Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?

by Judith Curry

It is alarming that so many Nobel Prize recipients have lamented that they would never have survived this current academic environment. What are the implications of this on the discovery of future scientific paradigm shifts and scientific inquiry in general?

King’s Review has an article Publishing are Destroying Scientific Innovation: A Conversation with Sydney Brenner.   Sydney Brenner, a professor of Genetic medicine at the University of Cambridge and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 2002.  The post includes a fascinating discussion on sequencing DNA.  I excerpt some text from the latter part of the article, which has some broad implications for science:

I think that being in science is the most incredible experience to have, and I now spend quite a lot of my time trying to help the younger people in science to enjoy it and not to feel that they are part of some gigantic machine, which a lot of people feel today.

Cambridge is still unique in that you can get a PhD in a field in which you have no undergraduate training. In America you’ve got to have credits from a large number of courses before you can do a PhD. That’s very good for training a very good average scientific work professional. But that training doesn’t allow people the kind of room to expand their own creativity.

SB: The thing is to have no discipline at all. Biology got its main success by the importation of physicists that came into the field not knowing any biology and I think today that’s very important.

The young have a great advantage in that they are ignorant. Because I think ignorance in science is very important. If you’re like me and you know too much you can’t try new things. I always work in fields of which I’m totally ignorant.

SB: Today the Americans have developed a new culture in science based on the slavery of graduate students. Now graduate students of American institutions are afraid. He just performs. He’s got to perform. The post-doc is an indentured labourer. We now have labs that don’t work in the same way as the early labs where people were independent, where they could have their own ideas and could pursue them.

The most important thing today is for young people to take responsibility, to actually know how to formulate an idea and how to work on it. Not to buy into the so-called apprenticeship. 

But today there is no way to do this without money. In order to do science you have to have it supported. The supporters now, the bureaucrats of science, do not wish to take any risks. So in order to get it supported, they want to know from the start that it will work. 

I think I’ve often divided people into two classes: Catholics and Methodists. Catholics are people who sit on committees and devise huge schemes in order to try to change things, but nothing’s happened. Nothing happens because the committee is a regression to the mean, and the mean is mediocre. Now what you’ve got to do is good works in your own parish. That’s a Methodist.

ED: It is alarming that so many Nobel Prize recipients have lamented that they would never have survived this current academic environment. What are the implications of this on the discovery of future scientific paradigm shifts and scientific inquiry in general? I asked Professor Brenner to elaborate.

SB: He wouldn’t have survived. It is just the fact that he wouldn’t get a grant today because somebody on the committee would say, oh those were very interesting experiments, but they’ve never been repeated. And then someone else would say, yes and he did it a long time ago, what’s he done recently? And a third would say, to top it all, he published it all in an un-refereed journal.

And of course all the academics say we’ve got to have peer review. But I don’t believe in peer review because I think it’s very distorted and as I’ve said, it’s simply a regression to the mean.

I think peer review is hindering science. In fact, I think it has become a completely corrupt system. It’s corrupt in many ways, in that scientists and academics have handed over to the editors of these journals the ability to make judgment on science and scientists. There are universities in America, and I’ve heard from many committees, that we won’t consider people’s publications in low impact factor journals.

Now I mean, people are trying to do something, but I think it’s not publish or perish, it’s publish in the okay places [or perish]. I campaigned against this [culture] because I think it is not only bad, it’s corrupt. In other words it puts the judgment in the hands of people who really have no reason to exercise judgment at all. And that’s all been done in the aid of commerce, because they are now giant organisations making money out of it.

SB: They just have to employ a lot of failed scientists, editors who are just like the people at Homeland Security, little power grabbers in their own sphere.

ED: Academics are slowly awakening to the fact that this dogged drive to publish rubbish has serious consequences on the quality of the science that they produce, which have far reaching consequences for public policy, costs, and human lives. 

Only the most successful academics can afford to challenge these norms by boycotting high impact journals. Until we win our Nobel Prizes, or grant and promotion structures change, we are shackled to this “publish or perish” culture. But together with leaders in science and academia such as Professor Brenner, we can start to change the structure of academic research and the language we use to judge quality.  His belief that scientists like Professor Sanger would not have survived today are cautionary words, providing new urgency to the grievances we have against the unintended consequences of the demands required to achieve academic success.

JC reflections

This essay strikes a number of chords that resonate strongly with me.  Too much of what academic researchers are doing is mere academic gamesmanship, with little impact beyond padding the resume of the academic for the perks of academia: promotions, awards, grants.

The pressure for an academic prior to publish in order to get tenure is immense; I am dismayed when the primary criteria is to count publications, look at the impact factor of the journals, and look at the H-index (citations).  It is only post-tenure that an academic can ponder longer range and seriously difficult or risky projects.  And few do this, since funding for such projects is very difficult to obtain; too many grant proposals are written for research that is already well underway with pretty much guaranteed outcomes.

So what does all this produce?  Research that dots i’s and crosses t’s, and that promotes conformity of thought.

When Nobel Laureates are speaking up with these concerns, the academy needs to take notice.  While at the Conference on World Affairs this week in Boulder, I have the opportunity to speak out on these topics on several panels.  Today’s panel was Future of the University, which was fascinating.

A special h/t on this one to my former Ph.D. student Branko Kosovic, who sent me this article.

598 responses to “Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?

  1. It must be pointed out that most climate research is supported by the federal government. All federally sponsored researchers need positive peer-reviews on their published papers and grant proposals. This can be difficult for many of the “closet” warming skeptics who receive federal grant support. Many are reluctant to give full expression of their views, primarily because of worries over continuing grant support. It is difficult to receive federal grant support if one’s views differ from the majority of their peers who receive support to find evidence of the warming threat. The normal scientific process of objectively studying both sides of the question has not yet occurred. Such open discussion has been largely discouraged by warming advocates. ~William Gray

    • The irony of William Gray, who purposefully torpedoed so many careers over the most minor of disparities with his own pet peeves, writing that is beyond absurdity and into surrealism.

      • It is bogus to say there’s a “scientific consensus” on the hypothesis that global warming is human-induced. It’s all politics: the latest Gallup poll shows believers are mostly Democrats. And yet, global warming alarmists attempted to defame William Gray as a denier and are still attacking Gray for the crime of being what all scientists should be: skeptical.

    • “The irony of William Gray…”

      So, reading between the lines, you agree with him then. There’s a problem with people throwing their weight around and freezing people out without respect to the merits.

    • kcom | April 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm |

      Academia and publishing have boatloads of cultural problems, embodied in:
      . publish-or-perish policies;
      . tolerance of political agendas in scientific study;
      . peer-review inadequacies in objectivity;
      . paywalls;
      . failure to respect:
      .. Open Data,
      .. data preservation,
      .. data sharing,
      .. data quality,
      .. metadata quality,
      .. standards of conduct and mutual respect;
      . and, most damningly in Science, putting any cultural issue including these ahead of the 4 Principles of Scientific Truth — that explanation of observations based on inference most simple in assumptions, parsimonious of exceptions and universal in application shall be held accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require new explanation.

      So, sure, in some sense I agree with Dr. Gray. If this is what he meant.

      • It’s the brave scientist that salts the well of ignorance and superstition by exposing the hoax and scare tactics being perpetrated on the public by his peers to government money flowing in.

    • Wagathon wrote:
      It is bogus to say there’s a “scientific consensus” on the hypothesis that global warming is human-induced. It’s all politics: the latest Gallup poll shows believers are mostly Democrats.

      Most believers are Democrats because the other party is anti-science.

      There is certainly a scientific consensus that global warming is human-induced. Read the journals. Attend the conferences. You’ll find very, very little disagreement — the Roy Spencers of the world have stopped talking at conferences, and now stick to the safety of their blogs.

      • It would be equally nonsensical to say humanity is causing the present global cooling trend. A Western mania about global warming is not a ‘scientific consensus.’

        Just to claim there is a scientific consensus about human-caused global warming is unscientific. Humanity’s impact is local not global, to wit:

        The globe has many serious environmental problems. Most of these problems are regional or local in nature, not global. Forced global reductions in human-produced greenhouse gases will not offer much benefit for the globe’s serious regional and local environmental problems. We should, of course, make all reasonable reductions in greenhouse gases to the extent that we do not pay too high an economic price. We need a prosperous economy to have sufficient resources to further adapt and expand energy production. ~Wm Gray

      • David Springer

        What global warming? There hasn’t been any global warming, human induced or otherwise, for 15 years. You didn’t know about that? It’s in the literature, in the conferences, and you’ll find very little disagreement among climate scientists that there is no pause in global warming. Maybe you’re going to the wrong conferences. Ask for directions to the next one.

    • “Most believers are Democrats because the other party is anti-science”

      Most Democrats believe that JFK was assassinated by the CIA rather than a Communists unhappy with Kennedy’s Cuban policy.

      37% of Democrats think President Bush’s supporters committed significant voter fraud in order to win Ohio in 2004 and 36% think President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks before they happened.
      Oddly, 36% of Republicans think President Obama’s supporters committed significant voter fraud in the 2012 presidential election.

      http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2013/outthere/final.pdf

    • Wagathon wrote:
      It would be equally nonsensical to say humanity is causing the present global cooling trend. A Western mania about global warming is not a ‘scientific consensus.’

      I’m not sure what scientific journals you read or what science conferences you attend. I read and attend a fair number of them. And yes, there certainly is a consensus, and has been for years — climate scientists have moved on to how AGW is going to play out, not whether it exists. It clearly does.

      • If you abandon the scientific method and introduce the subjective element into scientific practice, and apply your culture, and rely on instinct, then perhaps for you AGW really exists…

      • David Springer

        “science conferences … I … attend a fair number of them.”

        Yes but there is more to the conferences than pigging out at the concession stands.

      • David Springer

        “yes, there certainly is a consensus, and has been for years”

        Consensus is the business of politics. Science requires just one researcher who is demonstrably correct.

        “climate scientists have moved on to how AGW is going to play out, not whether it exists”

        Climate scientists have moved on from climate science to climate dogma.

        “It clearly does.”

        Humans pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate over the past 15 years and global average temperature didn’t rise. That’s what you characterize as clear AGW? Who’s the denier?

    • Robert I Ellison

      AGW is an idea past it’s use by date. The new and most parsimonious climate paradigm is that climate is an emergent property of a deterministically chaotic system. Hence the 1998/2001 climate shift and the pause.

      e.g. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00626.1

      ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

      So what’s to stop cooling over the rest of the century? Absolutely nothing. Talk about a significant empirical obstacle.

    • Wagathon wrote:
      If you abandon the scientific method and introduce the subjective element into scientific practice, and apply your culture, and rely on instinct, then perhaps for you AGW really exists…

      As if someone like you is qualified to make that judgement.

      You’re too afraid to even comment under your real name. That immediately shows where you’re coming from (and where you’re not….).

    • Yes — from what I can tell, Gore has worked hard to listen to and communicate with climate scientists.

      • David Springer

        Was it climate scientists who told Gore that the earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees?

      • Or told him about his “Shakra”?

      • David Springer

        Maybe those several millions of degrees hot that Al told Conan about in the clip above were global warming science degrees which are actually much smaller that regular degrees i.e. the earth’s core is millions of degrees and the earth is going to heat up ten degrees by 2100 due to CO2. It all makes sense if a global warming degree is not the same as degrees fahrenheit, centigrade, or Kelvin. Yeah that’s it. That’s the ticket.

    • So how come no scientist publicly corrected Gore over his “Earth’s internal temperature is several million degrees” gaffe? Perhaps he still believes it.

    • David Springer,

      You ask :

      “Was it climate scientists who told Gore that the earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees?”

      Well, David Appell said : “Yes — from what I can tell, Gore has worked hard to listen to and communicate with climate scientists.”

      Possibly Gore’s work was a little substandard in this case. Maybe his hearing is a bit defective, or he discovered that trying to get a straight answer from Warmist is like trying to hide heat in the ocean. I don’t know.

      I’m sure David Appell would berate me for using the following quote, but at least he’s ignoring me.

      “Unconfirmed rumors have been circulating for years about the extent of the “Gore Methane Menace”, but it finally came down to the direct testimony of various courageous members of the film crew of “An Inconvenient Truth” that the actual environmental hazard emanating from Gore was grave in the extreme.
      In fact, it was the brave statements of these stalwart few (since placed in Witness Protection) that directly refuted the inevitable excuses and comments from Gore’s wide circle of adherents (who, it should be noted, are invariably seen wearing gas masks when in his company), who state that “Oh, that’s just Al cutting the cheese.”
      These brave crew members who at great peril to their own health “sniffed out” the Methane Menace should really be awarded some sort of National Medal for Environmental and Human Safety Preservation. Alas, it reflects the current state of our culture that they now live in fear for their lives from the rabid horde of Gore advocates.”

      Credit: The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious. The Spoof. http://www.thespoof.com/news/science-technology/118541/latest-breakthrough-in-global-climate-change-scientific-measurement-has-direct-connectivity-to-al-gores-ass

      David Appell might consider submitting some of his clever tongue-in-cheek subtle satire for publication. Al Gore! Millions of degrees! Priceless,

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • David Springer | April 9, 2014 at 1:24 am |

      Let me see if I understand this.

      In December, 2009, a has-been VP misspoke himself (apparently replacing ‘thousands’ with ‘millions’) in what was an otherwise cogent and accurate explanation of geothermal on a late night talk show almost no one ever watched, to a stand up comedian almost no one ever laughed at, and your biggest concern is the gaffe about the order of magnitude error, not the poor judgment in the haircut, make-up, or tie.. or appearing on Conan?

      And that’s all you can scrape up, almost three and a half years later?

      Embarrassing, considering your record of almost constant ad hom, that all that practice has gone to waste to produce such tepid mudslinging.

      Me, I’m as disposed to cruel ridicule of the math deficient as the next guy, but for crying out loud, beat that dead horse any more and a whole pack of hounds won’t be able to find the smear on the ground.

      No one died. No one was ‘fooled’ into believing the Earth is millions of degrees a mere 2 km down, or at any depth. There was no ulterior motive apparent in this mental slip. You yourself have made a dozen more serious mistakes in posts on Climate Etc. since December of 2009. Do you hear anyone bothering to dig those up?

      Al Gore is nothing to me. I don’t really have a dog in Mann’s fights, either. But when I see someone continuing to flail around so badly mangling the art of insult as in this thread, I have to speak up.

      Get fresh material. Stay relevant. Find a way to turn your words cleverly. Because if you can’t say something nasty with wit, it’s better not to say it at all.

    • David Springer wrote:
      Was it climate scientists who told Gore that the earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees?

      As if you know the temperature of everything.

      It’s just a number. One looks it up, much like the speed of sound that Einstein never memorized.

      • David Springer

        Mabye Gore should have looked it up before blurting out a number that’s three orders of magnitude too large. Given you non-chalance about it may we presume that you need to look up speed of sound at sea level, earth’s average temperture, core temperature, dry adiabatic lapse rate, speed of light in a vacuum, acceleration of gravity, and bazzillian other numbers that any scietifically literate person can at least ballpark if not give standard figures like (off the top of my head in order) 1400fps, 14C, 3000C, 10C/kilometer, 300,000,000 meters/sec, 32 ft/sec/sec… maybe I’m just three orders of magnitude more scientifically literate than you and Gore.

    • If I was a climate scientist, and some self-appointed spokesperson for climate science made such a statement, I’d really want to point out that he doesn’t speak for me.
      That’s the point. Nobody said anything.
      Just like they defended Pachauri’s Himalayan glacier gaffe.
      And many more.
      But, every time one of Gore’s counterparts on the sceptical side makes some thoughtless remark, you lot are all over it like a pack of baying hounds.

      • Kevin Trenberth

        As Americans, we should be outraged that the Chinese are dumping huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

        Wm Gray

        Why should we Americans, with our elevated standard of living, be outraged at the Chinese for trying to elevate their standard of living from the poverty they have had to endure for so long?

        (See, The Global Warming Debate…, Oct. 2009)

    • phatboy | April 9, 2014 at 2:36 am |

      Alright.

      I’ll bite.

      Here’s my list of five people on the ‘IPCC side’ who have made total berks of something they’ve said, possibly more than one time:

      1. Phil Jones’ “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it..” to Warwick Hughes, February 2005. While it was true Warwick Hughes is an anti-science propagandist whose entire aim is to pervert data to appear to say the opposite of what rational inference shows, it was also not in the spirit of Science to duck confrontations with such charlatans, and Phil Jones was rightly relieved of administrative responsibilities for it. If that’s the only mistake Phil Jones has made in a decade, he’s doing pretty good, grievous as his attitude about data sharing reflected in that sentiment he expressed may be. But the statement itself was just infuriatingly wrong.

      2. Al Gore: millions of degrees, to Conan O’Brien on a late night talk show in a discussion about something else almost three and a half years ago. It was an error of scale by three orders of magnitude that in no way impacted the accuracy of the statement containing it otherwise: geothermal energy really does work as described, with only the correction of “thousands” for “millions”, or “Joules” for “degrees”. But the inaccuracy was just frustratingly blithely erroneous.

      3. Pachauri’s Himalayan Glaciers in a small footnote of AR2? AR3? Whoops. One of the six or less errors in a report containing millions of degrees of facts (or is that thousands of Joules?), admitted to and corrected and guess what: publicly and openly traceable to its source so we can see its origin and weigh for ourselves how the transposition of two digits affects the argument.

      4. Lovelock – do we have to count him? He’s a sort of cross benches nutter no matter what side of the argument you stand on. Far too many examples of Lovelock’s lunacy to cite or catalog; let’s just say he’s all wrong, all the time, and agree to pretend he doesn’t exist.

      5. Barrack ‘All available options’ Obama. The most do-nothing on AGW PotUS in history, with a worse track record than oilmen like Bush Sr. & Jr. as regards executive action. An embarrassment for his party, and a boon to the fossil industry, but so slick in speeches no one will stand up and say the President has no clothes on climate.

      Who are your five ‘anti-IPCC’ side representatives who’ve made the most serious gaffes you can think of off the top of your head? You come up with five, and I’ll submit a new list of five on the IPCC side, and we’ll see who runs out of authors of idiotic statements first.

      Or I’ll come up with fifty from the anti-IPCC side. And then fifty more. And then fifty more. Because it’s just that easy.

      • Kevin Trenberth

        If done in the right way, benefits to the climate through reduced emissions save energy and promote the economy, while increasing sustainability.

        Wm Gray

        This is a pie-in-the-sky pipedream. “Done the right way”? How so, precisely? By subverting the most fundamental economic laws, like cost effectiveness, and supply and demand? If the globe were to reduce current CO2 amounts by 20 percent by 2020, and by 80 percent by 2050, as has been proposed, we would see a massive slowdown in global economic development, and the condition of humanity would immediately be made worse. Additionally, there would no longer be the capital – i.e. venture capital – in the economy with which to explore and develop new forms of energy. Technology and progress require money. If something is economically viable, government doesn’t need to subsidize it, or make its use compulsory: the market will naturally provide for it because it is cost -effective. The idea that society would prosper from cutting fossil fuel emissions is an utter illusion. Alternate energy sources are more costly right now, and their compulsory use will only lead to a lower standard of human living – to say nothing of the fact that this sort of governmental coercion is Constitutionally prohibited.

        (See, The Global Warming Debate…, Oct. 2009)

    • If some internet forum troll or just very ignorant and not too bright partisan bystander chiming in on some (just about any) debate, coming up with:

      “Most believers are Democrats because the other party is anti-science.”

      I would have just chuckled a bit, not even raised and eyebrow. Because you hear/read all kinds of stupid things in debates and commentaries like this …

      However, if that commenter labels himself as ‘science journalist’ and even makes the point that (brandishing) his full name carries some extra weight regarding the matter, that’s something else.

      Both because of the breathtaking idea that a political party as a whole would be ‘anti science’ (whatever that even might be), but also because it spells out that supporters of (either another party and/or some particular possibly scientific hypothesis) are believers, which is the antithesis of well reasoned or even scientific position.

      It just boggles the mind that some ‘science journalist’ would put this in writing (even if emotionally, that’s what he feels, and would want to be be the case).

      However, just phrasing it slightly differently would probably make that statement completely accurate, namely:

      “Most believers are Democrats, [and they also believe] the other party is anti-science.”

      (att least for a fair number among the believers)

      • Good points and how about–e.g.,

        “Most believers are Democrats, [and are anti-business -- believing only more and more government can save us from the evils of capitalism, which is destroying the earth -- and, they also believe] the other party is anti-science.”

    • David Appell (@davidappell) | April 8, 2014 at 6:21 pm |

      Most believers are Democrats because the other party is anti-science.

      There is certainly a scientific consensus that global warming is human-induced. Read the journals. Attend the conferences. You’ll find very, very little disagreement — the Roy Spencers of the world have stopped talking at conferences, and now stick to the safety of their blogs.

      Wow David you just used “the journals” and “the consensus” as a defense to call the other party anti-science, in a comment under a post that says this

      The pressure for an academic prior to publish in order to get tenure is immense; I am dismayed when the primary criteria is to count publications, look at the impact factor of the journals, and look at the H-index (citations). It is only post-tenure that an academic can ponder longer range and seriously difficult or risky projects. And few do this, since funding for such projects is very difficult to obtain; too many grant proposals are written for research that is already well underway with pretty much guaranteed outcomes.

      So what does all this produce? Research that dots i’s and crosses t’s, and that promotes conformity of thought.

      and this

      I think peer review is hindering science. In fact, I think it has become a completely corrupt system. It’s corrupt in many ways, in that scientists and academics have handed over to the editors of these journals the ability to make judgment on science and scientists. There are universities in America, and I’ve heard from many committees, that we won’t consider people’s publications in low impact factor journals.

      Now I mean, people are trying to do something, but I think it’s not publish or perish, it’s publish in the okay places [or perish]. I campaigned against this [culture] because I think it is not only bad, it’s corrupt. In other words it puts the judgment in the hands of people who really have no reason to exercise judgment at all. And that’s all been done in the aid of commerce, because they are now giant organisations making money out of it.

      don’t you see how funny that is?

    • Mickey Reno

      A couple of diverse items in this response thread interest me. I’ll lump them together in this post.

      BartR, I liked your list of corrupting facets at the university level. In your first reply, you said that William Grey torpedoed many careers based on whim. Are you’re talking about the hurricane forecasting Bill Grey, at the Colorado State Atmospheric Science graduate school? If so, upon what evidence is your statement based? I know some of the people there, and I’m curious.

      In any case, is there any possibility that Dr. Grey was perhaps trying to do a favor for poor students by trying to kick them into a higher gear, or rapidly transitioning them to another choice for their life’s work? Dr. Curry, I would imagine you get pretty good students in your school, but has it ever occurred to you to involve yourself personally in a poor student’s life choices, and to suggest that they might find less angst by pursuing another field of study? Isn’t it part of the duty of an academic advisor to wade into these admittedly murky waters?

      David Appell, it’s on Fox, so I suspect I know the answer, but did you happen to catch this John Stossel show? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLgUv_znMMw
      What does this show say about your hypothesis regarding Dr. Spencer? Does it say anything to you about Gavin Schmidt?

    • Evidence of Dr. Gray’s intolerance of opinions varying from his own?

      Personal testimonial is a form of fallacy, and of propaganda at that, but it’s sadly often the best or only evidence in a case of social engineering, too.

      I can say I formed this view about an unknown person when told independently by two separate would-be hurricane specialists at two different institutions of higher learning in separate conversations and contexts that they changed the major focus of their postgraduate work — one of them in the final year of their thesis — due to what each of them called something different, but what amounted to the same thing: a person they wouldn’t identify laid down a fiat and they were blackballed in the field.

      It wasn’t very shocking to me; there are loads of fields where some martinet carries on such outrages. Or even where two opposed camps each lob hostilities at the other, driving talent from the field.

      When I asked Dr. Curry about this incident a few years ago on Climate Etc., she was kind enough to confirm there had been a period of “Hurricane Wars”, but did not elaborate further. I doubt she was fingering Dr. Gray.

      My reading since has led me to believe the figure in question was Dr. Gray, judging by the various statements of the likes of Ryan Maue and Dr. Curry and others, reading between lines, and mainly the writings and speeches of Dr. Gray himself.

      Let’s look back fifteen years, before the record El Nino of 1998, before five successive decades (’98-’07, ’99-’08, ’00-’09..) of global temperatures hotter than any decade on record before them, to http://www.westword.com/1997-10-09/news/global-warning/ and its political analyses of reactions to “Greenhouse Conspiracy”, a fossil-industry sponsored attack on science.. or a scientific expose of a political attack on fossil fuels?

      NCAR’s climatologists are painted as the bad guy, but there are several glosses or omissions or species of spin in the article: NCAR wasn’t confidently predicting a 6-10F temperature rise by 2047; it was showing the output of a model simulation with a 6-10F temperature rise based on a set of parameters. If NCAR were actually confidently asserting a 6-10F rise based only on a model, they wouldn’t really be the sort of people competent to run models, for example.

      And there is Bill Gray on the bottom of page 4, getting water vapor feedback wrong, misunderstanding Black Swans and the effect of Forcings, in this one article authoring almost the entire narrative of every claim denying AGW, from the charge of alarmism to get grants to a prolonged period of global cooling. Well, despite the claims of cooling that echo Gray’s prediction “I believe that for the next twenty years, there will be a slight global cooling,” even to this day, even without Cowtan & Way’s corrections for missing regional data, http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:101/mean:103/from:1997 shows Gray was just plain wrong in his prediction, and everyone else who claims a flat or falling temperature since Gray’s prediction to be out of touch with actual observation.

      So.. who did Gray torpedo?

      Where’s the smoking gun?

      I’ve shown motive, means, opportunity, but am I going to find anyone to actually step forward and say the name?

      Like that’s going to happen. But then, I’m not alone in this position. Think of poor Roger Pielke, later in the same article, making exactly the same claim except on the opposite side: “I’ve talked to young scientists who say they’d be worried that their funding would be cut off.”

      But what’s more reasonable to believe: an intensifying of scientific evidence for AGW through eight years of the Bush regime and almost double that of Republican-controlled funding of Science (with Inhofe at the head of the grant agency) by a bunch of people so worried about their funding they change their results to suit the political masters of the day, or the Establishment as represented by Gray, Pielke, Christy, Spencer and their ilk being the ones making young scientists nervous?

      So I stand by my views. Except for climatologists with substantial practice in fields outside hurricanes, I can think of no one who makes a living talking about hurricanes in the USA who has publicly crossed Bill Gray. Can you?

    • philjourdan | April 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm |

      Why do people just keep on piling up blarney?

      Gore won that fight in court.

      The claims were that Gore’s film had some four dozen serious lies; the judge found quite the opposite and that at worst, there were six statements that couldn’t be confirmed at the time (three of those since have been) to the satisfaction of a judge in court, and three exaggerations that were nonetheless more true than false, in that they were true statements about some future probability without reference to how long before they may come to pass.

      The court ruling found the film safe for British schoolchildren, and important for them, advising only a warning against propaganda – the mildest possible limitation on a film in a school.

      In substance, it was Stewart Dimmock who was found to be the liar and propagandist by a ratio of over four to one.

      • Kevin Trenberth

        And we should be outraged that our politicians have not represented us well in that way. By the same token, the Chinese ought to be just as outraged that Americans are putting about as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

        Wm Gray

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

        (See, The Global Warming Debate…, Oct. 2009)

      • Only Bart could spin a loss into a win – or try to. The judge found 9 factual errors. He also found many more unsubstantiated claims, that did not reach the level of errors (they were neither proven nor disproven). As such, the film was labeled fiction and the appropriate warnings were mandated.

        But you keep supporting Mr. Shakra’s million degree heat. I am sure you must be glad that we have had all those Katrinas since 2005 (one of the items deemed gray). Last I checked, October 2005 was still the last time a Cat 3 hurricane had hit the US and that was not Katrina.

        The longest period in recorded history with no Cat 3 Hurricanes making land fall in the US.

        Keep defending him. But sorry to say, I lost a lot of respect for you with that bone head stunt.

    • Bart R, I think you are being unfair about Lovelock, and that isn’t just because I used to be a hippy. Lovelock got loads completely wrong, but he did paint a huge canvas and caused many others to stand back and take in the view and he also motivated others to look at the details.
      Lovelock has also changed as the picture changed, he was and is quite a good thinker and moves with the tide. He inspired many people to become biologists and that has got to be a good thing.
      BTW I pretty much disagreed with everything he wrote until recently, but it is good to have such an engaging foil, as even when wrong he was both deep and rich.

    • DocMartyn | April 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

      Fairness to others is not exactly the guiding star of my existence.

      If you think you can salvage Lovelock’s observations and inferences, by all means state the observations and inferences you think most worth giving a fair hearing.

      • @Postman1 – Ouch! And that is but one (of the 50) states to have looked deep into it! For the non-Americans, North Carolina is a middle sized state. Which means if you take it and multiply by 50, you get a rough approximation of the US.

        50 x 35k = 1.65 million. I would say that is a major problem.

    • philjourdan | April 10, 2014 at 7:44 am |

      The judge found 9 factual errors.

      I think you have your factuals in error.

      Let’s start with some common knowledge you appear not to acknowledge:

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

      The court ruled that the film was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact and could continue to be shown, but it had a degree of political bias such that teachers would be required to explain the context via guidance notes issued to schools along with the film. The court also identified nine of what the plaintiff called ‘errors’ in the film which were departures from the scientific mainstream, and ruled that the guidance notes must address these items specifically.

      You see how your claims diverge from statements of fact? If you don’t believe Wikipedia, you can go directly to the judgement and read it for yourself (I know I did, and no one who read that document could straight-faced make the claims you have).

      He also found many more unsubstantiated claims, that did not reach the level of errors (they were neither proven nor disproven). As such, the film was labeled fiction and the appropriate warnings were mandated.

      Prove it. Show me where the judgement says anything of the sort of this utterly fictional claim. I think you’re lying.

      But you keep supporting Mr. Shakra’s million degree heat.

      Huh. So far in this thread, you’ve made dozens of errors, and you still hypocritically harp on a single wrong word uttered on a talk show no one watches almost three and a half years ago?! How utterly banal.

      I am sure you must be glad that we have had all those Katrinas since 2005 (one of the items deemed gray). Last I checked, October 2005 was still the last time a Cat 3 hurricane had hit the US and that was not Katrina.

      The longest period in recorded history with no Cat 3 Hurricanes making land fall in the US.

      What a uniquely guarded claim. Pick out one single hurricane on a single coast, talk about one single aspect of category and restrict it to one limited condition, and this proves.. nothing at all.

      How long is the Atlantic hurricane season this year? How long was it sixty years ago?

      How long is the mean path of a hurricane over the Atlantic? How long was it sixty years ago?

      How much area of the Atlantic is covered by the ‘creche’ of hurricanes, where these storms originate? How large was it sixty years ago?

      What is the frequency of landfall of medicanes? How frequent was landfall sixty years ago?

      Discuss the Pacific and Indian Ocean cyclones in context of these questions and their damage functions.

      Talk about Arctic cyclones in this context and with similar questions.

      The black swan of Typhoon Tip in 1979 signalled the dawn of frankenstorms impossible to explain without AGW. What’s wrong with you that you allege your little Katrina claim so little time after Irene, Sandy, Haiyan..?

      Sure, they’re not ‘Cat 3 to hit the US’, but then Katrina-like storms existed before Katrina. There’s never been anything before AGW on record like Tip, Sandy or Haiyan. (http://www.ryot.org/typhoon-haiyan-compare-major-storms/465173)

      Keep defending him. But sorry to say, I lost a lot of respect for you with that bone head stunt.

      You’ve had respect for someone? Anyone? Ever?

      I see no evidence of this in your past writing.

      I defend no one.

      In case you’ve missed it, I’m attacking poor insultsmanship, not championing slips of the tongue. Al Gore is a huge target, and could be slammed anew every time he opens his mouth with wit and cleverness, but instead all I see here are retreads of weak sauce that neither harms Gore’s cause nor makes those slinging that tepid mud look anything but feeble.

      If you can’t say something nasty with sting, why say it at all?

      • The most damaging thing you can say about Gore is his cause… it’s a con job and he did not mind stabbing his mentor Roger Revelle in the back and turned his back on science to pull it off. You know Western academia doesn’t really care about global warming: keeping the argument going long enough as if the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance – just keep the funding rolling until we retire on our fat pensions – that’s all they really care about.

      • bart, you take things too personal! But to at least settle the dust, let me quote from YOUR link. A bad link since apparently you have never heard of William Connolley. Google him.

        But your charge:

        The judge found 9 factual errors.

        I think you have your factuals in error.

        And Wiki says – The nine inaccuracies

        Bart says:

        Prove it. Show me where the judgement says anything of the sort of this utterly fictional claim. I think you’re lying.

        Now how can you prove anything from the Wiki article? Clearly you did not read the wiki article. But to show you the hint in the article:

        Wiki says:

        The notes also explain that there are views of sceptics who do not accept the consensus reached by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Given these amendments,

        Now that I have proven my assertions with your OWN uncredible source, I would direct you to the source: http://www.elaw.org/node/2284

        And finally, ignoring most of your rantings (I understand about your temper getting the best of you), I would point out that the reference to Katrina is in Inconvenient truth (I guess you never actually watched it – smart man!) and hence my reference to it and then the tangent I went on that basically proved that if CO2 is so evil, bad weather is not one of its effects. Since there has, in essence, been none for your Chakra king since he made the movie that has made land fall (and precious few that have even formed).

