Lennart Bengtsson speaks out

by Judith Curry

The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong. – Lennart Bengtsson

Last week, The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) issued a press release that Lennart Bengtsson joints the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council. Exceprts:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that Professor Lennart Bengtsson, one of Sweden’s leading climate scientists, has joined the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

Professor Lennart Bengtsson has a long and distinguished international career in meteorology and climate research. He participated actively in the development of ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting) where he was Head of Research 1975-1981 and Director 1982-1990. In 1991-2000 he was Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. Since 2000 he has been professor at the University of Reading and from 2008 the Director of the International Space Science Institute in Bern, Switzerland.

Professor Bengtsson has received many awards including the German Environmental Reward, The Descartes Price by the EU and the IMI price from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). He is member of many academies and societies and is honorary member of the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society and European Geophysical Union. His research work covers some 225 publications in the field of meteorology and climatology. In recent years he has been involved with climate and energy policy issues at the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The other members of the GWPF Academic Advisory Council are [link].

Both Marcel Crok and Hans von Storch have interviewed Bengtsson subsequent to the GWPF announcement.

Marcel Crok’s interview

Exceprts from Crok’s interview:

MK: Why did you join the GWPF Academic Council?
LB:I know some of the scientists in GWPF and they have made fine contributions to science. I also respect individuals that speak their mind as they consider scientific truth (to that extent we can determine it) more important than to be politically correct. I believe it is important to express different views in an area that is potentially so important and complex and still insufficiently known as climate change.
My interest in climate science is strictly scientific and I very much regret the politicisation that has taken place in climate research. I believe most serious scientists are sceptics and are frustrated that we are not able to properly validate climate change simulations. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of Karl Popper. I also believe that most scientists are potentially worried because of the long residence time of many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, our worries must be put into a context as there are endless matters to worry about, practically all of them impossible to predict. Just move yourself backward in time exactly 100 years and try to foresee the evolution in the world for the following 100 years.

MC: Is this your way of telling the world that you have become a “climate sceptic”? (many people might interpret it that way) If not, how would you position yourself in the global warming debate?
LB: I have always been sort of a climate sceptic. I do not consider this in any way as negative but in fact as a natural attitude for a scientist. I have never been overly worried to express my opinion and have not really changed my opinion or attitude to science. I have always been driven by curiosity but will of course always try to see that science is useful for society. This is the reason that I have devoted so much of my career to improve weather prediction.

MC: Is there according to you a “climate consensus” in the community of climate scientists and if so what is it?
LB: I believe the whole climate consensus debate is silly. There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast. Here there is no consensus as you can see from the IPCC report where climate sensitivity varies with a factor of three! Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models. Here I intend to stick to Karl Popper in highlighting the need for proper validation.

MC: Mojib Latif once said at a conference of the WMO (in 2009) “we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves”. Do you think the climate community is doing that (enough)? or are others like the GWPF needed to ask these “nasty” questions? If so, what does this say about the state of Academia?

I think the climate community shall be more critical and spend more time to understand what they are doing instead of presenting endless and often superficial results and to do this with a critical mind. I do not believe that the IPCC machinery is what is best for science in the long term. We are still in a situation where our knowledge is insufficient and climate models are not good enough. What we need is more basic research freely organized and driven by leading scientists without time pressure to deliver and only deliver when they believe the result is good and solid enough. It is not for scientists to determine what society should do. In order for society to make sensible decisions in complex issues it is essential to have input from different areas and from different individuals. The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong.

MC: I noticed that some climate scientists grow more sceptical about global warming after their retirement. Can you confirm this? Does it apply to yourself? Is there a lot of social pressure to follow the climate consensus among working climate scientists which can explain this?
LB: Wisdom perhaps comes with age. I also believe you are becoming more independent and less sensitive to political or group pressure. Such pressure is too high today and many good scientists I believe are suffering. I am presently a lot on my own. As I have replied to such questions before, if I cannot stand my own opinions, life will become completely unbearable.

 Von Storch’s interview

Excerpts from von Storch’s interview: 

LB: My interest i climate science and in weather prediction has always been driven by scientific curiosity and I have increasingly been disturbed by the strong tendencies to politization that has taken place in climate research in recent years. I believe most serious scientists are sceptics and are particularly frustrated that we are not able to properly validate climate change simulations. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of Karl Popper that I believe is particularly important when you are dealing with complex systems of which the climate system is a primary example. For this reason empirical evidence is absolutely essential. The  warming of the climate system since the end of the 19th century has been very modest by some ¾°C in spite of the  simultaneous increase in greenhouse gas forcing by 2.5-3 W/m2. 

I am concern that this as well as the lack of ocean surface warming in some 17 years has not been properly recognized by IPCC. Nor have the cooling and increase in sea ice around Antarctica been properly recognized.  Climate science must be focussed to understand such matters much better and for this reason it is appropriate to have an open mind and not follow the IPCC as believers of a religious faith.

HvS: The GWPF – what type of organisation is this? 

LB: I was somewhat surprised when I was asked to join but I know some of the people like Richard Lindzen, Richard Tol and Henrik Svensmark that I consider as fine scientists although I do not always agree with them. In fact I have had considerable disagreement with both Lindzen and Svensmark in public debates during the last 15 years. Most of the members of GWPF are economists and leading intellectuals that often have expressed critique towards the present dominant climate policy. This critique has generally in my view been justified as I strongly endorse an open society  and consider it as an healthy sign that there is place for different well-thought through opinions on complex issues.

HvS: It seems that rather controversial knowledge claims are voiced through the  GWPF-website – e.g. “The Observatory”. Some may believe that you as an advisory board member and very prominent atmospheric scientist would share such claims. Will you try to avoid such perceptions? What about your skeptical attitude concerning knowledge claims favored by GWPF or its members?

LB: There is no common view among the members of GWPF and I might well have a quite different view than from some of them. I will in no way hide my views. But I believe that someone like Lindzen that is a first class meteorologist sees things in a similar way. I am not joining in order to learn any meteorology but to rather to teach. But we might have more common views what we are going to do about climate change. I am looking forward to argue with some of the other members –  we will see how it will work out.

JC comments

I regard this as a very interesting and significant event, that runs counter to the near universal trend in academic circles to attempt to ignore and marginalize organizations and individuals that are skeptical of UNFCCC/IPCC global warming science, impacts, and/or solutions.

I don’t disagree with anything LB has said here, I applaud his speaking out in this way.  I haven’t personally made up my mind about the GWPF; I will be following closely to see how this plays out.

LB’s most significant statements, IMO, which I wholeheartedly endorse:

I believe it is important to express different views in an area that is potentially so important and complex and still insufficiently known as climate change.

However, our worries must be put into a context as there are endless matters to worry about, practically all of them impossible to predict. 

I think the climate community shall be more critical and spend more time to understand what they are doing instead of presenting endless and often superficial results and to do this with a critical mind. I do not believe that the IPCC machinery is what is best for science in the long term. We are still in a situation where our knowledge is insufficient and climate models are not good enough. What we need is more basic research freely organized and driven by leading scientists without time pressure to deliver and only deliver when they believe the result is good and solid enough. It is not for scientists to determine what society should do. In order for society to make sensible decisions in complex issues it is essential to have input from different areas and from different individuals. The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong.

Wisdom perhaps comes with age. I also believe you are becoming more independent and less sensitive to political or group pressure. Such pressure is too high today and many good scientists I believe are suffering. I am presently a lot on my own. As I have replied to such questions before, if I cannot stand my own opinions, life will become completely unbearable.

 

 

381 responses to “Lennart Bengtsson speaks out

  1. That’s great news!

    • The mystery that began with the release of Climategate emails and documents in Nov 2009 has evolved into a noisy deadlock that

      1. Threatens social stability
      2. Has powerful political forces on one side and reliable experimental data and observations on the other:

      http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/global-warming-aka-climate-change-theory-is-rubbish/

    • It was great news, now overwhelmed by the “community” of climate scientists enforcing orthodoxy on a wayward member:

      http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/14/the-cleansing-of-lennart-bengtsson/

    • This episode puts Judith Curry’s courage and determination in a bright light. Despite the mockery she gets from certain squalid trolls here, what she does is impressive and most laudable.

      Even Mark Steyn, quite familiar with campaigns to enforce political correctness in various fields has been “stunned” by the degree of enforced conformity in climate science. He will now need to revise his last comments to take account of this new episode in enforced conformity. Steyn writing BEFORE the news of Bengtsson’s recantation:

      If you’re older, tenured, sufficiently eminent and can stand his acolytes jumping you in the parking lot and taking the hockey stick to you, you’ll acknowledge that his greatest achievement is distinguished mainly for its “misrepresentations” and “falsifications”.

      But, if you’re a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes funding, there goes your career: you’ll be cut off like Briffa’s tree rings. I’ve been stunned to learn of the very real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world. That’s why I’m playing this one differently from the Maclean’s case: Dr Mann will be on the witness stand under oath, and the lies that went unchallenged in the Big Climate echo chamber will not prove so easy to get away with. I didn’t seek this battle with this disreputable man. But, when it’s over, I hope that those who work in this field will once again be free to go where the science leads.

    • That’s even better news, . . .

      As a drowning person strugges most mightily just before sinking, . . .

      So the frightened alliance of world leaders and puppet scientists that secretly formed in 1945 to save the world from nuclear annihilation . . .

      are now signaling their surrender to reality.

      They probably don’t know it, but they have assured us of their demise.

  2. The establishment scientists need take on board the fact that the Modeling technique is inherently useless for climate forecasting because models with such a large number of variables simply cannot be computed or indeed even initialized with sufficient precision and accuracy.
    Take the time to watch –

    The IPCC itself has been quite open about this and in practice the modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting and have indeed said so in the WG1 reports. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
    “Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
    What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2.This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g. that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested anyway. This means that the successive SPM uncertainty estimates take no account of the structural uncertainties in the models and that almost the entire the range of model outputs may well lay outside the range of the real world future climate variability.
    The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)
    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
    In plain English this means that they have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that the politicians have no empirical scientific basis for their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    In summary the projections of the IPCC – Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them are based on specifically structurally flawed and inherently useless models. They deserve no place in any serious discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a basis for public policy their forecasts are grossly in error and therefore worse than useless
    The entire IPCC output falls into the not even wrong category and provides no basis for serious discussion yet most anti alarmist bloggers and almost all the MSM pundits continue to refer to the IPCC forecasts as though they had some connection to the real world.
    A new forecasting method must be used. For forecasts of the probable coming cooling based on the 60 and 1000 year quasi-periodicities in the temperature data and the neutron count and the 10 Be record as the best proxy for solar activity see several posts over the last two years at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • While it may seem a pointless exercise in semantics, I have to question whether one can, indeed, forecast the climate. Or, if you can, how worthwhile the exercise would be compared to better forecasting the weather. That’s where we should be putting all of the resources we’re throwing down the climate change rathole.

    • Dr Norman Page | May 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm |

      So.. let me see if I have this straight: I can demonstrate the posited ’60-year periodicities’ false on flat trendology on the data we have at hand; I can demonstrate the 22-year pseudoperiodic correlation of sunspots and global temperature existed up until half a century ago and then vanished completely, on basic trendology on the data we have at hand; no one can demonstrate 1000 year, 1500 year, or any other periodicity longer than a century and less than 100,000 years, above even odds on all the data available, even so far as getting the direction of changes right, while we have good data indicating random volcanic eruptions with no periodicity have major influence on global climate.. and you think that’s better than GCMs that at least get the direction of changes right, and provide useful tools for measuring the scope of our ignorance?

      Absurd.

      Using GCMs for weather predictions is not going to happen. Nothing can predict future weather in fine detail. Because there will always be unpredictability due volcano, and no one yet can predict how humans will act on a climate scale, either, and we know — FROM GCMs — that human influences are the largest determinant of climate outcomes.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bart R: that human influences are the largest determinant of climate outcomes.

      The GCMs don’t just miss the details, they are wrong on the trend in the global mean temperature. Of what climate outcomes are you writing there? Humans have no influence on the Equator-to-Pole gradient in mean temperature, or the fluctuations between flood and drought in China.

    • Don Monfort

      I am with barty, on this one. The GCMs get the direction of changes right. That’s easy for them; it’s either up down or sideways. They predicted the pause, way back in the nineties. Or is my memory failing me?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Don Monfort: They predicted the pause, way back in the nineties. Or is my memory failing me?

      I would appreciate a reference. As far as I know, Tsonis and one other whose name escaped me predicted the “pause” after it had begun, using statistical models not the GCMs.

    • Don Monfort

      We make a good team, Matt.

    • Matthew R Marler | May 4, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
      Don Monfort | May 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm |

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:191/mean:193/last:384/plot/esrl-co2/mean:191/mean:193/scale:0.0128/offset:-4.35

      What pause?

      Did you learn nothing from Dr. Page on precision and accuracy? Below a precision of about 34 years, the interpolated weather station instrumental surface record falls to less than 99% accuracy.

      There’s no pause on the record that’s more than 99% accurate.

      GCM’s don’t model weather stations, but weather phenomena, which weather stations cannot accurately reflect on a global scale. And we know GCM’s have too granular a resolution to be precise in their simulations, too. But what the GCM’s do show effectively, that there is no mathematical way to account for the global warming that weather stations do capture, absent AGW.

      That proves attribution. It’s a useful result. Is it precise enough for prediction of weather? No. But then, we can’t have precise enough for prediction of weather.

      We know that emission of CO2E is costing us in climate we must adapt to and do suffer from, with marginal and dubious benefits we never asked for. That’s enough for a policy of polluter pay.

    • Bart R | May 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm |

      But what the GCM’s do show effectively, that there is no mathematical way to account for the global warming that weather stations do capture, absent AGW.

      Thank for bring up this point. It’s also been said as a best fit. What do I know? I don’t have a GCM, don’t understand them beyond a cartoon level and it’s unlikely I ever will. But my question is could one be made with a much lower CO2 sensitivity that worked?

      Steven McIntyre had a post related to this: http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/21/results-from-a-low-sensitivity-model/

      Both the current CMIP5 and the old GCM-Q are in the ballpark of catching the roughly 1913, 1942, and 1977 breaks. Both models miss on the 2001 break where the slope should have flattened. One way of looking at this is as the effectiveness of CO2 become exponential, that will override the breaks, unless it can’t.

      It looks to me like the old GCM-Q had the better fit.

    • k scott denison

      Hey Bart, I extended the temperature data on your chart back to 1900.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:191/mean:193/from:1900/plot/esrl-co2/mean:191/mean:193/scale:0.0128/offset:-4.35

      Please explain why the temperature at nearly identically the same rate from 1910 to 1940 then fell from 1940 to 1970. Was man the cause of 1910 to 1940 as well?

    • k scott denison | May 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm |

      #Data processed by http://www.woodfortrees.org
      #Please check original source for first-hand data and information:
      #
      #Time series (hadcrut4) from 1850 to 2014.25
      #Selected data from 1908.42
      #Selected data up to 1949.25
      #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.013316 per year
      1908.5 -0.474437
      1949.25 0.0681886
      #Data ends
      #Number of samples: 2
      #Mean: -0.203124
      #—————————————————-
      #Data from Hadley Centre
      #http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/download.html
      #For terms and conditions of use, please see
      #http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/terms_and_conditions.html
      #—————————————————-
      #Selected last 372 samples
      #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0163504 per year
      1983.25 0.0676212
      2014.25 0.574483
      #Data ends
      #Number of samples: 2
      #Mean: 0.321052

      1.63504E-2 / 1.3316E-2 = 1.23

      I don’t call 23% higher rate “nearly identical”. If it were a fine for speeding 23% over the posted limit, it would be a lot of cash money. If it were a raise, it would be a big raise. If it were the interest rate on a loan, it would be a big interest rate.

      On top of which:

      0.321052K – -0.203124K = 0.524176K

      The later rise centers on a temperature over half a degree more than the lower rise. If you want to talk about “nearly identical”, that is over half a degree difference in half a century, and growing.

      So, to recap, no pause, and much higher than the previous rise in steepness, longer in duration, as the earlier rise was only 31 years, the current rise is already half a decade longer without pause, and higher than the previous rise in start and end temperature range, and not like the previous rise in solar forcing, and not like the previous rise in volcanic influences, and unlike the previous rise too in ocean decadal circulations (one of which, in the Atlantic, had a significant shift favoring Svalbard which persists to this day, showing no periodic tendency to shift back away toward its older course).

      So WHAT THE FREAK are you on about?

    • k scott denison

      Hey Bart, what caused the decline from 1940-1970? What caused the rise from 1910-1940? Glad you can do math, but CO2 doesn’t explain either of these.

    • k scott denison

      Or, Bart, are you saying that only 23% of the increase from 1970 on was due to CO2, in which case I’d say no worries.

    • k scott denison | May 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm |

      I’d suggest, based on the directions of all known forcings, that more than 100% of the post 1970 warming was due CO2E emissions.

      On the face of it, solar forcing well explains the shape of the global temperature curve prior to 1970, and the fingerprint of solar forcing on global warming at 22-year synchronized correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature shifts coincidentally disappeared just as the CO2E levels exploded so dramatically.

      The Sun lost to fossil fuels, and remains a pale third-rate has been.. A has been that ought have dragged global temperatures deeply down just when instead they went steeply up.

      And interpolated weather station global temperature averages is far from the whole story, too. There are some fifty essential climate variables recognized by WMO. The evidence of these 50 is also overwhelming, in some cases far moreso than weather station temperatures. And that’s _just_ climate, on only the variables the WMO well understands the attribution for.

      Botanically, microbiotically, oceanographically, CO2 is a pervasive and powerful chemical. In plants, it amplifies or moderates plant hormones. In microbes, it shifts population performance. In the ocean, it drops pH and also amplifies or moderates phytoplankton and plant hormones while shifting population trends, in ways biologists are only beginning to grapple with. Far from the beneficial ‘plant food’ many claim CO2 is, we know from Lessing’s Law of the Least that CO2 is already too plentiful once it is past 200 ppmv to be a very effective nutrient in the wild, and the uncontrolled experiment we’re running on the biosphere leaves us with no fallback should it do irreparable harm.. Oops. It’s already done that.

  3. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “I regard this as a very interesting and significant event, that runs counter to the near universal trend in academic circles to attempt to ignore and marginalize organizations and individuals that are skeptical of UNFCCC/IPCC global warming science, impacts, and/or solutions.”

    I couldn’t agree more, Judith. It’s sometimes difficult to notice changes in the short term, but my sense for a long time now has been that the alarmists have lost the argument, certainly from a policy point of view. They just don’t know it yet..

    I love the statement to the effect that sure, this is a potential worry, but worries must be put in context. The wild fixation on climate change in the absence of persuasive empirical evidence, strikes me as a kind of fetish.

    • Consensus science (that done by committee) is a democracy – everyone loves a democracy!

      Skeptic science (that most skeptics support) is a tyranny – a tyranny of the data and evidence. It is ruled by a tyrannical uncaring tyrant that doesn’t care what the hoi polloi want or would prefer.

      Skeptic science is cold and heartless, unbending unyielding and in all its facets it is the worst possible kind of science in all but one — it is usually right.

    • David L. Hagen

      Scottish Sceptic
      Caring for the poor in context of wise stewardship can guide our application of science and facts. See the Cornwall Alliance.

    • Scottish Sceptic,

      “Consensus science (that done by committee) is a democracy – everyone loves a democracy!”

      Consensus science is a democracy, in the same sense that Iraq was a democracy under Saddam Hussein. Saddam used to win elections by 100%. Everyone who voted was given only one candidate. The votes of those who wrote in someone else were ignored. And those who did not support the consensus were, shall we say, disadvantaged.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      Consensus science especially when it self identifies as such, is always political… in the larger sense of the word. Remove the perks, especially the government funding, and watch the consensus fall apart.

      It follows like the night the day.

    • k scott denison

      Absolutely pokerguy. In fact, a better name than consensus science is “gravey train” science.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      Yes Scott, or we could call it “pigs at the trough” science. I see this as a perfect storm of politics, opportunism, and vested interest-ism. The pay-offs in grants, professional advancement, and public esteem that would never be available otherwise….which they’re able to insulate and sustain with pious cries of “saving the planet for our children and grandchildren,” along with its profound appeal to progressive and so-called “greens,” make the CAGW movement as formidable as they come.

      It’s going to be a long, bitter battle, thought the outcome imvho is pretty much assured.

  4. The thing I don’t understand about this science has to do with the scientific method. After there was a considerable body of evidence and no contra indications evolution went from a hypothesis to a the Theory. There is a considerable body of evidence for AGW, but as yet it is not a theroy as far as I know. If it is still a hypothesis (and even if it was a theory) isn’t it up to science to present the case for it. And rule out contra indications. Until that time the idea of the science being settled should be looked at skeptically should it not?

    • George Turner

      Hypothesis and theory don’t quite work that way in practice. The luminiferous aether theory is still called a theory (a discredited one).as are the caloric theory, the phlogiston theory, steady-state theory, recapitulation theory. We also have the still untested string theory that Sheldon Cooper has finally abandoned.

      • Hmmm, So it’s better to call something settled science if you can just name something untested as theory? Oh well I guess I had the wrong idea about that. Thanks for clearing that up.

    • Ordic, the way to understand this is that the word “science” is used in two ways. In one way it means a methodology (which is the definition skeptics use). In the other it describes a group of people – or more accurately the work from a group of people .

      The second definition is the one that has quietly come to predominate in society. So, now “science” is a group name for a club – whose members are admitted by submitting work to be reviewed by present members of the club.

      This “club” now sets the rules for what is considered science and what is not.

      Climategate, was in retrospect, a battle over the definition of science. Skeptics (mostly from outside science) felt that those calling themselves “scientists” were not adhering to standards they considered appropriate for science.

      This group had a choice:
      a) accept the skeptic criticism that science is a standard and this group were not working to these standards.
      b) Reject the notion that science is a standard and therefore define science in the must looser idea of “a group – which don’t entirely reject the [skeptic] science view, but which don’t see adhering to [skeptic] science principles as a hard and fast requirement to call something “science”

      So, Climategate really marks the point that “science” no longer was a rigid standard in itself of skeptic-science principles such as hypothesis testing.

      Post Climategate, “science” is really a loose concept for the standard or work which the group call “scientists” think is acceptable. To make it clear that this is not what most skeptics call “science” – I now refer to it as “consensus science” – and the higher standard we prefer as “skeptic science”.

      And obviously many academics do work to the much higher standard and evidential requirements of skeptic science – but as we’ve seen repeatly in climate and groups like the IPCC – many do not.

    • Real good scientific methods can be defined only by their success in producing valuable new knowledge. Such methods follow some generic principles, but cannot defined formally. Many have tried, but later research has shown that all such attempts exclude much of the very best scientific work in all fields of science.

      Formal definition of The Scientific Method as favored by self proclaimed sceptics, whose real aim is to counter valid science, is a caricature of what what it should be. People who have not been deeply involved in science, and who have not made any real attempt to learn, how good science is done, have just made themselves judges on what science is.

    • Pierre-Normand

      That’s very true Pekka. Let me just add the even bright and successful scientists who improvise themselves philosophers of science late in their careers often come up with strictures about the “scientific method” that poorly reflects how they themselves have achieved success in extending knowledge and understanding, let alone how others can achieve success in different scientific disciplines. Even those who are good pedagogues in additions to being good researchers are able to teach pupils how to do things better than they are at reflecting how (i.e. by what “method”) it is done.

    • Mike Flynn

      Pekka Pirilä,

      The scientific method has never produced valuable new knowledge. Ever. People think. Occasionally, they think something that may not have been thought before. Thoughts by themselves are worth nothing – are they useful? Do they relate to reality? Can the hypotheses be taken further? Can it be verified by experiment, or does it remain a conjecture?

      Does increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere raise the temperature of the Earth’s surface? Apparently not, so the conjecture remains just that. What should we do to prevent a non occurring process from not happening?

      Nothing. Not a thing. What changes to weather occur when CO2 levels go up? Drop? If raising CO2 levels can both reduce and increase rainfall, how do you know which will happen? Can you induce a drought by tinkering with CO2 levels? How do you know? I know you are prepared to bet my life on your guess, but would you bet your own, or your loved ones?

      These are all valid, reality based questions. When you have some useful answers, backed up by factual results, let me know.

      Until that time, your opinion remains just that. Worth whatever someone will pay for it, somewhat like a fortune teller’s opinion, and about as useful.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Pekka, you write “Formal definition of The Scientific Method as favored by self proclaimed sceptics, whose real aim is to counter valid science, is a caricature of what it should be.”

      I never thought I would read this on Climate Etc. Over the centuries, The Scientific Method has been the standard against which hypotheses in physics are tested. If this approach is used, then the measured, replicated, empirical data shows whether the idea is right or not. If the idea is practical, then it is passed on to the engineers, who turn it into useful things.

      If a problem is tackled using some other scientific approach, other than The Scientific Method, then there is a requirement to show that this different method is good enough to solve the problem. This is not a requirement if The Scientific Method is used.

      This is the test that the warmists have not given to their work. Instead,they have pretended that they are using The Scientific Method, by, in effect, claiming that hypothetical estimations, and the use of non-validated models are a substitute for the rigors required by The Scientific Method. We see this in the guesses they have made for the numeric value of climate sensitivity, however defined, being given probability limits. You cannot put probability limits on guesses, using the approach the warmists have used.

      Until the warmists can show that the scientific approach that they have used can, in fact, support the conclusions they have come to, then CAGW remains just a viable hypothesis.

    • Let’s put the steps in a simplified form. There might be a hypothesis that the transient sensitivity to CO2 is 2 C per doubling. This would be testable from past data. From 310 ppm to 400 ppm, we have seen a temperature rise near 0.7 C. This is consistent with the hypothesis, so it passed. Then this hypothesis becomes a theory that is applicable to predict further changes. This isn’t the only evidence for the hypothesis and theory, which also has a theoretical basis, as they need to, but it is an illustration of the scientific method. Predict, verify.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write ” From 310 ppm to 400 ppm, we have seen a temperature rise near 0.7 C. ”

      True. But where is the rigor required by The Scientific Method to show that all the rise in temperature was caused by the increased CO2? There is none. For example, for the last 17+ years, according to the RSS data, global temperature have not risen, yet CO2 levels have increased appreciably. We do not understand all the various natural changes in global temperatures. We cannot control what is happening in the atmosphere. The proportion of the temperature rise cause by the additional CO2 could be anywhere between 0% and 100%. And there is no way of showing what the number between 0 and 100 actually is.

      Certainly this is the sort of evidence that shows that CAGW is a viable hypothesis. But it is not the rigorous evidence that is required by The Scientific Method.

    • Jim Cripwell disagrees with me on science.

      Should I be worried?

    • Jim Cripwell, where is the evidence that all of evolution is due to natural selection? Where is the evidence that all of the sun’s energy comes from fusion? What do you need? The facts fit the theory. The theory has a basis in science. This makes it a theory.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Pekka, you write “Should I be worried?”

