The Art of Science Advice to Government

by Judith Curry

Peter Gluckman, New Zealand’s chief science adviser, offers his ten principles for building trust, influence, engagement and independence.

Nature News & Comment has an article by Peter Gluckman entitled The Art of Science Advice to Government (full article available online at the link.  Excerpts from the top ten principles:

Maintain the trust of many.  What was needed was clear communication of the knowns and unknowns.

Protect the independence of advice. The advisory role should be structured so as to protect its independence from both political interference and premature filtering in the policy process. 

Report to the top. Scientific advice must be available directly — uncensored — to the head of government or the head of the relevant department.

Expect to inform policy, not make it. Science advice is about presenting a rigorous analysis of what we do and do not know.

Give science privilege as an input into policy. While acknowledging the other relevant inputs into policy formation, we need to demonstrate why science should hold a privileged place among the ‘types of knowledge’ that may be meaningful to a politician.

Recognize the limits of science. But scientists must not overstate what is or can be known, even though the shift from a view of science as a source of certainty to a source of probability can frustrate and confuse decision-makers and the public. [M]uch of the debate about climate change is not primarily about the data. Rather, it is about intergenerational economic interests.

Act as a broker not an advocate. Trust can be earned and maintained only if the science adviser or advisory committee acts as a knowledge broker, rather than as an advocate. When formal science advice is perceived as advocacy, trust in that advice and in the adviser is undermined, even if the advice is accepted. For example, exaggerated presentations about the causes of storms and floods can erode the credibility of the underlying argument about global warming.

Engage the scientific community. The science adviser must know how to reach out to scientists for the appropriate expertise, and help them to enact their social responsibility in making their knowledge accessible and understandable, and in being more self-aware about when they might be acting as advocates.

 JC comments:  This is an article well worth reading. It echoes many of the concerns that I have raised in some previous posts:

This whole issue needs much more attention, and scientists engaged in the policy process need to become much better educated about these issues. In the climate community, it has become ‘fashionable’ to be an advocate, and I suspect many don’t really understand what they are really doing — after all, it is fashionable and a path to fame and (relative) fortune for an academic.  The loss of trust in academic climate scientists that started with Climategate has never really recovered, IMO.

With regards to ‘report to the top,’  the recent thread on California drought raised the issue of the Holdren filter on the issue of climate science as received by President Obama (and also John Kerry).  President Obama and Kerry are being exposed to a very extreme/alarmist version of climate science, beyond what the IPCC says.

The forthcoming workshop in New Zealand looks like a step in the right direction.

471 responses to “The Art of Science Advice to Government

  1. Wow.

    That is such bad advice to Scientists about Policy.

    Just. Wow.

    It’s the sort of advice you’d give if you wanted Science advice to always fail.

    • Yes, it’s basically pablum advice.

      I would advise to look at the way that the denihiists are attacking each other.

      Take a look at the WUWT post on the death of Barycentrism and decide which side to listen to.

      Take a look at the recent posts at WUWT where they even deny the effects of volcanoes on the climate!

    • Webby

      You say about the denialists attacking each other. You’re right. The Infighting reminds me of the quote by the Duke of Wellington;

      ‘I don’t know what effect these men will have on the enemy, but by god they frighten me’

      Tonyb

    • David Springer

      Found on the Drudge Report.

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/us-having-its-coldest-six-month-period-since-1912/

      This makes it much easier for wait and see in the US. Meanwhile two things are important: alternative energy R&D plus drill baby drill to provide a robust economy flush with funding for alternative energy R&D. Or is that frack baby frack? Technology always comes to the rescue.

    • What do you mean by “fail”? You obviously misunderstand the issue; he is talking about “science advice” not “partisan advocacy”. His ideas sound pretty good to me.

    • Bart,

      Worth noting that this is advice for ‘scence advisors’ as distinct from scientists themselves. There is some overlap, but I think quite a bit of difference. Judith may have inadvertantly missed the distinction.

      And you shouldn’t read this wthout taking into account the othe side of the coin, which Gluckman has done – ‘The Role of Evidence in Policy Formation and Implementation’, where he is highly crticial of the lack of the use of up-to-date science in policy formation.

      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/The-role-of-evidence-in-policy-formation-and-implementation-report.pdf

      Considering one, without the other is unbalanced.

      Here’s one quote that I would like to direct Judtih’s attention to;
      “There have been too many examples where appealing to apparently confused science masks what is in fact a policy or ideological debate (for example, exploiting scientific uncertainty to justify inaction on climate change). This has been termed the ‘misuse of science as a proxy for a values debate’. Such misalignment can only undermine confidence
      in both science and policy formation.” – Peter Gluckman

    • Bart R provides us with another deep, well reasoned and insightful argument to support his point. And he did it without using influence, building trust, engaging or offering evidence of his independence.

      Good job, Bart R.

    • Wow, Bart T, Whut et al, yeah just wow. But I agree with it, and the wow is for how skewed we seem to have come. I seem to always agree with Dr, Curry and I think I am betting too old and have landed on another planet.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Haven’t ever commented at WUWT – to the best of my recall – I don’t really think they have much grasp at all of climate reality. Much like Webby and Berty.

      However – I did leave this comment. It is a bottom up look at the influence of solar system orbitals on global climate.

      ‘The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems | atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’ http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      The fact that the Earth system is complex and dynamic and exhibits behavior diagnostic of deterministic chaotic systems is not in doubt. The corollary is that cycles are a wrong interpretation of aperiodic shifts in climate state space. Statistically – all sorts of time series are non-stationary.

      Typically we look at indices which – all of which exhibit abrupt change at interannual to millennial timescales. We may look at these as a network of chaotic oscillators on the underlying system. The PDO and ENSO are two of these. The PDO shifts on multi-decadal and probably longer scales. ENSO shifts sub-decadally but changes in frequency and intensity of ENSO states on centennial to millennial scales. The most obvious driver of these shifts is the state of the Northern and Southern Annular Modes driving more or less cold water south and north in the Californian and Peruvian Currents respectively. More cold water facilitates upwelling in the eastern Pacific which initiates the series of feedbacks in cloud, wind and currents that drive Pacific variability.

      One of the drivers of SAM and NAM is stratospheric interactions of UV and ozone. High solar UV biases polar and sub-polar sea level pressures to positive states and vice versa. High solar UV biases Pacific variability to positive PDO and El Nino states. Changes in UV are related to changes in the Sun’s magnetic field. Low solar activity creates the conditions for La Nina and cold PDO dominance – over the next few hundred years as the Sun’s intensity falls from a 1000 year Grand Maxima. This pattern can be seen in millennial – and Holocene spanning – proxies.

      e.g

      It is presumed that variations in solar magnetism is related to the solar magneto.

      ‘Abstract – We present here a new theory of the solar cycle which is able to explain all relevant observations connected with quasi-periodic behavior of sunspots and other associated phenomena. It is based on the interaction between planetary movements and alignments and the evolving magnetic field of the Sun. The theory provides a very natural explanation for the roughly eleven-year change in polarity of the solar magnetic field and for the Maunder Butterfly Diagram. It overcomes all objections raised against other theories in this field, including those based entirely on magneto-hydrodynamics.’ http://tmgnow.com/repository/solar/percyseymour2.html

      The multi-body problem of solar system orbits is definitely chaotic and aperiodic.

    • Robert I Ellison

      As a completely unbiased observer – one who complains about both sides of the climate war – faux certainty and the misuse of science seems more a problem for Michaels side.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Take a look at the recent posts at WUWT where they even deny the effects of volcanoes on the climate!

      Gavin Schmidt said that at least 30 years were necessary to define climate. At WUWT, Willis Eschenbach analysed Earth mean temperature records before and after volcanoes and showed that their effects on weather mostly dissipated after 1 – 3 years, and produced no effects on climate as defined by Schmidt. Santer’s simulations showed that we could probably get by with defining climate with respect to 17 year intervals. If you are going to make exclamation points, could you direct us to some analyses that have shown effects of volcanoes that last long enough be called “climate” by some definitions?

      I am not saying they don’t have effects on climate, but the analyses I have seen have not bothered to follow-up and see whether the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate persisted long enough to be called “climate” effects.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Yes, it’s basically pablum advice.

      Perhaps, but also non-toxic. Consider what would happen to someone who tried the opposites of some of those precepts. After a while, such a person would mostly be ignored as a shrill (or whatever) lunatic on a soapbox who had left science and reason behind. Pablum is appropriate food for the undernourished.

    • Steven Mosher

      Its advice from a policy advisor to policy advisors.
      Judith suggests there may be lesson for scientists

      • Yes, scientists participate in the policy process and advise policy advisors (e.g. the Mann -> Romm -> Podesta -> Holdren food chain). So scientists should be knowledgeable of how this all works (and how it is supposed to work)

      • David Springer

        Mann -> Romm -> Podesta -> Holdren

        Did you ever play the parlor game where you whisper a message to one person and it goes around the room and then it comes back to you and it’s all mangled?

        I guess it’s sort of like that, huh?

      • David Springer

        Mann -> Romm -> Podesta -> Holdren

        Teh Jerry Sandusky of Climate Science needs an actual competent scientist to advise him:

        [actual scientist] > Mann > Romm > Podesta > Holdren

      • David Springer

        Mann -> Romm -> Podesta -> Holdren

        What’s the path to catsup boy John Kerry and where in the chain did his version of global warming science go so far off the rails?

    • John Reid | March 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm |

      I “obviously misunderstood?”

      And you form that judgment because you personally know me so well, from the far side of the globe? You have insight into my apprehension and knowledge of the issue, my reading comprehension, my professional acumen or policy or science acumen?

      Obviously?

      When I say ‘fail’, I mean exactly what the sentence and comment inform an able reader in context.

      Was it the context you don’t understand?

      Let’s decompose the advice a little, to explain.

      “Maintain the trust..” puts the focus on manipulating perceived trustworthiness, as opposed to consistently being trustworthy.

      The science adviser must sustain in parallel the trust of the public, the media, policy-makers, politicians and the science community. This is especially true in times of crisis and is no small challenge. Food-safety panics such as foot-and-mouth disease and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) catalysed a strengthening of the science-advisory system in the United Kingdom, enhancing the roles of departmental science advisers. The aftermath of the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Fukushima is causing Japanese officials to take a critical look at advisory practices.

      Is total bullcrap, from the perspective of anyone involved in a system of policy advice. Most science advisors are not foremost public spokespeople on the front lines telling the public things, speaking to the media in open interviews, or even talking to the “science community.”

      Policy advisors are exactly that. Their flow of advice is to policy-makers or _as_ policy-makers to not ‘politicians’ but (elected, we prefer) leaders in positions of policy responsibility and authority. That Gluckman gets this fundamental wrong tells us he’s not a pure science policy advisor, but a diva mucking about on the public stage.

      The science advisor may support or advise public trust — it would be hard to imagine anyone who would actively oppose public trust — by those spokespeople or leaders or front-line public servants who engage the public, but except for attending and listening to what the public have to say, it would be a breach of public trust for most science advisors in most circumstances to reach around their leadership and speak directly to the media as a consistent practice, or at the very least a wearing of multiple hats. Would you want your MD to be your public spokesman? Your dentist? Your psychiatrist? Really?

      Perhaps Gluckman meant that scientific advisors should stop giving such disastrous advice as they did in the case of food safety in the UK and nuclear reactor safety in Japan for decades. If so, he shouldn’t gloss over the fact that both of these disasters were the immediate and directly inevitable outcome of public policy thoroughly governed by science advisors. Which kinda makes me distrust Gluckman’s motives in whitewashing his presumptive field’s grossest blemishes.

      Need I go on?

      Please, I normally commend skepticism on reading anything; in this case, I recommend a paper shredder.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes bart go on your critique of point 1 is not convincing. Try again read harder.

    • Steven Mosher

      For example you misread the phrase maintain the trust
      Need I go on

    • Steven Mosher | March 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm |

      Thanks for the drive by slingings. Always amusing. Or brief. One virtue or the other, anyway.

    • Marler said:


      At WUWT, Willis Eschenbach analysed Earth mean temperature records before and after volcanoes and showed that their effects on weather mostly dissipated after 1 – 3 years, and produced no effects on climate as defined by Schmidt.

      So you have to make up stories to apologize for the stupid stuff that Wondering Willis says?

      “In particular, despite widespread skepticism, I have persisted in saying that volcanoes basically don’t do jack in the way of affecting the global temperature.”

      That’s TEMPERATURE that WWE is referring to, not climate. He says this ridiculous stuff and then people like you apologize for it by asserting he meant something else.

      This is the reality: It is amazing how well the volcanic events fit within the puzzle pieces that comprise the Earth’s fluctuating temperature profile:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols

      That’s the way it is done.


    • I am not saying they don’t have effects on climate, but the analyses I have seen have not bothered to follow-up and see whether the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate persisted long enough to be called “climate” effects.

      I am really happy to see you say ignorant stuff so that I get to correct it.

      The important aspect of this is that we can use knowledge of volcanic effects to defluctuate the temperature time series. For every volcano that has an impact on the global temperature for a certain length of time, we can use that information to compensate the time series and thus reveal the true climate trend.

      It’s great that you have assisted on an OWN GOAL and helped to illustrate how the CSALT model isolates all the natural fluctuation terms and thus exposes the underying GHG AGW long-term trend..

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “If you are going to make exclamation points, could you direct us to some analyses that have shown effects of volcanoes that last long enough be called “climate” by some definitions?”
      ————–

      I have posted this many times:

      http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/repository/assets/osgc/OSGC-000-000-010-465.pdf

      The area on this chart circled in green shows the 50 year period that was the most active 50 years for volcanoes in the past 1000 years, including the mega eruption of 1257 AD:

      http://tinypic.com/r/rk0b4p/8

      It is very unlikely to be just a coincidence that this very active volcanic period just happened to occur at beginning of the LIA. Volcanoes can be major influences on global climate for periods far longer than just a season or two.

    • R. Gates

      Your “supervolcano” in the 13thC as an initiator of the LIA is one good hypothesis.

      Unfortunately, we do not have any records of solar activity prior to the 17thC, but the extremely inactive sun in the 17th and 18thC may have led to the depths of the LIA, just like the extremely active sun during the 20thC may have contributed to the 20thC warming.

      And, as Tony’s work has suggested, there were more “severe weather events” during the LIA than during the previous MWP or the current warm period, but I have not seen any “explanations” for this.

      Lots of hypotheses out there.

      One thing is pretty sure: it wasn’t the “CO2 control knob what dunnit” prior to the mid 20thC, at least..

      Max

    • It’s funny that the WUWTang Clan can’t reproduce Nicola Scafetta’s model of a barycentric factor on global temperature. As with volcanoes, they don’t believe that tidal forces have an impact on temperature.

    • Rgates said;

      ‘Volcanoes can be major influences on global climate for periods far longer than just a season or two.’

      Not according to observational evidence. I had previously read the Giff Miller paper you cited . He is very fond of using moss to reconstruct all sorts of things.

      Which beggars the question as to why such novel proxies as moss and tree rings have gained the credence they have, and also why ice cores have acquired such status. The poles often appear to operate in a different way to much of the rest of the world. For example there often appears to be limited correlation between the Arctic and Northern latitudes. Why should they be considered a reliable proxy for the world?

      tonyb

      • If a politician waffles/flubs a question on what you are going to do about X e.g. economy/health etc, does his ratings go up or down- . If people didn’t want big government solutions from one idiot then his ratings should up like a sky rocket. The evidence shows otherwise. People want a big mother-government- they think some guy can just come up with the solution to their undefined problem (after all they think have the solution in their lounge rooms)- they care little for the cost- that goes to the other guy except it actually goes to them too.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The PDF peak between 1430 and 1455 AD corresponds with a large eruption in 1452 AD, although the ages of the three largest 5-year bins appear to precede the eruption date. In contrast to the earlier 13th Century peak, the second PDF peak occurs at the end of a 150-year interval of variable but falling snowline (Figure 2c), raising the possibility that the PDF peak plausibly reflects a brief natural episode of summer cold that preceded the large 1452 AD eruption. Alternatively, the apparent lead of kill dates with respect to the 1452 eruption may be a consequence of combined measurement and calibration uncertainties.’ Miller et al 2012

      Of course an alternative explanation is that increases in ice extent commenced before both eruptions.

      e.g http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/volcanic-sulfates-ice-expansion-1200-1500.jpg

    • Robert

      Precisely. There was a glacial advance around 1200. I compiled this glacier chart from hundreds of observations for a recent article and commented as follows;

      —– —– —-
      “A closed blue horizontal line at the top of the graph equates to a period of glacial retreat (warmth) and a closed blue line at foot of graph demonstrates glacier advance (cold)

      That glacial movements can be surprisingly short lived can be seen in the century long glacier advance around 1200 to 1300 AD, and to a lesser extent the 30 year retreat around 1730. Such short changes as noted in this latter period may be relatively common, but the records are unlikely to exist to be able to trace them in earlier times.

      The small temperature deviations from the ‘norm’ shown in paleo proxy reconstructions- including that of Mann et al 1998-seem most unlikely to be of a scale that can precipitate glacier movements of any consequence. Several consecutive warm cold decades that can be noted in the instrumental records will however likely start such movements which will be accentuated if the prevailing characteristic of warmth or cold lasts for some time. In the case of the MWP this period of warmth lasted around 450 years . (Clearly however brief Warm periods can occur during a general glacial retreat and brief cold periods during glacial advance.)”

      —— ——

      This advance was relatively short lived and not that extensive. It turned warmer again then a longer colder spell which fits in with Lambs double episode of the LIA, the second phase being much more intense than the first one.

      By contrast Mann records a long period of climate stability which simply doesn’t show up in the historic record. The historic record does not illustrate the long cool periods as being caused by volcanoes.

      Proxies such as moss and tree rings should be queried more. As for ice cores, why is it believed they are such a faithful proxy for climate?
      tonyb

    • This is a link to the Gao, Robock, and Ammann Ice-core Volcanic Index 2 (IVI2)
      (An Ice-Core-Based Volcanic Atmospheric Injection and Loading for the Past 1500 Years)

      http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/IVI2/

      1275 and 1284 had huge injections of SO2 into the atmosphere

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “This is a link to the Gao, Robock, and Ammann Ice-core Volcanic Index 2 (IVI2)
      (An Ice-Core-Based Volcanic Atmospheric Injection and Loading for the Past 1500 Years)

      http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/IVI2/

      1275 and 1284 had huge injections of SO2 into the atmosphere.”
      —–
      Precisely my point. The mega 1257 eruption occurred during the most active volcanic 50 period in the past 1000 years. You have the mega event event of 1257, then the large events of 1275 and 1284, as well as numerous other moderate events. Most notably, as evidenced in the chart I linked to previously, the IPWP temperatures began a sharp plummet during thus period, which certainly was the doorstep of the LIA.

    • Rgates

      My comment was almost directly above yours.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/12/the-art-of-science-advice-to-government/#comment-486561

      Your references are all very well but they simply do not support what was actually happening on the ground. There was a coolish period from around 1200 but the temperature picked up again notably at the time of the volcanoes during the last quarter century of that century and did not deteriorate again for another hundred years.

      I have posted numerous first hand accounts and research by such as Fagan, Groves, Lamb, Kington. The evidence is different to what moss, ice cores and tree rings say. Why do you believe them over the evidence that comes from many sources

      Perhaps you can answer my post that I linked to, in particular why ice cores have become the gold standard for global temperatures?

      tonyb

    • RG: No volcano model says why the PDO has such a regular pattern to it

      or why that in turn has a direct relationship to temperature.

    • WHT: Mistakes potato peeler for useful instrument.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony, it is not that ice cores are now a “gold standard, but rather, they help validate and corroborate other proxy measurements in some important ways. This study for example, also shows how the period around 1250 AD was a turning point into the LIA:

      http://marine.rutgers.edu/main/media/downloads/press_2009/nature08233.pdf

      The big increase in general volcanic activity at the same time was only the first leg down for the LIA. The volcanic activity continued, marked by the 2nd mega eruption of 1453. Both eruptions can be seen in the SST record for the IPWP using multi-proxy reconstructions. Temperatures in the IPWP never fully recovered back to pre-1250 AD temperatures until around 1900 AD.

      As you know, the IPWP is a major energy source and climate driver for the global climate.

    • Rgates

      So, let me summarise the situation regarding historic temperatures and the impact of volcanoes on past climate.

      On the one hand we have direct contemporary references from people who actually lived through the weather of the time, backed up by crop records that reflect the actual growing conditions, with scientific validation by leading climatologists.

      On the other hand we have highly indirect proxies supplied by bits of dead moss and lumps of dead tees validated by ice cores from a region with climatic conditions that often runs contra to everywhere else, that is located thousands of miles away.

      The first group-those living and dying at the time say something different to the second group-bits of flora and fauna . You believe the second group.
      I see.

      tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      Tony

      you are now doing what you said you never did.
      forcing people to choose between documentary evidence ( which we cannot calibrate) and Proxy evidence which we can.

      You force of choice of one over the other. That’s a false choice.

      You have two types of records. One is a human written record. You have no way of testing its accuracy. You can look for coherence but you cant vaildate it. The other type of record is a proxy. And its testable.

      When the two come into conflict you imagine only one solution: choose one or the other. The real job is to see how the two records can be used together. Forcing a choice betrays your lack of scepticism about your own work.

    • Mosher writes: “You force of choice of one over the other. That’s a false choice.”

      Steve,

      Tony has a compelling argument, at least down here in the real world.

    • Mosh

      Hmmm. I am afraid your sense of humour has had a temporary bypass. RGates and myself have had a long running and good humoured discussion about the effects of volcanoes for several months and this is merely a continuation of that.

      I would expect to get a facetious reply from him and some additional attempts at validating his point of view. I have already agreed to balance my next article on the period 1200-1450AD with a reference to the impact of volcanoes, chosen by him.

      We’re not all deadly serious and at each others throats all the time you know.

      tonyb

    • “Sense of humor…”

      Think I came to this discussion a day late and a couple of bucks short.
      Hardly the first time.

    • Steven Mosher

      Sorry he doesnt have a compelling argument he has an argument that shifts depending on who he is arguing with.

      Monk says it rained. tree ring says it rained less.
      Depending on the case tony will see these two records as in conflict or
      as in agreement.
      There is no systematic method to his approach. you could not look at the same data ( writings) and repeat his “result”.
      There is no systemic method for deciding which type of record is more probable.

      All decisions made about deciding how to weight different lines of evidence are made after the fact.

      I’ll put it this way. Suppose a monk said it was dry and a tree said it was wet.

      Can you say which is right?

      you think the monk? ok, what experiment did you do to decide that monks are more reliable than trees? what measurment do you have ( playing cripwell) that demonstrates that historical records are always to be trusted over ice cores?

      To be sure its equally odd to say that one should always trust the proxy.

      My impression from talking with tony was that he held a more balanced view of things. That there are many sources of evidence each with uncertainties. Now however we are back to believing in scripture.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The IPWP is the largest reservoir of warm surface water on the Earth and the main source of heat for the global atmosphere. Small variations in SST of the IPWP influence the location and strength of convection in the rising limb of the Hadley and Walker circulations, and can thus perturb planetary-scale atmospheric circulation and influence tropical hydrology4.’

      I have added Randy’s link to my elibrary – something that doesn’t happen every day.

      The IPWP is of course the western Pacific manifestation of the ENSO in it’s La Niña mode. The variation in global surface and hydrology is the result of the see-saw of the warm surface water across the Pacific.

      ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) is the technical name given to the most prominent source of inter-annual variability in weather and climate around the world. Its ocean temperature signatures, the more widely-known La Niña and El Niño, corresponding to different phases of the oscillation, are officially defined as sustained sea surface temperature anomalies of magnitude greater than 0.5°C across the central tropical Pacific Ocean.

      When ENSO is in the phase known as La Niña, the Pacific trade winds blow true and strong causing sun warmed surface water to pile up against Australia and Indonesia. Cool subsurface water rises in the east.

      In an El Niño, the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out eastwards across the Pacific Ocean. La Niña and El Niño are the poles of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

      ENSO has a influence on global surface temperatures, Australian, American, Indian and African rainfall and Atlantic cyclones. ENSO varies between La Niña and El Niño states over 3 to 7 years but also over periods of decades to centuries.

      The Pacific Ocean trade winds set up cloud and rainfall patterns globally with enormous energies transferred between ocean and atmosphere. La Niña conditions see colder water rising in the eastern Pacific and warm, moist air rising over Australia and Indonesia. El Niño conditions see warm water spread across the Pacific.

      A simple process of heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere occurs. A simple process of heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere occurs. The heat transfer is enhanced in the El Niño state by the enormous area of warm water.

      Conversely, heat is gained by the Pacific Ocean during cooler La Niña conditions and global surface temperatures dip. This is reflected in surface temperature anomalies – 1997 and 1998 are hot – by contrast 2000 was relatively cool.

      It is complicated by cloud feedbacks that are related to the state of the north-east Pacific. A decrease in cloud cover following the mid 1970’s and an increase after 1998. Both climatologically significant as the Pacific Ocean shifted between warm and cool modes. The cool (warm) Pacific modes cool (warm) the planet with an increase (decrease) in cloud cover.

      e.g http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=140

      The study of IPWP temps shows MWP temps consistent with modern day temps – within error bounds. It shows also the global reach of the MWP and LIA. What it doesn’t tell is what drives these events – cooling and warming over millennia shown again and again over the Quaternary. This suggests some other mechanism than random volcanic eruptions – although it is still difficult to disentangle as the changes are aperiodic.

      This is a high resolution ENSO proxy from salt content in an Antarctic ice core.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=150

      ‘Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD. Over the last 1010 yr, the LD summer sea salt (LDSSS) record has exhibited two below-average (El Niño–like) epochs, 1000–1260 ad and 1920–2009 ad, and a longer above-average (La Niña–like) epoch from 1260 to 1860 ad. Spectral analysis shows the below-average epochs are associated with enhanced ENSO-like variability around 2–5 yr, while the above-average epoch is associated more with variability around 6–7 yr. The LDSSS record is also significantly correlated with annual rainfall in eastern mainland Australia. While the correlation displays decadal-scale variability similar to changes in the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), the LDSSS record suggests rainfall in the modern instrumental era (1910–2009 ad) is below the long-term average.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

      The salt variation is the result of a shift in atmospheric mass between polar and sub-polar regions. This seems driven by solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere – and probably modulates ENSO rather than the other way around.

      There are several interesting findings here – the persistence of multi-decadal patterns of the IPO -the change in frequency of ENSO events from the current 5-7 years of the LIA – the precise timing of the switch from the MWP El Niño ‘epoch’ to the LIA La Niña ‘epoch’ in 1260ad.

      We have a major climate system – driven by solar activity – influencing albedo feedbacks and with perfect timing. What more do you need?.

    • Mosh

      Do lighten up. We are not having a top level serious discussion here. It is a peripheral one where we occasionally lob information at each other. We will no doubt have a ‘ balanced’ discussion when we are actually debating whatever the ‘results’ of my research are. As yet I don’t know myself as all the evidence from a variety of sources has not yet been accumulated let alone analysed.

      When you comment on the human written record, what are written temperature records? Why are they so good they can be used as an instrument to decide policy? How are they validated? Why are your written temperature records superior to my written crop records cross referenced from other sources?

      I think you must be in an arguementative mood today Mosh, because you are seeing things in my comments that aren’t there.

      Tonyb

    • k scott denison

      Steven Mosher says: “I’ll put it this way. Suppose a monk said it was dry and a tree said it was wet.”