        ACE is down the world over (it is easier to use the US, but you are free to use any land – how about Australia? http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24962-cyclones-hitting-australia-plummet-to-1500year-low.html), Tornadoes are way down as well (do you want a link? I think I am at the limit for this comment, so I will provide one for you if you ask nicely)

        In simple terms, I was mocking Gore with katrina. But the raw data is out there that does not use anecdotal evidence, but hard evidence.

        So please, let’s be friends! I only proved you wrong because I thought you could learn. But I will not tell you to stop adulating Gore, or worshipping his Chakra. I just thought you had more sense than that.

    • Wagathon | April 10, 2014 at 10:31 am |

      .. – just keep the funding rolling until we retire on our fat pensions – that’s all they really care about.

      Said like a man who has no idea how funding of US academia works at all.

      As much money goes to academia in the USA from donor corporations, football fans and alumni as from taxpayers. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-schools-that-make-the-most-money-in-college-football-2013-1 and http://nccs.urban.org/faq/

      Who’s in charge of spending on Science by government in the USA?

      Why, it’s Jim Inhofe, and has been for the entire millennium. How do you correlate kowtowing to Jim Inhofe’s views for funding with research that proves AGW?

      Flat out, I’m challenging you to prove your claims with fact, or shut up about stuff you know nothing about.

      • “Alas, the global warming alarmists have already used up all of the crazy ideas,” as Dr. Roy Spencer reminds us. “As far as they are concerned, global warming causes everything.” Alas, atmospheric physics is not just a matter of opinion arrived at by government scientists and Leftist politicians. Nature has a say and a lack of warming is not proof of warming no matter how much it serves the interests of Western academia and liberal media to believe otherwise.

    • Wagathon | April 10, 2014 at 11:07 am |

      In fewer words, you’ve declined the challenge, and admit you’re lying and can’t back up a word you say with a single fact.

    • How far does Al Gore hatred go? What is the ultimate measurement?

      Would you touch the core of the earth to prove Al Gore is an idiot for thinking it’s gobzillions of degrees?

    • philjourdan | April 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm |

      Personally? Why the ad hom?

      How is this personal?

      I take being lied to as being lied to, error as error, propaganda as propaganda, and ignorance as ignorance. One of the upsides of bloganonymity is I can’t be accused of taking something personally, because personally I have nothing vested, and no gain to make.

      Katrina was likely not a plausible artefact of AGW; most certainly, the fact that New Orleans’ failures of infrastructure, planning and operations were responsible for the storms disproportionate costs, to perhaps tenfold what ought have happened if the recommendations of the Army Corps of Engineers from six decades ago been carried out (at a small fraction of a percent of the cost of repairs), makes discussing Katrina in an AGW context moot at best, except for the principle of expert advise going unheeded to the eventual detriment of all.

      Tip, Sandy and Yolanda, on the other hand, were very likely strongly altered by AGW, propelling them into behaviors we would never expect without the changes made in the climate by increased CO2 levels. There has been a doubling of the frequency of Mediterranean cyclones (medicanes) every fifteen years since WWII. The Pacific and Indian oceans have become more susceptible to cyclone. Arctic cyclones have started to devolve Polar Vortices that sit for months over continents, like a floppy chef’s hat falling off the North Pole to blanket a swath of the Northern Hemisphere in profound and unnatural winter, due jet stream changes and blocking patterns shown to be rooted in AGW. Hurricane season starts earlier by weeks, ends later by weeks, happens starting in a region that has grown in size by an order of magnitude under William Gray’s watch and without him apparently noticing, and spawns hurricanes that meander an order of magnitude longer paths than hurricanes of the previous generation. The statistics for these hurricane changes are robust, and it is amazing that US hurricane specialists pretend they haven’t happened and can’t proffer any adequate comment on them.

      That’s not ‘personal’, that’s simply fact.

      ACE is Ryan Maue’s measurement of nothing. It correlates with nothing, matches nothing, predicts nothing, and appears to be a metric imagined without any basis in Physics, tested against nothing, and with no reason to collect. Have you ever seen any analyses of ACE by a competent mathematician validating its usefulness? Nor will you.

      I viewed the film at the parties’ request. Although I can only express an opinion as a viewer rather than as a judge, it is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film, a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film. It is built round the charismatic presence of the ex-Vice-President, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming. It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film, albeit of course not party political. Its theme is not merely the fact that there is global warming, and that there is a powerful case that such global warming is caused by man, but that urgent, and if necessary expensive and inconvenient, steps must be taken to counter it, many of which are spelt out.

      “The Film advances four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC:
      (1) global average temperatures have been rising significantly over the past half century and are likely to continue to rise (“climate change”);
      (2) climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (“greenhouse gases”);
      (3) climate change will, if unchecked, have significant adverse effects on the world and its populations; and
      (4) there are measures which individuals and governments can take which will help to reduce climate change or mitigate its effects.”

      These propositions, Mr Chamberlain submits (and I accept), are supported by a vast quantity of research published in peer-reviewed journals worldwide and by the great majority of the world’s climate scientists. Ms Bramman explains, at paragraph 14 of her witness statement, that:

      “The position is that the central scientific theme of Al Gore’s Film is now accepted by the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientific community. That consensus is reflected in the recent report of the IPCC. The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options and adaptation and mitigation. Hundreds of experts from all over the world contribute to the preparation of IPCC reports, including the Working Group I report on Climate Change 2007: The physical Science basis of climate change, published on 2 February 2007 and the most recent Mitigation of Climate Change, the Summary for Policy-makers published by Working Group III on 4 May 2007. A copy of both documents are annexed to the Witness Statement of Dr Peter Stott. The weight of scientific evidence set out by the IPCC confirms that most of the global average warming over the last 50 years is now regarded as “very likely” to be attributable to man-made greenhouse gas emissions.”
      For the purposes of this hearing Mr Downes was prepared to accept that the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report represented the present scientific consensus.

      That’s what the judge said about the film, and the Science. This is absolutely the polar opposite of what your claims sound like.

      Inconvenient Truth (which I’ve never personally watched), wasn’t made for the British school system, but was adopted by it with warnings (ie A resource pack to help teachers and pupils explore and understand the issues surrounding climate change was sent to every secondary school in England today. The pack, which includes the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth and a number of other resources, was developed by DEFRA and the Department for Education and Skills. It is accompanied by online teaching guides showing how to use the resources in the pack in science, geography and citizenship lessons.).

      The case went to court with some 40+ claims by Dimmock, fronting for Monckton and the same unnamed wealthy fossil interests now backing the GWPF.

      Clearly, if only nine of those claims were even partially upheld, then almost four times as many claims were defeated. That’s simple math.

      The upshot? The film package would continue to be shown, with a package of resources very similar to the one already in place. Effectively, the Dimmock case had next to no impact on British schools using AIT. Gore won, and you’re misrepresenting the facts.

      • RIF bart. You are taking it personal. Your earlier reference how you were “picked” on by me for proving you wrong was what I was referring to.

        So now you are trying to move the goal posts. Sorry, the subject was Algore. He did not discuss those storms because they post dated his movie. And there is no evidence of them being affected by AGW, GW, CAGW, CC, or DCC. There is conjecture, but that is all. So you can conjecture all you want. You cannot state any of your conjecture as fact.

        next, last I checked (and I had to go back and read the thread to make sure), no one was keeping score on the trial as far as hits and misses. So whether there was 10 allegations, 40 or 400 does not matter. The verdict does.

        And ACE – Ah! you hate ACE! It is not a likable thing – especially to an alarmist. Would you prefer TIKE? It shows the same thing (different scale, but the same result). They both are useful. Not if you are trying to figure out how much a storm is going to eat. But to plot the trends of the storms each year on a common scale, regardless of where they fall (so you do not have to worry about how much fish damage a fish storm does). Now you can plug your ears and hell nyah,nyah, nyah all you want. But the DATA is not going to change. The hysterical claim that CO2 is causing run away warming which is causing more and more powerful deadly storms is shown to be false by simple observation. I do not have to prove every storm is a pip squeak, I just have to show that storms are not what they use to be, but CO2 is a lot higher ACE and TIKE do that very nicely thank you. Which is just another nail in Chakra Gore’s coffin.

        So by all means continue to move your goal posts. But I am playing on the field first defined in the discussion.

        Did you read the link I gave you on the verdict? yea, legalese can be extremely boring. But it does paint a different picture than William Connolley’s version at Wiki. At least he got the verdict correct, right? Guess he could not pencil whip that out of existence.

    • philjourdan | April 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm |

      Picked on by you? That would be ambitious on your part. Perhaps you misread, or imagined, as I can find nowhere I made such a claim in this topic. I haven’t been “picked on” since I was four years old. It isn’t in my nature.

      Perhaps you refer to last month, when you so boorishly and unprovokedly attacked my citizenship?

      That weak sauce couldn’t really be called picking on; more of pointless ad hom by the losing side. Which, at least your argument remains consistent in style.

      I don’t ‘hate’ ACE. I harbor no feelings about it at all. Mathematically, it is unproven and invalid; arguments vested in ACE are thereby absurd. As you’ve claimed an argument on TIKE, but not made the actual argument, it’s impossible to evaluate. Why make this about feelings, and always omit facts?

      Gore’s film won the case you so crow about. You’re wrong to imply otherwise. The facts of the case spell that out. Saying the case supports you, when it does not, is just lying.

      •  
        People like Al Gore are people who know no shame.

        Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it.

        ~Klaus Eckert Puls

      • @bart

        Perhaps you refer to last month, when you so boorishly and unprovokedly attacked my citizenship?

        Ah,so that is it! An imagined slight! I was curious what got the burr under your saddle. I would very much appreciate knowing HOW I picked on your nationality. I do not recall picking on ANYONES nationality. I did once say something about “UKians” in which others said that was not correct (so I asked for suggestions and was given Subjects as the alternative).

        Whatever. I am not going to keep up with imaginary slights. So you are free to keep that burr under your saddle.

        And as I said, I really do not care of your opinion of ACE. I use it as a meter, not an absolute. Some prefer TIKE, and in time that may completely replace ACE. Either one is fine. The argument is the same. So deal with it.

        And both show Algore to be a complete and total blithering idiot. As well as many other “demigods” of the school of Alarmism. The film was adjudicated to be political propaganda. That is not an opinion, but now an historical fact. If you still put faith in it, or him, that is your problem (and probably why you imagine slights).

      • @bart – BTW – I do not say it supports me. The court did that.

    • Wagathon | April 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm |

      Yet another testimonial (ie form of propaganda) fallacious reference to authority devoid of actual fact, data or inference. Do you care to list these errors your EIKE water carrier alleges, and his rationale for finding them wrong?

      Because all I see here is ad hom and other forms of fallacy from someone who has only ever lied to us in the past.

    • philjourdan | April 11, 2014 at 9:09 am |

      You use these terms, ACE and TIKE, but I do not get any sense you understand at all what they mean.

      For instance, although TIKE is of a later generation than ACE and incorporates some of the same data elements, it is not a replacement, but a measure of a different thing. Saying you may ‘replace’ ACE with TIKE is like saying you may ‘replace’ shoe size with dress size.

      So, instead of throwing up wordslaw all over us, demonstrate whatever it is you’re claiming by actually spelling it out. Which ACE measurements specifically do you refer to? Which TIKE measurements? There’s less than three decades of TIKE available, so I’m immediately suspicious of anyone saying they’ve got any sort of climate argument at all based on TIKE, as there’s too little data by half at least to even typify a climate trend.

      So far, your statements of fact are in the negatives. Try to improve, or give it up and stop wasting all our time.

      • Sorry Bart – I have made it clear 3 times now that ACE and TIKE are the M-E-T-R-I-C-S in use. I know full well they measure different aspects of Cyclonic activity. TIKE is perceived to be more appropriate as it does not use a simple energy x time for its value.

        But as a M-E-T-R-I-C, both can definitely be used for trends on what is happening with Cyclonic activity.

        If you cannot understand that after I have said what it is being used for 3 times now, I doubt you will ever grasp the idea.

        But please continue to contribute. No one knows everything. Not even algore. And please let us know the slight I caused your nationality. I am dying to find out exactly what I am accused of saying.

    • philjourdan | April 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm |

      There you go again, using terms without demonstrating any knowledge whatever of what they mean, and not actually contributing anything that we can check, use or discuss.

      Which ACE or TIKE (or IKE or other metric) trends do you refer to? Show us the chart, the graph, the narrative; discuss how you feel the physical mechanism underlying the curve works, and describe its confidence interval, fit, parameters..

      Or stop pestering us with wordslaw and just go back to pretending you understand how court systems work. At least then it won’t be more pseudoscience.

    • philjourdan | April 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm |

      I’m saying Ryan Maue can spin an figures he wants out of the too little data without any form of validation and it doesn’t make ‘trends’ in these figures amount to a hill of beans.

      When everything prior to 1981 is dubious, and none of what happened since 1980 has been shown to produce a meaningful correlation with anything, waving around ACE and TIKE is waving around nothing. It would be like trying to talk about global temperature using only the instrumental data available between 1800 and 1834, plus some apocryphal stories from a guy who remembers it being cold when he was a lad. There’s less than 400 months of observations — and due the seasonal distribution of hurricanes, much less than 400 of usable data points.

      What is the Confidence Interval for your trend statistic? What is your narrative? You got nothing.

      And yes, you demonstrate zero apprehension of law in what you write here. I don’t pretend to any grand special knowledge of law, but it doesn’t take a great actor to spot a lousy one.

      Either demonstrate you know how to interpret Maue’s mess, or admit you can’t.

      • @bart – Yes I do. I have data. Which is more than you have. What the trend is, and the statistical confidence on it is irrelevant, since the meme, the one that chakra algore and you claim, is debunked with the data. Whether the trend is large or small, the trend is in direct contradiction to your belief, and chakra algore’s claims.

        You did not ask for a statistical analysis. You asked for the DATA. The data is there. If you want to put pen to paper and figure out the statistical significance, be my guest!

        you have been had.

    • philjourdan | April 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

      You don’t have data, you have columns of numbers and disconnected claims. There’s a difference.

      See, with data, which I have from your columns of numbers, I can see that the statistical significance of the data (which is a term you’re not entirely using correctly, btw), is insufficient to sustain your claims, and cannot be used to construct a probability distribution. Sure, there are a few statistics that somewhat confound the relationship between AGW and damage function, but the confidence intervals yet for those statistics remain too low to accept them as valid representations of the overall system.

      This is in sharp contrast to the other data I also have, on the frequency of medicanes, the mean length of cyclones by basin, the start and end dates of regional cyclone seasons, and the proportion per basin of surface where cyclones emerge. All of those say Atlantic hurricanes in particular and cyclones in general worldwide are changing their behavior in ways that are predicted by AGW and are more costly than otherwise.

      • @bart – so now you plead ignorance of what data is? The columns as you state (which is rather amusing) are connected. They show each year and the ACE or TIKE or Tornado activity. Year, Data point, year, data point……

        See how it goes? Most people like to use spreadsheets as it organizes the data in an easily readable format.

        Now you can claim some mysterious numbers showing Cyclones increasing in length and number. I am sure chakra algore gave them to you as well. However, unfortunately for you, no reputable site has your make believe numbers. Mine come from NOAA. But I guess they are deniers now as well, right bart?

        You are funny bart. Sad, but funny. Maybe you can prove there really is an easter bunny and he brought you those mysterious numbers you claim to have. LOL!

    • Fascinating that you accuse ignorance, and then make an argument from ignorance. That I haven’t repeated any of the many citations of studies I’ve brought up in blog comments over the years supporting notable shift in cyclone trends that show the fingerprint of AGW just means you’ve failed to READ HARDER.

      For Mediterranean hurricanes (medicanes), the data is simplest. Every fifteen years for a century the number of medicanes making landfall has doubled. We’re now up to eight every fifteen years, from one every thirty years a century ago. Look it up.

      For hurricane path length, try NASA: http://csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/# instead of just believing the pap shovelled out by Graysians.

      ..long-term trends of tropical cyclone numbers in either direction are obscured by patterns of climate variability where records span less than a century.
      http://www.academia.edu/6278730/A_66-year_tropical_cyclone_record_for_south-east_Africa_temporal_trends_in_a_global_context

      TIKE has a small fraction of the required century of observations. It’s early going, and there’s a lot to be done.

      Some are digging (literally) deeper, and they do find the fingerprint of AGW in the stormfall record:

      For pre-instrumental times, geological and sedimentological methods have been applied at geo- and bioarchives such as coastal marshes, lagoons, washover features or beach ridges, showing a frequency of strong cyclones roughly every 100–300 years, which is in contrast to the high number of major cyclones recorded recently.
      Coastal Hazards from Tropical Cyclones and Extratropical Winter Storms Based on Holocene Storm Chronologies
      S. M. May, M. Engel, D. Brill, P. Squire, A. Scheffers, D. Kelletat

      Check out observations of jet stream changes and their impacts on storm tracks, per Dr. Jennifer Francis.

      And if you don’t know, a more efficient tack may be to simply explicitly ask, instead of making juvenile insinuations.

      • @bart – I can see that reading is not your strong point. I accused nothing. Let me help you

        ques·tion mark

        punctuation mark: the punctuation mark (?) placed at the end of a sentence or phrase intended as a direct question.

        Next, I did not set out to “prove” anything. Nor did I even attempt to. I merely displayed data that “disproves” an ignorant statement by some about what is happening with Cyclones. So I did not have to worry about trends, or the last 100 years because none of that matters. The statements said they were INCREASING in numbers and intensities. Both now proven false.

        So please, read what I write. Then you can debate me intelligently. Or at least write something on point instead of wasting space with non sequiturs and scarecrows.

  2. Edison said much the same.

    Before him, Ben Franklin.

    Archimedes said it even earlier.

    Cairus of Cairo no doubt said it when he invented the first chair.

    The guy who invented the wheel likely complained about how hard it is to innovate, invent and move forward in such a negative and backwards culture compared to the good old days that never were, when flint knappers had it easy.

    Innovation is hard. Suck it up and just get on with it.

    • It was innovative of Michael Mann to create ‘hockey sticks’ out of white noise but it wasn’t hard.

    • There’s quite a bit of truth to this sentiment. Part of the problem is that there are so many more people in science now days – and the overwhelming majority will never be innovators in their field.

      Button pushers and bottle washers is how I believe Heinlein put it.

    • Wagathon wrote:
      It was innovative of Michael Mann to create ‘hockey sticks’ out of white noise but it wasn’t hard.

      Except Mann et al’s “hockey stick” work has been replicated by many different groups, some using independent mathematical techniques:

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

      “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years,” Marcott et al, Science v339 n6124 pp 1198-1201, March 8, 2013

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

      “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia,” PAGES 2k Consortium, Nature Geosciences, April 21, 2013

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/abs/ngeo1797.html

      A confirmation using a different statistical technique was Tingley and Huybers, reported on here:

      “Novel Analysis Confirms Climate “Hockey Stick” Graph,” Scientific American, November 2009, pp 21-22.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

    • “Except Mann et al’s “hockey stick” work has been replicated by many different groups, some using independent mathematical techniques….”

      So what if Michael Mann’s iconic graph was based on garbage statistics. Other progressive “scientists” were able to come up with their own alternative massaging of data to produce similar graphs.

      Here’s a puzzler. If Mann was able to create a hockey stick from white noise with bad statistics, what are the chances that that purely made up graph would just happen to be the same as those later found by other researchers?

      Somebody should do the math on that one.

      What it suggests is that “climate scientists,’ unbound by the necessity for doing real science, can “find” all sorts of “facts” by massaging someone else’s data. And what a coincidence, they all come up with the same answer, no matter how pathetic their grasp of statistics.

    • Look at all studies that graft the thermometer record on the end of their ‘reconstruction’, to hide the fact their proxy’s dip at the end.

    • GaryM wrote:
      So what if Michael Mann’s iconic graph was based on garbage statistics. Other progressive “scientists” were able to come up with their own alternative massaging of data to produce similar graphs.

      You are indeed a true denier. You don’t understand the science, and yetr no science will convince you of anything.

      You’ve developed the perfect coccoon.

    • David Appell,

      Are you a Warmist or a self styled journalist, by chance?

      I note a typographical error and a spelling error in the compass of three short sentences.

      I apologise if you intended the errors, or suffer from an undisclosed mental deficiency. I intend no offence.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • David,

      Nevermind Mike, he’s the self-appointed typo/spelling-monitor.

      People find their level.

    • Dear Bart R,

      Since you quoted “most damningly in Science, putting any cultural issue including these ahead of the 4 Principles of Scientific Truth — that explanation of observations based on inference most simple in assumptions, parsimonious of exceptions and universal in application shall be held accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require new explanation.”, I thought you might be willing to ponder and comment on……….cause I need help cementing it in place conceptually……

      The “Ball Bath Universe”

      Consider a universe composed of a massive number of ultimately tiny ball bearings like a ball bath. millionths of times smaller than an atom. and because of the universe spinning, so are they, in counter rotating layers, from the center to the outside of the universe. the universe is door to door full of them, so if one is inserted, they are all displaced by it.

      now toss some square blocks into the mix, probably several times bigger than the balls and of varying sizes. they would spin, and at different speed based on their size. and they would cause disruptive “waves” around them as their spin caused balls to “clack” in an out of place as they squished around it until the spin created a balanced “pocket” or sphere of balls around the object, that would find the diameter that spun with the most balance. different size blocks would spin at different speeds. the rotations would send out shock waves in all directions. so the blocks would “jiggle” towards each other, because it would be “natural” to do so. where a smaller block “jiggled” into a larger block, it may find itself in a pocket attached to the side of the larger block.

      the blocks as they spun would cause larger spheres of balls to spin with them, at some balance point outwards from the corners of the block. additional blocks within this sphere would not cause expansion.

      blocks would “jiggle” there way to each other, bounce off of, or attach to each other. the “spheres” of balanced squished in spinning balls could attach together in a better balance. objects “drop” towards larger objects because more “disrputive jiggles” in the ball bath make it easier to move that direction. Like sinking into the sand when waves are coming in an out.

      “energy” waves would travel though the counter-rotating layers, like the kinetic energy being transferred through the balls hanging on a newtons cradle, only it would go up and down and up and down.

      this universe of omnipresent ball bath, spinning at the speed of light, with blocks inside it, spinning, creating waves of disruption around themselves, that “jiggles” pieces of atoms together, and “jiggles” atoms, and sets of attached atoms together, is a very simple, very mechanical way of explaining the universe.

      there would be no need for gravity. no need for “nuclear force”. no need for magnetic force.

      that electrons are whizzing through the balls makes sense, like a beer case on rollers, only it has rollers on both sized, squeezed together by the magnitude of the universe.

      that protons would stay “stationary” would make sense, because they stay in the center of their “balanced sphere of disruption”.

      there is nothing to limit this ball bath to balls and blocks. perhaps oblong bricks, pyramidal, or sticks, or elongated spheres. who knows how many sizes and varieties, but I bet our list of known quarks and muons and all that stuff will give us clues.

      a spinning ball bath, entirely mechanical and “real” universe, with no “need” for magical “forces” that attract or repel, apparently across “nothing” with some magical ability.

      It explains why gravity and speed affect realization of time and require relativistic adjustments to atomic clocks.

      what do you think???

      (If we figure out for sure how the universe works, the climate will follow shortly behind it. I still vote that radioactive decay is going to be found much more important than currently imagined).

      Cheers,
      Alistair

    • If you can’t already tell the difference between blog comments and published journalism, I’m sure I can’t help you.

    • Now it’s white noise?

      Some one is telling tall tales and someone else picks it up and runs with it.

      Is there a skeptic in the house?

      It wasn’t white noise, it wasn’t even red noise, it wasn’t even noise, it was data.

      • David Springer

        McIntyre et al produced hockey sticks out of noise using Mann’s statistical methods. Red, pink, white who cares. The pointed fact is that the methods are bogus as they produce hockey sticks out of noise.

    • Alistair Riddoch | April 9, 2014 at 2:18 am |

      You have me mistaken for someone else.

      Google “Planck Length”.

      Read up on ‘quantum loop gravity’, ‘theory of branes’, and of course, ‘string theory’.

      You may find forums online where people will engage in this topic with you.

      As it is all discussion beyond the scale observation could possibly furnish confirmation or disconfirmation, it’s not really in the scope of an observationalist.

      And no amount of understanding at that scale or in that context will lend the least plausible insight into things on the scale of climate.


    • or real stories

      http://nobelchemistry11.umassd.wikispaces.net/D+Daniel+Shechtman's+Nobel+Journey

      http://www.flogen.org/ShechtmanSymposium/

      http://invention.psychology.msstate.edu/inventors/i/Wrights/library/WrightSiAm1.html

      http://amasci.com/weird/vindac.html

      The Schechtman story is pure urban myth. One guy had it out for Schechtman and that was Linus Pauling. Everyone else supported Shechtman, including his main advisor at the National Bureau of Standards, the great John Cahn.

      I should add that I was an interested observer in the discovery of quasi-crystals at the time, doing most of my research in the disorder of crystalline structures, which was closely related to this topic. I had little doubt that quasi-crystalline structures could exist given the experimental evidence that Schechtman discovered.

      Now take something like ENSO as an analogy to the quasicrystal “controversy”. I maintain that ENSO is a quasi-periodic process, and that the regularity underlying it can be revealed by a mathematical analysis. A few days ago I posted a write-up on how this underlying periodicity manifests itself.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

      Ca this be published in a climate sciences journal? I don’t know. It is tough if you aren’t an insider. JC SNIP

      This is really the age of cynicism, where any two-bit keyboard warrior can rile things up and try to sway public opinion. We are really in the middle of a grand experiment waiting to see if ANY cream can rise to the top, working in an environment of pseudo-science blogs and pay-for-play scientific journals with little peer-review. Yet it’s still fun and you keep going because what you put out there will get saved for posterity, once you realize that the internet does not forget.

    • Robert I Ellison

      What utter nonsense yet again. The comparison with Rupert Murdock? The ongoing abusive diatribes? The misplaced rage of a crazed gerbil is all webnutcolonoscope’s. It is all quite a lot tedious.

      ENSO is quasi-periodic with a periodicity of 2 to 7 years and skewed for obvious reasons to La Nina states. There are various feedbacks in ocean and atmosphere that suggest the potential for emergent behavior influencing the critical collapse of wind and pressure fields initiating a change in states. There are also suggestions that these changes are driven by external variability.

      The longer term modulation of the frequency and intensity of ENSO – decadal to centennial – demands an external forcing factor.

      webnutcolonoscope uses a solution to a Mathieu equation for wind waves on a perfectly elliptical lake of constant depth to ‘model’ the Pacific basin – specifically ENSO. He randomly changes variables in the poorly fit to SOI variability. The improbability of this is immense – there is zilch theoretical justification. The exercise is pure – and very bad – curve fitting as we are used to from webby.

      It is the worst of fringe blogospheric science.

    • Note how Rupert Ellison does a perfect imitation of an enraged Linus Pauling character, minus the credentials based on past research performance.

      That’s essentially what Dan Schechtman had to put up with when he was doing his original quasi-crystal research. Linus Pauling was nearing the end of his career, yet still had the clout to make another scientist’s journey miserable, solely based on his reputation. All that people could see was that Pauling didn’t agree with what Schechtman was doing, and so they backed Pauling … but only temporarily. Guys like Schechtman’s boss Cahn continued to vouch for Schechtman’s research and it quickly got published. Pauling’s opposition was later rationalized as a doddering old krank that had lost it , something that could happen to anyone.

    • Rupert Ellison, I was not the one that brought up Schechtman.

      Your problem is that you have dug a denial hole that is built on claiming that the ENSO is built on top of chaotic mechanisms and therefore that it can adopt unpredictable waveforms, with the possibility that they generate the climate change signature. It is you that keeps on saying that the climate is “wild” and will likely not-warm for one or three decades. Those are your words, yet you have nothing to back that up.

      The model that I came up with is of a reversion to the mean process built on top of a modulated periodicity, which is consistent with views of the varying pressure at the bottom of the ocean.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

    • “The Schechtman story is pure urban myth”

      Not according to Schechtman

    • The longer term modulation of the frequency and intensity of ENSO – decadal to centennial – demands an external forcing factor.

      No it doesn’t. There’s a variety of features with potential longer-term memories that could be modulating ENSO. Some of these might be considered “forcing”, such as changes to forest cover in the Andes or Tibetan Plateau. Others, such as longer-term snow cover and/or glaciation in specific regions of the NH, would have to be considered internal in terms of current modeling.

    • Robert I Ellison

      <No it's not

      The internal ENSO processes involve the so called charge/recharge mechanisms – heat and thermocline – and Kelvin and Rossby waves. These can’t explain decadal modulation of frequency and intensity of ENSO events. External in this regard is external to the Pacific Ocean.

      Chaos is mainstream climate science – and indeed what is the best paradigm – the one with the greatest explanatory power – for climate.

      Climate is wild originated with Wally Broecker.

      e.g http://web.vims.edu/sms/Courses/ms501_2000/Broecker1995.pdf

      There is exceptional and wide ranging support for the idea that the pause will persist for 20 to 40 years – which I provided endlessly.

      webnutcolonoscope’s persistent denial is just another bizarre example of his triple plus unscience.

    • “There is exceptional and wide ranging support for the idea that the pause will persist for 20 to 40 years – which I provided endlessly.”
      —-
      But since the climate is wild the “pause” could end this year globally, indeed as it already didl last year in Australia. More broadly, and importantly, there may have been a slow down in the accumulation of energy in the climate system, but no overall pause. The system has continued to gain energy quite steadily for at least 40 years, but of course, fake-skeptics would never admit this is even a possibility.

    • Rupert Ellison, Now we can see how you have become like a Linus Pauling caricature, railing against the likelihood of a mechanism based only on your preconceived notions.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The ‘mechanism’ is chaotic shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

      e.g. http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/08/are-academia-and-publishing-destroying-scientific-innovation/#comment-517733

      It seems very much to involve changes in global cloud cover and the global energy budget.

      How is this not obvious?

      Progressive denialism – the inability to recognize science and data inconsistent with the preconceived notions – is triple plus unscience.

    • Rupert Ellison, global cloud cover is a feedback, not an external forcing,

    • Robert I Ellison

      Cloud formation is a natural process evolving from ocean and atmospheric circulation. Changes result from changes in circulation.

      The level of webby’s understanding is more cartoon than textbook. He specializes in slogans and zilch comprehension of Earth sciences.

    • “It seems very much to involve changes in global cloud cover and the global energy budget. “

      That’s a good one. Rupert is criticizing my model while maintaining that ENSO is driven by clouds and a vague “global energy budget”. He can not be serious with that. This is all just a joke to him. That’s the way that Aussie larrikins roll.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C).’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

      Webby doesn’t have a model – he has a poorly fitted curve based on inapplicable equations for wind waves on an elliptical lake of constant depth. He also doesn’t have a clue.

    • Again, the Dan Schechtman story that AlainCo linked to is very illustrative of how progress in science works.

      Schechtmann was an expert x-ray crystallographer who noticed strange patterns in the diffraction patterns of his alloy samples. Trying to rule out twinning caused by dislocation imperfections, he finally was able to isolate a quasi-periodicity in the lattice. This was completely driven by the data and the mathematics needed to invert the diffraction patterns. BTW,
      I can speak intelligently about this because I have diffraction algorithms NAMED AFTER ME that are being hosted on servers at government labs — it’s not like I am some newbie when it comes to this stuff. Incidentally, Cowtan is another one of these dudes that has a diffraction background and understands how to invert data.

      Now consider what we have with the SOI of ENSO. The SOI is another periodicity that needs to be inverted from the empirical observations. I took the tack of modulating the wave equation and trying to extract the underlying periodicity of the modulation. That’s how I extracted the 6.4 year periodicity. This is real and exists in the data. One can not fake this anymore than Schechtman caould fake his quasicrystal diffraction peaks. The question remains is what are scientists going to do with this knowledge?

      Yet, I am also no newbie when it comes to tribalism in scientific disciplines. I harbor no illusions that it would be difficult for me to get this kind of stuff published quickly. So I put it out on my blog for posterity.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim

      And I deal with the Rupert Pipkin Ellisons of the world as they come.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I am an engineer specialising in hydrology and an environmental scientist who has done actual environmental and hydrological modelling – and studied ENSO – over decades. I don’t suffer from the delusion that ENSO is a semiconductor or that the Pacific is an elliptical drum head.

      ENSO has a periodicity of 2 to 7 years – not 6.4 years. I would consider the latter result a sanity check failure.

      ‘The observed irregular periodicity has been explained either as the result of self-sustained, possibly chaotic behavior (Jin et al. 1994; Tziperman et al. 1994, 1995), such as the output of a damped stable system driven by weather “noise” external to the ENSO dynamics excited through nonnormal growth (Kleeman and Moore 1997; Penland and Sardeshmukh 1995;
      Burgers 1999; Philander and Fedorov 2003; Wang et al. 1999; Thompson and Battisti 2000), or as a combination of the two (Kirtman and Schopf 1998). In either case, ENSO models have a dominant complex (oscillatory)
      eigenvalue pair that is either stable (damped) or unstable (self-sustained behavior) and whose period is related to the observed ENSO periodicity.’

      http://www.seas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/reprints/MacMynowski-Tziperman-2008.pdf

      It is still far from explaining the decadal and longer modulation of ENSO frequency and intensity that is apparent in *the data*.

      I have grave doubts that webnutcolonoscope’s fringe blogospheric triple plus unscience would ever get published anywhere. He is much better off restricting his activities to a blog that no one reads or cares about.

    • Robert I Ellison

      If indeed it does match any relevant median in periodicity. I wouldn’t put it past webby to get that wrong as well.