      Absolutely not. My opinions are probably not worth much. The only thing you need to worry about is the empirical measured data.

    • Jim Cripwell disagrees with me on science.

      No.

    • [… W]here is the evidence that all of evolution is due to natural selection? Where is the evidence that all of the sun’s energy comes from fusion? What do you need? The facts fit the theory. The theory has a basis in science. This makes it a theory.

      Not nearly that simple. Try reading Kuhn.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “What do you need?”

      I need the evidence that shows that all of the rise in temperature, which you quote, was actually caused by the rise in CO2 concentration. The fact that there are other cases where this evidence was not produced is irrelevant. We are, I hope, discussing whether the warmists have followed The Scientific Method with respect to CAGW.

    • Jim Cripwell, no, we are arguing about what a theory in the scientific method is. A theory fits the facts and has a scientific basis. A theory doesn’t have to be proven as the only possible cause of something to be even considered a theory. It is already a theory, whether you like it or not.

    • There’s hypothesis and there’s theory and in this instance, there’s fraud.

    • AK, from Kuhn, we have this, and I think everyone would agree. Five principles of a good theory, and AGW fits these all.
      – Accurate – empirically adequate with experimentation and observation
      – Consistent – internally consistent, but also externally consistent with other theories
      – Broad Scope – a theory’s consequences should extend beyond that which it was initially designed to explain
      – Simple – the simplest explanation, principally similar to Occam’s razor
      – Fruitful – a theory should disclose new phenomena or new relationships among phenomena

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “It is already a theory, whether you like it or not.”

      For the sake of furthering this discussion, let me concede you have a theory. Where is the evidence that all the rise in temperature which you quoted was caused by the rise in CO2 concentration?

      Does this evidence exist or not?

    • Matthew R Marler

      ordvic: There is a considerable body of evidence for AGW, but as yet it is not a theroy as far as I know.

      There is a prima facie case, very simple, that human CO2 might warm the Earth. It has been presented many places, but for now I shall reference a relatively readable book: “Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate” by David Randall, pp 45-49. Basically, an increase in atmospheric CO2 should lead to an increase in the absorption of upward long-wave infrared radiation from the Earth surface, so there could somewhere be an increase in heat accumulated in the Earth climate system, other things being equal. Whether you call that a hypothesis or a theory does not matter very much, and those words do not have exact enough definitions, but it certainly is at least a hypothesis.

      However, there is almost no “body of evidence” that the accumulation of human-sourced CO2 is actually having any such effect. That the Earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age has at least two different explanations, one of which says all of the increase is independent of human-sourced CO2, and the IPCC version which says that the increase up to 1945 or so is independent of human-sourced CO2. At least one theory says that the most prominent effect of the heat accumulation ought to be in the upper troposphere, but that effect has not been found in the most relevant (satellite) records of troposphere temperature. At least one theory specifies “polar amplification”, a stronger warming at the poles than at the Equator and in mid-lattitudes; if that is happening, it is only in the Arctic region not the Antarctic region. The computational models, known as GCMs (for global circulation models, or general climate models), incorporate a great deal of known physics over small regions, but their model runs produce modeled temperature increases greater than what has been observed since they were run, and miss the recent near 17-year “pause” aka the “hiatus” in surface and troposphere warming that has been observed. And so on: addressing the predictions of the diverse AGW theories point-by-point one finds little to no evidence that they have made any accurate predictions, where their predictions can even be calculated.

      • Matthew, I was thinking of making some distinction rather than just say AGW as a theory since there are so many qualifiers. I wouldn’t have said it as well as you and AK point out. In the simple form that I used that is can or does man cause warming is rather succinct and should easily be determined as theory but perhaps there would be some resistance to that by proponents of the science as lay pepole could misconstue that to mean ‘ah hell it’s just a theroy’. Perhaps they feel better served calling it ‘settled science’.

    • In my first comment of this thread I wrote that science must follow certain principles. Out of the many quotes from Feynman the following i close to what I had in mind:

      In his famous 1974 commencement address at Caltech, Richard Feynman provided an inspiring counterexample of how science ought to be practiced. He began by warning against self-deception, the original sin of science, saying that “the first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” To avoid self-deception scientists must bend over backward to report data that cast doubt on their theories. Feynman applied this principle specifically to scientists who talk to the public:

      I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the laymen when you’re talking as a scientist. . . . I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

      (The above summary of Feynman’s views on the challenge of objectivity in science is taken from Phillip Johnson’s afterward in “Mere Creation”, W.A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press, 1998.)

      I copied the above from a net source.

      In my own advice to doctoral students I have emphasized active self-criticism and intellectual honesty as perhaps the most essential generic requirements for scientific work. How they are best introduced into the actual scientific work varies from case to case. Thus the form varies, but the principle is universal.

    • The evidence for the theory is the temperature record, which fits it, and not only that, the theory explains the whole temperature rise. So, on the one hand you have a temperature rise you would expect from the theory, and on the other you have the observed temperature rise. Some skeptics will always say just because it fits so well for the last 60 years, it doesn’t mean it is proven enough for future policy for them personally. People look at the same evidence in different ways, and some choose to disbelieve both the evidence and theory. If 60 years is not enough evidence for them, I don’t know what is.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: AK, from Kuhn, we have this, and I think everyone would agree. Five principles of a good theory, and AGW fits these all.

      George Turner: The luminiferous aether theory is still called a theory (a discredited one).as are the caloric theory, the phlogiston theory, steady-state theory, recapitulation theory. We also have the still untested string theory that Sheldon Cooper has finally abandoned.

      Aside from the laboratory tests of the absorption and emission spectra of CO2, H2O and CH4, and aside from the satellite-based measurements of the actual emission spectrum of Earth, most of the theory of AGW is untested. Because the prediction of “warming caused by anthropogenic CO2″ depends on the conditional other things being equal, it is not at present testable even in principle because we can be pretty sure that the other things will not be equal(e.g. H2O vaporization from the non-dry regions of the Earth surface.) Whether you are willing to call AGW a “theory” or not, there is not much of a case to be made that it is “accurate” or “reliable” or “tested”.

    • Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I’ve been wondering for a while what criteria is used, if any, and I would surmise from the responce that this is an argument as well.

    • @Jim D…

      No. Kuhn made a preliminary attempt to refine the functional meaning of scientific “paradigms”. Calling something a “theory” isn’t enough. Where does it fit in the paradigm? Is it part of the foundation, incidental, or somewhere in-between?

      For instance, the “theory of Evolution” isn’t just a theory, it’s a fundamental assumption of a major paradigm. Theories within that paradigm include the assumption that “evolution” in some roughly Darwinian sense is true, they address the details. Just look at all the attacks on “The Theory of Evolution” which start with some new research results within the paradigm that call into question some detail regarding a specific theory and try to use them to attack the entire paradigm.

      In a roughly similar sense, the entire CO2->”global warming” thing is a “paradigm” (of sorts). Most of the research within that paradigm starts out by assuming the general relationship is true, and addresses details.

      The problem is, that like Newtonian Physics, Copernican astronomy, and pre-Plate Tectonics Geology, the “Global Warming” paradigm neglects certain real-world realities. But anybody who fails to understand the distinction between disputes within the paradigm and disputing the paradigm is just going to end up thrashing around spreading confusion.

      And that was my point. It’s not that simple!

      • If it is a paradigm shift whar was the previous paradigm? Or is a new refelation a shift in itself?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: If 60 years is not enough evidence for them, I don’t know what is.

      Estimates of the CO2 effect based on extant temperature records and proxies range from 0.0 – 0.7 degrees C. One nice but unpublished model by our commenter WebHubTelescope estimates the effect of doubling CO2 to be about 2C, concordant with the higher value of 0.7C. However, other models can’t be ruled out on present evidence. At minimum, it would be good to have a clear demonstration that the temp increase in the late 20th century was different from the temp increases in the early 20th century, and late 19th century. These estimates are all over the place, and depend on mostly untested assumptions about all of the other things.

    • AK, well I quoted something that Kuhn said about what makes a good theory, and it works for AGW. If you want to say a theory isn’t a theory unless it is also a paradigm shift, we can talk about the AGW paradigm that has existed, and been refined, since Arrhenius that humans can significantly affect earth’s climate. People have resisted this paradigm shift, but that doesn’t make it any less of one. Any paradigm shift will have resistance.

    • “the prediction of “warming caused by anthropogenic CO2″ depends on the conditional other things being equal”

      No even if not equal the prediction will be correct.

      To be incorrect the other things will have to be particularly strong in one direction. Given the full range of what they could be that is very unlikely.

    • Matthew Marler, yes, it would have been nice to have observations, especially of uncertain things like solar forcing and natural and manmade aerosols, that can tell us definitively what happened in the last few centuries, but its lack shouldn’t prevent us from understanding all the data we have and are currently gathering that make a good case on their own. We also have to see it from the the perspective that solar variations in the last 1000 years have not changed the forcing by as much 0.5 W/m2 while by 2100 our CO2 change could have added 5 W/m2 to the natural level.

    • Jim Cripwell

      This discussion shows, once again, what happens when we skeptics try to have a scientific discussion with the warmists. We skeptics try to keep the discussion to the science, and the warmists seem to just produce all sorts of red herrings.

      I asked Jim D. a simple question about the actual evidence that the warming he quoted of 0.7 C for a rise in CO2 concentration from 310 to 400 ppmv. The question I asked was for the evidence as to how much of this rise was actually caused by the additional CO2. Jim D.as simply refused to answer this simple scientific question.

      No wonder it is impossible to have a proper discussion between skeptics and warmists.

    • Pekka, yet again, misrepresents what science is; it is a Darwinian selection process of destroying hypothesize by testing them against reality.
      In real science if a proposed model fails to match the reality it describes, then the model is rejected.
      in ‘climate science TM’, all models are true, whether they match reality or not, and the best models are those that generate the greatest levels of headlines and grants.
      I a climate model, lower than average temperatures in Tahiti are proof of the model, greater than average temperatures in Tahiti are proof of the model, lower than average rainfall in Tahiti is proof of the model, greater than average rainfall in Tahiti is proof of the model, more powerful winds in Tahiti are proof of the model and less powerful winds in Tahiti are proof of the model. The models mean everything and nothing; they fail the first step of the scientific method, they cannot be judged against reality. In this, the models are as useful as the Bible, here again is a ‘truth’ that cannot be tested, just as some Creationists believe that God salted the Earth with fake dinosaur bones to test the faithful, so climate modelers have faith that their models are a superior description to reality, than does the measured reality.

    • Jim Cripwell, I gave a reasonable answer. It is about evidence for a theory and whether you accept it. There is evidence of 0.7 C of warming since 1950, which supports the theory. Theories are supported by evidence, rather than proved by them. However, theories can be disproved by evidence. It doesn’t work equally in both directions.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, I gave a reasonable answer.”

      You have not addressed my question at all. You duck and weave, and dance around the issue, but no direct answer.

      Why wont you address the scientific issue? You say that temperatures rose by 0.7 C for a rise of CO2 from 310 to 400 ppm. The simple question is, how much of this rise was caused by the additional CO2? I am sure the answer is that no-one knows. There is no evidence at all on this issue.

      You simply refuse to admit that I am right.

    • DocMartyn

      Science is a process. What scientists do is scientific work. The process of science builds up from the pieces of scientific work. What I have been discussing in this thread is the scientific work, not the process of science.

      The Scientific Method discussed by many is part of the scientific work, only indirectly part of science. What you discuss in your comment is more about the process of science than about scientific work. We have been discussing to different things.

      • Pekka,
        You had me a little worried in your very first statement as it seemed like an un-transparent process but this clears that up. Couldn’t what you describe be considered part of the testing (and observation and experimentation) of a hypothesis? I. Also take it that your not thowing away the scientific method?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä:
      Formal definition of The Scientific Method as favored by self proclaimed sceptics, whose real aim is to counter valid science, is a caricature of what what it should be.

      Could you quote exactly some specific claims of specific “self-proclaimed sceptics”?. I don’t think that is a true statement about caricature, and of course you do not know anyone else’s motives..

    • Matthew R Marler

      lolwot: To be incorrect the other things will have to be particularly strong in one direction. Given the full range of what they could be that is very unlikely.

      Do you have a definition of “particularly strong”? Not much increase in either vaporization or daytime cloud cover would be needed to counter the hypothesized temperature-raising effect of extra CO2; but if by “strong” you mean about 1/2 of a percent, then you might be in the right ballpark. For such a definition of “strong”, your appellation of “very unlikely” is totally unsubstantiated by current evidence.

    • Jim Cripwell, I keep telling you that the theory says it should be about 0.7 C, so this temperature rise is evidence that the theory is correct that it is all due to increasing CO2 and other GHGs. Perhaps the wording is too subtle for you to parse. The theory says you should get lines something like this.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1950/scale:0.01/offset:-3.3

      and you do. Therefore this can be considered strong evidence for the theory being true. Taking the theory as true implies that all the warming is explained by CO2.

    • k scott denison

      Jim D, ever heard of “correlation doesn’t imply causation”? If you plotted the growth in the stock market vs temperatures you would find a similar correlation. Or population. Or…

    • ksd, in this case the theory predicts that a correlation should exist. It’s a subtle point, and many don’t quite get it.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, I keep telling you that the theory says it should be about 0.7 C,”

      Thanks. I am now completely clear as to why we differ in the interpretation of the data. You are clearly convinced that you are correct. I think your logic is a complete load of scientific nonsense. We will never have a meeting of the minds. But that’s life.

    • Ordvic,
      It’s typical for science, both the process and the work of scientists, that there are no fixed rules, only the general idea that the scientific community expects that scientist do their best in advancing truthlike knowledge. A scientist must do his work carefully and be critical of his own work, if he wishes to reach and maintain the status of an accepted member of the scientific community.

      The results of individual studies are always taken first with suspicion. Other scientists try to find errors in papers, whose claimed results are new and of interest. If the description of what has been done is lacking, the paper is not considered highly. New results become part of best existing understanding only when they have been confirmed in some way.

      All the above happens largely without rules based on, what each scientist personally believes to be the best approach to the questions being studied. Science does involve also steps where good guidelines do exist. Instruments must be calibrated, data handled in ways that do not introduce selective biases, etc. There are many practical guidelines for the technical steps of science. They apply mostly to empirical work. At the point, where scientists learn something genuinely new, no existing guideline may be applicable.

      In theoretical work few simple guidelines are applicable. Much is certainly known on issues that must be handled correctly in building large models, but following guidelines is possible only to a point.

      The process of science is self-correcting, but it may be slow in that. The process in its traditional form fits badly with the perceived need of decision-makers to get advice now rather than at some date in the future, when the answer has been confirmed several times and included as standard knowledge in textbooks as a practically certain fact.

    • Jimd

      Looking at data from 1950 is all very well, but if we step back five centuries the correlation looks nowhere near as clear cut. see my graph here

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

      The current anomaly is now 0.3C, not the 0.5C shown.

      tonyb

    • Jim D

      Don’t fall into the logic trap of limiting your search for a viable CO2 global temperature correlation to the past 30 or 50 years.

      We have gone through this before.

      Your “1C per 100 ppmv” only holds for a short “blip” in the record..

      It does NOT hold for the current pause, when one-fourth of all human CO2 was emitted yet there was slight cooling instead of warming.

      It does not hold for the slight cooling period between 1945 and 1976, when 19% of all human CO2 were emitted.

      It does not hold for the early 20thC warming period between 1910 and 1944, statistically indistinguishable from the late 20thC poster period you like to cite, when only 11% of human CO2 was emitted but the warming was. 0.48C, or 4C per 100 ppmv CO2 (IOW something else was causing most of the warming).

      Over the entire modern record, the warming was only 0.7C per 100 ppmv, and we know that a good portion of the total warming was not caused by human GHGs (primarily CO2). Several solar studies have estimated this to have been around half (occurring largely in the early 20thC), so this would put the CO2 global temperature correlation at 0.35C per 100 ppmv (or around one-third of your correlation based on the late 20thC alone).

      You like to criticize skeptics for making too much of the latest short-term cooling “blip”, yet you fall into exactly the same trap with your fixation on the somewhat longer late 20thC warming “blip”.

      Max.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Tony, you write “Looking at data from 1950 is all very well, but if we step back five centuries the correlation looks nowhere near as clear cut. see my graph here.”

      Of course, but Jim D. is not interested. There is a theory of CAGW, according to Jim D., and the little bit of data from 1960 or so to the present is consistent with this theory. That is all he needs to convince himself that CAGW is valid. Nothing you, nor I, nor anyone else, will convince him otherwise.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max, you write to Jim D. “Don’t fall into the logic trap of limiting your search for a viable CO2 global temperature correlation to the past 30 or 50 years.”

      What I just wrote to Tony applies to what you have written. Jim. D. is not interested. He has all he needs to convince himself that CAGW is a viable theory, and that is all he is interested in.

    • Jim Cripwell, the temperature record is evidence to support AGW. Physics itself provides the reasoning. How is the earth’s surface 33 C warmer than the radiative temperature at the top? Radiative theory, along with the observed atmospheric composition explains this, and that exact same theory when you double the CO2, leads to AGW’s predictions. This is not disconnected from the basic physics that explains today’s surface temperatures.

    • The trap of a lot of skeptics is that if we don’t know everything, we can’t know anything. This particularly comes up with past climate and short-term fluctuations.

    • Jim D

      Aw c’mon, Jim. That CO2 temperature curve that goes back to 1960, which you keep posting, is getting stale.

      Take out the GISS record, it just fogs up the picture.

      Note that the correlation falls apart for the 21stC.

      Then note that the whole correlation no longer fits if you go back to the beginning of the HadCRUT4 record in 1850 (using ice core data for CO2 prior to Mauna Loa).

      It also does not fit for the mid-century cooling cycle (1944-1976), during which 19% of all human CO2 emissions occurred, but temperature cooled..

      Nor does it fit for the early 20thC warming cycle (1910-1944), during which only 11% of all human CO2 emissions occurred, yet temperature rose by 0.48C, as much as it did during the late 20thC cycle, which you like to cite.

      It is a lousy correlation between your hypothesis and the physical observations.

      And where there is no robust statistical correlation, the cause for causation is weak, Jim – that’s your basic problem here, which you cannot hide by trotting out the same old short-term curve over and over again.

      Max

      It is a good fit for the late 20thC

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, the temperature record is evidence to support AGW. Physics itself provides the reasoning.”

      I know. I understand what you are saying, I think completely. There is no use flogging a dead horse. I, Tony, and Max just disagree with you, and you will only discuss your ideas, not ours.

    • manacker, if you want longer fits of CO2 to temperature, look at Lovejoy’s one, or for paleoclimate check out Hansen which both fit the basic AGW sensitivity. These are not coincidental, and it would be just denial to claim that they are. There are natural variations, which Lovejoy puts at 0.2 C from paleoclimate estimates, and this includes solar and volcanic among natural variations. The climate record shows these clearly. You might wish to deny that the sun had anything to do with 1910-1940 or the recent pause, which is understandable, because it is better for skepticism if these were unknown. At some point skepticism turns into “you can’t ever know that, so nothing is or can be known even from the most obvious signals like the one since 1950″.

    • Jim Cripwell, if it just came down to understanding the physics, the debate would be more precise. Do skeptics think we don’t understand the current surface temperature value from the physics? This is the question that has to be asked first.


    • One nice but unpublished model by our commenter WebHubTelescope estimates the effect of doubling CO2 to be about 2C

      No, the effect is 3C not 2C.

      You have to watch these people like a hawk so that they don’t misconstrue the modeling results. They tend to report what they want to see, not what is.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “This is the question that has to be asked first.”

      Nonsense. But you are clearly not interested in debating the skeptical side of the argument. Probably because you know if you do, you will lose hands down.

    • Jim D

      I’m sure Jim Cripwell may have more to say on this than I can, but one differentiation between a “hypothesis” and a “theory” is given here:

      A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it’s an accepted hypothesis.

      The premise that increasing atmospheric CO2 could result in an increase in global temperature due to the greenhouse effect (AGW) is certainly well-reasoned and even supported by first principles and laboratory data on LW absorption characteristics. Yet it has not been supported by repeated testing. Nor has empirical scientific evidence been accumulated to support it. But, it is accepted in some circles (if not universally). I would say that, based on this definition, AGW is still a hypothesis, and not a theory, despite its support by many.

      The CAGW premise, which is specifically outlined by IPCC that this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment over the course of this century, unless actions are taken to drastically curtail human GHG emissions and thereby slow down the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 (and other minor GHGs) is certainly no more than an uncorroborated hypothesis.

      And that is what the debate is all about – not AGW per se.

      Max

    • Jim D

      You cite some “longer term” correlations between CO2 and temperature.

      Here is a graphic, which shows periods of correlation, periods of anti-correlation and periods of no correlation over a very long period of our planet’s past.

      http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell, why is first understanding how the physics determines the current atmospheric state “nonsense”? How would you go about understanding changes without first understanding the basic state?

    • Manacker, stop acting so silly.

      This is the way we model CO2 and natural variability

      You should try to keep up with how we do modern climate science.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max, you write “And that is what the debate is all about – not AGW per se.”

      Not quite. That is what the debate OUGHT TO BE all about. The trouble is that the warmists, like Jim D. will not join in any debate. All Jim D. does is repeat his point of view, and find excuses why he cannot join in the debate. As I suggested, I suspect his motive is that he knows that of he does join in a proper debate, he will lose hands down. Absolutely no contest.

    • Webby

      That’s a pretty sorry way to do climate science.

      You go back to 1880 and ASS-U-ME that all the warming was caused by CO2 and then torture out a correlation.

      Ouch!

      Max

    • manacker, you choose to discount 60 years of temperature rises as any kind of evidence or measure of sensitivity when many skeptics have taken this very seriously (see Lewis). For planning purposes, it makes no sense to underplay the sensitivity relative to the 2 C per doubling seen. Even without science, you would extrapolate this as-is in order to plan, as you would with sea level. Underplaying it amounts to an affirmative statement that natural variation has been significantly positive, and not possibly negative, despite not knowing what that natural variation is. Skepticism is self-contradictory when it comes to what they are certain about. Are you certain natural variation since 1950 has been positive? If so, what is it due to? Could it, even remotely possibly, have been negative, and should planning take that possibility into account too?

    • manacker, you need to look at the provenance of paleo temperature graphics like the one you posted. Real Climate can help here.

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/can-we-make-better-graphs-of-global-temperature-history/#more-17010

      • JimD,
        Besides Royer, RA Berner has wrtten several papers with Geocarb the most recent being Geocarb III. Royer makes his best case for a correlation but it uses a really broad sweep. What I have seen is the first big glaciation (at the end of the ordovician period) was followed by a drop in but several million years went by before that happened. Temperatures and CO2 rose and fell independent of each other throughout the Phanerozoic. Here is a chart I see most often but it is still at least ten year old proxies:

      • Followed by a drop in CO2
        (it was suppose to read)

    • Pekka

      Your analysis of the Feynman quote is excellent.

      Here’s my brief summary of the salient points:

      We should not fool ourselves, i.e. scientists should “avoid self-deception” and should “bend over backward to report data that cast doubt on their theories”.

      Also, “you should not fool the laymen when you’re talking as a scientist”, instead you should “bend over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong”.

      In another comment Feynman added that scientists should rely on empirical evidence to either support or falsify a hypothesis.

      These is all valuable advice to scientists.

      The problem I have is that many scientists involved in climatology, especially the insider consensus crowd of IPCC, do not follow this advice very closely IMO.

      Max

    • k scott denison

      Jim D | May 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
      ksd, in this case the theory predicts that a correlation should exist. It’s a subtle point, and many don’t quite get it.
      _____________

      Well, gee, Jim, then it must be true. Couldn’t be ANY other factor in climate that could also cause a rise in temperature. Really Jim, you can’t be that dense, can you?

    • ksd, OK, genius, what do you think is the biggest factor since 1950?

    • KSD said


      you can’t be that dense, can you?

      Cheeseheads are the densest of all. Get a mirror buddy.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Not nearly that simple. Try reading Kuhn.”

      I guess this would be a fine advice for the hardcore Popperian who this thread is about.

    • k scott denison

      Jim D | May 4, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
      ksd, OK, genius, what do you think is the biggest factor since 1950?
      __________

      Well, I honestly don’t think we know. We don’t have good enough data – the geographic coverage is sparse, the quality of the instruments is variable, the time of sampling is variable and we massage the data to correct for all sorts of known and assumed effects. I ask myself the question “what do the various ‘global mean temperature anomalies’ represent?” I can’t for the life of me figure out what physical variable these made-up metrics are supposed to represent. So if we don’t have a metric that represents a physical entity, then how can we know if there is causation?

    • @ordvic…

      If it is a paradigm shift whar was the previous paradigm? Or is a new refelation a shift in itself?

      The current (obsolete, IMO) paradigm is based on Arrhenius’ modeling of the Earth as a warm body with a single, discrete, surface. A fundamental (usually tacit) assumption built into that type of model is (putting it roughly) that small differences tend to “average out” in the big picture.

      Beginning with Lorenz’ discovery of the “butterfly effect” the study of “Chaos Theory” has demonstrated the general untruth of that assumption (in a large number of instances and ways). Analogous to how the Michelson–Morley experiment demonstrated fundamental defects in the assumptions underlying Newtonian Physics, the “butterfly effect” demonstrates fundamental defects in the assumptions underlying all large-scale climate modeling (GCM’s). This opens the paradigm to challenge.

      Pending some better way to model hyper-complex non-linear systems, all we have is the “hammer” of GCM’s and similar modeling approaches. But the need for a paradigm shift here is just as clear to anyone “with eyes to see” as that for Newtonian Physics was in the wake of Michelson and Morley.

      • AK,
        You may hate me saying it but the chaos part of that sounds like Robert Ellison. Albeit for the opposite view.

    • @Jim D…

      If you want to say a theory isn’t a theory unless it is also a paradigm shift, we can talk about the AGW paradigm that has existed, and been refined, since Arrhenius that humans can significantly affect earth’s climate. People have resisted this paradigm shift, but that doesn’t make it any less of one. Any paradigm shift will have resistance.

      No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying calling something a “theory” doesn’t really describe it. There are many types of “theories” depending on (among other things) how they fit with the paradigm they belong to.

      As for the “paradigm” that has its beginnings with Arrhenius, it’s obsolete, IMO, and will be replaced in the shift. See above.

    • AK, the most important thing about a theory is consistency with other known parts of physics, like radiative transfer, thermodynamics, etc. The paradigm shift with Arrhenius was the realization that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is important to climate. This was later refined, and as Spencer explains in his 10 points for skeptics (point #1), even weather models would go very wrong very quickly without CO2. Before that it was just thought to be an interesting gas property that CO2 absorbed and emitted IR while O2 and N2 didn’t.

