The IPCC’s ‘inconvenient truth’

by Judith Curry

I have a fairly lengthy op-ed that has been published in The Australian.

The piece is titled  Consensus distorts the climate picture.  Unfortunately, it is behind paywall.  An editorial on the piece can be found [here], which is publicly accessible.  And yet another article in The Australian Climate Consensus Skewing Science, which is also publicly accessible.

Below is a short essay with my original title that conveys the main points made in my op-ed.

The IPCC’s ‘inconvenient truth’ — a pause in surface warming for the past 15+ years

Publication of the IPCC AR4 in 2007 was received with international acclaim. The vaunted IPCC process – multitudes of experts from over a hundred countries over a period of four years, examining thousands of refereed journal publications, with hundreds of expert reviewers – elevated the authority of the IPCC AR4 to near biblical heights. Journalists jumped on board, and even the oil and energy companies neared capitulation. The veneration culminated with the Nobel Peace Prize, which the IPCC was awarded jointly with Al Gore. At the time, I joined the consensus in supporting this document as authoritative: I bought into the meme of “don’t trust what one scientist says; rather trust the consensus building process of the IPCC experts.”

Six and a half years later and a week before the release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5), substantial criticisms are being made of leaked versions of the Report as well as of the IPCC process itself. IPCC insiders are bemoaning their loss of their scientific and political influence.  What happened?

The IPCC was seriously tarnished by the unauthorized release of emails from the University of East Anglia in November 2009, known as Climategate.  These emails revealed the ‘sausage making’ involved in the IPCC’s consensus building process, including denial of data access to individuals who wanted to audit their data processing and scientific results, interference in the peer review process to minimize the influence of skeptical criticisms, and manipulation of the media.  Climategate was quickly followed by the identification of an egregious error involving the melting of Himalayan glaciers.  These revelations were made much worse by the actual response of the IPCC to these issues. Then came the concerns about the behavior of the IPCC’s Director, Rachendra Pachauri, and investigations of the infiltration of green advocacy groups into the IPCC. All of this was occurring against a background of explicit advocacy and activism by IPCC leaders related to CO2 mitigation policies.

The IPCC does not seem to understand the cumulative impact of these events on the loss of trust in climate scientists and the IPCC process itself. The IPCC’s consensus building process relies heavily on expert judgment; if the public and the policy makers no longer trust these particular experts, then we can expect a very different dynamic to be in play with regards to the reception of the AR5 relative to the AR4.

But there is another more vexing dilemma facing the IPCC.  Since publication of the AR4, nature has thrown the IPCC a ‘curveball’ — there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature for the past 15+ years.

Based upon early drafts of the AR5, the IPCC seemed prepared to dismiss the pause in warming as irrelevant ‘noise’ associated with natural variability. Under pressure, the IPCC now acknowledges the pause and admits that climate models failed to predict it. The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar or volcanic forcing; this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause.  If the IPCC attributes to the pause to natural internal variability, then this begs the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural internal variability.  Not to mention raising questions about the confidence that we should place in the IPCC’s projections of future climate change.

Nevertheless, the IPCC appears to be set to conclude that warming in the near future will resume in accord with climate model predictions.

Why is my own reasoning about the implications of the pause, in terms of attribution of the late 20th century warming and implications for future warming, so different from the conclusions drawn by the IPCC? The disagreement arises from different assessments of the value and importance of particular classes of evidence as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence – my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.

Scientists do not need to be consensual to be authoritative. Authority rests in the credibility of the arguments, which must include explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance and more openness for dissent. I have recommended that the scientific consensus seeking process be abandoned in favor of a more traditional review that presents arguments for and against, discusses the uncertainties, and speculates on the known and unknown unknowns.

The growing implications of the messy wickedness of the climate change problem are becoming increasingly apparent. Lets abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues surrounding climate change.

298 responses to “The IPCC’s ‘inconvenient truth’

  1. David Springer

    “an egregious error involving the melting of Himalayan glaciers”

    The egregious part is it didn’t get corrected. It was a typo and God only knows how many people failed to notice it was off by an order of magnitude.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      But it was noticed, and Pacharui had the man in the pay of Teri by that point.
      He stayed silent as the media howled the news of the collapse with his name attached as the expert.

    • David Springer | September 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Reply
      “an egregious error involving the melting of Himalayan glaciers”

      It was a typo.

      No, that was a speculation by a journalist in the early days of the investigation, because another paper (Russian, I think) used a 2305 date. Not even the IPCC uses that defense now. The 2035 date came from an article in green gray literature, by a TERI employee. (IIRC–I wrote a lengthy post years ago on the backstory of this matter.

      • Indeed, “typo” was an excuse presented by the IPCC and friendly media outlets to minimise the ridiculous error.

        Journalist Fred Pearse (more recently a Guardian climate reporter) was the originator of the error. Apparently having misunderstood/misquoted an indian glaciologist in a telephone interview.

    • It wasn’t a typo, it was uncritical regurgitation of grey literature.

      Congratulations, Dr Curry. Last week, Andrew Montford, and now you in the pages of the paper that everyone who is anyone in Australia reads (as well as your humble correspondent).

      Your article was a superb contrast to the hysteria of The Team and their acolytes in the lead up to AR5.

      Although it is behind a paywall, in most places you can still read it by typing the title followed by the australian into google. You have to wait for a subscription ad to load and then close it first.

    • David Springer

      Roger Pielke Jr. believes it’s a typo from below. An even funnier bit is that the original paper even went so far as to say that in the year 2350 all non-polar glaciers would be gone except for remants of some larger ones like, wait for it, the Himilayan glacier.

      http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001065/106523e.pdf

      INTERNATIONAL HYDROLOGICAL PROGRAMME

      Variations of Snow and Ice in the past and
      at present on a Global and Regional Scale

      Edited by
      V.M. Kotlyakov
      IHP
      UNESCO, Paris, 1996

      The degradation of the extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be apparent in rising ocean level already by the year 2050, and there will be a drastic rise of the ocean thereafter caused by the deglaciation-derived runoff (see Table 11 ). This period will last from 200 to 300 years. The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates—its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 km² by the year 2350. Glaciers will survive only in the mountains of inner Alaska, on some Arctic archipelagos, within Patagonian ice sheets, in the Karakoram Mountains, in the Himalayas, in some regions of Tibet and on the highest mountain peaks in the temperature latitudes.

    • Donna Laframboise says that the Himalayan glacier melting claim comes from a 2005 WWF article:

      “The IPCC’s highly embarrassing, since-retracted claim that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 came from a 2005 World Wildlife Fund publication.”

      Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981304579079030750537994.html

      Donna has credibility with me, as it was she who discovered how many of the IPCC “sources” were press clippings and such, many from environmental groups. Contra the claims of the IPCC that they used only peer reviewed scientific papers. Here is what she says in the link above (summarizing previous work of hers):

      “My own examination of the 2007 IPCC report found that two-thirds of its 44 chapters included at least one individual with ties to the WWF. Some were former or current employees, others were members of a WWF advisory panel whose purpose is to heighten the public’s sense of urgency around climate change.

      In a sense, the IPCC conducts the equivalent of a trial. The organization is supposed to be policy-neutral: Its job is to decide whether or not human-generated carbon-dioxide emissions are dangerous to the climate. Rajendra Pachauri is the chief judge.

      Mr. Pachauri writes forewords for Greenpeace publications and recently accepted an International Advertising Association “green crusader” award. He is an aggressive advocate for emissions reduction and carbon taxes.”

  2. Truth will triumph. But not always immediately.

  3. With global warming we see that schoolteachers got a smell of power and that one sense has crowded out everything else.

  4. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts – Richard Feynman.

    So consensus, which means lots of experts = lots of ignorance.

  5. Very well written, my only criticism being that “begs the question” traditionally meant to engage in a circular argument rather than “compels one to ask”.

  6. Seriously though, science has surely got to find a way of preventing bandwagons from gaining momentum. I like Judith’s ideas, but can they work in practice? Maybe the first step is to remove the presidents/chairpersons of all the major academic bodies, to show that spineless toadying won’t be accepted any more.

    • “Seriously though, science has surely got to find a way of preventing bandwagons from gaining momentum”
      Funding comes from government, governments respond to the public, the public are agitated by bad news, newspapers love sensational news, institutions have press officers who write press releases and scientists seek out their press officers if they want to get public recognition.
      One way to get funding is the ‘we could all die’ method. Hence all the ‘XXX causes cancer’ stories.

  7. “At its heart is science,” is what the Op-Ed says about global warming. But…

    At the heart of science is falsifiability. Absent that everything else is dogma.

  8. Assuming a number for the peak to trough extent of natural variability, what would be the expected amount of temperature change from an El Nino peak year to a La Nina year?

  9. As we all know, politics has never been about truth, but perception, spin and votes. Neither is the legal system about truth nor justice, but about the law. Religion is about faith and belief. Science has always been corrupted by money, but yes the core of it is in truth founded in the scientific method of observation, inquiry, hypothesis and experiment.

    Science transcends politics, the law and religion when done properly. Climate science needs to wake up to itself that changing the numbers in a computer model does not make a proper experiment.

    The sad part about the IPCC experience is that the world may no longer trust science like it used to.

    But what god will environmentalists worship of not the god of “manmade climate change”????

    • blouis,

      Nonsense. On all counts. Politics, the legal system and science are “about” whatever the people pursuing them want them to be about.

      For honest people, politics is about the means of ordering society through democratic representation. For people of integrity, the law is a means of regulating commerce and behavior in a way that makes the state the sole party entitled to enforce the law. And science is a method of seeking knowledge about the physical world.

      When dishonest people engage in these fields, it is they, not the processes, who are corrupt.

  10. Judith –

    I recall that you eschewed writing op-eds – stated as evidence of how you aren’t an “activist.”

    Is my memory or logic faulty, or have you changed in your perspective with respect to your own “activism?”

    • I agreed to this one for several reasons. First, an opportunity to write a 2000 word op-ed in a venue that I greatly respect is a rare opportunity. Second, I was asked to write about the science and issues at the climate science-policy interface, which I regard as of the utmost importance.

      Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research. The world needs a heavy dose of this as we prepare to receive the IPCC’s report.

      • Judith –

        You do realize, I assume, that other “activists” similarly believe that they are advocating for integrity in climate research.

        As I have said before, advocacy is advocacy. Personally, I see no problem with it, per se. In fact, I think that admitting to being an advocate is more open-minded then trying to draw some (IMO, false) line between advocacy and science. We’re all advocates here.

        One problem, as I see it, is that there seems to be a tendency for many to claim only those they disagree with are advocates.

        Another problem, IMO, is when advocacy is rooted in biased reasoning.

        Another problem, as I see it, is when objections to advocacy are based in selective reasoning. One woman’s responsible advocacy is another woman’s irresponsible advocacy. Perhaps rather than thinking that anyone can claim ownership over the definition of responsible advocacy, we should focus more on identifying the biases (that, IMO, affect all advocacy) and stop objecting to the advocacy of others, on principle, even as we advocate ourselves.

      • Nope, most are either advocated for their preferred scientific conclusions, or worse yet for specific public policies that they argue are ‘demanded’ by their preferred scientific conclusions. This is very different than advocating for integrity in the PROCESS of research and the consideration of this research by policy makers

      • Joshua, can you see the difference between campaigning for the integrity of the voting process is quite different from campaigning for a political party?

      • Nope, most are either advocated for their preferred scientific conclusions, or worse yet for specific public policies that they argue are ‘demanded’ by their preferred scientific conclusions.

        Sorry, Judith, but in my perspective you have not made the case in a validated and scientific manner that what you are doing is different in kind than what others are doing. You claim such, but it is argument by assertion.

        Your writing of an op-ed is a case in point.

        You originally distinguished yourself from others, that you called “advocates” in contrast to yourself by, among other criteria, the fact of them writing op-eds. You then moved the goalposts to distinguish between some advocacy and others, on the basis of a subjective determination of what equals responsible advocacy. And now you move the goalposts further, to allow you for the actions that you once considered a criterion – writing an op ed.

        You also advocate for your preferred scientific conclusions.

        You also advocate for some policy choices in relation to others.

        Anyway, I commend you for acknowledging your own advocacy – something that it seemed you wouldn’t do previously.

      • Doc –

        Joshua, can you see the difference between campaigning for the integrity of the voting process is quite different from campaigning for a political party?

        Judith is not a non-partisan person here. When Republicans advocate for the “integrity of the voting process” they raise the objections from Democrats. When Democrats advocate for the “integrity of the voting process,” they raise objections from Republicans.

        In fact, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has advocated for the “integrity of the voting process” who has not raised objections from others – and further, raised objections from some of one ideological orientation as opposed to others.

        Ironically enough, you have played that game yourself here in these pages w/r/t the debate about voter ID – which, IMO, clearly touches on valid questions of integrity that both sides raise. But when you raised the issue, you acted as if it were one-sided.

        But both sides insist that they are non-partisan, and merely advocating for “integrity of the voting process.” Anyone who give due credit to the attributes of how humans reason, particularly someone who is knowledgeable about neuroscience, would recognize that determinations of who has “integrity” are inherently biased.

        My suggestion would be rather than hiding behind some transparent and selective cloak of integrity, we put our partisan identities on the table, and with good faith in everyone’s integrity, sit on the same side and begin to distinguish between positions and interests to seek out synergies through stakeholder dialog.

      • Josh, Your comment is just so wrong. Noone is perfectly honest, but some are a lot more honest than others. Your notion that everyone is equally an advocate is just wrong and I think results from inexperience or lack of expertise. Experts argue the data and the theory, the ignorant resort to false generalizations.

        In any case, Judith is joining a lot of others who are arguing that integrity is missing in a lot of modern science. There was an editorial in Nature I think this spring on that subject and an article in the New York Times about an editor of a prestigious journal of infectious medicine who had realized that there was a problem and was calling for action.

      • David –

        Josh, Your comment is just so wrong. Noone is perfectly honest, but some are a lot more honest than others. Your notion that everyone is equally an advocate is just wrong and I think results from inexperience or lack of expertise. Experts argue the data and the theory, the ignorant resort to false generalizations.

