State of the blog discussion thread

by Judith Curry

After almost four years of blogging at Climate Etc., its time for some reflection

Summer

During the summer, I have a breather from the normal academic schedule of meetings, students, etc., and I choose to strictly limit my professional travel during summer.  Hence I have additional time not only for blogging, but also for reflection.  Further, on Jul 1 I am stepping down as Chair of Georgia Tech’s  School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (after 12 years).  So I have begun thinking about what I want to do professionally over the next few years while I remain a Professor at Georgia Tech.

Unless I write a journal article on my blogging and get it published in a high impact science journal, I get exactly zero academic credit for doing this (and in the views of at least one Georgia Tech administrator, I get negative credit for blogging and for my position in the climate debate).  At this stage of my career, I am no longer driven by the academic reward structure (which I think is way outdated).  A big part of what I know I want to do is to continue to explore social media as a tool for engaging with with public, group learning, exploring the science-policy interface, and pondering the wicked climate problem.

Denizens

It has been very gratifying to build a community of such  interesting individuals who participate as commenters and guest posters. I also appreciate the lurkers, and those that contact me via email in response to my blog posts.

On the right hand bar of the blog home page, near the top, is a link ‘Denizens’.  Early on, I requested that participants and lurkers state something of their background and perspective on climate change.  Yesterday I went through the Denizens thread to clean it up (spam, extraneous comments).  It would be nice if relative newcomers could submit a brief bio-post on this thread.

Over the years, individual Denizens have come and gone and returned.  Sometimes I wonder when a regular disappears from the comments.  Often it is extended travel or illness.  And sometimes . . .

I have some sad news to report about Denizen Max Anacker.  Tony Brown informed me via email:

I have just received the sad news from his wife that Max Anacker passed away yesterday morning through heart related problems. I met up with him and his wife in Switzerland around four years ago and found him to be a charming man who was ever helpful. Climate Etc was his second home and some may be wondering at his recent absence.

Tony Brown

——- ——– ——

Dear Tony:

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Max passed away at the Stanford Medical Center, Stanford, California this morning, June 5, 2014 and after a short stay. He had suffered from heart issues that have worsened during the past weeks very quickly.  He was a great man with wit, humor and high intelligence. His loss is painful for his family and friends and he will be missed dearly. Please be so kind and inform the community accordingly, since I only have your contact.

Marianne Anacker

Max’s contributions to Climate Etc. were greatly appreciated and he will be missed for his clear thinking, summaries of key issues arising from the discussion, and his unfailing courtesy and civility.  My condolences to Marianne and to Max’s family and friends.

Guest posts

With regards to guest posts.  A few academic scientists/engineers/social scientists have posted here in their area of expertise or have provided general commentary, notably Andy Lacis, Garth Paltridge, Dave Rutledge, Douglass Sheil, Roger Pielke Sr., Marcia Wyatt, Ed Dolan, Shaun Lovejoy, Marshall Shepherd, David Gushee, Anastassia Makarieva, Peter Hartley, Paul Farquharson, Paul Matthews, David Douglass, Richard Tol, Mike Zajko. Why don’t more climate scientists participate?  Relatively few climate scientists have any presence in the blogosphere (although engaging with Twitter is becoming increasingly common).  The biggest issue, I imagine, is that few can afford the time.

Other professionals/academics from other fields  have applied their expertise in blog posts that conduct original analysis/research, including Tomas Milanovic, Rutt Bridges, Vaughan Pratt, Steve Mosher, Pete Bonk, Zeke Hausfather, Tony Brown, Frank Lemke, Steve McGee, Greg Goodman, Andy West, Richard Saumarez.  And other professionals have contributed guest posts that synthesize or explain research, including Rud Istvan, Robert Ellison, Donald Rapp, Dagfinn Reiersoll, Euan Mearns, Clive Best, Mark Goldstone, David Ritson, Roger Caiazza, Johanna, Patrick Brown, Doc Martyn, Brandon Shollenberger, X Anonymous, Michael Cunningham, WebHubTelescope (apologies if I have inadvertently left anyone out).

It is this broader group of professionals (outside the climate field) that are conducting analyses related to climate science, some of them publicly for the first time at Climate Etc., that I regard as one of the most significant accomplishments of Climate Etc..

I am very grateful for all of the guest posts.  At the same time, I don’t publish all the posts that people email to me.  I look forward to more of these posts and I hope that additional Denizens will take a stab at writing a guest post.

Blog roll

Climate Etc.’s Blog Roll has undergone N (large number) modifications over the years.  When I was first exploring the Climate blogosphere, I found the blog roll at Real Climate to be very useful.  When I first (accidentally) landed at Climate Audit, I wondered why this blog wasn’t listed on RC’s blog roll (ha ha) - this changed my view of blog rolls.  When I started Climate Etc., I listed a range of blogs, trying to be ‘balanced.’  Then, when I realized that hardly anyone was linking to anything on my blog roll, I changed my objectives to a more personal one – blogs that I personally wanted to book mark to follow (some of these were a bit far afield from climate science).  The list became unwieldily and I periodically weeded it out.

With the advent of my becoming active in the twitosphere, it became much easier for me to follow the news and what was going on in other blogs via twitter.  The current incarnation of my blog roll addresses the following objectives:

  • highlighting blogs that I think are interesting and relevant
  • promoting female bloggers
  • blogs that produce original material that I don’t pick up on twitter

So I’m not sure if anyone uses or otherwise cares about my blog roll; if you do, I’d like to hear about it and I would be interested in any suggestions.

Twitter

At first, I didn’t ‘get’ Twitter, and I resisted getting involved.  Last August, I made the effort to get involved with Twitter, and it has definitely been worthwhile.   I am tweeting at @curryja.    I mainly tweet notices of new blog posts, and retweet occasional tweets that I find interesting.  The people that I follow provide lots of ideas and source articles for blog posts.  I don’t engage too much in twitter discussion, although I have engaged in several, notably with Victor Venema and There’s Physics.

I’ve taken to posting my latest tweets at the top right bar of the blog. If you are following twitter, or have suggestions for integrating twitter onto the blog, I would appreciate hearing about this.

Blog logistics

I am spending more time monitoring the blog, trying to minimize incivility.  Things are better than they were say 6 months ago.  Thank you for your continued efforts to keep the blog civil

I have decided to add one additional layer of nesting.  My original hope was that reducing nesting would reduce p*ssing matches (didn’t really help), and that people would focus more on posting stand-alone comments rather than replies (they didn’t).  So I  am adding another level of nesting (effective with this thread) to facilitate following side-threads, lets see how it goes.

Pekka’s comments

Long time contributor to Climate Etc. Pekka Perilla has made some interesting comments about the blog that have triggered some reflection, first on a thread at ATTP and then on a CE thread:

You know that I have been following Climate Etc for long and commenting there. For quite a while I accepted what Judith Curry did as a genuine attempt to maintain a site that people of wide range of preconceptions may follow, and to to which they can contribute. On such a site it would be possible to influence at least a little also people with predominantly differing views. Gradually her own contributions have, however, moved too strongly to the skeptical direction. Whereas she once proposed an uncertainty that’s larger in both directions, she has recently been promoting lesser uncertainty on the upper end, and more on the lower end only. In my view, her arguments in support of that are really weak, essentially non-existent.

JC comment:  Misunderstanding here.  I am arguing that climate model and observational inferences of high upper end sensitivity are falling apart.  However, in my writings on climate surprises, catastrophes and fat tails, and abrupt climate change, I clearly do not dismiss the possibility of something really extreme happening to the climate. However, it makes no sense to think about these concepts in terms of our traditional understanding and calculation of ‘climate sensitivity’.

Thus I have concluded that Climate Etc is nowadays too strongly one-sided to serve as a forum for discussion that can maintain a wide audience and promote properly critical thinking. That kind of forum would, however, be valuable, and one of the potential ways of communicating to an audience that could make some difference. No site, where modestly skeptic contributors get ridiculed by the regulars (not necessarily by the host) can help much in that. A good site in that spirit must be tolerant of views that are reasonable based on some common set of attitudes. It’s not necessary to tolerate comments that are effectively trolling (whether intentionally or due to a real lack of understanding, what others do understand), but genuine differences in point of view must be tolerated, and ridiculing them by regulars stopped.

The point is not only one of tactics in getting a particular message true, but it’s also of learning. None of us should feel too self-righteous. Even people with very different views may have valuable points that we should learn to understand.

Maintaining such a site is certainly difficult. One essential point seems to be that the host concentrates more in keeping the discussion going than in declaring, what’s correct and what’s not. She or he can put limits and use moderation to prevent trolling, and to cut off argumentation with a fool, when that argumentation is not any more of value to others.

You have obviously achieved something of interest on this blog. To continue for long you may need some rethinking on what you wish to serve. That may mean less frequent blogging with more work in preparing each post, or perhaps you’ll choose some other approach.

While I haven’t been happy on everything what has been going on at Climate Etc, I do still think that it’s a site, where people with very different opinions can discuss without the need of either one to feel ridiculed. Some other commenters may try that, but they remain exceptions and therefore don’t cause the feeling. (Joshua and some others get a lot of reaction, but I think they don’t worry about that.) For anyone wishing to have open discussion it’s worthwhile to think what Judith Curry has done right, and where she has perhaps failed. I think that the site was better during it’s first year or two and has deteriorated then. One change is that several climate scientists contributed in the beginning, now the science is defended almost solely by others. Also the writings and public appearances of Judith Curry herself have gone in the wrong direction to my taste.

I discussed in that length Climate Etc, because the thing that I really wish to see on the net is open discussion of points that involve genuinely outstanding issues (as opposed to fake controversies). Everyone who has spent an effort to learn about the issue and who is sincere (not obviously trolling) should be allowed to participate without getting ridiculed. There are too few sites that achieve that. This site is better than most, but could be even better. The number of people participating in the discussion is important in that, and only the quality of original posts is likely to keep that number and the spread of views high enough in the long run.

JC reflections

Reflecting on Pekka’s comment that the blog was better the first two years, I went back to check my earlier posts.  The first 6 months were definitely different from the rest – I posted twice per week, and it was nearly all original material.  The source of original material was my year long research related to the uncertainty monster paper.

I was unable to keep that up owing to time constraints, and the fact that much of my primary research/academic efforts are on topics for which there  isn’t much public interest (e.g. hurricanes,  physical chemistry of clouds, ensemble interpretation methods, South Asia, wind power forecasting).

Blog traffic is about 5 times greater now than during the first 6 months, with a tripling in the number of comments.  Not that I’m playing to numbers, but threads with more than 500 comments are very unwieldly, and at least 4 posts per week seems about right given the traffic.

Climate Etc. is about the dialogue (the comments are a key element); its not just about me providing original research/analysis or making proclamations.  That said, the lead posts need to be interesting, relevant, and/or provocative.  Although recently I prematurely pushed the ‘publish’ button on the draft post Climate Casino, which only had an http address – the post elicited over 100 comments.  So to some extent, the community here is self sustaining, not needing much in the way of stimulation from me!

I originally envisioned Climate Etc. to have a strong component that was sort of a climate dynamics version of Science of Doom, but quickly abandoned that when we got stuck on the physics of the greenhouse effect (‘stuck’ in the sense that skydragon theories seemed to multiply).  Further, I became more interested in the sociology and philosophy of climate science – thinking around and about the science, not so much  the science itself.  I’ve struggled with balancing what interests me personally versus what is newsworthy and timely.   I currently have a backlog of 77 draft posts, and new topics pop up weekly. When thinking about my next post, I have to decide what is interesting and worth my effort, balanced by an element of timeliness in terms of topics being discussed in the news or in the climate blogosphere (that the Denizens want to discuss).

What else has changed? I have become increasingly appalled by the infiltration of UNFCCC/IPCC ideology into the scientific community and institutions and the lack of genuine debate about key issues that I regard as highly uncertain.   Following Marquis de Condorcet, I am spending more and more time on “the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them.

Efforts by Romm, Mann etc to marginalize me and label me as a denier have pushed me into engaging more with what is regarded as the skeptics community.  In terms of my evolving assessment of the science itself, the deficiencies of climate models are becoming increasingly apparent and a number of things have moved from the ‘known’ into the ‘unknown’ category.  We have vastly oversimplified the problem of climate change.  I am probably becoming more strident about this particular issue.

And finally, I suspect that the field, the public, and the Denizens have changed, perhaps more than I have?

Climate Etc. seems to be having some impact on the public dialogue surrounding climate change, if nothing else as reflected by my media interviews and invitations to present Congressional testimony.  Is Climate Etc. having any impact on the climate science community?  Well a significant number of climate scientists tell me that they read the blog regularly, and a number of them communicate with me via email to discuss. If nothing else, I think the Uncertainty Monster now has a more prominent place at the climate science  table.

So, what do I want for the blog?  I will continue to reflect on this.  Mostly, I want to keep the dialogue going (and even grow the dialogue), and to continue to learn about the increasingly broad range of topics that are intersecting with climate science. I am hoping to maintain Climate Etc. as a safe place for an honest debate about the genuine outstanding issues in climate science, including those that make climate scientists uncomfortable,  and the public debate about climate science, its implications, and proposed policies.

I look forward to your assessments, comments and suggestions.  And finally, THANK YOU for your participation and contributions to Climate Etc.

 

 

 

455 responses to “State of the blog discussion thread

  1. Ah, Max, we hardly knew ye.
    ======

    • David Springer

      Manacker was one of the good guys. R.I.P.

    • John DeFayette

      Max’s input was always worth reading; he will be sorely missed.

    • I’ve only seen this important thread two days after Judy began it. How glad I am that the first comment is kim paying tribute to Max. He enobled this place. It would have grieved me to see something more partisan first.

  2. Judith,

    Whilst not the most popular blog, you’re definitely running the most civilized blog by a wide margin. Please stay with us for a long time to come.

    I spend some time thinking how to improve, and contribute postively. I finally came up with this: “…..”

    Kudo’s

    Andre

    • I have found Pekka to be one of the most fair-minded and well-informed contributors here. His patient impartial explanations have been useful to me on a number of occassions. Sadly, he has been almost unique in that category.

      Comments in general have always been a food fight with more garbage and inane hollering going on on all sides than intelligent discussion. But that’s bloglife.

      The format and S/N ratio means dialogue rarely gets very far before being drowned out.

      I spend less time here than I used to but pop in fairly regularly to keep an eye on what’s happening. CE is one of a very short list of blogs that I bother with at all.

      Kudos to Judith for here efforts to restore some sanity to climate “science” and inform policy makers that there more to the issue than CO2.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about Max Anacker. He wrote a lot of clever entertaining comments. I’ll really miss him.

  4. I am a scientist, but I am not a climate scientist. This is the first place I have felt at home in a place where I could ask questions, and have a reasonable discussion of the issues as an intelligent person outside her own field without being attacked by ideologues on both sides. This blog is an invaluable resource for sanity, logic and reason. It is also a “preservations of the ideals science” as a true science blog. Thank you Judith and the other regulars here.

  5. I have posted a short appreciation of Max here:
    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=723

  6. Jim Cripwell

    I can only speak for myself, but I take part in blogs to further my education; to learn. CE is by far and away the best blog to do this for CAGW. I can post my ideas, and have them critiqued by people who know what they are talking about. I really don’t care what subjects are chosen. I am sure the ones I don’t find interesting, others feel the opposite.

    So, thank you Judith for all that this blog has done to help me. However you decide to go, I for one, will continue to read, and where I think I might learn something, contribute.

    I am sure of at least two things about CAGW. Mother Nature will decide which side of the debate is correct, and she will decide this in the basis of climate sensitivity, however defined.

    • “However you decide to go, I for one, will continue to read, and where I think I might learn something, contribute.”

      +1000

      I think the choice of post topics is good so far, and I would only suggest that you (Judy) post on what you yourself are engaged in or find interesting, useful, worthy of discussion etc – it’s your place to do with as you see fit, and to date you have done a great job under sometimes difficult and no doubt, err, challanging professional circumstances. Kudos to you, and keep up the good work.
      I think that perhaps the number of lurkers is much larger than you may realise – I do post sometimes, but read nearly every post (and a lot of comments) and I know many others would post even less than me. In my view these lurkers are far more important (in terms of total impact) than any denizen – these are, IMO, some of the real opinion leaders and they come here for the same reason I do: a reasonably balanced view that isn’t a one-sided echo chamber like RC or WUWT, sometimes technical, sometimes political, but always interesting!
      Cheers,
      Neil

  7. It is a great blog, the first I would recommend to anyone wanting to know more about the CC debate.
    If you have more time in the future, the UK would benefit from a few visits.

  8. It was a shock to hear of Max’s death. He has provided very useful input and criticisms of my own articles and was a very logical, well ordered, patient and charming person. It was only around 10 days ago that he provided very useful insight into a technical paper I sent him.

    I met up with him after exchanging numerous email messages over several years and when I saw he was relatively close to one trip of ours-to the opera at Bregenz-I took the opportunity to meet up with him and his wife.

    Max was 82.

    Sincere condolences to Marianne and family on her loss

    Tony Brown

    • Max Anacker was an exceptional person as his comments as
      a Denizen of Climate Etc revealed. Condolences to his wife
      and family whose loss is the greater but also to his internet
      friends whose loss is also great.

      Max. your sanity, humor and big picture point of view, recognizing uncertainties and responding positively to challenges was almost
      as essential to CE as Judith herself. In the pantheon of the
      honorable and enlightened, not so many, but Max was one of
      these.We will miss you Max.

      Beth the serf.

  9. I think Pekka Perilla’s assessment reveals a prejudice of her own. This is the ONLY blog I have ever participated in because I find it not only reasonably balanced, but extremely informative. Following for almost three years now, I have found much of value here and, in particular, a great deal of clarification to the benefit of my own thinking. For more than ten years I was a denialist. Climate Etc. has provided me a foundation for thinking more broadly (and objectively) about an seemingly endless list of related subject matter that has served to tone down my dogmatism. If you knew me you would understand how important and unexpected that achievement is. I find Climate, Etc. invaluable for the lay person with deep interests in the primary subject matters covered here and I have recommended it widely to my colleagues and friends as a reliable path to understanding of the issues we face.

    Thank you JC for all your work.

    • Anyone calling this place “reasonably balanced” is lying. It’s a home for cranks and everyone knows it.

      • Well thank you for the civility. It’s a start . .

      • Having cranks doesn’t mean it isn’t “reasonably balanced”. Not if there is reasonable crank balance. Seriously, though, in any popular forum there are bound to be cranks. Just ignore them and concentrate on what matters. IMHO, Judith runs an excellent blog.

      • ” IMHO, Judith runs an excellent blog”

        Your O is wrong and intellectually dishonest.

  10. Thank *you*, Judith.

    There are always things you may try to change, and they will work … or not. But the site was outstanding from the beginning and still is. You are giving a lot to a lot of people. With a great help from some commenters, for sure. What else could you ask for?

  11. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry, thank you for your outstandingly worthy efforts in sustaining Climate Etc forum as a forum for public discourse.

    Judith Curry deposes  “In the views of at least one Georgia Tech administrator, I get negative credit for blogging.”

    Judith Curry, you can (as Patrick O’Brian would say) “put a stopper on their antics” by citing:

    Georgia Tech Chair
    Wins Distinguished Professional Award
    for Sustained Blogging

    Lance Fortnow, Professor and Chair, School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, has won the prestigious Distinguished Service Prize (2014) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as presented at the annual Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC) conference. His citation reads in part “His blog, and many others that followed, changes the way our field communicates, both with itself and with the outside world.”

    Both inside academia and out, it is good to have allies. Judith Curry, please keep in mind that Georgia Tech chair Lance Fortnow is your natural ally!

    Another natural ally that I urge for your consideration is the group Amici Scientists (Friend Scientists) that James Hansen has formed.

    The Amici Scientists do an outstanding job of reaching out to young people (both scientists and non-scientists), by emphasizing the long-term stake in the future that young people have so much more strongly than the (deplorably superannuated) skeptical establishment. In a nutshell, you are well-advised (and young scientists/voters too are well-advised) to reject short-sighted decadalism and instead embrace long-viewed centenialism, Judith Curry!

    As for the “stale-pale-male’ brand of willfully ignorant anti-scientific ideology-driven climate-change denialism that is pushed by shills, operatives, corporate special interests, and astro-turfing organizations, these efforts are bankrupt scientifically, bankrupt economically, bankrupt morally, bankrupt politically, and (now) bankrupt legally.

    The less said about astroturfed denialism, the better. These campaigns offer nothing of enduring value to young people, and that is why, Judith Curry, your colleagues are entirely right to urge you to dissociate yourself from them. Far better to ally with the Amici Scientists!

    Mainly, please accept this appreciation and thanks for your sustained efforts on behalf of vigorous, open, free, unthreatened public discourse, without which neither science nor democracy can thrive.

    Good on `yah, Judith Curry!

    \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}

    • RobertInAz

      nice

    • David L. Hagen

      Fan
      Amici “scientists” deny both science and policy, prejudging the science and bypassing policy debates. They ignore the yawning gap between models and the Pause, and short circuit debate to mitigation regardless of cost, allowing little consideration for the more cost effective adaptation.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Climate Etc readers are invited to read for themselves Brief Of Scientists Amicus Group, then evaluate for themselves the status of David L. Hagen’s claims:

      David L. Hagen proclaims [without evidence or reason]  “Amici ‘scientists’ deny both science and policy”

      Hmmm … so who are the Amici Scientists? Their brief answers plainly and completely (pages 1-8):

      James Hansen  climatologist

      David Beerling  palaeobiologist

      Paul J. Hearty  glaciologist and geologist

      Ove Hoegh-Guldberg  marine ecologist

      Pushker Kharecha  climatologist

      Valérie Masson-Delmotte  climatologist

      Camille Parmesan  ecologist

      Eelco Rohling  palaeoceanographer

      Makiko Sato  climate physicist

      Pete Smith  soil scientist

      Lise Van Susteren  psychiatrist

      This mixed-age mixed-gender group *ALL* are top-rank practicing researchers. The contrast with the GWPF’s superannuated covertly-funded “state-pale-male” governing board could scarcely be more striking, eh Climate Etc readers?

      No wonder that the Amici Scientists outreach to young researchers and young voters — per open letters like Young People’s Day in Court: Part I and Young People’s Day in Court: Part II — far more vigorously effectively and enduringly than *ANY* superannuated denialist astroturfing organization.

      These facts are obvious to *EVERYONE* — including Judith Curry’s young students — eh Climate Etc readers?

      Why would *ANY* young researcher and/or family-starting voter regard the GWPF seriously?

      \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}
      ——-
      The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse, thank you for the amici brief, which I downloaded.

        After some introductions of the authors, the brief opens with: Br. Of Amici Curiae Scientists 8

        SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
        Global warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 from fossil fuel consumption, is 0.8°C in the last 100 years, with most of this warming in the last 35 years.

        Due to physical climate system inertia, a comparable
        amount is “in the pipeline,” ensuring further warming even without further change in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

        Already-observed impacts of this warming include rising sea levels,
        increased atmospheric moisture resulting in more intense precipitation events, higher temperatures causing more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, loss of sea ice, ice sheet mass and glaciers, expansion of the subtropics, acidification of the oceans, shifting distributions of plant and animal species, and an increasing rate of species extinctions.

        That’s just the start. That document has a serious intent to persuade, but it is not a serious summary of the evidence. It reads like a legal brief for one side, not like a balanced review of evidence.

      • Always loved astro turf law suits.

        What’s funny is that they couldn’t even get a D.C. District judge, recommended by D.D. delegate Eleanor Norton Holmes and appointed by Barack Obama to let them get beyond a motion to dismiss.

        He was subsequently appointed to the D.C. Circuit by Obama after allof three years on the district court bench, and just recently approved by the Senate after long conservative opposition.

        If even an activist progressive judge like Wilkins kicked them out of court, they don’t stand much of a chance on appeal.Even assuming the Holder Justice Department takes a dive.

  12. Many years ago US News & World Report was known to provide neutral reporting on current events. Each week one section of the magazine presented opposing sides on a single issue. As I recall, these two sides were presented with two columns on each page; the columns representing the two sides. This section of the magazine was, for me, must read during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Perhaps you could set up some of your posts using a similar format. I hope the best for you in your future endeavors.

  13. Even though I only knew him through his words, I am sad at the loss of manacker, always bright and civil here. I had many duels with him, and it was remarkable that even though we agreed on the numbers of how much burning led to how many ppms, we had such opposite views. I even had a bet with him on here about decadal temperatures that wasn’t going to verify for another six years, so he expected to be around that long. This is a loss.

  14. Hi Prof Curry…

    I have a couple of ideas regarding how to make this blog more useful for my purpose, but let me start with what that is:

    With the exception of the occasional smart@ss comment, I’m usually trying to provide persuasive input to the thought processes of others here. This often means gathering and linking to information, along with formatting it into a readable comment. While I could do it as posts on my own blog, I usually set a fairly high standard of references for such posts, higher than often needed for a comment here. I’ve also been trying to avoid getting my own blog too deeply into the whole climate thing, especially since I don’t have time to provide timely moderation. And, of course, there’s a much bigger audience.

    Thus, any facility that would allow me to go back and browse/search through my old comments would help save time when making the same argument over again. In addition, a similar resource for others’ comments would be useful. (I do use Google, especially looking for comment where I don’t remember who made them, but it’s very cumbersome.)

    Also, I can’t say I really favor the flat threading. While it may be a little more cumbersome for readers, proper nesting would make it much easier to determine which comments are being answered.

    Finally, while I certainly don’t need it, an enhanced testing and HTML interface for readers less acquainted with comment formatting might make it easier for everybody to understand everybody else’s comments. I suppose you’ve heard that before, and if it were easy you’d have done it, but I thought I’d bring it up just in case.

  15. First of all Judith, thank you for the creation and ongoing support of CE. It truly is unique in the Blogosphere. And congratulations on all your professional accomplishments.

    CE is unique because you have attracted both non-scientists and scientists and even the occasional policymaker to a truly neutral and open forum where ideas can be discussed freely. The greatest asset this site has is the credibility of being a neutral forum. There is no other site, “skeptical” or “warmist” that can make this claim to the same degree– and many are no better than echo chambers where any disagreement with the standard accepted forum meta-meme is met with instant attack from the forum faithful. Again, CE has set itself well above this mob. First and foremost, keeping CE as a neutral, open, and anti-echo chamber site will be paramount.

    But beyond that, what can CE evolve into, and could it be, in the best of all circumstances, a new way for science/public engagement/policy to interface and evolve as well? It has that potential, with the continued nurturing, especially if the dedication to open and neutral communication is maintained. Steps in that direction might include:

    1) Original posts of new research by scientists open for peer/non-peer review. Again, a strict, neutral, and ad-hom free site would encourage that. And by “scientist” here, of course the broad meaning to include the citizen scientist as well. I am thinking of the way the EGU Journals allow for feedback on new pre-publication research. Some split between peer-review and non-peer feedback might be helpful of course This entire process would help to accelerate the process of getting new (and hopefully better quality) research published, but also to alter the publication process itself by allowing more quality original research to rise up through the consensus filtering process.
    2) Policymaker posts. I know for a fact that policymakers review your site on a regular basis. I think they could be encouraged to post, or at least add to discussions, if not directly, then via their staff. A strict anti-ad hom policy is critical here, but also, the utmost in courtesy at all times.
    3) A “relief valve” ongoing, continuous “Open Forum” thread, where those denizens who have alternative topics to the other topic-specific threads can express their opinion. This is not unlike what happens during formal government meetings where a “Public Invited to be Heard” item is always included on the agenda where the public can express their opinions on any topic they want. Even here of course, ad homs and other basic politeness needs to be observed and strictly enforced.

