Overconfidence(?)

by Judith Curry

Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up. – Chris Colose

Below is the sequence of tweets that have motivated this post:

Judith Curry ‏@curryja Jun 28
Jay Ambrose: Climate scientist (Mann) using court to silence skeptics

An Archi Man ‏@HalJoneser Jun 28
@curryja @MichaelEMann Judith you seem to be as uncomfortable with the law as you are with clinate science? Both evidence based I suppose.

Judith Curry ‏@curryja Jun 30
@HalJoneser @MichaelEMann I’m equally uncomfortable about trying to silence critics with lawsuits & overconfidence in scientific statements

Chris Colose ‏@CColose 14h
@curryja @HalJoneser @MichaelEMann Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up.

Chris Colose’s tweet has been retweeted by Michael Mann, among others.

Overconfidence happens all the times, when individual researchers are convinced they are correct.  The more serious issue is overconfidence in context of the major assessment reports, i.e. IPCC.

Since Chris Colose and Michael Mann seem to be unaware of the overconfidence problem, I provide some documentation of overconfidence in the IPCC reports, in context of statements made in subsequent IPCC reports.

Hockey Stick

From the TAR: New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year.

For background on the origins of the TAR conclusion, see this post from Lead Author John Christy IPCC TAR and the hockey stick.

From the AR4: Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1300 years. 

The  warmest period prior to the 20th century very likely occurred between 950 and 1100, but temperatures were probably between 0.1°C and 0.2°C below the 1961 to 1990 mean and significantly below the level shown by instrumental data after 1980.

 Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record, such as 1998 and 2005, in the context of the last millennium.

AR5: Continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multidecadal periods during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (year 950 to 1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th century. These regional warm periods did not occur as coherently across regions as the warming in the late 20th century (high confidence).

For average annual NH temperatures, the period 1983–2012 was very likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 800 years (high confidence) and likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence).

JC comment:  Since the statement made in the TAR (with likely confidence level), subsequent IPCC reports have backed off significantly, including acknowledging that confident statements about warmest year or warmest decade are not supported by the data (this was discussed in the Climategate emails), and acknowledgement of magnitude of warmth in the Medieval Climate Anomaly that are regionally as warm as the late 20th century. The TAR was overconfident in its statement regarding the recent warming relative to the past 1000 years.

Sensitivity

The IPCC AR4 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

“The equilibrium climate sensitivity. . . is likely to be in the range 2oC to 4.5oC with a best estimate of about 3oC and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC. Values higher than 4.5oC cannot be excluded.” (AR4 SPM)

The IPCC AR5 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence) (AR5 SPM)

JC comment: The bottom of the ‘likely’ range has been lowered from 2 to 1.5oC in the AR5, whereas the AR4 stated that ECS is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC. It is also significant that the AR5 does not cite a best estimate, whereas the AR4 cites a best estimate of 3oC. The stated reason for not citing a best estimate in the AR5 is the substantial discrepancy between observation-based estimates of ECS (lower), versus estimates from climate models (higher). AR4 was overconfident in its conclusions regarding climate sensitivity.

Near term projections of warming

AR4: For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global averaged temperature increases between about 0.15 and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections.

In my recent post On the AR4’s projection of 0.2C/decade temperature increase, I provided additional details on the statements made in AR4, concluding:

The IPCC AR4 stands out, among the other four Reports, as providing a projection of 0.2C/per decade for the early 21st century, with a tiny uncertainty range. The projection is qualified only by the remark that 2 decades of averaging are needed to reduce internal variability in model response.

AR5:  The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016–2035 relative to 1986–2005 will likely be in the range of 0.3°C to 0.7°C (medium confidence). This assessment is based on multiple lines of evidence and assumes there will be no major volcanic eruptions or secular changes in total solar irradiance.

However, the implied rates of warming over the period from 1986–2005 to 2016–2035 are lower [than the model simulations] as a result of the hiatus: 0.10°C–0.23°C per decade, suggesting the AR4 assessment was near the upper end of current expectations for this specific time interval.

JC comment: To make this comparable to the AR4 numbers, 0.3 to 0.7C over a period of 30 years translates to 0.1 to 0.23C/decade. The AR5 places medium confidence on this number. The AR5 clearly did a better job than AR4, by providing a confidence level and a much larger range of uncertainty.  The AR4 projection was over confident and with a very small uncertainty range, and in light of the hiatus, turned out to diverge substantially from the observations.

Time of emergence 

The IPCC AR5 states:

In summary, it is very likely that anthropogenic warming of surface air temperature over the next few decades will proceed more rapidly over land areas than over oceans, and that the warming over the Arctic in winter will be greater than the global mean warming over the same period. Relative to background levels of natural internal variability, near-term increases in seasonal mean and annual mean temperatures are expected to occur more rapidly in the tropics and subtropics than in mid-latitudes (high confidence).

The large range of values for ToE implied by different CMIP5 models, which can be as much as 30 years, is a consequence of differences in both the magnitude of the warming signal simulated by the models (i.e., uncertainty in the climate response) and in the amplitude of simulated natural internal variability.

Subsequent to the AR5, a new paper by Mora et al. was published in Nature that made a big media splash; previous CE post Time of emergence of a warming signal.  The paper discussed unprecedented temperature shifts and gave some
rather precise ranges for when these might occur, although the times of emergence were somewhat later than the AR5 assessment.

Ed Hawkins and a cast of big name climate scientists have a comment in Nature published today, entitled Uncertainties in the timing of unprecedented climates.  The full article is available(!) [here].  Ed also has a blog post [here].  Here is the abstract:

The question of when the signal of climate change will emerge from the background noise of climate variability—the ‘time of emergence’—is potentially important for adaptation planning. Mora et al. presented precise projections of the time of emergence of unprecedented regional climates. However, their methodology produces artificially early dates at which specific regions will permanently experience unprecedented climates and artificially low uncertainty in those dates everywhere. This overconfidence could impair the effectiveness of climate risk management decisions.

Mora et al. reply [here].  Punchline:

In the accompanying Comment, Hawkins et al. suggest that our index of the projected timing of climate departure from recent variability is biased to occur too early and is given with overestimated confidence. We contest their assertions and maintain that our findings are conservative and remain unaltered in light of their analysis.

Scott Powers was invited to write News and Views on this exchange, entitled Expulsion from History [link]; behind paywall.

Mora is featured in an interview at Yale Environment 360, published today, which makes no mention of the Hawkins et al. critique??

Roz Pidcock has a post on this exchange at The Carbon Brief entitled Overconfident predictions risk damaging trust in climate science, prominent scientists warn.  Excerpts:

But the precision with which Mora et al. predict when places will emerge from historical variability is unwarranted and misleading, say the scientists who authored today’s letter. Dr Ed Hawkins from Reading University tells us:

“Mora et al. claim that they can say precisely when the “point of emergence” will occur, to within a couple of years in many tropical regions. [We], along with many other papers in the scientific literature, provide ample evidence that this precision is not justified”.

This might seem like a fairly esoteric dispute. But it matters, the researchers say, because overstating the certainty with which scientists can make predictions risks losing public trust if they turn out to be wrong.

Of course, it isn’t abnormal for scientists to disagree. As Sutton explains in the video clip below, it’s a fairly normal way that scientific understanding advances.

But on this occasion, Nature has decided to take the unusual step of including an article by an independent climate scientist – who was not involved in either piece of research – to discuss the disagreement between author teams. We understand this is the first time the journal has done this for such an exchange.

The author of this “News and Views” article, professor Scott Power, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, concludes that in his opinion the approach taken by Hawkins gives a “more realistic estimate of the range … that could occur in the real world”.

We asked Mora about the difference between his and Hawkins’s approaches to expressing uncertainty. He told us both are valid, but that research by other scientists suggests his is the most appropriate to use in this case. In the Nature comment, Mora and colleagues cite a paper by Dr Claudia Tebaldi and Professor Reto Knutti in support of this point.

However, Tebaldi told us today she thought her work had been taken “absurdly out of context”. In a letter to the Nature editor, seen by us but as yet unpublished, Tebaldi says:

“I would like to call your attention to an egregious case of “citation out of context” appearing in the comment/rebut by Mora et al. today on your journal website. Their use of Tebaldi and Knutti (2007) to support their projections … is laughable, since our paper actually presents arguments against it”.

It is, in short, a right old scientific ding dong.

This exchange of views may seem esoteric, but the question of just how precise scientific predictions about the future can be is one which cuts to the heart of a lot of climate science and policy discussions.

With the authors of today’s letter arguing that oversimplifying complicated climate science does no one any favours, this probably isn’t the last we’ll hear on this issue.

JC reflections

Overconfidence is rampant in climate science; I have argued that we have the IPCC consensus seeking process largely to thank for the actual institutionalization of overconfidence related to climate science.

The sequence of IPCC reports since the TAR documents overconfident conclusions that are subsequently changed or presented with reduced confidence levels.  There are other examples that I did not include, notably from WG2 and also related to the attribution of extreme weather events.

Uncertain T. Monster is certainly(!) pleased to see Roz Pidcock’s article and Ed Hawkins concerns about adequately expressing uncertainty.  However, I think the AR5, Mora and Hawkins et al. are all overconfident in their statements on time of emergence of warming signals based on climate models.  The climate models are arguably over sensitive as per the growing divergence between climate model simulations and observations that caused the AR5 to reduce its decadal projections of climate change relative to the actual climate model simulations (see my post IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW).

Gotta love Pidcock’s phrase ‘a right old scientific ding dong.’  Acknowledging that disagreement exists and that disagreement is what moves the science forward, is too rare in climate science – kudos to Hawkins and Sutton.  And kudos to Pidcock for grasping the essential significance of this disagreement particularly as it relates to overconfidence.

Oversimplification of complicated climate science and overconfidence in conclusions does no one any favors.

 

803 responses to “Overconfidence(?)

  1. Curious George

    Overconfidence and a confidence level: How many sigmas is a high/medium/low confidence? Do climate scientists know what a sigma is?

    • Chris Colose unwittingly(?) twits a canonical example of overconfidence-

      “Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated.”

      :-)

    • Some points and challenges which I have not seen addressed in this thread (it is a long thread, so pls try to forgive me if I have missed something):

      (1) the original Chris Colose quotation referred to “actual scientists” not only to IPCC assessment reports. So while Judith’s initial comments discuss official IPCC reports, as a matter of logic and evidence any overconfidence from any “actual scientists” would count. To be fair-minded and reasonable, a significant number of examples from fairly prominent and mainstream “climate” scientists should count, with some significant level of overconfidence should count, not any minor statement or miniscule degree of over-estimation.

      (2) as has been pointed out, “to err is human” and one should not get too worked up over one or a few minor examples. YET, when virtually ALL errors*(*viewed charitably) by prominent climate scientists tend toward “alarm” then it becomes more important to analyze possible sources of such excess in only one direction.

      (3) when it is claimed that scientific understandings are sufficiently confident to demand immediate comprehensive international treaties, immediate drastic actions by all of the world’s governments (or at a minimum all “advanced” economies), and vast re-directions of our world’s economies and policies…. it is most definitely relevant to question whether confidence tending always toward alarm is sufficiently reliable to require such government-mandated changes.

      (4) when the IPCC exists only to find “evidence” of AGW sufficient to mandate such actions, of course it is important to assess whether IPCC summaries for policy makers in particular tend toward overconfidence.

      (5) when it is extremely difficult for “actual scientists” who challenge any elements of the “consensus” to maintain their careers and not be totally marginalized, it is important to ask whether overconfidence is playing a role in the efforts of climate scientists to disparage and marginalize such figures (consider the experiences of Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, and the Roger Pielkes Sr. and Jr.). What kind of overconfidence is (possibly, arguably) involved to disparage and frequently treat with contempt such established scientific figures?. How much more difficult does this make it for any young, untenured scientist to question any aspects of the “consensus”?? It is at least plausible that overconfidence is playing a large role in the onslaughts against such scientists?!

  2. Real But Exaggerated

    Evidently enough confidence was lacking that one felt compeled to ‘hide the decline’.

    • David L. Hagen

      Overconfident Warming Exposed
      Christopher Monckton graphs and details the IPCC’s very overconfident predictions at WUWT:
      RSS shows no global warming for 17 years 10 months e.g.,

      Ø The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 214 months from September 1996 to June 2014. That is 50.2% of the entire 426-month satellite record . . .
      Ø The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to 1.4 Cº per century – half of what the IPCC had then predicted. . . .
      Ø The IPCC’s predicted 4.8 Cº warming by 2100 is more than twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.. . .
      Ø The IPCC’s 4.8 Cº-by-2100 prediction is almost four times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.
      Ø Since 1 January 2001, the dawn of the new millennium, the warming trend on the mean of 5 datasets is nil. No warming for 13 years 5 months. . . .

    • Mann and friends may be more suitable for analysis by psychologists than scientists, but anyone who has genuine confidence in their results could no engage in so many contortions to avoid sharing all data and methods-programs-analyses!!

      Allow genuine independent analyses of ALL data and methods, then see if work of climate scientists can be replicated or not.

      The intense anxiety and insecurities on display by so many climate scientists suggests an intricate melange of seeming over-confidence which is masking severe insecurities about the quality of their work.

      Consider the parallel of the bombastic rants here by non-scientist FOMT. If people like this possessed genuine confidence in their claims there would be no reason for torrents of hyper-anxious abuse and swarms of claims (plus spurious links).

      Just the facts people, just the facts! Let independent minds judge for themselves.