    • ksd, what you wrote looks like a white flag. You don’t know, but it absolutely can’t be CO2 which has produced the only significant forcing change over this period.

    • ordvic, beyond the Cenozoic, the error bars get too large to make anything out of CO2 and temperature. The Cenozoic is quite clear, however, in showing a general CO2 and temperature decline over 65 million years from the iceless hothouse with very high sea levels towards the current cooler more glaciated period with lower sea levels. A big factor in the change was CO2 that dropped from thousands to hundreds of ppm.

      • That is pretty much as Royer has it and I’m in general agreement with you. Whether or not the proxies are arcurate the first glaciation (at the end of the ordovician period) happened long before CO2 took a dive.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, why is first understanding how the physics determines the current atmospheric state “nonsense”? How would you go about understanding changes without first understanding the basic state?”

      We have discussed the basic physics ad nauseum. I know what the warmists think the basic physics is, and I know what I think the basic physics is. We differ. There is little point ploughing the sands.

      You present a graph with no explanation of what it means. So far as I am concerned, the first thing we need to understand is what does you graph represent. Without that information, we cannot start a scientific discussion.

  5. He regrets the politicization, yet joins the political GWPF. This seems like a contradiction. I think he has become political with this move, like it or not. However, he says he argues with other members, and we don’t know where he stands on any policy ideas yet.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      Come on JIm. What would you have him join? The Boy Scouts? A monastery? To speak up against a fundamentally political movement is by it’s very nature, in itself political. Can’t be helped. Give the guy a break.

    • In Jim D’s world, pro-CAGW organizations are scientific. Skeptical organizations are political. Reality is irrelevant.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes its a contradiction. All science is politicized.
      Those who believe in a popperian ideal in the end
      Use politics to remove politics and they recapitulate
      The ethos they try to eliminate.

      Better to accept the politics and control for it as best
      One can through stakeholder participation.

    • ” Steve Mosher: Those who believe in a popperian ideal in the end
      Use politics to remove politics and they recapitulate
      The ethos they try to eliminate.”

      The act of avoiding politics is a political act? Another false tautology Steve? As I remember, you said “all measurements are merely models of what is being measured so physical measurements have no more significance than a computer model” .. or something to that effect. The sophistication of your arguments could stand a little improvement.

    • “He regrets the politicization, yet joins the political GWPF. This seems like a contradiction. ”
      ——-
      Seems like a contradiction, unless one of those things is false. Well, since he did in fact join the GWPF, seems the first thing is the false thing.

    • Dr. Curry regrets the politicization of “climate science,” and started this blog at least in part to explore the phenomenon. Which is itself a political act. And not in the least contradictory.

      If you want to know whether a politician is genuinely conservative, look to whether he/she entered politics reluctantly. Those who are eager to be politicians are inevitably progressives because they are drawn to power. A true conservative would rather be doing something real, but enters politics because there is a need.

      There are currently very few conservative politicians.

    • Hmm. Like the 30-1 potency of Curry, the 3% may include some illustrious names. Freeman Dyson, Lindzen and now…

    • Tom

      For those who missed the reference to 30;1 Curry, here is the cartoon.

      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/5/2/its-a-knock-out-josh-274.html

      I bet she has been unbearable the last few days….
      tonyb

    • Rud Istvan

      There is an old saying, fight fire with fire. That is how forest fires are stopped so that they burn themselves out. That is also how the politicized CAGW nonsense, whether from the UBFCCC, the IPCC, or the EPA will be stopped. It requires political acts backed by solid science to cut off the money/ subsidy fuel supply.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D. He regrets the politicization, yet joins the political GWPF.

      It’s a duty he’d prefer not to take on. I feel somewhat the same way: having discovered to my surprise how poor the evidence for AGW is, I have determined to master more of the evidence and theory than I otherwise would have, and to practice debating the issues, mostly from the “lukewarmer” or “skeptical” side. This is too important to let Hansen, Mann and the IPCC win the policy debate by default. It is a shame that they are as untrustworthy as they are.

    • Matthew R Marler

      climatereason: For those who missed the reference to 30;1 Curry, here is the cartoon.

      Thank you. I am glad you linked to that. I thought of doing so, but decided not to for some reason. I think that is one of Josh’s best. It’s a delight.

    • Jim D

      The GWPF is certainly no more “political” than the IPCC.

      Do you criticize scientists who contribute to the IPCC for being “political”?

      If not, you are applying a double standard.

      Max

    • tony b

      Watch out for that 30:1 spray can!

      Max

    • These branded “skeptics” for convenience are not bringing any new science, the same main-stream science. Other than for himself, why his conversion would amount to anything of a value? This is the kind of “skeptics” have polarized and rendered the climate science a risky filed. Younger generations stay out of it and those stuck in its mud are, of course, at risk of legal litigations, losing their jobs, and other liabilities. Consequently, do you expect the review process of competing climate related papers to be unbiased?


    • pokerguy (aka al neipris) | May 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm |

      Come on JIm. What would you have him join? The Boy Scouts? A monastery?

      He should have joined a needlepoint club, like your buddy Cripwell.

  6. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Lennart Bengtsson uncritically embraces concepts that are fundamentally wrong  “My interest in climate science is strictly scientific … there are endless matters to worry about, practically all of them impossible to predict.”

    Our farm has been in the family for 150 years; we have always planted trees with a view to time-scales of one century, and we have always planned for soil conservation on time-scales of 500-1000 years.

    Like very many ordinary citizens and farmers, our family embraces multi-generation conservationist policies despite the scientific and economic uncertainties that Lennart Bengtsson — like very many childish ideologues, political operatives, and selfish special interests — so short-sightedly and ill-advisedly focuses upon.

    Further insights regarding Bengtsson-style cognition is provided by John Lawson’s well-known essay Economics and Autism: Why the drive towards closed systems?

    Ordinary families and communities appreciate the weirdly circumscribed scope of Bengtsson-style cognition … however unconscious Bengtsson himself (and his self-selected GWPF colleagues) may be of these cognitive limitations!

    Conclusion  Lennart Bengtsson’s essays show to us an utter ignorance of post-autistic economics (PAE) that is reflected in Bengtsson’s deplorably anhistorical, inhumane, short-sighted, amoral, and (in the final analysis) grossly non-rational conclusions regarding climate-science *AND* economics.

    That’s ordinary family-farm common-sense, 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}

    • typical capitalist, landowner comment. how can you speak for people 150 years ago. what were the views of the people who owned it 200- 500 years ago? have you pulled all their trees out?
      personally I plant trees for the next 5-10 years and always too close to the neighbors fence. Makes life stressful but hey I’m not intending to be around in 100 years. [sorry Fan, just a bit of fun]

    • Fan, you seem to be preaching and passing judgement on this heathen scientist with all the adjectives in your conclusion. Is this not just rhetorical masterbastion on your part? I should think he has a bit more knowledge on this subject than you. For you to discount his experience with such deplorable ad hominem greatly weakens your argument.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “For you to discount his experience with such deplorable ad hominem greatly weakens your argument.”

      This is how Fan does things. Insulting adjectives hurled like rotten tomatoes from inside his fortress of absolute certitude. Challenge him with counter-arguments and expect the same, along with an entertaining sprinkling of irrelevant links.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Angech proposes a CONSERVATIVE (?) climate-change program  “Australia can/should divert rivers inland … [America too= … [Russia too] … [China too] … [Israel too?] … [build] canals, tunnels and bridges. [Regulate] smog and acid rain.”Angech,

      Because you envision a world of global-scale socialist works programs — *FAR* exceeding in cost and scope any carbon-tax ever proposed — coupled with stringent environmental regulation.

      Gosh, that sure sounds like “ObamaWorld” to me!

      Gee, maybe a simple carbon tax now, to avert vast socialist programs later, is the *MOST* conservative long-term option for dealing with climate-change?

      Obvious Conclusion In the long run, President Obama’s climate-policies are *FAR* more truly conservative — both in spirit and in practical effect — than *ANY* of the short-sighted policies advocated by Cruz, Rand, Bush, Inhofe, Watts, Steyn, Bass, BP, Duke Energy, the Koch brothers, or Chris Monckton!

      That’s ordinary common-sense, 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}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Sorry for the bad HTML! Here’s a fixed version…

      Angech proposes a CONSERVATIVE (?) climate-change program  “Australia can/should divert rivers inland … [America too= … [Russia too] … [China too] … [Israel too?] … [build] canals, tunnels and bridges. [Regulate] smog and acid rain.”

      Angech, your view surprise us all!

      The post-climate-change world that you envision so vividely, is a world of incredibly vast global-scale socialist works programs — *FAR* exceeding in cost and scope any carbon-tax ever proposed — coupled with stringent environmental regulation.

      Gosh, that sure sounds like “ObamaWorld” to me!

      Gee, maybe a simple carbon tax now, to avert vast socialist programs later, is the *MOST* conservative long-term option for dealing with climate-change?

      Obvious Conclusion In the long run, President Obama’s climate-policies are *FAR* more truly conservative — both in spirit and in practical effect — than *ANY* of the short-sighted policies advocated by Cruz, Rand, Bush, Inhofe, Watts, Steyn, Bass, BP, Duke Energy, the Koch brothers, or Chris Monckton!

      Summary  Today’s short-sighted climate-change denialism is forcing permanent socialism upon every citizen in the world … and their descendants … in perpetuity.

      That’s *TRUE* 21st century common-sense conservatism 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}

    • Steven Mosher

      Funny the tenets of pae if applied to climate science
      Would argue for an inclusion of denialist nut jobs.
      Own goal fan.

    • Fan:
      I do like the farm references. Sometimes a farmer has to decide on either a solar or diesel powered tractor. I’d bet on the diesel so the farmer’s family would be in a financial condition to be able to afford to keep the farm for 100s of years.

    • Mike Flynn

      AFOMD,

      One very minor point. The USA is not the world. 95% of the world’s population does not live in the USA. A fair proportion of those probably could care less about what Obama does or does not do.

      A few quotes from the world’s population might help to support your cause, whatever it is. I’m not sure how many languages you speak, but fluency in Mandarin and Spanish will help, as these languages are used more widely than English in throughout the world.

      On the other, stay on your farm, and pretend that the universe is encompassed by the USA. If it keeps you calm, then do it!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • What an ugly paper you link to.
      Autism is a real disease that has devastating effects on both the sufferer and their families.
      To use a tragic neurological phenotype as a metaphor for the criticism of an aspect of the field of economics is a disgraceful example of cod-physiology by a group of people who have no respect for, or understanding of, the suffering and consequences of mental disabilities.

    • George Turner

      AFOMD, I see you too sat through that seminar on fairness at Bronycon 2013 in Baltimore. I was in the back row on my iPhone selling some oil exploration stocks to finance the acquisition of a substantial share in an Israeli anti-missile startup, which I’ve since sold to move into pharmaceuticals in an effort to diversify my portfolio. I would suggest you do something similar, perhaps selling some of your My Little Pony collection to buy some Pound Puppies and Care Bears.

    • David Springer

      Fan (a.k.a. John Sidles) is a certifiable phuckwad.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: Own goal fan.

      Having followed a lot of his links, I think that “own goals” are his specialty.

    • “own goals” work in a couple of ways.

      The well-known aspect is as a sort of embarrassment in that the own-goal scorer unintentionally shows himself diametrically opposed to what he is trying to demonstrate.

      The rarer form, and quite an important one, AFAIC, is in the ability of the own-goal scorer to reveal a pattern that someone has not been thought of before, yet when looked at closely leads to a new discovery by someone else. This is the side-effect and it is more of an own-goal assist.

      The latter is quite sad in that if the skeptic had used the insight to further advance science as opposed to catapult propaganda, he could actually be recognized as an original thinker as opposed to an impediment to science.

  7. “The whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong”.
    The implementation of the concept is what is wrong and IMO what he means to say.
    Though the implementation and the concept are now virtually inseparable.
    We do have the power to affect climates in the Asimov sense of terraforming technology.
    Australia can/should divert rivers inland as could America [Las Vegas water problems?] and other countries [could even drop the sea levcel apparently 1]. The Aral Sea shrinking is another. The three gorges in China, damming above the Mekong Delta.
    The deserts and dust-bowls from over farming and over-salting throughout history. Canals, tunnels and bridges.Smog and acid rain.
    but these produce local climate effects which is what the IPCC should be focusing on with improvements in mind. Not trying to reduce human activity which is in the main beneficial to humans and which cannot be shown to have long term adverse consequences.

    • Fan, nothing more socialist and useless than a good carbon tax. Not that I am against socialism where it’s agendas and policies help people without infringing on their own rights too much [there is a balance always.]
      I don’t [only] propose a conservative climate change program. I suggest that it is within our capacity to adapt our climate locally beneficially, think Snowy Mountain Hydro in Australia and Hydro in China, Vietnam, and multiple other areas. We also wreck our local climate with some land clearing and farming practices which could be readjusted.
      Too many people, not enough water, overpopulation is our greatest boon and greatest curse. If we adjust to this in a reasoned or lucky way we will have a great future. Human history suggests we will have to be very lucky.
      People change not climate change is the way to go, after all we have adapted to our climate, the climate doesn’t adapt to us.
      [Judith , is this a point you could put up for discussion?]

  8. stating that: they don’t know a lot; but proceeding as if they do, is a job of ”power drunks” Disregarding solid evidences, just because they don’t fit – blindly sticking to false theories, is the precursor of all evil: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/global-warming-or-climate-change/

  9. “endless and often superficial results”

    Billions for endless and superficial results.

    Imagine if all these bright lights actually investigated the scientific issues regarding climate, rather than constantly running other people’s data through ever more byzantine climate models.

    • Mike Flynn

      Gary M,

      Do you think they are bright enough collectively to outshine a glow worm?

      Thinking about it, a glow worm can forecast the climate as well as any Clmatologist, given that no Climatologist has ever forecast the climate better than a glow worm, as far as I can determine.

      I think you are demonstrating much gentlemanly forbearance, and this demonstrates you a man of much couth.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  10. Dr. Benny Peiser, the Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, was the guest speaker at the Friends of Science 10 annual luncheon, May 14, 2013. You can see his excellent presentation at

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=653

    Dr. Ross McKitrick will be the guest speaker at the Friends of Science 11 annual luncheon on May 13, 2014.

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=750

  11. Mr. Bengtsson says, “There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. ”
    Hopefully Mr. Bengtsson will be able to communicate this to the rest of the GWPF and to the many “sceptics” like Sen. Inhofe and blogger Anthony Watts who believe this is all a hoax.

    • Antony Watts accepts that CO2 is a ‘so called’ greenhouse gas and that increasing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the Earths steady state ‘average’ temperature. Indeed this position is pretty much accepted by the majority of people who are called ‘deniers’. People are called ‘deniers’, not for disagreeing with the recycling of emitted IR radiation by atmospheric CO2, but because they do not ‘believe’ that there is evidence to show that this resulting temperature rise is going to be ‘catastrophic’.
      People like yourself, who peddle lies, either through ignorance or as part of a deliberate strategy of smearing individuals, are the enemy of reasoned, civil, debate in this and all other fields of contemporary science.

    • Wow Eric could you be less informed?

    • ceresco kid

      Eric bungles one again. Watts on numerous occasions has acknowledged the role of CO2. Alarmists tactics: Assert that skeptics don’t think it is warming or don’t agree that CO2 has a role in warming. The skeptics I observe see the issue of a continuum and where does the effect of CO2 lie on that continuum. Comments like Eric’s make it easy to pigeonhole alarmists. Fan and Eric, two peas in a pod.

    • No Watts doesn’t accept the role of CO2 in warming. He doesn’t even accept there’s been warming over the 20th century.

      Watts published a report in 2010 that stated:
      “it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century”

    • To his credit, Watts has posted Spencer’s “Top Ten Skeptical Arguments That Don’t Hold Water”. This list is suitable for separating out the pseudo-science extremists.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/01/top-ten-skeptical-arguments-that-dont-hold-water/#more-108488

    • The cynic in me wonders how ““Top Ten Skeptical Arguments That Don’t Hold Water”” is intended

      Is it meant as a “don’t use this argument because it’s not correct” list

      or a “don’t use this argument because it’ll be debunked to easily” list?

    • nottawa rafter

      lolwot finds out what happens to the brain after playing Rip Van Winkle since 2010.

      Keep up with the facts, it cuts down on the embarrassment factor.

    • lowot

      Strange that you would come up with a cynical reasoning for Dr. Roy Spencer’s 10 top skeptical arguments that don’t hold water.

      They sound pretty logical to me, although I do not believe the evidence shows that most skeptics would conclude they are valid arguments.

      But let’s list them.

      1. There is no greenhouse effect.
      2. The greenhouse effect violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
      3. CO2 can’t cause warming because CO2 emits it as fast as it absorbs.
      4. CO2 cools, not warms, the atmosphere.
      5. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect because the CO2 absorption bands are already 100% opaque.
      6. Lower atmospheric warmth is due to the lapse rate/adiabatic compression.
      7. Warming causes CO2 to rise, not the other way around
      8. The IPCC models are for a flat earth
      9. There is no such thing as a global average temperature
      10. The earth isn’t a black body.

      Is there any one of these premises that you would support?

      Or would you agree that they “do not hold water” as Spencer argues?

      I certainly agree with Spencer, but am curious why you brought this topic up if you also agree with him.

      Max

    • It would be illustrative to list 10 additional erroneous memes that “skeptics” love to employee to disprove or minimize the effects of AGW:

      1) The best proxy for the effects of anthropogenic GH gas emission is sensible tropospheric heat.
      2) The tropospheric “pause” tells us that sensitivity to GH gas accumulation is not as high as once thought.
      3) We don’t have enough data to tell us the ocean is accumulating energy.
      4) Warming oceans will have no effect on the rest of the climate system.
      5) If anything, a warming planet will be good for human civilization. Warmer is always better.
      6) We don’t know that natural variability is not the major reason for recent warming.
      7) Natural cycles like the AMO and PDO can be looked at independently from the highest GH gas levels in 3.2 million years, i.e. they are not affected by higher GH gas levels.
      8) Increasing Antarctic sea ice proves that AGW is not happening.
      9) The MWP proves that the current warm period must be natural as well.
      10) Climate models that fail to predict the exact path that tropospheric temperatures take prove that AGW theory must be wrong.

    • Spencer’s reason for putting this list up is that people who use those 10 arguments make the more moderate skeptics look bad. The moderates need to fight on both flanks, and it is difficult to maintain both separations at once.

    • “The moderates need to fight on both flanks, and it is difficult to maintain both separations at once.”
      _______
      This is always the case in any politicized issue. The radicals on the extremes sometime win the day, and the entire dynamic changes as the moderates get pushed out. The French Revolution is the classic example as the guillotine silenced the moderates, but the power vacuum left over allowed for the rise of Napoleon. In the climate debate, the moderates are still battling with the extremes in both camps, but the even within the moderates, much fracturing occurs as different policy objectives drive the debate.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Eric — Up front, I’m a Republican who believes AGW is occurring but doesn’t really have a clue on timing or amount. That’s why I come to this blog to try and learn. What amazes me on this Blog are the number of anti-IPCC folks with so much “outrage” over things like Mann but are silent on the vast number of Republicans using the terms fraud, junk science, hoax, scheme, or quoting the Bible.

      A prime example of this was in the 2012 Presidential campaign where Jon Huntsman (who I think is an outstanding Conservative) basically said what I believe and the Tea Party viciously attacked him (as if he was a Al Gore clone).

      Another thing that amazes me is the “outrage” over the Warmist Alarmist statements but silence (or giving a free pass) to Industry’s track record on their past Alarmist economic forecasts on environmental initiatives — where time and again, the “doom and gloom” projections just didn’t happen.

      We need a whole lot more objectivity on both sides of this debate.

    • “A prime example of this was in the 2012 Presidential campaign where Jon Huntsman (who I think is an outstanding Conservative) basically said what I believe and the Tea Party viciously attacked him (as if he was a Al Gore clone”
      ____
      Yep, as an Independent, I would have voted for Huntsman over Obama, but the “eating of their own” by the wacky far right removed that possibility. Hence, Obama was the lessor of two evils for my vote. Let’s see if the Republicans can figure out how to dampen the radical far right nutters and get a viable moderate conservative on the ballot in 2016.

    • R. Gates

      Let’s go through your list of 10 arguments used by skeptics to see how accurate thy really are:

      1) The best proxy for the effects of anthropogenic GH gas emission is sensible tropospheric heat.
      [For years this has been the premise of the IPCC, with the HadCRUT3 record of “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” (at the time) as the measuring stick for AGW, until this metric stopped rising and IPCC had to scramble to come up with a rationalization for this.]
      2) The tropospheric “pause” tells us that sensitivity to GH gas accumulation is not as high as once thought. [Yep. That’s correct. Several recent, independent, (partly) observation-based studies suggest that climate sensitivity is around half that previously predicted by the models cited by IPCC.]
      3) We don’t have enough data to tell us the ocean is accumulating energy. [It is undoubtedly correct that we do not have any data prior to 2003, which could give us any meaningful quantitative estimate of changes in total ocean temperature; the ARGO data after 2003 first showed slight cooling, and after “correction” of the raw data, showed sight warming, but this is only at a supposed hardly measurable rate of a few thousandths of a degree per decade.]
      4) Warming oceans will have no effect on the rest of the climate system.[At the rate of a few thousandths of a degree per decade this is probably a reasonable assessment. In fact a recent study by Pielke et al. seems to argue that the ocean provides a large negative feedback to AGW.]
      5) If anything, a warming planet will be good for human civilization. Warmer is always better.[History has proven this to be correct.]
      6) We don’t know that natural variability is not the major reason for recent warming.[Trick word here is “recent”. Natural factors (whatever you wish to call them) certainly were the major reason for the early 20thC warming cycle, which was statistically indistinguishable from the late 20thC warming cycle, which is used as a “poster period” by you and IPCC.]
      7) Natural cycles like the AMO and PDO can be looked at independently from the highest GH gas levels in 3.2 million years, i.e. they are not affected by higher GH gas levels. [Since they have preceded human GHG emissions by millions of years, it is safe to say that the “null hypothesis” should be that they are independent of them.]
      8) Increasing Antarctic sea ice proves that AGW is not happening. [Not really. It simply raises questions about whether or not the warming is truly “global”.]
      9) The MWP proves that the current warm period must be natural as well.[Not really. It simply shows that natural factors have caused similar warming in the past, so the “null hypothesis” should be that climate changes are caused by natural factors, even if the exact mechanisms of some of these factors are not yet known.]
      10) Climate models that fail to predict the exact path that tropospheric temperatures take prove that AGW theory must be wrong.[Again, not really. The many conflicting outputs of the various models plus the fact that they have been very poor in predicting anything very accurately, should be a warning to us not to take them too seriously, until they can do a better job.]

      I hope I have clarified the position of this CAGW skeptic (which very likely also corresponds with the view of many other skeptics – arguably also such distinguished skeptics as Professor Lennert Bengtsson).

      Max

    • Stephen Segrest

      The issue of Global Warming as presented to the U.S. Public by the Tea Party

    • Wow! Stephen goes all-in political hackster!

    • R. Gates,

      That’s a great list of SkepticalScience style straw men. Surely you can point to cite or two where skeptics have actually made those arguments.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Jim2 — In today’s blog threads, the phrase has been used “There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast”.

      But this above type statement is not being used by the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress or Republican Talking Heads in the Media (as the reaction to Jon Huntsman illustrated)

      Here is an example from a Republican (non Tea Party) that I believe is totally appropriate:

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

      Folks on this Blog need to get out of their head that those of us who believe AGW is occurring also universally believe in policy actions like a carbon tax. We Don’t! We like things like increased R&D funding for “safe fracking” and “next generation nuclear power”.

    • Peter Lang

      MAnacker @ May 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      +100

    • Stephen says: In today’s blog threads, the phrase has been used “There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast”.
      ******
      But that isn’t the issue Stephen. The issue is how much of the warming is natural and how much due to MANMADE CO2, not the CO2 that was here before fossil fuels.

      That’s probably why you don’t hear Republicans asking YOUR question. It’s not THEIR question.

  12. Models. Giggle.

    • fizzymagic

      Eric, there is a psychological term for what you have done here. It’s called “projection.” Look it up.

  13. Bengtsson said: “Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models.”
    ——
    Translation: I’ve joined the myopic group who would only like to focus on the relative small amount of sensible heat in the the troposphere (the majority if which comes directly from the ocean) and look at this tropospheric sensible heat over a short time frame and try to use it as a proxy for the overall sensitivity of the climate to the rapidly accumulating anthropogenic GH gases.

    • George Turner

      If it doesn’t show up as sensible heat, how on Earth will we sense it? Will our crops just get kind of depressed and stop growing? Will glaciers decide to melt when the air is still below freezing as some form of protest?

      If you take the warming out of global warming and are still sleepless and worried, you must be thinking that ‘caloric’ is one day going to flow out of the ocean and creep across your city like a mystic fog, before slipping under your bed to strangle you in your sleep.

    • Mike Flynn

      George Turner,

      You obviously don’t understand. Warmist heat is trapped, accumulated and stored without actually having any sensible effect in both meanings of the word. It creates no increase in temperature, and is radiated not at all. A fifth form of matter, something like anti phlogiston, I would surmise.

      I don’t think the Warmists accept that the missing heat is really trapped in the luminiferous aether, in the form of caloric, and is caught in a zero point energy warp of strange and intricate design. As you say, Warmists need to be afraid, very afraid, when the hidden heat slithers into the atmosphere, and fries us all. I intend to wear a tinfoil hat to deflect the down welling long wave infrared caloric rays into my kettle to boil water for a fresh pot of tea.

      And you, good sirrah?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Latimer Alder

      @r gates

      If there really is extra heat in the deep ocean, it went there because its cold down there. And it ain’t coming out to our warmer climes anytime before you’ve successfully repealed the Laws of Thermodynamics

      To believe it’s there may be some sort of religious creed for warmists…shows that your faith still burns bright and true despite those pesky thermometers.

      But for all practical purposes, whether it’s there or not is pretty much irrelevant. It barely affects – or will affect – our lives or our great*n grandkids lives.

      Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

      PS – I’m not a believer in the second coming, the once and future king Arthur or the four horsemen of the apocalypse (among lots of other things) either.

    • Latimer

      I live right next to the English Channel.

      I am fully confident that this year the trenberth heat will leap out of the ocean as per the models . There is an ice cream concession going locally. How about going half with me and making our fortunes as the atmosphere here warms up to uncomfortable levels?

      We could perhaps combine it with a shop selling beach-ware for those people coming from the cities who will be so overcome by the heat emanating from the ocean that they will need to buy light t shirts and bathing costume. Carpe Diem!

      tonyb.

    • While it is very likely true that the majority of the additional energy the climate system has been accumulating as a result of the HCV has gone into the oceans, it is only the completely ignorant who would suggest that this energy has been harmlessly dissipated there, like you’d dissolve a few grains of sugar in your cup if tea. When this ignorance becomes willful ignorance, then the proper term for such thinking is denialism, and if that offends some, then so be it.