    Some other non-blog things that might assist in the evolution of this site would be:
    1) Live daily or weekly web-streaming media events. This could include just audio or video as well, where you might interview scientists, policymakers and others on current issues. This would be a bit different direction for you, but could add greatly to the exposure and traffic this site gets It could even feature occasional direct “debate” type discussion between those on different sides of an issue. Anyway, lots of potential here.
    2) Annual or semi-annual CE events/conferences where scientists/policymakers/general public could attend. These could be formalized with speakers, breakout sessions, etc. or just semi-formal social events. But again, a neutral, open atmosphere is critical to getting a balanced event where a true interchange of ideas can be had and encouraged.

    I do have some experience with both these last two items, and I’d be glad to volunteer and donate any assistance to you on one or both of these.

    • Judith

      I mostly echo the comments by Rgates. As far as getting articles on to this blog, written by noted climate scientists, I think there are two problems.

      The first is that any respectable scientists that happen along here would run a mile when they see the food fights and name calling that can go on. It has on the whole been better the last few months but there are still a number of notable feuds. It’s a shame, as these self same people are often the most interesting when they stop shouting at each other. More intervention would help.

      The second problem is rather more difficult to solve. It concerns the quality of the writing of certain academics.

      I read many hundreds of science papers uwhen researching my articles, that cover a wide breadth of climate related subjects. Boy, are some of them turgid and rambling!

      Having also seen several of the ipcc reviewers in action at the recent Exeter climate conference this difficulty in expressing themselves clearly also seems to include presentations.

      Now of course many of these people have something interesting to say but you may have to encourage them to participate in the first place and provide guidance on writing an article for a venue such as this.

      I have the highest regards for professor Richard betts of the met office who I met at the Exeter conference and dr john Kennedy also of the met office. They seem reasonable people even if I may disagree with them on occasions. I would imagine that they, or someone else from the met office, might be up for contributing something here and debating it.

      Tonyb

      • “It’s a shame, as these self same people are often the most interesting when they stop shouting at each other. More intervention would help”

        +1

        Some of the most interesting commentators get into these stupid bickering matches with their egos swinging at each other. It is extremely tiring to have to sift through them to get to the interesting things they have to say. My go to commentators (such as Tonyb) are always the ones who are civil and presume they have misunderstood something rather than that the person they are arguing with is an idiot.

      • Firstly, let me add my congratulations to Judith to the long list of those who have already praised her diligence, integrity and courage. I have followed this blog since its gestation and see it, among other things, as a fine example of the internet as a force for good.

        Now, to Tony’s remark “Having also seen several of the ipcc reviewers in action at the recent Exeter climate conference this difficulty in expressing themselves clearly also seems to include presentations.” Amen to that! I am quite sure that much of the acrimony that rages between scientists would disappear if they would only learn to express themselves in clear, simple, unambiguous English.

  16. My new favorite post.

    Thank you, Judy.

  17. I have appreciated your efforts to provide a forum for civil discussion. I don’t have a climate-related technical background, as I have been strictly involved in software. I do have a somewhat-related research background in that I study and write about 17th Century (stretching from 1588 to 1714) naval history. What is really striking are the accounts of late-summer to winter storms in the northern latitudes during the little-ice age. The Armada storm in 1588 is one example where the storm destroyed half of the Spanish Armada during the voyage around Scotland and Ireland. Another example is the storm in the Shetlands that battered the Dutch fleet in early August 1652. There was a strong storm after the Battle of Dungeness in December 1652, although it was not as memorable as the others. The next large storm hit off the Dutch island, the Texel, in early November 1653, where many ships were lost. In one example, a ship was thrown onto the beach, filled with water, with the crew drowned. The last example is the Great Storm that lasted for two weeks in the Channel in December 1703. Very strong, north latitude storms that were hurricane-like were associated with the period of global cooling and subsided after the end of that period.

    I hope that you can continue to provide a forum for the climate-related discussions. I am concerned with people who equate lack of support for AGW with “big oil” or some such thing. I was surprised to learn that much of the environmental movement in the United States is funded by the natural gas industry, as well as wealthy, left-wing business people from northern California that you would expect. Talk about astro-turfing.

    • Jim

      You said;

      ‘What is really striking are the accounts of late-summer to winter storms in the northern latitudes during the little-ice age. ‘

      JIm, I have made that point here numerous times. As far as I can see the extreme events during the cold periods of the lIA are much more extreme than those we encounter in warmer times. This is of course contrary to the consensus but that is what a thousand years of observations show.

      tonyb

    • Tony said:

      “As far as I can see the extreme events during the cold periods of the lIA are much more extreme than those we encounter in warmer times. This is of course contrary to the consensus but that is what a thousand years of observations show.”
      _____
      Your great research in this area has my respect Tony and I remain fascinated by the subject in general being a huge fan of historical studies.

      A few questions I have related to extremes during the LIA, some of which you might be able to answer, and some remain open questions:

      1) What characterizes an extreme event? Is it just a “big storm” or series of storms or a period of unusually hot, cold, warm, dry, etc?

      2) What are the underlying climate dynamics of an extreme event? That is, what is the state or condition of the atmosphere, ocean, solar, volcanic influences? For example, during extreme outbreaks of winter cold at lower latitudes during the past decade at least, we can frequently see the underlying sudden stratospheric warming event that caused the disruption of the polar vortex that led to these outbreaks.

      3) From a physics perspective, a cooler atmosphere generally is less energetic than a warmer one with less energy to cause extreme weather, but the most extreme events would occur during transitions from warm to cold or back again when shifts in climate regimes are occurring.

      If you would list what you feel are the 5 most extreme events of the past 1,000 years, I’d love to see what I can uncover about potential underlying dynamics in the climate or paleoclimate proxy record.

      • Rgates

        Sorry, but I am currently involved in far too many projects (courtesy of Big Oil-hah! ) to take time out to properly research and list the 5 most extreme events of the last 1000 years. It will however come out in the wash, as my work on researching likely temperatures to 1086 includes extreme events , glacier changes, volcanos and sea level change.

        The next article is to be entitled ‘tranquillity, transition and turbulence’ and covers the period around 1180 to around 1400 when the transition from MWP to the first phase of the LIA was having its impact. The temperature warmed up again around 1350. The turbulence is notable in transitions but also in extended cold periods. Which is not to say that warm periods do not have extreme events, just that they are generally of a different and lesser order in their frequency. (which is also against my expectations)

        Generally extreme events do include huge storms (see Daniel Defoes 1703 reference ) which are well chronicled by Hubert Lamb in ‘historic storms of the north sea, British isles and northwest Europe.’

        However, they also include most notably extreme and extended rain fall events and (perversely) long and extended droughts. The great famine of 1316 was the culmination of one of these wet periods as recorded here;
        —— ——-
        1313 the past year was nether cloudy nor serene neither disturbed nor calm-an ordinary year
        1314 great wind and rain through much of the year ‘so not seven serene days together could be found’
        Generally there seemed to be great famines 1314-1316 caused by wet weather
        the rain lasted from Whitsun of 1314 to Easter of 1315.
        1315 great inundations of rain for nearly the whole year
        1316 great inundation of rain in the summer and autumn
        Said to be the last serious famine in England.
        —— ——–
        in this vein;
        ’1228-30 it ‘rained non stop’
        —- —
        More amusingly I discovered these in the library of Exeter Cathedral

        ’1n 1346 Bishop Grandisson instructed his archdeacon to bar a ‘sect of malign men who were constantly jeering at the leather dressers in Exeter theatre.’

        Changes in the position of the jet stream when it becomes ‘stuck’ (technical term) can be identified in some historic records. I am not sure how SSW’s could be identified. If you gave some guidelines I could see if the records demonstrate this.

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        I Look forward as usual to the results of your research. Regarding SSW events and N. Europe or British Isle weather, without the modern satellite data some potential clues on these would be sudden outbreaks of extreme cold (20C or more below average) with persistent NE or E winds (as the vortex is disrupted). These would typically occur late Dec. through the end of Feb, with the peak frequency being mid-January. Warming over the Arctic proper during such periods would also be common with a wind reversal from the common winter westerlies to the vortex disrupted easterlies, but of course historical documentation of this is virtually non-existent prior to the modern period.

        When the vortex “splits” as can happen during SSW events, the position where the two lobes descend over the lower latitudes is critical for location of severe weather outbreaks at lower latitudes. Extreme cold in the descending center low pressure of the lobe with potentially extreme warmth on the ascending side of course, with the lobes guiding the upper level winds. The elongated vortex we had this past winter is an example where the vortex doesn’t actually split but is extremely distorted by the planetary wave breaking and air descending over the Arctic. Finding historical, non-satellite evidence of this would be difficult, but not impossible I suppose.

      • Rgates

        Ok, I will save your post and see if I come across anything.

        Tonyb

      • The phase changes are interesting. I can imagine overall warming to be beneficial, it should cause more, smaller temperature differentials, moderate weather, more rain, more moisture for plants… However, I can also imagine very brief episodes where extreme storms are more intense than they otherwise would have been.

        When transitioning to a cool ocean surface phase in some regions, the differential in temperature with atmosphere would be greater. Overall there is likely to be less frequent and less intense extremes, but brief periods of slightly more intense extreme weather (though little change in frequency). The benefits still likely to far outweigh the costs.

    • George Turner

      My thought is that the tropical temperatures don’t vary by much, so that during cold periods the arctic temperature line is further from the poles, created a steeper slope on a line of delta temperature vs latitude, similar to what you get when the jet stream shifts far to the south over the US and cold arctic air interacts strongly with warm moist air from the Gulf.

      • George turner

        I had thought that it was logical that cold higher latitudes and warm tropics would have a steeper ‘energy’ gradient than when both were warm hence the potential for greater extreme events

        However I was told this was not so. Perhaps I was misinformed. Anyone here care to comment?

        Tonyb

      • This argument has always been about more energy in the system causing greater extremes vs a decreased polar/equator gradient causing fewer extremes. I’m amused that they are countervailing.
        ==============

      • George Turner

        Based on the observation that planetary wind speeds increase further from the sun (Neptune’s winds go supersonic), which was completely unexpected, I noted that for a one-degree temperature gradient, PV=nRT indicates that the change in PV would be proportionately much larger for a cold gas than a hot one. At 50K, 1C gives a 2 percent change in PV, at 500K a 0.2 percent change. There’s probably a simple heat-engine model that could illustrate the effect, but I haven’t yet dug into it that far.

        Last week I realized that PV=nRT is also wrong in an accelerating reference frame unless the gas is massless, otherwise P at the bottom of the box must be higher than P at the top. I’m sure that’s listed somewhere in the formula’s caveats and limitations, or perhaps in the fine print on the disclaimer :)

        And back to the original topic, I think I can speak for everyone here and the broader scientific community when I suggest that CE could use more pictures of cats cleverly responding to climate change.

      • I think there are two issues here that are getting conflated a bit. A reduced gradient between equator and pole might tend to elongate Rossby waves, and thus increase meridonal advection, especially if these elongated Rossby waves get “stuck” with changes to the westerlies. This increased meridonal advection and stuck Rossby waves would have the effect of bringing colder air further south for longer periods and/or warmer air further north for longer periods. Both could lead to extreme weather events. But the second issue is one of more overall energy in the climate system with both warming oceans and a warmer atmosphere. This could lead to greater extremes in terms of precipitation or lack thereof, as well as a poleward shifting of Hadley and Ferrel cells.

  18. Barry Woods

    the Making Science Public Project – Nottingham University has nothing but praise from me.. thanks to Dr @Warrenpearce and Dr @bnerlich

    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/

    should you want to get more involved in the social science aspects of climate change (man made or otherwise) I can recommend them

    There latest paper about Twitter is here:
    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2014/04/09/climate-change-on-twitter-2013-who-tweeted-what-about-the-ipcc/
    I’m the largest purple spot in the diagram

    Me, Warren, Tamsin, Mark Brandon talking at the Open University – Brigitte is in the audience, Dr @citizenjoesmith invited us all
    http://stadium.open.ac.uk/stadia/preview.php?s=31&whichevent=2331&option=both&record=0

  19. What I want to know is …
    How does anybody find time to read all the important climate blogs and especially all the chatter in the comments?

  20. Thanks again, Judith, for this blog. It was a brave and necessary thing to do.

    CE is still on my RSS feed and I read the posts which interest me. However, the comments have become too predictable for me — pretty much the same thrash from the same people. Still, I’m quite grateful there is a forum in which climate skeptics and orthodox can debate on basically even terms. If there is another blog which manages this feat, I haven’t noticed it.

    My views have shifted in that I’ve come to see the climate change movement as almost entirely driven by the closed, triumphal, liberal mindset which admits no disagreement outside the bounds it allows. This excludes most skeptic and conservative positions.

    In his recent commencement address at Harvard ex-Mayor Bloomberg noted:

    In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama.

    Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.

    With this near-total dominance of one point of view in academia, it’s little wonder that arrogance and abuses of authority have become normal in the climate science community.

    Climate Etc. is one of the few lights in this darkness.

  21. Rest in Peace Max. Good post Dr C.

  22. Dear Dr. Curry,

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Like many, I come to your blog because I believe I am more likely to readr a well-reasoned presentation that will improve my understanding of the climate issue. I would contrast your posts on the blog with a one-sided activist blog that omits to state information the omission of which is material in the circumstances.

    You have invited comments on how the blog can be improved. In offering comments below, please do not take these critiques as the sum of my views. By far, the positives in your blogging efforts outweigh the negatives.

    As you may know, I am a non-scientist “lurker” with little background in the relevant science. I limit my own small number of blog comments to the few areas where I can, hopefully, contribute usefully – usually, legal developments and economics/finance issues. Please take my suggestions below in light of the limited nature of my engagement with the blog.

    First, you note that you have tried to improve civility on the blog. Indeed, you have done so, but there is much more work to be done in that regard. Name-calling and insults are still far too common. I suggest that you devote more effort to persuade your commenters to avoid doing so. In my personal view, “naming and shaming” is the more effective strategy. I encourage you to find more ways to discourage uncivil behavior.

    Second, there are some individuals who “hijack” a thread, turning it from the substance of the primary post into a back-and-forth about that person’s activist perspective and personality. Few things deter me from continuing to read the comments more than running into a long set of comments that are more about the individual and his/her personal positions. Of course, that thread hijacking then often triggers the incivility I noted above – the issues are interrelated. There is no simple solution to this problem, which may be a function of the particular individual or, especially in the case of a climate blog, may be a function of the activist approach of the commenter. Since I object to censorship, I believe the most effective way (OK, perhaps not all that effective, but still …) to mitigate thread hijacking is simply to “not feed the troll.” I suggest you, and perhaps a few of your trusted friends, be entitled to post regular reminders to the commenters to stop feeding a thread hijacker. Banning is a very very last resort, only when all other options have failed, and never on grounds of substantive disagreement.

    Third, the guest posts you publish are very useful. I do not know how often you also post as a guest on other blogs, but I encourage you to do so more often – particularly for climate-oriented blogs at influential mass media. I recognize that much of what you write is aimed at the scientific community. However, the “uncertainty” issue in particular is important to the broader public policy debate, not just your science/academic colleagues.

    Fourth, organized cross-discussions between blogs (yours and another) may be a useful way to expand the conversation beyond the usual Climate Etc. participants.

    Fifth, it is about time you began to employ video in your blog and linked on your twitter posts. Can’t fall behind the tech curve 

    Sixth, I encourage you to post, or seek out a knowledgeable guest poster, on the economics of climate policies. The Stern report is, IMHO, useless as a reliable projection, but there is little yet to take its place. From time to time, make your blog a place to discuss what is out there, and how it can be improved upon.

    Seventh, try to avoid the (very occasional) political partisanship on the blog. Too often, climate policy is seen in the U.S. as a Democratic vs. Republican split in which the activist wings of both parties have the loudest voices. That entrenches positions and detracts from any effort to make the science a crucial input. One way to do so is to try to place the Climate Etc. voice inside the portions of the influential mass media that seen to automatically view climate policy as a partisan political issue. See item Third above.

    I hope you find something useful in the above. Thank you again for everything you have done.

    Regards,

    MK

    • mkantor: I too would love not to discuss politics in a scientific topic, but climate change is so deeply politicized that it’s impossible.

      How else can we understand the abuses of Climategate or Dr. Curry being slandered by Dr. Mann as “anti-science” and in the pages of Scientific American as a “heretic”, not to mention the invidious labeling of skeptics as “deniers”?

      That’s not science but it’s standard procedure in climate change discussions.

    • David L. Hagen

      I would recommend progressively giving pests a “time out” for 24 hours, 48 hours, a week, 2 weeks, a month etc. to try to train in civility and focus.

  23. Unfortunately, governments at all levels have glommed on to global warming. This in spite of the uncertainties in the science and the disagreement between data and models. This development brings into play the huge resources of governments, including their sweeping legal powers, and politics into play.

    These facts make politics fair game. This is where the Etc part of Climate Etc comes into play, to the chagrin of many. World governmental bodies, the politics of individual nations, the politics of political parties of nations, and individual political leaders have had and are having significant impacts on citizen’s wealth and freedoms. Due to these sad facts, posts concerning same are fair game, IMO. Not only are they fair game, but they are directly relevant to the climate science/global warming debate.

    The impact of government regulations and loss of individual freedom could well cause much greater harm that increases in CO2. And that’s why this all matters.

    Thank you, Dr. Curry, for including these aspects of the debate in your blog.

    Also, I’ve learned a lot about the science as an added bonus. I thank you especially for that.

  24. Tom Scharf

    This is my favorite blog that routinely increases my climate knowledge.

    I don’t have time usually to read 100′s of comments unless my workload is light, but as far as I am concerned, it is one of the best comment forums around. There is less hyperbole and mostly non-religious views from either side, although we all know what side of the fence someone is on within two sentences of their post.

    It is a statement of the politics of the science when this blog is somehow considered too skeptical or out of balance by some. I have to really disagree with Pekka that this blog leans too far, although it is definitely “not supportive of the consensus”. Does this endangered species of balanced climate blog exist anywhere?

    The dynamics of this debate is, as GWB would say, “you are either for us, or you are against us”. And once you publicly step off the reservation as a climate scientist, you get ostracized and ridiculed by the climate thought police. To put it simply, you are made an example of. The message is that this will happen to you too if you step out of line. Negative points for critical thinking.

    It isn’t very important to me that activists like Mann, Romm, etc. get their panties in a wad any time their views are questioned, but what bothers me the most is that others in climate science just sit idly by and watch it happen. They refuse to publicly support an open debate when the self elected enforcers of the consensus try to shut the debate down.

    So keep up the good work.

  25. Professor Curry, I certainly hope your decision to step down was voluntary, and not a result of the administration kicking The Chair out from under you.

    Climate Etc has become a must read for me. Thank you.

  26. Judith, I think you’re doing a super job here, and I’m very relieved to see that you are going to stick with it (while reading this post I feared some coming annoucement in the text, that you were pulling out!) Climate Etc. can get rather robust at times, but this is a place of genuine debate on major issues about which folks are very passionate, so to some extent that is to be expected. Though my time is limited and I can’t always follow as much as I’d like, I’ve read from the begining and for me the experience has improved, because themes have developed and hence *progress* on these themes can, imho, be claimed. Your broad range of interests seems to act as both catalyst and cross-fertilisation for the wider debate, and judging by quotes out in the wider world I think Climate Etc. is a very positive force in that debate. As for spending more time on sociological aspects, I applaud that too, because whatever is happening in the climate system (whether good, bad, or indifferent), the concept of CAGW has caught the imagination of society and spawned major effects that are just as deserving of investigation as the mechanics of the climate system itself. No debate would be complete without this aspect. I hope your career continues to develop productively, and that despite the lack of renumeration you feel justifiably proud for the immense service you are providing to the future of humanity, whatever way that develops (and in whatever climate!). If Climate Etc is making a few folks angry, that’s probably no more than justification that you’re doing the right thing; a challenge to comfort zones can do that. Thanks for the mention :)

  27. Took me a minute, but I was able to place Max’s writing. He will be missed.

    As others have noted, this is a great place for discussion of complicated issues. The back and forth is notable. The enforcement of civility is not heavy handed but does seem to be effective. This in itself is a minor miracle.

    As surface and other temp data diverges from popular models, I think the climate debate may be evolving away from the dichotomy of “warmists” vs. “deniers.” It seems to be moving more in the direction of what the divergence represents. This is not yet mainstream but it does seem to be growing. This is very encouraging. CE is a huge part of that movement.

  28. Michael Edwards

    Michael Edwards: I have had only had a few months to enjoy your website, but it is the only one on “climate change” that now goes directly to my email notification. Working as Chem Engineer 40 years (first 5 in Oak Ridge Nat’l Lab in Tennessee, on conversion of coal to products), when I first encountered climate change – of course the same people saying now the climate is warming were at that time saying we were going into the next Ice Age. No shame among these guns-for-hire. Whatever will get them the next grant money. Appreciate the civility here. Have been following the controversies for the last 20+ years at least, and know where the evidence is (and is not).

  29. David Young

    I continue to appreciate Climate Etc. and to use it as one of my primary learning tool about this topic. Pekka is always a great contributor and interesting to read. His insight here is critically important. Many climate blogs tolerate ridicule of legitimate scientific points of view, name calling, and practice effective censorship by the use of inline responses by the blog proprietor. This is true at Stoat for example where Connolley is one of the worst offenders. Real Climate pioneered this dictatorial and egotistical practice. It is a blast from the old days of St. Thomas Aquinus who always stated the “heretical” position before responding and destroying it (at least in his own mind). ATTP is somewhat better but is spoiled by trolls who do the ridiculing for the host. Even Annan has allowed this kind of ridicule from ignorant anonymous commenters. Pekka has put his finger on the worst problems with climate blogs. I sometimes hope that these practices are caused by lack of time for effective moderation. Usually, however, it seems to be a conscious strategy of the host to try to “win” the debate in some childish sense. Upon reflection, it seems to me that climate blogs are particularly bad at this, perhaps because of the close connection to politics.

    Usually, the best skeptic blogs are better than the orthodox blogs in this. Climate Audit is a sterling example. The only thing I would criticize a little bit here Judith is the lack of moderation of name calling by a few serial offenders. You know who they are.

    • JC SNIP

      As a case in point, I have been working on simple hydrodynamic models of ENSO here:
      http://contextearth.com/2014/05/27/the-soim-differential-equation/
      This is a simple model of the Southern Oscillation index that mathematically describes the behavior of the sloshing of the Pacific Ocean waters using known physics of volumes of fluids [1].

      Does Young want to trash this model? He should give it his best shot if he is so sure of his abilities as a critic of fluid dynamics research. He can tell us exactly what is wrong about the intuition that such a model provides. He could also explain how skeptics should NOT be rejoicing in that we have a useful little model that describes the natural variability of temperature quite effectively.

      Just remember that concern trolls are not the ones that actually do the work.

      [1]J. B. Frandsen, “Sloshing motions in excited tanks,” Journal of Computational Physics, vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 53–87, 2004.

      • David Young

        We have a new article in AIAA Journal discussing the way forward in fluid dynamics. You deal a lot with simple models and I agree that these are often more illuminating that more and more complex simulations for chaotic systems.

        As to climate models, Judith and Annan among others seem to be concluding that I have been right about GCM’s. I actually am finding it hard to find material defending GCM’s in much detail. Lacis is an exception with his long recitation of the detailed sub grid models. But Andy works on these models.

      • David Young

        Just in case you are still paying attention, Web, here are some papers you might find interesting.
        AIAA Journal, pre publication articles.

        “Implementation of a Separated Flow Capability in TRANAIR.”

        “Numerical Evidence of Multiple Solutions for the Reynolds’ Averaged Navier-Stokes Equations for High Lift Configurations.”

      • Nice job. So you evidently know how to keep an airplane aloft. Present it to your next show-and-tell.

      • David Young

        These are general negative results that have consequences far beyond aerodynamics. Basically, there are lots of steady state solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations with common turbulence models. We just discovered a new one in the last few months. This is interesting because people assumed previously that there would be stable and more or less unique solutions, just as Conolley and others make that assumption for climate. It is probably not true.

      • Steven Mosher

        Congrats David.

    • Robert I Ellison

      But it is not really a model is it. Models are of 2 types. Black box in which the essential physical processes are not relevant – and those that use physically realistic physics.

      Webby uses a solution of the wave equation for an elliptical, constant depth bathtub and magically applies it to the Pacific in some sort of homeopathic like math .

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Mathieuplots_zps3ec1411a.png.html?sort=3&o=7

      This doesn’t look anything like the SOI – so he modulated by the QBO. The QBO reflects the state of ENSO – so is a dependent variable and this by no means implies a greater understanding of the whole system. We already know that the QBO reflects ENSO.

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n5/fig_tab/ngeo2138_F2.html

      This gives something that fits relatively poorly to the SOI? So we have poorly fitting a curve to a series that is already known with the odd idea that the QBO is more predictable than ENSO.

      Utter mad nonsense that is delivered in a particularly aggressive, bombastic and adversarial style. There is little in fact to distinguish it from the worlds of mad blogosheric unscience infesting the web.

      I have presented before a different multiple linear regression that seems ultimately a better model – more inclusive of what is known – than webby’s copy of the temperature regression method.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/StockwellandCox_zps14182b63.png.html?sort=3&o=55

      And yet he contuse to miss the essential facts of ENSO. More madness of the climate war.

      • Robert I Ellison

        … continues…

      • Chief and WHUT, best to move this never-ending discussion to open thread, thx

      • Robert I Ellison

        It has run it’s course there and everywhere else. You obviously missed the tone of finality.

        It echoes other famous arguments of the climate war. It gets cold and then warm. The atmosphere warms and then expands and cools. The surface knows when the photon is from a colder source. The world is cooling from the core out. There is a quantum shift in greenhouse gas isotopes that causes warming and cooling.

        I am sure I have missed some. Curtailing the endless repetition of this and other mad arguments of the climate war is really up to you. Not to mention the endless sophormoronic dissections of personality and perceived bias repeated in the same words in some clown cause or other. Then we have endless rehashing of the same warmist or sceptic classification systems. Add to that the aggressive adversarial bombast and there is very little left of any worth or substance.

        Mind you the other blogs are far worse – from my very limited exposure. They exist purely to promote one view or another – even if it is just a personal view. Not to indulge many different perspectives that are equally mad.

        Is there a middle path? It won’t be found on blogs. Blogs are in this sense a failed experiment. It consists of blind insistence on one idée fixe or another. It usually devolves into echo chambers or isolated and lonely outposts in the blogoshere. That this site has not owes more to the inner compulsion to prove the sceptics – especially Judith Curry – wrong.

        My own obsession springs from a conviction that neither side have made the conceptual transition to a system that – when pushed past a point – takes on an internal dynamic of it’s own.

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=12

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

        ‘An unusual application of force could cause unexpected behavior. Hit it hard enough, and the device might do something different from anything seen before. For example, the arm of the balance might bang against the table, and the ball could bounce out of the cup and roll away.’

        Off the table, over the carpet and under the sofa there to plot revolution with the fluff balls and lost potato crisps.

        Apart from the latter it is of course the most modern – and the most powerful – conceptual model of climate.

        It deserves the most modern, practical and pragmatic responses. I’s suggest that the Copenhagen Consensus analysis of post 2015 MDG is the best road map to the future currently.

      • Robert I Ellison

        And yet again we have some trivial post by springer – in some weirdo idiom – that is of the type that typically get’s deleted.

      • David Springer

        Weird idiom coming from a guy who has all the odd names that you use on this blog seems to indicate no small amount of projection is at work.