  3. Global Warming Projection Gangnam Style: crashing, quashing, fury, flatten, zing, blam, doom, bang!

  4. Why do scientists insist on talking about the long term risk the Earth faces being buried alive by the invisible gas, CO2? Countries around the world are being mobbed by unwashed immigrants, soon to be examined by our experts? This problem is at our very boarders today. Which is the pressing problem? Come on, you are scientists. Prioritize. Why CO2?

  5. Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up. – Chris Colose

    Climatology is a mature field and new finding will more likely change the complete picture only little.”
    Victor Venema

    • With a bit more context this sentence sounds a lot different:

      In practice it will likely take more than one Galileo or study. Also the refutation of classical mechanics by quantum mechanics and relativity did not change many things we already understood at the time. It allowed us to study new things and ask new questions. That was the revolution.

      Climatology is a mature field and new findings will more likely change the complete picture only little. The largest uncertainties are in the impacts, improving our understanding there will have to be done one impact at a time. And more likely, one aspect of an impact at a time.

      Pokerguy, it you be easier to take you guys seriously if you would not have to resort to selective quotations and you would not have to make claims without linking to the evidence in the hope that most readers will not google the claim. Gives the impression that politics is more important to you than being right. Just saying.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        You can always claim out of context, Victor, but it’s not meaningful if giving fuller context doesn’t alter the impression given.
        So what’s your beef, Victor? What makes his quote give a false impression of what you said?

        :)

      • Don Monfort

        The quote looks even sillier in context, vv. Poker did you a favor by leaving out that crap about Galileo and classical mechanics. Climate science doesn’t have any Galileos. It has Joneses and Manns. And there is nothing classical about it. At least not for the foreseeable future. Why don’t you try to help Judith clean up your profession?

      • What Don Monfort said.

      • If anything, you dragging Galileo and the rest into it just makes you look even more certain you already know it all. Good luck with that.

      • David Springer

        Climatology is a mature field, eh? What a laugh.

        The father of climatology, Reid Bryson, who was awarded the 30th PhD in meteorology in the United States, died in 2008. But not before he called global warming absurd.

        Here’s me in 2007 blogging about him while he was still alive.

        http://www.uncommondescent.com/off-topic/father-of-climatology-calls-manmade-global-warming-absurd/

        Fields where the man considered the father of it died just recently isn’t usually considered mature. And when that same man, a year before his death, called global warming absurd, it certainly doesn’t rank it as mature.

        When it’s mature it will be able to make predictions that come to pass. So far it has everything wrong. Antarctic ice shrunk faster than expected. Tropics warmed slower than expected. Atmospheric warming came to a screeching halt for 17 years and drove the actual global average temperature below the 95% confidence bound of ballyhooed climate model projections. CO2 increased at the highest projected rate for those 17 years and temperature didn’t increase at all in response. Holy missed the mark, Batman, that’s a wide miss.

        And where’s the increase in severe weather we’re supposed to have? Missing in action like all the other failed prediciton, projections, and hyperbolic nonsense associated with global warming “science”.

        What …. a …. joke.

      • David Springer

        Victor Venema | July 2, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Reply

        “Pokerguy, it you be easier to take you guys seriously if you would not have to resort to selective quotations:

        It would be easier to take you guys seriously if you make some climate forecasts that actually come to pass. So far you’re batting a big zero.

      • “Pokerguy, it you be easier to take you guys seriously if you would not have to resort to selective quotations:”

        Victor, You made a categorical assertion that leaves little or no wiggle room. Just live with it. Or far better, concede you made a spectacular misstatement. Claims of out “out of context” are often the last refuge of b.s. artists.. The reason I keep bringing it up is because it goes to the heart of what’s wrong with climate science these days. The arrogance is staggering.

      • Out of context this one sentence sounds as if nothing could ever make a significant change, which is not what I intended, but which is something Pokerguy would love to claim scientists thinking. Fits perfectly to the overconfidence theme of Judith Curry.

        In context, the term “new finding” clearly points to single papers. In context it is clear that it is possible that our understanding can change, but that it will take a lot of work, not just one paper, not just one Galileo and especially not some quaint idea on a blog that necessitates the assumption that all scientists in a certain field are stupid.

        Such as that the greenhouse effect does not exist, that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, that CO2 is heavier than air and thus cannot have a greenhouse effect in the upper atmosphere, that the Earth is cooling and the observations only show non-climatic warming, etc.

        If you want to change climate science, make yourself expert and put in the work. Do not expect anymore that in this phase something trivial is wrong.

      • What’s wrong is policy conclusions, and that’s not trivial.
        ============

      • agreed. significant decisions based on insignificant data and underwhelming understanding

      • The policy conclusions are wrong because sensitivity has been exaggerated, and the consequences of warming perverted by the belief that warming is dangerous. That’s because the immature field of climate science has depended upon inadequate computer models run by overconfident specialists and the economics have been projected by the disingenuous.
        ==============

      • Rob Starkey

        Kim

        Good summary. This is where we rarely seem to get those who fear rapid warming and a decline in conditions to actually discuss the merits of their beliefs/position.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Victor, Pokerguy quoted you saying “Climatology is a mature field and new finding will more likely change the complete picture only little.”

        You now say that gives the impression you said “nothing could ever make a significant change”

        However, with the full context you gave it does not change the impression.
        You say ” “new finding” clearly points to single papers. In context it is clear that it is possible that our understanding can change, but that it will take a lot of work, not just one paper”

        You say a lot of work, meaning, it seems, a lot of new findings in order to significantly change present “complete picture”.

        Still says that either it will not change significantly – or that ….Climate Science is not a mature field and the present “complete picture” is anything but complete.

        Stop whining. It’s what you said

      • There’s more, Rob. This episode in human history is a grand social mania, composed of equal parts of fear and greed, sustained by an illusion of knowledge, and turbocharged by guilt.
        ===================

      • I’m confident of that. Well, maybe a bit overconfident; I’ve little faith in the thermometer I use for the fever of mania.
        ====================

      • …notgoodtogo writes: “Stop whining. It’s what you said”

        It’s not only what he said, it’s what he’s been defending. When I first brought it up in a recent thread, he stood by the statement, challenging me to give him aspects of climate science that were not mature…Victor, you can’t have it both ways.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo | July 3, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        “Stop whining. It’s what you said”

        VV,

        Qualifers, like “more likely”, are lost on this lot of mad hatters.

        It’s all or nothing, stop or go, black or white.

      • “…madhatters… ”

        You’re my favorite batty alarmist, Michael.

      • “Climatology is a mature field and new findings will more likely change the complete picture only little.”

        Climatology does not look like a mature field to me. Compared with what? For example, celestial mechanics is a mature field. Not only is the basic physics well understood, but that understanding can be used to make accurate predictions, whether the timing of an eclipse several years ahead to within a few seconds, or the trajectory of a probe that slingshots off the inner planets in order to reach the outer ones. That involves solving the equations of motion using a computer, and you can rely on the results.

        Now compare with climatology. If you mean old-school climate science of the kind that existed before the AGW scare, conducted by people who called themselves things like “paleobotanist” rather than “climatologist” and were concerned mainly with understanding past climate, then there was a degree of maturity. But if you mean latter-day climatology of the kind that tries to predict future climate trends, and is dominated by GCMs, I see no maturity at all. So far climatology has demonstated no skill whatsover in predicting future climate, not even to the extent of whether surface temperatures would continue to rise or remain constant in the 21st century. As readers of this blog will know, GCMs have consistently over-predicted warming. At that, of course, is because the basic physics is evidently not well understood. Of course CO2 and water are GHGs, but what are the major feedback mechanisms, and how big are they? What are the naural cycles occuring at the same time? It is obvious to anyone outside the field that this is not well understood, even to the extent of whether the feedback is positive or negative. If it was, the models would work, and we all know they don’t.

        Now, there should be no shame in producing models that don’t work. Every science must go through that stage before getting to ones that do. And the climate system has many more variables than an orbital problem. But what is scientifically unforgivable is to take models that are really just exploratory and present them to the public and politicians as having predictive power, when they have not been validated in the real world.

        To describe predictive climatology as a mature field is absurd, and risks damaging the reputation of science for a generation or more.

      • Tom Scharf

        I don’t want to speak for Victor, but I think one interpretation of this sentence might be:

        We don’t expect anything to change the science picture any time soon.

        I would agree with that interpretation, because the great uncertainties in climate science will only be solved by long term monitoring. Climate science is mostly in a “wait and measure” period. and everything in the meantime is posturing and speculation. Climate science’s main drawback is the very long periods (decades, centuries) for validation.

        Personally I wouldn’t use the term “mature” for this situation. Maybe at a “standstill”, or maybe climate science is in a “hiatus” for a while, ha ha.

      • “The largest uncertainties are in the impacts, improving our understanding there will have to be done one impact at a time.”

        Since almost every premise for scaremongering and policy recommendations of wealth seizure/re-distribution and condemnation/blocking of fossil fuel use are based on projected (dire/catastrophic) impacts, you’d think they’d get their story straight before tying their own words in knots. Then again, they are so dependent on the lapdog/social justice media they just assume they won’t be held to any standard at all.

        And be careful folks, some of these guys might not have strong science/ethics/language skills but they sure as heck know how to find out your kids’ names. Threats, subterfuge and other means to silence freedom of thought are something they actually do with proficiency.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Michael said:

        “Qualifers, like “more likely”, are lost on this lot of mad hatters.

        It’s all or nothing, stop or go, black or white.”

        If it’s only 51% likelihood, it’s not a mature science. Can’t have it both ways. :)

      • That doesn’t follow, even remotely.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Michael says:
        “That doesn’t follow, even remotely.”

        But Victor said:
        “Climatology is a mature field and new findings will more likely change the complete picture only little.”

        Previously Michael said:
        “Qualifers, like “more likely”, are lost on this lot of mad hatters.

        It’s all or nothing, stop or go, black or white.”

        Therefor it does follow, to take up the question of likelihood. If the likelihood is only 51%, then the claim that it’s a mature science falls on it’s own.

      • But that’s got nothing to do with confidence intervals on very specific questions.

        Sweet Jebus!

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Michael,

        Now you’re changing the subject from probability to CI.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Try to recall, Michael, that your complaint was about qualifiers such as ““more likely” wrt new findings producing significant change.
        I do hope staying on your own track is not beyond you.

      • this,

        are you kidding?

      • You comment is just plain wrong. Run away warming was predicted and it hasn’t warmed in over 17+ yrs. The AGW theory is an abject failure and that’s significant – not “only little”. Give it a rest Victor…

    • Climate Science is Consensus Science, well, not really Science because Science is always required to be Skeptic. New findings and new knowledge will occur outside of the Consensus Clique because Consensus does not allow new findings.


    • Gives the impression that politics is more important to you than being right.

      Pokerguy is a former professional poker player (surprise) who obviously has to get his jollies by coming to these commentary sites and exercising his bluffing skills. Acting like he knows science is likely his nicotine patch for a habit that he cannot kick.

      I can only imagine what that would be like — say if I were to go to a classical music composition forum and start spouting off on that subject. It really takes some work and getting your fingers dirty to understand music theory, not to mention climate science.

      Pokerguy can claim otherwise, but he will have to face the fact that is how others see him — as just another noob.

      • Web,

        I’ve never claimed, never implied,.never hinted that I have a science background. To the contrary, I’ve mentioned here more than once that I barely passed high school algebra. When I first got here I’d often go so far as preface my remarks to the effect that I don’t have a head for science, much less a degree. I’m a humble guy by nature…which isn’t to say I don’t have strong opinions or that I’m afraid to express them. I just want to be careful not to inflate myself in any way. Whenever anyone’s brought up the poker, I’ve been quick to tell people that during my poker days, I was just a low stakes grind. I sold my end of a business years ago, and found poker a good way to make money while staying busy.

        So what do I bring to the table at Climate Etc?. According to you, nothing. What you don’t seem to understand is that there are many forms of intelligence. An advanced degree in physics in no way implies the ability to make valid judgments in other areas. Every day I see the most absurd statements made by people who can put a string of initials after their names.

        Ultimately, from my point of view, this is a political argument. It’s ignorant slobs like me who in the end have to sort through the competing information and make reasoned judgments as to how best to proceed. I know you don’t like that. If you had your way people would have to produce a graduate degree to get into the voting booth.

      • “I can only imagine what that would be like — say if I were to go to a classical music composition forum and start spouting off on that subject.”

        Yeah, except this site is explicitly about “topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.”

        After all, all the pro-CAGW “scientists” around here spout off regularly about policy/politics, without any training whatsoever in the subject. Most of them don’t even understand the real goals of the policies they are advocating; are flat out illiterate on economics; and have never had an independent political thought in their pointy heads.

        But we don’t ask y’all to shut up.

        One doesn’t need a degree in radiative physics to know that “climate science” is full of dishonesty, incompetence and bloated claims of confidence. Just like every other area of human endeavor. I know the flaws and gaps in climate science because I have read them from consensus “experts.” Clouds, water vapor, the various oscillations, the temp records. There are plenty of admissions of ignorance, if you know how to read the PR that passes for climate science.

        I have always enjoyed cross examining “expert” witnesses. They usually not only have over blown confidence in their own opinions, they tend to think their area of expertise is so esoteric, no one can really question them on an equal footing.

        But then there they sit, under oath, with a court reporter, facing someone who has had their report for months, and has reviewed it with his own experts. Oh, and a judge who can make them answer the questions that are actually asked, under penalty of contempt. If the Steyn case ever goes to trial, I would pay a huge price to watch Michael Mann under cross by a good attorney. Now if only Hansen and Trenberth would sue somebody.