        I suggest you go back and compare what I said to what you think I said:

        (1) I didn’t say, nor to I believe, that some are not more honest than others. Of course some are more honest than others, but basically everyone claims to be the ones who are more honest. What becomes important is how you lay out your arguments about honesty. Judith lays our her arguments well in some respects, IMO, but not so well in others. As an example of the “not well” side, look at her poor presentation of Rose’s recent articles, where she basically ignores his misrepresentations and outright inaccuracies. As such, when she presents someone like Rose as a counterpoint to what she feels are misrepresentations from the other side, and she fails to note the misrepresentations quite evident in his articles, her approach to the question of ‘honesty” is lacking, IMO. Please note, I am not calling her dishonest – but I am questioning the selectivity in her approach to honesty. Judith has, essentially, acknowledged my point with her justification of some sort of “asymmetry” in the impact and magnitude of tribalism on the two sides of the debate, respectively. I don’t agree with her assessment of the degree of asymmetry, but further, I don’t agree with her selectivity in her approach to the misrepresentation. It is like when she talks of name calling, but dimisses McKitrick’s calling an editor a “groveling coward.” It is like when she talks about advocacy but ignores Spencer saying:

        “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        (2) I have no notion that “everyone is equally” an advocate. (I said that we are all advocates here, and that we are all affected by the underlying mechanisms of motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc.)

        Why do smart people who are experienced in careful reasoning convince themselves that I’ve said things that I’ve never said, David? Any ideas?

        In any case, Judith is joining a lot of others who are arguing that integrity is missing in a lot of modern science. There was an editorial in Nature I think this spring on that subject and an article in the New York Times about an editor of a prestigious journal of infectious medicine who had realized that there was a problem and was calling for action.

        Yeah, and kids today aren’t like they used to be. How many generations have people been saying that? How long have people been saying that “integrity is missing in modern science?” IMO, integrity has always been missing in modern science, and integrity has always existed in modern science. Those who declare that there is some pattern, some trend of distinction, some increasing imbalance, have an obligation to freakin’ prove their point with validated data. Otherwise, it is merely advocates (as we all are, here doing what advocates do.

        Among those that Judith is joining are those who disagree with her completely, and who feel that the integrity is missing in people like Judith. And same ol’ same ol’ continues on unabated. It’s like when both sides blame the “MSM” for creating public opinions with which they are in disagreement with, when they can’t even quantify the impact of the “MSM” on public opinion. Does the “MSM” cause people to change their views or formulate views that they wouldn’t have otherwise, or does the “MSM” give people the ammunition to confirm their biases? Do you have your finger on scientific evidence?

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/8/8/partisan-media-are-not-destroying-america.html

        There was an editorial in Nature I think this spring on that subject and an article in the New York Times about an editor of a prestigious journal of infectious medicine who had realized that there was a problem and was calling for action.

        Oh. Ok, I guess that proves it then, eh? An editorial was written, and that proves it? And some editor of a prestigious journal said that problems exist, and from that we can conclude that integrity is missing in “modern science.”

        Tell me something, David – do you think it is merely coincidence that Judith, and so many others here, who are concerned about “integrity in modern science” seem to find it lacking, so predominantly, in those that they disagree with, not only w/r/t scientifically technical issues, but also political issues and policy-related issues?

      • ” First, an opportunity to write a 2000 word op-ed in a venue that I greatly respect is a rare opportunity.” – JC

        I thought that this appeared in The Australian??

        It’s been conducting a long poliical campaign to prevent any policy action on climate change, and has displayed a certain hostility to science where it appears to conflict with the ideological prefences at the editorial level.

      • “Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research.”

        That is an activism every scientist should engage in ! MUST engage in! It was a sin of scientists and science administrators that they kept quiet while ideological activists (a.k.a. “the team”) corrupted science.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research. The world needs a heavy dose of this as we prepare to receive the IPCC’s report.

        Dr Judith Curry – Saving the world from climate science one op-ed at a time.

        Really – You just can’t get more self-important than that.

        Another activist climate-policy interface Messiah –
        All we need now is a consensus-cross, a heretic-hammer, and some IPCC nails…

      • Is Judith the Messiah of Integrity?

      • You should be very reverend Michael.

      • “Dr Judith Curry – Saving the world from climate science one op-ed at a time.
        Really – You just can’t get more self-important than that.”

        Rev,

        I think you’ll find Judith express it in more noble terms – maybe, ‘saving climate science from itself’.

        A noble cause, surely?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: Sorry, Judith, but in my perspective you have not made the case in a validated and scientific manner that what you are doing is different in kind than what others are doing.

        How many times does Prof Curry have to emphasize “uncertainty” and provide specific examples of things that are not well known for you to distinguish between that and (sometimes alarmist) policy recommendations?

      • David Springer

        Advocating for integrity in climate science must begin with a condemnation of the shenanigans revealed in Climategate otherwise I can’t take it seriously.

      • Joshua, I am not a politician, I am not a member of a political party, I am not eligible to voe in the US and I do not run for office.
        So how can my support for voter ID be partisan?

      • Josh,

        Your interest in parsing word arguments blinds you.

        Dr Curry is advocating for a change in (or a return to) how the science is practiced. That differs considerably from advocating for decarbonization, payments to third world nations supposedly at risk from climate change, taxation of carbon, blocking of infrastructure projects, etc, based on scientific positions.

        If Dr Curry’s scientific position is “there is a considerable amount of uncertainty, therefore we should at least be able to draw some boundaries around them before pushing for a consensus on certainty” (I hope my paraphrase is close to the mark), then advocating for a change in the process of conducting climate science follows logically.

      • timg,

        Joshua is rightly makng a point about Integrity.

        Judith spent considerable time bad-mouthing others for engaging in advocacy,including writing op-eds – a big no-no lectured Judith.

        All the while doing her own brand of advocacy. At least she knows acknowledges that it’s OK, even necessary.

        Integrity might suggest apologies are order for calling the integrity of others into question over their advocacy.

      • Michael,

        whatever point Josh may have, it is minor and he belabors it. Doing an op ed on integrity in science is not quite the flaming example illustrating Dr Curry’s lack of integrity Josh and you want to make it out to be.

        Integrity and credibility are attributes to be desired in any endeavor. In science perhaps more so. For me, one of the hallmarks in the climate debate is the lack of both on the part of many. You can pull a Josh and do the mommy mommy shtick, but when those who are supposed to be the leading lights exhibit a lack of either, that’s a problem. It is also some, such as Dr Curry, stand out. Yet here you are, trying to pull her down.

    • Joshua,

      Is you motivated reasoning to the fore. Have you criticised the Orthodoxy in a similar way for continually writing op eds, articles and general publicity seeking? What have you had to say about the thirteen here:

      https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

      https://theconversation.com/the-false-the-confused-and-the-mendacious-how-the-media-gets-it-wrong-on-climate-change-1558

      • Have you criticised the Orthodoxy in a similar way for continually writing op eds, articles and general publicity seeking?

        Speaking of motivated reasoning, Peter. Sometimes motivated reasoning leads us to, essentially, fantasize about what others have or haven’t done.

        For a case in point, please point out where I criticized anyone for writing op eds, articles, or generally seeking publicity for their views w/r/t climate change. You question of whether I “similarly” criticize others is based on a fundamentally flawed premise.

        Look hard, my friend, please do. But I can assure that no matter how hard you look, you will not find me having done what you have thus described me as doing.

        My point is not that there’s anything even remotely wrong with Judith writing an op-ed, but for her selectively objecting to others engaging in the same actions as she does – on the basis of drawing a subjective distinction that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

        She says that she is advocating for integrity in science. I take her at her word for that. Others, also, say that they are advocating for integrity in science. But because Judith disagrees with them she doesn’t extend the same “charity” to others. And on the flip side, others don’t extend the same charity to her. And so it goes. ‘Round and round in the climate wars. Nothing changes. No bridges get built. No conversations take place. No dialog. No progress on policy development either one way or the other. Instead of stakeholder dialog being furthered, tribalism and finger pointing get furthered. Jell-0 flies. The refuse on the lunchroom floor builds and builds.

        Same ol’ same ol’

      • Joshua, only in your warped brain was your comment not a criticism of Judith.

        And only in your warped brain aren’t all your comments driven by motivated reasoning. [And just before you tell me mine is too , yes it is: I don't want us to waste our resources and damage human well-being on senseless, damaging policies that will have absolutely no effect on the climate or sea levels and delver no benefits but would cost a mint].

        Now, how about changing tack and discussing the content of the article rather than Judith’s and other people’s motivations. Your incessant negativity is boring.

      • Peter –

        Joshua, only in your warped brain was your comment not a criticism of Judith.

        So, now you double-down, to build a double-thick, double-wide, double-tall straw man?

        Just as I didn’t criticize her for writing an op-ed, I didn’t say that my comment was not criticism (of her opinion, actually, no of her).

        Once again, you fantasize about me. You believe that I am making arguments that I haven’t made. Repeatedly.

        Why does someone who is smart, and capable of careful analysis, make such simple and glaring errors, Peter?

        Why do you see what you want to see? What do you see things that don’t exist, except outside of your own imagination? Why do you, rather than acknowledge your original error, double-down by compounding the error?

      • Now, how about changing tack and discussing the content of the article rather than Judith’s and other people’s motivations.

        BTW, Peter, before you talk of motivated reasoning, you could take some time to understand what the term refers to. It refers to someone’s reasoning, and how it might be biased. It doesn’t refer to their motivations.

        That’s strike three, Peter. You’re out.

      • Can’t you see that joshie is trying to build bridges? His incessant and obsessive whinging criticism of our gracious hostess might seem a strange way to accomplish his noble task, but little loquacious joshie moves in mysterious ways.

      • Can’t you see that joshie is trying to build bridges?

        More fantasizing. I’ve never claimed that my goal here is to build bridges.

        You know, my partners father was in a dream group for many years.

        Maybe you and Peter could formulate a “fantasies about Joshua” group.

        If you do form one, I hope you’ll record the discussions. They would make for a good chuckle, just as do your and Peter’s comments typically do in these threads.

      • You flatter yourself, joshie. Nobody is fantasizing about you. You mistake contempt and loathing for fascination. But then you mistake a lot of things for other things. Your little mind is a prisoner of your ideology.

      • Joshua
        “Others, also, say that they are advocating for integrity in science. ”

        really? who are these “others”

        I’ve searched in vain for Phil Jones Op ed on integrity. zip
        I’ve searched for trenberths. zip
        I searched for Mann’s. zip
        Oppenheimer? zip
        Richard Alley? zip
        Lacis? Zip
        Gavin? Zip

        Come to think of it I cant think of single op ed on scientific integrity from anybody but judith.

        Now I can think of all these times these guys have argued for taxes, or curbs on emissions, or this GHG rather than that GHG or nuclear pro or con or all manner of polices.

        Its simple. None of these guys are experts on policy. All of them should be experts on integrity in science. They are oddly silent on the one area where they do have expertise.

        Yes Judith is an advocate. And yes you might see her advocacy as the same as Hansen’s advocacy for taxes. but it should strike you a bit odd that Judith tries to stick to expertise when advocating: natural variation, the arctic and scientific integrity. The others Im sure have something to say about integrity. crickets

      • “Another problem, IMO, is when advocacy is rooted in biased reasoning.”

        When in God’s name Joshua, is advocacy not based on biased reasoning? It’s called having a point of view. Would advocacy without a point of view make sense to you?

        There’s very little in the world that is not amenable to various good faith interpretations. We’re human beings, not computers. Liberals for example, look at governments as something that can and should be powerful agencies of social change. Do you deny having this bias? If so, what makes you a liberal? Or if you’re not a liberal, tell us what you are, and why…

        Would you disqualify yourself from being an advocate on some political issue on the basis that your liberal beliefs make you too “biased?”

        IN this case, Judith’s explains her own “bias” (what could be fairer that that) thusly: “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.”

        I just can’t see the problem.

      • Joshua is hijack king the thread into arguing about arguing – as he always does.

      • Joshua is hijack king the thread into arguing about arguing – as he always does.

        Indeed, Peter. I’m paid handsomely by the “consensus police” to distract you and your fellow “skeptics” from your important work of posting the same comments based on the same fallacious reasoning in thread after thread, day after day.

        And you poor fellow. I absolutely forced you to post your fantasies about how I said things that I never said. Yes, like an airplane hijacker, I am forcing you and others to respond to my comments. Be careful, Peter. Do you see my gun? It is loaded and pointed at you.

        You are such a victim, Peter. You have no choice to behave as you se fit. Everywhere you turn, you are the victim of me, of “progressives” – freedom-hating totalitarians and statists that we are.

        If we would just stop victimizing you, you would be able to be accountable for your own behavior, eh?

      • Narcissus glances
        Into the pond and argues
        With his epistols.
        ===========

      • Dang, ‘epistils'; flap over that flower again, kim, ’til you can spell its parts.
        ================

      • Steven,
        I am slogging through D. Yergin’s “The Quest- Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.” I am just now up to Part Four- “Climate and Carbon.” The review of how we have progressed in our understanding of the determinants that affect climate is an interesting read. I am up to “The Unexpected Impact of the International Geophysical Year (pg 436). I am looking forward to Vladimir Putin’s, and the political leadership of the other BRIC countries, thoughts on the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5)

        This reference is a tad dated- http://www1.idc.ac.il/libscan/a2002/85695.pdf
        “The Energy Dimension In Russian Global Strategy
        Vladimir Putin and the Geopolitics of Oil”

        But I can’t see Russia agreeing to any outside limits on their use of energy or their efforts to maximize their rent for the fossil fuels that they provide to the world market.

      • Now, now, the Vlad is perfectly aware that Obama’s Solar Panel Array Missile Shield is impermeable, and that The Wan can fling Intercontinental Ballistic Windmills at will and with impunity.
        ==============

      • PG –

        This makes twice in a relatively short time period (although I don’t think in succession) that you have engaged me in good faith with questions about my perspective rather than merely level insults based on mistaken assumptions about my views. Based on that evidence, I’m moving you from the “skeptic” category to the “skeptic’ category. Keep it up and I’ll be forced to drop the apostrophe and the other quotation mark.

        When in God’s name Joshua, is advocacy not based on biased reasoning? It’s called having a point of view. Would advocacy without a point of view make sense to you?

        No.

        There’s very little in the world that is not amenable to various good faith interpretations. We’re human beings, not computers. Liberals for example, look at governments as something that can and should be powerful agencies of social change. Do you deny having this bias?

        No.

        If so, what makes you a liberal?

        Well, my answer was “no,” but I do feel compelled to point out that my view of the potential benefit of government action and/or policies is certainly not the sum of my political orientation. My political views comprise much more than just that, and there is much that, in fact, is more fundamental to my political views.

        Or if you’re not a liberal, tell us what you are, and why…

        In my household growing up, liberal was pretty much a pejorative. Liberals were viewed largely as hypocrites, who advocated muddied and muddled lip-service ideology so as to look good while preserving the status quo against significant and needed change. As the political constellation has shifted and as I have become more aware of the meaninglessness of political labels, I have relaxed against my reflexive rejection of the lable of liberal to accept it as a “close-enough” description of my views. But I still bristle a bit at the term – the legacy of my upbringing.

        Would you disqualify yourself from being an advocate on some political issue on the basis that your liberal beliefs make you too “biased?”

