The Fundamental Uncertainties of Climate Change

by Garth Paltridge

There is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of climate to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably hopeful that global warming might not be nearly as bad as is currently touted.  Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky.  They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.

The World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations took its first steps towards establishing the World Climate Program in the early nineteen-seventies.  Among other things it held an international conference in Stockholm to define the main scientific problems to be solved before reliable climate forecasting could be possible.  The conference defined quite a number, but focused on just two.  The first concerned an inability to simulate the amount and character of clouds in the atmosphere.  Clouds are important because they govern the balance between solar heating and infrared cooling of the planet, and thereby are a control of Earth’s temperature.  The second concerned an inability to forecast the behaviour of oceans.  Oceans are important because they are the main reservoirs of heat in the climate system.  They have internal, more-or-less random, fluctuations on all sorts of time-scales ranging from years through to centuries.  These fluctuations cause changes in ocean surface temperature that in turn affect Earth’s overall climate.

The situation hasn’t changed all that much in the decades since the conference.  Many of the problems of simulating the behaviour of clouds and oceans are still there (along with lots of other problems of lesser moment) and for many of the same reasons as were appreciated at the time. Perhaps the most significant is that climate models must do their calculations at each point of an imaginary grid of points spread evenly around the world at various heights in the atmosphere and depths in the ocean.  The calculations are done every hour or so of model time as the model steps forward into its theoretical future.   Problems arise because practical constraints on the size of computers ensure that the horizontal distance between model grid-points may be as much as a degree or two of latitude or longitude – that is to say, a distance of many tens of kilometres.

That sort of distance is much larger than the size of a typical piece of cloud.   As a consequence, simulation of clouds requires a fair amount of inspired guesswork as to what might be a suitable average of whatever is going on between the grid-points of the model.  Even if experimental observations suggest that the models get the averages roughly right for a short-term forecast, there is no guarantee they will get them right for atmospheric conditions several decades into the future.  Among other problems, small errors in the numerical modelling of complex processes have a nasty habit of accumulating with time.

Again because of this grid-point business, oceanic fluctuations and eddies smaller than the distance between the grid-points of a model are unknown to that model.  This would not be a problem except that eddies in turbulent fluids can grow larger and larger.  A small random eddy in the real ocean can grow and appear out of nowhere as far as a forecasting model is concerned, and make something of a dog’s breakfast of the forecast from that time on.

All of the above is background to one of the great mysteries of the climate change issue.  Virtually all the scientists directly involved in climate prediction are aware of the enormous problems and uncertainties still associated with their product.  How then is it that those of them involved in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) can put their hands on their hearts and maintain there is a 95% probability that human emissions of carbon dioxide have caused most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades?

Bear in mind that the representation of clouds in climate models (and of the water vapour which is intimately involved with cloud formation) is such as to amplify the forecast warming from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide – on average over most of the models by a factor of about 3.   In other words, two-thirds of the forecast rise in temperature derives from this particular model characteristic.   Despite what the models are telling us – and perhaps because it is models that are telling us – no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind, when asked the specific question, would say that he is 95% sure that the effect of clouds is to amplify rather than to reduce the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide.  If he is not sure that clouds amplify global warming, he cannot be sure that most of the global warming is a result of increasing carbon dioxide.

Bear in mind too that no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind, when asked the specific question, would say there is only a very small possibility (i.e. less than 5%) that internal ocean behaviour could be a major cause of the warming over the past half-century.  He would be particularly careful not to make such a statement now that there has been no significant warming over the most recent fifteen-or-so years.  In the mad scurry to find reasons for the pause, and to find reasons for an obvious failure of the models to simulate the pause, suddenly we are hearing that perhaps the heat of global warming is being “hidden” in the deep ocean.  In other words we are being told that some internal oceanic fluctuation may have reduced the upward trend in global temperature.  It is therefore more than a little strange that we are not hearing from the IPCC (or at any rate not hearing very loudly) that some natural internal fluctuation of the system may have given rise to most of the earlier upward trend.

In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem – or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem – in its effort to promote the cause.   It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.  Trading reputational capital for short-term political gain isn’t the most sensible way of going about things.

The trap was set in the late seventies or thereabouts when the environmental movement first realised that doing something about global warming would play to quite a number of its social agendas.   At much the same time, it became accepted wisdom around the corridors of power that government-funded scientists (i.e. most scientists) should be required to obtain a goodly fraction of their funds and salaries from external sources – external anyway to their own particular organization.

The scientists in environmental research laboratories, since they are not normally linked to any particular private industry, were forced to seek funds from other government departments.  In turn this forced them to accept the need for advocacy and for the manipulation of public opinion.  For that sort of activity, an arms-length association with the environmental movement would be a union made in heaven.  Among other things it would provide a means by which scientists could distance themselves from responsibility for any public overstatement of the significance of their particular research problem.

The trap was partially sprung in climate research when a significant number of the relevant scientists began to enjoy the advocacy business.   The enjoyment was based on a considerable increase in funding and employment opportunity.  The increase was not so much on the hard-science side of things but rather in the emerging fringe institutes and organizations devoted, at least in part, to selling the message of climatic doom.  A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences – this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency unheard of in days of yore.

Somewhere along the line it came to be believed by many of the public, and indeed by many of the scientists themselves, that climate researchers were the equivalent of knights on white chargers fighting a great battle against the forces of evil – evil, that is, in the shape of “big oil” and its supposedly unlimited money.  The delusion was more than a little attractive.

The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the US, the Australian Academy of Science, and so on) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC.  The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations.   In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.

Since that time in 2010-11 or thereabouts, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the spectre of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster.  It can no longer use the environmental movement as a scapegoat if it should turn out that the threat of global warming has no real substance.  It can no longer escape prime responsibility if it should turn out in the end that doing something in the name of mitigation of global warming is the costliest scientific mistake ever visited on humanity.  The current re-direction of global funds in the name of climate change is of the order of a billion dollars a day.  And in the future, to quote US senator Everett Dirksen, “a billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon we‘ll be talking about real money”.

The situation has come about at a time when the average man in the street, a sensible chap who these days can smell the signs of an oversold environmental campaign from miles away, is beginning to suspect that it is politics rather than science which is driving the issue.

Scientists – most scientists anyway – may be a bit naïve, but they are not generally wicked, idiotic, or easily suborned either by money or by the politically correct.  So whatever might be the enjoyment factor associated with supporting officially accepted wisdom, and whatever might be the constraints applied by the scientific powers-that-be, it is still surprising that the latest IPCC report has been tabled with almost no murmur of discontent from the lower levels of the research establishment.  What has happened to the scepticism that is supposedly the lifeblood of scientific enquiry?

The answer probably gets back to the uncertainty of it all.  The chances of proving – repeat proving – that change of climate over the next century will be large enough to be disastrous are virtually nil.  For the same reason, the chances of a climate sceptic, or anyone else for that matter, proving the disaster theory to be oversold are also virtually nil.  To that extent there is a level playing field for the two sides of the argument.  The problem is that climate research necessarily involves enormous resources, and is a game for institutions and organizations.  Scepticism is an occupation for individuals.  Things being as they are in the climate change arena, scepticism by an individual within the system can be fairly career limiting.  In any event, most individual scientists have a conscience, and are reluctant to put their head above the public parapet in order to propound a view of things that may be inherently unprovable.

In short, there is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of climate to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably hopeful that global warming might not be nearly as bad as is currently touted.  Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky.  They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.

Originally published in Quadrant magazineJan-Feb 2014, LVIII, Number 1-2, 44-46. Also accessible unlocked via Quadrant On Line

Biosketch:  Garth Paltridge is an emeritus professor with the University of Tasmania, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He is the author of The Climate Caper: facts and fallacies of global warming, Connor Court, 2009. He was a chief research scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research.

JC comment:  This article was sent to me via email by Garth Paltridge.  Garth has previous published on Climate Etc.:

This is a guest post; please keep your comments on topic and civil.

772 responses to “The Fundamental Uncertainties of Climate Change

  1. OK, but what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability? Financial decisions take risk under consideration; why not taking climate change risk into account?

    • What’s wrong with deception for a noble cause?

      Social insanity (“loss of contact with reality”) that cannot be cured with anti-depressants, psychotropic drugs, legalized marijuana, alcohol, reality TV, gladiator sports, video games, pornography, gambling casinos, etc., etc, ad infinitum !

      See: A Journey to the Core of the Sun: Acceptance of Reality

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Chapter_2.pdf

    • Luis, because proposed solutions hurt those who some suggest may be receiving a benefit.
      I am a foster parent and have adopted children with special needs and work some with very poor people, sometimes simply trying to arrange for heat in the winter.
      I get very tired of the arrogance of would be problem solvers living in ivory towers and never experiencing the real world.
      Some travel around the world leaving their carbon footprint every where, having a yearly taxpayer funded grand vacation and snubbing their almighty noses at some who barely live day to day.
      In Copenhagen, all but two vehicles were private limos and they had to barrow space at a nearby airport to part the private airplanes.
      Do as I say, not as I do.

    • but remember those people are more important

    • Luis: “What social insanity is greater than pursuing infinite production and consumption growth in a finite planet?

      1. Using Einstein’s and Aston’s discoveries of “powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction'” selfishly to enslave all mankind, and

      2. Treating slaves with anti-depressants, psychotropic drugs, legalized marijuana, alcohol, reality TV, gladiator sports, video games, pornography, gambling casinos, etc., etc, ad infinitum !

      See the last paragraph of Aston’s 1922 Nobel Lecture:

      http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1922/aston-lecture.pdf

    • “OK, but what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering “???

    • “what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity”. Nothing. A large number of human beings are suffering from lack of food, water, energy, medical services. A large number of “innocent” human beings are being killed in civil wars. What’s climate got to do with this?

    • I believe the statement about preventing human suffering is made honestly and with good intent. The same logic was applied in my realm of medicine when surgeons argued to remove plaque from carotid arteries in patients with no symptoms to prevent strokes, or when highs cost drugs and interventions were introduced into critical care to improve survival of the sickest of patients, or when certain drugs became widely prescribed to prevent the long term effects of certain chronic conditions. In all cases where these decisions were made with good intent but an incomplete knowledge of cause and effect, or of the uncertainties of the information guiding the decision, a later analysis showed that what had become standard medical practice was doing more harm than good. Acting with good intent does not immunize against the bad effects of acting on an incomplete or incorrect knowledge base.

    • Andy,

      You should list also the successes of other similar decisions. In medicine the total number of decision that have led to lasting practices is large. Some of those decisions have turned out to be erroneous in retrospect, while many others have been highly beneficial. Unfortunately it’s not possible to pick only the right ones and implement them as early as justified by a balanced assessment.

      Improvements in practices are surely always possible but avoiding occasional wrong decisions is not.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      darrylb said on January 8, 2014 at 11:34 am

      “Luis, because proposed solutions hurt those who some suggest may be receiving a benefit”.
      __________

      Well, British Columbia has a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and I haven’t heard about it causing people to live with too little heat.

      I haven’t heard about any solar panels freezing people, and I imagine electricity generated from windmills has the same heat as electricity generated by other means.

      I have plenty, which I deserve because I made it, and I resent the notion that this doesn’t entitle me to use more resources than a poor person if I chose to use more. As a matter of fact, however, I use less fossil-based fuel than some low- and moderate- income people I know. I also make money as a mineral rights holder. Should I feel guilty and give this money away to the poor.

      If you use your head and dress scientifically rather than trying to dress fashionably, you may not need as much artificial heat as you think.

    • There’s a lot wrong with “trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability” when it is based on falsehood, creates major economic damage, outlaws simple inexpensive products like the incandescent lightbulb in favor of expensive and toxic replacements, etc.

      “why not taking climate change risk into account?” Because it’s not being treated as RISK but being pushed dogmatically as “settled science” when it’s anything BUT settled (or, in many cases, scientific).

      I am all for reducing consumption of resources, including energy, but the REAL waste of billions of dollars comes from the bureaucratic overreach of entities like the EPA and fear-mongered legislation coupled with the carbon credit (fraud) “industry”.

    • Luis Gutierrez,
      @ January 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

      OK, but what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability? Financial decisions take risk under consideration; why not taking climate change risk into account?

      There is nothing “wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability”. In fact it is what we should be doing. No one would disagree. However, the policies being advocated would do far more harm than good. It is almost certain they will do significant harm, and very unlikely they will make the slightest difference to the climate. That is what you seem to ignore. You don’t seem to be able to benefit up the expected value of benefits versus the expected value of the dis benefits – where the expected value is the estimate benefit of the policy if it succeeds and lasts for as long as required times the probability of achieving it succeeding and working as intended for all that time.

      The carbon pricing and renewable energy targets are two examples of policies that have virtually no chance of achieving what their proponents claim. For example this explains the cost of the Australian ETS and why it will not succeed: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/08/why-the-ets-will-not-succeed-peter-lang/

    • A billion dollars a day?

    • Do the Met Office think 30 years of no warming might happen, due to oceand?

      At the Royal Society climate event for IPCC AR5

      [audio src="http://downloads.royalsociety.org/events/2013/climatescience-next-steps/marotzke.mp3" /]

      Dame Julia Slingo – Chief Scientist at the Met Office is at (44 mins 50 secs)

      “……you’ve argued very convincingly and I say (said) it’s a great presentation about 15 years being irrelevant, but I think, some of us might say if you look at the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and it’s timescale that it appears to work, it could be be 30 years, not out of the woods yet, on this one”

      audio in the above link from talk by:
      Professor Jochem Marotzke, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany

      http://royalsociety.org/events/2013/climatescience-next-steps/

      Prof Mike Hulme, Kevin Trenberth and Gavin Schmidt are in the Q/A session as well.. Mike Hulmes question is very good

    • Luis you can promote all sorts of ideas such as “social solidarity” on the back of the global warming debate. And I can also smell a dead rat in such proposals because if your aim is to impose communism I’ve first hand and lengthy exposure to communist dictatorships and their aftermath, and I’d rather not undergo the experience ever again. This means I’m not going to look kindly on the use of global warming propaganda to return me to slavery.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY ALERT !

      OK, I’ll confess. I think man-made global is a bad thing because I’m some kind of “ist”, probably an enlightened capitalist.

    • Latimer Alder

      What is ‘social solidarity’ and why might ppl wish to improve it?

    • Why does ‘social solidarity’ sound like a slogan? And
      why am I suss of slogans? Slogans remind this serf of
      ‘four legs good, two legs bad.’ and other messages
      promoting mindless consensus that invariably benefits
      the coterie but not the herd.

      Beth the serf.

    • “what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability? Financial decisions take risk under consideration; why not taking climate change risk into account?”

      One reason would be that there are *lots* of projects we could use the money now being spent (or which some hope will be spent) on climate research, which would have a far greater chance of preventing suffering, improving solidarity, and/or improving sustainability. Medical research, for example, and perhaps especially medical research aimed at diseases in the third world (malaria, for example).

      There is of course already money being spent on these other causes. The question is whether the *proportion* of spending is such as to maximize return (or rather, to maximize the expected return).

      BTW, my own field is linguistics. And while I like to have money to spend on linguistic research, in the end I doubt that it does anything to prevent suffering or improve sustainability. Some linguists have argued that some kinds of linguistic research can improve solidarity. That said, if what I’m saying above were put into practice, there would probably be less research money for my favorite science. In other words, I’m not saying this out of self interest.

    • “OK, but what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability? ”

      Cost/benefit. If the cost of the program is huge but actually produces no measurable benefit, then you have done more harm than good. For example, if the cost of the program is 10 billion dollars but it does not reduce the global atmospheric (or growth thereof) CO2 enough to even measure, then it has taken money away that could have been put to productive use. And — every dollar spent on “fighting global warming” lands in someone’s pocket. It is basically turning out to be a scheme to milk the taxpayers of cash for no measurable benefit. The cure is worse than the disease.

    • Luis Gutierrez,

      Have you learn’t anything yet in answer to your question, or don’t you want to know?

    • “Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”
      “Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”
      “One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.
      “Poverty is a death sentence.”
      “Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”
      Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline. This archive contains some 5.000 emails picked from keyword searches. A few remarks and redactions are marked with triple brackets. The rest, some 220.000, are encrypted for various reasons. We are not planning to publicly release the passphrase. We could not read every one, but tried to cover the most relevant topics such as…

      http://foia2011.org/

    • What social insanity is greater than pursuing infinite production and consumption growth in a finite planet?

      Have a near unlimited amount of resources that a growing population needs in the solar system and not making a concerted effort at retrieving them. An interesting side effect is that much of the needed technologies would alleviate many of the issues we currently have meeting the needs of the worlds population. As an example we’re not mining the Solar System on Fossil Fuels, nor are you living in a habitat and not recycling every resource you have and need.

    • Because once people find out you’ve lied to them, no matter how noble your cause, they will never believe you again, even when you are telling the truth.

  2. Suggestion: it is, I believe, standard practice to include a link back to the original article:

    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/01-02/fundamental-uncertainties-climate-change/

  3. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    “Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky. They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.”
    ______

    Well, skeptics don’t have much to lose if they are wrong. They aren’t likely to be exhumed and tried posthumously.
    Skeptics have little to lose even while they are still living, although to hear them tell it anything to curb man-made warming will ruin their lives.

    • “Things being as they are in the climate change arena, scepticism by an individual within the system can be fairly career limiting. “

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Judith Curry seems to be doing alright.

    • One datapoint, first of all.
      Second, are you certain her research and views getting the impact they would in an unbiased world?

    • Max,

      If you want to get the guillotines going before there is a catastrophy perhaps you should start with Branson and DiCaprio:

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304325004579296781320668314

      “Private space travel doesn’t seem to mesh with living green, and Mr. Branson surely anticipated that his project would raise environmentalists’ eyebrows. Perhaps that’s why he announced this past May: “We have reduced the [carbon emission] cost of somebody going into space from something like two weeks of New York’s electricity supply to less than the cost of an economy round-trip from Singapore to London.”

      That would be a remarkable achievement in energy efficiency if it were true. Alas, it is not. According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s environmental assessment of the launch and re-entry of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft, one launch-land cycle emits about 30 tons of carbon dioxide, or about five tons per passenger. That is about five times the carbon footprint of a flight from Singapore to London.

      When you include the energy of the entire Virgin Galactic operation, which includes support aircraft, it is seven times more than the flight from Singapore to London. As such, a single trip on Virgin Galactic will require twice as much energy as the average American consumes each year. (These numbers were confirmed by a representative for Virgin Galactic)”

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max_OK, you write “Judith Curry seems to be doing alright.”

      Our hostess is not a skeptic. She seems to believe inn CAGW. She is just not sure how catastrophic it is going to be.

    • Mmmmm … skeptical scientists have a lot to lose too which is why many keep their skepticism concealed. One of the more illuminating things about the Climategate e-mails was how viciously Mann and company attacked anyone who didn’t fall in line with their storyline. They attacked people’s careers for daring to question whether the Emperor had any clothes on.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Scientists being silent about their climate skepticism is convenient to the argument they are a significant number.
      Since they stay quiet, you could claim most scientists are climate skeptics, and no one could prove you wrong. I wish someone would make that claim, so I could roll in the floor laughing.

    • Ocean heat content being unmeasured is convenient to the argument that it is a significant number. Since it is unmeasured, you could claim most of the “missing heat” is in the ocean, and no one could prove you wrong. I wish someone would make that claim, so I could roll in the floor laughing.

      Oh wait….

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Hey, GaryM

      Try to understand the difference between a claim (heat missing in the ocean) and an absurd claim (almost all scientist are closet climate skeptics).

      If you must laugh, DO NOT roll on the floor. You might not be able to get up.

  4. Solar variation in the past is a fundamental uncertainty. Within the margin of error you could have the Sun accounting for all of climate change. Given the alarmists need the sun to explain climate change prior to co2 suddenly taking over in 1950 (lol), Solar forcing is ignored or downplayed at the peril of progress in climate science.

    • Zero climate sensitivity is not credible

    • “Zero climate sensitivity is not credible”

      Probably not.

      But since we don’t know how albedo has varied ( or even what it is very well ), we don’t know what (im)balance we have or have had.

    • And we don’t know what convective response occurs but is hidden in the parameterized, sub-grid nether world of models.

      And we don’t have a particularly good way of measuring that elusive convective response to even try and validate the models.

      So, ….

    • clutching at straws, without fingers

    • “clutching at straws, without fingers”

      Well put.

    • @lolwot | January 8, 2014 at 11:31 am |

      Zero climate sensitivity is not credible

      It is to anybody with any real intelligence and understanding of the climate. Maybe not very probable, but possible, plausible, and credible.

    • then it’s plausible and credible that the theory of evolution is wrong too

      and plausible and credible that plate tectonics is wrong

      and plausible and credible that the germ theory of disease is wrong

      etc

      in a word, no.

    • then it’s plausible and credible that the theory of evolution is wrong too

      Of course it’s wrong. We just don’t know how to tweak it to make it right. Personally, I’m highly skeptical of the notion that Eukaryotes evolved from bacterioforms. In fact, I suspect the reality involved Eubacteria and Eukaryotes co-evolving as symbiotes in a world where most life-forms were different (and have since been driven to extinction). There’s very good evidence that the original common ancestor (of all known modern forms) had many features since lost by Eubacteria and Archea, and were actually as similar to Eukaryotes as to bacteriaforms.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Within the margin of error you could have the Sun accounting for all of climate change.”
      ____
      No, you can’t. Solar variations alone do not explain all of climate change unless you extend your “margins of error” to absurd levels. Known and measurable external forcings from events such a volcanic eruptions would, according to this notion, have no impact, and our measurements of the cooling effects of say, Pinatubo in 1991, all were just within the margin of error. This is complete nonsense.

    • Gates, this simple graph says easily.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’ Albert Einstein

      I’m a bit dubious about the whole arrow of time thingy.

    • You may or may not have enjoyed a talk I heard John Polkinghorne give in 2003 then, I think for the first time, on the five arrows of time. Here’s a review of a later version:

      Perhaps the most useful paper comes fourth, “Time in Physics and Theology,” by John Polkinghorne. Polkinghorne disagrees with Stannard’s “fixed future,” and argues that time’s nature is a metaphysical issue, and cannot be settled by unaided science. He has a marvelous discussion of how the basic laws of physics are reversible. Yet, we never see them reverse; instead we are aware of five different “arrows” pointing from the past to the future. These are: (1) the thermodynamic arrow of increasing entropy in an isolated system, (2) the arrow of increasing complexity in a non-isolated system, (3) the expansion of the universe, (4) cause to effect, and (5) human temporal experience. All five arrows point the same direction; there is no general agreement on why this is so. Polkinghorne then explores the time as just a psychological trick, time as a measure of a closed universe, time as the unfolding of an open universe, the many worlds speculations, and concludes with his own theological perspective (in the end, God wins).

      That’s here but a bit more googling and you could probably do better.

    • Oops, didn’t mean to make the words of my old lecturer sound that important :)

    • The Unbearable Uncertainties of Climate Change interacting with
      The Fundamental Lightness of the Science.’

    • Home is where they have to take you in when you show up.
      ==========

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      That’s one of Robert Frost’s more puzzling sayings.

      Ted Williams said make a home inside your head. I like that idea because no matter where you go you are at home.

    • David Springer

      Richard Drake | January 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm |

      “Yet, we never see them reverse; instead we are aware of five different “arrows” pointing from the past to the future. These are: (1) the thermodynamic arrow of increasing entropy in an isolated system, (2) the arrow of increasing complexity in a non-isolated system, (3) the expansion of the universe, (4) cause to effect, and (5) human temporal experience.”

      Physically I tend to go with arrow of time is an artifact of law of entropy. Everything is time reversible it’s just bloody unlikely that much is going to happen that goes against the flow of entropy.

      Increasing complexity in non-isolated system? I only know of one situation where that applies and it’s life. As far as we know information (order) obeys conservation just like energy. At one point we believe the universe was an infinitely small, infinitely dense point of energy then the big bang happened and 14 billion years later it is what it is.

      Presuming the singularity that produced the big bang was a closed system and no order was imported from without then according to conservation this point source was the most ordered thing to ever exist and that could ever exist as entropy only goes one way. Every bit of the library of congress, every thought we have, every bit of order in the universe today must have been present in the singularity unless said order was somehow imported from outside the universe which means it wasn’t or isn’t a closed system.

      This begs the question of where the phuck did all that order come from in the singularity if it was indeed a closed system and if it wasn’t what the phuck is beyond it that can export order into our our universe?

      I figure a deity is as good an explanation as any. The idea of the library of congress self-organizing from a random dance of atoms doesn’t pass the giggle test. The engineer in me refuses to believe that abstracts like language and predictive models that plan their own future (minds) can just materialize accidentally.

      You might enjoy these articles I blogged written by physicist Carl Frederick who quoted some possibly surprising things that Lee Smolin said in a lecture titled “Which Way Out” about the state of theoretical physics and how the universe came to be so (apparently) finely tuned.

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/after-40-years-of-silence-analog-magazine-finally-tackles-intelligent-design/

      Frederick begins:

      In the early 1990′s, a creeping realization swept through the theoretical physics community that the probability for the universe to even exist was vanishingly small. Indeed, the only “theory” around that seemed able to explain the universe’s existence was Intelligent Design. This was not something physicists and cosmologists liked to talk about.

      Frederick later quotes from a Lee Smolin lecture titled “Which Way Out”

      Which Way Out?

      Lee Smolin considers that there are four solutions to the problem, schemas if you will.

      [below are truncated for brevity -ds]

      1) God tuned the parameters for our benefit.
      2) There are a very large number of universes each of which has random parameters.
      3) There is a “unique mathematically consistent theory of the whole universe”.
      4) The parameters evolve in time – in the Darwinian sense.

      [end truncation -ds]

      I spent several years hobnobbing with the best brains in the philosophy business and in the end came away the same way I started – agnostic. As an engineer I think I can recognize a machine when I see one and the universe appears to be a machine and life, especially at the level of molecular machinery common to all life that we know about, is definitely a machine with abstract information storage and processing technologies that make a computer technologist like me green with envy. No matter how deeply one looks into the workings of the universe from the smallest to largest scales the “illusion of design” as Richard Dawkins calls it in The Blind Watchmaker just doesn’t go away. Illusions disintegrate on close inspection but the illusion of design in the machinery of life does not and we’ve drilled down pretty frickin’ deep at this point in time.

    • Thing is David, we can read DNA like we can read a hard drive. We have a working mitochondrial genome, that is derived from a Rickettsia parasite that became an endosymbiot. There are bits of our miochondrial genome incorporated into our nuclear genome; Human Mitochondrial Pseudogenes. These are accidental incorporations and are not the work of a sane God.
      There are >8000 pseudogenes, plus >4000 duplicated pseudogenes. There are 49 different cytochrome c pseudogenes. Lovely thing is that we can clock the pseudogenes age by information loss and the number and location of these pseudogenes follows the same evolutionary pattern that we can get with other evolutionary trees.

    • David Springer

      DocMartyn | January 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm |

      “Thing is David, we can read DNA like we can read a hard drive.”

      Yes I’m very well aware of that as well as the progress made in cost of doing so. I could write a book about it from memory. The first complete sequencing of human genome was finished simultaneously in 2001 by gov’t Human Genome Project for about a billion $ and several years and also Craig Venter who invented shotgun sequencing and did with a private venture capital in half the time at half the cost. Today it can be done for a few thousand dollars in a few days. Venter went on to create the first fully artificial ‘minimal’ genome brought to life in the anucleated shell of some other bacteria. Should I go on?

      “We have a working mitochondrial genome, that is derived from a Rickettsia parasite that became an endosymbiot. There are bits of our miochondrial genome incorporated into our nuclear genome; Human Mitochondrial Pseudogenes. These are accidental incorporations and are not the work of a sane God.”

      Explained by “the fall” in Christian theology. Maybe God was patching up Adam and Eve’s telomeres once in a while and quit doing it when they were kicked out of paradise. Then, according to old testament, humans started living shorter and shorter lifespans. Maybe that was their genomes getting polluted by horizontal gene transfer, retrovirus insertions, random mutations, and so forth. Human genome gradually became as ugly as original sin (pun intended) after the Fall.

      Just sayin’

      That’s like half tongue in cheek. Who knows. I’m pretty well versed in what’s physically possible according to the known rules of the universe and there’s a very large range of possible. If six billion small minds can form spontaneously on the earth then one must ask why can’t one super-mind have preceded that which then spawned the smaller ones?

      So anyway your argument basically boils down a false dichotomy that there’s either a God that makes sense to you (sane, perfect, whatever) or there is no God at all. Sorry but I don’t exclude everything else. The God of Spinoza created a clockwork universe then stepped away which Einstein embraced because he could hear “The Music of the Spheres”.

    • David Springer

      DocMartyn | January 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm |

      PS; re rickettsia and mitochondria similar sequences

      I’d be far more impressed if the prokaryote in question wasn’t in intimate association with mammalian somatic and germ cells for God only knows (pun intended) how long. Bacteria are notoriously active in horizontal gene transfer. Where did the similar sequences originate in the prokaryote or the eukaryote? Are they coding sequences? Could they be due to a retrovirus that attacks both prokaryotes and mitochondria?

      And while we’re at it… if we presume design is true then we cannot assume that life on this planet went from less to more complex. A designed eukaryote could have devolved into a prokaryote. It’s easier to lose a leg than to grow one, so to speak.

  5. Kudos to Garth Paltridge. He eloquently expressed and explained so much that I have observed on this AGW subject and why, unlike most other professional disciplines that deal with public safety such as commercial airplane developers, bridge and skyscraper designers; climate science puts so much faith in un-validated computer models, when available data cannot support that they have any skill whatsoever.

    • David Springer

      I agree they (climate science establishment) are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Reality vs. computer model of reality. Reality wins every time. The best the model can do is a draw where it agrees with reality. Unfortunately climate models are way off base and every day they drift further from reality and more people discover it.

      I think Paltridge misses the mark saying scientists have a lot to lose. No one ever got fired for agreeing with a 97% majority of scientists. So long as there is a consensus, even a wrong consensus, they are safe. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold it together in the face of contrary evidence. I’m not sure how long the current “The ocean ate my global warming” is going to last. It will be interesting to see how fast the rats abandon the sinking ship. Throwing each other under the bus with wild abandon once the exodus begins in earnest? Very interesting indeed.

    • No David, the outputs of models are projections and not predictions; you cannot test projections vs. reality, but you can transforms the whole worlds economy and the relationship between governed and government, based on them.

    • David Springer

      DocMartyn

      Projections are predictions of the form if/then. The difference is pedantic. Spare me.

  6. A complete an honest look at the nature and shortcomings of human endeavors. He expresses succinctly that which I believe is obvious to many.
    It is a basic tenant of science that one can only be as certain as that of which is least certain. Several uncertainties cause an exponential uncertainty when combined.
    A key problem is that in the beginning the UN question was only one; Is CO2 causing a change? Any study finding CO2 was not a AGW cause amounted to biting the hand that feeds! The question should have been, What factors may be causing a change? All too often a desired conclusion came first, then with so many variables a pathway to that conclusion was formed.
    As in the testimony before congress ‘A colleague said that we need to get rid of the medieval warm period’ and Lo an behold it happened.
    It is entirely possible that in decades to come, the science community will look at AGW as a learning experience on how not to do science.

    • It is entirely possible that in decades to come, the science community will look at AGW as a learning experience on how not to do science.

      We can hope!

    • Actually, they are not doing real science.

      Real Science is always Skeptical.

    • Billions of dollars are being spent on wars and frivolities while millions of people lack the most basic necessities, and it is precisely the poorest of the poor who would be the most vulnerable to climate change. Nothing human is 100% pure, and trying to prevent/mitigate climate change is no exception, but there is value in improving our scientific understanding of natural versus anthropogenic causes, and let give time to time.

    • k scott denison

      Luiz, the daily weather changes, lack of clean water and lack of affordable power are orders-of-magnitude bigger threats to those who lack the basic necessities than climate change. How about we drop funding for climate change and instead fund infrastructure to bring people basic necessities.

      Your argument is like saying: “I know I need food, water, shelter and power… but first I’m going to buy an insurance policy in case I get hit by a meteorite!”

    • I personally am tired of being a tenant of science. I’m ready to take out a mortgage and buy… (Sorry, darrylb, I’ve just seen this one too many times…)

    • Tennis, anyone?
      =====

    • Luis Gutierrez,
      @ January 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      it is precisely the poorest of the poor who would be the most vulnerable to climate change.

      The poor are also the most vulnerable to economically irrational policies; such policies will cause hardship for the poorest by prolonging their time in poverty. And slowing the rate of improvement of human well being.

      “trying to prevent/mitigate climate change” is unwise if the policies proposed to “prevent/mitigate climate change” have near zero probability of achieving any beneficial change to the climate but would cost a fortune with high probability.

      The polices advocated by the alarmist climate scientists, like James Hansen and in fact the majority of the climate orthodoxy, would do great damage, but have near zero probability of changing the climate. That is the fact that most enthusiastic advocates of CAGW don’t recognise or choose to ignore.

  7. It’s a minor point, but Garth has fallen for the IPCC’s goalpost-moving 95% claim, as discussed two posts back and here.

    “the latest IPCC report has been tabled with almost no murmur of discontent from the lower levels of the research establishment. ”
    This is not entirely true. In the current UK Parliament inquiry into the IPCC AR5 report, there were a few critical written submissions from scientists (though nowhere near as many as there should have been). I will have a blog post up about this later today.

  8. What Garth Paltridge has failed to realize is that the 95% figure is so high because we are only talking about the cause of (at least) HALF the warming since 1951.

    If we talk about at least QUARTER of the warming that figure would go even higher (99%?)

    For man to be the cause of most of the warming since 1951, climate sensitivity has to be just 1.5C per doubling of CO2. It doesn’t require 3x amplification of warming as Garth claims.

    95% is a fair measure of how sure we can be that most of the warming since 1951 is due to man.

    The rest of the article is irrelevant given the premise is wrong.

    • And what percent could be albedo variation?

    • lolwot,
      You should read the article again. In the following, Paltridge makes it abundantly clear that the IPCC’s assessment of certainty in attribution is related to human activities being the cause of *at least half* of the warming since 1951:
      “How then is it that those of them involved in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) can put their hands on their hearts and maintain there is a 95% probability that human emissions of carbon dioxide have caused most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades?”
      ‘Most’ is commonly understood to mean ‘at least half’. So where is the faulty premise?

      Some questions for you:
      How was the 95% figure calculated?
      How did you determine that it is a “fair measure”?
      How did you calculate your 99% figure for a quarter of the warming?

    • Karllos, CS would have to be real low for less than half the warming to be due to man. The vast bulk of the range of CS estimates is above that.

    • k scott denison

      lolwot, how do clouds contribute to climate change – positive feedback? Negative feedback? Value?

      What observational evidence do you have?

  9. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Garth Paltridge

    Garth Paltridge says: “There is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of climate to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably hopeful that global warming might not be nearly as bad as is currently touted.”
    _____

    Uncertainty has a double edge. I’m not sure what you would consider a “normal human being,” but would you say there’s also enough uncertainty about climate forecasting to make normal human beings fear global warming might be worse than currently touted.

    • good spot

    • “would you say there’s also enough uncertainty about climate forecasting to make normal human beings fear global warming might be worse than currently touted”

      Given that climate scientists don’t know enough to be able to model the climate, anything “might be”. What you warmists always try to ignore is that those who want to force massive changes on society have to convince the voters that the risk is worth the cost.

      You don’t know the risk. You don’t know the cost (and don’t care). You don’t know how to achieve the result you want, absent a centralized, totalitarian world government. Without Russia, China and India, no matter how much you destroy the western economy, CO2 emissions will continue to rise. and they will never agree to strangle their own economies just to placate western progressives.

      So the only way you can get your beloved policy of decarbonization in individual countries in the west is by anti-democratic means, such as the Obama administration’s growing penchant for ruling by presidential decree.

      The problem with this “damn democracy, full speed ahead” strategy is that voters will eventually catch on to what you are doing. That’s why so much of Obamacare is being delayed, or waived. Progressives can’t afford for the voters to know what they are doing until it is too late. Even the massive centralization of power in the EU bureaucracy, by the Eu bureaucracy, is finally getting some push back among voters.

      Time is not on your side. You all better pray for a super massive el Nino, which would prove absolutely nothing about CAGW either way, but would give you one last chance to con the public into adopting your disastrous policy.

    • “What you warmists always try to ignore is that those who want to force massive changes on society have to convince the voters that the risk is worth the cost.”

      Things don’t work so calmly. There was no risk/cost assessment after 9/11 with regard to the war on terror. It was a kneejerk reaction.

      So too there will be one if a climate disaster does occur. An paniced public in the face of disaster is not going to pause to consider risks and costs.

    • “So too there will be one if a climate disaster does occur.”

      An alien invasion might have the same effect, but since there’s no evidence of either aliens or climate disasters, I suggest we not panic into solving non-problems.

    • well I think floods and droughts count as disasters. storms, wildfires, heatwaves, coldwaves, no?

    • @lolwot
      Really dude? Really? You also? Floods, droughts and storms are proof of AGW? Even if IPCC disagrees with you?
      Talk about desperate, man…
      You stooped even lower in my regard (almost not possible, but you did it)

    • So you are denying that floods and droughts happen?

    • “There was no risk/cost assessment after 9/11 with regard to the war on terror.”

      There was no question of attribution for 9/11. There was no question of where al Queda was located and training. There was no question that killing the people who planned, financed and controlled the attack would make it somewhat more difficult for them to do so in the future.

      Yeah, that’s exactly like decarbonizing the entire western economy based on GCMs that can’t predict squat. hockey.sticks concocted out of cockamamie statistics, and science by popularity polling.

    • Gary M’s comment sums up the situation perfectly. The progressives are feckless and the pause is killing the cause. He must be a Gary Monfort.

    • “There was no question of attribution for 9/11″

      there are skeptics even on 9/11 you know

    • “So you are denying that floods and droughts happen?”

      You are denying that floods and droughts have always happened as part of normal variation.

      But you’re on pretty shaky ground claiming droughts are a part of warming when in the US, anyway, the PDSI actually indicates LESS drought over the century.

      Floods are more difficult to assess because humans change drainage and floodplains ( and levees ). But there too, the US record does NOT indicate any effect on the wet/dry portion:

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/uspa/index.php?area=wet-dry&month=0

    • US PDSI:

    • @ lolwot

      “So you are denying that floods and droughts happen?”

      So you are asserting that if every ACO2 control policy that is being advocated by the ‘Politician/Climate Scientist Complex were enacted and enforced rigorously that they would not?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Uncertainty I think is more far reaching than most people imagine.

      … as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature. ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

      There are fundamental dynamics – such as AMOC – whose evolution this century is unknowable. AMOC has been implicated in extreme climate transitions of the past. This makes ideas of temperature related to simple energy considerations problematic.

      I take quite seriously and literally the discussion by S&T.

      But in some sense we have an idea of the limits of natural variability arising from ENSO in particular.

      Indeed – it is relatively simple to ascribe rainfall regimes to ENSO and to assess the variability over many millennia.