        One doesn’t need a degree in radiative physics to know that “climate science” is full of dishonesty, incompetence and bloated claims of confidence. Just like every other area of human endeavor. I know the flaws and gaps in climate science because I have read them from consensus “experts.” Clouds, water vapor, the various oscillations, the temp records. There are plenty of admissions of ignorance, if you know how to read the PR that passes for climate science.

        As I have said many times, you all stop trying to demand government control of our global energy economy, and we’ll leave you to discuss “science” among yourselves.

      • Gary, thank you. As usual, you said it better..

        Web is so quick to impute evil motives to people with zero evidence. Why is that? In my experience, people who go around accusing others of this or that bad quality…again with no evidence…possess that quality themselves in great abundance.. I challenge web to find one statement of mine which implies any technical expertise. He just decided I was “bluffing,” because cleverly, he things that’s what poker players do. (It’s funny how non-poker players think the game is all about bluffing. Mostly…especially in limit poker which was my game… it’s sitting there like a stone for hours on end, waiting for an edge and then getting the money in. After a few years, it’s beyond tedious.)

        Yesterday someone said to Fan that he hoped he lived long enough to see he was wrong. Web decided…again with no evidence that I could see…that the guy really was hoping for the opposite. I found the accusation so shocking I’m still not sure I read it right. Judith thought so little of the comment that she deleted it, and the whole mini-thread it engendered.

        Incidentally, if some batty alarmist is tempted to say that skeptics attribute evil motives to alarmist scientists all the time…it’s because there’s a plethora of supporting evidence..

      • Web scores an own-goal by condemning someone for speaking outside their expertise (climate science) by speaking outside his expertise (poker).

        So good.

        And as a poker player myself, may I say Web is Climate Etc’s version of Hevad Khan.

      • If poker was actually like science, card-counting would definitely be allowed. The key to science, which none of you seem to understand, is that there are no rules when it comes to discovering the truth.

        Fun to watch your indignation unfold.

      • David Springer

        If WHUT a.k.a. Paul Pukite were a poker player and climate science was a poker table he’d fold the hand he has now and go play Keno for a while until his luck improves.

      • Happy 4th

        I entered David Springer’s racist rants against our president into the Field Guide to Climate Clowns so that others don’t forget.

        http://tinyurl.com/ClimateClowns

      • @WHUT,

        I suspect you’re post with the link to your field guide will be deleted very soon, and while amusing at points, at least one of the people on your list has known actual serious mental health issues, and most of us here know about that and simply ignore this person. You probably can figure it out and would do well to delete any reference to this person as it is in poor form to make fun of the mentally ill.

      • How do we find out whom, so we don’t make the same mistake. And how do we find out if people think that is ourself?? :-D

      • Sorry, I don’t know who that is. I just hope somebody can make sense of why people believe weird things some day.

      • Reposted, from where I accidentally put this under PopesCimateTheory.
        ……

        Alistair Riddoch | July 5, 2014 at 12:28 am |
        @WHUT
        Hi WebHub. I read your list of climate clowns. But I didn’t show up at all. I often have theories my most recent and most serious being solar cycle related magnetic and gravitational fluctuations, and I believe I have compelling evidence that it is correct.

        I found this GRACE mission data portal: http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

        And looking at 2002, 2008, 2013, I see not only a relationship, but also a matching phase change. In those years, which are peak/lull/peak of solar cycles 23 and 24, the gravitational anomolies on Greenland reverse position. grey inside green, green inside grey. And I just cannot see houw CO2 can cause that, so I am thinking gravity MATTERs (see what I did there), more than we have been aware in the mainstream.

        Plus in the past I have spouted off about radioactive decay variability, inconsistencies in the standard model, ranted about our acceptance of time dilation, and ignored the heliopause, it’s 38 billion km diameter donut shaped energy scoop, that travels at 26k/s and clears 39/40ths of the energy/matter in it’s path.

        Does anything in there qualify me for your climate clown list??

        I saw many names their of people here that I like and respect, and would be honoured to be included amongst them, or even listed as a second ranker, or perhaps, potential crank pending more information, or something.

        PLEASE?

      • An Australian civil engineer who invokes chaos and complexity theory at every turn. This makes him one of those null climate modelers who suggest that nothing can be done to predict future AGW. He says he chose his screen handle based on a Simpson’s character who transformed from a hydrologist into a criminal mastermind (and is fittingly the brother of Sideshow Bob).

        Chaos is the basis of climate shifts – which will determine the evolution of climate this century. It is only by understanding that you are in the right ballpark at all. Webby doesn’t.

        He claims omniscient powers:
        “I can look at sea level pressure at the poles and predict winter storms, I can look at sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean and predict seasonal rainfall in Australia and Africa, I can look at sea level pressures in the Pacific and predict seasonal to decadal influences in rainfall over much of the world. What can you do? Absolutely nothing at all because you understand nothing at all – you apply a method to data that you don’t understand. It is about as dumb as a computer. You are a lard arse know nothing loser. ”

        NAM and SAM, IOD, PDO, ENSO – it’s all about hydrology.

        Having such confidence in his prognostic powers, the Chief Hydrologist relentlessly predicts that warming will cease for “a decade or three”.

        It is still the case that climate shifts happen on multi-decadal intervals.

        This bold confidence in his prognostic powers is contrasted by Chief’s seeming incompetence when it comes to basic math as evidenced by this thread and his never-ending inability to comprehend basic dimensional analysis :

        “The equation that I gave was a simple energy budget:
        dS/dt = Ein – Eout”

        d(W&H) = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

        A precise 1st order differential global energy equation from 1st principles. I have to give the units because dimwits can’t do the mental interpretation.

        The chief is a nasty Australian (with alter-ego sock-puppet handles such as Captain Kangaroo and Dionysus and Michael (or Mickey) Mouse and Generalissimo Skippy and Robert I. Ellison), who if I saw getting on a bus, I would wait for the next one.

        The web is clueless on a massive scale on virtually anything of any real significance and is content with puerile and abusive comment. His triple plus blogospheric unscience is a bit like Wile E. Coyote – hence the cartoon allusion.

        Let’s get the nomenclature right. Captain Kangaroo was a climate warrior – who was field promoted to Generalissimo. Diogenes – not I note Dionysus the God of wine, song and revelry – was in search of an honest man and certainly failed to find one in webby. Robert I Ellison is my name – and this has always been known here. Mickey – as i said – is an appropriate response to webby’s cartoon maths and physics. Can’t have fun? Make classical allusions? Make jokes about the climate war? Send them up? Obviously not.

      • Alistair, You can get extra points depending on where on the planet you come from.

        So far you don’t classify because you seem more intellectually curious than dogmatically persistent about some wild theory.

      • I am a Beaver Loving Canuck, born in the british isles, (Oldham, England), to a musician and a pneumatic/mechanical engineer. Living in Ramara Ontario, half of Ramara is an indian reserve (Ojibway). I have had a long career in computers, having worked for consulting firms with exposure to a myriad of technologies, in order to produce computer programs to control equipment/experiments/capture data, analyze it, etc. Including:
        Rheology
        Nerve cell stimilation, response capture, analysis, and plotting, then my program would jolt them till they died and record that too. Lots of analysis, working with sensitive intruments, which had noise that needed eliminating, including tinfoil on the windows.
        Extensiometer control, and data collection analysis (busting baby diaper plastic for union carbide).
        Automotive plants around the world
        Automation for a half dozen years (big robotic assembly lines).
        Publishing industry for half dozen (Metroland part of Toronto Star)
        Shell Research center
        Truck frame plants
        Pipe bending
        Plastics Moulding
        Several food plants (cereal/poultry)
        And have worked independently and been into a ton of small businesses.
        I have been around.
        And everywhere I go, I have to understand what I am working on, to incorporate into programs written.
        And whenever I see something I don’t know or understand how it works, or why they do it (lost core injection molding is a fun one), I ask. I pick things up in plants and offices and say what’s this do, how does this work, where does this go. And I remember almost all of it. Like knowing after 10 seconds if you have seen a particular episode of a show 30 years ago. Yep.

        Some college and university, philosophy, pneumatics, statistics…never to the extreme, but as needed for purpose at the time.

        Past member of Mensa. (wanted to know I qualified, but didn’t want to keep paying every year after having nothing to prove).

        Was in jail this time last year (frustrated a judge, repeated not providing paperwork requested of me). Read two books about climbing everest and several popular mechanics, scientific americans. had an epiphany about hydrostatic equilibrium and the relationship between pressure/gravity/heat/climate, that I am sure bears out. but is not causal. but goes long way to mitigation.

        been a “denier” since I read “State of Fear” by Michael Creighton, just before seeing Stupidheads stupid movie. (I don’t say mean things to or about someone often in public, but he who will remain nameless, has done as much to deter serenity and good sense, and proper right to optimal governance, as just about any other human ever, except Chairman Mao, and maybe Hitler, but if he’s not second, he’s a close third.

        I do not believe the standard model, do not believe light speed is constant. I believe it fluctuates relative to gravity (travelling in the same medium), and therefor E=mCG, not mc^2.

        I think there is a universal aether comprised of ultra miniturized spheres, shaped the exact same as the “Inflated Universe” article in scientific american which outlines the shape of the universal gravity wave (as deduced using magnetism). thinking in the most extreme case of fractal geometry possible. They sit in a tetrahedral fashion, and all spin in two directions, a rotation, and a flip, and because of the shape, when squished together in a field, they create a “jitter” that explains every shape and motion you observe in the universe. The barbell-donut of a hydrogen atom, the gas clouds bursting out of the center of the milky way, the spiral arms, the energy shells of an atom, the planets in their orbit, are all parts of a containing “sphere” Always faster outside, slower inside relative to difference in size. the aether provides the containers, the material, the medium for light to travel the way it does, and mechanically replaces ALL the fundamental forces, with mechanical action.

        I haven’t suggested most of the above in one fell swoop to too many people, but plan on visiting the Perimiter Institute in a week or two, hunt down some sub atomic physicists and run it by them. I might be crazy, but if not, am pretty smart. But not 12 languages smart, or concerto at age 5 smart. More a collector of information (slumdog millionaire), a noticer of mysteries (they ALL get put in drawers and eat my brain like it or not….the smashed champagne bottle at the beginning of the movie Star Trek Generations, and the released champagne floating around in globules in open space eats at me to this day, I NEED to know whether that was true, or hollywooods best guess. I WISH I KNEW.

        I believe that G.R.A.C.E. will probably be found to be the rosetta stone of climate. it looks that way to me, but eh, might be wrong. I believe. But not so strongly that I push others to believe. So I invite review, and comment.

        it shows to me a stronger sun-earth relationship, ne control, than I believe is currently attribtued to the sun officially. I think amazing GRACE cracks that perverse belief.

        with greater external forcing, and greater mitigation ability (earth turns energy to weight and weight to energy daily, during every rotation. It puffs and settles constantly readjusting, rebalancing.

        could CO2 contribute to warming, sure. but the earth is 1,200,000 times the weight of the atmosphere, and is a big, puffing ball. it gets squished and released by orbit, by magnet, recalibrated monthyl by the moon, smoothed daily by rotation. There is NO “storage”. There is oscillation. (some would call it the same, that’s OK). And there are peak radiance cycles, and peak magnetically driven cycles. They run an interference pattern, creating temperature.

        I don’t snipe much (maybe not at all, I try not to). I sometimes get frustrated if people want to nitpick a fine point of a thought, which isn’t relative to it’s bigger picture, and lash when I don’t manage to restrain myself. I feel bad if so. Not everyone has the same knowedgebase, experiences, exposure, education, whatever, that others do. and tolerance begets tolerance. impatience begets impatience, rudeness begets rudeness. so I try not to.

        and I understand existensialism, and almost feel ready to apply it to climate….it doesnt matter if there’s warming or not, if how it impacts my life that there might be, is unlikely to be changed by myself, so why would I bother???

        Because my parents are Aberdonian (from Aberdeen), (Scots are known for thriftiness, and they laugh at the Aberdonians!). And I SEE WASTE. BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars of waste, of administrations, media, peoples attention, peoples worries, societies wasted opportunity to do more good in wiser ways. I HATE WASTE. And if CO2 gets debunked, the waste to humanity has been absolutely massive.

        I’m 99.8% sure it will before too much longer (< 5 yrs or less).

        And all of the above is 100% true. (my personal stuff, not my theories, they need testing/confirmation which is difficult. If an experiment shows time bends and gets accepted, and a universal fabric as envisioned would result in clocks not working the same in space, and therefor time being a constant, and that matches obesrvation, making the concept of bending time crazy talk, how does one disprove a crazy but believed theory, if observations of experiments are discarded.??? hmmmm. working on it. Hoping field trip to some higher knowledge center will help.

        If you havent reviewed the data, I believe it will POP your eyes out. (then imagine the red-blue blur from the scientific american article about inflatable universe), inside, counter rotating, and look at the ripple pattern of gravity across the surface of the earth. hmmmmmm.

        And like I said, I really like some of the people on your list,

        so theories abound. confirmation not yet.

        so if you think I qualify,I'm just saying, I like the crowd, and would be honoured to be listed amongst many of them.

        Maybe we could form a club.

        :-D

        cheers, WebHub

        Sincerely,
        Alistair

      • oh yeah, I forgot, might be a bit OCD, and have been a pretty wickedly good pool player in my day. studied the bejeezus out of colliding spheres with compound momentum, where that momentum would go and react. I was never the most accurate or consistent pool player, (pretty good, but lots better). But I have never ever played someone who thought more creatively or could see as many alternate ways to get out of a jam or solve a problem on the pool table, equals, never outshone. (don’t always win, but can almost always see a path to it.).