    • k scott denison

      George, Mike, Latimer, Tony: +1, 2, 3, 4! It’s almost like the oceans might be a big heat sink to keep the atmosphere from overheating… you know, that the climate system might be a bit more resilient to an increase in a trace gas than some believe.

    • ceresco kid

      Gates-

      Translation: He looked at the observational data and the models. Then he used deductive reasoning. Smart cookie.

    • R Gates, then why don’t you stop all this confusion by informing us of the exact distribution of this vast amount of stored energy, and exactly how and when it’s going to manifest itself.
      All your hand-waving about ocean currents etc transporting energy to the poles etc, tends to ignore the fact that truly vast amounts of energy are already being transported to the poles etc, and this has been the case ever since the oceans first appeared billions of years ago.

    • [… I]t is only the completely ignorant who would suggest that this energy has been harmlessly dissipated there, like you’d dissolve a few grains of sugar in your cup if tea.

      Since that’s exactly what happened to heat energy at, say, 15-30°(C), being “dissipated there” as temperature differences of a few hundredths of a °(C), in water only a few °(C) above freezing, seems like you’re the one who’s “completely ignorant”, insisting it’s going to jump out of the deep ocean like some boogy-man out of a child’s closet.

      Or would you care to propose some mechanism, even completely speculative, for this to happen? (I could, but I won’t, because people like Steven Mosher would (rightly, in this case) decry it as “unicorns”.)

      When this ignorance becomes willful ignorance, then the proper term for such thinking is denialism, and if that offends some, then so be it.

      You are like the minister who wrote in the margin of his notes, “Argument weak. Shout here.” And worse yet, you’re doing it in pursuit of what amounts to creating a lynch mob.

      Shame on you!

    • “R Gates, then why don’t you stop all this confusion by informing us of the exact distribution of this vast amount of stored energy, and exactly how and when it’s going to manifest itself.”
      _________
      Of course, the additional energy going into the ocean has already begun to “manifest” itself in multiple ways. The whole cartoonish notion that it will “come back’ someday is mainly wrong from the start, and only narrowly true in the case of the ENSO cycle releasing bits of energy from the IPWP now and then. Generally, more ocean energy means that more heat is available to be transported more frequently– i.e. the system is enhanced. Specifically, some of the ways that additional ocean energy is already being displayed:

      Rapidly declining Arctic sea ice (yep, most sea ice is melted from the bottom by the advection of warm water to the Arctic Ocean)

      Decline continental ice in Greenland and Antarctica. Just as with sea ice, most of this ice is melted via warmer water at the continental margins.

      General warming of the Arctic and portions of the Antarctic. The warmer water being advected to these areas brings greater latent and sensible heat flux to the atmosphere. In the Arctic this warmer air temperature is leading to greater melting of the permafrost, which is creating the positive feedback of methane release. (see next point related to methane as well)

      Destabilization of methane hydrates along the continental margins. This is especially pronounced in the Arctic Ocean, but is also occurring in lower latitudes, such as off the coast of N. Carolina. The resulting releases of methane may significantly add to GH warming. A effect not fully accounted for in the latest IPCC report, unfortunately, as it could be very significant over the next few decades.

      Enhancement of the Brewer-Dobson cycle. A warmer ocean, such in the IPWP, enhances vertical motion of air into the stratosphere and mesosphere. This added energy to the upper atmosphere is directly connected to the SSW events which disrupt winter weather.

      Disruption of ocean biosphere. This is being seen globally, and involves not just warmer water, but lowered PH.

      _____

      Sadly, many faux-skeptics get their news and their “science” from Faux News, and this is leading to incredible mass-misunderstanding. But such is the nature of mass propaganda.

    • George Turner asks:
      “If it doesn’t show up as sensible heat, how on Earth will we sense it? ”
      ____
      Of course, this gets to the heart of the issue as to why using sensible tropospheric heat as a proxy for the alteration in Earth’s energy balance is so wrong. Sensible tropospheric heat is just one form of energy in one very specific part the Earth system. Worse still, the troposphere has such a low thermal inertia, low energy storage, and is largely reliant on the flux of energy from the ocean. It is about the worst proxy you could use, especially over periods shorter than a decadal average at best.

      But regarding other ways to sense energy in the climate system, next time there is a large storm in your area, rush right out into it. See if you can feel the wind, or see lighting, or maybe have a large hail stone strike you on top of the head. These are all other forms of energy in the climate system– all originated mainly from solar energy, and some of that energy was stored temporarily in the ocean before becoming part of the kinetic energy in the hailstone that smacks you on top of your head.

    • k scott denison

      Gates, by what percentage has this magical missing heat raised the total heat content of the oceans?

    • AK said:
      “Since that’s exactly what happened to heat energy at, say, 15-30°(C), being “dissipated there” as temperature differences of a few hundredths of a °(C), in water only a few °(C) above freezing, seems like you’re the one who’s “completely ignorant”, insisting it’s going to jump out of the deep ocean like some boogy-man out of a child’s closet.”
      _____
      If one would like to equate the destabilization of the methane hydrates along the continental margins to the “boogy-man”, then perhaps that analogy holds true. See my rather long post below that in general, the warmer oceans are already affecting our climate, but certainly the methane hydrates exist in a very specific range of temperature and pressure, and at some point, tipping points are passed and methane is released. Those tipping points would be measured in a few hundredths of a degree in some cases.

      • If one would like to equate the destabilization of the methane hydrates along the continental margins to the “boogy-man”, then perhaps that analogy holds true.

        Destabilization of methane hydrates along the continental margins. This is especially pronounced in the Arctic Ocean, but is also occurring in lower latitudes, such as off the coast of N. Carolina. The resulting releases of methane may significantly add to GH warming.

        The methane hydrate issue is far too complex for a quick rejoinder; I would admit that this may be a plausible unicorn. But an examination of a phase diagram suggests that any such issues are unrelated to “missing heat” going into the oceans below 700 meters. At those depths the hydrate-to-gas transition is at or over 12°(C), which AFAIK is higher than the temperatures normally found at those depths. (Although like most such subjects, it’s not that simple.)

        Also, any widespread destabilization, especially involving temperature/”greenhouse” feedbacks, is completely speculative. No need to panic, just because there might be unicorns in the barn. OTOH, like “global warming”, ocean acidification, general eco-destabilization, many other plausible speculative consequences of digging up fossil carbon and dumping it into the ecosystem without even knowing where it’s all going, much less what (if any) damage it’s doing along the way, it certainly justifies reasonable, low-regrets efforts to replace fossil fuels quickly.

    • We live on the surface. The weather is influenced directly only by tropospheric and surface temperatures. Even the near surface water is more closely linked to tropospheric temperatures than to deep sea OHC. The temperature of deep ocean rises so slowly that it’s indirect influence on what’s going on on the surface is likely to be n´minimal for long.

      OHC tells about accumulation of energy, but we should worry much more the effects that occur on the surface and in the troposphere long before the deep sea temperatures have risen much.

      OHC is a good measure of OHC, not of the warming humans will meet over the coming decades or even one or two centuries.

    • “k scott denison | May 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      Gates, by what percentage has this magical missing heat raised the total heat content of the oceans?”
      ______
      You seem to have missed the whole point of the post. Energy is absolutely not dispersed around the global ocean like you’d dissolve a bit of sugar in some tea. This is not the way this water planet works. More energy in the ocean is already at work enhancing the entire climate cycle, melting sea ice, continental ice, destabilization methane hydrates, etc. To be sure, the total energy content of the ocean has increased as well, with the best estimates (down to 2000 meters only) of about 25 x 10^22 joules over the past 50 years or so. This additional heat certainly is changing the ocean biosphere, but it does not represent the full alteration to the global climate system going on as additional energy has gone to other parts of the system.

    • “We live on the surface. The weather is influenced directly only by tropospheric and surface temperatures.”
      _____
      This general perspective is wrong. Just one example is the super Typhoon that struck last fall. It was deeper and warmer ocean water, being brought to the surface from the churning of surface helped sustain and grow that storm to super-sized proportions. That energy came from the IPWP, the same pool that would be source of energy for an El Niño that occurs this year.

      The truth is, our “surface” weather is largely dependent on energy content in the ocean. This is basic this water planet.

    • The warm water was brought to surface. Thus it formed a part of surface before it influenced weather.

      What fraction of increase in OHC has such an effect?

      How well the overall change in OHC correlates with such effects?

      Does the surface temperature or the OHC correlate better with warm water appearing at the surface?

      Do you think that you have answers to these questions?

      I maintain my view that the connection between the total increase in OHC with weather phenomena is presently rather weak, and will grow slowly, much more slowly than the effects of warming visible in the tropospheric temperatures that we’ll see over that period.

      Deep sea is weakly linked to the surface, and limited parts of the close to surface sea are not much more representative of total OHC than surface temperatures. The significant effects of warming are more localized in the Earth system than overall OHC. The relevant rises in local temperatures are much, much larger than average changes of temperature in large ocean volumes.

    • “I maintain my view that the connection between the total increase in OHC with weather phenomena is presently rather weak…”
      ____
      Total increase in OHC would mean from the bottom to the top, and in that case, probably no single thing is more important to the weather of the planet. This is a water planet, and the weather of this planet is closely related (more than any other local factor) to the amount of total energy in the ocean. As goes the ocean, so goes the planet.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: I’ve joined the myopic group who would only like to focus on the relative small amount of sensible heat in the the troposphere (the majority if which comes directly from the ocean) and look at this tropospheric sensible heat over a short time frame and try to use it as a proxy for the overall sensitivity of the climate to the rapidly accumulating anthropogenic GH gases.

      This argument of yours that the lack of warming in the troposphere is unimportant: Has that been published in the peer-reviewed literature and referenced by the IPCC? I think that your claim and the supporting claims by Pierre-Normand are insubstantial, but it you have some published references, I’ll go to them.

    • it takes hundreds of years to raise the average ocean temperature by 1C. If that rate would apply also to the troposphere we might not be particularly worried. Parts of ocean may warm much faster, but then that’s not due to the overall warming of the whole volume but to the distribution of heat within the ocean. The distribution of heat in the ocean may vary also without overall warming. That’s really going on and that’s very much linked with the changes in the troposphere, not necessarily with the overall warming of large volumes of the oceans.

    • k scott denison

      Pekka, if we burn all known fossil fuels, how much warmer would the oceans be? What does this imply about the atmospheric temperature?

    • “This argument of yours that the lack of warming in the troposphere is unimportant…”
      ___
      Nope. My contention is that it is a very poor proxy for the total energy being accumulated in Earth’s climate system, especially over anything other than decadal average timeframes. It is also wrong to use anything other than decadal averages in tropospheric sensible heat to try and judge climate sensitivity to increasing GH gases. This would be the shortest timeframe to use.

      Certainly, over longer periods the troposphere will follow the oceans to higher and higher temperatures as energy accumulates in the system, just as a dog’s tail, though wagging side to side, will eventually follow the dog where ever it may go. The ocean is the dog that wags the tropospheric tail. Best to follow the dog directly, and not the tail.

    • “Pekka, if we burn all known fossil fuels, how much warmer would the oceans be? What does this imply about the atmospheric temperature?”
      ____
      In such a scenario, the positive feedback effects from the disruption of methane and melting of permafrost would bring substantially larger amounts of carbon into the atmosphere as well. Very likely a 6th great extinction event would ensue. We do not want to burn all known fossil fuels, period.

    • Rgates said

      ‘We do not want to burn all known fossil fuels, period.’

      Agreed. But what do energy hungry advanced economies with large populations use for the next 30 or 40 years whilst cheap alternatives are developed?
      tonyb

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: “This argument of yours that the lack of warming in the troposphere is unimportant…”
      ___
      Nope. My contention is that it is a very poor proxy for the total energy being accumulated in Earth’s climate system, especially over anything other than decadal average timeframes. It is also wrong to use anything other than decadal averages in tropospheric sensible heat to try and judge climate sensitivity to increasing GH gases. This would be the shortest timeframe to use.

      Whether “unimportant” or “a very poor proxy for the total energy being accumulated in Earth’s climate system”, is it in the peer-reviewed literature, and has it been cited by IPCC?

    • @R. Gates…

      I’ve responded to your comment here.

    • “OTOH, like “global warming”, ocean acidification, general eco-destabilization, many other plausible speculative consequences of digging up fossil carbon and dumping it into the ecosystem without even knowing where it’s all going, much less what (if any) damage it’s doing along the way, it certainly justifies reasonable, low-regrets efforts to replace fossil fuels quickly.”
      _____
      All roads lead to Rome. There are many reasons to find replacements for fossil fuels. 5 years ago the destabilization of methane hydrates and the melting of permafrost and release of methanes from that were not high on the list of significant positive feedback processes. Research in the time has indicated they are more significant “unicorns” to be considered. Our transfer of large amounts of carbon from lithosphere represent a two-edged sword– a Janus faced creature if you would. While allowing for the explosion of human population via this HCV. it also has allowed for the potential complete disruption of the biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. The weaning from fossil fuels is a necessary, but not sufficient first step. As long as GH gases continue to rise (including methane of course), significant climate changes is highly likely with major impacts on human civilization.

    • RG gets it.

      For the rest of you, I suggest reading this:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

      Its book-keeping in the form of algebra.

      And it can’t hurt to understand how thermal diffusion works:

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

      These are essentially homework assignments for students of climate science.

    • R Gates, I see you totally ignored the second part of my comment about hand-waving, and came out with — wait for it — more hand-waving.

    • Please explain why additional LW radiation is particularly attracted to methane hydrates.

    • Please explain why additional LW radiation is particularly attracted to methane hydrates.

      As I said above, the methane hydrate issue is too complex for a quick, off-the-cuff comment. Putting it simplistically, methane hydrate clathrates at any particular level are more-or-less stable within the range of temperatures they experience. If the high end of that range increases, there is some (as yet unevaluated) potential for them to destabilize, yielding some (possibly large) amount of methane gas.

      Given that methane is, under current circumstances, a much stronger “greenhouse” gas than CO2, such an increase might, in turn, cause a significant amount of warming, leading to a positive “feedback” loop by destabilizing more methane hydrate clathrate.

      I’ve defined this as a “unicorn” because the whole “scenario” is full of “potential”s, “possibly”s, “might”s, and the like. By rough analogy to a frequent dismissive comment “it might be unicorns”. It certainly can’t be ruled impossible at our present level of knowledge, of methane hydrate deposits, distribution of temperature increases in the ocean, etc. But there is a variety of features of how such deposits are structured that, IMO, mitigate against any real likelihood of this “feedback” occurring. Given that such “likelihood”s can’t really be nailed down with any number, other people can have other opinions about the probabilities.

    • We do not know the historical melt of methane hydrates. We have no evidence of a trend and especially no evidence of a change in trend. If anything, the discovery shows that we’ve gotten residency time and attribution of sources of methane severly wrong (they’ve likely been emitting fossil carbon for quite some time). It would be nice to know how much methane they release and if there are trends and cycles.

      It’s probably a pretty safe assumption that methane hydrates have been melting most of the time since the end of the last ice age.

    • It’s also be interesting to know what the age of the clathrates and methane/carbon in them in various locations and depths.

    • aaron | May 5, 2014 at 9:18 am said: ”Please explain why additional LW radiation is particularly attracted to methane hydrates”

      aaron, methane in the atmosphere is burned / oxidized by the UV and infrared in a day or two max. .Methane is not a problem, the misleading propaganda is the problem: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/methane-ch4/

    • “It’s probably a pretty safe assumption that methane hydrates have been melting most of the time since the end of the last ice age.”
      ——
      It is a pretty safe bet that, like CO2, we are likely seeing the highest methane levels in millions of years. Humans are the cause, directly or indirectly.

    • R. Gates, I think you are probably right, for the wrong reasons. CH4 levels are probably high due to fertilization and increased bio mass in addtion to seepage/leakage from extraction.

  14. “We are still in a situation where our knowledge is insufficient and climate models are not good enough.”

    “Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models.”

    Duh. Maybe even < 1 C?

    "Climate model tuning has developed well beyond just controlling global mean temperature drift. Today, we tune several aspects of the models, including the extratropical wind- and pressure fields, sea-ice volume and to some extent cloud-field properties. By doing so we clearly run the risk of building the models’ performance upon compensating errors, and the practice of tuning is partly masking these structural errors. As one continues to evaluate the models, sooner or later these compensating errors will become apparent, but the errors may prove tedious to rectify without jeopardizing other aspects of the model that have been adjusted to them." (Curry 7/9/2013 Climate Model Tuning)

    …the errors may prove tedious to rectify…

    Here in lies the basis for continued use of the current crop of useless models, and why model assembles are justified: assemble averages hide the uncertainties; plausible model runs are chosen by the modeler's biases; and it is tedious to go back and undo one's errors.

    It is particularly hard to walk back your stance if you have spent your career yelling in the face of those with whom you disagree: "You denier".

    Can we readily identify some of these vocalists?

    "Wisdom perhaps comes with age. I also believe you are becoming more independent and less sensitive to political or group pressure. Such pressure is too high today and many good scientists I believe are suffering. I am presently a lot on my own. As I have replied to such questions before, if I cannot stand my own opinions, life will become completely unbearable."

    The blessings of retirement are in part, being able to bear one's self and our own opinions.

  15. Good comments by Bengtsson, and he will add to the quality of advice to the GPWF. Some good points from posters but as usual too much petty feuding. Try to live up to Bengtsson’s standards, lads (and ladettes).

  16. “My interest in climate science is strictly scientific and I very much regret the politicisation that has taken place in climate research” – LB
    ….so let me join and publicise my involvement with a highly politicised PR group.

    Makes sense.

    • Mike Flynn

      Michael,

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice my Warmese. I respond as follows –

      Huh! – Wow! – Wow just wow! – Duh! – Read harder! – 97% agree! – Denier! – Write that down! – It’s climate, not weather! – Shill! – Big oil! – PR! – Politicised! – Biased!

      How did I go?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • ceresco kid

      Michael

      No Michael, he didnt say he just joined the IPCC

    • I’d as soon go to the GWPF for information on climate science, as I’d go to the Tobacco Institute for advice on the health impacts of smoking.

    • “I’d as soon go to the GWPF for information on climate science, as I’d go to the Tobacco Institute for advice on the health impacts of smoking.”
      ________
      Yep. the GWPF is the British equivalent of the Heartland Foundation. Scientists associate with these advocacy organizations at the great peril of their current and future reputations, i.e. it is poison.

    • At least Heartland and the GWPF acknowledge that policy is part of their focus. Unlike the IPCC that pretends even their policy advocacy is science.

    • Rgates said;

      ‘Yep. the GWPF is the British equivalent of the Heartland Foundation. Scientists associate with these advocacy organizations at the great peril of their current and future reputations, i.e. it is poison.’

      As I have said to you before Heartland certainly do not speak for me and I find them slightly worrying bearing in mind the causes they have espoused over the years and their distinctly right wing bias..

      GWPF do not speak for me either, but I can see no resemblance whatsoever with Heartland, either in the type of member they have, their panel or their funding sources.

      Why do you believe them to be twins?
      tonyb

    • “GWPF do not speak for me either, but I can see no resemblance whatsoever with Heartland, either in the type of member they have, their panel or their funding sources.

      Why do you believe them to be twins?
      tonyb”
      _____
      They have similar policy goals. A simple look at the “science news” section of the GWPF site clearly indicates their goals as the articles are carefully selected and clearly targeted to alter, change, slowdown any policy related to AGW and generally create an exaggerated sense of “uncertainty” related to human effects on the climate. The net beneficiaries of this policy will be those who derive a large part of their wealth from such fossil fuels, whether or not these organizations are directly connected to GWPF or not, as is the case with the Heartland Foundation.

      They are not mirror images of each other, but they are similar enough and skewed enough in their policy advocacy to be poison to any scientist who associates with them and who wants to be taken seriously by his or her peer in the global science community.

    • Which denier has a habit of using this phrase?

      ” Write that down! “

      Own goal!
      Well done projection on your part..

    • Mike Flynn

      WebHubTelescope,

      I wrote –

      Michael,
      “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice my Warmese. I respond as follows –

      Huh! – Wow! – Wow just wow! – Duh! – Read harder! – 97% agree! – Denier! – Write that down! – It’s climate, not weather! – Shill! – Big oil! – PR! – Politicised! – Biased!

      How did I go?”

      You wrote –
      “Which denier has a habit of using this phrase?

      ” Write that down! “

      Own goal!
      Well done projection on your part..”

      I am unsure whether you are responding to my question to Michael, and if so, what relationship your answer bears to the question I asked.

      I know that slippery sliding sidewise evasion is the mark of the dedicated Warmist, but answering a serious request for knowledge with a completely irrelevant question about something that I admit to no knowledge of whatsoever, merely indicates the intellectual inadequacy of the Warmist in question, namely yourself.

      In that case, I consider that I am indeed becoming proficient in Warmese. I intend to next master Warmist pseudo science. I will of course seek your invaluable assistance in this area, if all else fails. When it comes to completely useless so called climate models, I believe you have some expertise in the area.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  17. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. it is a trace gas. man-made CO2 is a fraction of a trace gas. This is not regulating earth temperature.

    Water, in all of its states, is abundant and Water regulates the earth temperature.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “man-made CO2 is a fraction of a trace gas.”
      Yes, it’s a 30% fraction of the total, or 43% increase, depending on how you look at it.

    • One way to look at man-made CO2 is that it is one molecule increase for every ten thousand molecules of everything that is in the atmosphere. That is a really small percent.

    • I will do the math for you. that is 0.01%

    • Pierre-Normand

      “One way to look at man-made CO2 is that it is one molecule increase for every ten thousand molecules of everything that is in the atmosphere. That is a really small percent.”

      Sure, but the effect from greenhouse gases isn’t diluted by the surrounding non-greenhouse gas molecules that are zipping around. The other molecules are transparent to longwave radiation and so only the absolute amount of greenhouse gas present is relevant. Actually the presence of other molecules increases the amount of collisions with greenhouse gas molecules and therefore enhances slightly the greenhouse effect through spectral line broadening.
      Look at clouds. They can be fully opaque to visible light but the water droplets in them only occupy a very much smaller fraction of the volume of the clouds compared with the partial pressure fraction of CO2. Yet, the clouds are opaque to visible light and the amount of empty space between the droplets is irrelevant.

    • CO2 is around 400 ppm. Man-made CO2 is around 100 ppm. That is around 25%.

      It is 100 ppm of the atmosphere. it is 0.01% of the atmosphere. This is what that looks like.

      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page16.html

      it is a fraction of a trace and likely has a fraction of a trace of influence.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Those trace gases, and water vapor, contribute 100% of the opacity of the atmosphere to thermal infrared radiation. In the higher troposphere and in the stratosphere, where water vapor concentration drops to 2-3ppm, those trace gases contribute more than 90% of the opacity to longwave radiation.

      • David Springer

        “Those trace gases, and water vapor, contribute 100% of the opacity of the atmosphere to thermal infrared radiation.”

        That’s laughably wrong and reflects both a lack of knowledge and lack of critical thinking on your part. First of all the term opaque is wrong. The atmosphere is *translucent* to IR and shortwave as well. Particulates, which includes water & ice droplets composing clouds, contribute a large fraction to the IR translucence of the earth’s atmosphere. And in fact, unlike gases, with the exception of Raleigh scattering and O3, particulates make the atmosphere translucent to shortwave too.

        Suggest you spend more time reading and less time writing in the future.

    • Pierre-Normand

      OK, I misused the term opaque. I should have said translucent. Who did I mislead though? What I meant to convey is that the mean free path of IR photons is much shorter than the thickness of the atmosphere. There is plenty enough CO2 molecules in the atmosphere to have an effect on the radiative balance. Is what I said more laughably wrong than the claim that I counter, namely that since CO2 is a trace gas, and there are 10,000 more O2 and N2 molecules, then it can’t possibly have more than a “trace influence” on the climate? Isn’t that claim rather more misleading than mine?

      • David Springer

        “Is what I said more laughably wrong than the claim that I counter”

        You me to be the judge in a contest over whose ignorance is the most profound? Seriously?

    • Pierre-Normand

      For what it’s worth, it seems that “opacity” is frequently used in this context, to signify that an atmospheric layer is thicker than the mean free path of a photon and hence most photons are scattered.

      “The enhanced greenhouse effect
      The increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere enhances the absorption and emission of infrared radiation. The atmosphere’s opacity increases so that the altitude from which the Earth’s radiation is effectively emitted into space becomes higher. Because the temperature is lower at higher altitudes, less energy is emitted, causing a positive radiative forcing. This effect is called the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is discussed in detail in Chapter 6.” IPCC, TAR, WG1

    • Pierre-Normand

      Also, from Pierrehumbert, Principles of Planetary Climate:

      “From the requirement of energy balance, the absorbed solar radiation determines the effective blackbody radiating temperature Trad. This is not the surface temperature; it is instead the temperature encountered at some pressure level in the atmosphere prad, which characterizes the infrared opacity of the atmosphere, specifically the typical altitude from which infrared photons escape to space.”

    • Pierre-Normand, you won’t find much disagreement about radiative physics at TOA. Most of the disagreement, around here at least, is about what happens at the surface.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Pierre-Normand, you won’t find much disagreement about radiative physics at TOA.”

      And yet, disagreement I find.

    • Disagreement on fundamentals is unfortunately one of the hazards of public fora.

    • Opacity is the right word.

      “Is what I said more laughably wrong than the claim that I counter”

      No but Springer is much happier for inaccuracies to fall squarely on a particular side.

    • David Springer

      Opacity is a valid term but like acidification one might question the choice among other valid terms such transmissivity and neutralization respectively. So on that minor point I concede.

      But disregarding particulates, especially clouds, in their role at reducing IR transmissivity of the atmosphere is a brain fart of monumental proportion and that major point still stands.

  18. Pierre-Normand

    “Nor have the cooling and increase in sea ice around Antarctica been properly recognized.”

    Has there actually been any cooling at all? I thought there actually had been some moderate amount of warming and the increase in sea ice extend was attributable to other factors, such as the freshening of surface water due to ice-sheet melt and increased rainfall. Can Judith weigh in?

    • Explain how ‘freshening of surface water due to ice-sheet melt’ around the continental perimeter in summer, can lead to an increase in ice extent, in the order of thousands of miles out, in winter?
      And give your best estimate on the percentage increase in rainfall necessary to have this effect the ice extent?

    • Besides which, do you realise just how cold Antarctica is? Inland temperatures barely reach -20C, and coastal temperatures may rise to zero, for a day or two in the middle of summer.
      That ice isn’t melting anytime soon.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Phatboy, those are possible explanations. They may or may not be correct. I think Judith Curry has a paper that suggests such explanations. My question remains. Has there been an observe decrease in surface temperatures around Antarctica? If there hasn’t been any, then your alternative explanations for the increase in sea ice extend might be as good as any other. But a decline in surface temperature would be out as an explanation.