    • If Rupert had anything to show for his claims, he should should show it. Otherwise it looks like baseless assertions.

      He has no response for this:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

    • Robert I Ellison

      I have discussed it in quite some detail. ENSO is not a semiconductor or an elliptical drum head. There is no physically realistic model. What we have is bare assertions with no theoretical basis and a sad curve fit.

      This is all webnutcolonoscpe ever does – waste people’s time with nonsense.

    • Robert I Ellison

      We have what is one of the most pitiful examples of fringe blogospheric triple plus unscience in the history of the blogosphere.

      How on Earth is this to be taken with anything but disdain?

    • “These can’t explain decadal modulation of frequency and intensity of ENSO events. External in this regard is external to the Pacific Ocean. ”

      If the pacific is part of an ocean circulation pattern that takes, say, 1000 years to complete a full “round trip”, and that circulation affects surface temps at several points (neither of which seem unlikely enough to dismiss lightly), then not only a 1ky cycle can be attributed to it – it may have “stripes” of various temps in any pattern imaginable. Even several patterns superimposed (10y from solar, 18 years from lunar etc). One-off forcings such as massive volcanoes could “come back to haunt us” hundreds of years or more later. Changes in the circulation pattern could “short circuit” some parts in cyclic patterns (perhaps even partially or fully driven by ENSO itself), creating even longer patterns.

      As one example of how modulation of ENSO could remain completely internal, be quasi-periodic and yet also appear chaotic and unpredictable. I’m sure there are others…

    • There is a clear connection between Chandler wobble beat frequencies as they vary through the years and the Mathieu basis frequencies underlying ENSO.

    • Gross of JPL has associated the Chandler Wobble frequencies with oscillations of deep ocean water.

      R. S. Gross, “The excitation of the Chandler wobble,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 27, no. 15, pp. 2329–2332, 2000.

      What happens is that the patterns of oscillation can only adopt certain resonant conditions that align with the natural frequencies of the basin. That is why the ENSO waveforms tend to look quasi-periodic. It is very predictable given the physical premise.

    • Kneel said:


      As one example of how modulation of ENSO could remain completely internal, be quasi-periodic and yet also appear chaotic and unpredictable. I’m sure there are others…

      My approach has always been to simplify the math as much as possible to bring as much intuition to solving these problems as I can.

      The physical manifestation of ENSO is of water sloshing back and forth between the eastern and western pacific. Many of the Ruperts of the world don’t like the fact that I trivialize it as a “sloshing”, but hey, that’s what it’s doing and you better describe it in terms that a layman can understand.

      Now consider how many recent papers have researched “sloshing” of water volumes. Recently, they have tended to use the same approaches that I am using, that of Mathieu-like functions and phase plots:

      [1] J. B. Frandsen, “Sloshing motions in excited tanks,” Journal of Computational Physics, vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 53–87, 2004.
      [2] R. A. Ibrahim, Liquid sloshing dynamics: theory and applications. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
      [3] S. S. Kolukula and P. Chellapandi, “Dynamic stability of plane free surface of liquid in axisymmetric tanks,” Advances in Acoustics and Vibration, vol. 2013, 2013.

      Typically one of the excitation frequencies is stronger than the rest and that is the one that dominates the resultant quasiperiodic waveform. The goal is to reduce the number of excitation waveforms to as few as possible. This is likely the Chandler Wobble plus smaller contributions to other excitation sources.

      Chew on that.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The Chandler wobble has a period of 14 months odd. The link to ENSO is wildly speculative and is at any rate an effect rather than a cause. There can be no suggestion that the wobble causes ENSO except in the wildly grasping imagination of webnutcolonoscope. It is really just throwing irrelevancies randomly into the mix.

      Rossby and Kelvin waves are involved in basin dynamics.

      ‘There are three main time lags that together compose one-half of a model ENSO period: the Rossby plus-
      Kelvin wave propagation time for a wind-caused central Pacific disturbance to propagate to the western
      ocean and back, SST dynamics that determine the lag between eastern ocean thermocline anomalies and
      eastern ocean SST anomalies, and the “accumulation” lag of integrating a sufficient delayed wave signal arriving from the western ocean to cancel the eastern ocean anomalies. For any of the parameter changes considered, the eigenvector changes show that the largest contributor to the period change is from changes to the last of these three mechanisms.’ http://www.seas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/reprints/MacMynowski-Tziperman-2008.pdf

      There are a number of factors that feed into the three ‘lags’ including wind speed, eastern ocean discharge/recharge, upwelling dynamics, feedbacks in wind and pressure. None of these are relevant to Mathieu solutions for an elliptical lake of constant depth – with a constant wind driven wave environment. There is no possible wave reflection mechanism for the 30 to 30 year modulation – modulation that webby refuses even to contemplate exists in more triple plus unscience.

      e.g. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00316.1

      What we have at the end of the day with webby is very poor curve fitting with zilch theoretical justification.

    • JC SNIP

      The physical manifestation of ENSO is of water sloshing back and forth between the eastern and western pacific Now consider how many recent papers have researched “sloshing” of water volumes. Recently, they have tended to use the same approaches that I am using, that of Mathieu-like functions and phase plots:

      [1] J. B. Frandsen, “Sloshing motions in excited tanks,” Journal of Computational Physics, vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 53–87, 2004.
      [2] R. A. Ibrahim, Liquid sloshing dynamics: theory and applications. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
      [3] S. S. Kolukula and P. Chellapandi, “Dynamic stability of plane free surface of liquid in axisymmetric tanks,” Advances in Acoustics and Vibration, vol. 2013, 2013.

      Typically one of the excitation frequencies is stronger than the rest and that is the one that dominates the resultant quasiperiodic waveform. The goal is to reduce the number of excitation waveforms to as few as possible. This is likely the Chandler Wobble plus smaller contributions to other excitation sources.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘When liquid filled containers are excited vertically, it is known that, for some combinations of frequency and amplitude, the free surface undergoes unbounded motion leading to instability, called parametric instability or parametric resonance, while for other combinations the free surface remains plane. In this paper, the stability of the plane free surface is investigated theoretically when the vessel is a vertical axisymmetric container. The effect of coupled horizontal excitation on the stability is examined. The dynamics of sloshing flows under specified excitations are simulated numerically using fully nonlinear finite element method based on non-linear potential flow theory. A mixed Eulerian-Lagrangian technique combined with 4th-order Runge-Kutta method is employed to advance the solution in time. A regridding technique based on cubic spline is applied to the free surface for every finite time step to avoid possible numerical instabilities.’ http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aav/2013/298458/

      That takes me back to my honours thesis. But googling sloshing and randomly citing tank studies seems less than relevant to the Pacific Ocean and ENSO.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Wave dynamic are most interesting – I was doing wave celerity and reflection calculations decades ago – but of course there are asymmetric ENSO dynamics that go well beyond ‘sloshing’.

      A poorly fitted curve and wild grasping after justifications is no substitute for missing dimensions in webby’s knowledge of ENSO.

      Too funny.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I can see what is worthwhile and what isn’t. Webby’s delusional fringe blogospheric unscience falls into the latter category. A poorly fitted curve with the flimsiest of justifications and no chance at all of any predictive capability.

      There is no fundamental breakthrough that has evaded 1000’s of people working on this problem. His credibility is zilch. The solution exists only in his mind and as some compelling internal narrative of the brilliant scientist advancing the frontiers of knowledge and battling the forces of darkness. It is deeply motivated by a mid life crisis.

      ‘A big problem in our society is that we’ve had too many experiences with people in our history who were right in spite of the critics. People hear these accounts in school and see them portrayed in various media. Then, when they develop a hair-brained scheme, they don’t listen to critics because they think that the best ideas are supposed to be criticized. I call this a Galileo Complex.’

      Read more at http://scienceblog.com/15806/the-galileo-complex/#Vg7tdf6wJ5lppct6.99

    • Robert I Ellison

      The above relates to webby’s last comment that has in the interim been disappeared.

    • Robert I Ellison

      To state the obvious – it is quite a lot harder to model ENSO.

    • Robert I Ellison

      And apart from the obvious observation that ‘sloshing’ in the Pacific basin is an immensely complex phenomenon involving varying winds, waves, SST, currents and complex topography. What we don’t have from webby is a physically realistic model. What we do have is a poorly fitted curve.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Another disappeared comment – perhaps because nothing remains to be said.

    • I am happy to see these comments disappear.

      Remember that this thread was originally about the plight of Dan Schechtman, who faced pressure from only a few rather vocal deniers.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Ca(sic) this be published in a climate sciences journal? I don’t know. It is tough if you aren’t an insider. JC SNIP

      Stop being disingenuous. You made it about me which again seems to have been snipped – and your ongoing ENSO nonsense.

    • blueice2hotsea

      WHT –
      Remember that this thread was originally about the plight of Dan Schechtman, who faced pressure from only a few rather vocal deniers.

      Well, Dan remembers his life dramatically differently than you do.

      He claims that for two years NOBODY accepted his work. And his boss asked him to leave the research group, which he did. One big problem, he says, is that Pauling did not understand electron crystallography and so rejected his results.

    • BoBo thinks he is a regular Dan Schechtman, pilloried for his contrarian views on hydrology.

      Apparently the word “sloshing” is enough to set him off on an interminable rage.

    • blueice2hotsea |

      Oh I am sure that it is in Schechtman’s best interests to make himself look as much as a martyr as possible, but one only has to look at the timeline of events.

      http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/shechtman-100511.cfm


      Shechtman was on a two-year sabbatical and worked as a guest researcher at NIST from 1981 to 1983. He then returned to Technion, where he continued to pore over the diffraction pattern data that he had collected at NIST. In 1984, he returned to NIST at the invitation of Cahn, to consult further. Initial efforts to publish an article reporting five-fold symmetry were unsuccessful until November 12, 1984, when the landmark article was published in Physical Review Letters.

      The reality is that the champion of your research, John Cahn, doesn’t invite you back unless he thinks you have something. Cahn was a skeptical authority who made sure that Shechtman did his due diligence.

      So where exactly was he “kicked out”? From his Isreali lab? It certainly wasn’t from the NIST government lab, where he was an invited researcher.

    • Robert I Ellison

      BoBo thinks he is a regular Dan Schechtman, pilloried for his contrarian views on hydrology.

      Apparently the word “sloshing” is enough to set him off on an interminable rage.

      This seems to be yet another comment that will be disappeared.

      Apparently sloshing is a technical term for what happens in webby’s brain. The crazed gerbil impersonation is all webnutcolonoscopes.

    • From Hansen:


      The easterly surface winds enhance upwelling of cold water in the East Pacific, causing a powerful (Bjerknes) positive feedback, which tends to maintain the normal ENSO state, as the SST gradient and resulting higher pressure in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific support the east-to-west trade winds.
      The normal state is occasionally upset when, by chance, the east-to-west trade winds slacken, allowing warm water piled up in the west to slosh back toward South America. If the fluctuation is large enough, the Walker circulation breaks down and the Bjerknes feedback loses power, the east-
      to-west winds weaken, and warm waters move more strongly toward South America, cutting off or diminishing the upwelling of cold water along the South American coast. In this way a classical El Niño is born

      Everyone knows that ENSO is a sloshing flow. So we can investigate the math behind the sloshing:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

      Its enough to set off poor Rupert into a jealous rage.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Rupert was never funny – it is the sort of witless schoolyard level jibe that is the best that webnutcolonoscope can manage.

      The ENSO ‘normal state’ commences with upwelling of cold, deep ocean water on the eastern margin. The upwelling is modulated with more or less cold Southern Ocean water flowing north in the Peruvian Current. This in turn is driven by the state of circumpolar winds – positive and negative states of the Southern Annular Mode which appear related to stratospheric ozone and solar UV interactions. A ‘stochastic’ forcing of ENSO. Pressure, wind, cloud and current feedbacks kick in causing upwelling to propagate across the equatorial Pacific, strengthening Walker Circulation and piling water up against Australia and Indonesia. At some stage the trade winds falter and water flows eastward. The reflection of Kelvin and Rossby waves from the western margin may be involved as may be the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

      To call this ‘sloshing’ is like calling the Large Hadron Collider a kiddies pedal car. To ‘model’ ENSO as the movement of an elliptical drum head is an absurdity beyond calculation. In reality there is no physically competent model – merely a poorly fitting curve.

    • blueice2hotsea

      WHT –

      Are you are saying that NIST public affairs has no reason to spin the story?

      Shechtman was hurt when Cahn told him he was discrediting the research group, although Shechtman has softened his stance since the early interviews.

      He is now a Materials Science and Engineering professor at Iowa State. From Shechtman’s bio: Cahn, the renowned materials scientist, helped Dan to write the paper in a way that would garner the attention it deserved..

    • What part of the fact that John Cahn was a co-author of Shechtman’s seminal quasi-crystal paper do you not understand?

    • blueice2hotsea

      WHT-
      What part of the fact that John Cahn was a co-author of Shechtman’s seminal quasi-crystal paper do you not understand?

      Shechtman’s original paper was rejected in 1982, two years earlier than the ‘seminal’ paper. Shechtman was asked to leave the research group, by what boss? My takeaway from an early interview was that it was Cahn. If that’s not correct, by all means set me straight.

    • blueice2hotsea

      WHT –

      Btw, Shechtman moved to second group at NIST before returning to Israel. You seem to think that the reason for his leaving the first group was it was the end of his sabbatical. If so, then you clearly wrong on that.

    • Its not surpriing that I come up with a first-order physics explanation for the oscillations of El Nino or ENSO,based on a periodic excitation and the return volley by the Aussie is devoid of any scientific argument.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Is this yet another content less comment that will disappear? What is the point?

      The proof is in the pudding – a very badly fitted curve with zilch theoretical justification and zero predictive capability. At the end of the day it is just more fringe blogospheric unscience.

    • I learned a lot of things in basic physics. One of the main problem solving approaches is how to take a complicated behavior and reduce it to first-order physics. This invariably works irrespective of scale. In the case of ENSO, there really is no difference between a large container of water and the size of the Pacific Ocean. Tell me how the properties of water change because of scale?

      So what we have is a perturbation invoking a resonant condition in the body of water. And the way one solves this periodic perturbation most simply is to reduce it to a Mathieu equation:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

      This is first-order physics.Deviations from this are second order. The first-order explanation works very well in modeling the observations.

      Until you tell me how this is not first-order, you have no argument. That’s the way physics works, and there is no reason to be a knee-jerk contrarian about it.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ENSO doesn’t emerge spontaneously in a tank. The physics are fundamentally different.

    • A 1-metre diameter pan of water in proportion to the Pacific would be in the order of 0.2mm deep

    • How are the physics fundamentally different?

      The earth looks like a pea to the rest of the universe. You have this misguided notion that just because something is larger than you are used to that it obeys different physical laws,

    • No, but a 1-metre diameter dish of water which is 0.2mm deep has quite different physical properties to one which is 20cm deep.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Orders of magnitude greater complexity in the Pacific Ocean than in a tank. Different physical processes involved.

    • Same physical laws apply. A perturbation on the wave equation will cause sloshing dynamics whatever the size, and the periods of the cycles will reflect that.

      Your problem is that I have a nice mathematical representation of what can cause the ENSO dynamics based on plausible mechanisms. But you don’t like it because it doesn’t come from the brain trust of Team Denier. That is just another sad sob story that we have come to expect from the team’s excuse department.

    • Robert Ellison,

      “The ENSO ‘normal state’ commences with upwelling of cold, deep ocean water on the eastern margin. The upwelling is modulated with more or less cold Southern Ocean water flowing north in the Peruvian Current. This in turn is driven by the state of circumpolar winds – positive and negative states of the Southern Annular Mode which appear related to stratospheric ozone and solar UV interactions. A ‘stochastic’ forcing of ENSO. Pressure, wind, cloud and current feedbacks kick in causing upwelling to propagate across the equatorial Pacific, strengthening Walker Circulation and piling water up against Australia and Indonesia. At some stage the trade winds falter and water flows eastward. The reflection of Kelvin and Rossby waves from the western margin may be involved as may be the Madden-Julian Oscillation.”

      Something of what Bob Tisdale’s graphs has spoken to must have sunk in. I read your paragraph and the language, concepts and the flow of the explanation “abruptly” made sense. An ah moment for me.
      I keep working at it.
      As a matter of fact, as I was beginning to be interested in climate as opposed to just weather as it effected my sailing, I went looking for an explanation of ENSO. Finding I didn’t understand what was said, I assumed I was ignorant and should keep quiet and keep learning. What I have learned so far of course, an ENSO explanation is still off into the future. However, I really appreciate you paragraph in my further understanding.

      BTW. I am happy to see that you are reading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. I would be interested in your take. Tom Sawyer, as was suggested, a practical, manipulative and entirely endearing character may be a better character to lead science from its present status of being mired in the three “C’s”: Correctness, Conformity, Consensus. Moral individuals seem to be reluctant to turn the thumb screws until journal editors and granting agencies feel uncomfortable.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Baseless assertions followed by empty warmist rhetoric.

      What you have is a very poorly fitted curve with zero theoretical basis and zilch predictive capability. It is profoundly uninteresting fringe blogospheric triple plus unscience.

    • Don’t put words into my mouth, nor presume to know what I’m thinking – or do you just like to use the ‘denier’ word because you like the sound of it?
      You can get a 1-metre diameter pan of water to slosh around periodically, but you’d be very hard-pushed to get it to slosh around with any sort of amplitude if it were 0.2mm deep.
      Especially since you don’t get anything like even a tiny fraction of the ocean’s depth actually sloshing about.

    • Putting it another way, you don’t alter the resonant frequency of a marshmallow one iota by changing its size, because it didn’t have a resonant frequency in the first place.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Rio,

      I have it as an audiobook on my ipod nano. A charmingly effective rendition by a girl from St Louis. I tend to dip in and out as I drift in and out of sleep. Perfect for some literature. I spent some quite amusing time recently dipping in and out of James Joyce’s Ulysses which – let’s face it – is unreadable otherwise.

      Huck Finn is an endearing iconoclast brought up outside of the morays of the wider society – and so able to shine a light on the inherent contradictions.
      I’d suggest a comparison with Don Quixote in both the perspective of an outsider and the picaresque form of the novel. I would suggest the novelty of Cervantes sets it apart as a high point in world literature – but that Huck Finn is equal in charm and amusement. Quite the achievement.

      Cheers

    • RiHo08, you aussies must have your own version of the Old Farmer’s Almanac that you consult for all your voodoo understanding of climate.

    • Remember that this is a perturbation. To a human, the effect of the periodic perturbation looks huge. But in the greater scheme of things, it is not that big. What did you want to see ObeseFatKiddie, a massive tidal wave sloshing effect? You have got to be kidding me!

      That is why the forcing of AGW GHGs is that much more significant … the effect is doubling. One always has to place the effects into context.

      More Team Denier own goals … nice touch.

    • from Ellison:

      ” …James Joyce’s Ulysses which – let’s face it – is unreadable otherwise”

      No

      To understand the origin of Joyce’s stream of consciousness milieu, one need only to listen to a typical Dublin conversation for about 10 minutes. Then, all becomes clear :)

      Joyce didn’t make it up or invent it. He simply recorded it

    • Robert I Ellison

      … and endless repetitions of pejorative whines that 9 times out of 10 are disappeared without trace … good riddance too …

      Here’s quite a good series of animations for how it actually works – https://www.youtube.com/user/taichiatduke – assuming with good reason that webby’s understanding of ENSO is at slightly lower than cartoon level.

    • phatboy | April 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm |

      Putting it another way, you don’t alter the resonant frequency of a marshmallow one iota by changing its size, because it didn’t have a resonant frequency in the first place.

      Yes, and what about standing waves do you not understand? ENSO has the characteristics of a standing wave with quasiperiodic characteristics.
      Look at the SOI values of Tahiti and Darwin — obviously 180 degrees out-of-phase.

      As always, I am about bringing first-order physics to the table, and using powerful mathematical techniques to explain what is happening.

      It really is not my problem that a few jerk-offs from Commonwealth countries like to argue this for the sake of arguing. Fortunately, until they can show how the perturbation is insignificant mathematically, they don’t have much of an argument. It shouldn’t be too hard to demonstrate that a periodic perturbation can’t effect a tenth of a degree swing in temperature over a 300K baseline in ocean temperatures. Give it a try and then get back to me.

      I told you it was a perturbation.

    • Quantify what you can.
      Attempting to quantify what you can’t is neither clever nor pretty, and generally only serves to highlight your ignorance.

    • As always, I am about bringing first-order physics to the table, and using powerful mathematical techniques to explain what is happening.

      Now that the sounds of trumpets have died down, can we get back to the matter at hand?

    • JC SNIP

      That the energy of ENSO is a fraction of the total energy locked into the ocean? And that the emergence of this energy is a mere perturbation on the spatiotemporal profile ?

      Take a look at the quantification behind the accounting of the earth’s angular momentum via measurements of length-of-day. There you will see the amount of changes in the earths rotation and how this could indicate the perturbation necessary to influence mild sloshing of the Pacific Ocean. It doesn’t take much of a perturbation to initiate an inertial motion of a large amount of water. As Gross of JPL has said, this has implications for the Chandler Wobble where this periodic inertial change is directly observed.

      Perhaps this is not climate science as much as geosciences.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Ian

      INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT IF NO MORE, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.

      Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o’er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably. I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do. My two feet in his boots are at the end of his legs, nebeneinander. Sounds solid: made by the mallet of Los Demiurgos. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick. Wild sea money. Dominie Deasy kens them a’.

      Won’t you come to Sandymount,
      Madeline the mare?

      Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop: deline the mare.

      Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. Basta! I will see if I can see.

      See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.”
      ― James Joyce, Ulysses

      I have some favourite forms of music in the Irish and Appalachian traditions. New Irish and new bluegrass are still allied and vibrant. One of my favourites is Abilgail Washburn. She tells a story of having dinner at the in laws. It was all chicken. Fried chicken, roast chicken, chicken casserole, chicken patties, etc. They thought it a bit strange but politely tucked in. After dinner – jamming on the porch – a chicken came wobbling around the corner – fell over dead. ‘What’s wrong with the chicken’ she asked. ‘Don’t rightly know – but they’s dyin’ faster’n we can eat ‘em.’

      Deline the chicken or the egg say I – and Joyce goes yet deeper into the ineluctable modality of being or nothingness than any mobster checking the wanted posters on the checkerboard post office wall. Than any wayfarer in the refracted light of a drowned, wavering, watery Dublin night. Light as a feather floating above the fray – braying modern imprecations in the coruscating light of hallucinatory consciousness – or plunging heavy as molten desire burning through the darkness of the Rebelsian fundament. This is not the language of the bar – but the international language of poetry – albeit with one catalectic foot in the grave of modern adiaphane morality. Some may measure life with coffee spoons – but men of the world prefer the measure of boots tramp, tramp, tramp of history. The lockstep of death approaching crime and damnation in the declination of the soul. In my own dark days of the soul I thought poetry dead – and the eschatological promise would bust like a new and frightening dawn on the consciousness of humanity. But I still know where poetry lives – in the nexus between past and future – in the instant expanding to embrace infinity, eternity and humanity.

      Cheers

    • Robert I Ellison

      Interannual El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and decadal ENSO-like climate variations of the Pacific Ocean basin are important contributors to the year-to-year (and longer) variations of the climate of North and South America. Analysis of historical observations of global sea-surface temperatures, global 500 mb pressure surfaces, and western hemisphere hydroclimatic variations that are linearly associated with the ENSO-like climate variations yields striking cross-equatorial symmetries as well as qualitative similarities between the climatic expressions of the interannual and decadal processes. These similarities are impressive because, at present, the mechanisms that are believed to drive the two time scales of ENSO-like variability include several candidates that are quite dissimilar in terms of physical processes and locations. Despite potentially different source mechanisms, both interannual and decadal ENSO-like climate variations yield wetter subtropics (when the ENSO-like indices are in positive, El Niño-like phases) and drier midlatitudes and tropics (overall) over the Americas, in response to equatorward shifts in westerly winds and storm tracks in both hemispheres. The similarities of their continental-surface climate expressions may impede separation of the two ENSO-like processes in paleoclimatic
      reconstructions.
      http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~david/pep1.pdf

      So we are back to far less interesting and rewarding discussions than Huck Finn or James Joyce? Oh well.

      ENSO is the largest source of interannual climate variability globally – with decadal influences that are quite significant and even longer term variability.

      As for the quite nice animation – it is more like showing an animation of flow fields over wings – the mechanics of lift. It is a very good and hugely informative animation that was originally on the Duke University website. It would most certainly expand webby’s consciousness if he was capable of open enquiry. Instead he continues to flail about like a crazed gerbil.

    • Richard Rand said “The goal of modeling is to find the simplest model which illustrates the phenomenon you are interested in”.

      I can’t help the fact that you are such a jackass.

    • Robert I Ellison

      One presumes that a very poor fit – despite the fitting of the parameters – is evidence that the physical processes are very poorly ‘modelled’. That is obvious from first principles. In reality it merely a poorly fitting curve with zilch theoretical justification driven by an obsessive on a fringe blogospheric unscience site that no one visits.

      It is more than time to move on to something interesting, relevant and useful.

    • Robert Ellison

      When you juxtapose James Joyce Ulysses writing with you own, yours is darn right readable.

      I appreciate that Ianl8888 hears similar iambic pentameter as Joyces’ in Dublin Bars; but for me, I can take just so much of Joyce, and at that, only while sipping 18 year old Scotch.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Thanks – I think. Try it as an audiobook – https://librivox.org/ulysses-by-james-joyce/ – while actually slipping in and out of consciousness. Although Irish whiskey may serve the same purpose.

  3. too many grant proposals are written for research that is already well
    underway with pretty much guaranteed outcomes.

    Sometimes that allows for first finishing the work used as basis for the application, and then freedom to do something else, when the promises have already been satisfied.

    • Yes and by doing so we force scientists to become liars on grant applications so they can do the other stuff they know they should be doing. It’s not okay to lie on the grant in order to ask for funding you don’t need in order to be able to do the real stuff you want to do. I understand why scientists do it, but it is still lying.

  4. I agree on multiple points. They are 1) Peer review os corrupt and corrupting. 2) Graduate students are oppressed and terrified and must produce or else. 3) Post docs are modern day indentured slavery far worse than the unpaid internships so recently under fire for journalists. 4) Peer review is corrupt and corrupting. 5) Did I mention peer review is corrupt and corrupting? My husband has two peer reviews given on year apart by the same committee. One year he is given funding and the review is that he is quite likely the next Nobel prize in embryology. The next one cuts off his grants and states it is a wonder he ever managed to graduate from high school. The entire climate change debate mess is just the ugly side of science put in clear view for the public to see. There are proven mechanisms for encouraging innovation including setting aside a percentage of time (10-30%) and supportive funding for pursuing interest only science. There are ways to encourage collaboration and cooperation such as baseline funding for support of all researchers. The current system is the mess it is because scientists act like they are somehow better than the rest of humanity when it comes to blinkers, biases and corruption and lean on a system, peer review, that is corrupt.

  5. Short answer to the headline: YES! Period!

  6. Can we trust a system that awards PhDs to those who believe GCMs are reliable providers of accurate, global temperature information 50 to 100 years into the future?

    • Yes, given how past GCMs have performed:

      “Hansen’s 1988 Predictions,” tamino, 3/21/14

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/hansens-1988-predictions/

      • Based on a study of 117 GCM simulations over a 20-year period comparing the results of model predictions to the observed rate of warming. From 1993 to 2012, the “global mean surface temperature… rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C per decade,” and the observed warming over the last 15 years of the period was, “not significantly different from zero.” GCMs, however, simulated a “rise in global mean surface temperature of 0.30 ± 0.02 °C per decade.” Compared to the actual rate of warming, the simulated rate was more than double.” Moreover, simulations were more than four times higher than actual over the last 15 years. Needless to say, the “null hypothesis that the observed and model mean trends are equal,” is rejected: statistically, there is but a 1 in 500 chance these GCMs are actually looking at the same planet we live on.

        [See, Fyfe, JC, et al., Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Climate Change. V3 (Sept. 2013)]

    • “Hansen’s 1988 Predictions,” tamino, 3/21/14

    • Wagathon wrote:
      Based on a study of 117 GCM simulations over a 20-year period comparing the results of model predictions to the observed rate of warming. From 1993 to 2012, the “global mean surface temperature… rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C per decade,” and the observed warming over the last 15 years of the period was, “not significantly different from zero.”

      You are using less than the best, most recent data.

      Download the Cowtan & Way dataset and recalculate. Let me know what you get. I’ll tell you if you’re right.

    • W: Why aren’t you using the C&W dataset?

      • “Since the start of the crisis in the eurozone, the income of the average Greek has fallen more than 20 percent. Climate change is not, then, the biggest problem facing humankind. It is not even its biggest environmental problem… Rising temperatures may even be beneficial at first. Many more people die in unusually cold winters than in unusually hot summers.” ~Richard Tol (Bogus prophecies of doom will not fix the climate, Financial Times)

    • Tol’s conclusions are at the very bottom of the warming-cost curve…. All others lie above it. If you don’t know this, let me suggest you read “The Climate Casino” by William Nordhaus.

    • Why isn’t there as much methane as Hansen projected? Where was it supposed to come from? Certainly not as a feedback to warming, right?

    • No one is quite sure, but some think methane emissions were flat through most of the ’00s due to the collapse Soviet Union.

      What’s your theory?

    • What discount rate did Tol assume?

    • How many ppb did the USSR account for?

      See above: “No one is quite sure….”

    • Why don’t you just admit that nobody really has a clue, and all of that is just baseless guessing.

    • phat: Because people *do* have a clue, and let me point out that you’re talking about a few ppbv of methane, a level of detail that really doesn’t make a big difference in the AGW picture.

      It’s a detail that doesn’t matter.

    • David Appell, if you can’t quantify it then you really don’t have a clue – sorry!

      And if it doesn’t matter then why mention it at all?

      And wild, unsubstantiated guesses have a horrible habit of becoming ‘fact’ after they’ve been repeated by enough people.

    • I hope everyone clicks Appells link and ponders the absurdity of that Tamino post.
      The claim seems to be two-fold: 1) Carbon shmarbon, who said CO2 emissions had anything to do with temps? It was the other forcings that are important! and 2) The other forcings declined rapidly in the late 1980s instead of increasing rapidly as forecast.

      If so, the logical person (we excuse you from this, Appell) would obviously conclude several things, some practical some political:
      On the practical side
      1. If carbon ain’t the problem, then carbon tax ain’t the solution.
      2. Hansen’s predictions were wrong.
      2. Yippee for us, Tamino “proves” mitigation began in roughly 1989 and we saved the day- no more global warming issue!

      On the political side:
      1. the folks who say it’s getting warmer due to man are not telling the truth. If forcings have declined or are negative, as Tamino “proves,” then you would expect stasis in temps.
      2. Is that what you’ve been saying since 1988- CO2 is not the main player and won’t override natural or other forcings? Why no, no it is not what you’ve been saying. The point of dredging up the Hansen charts is to show that we can all thank our makers that Congress in 1988 ignored the screeching about a need for “immediate action now” on carbon. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html
      3. Tell me again why I need to double the cost of gasoline for something that appears to have been solved by Russia cleaning up its natural gas act? And what does that mean to you to note that this cleanup didn’t happen until the Russkies dumped pure communitarian communism for the environmental evil of market capitalism?

    • JeffN=illogical ranting.

    • And this also goes to Kim’s Law: Any sufficiently high sensitivity of temperature to ACO2 is indistinguishable from humans having averted a very nasty cold spell.

  7. Curious George

    The problem is a herd mentality in academia. There is a 96% consensus on what is right and wrong. I did not invent the 96% number; 96% of financial contributions from Ivy League schools went to Obama campaign in 2012.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Judith. My thought is that while it’s probably true that a lot of us wouldn’t make it through the beginning of our careers in the present academic environment it might also be true that today’s kids are a lot sharper then we were.

    I enjoyed my last years on the job working with kids who continuously astonished me doing things that I would not have been able to do when I was their age – and not only technical things, but activities requiring subtle manipulation of the “powers that be.” I used to wonder what, if they were so smart, were they doing in architecture.

    Surely you’ve seen this too.

  9. —and, Eisenhower saw it from a viewpoint outside of Academia.

  10. “..the committee is a regression to the mean, and the mean is mediocre.”

    Whether it is peer-review, granting organizations, promotion and tenure, academia has burdened itself with the “appearance of fairness.” It is what can be construed as “correctness” that has poisoned the well of creativity in academic research institutions. Ideas only have worth in the context of groupthink.

    Correctness, conformity, consensus; egads, that sounds so much like the social structure of the 19th Century. Hmmm. Maybe, what is stifling about current academia now, are the same social mantels that constricted social progress then. Groups, lead by the “wise” few of the many (today’s committees, yesterday’s religious organizations), stifling of dissent through social pressure groups; valuing appearances as more important than content; fear of change from both within and from without. It seems that I am rafting down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn again. Huck consciously decided he was going to go to Hell because he wasn’t going to turn in to the authorities the runaway slave, Jim.

    Correctness, conformity, consensus. Where are our current Huck Finn’s in science? Eisenhower warned us re: government funding of research science and by directed funding, ultimately calling the tune. Where is Huck now? Is there someone within the ranks, who, by capricious thought and deed, will defy the appearances priority and lead for once, and not follow? who is willing to go to the Politically Correct Hell because s/he has a vision of what science and inquiry can be? I am afraid that leading science out of the academic research Wilderness will take more than a moral decision, that is the easy part. Maybe Tom Sawyer is around. I’ll ask him.