      Please, can you enlighten me to how a tree tells me it was wet, how the tree was calibrated, where it was calibrated, under what conditions, etc? Because, I don’t believe a tree can tell me it was wet. Or hot. Or cold. Or dry. Or sunny. Or…

    • Wow Web, I am impressed, you can model the effects of some volcanic eruptions on temperature by post-hoc shifting of the date of the eruption, the half-life of the plume and the amplitude of the event.

    • Steven Mosher says: “I’ll put it this way. Suppose a monk said it was dry and a tree said it was wet.”

      It is a really interesting question, and not as simple as it looks.
      Late summer 4 years ago in New Zealand I was working in a place where we normally had breaks outside during the day, if the weather was suitable.
      For one month in particular we had a lot of cloudy days where it was too cold to sit outside to eat, and everyone commented what a cold month it had been.

      You can imagine my surprise then, as I was driving to work listening to the radio, when they announced that the month had broken records for being much warmer than average.

      The report came with a footnote that the reason it had been so warm was that it was worked out on night time temperatures.

      Where I live, at that time of year you normally get very hot days with cloudless skies and little wind with fairly cool nights.

      So the question is, who was right- was it colder or hotter than normal?

      The nights certainly were warmer, but most people would not consider that the relevant measure, the part they would be interested in is the temperatures that they were experiencing during the day, which were well below average.

      The answer of course depends on your perspective and what you are (or think you are) measuring.

      In the case of the rainfall there are cases where both measures might miss the mark- e.g. if there was above average rainfall, but it happened mainly at night and the days tended to be fine, then the monk would probably be more aware of the good weather than the rain. Conversely, if it was a year of hot dry weather mixed with some heavy downpours (again above average rainfall) which ran straight off the hard baked ground, then the tree would probably show signs of drought not excess water, but the monk would probably report the rainfall rather than the good weather.

    • DocMartyn seems to think that the volcanic model in CSALT is a case of overfitting. In fact the response lags (half-lifes) are the same in each eruption. I do include a short delay from the reported date of the eruption in a few of the cases. And of course the scale is variable since the eruption magnitude is variable.

      What I was trying to demonstrate is that the largest eruptions impact the temperature the most. This analysis is very straightforward when it comes down to it.

    • Don’t worry, Peter S, moshe will test it and find out something.
      ==============

    • The modelling of volcanic excursions is sensitive to location and timing,and also sensitive to parameters ie which data set you use.there is a new micro physics based data set with better chemical extinction coefficients (or at least better then previous )

      http://www.clim-past.net/10/359/2014/cp-10-359-2014.pdf

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: “In particular, despite widespread skepticism, I have persisted in saying that volcanoes basically don’t do jack in the way of affecting the global temperature.”

      You got me there. After demonstrating that the volcanic eruptions have little effect on climate (as I wrote he had done), WE went on to express his opinion more extremely that what he actually showed. Luckily, “don’t do jack” is too vague to disconfirm. That’s merely an unfortunate way to say that volcanoes do not have significant long-term effects on climate, or are not worth worrying about.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: It’s great that you have assisted on an OWN GOAL and helped to illustrate how the CSALT model isolates all the natural fluctuation terms and thus exposes the underying GHG AGW long-term trend..

      I have studied your csalt model in detail, and I review it from time to time. the csalt model is a model of short-term or yearly effects (in the statistical sense) of observable covariates on estimated global mean temp. It does not display persistent climatic effects of volcanic aerosols.

    • kim | March 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
      Don’t worry, Peter S, moshe will test it and find out something.

      LOL. There is always something to find out.

      Mosh made some very good points in his other posts about not making things an either or choice when looking at the historical records.

      I guess the conclusion I am coming to is that temperature and rainfall are not a great indication of climate if taken on their own. The conditions under which those things take place are as important a measure of climate, and historical eye witness accounts are the obvious way of interpreting that.

      I have seen evidence that the ‘Year without summer’ temperatures were not that different from the norm, and that has been used to counter the human record argument, but I can believe that both are correct (temperatures not much different if average of day taken) but if experienced as dreary cool, cloudy days and mild nights it would seem very cold to the observer and crops would not ripen.


    • maksimovich | March 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm |

      The modelling of volcanic excursions is sensitive to location and timing,and also sensitive to parameters ie which data set you use.there is a new micro physics based data set with better chemical extinction coefficients (or at least better then previous )

      http://www.clim-past.net/10/359/2014/cp-10-359-2014.pdf

      That’s why I keep coming back here, as the denialists are proficient at scoring own goals.
      From that paper’s Table 1, eruptions in 1925 and 1976 coincide perfectly with 2 unattributed cooling dips in the CSALT residual shown here:

      Like I said in my blog post, climate science is like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces fit snugly together. That’s why they keep scoring own goals, as the discovery of new evidence almost always supports the consensus models of climate science.

    • R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

      “The IPWP is of course the western Pacific manifestation of the ENSO in it’s La Niña mode.”
      —–
      Nope. The IPWP is the source of energy for El Ninos. When the winds shift, and the thermocline rises in the west and lowers in the eastern Pacific, the warm water from the IPWP follows toward the east. El Niños represent a bit of the energy from the IPWP being released to other parts of the climate system and to space in a very rapid and condensed fashion.

    • Robert I Ellison

      While volcanoes cause short term cooling – the PDO causes changes in cloud cover on decadal scales.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=140

      It is known that the Pacific states added to warming between 1976 and 1998 – the residual warming is some 0.08 degrees C/decade and warming is unlikely for decades to come.

      Webby’s stuff is inevitably nonsense because he lacks the depth of knowledge needed to understand this system – and has seemingly little ability to integrate anomalous information – the tedious braggadocio notwithstanding.

    • ,


      I have studied your csalt model in detail, and I review it from time to time. the csalt model is a model of short-term or yearly effects (in the statistical sense) of observable covariates on estimated global mean temp. It does not display persistent climatic effects of volcanic aerosols.

      Because there are no “persistent climatic effects of volcanic aerosols” if the model is of sulphates that precipitate out of the atmosphere according to first-order (i.e. damped exponential) reaction kinetics.

      One of these days you may find something wrong with the CSALT model, but I am not holding out hope that you will suck seed.

      BTW, MNFTIU.

    • Robert I Ellison

      What I said – inter alia – was.

      When ENSO is in the phase known as La Niña, the Pacific trade winds blow true and strong causing sun warmed surface water to pile up against Australia and Indonesia. Cool subsurface water rises in the east.

      In an El Niño, the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out eastwards across the Pacific Ocean. La Niña and El Niño are the poles of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

      ENSO has a influence on global surface temperatures, Australian, American, Indian and African rainfall and Atlantic cyclones. ENSO varies between La Niña and El Niño states over 3 to 7 years but also over periods of decades to centuries.

      The reason the water piles up the west (deepening the thermocline) in La Niña is the trade winds set up with a stronger Walker Circulation.

      Randy – you seem incapable of reading past the first paragraph and simply rattle out your inane and simplistic commentary willy nilly. It is very tedious.

    • Robert I Ellison

      BTW webby – IANAOYICBYA

    • RobbIE the Romper Stomper can’t figure out that MNFTIU stands for My New Filing Technique Is Unstoppable, lifted from the office satire of David Rees

      Tell you that some people are awful slow on the uptake.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There are a couple of versions.

      http://www.mnftiu.cc/2007/12/14/000/

      webby is a sucky fighter.


    • That’s merely an unfortunate way to say that volcanoes do not have significant long-term effects on climate, or are not worth worrying about.

      When it comes to science — if you are trying to understand a specific behavior, EVERYTHING is worth worrying about, until it can be excluded from consideration. That’s why it is important to knock these sources of natural variability out one-by-one.

      What is very interesting in the CSALT model is that the vast majority of the cold spikes in the residual match datewise and intensity to the volcanic eruptions identified in the Arfeuille et al paper linked by Maks:

      http://www.clim-past.net/10/359/2014/cp-10-359-2014.pdf

      8 of the top 10 CSALT cold excursions map to the top 10 significant aerosol mass deposits in ice core data in the Arfeuille paper.
      And this happens after the CSALT model compensated for the very significant transient cooling effects of all the La Nina’s that have occurred over the last 130 years.

      This is what I commented at Real Climate earlier today after Gavin asked for suggestions on how to convey our understanding of temperature variation : “Another issue is that when people look at what appears to be a noisy modern-day temperature series they fail to grasp that all the wiggles and ups-and-downs in temperature can be understood in terms of known forcing factors, both natural and anthropogenic. In other words, the noise that they see is not really noise.
      I get the impression that the scientists in the know understand that ENSO, volcanic eruptions, wind, tidal effects, LOD, each contribute some factor to the fluctuations, but this point is not coming across.
      So make that point and show that you understand the details, and you have won the battle. The skeptics feed off of uncertainty and doubt, and this would eliminate a chunk of their argument. “

      Marler, I worry about the science first-and-foremost and getting that argument correct before I worry about how climate science applies to policy.

    • Robert I Ellison

      webby hasn’t considered – let alone discounted – the PDO and cloud.

      It makes it all a nonsense.

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5939/460.abstract

    • Mr. Romper Stomper said:


      … the PDO and cloud.

      It makes it all a nonsense.

      What do you know but I do have the PDO covered by the LOD Stadium Wave proxy. I don’t include “cloud” because it is considered a feedback on the CO2 control knob, just like water vapor.

      BTW, I noticed that the aussie has had problems with articles in his grammar and it is getting worse with time. Now watch him come back and threaten to kick my behind . Oooh, scary..

    • Robert I Ellison

      Webby is incorrect as usual – even with grammar.

      The LOD is not the same as the PDO at all – there is indeed some minor component associated with ENSO and Walker Circulation but hardly significant. It is not even close to the same periodicity as the PDO.

      ‘The decadal changes in NE Pacific clouds and climate are linked to well-known basinwide climate shifts (25–30). This is illustrated in Fig. 2, A and B, which shows that the regression patterns of SST, SLP, and ERA-40 surface
      winds on the NE Pacific SST time series resemble the now familiar pattern of Pacific Decadal Variability.’ op. cit.

      ‘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

      Cloud changes with ocean and atmospheric shifts. webby is incapable of dealing with this and is deep in denial.

    • incorporating the LOD, we can model climate variability and long term trends very accurately:

      The evidence keeps piling up to reinforce the consensus climate science, which is that natural variability does exist and it rides along with the relentless GHG-forcing trend leading to AGW.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Still no proper answer? Just repeating his endless fundamental errors?

      Did I expect anything different?

    • Bart R | March 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm
      Wow. That is such bad advice to Scientists about Policy.
      Just. Wow. It’s the sort of advice you’d give if you wanted Science advice to always fail.

      All it will make fail, is attempts at having advocacy masquerade as science.
      That’s your gripe then, is it – that the attempt to be objectively correct will frustrate efforts at being politically correct?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The reason the water piles up the west (deepening the thermocline) in La Niña…”
      _____
      Let’s be clear, in the normal “La Nada” mode if you will, neither La Nina nor El Nino, water piles up in the western Pacific. That’s the way the trade winds normally blow and so it doesn’t take a La Nina to make it happen. If the winds are a little stronger out of the east, the IPWP gains even more warm water as the piling up is greater.
      Also, Robert you as caustic as ever…a very unpleasant sort of fellow.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Marler, I worry about the science first-and-foremost and getting that argument correct before I worry about how climate science applies to policy.

      Actually, your first comment was that the science advice was “pablum”. You went on to say: I would advise to look at the way that the denihiists are attacking each other.

      That is not “science first and foremost”.

      Back to the 17-year and 30-year definitions of “climate”: do you have evidence for persistent effects of volcanic aerosols on “climate”, effects lasting 17 – 30 years? Your model produces very good representations of the transient effects of volcanoes on short-term temperature trends. I realize that is redundant, “transient” and “short-term” for emphasis.

      I was thinking of your csalt model while reading the paper by Chylek et al, and Bob Tisdale’s comments on it at WUWT. This would be a good day to present to them a summary of your csalt model and links to it. It looks to be a better model than what Chylek et al have published, though they also address multicollinearity in the predictors and present the result of a backward elimination. I wish that you would submit it for publication. After my frequent comments a criticisms that probably sounds insincere, but really it is “faint praise”: I think that your modeling is worthy of publication; I just do not accept all of your claims for it.

    • This is an update to the CSALT residual figure using the ice core data from Gao identified by Arfeuille et al paper
      linked to by Maks

      What is very interesting in the CSALT model is that the vast majority of the cold spikes in the residual match datewise and intensity to the volcanic eruptions identified in the Arfeuille paper.
      Of the top 10 CSALT cold excursions, 9 map to the top 10 significant aerosol mass deposits in ice core data in the Arfeuille paper. The one that CSALT identifies not in the Arfeuille table is CerroAzul in 1916 (during WWI), and the one that CSALT does not catch is an unidentified eruption in 1943 (during WWII). War year temperature data has greater uncertainty in general.

      Going for the slam dunk on this one. All Tisdale and Chylek do is score on their own basket.

    • Very interesting figure Web, I am not convinced, as I believe you have cheated.
      What I would like to see is a figure where you have a vertical line showing EXACTLY where the volcano erupted; and no (start of activity) hand waving.
      I think you will find that, even with smoothing, the spikes do not follow the eruptions, which is why you have added bands on your labels.
      You would have us believe that the Earth cools, before an eruption, because it knows it is coming.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony said:
      “On the other hand we have highly indirect proxies supplied by bits of dead moss and lumps of dead tees validated by ice cores from a region with climatic conditions that often runs contra to everywhere else, that is located thousands of miles away.”
      I will favor multi-proxy records from multiple sites around the world over anecdotal evidence anytime. We have enough different kinds of multi-proxy records from enough sites around the world, of which NH and SH ice cores are only one specific type, to have a pretty good idea what the climate was like over the past 1,000 years within ever narrowing bounds of uncertainty. When the multiple proxies all start to tell the same story for different regions of the world, your confidence can get even higher. Of course the further you go back the uncertainty gets larger, but the past 1,000 years especially are have pretty acceptable bounds of uncertainty IMO using multi-proxies and I’ll take those over localized anecdotes anytime. In the most ideal of circumstances, the anecdotes begin to mesh with the proxies, even though someone’s account of a “terrible storm” or “very hot” or “very cold” are not always precise or well defined as we might like.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      o maksimovich | March 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      The modelling of volcanic excursions is sensitive to location and timing,and also sensitive to parameters ie which data set you use.there is a new micro physics based data set with better chemical extinction coefficients (or at least better then previous )

      http://www.clim-past.net/10/359/2014/cp-10-359-2014.pdf

      I have read this, and think it has great merit. Would love to see the technique used in the period of 1000 AD to 1600AD, when the two largest volcanic eruptions occurred during the past 1000 years, as well as the intense volcanic period of around 1230-1280 AD—a period during which ice cores have already shown the stratosphere had a very high optical depth from aerosols.

    • Rgates

      Wow! this must surely be a record thread.

      Ok, would you like to post a graph (or two) of temperatures over the last 1000 years that you believe accords with the proxy data results?

      It needs to cite the proxy data used and their location.

      tonyb

    • “You would have us believe that the Earth cools, before an eruption, because it knows it is coming.”

      Heh. Anticipatory anxiety.


    • DocMartyn | March 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm |

      Very interesting figure Web, I am not convinced, as I believe you have cheated.
      What I would like to see is a figure where you have a vertical line showing EXACTLY where the volcano erupted; and no (start of activity) hand waving.
      I think you will find that, even with smoothing, the spikes do not follow the eruptions, which is why you have added bands on your labels.
      You would have us believe that the Earth cools, before an eruption, because it knows it is coming.

      Typical loser strategy is to accuse the other side of cheating. And those aren’t bands that I am showing on that chart, they are underlines so that you can see the dip I am pointing at. What a maroon! I showed a table on that post if you want to look at the exact month.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

      The peak cooling always occurs between 1 and 1.5 years AFTER the initial reported eruption, which make sense as the airborne aerosols have to build-up and propagate over a great enough area to make an impact. Why you think that the earth will cool before the eruption occurs is beyond ability to grasp.

      I found out that I have used exactly the same strategy as as the Arfeuille et al paper linked to by Maks. They looked at the Smithsonian Volcano project database and identified the dates, which are recorded to the day if available.

      This is an updated chart showing the match with the extra Arfeuille analysis

      What is very interesting in the CSALT model is that the vast majority of the cold spikes in the residual match datewise and intensity to the volcanic eruptions identified in the Arfeuille paper.
      Of the top 10 CSALT cold excursions, 9 map to the top 10 significant aerosol mass deposits in ice core data in the Arfeuille paper. The one that CSALT identifies not in the Arfeuille table is CerroAzul in 1916 (during WWI), and the one that CSALT does not catch is an unidentified eruption in 1943 (during WWII). War year temperature data has greater uncertainty in general.

    • ” And those aren’t bands that I am showing on that chart, they are underlines so that you can see the dip I am pointing at. What a maroon!”

      OK Nimrod. Just place vertical lines where the volcanoes exploded on your plot and we will know that you are pure as the driven snow.

      Go on Webby, just add lines that match the exact date of the eruptions.

    • “Go on Webby, just add lines that match the exact date of the eruptions.”

      So I can appease you? No way.

      I included a table which shows the date of the eruption, the model start, and the date of the minimum in cooling — all accurate to the month. You aren’t going to beat that with a line chart.

      Each model starts at the same date as the recorded eruption in all cases except for Agung, which is 4 months after the eruption, Pinatubo+Hudson which is 3 and 1 months after each eruption, and the odd one out AzulCerro, which is 2 months after.
      The maximum cooling then occurs at the lag time shown. All models have the same response shape, only the scale changes.

      This exercise is essentially meant to show how well a simple model works to duplicate the cooling dips in the historical temperature record. The slight tuning in start dates is meant to show how well the dates register with each other. That is a typical way to dmonstrate quality of fit.

    • Web

      It sounds to me as if the ice cores record the emissions fairly quickly but the resultant cooling which takes place 1 to 1.5 years later and might last another year for a really big eruption is being interpreted by the models as one long cooling period that includes the time of the emission, the lag AND the actual length of cooling itself I.e up to twice as long as reality.

      This would fit in well with the historic record, such as giving alms to the poor in a cold season, or poor crops , which would note ONLY the effect !that lasts just a few seasons

      Tonyb

    • Interesting when you put in lines that represent when we knew the fireworks went off:-

      Krakatau (27 August, 1883)
      Tarawera (10 June, 1886)
      Santa Maria (24 October, 1902)
      Katmai (6 June, 1912)
      Unknown NH (1925)
      Unknown NH (1943)
      Agung (17 March, 1963)
      Fuego (10 October 1974)
      El Chichón (29 March 1982, 1982).
      Pinatubo (15 June, 1991)

      You naughty, naughty boy Web. Hiding the pea like a real ‘Climate Scientist’.

    • Katisha | March 14, 2014 at 3:09 am |

      You’ve got it exactly Pollyanna backwards, like a naif reading what you want to be there instead of what’s really there.

      Gluckman _is_ advocacy masquerading as science, and more to the point, his article is harmfully misinformative about the nature and work of policy.

      Gluckman’s portrayal of the bull-in-the-china-shop “advisor” (actually lobbyist) is typical of the mistakes of the autodidacts who think they know what they’re doing, mucking around at the margins of government enterprise. He exactly captures, unwittingly, the full puffed-out self-important ‘sage’ whose ‘advice’ is more important, and more correct, than anyone else’s, always.

      Why do you believe Gluckman’s right?

      Have you ever worked in policy?

      At all?

      What are the logical consequences of doing as Gluckman commands?


    • DocMartyn | March 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm |

      Interesting when you put in lines that represent when we knew the fireworks went off:-

      Thanks DocMartyn,
      Now I don’t have to make that chart as you have done it for me. I will place it on my blog as a new post and give you credit.

      See, that is how it is done. You do the scene out of Tom Sawyer where he his painting his white picket fence. The rest is easy.

      A few interesting asides. I placed a ? next to Fuego since Arfeuille made that attribution but I thought it may have been a little early and Tolbachik may be a better attribution; this occurred a year later and is classified as a 4+ VEI, which is in between a 4 and a 5. Tarawera is a very small output and it appears to be indistinguishable from the background of Krakatoa.

      The two unknown eruptions are also interesting. The 1925 eruption lands right on top of the cooling dip which makes perfect sense as that is when the max core deposits were found. Remember that since this lacked an attribution, the date chosen was not from an attributed volcanic eruption. Get it ? The 1943 eruption was right in the middle of the war years and trying to isolate a dip is difficult due to the WWII temperature calibration issue. That was the one that I identified as a poor match since I don’t see a real big cooling dip.

      So the score is good. From DocMartyn’s chart
      Krakatoa erupted about a year before maximum cooling was observed.
      Santa Maria erupted about a year before the max cooling
      Katmai/Novarupta a liitle less than a year
      Agung erupted about a year before max cooling
      ElChichon erupted about a year before max cooling
      Pinatubo about a year before max cooling

      So you think I am hiding peas, eh?

    • So we have
      Krakatau
      Santa Maria
      Katmai
      Agung
      Pinatubo

      Which precede a cooling anomoly and we have
      Tarawera
      1925 Unknown NH
      1943 Unknown NH
      1976 Fuego
      1982 El Chichón

      which do not.

      Now if you put lines in at random, about half would be just before a drop.

    • DocMartyn,
      The max cooling occurred after the eruption of El Chichon just like your figure shows. The conflating factor is that there was a large El Nino right after it occurred, making the correction a compensating one http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/el-nino

      The Fuego is not a gotcha either as the eruption precedes the cooling by a year and a half.
      Neither is Tarawera because that is puny in comparison to the Krakatoa that overlaps it.
      Like I said 1925 is spot on because there is no attributable volcano,

      So that leaves 1943, an unknown event in the middle of WWII that you get as a gimme.

      Way to go !

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: All Tisdale and Chylek do is score on their own basket.

      I don’t know what that means. Chylek et al will be read by college students and post-docs, cited, and built-upon by other researchers. You should get in that game. Tisdale has more readers than you have.


    • Tisdale has more readers than you have.

      And Coast2CoastAM has more than either of us. The topics there include time travel, remove viewing, space aliens, BigFoot, and talking to the dead.
      Big whoop.

    • Bart R,

      What Gluckman urges is more or less this : let’s make an attempt at being objective. Common enough in other sciences, but anathema in climate science, where advocacy for further politicisation of society is clearly the dominant theme.

      Now by objecting to the idea of trying to move climate science away from political advocacy, and towards honesty and objectivity, you self-identify as being in the camp who favour political correctness masquerading as science, and where science is the handmaiden of politics, its paymaster.

      Nothing too surprising there, you have plenty company, that ideology-dominated camp is pretty large. It calls itself the “Consensus”.

      But what IS surprising, is your blatant attempt to misrepresent this call for more objectivity and less politics, as precisely the opposite of that. But … then … I guess that sort of slick chicanery is exactly what having politics masquerading as science is all about eh? Suddenly seems obvious now, I guess I should thank you for bringing me to this understanding.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      From the previous link:

      “When the summer temperature reconstruction is compared with estimates of natural climate forcing (Figure 10) the impact of vol- canism (Gao et al., 2008) is clear. There are particularly abrupt growth suppressions, and inferred drops in summer temperature, associated with known eruptions (Siebert et al., 2010) at ad 1227, ad 1258, ad 1452, ad 1600, ad 1641, ad 1831 and ad 1963. Where there are two large eruptions in close succession the impact on summer temperatures is particularly marked. The clearest exam- ple occurs in the mid-15th century, with eruptions in ad 1452 (Kuwae caldera, probably the greatest sulphuric acid aerosol pro- ducer in the last seven centuries; Gao et al., 2006; Witter and Self, 2007) and ad 1459 resulting in an abrupt drop in summer tem- perature of about 4°C. Temperatures recover by ad 1470 but are again depressed by eruptions in ad 1474, ad 1476 and ad 1480. The pairs of eruptions in ad 1809 and ad 1815 and in ad 1831 and ad 1835 are also apparent in the temperature reconstruction. Some more prolonged cold periods that seem to be associated with periods of repeated, though not necessarily very large erup- tions are also apparent, including ad 1040 to ad 1060, ad 1167 to ad 1213 and ad 1693 to ad 1738. Although the impact of most single eruptions is short-lived, it is clear that where eruptions come in pairs or in multiples, the effects can last beyond the com- mon three-year lifetime of volcanic aerosols (Oman et al., 2005).”

    • Katisha | March 15, 2014 at 2:12 am |

      What Gluckman urges is more or less this : let’s make an attempt at being objective. Common enough in other sciences, but anathema in climate science, where advocacy for further politicisation of society is clearly the dominant theme.

      So, I take it that I was right, you have zero experience in or knowledge of how policy and advocacy interact in a modern nation? You’ve never knowingly met a policy professional, and can’t tell a lobbyist from a tennis pro? In which case, I recommend as background reading Alan Rosenthal’s 1993 book, The Third House: Lobbyists and Lobbying in the States. It’s a bit dated, but remains a worthy introduction.

      What you wish Gluckman were urging was objectivity. Do you see Gluckman use the word ‘objective’?

      No?

      Not even once, does Gluckman appeal or refer to perhaps the most sacred tenet of Science, in his ten principles.

      Why not?

      Because objectivity apparently doesn’t matter to Gluckman; he isn’t objective, and he doesn’t recommend objectivity.

      Further, one can guess from your embarrassing assertion that objectivity is ‘common enough’ in ‘other sciences’ (it isn’t common enough in any science in my experience, and which other sciences are these, to your mind?) but lacking in climate science that you’re utterly inexperienced in science or academia outside of the Humanities quad.

      You really don’t know about the Doomsday Clock?

      Edward Teller?

      Einstein?

      Does the borrowing ‘Social Darwinism’ indicate nothing about advocacy by science to you?

      Does it really sound like an ‘objective’ phrase?

      Scientists neither stand outside of society, nor should they.

      Objectivity in observations, data collection, and inference is a fine and first principle. Pretending it extends beyond these narrow confines of the professional scientist’s discipline is a form of mental illness.

      Now by objecting to the idea of trying to move climate science away from political advocacy, and towards honesty and objectivity, you self-identify as being in the camp who favour political correctness masquerading as science, and where science is the handmaiden of politics, its paymaster.

      What a bore it is to be told what I object to, and what I try to do, being told how I self-identify, or what camp I belong to.

      Here are the facts about those spurious conclusions you draw: I don’t belong to a camp, nor do I wish to; bandwagon jumpers offend me, and if you had the least clue what the term ‘political correctnes’s meant, you’d realize you were being its epitome with unselfconscious irony.

      I object to Gluckman’s comment in Nature because Gluckman is wrong in what he says, and his so-called ‘principles’ would set up anyone who attempted to follow his recipe to disastrous consequences. And I don’t care which side that Gluckmanite advocates for or against, when I say this: it’s a wrong method, either way. Counterproductive. Inept. What only a fool would think good advice.

      I applaud objectivity. Gluckman hasn’t, yet, in writing.

      You believe Scientists are beholden to the state that pays them for their conclusions? How does the state do that? Is it populated by supergenius prophets who can gaze into crystal balls to discern what data will be discovered and what conclusions highly trained experts will deduce eventually in the course of experiments and research? Does some super agency _plant_ data to skew results? Is it mass hypnosis?

      For you to be right, we’d need to be living in the Matrix, Wonderland, Narnia or Gormengast. As some of us can tell fiction from reality, we wish you luck, and ask you to say hello to Neo and Aslan when you talk to them.

      Nothing too surprising there, you have plenty company, that ideology-dominated camp is pretty large. It calls itself the “Consensus”.

