I know I’m right (?)

by Judith Curry

A behavioral view of overconfidence.

A very interesting paper was just published in a journal of the American Statistical Society called Significance [link to abstract]:

I know I’m right!  A behavioral view of over confidence

Albert Mannes and Don Moore

Abstract.  Statistics is all about uncertainty. Why, then, are so few of us uncertain enough? Being far too certain is a near-universal trait: the consequences have sometimes been catastrophic. Albert Mannes and Don Moore outline the ways humans are overconfident in their judgements – and why so many of us think that we can finish decking the patio on time.

Excerpts:

Good judgement is surely good for society; and persistent overconfidence surely indicates poor judgement. Behavioural research tends to focus on three forms of overconfidence that occur with some frequency in modern life: overestimation, overplacement, and overprecision.

A hallmark of good judgement is that the assessments a person makes about probabilistic events are well calibrated to the long-run frequency of those events. For example, a meteorologist who claims that there is an 80% chance of rain today is well calibrated if on average it rains on 8 of the 10 days he or she makes this pronouncement.

Being well calibrated – that is, having judgement that on average is neither underconfident nor overconfident – means that the confidence expressed in corresponds closely with the frequency with which the respondent is actually correct.

The typical research finding, however, is that people’s confidence exceeds their actual performance. For example, the actual number of correct answers for judgements expressed with 70% confidence is less than 7 out of 10. This form of overconfidence is naturally called overestimation.

Overprecision  refers to “our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in”.  To be overprecise is to underestimate the degree to which one’s judgement may err. Subjective beliefs about accuracy are too sharp relative to true accuracy. We believe we are close or spot on far more often than we actually are.

JC comment:  ‘overprecision’ is the main criticism that I have had of the IPCC’s particular brand of overconfidence; overprecision also leads us to consider the white area of the Italian Flag.

The costs of being wrong are often asymmetric. Showing up early for a flight is less costly than showing up late and missing it entirely, so uncertainty about the travel time should lead people to depart earlier for the airport. We used this principle to demonstrate overprecision in a laboratory setting. We asked the participants in our studies to estimate the temperatures in the city where they live over several historical dates under three pay-off conditions. (Each person made guesses under all three conditions.) In the first condition, participants were paid a fixed amount (in the form of lottery tickets towards a prize) if their guesses were within a specified margin of error, either over or under the correct answer.

Their answers here, in which the costs of being wrong were symmetric, allowed them (and us) to gauge their knowledge in this domain. In the second condition, they were rewarded only for correctly guessing the temperature or overestimating it within a margin of error. And in the third condition, they were rewarded only for correctly guessing the temperature or underestimating it within a margin of error. For  all estimates, participants received trial-by-trial feedback on their errors.

As expected, people biased their estimates in the appropriate direction given their payoffs – when rewarded for overestimation, they adjusted their estimates upward, and when rewarded for underestimation, adjusted them downward. But their adjustments in these conditions were systematically insufficient: given their actual knowledge, participants would have earned significantly more had they made larger adjustments, which would have reduced the frequency of over- or underestimation when those errors had no pay-off.

JC comment:  hmmmm . . .  does a framework of the precautionary principle bias estimates?

They acted (in their adjustments) as if their knowledge was more precise than it actually was; metaphorically speaking, they consistently missed their flights. Note that their insufficient adjustments could not simply be explained as being anchored on their best guess. Instead, the levels of overprecision for this task were positively correlated with participants’ overprecision using traditional 90% confidence intervals and with their expressed confidence in their knowledge of the domain.

In social situations, there may be a market for overconfidence. Experimental participants in one study were more likely to purchase advice when sellers expressed more confidence in their judgement, holding accuracy constant. As  a result, as the sellers of advice competed with each other, their judgements were expressed with increasing confidence over time without becoming more accurate – they were rewarded for being overconfident.

JC comment:  there is an implicit expectation that the IPCC’s confidence level will increase with each assessment report.  Hence the ‘leaked’ 95% confidence level for attribution from the forthcoming AR5 report, in spite of reduced accuracy of the climate models relative to the last 15+ years of observations and apparent lowering of the climate sensitivity bound to 1.5C.

Overconfidence has proven remarkably resistant to debiasing – perhaps because it does have value for people in certain situations. Nevertheless, the factors that contribute to overconfidence suggest some ways to become better-calibrated judges of our knowledge.

First, accurate and timely feedback improves calibration. Despite reputations to the contrary, meteorologists are quite well calibrated, no doubt in part because they receive regular information about the quality of their forecasts.

JC comment:  unfortunately the same is not true of climate modelers.  They only receive useful feedback on decadal time scales, but even with this feedback, they don’t seem to see the need for recalibration.  The following seems to explain why.

In our research on overprecision, we manipulated the feedback we gave to participants to examine its impact on overconfidence. As expected, the set of participants receiving no feedback about their knowledge of local temperatures expressed the most confidence in their expertise and were the most overprecise  in the main still displayed the bias. Only when we provided a third set of participants with feedback that exaggerated their errors by 2.5 times were we able to eliminate overprecision.

Another technique for reducing overprecision is to call a person’s attention to outcomes or hypotheses they would otherwise neglect. That is, asking people to focus not only on their best guess of the likely outcome but also on neighbouring outcomes reduces the precision of people’s subjective beliefs. This can be done, for instance, by providing people with a liberal number of discrete outcomes (or ranges for continuous outcomes) and asking them to assign probabilities to each. (Had the designer of the Titanic been asked to quantify the probability of striking an iceberg, might he have added more watertight bulkheads?) A related technique calls for “unpacking” a distant future into a set of more proximal futures. For example, in a recent study experimental participants were asked to provide 90% confidence intervals for the closing price of three financial instruments either (a) 3 months into the future, or (b) 1, 2, and 3 months into the future. On average, the widths of the confidence intervals were 33% greater for the 3-month prices in the latter condition, in which the future was unpacked into intermediate periods.

JC comment:  This is important, it speaks to broadening the range of possible scenarios and a scenario falsification approach.  I’ve made the point numerous times is that our current approaches are neglecting the possibility of abrupt climate change (whether caused naturally, anthropogenically, or as a combination.  It further emphasizes the need to understand shorter time scales before having confidence in predictions on longer time scales.

At the very least it is important for decision-makers to be aware that people are prone to overconfidence, and that to assume one is not is to unwittingly fall prey to the bias. Most of us can improve the calibration of our judgements by simply considering the question “How could I be wrong?”

JC comment:  Asking “How could I be wrong?” sums up perfectly the remedy for overconfidence.

Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs has a related post entitled Too Damn Sure:  The Epidemiologist Fallacy.  Punchline:

The epidemiologist fallacy occurs when an epidemiologist says or implies X causes Y, but when the epidemiologist never actually meets, measures, or monitors X, though everybody pretends he has.

Perspective of a weather forecaster

Weather forecasters are forced by virtue of their job to continually calibrate their forecasts. While my operational experience as a forecaster is not extensive, by virtue of owing a weather forecasting company (CFAN), I am extremely experienced in evaluating and calibrating weather forecasts.  I would argue this exercise in forecast calibration improves calibration across other judgment domains.

What weather forecasting calibration does NOT help with is with the ‘overprecision’ issue, where you need to consider what is truly unknown and outside of your experience.  This is really much more difficult.  The IPCC pretty much guarantees overprecision by its consensus judgment approach that considers evidence for and against, without explicitly considering the space for which you have have no evidence, i.e. the known and unknown unknowns.

I agree that the the best cure for overprecision is continual challenges of “How could I be wrong?”  Anyone who presents such a challenge is quickly labeled as a denier.  The IPCC needs to figure out some what to cure its overprecision disease.

495 responses to “I know I’m right (?)

  1. “When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you!” Apply as appropriate.

    • David Springer

      I know I’m right saying that as of August 27 this is the slowest start to a hurricane season on record.

      I anticipated this as the temperature gradient from equator to pole lessens. Work is accomplished through temperature differentials (heat engines) so if there is less delta T there is less potential work that can be extracted from it.

      In the new age, let’s call it the “Holocene CO2 Optimum” weather will be tame and perfect everywhere always. But I don’t know that for sure. ;-)

  2. I reckon I am right that for any mitigation policy to work it must be economically rational. it must deliver net economic benefits in every country from the start, not in 100 or 200 years time with enormous net costs in the mean time. No one has provided a persuasive case to convince me I am wrong.

    Uncertainty about the problem (man-made climate change) is a given; but uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable. This is to say, we should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be. In short, big responses require high levels of confidence that they will work. There seems to be a lack of credible evidence to demonstrate carbon pricing passes this test.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/08/why-the-ets-will-not-succeed-peter-lang/

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang “I reckon I am right that for any mitigation policy to work it must deliver net economic benefits in every country from the start.”

      Prominent American Republicans are well aware of numerous costly policies that fail to deliver “net economic benefits in every country from the start”

      ▷ disease eradication
      ▷ childhood vaccination
      ▷ public education
      ▷ fishery limits
      ▷ hunting limits
      ▷ ozone-destroying chemical restrictions
      ▷ acid rain restrictions
      ▷ lead restrictions
      ▷ mercury restrictions
      ▷ pure drug laws
      ▷ sanitation laws
      ▷ medicare/medicaid

      Many more could be mentioned, obviously!

      All of the above have economic and/or moral benefits that are realized, not “right from the start” but rather generations in the future. And they are realized, not certainly, but rather plausibly.

      A minority of nutjobs (remarkably many are Ayn Rand disciples) imagine that these institutions can be done-away with. But that belief system is kinda nutty, isn’t it Peter Lang?

      \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}

      • “policies that fail to deliver ‘net economic benefits in every country from the start’”

        and

        “All of the above have economic and/or moral benefits that are realized, not “right from the start” but rather generations in the future. And they are realized, not certainly, but rather plausibly.”

        Do you actually read what you write before posting it?

        And do I actually have to explain how dumb that comment is, on so many levels?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.’ F.A. Hayek

        Dissimulation from FOMBS notwithstanding – the proper and limited role of government is recognised almost universally. The limits generally involve sound economic management aiding and not diminishing maintenance of the general level of wealth. Something I won’t go into now – but understanding of which seems to be in limited supply in some quarters.

        Whatever it is that FOMBS is advocating remains vague and uncertain. We are advocating a new climate framework explicitly.

        ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’

        http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        The program involves increased spending on energy research and policies on global health, education, development and free trade that are not inconsistent with Hayek, the Copenhagen Consensus and even the Millennium Development Goals.

        The costs are controllable. One hundred billion per year on energy research from both public and private sources. Expanding free trade is a positive for everyone. Aid at 0.7% of GDP is committed to by all western governments – but honoured more in the breach.

        Why? Why the hell not? The costs are relatively moderate – certainly compared to the trillions already wasted – and the rewards astronomical. Peter is certainly right in advocating that policies to succeed need to have ‘near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world’.

      • FOMBS
        This is a classic example of post-normal reasoning.

        Stupid boy/girl! Why not just go away and think for a while?

      • We already know that *you* know you are right…

    • Before the technical and tactical/strategical military developments made them obsolete cities around the world made huge Investments in city walls and fortifications. For instance I’ve been told every citizen of Lübeck (major medieval city on the north coast of Germany) had to work 100 days every year on its fortifications in the 13. Century. Yet it was not besieged for hundreds of years. Even cities that regularly needed their walls had to continue their upkeep for decades or hundreds of peaceful years with no imminent threat.
      So if the threat is percieved to a) Be very menacing and b) Likely to arrive with full force on very short notice, mitigation, even extremely costly and not cost-efficient, is an accepted policy. Japans tsunami walls comes to mind as a modern example.
      AGW is just not up there with the assyrians, mongols or earthquakes yet and most of us feel we can wait for better estimates on the size and timescale of this threat.

      • Before the technical and tactical/strategical military developments made them obsolete cities around the world made huge Investments in city walls and fortifications.

        From at least the 8th century BCE on, cities with fortified walls were regularly besieged and stormed. (Prior to that, siege may have been the only tactic, although the evidence is questionable.) Any city whose citizens had access to knowledge of the fates of other cities could see the risks, by striking an analogy between their own city and some nearby and/or recent victim.

        The risk from CAGW is completely different. Despite efforts to implant the analogy of prior “collapses” in peoples minds, the analogy is far from obvious, and the differences are easily pointed out. We only have one climate, and the models aren’t very persuasive.

    • The Precautionary Principal is quite clear that if there is even the slightest chance man made global warming might prevent the next ice age , we should continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate.

  3. People run too quickly too Bayes… at least on this subject. The Pryor they need is Richard.

    • They just run to the wrong Baez.

      • Joan Baez’s cousin is John Carlos Baez, who runs the great Azimuth Project site and which is a hotbed for understanding the consensus science behind anthropogenic global warming.
        http://www.azimuthproject.org
        No kranks or krackpots allowed.

        BTW, Joan’s father and John’s uncle was also a physicist.

      • Dude. Just chill and listen to the tune. You’re killin’ my buzz. Oh, and don’t eat the purple acid.

      • GaryM, is the ‘Brown’ acid that gives you a bad trip, you should be OK with purple acid.

        And here’s this crystal city
        That is mapped out like the stars
        She’s been waiting there for ages
        For us to give her force
        Some call her Ynnis Glytrr
        Crystal Isle to you or me
        So full of glowing emanations
        That you don’t need eyes to see
        So here inside these valleys
        That are so full of energy
        We’ll build a New Jerusalem
        With Love from You to Me

        I so miss being a hippie.

  4. I know I’m right (?)
    There is a huge lot of us who know we are right.

    I do really try to question my beliefs, but that is really difficult.
    I do talk and listen to people who disagree.
    That works fairly good with skeptics who have different opinions.
    That does not work well with most Consensus People.
    We have some wonderful exceptions in our Climate Study Group.
    The Consensus People we invite will lecture us but most will not discuss and/or debate. Consensus Friends will not discuss and debate. Consensus is a serious illness. Once you catch this you cannot believe you can ever be wrong.

    • Yes. That is my experience too. We see it on the blog sites, on the Left leaning MSM, and in friends that are aligned with the Left side of politics.

      I admit that having experienced this for over 20 years on AGW then climate change, I now quickly (sometimes too quickly) assess people who parrot the consensus and appeals to authority as closed minded zealots. I dismiss their opinions on this subject as being no better founded than that of religious zealots.

  5. Well, they way they word the leaked 95% confidence statement they do know they are right. They are 95% confident that warming since 1950 is mainly due to something related to mankind using carbon in some way or another. So you have another “most” but no CO2 this time. It has to fit in with the Carbon Pollution battle cry with a black carbon bailout clause.

    • This. The ONLY thing we can count on now is that the measurements shall show the extremely steady increase in CO2 concentration from one sensor in Hawaii. So carbon itself will be the boogieman, as temperature is sure not cooperating, arctic ice it too unpredictable, polar bears have been screwing like crazy, sea level rise isn’t accelerating and the good old earth keeps a very very steady state. But carbon, it is in everything, and a CO2 measurement is cooperating and must be (will be) catastrophic by design. Tie your horse to whatever keeps you heading towards your goal, which is keeping more money flowing into your pocketbook by keeping a hand in my pocketbook.

    • Open the door for bailout Claus’s.
      (channeling kim)

  6. bias makes a person to to sound overconfident in fairy-tales

  7. When we cry we do so so that others can see we are in emotional distress. Suicide, as a result of depression, is a very common cause of death in our species. In the modern world suicide runs at about 12-20 deaths per 100,000 p.a.
    All good soldiers appear to operate on the principle that although some members of heir squad will die in the attack, they will be OK.
    For my last example I draw upon a great piece of social anthropology; Butch Cassedy and the Sundance Kid. The two men decide to jump into a river in a ravine, rather than be captured, believing they are unlikely to survive.
    There is an obvious evolutionary advantage to over-titrating optimism than to overestimating trouble.

    • Doc,

      I usually think highly of your comments This one falls short of your usual standard.

      Butch & and Sundance scene was a movie – ie not real.

      As for the suicide thing, I subscribe to the theory (or is it a philosophy?) that life is hard, and then you die. Folks who choose suicide are those who can’t handle hard. My sympathy is generally for those they leave behind. The hurt and damage adds to the hardness of life.

  8. The IPCC and Kyoto were convinced from the start that correlation was sufficient to label CO2 as the CAUSE of global warming. They were so confident that they didn’t bother to check the possible effect that the heat of combustion of fossil fuels (and nuclear power) was four times the amount needed to account for the measured rise in atmospheric temperature. Had they looked for the “missing” heat we could have avoided this CO2 myth. We could have agreed that pursuit of renewable resources was essential and that CO2 capture and storage would be detrimental by reducing the potential for cooling through photosynthesis. (Every pound of CO2 converted to trees, etc. removes ~5000 btus of solar energy that otherwise becomes heat). Conversion of one ppm CO2 has the potential to lower atmospheric temperature by 0.03*F. Maybe this sounds overconfident, but “The Emperor has no clothes”.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Philip Haddad

      [T]he heat of combustion of fossil fuels (and nuclear power) [is] four times the amount needed to account for the measured rise in atmospheric temperature.

      Compare power intensities:
      3.7 W/m^2 doubled CO2
      vs
      0.03 W/m^2 fossil + nuclear + renewable power use

      Heat of combustion is negligible in this case.

      • The Chief Hydro also believes that the heat from fossil fuel combustion is the primary source of the temperature anomaly.

        See this thread:
        http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/05/sea-level-rise-discussion-thread/#comment-208592

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Because of the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere a higher average temperature is maintained through simple atmospheric radiative effects. So you see it is neither one thing or the other but both.

        If you have other questions you will have to ask Diogenes. He has a lamp to shine on honest men but has so far found nothing but rascals.’

        webby is far from an honest man.

      • The Chief is just as much of a krank as Philip Haddad in this belief, but at least PH does not create multiple sockpuppet aliases such as “Diogenes” to push those beliefs.

        The Chief is the worst kind of bottom-feeder who uses multiple sockpuppets to create a fake grassroots.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Phillip is a bit misguided – but webby is totally off the planet.

        The fact remains that emitted CO2 cools to the new and higher energy state of the atmosphere.

        Webby is not interested in facts however – but in his sole purpose of whining about sceptics. I wonder why he bothers at all.

        Scouring the threads to find Diogenes in search of an honest man? RAOLFFL. Absurd stupidity.

      • Chief says:

        “The fact remains that emitted CO2 cools to the new and higher energy state of the atmosphere.”

        That is just word salad gibberish, and you are obviously trying to walk back all the other rubbish you asserted in the past.


        Vaughan Pratt | June 12, 2012 at 2:55 am

        Impressive that Chief Hydrologist continues to believe that the direct impact of combustion on global warming is even remotely comparable to the indirect impact of the CO2 released by combustion. CH, do you have any actual numbers to back up your remarkable claim?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby has taken to scouring the lists again trying to prove something that is not true.

        The fact remains that emitted CO2 cools to the new and higher energy state of the atmosphere. The fact remains that CO2 is emitted at a flame temperature of hundreds to thousands of degrees. CO2 cools to the ambient temperature of the atmosphere. The annual energy released in combustion of fossil fuels is 0.03W/m^2 – which is equivalent to nominal forcing by CO2. The nominal forcing is the theoretical forcing from adding a slug of CO2 at ambient temperatures. The gases then nominally warm up and the forcing disappears. In both cases higher energy states in the atmosphere are then maintained through a reduced mean free photon path as energy travels from the Sun to the surface and thence to the atmosphere and back out to space. Of course I have numbers.

        So which is more logical. CO2 is emitted at ambient temperature and warms up or CO2 is emitted at high temperature and cool down.

        Amongst other things – webby insists that heat from the atmosphere diffuses into the oceans providing the equivalent of a heat sink on a CPU. Webby has difficulty with visualising physical processes accurately – abusively insists on his nonsensical and simplistic narratives and thus moves definitively into the realm of eccentricity.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Chief-
        The annual energy released in combustion of fossil fuels is 0.03W/m^2 – which is equivalent to nominal forcing by CO2.

        Thanks for the comment. Now I understand the combustion heat confusion. First, my apologies for comparing 3.7 W/m^2 doubled CO2 over a century timescale vs 0.03 W/m^2 annual combustion forcing.

        Second, I have fixed your above quoted comment:

        The [average forcing due to] combustion of fossil fuels is 0.03W/m^2 – which is equivalent to [the annual increase in] forcing by CO2.

        Using 2000 – 2008 data, the annual increase in combustion heat forcing was only ~0.0007 W/m^2 – much less than 0.03 W/m^2 annual increase in CO2 forcing.

        Hope we’re good on this.

        bi2hs

      • Chief Hydrologist

        blueice

        ‘The annual energy released in combustion of fossil fuels is 0.03W/m^2 – which is equivalent to nominal forcing by CO2.’

        The energy released in combustion is the right metric and the comparison is to nominal forcing increase over a year.

      • BI2HS and Chief

        A closer look at the numbers shows that the theoretical “forcing” from human CO2 is in the same ball-park as the energy used by humans from all primary sources.

        Basis:
        CO2 has increased by ~1.8 ppmv/year
        1.8 ppmv annual CO2 increase ~ 0.024 W/m^2

        23,000 TWh electrical power were generated in 2010
        16% was hydroelectric and another
        5% was other renewables, so
        79% was from coal, oil, gas or nuclear

        all of above have an average overall thermal efficiency of
        35%

        So the energy consumed for power generation was
        0.79*23,000/0.35 =
        51,914 TWh

        direct use for heating was an estimated
        10,153 TWh

        62,057 TWh = sub-total power + heating
        ~70% of total, with transportation at ~30%

        26,596 TWh = transportation

        88,653 TWh = total annual energy use
        8,760 hours.year
        10.12 trillion Watts energy used

        510 million km^2 = Earth surface area

        “forcing” = 10.12 trillion Watts / 510*1,000,000 million m^2 =

        0.020 W/m^2

        IOW the two are in the same order of magnitude.

        Some of the primary energy went into electrical energy, some into mechanical, etc., but it is all energy.

        Max

      • Chief,

        All the extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere contributes to the forcing. From the energy production only that of each moment (the momentary power level) contributes. Thus you should either

        - compare annual energy production to the excess of CO2 compared to preindustrial levels

        or

        - compare the increase in the energy production to the increase in the CO2 concentration.

        The past warming takes off from the remaining imbalance, but that applies equally to the warming by the energy production and to the CO2.

      • Max,

        You should really learn some physics to avoid such total misunderstandings.

      • blueice2hotsea

        manacker,

        The numbers are equivalent in magnitude and I verified this before I made my initial comment. Don’t make it too complicated; It’s as simple as A, B, C:

        A = 2008 avg. global power use = 15 terrawatts = 15 X 10^12 W
        B = Total suface area of Earth = 510 million km = 510 X 10^12 m^2
        C = Human power consumption forcing = A/B
        => 15 e12 W / 510 X e12 m^2 = 0.03 W/m^2

        Unfortunately, the similar numbers do not actually describe equivalent entities. To compare them directly is a mistake. Write the equations for total forcing for each as a function of N yrs. and see or yourself.

        bi2hs

      • blueice2hotsea

        max

        oops left off the current annual co2 forcing increase due to 0.5% increase in ppm:

        5.3 * ln(1.005) = 0.26 W/m^2 ~ 0.03W/m^2

        bi2hs

      • We had this argument with Chief before. The CO2e forcing increases by 0.04 W/m2 per year (currently approaching 2 W/m2). Combustion provides a steady 0.03 W/m2 every year. Note the difference between an increasing forcing and a steady forcing over the long term. A steady forcing causes no temperature change, while an increasing forcing does.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘“The radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system due to the perturbation in or the introduction of an agent (say, a change in greenhouse gas concentrations) is the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave; in W/m^2) at the tropopause AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values”. A definition since the SAR.

        But of course surface temperature does not remain the same and of course the nominal forcing diminishes with increases in surface temperature. The forcing is not approaching 2W/m^2 – this is purely a metric for comparison purposes. It is not reality.

        This is such an ordinary concept that I am more than a little bored explaining it again to people who have no interest in physical facts but merely ideology.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You might have had the same argument with me Jim – but you should put it to Pekka for instance because you are appallingly blind sided with your ideology.

      • CH, when I say “A steady forcing causes no temperature change, while an increasing forcing does.” which part of that do you disagree with? I can’t believe you don’t understand this simple point. Read what I said again.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not sure who works these things out – but combustion adds about 15TJ to the energy budget of the planet every second of every day. This is very old energy and so can be considered very new energy. Of course it heats the planet – it is utter nonsense to suggest it doesn’t.

        More CO2 in the atmosphere means a warmer atmosphere – all things being equal – which is in reality more energy in the atmosphere. Now the source of this extra energy is from combustion and radioactive decay first. If there is any deficit after that – we might get a teeny bit of radiative imbalance.

      • CH, the sun is 10000 times stronger as a forcing. Compare it with that for its effect. Anthro CO2 is 60 times stronger and GHGs including water vapor are 500 times stronger. That puts it in perspective.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We are talking about changes in forcing that are orders of magnitude less. That puts it in perspective.

      • CH, I perceive you are still not understanding. Anthro CO2 is now near 2 W/m2 when it used to be zero and is currently growing by 4 W/m2 per century. This is neither a negligible amount of forcing nor rate of change.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘“The radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system due to the perturbation in or the introduction of an agent (say, a change in greenhouse gas concentrations) is the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave; in W/m^2) at the tropopause AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values”. A definition since the SAR.

        It is clear you really don’t have a clue – and seem incapable of understanding even the basics.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      That is not quite true Pekka. The nominal increase in CO2 forcing is 1.6W/m^2. But presumably the atmosphere is warmer and the conditional equilibrium at toa has been restored somewhat. The ‘radiative imbalance’ is a polite fiction. The 1.6W/m^2 is not how it works in the real world. It is calculated as the instantaneous forcing of adding a slug of CO2 at ambient temperature to the atmosphere. It is the difference between a convenient metric and the real world.