        Blog comments are all trivial by definition. Don’t be so self-important. It’s pathetic.

      • Robert I Ellison

        It was a comment that has been disappeared. A measure both of the weirdo idiom and the substance springer seems generally incapable of.

      • It has been demonstrated over recent times that the only successful science web sites are the ones that actually perform science — see John Baez’s Azimuth, Terry Tao’s What’s New, etc. This particular one will continue to be a lost cause as long as impediments to science such as JC SNIP are allowed free reign to create a mockery of any creative scientific ideas.

        You would think that this particular blog would move in a forward way, as many of the best and most creative scientific ideas have come from true skeptics and iconoclasts.

        Yet it hasn’t been a complete waste. I will have to post on my blog all of the “unintentionally” useful ideas that have come out of this blog, mainly from skeptics who were hoping that their ideas would prove AGW wrong — but actually came around to boomerang in their faces.

        Sometimes you just have to look into the abyss to find out where nature’s demons are hiding.

      • Robert I Ellison

        The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

        This idea is the most modern – and powerful – in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond.

        The theory suggests that the system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital eccentricities – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

        Climate in this theory of abrupt change is an emergent property of the shift in global energies as the system settles down into a new climate state. Climate evolution is discontinuous at the scale of decades and longer.

        In the way of true science – it suggests at least decadal predictability. The current cool Pacific Ocean state seems more likely than not to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002. There are scientific bonus points for having predicted this a decade or more ago – as some did. The flip side is that – beyond the next few decades – the evolution of the global mean surface temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum.

        Spin this one webby – just remember who said it first. In the meantime – I have certainly had enough of aggressive nonsense from people who remain clueless whatever the evidence suggests.

      • Sorry, Robert, it is too late for the US National Academy of Sciences to get in a leadership position on the global climate issue now.

        In 2008 I personally told the President of the US NAS, in front of members of the public and the US Space Science Board, that he was destroying the credibility of NASA by aligning that agency with the AGW fable.

        Even after Climategate emails were released in late November 2009, the US National Academy of Science tried to justify manipulation of temperature data.

        Yes, Earth’s climate has a long history of sudden change, but that is not new theory for which NAS deserves credit.

        http://tgrule.com/2014/06/10/1984-has-arrived-the-witch-hunt-against-independent-research-and-analysis/

    • > practice effective censorship by the use of inline responses by the blog proprietor

      That’s a weird new defn of “censorship”: where your comments are published. I notice that you’re rather more coy about the direct censorship – the refusal to publish comments – practiced at, say, WUWT, or BishopHill.

  30. And, eighth, the policy debate about regulatory and technological responses to climate change rarely, if ever, take account of the health/safety aspects of environmental regulation. Many of the regulatory measures and tech developments proposed to mitigate climate change are the very same (or similar) measures and developments proposed to mitigate non-climate health/safety concerns. Yet is its rare, if at all, that the costs and benefits of policy measures are tested against both aspects of the issues; climate change and health/safety. I suggest more discussion of the overlap in proposed regulatory measures and tech developments and how, if at all, that overlap may affect the impact of uncertainties surrounding the climate change issue.

    Regards,

    MK

  31. Rest in peace max.

    And it has been a pleasure to be able to comment on this blog, while following the opening of at least one person’s mind to critical analysis of her own beliefs on climate science.

    It was interesting to watch the same phenomenon for a time on Keith Kloor’s blog. But it didn’t last. He eventually could not continue treating comments from skeptic and conservatives with the respect his initial flirtation with skepticism permitted. His tribal instincts overcame his brief excursion into real critical analysis.

    Dr. Curry to the contrary, even after becoming the target of attacks and ridicule in her own profession, especially by such lesser lights as Michael Mann, not only held firm but has continued to challenge and grow in her own views. (It is a process I, and every conservative I know, ha gone through at one time or another.)

    She has reached the point where she has called outright for the ending of the IPCC, and in a recent post even self-identified a a skeptic, on a certain aspect of the debate. That is quite a journey from where she began.

    It is this that really accounts for Pekka Pirila’s increasing discomfort over time. But this blog allows the comments of views as diverse as lolwot, Fan, Joshua’s, to…well…mine. While I find myself ever more in agreement with Dr. Curry on climate issues, I suspect we are very far apart on many others. Yet she allows me to express my views without restriction (except perhaps when I become a bit too…irritable.) Yet she has never edited or deleted any of my comments based on content.

    She understands that politics is at the core, not of radiative physics, but of the policy debate, which is what the real fuss is all about.

    It is a pleasure reading her posts, and an honor to be welcomed into her Internet home.

    You will know them by their fruits. The fruit of Dr. Curry’s efforts here is a free, wide ranging debate on one of the most important public policy issues of out day. It is a testament to her blog that Max was a regular denizen, who also felt at home. He will be missed, and she will hopefully continue in her efforts despite whatever obstacles might be set in her way.

    • (And as for blog improvements…my kingdom for an edit feature.)

    • Patience grasshopper!

      Max was the genuine e-salon denizen, humor and rational
      argument w/out full on ad hominems, recognizing that the
      underlying seriousness of a problem situation transcends
      the satisfaction of immediate personal, well, satisfaction.
      (Kim’s ‘eschew guilt and fear.’)

      Say, If’n yer haven’t watched the John Adams TV series,
      well watch it! George Washington and that old bull,
      Benjamin Franklin. )

  32. 4 years is the same time that I, not an atmospheric scientist, but with very relevant experience, have spent to find out what I think is the truth. When I started out, what I knew, from simply observing that the underside of clouds got darker when droplets coarsened, was that Carl Sagan’s aerosol optical physics, introduced in its present form to Atmospheric Science by Lacis and Hansen in 1974, was plain wrong, and the sign of the AIE had to be reversed.

    Little did I realise but I couldn’t just go and write a paper showing why this was so, correcting the physics and using it to explain how ice ages ended and that there was no need for any CO2-GW to explain that. I submitted it then was told after 48 hours ‘Sorry, the maths is too complex for our readership’. The maths was easy; in reality, the work was not to be published because it destroyed the ‘consensus’.

    So, I then worked out how the atmosphere self controls so as to minimise surface temperature variation as insolation and cloud cover/albedo changes, also keeps GHG-(A)GW to exactly zero, on average. This is essentially the same as Miskolczi but with the real mechanisms and experimental evidence.

    Unfortunately, I also show that Atmospheric Science has been based on incorrect physics, specifically a failure to understand that Irradiance is not a real flux. Then I learnt that most people working in science misunderstand it, imagining that the S-B equation for a single emitter predicts a real heat flux as ‘photons’ continuously spurt out! This is simply not true, and it all goes back to Sagan!

    So, I set out my own extension of Planck’s physics of the source of a body’s irradiance and how it applies to the GHG-containing gas phase emitter and suddenly realised that not only was did net IR emission of the Earth’s surface not contain any of the self-absorbed GHG bands, so IR absorption in the atmosphere has been exaggerated 5.1x, none of that energy can be thermalised in the gas phase because to do so would breach Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation. As for the application in Climate Modelling of that Law to ToA, that is also for the birds with a semi transparent absorber/emitter.

    I am just finishing the second paper. But it too destroys the ‘consensus’; can’t do that can we? In the mean time Obama is going all out to destroy the US economy so he can enrich GE and GS, who backed him for President. Will I be on a target list to be eliminated by the Fascists? Or will I simply be placed in the Virtual Gulag of a no-fly list and not to be allowed to get a job because I am seen to be an enemy of the state for having the temerity of being an open-minded, and dare I say, a damned good scientist unafraid of ferreting for the truth for 4 years, despite being attacked endlessly by self-opinionated science failures and people taught incorrect physics that mostly comprise this non-science?

    It wasn’t like this when, 45 years ago I was taught physics by real Nobel Prize winners, including a man who had been a post-doc under Max Planck! As a result I always go back to first principles so as to get out of the kind of cul-de-sac Climate Science has got itself into and cannot reverse because it is politically unacceptable, hence set out to lie and cheat to pretend it was all fine!

    • “Irradiance is not a real flux. Then I learnt that most people working in science misunderstand it, imagining that the S-B equation for a single emitter predicts a real heat flux as ‘photons’ continuously spurt out! This is simply not true”
      I would to read a comment about this statement from a physicist.

  33. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    Pekka writes: “Gradually her own contributions have, however, moved too strongly to the skeptical direction. Whereas she once proposed an uncertainty that’s larger in both directions, she has recently been promoting lesser uncertainty on the upper end, and more on the lower end only. In my view, her arguments in support of that are really weak, essentially non-existent.”

    “Essentially non-existent?” How depressingly revealing. Love to see Pekka explain how her arguments don’t exist. To be fair, I assume he’s saying that Judith’s arguments are so void of logic…and meaning… that they’re easily refuted…

    What say Pekka? Refute away…..

    • There are a few points here

      1) The symmetry of the influence of uncertainty. It’s most common to consider uncertainties relative to a central value (average, median, mode, ..) that does not move when we change uncertainty estimates. As long as that is accepted, more uncertainty means more concern and more reason to react, not less.

      2) In my judgment Judith was more explicit on the point (1) before than more recently. That I judge her as having been less explicit does not necessarily mean that she has changed her own thinking, but I have perceived a clear change in how she has discussed this point. The change is towards more weight on the possibility of less warming

      3) The non-existence of evidence refers to presenting justification for the change (2) that exists at least in my perception. When no explicit evidence is presented, we have the case of non-existence of evidence.

      • Don Monfort

        Look at it this way, Pekka:

        A case is being made (rammed down our throats) that humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere is going to cause catastrophe. A long list of the catastrophic results (that gets longer and worse than we thought, every day) is provided by those making the case. They say that this is settled science.

        My take on Judith’s evolving understanding of the unsettled science is that she believes the case for catastrophe is getting weaker/more uncertain. She is not also obligated to believe/say the uncertainty extends to the upper value of a catastrophe that she finds increasingly less likely. See what I mean? Her central value is decreasing. Why would you expect her upper value to increase?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pekka Pirilä: The change is towards more weight on the possibility of less warming

        I see your point, but not your attribution. That is, it isn’t a change in Prof Curry’s attitude toward uncertainty or climate change, but a movement in the weight of the combined evidence; it was recognized by the change in the pdfs for climate sensitivity published by IPCC in AR4 and AR5.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Pekka,
        Seems to me Judith is quite justified in discounting the probability of the very high end of the sensitivity range. I note that most of the very high sensitivity values come from GCM’s, and these model have multiple (and growing) problems accurately simulating Earth’s climate. Even the IPCC’s best estimate of aerosol off-sets has been revised downward from AR4, and the data from ARGO suggest that heat accumulation in the ocean is well below what many (most) models predict. Discounting the high end of the IPCC’s sensitivity range seems to me a perfectly rational thing to do. I am really not sure why you seem to disagree with this.

      • On the net perceptions are what matters. My perceptions are certainly different from those of the others, but mine are the only ones I have.

        The kind of discussion I presented is 100% subjective. Furthermore it was written on another site, which implies that I wrote it to influence in some way the audience of that site. I always try to be honest, but that doesn’t mean that I would have only one message that’s independent of the context and the audience.

      • I’m gonna resist snarking about your variable message, Pekka, because the evidence of your trying to be honest is compelling. Now, all we have to do is get you more scared of cooling than warming, and you’ll be alright.
        ================

      • “Now, all we have to do is get you more scared of cooling than warming, and you’ll be alright.”
        ____
        Or better yet Pekka, don’t let fear be a motivator at all and simply remain curious and open-minded and let those guide you.

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        “The kind of discussion I presented is 100% subjective. Furthermore it was written on another site, which implies that I wrote it to influence in some way the audience of that site. I always try to be honest, but that doesn’t mean that I would have only one message that’s independent of the context and the audience.”

        Pekka, Respect you more if you’d just say, “I was to a certain extent talking out of my a## when I so sneeringly dismissed this distinguished woman’s arguments as so weak as to be virtually non-existent.”

      • Heh, RGates, owner of the 4:40 comment, also owns a Human Carbon Volcano. He has it by the patio, next to the Electric Goat.
        ============

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        Fair enough Pekka to complain that Judith has become more skeptical than you think is justified, but perhaps you can step back and appreciate how rare it is for anyone in the climate wars to alter their views in a substantive manner. How many can you think of….on either side…who’ve done so? Muller? No, he’s a fake apostate. Will you at least concede that such a change likely takes guts? And integrity?

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        “electric goat.”

        Hah! Too funny, Kim. Fan of Phillip K. Dick by any chance?

      • i have seen things you bots wouldn’t believe….
        =============

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pekka Pirilä On the net perceptions are what matters.

        That isn’t necessarily. For some netizens, what matters are propositions and evidence.

        Perhaps perceptions matter to you, and that is what you have said: you personally perceive a change in the balance of this blog, but you are unconcerned with the accuracy of your perception.

      • Pekka @ 3.56: “I always try to be honest, but that doesn’t mean that I would have only one message that’s independent of the context and the audience.” But I presume that your messages would be consistent with each other? That they would all reflect your overall understanding, experience and beliefs? Just as, I think, do Judith’s messages. Of course, if you disagree, then it is fair comment to call her out on discrepancies.

      • ==> “Muller? No, he’s a fake apostate. ”

        Indeed. There is only one true Scottsman, and it is a woman.

      • ==> “but you are unconcerned with the accuracy of your perception.”

        What a bizarre line of reasoning. Because someone has a different perception than you, you conclude that he is “unconcerned” with its accuracy. Because, obviously, if he were concerned about accuracy, he would agree with you.

        So simple, isn’t it?

      • This is, also, quite good:

        ==> “For some netizens, what matters are propositions and evidence.”

        Such a simple world.

        If there’s one thing that Pekka has established, it’s that propositions and evidence don’t matter to him. This is obviously true because he disagrees with you about something.

        It is interesting that we can tell which netizens think that propositions and evidence matter simply by ascertaining whether they agree with you. Those that agree with you, do think so. And those that don’t agree with you don’t think so.

        Just a coincidence, of course.

      • Faustino | June 9, 2014 at 12:52 am |

        Pekka @ 3.56: “I always try to be honest, but that doesn’t mean that I would have only one message that’s independent of the context and the audience.” But I presume that your messages would be consistent with each other? –

        Such as, if Pekka were to explain Christmas to 4 year old and Pekka were to explain Christmas to 40 year old, both messages would be consistent?

        –That they would all reflect your overall understanding, experience and beliefs? Just as, I think, do Judith’s messages. Of course, if you disagree, then it is fair comment to call her out on discrepancies.–

        Well. They might find it interesting.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: What a bizarre line of reasoning. Because someone has a different perception than you, you conclude that he is “unconcerned” with its accuracy. Because, obviously, if he were concerned about accuracy, he would agree with you.

        Reread what he wrote: he wrote that on the net perception is everything.

      • Matthew R Marler

        oops. He wrote: on the net perception is what matters .

      • Matt -

        Re-consider what Pekka might mean by that. Do you really think that he thinks that “on the net…” propositions and evidence don’t matter, so therefore your distinction between his view and those of “some netizens” is meaningful?

        I think not. I think that judging from Pekka’s analysis regularly found in these threads, we can all safely assume that he doesn’t merely dismiss propositions and evidence “on the net” as meaningless

        Likewise, I think that asserting that he is “unconcerned with the accuracy of [his] perception” is ill-founded.

        My guess is that he was trying to account for the reality that sometimes his perceptions are necessarily infused with subjective determinations and evaluations. I could certainly be wrong about that, but I think it is a far more plausible interpretation.

        There are a number of things that I disagree with Pekka about – but I don’t think that you will find evidence for your (stated and implied) propositions.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: My guess

        ’nuff said.

      • Matt -

        ==> “’nuff said.”

        Yes, exactly. Because like Pekka, I acknowledged subjectivity whereas you confused your opinion with fact.

        Try addressing the point.

        For example:

        Likewise, I think that asserting that he is “unconcerned with the accuracy of [his] perception” is ill-founded.

        Where is your evidence that Pekka is unconcerned with the accuracy of [his] perception?

        This will be good.,

    • George Turner

      Given the uncertainty, and the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” ^_^, I’d point out that the range isn’t from zero to some large positive value, it is from some large negative value to some large positive value. Zero would be in the middle, and the last place that could be ruled out.

    • David Young

      In fairness to Pekka, at ATTP, the trolls have become a real problem and barrier to open discussion. I suspect his comments on this were aimed at them. Does anyone remember our old friend, BBD, and that he was completely an impediment rather than an enlightening influence. I think Judith probably and correctly banned him. At ATTP, he is the chief alter boy, even having suggesting the blog name. The other feature there is the SS (I mean SkS) foot soldiers who are likewise often unhelpful and are simply amateur apologists for the consensus but can be mean and nasty too. I note that Pekka does not excite the immune system there because he is such a genuinely nice person. :-) What I found is that its impossible to really discuss any possible problems with climate science or even Mann there.

  34. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    I’m very sorry to heat about Max. I always very much enjoyed his posts. He was a lucid and sometimes brilliant thinker who never lost his sense of humor, or his sense of proportion. He’ll be missed.

  35. I belive I have read all posts at your blog since you started. Not understand evrything. But I am very thankful!

  36. Matthew R Marler

    Pekka Perilla: I discussed in that length Climate Etc, because the thing that I really wish to see on the net is open discussion of points that involve genuinely outstanding issues (as opposed to fake controversies). Everyone who has spent an effort to learn about the issue and who is sincere (not obviously trolling) should be allowed to participate without getting ridiculed.

    I am not clear on what he means by a “fake controversy”, and I am skeptical that a working distinction between “fake” and “genuine” controversies can be achieved. This parallels my thinking that “fake skeptic” is an empty phrase, because no one can reliably distinguish “true” skeptics (and skepticism) from “fake” skeptics (and skepticism).

    On his other point that the blog seems to have moved to far in the “skeptical” direction, it seems to me that the more science is discussed, the more it becomes clear that two main claims of alarmists have little justification: (1) that more CO2 will necessarily produce more warming in the future; (2) that warming, should it occur, will in the main be detrimental. What Pekka perceives as a flaw in the blog strikes me as the natural progression as one moves from simplistic knowledge (the basic radiative equilibrium model) to more comprehensive and detailed knowledge.

    Also, if one is going to disparage Prof Curry and ClimateEtc for going too much in one direction, I think one ought at least consider an even stronger disparagement of Mann, Schmidt, et al at RealClimate, who remain closed to considerations of any difficulties in the simplified alarmist theory of CAGW. If it is true that many climate scientists still rally behind Mann and Prof Curry is considered a pariah, then those climate scientists need their heads examined.

    Like Prof Curry, I want to thank the many contributors, especially those who post links that I can follow.

    Not least, many thanks to Prof Curry for supplying and maintaining this blog.

    • Pekka finds it more and more difficult to defend alarmism on this blog. Well, yeah.
      =============

  37. Rud Istvan

    Judith, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You are developing not just a serious discussion platform, but also a way to rethink how some aspects of science get done and communicated. ‘Popular’ journals like Scientific American have by and large failed at that in the past decade or so, at least in the climate and energy areas I am familiar with. The Internet provides a new channel (both for information and disinformation). We are all just learning how to use it appropriately.

    • David Springer

      +1

    • Rob Starkey

      Scientific American has become nothing more than a site dedicate to the spread of propaganda on the topic of AGW. The no longer allow comments pointing out the errors in their articles

      • David Springer

        I’ve been a SciAm reader for several decades. Never used the website except to link to articles that appeared in the dead tree version.

        Blog comments are bottom of the barrel for reliable sources of information. Blog articles are only the next rung up. One more rung up is cab drivers and hair dressers.

  38. I can see where Pekka thinks that Judy has gone more rogue. My take is that Pekka tries to stay more scientific and is scientific minded. As such I’ve learned from pekka’s comments. IPMeng thinks it reveals a prejudice on Pekka’s part.

    The consensus science is trying to introduce facts in support of human caused climate change as possibly poducing (a) perilous event(s). Now consensus itself is a broad definition and may include many skeptics that is also a broad definition. The idea that the science is settled goes only as far as radiative transport as far as I am concerned. It is silly, arrogant and counter productive for persons to decree from on high what is science without question. No one has ever had ultimate intellect not even Einstein or Hawkings. It is far to big brotherish to me.

    The skeptics play a different role but an important one. They are of course looking for errors in fact finding, flaws in reasoning and trying to prevent policies based on poor science. The policies are where the wars really begin but they generally need some scientific backing. The fear for skeptics is unwielding mitigation that will cause economic disruption. They also fear big brother control and many think this is the primary motivator. The fear for the consensus folks are natural disasters as a threat to life on earth.

    Now Judy, being a consensus person, has evolved into a skeptic and has a unique and important role in my view. So I disagree with Pekka with the view that this is a bad thing.

    • >So I disagree with Pekka with the view that this is a bad thing<

      I've commented before that Pirila has constantly disappointed me, although I couldn't quite pinpoint why. Perhaps this is it

  39. Matthew R Marler

    fwiw, I prefer more embedding, like today. It’s easier to distinguish asides I want to follow from those I want to skip.

    • Absolutely agree

      Many comment replies confuse or conflate, but answering or questioning them puts this at the end of the sub-nest where it simply loses its context

  40. Matthew R Marler

    I’m sorry. I think the word is “nesting” for what I called “embedding”.

  41. Professor Curry,

    Your blog has been a great assent to society since

    _ 1. Climategate emails and documents in late November 2009, and
    _ 2. Subsequent responses from government leaders and scientists

    Provided overwhelming evidence that publicly-financed consensus science is a tool of propaganda for government policy.

    AGW skeptics won the debate; AGW believers still have the political power.

    May you find a way to peaceful solution to this scientific dilemma.

  42. Robert I Ellison

    I am sorry about Max. The methodical organization always give me a smile. It is so antithetical to my own style – or perhaps lack of it. Vale Max.

    • I’ll say good things about you too, should you go before me. :) It’s the differences that enrich us – as long as we take time to stand back and appreciate them. Thank you for this comment.

  43. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    Your reaction to the abuse and vilification heaped on you by many ‘outspoken’ climate scientists has been remarkably measured and controlled. My hat is off to you for continuing your blogging in spite of the abusive attacks from ‘the team’ and their many cheerleaders. You may be so angry in private that you throw things… I sure would be… but your control in public has been extraordinary.

    • David Young

      I agree Steve. However, perhaps judith knows that in the future she may be viewed as a trailblazer. If she is right, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain the obviously wrong.

  44. Greetings! I rely on this blog to balance the barrage of (mostly) self-serving, pro and con climate change information that lands in my mailbox daily. Scientifically, I am not in the same league with you and many of the other regular participants. This is about me and my current project:

    http://www.pelicanweb.org/abouteditor.html

    It is very important to clarify the science-policy interface, and you are doing a wonderful job. Personally, I think that we already have enough evidence of both social and ecological degradation to warrant more emphasis on the human side of the issues. A major cultural evolution may be required before the end of this century, and climate scientists will need to combine math and physics with greater understanding of the humanities in order to contribute more as scientists.

    What to do during the Summer? Try reflecting a bit more about humanity, philosophy, theology… As one of my engineering professors often said, “the humanities are the most important course in the engineering curriculum.” At this point in human history, it could be that the humanities are the most important part of the “Etc.” May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your work and dedication!

  45. RobertInAz

    I also thank you for your efforts and perseverance. As an Arizona native living in an area with many farms, I seem to be more relaxed than most even if the most extreme predictions of global warming come true.

    We moved to Arizona after too many winters in the Midwest during which the promise of global warming failed to prove out.

    Has there been a perceptible backlash against Georgia Tech or its researchers related to your blogging?

  46. I have lurked for quite a while but only started posting comments here recently. I’d like to thank Judith because this is just about the only busy climate change blog on the internet where it is sometimes difficult to work out where on the ‘denialist-believer’ (insert better term if available) spectrum many commenters are, because many tend to stick to the science. I have learned a lot.
    I’ll go and post something up in Denizens now, as I hadn’t noticed it before. Long story short: I’m a very very very lukewarmer.

    • I’ve long identified myself as a ‘lukewarming cooler’, readily conceding some unknown warming effect of CO2 but believing, on the basis of the concatenation of cooling phases of the oceanic oscillations and on Livingston and Penn’s Cheshire Cat Sunspots, that we are naturally going to be cooling for decades, or centuries.

      We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
      ===============

    • We are warming. We will be warming for a very long time. The oscillations of a warming body of water – the oceans will be persistently warming on the vast majority of years in an era widespread use of fossil fuels – disallows a period of significant cooling dominance.

  47. Robert I Ellison

    Misunderstanding here. I am arguing that climate model and observational inferences of high upper end sensitivity are falling apart. However, in my writings on climate surprises, catastrophes and fat tails, and abrupt climate change, I clearly do not dismiss the possibility of something really extreme happening to the climate. However, it makes no sense to think about these concepts in terms of our traditional understanding and calculation of ‘climate sensitivity’.

    There are 2 elements – abrupt climate change and real changes in toa radiant flux and the reasons for that – and both rely on data and not just so narrative or even more just so models.

    The US National Academy of Sciences defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

    Anastasios Tsonis suggests that decadal surface cooling and warming results from a change in energy uptake in the deep oceans or a change in cloud and water vapour dynamics. Both seem likely. In the simplest case the cooler or warmer water surface loses less or more of the heat gained from sunlight and so the oceans warm and cool. It produces a residual rate of warming considerably less that the rate of warming between 1976 and 1998.

    In the latter case Dr Norman Loeb – Principal Investigator for NASA’s Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) – shows that large changes in the Earth’s energy dynamic occur with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. However, CERES commenced operation just after the 1998/2001 climate shift.

    Earlier satellite data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP-FD) shows a substantial step increase in cloud at the turn of the century. Furthermore – an intriguing project originating with Dr Enric Pallé at the Big Bear Solar Observatory made photometric observations of light reflected from the Earth onto the moon from 1998. Short term changes in global reflectance – is for the most part cloud changes. A climatologically significant step increase in albedo was observed at the turn of the century. Project Earthshine has since expanded to three – soon to be to a global network – of robotic telescopes.

    The latest climate shift was 1998/2001.

    So starting at 2002 – http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

    Cloud cover changes as a result of changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=112

    We have the likelihood of a lack of warming over decades yet – at the price of an inherent instability of the climate system. A dilemma until it is properly understood. Which frankly seems unlikely anytime soon.

    However – once solutions are conscientiously sought there are obvious ways forward. The most promising currently is the Copenhagen Consensus analysis of post 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

    BTW – a journal article always seemed the only real purpose of the blog.

  48. Slightly off topic but relevant in terms of how things have become polarized. Can I introduce the trolley problem (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem) And in particular the fat man on the bridge part of that ethical dilemma. Now consider that climate change is the trolley…

  49. Dr. Curry,

    As one who suffered enormous damage to my professional career because of insistence on honesty and integrity, I greatly admire the courage you have demonstrated.

    Groupthink and careerism are the antithetical to the scientific endeavor.

  50. Pekka Pilira has stated the following on his blog:
    “Even when all the above caveats are taken into account, it remains true, that results, whose analysis involves complex models are not necessarily any less accurate or reliable than more direct observations. Estimating their accuracy is often more difficult, but when that is done carefully such results should not be given any less value.”

    Now this is the problem of climate science in a nutshell: Presentation of often illogical opinion as truth. Models can only be verified by observations so they cannot a priori be equally valid as the observations they depend on. With this skewed perspective it’s no wonder he believes that uncertainties on the high side have the same value as the low side. However this is a notion that would only ever arise in soft sciences such as climate science, psychology or economics where they ritually skew their results to fit a preconceived prejudice. In hard science and engineering we care a lot more about model verification with unbiased data collection and as little statistical post-processing as possible. And if nature tells you the model is wrong then it is wrong.