        No. I will repeat what I’ve written above. In no way am I criticizing Judith for advocating a position. I am criticizing her for what is, in my view, a selective attitude towards advocacy.

        IN this case, Judith’s explains her own “bias” (what could be fairer that that) thusly: “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.”

        I’ll say it again – my criticism is not against Judith expressing a viewpoint, or for her advocating a viewpoint, or for her providing a forum for differing views to be discussed. My criticism is not of her, personally. My criticism is about what is, in my view, the selectivity in her reasoning.

    • Joshua,
      I read some comments you made the other day and as with this I found the tone to be rather harsh. However I looked up ‘activism’ @ wiki:

      “Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Research is beginning to explore how activist groups in the U.S.[1] and Canada[2] are using social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.”

      Since Dr Curry has presented material on all those topics and generally presented her own view and whether or not it was pro or con with the author(s) I’d have to say that you are right. I considered her to be the opposite of an activist and that plus the fact you see both sides expressing in here I made this my main site to try and understand this stuff. I am a completely open vessel at this point and feel like a victim of propogandists. I don’t trust anything at this point and since I’m not a scientist or engineer I am unable to discern some of the information. So I guess she fits the description of ‘activist’ and you have probably forced her to ‘own it’.

      You seem to have a larger agenda with your lecture here though:

      “…And so it goes. ‘Round and round in the climate wars. Nothing changes. No bridges get built. No conversations take place. No dialog. No progress on policy development either one way or the other. Instead of stakeholder dialog being furthered, tribalism and finger pointing get furthered. Jell-0 flies. The refuse on the lunchroom floor builds and builds.”

      My understanding (I could be wrong) is that the IPCC folks are the ones that declared themselves Climate Science Dictator (consensus) and put up a firewall to prevent not only discourse but any opposition in opinion. They thought up this ‘denier’ business that immediately places anyone in decent of thought as pretending like the Nazi’s were just goose stepping around maypoles ever loving of humanity. They seeming purposefully created the no dialog, no progress, tribalism and the name calling atmosphere we see today to pillory, mock and neuter any opposing thought. It is indeed Orwellian.

      I feel that Dr Curry has provided a forum here that will allow people like me to access information and encourage understanding of whatever science may actually appear. It appears to me that the IPCC would really hate this place. It’s not about AGW it’s about control.

      • ordvic –

        So I guess she fits the description of ‘activist’ and you have probably forced her to ‘own it’.

        I don’t think, in any way, that I’ve forced Judith into anything.

        My understanding (I could be wrong) is that the IPCC folks are the ones that declared themselves Climate Science Dictator (consensus) and put up a firewall to prevent not only discourse but any opposition in opinion.

        We have seen tribalism from the “realists,” no doubt, for which your description contains elements of truth, IMO. But I think it is too broadly categorical. I don’t think that the goal was to prevent discourse or any opposition in opinion. I don’t think that case can be made. I feel the tribalists on the “realist” side are certainly deserving of criticism, but part of the problem is when the criticism is overstated than there’s little change of anything other than same ol’ same ol’ People on both sides reinforce their trenches and increase the bombardment.

        They thought up this ‘denier’ business that immediately places anyone in decent of thought as pretending like the Nazi’s were just goose stepping around maypoles ever loving of humanity.

        I’m not going to defend the use of “denier,” and I’m not going to defend the tribalistic attitude reflected in its use. On the the other hand, the “outrage” I often see expressed about its usage is, IMO, faux outrage- and as just one piece of evidence in that regard look at the recent trend among “skeptics” to use gleefully use “denier” to describe “realists.” People who are taking a principled stance based in authentic concern would not, IMO, turn right around and engage in the same behavior. I don’t see some locus or origin in the tribalism in this war – that lies somehow in the actions of the IPCC or realists. What we know about human nature and human reasoning makes such a selective identification of origin implausible, IMO.

        They seeming purposefully created the no dialog, no progress, tribalism and the name calling atmosphere we see today to pillory, mock and neuter any opposing thought.

        See above. What you describe is ubiquitous on both sides. You can’t possibly have spent much time here and not seem the same behaviors abundant amongst “skeptics.” Even if it were true that the origination of these behaviors lies on one side of the fence, I reject the “mommy,mommy, they did it fiiiiirrrrssst” line of defense anyway.

        I feel that Dr Curry has provided a forum here that will allow people like me to access information and encourage understanding of whatever science may actually appear.

        I don’t disagree (basically). Just because I criticize many of the opinions she expresses does not mean that I disagree that she has provided a forum for an exchange of views. I don’t see much here in the way of people encouraging understanding as compared to (largely narcissistic) processes of confirmation bias – but I don’t see anything to criticize from the simple fact of her providing a forum.

      • What you describe is ubiquitous on both sides.

        Yes it is I’m well aware:

        http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/3648

        Apparently he feels the heat. He says the hockey stick thing wasn’t even an important part of the paper.

        My description of the sides here mostly from what I’ve read is two different versions of the twilight zone:

        Dah Nah Dah Nah Dah Nah! You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the … ABCD red neck right wing blithering ditto headed denier cult fantasy Zone!

        Dah Nah Dah Nah Dah Nah! You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the … AGW hippy left wing collectivist warmist religious cult fantasy Zone!

      • The whole climate thingy is a bit like a horse race. The AGWers had bolted at the start and are now running out of puff up the back straight and the dark horse is pegging them back stride by stride and is slowly but surely overtaking them as they turn around the corner for home.

      • Dah Nah Dah Nah Dah Nah!

        And there I thought it was Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee.

        My mistake must be because I’m a progressive alarmist catastrophist eco-Nazi true-believer AGW-cultist who just can’t stand the fact that Judith likes to discuss different opinions.

      • orcvic
        Can you imagine what a pain Joshie would have been in class. For other students and teacher alike.

    • The big difference is that Judith’s (occasional) advocay happened openly in an op-ed in a newspaper, not repeated ad-nauseam in IPCC reports masquerading as science.

      (And if the IPCC is really just surveying the literature, as some have deviously suggested, why is it so keen to explain away the Pause ?

  11. I Found a Trout in my Milk, Thoreau…

    We know that global warming is not proven science. Just what is the circumstantial evidence for global warming?

    We know that climate change is not unusual. It’s not even unusually rapid.

    We also know that the myth of a scientific consensus belies the actual fact of an ideologically-driven consensus supported by fraud and corruption.

    We know that the global warming alarmists have become further and further removed from the kind of rationalism that a dispassionate search for truth requires.

    We see the failure of academia and note its precipitous decline in a sense of truthfulness among AGW scientists in proportion to the reality-inspired cognitive dissonance of the confused Climatology belief system.

    We see global cooling. We see all of the other completely natural explanations for climate change that global warming alarmists ignore.

    We know now about all of the errors in historical land measurements, and how NASA is the next CRU; and, we know how more accurate evidence from satellite data does not show any dangerous global warming at all.

    We have learned that the atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa–the site of an active volcano–are totally erroneous: the mere product of a cottage industry (a business of fabricating data that was passed on by a father to his son).

    We all smelled the carcass of stinking fish in Copenhagen and the Leftist-lib agenda is all too clear to ignore the real truth about the global warming hoax.

    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. ~Henry David Thoreau

  12. Dr. Curry – That editorial looks like a good read. Particularly if it were longer and looked a little more like a book.

  13. I predict that the program which calls itself FOMD will post one of its creepy-pleasant-toned comments shortly that has three random links to topics basically unrelated to this conversation. With high probability, one link will hold up Hansen as a hero, while dissing our hostess.

    It’s nothing new. Here’s an article from 1997 about the technique, that describes FOMD pretty accurately: http://www.evolutionzone.com/kulturezone/c-g.writing/index_body.html

    • Wayne, Frank Luntz wrote the instruction manual on how to influence people by repetition, repetition, repetition. You are just upset that it is being thrown back in you face.

      When asked why consistency is critical, Luntz replies, “Finding a good message and then sticking with it takes extraordinary discipline, but it pays off tenfold in the end. Remember, you may be making yourself sick by saying the same exact thing for the umpteenth time, but many in your audience will be hearing it for the first time. The overwhelming majority of your customers aren’t paying as much attention as you are.”

      Some people also pay attention to propaganda techniques.

      • No Webbie,

        HC Depletion is the real and non-trivial issue. The CAGW meme is the BIG LIE and cover story.
        If one wanted to use an environmental HOAX as a PROXY for HC Depletion, there is no option but to demonize Carbon as CO2 and that is exactly what has been done.
        I figured this out in 97/98 timeframe as soon as I realised that the GCMs would not be validated. I’ve known the CAGW hysteria/alarmism was a BIG LIE since that time.
        I’m an old downstreamer, a supply and refining guy who spent most of his time in the oil industry heavily involved in optimization. I’m not unfriendly to the industry, however I’m not prepared to be an ostrich.
        You should take a few minutes and ponder why the BIG OIL companies, the majors that think long term and strategically are big supporters of the CAGW scam. BP as well as Shell have been long time supporters of Cap and Trade.
        (Yes the BP slogan of Beyond Petroleum actually did have a real significance!)
        Even Exxon supports a flat carbon tax now. They do not do this for “altruistic” reasons IMO, rather they do it from “self interest”.

        You should make better use of some info I supplied on this thread in response to your Greenpeace “propaganda” piece.
        Starting here

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/09/laframboises-new-book-on-the-ipcc/#comment-378223

        You are partially correct at least in respect to your view that we are starting a long journey to get off fossil fuels. I concur with this.
        Yes, that’s right. I’m an old Oilboiler who believes we really should have started this process long ago.

        When I saw the list responsible for the recent AGU climate policy piece, there was a Robert Hirsch.
        I immediately was hoping it was this guy who I respect as a hard nosed guy and a straightshooter.

        http://tinyurl.com/cbpz9aq

        However it proved to be a different Robert Hirsch. Nevertheless kudos to Pielke Sr who despite his beliefs, always plays science straight.

        Fortunately. it seems we have another straightshooter, and hardnosed type in Rud Istvan commenting here.

        I think Rud has the climate science shortcomings diagnosed well. In addition I think Rud Istvan and Brandon Shollenberger
        have done a great job in counterspinning the IEA dogma
        IEA Facts and Fictions

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/11/iea-facts-and-fictions/

        cheers
        brent

      • brent,
        Every smart climate scientist believes in HC depletion or what is normally called fossil fuel depletion.

        James Hansen has written about it, as has Richard Muller in his books, and Raymond Pierrehumbert within the last year.

        The big worry that Pierrehumbert has stated is the possibility of exploiting oil shale (not the same as shale oil). That is the kerogen-quality material, that if processed will take so much energy that it will act as a multiplier to CO2 emissions. The issue with fossil fuel depletion occurring at the same time as CO2 is accelerating is that these low grades of coal, kerogen, and bitumen will only magnify the CO2 emissions. That’s what has scientists like Pierrehumbert, not to mention Robert Hirsch, concerned.

        Rud Istvan does not seem to understand this even though having written a couple of books on natural resource limits, he should have figured out by now. (Who cares what Brandon Shollenberger (???) thinks)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Typical webby insanity.

        Even if there were immanent limits on hydrocarbons – the rational response is not to increase costs of hydrocarbons but to let the market evolve alternatives at the prices set by supply and demand.

        That is exactly what is happening in the market with liquid fuels. Supply is increasing to meet demand over the foreseeable future.

      • Chief Soggy Nappy,
        That is what is happening. The majority of the world’s crude oil supplies are controlled by nationalized oil companies. That defines today’s free market.

  14. “Lets abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach”

    That’s doomed to failure. Policy makers are always going to be more convinced when a large number of experts agree on something, than if they don’t.

    They aren’t going to trust a single expert. They are going to ask around what the weight of opinion of experts in the field is. And if they don’t ask, they will be told. The consensus is that business-as-usual emissions will drive a sharp global warming through the 21st (and 22nd) century.

    Not global cooling. Not “nature”.

    • It is obvious from your comment you’ve never fully participated in government policy development. Government policy is not academia and therefore not driven by consensus.
      Academics lean toward a consensus authority as that seems to be the norm in conducting business in university life. Please refrain from confusing government with academia.

      • Best practices are to seek out the best knowledge from the best experts. Finding out what the consensus is in a field is key to good decision making.

      • lolwot, “Best practices are to seek out the best knowledge from the best experts. Finding out what the consensus is in a field is key to good decision making.”

        Right, so far the guys in the climate control field aren’t panning out any better than the guys in the cold fusion field.

      • Lolwot,

        The smart person knows not to let best stand in the way of good enough.

    • Policy makers are always going to be more convinced when a large number of experts agree on something, than if they don’t.

      Please stop making definitive statements like this as if they were fact, when in reality you’re just making things up. Policy makers, largely politicians, are usually going to be more convinced when a majority of their constituents agree on something. Not always – never always. But the electorate is more important to them at the end of the day than any collection of “experts.”

    • “lolwot
      Best practices are to seek out the best knowledge from the best experts.”

      Like in the BSE epidemic being linked to vCJD.
      The number of UK prion experts could be counted on one had; from a small back water to the front of government policy, huge funding levels and a knighthood; just who could resist (me for one).

    • Lolwot, in my extensive experience, governments tend to seek out experts who they feel are politically aligned with them, rather than seeking the best impartial advice. [That's not absolute - for example, I've told the story of how a senior ALP minister chairing a ministerial committee on longer term economic growth told the experts to forget ALP and ACTU (union) views, they wanted to know what was best for the people of Australia as a whole, and by and large the Hawke government pursued that. (That said, several of the selected economists were known to have Labor leanings.)] And in many cases they choose those experts who will supply a pre-determined outcome – I know, for example, of many “impartial” reviews for National Competition Policy which were stacked or directed to provide a particular outcome. The State government played the game to get Federal funding, but was not actually concerned to take the opportunity to improve the economy, rather it sought to protect its mates from change. The classic was when a good, non-partisan economist produced a report which convincingly made a case that Queensland above-rail services should be separated from track services. The only change made was insertion of the word “not” in the recommendation.

    • Abandoning a consensus-seeking approach, is not the same thing as not giving weight to consensuses.

      Real, unforced consensuses, that is. Not fake ones produced by agenda-driven consensus-SEEKING… Especially where there is a conflict of interest such that the funder of the consensus has a monumental vested interest in the sought-after-consensus saying something tailor-made for the agenda of the funder.

    • lolwot,

      “They aren’t going to trust a single expert. They are going to ask around what the weight of opinion of experts in the field is.”

      That never happened with your religion of CAGW. The politicians were directing the “science” from the starts.