        :-)

      • @WHUT p.s., on linked in, got awarded top 1% in Canada as “referred for ability at Troubleshooting”, and my family ran a small pool, to predict the date of the last day we would have ground snow around our house this year (that’s what we do for fun), it was May 6th. WAY past normal. Convincing me global warming is truly a crock. (purposely abusing statistics). And once had to write a program, to create x BAR r charts for Dana Corporation. On a dot matrix, with no graphics abilty, pixel, by bloody pixel, created in an array, and fed to the dot matrix 8 bits at a time, including creating characters and boxes, labels, different line thicknesses for varying slope angles, tick marks, the series data , etc. dot by frickin dot. took a couple of days, no sleep. wrote a program that accidentally fried a monitor in highschool by shifting the screen back and forth so much because of the cool pattern it made (a squiggle down the middle) that it physically burnt out the tubes of monitors. (I didn’t believe it possible the first time it did it.) Nobody knows. Please don’t tell. :-) And using multi command lines, wrote a game to display a character at the bottom, dodging random downward stars, detecting crashes, keeping and displaying the total, listening to and reacting to the keyboard, and ending the game at a preselected length. 2 long and complicated lines (had to have a loop), 1 fully functioning game.

        I don’t know what else to say that could suggest I deserve the climate clown crown with the others??

        respectfully,
        Alistair

      • I find it amusing I’m included on that list with basically nothing stated about me save I went to ITT Tech. Given I’ve repeated demonstrated solid skills in the IT field in blog discussions, citing where I attended is pointless. It’s also funny because the only reason anyone found out where I attended is people sought out information about me as a person. It speaks poorly of people when they try to make issues of trivial points. It’s sort of like how WebHubTelescope routinely says my comments are good for high school debates as his only rebuttal. If people/comments are as bad as he says, why can’t he muster better rebuttals?

        (He also includes what is either a willful delusion or lie, that I dismiss things by saying they “make no sense” and nothing more. Anyone who actually bothers to read my comments where I say things don’t make sense will inevitably find me detailing why the thing in question makes no sense. WebHubTelescope, willard and others like to ignore that just so they have ammunition for their smear campaign. Because that’s apparently all they have for it.)

      • But Brandon, look at the list, don’t you like some of the company? I asked if I could join. i mean, why not? And your schooling is a thing to be proud of anyways. oh, maybe you just upset he didn’t say more. sorry I misinterpreted. ah, either way not my business.

        I retract my thoughts. :-)

      • Alistair Riddoch, I can’t say I care about such lists. The social dynamics are mildly interesting, but the only reason I even clicked on the link was to see what (if anything) it said about me.

      • It’s all good. Just sharing. And just having fun. :-)

      • => “Anyone who actually bothers to read my comments where I say things don’t make sense will inevitably find me detailing why the thing in question makes no sense.”

        That’s beautiful, Brandon.

      • Joshua, I’m glad to hear that from a petty bully who likes to spread obvious untruths in order to belittle people. Oh, sorry. I didn’t make my comment vague and cryptic enough. I guess I just suck at behaving like you guys.

        Which is to say, if you have something to contribute, say it. If you have an accusation to make about me, make it and provide evidence for it. If you think I’m wrong about something I’ve said, cite (and preferably quote) what I said and explain what’s wrong with it. That’s what I do.

      • Brandon

        Alistair has quickly realised that if he hasn’t been slimed by Webby on this site he remains an outsider.

        I don’t know Web’s policy on sliming the deceased though, as poor Max is no longer with us.

        tonyb

      • WHT says:

        “If poker was actually like science, card-counting would definitely be allowed.”

        lol – wrong. Card counting is for blackjack.

        “The key to poker, which I do not understand in any way, is that when I comment on it hilarity ensues”

        fixed that for you.

        “Fun to watch the hilarity unfold.”

        Fixed that one too; by all means, yuck it up along with us!

        Don’t feel bad Webster, poker would not survive but for people who wrongly think they have it all figured out………kind of like govt. grants for bad science.

      • My advisor’s advisor was Robert Park, who wrote the books Voodoo Science and Superstition, chronicling the pseudo-scientific theories and belief systems that abound around us:

        I figured that I would keep flying the flag. Too bad your constitutions are so delicate that you can’t stand being called on your crank theories,

      • Brandon –

        Sorry that you think that I’m a bully (and bullying you?), or that I like to spread “obvious untruths.: Sorry that you think that I”m making “accusations.”

        Yes, I do think that in particular, you are quite often “wrong” in failing to distinguish fact from opinion. I have pointed this out to you a number of times.

        Your statement about how you don’t just say that what people say doesn’t make sense, but you instead you also explain why what they say doesn’t make sense, was for me a beautiful example of your tendency to conflate fact with opinion. So I commented – because, IMO, you are among the best at arguing from incredulity.

        I don’t consider that spreading untruth, or bullying, or making an accusation. But you certainly are entitled to feel that way if you wish. It doesn’t bother me. You have my full permission. You have my blessing. Suit yourself.

      • Don Monfort

        Brandon, you have given little joshie an undeserved promotion. He is not a petty bully. He is a wannabe bully. He will always be a wannabe bully. Little joshie lacks the heft to be a bully.

    • Last Friday this paper came out;

      Pacific freshening drives Pliocene cooling and Asian monsoon intensification

      Junsheng Nie et al.,

      http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140627/srep05474/full/srep05474.html

      The gist is that the closing of the Panama isthmus altered the way the earth cools and made the globe more likely to trip into cool-mode.
      It may, or may not be true. However, if true it means that all the accounting ‘equilibrium’ tempertaure vs incoming/outgoing calculations are completely bogus; ‘equilibrium’ sensitivity is dependent on the movements of the ocean currents.
      Funny that.

  6. Look over there. I squirrel!

    Forget about the borders, terrorists, NOX, SOX mercury and teriary treatment. carbon is a problem we can focus the nation upon.
    Scott

    • Don’t forget about all the contagious diseases pouring through our meaningless border, courtesy of Obama and Komrades.

  7. Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up. – Chris Colose

    The supposed near certainty asserted by the IPCC is worse than overconfident. It’s delusional.

  8. Been said before but necessary to repeat. Overconfidence is when one knows very little about most of the inner-earth and deep hydrosphere (which is most of the earth), not too much about possible influences beyond the earth, not nearly enough about past climate (though some of that ignorance is voluntary)…

    …and one nonetheless insists that there is a) such a thing as climate science and b) that it is settled.

    To paraphrase the old jugged hare recipe, first catch your climate scientist.

    • nottawa rafter

      After overconfidence add “and an immature science”. How anyone can put the word “mature” and “climate science ” in the same sentence is beyond me.

  9. A

    and tertiary sewage waste treatment

  10. “Overall,” says Edward Wegman, “our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.” (See, Ad Hoc Committee Report On The ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction),

  11. Overconfident? No way. These were humble searchers after the truth.
    =============

  12. “This might seem like a fairly esoteric dispute. But it matters, the researchers say, because overstating the certainty with which scientists can make predictions risks losing public trust if they turn out to be wrong.”

    Peasants, pitchforks, and night. Can you imagine a more apropos scenario for climate scientists who persist in calling forth calamity? and those who huddle in silence, off to the side, tattered rags, and dirty faces?

    The “Muck Rakers” of climate science may have something to say.

  13. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Overconfidence versus Underconfidence
    in the IPCC Climate-Consensus: Some
    Elementary Statistical Considerations

    The climate-science community respects Judith Curry and Naomi Oreskes as (what mathematicians call) “duals”. Here on Climate Etc, Judith Curry speaks for herself (obviously)  and Naomi Oreskes’ speaks pretty plainly too:

    Judith Corry, please don’t neglect to cite Naomi Oreskes’ cogent arguments that over-conservative climate-science has *ALREADY* exerted severely harmful effects, for reasons set forth in the recent Oreskes/Conway article The collapse of Western civilization: a view from the future (Daedalus, 2013).

    Curry’s and Oreskes work *BOTH* a long way toward teaching us to respect “the uncertainty monster” of climate-change … and to appreciate its true nature and potentially lethal “bite”.

    For the following reason. Let us suppose that:

    • The IPCC’s 5th Assessment asserts two propositions per page (3056 propositions)
    • Each proposition has a 0.05 probability of being over-confident (as concerns Judith Corry), and
    • Each proposition has a 0.05 probability of being overly conservative (as concerns Naomi Oreskes), and
    • Each proposition has a 0.90 probability of proving to be (in the long run) essentially correct.

    In this scenario, Judith Curry’s points are valid for (about) 150 propositions; Naomi Oreske’s points are valid for (about) 150 propositions; and the IPCC’s remaining propositions (about 2,700 of them) are substantially correct.

    And these odds seem (to FOMD) to be reasonably in accord with our existing scientific understanding.

    Conclusion  It is scarcely likely that *ANY* of the three — Curry or Oreskes or the IPCC — can reasonably hope to do better than *THIS*!

    Conclusion  We all of us owe Judith Curry *AND* Naomi Oreskes *AND* the IPCC our appreciation and gratitude, for three jobs *ALL* well done!

    \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}

    • ” We all of us owe Judith Curry *AND* Naomi Oreskes *AND* the IPCC our appreciation and gratitude, for three jobs *ALL* well done!”
      _____
      Yep. The uncertainty monster cuts both ways. One only needs to look at projections for both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to see both sides. Take a sea ice projection from any model around the time of AR4 for either the Arctic and Antarctic and see how the model did. Actual Arctic is running way below those AR4 period projections and Antarctic is running above. Again, Uncertainty cuts both ways.

      • Agree partially. Failed GCM’s doesn’t mean that global warming might not happen (to mean at least).
        But, the obvious problem is that basing policy decisions on this is irresponsible.
        I mean, we might as well start building an army to protect against the imminent alien invasion.
        So in the end the uncertainty is still asymmetric and the predictor always has the harder time.

      • “to me at least”

    • Curious George

      A confidence level in climatology is a joke. It is not based on mathematics at all – except maybe on vote counting (I strongly suspect that IPCC confidence levels are determined by a popular vote; please correct me if I am wrong – I would actually like to know the mechanism).

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      R. Gates notes “The uncertainty monster cuts both ways.”

      LOL … yes it is the two-headed uncertainty monster!

      One monster-head embraces personalities, conspiracy theories, and “twitter”  the other monster-head publishes in Daedalus and PLOS.

      The former is (arguably) more entertaining; the latter (arguably) a superior role-model for young researchers.

      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}

      • FOMbs,

        As has been pointed out to you many times by a variety of people, stuff you claim as

        That’s obvious to *EVERYONE*

        frequently is neither obvious nor true nor accepted by “EVERYONE”

        The fact that you continue to spew your tedious rants punctuated by such transparently false assertions of what “EVERYONE” believes, contrary to the simple facts (just review the comment threads here at Climate, Etc. for differences of views), takes you from the realm of the bombastic to that of the maliciously dishonest.

        FOMbs, you are not merely a troll but a liar and a fraud.

        *THAT* should be obvious to *EVERYONE* who does not have a prior ideological bias toward affirming just any nonsense spewed by the FOMbs.

    • That is an illogical numbers game. It doesn’t matter how many questions were answered correctly or incorrectly with various confidence levels but rather the importance of the individual questions. One could argue that the very most important question is the projection of their most important (and biggest expenditure) computer modeling and is the most egregious error in their scientific practices.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* • Each proposition has a 0.90 probability of proving to be (in the long run) essentially correct.

      Why would you put such a high probability as that? “Long run” and “essentially” require definition. I recommend specifying particular definitions and measures of accuracy: something like, for global mean temperature, and integrated mean square error of prediction of 0.1C over the interval 2020 – 2040, with a bias less than 0.05. For particular regions of the Earth surface, perhaps you could predict the mean Palmer index, again with specified accuracy and duration.

      The US experienced a 7% increase in maximum rainfalls between the Rockies and Appalachians, in the 50 years after 1950. A mindless projection predicts the same for the 50 years following 2000. Can a model-based forecast do better than that mindless projection? Why would anyone think so?

  14. Actually, the way dissent was suppressed(is being suppressed) argues that they were(are) not overconfident. Does Michael ‘Piltdown’ Mann act like an overconfident man?

    There is something in this that I don’t think I’ll bother to develop, but each of you can think of several exemplars from the field of climate science and ponder the level of confidence of them. Creating this false narrative has always required some element of insecurity about the whole mess.

    Some of us who learn a lot from the tone of the debate picked this up eons ago, I’m quite confident of that. Cats who double in size at the sight of a dog come to mind.
    ================

    • Just read Christy’s congressional testimony. Mann’s manipulations at the IPCC were despicable. Over/under confidence does not fit. It needs a forensic psychologist to diagnose his actions.

    • David Springer

      Good one, Kim. Cat doubling in a size a very nice finish.

      +1

    • Good point. My personal disgust blinded me to this point.