    • JamesG,

      No model is of any value as representative of reality without some way of comparing it with empirical observations. That comparison may, however, have many different forms.

      For all climate models part of such comparisons comes through the laws of physics like conservation of energy and momentum. These laws of physics are thoroughly verified by empirical work. All models are linked to the reality through other comparisons as well. Whether the full set of such comparisons that supports a particular model has more evidential power than some separate set of observations for another approach, is not a trivial issue. it cannot be given a generic answer. Only case specific factors can tell.

      • Pekka. I am well aware of the physics equations involved and of the many simplifications required to use them in a model (each of which requires it’s own individual validation) as it has been my daily job for 25 years to create such models. So please not seek to lecture me about it. Modeling the planets climate system is the most difficult task we could undertake and is certainly not possible yet, not because of the known physics but because of the physics (and biology) that are left out of the models either because of complexity-reduction or just because they are unknown in the first place. It is clear that their is no real understanding of what natural variation consists of and no real explanation yet of what has caused past cooling events. Pretending that things you don’t understand have little value is called ‘looking for your key under the light’ and is a fallacy. Unless and until the models contain sufficient of the physics to replicate spatially and temporally many important parts of the real climate system then they most certainly cannot be remotely relied upon. Do you really not understand that or does your job enforce you to pretend otherwise?

      • JamesG,
        I have retired several years ago, and am fully independent. My web pages may give a slightly wrong impression more relevant at the time they were put up.

        Unless and until the models contain sufficient of the physics to replicate spatially and temporally many important parts of the real climate system then they most certainly cannot be remotely relied upon.

        That’s essentially what I have tried to say.

      • “For all climate models part of such comparisons comes through the laws of physics like conservation of energy and momentum”

        Yes, I can understand how important the ‘ conservation of energy’ is when examining the steady state temperature of a rotating planet, on a tilted axis, which has an elliptical orbit around a star that gives a reasonably steady influx of short wave radiation and emits in IR to space.

        As a physicist you could be very useful in any scientific debate, but you intellectual snobbery and refusal to acknowledge that using the equilibrium approximation to a steady state system only provides one with a guesstimate of the system means you are worse than useless.
        There are many aspects of the basic physics of the interaction of SW/IR radiation with sea water, land and ice that are unknown and would be fertile ground for exploration, but investigative physics into basic phenomena is so old school and not as much fun as sitting in front of a computer and running models.

        Expirementalists get kicked in the teeth all the time, it isn’t always fun, but it keeps one grounded to the existence of an actual reality. If you don’t like getting kicked in the teeth, you ignore reality, make models and pick supporting information.

        The aerosol levels have been flat for more than a decade. CO2 has been has been rising. Methane has been rising. Temperatures are flat. With each tick of the clock, the upper estimate of climate sensitivity drops, with each swing of the pendulum, the possibility of CAGW recedes and as day follows night, the integrity of scientists in the eyes of the people who pay our wages melts.

        There will be a reckoning, and we will know who has been naughty and who has been nice. Like the song Pekka, ‘Whose side are you on?”

      • Ya’ gotta love a “skeptic”

        Because they say something like this:

        ==> “Expirementalists get kicked in the teeth all the time, it isn’t always fun, but it keeps one grounded to the existence of an actual reality.”

        And follow it with something like this:

        ==> ” and as day follows night, the integrity of scientists in the eyes of the people who pay our wages melts.”

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2014/5/21/more-on-public-trust-of-scientists-you-tell-me-what-it-means.html

      • It’s not clear to me how you can view the performance of the models over the past 20 years, and then pointedly complain that an assessment that the high end of sensitivity may be lower risk than previously thought is not warranted, and even unsupported by ANY evidence.

        If lower observational temperatures than models predict is not an indicator of lower sensitivity, than what is?

        The “null model” of models not matching observations is that the models are wrong. It is clear there isn’t a good understanding of why they are running hot, but incorrect climate sensitivity is certainly a valid argument.

        An argument that it may be too early to make that judgment is valid, but only to the point that one commits to how long or how large a discrepancy is necessary to make a judgment like this.

        Instead we are treated to an endless moving of the goalposts, and endless rationalizations of how the models may still be correct (which may in fact be true, but gets less likely every year). Are we to wait 30.00000 years before we are allowed to start making judgments on the models?

        What is telling is that when the climate establishment rolls out explanations for the models running hot, many times (most?, all?) the explanations don’t even include lower climate sensitivity in the list of possibilities. Not even on the list of possibilities???? It is very difficult to view this as anything but a biased viewpoint.

      • Josh

        35% of the UK public think scientists adjust their findings to get the answers they want and 34% believe hey don’t.

        http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3357/Public-Attitudes-to-Science-2014.aspx#gallery%5Bm%5D/0/

        Only 36% of Americans reported having “a lot” of trust that information they get from scientists is accurate and reliable. 51% said they trust that information only a little, and another 6% said they don’t trust it at all.

        http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/tabs_HP_science_20131209.pdf

      • Doc-

        Those numbers are meaningless without context.

        (1) For all you know, those numbers w/r/t scientists reflect greater trust in them as a group than with any other profession. So what does that tell you?

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2014/5/21/more-on-public-trust-of-scientists-you-tell-me-what-it-means.html

        (2) You are making longitudinal conclusions base on cross-sectional data. A serious scientist would only do that if they are allowing their biases to corrupt their reasoning.

      • Did you actually read Kahan’s or just look at the graphics?
        The scientists who developed the HPV vaccine are not the people who are distrusted, the program by which girls were targeted to receive the HPV vaccine was not designed by scientists. The program to vaccinate girls and not boys, so creating a huge viral reservoir was not ‘scientific’, it was someones idea of a good idea. Now, associate a technological science based development, with a policy that invites scorn in a large segment of the population and science/policy become fused in peoples minds.

      • ==> “The scientists who developed the HPV vaccine are not the people who are distrusted, the program by which girls were targeted to receive the HPV vaccine was not designed by scientists.”

        That’s irrelevant to the discussion. The data he presents shows that your conclusions about trust in scientists are meaningless because they are absent any context. Where is your evidence to show a drop in trust in scientists over time? For any drop in the public’s assessment of scientists’ integrity you can show, you need to show some evidence for the causality you described. If there was a change, who was it among? If it was among some demographics and not others, why is that the case? Did it increase in some while it decreased in others? Where do you show the assessment of integrity relative to other groups? Where do you show a change for scientists relative to change for other groups – wouldn’t you need that to support your stated causality? Has it dropped but still remains higher than in any other group? You don’t know. You don’t know any of that. Not one little bit of it.

        You got nuttin’, yet you don’t allow that to stop you from formulating a conclusion. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh?

      • For some reason I can’t post the part of my comment where I quote you. Bizarre. So I won’t quote you and just give the rest of my response:

        Your discussion of the vaccine is irrelevant. The data he presents show that your conclusions about trust in scientists are meaningless because they are absent any context. Where is your evidence to show a drop in trust in scientists over time? For any drop in the public’s assessment of scientists’ integrity you can show, you need to show some evidence for the causality you described. If there was a change, who was it among? If it was among some demographics and not others, why is that the case? Did it increase in some while it decreased in others? Where do you show the assessment of integrity relative to other groups? Where do you show a change for scientists relative to change for other groups – wouldn’t you need that to support your stated causality? Has it dropped but still remains higher than in any other group? You don’t know. You don’t know any of that. Not one little bit of it.

        You got nothin’’, yet you don’t allow that to stop you from formulating a conclusion. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh?

    • Pekka. I don’t want a food fight but what you actually said was “such results [ie model-based] should not be given any less value.”

      As an aside I’ve been looking through the list of other logical fallacies and found many of which apply directly to climate science. The particular one which convinces scientists that AGW is even more clear to them, despite the failure of models that were the only ‘evidence’ of AGW in the first place, is called the ‘backfire effect’.

      Bad science and indeed bad advice from all self-proclaimed ‘experts’ is an endemic problem but when it is based on sanctimoniousness rather than real evidence then it is most to be distrusted.

      If this were a discussion about dark matter then nobody would care but since our energy future depends on those who rely on absurd projections from inadequate models that perform a mere mathematical cloak around circular reasoning then this is one to really care about. Alarmists do not have the moral high ground here! Indeed so far the cure is worse than the putative disease – and this despite me always having been the most fervent supporter of alternative energy in my peer group. I sincerely hope an alternative energy breakthrough comes before our self-righteous leaders steer us straight off a cliff.

      I dearly wish those scientists that tacitly support Judith while keeping their own heads down would man-up as much as our hostess has – for the sake of all our futures.

      • James G. Do you know of any publicly available data on total column water vapor up to at least 2013? Preferably already in a chart, but tabular would work.

        Also, do you think total column water vapor would be a better indicator of feedback from increasing CO2 or would specific humidity be better?

        If specific humidity, what altitude and why that altitude?

      • Bob Ludwick

        @ JamesG

        “Indeed so far the cure is worse than the putative disease – and this despite me always having been the most fervent supporter of alternative energy in my peer group. ”

        Thank you!

        I have often said that CACC does indeed pose an existential threat to civilization. Not because of any minor influence of CO2, anthropogenic or otherwise, on the ‘climate’, however defined, but because of the political actions being taken citing mitigation of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (nee CAGW) as justification.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn notices  “With each tick of the clock …”

      … the oceans have heated, the sea-level has risen, and polar ice-mass has shrunk … globally, without pause, through many decades of years, and without obvious limit … and now the troposphere temperature pause is ending too.

      Purely on the science, the time has come for rational skeptics to accept the Amici Science (Friends Science) worldview … scientifically, naturally, morally, economically, politically, and (soon) legally.

      That’s common sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

      You’ll soon adjust to this scientific reality DocMartyn!

      Young climate-researchers in particular appreciate this well-grounded scientific reality, don’t they Judith Curry?

      \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}
      ——-
      The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

  51. nottawa rafter

    It didn’t take long for me to appreciate how much of a true scientist Judith is in the best and old fashioned sense of the term. Her detached objectivity and professionalism always shines through. This blog is an invaluable resource regardless of which side of the debate you may be on. I do hope it continues for a long time.

    Since I am not a climate scientist and there are so many claims on both sides as to the facts, occasionally a summary of what is “known” and universally accepted versus competing viewpoints would help to sort out the state of the science. As an example, some analysis of the MWP and how reliable the data are in trying to evaluate recent temperatures against those of the MWP would help to put the arguments into perspective.
    I can’t imagine having a better source for my own education than what I have received here.

    • “Since I am not a climate scientist and there are so many claims on both sides as to the facts, occasionally a summary of what is “known” and universally accepted versus competing viewpoints would help to sort out the state of the science.”

      While I certainly agree, to date, every attempt at this that I have seen has tended to be studiously ignored or disparaged by Team Consensus (TM). Indeed, Judy’s “journey” (including this blog) grew out of her desire to encourage Steve Mc in just such an enterprise – it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Not for lack of trying, but I feel from a lack of good faith from Team Consensus (TM) – or perhaps, instead of lack of good faith, I should instead say an excess of attempts to balance being honest with being effective.

  52. Nice. If airplane design models were at the same stage as climate models, its unlikely there be “a whole lot of flying going on”.

  53. 1) This is one of the very best climate blogs IMHO, and for the reason given – it is a safe haven for sincere questioning. It is, unfortunately, almost impossible for me to read the most important pro-AGW blogs, because of the sneering and snarling, and the constant impugning of motives. I do like James Annan.
    2) Pekka is one of the best contributers, and one that I always look for. So is curryja.
    3) I think I agree with Pekka’s point. If Dr. Curry still is concerned about extreme outcomes – and I don’t doubt it – she still hardly ever posts about it. I know that fat tails on Black Swans are hard to study, but if that’s the most important issue there is – and both Pekka and Dr. Curry think so – it should get more play.
    4) My feeling is that there are hardly any posts that don’t pull in the skeptical direction, a little or a lot. Pekka probably feels this way too.

    • “My feeling is that there are hardly any posts that don’t pull in the skeptical direction, a little or a lot. Pekka probably feels this way too.”

      I question why this is a bad thing – certainly the most interesting and unexpected discoveries in science generally seem to come more from “that’s odd…” rather than “just as I suspected…”, more from “what if that’s not true…” rather than “we already know…”. Sure, most of those type of questions lead to dead-ends it’s true, but the odd one that doesn’t usually seems to lead to the diamond in the rough, so overall it seems a worthwhile strategy. Given that’s true even in “mature” areas, how much more valuable in the “immature” areas like climate science?

      Just sayin’…

      • Well, at least the thing Pekka is complaining about, (the lack of mention of) really extreme disaster scenarios, is against the current consensus of the IPCC, which says that these scenarios are very unlikely. Dr. Curry has said before that she doesn’t trust the IPCC on that either.

    • My feeling is that there are hardly any posts that don’t pull in the skeptical direction, a little or a lot.

      Real Science is always skeptical. Every thread should have some skeptical direction. Especially when the Model Output continues to diverge, more and more from real data. CO2 is a trace gas. Human CO2 is one molecule in ten thousand. It does not meet with common sense to not be skeptical that it can be in control.

      Dr. Curry has make her views known, but she does encourages being skeptical. That is encouraging real science.

      Consensus is a closed shop where no one can even acknowledge the possibility of a mistake in theory.

      There are mistakes, or the Model Output could/would match real data.

  54. Michael Larkin

    Judith, I visit your, and other climate blogs, every day. I’ve watched the progress of your blog and noticed your increased scepticism over time. Over the years, I’ve come to trust you–when I can understand you, that is. Which brings me to my suggestion.

    The reason I don’t always understand you, particularly in technical posts, is that I’m not a specialist in any area of climate science, physics, statistics, etc. It’s very rare one comes across an article on any of the blogs that I think explains things at the right sort of level. They tend to either be too simplistic, or too technical; now and then, Willis Eschenbach tends to get things at just the right level, but no one else comes to mind.

    My suggestion concerns the possibility of having an educational section of your blog where either you or interested volunteers post articles on key topics in climate science, attempting to explain them accurately but at a level that the intelligent layman can grasp, and that you judge to be unbiased.

    Over time, this could build up into a useful resource, and possibly make your blog even more popular than it is. There’s also the chance that if it became widely known you had an educational section, it could become a watering hole for MSM reporters who would have somewhere to check out the basics.

    I hope you will consider the practicability of this idea and want to thank you for your blog.

    • Rud Istvan

      ML, I would welcome your feedback if Judith does not. WE often does independent statistical analysis of ‘stuff’. I am grabbing IMO wrong published stuff and trying to deconstruct where it went wrong, for lay audiences that include myself and you. The educational corner, if you will. For me, at least. If I cannot write it down, then I don’t understand it, is a rule of thumb. Boy you should see all the Folders of stuff where I cannot write anything yet.
      Take my last guest post, Tipping Points, which concerned melting versus ‘sliding’ of the last major ice sheets. Or a previous one that is even more powerful than the blog version, Shell Games, concerning ocean acidification. What could be done better? Serious request for further enlightenment, from someone who is spending all free time researching and writing on stuff like this for folks like you.

      • Michael Larkin

        Rud, if you could give me a link to something you consider your best effort, I would be happy to look at it and provide feedback.

    • “My suggestion concerns the possibility of having an educational section of your blog where either you or interested volunteers post articles on key topics in climate science, attempting to explain them accurately but at a level that the intelligent layman can grasp, and that you judge to be unbiased.”

      That would nice.
      http://scienceofdoom.com/ sort of does this,
      But I don’t find it useful. But sometimes things from it show up in a Google search. I would say that this is it’s intention, it’s just not very successful.
      I would just like a coherent explanation of the theory of global warming.
      And for instance it’s said that without CO2 earth would -18 C. That doesn’t even agree with wiki’s version.
      But then again what does a world with average temperature of -18 C “look like”. Is it a world with a warm tropics and very cold poles?
      Or what would our world look like if it was 5 C warmer. Or how about 10 C warmer.
      We have people imagine earth could become so warm, that humans could only “survive” in Antarctic. Why is this wrong. Or does any one think this is anywhere near possible.
      My view is global climate is all about global ocean- so climate science is, in my opinion, is not even addressing the issue relevant to the matter.

    • I’ll second those comments from ML. I have engineering degrees and a physical science-based career, and sufficient aptitude (I like to think), but I am not educated in climate science. Climate Etc (and other blogs to a lesser extent) have helped me get some feel for the issues, but I don’t have time to sift through a lot of comments very often, and I especially don’t want to only see cherry-picked arguments from either side. As one dives deeper into a given question, you so often find that one side or the other left out key arguments of the other side, even coming from top scientists who have public profiles on AGW/CC. It leaves me overwhelmed and frustrated.

      Additionally, at risk of sounding elitist and randomly picking on one perfectly fine career, I especially don’t want to slog through comments of two dentists arguing their personal thoughts on climate physics. (The Climate Dialogue blog seems to be a fix for this, though I’ve not made it far into it yet.)

      I’d love to see a joint-effort educational resource written for folks like me assembled by seemingly objective folks from the middle or both “sides” (say…Curry and Ed Hawkins?) that lists key or unresolved climate change topics/details of interest and fairly presents the arguments of both sides. My idea is like the voter guides that some states send out before elections, from the state level, written by a bi-partisan commission, that tries to present the facts and views of each side.

      For just one example of a topic that might be on that list: is the 1910-1940 warm up well understood and is that viewed as significant? For a different flavor: is climate change research well organized and focused? Is there consensus on what climate science should focus on for the next 20 years? What timeframe and level of effort is needed to reduce uncertainty.

      Thanks.

    • I’m not sure why dentists are such a popular example. Perhaps it is resentment as expressed (jokingly) by one of my patients. “It’s bad enough I have to pay you to cause me pain but you don’t have to act like you enjoy it.”

      • Ha. It was mostly random…though maybe I made a point to pick a field with smart folks, just with little background on climate physics.

    • Maybe consider reading a book about climate.

      • That wasn’t exactly what I was looking for first, but it is a good idea all the same. Do you have a particular book that you’d recommend? Thanks.

      • I am not too familiar with English popular books, but this one was recommended to me as a good one.

        The Rough Guide to Climate Change

        “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” gives the complete picture of the single biggest issue facing the planet. Cutting a swathe through scientific research and political debate, this completely updated 3rd edition lays out the facts and assesses the options – global and personal – for dealing with the threat of a warming world. The guide looks at the evolution of our atmosphere over the last 4.5 billion years and what computer simulations of climate change reveal about our past, present and future. This updated edition includes scientific findings that have emerged since the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as background on recent controversies and an updated politics section that reflects post-Copenhagen developments. You can discover how rising temperatures and sea levels, plus changes to extreme weather patterns, are already affecting life around the world. “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” unravels how governments, scientists and engineers plan to tackle the problem and includes information on what you can do to help

    • Read the Science of Doom blog from the beginning

  55. Political Junkie

    As a frequent lurker, I have had many pleasant hours here and thank our hostess for that. A couple of comments:

    The beginning of her note did sound like an unfolding exit plan – delighted it wasn’t so.

    One gets frustrated here by the incessant back and forth immature nattering by some of the regulars. I wish they would start their own blogs and just go away. At the same time one of the truly outstanding features of this blog is the lack of censorship. Light moderation is better than the heavy kind.
    I notice that McIntyre keeps a bit tighter rein by insisting that folks stay on topic.

    Pekka’s comments are of course realistic from his perspective. Some believe that we have a solid understanding of the science and that Mother Nature’s failure to read IPCC reports is a simply a temporary lapse. Others think that steadily mounting observational evidence is proof that we still have a lot to learn. Along the continuum between the two positions Pekka and our hostess are at different places and the gap may indeed be widening. But one senses that Pekka’s civil nature and willingness to engage will make him a poor fit at some other sites more aligned to his academically developed views.

    In the big picture, this blog’s a clear winner. As long as Judith hangs in, most of us will too!

  56. I think what you’ve done with Climate Etc among many things is developed a model of a successful and useful blog. As some have mentioned, other blogs can be shaped too strongly towards a certain position at which point, they lose some of their life.
     
    I think the Denizens can help with maintaining a good balance of views. Non-skeptic commenters seem to be a bit under represented, and their views are some of the ones I look forward to reading. Climate Etc could become even better and accomplish more with a more welcoming environment.
     
    Thank you Dr. Curry for providing this blog.

  57. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    I’m a great fan of synchronicity, the Crazy Uncle, in the causation, correlation, linkage extended family. Before I respond to your request to help you improve your blog let me share this recent example of synchronicity.
    It was with some amusement that having made my first Comment at RealClimate last night, I accessed your forum this morning to see that one of their moderator’s bit of nastiness concerning you was true. Just not in the way they meant.
    A later commenter on RC mentioned they had partially informed you of the theft of your material, so I suspect this is not news to you. If offended by the moderator’s response, I hope you’ll remember while “Imitation is the highest form of flattery,” envy is the most delicious emotion to elicit in those who don’t like you.
    I refer to this comment:
    48.Can someone explain to me how Judith Curry comes to be writing attacks on Michael Mann for this virulently anti-Israel ‘news’ service? https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/ipcc-third-assessment-report-and-the-hockey-stick/

    [Response: Looks like a simple cut-and-paste job. I doubt she knows anything about it. - gavin]

    [Response: I think we're long past the point where anything Judith Curry writes is worth either reading or responding too. It's actually rather sad what has happened to her. I hope her cries for help are heard. -mike]
    Until I got to that second response I had been thinking that RealClimate had improved. In this thread there was more civil give and take, a more diversified group of opinions and a plea by the moderators…”hopefully, commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is).”
    My response in part to the moderator:…”such a comment’s insinuations seem way out of bounds to me; certainly not in line with the rules you would seem to want your commenters to follow. Consider this a finger wagging Tsk. Tsk. Mike.
    While I’m sure some of your readers would have favored a non-wagging finger accompanied with a scatological string of invective, as a California driver I’ve found my passive/aggressive approach more difficult to defend oneself against, and thereby more effective.
    Which leads me to my ideas about improving your blog. While banning, moderating, or even shaming as one commenter suggested, can be effective, every elementary school teacher knows Gold Stars are the answer. Positive reinforcement tends to produce co-operation, good behavior, striving to excel, and many more other desired good behaviors than punishment. Misbehaving to get attention seems to be a popular path taken; in school, in family dynamics and more relevantly for me, in many of the blogs I monitor.
    While I’m sure others will have better ideas of what could be a Gold Star for Commenters, here’s my suggestion.
    Start creating a “Best of Archive.” Allow only the best Comments from each of your individual postings to make into that Archive. Or even only your best postings. If you just put 5% of the Comments in the Archive, I don’t think any future reader will miss much, except what I usually contribute. I don’t think you’ll find it much more difficult than normal moderation and your product should be an encyclopedic compilation of cogent climatological thought, free of the childlike misbehavior we all hate.
    The Gold Stars are, of course, having one of your Comments making into the Archived Super Comments. Please, please, please Ms. Judy make this Comment my first Gold Star. Teacher’s Pets, let the sucking up begin, I say.
    P.S. It was sad to hear of “Manacker’s” passing. In my opinion he would have garnered a lot of Gold Stars for the quality of his postings. His last gift to us was a reminder that our time on this Mortal Coil is limited, it’s end unknown. Don’t waste time on the small stuff, and especially don’t immortalize it on the Internet. Enjoy.

  58. Judith,

    I think your comments are very informative and wonderful. The past method of displaying the comments was very poor to me. I would see 350 comments jumbled together and my eyes would glaze over. I recently decided to just search for 2 or 3 commenters whose opinions I valued and that experience has been much better. Between other blogs such as Dotearth, climateaudit and Lucia’s Blackboard, the comments on this blog just seem much harder to read. It does seem like today’s changes have improved the readability of the comments somewhat.

    Again, I think the meat of the blog — your writings — are excellent. However, I am giving my honest opinion with respect to the readability of the comments. Thanks so much for your very fine work.

    JD

  59. John Carpenter

    Dr Curry, I really like what you have done with the blog over the years. I like that you are reflecting on what has transpired over the years and on what Pekka has to say. Please continue with an open mind, however it would be interesting on guest technical threads, which are more skeptical in nature, for you to express your position on the topic and why.

    Finally, the loss of Manacker will be felt here. He had a good way about him and he was a good example of how to have civil discourse yet still get a point across.

  60. Dr. Curry: Have enjoyed your blog for several years (though I rarely comment) and appreciate the work you’ve done and are doing to inject a bit of sanity to that frequently oxymoronic thing called climate science. Never noticed the “denizens” link, or if I ever did I didn’t click on it. Will happily supply a brief bio, of which at least 97% will possibly be true and none of it peer reviewed.

  61. michael hart

    If influential people are still seeking your testimony in the face of dishonourable objections from better known people, then you must be doing something right.

    And I would hardly call you strident when it comes to discussing the deficiencies of the climate models. If the data/evidence is leading you in this direction, then so be it.

  62. This article reminds me of Dr. Curry. She is very tolerate and tries to guide some of the “idiots” that visit her blog.

    PLEASE NOTE: This article refers to the death of a team member. In no way is this team member analogous to one of our denizens who died recently recently. Again, do not read anything into this coincidence.

    From the article:

    Whether these golden teams were online communities, departments at work, or volunteer groups, they shared a unique characteristic: Every team had one person involved who could most charitably be described as a well-meaning dummy, and – this is the important part – the team always treated that person well.

    In one volunteer group, our village idiot was Elliot. The most accurate description of the guy was “sweet but clueless.” Like a big puppy, he was always willing to help, but often got in the way. He was supportive and admired people who accomplished more than he did (which was everybody).

    http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2014/06/02/a-measure-of-your-teams-health-how-you-treat-your-idiot/

  63. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Congratulations Judith for your almost four years of blogging. In the last nine months, and thanks to your blog, I have gained a clear view about what is going on in climate “science”.

    I believe we are living a key time for science: because “rare” influences to scientists might discredit their sciences. As I have already commented some “rare” issues related to climate scientists, let’s move on towards another example: cosmology.
    In March 17, 2014, a lot of people was happily watching how Kuo was celebrating BICEP2′s observational results with Andrei Linde. But I was reading once and again all those papers. In March 23, 2014, I sent an email to Pryke and Kovac with a final question “could have these simulations been tuned in order to obtain that r > 0 result?”. I never got a reply from them but, since March 2014, more and more scientists have been discussing BICEP2′s results.

  64. Arno Arrak

    Thought I would write an addendum to what I wrote in 2011 in the denizens blog but you are not accepting any comments at all.

  65. Judith Curry wrote, “I was unable to keep that up owing to time constraints, and the fact that much of my primary research/academic efforts are on topics for which there isn’t much public interest (e.g. hurricanes, physical chemistry of clouds, ensemble interpretation methods, South Asia, wind power forecasting).”

    I would like to read more about hurricanes, physical chemistry of clouds, ensemble interpretation methods, South Asia, wind power forecasting and such. More writing on the above could raise public interest in those topics.

    Judith Curry wrote, ” … threads with more than 500 comments are very unwieldly [sic] … ”

    Sorting through 500 comments looking for an interesting nugget is not a good use of anyone’s time.

  66. Judith

    Your contribution is so great that it is incalculable and there is nothing more important and satisfying than being an honest practitioner of the scientific method that you are.

    I wish for four more years of Climate Etc.

    I thank you very much.

  67. Judith: There currently doesn’t seem to be a spot at the bottom of the denizen’s blog to leave biographical information.