      Increased rainfall in the US and less in Australia from an increased El Nino frequency last century.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=129

      Mega drought, mega floods, the demise of the Minoan culture, the drying of the Sahel starting 5,000 years ago.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=188

      This makes an interesting read – http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/6/801/2010/cpd-6-801-2010.pdf

      Whatever happens we can expect weather wilding – mitigating CO2 is not going to change that. Not adaptation but resilience is probably a better option than mitigation in many ways.

    • There is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of economics to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably hopeful that global warming mitigation might not be nearly as bad as is currently touted.

    • Good point Eric

      + whatever number the DOW is at right now!

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Please – if you are are talking taxes and caps – this is not either mitigation or an honest argument.

  10. Around 1990 Bert Bolin and others thought that it would take about 20 years to get sufficiently empirical data to draw conclusions from that. That expectation was based on the best estimates of that time for climate sensitivity and internal variability.

    What happened then was that the next decade saw a very rapid rise in temperature, large enough to allow concluding around the time of TAR that the empirical evidence was stronger than expected by Bolin. The estimated internal variability was not sufficient to explain all that rise in temperature. Now most agree that part of the rise over that period was internal variability while part was AGW.

    Now we have date from those 20 years mentioned in around 1990. Now the data still agrees so well with the expectations (in spite of the hiatus) that it gives a good basis for concluding with the certainty of around 95% (very different from 100%) that more than half of the warming since 1950 is due to AGW. In addition it seems plausible that the influence of AGW is about equal to the total warming since 1950, i.e. that the net influence of internal variability over this period is small compared to AGW. This additional observation cannot be stated with high level of certainty, but it’s the best estimate.

    • So, then what caused the Roman and Medieval Warm periods that we don’t have now?

      The same thing caused the current warming as caused the Roman and Medieval warm periods.

      These warm periods all followed a cold period during which it did not snow enough to replace the ice that melts every summer and ice retreated and earth warmed.

      Consensus Theory and Models take away ice because of warming.

      Mother Earth takes away ice to cause warming.
      Then adds it back to cause cooling.
      Alternates these when Polar Sea Ice melts and freezes.

    • History of past centuries does not affect last decades. Nothing in the rational I presented is affected by old history. The issue is, whether 95% is a fair estimate for the certainty. My view is that it is, and that AR5 presents the justification for that conclusion. 95% means after all only that the statement is judged to be 20 times more likely to be correct than false.

    • Something that has never happened in the last ten thousand years is ten thousand times less likely than what has happened many times in the past ten thousand years. Warm and Cold periods alternate and follow each other consistently.

      A cold period will most likely follow this warm period.
      The probability is 9,999 / 10,000 or 10,000 / 10,001

      Watch the data as this shows up more and more in the actual data, not the adjusted stuff.

    • What’s known about the past tells about the frequency of rapid changes. That does not lead to an expectation of an increase like what we have seen, but it has affected the expectations concerning the strength of natural variability at the relevant time scales. On the other side the theory of AGW was built in 1960s, and that theory did, indeed, predict a temperature rise at the right time. The strength was also consistent with the observations. The hiatus is a detail that was not predicted, but is not inconsistent with the general understanding, while specific detailed models may have some difficulties with that.

      Everything fits well with the expectations based on AGW, much less well with a dominant role of natural variability. The factor of 20 in the likelihood of the two explanations is well supported.

    • “Everything fits well with the expectations based on AGW, much less well with a dominant role of natural variability”. Assuming this is true, it could be due to the fact that there has been much more research trying to make AGW fit well than trying to make natural variability fit well.

    • Science interviewed a few modelers in 1997. The greenhouse signal was supposed to emerge from the noise once and for all during the next decade or so.

      Indeed, most modelers now agree that the climate models will not be able to link greenhouse warming unambiguously to human actions for a decade or more.

      [Tim Barnett] agrees that too much confidence has been read into the IPCC summary statement. “The next 10 years will tell; we’re going to have to wait that long to really see,” he says.

      “The signal is not so much above the noise that you can convince skeptics,” [Klaus Hasselmann] observes. “It will take another decade or so to work up out of the noise.”

      Almost two decades later we’re still waiting. There is no significant warming since those days. RSS trend has actually turned negative.

      Have the models improved? Aren’t they diverging further away from observations year by year?

      Michael Schlesinger projected climate models to resolve 50-km scale in five years. 17 years later, the finest CMIP5 resolution is apparently still well over 100 km.

      [Brian Farrell] further contends that if IPCC scientists had had real confidence in their assertion that global warming had arrived, they would have stated with more precision how sensitive the climate system is to greenhouse gases. But the IPCC left the estimate of the warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide at 1.5°C to 4.5°C, where it has been for 20 years. “That’s an admission that the error bars are as big as the signal,” says Farrell.

      Another 20 years have almost passed and the estimate is still the same. In fact IPCC no longer gives a ”best estimate”. What’s that an admission of?

    • Did you notice this part, Pekka?

      “Bear in mind too that no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind, when asked the specific question, would say there is only a very small possibility (i.e. less than 5%) that internal ocean behaviour could be a major cause of the warming over the past half-century. He would be particularly careful not to make such a statement now that there has been no significant warming over the most recent fifteen-or-so years. In the mad scurry to find reasons for the pause, and to find reasons for an obvious failure of the models to simulate the pause, suddenly we are hearing that perhaps the heat of global warming is being “hidden” in the deep ocean. In other words we are being told that some internal oceanic fluctuation may have reduced the upward trend in global temperature. It is therefore more than a little strange that we are not hearing from the IPCC (or at any rate not hearing very loudly) that some natural internal fluctuation of the system may have given rise to most of the earlier upward trend.”

      What about the energy equivalent of 4 Hiroshima bomb explosions per second that has been allegedly sneaking down into the frigid ocean abyss? If that is a plausible explanation for the hiatus, why can’t heat coming out of the ocean explain the warming of the 1990s? What do they call it? El Ninos? Those things that we were told to expect to occur with increasing frequency and strength. What are the odds on them being wrong on that prediction?

    • Don,

      Oceans have played a major role, but hardly the major role over last 60 years. The most likely case is that we are essentially in the same phase in the state of the variability due to oceans. Therefore the best estimate is roughly 100% AGW.

      There’s enough evidence to conclude that TCS is at least 0.9 C, which is required to make AGW 50% of the increase since 1951.

      There are big uncertainties but not big enough to change this conclusion in my judgement and in the judgement of AR5.

    • Pekka, then I guess we can assume that you are rejecting the flimsy story/excuse that Hiroshima bombs going off in the briny deep have masked AGW over the last 15 years. You should let them know they are making fools of themselves. What is your explanation for the hiatus? CO2 has steadily kept increasing. Where is the heat? It seems to me there are only two possibilities:

      1) natural variability is masking increasing heat/overcoming the control knob
      2) CO2 is causing undetectable/negligible warming/it ain’t a very effective control knob

      By the way, have you seen this?:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original-temperatures-project/#more-100605

      I was beginning to believe that the big climate establishment’s temp records were not too suspect, largely based on assurances from Mosher that BEST had essentially come up with the same results. Frank Lansner raked BEST over the coals, along with the rest of them, and Mosher meekly protested that Lansner had used non-public data. Well, it was not really non-public, because Frank is a member of the public who was motivated enough to make an effort to get the data. Maybe Mosher is working on a more substantial response. It’s not like him to run away in the face of insults to the BEST team.

    • Don Monfort, you seem to be rejecting the ARGO numbers for ocean heat content increases in the last 15 years. Is there a reason for this rejection?

    • I am not having this discussion with you, jimmy dee. Pekka is rational, knowledgeable and honest. You are strictly dogmatic. Sorry.

    • Don

      I was also surprised to see Mosh’s minimal reply over at Frankls thread.

      I had expected something much more robust. I am off to the Met Office Tomorrow to see if I can find any original UK temperature material for Frank. Historic temperatures are routinely adjusted and no matter how many times Mosh explains why it still bemuses me

      tonyb

    • I don’t take seriously the possibility that anything essential would change in the estimates of average surface temperatures of land areas. The robustness of the estimates had been tested sufficiently already before BEST. BEST added one further test.

      There remains uncertainty in areas with very poor coverage. Therefore I consider it better to leave some areas out from the average than to include them based on insufficient data. The result is then not fully global, but that doesn’t matter, if it’s a more reliable index of the overall temperature trend based on a large enough part of all land areas.

      I know about the difficulties in getting original data. In Finland as in many other countries we had a period when many public organizations lost part of their budget funding and were required to start charging commercial prices for most of their their products and services. Finnish Meteorological Institute was one of them. The data had not been widely available before that for technical reasons (IT systems were not at the level needed for more open access). Only very recently (last year, I think) has the situation changed. Now it’s possible to get the data free of charge as described on page http://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/climate-statistics .

    • pekka

      We have very poor historic coverage in some areas (southern Hemisphere, Africa, Asia) which gets poorer the further back in time and is complicated by poor practice. Temperatures are routinely adjusted for even the oldest of records (see the ‘:imp[rove’ project.

      I agree that it would be best to concentrate on ‘reliable’ data sets, preferably following the ‘koppen’ classification so we can see if similar regions are behaving in a similar fashion. Other regional classifications would also be worthwhile.

      BEST shows the temperature rising for hundreds of years which accords with CET for example so I don’t necessarily have a problem with the results other than the manner in which it ‘borrows’ information from other stations and the use of stations that might not fall into the ‘reliable’ category.

      I would also be intrigued to see the Arctic excluded as with amplification this is having the strongest impact and is masking the sometimes contrary effects seen in other datasets.
      tonyb

    • First try hiding the heat where it’s poorly or indirectly sampled, coff, coff, deep ocean. Then try hiding the heat where it’s poorly sampled or interpolated, coff, coff, the Poles. Ignore observations of albedo and manipulate modeling of it, so heat ‘missing’ in the Galaxy can be pooh poohed, and can be the sun.

      There, a fine day’s work done, and it’s early yet.
      =================

    • Tony, is it ‘improve’ or ‘improv’? This one is particularly insidious.
      ==========

    • Tony,

      Poor coverage is a problem that varies with time. Some compromise must be chosen to get the most useful combination of length of record and areal coverage. Africa is a typical problem in that.

      Large poorly covered cold areas like much of Siberia affect the outcome. When seas are included Arctic ocean is a similar case. Including these areas affects the warming rate. Thus the results must be interpreted taking that into account, but basically GMST is just a proxy for the warming that’s not uniform anyway and not at all equally detrimental or beneficial everywhere. GMST time series are used because they are probably the best compromise taking into account:

      – understandability of the proxy (people know what 1 C change in temperature is)
      – relevance as a single global proxy
      – ease, accuracy and reliability of the determination of the time series
      – availability of data over a relatively long period

      Different choices of GMST time series weigh differently the four factors. HadCRUT4 seems to me a rather good compromise, but the well known alternatives are not much worse.

    • It drives me nuts when they us “deep oceans” in articles. It’s almost like saying nothing.

    • Yeah, JHC, it’s abysmal.

    • kim

      Here is the link.

      http://www.isac.cnr.it/~microcl/climatologia/improve.php

      the book is very long but worth reading. Very few data sets have not had substantial amendments. ‘Improve’ is part of a EU funded project to look at historic data sets.
      tonyb

    • Tony, the connection of the crew at East Anglia to that work disturbs me greatly. That’s why the allusion to improvisation, worse, what’s the chance of competence?
      ===========

    • Kim

      I don’t doubt their competence but do doubt whether the end result has any merit as representing the climate of the time, as the assumptions made in order to ‘correct’ the record are so large. It took me three reads to get through it as it is all very dense detective work.

      Through my contact at the Met Office I hope to make contact with Phil Jones and find out his take on temperatures prior to 1538 for the second part of my article on ‘the long slow thaw.’

      His book ‘history and climate’ is very good. He is also coming round to the notion that natural variability is greater than he originally believed and this appears to be taking root in the Met office as well. Reading some of his stuff it appears that he is rather more sceptical than we might think.

      tonyb

    • “HadCRUT4 seems to me a rather good compromise, but the well known alternatives are not much worse.”

      HadCrut has some issues and I would go with the good old NASA GISPTEMP or NOAA NRDC temperature data series. Estimating full coverage of the earth is the only way to go since the geospatial variations have been shown to be important for working with globally averaged temperature.

    • WHT,

      If there’s a real reason to consider truly global average as essentially better than a somewhat limited average, then we must aim for that, but I cannot see real justification for that.

      I left one important feature out from the list of properties that a good proxy should have:

      – The proxy must contain as little noise as possible from phenomena that have little importance relative to the amount of extra noise.

      Practically uninhabited arctic regions might well be judged to add more noise than useful information even when the estimates are based on dense network of measuring points. When estimated from sparse network the problem gets more severe.

      There’s no conservation law for GMST in contrast to the Earth system heat content. If the average is more stable with Arctic regions based on systematic compensation between Arctic and the rest, then including Arctic would be valuable, but I doubt that.

    • The NASA GISTEMP and the NOAA NRDC temperature series are much closer in values than the HadCRUT global series.

      Why is there such a big discrepancy and why are scientists such as Cowtan & Way making corrections to HadCRUT while the GISTEMP and NRDC are fine?

      It will be interesting to see what the BEST people find, as I had heard that they were planning to update their land-only records to include the SST values.

    • WHT,

      For my point it’s irrelevant whether the two other time series are closer to each other, what matters is the amount of noise in them. As all are based on basically the same original data, the noise is also correlated. Therefore the agreement between two sets does not tell on the amount of noise.

      There may be more justification for an analysis like Cowtan and Way with HadCRUT4 when we want to have maximal areal coverage, but my point was that we don’t necessarily gain much from added areal coverage, and that we may actually lose more by added noise than we gain for other purposes.

      I repeat:
      What’s useful, is a proxy that tells about the overall warming and that fulfills as well as possible the requirements of a good proxy. What’s the percentage of the surface included, is of secondary importance as long as the basic requirements are satisfied well.

      No single proxy gives a full picture, and many different single proxies may give equally useful knowledge. Understanding Arctic is certainly valuable, but no global proxy is good for that.

    • I use to think that much of the fluctuations in the global temperature time series data was noise. The month to month is hard to deal with still, but the year to year data is I think well explained by variations in forcing. There are enough forcing factors with differing temporal dynamics that the superposition appears as noise, but the actual profile is well explained by real thermodynamic factors.

      At some point the epistemic or systemic sources of noise such as measurement error or sampling error will start to appear but my analysis shows these at less than o.o5C in magnitude.

      • For 3.5 billion years the mode of global temp has been equatorial ocean currents absorbing solar energy then distributing it round the planet. The equatorial atlantic SSTs remain the key issue on the global platform since despite sat flares (which are vvv relevant) the general mode of surface temp is initiated here. 5 year smoothing (not decal) wi provide you with all the and we need to understand the o al issue.

    • There remains uncertainty in areas with very poor coverage. Therefore I consider it better to leave some areas out from the average than to include them based on insufficient data. The result is then not fully global, but that doesn’t matter, if it’s a more reliable index of the overall temperature trend based on a large enough part of all land areas.

      Pekka, have you followed the url in my name and looked at the graphs I’ve created? Because that is exactly what I did, I worked with averages of station measurements. And it shows Tmax has not increased since the 50’s. The data is from NCDC’s Global Summary of Days, it’s now about 122 million surface station records, and I include all of the data except when the preceding day is missing because I generate day over day data. I also provide my code for review (though that copy is a little out of date).

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “I use to think that much of the fluctuations in the global temperature time series data was noise. The month to month is hard to deal with still, but the year to year data is I think well explained by variations in forcing.”
      _____
      80% or so of land temperatures are driven by latent or sensible heat flux variations between ocean and atmosphere. That “noise” is natural variations in this sensible and latent heat flux…i.e. mainly ENSO on less than decadal scales…AMO, PDO on decadal scales. All this “noise” (it is not a true forcing) rides on a general long-term rise in overall energy in the climate system from the rapid growth in GH gases.

    • Mi Cro,

      Looking at your site I couldn’t really figure out exactly, what you have done.

      On thing that I have noticed is that you have studied daily cooling thinking that added CO2 should affect that. That’s, however, not at all evident, because more CO2 leads also to higher maximum temperatures. A higher maximum temperature speeds up cooling while more CO2 slows it down. The overall effect may well be very small, perhaps too small to observe.

      • That was what I originally went looking for, is there a change in the ability for the planet to cool at night, this has to be the hallmark of the effect of Co2, otherwise, who cares.
        I accept that this effect might still be quite small, yet GCM’s claim it is increasing surface temps. In the last few decades we have 2-3 million surface station measurements each year, and the way I process the data, a single station, where I calculate a difference between measurements taken within a day of each other, and then aggregate these differences together. As for sensitivity, when you look at the data on a daily basis, you can see the temp response of these stations from one day to the next. And the method very clearly identified large swings in Tmin.
        I went as far as looking to see if the rate of change of temp in response to changes in LOD has changed, (here, here, and here. A description is here)
        which it has, even when there has been no appreciable change in annual day over day Tmax. I do know that there does appear to be an increase in Tmax in temp series, so the only cause I can think of is either the daily change of Tmax is very small, there’s been a shift of stations where colder stations have been replace by warmer stations (there is a large turn over of stations, and few have long runs, so this is possible), or most of the increases in published temp series are a artifact of their processing.
        Now I must admit I made a mistake and thought this was data on cooling, but it’s not it’s on Tmax. But if you note the last image, it looks like the rate of change peaked, and is starting to change direction, but there isn’t enough time after the inflection point to see if it cyclic or not. Also note, this is all based on Northern Stations, I didn’t want to mix the LOD changes of the Tropics and Southern Hemisphere in with the LOD changes in the NH.

        But I think all of this is critical data, and I think it is at odds with the consensus opinion on AGW.

    • R. Gates, “80% or so of land temperatures are driven by latent or sensible heat flux variations between ocean and atmosphere.”

      There is this pesky ~3% of the surface that can’t decide if it wants to be land or ocean which creates the most problematic noise. When the higher Arctic swings from -30 C and below to -15 C for a couple of months you can have a “global” equivalent of 0.45 C of “warming” which is in fact cooling. Considered properly that can be data instead of noise but lumped in with a “global” mean temperature it is just plain noise. When Cowan and aWry krige that noise to get what they are looking for, they are creating a questionable use of the data.

      btw, water vapor is still a greenhouse gas and climate change is not a CO2 equivalent forcing copyright. Increasing SST/OHC in the southern oceans that leads NH “forcing” requires much more creative “science” than many are willing to accept.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “…water vapor is still a greenhouse gas and climate change is not a CO2 equivalent forcing copyright. Increasing SST/OHC in the southern oceans that leads NH “forcing” requires much more creative “science” than many are willing to accept.”
      _____
      It all comes back to clouds, doesn’t it? Seems the models that have the most realistic simulations of actual latent and sensible heat flux and cloud formation as actually observed from ocean to atmosphere give a higher ECS, somewhere 3C or warmer.

      • This cloud info has already been delivered to both met office and DECC – they stuck their head in the sand and ignored the issue. ITCZ cloud mass over equatorial Atlantic has deninished be app 33’/, since 1900 due to manmade factors affecting easterly wave formation

    • R. Gates, ” Seems the models that have the most realistic simulations of actual latent and sensible heat flux and cloud formation as actually observed from ocean to atmosphere give a higher ECS, somewhere 3C or warmer.”

      That depends on what the starting point is. Once you run out of frozen tundra you are out of frozen tundra. Since each hemisphere does still have a winter, refreezing former tundra does not retain as much energy and frost free formerly frozen tundra. Frost line is actually a better metric for water vapor forcing than temperature “anomaly” and if the models can’t get the absolute temperature right they are a waste of time. So if the models that “get” water vapor/clouds miss absolute temperature by 3C you are pissing up a rope.

    • So the climate fakir scrambled up a rope in Amritsar and climbed back down in Howrah Station.

      tb, I’m heartened by your report. There is no reason not to expect change of opinion about climate change. One thing is fershur fer me: I trust your interpretation and understanding.
      ==============

    • Mi Cro,

      The change in temperature from day A to day B is the sum of the changes fro a day to the next for all days between these end points. Thus we can calculate the average change very easily. If happen to choose A and B so that their temperatures are identical, then the average change is zero. Even for years in the period of fastest temperature rise the average daily increase is really small.

      If you are looking something more refined, I couldn’t pick that up.

      • If happen to choose A and B so that their temperatures are identical, then the average change is zero

        For a single station this is true, but when you take a single days change for every station for > N 23 Lat and average the difference together and then chart out each year together you get something like this.
        As you can see it’s always changing, and you can analyze the slope of this change, which shows a measure of sensitivity to solar input (LOD) as the season progresses.iirc this is about 85 million samples, and because in this case it’s most of the hemisphere many of the variances of weather should average out.

    • sorry, that was meant for MiCro

    • Mi Cro,

      What is plotted in that picture?

      Do you really mean Lenght Of Day by LOD? That’s not a measure of solar radiation and that varies really little. (LOD tells about atmospheric angular momentum, i.e., something about winds, but that’s a different issue.)

      • I do mean Length of Day, though that is probably the wrong term, but in the higher latitudes as the seasons progress throughout the year, the length of day changes, the shortest day(iirc) is ~Dec 22rd, the longest ~ June 28th, so everyday in this sample set, the ratio of day to night changes, which alters how much Sun the surface gets everyday. These charts are the temperature response to this (as well as other factors of course)

    • Mi Cro,

      It’s not surprising that seasonal variations are easily observable, but they make it only more difficult to observe changes from year to year and in particular changes that are related to long term trends.

      • It’s not surprising that seasonal variations are easily observable

        Of course the seasonal variation is easy to see, but I went one step further to investigate the rate of change of that variation. And I think it shows something interesting.

    • Pekka, I can’t tell if you actually read Frank Lasner’s post on WUWT. He is working with “original” data. Doesn’t that interest you?

      Frank’s contention is that BEST and the others using the stepped on/adjusted “publicly available” data are missing a class of stations that were warmer in the past and cooler in the present (see figure 8). In a comment Frank specifically stated his criticism of BEST:

      “Example:
      From Denmark normally only coastal stations “Nordby”, Hammer Odde”, “Vestervig”, “Tranebjerg” and then the strongly UHI infected Copenhagen station.

      BEST did nothing to improve this bizarre Warming-friendly choice of stations, instead they just use around 3 versions of each of the coastal stations, and then 5 copies of the Copenhagen station.
      And then we as sceptics are supposed to be “happy”.
      But I have digged up around 60 longer Danish stations from ALL areas of Denmark.
      And this changes the picture when you dont just use warm trended data as basis like BEST to in all countried analysed so far.”

      Mosher’s surprising response was not to use his little numbering scheme to specifically list and then refute criticisms, but he offhandedly dismissed Frank’s work by mis-characterizing it as using the Phil Jones’ approach. Mosh then left the building.

    • How about ‘amount of insolation’ or better ‘degree of insolation’? Oh, well, and what do we know about albedo? Still lovely data, lovely looking.
      ==========

    • Don,

      Working with original data is really a major effort that requires a lot of hard work. There are many known systematic changes in the way measurements are done. To get reasonable results corrections must be done for those. Expanding on the earlier datasets well enough to reach the quality of earlier analyses is probably a project of several man-years. I’m not interested before someone indicates convincingly that he has done that.

      Many scientific papers have been published in the past when the issues were analyzed and the methods tested. The original approaches developed step by step, which made the methods not optimally systematic. BEST improved in several ways on that.

      It’s more important to handle a limited set of records well than to maximize their number. Adding to the earlier set or is likely to bring in more problematic data sets, as that may well have been the reason the those data sets were not used previously.

      Good luck for the effort if a real effort is really taken. Unfortunately the best efforts are very likely to end as BEST ended (so far), i.e. in conclusion that nothing changed at a significant level.

    • Frank Lasner has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort to get original data. Is there something inherently wrong, or is it irrelevant, to compare original data with adjusted/homogenized/massaged data? I am getting the impression that you have not bothered to look at Frank’s post. If that is the case, I am surprised and disappointed. I’ll leave it at that. Maybe Mosher will resurface with something more substantive on the subject. I hope he is OK.

    • I would certainly start by checking whether I can learn something new from a limited set of potentially promising data before spending much effort in collecting large amounts of original data. Otherwise the risk of totally wasted effort is very large.

      High and verified quality of analysis is essential, the amount of data comes after that.

      • High and verified quality of analysis is essential, the amount of data comes after that.

        The daily data I’m using from NCDC goes through a multi-step QA process, and while I think it is probably pretty thorough, I still had to trap multiple out of range values.
        But I think it is as good of data you’re going to get, and as a data professional, programmatically updating large amounts of data that can’t be validated is a horrible idea.

    • Don

      It concerns me when old temperature records are retrospectively changed. Original data is important which is why I am going to the met office library tomorrow in order to try to find uk temperature year books for frank

      Having said that not all original data is accurate. For example there was a vogue to take temperatures inside north facing rooms. Clearly that has little merit and should be seen as an interesting oddity that should not be included in the record even if ‘amended’ by such as Camuffo in the ‘improve’ project.

      So frank needs to make appropriate use of the data and at this stage it is too early to know if his results will fairly reflect the climate of the times.

      Tonyb

    • I asked you specifically about Frank Lesner’s post and you keep responding with vague dismissive generalities. Just say that you don’t want to read Frank’s post. At this point, I don’t care.

    • I had a look at Lasner’s post. Based on a quick look I didn’t find it interesting. If there’s something interesting in it then digging that out is more effort that I’m motivated to spend without better justification. I have tried to explain generic reasons for my lack of interest.

    • Tony, I realize that original data has issues. But when I see the blink comparisons of original data, that has been subsequently adjusted, then adjusted again and again and it’s keeps getting colder in the past and warmer in recent AGW times, it makes we want to see a do-over. And when I see Mosher make a lame, disingenuous defense of the BEST data and then run away, it makes me want to see a do-over, even more.

    • Micro thinks that the GISS temperature series is the equivalent to a faked moon landing.

      They sure done a good job of faking the data given the CSALT model can duplicate it to a gnat’s eyelash.

      I suppose the NASA people were just waiting for me to come along and substantiate it with a model of the climate thermodynamics?

      What a grand conspiracy that !

      • Micro thinks that the GISS temperature series is the equivalent to a faked moon landing.

        Well not a fake moon landing (FYI I think that was real), but trash none the less.

        They sure done a good job of faking the data given the CSALT model can duplicate it to a gnat’s eyelash.

        I think this is because you have a curve fitting program that is in part using GISS as a input (what did you say as entropy?). So it would make perfect sense it’s a match, but I bet it doesn’t match any of the other series, until you use one of them as your entropy input.

    • Don

      Mosh was extremely circumspect in franks thread. I had expected to hear much more from him. Perhaps if he is around today he might like to comment further

      Tonyb

    • Fyi– There has been an ocean cooling trend since 2002 (See, AMSR-E ):

    • I am with webby on this one, Micro. I bet you he can use that SEASALT gizmo to duplicate the other temp series to a gnat’s eyela.. No wait. Let’s go with elephant’s trunk. No! No! whale’s belly.

      • I am with webby on this one, Micro. I bet you he can use that SEASALT gizmo to duplicate the other temp series to a gnat’s eyela.. No wait. Let’s go with elephant’s trunk. No! No! whale’s belly.

        :) If he was really good he’d use it to predict next weeks NASDAQ results.

    • Yes Mi Cro, I was just about to suggest that webby plug in the S&P Index as entropy and use his SEASALT curve fitting gizmo to make himself famous as a Technical Analyst. Warren Buffet’s mentor, renowned investment guru Benjamin Graham author of the Bible of investing “The Intelligent Investor”, didn’t think much of TA. He summed it up as being “As fallacious as it is popular’.

    • TA may be fallacious, but the research done by people who have tried to find out the truth is very educative to anyone who wants to understand better problems in testing climate models.

      • Pekka, Part of what drew me into this rat hole was my 15+ year supporting and demo’ing 8-10 different electronics simulators, as well as doing model development for them, after digging into GCM theory I recognized how they coded Co2 in as the control knob, now if Co2 really was the control knob, it’s not a fatal problem, however if it’s not, well then you end up getting the wrong answer. What’s worse is that even the “right” answer is actually wrong. By reducing the comparison to GAT, you don’t see how flawed it is at generating regional temps, it’s close only because they average really bad results into only bad results.
        This is NASA’s own analysis, second paper.

    • CO2 has not been coded as control knob, that’s only a metaphor used to describe the results of model calculations and other analyses.

      • Actually Pekka, you’re right, I miss spoke.
        What they did was fiddle with Rel/Abs humidity to allow a temp increase from Co2 to generate positive water vapor feedback. They did this because until this was done (though I can’t find the original source) GCM would not warm up and match increasing temperature measurements.

    • When GCMs were first developed by Manabe and others more than 40 years ago, nobody thougth that the concerns would develop as they have done, or that a big controversy would ensue. Ideas on feedbacks and climate sensitivity were, however, similar to the present ones already then.

    • “I think this is because you have a curve fitting program that is in part using GISS as a input (what did you say as entropy?). So it would make perfect sense it’s a match, but I bet it doesn’t match any of the other series, until you use one of them as your entropy input.”

      On the other sets, I use those sets as comparison, not GISS. The NOAA NRDC series works nearly as well as this fit:

      The HadCRUT does not fit as well, but that has known problems.

      BTW, the entropy input is essentially the effective heat capacity of the thermal sink.

  11. My sympathy to all N. Americans freezing, i shouln’t say ‘told you so’ but since number of things are converging, low solar activity, solar and the Earth’s magneting field going out of phase, sudden drop in the N. Atlantic tectonics, I took a gamble on this ‘pseudoscience’, put my money where my mouth is, bought a place at south of France enjoyng pleasant +16C.

    • Good on you, vuk. I’m planning on doing the same thing here in south Florida. If I were a betting man….hey wait….I’d put a fair sum on cooling from here, over warming.

    • Stay tuned for the next update by February 9th to see where the MEI will be heading next. El Niño came and went during the summer of 2012, not unlike 1953. This was followed by our first ENSO-neutral winter since 2003-04 (2005-06 was an ENSO-neutral winter, but much closer to La Niña, and dipped into La Niña rankings during March-April). Over the last half-year, La Niña had its turn to come and go again, almost in a mirror-image of last year’s sequence. While we have now reached the time of year when drastic transitions are much less common than in the first half of the calendar year, the upward jump of +0.7 standard deviations between July-August and September-October, as well as its subsequent drop of -0.4 sigma, indicate unusual volatility. While ENSO-neutral conditions are the safest bet for the next couple of months, a transition towards El Niño by mid-2014 would not be surprising, if not overdue. …

      ENSO neutral or switch to El Nino, don’t matter. The pause is going paws up. I would prefer ENSO neutral take it out as that would look like a neutered Ali going down to Cinderfella, but that’s just plain selfish of me.

    • I’ve been looking at some enso graphs today. I think 2014 is el nino, but weak and short. After that a big fat la nina.

    • From here they cannot even predict February-March, and you can predict after 2014? I don’t think so.

      And a La Nina is only good for setting the next “hottest La Nina on record” = sissy wimp

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘ This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

      20 to 40 years of intense and frequent La Nina – is the important concept here. As in a wider context is the energy dynamic – the current peak of cycle 24 and changing TOA radiant flux in response to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    • Negative PDO means more negative ENSO in average. Because of the 60 year cycle, climatic factors are similar to roughly 60 years ago. Not the same though.

    • I’ve thought about the same thing, but I currently live near one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, I haven’t decided which is more important, nor have I talked the wife into moving to the southwest for jobs and clear night skies for my telescope.

  12. Peter Hartley

    A key issue here, however, is that greater uncertainty about the ultimate effect of CO2 on climate fundamentally alters the policy discussion. It favors policies to handle the harmful effects of climate change as opposed to policies to reduce emissions of CO2. The reason is that policies that focus on ameliorating the harmful effects of extreme weather events (while accepting any beneficial ones, or other directly beneficial effects of CO2 such as the aerial fertilizer ones) will yield future benefits no matter what the cause of climate change. By contrast, cutting CO2 emissions (if it can be done on a worldwide basis — for there is little benefit in doing it only in the developed countries) is worthwhile only if CO2 has a substantial effect on the likely distribution of future harmful weather events. Increased uncertainty about the effects of CO2 on climate reduces the (appropriately risk-adjusted) expected benefit of policies aimed at controlling CO2 emissions. Increased uncertainty about the effects of CO2 build-up on climate also raises the value of waiting for more information about the likely effects of CO2 as more research is done. Technically, waiting is an option, and increased uncertainty rises the value of an option.

    • Are you Peter Hartley of Rice Econ Dept? If so, howdy from Southern Cal! This is Nat.

    • By contrast, cutting CO2 emissions (if it can be done on a worldwide basis — for there is little benefit in doing it only in the developed countries) is worthwhile only if CO2 has a substantial effect on the likely distribution of future harmful weather events.

      Seems to me that all methods for cutting emissions would also reduce harmful effects of burning fossil fuels — irrespective of the potential to lesson any negative impact of ACO2 on the climate. For example, a reduction in negative health outcomes that result from burning coal would also be realized by reducing ACO2 emissions that result from burning coal.

      To make the statement you made, you must obviously have proof that there would not be a net positive benefit from reducing any negative externalities that result from burning fossil fuels. Would you mind providing some links for your evidence?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      That may be – Joshua – if the cause of weather wilding was exclusively greenhouse gases. I have a comment somewhere here on Holocene extremes. We seen have nowhere near the variability that nature is capable of. Resilience is a better option – along with moving to pragmatic – no regrets – options.

      The deaths from coal I take with a smidgeon of salt – distinguishing between causes of mortality is problematic. The question arises also of lives saved by coal power.

    • … distinguishing between causes of mortality is problematic. The question arises also of lives saved by coal power.

      Of course. The question remains, however, why people speak with such certainty, as did Peter, when there are “questions” and the answers are “problematic.”

      I find it fascinating that there is so much certainty to be found in these threads where “skeptics” talk of how much uncertainty there is. It’s part of what’s so entertaining about reading Climate Etc.

      It is even more interesting when the failure to acknowledge uncertainty can be seen in the opinions of people whose expertise, presumably, is in quantifying the outcomes of uncertainty.

      And further, questions of mortality do not suffice to cover the uncertainty. Not close. There are also questions of morbidity. There are questions about environmental impact. And there are “problematic” questions about other non-(directly) health negative externalities associated with the burning of fossil fuels, such as the enormous economic and geo-political costs of keeping oil flowing, the continuing empowerment of despotic rulers who profit from oil sales even as their populations are denied basic civil rights, are suffering the effects of crushing poverty, create follow-on negative externalies expressed in the opportunity costs of poor education, and the knock-on effects of poor education.

      Of course those potentially negative externalities should be weighed against potentially positive externalities.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Too much generalisation about skeptics and the usual pissant progressive rant – is hardly convincing. To basically most citizens I would imagine.

      What is certain is that weather wilding in the Holocene exceeded that of the past century by quite a lot.

      So the natural response – if natural variability is so extreme – and it is – is to build resilience in communities..

      I am hardly the one to endorse burning of fossil fuels – but the accelerated technology route to cheap and abundant energy seems possible in the near term. Although that seems not to be welcome news to some of the extreme left.

    • Nat — hi

      Joshua — since you changed the topic to pollution I assume you agree that reducing CO2 emissions is not an efficient policy for combatting climate change.

      Although the issue of efficient policy for controlling pollution is off-topic let me just comment that surely you are not suggesting are you that taxes on CO2 emissions are an efficient policy for controlling, for example, SO2 or particulate emissions.

    • Peter –

      I don’t think I did change the topic. You said the following (which I quoted earlier):

      By contrast, cutting CO2 emissions (if it can be done on a worldwide basis — for there is little benefit in doing it only in the developed countries) is worthwhile only if CO2 has a substantial effect on the likely distribution of future harmful weather events.

      I am talking about benefits from reducing CO2 emissions that are irrespective of whether doing so would affect the likely distribution of future harmful weather events – when you said, with total certainty, that there would be “little benefit.”

      And actually, I would say that it is you that changed the subject, with your question about whether taxes are the most efficient way to reduce the negative externalities of burning fossil fuels (which, as I mentioned, extend beyond merely addressing pollution).

      I’m not entirely sure whether reducing CO2 emissions is an efficient way of addressing climate change. I think that it is a matter of probabilities and decision-making in the face of uncertainties. It is a matter of balancing various risks, and balancing small risks against potentially very significant consequences.

      I lack the certainty that you state, and seem to attribute to me.

      And my point, again, is that I find it particularly interesting when people sweep uncertainty under the rug when responding to Climate Etc. post on the topic of uncertainty.

    • k scott denison

      Joshua – assume that CO2 doesn’t impact climate. With that assumption please explain the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions.

    • With that assumption please explain the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions.

      By which method? Burning less coal – resulting in less particulate matter? Burning less oil – necessitating fewer wars and empowering fewer despots?

      Which method of reducing CO2 emissions will, with the certainty Peter expressed, have benefit “only if CO2 has a substantial effect on the likely distribution of future harmful weather events?”

    • k scott denison

      Yup, Peter was right. You’re changing the subject back to pollution again.

      What is the benefit of reducing CO2, not of reducing particulates nor of reducing wars, etc.

      It’s an easy question that you don’t seem capable of answering.

    • The subject, as Peter stated the subject, was benefits,. pr the lack thereof, that would result from CO2 emissions.

      Before Peter changed the subject to taxes, that is.

  13. “Scientists – most scientists anyway – may be a bit naïve, but they are not generally wicked, idiotic, or easily suborned either by money or by the politically correct.”

    About 90% of the AAAS identify with the left of center party in the U.S., less than 10% to opposition. I’m sure many of them could never have existed under the label “scientist” until the academic funding bubble from the 70’s took off as well. So who we are talking about being “scientists” in a sample as well as the total numbers have changed a great deal in post WW2 America and I suspect the entire West.

    Most people at the NY Times wouldn’t self-identify as suborned by money or their political correctness to a particular establishment view. How accurate is the quote above in that context? Not that accurate at all, science communities have declined in quality (critical thinking and science objectivity) and are more apt to be politicized or corrupted by funding. You can blame larger systems for this but it is reality regardless of self identification of participants. Most people at the NY Times think they are middle of the road and objective. That’s a real legacy of the AGW and Green movements in academia.

    • “Scientists – most scientists anyway – may be a bit naïve, but they are not generally wicked, idiotic, or easily suborned either by money or by the politically correct.”

      Have to agree mostly, cwon. These guys are in fact being suborned by money and prestige, and from the looks of it rather easily.

    • Pokerguy,

      The article like Dr. Curry superficially hits many correct notes but makes a point, as Dr. Curry is want to do, to obfuscate the critical and minimize it in consequence. If preserves the farcical backdrop while acknowledging obvious logical failures of the core AGW claims. Leading to more mythology;

      “Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky. They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.”

      Claw back provisions or criminal prosecutions will never be applied to the Climate Change cartel.

