling trend, if used as the basis for a long-range forecast could have erroneously supported the idea of a rapidly approaching ice age. The detection of the anthropogenic climate signal thus requires at least the analysis of long records, because we can be easily fooled by the natural fluctuations, and we need to understand their dynamics to better estimate the internal noise level.

    • It is honestly such a simple thing that one wonders at the mental contortions needed to continue to have such faith in the CO2 control knob conception.

      A quiet walk in the woods could do the trick. Sadly, zealots can’t so walk, they zeal.
      =========

      • I walk about 20 miles per week. The only time I don’t walk that much is in summer when ozone levels are high enough to affect my breathing. Maybe pollution advocates think breathing is over rated.

  82. Webster, here ya go, http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Ferreira_JClim2013.pdf

    Ocean Heat Transport and Water Vapor Greenhouse in a Warm Equable Climate: A New Look at the Low Gradient Paradox

    Admittedly, a smooth bottom aqua planet model has its limitations, Toggwieler et al. have more baffles in their ocean model, but these guys are on the right track. You might consider that the moist adiabatic lapse rate is every where there is moist air and that the environmental lapse rate is effectively fixed. With the SH ice edge “fixed” by the Antarctic land mass and the ACC, OHT changes have the larger impact on the NH sea ice.

    Tides and Coriolis with meridional delta T drive OHT, which drives atmospheric heat transport. Tides also tend to vary sea ice stability. That is that pesky orbital impact that just doesn’t seem to have enough “FORCING” to cause any climate change. Last I heard, water vapor was still the main GHG and there are limits to sea ice expanse.

    • So for metrics they recommend this:

      “For organizations that supply metrics
      11. Be open and transparent by providing data and methods used to calculate all metrics. “
      But they don’t recommend the same for their own publications. That’s a bit hypocritical and self-serving, eh?

      • Steven Mosher

        who is they?
        if “they” supply metrics, then they should open about the data and methods for the metrics. It’s not that hard to understand.

      • In judging science most objective measures are badly biased or at least highly deficient. Subjective assessments by experts may be better on those points – but they are very subjective as everyone who has handled expert assessments knows all too well.

      • “They” is obvious from my post if you actually pay attention.
        The scientists exempt themselves from the same demand to publish code and data that they impose on the publishers of metrics. This really isn’t that complicated, Steve.

  83. Susan Corwin

    A reply to the ephemeral
        “A fan of *MORE* discourse” April 23, 2013 at 11:28 pm as
    to “what would a CEO do” about Hansen’s prediction of disaster and “only a 25m guard band on sea level rise risk to a physical facility that was ~120m above the level 20K years ago

    My CEO answer is:
        not relevant
    and
        the person bringing it up as a sole issue item is
    distracting enough to be fired or transferred off into the toolies.
    I note that I view your
        “responsibility-dodging no-metric wafflers, your no-consequence
        waffles are not solicited!”
    is classic “Belly-Bucking” device: define a tiny sandbox to play “king of the sand pile”.

    CEO must step
        out of the box
    and this event is so far beyond the planning horizon and the
        degree of uncertainty in it and other things is so high
    as to make it a non-issue
        other than to monitor the science to see if there is a strategic change.
    Problematically, the science is dodgy since it can’t explain
        El Nino, La Nina, AMO, clouds, Minoan & Roman warm periods, etc

    Your link to “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature” conference seems to represent such myopic, tactical thinking by non-visionary folk, as to be pathetic.
    “Not fouling the nest” is critical, but that conference looks to be a joke by the skill-less folk who want to be highly paid to micromanage others folk.

    As the Pharaohs’, the Anasazis’, the Romans’, the Minoans’, Greeks’, China dynasties’ etc descendants learned,
        the world changes in unpredictable ways
    a.k.a. chaos theory: It is all very non-linear and those who claim to predict the future better be able to generate and robustly test physical theory to handle the past.

    Right now, the CEO strategic risks have more to do with
        robotics, nano tech, gene modification, (and escape thereof)
        abandoning the ability to exit to other locales in space,
        the decline in education in the 1st world countries and lack in 3rd, and
        especially, the unstable sociopolitical landscape with nuclear proliferation.
    Solving those problems has more strategic urgency than a minor sea level rise in 100 years in my view.