      The “consensus” was manufactured and paid for by progressive governments as a means of gaining, and keeping additional power. Hansen didn’t turn up the thermostat in a class room or faculty lounge. In fact, he couldn’t turn up the thermostat at all in the congressional hearing room. It was his political overseers who orchestrated that little piece of theater, sorry, consensus building science.

  15. The underlying problem with climate science is its heavy dependence on the fundamental equations of fluid dynamics, the Navier-Stokes equations These predate the quantum revolution of modern physics; they are firmly rooted in the 19th century. They are based on the rarely stated assumption that fluids are a deterministic continuum, so that if we know the state of the fluid at any time, its state at any future time can be precisely predicted. This is the underlying assumption of climate modeling. Clearly real fluids are never true continua (think of clouds) and climate has many of the characteristics of a random walk; it is stochastic, not deterministic. Ideally it should be dealt with using stochastic equations, equations in which the variables are random variables rather than numbers. Instead modelers use Monte Carlo methods in which the same deterministic model is run many times with slightly different starting conditions (a model ensemble). Much of the stochastic nature of climate is lost in this process because the models need to be heavily damped in order to converge. This is the reason why the multi-decadal oscillation is not captured by the models. As it is we are using a mathematical scheme, which still cannot adequately describe a breaking wave or a boiling saucepan, to predict the state of the fluid envelope of an entire planet decades into the future. I am not saying that this is not possible. It is just not possible yet and it is time we admitted it.

    • John Reid, another one of these Aussie kranks that needs to convince everyone that climate scientists don’t know what they are doing.

      These guys have the patter down pat, and always have an out. They routinely complain in general terms about how the consensus science is wrong, never pointing out specific research or researchers, and instead offering up simply rhetorical spew. Yet, when a realist such as myself calls them out and refers to them as a krank, they always fall back on the ad hominen attack defense strategy. Hypocritical tough guys who can’t handle the push-back.

      So how about the statistical analysis of how strongly the Aussie kranks hold sway in this commenting area?

      Having an op-ed in The Australian is just feeding the flames …

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘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

        By all means read the paper for Julia Slingo – head of the Met. Office and Tim Palmer – head of the European Centre for Mid-Range Forecasting.

        You complain about quoting and you complain about not quoting. It is a particularly dishonest approach. And then there is the hypocrisy of repeated ad homs when complaining about ad homs. You have really nothing else. No understanding of non-linear, non-stationary or non-equilibrium. Your so-called science is cr@p. You are dishonest and an ignorant and tedious little dweeb.

      • Chief,
        I donno, I used to try and figure out the weather from reports when I lived in Portland Oregon back in the late seventies as far as when it would rain. They we’re CERTAINLY always wrong!! I eventually learned what the natives already knew: “What do you call two days of rain followed by a beautiful day of sunshine? …Monday.”

      • Little Big Chief said:

        “You complain about quoting and you complain about not quoting. “

        You evade and misdirect with your quoting. The original “Look, Squirrels!” guy.

        In your case, it is look, chaotic squirrels.

      • Ordvic,

        Spot on. 40 years later that is still the case.

    • John, There has been extensive work modeling fluids using the Boltzman equation and the results are in good agreement with Navier-Stokes continuum simulations. The problem you point out will be dealt with in due course, if it is really a problem. I suspect that for most phenomena at macro scales, it is not an issue.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You’re a prize ding dong webby. The quote and the paper seem especially apt. You lie, obfuscate and prevaricate. You are so obviously full of cr@p.

  16. anybody with some honesty would have gave up by now; dishonesty rules

  17. Consensus and standard models may be the result of blind peer review of research proposals with a cut-off for funding at >~95% approval.

  18. Judith,

    Brilliant and thank you for publishing in the best paper in our wee country.

    You and your wise bans are saving us from economic damage and saving the planet from stupidity.

    By the way, looking forward to your Open Tread Weekend … soon … I hope :)

  19. Here is John Cook’ article which accompanied Judith’s. I’ve seen his work demolished here and, I think, at CA and WUWT. Perhaps someone better qualified than me could write a rebuttal to The Australian? letters@theaustralian.com.au

    Hardly any experts doubt human-caused climate change
    John Cook, UQ, Weekend Australian Inquirer, 21/9/13

    Efforts to suggest otherwise through cherry-picked quotes serve only to feed a public misperception

    IN 2009, University of East Anglia servers were hacked, with years of private correspondence between climate scientists stolen. The hacker uploaded the emails to the internet, allowing bloggers to republ i sh carefully selected quotes. During the next two years, nine investigations from university and government bodies on both sides of the Atlantic investigated the stolen emails. All unanimously found no evidence of data falsification. The sinister conspiracies conjured by the fevered imagination of the blogosphere failed to materialise.

    The theft of the private emails, dubbed Climategate, demonstrates the fallacy of over-interpreting cherry-picked quotes from private conversations. A single quote cannot capture the full context of a conversation, let alone explain the nuances of the science. Climategate lends credence to the infamous saying by Cardinal Richelieu: ‘‘Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him.’’

    In an article in Inquirer last week, Andrew Montford republished illegally obtained private correspondence, falling into the same fallacy of portraying an incomplete, misleading picture. Last year, my server was hacked and years of private conversations were stolen. Montford republished a quote in which I discussed reducing the public misperception about the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. Montford argued from this quote that our research was a public relations exercise rather than a scientific investigation.
    What is the bigger picture that Montford overlooks? To begin with, he fails to consider that we had already performed a great deal of scientific investigation, scanning more than 12,000 abstracts and determining that papers rejecting human-caused global warming had a vanishingly small presence in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Preliminary analysis had already observed that the amount of research endorsing human caused global warming was increasing at an accelerating rate.

    Montford also fails to realise that a high-impact, peer-reviewed journal such as Environmental Research Letters publishes only research that makes a significant scholarly contribution. Our research analysed for the first time the evolution of scientific consensus across the past two decades. We found that scientific agreement strengthened as more evidence for human-caused global warming accumulated.

    Another novel contribution of our research was inviting the authors of the papers to rate their own research. After all, who is more of an expert on a paper than its author? This independent approach produced a 97.2 per cent consensus on human-caused global warming, confirming the 97.1 per cent consensus we observed from the abstract text.

    That 1200 scientists from across the world confirmed the overwhelming consensus is a fact studiously ignored by critics of our paper. The independent ratings by the paper’s authors also expose the fallacy that we used an asymmetrical definition for consensus. We adopted several different definitions of consensus because scientists endorse human-caused global warming in different ways.

    Some are explicit about how much humans have contributed. Others endorse the consensus without quantifying the human contribution. Others imply rather than explicitly endorse the consensus. The bottom line is no matter which definition you adopt, you always find an overwhelming consensus.

    What if we only use symmetrical definitions of consensus; for example, humans are causing more than half of global warming versus less than half? Scientists who rated their own papers by these definitions show a consensus of 96.2 per cent.

    Scientific agreement is so robust, you can look at it front-on, sideways or upside down and still find a consensus.

    In fact, our research is not the only evidence for scientific consensus. A survey of earth scientists found 97 per cent consensus among actively publishing climate scientists. A compilation of public statements on climate change found 97 per cent consensus among published climate scientists. National academies of science from 80 countries endorse the consensus. Not a single academy of science disputes humancaused global warming.
    Our research is the latest in a long line of statements and studies affirming that among the world’s experts on climate change, it’s considered a fundamental fact humans are causing global warming.

    Despite this robust agreement, a ‘‘consensus gap’’ exists, with the public perceiving a 50:50 scientific debate. As well as provide scholarly contributions with our research, we set out to reduce this persistent public misperception. It is possible to do both at the same time.

    Trying to reframe peer-reviewed research based on an out-of-context quote as a ‘‘PR exercise’’ is simply an attempt to avoid facing the facts.

  20. Congratulations Dr Curry on your article in The Australian, one of the Australian media’s big players.
    Through The Australian you will reach a lot of very influential people in Australian politics and business with your article.
    In doing so you will help to crystalize a lot of thinking and create a considerable rethink in many quarters on the whole climate change subject and the climate change science industry..

  21. Hi Judith, I am an Australian who has a subscription with the Australian newspaper and have just read your article. How refreshing! As the Australian editorial points out “scientific consensus” is an oxymoron and the two words should not appear in the same sentence! I like that. As an agricultural scientist I have followed this debate very closely for the last 7 years. At first I accepted the “consensus” and did have deep concerns about the effects of anthropogenic contributions to our atmosphere, but as more and more true scientists began to speak up, as more and more real facts became available and as the transgressions of the IPCC and its government consensus makers became exposed, I became more conscious of the complexity of the issues. One of the things that I have become pleased about, is the increasing number of scientists who are pointing out the beneficial effects of slightly raised temperatures and CO2 levels on agriculture and forestry, with projected higher rainfall and bountiful growth being a result that will help feed increasing populations without having to increase the extent of agricultural lands. If, as you suggest, we drop the consensus approach and refrain from ostracising those who put up alternative arguments to the “alarmists”, then perhaps we might get back to real scientific debate.

    • Peter Meadows,

      I agree with all, and interested to hear any further contributions you can make on this:

      One of the things that I have become pleased about, is the increasing number of scientists who are pointing out the beneficial effects of slightly raised temperatures and CO2 levels on agriculture and forestry, with projected higher rainfall and bountiful growth being a result that will help feed increasing populations without having to increase the extent of agricultural lands.

      • Is there anybody in Australia that isn’t named Peter? We may have to send you all some baby naming books. (Actually, I have met several people not named Peter on my travels to the great nation of Australia.)

      • most Australians are called Bruce

    • I just want to correct any misapprehension that all Australian males are called “Peter.” In fact, at one time so many were known as “Bruce” that my Australian girl-friend in London was called “Bruce” by all of my friends. It was so common that I’ve forgotten her real name (hey, it’s over 40 years ago).

  22. Lolwot said (@ September 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm)

    “Best practices are to seek out the best knowledge from the best experts. Finding out what the consensus is in a field is key to good decision making.”

    The fundamental problem with the approach taken by the IPCC is that you were not considered a “best expert” unless you subscribed to the very narrow definition laid out by the consensus. That’s been the IPCC problem from the beginning. They didn’t start from a position of “do we have a problem?”. They started with the assumption that man-made CO2 emissions were a problem, and tht bled over to the selection process, where only things that fit that narrative were included in the final product that became the consensus. Anything that had been peer reviewed but didn’t stay in line with the strict consensus, even if it was good science, was dismissed to either a footnote, or simply not included..

    The IPCC, in the broadest of terms, from the very beginning, was caught in its own gigantic unbreakable feedback loop. But like all computer programs that end up in the same situation, it does eventually come crashing in on itself. I think we’re seeing that now.

    ————————————————————

    lolwot | September 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply

    “Lets abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach”

    That’s doomed to failure.

    Why???? Throughout history, there are plenty of scientific field that didn’t have a “consensus builing machine” like climate change does. Geology (my field of personal interest) didn’t have a master organization, an artificial political arbetor like the IPCC, that determined that plate techtonics was the most likely coorect way the Earth works. The science did the talking, and that is the by far the est way to determine things.

    There are still a few out there who challenge plate techtonics, and more power too them. If they think can find a better explaination for how the Earth mechanism works, feel free to try. Scientists are still trying to find whole and exceptions to Einsteins theory of relativity, yet they aren’t called “deniers”. The millitant faction of climate science advocates, partially through the IPCC, have destroyed the field that is climate science.

    • Climatology is the most simple-minded science imaginable: all of the graphs are a straight lines going up over time at a 45° angle whether it’s showing average sea level rise, average increase in atmospheric CO2, average global temperature increases or the number of green jobs secular, socialist governments have created.

    • Mike, all very well said.

  23. How long can the pause last? Can it last for ever?

    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 and unwanted N2 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.

    • Alexander Biggs said:

      “So long as the hot, new proportion of CO2 from exhaust or chimneyremains below the presert level the pause will continue. “

      Another Aussie krank that believes that the current elevated global temperatures are caused by combustion alone, and nothing to do with GHG properties,

      • Thamk youWebhub and Bob for replying to my blog.
        Webhub: The original IPCC theory was that the earth’s IR radiastion was trapped byCO2 and I have never disputed that theory.But they never explained how. The molar heat capacity at 25C of the 3 atmospheric gases are oxygen 29.38, nitrogen 29.12, carbon dioxide 36.94. So where is CO2’s vociferous appetite for heat that the IPCC attributed to CO2?. My thesis has always been that this could only happen if CO2’s vibration modes were excited. Obviously that does not happen at 25C or lower as the figures show. The only way CO2 can have those properties is to be hot. CO2 can only be hot enough early in its trajectory through the troposphere after emission from exhaust tail pipe or chimney. By the time it cools below 25C the above figures show that it hs little more heat capacity than N2 or O2. Doesn’t this suggest to you that hot CO2 is a much more effective GHG than cold.. So am I sjill an Aussie crank?

        bob: “Quantum mechanics is so easily misunderstood” I agree. But are you saying that the above specific heat figures are wrong or I have misused them. Most of the troposphere is below 25C so where does CO2 get its magical poiwers? As quantum theory shows, temperature rises or falls in discreet ‘steps and stairs’. If a large enough proportion of molecules are on the same step, could that not account for the ‘pause’.

      • Biggie Biggs,
        Yea you are an Aussie krank. Since you asked.

    • I have commented on this drivel before and I refuse to cut and paste my previous response.

      It doesn’t use up it’s excited states, as CO2 readily returns to those excited states from collisions with N2 and O2 molecules.

      Quantum mechanics is so easily misunderstood

    • ” bob droege | September 21, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply

      I have commented on this drivel before and I refuse to cut and paste my previous response.”

      Ain’t it the truth. The number of krank science commentary that this blog attracts is amazing. It is impossible to stem the flood. One can do the usual internet thing and ignore the trolls, but that would be giving up and allow FUD to reign.

      The subtle truth is that the maintainer of this blog wants more FUD. The promotion of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt is good for supporting the premise that uncertainty is the important factor in climate predictions.

      In my own research, I am a huge believer in applying uncertainty qualification to analyses. I almost always apply the maximum entropy amount of uncertainty to any characterization I do. This means that I will apply a huge amount of variance to a mean value; this will maximize the information entropy to the behavior, which mimics both nature’s uncertainty and subjective uncertainty ala Bayes.

      Does this necessarily change the direction of a physical behavior? Very rarely. Given a well understood physical process, the mean value is where the trend will extrapolate to. Right now, we are on a trend of 3C warming per doubling of CO2, and all the fake theories of Alexander Biggs and his Aussie buddies won’t change that.

      What Biggs, Chief, and company are promoting is all fake uncertainty, aka FUD. The so-called scientists that don’t call the creeps on their garbage should feel pretty small.