      Blah-blah-blah. And here, I thought you _might_ have an interesting independent thought in your head, with your love of objectivity and Gluckman’s embracing of ‘independence’. You’re just a bandwagon jumper on a paranoid jag.

      But what IS surprising, is your blatant attempt to misrepresent this call for more objectivity and less politics, as precisely the opposite of that. But … then … I guess that sort of slick chicanery is exactly what having politics masquerading as science is all about eh? Suddenly seems obvious now, I guess I should thank you for bringing me to this understanding.

      With friends like yours, you’re going to have to learn to love your enemies; they’ll be the only ones you can trust.

    • ..but you don’t have to believe me.

      Decisions will have to be made in situations where knowledge is inevitably incomplete and objectivity can be easily replaced by bias and opinion. Addressing many matters in medicine and technology will involve balancing the claims of objective and rational knowledge with those of prior belief, biases and culture. It will also influence how you impart so-called objective knowledge to others. This interplay will underpin much of what you do and so it is very important that you continually reflect on the factors influencing your decision-making.

      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Otago-honourary-degree_address_Dec20131.pdf

      For Gluckman, objectivity may be an aspiration, it seems, but only a ‘so-called’ one. It’s great that Gluckman acknowledges the perils of bias, opinion, prior belief and culture.. but at no point does Gluckman worry us about freaking paymasters. The perils Gluckman does enumerate are closer and more accurate than anything he sets out in his very inferior Nature comment.

      But let’s look closer.

      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/PDG-Speech-at-VUW-9-June-2010.pdf

      Here, we see Gluckman get something fundamental about Computer Science and Climate Science both wrong: simulations generated on computer models cannot, and do not, predict the future. They predict outcomes of starting conditions in models, and no more.

      We know from many fields beside Climate that such outcomes in complex systems are much more highly sensitive to starting values than our ability to capture those values.

      We know that the granularity of models will greatly affect their outcomes. Just about the time of Gluckman’s speech, one study famously found by decreasing the grid size in the Arctic, one would expect more rapid Arctic sea ice loss in the model, and this finding echoes real world Arctic outcomes, but does not predict reality.

      It’s hardly surprising that a medical man from New Zealand isn’t competely conversant with computer simulation. It’s sad that he so overreaches his own expertise as to pretend expertise where his knowledge is so deficient, but we all know medical doctors like that, I think.

      Even so, and for all that, careful reading of Gluckman gives no comfort to Katisha’s views.

    • Bart,

      Your latest self-important and rambling smokescreen is to no avail. Looking at his points above, it is patently obvious that what Gluckman is appealing for clearly IS objectivity, even if that word isn’t used.

      So why do would you (or anyone) object to objectivity?

      Committed as you are to added political action for which climate alarmism serves as a convenient excuse – the basic ‘Consensus’ position – you are troubled that objectivity would serve only to dilute alarmism, based as politically-funded alarmism largely is, on politics advocacy masquerading as science.

    • Katisha | March 16, 2014 at 3:21 am |

      Your latest self-important and rambling smokescreen is to no avail. Looking at his points above, it is patently obvious that what Gluckman is appealing for clearly IS objectivity, even if that word isn’t used.

      Are you sure you have the right Bart?

      How do you define “self-important”?

      Where do you see evidence of special self-importance in what I’ve written here, ever? (Okay, there was the “assumes God” thing, I’ll grant, but that was ironic. Anywhere else? What sort of ad hominem attack is that, and what do you hope to achieve by it? Make Gluckman say what you think Gluckman ought to have said? Make your poor reading skills less transparently obvious? What? And why, given that you have yet to answer a single question asked you, do I continue to ask you anything?)

      It’s patently obvious you _want_ Gluckman to be about being objective, for a certain value of ‘objective’. But Gluckman himself disdains your objectivism, which you’d know if you’d read Gluckman’s own speech to the Wellies grads from the link I provided. Gluckman patently thinks “so-called objectivity”, as you mean it, is deceitful. I can’t fault him on that.

      So why do would you (or anyone) object to objectivity?

      Personally, I’m fine with objectivity. Gluckman, patently, objects to objectivity where it is deluded, the result of perception bias or confirmation bias, or purposely manipulated to achieve an agenda. This is likely because he has years of experience and has seen this happen in his own specialty, medicine.

      Committed as you are to added political action..

      BZZZT! WRONG!

      You clearly have the wrong Bart. I’m apolitical, and don’t participate in, endorse, or advise political action beyond the principle that every citizen is responsible in a democracy for voicing their views and voting their conscience. Yet more evidence you only see what you want, and make stuff up to fill in where people aren’t what you expect.

      ..for which climate alarmism serves as a convenient excuse – the basic ‘Consensus’ position –..

      BZZZT! Not as wrong, but still wrong. I’m a member of no consensus, don’t believe in engineering consensus, and don’t much care for argumentum ad populam. However, I can count, and I do believe in observing that there are numbers, and noticing what they are.

      When, and if, I note that there are 10,000 recent peer-reviewed academic papers in Climatology that someone’s arguments all are at odds with, it’s not because I think 10,000 papers’ authors (barely likely to be more than 30,000 people) are a ‘majority’. Compared to the football stadium-sized crowds that attend rallies for politically popular but scientifically inept leaders, those authors aren’t a majority, and the consensus of the football stadium crowds is no more persuasive to me for its numbers than the 10,000 papers’s author count. It’s the content of data and reasoning that counts, and if the consensus of those who read and understand matters, it’s because each one of them has had the chance to skeptically challenge the papers, and their challenges have not overcome the conclusions, ten thousand times.

      ..you are troubled that objectivity would serve only to dilute alarmism, based as politically-funded alarmism largely is, on politics advocacy masquerading as science.

      What does that even mean? “Dilute alarmism?” I’m against alarmism, and alarmists. I’m against those alarmists who claim the economy will tank if tobacco is withdrawn from the market, because frankly as an economist, I understand that addictive goods are a drag on the Market and their loss is the Market’s gain. I’m against those alarmists who think if the fossil industry stopped getting extraordinary tax breaks and gifts of land and exemptions from tort liability for harms they cause that industry will grind to a halt, because I well know that those subsidies weaken the economy and the nation. Having worked throughout multiple levels of the world you pretend to know, I know the supposed politically-backed advocacy you think is there runs more than 10:1 the opposite of the direction you assert.

      I’d be glad to see more real objectivity; which if you’d join the side of real objectivity by being really objective, and maybe taking a class in how these things actually work, might happen.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: The topics there include time travel, remove viewing, space aliens, BigFoot, and talking to the dead.

      A total non-sequitur. Bob Tisdale writes about climate statistics, insightfully. You always introduce irrelevancies into your posts: Dunning-Krueger, psychoanalytic projection and other pop-psych most commonly. Here you introduce talking to the dead. What is it? ADHD? Contempt for other readers? (surely I am not the only reader of your posts?) Megalomania?

      As for Chylek et al, by May almost every graduate student, post-doc or researcher in climate science will have read their paper (not to mention the friends of Chylek who had pre-publication access) and will be preparing advances based on it. You may have a better model than theirs, but nobody knows about it except those who play here in the sandbox with you.

    • Marler is now embarrassed that he comments at WUWT.
      At least this place has some academic credentials backing it.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Marler is now embarrassed that he comments at WUWT.

      Really? that must be more of your keen Dunning-Krueger pop psych.

      lol

  2. “Give science privilege as an input into policy.” That’s context-dependent at best. There are lots of things science knows next to nothing about. It would be insane to “give science privilege” in such a situation.

  3. Judith

    The British govt is also being exposed to levels of alarmism beyond that of the Ipcc as witnessed in yesterday’s televised climate change committee meeting at the house of commons. There is plenty about it on several threads over at bishop hill

    Tonyb

  4. David Springer

    The Art of Science Advice to Government

    Peter Gluckman, New Zealand’s chief science adviser, offers his ten principles for building trust, influence, engagement and independence.

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    What other science has EVER gone through a huge public policy/communcation circus as global warming science?

    • David Springer

      I mean it’s just getting ridiculouser and ridiculouser.

    • Has anyone noticed that ‘science advice’ means ‘Climate Change Advice’?
      or some other subset of the green/progressive agenda?

      Do we have a Physics advisor? Chemistry adviser? Electrical Engineering advisor? Mathematics adviser? Astronomy adviser? Or adviser for any other actual ‘science’? But we do have ‘Economics advisers’ and advisers for other fields where the advice is nominally ‘scientific’ but in actuality is wholly political.

      Noble Leader: ‘Yo Adviser! I want to implement Policy X. Make a scientific announcement that we have a critical problem and that Policy X is the only hope for a solution.’

      Adviser for field X: ‘Aye Aye, sir. Discovery of critical problem and announcement of only viable solution, coming right up!’

      The science is settled.

      • David Springer

        Bob Ludwick | March 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm |

        Has anyone noticed that ‘science advice’ means ‘Climate Change Advice’?
        or some other subset of the green/progressive agenda?

        ——————————————————————————

        Yes. In fact in the comment I had a choice between calling it “climate science” and “global warming science” and chose the latter because I don’t think it’s even climate science anymore. I’m calling it global warming science from now on as expression of contempt/mockery.

    • Bob, Baroness Warnock has held two major enquiries and produced two reports
      The Warnock Report (1978): Special Educational Needs
      The Warnock Report (1984): Report of the Committee of Enquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology

      In both cases she sought input from all manner of laypersons and experts, especially in the latter where she examined the potential technological breakthroughs in biotechnology. She ran a tight ship, even though she allowed anyone who wanted to present, to do so; scientists, ethicist’s, clergy, medics and the general public.

      You don’t have to be a scientist to understand scientists.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Warnock,_Baroness_Warnock

    • Bob Ludwick @ 7.31: “But we do have ‘Economics advisers’ and advisers for other fields where the advice is nominally ‘scientific’ but in actuality is wholly political.” Not so, I never politicised my economic advice. I wrote the state economic development strategy for the Queensland Labor government in 1992 (“Queensland – Leading State”). I’d been ordered not to look at the previous government’s EDS (“Quality Queensland”). At the launch of QLS, I was sat next to the previous Premier, who didn’t know who I was. He said “It’s just like Quality Queensland!” Well, it was, the economic consultants he engaged had done a good job, both strategies reflected the best understanding of the profession at that time. I later did the SEDS for the next Coalition government, in 1998 I think: it was entirely consistent with the previous two.

      But there’s a story here, of interest if you wonder how policy is formed. Attempts were made to keep me away from the third strategy, it was in the hands of the rabidly-interventionist so-called State Development Department (state destruction, more like). Its gestation was of elephantine proportions. A horrified senior Treasury officer asked me to look at the final draft in compete secrecy. I shredded it – it saw the state as determining what should be done by commercial firms, where and how much – total central planning – then wrote the Executive Summary of what the paper should look like. The strategy was then totally rewritten to match the Exec Sum, except for one or two bits of stupidity added by a senior Treasury ex-academic who had no grasp of policy. To this day, probably only the person who passed me the draft then presented the Exec Sum to the inter-departmental committee knows of my role.

    • @ Tony

      Good job, but I think that you’ll have to agree that (at least as it works in the US) the exception proves the rule.

      As you pointed out, even in the instance you described, they in fact DiD try to steamroller you. You resisted. Empirically, most in your position don’t.

      Incidentally, are you still a senior advisor, or were you replaced with someone more amenable to political reality? Or simply an old retired guy like me.

    • Tino, not Toni.
      ==========

  5. ” In the climate community, it has become ‘fashionable’ to be an advocate, and I suspect many don’t really understand what they are really doing — after all, it is fashionable and a path to fame and (relative) fortune for an academic” – JC

    Says Advocate Judith.

    Too funny.

    • John Carpenter

      It is easy to make a claim anyone is an advocate for anything they believe. For instance, your continued and persistent advocacy against anything JC.

    • Steven Mosher

      What is she advocating in that paragraph

    • That other scientists shouldn’t do what she does.

    • Michael, have you considered the fact that Dr. Curry at one point was not very skeptical of anthropogenic .climate change causes
      until she gained more information, learned the method of operations of the IPCC to which she has stated she has been fooled (at least somewhat)
      With the current data, the only conceivable conclusion is that the
      l TCR than has been than hase been projected.
      In a politician, a scientist or whomever, I admire the fact that individuals can apprise the situation and adjust accordinately

  6. “[M]uch of the debate about climate change is not primarily about the data. Rather, it is about intergenerational economic interests.”

    Yep – this is certainly true of the ‘skeptics’, many of whom attack the science but really seem to be economic /political ‘skeptics’

    • Warming will benefit future generations; cooling will degrade.
      ============

    • Ah, the confusion between values/beliefs and science. Thanks for the live demo.

      A hotter Sahara will make the desert bloom, no doubt.

    • A wetter Sahara with more stable temperatures and flora…yes.

    • Oh David, you know this can’t be true – it’s getting colder, just ask Kim.

      • David Springer

        You can’t help yourself, can you? Maybe it’s a syndrome. OMIFS – Open Mouth Insert Foot Syndrome. Possibly genetic in origin. That’s fasionable I guess in your circles. It’s not your fault.

        The Sahara is a hockey stick according to BEST.

    • Yeah, it’s pretty amusing; the consensus predicted warming, and demonized it. How more wrong could consensus be?
      ============

    • It’s great to see you both getting on board finally.

      David accepts that AGW can have a significant impact, and that detection and attribution of the AGW signal is already possible (even back as far as the 1980’s !!) Go Dave!

      And the really big news – Kim. Calamity Koldie Kim, has finally turned away from the nonsensical ‘it’s getting colder’ meme and now accepts that the earth is warming.

      Congratulations and welcome to reality Kim!!!

    • Golly, I hope the recovery from the Little Ice Age continues. But I doubt that it will. Then what? This pause is only mildly refreshing.
      ==================

    • I must thank you both for steering me back to the IPCC consensus.

    • Yeah, predicted, nay promised, warming and demonized it. Need new navigation aids.
      =============

    • Kim is a dunce. I grew up in a colder USA that was also a better USA. Far better. Crops were bountiful. We had far more cattle. We ate top-graded steak on an almost daly basis. The landscapes was dotted with picturesque family farms, full of scandinavian farmers with blue-eyed blonde daughters, all 10s. Hay lofts abounded, and they always knew a way to sneak up there. it was paradise.

    • @ David Springer

      “JCH | March 13, 2014 at 9:16 am |

      “Kim is a dunce. I grew up in a colder USA that was also a better USA. Far better. Crops were bountiful. We had far more cattle.”

      Could you point out the year in this chart of US agriculture output, input, and productivity in which you were born?”

      I could be wrong, but it appears that in the ‘heat of battle’ you overlooked an opportunity to observe satire in its natural habitat.

      • David Springer

        You boys are both wrong. JCH is serious. IIRC he grew up in and around farms in the wheat belt. Eureka would make it South Dakota. His father made him do chores on the farm and that makes him an expert on farming. It wasn’t a success story, he’s bitter about it, and resents anyone using a reference to dispute his self-proclaimed farming expertise.

      • David Springer

        P.S. I grew up in the dairy belt. JCH is right about the picturesque farms and buxom blonde farmer’s daughters and hay lofts and farm fresh food. Good times. REAL good times.

    • David

      I think jch has a dry ironic English style of humour and perhaps doesn’t see the need to use sarc tags….

      Mind you, its an interesting question as to what year people believe we should dial the temperature back to, before man sullied the climate.

      I will settle for now. It is very benign compared to most of the past.

      tonyb

    • The United States has has exported its agricultural bounty since, well, since the colonial times. Now, run to wikiunreliable so you can be an instant domineering expert yet again.

      They called one of the little towns where I grew Eureka. They called it that because growing wheat at that time was better than striking gold. Now they would call it Thank Gawd for Subsidies.

    • David, may I suggest that you have a look at somewhere equatorial, that has strict limits on human activity and also a reasonably long temperature record to see the true extent of CO2’s ‘forcing’.
      The Galapagos is one such location.

    • Yes, intergenerational … interests:
      It is believed that our sun will become a red giant in a few billion years. It may then swallow the planet, giving global warming a bad name.
      Obviously, we must take political action to mitigate this threat.
      /sarc

  7. Curious George

    I have an advice for Dr. Holdren: Bet your money as you like. Think twice before betting my money.

  8. Maintain trust, protect independence, expect to inform policy, don’t be an advocate…….

    This is everything good for science and policy and bad for the alarmists’ methods of promoting uninformed policy-making. Just the other night the democrats in the U.S. Senate put on a show demonstrating that they know almost nothing about climate (one senator declared he had driven to Hawaii, that must have been across some past land bridge during the ice age).

    No wonder the usual suspects are here quickly in a lather.

    • Harkin, yep! now can anyone name a politician or a media person who knows anything, except perhaps superficial knowledge, within the realm of anthropogenic forcings (sp?) in the climate system?

  9. “The loss of trust in academic climate scientists that started with Climategate has never really recovered, IMO.”

    For those who were thinking about the topic as much as 35+ years before the academic community promoting AGW never had much trust to begin with. So it never “started” with Climategate for the thinking part of the world.

    It must take Dr. Curry 15 hours to bake cookies that would take most 20 minutes. All she has to do is admit climate science was always politically motivated for state expansion, wealth redistribution ideology and was clearly post-normal and non-empirical at the roots and progress would be made. Instead the public gets a bowl of equivocation and mush.

  10. Not only has, “The loss of trust in academic climate scientists that started with Climategate never really recovered,” . . .

    public trust in the scientific community has evaporated !

    • So is that evaporation adding to warming or negating it?

    • That is imho a major concern. No one will stop to listen to what might be real immediate concerns. To mention it again, regardless of weather patterns, we are using water in such a way to make living in some places unsustainable.
      I saw one study where 42% of Ocean rise was due to land runoff. Will have to look to substantiate that.

    • Darrylb: “using water … to make living in some places unsustainable.”
      True. The Delta Smelt are grateful, but the reservoirs were empty. Such a shame that fish can’t vote.

  11. Dear Dr. Curry,
    My first response — a Love Letter, my second response — WOW how can I craft It, and my thoughtful response is a bow to mentors.

    You are human, insightful, and an inspiration!

    ‘Let Them Eschew’ and find understanding, method, and purpose. Let’s hope Government finds its purpose!

  12. Jim Cripwell

    The way to give scientific advice to governments, or government departments, was solved and put into practice during WWII. This is what Operations Research was all about. If people want to plough the sands, and re-invent the wheel, be my guest.

    • “Jim Cripwell
      The way to give scientific advice to governments, or government departments, was solved and put into practice during WWII”

      What a strange view. You should read about science in Germany and Japan during WWII; Speer’s 1000 year Reich is rather eye opening.

      The British found out in spring-44 that 30% of their dropped tonnage was dud, due to the fact that fuses had never been tested.

      The Mark 14 torpedo, introduced into USN service in 1931, wasn’t reliable until September 1943.

    • We’ve (The U.S.) have never recovered our culture since WW2 or from the Civil War for that matter. We are left with a top-down, central planning war economy culture; toady academics groveling for government funding, Keynesian credit expansion and devaluation for all economic short-term results and basic lack of social honesty in the name of “the common good”. A basically compliant media complex supporting the states directives as if this was “Patriotism”.

      Academics advising government is the same as other special access cronyism. AGW “consensus” is just one of many terrible results and social suicide pacts created.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Doc, you write “What a strange view. ”

      I do wish that people would read what I write. I did not claim that there was a 100% perfect relationship between governments and scientists during WWII. Mistakes were made, probably the biggest was the use of the magnetron. And the UK, US and Canada did a far better job than the Germans and the Japanese.

      But the principles of how to effectively communicated were established in WWII ,and the lessons learned then are as valid today as they were 70 years ago.

    • Got ur horseridin’ bare back, Jim; thems wuz zeebras, Doc.
      ==========

    • WWII has another lesson. Bomb Ploesti (oil fields). No air defense for the Third Reich. Sink Japanese oil tankers. The battleship Yamato had fuel enough for a one-way trip.
      Fossil fuels power 80% of the U.S. economy.
      I am confident that academia know these facts.

    • Pooh, Dixie, bombing a highly defended local like the oil fields was the most ineffective way of cutting the German oil supply.
      The very unglamorous mining of canals that were used for transporting the oil and the use of fighter aircraft to strafe trains worked far better, for little cost.
      Towards the end the RAF was bombing tunnels and aqueducts with Grand Slam’s, which worked a treat.

    • DocMartyn, you are right. Ploesti was ineffective. Sinking oil tankers was effective. Your examples show that the strategy was implemented using different tactics.
      Please consider this: would not permanent control and political allocation of fossil fuel energy fundamentally change the United States?

  13. John DeFayette

    Judith, the advocates probably don’t really care what they’re doing. After all, their actions gain them fame and (relative) fortune.

    Not to worry, though. Many of us unwashed have very sensitive advocate filters. When activated, the title “scientist” drops away very quickly. With regard to AGW it’s very difficult to imagine Chicken Little in a lab coat.

    • More about power than money. Greenshirt profits increase their profile but it’s about the “know best” culture found in all Progressive dictates. Social planning never has a spending cap but it’s about control.

  14. Curious George

    This whole advice should be disregarded, as it does not come from a Doctor of Social and Political Sciences.

  15. Walt Allensworth

    So the current administration and scientific supporting body have scored a 1 out of 8 on this list.

    Sadly it’s “Give science privilege as an input into policy,” and this is biased roughly 10,000:1 by funding delivered to those who support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming meme.

    So, in retrospect, score them 0 out of 8.

    I was initially trying to be generous.
    Should we discuss point by point?

    1) Maintain the trust of many. – The CAGW scientists have alienated at least 50% of the population who now believe they are just in the pocket of the liberal left, and are essentially bought and paid-for to produce ‘science’ that supports policy. As a whole, CAGW scientists have ‘sold their souls.’ Trust? Ha! Independent and critical thinking has been drummed out of climate science for two decades. You can count on one hand those ‘old timers’ that have managed to get tenure and therefore hold on to a paying position. The only way the young and un-tenured scientist is able to survive is to goose-step along to the beat of the drum.

    2) Protect the independence of advice – Politicians and high-level advisers decide the answers in advance, and then ‘science’ is conducted to support these answers. Ergo, red noise in, hockey stick out. What could go wrong?

    3) Report to the top (uncensored) – censorship is rampant and by decree. Lip service is given to ‘token’ contrarians of the mainstream CAGW meme. They (the administration) just don’t want to hear the truth. It’s not in their agenda.

    4) Expect to inform policy, not make it. – see #1 above. ‘Nuff said.

    5) Give science privilege as an input into policy. – when a ‘science’ is bought and paid-for it is no longer is sacrosanct “knowledge” it is “PR material”. As such in holds no special place in history such as math, physics, or chemical science. It becomes suspect, as do the scientists producing it. It all falls from grace, and the trust is hard to win back once lost.

    6) Recognize the limits of science – The statement “the science is settled” made by those scientists in positions of power (Hansen, Mann and Holdren for example) have completely destroyed this one. One only has to look at the fact that 98% of climate models are wrong. More than half are laughably wrong. One only has to look at the fact that we’re up to a-posteriori excuse #10 for the pause to see that the science is ANYTHING but settled.

    7) Act as a broker not an advocate – see #1 above. ‘Nuff said.

    8) Engage the scientific community – only ONE SIDE of the community has been engaged, and this side has been bought and paid for. Contrarian views are unfunded, and work that somehow gets done ‘against the meme’ NEVER passes peer review. It’s a closed system.

    We are in a war, and so far big-government is winning. They are winning by taking your money at gun-point and distributing it to cronies who would keep them in power. These cronies are in charge of indoctrination (Universities), data (Government labs and programs) industry (green energy schemes) and the weak-minded who would believe the science is settled if any authority figure tells them so.

    Climate Science has been ‘corrupted’ to do the bidding of big-government. Indoctrination starts in grade-school. Believers are rewarded in undergraduate school, and skeptics are weeded out. By the time you get a PhD these days you have been fully vetted by “la machine”. Post-Doc papers within the “meme” are upchecked, and anything going against the consensus never sees the light of day in a journal. Those who are publish the right stuff are funded to publish again, and those who are not funded take jobs in the service industries – driving cabs and pushing burgers. This choice is made blindingly clear to those riding the gravy train.

    This basic framework is no different than it was during the times of the Spanish Inquisition. The same tactics are being employed. You’re either in or you’re out.

    How could this framework EVER produce something trustworthy … objective … independent … rigorous? Only by accident.

    I suppose this is the type of thinking that you wanted to spur with your article Dr. Curry. However, is a very depressing line of thinking.

    How long will it take to undo the damage to science, to our nation, to our universities? Certainly a generation and untold billions of dollars.

    • @ Walt

      Dead, spot on. One of the best summaries I have seen.

      “How long will it take to undo the damage to science, to our nation, to our universities? Certainly a generation and untold billions of dollars.”

      Unfortunately, I think that we are beyond the point of no return. The paragraph starting “Climate Science has been ‘corrupted’ to do the bidding of big-government.” applies equally to schools of journalism, social science, government, law, education, economics, and every other non ‘hard science’ field. And has for 30 years. The graduates in those fields now run the country, and the ‘iron hand’ is becoming more visible as they consolidate their power.

    • It is depressing. On the other hand I think the work of Dr. Curry (as well as others) is giving me reason for optimism.

    • David L. Hagen

      Recognize the limits of science:
      Kill babies to protect species
      Unalienable Right to Life vs Climate Eugenics

      “Science advisors” have authority to present scientific facts and options, NOT to proscribe morality.
      “Science advisors” have prioritized climate eugenics in Obama’s current budget. Bureaucrats are imposing atheistic Gaia worship above the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, as recognized in the organic law of the USA.
      The Environmentalist Eugenics of the Left

      On Page 930 of the budget that never ends is $575 million for “family planning/reproductive health” worldwide especially in “areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species.”

      The idea that the way to protect insects, fish and animals is by preventing human beings from having children is part of an approach known as Population, Health and Environment (PHE) which integrates population control into environmentalist initiatives.

      PHE dates back to the 1980s and is practiced by mainstream organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund. The Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson Center, which is funded partly by the US government, aggressively champions PHE eugenics and USAID funds PHE programs and distributes PHE training manuals derived in part from Wilson Center materials.

      PHE had been baked into congressional bills such as the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2013 co-sponsored by Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Sheila Jackson-Lee which urged meeting United Nations Millennium Development Goals by using birth control as, among other things, a means of “ensuring environmental sustainability.”

      Obama’s budget is more open about its PHE eugenics agenda. While PHE backers usually claim that they want to reduce population to prevent famine and promote gender equality, the budget explicitly states that its goal is to reduce human population growth for the sake of the animals, without any of the usual misleading language about feminism and clean water.

      The budget is a blunt assertion of post-human values by an administration that has become notorious for its fanatical environmentalism, sacrificing people on the altar of Green ideology.

      Real question: Does Obama’s budget fund overseas abortions to protect endangered animals?

    • @ David L. Hagan

      We should keep in mind that Greens/Environmentalists/Climate_science/etc are all facets of the Sustainability Movement.

      And that the central precept of ‘Sustainability’ is that the maximum sustainable population for the Earth is between 0.5 and 1.5 billion. They mean to use the power of government to achieve ‘sustainability’. They aren’t kidding and the policies that are being advocated to ‘Stop Global Warming’ would do much to advance the ’cause’.