      ‘“The radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system due to the perturbation in or the introduction of an agent (say, a change in greenhouse gas concentrations) is the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave; in W/m^2) at the tropopause AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values”. A definition since the SAR.

      Energy added to the atmosphere is somewhat equivalent to heat. In one formulation the extra heat as CO2 is added is the result of a small increase in a radiant imbalance. In the other the small increase in heat includes the heat of combustion and of radioactive decay.

      • Chief,

        That’s true, but that’s true also for the energy production. Last years energy production maintained a very slightly warmer Earth that we would have without that. This years energy production maintains the same temperature. Only the addition to the energy production leads to warming.

        Comparing to preindustrial times is equally applicable to energy production and to additional CO2. Both the energy production and the CO2 concentration have increased gradually over this lengthy period.

        The point is that CO2 concentration is comparable to energy production and addition to CO2 concentration is comparable to addition in energy production.

        Both CO2 concentration and energy production have an effect that has the unit of Watt.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well – no – the entire heat of combustion ends up in the Earth system year after year. It is after all energy stored millions of years previously. Once the CO2 is in the atmosphere the temperature is maintained radiatively. More burning next year adds more energy etc etc.

      • Chief,

        Yes the energy comes every year, but it has also caused warming and that warming leads to increased emission of IR. Thus producing energy at the same power level is just enough to maintain the same temperature, not enough for further warming.

        You have used this same argument with CO2, but you seem to have a blind spot in noticing, how the argument applies to energy generation exactly in the same way.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So these molecules cool down to less than ambient temperature and then warm up again due to adsorption and emission dynamics?

        The 2 things are very different – one we have energy added to the system. That heats the system. Two we have this metric that isn’t real but exists only for comparison. The extra energy in the atmosphere is very real and it doesn’t really matter what the source is – but the so called forcing is transient at best in any case.

        Simple idea? But taking this quite unphysical metric of greenhouse gas forcing as a physical reality is an absurdity.

      • Chief,

        The heat content of the flue gases is part of the heat released from the energy production, the excitation energy of the CO2 molecules is a very small part of the heat content of the flue gases. The molecules follow the temperature of their immediate environment with a delay of less than a nanosecond. They cool together with the other flue gases. The only role the higher occupation of the vibrationally excited states of CO2 in the flue gases is that a very small part of the heat released by energy production comes out in that form.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Much of the energy is kinetic which warms surrounding molecules through collisions. But some heat is radiated away – http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

        It is not an either or proposition.

      • Right, Always about one CO2 excitation out of billion ends up as emitting an IR photon. Before that it has been in the excited state for one nanosecond or so. About 7% of CO2 molecules are always in the excited state.

        That applies also to every molecule separately. It switches between an excited state and ground state more than 100 million times every second, it spends 93% of the time in ground state and 7% of the time in excited state. About once in a second in absorbs a photon and once it emits a photon. These two events are very seldom (one time in billion) related.

      • Correction to the previous:

        To be consistent I should have written:

        About once in 10 seconds a CO2 molecule emits a photon, and once in 10 seconds it absorbs one.

        These numbers should not be taken at face value. The orders of magnitudes are correct, but absolute values may be of by a factor of two or three. The value of 7% is, however, close to truth in lower troposphere. In hot flue gases the share is higher.

  9. I wouldn’t be so confident in the failure of models on such short periods of time.

    • Only 13 comments before a warmist tried to flip the logic of the post into over confidence in lack of confidence. Might be a cognitive dissonance time record.

      • Sauce for the goose is good for the gander.

      • GaryM, We can always count on lawyers like yourself to keep score.
        Where would cognitive dissonance be without lawyers commenting on science topics?

      • Web,

        “Where would cognitive dissonance be without lawyers commenting on science topics?”

        Some of us are actually quite good at ferreting out the truth. Frankly, there are few things more fun in my profession than cross examining a pompous expert witness in his own field who thinks he can snow you because he has spent years studying his field. What they never understand is that the lawyer has access to his own experts, and only has to learn the discrete matters at issue in the case, not the entire field.

      • I was wondering how lawyers could do that. In my view, having done many patent applications, they are pretty good at understanding logic. In fact, amazingly good at it.

    • John Vetterling

      Bob,

      I’m not sure you understand how science works. Unlike mathematics, science doesn’t “prove” anything (ht. Mann). Science works by proposing plausible explanations and then disproving the ones that do not fit. There is, depending on how you test, less than a 5-2% chance of the temperatures of the last 15 to 17 year occurring if you assume the models are correct. We know, with near certainty what the models predicted. The only uncertainty is in the measured temperatures. Are you saying that our uncertainty in the temperature record is greater than stated?

      • Science does make predictions. See Relativity and the precession of Mercury for example. Or Bell’s inequality. Science is rife with predictions. If your predictions hold, your theory is favored. If not, you start at square zero.

        So, what particulars of climate do climate models predict.? I have never witnessed a climate scientist state that an accurate climate model can’t be relied upon because, if it is accurate, it will be chaotic. Or, if chaos isn’t dominant, then what elements of climate do the models accurately predict?

        Testing the models against observation is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, climate practice is just a fancified religion.

        A side note question is what parts of climate are well-behaved and what parts are chaotic? The Sun’s output is on a long-term declining trend, so long-term we get less and less energy. Solar cycles vary quit a bit in magnitude and appear to be chaotic. Our path through the galaxy is largely predictable. What other aspects are chaotic, and what parts well behaved?

      • “Unlike mathematics, science doesn’t “prove” anything’
        So he whole field of pharmaceutical science is bogus then?
        I take it that the measurements of human tumors I make in my mice, of treated vs. four internal controls, can prove nothing and that the statistical analysis of tumor volume cannot show that the treated animals are not part of a discrete population?
        Or then again, could it be that Mann is tap-dancing because he is unable to provide an experimental proof and so seeks to drag the res of us into he gutter?

      • Spare me your lecture on how science works, and where do you get the 2-5 % chance that the models are correctly predicting temperature.
        Especially in light of the fact that it is a comparison of the temperature record vs the model ensembles, which can not get the enso and other oscillations correct because they are averages.

        And I would speculate that the uncertainty in the temperature record is one of the known unknowns because like Trenberth implied, we don’t have a reasonably near perfect ability to track temperature because we don’t measure temperature well enough every where we would need to.

        And when you do compare the model output to the temperature output you need to take into consideration the uncertainty in both, not just in the models, like a certain blogger who fashions a skill in statistics.

      • Bob, “And I would speculate that the uncertainty in the temperature record is one of the known unknowns because like Trenberth implied, we don’t have a reasonably near perfect ability to track temperature because we don’t measure temperature well enough every where we would need to.”

        He felt that we don’t measure temperature well enough because the measurements didn’t fit the models. He assumed, the models were correct.
        So look at where his models and measurements disagreed, SST, he estimate latent heat loss at ~80Wm-2 and the actual data indicated 88Wm-2, a 20% error. His “thermals” / sensible was estimated at 17 where 24 appears to be a better estimate that difference is twice the estimated forcing. His “surface” atmospheric window estimate was 40 Wm-2, that is above the atmospheric boundary layer not below at the real surface, that is a huge uncertainty in the “window” that is required to produce surface warming.

        Other than that, he did a bang up job.

      • Captain,
        If you are going to nitpick, so can I

        (88-80)/(88+80)/2=8/84= 10%

      • And another thing, if you read Trenberth’s 2009 paper and conclude that he assumed the models were correct, I can only assume that you have failed to understand what he wrote. My read is that he constantly challenges the models looking for ways that they can be improved.

      • Bob, My nit pick was based on accuracy, yours is based on no climate scientist left behind.

        TKF Stephens Difference
        Window 40 20 20
        ATM Absorb 78 75 3
        Surf Absorb 161 165 -4
        Latent 80 88 -8
        Sensible 17 24 -7
        OLR (surf) 396 398 -2
        DWLR (surf) 333 345 -12
        OLR(surf) Net 63 53 10

        let’s see how that table turns out. Since Stephens actually used the current satellite data and Trenberth used models a good bit where the data didn’t “feel” right, the nit pick is models versus observations. I wouldn’t average the two, but you can if you like. Given the track record of the models, I tend like to keep the two separated. Remember that 3.7Wm-2 is the CO2 equivalent doubling estimate and Stephens is no climate science schmo

      • Bob, “And another thing, if you read Trenberth’s 2009 paper and conclude that he assumed the models were correct, I can only assume that you have failed to understand what he wrote. My read is that he constantly challenges the models looking for ways that they can be improved.”

        Yes, he does “say” that, but the 40Wm-2 atmospheric window and 0.9 imbalance have never changed in his budgets. Always exactly the same. They did reduce sensible while they increased surface OLR which was odd. There is another Stevens, Bjorn that had a few comments on TKF.

        The analysis by Trenberth and Fasullo (2010b) suggested that the radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere measured by CERES
        has been increasing by as much as 1 W m-2. Because of the limited heat capacity of the atmosphere such an imbalance would imply a large change in ocean enthalpy and/or surface ice amount, neither of which is observed. However, Trenberth and Fasullo (2010b) made use of preliminary CERES data for the time period 2005-2010, over which the striking trend in radiative imbalance was noted, and failed to account for uncertainty in their estimated trend.

        http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/stevensbjorn/Documents/StevensSchwartz2012.pdf

    • Bob,

      I am not an anti modeling guy. However I am of the opinion they have been given the following:

      More credibility at prediction than they deserve.

      Not enough validation.

      A lot of money without any clearly discernable benefit.

    • Bob,

      What is your opinion on Dr Trenberth’s moving hot spot claim?

      I can’t help but see it as tossing a big chunk of credibility out the window.

      • Isn’t it technically a wet spot?

      • The moving hot spot claim is new to be, can you elaborate cause I don’t know what the f you are talking about.

      • timg56, stay away from Junkscience, climatedepot, whatsupwiththat and ICECAP if you want to study climate science anyway.

        I think what he is talking about is only just beginning and I wouldn’t move to the American southwest unless it was for a really good job, and for me it was a lateral move so I didn’t go for it.

        Hansen thinks heat waves are becoming more common and severe and here where I live 2012 wasn’t statistically different from the 30′s or 50′s in terms of drought and heat, but hey who can resist fresh home grown tomatoes for thanksgiving. Oh wait, I committed pre-thanksgiving dinner tomatocide. This year has been better for the tomatoes though, not so many really hot nights, so they set fruit more often.

  10. I would argue that it is the “skeptics” that are overconfident that the IPCC range is wrong. Very few “skeptics” have shown up here who lack confidence (at least outwardly).

    • Bob Droege beat you to the logic flip. You get a respectable second though. By 2 minutes.

      • It is not a logical flip, it is a side Judith omitted that is equally valid to mention under this heading.

    • Which Null hypothesis do you think the two ‘tribes’ are operating under?

      • The “skeptical” null hypothesis is based on pre-Arrhenius ideas about the science, i.e. we don’t even know that CO2 has any effect, and have to prove it. The consensus null hypothesis acknowledges the century of science since then.

      • the correct null is chance ie Ghil 2001

        As northern hemisphere temperatures were falling in the
        1960s and early 1970s, the aerosol effect was the one that
        caused the greatest concern. As shown in Sect. 2.2, this
        concern was bolstered by the possibility of a huge, highly
        nonlinear temperature drop if the climate system reached the
        upper-left bifurcation point of Fig. 1.

        The global temperature increase through the 1990s is certainly
        rather unusual in terms of the instrumental record of the last 150 years or so. It does not correspond, however, to a rapidly accelerating increase in greenhouse-gas emissions or a substantial drop in aerosol emissions. How statistically significant is, therefore, this temperature rise, if the null hypothesis is not a random coincidence of small, stochastic excursions of global temperatures with all, or nearly all, the same sign?

        The presence of internally arising regularities in the climate
        system with periods of years and decades suggests the
        need for a different null hypothesis. Essentially, one needs
        to show that the behaviour of the climatic signal is distinct
        from that generated by natural climate variability in the past,
        when human effects were negligible, at least on the global
        scale.

      • No Jim, the Null is NO ACO2 effect. Arrhenius is just one of MANY scientists who had a hypothesis. There are thousands like him. For some reason, his ‘theory’ stuck and got very big with the ‘global warming’ scare. It’s very easy to fool yourself, but impossible to fool nature.

    • John Vetterling

      Jim D

      The models range is what it is. Likewise the temp range and given the former, the latter is very unlikely. So which is uncertain: the temperature record or the model forecasts.

      • The model range is less certain than the consensus because the consensus also takes into account observed warming to date, and other evidence like paleoclimate and simpler models.

    • Jim D,

      I am confident on very little in the climate debate.

      The closest I come is in my confidence that none of the cagw crowd will ever provide a straight answer, backed up by evidence, regarding any of the “bad” impacts.

      • The frustrating thing is that no skeptic has gone on to that debate because they still say it will never warm by 4 degrees and sea levels will never rise by a meter. They are so certain of that. Once we get past that, the damage debate can be had. The IPCC are proceeding without waiting for the “skeptics” to get to that step, which does make this debate somewhat one-sided. The answers about damage are a lot less certain and much more regionally dependent.

      • Jim,

        I don’t know your definition of skeptic, but I keep asking for that debate and hear crickets. Dr Curry is among the more honest when she says she doesn’t know.

      • The “skeptics” need to write their own version of the World Bank 4 C report (Google world bank 4 c), “Turn Down the Heat”. This would start the debate. I suspect once they get started down this road, they realize it is better to deny that 4C is possible instead. You won’t get Heartland or the Cato Institute to talk about 4 C even being possible, and they are the ones producing the reports on that side.

      • I am working on our business plan, Jimmy Dee. How much do you think the utes will be willing to pay for a pair of wooden Air Jordan’s? I mean assuming that you are right and the minimum wage is raised to $40hr and the government provides subsidies in the form of shoe stamps?

      • I don’t know about that, but there are only 5 kg/m2 of carbon in the air. Removing 1 or 2 kg would suffice to get us back to normal. This amounts to a couple of cm of wood over the world’s area, I figure. If everyone got wooden shoes it may help a bit.

      • I’m with you on this one, Jimmy. But why think small? Wooden cars, Jimmy. Wooden cars. Hell, they are subsidizing Teslas. We will paint our wooden cars green. Sleep on it.

      • Removing 1 or 2 kg/m2 carbon from the air. How do you do that? And even if you could (practically impossible), how do you seal the atmosphere from the oceans/water? How long do you think it will take for the oceans to outgas the removed quantity?

      • Don’t pay any attention to eddy, Jimmy. Our wooden car business does not ACTUALLY have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to get loans, grants, and subsidies. We will be creating green jobs. And our wooden cars will be safer. They will save lives, because they won’t go very fast.

  11. John Carpenter

    I know I’m right that I’m uncertain.

  12. Regarding attribution confidence, you have to visualize a histogram. One column is the temperature rise since 1950, about 0.5 C. Another is the CO2 contribution. There may be other columns too, but the attribution to CO2 is the ratio of these two columns. For a rise from 310 to 400 ppm, the height of the CO2 column is about 0.35*S where S is the transient sensitivity for the period. E.g. S=2 C per doubling gives 0.7 C for an attribution of 140%. Now we can see how the IPCC can be so confident in the attribution because this is at the lower end of their range. In fact, anything in excess of no-feedback sensitivity gives more than 70%.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The answer for climate sensitivity is …. wait for it… γ in the linked diagram.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

      http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      Now we need 1000′s of times more computing power to find out what the question is.

      GCM are even worse – here’s a picture.

      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F8.expansion.html

      I know I’m right because – hey – it’s just math. However, gross over simplifications of complex systems is not maths but mathturbation.

      • This is what Hansen predicted in 1981 and what transpired up to the year 2000.
        http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5853/phqq.gif

        The land surface temperature follows a curve which is closer to the “No ocean heat capacity” model.
        The ocean surface temperature follows a curve which is closer to a heat capacity model featuring a nominal vertical diffusive layer of around 1 cm^2/s.

        This model is elementary physics based on a thermal forcing function. You can quibble about the amount of variability, but in 1981 Hansen surmised correctly that the two curves would start to diverge. And they did.

        Hansen knew he was right.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hansen used a box model that assumes diffusion of heat from the atmosphere into the oceans. Even he is not stupid enough to believe the actual physical reality of this.

        The oceans and the land are heated by shortwave radiation. The oceans warm until the losses to the atmosphere are approximately equal to the gains from sunlight. The oceans provide a source of warmth that is there regardless of changes in incoming and outgoing energy. Land gains and loses energy with very little thermal inertia. It warms and cools with larger variability ranges and retains little warmth. The oceans moderate global temperature.

        This is the real science of the land/ocean contrast. The ‘model’ of heat diffusing form the atmosphere to the ocean is delusional.

        ‘A characteristic feature of global warming is the land–sea contrast, with stronger warming over land than over oceans. Recent studies find that this land–sea contrast also exists in equilibrium global change scenarios, and it is caused by differences in the availability of surface moisture over land and oceans. In this study it is illustrated that this land–sea contrast exists also on interannual time scales and that the ocean–land interaction is strongly asymmetric. The land surface temperature is more sensitive to the oceans than the oceans are to the land surface temperature, which is related to the processes causing the land–sea contrast in global warming scenarios. It suggests that the ocean’s natural variability and change is leading to variability and change with enhanced magnitudes over the continents, causing much of the longer-time-scale (decadal) global-scale continental climate variability. Model simulations illustrate that continental warming due to anthropogenic forcing (e.g., the warming at the end of the last century or future climate change scenarios) is mostly (80%–90%) indirectly forced by the contemporaneous ocean warming, not directly by local radiative forcing.’

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/DIETMARDOMMENGET_zps939fe12e.png.html?sort=3&o=11

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2778.1

        Emphasis mine. Continental warming is 80% to 90% forced by ocean warming.

        Although ‘contemporaneous ocean warming’ at the end of the last millennium seems more driven by positive changes in net forcing at toa – which is entirely in the shortwave.

        e.g. – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=129

      • “This is what Hansen predicted in 1981 and what transpired up to the year 2000.”

        Jim D wants to look at Hansen’s 1981 predictions compared to 1981 to 2010 reported temps. Web wants to look at 1981 to 2000. Nobody wants to look at Hansen 1988 predictions anymore. Or compare Hansen’s 1981 predictions to 1981 to 2013 reported temps.

        it’s almost like something happened to reported temps over the last 15 years that has them worried.

        And what happened to Hansen between 1981 and 1988 to make him so much wronger?

        Hansen 1988 is becoming kinda like Mohammed’s satanic verses. You know, where the devil made him write them? Maybe Hansen needs to issue a fatwah.

      • Chief is always wrong.

        Say that you were going to college and The Chief was teaching a science or engineering class, with heavy mathematical content.
        My recommendation is that no one should enroll in that class.

        Just imagine how it would be taught.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        RAOTFFL

        I just quoted a peer reviewed stud highlighting the relevant bits. Which bit of the peer reviewed study was wrong according to the webster? The bit he disagreed with just cause I suppose. The really frustrating bit is that he is incapable of rational discourse or reference to any science at all but his loser blogs. And James Hansen of course. Trouble is that even James Hansen doesn’t believe that the ‘box model’ is physically realistic. His one recourse is to launch into abuse. Seriously – he should join Myrth in coventry.

        What was his one line of algebra to solve climate?

        I find webby’s ‘maths’ is just the same thing over and over again. Curve fitting using power laws. When he is not using incorrect derivations to calculate climate trivia. Such as the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

        The correct form is – dT/dh = -g/Cp

        Simple enough but it explains nothing.

        My Honours thesis involved programming high order numerical and analytic solutions of differential equations.

        However – much as I like maths – keep Einsteins precept in mind. “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”

        The science I referred to was Michael Ghil’s reflections on an EBM. This is really more a conceptual model of a bistable system to illustrate points about climate sensitivity in a coupled nonlinear system subject to both natural and anthropogenic forcing. No one imagines that it is physically realistic. The point is more about thinking of the unquantified and indeed unquantifiable. About how the system works.

        The contrast is between trivia and big picture understanding of climate. And I waste far too much time with webby’s trivia and abuse.

      • “My Honours thesis involved programming high order numerical and analytic solutions of differential equations. “

        I bet the teach stuck a couple of gold stars on the paper. Clever little boy, that Chiefie.

      • Web
        “You can quibble about the amount of variability, but in 1981 Hansen surmised correctly that the two curves would start to diverge. And they did.”

        There is no divergence between NH land and NH SST, all there is is your inability read plots

        http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/NHSSTvsNHCRUTEM4_zps9ed3f286.png

      • Webby and Chief

        Hansen knew he was right.

        But, in actual fact, he wasn’t.

        He predicted in 1988 that we would see GH warming of 0.32C per decade with continued GHG increases (his Case A)

        He predicted that we would see “pipeline” warming of 0.15C per decade even if all GHG emissions stopped (his Case C)

        The GHG emissions followed his “Case A”, but the warming followed his “Case C”.

        Ouch!

        Max

      • Even that easily accounts for the 0.5 C warming seen since 1950. Therefore you should also be in the 100% confident camp about CO2 attribution for the temperature rise since 1950. Are you not?

      • Jim D,

        Nice to see you accepting that the reported .5C warming is since 1950, not 1981, as you claimed yesterday. Making Hansen’s 1981 prediction almost as wrong as his 1988 prediction.

      • There wasn’t much net warming between 1950 and 1980. Aerosol growth associated with the growing use of oil in transportation is probably one reason.

      • Jim D,

        I am going to repost this response to you here, since the other thread is getting so ginormous.

        Jim D,

        First, pick a comment thread. If I hadn’t been reading now I would not have seen your question. This thread is up to almost a thousand comments. Your last was on the new thread.

        As to the substance:

        Looking at the graphs, it looked to me that the reported rise from 1981 to 2010 was right around .2C. None of the graphs I found were very high resolution.

        But looking at the GISTEMP table referred to in the RC article, it shows the change was about .39C. What is also shows is that you cherry picked the year.

        Hansen’s 1981 model did not make a prediction for 1981 to 2010. That would be kinda odd, would it not? 29 years? Why such an odd prediction? But of course it didn’t, and he didn’t.

        A closer look at the GISTEMP reported data shows why you picked that particular cherry. (I forgot 2009-10 was a strong el Nino, as you clearly did not.)

        Reported annual means:
        1981 – 28
        2006 – 59
        2008 – 49
        2009 – 60
        2010 – 67
        2011 – 55
        2012 – 57

        So the increase over 25 years? 3.1 Over 30 years? 2.7 Over 31 years? 2.9

        Nary a .5 to be seen.

        I will say again. Hansen was wrong in 1981. He was wronger in 1988. He is wronger still today. He will be even more wronger tomorrow.

      • GaryM, prior to 1980 was a flat decade, and after 2000 was a flat decade, so any dates you choose in those flat periods you end up with about a 0.5 degree rise between them. It is a robust ramp. Hansen’s simulation started in the late 70′s just before his paper, naturally, and went through 2100. You can read off 1980 and 2010 and find it also warmed 0.5 degrees between 1980 and 2010.

      • Look at what Hansen predicted in 1981, right in the middle of a flat temperature trend :
        http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5853/phqq.gif

        He knew he was right, even though a dead reckoning prediction would suggest that the temperature would stay flat.

      • Typical progressives. Never answer a question. Just keep repeating the same diversions.

        Why was Hansen more wrong in 1988 than he was in 1981?

      • In 1988 Hansen went away from the consensus on the high side.

      • “In 1988 Hansen went away from the consensus on the high side.”

        Are you kidding me? What did Real Climate have to say about Hansen 1988 as of 2007?

        “My assessment is that the model results were as consistent with the real world over this period as could possibly be expected and are therefore a useful demonstration of the model’s consistency with the real world. Thus when asked whether any climate model forecasts ahead of time have proven accurate, this comes as close as you get.”

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

        “As close as you get.” Hardly a sign he was getting “away from the consensus.”

        But six more years of “pause,” and here’s what you get from the key stone klimate kops at Skeptical Science:

        “In short, the main reason Hansen’s 1988 warming projections were too high is that he used a climate model with a high climate sensitivity.”

        Which is laughably circular reasoning. The model had too high a climate sensitivity? Climate sensitivity is a product of, an end result of, the model. It’s not some abstract number unrelated to the various climate components that make up the model. It is a product of numerous components, forcings and feedbacks, of that model. Hansen’s 1988 model (and all the other GCMs) got the CS wrong because they modeled the climate wrong. It did not properly model, or even identify, all of the forcings and feedbacks.

        And you have, of course, yet again evaded the question of WHY Hansen was so much more wrong in 1988 than he was in 1981?

        So I will answer it for you.

        Hansen was more wrong in 1988 than 1981 because…I have no idea why. Nor do you. Nor does Hansen. Because no one knows enough to be able model the climate. However wrong Hansen may have been in 1988, he and other climate scientists had 7 more years of study to improve their models. And their results got worse. Because they don’t know how to model the climate. End of story.

      • GaryM, my answer agreed with RC. He was more wrong because he went away from the consensus. The consensus has stayed put since 1979 at 3 C per doubling. Hansen’s model is not perfect and he knows it.

      • DocMartyn

        Your logic in arriving at an estimated 1.7C 2xCO2 climate sensitivity based on the past record makes sense (earlier post).

        It is further corroborated by several recent observation-based estimates, which are all in the same range.

        Of course, there are still some dinosaurs that “know they are right” with an estimate around two times this value, but they are facing extinction.

        IMO the real question now is whether or not all these new studies are underestimating the impact of natural forcing and variability and, therefore still too high in their 2xCO2 CS estimates.

        Max

  13. John Carpenter

    I certainly know that I might be right.

  14. The problem I have with this paper is that it applies the term “overconfidence” without distinguishing between the thousands of judgements that we all have to make every day. Stuff like – when to cross the road, where to put your foot or your hand in everyday tasks, what to do when the doorbell rings – you get the idea. Without making instant decisions, we would be paralysed in our daily lives.