    • This is a well known characteristic of the ‘social mania(s)’ you cite above. In such social entities, the narrative, while being non-sentient and non agential, is rather more in control of the influenced people than they are in control of the narrative. A social ‘fever’ might be a rather better word, and the narrative direction / agenda is purely via constant differential selection of its allied range of memes. (A fever also morphs slightly with every person it touches, and so more virulent strains constantly emerge; this is the [very rough] similarity). This resultant social characteristics are well-mapped, and include over-confidence, orthodoxy policing, huge insecurity regarding threats to the message, obsession with heretics, guilt, devotion of time/effort to the cause (sometimes termed the cause’s ‘taxation demand’), and so on. To boil it down very simply, this is because the narrative sustains itself via pushing emotional hot-buttons in us, which drown out reason and promote these often conflicting characteristics. The trick to understanding is to realise that the narrative is it’s own purpose, not any cause or resultant policy it appears to be about. It’s an aligning mechanism from our evolutionary past, and surprisingly perhaps, has overal conferred some large benefits (but there are big downsides too, and CAGW is perhaps one such!)

  15. A recent report from the National Academies is about using “convergence theory” the facilitate the integration of inputs from the life sciences and the physical sciences in researching complex issues:

    Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond
    National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, May 2014

    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/reports-in-brief/convergence-brief-final.pdf

    Is anyone here aware of attempts to use this approach for analysis of “climate etc.” issues?

    • Interesting… I agree that the interdisciplinary challenge is one that brings climate science to its knees. I was part of an ecology oriented interdisciplinary program and my take away is that generally speaking its much easier to just think of scientists in other disciplines as ‘whacked’ and ‘ignorant’ than it is to cross the cultural barrier….

  16. They certainly overegged their certainty about the lack of solar variation’s influence on the Earth’s climate systems. Loopy jetstreams, hemispheric see-saws, thunderstorms, you name it, the Sun influences it.

  17. Damn! They were really overconfident in the non-overconfidence of climate scientists, eh?

  18. I’m 97% certain that the assertion that 97% of climate scientists believe global warming will continue and be a disaster is an instance of overconfidence.

  19. AGW Projection (a propaganda machine that actually runs on Global Warming) about rivers running red and…

    ”The oceans will begin to boil…” ~Dr. Hansen

  20. Extremely likely,
    97 per cent,
    makin’ a list ‘n
    checkin’ it twice,
    they will determine
    what’s naughty or nice.
    … and don’t u fergit it.

    A tattered serf.

  21. “Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated”

    What a fantastically self-unaware comment by overconfident Colose!

    • Well spotted!

    • Actually, Colose often has good things to say. This just wasn’t one of them.

    • fizzymagic

      The chiming in by Mann is especially ironic, given his apparent ignorance of how to do statistics. I’m guessing he could not define “confidence interval” correctly given several tries.

      • Thankgod we have random blog commenters telling published scientists they have no idea what they are doing.

        Go ‘Skepticism’ !

      • fizzymagic

        Being a published scientist is of no use if you can’t do math correctly. It’s embarrassing that there are still climate scientists who defend Mann’s methodology.

        There is never any excuse for ex post facto data selection. There is no debate among competent scientists over this point. That Mann does not (or will not) understand it implies a lock of competence or integrity. Having never met him, I cannot say which.

      • What a mortal pity, Michael, that in this case an anonymous blog commenter is actually (and correctly) more credible than this particular published climate scientist.

        Umm, tweets do count as publishing, right?

      • fizzymagic

        Well, it does turn out in this case that the anonymous blog commenter is a published scientist, with publications in this exact area…

      • fizzy,

        What are you babbling about?

      • Michael: Do you not understand fizzy? Can we then question your ability to understand anything? Suspect it is a futile attempt to save yourself.

      • Tom Scharf

        I guess we could start with how professional published statisticians view the concept of non-centered PCA and using upside down proxy data such as Tiljander. Of course there is much more, and you know that.

        Never being able to admit you are wrong is a character flaw present in many, but not conducive to good science or enhancing one’s credibility.

      • Tom Scharf | July 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        “I guess we could start with how professional published statisticians view the concept of non-centered PCA ”

        Tom,

        Anyone in mind?

        Maybe Ed ‘Plagiarist’ Wegman?

      • fizzymagic

        Non-centered PCAs are not the most important issue. One could legitimately argue that the use of PCA is inappropriate in this context.

        But those issues pale in comparison to the data selection problems. See, the deal with data selection is this: for ethical and responsible scientists, once you have seen the result of your analysis with all the data, you can never publish the results of analysis with a subset. You have to obtain completely new, independent data. Otherwise the data selection bias completely overwhelms everything else.

        I’ve seen it happen again and again in my own field, particle physics. There are famous examples of very large effects that resulted from seemingly insignificant data selection degrees of freedom.

        The above is a serious problem for those attempting to do climate reconstruction from proxies. Everybody uses the same proxy measurements, which have been selected after seeing their effects on the answer. Papers are published purporting to be independent analyses, but they use substantially the same data!

        The problem is that without completely new and independent data sets, all the reconstructions will be contaminated by the incompetent analysis that Mann did. It’s just the way science (done by reputable and competent scientists) works.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Michael, you really should try to keep up. You said:
        “Tom,

        Anyone in mind?

        Maybe Ed ‘Plagiarist’ Wegman?”

        So Michael, here’s Ian Jollife, the top expert, whose name was falsely used by Tamino and RealClimate as if to knock down Wegman and back the use of Mann’s decentered PCA :)

        ” Apologies if this is not the correct place to make these comments. I am a complete newcomer to this largely anonymous mode of communication. I’d be grateful if my comments could be displayed wherever it is appropriate for them to appear.

        It has recently come to my notice that on the following website, http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/pca-part-4-non-centered-hockey-sticks/ .. , my views have been misrepresented, and I would therefore like to correct any wrong impression that has been given.

        An apology from the person who wrote the page would be nice.

        In reacting to Wegman’s criticism of ‘decentred’ PCA, the author says that Wegman is ‘just plain wrong’ and goes on to say ‘You shouldn’t just take my word for it, but you *should* take the word of Ian Jolliffe, one of the world’s foremost experts on PCA, author of a seminal book on the subject. He takes an interesting look at the centering issue in this presentation.’ It is flattering to be recognised as a world expert, and I’d like to think that the final sentence is true, though only ‘toy’ examples were given. However there is a strong implication that I have endorsed ‘decentred PCA’. This is ‘just plain wrong’.

        The link to the presentation fails, as I changed my affiliation 18 months ago, and the website where the talk lived was closed down. The talk, although no longer very recent – it was given at 9IMSC in 2004 – is still accessible as talk 6 at http://www.secamlocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/itj201/RecentTalks.html
        It certainly does not endorse decentred PCA. Indeed I had not understood what MBH had done until a few months ago. Furthermore, the talk is distinctly cool about anything other than the usual column-centred version of PCA. It gives situations where uncentred or doubly-centred versions might conceivably be of use, but especially for uncentred analyses, these are fairly restricted special cases. It is said that for all these different centrings ‘it’s less clear what we are optimising and how to interpret the results’.

        I can’t claim to have read more than a tiny fraction of the vast amount written on the controversy surrounding decentred PCA (life is too short), but from what I’ve seen, this quote is entirely appropriate for that technique. There are an awful lot of red herrings, and a fair amount of bluster, out there in the discussion I’ve seen, but my main concern is that I don’t know how to interpret the results when such a strange centring is used? Does anyone? What are you optimising? A peculiar mixture of means and variances? An argument I’ve seen is that the standard PCA and decentred PCA are simply different ways of describing/decomposing the data, so decentring is OK. But equally, if both are OK, why be perverse and choose the technique whose results are hard to interpret? Of course, given that the data appear to be non-stationary, it’s arguable whether you should be using any type of PCA.

        I am by no means a climate change denier. My strong impressive is that the evidence rests on much much more than the hockey stick. It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics. Misrepresenting the views of an independent scientist does little for their case either. It gives ammunition to those who wish to discredit climate change research more generally. It is possible that there are good reasons for decentred PCA to be the technique of choice for some types of analyses and that it has some virtues that I have so far failed to grasp, but I remain sceptical.

        Ian Jolliffe”

        Michael, thanks for giving us such a good example of the hysterical, nonsensical alarmist chatter.

  22. Climatologists are not so much overconfident as self-assured in possessing Truth that comes from their knowledge being in the Book and blessed by the Congregation.

    I.e., peer-reviewed, published (Journals & Assessment Reports), and the Consensus, reinforced by models made to reflect Truth.

    That is not science, which instead requires models actually to work.

    I.e., make valid predictions.

    • Perhaps the leaders of the movement should be called “Messiahs”

    • Yes. This is acknowledged even from within Climate Science itself, e.g. this quote by Hand Von Storch (a climate scientist):

      Without really being aware of it, climate scientists had taken over the role of prophets: They predicted the imminent end-of-the-world if society did not fundamentally change soon, reduced its emissions, and behaved more sustainably with the environment. The problem was not only the message, but also that they were were often completely way in over their heads with the role as mediator between nature and society.”

      Storch and his fellow author (a cultural scientist) have also used the term ‘wizards’ and ‘shamen’ in relation to the appearance of more advocacy orientated climate scientists in the media.

  23. From the article:

    While doing research 12 or 13 years ago, I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, “If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 20 years?” He looked for a while and was quiet and didn’t say anything for a couple seconds. Then he said, “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.” Then he said, “There will be more police cars.” Why? “Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”

    And so far, over the last 10 years, we’ve had 10 of the hottest years on record.

    http://www.salon.com/2001/10/23/weather/

  24. John Robertson

    Judith, you are showing the flaws in the very basis on which their academic careers have been built upon – do you expect them to admit that they were overconfident? This could have an impact on their future income and retirement plans…

    Modern science apparently has no method of correcting errors or omissions – unlike pilots and a few other professional associations where the errors and omissions are presented within the group so others don’t make the same mistakes.
    Fix that and climate science will recover, and we do need to validate climate science because – as we all know – the climate will change and if it starts to get colder (or hotter – which seems less likely) we better have some plans ready! Ice ages are not uncommon in the recent past, warm periods seem to be rarer…

    • @ John Robertson

      “Fix that and climate science will recover, and we do need to validate climate science because – as we all know – the climate will change and if it starts to get colder (or hotter – which seems less likely) we better have some plans ready!”

      To me, personally, the most dangerous thing about climate change is the continuing stream of government policies that are ostensibly enacted to save me from it.

  25. The APS would like to know: To what would you attribute the stasis? What’s with the hiatus? The GMST is just standing still. Now is the time for the government climatists of global warming alarmism to answer the APS’ big question: What are the implications of this statis for confidence in the models and their projections?

  26. Don Monfort

    You run into a lot of twits on twitter.

  27. michael hart

    It’s the confidence/competence ratio that troubles me most.

  28. Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age. ~Richard Lindzen

  29. Political Junkie

    Overconfidence in a single often heard phrase”

    “The science is settled!”

  30. We don’t know really know why the global temperatures started to increase three decades ago but we think it was due to increased CO2 as we couldn’t think of any thing else at the time.
    We don’t know why the global increases in temperature stopped rising about 16 years ago .
    We don’t know why our models are so far out in their predictions compared to the reality of the climate temperatures flat lining over the last 16 years despite continuing increases in CO2 levels.
    We don’t know why the Antarctic ice areas are increasing so rapidly and extensively despite our models telling us it was going to decrease.
    We don’t know why the Arctic ice area and volumes are no longer decreasing but have now started to increase again despite the continuing loss of Arctic ice our models predicted.
    We don’t know why the sea levels rises have slowed right down over the last decade despite our modeling predicting accelerating rises in global sea levels.
    After 30 or more years of very expensive and extensive publicly funded research by hundreds of climate scientists we can’t give anything more than a vague estimate of the critical climate sensitivity number, an estimation that ranges over some 3 or 4 degrees and this when the annual and decadal changes in global temperatures are supposedly calibrated in hundredths of a degree.
    We can’t accept temperatures as measured over a hundred years ago and at any time since as a correct measurement of the then actual real temperature so we must adjust and keep on adjusting on a daily basis those past temperatures so as to provide temperatures corrected to fit the requirements of what and why we are not sure??

    But hey we are totally and absolutely confident that our predictions of a catastrophic temperature increase of 0.0XX degrees in 2051 will be absolutely correct and cannot be scientifically challenged.

    Its called climate science [ /sarc ]

  31. k scott denison

    One thing climate scientists don’t seem to be overconfident about is that if they continue to preach alarm the dollars will continue to flow.

  32. These guys just don’t get it, do they?! I wonder what arrogant self-serving nonsense they’ll natter on about when they learn (as I inadvertently discovered a day or so ago) that – notwithstanding all their “confidence” in the demon CO2 as THE major culprit – the movers and shakers out in the real world just aren’t buying it.

    As a consequence (or coincidence, depending on one’s perspective, I suppose), it seems that last September, right around the time that AR5 WG1 was heading into its oh-so-transparent (not) “final” incarnation, a Group of high-powered folks (under the “official” leadership) of the indomitable former President of Mexico and the U.K.’s exorbitantly wealthy Lord Stern decided that a “New Global Commission” needed to be formed which “Aims to Identify Pathways to Economic Prosperity and a Safe Climate”.

    By strange coincidence, they’ll be presenting their findings (one suspects with much fanfare) during the course and/or on the periphery of Ban Ki Moon’s planned September 2014 special gathering dedicated to … climate science, of course.

    This group seems to have materialized, out of the blue, so to speak. Here’s an excerpt from their circa Sept. 28/13 press release:

    As evidence of human-induced climate change mounts, a new global commission launched today will analyze the economic costs and benefits of acting on climate change. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate comprises leaders from government, finance and business from 14 countries, chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón.

    The Commission is launching the New Climate Economy project, bringing together some of the world’s foremost economic experts to examine how stronger economic performance can be supported by good climate policy. The project aims to contribute to the global debate about economic policy, and to inform government, business and investment decisions.