    • “The article like Dr. Curry superficially hits many correct notes but makes a point, as Dr. Curry is want to do, to obfuscate the critical and minimize it in consequence. If preserves the farcical backdrop while acknowledging obvious logical failures of the core AGW claims. Leading to more mythology;”

      Hard to divine motivations. My best guess is the author of the above post is wanting to appear fair, measured, and non-hysterical. People tend to think “wild eyed fanatic” when someone impugns an entire group of supposedly respectable people. But the piece itself is pretty damning. Kudos to Garth Paltridge,

    • I suggest it’s more of a social- and self-selection phenomenon than subornment. If you’re not center-left or even further left, the contemporary campus can be a hostile workplace. Most rightish folks only have a handful of disciplines where they are even tolerated. So they are differentially likely to choose a vocation other than the academy.

      On the social side, don’t forget that a funder goes looking for researchers who have track records that match the funder’s desires. If this is the process, then the funded researcher is funded because of the way she leans; rather than leaning that way because of funds.

      Causality is hard to tease apart here.

    • NW,

      +1

      Thank you.

      How can the academies return to an appropriately impartial political balance? Or is it not possible? In which case how can we encourage non-partisan organisations to do the good and proper science that the academics in the government funded institutions cannot do because of their ideological biases?

    • Peter Lang,

      I really don’t know. You can probably guess the same incremental, practical steps that I can, but there is little chance of a revolution.

    • ” left of center party in the U.S.”
      Given that there are two corporately funded war parties in the US I am at a loss to identify any ‘leftism’ at all in political theatre.

  14. If temperature for the past ten thousand year was really a hockey stick and this was the only warm period, all the alarmism would make some sense.

    The temperature for the past ten thousand year was NOT really a hockey stick and this was NOT the only warm period, and all the alarmism and consensus makes NO SENSE.

    • What really made the picture clear to me was seeing the JG/U tree ring graph that came out around 2 years ago. It is a 2,000 year view, which clearly shows about 6 to 7 ‘hockey sticks’, with some of those ‘hockey sticks’ being to the cold side, and that is only for the last 2K years.. As you point out above, the 10K/yr temp chart shows similar. That also makes me question the author,s comment stating that neither side can present proof that dire consequences will or will not occur with a future warming. Other than that I agree with the sentiments of the author. Why wouldn’t the 10K year record be proof that the Earth can take warmer temps without self destructing? The one fact that history clearly shows us, is that colder temps will have a negative impact on mankind,s general well being. Nowhere in the historical record does a warmer climate lead to mankind,s demise.

  15. Garth writes “The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the US, the Australian Academy of Science, and so on) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC. ”

    Precisely. This, to me, is the key issue in 2014. If the skeptics are right, and the skeptics ARE right, then somehow these noble institutions, led by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society, have to extricate themselves from the huge hole they have dug themselves into. How on earth are they going to accomplish this?

    But probably, the more important question is, who is going to turn out to be the eminent scientist who publicly challenges the likes of Sir Paul Nurse, and Lord Reese on the scientific lies they are currently telling to the influential politicians of the day?

    Who is going to bell the cat?

  16. *yawn*

    Is this sort of thing still going on?

    Scientists have a lot to lose if time proves them wrong?

    So, they’re _invested_ in disastrous consequences of human activities?

    Scientists? Who are human beings, and one expects every bit as liable to bleed if they are pricked.

    How much uncertainty is there about the forecasting of climate, that it’s more than enough? How much is this elusive ‘enough’ figure?

    Sorry, no. This blog post’s reasoning flies in the face of the fundamental principles of Science: what explanation of observations is simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and most universal in terms of applicability we regard as accurate or very nearly true until new observations require amendment. Not, “Let’s be all wishy-washy while even one iota of uncertainty might remain.”

    Between Isaac Newton’s interpretation of how Science works, and Garth Paltridge’s obscure slant, I’ll stick with Newton’s well-reasoned ethos still unchallenged after three-centuries of testing.

    • the fundamental principles of Science: what explanation of observations is simplest in terms of assumptions

      But this does not make it the correct answer.

      or very nearly true until new observations require amendment.

      But what I find happens is if the new observations do not agree with the simple explanation it is dismissed as wrong.

      This is the failure of Climate Science and the religious devotion of it’s adherents.

    • Bart:

      It has warmed since the LIA – but we do not know why yet. Some part of it is due to natural causes and some part to human causes – but we do not yet know how much of each.

      That is the most parsimonious explanation – not that we are 95% certain more than 1/2 of the warming is due to humans, when the evidence (i.e. observations) do not support this conclusion.

      The climate models fail your own test.

    • RickA | January 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm |

      Speaking of failing tests; your LIA claim fails Paltridge’s test, and by a far and away wider margin than AGW.

      You seem by your argument to want to have your logic served both ways: to use Isaac Newton’s test (improperly, as really Newton’s guidance does let us know the accurate or very nearly true reasons behind the observations people group as the supposed LIA — saying ‘supposed’ in deference to Dr. Paltridge’s ironically absolute convictions about uncertainty).

      Also, you appear to misapply parsimony, which refers to exceptions, and mistake it for simplicity, which refers to assumptions required. The LIA requires a huge cluster of assumptions; AGW only a relative handful, almost all of them common with the vast bulk of generally accepted assumptions of the same Physics as we rely on to tell us about extrasolar planets and the composition of stars, plate tectonics and aircraft engineering and myriad other successful fields dependent on the Physics of AGW to be accurate or very nearly true.

      So while you can handwave a claim that this or that fails a test you appear not to understand, it doesn’t make it so.

    • Mi Cro | January 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm |

      And you’d be right. If the ‘new observation’ and ‘simple explanation’ are of the contrived and mistaken quality of RickA’s comment following yours, then they get found out, and corrected by what is more accurate or nearly true.

      See how that works?

    • Bart:

      Your reply to me doesn’t make sense (to me).

      What LIA claim? Are you saying it has not warmed since the LIA? I doubt it – so this statement is not understood.

      What Paltridge test? I don’t see a test.

      Please try again.

    • RickA | January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm |

      Your group of assumptions that the LIA even existed as a single event; that comparing warming to “the LIA” is any more relevant than comparing it, for example, to times when we have good thermometer records.

      It’s far more appropriate to do as those like Marcott et al have, and take the whole Holocene into account and place current warming into the context of all the records we have approximately equal confidence for: our confidence about “the LIA” is little greater than that for any other period in the past millennia, and the difference in our confidence about measures of global temperature and warming trends between the past century and the LIA is far far greater than between the LIA and any other point in the Holocene paleoclimate record. To all appearances, you’ve cherry-picked an LIA straw man out from all possible ranges for no other reason than to make your argument sound more plausible, and without sufficient evidence, on the assumption that there even is an LIA distinct from the general natural temperature pattern before the Industrial Revolution.

      Do you really need to have explained to you in such detail the wrong thing you apparently deliberately do?

  17. Reblogged this on Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations and commented:
    This a great article by Garth Paltridge that Judith Curry posted at Climate Etc.

  18. Reply to Max at 12:49 PM
    We are talking apples and oranges here. I am in favor of geothermal, solar, and maybe wind with some exceptions (tremendous bird and bat kill)
    Why not conserve whenever possible?
    I am talking about people who simply do not have the ability to do what you and I can do. (I have worked hard and have been fortunate to live well)
    That does not absolve me from doing what I can for some people who perhaps do not have minimum abilities, and who work as hard as they can simply for survival. (Unfortunately, others are takers and will put forth no effort–they are not of whom I am writing)

  19. Curious George

    Regarding the grid size of models .. does anybody know, how well the models simulate mountains and coast lines? Do they handle Indian monsoons approximately correctly? Do they produce the Gulf Stream?

    • @ Curious George

      Also, do they simulate undersea eruptions that inject huge, point source heat loads into the ocean at random times, locations, and amplitudes, as well as creating (or destroying) massive structures on the sea floors, both of which impact ocean currents?

      Do they also simulate other geological activity that, at random times, amplitude,and locations, can–and does, change the shape of the coastlines and undersea structures and by extension, the ocean currents?

      Do they simulate any of a wide variety of other random physical phenomena that are also known to affect weather patterns?

      And with all the inputs to their climate models that are known to affect climate and occur with random frequency, time, magnitude, and location, many of which the SIGN of their effect is currently the subject of hot debate, do the Climate Modelers have any HOPE of being able to produce long term climate predictions?

  20. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The Past  Beginning back in the 1980s, virologists have had a *lot* to lost — in terms of scientific prestige and/or funding — if the HIV→AIDS hypothesis were disproven.

    The Result  Accumulating evidence *did* establish that HIV→AIDS.

    The HIV→AIDS Skeptics  The HIV→AIDS skeptics have grown old (and now are retiring and/or dying) without giving up their skepticism … and (more important) without recruiting a young generation of HIV→AIDS skeptics.

    ——————-

    The Past  Beginning back in the 1980s, climatologists have had a *lot* to lost — in terms of scientific prestige and/or funding — if the CO2→WARMING hypothesis were disproven.

    The Result  Accumulating evidence *did* establish that CO2→WARMING.

    The CO2→WARMING Skeptics  The CO2→WARMING skeptics have grown old (and now are retiring and/or dying) without giving up their skepticism … and (more important) without recruiting a young generation of CO2→WARMING skeptics.

    ——————-

    Conclusion  Scientific history is repeating itself, eh Climate Etc readers? Science never convinced the HIV→AIDS skeptics … but in the end, it didn’t matter. Science won’t convince the CO2→WARMING skeptics either … and in the end, it won’t matter.

    \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}

    • Complete straw-man logic and out touch to boot. Alarmists are on the short-end of the stick as are global socialists.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      cwon14  asserts a bizarre non sequitur  “Alarmists are on the short-end of the stick as are global socialists.”

      Climate Etc readers are welcome to verify for themselves James Hansen’s outstanding track-record of recruiting young scientists as co-authors.

      Can *any* skeptic show a comparable record, cwon14?

      Conclusion  The literature of climate-change skepticism is increasingly dominated by scientific loners who are aging, eccentric, isolated, and bitter.

      And *that’s* why climate-change skepticism is increasingly irrelevant. This is plain common-sense, eh cwon14?

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

    • Fan

      Happy new year to you.

      How’s that disastrous, rapidly accelerating sea level rise going?

      Tonyb

    • Can *any* skeptic show a comparable record,

      Nope, never has so many been so wrong about anything.

    • “Given current trends in greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels are expected to rise at an accelerating rate in the future, and scientists project an increase in California’s sea level of up to 61 centimeters (24 inches) by 2050 and 167 centimeters (65.7 inches) by 2100….”

      167 centimeters, 5 1/2 feet, of sea level rise on the California coast by 2100? Really?

      “For high emissions IPCC now predicts a global rise by 52-98 cm by the year 2100.”

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/#sthash.VqCY2B6M.dpuf

      Now forget how inaccurate the GCMs are. California under Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has decided the IPCC is not alarmist enough. It has underestimated the future sea level rise this century by half.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: The Result Accumulating evidence *did* establish that HIV→AIDS.

      The most important was the demonstration, by adequate experiment and modeling, that a reverse transcriptase inhibitor reversibly reduced the blood titer of HIV in AIDS patients; and that the reduction in blood titer reversibly reduced the AIDS symptoms. That is: give the drug and the virus diminishes and the symptoms disappear; remove the drug and the virus comes back in force and the AIDS symptoms re-appear.

      Should anything like that ever occur in the CO2/climate debate I am sure it will have an impact.

    • k scott denison

      FOMD – replace HIV-AIDS with STRESS-ULCERS and how does your argument work out?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Matthew R Marler accepts the HIV→AIDS hypothesis because  “Give the [anti-viral] drug and the virus diminishes and the symptoms disappear; remove the drug and the virus comes back in force and the AIDS symptoms re-appear.”

      Your reasoning is sound, Matthew R Marler!

      Now extend that reasoning. Young scientists (and business, military, religious, and outdoors folks too) all appreciate that humanity has injected the CO2 and the planet’s heat-content is spiking upward. That’s why more-and-more rational folks appreciate the odds-on evidence that Hansen’s climate-change worldview is mainly right.

      Everyone sees that the sobering scientific reality of global-scale climate-change is plenty awkward for ideology-first libertarians and/or committed opponents of market restrictions. But as Charlie Stross says (hilariously):

      “Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density (because it relies on simplifying assumptions about human behaviour which are unfortunately wrong).”

      Conclusion  Hard-core climate-change skepticism is concentrating itself into an ever-shrinking bubble of ideological sloganeering that sounds ever-more-feeble in light of ongoing climate-change.

      \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}

    • James Hansen has an unmatched track record of failed climate predictions. And you have an unmatched track record of posting the same drivel over and over and over.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyG asks  “How’s rapidly accelerating sea level rise going?””

      Happy New Year to you, TonyB!

      In regard to your question, the AGU presentation Minimizing Irreversible Impacts of Human-Made Climate Change (slide 3) summarizes the data:

      •  0.8 mm/year (1870-1924)

      •  1.9 mm/year (1925-1922)

      •  3.2 mm/year (1993-2013)

      Conclusion Sea-level rise is accelerating as predicted.

      No wonder climate-change skepticism attracts so few young recruits, eh TonyB?

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

    • Fan said;

      • 0.8 mm/year (1870-1924)

      • 1.9 mm/year (1925-1922)

      • 3.2 mm/year (1993-2013)

      Presumably you meant 1925 to 1992?. Presumably you also meant to say you are comparing apples and oranges with a reconstructed tide gauge record as against a satellite record?

      I seem to remember that it was only last year you were claiming it had risen to 15mm a year. Its going to be a long time before we see Dr Hansens 7 metre rise.
      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The calculation below is for you to check, TonyB!

      \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}

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Young scientists (and business, military, religious, and outdoors folks too) all appreciate that humanity has injected the CO2 and the planet’s heat-content is spiking upward. That’s why more-and-more rational folks appreciate the odds-on evidence that Hansen’s climate-change worldview is mainly right.

      I am glad that you liked what I wrote. The science of CO2 induced climate change has neither an adequate experiment nor an adequate model, so conclusions can’t be drawn confidently. We have models for climate change over the last 150 years in which there is a CO2 effect, and we have models over the last 150 years in which there is no CO2 effect, and we do not have any model that has been tested against out-of-sample data, and we have little and inadequate understanding of the background variation. That last is another difference from the HIV/AIDS/antiretroviral case: in the case of AIDS, the symptoms were extremely rare in healthy young men, and their frequencies tabulated: PC pneumonia, epidermal and internal fungus, wasting away, dementia. All those were rare; but the phenomena attributed to high CO2 concentrations have been recurrent in the last 10,000 years.

      Hansen’s predictions have mostly been disconfirmed, as his predictions for the first decade of the 21st century didn’t come true. Why you repeatedly cite his failed predictions is a mystery.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Matthew R Marler posts  “[A sequence of dogmatic assertions unsupported by mathematics, science, reference, or reason].”

      Conclusion  None but committed climate-change denialists would perceive in Matthew R Marler’s unsupported demagogic claims any elements of scientific evidence.

      Please try again, Matthew R Marler!

      \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}

    • FOMD:

      The calculation below is for you to check

      Epic math FAIL!

      Re-check your workings!

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Human beings do best at an ambient temperature of around 23ºC.”
      ___
      Ah, if only the biosphere was all about what’s best for humans.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: scientific evidence.

      Good grief! That link is to an interview with James Hansen, i.e. James Hansen’s view of his own record. Starting in 1988 (a paper you linked to months ago that I read and quoted from) Hansen has made a long string of predictions that have not been confirmed by subsequent events.

  21. The future may convict us of a lack of exploration during an explosion of expensive dogma and intellectualism. Someone might say: “The guy who went deepest into the ocean during the climate fuss was the director who did that stupid Titanic remake. (I didn’t mind the first Terminator.)”

    Yep. Someone might say something like that.

  22. Addendum —- Consider Coal and energy costs– it is one of the cheapest sources. Coal may contain arsenic, mercury and other very harmful elements which should not be added to the environment. (Absolutely should be removed) It also contains sulfur oxides (aerosols) which actually will cool the atmosphere. Unfortunately they are also acid producers.
    A benefit of coal, like petroleum, natural gas, ethanol etc is that the energy is stored within. Solar and wind gather but do not store energy, the energy must be used immediately or added to a grid.
    For practical purposes I simply wish to make energy (here in MN) readily available at a modest price for people who I expect would be invisible to many of the readers of this thread.

    • The dumping of mercury into the environment was being curtailed and emissions in the US were tiny. Then came compact fluorescent lightbulbs in domestic environments and now we will have mercury dumped into landfills and into the environment. Two billion light bulbs are sold each year and each CFL contains 5 mgs of mercury.

  23. “The answer probably gets back to the uncertainty of it all. The chances of proving – repeat proving – that change of climate over the next century will be large enough to be disastrous are virtually nil. For the same reason, the chances of a climate sceptic, or anyone else for that matter, proving the disaster theory to be oversold are also virtually nil. To that extent there is a level playing field for the two sides of the argument.”

    Yes. When uncertainty is so wide that no scenario can be ruled out, climate narratives will be rewarded more for prospering than for verifiability, at which point differential selection will result in a self-reinforcing culture. Such a culture has expected characteristics now seen with CAGW, e.g. the rise of a dominating consensus, ‘believers’, changes in perception (in this case resulting in a corruption of the scientific method), mobilisation of society’s resources, etc. See: http://wearenarrative.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/the-cagw-memeplex-a-cultural-creature/

  24. Walt Allensworth

    Global Warming scientists will not be held responsible if we spend $ billions on CAGW and it turns out to be a crock of steaming goo. Did the Eugenicists all end up in court? No! The universities that supported Eugenics quickly and quietly wrote it out of their history books, and the advocates moved on to other areas of study. Never happened.

    The world warms so slowly that today’s practicing global warming scientists will all be retired, or even dead and buried, long before we can even prove with any certainty that their predictions are completely wrong.

    And besides, they called it “Climate Change” to hedge their bets. :-)

    That way they can be employed in the future when it looks as if we’re going into a global cooling spell (which it does).

    If fact, this switch has already happened once already. Some of the Global Cooling ‘scientists’ of the 1970’s became Global Warming scientists of the 1990’s.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Walt Allensworth: Global Warming scientists will not be held responsible if we spend $ billions on CAGW and it turns out to be a crock of steaming goo.

      Don’t be so pessimistic. The global warming alarmists in Queensland lost considerable credibility and political clout when their advice not to enlarge the flood control system contributed to disastrous flooding. In the US, advocates of failed projects such as the Solyndra loan guarantee have lost prestige and political clout. In Germany, the shut-down of the nuclear power plants has led to increase in coal-burning because the solar and wind power could not make up the slack, and greens lost political power over that. I think England is in the process of learning that the wind farms will not in fact do as well as the proponents claimed, and AGW alarmists are losing political power over that. None of those is a huge change (except possibly for the change in government in Australia), but the voting public pays attention to failed enterprises of great cost.

    • Shame that the arctic vortex griping the US at the moment will have realigned the voter’s sights on the threat of climate change then isn’t it.

    • I would direct you to the work by Ruddiman, where he has considered the anthropgenic effects on climate and weighing them against the null hypothesis over the course of the interglacial:

      Ruddiman is constrained by facts ie they get in the way of his hypothesis.Such as the previous interglacials and the stage 11 problem.The ipcc had little confidence in the hypothesis.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-5-1-2.html

      Its actually worse then that he is also out by a couple of millenia in his time slices ( a fundamental problem with using an idealized year in orbital reconstructions) .Hence only Ruddiman,his relatives and Gates support the hypothesis.

  25. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    “The chances of proving – repeat proving – that change of climate over the next century will be large enough to be disastrous are virtually nil.”
    ____
    Sorry, but this is absolutely incorrect. We could easily be able to prove by direct evidence and known physical relationships that anthropogenic climate change will be disastrous well before 2050. The most pressing issue and the sphere of the Earth seeing the largest change so far is that which is storing the bulk of the additional energy from the ongoing energy imbalance—namely the oceans. The most recent and comprehensive report on this subject, authored by dozens of experts spanning multiple disciplines gives the prospect for disastrous changes in the oceans as quite likely should we continue with business as usual with our carbon emissions. This excellent, sober, and comprehensive report can be found at:

    http://www.stateoftheocean.org/pdfs/IPSO-PR-2013-FINAL.pdf

    Those who think that we need to focus only the troposphere for defining “disaster” are quite mistaken.

    • It seems likely that overfishing and run-off are genuine problems. But it is interesting that they now have to be rounded up as allies to keep CO2 in the game. As for ‘deadly trio’, well, really, just more rampant narrative, which no doubt will achieve high selective value.

    • Ahh……. Gates the man who is a skeptical warmist but who knows that we are in the middle of CAGW. The catastrophes are apparently just around the corner, as always.

      So Einstein since you clearly know all about this science perhaps you can help us more deluded fools by supplying the answers to the following highly relevant questions to see what sort of catastrophe we are currently in.

      1. What if man had not contributed to the increase in atmospheric CO2 what would the current global temperatures be?

      2. Would those temperatures and CO2 levels be better or worse for mankind currently, would there be less of us or more of us?

      3. How would plant life be doing, better or worse, seeing as most higher life forms are ultimately reliant on the abundance of plant life for their existence?

      4.. How would global sea ice, glaciers and other potentially ice covered areas be doing and if different, would this be a good or bad thing for life on Earth?

      4. What would your preferred level of atmospheric CO2 level be given that most plant life evolved to take advantage of the much higher CO2 levels prevalent then and are currently relatively CO2 starved?

      5. What would be your preferred global temperature and how does Mankind ensure that it is maintained as you seem to believe strongly that we are currently controlling it?

      6. How long do you think Mankind can continue to control global temperatures, if indeed we are currently as you believe,? Please be reasonably specific.

      Alan

    • Rising CO2 is like building debt in the economy Alan.

      You run a risk letting it run upwards out of control, especially as it is currently running high at levels not seen at any other time in human history.

      It’s not about an optimal climate, it’s about keeping the current climate we’ve got rather than randomly perturbing it and risking disaster.

      I hope that answers your questions.

    • lolwot | January 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Nope.

      You have not answered one of them. Have a go whilst we wait for Mr Gates to turn up.

      They aren’t difficult after all for people who have a handle on the apparently settled science.

      Alan

    • “It’s not about an optimal climate, it’s about keeping the current climate we’ve got rather than randomly perturbing it and risking disaster.”

      Current climate we’ve got?

      Here’s a fun game.

      Go find the latitude-time plot of temperature anomalies:

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/cdrar/do_LTmapE.cgi

      and of precipitation anomalies:

      Pick any decade you like and declare that the way climate should be.

      Then look at all the latitude bands you have declared to have higher or lower temperatures or precipitation.

      There is no ‘normal’ climate.

    • Eunice the Earth has different climate states.

      As even skeptics will admit in more lucid moments when they describe “medieval warm period” and “little ice age” as two very different global climate states.

      You could also compare glacial and interglacial.

      Human emissions threaten to push the Earth into an unprecedented (means never happened before) superinterglacial.

    • Oh no! R. Gates has found a press release by “climate scientists” that says it’s worse than we thought!

      What are the odds?

    • I have noticed over the years that skeptics tend not to grasp the fundamentals behind the risk of climate change (or CAGW as they would call it). Alan’s questions are an example of this, in that they miss the point.

      Life on Earth has adapted over millions of years to the current range of climate. While climate bounces around that range we can be somewhat reassured that things will run pretty much as they have in the past.

      But if you take the climate outside that range all bets are off what will happen.

      So yes the current range of climate is optimal, but not in the sense that Alan seems to think, it’s not a miracle, it’s because life (and human civilization) has adapted to it over time.

      Further there is the principle that when faced with a complex machine you don’t sufficiently understand, you have to recognize that pressing all the buttons is more likely to cause a problem than leaving well alone.

      I’ve seen some skeptics kind of acknowledge all this when they balk at the idea of aerosol geo-eingneering. They recognize in that case the meddling in a system we don’t understand and the disaster it could trigger. Sadly they don’t quite get the same thing about CO2 though.

    • lolwot | January 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Still not answered a single question yet Lolwot. Have you got a problem doing so?

      However, let ME make a prediction.

      You will not answer these questions, neither will Gates.

      I have posited these to warmists a number of times and not once have they ever answered. They either just run away or post irrelevant stuff in some sort of deflection technique.

      Just answer the questions direct. Your whole argument is that we have perturbed the climate to a different state than it would otherwise be. So you must feel that you have a good handle on the non-perturbed state.

      Let the rest of us who, are not so informed as you, know what this state is and its consequences by just answering the simple, for you, questions.

      Alan

    • Alan,
      your questions are irrelevant to the topic at hand but I’ll answer them anyway.

      1. Close to the temperatures experienced during the LIA, but maybe a tenth or two warmer due to solar activity in the 20th century.
      2. Since a major improvement in the human condition occurred during the LIA, I would say there would be about the same number of humans.
      3. Plant life would be fine.
      4. There would be more glacier ice and the ice caps would be similar in size as during the LIA, but global sea ice would be difficult to predict.
      4 Plant life has evolved considerably since the higher levels of CO2 during the Cretaceous and are adapted to the current levels. My preffered level is what it is right now, or I would prefer to stop the increase.
      5. Same answer as $, stop the increase in temperature.
      6 Mankind is not in control of temperature, they are uncontrollably increasing temperature, and can continue to do that as long as the supply of carbon lasts. That could be a long time, but is at least a couple of centuries.

      It would probably be a good idea to stop the icecaps from melting completely and stop the march of plant hardiness zones towards the poles.

    • Excerpt:

      Facilitating the Lesson…

      Ask students what they think the living conditions would have been like during this time, and list student ideas on the board. They should understand that people living during the Little Ice Age, would have been affected by:

      –> Decreases in plant growth

      –>Crop failures and reduced productivity of plants and animals they used for food

      –>Increased death of humans and livestock due to famine and illness

    • bob droege | January 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      So you feel that if we were back to the temperatures of the little ice age that would have no impact on agricultural output, Smaller growing seasons and available land, combined with much lower concentration of CO2, would have no effect on overall plant productivity? Really!!!

      You do know that the planet has been greening in the face of the increased CO2 and temperatures don’t you?

      With lower CO2, plants are going to be using more of the available water as well, not to mention that more of the water is going to be tied up as ice. You reckon all this would have no effect on the human population? Really!!!

      Most plants have not evolved to the lower CO2 levels that is why farmers give them much higher levels in their greenhouses. The plants respond by growing much stronger and bigger as they were evolved to do, They mitigate the lower levels that’s all. So plant life would still be there but it would not be as ‘fine’ as it is today.

      Your preferred level of CO2 is today’s level. So it looks like Mankind has done you a favour with their actions to get here.

      You reckon we are increasing the temperatures by increasing atmospheric CO2 and there is nothing the Earth can do about this with any feedback mechanisms. Could we prevent the next glacial period by using this apparent control of the thermostat and would this be a good thing?

      Alan

    • Lolwot: “I’ve seen some skeptics kind of acknowledge all this when they balk at the idea of aerosol geo-eingneering. They recognize in that case the meddling in a system we don’t understand and the disaster it could trigger. Sadly they don’t quite get the same thing about CO2 though.”

      Burning fossil fuel happened because they were readily available,relatively affordable, efficient sources of energy. Any un-intended consequences of the burning of fossil fuels vis-a-vis the atmosphere have been localized (i.e. pollution, not much of an issue in the developed world) or small (some % of observed “global” warming.) Geo-engineering, esp. with areosols would be the poster child for the law of unintended consequences.

      There is a huge difference between massive benefits of fossil fuel use and the hubritic meddling of geo-engineering.

    • There is a huge difference between massive benefits of fossil fuel use and the hubritic meddling of geo-engineering.

      That is indisputably true and blatantly obvious. So why do so many people not get it?

    • Sorry, but this is absolutely incorrect. We could easily be able to prove by direct evidence and known physical relationships that anthropogenic climate change will be disastrous well before 2050.

      What complete and utter rubbish! How could anyone be so gullible to believe such nonsense?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Alan M:

      Good questions! As a preface to my answers, I would direct you to the work by Ruddiman, where he has considered the anthropgenic effects on climate and weighing them against the null hypothesis over the course of the interglacial:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      So, without anthropogenic effects at all, suppose humans did not exist beginning with the start of the Holocene, if you think Ruddiman’s analysis has merit, then perhaps we would be up to 1C, or even 2C cooler by now and well on our way to the next glacial advance. The question could well be, when does it become too much of a good thing, or, could we support 10 or 12 billion humans with a Pliocene like climate?

      Maybe the target of 350 ppm of CO2 should be considered both an upper and lower band to keep the Earth just like Baby Bear’s porridge…not too hot or too cold. These will be the considerations for future Anthropocene climate engineers.

    • In response to Alan Millar, I would say that many, even possibly he, would agree with Hansen and 350.org that 350 ppm is better than 280 ppm. Unfortunately we went past that in 1988. So the question to Alan Millar is how comfortable he is with the business-as-usual 700 ppm, which is estimated for around 2100 even without burning all known resources. Good? Not good? For reference, the last time the earth was at 700 ppm was about 40 million years ago and before any major glaciation occurred on even Antarctica, but within a century we could be there again.

    • For reference, the last time the earth was at 700 ppm was about 40 million years ago and before any major glaciation occurred on even Antarctica, but within a century we could be there again.

      That is not even remotely reasonable to remotely consider.

      So, before polar ice developed, we did not have any polar ice. Is there some point to this? Now, we have polar ice and polar ice cycles and now is not like 40 million years ago and we may take 40 million years to get back to that or something different. The last million years has been different and there is no data that indicates we could go back. The new climate cycles, of the past ten thousand years are well bounded and as regular as a Polar Ice Cycle of Warm and then Cold and then Warm and then Cold, over and over and over Again and Again.

    • HAP, yes, 700 ppm is consistent with the iceless hothouse. That level of forcing, when exceeded has been iceless every time it has happened in the last billion years, and is in fact closer to the earth’s average state in that time. Humans evolved in an unusually cold climate that we are about to leave. That’s the big picture.

    • Jim D | January 9, 2014 at 12:37 am |

      I would have no problem with 700 ppm or much higher for that matter. Plants evolved to take advantage of much higher levels than 700 ppm and do better currently when we supply them with that environment. The main effect of such levels would be a proliferation of life on Earth.

      Homo Sapiens evolved in a warm climate in Africa, not a cold one, that is a fallacy put about by the warmists. Our huge intelligence meant that we could spread , mitigate and adapt to colder areas but we still prefer and proliferate better in warmer climes. The Inuit can survive in the cold and we can live in the Northern Canada etc but we aren’t very prolific there as it is not Homo Sapiens preferred climate.

      Of course you being a warmist think that we will have a large increase in temperature as well as the benefits of higher CO2. You have no empirical or observational evidence for this, just models which are fitted and false and therefore no evidence. I think there will be a fairly small accompanying temperature increase. Physics tells us so and there is evidence that Earth’s feedback mechanisms, in response to changes in temperatures, are negative in both directions, which has enabled the Earth to maintain a very narrow temperature range over billions of years.

      Even if you were correct, by some miracle and we manage somehow to get the Earth’s average temperature back up to 22C or so I think life on Earth would be more prolific than today, including us. It certainly was in the past at these temperatures.

      Alan

    • Alan,
      We are not going back to the temperatures of the LIA any time soon no matter what we do.
      And if we did, you would not be able to measure the difference as it would be less than than variation in output we currently enjoy. The large increase in agricultural productivity since the LIA is due to the improvements in methods.
      Farmers add CO2 to greenhouses because less is worse than more is better. Plants in greenhouses can use up all the available CO2 causing the CO2 levels to drop very low.
      Yes the earth has been greening, but I suggest looking at the album cover for the 4th Led Zeppelin album for the answer. We don’t do that anymore.
      Also with lower temperature there will be less evaporation, so the plants can get the water before it evaporates.
      Plants didn’t stop evolving 50 million years ago when CO2 levels were higher.
      We have already added enough CO2 to prevent the next ice age.

      And then your last paragraph indicates you are a Gaia worshiping pagan, no?

    • Waggy,
      I am sure that with companies like Cargill and Monsanto we could enjoy near modern agricultural productivity in LIA conditions, and better than the productivity of say the 1970s.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Even if you were correct, by some miracle and we manage somehow to get the Earth’s average temperature back up to 22C or so I think life on Earth would be more prolific than today, including us. It certainly was in the past at these temperatures.”
      _____
      I don’t think it is necessarily wise to think that returning Earth’s average temperature to a level that existed when human ancestors were the size of tree shrews is advisable. We are now large mammals and very dependent on grains for our food supply. It is not certain that we could feed 10 or 12 billion humans in a world where the average temperature was 22C.

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | January 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm |

      I don’t think it is necessarily wise to think that returning Earth’s average temperature to a level that existed when human ancestors were the size of tree shrews is advisable. We are now large mammals and very dependent on grains for our food supply. It is not certain that we could feed 10 or 12 billion humans in a world where the average temperature was 22C.
      _____________________

      You do realize they grow wheat in Saudi Arabia where the average temperature is north of 22C, right?

    • Alan Millar

      Let me take a crack at your questions with some common-sense answers.

      1. What if man had not contributed to the increase in atmospheric CO2 what would the current global temperatures be?

      Within ±0.1ºC of what they are today.

      2. Would those temperatures and CO2 levels be better or worse for mankind currently, would there be less of us or more of us?

      No impact whatsoever.

      3. How would plant life be doing, better or worse, seeing as most higher life forms are ultimately reliant on the abundance of plant life for their existence?

      Plant life is flourishing. Studies show that the postulated anthropogenic increase in CO2 has resulted in increased crop yields and growth rates, as well as increased overall global vegetation.

      4. How would global sea ice, glaciers and other potentially ice covered areas be doing and if different, would this be a good or bad thing for life on Earth?

      No perceptible impact on ice extent directly attributable to increased CO2 levels resulting from human emissions.

      5. What would your preferred level of atmospheric CO2 level be given that most plant life evolved to take advantage of the much higher CO2 levels prevalent then and are currently relatively CO2 starved?

      Anywhere up to around 1,000 ppmv would be just fine for me, and that’s the limit we could reach from combusting all the remaining recoverable fossil fuels on the planet.

      6. What would be your preferred global temperature and how does Mankind ensure that it is maintained as you seem to believe strongly that we are currently controlling it?

      The planet’s average temperature is around 15ºC today. Human beings do best at an ambient temperature of around 23ºC. So I would not mind a few degrees warmer than today. However, there is no way ”mankind” can ensure that our global temperature remains constant.

      7. How long do you think Mankind can continue to control global temperatures, if indeed we are currently as you believe,? Please be reasonably specific.

      Mankind is unable to control our planet’s global climate, no matter how much money we throw at it.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Max

    • Max

      How do we separate common sense from common nonsense?

      Why should we think that your answer is not the latter (as I certainly think that at least some of it is)?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Yep, there is a very very small amount of wheat grown in Saudi Arabia, though the government is even scaling that back as it takes so much precious ground water grow:

      http://www.arabnews.com/news/448070

      But overall, wheat does not do well in very hot and dry weather, as evidenced by this world map for wheat:

      So, 22C average world temperatures might indeed stress our ability to fee 10 or 12 billion humnas.

    • R. Gates, “So, 22C average world temperatures might indeed stress our ability to fee 10 or 12 billion humnas.”

      I think the fee part is under control :)

    • If the skeptics want to defend the consequences of 700 ppm, that is where the argument should be. It is one where they are on thin ice, so to speak, as earth becomes iceless with much higher equilibrium sea levels. Is 700 ppm better than 500 or 400? How about 1000? Where is their ideal climate? Compare paleo equivalents for some idea. This is a conversation they usually avoid, but Alan Millar wouldn’t mind a climate where large currently populous areas of the tropics become uninhabitable by some accounts, just from increasing dewpoints more towards 40 C where we can’t function metabolically outdoors. Is it simpler to have the hothouse climate for centuries or phase out fossil fuels to limit CO2. No easy choices, and getting more difficult with waiting.

      • This is a conversation they usually avoid

        It’s only a problem if you think 700ppm is going to raise the temp by 3-6C, if on the other hand you don’t see any evidence this will happen, and that paleo is more likely showing high Co2 due to temps, not the other way around, there’s nothing to have a conversation about.

    • Mi Cro, CO2 rises 10-15 ppm for each degree. How many degrees would it take to account for the paleo 700 ppm? No, it didn’t rise because of temperature, it rose because of geological processes like volcanoes, and then the temperature rose in response giving these hothouse conditions which also cooled off as CO2 declined through other geological processes. Geology shows that CO2 leads temperature when CO2 is emitted. Volcanoes did what Man is doing now. It has all happened before. Much misunderstanding on the “skeptical” side. I think it is that they don’t want to understand how paleoclimate works, or to admit that they understand, or something. It’s a tight corner they are in.

    • Jim D | January 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Warmists are so blinded by their fitted and false models that they ignore reality.

      Physics say temperatures should rise about 1C for each doubling of CO2, bonkers warmists say this should at least 3.2C due to Earth’s positive feedback systems in the face of increasing energy input and temperature.

      They ignore all history and reality. The Sun has been increasing its energy input to the Earth by about 1% every 100 million years, which is equivalent to a doubling of CO2. In the last 3 billion years it has pushed the equivalent of 30 doublings of CO2 into Earth’s climate system, yet temperatures has not hardly moved.

      Even in the last 500 million years, since the Earth has been with its Oxygen atmosphere and life spread across the land, the Earth has received an increase in energy input the equivalent of 5 doublings of CO2.

      Now physics says, with no feedback, temperatures should have gone up about 5C, warmists say about 16C and reality says temperatures dropped from 22C to 14C!!

      Well Einstein what do facts, observations and reality tell you about the sign of the feedback to this increasing energy?

      Mind you being a man of the faith you will just believe that the Earth is a denier and the modelled positive feedback is still correct!

      Alan

    • Jim D

      HAP, yes, 700 ppm is consistent with the iceless hothouse. That level of forcing, when exceeded has been iceless every time it has happened in the last billion years, and is in fact closer to the earth’s average state in that time. Humans evolved in an unusually cold climate that we are about to leave. That’s the big picture.

      We had no polar ice, before, when CO2 was 700. If we get to 700 again, with plenty of polar ice, that is very different. An Apple is not an Orange.

      It is extremely consistent that now is different from before we had polar ice.

      We do not have polar ice now and not then because of anything to do with CO2.

      The arrangement of land and ocean currents and ocean levels caused the polar ice and CO2 did not have anything to do with that.

      CO2 is a trace gas and it is responding and not driving.

    • Alan Millar, just 50 million years ago CO2 was 1000-2000 ppm and temperatures were 14 C warmer at the bottom of some oceans. As for deeper paleoclimate, I agree with your numbers about the sun increasing 1% per 100 million years and that being equivalent to a CO2 doubling, which is why several thousand ppm in the Mesozoic Era wasn’t as damaging as it would be now. If you want to use the Eocene as an example of a high CO2 climate, the sea level would have been much higher, and the tropics would be really uncomfortable.

  26. Theo Goodwin

    “The problem is that climate research necessarily involves enormous resources, and is a game for institutions and organizations. Scepticism is an occupation for individuals.”

    The problems presented by this fact cannot be addressed by the traditional university system that grants tenure to individuals. Some reorganization of the tenure system is required. I will not speculate on how it might come about.