    There is a hierarchy of decisionmaking which is not acknowledged here. Most people give a lot more thought to a big decision like buying a house or having a child or advising the boss on a critical issue than they do to when to cross the road.

    “Overconfidence” is rewarded in more cases than not. There is plenty of research demonstrating that employees who promote their achievements (or what they claim as their achievements), are proactive in asking for pay rises and promotion and so on do better on average than those who are shrinking violets.

    What’s more, it’s a necessary quality of leadership. Your subordinates don’t want to know that you are secretly torn about an issue. They want to hear that their leader is confident about what to do next. That’s why “it’s lonely at the top.”

    That said, I think that the experiments are interesting, although how the findings could translate into the real world is another question. The point about quick and continual feedback is very salient, which is why I trust meteorologists more than climate modellers. But that is a structural issue. It is also why elections are a good thing. Getting kicked out of office is the kind of feedback that improves judgement, or at least rescues us from poor judgement.

    • There is a difference between overconfidence and confidence.

      A confident leader, I am confident in my plan and the four back up plans should that one go south :)

      Over confidence leader, I am know that I am right and already know who to blame if I am not.

      • Cap, you assume that leaders are always confident in their plans. Truth is, unless they are megalomaniacs, good leaders have many a dark night of the soul where they reluctantly choose a path because they have to, and then, by the lights of this study, may have made an “overconfident” choice. And good leaders don’t emerge, or survive, by always choosing the option with the lowest risks. By definition, they have to be prepared to make unpopular or risky decisions at times.

        But it’s an interesting topic. As I said above, context is everything here. A successful entrepreneur might have a very different “judgement” profile to a successful research scientist. I think that the study in the head post might have been more valuable if the parameters had been narrowed and better defined.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am confident that plan B always works.

      • A slight tweak.

        “A confident leader, I am confident in my plan and the four back up plans should that one go south ”

        An over confident leader, I am confident in my one plan and so need no back up plans (aka decarbonization)

      • What’s the difference between a confident leader and a confidence man?

      • “But it’s an interesting topic. As I said above, context is everything here. A successful entrepreneur might have a very different “judgement” profile to a successful research scientist. I think that the study in the head post might have been more valuable if the parameters had been narrowed and better defined.”

        That could be a few books. An entrepreneur verses a battle field commander is a good comparison. The entrepreneur has confidence in his/her idea, but the downside is less, go for it. The battlefield commander wants the odds so heavily in his advantage he has manageable risk even if his main plan is wrong. There are no sure things, just odds.

        Climate scientists are like the entrepreneur, there is a chance they are right, they believe they are right and the down side in their mind is okay because they like nifty gadgets, coal is messy anyway, people don’t really need suvs, hamburgers or disposable income. What the heck. It doesn’t matter that they are not mind readers, engineers or economists, it sounds good to them, we just develop a few of those energies of the future that they have read about that big oil has probably suppressed, no big deal. They don’t have skin in the game.

      • Actually, for the purest form of entrepreneur, the risks are very great. Typically, they are prepared to bet everything they have (and sometimes things they don’t have) on the next great idea. Not just their material possessions, but often their family and friends’ goodwill as well as potential legal consequences.

        It is very much horses for courses. Look at W.Churchill, who was a great wartime leader, and certainly an overconfident one in objective terms. His wartime decisionmaking was not exactly scientific or based on playing the odds – but it worked. However, he was not much use in times of peace. One of his best peacetime decisions, keeping some of the old equipment from WW1 around even though it was obsolete and everyone said it should be junked, was objectively irrational although it turned out to be correct. But we can be sure that he made plenty of stupid decisions on the same basis.

      • Johanna, ” Look at W.Churchill, who was a great wartime leader, and certainly an overconfident one in objective terms. His wartime decisionmaking was not exactly scientific or based on playing the odds – but it worked.”

        Churchill was the political leader, Montgomery was his battlefield commander. Both had to appear confident, a requirement for leadership, but neither acted until they had the best opportunity given the circumstances. Behind the scenes each had dozens of advisers including scientists.

        Hitler tried to be both, dumb move, and used tricks, the blitz, to take regions he could never defend. Hitler had only plan A. He had hundreds of advisers that tried to figure out what he wanted to hear, including scientists.

        That is the great thing about a republic/democracy, you tend to get more honest advice, typically from people you didn’t hire to advise.

      • Harold

        What’s the difference between a confident leader and a confidence man?

        The former hasn’t yet been caught and exposed.

        Max

  15. Odd that the IPCC folks have 95% confidence that Man is responsible for the warming that we’re not seeing, but only “medium confidence” in the explanations as to why we’re not seeing it.

    “Shut up”, they all explained, scientifically.

  16. Justified or not, I generally have a high opinion of my own ability to suspend personal bias when sorting through conflicting points of view. I’d first cite the fact that I’ve changed my mind on AGW, first coming to the debate as an uninformed warmist, which pretty well describes all of my liberal friends. I think this is important evidence of a certain amount of open-mindedness, in that I was able to overturn my own liberal biases long enough to take a careful look at things…

    In fact, it was the very “I know we’re right” attitude from climate scientists who struck me as angry, arrogant, and defensive, that was for me the first clue that something was amiss…

    I’d add that I remain flexible enough to change my mind again. Speaking for myself, “I know I’m right” about precious little.

    a

    • —-which pretty well describes my LIBERAL friends. How did it ever come about that ‘liberals’ have a high or total confidence in significant AGW and ACC and conservatives are skeptical of it???
      I have come to believe that in large part it is due to the media any of us read or to which we listen. As such we become indoctrinated.
      I for one had a causal belief in and a cursory understanding at best of warming due to increases in CO2.
      It was not until my daughter who has degrees in biology and environmental sciences said, well Dad, Prove it.
      It is funny how on much one learns when trying to prove another wrong.
      First, never pay attention to MSM regardless of the position taken. Consider the recent public radio interviews which probably were among the better ones presented. Usually, it is the same writer quoting the same scientist about the same things.
      After five years of studying more than I did for my undergraduate degrees i keep getting closer to the fact that there is a very small at most CO2 greenhouse cause for warming. and I have been studying the models and the relevant physics and math behind involved. There are just too many assumptions of unknowns. Then there are cases where the output of models is used for the input of other models!!?? Less than 100% confidence multiplied.
      I do believe that there may be regional anthropogenic climate changes due mainly to land use.

    • Pokerguy I agree.

      The older I get the more cautious and skeptical I become. And the less liberal I become except for a handful of social issues. I have lost trust in many of the institutions I once held dear because it appears to me they are one-sided in their views and rarely even acknowledge any other viewpoint. I believe the internet has divided this countries viewpoint unlike any other media before it. And it doesn’t matter if the view point is right or wrong the ideas will remain in the forefront of anyone who is on a “side”.

      Not that it matters to anyone but myself but I will share this with you all, I am on the fence on this issue and at this precise moment I’m ever so slightly against AGW theory. Mind you, tomorrow I could be ever so slightly in favor of AGW.

      However one thing I am confident about, at this present moment, is any type of policy decision to curb AGW would harm our society much more than it could ever do good.

      I truly believe that we could just as easily enter a period of intense cooling as intense warming in our immediate future. As always my position will change as more evidence is found either way. I’m uncertain!

  17. Forget the IPCC’s oer confidence in the coming thermageddon in the AR5. THIS is really scary.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/25/Farmer-s-Almanac-Predicts-Very-Cold-Winter

  18. Regarding how we all apply the precautionary in our daily lives (like making sure we get to the airport early), if we are responsible people, for climate it is also an asymmetric penalty. Underestimating climate change is worse than overestimating it when measuring consequences. If we prepare for 3 C more warming by 2100 and it doesn’t occur until 20 years later, we have just done the equivalent of getting to the airport early.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The numbers are nonsense and the ‘policy’ vague.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/26/i-know-im-right/#comment-370248

      • Jim D | August 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm said: ”’I could argue that decarbonizing provides massive opportunities for a variety of new businesses, not seen since the discovery of oil”

        that is shifting the sandpit, do you have any qualifications in shifting sandpits?!.

    • ” Underestimating climate change is worse than overestimating it when measuring consequences”

      Decarbonizing the economy would be a massive opportunity cost. Resources that can be directed at things like heating homes in winter, healthcare, medical research are instead directed into building windmills and PVC’s.
      My personal opinion is that if the climate sensitivity is less than 3.5, then decarbonizing the economy is a catastrophic.
      Moreover, I think the majority of people pushing for lower levels of CO2 emissions in the Western world lie, outright, about their motivations as the majority of these people are against nuclear power expansion and the fracking of natural gas deposits.

      • I could argue that decarbonizing provides massive opportunities for a variety of new businesses, not seen since the discovery of oil.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        If you argue that more expensive energy is an economic boon it will be regarded as totally stupid.

      • I was just giving a capitalist view. Profits are there for the taking. Maybe that appeals to some. A socialist would care about energy costs, but that can be fixed with welfare/subsidies.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You live in an alternate reality Jim.

      • Jim D,

        you can’t really believe economics works like that”

      • Expensive energy is always raised as a reason to stick with fossil fuels, without regard to depletion effects and global demand increasing. Also fuel costs matter most to the poorest part of society, where better minimum wages and more jobs will help as well as subsidies. If you care about the poor, do it properly and raise their standard of living and opportunity for advancement. Western Europe does this better in several countries, and they also have always had higher fuel costs.

      • I used to think that Jimmy was intelligent, but misguided on the reality of the climate science. His venturing into expounding on economics reveals that he is clueless. “decarbonizing provides massive opportunities for a variety of new businesses, not seen since the discovery of oil”. Buggy whips come to mind. We can all make buggy whips, and shoe horses. Do a little no till organic subsistence farming on the side. We can raise the minimum wage to $40 an hour and control the price of firewood. Everybody will be happy again. Thanks to Jimmy Dee.

      • One method of sequestering carbon that came up a few threads back was to use renewable wood for construction. Then we have sequestered carbon in the infrastructure as long as we can use some advanced techniques to keep it from burning and rotting. Business opportunities there too for you capitalists.

      • I don’t know, Jimmy. Wood has been around for a long time and it rots and it burns. People have been looking into that and haven’t come up with advanced technology, yet. I suppose it’s possible. But I got a more practical idea; make shoes with the wood. We already have that technology and all God’s chillen gotta have shoes. We could make a fortune teaming up on this crap, Jimmy. You just come up with goofy impractical ideas and I will refine them.

      • Decarbonizing is a decision that nature will make for us. Nature giveth and nature taketh away, especially when what nature giveth is a non-renewable resource.

        First to go, conventional crude oil and anthracite coal reserves.
        Last to go, kerogenic oil shale, lignite coal, and other low-grade fossil fuels

        Before we get that far, other alternatives such as solar, wind, and others will take the place of fossil fuels.

        AGW is just a complicating factor in the transition way from fossil fuels.

      • Wake up and smell the doo-doo, webby. Nuclear power will take the place of fossil fuels.

      • OK, Monfort, so it will. No skin off my nose.

        So what exactly is your beef then?

        That is what I don’t understand. Everyone knows we are transitioning off of fossil fuels and on to other energy sources, yet the deniers and skeptics go through this strange Kabuki dance where they can’t talk about it unless they are tricked into admitting the truth.

      • “Decarbonizing is a decision that nature will make for us.”

        We have a first. WebHubTelescope is the first bonafide Climate Etc. CAGW warmist to withdraw his support for decarbonization by government fiat. Nature will decarbonize us. No need for carbon taxes, cap and trade, government subsidization of alternative energy boondoggles. Let nature and the ingenuity of man, unrestrained by government meddling, solve the ultimate transfer from fossil fuels.

        I couldn’t agree more.

        (Just channeling fan here. It’s late.)

      • You are confused, webby. It’s your lot who are scared of global warming, yet more scared of nuclear power. It’s your quandary, not mine.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I’m wondering about the time frame here. There seem plenty of fossil fuel sources for hundreds of years.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Don’t get me wrong – new generation nukes seem a good idea. Even if only to do something about 270,000 tons of conventional nuclear waste sitting around in leaky drums and tanks.


      • Chief Hydrologist | August 27, 2013 at 1:13 am |

        I’m wondering about the time frame here. There seem plenty of fossil fuel sources for hundreds of years.

        Not conventional crude oil. That will continue to get more expensive as the few countries that are now exporters will turn to keeping more of the fuel for themselves.

        Watch what happens.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Fantastic. We will continue to turn our immense fossil fuel resources into huge profits.

      • Web -

        “Everyone knows we are transitioning off of fossil fuels and on to other energy sources,”

        Your expectations about what is likely to happen in the future lead you to make statements about what is happening NOW that are false.

        We are most certainly not transitioning off of fossil fuels. The proportion of the world’s energy that is derived from fossil fuels has remained at 87 % for two decades. And of course, that 87% is of an ever larger total amount – we’re using more fossil fuels, not less.

        Incidentally, what are these other energy sources? Wind and Solar combined, to the nearest one per cent provide how much of the world’s energy? Zero.

        Anybody rolling out new nuclear? Thought not. New hydro? Ditto.

        Do you want to have a stab at a date for peak carbon? People have been doing that every day since 1860 and have been wrong for the same reasons every single time.

        Yep, one day we’ll hit a peak and thereafter…… a decline! But it isn’t going to be anytime soon..

      • Anteros ignorantly asserts:


        We are most certainly not transitioning off of fossil fuels. “

        What we have is a double-play or a two-fer. Science has got it right when it comes to modeling the global warming signal and they have it right when they can predict that fossil fuels are a finite resource.

        The latter is more of a no-brainer which is evidenced by the growing use of solar and other non-renewable energy sources around the world. The complete transition will not happen overnight but it will eventually happen, impediments in the road such as Anteros notwithstanding.

      • web,

        RE your solar, wind and “other” renewables will take the place of fossil fuels.

        Seeing as optimistic forecasts for wind come in around the 20% mark (of current US generation capacity), there is going to have to be some pretty dramatic breakthroughs for solar (and “other”) to pick up the remaining 80%. Assuming we see no growth on the demand side.

      • A few percent for one technology, a few percent tor another. Get enough of these alternate energy sources and they start to add up.

        David MacKay has also pointed this out. Crude oil was an incredibly energy dense liquid fuel and it is not surprising that few can equal its utility. Make due in other ways — and understand combinatorics like MacKay does.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Energy diversification makes sense in the context of markets. Economic substitution is an ongoing process. Energy is the equation of importance and not the specific components – as webby has been told time and again.

        ‘But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in non-carbon energy sources in order to diversify energy
        supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

        The bottom line is economic. Anyone else utterly bored with the idiot webster endlessly quibbling about what has been obvious to anyone with half a brain for a decade?

      • Chief does not understand that it is a system. The system encompasses the earth’s climate and it’s natural resources. Chief for some reason wants to remove the earth’s resources from the equation.
        How quaint.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby objects to removing climate and government intervention from the energy equation. Resources are a bit difficult to remove as there are hundreds of years of fossil fuel resources and many thousands of years of nuclear fuels. Webby objects to both of these and fondly imagines that wind and solar can take up the slack. We don’t actually mind if they do – as long as it is driven by market forces.

        Climate risk is better addressed through energy innovation – and other conservation and development objectives – than taxes and caps.

      • Webby

        AGW is just a complicating factor in the transition way from fossil fuels.

        I’d call it more of a side track.

        And there is no doubt that this transition will occur naturally, first with nuclear and then with economically viable new non-fossil fuel energy sources that will be developed as fossil fuels are used increasingly for higher added value end uses.

        Human ingenuity, the desire for a better life and economic pressures have gotten us to the high quality of life and long life expectancy we now enjoy in the industrially developed world – and there is no reason to doubt that they will continue to do so.

        So rejoice!

        Max

  19. I think overconfidence is not the main issue in climate science, just the opposite.

    The problem is, they know that they are wrong.

    And they also know that in a world where right or wrong really counts, most of them would never have achieved such cozy, lucrative and powerful jobs.

  20. David L. Hagen

    “even with this feedback, they don’t seem to see the need for recalibration.”
    ALL the 75 model 1979-2013 projections are so far higher than corresponding global temperature reality that it laughable. A classic Type B systematic bias failure.
    Yet the IPCC is proposing 95% confidence in majority human cause of warming?
    How can climate science have fallen so far from Richard Feynman’s description of integrity in science in his 1974 Cargo Cult Science lecture?

    Mark Twain observed:

    “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

    Climate scientists appear to still need another six years to find out how much “the old man” of science knows. e.g. see The Right Climate Stuff and Burt Rutan on climate change.

  21. Steven Mosher

    next time a skeptic complains about big uncertain bounds ( you can find dozens at WUWT ) remind them

    “We are conditioned to believe that estimates expressed as narrow ranges are more accurate than estimates expressed as wider ranges. We believe that wide ranges make us appear ignorant or incompetent. The opposite is usually the case.”

    • 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.full

      Sure you have not misunderstood the claim from realists?

    • I am quite certain that ECS is between -1000 and + 1000. Of course, that isn’t much to go on to make policy.

    • “We believe that wide ranges make us appear ignorant or incompetent.”

      Well, yes and no (respectively). Wide ranges are the same thing as ignorance. But if it’s the best you can do, it’s not incompetence.

      What’s Amazon stock going to be on October 6? If you don’t know that means you’re ignorant. But not necessarily incompetent.

    • The problem with the climate models is that we need better certainty. Small differences in ECS mean big differences in the resources we need to bring to bear on mitigation. And resources are not free and come with opportunity cost.

      Asteroid models, on the other hand, use measuring instruments and well-understood and reliable physics. Together, they give us an accurate estimate of how close a given asteroid will come to Earth.

      The climate models need to get to the point that they, too, can give us a more targeted estimate.

      All that being said, a speedy meteor that isn’t on the radar could smash the asteroid model to pieces.

    • “We believe that wide ranges make us appear ignorant or incompetent.”
      Appearance are more important than competence.

      Update:
      350.org wants to name Hurricanes after climate change skeptics. Tongue in cheek I guess.

    • David L. Hagen

      Steven
      Almost all global modeling presentations under report the uncertainty range, showing only the average of a few runs. Temperature trends between individual runs from the same model have varied by an order of magnitude. Very few models are run for the 400 model run years S. Fred Singer (2011) found needed to reduce stochastic /chaotic variation. (e.g. 20 runs of 20 years each.
      Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models

      Correspondingly, Nigel Fox of NPL in the TRUTHS project reports that current satellite measurements are ten time poorer than they could be for lack of onboard absolute calibration.

      Authors covering up these issues does NOT give me much confidence in their results! See Richard Feynman on the importance of reporting ALL the evidence and ALL the weaknesses, not cherrypicking what looks nice and hiding the reality. Cargo Cult Science 1974.

      We would be far further along by investing in Fox’s absolute calibration for satellites than in billions of dollars more in meaningless regurgitation of unverified unvalidated models herded along by alarmists to catastrophic predictions.

      • Singer says that 20 year runs are needed to reduce stochastic variation. Where have we heard that before?

        Simulations are meant to replicate the earth’s response, so that if a simulation shows stochastic variation of the same order as the real thing, it is not out of line.

        This means that Singer would likely recommend that 20 years is a good timescale for monitoring trends. Anything less than this is subject to climate variability and noise.

        I thought that Singer was a denialist. If he still is, he opened up a can of worms with that remark.

        Btw, that link hangs and so can not read the original paper. I am just going on what you said the paper asserted.

      • Steven Mosher

        Singer is wrong

        Simple example

        “The objective of this enquiry was to establish how many simulation runs of a GCM, at minimum, are necessary to provide reasonable constraints on the value of E. For this investigation, it would have been desirable to use climate models which had each been run at least 20 times. However, financial and time constraints on modelers mean there are no ready examples of such multiple runs. Therefore, we developed a synthetic approach to the problem.”

        wrong. he can find what he seeks online. And what he’ll find is that there is no canonical number of runs required. See, and you were so sure he was right

      • WebHubTelescope & Steven Mosher
        For the paper by S. Fred Singer, see the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP.org) under:
        Scientific Papers for 2011
        http://www.sepp.org/science_papers.cfm?whichcat=Climate%20Models
        Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
        http://www.sepp.org/science_papers/Chaotic_Behavior_July_2011_Final.doc

        Singer included in Fig. 1 the five individual runs he found in public documents.

        “For example, the Japanese MRI model carried out five runs for IPCC [Santer et al., 2008]: the individual trends range from 0.042 to 0.371 K/decade [Fig. 1] — and this error interval (‘spread’) would have been even greater if more runs had been performed.”

        Then Singer documents his method:

        A single, unforced (‘constant forcing’) control run of 1000 years’ duration was obtained from the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

        He then documents his results.

        Steven Mosher
        How do you propose to meet the standard for scientific integrity described by Richard Feynman in Cargo Cult Science 1974?
        I did not see you provide any information, quantitative method, results, or discussion or possible errors.
        Seeing that you are absolutely certain that you are right (aka “Singer is wrong”), perhaps you could enlighten us as to Singer’s errors, and where we “can find what he seeks online”.
        How do you improve on Singer in following the scientific method (rather than exemplifying the logicla fallacies documented by Aristotle.

    • This depends whether the bounds are related to measurement and statistics or whether they are related to conjecture

    • “We believe that wide ranges make us appear ignorant or incompetent. The opposite is usually the case.”
      Nonsense.
      A wide range make the prediction useless.
      Eg: predicting sensitivity in the range 1-6 deg is meaningless. It says “we don’t know”, and this is the truth, but it doesn’t help much in practical ways.
      It doesn’t “make us appear ignorant”, it shows we are ignorant (though not incompetent…). Ignorance is the truth, in this case.

      • Steven Mosher

        1 to 6 is not meaningless or useless.

      • Steven Mosher | August 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

        1 to 6 is not meaningless or useless.

        Close enough for government work, Kemosabe.

        The range from 1 to 6-deg C equals:
        “Cheers Mate, Rounds on Me” to “F-ing Bloody Hell, We are All Going to Die”

        That kind of spread don’t fly, unless it’s a helicopter.

    • Mosher
      You appear to be quoting from
      Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

      Perhaps you would deign to enlighten us on what Type A vs Type B errors are evident in
      Roy Spencer’s Still Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs Measurements Running 5 Year Means

      • The biggest issue is that the ‘observations” Roy uses are not in fact observations. They are the results of models run on a variety of changing instruments. Long ago we tried to obtain the source data for UAH and RSS and we tried to obtain the code that would allow for the replication from input bits to final estimation of temperature. Sadly you cannot get the data or the code. So UAH and RSS are not what I would call the best evidence one could use. maybe that will change, but for now I class them with Mann’s work before he learned to share data and code. Interesting to play with, but not really observations

        Here is an example of what one of us ran into in requesting the information required to audit the work from ground zero

        “Your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for release of information from the files of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) received in FOIA processing at the NASA Management Office-Jet Propulsion Laboratory on April 8, 2010. You requested the following:

        “…(1) Documentation on how the AQUA AMSU-A Radiative Transfer Algorithm works. (2) Atmospheric scan depth for each footprint on channel 5 of the AQUA AMSU. (3) In references to the creation of synthetic readings for the AQUA AMSU channel 4, the 230000 cases used to create the values for the vectors Ai and Theta Bar i, or the values of vectors Ai and Theta Bar i themselves if the 230000 readings are no longer available. These values and readings are referenced but not actually provided in the document AIRS/AMSU/HSB Version 5 Modification of Algorithm to Account for Increased NeDT in AMSU Channel 4 available online at http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/AIRS/documentation/v5_docs/AIRS_V5_Release_User_Docs/V5-Modification-for-AMSU-Ch-4-NeDT.pdf…”

        This is to advise you that responsive records to part (1) of your request may be found at the following web site:

        http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/eos_homepage/for_scientists/atbd/docs/AIRS/atbd-airs-L2.pdf

        This is to advise that NASA has no responsive Government records at JPL for parts (2) and (3) of your request. Additionally, pertaining to part (3) of your request, we have no responsive records because the specific research and development was performed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Therefore, it is possible that GSFC may have responsive records.”

        So basically to understand what UAH and RSS do you need to do two things

        1. Go upstream of them to understand how the inputs they use are generated ( they dont take in raw data )
        2. Get their code to understand and replicate what they do.

        To date nobody has done 1 or 2.

        So, you really dont have the ability to reliably compare UAH or RSS models of temperature to the climate models models of temperature.

  22. If you want to know something and poll the entire population there is no statistics involved. Just a fact. The fact exists whether you use statistics or eliminate the need for statistics. And, facts can lead you to the truth, irrespective of the statistics. It’s only logical.

  23. Ok, just short insight from a Ga. Tech. (in part) trained engineer; many is the time when I observed my creation (ok, “our” creation since most modern engineering devices require many skill sets to reduce to reality) behave in a manner I did not expect. My first response used to be; “It can’t do that, I know it…..”

    But in fact the engineering creation always does what IT WANTS, it follows the laws of Physics after all. And all my “I know I’m right” bluster did nothing to make the creation do what I wanted.

    So eventually I learned that the truth is what the system under observation does….. Not what I “believe” it should do.

    Just a suggestion, but I think the climate science community would benefit greatly from a short stint in engineering, just a simple “make this electrical circuit do what you want” ought to be enough to convince you that “I know I’m right” often results in running head first into a brick wall (i.e. it sure as heck isn’t getting any warmer).

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • @ KevinK | August 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Reply

      “So eventually I learned that the truth is what the system under observation does….. Not what I “believe” it should do.”

      As a Electronics Design Modeler years ago, this was one of the lessons learned. It simulations do what the model tells it to do, not what you think it’s suppose to do. Computers always do what they are programmed to do. This is my beef with GCM’s, they model CO2 based on how the modeler believes CO2 effects climate.