    • Pierre-Normand, as far as I can ascertain, temperatures have been falling over the whole of the continent, with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula, which has warmed – and this warming may be associated with volcanic activity in the region.
      BTW I have not given any alternative explanations.

    • I’d like to raise the possibility that nobody knows much about the Antarctic ice increase. It’s not like we live in an era of experiment, enquiry and exploration. The last “scientific” expedition went down there to affirm a dogma. Got stuck in the ice, they did.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Phatboy, Bengsston remarks “Nor have the cooling and increase in sea ice around Antarctica been properly recognized.” which is why I ask. This seems to suggest that some cooling around Antarctica is responsible for the increase in sea ice extend. At the very least, it seems to ask for cooling “around Antarctica” to be recognized by the IPCC. Has there been such a cooling, or has Bengsston falsely inferred this from the increase in sea extend?

    • Pierre-Normand

      …Bengtsson… (I should have looked in the URL field of my browser)

    • maksimovich

      Has there been such a cooling, or has Bengsston falsely inferred this from the increase in sea extend?

      This is well described in the literature,albeit under the auspices of Wmo/UNFCC assessments for the parties for the Montreal protocol .

      The southward excursion of the westerly wind belts have a number of interesting properties eg

      i) The wind stress decreases the efficiency of the SO sink .
      ii) Wind stress transports energy into the depths of the SO ( note this is the small increase in depths T observed,transport is ballistic not by diffusion.
      iii)The increased winds generate condensation nuclei which provides a significant negative cloud forcing . eg Wmo 2010.

      The increase in wind speeds over the Southern
      Ocean can generate more sea spray and lead to increases
      in natural cloud condensation nuclei for the formation of
      reflective low clouds in Southern Hemisphere summer
      (Korhonen et al., 2010). In a modeling study using observed
      wind trends input into an global aerosol model,
      Korhonen et al. (2010) find that the Southern Hemisphere
      wind trends since the 1980s give rise to a more than 20%
      increase in cloud condensation nuclei concentrations in
      the50S–65S latitude band and a negative cloud radiative
      forcing of −0.7 W/m2. The latter, when added to the
      negative radiative forcing from stratospheric ozone loss,
      gives an ozone-related regional negative radiative forcing
      comparable to the positive radiative forcing

    • Pierre-Normand

      maksimovich, what you describe there is a source of negative forcing, not an actual cooling trend of sea surface around Antarctica.

    • RobertInAz

      “Has there actually been any cooling at all? ”
      Google “antarctic temperature anomaly” brings one to:

      http://www.climate4you.com/Polar%20temperatures.htm

      I know nothing about this site – lots of data.

    • “Bengsston remarks “Nor have the cooling and increase in sea ice around Antarctica been properly recognized.”
      ______
      Seems Bengtsson should read a bit more widely before making this analysis. That’s the problem with taking a policy advocacy role- it tends to make you look only for the data from a perspective that supports the policy position your group wants to promote.

  19. look at earth temperature for the most recent eleven thousand years.

    There is very clearly a Set Point and Tight Bounds around the Set Point.

    The only possible Set Point is the Temperature that Polar Sea Ice Melts and Freezes.

    When the Set Point is exceeded, the Polar Sea Ice melts and turns on Snowfall that does continue until the warming is halted and reversed and the temperature is driven below the Set Point.

    When the Temperature is below the Set Point, Polar Waters get covered with ice and the Snowfall is turned off and that does continue until the sun removes enough ice to halt the cooling and reverse the cooling and allow the temperature to go above the Set Point Again.

    Look at the data. It always goes from warm to cool to warm to cool. This Always has happened, in the same bounds, for the past eleven thousand years.

    The only Set Point, that makes any sense, is the Temperature that Polar Sea Ice Melts and Freezes.

    The only forcing that makes sense is more snowfall when the oceans are wet and less snowfall when the oceans are frozen. This drives the Albedo of Earth, up and down, to keep the temperature near the Set Point.

    It really is this simple. Look at the data and offer a different Theory that makes sense.

    Propose a different Set Point and Forcing that could have always worked over the past eleven thousand years.

    Propose a different Theory with no set point that just happened to get lucky for eleven thousand years.

    • RobertInAz

      “There is very clearly a Set Point and Tight Bounds around the Set Point. ”
      It is more than 11 thousand years. It is every interglacial in the current ice age. From our current global temperature, warming has always been a good and ephemeral thing.

  20. Pingback: Eminente climatólogo / meteorólogo europeo (Bengsston) se une a los críticos del IPCC y de la alarma del calentamiento global | PlazaMoyua.com

  21. Just like old math teachers don’t like New Math, old scientists don’t like New Science. New Science is based on several principles that make it especially useful for modern times: (1) science is socially constructed; (2) proof by consensus is a valid means of gaining scientific knowledge; (3) being on the right side is what really matters; (4) if you are on the right side you can slum around with data all you want and your friends will protect you as long as you do the same for them.

    • We clearly have reached the same conclusion, however, I realised that “science” is now so universally used to describe this “social construct”, that we now need a name to describe what most skeptics mean by science. Therefore “skeptic science” – as in conservative, based on data and no grand illusion that skeptic science will ever derive a “truth” that could not be overthrown by the next piece of data.

  22. It interesting to compare Lennart Bengtsson’s thinking with Gavin Schmidt’s TED talk

    Gavin does also discuss the complexity of the evidence and thus indirectly the great uncertainties, but his reaction to the state of science is totally different from that of Lennart Bengtsson.

    Gavin, Judith, and Lennart Bengtsson share an interest in the same big question:

    How should we act given what we know and what we don’t know?

    Why do we get so little constructive discussion on this point in comparison with the mudslinging against those with differing views?

    • David Springer

      “How should we act given what we know and what we don’t know?

      “Why do we get so little constructive discussion on this point in comparison with the mudslinging against those with differing views?”

      Because we don’t know enough to know what so-called mitigation acts are productive and what are counter-productive. We know for sure that fossil fuel consumption is critical to survival and the smooth functioning of modern civilization and that more & cheaper fossil fuels raises living standards especially for those folks on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. Any mitigation at all is thus harmful and so the downstream benefits must be tangible, sure, and quantifiable in order to weigh the downsides against the upside.

    • Pekka, perhaps because there are few here with a serious policy background. I don’t sling mud, I don’t get into drawn-out discussions, I make what I hope are clear and sensible points on how to respond to the alleged CAGW issue.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      Gavin, Judith, and Lennart Bengtsson share an interest in the same big question:

      How should we act given what we know and what we don’t know?

      Why do we get so little constructive discussion on this point …?

      Good question indeed. Put another way, why do you avoid “constructive discussion” about these questions:

      Policy relevant climate questions

      1. What is the value of ECS and TCR?

      2. Is ECS and TCR relevant given that climate changes suddenly, not as portrayed by IPCC’s smooth projections?

      3. What effect will increasing atmospheric CO2-e concentration have on the climate – will it make the next sudden change happen sooner or later? Will it make the next sudden cooling happen sooner or later? Or will it cause a sudden warming event? What are the probability density functions?

      4. Will it make the next sudden climate change less or more severe? (e.g. delay the onset of the next cooling and/or reduce its severity OR make the next sudden warming happen sooner and make it more severe)? What is the pdf?

      5. What would be the consequences of warming? What would be the consequences of cooling? What are the pdfs?

      6. What is the probability that the advocated mitigation policies would succeed in delivering the claimed benefits (climate damages avoided), given real world issues with implementing and maintaining such policies (e.g. carbon pricing)?

      • To answer this question we need to understand the short- and medium-term economic impacts of the proposed policies for each nation state, and consider how each will respond so as to maximise its advantage (game theory) through the situations that could occur over the next century or so.

      7. What is the probability that alternative polices are more likely to succeed (such as removing the political and regulatory impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear energy and allowing lightly regulated markets to deliver the benefits at least cost)?

    • David and Faustino,

      I didn’t have in mind only this site.

      The problem is surely related to what David wrote and on the lack of required understanding both on this site and everywhere. The issues are so complex and multifaceted that few people have even rudimentary understanding on all essential aspects of it, and nobody is deeply knowledgeable on all essentials.

      The total number of active environmental economists is small. Their understanding is at the heart of the problem as a whole, but their results are highly dependent on the input they receive from climate scientists on the physical science part, engineers on the prospects of technical solutions as well as a wide spectrum of other scientists and knowledgeable non-scientists on the specific impacts of changing climate, workings of political systems, etc., etc.

      All that assessment must be evaluated in some framework of values – or taking into account the multitude of sets of values that people have in various part of globe.

      All this may feel hopelessly complex, but leaving any part of that out of consideration may be enough for leading to conclusions that are of little value as guidelines for policy.

      One possibility of constructive discussion is something where all these aspects are recognized and the full problem is approached in a top-down fashion where top means formulating central questions that need to be answered, and where the subproblems are analyzed having in mind their role in answering the final question.

      That approach might lead to much more practicable conclusions than the linear approach, where climate scientists and other specialists tell, what they think as essential, while the real needs of decision making are quite different.

    • Peter,

      I agree that you have made such attempts, but unfortunately the experience has been that our ways of thinking clash in a way that makes constructive discussion very unlikely.

      Few others have joined in that discussion at any point.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      One possibility of constructive discussion is something where all these aspects are recognized and the full problem is approached in a top-down fashion where top means formulating central questions that need to be answered, and where the subproblems are analyzed having in mind their role in answering the final question.

      Excellent point. I agree wholeheartedly. This is the systems engineering approach and calls for systems engineering to be the driving discipline, or project management at the top and systems engineering a close second.

      This provides and example of how a complex problem that requires majority public support to proceed and adversarial testing of the proposed policies can proceed: http://www.nwmo.ca/home?language=en_CA Different countries need different approaches. This is Canada’s approach. Sweden has also handled this issue well over a period of more than 30 years. So have other countries, including Finland as you know http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository.

      In the mean time, we clearly cannot deal with the “full problem” here, but we could at least have a “constructive discussion’ as you called it on “the central questions that need to be answered.” I’d be very interested in a “constructive discussion” on the questions I laid in my previous comment.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka,

      Peter,

      I agree that you have made such attempts, but unfortunately the experience has been that our ways of thinking clash in a way that makes constructive discussion very unlikely.

      That sound’s like avoidance Pekka. I interpret you don’t want to discuss the questions that are the key questions relevant for rational policy analysis. I suspect you aluded to what you really want to talk about in your comment about ‘values’. What you really mean is you wan to push for policies based on your beliefs about CAGW.

      We’ll that’s my interpretation, and your avoidance of dealing with critical issues of fact over many previous exchanges supports my interpretation as being correct.

      But why don’t you give your suggestion of a “constructive discussion” a try anyway? Why won’t you tackle those questions? But let’s see if you can address these without your usual avoidance tactics and arrogance (such as “Oh, it’s all too complicated for you plebs to understand”).

    • Pekka, I have replied to you at length at the end of this thread.

  23. The IPCC is consensus science or “science by committee” at its worst. It does none of its own research, it allows anyone calling themself a “scientist” no matter how politically active to participate, and it actively engages in politcal activism itself.

    What governments need is to be advised be real skeptic science. This isn’t the best guess (or worse) of a group of political activists in academia, this is instead verified hard data, facts and conservative conclusions from those facts, from professionals who are would be prepared to lose their jobs and their livelihood if their advice proved to be inadequate or misleading.

    It’s the difference between the two types of verdicts: “beyond all reasonable doubt” is the standard skeptics want their skeptic science to adhere to. “On the balance of probability” verging at times to “can’t be certainly proven false”, is the standard many of the consensus scientists in the IPCC seem to work at.

    OK, there may be a place for committees of academics to express their views, but this “consensus science” cannot in any way be compared to the type of hard skeptic science that most skeptics learnt at school, university and beyond.

    • Hi Scottish Sceptic,

      As you say re the IPCC, nothing, ( but nothing) good comes from
      ‘science by committee.’ There’s a place for committees of academics
      to express their criticlcal views,’ free speech, sure, but so often the outsider, identifying a problem, makes the important breakthrough,
      think James Hutton, amateur geologist who dared to question and
      went on to investigate, the biblical claim that the Earth was only
      6,000 years old.

      Jest a serf.

  24. Pingback: Lennart Bengtsson rådgivare till GWPF - Stockholmsinitiativet - Klimatupplysningen

  25. Mike Flynn

    Pekka Pirilä,

    You asked the question –
    “Why do we get so little constructive discussion on this point in comparison with the mudslinging against those with differing views?”

    May I suggest that pretending that Climatology is any more or less than obtaining the average of weather parameters which have already occurred, causes difficulty.

    Studying the causes of the various factors that make up weather has led to advances in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, among others. If one considers Climatology, on the other hand, it has led to advances in nothing but ignorance.

    I’m reasonably sure you will disagree, however, why not concentrate on science? You know, all that hard stuff involving hypothesis, theory, verification and so on. What used to be called the scientific method – a consistent and logical approach to improve our knowledge of Nature, our surroundings and ourselves. Even so, there could be and should be vigorous or even bitter disagreements. Continents wandering around like headless chickens? Piffle! Gastric ulcers not the result of stress and spicy foods? Preposterous!

    Facts don’t care about opinion or consensus – they just are, whether you like it or not.

    What do you think? Get back to science, or waste yet more money pursuing a mad idea that seems to have stopped working anyway, and has provided precisely no measurable benefit to man nor beast.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      Darn. Just reloaded the thread. It looks like I have just regurgitated ideas already expressed. No plagiarism performed or intended.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  26. “How should we act given what we know and what we don’t know?”

    Not in a hysterical, frightened way.
    Not spend 360 billion dollars a year on “tooth fairies and Easter bunnies” a.k.a. windmills and solar panels.

    We should act rationally (as far as we are capable), whatever the problem is, not hysterically.
    And, scientists should not claim they know what they don’t know (eg. the hockey stick), just to induce more hysteria.

    • .. or

      Not releasing increasingly much CO2 to the atmosphere without a serious attempt to reduce those releases.

      Jacob, It’s possible to make declarations like that in many different directions. It’s possible to add words like “hysterical” to the comment as an attempt to discredit the opposing side.

      Your approach is worth nothing. It’s as pointless as a requirement that we must stop all CO2 releases within 5 years, and presenting that requirement with the additional comment that all who disagree are immoral crooks.

    • We should NOT do what we have been doing these past 20 years: holding mass climate jamborees (conferences) of empty talk, do useless carbon trading schemes, carbon ‘credits”, and, above all, NOT jeopardize the integrity and safety of our electricity supply, by blocking the renewal of our aging [coal] power plants.

    • well, yes. “hysterical” is an adjective, and, as Mark Twain advised: “whenever in doubt – strike it out”.

      Maybe the goal of reducing CO2 emissions is a desirable goal.

      But, how do you describe spending horrendous amounts of money on things that do not work? How do you describe the tremendous pressure do ‘do something” even if it doesn’t work?

      There may be uncertainties in climate science, but there are no uncertainties in the fact that windmills and solar panels are, as Hansen pointed out, “tooth fairies and Easter bunnies”, i.e. incapable of reducing emissions in any significant amount.
      There are no uncertainties in the fact that burning our food (ethanol) doesn’t reduce emissions at all, and is a tremendously dumb (adjective) idea.
      Whether or not you believe that reducing emissions is urgent – you should oppose, NOT embrace, all the things that have been done so far.
      It’s not just that “we need to do something” – it’s more about WHAT to do.

    • “Not releasing increasingly much CO2 to the atmosphere without a serious attempt to reduce those releases.”

      What is “serious” ? Seems you, too, use adjectives of dubious value.

      Do you think that spending 360 billion dollars a year on things that don’t work (windmills) is “serious” enough?

    • Jacob,

      I didn’t try to present a practicable proposal, I wanted only to tell that all simplistic proposals are just – simplistic.

      Generic statements that we must react strongly, or that we should not react at all, are not enough. No results can be obtained without concrete acts, and no acts can be made without specific decisions. Those specific decisions are what should be argued upon. They can be analyzed at some level and compared. The decisions can concern physical acts like constructing or closing a power plant, or they can concern incentives like taxes or cap & trade that are expected to lead to physical acts by someone influenced by the incentive. In the latter case one issue to ponder is, what the actual decisions of the others will be. Often they are highly different from the goals.

    • “I didn’t try to present a practicable proposal”. Fine. But we do need “practicable proposals”.

      Part of the process is to shoot down impractical proposals, that have already been implemented, under strong pressure from climate alarmists.

      The big problem is, IMHO, not that “we are not doing enough” as the IPCC says.
      The big problem is that we are wasting a lot of money, and putting in jeopardy our power supply, and are achieving NO co2 reductions in the process.

    • achieving NO co2 reductions in the process

      ‘that is fantastically good. CO2 Reductions is the wrong thing to do. If we ever do it, it will kill green things that grow and that does not help any life on earth.

    • Thought fer today: ‘Primum non nocere.’

  27. Recently I re read a summary of Thomas Kuhn and I found the reason of the general groupthink that is consubstantial to scientific community, and how IPCC kind of consensus (and terror) aggravate that tragic problem.

    in that summary of Kuhn work you can read:

    http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/Kuhn.html

    “There are no other professional communities in which individual creative work is so exclusively addressed to and evaluated by other members of the profession.
    -Other professions are more concerned with lay approbation than are scientists.
    -Because scientists work only for an audience of colleagues, an audience that shares values and beliefs, a single set of standards can be taken for granted.
    -This insulation of the scientist from society permits the individual scientist to concentrate attention on problems that she has a good reason to believe she will be able to solve.”

    Roland Benabou explain that the source of Mutual assured Delusion, Groupthink is the peer-pressure

    “To analyze these issues, I develop a model of (individually rational) collective denial and willful blindness. Agents are engaged in a joint enterprise where their Önal payoff will be determined by their own action and those of others, all a§ected by a common productivity shock. To distinguish groupthink from standard mechanisms, there are no complementarities in payoffs, nor any private signals that could give rise to herding or social learning. Each agent derives anticipatory utility from his future prospects, and consequently faces a tradeoff: he can accept the grim implications of negative public signals about the project’s value (realism) and act accordingly, or maintain hopeful beliefs by discounting, ignoring or forgetting such data (denial), at the risk of making overoptimistic decisions.
    The key observation is that this tradeoff is shaped by how others deal with bad news, creating cognitive linkages. When an agent benefits from othersíoveroptimism, his improved prospects make him more accepting of the bad news which they ignore. Conversely, when he is made worse o§ by othersí blindness to adverse signals, the increased loss attached to such news pushes him toward denial, which is then contagious. Thinking styles thus become strategic substitutes or complements, depending on the sign of externalities (not cross-partials) in the interaction payoffs. When interdependence among participants is high enough, this Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD) principle can give rise to multiple equilibria with di§erent ìsocial cognitionsîof the same reality. The same principle also implies that, in organizations where some agents have a greater impact on thersíwelfare than the reverse (e.g., managers on workers), strategies of realism or denial will ìtrickle downîthe hierarchy, so that subordinates will in e§ect take their beliefs from the leader”

    so you can connect.

    add to that IPCC that reinforce the peer-pressure by transforming it into political pressure.

    and the Groupthink get planet-wide with no escape.

    • -Because scientists work only for an audience of colleagues, an audience that shares values and beliefs, a single set of standards can be taken for granted.
      -This insulation of the scientist from society permits the individual scientist to concentrate attention on problems that she has a good reason to believe she will be able to solve.

      These points are relevant for the present discussion. They apply to much of science, but they are opposite to the idea of IPCC reports. From that we cannot conclude that IPCC reports should not be written, but we can conclude that the IPCC reports are not internal to science. They are at the interface between science and society more widely. When scientists prepare IPCC reports the do not work as scientists, but as people who know science while they work as communicators. Even the assessment part of the work on IPCC reports is assessment for communication, not assessment for science itself.

      Confusing the tasks of scientists and communicators, or scientific publications with communication of science to non-scientists (or scientists of other specialties) occurs both among those who are involved in both tasks, and among those who present judgment on such activities.

    • Mike Flynn

      Pekka Pirilä,

      You wrote –

      “When scientists prepare IPCC reports the do not work as scientists, but as people who know science while they work as communicators.”

      That probably explains why the IPCC reports are becoming more contradictory, fragmented, and useless, with each iteration. The scientists are actually working as communicators, not as scientists. I see it all, now. The professional communicators are doing the science, the railway engineers are deciding what’s hot and what’s not, the decision makers are making the tea, and the tea lady makes the political decisions.

      Grand. We can all sleep soundly now.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn,

  28. Not to everyone’s taste, but it is rather funny

    • michael hart

      It improved my German by at least one word. “Hockeyschläger” has quite a nice ring to it. :)

  29. Lenny said:

    “My interest in climate science is strictly scientific and I very much regret the politicisation that has taken place in climate research.”

    Ain’t it the truth. You come up with interesting results such as this incredible model replicating the dynamics of ENSO:

    http://contextearth.com/2014/05/02/the-soim-substantiating-the-chandler-wobble-and-tidal-connection-to-enso/

    … and all you get is ‘keptical keyboard kommandos such as the Chief, Cappy, and the Sarge barking orders and telling you how miserable a human being you are.

    But then again, that’s what makes climate science fun and not boring.

    Remember this howler?

    ” JC comments: My reaction at the close of 2013 is that the climate change topic is seeming a bit boring, although it has arguably been a banner year for skeptics. ”

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/21/ringing-out-2013/

    It’s actually looking like a banner year for “outsiders” making progress in fields ordinarily reserved for “experts”:

    Climate Outsider Finds Missing Global Warming

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6182/348


    Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data in the Arctic, the planet’s fastest warming region. A dearth of temperature stations there is one culprit; another is a data-smoothing algorithm that has been improperly tuning down temperatures there. The findings come from an unlikely source: a crystallographer and graduate student working on the temperature analyses in their spare time.

    These crystallographers are sharp people, don’t you know! (I know because I am is one, too)

    Yet the chronic problem is that krank blogs filled with pseudos, such as WUWT, are becoming impediments to real research as they fill the internet space up with more and more garbage, with the only guarantee that they will continue to score routine “own goals” in the process.

    So keep it coming, we will continue to stochastically resonate against your random flailings — picking out pieces to jiu jitsu on the comeback. You really don’t realize what a motivational tool you all are!

    • Web

      Without snark, I would again urge you to publish csalt here to receive comments. If it stands scrutiny why not then send it for peer review to a recognised journal?

      tonyb

    • The CSALT model is obvious and a synthesis of all the natural and man-made temperature forcings that are well known, but this new Southern Oscillation Index Model is groundbreaking in its implications.

      The seeming chaos underlying ENSO is simply a slightly varying periodic forcing that operates on the wave equation.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The verdict is obvious. What we have is an overfitted multiple linear regression – something done many times before – and a bathtub model of ENSO.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Ain’t it the truth. You come up with interesting results such as this incredible model replicating the dynamics of ENSO:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/05/02/the-soim-substantiating-the-chandler-wobble-and-tidal-connection-to-enso/

      … and all you get is ‘keptical keyboard kommandos such as the Chief, Cappy, and the Sarge barking orders and telling you how miserable a human being you are.

      Untrue. I called it “live”, wrote out a few of its implications, and suggested that you submit it for publication. Your self-pity is all on you.

    • The reason that scientists have not been able to decode ENSO is because they have been doing the obvious analysis, which is to do straight Fourier analysis assuming that the time series was composed of a superposition of sine waves. To those that gave up on this approach, they wrote it down to chaotic behavior or red noise.

      They shouldn’t have given up, as the key lies in perturbing the basic wave equation (which gives rise to sine waves) with a slightly varying periodicity emanating from a separate forcing. This perturbation acting on the wave equation gives rise to the quasi-periodic waveform that the Southern Index Oscillation Model reproduces very accurately.

      The statistical odds of the forcing oscillation giving rise to the complicated waveform that is ENSO simply by chance are astronomically high. Nothing but net on this one.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/05/02/the-soim-substantiating-the-chandler-wobble-and-tidal-connection-to-enso/

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      A conceptual bathtub model based on a hypothetical elliptical lake of constant depth. But in fact merely a poorly fitting curve – with zilch fundamental physics.

      Even if there were more than fantasy physics involved – the more interesting aspects of ENSO can’t be the product of a bathtub concept with fitted values in inapplicable solutions.

      ‘[1] The influence of two large-scale circulation patterns (the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)), and the effect of the interdecadal modulation of ENSO on precipitation in the state of Texas, U.S., was explored. Texas, by virtue of its size, topography, and geographical location, spans a wide range of climatic regions. The state is divided into 10 climate divisions. The precipitation pattern in each division follows different probability distributions. The climate regimes which trigger this difference are discussed. The seasonal correlation between ENSO and PDO with precipitation anomaly in each climate division was established. Copula-based models were developed to examine the dependence structure between the large-scale climate indices and average monthly seasonal precipitation. The choice of copula is discussed in light of the dependence structure. The selected copulas were then used to simulate precipitation anomalies in three climate divisions: one which has a semiarid climate, one located in the wettest region, and one straddling the subtropical humid and subtropical subhumid regions of the state. The statistical performance of bivariate models for ENSO and precipitation, and trivariate models for ENSO, PDO, and precipitation, in simulating precipitation anomalies were compared. In general, inclusion of PDO was found to improve simulation results. The most notable improvement was in simulating negative precipitation anomalies during La Niña and negative PDO. The copula models were also tested for their abilities to predict precipitation anomalies in these three regions. Again, the trivariate models performed better, especially in predicting droughts due to La Niña and negative PDO.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013WR013763/abstract

    • Time for gloating.

      I wrote this:


      One of the next steps is to work out the Mathieu equation with a continuous varying periodic modulation, replacing the relatively coarse piecewise fit applied in this model. This should improve the model fit considerably, as is typically the case whenever a piecewise representation is replaced with a continuous model. The nonlinear mathematics of the Mathieu equation is as nasty as it gets, but the payback in doing this with more precision holds immense promise. With an El Nino in the offing for the coming months, the public’s interest in predicting the dynamics of ENSO is nearing a peak.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/05/02/the-soim-substantiating-the-chandler-wobble-and-tidal-connection-to-enso/

      I did this, and of course, the model just gets better and better.

      And the skeptics get more and more bitter

      Fun stuff, not boring.

    • … and all you get is ‘keptical keyboard kommandos such as the Chief, Cappy, and the Sarge barking orders and telling you how miserable a human being you are.

      What did you expect, with your constant ad-homs, ridiculing and belittling people without having the courtesy of reading their comments properly, and then gratuitously labelling them kranks and deniers?
      Not the best way of getting people to take you seriously.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      No one takes him seriously. His blogospheric nonsense on a loser site that no one reads is little more than sad.