  27. Schrodinger's Cat

    I very much enjoyed reading this post.

    The only part I feel doubtful about is the last part which suggests that there may be a long term stalemate due the considerable uncertainty and the difficulty in arriving at a conclusion, one way or the other.

    The time factor of climate change may indeed produce a sense of equilibrium. The environment, however, is much more dynamic and may upset this equilibrium in a sudden and dramatic manner. By environment, I mean the political, social and financial worlds. Australia’s recent change of government to a more sceptical one is a good example.

    A seemingly small event could cause a massive loss in credibility for climate science in the eyes of the press and the public. Politicians are quick to change their minds if they think votes are at stake.

  28. This post on uncertainty and the previous one on the rush to blame GW for extreme winter events add to a growing feeling that the respect for a proper scientific method is in decline. Are scientists becoming too eager to publish, even before they have sufficient data, or even if they get stuck in some final barriers they still publish with what they have? Is it good science to use the word “could” in the main conclusions of a paper?

    I think it can be useful to go back a few centuries, around the 17th century, when science began to make rapid progress. In this period there is a shift in methodology and in retrospect I think we can say that the progress is a consequence. Previously, science and philosophy were essentially the same. The belief that everything could be deduced by reasoning alone, ultimately based on metaphysics, admitted or not, was strong. Then people like Newton came along who believed that everything must follow from observations alone. “Quicquid enim ex phænomenis non deducitur, hypothesis vocanda est; & hypotheses … in philosophia experimentali locum non habent”. Anything that does not follow from observations is a hypothesis, and hypotheses have no place in science. So either you have enough observations that without exception show the same thing so you can generalise by induction and make a theory, or you have nothing. Newton’s “hypotheses non fingo” is a very good defence against confirmation bias, which, I believe, has become a serious problem in climate science in both lairs.

    Modern science allows more deduction from intuition and hypotheses again, as long as they produce testable predictions. I believe in intuition and hypothesising, but I believe stronger in observations. Newton’s position is probably impossible to follow in practise, but can stand as an ideal worth approaching. Which leads me to question whether the scientific method now has gone too far in putting faith in hypotheses and has probably unconsciously approached the deductive method of the middle ages.

    Does anyone have similar thoughts?

    • steinarmidtskogen

      For “in both lairs”, read “in both camps”. Sorry about that.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Steinar, you write “Does anyone have similar thoughts?”

      I have been saying for years that I only trust hard, measured, empirical, preferably replicated, data. However, I am not very popular amongst the warmist denizens of CE, because there is NO empirical data that measures the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined. And if the estimates of climate sensitivity are nothing more than guesses, then it follows as night follows day, that no-one has the slightest idea what happens to global temperatures, or OHC, when one adds more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels.

    • Steiner Midtskogen; it is as hard to believe we could be so regressing significantly as to believe that we could be cooling significantly.
      =============

    • no-one has the slightest idea what happens to global temperatures, or OHC, when one adds more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels.

      Yes, we have a really good idea. When you add a trace to a trace gas, you get a trace of change that you cannot measure or understand, you can only guess what it might be. If you guess small, your mistake may be small, if you guess big, your mistake WILL be BIG.

  29. The problem is when you make a prediction you make yourself a hostage to fate. Fate often shoots the hostages.

  30. “Somewhere along the line it came to be believed… climate researchers were the equivalent of knights on white chargers fighting a great battle against the forces of evil – evil, that is, in the shape of big oil…”

    Still, it cannot be acknowledged that AGW is a Left v right issue precisely because it is NOT about “big oil” being evil? Global warming is a phenomena of Western civilization: it is Eurocommunism and socialism versus free enterprise capitalism. To the Left and dead and dying Old Europe, it is America that is evil.

  31. “Scientists – most scientists anyway – may be a bit naïve, but they are not generally wicked, idiotic, or easily suborned either by money or by the politically correct.”

    It’s just that… the Al Gore got their tongue? Great… now, I don’t feel so bad about having my money taken and then being stabbed in the back.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

      See you on the barricades Gary.

    • Tony B

      I’d agree with you that the EU started out as a good idea, but mushroomed into a bureaucratic juggernaut.

      Democracy works best at the grassroots level. Switzerland has found this out the hard way, over several centuries. Yet the trend to increase the power of the federal government at the expense of the cantons and communities is ever-present even here.

      The further away democracy gets from the local level the more it is in danger of being threatened by a growing, well-meaning (but power-hungry)bureaucracy that erroneously thinks it knows best what’s good for everyone and is accountable to no one.

      Just my thoughts on this.

      Max

    • The main two reasons for creating and developing EU have been:

      1) Making wars between European countries “impossible”.

      2) The belief that Europe needs more unity to survive in global economic competition.

      The reasons remain valid. How well EU answers to them is a more difficult question.

      The other difficult question is, how EU should change to perform better. The great national differences and the value many Europeans give for local traditions and other factors that make large changes very difficult is the other difficult question.

      And then: The word “bureaucracy” has French origins.

  32. “What has happened to the scepticism that is supposedly the lifeblood of scientific enquiry?”

    …whaahappened to the scientific method?

    • old Europe is not dead and dying and we don’t hate America. We in Britain hate the EU however.

      Tonyb

      • The Euros hated George Bush because he stood up for America against Kyoto and the “consensus” whereas they gave the Al Gore, the UN and Obama a Nobel doing everything they could to bring Americanism down.

    • Tonyb,
      Many in the US are fond of Britain, Scotland and Ireland but think that socialist strangle hold on freedom and innovation reduce you to a shadow of the world power that spanned the globe with proud industries and fearless adventurers. The sun never set on that Great Britain empire and now seems to be blow the horizen of your island remnaint.
      Scott

    • below and remnant
      Scott

    • Scott

      The eu has emasculated us, which is why ordinary people hate Them

      Tonyb

    • Old Europe may not be dead, but its democratic principles are under full frontal assault.

      The real question is, will conservatism (classical liberalism) make a come back? Or will the populist reaction to the power drunk over reach by Eurocrats be a return to something more ugly; like say a “third way” blend of crony capitalism, central control by regulation, and a resurgence of anti-semitism and other racist hatred of the other?

      All it takes is a fascist demagogue to gain electoral power. The Eurocrats are busily building the structure that would support one, and simultaneously tearing down the protections against one. One of my favorite line from one of the best movies of all time:

      “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you–where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast–man’s laws, not God’s–and if you cut them down…d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?”

      (The laws he was referring to, by the way, were laws that restricted the government, not imbued it with ever more power.)

    • Tony,

      Nevah trust
      (a politician / EU official)
      with (his / her) hand
      in someone elses’
      (your / my) pocket.

      beth / the serf.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I agree with Tony when he says Old Europe is not dead. I admire the Germans for their work ethic, the French for their appreciation of food and wine, and the Italians for their appreciation of food and wine.

      I can’t think of what I admire most about the English, but it sure ain’t their food. Yecch! I recommend anyone traveling to the country dine only at Chinese, Greek, and Indian restaurants. But English beer and ale is very tasty, and no it is not severed warm, it’s served at room temperature, which brings out more flavor. England may be the best place in the world for hiking. I also like the British sense of humor.

      I don’t know why Tony thinks the EU has emasculated the UK. I think the Brits should get their act together and try to be more like the Germans, the Swiss, the Danes, the Swiss, the Dutch, or the Swedes. All of these countries have a strong commitment to the work ethic, and are not handicapped by an adversarial relationship between labor and management.

    • Max

      Emasculated as most of our laws are made by the eu and not by our own parliament. This means we have no direct control over many aspects of our lives. You are in Nafta, How would you like it if Mexico decided your laws?

      Tonyb

    • Hmmm, GM, many fallen plants to dendrochronolog.
      ===============

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Well, I wouldn’t like it if Mexico made U.S. law, unless I agreed with the laws.

      You remind me of some Oklahomans who don’t like the U.S. making laws for Oklahomans. Well, that’s one of the drawbacks of being a State instead of a country. But being a U.S. State has it’s benefits. Does the UK not benefit in any way from the EU?

    • Max

      The fundamental problem is that we voted to go into a free trade area called the common market. It was only later that we found out that all along it was supposed to become a political entity with the intention of us becoming, in effect, one country with the same laws, rules, currency and all the other things that come with the aspirations of a political elite racked by guilt over earlier conflicts.

      I am pro Europe as a trading organisation who need to cooperate in many spheres, but not as part of some larger political entity.

      Tonyb

    • Tb, I enjoy the irony of the European Coal & Steel Community.
      ==========

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Well, Tony, vote for a candidate who will get the UK out. If he can’t win, you will have to accept that’s the way a democracy works, and try to make the best of it.

    • TonyB,
      I agree with you. I’d like to see democracy pushed down to lower and lower levels (as it seems the Swiss have done) rather than push it up to higher and higher levels where it becomes controlled by un-elected bureaucrats, which it seems is what has happened in the EU.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Un-elected bureaucrats should be able to do a better job than elected politicians because they don’t have to spend time trying to get re-elected. Career bureaucrats I believe would be more competent than newly elected politicians.

    • Max_OK,

      Progressivism leads inexorably away from democracy. Don’t be in such a rush. The voters might catch on before it’s too late.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM, conservatism has no future in the U.S. You might get closer to what you want by becoming a citizen of Hong Kong or Singapore. However, you might have to pay your way in.

  33. Spot on in almost every respect. There is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the equatorial Atlantic strata cumulus cloud mass has decreased by as much as one third since 1900. This due to human actions on the Nile which has altered 2 of the contributing factors to easterly wave formation.

  34. Matthew R Marler

    Garth Paltridge: The trap was set in the late seventies or thereabouts when the environmental movement first realised that doing something about global warming would play to quite a number of its social agendas.

    I like the essay, but from that point on it was too speculative and too poorly documented to appeal to me greatly. It plays to a bunch of my hunches. I especially think he is right that the theory of CO2-induced global warming can be neither proved nor disproved for a long time — I used to think a good answer would be available in 20 years, now I am less hopeful that it will be less than 40 years. If declining global mean temps follow a declining solar output for 2 decades, it may become clear that solar variation has not been properly accounted for. The Tsonis model (and some others) predicts an eventual large increase in global mean temperature, and I can easily see how it might be possible that the world has to wait 2-3 decades after 2035 to see whether that occurs, and whether it will be related to solar change.

    Meanwhile, there is the related debate about whether CO2-induced warming, or CO2 increase in general, is more beneficial than harmful.

  35. Generalissimo Seriously?

    With an as yet undetermined appendage Garth Paltridge writes:

    “Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky. They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.”

    Seriously? What exactly? Can you show me like a relevant performance clause in an academic employment contract to make your point?

  36. ”Throughout history,” Dr. Philip Stott observed back in August 2008 (“More On Cognitive Dissonance — The End Of The World Is/Is Not Nigh!”), “many competing cults have attempted to predict dire catastrophes for the Earth.” Stott asks, “What happens when the predictions fail?”

  37. Thanks, Garth, for an excellent article. It makes even more sense once it is understood that some of the key people in the IPCC are environmentalists not scientists (as pointed out by Donna Laframboise).

    lolwot (Jan 8 11:31 am) says “Zero climate sensitivity is not credible”. The IPCC puts climate sensitivity at about 3. At this level, it can be portrayed as dangerous. At any level below about 2, there is no danger. 2 is within the range stated by the IPCC. So it is completely irrelevant whether zero climate sensitivity is credible. Indeed, most sceptics will happily state that CO2 does have some warming effect, ie that climate sensitivity is likely to be above zero.

    R Gates (Jan 8 2:40 pm) says “Solar variations alone do not explain all of climate change unless you extend your “margins of error” to absurd levels”. This is a repeat of the error made by the IPCC, which considers only TSI as ‘solar variation’. The period in the middle-distant past that looks most like today was the MWP, and before that the Roman, Minoan and various earlier warm periods. Our climate models can’t simulate the MWP or any of the earlier warm periods, so we don’t know what factors were driving climate then. Because we don’t know what factors were driving climate then, we can’t know whether the same factors are active today. Hence the models are (to put it kindly) seriously unreliable.

    • “At any level below about 2, there is no danger”

      (CITATION NEEDED!)

      “Indeed, most sceptics will happily state that CO2 does have some warming effect”

      How reasonable of them! Give them my compliments!

    • Curious George

      @lolwot: Please provide your citation.

    • Here comes, er, goes the Sun.
      ==========

    • “The historic evidence of the natural cycle includes the 5000-year record of Nile floods, 1st-century Roman wine production in Britain, and thousands of museum paintings that portrayed sunnier skies during the Medieval Warming and more cloudiness during the Little Ice Age. The physical evidence comes from oxygen isotopes, beryllium ions, tiny sea and pollen fossils, and ancient tree rings. The evidence recovered from ice cores, sea and lake sediments, cave stalagmites and glaciers has been analyzed by electron microscopes, satellite, and computers. Temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period on California’s Whitewing Mountain… 3.2 degrees warmer than today.” (PRNewswire)

      • The an ie t Nile flood data is unreliable coz the faroes levied taxes directly on the level of the food since it determined wheat yields. Sometimes they deliberately faulsified the flood record to increase taxas. Same shit, different millenia

    • I wonder if the taxes correlated with the aurorae.
      ============

    • Yes, Maks, the authors make the point that the Nile River levels are considered accurate for the time period studied, post pharoahs, and the auroral activity was widely studied and the records are interconnected and reliable also.

      Note this was NASA, 2007. Where’s Holdren for the 3:00 AM Call?
      =================

    • Waggy,
      Were they growing wind in Scotland during the medieval warm period?

      Inquiring wine drinkers want to know.

      http://www.englishwineproducers.com/vineyards/scotland/

    • should be producing wine, not growing wind.

    • Bob on Scottish wine

      ‘Its wine Jim, but not as we know it….’

      (with apologies to Star Trek)

      tonyb

    • May not be the best vintage Tony, but doesn’t put to rest the argument that the MWP was warmer today because they were producing wine in England in the MWP, and they can’t do that know, or can they.

      We have empirical evidence of wine from Scotland now, but from the MWP, is it lacking?

    • Bob

      You are comparing apples to oranges. Our knowledge of viticulture is very much better today. Our ancestors did not have the time, knowledge, access to information on soils nor the hybrid grape vines that can tolerate the conditions it is bred for.

      As the Wine loving romans were never in Scotland it is doubtful if it would have occurred to the scots to even try growing wine in the mwp

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

      “Our climate models can’t simulate the MWP or any of the earlier warm periods,”
      —-
      What “skeptic” handbook did you copy this notion from?

    • The sun never sets on the dominating influence of the CET, or the bad wine and that comes with it.

      No wonder my ancestors, after a cup of Joe, revolted at Kings Mountain.

    • lolwot – re climate sensitivity <=2 : it's generally agreed that global temperature increase up to about 2 deg C is beneficial (increased agricultural prodn etc). At climate sensitivity <=2, we don't have enough fossil fuel to get to the 800+ppm atmospheric CO2 that would be needed.

      R Gates – re the MWP : they can't. If they could, they wouldn't have needed the hockey-stick.

    • Wouldn’t that be a disaster if we got up to 800 ppm which politicians thought would only produce 2 C warming, when it turned out the scientists were right after all and it was 4.5 C, just like last time it was 800 ppm in the Eocene (go figure).

  38. Generalissimo RoundingError

    Garth Paltridge further laments:

    “Among other problems, small errors in the numerical modelling of complex processes have a nasty habit of accumulating with time.”

    Correct. Models appear chaotic with regard to initial conditions because of them. The real world doesn’t have rounding errors.

    • Exactly, Generalissimo FingerOnTheTriggger. We use statistics to tease out reality from a sample of it. But, when we have reality right there in front of us we don’t need a sample, just open eyes. The global warming alarmists simply do not wish to accept what they see.

      • Isn’t is possible that climate change skeptics suffer from the same problem?

      • Being skeptical of the theory that humanity’s CO2 is dooming the globe is no different from being skeptical of claims that aliens cause global warming. In both instances, the null hypothesis — that all global observed global warming can be explained by natural causes — cannot be rejected.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Model are chaotic springer and this involves both sensitive dependance and structural instability.

      Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      This echoes other pointless comments.

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm |

      “Model are chaotic springer and this involves both sensitive dependance and structural instability.”

      I don’t disagree. The real world however does not exhibit sensitive dependance or structual instability. Those are model artifacts.

  39. Historians, long hence, will surely have a fascinating time analyzing the rise and fall of the cult of catastrophic ‘global warming’. Even now it is possible to detect close parallels with the pattern of many traditional doomsday cults. And, it is particularly interesting to note that scientists are just as susceptible to such cults as nonscientists./em> (Dr. Philip Stott)

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      k scott denison said on January 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      “What I expected (knew) Max. All agenda driven awards.”
      _____
      Well, k scott, if you knew, why did you ask me. Do you think it’s fun to waste my time.

      And what awards have you won, k scott? My guess is none. Your envy of Michael Mann is understandable.

      • More pink noise — filed anywhere and in everyone’s faces — in support of Michael Mann and his sycophants, fabricators of GCMs that turn white noise into ‘hockey sticks.’?

  40. Generalissimo Logician

    Garth Paltridge almost fouls out with a double-down on a fallacy within 100 words of each other. The No True Scotsman Fallacy to be precise. To whit:

    no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind, when asked the specific question, would say that he is 95% sure that the effect of clouds is to amplify rather than to reduce the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide. If he is not sure that clouds amplify global warming, he cannot be sure that most of the global warming is a result of increasing carbon dioxide.

    Bear in mind too that no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind,

  41. With all we know about Michael Mann, that he still has a job at Penn State — and the conspiracy of silence among academics concerning the ‘hockey stick’ fraud — have shown there are no consequences for academics who have no respect for truth.

    • Walt Allensworth

      Wagathon @ Jan 8 5:01pm…

      With all we know about Michael Mann, that he still has a job at Penn State — and the conspiracy of silence among academics concerning the ‘hockey stick’ fraud — have shown there are no consequences for academics who have no respect for truth.

      —————————————–
      —————————————–

      Exactly.

      Political influences were too great for any real punishment to be met out for this travesty of ‘science.’

      A good summary of the whole sordid tale can be found here:

      http://a-sceptical-mind.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-hockey-stick

      The fact that Mann was not tarred and feathered for this gross fabrication truly makes me weep.

      • I sent a few notes to the HMs director of public prosecutions re fraud by misrepresentation – a criminal offence. The day may come that such fraudsters may have to explain their actions from the witness box.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Continued attempts to malign award-winning scientist Michael Mann reinforce the anti-science reputation of global warming deniers. That’s a good thing.

    • k scott denison

      I’ll bite Max… what awards did Mann win?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Hello, k scott

      The following excerpt from Michael Mann’s web site describes the awards he has received:

      “He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013.”

      Michael Mann also has a talent for making his haters lie about him, which I think deserves some kind of award.

      • “In general, we found [Mann’s methods] to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms [by their main critics] to be valid and compelling.

        … It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.

        … Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

        Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.”

        (Wegman Report)

    • k scott denison

      What I expected (knew) Max. All agenda driven awards.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Waggy, when pressed, Wegman allowed Mann might be right, but for the wrong reasons. Wegman knows all the right reasons, although he may have plagiarized some.

      • Mathematically speaking, Mann makes a mocker of science. As a religious leader he perhaps has a great deal of power over his flockers.

        Needless to say, you shouldn’t get hockey stick graphs by simply feeding white noise into your global warming doomday graph-fabricating machine.

        “White noise, has equal power density across the entire frequency spectrum, that is, it has constant energy at all frequencies. When this is graphically represented, white noise has a flat power spectral density. In a practical example, white noise is what is used to refer to that steady, even soothing sound produced when tuning in to an unused radio or TV frequency. White noise has an equal amount of energy per frequency band in contrast to pink noise, which has an equal amount of energy per octave. Pink noise has a frequency spectrum that is flat in logarithmic space. The power density of pink noise, compared with white noise, decreases by 3 dB (decibels) per octave. It is said that pink noise is the most soothing sound to the human ear. Pink noise has the same frequency distribution as falling rain.

        Red noise is similar to pink noise, but it has relatively more energy at lower frequencies than pink noise. Red noise has a power density that decreases 6 dB per octave as the frequency increases. Of course, red noise was named after a connection with red light, which is on the low end of the visible light spectrum. Mathematically speaking, integrating white noise produces red noise. Red noise in the paleoclimatology context comes from the fact that tree rings have correlation from year to year, that is, if a tree grows well in a given year, it will store carbohydrates and will tend to have a good year of growth the following year as well. Red noise in the paleoclimatology context is modeled by a first-order autoregressive model.” (See, Wegman, Ibid.)

  42. Generalissimo Sweeping

    Garth pecks out a thought:

    “It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.”

    Homey don’t think so. This is the sweeping generalization fallacy. Geology wasn’t distrusted forever, if at all, because the consensus was wrong about continental drift. Just sayin’.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The sweeping generalisation from springer is that plate tectonics was anything more to than an arcane academic debate – if that.

    • I thought exactly the same thing. But perhaps one should factor in another part of what Paltridge wrote:

      Since that time in 2010-11 or thereabouts, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the spectre of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster. It can no longer use the environmental movement as a scapegoat if it should turn out that the threat of global warming has no real substance. It can no longer escape prime responsibility if it should turn out in the end that doing something in the name of mitigation of global warming is the costliest scientific mistake ever visited on humanity. The current re-direction of global funds in the name of climate change is of the order of a billion dollars a day. And in the future, to quote US senator Everett Dirksen, “a billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon we‘ll be talking about real money”.

      If climate alarm does prove to be the costliest scientific mistake ever (given that ignoring continental shift/plate tectonics didn’t hit the bottom line of the peoples of the world to the tune of trillions) don’t you think a somewhat bigger backlash is on the cards?

    • David Springer

      Richard,

      You wrote:

      “If climate alarm does prove to be the costliest scientific mistake ever (given that ignoring continental shift/plate tectonics didn’t hit the bottom line of the peoples of the world to the tune of trillions) don’t you think a somewhat bigger backlash is on the cards?”

      I don’t think most Americans see it as very costly. We (if I may pretend to speak for a majority) perceive an energy problem but not a CO2 problem. Many of the potential solutions happen to be the same. We know it isn’t good to rely on nations that hate our guts (Arab/Muslim/Communist) for a fraction of our oil supply. We don’t care that corn is being used to fuel our vehicles. It’s our corn to do with as we please. Most people here haven’t even seen a large wind turbine (it’s been decades since I’ve seen one) and in Texas, where there’s far more of them than any other state, our state economy is booming and electrical rate is well below the national average.

      In the grand scheme of things there’s really no great cost associated with the climate change science in the US and I’m pretty sure we’ll keep it that way. The mainstream media beats a lot of drums here that few listen to anymore and Fox News tops the ratings charts anyway. Don’t be fooled into thinking climate change is a big deal in the US. We’re farther away from joining some misadventure like Kyoto Protocol than ever and we march to the beat of our own drum not the UN’s. Presidential politics is misleading. Obama’s been if office for 6 years. Gitmo is still open for business, all our Middle East wars are still being fought, g-a-y rights are not moved forward. He shot his wad on Obamacare, that’s the only thing that really changed from Bush and Bush was no slouch on changing medical care with medicare prescription drugs which cost far, far more than any climate science funding or associated spending to mitigate climate change.

      I’ll close with a link to some polls. I’m a bit of a polling junkie but I’m trying to cut down.

      http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

      Climate change doesn’t even rate a mention by name as a top priority for Americans.

      #1 with a huge lead is economy/jobs.

      More or tied for #2 is health care and federal budget deficits.

      Rating a mention is guns, abortion, religion, foreign policy, immigration, wars, terrorism, education, partisan politics, morals, family values, g-a-y marriage…

      But in all those polls you cannot find a mention of climate change. Americans just don’t give a flying flip about it. It’s academic. If you ask around the number of people who know who Judy Curry or Tony Watts or James Hansen is borders on zero for the man or woman on the street.

    • David Springer

      [Ignores stalking and abuse by Ellison/Skippy/Hydrologist]

      Richard,

      You wrote:

      “If climate alarm does prove to be the costliest scientific mistake ever (given that ignoring continental shift/plate tectonics didn’t hit the bottom line of the peoples of the world to the tune of trillions) don’t you think a somewhat bigger backlash is on the cards?”

      I don’t think most Americans see it as very costly. We (if I may pretend to speak for a majority) perceive an energy problem but not a CO2 problem. Many of the potential solutions happen to be the same. We know it isn’t good to rely on nations that hate our guts (Arab/Muslim/Communist) for a fraction of our oil supply. We don’t care that corn is being used to fuel our vehicles. It’s our corn to do with as we please. Most people here haven’t even seen a large wind turbine (it’s been decades since I’ve seen one) and in Texas, where there’s far more of them than any other state, our state economy is booming and electrical rate is well below the national average.

      In the grand scheme of things there’s really no great cost associated with the climate change science in the US and I’m pretty sure we’ll keep it that way. The mainstream media beats a lot of drums here that few listen to anymore and Fox News tops the ratings charts anyway. Don’t be fooled into thinking climate change is a big deal in the US. We’re farther away from joining some misadventure like Kyoto Protocol than ever and we march to the beat of our own drum not the UN’s. Presidential politics is misleading. Obama’s been if office for 6 years. Gitmo is still open for business, all our Middle East wars are still being fought, g-a-y rights are not moved forward. He shot his wad on Obamacare, that’s the only thing that really changed from Bush and Bush was no slouch on changing medical care with medicare pre-scri-ption drugs which cost far, far more than any climate science funding or associated spending to mitigate climate change.

      I’ll close with a link to some polls. I’m a bit of a polling junkie but I’m trying to cut down.

      http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

      Climate change doesn’t even rate a mention by name as a top priority for Americans.

      #1 with a huge lead is economy/jobs.

      More or tied for #2 is health care and federal budget deficits.

      Rating a mention is guns, abortion, religion, foreign policy, immigration, wars, terrorism, education, partisan politics, morals, family values, g-a-y marriage…

      But in all those polls you cannot find a mention of climate change. Americans just don’t give a flying flip about it. It’s academic. If you ask around the number of people who know who Judy Curry or Tony Watts or James Hansen is borders on zero for the man or woman on the street.

    • Those of us living in Europe or Australia (like Paltridge) may have more immediate concerns than you do David. I have to whizz off to some coding now but thanks for the summary, which I largely take on board.

    • David Springer

      Richard Drake | January 9, 2014 at 10:30 am |

      “Those of us living in Europe or Australia (like Paltridge) may have more immediate concerns than you do David.”

      Understood.

      “I have to whizz off to some coding now”

      Every moment I spend here I should be coding or doing something similarly industrious. A workaholic for the first 43 years of my life, 25 those years doing Wintel hardware/software design, I retired. I got interested in coding again about two years ago and have been playing catchup learning javascript, html, xml, jquery, node.js (love it!) and so forth which were not much of a professional or private interest (some didn’t exist exist) when I dropped out of the rat race in 1999. The computing and communications resources in smart phones finally became overwhelmingly attractive to the technologist in me around 2010.

      “but thanks for the summary, which I largely take on board.”

      Sure. Thanks for taking the heat and fighting the good fight. I see progress being made overseas. Australia in particular.

  43. Generalissimo Skippy

    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

    Beyond the problems of grid scale – chaos at the core of models has some other implications. The most important being the impossibility of prediction as – theoretically – anything other than a probability density function generated from perturbed physics ensembles.

    By all means read the paper by Julia Slingo and Tim Palmer.

    Chaos in climate is the most significant idea in climate science currently. What we know about TOA flux – from CERES importantly – is that it changes with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. So what do we know about what happened in the 1998/2001 climate shift.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=51

    ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

    Longer term – what do we really know about cloud?

    http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

    Only data will tell – and there is a need to make the best use of available data. The data says that cloud cover change was the most significant cause of warming in the 1976 to 1998 warming – and in the current hiatus. It should at least give pause – pun intended – for thought.

    The latest thought bubble emerging in the morass of CE is that chaos is predictable. I am sure that many might be surprised at that.

    Note to the NAS – your report title should read – Abrupt climate change – entirely predictable – rather than Abrupt climate change – inevitable surprises.

    The researchers used a climate model, a so-called coupled ocean-atmosphere model, which they forced with the observed wind data of the last decades. For the abrupt changes during the 1970s and 1990s they calculated predictions which began a few months prior to the beginning of the observed climate shifts. The average of all predictions for both abrupt changes shows good agreement with the observed climate development in the Pacific. “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold”. Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin” http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

    • David Springer

      Still beating that chaotic climate hobby horse? Climate models are chaotic because of rounding errors and shortcuts in the math. The real world doesn’t take mathematical shortcuts or have rounding errors. Grid cells in the real world are subatomic. Deal.

    • David Springer

      Kind of sad that I’m the only one who sees fit to reply to your incessant repetition of chaotic climate memes. I’m trying to cut down but you need to stop stalking me.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The sadness is yours springer. There are two sources of instability in models – neither of them rounding errors as such Lorenz rounded off his input to rediscover chaos. But with climate models it is a matter of there being a range of feasible input values and some uncertainty with data and parametisatons – as well as there being different coupling breadths. The former is called sensitive dependence and the latter structural instability. Thus a range of divergent solutions is feasible.

      ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      If you understand what is meant by ‘a posteriori solution behaviour’ you go some way to understanding the pitfalls of opportunistic ensembles.

      With climate it is a matter of conditions changing – solar input, gases, orbital eccentricities – triggering feedbacks in the system.

      Some actual reading of science may help at some stage.

      http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/PAPERS/R-260.pdf

    • David Springer

      “Some actual reading of science may help at some stage.”

      Physician, heal thyself.

      Numerical models of the real world are typically chaotic because of rounding errors and mathematical shortcuts required to deal with limited computational resources.

      The real world doesn’t round off results and the grid size employed by the real world is subatomic.

      Write that down of course and buy yourself a clue while you’re at it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Paremetisations cover sub-grid processes. But is it only one source of model instability.

      ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      ‘Following Lorenz’s seminal work on chaos theory in the 1960s, probabilistic approaches to prediction have come to dominate the science of weather and climate forecasting. This paper gives a perspective on Lorenz’s work and how it has influenced the ways in which we seek to represent uncertainty in forecasts on all lead times from hours to decades. It looks at how model uncertainty has been represented in probabilistic prediction systems and considers the challenges posed by a changing climate. Finally, the paper considers how the uncertainty in projections of climate change can be addressed to deliver more reliable and confident assessments that support decision-making on adaptation and mitigation.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.abstract

      I have linked both of these before – they are by leaders in the field and provide in depth analysis of the workings and prospects for models. Th key concept is ‘perturbed physics ensembles’.

      The other article I linked to is a primer on chaos in climate – something that is utterly mainstream in climate science – merely not widely understood. Where it is called abrupt climate change.

      ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’

      http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      … merely not widely understood outside of specialised fields…

  44. According to NCAR the average global temperature of the earth from 1961 to 19909 was 14.0C. As of Dec 2013 per satellite info on Spencer’s blog the difference compared to that average was +.27C with no upward trend in 17 years. +.27C is a 1.9% increase. Why is anyone freaking out about this? It’s all a creation concerning politics and money and anyone that denies that is his own version of denialist.

  45. Generalissimo Circled Wagons

    Paltridge goes on:

    “In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.”

    Yabbut understandable. Circling the wagons. Cops defend cops. Marines defend Americans. Academics defend academics. It’s neither outrageous nor unexpected human social behavior. But there’s a limt on how much is tolerated for sure and it seems like a lot of academics want to push the edge of the envelope of empathy with non-academics.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Don’t get me wrong – consistency is overrated – but isn’t this inconsistent with your last thought bubble springer?

      Actually – neither is all that interesting so I suppose it is consistent in some sense.

  46. We usually think of people being victims of a hoax but paying to be victimized — as we see with funding government scientists to push the global warming hoax — it is an open question about whether Western society really has a future and if economic and moral decline is inevitable.

  47. lolwot
    1)List the known climate states and then 2)define them and 3)give examples of when the occured and let me know 4) which one with 95% certainty we are in right now. 5) Also state with certainty the process that causes the climate to flip between one state or another.

    Explain why the MWP was as warm as today with Co2 at much lower levels and why we experienced a little Ice Age that ended in 1850?

    If you can do all that you deserve a nobel because no one else on the planet can tell us more than we are in a warm spell between really cold glacial periods.

  48. Generalissimo Gallup

    Paltridge runs another meme up the flagpole to see who salutes:

    “The situation has come about at a time when the average man in the street, a sensible chap who these days can smell the signs of an oversold environmental campaign from miles away, is beginning to suspect that it is politics rather than science which is driving the issue.”

    That’s right. But there’s a surprising twist. Surprising to warmists anyhow. For skeptics not so much.

    The less education the more concern you have about global warming. The average man on the street has a high school education and no more. By far this particular demographic has the most concern about global warming:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/153653/americans-worries-global-warming-slightly.aspx

    cares a great deal

    high school or less, 36%
    post graduate, graduate, and some college all ~25%

    What a shocker, huh? It would appear the liberal faculties at our esteemed American institutions of higher learning are failing to win the hearts and minds of their captive audiences when it comes to globull warming and instead herding them to the dark side in large numbers.

    Probably just the passing of the guard. Old farts like James Hansen and Al Gore started this crap. Moonbat baby boomer soccer moms with little education and faith in horoscopes fell in behind them in droves. If Hansen and Gore were as attractive as Beckam and Pitt there’d be a windmill on every corner by now I’m tellin’ ya. Fortunately they’re both about as attractive as a heart attack so their traction was limited.

  49. The fundamental uncertainty of climate change is not climate sensitivity, nor is it the role of clouds.

    The fundamental uncertainty of climate change is the origin of the climate.

    If you have very little confidence in explaining why the Earth is warm rather than cool, then you have absolutely bubkus chance explaining why it changes. Little wonder that in spite of humungous advances in floating point operations, the uncertainty is basically unchanged.

  50. Generalissimo Dawkins

    Garth speculates about wickedness:

    “Scientists – most scientists anyway – may be a bit naïve, but they are not generally wicked, idiotic, or easily suborned either by money or by the politically correct.”

    A qu0te from Richard Dawkins comes to mind. For those who don’t know he’s the Al Gore of Darwinian Evolution only from a better school (Oxford) and lesser actual accomplishment.

    It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” – Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker)

    Pick your word substitutions. I think climate change uncertainty is legion and rotten to the core right down to making unscientific value judgments about what the optimum climate is like. Ice huggers I call them. Warming is good. Life prospers in general and people prosper in particular when there’s more green growing things and fewer expanses of ice and snow stopping same. Therefore Dawkins restatement for me is:

    It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims to believe in catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” – Generalissimo Dawkins (Climate Etcetera)

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Although I have little truck with militant atheism – surely it is obvious by now that I am a Godly man – intelligent design is possibly unnecessary metaphysically.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Seriously Judy – I am having serious doubts about your moderating policy. It seems quite ad hoc.

      • I do the best I can given limited time, desire to be fair to all, and an approach that I hope discourages inappropriate behavior (which is individually tailored to some extent)

    • David Springer

      You’re doing a fine job, Judith. You can’t please all the people all the time of course; my sometimes pesty nagging of you to do something differently notwithstanding. Your people skills are better than mine for sure but that’s not saying much. :-)

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      You should talk to my wife springer. When I said this morning that I was a veritable Saint.

      ‘You are not a Saint – …. – you have many flaws – pain in the arse, laziness in making me move all the rocks and pretending to be supervising and then having the nerve to tell me what a good job I did. Like – wow what a good job.’

      So there i was in bed with my laptop – being crazily sick for months basically – and springer suggests that he doesn’t give a damn if I live or die.

      It worked – I am out of bed. It is a miracle. Now she wants to go shopping. Thanks springer. I would make a death bed video anyway – a last dispatch from the climate war – but it seems a bit morbid.

    • My dad used ter tell his daughters, ‘If you get in for nothing
      you clap.’ Thx again Professor Curry fer the open forum
      you offer your oft unruly denizens. )
      Beth the serf.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Probably not – it is all getting a lot tedious for everyone. But I’m claiming the miracle. Now all I need is another one – and to keep the Papal Commission on the Investigation of Miracles away from Daisy.

    • Butterfly slayer and Skippy.

      Come on you two, start posting some real data as WHT is beginning to sound almost sensible.

      tonyb

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Tony – this comment of yours seems overtly querulous and poorly timed. Believe me this is ending.

  51. Much like what Professor Turney now claims concerning his ill-fated cruise — ending with his research vessel the Akademik Shokalskiy becoming hopelessly ice-bound in the waters off Antarctica — climatologists of global warming alarmism have become the Baghdad Bob of Western academia.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Hopelessly ice bound? Try to keep up with the news, Waggy, the ship has moved on. A wind froze the ship in ice, then another wind came along and thawed the ice, freeing the ship. Those winds are amazing.

    • Max_OK

      In case you missed it, the Russian ship carrying AGW scientists did get stuck in all-time record high year-end Antarctic sea ice extent (14% above the 1979-2000 baseline level).

      Probably another “polar vortex” problem, caused by (you guessed it) AGW.

      How dumb do these guys think the general public is?

      Max_not from OK

  52. Generalissimo Redundant

    Paltridge winds up repeating the opening:

    “Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky. They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong.”

    Again, what did geologists lose who stood against plate tectonics?

    There’s safety in numbers, Garth. It’s always safe to agree with a consensus. That’s the problem. Write that down.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      A place in the history books springer.

      Otherwise no one really cares.

    • Generalissimo Wayne

      I’m sorry.

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

      “A place in the history books springer.”

      Oh I think people like Phil Jones, Michael Mann, and James Hansen have already secured places in the history books. The question is whether history will treat them kindly or not.

      So, in other words, the loss would be not having history record their names as saviors of the universe? You’re saying they all have a messiah complex and will their spot in history alongside Ghandi and Christ if they’re wrong? If that’s your story I ain’t buying it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Geologists? Tectonics?

    • David Springer

      Quick… who was the first scientist to hypothesize that the earth has a molten iron core? No fair looking it up. I don’t know but it’s surely one of the greatest discoveries of all time in geology. The history books are overrated. I didn’t mean to imply Hansen was going to become Marie Curie or Louis Pasteur. I suppose if he’d been spectacularly right and the Statue of Liberty was underwater right now he might have that kind of fame but what is worth in the end? Is Pasteur enjoying his fame at this point in time do you think?

  53. I would feel much more comfortable with the IPCC and other esteemed climate folks that provide “executive summaries” to policy-makers if most of their $$$ were not granted to them by the policy-makers, wouldn’t you?

    Gums…

  54. Generalissimo Sybil

    I have discussed these responses to Paltridge with myself at great length for many years and am in complete agreement with me.

    Just sayin’ ;-)

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well – it seems that the ability to listen to others is the capacity in doubt springer.

      Why don’t you go away – and perhaps come back with something thoughtful, considered and sensible. As it is everyone is bored with this constant and pointless cyber bullying.

      Besides which – you are just not very good at it.