  24. “In social situations, there may be a market for overconfidence. Experimental participants in one study were more likely to purchase advice when sellers expressed more confidence in their judgement, holding accuracy constant. As  a result, as the sellers of advice competed with each other, their judgements were expressed with increasing confidence over time without becoming more accurate – they were rewarded for being overconfident.” – Albert Mannes and Don Moore

    Perhaps this demonstrates an inversion. Overconfident sellers of advice providing less value. Accuracy constant yet confidence overstated. Compare this to an ideal seller of advice:

    Accuracy constant with confidence properly stated. In the first case, I am more inclined to bet the farm based on the advice bought. In the second case, I will take a more conservative strategy.

    The ideal seller gives more value. How in the first case does the seller succeed while giving less value?

    How do we fix the above? Knowledgeable buyers. Which I think to some extent we have gotten. If there seems to be an imbalance of the buyers receiving less value, what typically happens? Markets fix things. New suppliers (Skeptical blogs) enter the market.

  25. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    JC said:

    “Hence the ‘leaked’ 95% confidence level for attribution from the forthcoming AR5 report, in spite of reduced accuracy of the climate models relative to the last 15+ years of observations and apparent lowering of the climate sensitivity bound to 1.5C.”

    ____
    The accuracy of the climate models relative to the past 15 or so years of tropospheric temperature records should not be a reason to either lower or raise the confidence level for the AR5 report. Given that AGW is about energy imbalances in the Earth system, the only way to judge the appropriate anthropogenic attribution confidence level is to look at the complete energy system of the planet to the greatest degree we can over the past 15 years. In doing so, we see a wealth of data showing continued signs of an energy imbalance in the Earth system, including:

    1) Ocean heat content increases
    2) Rapid changes in the cryosphere (including land glaciers, Arctic Sea ice, permafrost)
    3) Enhancement of the Brewer-Dobson Circulation
    4) Alterations in the QBC
    5) Continued species migration
    6) Alteration in the equator-pole temperature gradient at selected pressure levels

    The failure of the tropospheric temperatures to match climate models is not indicative of a failure to properly attribute the underlying increases in Earth’s energy to be from anthropogenic forcing, but rather, the failure of the models to account for natural variability (as if they every fully could) as the energy is shifted around within the Earth system from one component to another. It can be hoped (and indication are favorable) that climate science will take the tropospheric “pause” as an opportunity to continue to refine the climate models, especially in regards to ocean-atmosphere energy transfers related to natural variability over decadal and multi-decadal timeframes.

    • Translation: The lack of warming is irrelevant to global warming.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        You seem to think that the energy imbalance in the Earth system will be measured mainly by sensible heat in the troposphere. This is an odd thought, given the the majority of the energy is the system is not related to this at all. It’s like trying to measure how big a cake is by taking samples of crumbs that fall along the edge of the cake pan. Very odd way of thinking about the energy content of the Earth system.

      • Wow, that’s interesting. And here for decades you warmists have been basing your claims of CAGW on tropospheric temps because you claimed that was where the heat was, But give you a little 15 year pause, and suddenly that air temps are crumbs off the cake.

        I think the CAGW cake was baked in Macarthur Park, and is meeting a similar fate.

        MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
        All the sweet, green icing flowing down
        Someone left the cake out in the rain

        I don’t think that I can take it
        ‘Cause it took so long to bake it
        And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Troposphere sensible heat has been the easiest metric to measure, but it is not the largest reservoir of energy and at any given time, a huge percentage of the energy in the troposphere is directly dependent on the flow from the ocean. The energy content of the planet as a whole can be increasing (as it is) even while the flow from ocean to atmosphere fluctuates based on natural variations. As many have pointed out, the next period where we see a slight uptick in the rate of flow from ocean to atmosphere will very likely bring a series of record troposphere temperatures. Energy can run, but it can’t hide forever.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Of course, #4 should have been “QBO”. And related to that, here’s an excellent recent bit of research:

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7450/abs/nature12140.html

      This weakening of the QBO is of course directly related to the enhancement of tropical mean upwelling which is related to the enhancement of the Brewer-Dobson circulation (and tangentially then, to the enhancement of NH SSW events).

    • Matthew R Marler

      R Gates the skeptical warmist: The failure of the tropospheric temperatures to match climate models is not indicative of a failure to properly attribute the underlying increases in Earth’s energy to be from anthropogenic forcing, but rather, the failure of the models to account for natural variability (as if they every fully could) as the energy is shifted around within the Earth system from one component to another.

      Tell us again why that is not a reason for reduced confidence in (a) their understanding and (b) their warnings/scenarios/projections.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Models are irrelevant to actual measured and studied components of Earth’s energy system as AGW is ultimately about energy imbalances. I can have a low degree of confidence in the models being right about specifics because of their failure to anticipate natural variability, but still have a high degree of confidence in the underlying dynamics of the models with regard to energy imbalances caused by increases in GH gases.

    • Gates,

      You say AGW is about energy imbalances.

      I say climate is about how the planet responds to energy input.

      What makes you so confident our understanding is good enough to determine what the balance is?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Timg36,

        Measured TOA imbalance is about 0.8 w/m2 currently. This will only increase as GH gases continue their march upward.

      • Gates is right.

        Watch the OHC data march inexorably upward in the coming years.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The high and mighty defenders of the faith can’t even get the basic radiative physics right. They’ve heard there is a radiative imbalance. Gatesy thinks it is real. Webby has heard of radiative equilibrium but thinks CO2 spits out energy at different frequencies than it is absorbed at. This preserves the gap in emissions at toa of course.

        Nonsense of course all of it. More CO2 keeps the atmosphere in a warmer state than otherwise and emissions balance incoming energy – all other things being equal. The latter is a big ask. The greenhouse gas IR emissions are in exactly the same frequency as the photons are absorbed. Quantum mechanics demands it. So of course the radiant imbalance can’t be measured because it is a virtual quantity and not real. It is hypothetically the difference in forcing with the sudden addition of a pulse of CO2 at ambient temperatures to the atmosphere. But then the gases warm up (usually actually cool down in reality) and the forcing disappears.

        The global energy budget is -

        d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out

        where W&H is work and heat

        This is known as a first order differential equation. Easy hey. The change in work and heat – essentially planetary warming or cooling – can be quantified to first order through atmosphere and ocean heat content.

        The RH side is the radiant imbalance – and it is utterly impossible to measure with any accuracy because of cross calibration issues between incoming and outgoing measurement instruments. Gatesy’s 0.8 W/m2 is entirely imaginary.

        Power in changes a little – but power out changes a lot. It includes albedo effects but also IR emissions as the atmosphere warms and cools with ENSO especially and as clouds come and go. Changes in power in seem amplified through Earth systems with feedbacks in cloud, snow, ice, etc.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Natural variability in TOA radiant flux dominates climate forcing in the satellite era. It is simple enough to see – but not the AGW groupthink.

      • Chief says:

        “Gatesy’s 0.8 W/m2 is entirely imaginary. “

        It is likely real, as it explains much more than it conflicts. Look at the OHC measurements and the direction that is going for example.

      • Chief
        re “greenhouse gas IR emissions are in exactly the same frequency as the photons are absorbed”
        See also the amplitude distribution of black body radiation distribution.

      • Yes the Chief is not expected to understand statistical mechanics. After an incoming IR photon is absorbed by an object, the energy disperses and any outgoing photon can adopt a wavelength not likely the same as the input. Such is the property of a black body.

        The Chief does not know his stuff, yet projects his inadequacies on others that do understand the topic.

      • I did also wonder what R. Gates means by

        Measured TOA imbalance is about 0.8 W/m2 currently.

        Every source I have seen tells that the imbalance cannot be measured well enough, but that uncertainties of the measurements are several W/m2. That’s what Trenberth and Fasullo have written, and that what Stevens and Schwartz tell.

        More accurate values are inferred from the measurements of OHC. Such values are averages over long periods, and they are uncertain by an factor of at least two according to Stevens and Schwartz, or perhaps something like 1 ± 1 W/m2.

      • @Chief
        “More CO2 keeps the atmosphere in a warmer state than otherwise and emissions balance incoming energy – all other things being equal. The latter is a big ask.”

        If it does, it doesn’t show up in the daily temperature cycle.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/17/an-analysis-of-night-time-cooling-based-on-ncdc-station-record-data/

      • John Carpenter

        “After an incoming IR photon is absorbed by an object, the energy disperses and any outgoing photon can adopt a wavelength not likely the same as the input. Such is the property of a black body.”

        Well, as far as I know, CO2 is not a black body or an object. CO2 must obey the selection rules for absorbing and emitting IR radiation. Please read up on symmetry and group theory of molecules and how it affects their ability to absorb radiation. Of course gas phase molecules will encounter a lot of vibrational and rotational coupling that widens the overall absorption band, so perhaps through collisions there could be relaxations that are not of the same as incoming frequency. But never the less, there are quantum mechanical rules that must be obeyed. Not all vibrational modes are active for CO2 and therefore not all can absorb or emit radiation at some of the fundamental frequencies they represent or any of those upper harmonics. Look up IR active vibrational modes for CO2 and you will see.

        http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=ir%20active%20vibrational%20modes%20co2&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fchemistry.illinoisstate.edu%2Fstandard%2Fche362%2Fhandouts%2F362molvibs.pdf&ei=FxIdUt_MIoa-sAT5oIDgBw&usg=AFQjCNHf9PJZ1ECB-UIznZQjW1v71Ed4pw

        The symmetrical stretch for CO2 is IR inactive because there is no oscillating dipole moment in that movement, so IR cannot be absorbed or emitted at that frequency. Selection rules do not allow for any and all IR frequencies to be absorbed or emitted by CO2.

      • John Carpenter

        “Yes the Chief is not expected to understand statistical mechanics.”

        It’s not a statistical mechanics problem WHUT. See my other comment.

      • To a first approximation CO2 absorbs and emits IR at a single wavelength, but a first approximation is very far from full picture.

        Due to rotational degrees of freedom there are actually tens of important absorption lines within that “single wavelength”. Each of those lines is broadened by collisional (pressure) broadening and Doppler broadening. In spite of this broadening the lines mentioned above remain at all atmospheric pressures separate (their tails do touch and form a continuum background over the whole peak).

        Due to the above, it’s not true that the emission occurs at exactly the same wavelength than absorption, each absorption and each emission is essentially independent and may occur at any of the narrow peaks.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Yes the Chief is not expected to understand statistical mechanics. After an incoming IR photon is absorbed by an object, the energy disperses and any outgoing photon can adopt a wavelength not likely the same as the input. Such is the property of a black body.

        The Chief does not know his stuff, yet projects his inadequacies on others that do understand the topic.’

        The peak of the emission spectra of the Planck distribution shifts with temperature – Wein’s displacement. It is not a critical issue for such minor temperature changes as the Earth’s – a marginal shift in the frequency of the peak. A statistical property and not significant in the Earth system. .
        The critical greenhouse gas process is absorption and subsequent re-emission of photons in quantized energy states in most of the energy modes of the molecule.

        e.g. http://www.heliosat3.de/e-learning/remote-sensing/Lec7.pdf

        The critical idea – however – is conservation of energy. All energy in will ultimately be re-emitted. With emitted CO2 – the molecules cool to the new and higher energy state in the atmosphere. So the atmosphere is warmer but the conditional energy equilibrium at toa is maintained as it must be.

      • The formulation “absorption and subsequent re-emission” is misleading. Both absorption and emission is happening all the time. Emission is almost never re-emission in the sense that the molecule would have got to the excited state by an earlier absorption.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But Pekka – surely the molecule needs to move to a higher energy state before moving to a lower.

      • Chief, Unless the molecule is at absolute zero, it is in a higher energy state. It is kinda like when ya gotta go, ya gotta go :) Drinking more just increases the probability.

        The object of a black body cavity is that maximizes pressure broadening so there is a more uniform probability of going across the entire spectrum. That is the main point in considering separate layers or envelopes, each having so degree of black body cavity efficiency. The atmospheric boundary layer has a high H2O efficiency blocking more of the CO2 spectrum and as H2O and pressure decreases the CO2 portion kicks in stronger, but the H2O intensive ABL blocks the CO2 impact.

        That makes averaging “all” forcing without considering each layer’s efficiency to each forcing kinda dumb.

      • Wow, you guys are really going off track.

        The black body outward radiation is coming from the earth’s surface. That is nearer a continuous spectrum than the discrete lines of CO2.

        Please think logically about the system instead of listening to the nonsensical spew of the Chief.

        His goal is to derail the discussion into a void.

        Yes, absorption and emission from CO2 obeys laws of symmetry, but CO2 is not the only material that absorbs IR. You have the earth, and that is definitely more of a black body.

      • Chief Hydrologist | August 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm said: ”‘Yes the Chief is not expected to understand statistical mechanics”

        Telescope and the Chief, the two biggest egomaniacs. should kiss and make up. Both are good ass-kissers, atleats should try

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The Earth emits in a range of frequencies determined by the effective temperature – and really only the net at toa matters to energy dynamics Dallas. Greenhouse gases scatter emissions at certain frequencies and that really is the point of greenhouse gas theory.

        Here’s the famous Harries 2001 spectra.

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dennis/321/Harries_Spectrum_2001.pdf

        The data is captured through an aperture – so it is highly directional. It is often cited as showing that certain frequencies don’t make it to space. Not true – it actually shows scattering in those frequencies. Proof enough of the radiative properties of greenhouse gases but it doesn’t mean that the Earth doesn’t emit in those frequencies.

        Stefan – you are an even bigger idiot than webby. So – as I have said before – if you would keep your ignorant and repugnant bile to yourself it would be very much appreciated. Webby and Stefan – the undynamic duo of climate etc.

      • Stef and the Chef are your typical Aussie clown boys.

        I toss out the chum and they set the hook on themselves.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Lay out chump you mean webby.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Wow, you guys are really going off track.

        The black body outward radiation is coming from the earth’s surface. That is nearer a continuous spectrum than the discrete lines of CO2.

        Please think logically about the system instead of listening to the nonsensical spew of the Chief.

        His goal is to derail the discussion into a void.

        Yes, absorption and emission from CO2 obeys laws of symmetry, but CO2 is not the only material that absorbs IR. You have the earth, and that is definitely more of a black body.

        I am always a bit flummoxed by webby. The discussion started with radiant imbalances at toa. Essentially absorption and emission of certain frequencies emitted by the grey body of the Earth system by molecules in the atmosphere.

        It all so quickly gets disjointed and distorted.

      • In the USA, we call your type rednecks. Stef and the Chef, hicks from the sticks, meet the redneck from the Key, Cappy D.

      • Stef and the Chef are the typical Aussie larrikins, only interested in mocking authority and creating FUD. Why do you and your other Aussie pals like Girma, Doug C*tton, Myr*h, Beth the Ocker, Koldie Kim, and others enjoy doing this so much?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I actually quote and discuss real science.

        I mock the webnutcolonoscope who is a dipstick authority on loser blog science. One line of algebra to solve climate?

        (0.7X + 0.862Y)T(land) + (0.261X + 0.116Y)T(ocean) = hallelujah I think I’m smarter than a fifth grader. Thank God for that. It was lookin’ pretty dodgy for a while there.

        FUD? A recurrent element in the repetitive and utterly meaningless whine.

        Seriously – if the only purpose is to to whine about sceptics I can do that with a lot more class. Why is he here at all?

      • Chief Hydrologist | August 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm |

        But Pekka – surely the molecule needs to move to a higher energy state before moving to a lower.

        Right, but only in one case out of billion is that a direct consequence, in all other cases the molecule is excited by collisions. Similarly only in one case out of billion does a CO2 molecule that has absorbed a photon release it’s energy by emission, in all other cases the energy is released in a collision as kinetic energy of the molecules.

        (The value one billion is, of course, not accurate, but that’s the order of magnitude in troposphere, going up the value goes down as the density of the atmosphere is reduced.)

        The average excitation lifetime of a free CO2 molecule in empty space is close to a second, the average interval between collisions is less than one nanosecond in lower troposphere. The ratio of these number is the billion.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘There are many ways in which atoms can be brought to an excited state. Interaction with electromagnetic radiation is used in fluorescence spectroscopy, protons or other heavier particles in Particle-Induced X-ray Emission and electrons or X-ray photons in Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy or X-ray fluorescence. The simplest method is to heat the sample to a high temperature, after which the excitations are produced by collisions between the sample atoms. This method is used in flame emission spectroscopy, and it was also the method used by Anders Jonas Ångström when he discovered the phenomenon of discrete emission lines in the 1850′s. Wikipedia

        Spontaneous emission is the process by which a light source such as an atom, molecule, nanocrystal or nucleus in an excited state undergoes a transition to a state with a lower energy, e.g., the ground state and emits a photon. Spontaneous emission of light or luminescence is a fundamental process that plays an essential role in many phenomena in nature and forms the basis of many applications, such as fluorescent tubes, older television screens (cathode ray tubes), plasma display panels, lasers (for startup – normal continuous operation works by stimulated emission instead) and light emitting diodes.’

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_emission

        Now – let me think – which is most important in greenhouse gas theory? Kinetic energy (think heat) or absorption/emission. Both I suppose.

      • Chief, “The data is captured through an aperture – so it is highly directional. It is often cited as showing that certain frequencies don’t make it to space. Not true – it actually shows scattering in those frequencies. Proof enough of the radiative properties of greenhouse gases but it doesn’t mean that the Earth doesn’t emit in those frequencies.”

        Right, an ideal black body cavity would not have any gaps in its emission spectrum. An ideal radiant shell, would also not have any gaps, it would just be a continuation of the black body cavity, but reality is not perfect. There is a loss of efficiency with each shell resulting in a gray body. A perfect “Gray” body would emit 50% of the energy it receives from the black body source which would require zero advection meaning the shells would have to be isothermal. Earth ain’t perfect.

        ~70% of the surface of the Earth is a near perfect black body and the first near ideal radiant shell is the turbopause where there is effectively no turbulent mixing. The Stratopause is another closer to ideal shell which has a area ~3% larger than the full surface of the Earth and an average temperature/energy of 0C 315 Wm-2. The Turbopause that a temperature/energy of ~-89C (65Wm-2) The two shells produce a net 240Wm-2 TOA radiant energy with minimal collisional broadening of the spectrum. It is like having a greenhouse in a greenhouse, The 65 Wm-2 is a dry WMGHG effect and the 315 Wm-2 the water vapor greenhouse.

        Those two shells are restricted to their spectra based on temperature and composition with the gaps being indications of their efficiency if the only energy involved is from the blackbody source. Unfortunately, the atmospheric is not perfectly transparent, so the shells receive energy from the sun and the greater the distance the shell is from the true surface the more likely solar will be absorbed in an anisotropic angle which CERES does a fine job of correcting for btw.

        All of this results in a delightfully complex puzzle if you want to solve to a high degree of precision or you can reduce the puzzle to the black body cavity, the oceans, ~4C 335Wm-2 which maintain an average ~335 “global” average DWLR and since the oceans only cover ~70% of the surface, an apparent TOA flux of ~240 Wm-2 allowing for the areal difference.

        But any object above absolute zero will emit IR, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

      • Rednecks, word salad swill.
        Captain and Chief whack jobs. Why do you exist?

      • All parts of atmosphere starting from highest stratosphere up are so rare that they play a very little role in the Earth energy balance. The let most wavelengths pass trough essentially freely. The higher opacity over very narrow bands does not change the overall picture. The temperatures at Stratopause and Turbopause are interesting for the study of outer atmosphere, but have very little influence on the Earth energy balance.

        The numbers you calculate from the Stefan-Boltzmann law are irrelevant. The value of 50% that you mention is not connected to any recognizable feature of the real Earth system.

        There are no ideal shells at those altitudes, just altitudes where the properties of the atmosphere change in a way that affect significantly the temperature gradient. (As I noted above those temperatures have almost no influence on the Earth energy balance.)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You’re getting a bit repugnant again webby – try to reel it in.

        Dallas – I was talking more about the instrument than any approximation of a blackbody. Although there was a cavity blackbody in the instrument for calibration.

        Compare the FOV of IMG with CERES.

        http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/AtmChem/IMG/general/whatIMG.html

      • You have a Civil Engineer Chief and an HVAC Engineer Cappy trying haplessly to explain what is happening with atmospheric radiative physics.

        The Captain is obviously borrowing terms from his industrial heating experience using a phrase “radiant shell” indiscriminately, not realizing that the atmosphere is more of a perturbation, via a continuous low-density medium, to outgoing IR than any layer of insulation or whatever he is trying to analogize to. Since Cappy is unable to express anything with formal mathematical precision, he is simply bumbling and fumbling about.

        The Chief is just being a copy&paste amateur, trying to impress anyone within earshot that he understands the physics. He also can not express anything mathematically, so is left to yowl at anyone who questions his explanations.

        Notice that they use authoritarian titles such as Captain and Chief to indicate that they know what they are talking about. It doesn’t work that way. These guys need to have a track record and provide some citations from any background work they have done to establish some credibility. Cappy has a blog, but it is called “Redneck Physics”, so I doubt that this is anything more than a gag. The Chief claims to be a speed reader since the age of 3, which is the extent of his CV.

        Yet Cappy and Chief know they are right.

      • Chief, “Dallas – I was talking more about the instrument than any approximation of a blackbody. Although there was a cavity blackbody in the instrument for calibration.”

        Right, but approximation of a black body is required for reference/calibration. Webby gets lost by assuming everything is ideal and symmetrical. It is not, so anything that deals with considering efficiency is “word salad”.for the beaver brained minion.

        The fact is that adding 3.7Wm-2 of radiant insulation will be less efficiency than the previous 3.7Wm-2. The mass inside that added 3.7Wm-2 “shell” will approach a better estimation of a black body and the spectrum will broaden finding more gaps, so it is pretty simple to estimate the impact of another 3.7Wm-2 of forcing provided you have a reliable reference. That is absolute basic thermo, frame of reference, KISS and ASSUME. When you get estimates to agree from various frames of reference, you are likely on the right track. When you have to pick more abstract frames and fanciful assumptions you are wandering down the rabbet holes.

      • Webster, “The Captain is obviously borrowing terms from his industrial heating experience using a phrase “radiant shell” indiscriminately, not realizing that the atmosphere is more of a perturbation.”

        Lower atmosphere is turbulent mixing, that might perturb you, but that is just the way it is. The radiant “shell” is not a HVAC term, that would be radiant barrier, once you have to consider the spherical geometry, the barrier becomes a “shell”. If you have an ideal barrier/shell you have maximum efficiency. It’s not that hard Webster, you can do it!

      • Cappy, You are hopelessly wandering in the wilderness if you think that you can talk your way through it using your spew.

        Conventional science considers the propagation of radiation through slabs and the full spectral properties of the medium. This requires a full numerical treatment.

        Express your wild theories mathematically or give up.

      • Webster, “Conventional science considers the propagation of radiation through slabs and the full spectral properties of the medium. This requires a full numerical treatment.”

        A slab is an ideal surface, assumed to be isothermal, you results will be the maximum possible efficiency which is great for a limit, but not so good for estimates. The real world does require full numerical treatment, Ceff=(1-Tc/Th) is a good starting point. If you like you can use nR(specific)=PV/T which has units J/K which can be used as Wm-2/K to find a maximum specific heat capacity that the atmosphere can contain. There are quite a few ways to approach the problem that result in a range of estimates that will approach a solution. It ain’t 3C or greater for the current initial conditions.

      • The readiness to apply the concept of shell to the outer atmosphere in the way Capt. Dallas did, is a prime example of “deriving” totally nonsensical results, when appropriate quantitative factors are not taken into account.

        His shells are highly misleading elsewhere as well, but in this case the absurdity is most obvious.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | August 28, 2013 at 9:09 am |

        Conventional science considers the propagation of radiation through slabs and the full spectral properties of the medium. This requires a full numerical treatment.

        Express your wild theories mathematically or give up.

        Change in global average temperature equals the square root of negative 1 times CO2 sensitivity plus an unknown I have called “Toamcc” which stands for ‘The ocean ate my climate change’.

        How’s that? I think you need to come to grips that consensus climate science is generally composed of just-so stories either not enough of them or too many I don’t know which. Right now the amount of validated anthropogenic global warming is indistinguishable from zero except for urban heat islands. Deal.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | August 28, 2013 at 9:09 am |

        Conventional science considers the propagation of radiation through slabs and the full spectral properties of the medium. This requires a full numerical treatment.

        Express your wild theories mathematically or give up.

        Change in global average temperature equals the square root of negative 1 times CO2 sensitivity plus an unknown I have called “Toamcc” which stands for ‘The ocean ate my climate change’.

        How’s that? I think you need to come to grips that consensus climate science is generally composed of just-so stories either not enough of them or too many I don’t know which. Right now the amount of validated anthropogenic global warming is indistinguishable from zero except for urban heat islands. Deal.

      • Pekka, “The readiness to apply the concept of shell to the outer atmosphere in the way Capt. Dallas did, is a prime example of “deriving” totally nonsensical results, when appropriate quantitative factors are not taken into account.

        His shells are highly misleading elsewhere as well, but in this case the absurdity is most obvious.”

        You never did grasp the concept of thermal “envelopes”.

        http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2012/02/miracles-of-2lot.html

        Nick Stokes has an example where the “shells” are assumed isothermal. Realclimate gave it a shot, but bombed and Steven Mosher refers the the “Effective Radiant Layer(ERL)”. Water vapor has an ERL, but since it is shaped like a concentric shell, not a layer, you have to consider advective or anisotropic transfer. An isothermal shell, ideal, has zero advective/anisoptiopic transfer. An iseal shell would direct exactly as much energy down as it does up, just like the up/down radiant models.

        It is far from absurd, it is just a model :)

      • What you mean by ‘deal’, David, is ‘Pony Up’.
        ========================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I give quotes – links to real science – models – numbers – formula.

        e.g. – http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/26/i-know-im-right/#comment-370748

        webby understands none of it and insists he is a real scientist and self importantly links exclusively to his loser blog. I don’t know why he thinks I should be impressed with simplistic and incompetent math and fantasy physics.