    • Where are our current Huck Finn’s in science?

      Another clueless Aussie who doesn’t understand that Huck Finn was an uneducated fictional character rife with superstitions who eventually learned to read before the story was over.

      Sounds like a typical WUWT participant, minus the growth potential.

    • RiHoo8,

      Don’t mind WHUT. He’s a progressive. When he reads Huck Finn it is only to confirm his personal prejudices and contempt for the great unwashed.

      He is completely oblivious to the fact that Huck Finn is a brilliant attack on pompous would-be elitists like himself.

    • GaryM,
      I like the analogy of Tom Sawyer painting the picket fence, convincing the skeptics to do the work for him … for free.

      The payoff is immense. Keep it up skeptics and deniers, plenty of own goals to go around.

    • WHUT,

      Hate to break it to you, but the fence scene is in Tom Sawyer, not Huckleberry Finn.

      But you are partially right, Tom was acting like a progressive in that scene. Lying to others to do get them to do his work for him, while he took their money for the privilege. Sounds a lot like the progressive governments most of us live under now.

    • “Huck Finn was an uneducated fictional character rife with superstitions who eventually learned to read before the story was over”

      I had always thought he was a young man of integrity who placed his life on the line to aid Jim, when the consensus was that Blacks were little better than cattle.

    • Gary M said:


      Hate to break it to you, but the fence scene is in Tom Sawyer, not Huckleberry Finn.

      Ya, and just like Feynman, you deniers like to co-opt creative thinkers through the ages and claim them as your own. So I thought I would reciprocate. On with the rhetorical battle, high-school debate boy.

  11. Sydney Brenner’s reference to “knowing too much” strikes a chord. We have all heard the story of the little boy who suggested “letting the air out of the tires” for the stuck truck. But all too often, we hear the screams of “peer review” when it comes to novel ideas in a field of study.

  12. patrioticduo

    There’s a very good reason why humankind makes the greatest technological advances during times of war. Something to do with the urgency of survival.

  13. Excellent post. This sort of thing is reflected throughout society nowadays. In teaching as well, even kids sport training.

  14. Judith: Your large copying and reposting of the Kings Review article violates Fair Use.

    • David

      Reading through the online magazine I came across this article which I thought was even more interesting than the one Judith has excerpted

      http://kingsreview.co.uk/magazine/blog/2013/02/10/why-are-billionaire-universities-hedging-their-bets-on-climate-change-2/

      Tonyb

    • Why am I so suspicious that this accusation is just an attempt to shut down wide attention to a serious problem? By somebody with a vested interest in taking advantage of this problem for his own socio-political agenda?

    • AK: Why am I suspicious your reply is an attempt to evade the law?

      • I responded below, but since I have a little time, and thought it worth while for my own sake, I pulled up the EFF “Questions About Copyright”, which is provided for bloggers. (Admittedly, from a “freedom of use” perspective.)

        Excerpts from “What is fair use?”

        There are no hard and fast rules for fair use (and anyone who tells you that a set number of words or percentage of a work is “fair” is talking about guidelines, not the law). The Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to look at (17 U.S.C. § 107):

        The purpose and character of the use. Transformative uses are favored over mere copying. Non-commercial uses are also more likely fair.

        The excerpts here are “transformative”, in the sense that they are, by implication, focusing on the application of these issues to climate science. And, AFAIK, they are non-commercial.

        The nature of the copyrighted work. Is the original factual in nature or fiction? Published or unpublished? Creative and unpublished works get more protection under copyright, while using factual material is more often fair use.

        This is published work, primarily factual (reporting an interview). While I suppose published opinion might be considered “creative”, it would be a matter of the blogger’s opinion whether a particular set of excerpts was “fair use”. As long as she thinks it is, it’s for the courts to work out, if anybody sues.

        The amount and substantiality of the portion used. Copying nearly all of a work, or copying its “heart” is less likely to be fair.

        Only a portion was copied, and whether that constituted the “heart” depends on a readers perspective. By excerpting in accord with a particular perspective, she is making “transformative” use.

        The effect on the market or potential market. This factor is often held to be the most important in the analysis, [...]. If you use the copied work in a way that substitutes for the original in the market, it’s unlikely to be a fair use; uses that serve a different audience or purpose are more likely fair. Linking to the original may also help to diminish the substitution effect. [...] [my bold]

        Given that she linked, and her discussion would make many readers want to follow that link, I doubt you could claim “substitution”. The effect would probably be positive, which would make it clearly “fair use”.

        Of course, as I said in my earlier comment below, IANAL. But like any blogger, I’ve had to understand “fair use”, at least in such a way that I could try to avoid issues in my own work.

    • David Appell,

      Judith has appeared to provide you with the reply you so richly deserve.

      Have you considered commencing litigation against this Judith person? Obviously in the US, you must feel this is possible, otherwise your comment could be viewed as merely malicious and asinine.

      I support your concern that scofflaws should be brought to book, and I am prepared to contribute handsomely to your suit. Simply present me with your intended legal strategy, in person, and after perusal I guarantee I will donate the sum which I consider appropriate.

      Initially, you might provide evidence of your legal studies (formal or otherwise) so that I might satisfy myself that you are not just, as we say in the legal profession, flapping your gums whilst engaging in a bizarre frolic of your own.

      I remain, sir, your most humble and obedient servant,

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike F: Do you ever wonder why I ignore you?

    • David Appell,

      And yet you demonstrate again that you do as you do, not do as you say.

      Must be an instruction in the Book of Warm. Very deep. Ignore people by telling them that you are ignoring them.

      Any other pearls of wisdom you might deign to cast before this swine?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      David Appell (@davidappell) | April 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply

      Judith: Your large copying and reposting of the Kings Review article violates Fair Use.

      She quoted 899 words out of a 4,911 word article, and linked to the article. In addition, she quoted only the parts directly relevant to her comments. So I see no Fair Use issues at all.

      More to the point, only the publisher of the article has standing to bring up any kind of Fair Use issues … and that’s not you. My guess is that far from complaining like some people, they are overjoyed that she is increasing the traffic to their site. And in either case, I’ll wait for the organ grinder rather than listen to his assistant, thanks.

      In other words, you’re merely trying to frighten someone with legal-sounding but meaningless words … not the action of a gentleman on my planet.

      w.

    • Have you considered commencing litigation against this Judith person?

      Does she really have to be sued in order to obey the law?

      Some writer worked hard for those words. No one has the right to repeat them outside of Fair Use.

    • David Appell,

      I obviously cannot answer your question about whether you should sue
      Judith. That is your decision, and yours alone. I wish you luck fighting your way through the vagaries of the UK legal system. Maybe EU law overrides it in this case. I don’t know.

      I believe in any civilised country, the holder of a copyright may sue an alleged infringer for redress in a court of law. I do not live in the US, but I assume it is a civilised country. If you are particularly outraged, you might address your concerns to the copyright holder, and insist they launch legal proceedings (at your expense, presumably).

      As to whether the writer worked hard or not, or whether the writer’s intent was material or non material gain, surely that is for the writer to determine.

      You finish up with a silly statement, claiming that I have no right to repeat the writer’s words out of Fair Use, which I presume is something that applies in the US. As the words are quoted from a UK publication, I’m not sure whether US law applies. No doubt you know. Well, I have news for you. Regardless of rights, people do what they do. You have the right to ignore me. I have the right not to ignore you, and laugh while I’m doing it.

      I also point out that the article from the KingsReview appears to have been quoted in full elsewhere. Possibly you should harass the scofflaws, and admonish them on the error of their ways. Or not, as you wish.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • AK: Why am I suspicious your reply is an attempt to evade the law?

      The excerpts seem to me well in accord with fair use. Of course, IANAL, but reading the excerpts makes me want to go read the actual article, and AFAIK that’s what “fair use” is about, in principle.

      And she has similarly excerpted many other articles, including some that were paywalled. I don’t recall you ever spouting off then. What is it about this article that you don’t like brought to people’s attention?

      And why are you implying that I am making “an attempt to evade the law?” I didn’t publish the excerpts. Do I detect a hint of paranoia (“everybody’s out to get me”) in your behavior?

    • Appell –

      This was just great, one for the ages:

      “Was it climate scientists who told Gore that the earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees?

      As if you know the temperature of everything.

      It’s just a number. One looks it up, much like the speed of sound that Einstein never memorized”

      Who pays you to sit hour after hour and add this stuff to the blogosphere? C’mon – let it out.

  15. Craig Loehle

    Some stories to illustrate the problems:
    At the Savannah River Lab in SC, we got a memo from the Dept of Energy, who supplied the funding, that they wanted to be notified six months in advance of any major discoveries. And they were serious. At the same location, because of union rules I was not allowed to touch anything in the lab (on the one occasion when I was doing an experiment). I had to write a description and give that to the lab tech (a high school grad). I couldn’t even watch to make sure he was doing it right. Of course I was already looking for another job at that point.

    I helped a Dept. Energy program manager write a new scope for his ecology program. A new scope was needed purely to make the research sound new, not because anything new was being done. The thing that got a program funded in DC was to sound new and exciting. Long term research (25 yrs studying chimps in the field or something) was not sexy, not “up to date”. But the idea of “new” that these administrators had was really odd.

    Universities want faculty that fill a slot. You teach zoology and he teaches cell biology and she teaches genetics. But the person who can show how genes affect cell metabolism in a way that explains differences between animals in the field does not fit in those neat slots and the administrators aren’t interested. Nor are grants available for such cross-disciplinary work.

    Some faculty use the system of grad students and post-docs to spare them the trouble of actually doing any research. I have seen cv’s where the prof did not have a single paper as sole author, and where I know for a fact that on each paper the difficult, technical part of the work was done by a post-doc or visiting prof. And yet they get full credit for all these papers. Not all profs, of course.

    • Craig Loehle,

      Stories abound to the truth of the theme of abuse of underlings by academic oligarchs.

      The question I pose: who will emerge to lead us down the path of honesty, impish creativity, and slavery to methodology & prudent analysis? the Maid of Orleans? or our own St Judith of Techville?


    • At the same location, because of union rules I was not allowed to touch anything in the lab

      Cripes, I got to mix hydrofluoric acid, heat arsenic, pour liquid nitrogen, debug high voltage electron guns, and all sorts of things that could pert near kill me if I did them improperly.

      I guess Lohle has the problem of dealing in anecdotal stories leading to a case of sour grapes.

      And krap science comes out of it …. who coulda guessed ?

    • Curious George

      Webby – in what government lab did you do that?

    • Craig, at the old Imperial Cancer Research Fund labs in Lincoln’s in Fields the corridors were filled with fridges, freezers and shakers. If a researcher wanted a cable between labs, they would knock a hole in the ‘listed’ wall. People would be in each others labs, all hours of the day and night, with each others property. You could ‘borrow’ anything, including a highly trained technician and expert to run a piece of equipment, if you could beg well.

      It is the youngsters, especially the women, who are suffering the most. In he old days you could teach and then tinkers, living on small grants. No more. Now Post-Doc’s are serfs working for the PI who gets all the funds, prestige and also gets to sit on panel.

    • Remember advancing glaciers swallowing whole villages
      in the Little Ice Age, LIA , … today in a new ice age, NIA,
      creeping bureaucracies swallowing up potentialities for
      innovative investigations.

    • Doc Martyn, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, in case anyone is confused. US readers, Doc is not referring to Abe being on the plantation.

    • beththeserf wrote:
      Remember advancing glaciers swallowing whole villages
      in the Little Ice Age

      How many, again?

    • Beththeserf,

      I hope you don’t mind me responding to David Appell.

      I quote one Michae E Mann, of the University of Virginia, writing about the LIA.

      “These dramatic glacial advances often had important practical consequences for nearby human populations. In the Chamonix valley near Mont Blanc, France, numerous farms and villages were lost to the advancing front of a nearby mountain glacier. The damage was so threatening that the villagers summoned the Bishop of Geneva to perform an exorcism of the dark forces presumed responsible (this procedure, as for most human attempts at weather modification, does not appear to have been successful).”

      Obviously, this Michael E Mann is fabricating history, and has cunningly faked supposedly contemporary artworks supporting his claim – at least according to David Appell, it might appear.

      If this David Appell wants more information, may I suggest that he direct his queries to Michael E Mann?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Re glaciers and LIA,
      Thx for response Mike Fynn and herewith mine to David Appell.

      Geoffrey Blainey comments on the advancement of LIA glaciers
      in ‘A Short History of The World’ Ch 23, citing Ladurie, ‘Times
      of Feast, Times of Famine.’ pp147 171-3: ‘Thousands of French,
      Swiss, Italian and Austrian farms on the foothills of the Alps were devastated by the colder seasons. Glaciers most formidable
      around 1600, reached the houses of villages on the lower slopes
      and crushed them… In a French speaking village in the Chamonix
      valley only six of its 21 houses remained…’

      And this from Wiki.

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

    • beth

      Yes. It was a tough time for people living in the Alps.

      The late climate professor from University of Wisconsin, Reid Bryson, once commented on the remains of a medieval alpine silver mine that was discovered recently under a receding glacier.

      There are several instances of such finds, more commonly of carbon dated remains of trees.

      An old chronicle from Austria (near Salzburg), which I particularly liked, described how a gold and silver mine was “swallowed up” by the advancing ice – putting a “transgression and retribution” spin on it (not much different from today’s doomsday merchants). [My translation from German]

      Once this was a wonderfully fertile valley, precious metals could be found in great quantities in every crevice. But this blessing became the ruin of the people; they could not hold back their wantonness; especially the miners could not control their gluttonous feasting. They threw silver platters around, drank wine out of golden pitchers, were cruel to the poor and blasphemed God, in a most appalling way.

      Then came the punishment of the Lord. From one day to another the green landscape disappeared under snow and ice, which flowed down to the valley. A lake formed from melting glacier water at the bottom of the valley, swallowing everything in its depths, including the gold treasures.

      The people could not believe that everything was just happening naturally and reflected about what was going on. They saw in it a punishment by higher powers for the often wicked life, which both the miners and the bosses had followed.

      [Let us repent and save the planet.]

      Your (alpine) fellow serf Max

    • Max,

      Glaciers, wealth swallowers,
      life swallowers, remember
      poor Otsi, Bronze Age traveller,
      snap frozen in the Tyrol
      in a sudden storm, swallowed
      by one of those hungry
      glaciers that engulf whole
      villages, churches where
      praying congregations seek
      insurance from the elements
      to no avail. *

      *Do not fergit that-Naychur-is-dangerous.

      Bts

    • Beth

      You may remember that I graphed glacier movements over the last 3000 years using information from sources such as Ladurie, Jean Grove, Brian Fagan and many others. I also carried out original research in France, (Argentiere) Switzerland (Zermatt and Grindewald) and most recently Austria with particular regards to the silver mine Max cited. The resultat (first attempt) graph is here;

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/historic-variations-in-temperature-number-four-the-hockey-stick/

      In particular see Figure 5. The LIA was a catastrophic time for many villages swept away by them and individual farmers who had their livelihood
      destroyed. It obviously impacted greatly on activities at lower levels as is best explained in such books as Brian Fagans ‘Little Ice Age’ and ‘Climate and Weather’ by John Kington and ‘Times of feast’

      Historic context is an inconvenient truth to many people, including many on this blog.

      tonyb

      Figure 5

    • Modellers in cloud towers,
      Tony, find your historic research
      so inconvenient, whereas farmers,
      serfs, out in all weathers recorded
      all important to survival
      weather “data.” Historic content
      may be an inconvenient truth
      fer many … and yet it is the truth.
      Steve McIntyre and you, Tony,
      understand the integrity
      of truth ter data.

      A serf.

  16. George Turner

    It would be simpler to go back to the old model of independently wealthy gentleman scientists who live off their own estates.and conduct scientific inquiries at their leisure, depending on what interests them, which would eliminate most of the problems mentioned in the interview.

    Towards that end, I think that if we could get the government or industry to provide the necessary funding (or the proper Lotto ticket), we could set JC and other researchers up in something resembling Downton Abbey, with a lady’s maid, some cooks, a few housekeepers, and perhaps a valet and footman (most of whom could be undergrads).

    Any objections to that?

    • George Turner,

      Now going back to the 18th Century; across the pond was Thomas Jefferson, citizen scientist. A fine man he was.

    • Downton Abbey, no thanks, spent too many years with ITV.
      As an ex engineer of average means, I did indeed secured a place for contemplating parts of the science that many others reject. Pleasant mediterranean gardens with views of bay of angels is as a good as any for running away from dump english winters.

    • George

      Downton abbey is more interesting as being real life highclere castle with its connections to Howard carter and the discovery of king tuts tomb. Even more interestingly is that it was one of the estates of the bishopric of Winchester for which we have the crop records from the period 1100 to 1450 with many climate references demonstrating periods warmer than today and colder than today

      Andrew Lloyd webber lives close by and the castle overlooks Water ship down home of the rabbits in the famous book.

      Tonyb

    • Vuk

      It’s a big mistake to have made your purchase as the ipcc state the area will become too hot to be comfortable. I will offer you 30percent of what you paid. Take it quick before you get burnt to a crisp by the extreme heat.
      Tonyb

    • Thoreau did his best work in a half-buried box not much bigger than a coffin, or in jail; the Venerable Bede in a cell in a monastery — and he far from the only hermit of scholarship.

      Newton famously railed against such distractions.. when not luxuriating in them, and neither their presence nor absence slowed him down in his scientific work half so much as his insistence on tasting heavy metal salts.

      The outward habit is nothing. What matters is data, inference, simplicity, parsimony and universality in the field of scientific study, not this other affect.

    • curryja wrote:
      sign me up

      Do you really not see the great leaps forward taken by science since the era of widespread government funding since WW2??

    • Hi Tony
      Thanks for the offer, I’m giving it serious consideration.
      Ahhh, impulse buy, but turned not as bad as expected after spending 7-8k on it, need to spend another 3-4 as wife is in charge now. Don’t know about AGW, but being burnt to a crisp is a seasonal affair there every August, but then I prefer to be in more northern latitude.
      However, yesterday the Alps moved few yards closer, had 5.2 Richter scale eq; according to riviera radio ‘A quake of magnitude 5 only occurs roughly every 30 years in this region but experts say there will be a larger quake at some point in the future although they can’t say when.’ Hmm, 60 year cycle ?
      Feel a bit sorry for our friend Steven W; I’ve been told to ‘naff off’ also.

      .

    • k scott denison

      David Appell (@davidappell) | April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
      curryja wrote:
      sign me up

      Do you really not see the great leaps forward taken by science since the era of widespread government funding since WW2??
      —————-
      I will echo Phil’s comment to DA. No, I don’t see the great leaps from government funding.

    • Ubiquitous arrows, one way streets,
      highway, low way, misnomered freeway,
      go right, go left, look up, look down.
      And if I come to a fork in the road,
      do I, like Frost, take the road
      less travelled? Oh, would I dare and
      could I dare … if the arrow said ‘no’?
      And would we, like lemmings, take the leap
      off the cliff, if the arrow said ‘go’?
      And shall we, at the last great summons
      that makes us wish to bear those ills we have
      than fly to others that we know not of,
      standing before the elevator’s dark portals,
      obey the requirement to step inside,
      go up
      …or go down?

  17. “Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?”

    Yes. Absolutely. Academia have been taken over by the Left. The Left are into politically correct at the expense of everything, including innovation. They are anti progress unless it is what they call progress – i.e. their brand of social engineering.

    The Left are driving anti-Enlightenment in the developed countries. It’s happened before an all previous empires. When they became rich and wealth they became fat, happy and lazy.

    The Left are blocking progress and the Left have taken over academia.

  18. This is kind of funny. Scientists have flocked to the government trough, feeding on the research grants while their employers, the universities, become wholly owned subsidiaries of the federal government. Then they whine that the government expects to direct how its funds are used.

    This is the world the “scientists,” particularly but by no means solely climate scientists, helped build. “Post-modern” made to order science is the norm.
    Speeches by the occasional Nobel Prize winner won’t change anything.

  19. These days the focus is on “the little things”, since many scientific fields are mature, and wasting time on trying to disprove well established theories is a waste of money. Little discovers add up to significance over time (or so it goes).
    However, who decides when a theory is considered “mature and well established”?
    The science community as a whole believes “climate science” falls into this category.
    My opinion is climate science is immature, and rigorous challenge is needed in order to change this status. We often here that climate sensitivity calculations made over 100 years ago are similar to today, therefore it is an old (and therefore established) science. I suppose the fact that people believed the very old and established theory that Earth was the center of the Universe, is lost on people who are only comfortable when they are part of a consensus pay roll.

    Then again, you can’t blame them. Look what happened to Galileo Galilei.

  20. “Today the Americans have developed a new culture in science based on the slavery of graduate students. Now graduate students of American institutions are afraid. He just performs. He’s got to perform. The post-doc is an indentured labourer. We now have labs that don’t work in the same way as the early labs where people were independent, where they could have their own ideas and could pursue them.”

    So damned right.

    You submit to NIH and they ding you if you are too innovative, as you can’t prove you can do what you want to do, or they ding you for lacking innovation as you have just published in the area.

    • David in Cal wrote:
      When one starts to look at magnitude, consensus utterly disappears.

      Let me suggest you go read the 5AR WG1, and get back to us on this.

      • The IPCC provides no quantifiable justification for its hysteria. Ergo (in plain English) it is an opinion. David in Cal is correct. Your response is a non sequitur.

    • The NIH dings you for being too innovative?
      Who knew? That must hurt.
      Please provide some specific examples of said dinging.

    • I developed a method that allows one to quantify specific types of DNA damage, using different prokaryotic DNA repair enzymes to sculpt a specific end, that can be labeled.
      In addition to specificity to the type of damage, you also get location, so you can examine mitochondrial DNA damage.
      A reviewer accepted the principle, but wanted more studies; which was what I requested funding to do.

    • Or, more likely, your idea just wasn’t a good one. Competition for grants is fierce. The American people are stingy with their tax dollars.

    • David Appell,

      You said :

      “Or, more likely, your idea just wasn’t a good one. Competition for grants is fierce. The American people are stingy with their tax dollars.”

      Precisely how did you assess the likelihood of his idea not being a good one? Who assesses results before they actually exist? Silly question, I know. Warmists know all. What has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. That is why they have siphoned off vast quantities of cash from a population that obviously has cash to spare. Food, utilities, real estate payments, clothing – who needs them?

      Just make them stand in awe of the immense scientific benefits delivered by climatologists. If there aren’t any, invent some.

      So what have the American people got for their money?

      Three fifths of five eighths of Sweet Fanny Adams? No wonder the US is doing so well. Keep it up, and at this rate the US will be able to scrape up enough to pay the cost of a round trip ticket into space!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • I did the work, published it in two methods journals, patent in progress, I used it today to examine mtDNA damage in cancer cells treated with a mitochondrial targeted nitrogen mustard.

    • Still wasn’t good enough. Go ahead, assume you’ve been discriminated against. You’re unlucky. You’ve been scorned. Poor you.

      Except it’s much more likely your work simply didn’t stack up.

      Sorry. Those are the breaks. But tax dollars are scarce. Not much to go around anymore. Lamentable, I know.

    • “Except it’s much more likely your work simply didn’t stack up”

      May I ask why you have so much faith in the system the NIH has to judge and disperse funding?
      I can only speak for myself, but every NIH grant I write is about equal to a paper. The NIH is funding about 15% of submissions and unless you know, in advance, what areas they are going to fund, all your work is wasted and all you manage to do is give your insights to the members of the panel, who are your competitors.

  21. Visiting major research universities I attended or knew a third of a century or more ago with children, I’m amazed at the growth in laboratory space. The buildings were constructed using money from private donors, but the money needed to maintain them is taken from the grants of the faculty members. If the university faculty members occupying these buildings aren’t collecting their “share” of federal research funding, these research universities will go bankrupt – despite their nominal business educating undergraduates. The current system or any that replaces it will be driven by these economic considerations.

  22. David in Cal

    David Appell wrote, “There is certainly a scientific consensus that global warming is human-induced.”

    This statement is vague. I agree that there’s a scientific consensus that humans contribute some amount to global warming. I think there’s also a consensus that nature has contributed to global warming. (This is obvious, because the earth warmed from 1750 – 1950, when human emissions were too low to have an impact.)

    When one starts to look at magnitude, consensus utterly disappears. How much warming does human activity cause? 6 degrees C per century? 1 deg. C per century? 0.1 deg. C per century? Or, do we just don’t know the answer? This is a a vital question. If human activity is causing warming at a rate of 6 deg. C per century, then we need to take radical action, even if that means killing millions of people. If human activity is causing warming at a rate below 2. C per century, then we don’t need to do much of anything.

    BTW the IPCC’s position is that they don’t know true rate of human-caused warming. They give a wide probable range and even acknowledge that the true rate of human-caused warming may be outside their range.

    • If human activity is causing warming at a rate of 6 deg. C per century, then we need to take radical action, even if that means killing millions of people.

      I assume you mean risk having a war. Or threaten trade sanctions.

    • David in Cal

      gbaikie — Yes, in theory those sort of radical actions might be essential to preserve life on earth, if humans are causing the climate to warm at 6 deg. C per century. However, this is very theoretical IMHO, because it’s nothing like the actual world.

      Based on the measurement of temperature in the lower troposphere, the earth has warmed by 0.4 degrees C since 1979. See http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ That’s a rate just below 1.2 deg. C per century. If half of that warming was caused by man, that’s only 0.6 deg. per century. Realistically the world is going to keep increasing their use of fossil fuels until and unless some better alternative exists. It would be quite expensive to reduce the growth of man’s CO2 emissions by 15%. So, with substantial sacrifice, we might be able to make the average temperature in 2014 lower by 0.1 degree C.

    • David in Cal,

      Can I please decide who we have to kill I order to save them?

      I played a character in The Mikado who sang

      “If someday it may happen that a victim must found,
      I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list . . . ”

      Or something similar, from memory. So I certainly have the experience!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • When one starts to look at magnitude, consensus utterly disappears.

      What does the 5AR WG1 say about this?

    • If half of that warming was caused by man, that’s only 0.6 deg. per century.

      Please prove your assumptions.
      Also, please prove your assumption of linearity.

    • Mike Flynn

      “My object is sublime, I will achieve in time, to have the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime.”

      Six billion I say for 6 C another day.

  23. I have a climate scientist analogy.

    I claim the scientists don’t know what they claim to know for two reasons, from my checkered career

    1. You can’t solve the Navier Stokes equations (in 3D flows go to smaller and smaller scales, so no resolution whatever is adequate. But you need small scale flows because they act as an ersatz viscosity back on large scale flows). So the models substitute made-up equations and solve those. More on this below.

    2. You can’t tell a trend from a cycle with data short compared to the cycles to be excluded (the eigenvalues of the discriminating matrix explode, making every measurement useless for the purpose). So there’s no data.
    A cycle can’t be man-caused, and a cycle can’t be excluded. Hard mathematical result. [Want to prove it yourself? Set up a least squares problem to find the coefficients on a trend and a half dozen long-period sines and cosines, with periods much longer than the data window. As you set it up, without even solving it, you'll say to yourself, you know, these curves are really ill conditioned owing to their being multiples of each other. Yes.]

    On 1, the model equations replacing the Navier Stokes equations.

    Consider the humble gyroscope. A forcing function pushing it west makes it respond by moving not west but south. Think of it as a complex system.

    What’s going on? Avoiding the Euler equations, just think of a ball on a string. Swing the ball at your right side in a circle in a vertical plane, going forward at the top and going backward at the bottom.

    As the ball goes over the top, bap it with an impulsive blow to the right.

    What happens? The ball returns next circle to the place you bapped it, but moves to the right in the front and to the left in the back.

    The plane of rotation, which ought to have tipped to the right, instead remains vertical and twists in azimuth. Moving south instead of west, as you could put it.

    The thing that makes gyroscopes mysterious is that intuition says that a force causes an object to change position, whereas in fact it only changes velocity and not position. In a gyroscope the position difference shows up
    not where you applied the force but only 90 degrees later, making the mistake enter experience where usually it never does.

    Now back to the climate scientist. Imagine a climate scientist modelling the gyroscope, but not with the actual equations but with model equations.

    The model equations reflect all his intuitions about the system within his ability to solve them. It will not occur to him, in the analogy, to put in anything but things like “effective inertia” and “forcing function.”

    He will never discover precession, which is the whole point of the gyroscope, because he lacks that intuition.

    The actual physics equation will of course tell him about it, but he can’t solve it. The actual system will tell him about it, but we can’t do the experiment (in the case of climate).

    Is not the climate, with air and ocean currents and more, more complex than the gyroscope?

    Are not intuitions untrustworthy in model making here?

    • rhhardin,

      Precession’s a bitch, ain’t it! It gets my vote. It also gets my goat every time it reminds me I forgot about it. I’m learning. Slowly.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • rhhardin wrote:
      1. You can’t solve the Navier Stokes equations

      You can’t solve it numerically? That would be utterly amazing, if true.

      Where does the algebra break down?

    • What is the fundamental length scale in this situation?

    • David, yes, you can’t solve the Navier Stokes equations numerically, for the reason I said.

      In 2D you can, because flows go to longer scales rather than shorter scales. That’s how weather system solutions are good for a while, most of the action is in 2D. But not all and it breaks down.

      In 3D the algebra breaks down when the irregularities in the flow happen at smaller than your grid size. Doubling the grid does not give you a smaller error, because the flow always wants smaller.

      Physically this stops at a scale where the gas no longer can be represented as having a single velocity at a single point, and the flow is itself just a contribution to heat.

      So models have to so something about the small scale flows. Typically this would be called “effective viscosity.” You pull it out of your hat, and it’s a free parameter useful for curve fitting but not prediction.

      Kolmogorov intuited that the rate of dissipation would be independent of viscoslty owing to the cascade of flows to shorter and shorter scales, and there’s a Kolmogorov spectrum for turbulence that comes from it. I think this is close but disputed now.

    • David, if it helps, a mechanism that existsin 3D but not 2D is the kinking of a vortex line, which breaks the vortex down into chaotic motion pretty quickly.

      In 2D, in the absence of viscosity, vorticity is conserved and some methods of solution are based on it.

  24. ” … Nothing happens because the committee is a regression to the mean, and the mean is mediocre”

    Absolutely love it :)

    • Mediocristan?

      (Where “black swans” lurk as climatologists quack canards.)

    • The bell curve fostering certainty,
      the average man, in medio stat virtus,
      all embracing mediocrity.

    • What’s the matter with youse lot? What have you got against mediocrity? By definition, 97% of climatologists produce work that is no better than mediocre in climatological terms. Of course, the bottom 3% is really awful.

      It’s not rocket science, this statistics caper. Any fool can see that, and the proof of this is demonstrated every day by itinerant jugglers, woodcutters, data losers and tricky splicers, who claim through their papers to prove the non existent by means of statistics.

      Mediocrity? It’s the gold standard where climatology is concerned. At least climatologists don’t have to attempt to seek gainful employment in any field where mediocrity is not a requirement.

      Climatology may have been created to offer welfare to those people who can’t get a real job. Who knows? It’s all pretty recent isn’t it?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • I have never heard a better description of the agw “consensus” than “regression to the mean”.

  25. Hi David Appell! Still going I see (since I was banned from commenting on your blog years ago). How’s the kitten, though. Something we had in common.

  26. Michael Mann claims pause caused by Nature. Warming will return when Nature stops. ~JunkScience

  27. The answer to the question posed by Professor Curry is a resounding yes!

    Innovation cannot be commanded, or decreed. Regardless of salary or conditions, or other supposed motivations, scientific breakthroughs cannot be guaranteed.

    Governments have fallen into the trap of assuming that intelligence can be increased by increasing remuneration, and working hard leads to new ideas.

    According to history, this is a fairy tale.

    Ideas exist in abundance. Most of them are worth the energy of the brain involved in their creation, which is to say a quantity indistinguishable from zero.

    If creative thought in science is paralleled by creative thought resulting in inventions generally, then it can be observed that the vast majority of creative thought is essentially of no use whatsoever.

    Even with scientific thought, history abounds with innovators ahead of their time, whose ideas were consigned to the dustbin of history – not because they were wrong, but simply because it was not their time.

    Coincidence plays a part. Newton pondered some aspects of optics that puzzled him, and was able to reject conventional consensus thinking because, in his own words “. . I can polish glass. . . ” The point here is that even today, many scientists persist in believing things that are more a matter of faith than demonstrated reality.

    The concept of the gentleman (or gentlewoman) scientist seems to have merit, if history is any guide. However, turning a scientist into a gentleman by providing gentlemanly appurtenances, guarantees nothing, apart from the expenditure of funds.

    So what to do?
    Cut off all Government finding for scientific research? Offer prizes for particular innovations? Introduce an oppressive and repressive education system, based on the principle that greatness will out if needs be, and the rest of the population will at least be capable of reading, writing and basic arithmetic? Who can say that science would not advance just as well, and at far less cost to the community?

    Obviously, I am in total agreement with the following :

    “SB: The thing is to have no discipline at all. Biology got its main success by the importation of physicists that came into the field not knowing any biology and I think today that’s very important.

    The young have a great advantage in that they are ignorant. Because I think ignorance in science is very important. If you’re like me and you know too much you can’t try new things. I always work in fields of which I’m totally ignorant.”

    Publish or perish? Try publish and perish, or don’t publish at all. You will perish in the end, anyway. Do what you feel is right. Life goes on, and I certainly can’t point to negative effects resulting from being content.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Curious George

      One reason for a lack of innovation is a “critical mass” which can also be characterized as “fashion”. Climate modeling surpassed a critical mass, and nowadays climatologists compare results of thousands runs of dozens of models. That generates original publications, advanced degrees, professorships. It can be continued indefinitely, but is it innovation? I pointed out an erroneous treatment of a latent heat of water vaporization in a model some 3 years ago. It might be handled in CAM6 scheduled for 2015. In the hallowed realm of theoretical physics there is a similar situation with a “string theory” which has produced deep insights – into a string theory.