    As for Pekka’s comments (whom I respect), anyone whose skepticism hasn’t increase at least a little over the past four years might want to do some reflection. Once Judith cut her ties to the consensus (an “anchor”) by starting this blog, no one should be surprised by how far she has drifted over four years. We are all shaped by our environments and hers probably has changed greatly. I worry about reading too much at skeptical blogs, but most non-skeptical sites seem unwilling to tolerate alternative points of view long enough to perhaps teach me why mine might need change. (I certainly don’t automatically believe much of what I read at some skeptical sites, but it counterbalance the mainstream media.

  68. Mike Flynn

    Professor Curry,

    Sorry to hear of Max Anacker’s passing. I extend my sincere condolences to those he was forced to leave behind.

    Your blog, for me, is obviously somewhat addictive. You exhibit a great deal of tolerance and forbearance. You are probably aware that some policy makers have been motivated to take action after reading your blog – discovering that some non consensus views appear to be factually based.

    It may appear to you to be a thankless task at times, but you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t really want to. Continue to enjoy it while you can – I’ve never seen anybody being miserable whilst under the influence of enjoyment!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  69. little polyp

    Judith Hi

    I am a lurker. My interest in this debate comes from a earthscience background and a knowledge of recent warm periods as known and measured in the southern hemisphere. Around many of these data points is a pool of ongoing debate. There are many things that we don’t know and remain the focus of good natured discussions with colleagues in the corridors, meetings, over lunch etc. That somebody could suggest little or no uncertainty in a subject as large as this rings alarm bells

    Thanks for defending uncertainty

  70. Kip Hansen

    Dr. Curry — Pekka is right on more than one front. The one most evident is the issue of the replacement of discussion with ridicule, rank name calling and personal attacks.

    Climate Etc. seems to handle this better than some of the other top climate sites, but it has crept in here. At the top climate site, it is rampant and has apparently chased off most of the sensible, reasoning guest authors and denizens — leaving mostly the ranters and ravers, the uncivil and the bullies who ride their horses down the sidewalks intentionally harassing the peaceable general public.

    Where civility does not rule, thoughtful discussion is not possible.

    Enforcing civility requires a team of careful moderators, who teach the rules of civility by warnings, comment deletion, “time outs” (temporary bans), and eventually permanent bans.

    The barbarians are not only at the gates — in the comment section — on some sites but they have invaded the inner sanctum.

    You have been wise to hold full control of guest bloggers. But at the current volume of comments, you could use a team of moderators to help restore the original quality of communication in comments.

    The essays posted here have always been of the highest quality of any climate site on the web.

  71. Judith, thanks for sharing those thoughts (I never thought I’d ever use that phrase!), I’ve had a lot of value from CE, and an opportunity to express my own thoughts. Keep on truckin’.

    For much of the time I’ve been here, I felt that Max Anacker was the nearest thing to a kindred spirit on the blog, in terms of shared views, outlook and style. Thanks, Max, your family will sorely miss you. Tony B, if you haven’t conveyed to Max’s family the esteem in which he was held here, please do so.

    • “Thanks, Max, your family will sorely miss you. Tony B, if you haven’t conveyed to Max’s family the esteem in which he was held here, please do so.”

      +1000

  72. Bad Andrew’s Climate Etc Con’s and Pro’s

    There is nothing unusual going on with the climate itself, so I will cut Dr. Curry some slack about the general content of her Initial Posts, which is usually poor. It’s hard to say over and over there is nothing happening(scientifically) and still keep an audience. So we have to accept some wordy goo that doesn’t really tell us anything.

    But, I think Dr. Curry does a fairly good job moderating, which is an impossible job, and maintaining an open discussion of related issues. She gets credit for that.

    Andrew

  73. Kip Hansen

    Correction to mine above ==> “The barbarians are not only at the gates — in the comment section — but on some sites they have invaded the inner sanctum.”

  74. Dr.,Curry,
    I have been a long time lurker and appreciate your views and those that comment on your site. I will miss the comments of Manacker. Please continue. I think of you as a professor that values her students and their ideas, as you have been our professor. You introduce ideas and look for input from all. Thank you!

  75. Peter Lang

    Trebly sorry to hear Max Anacker has passed away. He was my favourite contributor. So much wisdom, clear thinking, clear explanations, relevance to what is important, civility, and much more. I will really miss his contributions. I wish it wasn’t him that had to leave us too early. I am genuinely sad, and that is very unusual for me.

  76. Judith, you’ve done very well here and made a real contribution.

    As someone who has entered and exited the climate blogosphere several times I would advise you to take this blog in whatever direction really excites you. Our wishes do count, of course–nobody wants to blog for an audience of one–but I believe you will find your efforts more sustainable if Climate Etc. goes where you really want it to go.

    Here’s an idea–Planet 3 is in the doldrums. Michael Tobis and his blogging crew have been unable to create a sustainable community. Some of the reasons are fairly obvious, but even so, it’s a worthwhile effort and could use some support. Why not reach out and create a Minority Report for both Climate Etc and Planet 3 as a mutual effort at reaching across the line in the sand?

  77. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Rest easy, Manacker … Miha lanaau i kuakahiki ka newa na!

    \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}
    ——-
    The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

  78. I somewhat agree with Pekka’s perspective on Judith’s shift. I would phrase it that she has become more and more certain with time that the IPCC sensitivity range with its uncertainty estimate is completely wrong without any reservation. This is a level of certainty that has gone with a favoring of a specific type of posting, and some promotions and tolerance of dubious views, together with items aimed at tarring almost her whole scientific community as being either biased or coerced, and devoid of freedom of expression, unlike her and her denizens, who are apparently the only free thinkers left in the climate-change arena facing an organized barrage from these dishonest zombie-like people. There is another side, but it is not represented in the main posts here, only put forward by a few of us who write here in defense of it, and it is really defense here, because this blog is generally for the purpose of offense against the consensus view both on science and policy directions. Judith may not characterize it that way, preferring to say that all valid science or policy arguments are welcome, but this is its de facto role now.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Keynes.

      Things change over 4 years.

      • Judith Curry on facts: I argued that there are very few facts in all this, and that most of what passes for facts in the public debate on climate change is: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations; climate models that have been demonstrated not to be useful for most of the applications that they are used for; and theories and hypotheses that are competing with alternative theories and hypotheses.
        Link .

        I agree with Pekka and Jim D regarding the supportability of the shift in Judith Curry’s stance given her stated basis of inadequate emphasis on uncertainty in climate science. This is to be distinguished from whatever opinions one might have based on observation-driven Forster/Gregory type sensitivity analysis. I don’t believe the shift was guided by any “facts” that Prof. Curry might have since her premise has publically been the uncertainty/unknowability of climate sensitivity. However, her posts have leaned towards undue deference to studies highlighting low sensitivity and therefore have shown a one-sided uncertainty bias; or rather certainty that sensitivity is uncertainly on the lower side of the IPCC consensus. As Pekka notes, this is of course an opinion.

      • A remark on the very few high sensitivity studies that have recently been published. These are mostly of the following method: compare climate models with one metric (e.g. cloud cover, sea ice extent, boundary layer stability), select out the models that the best on that metric, then look at their sensitivities. The sensitivities always turn out high (although there is zero intersection of the models on these different metrics). Th reason the sensitivities turn out high is that the models didn’t get the natural variability correct in the latter half of the 20th century, and assume all warming was anthropogenic. So it follows that these models will have sensitivity that is too high.

        Perhaps I should do a post on this, since it seems of interest.

        On the other hand, the lower sensitivity analyses have pointed out problems with the statistics in many previous analyses that had high sensitivity.

        Sensitivity is a metric of limited utility (in context of how the climate system really works), and the different methods of calculating it all disagree. Note, I am co author on a sensitivity paper that was recently submitted; I agreed to coauthor this since it made a fairly sensible attempt to deal with the natural internal variability

      • Dr. C, “Sensitivity is a metric of limited utility (in context of how the climate system really works), and the different methods of calculating it all disagree. ”

        Yes, but it is one we are stuck with. Definitely makes the problem more of a challenge :)

      • Prof Curry,
        I’m all for being flexible enough to say one thing today and believing the exact opposite the next if that’s where my interpretation of the facts took me. It appears that you are weighing down on the lower side – thank you for being a little more explicit about this. In contrast, in 2010 you stated a belief in 0-10C sensitivity range which narrowed to 0-6C in 2011 . Going by your posts though, you have leaned exclusively in one direction within that range.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Jim D — As we pause today to reflect about the CE Blog, I want to say how much I appreciate your effort, dedication, and knowledge. Your efforts really make CE vibrant in trying to learn and would not be a great resource without you.

    • Steve F, I don’t see that the facts have changed, and the evidence has become greater, if anything, as it does with each passing year in the new warmest decade on record.
      Don M, I’m just agreeing with Pekka’s perception. This blog is probably different from the way Judith would have wanted at the beginning, as it has a distinct leaning now, and is far from objective in its main postings. Not as bad as WUWT, but in that direction.

      • While WUWT has value, it has been positioned too far to one side. Same with other blogs. Tongue in check, it’s a bistable situation. It takes work to to stay in the middle. But that work can have payoffs.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Factual changes:
        AR5 lowered best estimate of aerosol influences.
        AR5 lowered projections of warming over the next 20-30 years.
        ARGO based heat calculations and modeled ocean heat uptake diverge.
        Several empirical estimates of lower sensitivity have been published.
        The ‘pause’ in surface temperature increase continues.

        None of which means warming has stopped, heat accumulation in the ocean shows in fact that warming continues… albeit more slowly than 10 to 30 years ago. All of which suggests that upper end of the sensitivity range is becoming less plausible. Let me go way out on a limb: I predict that gradually very high climate sensitivity will become discounted almost completely; not likely discounted by you of course, but by most people.

    • Stephen, thanks for the words. I find this blog entertaining to post to precisely because it stimulates my thoughts that, in my opinion, are required to balance it out more.

    • I am reminded of the famous Krugman line on the seeming fair balance in the media. He remarked “that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read Views Differ on Shape of Planet

      And we know which side the CE deniers are on and where this blog’s editorial balance resides. If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

      • You mean the same Krugman who said “Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble” in 2002?

        He tried his best (with help from an army of useful idiots [cough]) to weasel out of his own words but there were enough examples to show he endorsed one of the most disastrous economic blunders of the last 100 years. I guess this makes PK a first class “denier”.

        http://mises.org/daily/6372/Krugmans-Call-for-a-Housing-Bubble

      • “In early 1999 I was asked to serve on a panel that offered Enron executives briefings on economic and political issues. As far as I knew at the time, they genuinely wanted to learn something. I resigned from that board in the fall of 1999, when I accepted an offer to write for the New York Times.

        I was actually paid $37,500. In 1998-1999 my normal fee for a one-hour business speech in Boston or New York was $20,000 – more if the speech involved long-distance travel.

        I did write monthly columns for two magazines in 1999, but I would not have described myself as a journalist. I wrote a monthly column for Fortune. I also wrote a monthly column, for very little money, for Slate.”

        Krugman. Note the very little money he got for non-journalism writing at Slate has to be compared against his normal 1999 fee of $20,000 an hour.

  79. I haven’t seen any examples of consensus type research findings that she agreed with in any of her blog posts. She has similar approach to WUWT. If any pro-AGW research or arguments are discussed, she will inevitably have something negative to say about it.

  80. Dr Curry Wrote:
    I get exactly zero academic credit for doing this (and in the views of at least one Georgia Tech administrator, I get negative credit for blogging and for my position in the climate debate).

    Is the official opinion at Georgia Tech Extreme Alarmism. Or, is it just some administrators? I would have thought you would have been out of there long ago if that was the “consensus of administrators” Some other administrators may be more skeptical and must hope you will stay. That would be very good.

    Consensus is not useful in any kind of Science. Science must always be Skeptical.

  81. As some have already noted, there was considerably more discussion of climate science issues on Climate etc. in the early years when Fred Moolten was an active participant.

    Since that time, Climate etc. has become more of a roosting place for climate denier types. But that should not be seen as a problem since Judy runs a basically open forum on Climate etc., so anybody who wishes to express an opinion has been welcome to do so.

    From time to time I have posted comments here, mostly to clarify my own thinking on various climate issues, initiated by the sometimes novel misunderstandings and contrary-to-physics opinions that have been raised here by skeptic and denier alike. It is easy enough to ignore the nonsense, but when there is time on hand to comment, I have done so just in case some passerby might benefit from seeing a more fact-based assessment of the global warming problem.

    My 2010 paper http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la09300d.html that was published in Science, and my 2013 paper published in Tellus B http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la06400p.html, describing the climate control knob nature of atmospheric CO2 were specifically written to address more directly some of the contrarian opinions that have been expressed here.

    So even now, the upstream comments by AlecM need to be flagged as being erroneous and indicative of total confusion as to what basic radiative transfer physics is all about, despite having taken a physics course from a real Nobel Prize winner 45 years ago.

    When AlecM proclaims that he has worked out how the atmosphere self controls to keep greenhouse gas global warming to exactly zero, essentially the same as Miskoczi, it is clear where AlecM is coming from. I have examined Miskolczi’s published papers (published in obscure journals to avoid any credible reviewing). Miskolczi’s analysis of global warming are erroneous because Miskolczi has an erroneous misunderstanding of Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation, nor does Miskolczi understand the basic radiative physics of the greenhouse effect. His erroneous conclusions are then not surprising.

    What I have found puzzling is that while Miskolczi has constructed a working line-by-line model to calculate the spectrum of the outgoing LW radiation (good enough for remote sensing applications), he has not been able to go further to calculate the down-welling spectral flux, cloud effects, and SW radiation – all needed to model global energy balance and the impact of atmospheric radiation on the climate system.

    Even more puzzling to me has been the contrary opinion on global warming expressed by Garth Paltridge, as posted here July 2, 2012 http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/02/garth-paltridge-held-hostage-by-the-uncertainty-monster/ Garth Paltridge never mentioned the greenhouse effect in his book on atmospheric radiation. So, perhaps he never seriously thought about the greenhouse effect and the related global warming problem.

    One would think that presenting a clear description of the basic radiative physics of global warming and the greenhouse effect will eventually become understood by all those who have the technical inclination to do so. But at the current rate of progress, I hesitate to predict when that might happen on Climate etc.

    • Thanks Dr. Lacis,

      Solid science-based replies like this are exactly the kind of thing that makes CE so valuable. For those who can get the “wool pulled over their eyes”, someone with a sharp pair of scissors coming along now and then the shear it away is quite useful.

    • Mike Flynn

      A Lacis,

      In the introduction to your linked paper, you state –

      “The greenhouse principle is simple in concept, and was first described by the French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier (Fourier, 1824). This insight occurred when conservation of energy was being formulated
      and quantified as one of the most fundamental concepts in physics, a topic central to Fourier’s thinking. Simply put, to the extent that solar energy warms the Earth, an equal amount of thermal energy must be radiated back to space in order to maintain global energy balance. Fourier concluded that much of the thermal radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface was being absorbed within the atmosphere, and that some of the absorbed radiation was then re-emitted downward, providing additional warming of the ground, over and above the direct heating by solar radiation.”

      Here is what Fourier actually said, according to a translation performed in 1837. I have partially quoted, in the interests of brevity.

      “The solar heat has accumulated in the interior of the globe, the state of which has become unchangeable. That which penetrates in the equatorial regions is exactly balanced by that which escapes at the parts around the poles. Thus the earth gives out to celestial space all the heat which it receives from the sun, and adds a part of what is peculiar to itself.”

      Fourier realised that the energy absorbed by a body in raising its temperature above ambient was exactly balanced by the amount of energy emitted as the temperature cooled to ambient when he energy source was removed. No more, no less. He also realised that the interior of the Earth being hotter than the environment surrounding the Earth, heat must necessarily be lost, continuously.

      Hence, ” . . . adds a part of that which is peculiar to itself.”

      You may have a different translation. Mine contains no mention of greenhouses, no mention of back radiation. No augmentation by re emission or anything similar.

      Anybody in doubt can easily read the treatise for themselves, although I suggest a pre 1900 translation. Some later translations seem to indicate the thoughts of the translator, rather than the words of Fourier.

      The rest of your paper seems to be a farrago of assumptions, assertions, and general misdirection. Of course, I may be wrong. The test is fairly obvious – are temperatures rising as predicted? I think not.

      Sir Isaac Newton kept believing in alchemical transmutation of metals. Lord Kelvin went to his deathbed refusing to believe that his calculations showing the age of had a Earth to be no more than 20,000,000 years. You may be more brilliant than these two, and be incapable of being wrong. Or maybe not – you would know.

      Sorry to go a bit off thread, but it was purely to reply to a poorly based appeal to authority, apparently made in an effort to stifle dissent.

      Global warming? Doesn’t seem so at present. Maybe you can explain the physics behind the lack of warming?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • David Springer

        Good. It’s hard to believe Fourier would have made the poorly worded misleading claim that Lacis reports.

      • Here’s how American Institute of Physics describes Fourier’s discovery:

        It was in the 1820s that Joseph Fourier first explained that the Earth’s atmosphere retains heat radiation. He had asked himself a deceptively simple question, of a sort that physics theory was just then beginning to learn how to attack: what determines the average temperature of a planet like the Earth? When light from the Sun strikes the Earth’s surface and warms it up, why doesn’t the planet keep heating up until it is as hot as the Sun itself? Fourier’s answer was that the heated surface emits invisible infrared radiation, which carries the heat energy away into space. But when he calculated the effect with his new theoretical tools, he got a temperature well below freezing, much colder than the actual Earth.

        The difference, Fourier recognized, was due to the Earth’s atmosphere. Somehow it kept part of the heat radiation in. He tried to explain this by comparing the Earth with its covering of air to a box with a glass cover. That was a well-known experiment — the box’s interior warms up when sunlight enters while the heat cannot escape. This was an over simple explanation, for it is quite different physics that keeps heat inside an actual glass box, or similarly in a greenhouse. (The main effect of the glass is to keep the air, heated by contact with sun-warmed surfaces, from wafting away, although the glass does also keep heat radiation from escaping.) Nevertheless, trapping of heat by the atmosphere eventually came to be called ‘the greenhouse effect’

        http://www.manhattanrarebooks-science.com/fourier.htm

        Denizens may need to enquire, hopefully without the need for FOIAs.

        If you need the original text, feel free to ask.

      • David Springer

        Try to follow the plot Willard. It was about what Fourier said not what someone else said about Fourier. The distinction may be too subtle for you.

      • David Springer

        http://tinyurl.com/n98uvxd

        The following links to google books American Journal of Science, Volume 32, 1837 where on page 4 a translation of Fourier talks about the greenhouse effect. Indeed it mentions the atmosphere and by the general principle of transparency to solar SW and opacity to terrestrial longwave.

        The coolest thing by far is that Fourier says the atmospheric effect is too smal to measure and the ocean which is the big kahuna as far as greenhouse effect.

        I’m pleased but not terribly surprised that both myself and Fourier recognize that seawater is a greenhouse fluid.

        Har har, hardy har har

        This distinction of luminous and non-luminous heat, explains the elevation of temperature caused by transparent bodies. The mass of waters which cover a great part of the globe, and the ice of the polar regions, oppose a less obstacle to the admission of luminous heat, than to the heat without light, which returns in a contrary direction to open space. The pressure of the atmosphere produces an effect of the same kind: but an effect, which, in the present state of the theory, and from want of observations compared with each other, cannot be exactly defined. Whatever it may be, we cannot doubt that the effect which should be attributed to the impression of the solar rays upon a solid body of very large dimensions, by far surpasses that which would be observed in exposing a common thermometer to the same rays.

        Pay attention Lacis. You’re being taken to school.

      • David Springer

        Wee Willie, if it’s all the same with you I’m going with a French to English translation done at the time for the predominant science journal on the other side of the pond.

        http://tinyurl.com/n98uvxd

        You’ll be happy to note that Fourier did indeed identify the greenhouse effect as currently understood with differential impedance to solar shortwave and terrestrial longwave through transparent media. The really cool part is he identified the effect in the ocean and speculated that it must also exist to some currently immeasurable extent in the atmosphere. Exactly what I’ve been saying. Here’s me in 2011 saying what Fourier said almost 200 years ago. I’m channeling Fourier!

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/#comment-720338

      • Let’s honor Max’ memory and provide a hint:

        Tous les effets terrestres de la chaleur du Soleil sont modifiés par l’interposition de l’atmosphère et la présence de l’océan. Les grands mouvements de ces fluides rendent la distribution des températures plus uniforme.

        That’s near the end of Fourier’s text.

        ***

        Mike’s quote loses something in translation. Here’s the original:

        Ainsi la chaleur solaire s’est accumulée dans l’intérieur du globe, et s’y renouvelle continuellement.

        Fourier says that the solar heat that is trapped within the Earth is continually renewed, not that the state is always the same. This matters because Fourier tries to explain the dynamics between the three heat sources he introduces in his introduction, i.e. Earth, space and Sun. In any case, he follows on with the realization that if only take into account these sources, the Earth would freeze like Dante’s Hell during night times, where the space’s cold would win over the Sun (p. 581; paraphrasing). Since this goes against our observation, something else is at stake.

        That something else is to be found in the first sentence we quoted, which I leave to Mike and Big Dave to translate.

      • David Springer

        So let’s see do I trust a contemporary science writer for the largest English language science journal in America to translate circa 1830 contemporary technical French to English?

        Or do I trust an anonymous internet coward with little to no science background writing in phuckin blog comment.

        What a difficult choice. /sarc

      • – David Springer | June 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

        http://tinyurl.com/n98uvxd

        The following links to google books American Journal of Science, Volume 32, 1837 where on page 4 a translation of Fourier talks about the greenhouse effect. Indeed it mentions the atmosphere and by the general principle of transparency to solar SW and opacity to terrestrial longwave.

        The coolest thing by far is that Fourier says the atmospheric effect is too smal to measure and the ocean which is the big kahuna as far as greenhouse effect.

        I’m pleased but not terribly surprised that both myself and Fourier recognize that seawater is a greenhouse fluid. –

        That’s an interesting reference.
        I think the way to terraform Mars is to make shallow equatorial ocean.
        And if Mars in past had shallow equatorial ocean in the past, it would have made Mars warmer.

      • From what I can read, Mike’s :

        > You may have a different translation. Mine contains no mention of greenhouses, no mention of back radiation.

        is false. Fourier even mentions Saussure’s experiment.

      • For Fourier, you want the text around p 586:

        “In effect, if all the levels of the air of which the atmosphere is formed were to retain their density and transparency, and lose only their mobility, this mass of air thus becoming solid, being exposed to the rays of the sun, would produce an effect of the same type as that which one has just described. The heat, arriving as SW at the surface of the earth, would suddenly lose entirely the faculty which it had of traversing diaphanous solids; it would accumulate in the lower levels of the atmosphere, which would thus acquire elevated temperatures. One would observe at the same time a diminution of the degree of heat acquired, above [a partir de] the surface of the earth [31.5]. The mobility of the air which moves rapidly in all directions and which rises when heated, the radiation of IR in the air, would diminish the intensity of the effects which would take place under an transparent and solid atmosphere, but would not entirely remove these effects.”

        And so on. My translation (http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/fourier_1827/fourier_1827.html#text).

      • David Springer

        No, you want the link I gave above to the 1837 translation

        http://tinyurl.com/n98uvxd

        in the American Journal of Science, Volume 32, July 1937

        This distinction of luminous and non-luminous heat, explains the elevation of temperature caused by transparent bodies. The mass of waters which cover a great part of the globe, and the ice of the polar regions, oppose a less obstacle to the admission of luminous heat, than to the heat without light, which returns in a contrary direction to open space. The pressure of the atmosphere produces an effect of the same kind: but an effect, which, in the present state of the theory, and from want of observations compared with each other, cannot be exactly defined. Whatever it may be, we cannot doubt that the effect which should be attributed to the impression of the solar rays upon a solid body of very large dimensions, by far surpasses that which would be observed in exposing a common thermometer to the same rays.

        The language is quaint but it perfectly describes the asymetric resistance to EMR propagation through ocean and atmosphere where solar shortwave has low resistance and terrestrial longwave has high resistance.

        No need for personal translations. The essential bits were translated and published going on 200 years ago.

      • Thanks!

        “À partir de X” should read “starting from X” or “X and above”.

    • David Young

      Andy, Wanted to ask you a question with regard to fluid dynamics. There is a new paper at the AIAA Journal (papers to appear) about Multiple Solutions for the Reynolds’ Averaged Navier Stokes Equations for High-Lift Configurations that discusses how badly posed the RANS equations can be for separated flows. It seems to me that this is a new negative result that throws doubt on GCM simulations as well. The issue here is that if there are multiple long time solutions, one is forced to consider some mechanism to distinguish their stability and reality.

      • The Earth provides a quasiperiodic forcing to synchronize the fluid dynamics over time.

        Do you not comprehend that the oceans and atmosphere show periodic characteristics?

        Certainly the numerical errors would propagate if there were not these strong boundary conditions that are evidenced by characterizing ENSO and QBO.

        But since these do exist, the models can resynchronize according to the forcing.

        I think the dude is misguided because he believes an airplane is the center of the universe. In actuality it is a speck of dust in comparison to the larger forces around it.

        Repeat after me. It’s the forcing, stoopid. And that carries over to the CO2 that we are dumping into the atmosphere.

        Bottomline is that I refuse to believe that climate scientists are en masse wrong about the way that they ar doing GCMs because some windbag sez so. I gave him a response that makes physical and mathematical sense and one that can be verified by simple models of ENSO, so I await a refutation. In such models it is easy to see that initial conditions are quickly swamped by the running boundary conditions of the forcing environment.

      • David Young

        It’s about the Navier Stokes equations not airplanes. Read the papers and bear in mind these are newresults that we’re unexpected by most in the field. We are rather proud of our discoveries.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

      ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

      Large ‘large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture?’ The complications are the true problem and not the extreme crazies from either side.

    • nottawa rafter

      A Lacis

      I would never be presumptuous enough to challenge any of the physics you provide. For my whole career I focused on results. So it is with this debate. So I will stipulate to all of your well thought out reasoning.
      My difficulty is with the observational data. If these effects are certain then please give me your rationale on the following. The pause. Record high Antarctic sea ice. No accelerating sea level rise per CU altimetry 3.2mm/yr for last 20 years. 3100 days since last cat 3 hurricane hitting US. No increased trend in tornadoes. No increased trend in droughts. The similarities between the 1910-40 temperatures trend vs latest trend.
      I challenge none of the physics. My challenge is given the physics why so many failed predictions.
      Thanks. I see the motivation of skeptics in a totally different light than you I guess.

      • David Springer

        +many

      • Instead of believing that these all constitute “failed predictions”, that it instead is a failure to understand on your part?

        Science always self-corrects and there is very little evidence that any of those factors that you mention have sufficient weight to resteer the course of our current knowledge of what excess atmospheric CO2 can do.

    • nottawa, have you considered that all the things you mention are too short-term to separate climate change from natural variation oscillations. Climate change is slow, and there is background noise of 0.1-0.2 C, which is the same size as a decadal trend. You can only be sure of being able to see the correct climate change signal over several decades, e.g since 1950.

      • nottawa rafter

        At least you gave an answer. And it may even have some merit. But note that Lacis did not attempt to answer. He expresses frustration with skeptics seemingly not understanding physics. I have frustration not being able to understand how warmists never want to address the apparent divergence between the physics, the theories and the models and yet attack the skeptics for continually bringing up these inconsistencies. At what point will committed warmists begin to wonder why the future didn’t turn out as they anticipated.

    • Rob Starkey

      Fred Moolten – who is so much of a believer in the potential harms of additional human released CO2 that he tried to defend the notion that human caused rising sea levels may have caused millions of deaths because of more severe storm surges. This is the science you are defending???