        Do I even remember after all this what it was about? Do I care anymore? It was about gatesy stupidly saying that the ‘radiant imbalance’ had been measured at toa. Absolutely stupid. And webby stupidly continues an argument devoid of any content at all. Blah blah blah blah blah – redneck – blah blah blah blah blah – clown – blah blah blah blah blah. Oh and he thinks gatesy is right. Gatesy – I think I have said – was idiotically wrong.

        I keep pointing to his one line of algebra that solves for climate sensitivity. Energy ‘diffusing’ from the atmosphere to the oceans – like a heat sink on a CPU. A power law for carbon dioxide ‘diffusion’ into the oceans that involves a pulse of CO2. A lapse rate that that is both derived incorrectly and unsurprisingly is wrong. It makes no sense, gives the wrong answer, is trivially stupid and relates to nothing in the real world. He seems to have come to the conclusion that we are running out of fossil fuels and we need to put up windmills and solar panels everywhere. There is probably much more but frankly it is not worth anyone’s time.

        Sounds like webby all over – trivially stupid, abusive and unable to actually make any big picture connections about climate science. I just don’t know why he continues here at all. Simply to whine about sceptics who are so far from being sceptics it’s not funny?

        Decadal cooling is sceptical? Models and climate are chaotic? Climate risks exist and the Hartwell Paper makes policy sense? The guy is a f_cking idiot.

      • I referred to absurdity when you discuss flux effects of tens or more W/m2, while you discuss parts of atmosphere that have an influence that’s totally negligible in comparison with those numbers.

        Effective Radiative Level is a number that tells on one average property of the atmosphere. Google finds mainly your own comments using the similar expression “Effective Radiant Layer”, the few other hits appear to refer to Effective Radiative Level.

        Your reference to Moyhy is to a mathematical exercise related to a gedanken experiment , not the Earth system.

        The Earth atmosphere is very thin in comparison with the Earth radius. By far most of the physical phenomena of the atmosphere are local. There are also important phenomena that are far from that, but your envelopes give a far too important role on those.

        When all quantitative facts are forgotten, all kind of qualitative arguments may be invented. Whether they have any relevance requires realistic calculations.

      • Pekka, “I referred to absurdity when you discuss flux effects of tens or more W/m2, while you discuss parts of atmosphere that have an influence that’s totally negligible in comparison with those numbers.”

        The mass of the atmosphere above the tropopause is ~15% of the total mass of the atmosphere. The estimated impact of a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 Wm-2 and the effective temperature of the Turbopause is -89C/ 65Wm-2 which happens to equal the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Current models that include the stratosphere are outperforming the models that do not and the changes in the Brewer-Dobson circulation that can extend to the mesosphere are having an impact on climate. I see absolutely no reason to stick with failing assumptions.

      • CD,

        Why do you bring up pressure at tropopause, when the issue is turbopause?

      • Pekka, “Why do you bring up pressure at tropopause, when the issue is turbopause?”

        The issue is the atmosphere and the Turbopause is basically the top of the atmosphere. From the Turbopause down you have a variety of reference “shells” Mesopause, stratopause, troposphere and atmospheric boundary layer. They all interact. The tropopause was generally considered the “TOA” in a simplifying assumption for the “no greenhouse gas” Earth which is a misnomer because O3 is a GHG so there would always be a stratosphere and stratopause. To get past that crude assumption, you need to consider the whole atmosphere that can have an impact significant with respect to 3.7 Wm-2 not 333 Wm-2.

        By using all the “shells” you have more references to verify estimates. Assuming the tropopause as TOA, the impact of assuming no impact due to areal differences between the “surface” and “TOA” is negligible. At the Stratopause it is about 1.2 percent error or nearly 5Wm-2 and at the turbopause it is 3% error or about 15 Wm-2. The lower that “sensitivity” goes, the more significant all those little simplifying assumptions become.

        Now if you think the Turbopause region (mesopause to turbopause) is insignificant consider it many only have a 1 Wm-2 impact on the surface, that is 25% of the CO2 forcing impact. .

        Plus, due to the lower mass, the region above the tropopause is more sensitive to changes in all forcings.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8Po1gw_Tg9s/UdGMmW7jEqI/AAAAAAAAI3o/XBzZ3tbWXw4/s909/TIM%252041km%2520Aqua.png

        That is the 41km stratosphere per AQUA with the TMI true TSI.

        Why avoid 15% of the atmosphere?

        Now if you are devoted to the tropopause, assuming its average temperature is -60C degrees, in winter it is an incomplete shell. The Antarctic may as well be in the stratosphere. The Antarctic response to forcing could be antiphase, pretty much like it is. Now do you consider the Antarctic part of the “surface” temperature?

      • CD,

        I have done radiative transfer calculations up to 100 km or so. Experimenting with various changes in the parameters I realized that troposphere and surface are not affected practically at all by anything even remotely realistic done at altitudes beyond 30 – 40 km.

        Tropoause is not the upper limit of the significant layers, but most of stratosphere has very little influence on the energy balance. (The altitude of absorption of bulk of the solar UV has some effect, but even that effect is rather small as long as it happens far above the tropopause.)

      • Pekka, “Tropoause is not the upper limit of the significant layers, but most of stratosphere has very little influence on the energy balance. (The altitude of absorption of bulk of the solar UV has some effect, but even that effect is rather small as long as it happens far above the tropopause.)”

        You can take MODTRAN and simulate Antarctic conditions as see nearly zero impact for CO2 at 30.000 ppm. Ozone in MODTRAN above 12km has zero impact. But is you look at the trubopause, the 65 Wm-2 is nearly fixed and Venus also has 65Wm-2 nearly fixed.; Something is missing by my way of think so that is what I am looking for.

        In the observational data, SSW event have an impact on the order of 10^22 joules. Brewer-Dobson is on the order of 8 Wm-2 for whatever period it lasts, QBO is related to SSW as is Solar, PDO, AMO and ENSO.

        Observation indicates something is missing. I doubt that I could care less about the 33C “norm” and kiddie pool analogies.

      • Chief the tough guy, quaking in my boots for sure. Ha ha.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Models are nonsense – http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F8.expansion.html – not worth worrying about.

      There is certainly an energy imbalance in the past decade as there always is. The big changes in the satellite record are the result of changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation. The big changes are in SW in ERBS and CERES.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/AdvancesinUnderstandingTop-of-AtmosphereRadiationVariability-Loebetal2011.png.html?sort=3&o=50

      MODIS after 2010 suggests that we should be losing a bit of this energy.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=16

      Your signs and portents are a hodge podge collection of circumstantial evidence for a poorly posed hypothesis. You know I’m right.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Losing a bit of this energy? Ocean heat content during this past decade saw the largest increase on record. The ice mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica the largest measured. Sea level rising. Nope, quite the contrary there Chief Hydro…Earth system continues to gain energy at a pretty rapid clip, and it can be nothing else with GH gases at their highest levels since the Pliocene.

      • Where does one find the ocean heat content record, say for the 1930s? Is there an atmosphere heat content record? Or is it just BS?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        In ARGO the increase in ocean heat content between 2005 and 2010 was 0.3 E+22 J/yr. The steric sea level rise was 0.69mm/yr.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=40

        It is all consistent with the slight decrease in reflected shortwave in CERES.

        You are not looking at the best data.

      • Julia Slingo and Tim Palmer as the Chief linked to: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        “We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions.” – Lorenz.

        The eddies. Perhaps thousands of them. Strengthening, weakening, accelerating, decelerating, interacting with other eddies.

        “…recent studies with ultra-high-resolution (approx. 3 km) global models, the so-called cloud system-resolving models, have shown a remarkable ability to capture the multi-scale nature of tropical convection of the type seen in figure 4 [28]. However, the resolution of climate models, still typically 100 km or more, has been constrained fundamentally by a lack of computing resources…”

        Assuming we have 100 X 100 versus 3 X 3, then 3 orders of magnitude of computing power.

        The Chief may have mentioned the above.

        A very good diagram for trying to under chaos theory:
        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F1.expansion.html
        You’ll see the two eddies, which are two climate regimes it seems to me. And movement from one to the other over time.

        Now if the climate is 1000s of eddies, perhaps each eddy is a result of the current regime, and a force for change to the next the regime we will see, that is it oscillates. Sometimes saying change, and sometimes saying don’t change as in Tsonis 2009. All influenced by every other eddy and influencing ever other eddy as well. Modeling this. That would be quite the accomplishment.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation (see ref. 26). ‘ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        ‘Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        3 orders at least – you’re making remarkable progress Ragnaar.

        You might be interested in this – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009BAMS2752.1

      • However this issue turns out, I’ll have learned a bit.

        At your link, not my first time there, we have:

        “State-of-the-art weather forecasting is carried out using atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) that have traditionally been forced with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies observed at some initial time, but are then projected and damped toward climatological conditions as the integrations proceed out to typically 10–14 days.”

        “On these time scales, dynamical interactions of the atmosphere with other climate system components were generally thought to be unimportant and, therefore, have typically not been included.”

        “For even longer time scales, however, interactions of the atmosphere with not only the ocean but also the sea ice, land, snow cover, land ice, and freshwater reservoirs become very important.”- James Hurrell, Gerald A. Meehl et all

        They seem to be addressing weather versus climate forecasting, and looking to improve both with some integration of both approaches.

        As far as chaos theory goes, the short term forecasting has seemed to not have to worry about that but will as it pushes its time horizon out. It seems to me that the theory applies to the climate as a whole and also to small areas.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’

  26. Matthew R Marler

    Matt Briggs: The epidemiologist fallacy occurs when an epidemiologist says or implies X causes Y, but when the epidemiologist never actually meets, measures, or monitors X, though everybody pretends he has.

    The examples that he provides at the link are also called the “ecological fallacy”, where instead of measuring X on each individual you have only measured the average (or some other measure) for a region or group of people in which each individual is classed. Such studies are not necessarily totally useless, and Matt Briggs makes no claim that they are. It’s true that people who live in areas infested with tsetse flies have higher incidence of river blindness, and the tsetse flies were shown to be the cause (or rather, a vector carrying the infectious agent), but all causal hypotheses have to be tested with actual intervention studies.

  27. The models do one thing first, predict the global atmospheric temperature. This one dimensional perspective was elevated somehow. But let’s say it’s where we are now.

    How to improve on that situation? The next candidate is the Ocean energy content. Looking for graphs of that, I’ve found slim pickings. SkS has some, poorly scaled I’d say. I’d prefer percentage changes. And I would like to say, their graphs are supposed to convey useful information. Having me go on hunt for the total energy content of the Ocean before I can make sense of their graphs, well. But this is off the topic.

    So we need to extract more information from the Oceans and that would seem to be an integral part of the models. In order to see if the books are balanced, we need to know if the heat decided to move? We need to audit the Oceans. The current accounting of the Oceans is lax. Heat moves and there are few records of it. The ones we have are more Balance Sheet ones. Temperature at a certain time. There’s a lot of assumptions involved to look at a Balance Sheet at time 0, and at time 0 plus 1 year, and say, now we know what the intervening Income Statement is.

    The hardest part of the Climate Balance Sheet to get to is the deep oceans, and yet, more or less heat can go there. We have TOA. Yes I think that someone’s been taking the money out the backdoor. BOA. The sea surface.

    • The difficulty with the ocean is that it has a much longer memory of its initial conditions than the atmosphere or land. It is like a weather prediction in slow motion. This pushes the boundary between climate and “ocean weather” further out in time. The only way around this is to do an ensemble of climate simulations to average out the ocean variations to see climate change on its own, but then you run into trouble verifying against real ocean variations in the decadal scales as we see with the pause.

      • I think it is upwelling zones that supply deep cold water to the surface layer. Upwelling is more active in this PDO phase but is always there, especially in cold water regions of the East Pacific and off Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. This is a sink of heat content in that layer because this deep cold water replaces warmer water that has to sink elsewhere. The upwelling surface zones have barely warmed in 50 years because of their deep origins.

    • Here is Trenberth’s 2013 heat content figure:-

      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/btk13fig1.jpg

      As you can see he plots upper 300m, upper 700m and total. So I blew up the latter part of the graph and measured it, as he did not include a txt file.

      http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/deepoceanJPEG_zpsc6585990.jpg

      Now the total change at 0-300m is 3 units, 0-700m is 7,5 units and so 300-700m is 4.5 units. Thus, the rates of change in heat is greater between 300-700m (4.5U/400m) than it is between 0-300m (3U/300m).
      Alas, this movement of energy is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics.
      That is the only way one can find the ‘missing’ heat.

      • Doc, what are the temperature differences that are driving the heat transfer?

        The sun warms the surface layer and the surface layer is cooled by warming the 300-700 layer for the net heating or cooling of the surface layer.

        The 300-700 layer is warmed by the surface layer and cooled by transfer of heat to the deeper layers as well as reaching near the maximum of density of seawater by 700 meters causing some down-welling.

        Since the temperature difference between the surface layer and the 300-700 layer is greater than the temperature difference between the 300-700 layer and the deeper waters, the rate of transfer for the 300-700 layer can be greater than the surface layer without violating any laws of thermodynamics..

        Your work is incomplete.

      • Bob, that is complete tosh. Overall heat fluxes are always from hot to cold. The source of heat is at the surface and the sink is at the bottom, increased heating at the surface MUST heat the surface and then the heat will transfer upward and downward, it cannot skip a bit.

      • The source of heat is at the surface and the sink is at the bottom, increased heating at the surface MUST heat the surface and then the heat will transfer upward and downward, it cannot skip a bit.

        It must heat the surface, but that doesn’t mean the temperature has to increase. AFAIK (from a recent perusal of the relevant chapter of our hostess’ book) one of the major (potential) sources of heat transfer is turbulence from tropical cyclones. If there was increased turbulence of this type, there could be greater heat transport accompanied by an unchanged surface temp.

        And this applies to any particular part of the ocean. When you’re looking at averages, there are many other places it could slip through.

      • Doc,

        If conduction would be the only way of transferring heat in the oceans you would be right, but conduction is negligible in comparison to various ocean currents. Cold water is sinking from surface to the bottom is some areas like Arctic. That lowers the temperature of deep ocean, a process exactly opposite to your claims. In other areas heat transfer goes in the opposite direction (that direction you claimed to be the only possible).

        There’s no simple way of telling what happens to the heat content of various depths of the oceans. Some layers may be cooling while others are warming. The rates of cooling and warming may vary in a complex way.

        You should avoid simplistic logic, it’s very often wrong, as it is here.

      • “…the strength of the thermohaline circulation in models depends on the turbulent mixing coefficient, and that the energy required for this turbulent mixing comes to a large extent from the moon via tidal currents…” – Stefan Rahmstorf

        To add the moon into the equation seems like yet one more complexity.

        I think someone described the situation as a lens of of warm water on top of a mass of cold water. The lens is stable, except for when it’s not.

        The lens:
        http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/ocean/pacific-ocean-temperature.gif

      • Oh and another thing I learned early on is that equations must balance and units must agree.

        So do you realize that 4.5U/400m is joules divided by meters which is newtons or force and there is no conservation of force that I know of.

        Do you see where you went astray?

        Anyway, the surface to 300 meters is warmer than the 300-700 layer which is warmer than the layers below,so heat can flow. And the surface can also be cooled by evaporation, so it’s not impossible that the lower layers can warm faster than the surface.

      • Pekka, I know that cold dense brines from he poles flow into he bottom of the ocean, and this is why the boom is cold.
        It is Trenberth’s claim that the 300,-700m layer had heated faster that the 0-300m layer, GLOBALLY, and no mine.
        He states heat has moved faster from the surface, to 300-700m layer at a greater rate that into the 0-300m layer.
        So do not state that it is I who is the one simplifying things too much.
        It is not thermodynamically possible for he heat transfer rate to be faster in lower layers than in upper layers.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Seems many are still not getting the actual dynamic occurring:

        1) Net heat flow globally is from ocean to atmosphere, meaning that the oceans are not gaining heat content because they are being heated by the atmosphere. This is thermodynamically impossible. Heat is not flowing down from the atmosphere to the ocean depths. The bulk of the energy going into the ocean is directly from sunlight.

        2) At any given point time, a large pecentage of the energy in the atmosphere came directly from the oceans. In other words, the oceans act a buffer, storing energy that came directly from SW solar radiation, and then passing this energy to the atmosphere.

        3) If the oceans are gaining energy (and they are- a lot of it) it can only be because the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere is slowed down.

        It is non-sensical to talk about the atmosphere warming the ocean, just as it is non-sensical to talk about a jacket warming your body in the winter. Jackets do not actually warm your body, but only slow down the rate of energy exchange between your body and the cold air outside the jacket. A thicker jacket slows down the rate of energy flow more than a thin jacket. The atmosphere is the jacket between the ocean and space. Adding more GH gases makes the jacket thicker.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Pekka said:

        “Cold water is sinking from surface to the bottom is some areas like Arctic. That lowers the temperature of deep ocean.”

        _____
        Interestingly, the deepest parts of the ocean are warming and become less saline:

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00834.1

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~agordon/publications/meredith_etal_WeddellBW_outflow_GRL11.pdf

        All due to changes in the atmosphere. This is important stuff…pay attention.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Doc said:

        “It is not thermodynamically possible for he heat transfer rate to be faster in lower layers than in upper layers.”

        _______
        What determines heat transfer rates? It is of course directly related to the thermal gradient between two areas. If we know the net flow of energy is from ocean to atmossphere, then at some point, a warmer atmosphere actually works as a negative feedback, reducing the rate of flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere, and the oceans will start to gain energy as the thermal gradient is less steep, but the general rate of flow of energy into the ocean (globally) remains fairly constant as this comes from sunlight. The atmosphere would then eventually cool a bit, as it is getting less energy from the ocean, until such time as the thermal gradient once more gets more steep, more net energy flows the ocean to atmosphere, the atmosphere starts to warm again, and the cycle starts agsin. If there was no net forcing to the system, then over long periods the atmosphere and ocean would have this see-saw back and forth. Add a net forcing, and this see-saw will still occur, but it will be on general upward track over the long-term. Of course, constantly adding more GH gases to the atmosphere is a pertty potent external forcing.

      • R. Gates, “All due to changes in the atmosphere. This is important stuff…pay attention.” Er, atmospheric oscillations.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/jrt0901.pdf

        “Climate scientists have attributed changes in the westerlies over the past 50 years to the warming from higher CO2. The changes predicted by climate models in response to higher CO2 are fairly small, however, and tend to be symmetric with respect to the equator. The observed changes have been quite asymmetric, with much larger changes in the Southern Hemisphere than in the north (3). The results of Anderson et al. (7) suggest that in the past, the westerlies shifted asymmetrically toward the south in response to a flatter temperature contrast between the hemispheres. The magnitude of the shift seems to have been very large. If there was a response to higher CO2 back then, it paled in comparison. Changes in the north-south temperature contrast today are not going to be as large as they were at the end of the last ice age, but even small changes could be an additional source of modern climate variability. “

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist wrote:
        “…then at some point, a warmer atmosphere actually works as a negative feedback, reducing the rate of flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere, and the oceans will start to gain energy…”

        Which I agree with, but I disagree with part of what you said. I’d describe the Oceans temperature as being anchored based upon their mass and average temperature. We might look at the average SST or at the Oceans as a whole which is about at 4 C. The more the Atmospheric temperature rises above the anchor of the Oceans, the more pullback there is. If the Atmosphere goes to plus 3 C., I don’t think the Oceans will flinch at that. They’ll keep doing the same thing they’ve always done, presenting their same average temperature face to the atmosphere, probably around 15 C.

      • I agree that turbulence from storms would be a feasible way for heat transfer from the surface to deep ocean sinks to occur. Upwelling from volcanic activity and tectonic plate shifts would be another way for heat build up in the deep ocean.

      • R. Gates:

        Pekka said:

        “Cold water is sinking from surface to the bottom is some areas like Arctic. That lowers the temperature of deep ocean.”

        _____
        Interestingly, the deepest parts of the ocean are warming and become less saline:

        The use of comparatives and verbs like “lowers” is a continuous source of confusion as the point of comparison is not stated.

        To be more precise I should have written:

        .. That keeps the deep ocean cold.

        as didn’t want to imply that the time derivative is negative or even necessarily zero, only that the derivative is less than it would be without that mechanism.

        What really puzzles me is, why this simple issue is so difficult for Doc.

        While the fundamentals are clear: various layers of the atmosphere can both cool and warm in a complex way, I do share to a degree the doubts of Doc.

        The relative rates of warming of different depths seem intuitively so unlikely also for me that I remain skeptical on the reality of observed trends in OHC. From this point of view, the most likely explanation is not that the ocean as a whole has been warming significantly less, I would consider it more likely that the largest errors are in the internal distribution of heat. Whatever the truth on that, one of my conclusions is that I don’t consider the published data as accurate as the error bars would indicate.

        As long as I do consider the data on OHC too immature, I remain also open to the possibility that the variability in surface temperature trends is to a significant degree due to variations in albedo rather than solely in net heat transfer between oceans and the atmosphere. The variations in albedo would also be controlled by oceans as the oceans are the only part of the Earth system with a strong memory on decadal and multidecadal time scale.

  28. You want to talk about Rewards? Under which scenario will the authors of AR5 receive the greater rewards?

    A. Publish a 95% confidence of an unsupported pal-reviewed pack of lies that meets the expectations of their benefactors.

    B. Publish a reduced confidence from AR4 because the divergence between models and real world measuments is increasing the possibility that the Team has been barking up the wrong tree. That there is a lot more to Climate Change than Greenhouse Gases.

    This is probably one of the easiest questions in science to answer. Momemtum isn’t only defined as mass*velocity.

  29. Good judgement comes from poor judgement.

    Adding a little more precision to the statement: “Your best judgement comes from observing other’s bad judgement.” Or, learning from your mistakes tends to leave you a little gun shy and hesitant to then make the next decision. So it is best to be observant and learn from other’s mistakes.

    I say all this knowing full well the above isn’t true. You have to learn from a very early age how to make poor decisions; you have to be taught, carefully taught. One learns to make the same mistakes leading to poor outcomes over and over again because? success is not a virtue. Success is a burden you have to bear as your expectations of yourself and the expectations of those observing you are: that you will succeed again. Who knows, maybe you were lucky and you don’t really really deserve the accolades and adoration for your success because you had by accident hit the right button. The trauma of success is magnified by those supposedly “above” you who are hoping for you to fail so they can cheer and say: “I told you so, you can’t do it.”

    One of the nice things about distancing one’s self from the tumult of office/academic/career politics, is that you can drown out the din of hooters and hollerers and start to listen to your own internal rhythm; imbibing your small successes to build upon one another. I don’t mean to not listen to others, you have to listen to others to get a reading on what you are doing. Sort of like a reality check; only be very selective of whom you are listening.

    Now to the issue at hand: How could I be wrong? For me, the easiest way to address that question is to feel comfortable in saying: “I don’t know.”
    Most issues then follow that admission with the logical sequence of acquiring more information; formulating a new hypothesis; running that new hypothesis through a naive person: can you explain it clearly so that it makes sense to them. Global warming makes sense to city folk; just don’t expect the same reception to say a farmer who has lived with weather for decades upon decades and start telling them that you have a gismo that can predict the weather a hundred years out, and listen to them say: “uh huh, you don’t say?”

    In the end, observations, careful observations, or outcomes if you prefer provide the check on your runaway overconfidence, over-estimation, over precision.

  30. Here’s a variant: “How have I been wrong in the past?”

  31. From Kesten C. Green’s 2007 Gobal Warming paper:
    Comparative empirical studies have routinely concluded that judgmental
    forecasting by experts is the least accurate of the methods available to make forecasts.
    For example, Ascher (1978, p. 200), in his analysis of long-term forecasts of electricity consumption found that was the case.

  32. Look, a model is an approximation of reality; everyone knows that. Some approximations are better than others. If you want to find fault with a model, fine, propose one that provides a better approximation. Yes, that is how science works; demonstrate that your approximation is more accurate than the last person’s. Otherwise, you have no argument.

    Waiting…

    • That’s why the alchemists and astrologers today are so much better than their forebears.

    • GCM writers and users have not demonstrated any such willingness to be judged by their approximation of reality. If only!

      • High fidelity GCM’s are not as fundamental as the overall GHG forcing and energy balance. Andrew Lacis explained this clearly on CE a while ago:

        “One reason to separate the global climate change problem into the two components of (1) global warming, and (2) natural variability is to recognize that the model analysis of these two components has different modeling requirements. For global warming, the GHG forcing is globally uniform, and the modeling goal emphasis is on global energy balance and global temperature change. For this purpose, coarser model resolution is adequate since the advective transports of energy (latent and sensible heat, geopotential energy), which are an order of magnitude larger than the radiative terms, must by definition globally add to zero. Since the global energy balance and the greenhouse effect are all radiative quantities, the emphasis then is on assuring the accuracy of the radiation modeling.

        The natural variability component, which includes the unforced local, regional, and interannual climate changes is a more difficult problem to address, and requires higher model spatial resolution and greater care in dealing with horizontal energy transports and conversions.”

        Waiting for your alternate model.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The problem with an idiot repeating blog science from someone out of their area is that thus are errors born.

        I am a little bored with explaining the nature of models – even without natural variability there are still multiple and chaotically diverging solutions emerging from the nature of the core equations and uncertainty in data and couplings.

        Here’s a picture – http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F8.expansion.html

        But the real problem is incorporating both natural and anthropogenic forcing.

        e.g – A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or,
        How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability?
        Michael Ghil – http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        The answer for climate sensitivity for instance is …. wait for it… γ in the linked diagram.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        Now we need 1000′s of times more computing power to find out what the question is.

      • The problem with an idiot repeating blog critisms of science is that they still don’t have a better model that explains the climate system.