    • Mike Flynn

      Indeed.

      The best example of real scientific innovation (in the chemical industry) came in the years when companies (like DuPont) had basic research groups composed of top-notch scientists that were allowed to do whatever they wanted to with (essentially) no time or budget constraints.

      Nylon. Teflon, Dacron, etc. came out of this “kitchen”.

      Governments are run by bureaucrats that need to satisfy politicians who are either running for reelection or have just been elected, so have to keep their constituents in the dark or content.

      Taxpayer funding is assumed to be unlimited. Budgets are simply rough guidelines – and it is crucial not to spend less than budgeted, or the next budget will be cut.

      Maintaining image, avoiding embarrassing mistakes, framing messages and fudging the data as required are the required skillsets for this group.

      Winning at any cost (i.e. “Chicago-style politics”) is the modus operandi. If this means using the power of government agencies (like the IRS in the USA) to harass or destroy perceived enemies, this is OK.

      And, of course, good oratorical skills help in the framing.

      So this is a completely different mindset and set of skills than is required to “innovate”.

      Neither the bureaucrats nor the politicians have any understanding of what scientific “innovation” even means, nor do they see a direct personal benefit accruing from its results.

      This does not mean that specific strategic mega-projects (Manhattan Project, man on the moon, etc.) cannot be executed by a government, especially in periods of war (or Cold War).

      But these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

      Max

    • It must be so difficult, living under such a conspiracy.

      Can you please tell us more about your travails?

    • David Appell,

      I know you are ignoring me, so to whom is your query addressed?

      To which conspiracy are you referring, and whose travails?

      Is it really all a conspiracy against you, do you think? In that case, I would certainly follow your procedure of directing unspecified questions at unidentified persons.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Max, “Neither the bureaucrats nor the politicians have any understanding of what scientific “innovation” even means, nor do they see a direct personal benefit accruing from its results.”

      In the Queensland Public Service, “supporting innovation” was seen to mean “build new buildings for scientists.” The politicians could see the new buildings and count the numbers employed in building them. Both parties were happy. Surprisingly, innovation did not flourish.

  28. There was a guy, probably in the 70s in the JGR, with a theory that the anomolously fast growth of long wavelength sea waves was due to maser-like action. Short waves break preferentially on the crests of long waves, transferring their momentum to the long wave.

    That was innovation. He was just curious about something, and thought up the probable cause, which may as far as I know be correct.

    That was before global warming.

    • “So what?”

      That was what geophysical science used to look like.

      He had no political agenda, no aim for grants, no eye on a career path in manaagement.

      The sign of science is curiosity.

      Curiosity is absent in climate science. Why is that?

    • rhhardin,

      The really curious thing is the notion that the writing down the average of weather events is called a science by such as David Appell.

      Another curious thing is the inability of Warmists to answer questions using normal scientific terms. Like David Appell, they invent their own meanings. Cooling becomes warming, fantasy becomes reality, models supplant experiments, and so on.

      I suppose one must show some compassion to those of limited intellectual capacity.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Does this person have a name, or is that too much to ask?

    • rhhardin

      You ask:

      Curiosity is absent in climate science. Why is that?

      Like cockroaches abhor bright light, dogma and blind faith abhor curiosity – for it may lead to serious questions regarding the dogma.

      Consensus climate science as promoted by IPCC has nothing to do with the “search for truth” (about our climate system and what makes it behave as it does), but more with the “search for proof” (to support the preconceived consensus dogma).

      Max

    • @David Does this person have a name, or is that too much to ask?

      I don’t know it. I used to read the JGR and similar and remember the article. It’s a nice representive of what science used to look like.

    • This is undoubtedly it. Google is your friend.

  29. maksimovich

    I think peer review is hindering science. In fact, I think it has become a completely corrupt system. It’s corrupt in many ways, in that scientists and academics have handed over to the editors of these journals the ability to make judgment on science and scientists.

    the Monopolistic journal racketeers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/academic-publishers-murdoch-socialist

  30. David L. Hagen

    The State supporting Science to its benefit
    William Briggs probes mutual benefit of the State and Lysenkoism and Kenseyism.

    The key is that the state needs to find the science that will justify its (the state’s) existence.
    So the state creates its justifying science and, lo and behold, that very same science justifies the state . . .
    the state adopted Keynesian economics because it justified the state and the state’s profligate ways.
    Keynes was the Lysenko of the Roosevelt administration. . . .
    In the end, the Soviets finally recognized that Lysenko was a fraud, though it took a half a century.
    Here in the United States, it took us almost the same amount of time to begin to question Keynesianism. . . .
    Every state needs justification. And the justifiers are always welcomed and cheered by the state. So we should not be shocked that a false science—a science that props up the state—is embraced by the state and associated sycophants.

    Does this sound familiar?

    • Yes, it sounds familiar. It sounds just like all the other conspiracy nuts out there. Welcome to the group.

    • Appell is in full Troll-Mode. Please show some compassion and resist the urge to engage him.

    • Curious George

      David – just curious. Did you read the MBH “hockey stick” paper you like to misrepresent?

    • Bob,

      Have a bit of fun. Feed the troll. Watch him cavort. See him bounce from one lunatic assertion to another. Listen to him gibber and spout unintelligible rubbish!

      He seems to be sulking, and ignoring me. Maybe you could rattle the troll’s cage, and I could have a good laugh as he does his imitation of a human. It’s close enough to be a side-splitter!

      Trolls need love too, you know!

      Live well,and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Troll? Judith only wants a certain viewpoint in the comments, and all others aren’t welcome?

      Where is that written?

      • David Springer

        I’m pretty sure Dr. Curry doesn’t want commenters whose only goal is to irritate people to which you admitted you do happily and is deepest extent you can get with a denier. You’re just a mean little phat phuck aincha? Your disposition and sense of self worth won’t improve by trying to make others feel as low as you do.

    • David Appell,

      You wrote :

      “Troll? Judith only wants a certain viewpoint in the comments, and all others aren’t welcome?

      Where is that written?”

      I’m sure that Judith could censor your comments, with or without your permission, if she chose. The fact that she hasn’t, would lead a sane, rational person to certain conclusions that you appear to disagree with.

      What leads you to think, in spite of all obvious evidence to the contrary, that comments that don’t adhere to a certain viewpoint aren’t wanted?

      Are you stupid, blind, or just attempting to make mischief? I apologise if you are stupid or blind – no offence intended to the afflicted. If you’re just trying to be mischievous, you’re not making a good fist of it, I fear.

      Keep trying – practice makes perfect. Look at Al Gore, still hard at it, and still a long way to go on the road to nowhere.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      Ah, but Al Gore’s “road to nowhere” is paved with gold.

      (Doing well by doing good, he is.)

      Max

    • David L. Hagen

      Curious George
      Have you dug into the critiques of the MBH “hockey stick” paper?
      e.g., showing that Mann’s method obtains “hockey sticks” from red noise and how he “hid the decline”?

    • Curious George

      David L. Hagen – sorry, my fault. I meant David Appell, who wrote on March 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm “Do you not realize the hockey stick doens’t go past about 1970-1980, due to the divergence problem?”

    • David L. Hagen

      Curious George
      Did you realize that Mann et al. deleted all data past 1940?
      Have you considered why there is a “large-population failure of tree ring widths and density to track temperature”?
      See ClimateAudit Hide-the-Decline Plus

    • David L. Hagen

      David Appell
      Try studying the issue such as clearly addressed by President Vaklav Klaus in Blue Planet in Green Shakles

  31. I’ve been a strong proponent of free speech in the debate in Australia in recent years, but David Appell could lead me to a change of heart. (Perhaps I could get it done along with the hernia operation tomorrow. :-) )

  32. Mike Flynn, you are in good form today, I see.

    Ink well and be legible

    Mike Cunningham (more recently Michael)

    (The Cunningham is Scottish, the Irish forebears were Cowans and Millars. I think that there’s a story involving Goldilocks too, but I might have the numbers wrong.)

    • Robert I Ellison

      Flynn’s typical response is void of any scientific understanding and couched in a stilted formalism that substitutes garrulous spite for actual discourse. It is a lawyers adversarial idea of communication in which a display of wit – a very feeble wit in this case – is the sole objective. It further devalues the currency of knowledge and trivializes the debate – already seemingly trivial beyond repair. Nothing has any substance.

      Can’t see the problem with this Michael?

    • Faustino,

      Thanks. I have Irish Flynns, Kellys, and a mixture including English, Welsh, Cornish, Spanish, Delaware Native American and one or two others going back a few generations.

      Maybe there’s a message there somewhere, but it eludes me.

      Like you, I believe in free speech. Unfortunately, I believe in unfettered free speech, so I have to be careful what I say. Paradoxical but true.

      Good luck with your internal rearrangements. All the best.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Well Robert, count this against me if you wish, but I enjoy some of MF’s contributions, as I do with yours of a different vein. Variety.

  33. Broadly true, bit it also conflates some issues.

    The problem isn’t peer-review itself, but the journal system.
    How crazy is it that scientists do the research, act as reviewers, provide the content for the journal – all for nothing – then have to pay the publisher to access the journal. More feilds taking control of their own output and establishing their own journals/ e-journals is needed.

    And the graduate grind? More a specific US issue, but again, not quite identifing the underlying issue, which is a combination of funding pressure and commercialisation. Tenure is an in-going funding issue, which can be clawed back by increasing the need for prof’s to bring in their own $$$$, which needs grad students to churn out the work, who themselves then are coralled into narrow work areas without much hope of pursuing their own research agendas.
    The commercialisation of science means that funders are expecting ‘outcomes’ – and i don’t mean the expansion of human knowledge; patents, products, profitable ventures etc.

    Not popular here I know, but the Rabett has been banging on about this stuff for years.

  34. “Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?:

    Since these are Judith’s words I assume the ‘and’ is meant in the Boolean sense. That the question refers to the conjunction of the two actions and not each taken separately.

    Since I spent most of my career as a defence research scientist, one had to get used to working behind security barriers. To what extent did this destroy innovation? Since my earlier career had been as an airman in WW2, the knowledge that I might save other serviceman’s lives or save my country from invasion by the enemy was a more powerful force for me to innovate. Admittedly if one were working on some TOP SECRET project, your colleagues might not know about it and so peer review could not work and to that extent innovation suffered.

    Security worked bath ways. On the one band it maintained surprise against the enemy, on the other it made it difficult to acknowledge help from unexpected quarters.

    • Alexander Biggs,

      Did you ever the experience the weirdness of synchronicity related to innovation?

      Just one example which occurs to me is the work of Frank Whittle and Hans von Ohain. They independently invented the jet engine. I think the modern turbojet is based on the Whittle design, but the German one was the first to fly.

      I can think of other examples – television, photographic negatives, the incandescent light globe, and of course, the calculus.

      It seems that from time to time, things just happen, without rhyme or reason, and without having to resort to grand conspiracy theories. What was your experience?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  35. Robert I Ellison

    Climate science is big data. Thousands of floats, moored arrays, satellites, air borne sensors, supercomputers, etc. This is all government and continues a great science tradition of data collection by thousands of humble workers in the vineyards of knowledge over hundreds of years in some cases.

    On the other hand – truly new ideas are as rare as hens teeth and very unlikely to progress easily if inconsistent with entrenched ideas on either side of the climate war.

  36. Maybe it comes down to this: The rule of modern academia is to publish because you need to publish, not because there is either need or demand or desire for the material published.

  37. I’ll play devil’s advocate here from my own experience.

    The advent of cheap computing has taken much of research out of labs/universities and moved it into basements and garages.

    In the climate debate reasonable people can disagree as to whether the quality of statistical analysis being done by a retired mining executive on a home computer is better then the quality of statistical analysis being done by a Phd Department head at a major university with a mufti-million dollar grant.

    Some people thin the days when Bell labs did research for the sake of research was the pinnacle of scientific investigation.

    Of course Thomas Alva Edison did his best research in the back of a broken down rail car.

    The ‘Bell Labs’ days are gone…but maybe we have gone back to the opportunities of the ‘Edison’ days.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ harrywr2

      “In the climate debate reasonable people can disagree as to whether the quality of statistical analysis being done by a retired mining executive on a home computer is better then the quality of statistical analysis being done by a Phd Department head at a major university with a mufti-million dollar grant.”

      Well, actually, they can’t. Reasonable people will examine the data in, the statistical process that it was subjected to, and the results reported and conclude that the output of the retired mining executive using his home computer is mathematically sound while the output of the PhD Department Head who is bilking the public out of multi-millions directly and ultimately trillions indirectly, through the planet wide influence of his ‘product’, is mathematical junk whose only socially redeeming feature is that it can be cited by progressive politicians as scientific justification for their assumption of control over any activity that either produces or consumes energy.

    • Curious George

      Harry – could you please link to a climatology paper coauthored by a professional statistician?

  38. “Did you ever the experience the weirdness of synchronicity related to innovation?

    Mike Flynn: Thank you.Not with my own work. At the time I wrote the first complete 3D mathematical model of a ‘twist and steer’ missile system (1959),no one else had done so, probably because no computer was powerful enough to run it, so we had to build our own. Also the Nulka missile system.

    However one of the great developments of WW2 was the spectral theory of Norbert Wiener of MIT and at about the same time, Kolmogotoff (spelled correctly?) of Russia covered much the same ground. Like the jet engine and radar the world was waiting for those developments

    • Alexander Biggs,

      There was a Kolmogorov, a clever lad indeed. Norbert Wiener may have been cleverer for all I know. Probably a tad more wide ranging.

      The work of either one is more than capable of turning my brain to mush from time to time. I can just about cope with adding and subtracting, with a bit of simple division – I should become a climatologist.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  39. Are academia and publishing destroying scientific innovation?

    Is the Pope Catholic?

  40. Guess who wrote this :

    “I’d like to write a sci-fi book or two. I’ve been trying to do that, but frankly I can’t when I’m worried about blogging or twittering or whatever the hell else is going on. And so little of that kind of sh*t has anything to do with science, or what I’m thinking about, or with anything to do with what’s real.

    It’s just Brad Johnson or Roger Pielke Jr bloviating. Always bloviating, always looking for attention.

    And I’m trying to earn a living here too. I’m just a little freelancer who only gets paid when I produce something — and nothing when I blog. Do you have any idea what that pressure is like?”

    Somebody named David Appell. And no, I don’t have any idea what the pressure is like, since you asked.

    Is it a number indistinguishable from zero? Or a hundred percent more? Do let me know, if you can find the time.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  41. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    •  The seas continue to rise, without pause or evident limit.

    •  The oceans continue to warm, without pause or evident limit.

    •  The ice continues to melt, without pause or evident limit.

    •  The above observations are well-explained by energy-balance climate-science

    Conclusion  Climate-science is becoming settled science, in the same sense that the following are settled science: stars are suns, the universe is billions of years old, life evolves by natural selection; continents move; humans and chimps have a common ancestor, smoking causes cancer; the HIV virus causes AIDS; abstinence-training does not reduce pregnancy rates; globalized markets are neither rational, efficient, nor moral; the Tragedy of the Commons is real.

    For centuries in the post — and doubtless for centuries in the future — denialists have reacted to settled science (and doubtless will in the future react) with quibbles, cherry-picking, personal abuse, rancor, misinformation, and willful ignorance.

    Summary  Denial of climate-change science is not substantially different from innumerable past instances of science-denial.

    Corollary  Denial of climate-change science is strongly correlated with marginal mathematical skills, out-of-date computational skills, ignorance of scientific history, and ideology-driven social, religious, economic, and political beliefs.

    Corollary  Science moves on. Denialism doesn’t.

    It’s not complicated, Science 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}

    • AFOMD,

      Maybe you are right.

      Sea levels have been 6000 meters higher (figure that one out). Maybe we will get there again.

      The oceans were once boiling. Maybe we will get there again.

      The Earth was once totally ice free before the seas formed. Maybe we will get there again.

      Let me know when it happens. I might miss it.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn  proclaims [senselessly] “Let me know when it [climate-change] happens. I might miss it.”

      Selfish/short-sighted indifference to sustainment is known to be pathognomonic of impaired denialist cognition.

      That’s the scientific reason why arguing with some folks is futile, eh Climate Etc readers?

      For entirely physiological reasons, that manifest themselves in patterns of denialist cognition, some folks are incapable of appreciating the longer-term implications of climate-change.

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

    • nottawa rafter

      Science moves on. Just like alarmists at once have stated that the Great Lakes levels were dropping and Chicago was threatened by rising sea levels due to AGW. You can’t make this stuff up.
      What muddled thinking. Credibility vanishes when these theories are tossed around for effect. What is needed more than anything by warmists is a little common sense. Stand up Fan, for a little common sense.

      Is that asking too much?

    • AFOMD,

      Even when you agree with a Warmist, they still believe you’re arguing.

      Believe me, I understand. Nature’s reality is too much for you, so you have to substitute your own. I would do the same, in your situation. A tinfoil hat might help.

      You don’t need to thank me, the pleasure’s all yours.

      I can appreciate that you may not see the funny side of your posts, but believe me, from time to time I can’t repress a good laugh. Your insistence that energy-balance climate science is valid flies in the face of reality, but you’re entitled to believe whatever you want.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • So if it were to cool to -0.2c below the current Global temperature (on average) by mid to late 2015 then your explanation would be what?

    • Stephen Segrest

      For us laymen trying to understand GW, the issue of “who can you trust” is very important. Your post today reminds me of Yogi Berra’s quote — “this is like deja vu all over again”. Fpr is lay folks, the GW debate sure seems similar to the one on the “ozone hole” — with the same players! (Heartland Institute, Fred Singer). To this day, Heartland is still denying the “science”:

      http://heartland.org/policy-documents/ozone-cfc-debacle-hasty-action-shaky-science

    • Stephen Segrest

      I had typos — should read “For us lay folks”

  42. As a part time lecturer in engineering I was once asked to publish something. When asked what sort of stuff I had been up to at work I outlined some of the more intersting areas and was told that it sounded like there was at least two “LPU”‘s in it. “LPU”? I asked “least publishable unit”. The commodotised unit of peer reviewed publication which attracted a set rate of funding to the institution plus expenses for me to attend the conference and present the paper.

    “Hasso” I thought, as the Japanese would say, now I see everything. Crank the handle again and again and again and behold, a new university culture evolves, well devolves more accurately.

  43. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    I have read 3 thesis, related to climate science, containing wrong science. Is this caused by academia or publishing? I do not know.
    In general, people writting thesis are under 30 years. This seems OK if you are in a specialized field; but in a new multidisciplinary field it seems a madness. Notice that Aristotle became a wise, after remaining in Plato’s academy for almost twenty years (and the amount of knowledge available by that time was much less than at present).

  44. We are all human, and money doesn’t grow on trees.

    So however noble and pristine the fundamental notion of science is, it is still no different from any other pursuit in as far as it will inherently be made to serve the interests and desires of its paymasters.

    And where there is really only one paymaster, and that paymaster has a monumental vested interest in the science coming to one particular conclusion, the science will duly and dutifully make that conclusion.

    And call it a Consensus.

    • Gail

      +100

      The most succinct summary I’ve seen to answer the question raised by this post.

      Max

      (He who hath the gold, maketh the rules.)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Gail claims [utterly wrongly] “Where there is really only one paymaster, science will duly and dutifully make that [that paymaster's] conclusion.”

      Three wonderful words: Charles Everett Koop!

      It’s a pleasure to remind Climate Etc readers that scientific values plus personal integrity trump ideology and willful ignorance!

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

    • It’s a pleasure to remind AFOMD that facts are facts.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  45. Just as an indication of how widely this perception extends, a letter to the Times’ editor last October from the great ancient historian, Sir Fergus Millar: http://cdbu.org.uk/university-research-being-stifled-by-red-tape-letters-to-the-editor/

    “Sir, The Minister for the Universities, David Willetts, has finally grasped the most obvious fact about their evolution over the past three decades: the ever-increasing emphasis on research at the expense of teaching (report, Oct 21). What he has not grasped, however, is that this extremely damaging change, which has serious social and economic implications, has been entirely driven by government policies. These include the removal of tenure, so that individuals are faced with toeing whatever the current line is or losing their jobs. [...]
    In consequence, in the modern British university, it is not that funding is sought in order to carry out research, but that research projects are formulated in order to get funding. I am not joking when I say that a physics lecturer called Einstein, who just thought about the Universe, would risk being sacked because he brought in no grants.

    One university was recently reported as intending to close its music department because its research income was insufficient. Others give a whole term’s leave for putting together an application for a research grant. So much for the education, or the wider culture, of students.
    [...]
    The present system is profoundly damaging, not only to teaching but to research itself.”

  46. Chris Quayle

    Not directly involved with the science establishment, more industry, but this is an issue that has been nagging at me for some time. Coincidentally involved in a discussion recently, where I argued that the journal system for publishing science was a very narrow band and biased filter, well past sell by date and that a more open and distributed model could get better and more timely results. Short extract::

    “Contrast that with the journal system for science, which is inflexible, protective of the establishment, incestuous, inward looking and inextricably tied by funding issues, the need for the journals to make a profit etc. It may sort of work, but we should be able to do better in the internet age.”

    I got one critical reply suggesting I obviously knew nothing, but no constructive dialog at all :-).

    I don’t have figures for it, but suspect that the independent maverick, perhaps talented amateur has made very significant contributions to science. The present system has morphed to such a degree that such people would never gain traction for their ideas now.

    Anyway, great article. The fact that it’s starting to be openly discussed means that there will eventually be enough critical mass to bring about change…

    • “inward looking and inextricably tied by funding issues”

      Just about says it all in this field.

  47. Chris Quayle

    Seems that there is quite a bit of open science out there already. If you haven’t seen these already:

    http://openscience.com/

    http://www.openscience.org

    Early days, but as the song said: “A rustling in the hedgerows”…

    • Yes, and no. The journals have us by the short and curlies; we have to make a declaration that our data has not been presented anywhere before and sign over copyright to our work.
      So if we use any venue to publish our work, we cannot use it anywhere else. Our promotions and grants depend on publications, and many reviewers are interested only in the ‘Impact Factor’ of the journals we publish in. In a specialist area, that isn’t ‘sexy’ at the time, you have a IF of 2-3.

    • Chris Quayle

      DocMartyn:

      I wasn’t aware that it was that bad, signing over copyright to your own work just to get it published ?. Shameful. It’s really all about the money and control, since who who controls the flow of information controls the agenda. A cartel by any other name, upheld by the journals, academia and industry. It’s very bad for science, freedom of speech and the raw pursuit of knowledge.

      That triumvirate must be broken to progress, but how you go about doing that without, ie: mass boycott of the journals or similar, I don’t know…

  48. It’s amazing to think academics still seem to be getting a good chuckle about, THE NATURE ‘TRICK’ TO ‘HIDE THE DECLINE’ IN TEMPERATURES.

    The foi2009.pdf, CRUgate disclosures pretty much outs the psychology of the global warming alarmists: deny, deny, deny.

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    That academia continues to provide cover for the fraud and corruption of Western climate pseudoscience is evidence that the entire government-education complex is in serious need of downsizing.

    • Wag, Australia’s leading non-Murdoch newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, completely disagrees with you, telling us that the Abbott government’s efforts to reign in our huge ALP-created fiscal deficit will (approx) destroy civil society. My response:

      “As a former economic policy adviser to bodies headed by the prime ministers of the UK and Australia and to State premiers, I have been “fretting about the state of the nation” for some time, particularly after the ascension of my old boss Kevin Rudd. My extensive experience within government led me to strongly support a reduction in the size and scope of government long before the disasters of 2007-2013. The horrific fiscal situation bequeathed by Labor made that goal urgent and imperative.

      “The enormous gains in human well-being since the Industrial Revolution, and particularly over the last 70 years, have been driven by free markets, free trade and capitalist enterprise, not by government. Far from being uncivil, that depends on strong property rights, the rule of law, respect for customers and the self-reliance and initiative of individuals which has been so eroded by ALP policies.”

      • The ALP should have to admit that your bias — i.e., being in favor of individual liberty, personal responsibility and an economy that rewards success — is a proven approach to providing the highest standard of living for all.

        “The best we can do– the best science can do– is make sure that at least, we get to choose among competing biases.” ~Dr. Peter Watts

    • Faustino,

      Excellent letter. And it’s really great to have someone with such high level policy and economic competence and experience contributing to Climate Etc.As Beth the serf suggested,

      Surely, nearly everyone should appreciate and welcome your contributions.

    • Peter, thanks for the commendation, but don’t over-egg the pudding. I’m well aware that my capacity has severely declined since I left work seriously ill 12 years ago, and I can’t undertake the extensive reading of complex, serious material that many posters here do. So I’m drawing on my experience, but not significantly expanding my resource base; unlike when I was in work, and stayed on top of developments in economics and to an extent other fields, including CAGW.

    • Faustino,

      Wisdom is society’s real wealth. I think Climate Etc is very lucky to have you contributing here. There are few others with your level of experience in policy and economics participating on this blog site, or on most climate interested blog sites. So, those with little knowledge or experience in policy and economics are advocating and arguing about policies, but really they are floundering in the dark.

      And the young people don’t understand the value of experience.

  49. Judith, the issues raised by this post are deep and troubling. They involve the further institutionalization of what Kuhn called ‘normal science’. The growing institutional ‘suppression’ of anomalies (which then cannot accumulate into a ‘paradigm shift’) is a root problem. Supressed because such research increasingly cannot get funded or published.

    There are, however, some possible developments that offer partial hope. One is the Internet and blogs like yours. Alternative channels of scientific communication, with the severest possible imaginable scrutiny–even if much of that is inexpert chaff. Critique of Marcott here last year is an example. What is needed are filtering mechanisms, and dissemination mechanisms so that those ideas and criticisms become part of the academic development process. Google page ranks. Surely those sorts of algorithms can be developed to “truth rank” or ” impact rank” stuff. McIntyres Climate Audit and many comments there would score highly were such an algorithm to be developed and tested by some consortia of research universities or gov labs.
    The second avenue is equivalent to what Google used to do, HP used to do, and what I used to arrange at Motorola. A certain percentage ( 10 or 20, not more) of research time/money was ‘off program’ to be spent as the researchers liked on ‘fliers’. They could ‘pool’ for bigger projects. Lockheed Skunkworks still works this way to an extent. Mechanisms to free up inquiry on the margin. For good ideas, a little can go a long way before instutionalization needs to happen. The government wastes more money on paper clips and Medicare fraud (today’s news) than it could ever lose by cutting some research slack.

    • Chris Quayle

      Rud Istvan:

      Digital CSS in Reading (UK) had a similar system in the 1980’s. The idea was that if you had a good idea and could convince others, then you could get funding to develop it to proof of concept stage and beyond. They also had several labs across the world doing not much more than fundamental research into a variety of fields. Other companies, such as the old HP (not the modern box shipping HP), had a similar culture of innovation, pursuit of excellence and development of leading edge tech that made them one of the most respected tech companies in the world. Same with others like Tektronix and Fluke. Thinking electronic test gear here, though HP were also big in life sciences and other fields.

      What’s sad is that it seems that industry is far better at encouraging innovation than academia, when you might expect just the opposite…

    • Rud Istvan

      You mention the “skunks works” approach to fostering innovation.

      It has worked well out side the electronics industry – even in “stodgy” industries like the chemical industry. As I mention in an upthread comment, DuPont had such a basic research group for many years: out of it came several basic new products, such as Nylon.

      Max

  50. Steven Mosher

    Is there any evidence whatsoever that there is a decline in innovation?
    Innovation is a persistent feature of human cognition, but does it increase and decrease over time? Hmm. Long ago, when looking at novelty and innovation in textual productions I asked how does one measure innovation? The answer , I thought, was in Claude Shannon. (information entropy as a measure of novelty and innovation ). The methodology is documented in an unfinished Phd. The time to finish it might be now. Way back then, it was too crazy, and people looked at me like I was from Mars. Too “mathy” for English Lit.

    When you innovate your results are initially indistinguishable from error. Fostering innovation is easy. Be tolerant of failure.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher reminds us “When you innovate your results are initially indistinguishable from error. Fostering innovation is easy. Be tolerant of failure.”

      As the great mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck famously said:
      Craindre l’erreur et craindre la vérité est une seule et même chose.

      (“To be afraid of error and to be afraid of truth is one and the same thing”).

      To borrow from the immortal Calvin and Hobbes: “Well, you know Grothendieck’s errors? Well mine are even *BIGGER*!”

      \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}

    • Obama has pledged $1 billion for the fight against Global Climate Warming C02 Monster, etc….
      Just what do you think that money will purchase, surely not honesty?
      I can also be tolerant of failure, but so far the AGW crowd has not failed once, just ask them.

    • Curious George

      Steven – an excellent point. One question, though – did your spell checker object against the word “mathy”? I suggest “messy”.

    • Steve, I think both size, density and energy usage are good indicators of innovation in almost all areas.

    • Steve Mosher, you may be interested in a book called The Clockwork Muse by Colin Martindale that actually tried to measure artistic novelty in English poetry, Greek vase paintings, and some other areas and fit a loosely theoretically derived set of curves to the data. I think it was a bit too data-miney to be 100% credible, but the whole approach was really quite interesting, including developing reliable methods to measure the logical/rational versus associaitonal/emotional aspects of art works.

    • Hey, Steven, something in common! In my first spell in non-metropolitan Queensland (1979-85), my wife would often say that, in response to something I said, people “looked at me as if I were a Martian.”

      Since early childhood, people have always seen me as “different.” As, I suspect with you, those open to ideas, concepts, humour and alternative ways of being appreciated the difference, the closed and parochial didn’t. I shared with two CE posters a story in which a rugby opponent yelled, “Oi! That big daft one’s got the ball!”

      I continue to wear that name with pride; and, more than 50 years on, there are many who think that it is still appropriate.

    • I meant to link the above to the topic: that capacity to be different, to think outside the box, to explore beyond the orthodox, is surely core to much innovation, and seems to be suppressed by movements in government and academia in recent years. I have argued many times over many years for policies which fostered competition, entrepreneurship and innovation rather than those which seek to sustain a moribund status quo. In Queensland in 1998, the ALP won a landslide election on a denial-of-change platform, at a time when the need for change seemed to me to be obvious. The main change which ensued was faster growth of incomes and employment in the QPS than in the wealth-creating sectors, supplemented by major loss-making projects and un-needed infrastructure (most of which I had demonstrated could never be viable). The anti-innovation forces should not be underestimated.

    • Mosher,

      Is there any evidence whatsoever that there is a decline in innovation?

      YES!

      Here’s one. The world’s rate of growth in energy use has slowed. That is a sign that the rate of innovation has slowed.

      We haven’t been to the Moon since 1972. We haven’t been to Mars. The interest in space exploration has slowed.

      We’ve turned back to religious like beliefs – and doomsayers and eco-religion.

      We’re wasting our research resources on silly nanny state and anti-progress activities like renewable energy – a crazy waste of money.

      Each major step up in human development has been driven by an increase in energy density. From the 1960s through the 1980’s we were accelerating in development and deployment of nuclear fission energy. By 1986, nuclear energy was supplying 16% of the world’s electricity. Now it’s fallen back to 12%. That’s a sure sign that the rate of progress has stalled.

      Most of the engines we use today to power our society were invented over a period of about 60 years between 1872 and 1932. Little innovation in engines since then.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang claims [insanely] “The world’s rate of growth in energy use has slowed. That is a sign that the rate of innovation has slowed.”

      LOL … yeah! Cars are achieving ever-better fuel efficiency! THAT’S STUPID, eh 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}

    • Long ago, when looking at novelty and innovation in textual productions I asked how does one measure innovation? The answer , I thought, was in Claude Shannon. (information entropy as a measure of novelty and innovation ). The methodology is documented in an unfinished Phd. The time to finish it might be now. Way back then, it was too crazy, and people looked at me like I was from Mars.

      Fascinating. Not crazy, just hopeless, makes looking for the signal in Climate Science look easy, needs a certain A.I. je ne sais quoi.

  51. To the extent that 1850 was the end of the coolest time period in 10,000 years is it a surprise that we have had 165 years of warming?
    We are in a brief warm period in between glacial cooling periods. Nothing man has done is going to change the incoming 100,000 years of mile high ice over Chicago.

    • Steven Mosher

      “To the extent that 1850 was the end of the coolest time period in 10,000 years is it a surprise that we have had 165 years of warming?”

      nature doesnt know about surprise. surprise is a function of the human cognitive system. What you might find surprising, I might find normal.

      The facts are: the history of climate displays changes: up, down, sideways.
      Scientists seek to understand, explain, and ultimately predict these changes. Next, what caused changes in the past is less knowable than what causes changes today. We might not ever fully understand or explain the past because the past is only presented to us as a present trace. The current climate change and future climate change is more knowable. First because we have better observations and second because we can make predictions, test them and refine, replace, enhance, develop a better understanding. In 1896 we predicted that adding C02 would warm the planet. That prediction was correct. Was it perfect? nope. are predictions today perfect? nope. will we discover more, understand more, predict better? probably. Will we ever discover that C02 doesnt cause warming?
      not unless the laws of physics change

    • Jim Cripwell

      Steven, you write “In 1896 we predicted that adding C02 would warm the planet. That prediction was correct.”