      The Matheiu equation has analytical solutions for elliptical drumheads. The math is not that difficult at all if you assume that the Pacific is an elliptical drumhead.

      At the end of the day there is a poorly fitted curve with zilch credibility and no predictive capability.

    • Phatboy,
      Since when have you argued anything worthwhile?

      You don’t use any math.

      You don’t elaborate very fully.

      You think one-liners are sufficient reasoning.

      You never create any artifacts for your thinking, such as a figure or a chart.

      Contrast and compare — http://ContextEarth.com

      Hard to compare when you have zilch. Show your work!

    • I hereby rest my case

  30. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    It seems that Marcel Crok is not a climate-journalist. I am trying to put in contact: journalists, with policy-maker responsibles and with IPCC-WGI responsibles.
    I would like them to debate about the consequences of my “Refuting …” document in:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k

    Can anyone to send me the email of any mass-media climate-journalist?

  31. Anders Persson, Uppsala

    I wonder if Lennart or anybody else explained what Popper taught? My
    version of him is that we should not theories that can not be falsified,
    that is proven wrong. This is a good criterion for some physiological explanations such as a man became a murder because he was too
    close to his Mu, not close enough or too distant to his Mum. But one
    version of Popper’s is impossible to apply and that is that a theory
    should not be accepted if it does not fit the verifying observations.
    Many good theories from Copernicus’s to Einstein’s did not fit the
    observations 100% but but were accepted as “preliminary truth”..
    The problem is of course to define the border line between
    “preliminary truth” and “not true at all”.

    • Anders Persson, Uppsala

      The problem is of course to define the border line between
      “preliminary truth” and “not true at all”.

      A very salient point.

      AGW (the premise that added human GHGs can affect our planet’s global average temperature) is a “preliminary truth”, in that sense. It is based upon first principles of physics, laboratory measured LW absorption characteristics and a plausible mechanism, even though it has not yet been corroborated as a significant impact on our climate by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman).

      CAGW (the premise specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports of potentially catastrophic effects and impacts on humanity and our environment of AGW over the course of the next century) is “not true at all”.

      And that, I believe, is what the climate debate is all about.

      It is clear from the posted interviews where Professor Lennart Bengtsson stands on these points.

      Max

  32. Mark Steyn says:

    Doctors Christy and Curry are at the stage of their careers where they can just about afford to take on “the hockey team” – although the price is steep: very few people, no matter their eminence, would volunteer to be “judithcurryed”. But I’ve been shocked to learn of the young scientists who are sick of living under the suffocating orthodoxy the climate mullahs enforce.

    (See, Ibid.)

  33. If changes in atmospheric CO2 really was related to climate change, why would Michael Mann feel compelled to, as Mark Steyn observed, truncate, misrepresent and strategically edit the data? The UN-IPCC bought the fraud, it bought Mann and in the end, it bought the farm.

  34. In the current discussion of science, and in particular Climate Science, one point I did not read, and it may be there but I missed it, the overall sense of haste. We need to act now. This seems to be a societal thing as more and more we want answers to questions, solutions to problems, yesterday. The issue should be in the process of science itself, waiting for the experiment to be completed instead of rushing to publish “preliminary data”, which, if one waited until the sample were large enough or the reaction was tried in a sufficiently representative mixture, the answer would be: negative. Most science experiment end up with negative results. Wrong + wrong + wrong eventually, with adjustment and refinement will lead to maybe, possibly, and eventually, probably.

    This affliction of haste imbues the proponents of a particular viewpoint with all sorts of craziness. For instance, the well worn mantra, the climate is so complex that nobody but “us” can understand it. Or, we have only one earth and there is no way to do an experiment with earth’s climate. It seems to me that with weather changing, climate changing, there is an experiment being performed on earth every day, one just has to look for it. Too much doing, churning, not enough looking and thinking.

    Speed up the wheels of progress seems relevant only when the knowledge is “tight” and the circumstances are well prescribed. Otherwise, haste makes waste.

    • Exactly. We no longer feel the need to reward excellence and personal achievement over self-destruction and self-defeating nihilism. If you don’t know and understand that fear of global warming is simply a symptom of a sick, corrupt and mentally dysfunctional zeitgeist — a case of global societal ADHD that has spread across and infected all of the Leftist and liberal fascists in the Northern hemisphere — then, answer these questions: Zeitgeist and the Golden Calf of Global Warming

  35. A new “Climate Realist” is born from the sea of theoretical consensus.

  36. Steven Mosher says:
    …….
    Hi Steven,
    You mention elsewhere (if I remember correctly), as part of the BEST project, you will be looking at the daily temperatures.
    For some time I’ve been tracking the CET daily max, and found there is occasionally 27 days pseudo-cycle, the most recent during 4 months in the second part of 2012. Normally daily temps variability is subject to multitude of factors, but ~ 27 days would be either the lunar tides or a solar factor (Bartel rotation) related to change either in the TSI or a magnetic (GCR-cloud effect), with a variable delay (0 and 7 days) and amplitude ‘oscillations’ between 3 and 5 degrees C pp.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-CETd.htm

    Possibly just an odd coincidence, but time permitting it would be interesting to see if any other station shows similar effect.

  37. Judith Curry

    Thanks for posting these two very informative interviews with Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a leading capacity in the field of climate science, who has made the decision to join the Global Warming Policy Formation’s Academic Advisory Council.

    His comments, in particular that the “whole concept behind IPCC is basically wrong”, are very pertinent to the ongoing debate.

    It appears that more and more leading climate scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC forced consensus are coming out of the woodwork to express their views.

    Good news for climate science as a whole.

    Max

  38. “What we need is more basic research freely organized and driven by leading scientists without time pressure to deliver and only deliver when they believe the result is good and solid enough.”

    Basically he is asking for blank check.
    Typical skeptic, eating the cake and keeping it at the same time.

  39. Stephen Segrest

    Jim D — Speaking for those of us that come here to try and learn something, thanks for posting “Top Ten Skeptical Arguments That Don’t Hold Water” in separating out the pseudo-science extremists.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Agree that posting the link to Dr. Spencer’s list of top ten skeptical arguments that don’t hold water is good.

      It helps separate the rational skeptics from the looney fringe.

      I do not believe that Professor Lennart Bengtsson falls into the looney fringe category.

      Nor does Dr. Roy Spencer – or our hostess here, for that matter .

      Like many (less qualified) skeptics on this site, Bengtsson falls into the rational skeptic category.

      And that is the bunch that true believers like Jim D have the biggest problem with.

      Max

  40. These branded “skeptics” for convenience are not bringing any new science, the same main-stream science. Other than for himself, why his conversion would amount to anything of a value? This is the kind of “skeptics” have polarized and rendered the climate science a risky filed. Younger generations stay out of it and those stuck in its mud are, of course, at risk of legal litigations, losing their jobs, and other liabilities. Consequently, do you expect the review process of competing climate related papers to be unbiased?

    • Right, Nabil. Having the government throw billions of money at your field just sucks soooooo bad!!

  41. Now he is retiring and there is no risk of loosing his job he is converting. He wants it both ways even at the expense his peers and former hirers. This is an unprofessional conduct.

    • Correction of above….

      Now he is retiring and there is no risk of losing his job, he is converting. He wants it both ways even at the expense of his peers and former hirers. This is an unprofessional conduct.

  42. More id-ee-ocy from the Id-ee-ot-in-Chief …
    From the article:

    Let’s Call It ‘Climate Disruption,’ White House Science Adviser Suggests (Again)
    2 May 2014 3:15 pm
    12 Comments

    First there was “global warming.” Then many researchers suggested “climate change” was a better term. Now, White House science adviser John Holdren is renewing his call for a new nomenclature to describe the end result of dumping vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into Earth’s atmosphere: “global climate disruption.”

    “I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘global warming’ was something of a misnomer because it suggests that the phenomenon is something that is uniform around the world, that it’s all about temperature, and that it’s gradual,” Holdren said yesterday at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. (AAAS publishes ScienceInsider.) “What could be wrong with that?”

    Instead, he said, “we should call it ‘global climate disruption.’ Although the rising average global surface temperature is an indicator of the degree of disruption that we have imposed on the global climate system, what’s actually happening involves changes in circulation patterns, changes in precipitation patterns, and changes in extremes. And those are very different in different places.”

    http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/05/lets-call-it-climate-disruption-white-house-science-adviser-suggests-again

    • “Global Warming,” “Climate Change,” “Climate Disruption” … if we named it after something the science was certain about, we’d have to call it “CO2 produces back-radiation effect.”

  43. Scott Severin

    Jim Cripwell, your patience with the red tide of ignorance as exemplified by Jim D is admirable. The warmists’ sludge has again been diverted.

    As equally amusing to read as watching Pekka Pirilä’s exercise in forum self-immolation.

  44. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Climate Etc readers may wish to acquaint themselves with 21st century journals such as Earth and Economy: the Journal of Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW).

    It is not evident that the GWPF’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has any appreciation of the 21st century’s economic *OR* scientific climate-change literature … in that the GWPF/SAB is startlingly superannuated:

    The GWPF’s Advising Economists and Physicists
    age 66  Vincent Courtillot
    age 69  Philip Stott
    age 74  Deepak Lal
    age 74  Richard Lindzen
    age 75  William Happer
    age 79  Lennart Bengtsson
    age 87  Alan Peacock
    age 87  David Henderson
    age 91  Freeman Dyson

    The GWPF’s superannuation is particularly regrettable in that multiple scientific studies have plainly established the cognitive basis for the reforms broadly known as the Post-Autistic Economics Movement

    See for example:

    Does Studying Economics Breed Greed?
    by Adam Grant, Professor,
    Wharton School of Economics

    Less charitable giving:  In the US, economics professors gave less money to charity than professors in other fields — including history, philosophy, education, psychology, sociology, anthropology, literature, physics, chemistry, and biology.

    More deception for personal gain:  Economics students in Germany were more likely than students from other majors to recommend an overpriced plumber when they were paid to do it.

    Greater acceptance of greed:  Economics majors and students who had taken at least three economics courses were more likely than their peers to rate greed as “generally good,” “correct,” and “moral.”

    Less concern for fairness:  Students were given $10 and had to make a proposal about how to divide the money with a peer. If the peer accepted, they had a deal, but if the peer declined, both sides got nothing. On average, economics students proposed to keep 13% more money for themselves than students from other majors.

    Less charity, more deception, greater greed, less fairness … 20th century economics was well-called “the dismal science.”

    Conclusion  GWPF would be well-advised to leaven its superannuated Scientific Advisory Board with stronger representatives of 21st century economics and climate-science.

    This leavening is particularly indicated, in view of the GWPF’s policy of strict secrecy in regard to its funding sources.

    That’s scientific, economic, *AND* moral common-sense, 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}

    • Steven Mosher

      fairness?

      problem is that experiment is culturally biased.

      Guess what?

      There is no culturally free concept of fairness. You are merely recapitulating western idealogy.

      http://www.psmag.com/magazines/magazine-feature-story-magazines/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

    • Tribalism is made fun of, scoffed at. But a society without it won’t last long.

    • fan,
      How about doing some actual research.

      Compare the amount of funding that the people on your list receive from progressive governments:

      Vincent Courtillot
      Philip Stott
      Deepak Lal
      Richard Lindzen
      William Happer
      Lennart Bengtsson
      Alan Peacock
      David Henderson
      Freeman Dyson

      With the amount of funding received from progressive governments and progressive NGOs by:

      James Hansen
      Gavin Schmidt,
      Michael Mann
      Rajendra Pachauri
      Peter Gleick
      Steven Schneider (before he passed)
      Kevin Trenberth
      Keith Briffa
      John Holdren

      Then, for extra credit, for each list compare:
      1. Their involvement ion overt politicization of climate scientist
      2. Their involvement in dishonest practices
      3. Their involvement in attempt6iong to restrict debate

      And for extra-special credit:
      4. Their personal wealth.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Gosh GaryM, why don’t Climate Etc readers simply look for:

      Climate understanding founded upon scientific foundations, and

      Economic analysis founded upon moral foundations?

      The superannuated short-sighted GWPF / HeartlandCEI / CATO / BP / Watts / Steyn / Inofe / Koch / Monckton axis compares poorly by both *BOTH* measures.

      That’s mighty plain to *EVERYONE*, eh GaryM?

      \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}

    • And a big swing and a miss by fan.

      Strike one!

  45. I agree with everything Lennart Bengtsson has to sazy on climate science.

    “uch pressure is too high today and many good scientists I believe are suffering. I am presently a lot on my own” Sadly this is true. No one can be happy at the state of climate science.

  46. Mike Flynn

    AFOMD,

    A couple of minor points.

    Do you you believe that youth is more likely to bring wisdom than age?

    Do you have any proof that the persons you list suffer from some mental defect due to their age, or are you just attempting to be gratuitously offensive? Do you suffer from a lack of self esteem, or possibly feel an overwhelming compulsion to appear foolish before your betters?

    These are serious questions, AFOMD. There is a possibility that your Warmist mania may inadvertently consume you.

    I am sure that the Climate Etc readers share the same sense of wonderment regarding your mental processes, eh, gentle readers? Eh, AFOMD?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • I’m not saying this in a mean way, but the young are largely ignorant. Even if they have a college degree, they don’t understand how the people in power operate. That includes, but not exhaustively, their professors, politicians, union leaders, environmentalists, business leaders, NGOs, and a raft of other forces; political, social, and otherwise. Humans are political. It takes many years of interaction with the human social and political hierarchy to figure it out.

      The CAGWer’s favor the young because they are easily duped into believing that by spouting the CAGWer propaganda and otherwise “taking action” they are somehow “saving the Earth.”

      The elder among us know BS when the see it, the young don’t have a prayer.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn wonders  “Do you you believe that youth is more likely to bring wisdom than age?”

      LOL  in regard to economics, let’s consult [Nobel economist] Paul Samuelson:

      Funeral by funeral, theory advances.
         — Paul Samuelson

      It’s striking, isn’t it Mike Flynn, that the Four Thermodynamical Laws — upon which Hansen’s scientific climate-change worldview rests — remain stolidly invariant century-by-century … whereas each century’s economic theories are <a href=""wholly overturned by the next century's?

      That’s Paul Samuelson’s point, right Mike Flynn? That the new challenges and technologies of each new century, require new economic axioms and analyses?

      The GWPF’s deplorable intransparency in regard to its secret donors is regrettably correlated to the GWPF’s deplorably superannuated economic analyses.

      That’s common sense, 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}

    • Mike Flynn

      jim2,

      I agree. One advantage of youth is that you don’t know what can’t be done, so you are free to go ahead and do it, in ignorance, so to speak.

      It seems that the work for which scientists receive Nobel prizes, is being done at a more advanced age, rather than before 30 or so, which used to be the case. In some fields, a scientist may do his Nobel winning work at 50 or so.

      There are young fools, and there are old fools. Age is, of course, confers no protection against stupidity. As you point out, age may lead to constant retuning of the BS meter, based on experience. I figure it’s better to learn from the other fellow’s mistakes, rather than my own.

      Young, old, fools, frauds, charlatans, inventors, discoverers – it’s a wonderful world! Sometimes, we just don’t know how lucky we are.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      AFOMD,

      I ask a simple question, you reply with a link, presumably to a religious tract of complete and utter irrelevance. Predictable and useless.

      Do you suffer from a syndrome which prevents you from answering simple binary choice questions? Silly question, I know. You’ll just provide a link to another irrelevant religious tract!

      Oh well, maybe one day you will have a ucid moment and realise that economic theory was created to give astrology respectability. Maybe you should tell the US Government to consult an astrologer. It might prevent total economic collapse resulting from believing that economists can predict the future.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  47. Mike Flynn

    And meanwhile, the Earth continues to cool. The weather continues – no two days the same. The weather average changes – no two periods identical. Nature redistributes the free energy in the system chaotically, at all levels, and at all scales.

    Where’s the problem?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  48. If you can see the stupidity in this statement, you are probably a skeptic. If not, you are likely a warmist.

    “Child psychiatrists, psychologists and educators say they’ve seen an escalation in the anxiety levels of today’s youth, who are constantly exposed to doomsday talk about the destruction of our planet. But despite the fact that we live in a world with more volatility and fear, experts say there is hope. And to stay mentally strong, they all advocate not just calling for change, but acting for it.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/youth-anxiety-on-the-rise-amid-changing-climate/article18372258/

    Predictions of doom and gloom are increasing the anxiety levels in children. The proper (idiotic progressive response), continue saying things to cause them anxiety, and enact progressive control over the energy economy.

    Here’s a thought. How about you stop propagandizing children with your political doomsday excuse for “climate science.”

    You can’t fix moronically stupid.

    • Apart from that, anxiety is a reaction of the individual. You can not eliminate external triggers to anxiety, you can only control your reactions. If those involved are generally concerned with “Youth’s” well-being, they would focus on helping them to eschew harmful reactions. But if they knew how to do that, they wouldn’t be behaving as described.

  49. This is interesting. We kept hearing we would run out of oil and natural gas, cheap oil and nat gas anyway. And some very sophisticated people bought into it. So much so, that they structured a huge financial deal around it. And it blew up.

    From the article:

    How Shale-Gas Boom Led to Demise of Energy Future Holdings
    Buyout of Texas Utility Was $32 Billion Bet on Coal Staying Cheaper Than Natural Gas

    When electricity deregulation rolled out in Texas, private-equity shops were eager to get their hands on old-guard utilities suddenly capable of generating big returns.
    It looked like nothing but upside, but the $32 billion buyout of TXU Corp. was “based on assumptions that didn’t pan out,” said Shalini Mahajan, credit analyst for Fitch Ratings who covers the company, now known as Energy Future Holdings Corp.
    The deal closed on Oct. 10, 2007, the day before the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its prerecession peak of 14,164. Not only did the buyers pay too much for the utility, they financed most of the deal with debt, creating an enormous repayment burden. They also managed to miss the change in U.S. energy markets.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304163604579531644232506988

  50. @Eric | May 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Reply

    Great to see you back, Eric! You are one of the skeptics’ greatest assets!

  51. Generalissimo Skippy

    One of the most intriguing results this century is the Palle Earthshine observations.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Earthshine-1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=134

    ‘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.’

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

    The change in the 1998/2001 deterministically chaotic climate shift was initially overstated – and that is enough for some to dismiss the method entirely. It was subsequently ‘adjusted’ and is now quite in sync with the changes in ISCCP-FD.

    When two utterly different methods converge it lends credence to both. What this data shows is quite substantial change in cloud cover in the latest decadal climate shift.

    You can go backwards and forwards from that pivotal shift – using different instruments and more or less adequate OHC. A large warming in SW and a relatively large cooling in IR in both ERBS and ISCCP-FD between the 80’s and the 90’s – and corresponding changes in OHC. And not much change since. Linked by tropical SST.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=102

    The only way AGW persists is by denying what the data says and ignoring as much as they can the idea of climate as emergent, chaotic behaviour of the Earth system. Sceptics embrace the idea of chaos but seriously understate the implications.

  52. Mike Flynn

    Here’s a bit of insight –

    “beththeserf | May 5, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    Thought fer today: ‘Primum non nocere.’”

    Now, as a pandemic of global sanity hasn’t broken out recently, I have to point out that the climate debate totally ignores this precept. We have people who claim that fiddling with the composition of the atmosphere will produce benefits for all, Nature will bestow more water where it is needed, less where it isn’t, ensure that the wind blows less fiercely or more fiercely according to need, and so on.

    You might insist that weather and climate are disconnected. I would point out that climate is merely the average of weather, and you must first change the weather in order to effect a change of climate. Bending the weather to the will of Man is not yet possible, but even assuming it were, a moment’s thought will reveal that the proponents of the specious nonsense purporting to be climate science have not even considered the primum non nocere principle.

    Say, for example, in a particular location, a mysterious effect related to CO2, raised the surface temperature by 2C. What is the effect on the instantaneous wind speed and direction? Take speed – a rise of 2 kph? A fall? Direction – veering? Backing? How much? How fast? How about instantaneous or even daily precipitation? More? Less?

    Of course you haven’t an idea, so you claim it doesn’t matter. Really? And you know this – how? You just insist that doing something is somehow better than doing nothing, just in case things get worse. Which leads to the obvious questions – which things? How bad? Who will be affected? Who decides bad and good? Do the affected get a say in their future, or not?

    I know that a very small proportion of the world’s population consider they have a divine right to dictate the way the rest of us will live. They will determine which way the wind blows, how much how much rain you can have, whether you freeze or boil – all of course subject to a small annual fee.

    If I have fallen into error, either in logic or fact, I would appreciate advice.

    As I decline to be offended, upset, or annoyed, you may wish that something might drop on me from a height. If this be your desire, I sympathise. To save you the effort, the following may help –

    Young Mike Flynn, if ought were to drop,
    On your head with an audible plop,
    Your postings prolific,
    Might be more pacific,
    Your humour – be better, or stop!

    So first do no harm. If you can’t be sure you won’t, have you really considered the possible consequences of your actions?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  53. Generalissimo Skippy

    Massively changing global ecologies and the atmosphere might like trephination do no great long term harm – but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it as economies ramp up emissions from 4% to 8%, 16%, etc. this century. The central fact of chaos is that small changes drive large responses in what has been relatively balmy conditions for the past few thousand years. Any change whatsoever – warm or cool – seems quite likely to be sub-optimal.
    Ready to roll the dice – or is that just too stupid to contemplate?

    Not when there are much more sensible ways to go.

    What is actually happening with the Earth system?

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=126

    Some warming and cooling – with large TOA flux changes due to ocean and atmosphere circulation. A slight trend in ocean heat and steric sea level – which in the following is about middle of the range for ARGO ‘climatologies’ and an increase in salinity. The latter are utterly inconsistent with Jason and GRACE.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=126

    The middle of the range is quite consistent with CERES – the much sought after missing energy – which increased modestly in SW over the period.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif.html?sort=3&o=204

    I think we get back to clouds and tropical SST – the equatorial Pacific seems quite likely to cool more as La Nina intensifies over the next decade or so – with global cloud cover negatively correlated with SST. A decadally cooling world at least.

    Both sides are busy telling themselves and each other stories – very few bear any relationship to rational enquiry, balanced assessment of data or understanding of relevant scientific theory.

  54. Pekka, I agree with David Springer @6.43. You say, correctly, that “The issues are so complex and multifaceted that few people have even rudimentary understanding on all essential aspects of it, and nobody is deeply knowledgeable on all essentials,” and that “All that assessment must be evaluated in some framework of values – or taking into account the multitude of sets of values that people have in various part of globe;” and, further, that “All this may feel hopelessly complex, but leaving any part of that out of consideration may be enough for leading to conclusions that are of little value as guidelines for policy.”

    In short, you are saying that we – the world as a whole – are not well-equipped to deal with the potential ramifications of any further global warming.

    My first response to that, as you might expect, is to advocate policies which are not specifically directed at potential CAGW, but at increasing our capacity to deal with whatever befalls. I’ve argued for policies which foster flexibility, innovation, entrepreneurial activity, etc, driven by trade and markets rather than government. No need to expand on that here. Robert Ellison has argued for multi-disciplinary responses to deal with various environments, that is not incompatible and seems to have some merit.

    Returning to CAGW, you say that “One possibility of constructive discussion is something where all these aspects are recognized and the full problem is approached in a top-down fashion where top means formulating central questions that need to be answered, and where the sub-problems are analyzed having in mind their role in answering the final question. That approach might lead to much more practicable conclusions than the linear approach …”

    My second response is that seems to be something which could be done by a large-scale organisation, probably funded by one or more governments, rather than arising from a market-driven approach. If there were such a body, it would have to somehow overcome the problems of groupthink and politicisation which beset the IPCC. Like that process, it might be subject to political capture. That is not to say that I rule it out as impractical or not potentially helpful, although I am sceptical of large multinational organisations in general. Self-interest and sectional interest will always intrude. Again, that doesn’t rule out that it could have some useful output. But I’m not clear what that output would be. As a non-scientist, it seems to me that climate scientists etc are finding that climate is increasingly complex and not well understood – the more we learn, the more we realise that the simplistic assumptions and assertions which have driven the debate have been based on relative ignorance (and, as many here have objected, are overly-based on, often faulty and limited, statistical analysis rather than direct observation).

    Clearly, to have specific CAGW/climate change policies, you need a good understanding of how things work and a convincing, quantifiable story of how things will develop in a reasonable policy horizon. In my non-scientific ignorance, I’m sceptical that that can happen any time soon, which again leads me to non-specific policies but those which increase our general coping capacity.

    Once you have that basis, you can begin devising policies related to specific aspects of what is projected to occur. This could be useful input to the policymakers of different countries, who will have different values as to their importance and different capacities to implement mooted policies. You get back into the world of many countries with different agendas and perceptions, and in almost all cases, higher and shorter-term priorities than potential long-term climate issues. I have not yet been convinced that any net detriment has been demonstrated which justify moving from an attitude of “Well, there might be some problems down the track, but rather than endeavour to deal with them now with measures which have been demonstrated to be costly and ineffective, we’ll continue with economy-growing, capacity-increasing programs until such time as the value of specific large-scale climate-change-related policies makes them a clear choice.” Perhaps your prospective body could demonstrate a case, or perhaps it would see merit in continuing the Faustino approach.

    So let’s go back to your starting-point @4.14: “How should we act given what we know and what we don’t know?” and “Why do we get so little constructive discussion on this point in comparison with the mudslinging against those with differing views?” The “don’t know” has several elements – imperfect understanding of: climate processes; potential climate changes; costs and benefits of any changes, on a global and a regional level, and of potential policies to address them; and the overall uncertainty (to me) that the world will always surprise us, it will not develop as we might predict – therefore to over-focus on one issue which some feel will have great negative consequences, knowing that addressing it will have immediate negative consequences which reduce our capacity to address other issues (and, in my view, to address any further warming) is not sensible.

    Pekka, I believe that you are a person of goodwill and good intent (as well as being well-informed). You are not alone in that. But people have many different reasons for engaging on blogs, whether or not they have good intent. I’ve always had a focus on helping people rather than pursuing self-interest, but after several years on this site, and given the frequent preponderance of long-drawn out and often futile threads between recurring antagonists, while I come here from an interest in the alleged CAGW issue and the policy implications, I also come for entertainment and social contact, and for the peripheral issues such as free speech. It’s a mixed bag, not a place which can constantly and consistently focus solely on better understanding climate and climate-related policy. But it does do that, at a level sufficient to keep you and I returning here.

    Personally, I don’t sling mud, only on one or two occasions have I lapsed into criticising people who in my view always detract from the blog, and I don’t get involved in long-drawn out arguments. But some do, it’s a free world, and one with a non-prescriptive hostess. Long may she reign.

    • +1 Faustino. You have summarised very well what the situation is for readers and contributors to this blog. The facility for discriminating between hogwash and pearls from the froth and bubble of internet discourse is something that I have been trying to achieve for some years now, with only modest results to date.