  55. “Bear in mind too that no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind, when asked the specific question, would say there is only a very small possibility (i.e. less than 5%) that internal ocean behaviour could be a major cause of the warming over the past half-century”

    That is exactly what I would say. How else could the 1970 to 1997 temperature rise could look like a carbon copy of the 1910 to 1940 rise, only 30 years later? I don’t believe in coincidence. That the oceans can function like an almost perfect photo-copier is explainable, if slow, 30 years.
    Also this answers the question, where did the 1940 heat go when it stopped increasing in 1940? Into the oceans to reappear in the atmosphere 30 years later..See my theoretical climate model underlined above. Of course the IPPC took no notice being before the 1960’s

    The Garth Paltridge article is very good at explaining how the global warming bandwagon worked both in science and socially. It all started.when the IPCC labeled CO2 a greenhouse gas. This was not a satisfying scientific explanation, but merely an analogy, but was enough to start the warming bandwagon, later ‘confirmed’ by their models..

    • Not a carbon copy, even though the rates are similar, there is way more energy involved in the latter temperature increase.

      just sayin

    • Bob Droege: Hard to say. My theory is that the heat was originally taken from the atmosphere before 1940 and returned to the atmosphere after 1970. Because the oceans are so huge in extent and volume, the temperature difference of the water might be too small to measure. But I agree if total heat in and total heat out were the same it would greatly strengthen my theory. Thanks for your reply..

      • In 1964 the high pressure zone that occurred in the east Mediterranean due to the Nile flood began to disappear because said flood was halted at the Aswan dam in Egypt. This had a dual effect: reducing the evapotransportation of app 6,000 tons of moisture into the northern boundary of the ITCZ and ensured the samal shifted westward. The combined efect was to reduce easterly wave cloud mass , thus increased equitorial Atlantic insolation

    • I find I’ve been quite blind,
      The wind, its radiance so kind.
      ===================

  56. Generalissimo Ethanol

    I bought a bottle of rum on my way home from shopping today and did four quick shots with a beer chaser before going on this afternoon’s serial Paltridge rant. This is the traditional method of utilizing the energy in ethanol derived from sugar cane. Imagine the power if I was swilling diesel instead which has like 50% more BTUs per shot. I’d wear out wordpress for sure.

    Just sayin’

    • Multiple generalissimos

      It’s not funny. Parltridge has taken time and trouble to write this article and Judith taken the trouble to post it here. She may as well delete the entire thread for all the sense it makes with your serial disruption.

      Please give it a rest

      Tonyb

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There is only one genuine generallisimo. I was promoted in the field of the climate war from Captain Kangaroo.

      But I agree that pestilential imitators with superficial responses to a serious poster merely add to the general malaise of CE.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This was from yesterday – in response to a serial pest. I suggest that some perspective is required. If I insist that identity theft – in the blogospheric sense – is problematic then I expect some understanding and not blathering form the sidelines.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well – gee whiz – the comment from Scott – which I responded to disappeared.

    • It did disappear. I don’t know why. Appreciate the response but again request you use a single identifier and don’t clog up the blog.
      Scott

  57. Generalissimo Skippy

    For the mist part it reminds me of monkeys typing Shakespeare. Keep going springer – you might succeed one day in saying something relevant, thoughtful and interesting by pure random chance.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Stefan – CH is under extreme moderation – but I am here to take up the slack. Join me in the revolution against the morass of CE – to reclaim it for the forces of good. .

        The coupled ocean/atmosphere system – the warmth of the top 2000m – provides a store of energy that moderates climate across the planet. This reduces the day and night and day to day variability. Higher surface temperatures relates to the reduced water availability over land due to a reduced lapse rate. It is not a property of the troposphere as a whole.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Here’s an Australian on the topic – or at least someone working in Australia –

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

    • @ Gen Skip

      “For the mist part it reminds me of monkeys typing Shakespeare. Keep going springer – you might succeed one day in saying something relevant, thoughtful and interesting by pure random chance.”

      I won’t address the Springer aspect of your post, but Fred Reed, in his column on evolution on March 7, 2005 (http://www.fredoneverything.net/EvolutionMonster.shtml) has this to say about the monkey/Shakespeare proposition:

      “Someone is said to have said that a monkey banging at random on a typewriter would eventually type all the books in the British Museum. (Some of the books suggest that this may have happened, but never mind.) Well, yes. The monkey would. But it could be a wait. The size of the wait is worth pondering.

      Let’s consider the chance that the chimp would type a particular book. To make the arithmetic easy, let’s take a bestseller with 200,000 words. By a common newspaper estimate of five letters per word on average, that’s a million letters. What’s the chance the monkey will get the book in a given string of a million characters?

      For simplicity, assume a keyboard of 100 keys. The monkey has a 1/100 chance of getting the first letter, times 1/100 of getting the second letter, and so on. His chance of getting the book is therefore one in 1 in 100 exp 1,000,000, or 1 in 10 exp 2,000,000. (I don’t offhand know log 3 but, thirty being greater than ten, a 30-character keyboard would give well in excess of 10 exp 1,000,000.)

      Now, let’s be fair to the Bandar Log. Instead of one monkey, let’s use 10 exp 100 monkeys. Given that the number of subatomic particles in the universe is supposed to be 10 exp 87 (or something), that seems to be a fair dose of monkeys. (I picture a cowering electron surrounded by 10 exp 13 monkeys.) Let’s say they type 10 exp 10 characters per second per each, for 10 exp 100 seconds which, considering that the age of the universe (I read somewhere) is 10 exp 18 seconds, seems more than fair.

      Do the arithmetic. For practical purposes, those monkeys have no more chance of getting the book than the single monkey had, which, for practical purposes, was none.”

      • Let’s consider the chance that the chimp would type a particular book. To make the arithmetic easy, let’s take a bestseller with 200,000 words. By a common newspaper estimate of five letters per word on average, that’s a million letters. What’s the chance the monkey will get the book in a given string of a million characters?
        For simplicity, assume a keyboard of 100 keys. The monkey has a 1/100 chance of getting the first letter, times 1/100 of getting the second letter, and so on. His chance of getting the book is therefore one in 1 in 100 exp 1,000,000, or 1 in 10 exp 2,000,000. (I don’t offhand know log 3 but, thirty being greater than ten, a 30-character keyboard would give well in excess of 10 exp 1,000,000.)
        Now, let’s be fair to the Bandar Log. Instead of one monkey, let’s use 10 exp 100 monkeys. Given that the number of subatomic particles in the universe is supposed to be 10 exp 87 (or something), that seems to be a fair dose of monkeys. (I picture a cowering electron surrounded by 10 exp 13 monkeys.) Let’s say they type 10 exp 10 characters per second per each, for 10 exp 100 seconds which, considering that the age of the universe (I read somewhere) is 10 exp 18 seconds, seems more than fair.

        I have a different view of monkeys typing books, I suggest the analogy is more like, Imagine many generations of monkeys, thousands of monkeys, in this collections of monkeys one of them gets a dna transcription error, which represents a single letter being typed on a piece of paper. This paper, with a single letter is passed on to every descendent of this one monkey, after many generations depending on the number of monkeys, some of these descendents add a letter to this paper, which will be passed to their descendents, and so on. a large number will only have the first letter, a few will add a letter, maybe the same letter, maybe a different letter. Now it will take a lot of Monkeys a long time to type out a book, but if you do the same experiment with bacteria, or yeast, it’s not (to me anyway) to hard to see how a book could be written.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Thanks – I laughed out loud in a very good way and meaning no disrespect.

      • Thanks – I laughed out loud in a very good way and meaning no disrespect.

        I try, everyone says I’m trying!

      • Curious George

        My cat actually attempted to write a book that way, I’m sorry I deleted the file. Apparently it was to be an English cookbook.

      • Some monkeys in the science department about 20 years ago began typing out what looked like a prediction about a global warming hiatus but it was all thrown out because… they were just monkeys.

      • cooking the english is illegal in england

      • The original analogy was, with enough time and an infinite number of very well-fed monkeys — and all of the necessary ingredients — sooner or later one of them monkeys will bake a cake.

      • Steven Mosher

        the problem with the monkey example is they havent represented the random part of the process correctly. We dont choose letters to follow other letters. We choose words. And even here the choice is not free but follows certain rules. So, one can encode a chomsky’s transformational grammer as a rule set for selecting types of words ( you have to limit recursion or you blow the stack) and then randomly fill that tree with randomly choosen words subject to semantic constraints. The text you get from this will look far more human than randomly choosing letters. In fact, this is how the commenter “kim” is constructed. The “kim” engine has a limited vocabulary and limited collection of sentence structures. Over the years using genetic program the word selection logic has been tuned based on the number of replies a comment got. In the begining long ago the “kim” bot got no +1s. Nobody replied to the comments. However once a random thought or two was rewarded with a comment back the particular sentence style and words received more weight. To keep the kimbot from merely repeating itself there is a random infusion of new behavior.

      • > We choose words.

        Indeed, the word “blather”:

        (pejorative) to talk rapidly without making much sense

        http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blather

        A nice word to summon the Chewbacca daemon.

      • bullies blather. figure out why I picked blather

      • > bullies blather.

        Sometimes they say things like “figure out why I picked blather”.

        Otters might prefer to look at stuff, like this:

        PubPeer started from the lack of post-publication peer discussion on journal websites. Thus was born an idea for a website where open peer review was not intimidating to users, while maintaining the rigor and anonymity of the closed review process currently used by the major journals. The site has been put together by a diverse team of early-stage scientists in collaboration with programmers who have collectively decided to remain anonymous in order to avoid personalizing the website, and to avoid circumstances in which involvement with the site might produce negative effects on their scientific careers.

        https://pubpeer.com/about

      • You don’t even need data to be an acclaimed global warming doomsday climatologist in Western Academia. Simply construct a model that turns whte noise into ‘hockey sticks,’ as follows:

        Wagathon | January
        10, 2014 at 10:38 am
        |

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        “Otters might prefer to look at stuff, like this…”
        ____
        Otters tend to like to look at other otters…and things that might eat them and stuff they might eat…

        Though they can play a mean game of basketball, being rather smart critters…

      • RGates

        I refrained from making a comment about otters. I had merely thought that CE was becoming ever more surreal what with otters, numerous sock puppets and some guys belief that volcanic aerosols cools for decades. :)

        Tonyb

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Yep, watch out for those craziers who think volcanoes might impact the climate for more than a year. There’s a nice chart on bottom of page 7 of this report:

        http://www.sdstate.edu/chem/faculty/jihong-cole-dai/upload/Volcanoes-and-Climate-10-1002-wcc-76.pdf

        That diplays a curious lull in volcanic activity around the MWP. Must just be coincidence.

      • R. Gates

        lull in volcanic activity around the MWP

        Almost all volcanic emissions occur deep beneath the ocean, far from our view.

        These are arguably larger in total than the CO2 emissions of human beings (Plimer and others).

        We have no notion what is happening to these today, let alone during the MWP.

        Max

      • Manacker,

        How did you get to post a comment at the end of the thread? I’ve tried several times and they all get buried somewhere up thread

      • OK. I see. You have to reply to the last comment on the thread.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Peter – I’ve noticed the same thing, and it’s pretty annoying.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Ghads. Methinks the whole referencing system in the blog is hosed up… i.e. broken. I have hit reply to posts only to have them appear elsewhere… and when you don’t repeat or reference the original post it’s loses all context.

      • Walt,

        Reply to the last comment on the thread (as I am doing now in replying to your comment)

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        Ice cores from both Greenland and Antarctica give a pretty good record (and close agreement) on what was happening with volcanic activity over the period of the past few thousand years, including of course the MWP. What they tell us is that the period from about 750 BP to 1200 BP saw an interesting lull in volcanic activity (based on the data from the ice cores). There is a high degree of confidence in this data as the ice cores corrrespond pretty well and they are independent of each other. The volcanoes erupting under the ocean are interesting, but unless they affect the stratopsheric optical depth, they have no large impact on climate. For a nice bit of research on the volcanic activity over the past 2000 years, see:

        http://www.clim-past.net/8/1929/2012/cp-8-1929-2012.pdf

      • David Springer

        otters playing basketball – brotters by anotter motter

      • > Otters tend to like to look at other otters…

        Indeed, or in otter words:

        http://discourseontheotter.tumblr.com/post/67751023219/erving-goffman

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | January 10, 2014 at 12:02 am | Reply

        “bullies blather. figure out why I picked blather”

        I’m going to guess because one it is combinatorily melifluous with bully and the only other synonyms that rolls off the tongue like that are blither and babble. bullies blither, bullies babble

        So why choose blather? I think because the other two choices carry more denigrative baggage. Bullies blither seem to have stronger flavor of “you’re a moron” to it and bullies babble has an infantile connotation. So in the act of building the phrase we would want to avoid appearing to be a bully ourself by saying it for bullies belittle too.

        Thanks for playing.

      • Mosher:

        To keep the kimbot from merely repeating itself there is a random infusion of new behavior.

        Ah, that’s what I need.

  58. Would it be evidence of a rapid climate change if measurements showed glaciers to recede over 2 ft per day?
    Just a thought.

  59. It’s Not Too Late To Reverse The Alarming Trend Of Climate Change, Scientists Who Know It’s Too Late Announce. ~theONION

  60. Generalissimo Bred Worms And Stank

    Very funny for a day but please don’t push it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Both artworks are clever – Franz Lang’s are sublime.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/blue_horse.jpg.html?sort=3&o=161

      Ho ho Shibboleth indeed. It is a metaphor for the narratives of the climate war. At times we need to distinguish between a greater reality of metaphor and literal truth – the essence of poetry. Which has always had a place at CE – and in fact distinguished CE before it’s current fallen state.

      Indeed one of my earliest comments combined math and poetry.

      A PDE is a partial differential equation such as the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid motion. They are differential equations in x,y,and z dimensions used in GCM. They were used in Edward Lorenz’s early convection model – to re-discover chaos theory. So the climate models are themselves temporal chaotic dynamical systems.

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

      An ODE is a type of lyrical verse. A classic ODE is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode.

      Well – perhaps – I got ODE wrong.

  61. Generalissimo Mixologist

    OMG not all the generallisimos are me!

    Hey that rhymes. I’m a poet and don’t know it.

    Go pound sand Ellison. On the beach. You know how to get there still, right, living on it in central Queensland as you’ve insisted we all must know in your ever-so-interesting autobiographical comments.

    Tell me more about your life. Did you go swimming today? What did you have for dinner? Did Daisy say anthing witty? Please please we’re so alone without you.

  62. Generalissimo Skippy

    springer – drop the confusing nom de plume and you can go on your merry way. I drop in my comment – today – to make the distinction. Although you are usually both superficial and abusive – I am able to ignore you. It’s a free barnyard after all.

  63. The change in the global climate is due to the loss of a high pressure zone and accompanying evaporation that had been the result of the flood management on the lower Nile. This directly affected two of the contributing factors to easterly wave formation thus equatorial cloud, allowing for the Atlantic to absorb more solar energy, becoming warmer – CC

  64. Fack is, enny gineralizmo oder dan Skippy haz obvusly bin David Springer allalong. I sai, wel dun; betcha cain’t dew it agin.
    ==========

  65. CMcM, I’ve long been intrigued by the correlation between Nile River Levels and Aurorae Boreales. Gotta well known name, different person attached to the study. Leif reminded me, et al, hundreds of times that it was just correlation, or word to that effect on me.
    ==================

    • Spent two hours with the chief exec of RMetS going over the data, sources, refinements, arguements etc. he is meterogist and physasist plus govt climate advisor for 15 years. He took it v v seariously

  66. In my terms you did an Orwell to make a point. A Bourbaki is kinda opposite. There’s some thoughtful stuff on that Bishop Hill thread.

  67. David Springer

    I believe a very limited number of people are willing to be an ass using their real name. This may give me an unfair advantage but hey, all’s fair in love and climate wars. Except anonymity. You see any journals publishing articles by pseudonyms associated with non-existent institutions? You can’t have your science and anonymity too.

  68. Generalissimo Skippy

    JCH,

    Do I need to say that I can neither confirm or deny…

    Other than that – it is another example of the personalised slime that has become the defining characteristic of CE. And indeed of the climate war more generally.

  69. David Springer

    Fundamental uncertainties be damned. No one was ever fired for agreeing with a 97% consensus of scientists.

    There’s safety in numbers.

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

    This is why the consensus must be defended at all costs.

    • David Springer | January 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm said: ” No one was ever fired for agreeing with a 97% consensus of scientists.There’s safety in numbers”

      Springer, time is against them!…

    • David Springer

      Time is their friend too. James Hansen is safely retired from NASA now. Most of the originators of the farce will be long retired before model predictions of climate in 2050 or 2100 can be compared to reality. It’s a pretty safe game to make predictions that are farther into the future than your retirement date.

    • David Springer

      Conor

      I don’t think they have any choice at this point. They’re far too invested in the consensus story and seeing as how mother nature betrayed them with the hiatus the consensus is all that keeps them safe. Nobody was ever fired for agreeing with a 97% consensus of scientists. There is safety in numbers.

      They need a way out that saves face. Lukewarmers like Mosher are offering them a path. They’re nibbling around the edges of it. I’m in it to win it however. Take no prisoners. I want the ugly truth of it all exposed to the disinfecting light of day. What these clowns did to my love of science is simply unpardonable. I’m not blaming all scientists or even a significant number of them though. This is one point I don’t think Partridge gets right. Every scientist isn’t going to get vilified because of a dirty few who broke the rules. Lots of people understand that groups instinctively act to protect other members of the group. I don’t condemn all cops just because most of them are willing to lie to protect a fellow officer. That’s just natural human behavior. Of there are limits to how much of that kind of charity I can muster up but it’s a lot and I don’t think I’m more than average charitable in this regard.

  70. Look, i seriously do not want to know kim’s real name.

    • David Springer

      Kim is a CE icon. Brevity is a virtue and by that measure Kim is the most virtuous poster here by cramming the most meaning into the fewest words. Mess with Kim and you mess with me.

      • Have never awarded points as I find the exercise kind of tiresome, but an enthusiastic +1 for Springer re Kim.

      • “The issue of climate change is now the classic example of post-normal science, originated and serviced by a research machine funded massively and almost entirely by a government department dedicated to drastic alteration of society in the name of fixing the ‘problem’ of global warming.” ~Garth Paltridge, Greening science (Quadrant)

      • The record-breaking cold spell across the US has caused an increase in energy use. How about a little appreciation for fossil fuel power plant operators and coal miners? Or, should we increase taxes on coal and continue using the money to demonize big oil?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        I say we do both. I think I, as a mineral rights holder, deserve a little appreciation too.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Oh no, I posted in the wrong place again. I intended my 12:35 pm to be a reply to a Wagathon post I now can’t find.
        Anyway, he wondered if given the recent cold snap we should express appreciation for coal miners or tax coal to demonize big oil.

      • Max_OK

        If you happen to be living in a part of North America affected by the extreme cold weather, be thankful if you have heating oil or natural gas to keep from freezing to death and are not relying on solar or wind power to keep you alive

        Max_not from OK.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Yes, Max_CH, I’m so glad about natural gas I would hug it if I could just get my arms around some without risking an explosion. But I’m even gladder about my clothing, and feel an urge to kiss sheep.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Sorry, Max_CH, I put my reply in the wrong place. I know you will want to read what I think, so here it is:

        Yes, Max_CH, I’m so glad about natural gas I would hug it if I could just get my arms around some without risking an explosion. But I’m even gladder about my clothing, and feel an urge to kiss sheep.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        DAMN ! I look like a duplicate posting fool.

      • Just Waite for the effects of massive ice buildup on dem wind turbine blades.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Do your homework, Conner, and you will know those blades have deicers and will automatically brake to a stop if there is an ice build-up. But even the best systems can fail, so don’t stand inline with a windmill and get smashed with a flying chunk of ice.

      • Conor McMenemie | January 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Reply
        Just Waite for the effects of massive ice buildup on dem wind turbine blades.

        No problem – the aerospace industry has already sorted that.

      • Wag,
        problems with coal are the slag ponds, the denuded mountain tops, the destroyed streams, the NOX and SOX emissions and the mercury emissions. Some balence with renewables can be useful. How about solar collectors on top of roofs, shading parking lots and then continue fracking for natural gas. We are waiting for fusion to save the day in a hundred years or so. Then we can desalinate sea water along the coasts and let the rivers run unvexed to the sea. Plus helps the salmon.
        Scott

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Nah ! kim has little to say because kim doesn’t know much. What’s virtuous about not knowing much?

        On second thought, some of the CE regulars have a lot to say without knowing much. I guess kim is not so bad.

  71. > You can’t have your science and anonymity too.

    Pseudonymity, Big Dave, pseudonymity:

    In an historic achievement, I can announce that I have become (to my knowledge) the first blogger ever to publish in a peer-reviewed academic journal under a blogging pseudonym.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2012/11/08/bloggings-first-academic-paper/

    Please do not underestimate the number of people acting the way you do.

    • David Springer

      Don’t believe everything you read. Discover Magazine is not a peer reviewed journal.

      Nice try but no cigar.

      • Mr. Springer, apparently you don’t read very well. The article he linked to simply announced the publication of the paper and gave the citation. Had you read it, you would have seen (twice) the following citation:

        Skeptic, N. (2012) The Nine Circles of Scientific Hell Perspectives on Psychological Science 7 (6) 643-644

        It appears to this casual observer that Perspectives on Psychological Science is indeed a peer-reviewed journal, for whatever that is worth these days.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Monkeys have much better things to do with their time.

        http://reason.com/archives/2011/04/05/future-babble

        It was a toss up between this and throwing poop at celebrities.

      • It is beginning to look like we’re past the last few decades of Global AlGoring and are now well into a few decades of Global Hiatusing.

      • David Springer

        Derek H | January 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Reply

        “Mr. Springer, apparently you don’t read very well. The article he linked to simply announced the publication of the paper and gave the citation. Had you read it, you would have seen (twice) the following citation:”
        No I read okay I just relied on experience to save me the time of clicking on something that Willard linked.

        Steven Mosher accurately summed it up. Although the article was indeed published in a scientific journal the article published wasn’t science it was satire.

        I believe my original point was that scientists don’t get published in the peer reviewed literature using anonymous pseudonyms. I’ll amend that to scientists don’t get scientific research published anonymously in the usual trade rags. I will concede that in one instance a scientist got a piece of satire published in one using a pseudonym.

        Happy now?

      • I believe my original point was that scientists don’t get published in the peer reviewed literature using anonymous pseudonyms

        Bourbaki says you are wrong.

      • > I believe my original point was that scientists don’t get published in the peer reviewed literature using anonymous pseudonyms.

        Compare with what Big Dave said first:

        You can’t have your science and anonymity too.

        “Having one’s science” is now “getting published in the peer reviewed literature” and “having anonymity” becomes “using anonymous pseudonyms”. That last formulation is still in need of clarification, as we don’t know if it excludes Nicolas Bourbaki work:

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

        Peer-review is often anonymous. If we accept only peer-reviewed publications as science as Big Dave assumes, then we must accept that anonymity is an important part of the scientific process. The scientific endeavor is bigger than published articles anyway. It might even become a semi-autonomous process:

        Advances in technology have enabled the collection of data from scientific observations, simulations, and experiments at an ever-increasing pace. For the scientist and engineer to benefit from these enhanced data collecting capabilities, it is becoming clear that semi-automated data analysis techniques must be applied to find the useful information in the data. Techniques from both data mining and computational discovery can be used to that end.

        http://www.springer.com/computer/ai/book/978-3-540-73919-7

        One of the best chess engine these days (i.e. Firebird) is the product of anonymous contributors. There’s no reason to exclude that kind of scientific research. One might even argue that only such production could be deemed in the spirit of scientific discovery.

        ***

        While the case of Neurosceptik was invoked to disprove Big Dave’s first claim, I believe it was interesting in its own right. This was the main reason to mention it in the first place. In my opinion, Big Dave’s use of that argument against pseudonymous comments has little merit.

        Big Dave’s own comments suffice to refute any argument for commenting under one’s own name.

      • David Springer

        in context what I wrote:

        “You see any journals publishing articles by pseudonyms associated with non-existent institutions? You can’t have your science and anonymity too.”

        I meant to imply papers describing scientific research, results, findings, and so forth in peer reviewed journals from named members of named institutions. The comment is now orphaned but I recall it being a response made to a sub-thread where the thread made more clear the context was science articles in peer-reviewed science journals.

        If context was unclear then I’ve made it clear now. Mosher picked up the proper context without my help by the way right off the bat so you might want to ask yourself how come he was right and you weren’t. I don’t really think it’s because he’s smarter or more perceptive I think it’s because you’re intellectually dishonest and presume whatever is the least savory interpretation you can rationalize. Mosher again was right on when he lectured you, yet again, on charity. You are impoverished in intellectual charity is my impression and with so very little I find agreeable between Mosher and I you should probably pay attention to the rare ocassions where our opinions align.

      • Here is Big Dave’s comment, in full:

        I believe a very limited number of people are willing to be an ass using their real name. This may give me an unfair advantage but hey, all’s fair in love and climate wars. Except anonymity. You see any journals publishing articles by pseudonyms associated with non-existent institutions? You can’t have your science and anonymity too.

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/08/the-fundamental-uncertainties-of-climate-change/#comment-434679

        This argument is not that complicated to get: climateballers should not be anonymous because scientists ain’t. This argument doesn’t work even with the best charity one can muster. Big Dave does not even seem to be able to formulate it without self-defeating it. But if he insists, we could pay due diligence to it.

        ***

        It would take much for the round kicks to fly. Here’s an example of a thread that could look like science in the making:

        http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/is-the-increase-in-global-average-temperature-just-a-random-walk/

        Here’s another commenter who can do something that looks like scientific contributions:

        http://climateaudit.org/2007/05/11/the-maestro-of-mystery/#comment-88075

        It might take a while until Big Dave brings to the table the same stuff as VS and UC. He only needs to channel his inner Chuck Norris. I guess we’ll see about that soon enough.

      • It would have been clearer if threading worked properly here but your comment that I was responding to was your response at 10:15 am:

        David Springer | January 9, 2014 at 10:15 am | Reply

        Don’t believe everything you read. Discover Magazine is not a peer reviewed journal.

        Nice try but no cigar.

        willard’s post of 8:12 pm on Jan 8 was the only one to reference Discover Magazine so you were obviously responding to that post and no other. It’s pretty clear that you didn’t read that article in question enough to realize it was not the paper itself but was simply citing the paper’s publication. I know neither of you nor your history with one another, I just figured one snarky response deserved another. ;)

    • Steven Mosher

      The article you cite isn’t science willard
      that said, big dave’s point should be interpreted more charitably.
      try to think of ways that make what he says true and interesting.
      you know, practice charity.it starts at home

      • > The article you cite isn’t science willard […]

        Some might disagree:

        Fellow pseudonymous neuroblogger Neuroskeptic (to whom I owe a great deal in inspiration) has published a fantastic explainer in Trends in Cognitive Sciences ($) on the benefits to science of anonymity. Last November Neuroskeptic became the first blogger to publish a scientific paper under a pseudonym.

        http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/in-defence-of-pseudonyms-in-science-defending-the-right-to-write

        Neuroskeptic mentions:

        – Copernicus (anonymous);
        – William Sealy Gosset (Student);
        – Isaac Newton (Jehovah Sanctus Unus)
        – Felix Hausdorff (Paul Mongré);
        – Sophie Germain (Monsieur Antoine Auguste Le Blanc);
        – Donald Knuth (Ursula N. Owens)
        – Paul Brookes (Science-Fraud.org)

        And to repeat: one does not simply conflates anonymity with pseudonimity to sockpuppet in Mordor.

  72. All of the above is background to one of the great mysteries of the climate change issue. Virtually all the scientists directly involved in climate prediction are aware of the enormous problems and uncertainties still associated with their product. How then is it that those of them involved in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) can put their hands on their hearts and maintain there is a 95% probability that human emissions of carbon dioxide have caused most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades?

    And the answer to that very relevant question is?

  73. The certainties of climate change are inversely proportional to evidence-based geophysical knowledge.

  74. Excellent article. Thank you Garth Paltridge and thank you JC for posting it on CE.

  75. That is what I would have thought but after refining sahelian rainfall data the resultant anomaly chart looked farmiar, so I inserted nile flow figured for Aswan and came up with a near perfect correlation. Utube ” the Nile climate engine”. It quickly stops being funny and the figures begin to line up very nicely

  76. another wrong: water is NOT the main source of heat but land. 1] land surface is warmer than sea surface. 2] about 1km deep in the sea is 4C, BUT 1km deep down in the land is 40C.
    Land constantly releases ”geothermal heat”

    phony data = phony / crappy ”predictions”

    • David Springer

      Stefan,

      One kilometer beneath the sea floor is much hotter than one kilometer below continental surface. The crust is thinner beneath the ocean. It’s really just a difference in lapse rates caused by fluidity in the ocean and little in the crust. If soil that was cooled in the winter, thus lowering its density, could sink and hotter dirt rise to the top like what happens with water in the ocean we’d see the similar lapse rates from magma to surface/atmosphere interface. It’s just an artifact of one being fluid and the other not.

      However, you bring up a very good point about average ocean temperature. Average ocean temperature across the entire volume is 4C. That corresponds with a blackbody emission temperature of 335W/m2 with a spectral peak of 10.5 micrometers.

      http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

      The average insolation from the sun at top of atmosphere is 341W/m2.

      So the global ocean average basin temperature is almost precisely what it would be if it were a blackbody with no atmosphere above it.

      I submit to you that stratification of the ocean due to density/salinity/temperature which puts a thin layer of warm water at the top is all that keeps the earth’s average temperature elevated above 4C. The atmosphere plays no role in this except for providing enough surface pressure so that it’s physically possible for the planet to be covered by liquid water.

    • David Springer said: ”So the global ocean average basin temperature is almost precisely what it would be if it were a blackbody with no atmosphere above it.”

      Springer, there is a big misleading about ”water = blackbody” but you are bright person and can understand, if you put your ego a rest a bit:

      Oceans are shown on computers as satellite photos in ”black” for two reasons 1] by using different filters, to make contrast between the sea / clouds /dry land

      2] second reason is the dubious one: to suggest that: white ice reflects sunlight, but water doesn’t (on the polar caps)

      NOW THE TRUTH: astronauts see this planet as ”the blue planet. b] cameras register the water, sea, lakes, rivers as ”silvery colour = perfect sun reflectors”

      so; repeat few times and remember: water has ”mirror effect” ( mirror is the best reflection) water is not a blackbody as forest (which misleading you can Google; intentionally pages made to mislead that forest has better albedo than water…?)- even 10 minutes old turtles know that that is wrong

      happy new year!

    • David Springer

      stefan

      I’m sure you’re bright enough to understand that the temperature of the ocean is a measured. The following are facts:

      1) The average basin temperature of the ocean is a measured with thermometers 4 degrees C.

      2) The radiant emission of a blackbody is at 4C is 335W/m2.

      3) The average illumination the earth gets from the sun 341W/m2.

      4) The average temperature of the global ocean basin is almost precisely the same as a blackbody surface with no atmosphere.

      If it’s not perfectly black I suggest you start thinking about other means it might be warmed. Hint. Think about a greenhouse effect might work in liquid H2O. Think about how shortwave energy penetrates it at the speed of light and is absorbed and thermalized to a depth of tens of meters (depending on turbidity). Think about how liquid H2O is quite opaque to thermal radiation at 10 micrometers and how the energy that was absorbed many meters deep must be mechanically transported to the surface in order to dissipate.

      When you figure out that liquid H2O is a greenhouse unto itself all should become clear about why and how the average basin temperature is exactly the same as a spherical black body 93 million miles from the sun.

    • David Springer

      stefan

      further food for thought

      What physical properties does CO2 possess that N2 does not that makes one a greenhouse gas and the other not?

      Answer: CO2 is opaque to longwave and N2 is transparent. Both are transperent to shortwave. This sets up a differential resistance path for energy in vs. energy out.

      Liquid water has exactly the same properties as the greenhouse gas; transparent to shortwave opaque to longwave. CO2 and liquid water (gaseous water too for that matter) are all greenhouse fluids.

      Write that down.

    • David Springer | January 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm said: ”What physical properties does CO2 possess that N2 does not that makes one a greenhouse gas and the other not?”

      You are wrong on that one, same as the rest of them… TRUTH; N2 is transparent, same as the GLASS roof of a greenhouse, CO2 is not.

      2] N2 is perfect ”insulator” and slows down cooling same as GLASS roof on a normal greenhouse -CO2 is not

      3] water vapor is same as CO2 – they are sun umbrellas during the day for the land and water / slowing down cooling during the night = they a A SHADE-CLOTH EFFECT GASES, not greenhouse gases. think about the practical truth, not just what the trendy propaganda says

    • David Springer | January 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm said: ”1) The average basin temperature of the ocean is a measured with thermometers 4 degrees C.
      2) The radiant emission of a blackbody is at 4C is 335W/m2”

      Springer, correction: 4C and close to 4C are on the bottom — the colors of the sunlight that produce heat are ALL reflected by the surface back in the atmosphere, OR intercepted in the first meter close to the surface (where is NOT 4C!.

      therefore using 4C as an example, is making it misleading yourself

      water reflects sunlight as a mirror 2] water evaporates as cooling process. 3] above the sea are always more clouds, as a sun umbrellas = therefore: one shouldn’t treat water as an blackbody! you jump from the rock, or from the boat into the water, to COOL yourself…. Warmist have done a pretty good job on you (everything from the Warmist should be taken with a handful of salt) water is definitely not a blackbody

      blackbody doesn’t reflect sunlight, blackbody doesn’t evaporate to cool itself… think David, think

      (have you seen on a riverbank houses and trees upside down in the water reflection? in 2 inches deep water you can see the sky and clouds on the bottom – same as a mirror!!!

    • David Springer,

      You say:

      “Answer: CO2 is opaque to longwave and N2 is transparent. Both are transperent to shortwave. This sets up a differential resistance path for energy in vs. energy out.”

      If you are tring to imply that an insulator exists such it allows more energy in than it allows out, (all other things being equal), you might care to identify one.

      Such a miraculous device would be able to provide limitless free energy by simply allowing energy from the Sun in, and allowing only a portion thereof to be released, the balance being retained for future use as required.

      I am always willing to learn, but your differential energy resistance path is about as real as Maxwell’s Demon. It doesn’t exist.

      Again, I make the very obvious observation that the Earth appears to have cooled over the last few billion years. This implies that the Earth has suffered a net energy loss, in spite of being the recipient of some billions of years worth of energy from the Sun. Has the Earth heated as a result? No.

      All Warmist theory needs to include a step which states “at this point a miracle occurs . . . ”

      I believe that you can not identify an actual example of a gaseous differential resistance path for total EM energy of a diffuse incoherent nature as emitted by the Sun. If you cannot, would you think an apology may be in order? I will certainly apologise if you can.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Mike, the effect David mentions is a real effect. It is a matter of absorption and emissions of photons by atoms and molecules. In the case of Co2 it absorbs longer waves of IR, but shorter wave lengths of IR photons pass right by.
        Richard Feynman has an excellent description in his published lecture series. Basically in absorption wave lengths it acts like a partial mirror.

    • Mi Cro,

      Thank you. I am aware of QED.

      You say:

      “Mike, the effect David mentions is a real effect. It is a matter of absorption and emissions of photons by atoms and molecules. In the case of Co2 it absorbs longer waves of IR, but shorter wave lengths of IR photons pass right by.

      Richard Feynman has an excellent description in his published lecture series. Basically in absorption wave lengths it acts like a partial mirror.”

      This is totally irrelevant to the assertion that more energy passes in one direction than subsequently passes in the opposite direction. Wavelength happens to be irrelevant in this case. Energy is what is important.

      If you can point to any of Feynman’s writings which support David Springers assertion that CO2 can block EMR by absorbing it without concomitant temperature rise (in which case the temperature will fall as soon as the radiation source is removed), or by reflecting 100% of any EMR (physically impossible, as Feynman eloquently points out), I will of course admit to the existence of the Greenhouse Effect.

      CO2 can indeed heat up, and cool down. So can everything else.

      This supposed one way energy transmission is as real as Maxwell’s Demon. It just does not exist.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Light itself is energy, inversely proportional to wave length, some of the absorbed photons are emitted back towards the surface. Shiny reflectors(mirrors) are placed behind space heaters for the same reason.
        But, I believe this effect does not have the impact at the surface that is claimed, that it just slows cooling a little, and that the action of clouds blocking the sky is the surface regulator.

    • Springer’s “Greenhouse Liquid” theory,
      LOL!

    • Mi Cro’s vague theory of questionable GHG warming,
      LOL!

      • It is at least based on station measurements, and observations. Clear sky nightly cooling is far larger that the average night time cooling, and the clear sky ir temp is far colder than than a sky with clouds.

        I always wonder if warmists ever go outside, and actually measure something their selves. It not hard, and it’s very enlightening. If they did, they’d see their models are wrong and we might actually get some progress.

  77. Generalissimo Skippy

    Do you have a rationale Judy – or are you just going to endorse the crude ridicule and moderate me?

    It would be par for your sloppy moderation.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/08/the-fundamental-uncertainties-of-climate-change/#comment-434648

    JC comment: I am receiving a large number of email complaints about your comments. While some of your comments are excellent contributions, many of them of late are in violation of blog rules in terms of insulting other commenters. The word ‘Generalissimo’ sends a comment into moderation; affecting both you and Springer while you use that moniker.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Thank you Dr. Curry. This is certainly the downside of running a blog.

    • Great editing, editor-in-chief. I may have a different approach to others to blogs like this, Climate Audit and Bishop Hill but I see it as your publication and you can remove whatever you like, whenever you like. That’s the risk we take. We get a great deal of value in return. Thank you.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Judy – I am not going to change my moniker because springer decides to be a serial pest and ridicule by false association. I made particular effort not to be especially effusive in response – but merely to show that the particular comments were not me but a malicious imitator. You will find that crude insults were from springer. That you allowed the malicious imitation to continue for so long is your problem not mine Judy.

      But the comment linked to was the specific complaint – and I note it is still up. This one is the essence of hypocrisy – we of course know little about springer’s cave, his wood working hobbies, his boat, his lake, his wife’s job, his s_xual prowess, his tyre pressures, etc, ect.

      Now I have no problem with tales of the ancestors – for instance – down home on the prairie. This adds a personal dimension otherwise lacking. But this from springer is just another crude and opportunistic attempt to stifle, ridicule and shout down.

      So unmoderate me – and restrain serial pests.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I succeeded in getting your name banned. Congratulations are in order. The better man won.

      Is this really what it is all about in the morass that is the current sad state of CE?

    • Robert: Thanks again for everything I’ve learned from you – and from people like Matthew Marler when they’ve been questioning you, come to that.

      A tip on what you quote here. They no longer appear on the thread so I take it that they were words Dave Springer, in some incarnation, said that was subsequently removed by the host. They must have been annoying for you to read, However, if they were deleted they no longer exist. I’d move on, either using you real name or Chief Hydrologist, if that option is open to you. I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating you a great deal here.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I would echo the words of Richard Drake.

      Yesterday got completely out of hand. I hate to think what any first time lurkers might have thought, let alone those who wanted to make a serious contribution. Most of all it was disrespectful to the person who had written the article in the first place. As we know, articles take a long time to put together and to have the thread destroyed in the manner it was is way outside the blog rules

      I welcome your perceptive and detailed comments here as I do David Springer’s but don’t enjoy the silliness, such as we saw yesterday.