      Not quite. It is true that the planet has warmed since 1896, but it has not been proven that this warming was caused by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. There is correlation, but correlation is not causation. There are all sorts of reasons why the adding of CO2 to the atmosphere could have had a negligible effect on temperatures, and virtually the whole of the observed rise was caused by something other than additional CO2.

    • Steven Mosher

      Maybe. But we may well discover that the warming, which CO2 does actually cause in our climate system, is very small, I.e. next to imperceptible.

      Jury’s still out on that one, Mosh.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      manaker.
      there is no evidence that it is imperceptible or even close to it.
      from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling.

      Then comes arguments about feedbacks.

      There is scant evidence for net negative feedbacks and those arguments that do exist ( Lindzen, spenser, etc) are extremely weak and no where large enough to net to zero.

      so, while you may have a bare logical possibility that monkeys may fly out of your butt, we have no reasonable expectation that they will

    • Steven Mosher

      “Not quite. It is true that the planet has warmed since 1896, but it has not been proven that this warming was caused by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. ”

      There is NO PROOF in science. There is theory

      A) C02 is known to retard the re radiation of LWIR to space.
      B) Thermodynamics dictates that the surface will warm as a result.

      Then There is hypothesis: If we increase C02, the temperature will eventually go up.

      Then There is test: c02 is up since 1896, temperature is up.

      Then there is CONFIRMATION or DISCONFIRMATION.

      This EVIDENCE CONFIRMS the theory. It does not disconfirm the theory, it confirms it.

      There is no proof. if A, then B. A, therefore B. That is proof. there is proof in math and proof in logic. In all other human understanding, for example science, there is no proof. It could always be something else.

      Cripwell: “it could have been something else”

      Yes, it could have been unicorns.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Steven, you write “from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling.”

      You cannot “fix” the increase at around anything. There is a hypothetical estimation, based on highly dubious assumptions, for the value of 1.2 C. This number can NEVER be measured, so it will always remain purely hypothetical.

      You also write “This EVIDENCE CONFIRMS the theory.”

      It does not confirm the theory. It could have been a lucky guess. One instance of a prediction being correct does not confirm anything. There needs to be many predictions, each one of which is correct, which must happen, and the number of predictions has to be high enough that chance is unlikely.

    • Mosher, “There is scant evidence for net negative feedbacks and those arguments that do exist ( Lindzen, spenser, etc) are extremely weak and no where large enough to net to zero.”

      They don’t net to zero but they are hardly weak. Latent and cloud feebacks are just difficult to isolate with only a few Wm-2 of forcing.

    • Steven Mosher said:

      ” from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling. ”

      The “first principles” with which that number is obtained are not all the first principles that govern all aspects Earth’s climate systems; not even all the dominant aspects. They are instead a tiny sub-set that are additionally highly idealized relative to fidelity to the physical domains of Earth’s climate systems.

    • “c02 is up since 1896, temperature is up”

      Wow. Why do any more climate science when you have comprehensive information like this? I’m thinkin Nobel prize. How long did it take you to assemble all this, Steven Mosher? At least 10 minutes, if not longer, I’d guess, based on the vastness of what is presented here.

      Andrew

    • nottawa rafter

      Mosher
      I would love to see that test tube big enough to contain Mother Earth and impervious to outside agents so you are able to control for all possible (known & unknown) intervening variables. Until you can do that, the best you can do is correlation. Until the end of time.

    • Steven Mosher says:

      “Then There is hypothesis: If we increase C02, the temperature will eventually go up.

      Then There is test: c02 is up since 1896, temperature is up.”

      Very good.

      Here are a couple more hypothesis which are also consistent with the data:

      Hypothesis: If the sun is more active the temperature will eventually go up.

      The test: Temperature is up during the 20th century.

      I think this correlation is also correct. I wonder what its interaction is with the CO2 correlation? I don’t know.

      Hypothesis: Decreased solar magnetic field over last 100 years allows more clouds to form lower in atmosphere – which traps more heat.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years.

      I think this correlation is also correct. I wonder what its interaction is with the CO2 correlation? I don’t know.

      Hypothesis: Increased carbon black emissions over last 100 years increase albedo, causing more heat to be absorbed.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years.

      I think this correlation is also correct. I wonder what its interaction is with the CO2 correlation? I don’t know.

      Hypothesis: Land use changes over the last 100 years cause more heat to be absorbed.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years.

      I think this correlation is also correct. I wonder what its interaction is with the CO2 correlation? I don’t know.

      I think it is more complex than you are making it out to be Steven.

    • Steven Mosher

      “First principles” = hypothetical deliberations using models based on theoretical physics.

      So even the 1 to 1.2C figure for 2xCO2 ECS with no feedbacks could well be off.

      But the largest source of error in the hypothetical calculations are the feedbacks. Even IPCC agree in AR4 that it has no real notion about whether clouds exert a strongly positive or negative feedback. But in estimating the 2xCO2 ECS value it ASS-U-MEd that it was strongly positive. Subsequently Spencer and Braswell showed it was strongly negative over the tropics. Who’s right?

      And then there’s the nagging question whether or not clouds are acting as a separate forcing, completely independent of warming caused by AGW.

      Water feedback looks like a no brainer using your “first principles” (Clausius-Clapeyron). But Minschwaner & Dessler showed it was only a small fraction of the theoretical value over the tropics. So the strongly positive feedback ASS-U-MEd by IPCC might only be a slightly positive feedback. And then there are the long-term NOAA observations from radiosondes, which show that specific humidity (i.e. water vapor content itself) decreased in the troposphere with increased temperature. Again, who’s right?

      So the net overall feedback could be zero, which would put us at the theoretical value of 1 to 1.2, derived from “first principles”.

      Based on all the stuff out there (especially the many recent studies that are at least partially observation-based), I would personally conclude (for now, until some actual empirical data come along which would falsify this) that the 2xCO2 TCR is around 1.35C and the ECS is around 1.8C.

      What’s your guess, Mosh?

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      No manaker. Like willis you are not even wrong

    • Steven Mosher

      But if you guys want to start with a simple first order calculation
      start here

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/a-simple-analysis-of-equilibrium-climate-sensitivity/

      You will note that Willis and others skipped the discussion.

      Now is this derivation the last word? Of course not. Is it logic? pure math?
      Of course not. It is a derivation from first principles with, of course, assumptions.
      Can we do derivations without assumptions? Nope. There is no such epistemic ground.

      There are other approaches, some will get you slightly lower figures, 1 C or 1.2 But the point is the same.

      Use your google fu and stop being lazy. or read the literature start here

      http://www.dgf.uchile.cl/~ronda/GF3004/helandsod00.pdf

      These are not the only ones. You just have to look.. You’ll find that these approaches will get you in the ballpark of 1.2-1.5ish

    • Steven Mosher

      RickA

      “Hypothesis: If the sun is more active the temperature will eventually go up.

      The test: Temperature is up during the 20th century.

      Problem. TSI has no secular trend. It hasnt gone up.
      ###########################################

      Hypothesis: Decreased solar magnetic field over last 100 years allows more clouds to form lower in atmosphere – which traps more heat.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years.

      Problem. The feild has no secular trend. AND There is no correlation
      between GCR and low clouds AND low clouds have the opposite effect

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

      Hypothesis: Increased carbon black emissions over last 100 years increase albedo, causing more heat to be absorbed.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years.

      Problem: You have no observations to support what you say, and the observations we have suggest the opposite

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

      Hypothesis: Land use changes over the last 100 years cause more heat to be absorbed.

      The test: Temperature is up over the last 100 years

      This we can actually measure. The amount is small.

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

      I think it is more complex than you are making it out to be Steven.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Steven Mosher, you write “But if you guys want to start with a simple first order calculation start here”, and you provide a reference.

      This is the problem. As I understand the physics, there is a basic assumption in the estimations done in the reference, that the surface of the earth responds to the extra forcing, by increasing temperature until there is more radiative energy being transferred to the TOA. In other words, a la Andy Lacis, we only look at radiation.This seems to me to be simply untrue. The response of the atmosphere to the increased forcing will be to use all ways of getting energy to the TOA to restore the energy balance. Thus it will not be radiation alone, but also conduction, convection and the latent heat of water. Until the latter three ways of transmitting energy are included, then the estimated 1.2 C rise is meaningless.

      This is a huge and complicated issue, which deserves a much greater discussion than I can give in a short blog answer.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Maybe I can make my objections a little clearer and simpler. There is nothing wrong with the estimations in your reference, Steven. But this reference has an underlying assumption, that is not specifically stated. The problem can be addressed in many ways, but the simplest idea is that it is assumed that when more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the lapse rate does not change.

      I challenge the assumption that the lapse rate stays constant, as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere..

    • In defence of Steven’s statement”
      “from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling”

      One might observe this follows from the first thing one learns in physics classes, dimensional analysis, e.g.

      1.2 = (3.7/240)*80

      3.7 = W/m2 (flux change for doubling)
      240 = W/m2 (flux)
      80 = delta T (tropospheric temperature differential)

      Coincidence? Perhaps, but a hint about the unfamiliar realm of thermal dissipation (where one might discover a numerical factor of order 2 lurking in a no-feedback approximation). But we’re far off-topic …

      Q

    • “from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling.”

      And from first priciples, we can fix the lapse rate at 10C/km. Basic physics, innit? Can’t deny it, can ya? How’s that looking compared to reality, hmm? Oh dear – only 50% larger than measured reality. Still a bit of refining to do on that, huh?

      What? Latent heat? Water vapour reduces it? A GHG reducing the surface temp? Who woulda guessed?

    • Steven Mosher

      Thanks for response.

      I agree with you that I’m not even wrong.

      2xCO2 ECS of somewhere around1.8C is beginning to look like a good guess, with TCR at around 1.3C.

      But it is still a guess.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      The blurb you cited lists some weaknesses in the logical approach used.

      This one seems the largest to me:

      A third weakness is that the Earth’s albedo is implicitly assumed to be constant with different levels of forcing, which may not be accurate. If warming temperatures significantly increase atmospheric moisture (mostly due to higher ocean evaporation rates), then it is reasonable to expect convective clouds and average albedo to increase with forcing… a negative feedback. Which would mean the above analysis could overstate the overall sensitivity.

      It is not only the outgoing LW radiation that drives the temperature; just as important are the changes in albedo and reflection of incoming SW radiation, for example by clouds.

      IPCC conceded that clouds were “the largest source of uncertainty”, yet ASS-U-MEd that net cloud feedback was strongly positive, in order to reach its 3C ECS estimate.

      Cloud feedback is ASS-U-MEd to contribute 1.3C to the 3.2C estimate for 2xCO2 ECS in AR4.

      So if cloud feedback were zero, 2xCO2 ECS would be 1.9C.

      …in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity…of roughly 1.9C

      [IPPC AR4, Ch.8, p.633]

      If cloud feedback were negative (as Spencer and Braswell showed over the tropics subsequent to the AR4 report) 2xCO2 ECS would be between 1.0 and 1.8C.

      The jury is still out on 2xCO2 ECS and TCR. The several recent partly observation-based studies point to a value of around 1.8C. But even this may still be on the high side, Mosh.

      It’s all about “uncertainty”.

      Max

  52. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Peter Lang is frothing mad! “Academia have been taken over by the Left. The Left are into politically correct at the expense of everything, including innovation. They are anti-progress unless it is what they call progress – i.e. their brand of social engineering. […] The Left are blocking progress and the Left have taken over academia.”

    LOL  here’s proof that your remarkable scientist==leftie conspiracy-theory is correct, Peter Lang!

    Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense,
    Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

    The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has officially declared that homeopathic remedies are useless for human health.

    The council has produced a 300-page draft report that reviews the evidence for homoeopathy in treating 68 clinical conditions.

    It concludes ‘there is no reliable evidence that homoeopathy is effective for treating health conditions’.

    Government panels? Scientific consensus? Huge reports? Thousands of article-citations?

    This can only mean one thing, eh Peter Lang?

    The ‘medical consensus’ is wrong and Homeopathy *IS* scientifically VALID!

    The leftie-doctors are just trying to protect their cushy “vaccine” scam … and their cushy “antibiotic” scam!!

    Homeopathy==AGW denialism?

    FOMD reports, *YOU* decide!

    \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}

    • Decided… global warming is the new cholesterol.

    • blueice2hotsea

      1) My friends in the homeopathic community tended to be lefties who also enjoyed attending psychic fairs. (Past tense because I’ve lost contact with many of my older leftie friends.)

      2) Overall, doctors regardless of practice type preferred Romney 53%-33% for Obama.

    • The whole point of medicine is to treat the patient. Before I began working in the medical field, I thought homeopathy stupid and was astonished that it was funded by the NHS. However, homeopathy works really well on some patients, especially for chronic pain and the side-effects of chemo.
      It is low cost, patients talk to a medic and they feel better. What works works.

    • DocMartyn,

      I lifted this from Harvard Medical School.

      “The study’s results shocked the investigators themselves: even patients who knew they were taking placebos described real improvement, reporting twice as much symptom relief as the no-treatment group. That’s a difference so significant, says Kaptchuk, it’s comparable to the improvement seen in trials for the best real IBS drugs.”

      It tends to indicate that not a lot is known about the way the body responds to various.

      Other research shows various side effects from placebos, even when the patients were told they were ingesting placebos containing no active ingredients.

      So what side effects should a doctor warn the patients about when using placebos for treatment? Every possible side effect associated with every drug? None, given the lack of active ingredients in placebos? Some, based on expectations?

      Homeopathy? If it works, it works. Acupuncture? If it works it works. Slapping dead fish together while intoning a sacred Manntra? If it works it works.

      I’d rather be happy than miserable. Who wouldn’t?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Legitimate studies which establish the efficacy of homeopathy:

      1) reaffirm the placebo effect

      2) suggest that negative side effects of medication outweigh benefits for certain conditions,

      Note: due to the nature of homeopathy, it is unlikely that even a single atom of “medicine” is present in an administered solution.

    • Thing is blue, if you have a patient on chemo, throwing up ten times a day and with pain in the finger and toes, then you say, ‘often people get relief with homeopathy'; then they take it and throw up less and feel better, have you acted in the best interests of the patient?
      I would say yes.
      We treated angina for 70+ years using nitroglycerin before we knew the NO pathway, so we were working with ‘magic’ until the mid-80’s.
      Only three things are important in medicine, the patient, the patient and the patient.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn observes [correctly] “Only three things are important in  medicine, the patient, the patient and the patient  politics, the voter, the voter, and the voter.

      LOL … “Many distressed people experience significant relief by embracing  non-scientific homeopathy  non-rational libertarianism and denialism!”

      Ain’t it th’ truth, 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}

    • AFOMD,

      I’m not sure what your point is.

      Government panels? Scientific consensus? Huge reports? Thousands of article-citations? Does any of this prove that the Earth is warming due to CO2 in the atmosphere?

      Not at all. The facts refuse to comply with your bizarre theories.

      It doesn’t matter whether you believe something is scientifically valid or not. Phlogiston, the luminiferous aether, the indivisibility of the atom, global warming – all examples of scientific consensus. Must be valid, surely!

      You are free to believe any nonsensical notion that tickles your fancy. If it makes you happy to accept fantasy as reality, good for you!

      As a matter of fact, it appears that some influenza treatments which gullible governments paid billions of dollars for, may not be as useful as all the research, reports, citations, and consensus indicated.

      But hey, it’s only research published in journals like the British Medical Journal which says so. Here’s a quote :

      “On reviewing the benefits of Tamiflu, the researchers found that the drug led to faster relief of flu symptoms by only half a day (from 7 days to 6.3 days), compared with a placebo drug.

      Tamiflu did not reduce hospitalizations or complications from serious influenza – such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis or ear infection – in adults or children.

      The researchers found that the drug increased nausea and vomiting in adults and children by 4% and 5%, respectively. When Tamiflu was used for prevention of influenza, there was a 1% increase in risk of psychiatric events. These effects were not reported in the initial clinical trial publications.

      Furthermore, the team found that Tamiflu stopped some people from producing enough of their own antibodies to fight flu infection.”

      Still certain that all that the previous scientific consensus about Tamiflu was justified? Those stingy American taxpayers might regret having believed what the scientists told them. What do you think?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      posts “[typical denialist cherry-picking]“

      Why not think again, Mike Flynn?

      • Year-by-year, medical/scientific progress is uncertain (even retrograde).
      • Decade-by-decade, medical/scientific progress is appreciable.
      • Generation-by-generation, medical/scientific progress is transformational.

      So be patient, Mike Flynn!

      Both medical science and climate science are advancing “without pause or evident limit.”

      Denialist libertarianism and willfully ignorant faux-conservatism, not so much, eh?

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

    • blueice2hotsea

      DocMartyn –

      Yes. It is about patient healing. I am not criticizing self-healing vs. assisted-healing.

      And the angina story, as I recall, for a time the best known ‘cure’ was to open up the patient, nick the pericardium, then close backup. Placebo cure? Or perhaps fewer complaints for other reasons.

  53. There’s an interesting ongoing debate regarding confirmation bias, including posts by Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman. This NRO post has links to some of the entries in this hilarious example of confirmation bias, in the debate on confirmation bias.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/375386/confirmation-bias-and-its-limits-yuval-levin#comments

    • How dare you use the common or garden address ‘Paul Krugman':

      its Paul ‘ENRON’ Krugman

    • “Essential reading material”

      I just read the Amazon reviews. Very small sample size, yet enough for me.

      “statements resemble Wittgenstein” “subjectivist fog” “deconstructs logic. Logic as he describes it is merely one more institution attempting normatively and redundantly to stabilize patterns of response” “The world is radically unstable”

      The cure for academia is not here. Perhaps it illustrates its failings?

  54. Is really any wonder an insider at CRU decided to blow the whistle on the global warming alarmists? The whistleblower obviously did not feel he was working with real scientists. As MoB observed back in 2009 when talking about the corruption at CRU and it’s ‘hide the decline’ global warming pseudoscience:

    No true or honest scientist would apply an undeclared, undisclosed fudge-factor (which the Climate Research Unit’s programmer actually called a “fudge-factor”) so as artificially to generate the “politically-correct” – but scientifically baseless – result.

    • I agree, Wagathon, “No true or honest scientist would apply an undeclared, undisclosed fudge-factor, but that was the best way to assure future funding for the research project.

  55. Perhaps because of his experience under USSR domination, the Czech President recognized the seriousness of government deception in 2007 [1].

    As the public awakens to this, it may be difficult to avoid angry retaliation and even further damage to society.

    1. Vaclav Klaus, Blue Planet in Green Shackles (Competitive Enterprise Institute, first edition, 2007) 100 pages, http://tinyurl.com/5z4j

  56. I certainly agree for starters that if you are a young scientist working your way up, you are simply an apprentice that must keep your views to yourself if they are in any way heterodox. And I also agree that by and large, funding institutions are unlikely, today anyway, to fund anything very off beat. Agreed.

    Yet he article Judith put before us puzzles me a bit. We are in an age of incredible discovery, much of it “big science.” Astrophysics and astronomy; biology and the genome (now allowing us to determine when species split based only on rate of change of parts of the genome); nanotechnology; everything connected, for good and ill, with the internet; medical advances; and more. These gains stem not from brilliant individual discoveries in a lab, but rather from massive application of technology and money.

    What isn’t happening is to have brilliant or at least very smart people just given a lab and money, and come back when you have something. So we are losing something, we are certainly losing a spirit of inquiry at the lower levels of science (see first paragraph). What I am having trouble thinking through is how to view that loss in the context of today’s gains from “big science.”

    It is bad to lose individual creativity, even with the huge scientific gains we are seeing How do we get such creativity back today? Or are we now into a different world, never to return to the ways that produced Nobel winners in the past?

    • Jim Cripwell

      John you write “you are simply an apprentice that must keep your views to yourself if they are in any way heterodox.”

      Things must have changed in 65+ years. The first job I had was in a small research facility. My boss said to the three of us juniors “Your job here is to have ideas. I don’t mind how many bad ideas you have, just as long as occasionally you have a good idea”.

  57. Kevin Trenberth

    The strength of the IPCC report is that it is a consensus report. Far from being a ‘gross exaggeration’ as claimed by Gray, the IPCC report is really solid and conservative.

    Wm Gray

    Kevin Trenberth has been a long-term major player in the IPCC process, and it is to be expected that he views his and his many IPCC colleagues efforts in this way. But there are thousands of experienced climate and meteorology experts who, for very solid reasons, see it otherwise. In science, the majority or the consensus can be and is often wrong. In addition to which, much of the uncertainty included in the actual IPCC report is removed in the Summary for Policymakers (SPMs). Very few individuals (and especially politicians) ever read material beyond the SPM.

    (See, The Global Warming Debate Continues, 10/22/2009)

  58. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A Golden Era of Nobel Laureates

    The award of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Robert Lefkowitz brings to nine the number of Nobel laureates who trained in research at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) between 1964 and 1972—a remarkable outpouring over such a short period from a single biomedical institution.

    Other NIH Laureates: Marshall Nirenberg (1968), Julius Axelrod (1970), Christian Anfinsen (1972), D. Carlton Gajdusek (1976), and Martin Rodbell (1994), Michael S. Brown (1985), Joseph L. Goldstein (1989), J. Michael Bishop (1989), Harold E. Varmus (1989), Alfred G. Gilman (1994), Stanley B. Prusiner (1987), Ferid Murad (1998), Richard Axel (2004), Robert J. Lefkowitz (2012)

    Do you work at the NIH? Are you a Nobel Prize contender? If not, what’s your excuse?

    Note too the accompanying faculty recruitment advertisement!

    Recruitment of Principal Investigators for the Newly Funded Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

    The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Shenzhen University, China is a newly established institution, consisting both undergraduate and postgraduate education and emphasizing on interdisciplinary teaching and research. The institute is a special academic zone inside the university but its operations and managements will follow the established rules and procedures used in most of the institutions in the world, independent of the current system in the university. The Institution is now recruiting its senior and junior principal investigators worldwide until all the following positions are filled.

    New Positions at Shenzhen University

    • 4-8 tenured or tenure-tracked full professors;
    • 6-12 tenure-tracked associate professors;
    • 20-30 tenure-tracked assistant professors

    Applied Mathematics: Risk Management, Statistics, Computational Mathematics, Financial Mathematics etc., Physics: Material Physics, Soft-Matter Physics, Physical Biology etc.;, Chemistry: Material Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Micromolecular Chemistry etc.;, Biology: Marine Biology, BioMedicine etc.Where is the comparable research vigor in the west?

    Nowadays that vigor exists in the mathematical disciplines, e.g., The Simons Institute: Algorithms and Complexity in Algebraic Geometry.

    Are future Nobelists already attending the Simons Foundation workshops? That’s a safe bet!

    Conclusion It is very plausibly true (as Clay Shirkey says) “the old Golden Era of Science is over and it’s not coming back.” Which only means that the NEW Golden Era of Science ALREADY is underway—a Golden Era that is economically globalized, intellectually universalized, and mathematically naturalized!

    \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}

    • Chris Quayle

      China seems to be the new rising star, financed by the west buying manufactured goods.

      We just aren’t hungry enough in the west anymore and it’s yet another example of the decline and fall. Fat, lazy, self satisfied and arrogant; you see it everywhere…

  59. Talk about innovation, I believe the Left has finally figured out a way to turn a successful US economy into a Eurocommunist community begging for Russian fuel. And to think it all started with blaming Bush.

    • “Blaming Bush” – hehehehe. Just yesterday, I heard Obama do it again. I guess he has done nothing in 5 years – because it is all Boosh’s fault.

  60. AGW explains the 0.7 C temperature rise since 1950 in terms of aerosols and CO2/GHGs with a central sensitivity estimate. This success is met by skeptics who say this is purely coincidence and there must be another major positive impact from an unknown natural variability factor over the past 60 years because they postulate that the CO2 effect is weak. They have the harder ground to defend, and it is no wonder the consensus is on the more complete explanation at this point, rather than invoking some unknown. Until the skeptics find a plausible natural cause for over 0.4 C warming in 60 years, they have nothing in terms of evidence for their weak-CO2 postulate, and should not complain about mainstream scientists sticking to the only obvious quantitative explanation.

    • Robert I Ellison

      All of the warming since 1950 was in 1976 to 1998. Most of that was in 1976/77 and 1997/98. Quite obviously ENSO. Most of the rest was in changes in SW associated with changes in global ocean and atmospheric dynamics. Especially the Pacific decadal modes.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-23.html

      Do you understand how to read this Jimbo?

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

      Science moves on but Jimbo is stuck at the level of progressive denialism.

    • Robert Ellison, there is no mechanism by which ENSO causes net warming, unless you are in the Tisdale school of energy nonconservation. If you put this to a scientific audience you would be laughed off the stage because they do believe in energy conservation. Climate can’t change by internal variations, by definition. If El Ninos are your best warming theory, you need to rethink somewhat.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ENSO caused surface warming in the 1976/77 and 1997/98 periods – which is what you were talking about Jimbo. Along with contributions to surface warming in the intervening period.

      Shifting the goalposts fallacy?

      But changes in cloud radiative effects caused warming in the intervening period. Secular changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation cause coherent changes in the cloud radiative effect – as shown in the IPCC graph. Progressive denialism as I say.

    • El Ninos cause warming, but then it goes right back down to where it started from unless global warming is also occurring from other forcing. The Pacific temperature does not ratchet up with each El Nino. They have been happening for centuries with no such effect. It’s energy conservation.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The point was that the specific warming in 1976/77 and 1997/98 was ENSO.

      The NASA page assumes some persistence – a cumulative effect during frequent and intense El Nino between 1976 and 1998 – and more frequent and intense La Nina since. Multi-decadal periods of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation – i.e PDO+ENSO.

      The TOA radiant flux anomalies – the IPCC graph – show less reflected SW between the 80’s and late 90’s, a step change after 1998 and not much change since.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=73

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

      This can be seen in clouds.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=96

      Data doesn’t fit the narrative aye Jimbo?
      .

    • Spontaneous internal long-term warming doesn’t fit any narrative, does it? Being impossible from energy considerations is one clue.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Decadal warming and cooling seems to be what the data is showing. However, bizarre long term progressive denial is par for the course – aye Jimbo?

    • Deacadal means might vary by 0.1 C up and down, but they won’t drift by several tenths. That requires forcing to sustain it, and forcing there was just as it warmed, which you can’t deny. You are looking for a coincident, but independent, positive effect that just happened to amplify the forcing by chance over the last 60 years.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Am I speaking a different language? Most of the surface warming happened in 2 ENSO events. The TOA radiant flux data – both ERBS and ISCCP-FD data – suggests that the cloud radiative effect was responsible for most of the rest.

    • The oscillations of ENSO are modeled as a secondary perturbation ala a Mathieu equation. This is all it takes to create a quasi-periodic sloshing of ocean water, revealing hot and cold emergent episodes. The extent of this effect is bounded.

    • “This is all it takes to create a quasi-periodic sloshing of ocean water…”
      —–
      The quasi-periodic “sloshing”of ocean water in the Pacific related to ENSO is indeed quite interesting, but more important to the longer-term climate changes is that this “sloshing” leads to a bit of energy being released from the IPWP during an El Niño, but over the longer-term, the IPWP has been gaining energy, such that no El Niño, including the large 97-98 event, completed returns the heat content of the IPWP to some neutral baseline and since at least the 1950’s the IPWP has been gaining energy.

    • Gates, “… since at least the 1950′s the IPWP has been gaining energy.”

      Since the 1700s.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Webby is speaking a different language – one his very own. The Mathieu function solution is for motion in an elliptical drumhead – or wind waves on an elliptical lake of constant depth – it bears zilch resemblance to physical reality and is essentially merely a poorly fitted curve that goes nowhere in terms of predicting ENSO. On the scale of fringe blogospheric unscience it is a perfect 10.

      What does bounded even mean? Time series can be stationary or non-stationary.

      e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stationarycomparison.png

      ENSO is an example of the latter. The mean and the variance changes at decadal scales to millenia. In essence – there are periods of changed frequencies and intensities of ENSO events at scales of decades to millennia. If there is a single control variable for this it is likely solar UV variability interacting with stratospheric ozone and consequently the polar annular modes. More or less water in the Peruvian and Californian Currents facilitating or not upwelling of cold, deep ocean water in the eastern Pacific.

      This is an ENSO proxy over much of the Holocene. We get hundreds of years of intense La Nina or El Nino – and indeed a shift from La Nina dominant to El Nino dominant some 5,000 years ago.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=210

      The variability goes well beyond what we have seen in the modern era.

      A series of intense El Nino events (high red color intensity) begins at about 1450 BC that will last for centuries. In that period normal (La Nina) conditions have all but disappeared. For comparison, the very strong 1998 El Nino event scores 89 in red color intensity. During the time when the Minoans were fading, El Nino events
      reach values in red color intensity over 200.

      http://www.clim-past.net/6/525/2010/cp-6-525-2010.pdf

      But what was under discussion is the 1976/77 and 1998/2001 transitions – from La Nina to El Nino and El Nino to La Nina respectively which are very large transition by modern era standards. They occur at times of phase transition from dominant La Nina to dominant El Nino and back again – and so meet the definition of dragon-kings as outliers at times of chaotic bifurcation. At the very least they contributed most of the warming between 1976 and 1998.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Within age model uncertainties, other paleoclimatic records support our interpretation of the Kau Bay geochemical records as reflecting century-scale ENSO variability. Most notably, the chronology of flood deposits in Laguna Pallcacocha, Ecuador (Moy et al., 2002; Rodbell et al., 1999), attributed to intense El Niño events, shows similar century-scale periods
      of increased El Niño frequency over the past ~1500 yr, with diminished El Niño frequency during the past ~700 yr (Fig. 3). Decreased terrestrial input on the Peru margin and in the Cariaco Basin that began ca. 1000 yr B.P. has been attributed to drought and is also consistent with less frequent or weaker El Niño events or less El Niño–like conditions (Haug et al., 2001; Hodell et al., 2005; Rein et al., 2004, 2005). Not all climatic events recorded in the Kau Bay and Laguna Pallcacocha are evident in these other marine records, suggesting that they may be influenced by other climatic factors. By contrast, the finding of similar century-scale variability
      in climate archives from two El Niño–sensitive regions on opposite sides of the tropical Pacific strongly suggests that they are dominated by the low frequency variability of ENSO or by ENSO-related changes in the mean state of the surface ocean in equatorial Pacific.
      https://marine.rutgers.edu/pubs/private/Langton08_KauBay.pdf

      The centennial scale variability of the IPWP is certainly driven by ENSO variability. The problem with short periods is that natural variability occurs over much longer periods.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=151

      More salt in the Law Dome ice core is La Nina – and the real question is where to now. If the single control variable for this is solar UV/ozone interactions – then La Nina will return as solar activity declines.

      But the point was that recent warming was mostly in 2 ENSO events – and that secular changes in cloud cover related to states of ocean and atmospheric circulation seems responsible for much of the rest.

      e.g http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=97

      The current La Nina dominant state seems likely to persist for 20 to 40 years – with negligible planetary warming. The interesting question is whether we have seen a 1000 year peak of El Nino frequency and intensity.

    • “At the very least they contributed most of the warming between 1976 and 1998.”
      —–
      This is an interesting (and often repeated) meme from fake-skeptics, but just the certainty contained in your declaration is a dead give-away that it doesn’t come from a true skeptic. I’m not even saying it isn’t possibly right- only that your framing of it is far from Uncertainty Monster approved.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I am usually quite certain of simple addition and subtraction. I use Excel or take my shoes off if counting past 10.

    • Robert I Ellison

      dah – dah

      Work it out for yourself – I am bored arguing against superficial narratives.

    • R. Gates

      It is common knowledge that the record hot year 1998 was caused largely by a strong El Nino.

      There were several others El Ninos during the 1980s and 1990s, which undoubtedly contributed to some higher global temperatures than we would otherwise have seen.

      The Palle data show that cloud cover did diminish during this period, only to partially recover since 2000.

      And a 5% change in overall albedo caused by changes in cloud cover and resulting change in reflected incoming solar radiation has the same forcing effect as a doubling of CO2.

      So one cannot just write it off as “insignificant”.

      The Chief (RIE) may be on to something (that Webby’s handy-dandy CSALT model may have missed)..

      Just saying.

      Max

    • Robert I Ellison

      Or any periodic perturbation to a wave equation.

      This is not the case – the Mathieu functions are not solved for other than specific cases of motion on elliptic surfaces. It is a lie and I am far from mathematically naïve. Webnutcolonscope would like to believe so because I have given up trying to make sense of fractured math and fantasy physics of his blogodpheric unscience.

      Ask yourself – can this nonsense appearing only on an almost totally ignored web site have any credibility? Does it remind you of someone with a Galileo complex? http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Galileo_gambit

    • A periodic modulation to the wave equation can clearly generate a Mathieu oscillation. This is one of those fundamental equations that arises in many places, whether it be a periodic modulation or elliptical boundary conditions, the same form applies.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

      Unfortunately the bobo is whining like a baby because he is getting his lunch handed to him. Or maybe that is fortunate in that one of these days he will just go away and let the innovators take over.

    • Robert I Ellison

      When PDEs such as Laplace’s, Poisson’s, and the wave equation are solved with cylindrical or spherical boundary conditions by separating variables in a coordinate system appropriate to the problem, we find radial solutions, which are usually the Bessel functions of Chapter 14, and angular solutions, which are sin mφ, cos mφ in cylindrical cases and spherical harmonics in spherical cases. Examples are electro-magnetic waves in resonant cavities, vibrating circular drumheads, and cylindrical wave guides. When in cylindrical problems the circular boundary condition is changed to elliptical we are led to what are now known as Mathieu functions, which, might alternatively have been called elliptic cylinder functions. In fact, in 1868 Mathieu developed the leading terms of series solutions of the vibrating elliptical drumhead, and Whittaker and others in the early 1900s derived higher-order terms as well.

      http://booksite.elsevier.com/9780123846549/Chap_Mathieu.pdf

      Solutions of PDE in the real world are resistant to explicit analytic solution. This is certainly the case with the wave equation which is solved numerically with specific bathymetry and basin shape in a specific wave environment that is usually measured. These are fine scale solutions.