    • Faustino and Peter,

      I share your view that much that has been proposed as ways to mitigate global warming is so badly understood or outright too costly or risky relative to possible benefits that adopting those solutions on a large scale is unjustified. I do, however, consider the risks of climate change so large that simply postponing all major action is not a good solution either in my view.

      Thus I have the dilemma that I agree on the problem, but I don’t agree on proposed solutions. Neither can I propose something that I would expect to be successful. There are many thing that could be done and that would help a little. Those include also Peter’s favorite nuclear. The approaching shortage of (good quality/moderate cost) fossil fuels tells that policies that would reduce consumption of fossil fuels and speed up development of alternatives (both alternative sources of energy and improvements in the the efficiency of consumption). That would justify a modest carbon tax, but not a high one.

      Thus I see some natural development and some low-regret solutions, but I don’t believe that the sum of all that would be enough, if the higher credible estimates of the damage from AGW turn out to be correct. Normal risk aversion tells that those higher estimates must be weighted more than the best estimate their probability would indicate.

      I don’t believe that any single body can present conclusions acceptable widely. Thus I have had in mind that there would be several parallel groups that would make proposals and then attempt to convince others that their proposal presents good first steps. UNFCCC type organization might work better if it had at it’s disposal several alternatives that have been prepared at some level of detail. The present process seems to have only two or three alternatives, one of which is failing to agree on anything.

    • Pekka, you are more across the science and potential solutions than I am, so I respect your view that “the risks of climate change so large that simply postponing all major action is not a good solution either in my view.” However, I don’t share it; if it were true, the question still remains as to whether “major actions” directed at moderating warming, e.g. GHG-emissions reductions, are preferable to general capacity-increasing policies which will be helpful in facing many challenges, known and unknown. My preference is for the latter, but I accept that I might be wrong. I’m sure that the difference arises in part from our different degrees of knowledge and expertise on these issues, and it might also reflect different degrees of risk-aversion. I don’t have the capacity and energy to devote to this particular issue which would allow me to agree with you or argue more substantially.

      I agree that it would be better to have a number of bodies looking at the issue rather than depend on the IPCC (which I would disband). I’m not in favour of “UNFCCC-type organisations,” they will always be subject to the pressures which pervade the UN in terms of national interests and preferment and political interference. I’d have much more faith in something outside the aegis of the UN and the major scientific societies. In the economics field, I used to have a high regard for the economic and statistical work done for the OECD, which seemed to be free from political influence. I’ve had no connection for years, though, I don’t know if that is still the case.

      One of the most devastating critiques of the IPCC’s scenario projections was by Ian Castles, former head of the ABS and President of the International Union of Statisticians (approx.), and a pioneer of the national accounts statistics which underpin global macroeconomic modelling, and David Henderson, former Chief Economist at the OECD (and now involved with the GPWF). A group of experts not beholden to government, the UN or the IPCC would be a preferable source of expertise. (I have some of the CH work, some of it is presented at http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/climate-policy/…/castlesonIPCC.pdf‎. I think I passed it to Judith several years ago.)

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirilla,

      Thank you for your reply to Faustino and me (I think since you said “Peter’s favorite nuclear”. When I saw Faustino’s excellent comment I decided I wouldn’t respond because I realise my comments can disrupt the flow and I intended to let this discussion run without me getting involved. But having seen your constructive comment, I’d like to participate in a constructive debate about this important topic.

      I share your view that much that has been proposed as ways to mitigate global warming is so badly understood or outright too costly or risky relative to possible benefits that adopting those solutions on a large scale is unjustified.

      We agree on this. Thank you for clarifying your position on this.

      I do, however, consider the risks of climate change so large that simply postponing all major action is not a good solution either in my view.

      This is a value judgement. This is where I feel quantitative information on the risks is required. Otherwise the decisions to spend money would be made on an irrational basis – i.e. on the basis of value judgements and beliefs about the risks of AGW. I do not support that approach. I regard it as similar to what was practiced in the ‘Dark Ages’. That is why I would really like to see references to proper research on the probability distributions for the questions I posed on ‘Policy Relevant Climate Questions: http://judithcurry.com/2014/05/03/lennart-bengtsson-speaks-out/#comment-540017

      I believe the Expected Value of the policy must be positive and exceed the opportunity cost or we should not pursue it. Therefore, for rational decision making we need to know the probability of success for any policy being proposed. I am suggesting the Expected Value of a proposed policy is: Net Benefit (Climate Damages avoided minus Abatement Cost) if the policy is 100% successful multiplied by the probability the policy would succeed given all the real world constraints.

      Regarding the real world constraints, see Submission 2 to the Senate inquiry on repeal of the carbon tax legislation: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Clean_Energy_Legislation/Submissions
      This submission also explains why I believe advocating for carbon tax or carbon pricing is wrong (it is morally and ethically wrong) and the longer it is advocated the longer will be the delay in implementing pragmatic policies that are likely to succeed. Doing the research to answer the questions I’ve asked would be a great way to change direction so most people would advocate for policies that are likely to deliver the benefits given the real world constraints. Carbon pricing cannot succeed. If you believe it can, please show the significant errors in Submission 2 to the Senate Inquiry linked above.

      I don’t believe ‘low regret’ policies can succeed in the real world if they must be coordinated across the whole world. They simply will not succeed. But a very powerful and very positive ‘no regrets’ policy would be for the USA to remove the impediments that are preventing development of low cost small modular reactors. The USA is the main thrombosis stopping progress on this. This has to happen eventually and the sooner the better. Doing this would be a powerful ‘no regrets’ policy. It would deliver these benefits: 1) reduce fatalities caused by fossil fuel by millions per year; 2) increase countries’ energy security by reducing the dependence on fossil fuel imports and removing the potential for disruptions to supply in times of economic or military conflict; 3) reduce energy costs thus driving innovation, economic development and improved well being; 4) cut global emissions from electricity generation by 80%-90% by 2100. If cheap, electricity would replace some fossil fuels for heating and transport. This is a genuine ‘no regrets’ policy. And it doesn’t require UN coordination. The US could lead the way. IAEA could speed up progress by changing the allowable radiation limits which would greatly cut costs, reduce the basis radiation phobia and nuclear paranoia and reduce the need for evacuations when nuclear accidents occur.

      I don’t believe that any single body can present conclusions acceptable widely. Thus I have had in mind that there would be several parallel groups that would make proposals and then attempt to convince others that their proposal presents good first steps.

      I agree with this approach. I’d like to see multiple bodies, but most would not be science bodies. I’d suggest the sort of top down structured approach you suggested in your earlier comment on this thread. That requires multidisciplinary approach with systems engineering and project management near the top of the skill sets required. Input would be required from policy analysis, economists, diplomats, lawyers, engineers, scientists, etc. The Canadian NWMO is an excellent example, IMO, of how this has been achieved for another highly contentious, fairly wicked problem.

      You said:

      Thus I have the dilemma that I agree on the problem, but I don’t agree on proposed solutions. Neither can I propose something that I would expect to be successful.

      We are not ready to discuss solutions yet. First, as you pointed out, we need to state the questions that need to be answered at the top of the hierarchy. I suggested key ‘Policy Relevant Climate Questions in my earlier comment.

      Final point, could I urge you to read Submission 2 to the Australian Senate inquiry on repeal of the carbon tax legislation linked above. If you do it might give us some common understanding to build on and facilitate moving the debate forward constructively.

    • Peter Lang

      Faustino @ May 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I am on the same page as you. I agree 100%.

    • The trouble with the “something-must-be-done” approach to “climate change” lies in the detail of the “something” and the “climate change”. Many in the consensus, probably most, view CC as a progression into warm and/or extreme due to GHGs. Some – one hopes not all – actually believe in a norm or a stable climate which has to be maintained.

      This means that some precautions taken for California, for example, will be prudent – because that side of the USA can really bake! If you look at what happened there for decades in the 1500s or for centuries in the middle ages, even the great drought of the early 1800s and the Dustbowl look pretty mild. (New York’s horror drought conditions of the 1960s were more than matched in previous centuries.) The problem lies in a large community of scholars and activists who would once have been quite open to accommodating and digesting such facts, but now feel compelled to pretend that the humid California of the 20th century has some right to be regarded as a norm.

      Climate is going to change because that’s all it’s ever done, and in places like California the changes will be massive because that’s the nature of California over millennia. The absolute last people who should be in charge of “solutions” are the people who have shown themselves most literal, mechanistic and reactive on the subject of “climate change”. PhD’s etc don’t help if you can’t use your loaf.

      Ironically, we actually lack people with an actual interest in actual climate change.

    • ‘the more we learn, the more we realize that the simplistic
      assumptions and assertions which have driven the debate
      have been based on relative ignorance…’ Faustino.

      As health care and economic planning, so with complex
      climate change future uncertainties, ‘First do no harm.’

    • I read this website (most of the time) to learn some more about the complexities of climate and, I’d hoped, to watch emerging issues. To that extent Judith Curry has had some reasonable success. But as Faustino has pointed out, many threads deteriorate into fruitless and circular food fights. At least Judith permits dissenting views and awkward questions; indeed, she promotes them

      As I’ve commented before though, Pirila has disappointed me – I too regard him as well-enough informed but often enough his comments seem to avoid pointed awkwardnesses in the AGW fabric. It is refreshing to read his comment that he has no practical idea on any resolution; I cannot share his sense of urgency however; I cannot find hard, empirical evidence that 400ppm is catastrophic. Empirical geological evidence shows that 10000ppm didn’t destroy the planet – as uncomfortable as that may have been for then non-existent homo sapiens

      Ellison has argued cogently for the non-linear, dynamic, chaotic view. My own hard and considerable experience in applied geology tells me this contains many grains of truth (ie. the empirical result of dynamic non-linear interactions).

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka,

      I’ve just been sent a link to this simple calculator produced by CSIRO. It shows the cost and CO2 emissions avoided with user selected proportions of different electricity technologies.

      http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Energy/MyPower.aspx

      Notice that the default option gives 15% increase to electricity bills by 2050 and 21% reduction in emissions

      Click in the box beside nuclear to allow it as an option, then move nuclear to 80%. This option gives 20% increase to electricity bills by 2050 and 91% reduction in emissions.

      For just a 5% extra increase in electricity prices you get a 91% reduction in emissions. Other proportions cost more or the emissions reduction is much less.

      (Furthermore, the costs for nuclear are pessimistic, IMO).

    • Pekka, Gary M has linked to an excellent and highly pertinent piece by Nigel Lawson in National Review Online. Extracts:

      To the extent that there is a problem, what should we, calmly and rationally, do about it?

      The answer is — or should be — a no-brainer: Adapt. I mentioned earlier that a resumption of global warming, should it occur (and of course it might) would bring both benefits and costs. The sensible course is clearly to pocket the benefits while seeking to minimize the costs. And that is all the more so since the costs, should they arise, will not be anything new: They will merely be the slight exacerbation of problems that have always afflicted mankind.

      Like the weather, for example — whether we are talking about rainfall and flooding (or droughts for that matter) in the U.K., or hurricanes and typhoons in the tropics. The weather has always varied, and it always will. There have always been extremes, and there always will be. That being so, it clearly makes sense to make ourselves more resilient and robust in the face of extreme-weather events, whether or not there is a slight increase in the frequency or severity of such events.

      This means measures such as flood defenses and sea defenses, together with water storage to minimize the adverse effects of drought, in the U.K.; and better storm warnings, the building of levees, and more robust construction in the tropics.

      The same is equally true in the field of health. Tropical diseases — and malaria is frequently (if inaccurately) mentioned in this context — are a mortal menace in much of the developing world. It clearly makes sense to seek to eradicate these diseases — and in the case of malaria (which used to be endemic in Europe) we know perfectly well how to do it — whether or not warming might lead to an increase in the incidence of such diseases.

      And the same applies to all the other possible adverse consequences of global warming. Moreover, this makes sense whatever the cause of any future warming, whether it is man-made or natural. Happily, too, as economies grow and technology develops, our ability to adapt successfully to any problems that warming may bring steadily increases.

      Yet, astonishingly, this is not the course on which our leaders in the Western world generally, and the U.K. in particular, have embarked. They have decided that what we must do, at inordinate cost, is prevent the possibility (as they see it) of any further warming by abandoning the use of fossil fuels.

      Even if this were attainable — a big “if,” which I will discuss later — there is no way in which this could be remotely cost-effective. The cost to the world economy of moving from relatively cheap and reliable energy to much more expensive and much less reliable forms of energy — the so-called renewables, on which we had to rely before we were liberated by the fossil-fuel-driven Industrial Revolution — far exceeds any conceivable benefit.

      It is true that the notorious Stern Review, widely promoted by a British prime minister with something of a messiah complex and an undoubted talent for PR, sought to demonstrate the reverse, and has become a bible for the economically illiterate.

      But Stern’s dodgy economics have been comprehensively demolished by the most distinguished economists on both sides of the Atlantic. So much so, in fact, that Lord Stern himself has been driven to complain that it is all the fault of the Integrated Assessment Models, which — and I quote him — “come close to assuming directly that the impacts and costs will be modest, and close to excluding the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.”

      … Unless you assume that we may be heading for a CO2-induced planetary catastrophe, for which there is no scientific basis, a policy of decarbonization cannot possibly make sense.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377208/wicked-orthodoxy-nigel-lawson/page/0/5

    • I restart from a description of the present situation as I see it.

      The public debate is highly divided. Most of the comments come from two distant camps.

      One camp believes that the risk of strong warming is high, the consequences of that may be very severe. There’s some division within this camp whether really catastrophic outcomes are plausible enough to dominate the conclusions. This camp tells also that mitigation is possible, and not particularly painful. According to them the only thing missing is that “we” decide to act.

      What they don’t tell is, what are the practical solutions that make mitigation possible and benign enough. They may leave it to the markets, and promote (very) strong economic incentives. In my view they resort on this point to highly wishful thinking.

      They don’t tell, how the “we” can make decisions. What’s the political system, where they operate, and how that political system is expected to give the power to the right group.

      They don’t tell, how the dynamics of the economies is to be maintained. Very strong incentives, and strong regulation, do not work at all as intended. Such measures open opportunities to opportunists, who work for personal profit with no regard to the intended goals of the incentives. Very strong incentives attract also a huge number of inefficient choices that may be in the right direction, but with no potential of developing to be cost-efficient. Modest incentives may be a cost-efficient approach, very high intensives are not.

      The other camp sees the above problems and concludes that nothing substantial should be done. They are also often against almost all government intrusion by principle, let alone international bodies that dictate something. This camp develops many different arguments and excuses to support their conclusion. It’s obvious that the conclusion leads, arguments are developed afterwards.

      The real world does not follow either camp, but floats somewhere in-between. The real world political systems react to various signals. Governments try to influence other governments, when they judge some issues to represent global common goods making the issues to be solvable only by concerted action. UNFCCC is just a negotiation forum for governments with such interests. I used the word organization for it, but it’s not really that, only a negotiation forum. Such forums operate, whenever a large enough number of governments feels interest in having one.

      I described the situation of active discussion from two distant camps with little open discussion in the wide space in-between where the real world operates. That’s where I would like to see more activity. The groups I have proposed would, indeed, not be scientific. They should include also scientists and comparable specialists from relevant non-scientific fields, but most importantly they should include “wise men”, i.e. individuals known to have open analytic minds and a wide coverage of understanding workings of real world societies.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      One camp believes that the risk of strong warming is high, the consequences of that may be very severe.

      Yes, that sums up in a nutshell the key belief of ‘Camp One’. But, as you correctly say, that is based on belief. That is not a valid basis on which to justify rational policy. That is why we need the answers to the questions I posed but ‘Camp One’ avoids addressing. So, I conclude rationale to support ‘Camp One’ beliefs is weak. The fact that the ‘Camp One’ believers avoid addressing these key questions reinforces my point that there is no valid justification for policies other than ‘No Regrets’ policies.

      [‘Camp Two’] develops many different arguments and excuses to support their conclusion. It’s obvious that the conclusion leads, arguments are developed afterwards.

      That wording is a clear sign of the ideological bias and motivated reasoning of its author. I’d say the comment is applicable to ‘Camp One’.

      The real world does not follow either camp, but floats somewhere in-between.

      In the real world capitalism, free markets, free trade, globalisation, multi-national corporations etc. work to maximise profits. By so doing they maximise economic growth, spread the wealth around the world, including to the poorest countries. This results in the fastest rate of improvement in the life expectancy, health, literacy, and the other Human Development Indexes. Anything we do that reduces economic growth – such as raising the cost of energy by fiat – causes negative consequences for human wellbeing. This is the key fact that ‘Camp One’ seems to not recognise or it ignores it.

      I’ll repeat my questions from my earlier comment.

      Policy relevant climate questions

      1. What is the value of ECS and TCR?

      2. Is ECS and TCR relevant given that climate changes suddenly, not as portrayed by IPCC’s smooth projections?

      3. What effect will increasing atmospheric CO2-e concentration have on the climate – will it make the next sudden change happen sooner or later?

      • Will it make the next sudden cooling happen sooner or later?

      • Or will it cause a sudden warming event?

      • What are the probability density functions for each?

      4. Will it make the next sudden climate change less or more severe? (e.g. delay the onset of the next cooling and/or reduce its severity OR make the next sudden warming happen sooner and make it more severe)? What is the probability density function?

      5. What would be the consequences of warming? What would be the consequences of cooling? What are the probability density functions?

      6. What is the probability that the advocated mitigation policies would succeed in delivering the claimed benefits (climate damages avoided), given real world issues with implementing and maintaining such policies (e.g. carbon pricing)?

      • To answer this question we need to understand the short- and medium-term economic impacts of the proposed policies for each nation state, and consider how each will respond so as to maximise its advantage (game theory) through the situations that could occur over the next century or so.

      7. What is the probability that alternative polices are more likely to succeed (such as removing the political and regulatory impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear energy and allowing lightly regulated markets to deliver the benefits at least cost)?

    • Peter

      Personally I think that co2 is one of many minor passengers on the climate coach. However as per your 3) those in authority believe it is the driver. This has serious implications for ordinary people in as much the policy makers believe they have a duty to protect us from the erratic driving of the main force behind the steering wheel.

      The net result is that there is a lack of pragmatism and an adherence to policies which will cause us problems. In that respect I refer primarily to cheap reliable energy so necessary to large developed and third world economies alike.

      Where is it to come from Fracking? Nuclear? Coal? Gas? Oil? All are bête noires and have been discounted by those favouring expensive and unreliable renewables.

      I think this energy question is at the bottom of most things as it is so fundamental to our continued prosperity. If the environmentalists discount the above they have to suggest a viable alternative and that discussions seems to me to be lacking. For example in the UK wave/tidal power is probably our best bet but the amount of research is miniscule.

      tonyb

    • Pekka @ 3.48, a good summation. One quibble: your comment re “the conclusion leads” those in the “other camp” is too sweeping. For example, on the basis of my Cabinet Submission in 1997, the Queensland Coalition government (widely regarded as very far from green) supported Australia signing the Kyoto Protocol (to the horror of the Federal government). At that time, I could see cause for caution, and estimated via econometric modelling that the cost to the Queensland economy was bearable if the severe impacts of AGW were as projected. But my caveat was that the Kyoto period covered emissions levels in 2008-2012, and by that time we should have a much better understanding of the issue and its potential consequences. As the years passed, and I continued to monitor the issue, I became increasingly sceptical. I think that progression is true of a number of CE posters.

    • Peter Lang @ 4.45: “This [real world economics] is the key fact that ‘Camp One’ seems to not recognise or it ignores it.” Quite so.

      Climatereason @5.06: Good post. Re “those in authority believing that CO2 is the driver,” Pat Michaels pointed out tonight that we in Australia have lost three leaders to that belief – Malcom Turnbull (Liberal leader before Abbott), Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. He suspects that there might be a fourth, given Abbott’s “Direct Action” emissions reduction programs at a time when expenditure needs to be severely cut.

    • Faustino,

      The camps are restricted to those most vocal in discussion. The real world would not be different without very many (actually a majority) who don’t belong to either one. Naturally the majority is not totally quiet, but the camps dominate (by volume) the public debate.

      As is typical for much public debate people are afraid of discussing potential weaknesses in their own arguments. They prefer to imagine that they could somehow make a majority agree with their unmodified views. By that they tend to marginalize themselves.

      Some political systems (parliaments) have learned to operate in a mode where opposing sides declare in public views that are highly incompatible, but still manage somehow to make compromises. That works best, when the issues are familiar to all, but gets very difficult, when most know as little as they do about the real consequences of alternative climate policies. The preparedness to compromises disappears, when the outcomes are highly unknown.

    • Peter Lang

      TonyB, thank you for your comment. I agree with your comments about energy. Below I’ll use your response to my point 3) to expand on what I was getting at.

      Personally I think that co2 is one of many minor passengers on the climate coach. However as per your 3) those in authority believe it is the driver.

      What we need, IMO, is to understand the probabilities and the consequences of increasing atmospheric GHG concentrations. If you are correct and the impacts will be negligible, then we’d have the necessary evidence to justify the appropriate policy decisions. But we don’t have the information we need. Climate scientists have spent 30 years working without appropriate direction to get the information needed for policy analysis. They’ve focused on what they are interested in instead of what is needed. They should have been directed to collect the information required for the policy decisions.

      The NWMO provides an example of how it should have been done, IMO. The Ontario Government demanded that they take over the nuclear waste management program from AECL. The focus changed from science to getting the results needed for policy analysis http://www.nwmo.ca/home?language=en_CA

      I suggest the NWMO site provides an example of how the policy relevant information should be assembled to support policy analysis and adversarial challenges of every piece of information that is relevant to policy analysis.

  55. “It is not for scientists to determine what society should do.”

    In the post normal world of today this is a minority view in practice, especially in the “consensus” climate change structure that exists. Plenty of hypocrisy here, they have stood by for decades and watch it get to this point. Now they are losing outright and we get this rear guard retreat by the “rational” and somewhat apologetic crew which Dr. Curry represents as well.

    Too little, too late.

  56. Off topic, but there was no open thread recently so….

    This is good news for all you CAGWers. Russia in a complete about face is going green. well, Russia is damending that other countries go green anyway.

    “Vladimir Putin, the ruler of Russia, wants to ban fracking in other countries. He is very concerned about their environments. If you frack, Putin told a global economic conference last year, ‘black stuff comes out of the tap.’”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377201/putins-anti-fracking-campaign-robert-zubrin

    In further news, Putin assured reporters that it is his concern for the global environment that motivated his call to end fracking; not the fact that fracking in western countries might end Russia’s ability to blackmail Europe, not to mention rack up massive profits for Russian oligarchs, with its monopolistic gas prices.

    “This is just happy coincidence” said the born again Russian environmentalist.

  57. Pingback: More Proof the skeptics are WINNING!! - Page 202 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  58. Regan Power

    Bart R (May 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm) wrote:

    “There’s no pause on the record that’s more than 99% accurate.”

    That is hardly new information! As far as I am aware there’s nothing at all on any of the global temperature records that’s anywhere near 99% accurate as a reflection of the behaviour of real world global temperatures! How can there be when the surface station coverage is so sparse and clustered and the boundaries of the global system whose temperature is being discussed have not been defined precisely anyway? It seems to me that the accuracy of the real global temperature records is much like that of a stopped clock which tells the correct time twice a day!

    “…But what the GCM’s do show effectively, that there is no mathematical way to account for the global warming that weather stations do capture, absent AGW.

    That proves attribution….”

    No they don’t and no it doesn’t! The GCMs are purely imaginary constructs and cannot logically prove or disprove anything about the real world. The fact that certain climate mathematicians cannot imagine an alternative cause of global warming to human activity does not mean that there isn’t one.

    • Here you go: http://www.mcgill.ca/research/channels/news/global-warming-just-giant-natural-fluctuation-235236

      So you can be aware.

      How can there be when the surface station coverage is so sparse and clustered and the boundaries of the global system whose temperature is being discussed have not been defined precisely anyway?

      It’s called Regression to the Mean. I’m absolutely a critic of the sparse, lame, witless way climate monitoring has been done for the past century and more, but it doesn’t mean we don’t know how to make the most out of the insufficiency we do have at hand. Whatever allegory about stopped watches you trot out does not invalidate this fact.

      GCMs are purely imaginary constructs and cannot logically prove or disprove anything about the real world. The fact that certain climate mathematicians cannot imagine an alternative cause of global warming to human activity does not mean that there isn’t one.

      Bzzt. Wrong on both counts.

      All explanations of all things are purely imaginary constructs. It does not mean they do not prove or disprove things about the real world, rather the opposite: the only proofs or disproofs there are are purely imaginary constructs.

      Isaac Newton set out the Principles for what constitutes such a proof, and flatly states that the causes that are the simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and universal in terms of applicability — in this case, AGW due GHE — are to be considered accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observation requires the explanation be amended. So imagining alternative causes of global warming is simply irrational, and should play no role in Science-based policy.

      You do understand the concept of Science-based policy, right?

  59. Pingback: ‘Years of Living Dangerously’: Pastor Rick Joyner Models Feynman’s Ideal Scientist! | Watts Up With That?

  60. Pingback: The virtue in reading the comments « DON AITKIN

  61. Bart AGW due to (anthropogenic )GHE is an entirely tautological statement of trivial significance. Obviously GHE has some effect on climate but until we have a reasonably good estimate of the effects of the natural cycles e.g the 60 and 1000 year quasi periodicities we cannot even begin to estimate the effect anthropogenic CO2.Even the IPCC itself recognizes this .The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy and the basis for the WG2 and 3 sections of AR5 is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC iis saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)
    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
    In plain English this means that the IPCC contributors have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that there is no credible basis for the WG 2 and 3 reports and that the Government policy makers have no empirical scientific basis for the UNFCCC process and their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    Your suggestion that ACO2 is the simplest assumption a la Newton is plainly nonsense. The Ice ages are clearly related to Milankovitch cycles and unless we know where we are relative to them and to the 60 and 1000 year cycles we cant at this time say much of value as to the effect of anthropogenic CO2

    • Dr Norman Page | May 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm |

      You misuse the word ‘tautological'; AGW is hardly redundant with GHE, or the other way around. You also misuse the word ‘trivial’. I don’t know what your hangup with t-words is, but you should get that looked at.

      There are no natural cycles at 60 years. There are no natural cycles at 1000 years. They aren’t quasi-periodicities. They aren’t anything.

      Period.

      If there were, then you could demonstrate four, six, even ten cycles of these effects on a graph or reliable data, validated by other graphs of reliable data.

      If there were, you could demonstrate physical mechanisms causing these periodic phenomena, validated by physical measurements and consistent with the laws of Physics.

      If there were, then the 60 year phenomenon you claim would go back more than 130 years in the instrumental record; it does not. Not even close.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:191/mean:193 at BEST (forgive the pun), you have the period from 1890 to 1980 that sorta-kinda looks a little like a 60-year period might be visible if you squint just right and ignore that the amplitude and duration of every phase is dissimilar in every way to every other phase.. and all the data before or after has no hint of ‘quasi-periodicity’ on 60 years.