  16. Danley Wolfe

    “What other science has EVER gone through…huge policy/communication circus as global warming.” Quality science advice will not be used to inform decisions if the policy / decision makers are biased even before given the best unbiased science advice ever given, they want to be told what they want to hear. Cf, Senate leader Harry M. “clueless” Reid screaming that climate change causes weather events at the recent Democrat climate sleep over. The president absolutely does not want advice that would disagree with / cause debate or criticism of his predetermined (and blessed by the Green bloc) ideas on combating climate change. This is not your usual science policy debate as it has deep ideological roots having nothing to do with science – think “free market systems vs. Marxism.” Does anyone in the room disagree that science advise should be unbiased, evidenced based and uncoerced by the policy makers? If not, you might like Dr.. Goebbels and Willi Münzenberg as your science policy advisors. Or Soviet agitprops from the Soviet Department for Agitation and Propaganda, part of the Central / regional committees of the Soviet Communist Party later renamed the Ideological Department.

    Use of propaganda techniques such as used by those types should be the first red flag, such as:

    1. Simplification: reducing all data to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foe’.
    2. Disfiguration: discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies.
    3. Transfusion: manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one’s own ends.
    4. Unanimity: presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people: drawing the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of star-performers, by social pressure and by ‘psychological contagion’.
    5. Orchestration: endlessly repeating the same message; in different variations and combinations.”
    from Norman Davies, “Europe – a History,” Oxford Press, 1996, pp 500-501).

  17. Stephen Segrest

    The problem is that Climate Scientist rarely, if ever, define what they can agree about – any “Common Ground”. An almost total emphasis of poking holes in AGW theories results in the following by leading conservative political leaders:

    “Just so you’ll know, global warming is a total fraud and it’s being designed by Liberals who get elected”. (Rep. Rohrabacher).

    “Scientists all over this world say the idea of human induced global change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community”. (Rep. Brown).

    “Global Warming is junk science”. (Rep. Roskam)

    “Global Warming will not destroy the earth because only God can decide when the earth will end. The Bible tells us that this earth will not be destroyed by a flood”. (Rep. Shimkus)

    “Climate Change is not science, it’s more of a religion than a science”. (Rep. King)

    “The scientific fact is that we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth”. (Rep. Bachmann)

    “Climate Change is all baloney and just some scheme”. (Rep. Benishek)

    “Global Warming is the greatest scam in history”. (Rep. Duncan).

    “Global Warming is simply a Chick Little scheme to destroy individual liberties and national sovereignty to a global dictatorship of these frauds”. (Rep. Carter).

  18. Stephen Segrest

    If Climate Scientists could always state their “common ground” and achieve the following mindset of political leaders (a quote from Sen. Toomey, a Republican!), this would be a major accomplishment:

    “My view is: I think the data is pretty clear. There has been an increase in temperature of the planet over the course of the last 100 years or so. I think it’s clear that that has happened. The extent to which that has been caused by human activity I think is not as clear.”

    • Stephen Segrest

      Amen! (To what Senator Toomey has said.)

      This is very much in line with what our hostess here has testified before Congress (for which she was branded a “heretic” and traitor”).

      The key statements (from her testimony to the Baird committee in the fall of 2010) bear repeating here:

      Anthropogenic climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.

      The threat from global climate change does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century even in its most alarming incarnation.

      It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated rather than to respond urgently with policies that may fail to address the problem and whose unintended consequences have not been adequately explored.

      If every Senator talked like that we would not have had the all-night climate change blabathon orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

      Max

    • It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated

      Do you see Republicans suggesting any “robust policy responses?” All I see from them is to advocate for doing “nothing,” because they think it isn’t and never will be a problem.

    • Joseph

      I cannot speak for “Republicans”, but I see that most rational observers agree the purported impacts from AGW are anything but certain, that their possible effects are unlikely to be serious for humanity over the next several decades and that we should, therefore clear up all the many uncertainties before we embark on any action programs whose unintended negative consequences we are unable to estimate today. Many suggest we should also prepare to adapt locally and regionally to any climate challenges that nature throws at us, if and when it appears that these challenges could become imminent.

      I also believe that this is more or less what Dr. Curry was advising the congressional committee.

      Max

    • Joseph, that’s complete non-sense. The United States, for example, has done a better job of reducing emissions than Europe thanks in large part to the development of natural gas. Democrats opposed, and still oppose, that development.
      The Republican Party is no obstacle to expansion of nuclear power- they support it. Democrats oppose it.
      When you see any Democrats supporting robust policy that would have any impact on emissions, come back and let us know.

    • @ Joseph

      “It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated.”

      To what, specifically, should the ‘robust policies’ respond?

      Could you provide some examples of what you would consider ‘robust policies’?

      Is there convincing evidence that the policies would have measurable efficacy in ameliorating the problem that they were robustly formulated to address?

    • “therefore clear up all the many uncertainties before we embark on any action programs ”

      And what would make you believe all of the “uncertainties” have been cleared up? What if we wait to clear up all of the “uncertainties” and we find out that it will be as bad as the vast majority of climate scientist think. And it is too late to mitigate or adapt adequately to those consequences?

    • To what, specifically, should the ‘robust policies’ respond?

      Bob, that is what Dr. Curry stated in her remarks before Congress. Ask her..

    • @ Joseph

      “Bob, that is what Dr. Curry stated in her remarks before Congress. Ask her..”

      I addressed you because you were the poster.

      As far as I am concerned, the questions I asked are open questions. I think that anyone, including Dr. Curry, who proposes ‘robust solutions’ should be able to state what problem is being solved, the evidence that it is a problem needing solving, have convincing evidence that the proposed solutions will in fact measurably improve the symptoms, and that ‘the cure is not worse than the disease’.

      In the case of ‘Climate Change’, it has been advertised as the greatest existential threat ever faced by humanity and that its proximate cause is ACO2. The evidence presented is a 150 year old theory, since promoted to axiom, a small temperature rise over the last century, supported by reams of adjusted data, which has resulted in what appears to a casual observer to be perfectly normal climate. If there is a problem that demands a solution, it is not obvious. Nor is it obvious, or convincing, that taxing and regulating the use of fossil fuels would have any measurable effect on the Temperature of the Earth or, if the effects, if any, would in fact be desirable.

  19. I see no sign that those scientists who have adopted the mantle of advocacy have learned anything from their previous mistakes. Nor any sign that they are interested in doing so. They all seem to want only a larger megaphone for Christmas.

  20. The trouble with climate scientists is they have begun to see themselves as heroes. Of course they tend toward alarmism. Nothing could be more natural. The more apocalyptic the message, the more frightening the possibilities, the greater is their own personal glory.

    I’ve been asked many times by liberal friends if what I’m really saying is that there’s some sort of conspiracy going on.. Well, in extreme cases as per climate-gate, I suppose there is. But in the main this is about human beings simply being human beings. The human ego is a voracious thing. The more it gets fed, the hungrier it gets.

    • pokerguy,

      I wouldn’t even call climategate a conspiracy. I think of it more as a typical example of progressive group think. Journolist was a similar progressive attempt to manage the debate. Progressives can’t help themselves when they get together and think no one else is watching.

    • Hi Gary,
      I was referring to the effort to keep “unfriendly” papers out of science journals, something which really did involve an explicit conspiracy of sorts. Semantics I guess.

    • “The trouble with climate scientists is they have begun to see themselves as heroes. Of course they tend toward alarmism. Nothing could be more natural. The more apocalyptic the message, the more frightening the possibilities, the greater is their own personal glory. ”

      This is another example of a speculative evidence free assertion that only a “skeptic” could dream up.

  21. I see Peter Gluckman is a big fan of “The Honest Broker” by Roger A. Pielke, Jr.

    Apparently he identifies it as “the best manual for a person in my position.”

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/01/best-manual.html

    Interesting!

  22. “…the issue of the Holdren filter on the issue of climate science as received by President Obama (and also John Kerry)”

    Yes, if only those famous free marketeers Obama and Kerry were not getting politicized advice, they would reject the ever increasing centralization of power over the energy economy by the EPA.

    Please.

    The IPCC, John Holdren and the rest of the climate “science” community are the tail. The progressive politicians who run virtually all of the western governments are the dogs. The tails wag as they are told to.

    (I considered using another part of the canine anatomy whose function would make for a much more accurate metaphor, but this is a site with mixed company.)

    • Gary M

      Your “dog and tail” hypothesis sounds reasonable.

      Why would President Obama even pick a far-our doomsayer like Holdren if there were not a hidden political agenda behind this choice?

      IMO we are talking about agenda driven science, not only with Holdren, but also with the forced consensus process of IPCC itself (our hostess has commented on this in earlier posts).

      Trolls like Joshua or lolwot will holler “conspiracy theory!”, but it is not really a “conspiracy” per se – just a convenient collusion of interests between several otherwise independent factions.

      These include politicians (who want to control and tax energy so they have more tax-payer money to shuffle around), entrepreneurs and industrialists (who see a chance to make a profit), climate scientists (seeking “fame and fortune”), a handful of self-appointed saviors of the planet (who love the feeling of importance plus cash in on the scare), the media (who benefit from “disaster stories”), media darlings and other hangers-on (who find it “cool” to jump onto the bandwagon du jour).

      The losers are the taxpaying general public – unless they stand up and fight against this charade.

      Max

    • “I considered using another part of the canine anatomy whose function would make for a much more accurate metaphor, but this is a site with mixed company.”

      So that old furphy about “on the net, no-one knows if you’re a dog” has some basis in fact, then! Mixed company indeed, in our house we only go so far as cats on the keyboard. (And so far no one at CE has picked up on the cats’ contribution.)

  23. So many naughty ‘n so few nice. )

  24. For extended Tahiti-Darwin SOI data back to 1876, and timely monthly updates, check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website. This index has often been out of sync with other ENSO indices in the last decade, including a jump to +10 (+1 sigma) in April 2010 that was ahead of any other ENSO index in announcing La Niña conditions. In 2013, the SOI varied from slightly negative values early in the year (-4 in February) all the way to +14 in June and back down to -2 in October. It rose back up to +9 in November, consistent with potentially re-emerging La Niña conditions. However, the December value dropped right back to +1, only to be followed by a jump to +12 in January 2014, and back to slightly negative values (-1) in February. The SOI remains the noisiest ENSO index that I can think of.

    She’s about to blow.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Sustained values precede surface temps by some 7 months. The connection between SLP and Walker Circulation is obvious.

    • “Strong perturbation of polar motion in Decembre 2013 (x component remained constant during two weeks, probably in relation with the El-Nino that is taking place.)”

      http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/

      Look at the kink in the NW corner of this plot

      The claim is that since the Earth’s angular momentum has to be kept constant, something significant is changing course in terms of the ocean’s and/or atmosphere’s circulation.

  25. Judith Curry

    Peter Gluckman makes good sense.

    This is the kind of unbiased and objective science adviser that President Obama should have, rather than far-out alarmist, John Holdren, whom very few people really take seriously. (Shooting massive amounts of sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to save the planet from global warming? Ouch!)

    You wrote:

    In the climate community, it has become ‘fashionable’ to be an advocate, and I suspect many don’t really understand what they are really doing — after all, it is fashionable and a path to fame and (relative) fortune for an academic. The loss of trust in academic climate scientists that started with Climategate has never really recovered, IMO.

    Sad but true.

    But it is good to know that there are still some well-respected climate scientists (including you), who have not sold out to the pressures to become advocates for a political agenda.

    Max

    Max

    • Which scientists are motivated by a “political agenda?” And where is the proof?

    • Joseph,

      Don’t be obtuse, they are the ones that say things Max doesn’t like and the proof is that he doesn’t like it.

      This is the kind of m0tivated reas0ning that passes for skepticism amongst the arse-kis…err, denizens.

    • Joseph

      Which scientists are motivated by a “political agenda?” And where is the proof?

      The “political agenda” espoused by IPCC (as its very raison d’etre) is to show that humans are changing the climate by causing greenhouse warming, that the effects of this warming represent a potentially serious threat to humanity and our environment unless actions are undertaken now to dramatically decrease human GHG emissions (principally CO2). This is the forced “consensus” position of IPCC. Papers agreeing with this “consensus” are eagerly accepted by IPCC (sometimes even without proper vetting, as in the case of the “hockey stick”); papers dissenting from the “consensus” are rejected or simply ignored.

      The “science” supporting this “consensus position” is driven by the political agenda, i.e. it is “agenda driven science”.

      Thomas Kuhn described how “paradigms” become engrained in science until a “paradigm shift” replaces them with what soon becomes the next “paradigm”.

      There is undoubtedly some of this in climate science today (as in all sciences), but in climate science it is exacerbated by the politically driven IPCC “consensus process”, which blocks out all dissent in order to get the political message across.

      Max

    • Joseph,

      You might need to help Max out by telling him ‘proof’ might look like.

    • Michael

      What does “proof” look like?

      Try the IPCC AR4 or AR5 report.

      Max

    • naq

      Jolly sank Sink, but did Sink get sunk because of climate change?

      Maybe.

      Max

    • First of all the purpose is to assess:

      “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data. It bases its assessment mainly on published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature.

      If there were no risks or they were minimal, then that would be the conclusion.

      Papers agreeing with this “consensus” are eagerly accepted by IPCC (sometimes even without proper vetting, as in the case of the “hockey stick”); papers dissenting from the “consensus” are rejected or simply ignored.

      Again just because you make a claim doesn’t make it true.

      The “science” supporting this “consensus position” is driven by the political agenda, i.e. it is “agenda driven science”.

      A political agenda is formulated to achieve a concrete goal. What is the goal?

    • Joseph

      Imo there are multiple goals attempting to be accomplished by ideologically based positions on the topic of AGW.

      Some believe that humans should each have a “smaller footprint” on the ecology

      Some believe by reducing CO2 emissions now, that they know that the weather will be positively impacted at some later date.

      Some believe that by reducing CO2 that they will be helping to prevent a significant increase in the rate of sea level rise

      Some believe that they will get additional research opportunities if the topic of AGW is a high priority

      Some believe promoting the topic of AGW will encourage “developed nations” to provide additional forms of financial assistance to “developing nations”

      You ask for “proof” of humans’ motivations, but that is not a possible request to fulfill. What is easier to assess is whether, regardless of the goal for the suggested actions; do these actions make scientific of economic sense.

      What reliable evidence is there that the majority of “climate mitigation actions” proposed today will ever have a net positive impact of the future climate/weather?

      How is other than the construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure the most sensible actions? Some nations do this better than others. Those that do not have nobody to blame but themselves.

    • “A political agenda is formulated to achieve a concrete goal. What is the goal?”

      Profiteering, feeling good, being part of the herd…

    • Joseph

      You cite the purpose of the IPCC (i.e. to assess the risk of threats from human-induced climate change) and then add:

      If there were no risks or they were minimal, then that would be the conclusion.

      If the IPCC conclusion were that there is no threat to humanity from human-induced climate change, IPCC would cease to have a reason to exist. IOW the CAGW premise is of existential importance to IPCC. (Thanks for pointing that out so clearly).

      You counter my point that IPCC selectively accepts or rejects scientific reports, based on whether or not these support the CAGW consensus with:

      Again just because you make a claim doesn’t make it true.

      Of course not.

      I cited the example of the hockey stick, which was eagerly embraced by IPCC and given “centerfold” prominence in its TAR summary report, apparently without proper vetting, but there are several examples of the other phenomenon.

      One that sticks out is Wingham et al. 2005 on the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Wingham concluded based on 24/7 satellite altimetry records covering the entire period and estimates using other methods for the polar and coastal regions, which could not be captured by satellite altimetry, that the AIS gained 27 Gt/year mass over the period 1992-2003. This was the only continuous data set covering the entire period.

      IPCC ignored this study and reported instead that the AIS contributed 0.21 mm/year to SL rise over this period, which is equivalent to a mass loss of around 76 Gt/year.

      Ouch!

      To my statement of agenda driven science, you wrote:

      A political agenda is formulated to achieve a concrete goal. What is the goal?

      Don’t be naïve, Joseph. It is quite clear that the concrete UNFCCC/IPCC goal is to drastically reduce human CO2 emissions by getting all nations to agree to top-down emission limits and levying a direct or indirect global tax on carbon and hence world-wide energy. Has this all somehow escaped your attention?

      Hope this clears it up for you.

      Max

    • Joseph,

      Max is being typically (‘skeptically’) delusional and selective on the Wingham (2006) paper.

      Read the whole paper and you’ll see how.

      Note the same author (Wingham) has a 2007 paper, explciity stating that Antarctica is losing ice mass.
      (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/315/5818/1529.abstract)

      Naturally, Max won’t budge from his anti-IPCC belief in the light of irrellevant things like facts.

    • If the IPCC conclusion were that there is no threat to humanity from human-induced climate change, IPCC would cease to have a reason to exist. IOW the CAGW premise is of existential importance to IPCC.

      The IPCC is made up of individual volunteers. No one is forcing anyone to draw any conclusions. Do you have any evidence that they are?

      Don’t be naïve, Joseph. It is quite clear that the concrete UNFCCC/IPCC goal is to drastically reduce human CO2 emissions by getting all nations to agree to top-down emission limits and levying a direct or indirect global tax on carbon and hence world-wide energy.

      Why would they want to do that? What you are suggesting makes absolutely no sense to me. Maybe to some black helicopter conspiracy nut, but not to any sane person.

    • Ah, J, progress. So you agree that would be a foolish thing for the IPCC to encourage?
      =========

    • k scott denison

      Joseph | March 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm |

      The IPCC is made up of individual volunteers. No one is forcing anyone to draw any conclusions. Do you have any evidence that they are?
      ——–
      Huh, if they are volunteers, then why are my tax dollars funding the IPCC at ~$10 million per year?

    • Michael

      Don’t be dense.

      In AR4 WG1 SPM, IPCC claimed that over the time period 1993-2003 the Antarctic Ice Sheet lost 76 Gt/year mass.

      In doing so, IPCC ignored a 2005 report by Wingham et al. based on continuous satellite altimetry over the entire period which concluded that the Antarctic Ice Sheet gained 27 Gt/year over the time period 1993-2003.

      http://www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf

      You counter with a later paper (which came out after AR4 WG1 SPM) covering a time period after 2003.

      What happened after 2003 has no bearing on the fact that IPCC ignored or rejected a scientific study, which showed a diametrically opposite finding to that reported by IPCC in AR4 (which was my point).

      It is true that some time after the IPCC 2007 SPM was published there was a paper by Shepherd and Wingham that suggested that Antarctica is losing mass today, not due to melting, but due to the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which apparently accelerated in the past decade (with some shorter-period ups and downs) with the conclusion that over the course of the 21st century, these processes could counteract the net snowfall gains found in the earlier study.

      http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/315/5818/1529

      A subsequent study by Zwally et al. found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet gained mass from 2003 to 2008.

      During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gt/yr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change. The net gain (86 Gt/yr) over the West Antarctic (WA) and East Antarctic ice sheets (WA and EA) is essentially unchanged from revised results for 1992 to 2001 from ERS radar altimetry.

      So it is not clear whether or not the AIS gained or lost mass after 2003.

      But, Michael, all these things that happened after the AR4 SPM report, which specifically covered the 1993-2003 period, (also covering a different time frame) and are irrelevant to my point, which I will repeat:

      In AR4 WG1 SPM IPCC ignored or rejected the only study that covered the entire Antarctica Ice Sheet over the entire period 1993-2003, which showed net ice mass gain in Antarctica over this period, opting instead to falsely claim net ice mass loss over this same period

      It pays to get your facts straight before you shoot off comments, Michael – keeps you from looking silly.

      Max

      .

    • Joseph

      If you are too dense to see that a committee, whose brief it is to find and quantify human induced climate changes and any resulting negative impacts is not going to make itself redundant by reporting that there are no human-induced climate changes, which could result in negative impacts, I can’t help you.

      IPCC’s reason for doing this is quite simple: survival.

      No “conspiracy” needed at all.

      Max

    • Max,

      Your problem with the 2006 paper is that it’s quite explicit that it was only looking at part of the Antartic ice mass – that’s why you can’t use it to make the claim you did.

      I’m sure you’ll continue with your anti-IPCC dogma regardless.

    • “In AR4 WG1 SPM, IPCC claimed that over the time period 1993-2003 the Antarctic Ice Sheet lost 76 Gt/year mass.” – Max

      Had a quick look – can’t find this claim.

      Where is it exactly?

    • Michael

      You say the Wingham study only covers a portion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

      Let me quote from Wingham et al. “Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet”. (Note the title does not read “Mass Balance of a portion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet”)

      Wingham could only measure 72% of the total Antarctic Ice Sheet with continuous satellite altimetry, because the central polar region (22%) as well as the coastal regions (6% ) cannot be surveyed by satellites. In order to get a complete mass balance the authors used other data sources to estimate the mass gain or loss for these regions, concluding:

      Our estimate of the mass gain of the unsurveyed Antarctic interior is comparable to our estimate of the mass loss of the unsurveyed coast.

      So the study covers the entire AIS, with 72% based on continuous satellite altimetry and the remaining 28% based on estimates using other sources.

      To your second point.

      Check IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM report, page 7, Table SPM.1., where IPCC states that the Antarctic Ice Sheet contributed 0.21 mm/year to the sea level rise over the period 1993-2003.

      Based on a total surface of the oceans of 361.8 million square km, this equals:

      361,800,000 * 0.21 / 1,000,000 = 76 m3/yr = 76 Gt/yr

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Max

    • And it all becomes clear.

      Max is fibbing, confabulating and fudging. What a surprise!

      So, does the AR4 WG1 SPM say “that over the time period 1993-2003 the Antarctic Ice Sheet lost 76 Gt/year mass.”?

      No.

      Max tries to quibble out by incompletely and misleadingly ‘quoting’ a SPM table – “IPCC states that the Antarctic Ice Sheet contributed 0.21 mm/year to the sea level rise”.

      Where from, Max pulls this out of his arse;
      “Based on a total surface of the oceans of 361.8 million square km, this equals: 361,800,000 * 0.21 / 1,000,000 = 76 m3/yr = 76 Gt/yr”

      Hey presto!! And I have a bridge to sell you.

      Because the IPCC is actually quite appropriately careful with its AIS figures and the table actually says “0.21 +/- 0.35″

      +/-. My, what a massive difference that makes!

      Now back in the land of reality, we can see that the IPCC is actually saying that the AIS may have been gaining mass over the time period. Gaining. Getting bigger. More.

      Evil IPCC!!

      Just to make sure no one is confused, in the body of the report this is made explicit (explicit Max – maybe just for you);

      “Assessment of the data and techniques suggests overall Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance ranging from growth of 50 Gt yr–1 to shrinkage of 200 Gt yr–1 from 1993 to 2003.”

      And, just to help you further, that places the Wingham (2006) results within the range of the IPCC estimates.

      And just to re-cap, these were the wild, delusional, conspiratorial and unsupportable claims that Max made on the basis of his complete and utter buulsh!t;

      “agenda driven science…. the concrete UNFCCC/IPCC goal is to … getting all nations to agree to top-down emission limits and levying a direct or indirect global tax on carbon and hence world-wide energy”
      “…IPCC ignored or rejected a scientific study, which showed a diametrically opposite finding…”
      “AR4 WG1 SPM IPCC …falsely claim net ice mass loss…”
      ” …pays to get your facts straight before you shoot off comments, …keeps you from looking silly”
      Oh, yes Indeed!

      Just another reminder that you can’t trust a single thing these delusionally dishonest deniers dish out.

      • David Springer

        One too many cups of coffee this morning?

      • David Springer

        P.S. Michael

        Max gave you a solid reference for the IPCC claim of ice loss of 76 Gt/yr. They claimed a certain amount of sea level rise was due to Antarctic ice loss. Max did the math. You’re not the most graceful person in defeat, huh? Of course we knew that already just from your warmist credential which requires being shrill in the face of contrary evidence.

    • Michael is correct

      That SPM table says:

      Antarctic Ice Sheet: 0.21 +- 0.35mm/year

      So Manacker is wrong to claim the IPCC claimed the Antarctic had lost mass over this period. Not only that but the figures above according to Manacker’s calculations yeild a mass loss of:

      76 +- 126 Gt/year

      Which easily covers the 27 Gt/year mass gain that Wingham 2005 reported.

      I think Manacker owes the IPCC an apology.

    • Michael

      Looks like, besides being snarky, you aren’t too bright.

      Any sixth grader can convert global sea level rise in millimeters (from melting ice) back to cubic meters of water (or melted ice).

      Duh!

      Max

    • lolwot

      You write:

      I think Manacker owes the IPCC an apology.

      Of course you would think that.

      But nobody really cares what you think, lolwot.

      Such a silly argument!

      Max

    • “…you aren’t too bright.
      Any sixth grader can convert global sea level rise…” – Max

      Typical denier behaviour – when caught out in their lies, never acknowledge, never apologise.

      Just remember, Max was ranting about how the IPCC was engaged in a conspiracy to ignore a particular result, all a part of their nefarious scheme for “global tax on carbon and hence world-wide energy”.

      Sheer idi0cy.

  26. Susan Fraser

    Gluckman is a true beiliever in CAGW
    See his Report for: “scientific concensus” and “cause for concern”

    New Zealand’s changing climate and oceans:The impact of human activity
    and implications for the future
    An assessment of the current state of scientific knowledge
    by the Office of the Chief Science Advisor July 2013

    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/New-Zealands-Changing-Climate-and-Oceans-report.pdf

    “Executive summary
    An assessment of current scientific report 1on the global climate show a very high level of consistency with previous work and with the continuing scientific consensus. There is unequivocal evidence that the Earth’s
    climate is changing, and there is strong scientific agreement that this is predominantly as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Any short-term departures from the long-term warming trend can
    broadly be explained through a combination of other causes of climate variability and inherent lags in the system. That is not to say that our understanding of the global climate is complete; inherent in any scientific
    assessment of the future is a component of uncertainty 2 There is no way to completely remove uncertainty, given the nature of climate science and the climate system, but despite this there is strong scientific consensus on the general trends and drivers of recent climate change. The most probable future scenarios are cause for concern.
    ……”
    Sir Peter Gluckman

  27. Maintain the trust of many. Make sure that you brief journalists before you have a meeting so that the politician has to read a terrifying headline over breakfast
    Protect the independence of advice. Make sure that you slur ‘deniers’ and ‘skeptics’ as in the pay of a cabal of fossil fuel interests so that you can question their independence, honesty and ethics .
    Report to the top. Scientific advice should be leaked to the press long before examined by people who live their life with on eye on the polls.
    Expect to inform policy, not make it. Make sure that the civil servants know that they can have a ‘consulting’ role within oversight bodies and think-tanks, as it is the civil servants who write the laws.
    Give science privilege as an input into policy. Wear you lab coat, if you are a climate scientist, buy a lab coat.
    Recognize the limits of science. It is fair to assume that the politicians are much dumber than you, because if they were smart they would have spotted the climate science gravy train and not gone into politics. Dumb people need simple messages, and science is complex, and so to explain what politicians need to do, lie to them.
    Act as a broker not an advocate. You can make a fortune selling short on coal or get in on the bottom floor of mercury filled light bulbs; if you use an online share exchange there are no brokerage fees. Being your own broker makes sense .
    Engage the scientific community. The right thinking, foresighted, wise and cutting edge scientists obviously have similar views to yours, or they would be wrong thinking, short sighted, stupid and pseudo-scientists. Make sure that you only engage with the right sort of scientists, make sure you reject all grants and papers from the dullards, who can be easily identified by having scant resources and a poor publishing record.

    • David L. Hagen

      Peter on Engage the scientific community

      groundbreaking Code of Conduct for Scientists 8, which directly implies a distinction between brokerage and advocacy, published by the Japanese Council of Science.