    • David Springer

      “I hesitate to predict”

      Well that’s certainly out of character for you.

    • The oceans have 500 times the mass of the atmosphere. Could it be that most of the weather and climate takes place in the ocean rather than in the atmosphere? There is all that water carbon and heat in the lithosphere too. Albeit the atmosphere is the outer bounding condition. It is also the smaller tail wagging the bigger inner dog bounding condition

      Modified temperature at the planet’s surface might have unconsidered consequence

      • Replying to self, using wikipedia … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_manifold

        For example, some global and regional models of the atmosphere or oceans resolve the so-called quasi-geostrophic flow dynamics on the slow manifold of the atmosphere/oceanic dynamics,[3] and is thus crucial to forecasting with a climate model.

        The expectation is that the manifold is stationary (?) With the atmosphere being 1/500 the mass of the ocean …

  82. Judith said: “In terms of my evolving assessment of the science itself, the deficiencies of climate models are becoming increasingly apparent and a number of things have moved from the ‘known’ into the ‘unknown’ category. ”

    And this approach is what you had wrong to start with. You apparently assumed the models were correct (or else why would your assessment evolve?) and yet there was never any scientific proof of that. In my chemistry training, we ran through the evolving models of the atom over the centuries. I was taught you make a model and then test it, only if the tests are satisfied do you accept the model, yet still with reservations. Why would you “evolve” only once these unproved models exhibited their deficiencies? A true scientist would have said, “Yes, you have some models. Test them and let’s see if they are accurate.” A scientist does not accept unproved models. Hopefully, when they release the new and improved models, you will retain and express the proper reserve.

  83. Maintaining such a site is certainly difficult. One essential point seems to be that the host concentrates more in keeping the discussion going than in declaring, what’s correct and what’s not. She or he can put limits and use moderation to prevent trolling, and to cut off argumentation with a fool, when that argumentation is not any more of value to others.

    The science is not settled. The people who disagree are not the fools. The consensus people who call them fools are the real fools.

  84. Perhaps you could have a swear box where when we feel too upset by other commentators we can do a really boots and all post and have it put into a never to be read file which can be automatically emptied for all 3 month old posts.
    The reasons a lot of climate scientists do not comment is obvious. The first is demonizing and isolating by their peers who would push the line that no comment and no dissent is allowed to prevent any break in the ranks. The second is the probable abuse that there comments would cop from whichever side was not happy with them. The third is the fear of being used as a poster boy for skepticism.
    I find a thread of > 500 comments unwieldy but F3 helps find threads just type in the name.
    I find communicating or criticizing 4 times a week lhelps let me vent my frustration with my view of the Climate world, similar to Fan and Web but opposite viewpoints.
    Taking our different views in your stride makes for a much more vigorous and enjoyable blogging experience. Even the Chiefio must feel better after educating the rabble though like Sisyphus he is condemned to repeat it time after time with some of his frienemies.
    On a sad note certain people have too much baggage invested to ever appear on these blogs.

  85. Stephen Segrest

    Dr. Curry — I’d like to see you starting using video (with graphics), especially where you and Steven Mosher jointly talk to us on topics.

  86. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Today’s XKCD shows what pretty much every scientifically literate citizen thinks about climate-change …

    …  except for an ever-shrinking ever-more-bizarre cadre whose median life expectancy is about 15 years (and shrinking).

    That’s obvious to *EVERYONE*, 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}

    • Such truths aren’t welcome here.

    • That just shows how indoctrinated and brainwashed is xkcd. It’s sad, really. 15 years is more than enough to melt all of the ’4 – 5 deg C’ projections (the 30-year linear trend will be clearly negative by then) and most warmists will jump off the bandwagon and claim they never really believed any of the AGW nonsense.

  87. Just a note to thank everyone for their kind words about Max. I have forwarded them on to his wife, Marianne.

    In particular the link from Fan brought a tear to my eye. I had heard this version of the song before but not seen the video. It was very appropriate.

    To all of Max’s friends, thank you.

    Tonyb

  88. I’ve greatly enjoyed the blog in recent years and have been watching with interest and increasing respect the intellectual journey Prof Curry is on. Keep on posting, keep on keeping it as civilised as possible, and keep on being rigorous and skeptical. The latest step in this journey – the increasing acknowlegment of the social aspects of AGW, the criticism of politicization of the science – basically bad science in support of worse policy – that is where in the end objectivity and intellectual integrity were going to take her.

    What she deserves great credit for is that she stayed on the train after she saw where it was going. Well done.

  89. Dr. Curry

    I have recently been more active in this blog. It was difficult at first and I had to fight the feeling that my opinions were invalid (authoritarian upbringing). The fact that you could withstand harsh personal attacks helped me join the fray.

    A rather strong diversity has evolved here. I am grateful to those writers who make uninformed comments, (I don’t like the word “stupid”). I feel less self-conscious about my own comments.

    Describing a scientific concept is very tricky. I learn and practice this on your blog.

    I welcome the new layering. It makes it easier to skip over the “tangents”.

  90. Willis Eschenbach

    Thanks for this post, Judith. I must admit, I cracked up laughing when reading Pekka Pirilla’s comments. I’ve cut the extraneous stuff out of the middle, and left the important objections:

    Thus I have concluded that Climate Etc is nowadays too strongly one-sided to serve as a forum for discussion that can maintain a wide audience and promote properly critical thinking.

    Also the writings and public appearances of Judith Curry herself have gone in the wrong direction to my taste

    I see this all the time. When I write something that a given person agrees with, I’m a genius. But as soon as they disagree with what I write, suddenly I’m just a fool going in the “wrong direction” …

    Regarding your blog, it’s a joy and a wonder. It occupies a unique place in the blogosphere, as it’s the only blog I know of that remains, however precariously, just about halfway between the blogs on both sides of the discussion. In my opinion, you’ve done a most marvelous job of keeping it balanced in that position.

    As to improving it, could you please, please get rid of Fan’s goofy hearts and flowers? They make your blog look like a convocation of Valley girls (actually, I think the proper plural noun is “a giggle of Valley girls”) rather than a place for scientific discussion.

    Finally, what is of most value (to me at least) is not the interesting stuff you post. It is your own unique, individual, idiosyncratic voice and view. The more of that you can find the time to provide, the more effect you have. Yeah, there will assuredly be jerks like myself who dispute your views … but we learn and profit from them as well. So my own admittedly selfish request for what I’d like more of in your blog are your ideas and your thoughts and your understandings.

    My thanks for your voice and your blog. As an author myself, I am well aware of the large number of hours a blog can swallow and the surprising amount of effort that it takes to keep the unwieldy ship on course. Very well done, Captain.

    w.

    • Willis said;

      ‘As an author myself, I am well aware of the large number of hours a blog can swallow and the surprising amount of effort that it takes to keep the unwieldy ship on course.’

      Willis, the only thing that keeps me going when researching and writing my own articles is that I know that someone at Big Oil is keeping a tally of the hours I spend and someday soon I will receive a nice fat cheque for my efforts. I expect you must scan your doormat eagerly every day for your substantial pay cheque as well.

      tonyb

    • Finally, what is of most value (to me at least) is not the interesting stuff you post. It is your own unique, individual, idiosyncratic voice and view.

      Judith: Hear, hear. I would add that not only is your voice unique but remarkably clear and dispassionate in this contentious realm. You write well.

    • David Springer

      +1

      That was uncharacteristically civil of you, Willis.

    • Steven Mosher

      Willis. Its not valley girls.
      Fans style is called “decora”

      following fashion trends and fads in Asia is a hobby
      ( visit Harajuku if you ever get the chance)

      Here is what it looks like

      http://tokyofashion.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Harajuku-Decora-Color-Explosion-2012-03-26-G9711.jpg

    • I disagree, seeing hearts and flowers provides an instantaneous and now involuntary movement on my scroll wheel in the downward direction until they are no longer visible…

    • Willis, Fans flowers are both instructive, easy to give the post a miss: or if you want some insight into how minds work, and annoying, as you point out intentionally so.
      Such is life.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Tom Scharf | June 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

      I disagree, seeing hearts and flowers provides an instantaneous and now involuntary movement on my scroll wheel in the downward direction until they are no longer visible…

      angech | June 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Willis, Fans flowers are both instructive, easy to give the post a miss: or if you want some insight into how minds work, and annoying, as you point out intentionally so.
      Such is life.

      You guys are 100% correct. However, you’re looking at it from inside the game. Consider instead, not what his childish demoticons make Fan’s comment look like, but what they make Judith’s blog look like, especially when he’s in full spate.

      A newcomer to the blog would not look at that endless string of inane smilies and puerile giant exclamation marks and think “dang, Judith’s blog looks like a place where they have serious scientific discussions” … his finger-paintings make the place look like a dang kindergarten. I truly don’t understand why Judith puts up with it.

      w.

  91. Judy, I don’t call round here very often, I simply don’t have the time. Academia in general, pear review and climate science are all broken. And so I think it is important to continue to challenge and to shout from the side lines. Developing a strategy that actually makes a difference is the real challenge. European energy policy is at least backing away from the Bonkers Green Cr*p but I see that Obama has opted for electoral suicide on your side of the pond.

    Can’t recall if I ever thanked you for running our post on clouds. Two papers were rejected by reviewers I doubt understood the basic physics of what we were doing. The review here was helpful but ultimately overwhelming when comments go north of 200.

    At The OIl Drum our traffic peaked at something like 170,000 unique visits per day and 600 hundred comment threads were common. But ultimately we all burned out. If you look back, the kind of stuff we were publishing 8 years ago was unique. Now it is mainstream. Don’t give up the day job.

    • “but I see that Obama has opted for electoral suicide on your side of the pond”

      He doesn’t care, next stop Secretary General of the UN!

      And never underestimate the US citizenry’s ability to endorse idiocy (we’ve elected the worst president ever twice you know) nor the news media’s and academia’s willingness to not only look the other way but absolutely buy in on and promote the collective seppuku.

  92. euanmearns

    Ah hah, almost forgot ;-) This may be of interest…

    The temperature forecasting record of the IPCC

    I’m not sure if there is anything new in this post. I compare the temperature forecasts from the FAR, TAR, AR4 and AR5 with the HadCRUT4 temperature record. The best and most honest IPCC forecast is the FAR from 1990 and this shows clearly that the “Low” forecast is that which lies closest to reality. Thereafter, the IPCC approach has been to obfuscate and fudge data to try and create the image of pending climatic melt down.

    • David Springer

      +1

      It should be noted the “low” forecast is still warmer than reality. That forecast was made under the “no further increase in CO2″ scenario.

      Damn. I guess it would be pretty frickin’ cold right now if it weren’t for all that CO2. /sarc

      • David Springer

        I read the article at your blog. You were wondering about the scenario construction and couldn’t find specifics. This should help:

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

        These went into ARs from 2000 forward. Before that I’m pretty sure it was a paper from Hansen that established three future emission scenarios. SRES was an improvement on Hansen.

      • Thanks for the link, it fried my brain. I don’t see the need for such great complexity in future emissions scenarios. We could get by with:

        BAU – burn everything till we run out of stuff to burn
        High nuclear – electrify everything, eventually phase out FF as they become progressively too expensive
        Collapse – banking system collapses and brings everything else down with it

        I need to read a bit more about the 1990 L, M and H forecasts. If it is as you say “no further increase in CO2″ then the authors really were on hallucinogenic drugs for more than one reason. But indirectly, that result would be consistent with CO2 not forcing climate at all.

      • David Springer

        I think they were trying to sell the idea that even if aCO2 emission were to stop growing altogether AGW would still happen to some degree. The joke, 30 years later, is that aCO2 emission followed the highest emission scenario but terrestrial warming was less than the lowest emission scenario.

        Oops. Someone screwed the pooch, huh?

  93. Judith

    One other improvement would be to build in systems so the spam posts don’t appear with such frequency. At time of writing no less than four were present on the side bar.

    Perhaps you could limit this if you stopped anyone making a comment after say a month of posting the article, as it seems to take that long for most of the spammers to catch up

    tonyb

  94. Jim Cripwell

    One the most recent Open Thread, there was the following exchange between Donald Rapp and myself.

    @@@@@

    Jim Cripwell | June 8, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply

    Donald, you write “• We are all aware that without feedbacks, doubling CO2 leads to a Stefan-Boltzmann temperature rise of about 1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius.”

    GARBAGE. We are aware of nothing of the kind. The figure of 1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius is nothing more than a guess. It is based on unproven assumptions, and the output of non-validated models. One of the key assumptions is that when presented with a change of radiative forcing caused by the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere,, the response is entirely by radiation effects. Convection is ignored.

    Donald Rapp | June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm |

    Jim: You seem to look at the world through high contrast glasses. You have garbages and impossibles in your rhetoric. Its nice to be so certain and emphatic. Can you distinguish gray from black and white?

    Jim Cripwell | June 8, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply

    I should add that the value of 1 to 1.2 C is IMPOSSIBLE to measure, so it is a purely hypothetical and meaningless number.

    Donald Rapp | June 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm |

    It was too much for me to expect some intelligent response to my posting.
    @@@@@

    I think this rather vividly illustrates some of the things which are wrong with Climate Etc. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, and had a complete career using this degree. I find it to be extremely rude to be accused, IMHO unnecessarily, of not being intelligent. I am perfectly willing to engage in a scientific discussion as to whether the numeric values associated with estimates of climate sensitivity have any meaning at all in physics. IMHO, they do not.

    But it would seem that Donald has little interest in physics. He just seems to like to be rude. I always hope that we denizens can use CE as a forum to discuss science. It would seem that Donald has other ideas, which is a pity.

    • John Carpenter

      “I find it to be extremely rude to be accused, IMHO unnecessarily, of not being intelligent. I am perfectly willing to engage in a scientific discussion as to whether the numeric values associated with estimates of climate sensitivity have any meaning at all in physics. IMHO, they do not.”

      My experience has been similar to Dons. You don’t engage in scientific discussion when someone like me, Mosher or Don call you on your certainty that CS is indistinguishable from 0. You call it garbage and insist the only way it can be shown is through a direct measurement. It has been pointed out to you time and time again there are many measurements in physics that are useful and accepted that can’t be made directly. Quantum mechanics is filled with such examples, yet you don’t question the utility of quantum mechanics. You insist on the use of the scientific method, yet don’t abide by the method yourself. You reach a conclusion that is not supported by any science and is contrary to what we would expect with our understanding of the physics involved. You offer no alternative hypothesis as to why the value of CS is indistinguishable from 0. Then you cry foul when someone like Don remarks it was too much for him to expect an intelligent response to his comment… after you likened it to garbage. You have to put on your big boy pants Jim and bring something new to the table, otherwise don’t expect others here to look at your argument as intelligent.

      • David Springer

        Hi John, can you or Rapp point to an experiment that shows the 1.2C warming of a surface that comes from doubling CO2? Given your emphatic disapproval of Cripwell I know you must have compelling empirical evidence that he’s dead wrong and you’re right.

        If you can’t provide such empirical evidence then you’re an ass and should consider going elsewhere to peddle your nasty certitudes.

      • David Springer

        Dear John,

        The Antarctic interior is the dryest place in the world by far ergo water vapor feedback is the least. Tell me, is the surface temperature rise there from industrial era CO2 distinguishable from zero?

        If you’re smart and objective and have a respectable measure of integrity you’ll know that’s a rhetorical question and you owe Jim Cripwell an apology. If you’re smart but lacking integrity you won’t respond. If you’re a dogmatist who drank the Kool Aid you’ll start waving your hands about in a ridiculous display of obscurantist nonsense about why there’s no detectable rise in temperature in the Antarctic interior from industrial age CO2 emissions.

        Which is it, Johhny?

      • John Carpenter

        “can you or Rapp point to an experiment that shows the 1.2C warming of a surface that comes from doubling CO2?”

        No, none exists. Can you show the experiment that shows time is relative and when approaching the speed of light time is slower relative to those not moving at that rate? Where is the experiment that has shown that to be true? We haven’t made a direct measurement on that either. I guess you don’t believe in the theory of general relativity?

        “Given your emphatic disapproval of Cripwell I know you must have compelling empirical evidence that he’s dead wrong and you’re right.”

        We have a physical model that explains when adding CO2 to the atmosphere we should expect additional warming. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased due to burning of fossil fuels over the last 50 odd years as well. Average global temperatures have increased somewhat in tandem. That is evidence. It is not known how much of the current warming is due to Anthro sources and what is due to natural variability. We do not expect the anthro source to be 0 based on our understanding of the physics. This is what climate science is all about David, Jim is not even in the building.

      • David Springer

        John Carpenter | June 9, 2014 at 9:28 am |

        “can you or Rapp point to an experiment that shows the 1.2C warming of a surface that comes from doubling CO2?”

        No, none exists. Can you show the experiment that shows time is relative and when approaching the speed of light time is slower relative to those not moving at that rate?

        —————————————————————————————

        Of course I can point to evidence of time dilation, John. Relativistic correction is used in the GPS systems both for gravitational anomalies and relative speed difference between satellite and earth based observer.

        http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html

        The first rule of holes, John, is when you find yourself in one you should stop digging.

      • Mike Flynn

        John Carpenter,

        As you say, you cannot back up your global warming hypothesis with experiment. Additionally, you write -

        “We have a physical model that explains when adding CO2 to the atmosphere we should expect additional warming.” Indeed. I fear your expectations remain unfulfilled. Your physical model is not supported by experiment or fact, but this doesn’t stop you from asserting its validity.

        May I ask what utility such a model has? It doesn’t actually seem to achieve anything, apart from demonstrating the futility of trusting climate models to provide useful outputs.

        You assume the globe has warmed, that is, increased in temperature. Nonsense. Warmists can’t even define the surface, let alone measure its temperature – maybe you can provide some facts to the contrary, but I doubt it.

        If not, your supposed climate science is nothing more than quite useless unsupported assertion. More talk, the same lack of verifiable fact.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • John Carpenter

        “May I ask what utility such a model has? It doesn’t actually seem to achieve anything, apart from demonstrating the futility of trusting climate models to provide useful outputs.”

        Mike, the utility is in trying to explain and understand how our climate system works. ‘It’s too complex to understand’ is not a satisfactory answer and doesn’t advance knowledge. We seek to explain and understand observations.

        “You assume the globe has warmed, that is, increased in temperature. Nonsense. Warmists can’t even define the surface, let alone measure its temperature – maybe you can provide some facts to the contrary, but I doubt it.”

        See the work done by BEST. I’m not interested in discussing the validity of this issue as I am satisfactorily convinced by the data that it is a real trend. You have, I guess, assumed the earth has remained a constant temperature or even cooled, I would like to see what supporting evidence you have for that. I doubt it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Antartica is one of the places used to test and validate the engineering tools that tell you doubling C02 will lead to 1.2C of warming ( before feedbacks which cant be measured over short time scales)

        The dry conditions allow us to test the engineering tools.

        Springer. A game programmer, wouldn’t understand.

      • David Springer

        Feel free to point to tests in Antarctica confirming 1.2C warming per CO2 doubling. Waving your hands and calling me a game programmer doesn’t impress me as a substantive response.

      • Mosher, “Antartica is one of the places used to test and validate the engineering tools that tell you doubling C02 will lead to 1.2C of warming ( before feedbacks which cant be measured over short time scales)”

        Oh really? Is that why there has been such an embarrassing cluster pluck with Steig (assisted by Mann) “proving” Antarctic warming and the remarkable out of phase Antarctic sea ice growth? How well do the models do with absolute surface temperatures again?

      • Stay tuned, Antarctic vs Arctic post coming tomorrow

      • Mosher, before you get your philosophical nose out of joint, what will determine the eventual response to an additional 3.7 Wm-2 of atmospheric resistance to heat loss is the stored energy in the oceans. The average temperature of the oceans is ~ 4 C degree indicating that thus far the oceans have responded by matching their average energy with the average estimated DWLR energy. 4C has a S-B equivalent energy of -334.5 Wm-2 which just so happens to be the current best estimate of DWLR. That would indicate about 0.8 C plus or minus a touch not 1.2 C.

      • Mike Flynn said:

        “You assume the globe has warmed, that is, increased in temperature. Nonsense. ”
        _____

        Temperature, as in sensible heat, can be defined and is defined. We can think statistically as the average kinetic energy contained per unit volume. But measuring the amount of sensible heat at or near the surface of the planet does not get to the more important measurement of how much total energy the system is gaining or losing over some period of time as energy is constantly and continuously changing form and moving from one region of the climate system to another. Specifically in the case of surface temperatures, these are greatly influenced by the latent and sensible heat flux continuously coming from the ocean to the atmosphere, and natural variations in this flow are mostly dictated over shorter periods by the ENSO cycle. The primary effect of increasing GH gases is to alter the energy balance of the climate system, and thus, for the most accurate proxy of how much this energy is changing, a broad measure of climate system energy should be used which will include as many forms of energy throughout the system as possible.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        John Carpenter said

        “My experience has been similar to Dons. You don’t engage in scientific discussion when someone like me, Mosher or Don call you on your certainty that CS is indistinguishable from 0. You call it garbage and insist the only way it can be shown is through a direct measurement. It has been pointed out to you time and time again there are many measurements in physics that are useful and accepted that can’t be made directly. Quantum mechanics is filled with such examples, yet you don’t question the utility of quantum mechanics. ”

        John Carpenter said:

        “Mike, the utility is in trying”

        Oh, I thought you said it was in the measurements

      • Judith said:

        “Stay tuned, Antarctic vs Arctic post coming tomorrow.”
        _____
        Very excited to hear this. Hope the post includes the dynamical reasons for the increased sea ice in the SH as well as the freshening effect of that increased sea ice leading to increased ocean heat content under that fresh water cap as less heat has been able to leave the Southern Ocean. The warming of the deeper Southern Ocean waters that results from more ice is counter-intuitive to many.

      • The Antarctic interior is the dryest place in the world by far ergo water vapor feedback is the least. …

        Wow I didn’t know that. Reminds me of the dry desert of the arctic archipelago. Glacition at the poles is driven by water vapor transport to those regions?

        “Dry” yields mirages and temperature inversions. Hrmm

      • David Springer

        I’m sorry I suppose I should have said the lowest specific humidity on the planet. The temperature is so low almost all the water is frozen out of interior Antarctic air. Deserts have much higher temperatures so the air can hold significant amount of water without producing any precipitation.

      • Here’s an excellent recent article written by a sea ice expert regarding Antarctic vs. Arctic dynamics:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/06/climate-change-is-getting-worse-so-why-is-antarcticas-ice-sheet-expanding/

      • A bit to wet the appetite from that article:

        “Here’s the kicker: The strengthening of SAM over recent decades has been directly linked to human activity. Since the 1940s, ozone depletion and increasing greenhouse gases have caused the westerly winds to intensify and migrate south toward Antarctica.

        The net effect of this drives sea ice further north and increases its total extent

      • Steven Mosher

        “Oh really? Is that why there has been such an embarrassing cluster pluck with Steig (assisted by Mann) “proving” Antarctic warming and the remarkable out of phase Antarctic sea ice growth? How well do the models do with absolute surface temperatures again?”

        Utterly unrelated to the experiments I am talking about validating the engineering tools of radiative physics.

        Here. start with the old stuff

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~sgw/PAPERS/1998_Walden.pdf

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/97JD02433/full

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL051542/abstract

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~sgw/PAPERS/1997_BAMS_Walden.pdf

      • captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 |
        4C has a S-B equivalent energy of -334.5 Wm-2
        Stefan Boltzmann?

      • David Springer

        Mosher stop dodging the question.

        http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/auto/Stations/TAVG/Figures/166900-TAVG-Raw.png

        Amundsen Station warming indistinguishable from zero since 1955.

        I trust you trust the source above?

        CO2 rose from 305 to 395 in the meantime.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png

        CS indistinguishable from zero in the best place to test for its effect in isolation.

        So far. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the next 33% rise in CO2 will have an effect distinguishable from zero.

        Thanks for playing.

      • John Carpenter

        thisisnotgoodtogo | June 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm |

        Uh, i’m not sure what your point is, but i guess you got me. CS is an emergent property from CMIP type models, so that is why there is a range (pdf). It is an indirect measurement (estimate). Of course the utility is in trying to understand why CS comes out to the values models estimate. Modeling helps with understanding CS. Paleo data can also be used to empirically measure CS and then compare with model estimates. So anyway… I guess you got me on something, uh… whatever.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        John Carpenter said:

        “Uh, i’m not sure what your point is, but i guess you got me. CS is an emergent property from CMIP type models, so that is why there is a range (pdf). It is an indirect measurement (estimate). Of course the utility is in trying to understand why CS comes out to the values models estimate. Modeling helps with understanding CS. Paleo data can also be used to empirically measure CS and then compare with model estimates. So anyway… I guess you got me on something, uh… whatever.”

        My point is that you are wavering between saying that the utility found is in the measurements, and saying that the utility found is in trying to understand.

        Which will it be?

      • Ragnar, “4C has a S-B equivalent energy of -334.5 Wm-2
        Stefan Boltzmann?”

        Unless my understanding is wrong, 4C is 277.15K then Wm-2 = 5.67e-8x(277.15)^4 which equals 334.5 for the “average” ocean temperature. Surface is a different matter since there is more rapid convection and considerable latent heat loss. By using the average ocean temperature/energy you are greatly simplifying the problem where as using some undisclosed lower troposphere “surface” greatly complicates the problem. The 1-1.2 C range is based on surface temperatures of -18 to -20 C degrees.or the estimated effective radiant layer.somewhere in the middle troposphere.

      • John Carpenter

        “Of course I can point to evidence of time dilation, John. ”

        Thanks David for pointing out it is only evidence and not results from a controlled experiment. Based on that, Jim would reject the evidence really means anything because it was not obtained by controlled experiment and the corrections made in GPS systems to account for relativity were just coincidence.

        As holes, you only get into one when you don’t anticipate what your opponent is going to do. Thanks for helping to make my point.

      • John Carpenter

        thisisnotgoodtogo | June 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm |

        “My point is that you are wavering between saying that the utility found is in the measurements, and saying that the utility found is in trying to understand.

        Which will it be?”

        It’s not an either or situation. There can be multiple utilities for tools. A hammer is useful for pounding nails, but it could also be used as a weapon. So though GCM models produce emergent values for CS, they are also used to gain understanding of the climate system. If prediction matches observation, that’s evidence understanding is correct. If they are divergent, that’s evidence understanding is not correct. CS is a bit of a barometer to gage understanding as it can be used in energy balance models as an input variable to make future temperature predictions. By using both types of models, complex vs simple, CS can gage understanding by playing the emergent results of one off the other and then comparing with observation.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        John Carpenter said:

        “It’s not an either or situation. There can be multiple utilities for tools. A hammer is useful for pounding nails, but it could also be used as a weapon. ”

        Of course. But you were specifically replying as to that utility, and either you were hitting nails into wood or or hitting heads with hammer. So you can’t have it both ways at once. But nice try.

    • JC SNIP sez:


      But it would seem that Donald has little interest in physics. He just …

      There is something very wrong with this picture. Here we have Professor Donald Rapp, someone that has written comprehensive textbooks on the topics of Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics, being given the treatment by some third-rate phony who shows more of an interest in needlepoint than advancing the state of science.

      You deniers really ought to get a mirror and look at yourselves and ask yourselves what you are accomplishing. Being impediments to science is such a glorious endeavor, ain’t it? Sheesh.

      • Web

        As far as I am aware Jim is in his 80′s. He has had a good solid background as his 7.17 comment shows. If he wants to spend some of his time now on other matters unrelated to his previous job that is surely his prerogative?