      • Brian H, you are delusional. The models developed 20 years ago are not the same as the models in use today. The models in use today reflect a desire to do better, which you say doesn’t exist.

    • The surface heat exchange is not modeled properly. Cooling of the surface is mostly non-radiative, with the evaporation dominating (in average). The atmosphere, on the other hand, can only cool by IR radiation to space. The nature will demonstrate.

    • Exactly what I told the critics of my perpetual motion machine model. Where is your model? Don’t just sit there saying mine doesn’t work.

    • You miss the point. The point is that just because something is the best that you can do doesn’t mean it isn’t still wrong. Besides, if you want a model that can explain all the warming since the LIA then all you need is a change in heat transport. It just so happens this reconstruction shows one.

      http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n6/fig_tab/ncomms1901_F5.html

      • Nope. He’s still waiting. And holding his breath. Notice the nice blue hue….

        My son used to do this when he didn’t understand why I said no. Of course, he was three at the time.

      • You understand that is a proxy study, not a model of how things work, right?
        Still waiting for a better model.

      • Yes, I understand it’s a reconstruction. There is your model. The code is a 10% increase in OHT will cause a 1 C warming.

      • What you have explained is that you don’t know the difference between a model that incorporates physical laws to try to test how they interact and a set of observations that does not mean anything without a model to interpret what they mean.

      • Every model of every physical process is wrong; that does not mean they are not useful. d=gt^2/2 is a model of a falling body, and it is wrong. It is still useful.

      • Chris G, “Every model of every physical process is wrong; that does not mean they are not useful. d=gt^2/2 is a model of a falling body, and it is wrong. It is still useful.”

        No doubt, the object is to improve the models not make excuses for the models. GCM that include stratospheric dynamics are better than the models that don’t. Energy balnace models that use observation to constrain GCM are better for determining somethings than GCMs, real world response. Ridge world ocean models that include “character” instead of assuming a smooth ocean floor are a good step. Ocean models that include asymmetry are better than ones than assume symmetry. None are perfect, but some are improving.

        The problem is defending the crude models instead of trying to advance modeling in general. Just because one older crude model used to be useful doesn’t mean it is now.

      • No, what I have shown is a model. It is a simple model. It is a model based upon calculations which have been incorporated in other models and it is a model based upon observations. I don’t need to show you all the calculations and/or observations. If you are interested in how it works then research it but don’t criticize my model until you have a better one.

    • Chris,

      One does not have to propose their own model to recognize problems with existing ones.

      The argument, at least my argument, is not with the models being inexact approximations of real world climate systems. It is with people acting as if they are fairly exact. At least exact enough to make predictions.

      Another argument I have is in the usefulness of GCM’s. When one considers the amount of money spent on them to date, the question should come up “What have we gotten for our money?” Probably followed by “Wouldn’t regional models that can reasonally project out a month, a quarter, a year, be of greater value?”

      • Well, if you can improve on our ability to predict what changing our atmospheric composition will do to our climate, please do so. Models which show more CO2 results in warming have been obviously better than those that don’t. Planning for the future by ignoring the best information you have available at the time is…unwise.

      • Who said anything about any model being fairly exact? You all should recognize Tamino, and he says, “The spread of results shows that the computer models indicate a range of plausible behaviors; no single result, not even the average of all the model runs, can honestly be called “the” IPCC result, and it’s especially misleading to portray the results as having no variation or uncertainty.”
        http://web.archive.org/web/20100322194954/http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/models-2/

  33. typo: “Global Warming paper”

  34. It is one thing to assert you are right. It is anorher thing to prove it scientifically. that is where most of the deniers and skeptics fall down. Admittedly this is most difficult. But even those with teams of simulation experts have not been able to reproduce the stop/go behaviour of climate. However through the haze of cltmate science it is possible to discern some physics which must be included in a sucessesfu;l model. The teams have no doubt included all the obvious ones, but I have seen surprisingly little on the history of the carbon dioxide molecule in the troposphere. It is crtainly relevant to a confident model.

    CO2′s voracious appetite for energy can omly be satisfied in two ways: kinetic and vibrational energy. We can forget kinetic, because it is no worse than O2 or N2 and it is less than 1% of the atmosphere. The answer has to be in the vibrational modes, of which there are many. When CO2 leaves the cylinders of your car or the furnace of the power station it is over 1,000C – very hot and most of, if not all. of its vibrational modes will be excited. When it exits the tail pipe or chimney it is still very hot and we would expect it to rise in the troposphere as a plume of hot gas passing its heat to the N2 and O2 as it rises. As it rises in the troposphere (like a hot air balloon) it can more readily radiate its heat into space, because the atmosphere above is thinning. So what propottion of heat is radiated into space, instead of heating our planet?. As the CO2 cools, density increases, it will fall again, maybe having used up all its excitation modes, it can no longer heat the planet. So this simple but apparently little understood chain of events may not be such a threat?

    So this explanation of CO2′s behavior in the troposphere can explain the pause. So long as the hot, new proportion of CO2 from exhaust or chimneyremains below the presert level the pause will continue. Note that this new metric of CO2, if accepted, focuses not on total CO2, but on the proportion of new,hot CO2..

    • CO2 is not that hot when it’s emitted into the atmosphere. Flue gases from power plants are cooled to under ~150 deg C before emission.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I think flame temperatures might be the relevant temperature. It is all energy when burnt after all – and it is the energy that counts not the pathways.

        It is all nonsense at any rate. Kinetic energy includes vibrational energy. The important energy for the radiative properties of greenhouse gases is the potential energy of electron orbits.

      • Yes, all the energy ends up as heat eventually, but CO2 is usually under ~150 deg C at the emission point (boilers and power plants), otherwise efficiency would be low (stack loss). Exhaust from (internal) combunstion engines is much hotter.

      • Edim: Yes, hot exhaust gases represent ineffiency and should be avoided; Scrubbers and precipitators get rid bof soot, but I doubt that efficiency drives would achieve exhaust temperatures as low as 150C. But something has to absorb the heat – either air or water so it is eventually returned to the air.

        Chief: We have discussed this before.Modern physics divides the energy of the molecule into kinetic and vibrational. We waste our time arguing over definitions. Electrons are too light to have much energy, Because the CO2 molecule has two outeigger heavy oxygen atoms, it has a powerful bending vibration.

      • Alexander, don’t doubt, read. Around 150 deg C is normal all the heat is used in steam generation (superheater, economiser, combustion air pre-heater). It’s possible to cool down flue gases to even lower temperatures, but then water vapor from the flue gas condenses and more expensive equipment is needed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Biggs – the internal energy of a substance is divided into kinetic energy and potential energy. The kinetic energy of polyatomic molecules includes translational, rotational and vibrational kinetic energy.

        e.g. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/inteng.html#c3

        It takes energy supplied by photons to move electrons into higher orbits. The same quantum of energy is emitted as a photon when electrons quantum jump into a lower energy state. Photons are literally packets of energy. This latter is the essence of greenhouse gas theory.

  35. Judith,

    I would like to see you discussing, how your own emphasis of uncertainties might be exaggerated, and how that might affect further conclusions.

  36. Paul Matthews

    There is a really interesting test on page 11 where you have to set 70% confidence intervals yourself on your answers ten questions – so you should get 7 of them right. I found it quite hard, but got 8 right, so not bad. Did anyone else try this?

  37. Dr Curry,

    I have long wanted to mention to you a book I recently read:

    Thinking Fast and Slow

    by Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winning (in economics) psychologist.

    Dr Curry, I have to tell you the whole book read like an exploration of how climate science has come to be afflicted by the dubious conclusions and thinking it has, and fleshes out in forensic detail the nature of many of your criticisms of “consensus” science. I read whole chapters gob-smacked – while never mentioning climate science, they seem to exactly describe its problems, and one particular chapter on uncertainty sounded like it could have been written by you.

    The paper you discuss in this thread describes experiments that feature heavily in the book, actually measuring how over-confidence, cognitive bias, and risk-assessment skew peoples judgement. The experiments are described in detail and are extremely cunning. What all this says to me, is that the flaws in thinking skeptics (who are most certainly not immune to it either) have long complained about are absolutely not unique to climate science.

    Just flipping the book open I have an extract

    WRT rare events:
    - People overestimate the probabilities of unlikely events
    - People overweight unlikely events in their decisions.

    WRT overconfidence, the whole 3rd prt of the book is devoted to it:
    - The illusion of understanding
    - The illusion of validity
    - Intuitions vs Formulas
    - Expert intuition: When can we trust it?

    He writes:
    “If subjective confidence (of experts) is not to be trusted, how can we evaluate the probable validity of an intuitive judgement? When do judgements reflect true expertise? These two conditions must be met:
    - an environment that is sufficiently regular to be predictable
    - an opportunity to learn these regularities from prolonged practise”
    He then goes on to talk about “wicked” environments, in which professionals are likely to learn the wrong lessons from experience.

    He was invited by a wall street investment group to do an analysis on their fund managers, and how they were performing relative to the market. What he found was that the greater the expertise and confidence of the manager the worse they did, and in fact their education negatively correlated to performance. In some case, the best paid and most “respected” of them did worse than chance. And what do you think they did with this information? They thanked him, paid him and promptly ignored it.

    From the point of view of critically understanding the IPCC position, the book underlines your own point of confirmation bias – the framing of the IPCC mission to discover the nature and extent to which there is an anthropogenic influence on the climate. It also explores the psychology of how we draw causal inferences and seek patterns in noisy data. Most of all, the part that interests me is in the way we weight risk, through accessibility (if something is on the forefront of your mind it is weighted more heavily), and through loss aversion.

    One last thing, I was interested to note that the author went out of his way to conduct research and publish papers with other scientists who disagreed with him. Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing to see a paper published by Trenberth and Lindzen, or Steig ad McIntyre?

    I can’t possibly do justice to the book writing here, only to say that from my perspective as a long time lurker and science enthusiast, finding that the confounding issues within the science that have lead to the rancorous debate we still witness, have not only existed elsewhere, but have actually been quantified to some extent by scientists who study how humans assess things, was a revelation and stunning to me. It’s possible you may already know of this book, and if so sorry for the long post. But if there are any denizens out there who might not have encountered it, in the context of the climate debate it really is worth a read.

    • Agnostic, agreed that this is an excellent book, i have flagged this topic for a future post long ago and it got buried. I will try to unbury at some point, agreed that this is worth a post

      • Covering similar ground is Dan Gardner’s ‘Future Babble’ – on why ‘experts’ have such a lousy record of predicting the future and why we, regardless, continue (and will contine!) to hold them in such high esteem.

      • It is a good book and I would second that idea. It gave me some valuable insights on the climate debate.

      • Agnostic is assuming he knows what Daniel Kahneman thinks about climate scientists and climate change. Here is a lecture given by Prof. Kahneman earlier this month (Aug. 13) for the Long Now Foundation.
        http://download.fora.tv/rss_media/Long_Now_Podcasts/podcast-2013-08-13_Kahneman.mp3

        Skip to 1:11:46 for his specific comments on the scientific consensus of climate change. Prof. Kahneman is not a skeptic.

      • Thanks for the reply. It’s great to hear you know of the book. It was quite an experience reading it and noticing how closely it mirrored many of your arguments and interests.

      • @sparrow,

        No I made no mention of Dr Kahnemans views on climate change, in fact I think I specifically said that it wasn’t discussed in the book. What I am saying is that to those of us who have followed the debate closely, the problems surrounding climate science are described in great detail in the book, suggesting they are problems not unique to it.

        More specifically, many of Dr Curry’s criticisms of consensus science are echoed and explained very thoroughly, with cunning experiments that illustrate the problems. Read her blog posts on epistemology and heuristics, Bayesian reasoning, wicked problems, and communicating uncertainty. It’s very clear that climate science and climate scientists fall into many of the reasoning traps described in the book.

      • Agnostic,

        The issues described by Kahneman do certainly affect scientists as well. Proper schooling of scientists has always put a lot of weight on that fact, it’s not a news at all. Reading, what Feynman has written and what innumerable others have expressed in various ways is proof of that. Scientists are supposed to be professionals in diminishing the influence of the processes described by Kahneman. They are not perfect in that but they should be better equipped than most.

        I have not been involved in the education of climate scientists, or more generally of atmospheric scientists, but I’m sure that many of them have also been subjected to that kind of schooling.

        The argumentation of skeptics is very often based on believing the worst of scientists. They have evidence on a few people. Some of these few are influential, and that has led to problems at some level. It has made it more difficult than necessary to judge, what’s the actual state of knowledge. When making that judgment is made difficult, the spread of views gets wider.

        I’m confident that the majority of active working climate scientists are not any different from scientists in other fields in how they think about their own field of expertize. Where the situation differs from many other fields is in, how the knowledge is presented in public (the difference is partly that in many fields it’s not brought to public at all) and how the scientists connect their own expertize to the other facets of the climate issue.

      • Agnostic, my apologies for inferring your opinion of Kahneman position on climate scientist and climate change. Did you listened to his lecture and his description of the issues surrounding the climate debate? Despite his remarkable insight in to behavioral economics and motivated reasoning he seems to believe in the consensus position. Seems at odds with the general thrust of his book.

      • It’s an amazing phenomenon, this Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd. A Perpetual Amusement Wheel.
        =================

      • @sparrow,

        I haven’t looked at the lecture yet, but I most certainly will, and thanks for posting it. Regardless of his opinions on climate change, his book never-the-less illuminated the way in which it so often erroneously assessed, for example; the dangers of drawing conclusions from too small a sample size, inferring causative “story” because the mind looks for a pattern in chaotic data, over-confident predictions, reliance on expert judgement where there is insufficient regularity and practise to justify an intuitive assessment, over-weighting risk of rare events….I could go on and on.

        He describes also in some detail the ways in which he has been wrong, and the mistakes he has made even when his own research suggested he should know better. Without (yet) seeing the video, I am pretty certain that if he sat down with someone like Judith for an hour or two his opinion would become a little more nuanced or to be at least more sympathetic to the skeptical arguments that many of the problems described in the book apply so easily to climate science.

      • @Pekka

        “The argumentation of skeptics is very often based on believing the worst of scientists” – that is certainly true of some skeptics, particular if you engage in some of the discussions with the more vocal and motivated amongst the denizens here or elsewhere. But in this statement you potentially make one of the mistakes that Kahneman describes; availability. Your assessment is essentially at the intuitive level since you have not argued with all skeptics, or a sufficiently large sample to be representative, and those that you have argued with informs your perception of what a skeptic is.

        Never-the-less the point you make about those skeptics you do know is likely valid for the same reason; that those skeptics have not engaged sufficient climate scientists to be sure of their views and integrity to justify the claims they make on them. I would say in defense of those skeptics, it is not they who are proposing far-reaching and likely futile measures to combat something about which is not only uncertain, but only significant because of fairly demonstrative flaws in reasoning from very sparse and dubious evidence, or evidence that absolutely does not support the position, made by “authoritative” bodies.

        You might be able to argue at a personal level that these scientists need to work within the framework they are given, which means they must toe the consensus line, but from an ethical perspective you can’t blame the vocal skeptics for denouncing this. Ask Willis Eschenbach for his opinion that…:)

      • Agnostic,

        My purpose was not to discuss skeptics, it was to discuss a view that’s highly visible on this site and other sites, where skeptics contribute.

    • “I was interested to note that the author went out of his way to conduct research and publish papers with other scientists who disagreed with him. Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing to see a paper published by Trenberth and Lindzen, or Steig ad McIntyre?” – agnostic

      How about seeking out not just those who merely disagreed, but alleged he was engaged in deliberate academic fraud???

      • Here is a suggestion: Someone like Mann should publish a paper with Oliver Manuel. Or how about Mann, Manuel, and add Murry Salby for some balance. That will show them!

        In reality, science is not like toddler soccer where everyone gets to play.

      • Here is a suggestion: Someone like Mann should publish a paper with Ollie M*nuel. Or how about adding M.Salby for some balance. That will show them!

        In reality, science is not like toddler soccer where everyone gets to play.

        (checking to see if M*nuel invokes the moderation trigger. Which is kind of odd since M*nuel is allowed to comment here)

    • Agnostic writes about Kahneman,

      “He was invited by a wall street investment group to do an analysis on their fund managers, and how they were performing relative to the market. What he found was that the greater the expertise and confidence of the manager the worse they did, and in fact their education negatively correlated to performance. In some case, the best paid and most “respected” of them did worse than chance.”

      I couldn’t agree more in the above case. In seeing my clients results of being lead by their brokers, my opinion of brokers continually declined and I doubt it will recover. I’ll read chance above as meaning the S & P 500 index.

      And odd phenomena appeared as some brokers realized they didn’t know much as far as gaining superior returns, that is provide value from their expertise. Shadow S & P 500 index funds. Funds not stating that that was a big part of their approach but having high level experts, from my point of view, admitting they couldn’t beat an average return, mitigating their situation, and a least getting near the average return, but still not wanting to admit that they didn’t know anything about obtaining above average returns.

      I bring Shadow index funds as in the brokers case, it was a tip off of a realization that they couldn’t beat the market. So when positions change, we may see indirect tip offs. Their words didn’t change, but their actions did.

      “Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing to see a paper published by Trenberth and Lindzen, or Steig ad McIntyre?”

      The above seems a great idea. Might be a lot of upside with this.

  38. Know thyself, how come as a libertarian i score high thirties re
    yikes(!) “socialism “… first don’t fool yerself. radicalism 72 yep
    I go with that, tenderness in the 50′s … sucker ( Some of the
    questions i wanted ter qualify ( context alters sit -u-ay-shuns?
    Jest-a-serf.

  39. See wot I mean. )
    Bts

  40. I have enormous difficulty with the subject of this thread as it applies to physics. Surely, in physics, we rely on measured, empirical data. When we have measured data we know what is happening. When we dont have measured data, we, with a slight exaggeration, are just guessing.

    • Jim

      Ah! this is an important point which is good to see as this thread drops off the point a little.

      I agree with you Jim but also I suggest that the reason that data are important in the way you describe is that in Physics there is a body of strong theory. Added to this is the problem that much of climate data are poorly representative of the complex/chaotic systems they are meant to represent and you have a problem.

      The key issue, however, in my opinion, in contrast to Physics, is the lack of a critical tradition in climate science. There are two aspects to this. One is the mindset, no doubt attributable to the politics of the situation in which climate science finds itself. This mindset is one in which people seek to be certain. It comes form confusing political objectives and ways of articulating argument with scientific ones. There follow a preoccupation with certainty and with authority and as Popper says, ‘the greatest error is the quest for certainty’.

      The other aspect is the lack of what Popper calls reasonableness, the idea the while we propose our own ideas vigorously we still accept that others may be right and we may be wrong. The real problem is to tell which idea if any survives testing.

      This idea of reasonableness is fundamental and it seems absent from most blog discussion on both “sides”.

      What reasonableness involves is being critical of our own ideas in the same manner and to the same degree as we are of others. We test our ideas and not merely seek to support them or to inoculate them against criticism in order to defend them at all costs.

      And we have methods to help ensure reasonableness. In statistics it is called the null hypothesis, which supposes that the effects being observed could have happened anyway. In science we also have the method of multiple working hypotheses in which we pit our ideas against others, including the null hypothesis.

      The killer question behind these methods which I have not seen prominently in the climate debates is this…..”what would be the evidence on which I would reject my own hypothesis?”

    • @Jim Cripwell:When we have measured data we know what is happening.
      That is not true at all.
      If you take measurements and then lock them in a box unanalyzed, you have nothing but your preconceptions.

      You must check the measurements against predictions from theory. If the differences between measurement and theory are zero, then you probably do know what is happening within the bounds of calibration.

      But the study of differences between prediction and measurement is the heart of science. Tycho Brahe had excellent measurements of the planets movements in the sky. Yet he was befuddled by the differences between measurement and prediction. It took a different theory, Kepler’s Laws of orbital ellipses, before the measurements made sense. Michelson and Morley were some of the best experimental physicists, yet they took exacting measurements of something it turned out didn’t exist. The difference from measurement to prediction brought about a revolution in Physics.

      As for Climate Science, the difference between prediction (or projection used for policy recommendation, but I digress..) and measurement is large, illuminating and worth study.
      Models v. Observations: AR5 RCP4.5
      25 June, 2013 (08:59) | Data Comparisons Written by: lucia
      Yet, Climate scientists still have the temerity to assume that each of the models have equal probability. Egalitarianism has no place in honest science.
      Question: By what Science do the warmer models still live?
      Answer: Political Science.

      (P.S. 10:49am below was meant here and turned out to be a multi-pasted mess. It should be deleted/ignored).

      • Steven Mosher

        If the differences between measurement and theory are zero…..

        then you know you are dreaming…

      • Stephen, you write “That is not true at all.
        If you take measurements and then lock them in a box unanalyzed, you have nothing but your preconceptions. ”

        I completely agree with you. If you will note, my piece was just over 4 lines long. Yours was something like 30 lines long. Also I have been beating this drum on CE for about 4 years, and some people are getting tired of it, even though what I try and write, is, I believe, fundamentally correct. Of course measured data is uslesss without some sort of hypothesis or theory to explain what the data means. That is what physics is all about.

        But my point is that before you can contiuue with this scientific approach you have to have some measured data. With respect to CAGW, there is NO MEASURED DATA ON CLIMATE SENSITIVITY. None whatsoever. I keep on writing this, and the warmists, including our hostess, refuse to agree that I am correct. That is the issue, and discussing whether anyone is right or wrong in the context of this fact, to me, makes no sense at all. I cannot see what this thread has to do with climate science, CAGW or anything else.

        CAGW is a perfectly viable hypothesis. But until we have some MEASURED data on climate sensitivity, then we will never know who is right or wrong. But, and there is always a big BUT, the IPCC is dead wrong to claim that the science gives a 95% probability that some things about CAGW are correct. And for that, all true scientists, including our hostess, should be up in arms demanding a retraction.

      • Jim, I am 100% in agreement with your 1:00pm.
        The only embellishment I would make is that we have no direct measurment of G, the “Gravitational Constant”, yet we infer a value to 4 significant figures from measurements and a simple theory of gravitation. It might not be a constant. It might not even be real. But theory predicts very well with it.

        In theory, the measurement of an empirical Climate Sensitivity could be no different if there was a simple model of climate. If GHGs were the primary thing that mattered, we’d know the CS. But after 20 years and billions of dollars, if any CS in the range of 1 to 6 is not “irrational”, then we don’t know it. (1) Therefore, GHGs are not the only thing that matter despite the political desire to make them so.

        (1) Or people don’t like the answer and are pretending we don’t know. Hypothesis: High values of CS are highly correlated to advocacy.

      • Stephen, you write “In theory, the measurement of an empirical Climate Sensitivity could be no different if there was a simple model of climate”

        Yes, we are in agreement. But I disagree with this idea. In principle, it is easy to measure climate sensitivity. All you have to do is to prove that a measued rise in global temperatures was directly caused by a measured rise in CO2 levels. But since we cannot do controlled experiments on the earth’s atrmosphere, it is impractical to use this approach

  41. Pingback: I Know I’m Right! A Behavioral View Of Over-Confidence | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  42. Tomas Milanovic

    Chief writes :
    I’m wondering about the time frame here. There seem plenty of fossil fuel sources for hundreds of years.

    This is an excellent and the only relevant question.
    Let’s take only 2 fields for estimation of the time scales we are talking of.
    - the Stokman gas field (Barents sea, Russia) : 4 000 Gm^3 reserves.
    - the Bovanenkovo gas field (Yamal, Russia) : 5 000 Gm^3 reserves

    The former is sofar untapped and the latter only starts exploitation.
    To realize what only these 2 fields mean, one can see that they represent almost 400 years of Australia’s consumption (for you Chief) or 70 years of China’s consumption.

    Would you think that these are huge ? Lost, Stokman is just a square of 15 km x15 km and nobody knows how many Stokmans are out there in the Barents Sea.
    Would you think exploitation is expensive because of the Arctic environment ? Lost. The break even for Stokman is around 8 $/MBtu where the US were before the shale gas revolution. The prices are still there today in Germany and above in Japan.
    Would you think the liquids are a problem ? Lost again. The technology to transform gas to liquids (GTL) was invented in Germany 100 years ago.
    A single Shell’s plant in Qatar is producing 150 kbbl/day of very high quality liquid products at competitive prices by tapping the giant Qatari North Field (imagine 200 Stokmans !).

    So you are indeed right Chief, the relevant time scale for availability of cheap hydrocarbons (gas, liquids and GTL) is centuries.
    And we don’t even mention the non conventional hydrocarbons (Canada and Venezuela) which are more expensive to exploit but still largely competitive with alternative “renewables”.
    Like the Saudi Oil Minister Yamani rightly said already décades ago : “The age of oil will not finish because of lack of oïl.”

    All bets are open but as economically viable alternatives I would bet on nuclear fission in the middle term and fusion in the long term.

    • Tomas has made the point for being concerned over fossil fuel reserves.

      First, notice that he talked about natural gas. To get a barrel of oil equivalent of natural gas, it takes 170 m^3. Shtokman field has estimated 3.8 trillion cubic so that is only 0.022 trillion barrels of oil equivalent. The estimated recovery of conventional crude oil is 2.2 trillion barrels and mankind has burnt over half that.

      Second, these super giant fields are rare but they do produce a large proportion of the production output. The super giants occur in select geological areas that separate the haves from the have-nots. The haves will always use their resources on their own people before it goes elsewhere, especially as it becomes more scarce. That is human nature.

      Third, the more remote and low-grade the sources of energy are, the lower the energy efficiency will be. Converting natural gas to liquids via chemical means or by compression and then transporting will reduce the potential energy available. I doubt pipelines will ever be built in such remote regions.

      Thanks Tomas for illustrating why this is a pressing issue — the continued depletion of inexpensive fossil fuel resources.

      • And why do you leave out sea-floor methane hydrate?