      • WebHubTelescope
        > The number of krank science commentary that this blog attracts is amazing. It is impossible to stem the flood.

        Yes, but for whatever reason out hostess thinks it would be wrong to expel you. It’s not impossible you will one day come up with something of value. Forced, fake consensus may be the way of the climate establishment, but it is not the way here.

        > What Biggs, Chief, and company are promoting is all fake uncertainty, aka FUD. The so-called scientists that don’t call the creeps on their garbage should feel pretty small.

        This is just your amply illustrated need to bolster fake certainty speaking. Have you ever called the so-called scientists who hide data, fake hockey sticks, the so-called administrators of science who tried to dismiss Climategate with fake inquiries, and the so-called scientists whose reaction to Climategate and alarmist fraud in general, is deafening silence?

      • Chief Hydrologist

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

        What they are talking about here is perturbed physics ensembles – still in their infancy. So fake uncertainty – real uncertainty. How would you tell the difference?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby has not a clue – it is sad but hilarious.

  24. Lolwot has an unusual definition of what is called “best practice” in most disciplines and fields of human endeavour.

    “Best practice” in its usual meaning relies on observational evidence, not models or theories. It is based on actual events, transparently collected and analysed. It could be summed up as “what works.”

    Once again, some sections of the “climate community” need to turn commonly understood language on its head to justify themselves.

    • Johanna,

      Concur. I can’t recall hearing about a company benchmarking against a model. They benchmark against other companies.

      Makes one wonder what lolwot does for a living.

  25. A terrific piece by Judith!!! Also, if I could paraphrase MLK….”I have a dream that one day” CO2 will be seen as enormously beneficial to the planet for not only food production but to grow our forests and turn our deserts into green productive acres.

  26. Because of the balance of powers under the constitution the United States has so far avoided the economically disastrous rush to control of CO2 emissions and move to renewable energy seen in the UK and
    Germany The resultant increase in electricity prices is now forcing these countries to reconsider their entire energy policy. The Australians have just thrown out the politicians who fathered their mad carbon tax. Manufacturing industries are moving to the US from Europe and elsewhere because of the low cost of energy in the States .It is absurd that, with the experience of these other democracies before them, and at the very time when the whole IPCC CAGW meme is in a state of collapse that Obama has decided to side step Congress and force through by regulation carbon emission controls based on his naïve faith in the failed predictions of the IPCC process. Empirical scientists such as Judith really have a duty to become active in alerting the public and the MSM to the folly of the Administration in this matter.
    To make the situation even more ridiculous – far from warming, the earth has been cooling since about 2003 and this trend is likely to last for at least 20 years and maybe longer. For an estimate of the timing and amount of the coming cooling see

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • The Constitution has failed us. Maybe you missed this …

      “Coal and natural gas now have separate standards, but the effect is the same: New coal-fired power plants will need to install expensive technology to capture between 30 and 50 percent of their carbon dioxide and bury it underground. No coal-fired power plant has done that yet, in large part because of the cost. Virtually all new natural gas plants would meet the standard without additional controls.

      The EPA’s own analysis says that a new natural gas-fired plant would cost $891 per kilowatt. But a new coal plant built to meet the standard would cost between $3,274 and $3,301 per kilowatt.”

      “The EPA pointed to four coal-fired power plants under development – in Texas, Mississippi, California and Saskatchewan, Canada – to show that the rule is possible to meet.

      Yet one of the companies behind those plants, Southern Co., said Friday that its Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi “cannot be consistently replicated on a national scale.” The facility, scheduled to open in May 2014, is located close to low-cost lignite coal. It is also adjacent to an oil field, where the carbon dioxide will be injected to produce more oil.

      The company also has received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and tax credits to offset the cost.

      The revised standards, the company said in a statement, “essentially eliminate coal as a future generation option.””

      http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-09-20-03-25-32

      • “It is also adjacent to an oil field, where the carbon dioxide will be injected to produce more oil”

        The absolute key to economic CCS.

        If such necessary conditions are not found relatively close to major population centres, CCS is hopelessly costly

      • ” The facility, scheduled to open in May 2014, is located close to low-cost lignite coal. “

        Lignite coal is not necessarily “low-cost”. It is a low-grade form often called “brown coal”, one step removed from harvesting peat moss.

        A picture of a chunk of brown lignite coal:

        The progression is to use up the high-grade coal first and then go to the lower-grades, which require lots of processing to eliminate particulates:

        Their low-grade makes them not as cheap as they appear, therefore they are not necessarily “low-cost”.

    • Sorry, you didn’t miss it, but it is worth posting the AP article anyway.

  27. So how was Michael Crichton able to figure this out pre-climategate?

  28. Scott Scarborough

    I don’t usually reply to web articles. But this is an excellent job!

  29. Without being too naive, I think you can only move forward on the basis that many people have a dose of integrity. It was easy to fall in line with the general premise of global warming as nature obliged with corroborating data through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. If The Pause continues then you have to assume that there will be more space for people to be more critical or at least more questioning. You can see the start of that already with the slew of papers claiming lower sensitivity and more contemplative ton of some climate scientists.

  30. On a separate point. Given the change of government in Australia and the obvious intention of the new government to do a U-turn on green/climate policy, it would seem a little naive of JC to think this op-ed is all about the science, I’m sure Abbott’s government are pleased to have a senior climate scientist giving some credibility to their position in a leading newspaper.

    • Judith gives credibility to good scientific processes. The Abbott government (and The Australian) basically accept that they should be concerned about AGW and reduce emissions, they just prefer a more modest and less economically damaging approach than the ALP and Greens. I hope that both take from Judith’s article that the case is not proven, the uncertainties are high, costly measures require a better basis than is currently available. (Not that Judith is saying that per se, but I hope that it will prompt the kind of closer look which has over the years led many who came to blogs like CA and CE out of concern at CAGW to become increasingly sceptical of the case for expensive counter-measures.) Judith is advocating good scientific practice, not leaning towards any particular policy response other than that. By contrast, I adopt a policy stance, not as a scientist but as someone who believes that the case for net benefits from GHG reductions has not been made and has led to a mis-use of resources which has weakened, and will further weaken, our capacity to respond to whatever climate changes emerge.

  31. Judith Curry says:

    “The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar or volcanic forcing; this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause.”

    I am sorry Judith, but this sentence in not logically correct. From your premise you cannot deduce that the “natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause”.

    More likely, the solar-astronomical forcings have been misinterpreted by the IPCC and by the climate models given the fact that those models made specific assumptions about solar forcings that are quite reductive and contradicted by alternative solar proposals also available in the scientific literature but ignored.

    An extended discussion on these topics is here:

    Scafetta N., 2013. Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs. Energy & Environment 24(3-4), 455–496.

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf

    Additional support is coming soon.

  32. Thank you for an excellent read!

  33. IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. All the recent literature that approaches the question from this angle comes up with similar answers, including the papers I mentioned above. By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/a-sensitive-matter.html

  34. Rachendra Pachauri spelled wrong

    • This reminds me of when Reagan started Star Wars as the final nail in the coffin of the cold war. Russia seems to be kicking our arse lately.

      They should have listened to this guy in the first place:

      http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

      While Broecker is an advocate of utilizing alternative fuels, he is realistic about humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels – especially in industrializing nations. He was recently featured on the BBC’s Hardtalk, where he spoke of his unlikely climate optimism in the face of rapidly industrializing nations: “I think we have an option and the option is to let them industrialize but take care of the problem by capturing and storing the CO2.” He says that “we’re going to have to learn to capture the CO2 and bury it – just like we learned to collect and put away garbage [and] sewage… We’ve taken over stewardship of the planet and with that we have the responsibility to take care of it.”

  35. Congratulations, Judith. I mentioned a while back that I’d noticed a change in tone from you. I hope you don’t mind me saying I’ve been watching your gradual evolution over the last 4 years or so with increasing admiration.

    Next stop, New York Times?

    You wrote : “IPCC insiders are bemoaning their loss of their scientific and political influence. ”

    Just from a human interest point of view this caught my attention. Hard to believe they’re so insulated they didn’t see this coming. Then again, maybe not. Could anything be more clueless and tone deaf than Pachauri’s response to the Himalayan glaciers situation? Prima facie evidence of bad faith if ever I’ve seen it.

  36. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Judith Curry says:

    “The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases…”

    That’s because the tropospheric pause has nothing to do with GH gases, which never “pause” in their action, bit rather, the pause has everything to do with natural variability in the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You still peddling this nonsense you nasty little dweeb? Why don’t you just make someone’s life intolerable on the blog instead? Much more within your severe limitations.

      You repeat yourself endlessly without a twinge of doubt and resort to abuse when challenged. Utterly pathetic.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Vogon said:

        “You still peddling this nonsense you nasty little dweeb?”

        —–
        Is this the best you can do? Your typical response involve:

        1) unsupported but certain statements.
        2) ad Homs when someone calls you out on #1
        3) rabid nutter cut and paste posting of unrelated and/or outdated research
        4) posting of Vogon poetry when 1, 2 or 3 fail to impress anybody.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        My cutting and pasting is of the most relevant science – all provided with links and graphs. All it takes gatesy is a little reading, an ability to comprehend and a willingness to understand. All of which seems lacking.

        Moral integrity seems also in short supply. You do nothing it seems but make life intolerable – or at least laughably threaten to.

        You refuse to accept that ocean and atmospheric changes radiative flux no matter how often it is shown to you.

        ‘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

        You are immune to science that isn’t your space cadet meme. As I say – you are simply a nasty little dweeb who has lost any presumption of honesty and credibility.

      • Chief Rainman is an excellent driver, or at least that’s what he constantly mutters to himself.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are intellectually stunted and dishonest webster. Go away and make some positive contribution. Picking up trash on highways seems about the right level.

      • Thanks for asking Chief.
        I make many a positive contribution. See http://ContextEarth.com

        You, on the other hand, claim to be an excellent driver.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Right – another loser blog that no one visits featuring more incompetent math and fantasy physics.

        You are a nincompoop.

  37. Hello Judith,
    I read your article in the Australian today, 24yrs I live north of Sydney, and loved it. My dads a PHD geologist and I get a lot of flak about how politicised this branch of science is so I’m glad your article featured today shining a light and questioning the whole process. Regards.

    • Robert,

      Geologists understand the relevant time scales best. Economists and engineers and understand best how to deal with it. :)

      • It is my quite long experience (>40 years) that the combination of geologists and engineers is extremely productive, bigger than the sum of the individual parts

        Mind you, on occasion it may also mean hydrogen bombs at 4 paces :)

      • Not economists like Lord Sterm, Ed Dolan, Krugman and many others

  38. I certainly agree that scientific progress is better served by open debate than by consensus building. However, I am not sure it is fair to say that the IPCC simulations “failed” to predict the current warming hiatus. Science is always about probabilities, and only relatively simple physical systems are amenable to experimentation with repeatedly predictable results under controlled conditions. It could be that the recent trends have been influenced, among many other things, by some of the mitigation measures that have been adopted. The exponential growth in world population also seems to be slowing down, and many other social trends seem to be changing in ways that were unpredictable a few years ago. Climate trends are not independent from social trends. So it seems to me that a better question would be whether the FAR, SAR, TAR, and AR4 projections were the best possible when they were published. It is well known that, in matters of human behavior, projections that something bad will happen will trigger changes to make sure that they don’t happen. If this is what has happened, the IPCC work should be applauded rather than condemned. What matters now, for AR5 and future work, is to improve the process so that the outgoing “signal” is increasingly at the service of the common good rather than responsive to the “noise” of either denialists or alarmists with vested interests.

    • @ LUIS
      “What matters now, for AR5 and future work, is to improve the process so that the outgoing “signal” is increasingly at the service of the common good rather than responsive to the “noise” of either denialists or alarmists with vested interests.”

      +1

  39. Luis Gutierrez : “It could be that the recent trends have been influenced, among many other things, by some of the mitigation measures that have been adopted.” It could be that pigs might grow wings.
    “I am not sure it is fair to say that the IPCC simulations “failed” to predict the current warming hiatus.” Well, not one of them did. Epic fail.
    “Climate trends are not independent from social trends.” Huh? Which planet do you live on? The climate on this planet has nothing to do with social trends.
    “It is well known that, in matters of human behavior, projections that something bad will happen will trigger changes to make sure that they don’t happen.” So what specific human behavioural changes were triggered to cause temperatures to stop rising globally? Gah!

  40. Dr. Curry,
    I read your op-ed in today’s Australian. One statement in particular caught my eye –

    “Almost all climate scientists agree on the physics of infra-red emission of the CO2 molecule and understand that if all other things remain equal, more CO2 in the atmosphere will have a warming effect on the planet.”

    Therein lays the critical flaw in the radiative green house hypothesis. All other things do not remain equal with increasing concentrations of radiative gases. Radiative gases play a critical role in continued strong vertical convective circulation below the tropopause. Increasing the concentration of radiative gases in the atmosphere increases the speed of circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar convective cells, thereby increasing the strength of mechanical energy transport away from the surface and lower atmosphere.

    The answer to what you refer to as the “messy wickedness of the climate change problem” is actually very simple. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    • Konrad said:

      “I read your op-ed in today’s Australian. One statement in particular caught my eye –

      ….

      The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.”

      Are you Australian by chance?

  41. “this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause.”

    This narrative was stillborn. That’s the problem with developing a long-running communications strategy in advance of piercing wake up calls. The IPCC isn’t alone in denial of a rapidly changing picture.

  42. “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence”

    I’ll be honest. This is the 2nd darkest comment I’ve ever encountered in the solar / climate discussion.

  43. Good to see the eyes opening but not before time:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/why-has-politics-got-in-the-way-of-science/

    from 2008.

    Maybe Judith should consider my old article as a guest post ?

    • Stephen,

      Here is another excellent article from 2008: http://onlineopinion.com.au/documents/articles/A_Cool_Look_5-4-08.pdf Well worth re-reading.

      The final paragraph is particularly revealing, given what has happened in the intervening five years.

      I finish on what to me is a sad note. I have been urged not to write or present such an address, mostly because I am likely to be attacked and demonised. I cannot accept such advice, however well meant it is. I am proud to live in a welleducated democracy, and it is central virtue of our kind of society that informed public debate occurs and should occur on all questions of importance. The issue of global warming is surely such an issue. What you have heard is my contribution to the debate. I do not claim that everything I have said is absolutely correct (given the uncertainty, that could hardly be the case), but I do claim that I have been careful and systematic in finding out for myself what is involved. I urge you all to do the same, and to make your decisions about climate change and what you think our governments and you yourself should do on the basis of your reading, thinking and discussion.