    “Climate impacts are rising and the evidence of warming is increasingly clear, but most economic analysis still does not properly factor in the increasing risks of climate change or the potential benefits of acting on it,” said Commission Chair and former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. “We need urgently to identify how we can achieve economic growth and job creation while also reducing emissions and tackling climate change.”

    Oh, and they have a spiffy website where one finds – on a page called “Approach” – the following (my bold -hro)

    The New Climate Economy’s starting point is the perspective of economic decision-makers: government ministers, particularly ministers of finance, economy, energy and agriculture; business leaders and financial investors; state governors and city mayors.

    For such decision-makers, climate change is rarely a primary concern. […] Yet their decisions powerfully influence the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.

    As I recall, they also have a “roadshow” planned following the début of their “independent” product.

    Links, details and other related stuff at UN enters US$4.5 trillion twilight zone

    Amazing, eh?!

    P.S. To the best of my knowledge, Mann is not involved in this magnificent “scholarly” venture ;-)

  33. Overconfidence is rampant in climate science;

    An ancient Cretan once said, “all Cretans are liars.”

  34. For some reason that went into moderation.

  35. If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

    There are significant gaps in the ideas that they can ‘entertain’. This is psychologically aberrant manifesting in an inability to review assumptions and overweening – but very misplaced – confidence in their intellectual and moral superiority.

    The only bright spot is that they seem likely to be squirming for some time yet. Nor is renewed warming after the next shift anywhere near guaranteed. Expect surprises.

  36. Danley Wolfe

    The “climate consensus” and “climate advocates” have always been overconfident because they were told the answers that stakeholders (power holders) wanted to hear in advance. Sort of like doing a study for the big boss and having the outcome amazingly agree with big boss’s desired outcome even though it was incomplete or not fully understood. Another way of looking at it: if you did a multivariate regression analysis involving n variables and found that the statistical regression could explain 55% of the variability (although it probably had a lousy R squared), some would take this and interpret it to say that of the variables Xij … X1,2, X4,5 and X7,8 are the most important factors correlating with the measured macro response, Y. Even though individually each of those three variables amount to less than 7% of the measured correlation and together the three are less than 15% of the measured correlation — a) correlation is not causation, b) what missing variables are at play that would account for the missing explanation of correlation in the response, Y.

    The UNFCCC protocol from the Rio convention in 1993 told scientists the answer. Our understanding remains poor of the causes of global mean temperature variations that do not conform to the proposition that Y is caused by AGHGs. (Lots of you folks have made x-y plots of corresponding mean temperature or anomaly vs. Mauna Loa CO2… how did that work out for you. Anyone? It does during the ~40 year period through the 1990s; doesn’t work at all for a) the mid 1940s to mid 1970s b) last 17 years and counting.

    The UNFCCC protocol said this:
    The Parties to this convention:
    “Acknowledging that change in the Earth’s climate and its adverse effects are a common concern of humankind…

    “Concerned that human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, that these increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect, and that this will result on average in additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind”

    “Recognizing that steps required to understand and address
    climate change will be environmentally, socially and economically most effective if they are based on relevant scientific, technical and economic considerations and continually re-evaluated in the light of new findings in these areas…”

    Have agreed as follows:
    Objective:
    “The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related
    legal instruments…,in accordance with the relevant provisions of
    the Convention, is stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent
    dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

    “Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient
    to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to
    ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable
    economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.”

    Principles:
    “The Parties should protect the climate system for the
    benefit of present and future generations of humankind…

    “The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent and minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where threats of serious or irreversible damage exist, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures…”

  37. stevefitzpatrick

    There is a lot of overconfidence in climate science. For sure, but why? It may have to do the basic requirements of successful advocacy: the advocate must be supremely confinent he/she is right, or at least feign that confidence (a la Stephen Schneider), in order to be convincing. That supreme confidence is a much less desirable trait for scientists, and some (like me) would argue, quite opposite to the traits usually found in good scientists.

  38. The overconfidence is on the part of those who firmly believe that the part of the IPCC sensitivity range above 2 C per doubling is wrong, despite easily justified transient sensitivities based on 40-60 years of data saying that it is 2 C per doubling (which is just a lower limit on the ECS). They are the ones to speak of overconfidence? They have a smaller range than the IPCC and their range can already be shown to be outside the data, yet they believe it firmly against overt evidence that they could be wrong.

    • The science suggests several climate shifts last century leading to the expectation of several more this century. The whole idea of sensitivity in the context of abrupt climate shifts is nonsense – but not it seems to Jim.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        JimD,
        You talk about historical aerosols as if there were known; they were not and are not. There are at least some reasonable recent satellite based measurements of aerosol effects, which the IPCC seems to weight with greater credibility than the much higher levels used by most. Those higher aerosol effects are required to make high sensitivity consistent with known temperature increases. You seem to me to be rejecting the best empirical data because it conflicts with your pre-conceived notions of high climate sensitivity.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Jim,
      You regularly say that the transient sensitivity is at or above 2C. This is simply inconsistent with observations. Sure, plenty of climate models diagnose a transient sensitivity near 2C, but others (like the one that Isaac Held works with) diagnose about 1.3C per doubling. And as you may have noted, the models which diagnose a transient sensitivity near 2C aren’t doing too well over the past decade.

      But putting all that aside, you can make a very reasonable estimate of transient sensitivity quite easily. The transient sensitivity in degrees per watt, is approximately the historical rise in temperature over the industrial period, divided by the current GHG forcing less the current aerosol offset. Using IPCC numbers: current GHG forcing is about 3.1 watts per sq meter, and current aerosol offset (AR5 most probable value) is ~ 0.9 watt per sq meter. The temperature increase since 1850 is about 0.85C, so a first order estimate of the transient sensitivity is then 0.85/(3.1- 0.9) = 0.386 degrees per watt per sq meter, or as more commonly expressed, about 1.43C per doubling (a doubling of CO2 is 3.71 watts per sq meter). The true value could be a bit higher or lower, because the transient response is defined as the warming after 70 years with a 1% increase in CO2 each year, which is not what has actually happened. My personal guess is that the above estimate is more likely a little higher than correct, because GHG forcing has been growing somewhat slower than the prescribed 3.71 watts per sq meter over 70 years (an increase of 0.053 watt per sq meter per year), so the Earth is not as far ‘behind’ the GHG forcing as it would be using the prescribed doubling in 70 years.

      Of course the IPCC values could be off, which would change the calculation, with the greatest uncertainty in aerosol effects. But the best emperical estimate we have for transient sensitivity, based on AR5 valuea, is in the range of ~1.4C, not 2.0C.

      • 75% of the CO2 has been added since 1950. The CO2 forcing change since then is about 1.36 W/m2 while the temperature change is 0.7 C giving an effective sensitivity to CO2 of 2 C per doubling. If other GHGs grow faster relative to aerosols in the future this would be higher, and if aerosols grow faster than other GHGs relative to this period, it would be lower, so this is a middle estimate, although most would suspect aerosols won’t keep up with CO2 as much in the future. Prior to 1950, the CO2 rise was at a weaker rate, but there was a rapid aerosol rise through that period too, being closer to balancing, but now with CO2 outstripping aerosols we see a larger effective sensitivity post 1950, and especially since 1970 where the CO2 rise has become the dominant part of the temperature trend. Just taking dT/dF in the past 30 years we also see 2 C per doubling (4 C per doubling if you just take land, but that is a different story).

      • ‘Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the system’s state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.’

        http://www.academia.edu/3226175/Mathematical_Theory_of_Climate_Sensitivity

        Not so much overconfidence it seems as the inability to progress beyond dinosaur ideas about how climate works and/or simplistic pull it out of your arse angel calculations.

    • How many angels was that again?

    • Jim D 7/2/14 @ 8:54 pm said,

      The overconfidence is on the part of those who firmly believe that the part of the IPCC sensitivity range above 2 C per doubling is wrong, despite easily justified transient sensitivities based on 40-60 years of data saying that it is 2 C per doubling (which is just a lower limit on the ECS)..

      Of course the IPCC sensitivity is wrong, and it is wrong at all ranges, not just above 2C. That could be included as another of IPCC’s major errors in my list below on 7/4 @ 4:42 pm.

      It is wrong not because of any empirical data of the past, as Jim D guesses. It is wrong because the measurements don’t fit IPCC’s definitions of climate sensitivity in any of its several species. For example,

      Climate sensitivity In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature FOLLOWING a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration. Caps added, AR4, Glossary, p. 943.

      Now this is actually one of a few good point scored by IPCC in its Glossary. Unfortunately, the points don’t necessarily translate to method in the main body of its Assessment Reports.

      Here, IPCC requires effect to lag cause, warming to follow the CO2 increase. That is the causality part of causation. (Or vice versa: definitions vary). Science 1A. Unfortunately, IPCC estimates the rise in temperature and just divides it by the slope of the log base 2 of atmospheric CO2. That will always produce a number, but it’s not the defined climate sensitivity parameter. What IPCC neglects to estimate is the rise in temperature FOLLOWING any increase in CO2 concentration.

      Estimating delta T due to a CO2 increase is a snap to model, but hard to measure in the real world. IPCC makes it simple by assuming that manmade CO2 causes global warming, and that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is manmade. That would be a bootstrap if the estimated ratio were used as evidence of the existence of AGW. The error also relates to IPCC using correlation to prove causation.

      In its present state, the atmosphere warms, and the warming causes atmospheric CO2 to increase. Henry’s Law. Presto: IPCC has two numbers for its ratio. Unfortunately, the CO2 rise follows temperature, not the reverse.

      What Lindzen and others estimate for climate sensitivity is not just a fraction less than one of IPCC’s super confident lower bound. At best the measurement has the wrong sign. At worst, the discrepancy is IPCC’s very high confidence in its scientific nincompoopism.

  39. Paul Ehrlich

    • + 100. He is (was?) a real nut job.

    • Despite his many awesomely wrong predictions of environmental apocalypse, Paul Ehrlich is still going strong at 82 as Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He has been highly honored throughout his career. In 2012 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.

      Paul Ehrlich wrote the book on the benefits of scientific overconfidence when it comes to environmental alarmism. He is celebrated for his overconfidence. No wonder many scientists are following in his footsteps.

      • Aldous, Ehrlich was right and Julian Simon was wrong. Look at how many countries have significantly depleted their non-renewable crude oil reserves the last few decades. Ehrlich made simple statements that you can find in any earth sciences textbooks, such as non-renewable resources will not renew . How can one not win that bet?

      • Web: The facts are that Ehrlich lost his bet to Simon and hundreds of millions of people did not starve to death in the 1970s.

        If you, Ehrlich, the environmentalists and the climate orthodox had the goods in these discussions your side wouldn’t resort nearly so much to goalpost-moving, dishonesty, character smears, data fudging, banning and censoring opponents, and snark as you do.

        If Ehrlich really meant someday, somewhere we’ll experience serious shortages of food or resources, then he should have said so. But he wouldn’t have become famous for that prediction.

        As Ehrlich’s life demonstrates, overconfident fear-mongering pays off big time for environmentalists and there’s no penalty for being wrong.

      • The world is producing crude at an astonishing rate. More reserves are being found all the time. While CRUDE WON”T LAST FOREVER, it isn’t going away anytime soon, either.

      • Agreed. anyone whose opinion of crude reserves has not been re-aligned within the past five years, needs to recheck their numbers. New techniques at detection have made significant differences globally.

        Here is example :US

        http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=12351

      • Just for Web:

        In the last 100 years, America’s population has tripled. Life expectancy has increased by 70 percent. The productivity of the American people, measured in terms of real per-capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has increased by 600 percent. At the same time, we have consumed more than 340 billion barrels of oil, almost 60 billion short tons of coal, and more than 1,090 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

        These things are linked. Affordable and reliable energy is a crucial factor in making these and many other significant human, social and technological achievements possible.

        Yet even with steadily increasing rates of economic and population growth, as well as increasing energy consumption, the United States today possesses greater recoverable supplies of oil, natural gas and coal than at any point in its recorded history. How can that be? Have vast new sources of hydrocarbon fuels magically materialized beneath our feet over the past 100 years? Or is it possible that, despite what you’ve read, heard and have been told, our continent has always had a lot more energy available to it than some would have us believe?

        The answers lie in the data. In 1980, official estimates of proved oil reserves in the United States stood at roughly 30 billion barrels. Yet over the past 30 years, more than 77 billion barrels of oil have been produced here. In other words, over the last 30 years, the United States produced more than two and a half times the proved reserves we thought we had available in 1980. Thanks to new and continuing innovations in exploration and production technology, there’s every reason to believe that today’s estimates of reserves are only a fraction of what will be produced and delivered tomorrow—not only here in the United States, but across the entire North American continent.

        OIL
        Total Recoverable Resources: 1.79 trillion barrels.
        • Enough oil to fuel every passenger car in the United States for 430 years
        • Almost twice as much as the combined proved reserves of all OPEC nations
        • More than six times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia

        COAL
        Total Recoverable Resources: 497 billion short tons.
        • Provide enough electricity for approximately 500 years at coal’s current level of consumption for electricity generation
        • More coal than any other country in the world
        • More than the combined total of the top five non-North American countries’ reserves. (Russia, China, Australia, India, and Ukraine)
        • Almost three times as much coal as Russia, which has the world’s second largest reserves.

        NATURAL GAS
        Total Recoverable Resources: 4.244 quadrillion cubic feet.
        • Enough natural gas to provide the United States with electricity for 575 years at current natural gas generation levels
        • Enough natural gas to fuel homes heated by natural gas in the United States for 857 years
        • More natural gas than all of the next five largest national proved reserves (more than Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan)

        Institute for Energy Research, 2011

        As Jim2 says, it won’t last forever, but it’s not going away anytime soon.