        He is an intelligent man who has obviously remained un-persuaded by the arguments, although he is very well equipped to understand them . In that respect Jim reminds me of Max

        tonyb

      • David Springer

        Try exchanging a few emails with Rapp like I did then see if you can repeat the litany above with a straight face.

      • tonyb, You are right that science ultimately doesn’t care about credentials. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t call out the phonies and poseurs. Who else is gonna do it? Not some denier with an underlying agenda.

      • Mike Flynn

        WebHubTelescope,

        I wonder if you would provide some cogent argument to support your contention that someone is a third rate phony who shows more of an interest in needlework than advancing the state of science.

        Is it advancing science to hand out gratuitous insults to those with whom you disagree? Have you any facts to support these assertions? I doubt it, but feel free to prove me wrong.

        As to appealing to authority in the guise of assuming that a person who has written textbooks in one field is expert in another, I would suggest that this road is fraught with peril. You may well believe in the wonders of orthomolecular medical treatment. After all, double Nobel laureate Linus Pauling surely knew what he was talking about, didn’t he?

        If you can actually provide some scientific evidence of the supposed greenhouse effect, supported by reproducible experiment, people might be persuaded to change their minds. Obviously, you are unable or unwilling to do so, for reasons that escape me.

        Merely claiming that well qualified, intelligent academics claim that the greenhouse effect exists does not help your cause. I am unaware of any statement of the scientific method that does not include experimentation to test an hypothesis. Supposed climate scientists claim climate modelling supersedes the need for actual experiments – a brave claim, as yet unproven.

        The final test of the supposed greenhouse effect is to see if it can actually be observed – that is, if the hypothesis is correct, it can be verified by objective measurement. Unfortunately, it seems the greenhouse effect is ineffectual, at least at present. As are most of its supporters, by the look of many of the comments on this blog. Hardly surprising, given the reluctance of the Earth to warm as directed.

        You’re right – fun, definitely not boring!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • web

        I am always intrigued as to what the ‘underlying agenda ‘ is that ‘deniers’ are supposed to have. Perhaps you can enlighten me?
        tonyb

      • verytallguy

        Flynn to Web

        Is it advancing science to hand out gratuitous insults to those with whom you disagree?

        Flynn to Lacis

        Climatologists talk nonsense, but they do it loudly, often, and convincingly, adopting a tone of patronising condescension, coupled with prophecies of doom.

        Judith to Denizens

        I am hoping to maintain Climate Etc. as a safe place for an honest debate

      • Mike Flynn

        verytallguy,

        I assume you a trying to make a point. Could you expand a little bit? Are you trying to claim that climatologists don’t talk nonsense, or that they don’t use patronising and condescending language?

        Climate science is a contradiction in terms, an oxym*ron. I’m baffled that anyone might think otherwise. Are you a Warmist, by any chance? I believe it is Warmist practice to make inscrutable comments, hoping that it will demonstrate some superior level of intelligence by the commenter. Maybe you have another reason, but are not divulging it for some bizarre reason. Which is it? I’m trembling with anticipation – the suspense is nigh unbearable!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • verytallguy

        Mike,

        I apologise, I thought the purpose of the comment was very obvious. Clearly not, so for the avoidance of doubt:

        You own comments to Andrew Lacis contain precisely the gratuitous insults you appear to wish others to desist from.

        Further, your comments are the antithesis of what Judith claims the blog’s purpose is.

        VTG

      • Don Monfort

        We all could benefit by a look in the mirror and reflecting on the reflection, webby. And you are correct that the willfully ignorant are an impediment to science. If my choices are appeal to authority vs. argument from ignorance, I’ll tend to give more weight to the former. It’s foolish to argue about 1-1.2C.

      • Mike Flynn

        verytallguy,

        You wrote –

        “Flynn to Web

        Is it advancing science to hand out gratuitous insults to those with whom you disagree?

        Flynn to Lacis

        Climatologists talk nonsense, but they do it loudly, often, and convincingly, adopting a tone of patronising condescension, coupled with prophecies of doom.”

        You then go on to say –

        “You own comments to Andrew Lacis contain precisely the gratuitous insults you appear to wish others to desist from.

        Further, your comments are the antithesis of what Judith claims the blog’s purpose is.”

        Colour me confused if you wish, but you have not associated my question to WebHubTelescope with anything detrimental. Maybe you are pretending to lack comprehension for some hidden reason, or maybe English is not your mother tongue. If so, I apologise. A question mark at the the end of a sentence indicated a question – an attempt to seek an answer.

        If you wish to query me as to the reasons that I believe that climatologists talk nonsense, etc., you can ask me that question. If you are intimating that self proclaimed climatologists are immune to being condescending, patronising, loud, repetitive, and associated with promulgating nonsense masquerading as science, I would like to see a fact or two in support.

        In relation to A Lacis, I assume you are a Warmist, as you imply, incorrectly, that I have directed some gratuitous insults to A Lacis. I have not. I merely commented on a paper that A Lacis co authored, and provided a link to on this blog, thereby tacitly inviting commenters to read it. I did. I merely pointed out the first egregious error of many.

        Do you contend that the paper is error free? If not, what errors do you see, and what action would you recommend the authors take to ensure any errors do not remain at large?

        Warmists seemingly suffer generally from a lack of comprehension when it suits them, and often their published papers are less than brilliant examples of the art.

        Global warming is nonsense – a fiction perpetrated by the faithful, and adopted without critical thought by the gullible. It is yet another popular delusion which will no doubt linger on for a good few years, costing much and achieving nothing of value.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • Well let’s look at just this one, “Donald, you write “• We are all aware that without feedbacks, doubling CO2 leads to a Stefan-Boltzmann temperature rise of about 1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius.”

      GARBAGE. We are aware of nothing of the kind. The figure of 1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius is nothing more than a guess. It is based on unproven assumptions, and the output of non-validated models. One of the key assumptions is that when presented with a change of radiative forcing caused by the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere,, the response is entirely by radiation effects. Convection is ignored.”

      The only thing close to “known” is that a doubling of CO2 equivalent GHGs will increase the resistance to atmospheric heat loss by approximately 3.7 Wm-2. Since the response would be based on Planck, that should increase the estimated DWLR from ~334 to 337.4 which is an ~0.7 C increase if the actual average surface temperature is 16.5 C. So even the 1 – 1.2 C appears to be over estimated or based on some much lower assume initial temperature.

      • David Springer

        So Dallas, how much has the temperature gone up in the Antarctic interior? It’s the closest thing we have on earth to an experiment where CO2 is an isolated variable with no feedbacks. Surely we should be able to pin down the no-feedback surface temperature rise from CO2 there, right?

      • David Springer, “So Dallas, how much has the temperature gone up in the Antarctic interior? It’s the closest thing we have on earth to an experiment where CO2 is an isolated variable with no feedbacks. Surely we should be able to pin down the no-feedback surface temperature rise from CO2 there, right?”

        That would be a different “surface”. Actually the temperature of Antarctic winter should go down about 0.7 C :) The grand Phubahs of climate science selected the “surface” frame of reference and estimated it to be about 15 C plus or minus a degree or two.

      • Cappy can’t do the math right, still.
        3.7 w/m^2 corresponds to
        1/4*T/F*dT
        Or about 1.1C according to the SB law that you invoked

        Maybe you should just pack it in ?

      • Webster, that 1/4 constant is related to the reference temperature where there is 4 Wm-2 per degree C, At 4C, the change requires more energy per degree.

      • David L. Hagen

        For Lord Monckton’s critiques of IPCC’s temperature sensitivity see:
        Sensitivity? Schmensitivity!

        For the new central estimate, if they had dared to admit it, would have been just 2.2 K per CO2 doubling. . . .
        For a decade, the IPCC has been trying to pretend that CO2 accounts for as small a fraction of total anthropogenic warming as 70%. However, it admits in its 2013 report that the true current fraction is 83%. . . .
        The business-as-usual warming to be expected by 2100 is as follows:
        3.0 Watts per square meter CO2 forcing
        x 6/5 (the reciprocal of 83%) to allow for non-CO2 anthropogenic forcings
        x 0.31 Kelvin per Watt per square meter for the Planck parameter
        x 1.88 for the system gain on the basis of the new, lower feedback sum.
        The answer is not 8 K. It is just 2.1 K. That is all.

      • Cappy, the 1/4 constant is there because it is the result of a differential applied to S-B.

        I thought I told you to pack it in.

      • Webster, The constant provided by the differential is not always perfectly accurate. It is pretty easy to check though. I am sure you can figure out how.

      • Webster, no witty comebacks? Is that because you haven’t checked to see how much error the linear approximation of S-B to T has over the nominal Earth temperature range or you have and are just discounting yet another over estimation due to a convenient simplification? You know all those simplifying assumptions tend to multiply as you go through all the calculations and since there is a high side bias that tends to produce gross over estimations. That is the core of the skeptic side of the debate btw.

      • No witty comebacks needed. Your math is wrong.

        That’s why most employers do not hire scientists that have not undergone at least a 4 year SciTech program.

        The risk is too great that they will end up with someone like Cappy — someone that can spout scientific wordsalad but ultimately has no idea of how to apply it.

        I guess that is not a witty comeback but a necessary one.

    • Jim Cripwell

      WHUT, you write “There is something very wrong with this picture. Here we have Professor Donald Rapp, someone that has written comprehensive textbooks on the topics of Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics, being given the treatment by some third-rate phony who shows more of an interest in needlepoint than advancing the state of science.”

      Most of my career was spent using numbers that were of doubtful validity. I learned that it is always dangerous to quote numbers when you have not. personally, checked their validity. We see the number for no feedback climate sensitivity quoted as if were written on tablets of stone. I have seen many times, intelligent people, in important positions, quoting numbers for which there is no validity.

      That is what I believe happen to Prof. Rapp. The number of 1 to 1.2 C for a no feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 has been quoted over and over again. This number is impossible to measure. It is not just that it has never been measured. It cannot be measured.

      I will call out anyone who writes as if this number has any meaning in physics. I will discuss whether this number has any meaning. But please don’t tell me I don’t know what I am talking about when I question the validity of a number in physics which can never be measured.

      • Stephen Segrest

        You’re really big on “backing up claims” — so here is a challenge to see if you “walk the talk”.

        Step 1: Read the following article on Dr. Molina (Nobel prize winning scientist):
        http://theenergycollective.com/davidhone/60610/back-basics-climate-science

        Step 2: Write Dr. Molina telling him all the reasons why he is wrong and what he clearly overlooks (I might recommend you not being snarly as you do on this blog, so that he answers). Maybe Captdallas (and others can assist you in this writing).

        Step 3: Report (blog) back to us on CE as to Dr. Molina’s response– where you can refute his answers if you want to.

        —————
        To CE Community: Correct me if my memory is incorrect. Using established chemistry and physics, Steven Mosher believes that .8 degrees of the temperature increase (modern history) can be likely explained from AGW.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim Cripwell — Oh, and by the way, could you post your letter to Dr. Molina on the internet and then link to it on our CE Blog.

      • Steven Segrest, “What is it about Planck’s Law and the Boltzmann constant that is now in dispute?”” From the article you linked.

        What is in dispute is the reference surfaces and temperatures used to estimate the impact. You may be aware that currently the models are not performing all that well and the response of the lower troposphere, mid troposphere and stratosphere all indicate that original assumptions of the impact in terms of degrees C appear to be gross;y over estimated. That is because the system is somewhat more complex than a two dimensional linear model would be capable of illustrating.

        Based on Planck’s Law and the Boltzmann constant with 334 Wm-2 of DWLR currently an additional 3,7 Wm-2 due to a doubling of CO2 equivalent dry gases would produce 0.8 C of temperature increase.

      • Steven Mosher

        No actually the 1-1.2 number is easy to measure.
        Its the no feedback case.

        The way its measured is as follows.

        First you have an engineering tool. Its called a line by line model of radiative transfer.
        This is the tool that radar engineers would use, telescope manufacturers,
        satellite sensor guys, operations research guys, Flir makers, anybody
        who transmits radiation through the atmosphere.
        These tools work. Pick up your cell phone, make a call. Did it go through?
        good. Why? because some engineer had to use this tool ( or a band model) to calculate how the radiation would transfer through the atmosphere.

        And how do we know what is in the atmosphere. Well there is a database
        its called Hitran. It was created by the air force. Why? so they could
        figure out how gases in the atmosphere reflected, adsorbed, and scattered EM.

        Then we test the model. We test in in the lab and we test it in the field.
        We fly satillites and look down through the atmosphere.
        We have ground stations looking up at sources in space.

        We do this around the world so we can see how the tool performs when the composition of the atmosphere changes.
        What happens if we take it too a place where there is less water in the water column. Antartica? So we test that the tools work if the composition changes.

        If we build FLIRS we predict how well, if at all, they can see through different atmospheres. through clouds, through dust, All of this to test the tool.

        The tools are validated. They work. You have pictures of the earth because they work. Your phone works. FLIRS work. stealthy planes get built.

        Take that tool and double c02.

        tell me what you get.

      • the radiation code can give you downwelling IR flux (not surface temperature)

      • David Springer

        Thank you Dr. Curry. Write that down, Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher, “No actually the 1-1.2 number is easy to measure.
        Its the no feedback case.”

        Actually, they are easy to measure if you assume that the tropopause is the “surface. I don’t live in the tropopause. Most folks I know live in areas known to have moisture.

      • or surfaces with heat capacity or that melt.

      • David Springer

        or that evaporate. Especially.

      • photo/1

      • Jim Cripwell

        Steven Mosher, you write “No actually the 1-1.2 number is easy to measure.
        Its the no feedback case.

        The way its measured is as follows.”

        How can you measure the no feedback CS, when any attempt to do so will be confounded by the feedbacks?

      • Steven Mosher

        yes Judith. and once you have downwelling IR the plank response is basic math

      • Mosher, “yes Judith. and once you have downwelling IR the plank response is basic math”

        Looks like you and Webster should do a nice quick post on that. A number of “skeptics” have mentioned that the estimated DWLR should be used for the baseline and their simple match comes to about 0.8 C all else remaining equal of course.

      • Jim Cripwell

        Steven Mosher you write “yes Judith. and once you have downwelling IR the plank response is basic math”

        I cannot see how you can possibly classify this approach as a measurement. What has actually been measured? Apart from nothing.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John Carpenter, you write “It has been pointed out to you time and time again there are many measurements in physics that are useful and accepted that can’t be made directly”

      That is not the issue. The issue is that no feedback climate sensitivity CANNOT be measured. It is impossible to measured it. If a number is physics cannot be measured, it has no meaning. There is no problem using no feedback climate sensitivity as a means of estimating total climate sensitivity, and then go out and measure total climate sensitivity ( the amount temperatures rise as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere).

      So please address the problem of numbers which cannot be measured.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Maybe I should tell a little story about numbers, which I know is true, because it happened to me. Early in my career with DoD Canada, around 1959, we did a study of the cost/effectiveness of future infantry anti-tank weapons. This included the future AT guided missiles, which were just coming into service. Now each missile cost about 1/3 of a man’s salary, so the annual cost of training rounds was important. For comparison we used the 105mm tank gun as the standard, where the cost of training rounds was inconsequential. But we had to put a number in, and we needed some sort of logic. So two of us went to talk to the Armour Corps major, who was posted to us.

      We explained what we were doing, and asked how many training rounds per year were needed. The answer, “I haven’t a clue in the world”. We suggested 1 and were told that was ridiculous, then 1000, and was told with than many Canadian gunners would be the best in the world. So we said, “We have the number bracketed”. At this point the major realised what this was about, and after a 5 minute discussion we came up with a number of 40.

      Fast forward 25 years, when I was no longer with the original organization. I get a phone call, and the conversation is some thing like

      ” Mr. Cripwell. We are writing a pamphlet on training tank gunners, and I understand you are an expert on the subject”

      “Yes I am Mr Cripwell, and I know nothing about training trank gunners”

      “Yes you do. You wrote a report on the subject; CAORE 107″

      “Yes, I was an author of CAORE 107, but it was about the cost/effectiveness of infantry AT weapons”

      “Yes, but in Table 20, you quote 40 rounds per year to train a tank gunner, and you must have done an extensive study to arrive at that figure”.

      At that point, I roared with laughter, and tried to explain what had happened. But I wonder if maybe someone actually used the number 40 in writing a manual for training tank gunners.

      • John Carpenter

        “But I wonder if maybe someone actually used the number 40 in writing a manual for training tank gunners.”

        It sounds like it was and I would not be surprised. That is a good story Jim. Apparently you bracketed a reasonable number in the five minute discussion with the major and it worked. You must have had some reasons to bracket a number as you knew 1 was not enough and 1000 was too many and the cost of the rounds was an important consideration. So with those constraints, a reasonable number of 40 was determined. (though 35, 50 or 60 may also have been acceptable). Sure it was off the cuff, but it was not a total SWAG. You ran no study, but you debated it for a brief time and came to a consensus between the three of you. Others might have challenged your consensus, but they had no voice in the discussion, so you moved forward. So based on no evidence that 40 was the right number, it was specified and it worked within the constraints imposed. Tank gunners were successfully trained.

        Though a considerable more thought and effort has been put into bracketing a CS for CO2 doubling, it too is not a total SWAG and many are still challenging what the number likely is… including me. It has some utility in understanding climate forcing by CO2.

      • Jim Cripwell

        John, you write “Though a considerable more thought and effort has been put into bracketing a CS for CO2 doubling, it too is not a total SWAG”

        Here I disagree. I believe very little though has gone in to assessing the no feedback climate sensitivity. Like astrology, there is a lot of number crunching, but very little thought. The number quote by Prof Rapp is nothing more than a WAG; nothing like a SWAG at all.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes,

        climate science is ACTUALLY a species of operations research.

        Jim spent his life doing OR

        Now, he tells other people they cant use the very same approaches he did.

        Approaches that worked.

        Approaches that saved lives.

        Funny.

      • John Carpenter

        “Here I disagree. I believe very little thought has gone in to assessing the no feedback climate sensitivity. Like astrology, there is a lot of number crunching, but very little thought. The number quote by Prof Rapp is nothing more than a WAG; nothing like a SWAG at all.”

        Jim, So is it fair to say you don’t think any intelligence has been used in no feedback CS estimation? Likening it to astrology and all, very little thought? Should those who work with models on this problem think you are being rude to them? Is this what you call a scientific argument? Should I pity you for wondering if you have other ideas other than scientific discourse in that comment?

        Just sayin…

      • Jim Cripwell

        John, you write “Jim, So is it fair to say you don’t think any intelligence has been used in no feedback CS estimation?”

        Sort of. If you follow my line of reasoning. It must have been obvious to those who originally did the estimations that no feedback climate sensitivity can never be measured. There is nothing wrong with using no feedback climate sensitivity as a means of estimating total climate sensitivity, which, in theory, can be measured. The problem is that, in practice, total climate sensitivity cannot be measured.

        The deliberate error that was made was to claim that the number of 1 to 1.2 C for the no feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 has a meaning in physics. It does not. This is why I claim CAGW is a hoax. If this is obvious to me, it must have been obvious to those who originally suggested that CAGW was more than a hypothesis.

      • Jim, loads of people have studied the mitochondrial permeability transition
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_permeability_transition_pore

        Two of the cited papers in Wiki are:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680246/

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1162544/?page=2

        Now why do you think people do these experiments at 30°C and not 37°C?

  95. Paul Vaughan

    Judy Curry wrote:

    “I am spending more time monitoring the blog, trying to minimize incivility. “

    So far it’s not working. It will demand an order of magnitude more intense resolve. This more than anything is limiting what you can achieve with CE.

    I recommend aggressively & unapologetically firing (without looking back) the commentators who deliberately apply targeted harassment to (1) throw other commentators out of character and (2) drive out views they don’t like. (I will write to you privately listing the names of 2 commentators who apply this tactic at CE & 5 who apply it at WUWT.)

    These sorts of people have fatally (in the strongest sense of the word) corrupted the climate discussion.

    I recommend an ambitious experiment:
    Attempt to make CE “100% Guaranteed Harassment Free” to see if you can attract a larger, more diverse pool of sensible contributors.

    There’s an opportunity here to achieve something unique & memorable. If your resolve is strong enough, you can do it efficiently.

  96. I’m sorry to hear about Max. My sympathies to his family and friends.

    Judith, I think your blog is doing very well. I think the moderation level is appropriate as is currently being exercised. I prefer posts on the scientific disputes rather than social ones but you post so often I can often find posts that interest me and some that I even feel informed enough to comment on.

    Pekka, my impression is that you have become more skeptical over time. I could be wrong of course not being a mind reader. I know Judith has as it both seems like she has and she states she has. Perhaps you just aren’t keeping up? Don’t get left behind!

    A. Lacis, thank you for commenting here. I would like to see more climate scientists making their case in a forum where questions can be freely asked even if not always answered.

  97. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. Curry – I have never entered a blog discussion before ClimateEtc. As I have little to offer other than questions, I promise to make this my final entry. It seems nearly impossible to find reasoned information on this subject. This site is a ray of sunlight in an dark room to me. PLEASE don’t stop.
    (tonyb – much thanks – really liked your Lennon quote)

  98. Brava Maestra. Carry on.

  99. The jump-to article about risk says:

    “… financial models tend to assume crises are the result of exogenous shocks – like an asteroid hitting the markets, as though participants are nothing to do with it.

    This is perhaps their most glaring flaw. As argued by Danielsson et al. (2009), risk is in fact endogenous, created by the interaction between market participants and their desire to bypass risk control systems.”

    In the instance of GCMs, the “market participants” are those empowered to impose a hegemony of socialist secularism over free society and the risk control system that has been bypassed is the use by academics of the scientific method when constructing long term weather models.

  100. Well, I do not have a PhD in Climate Science, or even in Chemical Engineering, but I do have a BSChE and a JD both of which demand rigorous reasoning. And at age 83 I have decades of watching things happen on the national and international scale. I have recalled someone (don’t recall who it was, maybe Feynman?) who said extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The claims of pending catastrophic warming are “proved” only by massive computer simulations…which do not predict any of the current global temperatures and in fact predict a number of phenomena (eg, equitorial hot spots) that do not exist. Also, *everything* in the weather reports are said to prove CAGW. When everything proves a theory, whether they are internally contradictory or not, then the theory is bogus. It would help if the leading scientists in this field would exercise a bit of skepticism themselves.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim Brock, you write “It would help if the leading scientists in this field would exercise a bit of skepticism themselves.”

      Amen to that. May I add that it would be even better if leading scientists, such as the Presidents of the Royal Society and the American Physical Society, would exercise a bit of skepticism.

      • The leading scientists in the field do all exercise a bit of skepticism.

        The consensus people have no skepticism.

        Those lead people are not scientists.

        They treat each other as scientists, but that is not true.

        The media and many liberals treat them as scientists, but it is not true.

        If someone is not skeptical, that someone is not a scientist.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Jim Brock

      “When everything proves a theory, whether they are internally contradictory or not, then the theory is bogus. It would help if the leading scientists in this field would exercise a bit of skepticism themselves.”

      It will seem a bit less insane once you realize that CAGW is not a theory; it is an axiom. Its purpose has nothing to do with ‘understanding’ climate. It is a tool whose purpose is to provide ‘scientific’ justification for ‘mitigating’ CAGW by taxing and regulating every human activity with a ‘carbon signature’ and for destroying the energy infrastructure that makes modern civilization possible.

      Why would anyone want to do such a thing? Beats me, but given the obvious consequences of the policies already implemented and those proposed for the future, and the fact that the people and organizations who have and are advocating them are not stupid, it is clearly their intent.

  101. Uh…”equatorial”.

  102. I would like to commend your attempt to raise the level of discussion with your limited moderation. It is appreciated, there is no need for insults, but moderation is hard work and a pain, posters should act like adults.

    Some effort to moderate the discussions going on might be useful though. Perhaps entering a little more into the action by asking posters to better support their arguments, or clarify their positions, or providing cites etc.

    I think you need to encourage posters like A Lacis to continue to be involved and perhaps drive the discussion back towards the middle, this blog is in danger of becoming another WUWT echo chamber. More hard science, less sociology.

    Max often commented on my posts, I regret that he didn’t learn any statistics before he passed.

    Support your arguments folks, otherwise it’s like playing major league baseball with a whiffle-ball bat.

  103. My thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are with Max and his family. He was an insightfull commenter and will be greatly missed.

    Re: the blog, my thoughts are similar to many others who have posted. It is the only blog I have found where both sides are allowed to freely comment with light moderation. In this kind of debate, there is always going to be some level of snark, but on this blog, it is gnerally accompanied by insightful commentary. Some of the commenters get tiresome, but even they occaisionally post something worth reading. In my opinion, you have managed to strike a good balance between technical, scientific, social, and political posts that give everyone an opportunity to post if they choose, and that opposing views are generally treated with far more respect than they are on other blogs.

    I am skeptical that increases in Co2 have any meaningful impact on our climate system, and in fact think that increased Co2 is more likely to be net positive, but, we just don’t know at this point. In my opinion, onerous regulation aimed at reducing Co2 emissions by curtailing use of fossil fuels, including coal, will cause far more harm than good. A robust economy requires access to abundant, affordable, and reliable energy and is necessary to building resilient infrastructure that can help us adapt and protect us better from inevitable climate change. Forcing us off of fossil fuels with nothing of similar reliability, effectiveniss and affordability readily available is simply idiotic.

  104. pottereaton

    As a non-scientist who has concluded that contrived certainty in the absence of data is the primary problem in climate science, I think Judith’s blog is fine. A few people tend to hog the hallways on occasion, but, contrary to Pekaa P’s assertion that more intervention is required, that is the price you pay for a truly open blog discussion.

    Minimal intervention by the blog host has always been the difference between warmist blogs and true skeptic blogs like this one and ClimateAudit. The latter encourage informed discussion and dissent and the former far too frequently delete it. Not only is Steve McIntyre’s blog not on the blog role at RealClimate, he has been refused the right to post there on occasion, if I recall correctly.

    I congratulate Judith on her blog creation and encourage her to rely on her skeptical instincts when it comes to managing this blog.

  105. 1. I think a simple private warning to those who employ personal attack as a debate model would be sufficient to control most of the abusive behavior. Double secret probation.

    2. The ability to collapse a thread tree like you can in Windows Explorer would help scanning comments easier.

    3. The ability to highlight individual comments from a person’s favorite contributors in a different color would be nice. (personalized favorites).

    4. The ability to not display comments from non-favorites would also be helpful to the sanity of the group. (personalized ignore lists)

    5. Never, ever institute a public voting system on comments.

    6. Due to the tree comment system, it is impossible to return to a thread and parse out which comments have been added. The ability to highlight new comments since your last viewing in a different color would be helpful.

    I imagine much of this is limited by the capabilities of the blogging system you are using…Wordpress?

    • Yes, I am using WordPress.com. Since I run the blog without any technical help, I need something simple and idjit proof for me to manage. While wordpress.com has been very reliable and simple, it unfortunately does not have many of the features that would be desirable

    • Tom Scharf

      FYI: The most popular commenting system is Disqus. It’s free, will import your current comments and allows for some customization. You’ve probably seen it at other sites.

      https://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/topics/215155/articles

      It’s pretty basic, doesn’t really have any of the items I was asking for…

  106. Dr Curry,

    I am very sorry to hear about Max, who often engaged with me on my infrequent contributions.

    Personally, I read your blog daily, and often scan the comments looking for interesting commentators, and discussions that are argue a point civilly. Like many others, I get very frustrated with the incivility, even from some of the most interesting and insightful commentators.