    • Stephen

      You need to sell it better. Offer Judith your ‘classic’ article not your ‘old’ article!
      tonyb

  44. Pingback: Judith Curry: Let’s Abandon Consensus-Dogma In Favour of Open Debate | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  45. Please, Judith; “begs the question” does not mean what it says; it is a phrase denoting the logic fallacy of circular reasoning.

    You say, “Authority rests in the credibility of the arguments”. Functionally, not so. Authority is, when it’s at home, a substitute for credible arguments, a short-cut that is used to reach decisions and conclusions without all that messy Scientific Method stuff, or other disputation. It would be nice if authority derived from a history of putting up strong argument and evidence, but in any case it’s a substitute, a quickie short-cut, for deriving every position de novo.

  46. The failure of AR5 to offer a credible explanation of the cause of the present temperature standstill ought to make us revisit the TAR explanation for the mid century cooling. This had far too easy a passage helped by the euphoria surrounding the “hockey stick” which muted all serious criticisms of the IPCC, including those of Anderson et al 2003. The fact that the climate models use differing values for aerosols to hindcast the first half of the 20th century adds credence to the suggestion that they are just elaborate exercises in curve fitting.

    • Thank you for raising the mid century cooling, I totally agree with this.

      • The mid-century cooling looks more like a compensation effect for the temperature rise that occurred in the NH around 1940.

        The following image is a plot of Land Temperature versus CO2 over the years:

        Plotted this way, all the variations with time appear more like noise.

        The question is whether this trend of 3C increase with CO2 doubling will continue over the years. Looking at these graphs, what more can one read into them but to appreciate how the deniers cling to the hope that the last few data points continue to slightly deflect downward.

      • webby, webby

        If we are in danger from increasing temps, shouldn’t everyone be hoping that those data points continue to deflect downward? You pause deniers are in a very awkward and painful position. Does whinging about Judith straying from the alarmist reservation make you all feel better?

      • Web
        > The mid-century cooling looks more like a compensation effect for the temperature rise that occurred in the NH around 1940.

        And the current flat period more like a compensation effect for the rise that occurred up to 1998. Both just compensating natural variations / noise then.

        > Looking at these graphs, what more can one read into them but to appreciate how the deniers cling to the hope that the last few data points continue to slightly deflect downward.

        Even the IPCC, committed as it is to selling CAGW no matter what, only feel it can get away with citing the ~(1975-1998) period of warming as due to AGW. Considering this, one can only appreciate how the alarmists cling to the hope that that “golden” period will return. As skeptics, most here fall into neither of those equally foolish groups.

  47. “Germany has called for the references to the slowdown in warming to be deleted, saying looking at a time span of just 10 or 15 years was ‘misleading’ and they should focus on decades or centuries. Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change. Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for statistics, as it was exceptionally warm and makes the graph look flat – and suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead to give a more upward-pointing curve. The United States delegation even weighed in, urging the authors of the report to explain away the lack of warming using the ‘leading hypothesis’ among scientists that the lower warming is down to more heat being absorbed by the ocean – which has got hotter.” –Tamara Cohen, Daily Mail, 20 September 2013

  48. “As Lord Lawson, former editor of this magazine, once pointed out, the time to be most fearful in politics is when a consensus emerges. It usually means that an argument is not properly probed, and desire to sign up to a fashionable cause supplants the proper rigour which policymaking requires. Now, perhaps we are moving towards a ‘climate glasnost’; a time in which, finally, the science can be debated rationally and we can study the decisions made in those days, and see that the Climate Change Act was, in fact, a deeply irresponsible piece of legislation which will hit poor homeowners with huge energy bills at a time when other countries (especially the US) are following a policy of low energy prices.” –Editorial, The Spectator, 20 September 2013

    • Nutty as a fruitcake.

      Talk about science then gives examples of policy.

      Stupid runs deep.

      • Michael slow down and let Robert catch up with you again.

      • It was the CAGW movement that tried to make their politics “science”. The policy is the science when it comes to climate. And that is the fault of the Hansen’s, Pachauris, Gores and other progressive nutcases. Not to mention the Schmidts, Trenberths and others who play along.

    • Nice quote, Peter.

      Over at Bishop Hill (a UK based site) there is endless frustration at the lack of choice about climate policy. While the UK Independence Party offers an alternative, people are afraid that the first-past-the-post system of voting they have there will just split the conservative vote and deliver government to Labour.

      We can only hope that recent events such as the elections in Australia and Norway will stiffen the spines of the invertebrates that currently run the UK Conservative Party. There is nothing like the prospect of being ignominiously sacked to make politicians reconsider their views.

  49. No, just Michael surpassing his own very impressive disingenuity Personal Best.
    He often likes to pretend that the “science” is unaffected by the political structure that funds it.

  50. Just lucid and brillant.
    Thanks Dr. Curry.

  51. > Hungary worried the report [of the cessation of warming] would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.

    IOW, they’ve decided without reference to this glaring fact, and they want everyone else to do the same. Their eyes fixed firmly on the hopeful new source of taxes.

  52. Great oped , Dr Curry. Just one sad question here: why are most people commenting here closing their minds and hearts to the very real possibility of the extinction of the human species, if we mess this one up, all in the name of your insane ideological awkwardness.? You are either BLIND or HEARTLESS. (says friend of all danny bloom of CLI FI CENTRAL]

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Danny Dan Daniel asks  “Why are most people commenting here closing their minds and hearts to the very real possibility of the extinction of the human species, if we mess this one up, all in the name of your insane ideological awkwardness?”

      That’s easy Danny Dan Daniel!

      The likelihood of climate-change catastrophe obviously is zero on decadal time-scales, and it is reasonably small too (we hope!) on centennial time-scales.

      As for millennial time-scales, the sole folks who concern themselves are progressive nutjobs and/or green eco-fascists, whose views are best ignored (of course!).

      Advice Simply trust in the chaotic decadal denialism of The Adversary, Danny Dan Daniel!

      Oh, and trust the corporate clown-schools too!

      \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}

      • Congratulations to FOMD, for the absolutely amazing ability to make predictions on millennial time scales, and his big heart that feels the pain of mankind thousands of years from now!
        Indeed, you need to be BLIND or HEARTLESS not to be worried about that!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It is my pleasure to affirm that scientists *do* routinely and reliably look millennia into the future!

        Accurate long-term scientific predictions require conserved quantities: in solar system dynamics this conserved quantity is dynamical energy; in Hansen’s climate-change theory it is thermal energy.

        Thank you for assisting Climate Etc readers to appreciate that millennium-scale (and even million-year scale) foresight is routinely achieved by scientists!

        \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}

  53. by “your” above i mean the commenters, not Dr Curry, who has my utmost repsect

  54. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Interesting exchange above with Joshua and others, especially Steve Mosher. The point I think Joshua is not seeing clearly is that science really is not ‘just politics’, because science is intimately connected to physical reality. While political views are always based upon personal values and ideals, physical reality is not; it exists independent of how we think about it, and independent of how clearly we understand it. The same reality which we might understand today (say, quantum effects at very small scales), always existed, even when humans had no understanding of that reality. So science goes only in one direction (always towards a better understanding of physical reality), while politics can (and do change in fashion), based, at least in democracies, on the popularity of political POVs.
    .
    Many people (including me) who are involved in science and technology perceive that climate science is influenced by political thinking, personal priorities/values, and desires for specific public policies, and that has caused (and continues to cause) delay in progress toward a more complete and accurate understanding of Earth’s climate. The issue that Judith seems to be addressing in her ‘advocacy’ is the inappropriate influence of politics in climate science, with ‘inappropriate’ meaning only that this political influence is interfering with scientific progress. Overstatement of confidence, active efforts to suppress publication of differing technical analyses, insistence on consensus, over-egged frightening scenarios, and admonitions from one climate scientists to others to ‘stay on message’, are ALWAYS going to be detrimental to scientific progress. Advocating for more rigorous science, and so more rapid scientific progress, is not the same as advocating for specific policy choices; I am pretty sure Joshua does not really appreciate that.

  55. To Faustino…Somewhere on this blog you make the point that the Climategate manipulators words were taken “out of context” but yet those words told us everything about them. As a small business person for over 35 years keeping your word and your honesty is your best and only defense when things get tough. These people did not possess either.

    You go on to say they were cleared of any wrong doing. But these organizations were part of the “pal” system in place that would say or do anything to keep the funding money rolling in.

    Our hostess valued her reputation more than anything else and for that we can all be grateful.

    • ‘taken out of context’ is as hopeless a strategy as ‘eight reviews cleared them’. What is the madness of this strategy that it persists so absurdly? I’m tellin’ at chyar, the tarantula bites despite the dance.
      =====================

      • Kim

        The British can carry out some of the finest, most detailed and expensive enquiries or reviews in the world. However some enquiries such as those for climate gate fall into another category which we term ‘kicking the ball into the long grass.’ That is to say there is the appearance of an enquiry with no intention whatsoever of digging deeply nor coming to a definitive or final conclusion.

        These were exemplified by the British TV series ‘Yes Minister’ Followed by ‘Yes Prime minister.’

        Have you ever seen any of these as they are the finest examples of British political and institutional machinations?
        tonyb

      • Thanks, I’ve read much reference to and parody of ‘Yes, Minister’, but have never watched an episode. I’ve followed StevieMac and the Bish through most of these eight climate ones, though.

        I always like Richard Lindzen’s comment at the rape of science conducted at Penn State: ‘What is going on here?’
        ==============

      • KIm

        this piece from the Daily Telegraph will give you the flavour. It concerns the whitewash Hutton inquiry about Iraq.

        If it’s so easy now to imagine the absurd conversations taking place in the corridors of power that led to these arguments, then that’s because Yes, Minister so effectively provided us with the template. It’s a mark of its subversive influence that we now cannot trust a politician if he sounds like a character from Yes, Minister or deploys the sort of malformed logic for which the programme was famous. If it’s depressing that this sort of logic is still used, it’s a cause for rejoicing that we now have the means to identify it.

        So I urge you to run out to buy the video or DVD (and to vote for it), if only to equip yourselves with the means to hear certain conversations you’re really not meant to hear.

        “Minister, what shall we say about our reasons for going to war?”
        “We’ll say that was all covered by Hutton.”
        “But, Minister, Hutton says the reasons for going to war weren’t part of his remit.”
        “Well, exactly, and he’s a very honourable man, so if he says he shouldn’t discuss the reasons, neither should we.”
        “But, Minister, I think the party will want an inquiry.”
        “Fine, but make sure it’s chaired by an honourable man.”
        “What should be its remit?”
        “That it doesn’t dwell on the past.”
        “Minister, why not?”
        “The past was covered by Hutton.”
        “But, Minister, you’ve just accepted that Hutton decided not to cover all of the past.”
        “Precisely! He covered all of it and came up with the conclusion that not all of it should be covered. And, if I may say, he did a pretty thorough job of not covering all of it. So thorough, in fact, there’s no need to do it again. Do I make myself clear?”
        “Yes, Minister.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3602329/Yes-Minister-nothing-changes.html

        tonyb

      • The writers of Yes (Prime) Minister were actually told by both politicians and civil servants stories of ‘what had happened’. Some were incorporated into the scripts, but some were deemed to unbelievable.

        No one would believe the story of John Gummer and Keith Meldrum, and the dead cat. It is astonishing how Meldrum’s judgment made in 1990 was damned in the 2000 inquirer and how sound it now appears.

        Politics.

  56. Some context on Judith’s Op-Ed in The Australian.

    They’ve just had to issue a correction for a front page article with the blazing headline, “We got it wrong, says IPCC”.

    photo/1/large

    Climate Change misinformation and outright lies of this sort are standard practice at The Australian. The anomaly here is the correction (buried in twitter, but hey, they made it.)

    • Some more context, mikey: They had the freaking decency to issue a correction.

    • Warnists can’t refute what Dr. Curry writes, and they don’t want to admit it, so they do everything they can to divert attention. (I looked through most of the comments and didn’t see a single substantive critique on the substance.)

      Every comment by every warmist here should then likewise be taken in the “context” of climategate, Peter Gleick, Steven Schneider, Ragendra Pachauri, the hockey stick, the disappearing glaciers, the desertifying Amazon, the CAGW drowned polar bear….

      Yawn.

      • It’s a bit hard when we can’t read it…otherwise we’d be playing the ‘skeptics’ game of expressing views on matters we hadn’t properlyl looked at.

    • Sorry, still blocked, but this was unblocked when I went to it from a Google search on something like curry climate australian.

    • The conclusion appears to be to abandon seeking where the center and range of scientific opinion is on this uncertain issue, and just have some kind of “open debate” whatever that means without quantifying uncertainty ranges, worst case and best case scenarios, etc. This does not look like it can possibly lead to or guide any planning ahead policy except wait and see, which is perhaps the aim. It might turn out we are 3-4 C warmer at the end of the century and sea levels have risen a few more feet, and the consensus in climate science knew that already now, but governments did not act on that due to these “open debates” that may persist until it is too late. This could be viewed as a failure of the science-policy interface.

      • This is exactly what I have proposed, a scenario based approach that includes a much wider range of scenarios. See my post Can we make good decisions under ignorance for how to proceed, also my recent testimony that included Decision Informed Climate Analysis.

      • What possible planning decisions could be made under wider uncertainty than the 2-4.5 C range, or 1-3 feet sea-level by 2100 range? This only looks like a delaying tactic when we already have the knowledge to plan better.

      • Judith and JImD

        How do we plan for the future when it is so vague.

        Around 1990 we were advised to rip up or traditional roses and lawns as our climate would become too hot to support them and there would not be enough water.

        Around 5 years ago the government instructed local councils-as per the Kyoto agreement-to hold seminars for businesses about climate change and how to adapt and profit. in our tourist area next to the sea that was primarily aimed at hotels and restaurants.

        The vague premise was that more tourists would flock in to the UK’s answer to the Mediterranean, so café owners ought to start preparing for something that MIGH happen by…What? Buy more tables to put outside eventually? Should hotel owners prepare for the coming heat by installing balconies or changing the plants in their gardens?

        Here is the sobering reality of the British climate

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        So prepare for one official climate and get another real world one Free!
        How do we go about preparing for something that never arrives? Sensible mitigation measures for infrastructure is another matter
        tonyb

      • The way it is going currently (in the States at least) is how Judith wants it to proceed. Scientists are brought to panels, or write reports, with a smorgasbord of views and the politicians choose the ones that are most politically convenient to themselves, regardless of if their expert holds a minority view. In the end the politicians get to decide the climate change they would like, rather than the one they would most likely get. It is just the wrong science-policy interface for effectiveness and correct decisions. The truth is inconvenient for some politicians, but they can shield themselves from it.

      • Jim D seems to think that, if despite the obvious bias and manipulation underpinning the so-called consensus, by fluke this consensus turns out to be correct, this would point to a failure in today’s science-policy interface (assuming current policy is wait-and-see, based on the huge uncertainties).