      • Ehrlich was right in the long run. Non-renewable resources do not renew. The bet was irrelevant. That is the first law of earth sciences and is discussed in all the textbooks. What is so hard to understand that when a resource like that is gone, it is gone for good?

        Take the case of helium. Discuss.

        That’s what we use to do in the classroom. Have a discussion. Whereas here it all seems to be about denial.

      • Webby:

        Ehrlich was right in the long run. Non-renewable resources do not renew.

        I couldn’t help but be amused at the long run being referred to in the past tense. It is not clear that non-renewable resources will remain forever nonrenewable. Cheap fusion energy and nanotechnology might make renewing hydrocarbon fuels trivial.

      • Repeating the essence of another comment on this blog, crude will not be depleted, provided price controls are not implemented. As crude becomes less available it will also become more expensive, resulting in less consumption; crude consumption will end before it is depleted.

      • Ehrlich was right in the long run. Non-renewable resources do not renew. The bet was irrelevant.

        Web: Your side will just not admit you’re wrong ever. It’s always, “Heads I win; tails, we’ll reframe the subject.” You are all about denial.

        If the bet was irrelevant, Ehrlich should have said so and not bet.

        As to non-renewable resources, that’s sort of true and ultimately, assuming the heat death of the universe, we run out of *everything*.

        But in the meantime, as rls points out, we won’t run out of non-renewable resources as along as markets function.

        And as Canman points out, technology advances could throw all your Malthusian predictions into a cocked hat as they have been doing since Malthus.

      • So Ehrlich was right. He educated a generation of people of the simple truth of non-renewable natural resources.

      • Tom Scharf

        wht: Finite reserves are finite.

        In other news, the color black remains black, and scientists expect it to remain that way indefinitely.


      • Tom Scharf | July 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm |

        wht: Finite reserves are finite.

        In other news, the color black remains black, and scientists expect it to remain that way indefinitely.

        Glad you understand that. Many people don’t. Either their job or their underlying agenda prevents them from believing that fact.

  40. “Overconfidence happens all the times, when individual researchers are convinced they are correct.” – JC

    Judith being a case study in the problem.

    There’s always one.

    • Micheal I am very confident that Judith included herself in that group. :)

      • captdallas,

        Of course. She freely admits she was once a member of the consensus tribe. Though I doubt that was what Michael meant.

      • No, I meant that Judith is prone to making strident claims, sans evidence, and when challenged to back them up, typically delivers crickets.

        Overconfidence in the correctness of her own views appears to be at play.

      • Tom Scharf

        Still waiting for your response to her recent challenge on her Senate testimony…crickets…

      • Is that to me or someone else Tom?

    • Michael, we’re all pretty aware that you don’t really know what you meant from one comment to the next. Just keep slashing away, though. Monkeys and typewriters, of course–you might actually make sense one of these days.

      • One Michael from Australia is the perfect antidote to neutralize all the crazed commenting coming from the other Aussies that seems to never stop.

        Did you see the weird theory proposed recently by David Evans from down under? The guy confidently believes that the climate possesses a notch filter and there is an unknown Force X that is stimulating the climate.

        What do you, just ignore this stuff? Or do you point out how silly it all is?

      • Don Monfort

        He makes sense to webby. Monkeys of a feather…

      • David Springer

        Schitbirds of a feather squawk together.

      • thomaswfuller2 | July 3, 2014 at 1:37 am | Reply
        “Michael, we’re all pretty aware that you don’t really know what you meant from one comment to the next”

        Hmmmm. Spam bot?

      • Tom,

        I always envision another creature when seeing Michael post. One that brays.

      • C’mon tim, surely you can come up with something new.

        Can you really be so unimaginative?

      • Michael,

      • Michael,

        There is an old adage of not letting perfect get in the way of good enough.

        As donkey is good enough, I don’t have bother with trying to find a new analogy.

    • I think that people have to be allowed a certain self confidence, or there would never be anyone at the table, willing to open their mouth.

      But I think it is fair to ask individuals to assess the likelihood of their own correctness, when they make stipulations.

      Example: “I truly believe”, that the data from GRACE will reveal interaction between the sun and earth, that dispels forever the notion that CO2 has ever been controlling the climate, instead of along for the ride, like we are.

      My personal confidence level on this is 99.8%. it sounds over-confident, but that’s how sure I am.

  41. Inconceivable !!

    Where is the confident climate scientist that wants to explain how:

    You can watch a GPS satellite go around the earth, for 24 hours, but with a clock aboard, reading 38ms less than 24 hours, while believing the clock on the satellite to be 100% functional?

    And without knowledge of the most important underlying physical understanding, how can anyone analyzing a dependent field of study, pretend, or be allowed to pretend, complete, or worse, over-confidence??

    Inconceivable !!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Remarkably … the temporal stability of the (phase-locked!) RF-oscillators on the GRACE satellites is quite a bit *BETTER* than the temporal stability of the GPS satellites!

      That’s how we see that the polar ice-melt is accelerating!

      It is a pleasure to help assist your physics comprehension Alistair Riddoch!

      \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}

      • If you know a thing or two about satellites and time, I would love to know if you are aware of the research at Stanford Purdue, 2009, Peter Sturrock, et al., and the impact that has on the sanctity of our atomic clocks, especially in varying levels of solar exposure?

        My comprehension lacking is how anyone still believes that time dilates??

      • David Springer

        Time dilation is experimentally proven and incorporated into corrections that make GPS as accurate as it is.

      • Hi David Springer. Re: “Time dilation is experimentally proven and incorporated into corrections that make GPS as accurate as it is.”

        Scientific over-confidence!

        We depend on clocks measuring the radioactive decay rate of cesium 137 to gauge the passage of time on our GPS satellites.

        I REJECT the premise that cesium 137 works equally the same in orbit as it does on Earth. Some REALLY compelling evidence of this is at this web site…http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html

        And if time doesn’t “bend” physics has a problem.

        If physics has a problem, climate science has a problem. There will be things happening that they don’t “see”.

      • David Springer

        Crank alert!

    • fizzymagic

      We depend on clocks measuring the radioactive decay rate of cesium 137 to gauge the passage of time on our GPS satellites.

      If you really don’t even understand the most basic facts about how Cs clocks work, then you should really hold off on the rest of the ranting.

      • Hey Fizzy Magic.

        I believe I understand the essence of the operation of atomic clocks.

        It is time dilation measured (and thought proven) with demonstrably fallable atomic clocks that I am trying to understand.

      • fizzymagic

        I believe I understand the essence of the operation of atomic clocks.

        You said that atomic clocks rely on the radioactive decay of Cs-137.

        That is completely and totally incorrect. Therefore I conclude that you don’t understand how they work. The notion that you likewise don’t understand relativity is easy to reach given the above.

      • FizzyMagic, I appreciate you effort to help me out.

        Please instead of discussing how an atomic clock doesn’t work, I will take a guarantee from you, that there is ZERO opportunity for atomic clocks to work differently in orbit, than on the ground, other than time dilation.

        I’m not unwilling to listen to the comment of someone who has spent more time reviewing a subject than I have.

        And if you can’t think of any possibilities, whatsoever, if the issue is that closed in your mind, well I should take note of that.

      • See using the theory, that peoples actions speak louder than their words, I will point out that one of the major universities that maintains twin atomic clocks, that are looked to, by others, recently built new quarters, and moved their clocks in.

        In setting up the new quarters, they specifically mentioned the different types of shielding they were planning on putting in place. So people with a clock that loses 1 nanosecond in 30,000,000 years, are paying good money, to protect it environmentally, but have zero need to, because the environment does not matter to the operation and accuracy of the clock??

        And they were only moving from one side of the parking lot to the other. Not whizzing around the planet at a good clip.

        And I view them as being as close to accepted experts as possible. (they have two of the darn things, in sync!)

        But I don’t know your experience, or knowledge level. Feel free to bolster your thoughts with why you have them, if you want.

        And thanks if you help me attain a new understanding. I like knowing how things really work. :-)

      • David Springer

        Crank alert!

        Izzat you Myrhh?

  42. Oversimplification of complicated climate science and overconfidence in conclusions does no one any favors.

    Perhaps not in the long run or on the scales of truth, but in the shorter term the overconfidence of climate scientists has paid magnificent dividends in providing them with astronomical funding and prestige.

    Given that there are almost no career consequences for overconfident environmental alarmism, what’s not to like?

    The incentives are on the side of overconfidence, as well as all the other abuses we have seen in climate science.

  43. I am sitting here in open mouthed astonishment at the sheer arrogance and pompous conceit of the tweets of Chris Colose ‏@CColose and An Archi Man ‏@HalJoneser Jun 28. Oh well, science doesn’t tolerate fools well and their comeuppance is assured. As for Mann, I am really really really looking forward to seeing him come up against Stein in court.

  44. “…psychology has revealed what’s called the ‘overconfidence effect’ that sheds light on the fact that more often than one would expect, people who are “extremely confident” are wrong.”

    http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/overconfidence-effect-9647/

    vs

    “Science Says Overconfidence Key to Success”

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/feed/business/personal-finance/science-says-overconfidence-key-to-success/fck6h/

    Over confidence in an entrepreneur is a positive, because if he is wrong, someone else will take the resources he was using and put them to a better use. Overconfidence by government, and those advising government, is disastrous because government just keeps on going regardless of how wrong it is proven to be.

    • “Over confidence in an entrepreneur is a positive, because if he is wrong, someone else will take the resources he was using and put them to a better use.”

      – I like that

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      GaryM claims [anhistorically] “government just  keeps on going regardless  is cast from office because of how wrong it is proven to be.

      Error by GaryM, correction by FOMD/The Onion!

      Over the long haul, democracy works pretty well, eh GaryM?

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

    • fan,

      With the sole exception of Reagan, every president elected during my life time has been a fan of big government.

      But yes, democracy works pretty well when it is allowed to. Which is why progressives are doing so much to undermine it. The regulatory state, the imperial presidency, the courts deciding policy issues, centralization of the healthcare and energy economies; all designed to take decisions away from the stupid voters.

      With our see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil progressive press, democracy is being destroyed from within, without the majority even having a clue.

      • The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan

        by Sheldon L. Richman
        On August 2, 1988, President Ronald Reagan announced that he had changed his mind about the pro-union plant-closing bill. He had vetoed it three months earlier, but now let it become law without his signature after intense pressure from presidential nominee George Bush and former Treasury Secretary James Baker, now Bush’s campaign chairman. Reagan claimed that only this action would enable him to sign a Congressional trade bill almost unequaled in its anti-consumer protectionism.

        Ronald Reagan’s faithful followers claim he has used his skills as the Great Communicator to reverse the growth of Leviathan and inaugurate a new era of liberty and free markets. Reagan himself said, “It is time to check and reverse the growth of government.”

        Yet after nearly eight years of Reaganism, the clamor for more government intervention in the economy was so formidable that Reagan abandoned the free-market position and acquiesced in further crippling of the economy and our liberties. In fact, the number of free-market achievements by the administration are so few that they can be counted on one hand—with fingers left over.

        Let’s look at the record:

        Spending

        In 1980, Jimmy Caner’s last year as president, the federal government spent a whopping 27.9% of “national income” (an obnoxious term for the private wealth produced by the American people). Reagan assaulted the free-spending Carter administration throughout his campaign in 1980. So how did the Reagan administration do? At the end of the first quarter of 1988, federal spending accounted for 28.7% of “national income.”

        Even Ford and Carter did a better job at cutting government. Their combined presidential terms account for an increase of 1.4%—compared with Reagan’s 3%—in the government’s take of “national income.” And in nominal terms, there has been a 60% increase in government spending, thanks mainly to Reagan’s requested budgets, which were only marginally smaller than the spending Congress voted.

        The budget for the Department of Education, which candidate Reagan promised to abolish along with the Department of Energy, has more than doubled to $22.7 billion, Social Security spending has risen from $179 billion in 1981 to $269 billion in 1986. The price of farm programs went from $21.4 billion in 1981 to $51.4 billion in 1987, a 140% increase. And this doesn’t count the recently signed $4 billion “drought-relief” measure. Medicare spending in 1981 was $43.5 billion; in 1987 it hit $80 billion. Federal entitlements cost $197.1 billion in 1981—and $477 billion in 1987.

        Foreign aid has also risen, from $10 billion to $22 billion. Every year, Reagan asked for more foreign-aid money than the Congress was willing to spend. He also pushed through Congress an $8.4 billion increase in the U.S. “contribution” to the International Monetary Fund.

        His budget cuts were actually cuts in projected spending, not absolute cuts in current spending levels. As Reagan put it, “We’re not attempting to cut either spending or taxing levels below that which we presently have.”

        The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight.

        Taxes

        Before looking at taxation under Reagan, we must note that spending is the better indicator of the size of the government. If government cuts taxes, but not spending, it still gets the money from somewhere—either by borrowing or inflating. Either method robs the productive sector. Although spending is the better indicator, it is not complete, because it ignores other ways in which the government deprives producers of wealth. For instance, it conceals regulation and trade restricdons, which may require little government outlay.

        If we look at government revenues as a percentage of “national income,” we find little change from the Carter days, despite heralded “tax cuts.” In 1980, revenues were 25.1% of “national income.” In the first quarter of 1988 they were 24.7%.