  84. The idea of “consensus of scientists” was deliberately manufactured by/for the IPCC to hide the science frauds built into the “consensus”, that’s a fact.

    Lest we forget: http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/10/19/none-dare-call-it-fraud/

    Fraud is what it is.

  85. Latif, M., Uncertainty in climate change projections, Journal
    of Geochemical Exploration (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2010.09.011

    http://oceanrep.geomar.de/9199/1/JGE.pdf

  86. “Do scientific assessments need to be consensual to be authoritative?”

    When I was at Univertsity in Western Australia in the late 1940’s, Einstien’s theory of Relativity was well established and authoratative enough for most students. But that other great discovery of the 20th century, Quantum mechanics was hardly mentioned so could not be regarded as authoratative. I don’t think it was mentioned in our Physics text books which were mostly printed pre-war. I remember being the first student to introduce Laplace transform in my honours thesis, thanks to MIT books. Even Laplace caused a stir, but I had no reason to introduce Quantum. So there is a ”sinking in’ period of indeterninate length for any new theory..

  87. Abstract
    A version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research community climate model — a global, spectral (R15) general circulation model — is coupled to a coarse-grid (5° latitude-] longitude, four-layer) ocean general circulation model to study the response of the climate system to increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Three simulations are run: one with an instantaneous doubling of atmospheric CO2 (from 330 to 660 ppm), another with the CO2 concentration starting at 330 ppm and increasing linearly at a rate of 1% per year, and a third with CO2 held constant at 330 pm. Results at the end of 30 years of simulation indicate a globally averaged surface air temperature increase of 1.6° C for the instantaneous doubling case and 0.7°C for the transient forcing case. Inherent characteristics of the coarse-grid ocean model flow sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropics and higher-than-observed SSTs and reduced sea-ice extent at higher latitudes] produce lower sensitivity in this model after 30 years than in earlier simulations with the same atmosphere coupled to a 50-m, slab-ocean mixed layer. Within the limitations of the simulated meridional overturning, the thermohaline circulation weakens in the coupled model with doubled CO2 as the high-latitude ocean-surface layer warms and freshens and westerly wind stress is decreased. In the transient forcing case with slowly increasing CO2 (30% increase after 30 years), the zonal mean warming of the ocean is most evident in the surface layer near 30°–50° S. Geographical plots of surface air temperature change in the transient case show patterns of regional climate anomalies that differ from those in the instantaneous CO2 doubling case, particularly in the North Atlantic and northern European regions. This suggests that differences in CO2 forcing in the climate system are important in CO2 response in regard to time-dependent climate anomaly regimes. This confirms earlier studies with simple climate models that instantaneous CO2 doubling simulations may not be analogous in all respects to simulations with slowly increasing CO2.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00207397

  88. BBD | April 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |

    Naish is limited in using the higher rate of co2 for the Pliocene (the range is 300-400ppm) introduces a constraint on the icecore records ie they diverge.

    if you account for the evolutionary growth rates and carbon concentrating mechanisms we have a constraint on the icecore record eg laws

    http://s255.photobucket.com/user/mataraka/media/Geometricgrowth.jpg.html?sort=3&o=36

  89. In favour of consensus
    The argument in favour of consensus as authoritative is that it reflects what science supposedly is uniquely disposed to be good at: applying rules of reasoning and inference which lead unambiguously and universally from evidence to conclusion …… In this view, a lack of consensus would undermine the authority of science because it might suggest either that conflicting conclusions had been reached prematurely or that personal or cultural biases and values had protruded into the reasoning process.

    About as wrong as it is possible to be.

    Who says people calling themselves scientists actually follow the principles of science, and don’t have personal, financial and cultural biases that protrude into the reasoning process; and that such tainted science anoints itself as a premature consensus?

    Especially in cases like climate science where almost all the funding comes from a single source (the state) that has a monumental vested interest in the findings?

    • Proper science should be neither pro- nor anti- consensus. It should be pro-truth, whether the truth is that there IS _or_ IS NOT a consensus. Fake consensus / advocacy is improper science.

  90. Pingback: Har önskan om konsensus skadat forskningen? | The Climate Scam

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  92. Hulme’s contention that Climategate was exploited (by whom?) as a “distraction” is disingenuous and presumptive, not to mention highly normative and void of evidence. How can examination of how consensus was manufactured be a “distraction”? Slanted commentary.