        But is silent in the event that we decarbonize now at some massive (even fatal to the world’s poorest) cost , and it turns out AGW is much less than catastrophic.

      • Handel believes in the conspiracy theory rather than the published science.

      • Jim D wheels out the pathetic “conspiracy” strawman in vain.

        The “published science” is all politically funded, and hence unsurprisingly shows a politicizing bias. And clearly no “conspiracy” is needed to explain why an organization funds projects and selects personell to as to advance it own interests.

        Jim D’s willful blindness to this, in support of his own far-left ideology and desire that political expansion continue untroubled, are what explain his dishonesty and desire to try and put his own silly words in my mouth – his “conspiracy” strawman.

  57. “governments did not act….”
    Governments have already acted, enacted green subsidies, spent around 1.6 trillion dollars (since 2000). What they have not – is – they have not achieved any reduction in emissions, i.e. the money was wasted. The reason is – we cannot reduce emissions with the poor technologies we posses now (wind and solar).

    You can debate climate as long as you wish, its is fruitless because of our incomplete knowledge which you can interpret any way you wish. But, even if we were absolutely certain that catastrophe is around the corner, we still could do nothing.

    The total inability of warmist activists (scientists or others), to grasp simple engineering facts makes one wonder about their grasp of more difficult scientific matters.
    (Dr. Hansen is an exception – he said wind and solar were tooth fairies and Easter bunnies, and then proposed an equally useless carbon tax).

    • Well, actually it is true that governments, and private corporations, have already started to account for climate change locally and nationally, if not internationally. They have seen the writing on the wall already, and know who to believe when their economies are at stake.

      • “have already started to account for climate change locally”
        Achieving what ? (except wasted money)?

      • Things like not rebuilding on storm-ravaged low-lying coasts save money.

      • “Things like not rebuilding on storm-ravaged low-lying coasts save money.”

        Yes, but that’s just common sense.

      • No, you have to account for 100-year storm frequencies and notice that it might not be anymore. This makes the difference between building and not building after a “100-year” event. There is this realization now.

      • Why did they build there in the first place? Because of government subsidized insurance.
        But, as far as I know, everything is going to be rebuilt, again, with gov. money.

      • It might be rebuilt if the locals are Republicans who don’t believe in climate change. We see this sometimes. They make rules against considering scientific projections of sea-level rise in planning (e.g. North Carolina). New Jersey and Alaska are having second thoughts, however.

  58. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry; http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/the-ipcc-inconvenient-truth :

    ”Why is my own reasoning about the implications of the pause, in terms of attribution of the late 20th century warming and implications for future warming, so different from the conclusions drawn by the IPCC? The disagreement arises from different assessments of the value and importance of particular classes of evidence as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence – my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.”

    I think in principle I agree with JC’s statement above; e.g comment of mine http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/19/climate-sensitivity-in-the-ar5-sod/#comment-280032 :

    ”According to pragmatic philosophy (e.g. as stated by John Dewey) any theory has to be regarded as a hypothesis that has continually to be empirically tested. This makes a continuous development of theory be fulfilled. As to the AGW hypothesis this kind of testing seems to be ignored by IPCC.”

    At first even I regarded anthropogenic CO2 emissions as potential reason on the recent global warming. Gradually, when I was learning to know that trends of CO2 increase in atmosphere follow warming and not vice versa, I understood what I have written e.g. in my comments http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 ; and http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 ; and http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/17/open-thread-weekend-28/#comment-366643 .

    A summary of them can be stated:

    a) Natural warming dominates an increase of global CO2 content in atmosphere, where a share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions have not been empirically found.

    b) The CO2 content in atmosphere is controlled together by all CO2 emissions to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from the atmosphere to the other parts of environment. According to calculations the anthropogenic share in the current atmospheric CO2 content is about 4 % at the most.

  59. The question came much earlier, when the IPCC and its cadre claimed that the Medieval Warming Period was not a global phenomenon. The only basis for such a claim would have been to back it up with worldwide measurements. They didn’t bother, but the investigation had already been done by numerous scientists whose studies were ignored. Unfortunately for the IPCC the studies continued to come, with new ones arriving frequently.

    Even the UN’s draft report now recognizes that our current warming (such as it is) exceeds other earlier warming only during the past 800 years. The “begged question” came earlier when “scientists” were claiming that there was no other explanation (ignoring natural climate variation, of course).

  60. Thanks Judith for at least trying to take the religion out of this issue. It seems so many climatologists and politicians alike have staked their reputations on CO2 definitely being the number one cause of global warming that they just are not willing to even consider the possibility the theory is flawed.

  61. Pingback: The IPCC | Transterrestrial Musings

  62. This may seem harsh, but it needs to be said:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1422942

    I would not bother posting the link if I expected censorship here. (I do not expect censorship here.)

    • Paul

      I followed your links to pages of figures that are incomprehensible I suspect unless you know the detailed background to your comment or are a maths expert.

      you say;

      ‘Yesterday Curry made this total BS claim in a failed attempt to differentiate herself from the IPCC:
      “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence”

      So she spells ‘favour’ wrong, but other than that what is objectionable about that comment?
      tonyb

      • Tony: Aggressively pushing a narrative that requires violation of the law of large numbers &/or the law of conservation of angular momentum is far from sensible. If you’re unable or unwilling to take personal responsibility for deeply understanding this, you’re not in a position to judge fairly & competently.

      • Paul

        You say

        ‘If you’re unable or unwilling to take personal responsibility for deeply understanding this, you’re not in a position to judge fairly & competently.’.

        Do you mean me or Dr Curry?. If me, you must stop posting short cryptic messages that very few people can understand unless they have a detailed knowledge of the specific technical background you are examining.

        You still haven’t said what is wrong with observational evidence.

        tonyb

      • “you must stop posting short cryptic messages that very few people can understand unless they have a detailed knowledge of the specific technical background you are examining.”

        I see no basis for this demand.

      • Paul

        The ‘basis for this demand’-which wasn’t a demand at of course merely a friendly suggestion, is that your posts are often cryptic in the extreme.

        They may mean something to someone in your particular field of expertise but not more generally. All I am suggesting is that your contributions would be improved if they were longer, more explanatory and less esoteric.
        Other people at WUWT also used to say this. We ARE interested but you must help us to understand your work
        tonyb

      • I agree with Tony. On one level, I intuit you may be on to something, but I don’t know what it is. On the other hand, my intuition may be biased by my belief that the sun controls climate.

        No one says the sun/climate mechanism/interaction has to be simple, but to gain currency, it must be understandable. Maybe that is asking for a bridge far off.
        ===============

      • Vaughan is about on the same level as the rest of the kranks that comment on this web site, such as Tony Brown, lil kim, etc.

        An F student is still an F student.

      • 100W A+ clue flows from 5°C temperature difference — takes fresh-minded 15-year-old Ann Makosinski to enlighten CE’s crusty, rusty old cranks about thermal wind simplicity and once again GTF away from me creep

    • Let me dissent from my fellow skeptics and call BS on this comment in its entirety. Cryptic comments from someone posting such rabid charges are not a sign that someone is “on to something.”

      You weren’t expected to understand the documents he linked to. You were expected to be impressed that there must be something genuinely sophisticated behind it.

      This comment and the linked documents remind me of Cornell West. He gives long diatribes, and writes turgid tomes, that are so convoluted, with so many made up terms, that they are unintelligible. But he “taught” at Harvard. So no one is willing to say the emperor has no clothes. I used to watch his speeches for fun. He makes Mosher’s attempts at obscurantism look as simple as the phone book.

      But there is no there there. Same here. This is not a seminar sponsored by the MIT and Stanford math departments. The cited lists have no reference, one doesn’t even have a caption, and there is no analysis or theory.

      If you follow the comments on WUWT, no one actually says “Where is your argument?” “What the hell are those supposed to show?” No one wants to risk seeming too dim to understand his “sophisticated” argument. Well I argue for a living, and his argument is crap. I have dealt with expert witnesses in various fields for decades, and this is the type of dross you get from someone who does not really have faith in whatever it is he claims to believe.

      I guess there is some small chance that he has come across an argument that no other climate scientist has ever thought of, and has never published. But I doubt it. What is abundantly clear is that his vanity far exceeds his writing ability.

      If he had an intelligible argument, he would have made it. Instead he cites to some obscure tables to give a sciency gloss to his personal diatribe against Dr. Curry.

      • GaryM

        Interesting comment. Lets Hope Paul returns and proves that either he is ‘on to something’ or that his writings are not meant to be understood.
        tonyb

      • Mebbe so, GaryM, and I defer to your experience. Nonetheless, this climate puzzle is remarkably complex, and understanding will come first with inchoate intuitive guesses. Well, it may.
        ===========================

      • kim,

        Absolutely. If he had posted simply the crytpic comment from WUWT:

        “Curry’s narrative implicitly asserts violation of at least 1 of the following laws:
        a) conservation of angular momentum.
        b) large numbers.”

        and those tables he cites, my reaction would have been a simple, huh? And I would have gone on. If someone wants to make a technical argument, but then utterly fails to do so, I lose interest.

        But the minimalist “argument” came several comments after the snide jibes at Dr. Curry, with merely unexplained links to the tables.

        I am not fond of pompous wannabe bullies, even blog commenting ones.

      • I’m with you on this one . . . ‘huh?’

      • tonyb,

        Interesting indeed. But if he had such an insight, don’t you think he would want people to know what it is? Isn’t that why someone posts a comment on multiple blogs? Shoot, wouldn’t every warmist journal in existence be clamoring for the publication rights?

        The truth is, even if he somehow magically discovered a mathematical proof of all things CAGW, his “argument” was crap, and was simply attached as an excuse for his gratuitous insults to Dr. Curry’s integrity. One had nothing logically to do with the other.

      • richardscourtney

        GaryM:

        You assert,
        “If you follow the comments on WUWT, no one actually says “Where is your argument?” “What the hell are those supposed to show?” No one wants to risk seeming too dim to understand his “sophisticated” argument.”

        No! That is wrong on both counts.

        Firstly, I did not address those data files because they were irrelevant to the ad hom. nature of Vaughn’s attacks on Dr Curry. If he had a case then he needed to state it and reference his evidence. People who make claims then set homework for others to find the justification are making excuses for not having a justification.

        Allan MacRae addressed the irrelevance of the presented data at September 22, 2013 at 2:53 am

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1423402

        saying;
        “So you have a technical disagreement in climate science. Join the club – many of us have differing opinions – some of us may be correct, but many of us will be wrong. However, to condemn Judith in your terms seems excessive and bizarre, especially in the context of the current acrimonious climate debate.”

        And that was after Stephen Rasey had said the links were irrelevant at September 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm.

        Secondly, the refusal to address the data in Vaughn’s links had nothing to do with fear of “seeming too dim”. Such an address of the data would have been to bite at the ‘red Herring’ Paul Vaughn dangled to deflect condemnation of his limacious smears of Dr Curry.

        Richard

      • It’s not a good sign when people (especially those claiming some kind of expertise) don’t even recognize these records:

        http://ftp.aer.com/pub/anon_collaborations/sba/aam.ncep.reanalysis.1948.2009

        ftp://ftp.iers.org/products/eop/long-term/c04_08/iau2000/eopc04_08_IAU2000.62-now

        It’s fascinating to see admission volunteered to the public record.

    • Don’t expect someone else (especially someone with severely limited time & resources) to spell everything out for you.

      Take personal responsibility for understanding independently.

      Ask very specific questions if you get stuck. Otherwise: Stop wasting time and harassing.

      • richardscourtney

        Paul Vaughan:

        I am copying to here the final of a set of posts I made objecting to your ad hom. attack on Dr Curry. It is at

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1423502

        I do this because I see that here – as there – you are claiming you are being put upon because you were pressed to provide justification for your egregious attacks of the lady.

        The copied post is as follows

        Richard

        ==============

        Paul Vaughan:

        Your post at September 22, 2013 at 6:16 am says in total

        “Richard, the implicit assumption of spatiotemporal uniformity flat-out FAILS diagnostics. There’s nothing “ad hom.” about that. Now get away from me.”

        That is merely another unsubstantiated assertion intended to excuse your disgraceful vilifications of Judith Curry.

        Now apologise for your behaviour especially your unsubstantiated attacks on Dr Curry.

        Richard

      • Richard sees an assertion that 1+1=2 and then demands an apology for its public expression. We’re dealing with some really high caliber people here.

  63. Dr. Curry, I love you for your clarity in how science is supposed to move forward, your ability to recognize the political corruption in AGW science, willingness to listen to AGW science critics from other scientific fields, and courage to change course and speak out to the chagrin of your peers who are still on the wrong track. I will never forget a comment you made somewhere that you noted almost all Mechanical Engineers are AGW skeptics. That was my personal experience with many of my Mechanical Engineering friends from the manned space program that led us to create The Right Climate Stuff research team of retirees who were primarily veterans of the Apollo Program. After a couple of years of intense volunteer study, we see that there probably are some CO2 effects, way overstated by the IPCC, but nothing catastrophic that we need to panic about. Thank you for the monumental effort required to provide this Climate, Etc. forum.

  64. The IPCC’s ‘inconvenient truth’ — a pause in surface warming for the past 15+ years

    Please can someone give me a definition for “pause”? What are the scientific criteria, which have to be fulfilled and based on which a “pause” in surface warming is diagnosed? This is a serious question.

    I am still waiting for the robust statistical analysis that shows that there is actually a real “pause”. If scientific standards are supposed to be maintained, this would have to be provided, particularly when the claims about the “pause” are coming from a scientist. Unless, one doesn’t really care about scientific standards and rigorous scientific analysis, because the motivations behind the claims about the “pause” are not scientific ones.

    • Search the last few threads for lolwot; he’s the only one with a convincing definition of the ‘pause’.
      ===================

    • Chief Hydrologist

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

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

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

      ‘What happened in the years 1976/77 and 1998/99 in the Pacific was so unusual that scientists spoke of abrupt climate changes. They referred to a sudden warming of the tropical Pacific in the mid-1970s and rapid cooling in the late 1990s. Both events turned the world’s climate topsy-turvy and are clearly reflected in the average temperature of Earth. Today we know that the cause is the interaction between ocean and atmosphere.’ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents
      significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://deepeco.ucsd.edu/~george/publications/09_long-term_variability.pdf

      Pause? It is the immensely significant climate shift of 1998/2001.

    • Jan P Perlwitz:

      “Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century1, 2, challenging the prevailing view that anthropogenic forcing causes climate warming. Various mechanisms have been proposed for this hiatus in global warming3, 4, 5, 6 …”

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12534.html

      Yu Kosaka & Shang-Ping Xie 2013

      a) Air temperatures continue to rise
      b) Air temperatures have paused

      I don’t think we can say either of the above is true with enough certainty. But we still want a term for the last 10-15 years.