      8. Science Council of Japan Statement: Code of Conduct for Scientists – Revised Version (SCJ, 2013); available at http://go.nature.com/nhrnbb

      Science and scientific research exist both with and for society. Therefore, research activities based on scientific freedom and the subjective judgments of scientists only gain social recognition once they are premised upon public trust and the mandate of the people.

      Climategate lost a major amount of “public trust”. Exaggerating “climate change” in weather, and using excessive CO2 sensitivity in models severely degrades “the mandate of the people.”

      (Avoiding Conflicts of Interest)

      16. In their research, reviews, evaluations, judgments, scientific advice and other scientific activities, scientists shall pay sufficient heed to the presence of conflicts of interest between individuals and organizations

      Alarmist activity to gain greater funding – while actively working to prevent funding to other scientists (skeptical of catastrophic anthroprogenic global warming,) severely creates such conflicts of interest.

    • There is also the emotive language in peer reviewed publications, personification of systems, and jargon that seems designed to mislead lay readers.

  28. Danley Wolfe

    Gary, “I wouldn’t even call climategate a conspiracy. I think of it more as a typical example of progressive group think.” Kind of like the Stepford folk scientists (after “The Stepford Wives”)? These people are highly educated folks who know whether or not they are performing, speaking, living real science. Delphi hand count polls that come up with probabilistic numbers global warming is 95% likely due to manmade causes … is not “capital S” Science, it’s opinion science. Or juggling data to create stark images of hockey sticks – that was not just expanding the y-axis it was doing things to numbers to make them different than they are.

  29. Danley Wolfe

    Bob Ludwick makes a good point. “Has anyone noticed that ‘science advice’ means ‘Climate Change Advice’? or some other subset of the green/progressive agenda? Do we have a Physics advisor? Chemistry adviser? Electrical Engineering advisor? Mathematics adviser? Astronomy adviser? Or other fields where the advice is nominally ‘scientific’ but in actuality is wholly political.” Actually we had a Nobel prize winning physicist heading the Department of Energy, who before being named for the post was known to support more nuclear and more renewable energy. He did speak up on global warming throughout his tenure often that were not about science at all but policy statements. The president like to have him stand next to him referring to him as his Nobel prize winning Secretary of Energy whenever he talked about green energy, to which Chu would bobble his head up and down.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Danley Wolfe reminds Climate Etc readers “The President [Obama] liked to have him [Steven Chu] stand next to him referring to [Chu] as [Obama's] Nobel Prize-winning Secretary of Energy”

      Hmmm … Obama and Chu … Obama and Chu … say, weren’t those two guys suddenly handed a “WICKED PROBLEM” when the British Petroleum Corporation (BP) blew-out their Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico.

      Putting Admiral Thad Allen in charge of daily operations, the team of Obama/Chu/Allen did a pretty d*mn quick and mighty effective job of stopping BP’s leak, didn’t they?

      Say Danley Wolfe, how does Obama/Chu/Allen leadership contrast with TEPCO’s handling of the WICKED Fukushima Clean-Up Problem?

      Gee, could it be that *some* WICKED PROBLEMS aren’t handled so well by short-sighted shareholder-protecting globalized corporations?

      Long-term commons-protecting problems are handled mighty badly by global corporations and ideology-driven demagoguery, ain’t that right, Climate Etc readers?

      The world ponders!

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    • @ Danley Wolfe

      “The president like to have him stand next to him referring to him as his Nobel prize winning Secretary of Energy whenever he talked about green energy, to which Chu would bobble his head up and down.”

      Exactly! Chu may be a Nobel Prize winning physicist, but he is not advising on Physics. His job is to provide scientific cover for the critical need, as certified by Climate Science, to control ACO2. And, in exchange for the perks and prestige he gets in exchange, he is happy to to do so.

      Dr. Chu is to Obama as Dr. Floyd Ferris was to ‘Mr. Thompson’.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Dr. Steven Chu: Career Highlights

      Dr. Chu was the Director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies. He also taught at the University of California as a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

      Dr. Chu’s research in atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymer and biophysics includes tests of fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level. While at Stanford, he helped start Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary initiative that brings together the physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine.

      The holder of 10 patents, Dr. Chu has published ~250 scientific and technical papers. He remains active with his research group and has recently published work on general relativity, single molecule biology, biophysics and biomedicine, and on scientific challenges and opportunities in clean energy. Over 30 alumni of his research group have gone on to become distinguished professors and have been recognized by dozens of prizes and awards.

      Dr. Chu is a member of numerous honorific societies including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academia Sinica, the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology, and is an honorary member of the Institute of Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Lifetime Member of the Optical Society of America.

      He received an A.B. degree in mathematics, a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as 23 honorary degrees.

      Bob Ludwick responds  “Dr. Chu is to Obama as [Atlas Shrugged character] Dr. Floyd Ferris was to ‘Mr. Thompson’.”

      Syllogism  IF Steven Chu is a typical liberal, AND President Obama is even smarter than Steven Chu, THEN “Know-Nothing” climate-change denialism and the Republican Party both are just plain doomed.

      `Cuz hey — the one stopped BP’s runaway oil-well and the other stopped Bin-Laden.

      That’s everyday common sense AND the plain facts of history, eh Danley Wolfe and Bob Ludwick?

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    • That isn’t entirely true. There’s no question, Dr. Chu has been forced to abandon some of the DOE research due to political influence from the Administration but his intent is Scientific.

      Here’s an example of a project the DOE funded with Dr. Chu’s support.
      Nocera’s original Personalized Energy version:
      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTtmU2lD97o&w=560&h=315%5D)

      The Sustainocene: era of personalized energy: Daniel Nocera
      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u92O8LSkezY&w=560&h=315%5D)

      Its interest to note the difference between the 2 versions.

    • @ Fan

      I neither said nor implied that Dr. Chu was stupid, incompetent, or unqualified. He is obviously quite the opposite.

      As was Dr. Ferris.

      I simply said that Dr. Chu, in his current position, performs a function very similar to that performed by the smart, competent, and qualified Dr. Ferris.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bob Ludwick is impressed “Dr. Chu, in his current position, performs a function very similar to that performed by the smart, competent, and qualified Dr. Ferris [of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged]“

      Lol … incoherent rant by Bob, link by FOMD!

      Seriously Bob Ludwick, have you considered reading old-time Batman comic-books instead of old-time Ayn Rand novels? `Cuz the comic books would be a pretty considerable upgrade, scientifically, economically, and morally!

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    • Fanny

      The BP Deep Horizon blowout and leak was a total screw-up by lots of folks.

      The most significant “root cause” screw-up was that BP managers decided to save a few bucks by not installing a fail-safe blowout prevention system, even though a senior BP drilling engineer warned that a blowout might occur.

      The permit authorities (Department of the Interior) allowed this to happen and even exempted BP from a detailed environmental impact study after concluding that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

      Halliburton, the service company on the rig, warned BP that it’s cementing practices were risky and that multiple casings should be used but BP decided to use a cheaper solution with a single casing, which got approved by the Minerals Management Services (MMS) authorities

      Drilling was finished and well completion began. Against advice from Halliburton, BP decided to save some money on drilling mud by not fully circulating the well from bottom up.

      BP cancelled a recommended cement bond log test in order to save a few thousand dollars and time.

      The blowout protector failed and an explosion and fire occurred, killing 11 platform workers and injuring 17 others. Several thousand barrels a day of crude oil started leaking from the damaged well into the water and the drilling rig sunk.

      The problem got worse when BP top management lied to the public, saying the leak was less than one thousand barrels per day, while the oil slick was growing day by day

      BP CEO, Tony Hayward, then made the silly mistake of calling the oil spill “relatively tiny in comparison with the size of the ocean.”[

      BP then tried (unsuccessfully) to shift the blame to Transocean and Halliburton. Testimony at a court hearing showed that BP had ignored warnings from Transocean, insisting on displacing protective drilling mud with seawater just hours before the explosion.

      Hayward apologized publicly for the spill, complaining “I’d like my life back.”

      The leak finally got capped after 152 days. The reservoir was then sealed with cement through a second well drilled at an angle into the formation.

      All in all BP may have saved a million dollars dollars or so on a failsafe blowout preventer, rig time plus casings, cement and drilling mud but lost its “green image” plus billions of $ in direct costs and resulting damages.

      A MMS (local permit authority) director took retirement and Hayward got replaced as BP CEO

      Energy secretary Steven Chu was credited for being directly instrumental in the effort to stop the leak

      Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen was praised for his role as National Incident Commander for the federal government’s response to the spill.

      President Obama gave a few speeches and got some good publicity traveling to the Gulf and looking concerned plus taking a vacation swim in the Gulf with his daughter.

    • The cause of the blowout traces back to BP’s acquisition of ARCO Oil and Gas. It’s cultural. When something blows in Gulf, think BP.

    • JCH

      What you write about BP makes sense, especially (as it turned out in the Gulf) at the top management level, but I have seen the BP operations at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. At the operating level, the BP engineers and operators there are drilled in safety and environmental training and painstaking precautions are taken to avoid problems.

      In the Gulf there were some monumentally stupid decisions by BP managers, who wanted to save a buck (and take a risk) despite warnings from the rig and service company engineers, incompetent permit authorities allowing the well to be drilled without failsafe blowout prevention and without conducting a detailed environmental impact study, followed by an extremely inept top management response once the disaster occurred. And this at the same time that BP had wanted to re-brand itself as the “green” energy company!

      Fortunately Nature came to the rescue much faster than anticipated, with much of the oil eaten up by natural bacteria since then

      Some heads did roll, but this does not compensate for the 11 lives lost and the damages to the Gulf Coast and its fishing industry.

      In the court trial later, the disaster was described as the direct result of a “classic failure of management and leadership in BP”.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9896230/Gulf-of-Mexico-disaster-caused-by-classic-failure-of-leadership-at-BP.html

      Max

  30. I think this is good advice for the NZ and probably UK science advisors and scientists, because their elected officials don’t owe support to fossil fuel industries for their election funds, but, as we see, in the US it is a different story. If you are part of a skeptical group, you are going to find willing ears among reps of fossil fuel states who don’t care about the scientific evidence, and just want to hear what they want to hear. The US Republicans are, as a party, united against the IPCC consensus, and it is necessary to have that single-minded view to continue with support under the Republican banner. The US Congress is a basket case when it comes to listening to science rather than funders. Good luck changing any minds there with science. That only works when the politicians actually listen to their electorates rather than the wealthy donors and their own media bubble.

  31. The skeptical view is likely the default for most people. There is too much contradictory information in the climate record and too many uncertainties to make calls 20, 50, 100 years out, that people can trust, and not even in a Japanese sense. The climate claims are rather extraordinary and the findings are contradictory and there are uncertainties, all of which underscores that the evidence is well short of extraordinary. And the modelers are rather ordinary, as it turns out.

  32. The art of science advice to government: hold your nose?

  33. One of three things Gluckman gets essentially right, once you recognize he’s speaking not as a policy advisor in government, but as a lobbyist to government: “Expect to inform policy, not make it. ”

    Which is exactly the role of every human being not the head of government or their direct policy chiefs. While it’s a great reminder in Civics to wake scientists up to their responsibility as citizens.. but it would be better coming from someone clearer on their own role.

    A ‘science advisor’ from outside government who mainly speaks to the media and public is not a policy advisor: that person is the gadfly actual science policy advisors generally loathe.

    Most policy advisors in technical specialties are quite skilled in the technical field, or know how to get decent advice from the technical community without subjecting themselves to self-promoters adept at getting less-competent political advisors to inflict them on the people doing the actual work of formulating policy advice.

    That said, lobbyists do have their role. David Wojick, for example, as a conduit between large business interests and the elected officials the large business interests donated to the campaigns of, makes changing the laws to favor his employers much faster and more efficient.

    So, sure. People who repeatedly give testimony before Congress because some influential politicians like their answers.. Gluckman’s little column may apply to. But don’t confuse it for the real profession.

    • It’s almost as if Gluckmann had Judith in mind when he wrote this;

      “There have been too many examples where appealing to apparently confused science masks what is in fact a policy or ideological debate (for example, exploiting scientific uncertainty to justify inaction on climate change). This has been termed the ‘misuse of science as a proxy for a values debate’. Such misalignment can only undermine confidence
      in both science and policy formation.”

    • Michael

      Don’t think so.

      Do you have any evidence that Dr. Curry is who Gluckman was referring to?

      Or could it have been Michael Mann? Or James Hansen?

      The mind boggles.

      Max

    • “almost as if”, was, I thought, self-explanatory.

      I overestimate the ‘skeptics’, yet again.

    • Naw, Michael.

      (It’s almost as if) you make snide accusations and hide behind prefacing them with “it’s almost as if…”

      Sorry. This doesn’t fool me.

      Max

    • Well Max, there was another tiny hint there for you;
      “for example, exploiting scientific uncertainty to justify inaction on climate change”

      Now perhaps you really think that Michael Mann ansd Jim Hansen are doing this, but I very much doubt it.

      So let me spell it out for you, since you are having such terrible trouble.
      I don’t think Gluckmann was referring to Judith, but I’m saying that the exmaple he gives makes me very much think of Judith.

      If the shoe fits…..

  34. That won’t work- politician only seek advice that fits with what they already decided. The public get what they deserve- seeking solution for complex issues from some guy- even a triple genius couldn’t “solve” these issues given they are so poorly defined such “Health Portfolio”.

  35. Michael

    The general public basically wants to be left alone and not overtaxed.

    Politicians since time immemorial have created imaginary problems that they could first frighten their populaces with and then promise solutions to fix the imaginary problem (Mencken).

    Bush chose WMD.

    Obama/Kerry have chosen CAGW.

    Or were they all duped?

    Max

    • “The general public basically wants to be left alone and not overtaxed”

      +10 for that

      But the overwhelming vanity of politicians will never let it be. Vanity – the succubus of power

  36. Seems like the selection process, or form fitting exercise, for the position plays a very big role in the eventual success/efficacy of any high-level policy advisor.
    With the amount of vetting done, and the wealth of information available regarding scientists experienced enough for consideration at this level, they already know the product they’re getting.

  37. Yeah manacker — no revelations in my comment, just trying to highlight that any discussion on how a science advisor should advise is academic.

  38. I know that Roger Jr and Sir Peter correspond have met. They have a lot of views in common. Maybe both see the honest broker as the true role for advisers. Sir Peter in one interview specifically referenced Roger’s book.
    His views on climate are a lot more nuanced than the jihadists make out. He recognises AGW but also there are significant unknowns

    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

    It is only my opinion, but I suspect his views would have a lot in common with those of our gracious host.

  39. “[M]uch of the debate about climate change is not primarily about the data. Rather, it is about intergenerational economic interests.”

    Oh no, not the grandchildren! Not those guys again! Agreed, my forbears should have gone easy on the whale oil and diversifed out of potatoes. But really, I’m glad they stayed alive as best they could to eventually produce…moi!

    I think this is the same Peter Gluckman who said: “…a small group of scientists who sustain a contrary view for a variety of reasons, some scientific and some not, those who have a vested interest in promoting denial and those who for a variety of reasons, largely philosophical, will reject the evidence.”

    Hmm. Maybe there really is some “art” to Peter Gluckman’s present warm fuzziness on “science advice”.

    In short, could this be yet another tiny warmist pill in gigantic fluffy wrapping?

    Ha ha, got us again!

    • Too bad we can’t personally thank our progenitors for the warming since the LIA. Would the thanks be misplaced, or not?

      Warming, at any but the most precipitous rate, is net beneficial for the biome, and always has been.
      ===============

      • They say the LIA was okay in SoCal, but you sure didn’t want to be in Europe, China or Africa then.

        No need to thank progenitors for improvements, kim. I’m told they didn’t really do much at all. And there was, like, totally no climate science. When those glaciers were swallowing villages in the late 1600s nobody knew enough to say: “It’s the volcanoes, stupid!”

        It had to be the volcanoes, right?

    • Huh, he seems to have a little trouble following his own advice.

    • mosomoso

      When those glaciers were swallowing villages in the late 1600s nobody knew enough to say: “It’s the volcanoes, stupid!”

      Naw.

      They believed it was the wrath of the Almighty, punishing them for their sinful ways (sound familiar?)

      Max

    • kim

      Mah granpappy cudnt drive no car, but he new howta handle horses (an they put out a lotta that ther meth-ane gas).

      Mah pappy bawt hisself a big ol Ford V8 (putin out a hole buncha that ther C-O-2 gas).

      So they dun ther part (as best they cud).

      Max

  40. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry asserts [without support] a denialist talking-point: “President Obama and Kerry are being exposed to a  very extreme/alarmist  mainstream version of climate science, beyond what the IPCC says.”

    Manifesto by JC, history-and-science by FOMD.

    It will be mighty instructive to see what point-of-view prevails at the coming Pontifical Academy Workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Aye, Climate Etc lassies and laddies, now *THAT* workshop will show the world “The Art of Science Advice to Government”

    Proposition  As citizens/voters look farther ahead, they appreciate the common-sense morality and scientific sanity of voices like Holdren, Hansen, Oreskes, Pope Francis, Berry, Goodall (etc).

    A High-Rated SlashDot Comment
    Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax

    “Our society seems to be quickly succumbing to what the economists refer to as “tragedy of the commons”, where everybody is in it for themselves regardless of the cost to others.”

    Kudos to John Holdren, James Hansen, Naomi Oreskes, Pope Francis, Wendell Berry, Jane Goodall (etc.) for standing bravely against the tide of moral timidity and short-sighted commons-destroying selfishness … in climate-science and many other social contexts.

    Good on `yah, John and James and Naomi and Francis and Wendell and Jane!

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    • Fanny

      “Holdren, Hansen, Oreskes, Pope Francis, Berry, Goodall?”

      Wow!

      That’s a mixed bag of doomsayers, advocates, clerical leaders, fiction writers and outright kooks.

      Where’d you cobble together that list?

      Max

    • Weaken the economy with expensive carbon legislation, then whine about Mars mission budget cuts.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      manacker is impressed “‘Holdren, Hansen, Oreskes, Pope Francis, Berry, Goodall?’ Wow! That’s a mixed bag of doomsayers, advocates, clerical leaders, fiction writers and outright kooks.”

      LOL … for once, you and I agree manacker (`cept I would’ve added “brickthrower” to the list)!

      With the exception of Holdren:

      • These old-timers speak to sell-out, wildly cheering crowds

      • Their books uniformly are top-rated best-sellers

      • Every year, they’re high on every Nobel-watcher’s short-list.

      • All are plenty old enough to retire … none have done so.

      • One and all, they’re still in the ring, still takin’ the punches, still ahead on points.” (greatest movie line ever!)

      Conclusion  Denialists consistently underestimate this “fight club” of old-time science-respecting hard-punchers.

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    • You forgot luminaries Mann, Cook and Lewandowski in your list of partisans, hacks, and former scientists; you should not have insulted the Pope by including him.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Hey, it was the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy that chose Naomi Oreskes as the featured closing-speaker at this spring’s workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility.

      Chuck L, if yah think this was a mistake, let Francis know!

      Or yah might just listen to the guy?

      The world ponders … what John and James and Naomi and Francis and Wendell and Jane have to say!

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  41. Steven Mosher | March 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm |

    Its advice from a policy advisor to policy advisors.
    Judith suggests there may be lesson for scientists

    Hi Mosh,

    I have a high respect for your analytical abilities, but you’re off base here. Sir Peter Gluckman is a highly respected scientist, the only Kiwi who is a member of the US Academy of Sciences, and also a member of the Royal Society. He is a world leader in the science of the developmental origins of health and disease, and in fact this Nature piece is based on a presentation he gave at the DOHaD global conference last November in Singapore, of which he was the chair of the scientific committee.

    Would that the US and UK had such renowned and reasonable scientists as chief science advisors.

  42. There are big differences between making and being the news versus reporting it. An honest broker nowadays. No integrity, no honor, no respect for the truth and this is what you have: government-sponsored fear and propaganda for ideological purposes, the science method be damned.

  43. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


    In the climate community, it has become ‘fashionable’ to be an advocate, and I suspect many don’t really understand what they are really doing — after all, it is fashionable and a path to fame and (relative) fortune for an academic.

    The irony is especially thick here today!


    President Obama and Kerry are being exposed to a very extreme/alarmist version of climate science, beyond what the IPCC says.

    Judith – You are such a tease…

    • Reverend

      Our hostess’ observations are pretty accurate, even if they may be confusing or painful to an uninformed man of the cloth, like you.

      Max

  44. If one is to consider an issue that intersects science, economics, politics/policy and data systems, then consider that no one is “expert” in all disciplines.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/02/what-scientific-ideas-are-ready-for-retirement/#comment-468871

  45. The key lie that Dr. Curry panders to all the time is that academia, in particular green areas like climate research, are non-partisan and professional. This was never true past the 1950’s and even then suspect in its much smaller form.

    If you can’t specify the political left-wing social management desires from the start you can never produce an honest assessment of the “science” presented. The debate gets reduced to the moronic claims that the NYTimes and Washington Post are “balanced” reporting which is to say all logic is off the table of discussion.

    AGW evolved from many social issues going back to the public’s dislike of the Rockefellers and “Robber Barrons”, to pro-nuke advocacy in the 70’s, to anti-OPEC national interest agendas and emotions from the same time frame. The pipe dream and Utopian-ism of “green energy” (anti-oil in particular) added in. So climate “science” is tiny and filtered into massive cultural emotions and monied conflicts of interest not the actual scientific method. They had to event their own science method to fit the co2, GHG narrative. That’s what the “consensus” is, post normal politicization of “science” similar to Hitlers Germany or the Soviet standards.

    So it has nothing to do with “communication” or accepting a contrived “art” of “advice” from a deeply corrupted academic community.

  46. Anti-scientific behavior didn’t begin with the AGW alarmist weather cult but they have made it impossible to separate church and science from any legitimate scientific discussion about climate. Even the language has been corrupted. Climate Change?

    • It’s sad to tar so many people including Dr. Curry with one brush but you’re correct. There are dozens of basic losses of logic associated and ignored by imagined “academia” and the term “Climate Change” is clearly one of them.

      The idea that climate is driven by any isolated force, consistently and predictably, given how primitive the historic tools have been and even currently is reminiscent of a 19th century traveling cart selling snake oil in the countryside. Of course it wasn’t only for a buck in this case but to sell the usual “common good” collectivism and solutions that government advocates always claim.

      We’re talking about Orwellian word destruction not just corruption with a tool media filter at the root of it facilitating but you can’t minimize the academics who back the process, Dr. Curry included;

      “Science”, “The Pause”, “Consensus”, “Communication”, “Precautionary Principal”, “Mitigation”, “Adaptation” all are terms coming from the usual suspects pregnant with arrogance, authority, agenda and presumptions.

      • “It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable.” ~Jonah Lehrer, The Truth Wears Off–Is there something wrong with the scientific method? The New Yorker

    • Yes, it’s also a psychological projection. The anthropowarmists are the real climate change deniers (gotta make room for AGW), but they don’t like the fact and are projecting it on the skeptics.

    • Yes. Much of the field jargon is biased to the point one might imagine it’s designed to mislead the lay person.

      Climate Sensitivity is another horrible word. Global Average Temperature Sensitivity is what is meant. Climate is regional and not particularly meaningful globally.

      Global Average Temperature /= Climate
      Climate Change /= Global Warming
      Man Made Climate Change /= Global Warming
      Man Made Global Warming /= Catastrophy

      These are just the most common and superficial.

  47. Peter Gluckman’s article raises a number of interesting issues and presents some curious facts.

    – Its curious, the first science adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand wasn’t required before 2009. Was the creation of the advisory position the result of confusing information coming from the scientific community and or environmental groups like Greenpeace? New Zealand revoked Greenpeace’s charity status in 2010 due to its political objectives and the illegal activities of its members (activities like trespass). The High Court determined that Greenpeace abandoned its educational objectives in favor of political activities. Oddly, Greenpeace’s lawyer argued that engagement of charities in political advocacy was more acceptable now in 21st century.

    Wasn’t the role the IPCC was initially required to follow political in nature?

    – Its very curious that public concern “about medicalizing the food supply” would be allowed to override scientific evidence related to birth defects. Peter points to “the lack of sustained and effective public engagement by the medical-science community” as the true cause. He then uses the phrase, “social license necessary to proceed”. LOL, imagine what credence the FDA would give to “social license” over scientific fact. After FDA approval, products are marketed and advertised. The folate supplementation, if approved, would deliver a product with a clear “Product Advantage” making it unique and easy to Market. If the consumer doesn’t like “medicalizing the food supply” then they have the option to avoid the product.

    – Perhaps post-normal science created the need for the first science adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand? In the US the topics he lists would range across numerous agency departments; FDA, DOE, EPA, etc. Perhaps his role is to review and advise on the results from other New Zealand agencies?

    • “The forthcoming workshop in New Zealand looks like a step in the right direction.”

      List of Speakers:

      http://www.globalscienceadvice.org/?page_id=17

      The Holdren filter could help to explain why John Kerry attempted to sneak a Carbon Tax into the Law of the Sea Treaty and why he’s such a Climate Change zealot.

    • There is another aspect to all this that troubles me — the idea a science advisor has the same opportunity/duty in all governments. Terms used to describe the various parties in various governments are extremely difficult to cross-compare. Perhaps other than the Green Party.

      Governments which use Ministers/Ministries to enact or judge policy are typically populated by individuals with a predetermined bent. Environmentalists typically end up judging policy in environmental Ministries. Acting as an advisor to such groups is a bit like pounding one’s head into a brick wall; a headache.

      There does seem to be a fairly common opinion of the Green Party in Australia.

      “The Greens are a party full of useful idiots, ex-communists and starry eyed dreamers. They haven’t got a clue except for ‘capitalism bad’. They don’t actually say ‘socialism good’ but somehow pretend you can run a modern economy on moonbeams and rainbows. They are far-left…”.

  48. Danley Wolfe

    Stephen Chu’s research was on the narrow topic – laser cooling techniques and magneto-optical trapping of atoms using lasers. His background is physics, not climate science. He was selected as the president’s head of Department of Energy because is was known to support the “premise of AGHG causes global warming” and to allow the president to “appeal to authority” of having a Nobel prize winner stand beside him nodding agreement with the president’s views.

    • That isn’t entirely true. There’s no question, Dr. Chu has been forced to abandon some of the DOE research due to political influence from the Administration but his intent is Scientific.

      Here’s an example of a project the DOE funded with Dr. Chu’s support.

      The Sustainocene: era of personalized energy: Daniel Nocera

      )

    • Here’s Nocera’s original Personalized Energy version:
      )

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … lacts above … uh … it sure ain’t clear [to sensible folks] that Ayn Rand would have been the right person to stop BP’s runaway oil-well!

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    • @jim2
      You’re right, “to secrete the alkane product under conditions of limited growth but continuous production”.

      What about mutations?

    • The thing is, all this technological improvement has been poured into solar PV. You can take the electricity from the PV and split water. So, what this guy doesn’t tell us what the price of his “hamburger” is compared to PV.

    • The thing is, all this technological improvement has been poured into solar PV. You can take the electricity from the PV and split water. So, what this guy doesn’t tell us what the price of his “hamburger” is compared to PV.

      It is PV. It’s just eliminating the “middleman” transferring the electrical current to the water. AFAIK it can (potentially) be used with any form of PV, including IBM’s micro-channel cooled concentrating solar PV. (Although there may be some voltage problems with triple junction. But economic efficiency trumps energy efficiency.)

    • jim2,
      I realize the videos are a bit long but he does outline home installation, the use of cheap PV, and the need for a fuel cell in the original video.