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Second, these super giant fields are rare but they do produce a large proportion of the production output.

        My point was exactly the opposite. These “super giants”, Stokman and Bovenenkovo contribute with 0.
        Stokman is not (yet) being developped and only a very small part of Yamal (of which Bovenenkovo is again a small part) is contributing.
        And even farther, Barents Sea and Yamal are only a part of not yet produced Russian northern reserves.

        The russian energy strategy law (december 2009) suggests that the Russians will NOT produce their HUGE northern reserves as long as there is enough shale gaz in US to keep Henry Hub down around 3-4 $/Mbtu.
        Not even mentionning the big LNG bubble wich will take years (decades ?) to be consumed.
        So no, there is nothing urgent as far as hydrocarbon reserves are concerned.
        If one wants to focus on liquids only then the shortage could appear in engineering capacity because a large GTL plant needs around 5-7 years to be designed and constructed.
        But for at least a century there is and will be certainly no shortage of cheap hydrocarbon feed for GTL plants.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi Tomas – good to hear from you again. I was being a bit coy. Here is the latest EIA report on global resources.

        http://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/

        Significant reserves even given significant exclusions. And this doesn’t include coal and coal to liquids projects around the world. Limitations won’t occur because the operation of the market doesn’t allow for it. Supply limitations of any sort increase costs and result in economic substitution. And energy is ultimately infinitely fungible – we don’t care about the source at all. Liquid fuels are literally available in air and water for instance – and there are companies working on it.

        The climate risk is not going to be mitigated by a shortage of fossil fuels. It will only be mitigated on the energy side of the equation by energy innovations in creating cheaper carbon free energy sources.

    • Your analysis is faulty on several levels. First, there are three methods of estimating what might be found in the future based on the 150 year history of past discoveries. Prof. Deffeyes, Princton geologist, in his first book on peak oil gives an excellent explanation of the most common (Hubbert linearization). All three methods say about 75-80 % of all technically recoverable reserves of all types have already been discovered globally.
      Second, while it is true many decades of technically recoverable reserves remain (including those yet to be found), the peak fuels theory is about maximum annual rates of production, which determine annual supply. It has been sufficiently validated for oil and coal by region/ country that (unlike climate models) the analytic methods can be extended to the world with some confidence, although there is some data uncertainty. It is mainly geophysics and not, as Yergen incorrectly argues, economics. Higher prices don’t change viscosity or permeability. As discussed in past guest posts, those global production peaks occur (depending on fuel) sometime before mid century. Any other analysis is faulty. I guest posted examinations of Maugeri and of the IEA concerning oil as pertinent examples.
      For a quick overview, visit Prof. Rutledge’s Cal Tech site. Or read chapters 5-8 of Gaias Limits.

      • Hubbert Linearization doesn’t work very well as it turns out, and it certainly won’t work well with natural gas.

        See the recent post at http://theoildrum.com by Robert Rapier.

        We spent lots of time coming up with better analysis approaches, and the fruits of that effort are showing in being able to track production from locations such as the North Sea and the Bakken.

      • Can you not change viscosity by pumping in butane?
        I am sure that extraction technologies can improve as prices rise.

      • Curious George

        “Any other analysis is faulty.”. Can you get more overconfident?

  43. It is better to be poor in a rich country than poor in a poor country. The productive would have little problem satisfying everyone’s basic needs — even those of the of socialists who refuse to buy into the free enterprise-capitalist system or provide anything of value that society voluntarily wishes to buy — if socialists lived like obama’s brother in Kenya.

  44. “JC comment: ’overprecision’ is the main criticism that I have had of the IPCC’s particular brand of overconfidence”

    What do we call the Judith brand of overconfidence?

    • Steven Mosher

      I dunno but whatever you decide, you’ll be convinced that you’re right

    • WebHubTelescope (@whut) | August 27, 2013 at 10:45 am said: ”Are deniers like the apocryphal frog who is not smart enough to know he is getting boiled, or do the deniers simply not want to know? Or do they think that they can adapt?”

      frogs enjoy warmer climate; they enjoy to warm up – same like you telescope

  45. Consider the urban legend of the slowly boiled frog. It can not sense gradual changes so can not tell that it is being boiled alive. This is known to be untrue at heating rates of 2F/minute according to Snopes.

    The global warming signal is of a much more gradual change. Is it important that we understand this change, no matter how gradual it turns out?

    Are deniers like the apocryphal frog who is not smart enough to know he is getting boiled, or do the deniers simply not want to know? Or do they think that they can adapt?

    OTOH, the consensus is that the earth is getting warmer and we’re starting to get uncomfortable about that situation.

    That is the extent of my curiosity. The “rightness” will be proven over time.

    • You are the one who pointed out that the frog warming water is a Urban Legend. Yet you then apply the myth to the “deniers”.

      Urban Heat Islands are no myth. They raise the temperature of the center of cities several degrees compared to the rural outskirts. That is real warming that a high school science project can measure. Surprise! Hundreds of millions of people adapted to the 4C urban warming without a global panic. A lot of urbanites didn’t even realise what was happening.

      Adapting to a 2C global warming over a 100 years will be managable.
      Adapting to a 2C global cooling is a worry, particularly for farming and the food supply.

      • The global warming signal is additive so whatever UHI effects there are now, consider adding the AGW at 3C per doubling of CO2.

        And the cooling you are talking about compensates the AGW signal, which further obscures it in noise.

        Good thing we can attract climate scientists to figure this stuff out. While everyone else may be blissfully unaware of what is happening.

  46. When we have measured data we know what is happening.
    That is not true at all.
    If you take measurements and then lock them in a box, you have nothing but your preconceptions.

    You must check the measurements against predictions from theory. If the differences between measurement and theory are zero, then you probably do know what is happening within the bounds of calibration.

    When we have measured data we know what is happening.
    When we have measured data we know what is happening.
    That is not true at all.
    If you take measurements and then lock them in a box unanalyzed, you have nothing but your preconceptions.

    You must check the measurements against predictions from theory. If the differences between measurement and theory are zero, then you probably do know what is happening within the bounds of calibration.

    But the study of differences between prediction and measurement is the heart of science. Tycho Brahe had excellent measurements of the planets movements in the sky. Yet he was befuddled by the differences between measurement and prediction. It took a different theory, Kepler’s Laws of orbital ellipses, before the measurements made sense. Michelson and Morley were some of the best experimental physicists, yet they took exacting measurements of something it turned out didn’t exist. The difference from measurement to prediction brought about a revolution in Physics.

    As for Climate Science, the difference between prediction (or projection used for policy recommendation, but I digress..) and measurement is large, illuminating and worth study.
    Models v. Observations: AR5 RCP4.5
    25 June, 2013 (08:59) | Data Comparisons Written by: lucia
    Yet, Climate scientists still have the temerity to assume that each of the models have equal probability. Egalitarianism has no place in honest science.
    Question: By what Science do the warmer models still live?
    Answer: Political Science.

  47. Steven Mosher

    I believe I’m less wrong

  48. ♫ How can you argue when you know I’m right ♫

    Andrew

  49. Pingback: Everything You Think You Know Just Ain’t So Part III | al fin next level

  50. “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” ~Rollo May

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    willard (@nevaudit) says “economists should have hair, lots of hair.”

    Long, flowing hair!

    \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}

  52. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry asserts (wrongly?) “The best cure for overprecision is continual challenges of ‘How could I be wrong?’ Anyone who presents such a challenge is quickly labeled as a denier.”

    It is easy to find counterexamples to the broad claim “Anyone who presents challenges is quickly labeled as a denier.”

    One (much-cited!) recent example is Hansen et al Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications, which explicitly challenges the accuracy of satellite radiometric thermometry and the accuracy of aerosol feedback models.

    Here Hansen and colleagues explicitly challenge key elements IPCC orthodoxy, yet no-one calls them “deniers.” Why is this?

    Perhaps it is because Hansen and colleagues are scrupulously respectful in rhetoric, scrupulously comprehensive in citation, and scrupulously synoptic in analysis?

    These virtues are commended to all scientific researchers!

    \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}

    • “…scrupulously respectful in rhetoric, scrupulously comprehensive in citation, and scrupulously synoptic in analysis….”

      FOMD, do you ever give any thought to what you write here? No one could accuse you of scrupulous or respectful rhetoric, citation, or analysis.

      No, alas, the “Fan of Malicious Discourse” is one of the chronically malignant spammers in web-world.

      When you are ready to “practice what you preach” then people might begin to take you more seriously.

    • The asymetry goes like this.

      if you criticize the IPCC for being too conservative, then you dont get called denier.. See critics of arctic ice loss models
      if you criticize the IPCC for being too alarmist, then you do get called denier.
      see what happens if you suggest low sensitivities

      It’s this asymmetry that bears investigation and thoughtful reflection

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher points to “asymmetry that bears investigation and thoughtful reflection”

      Perhaps the asymmetry is objectively justified, Steven Mosher:

      ▶  The strongest available science asserts that “the IPCC’s mediocre science is too conservative

      ▶  The flimsiest available science asserts that “the IPCC’s mediocre science is too alarmist

      You’re right, it’s asymmetric, Steven Mosher … for the simple reason, that young climate scientists overwhelmingly (and rationally!) prefer Hansen-style/strong-style climate-change science … without regard for the various political and/or ideological inconveniences that are attendant to its implications.

      \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

        Objectively both the underestimation of ice loss and overestimation of warming point to important shortcomings. But I can tell you that i get called denier if i mention one of them while i dont get called a denier if i speak about the other.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher, please let me say that I (and many folks) respect your scientific efforts greatly (along with the efforts of all your Berkeley Earth Team colleagues). As always in science, you have earned what James Hansen also has earned: a pretty fair measure of undeserved criticism.

        James Hansen’s response is commended to all:

        ▶  Redouble your efforts.

        ▶  Address fair criticisms.

        ▶  Ignore unfair criticisms.

        ▶  Take care that your publications are scrupulously respectful in rhetoric, scrupulously comprehensive in citation, and scrupulously synoptic in analysis.

        ▶  Embrace collaboration with as many of strongest, youngest, brightest colleagues that you can find to work with. They are your real legacy.

        ▶  Sustain that effort throughout your life.

        The rewards come late (if at all)

        “There is a great Man living in this Country – a composer. He has solved the problem how to preserve one’s self-esteem and to learn. He responds to negligence by contempt. He is not forced to accept praise or blame. His name is Ives.”

        — Arnold Schoenberg’s tribute to (composer) Charles Ives

        Best wishes and sincere respect are extended to you (and your BEST colleagues too), Steven Mosher!

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      • Hansen’s rewards didn’t come so late.

        “NASA records released to resolve litigation filed by the American Tradition Institute reveal that Dr. James E. Hansen, an astronomer, received approximately $1.6 million in outside, direct cash income in the past five years for work related to — and, according to his benefactors, often expressly for — his public service as a global warming activist within NASA.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … jealous, GaryM?

        • Blue Planet Prize ($500,000), Tokyo, Japan, 2010
        • Dan David Prize ($500,000), Paris, France 2007
        • Sophie Prize ($100,000), Oslo Norway, 2010

        Oddly enough, the composer Charles Ives (who worked as an insurance executive specializing in tax shelters) made far more money than James Hansen ever will!

        To put it in terms that libertarians understand, all the scientific prizes that James Hansen has ever received, are equal in dollar value to three seconds of global oil exports.

        Conclusion  Climate-change denialists are under-paid! Strike! Strike!

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  53. I do a little humor writing to go along with the poker.. Just thought I’d share, given the subject…

    News Item
    AP-Hold’em Poker Found to be Contributing to Climate Change

    Climate scientists have announced the publication of a paper in the science journal “Nature” which, the authors say, will prove that hold’em poker is contributing to higher temperatures, rising seas, and more extreme storms.

    We were as surprised as anyone, says lead author Frederick Marmoosh, Chair of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Harvard University. But you can take it to the bank-it’s now absolutely certain that hold’em poker has been responsible for at least 30 percent of the increase in Co2 we’ve seen over the last few decades.

    When asked the precise mechanism, Marmoosh admits to some uncertainty. We postulate that every time a poker player loses a hand his rate of respiration increases, thereby releasing substantial amounts of Co2 into the atmosphere.

    Says Dr. Marmoosh, the effect is small for each player. But when you multiply it by the tens of thousands it becomes significant. The sighing and the panting and the screaming by losing poker players are causing incalculable damage to our climate.

    Asked if he played poker himself, Dr. Marmoosh conceded that he does. “But I’m winning player, and I rarely get angry. If I find myself getting upset I take a break. We all have to learn to become better stewards of our planet. If that means playing a little less poker, or doing a little less breathing, it’s not too high a price to pay.”

    H/T Part Time Poker

    • OK, who wants to bet that some genius has already applied for a grant to study the effect of sex on CO2 emissions? Maybe Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner or Elliot Spitzer.

      And stairs! Shouldn’t stairs be regulated by the EPA?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I don’t know, but I’m sure the fact he constantly misrepresents the amount of data unreleased doesn’t help. From a .pdf linked to in that post:

      Some data are available online: year of publication, title, journal, authors, classification, and rating (if reconciled rating. More information – specifically, 1st and 2nd rating, 3rd and 4th rating (if applicable), rater ID (1-4), time of rating (1-4), author rating, survey protocol, and lab notes – was requested in vain, in contrast to best practice.

      Of the data listed here, all the categories have been released save time of rating and rater ID, and we don’t even know the former exists. On top of that, we have the category ratings for abstracts. According to Tol, we’re missing maybe 50,000 data points, yet on his own site, we can find over 100,000 data points. There’s no way that can add up to 43%. And that’s ignoring all the data about “year of publication, title, journal [and] authors.”

      As an additional problem, Tol has repeatedly failed to say or do anything about the fact the authors have chosen not to include data for over 500 abstracts they rated. Namely, their data releases don’t include information for the abstracts they filtered out of their results for things like “not climate related” and “not peer-reviewed.”

  54. Schrodinger's Cat

    This thread makes me think of a blog entitled “The Life Propagandic” over at Bishop Hill today. The lady being discussed objects to people who question the IPCC being called sceptics. She says they should be called deniers.

    I was being polite when I referred to her as a lady.

  55. “I may have my faults, but being wrong isn’t one of them.”

    Red Skelton: “I knew I married Mrs Right, but didn’t know her first name is “Always.”

  56. As a denizen, I reported that:

    I spent the first half of my career in various system engineering assignments on a number of different programs and became the chief engineer for the company in 1978. I also served as the president of the company for more than a decade. During the first half of my career I was primarily involved in engineering and science-related matters. During the last half I became increasingly involved in policy- and political-related matters.

    I didn’t mention that in my assignment as president, it was a large division of a well-known conglomerate-type public corporation.

    In that role, I and all of the other presidents, had to to submit and defend annually our business plan with a 5yr-planning horizon. The performance of each division in meeting or exceeding the first year of plan’s objectives determined success or failure, i,e,. the bonus pool that I and my selected key manager/executives would share. The performance of the division in achieving the three-year objectives of the plan determined only my bonus as the division president.

    I’m sure that you wouldn’t be surprised by the fact that many of the year-over-year comparison of divisional 5yr business plans displayed a ‘hockey stick.;

  57. The main take-homes for me from the Mannes & Moore plus Briggs posts and Judith’s comments, as they pertain to IPCC and its forthcoming AR5 report:

    Overprecision refers to “our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in”. To be overprecise is to underestimate the degree to which one’s judgement may err. Subjective beliefs about accuracy are too sharp relative to true accuracy. We believe we are close or spot on far more often than we actually are.

    JC comments: ’overprecision’ is the main criticism that I have had of the IPCC’s particular brand of overconfidence; overprecision also leads us to consider the white area of the Italian Flag.

    [and]

    Asking “How could I be wrong?” sums up perfectly the remedy for overconfidence

    Mannes & Moore raise a second point relating to the reaction to new evidence. They make the point that meteorologists receive regular feedback on the quality of their forecasts and (more importantly) that they react to this feedback and recalibrate subsequent forecasts accordingly.

    First, accurate and timely feedback improves calibration. Despite reputations to the contrary, meteorologists are quite well calibrated, no doubt in part because they receive regular information about the quality of their forecasts.

    JC comment: [As opposed to meteorologists, climate modelers] only receive useful feedback on decadal time scales, but even with this feedback, they don’t seem to see the need for recalibration.

    A good example of this is the IPCC reaction to the several new observation-based studies, which suggest that 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is well below earlier model-based estimates cited in AR4 (mean of around 1.8ºC rather than 3.2ºC).

    Will this “feedback” be considered in the new IPCC AR5 report by recalibrating forecasts of future warming – or will it be rationalized away or simply ignored?

    Then there is the problem of the forced consensus and the question of “expert judgment”:

    The IPCC pretty much guarantees overprecision by its consensus judgment approach that considers evidence for and against, without explicitly considering the space for which you have no evidence, i.e. the known and unknown unknowns.

    I agree that the the best cure for overprecision is continual challenges of “How could I be wrong?” Anyone who presents such a challenge is quickly labeled as a denier. The IPCC needs to figure out some what [how?] to cure its overprecision disease.

    Summary

    Avoid overconfidence in your predictions / projections by:

    - Asking “how could I be wrong?”
    - Reacting to feedback providing new conflicting evidence by recalibrating projections.

    Actually pretty simple stuff.

    But will IPCC adopt this new approach or will it continue to convey its message of overconfidence in order to sell its “CAGW” premise?

    We shall see when AR5 is published.

    Max

  58. So in the end, reason is of little use and for Westerners to defeat the Western insanity of AGW, it simply comes down to, how long can AGW-climatists be wrong before their followers fold up the tents and schlep back to reality.

  59. What information would be required for someone to change their opinion on the topic of global warming regardless of what position they believe is correct today? At this site I suggest that most of the posters are skeptical of CO2 being a major policy concern that requires the government to implement mitigation actions to prevent. What would change your opinion?
    For me, I would be much more concerned if sea level were rising at several times the current rate and if there were much more reliable models that could provide forecasts of future weather conditions that were negative for humanity. Is there anything that would change your view?

    • It would be a more interesting question to consider if since the 70s the ice on Antarctica hadn’t been thickening or scientists outside the Western AGW establishment didn’t compare climatology to the ancient science of astrology.

    • Rob Starkey,

      Excellent question. Here are some scattered thoughts:

      1. I would change my view if I felt I could trust ‘the science’ and climate scientists. To achieve that they need to express their conclusions in a very cautious, conservative way as engineers normally do. They need to have the key diagnostic evidence properly documented and accessible so it is available to be tested in adversarial proceedings such as court cases. Scientists need to be held accountable like engineers are. Scientists and key advocacy figures, like Al Gore, need to go to jail for negligence that causes damages. I would expect James Hansen and Michael Mann would be in jail now if that was the case. Most of the leading climate scientists would be in jail by now for negligence.

      2. I would change my view if a Royal Commission thoroughly investigated the case for CAGW and found it was a significant risk that we needed to address now. But I need to be convinced the Royal Commission had done the job properly, impartially and competently. I’d want to be able to see and understand the key diagnostic arguments and evidence.

      3. For me, the main concern is what policies are appropriate. As long as the climate scientists are advocating and agitating for policies based on their ideological beliefs, I will continue to believe they are not really serious about CAGW – they are just using it as a means to push their ideological agenda. So scientists need to get right out of advocating policies. They haven’t a clue about policy analysis, development or implementation. It’s not their area of expertise. But they don’t seem to understand that they don’t know what they don’t know.

      4. I am strongly against wasting money on policies that have a low probability of achieving the benefits their advocates – prime examples are carbon pricing and renewable energy.

      5. If I became convinced that we are near a ‘tipping point’, and that CO2 concentration is a driver, and the damages of crossing it have a high probability of being serious, and I could see cumulative probability curves of damages versus time with confidence limits, and I had confidence in those curves and confidence limits, I’d be more confident we could make some rational decisions about risk mitigation.

      That’s a few thoughts off the top of my head.

      • The last sentence of point 1 should read:

        Most of Australia’s leading climate scientists would be in jail by now for negligence.

    • Surely, the loss of nearly all the summer Arctic sea-ice by 2020 would be a more dramatic signal than sea-level rising a bit faster. I think “skepticism” should melt away at about that rate, apart from a few dead-enders.

      • Jim D | August 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm said: ”Surely, the loss of nearly all the summer Arctic sea-ice by 2020 would be a more dramatic signal than sea-level rising a bit faster”

        Arctic is better of without ice, ice is an obstruction. You are in overdrive trying to scare people with something good.

      • Jim D

        Surely, the loss of nearly all the summer Arctic sea-ice by 2020 would be a more dramatic signal than sea-level rising a bit faster.

        Yeah. But at the current rate, it won’t decrease to the 1 million square kilometer “zero” level until 2090 (not 2020).

        And if the current up-tick is the beginning of a longer-term recovery as we had in the decades preceding satellite measurements (Polyakov et al.) we might never reach the 1 million sk minimum.

        But neither you nor I know what’s going to happen, do we?

        Max

      • Jim D.-
        1. I do not know what negative consequence loss of summer ice has on humanity overall, or on the US in particular. What do you feel that is such a bad thing?

        2. You didn’t answer what would make you less concerned about the issue. What needs to happen or not happen, to significantly lower your concern?

        Thanks

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Arctic ice not staging a multi-decadal recovery?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/arcticice-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=125

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/chylek09.gif.html?sort=3&o=124

      Getting closer to Arctic ice min. The extent has just dipped below my 5.7 million square km guess. It might do another 0.3 million square km. Roughly -5% of my guess? Not bad.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        What dung heap do you pull your graphs from Chief? Arctic sea ice going to zero some summer in the next few decades.

      • R. Gates

        What dung heap do you pull your graphs from Chief projections from, Gates?

        “Next few decades”?

        The observed linear trend since 1979 for end-September Arctic sea ice extent (million square km) is:

        y = -0.0902x + 8.0198

        “Zero extent” is defined as 1 million square km

        1 = -0.0902x + 8.0198

        0.0902x = 7.0198

        x = 78 years

        Therefore, at the observed rate of decrease we should reach 1 million square km Arctic sea ice end-summer 2090.

        You can call that “next few decades”, but I’d say a better description would be “before the end of this century” (if the past rate of decrease continues).

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The peer reviewed science dung heap as usual gatesy.

        Polyakov, I.V., Alekseev, G.V., Bekryaev, R.V., Bhatt , U.S. , Colony, R., Johnson, M.A., Karklin, V.P., Walsh, D. and Yulin, A.V. 2003. Long-Term Ice Variability in Arctic Marginal Seas . Journal of Climate 16, 2078-2085.

        9 young and virile authors – as FOMBS might say – in a major journal. You guys are getting crazier and crazier.

        You should try adding something of fundamental significance and not things on inconsequential second and third order effects while prattling on self importantly about how important it all is.

      • R. Gates

        If the Chief is right and end-September Arctic sea ice extent ends up at 5.4 msk this year, the trend line changes slightly to:

        y= -0.0876x + 7.9892

        and we will only reach 1 msk by year 2093.

        Of course, if this is the beginning of a real long-term recovery, it would never reach 1 msk, but simply increase again as it did over the decades before satellite measurements started (Polyakov et al.).

        Who knows?

        I sure as hell don’t “know I’m right”.

        Do you?

        Max

  60. What happens when “I know I’m right” runs into the brick wall of reality of being completely, undeniably wrong?

    Say another 15 years goes by and reported temps continue to stagnate, or even fall. Will the warmists admit they were wrong?

    Are you kidding me?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/356909/re-former-hillary-press-secretary-refuses-agree-alger-hiss-was-communist-ian-tuttle

    “Karen Finney’s refusal to acknowledge that Alger Hiss was a Communist spy — let alone a Soviet agent with a direct hand in crafting American policy during World War II and the crucial early Cold War years — should, alas, come as no surprise. The Cold War years are full of unpleasant memories for the Left, whose intellectuals, ignoring the horrors of the Russian Revolution, Stalin’s massacres, and much more, touted Communism as the wave of the future, and whose policies caved to Communism’s aggressive expansion across the globe.

    More than half a century on, when they’ve been shown to be on “the wrong side of history,” to use a favorite liberal notion, Joe McCarthy is one of the few pleasant memories of the period for the Left: an alcoholic Republican senator who launched a shameless inquisition to expose a conspiracy theory — hundreds of Communist operatives secretly working against the United States.

    Of course, there is the unpleasant fact that McCarthy was, by and large, right. That makes Hiss a particular problem: Acknowledge he’s a spy and you might have to admit that McCarthy — and, even worse, then-congressman Richard Nixon — were onto something.”

    The whole article is worth reading. Except for all of you who recently tested positive for progressivism on the last thread.

    • By your definition, that’s everybody. Including you.

      • Nope, I am one of the few who tested negative. Of course, the test did say I was clergy material, which would have given anybody who actually knows me a huge laugh.

  61. I seldom have any interest in personalities, but this thread seems to be custom made for identifying the denizens who, no matter what, are always “right.” Is there a consensus on who, say, the top 5 are?

  62. @ R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist | August 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

    Interestingly, the deepest parts of the ocean are warming and become less saline:
    ******************
    Here is the full paper. The signal is so weak, SM or Lucia probably need to take a look at the stats.

    http://students.washington.edu/purkeysg/AABW_freshening_v2.pdf

    • Chief Hydrologist

      All sorts of short term (< 100 years) signals might be there – the difficulty as usual involves distinguishing natural from natural variability.

      Gatesy's discussion of ocean and atmosphere energy transport is nonsense as usual. Unless there is some understanding of toa radiant flux nothing can be taken seriously.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro,

        Please explain exactly where my explanation of ocean to atmosphere energy transport is wrong. It is simple thermodynamics any third grader should be able to grasp. But your purposeful obfuscation of this basic physical principal I think only makes you look even more like an idiot.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        The big changes happen at toa and you have shown repeatedly an inability to understand this. Warming and cooling of the atmosphere vary losses to space substantially. Cloud changes vary inputs and losses substantially. Discussing merely the ocean and atmosphere coupling in isolation is utter nonsense.