      Why don’t you and he merely blog under your real names without either resorting to sock puppets?
      tonyb

    • David Springer

      TonyB

      You weren’t on the receiving end of Ellison’s ad hom abuse. I (code named Jabberwock) was. I tried to end it with civil disagreement but Ellison doesn’t respond well to disagreeable replies and fairly consistently becomes abusive when others don’t roll over. He sees it as a personal affront when someone disagrees. Ask Webby or Max about it for instance.

      I appealed to Curry and she replied that “Jabberwock” was not sufficiently understood to be me. So I said to her “Fine then. I’ll return the antagonism similarly obfuscated, Ellison will go ballistic, and you’ll have to do something about him”. It worked. It was just a matter of pushing the right buttons while staying strictly within blog rules most of the time by being topical and non-abusive. Ellison simply couldn’t stand his brand being diluted. As soon as he discovered it was me behind it instead of blaming Max_OK the mild abuse he was sending Max’s way ended and he went predictably ballistic.

      I will continue to respond in the manner I’m addressed. If it’s science with citations I’ll return it in spades. If it’s snark or personal abuse all I can say is I’ve been doing this on electronic forums for about 25 years, both as moderator and member in various fora, and I’m very well practiced in all adversarial modes of communication if that’s the way someone wants to do it. It’s up to you not me whether I treat you with respect or not.

    • David

      My main point was that the events of last night put CE in a bad light. It is in all our interests to have a civil discourse and in turn hope that the quality of articles and intelligent critique of them will bring in fresh and authoritative voices that will add to the debate.

      Being adversarial does not help and here I am not blaming you or anyone else, merely passing on an observation. You make some excellent points and I hope will continue to make them and the same goes for chief. I just hope that the rancour- from whatever source-can be diluted– as it sometimes makes this blog very tiresome.
      tonyb

    • > If it’s science with citations I’ll return it in spades. If it’s snark or personal abuse all I can say is […].

      Others Make Big Dave Do It.

      The former does not preclude the latter, BTW. It might be hard to recall Big Dave keeping to science with citations without pushing the limits of justified disingenuousness.

      And no, sockpuppetry is not accepted behavior because blog rules do not forbid them:

      Anonymity is a right, whereas identity is a responsibility. It would be inadvisable to confuse the two, like when sock puppets are overused and tolerated by blog curators.

      http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/5643366233

      On all one’s work, one’s name affirms one’s Honor.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This appeared somewhat out of context

      Both artworks are clever – Franz Lang’s are sublime.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/blue_horse.jpg.html?sort=3&o=161

      Ho ho Shibboleth indeed. It is a metaphor for the narratives of the climate war. At times we need to distinguish between a greater reality of metaphor and literal truth – the essence of poetry. Which has always had a place at CE – and in fact distinguished CE before it’s current fallen state.

      As for Jabberwock – it is a relatively mild literary allusion – suggestive of the nonsensical and whimsical. I did of course imply the same of springer and for my sins incurred the wrath of Jabberwock. This really seems a quite mild insinuation compared to many.

      `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

      “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
      Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

      Lewis Carroll

      I appealed to Curry and she replied that “Jabberwock” was not sufficiently understood to be me. So I said to her “Fine then. I’ll return the antagonism similarly obfuscated, Ellison will go ballistic, and you’ll have to do something about him”. It worked. It was just a matter of pushing the right buttons while staying strictly within blog rules most of the time by being topical and non-abusive.

      Nor did I ‘go ballistic’ – I merely responded to malicious imitation with comments on comments under my nom de guerre. This precipitated the usual torrent of abuse – mostly missing now – from springer. Despite springer’s self serving rationalisations – the serial ridiculing by false association is not good faith in any definition. Appealing to webby and Maxy on ad homs is a good idea however – go directly to the experts.

      The comment I was referring to is still there btw.

      I did I mistake springer for maxy – both of whom were playing the same game. Corrected almost immediately I might add. This is the confusion that arises from this childish game.

      ‘Generalissimo Maximilian | January 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm |

      “Please note that all puerile imitators are by no means associated with me or Shibboleth. ”

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ~Charles Coleb Colton

      I understand that a pompous ass, seeing the imitation, might not appreciate it.

      Generalissimo Etcetera | January 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm |

      Much as I relish you blaming the wrong person I swear on everything holy that I’m not Max_OK.

      Write that down.

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 8, 2014 at 1:13 am |

      I’m not sure I would be encouraged by being confused with Maxy.’

      By all means search pompous ass in the threads – or rather don’t bother. And this is yet another example of sloppy moderation.

      I am not changing my nom de guerre – for reasons of principle.

    • Steven Mosher

      bullies blather about honor.

      honor or integrity is intimately related to the concept of wholeness or completeness. Nothing’s missing. On the other hand anonymity can serve as a moral principle, but if and only if, the anonarati focus on principles rather than personalities. That is, by adopting anonymity one declares that “who I am” does not matter, but rather “what I say or do does”. In short to maintain honor and integrity the anonymous must refrain from making personality the subject of any criticism, because who someone is, is not what matters.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Honour be damned.

      ‘Bad faith (Latin: mala fides) is double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception.[1] It may involve intentional deceit of others, or self-deception.’

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison: Judy – I am not going to change my moniker because springer decides to be a serial pest and ridicule by false association.

      I always try, I hope with some success, to address the writing and not worry about who is behind a pseudonym. I sort of pretend that I am writing to “A Federalist”.

    • Matthew R Marler

      It would be par for your sloppy moderation.

      Let me again mention how grateful I am to Professor Curry for providing this forum. It’s a shame any moderation is needed at all, but I think that “goes with the territory” and I sympathize with her attempt to be fair; I think everybody feels like the umpires and referees are biased — it’s some kind of human nature.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Despite my refusal to confirm or deny my true identity – this seems less a pseudonym than a nom ge guerre.

      ‘Noms de guerre were adopted by members of the French resistance during World War II for security reasons. Such pseudonyms are often adopted by military special forces soldiers, such as members of the SAS and other similar units, resistance fighters, terrorists, and guerrillas. This practice hides their identities and may protect their families from reprisals; it may also be a form of dissociation from domestic life.’

      Partly game and metaphor – partly a reminder of the hell of the climate war – partly a suppression of my natural openness and spontaneity.

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

      “Honour be damned.”

      Really? Over a blog handle?

    • David Springer

      So are you saying that “Chief” and “Generalissimo” are unavailable to others as a title?

      On what authority… dibs?

      Did I miss a copyright or design patent on those titles giving you exclusive right to them?

      Do you expect me, because it is upsetting to you, to do as you ask when I ask you to be civil with me and you refuse?

      Make your position clear please.

    • David Springer

      Just to be SUPER fair I checked to see if you called dibs on “Chief” or “Generalissimo”.

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

      Calling “dibs” is the US English term, also known in Ireland as “Bagsies” for an informal convention where one declares a first claim to something to which no one else has a clearly recognized right. Calling “dibs” or “Bagsies” is only possible when the caller is able to take care of the claim. Such a declaration is often recognized in certain cultures, or sub-cultures, as a means to avoid arguments over relatively trivial issues…

      Dibs can only be called in front of the participants to be considered valid. IE Dibs cannot be called without the presence or knowledge of the other party. Dibs can however be called in online chatrooms and equivalent messaging applications, ie participants do not have to be physically present for the “dibs” to be valid.

      I respect wickedpedia for the most part and reference it very often so I’m willing to accept, unawares, that dibs applies to chatrooms and so forth by the following from wiki: often recognized in certain cultures, or sub-cultures, as a means to avoid arguments over relatively trivial issues

      This is as trivial as trivial gets in my opinion so I guess I’m on the hook, honor-bound you might say, to adopt this rule in this situation.

      So I googled.

      https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=dibs+site%3Ajudithcurry.com&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=dibs+site%3Ajudithcurry.com&gs_l=hp….0.0.0.25632………..0.Rto1Ot_ueTI

      There have been 10 declarations of dibs on judithcurry.com. None of them call it on “Chief” or “Generalissimo” unfortunately.

      So I’m still curious as to the authority being invoked in this regard. Am I simply supposed to respect your feelings about what you regard as your exclusive titles when you show such an utter lack of respect for me and for others who somehow don’t meet your standards of approval? I’m really at a loss here as to reasoning behind your demands. Help me understand where you’re coming from.

    • David Springer

      For future reference, here’s how to call dibs on a name. I actually called it on a name here about 14 months ago so it’s not like calling dibs has no precedent here nor I ignorance of dibs doctrine.

      David Springer | October 4, 2012 at 10:42 am |

      I hereby call first dibs on “Butterfly Slayer” in association with “climate change” or “global warming”.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’

      http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

      Poor little butterfly – but you might find if you actually looked at some science that it is hardly butterflys in question. Still it is increasingly tedious to repeat even the words of the National Academies of Science to someone who seems utterly immune to the possibility of entertaining ideas that don’t originate from the Jabberwock.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Dibs? Does this seriously have any place out of the schoolyard? Perhaps not in civilised discourse or by the nicities of prior usage. It was more a silly game played with malicious intent.

      It is abundantly obvious that CE is reduced to a small coterie of cohorts indulging in puerile griping and endless repetition of the same narratives.

      I wonder why?

    • Mah granpappy tole me long time ago that when the facks ain’t workin fer em, sum folks start slingin mud (er wurse).

      Reckon he wuz rite.

  78. Berényi Péter

    The conference defined quite a number [of scientific problems to be solved], but focused on just two. The first concerned an inability to simulate the amount and character of clouds in the atmosphere. […] The second concerned an inability to forecast the behaviour of oceans. […] The increase [in funding and employment opportunity] was not so much on the hard-science side of things but rather in the emerging fringe institutes and organizations devoted, at least in part, to selling the message of climatic doom.

    Focus of the Stockholm conference was clearly misplaced. Clouds and oceans, not to mention global average surface temperatures are not fundamental issues, they are specific to the terrestrial climate system. Science has a much higher aim than providing answers to practical questions either in politics or business. It is supposed to pursue the underlying truth and nothing but, on its own account. There is the occasional spinoff highly relevant to other spheres of the human endeavor, but that’s only a collateral benefit and has nothing to do with intrinsic scientific values. True, some of these benefits are huge as seen from the outside and they have transformed our daily life beyond recognition during the past two centuries. This is why it is worth to pour taxpayer’s money into this pit, but it is not the reason scientists are supposed to do their thing.

    The Stockholm conference should have focused on a genuine scientific question, the utter lack of understanding in quasi stationary non equilibrium thermodynamic systems, especially on irreproducible ones, to which class the terrestrial climate system belongs to. That question could be studied experimentally on other members of this wide class that would fit into the lab, while in the case of climate we are only given a single uncontrolled run of a unique physical entity, a problem unsuitable for scientific investigation.

    Later on, armed with a general theory, we could have a fresh look at the specific case of Earth.

    Unfortunately it has not turned out this way, exacerbated by a misguided funding policy, that preferred to support down-to-earth investigations which it could understand and see their potential benefits to society, instead of fundamental research, which is only interesting for those involved in the field. Watson and Crick, when cracking the 3D structure of DNA, were not interested in genetically modified crops.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Berényi Péter:Focus of the Stockholm conference was clearly misplaced. Clouds and oceans, not to mention global average surface temperatures are not fundamental issues, they are specific to the terrestrial climate system. Science has a much higher aim than providing answers to practical questions either in politics or business.

      I hope that you do not oppose medical research.

    • Berényi Péter

      Matthew R Marler | January 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm |

      I hope that you do not oppose medical research.

      No, I am not, although medical research is one of the most affected fields, surpassed only by climate science, in which even in clear cut cases of misconduct retraction is unlikely to occur. Still, I am for climate research, not against it, but it should be hard, testable science, not pseudoscientific experiments in silico, disconnected from both theory and reality.

      As for medical research, it is in deep trouble indeed, primarily because of its dependence on business, which is almost as harmful for science as we could see in case of politics. By the way, most of the great breakthroughs of modern medical science, which have changed our life so much, are either deeply connected to fundamental research like discovery of sanitation, cells, bacteria, viruses, disinfection, vaccination, antibiotics, protein structure, genetic code, etc. or come outside of the field like most modern diagnostic devices (X-ray, Ultrasound, CT, MRI, etc.), so they do belong to “hard science”.

      The part which does not, let me add necessarily, because something has to be done to patients even if knowledge &. methods are imperfect, suffers from lack of scientific rigor, financial pressure and yes, misconduct.

      PNAS
      Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications
      Ferric C. Fang, R. Grant Steen and Arturo Casadevall

      “A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct”

  79. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Previously a poster cited a Gallup survey that seems relevant to the topic of public uncertainty about climate change. People who took part in the survey were asked how much they worried about global warming. Gallup found that 23% of the respondents were NOT WORRIED at all, but the proportion was much higher among Republicans(40%) and Conservatives (36%), and somewhat higher among people age 65 and older (26%).

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/153653/Americans-Worries-Global-Warming-Slightly.aspx

    Most if not all of the skeptics who post at Climate Etc seem not worried at all about global warming, which I think would mean they are mostly Republicans and Conservatives, including many older ones who are retired and have time to spend here. Given these are groups associated with preserving the status quo, their resistance to changes necessary to curb global warming is understandable. What is not so apparent is the reason for their need to preserve the status quo.

    • David Springer

      Gee Max… ya think blogs about controversial subjects might tend to attract a higher percentage of extremists than say a company picnic?

      This blog is SO non-representative of the general public. That’s why it’s just an academic game to me. In the real world that I live in no one really gives a fig about “climate change” and they aren’t inclined to spend public money (or their own money) on non-problems.

      Now as far as climate change is associated with CO2 emission and thus with fossil fuel use that’s when people start getting concerned in large numbers and principally they are for whatever reduces their electric utility bills and how much they spend at the gas pump. Most of them know that oil is in finite supply and that foreign suppliers in Muslim/Communist/Socialist nations (OPEC) with corrupt governments and hatred of the US are not a good thing and contribute to the high cost of oil. Thus they are inclined to support alternative energy propositions that hold some promise in reducing or eliminating dependance on foreign oil. The common ground between climate change mitigation and alternative energy development is essentially all that keeps the climate change boat afloat in the states.

      Write that down.

    • @Max OK

      “…….their resistance to changes necessary to curb global warming is understandable. ”

      First, there is no convincing evidence that it is DESIRABLE to curb global warming, should it actually be occurring.

      Having belabored the obvious and picking an arbitrary time frame, what will the TOE be in 50 years if no government, anywhere, takes ANY measure to control ACO2

      Why is that TOE undesirable?

      In your opinion, what changes are necessary to curb global warming and, if they are enacted world wide and enforced rigorously, what will the TOE be in 50 years? Neglecting any possible ‘unintended consequences’ of your recommended global warming curbs, why is that temperature more desirable than the TOE resulting from the ‘Forget the whole ACO2 business and use whatever energy sources are most efficient and economical for the demand at hand.’ approach?

    • Max_OK said, “What is not so apparent is the reason for their need to preserve the status quo.”

      Max, WRT your postulations about the demographics of readers here, why do we need a reason other than opposing change driven solely by un/mis-informed emotionalism? I am less concerned about preserving the status quo and more concerned about the distortion of science and the deliberate falsehoods that have become a societal meme.
      For what it’s worth, your speculations on the demographics appear to me to be on par with Mann’s use of the Tiljander sediment data. People may agree with the theoretical desire for greater fuel efficiency and cleaner air or more scientific research for a variety of reasons without agreeing to specific (and arbitrary) legislative limits or increased costs.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Bob, I’m not sure I know exactly what the acronym “TOE” means, but I will try to address your questions anyway.

      You ask “what will the TOE be in 50 years if no government, anywhere, takes ANY measure to control ACO2 ?.”

      Since governments already are taking measures to control ACO2, we will never know.

      You ask “Why is that TOE undesirable?” Obviously, we will never know.

      I’m sorry I can’t answer your “what if we don’t” question. I can’t even answer “what if we didn’t questions. For example, I don’t know if the outcome of our not going to war with England over independence would have been undesirable. Another example, I don’t know if not trying to land on the moon would have been undesirable. But such questions are interesting to think about.

      You ask: “In your opinion, what changes are necessary to curb global warming and, if they are enacted world wide and enforced rigorously, what will the TOE be in 50 years?”

      Encourage more efficient use of fossil fuels by all possible means, including but not limited to (1) taxing consumption and commensurately reducing other taxes, preferably corporate and personal income taxes, and giving low-income families rebates to compensate for the regressive nature of such taxes, and (2) mandating improvements the fuel efficiency of structures and equipment, such as mpg requirements for new cars and trucks.

      Further stimulate development of solar power, wind power and other renewables, using subsidies formerly provided to oil companies. Continue not issuing permits for new coal-fired power plants.

      If the above measures are insufficient for curbing growth of ACO2, subsidize the development of nuclear power plants.

      Added benefits of the above measures are cleaner air and less rapid depletion of fossil fuel reserves. We will always need some oil for petro chemicals as well as fuel, so conserving it is wise.

      You ask: “Neglecting any possible ‘unintended consequences’ of your recommended global warming curbs, why is that temperature more desirable than the TOE resulting from the ‘Forget the whole ACO2 business.”

      Because it’s the temperature we know. Why risk “shooting the dice” on temperature, when we do well with what we have?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Derek H | January 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      “For what it’s worth, your speculations on the demographics appear to me to be on par with Mann’s use of the Tiljander sediment data.”
      ______

      Why I think the global warming deniers and self-identified skeptics who post here regularly are mostly older Republican and Conservative men: (a) some say or imply they are older, (b) some bristle at the notion age affects their attitudes, and (c) they have a lot of time on their hands (regulars post several times per day), which suggest they are retired.

      And of course, polls have shown deniers and skeptics are more likely to be Republicans and Conservatives than are Democrats and independents, and are more likely to be age 65 and older than under age 30.

      Put all this information together and you have very sound speculation.

    • @ Max OK

      “Because it’s the temperature we know. Why risk “shooting the dice” on temperature, when we do well with what we have?”

      ‘TOE’ is Temperature of the Earth. The thing that is claimed to be rising at an unprecedented rate that will result in catastrophe if we don’t control it. The factor that launched the entire multi-billion dollar per year Climate Change industry

      “Since governments already are taking measures to control ACO2, we will never know.”

      It may seem silly to a climate expert, but my view is that if you have no idea what will happen to the TOE if action is NOT taken there is no obvious reason to TAKE any action. I realize that governments are in fact pressing ahead with a combination of taxes, rules, regulations, and (in our case) imperial decrees that are advertised as being necessary to ‘fight climate change’ but since no one claims to know the consequences of not taking action or the efficacy of the actions being taken it would appear to me that the policies that have been implemented already and those being proposed will be more effective in controlling the citizenry than in controlling the climate.

      So you are saying that if we enact your income redistribution system (recommendation 1) and simply command the engineers to produce cars and infrastructure that meet arbitrary efficiency requirements (What milage requirements would you proclaim? Would all vehicles have to meet the new, improved efficiency requirement or would the manufacturers be allowed to continue to produce SUV’s–including armored ones–for government use?) the climate will be stabilized? At what TOE? Again, if you don’t know the results of inaction, why are you so confident of the superior results of action?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Re comments by Bob Ludwick | January 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm
      @ Max_ OK

      Bob says ‘TOE’ is Temperature of the Earth.

      Max_OK replies: Bob, you have a measurable temperature, the Earth doesn’t. There are, however, measures of average global temperature.

      Bob says:”It may seem silly to a climate expert, but my view is that if you have no idea what will happen to the TOE if action is NOT taken there is no obvious reason to TAKE any action.”

      Max_OK replies: I have an idea continued increases in man made global warming will not end well. I get that idea from climate scientists. If you want details, you will find plenty at http://www.ipcc.ch/

      Bob says: “So you are saying that if we enact your income redistribution system (recommendation 1) and simply command the engineers to produce cars and infrastructure that meet arbitrary efficiency requirements (What milage requirements would you proclaim?”

      Max_OK replies: I’m sorry, Bob, but as written, what you say puzzles me. You say “if”. I ask if what? I can’t answer your question if I don’t know what you are asking.

    • @Max OK

      “Max_OK replies: Bob, you have a measurable temperature, the Earth doesn’t. There are, however, measures of average global temperature.”

      Ok, I get it. The ‘Temperature of the Earth (TOE)’ is a meaningless phrase, while Average Global Temperature (AGT?) is a critical parameter that must be monitored closely at the cost of billions and which requires coordinated, world wide corrective action if it varies a degree or so over a few decades. Apparently the acronym is important, so in all my posts, substitute AGT for TOE.

      “Max_OK replies: I’m sorry, Bob, but as written, what you say puzzles me. You say “if”. I ask if what? I can’t answer your question if I don’t know what you are asking.

      I said: “So you are saying that if we enact your income redistribution system (recommendation 1) and simply command the engineers to produce cars and infrastructure that meet arbitrary efficiency requirements (What milage requirements would you proclaim? Would all vehicles have to meet the new, improved efficiency requirement or would the manufacturers be allowed to continue to produce SUV’s–including armored ones–for government use?) the climate will be stabilized? At what TOE? Again, if you don’t know the results of inaction, why are you so confident of the superior results of action?”

      Taking out the part in parenthesis re milage requirements we have:

      “So you are saying that if we enact your income redistribution system (recommendation 1) and simply command the engineers to produce cars and infrastructure that meet arbitrary efficiency requirements the climate will be stabilized? At what TOE? Again, if you don’t know the results of inaction, why are you so confident of the superior results of action?”

      leaving us with three questions.

      a. If your recommendations are implemented, will the AGT be stabilized?
      b. What will the AGT be when stabilization is achieved?
      c. If no one knows what the AGT will be in 50 years if we do nothing to control ACO2, why are you confident that the stable AGT achieved by your recommended policies will be so much more desirable that it justifies the effort?

      A fourth question would be: If you don’t know what the AGT will be in 50 years with NO ACO2 control measures, how will we (our grandkids, actually) know that controlling ACO2 had any effect at all?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Bob, those are good questions, and I believe some if not most of them are addressed in the IPPC report (I gave you a link) by professional scientist who are far more qualified to answer your questions than I am. I am just an old country boy with no formal training in science.

      I am, however, intrigued by your “what if we didn’t ?” questions. I wonder if I hadn’t married and moved to where I am, where would I be and what would I be doing right now.
      I also wonder if my parents had never met would I be me or would I be one-half me and one-half someone else, or would I be floating around some where in space in an unconscious state waiting my turn to enter the world.

    • Max_OK

      You should include this in your analysis:

      On average, younger folks are (by definition) less experienced and (as a result) less knowledgeable than older folks.

      They are also more likely to fall for a fad or fashionable boondoggle, as a result.

      Max_not from OK

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Max_CH, there is truth to what you say about young people falling for fads, etc. That’s because young people aren’t afraid to try new things. Trying new things usually is better than not trying new things.

  80. It is unfortunate that Paltridge didn’t focus on any scientific arguments about why the temperature rise since 1950 should not be considered mostly due to CO2, or why he thinks doubling CO2 is not going to have a significant climate impact, or why, in any detail, he wants to be contrary to the stated multiplying effects of water vapor and clouds. Instead he dives straight into the conspiracy thinking that we see from sideline non-experts, and even has a go at independent national academies for supporting the consensus view, somehow rationalizing it as another layer of the conspiracy. He questions honesty of the consensus, as if by stating their best guess of climate change and its uncertainty error bars is dishonest. What would be dishonest is doing anything other than stating the best estimate from all the evidence, and it does point towards these sensitivities centered on 3 C per doubling. Even doing the simple thing of plotting CO2 change versus temperature change for the last 40 years gives 2.5 C as a transient sensitivity. Land’s change is nearer 4 C per doubling, and the Arctic even higher, yet he wants to say it is dishonest to even think this represents a long-term climate sensitivity without rationalizing why not to trust these plain metrics of change.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim, you write “He questions honesty of the consensus, as if by stating their best guess of climate change and its uncertainty error bars is dishonest.”

      I am sure that is one way of interpreting what Garth has written. I have a different interpretation. What I think Garth is questioning is whether their best guesses are good enough to solve the problem. That is, whether the best guesses are good enough to be able to conclude what actually happens to global temperatures, or OHC, as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels.

    • ” Jim D | January 9, 2014 at 1:03 am | Reply

      It is unfortunate that Paltridge didn’t focus on any scientific arguments about why the temperature rise since 1950 should not be considered mostly due to CO2, or why he thinks doubling CO2 is not going to have a significant climate impact, or why, in any detail, he wants to be contrary to the stated multiplying effects of water vapor and clouds. ”

      Ya think?

      That is why we are here, trying to pull it back to the fundamental science and giving the skeptics a lesson or two.

      ” He questions honesty of the consensus, as if by stating their best guess of climate change and its uncertainty error bars is dishonest. “

      As Feynman has said, “In science you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.” For Paltridge to make that accusation is disappointing.

    • Jim Cripwell, he is implying that what scientists would say is their best justified guess with uncertainty is not honest, and is driven by some ulterior political motive or funding scheme. This is a common “skeptical” meme, and just says that the consensus is dishonest in what it presents as its best effort, as if they have other ideas, but publish AGW instead. As I mentioned, even the simplest analysis is consistent with a 2.5 C per doubling transient sensitivity, and he would want them to ignore that and publish little or no sensitivity, or say they have little or no publishable knowledge, instead.

    • Jim D. You write ” This is a common “skeptical” meme, and just says that the consensus is dishonest in what it presents as its best effort”

      I agree completely. That is exactly what I believe. I will only trust hard, measured, replicated, empirical data. When the consensus does NOT present any such data, and still claims that there is a 95% certainty that things about CAGW are correct, then, IMHO, this is the height of scientific dishonesty.

    • Jim D

      You’ve got it all backward, Jim.

      It’s not up to Paltridge to provide “scientific arguments about why the temperature rise since 1950 should not be considered mostly due to CO2, or why he thinks doubling CO2 is not going to have a significant climate impact, or why, in any detail, he wants to be contrary to the stated multiplying effects of water vapor and clouds”.

      It’s up to the purveyors of this story (IPCC) to provide empirical scientific evidence that these claims are true.

      And they have been unable to do so, as Jim Cripwell correctly concludes.

      Max

    • But there are real arguments based on science, IPCC reports of them, and the arguments/reports are influential.

      If that where not the case, none of you “skeptics” would care to fight those arguments.

      • Pekka, I think the facts are not conveniencing, But ideological politicians are all to willing to act on them, that is what I’m concerned about. Worse still the laws that are enacted are always slow to be undone once in place, even when the truth comes out. The science will work itself out, society / the economy can only be trashed once.

    • Pekka

      Sure there are “scientific arguments” for both sides of the story.

      But the key points are.

      – The “null hypothesis” is that climate changes due to natural factors, some of which are not yet fully understood.

      – There is no empirical scientific evidence that falsifies the null hypothesis.

      It’s just that simple, Pekka.

      Max

    • Nothing is that simple, and what you write is even more wrong.

    • Mi Cro,

      ideological politicians are all to willing to act on them, that is what I’m concerned about. Worse still the laws that are enacted are always slow to be undone once in place, even when the truth comes out. The science will work itself out, society / the economy can only be trashed once.

      I agree. As an example look at the trouble the the, irrational, incompetent, loony Left opposition in the Australian Senate is causing for the newly elected Australian conservative government in trying to repeal the carbon tax legislation. Labor and the Greens (Left of centre and far left parties) have a majority in the Senate and are blocking the repeal of the legislation despite the overwhelming majority of the voters who voted for the Coalition and its very clear policy to repeal the legislation

    • Pekka,

      Nothing is that simple, and what you write is even more wrong.

      As full disclosure perhaps you should mention that assertion is a personal opinion, it is unsupported and it is based on your ideological beliefs and position on CAGW – i.e. you have bought the CAGW doomsayers’ story line, hook line and sinker.

  81. Skippy I think we agree that the IPCC models are useless for forecasting future temperature trends. You have also convinced yourself that, because of chaos theory that useful ,testable predictions cannot be made.. You therefore provide no way ahead.
    I know that you yourself don’t wish to take the time to read my blog posts but I suggest that other readers might be interested in the forecasts made at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    based on two transparent,reasonable and simple assumptions and testable in my opinion by 2018 -20.
    The two simple assumptions are- First that the recent temperature peak is the result of the near synchrony in peaks in the 60 year and 1000 year quasi periodicities seen in the temperature data and Second that the recent decline in solar activity to levels not seen in the satellite era probably indicates the beginning of an important cooling trend.
    At the current state of our knowledge why avoid the simple and obvious .Obviously such an approach wouldn’t attract much grant money or provide publications accepted by Nature or Science but it might well provide a skillful forecasting method.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yes – I don’t read blog science –

      A point – sunspot numbers are low.

      But this doesn’t translate into a cooler Sun yet. There is a bit of thermal inertia there.

      I advise you to read some actual science on models. And these are very difficult – McWilliams especially – but reward some effort. The learning experience should culminate in understanding of the term ‘perturbed physics ensemble’.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.abstract

      There is likely to be a solar influence – including the rotation of the planets influencing the solar magneto and UV output. But these are control variables that are modulated and amplified through Earth systems. The orbits are trivially chaotic – think the Poincare three body problem – but it is the Earth systems that are the major chaotic component.

      e.g. http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

      Arguing at the level of ‘no it isn’t’ and mischaracterising my views in the lens of your own understanding helps little.

    • Skippy Thanks for the excellent links especially the Slingo presentation which confirms my view that mathematical approaches are inherently useless because of the resolution problem ie the computation power is grossly inadequate to to handle the necessary sampling density. You might find the following presentation entertaining

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I can’t actually view this at the moment – my ultra fast broadband seems to be maxing out well below expectations.

      I am sure it is wonderful. Grid resolution is just of the issues.

      But the uselessness of numerical approaches is not what Slingo and Palmer actually said – what they talked about was perturbed physics ensembles.

    • Skippy Here is what Slingo says in conclusion
      “It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.”
      Yet the IPCC is now 95% certain of their projections – this gap is what Paltridges post and this entire thread is really about .Also apart from the difficulties of numerical calculation the IPCC ensemble of models isn’t even structured correctly to get in the ball park anyway.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I have quoted that passage time and again.

      Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.

      Perturbed physics ensembles are in their infancy. But it is Earth systems that drive abrupt change from slow and small changes in signals. It is these processes and phenomenon that we have an inadequate handle – and especially the coupling modes of sub-systems..

  82. Oh well, the threading seems to be completely busted. The gods must be crazy. And I can’t say I blame them.

    • NW – The movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy was a good one. For those of us who don’t do Monte Carlo simulations every day, could you supply a link to the method you used? I’m not that familiar with it.

      • jim2, the truth is that almost all of my stats knowledge is stuff I’ve picked up from many people and sources, so I’m not the best person for recommending a text. If you google ‘monte carlo statistics statistical methods’ a lot of stuff will come up. There’s a minitab blog that has some very simple overviews and examples. (I am a SAS man myself, though.) One great thing about Monte Carlo methods (and its cousin ‘the bootstrap’) is that, with very little practice, they become very intuitive and easy to understand, unlike many formal statistical tests (which tend to be inscrutable black boxes to the uninitiated). The other nice thing about them is that they give a simple way to do tests when samples are too small (or models are too complex) to trust central limit theorems and laws of large numbers.

        Anyway, I am sure anyone who haunts a blog like this can get a handle on Monte Carlo with little difficulty, after working through a couple of simple examples.

  83. Well, well, well, the title of this post relates to the “fundamental uncertainties of climate change” and then goes on to conflate the science with the implications of policy.

    This is either a rookie mistake or intentional FUD. Even Springer can see that Paltridge uses the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, when he asserts “no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind … “

    Let me stick to the science.

    I work with the context of the science when it comes to studying AGW, and apply the CSALT model to deduce the unknown forcings which contribute to the warming signal of the past 130+ years. Look at this model fit to to the GISS GISTEMP data series:

    It is actually difficult to tell what is the data and what is the model without me telling you.

    After putting in the work on closing the gap in the fit, I can pass along a few uncertainties in the forcing attribution, and these are also covered by James Hanson in a 2007 report. As usual, I can find that a skeptic has also uncovered the uncertainties:

    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/HansenModel.htm

    Hansen writes:

    “Two noticeable discrepancies with the temporal variation of observed global surface temperature are the absence of strong cooling following the 1883 Krakatau eruption and the lack of a warm peak at about 1940.”

    I have also revealed that the Krakatoa eruption shows at least a 2x reduction from what is expected from the estimated aerosol forcings. I also find a discrepancy during the WWII years, with an anomalous warm peak that is at least partly explained by a temporary change in the way that SST readings were being made on board ships taking the measurements (not wanting to be identified by German U-boats, they pulled in the trailing buckets).

    There are other uncertainties, such as small gaps in 1936 and 1953, and one right before the Pinatubo eruption (almost a 6-month causal anticipation in the cooling), but that is a start.

    Ain’t climate science fun, and not boring? Or is it getting boring because the model fits are so good?

    • Hansen writes: the oceans will evaporate if we allow death trains to continue to operate (words to that effect in his doomsday book “Storms of our grandchildren”


    • Peter Lang | January 9, 2014 at 7:29 am |

      Paltridge is known for his principle of maximum rate of entropy production whereby energy flows in the ocean/atmosphere may be inferred if you have sufficient data about the system but not fully detailed data about every variable of the system.

      I doubt he will look at my CSALT model which uses a variational principle to estimate the excess free energy of the system, subject to constraints.

      http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/

      http://contextearth.com/context_salt_model/

      Again I really doubt that he will look at CSALT as he seems to be more interested in participating in Aussie-style fallacious debating tactics.

    • Webby

      I have referenced this before but not sure you saw it. Dr Arnd B writes a number of books relating to the ocean/climate and I frequently correspond with him. As I have said before, even the Met office believe the data for WW2 is fragmentary at best for obvious reasons, but you might find Dr Arnd B’s book of help to understand the strange weather during the conflict

      http://www.seaclimate.com/

      There were several years during the war whereby the ocean was very warm as witnessed by the Arctic convoys-the northern sea route opened up in 1936. However there were also some very cold years

      tonyb

    • James Hansen has noted in the link I gave that there were indeed high temps in the Arctic around 1940. He referred to it as “temporary warmth in the Arctic”.

      He laid our possibilities of soot blown to the Arctic from industrial activity at the outset of WWII, or a fluctuation due to heat transport to the Arctic and positive feedbacks from reduced sea ice. Whatever the rationale, this did subside after the war.

      I would claim a combination of the measurement calibration error plus some of what Hansen has discussed. I had seen the work of ArndB when Kennedy’s bucket corrections were discussed.

    • David Springer

      WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 9, 2014 at 6:35 am | Reply

      ” Even Springer can see that Paltridge uses the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, when he asserts “no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind … “”

      You wouldn’t have known to call it that without me pointing it out. Even springer indeed.

      Now play nice otherwise I’ll be forced to go all skippy on your ass.

      If in the near future it seems I’m being uncharacteristically agreeable with you rest assured it’s not going to last long.

  84. An excellent essay. Thoughtful and measured. There is a mess to be cleared up in modern science, and he is pointing to it. There is a mess in education to be cleared up next – a result of the former mess and of those who have found political and financial advantage in exploiting it.

  85. Climate change may be to blame for the flooding and severe storms seen across Britain in recent weeks, David Cameron said today. The Prime Minister said that he “very much” suspects that the extreme weather seen over December and the new year could be attributed to rising global temperatures. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said that Britain was seeing “more abnormal weather events”. Mr Cameron’s decision to reiterate his belief in global warming will encourage environmental campaigners but will have ruffled feathers on his back benches. –Laura Pitel, The Times, 9 January 2014

    Well that’s it. If the Prime Minister of Great Britain says it, it must be true, right?

  86. A good post from an insider ruined by the usual barmy comments.
    I remain unsure as to why scientists are so pessimistic given that every one of their direst predictions has been proven wrong and their models, which were always inadequate, are clearly just reflecting the pessimism of those who set the inputs. I’d appreciate more insight from Garth on this, given that he has actually faced these characters across the table.

  87. Specific analysis of SST data is more reliable than global mean: noting how the sea temp variability consistent with cc starts off the w Africa coast then migrates with the sea currents can low for a true analysis of the key features

  88. Jim Cripwell

    We have just witnessed the consequences of important politicians believing the nonsense of CAGW. In the UK, in Prime Minister’s Question Period, David Cameron stated that the recent bout of flooding in the UK was due to CAGW. This despite the statements form the UK Met Office and other scientific agencies that this is just plain wrong.

    When will this nonsense stop?

    • Never.

      They are too heavily invested in it to deny it now.

      Cameron is part of the political system that has pushed and funded the scare. Huge amounts of money has been diverted into it from other vital areas. They have pushed millions into fuel poverty and winter excess deaths are way up as a result. Do you think he wants to admit responsibility for thousands of unnecessary deaths?

      No, God almighty Himself could write in flaming letters across the heavens that CAGW is a scam and Hansen and Schmidt et al would just say…. ‘See another denier!”

      Alan

    • Make up a lie that makes somebody feel good, it’ll sell. That will never stop.

    • Alan, you write “They are too heavily invested in it to deny it now.”

      Unfortunately, I must agree with you. But what does this say about the scientific integrity of the likes of Sir Paul Nurse, and Sir John Beddington? And all the other senior, eminent, warmist scientists in the UK, who feed this nonsense to the Prime Minister.

    • David Springer

      Alan +1

      Yes to be sure the politicians who fell in with the climate consensus in the past must continue to support it going forward. No one was ever fired for agreeing with a 97% of scientists. Their jobs are safe so long as the perception of a scientific consensus remains intact.

    • David Springer

      Jim,

      Some politicians, perhaps even a majority of them, may actually believe that bandwagon climate science is correct. As a rule politicians aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to math, science, and engineering. Holding great concern about climate change (in the US at least) declines as education increases. People with high school or less are by far the most numerous believers in adverse climate change caused by human activity. Check it out:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/153653/americans-worries-global-warming-slightly.aspx

      climate change – cares a great deal

      high school or less – 36%
      post graduate – 25%

      In 2011 the National Center for Selling Evolution, the primary NGO involved in fighting for the atheist world-view of creation in public K-12 schools while keeping any other creation beliefs out of it amended it’s titular mission statement to include climate change.

      These people know where to go to find the most impressionable audiences. It must be a source of cognitive dissonance to them that concern about climate change dimishes for those who go on to college from high school. But there it is.

    • David Springer

      NCSE = national center for science education

      I’ve had many encounters with the group. Several years ago everyone on its board knew my name from chief propagandist Eugenie Scott downward. I’m not sure who’s still there as they are beneath notice at this point. This the group that gleefully announced Peter Gleick was joining the board of directors early in 2011 then had to disinvite him after Gleick pulled the Heartland stunt discrediting himself and would have, by association, discredited NCSE as well.

    • Walt Allensworth

      Jim, this country (USA) is replete with such political shenanigans.

      Every time there’s some weather some politician somewhere is spouting off about how CAGW is to blame, and we’re all doomed, and it’s all our fault – and please send money.