      Here’s Nocera’s original Personalized Energy version:
      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTtmU2lD97o&w=560&h=315%5D)

      The second video, made a year or so later, shows what appears to be a refined subassembly version of the original concept.

    • Footnote: the exhaust from a fuel cell is CO2 and H2O. If anyone gets their shorts in a knot over the CO2, install a greenhouse and grow some hydroponic vegies for the kids or a rain forest for decoration.

    • Footnote: the exhaust from a fuel cell is CO2 and H2O. If anyone gets their shorts in a knot over the CO2, install a greenhouse and grow some hydroponic vegies for the kids or a rain forest for decoration.

      I don’t believe the technical ignorance WRT technology you are pushing. The exhaust from a fuel cell using hydrogen is only water. You don’t need to make problems where none exist, you need to understand the technology you’re advocating.

    • Guys – the extra layered device he illustrated has no data to go along with it, at least in the video. And also, hydrogen can be burned for heat more efficiently that if converted to electricity – fuel cell or otherwise.

    • AK,
      You’re right a hydrogen fuel cell only emits water. No need to bash me for the mistake.

    • jim2,
      You may find more data in the publication:

      http://nocera.harvard.edu/Publications2013

    • @ jim2

      Guys – the extra layered device he illustrated has no data to go along with it, at least in the video.

      Here. (While it stays up.)

  49. Danley Wolfe

    Newport Mac, I would agree that that Nocera’s concept of Sustainocene is worthy of federal funding e.g., catalyst research on distributed photosynthetic energy generation. I would be interested in seeing the prefeasibility analysis in granting such funds. There is work going on involving large scale algal fermentation (…actually Exxon is one doing work in the field) – Nocera is speaking about a synthetic catalytic approach. The question is scalability and whether the approach will deliver the quantities like 3,913 gigawatts total annual electricity generation growing to 4,844 gigawatts annual generation by 2040 (EIA). Solar amounts to around 0.08% and wind 4.27% of the total today. It has to be feasible and scalable to contribute significantly to the world’s energy appetite.

    • He discusses scalability in the original Personalized Energy video and shows a crude prototype. I completely agree, the idea of addressing energy and the water shortage with the same solution is great — decentralized power generation is off the charts wonderful. It is worthy of federal funding but the current Administration forced the DOE to set it on the back burner.

      Obama Administration likes to waste money on wind and solar.

    • Regarding prefeasibility analysis in granting additional federal funds. To be honest I don’t think it requires much of any — DOE efforts to help find a suitable corporation(s) would make sense. Oddly, the utilities used to provide residential service calls. Looks like a nice fit me me.

    • Possibly a far more interesting use relates to generating O2 and H2O in a CO2 rich atmosphere — Mars terraforming. I’m uncertain if Mars gravity is even capable of holding an Earth like atmosphere but instead of human ants in rovers running around a Mars dust bowl, why not try space elevator(s) designed to create the initial atmosphere. Crazy Sci-Fi idea but what better place to test the elevator as Mars is a fraction of Earth’s size with little atmosphere and nearly has the same rotational speed.

    • Not so fast; I’ve title to Mars. And the Planet Clare.
      ==========

    • It has to be feasible and scalable to contribute significantly to the world’s energy appetite.

      Nocera’s technology by itself isn’t really scalable near-term, because it converts solar energy to hydrogen, and the technology for that isn’t ready.

      But combine it with IBM’s concentrated solar PV, feed the hydrogen into a biotech process to convert it to methane, and feed that into a system of storage, transport, and power generation based on mature technology. Then you’ve got something that might solve most of the problems.

    • Kim, : )

      AK,
      In the original video, Nocera states that the Hydrogen can be converted to a liquid fuel for storage thus overcoming the issue of trying to store Hydrogen safely and allowing power generation at night.

      Your solution to convert to methane works — just add a fuel cell.

    • Your solution to convert to methane works — just add a fuel cell.

      Or a hybrid system. But more importantly, IMO, is that the cost of solar PV is decreasing exponentially, and it won’t really be ready for another decade or two. In the meantime, according to one estimates report I’ve been studying, the capital costs for new construction of gas-fired plants is 3-4 times cheaper than coal, or any other type of plant.

      Of course, it’s full of assumptions, many of them questionable. But at least it provides a starting point:

      2.1 Nuclear Power Technology 6,100 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.2 Combustion (GAS) Turbine Technology 651 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.3 Combined‐Cycle (GAS) Technology 1230 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.4 Combined‐Cycle (GAS) With Carbon Capture and Sequestration 3750 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.5 Pulverized Coal‐Fired Power Generation 2890 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.6 Pulverized Coal‐Fired Power Generation With Carbon
      Capture and Sequestration 6560 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.7 Gasification Combined‐Cycle Technology 4010 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      2.8 Gasification Combined‐Cycle Technology With Carbon
      Capture and Sequestration 6,600 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.1.1 Biomass Cofiring (retrofit) 990 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.1.2 Biomass Standalone 3,830 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.2 Geothermal Energy Technologies 5,940 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.3 Hydropower Technologies 3,500 Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.4 Ocean Energy Technologies 9,240 (wave), and 5,880 (tidal) Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.5 Solar Energy Technologies 2357 (Non‐Tracking Utility PV with a 100‐MW (DC) Install Size) Capital Cost ($/kW)

      3.6 Wind Energy 1,980 (onshore) Capital Cost ($/kW)

      And so on…

      Several things have stood out for me (so far): they make unwarranted assumptions about the effects learning curve and new technology on capital prices. For instance, costs above are for 2010/2015, their equivalent for 2050 to the above number for solar (Non‐Tracking Utility PV with a 100‐MW (DC) Install Size) is 1700 Capital Cost ($/kW) based on an explicitly linear price drop. IMO a more likely scenario is exponential price reduction similar to Moore’s law for IT, with a ~4 year halving of price.

      I haven’t quoted them, but the estimates for storage surprised me. Based on a comment here a while back, I was thinking “pumped storage is the cheapest form of stored power.” But according to this report, compressed air is much cheaper. I’m still looking into that.

      But note how cheap simple gas-fired power is, then consider that if the gas ends up coming from bio-methane, the low energy efficiency may not matter compared to the high economic efficiency. Assuming, of course, that solar/electrolytic/bio-methane could provide gas cheaper than pulling it up from the ocean floor once the technology is mature. Depends on what the cost of solar does.

      And it would be totally carbon-neutral, in the end.

    • Great comment AK!

      I like the air power concept as well but it doesn’t address anything more than a single issue.

      IMHO, Nocera’s approach is the grand prize supporting scientific advisor to government. The DOE funded his team to come up with a definitive solution and that’s exactly the way he and his team approached it.

      His original video highlights the context of the problem in real terms, discusses the various alternatives, clearly demonstrates a logical manufacturing ROI and ROEI, and then extends the solution to address waste water management, a potable water supply, the needs in developing countries, and future population trends. His approach demonstrates holistic thinking which governmental agencies lack.

      In terms of Science Advisor, wouldn’t you prefer a Nocera?

    • AK

      Your listing of capital requirements per kW for various generation methods is interesting.

      In addition to the capital investment, one also needs to compare the operating costs and on-line factor (or intermittency).

      Fossil fuel plants generally have high fuel cost (today’s coal or gas price) but have a high on-line factor (over 8000 hours/year).

      Nuclear has a low fuel cost (compared to all fossil fuels) and a high on-line factor (also over 8000 hours/year)

      Solar and wind also have low running costs (free energy source!) but a very low on-line factor (normally around 25%) requiring a back-up power source.

      Geothermal and hydroelectric usually have a high on-line factor and relatively low running costs, but are limited geographically to a few places.

      Then one needs to look at other factors: environmental factors, political acceptance, etc.

      Coal is only acceptable in the long run if it is based on “clean coal” technology (i.e. removal of real pollutants, such as soot, heavy metals, sulfur, etc., from flue gases)

      CCS is a non value-added exercise, which only adds cost and achieves very little; in addition, the sequestration risks are not known.

      Many European nations (France excluded) do not have the political will to install new nuclear power plants.

      So there are a lot of other factors beside just installation investment.

      But your list provides good information on a very important piece of the puzzle.

      Thanks for posting it.

      Max

    • @manacker…

      In addition to the capital investment, one also needs to compare [...]

      I included a link to the original report. And mentioned all the questionable assumptions. The quotes were almost just teasers.

      Solar and wind also have low running costs (free energy source!) but a very low on-line factor (normally around 25%) requiring a back-up power source.

      The exercise I’m engaged in is trying to estimate the costs for such systems with storage included. So I can compare it to my (preferred) bio-methane approach. This was just an intermittent post for anybody who might appreciate it.

      At first glance, concentrating solar PV with “isothermal” compressed air storage (probably really “pseudo-adiabatic”, IMO) might turn out to be very competitive as prices for solar drop. Problem is, to project very competitive prices I have to make assumptions about technology development, which is time consuming. (Or at least justifying them is.)

    • AK

      Agree with you that human ingenuity and economic pressures will undoubtedly lead to new energy technologies, some of which we cannot even dream of today.

      Nocera’s process, for example, may sound like science fiction today, but could well be something real some day. The fact that it could supposedly work economically on a very small local domestic scale is intriguing.

      The algae process being pursued by Exxon could also become a new source of biofuels.

      And, as you mention, there are many others, such as your solar PV with compressed air storage.

      All of these possibilities begin with energy from the sun, rather than from fossil fuels that were slowly created in the past, also from energy from the sun.

      That is why I am not concerned about “peak oil” or (since all fossil fuels are fully interchangeable with today’s technology) “peak fossil fuel”. A WEC 2010 report estimates that we have only used up 15% of the original total inferred recoverable fossil fuels on our planet to date, leaving 85% to go.

      So I am pretty confident that these new economically competitive and environmentally acceptable technologies will exist long before fossil fuels are all used up.

      Max

    • @manacker…

      Nocera’s process, for example, may sound like science fiction today, but could well be something real some day. The fact that it could supposedly work economically on a very small local domestic scale is intriguing.

      I suppose so. I’m more interested in using it to supply the grid, but if the energy in hydrogen could be stored somehow on a small scale, it might be good at a village (or household) level.

      And, as you mention, there are many others, such as your solar PV with compressed air storage.

      Not really mine, I’m pursuing the bio-methane option. But the compressed air option might work as a fallback.

      So I am pretty confident that these new economically competitive and environmentally acceptable technologies will exist long before fossil fuels are all used up.

      I agree. However, the problem of fossil carbon remains. I doubt there’s any significant risk from “global warming” inside time-frames when “carbon-neutral” alternatives can be made economical. However, as Pielke Sr. (IIRC) has pointed out, it’s quite possible for the climate to make a sudden, catastrophic, change that impacts agriculture worldwide without changing the “average” temperature. And as I’ve pointed out here, in addition to ocean acidification, there’s also some risk of direct ecological destabilization from increased pCO2. (Weeds are plants too.)

      All of these risks are beyond evaluation (“unquantifiable”), so the question of how much to accept (at a global level) and what “we” (meaning, I suppose, global humanity) ought to be doing to mitigate it (the risk, not actual CO2 emissions) becomes a political question. Some people think no action is necessary, some think the Industrial Revolution ought to be shut down, most (AFAIK) think something somewhere in-between. And, of course, there’s lots of difference of opinion regarding the results of various economic interventions.

      IMO most of the people trying to shut down the Industrial Revolution are actually using the risk from fossil CO2 as a stalking horse for an ulterior (probably socialist/”green”) agenda. This is shown by their demonstrated unwillingness to even discuss the option(s) of remediation, and the differences between that and (emissions) mitigation. And, of course, they go into automatic denial over indications that the “sensitivity” is too low to claim any real urgency about reducing CO2 emissions.

      OTOH, many of those who think no action is necessary seem to me to be in equal denial over the actual risk from fossil carbon. (Not just increasing atmospheric pCO2, but overloading some unknown number of existing carbon sink/sources to an unknown extent with unknown results.) Both attitudes involve a perversion of the scientific method, distorting the “science” in support of a social/political agenda.

      My person opinion is that a group of unquantifiable risks of this nature does not justify impeding the process of the Industrial Revolution, by, for instance, raising the price of energy. But it does justify a large societal focus on R&D pointed at carbon-neutral energy alternatives, as well as accelerating the (natural, IMO) evolution of carbon-capture technologies for profit, which can later be used for sequestration if necessary. The actual cost of such R&D is orders of magnitude smaller than that of major energy price increases, and the overall effort will almost certainly (IMO) pay for itself in spin-off technologies, even if it turns out to be unnecessary for fossil carbon.

      I would characterize this approach as “low-regrets”, as opposed to “high-regrets” options such as major carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, or any other option intended to substantially raise the price of energy.

    • From the 2014 article:

      Only four elements are required for the production of the Audi e-fuels – water, CO₂, sunlight and tailormade micro-organisms, single-cell organisms just a few thousandths of a millimeter big. Like plants, these organisms use oxygen photosynthesis, i.e. they use sunlight and ambient CO₂ to grow. All they need as a living environment is brine or waste water. “With our American partner Joule, we have been able to modify and optimize the process to make the micro-organisms directly produce either ethanol or long-chain alkanes for diesel,” explains Audi Project Manager Sandra Novak.

      At the end of this photosynthesis process, the ethanol or the synthetic diesel fuel is separated from the water and cleaned. The characteristics of Audi e-ethanol are exactly the same as those of regular bio- ethanol and can be used immediately as the basis for E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline). Audi e-diesel, too, can be mixed without restriction with fossil diesel.

      Audi e-ethanol and Audi e-diesel do not need biomass for their production and can be made in regions unsuited to agriculture. “This finally puts paid to discussions about ‘food or fuel’,” says Sandra Novak. “Obviously they, too, produce CO₂ when burned. However, our Audi e- fuels are climate neutral, as the micro-organisms consumed the same amount of CO₂ from the atmosphere. The bottom line is that a car powered by e-fuels has a similarly good carbon footprint to that of a battery-powered car driven by electricity from renewable sources,” says Novak.

      The experts from the Sustainable Product Development department are delighted with the results. “We now know that our e-fuels are the same as or even better than conventional fuels,” says Reiner Mangold. The next task is already lined up and waiting – the production process associated with e-ethanol and e-diesel must be further optimized, then these new fuels will be ready to bring to market. “In the near future, we will be in the position to produce several hundred thousand liters of synthetic liquid fuel per day,” says Sandra Novak. This marks a major step toward sustainable mobility.

      http://audi-encounter.com/magazine/technology/01-2014/102-tankful-outcome

    • The must have redesigned the engine to take advantage of the very high mixture.

      “Alcohol has a high-octane rating, and engines designed to exploit that can produce significant power. But alcohol also has considerably less energy content than gasoline or diesel fuel, so mileage drops as alcohol content rises.”

      Assuming this article is correct, it also has been found to damage engine parts with a 15% mixture.

      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/05/e15-alcohol-wreck-engines-tests-dispute-epa-growth-energy/1#.UyMDEFFdVZM

    • @jim2…

      As I’ve said before:

      The problem with oxygen photosynthesis is that the reactive oxygen species generated by the photocenters tend to destroy most of the proteins (and other important bio-catalysts) in the cell, thus requiring a high level of replacement, which costs energy. Evolution has suited most modern photosynthesizers to high growth levels, which diverts energy from potential fuel production to rebuilding cell components.

      Thus, there is the potential for solar PV to outstrip the energy efficiency of oxygen photosynthesis. As for the economic efficiency, that depends.

      This doesn’t rule out the “Oil from algae” option, but does mean a potential for manufactured solar energy systems (e.g. concentrated PV) to achieve greater efficiencies.

      Also, there’s a large variety of organisms well-adapted to eating aglae, but none (yet, AFAIK) for silicon.

    • AK – I think you are correct about cell damage. But the process is that the bacteria and solution are flushed out and replaced every few weeks. So, it shouldn’t be an issue.

    • AK – also, these bacteria have been modified not to grow the cell. This may inhibit the diversion of energy to cell repair also.
      From the article:
      The heart of Joule’s system are prokaryotic cyanobacteria that use photosynthesis to grow. The scientists at Joule have modified the bacteria to produce hydrocarbons instead of cellular growth. Cyanobacteria are one of the oldest and most successful forms of life on Earth and are thought to be responsible for oxygenating the early atmosphere and helping to create the conditions for diverse life to flourish. Cyanobacteria are found in nearly every habitat and can flourish in a wide variety of conditions, a trait that has been harnessed by Joule and enables them to use brackish or salt water as a growth medium.

      http://breakingenergy.com/2014/01/22/co2-to-fuels-via-photosynthesis/

    • @jim2
      They engineered bacteria to thrive in salt water and produce hydrocarbons?

      We’re all going to die. j/k

      One assumes they are not an environmental threat when some loon flushes them into the ocean?

    • The solution and bacteria are incinerated after use. But if there were an accidental release, these bacteria won’t compete very well considering almost all their energy goes into making organics and none goes into cell growth.

      I think if this bacterial configuration were viable in nature, they would exist in the wild.

    • @jim2
      The bacteria are designed for continuous growth as cited in the full paper and bacteria can be found in nearly all climates on Earth. Oddly, the full paper doesn’t appear to address environmental impact yet indicates they are currently building a test facility in New Mexico.

      Guess I’ll just bury my head in the sand and hope for the best ; )

    • @jim2
      You’re right, “to secrete the alkane product under conditions of limited growth but continuous production”.

      What about mutations?

    • What about mutations?

      It’s not big deal to engineer a bacterial genome to depend on some chemical from its environment that doesn’t occur naturally. I don’t know if it’s been done with these, but if not it soon will be.

      Besides, tailored life forms designed to produce large amounts of some material not really necessary to their survival and reproduction are unlikely to become an environmental threat.

    • Steven Mosher

      “In terms of Science Advisor, wouldn’t you prefer a Nocera?”

      +100.

      He at least gets the real problem and undersatnds the manufacturing approached needed.

    • AK

      Agree generally with your observations, although I am less concerned about a CO2 induced “rapid climate worsening” for our planet. I have concluded that our planet’s climate is going to do what it wants to do, without our being able to modify it, no matter how much money we throw at it.

      Fossil fuel is the least expensive alternate today but resources are limited.

      Nuclear already exists, but suffers from some political problems, plus a spent fuel problem, which existing fast breeder / thorium technology could resolve.

      New non-fossil fuel technologies will emerge. Selected government support of basic research work could accelerate this, but it will occur with or without this, as a result of economic pressures and human ingenuity. Your bio-methane option could be such an economically and environmentally viable alternate (sorry I got that wrong about the compressed air storage option).

      Thanks for the exchange.

      Max

    • Newport – you might want to reconsider the economics of storing liquid hydrogen.
      From the article:
      Liquid Hydrogen (H2) typically has to be stored at -423°F (-253°C or 20 K). The temperature requirements for liquid hydrogen storage necessitate expending a great deal of energy to compress and chill the hydrogen into its liquid state. The cooling and compressing process requires energy, resulting in a net loss of about 30% of the energy that the liquid hydrogen is storing. The storage tanks are insulated to maintain temperature. Liquid Hydrogen is often stored at higher pressure so significant reinforcement is used.

      The margin of safety concerning liquid hydrogen storage is a function of maintaining tank integrity and preserving the temperatures that liquid hydrogen requires. Combine the cost or energy required for the process to get hydrogen into its liquid state and the cost of tanks required to sustain the storage pressure and temperature, and liquid hydrogen storage becomes very expensive compared to other methods. Research in the field of liquid hydrogen storage centers around the development of composite tank materials, resulting in lighter, stronger tanks and improved methods for liquefying hydrogen.

      http://www.technifab.com/cryogenic-resource-library/about-liquid-hydrogen.html

  50. The real problem isn’t the reporting of science to governments, it’s governments deciding which science to go along with. It often appears to be simply for show

  51. Fernando Leanme

    There’s a bit of over emphasis on science when the subject is which actions to take. I don’t think a scientist is very well suited to advice what to do on his or her own. I sense a lot of hubris in some cases. And I also sense a tendency to worship scientists as if they were a 21st century priesthood.

  52. The biggest problem is not that from the get-go the findings of researchers –e.g., Michael Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ — failed the test of replication, but rather that it could never be replicated and Mann knew it. Mann knew before anyone how bad the research really was and did all he could do to hide that fact. When access Mann’s model was finally obtained, simply running white noise through it produced a ‘hockey stick.’ So, the global warming house of cards was never built on the best of good intentions. It is built on fraud and deceit.

    • Steven Mosher

      The Hockey stick is un important to the AGW argument.
      in 1896 we knew that doubling C02 would cause warming.
      The HS adds nothing to that science and it takes nothing away from that science.
      The question is and remains: How much warming?
      The HS has nothing to say on that question. nothing important at all.

    • “1896 we knew that doubling C02 would cause warming”

      So you are a 200-Something? ;)

      Andrew

    • The question is and remains: How much warming?

      Relative to what? The Medieval warming?

      • The only evidence for how much warming are the computer models even global warming alarmists now say are, “un important to the AGW argument.”

    • Steve
      I agree that “a” very critical question remains how much warming will occur as a function of more CO2, but isn’t the more difficult question- what other conditions will change, where, and how quickly as a result of any warming that does occur?

      The 800 lb gorilla seems to be sea level rise and there does not seem to be any reliable means to forecast this key metric beyond the historical trend.

    • “in 1896 we knew that doubling C02 would cause warming.”

      “We” know better know: Much better.

    • Sorry.

      “We” know better now. Much better.

    • Ak

      Or relative to the Roman warming…or the Minoan warming. So many warmings it can be relative to.

      tonyb

      • “Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint.” (Dr. Timothy Ball)

    • Steven Mosher

      “Relative to what? The Medieval warming?”

      Stupid question. you could choose 1850, or 1900 or 1950.
      You’d never pick MWP as a relative point since its so uncertain.

      • How much warming also is uncertain –i.e., it could be none. “CO2 is not the problem… the Greenhouse Effect is present but essentially constant over time, therefore temperature variations are due to some other cause… If you want to block light coming through a window a single coat of black paint will stop almost all of it. Second and third coats reduce the light but by decreasing fractions. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is like the first coat of paint – doubling and tripling the amount reduces heat going to space by decreasing fractions. The IPCC got around this problem by incorrectly claiming a positive feedback. This says increased CO2 raises global temperature that increases evaporation of water vapor to the atmosphere. This supposedly enhances the warming due to increased CO2, but the idea is now discredited.” (Dr. Tim Ball)

    • Steven Mosher

      “Or relative to the Roman warming…or the Minoan warming. So many warmings it can be relative to.”

      Also stupid. you’d never pick an uncertain starting point if you have more certain ones to work with.

      Today we are 15C. what matters is how much warming we will see in the future relative to today. Of course you could pick another well know starting point.. 1900 or a 1850 less well known. But you’d never pick something like an early warming period were your certainty is determined by two random monks or a vineyard in greenland

      • Your position then must be that unstable atmospheric CO2 levels were the cause of Minoan, Roman and MWP warming periods. I’ll call the Nobel committee.

    • Steven Mosher

      ““Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint.” (Dr. Timothy Ball)”

      Ball ignores the work done by the Airforce in the 1950s that put this notion to rest. yes there is a saturation effect, but we are far from saturated.
      Ask the Airforce, they did the work to protect our nation from the soviet menace.

    • Mosh

      Why on earth would anyone choose to relate the modern warm period to one that was cool within the recent instrumental record? How does that advance our knowledge?

      You want to determine how warm the modern warm period is relative to numerous warm periods in the past as evidenced by crop records, observations, accounts of heatwaves, tree lines, glacier retreats etc. there is a wealth of information out there extending far beyond two monks.

      You see the past in a very one dimensional fashion. These were real people who left behind numerous traces of their existence.

      Tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      “The 800 lb gorilla seems to be sea level rise and there does not seem to be any reliable means to forecast this key metric beyond the historical trend”

      Actually if you take an estimate for the warming you can do an estimate for sea level rise. So, the warming prediction is still more important

    • @Steven Mosher

      Stupid question. you could choose 1850, or 1900 or 1950.
      You’d never pick MWP as a relative point since its so uncertain.

      You’re failing to practice sympathy. I’ll explain with more rigor: you’re talking about a warming in the near future (2-8 decades) relative to today, or 1900, or whatever. Now, who cares? Why should we care if it gets warmer by x degrees than 1900, when during the Medieval warming it also got warmer by x degrees than a similar starting point (for them)? If it did. Did it? How much less than today?

      This is the problem with the Hockey stick (as I’m sure you know). By wiping out the Medieval Warming, and the LIA, its creators present the modern warming as entirely unprecedented. But is it? Could it be that CO2 is only adding a fraction of a degree to a natural warming like the Medieval? Could it be that it’s not adding anything?

      If you’d bothered to practice sympathy, you’d have understood my question. If I’d realized you weren’t going to, I’d have used more rigor.

      Or are you just trying to waste time?

    • Steven Mosher: So get off the fence and tell us what you think the rest of this year and possibly next year are going to be like, temperature wise.

      Is it onwards and upwards, a continuing pause, or a downwards slope. 1 out of 3 is not bad odds.

      • “Left vs. right has been the real cause and effect underlying AGW theory. Moore says, “the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas… they were extremists who confused the issues and the public about the nature of our environment and our place in it. To this day they use the word industry as if it were a swear word. The same goes for multinational, chemical, genetic, corporate, globalization, and a host of other perfectly useful terms. Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.”

        “They are basically blaming every change they see on global warming, even the return of a species that was native to the Atlantic for millions of years.” ~Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-founder of. Greenpeace

      • “A lot of environmentalists are stuck in the 1970s and continue to promote a strain of leftish romanticism about idyllic rural village life powered by windmills and solar panels. They idealize poverty, seeing it as a noble way of life, and oppose all large developments. James Cameron, the multimillionaire producer of the most lucrative movie in history, Avatar, paints his face and joins the disaffected to protest a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon. Who needs lights and newfangled electric gadgets anyway? So what if hydroelectricity is by far the most important source of renewable electricity? These dreamers should look to the example of Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue and leader of the “back to the land” movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

        “Today, in his wisdom, he supports nuclear energy, genetic engineering, and urbanization. He celebrates humanity
        for its creativity and industrious nature. He is not stuck in the 1970s and neither am I.” ~Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-founder of. Greenpeace

        P.S. Here’s what Patrick Moore says about his part in founding Greenpeace:

        I joined Greenpeace before it was even called by that name. The Don’t Make a Wave Committee was meeting weekly in the basement of the Unitarian church in Vancouver.

        In April 1971 I saw a small article in the Vancouver Sun about a group planning to sail a boat from Vancouver across the North Pacific to protest U.S. hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska. I immediately realized this was something real I could do, way beyond taking ecology classes and studying at a desk. I wrote the organizers and was invited to join the weekly meetings of the small group that would soon become Greenpeace.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The only evidence for how much warming are the computer models even global warming alarmists now say are, “un important to the AGW argument.”

      Wrong. you can estimate how much warming from first principles.
      around 1.5C
      And you can estimate from observations… more like 1.5 to 4.5C

      The real question remains: How much warming.

    • Steven Mosher | March 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

      “The real question remains: How much warming.”

      and WHEN.

    • Mosh

      Lemme correct that for you:

      you can estimate how much warming from first principles.
      around 1.5C 1.1C [Myhre et al.]
      And you can estimate from observations… more like 1.5 to 4.5 1.35 to 1.7C [several latest studies, if one ASS-U-MEs low effect from natural factors]

      That outa do it, Mosh.

      It’s still a guessing game. Keep playing those models.

      Max

    • Mosh

      You are not arguing against the logarithmic nature of the theoretical CO2 temperature relationship, are you?