      • The study by Kosaka and Xie is interesting, but they don’t provide a definition for “hiatus” or “pause” either, and no criteria that need to be fulfilled to call it a “hiatus”/”pause”. They just start with the assertion in their study that there was a “hiatus”. I don’t have a problem to use this term as work term for the temperature variability pattern over the recent ca. 15-17 years, if one wants to study what is behind this pattern. However, Judith Curry and others don’t use it only in this way. They use it to assert that something has been substantially different in the climate system, compared to the three decades before the recent ca. 15-17 years.

        The fact that the surface/tropospheric temperature trend hasn’t been statistically significant isn’t a sufficient criterion, because 1. the trend over the recent 15-17 years can’t also be statistically distinguished from the multi-decadal, highly statistically significant warming trend, which has been present since about the 1970ies, and 2. otherwise one always could claim a pause, because one always can find a time period of x years from the present point in time backward, for which the trend isn’t statistically significant. This is just a feature of any time series, which is composed of trend and fluctuations.

        Thus, despite my question, still no one, neither Judith Curry, nor anyone else has provided here any scientific criteria, based on which this alleged “pause” is being diagnosed/asserted by them, even though a few days have already gone by in this forum, since I asked.

        To move this forward, I propose following:

        A “pause” in the global temperature trend can be diagnosed, when both of the following criteria are fulfilled:
        a) based on a robust statistical analysis, the global temperature trend is not statistically distinguishable from the Zero trend,
        b) based on a robust statistical analysis, the global temperature trend is statistically distinguishable from the longer-term, multi-decadal warming trend (which itself is highly statistically significant).

        Accordingly, a “slowdown” can be diagnosed, when the temperature trend is positive, but it is statistically distinguishable both from the Zero trend and the longer-term warming trend, based on a robust statistical analysis.

        The statistical analysis to be robust is important to ensure that the result is not being biased by some statistical outliers (e.g., by a strong El Nino in a single year).

    • Jan P Perlwitz is still asking questions without bothering to check for any answers. It seems to me that he is just doing drive-by shootings and I recommend that no-one bothers to reply.

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  66. Judith’s original Australian article has been cross posted here:

    http://barnabyisright.com/2013/09/21/ipcc-final-draft-admits-models-have-failed/

    I subscribe to The Australian but the graph (Figure 1.4 from the first chapter of an AR5 draft) referred to in Judith’s article did not appear in my online version

    • Bill, the chart from the leaked assessment was in print on the front of the Inquirer section, but I couldn’t find it online. I think it’s been on CE recently.

  67. I am going to re-post this from above because I think I said it well. It was regarding this ill-defined concept of “open debate” that Judith promotes in her article.

    The way it is going currently (in the States at least) is how Judith wants it to proceed. Scientists are brought to panels, or write reports, with a smorgasbord of views and the politicians choose the ones that are most politically convenient to themselves, regardless of if their expert holds a minority view. In the end the politicians get to decide the climate change they would like, rather than the one they would most likely get. It is just the wrong science-policy interface for effectiveness and correct decisions. The truth is inconvenient for some politicians, but they can shield themselves from it.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      And yet the world is not warming for a decade or three more at least and the recent warming is very minor and misattributed.

      Sour grapes Jim – because people are deciding that climate change is not the one you endorse.

    • @Jim D | September 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
      I am going to re-post this from above because I think I said it well. It was regarding this ill-defined concept of “open debate” that Judith promotes in her article.
      So you’re reposting your own posting because you think you said it well. Gosh, how happy you must be.
      But only to a credulous self-worshipping consensus truebeliever, seeking to stamp out any questioning of politically correct orthodoxy, is “debate” is an ill-defined concept.

      The way it is going currently (in the States at least) is how Judith wants it to proceed. Scientists are brought to panels, or write reports, with a smorgasbord of views and the politicians choose the ones that are most politically convenient to themselves, regardless of if their expert holds a minority view.
      This makes a radical change from experts putting forward only reports that are politically and careerwise convenient to themselves. Fraudlent practices well-illustrated by Climategate, an unsurprising consequence of most experts being ideologically statist (being state employees), and most being Democrats.

      The truth is inconvenient for some politicians, but they can shield themselves from it.
      That has indeed been the case. Less likely now with hated “debate” entering the fray.

    • I still don’t know what this “open debate” idea is about. Does it involve people like the “dragonslayers” getting to talk to congressional panels, where some “hoaxists” would welcome them with open arms, or would there be some kind of vetting as to who gets to participate in this open debate? Would there still be a need to balance the opinions when nine out of ten scientists think one thing and one thinks the other or is a dragonslayer. Where do Greenpeace and eco-activists fit into this debate? Do they get equal say with the fossil fuel interests? Do scientific publications and research get equal say with journalist and politician opinion pieces? This whole thing seems a bit half-baked to me.

      • “Jim D | September 23, 2013 at 12:58 am | Reply

        I still don’t know what this “open debate” idea is about. Does it involve people like the “dragonslayers” getting to talk to congressional panels, where some “hoaxists” would welcome them with open arms, or would there be some kind of vetting as to who gets to participate in this open debate?”
        Congress members can decide whoever they want to speak on panels.
        It’s got nothing to do with “open debate”.
        In terms news, again people running newspaper would decide who they
        want to speak.
        The news or a blog could decide to allow discussion between people who don’t agree. It’s more interesting then everyone nodding their head.

        What isn’t a open debate is where people are threatening to physical
        injury or other types of injury to a person because of the ideas they may express.
        Though I never actually tested it, if someone would write an article or piece and submitted it to Judith Curry, she might decide to post it.
        The criterion for such a choice would probably have to do with how well it was written and whether she thought it was interesting and relevant.
        And most people would call that an open debate.
        Therefore that was the reason Judith Curry decided to post some articles
        by skydragons. But she removed them because the author wanted them removed and was threatening her.
        Which of course is rather rude and quite of unfair. If you write something
        on this blog, you putting it into the public domain. And unless there is very unusual or compelling reason, one should not ask a publisher to remove content you have submitted. Of course a publisher or someone running a blog doesn’t have to keep any content which is objectionable.
        Forcing someone to publish something is a bad idea, forcing news to balance views is also a bad idea. And this was the law that people had some right to have their views expressed if this contrary to views expressed by the media. The justification for such a bad law was there
        were a limited amount news channel and that public had right to hear opposing views. But in any case one shouldn’t confuse this bad law with
        “open debate”.

      • gbaikie, the point is that in an “open” debate, the policymakers can’t tell the loud crackpots from the genuine scientists who have put in the work on the subject, and it just becomes a din. They need an academic review to weed out the irrelevant noise before it even goes to the policymakers.

      • “Jim D | September 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm |

        gbaikie, the point is that in an “open” debate, the policymakers can’t tell the loud crackpots from the genuine scientists who have put in the work on the subject, and it just becomes a din. They need an academic review to weed out the irrelevant noise before it even goes to the policymakers.”

        Is anyone saying that academic review should not be allowed?

        Also, although I can’t say that I normally have an excessive degree of confidence in policymakers, I do think most could manage to tell difference between loud crackpots and genuine scientists.

      • gbaikie, no the evidence is that politicians listen for the climate change they want rather than the most likely one they will get, and plan or don’t plan accordingly. This is because the truth is inconvenient for some. if the “open debate” is still academic and done by the working scientists around the world, fine, that would be a good start. How is this to be distinguished from the IPCC process? Perhaps they can have majority and one or more minority views with signatories to them on each chapter. This avoids the use of a single consensus, which may limit opinions. Dissenting opinions put in print, and signed for, may make them better considered and supported by their own research evidence rather than just looking like anecdotal opinion pieces because now they put their reputations on the line if they say anything wrong. It changes the game to force the dissenters to find supporting evidence for their opinion, and then find some signatories who agree with them.

  68. Judith Curry: love your work. And your commenters add a lot of value. But “Joshua” needs to grow up. He made his point, repeatedly and at length. Now he’s thread-hogging in a very aggressive, juvenile way. I hope my comment doesn’t lead to him now expanding his flame-war in a futile effort to prove he’s not engaged in only and exactly that.

  69. Responses to Judith’s Australian article, under the heading “A welcome call for an open debate climate change”:

    THE article on climate change by Judith Curry was a balanced contribution to the debate (“Consensus distorts the climate picture”, 21-22/9). She presented scientific facts and opinions in a clear and concise manner. The proposal to abandon the scientific consensus-seeking approach in favour of a more open discussion is most welcome.

    All fields of science will benefit from a more open discussion. For the progress of science, it is essential that new ideas and concepts that challenge the consensus get heard and can compete for research funding.

    In the case of climate science, researchers who participated in the consensus-seeking process have secured the lion’s share of government funding. I hope the Abbott government will restore balance in research funding.

    Jacob Rebek, Breakfast Point, NSW

    JUDITH Curry has brought a touch of hope to those who are prepared to take climate change seriously but are tired of being told that science has spoken. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is having to acknowledge there is a little more uncertainty than it would like to admit.

    My encouraged spirit was then crushed by John Cook’s article (“Hardly any experts doubt human-caused climate change” 21-22/9). It made me think something was very dubious about the climate change consensus gang. I was gobsmacked by the assertion that you have got to be part of the consensus if you thought humans played a part in the global warming phenomena. So much for science, so much for consensus.

    Gary Smitham, Baulkham Hills, NSW

    JUDITH Curry is right to say that authority rests on credibility. But she claims “the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favour of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change”. Her main candidate for the pause in warming is natural variability (El Nino/La Nina, for example) which would reduce attribution of warming to greenhouse gasses. But she ignores the fact that the 1998 El Nino warming was extreme, as was the recent extended La Nina episode with associated cooling.

    Perhaps those two extremes contributed to a pause, a pause that is either not natural or one at the extremities of natural.

    Barry White, Indooroopilly, NSW

    JOHN Cook makes the mistake of assuming that anyone who is against action on climate change denies that the world is warming. Of course it is warming; what we disagree with is the extent of any action to mitigate it.

    To me, there are three broad categories of argument about climate change. First, you want to save humanity from climate change. I suggest we spend the money on more immediate threats to our lives. The world’s annual net population growth of 73 million will easily overtake any climate change mitigation action we might take.

    Second, you want to save the planet from climate change caused by humans. Then sit back and let nature take its course. Rising sea levels and the increasing severity of storms may help to moderate population growth.

    Third, you don’t believe it’s happening. Cook and the climate alarmists try to put anyone who disagrees with climate change mitigation into this category.

    William Ripper, Arana Hills, Qld

    THANK you for your editorial (“Testing the climate consensus”, 21-22/9). The famous scene from Life of Brian is quoted repeatedly to family and friends, but I had forgotten the lone dissenter. And where has Judith Curry been all these years?

    To improve the debate, the first thing we have to do is remove the creeping determination by the IPCC to make anthropogenic carbon emissions and the words climate change synonymous.

    K. de Courtenay, Nedlands, WA

    NOW that the climate commission has been axed and there is no minister for science, who will advise Tony Abott? These are the actions of a government that views human-caused global warming as “crap” and plans to do as little as possible. Doubts about human-caused global warming is in the popular media, not in the scientific community.

    Every respected scientific body is in agreement on this issue. Only the amount of projected warming remains unclear.

    Nobody likes bad news, but if 97 mechanics say my car is overheating because it has been mistreated and three others – plus the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker – say it’s just a glitch and it’ll fix itself, who should I listen to?

    Fred Cehak, Highgate Hill, Qld

    DOESN’T Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet understand the concept of one planet? The climate commission was made up of three professors – experts from a range of relevant fields – an economist and a former businessman and set up to give the government and all Australians expert, unbiased advice on climate change, gas emissions and the carbon price.
    With the stroke of a pen, Abbott has axed this important service. The world knows Australia is revolutionary when it comes to clean energy, our desire to recycle and the enormous potential to keep the economy going through renewable energy. Less than a week in power and he has changed the face of Australia.

    Caterina Poggi, Thornton, NSW

    JUDITH Curry’s sensible comments about climate science would have been condemned as heresy before 2010, such was the ferocity of the global warming creed (“Consensus distorts the climate picture”, 21-22/9). Today, open-minded scientists are being heard. This is the real tipping point: truth will out.

    Ian Levy, Avalon, NSW

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  72. Thank the lord there is someone with some common sense out there still. Good reasoned article Judith !

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  76. I think the opposition between facts-based and model-based ‘predictions’ is not as clear-cut maybe. If the models were any good, they would have predicted the warming hiatus with acceptable precision. When they didn’t this may lead to renewed efforts to revamp the models. So let’s say, the new set of models manages to bring the exact timeline up to 2013 and they follow the REAL curves ‘as if’ they were actually not a model but a recap of the DATA. Perfect fit so to speak. Does that mean anything for the immediate and longer-term future, like 2014, 2020 or 2100? I’m afraid not. ANY theory that is then modelled has to exist PRIOR to the modeling. ONLY if a causal theory (e.g. Newton’s mechanics) gives exact formulae that can be calculated and ALL THE INPUTS measured, only then can one create a model. Relying on facts to create a model rather arbitrarily and then writing a computer program does not work. To me it is amazing that this simple theory of science 101 goes ignored in ALL the scientific community. the “facts” are plucked arbitrarily. No one knows which facts one should pluck. It’s like the prosecutors rounding up all potential suspects and alloting them statistically determined jail time to bring the “surety of conviction” to 100%. Inspectors don’t work like that. They determine a) who’s dead, b) what caused the death, then c) which “tools” are able to cause such a death (e.g. you don’t look for blacksmiths wielding hammers in a poison case), d) then who could fit the profile of a perpetrator. Climate science does none of this, they model how many beats with a hammer may cause symptoms of arsenic poisoning.

    • I think the opposition between facts-based and model-based ‘predictions’ is not as clear-cut maybe. If the models were any good, they would have predicted the warming hiatus with acceptable precision.

      You are requesting something from the climate models, which is objectively impossible. To precisely predict the chronological succession of events in a physical system, which is governed by internal chaotic variability, for a time period which lies beyond the prediction limit for this system. Nature provides only a single realization of all possible realizations of this chaotic variability, the number of which is infinite within the limits of the attractor basin of the system. The models will never reproduce this one single realization. They objectively can’t.

      ANY theory that is then modelled has to exist PRIOR to the modeling. ONLY if a causal theory (e.g. Newton’s mechanics) gives exact formulae that can be calculated and ALL THE INPUTS measured, only then can one create a model.

      It looks like you are saying models should only be used, if they are perfect, using only perfect input data and based on a perfect theory.

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