        You have crossed a line into foolish blathering and unwarranted insults. Behaving more and more irrationally as the anomalies surrounding your foolish belief system mount.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “The big changes happen at toa…”

        —-
        Once more, incorrect. There is a big difference between measuring changes in Earth’s energy budget and where those changes actually happen. The ocean-atmosphere interface is absolutely key to Earth’s weather and climate. Slow (or speed up) the flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere just a little, and that change ripples through the entire system to the very top of the atmosphere, including feedbacks via clouds having effects right back to that ocean-atmosphere interface.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘…but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

        Which bit of atmospheric and ocean dynamics don’t you understand gatesy?

    • The detection of weak oceanographic signals requires mastery of pertinent physical processes, instrument response characteristics, and signal anlysis methods. Neither SM nor Lucia have any such oceanographic qualifications. The idea that “stats” can adjudicate all climate-related questions is naive bloggism at its extreme.

      • However, I’m happy to hear someone can master ocean processes – maybe they can level out the sea level rise.

    • @John S. | August 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      Right. That’s probably what Michael Mann thought.

  63. Haha, I don’t know but I’m right.
    ===============

  64. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) commented on I know I’m right said: ”’In the USA, we call your type rednecks. Stef and the Chef, hicks from the sticks, meet the redneck from the Key”

    People like the Telescope are simply called ”REDS” foe ultra socialist; or red-back spiders ,

  65. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) commented on I know I’m right said:

    ”Stef and the Chef are the typical Aussie larrikins, only interested in mocking authority”

    ”mocking the authority, mocking the authority” Mr. Telescope, do you consider yourself as some kind of authority? you are ”authority” on WHAT?

    • Stef, I am just a whipping boy executing a rope-a-dope. You and your good buddy the Chef will eventually tire from your wild punches.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | August 28, 2013 at 12:48 am said: ” You and your good buddy the Chef will eventually tire from your wild punches”

      Poor Telescope, needs to be sorry for him.. forget the panda and the whales, save / protect the telescope

  66. Regarding “I am right” what better example than the John Cook study that claims 97% of climate scientists believe in CAGW. Richard Tol has been asking for the data. John Cook wont release it. But Tol has found a lot of problems anyway. He finds the ‘anonymous raters’ were John Cook himself and 11 of his mates. What a joke. What fun when this paper has to be withdrawn and President Obama has to retract his statement as baseless.

    John Cook and the University of Queensland are defending them selves and the research, so they must be sure they are correct. :)

    Richard Tol has been responding to comments here:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/08/richard-tol-half-cooks-data-still-hidden-rest-shows-result-is-incorrect-invalid-unrepresentative/#comment-1311462

    • I see JimJam has already posted a link to this story. Sorry, I missed it.

      • Well Peter,
        John Cook’s survey of himself and eleven mates :( Well I
        suppose it’s better than one lone tree.
        Beth the serf

      • Beth

        Ah ain’t reel shur bout lotsa thangs, but Ah no Ah’m raht when Ah say yore rahter’n mos folks roun here.

        Yore feller serf Max

    • I don’t “know I’m right” that “Richard Tol is right”, but I’ve got a pretty good notion that “I’m right” that “John Cook is wrong”.

      Make sense?

      • Manacker,

        It’s pretty good to have a top climate scientist, with the reputation and integrity or Richard Tol, tackling what many have said is a seriously flawed study.

        It’s good for many reasons. One is that it demonstrates good, honest and highly competent scientists, instead of circling wagons, are actually trying to pull incompetent, ideologically motivated academics into line so they stop damaging science and scientists.

        Would this have happened if not for sceptics blogging and leaders with integrity like Judith Curry?

      • Peter Lang

        Agree.

        Max

      • Actually, Richard Tol is an economist, not a scientist. He got involved with climate stuff because, among other things, he was critical of the Stern report. But he certainly has a solid reputation in his field as well as being prepared to call it as he sees it.

      • Hi Johanna,

        Yes. My bad, he is an economist.

        But one minor correction since we are correcting each other. :) He was involved long before Stern. Tol started in about 1994. He was left to defend on his own against, for example, the Indian delegation at one of the early IPCC meetings (second I think) the basis of climate damage costs using statistical value of a life. He stood his ground very strongly and won the argument (which took place over a prolonged period). This occurred when he was still a PhD student. he’s strong, courageous, and has the highest integrity, IMO.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        When did Richard Tol get a reputation and become known for his integrity? This is the same Richard Tol who accused Judith Curry of spreading disinformation because she made a post about papers he didn’t like. When challenged, he fabricated issues by simply making things up about a simple steps in a statistical procedure.

        He never addressed the fact he accused our host of spreading lies (other than to deny it, ignoring the meaning of the word disinformation), and he never provided any sort of answer to the accusations that he was simply making things up in his criticisms of the papers.

        Even now, he’s exaggerating the amount of data that hasn’t been released. This is after he made a series of ludicrous claims about the Cook et al paper, claims he haughtily defended as obvious without addressing any of the criticisms leveled against him. I’ll provide a couple interesting excerpts. After becoming exasperated with Tol’s behavior, there was this exchange between me and Kenneth Fritsch:

        “Why does anyone still think Richard Tol’s claims deserve consideration?”

        Because Richard is a climate science rock star and you are not?

        That’s the same sort of rationale I keep seeing use with Richard Tol. The fact he’s a “rock star” seems to outweigh the fact he criticizes papers by saying things that have no basis in reality (which Fritsch later said was true of Tol’s criticisms of Cook et al.). I don’t get it. I especially don’t get how people can not bust up laughing when Tol says things like:

        In the data provided, raters are not identified and time of rating is missing. I therefore cannot check for inconsistencies that may indicate fatigue. I nonetheless do so.

        He flat-out says something is impossible to do, but he’ll do it anyway. And nobody seems to think that’s odd. Just like nobody seemed to think it was odd Richard Tol claimed to find problems in a data set he claimed was ordered “independent of the contents of the abstract” despite explicitly saying the data had been sorted by year published (then alphabetical order).

        Cook et al claimed the consensus grew stronger over time. The data was sorted primarily by time. If Cook et al were right, we’d expect there to be a trend in the data. Richard Tol found such a trend. He then said it was proof there were problems in the data. He said the very non-randomness discussed by the authors proved the authors did something wrong!

        It’s absurd. If anything, Richard Tol is a perfect example of what this blog post is about. He knew there were problems with Cook et al’s data, and he went out and found them even if it meant ignoring all reason and evidence.

        People really ought to stop acting like Tol’s word is gospel. You don’t have to believe anything I say about him. Check for yourself. Look a little. Think a little. Just don’t blindly accept his claims without even examining them. Otherwise, you’re just saying:

        I know I’m right.

      • Nobody’s perfect.
        =============

      • I have the doctoral thesis of Tol in my bookshelf (I don’t remember, how I got it, perhaps on a visit at IIASA, or by mail).

        He defended his thesis “A decision-analytic treatise of the enhanced greenhouse effect” on January 7, 1997 at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

      • Pekka,

        What is the point you are making? Are you disagreeing with something I said? if so what?

        The two points I made that might be relevant are:

        1. he started publishing on damage costs of climate change in about 1994, i.e. long before Stern Report
        http://www.sussex.ac.uk/economics/people/peoplelists/person/289812

        2. He defended the damage costs methodology used in the IPCC (I think it was the second report) while he was still doing his PhD and was pretty much left to do it by the more senior IPCC researchers. I don’t have the reference to hand, could look it up, but so could you.

      • I defend and forgive Richard Tol, for he once thought the science was settled.
        ===========

      • Peter,

        I was only stating some facts. They may be irrelevant, or not.

        The comment was not directed to or against anyone specifically, but I thought is has some connection to the sub-thread as it tells on the duration of Tol’s interest in climate related issues.

      • Thx Max-me-fellow-serf, but as i told yer before, i’m but
        a minnow, and a serf minnow at that )
        kim-non-pareil, re ‘Nobody’s perfect’ yer fergot ter cite,
        ‘Some Like it Hot!’ )
        But-a-serf

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Peter Lang, I’ve written more than people probably want to see just upthread, but I want to point out something. You say:

      He finds the ‘anonymous raters’ were John Cook himself and 11 of his mates

      Nobody on the Skeptical Science team ever claimed the raters were anonymous. Richard Tol didn’t discover their identities (save perhaps one) as their identities were not a secret. ~90% of the raters were listed in the paper, and the paper says Skeptical Science contributors were the ones doing the ratings. When Tol says:

      I’m not sure why the paper claims the raters were “anonymized”.

      Realize, the problem is he didn’t put much effort into figuring it out. The raters were “anonymized” in that the identity of the raters were hidden during the process. That is, people wouldn’t know who had done what ratings.

      • Brandon,

        You’re nit picking, which I’ve noticed you do frequently. Instead of making comments about Tol, it would be better to address your questions directly to him and do so in a respectful way.

        Regarding integrity, from what I’ve read and followed of his comments on many web sites, his video presentations I’ve watched, his defence of the methodology for damage estimates he was left to do for the IPCC when he was just a PhD student and the lead authors and coordinating authors left him to it, I judge him as of the highest integrity as I do of Judith, Tamsin Edwards and some others. But I do not include you amongst those, sorry. So, at this stage, I accept Richard Tol’s interpretation over yours. If you addressed your questions to him in a respectful manner and debated him over your concerns, I may be interested in the debate, but as it seems you are just posting a whinge here and elsewhere, I don’t have a very high opinion of your approach. It doesn’t suggest to me you have a high level of integrity.

        And I am fully expecting your usual obnoxious reply. If I don’t reply, you’ll understand why.

      • Nobody’s perfect.
        ============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang, it’s cheeky to accuse me of nit-picking while only responding to a comment I made to address a minor point. It’s easy to accuse someone of nit-picking when you simply ignore their lengthy, detailed comments.

        But I do not include you amongst those, sorry. So, at this stage, I accept Richard Tol’s interpretation over yours. If you addressed your questions to him in a respectful manner and debated him over your concerns, I may be interested in the debate, but as it seems you are just posting a whinge here and elsewhere, I don’t have a very high opinion of your approach. It doesn’t suggest to me you have a high level of integrity.

        I did exactly what you claim I should have done but didn’t. You conveniently overlook this fact, along with the fact Richard Tol’s responses fit your negative characterization far better than my comments. You’ve managed to basically invert everything in your comment.

        If all you have to contribute are negative comments about my character, you should stop responding. It’s a waste of everybody’s time.

      • Kim you write “Nobody’s perfect”

        This reminds me of Mac Davis

        “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble,
        When you’re perfect in every way,

        Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble,
        But I’m doin’ the best that I can.”

      • Brandon,

        Your hypocrisy is astounding, given your frequent long arguments with others.

        You should take your own advice about not responding and wasting people time. And you’ve been told that before by others.

        No need to respond. See if you can help yourself.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang:

        Your hypocrisy is astounding, given your frequent long arguments with others.

        You should take your own advice about not responding and wasting people time. And you’ve been told that before by others.

        Say what? I said you shouldn’t waste people time by posting nothing but negative comments about me an individual. There is nothing hypocritical about saying that while also have “frequent long arguments with others.” The nature of arguments implies I’m discussing various points, not just trying to insult people. That means I’d be doing the exact opposite of what I said you’re doing.

        No need to respond. See if you can help yourself.

        I could have not responded, but I find it worthwhile to respond to accusations of hypocrisy based upon what appears to be delusions. I chose to respond to your ridiculousness because it deserves to be highlighted:

        I provided numerous, specific criticisms of Richard Tol and his claims about Cook et al. The only response I got was this.

      • Brandon,

        You continue to demonstrate your hypocricy:

        I said you shouldn’t waste people time by posting nothing but negative comments about me an individual.

        How hypocritical given your initial comment was a long critiques of Tol’s integrity and of those who consider he has high integrity – e.g. me. Brandon you’re a hypocrite and a joke.

        The nature of arguments implies I’m discussing various points, not just trying to insult people.

        Not true. Your, nauseously long arguments with others on previous threads are loaded with insults. And you were asked to desist but you just kept going. You can’t help yourself.

        I could have not responded, but I find it worthwhile to respond to accusations of hypocrisy based upon what appears to be delusions. I chose to respond to your ridiculousness because it deserves to be highlighted:

        So you, the great self-appointed expert, “find it worthwhile to respond” and to advise that you think what I said “appears to be delusions”. Are you a self appointed psychiatrist? Do you aspire to follow in Lewandowski’s footsteps? Have you psycho analysed yourself?

        Yes, you could have not responded. But as usual you couldn’t help yourself, could you? That’s your nature. You love to pick fights with people on the internet, don’t you? You like to bait with aggressive, attacking, inflammatory comments.

        You should take your own advice about not responding and wasting people time – as you’ve been told before by others, including the host (I seem to recall).

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang:

        How hypocritical given your initial comment was a long critiques of Tol’s integrity and of those who consider he has high integrity – e.g. me. Brandon you’re a hypocrite and a joke.

        You raised the issue of Richard Tol’s integrity and reputation. I responded, on-topic, by raising questions them. That was perfectly topical. Moreover, I also discussed problems with claims he made about Cook et al, thus remaining topical to the overall topic. That is a far cry from merely posting to try to insult another poster.

        Not true. Your, nauseously long arguments with others on previous threads are loaded with insults. And you were asked to desist but you just kept going.

        Even if this were true, and I don’t believe for a moment it was, there is nothing about arguments being “loaded with insults” that prevents them from also discussing various points. As such, your supposed counterpoint doesn’t contradict anything I said. It is, in fact, nothing but another attempt to smear me.

        Yes, you could have not responded. But as usual you couldn’t help yourself, could you? That’s your nature. You love to pick fights with people on the internet, don’t you? You like to bait with aggressive, attacking, inflammatory comments.

        I suggest you either work on your mind-reading skills or accept ESP doesn’t exist because what you’re saying here won’t convince anyone but the most biased of readers.

        You should take your own advice about not responding and wasting people time – as you’ve been told before by others, including the host (I seem to recall).

        I never gave this supposed advice as I only said not to respond in one particular fashion. It is difficult to imagine why you would resort to such an obvious misrepresentation.

        As for Judith Curry, I’m sure she’d rather this exchange stop. I’m also sure that’s not because she thinks I’m the hypocritical, arrogant bastard you paint me as.

      • Brandon,

        I’m really not interested in your trolling. Waste your time elsewhere.

        As I said in my first reply to you, your comment was nit picking and silly. You probably can’t accept that because you believe you are right – which is a good example of what this thread is all about.

        I notice Richard Tol answered other people’s comments but didn’t bother to answer yours. Perhaps you should think about why that might be. I suspect he recognises a troll when he sees one.

        a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang:

        I’m really not interested in your trolling. Waste your time elsewhere.

        I don’t know how we could possibly take this at face value. If you truly weren’t interested in my “trolling,” why would you have put so much effort into responding to it? Why would a disintereseted party show such interest? Why would you make comments like:

        As I said in my first reply to you, your comment was nit picking and silly. You probably can’t accept that because you believe you are right – which is a good example of what this thread is all about.

        More importantly, why would you say such stupid things? I did accept this particular was nit-picking. That’s why I referred to my more substantial comment while making it. If people aren’t interested in nit-picking, they can read my substantial, non-nitpicking comment. Otherwise, they can accept my comment made to discuss a nit was just a comment meant to discuss a particular nit.

        I notice Richard Tol answered other people’s comments but didn’t bother to answer yours. Perhaps you should think about why that might be. I suspect he recognises a troll when he sees one.

        And I suggest it’s because Richard Tol, like Michael Mann and his RealClimate supporters, can’t address actual criticisms. Instead, they rely upon cheap rhetorical tricks to trick people into believing they’re right. They, like you, rely upon derogatory language rather than actual discussion to argue their positions.

        Given Richard Tol has accused our hostess of dishonesty, I’m willing to bet I hold better company. I’m like Judith Curry. I think facts should be discussed openly and honestly, without concern for the characteristics of individuals. Call me crazy, but I think that’s what is right.

  67. Say Jim,

    Not wishin’
    ter be
    the bearer
    of bad news
    but the gods
    tell us
    hubris is
    followed by
    nemesis.

    A serf.

    • Beth, The Gods do all sorts of peculiar things

      “The Gods do not subtract form the alloted span of women’s and men’s lives, the hours that are spent in stitching”.

    • For bts …

      “Now I’d like to think of myself as a knight on a white horse, or a lord or a prince, but sadly if I do not work a full day, I starve. That makes me a peasant; I’m just like the folks in their tights and funny hats 700 years ago, tilling their fields. I must work, therefore I am a worker. All this “middle class” nonsense is just divide and rule.

      If you want to delineate where you sit in the picture just follow the money flow. Money doesn’t rain down on me from the state, I rain money on it. The crop in my field goes to the king. There are no fat gold-plated pensions from the state for me, no stipends or lands will be granted. If you are yoked by the state to work until you drop, what does that make you?”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2013/06/11/financial-repression-making-serfs-of-the-masses/

  68. Consensus rhyme
    1998 I am right it is going to get warmer
    1999 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2000 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2001 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2002 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2003 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2004 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2005 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2006 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2007 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2008 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2009 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2010 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2011 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2012 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
    2013 I am right it is going to get warmeit Oops will not be warmer than 1998

    • Oops, I thought I had that right. try try again

      1998 I am right it is going to get warmer
      1999 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2000 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2001 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2002 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2003 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2004 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2005 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2006 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2007 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2008 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2009 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2010 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2011 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2012 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops it did not get warmer than 1998
      2013 I am right it is going to get warmer Oops will not be warmer than 1998

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … say HAP, when didja say this graph was gonna turn over?

      Good `ol Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera (aka “HotWhopper”) sure has been roasting Watts/WUWT in regard to the pernicious denialist practice of cherry-picking the flimsiest science.

      So much so, that Watts (and his minions) have started to “[SNIP]” references to the Bundangawoolarangeera gal.

      Golly HAP, what does Watts/WUWT (and his employers!) have to fear from a simple back-country Aussie gal who asks legitimate scientific questions?

      \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}

      • “What we’ve got here, is failure to communicate.” – Strother Martin, from “Cool Hand Luke”

        Fan, I’m not crazy about Mr. Pope’s rhetorical style in this case, but at least it was topical. You answered him with a complete non-sequitur. Why did you introduce someone else bloggin about WUWT? What was your point? But now that I think of it, maybe you’re NOT talking about a third person. Maybe you’re the third party you mention.

        Are you the same person who runs the HotWhopper blog? Are you MobyT and Bobuhddatangawomangetswooley?

      • You know Mickey, I was thinking the same thing.

  69. Chief Hydrologist | August 28, 2013 at 1:34 am |

    “The problem with an idiot repeating blog science from someone out of their area is that thus are errors born.”

    Judith is repeating/interpreting behavioral psychology, and I’m pretty sure that is not her area. Are you calling her an idiot?

  70. We can get a sense of the scale of the IPCC’s overprecision in its ‘leaked’ 95% confidence level for attribution of perceived global warming to human causation by resolving its proposition into its basic components. Its claim to have surpassed the 95% confidence level seems surprising enough by itself, but when you consider that this 95% probability must be the arithmetical product of the probabilities of the individual component propositions that make up the whole proposition, the claim beggars belief. Here is how the resolution into components and the numbers would appear to pan out. (I am pitching this explanation at readers who are not sophisticates of mathematical statistics, so I must beg the indulgence of those who are.)

    According to Reuters (at http://www.trust.org/item/20130816133815-ao2wt/?source=hptop) the IPCC’s specific claim is that:
    ‘it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.’

    [Note: I stand to be corrected when the IPCC finally publishes AR5, but for the purposes of argument here I shall assume that their proposition relates to CO2 emissions as the alleged human cause of the perceived warming.]

    To my mind this proposition implicitly contains no less than 4 individual component propositions, which can be stated as follows:

    1. That a specific amount of global warming has occurred since 1960;

    2. That at least half of this specified amount of global warming has been caused by a specific increase in the magnitude of the atmospheric greenhouse effect;

    3. That the perceived increase in the magnitude of the greenhouse effect has been caused by a specific increase in the amount of atmospheric CO2;

    4. That the specified increase in atmospheric CO2 is mainly the result of human CO2 emissions.

    Each component proposition will have its own individual likelihood of being True (given that all the component propositions that precede it are also True). Let us call these component probabilities p(1), p(2), p(3) and p(4) respectively and let us call the overall probability of the whole proposition being True simply P. Then, we can describe the relationship between all these different probabilities with the equation:

    P = p(1) x p(2) x p(3) x p(4).

    Now if the overall likelihood of the whole proposition being True is at least 95% (ie. P > 0.95) as the IPCC is apparently claiming, then we can see from this equation that the probabilities of the individual components p(1), p(2) etc must also be at least 95% too. But it will not be enough for them each to be just over 95% because 95%x95%x95%x95% = 81.5%, which is well below the overall 95% probability that the IPCC is claiming.

    Of course it is highly unlikely that the probabilities of the individual components would all be equal, but if they were all equal the equation above tells us that they would each have to be at least 98.7% in order to produce at least 95% by their overall combination. 98.7% is almost 99% and we’re getting into very exacting scientific territory here because it is close to 100% – the level of absolute certainty.

    There is a certain amount of wiggle-room for the figures though, since any components whose probabilities fell short of 98.7% could be compensated by others whose probabilities were sufficiently higher than 98.7% so that the final product turned out to be at least 95% as claimed. But there is not much room for manoeuvre between 95% at the lower bound and 100% at the upper, with an equal probability level of 98.7% existing as a sort of average value in between. And if the probability of any one component proposition was to fall below the critical 95% minimum threshold, the overall probability of the whole proposition would fall below the claimed 95% and the claim would be invalidated.

    Is it really credible that the demonstrated likelihood of any one of the individual component probabilities could exceed even the minimum required 95%, let alone all four of them? Just take the first component proposition for example, ie. that a specific amount of global warming has occurred since 1960. This was before the satellite era, so there is no possibility of anyone being able to take direct measurements of the overall state of the atmosphere in any respect before 1979. There are instrumental records from point stations on the globe going back to that time, but adjusting those readings for spurious factors like the urban heat island effect and integrating them together over the whole globe requires a lot of unverifiable guesswork that one would expect renders every such assessment of the global mean temperature fraught with uncertainty. If the IPCC can demonstrate that nevertheless the probability of the specified temperature increase over the period is at least 95%, it will not just be surprising; it will be astonishing! And it will need to demonstrate this in order to avoid invalidating its entire claim.

    It seems to me that similar fundamental difficulties also exist with respect to proving the remaining three component propositions to the required standards. How can the IPCC hope to do it? I think either it must possess some radical new information that it did not possess when it published its previous Assessment Reports or else it is bluffing. At least we won’t have to wait long now to find out which possibility is true.

    • When I see the 95% number I’m too busy scoffing to worry about it. But you have put into numbers what my brain thinks about that.

  71. I’m curious whether anyone could hazard a guess on this. Let’s say the models are actually correct, but some natural variability (oceans, say) sucked up heat in some unusual, though natural way.

    What would the temperature of the earth be today if there were no excess C02 from human activities? I’m supposing the answer is about 1 degree C. How cold is that? Cause for concern, or would crops fail, etc.?

    • ed barbar

      You ask the question kim has been asking here for months.

      It warmed by around 0.7C, but if we hadn’t emitted all that CO2 starting with industrialization in ~1800 what would our present “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” be?

      Would that be a “better” or “worse” temperature for humanity on average than the one we now have?

      Why?

      Just over the past decade or so, we’ve seen slight cooling of about 0.05C, despite unabated GHG emissions (primarily CO2), which should have increased “global temperature” by around 0.2C, according to IPCC.

      So, according to the IPCC models, we would have had 0.25C cooling if there had been no human GHG emissions.

      That’s a pretty fast rate when compared to the slow past warming rate (0.7C over 150+ years).

      What is causing this underlying natural cooling trend and, more importantly, will it continue for several more decades? Will we be able to continue offsetting it with GH warming?

      A lot of open questions.

      Max

  72. I knew I was right that this country is leaving the Judeo-Christian ethic in the dust, and will deserve the continuing collapse of society if we don’t stop.

    Exhibit 14,942:

    “A Montana judge on Wednesday stood by his decision to send a former teacher to prison for 30 days for raping a 14-year-old girl who later killed herself….

    In handing down the sentence Monday, Baugh said the teenage victim was ‘older than her chronological age’ and had as much control of the situation as the teacher who raped her.”

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/28/5688084/judge-defends-30-day-sentence.html

    Yes, it’s true. In our wonderfully enlightened, liberaltarian/progressive, Miley Cyrusized culture (and the Miley Cyrus disgrace is not about that air headed teenager, it’s about the industry that gets rich off of her and others, and the vile predominantly adult male consumers who eat it up), a 14 year old girl is expected to be highly sexualized, and affairs between adults and youths are the stuff of which academy award films are made.

    Yeah, I know I’m right. And it disgusts me.

    • So, this judge has pretty much given a free pass to teachers who have sex with 14 year old girls? And he thinks that 14 year olds, however mature they may be, are as much in control of their sexual relationships as teachers? Even if the 14 year old commits suicide afterwards?

      I thought Montana was a predominantly conservative State. What on earth is going on there?

    • They should string up the judge beside the perp.

    • I “A Montana judge on Wednesday stood by his decision to send a former teacher to prison for 30 days for raping a 14-year-old girl who later killed herself…. This is absolutely disgusting! This moron judge can’t remember how mature he was at fourteen because his mind is too clogged with spurious ideas.

      Who’s Miley Cyrus?

  73. The IPCC needs to figure out some what to cure its overprecision disease.
    That would defeat its whole purpose. Aint gonna happen.

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