      If there were a global phenomenon of periodic nature, the periodic signature would emerge across the hemispheres of the globe; it does not. Not even close.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3nh/mean:191/mean:193/plot/hadcrut3sh/mean:191/mean:193

      Cherry-picking out a single sentence from the IPCC and then pretending to translate it for those of us who aren’t terribly bright is transparently, patronizingly, insulting.

      We have enough information from the ice cores for 800,000 years, from astronomical observations of the tilt of the Earth, from detailed calculations of the effects of the tilt on global temperatures on 100,000-year timescales, to be able to dismiss the rest of your fabricated objections.

      You’re simply saying nothing true, holding fast to century-old speculations by earlier commentators that were based on less than one millionth of the amount of data we now have.

  62. Regan Power

    Bart R, you wrote (May 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm):

    “Here you go: http://www.mcgill.ca/research/channels/news/global-warming-just-giant-natural-fluctuation-235236

    So you can be aware.”

    Thanks, but I’m not buying that. No statistical analysis can extract more information from data than the data already contain. And the raw data that was analysed in this study does not contain the information that its author claims to have extracted from it. Sorry, but I think that paper’s conclusion is an example of false certainty.

    It’s called Regression to the Mean. I’m absolutely a critic of the sparse, lame, witless way climate monitoring has been done for the past century and more, but it doesn’t mean we don’t know how to make the most out of the insufficiency we do have at hand. Whatever allegory about stopped watches you trot out does not invalidate this fact.”

    I am not denigrating anyone’s statistical skill. I was making a point about the accuracy – or rather the inaccuracy – of the global temperature records. They can only be truly accurate to the extent that they reflect real world temperatures. But we have no way of validating them independently of themselves so we have no way of knowing how accurate they really are. Their compilers do not even claim that they represent actual global mean temperatures anyway except in an indirect and tentative way. So the claim of 99% certainty for them has to be totally spurious, false and misleading surely.

    “ All explanations of all things are purely imaginary constructs. It does not mean they do not prove or disprove things about the real world, rather the opposite: the only proofs or disproofs there are are purely imaginary constructs.”

    I agree that all explanations and proofs are imaginary. But not all imagined explanations constitute proofs of real world causes. In order for the GCMs to prove AGW at the 99% level of certainty they would need to demonstrate an ability to predict global mean temperatures significantly better than models based on the null hypothesis of natural variability can do at least 99% of the time. But they cannot do that. Furthermore they do not even attempt to do that. Thus from a scientific point of view they are worthless because they do not produce, and do not attempt to produce any new information about the behaviour of the real climate system. They only produce information about themselves because they are operating inside an isolated, closed mental system. And as the second law of thermodynamics tells us, the entropy of an isolated, closed system tends towards its maximum possible value. (Entropy is the negative of information – so you can be aware.) That is the opposite of the scientific process which is about the reduction of mental entropy, not its enlargement.

    “Isaac Newton set out the Principles for what constitutes such a proof, and flatly states that the causes that are the simplest in terms of assumptions, most parsimonious in terms of exceptions and universal in terms of applicability — in this case, AGW due GHE — are to be considered accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observation requires the explanation be amended.”

    Was it Sir Isaac Newton who said that? I always thought it was William of Occam; hence the name of the principle: Occam’s Razor. Anyway, it is a principle that is routinely applied in science to the selection of explanatory theories, not really to the claimed accuracy of observations or measurements.

    But your glib assertion that AGW due to GHE satisfies the conditions that you say Sir Isaac stipulated in this case is sheer fantasy, I’m afraid, because it doesn’t. The hypothesis of natural causation (NGW) contains only one fundamental assumption, namely natural variability, whereas the AGW hypothesis contains two, namely man plus natural variability. The NGW hypothesis contains no exceptions and is universal in its applicability whereas the AGW hypothesis is less so, being dependent upon the pre-existence of net positive feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system whose existence has never actually been proven. Therefore on at least two counts the NGW hypothesis is to be preferred above the AGW one by the criteria that you have attributed to Newton.

    “So imagining alternative causes of global warming is simply irrational, and should play no role in Science-based policy.”

    Oh, “irrational” is it? On the contrary, it is a fundamental requirement of any genuinely rational scientific evaluation of the AGW hypothesis. Global warming and cooling occurred in pre-industrial ages before humanity had any chance to emit GHGs and therefore the NGW hypothesis is the natural, rational null hypothesis which competing hypotheses such as AGW must overturn – rationally and in accordance with the requirements of Occam’s Razor that you have listed above – before it can replace NGW as the null hypothesis in rational science. As I have just shown above, the AGW hypothesis is incapable of doing that.

    To assume AGW as the default null hypothesis may be politically advantageous in today’s faction-riven world but it is an arbitrary, irrational assumption that is in conflict with the traditional scientific method. So if society is to have rational science-based policy instead of irrational pseudoscience-based policy then I think, like it or not, it cannot evade the necessity of seriously entertaining at least one alternative cause of global warming, i.e. natural variability.

    “You do understand the concept of Science-based policy, right?”

    I believe I do. And I understand that it is utterly different to GCM-based policy too.

  63. Regan Power | May 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm |

    Thanks, but I’m not buying that. No statistical analysis can extract more information from data than the data already contain. And the raw data that was analysed in this study does not contain the information that its author claims to have extracted from it. Sorry, but I think that paper’s conclusion is an example of false certainty.

    While you repeat a common saw from Statistics, you do not repeat the entirety of a program of statistics study on what exactly the meaning of information contained in data is. So while you make an assertion (wrongly, and certainly without presenting any evidence of having thought about the information content of the data) about the author and false certainty, I think we have a far more proximate example of false certainty here: yours.

    I’m loathe to start with an argument from authority, but Lovejoy’s paper survived peer review, and the very elementary error you ascribe to it would not be expected to pass; which is a sad commentary on peer review that we can’t really rely on that expectation. So, as skeptics, let’s dispense with fallacy. More to the point, Lovejoy’s paper survived your assertions, as you do not demonstrate your claim. You don’t need to apologize for what you think; this isn’t Canada. However, it’d be more acceptable to prove what you claim, as it’s a testable claim and all the evidence is readily accessible.

    I am not denigrating anyone’s statistical skill. I was making a point about the accuracy – or rather the inaccuracy – of the global temperature records. They can only be truly accurate to the extent that they reflect real world temperatures. But we have no way of validating them independently of themselves so we have no way of knowing how accurate they really are. Their compilers do not even claim that they represent actual global mean temperatures anyway except in an indirect and tentative way. So the claim of 99% certainty for them has to be totally spurious, false and misleading surely.

    And yet, Dr. Lovejoy’s statistical skill should have accounted for the quality of the data, unless he was very lacking in such abilities, or lacking in integrity; it could not be called praise to so question the results, especially without demonstrating the claim from evidence. From the work of BEST, HadCRU, GISS, Cowtan & Way and myriad other sources, from consilience with over four dozen other essential climate variables recognized by the WMO, we most certainly have so much validation of the global temperature record as to be able to claim better knowledge of the global temperature than of the central focus of practically any other field of science.

    Certainly, the source is improvised, and it is a shame it is so; however, claiming that the improvisation renders the results unreliable is begging the question. Lovejoy’s claim of 99% certainty, or more precisely, rejection of the alternate hypothesis at 99% confidence, is not constrained by the accuracy of a single weather station on a single day.

    I agree that all explanations and proofs are imaginary. But not all imagined explanations constitute proofs of real world causes. In order for the GCMs to prove AGW at the 99% level of certainty they would need to demonstrate an ability to predict global mean temperatures significantly better than models based on the null hypothesis of natural variability can do at least 99% of the time. But they cannot do that. Furthermore they do not even attempt to do that. Thus from a scientific point of view they are worthless because they do not produce, and do not attempt to produce any new information about the behaviour of the real climate system. They only produce information about themselves because they are operating inside an isolated, closed mental system. And as the second law of thermodynamics tells us, the entropy of an isolated, closed system tends towards its maximum possible value. (Entropy is the negative of information – so you can be aware.) That is the opposite of the scientific process which is about the reduction of mental entropy, not its enlargement.

    We are not talking about all imagined explanations. We are talking about this specific explanation. That there are other explanations with nothing in common is a meaningless waffle.

    Likewise, you assert a clear falsehood: GCMs can indeed show that without the GHE due human CO2E emissions, the observed temperature trend is impossible to reproduce, without having the power to predict global mean temperatures at all.

    You do get this part right. Nothing can predict volcano activity. Nothing can predict human activity. Nothing can predict wayward solar storm proximity to Earth. The spatial resolution of GCMs is known to be too low to produce prediction-quality outcomes even if we had some crystal ball for those unpredictable forcings.

    So demanding predictive power is absurd, but it is the only part of your requirements that is absurd.

    GCMs remarkably well model the frequency of pauses, dips and rises, their duration and amplitude, as well as many features seldom cited. These are demonstrations of adequate skill to draw some conclusions from, and are consilient again with validating indices besides surface temperature. One such conclusion is attribution, and at the level of rejection of the alternate hypothesis at 99% confidence.

    So from a scientific point of view, GCMs over and over again prove their value as a tool for winnowing out from all the information that information relevant to the question we ask. GCMs don’t produce more information: they simplify the noisy and complex features of all the data into manageable curves.

    Whatever your social sciences 2nd Law reference intends, please don’t apply Human Thermodynamics that way again in a serious discussion of hard sciences, the mixed metaphor hurts, and will be ridiculed by the cruel.

    Was it Sir Isaac Newton who said that? I always thought it was William of Occam; hence the name of the principle: Occam’s Razor. Anyway, it is a principle that is routinely applied in science to the selection of explanatory theories, not really to the claimed accuracy of observations or measurements.

    I commend to you Newton’s Principia, published some 300 years ago, and commentaries on it by Einstein and others. Occam’s Razor is hardly Occam’s alone, and you really ought read Newton’s Principia if you’re going to pretend to dictate what Science is and isn’t, most especially if you’re doing it from an apparent foundation in Sociology.

    An adequate interpretation is:

    Rule 1: No more causes of natural things should be admitted than are both true and sufficient to explain their phenomena [parsimony].
    Rule 2: The causes assigned to natural effects of the same kind must be, so far as possible, the same.
    Rule 3: Those qualities of bodies that cannot be increased or diminished, and that belong to all bodies on which experiments can be made should be taken as qualities of all bodies universally.
    Rule 4: Propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.

    http://www.math.utk.edu/~freire/m400su06/Principia.pdf

    But your glib assertion that AGW due to GHE satisfies the conditions that you say Sir Isaac stipulated in this case is sheer fantasy, I’m afraid, because it doesn’t. The hypothesis of natural causation (NGW) contains only one fundamental assumption, namely natural variability, whereas the AGW hypothesis contains two, namely man plus natural variability. The NGW hypothesis contains no exceptions and is universal in its applicability whereas the AGW hypothesis is less so, being dependent upon the pre-existence of net positive feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system whose existence has never actually been proven. Therefore on at least two counts the NGW hypothesis is to be preferred above the AGW one by the criteria that you have attributed to Newton.

    The number of implicit assumptions in the phrase “natural variability” is almost incalculably huge. It is the same as saying, “assume everything is just because”.

    If you’re familiar enough with notions of information and human thermodynamics to mention them, you must be aware of this, or should be able to see it plainly. And again, you don’t need to apologize; this isn’t Canada. Likewise, “natural variability” is claiming everything is an exception, it’s a sort of ultimate get-out-of-Science-free card.

    Sophistry and equivocation are not actually scientific processes.

    Oh, “irrational” is it? On the contrary, it is a fundamental requirement of any genuinely rational scientific evaluation of the AGW hypothesis. Global warming and cooling occurred in pre-industrial ages before humanity had any chance to emit GHGs and therefore the NGW hypothesis is the natural, rational null hypothesis which competing hypotheses such as AGW must overturn – rationally and in accordance with the requirements of Occam’s Razor that you have listed above – before it can replace NGW as the null hypothesis in rational science. As I have just shown above, the AGW hypothesis is incapable of doing that.

    Did global warming and cooling occur in pre-industrial ages?

    Well, clearly they did. That’s not the null hypothesis. That’s the conclusion of studies carried on for many years all over the globe, overcoming the more fundamental assumed null hypotheses of uniformity, homogeneity, and equipartition.

    We know this, because we have paleoclimate data to draw on. We know there are variations on the 100,000-year scale corresponding to the past eight cycles of glacial and interglacial climates. We know there was a 90-ish year cold period corresponding to the “Little Ice Age”, after the later styling of the term, which originally referred to the gradual cooling since the Holocene Climate Optimum, which has been known about for almost a century, with increasing confidence every decade as more data is gathered.

    However, just as global warming and cooling before we had global measurement of temperatures has been proven, overturning the previous nulls, Physics dictates its own null in the mechanics of radiative transfer. The natural null of Physics is surely that the same physical laws as rule gases in the lab rule gases in the atmosphere with regards to scattering, absorption, and transmission of various wavelengths of light. It’s the GHE that is the natural null of the hard sciences, by any stretch of reasoning.

    And guess what?

    We’re seeing that below periods of about seventeen years globally, and for regions smaller than a hemisphere on even longer spans of time, the radiative transfer null does not always dominate. Even for longer durations when the change in concentration of CO2Es is low, there are exceptions that require complicating the explanation with additional input variables, such as the Hale Cycle (up until a half century ago when that correlation vanished, swamped by AGW).

    See? A win for natural variability, if by natural variability we mean things that don’t have any influence anymore, or volcano activity, human activity, and feedbacks.

    To assume AGW as the default null hypothesis may be politically advantageous in today’s faction-riven world but it is an arbitrary, irrational assumption that is in conflict with the traditional scientific method. So if society is to have rational science-based policy instead of irrational pseudoscience-based policy then I think, like it or not, it cannot evade the necessity of seriously entertaining at least one alternative cause of global warming, i.e. natural variability.

    You’ve reversed the onus, and reversed the fact pattern.

    It’s hard to imagine a world where your version of null hypotheses would not result in the mockery of ‘Science’. Your null hypotheses would then be, “children naturally are little beasts, incapable of learning”; “the Moon is the color of cream cheese because its made of cheese”; “all insects are animals; all animals have four legs; all insects have four legs”. (h/t Plato for that last one).

    I believe I do. And I understand that it is utterly different to GCM-based policy too.

    GCMs are but one minor part of the evidence, validated and consilient through over four dozen global climate variables, consistent with the laws of Physics and the predictions of Chaos Theory, demonstrable through diverse methods, and in each case confirming AGW as the most parsimonious, simple and universal explanation.

    So, what’s actual your beef?

    What’s the real reason you object to Science?

    • Regan Power

      Bart, I don’t have time to argue every point with you but I shall do my best.

      Regarding Prof Lovejoy’s claim of 99% certainty that most modern global warming is man-made, as far as I can see it is just an unsubstantiated, unverified claim that can not prove anything. I have given my reason for rejecting it at this time and you have said nothing that convinces me that my reason is flawed. Therefore it still stands.

      Regarding your argument from authority, it is a waste of your time and mine to try to persuade me of anything with that. An argument from authority is not a scientific argument and it can play no useful part in honest science that I can see. I never accept arguments from authority on matters of truth and reality.

      You say:

      “From the work of BEST, HadCRU, GISS, Cowtan & Way and myriad other sources, from consilience with over four dozen other essential climate variables recognized by the WMO, we most certainly have so much validation of the global temperature record as to be able to claim better knowledge of the global temperature than of the central focus of practically any other field of science.”

      I think you have deceived yourself. BEST, HadCRU, GISS and Cowtan & Way have never actually measured the global mean temperature at any time. Their published global data are the products of calculation, not of observation and measurement. Furthermore, their data have not been derived independently of one another. To claim 99% certainty of their validity has to be cloud cuckoo-land dreaming to my mind.

      “Likewise, you assert a clear falsehood: GCMs can indeed show that without the GHE due human CO2E emissions, the observed temperature trend is impossible to reproduce, without having the power to predict global mean temperatures at all.”

      That argument can only apply within the framework of assumptions that the modellers have made. Those assumptions are inherently uncertain at the present time. Thus the conclusions of the GCMs regarding attribution are inherently too uncertain to constitute proof of AGW in the real world – even at the 95% level, let alone the 99% level!

      There are fundamental logical problems for advocates of AGW to overcome before the AGW proposition can be declared to have been proven scientifically beyond reasonable doubt and the GCMs simply do not address them. I am not trying to say that the attempt to model the global climate system with GCMs is wrong, bad, immoral or anything else derogatory. I am just saying that by their nature GCMs cannot prove AGW beyond reasonable doubt.

      If I have read you correctly your argument is that GCMs prove it by being unable to model the global climate system’s behaviour correctly without taking AGW into account. My counterargument to that is that we have no evidence for the GCMs being able to model the global climate system’s behaviour correctly even when they do take the alleged AGW into account!

      “So demanding predictive power is absurd…”

      I’m not demanding it. I’m just pointing out that GCMs cannot participate in the scientific process and contribute to the advancement of our scientific knowledge and understanding of the real climate system without it. Ultimately the only method of testing the validity of theories that science possesses is the test of observable prediction. Since current GCMs can not generate observable predictions they are not amenable to scientific testing and therefore they cannot participate in the process of scientific enlightenment, for all that they may appear superficially to be doing so.

      “Whatever your social sciences 2nd Law reference intends, please don’t apply Human Thermodynamics that way again in a serious discussion of hard sciences, the mixed metaphor hurts, and will be ridiculed by the cruel.”

      You have simply betrayed your own scientific ignorance with that insulting remark. The concept of entropy is a fundamental one that spans all of the “hard” sciences and is conspicuous by its absence from the “soft” ones like sociology and authoritarian, consensus-based “climate-science”. The 2nd law of thermodynamics applies to all entropic systems, including the Earth’s climate system and the human mind. Essentially entropy is the concept of uncertainty – a mental quality, not a physical one although it has binding implications for the behaviours of physical systems. It is the foundation-stone of information theory and lies at the heart of modern science. The applicability of the 2nd law is not restricted to physical systems and my reference to it was not at all metaphorical. So whatever pain you experienced from the “mixed metaphor” that you attributed to me was of your own making, not mine.

      “The number of implicit assumptions in the phrase ‘natural variability’ is almost incalculably huge.”

      I can see only one implicit assumption in it: that modern global warming has been caused by the on-going activity of the natural universe instead of by man. And one doesn’t calculate assumptions; one assumes them. What’s the problem?

      “Likewise, ‘natural variability’ is claiming everything is an exception, it’s a sort of ultimate get-out-of-Science-free card.”

      AGW has not yet overturned the null hypothesis of “natural variability” as the cause of modern global warming in science. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change did that by an arbitrary act of bureaucratic fiat. However, the UN is a political body, not a scientific one.

      “ Did global warming and cooling occur in pre-industrial ages?

      Well, clearly they did. That’s not the null hypothesis.”

      Natural variability is the null hypothesis in real science. I have already explained why it is.

      “However, just as global warming and cooling before we had global measurement of temperatures has been proven, overturning the previous nulls, Physics dictates its own null in the mechanics of radiative transfer. The natural null of Physics is surely that the same physical laws as rule gases in the lab rule gases in the atmosphere with regards to scattering, absorption, and transmission of various wavelengths of light.”

      It is true that all energy-exchanges in the Earth’s climate system can be reduced to radiative transfers in theory and perhaps, if we had a thorough, detailed and comprehensive knowledge of all the energy transfers that occur in the Earth’s climate system we could build a GCM from our knowledge of the laws of radiative physics that mimics them accurately and prophesies future climate doom or paradise with over 99% confidence accordingly. But we don’t have that specific, detailed knowledge of the climate system that would be required so the project is a non-starter.

      Furthermore, we cannot simply transfer our knowledge of how gases behave, radiatively speaking, under controlled conditions in the lab to how they may behave in a planetary atmosphere, even if we could reduce all energy-exchanges to radiative transfers in quantitative practice as well as in theoretical principle. The reason for this is not just that laboratories are relatively small, simple, well-controlled enclosures while planetary atmospheres are vast, complex, uncontrolled, un-enclosed spaces in which other entities besides gases may and do reside, but also because the energy-interactions that take place in atmospheres are subject to gravity and that is a parameter of the climate system which operates independently of the radiative properties of matter and has significant consequences for surface temperatures. GCMs ignore it at their peril.

      “It’s the GHE that is the natural null of the hard sciences, by any stretch of reasoning.”

      Actually it’s not, as there are other natural warming mechanisms at work in the Earth’s semi-transparent atmosphere besides the greenhouse effect, such as the so-called “blanket effect” for instance. The natural null hypothesis in this case is not any specific natural warming mechanism though: it is the totality of all possible natural warming mechanisms.

      “See? A win for natural variability, if by natural variability we mean things that don’t have any influence anymore, or volcano activity, human activity, and feedbacks.”

      In my book natural variability has been the undefeated world champion of real climate science for much, much longer than 17 years and remains so to this day.

      “You’ve reversed the onus, and reversed the fact pattern.”

      Not I! The UNFCCC did that at some time in the 1990s I gather.

      “It’s hard to imagine a world where your version of null hypotheses would not result in the mockery of ‘Science’. Your null hypotheses would then be, “children naturally are little beasts, incapable of learning”; “the Moon is the color of cream cheese because its made of cheese”; “all insects are animals; all animals have four legs; all insects have four legs”. (h/t Plato for that last one).”

      Those absurd fantasies are not my versions of any null hypotheses. You have invented them; they must be yours!

      “So, what’s actual your beef?”

      Nothing. I don’t have any beef.

      “What’s the real reason you object to Science?”

      Are you drunk, or just deeply confused? I don’t object to any science at all! I only object to pseudoscience.

  64. “But what the GCM’s do show effectively, that there is no mathematical way to account for the global warming that weather stations do capture, absent AGW.”

    Sadly, what they are also showing is that there is no mathematical way to account for the global warming that weather stations do capture, *with* AGW.

    That is, as time goes by, AGW models show weaker and weaker correlation with CO2 levels, and temperature variations are, at this current time, simply unaccounted for by ANY known mechanism.

    Or to put it in a nutshell, we have spent the last 30 years working out that whatever drives climate is not dominated by CO2.

    Having eliminated the stuff we are fairly sure about, what’s left is only coincidentally correlated with CO2 for a short period of a couple of decades after which it wanders off in a completely different direction.

    And a lot of mathematics exists to show why we should not be surprised at that.

    Climate is a massive complex dynamic system with many delay paths in it, and with overall negative feedback of one sort or another. It has to be or we would be at absolute zero or hotter than the sun by now.

    Such systems will always exhibit random seeming, chaotic behaviours with cycles and pseudocycles being exhibited.

    And attractors, and butterfly effects.

    Such systems are not amenable to reduction and analysis to a level that allows a smaller system like a computer, to accurately predict them. They are also sensitive to minor forcings at critical points that divert them into entirely different trajectories .

    All you CAN do mathematically is to look for boundary limits ‘the earth won’t ever get hotter than X or colder than Y’ for example.

    And possibly identify where the attractors are and when you are heading for a new one – i.e out of the little ice age into the modern warm period.

    Finally, what concerns us is what happens at the surface. WE can calculate radiative losses from the surface, but we really don’t know what radiative losses from e.g cloud tops are doing. And therein is the whole problem

    CO2 is about modifying ground level radiative losses. Its got NOTHING to do with high level loses by radiation from convected gases including water vapour.

    And so the standard IPCC models consider that the ONLY climate stabilising feedback is the k^4 laws of black body radiation, BUT if you heat is being carried up high, there is loss from a regions substantially above CO2’s main effects.

    When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail…the real problem is convections and turbulent flow in carrying heat – latent heat – in water vapour from the earth’s surface and oceans to high up where it will dump heat to space ultimately by either warming the upper atmosphere directly, which means THAT radiates more, or by directly radiating from cloudtops into space.

    A gigantic non linear negative feedback system that dominates the climate with nice fat multidecadal lags and known pseudoperiodicities in it.

    Just what you need to explain ALL global warming and cooling. But unfortunately not worth a damn when it comes to predicting it.

    Which leaves us exactly where we started. You dont need CO2 to explain climate variations – there’s enough in there for it to do all the variations *all by itself*.

    The confusion arises when you think of climate as a steady thing, that won’t change except by being driven. Ergo if it changes something must be causing it.

    But the class of equations that we KNOW are involved in climate are quite capable of generating all the climate variability you need with no external drivers at all!

    And when you look at the MWP , LHW and LIA and all the other historical evidence over the last 10k years, its pretty clear it has been doing exactly that.

    Showing far more variation than over the last 50 years . All by itself.

    I susoectthatte real state of climate scibnce is this

    “The earth probably wont get warmer than a degree from where it is not or colder than a couple of degrees and such a change would be unlikely to last more than 200 years”.

    So policy should be ‘be moderately prepared for either, and if we end up in a a new ice age, well worrying about it wont stop it anyway’.

  65. BartR For the data supporting the 60 and 1000 year quasi periodicities see Figs 3 ,4,5,and 6 at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/10/commonsense-climate-science-and.html

    As to the mechanisms – see the connection between temperature and the 10Be data at fig 8 at the same post .Note also this quote from the same source
    “Furthermore Fig 8 shows that the cosmic ray intensity time series derived from the 10Be data is the most useful proxy relating solar activity to .
    temperature and climate. – see Fig 3 CD from Steinhilber

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/03/30/1118965109.full.pdf

    The trends in the neutron count over the last few solar cycles strengthens the forecast of coming cooling made from projecting the PDO and Millennial cycle temperature trends. The decline in solar activity from 1990 (Cycle 22) to the present (Cycle 24) is obvious.” see fig 9
    Note also the following
    “NOTE !! the connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar ” activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI ,EUV,solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count as a useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved”

  66. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  67. Edit note: “Lennart Bengtsson joints” — joins

  68. pottereaton

    Looks like Lennart Bengtsson has decided it’s too dangerous to speak out:

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/05/14/the-cleansing-of-lennart-bengtsson/

  69. Pingback: Warmists Go On Witch Hunt, Force Professor Bengtsson To Resign | Right Wing News

  70. Pingback: Warmists Go On Witch Hunt, Force Professor Bengtsson To Resign » Pirate's Cove

  71. Pingback: NewsSprocket | Warmists Go On Witch Hunt, Force Professor Bengtsson To Resign

  72. Pingback: Intellectual fascism: respected scientist hounded for daring to doubt the “climate consensus” | Public Secrets

  73. Pingback: The Lennart Bengtsson story | The IPCC Report

  74. Pingback: unpatriotic racists

  75. Pingback: El eminente Climatólogo Europeo (Bengsston) se une a los críticos del IPCC contradiciendo asi a los fanáticos del calentamiento global | Periodismo Alternativo