      (i.e. Timothy Ball’s “coat of paint” analogy.)

      Max

      • Like the fraud and deception underlying Mann’s ‘hockey stick,’ global warming alarmists believe it’s it’s unimportant to AGW argument.

    • Mosh

      So your 800lb gorilla would agree that as sea levels were higher during the mwp then it was warmer during the mwp?

      I thought you worked for BEST not BEAST?

      Tonyb

  53. Aside from having a financial interest in putting out research that is useful to the government to show AGW theory is real, the climatists of Western academia want so badly to believe the theory is true that reality no long matters.

  54. How many tests must AGW theory fail before the common knowledge about it changes from the theory being considered ‘true’ to knowing it’s utterly false?

  55. We are still wasting money on producing filing cabinets full of global warming research because AGW theory seems like true idea to Leftists. It makes sense to Leftists that human activity is causing global warming, and it’s a problem, and capitalism cannot deal with it and is in fact exacerbating the problem. We’re still wasting money on global warming because Leftists are large and in charge! Leftists choose to believe AGW theory is real–it is as simple as that: global warming is social science; it’s political science; and, it’s the red headed stepchild of reason.

  56. We KNOW that the climate of Earth has naturally varied to degrees far greater than we’re observing now. Contrary to Big Climate Science (capitalized, to show it as the religion it is, for some), we don’t know the full null hypothesis for natural holocene variability. It’s possible that we many never know it to the degree that would be necessary to accept the alarmist position on CO2 emissions in public policy discourse. We do know that post-normal science isn’t science at all. We know that greenies love to scare up the masses, for they know that an irrational mob can dictate a lot, politically, even if it doesn’t make any sense (I’m looking at YOU wind power). A very tiny part of the climate debate should be about how greenies and socialists and communists “feel.” In fact, all feelings must be taken into account to the same small degree, and politicians usually give preference to the feelings of those who want affordable food, a job, a modern economy, and who don’t want to slave in the hot sun in a primitive agrarian culture. Our feelings should never be confused for what we know, scientifically, about complex natural systems. Which is very little, as it turns out, and as Ed Cook so famously summarized in his e-mail that was exposed to light during the ClimateGate leak.

  57. The hiatus is a triumph of reality over ignorance. Global warming alarmists have become irrelevant because we don’t need their models to know the truth: the numbers speak for themselves.

  58. Some basic truths about the art of science advice to government::

    – IPCC did not invent agenda-driven scams.

    – Nor has it perfected them.

    – Not all policymakers have a self-serving political agenda

    – Not all science advisers to policymakers are necessarily yes-men or advocates for a cause.

    – Not all basic truths are necessarily always true.

  59. In a way it is a sad reflection on the Soviet Union style Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к, [ Russian Academy of Sciences ] that now seems to be the shape of the European and American peak science organisations with their current high profile policy advocating presidential type structures well suited to take overs by the more extremist advocates of politically implementing policies that support the official line [ ie; advocate's line ] of the organisation on a science based subject.
    The same organisations under the control of such advocates also set out to quite deliberately stifle and obstruct any scientific discourse on the most prominent scientific subjects, ie;climate science and etc, that dares to be different to the organisation’s official line of advocacy and advice to the political process.
    Not all that different to the policies that the old Soviet Union’s Academy of Sciences followed.
    The penalties for a transgressor and questioner of the official line may not be a real bullet but in terms of their scientific career, the outcome is not all that different with exclusion and denigration from the upper levels of the organisation par for the course and not that dissimilar to that experienced by scientists who dared to step out from the old Soviet Academy of Sciences official line and policies.

    And it is very telling indeed that a science policy adviser from that tough and pragmatic little natio, New Zealand, the very antipodes of the peak incestuous, ivory towered European and American science organisations, the same peak science organisations that are now the most obvious in vehemently advocating policy implementations that suit a particular and narrow view of certain science subjects and for which the advocates will not accept any alternative scenarios, tells it as it should be when it comes to science policy advising to the political process.

  60. Robert I Ellison

    It is expected that global energy content is at a 1000 year. Most of the early century was entirely natural – at least some of the warming later in the century was natural and this has since turned around with changes in Pacific conditions.

    If you exclude the 1976/77 and 1997/98 El Ninos – and subtract the intervening ENSO influence – we know that ENSO added to warming in the period – the residual warming is some 0.2 degrees C.

    That the world is warm seems not the point – attribution is with all that implies for future trajectories. .

  61. Science politics, not political politics although they also often appear to have a significant role, with it’s advocacy for the implementation of certain policies regardless of the unpredicted and unforeseen consequences, dominates some prominent science subjects such as climate science in the Old World northern hemisphere peak science organisations.
    Just as it has done in the Australian climate science scene although that is now starting to change and fast as the economies that went all out towards the limiting of energy on the advice and advocacy of climate scientists leads to a point where an economy starts to disintegrate as appears to be happening in the likes of Germany if the climate science news from over the last few weeks is correct.
    Now Germany looks like it is on the cusp of doing a very rapid switch back towards growth strategies and policies and the restriction and perhaps even abolition of most of the support for the economically and socially unsustainable renewable energy regimes which were put in place on the advice and through the advocacy of the peak European science organisations.

  62. Danley Wolfe

    A somewhat different topic, question for Judith Curry. AAAS / Science magazine has been publishing weekly briefs starting in January 2014 under the subject heading “Challenges to Climate Science.” These would appear to be from the climate consensus / community many if not all are IPCC assessment contributors/reviewers. Most are interesting for what they say but do not go to what many of us feel are the core issues which have been discussing i.e., attribution, “the uncertainty monster” and related to the hiatus. These are not peer reviewed and appear to be generally opinion pieces… something like brand / image marketing and support for the AR5-WG1 report to further the storyline. I am interested in hearing others opinions. Here are the pieces so far:
    Rosenfeld, Daniel, Steven Sherwood and Robert Wood, Leo Donner, “Climate Effects of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions,” Science 343: pp 379-380, January 24, 2014
    Nisbet, Euan G., Edward J. Dlugokencky and Philllippe Bousquet, “Methane on the Rise – Again,” Science 343: pp. 494-495, January 31, 2014
    Vecchi, Gavriel A. and Babriele Villanni, “Next Season’s Hurricanes,” Science 343: pp 618-619, February 7, 2014
    Sherwood Steven and Qiang Fu, “A Drier Future,” Science 343: pp. 737-739, February 14, 2014
    Hegerl, Gabi and Peter Stott, “From Past to Future Warming,” Science 343: pp. 844-845, February 21, 2014
    Clement, Amy and Pedro DiNezio “The Tropical Pacific Ocean – Back in the Driver’s Seat,” Science 343: pp. 976-978, February 28, 2014
    Isaac Held, “Simplicity Amid Complexity,” Science 343: pp 1206-1207, March 14, 2014

    -also-
    Wallace, John M., Isaac M. Held, David W.J. Thompson, Kevin Trenberth, John E. Walsh, “Global Warming and Winter Weather, Science 343 [Letters-Commentary]: pp 729-730, February 14, 2014

  63. I think the decision makers mostly get the kind of science advice that they want. During the Cold War Eisenhower had an urgent need for accurate information about the feasibility of ballistic missiles, technologies for surveillance of the USSR, and so on. He was willing to go to considerable lengths to get this information, including creating the kind of institutional structure that led to his later warning about the growth of the scientific-military-industrial complex. These were not public propaganda exercises but secret assessments intended for internal use in a deadly serious competition/armageddon-avoidance exercise. President Obama has been looking for public advocacy and a particular take from his science advisers, which is why from his point of view Holdren is a good fit.

    There are exceptions to this rule, of course, where the science advice contradicts where the policymakers want to go. That usually doesn’t go well for the advisers. Nixon’s EPA administrator overrode his advisers’ findings about DDT, Carter’s administration trashed Chris Knudsen’s MOPPS study saying we had 10,000 years of natural gas, Reagan was less than enthused about skeptics of his SDI program, Ed Krug’s comprehensive acid rain study was rejected by all the political bodies and destroyed his career, etc.

    But most of the time it seems to me that the policy people are able to select or incentivize their advisers to get the kind of output they want.

  64. Shanghai based Chaori Solar Energy defaulted on a payment on a 1bn yuan (£118m) bond last week; the first such default in China. Many other Chinese ‘green energy’ companies look like they are going to follow them. As long as wind and solar energy were going to take over the energy market, these firms could borrow more money, to expand, even though they were selling at a loss.
    No more.

    • Steven Mosher

      Chinese defaults could be staggering. Current lending is being used to finance payments on past loans.. house of cards.

      Its just been a matter of time before the industrial policy faced this kind of challenge.

  65. Theo Goodwin

    “Recognize the limits of science. But scientists must not overstate what is or can be known, even though the shift from a view of science as a source of certainty to a source of probability can frustrate and confuse decision-makers and the public.”

    Actually, the definitive explanation of why all scientific results are probabilistic was published by David Hume in his “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” in 1748. The corollary to Hume’s result is that all scientific theory is subject to change.

    By the way, if you like philosophical argument, Hume’s book is the very best example of it.

  66. This pertains to research in biomedical sciences, and not in a climate science discipline, but it is remarkable that a top US official charged with overseeing investigations of research misconduct has resigned in disgust with a strong blast of criticism of the self-serving bureaucrats who made his work nearly impossible. If the situation is this bad in less politicized areas than CliSci, it is difficult to expect that govt bureaucracy is doing a lot better for research in climate sciences.

    Top US official responsible for investigating research misconduct resigns, blasting dysfunctional federal bureaucracy and politicized environment

    Just imagine what people involved with the various “investigations” and research bureaucracies pertaining to climate science might have to say, if they are not too co-opted by their commitments to “The Cause”….

  67. I have a small query.

    Could anyone give me an example of a Government actually needing scientific advice? I assume politicians can read, and I assume that some have access to libraries and such like. Certainly some politicians have scientific qualifications.

    Some politicians have consulted astrologers, others seem to put their faith in scientists, economists, and so on. The results from these latter day seers appear to have been uniformly disastrous for the most part.

    But back to my query, what sort of scientific advice should a Government seek or need? Surely if a Government needs information on a particular subject, it can be easily ascertained as a matter of fact, or not. If facts are in dispute, the politicians can then make a decision to do something, or to do nothing.

    Scientific advice seems to be no more than a personal opinion, at least where the future is concerned. If a more pointless waste of taxpayers’ funds can be demonstrated, I would be surprised. At least when things go wrong, politicians can blame the scientists, economists, somnambulists or whomever the scapegoat of the day happens to be. So there there is something positive to be derived from the whole sorry saga.

    Again, can anyone provide an instance where scientific advice was sought, received, acted on, and had a demonstrably beneficial outcome? By the way, don’t include anything that could have been researched by a person of average intelligence and education.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • David Springer

      Two reasons time and expertise. Take POTUS. He’s a lawyer. He’s running a gigantic gov’t. He has neither the time nor expertise to assess any relevant science connected with the performance of his duties. He has a raft of advisers beginning with his cabinet.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, you write “Again, can anyone provide an instance where scientific advice was sought, received, acted on, and had a demonstrably beneficial outcome?”

      Why do you specify “beneficial”? Surely advice that leads to an adverse outcome is of equal, if not more, importance? How far back do you want to go? My main knowledge comes for WWII. Let me just quote “A Harbour called Mulberry”.

      • David Springer

        re; Mulberry harbors

        I got Gooseberries reading about it. Thanks for pointing me at that bit of history.

    • David Springer,

      Possibly you did not understand my query. The POTUS is not a government. Nor does he run one, as I understand it. That is the role of a dictator, surely.

      My point is that I cannot see any role whatever for a scientist to provide advice, in the sense of suggesting a course of action, to a Government. Scientists are no more important than engineers in that sense. I know that many professionals believe they can foresee the future, but the record to date is pretty abysmal in relation to advice provided to Governments around the world.

      Would the world be a better place without the plethora of advisers clinging like fleas to any source of money without responsibility? Dung attracts flies, power, influence and money attract advisers.

      We seem to be getting what we deserve, for refusing to think for ourselves. Easier to pay an adviser, I guess.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      I assume you cannot provide an instance, so instead choose to find fault with the question. A nice ploy, but fairly pointless, one might think.

      Why did I specify a beneficial outcome? Simply because I can name any number of examples of disasters resulting from poor advice in a large number of fields, but none resulting in positive outcomes spring to mind. If anybody wants poor advice, I can provide any amount, very cheaply.

      I am not sure what relevance the Mulberry project has. An engineer proposed the idea – unasked as far as I know. His advice was not sought by Government in the first place.

      Churchill’s famous memo:

      “Piers for use on beaches.

      “They must float up and down with the tide. The anchor problem must be mastered. Let me have the best solution worked out. Don’t argue the matter. The difficulties will argue themselves.””

      Seeking advice from scientists? Mulberry harbours don’t fit well.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike,
      There are numerous examples where Scientific Advisors are critical to Governmental Agency decision making. DOD and FDA projects are good examples.

      Focusing on US Politicians can be amusing though. SNL would find it extremely difficult to dream up some of the nonsense they are trying to put into legislation.

      Examples:
      – One character is trying to regulate potholes and wet meadows under the Clean Water Act.
      – Another character wants all private lands opened up to bird watchers.

      The list goes on forever.

    • President Carter asked for several things that initiated the current shale gas boom. Mitchell credits him. Honest guy. Most oil guys would rather shoot their own children than say a good thing about Carter. The government did a lot of the R&D.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, you write “Seeking advice from scientists? Mulberry harbours don’t fit well.”

      Sorry, Mike, this is garbage. The practicality of Mulberry was decided by engineers, but the idea that it was an absolute necessity came from a huge combination of work by the military, scientists, and heaven knows what other disciplines. Books have been written on the subject, and how I could ever say in a few short words the history of WHY Mulberry was such a necessity that the D-Day landings would never have succeeded without it, I have no idea. Involved is the Canadian raid on Dieppe, and how you can sustain a landing force over the first few weeks of an invasion without a port, are just two of the major driving factors. I have studied the Mulberry harbour in detail. I doubt you have. If you want to discuss this is detail, why don’t you email me at b f 9 0 6 at n c f dot c a.

      I just mentioned Mulberry. There are hundreds of other examples from WWII. The Colossus computer, radar, the magnetron, the way to maintain transoceanic flight, etc. etc. On the latter, why do you suppose ICAO is based in Montreal, Canada?

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, I think I may have misinterpreted your question. If you mean has a solitary scientists in an ivory tower had an idea, and on the basis of that alone, persuaded some government to make an important decision, I am sure the answer is no. What I mean is that during WWII governments were faced with making a multitude of life and death decisions. These required a multidisciplinary approach. What the UK, US and Canadian governments succeeded in doing was to integrate the scientists into this decision making process. And there were occasions when the scientific input was absolutely vital.

      What I am suggesting is that the lessons learned during WWII as to how to integrate scientists into the decision making process, are the place to start for the subject of this thread.

    • A lesson in malignancy for the Doc.
      =======

    • Jim Cripwell,

      I do not gainsay the contribution of science during any particular period of history. I merely query the current adulation accorded scientists by people who should know better.

      Of course, scientific opinion might be sought initially at a high level. Politicians might be concerned that building an atomic bomb might prove injurious to the builders, and would obviously seek expert opinion on whether this was likely.

      Subsequently, scientists are employed, and their expertise is accorded more or less weight than the engineering guys depending on circumstances.

      However, I question the present practice of scientists appearing to push for inclusion in the policy making process, whilst remaining outside the electoral system. Lysenkoism might be the least worst outcome if unelected science advisors be accepted as modern day oracles. They aren’t – and history is littered with the detritus remaining from broken expert predictions woven into the policy fabric.

      On the subject of WW II, looking at the Hurtgenwald campaign might lead one to think that high level military advice is also occasionally sub optimal!

      Thanks.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, you write “I do not gainsay the contribution of science during any particular period of history. I merely query the current adulation accorded scientists by people who should know better.”

      I suspect that our ideas about science and politics are not that far apart. Science and politics have always been uneasy bedfellows. But Gluckman was discussing the best way to get scientists into the decision making process.

      All I am trying to point out is that during WWII, scientists were integrated into the decision making process, with considerable success. What is being done currently is very different from what happened in WWII, and as a result, politicians are not making the best use of scientific advice. Particularly with respect to C AGW.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, If you are asking for a specific instance where a government deliberately went to the scientific community to ask for advice, there is at least one instance.

      In 1922, the RAF did a study to see how to defend the UK from strategic air attack. By the time aircraft were sighted visually, or the sound was detected, it was too late to scramble fighters to ward off the attack, and such an attack would be successfully carried out. The government wrote to all the scientific institutions to could to ask if they could develop a death ray. Everyone wrote back and said no.

      Except, Robert Watson-Watt wrote that he could provide a method of detecting aircraft a long way away, and in, 1929, he wrote the now famous “radar letter”. The rest is history.

    • As Jim Cripwell says, the government is more likely to make a call for technology, and to encourage new technologies, to face important problems. Today that problem is the replacement of fossil fuel energy with other forms. The science and technology community are already responding and gradually coming up with better replacements.

    • @ Mike Flynn

      “Could anyone give me an example of a Government actually needing scientific advice? ”

      Sure. (Progressive) Governments, no dummies, noticed that if they had total control over energy production and consumption, that would translate into control over essentially everything and everybody. Since they are all about control, they immediately concluded that it would be much easier to justify that control if they had a herd of scientists willing to certify that ACO2 from fossil fuels posed an existential threat to the planet and all that dwell thereon, and that the only solution was for the government to take control over and/or tax all activities that produced a ‘carbon signature. Which would effectively be ALL activities. And the rest is history. And settled science.

      “Again, can anyone provide an instance where scientific advice was sought, received, acted on, and had a demonstrably beneficial outcome?”

      Well, if you are not hard over on the ‘beneficial outcome’ condition, pick essentially any policy implemented citing ‘greenness’ as its justification.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      I accept what you say about the input of science in WWII – and in many other areas of course.

      I’m probably going to appear pedantic, but I’m trying t make a distinction between scientists giving advise in regard to policy, or providing expertise in the same way as a technician might give as to the siting of an antenna array.

      As you point out, a Government instrumentality might rightly ask as to the existence of a fact – a death ray, for example. As a result, someone might suggest an alternative – radio direction and ranging, or similar – which really had no direct connection with the question originally asked.

      When the British Admiralty offered a prize for a timekeeper which could be used to establish longitude on British ships, they weren’t asking for policy advice, rather for a “thing”.

      So I suppose, once again, we are dancing around words. My position is that the concept of a permanent scientific advisor to Government is nonsense. What next? A medical advisor? An education advisor? Governments seek advice to justify whatever lunatic scheme that currently infatuates them, as far as I can see. A truly independent advisor’s advice will be ignored if not in accord with the Government’s policy. Governments need a goodly supply of advisors to hide behind when the edifice finally crumbles.

      Trophim Lysenko and the Soviets is a good example of what can happen if you believe your scientific advisor actually knows about science.

      Sorry to go on at length. It appears we are in agreement, but of course the devil’s in the details!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, you write ” What next? A medical advisor? An education advisor?”

      You are opening up an new and enormously complicated subject. There are fundamental matters which make science different from other professions, such as medicine, engineering, law, etc. It is impractical to discuss this on a blog. Much though I would like to.

      You also write “When the British Admiralty offered a prize for a timekeeper which could be used to establish longitude on British ships, they weren’t asking for policy advice, rather for a “thing”.”

      Again, I spent a lot of time researching this particular subject, and you are, in fact, wrong. Harrison did indeed, produce the marine chronometer, but that was not what the Board of Longitude was set up to do. It merely specified any method of measuring longitude. The original idea, suggested by Isaac Newton, was, in fact, an astronomical solution; what was later to become “lunar distances”.

      I suspect it would be very difficult to provide a pedantic distinction between offering “advice” and offering a “solution”.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      You are right. I was wrong. They indeed asked for a solution.

      I will attempt to salvage my not inconsiderable self esteem by taking refuge in the fine distinction that the Government sought a solution, not advice. Not an opinion.

      Something that worked well enough, objectively, to justify a prize. No consensus, no peer review, no settled science. A solution to a problem that science had not been able to solve to that time, in a cost-effective manner.

      Having said that, I will depart for the latest thread, before is am proven wrong again.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • @Jim D
      the government is more likely to make a call for technology, and to encourage new technologies, to face important problems. Today that problem is the replacement of fossil fuel energy with other forms.

      There is a problem with this alleged problem, in that government has a massive vested interest in claiming there is a problem. Government scientists are saying there is a problem, and that the solution is more government. Smell the rat yet? – government is essentially paying its science stooges to big itself up.

      Only a moron could take their advice seriously. Or if not a moron, someone driven by totalitarian ideology, who just wants more and bigger government for its own sake so they can impose their will on others.

    • @Jim D
      the government is more likely to make a call for technology, and to encourage new technologies, to face important problems. Today that problem is the replacement of fossil fuel energy with other forms.

      There is a problem with this alleged problem, in that government has a massive vested interest in claiming there is a problem. Government scientists are saying there is a problem, and that the solution is more government. Smell the rat yet? – government is essentially paying its science stooges to big itself up.

      Only the ultra-naive could take their advice seriously. Or else someone driven by totalitarian ideology, who just wants more and bigger government for its own sake so they can impose their will on others.

    • Hmmm, smell the conspiracy ideation.

      Who’s nuttier – Bob or tuppence?

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mike, I agree we have exhausted the topic. Thank you for your very gracious response.

    • Tuppence, the Taxpayer, tots it all up.
      ========

    • What you are actually smelling, Michael, is your own desperate conspiracy Strawman ideation. Most odd that you don’t like your own smell.

      You clearly don’t need a conspiracy to explain an organization acting to further its own interests – that is to be expected; in this case, the state funding alarmist climate ‘science’. You’d need one if you saw an organization *failing* to act in its interests, or even acting contrary to its interests; in this case, the state science being impartial and honest instead of partisan.

      Indeed, it is those who maintain that the state is acting with honesty, who are the conspiracy theorists, implying as they do that there is some group who ignore their paymaster’s interests and seek the truth instead. Laughable really, given the endemic dishonesty in state climate ‘science’ shown by Climategate etc.

    • Flat earth, tobacco, big oil, and conspiracy are all terms used by the alarmists as fluorescent embellishments of table pounding. It is a celebration and joyous demonstration of the inadequacies of their arguments.
      ===================

    • Tuppence,

      OK you win. That was nuttier than anything Bob came up with.

    • So to you, Michael, the notion of a person or organisation working in its own interests, is “nutty”.

      I take it then you don’t work to provide for yourself, you just give your wages away, right? And of course you NEVER do things for your own pleasure, god forbid. Companies don’t try and make profits, governments don’t try and extend their controls and taxes….

      Back here on planet Earth though, things are a little different. To give a little perspective to the point at hand …

      … since government is both the funder of the climate science that speaks of dangerous man-made warming, and stands to benefit handsomely from public belief in this danger, its behavior is far more easily explained by simple self-interest than conspiracy.

      That is why sceptics don’t claim there is a conspiracy. It’s only dishonest alarmists like yourself who try to SAY they do. Putting utterly false words in other people’s mouths – that type of dishonesty being known as a strawman.

    • Tuppence,

      Self-interest is completely unproblematic. You take it to an extreme that is so obviously wrong, that I’m surprised it doesn’t jump out at you as you type.

      According to your account, Governments must be fully implementing policies to quickly de-carbonise economies and switch to 100% renewable energy. After all they are funding all this climate science for no other reason than to “big themselves up”. What else would they do?

      Yet, anyone with even the vaguest familarity with the current state of affairs knows that foot-dragging and excuse-making is the political order of the day.

      So, your notion that climate scientists lie about AGW because governments pay them to, because governments want to use that lie so they can grow, is an amazing, vast, idiotic, and obviously false, bizarro conspriacy theory.

      You’re still chief nut.

      Come on Bob, try and beat this!!

    • Tuppence,

      Self-interest is completely unproblematic. You take it to an extreme that is so obviously wrong, that I’m surprised it doesn’t jump out at you as you type.

      According to your account, Governments must be fully implementing policies to quickly de-carbonise economies and switch to 100% renewable energy. After all they are funding all this climate science for no other reason than to “big themselves up”. What else would they do?

      Yet, anyone with even the vaguest familarity with the current state of affairs knows that foot-dragging and excuse-making is the political order of the day.

      So, your notion that climate scientists lie about AGW because governments pay them to, because governments want to use that lie so they can grow, is an amazing, vast, idi0tic, and obviously false, bizarro c0nspriacy theory.

      You’re still chief nut.

      Come on Bob, try and beat this!!

    • Michael,

      “Self-interest is completely unproblematic”

      Exactly. Government stands to benefit from climate alarmism. And look, climate alarmism is entirely funded by government. How deep in the sand is your head buried – or how naive are you – to not see a connection?
      No conspiracy, just self-interest.

      And it’s a realisation about self-interest that emerged and evolved, needn’t have been planned form the start as in your comedic attempt to distort what I’m saying. Once realised though, funding and hiring is closely tied to a precommitted faith in the alarmist dogma.
      So bang goes another of the props underpinning your ludicrous conspiracy strawman.

      No conspiracy, just self-interest – write that down now. It’s just desperate, dishonest alarmists who like to misrepresent sceptics as claiming there is a conspiracy, even though there is obviously no need for one.

    • Yes, self-interest is obvious…but you take it to such an extreme you turn it into a conspiracy theory.

      I’m not distorting your words – you claim that govts are paying sceintist to lie about AGW, to enable more govt;

      “government has a massive vested interest ..Government scientists are saying there is a problem… the solution is more government. …government is essentially paying…to big itself up.” – Tuppence

      And I completely agree there is no conspiracy – just the loony conspiracy theory you wrote above.

      That’s why you are Chief Nutter.

    • The fear and guilt driven catastrophic part of AGW is an extraordinary popular delusion and madness of the herd. The mechanism is the self-interest, the product is the bubble, the fragile balloon. Sure, hot air, breathed together had its little part, but the effect is minimal, possibly unmeasurable.

      Now, when we get around to the praise and reward for all the benefits of mild warming and great greening that AnthroCO2 realistically generates. we’ll have a more sturdy balloon ready, resilient, perhaps even radish.
      ============

    • kim,

      Your primary quality is brevity…

    • Michael

      > Yes, self-interest is obvious…but you take it to such an extreme you turn it into a conspiracy theory.

      You essentially contradict yourself in one sentence. Nice going.
      And the only talk of conspiracy theory is from you – your beloved conspiracy theory strawman.

      > I’m not distorting your words

      You know perfectly well you are – you keep trying to put a your pathetic strawman in my mouth.

      > “government has a massive vested interest ..Government scientists are saying there is a problem… the solution is more government. …government is essentially paying…to big itself up.” – Tuppence

      Yes, clearly no conspiracy in sight, nor any conspiracy theory. Except your straw one.

    • Tuppence, you dill, that is your conspiracy theory.

      No, you don’t call it one – but it screams it.

      The most cursory look at the facts disproves your bizarro ‘big govt’-science conspiracy.

    • No, Michael, you dill, that is YOUR conspiracy theory. My point, by contrast, is vested interest.

      > No, you don’t call it one – but it screams it.
      So to a you, vested interest == conspiracy. I’m not sure what “dill” is, but it sure sounds dumb enough to fit you.

      > The most cursory look at the facts disproves your bizarro ‘big govt’-science conspiracy.

      No, it disproves the strawman you keep trying to pin on me. I guess you think if you say I have a conspiracy theory often enough, some of your alarmist fellow-dills will find it comforting, and you’ll all continue burying your heads in the sand about vested interest.