      Bloomberg is famous for this, even though every time he puts his foot in his mouth scientists discredit him for months afterwards.

      to wit: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/10/31/scientists-dispute-politicians-claims-that-global-warming-grew-sandy/

      ‘Neither the frequency of tropical or extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic are projected to appreciably change due to climate change.’
      – NOAA meteorologist Martin Hoerling

      Now I just laugh whenever a politician blames something on CAGW.
      Baghdad Bob indeed.

    • To David and Walt, My concern is not so much with what politicians say. Politicians tend to listen to what the voters think, and currently a majority voters, at least here in Canada, seem to believe in CAGW. My concern is with the scientists.

      How much longer are prominent scientists going to prostitute themselves supporting all the crazy things that are blamed on CAGW? I can understand them sticking to the belief that there is science to support the hypothesis of CAGW. But I cannot condone supporting the claims that CAGW is responsible for all the weird things that are happening to weather. Which the science shows are not weird at all; they are just normal.

      At least our hostess has been honest and forthright on this issue.

    • Jim Cripwell

      You ask:

      But what does this say about the scientific integrity of the likes of Sir Paul Nurse, and Sir John Beddington? And all the other senior, eminent, warmist scientists in the UK, who feed this nonsense to the Prime Minister.

      It says, quite simply, that these guys sold out their “scientific integrity” to the “politically correct” fad of CAGW.

      Nullius in verba, indeed.

      Max

  89. David Springer

    For the record I agree with the larger themes presented by Paltridge.

    Where is disagree is

    1) I don’t believe climate scientists or hangers-on have much to lose by being wrong.

    2) I believe #1 is true because of the so-called consensus. Nobody was ever fired for agreeing with a consensus of 97% of all scientists. Pe0ple get fired for disagreeing with the consensus not agreeing with it.

    Therefore the consensus is all that matters. As long as a perception that 97% of all scientists agree about climate change remains intact they are safe.

    People, even scientists, intuitively know there is safety in numbers. It’s instinctive in the human species I believe. So they tend to simply dismiss the opinion of anyone outside the academy and try to severely punish anyone within the academy who strays off the reservation by saying anything contrary to the banners on the climate science bandwagon.

    The consensus can change slowly and by mutual consent of all the bandwagon members. Alarmism can be ratcheted down slowly. Equilibrium climate sensitivity can be taken down in notches. Done over sufficient spans of time only historians will note that the banners on the bandwagon were gradually replaced. And since historians are academics they too have to live under the rubric “No one was ever fired for agreeing with a consensus.” Obviously this is not good for the advancement of science but it doesn’t really happen in hard sciences. Who argues with the scientific discovery of quantum tunneling or relativistic time dilation when these are utilized every day in everyone’s cell phone (flash memory and GPS, respectively, to be specific). Only soft sciences I think are subject to takeovers by bandwagon crappola such as climate change.

    • “The consensus can change slowly and by mutual consent of all the bandwagon members. Alarmism can be ratcheted down slowly.”

      Yes. Can and will. Even in the face of actual extended cooling the establishment climatologists will in the main, fight on despite looking more and more ridiculous. As for the credulous left, they’ll break ranks with the greatest reluctance as well. In the end, they’ll blame the scientists, not there own willful blindness. “I was only listening to what the most qualified scientists at the time were saying.” Guys like lollywot and MAx_Callow Cub Reporter will never admit to being wrong.

      There will indeed be a backlash, but I don’t believe the bandwagon members as Springer aptly calls them will suffer too much professionally. History however…and perhaps this is where we disagree….will not be kind.

  90. This is the post I’ve been waiting for here to talk about cloud cover. I’m sure my post will be lost in the mass of other posts and won’t be seen by Dr. Curry, but I’ll post it anyway.

    A few years ago, I was doing some personal research on the effects of clouds and climate. I happened across a NASA page with a NASA climate scientist talking about this very subject. I’ll be repeating from memory what I found on his page since the page seems to have vanished somehow. I’ve been looking for it ever since, without success.

    This NASA climate scientist, in talking about clouds, said that we do not yet know what effect every type of cloud cover has on weather and climate. He then went on to say that even if we did, computer processing would have to increase by several orders of magnitude to be able to be able to run models at high enough resolutions to be meaningful. To my knowledge, computer processing hasn’t advanced quite that much in just the last few years.

    This seems to me to be the dirty little secret for AGW proponents. They don’t seem to want people to know about our shortcomings in cloud modeling, and how important this is for predicting future climate.

    So, in the last few years, have we been able to significantly increase our knowledge regarding the different effects for different types of clouds? Secondly, how much have the computers advanced in the last few years which run these types of models? And finally, beside clouds, do we still consider the ocean to be as big or even bigger of a wicked problem in the overall wicked problem of climate modeling?

    Thanks! I’ll get off the line and listen for an answer.

    Cheers…

    • joz

      Have you tried wayback? I used it to find some information the Met Office had deleted.

      http://archive.org/web/

      You ideally need to know the name of the article or the scientist or recall accurately some of the text. Good luck!

      tonyb

    • Here is the way to think about clouds to first-order.

      Clouds exist in a thermodynamic balance within the P-V-T phase space. There is a mean arrangement and density of clouds with respect to altitude. This is where the Pressure and Temperature adjust according to known lapse rate model.

      When temperature increases, the first-order effect of the clouds is to increase their mean altitude so that it can inhabit the preferred point in the PVT phase space.

      This is very similar to the argument of Sherwood where the simulations show more mixing of clouds towards higher altitudes.

      Hope this helps in your understanding.

    • David Springer

      Webby,

      Clouds adjust for maximum entropy in the dissipative self-organizing system represented by the earth. They have a lot of room to adjust when it comes to letting the maximum possible amount of heat escape the surface. Forcing CO2 upwards does nothing where there is an infinite amount of surface water available to evaporate and generate clouds.

      Over dry (frozen dry or otherwise) land where there is not an infinite supply of water the job of getting to maxEnt falls to the T4 temperature response of rocks, ice, and other dry solids.

      Maximum entropy in dissipative systems is not new but it appears to have escaped either your attention or understanding. Nobel prize winning chemist Ilya Prigione is the go-to guy for it. He won the Nobel for his work in dissipative systems. Enjoy:

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

      You’ll be chasing your own tail forever until you understand this.

    • Generalissimo Touch Typist

      @David Springer: Are you referring to “Speculated principles of maximum entropy production and minimum energy dissipation” , or “Prigogine’s proposed theorem of minimum entropy production”? Both at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_maximum_entropy_production

    • Generalissimo Skippy

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

      Clouds are dynamic and respond to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation – understanding cloud is a matter of understanding these processes. With data and not 1st order principles.

    • cloud impacts on climate is one of the most complex problems in climate variability; as phase boundaries they play an important yet elusive role

    • I think I’ve never heard so loud
      The quiet message in a cloud.
      ===============

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Cloud impacts on climate is one of the most complex problems in climate variability; as phase boundaries they play an important yet elusive role.”
      ____
      Elusive indeed, but not impossible to eventually constrain within reasonable bounds of uncertainty (much like the Higgs Boson). Sherwood (2014) may or may not be a big step in this direction, we will see.

      • Beg to differ – easterly wave clouds the size of Western Europe have decresaed by up to 33’/, Since 1900. Thus substantial equitotial sea surface temp increase

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      The spread of models has more fundamental causes.

      But only data allows insight on clouds. .

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=145

    • Joz,
      Another place to look for cloud information from NASA is the Cloudsat reference page

      http://www.nasa.gov/cloudsat

      a quick reference quide says it rpovides teh first global survey of cloud profiles and geographic variations from space.

      Some clouds are dark and absorb energy, some bright and reflect and and all hard to model realistically in current GCMs.
      Scott

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Touch Typist | January 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

      @David Springer: Are you referring to “Speculated principles of maximum entropy production and minimum energy dissipation” , or “Prigogine’s proposed theorem of minimum entropy production”? Both at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_maximum_entropy_production

      I’m referring to far from equilibrium self-organizing dissipative systems. From memory so I don’t know the original source. Prigogine has a lot of books. Try this one for starters.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=mZkQAQAAIAAJ&q=isbn:0471024015&dq=isbn:0471024015&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4yLPUtTgF4issAT94oCwDA&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA

  91. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    From yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald:

    “The Shokalskiy, whose 52 rescued passengers were transferred to the Australian ship Aurora Australis, advised AMSA that it was headed for Bluff, New Zealand, where it was due for another tourist cruise.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/antarctic-escape-akademik-shokalskiy-xue-long-break-free-from-pack-ice-20140108-30gtb.html#ixzz2puvT2dRr
    ________

    Oh no, not another antarctic cruise.

    Actually, it sounds like a fun-filled adventure, and much safer than driving on highways. I need to find out how much
    an antarctic cruise will cost me.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Starting at $18,000 odd and keeping out of areas where ice is blowing in seems to be the trick. Easy enough if you are not following a plan to access Mawson’s huts.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Never mind.

  92. William Sealy Gosset published his papers using his pseudonym; Student, from 1908.

    • Max

      For what its worth we owned a Smart Car (petrol) for around two years. Very good it was too. As for economy, it did roughly 40 miles per gallon which is slightly less than my current car, an Alfa Romeo GT diesel . This can take 5 people and is a hatchback so it is much more practical than the Smart Car.

      However, the Smart was easy to park due to its size and was fine for 2 people so its Horses for courses. Unfortunately Electric cars are far too expensive to consider. I do however have an electric bike which I charge up using a solar panel. Green eh?

      Range anxiety will remain a problem with Electric cars for some time and in the meantime modern petrol/diesel cars can get up to 70mpg so perhaps electric cars are pointless-at least in the medium term. Our cheapest small conventional car over here is around $10000 so something that costs 30% less would I guess find a market but it would need to conform to very strict safety rules.
      Cheapest Electric car is around $35000 with large Govt subsidy.

      tonyb

  93. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    “In the Pew Research Center’s annual policy priorities survey, released Jan. 24, just 28% say dealing with global warming is a top priority for the president and Congress this year.” (meaning 2013)

    I found it interesting, however, that most people favor measures that address global warming.

    “A September survey found that 65% of Americans favor stricter emissions limits on power plants, including 74% of Democrats, 67% of independents and 52% of Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center.”

    “By nearly three-to-one (73% to 25%), the public supports requiring better vehicle fuel efficiency, according our September survey. An identical percentage (73%) favors federal funding for alternative energy research, while two-thirds (67%) back more spending on mass transit.”

    Pew also found 84% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans favor increased federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen power.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/key-data-points/climate-change-key-data-points-from-pew-research/

    • I will have to help you, maxie. People can be in favor of all those unquantified measures, without having any concern at all about CO2 emissions. In the absence of specifics and cost/benefit analyses, it’s easy to be in favor of things. Just ask them if they would be willing to drive around in little 800lb fuel efficient cars.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Hello, Detroit Don

      I’m afraid I inadvertently suckered you by not quoting Pew in more detail. Read the following and you will see what I mean.

      “Democrats are far more supportive than Republicans of stricter emission limits on power plants to address climate change; 74% of Democrats favor this compared with 67% of independents and 52% of Republicans. Still, even among Republicans there is more support than opposition to emission limits (52% favor, 43% oppose).”

      http://www.people-press.org/2013/09/26/continued-support-for-keystone-xl-pipeline/

      Don, I’m appaled at how little you know about cars. The most efficient cars weigh a lot more than 800 lbs. The Smart Electric , which is close to the lightest if not the lightest of the efficiency champs, starts at 1.600 lbs, and most of them weigh a lot more.

    • You take everything I say so seriously, maxie. Must be due to your hatred and fear of the strong sensible mature tall rich handsome white male Republican type. I didn’t say that an 800lb car was the most energy efficient. You mad that up.

      I don’t see where you have made a non-irrelevant point, maxie. Don’t you see that people can be in favor of stricter emission requirements for power plants, better fuel efficiency, energy research etc., without being concerned about that CO2 crap? The fact that sizable percentages of Republicans favor those things despite being blase about the CO2 BS, should tell you something.

      Here is the main point again, maxie: In the absence of specifics and cost/benefit analyses, it’s easy to be in favor of things. Mention in the questions how much all that crap is going to cost them and see what the folks say.

      The bottom line is that dealing with global warming is at the very bottom of the folks’ list of top priorities. What was it? Number 21, on a list of 21? A couple of rungs below improving morals and something about foreign trade. Carry on with your foolishness, maxie.

    • Steven Mosher

      Don: In the absence of specifics and cost/benefit analyses, it’s easy to be in favor of things. Just ask them if they would be willing to drive around in little 800lb fuel efficient cars.

      Max:Don, I’m appaled at how little you know about cars. The most efficient cars weigh a lot more than 800 lbs. The Smart Electric , which is close to the lightest if not the lightest of the efficiency champs, starts at 1.600 lbs, and most of them weigh a lot more.

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

      reading is fundamental

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Well, in fairness to Don, I guess you could ask people if, in the interest of fuel efficiency, they would be willing to dive around in 800 lb cars, without telling them the most fuel-efficient cars weigh 1,600 lbs or more.

      Then to those who said “yes,” you could say “HA HA you dummies, you can’t get one.”

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Don Monfort gets silly on January 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      “You take everything I say so seriously, maxie. Must be due to your hatred and fear of the strong sensible mature tall rich handsome white male Republican type. I didn’t say that an 800lb car was the most energy efficient. You mad that up.”
      ______

      Mature, Don? HA HA, I suspect you are far more than mature. I imagine you are over ripe and will soon start to shrivel and dry-up, like a plum turning into a prune. No, Don, you didn’t say that an “800 lb car was the most fuel efficient ,” but in the context you sure as hell implied it. You should just admit you aren’t up on today’s car market, and save yourself further humiliation.

    • I apologize, maxie. I would have said 1600 lbs, if I had imagined that you would take it literally. I didn’t think you were that dumb. Now, how many people do you believe are going to willingly give up their Chevy Suburbans for a freaking tiny little 1600 pound clown car? The average U.S. family weighs about that much. How they gonna fit in a freaking Smart clown car? Please update us on the sales numbers for the Smart clown car, maxie. Please. Don’t make me do it.

    • That is some pretty stiff competition for the Smart clown car, NW. No wonder they are struggling to sell a hundred subsidized Smart clown cars a month. I wonder if there is room in that Pelosi car for a cup holder? With the Smart clown car you have to wait till you get home to enjoy a beverage. I have heard that when Obama runs for a third term he will be promising to add dinky little clown cars to the Obamaphone giveaway program. Car comes with the phone. That should juice up clown car volume.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      DETROIT DON VINDICATED, maybe

      The 2015 Elio will weigh less than 1,600 lbs , and may weigh as little as 800 lbs ( I couldn’t find it’s exact weight). The Elio is a gasoline-powered three-wheel car that’s supposed to get 49 mpg in the city and 84 mpg on the highway. While electric cars that weigh 1,600 lbs and more are more fuel efficient , those numbers are pretty good for a regular gasoline burner.

      The Elio web site says:

      Elio will be built in Louisiana, using over 90% North American-manufactured components!

      The Louisiana plant will employ 1,500 workers! We will also create over 15,000-plus direct and indirect jobs around the country because of this project.

      America has about 254 million registered cars on the road (www.rita.dot.gov).  If the average vehicle gets around 25 miles to the gallon and drives about 12,000 miles per year, America would be using almost 122 billion gallons of gas a year!

      So, if less than 1% of American drivers drive an Elio over the next 5 years, America would save 610,000,000 gallons of fuel per year! That is a .5% reduction of our entire consumption of gasoline as a country.
      For Elio drivers, that puts 2 and half billion dollars back into your pocket.For Elio drivers, that puts 2 and half billion dollars back into your pocket.
      One gallon of gasoline creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide! With Elio,
      we would save12.2billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year!

      http://www.eliomotors.com/

      _______

      It’s not easy for a start-up firm to succeed in the automobile market. I wish Elio the best of luck.

      BTW, Don, the Elio obviously is not a car for people who need passenger hauler, nor is it for fuddy-duddies who need a Crown Vic or Avalonor, or men who need some help with their macho.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Avalonor? What the hell is that?

      I forgot to mention the Elio will be priced at $6,800.

    • You naive greenies are really precious. Rejoicing over another entry into the miniscule and highly subsidized clown car market money pit. And this tiny little vehicle is a tricycle. You save 25%, just on the tires.

      So Elio needs $200 million to get started. Can you guess how many tricycle clown cars they will have to sell to break even, maxie? Can you guess how long will it take at an optimistic volume of a hundred clown tricycles a month? Do you know what fixed costs are, mikey? The blissfully economic ignorant are very amusing. You should let this drop now, maxie.

    • k scott denison

      Maxie, you’re either not very good at math, or very, very naive.

      How many cars would Elio have to sell to reach 1% of the cars in the US? A: 2,540,000.

      How many Chevy Volts + Nissan Leafs were sold last year? A: 56,000.

      At that rate it will only be about 50 years… think Elio, with no history, no dealer network and a three wheeled product is going to do better?

      Our friends at Smart hit the wall, selling only 45,000 total over the past three years!

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I apologize to Detroit Don and k scott for not writing down to a level they can read. They mistakenly thought my quote of Elio hype was me speaking. Apparently, it was not enough to preface my quote of Elio with “The Elio web site says,” give a link to the site, and then drawn a line before making my own comments.

      I want Don and k scott to know I see nothing revolutionary about the Elio and would be surprised if it’s successful. But I do wish the company luck.

    • Max, sorry, ended up in wrong place so have reposted

      For what its worth we owned a Smart Car (petrol) for around two years. Very good it was too. As for economy, it did roughly 40 miles per gallon which is slightly less than my current car, an Alfa Romeo GT diesel . This can take 5 people and is a hatchback so it is much more practical than the Smart Car.

      However, the Smart was easy to park due to its size and was fine for 2 people so its Horses for courses. Unfortunately Electric cars are far too expensive to consider. I do however have an electric bike which I charge up using a solar panel. Green eh?

      Range anxiety will remain a problem with Electric cars for some time and in the meantime modern petrol/diesel cars can get up to 70mpg so perhaps electric cars are pointless-at least in the medium term. Our cheapest small conventional car over here is around $10000 so something that costs 30% less would I guess find a market but it would need to conform to very strict safety rules.
      Cheapest Electric car is around $35000 with large Govt subsidy.

      tonyb

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Tony, I think The Alfa Romeo GT styling is superb.

      Since Fiat bought Chrysler maybe Alfa’s will be sold again in the U.S. Unfortunately, when Alfa exited the U.S. market
      years ago, their cars had a poor reputation for reliability. I hope that doesn’t put customers off if they return.

      Diesels aren’t as popular in the U.S as they are in Europe. I’m not sure why. I don’t like getting diesel fuel on my shoe soles at a pump because it smells for a long time. Otherwise, I’m OK with diesels.

      I like driving cars that handle well, a characteristic of many small cars (e.g., Mazda 323). However, I tend to drive nimble cars more aggressively, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

    • Max

      In my youth-obviously a very long time ago-I had a Lotus Europa-impractical-a Lancia spider and a Lancia Beta Hpe. Both the latter were rust buckets and helped to get Italian cars a very well deserved bad reputation for quality and reliability. They were superb drives however.

      I’ve more recently had an Alfa 156 and an Alfa GT-two of the best cars I’ve ever driven. The GT is a very attractive car but its replacement-the Brera-whilst equally attractive- is not so practical as the seats don’t fold. They are a world away from the bland driving of Ford, Vauxhalls and VW, but as I say its horses for courses.

      If you could get a Smart Electric at a sensible price $6000-we would get one for a second car-Our Smart petrol was a lot of fun.

      tonyb

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Tony, looks like we have similar tastes in cars. You are fortunate to have a greater variety of European makes and models to choose from than we have in the U.S.

    • I’m with you. I now have a 156, and it’s lovely to drive a car which actually enjoys going around corners, rather than having to be coaxed around.
      It hasn’t got the power of the turbo-engined cars I’m used to driving, but it’s a lot more fun.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I recently test drove a Subaru WRX , which impressed me as well balanced, but my boss can’t drive a car with a manual transmission, and I would like her to be the second driver. The 2015 WRX will offer an optional CVT, so we will give that a try, although I have yet to drive with a CVT I liked.

    • Well, you can always teach her how to ;-)

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Teach her how to? Not in my car !

  94. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    FOMD posts “The AGU presentation Minimizing Irreversible Impacts of Human-Made Climate Change (slide 3) summarizes the data:

    • 0.8 mm/year (1870-1924)
    • 1.9 mm/year (1925-1992)
    • 3.2 mm/year (1993-2013)

    Tony B catches a typo “Presumably you meant 1925 to 1992?”

    You are correct TonyB!

    Now let’s be brave, OK? Let’s consider the implications of a sustained sea-level rise-rate acceleration of (1.2 mm/year)/(20 year). Mathematica is happy to do the tedious bit:


    ---------------------
    input:
    {
    D[h[t],{t,2}] == (1.2 mm/year)/(20 year),
    Derivative[1][h][0] == 3.2 mm/year,
    h[0] == 0 mm/year
    }//DSolve[#,h[t],t]&//Flatten//
    ReplaceAll[h[t],#]&//ExpandAll//
    ReplaceAll[#,t->timeInCenturies*100*year]&//
    Rationalize//InputForm//
    Print["sea-level rise = ",#]&;
    ---------------------
    output:
    sea-level rise = 320*mm*timeInCenturies
    + 300*mm*timeInCenturies^2

    Hmmm … it’s been 20 centuries since the Roman times you love, TonyB. Just how much sea-level rise is 300*mm*20*20? It’s 120 meters, isn’t it?

    Thats 394 feet of sea-level rise, isn’t it?

    Summary  Plenty of climate-change skeptics are smart enough to pose-and-solve elementary differential equations. But distressingly few skeptics are brave enough to accept what those solutions mean.

    Climate-change math ain’t complicated, Climate Etc readers … it’s accepting the sobering moral and economic implications that ain’t easy.

    \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}

    • Hmmm … it’s been 20 centuries since the Roman times you love, TonyB. Just how much sea-level rise is 300*mm*20*20? It’s 120 meters, isn’t it?

      I suggest this has a high likelihood of being wrong. Venice, I presume as been around since Roman times, would be very far under water with a 120M rise in sea level.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mi Cro, you are 100% correct that the present era’s acceleration in sea-level rise-rate is unprecedented in the last 2000 years  as evidenced by the survival of that wonder of the ancient world, the Pantheon of Rome (which sits only 10 meters above sea-level).

      Your historical insight is appreciated, Mi Cro!

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

    • Fan

      My word you are in luck Here is the unabridged version of my article from two years ago on sea levels which covers exactly the period you mention, the Romans.

      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/document.pdf

      It is taken from hundreds of papers and much research. Basically As you might know sea level hasn’t risen nearly 400 feet since roman times. Sea levels generally are still half a metre or so below around the mean average of the time.

      how so? Well the roman warm period was warmer than today and it is believed that by thaT time many of the glaciers had melted and the sea level was high. It partially got locked up again during the dark ages cold period, melted again in the mwp causing water levels again somewhat higher than today, which got locked up again during the LIA, the coldest period since the start of the Holocene. So we are still below sea levels
      Seen one and two thousand years ago. With glaciers melting since 1750 there has been a subsequent rise in sea levels and that is where we are today.

      Glad to add to your education of both the Romand AND sea levels Fan.

      Tonyb

    • Thanks so much tonyb.

      This information is the reason the CE blog is useful. Plus all the articles the Judith publishes or links towards. Your courtesy and professionalism is admirable.
      Scott

    • You flunked maths then?
      It’s closer to 1.8 metres

    • dennis adams

      Tony B
      Thank you. This is a terrific document.

    • Heaven help the planet if FOMD’s magical acceleration persists for another 200 centuries.
      Sea levels will then be 12Km higher, and even the top of Everest will be under more than 3000m of water.
      And it won’t take much longer before the ISS becomes a boat.

      But of course that isn’t going to happen, isn’t that right, FOMD?

  95. Further to the discussion on David Cameron’s answer in Prime Minister’s Question Period, I just came across this. http://www.thegwpf.org/prime-minister-climate-change-opinion-backed-science-met-office/

    At least one scientist is being honest and forthright. “But Nicola Maxey from the Met Office said there was a crucial distinction between weather and climate change.

    “What happened at the end of December and at the beginning of January is weather,” she said.

    “Climate change happens on a global scale, and weather happens at a local scale. Climate scientists have been saying that for quite a while.

    “At the moment there’s no evidence to suggest that these storms are more intense because of climate change.”

    So at least one scientists from the Met Office is prepared to stand up and say that David Cameron is being economical with the truth. I wonder what will happen to her.

  96. Do you by any small chance have a sister whose name starts with ‘J’?

    No, I do joke I might have a cousin whose name starts with an S, and I’ve checked into a hotel and had someone with the same name come up and check for messages while I was standing there, that was odd….

  97. Excuses, excuses of why models don’t work. Time to junk those supercomputers and fire the staff to get some of our tax money back.

  98. Curious George

    David Springer says “Clouds adjust for maximum entropy in the dissipative self-organizing system represented by the earth.” Citation, please?

    Also It appears to have escaped either your attention or understanding that you have been asked to clarify your reference to Prigogine’s work.

    • David Springer

      The citation must be to myself since I didn’t read it anywhere. I sincerely doubt I’m the only person to have envisioned clouds as a maximum entropy situation.

      Which links did you follow from the wickedpedia article on Prigogine?

      I suggest reading linked article on dissipative systems and the other on self organizing systems. The gist of it is that self-organizing dissipative systems (Prigogine uses river patterns on continents as an example) organize themselves such that maximum possible entropy is produced given the physical constraints of the system under consideration.

      So rivers flow in such a way that they reach the ocean in the most efficient way possible given the terrain to be traversed. I’m saying that clouds self-organize into the most efficient configuration possible for maximum entropy (dissipating heat) in a system far from equilibrium.

      Adding CO2 to the atmosphere is then equivalent to putting an obstacle in the way of a river. The river will find the most efficient way around the obstacle. Similarly clouds will adjust to find the most efficient way to dissipate heat.

    • David Springer

      I’ll search for the response asking for clarification on Prigogine.

      My encounter with his work was associated with some forgotten person who wrote (seriously I think) that humans are part of a self-organizing dissipative system (i.e. the earth) and our activities are hastening it reaching maximum entropy (i.e. we’re making it hotter, blowing it to smithereens with nuclear weapons, and so forth). This therefore he went on explains the course of evolution which is just the far from equilibrium system finding the most efficient way to achieve maximum entropy.

      I thought it was stretching Prigogine’s work a bit too far but I don’t have a problem with clouds, which are a helluva lot simpler than a human mind, being agents of maxEnt.

    • There are two laws related to entropy production.

      Prigogine presented the Theorem of Minimum Entropy Production.

      Rod Swensson presented the Law of Maximum Entropy Production.

    • Curious George

      David – thanks for a frank answer. Do I understand correctly that your categorical statement about clouds has never been independently verified; that even you did not verify it; and that it is not used by any model as far as you know?

    • David Springer

      Curious George | January 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm |

      “David – thanks for a frank answer.”

      They’re all frank but you’re welcome nonetheless.

      “Do I understand correctly that your categorical statement about clouds has never been independently verified;”

      Perhaps not claims that you’d recognize. Lindzen’s “Cloud Iris” hypothesis he claims is supported by observation. Miskolczi’s “Saturated Greenhouse” he claims is supported by observation. These are both hypotheses where clouds throttle down the amount of shortwave absorbed by the surface in response to an increase in non-condensing greenhouse gases which is exactly what I claimed. I don’t know of anyone who compared this modus operandi for cloud feedback to a Prigogine or successor’s description of self-organizing dissipating structures but I would not be at all surprised if I’m not the first. Descriptions of clousd iris and saturated greenhouse can be found by googling the names I housed inside quotes.

      “that even you did not verify it;”

      Experts in the art of atmospheric physics have claimed to have verified it but there are many claims of verification that don’t pan out. If it was writ in granite we wouldn’t be here and if Lindzen or Miskolczi were irrefutably verified the IPCC would be here either.

      “and that it is not used by any model as far as you know?”

      That’s affirmative. So far as I know all CMIP5 ensemble members parameterize cloud response to increase in non-condensing greenhouse gas as a net positive feedback. The net positive has not been positively verified or again we wouldn’t be here arguing about it. Or at least I wouldn’t.

    • David Springer

      My apologies George. I mischaracterized Lindzen and Miskolczi saying both their theories describe sw down-throttling in response to increase in non-condensing greenhouse gases. Actually they both say that clouds change in such a way that longwave radiation has a less restricted path from surface to space rather than shortwave having an easier path coming in. Either case however is covered by self-organizing dissipative structures which simply move in any direction of freedom needed to reach highest possible rate of entropy generation.

    • The CSALT model is based on determining a stable free energy configuration.

      It is quite obvious how well it models the global temperature series. Not a cloud is in sight. That feedback factor along with water vapor is likely baked into the effective log(CO2) sensitivity.

      Thanks to David Appel for this quote:


      The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.

      And work it does.

    • ” That feedback factor along with water vapor is likely baked into the effective log(CO2) sensitivity”

      More like half-baked, since that coefficient is incredibly fragile:

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/24/open-thread-3/#comment-428698

    • In that link, NW claims I said this because he put it into quotes:
      “I am a physicist, and you are a not(physicist), so I don’t have to listen to you.”

      I guess that’s what these people do. If they can’t win an argument, they make stuff up. The rest of the linked contents is also worthless. Hint: If I add a factor that already matches ln(CO2) then the coefficient will drop by half. Duh.

      Now watch this shot:

      priceless

    • Web, the Monte Carlo shows that you are utterly wrong about that. If your model is the true data-generating process, adding something correlated with ln(co2) (like time and its square) should not change the mean estimate, and certainly should not change it that much. The Monte Carlo is pitiless, Web: CSALT is misspecified.

      When it comes to inferences from nonexperimental data, you Web are clueless. You have no idea what regression does under such circumstances and show no inclination to learn. Being used to inference from experimental data, you think all inferences from data are as simple as Freshman Physics (or Pachisi, honestly I’m not certain which is most intellectually trivial). Your arrogance is only matched by your utter lack of self-knowledge.

    • NW, You lost badly. If you add a factor that looks like another factor — and without having a basis for how to distinguish them — you sum the coefficients of the individual factors. You then must call that the effect of the combined factor. So the combination of a log(CO2) and a power-function would be a fair approximation of that model, because log(CO2) looks like a power-function in the first place. This is just logic. If you do analysis without logic, your analysis is brain-dead.

      Time for a clear-out play:

      Never get tired of looking at that.

    • David Springer

      Pekka Pirilä | January 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm |

      “Law of Maximum Entropy Production”

      I thought Prigogine’s work led to this. I may be wrong I’m bad with proper names.

      It’s described here:

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/10/nonequilibrium-thermodynamics-and-maximum-entropy-production-in-the-earth-system/

      The proposed principle of MEP states that, if there are sufficient degrees of freedom within the system, it will adopt a steady state at which entropy production by irreversible processes is maximized.

      This would meet the definition of a self-organizing dissipative system and I automatically associate the origination of this field of study with Prigogine. Is that not right?

    • David Springer

      I believe I was correct. Look here:

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00114-009-0509-x

      Naturwissenschaften
      June 2009, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 1-25,
      Open Access

      Nonequilibrium thermodynamics and maximum entropy production in the Earth system

      Axel Kleidon

      Interestingly enough aside from Prigogine in the citation list (twice) Garth Paltridge the author of the OP here is cited five times.

      Small world.

    • Web, no one is putting a carbon copy of ln(co2) into your regression. Your point is utterly irrelevant. Do the Monte Carlo yourself and tell me what you see; otherwise put a sock in it.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinary_least_squares

      Here you go Web… Note the third condition for the Gauss-Markov theorem: If the columns of the regressor matrix are not linearly dependent (i.e. if two linear functions of the columns are not PERFECTLY correlated with one another), then the unbiasedness property holds… well if the other assumptions are true. But you have already shown yourself unwilling to even think about the Strict Exogeneity assumption (the second in the list), so let’s just assume that you only care about the third. The third condition implies that if ln(co2) on the one hand, and any linear combination of time and time-squared on the other hand, are less than perfectly correlated, then the coefficient estimate on ln(co2) is unbiased. My Monte Carlo matches this implication of the Gauss-Markov theorem almost perfectly, Web baby.

      All that happens is that the standard error of the estimate gets larger when columns in the regressor matrix (or functions of them) are highly correlated. But as the Monte Carlo results show, we don’t expect the dispersion of the estimate to fall outside of certain bounds. Bounds that are violated when we estimate your model with time and time-squared.

      But all you can do is show us the pretty pictures in your personal coloring book.

    • N W … ‘A man’s gotta know his limitations.’
      Socrates.

    • Funny how you lose badly.
      Consider the case that we are dealing with a system that was fully characterized. Say that this was an audio mixing console used in a Clint Eastwood movie. Each of the finite number of audio tracks was characterized in terms of simple frequencies. I guarantee that I could discriminate the tracks based on having a record of the mixed output.

      Certainly there might be some degenerate situations that make it difficult, but if you gave this problem as a prize challenge to a set of competitors, you would likely get a best result from one or more of the competitors.

      That is all that matters.

      For the case of climate change, we know all the forcing factors, with inputs from skeptics such as Scafetta, Carter, etc.

      Put this information in the mixing console, and we can determine the winner from:

      http://localhost:3020/context_salt_model/navigate

      Look at this beauty of a match:

      Why exactly are so insanely jealous, NW? Is it because MNFTIU?

    • I should point out that NW brags about being an economist practicing in a dismal science. In that discipline, no one has ever been able to prove any kind of correlation of outputs from inputs because it is all game theory at the root.

      Because of that, economists are left to back-bite and come up with rationalizations for why their individual theories don’t work. What NW points to is a rationalization that any seasoned engineer or physical scientist working on a real-world problem will simply laugh-off in the face of a problem-solving challenge.

      When a researcher is honing in on the truth, building on the work of other scientists, it becomes clear if one is on-track. The CSALT model is definitely on track to the truth based on the preponderance of the evidence.

      Consider that I use Wyatt&Curry’s Stadium Wave as a contributing factor in the model. Why don’t we see NW yelling and screaming at Wyatt & Curry for their hypothesis? That is also based on an observed correlation. Or that of Jean Dickey from NASA who also thinks that the LOD Stadium Wave component is a factor in the temperature profile?

      Or why does not NW scream at Scaftetta for hypothesizing that very specific orbital periods contribute to the natural variation? I place those exact periods that Scafetta suggests in the model and the correlation grows by leaps and bounds:

      http://contextearth.com/2013/12/02/orbital-forcings-in-the-csalt-model-explain-the-pause/

      If I shift the periods slightly, the fit is nowhere near as good because the model rejects those as invalid, see Figure 2 in this post:

      http://contextearth.com/2013/12/06/tidal-component-to-csalt/

      It really is a case of sour grapes with NW. He is not willing to build on the work of others. That is antithetical to an economist, ha ha.

    • WHT,

      Your localhost is of little help to us. I guess you had this in mind

      http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

      While I feel that much of NW’s criticism is misdirected, i.e. proves that your model is not something it’s not even supposed to be, I haven’t noticed proper answer from you on the technical correctness of his comments. I feel it would be better to look at the technical correctness first and only then discuss the relevance of those observations. Presently you are talking past each other as far as I can see.

    • Actually I meant this one, Pekka:

      http://contextearth.com/context_salt_model/

      (The entroplet.com link points to the model server, which is great if someone wants to play around with the model)

      To answer NW’s technical criticisms. Everyone knows that one can get unstable degenerate solutions to certain algorithms. If I placed two sinusoids with the same frequency as inputs, the outputs could be any combination of coefficients of A – B where A is slightly different than B. There are infinite number of solutions to this situation. This is pointing out the singularities in the solution.

      Of course this falls into the advice you get from a doctor when faced with self-defeating behavior.

      Patient: “Doctor, It hurts when I do this”
      Doctor: “Well, then don’t do that!”

      Moreover, I have actually incorporated the power-law factors into the model that NW suggested and these get rejected. I suggest that NW is chasing phantoms. When one gets R correlation coefficients of 0.996 on such intricate waveforms, one has to start taking notice that we are on the right track. NW would fail miserably at forensics. If we were trying to identify a criminal based on fingerprints, we would have long ago jailed the culprit. That is how good the match is.

    • Pekka, “While I feel that much of NW’s criticism is misdirected, i.e. proves that your model is not something it’s not even supposed to be,..”

      I believe NW’s recent comments are addressing a previously made claim where Webster stated that the natural variability reverts to a known mean in an expected time frame implying the model is predictive. So NW is approaching the problem like he would any claim that a financial model can predict the future based on a combination of interrelated indexes. Webster believes he has properly included physics fundamentals while NW believes Webster is gaming himself and others since dLOD and SOI are not “fixed” or predictable.

      So I guess it depends on exactly what Webster claims his model is useful for?

    • A couple of months ago I wrote some comments stating the WHT seemed to give his model a status it does not have in my view. Since that time my impression is that he has described his model in ways more acceptable to me.

      It’s not a physical model of the Earth system, but It consists of indicators of physical variables and is capable of producing a fit where these indicators are related in a way that’s likely to reflect mostly real physical relationships. In that sense it’s much better than models based on fits between quantities that are extremely unlikely to have any direct or indirect causal connection (e.g. models that include Saturn orbital parameters).

      Part of the agreement in the fit is probably accidental, but much has almost certainly a causal origin. That doesn’t always mean that one of the variables describes a factor that affects the other, but in some cases both are probably affected by additional factors not part of the model. Even when the relationships have worked for quite long they need not work far to the future. It’s easy to make up explanatios that behave like that.

      There’s enough physics behind the model to put it an a different status from parametrizations that have no other basis than the quality of the fit. Therefore it’s, indeed, quite irrelevant to ask what adding terms like the square of time do to the model.

    • Pekka, ” Therefore it’s, indeed, quite irrelevant to ask what adding terms like the square of time do to the model.”

      Depending on Webster’s “current” claims that could be right, however, Webster has stated that his model indicates a “lower” bound to TCR and ECS, then testing with the square of time would be useful since “sensitivity” to different factors is likely nonlinear. It would be nice for Webster to clearly document his claims with updates so we can see what his model is supposed to be capable of this week.

    • 1) I wouldn’t use WHT’s model as a tool for estimating climate sensitivity. The methods used in published scientific papers are what should be used.

      2) The model may, however, help in understanding why the estimates are what they are.

      3) Adding arbitrary components in statistical analysis, the best case may be made to look weak.

      • The model may, however, help in understanding why the estimates are what they are.

        I suspect the TCR he’s calculating is the TCR of the temp series he’s using. As we discussed yesterday, I believe the surface measurements actually disagree with the various published temp series.

    • Pekka, “3) Adding arbitrary components in statistical analysis, the best case may be made to look weak.”

      That is what I found interesting about NWs approach, a statistical stress testing. Improvements that make the model look less weak should be in the right direction and the degree of weakness just provides a more realist error range. While it seems arbitrary, NW looked to be developing a reasonable testing procedure. So it is not that they make the model look weak, but how weak.