    I regard your voice in the climate debate to be one of the most balanced and reasonable, with that flame always alive ready to question assumptions, in what I would regard as the scientific spirit of search for truth. And I think the blog has served the aim of providing a forum as close to a rational debate as we can expect to see on this issue.

    My one suggestion for “improving” the blog might be a scoring system similar to the one apple have on their support forums. It could either be done:
    1. By you (unlikely – too time intensive)
    2. By moderators you select,
    3. By the Denizens.

    I don’t know if wordpress have a facility for this, but some system allowing us to flag up interesting comments or rewarding those who make them without resorting to petty bickering. Perhaps working the other way to flag up comments that have snark or petulance in them and pruned for civility.

    It would help those who like myself who tend to lurk, seek out the comments that are most likely to be relevant and interesting.

    • Tom Scharf

      Funny, I just advised her to not install a voting system…

      My main objection has mostly to do with what I have seen on some other sites on this subject matter which was an obvious and coordinated attempt to group down vote any opinion that was counter to the current politically correct position. Known skeptics were down voted en masse even when quoting directly from the IPCC text. Acerbic rants were scored the highest generally.

      The middle ground is the “up vote only” system which works better, but I have found the voting system ineffective on this subject matter due to the bipolar nature of the interpretations of comments.

      It may work better here than at other places though, the community isn’t a bunch of 14 year olds.

      • Yeah, it probably needs some thought what the best system is. I would retch into my adibiatic lapse rates if I saw a facebook “like” system though. Something that was monitored perhaps and moderated. My thought was that the criteria for making a vote on a comment was how interesting it was and for voting against it was only for whether it contained snark. The problem is, some of the most interesting comentators – peoples whose views are often extremely worth listening to indulge in far too much of it. It really is so irritating.

  107. I have benefited from reading Climate Etc. I think I now have a more critical eye for climate science, or at least for the nexus of climate science and AGW/CC policy advocacy (either “side”). I am very glad CE is available. Kudos to Curry for the work put into it. Yet I wonder what is the impact of having “common joe” folks like me more informed if we are a fairly small group in the big picture. If working climate researchers email Curry based on reading CE blog posts, isn’t that a greater impact? Should that provide some guidance on future CE directions? (I don’t know what that guidance is, just throwing out the thought.)

  108. Agnostic Wrote:
    I don’t know if wordpress have a facility for this, but some system allowing us to flag up interesting comments or rewarding those who make them without resorting to petty bickering. Perhaps working the other way to flag up comments that have snark or petulance in them and pruned for civility.

    You can click on the data and time in the posting and copy and past the address of that specific comment and post it in a different thread, or somewhere else in the same thread.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/08/state-of-the-blog-discussion-thread/#comment-590534

  109. I’m truly sorry to hear the sad news about Max.
    Condolences to his family, and RIP, Max, you will be missed.

  110. Dr Curry
    Well done and keep up the good work.

  111. Fernando Leanme

    i would link to 1, an acronym primer page, 2, the most important data, and 3, possibly link a few (unslanted) primer pages.

  112. I love this blog, one of about 3-4 I follow regularly, and often include the name in Google searches to see what you good folks think about things.

    Suggestion for improvement: Get something like the software they use at “The Guardian”. In particular the automatic collapsing of responses beyond 2 makes navigation so much easier. Also, there is generally not enough words per line on the current software, i.e. too little info shown at any given time.

    • Jo Nova has too many words per line, very tiring to read, somewhere in-between is what I’d suggest.

  113. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. Curry – thanks (I do belong in the cheap seats though) – I am REALLY curious about one thing – the “hiatus” – is it in the data? How does a statistically 0 rise in surface temps and 80% rise in CO2 (over almost 2 decades) not cause serious doubts about the GHG = warming theory? My reading of history is that the modern period of industrial expansion (late 19th 20th centuries) has been quite stable with relatively few major climate disruptions.
    Have beer, returning to cheap seats.
    I see few honest pros in this game, seems like you might be among the few.

  114. Schrodinger's Cat

    Dr Curry, climate science is deeply polarized. There are many different degrees of polarization and opinions will always be flavoured by the fundamental belief system of the commenter.

    True scientists have beliefs too, it is only human. but objective scientists keep an open mind and are prepared to challenge their own long held beliefs. Polarization is the enemy of truth, it turns a scientific opinion into religious dogma.

    So, I would urge you to stick to what you believe to be right and not to be swayed by others, however well meaning. It may well be that you are more sceptical now than you were two years ago. I’m not at all surprised, after all, you have been on a learning curve and during that period the alarmist case has been eroded.

    The success of this site is due to your integrity and credibility. Your views are not popular with your colleagues and your comments at the end of each post are the hallmark of your honesty. You are doing a great job here and I would repeat that you should follow your interpretation of the science, wherever it leads. The rest of us, who are less expert, (speaking for myself) will be pleased to follow your lead.

  115. Steven Mosher

    It’s always interesting to watch people struggle with ways to control, improve, monitor conversations.

    In tribute to Max. I will refrain from certain behaviors for the rest of the week.
    I make no suggestion that you do likewise.
    I don’t want to know if you feel like making a similar commitment.
    I don’t want to change what any of you do or do not do.

    This is for max. between max and me. a meditation of sorts.

  116. Hi judith. I have lurked here from the very beginning and I have learned a great deal for which I offer you my thanks. One thing I would say is that many of the comments are poor quality and to be honest I rarely read them any more. There are some real gems but these are drowned out by a deluge of repetitive rubbish. I’m afraid that many of these are posted by a small number of regular contributors who seem to have taken up permanent residence here. Have you opened a home for waifs and strays? Notwithstanding this, I regularly read the main articles and I appreciate the effort you put into running the blog. Many thanks.

    • Just a final thought…what about a filter facility that allowed readers to filter contributors that they didn’t want to read? If the facility also notified a denizen that they had been filtered then they would soon get the message that their contributions were uninteresting. Trouble is, the denizens may end up speaking past each other (not that they don’t already!)

    • Curious George

      Rob – I second your appreciation for the hostess (second? more like a thousandth). Unfortunately, neither you nor I have her brains. Many times I wish to simply disappear (language purists, read Catch 22) a comment from a colorful Fan, but his religious tone frequently elicits refreshing responses.

      A great blog, Judith, do you ever sleep? Thanks.

  117. Schrodinger's Cat

    I wonder how many commenters have changed their opinions over the last few years. I seem to be conscious of the same ones locking horns over the same issues over and over, but that is just an impression. More importantly, the site is a window for new visitors, curious about the “science” and I wonder how many are influenced and in which direction…

    I would love to see some of the big issues being treated head on, so to speak, such as “Why is it not warming?” or “where is the evidence for the positive feedback from water vapour” or “has CO2 IR absorption bands reached saturation?”

    Others may claim that we are in a long term process where current observations are but a blip in the long term trend. There must be lots of challenges about that, for example, absorption of IR by CO2 and conversion to kinetic energy through collision is virtually instant, so why are the temperatures not rising with the CO2?

    • I haven’t changed my opinion at all – it’s ‘mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation’ and it’s starting to cool.

      I also would love to see some of the big issues being treated head on, such as what exactly is the atmospheric GHE, what’s the influence of the bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) and its pressure, solar variability, clouds and their latitudinal/hemispheric distribution, effect of atmospheric CO2 on the atmospheric radiative cooling, ACO2 airborne fraction etc.

    • Al Gore got me interested in it. I didn’t really know much about the science of it. Turns out, neither did he.

    • JC has definitely evolved I remember reading her first interaction with the skeptic community at Climate Audit

    • I would say my views have shifted to the “skeptical” end of the spectrum since I started following this blog. I started here feeling that the CAGW was over-simplified, but could not be ruled out, but I was struck by the cogency of some of the skeptical arguments particularly as it related to the management and perception of risk.

      I read avidly exchanges between those taking different sides in the debate – I am actually not interest in agreement, I like to see arguments challenged. But over time the “skeptical” case, a series of arguments regarding the science and policy implications has coelesced into a (dare I say it) “consensus”. They are so demonstrably reasonable and supported by the evidence as it stands it’s very hard to see how objective intelligent people could disagree. Yet we always need people to disagree, and we always need our assumptions challenged. While I am now fairly sure that our understanding of the climate that gave rise to a concern over our affect on it is incorrect, I still hold the door wide open to other persuasive evidence and arguments. Human society has never been so extensive in all of history, it is not unreasonable to expect that we might have an affect on our planet we did not anticipate or that won’t be detrimental.

  118. “After almost four years of blogging at Climate Etc., its time for some reflection”

    Yes, indeed. The 20 or so models that the IPCC sponsors should be the repository of all knowledge of climate. Dr Christy’s evidence to the House shows clearly how wrong they are. So these models should be the point of attack by the sceptics. But how can we attack when we know so little about them except they are wrong?

    My solution . Find an expert on climate modelling to conduct a series of climate model reviews with the ain of exploring the differences between the models. Publish the results of the investigation for us all to see and comment on.. It may be that all models contain a common error, or some are better than others. The IPCC has kept the models under wraps for far too long. They need to be exposed to reality. When I did detailed modelling of complex systems I used to say ‘expose it, warts and all’

  119. Susan Oliver

    I would be very interested in finding out more about your work on the physical chemistry of clouds (I’m a chemist). Would you consider doing a blog post on this – otherwise, is there a non-paywalled source of information?

  120. Rod Montgomery

    I still think it would be worthwhile to have Someplace in which to strive towards second-order agreement — that is, towards agreement on what the argument is about.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/mail/2008/Q2/mail520.html#Kahn

    However, such striving would be possible only if both sides participated.

    Alas, the Warmist side seems satisfied with only fourth-order agreement — that is, with simply asserting that their opponents are “too stupid or biased for further discussion to be worthwhile”.

  121. David Young

    Just an addendum. ATTP apparently reads Judith even though he doesn’t seem to want to admit it directly and has a post on improving the climate blog discussion. I found it a little disingenuous. While claiming to want to improve the dialogue, he just a day ago allowed a name calling and contentless comment by Web, who had roughly the same diatribe snipped (rightly so) here by Judith. And this illustrates my point perfectly. ATTP doesn’t have to do the ridiculing, the trolls do it and are winked at. At least Connolley is man enough to do the ridiculing himself.

    I am also puzzled that ATTP lists Hot Whopper on his blog role. It would be hard to argue that Hot Whopper is not the most content free, childish, and ridiculing blog around. It’s sole purpose seems to be to ridicule “deniers” and WUWT. There may be plenty wrong at WUWT, but setting new nadirs of civility is not a solution. Once again, ATTP can wash his hands and say someone else did it. Nick Stokes has earned my respect for wading in and doing the real work.

    • Davy Young is what is generally considered a “concern troll”.
      He is always concerned that some scientist is doing something incorrectly buried in some analysis without ever doing the work himself.

    • > ATTP apparently reads Judith even though he doesn’t seem to want to admit it directly [...]

    • Overheard at Judy’s:

      > [Inaudible] doesn’t have to do the ridiculing, the trolls do it and are winked at.

    • You have an selective set of standards, David.

      ==> “he just a day ago allowed a name calling and contentless comment by Web, ”

      Seriously?

      I read both sites, and I’d say that there is not a greater % of name-calling at ATTP than there is here. But there certainly isn’t the sort of categorical difference that you describe.

      Obviously, you’ve read Monfort and PG and GaryM and Mosher and Wags and Chief and Cwon – to name a few of Judith’s serial name-callers (although with Wags, Cwon, and sometimes GaryM the name-calling is more restricted to hundreds of millions of unnamed people they don’t like as opposed to specific commenters).

      ==> ” At least Connolley is man enough to do the ridiculing himself.”

      An interesting view of what makes a man.

      • Joshua,

        What troubles the blog, from inception mind you, is that it is designed to be “off topic” to what matters most in the AGW meme to most people. If the world view is that “science” dominates the politics of the topic that remains a patently false premise from inception. That parrot is dead, it ceased to be long ago. Climate Etc. is a monument of wishful thinking;

        http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/09/obama-climate-change-is-a-national-security-issue/

        AGW is certainly, mostly, about a political agenda not “science”. If there was a massive regulatory, tax and world governance stake revolving around “opinions” of the Big Bang Theory or Evolution likely I would be arguing against the side of those who by jackboot tactics would be trying to impose their authority on the world. AGW fulfills the agenda while BBT and Evolution are merely at times (many times in fact) propaganda tools for politically correct science authority. That isn’t to say say astro and theoretical physics or evolution aren’t “science” but if policy consensus emerged from inside these communities and declared themselves “settled” and there was a broad governmental and partisan agenda associated?

        You’re a greenshirt operative Joshua, it’s that simple. That’s “name calling”? So be it, what skeptics can only accept partially is the very simplicity of how over generations enclaves that profess “objectivity” and “reason” sink into becoming one-sided, ideologically uniform and politically correct sects. Completely irrational in the process. The Church of Climate orthodoxy (consensus) is a subset of this trend as is the general main stream media (another sect) supporting the process. All of this are symptoms of a greater issue of social decline and rotting similar to permanent currency debasement, destruction of the family unit, declining birth rates (as we eat children as a society) and the general levels of barbarism that is expanding. The green orthodox is an apt symbol of excess, social and intellectual decline. We discuss mostly details when the political motives of the details and the sides are minimized. Climate etc. suffers from moral and science relativism.

        Many people are concerned about the total agenda of AGW, the trivia of details are linked but it’s the overall concern that matters most. Here we discuss details as if they supersede the total agenda, which is absurd. While Dr. Curry has moved toward reason it’s been an appallingly slow pace and remains distractingly off the main cause and effect of the broad AGW question. So while Dr. Curry has minimal criticisms of the broad agenda she also serves as a tool (as often the blog members do) of that agenda by highlighting every tactical detail as if it stands on its own merits as if they were uncorrupted. Again, absurd. Another Mann, Cook or Trenberth paper without discussing why we know how each narrative dressed as “science” is already predictable? Preposterous “shock” about scientists partisan operative status? What has Dr. Curry been sleeping through the past 50+years in this society?

        It’s her blog, her world view. I’ve never been censored and many point out the absurdity of the basic lack of politically connectivity in topic after topic. If she fully turned Joshua the absurdity of your board persona, which is substantial already, would be overwhelmed by actual skeptics of the Lindzen, Spencer, Ball, Morano and Dilingpole variety who have a far more accurate read on the AGW activist agenda. It’s the middling worldview that is the “problem”, AGW political ambitions aren’t acceptable. AGW political designs are rooted in evil dressed as “idealism” and “being practical”.

        So many of us just aren’t going quietly into the Orwellian distopia of state sponsored and rationalized science authority of and the likes of you and Fanboy are dreaming of.

        There is better discussion board technical tools than worldpress, nothing is perfect of course. I would say Discuss has better features but no ignore key which I surely would use in your case Joshua and Fanboy as well. It isn’t going to change where Dr. Curry happens to be in her evolution away from the consensus political supports and subsequent discussions based on how topics are viewed and discussed.

      • ==> “You’re a greenshirt operative Joshua, it’s that simple. That’s “name calling”?”

        Well, yes, it’s name-calling. But that’s fine if you wish to call me names. One of the things I find most amusing about the climate wars is that people get so upset about someone calling them a name. It doesn’t affect my life materially in any way if you call me names.

        But here’s a question for you. What are the beliefs that I hold, that lead you to label me as you have done? Please try to be specific.

      • I know Josh about the serial name callers and earlier in the thread, I said that Judith should deal with the serial name callers. In this case, Judith moderated a contentless comment for our friend Web, who is among the worst offenders and ATTP did not do so. There is no double standard.

      • David -

        ==> “There is no double standard.”

        OK. If you restrict yourself to those specific instances, then you didn’t apply a double standard.

        If you’re trying to make some more general point about the name-calling at the two sites, respectively, then using those specific incidents as an example is applying a double-standard.

        And ironic, indeed, that in the very same comment where you discuss the topic, you impugn Anders’ “manliness.” If you find the name-calling offensive, then perhaps you should’t engage in it.

        BTW – Anders’ has had at least one post in direct response to reading Judith’s blog. So maybe you should reconsider this careless statement?:

        ==> “ATTP apparently reads Judith even though he doesn’t seem to want to admit it directly “

      • There’s a one question test Joshua that will solve the label issue;

        Is Paul Krugman a political ideologue or an “objective” economist?;

        http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/06/10/Krugman-climate-denialism-is-Ayn-Rand-s-fault

        You want me to quote mine your or Fanboy’s posts? You want to debate or obfuscate your general agenda toward carbon and green authority?

        It is what it is Joshua, it’s obvious.

      • cwon -

        Please notice that I asked you a direct question and you responded, but didn’t give me a direct answer.

        ==> ‘You want me to quote mine your or Fanboy’s posts?”

        You can do that if it would be in the service of giving me a direct answer to a direct question – although I have no idea why quoting “Fanboy” would be relevant to the question that I asked you. Seems like an odd logic to think that it would – but I’m always open to learning something new.

        As for your question to me – (with the understanding that it is basically unrelated to answering my question to you)….

        ==> “Is Paul Krugman a political ideologue or an “objective” economist?;”

        I think that there are few here that an be considered “objective” in some pure fashion. Krugman certainly wouldn’t be one, IMO.

        But I’m not inclined to determine the relevance of someone’s analysis based on trying to measure their “objectivity.” Better, IMO, is to look for specific biases on logical inconsistencies in their analyses. Referencing the impossibility of true objectivity as a way to evaluate someone’s analysis is fallacious. Let arguments stand on their own. If someone employs a double-standard or biased reasoning, point it out and see if they correct for the flaws.

      • Less we forget the gold standard of name calling, how few of the “consensus” have actively condemned it;

        http://newsbusters.org/node/10730

        Where is Fanboy on your list of “serial name callers”? It’s just a coincidence you share the same top-down authority green culture that his name is excluded? I can’t think any worse offender of pompous condescension, assumed rude authority (imagined of course) and “name calling”. So explain the hypocrisy here for me Joshua?

        While you’re more long-winded, indirect, evasive you have more thread-jacks with your silliness than any blog member here. Generally, I ignore 95% or more of the electrons you put out. With the few exceptions of the worst trolls of which you sometimes qualify, I never personalize the debate. I usually direct my commentary toward the host who seldom addresses direct confrontation to her many premises that are hallow and false.

        I don’t ask that you be censored during your rants and distractions. Never-the-less your sniveling and duplicity about “name calling” is rather obvious and unpleasant. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any card-carrying consensus member denouncing without qualification the lexicon meaning of “denier”. Just the usual willful ignorance of a particular tribal culture that can’t seem acknowledge what Fanboy represents either.
        You have the gall to talk about “name calling”???

    • Interesting timing:

      ==> “Just a heads up, we have added some moderation words which if used, will send comments to the moderation queue. The words are fraud, liar, troll, and id*ot (this list may evolve over time)”

      http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/youre-doing-it-wrong/#comment-23409

    • Only one of those four words is moderated at Climate Etc. (id*ot).

      • Rob Starkey

        Joshua- what is your point? I got a comment moderated for using that term to describe Web (accurately). As long as one knows the rules what is the issue???

      • Ringo,
        In scientific discovery, there are no rules, only ethical boundaries.

        There are also no idjits, only impediments to advancement.

      • Rob -

        The nesting has been lost. Those comments were directed at David – who compared the name-calling at ATTP to the name-calling here. I was merely pointing out that they have recently taken moderation steps related to name-calling that are more restrictive than the moderation policies here.

        My larger point was that the opinion David expressed runs counter to reality.

        I have no “issue” with any of this. I find it amusing that people engage in that name-calling and I find it amusing that moderators institute rules to prevent it. It all reminds me of junior high school. Addressing name-calling by implementing rules is trying to cure a disease by sporadically addressing some of the symptoms.

  122. Time for reflection indeed! As you know, I comment rarely now, partly because I’m running my own website. I have an aesthetic objection to twitter, but a sceptic friend says I’m wrong and has volunteered to teach me how to engage in it well.
    You’ve been going four years, and I nearly two, and there is no doubt that the debate has changed, with more dissenting papers, less government interest, other things taking more of the public’s attention, the continuing ‘pause’, and so on. At the same time, the religious fervour of the orthodox (at least, those at the extreme) has not lessened, so we still get the bizarre insistence that anyone who dissents is a ‘denier’ — and you a ‘heretic’.
    As for blogrolls, mine are there to show (and it is the case) that I am aware of the orthodox, and I do go to them, especially when there is an important paper being discussed around the blogosphere. As you know, I place Climate etc at the very top of my list. But I can’t seem to get mine in anywhere here. If I refer to it, as I did in a reprise of my Climate Denizens entry, it simply disappears from what is printed. And my name ‘donaitkin’ leads nowhere, because (am I right?) it is not in blue. If you could fix that I would be grateful!
    It continue to amaze me that you have the time to do all this. I now know what running a website means in time and energy — and I’m (sort of) retired!

  123. Jim Cripwell

    Let me bring this out as a new piece.

    @@@@@
    Stephen Segrest | June 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

    You’re really big on “backing up claims” — so here is a challenge to see if you “walk the talk”.

    Step 1: Read the following article on Dr. Molina (Nobel prize winning scientist):
    @@@@@

    I looked at the reference you gave, but could not find where Dr . Molina claimed to have measured the value of no feedback climate sensitivity. Could you provide me with the actual words in the reference where this occurs?

  124. Stokes, Connolley and Appell have my respect. Connolley, not such, because he deletes commentary, but nevertheless. A bloke like AndPhysics lives in a glass house and throws stones at Curry.

  125. Dr. Curry, I love reading the articles here, but not always the comment threads. They get very long, and some people (you know who you are) tend to repeat themselves time after time. I’m not necessarily saying this places a burden on you to moderate away such people or comments, mind you. I want to be for as much free speech as possible.

    As for threading and depth, I still pine for the old days in which I used my Agent message browser to read newsgroups. The features of Agent depended upon protocols that are not currently available in http protocols, but they could be, some day, if enough people demanded them. Some of these NNTP features were:
    - download only message headers to get message list (less immediate need for waiting or paged comments such as on Bishop Hill and Real Climate)
    - all new, unread messages since last visit appear as color coded to distinguish them from old, read messages
    - ability to show only new messages
    - quoted replies where the other person’s text is pre-inserted into the new message. Of course this was often abused, with people quoting huge blocks that had nothing to do with their response.
    - full branching of threads at any point, potentially renamed
    - collapsing and expanding of any and all threads or branch
    - kill files
    - full text search of all downloaded message bodies

    Conversational threads are less valuable if you cannot collapse them away, but if you search for text, you certainly want to find the comments that are not visible due to being collapsed.

    Some blogs offer ratings and then sort display based on ratings. I don’t like that, as usually someone will make some provocative comment early, then that dominates the discussion thereafter, the ratings creating a self-sustaining preference of display.

    I like your idea about crowd sourcing. To me, this make the most sense in developing experimental designs. For example, think of how Lewandowsky’s Moon Shot paper might have been improved if he seriously asked skeptics as well as his SkS buddies to come up with a notion of what questions to survey, how to get to the honestly held beliefs of climate change debaters. If he had done that, I might actually respect the man. One thing’s for damn sure. He would have tested the lefty ideologies as well as the rightist ideologies in his surveys. He might have even got a skeptical blog or two to host the thing, and if skeptics had some skin in the survey, they might have actually answered the survey.

    I’m not just suggesting crowd sourcing for social science experiments, either. All proposals could benefit from a good airing. Of course, good ideas for experiments could be stolen. Some sort of manifest may be necessary to preserve proper credit for the academic world, which wants to measure and reward that sort of thing.

    I also like to see a public discussion on how science papers and ideas are presented. I really like the idea a collectively generated convention for outputting of science in report form. In my opinion, this convention would start by demanding a very brief and minimalist abstract, a full reveal of the administration of the experiment (an “About” box, if you will) which discusses who, why, how, disclosure of applications, ethics, etc. then a discussion of the exact hypothesis in ‘elevator statement’ form, then a full discussion of the methodology, then a discussion of how the methodology is intended to generate an answer for or against the hypothesis, then the nuts and bolts, and a conclusion against the hypothesis. Then a disclosure and full access to all materials, data and code needed for replication. Then finally, a minimization section, a sort of minority report, where an open and honest discussion of differing opinions within the group, biases explored, where the experiment was weak, difficulties replicators may have, all discarded ideas, and other ways to improve, expand upon the experiment, or alternatively interpret the results.

    If the blogosphere could shame scientists and journals into adopting such a convention, all papers could be read more easily by the public and weak science and scientists would have a much harder time “baffling ‘em with bulls***.” Feel free to use this text as the basis for such a thread starter if you like.

  126. David Schuster

    On reconfiguring the blog, I like the nesting idea. After 100 comments I am pretty much done. For those who like to fling poo, let them keep it in Their nest. There are many thoughtful comments. Nesting helps me sort.

    On bias, this may be one of the least biased climate blogs, especially when one includes the comments.

    On the science/policy interface, I found many of your thoights (and those of the people you link to) provocative, especially regarding advocacy. Maybe there is another Monster looking for an outlet.

    On guest posts, I don’t know all on your list. I know some have blogs of their own. Reciprocation perhaps?

    I am way past 400 post. By my own rules I would likely not even read my own post, so ttfn.

  127. Walt Allensworth

    Prof. Curry – I am dismayed at the news that you are stepping down from your position as Chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

    No, dismayed is not too strong a word.

    Yours has been a strong voice of reason in an otherwise monoculture of conformity being forced upon this country by powerful political forces.

    I very much hope that the action to resign your position was not due to “political conformity pressure” coming down on you. If so, then I weep for our broken system. That would intolerable.

    If you would, please expand a bit on why you are resigning your position as Chair?

    Lastly, I’m very sorry to hear of Max’s passing.
    A great light has been extinguished.

    -Walt

  128. Pingback: Climate, Etc. | Transterrestrial Musings

  129. An American wit said long ago that “everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Well, we’ve hardly advanced: everybody now talks about climate, and some even claim that we CAN do something about it. While clearly the blog leader in qualified scientific discussion of this claim, Climate Etc. nevertheless often posts pieces by persons who have no professional qualifications in the subject they’re writing about. A more critical evaluation of authors would curtail the endless, mindless exchanges, silence trolls, and continue to elevate the level of discussion beyond that of narcissistic social networking.

  130. Pingback: Judith Curry is biased because the state of Georgia denies evolution | Shub Niggurath Climate

    • This is entertaining . . . are you aware Grumbine did a postdoc under me at Penn State circa 1990

      • Flat earth, cheesy moons, creationists, they are all strawmen, and if the proponents of such schlock don’t realize the absurdity, then the more is the pity.

        It’s a particularly mad delusion, the refusal to confront skeptic arguments; worse, the denial that they exist is quite fantastic. Pity for them is the merciful response, but it’s awfully hard not to laugh until sick.
        ==============

      • The above is a pingback, not a comment. I would not have known you replied here.

        Of course, it is entertaining. I was thinking, by Grumbine’s logic, you must have attacked William Gray post-Katrina days because Boulder, Colorado is a liberal city and you were trying to please your former colleagues by attacking skeptics.

      • He’s gonna draw a red line on the green cheese.
        ============

  131. Arcs_n_Sparks

    Dr. Curry,

    Thank you so very much for your efforts, and this website. I have followed it for quite some time, and find a good fraction of the material very educational. I have struggled to sort through the noise of various points of view looking for solid evidence. Your efforts have been instrumental in that discovery process.

    The fact that this post is so late is one aspect of your website I would try to tune. That is, there are so many comments now that each post takes a lot of time to read through. If there were a way to limit each contributor to a fixed number of comments, I suspect they would choose their rhetoric more carefully. It seems that >50% of comments involve the same small circle of contributors plowing over the same old ground. That is not helpful.