      Ocean waves are generated by winds responding to pressure fields – and thus wind speed – and Coriolis forces.

      e.g. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2008/5/08.05.06.x.html

      Here the current Pacific wind field at sea level.

      http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-152.58,2.64,333

      It is of course changing all the time.

      What he is really talking about is equatorial Kelvin waves and not refraction or reflection.

      There have been studies that connect equatorial Kelvin waves to coastal Kelvin waves. Moore (1968) found that as an equatorial Kelvin wave strikes an “eastern boundary,” part of the energy is reflected in the form of planetary and gravity waves; and the remainder of the energy is carried poleward along the eastern boundary as coastal Kelvin waves. This process indicates that some energy may be lost from the equatorial region and transported to the poleward region.[3]

      Equatorial Kelvin waves are often associated with anomalies in surface wind stress. For example, positive (eastward) anomalies in wind stress in the central Pacific excite positive anomalies in 20°C isotherm depth which propagate to the east as equatorial Kelvin waves. Wikipedia

      There are a multitude of processes starting with upwelling of turbulent deep ocean currents in the eastern Pacific, propagates upwelling westward through pressure, wind, cloud and current feedbacks pushing water up against the western boundary. At some stage the trade winds falter – possibly in a process involving the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

      The point is that there are so many and diverse processes happening – some of them little understood – that the Mathieu functions for an elliptical lake of constant depth and constant excitation are hopelessly inadequate. Just like webby’s understanding of ENSO.

      It makes webby’s unscience just a very incompetent fitting of a curve to a time series – with zilch theoretical justification and zilch interest – appearing only a fringe blogospheric unscience site that no one much visits. Does he deny it is very badly fitting a curve? Absurd.

      It is a lonely and frustrating existence for one of the CE Galileos.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Does anyone think – or care – that we have more than a very badly fitted curve that appears solely on a web site that no one visits?

    • No indications that he has ever lifted a pen to solve these equations and no indication that he has ever done research quality work or written peer reviewed papers.

      Yet he continues to yammer on as if he knows what he is talking about.

    • im D

      You use the logical fallacy known as “argument from ignorance”.

      It goes: “we can only explain X if we assume Y…”

      It is often used to defend religious dogma: “we can only explain this occurrence by a miraculous intervention of a higher power…”

      In the former case the fall-back position is “first principles” (i.e. theoretical physics); in the second case it is “Holy Scripture”.

      The problem arises when a similar occurrence cannot be explained, such as the early 20thC warming cycle, which was statistically indistinguishable from the much-ballyhooed late 20thC warming cycle.

      The logic goes as follows.

      1. Our models cannot explain the early 20thC warming cycle.

      2. We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20thC warming cycle was caused by human GHGs.

      3. How do we know this?

      4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

      That’s the basic dilemma, Jim.

      Max

    • Robert I Ellison

      Usually in engineering you have to understand what you are doing to solve real world problems – generally in case the numerical computation gives some odd results. Pens are not much used these days.

      Webby has hijacked another thread to his obsession with badly fitted curves on a fringe web site no one visits – and the same pejorative complaints endlessly reiterated.

    • Ellison said:


      on a fringe web site no one visits

      He has at least that much right. CE is a dank backwater filled with deniers that most scientists avoid.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Obviously with such an attitude – you are wasted here webby.

      Webby has a site filled with unscience that no one visits. He fights a war against the deniers using blanks – triple plus unscience. The internal narrative of a Galileo valiantly battling the forces of ignorance is just that. A story in which he stars as the crusading legend in his own lunchtime – but no one is listening.

    • The difference between us is straightforward.

      I simplify consensus climate science.

      The Aussie adds FUD and concocts a Denial recipe..

      That is all there is to it.

    • Robert I Ellison

      What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.

      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

      We have what is the fundamental mode of operation climate – a system that is forced by small changes into a spontaneous internal reorganization that results in a nonlinear, emergent response. This is not only the most powerful theory of climate – but because of that is the dominant paradigm in informed scientific circles such as the NAS.

      On decadal scales – this manifests as abrupt changes in the frequency and intensity of ENSO events. La Nina dominant to 1945, El Nino to 1998 and La Nina again since.

      This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or
      resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Nino-Southern Oscillation variability.
      http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.380.7486&rep=rep1&type=pdf

      This warms and cools surface temperatures amongst other major shifts in global climate.

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

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

      The difference between webby and myself is that he has not slightest clue about any of this and insists that badly fitting a curve to a time series means something rational or scientific at all. He is utterly resistant to any science that doesn’t fit the narrative. This can only be pure cognitive dissonance.

    • The Aussie is best described as one of those denier trolls, who denies the possibility that the earth is warming.

  61. Robert I Ellison

    PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
    persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons
    attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

    BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR,
    Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

    I downloaded the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Librivox ( https://librivox.org/ ) yesterday. Perfectly charming and the accents by Annie Colman of St Louis, Missouri are admirable.

  62. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | April 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |

    manaker.
    there is no evidence that [CO2 warming] is imperceptible or even close to it.
    from first principles we can fix the value at around 1.2C per doubling.

    Then comes arguments about feedbacks.

    Not sure what your “first principles” might be. Upwelling radiation from the surface according to CERES is about 400 W/m2. By Stefan-Boltzmann, with a presumed emissivity of 1 that gives us a temperature of 16.7°C.

    CO2 is supposed to increase the TOA radiation by about 3.7°C. There is about 340 W/m2 entering the system, and the surface is at 400 W/m2, so obviously there’s about an 18% increase from TOA radiation to surface radiation, so ceteris paribus the 3.7 W/m2 at TOA might be as much as 4.4 W/m2 at the surface.

    So from “first principles” we’d expect the surface to end up with an increase in downwelling radiation of 4.4 W/m2 … and IF all of this went into increasing the surface temperature, we’d end up with a surface radiation of 404.4 W/m2, and S-B gives a resulting temperature increase of 0.8°C, not the 1.6°C you claim …

    However, there’s another “first principle” you’re overlooking. The well-established and obvious reality is that at present, much of any increase in downwelling IR will NOT increase the temperature, but will only increase the parasitic losses. On average, the marginal loss for an increase in DLR is on the order of 50% … which means a resulting temperature change of 0.4°C instead of 0.8°C …

    So while it’s wonderful that you pop in to make yet another unsubstantiated claim … as is often the case, your claim is a) uncited, unsupported, and unsubstantiated, and b) simply not true.

    If you claim otherwise, please show us your calculations … because “first principles” don’t give me anything near your answer.

    Finally, using the exact same “first principles” you are using, Steven we would deduce that if we walk from the shade out into the sun, our core temperatures will go up markedly … but of course they do no such thing.

    The problem is that the much vaunted “first principles” mean very little in a complex system, and mean nothing when the system is thermally regulated by emergent phenomena … you seem to forget that the emergent phenomena like thunderstorms can even reverse entropy locally, and are very efficient in doing things that your “first principles” say are impossible.

    And once you include those phenomena in your “first principles”, you’ll see that rather than the real “first principles”, the equations you are using are … well … let me call them “fatally naive assumptions about using simple analysis methods on an incredibly complex system” and let it go at that.

    Here’s the thing. After thirty years of trying we can’t even narrow the uncertainty bounds on what is called “climate sensitivity” … so it is clear that your vaunted “first principles” appear to be totally useless in the real world of climate. If they were useful, if we actually did understand the “first principles of climate”, we would be making advances in understanding. Instead, we can’t even narrow the uncertainties.

    We’re still discussing what the “first principles of climate” might actually be, Steven. Your idea is the equivalent of saying that the science is settled, which is a very long ways from being true.

    So when someone claims that their method is based on “first principles” or “simple physics” or the like, I just laugh.

    Anyhow … I await your calculations leading to the 1.6°C per doubling.

    w.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Twelve Climate-Change Realities

      • The seas keep rising, without pause or obvious limit;
      • The oceans keep heating, without pause or obvious limit;
      • The ice keeps heating, without pause or obvious limit;
      • CO2 keeps increasing, without pause or obvious limit;
      • climate-theory improves, without pause or obvious limit;
      • climate-observation sharpens, without pause or obvious limit;
      • climate-math deepens, without pause or obvious limit;
      • carbon-neutral technologies improves, without pause or obvious limit;
      • post-market economics advances, without pause or obvious limit;
      moral concerns deepen, without pause or obvious limit;
      citizen-science widens, without pause or obvious limit;
      • the willful obtusness of climate-science denialism … is accelerating too … without pause or obvious limit!

      \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

      Not even wrong.

    • Fan

      You gave 12 climate realties, here are the first four;

      • The seas keep rising, without pause or obvious limit;
      • The oceans keep heating, without pause or obvious limit;
      • The ice keeps heating, without pause or obvious limit;
      • CO2 keeps increasing, without pause or obvious limit;

      For a minute I thought you were referring to the MWP, or perhaps the Roman warm period or even the Minoan warm period, but then I read number 4 and realised you weren’t. So perhaps number 4 doesn’t have the effect you think? Or perhaps more conveniently for your narrative none of these other warm periods existed?

      tonyb

    • Willis

      Mosh replied to you at 11.00. His extensive, well reasoned and detailed reply has really put you in your place hasn’t it?

      Unless of course he was replying to Fan at 9.04. In which case he has turned into a sceptic. The world needs to know which.

      tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      tony

      the hilarious thing is that Willis uses CERES without even reading the algorithms used to create the data. Those algorithms support my position
      not his. In short, he doesnt have a logically consistent view of the physics.
      Using data produced by the physics he denies.
      There is no point in explaining over and over again that 2+2=4.
      We will just have to wait for Willis to win his Nobel.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Steven Mosher | April 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

      tony

      the hilarious thing is that Willis uses CERES without even reading the algorithms used to create the data. Those algorithms support my position
      not his. In short, he doesnt have a logically consistent view of the physics.
      Using data produced by the physics he denies.

      The “physics I deny”? Dear god, Mosh, you are actually calling me a denier? You low-life.

      In any case, which physics, pray tell, might I be “denying”? Mosh doesn’t say. And which “position” does Mosh have that some algorithm or another is claimed to be supporting? Mosh fails to mention that. Which algorithms support his position, and not mine? Mosh says nothing. Which of my views of physics is not “logically consistent”? Mosh is unwilling to share that with us.

      Sadly, these days, this is how low Steven Mosher has fallen—this comment is all mouth. No citations, no quotations, no details, no names, no pack-drill. He seems to think that if he just makes enough accusations, and boasts enough, that somehow that will turn his claims into science …

      It’s getting very old, Mosh. You’re a brilliant guy. Your science-fu is strong. But these kinds of ugly unsubstantiated accusations are just pathetic. If you have a point, then make it and support it, because your fact-free drive-by mud-slinging is damaging your reputation badly.

      w.

    • “The seas keep rising, without pause or obvious limit.


      Yes to the rising without pause, yes to there being an obvious limit. All the land based glacial ice melts. Welcome Miocene II.

  63. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    When peer-reviewers get coupled!

    Relativity theory teaches relative to previous generations, North American per-capita constant-dollar research investment has been steadily declining for more than a decade; the resulting close-coupled funding-competition is dynamically suppressing research innovation.

    It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it Mandrake?”

    \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}

    • AFOMD,

      What fresh nonsense is this?

      Is the world still wondering? I wonder.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Yea, but the drop is average salaries of scientists over the same time period balances things out.

  64. AFOMD,

    May I paraphrase your observations, or add that which you inadvertently omitted.

    The seas keep rising – and falling – without . . . The continents, sea beds, and mountain ranges do likewise.

    The oceans’ heat content has never been measured. Models are not measurements. Wild guesses combined with voodoo physics are not measurements. The seas have cooled since they first became liquid.

    The ice does not keep heating, unless from underneath, or in sunlight. The coldest temperature ever measured on the surface was on ice.

    CO2 has decreased to its present level from about 950,000 parts per million, at a pressure of around 100 bar. Until it returns to that level and exceeds it, we are still not seeing anything new.

    Climate theory – the calculation of averages of weather events – has not evolved since the first average was calculated.

    Climate observation – observing the average derived from weather events – is obviously the refuge of scoundrels who wish to enrich themselves at the expense of the gullible.

    Climate math – the basic arithmetical procedure of obtaining an average from a series of numbers – is trivial. Any reasonably competent 12 year old can do this.

    Carbon neutral technology is a nonsense, which provides no perceptible advantage, but at great cost.

    Post market economics is just nonsense. A nonsense term, of no real meaning, and even less practical use. Good to frighten small boys and horses, perhaps.

    Moral concerns deepen amongst the Warmists, as their ridiculous posturings are exposed.

    Citizen science is another pointless description. If instead you mean that an individual’s ability to think is not enhanced by money or death threats, you are correct. You cannot force people to think, nor can you stop them thinking. Your comment is therefore just more voodoo feelgoodery.

    Regardless of your stupidity in assuming that denying facts changes them one iota, one might as well accuse people of denying the colour green, or words that begin with the letter t.

    I support your right to assert whatever you wish. Repetitive nonsense, adding apparent links to more nonsense (I admit assumption here, I don’t actually bother following them) in bright colours does not make things come true.

    Every silly supposedly scientific idea through the ages has had its share of fanatical adherents, using bright colours and appeals to supposed authority to push their nonsense. CAGW or whatever politically correct equivalent applies at the moment, is nonsensical.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  65. Relating to climate sensitivity, this quote from the presumably objective and unbiased Wikipedia authors, using the most up to date science, in relation to climate sensitivity :

    “It is also possible to estimate climate sensitivity from observations; however, this is difficult due to uncertainties in the forcing and temperature histories.”

    Once again, a bald assertion that something is possible – as is everything both known and unknown – qualified by the admission that it is difficult, without any evidence as to either the possibility or the difficulty.

    Is this supposed to be science, or Scientism? Even Scientology or the Christian Scientists are possibly more credible, however it is difficult to say, given the impossibility of pinning a Warmist down to useful definitions of equilibrium, transient, climate, and sensitivity.

    Give over. It’s an unsubstantiated crock of foul and smelly assertions. Talk about highly polished turds! The hope that some fool could be convinced he’d actually bought a crock of gold is rapidly evaporating.

    What next?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • “the presumably objective and unbiased Wikipedia authors”

      Errr … like William Connelly perhaps?

      Live well, anyway.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Once again, a bald assertion that something is possible – as is everything both known and unknown – qualified by the admission that it is difficult, without any evidence as to either the possibility or the difficulty.”

      read the primary literature, not the secondary literature.
      So, for example, now I am reading a draft paper that uses an interesting approach. If you actually spend time doing science and less time commenting, then perhaps you’d understand.

    • Steven Mosher,

      If your point is that Wikipedia is not to be trusted, I agree.

      You might be able to point me at the primary literature which points to the estimate of climate sensitivity using the last 15 years of observations.

      Or four and a half billion years, if you think I’m cherry picking.

      Science involves the scientific method, if I am correct. If you want to call economics, sociology, climatology etc. science, we might have to agree to disagree.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  66. Latimer Alder

    STM that the root problem here is too many academics and not enough real work to keep all of them occupied.

    Add an ‘assessment’ system that hugely values quantity over quality together with a quality assurance (peer review) system that would barely pass muster in a primary school (5yo–> 11yo) and you get a huge amount of routine unread junk being produced.

    The irony is that academics are very quick to point out the failings in others yet cannot collectively fix their own system to a level where its fit for purpose.

    And until it does, the public’s respect for their work will continue to fall.

    • Latimer

      Not enough real work? Sounds like the EU parliament!

      tonyb

    • “academics are very quick to point out the failings in others yet cannot collectively fix their own system”

      Its not a democracy is science you know. We are not able to decide what we want. Our funds are not under our control. The Journals are owned by the companies who make more money from scientific publishing than any other area of publishing. The patent laws are designed to screw us. All the professional organizations are run by people who were better at politics than experiments. The scientist who advise the powers that be have already got to the top thanks to the system operating the way it is; its is not only cream that floats.

    • Latimer Alder

      @doc martyn

      A nice pean to your victimhood, you poor dears. I’m almost weeping already with how tough things are for you.

      A few points

      If its public money you’re spending, it’s *ours*, not yours. We might entrust you to spend it wisely on a particular piece of work, but it still doesn’t become ‘yours’. The old proverb ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’ applies. Get over it.

      ‘The Journals are owned by the companies who make more money from scientific publishing than any other area of publishing. ‘ Even if true, that point is irrelevant. Even if they ran at break-even, it wouldn’t change anything about the academic system. You guys collectively choose to work within ‘the system’ that gives publication in such journals a prominent place. And the internet has given plenty of alternative ways of publishing your work. Embrace them and avoid the journals.

      ‘The patent laws are designed to screw us’. In what way?

      General point: The academic system is a human construct. It has got to be the way it is because a lot of people inside it are very comfortable with their nice cosy cocoon. You have almost no outside intervention or supervision. The role of the public seems only to be the provider of money for you guys to hoover up in exchange for destroying vast forests to print unread articles about trivial things and have them cited as infallible peer-reviewed Holy Writ.
      And academia provides big rewards…maybe not in the direct pay-cheque way, but in terms of travel, status, independence…all things many people (even high earners) crave for. It’s a nice comfy life. That’s why so many choose it over less pleasant occupations.

      So next time you tell us all how tough it is within ‘the system’ of your collective making, think about ways you can change it first before moaning about your lot. Academics are supposed to be among our brightest and best. Maybe so. But whinging doesn’t reassure me that they are among the most competent.

    • work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

      [C. Northcote Parkinson]

    • manacker, I adapted Parkinson’s Law to Cunningham’s Law: rubbish expands to fill the space available for its disposal.

  67. 382 comments and it is hard to get a word in. I really wish many of you would stay on topic. I automatically skip over any reference to “Health Insurance” and “hockey sticks” as this topic is about basic research.

    I appologize for probably skipping over many interesting comments. But here is mine. I worked for 10 years doing research with radiation budget satellite data. I am now unemployed, mostly due to bad career choices. I try to do research at home but other family tasks take precedence. And 10 more years have passed.

    When I was employed, I was seriously told that one applies for a grant only when the work is already done. As a post-doc, I worked for 2 years learning and building a project. When it was over, final report sent in, it was reallyover. To get more funding I had to switch to another topic and start all over again. No room for improvements and no room for deeper research. No funds for following that interesting idea from the precious project. This is in Europe but I believe that it is the same in the USA.

    Another woman scientist leaking out of the pipe.

    • rmdobservations

      Generally the most interesting and on topic discussion takes place within 2 days of a new article be8ng posted.

      The denizens constantly demand fresh meat and get increasingly restless and off topic after this time, and as you will have seen, increasingly snarky.

      Working with satellites, have you ever formed any opinion about the validity of satellite data as regards sea level changes? Our organisation generally used local tide markers as satellites could not accurately pick up changes locally or at the coast nor take into account land movements.

      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rmdobservations observes [correctly] “[Nowadays] one applies for a grant only when the work is already done. […] Another woman scientist leaking out of the pipe.”

      Rmdobservations, you have my sympathy.

      The situation noted by Clay Shirkey’s celebrated essay The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age is bad for all scientists, worse for younger scientists, and worst for women scientists. E.g., young biomedical scientists now (on average) receive their first independent research awards at age 42.

      For women, this means one’s reproductive years are over before receiving the first (hugely unstable) taste of research independence. And for the (minority) of researchers who survive, their optimal strategy is to synchronize with other researchers.

      For childish, Ayn Rand-loving, faux-libertarian ideologues, these inarguable realities are good, not bad! The science community’s marketplace of ideas has evolved to be highly efficient, ruthlessly competitive, and relentlessly globalized … and so (per childish/Randian ideology-driven cognition) there can be no problem.

      After all, hey, for strict libertarians, it’s good that family farms are vanishing too!

      Fortunately, ordinary folks appreciate the grim realities of market failure in farming, science, manufacturing, and many other sectors of the economy.

      And ordinary folks vote.

      That’s why ObamaCare is never going away, right?

      Isn’t that the great virtue of democracy? That votes beat ideology?

      That’s why libertarian ideologues cannot win elections anymore, eh Climate Etc readers? Good!

      \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}

    • nottawa rafter

      Fan fans again. Having had a chance to offer a lady a word of encouragement, he sinks into his normal tedious childish Rand dis-observations. Getting older than the Petrified Forest.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      More than passively receiving encouragement, young scientists are well-advised to read-through the back-archives of PhD Comics

      Feibelman’s dry-eyed advice-book A PhD Is Not Enough: A Guide To Survival In Science also is recommended.

      Young people who imagine that a scientific career provides any kind of shelter from “the real world” of the 21st century are destined to receive the rudest kind of awakening … and the earlier that awakening happens, the better!

      \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}

    • rmdobservations,
      Best recommendation from Fan that a PhD is not enough. Lots of times geographic flexibility required and nimble movements to new orientaions. Very difficult as one gets older given all the young bright graduates in the pipeline. Good luck but one has to change something.
      Scott

    • Tonyb,
      Thanks for your response on the other thread about temperature changes in the past based on adjustments. GISS has reduced the past temps and increased the present and obscure adjustments in the face of UHI and urbanization around the monitoring. Environmental changes from forests and tall grass praries to city, airports and monoculture plains have had the impacts of raising the temperatures not being adjusted down for environmental factors in recent records. Rud Istvan said he is working on a blog entry and an e book. Should be interesting.
      Scott

    • Scott

      Glad that you saw my note about past temperatures. How the past can be changed still baffles me but perhaps rud will clarify in his publication.

      Tonyb

    • Tony, regarding satellites measurements, don’t bet the farm that what you see is right:

      SUMMARY
      Ocean mass, together with steric sea level, are the key components of total observed sea level change. Monthly observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) can provide estimates of the ocean mass component of the sea level budget, but full use of the data requires a detailed understanding of its errors and biases. We have examined trends in ocean mass calculated from 6 yr of GRACE data and found differences of up to 1 mm yr−1 between estimates derived from different GRACE processing centre solutions. In addition, variations in post-processing masking and filtering procedures required to convert the GRACE data into ocean mass lead to trend differences of up to 0.5 mm yr−1. Necessary external model adjustments add to these uncertainties, with reported postglacial rebound corrections differing by as much as 1 mm yr−1. Disagreement in the regional trends between the GRACE processing centres is most noticeably in areas south of Greenland, and in the southeast and northwest Pacific Ocean. Non-ocean signals, such as in the Indian Ocean due to the 2004 Sumatran–Andean earthquake, and near Greenland and West Antarctica due to land signal leakage, can also corrupt the ocean trend estimates. Based on our analyses, formal errors may not capture the true uncertainty in either regional or global ocean mass trends derived from GRACE.

      Uncertainty in ocean mass trends from GRACE
      Katherine J. Quinn andRui M. Ponte

    • Regarding satellite measurements: I think it’s the best way of getting global information. I am not a big fan of averaging all the measurements together to get a global 1mm trend in sea level change (or something like that).

      My complaint about funding research is that the satellite data is used for validating the models. I wanted to look at the data itself, over smaller regions and using different resolutions and wavelengths. Maybe comparing it over time. Gettting a “Feeling for the Organism”, to quote Barbara McClintock. Averaging all the measurements into one monthly average over the grid size of a climate model is uninteresting.

      I am not as up-to-date as I would like to be. I am working my way through the IPCC Working group 1 report (the only report about the science). There is a lot of interesting work being done (as seen from the references). But I look at the IPCC report as a sort of “averaging” of all the publications. Hansen reduces everything to one number. The interesting parts, the variability in results for different areas of the earth, get lost in this one number.

  68.  

    A reconsideration of what equitable energy access means for human development and the environment is needed. As this paper demonstrates, a massive expansion of energy systems, primarily carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, in combination with the rapid acceleration of clean energy innovation, is a more pragmatic, just, and morally acceptable framework for thinking about energy access. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet.

    See: Our High Energy Planet — A Climate Pragmatism Project — (Report here…)

    • Beththeserf,
      Thanks, Scottish lass as I recall.

      That was very interesting. But changing past temps to match a bias is so unethical. they should always include un corrected and then the derivation with estimates of error bars.

      Scott of the Border clans.

    • Scott of the border clans, they should… if honest intent was their intent.
      Beth the serf.

  69. Schrodinger's Cat

    The industrial scientist may have an advantage. I have never published a paper in my life though I have filed lots of patents. I really get my job, career, personal and scientific satisfaction from creating something that others use.

    My innovation may manifest itself as a new product, a new or improved process or perhaps just new knowhow or knowledge. The fact that people regard it as something they want to purchase or sell or use is the source of my satisfaction. Adoption is the reward that gives me the buzz and which makes my efforts worthwhile.

    For me, translating that into academic achievement is difficult enough, because although lots of academics can share my experience by working with industry, many do not. It is even more difficult to translate this into climate science. Let us assume for the sake of illustration that Svensmark ‘s idea that the solar wind modulates the cosmic ray ionization of cloud seeding has a massive effect on our climate, then that, for me, would equate to my view of innovative achievement in that field.

    The conclusion of this thinking aloud is that in this context, innovation is a useful discovery that brings benefit to the user and satisfaction to the provider.

    Perhaps this should be one of the criteria in the peer review of papers seeking publication.

    • “The industrial scientist may have an advantage”

      Yes but…
      I know someone who went into work one day and was met by security guards, given a black plastic trash bag, escorted to his desk, picked up his personal belongings and escorted out of the building; so was everyone else in the section. All fired.

      A friend of mine was moved from her project into a completely different one. She could not do the work she was assigned, as she had no training. She was fired for incompetence. She took them to court, won as case for ‘Constructive Dismissal’, got 2-3 years pay and a legally iron-clad reference letter stating she was not at all at fault. However, big pharma will not employ someone who has won a court action against big pharma.

    • Truth for its own sake is fundamental. Finding value in something that is nothing more than a means to an end will always depend on the existence of integrity and honor among those involved who first and foremost value truth.

  70. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The 21st century solution to these problems is straightforward (but arduous):

    Step 1 found your own business, then
    Step 2 endow your own chair/institution, then
    Step 3 teach and do research in your *OWN* style

    Present-day exemplars include Simon “Si” Ramo, James Harris Simons, and Craig Venter.

    There will be more … if we’re lucky.

    Interestingly, Craig Venter is an AGW true-believer … even though Venter is notoriously resistant to peer/institutional pressures.

    Why is that, the world wonders?

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

    • Step 0 Have at least one day a month where you read stuff that interests you in fields that are quite different from what you work in
      Step 1 Design potentially viable chemotherapeutics and delivery systems on shoestring
      Step 2 Get an endowed position from a foundation so you are independent of the NIH and Institution
      Step 3 Do research in your *OWN* style, but make sure that you are surrounded by really, really smart people who will do what they are good at so you don’t have to learn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMarty advocates “[Steps 0 to 3]“

      That is a fine post DocMartyn!

      An outstanding exemplar of “Four-Step” biomedical research is Edward Donnall “Don” Thomas, who encountered and surmounted all of the obstacles (and more!) that Judith Curry’s original post lamented.

      Lesson-Learned  In every scientific generation, there’s no substitute for solid scientific insights, leavened with conviction, risk-aptitude, hard work … and always, a considerable measure of good luck too.

      This path is *NOT* for the faint-hearted.

      The nearest thing to an instruction manual is Richard Hamming’s (of the “Hamming Filter”) essay You and Your Research.

      Hamming’s essay makes terrific reading, by younger and older folks, liberals and conservatives alike!

      \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}

    • Dr. E. Donnall Thomas is a strange choice to pick, he was definitely an omelets and eggs type of medic.

      http://www.sskrplaw.com/lawyer-attorney-1475680.html

      http://seattletimes.com/uninformed_consent/change/story1.html

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Accusations by DocMartyn, jury verdict by FOMD.

      Oh yeah, the Nobel Committee sided with the jury, didn’t they DocMartyn?

      Gosh, howizit that Dr. Thomas ended up on yer personal “enemy list”, DocMartyn?

      Mebbe it wuz Thomas’ signing The Humanist Manifesto (along with 20 other Nobel Laureates)?

      Heck, them “Humanist Manifesto” signers definitely appear on *PLENTY* of far-right/Ayn Randian enemy-lists!

      And the personal smears are quick to follow, eh DocMartyn?

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Alternative links!

      Accusations by DocMartyn, jury verdict by FOMD.

      Oh yeah, the Nobel Committee sure sided with the jury, didn’t they DocMartyn?

      Gosh, howizit that Dr. Thomas ended up on yer personal “enemy list”, DocMartyn?

      Mebbe it wuz Thomas’ signing The Humanist Manifesto (along with 21 other Nobel Laureates)?

      Heck, them “Humanist Manifesto” signers definitely appear on *PLENTY* of far-right/Christian Fundamentalist/Ayn Randian enemy-lists!

      Seriously … what rational ideology would put life-saving physician/scientists like Dr. E. Donnall Thomas on an enemy list?

      \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}

    • enemies list? I think not. I does draw attention to the truth behind the phrase ‘the past is a foreign country, things different there’.
      The use of patients as experimental subjects is under much more stringent regulation now, than it was in the 60’s and 70’s; mostly because of the way people were treated in the 60’s and 70’s.

  71. I think they are. Sydney Brenner puts his finger on it: “:.We now have labs that don’t work in the same way as the early labs where people were independent, where they could have their own ideas and could pursue them…” And not just early labs. That is how an unlikely place like Bell Labs became a source of world-class innovations.

  72. It’s hard to know where to begin. Did the goal switch from discovering new knowledge to publishing papers? It’s ironic that formal peer review is so often so poor when there are so many experts willing to provide criticism on the internet, and pathetic when bad science is published but not the responses to it.

    • The goal hasn’t changed. We just didn’t understand what the was. The Left believes humanity is a mistake that must be stopped. Global warming alarmism has never been anything more than a political tool to bring about a cure, which is putting an end to humanity.

    • ” Did the goal switch from discovering new knowledge to publishing papers?”

      That is the wrong question. The question is;

      Why did our pay masters decide that the metric of productivity for judging individual scientist was their publication record?

    • Why do climate scientists choose those proxies? Because they can (get away with it).

      As for reforming academia, it’s clear enough what’s wrong with it. What’s lacking is any sincere desire to change (heal itself).

  73. David Wojick

    Ironic that Nobel prize winners are attacking peer review when the prize is the ultimate peer review reward. Hypocritical?

    • Hypocritical?
      Well it is much more difficult to do it before you have reached a place of safety.

  74. Interesting innovation article in The Economist by Dan Dreznitz from Uni of Toronto. Some extracts:

    Technology always changes the economic equilibrium. What is more, technology and innovation are most effective in creative destruction precisely when companies and policy-makers think they “got it”. That is the reason why innovation is the main engine of economic growth and why economic theories based on equilibrium and price competition proved so bad at explaining reality. Thus, celebrating the current moment of the information-technology revolution as the new growth paradigm, is wrong.

    Other changes are much more important. We have been witnessing a vast and accelerating increase in the fragmentation of productive activities. The production of goods and services is no longer organised in vertically integrated hierarchical companies located in one country. Corporations increasingly break apart their activities into smaller discrete modules and out-source or offshore them. This process of fragmentation has changed the international economic system, leading different countries to specialise in specific stages of production of particular industries. Within the information-technology industry, the main focus of The Economist’s special report, there has been a major transformation in the way final products are manufactured and sold. Apple has never been engaged in the production of its two most successful recent products, the iPad and iPhone. And other leading companies, such as Dell, Cisco and Microsoft’s Xbox division, have never even bothered to open their own manufacturing facilities.

    Once started, these processes of specialisation are self-reinforcing because of the dynamics of modularisation. Economies of scope and scale enable suppliers to become more efficient and allow them to profitably operate on margins that are much lower than those achieved by in-house manufacturing divisions. This cost advantage in turn allows them to lower their prices further while offering the same or even higher quality. Additionally, by specialising in a particular stage of production, these firms develop focused innovational capabilities that further increase their competitive advantage in offering higher quality differentiated services. The rapid economic growth of India, based on its prominence as a software and IT services hub, is a case in point.

    The rise of the new system of global production, in turn, means that different modes of innovation are needed in order to thrive in different stages of production. Accordingly, admiring tech startup hubs around the world, assuming they will have the same impact on their locales, misses the point. Under globalisation, different nations can achieve rapid and sustainable growth by focusing their innovation activities on various stages of production. In addition, certain innovative activities yield more widespread distribution while others lead to more concentrated wealth generation.

    … innovation-based growth is a process of trial, error, error, and error. We need our society to be involved in the last two errors, that is to constantly engage in experimentations along the innovation life cycle, if we wish to have sustained innovation-based growth that offers a better future to all citizens. Startups are a great start, they cannot be the goal.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2014/04/invitation-dan-breznitz

    • Have you seen today’s jump-to article in Climate Etc. –i.e.,

      Roger Pielke Jr.
      Interesting: “To exact vengeance on individuals whose views you disagree with is dogmatism” –> The Economist http://econ.st/1oJWaKe

       
      All of the absurd political-correctness that is destroying our culture and economy is driving opportunity away, causing the outsourcing of the fabrication of goods and services to others over whom we have no control. All of our political correctness has zero influence on Chinese goods, Russian global political ambitions, women’s rights in Arab countries, etc.