  68. Danley Wolfe

    Mike, there are several reasons that come to mind why government leaders seek “scientific advice” (these comments need not be limited to scientific advice but all kinds of “advice to leaders.” First the leader or official may have no or little background in science, may not understand science, and may not even care about science but care only about making policy that depends on scientific determinations. One might imagine even with strong evidence to the contrary, when they speak they may not understand what they are saying (for example, Harry Reid’s rampage a few days ago about extreme weather being “caused by” global warming… also referred to by the president in his speech on droughts in the southwest). They do care a lot about what their constituents “say about science” and how they will vote. Second, take for example the idea of establishing a large team of experts (or “czars” if you will) to advise a government official. They act as the government official’s EXPERTS, chosen by the official (and his advisors), having political / ideological POVs that agree with the official’s. The official now can take his decisions / positions referring to his EXPERTS, even outside of the traditional normal working framework of government. Appeal to authority in general is a logical fallacy because chosen authorities may not necessarily be correct in their advice even in their field of expertise, especially in cases in which the evidence is not demonstrated cause and effect. Can you believe two expert witnesses who take oaths to tell the truth etc. and give 180 degree opposite testimony…. they are giving (paid for) opinions about science not necessarily scientific fact. The jury decides. Or in this case, voters will ultimately determine the outcome but not after several wrong turns. On issues involving real science – talking physics, thermodynamics, and heat, mass and momentum transfer, a Delphi hand count doesn’t prove or disprove science, it is just …. well it’s just not worth much at all. Especially when you are not told how many “truly qualified people” were counted in the vote, which may actually be a very small number.

  69. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Mike Flynn asks “Can anyone provide an instance where scientific advice was sought, received, acted on, and had a demonstrably beneficial outcome?”

    History provides innumerable examples:

    Single-Letter Examples

    • Einstein and Szilard’s letter to Roosevelt, advocating atomic bomb development. Action: the Manhattan Project. Outcome: the atomic bomb.

    • Turing’s letter to Churchill, urgently requesting decoding resources for Bletchly Park. Churchill to Gen. Ismay (Chief of Staff): “ACTION THIS DAY: Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this had been done.” Outcome: Allied victory over Axis.

    Single-Person Examples

    • Walter Reed. The prevention of yellow fever. `Nuff said.

    • Ronald Ross. Malaria. Say it with poetry:

    Mosquito Day
    by Ronald Ross

    ‘This day designing God/
    Hath put into my hand/
    A wondrous thing. And god/
    Be praised. At His command,

    I have found they secret deeds/
    Oh million-murdering Death.//
    I know that this little thing/
    A million men will save –

    Oh death where is thy sting?/
    Thy victory oh grave?’

    Single-Technology Examples

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency, 1958–1974, by Richard J. Barber. Documents that in the late 1950s and early 1960s, ARPA/DARPA supported *all* young solid-state/transistor-development research in North America. Result: economic transformation and world industrial dominance for two generations.

    Radar in World War II by Hency E. Guerlac. Documents the thirty-year interlocking scientists-government collaboration that provided (for the Allies) technology crucial to victory in WWII.

    CONCLUSION From individual letter-writers (Einstein, Szilard, Turing), to individual scientists (Reed, Ross), all the way to multigeneration research efforts (radar, computers, transistors, aerospace), the advice of scientists to government, and the support of government to science, has been an extraordinarily fruitful two-way street.

    These history of the above efforts (and many more!) is well-worth studying, Climate Etc readers!

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

    • Steven Mosher

      Thanks FOMD.. I missed your comment. Einstein came to mind first.
      Teller came next.

    • FOMD,

      Can you point to where the Government sought Einstein’s advice about the atomic bomb? My belief is that Einstein wrote to the Government, not the other way round. I might be wrong.

      Turing was already employed at Bletchley Park. Employees incessantly ask for more resources. Occasionally, the employer listens.

      Scientists also proposed Habbakuk, an aircraft carrier made of ice. The idea was rejected. Likewise, the Grand Panjandrum proved to be less than efficacious, proving to be as likely to inflict serious bodily injury on the assembled observers as the enemy.

      So I am not decrying the input of scientists any more than that of janitors or the tea lady. All contribute, at the behest of the Government, hopefully. Put a scientist in charge of your future if you like – I prefer democracy.

      Following the advice of scientists, whether Lysenko or the current deluded crop of Warmists may lead only to the bitter fruits of the poisonous tree. You have no way of knowing.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mike the simple fact is that policy makers get to ask whomever they like for advice. And today they ask scientists. They seek advice from the sciences of economics the science of physics and genetics.. you name it. They get to ask for advice and they get to weigh it. They get to believe their science advisors rather than you. They also get to listen to advice from business men clergy pundits staffers etc. And they get to pay attention to whomever the damn well please to.

  70. Danley Wolfe

    Some responders don’t like Mike’s questions/infereences so they give examples unrelated to Mike’s point. None of the examples given were politicized the way climate science is today … and for the past 25 years or so. Mike explained the intent of his question and that his original question was about advice that was “sought” not just given. The examples referred to a number of identified advances to “unquestionable issues” or opportunities facing the nation (that are unquestionable, no one would debate) including massive wars, advances to treat serious known medical situations, and technology breakthroughs with large impact on society and economies. The climate community has not made the slam dunk they would like re the urgency of their positions – model results, beliefs and opinions which is why they struggle to be liked. At this point it is a political debate on what is / is not supported by facts and a lot of devices are being used to move questioners such as posturing and branding / name calling (what really is a “denier”), Science has not convinced people adequately of the claimed / stated urgency. Climate change ranks 14 out of 15 on Gallup’s latest poll of things that are important to Americans (similar results in Britain -12 out of 14 – in the EC Standard Eurobarometer Poll (EB80) for Great Britain Autumn 2013. Gallup says around 65% of Americans believe climate change is occurring but only 24% are greatly concerned while 51% are “a little or not at all” concerned. The mismatch between what the thinking of entire populations and what the science experts are “ADVISING” is revealing. I would comment that if Gallup had asked the question differently on “do you believe in climate change” the % believing would be much higher… i.e., “has climate change always occurred, but is it now approaching a tipping point / catastrophic level?” Climate science basic measurements and analysis ARE BASED ON on real objective science – physics, thermodynamics and the like; however, as a result of the the system specification and degs of freedom the key issues such as how much warming require subjective interpretations. Subjective science is ok for followers of Thomas Kuhn and Michael Polanyi but not ok for mega decisions involving restructuring entire economies. If the science were a slam dunk we would not be wasting time on Curry’s blog like this.

    • Steven Mosher

      See Reagan’s Star Wars. Now of course there it was liberals attacking Teller. There it was one group of scientists arguing it could be done, and the liberal scientists practicing skepticism and doubt.

    • Steven Mosher

      Is economics a science

      • Danley Wolfe

        “Is economics a science”? The Nobel committee would like to think it is. They made a special category for Economic Sciences. In economics you cannot run controlled experiments on a regional or global scale. In economics they are forced to analyze historical time series or panel data and develop models … that never predict anything with any accuracy. Sounds like climate science – is climate science a science? The study of effect of the environment on animal and plant habitat is science (zoology and biology… say like the mating behavior of marmosets in the Canadian Rockies. Study of solar activity is science (astrophysics…?). Making predictions with GHG models is a lot like economics, models are not robust for predicting the future. It is not a science.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Economics a science? Next you’ll be asking if climatology is a science!

      God created climatologists to make economists look good.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Climate Science is a dismodel science.
      ==============

    • Climate science is a dismodel science and uneconomaniacal
      ter boot.

  71. For a brief moment Western academia nearly succeeded in driving the price of energy beyond the reach of humanity in the third world and developing countries but nature snowed on their parade.

  72. So where is the “academic” outrage this past week?;

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/03/13/US-Philosophy-Professor-Jail-Denialist-Climate-Scientists-For-Criminal-Negligence

    Dr. Curry ignores the actual stakes of the debate, a totalitarian peer culture she is more part of than separate.

  73. Maintain the trust of many. What was needed was clear communication of the knowns and unknowns.

    Bzzt. Wrong.

    Do you know who elicit the trust of many?

    Con artists.

    Do you know how to maintain the trust of many?

    Propaganda and Black Hat Marketing.

    I can understand how Steve Mosher, one of the best Black Hat Marketers among the denizenry, would not be easily convinced that this is the wrong path for a scientist. On the other hand, I can point out to how diligent Steve Mosher has been as part of B.E.S.T. to be a White Hat. So I believe Steve Mosher is far more convincing as an example than my poor scribbles on the topic ever will be.

    If you’re a policy advisor of any sort, it is particularly important to obtaining the best possible outcomes to scrub all agitprop, marketing, and Luntzism out of your submissions specifically, and communications in general. If you are performing the multiple role both of advising policy and edutaining the public, you are hitching your plow to two wild oxen often driving in opposite paths. How ought a crypto specialist advise NSA policy, and talk to the media at the same time, without ending up in Russia seeking asylum in Brazil?

    How ought a public health scientist keep information about dangerous substances from the public when policy finds it convenient not to upset donors to political campaigns or diminishing the trust of the public in the paternalism of the government?

    Thalidomide would have been approved in the USA if this sort of thinking. Sometimes the trust of the public isn’t as important as the trustworthiness of the scientific advisor.

    It certainly is never worth sacrificing trustworthiness to stoop to propaganda.

    And clear communication of the knowns and unknowns without informing of the process of how to handle knowns and unknowns is like giving a man whose never seen the sea a boatload of fish, only some of them are fugu.

    Specifically, if communicating knowns and unknowns in Science, you must lead with: “We hold that explanation of all observations which is simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and most universal in terms of validity to be accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require us to amend the explanation.” And you should explain why that has historically been the policy of the most successful nations in the world.

    Protect the independence of advice. The advisory role should be structured so as to protect its independence from both political interference and premature filtering in the policy process.

    What?

    No.

    The world of Science is huge. Single genius inventors and investigators working in their garage or kitchen are still valuable, but we have known for three hundred years that for Science to see farther, we dwarves must stand on the shoulders of giants. In some cases, the number of people it takes to arrive at a scientific truth number in the tens of thousands, and must be drawn from around the globe. That will inevitably cross cultural and political boundaries, and in doing so will both encounter political interference and “premature filtering” (ie skeptical challenges from professionals who deal with policy for a living) and at the same time be stripped of cultural and political biases by exposure to other paradigms.

    Far better, Depend on the value added from all available sources.

    Report to the top. Scientific advice must be available directly — uncensored — to the head of government or the head of the relevant department.

    This is the Number One mistake of lobbyists to government. While I am an avowed _MIN_archist, it’s because I’m familiar with hierarchy and how it works and especially how it malfunctions. If you want to really make a hierarchy dysfunctional, then REPORT TO THE TOP.

    All those layers below the top?

    They generally evolved for what in historical context were valid reasons, and they are precise machines of decision support. Mess with them by cutting out layers ad hoc without a plan, you don’t get _MIN_archy, you get anarchy, and not the good kind. And really, what do you expect the ‘top’ to do with the gift of your poorly-communicated and unexamined skreeds, rants and lobbying?

    The ‘top’ doesn’t personally write, administer and enforce laws, regulations and policies directly. All those ‘filters’ Gluckman in his arrogance despises are the ones who need to be involved, and the sooner the better, in the change management of any process of governance.

    Far better, Work through the professionals professionally.

    Expect to inform policy, not make it. Science advice is about presenting a rigorous analysis of what we do and do not know.

    While this is technically true enough, it’s short-sighted and, as explained above, nothing but a boatload of fugu.

    Policy professionals attempt to make policy out of everything they have been presented, knit together with the skill and knowledge of legislative and policy workers in a specialized field most scientists hardly ever guess at.

    Expect policy to be made out of the material you provide, though you will have no role in how it is cut and stitched together. Understand that, and so provide the best possible material. And when you do, remind everyone you provide it to, b>”We hold that explanation of all observations which is simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and most universal in terms of validity to be accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require us to amend the explanation.”

    Thus, Go into policy science advice with no expectations, simply best science practice.

    Give science privilege as an input into policy. While acknowledging the other relevant inputs into policy formation, we need to demonstrate why science should hold a privileged place among the ‘types of knowledge’ that may be meaningful to a politician.

    Perhaps Gluckman is struggling to understand the idea “Evidence based policy?”

    He’s doing a poor job.

    Far better, Science is nothing special to the policymaker, no different from accounting or first hand reports of ordinary citizens; so do your accounting and be a good citizen, too.

    Recognize the limits of science. But scientists must not overstate what is or can be known, even though the shift from a view of science as a source of certainty to a source of probability can frustrate and confuse decision-makers and the public. [M]uch of the debate about climate change is not primarily about the data. Rather, it is about intergenerational economic interests.

    Bzzt. Exactly wrong.

    “We hold that explanation of all observations which is simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and most universal in terms of validity to be accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require us to amend the explanation.”

    This policy principle, first enunciated by Sir Isaac Newton, both a genius of Science and a master of Policy, was the direct source of the power that turned tiny England into the British Empire. The guns of its navy ruled the seas. The medical advances and advancing materials in its industry took that United Kingdom beyond all the limits of human history to that point. Seeing Science in terms of knowns and unknowns is mistaken: see in terms of what we hold to accurately explain what we have observed up to now.

    Act as a broker not an advocate. Trust can be earned and maintained only if the science adviser or advisory committee acts as a knowledge broker, rather than as an advocate. When formal science advice is perceived as advocacy, trust in that advice and in the adviser is undermined, even if the advice is accepted. For example, exaggerated presentations about the causes of storms and floods can erode the credibility of the underlying argument about global warming.

    Someone who earns my trust earns nothing, except possibly warm feelings of no special weight in reasoning.

    I verify the trustworthy Steve Mosher no less than the utterly unreliable denizens at the far end of the honesty scale from him; and yet, he brokers rather less ‘knowledge’ than many of them do, too, giving the lie to Gluckman’s mechanic for earning this thing of no worth.

    For example, Gluckman says there are exaggerated presentations about the causes of storms and floods, but there are many presentations about storms and floods, and their causes, and on all sides, and yet all he has done is tar the whole area with the same brush, when much of it is not exaggerated at all. That smacks of advocacy, to me.

    Engage the scientific community. The science adviser must know how to reach out to scientists for the appropriate expertise, and help them to enact their social responsibility in making their knowledge accessible and understandable, and in being more self-aware about when they might be acting as advocates.

    Far better, Engage the community. You don’t get to drop out of being a citizen by virtue of being a Scientist. What it sounds like to me is Gluckman’s attempting Argumentum ad populam in several of its hoariest guises.. which is untrustworthy in the extreme.

  74. It’s logical to throw this iron on the fire related to Problem Solving and Decision Making by Government.

    Dr. Charles Kepner and Dr. Benjamin Tregoe started the corporation Kepner-Tregoe in 1958 but the initial research dates to their work in the early 1950s.

    “Kepner-Tregoe was built on the premise that people can be taught to think critically. While working for the Rand Corporation in the 1950s, our founders, Dr. Charles Kepner and Dr. Benjamin Tregoe, conducted research on breakdowns in decision making at the Strategic Air Command. They discovered that successful decision making by Air Force officers had less to do with rank or career path than the logical process an officer used to gather, organize, and analyze information before taking action.”

    See more at: http://www.kepner-tregoe.com/about-kt/company-overview/kepner-tregoe-history/#sthash.XzEtgDtf.dpuf

    In this instance, Science Advisers delivered a process for subsequent Governmental decision making and problem solving.

    • With respect Dr. Curry, perhaps the best place to open dialogue to resolve post-normal science issues is a common process shared by Science Advisers globally — an insightful way?

  75. Robert I Ellison


    _____
    Let’s be clear, in the normal “La Nada” mode if you will, neither La Nina nor El Nino, water piles up in the western Pacific. That’s the way the trade winds normally blow and so it doesn’t take a La Nina to make it happen. If the winds are a little stronger out of the east, the IPWP gains even more warm water as the piling up is greater.
    Also, Robert you as caustic as ever…a very unpleasant sort of fellow.

    Let’s be clear – Randy. The trade winds are the product of pressure differentials – as low pressure develops in the west and high pressure in the east. Upwelling of cold water on the eastern margin creates high pressure cells locally and this propagates across the Pacific strengthening Walker Circulation. This is the origin of ENSO and why – along with the asymmetry of the system – La Nina is regarded as the ‘normal’ state of the Pacific – as I have already established. Coastal winds establish the conditions for cold upwelling and the feedbacks proceed from there. Including the eventual disruption of the trade winds and the flow eastward of surface water piled up against Australia and Indonesia.

    e.g. http://28storms.com/longrange/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/ENSO-States-2.jpg

    La Nada was a term originally used in paleoclimatology to descried states prior to the closure of the Isthmus of Panama and the emergence of the modern Pacific system. It is now used by people who imagine it is clever to describe ENSO neutral conditions. It is in fact glib, vulgar and shows very little subtlety of understanding. Neutral conditions are defined in relation to SST in specific regions of the equatorial Pacific – below positive and negative anomaly threshold values. Taking into account winds, cloud and current – there are no neutral conditions.

    I was referring to your inability to read past the first paragraph seemingly – and to rattle off the same simplistic, smug, supercilious and quite ill informed comments in response. Seemingly all for the purpose correcting the sadly mistaken deniers. This is a widespread behavior in fact and springs from the proclivity of true believers to assume a moral and intellectual superiority – and to fail to question any assumptions. Both symptoms of groupthink. Believe me it makes real discourse impossible – and you may take my response to your nonsense any way you like.

    • The trade winds are the product of pressure differentials – as low pressure develops in the west and high pressure in the east.

      Actually, high pressure polewards and low pressure equator-wards. They are examples of geostrophic wind.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Actually – the trade winds – south easterly in the SH and north easterly in the NH – are a product of Walker and Hadley Circulation.

      Hadley Circulation – equatorial low pressure and sub-equatorial high pressure is the result of SST temperature differentials – as is Walker Circulation in the east-west axis. The Coriolis effect is weak at the equator.

    • The Coriolis effect is weak at the equator.

      Yes, that area within which the ITCZ (usually) wanders. The aloft part of the Trade Winds generally blows from east to west, at right angles to the pressure differential between the sub-tropical high pressure belts and the ITCZ. Near the ground, below the top of the Ekman spiral, it blows at an angle, from the north-east in the NH, south-east in the SH. A similar process transports air along the tropopause (and in the lower stratosphere IIRC) from the top of the ITCZ to the area above the sub-tropical high pressure belts, where it becomes the descending arm of the Hadley cell.

      Above the top of the Ekman spiral, the wind in effect blows at exactly right angles to the pressure gradient, until you get within perhaps 10 degrees of the Equator. Only near the surface, or the Tropopause, does any significant flow occur down the pressure gradient. Under normal, “equilibrium” conditions, that is.

    • “Climate change might be either larger or smaller than the current range of predictions.”

      There’s a reason these guys make the Big $$$. Who could argue with such an insight?

      Andrew

    • Robert I Ellison

      Winds are always the result of pressure differentials – with the Coriolis effect imparting spin.

      http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-147.26,-2.02,315

    • Robert I Ellison

      The change in cloud is related to the PDO especially – quite natural.

      It has since turned around somewhat – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=95

    • Robert I Ellison

      You once wrote that it is all happening in the shortwave.

      A 5% decrease in reflected incoming SW radiation resulting from an decrease in cloud cover represents 4.0 W/m^2, which would be roughly the same effect on climate as the greenhouse effect of doubling CO2, 3.7 W/m^2.

      Linear trend lines are dangerous, but the ISCCP and MODIS observations on global cloud cover anomaly, which you posted, point to a linear cloud cover anomaly trend of -2% per decade (1983-2000) and +1.4% per decade (2000-2012).

      This represents changes in “forcing” of 1.6 W/m^2 per decade (1983-2000) and -1.1 W/m^2 per decade (2000-2013).

      With CO2 expected to increase from today’s concentration of 395 ppmv to a level of 650 ppmv by the end of this century, this would mean that the forcing trend from the GHE of added CO2 would be around 0.3 W/m^2 per decade.

      Does this mean that the observed changes in cloud cover had 4 to 5 times the rate of impact on global temperature than we expect to occur in the future from added CO2?

      Help me understand, Chief. (This is not a trick question.)

      Max

    • Robert I Ellison

      The data is here – http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

      Cooling on IR and warming in SW between the 80’s and 90’s – completely offsets any IR warming and warms in SW by a lot more than the change in .
      greenhouse gas forcing.

      It is looking very ‘real’.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Thanks.

      Looks like you had it right when you wrote, “it’s all in the SW”.

      Max

    • If real, this is a positive cloud feedback, which is a big blow to some of the other skeptics.

    • Robert I Ellison

      It is the result of changes on ocean and atmosphere circulation – e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=140

      Low frequency climate variability as the IPCC said.

  76. “There have been too many examples where appealing to apparently confused science masks what is in fact a policy or ideological debate (for example, exploiting scientific uncertainty to justify inaction on climate change). This has been termed the ‘misuse of science as a proxy for a values debate’. Such misalignment can only undermine confidence
    in both science and policy formation.” – Peter Gluckman
    ———
    So if the science is uncertain, that shouldn’t mean political policy can’t be based on it?? Heck, why bother having science at all then, why not just wade right in with politics?

    And the overwhelming problem we actually face, in climate science, is of course the exact opposite of that – misrepresenting a confused science as being settled, which is a strategy designed to mask what is in fact an ideological drive to justify expensive and intrusive political action.

    This is ACTUALLY what undermines both policy and science. As does the ongoing lack of any institutional repentance over Climategate, which was too part and parcel of the same overall politically motivated effort to misrepresent unsettled science as being settled.

  77. Gluckman’s rules make complete sense in principle, but unfortunately not always in practice. According to “The Price of Loyalty” (Suskind’s book about Paul ONeill’s experiences as Sec of Treasury), George W Bush thought that advisers who discussed the pros and cons of their preferred positions lacked conviction in their beliefs. On the other hand, the same source claims that Nixon insisted his advisors provide him with “Brandeis Briefs”, 10+ page documents summarizing every possible argument and counter-argument to be read before meetings. Nixon would publicly criticize the authors of such briefs for omitting any relevant material, whether they agreed with it or not. President Obama is intelligent enough to resolve conflicting facts and opinions on his own, but he doesn’t appear to be interested in views from outside his party.

  78. ”science” about the phony GLOBAL warming is not science; unless is taken in consideration the ”self regulation / self adjusting system” of the ”overall” temp on the WHOLE planet, by the two most abundant gases, oxygen & nitrogen = everything else is a sandpit job / destructive for the planet and humanity! : http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/q-a/

  79. Katisha neatly summarizes Bart : if he thinks something might “dilute” alarmism, he will be against it. And vice-versa.

    • Tuppence | March 16, 2014 at 3:37 am |

      You know me so well! Have you been reading my diary?

      How do you even know I’m a “he”?

      I object to alarmism. It happens that by far the greater alarmism is on the pro-burning side: “If we stop burning oil, our industries will grind to a halt; our taxes will skyrocket; we’ll revert to the stone age; blah-blah-blah”. Richard Tol is far more alarmist than Nordhaus; Lomborg alarms about everything else except burning fossil fuels to obscure the fossil fuel issues with flim-flam. Nigella’s Lordly dad worries us that if we don’t burn coal, then the underprivileged in Africa will suffer alarming calamities. At the same time, it’s easy to see that idiots who blame much more than 3%-17% of the excess harm of weather events on AGW are alarmist, and CO2 concentration is not going to literally poison humans. But hardly anyone claims those problems.

      If I think something is wrong here, I sometimes say so. It would be impossible to keep up with everything wrong here, so I stick to what I know. For instance, http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/12/the-art-of-science-advice-to-government/#comment-488412

      As it happens, Gluckman is very wrong. But don’t rely on my say-so. Go to Gluckman’s shindig in August (http://www.globalscienceadvice.org/) and see how well his advice to advisors stands up.

      What is it you do again? Offer opinions against people you don’t know but don’t like?

  80. Danley Wolfe

    This has been a very worthwhile and interesting post … but has degraded into insults and name calling … how bout maybe next time setting the rules of engagement and blocking violators. Signing off, bye bye.

  81. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  82. Governments did not always employ scientists, or even act as patrons to great thinkers. Historically, quite the opposite dominated human civilization for millennia.

    Alexander the Great’s tutor was slaughtered by one of his own soldiers. Better by far for the world for us to have had another few moments of Archimede’s life than that of Alexander’s entire armies.

    Socrates? Persecuted by the Athenian state until his shamefully committed lurid suicide surrounded by the young boys he was accused of corrupting the morals of.. That sure showed the Athenians, huh? Okay, perhaps not the best example of a great thinker.

    The Romans actively destroyed the works of engineers and wrecked libraries indiscriminately where their armies reached.

    Through to the time of Leonardo and Galileo, investigators frequently worked in secret, in code, and developed a self-preservation-motivated tradition of keeping data and methods close and unpublished that survives to this day in the backwards attitudes of scientists who would rather lose credibility and data both than share discovery or credit, and in large part because they would be persecuted for their work by the very patrons who enabled it. Only in military and industrial advances were they generally safe, and not always then. Saboteurs were agents for French regional governments, and Luddites were the same elected officials as the sort of William Shakespeare’s father.

    Then Newton came. Because he gave the British navy undeniable dominance in ocean warfare, Newton was protected from persecution and raised up to a position of influence. Enlightened government saw that Science, embodied by Newton and his kind, gave a nation power. That is the role of science advisor: empower the nation.

    The role of those who oppose and persecute the scientific ‘consensus’? To weaken the nation. It isn’t the scientists who are in the wrong here: science is the true patriot, the true citizen, the true just upholder of the might and vitality of the republic, the true voice of democracy. Anti-science nutcases are the enemy of America, and by extension, of all that is good and just.

    So when I hear this lame accusation that state-funded scientists serve some narrow government agenda, I hear a new variation on Alexander the Great’s thuggish primitive murderer slashing old Archimedes from behind, without even the courage to face a weak engineer when he killed him.

    Imagine how low that makes such arguments in my eyes?

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      Alexander the Great’s tutor was slaughtered by one of his own soldiers. Better by far for the world for us to have had another few moments of Archimede’s life than that of Alexander’s entire armies.

      Aristotle is not Archimedes.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse | March 18, 2014 at 11:31 am |

      Yeah, but every breath of Archimedes was worth the entire lifespan of Alexander’s armies; Aristotle not so much. Mebbe a day and a half, tops.

      Otherwise, thanks for catching my Persian Flaw.

    • Ah, Alexander’s tuition bill. Aristotole was rewarded with his city of birth, re-populated with many of its original inhabitants who’d been sold into slavery. Philip was the agent both of destruction of the city and of its rehabilitation.

      Musta been climate change wot dunnit.
      =============

  83. Bart, like Michael you’re just another blinkered vested-interest denier, intent on defending corrupt science.

    • Tuppence | March 18, 2014 at 11:45 am |

      Do I deny vested interests an open route to satisfy their rapacious desires by excess, greed and perversion? Sure. But I don’t think that’s what you meant to say.

      And while I’m flattered to be compared to Michael, I don’t know Michael, don’t generally follow what he’s writing lately, and don’t have time for ad hominem pro or con.

      Which gives me zero time for your comments, as they are nothing but ad hominem.

    • Bart > Do I deny vested interests an open route to satisfy their rapacious desires by excess, greed and perversion? Sure.

      OK, good.

      > But I don’t think that’s what you meant to say.

      Of course it is.

  84. Pingback: Science and policy – reconciling the two cultures | Climate Etc.