    • CD,

      It’s trivial, as WHT also tells, that adding a component as similar to the CO2-signal as quadratic in time is, will affect the outcome that way. There’s nothing really interesting in that.

      WHT is certainly not good in convincing people who don’t already agree with his premises. There are also many others who have interesting ideas but write messages that are not particularly helpful in getting them understood and considered without prejudices. Many of these people seem to think also that their ideas would be essential also for arguments they are not really applicable for.

    • Pekka is reasonable in his assessment.

      The CSALT model is an extension of previous modeling efforts, including that of Judith Lean (with her stochastic climate model), Foster & Rahmstorf, Kosaka & Xie, Cowtan’s online tool, and Mike Lockwood. The extension is based on including factors that skeptics such as Scafetta, Best, Morner have suggested are important, such as tidal forces and other orbital factors.

      I am patient in preparing to use CSALT to make future projections. I have no doubt that it will work to some extent as the future portends a greater and greater proportion of the warming to CO2 and other GHGs. But this is far enough in the future that I am in no rush.

      What is really funny is the flames that ignite when I mention CSALT over on Lucia’s blog. They treat it with disdain while the regulars blithely go on with their own variation, desperately trying to find a replacement for the CO2 control knob factor.

    • “I believe the surface measurements actually disagree with the various published temp series.”

      How quaint.

      NASA put all the fluctuations in the GISTEMP series to make it look like real data, not realizing that they coincidentally match to all the known forcings!

      microMan, do you realize how ridiculously petty you sound?

      • An average of daily Tmax (or Tmin for that matter) day over day measurements (anomalies, because they are so in vogue), actual measurements, are not comparable to GISTEMP, which is a model of surface temps.
        Now, you’re free to believe in a model if you want, me I’ll believe in measurements. It’s as simple as that, model vs measurements, model vs measurements, and one more time for good measure (funny how that’s appropriate to the discussion) model vs measurements.

    • Pekka, ” There’s nothing really interesting in that.” Seems to be of interest to NW. There also seems to be a fairly large debate on the “proper” methods of multiple linear regression of time series.

      To me a simple test is that with Webster’s 3 C ECS the period former known as the Little Ice Age would be “normal” since his use of SOI devalues the more uncertain impacts of volcanic and solar. Without a better indication in paleo, instrumental is too short to determine what “normal” should be and just about every estimate based on an assumed “normal” and an assumed minimal natural variability range are about as useful as mammary glands on male hogs.

    • Pekka said

      “WHT is certainly not good in convincing people who don’t already agree with his premises. “

      Fair enough, all that matters is that I convince the right people. Like two years ago when we used my “premises” to land a $4 million research contract from the Department of Interior on modeling environmental characteristics for engineering applications.

      The fruits of that effort are only beginning to be described.

    • “WHT is certainly not good in convincing people who don’t already agree with his premises. “

      Which then brings on two, follow-on questions.

      1) Who, here, is good (or perhaps more accurately, less bad) at convincing people who don’t already agree with his/her premises?

      2) Who, here, is open (or perhaps more accurately, relatively more open) to being convinced by people who don’t already agree with his/her premises?

      In thinking about the exchanges I’ve witnessed here over the years, I can, off the top of my head think of maybe three commenters who could be supplied as answers for the first question: John Carpenter, Billc, and ironically enough, Mosher. So if my viewpoint is correct, the question might be to examine what factors about their engagement leads to that result, and whether the factors might differ across those different commenters (I would argue that they do, as the nature of the input of those three commenters is strikingly different).

      As for the second, I can think of perhaps two commenters who might come up as answers: John Carpenter and Billc. Again, assuming my viewpoint is correct, it might be interesting to try to identify any causal factors.

      Perhaps an interesting study would be to go through the archives of Climate Etc. threads (or those of some other blog in the climate blogosphere), and try to identify some objective matrix for identifying when commenters have been “convinced” by (or perhaps more accurately, shown even a smidgeon of openness to) someone who doesn’t already agree with his/her premises.

    • With that response, I can tell that Joshua is very earnest and pays attention to the arguments. Those same names spring to mind as commenters who pose honest questions. They are vastly outnumbered by those who ask leading questions.

    • Micro thinks that GISTEMP is merely a model of surface temperatures.

      I will do that one better. Temperature is but a model of thermal activity, defined in terms of the Boltzmann factor.

      He is delusional if he thinks that his actual measurements will improve on the actual measurements that GISTEMP is based on.

      • He is delusional if he thinks that his actual measurements will improve on the actual measurements that GISTEMP is based on.

        You might want to take that up with NOAA and the NCDC.

        Micro thinks that GISTEMP is merely a model of surface temperatures.

        Temperature is but a model of thermal activity, defined in terms of the Boltzmann factor.

        On the other sets, I use those sets as comparison, not GISS. The NOAA NRDC series works nearly as well as this fit:

        BTW, the entropy input is essentially the effective heat capacity of the thermal sink.

        I think you’re the one who’s confused.

    • “It’s trivial, as WHT also tells, that adding a component as similar to the CO2-signal as quadratic in time is, will affect the outcome that way. There’s nothing really interesting in that.” –Pekka

      Here’s the Monte Carlo summary:

      Centiles of the simulated distribution B-hat, under the null hypothesis that Web’s model is correctly specified (i.e. nothing is omitted and all the assumptions of the Gauss-Marov theorem hold), when we add time and time^2 to the model:

      99%……. 3.93211
      95%……. 3.67611
      90%……. 3.55174
      75% Q3…. 3.33218
      50% Median 3.09172
      25% Q1…. 2.85264
      10%……. 2.64004
      5%…….. 2.50997
      1%…….. 2.25619

      The mean of B-hat across the simulated samples is 3.0933 (True B in the 10,000 simulated samples is 3.09).

      The actual value of B-hat when time and time^2 are added to Web’s model estimated on the actual data: 1.23754.

      So no, it is not “trivial” that one will get an estimate of 1.23754 when one adds time and time^2 to Web’s model. In fact, it looks vanishingly unlikely: There were NO estimates that small on the 10,000 simulated samples.

      So far, the only thing I see from my critics are ex cathedra pronouncements I know aren’t true and indeed already demonstrated aren’t true. Web and Pekka are reasoning from a boundary case (perfect collinearity) to a non-boundary case (some collinearity). My Monte Carlo is suited to examining how an estimate is actually expected to behave with the actual degree of collinearity between ln(co2) and time and its square.

      I have already explained why time and its square are good choices for leaning on that particular parameter estimate to see whether we can break it. Large portions of the debate between skeptics and warmists concern low frequency natural variability omitted from analyses. Time and its square is a very crude, simple proxy for such omitted variables. The true empirical problem is precisely that we have a virtually monotone variable (temp) on the left-hand-side and only one other virtually monotone variable on the right-hand-side, ln(co2). There is no right-hand-side variable competing with ln(co2) for explanation of the monotone variance of the left-hand-side variable (temp).

      If it’s this easy to change the key parameter estimate, interpretation of that parameter estimate as the causal impact of co2 on temp is, let’s say thrown into some question.

    • Micro said
      “You might want to take that up with NOAA and the NCDC”

      Are they in on the conspiracy too?

      The land+ocean data from NOAA works as well as from NASA GISS. I sense agreement on how to report temperature from two separate agencies.

      • Are they in on the conspiracy too?

        Yes and No.

        The land+ocean data from NOAA works as well as from NASA GISS.

        The station data I use is (drum roll please) NOAA/NCDC Global Summary of Days, which as you point out is suitable data to make a temperature series from.

        I sense agreement on how to report temperature from two separate agencies.

        If you mean they think making up data to fill in for place it’s not measured? Then Yes, and you can throw CRU and BEST into this list as well. They all make similar series, they all make up data where it’s not measured, they all use a subset of the data, they all show a spiked rise in temps the last 30-40 years, and yet when you use all of the data, and you don’t make values up, Tmax is flat. Now most people would have an Ah ha moment about now.
        And based on all of this, I find it an unbelievable coincidence, that SEASALT by your brilliance alone (well you did use software that derives the term for each of your variables) recreates a time series that is based on made up data…………

    • NW, Many flaws in your argument.

      You need a cause for that factor that you are adding. Where is that increasing energy coming from?

      The extra factor can be used just as well as a correction to the log(co2) trend. Expand as a Taylor’s series and the profiles are similar.

      I have actually done what you are grousing about and have found very little impact. You probably did something wrong.

      There is actually very little noise in the data so if you are artificially adding noise, then you are changing the problem definition.

    • Micro, As a suggestion, you should clean up your own mess first. I looked at your site and find it incomprehensible.

      I do borrow ideas from skeptics, but not from your analysis of Tmax and Tmin.

      If you take the difference of Tmax and Tmin from each day, and then successively sum these over a range of days, you end up with the difference between the endpoints. You probably aren’t doing something that dumb, but hard to tell from your charts.

      You clearly think that the scientists at NASA and NOAA have messed up the global temperature averaging, and that everyone who has depended on this data for their own research is now working with suspect temperature time series.

      • You’re not the first to look it over (and there are a number of pages that fit together), you are the first who couldn’t understand it, but it’s me.

        But I’ll make it simple, for a single station I take todays Tmax, and subtract yesterdays Tmax from it. That’s MX Diff. I take today’s Tmin, and subtract yesterdays Tmin, that’s Min Diff. I also on a different article calculate today’s temp increase (rise), and last nights falling temp (fall).
        Then I average the daily value for a collection of stations into a daily average, and if I want I average the same collection of daily values for a period of a year. I’ve done daily and yearly averages for Tmin, Tmax, MX Diff, MN Diff, Mean Temp, surface pressure, rain, and then look at these values by year or day depending on what I want to look at.

      • Oh, I forgot, I also average Dew Pt, and Rel Humidity.

    • Web and Pekka,

      Here is the model, estimated with Web’s data, according to (one of) Web’s lag specifications, with time and time^2 added. Please note that all variables including time and time^2 have been demeaned.

      vars estimate stderr t-stat pval_vs_0

      l6co2 1.23754 0.35142 3.52 0.0004
      l6tsi 0.02743 0.01168 2.35 0.0190
      l24aero -2.22104 0.16358 -13.58 <.0001
      l6soi -0.05681 0.00273 -20.80 <.0001
      l60lod -0.06443 0.00335 -19.21 <.0001
      time -0.14400 0.03053 -4.72 <.0001
      time^2 0.00004 0.00000802 4.74 <.0001

      Also the F-stat against the hypothesis that the linear and quadratic time terms are jointly insignificant is 14.80, p<.0001.

      If collinearity problems bite (as Web and Pekka think is "trivially" the case), this hypothesis would not be rejected AND the hypothesis that the coefficient on ln(co2) is zero wouldn't be rejected either (it is strongly rejected too), while the three variables would be jointly significant. That's the standard fingerprint of collinearity problems. We don't see it here.

      Also–obviously–I get different results from Web on the significance of time and time^2. I think it is because Web didn't demean time and time^2, and I said this to him long ago, but he may have missed that.

      Let me be clear again. I'm entirely uninterested in the estimates on time and time^2. This is just a simple specification test based on potential omitted variable problems. The issue is the unexpectedly large *change* in the estimated coefficient on l6co2 (six month lag of ln(co2)), not the estimates themselves.

      If a true relationship is y = bX + dZ + e, and you instead estimate y = cX + e (i.e., you incorrectly omit Z from your estimation), we expect your estimate of c to be a biased estimate of b whenever cov(X,Z) is nonzero, because the estimate c will be contaminated by that covariance (along with the value of b whatever it is).

      Importantly, the fit of the model y = cX + e is entirely irrelevant to this conclusion (this is why Web's universal reply–the model fits great–never addresses my issues). Model fit doesn't speak to the omitted variable problem at all.

      I care whether the coefficient estimate on ln(co2) has a quantitative causal interpretation (e.g., that a 0.1 change in ln(co2) will bring about a 0.309 increase in temperature). Knowing whether that is an issue or not requires that we worry about violations of the Gauss-Markov assumptions, like misspecification and (in particular) violations of strict exogeneity–the assumption that E(e|Regressor Values) = 0 for any specific value of the regressor vector. It is well-known that this assumption is a major disaster in a complex interdependent process in which most variables are joint outcomes of the process. Personally, I think the strict exogeneity assumption is the top issue for any regression model like Web's, and have said so previously. Web insists, however, that violations of the assumptions of the Gauss-Markov theorem don't apply to him.

      Captain D, your idea about a financial time series is not really what I have in mind here, though there is a relationship there at a purely statistical level. Efficient market hypotheses typically predict that asset prices are a martingale, in which case, variables in the current information set, added to a regression of price on lagged price, shouldn't be significant. The focus for me is not so much that, but rather the changed coefficient on ln(co2) that is larger than expected, under the null of correct specification and the other Gauss Markov assumptions.

    • David Springer

      captdallas 0.8 or less | January 10, 2014 at 8:10 am |
      Pekka, “While I feel that much of NW’s criticism is misdirected, i.e. proves that your model is not something it’s not even supposed to be,..”

      I believe NW’s recent comments are addressing a previously made claim where Webster stated that the natural variability reverts to a known mean in an expected time frame implying the model is predictive. So NW is approaching the problem like he would any claim that a financial model can predict the future based on a combination of interrelated indexes. Webster believes he has properly included physics fundamentals while NW believes Webster is gaming himself and others since dLOD and SOI are not “fixed” or predictable.

      So I guess it depends on exactly what Webster claims his model is useful for?

      Mi Cro | January 10, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

      +1 ding

      CaptDallas is correct. I haven’t really followed NW’s criticisms but rather I’d pointed out to Pukite (a.k.a. whut) that SOI is simply a proxy for a temperature time series and that means his model doesn’t predict it follows another series and tht series remains unpredictable.

    • David Springer

      And that brings us to an essential difference between CSALT and Loehle/Scafetta 2011. Loehle and Scafetta use orbital parameters as inputs and those are quite predictable. As well, in the four years since L&S 2011 was written the predictions made therein have come to pass. Pukite won’t even make a prediction like that he’s just going to sit on the sidelines and pretend he discovered something useful.

    • NW,
      Whine all you want. I might start to pay attention if you find an “upside down Tiljander” or something to that effect in my model. Formal statistical musings don’t phase me. If I was solving an electrical circuit problem and meaningless statistical fodder was shoved in my face, I would tell you to get lost.

      BTW, Do you realize that the offset value is critical in establishing the ln(CO2) sensitivity? The latest intercept is -18.25 which is consistent with the estimated 33C warming taking place due to the GHG effect. keep dropping the CO2 until it reaches the radiative limiting value of about 1PPM concentration and you will see how this model explains the complete warming up-to-date. This is the physics that you seem to abhor.

      As it is, I am using Scafetta’s recommended parametric inputs and am generating this good of a fit. Deal with it.

  99. Walt Allensworth

    Back to ‘uncertainties…’

    So now we find that the UN IPCC doesn’t like their climate models because they are coming out “too high,” i.e. above observations.

    see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/09/the-ipcc-discards-its-models/

    Instead of a deep dive into the physics behind the models to possibly fix them, the “muketymuks” at the top take a vote and arbitrarily reduce the model results by 1/3, and call it all good!

    Settled science you say?

    I can just see it now…

    Mr. Newton, we tested your F=ma law, and decided we like F=2/3 ma instead. Fits the data better. We’ll announce it to the media.

    This just gets more and more absurd.

  100. David Springer

    R. Gates – The Skeptical Warmist | January 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
    “Our climate models can’t simulate the MWP or any of the earlier warm periods,”
    —-
    What “skeptic” handbook did you copy this notion from?

    ————————————————————————

    Statistics.

    The set of things that climate models do not simulate is hugely larger than the set of things they do simulate. So when in doubt about any specific thing the null hypotheses must be that climate models do not simulate it. Therefore the onus is on you to show a climate model that simulates the Medieval Warm Period. Good luck you’re going to need it.

  101. Steven Mosher

    As much as I disagree with you I think it’s a matter of honor and integrity to get your position right before demolishing it. I’ll give willard the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he is just cranky today and not firing on all cylinders. I have no other way of explaining his inability to distinguish satire for science.

    • David Springer

      That’s mighty white of Mosher. Appreciate it. You’re not bad at getting the opposing position right but you need a lot of improvment on the demolishing part.

      How can Willard possibly confuse science and satire you ask? The choices I see offhand and the probabilities are stupid (unlikely), sloth (maybe), peevishness (more likely), sacrificing intellectual honesty to stir conflict (most likely).

    • Steven Mosher

      The main reason why using one’s name matters in science is that one of the psychological rewards of doing science is priority. Despite what folks say they are not in it for the gold. The benefits are largely pyschological rewards. Let’s face it, anonymous isnt going to win a nobel prize. Anonymous isnt going to get you tenor or the department chair. Anonymous isnt going to get you a federal grant.
      anonymous cant sign a no conflict of interest statement.

    • “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde

      The second line was quoted by the actor playing Julian Assange in the flick “The Fifth Estate”.

    • David Springer

      Steven Mosher | January 9, 2014 at 10:08 pm |

      “The main reason why using one’s name matters in science is that one of the psychological rewards of doing science is priority.”

      Sure. The honor of being first in something is common across many activities from sports to moon landings.

      “Despite what folks say they are not in it for the gold.”

      Not solely maybe but the total compensation package tenured faculty recieve is attractive to some particularly the ample time off which has an easily calculated monetary value.

      “Anonymous isnt going to get you tenor or the department chair.”

      It won’t get you tenure either.

      “Anonymous isnt going to get you a federal grant.
      anonymous cant sign a no conflict of interest statement.”

      Anonymous can’t open a bank account and get paid either but I think we’ve left the constraints of simply publishing something under a pseudonym and a pseudonym doesn’t exclude priority in any case. It didn’t harm Mark Twain… er, Samual Clemon’s career any did it? You have a bad habit of not thinking things through very far possibly because of sloth, lack of imagination, or hubris. I’d say it’s a combination of all three.

    • > simply publishing something under a pseudonym and a pseudonym doesn’t exclude priority in any case.

      Exactly.

      Peer-reviewed journals are mechanisms that validate scientific priority:

      [B]etween two or more independent discoverers, the first to make formal publication is the legitimate winner. Hence, the tradition is often referred to as the priority rule, the procedure of which is nicely summed up in a phrase “publish or perish”, because there are no second prizes.[1] In a way, the race to be first inspires risk-taking that can lead to scientific breakthroughs which is beneficial to the society (such as discovery of malaria transmission, DNA, HIV, etc.); on the other hand, it can create an unhealthy competition, thus, becoming detrimental to scientific progress.

      The warrant that scientific publication provides matters as much for the journals than the authors. This biases the scientific process toward innovation. At the opposite extreme, the auditing productions (citizen science, blog science, whatever) are biased toward fault-finding. Both processes get played and normal, book-keeping science gets lost.

      There ought to be a better ways to produce constructive criticism and non-anonymity is neither necessary, nor sufficient for it.

    • David Springer

      @Willard

      One needn’t use a scientific journal to establish priority. One only needs to have the intellectual property to be protected witnessed, signed, and dated for priority purposes. That’s how we do it in the commercial sector where we patent instead of publish. Lab notebooks properly kept and witnessed establish priority in case of dispute.

  102. WHT – I think efforts such as CSALT have the potential to shed light on aspects of Earth’s climate. That being said, the potential problem is that the wrong elements have been included or some necessary element has been neglected. That is why I prefer to look at data.

    It has been shown in the ice core records as well as short term records that CO2 lags temperature. All else being equal, a long-term naturally induced rising temperature will cause more CO2, that being in addition to emissions. Likewise, if a natural temperature decrease occurs, more CO2 will be sucked up by the oceans. We really don’t know how much of the current CO2 came from oceans vs that generated by man. That is because anthro-CO2 will be absorbed by the ocean and can be released, so the CO2 from the ocean doesn’t necessarily carry a particular isotopic ratio.

    At any rate, I digress. If we compare CSALT to Roy Spencer’s similar effort, Roy’s would win with the application of Occam’s Razor. His is simpler. It also does not involve CO2.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/warming-in-last-50-years-predicted-by-natural-climate-cycles/

    • RoyBoy’s model is orders of magnitude worse than the CSALT model in terms of matching to reality. He also apparently uses PDO and AMO, which happen to be measures of temperature already.

      So he can’t even come close to CSALT even though he is using temperature. That takes some level of incompetence.

      .

    • David Springer

      WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 9, 2014 at 11:57 pm |

      “RoyBoy’s model is orders of magnitude worse than the CSALT model in terms of matching to reality.”

      Is it your belief that mockery and disrespect (RoyBoy) somehow works to raise the merits of your work? RoyBoy is very widely published in a field where you’re confined to comments on a public blog with people like lolwot, Max_OK, Cheap Proctologist, and so forth. Step up your game or come to grips with the fact that you’re a nobody doing nothing that will ever be of any import.

    • “He also apparently uses PDO and AMO, which happen to be measures of temperature already”
      And your use of the Southern Oscillation Index, based on two measurements of air pressure, doesn’t?

      • Doc,
        I think it’s all a (clever) ruse, do some curve fitting using the terms denialist think are headed in the right direction, then when we start giving him high fives for how brilliant he is he pulls the rug out.
        The problem is he does things like fit to GISS (er, get the energy from), which is wrong(made up), and uses things like SOI. And we’re spoiling his fun, this also explains why he’s not quite “ready” to write a paper. He know it has zero utility, it only works with existing measurements, and has no ability to predict future temps, worthless. It’s not even really another way to derive GAT, because it’s all based on GISS’s GAT.

    • “And your use of the Southern Oscillation Index, based on two measurements of air pressure, doesn’t?”

      This is an incredible source of energy, capable of driving the atmospheric circulation great distances, and raising the amount of free energy retained as wind kinetic energy. The correlation between GLAAM and SOI is strong.

      But what the hey, heavy duty climate skeptics such as Bob Carter are also fans of the SOI as a climate perturbation, so I am not alone.

      Isn’t it funny how the skeptics howl when you apply their own arguments?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Bob Carter uses a cumulative SOI to account for persistence in the indice. It is utterly dishonest for webby to suggest that the two are the same. Who would you believe?

    • Yes Bob Carter intentionally misleads by acccumulating the SOI so that he can claim that it captures the secular warming trend that is actually being caused by the CO2 control knob.

      Incredible how these deniers can abuse science. Tisdale does the same thing. They lost the battle so they make stuff up.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      We could similarly regress against the PDO or AMO – as Chylek (2013) does for US temps.

      A multiple linear regression analysis of the twentieth century US SW climate suggests a strong oceanic influence on both the southwestern US temperature (from the AMO) and precipitation (from the PDO and AMO). About a half of the recent (post 1975) US SW warming trend can be attributed to the anthropogenic influences of increasing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosol variability (GHGA), with the remaining half being due to a positive phase of the AMO. The US SW precipitation has been dominated by oceanic influences (PDO and AMO) with no direct effect due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols (GHGA). This of course does not exclude a possibility that the GHGA affects the AMO and PDO.

      http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/chylek-et-all-climdyn_us_sw.pdf

      But merely repeating the same things over and over is more than a little silly. My point was the SOI is not used in the same way as you by Bob Tisdale. Nor is LOD the stadium wave. So all this is just rhetoric in your supposed cause and not science at all.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      To go just one step further. ENSO, PDO and the AMO are intimately related in what we are coming to call the stadium wave – and cause surface temperature variability on a minimum of decadal scales.

      The original Tsonis paper on climate shifts shows quantitatively shows the connections and is suggestive of the stadium wave.

      http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

    • I don’t use historical records of temperature to predict temperature in the CSALT model (PDO, AMO, etc). I only use other thermodynamic variables. In retrospect, it took me a while before deciding to tackle the analysis of global surface temperature time series, thinking that it would be too hard to model. But the ability to get a good fit with the CSALT model has changed my perspective.
      At some point I will try to work backwards from 1880 and project forwards from the current date using the model fit.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ENSO is of course related to the SST in the central Pacific – and we are of course talking about persistent indices of SST temperature in the PDO and AMO – hand waving about what webby decides or doesn’t decide to do seems pretty irrelevant. He should Use the PDO and AMO like Petr Chylek and others.

      The proof is in the hiatus that Chylek extends though for decades.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I was trying to explain this simply. Webby was saying how he wasn’t using SST indices to regress surface temperature. SST are the major coupling mode between ocean and atmosphere – and that particular bit of illogic is webby’s downfall.


    • Generalissimo Skippy | January 11, 2014 at 10:28 am |

      I was trying to explain this simply. Webby was saying how he wasn’t using SST indices to regress surface temperature. SST are the major coupling mode between ocean and atmosphere – and that particular bit of illogic is webby’s downfall.

      GS the SockPuppet takes everyone for chumps. The SST is already included in estimates of global surface temperature, such as in GISTEMP.

      It really is a matter of sour grapes. He doesn’t like the fact that the model agreement is this good:

      https://imageshack.com/i/nh7ju6g

      • I thought temp/entropy wasn’t an input to your model, oh wait, that’s why the output matches temps because it is an input, like I said it was.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There are very few people I take for chumps. But this is quite unnecessary and I quite contemptible of it all.

      SST causes changes in surface temperature so there is no need to SST to determine the contribution to temperature variation?


    • Mi Cro | January 11, 2014 at 11:54 am |

      I thought temp/entropy wasn’t an input to your model, oh wait, that’s why the output matches temps because it is an input, like I said it was.

      The input to the CSALT model is a set of thermodynamic forcing factors, none of which is a temperature.

      The goal of the model is to linearly combine these factors to best match about 1600 points in a temperature time series.

      I can’t help you if you pettily refuse to understand a problem statement.

      • The input to the CSALT model is a set of thermodynamic forcing factors, none of which is a temperature.

        But you use temp as an input to the equation solver along with the same set of parameters in your model.

        That is essentially what goes into the R linear model solver, where we use the data from a temperature time-series such as GISS for dT and appropriate data sets for the other factors:

        lm( dT ~ C + S + A + L + T )

        and then out pop the coefficients, c1 … c5

        The reconstructed function is created from these coefficients applied to the individual data sets.

        So all you did was decompose a temp series with your equation parameters into a set of coefficients of those inputs, and then feed the same parameters back in to your equation with the coefficients to reconstruct the same temp series.

    • Tom is insanely jealous; Dick is suffering from sour grapes; Harry can’t stand the fact.

      Deep arguments.

    • MiCro,
      That is not an input, it is a goal for working the variational principle.

      The results do not use that value of dT. This is a subtlety that apparently is beyond your ability to grasp.

  103. ” Perhaps the most significant is that climate models must do their calculations at each point of an imaginary grid of points spread evenly around the world at various heights in the atmosphere and depths in the ocean”

    The model problem is even more complex. First, a grid of about 1 degree by 1 degree is far to coarse. Having spent many hours in surveillance mode over the oceans, for accuracy the grid needs to be no larger than 50km by 5okm., secondly, it is impossible to have a thermometer in the cent re of each grid, so you need a thermometer nearby and an interpolation formula, probably linear. Thirdly, temporal factors are important, because all readings around the globe need to be simultaneous.

    While most of the work can be done by computers, all of this adds up to a pretty tall order.

  104. I don’t know this is either the worst thread ever or the best or maybe both! So much uncertainty!!

  105. Pingback: Confronting the Fundamental Uncertainties of Climate Change | Fabius Maximus

  106. A fan of *MORE* discourse
    FOMD posts “The AGU presentation Minimizing Irreversible Impacts of Human-Made Climate Change (slide 3) summarizes the data …”

    phatboy resolutely embraces mathematical ignorance:  “Epic math FAIL! Re-check your workings”

    LOL … “phatboy”, your embarrassing mathematical ignorance will be sensibly diminished if you study carefully the role of acceleration in this (hopefully better-formatted) code snippet!

    ------------------
    Input:
    ------------------
    {
      Derivative[2][h][t] ==
        (1.2 mm/year)/(20 year),
      Derivative[1][h][0] ==
        3.2 mm/year,
      Derivative[0][h][0] ==
        0 mm
    }//DSolve[#,h[t],t]&//Flatten//
      ReplaceAll[h[t],#]&//ExpandAll//
        ReplaceAll[#,t->timeInCenturies*100*year]&//
          Rationalize//InputForm//
            Print["sea-level rise = ",#]&;
    ------------------
    Output:
    ------------------
    sea-level rise = 
      320*mm*timeInCenturies + 
      300*mm*timeInCenturies*timeInCenturies

    phatboy resolutely embraces geophysical ignorance  “Heaven help the planet if FOMD’s magical acceleration persists for another 200 centuries.”

    LOL … “phatboy”, your embarrassing geophysical ignorance will be sensibly diminished if you study carefully the scientific literature associated to Climate Sensitivity, Sea Level and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

    “If we burn all the fossil fuels it is certain that sea level would eventually rise by tens of meters. The only argument is how soon the rise of several meters needed to destroy habitability of all coastal cities would occur. It is also possible that burning all fossil fuels would eventually set off a hyperthermal event, a mini-runaway. Burning all fossil fuels would produce such large ocean warming, which would continue to exist for centuries, that ignition of a hyperthermal amplification of global warming is a possibility. The picture that emerges for Earth sometime in the distant future, if we should dig up and burn every fossil fuel, is thus consistent with an ice-free Antarctica and a desolate planet without human inhabitants.”

    Question for Climate Etc readers  Can willful ignorance of mathematics and science be remediated by rational discourse? Alternatively, is it sufficient that those who embrace willful denialism self-select themselves into smaller-and-smaller “bubbles” of purer-and-purer, nuttier-and-nuttier, older-and-older, more-and-more isolated ignorance?

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

    • No, your failure is your assumption of continued acceleration – hence my extrapolation to show you how ridiculous your assumption is.

      Isn’t that right, Fanny?

  107. If we’re looking for a global warming signal how about, for as long as Michael Mann is employed at Penn State, our take-away from that should be that Western academia is broken?

    As an example of the silly science represented by the silent acceptance of Western academia is as follows:

    Wagathon | January
    10, 2014 at 10:38 am
    |

  108. While the ancient talking points drag on forever here, the Orwellian evil remains at the door;

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/01/09/warnings-labels-proposed-as-global-warming-reminder-at-california-gas-pumps/

    This is the world we live in. How many academics are going to speak out?

  109. I quote
    @@@@@
    Joshua | January 10, 2014 at 10:50 am |
    “WHT is certainly not good in convincing people who don’t already agree with his premises. “

    Which then brings on two, follow-on questions.

    1) Who, here, is good (or perhaps more accurately, less bad) at convincing people who don’t already agree with his/her premises?

    2) Who, here, is open (or perhaps more accurately, relatively more open) to being convinced by people who don’t already agree with his/her premises?
    @@@@@

    You forget to mention the quality of the scientific arguments presented. I only trust hard, measured, empirical, replicated data. As long as the warmists, including our hostess, only come up with numbers based on meaningless, hypothetical estimates, which are nothing more than guesses, and the output of non-validated models, I will not change my mind. And, IMHO, that is what is meant by following the scientific method.

    • If you hypothesis is not falsifiable you are not following the scientific method–e.g., AGW Theory: aliens cause global warming (AGW). Prove AGW wrong!

    • Yes AGW is not science. If you have a vaild hypothesis, you test it. Since AGW can’t be tested, it’s what is called ‘speculation’. You can turn the lights out, Maude.

      Andrew

    • Perhaps the question would be, Jim, how good are you at convincing others who don’t already agree with your premises?

  110. Professor Paltridge,

    I appreciate and endorse the validity of your statement about the risks of “destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.”

    On a positive note, destruction of the false pride of post-modern science may be the way to begin to rebuild the integrity of scientific research supported with public funds.

  111. There is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of climate to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably pessimisticl that global warming might be worse than currently touted.

  112. David Springer

    climatereason | January 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    RGates

    I refrained from making a comment about otters. I had merely thought that CE was becoming ever more surreal what with otters, numerous sock puppets and some guys belief that volcanic aerosols cools for decades. :)

    Tonyb
    ——————————————————————
    I wish I could risk replying as Admiral Abba.

    Nevertheless I think the following sums up the situation from my POV near the Alamo.

  113. David Springer

    HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    New article please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  114. ‘Ya, ain’t those enfants sauvages just the cutest?

  115. There otter be a law or something.

  116. From GWPF newsletter:

    “China approved the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013 – six times more than a year earlier and equal to 10 percent of U.S. annual usage – flying in the face of plans to tackle choking air pollution. The scale of the increase, which only includes major mines, reflects Beijing’s aim to put 860 million tonnes of new coal production capacity into operation over the five years to 2015, more than the entire annual output of India.” –David Stanway, Reuters, 7 January 2014

    “It’s been a black Christmas for green thinkers as Germany, the world leader in rooftop solar and pride of the renewable energy revolution has confirmed its rapid return to coal. The past week has seen a media focus on Europe’s building “coal frenzy”. It all adds up to the renewable energy industry’s worst nightmare.” — Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 11 January 2014

    • “China approved the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013 – six times more than a year earlier and equal to 10 percent of U.S. annual usage – flying in the face of plans to tackle choking air pollution.

      New Clean coal production may, at some point, allow them to close some old dirty coal production. It may well be and likely is moving in the right direction. California has Newer Clean Coal Plants. China can do that.

      We are going to burn all the coal. We can burn it clean enough.

      CO2 makes green things grow better and it is not a pollutant.

      • But nowhere to as clean as nuclear. According to the authoritative studies over the past 40 years or so, polution (not CO2) from coal fired electricity generation causes one to two orders of magnitude more fatalities per TWh of electricity supplied than nuclear. Look at the list of chemicals, the quantities and toxicity produced by fossil fuel generators to understand why and put these figures in proper context with nuclear. Don’t miss that last step. Or you can look at the summary of studies done by authoritative sources (fatalities per TWh):

        Nuclear = 0.09
        Coal (USA) = 15
        Coal world average = 60

    • Yes, Nuclear is the best that can be done right now.
      Coal is still really good and with proper clean design, we can use the carbon fuel while we get ready for when we don’t have carbon fuel.

      CO2 is only good. It makes green things grow. Less CO2 is a death sentence for much life on earth. We do need to not go down that path. We, the world, will not go down that path. Some Countries have and some more might, but the end of that path is really bad. If you want your country to self destruct, that is the best known way, short of war.

  117. Outstanding analysis. I have been a close observer (and participant) for more than 20 years in the relationship between government (regulatory), industry (regulated), and academic toxicologists. The difference between academic research in toxicology and climate science has been that many, probably most, academic toxicologists have accepted funds from government grants, from industry, and from government regulatory bodies (as consultants). The academic toxicologists who are most successful in this environment tend to be those with the best reputation for objectivity. I think this balance has served the public well, but it developed spontaneously. Perhaps it is time for a conscious development of incentives for objectivity in climate science?

  118. David Springer

    Derek H | January 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply

    “It’s pretty clear that you didn’t read that article in question enough to realize it was not the paper itself but was simply citing the paper’s publication.”

    Correct. I admitted that right off the bat saying experience has taught me that clicking on Willard droppings is a waste of time.

    “I know neither of you nor your history with one another, I just figured one snarky response deserved another. ;)”

    My response wasn’t snarky. Nonetheless I was deserving of the snark from you. You caught me red handed. I was however still correct that clicking on Willards droppings are a waste of time because even though the journal was peer reviewed the article published wasn’t science which makes my original point that you can’t have your science and anomity too intact.

  119. E. M. Smith has a discussion on the need for textbooks to be rigouously honest on nuclear energy, E = mc^2, if we are going to use that source of energy to meet future energy needs of mankind:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/skunkworks-fusion/#comment-56437

  120. David Springer | January 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm |

    Is this the same Miskolczi you refer to who wrote: “the radiation pressure of the thermalized photons is the real cause of the greenhouse effect” ?
    Who performs clear-sky computations on cloudy atmospheric profiles?
    Who calculates the IR transparency of IR-opaque air columns?
    Who introduces a ‘virial term’ into the flux relationships?
    Who thanks the help and support for the Big Coal?

    Good luck with him…

  121. Нey there, very good online site уou’ve in here.

  122. Professor Curry,

    I just noticed “And then there’s physics” on your blog roll.

    Since the owner is anonymous, I can’t tell if he/she actually knows anything about physics. Do you have an opinion?

    His/her response to the following posting may yield the answer:

    http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/about-2/#comment-11791

  123. 740 comments to date

    About 5 on the actual Paltridge post with the remainder comprising various clumsy attempts to move the goalposts

    Ho hum …

  124. Luis Gutierrez | January 8, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    What social insanity is greater than pursuing infinite production and consumption growth in a finite planet?

    There is danger of that here – stocks of oil etc are good for maybe a thousand years minimum.

    So do you recommend of limiting production just for its own sake then? Many would call that a social insanity.

  125. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    British Columbia has a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and I haven’t heard about it causing people to live with too little heat.

    Being revenue-neutral I presume it is used to prop up non-carbon energy. The net result of which is that total cost of energy is now more higher than before, which means overall there is now less total wealth.

  126. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY ALERT !

    The simple fact of the matter, is that CAGW plays directly to the motives of those with world governance and other totalitarian objectives (No surprise then that a global political agency – the IPCC and its parrent the UN – are the ones pushing it so hard).

    Such totalitarian thinking broadly describes most leftist thought to some degree. Your “conspiracy” comment is thus just a desperate strawman.

  127. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 9, 2014 at 9:58 am |
    … an absurd claim (almost all scientist are closet climate skeptics).

    Who do you claim is making that claim ?
    Anyone? Or is your own claim just absurd?

  128. Luis Gutierrez: “OK, but what’s wrong with trying to prevent human suffering and improve social solidarity and ecological sustainability?”
    Proverb: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

  129. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  130. Regarding resource allocation-
    Total guesswork based on 2 comments
    1- we spend a billion dollars a day on climate change
    2- the poorest 1/3 of our population live on less than 2$ a day.
    Would it be fair to say that a billion dollars a day would approximately DOUBLE the income and associated living standards of the poorest BILLION people on earth? That would really be something in terms of alleviating suffering.

  131. That is essentially what goes into the R linear model solver, where we use the data from a temperature time-series such as GISS for dT

    I know what a linear model solver does, in this case you’re decomposing dT by your input series and generating a set of coefficients.
    Then you use your input series, and the coefficients to reconstruct the original dT.
    I understand exactly what you’re doing.

    • Without using the original temperature series to generate the global temperature.

      It’s apparently beyond your wildest dreams. Ain’t it something?

      If we used your “temperature” we would get garbage. That’s the beauty of thermodynamics.

      • Without using the original temperature series to generate the global temperature.

        You’re reconstituting a series based on the same inputs you used to decomposed it, and you reconstruct the temp series, well duh!

        If you used my temp for dT when you deconstructed it with your inputs, and then reconstructed it with those same inputs (but with new coefficients), you’d reconstruct my temps.

        This is why seasalt has no value, why I make fun of it, so seasalt is just a disingenuous attempt to get people to think you’ve “discovered” or are “proving” something, but it’s just slight of hand.

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  134. Pingback: Dr. Garth Paltridge on JudithCurry.com: Reluctance on part of IPCC, US NAS, Royal Society, and others to reduce confidence levels in light of hiatus and misunderstood mechanisms in climate system shows lack of skepticism–the lifeblood of scientific