    • The article does not inspire confidence with its ridiculous claim that Dell “never even bothered to open their own production facilities.” Unless you don’t believe that assembling computers and servers is “production” this statement is pi radians off the truth. Dell famously pioneered an ultra-fast, low-lead-time, make-to-order assembly process using direct sales that in the 1990s enabled them to out-execute all their rivals in the PC industry.

      The blather that commentators put out there amazes me sometimes.

    • stevepostrel,

      What I find interesting is the erratic nature of things.

      Deeming’s TQM (memory here, correct me if I’m wrong), just in time ordering, workers owning production, what’s good for GM Is good for the country, any business not on the Internet by 2000 won’t be in business . . .

      Make your own list if you like.

      What has worked in the past won’t necessarily work now. And so on. People come up with new things because they can. Some are useful, some not so useful.

      For all I know, some of the things I introduced in the BOM are still in use. If something provides faster, cheaper, more accurate output, it may be adopted in spite of management objections. That’s human nature.

      Mankind seems to advance in fits and starts. Trying to influence the nature and direction of supposed advances seems to be fraught with difficulty. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but the road to heaven may have similar pavement. Nothing to get worked up about, in my view.

      What are your views?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • So, if we learn most Dell computers are now made elsewhere than where you believed they were over 20 years ago, idiotic comments about the article will still be there, blabbing about a fantasy world and the article will be proved right.

    • Steve, yes, I balked at the Dell claim, and I didn’t read the article to which he was responding, but I agree that start-up hubs are not a guarantee of success. Australia is very good at innovation, very poor at commercialising, most inventions go offshore and promising start-ups often go overseas or are bought out by overseas companies. Good for them, but not major drive of economic growth here.

      The most successful innovation here tends to be in mining techniques and suppliers – where Australia is a world-scale player – and in retailing. I’ve been reading reports for thirty years about how Australia should move away from being a farm and quarrry, they are still being written but it’s not happening. You have to work with your strengths.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The United States is Australia’s fifth largest merchandise export market and our most important market for services. It is Australia’s largest import source for services and second largest import source for merchandise. The United States is the largest investor in Australia. Australia is the ninth largest provider of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The United States is one of the top five source countries for visitors to Australia in terms of numbers and expenditure.’

      https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/us/trade_investment.html

      G’day Michael – hope you are feeling better.

      Australian investment in the US is largely a matter of gaining access to US venture capital. The US is the largest global provider by far – https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/us/trade_investment.html – and this feeds into global production and employment. Swings and roundabouts.

    • “I’ve been reading reports for thirty years about how Australia should move away from being a farm and quarrry, they are still being written but it’s not happening”

      Perhaps it’s just that I’m older than you, but I’ve seen and heard such homilies for over 50 years now

      Yet manufacturing enterprises are reducing in scale and number, service enterprises only really grew in the farming/mining sectors … and so on

      Some years ago, an An Indian engineer remarked to me that Australians seem content to live off mining. Well, some are not content but that hasn’t stopped them from doing just that

      Almost unbelievable to me at the time, this same engineer showed me convincing cost evidence that it was more economic to ship raw, untreated materials to India for processing than attempt to build and run processing operations in Aus … no, not the labour costs, but the delay costs while the inevitable greenie/community objections played out over 5-7 years or so

    • Faustino, your summary is an accurate picture of my 30 years experience in a large international company. At first we were totally vertical from research to development to manufacturing to sales. Over time we broke everything up in pieces and the process became scattered all over the globe. What a headache to manage! But the bigger loss was the loss in product innovation. Of course we became experts in writing contracts in fifty languages and communicating rapidly across boarders. The real winers were the foreign contractors who learned to build their specialized item with considerable hand holding from us. Many became serious competitors to boot, not with innovation but by lowering price.

  75. In the propaganda campaign of the Left it was more than intellectually dishonest to re-label ‘global warming’ as ‘climate change.’ In addition to being deceptive it also was ineffective because it’s stupid: everyone knows climate changes.

  76. michael hart

    Funding people to research and promote environmental alarm is never going to produce innovation. You get what you select for.

    • michael hart | April 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm |

      You understand the man in control of US government funding of Science is Jim Inhofe, and has been for pretty much the entirety of the period of what you call research and promotion of environmental alarm, right?

      That James Hansen famously went to the press when the people controlling his funding tried to shut him up on orders from the political level, to get the gag taken off?

      That the biggest government funding in the field goes to Christy, Spencer, Gray and their ilk.. although it’s true, these lot have produced no useful innovations and their specific fields fall embarrassingly farther and farther behind the rest of the world every year?

      That the cheerleading budget of Judith Curry’s school is bigger than the entire IPCC budget, and most of that paid for by foreigners using twisty little international money games to make it appear like more than it really is?

      Apparently.. you don’t.

  77. Robert I Ellison

    Innovation peaks in periods where societies are transforming in paroxysms of social discontent – for good or ill – reflected in the quality of popular culture. So I propose a quantitative popular song innovation index based on a Delphic method survey.

    Shaggy Dad debuted in 1988 in the aftermath of the creative ferment of the post war years. I give it 10 out of 10.

    By 1996 – we were still having fun and taking the p_ss out of da man. 10 out of 10.

    More recently – lots of fun stuff. 10 out of 10.

    All in all innovation is probably as good as it gets – and society is not any more crazy than it ever was.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Is it too much to hope for a review pane?

    • Chris Quayle

      Not only that, but in times of national emergency, as in wartime, which also drives technical innovation. A good example is the work done in places like MIT Rad Lab in WW2, where money no object, just cause and the need to find solutions extended the state of the art much faster than that during peacetime. The space race of the sixties is another good example.

      Another major change has been the end of the cold war. Defense spending and associated research have been decimated. I f you look back (for example) at the aviation trade mags from the sixites, seventies and eighties, the world was teeming with life in terms of small innovative companies supplying to the defense industry. It’s s a pale shadow of it’s former self now. This has had an affect on academia as well, which has always done a lot of defense related research…

  78. o/t: Did you notice this paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000216/abstract ( it’s for free) about internal variability in the liegt of a new proxy-series? It’s very interesting…

    • Frank | April 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm |

      I’m extremely dubious of any claim to fit a sub-seventeen year period of global instrumental means (covering only some 84% of the globe, no less) to paleo proxies typically with a resolution on the order of a hundred years or more, given that one can only fit a seventeen year instrumental record to the longer term instrumental climate record it belongs to with 95% confidence.

      It’s like claiming you can hit a fly’s eye with a hand grenade.

      BEST had to make its 95% certainty bands so wide as to almost overwhelm the graph anywhere earlier than the 1880’s, and certainly making 10-15 year comparisons useless. If Crowley et. al have a method for recovering that lost resolution, then talking about merely the most recent 15 years of instrumental record is among the least important aspects of such an innovation.

      The Crowley conclusion that “..there is a reasonable chance the
      phenomenon may persist for several more years, perhaps even a decade.
      ” is so guarded as to be utterly content-free. A coin toss may persist for several flips, perhaps even ten. So what? The Crowley claim “..nothing
      unusual is occurring in the natural system at this time..
      ” is drawn from fallacious reasoning, requires extraordinary assumptions, treats the climate as an exception to the laws of Physics governing the rest of the Universe, and appears to be constructed so as to specifically apply only to one very narrow 10-15 year period, unusable in any other context or for any more universal circumstance. Thus it fails on every principle of Science.

      I don’t contest the data used, and I applaud megadata, multidata, and omnidata analyses as far as they can be applied, but this paper is just more Stadium Wave drivel, failing to understand that meshing dissimilar data for shopping cart-style analysis requires orders of magnitude _more_ observation and produces only very limited types of reliable information.

      I don’t see enough cross-analyses or consideration of other cases in this slim 30-page submission to find it worth the time taken to scan over it.

      So, not impressed yet.

    • This paper, otoh, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/mu-otg041114.php ..

      By using CO2 radiative forcings as a linear surrogate for all anthropogenic effects we estimate the total anthropogenic warming and (effective) climate sensitivity finding:

      ΔTanth = 0.87±0.11 K,
      λ2x,CO2,eff = 3.08 ±0.58 K.

      These are close the IPPC AR4, AR5 values ΔTanth = 0.74±0.18 K
      and λ2x,CO2 = 1.5 – 4.5 K (equilibrium) climate sensitivity and are independent of GCM models, radiative transfer calculations and emission histories. We statistically formulate the hypothesis of warming through natural variability by using centennial scale probabilities of natural fluctuations estimated using scaling, fluctuation analysis on multiproxy data. We take into account two nonclassical statistical features – long range statistical dependencies and “fat tailed” probability distributions (both of which greatly amplify the probability of extremes). Even in the most unfavourable cases, we may reject the natural variability hypothesis at confidence levels > 99%.

      That’s actually some analysis that simplifies assumptions, is parsimonious of exceptions, applies fairly universally and so may be deemed accurate or very nearly true until new observations call its results into question.

      Do you see the difference?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Multiple linear regression one presumes. Replication has it’s place in science – except where errors are replicated endlessly.

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

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

      It is difficult not to conclude that cognitive dissonance is driving extreme trendology.

    • Robert I Ellison | April 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm |

      Math so hard for you, you endlessly regress to argument by authority, cherry-picking somewhat in field, if not on topic, clippings and pasting them over and over again ad nauseum?

      At least Wagathon changes the inapplicable authority he replicates irrelevantly from post to post. But you introduce error and then replicate it without even bothering to find a fresh invalid way of obscuring facts and inference.

      Because your comment amounts to an argument that you don’t like the numbers, so you won’t face them.

      And we now have a demonstration at the 99% confidence level of just that, not from authority, but from the data and rigorous mathematical logic.

      If you can’t argue on the data and the math, all the wordslaw in the world will not avail you.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Bart would find if he had any integrity that reference to actual authorities is not argument from authority in any accepted sense. If I quote from a NASA page repeatedly – it because of this expresses succinctly what is overwhelmingly evident to any rational observer – which would tend to exclude Bart and the stream of calumny piffle he indulges in.

      The fact is both propositions can’t correct on the basis mutual exclusivity. The weight of evidence suggests rather than a negligible influence natural variability dominated the recent period of warming.

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

      It is all about the data – not damned statistics or quibbling about a few surface observations of cloud.

  79. In response to my question, Bart R explained his reasons for what he said about Dr. Grey. And wow, what an explanation. Thanks, I think. I guess I was looking for something like a web link or a one or two sentence answer. I got way more than I bargained for, and it was a bit more personal and invasive than I’m comfortable with. I commend you for not naming names.

    Part of your complaint seems to be about Dr. Grey’s success at marketing his own abilities. And that’s not strictly up to him, but to those who believe in his relative competence. One makes a living in his field by being attractive to a university, by attracting grants. Get good enough at that, and you can augment your income by speaking fees. He’s not getting rich by appearing on the Weather Channel. Better questions for you to ask are, why do people want to hear him speak and are there people doing a better job of predicting hurricanes? Or, how do we measure excellence or competence when publicly funding atmospheric and climate sciences?

    As to his competence, I don’t believe in the predictive ability of long term weather of climate forecasts at all. So I have almost as little confidence in Dr. Grey’s long term hurricane forecasts as I do with climate models (a modicum more). And as a taxpayer, I prefer fewer rather than more publicly funded people making their livings in this field, which I find too nebulous to help our policy making. So maybe Dr. Grey’s behavior, while perhaps unkind and unfair to some (which I concede only hypothetically, for the sake of argument), falls into line with my small government goals.

    As for the aspect of your accusation which seeks to shame unreasonable, self-aggrandizing, emotional, unscientific, ego or ideological based behaviors in the science academy, sign me up. However, Dr. Grey would certainly NOT be the first person I’d correct. There are many such personalities in climate science who need it far more than he.

    • Mickey Reno | April 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

      I do not dispute that Dr. Grey seems a personally nice guy to know, nor that he has put in decades of devotion to his field and his institutions with loyalty to what I am sure he thinks are the best ends and for the best motives. Nor do I dispute that there are ways to describe what he has done as guidance he deems best for all involved. But none of that matters to Science.

      Grey’s Science and his politics are so intertwined as to make it impossible to distinguish safely the one from the other, and his results are.. well, you’ve seen how little the hurricane field has moved in the USA in forty years with Grey as the most obvious leading figure for it in the country, both relative to other fields in and out of climate, and to like fields in other countries not held back by one central figure’s whims, despite advances in technology and methods available. Heck, his whole domain still uses only the same math as was being taught when Grey was in grade school.

      You and I agree in long term weather (though apparently we disagree on climate) not being predictable.. yet Grey does make long term hurricane forecasts regularly, and appears invincible to persuasion when his Barnum phrases fail to pan out that his methods err.

      You and I agree on wanting smaller government. I consider ‘min’archy the right approach to government, and think so long as government preserves the democracy of Market Capitalism for all equally, that democracy, and the republic, are safe and need no more.

      But Grey doesn’t fit that model, either. He scrabbled up to the top of the hurricane heap early on, and has been booting off any who might dislodge his party’s views by using actual science to forward the field in ways it could move ahead. This has led to failure amply illustrated in European forecasters having to warn Americans about Sandy, days before any Greysian cottoned on.

    • Robert I Ellison

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

      Bart’s scattershot conflation of issues and stream of consciousness calumny is so far from good faith discourse that it crosses the border into surrealism.

      Various initialized schemes for seasonal to decadal forecast are in development – but the accuracy remains no better than flipping a coin. Statistical inference remains the best method for seasonal forecasts – it is a relatively new method (e.g. Murphy 2004) relating sea and atmospheric states to probabilities.

      But I would guess the ‘politics’ of Williams Grey relates to the statistical inference on weather extremes. Something not allowable in Bart’s arguments from ignorance. In Bart’s world there are obvious and wide-ranging impacts of CO2 that support the taxing of CO2 at punitive rates.

      Minarchy – though – is an misleading idea in classic liberal terms. Government exists to provide certain services that the market can’t or won’t – as such there is an optimum size in relation to socially and politically mediated ends and economic growth – which a classic liberal supports in principle if not in detail. Two of the principles are that there are better ways forward than punitive taxation and that the world is not quite yet going to hell in a hand basket.

  80. @bart – first –

    learn about blockquote.

    Your post is almost impossible to read. Fortunately I DO remember what I write and so hence I now remember your “perceived” slight. Thanks for the clarification and amusement!

    I did not insult your nationality! I asked if you were American! Why? Because you got the law all wrong! For foreigners, that is common as they see laws from their own legal perspective.

    And if you had bothered to read past the question (denoted with a question mark), you would then know why I asked as I clearly stated that in the comment! LOL! You sure are a thin skinned person! It was not an insult! Of course I am lousy at insults, I was not insulting you!

    Apparently that simple question, based upon your ignorance of American law, caused you to try to then try your childish “English” spelling of my name (I am American of French Heritage – but also have just about every other heritage mixed in as well). I still have not figured out how you got “shourdan”, but I guess that is merely another of your feeble attempts to insult me.

    So you are free to continue your petty tirade of insults, but I really do not care. Nor will I return your petty behavior.

    As for lies, I suggest you print the lies I have made. Differences of opinion are not lies. But since I am not perfect, I cannot claim to have made no mistakes. If they are true mistakes, I will be more than happy to correct them. Until then, believe what you want. You have provided a lot of entertainment as you sputter out of your feigned rage at a feigned slight you think was directed at you.

    • Oops! Sorry, forgot to put the ending slash in there. But at least you can see the effect.

    • philjourdan | April 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

      Being French, I’d think you’d know if it was “quel” or “quelle”.

      ..that’s all you can scrape up, almost three and a half years later?
      .. when I see someone continuing to flail around so badly mangling the art of insult as in this thread, I have to speak up.

      Get fresh material. Stay relevant. Find a way to turn your words cleverly. Because if you can’t say something nasty with wit, it’s better not to say it at all.

      Me.

      The claim was about using outdated and invalid insults without wit.

      Which, I’m pretty sure the goalposts haven’t moved and you just keep on scoring own goals. (That’s a term from that game they play in France; ‘futbol’, as the Spanish call it. No one cares what the French call it.)

      How long ago was the Dimmock v. trial settled? Long enough to be stale.

      How relevant was it that the judge pared down 47 claims of errors by the ban-seeking Dimmock to nine points so innocuous that the court merely reinforced the already in place guidance package? Not at all. How witty is it to refer to a stale, incorrect Big Lie version of events for support? Half witty, at best. Do you smell the dead horse yet?

      • @bart – Congratulations! Never let it be said that I do not recognize achievement. You learned blockquotes!

        But you do not have to quote your own words. I do not think anyone would accuse you of plagiarism for that.

        And the article on chakra algore’s trial was brought up because YOU brought it up. Frankly, I do not care. I merely pointed out that the movie was deemed to be fictional. And so it was.

        But since you have learned, except not to use petty insults, I will tell you that you can use quel or quelle in French. Either is acceptable. Perhaps tomorrow I can teach you how to pen a comment without writing inanities about data or injecting more childish insults!

        You can learn after all. You proved that.

    • philjourdan | April 15, 2014 at 8:41 am |

      But you do not have to quote your own words. I do not think anyone would accuse you of plagiarism for that.

      Dude, juvenile; I was citing the original goalposts, as you had accused them of moving, to illustrate they had not. Oh, and the blockquote isn’t the only widely accepted way to indicate something unoriginal here. See, simple italics do fine to highlight the unoriginal.

      And the article on chakra algore’s trial was brought up because YOU brought it up. Frankly, I do not care. I merely pointed out that the movie was deemed to be fictional. And so it was.

      Uh.. no. The movie AIT was not deemed to be fictional by Mr. Justice Burton, or any court of law, despite the Big Lie you repeat propagandizing that claim. The film was deemed to be based on Science, but with a nonpartisan political aspect: entirely different from fiction. READ HARDER. The trial was brought up by you; ‘article’ is vague, as what was brought up was a wiki entry and the judgement itself, and not some ‘article'; are you sure you’ve been paying attention? Because no one else could be convinced you have.

      You have yet to learn the difference between the art of insult and the practice of lying, which I suppose is a form of insult when practiced so openly and transparently; it insults our intelligence.

      • @bart and another whiff and miss. Sorry bart, but yes, the movie was deemed to be fictional – or more precisely, non-factual (talk to a librarian about the difference). Had I said “a lie” that would have been incorrect.

        And you did move the goal posts, then bring in chakra algore, then accused others of doing so!

        You got to keep up with what you write.

    • philjourdan | April 16, 2014 at 10:44 am |

      Cite where this ‘non-factual’ phrase was used, and by whom, and when.

      The judgement contains only one use of the word ‘factual’, and in such a context as would mean were the judge to have found the film non-factual and thus partisan he would have been obliged to ban its showing in schools; that the film AIT was not banned in schools is all we need to know to be forced to acknowledge that the judge found AIT to be factual.

      There are no occurrences of ‘fictional’ or ‘ficticious’ or even of ‘fict’ in the judgement, so the judgement can’t be your source, and as the judgement contains all the findings, your claims are the fiction, and one may assert, the Big Lie.

      Why do you Big Lie to us, when so clearly caught?

      • @bart – Still flogging the dead chakra algore horse. I already linked to the original trial transcripts. Do I need to waste the space again?

        Save us all some time and trouble. Search up the thread. See the link to the UK Court site? Click on it.

        I know you can.

        And please! We are having such a nice conversation. Stop with the petty insults and juvenile ad hominems! We can discuss this as adults, right?

    • philjourdan | April 17, 2014 at 10:13 am |

      Dude, I provided that link to the judgement.

      Here’s a couple more relevant links:

      http://books.google.ca/books?id=cUycAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA507&lpg=PA507&dq=dimmock+ait+burton&source=bl&ots=cahuTfLIEc&sig=J4swibfy6z6EbNsDJ5KmmWQXBlI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w-hPU_aZAYreyQHh6ICoCQ&ved=0CHgQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=dimmock%20ait%20burton&f=false

      and, as anodyne for the grossly unbalanced and untrue reports so many cite,

      http://www.desmogblog.com/an-inconvenient-judgment-u-k-court-actually-endorsed-gores-film

      But I go further. An honest reading of what the judge did requires understanding what a judge may do in Science, which is only to apply the Daubert test, precedent, and the law.

      What are called ‘errors’ by the plaintiff are not called errors in the judgment, which is unrestrained in its praise of the merits of AIT, but which are treated as points on which AIT fail Daubert, the test of whether a statement corresponds to the mainstream of Science and thus need not be treated as opinion, conjecture or exaggeration.

      Three of these ‘errors’ were found to merely be imprecise, in that AIT did not explicitly specify the timescale of the claims. Enh. The film apparently presented a multi-million year or hundred-thousand year timescale for climate, so quibbling that it didn’t repeat timescale in three small statements is really beyond hairsplitting to a reasonable person.

      Of the six remaining ‘errors’, half have since become accepted by the scientific mainstream, and thus pass Daubert. That makes the judgment itself more in error than AIT, and as with most science, erring on the side of least drama, not on the side of truth or justice.

      AIT made hundreds or thousands of claims. Dimmock and the proto-GWPF alleged four dozen or so errors and called for banning or censoring. The judge found nine small points of legal nicety and ordered a tiny amendment to guidance notes without determining error at all.

      Al Gore’s a big, easy target who’s done and continues to do a lot to be criticized about; AIT isn’t one of them.

      • @bart – desmog is not a link to the verdict. Nor is google books. So no, you did not. I linked to the court site. Where the judgement was written, and recorded.

        Please tell me you know the difference between a biased opinion piece and the actual primary source? I would hate to think you are not capable of discerning the difference.

    • BartR

      I do not want to get embroiled in your very lengthy debate with Phil so I will post this one comment concerning AIT. I do not have anything in particular against Al Gore who did some useful environmental work and also wrote a good book on climate change called ‘Earth in the balance’ in which the evidence he compiled on continual climate change seems at odds with AIT

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

      The British court judgement on AIT and its implications were much more nuanced than desmogblog say.

      If you are interested, this matter was dissected in great detail by Tony Newberry, a most thoughtful British commentator who blogs on the vagaries of the various bodies supporting climate change ranging from the BBC to Ofcom to The Guardian and the Met office

      http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=351&cp=1#comments

      I got briefly involved in as much the judgement called for other views to be put over to schools in certain cases.

      I gave three talks to schools on climate change and the historical record. The teachers were-alas for Justice Burtons beliefs in equity-highly biased, and they put up with me with very bad grace, interrupted and constantly pointed to the poster of Mann’s Hockey stick which was present on classroom walls

      I bailed out after 3 (unpaid) presentations, partly because of the time and hassle involved, but also because I found the nihilistic attitude of the children to be depressing. A very good proportion believed that CO2 comprised 80% of the atmosphere, that virtually all of it came from man and the earth would get so hot that life would be impossible once they were adults.

      The teachers most vociferous in putting these ideas in children’s heads were very politically/ideologically motivated and had no science background.

      This is a small snapshot of a complex picture and as I say I do not want to rake over old ground, but I think you would find Tony Newberry a very engaging and thoughtful commentator to approach if this matter is of continued interest to you.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/08/are-academia-and-publishing-destroying-scientific-innovation/#comment-525038

      tonyb

      • @tony – I am trying to debate, but unfortunately bart is refusing to. I do not blame you for wanting to avoid this parade of scarecrows and ad hominems.

    • climatereason | April 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm |

      Thank you for your testimonial.

      Don’t be offput by children: they’re a suspicious, ill-informed lot in general, and ought be avoided by strangers who want to tell them Big Lies, as they tend to become nihilistic in tone and respond with big lies of their own.

      80% CO2?

      What a whopper.

      Keep trying. Don’t give up. There are plenty of small animals you can deliver your balanced views to, who will I am sure be less argumentative than children.

  81. philjourdan | April 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

    So.. you’re saying it’s _you_ who need to learn about blockquote?

    If it’s hard to read posts, READ HARDER, man.

    You seem to fall prey to this own petard thing pretty often. Are you purposely self-spoofing, or is it pathological?

    If the standard of one’s citizenship is measured in getting the law right or wrong, we’ve established you worthy of neither ‘UKian’ nor ‘USAian’ nationality.

    Al Gore in AIT, as found by the ‘UKian’ courts, was on solid scientific ground and not found to be a work of fiction as you asserted, merely a scientifically-founded work with significant merit that happened to have a nonpartisan political component; the AIT kit as the ‘UKian’ education system was using it, packaged with a lesson plan and appropriate guidance for school-age viewers was determined by the court, as it is hardly the job of any school system to turn out children ignorant of both Science and political truths (except perhaps in Texas and Dixie); nine specific notes of guidance were required by the court, (what you wrongly call ‘errors’) instructing school age children in three cases that although the statement was accurate it was imprecise in omitting timespan or other details, and that in the other six cases that the views expressed otherwise did not meet the narrowest Daubert Test criteria of being the established view of mainstream Science; in three of those cases, the views expressed have since become the established view of mainstream Science, to show how staledated your defamation of Al Gore has become.

    So you can get off the “Dimmey, Monckey & Unnamed Co-conspirators vs. AIT” case bandwagon; Dimmock, Monckton et al lost that one on all counts.

    • Bart R

      You are obviously delusional if you believe that the UK court gave Al Gore’s sci-fi flic “AIT” a clean bill of health.

      Read the transcript.

      It was found to be as full of holes as (pardon the expression) a Swiss cheese.

      Max

    • “Al Gore in AIT, as found by the ‘UKian’ courts, was on solid scientific ground”

      Courts have the competency to judge scientific questions in Leftist Fantasyland, but not in real life.

      Andrew

    • Your hero Al Gore has no conscience. And, the way he treated his mentor Roger Revelle proves he is shameless.

      Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam.

      Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle’s Mea culpa as the actions of senile old man. And, the next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate, From 1992 until today, he and his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when asked about we skeptics they simply insult us and call us names.

      ~John Coleman

    • @Bart – you are getting tiresome. You quoted my entire post, but with no delineation between what I said and what you said. Not even a quote mark (that is also very bad form). I made a typo which caused a double nesting of blockquotes. Still, even with the typo, you can easily see the delineation.

      There is no rule saying you have to use them. I only suggested so that others could more easily read your comments. Unless your purpose is to hide your comments? Given your love affair with the Chakra monster, I can well understand your trepidation on having your written words understood by others.

      As for your banging away at a dead horse, algore lost in the UK courts. We have been over that and the material is above for those bored enough to read it. I will not go over it again as the links are also there.

      Keep whipping that dead horse. I am sure you think he is going to get up and trot off again.

      BTW: Unlike you, upon realizing I made a mistake, I drew attention to it. I doubt you would have known otherwise.

    • manacker | April 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm |

      Please, do point us to the part of the judgement that uses the word “Swiss”; it seems to have not made it into my copy.

      As for cheese, the only appearance in http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html is:

      16. There is nothing to prevent (to take an extreme case) there being a strong preference for a theory – if it were a political one – that the moon is not made out of green cheese, and hence a minimal, but dispassionate, reference to the alternative theory. The balanced approach does not involve equality. In my judgment, the word “balanced” in s407 means nothing more than fair and dispassionate.

      Which again seems to legally put the boots to your argument.

      Please, by all means, cite points from the judgment supporting your absurd claim, if you can, but actually cite them with direct quotes and not your spinny interpretations, instead of making stuff up yet again.

      Bad Andrew | April 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm |

      I’d be the first one to agree that courts of law have no place in Science, if not for the judge in this case, and countless judges before, beating me to it. No one is saying anything else. Well, no one except manacker and philjourdan are saying anything else. But we already knew they were wrong.

      Wagathon | April 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm |

      Bzzt. Neither Al Gore, nor conscience, mean much to me, especially not from you; certainly he isn’t “my hero”, and the bluster of a hypocrite who shamelessly fills blog comments with haphazard quotations from hapless propagandists doesn’t fill me with apprehension of Al Gore’s relatively smaller shamelessness.

      If you want to talk about conscience, start by not repeating others’ lies quite so zealously.

      philjourdan | April 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm |

      I rather thought from the context it obvious that I’d mistakenly copied a block of text you’d written into my copy-paste window. As you were kind enough to point it out in your smoothly charming way, what need was there to belabor the obvious?

      At some point, I’ll eventually care enough about that ‘chakra’ thing to Google “Al Gore chakra”, but it’s so obscurely trivial, I doubt it will be this century. The next one doesn’t look good, either.

      As a mathematician, I take a pragmatic view.

      Before the court case, AIT was shown in schools with a package of guidance for teachers; after the court case, AIT was shown in schools with a package of guidance for teachers that was substantially the same as before the court case. Net zero significant difference. The plaintiffs sought AIT to be banned from schools. If anything, the judgment tallied substantial praise and support for AIT from the judge. The result was the opposite of what the plaintiffs sought. Pragmatically, they lost. Indeed, they pretty much epitomize in every sense the word “losers”.

      Sure, you might call it beating a dead horse to repeat this, but I call it rubbing a loser’s nose in it. Not classy, perhaps, but earned.

      • @bart – You are rubbing your nose in it? Quel surprise.

        never the less, we all see you are now moving the goal posts. No one claimed the movie was banned based upon the trial outcome. So that is just another non sequitur on your part.

        And it was NOT apparent you errantly copied and pasted my comment. Many people copy portions of a comment they wish to comment on. Unlike you, I am not clairvoyant so have no idea what you meant, did not mean, or intended or did not intend. Nor have I speculated. I address what you say.

        And that appears to be your problem. You have not addressed anyone’s comments directly, you have merely lobbed additional ad hominems at them because they dared ridicule your hero, chakra algore. Too bad for you. But I will hand one thing to you. You are a good gorite.

        If you would like to address any of the, now, numerous posts that show you are wrong, we will eagerly await your spin. Until then, continue to spew irrelevancies. I doubt anyone else cares or is listening.

    • philjourdan | April 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

      Huh. Since I know you’ll want me to ‘admit’ to my mistake and ‘apologize’ for the misthreading, please see http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/08/are-academia-and-publishing-destroying-scientific-innovation/#comment-522498

      • @bart – Not a problem! I recognized your use of blockquotes, and gave you an attaboy! We all sometimes mispost responses. But since you used blockquotes, it was easy to see what you were responding to!

        But just for you, I will give you another “attaboy” for your use of blockquotes.

  82. Walt Allensworth

    I see a lot of tight chrony-academic systems, but nowhere is a closed system more apparent than in climate science.

    • Walt Allensworth | April 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

      Pfft. If you think CSU and UAH are that bad for climate, you should try the Ivy League for Securities and Investment. Or Texas for football.

      Though I’m sure Pielke Jr. got into Climate on his own merits; nothing to do with his father.

  83. You do all understand, we’re talking about Dr. William Gray, not someone named William Grey, right?

    I mean, for me it was echoing back the misspelling of another until philjourdan claimed elsethread that it’s only good manners to point out a mistake.

    Mickey Reno’s excused as everyone’s allowed a Persian Flaw.

    What’s the excuse for the rest of you?

    • Robert I Ellison

      The US cyclone forecasts and the lack of extremes might be a dead give away. The endless stream of consciousness calumny and surrealism notwithstanding – the greater error – inter alia – by far is the argument from ignorance of statistical inference.

      Not so much shifting sand as shifting it a grain at a time.

    • Robert I Ellison | April 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm |

      Right. “Off meds” is as good an excuse as any. Be well. We worry for you.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The problem with responding with triple plus uncleverness is that it is derivative and juvenile.

  84. The US apparently has a good supply of academia and publishing.

    One result of all this progress is that the US has achieved an incredible scientific breakthrough.

    The new theory is that rather than doing anything yourself, you just borrow money and pay somebody else to do it. Ensure that you claim intellectual property rights where possible. In this event, you can sue the person that came up with the innovation, and pay back the borrowed money.

    The US has demonstrated its commitment to this breakthrough by paying the Russians for their space technology, and purchasing Russian rocket engines, rather than going to the trouble of developing their own.

    Likewise, the NSA has been created to obtain information without paying the providers. This experiment is ongoing, but evidence to date indicates reasonable success.

    Unfortunately, the amount of borrowed money seems to be increasing. As AFOMD would say, without pause or obvious limit. This might be a small defect in the theory, but as scientists might say, the exception proves the rule.

    Warmists would no doubt agree that the trend indicates that the debt will become infinite. At this point, the lenders will realise that the borrower cannot repay the debt, and burst into tears, to the derisory sniggers of the US scientific community.

    This is evidence based proof that the new theory of continuous borrowing is working, and includes both past and future history to support it. Just like Global Warming.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  85. Science is secondary to the need to get on in life. I’ve worked in academia and industry, many years in both. I’ve seen the need to publish at all costs, I’ve seen the need to sex up a claim. IMHO data rule over prior beliefs or indeed silly consensus arguments, call me old fashioned, maybe I am. The Null rules, are we forgetting basic principles in the hunt for scary stories? Not me.

  86. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy news Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  87. Pingback: Can’t risk new directions AFTER tenure either, says prof | Uncommon Descent

  88. @bart – Ad homs at you? Please point one out. I have been more than civil to you in face of all your petty insults.

    And yes, we are in a debate. When you made a contention, that I refuted and you attempted to rebut my refutation. Having failed to do so, you then resorted to scare crows (trying to change the subject) and ad hominems.

    We actually have 2 debates going. One is on the fallacies in the chakra algore movie. One which you lost because you refused to read the link to the court website, instead relying upon spin from opinion sites.

    The other on my debunking of a chakra algore (among others) claim of increased cyclonic activity due to increased levels of CO2.

    But we do seem to have one area of agreement. I do not really care what your opinion is either. And since opinions are like nether regions, I have not given you any of mine. So I guess you just do not like the facts.

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