        Reagan came into office proposing to cut personal income and business taxes. The Economic Recovery Act was supposed to reduce revenues by $749 billion over five years. But this was quickly reversed with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. TEFRA—the largest tax increase in American history—was designed to raise $214.1 billion over five years, and took back many of the business tax savings enacted the year before. It also imposed withholding on interest and dividends, a provision later repealed over the president’s objection.

        But this was just the beginning. In 1982 Reagan supported a five-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and higher taxes on the trucking industry. Total increase: $5.5 billion a year. In 1983, on the recommendation of his Spcial Security Commission— chaired by the man he later made Fed chairman, Alan Green-span—Reagan called for, and received, Social Security tax increases of $165 billion over seven years. A year later came Reagan’s Deficit Reduction Act to raise $50 billion.

        Even the heralded Tax Reform Act of 1986 is more deception than substance. It shifted $120 billion over five years from visible personal income taxes to hidden business taxes. It lowered the rates, but it also repealed or reduced many deductions.

        According to the Treasury Department, the 1981 tax cut will have reduced revenues by $1.48 trillion by the end of fiscal 1989. But tax increases since 1982 will equal $1.5 trillion by 1989. The increases include not only the formal legislation mentioned above but also bracket creep (which ended in 1985 when tax indexing took effect—a provision of the 1981 act despite Reagan’s objection), $30 billion in various tax changes, and other increases. Taxes by the end of the Reagan era will be as large a chunk of GNP as when he took office, if not larger: 19.4%, by ultra-conservative estimate of the Reagan Office of Management and Budget. The so-called historic average is 18.3%.

        Regulation

        For all the administration’s talk about deregulation (for example, from the know-nothing commission which George Bush headed), it has done little. Much of what has been done began under Carter, such as abolition of the Civil Aeronautics Board and deregulation of oil prices. Carter created the momentum and Reagan halted it. In fact, the economic costs of regulation have grown under Reagan.

        Some deregulation has occurred for banks, intercity buses, ocean shipping, and energy. But nothing good has happened in health, safety, and environmental regulations, which cost Americans billions of dollars, ignore property rights, and are based on the spurious notion of “freedom from risk.” But the Reagan administration has supported state seat-belt and federal air-bag requirements. This concern for safety, however, was never extended to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules, which, by imposing fuel-efficiency standards, promote the production of small cars. The shift to small cars will cause an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 highway deaths over the next ten years.

        Bureaucracy

        By now it should not be surprising that the size of the bureaucracy has also grown. Today, there are 230,000 more civilian government workers than in 1980, bringing the total to almost three million. Reagan even promoted the creation of a new federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs to join the Departments of Education and Energy, which his administration was supposed to eliminate.

        Trade

        The Reagan administration has been the most protectionist since Herbert Hoover’s. The portion of imports under restriction has doubled since 1980. Quotas and so-called voluntary restraints have been imposed on a host of products, from computer chips to automobiles. Ominously, Reagan has adopted the bogus fair-trade/free-trade dichotomy, and he was eager to sign the big trade bill, which tilts the trade laws even further toward protectionism.

        Results

        Reagan’s fans argue that he has changed the terms of public-policy debate, that no one today dares propose big spending programs. I contend that the alleged spending-shyness of politicians is not the result of an ideological sea-change, but rather of their constituents’ fiscal fright brought about by $250 billion Reagan budget deficits. If the deficit ever shrinks, the demand for spending will resume.

        This is the Reagan legacy. He was to be the man who would turn things around. But he didn’t even try. As he so dramatically illustrated when he accepted the plant-closing bill, there has been no sea-change in thinking about the role of government.

        http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=488

      • David Springer

        Hey Fuller, if you’re going to go off topic could you at least make it less than a novella in length?

      • Actually, Mr. Springer, as a progressive liberal I like to harken back to the days when the facts were on our side. Pretty much most of our history until climate change happened, actually.

      • Thiomas, “Actually, Mr. Springer, as a progressive liberal I like to harken back to the days when the facts were on our side. Pretty much most of our history until climate change happened, actually”

        More like TMI. That is when passion started replacing science.

      • nottawa rafter

        Fuller
        Of course you do realize that all those Social program increases were Democratically inspired initiatives most of them on autopilot. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were proposed and approved by Democratic Presidents and overwhelmingly Democratically Congresses. If the Social Program part of the budget is adjusted for inflation for the last 60 it would now be $112 Billion. It actually is $2.7 Trillion. If the defense part of the budget is adjusted for inflation for the last 60 years it would now be $400 Billion. It is actually $600 Billion.

        So Social Programs grew 2700% faster than inflation. Defense grew 50% faster than inflation. I think everyone knows what is exploding the debt.

        Reagan didn’t create the Baby Boomers. He was being visionary in increasing SS taxes that were needed 40 years hence. The House was controlled by Democrats all 8 years of his presidency. Regardless of what he proposed it still needed Democratic support.

      • I enjoyed the novella-sized contribution from the von Mises Institute, via a progressive liberal. Whatever I call myself it’s important not to gloss over the failures of Reagan and Thatcher both in reducing the size of government and in changing the intellectual landscape in that regard. Their key success for me was in encouraging dialogue with Gorbachev and all that flowed from that. I use UK spelling because for me Thatcher made the crucial conceptual and instinctive breakthrough, though without Reagan, Baker and Bush following through on it history would not have changed to the extent it did. But the record of Reagan on big government is far less compelling and Thatcher’s not much better.

      • Funny, the article is titled “The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan,” without a mention of Tip O’Neill. For those who were around at the time, and deal in actual facts, it is an indisputable truth that Reagan never got what he wanted on the domestic spending side of the ledger. He never had a Republican House, and never had a conservative Senate.

        Google “government shut downs 1980s.” You will find that such :shut downs” didn’t happen until the Carter administration, on its way out, issued a legal opinion that “government can’t work until Congress funds it. There were then 8 shut downs during Reagan’s 8 years, and only 1 during Clinton’s.

        Why was there only one for Clinton? Because the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil progressive “press” had already become the PR wing of the Democrat Party.

        Now an honest advocate would compare the budgets proposed by Reagan, with the budgets proposed by Carter et al., if he wanted to discuss the actual history. A dishonest one would just cite an opinion piece.

        Reagan and Thatcher never had the support of their parties. They won control because the people of their countries gave them over whelming victory margins and with that came the power to at least do something. The overwhelming majority of their parties were “me too” progressives, who just wanted a slightly slower growth in Leviathan, like Paul Ryan and the rest of the GOP “leadership” today, and the faux “Conservatives” in England.

        Now that history has consigned Reagan and Thatcher to the past, it’s easy to gloss over what they actually did. Neither of them was able to ultimately overcome the power of the left over the press, education, and government. But they at least delayed the decay that is accelerating so fast today.

        Oh, and they won the cold war while they were at it.

      • GaryM: You put the points well. I was hoping someone would detect my irony in writing about Reagan failure in ‘changing the intellectual landscape’. I don’t think The Gipper ever set out or expected to do that!

        What really interests me is the overlap of the climate issue with what one can loosely call the foreign policy establishment. John Kerry‘s recent interventions surely indicate the perceived weakness of the climate policy situation elsewhere. And when the Nobel Peace Prize committee felt they had to recognize someone or something in the West in 1995 after the surprising fall of Soviet Communism guess who had to give the speech of acceptance?

      • And, under Reagan, something like 16 million net new jobs were created helping to lift a country out of recesion and expanding the economy.

      • David Springer

        Tom Fuller | July 3, 2014 at 6:58 am |

        “Actually, Mr. Springer, as a progressive liberal I like to harken back”

        Let me rephrase. Is it too much to ask that your harkening involve less spinning of my mouse wheel to scroll past it?

  45. “To make this comparable to the AR4 numbers, 0.3 to 0.7C over a period of 30 years translates to 0.1 to 0.23C/decade. The AR5 places medium confidence on this number. The AR5 clearly did a better job than AR4, by providing a confidence level and a much larger range of uncertainty. The AR4 projection was over confident and with a very small uncertainty range, and in light of the hiatus, turned out to diverge substantially from the observations.” – JC

    It’s simply wrong to say subsequent estimates based on updated data ,that are different to older estimates, make the previous ones ‘over-confident’.

    You’re only proclaiming 20/20 hindsight which isn’t at all remarkable, or even interesting.

    • On the contrary, “subsequent estimates based on updated data ,that are different to older estimates” is utterly fascinating to consider. The models made a specific set of estimates (predictions) and those estimates (predictions) failed. That suggests a fault in either the data or the modelling or both.I find this topic absolutely riveting and I intend to watch how it falls out very closely.

  46. ONLINE MAPS TO SEE GRAVITY ANOMALIES WITH YOUR OWN EYES

    month by Month gravity anomaly maps

    From NASA’s G.R.A.C.E. Satellite

    http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

    NASA’s GRACE satellite has been tracking gravity variations monthly, since 2002. I don’t think a climate scientist should be allowed to contribute to climate models, unless they are familiar with and can speak to the periodic variation in gravitational field, and the impact those periodic oscillations have on related forcings.

    GRACE is Climates Rosetta Stone, I say overconfidently ;-)
    (if I get called on it and proven wrong, I’ll write the words down on a piece of paper, and eat them, and post I have done so!!)

    I like these settings
    Map Type: Monthly Anomaly
    Smoothing Radius: 25km
    And start picking dates!

    http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

    Please take a minute to look. It might surprise you. :-)

    • Curious George

      Can I get monthly anomaly data for oceans?

      • I don’t know if it splits out specifically for oceans.

        Watching greenland, and how the strength of gravity there varies, during the course of 2002, then 2008, then 2013, in direct response to magnetic field strength, and it’s interference pattern with light and gravity, is pretty clear that it is not carbon that is melting and freezing Greenland.

        And the difference between pole squish, and equator squish, in the different years of the solar cycle is interesting too (again this relates to magnetic variation between the sun and earth, that directly relates to sunspot cycle). And I imagine that definitely has an impact on ocean currents, el nino’s etc.??

        At least that is how I see it.

        I have amassed a PDF, with some screenshots of selected sequences, that are pretty clear. Is there a good way to post a PDF to a blog, if anyone would like to see it?

      • David Springer

        There are many anomalies on sensitive instruments that follow earth’s distance from the sun. Radioactive decay rate is supposed to be one of the most reliable constants we know of but some isotope rates vary with distance from the sun. The standard model has no explanation for it.

        Here’s me blogging about it in 2008:

        http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/score-one-for-scientific-creationism/

        I gave it that title because scientific creationists point out that constant decay rate used to date things in deep time may not be constant. In the article I point out it isn’t anywhere near enough to change the earth’s indicated age from 4 billion to 6 thousand years. Still, they’re the only ones who questioned the constancy of it. Credit where credit is due.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        On closer-and-closer examination, the observed decay-oscillations have gotten smaller-and-smaller … oh! the perils of cycle-seeking!

        Summary  The consensus theory of radioactive decay has won this particular match-up … yet (needless to say) rematches are always scheduled!

        \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}

    • Very interesting. Does anomaly mean we don’t know why they are occurring?

      • I think they intend the term to imply variation. A NASA article I read said they were quite surprised by the magnitude of variation. When you figure that the barometer and gravity must be linked so tightly, it makes it easy to see why gravity variation would be so important to climate, as it is to weather.

        We know the core has convection, I think we are learning it has nodes of interference, perhaps shadows of other celestial bodies, ripples from the moon, phases when the sun is on the other side of the galaxy/universe from us, and when we are expreiencing the gravity of the sun and the universe, and so on.

        That it is an interference pattern being spread across the inside of the earth, is extremely obvious.

        The data on the maps JUMPS out at you!!

      • Alistair; Thank you. A relationship between climate and a varying barometer is obvious to even me. However, can you briefly describe how the interference pattern at the core might affect climate?

      • Hi RLS, sure. Thinking of gravity as the other half of pressure, the immovable object against which pressure acts.

        I recommend this article, for a pictoral view of the shape of gravity, and then imagine that shape in the earths middle, and the interference pattern of ripples that would occur as we pass in between things and out again….the moon, the sun, the planets, the galaxy, the universe.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/proof-that-the-universe-inflated-rapidly-after-the-big-bang/

      • Alistair: Thank you.

    • FOMD, I don’t want to misinterpret. The article you referenced is saying what??

  47. What is the reason for the fast and furious climate change (the Younger Dryas) that occurred in 10,000 years BC when mammoths roamed North America? Did an increase in atmospheric CO2 stop and reverse the Big Freeze? Nope. Was it Americans driving SUVs that led to continent-wide species extinctions or was it the 10°C drop in temperature back then? Nope. Perhaps, be an aerolite? There’s a lot we don’t know until, late 20th century, Western school teachers all of a sudden know everything about climate change today.

    • gravitational flux that closed the bering strait as far as I know. You were right about all the things it weren’t – us! We did take advantage, to migrate to the America’s a second time, further developing and spreading the branches of humanity. Was your question rhetorical? Are there strong alternate theories I haven’t heard about?

      • I don’t know how strong but there are competing theories –e.g., the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet was underway when a meteor strike (the impact site on ice that is now gone) with a subsequent upset of the AMO caused by a plug of glacier that rerouted the Mississippi sending cold, fresh water to the Atlantic.

      • Interesting. I’m less keen on the theory of meteorite strike, seems we over use that one. But some of earths meteor strike caused climate change I have a lot of confidence in (gulf of mexico, subdury), so I have to accept it as an alternate theory of some merit.

        (so as to not exhibit too much over-confidence :-) )

  48. Perhaps we have to recognize, that the government, the media, and the academic systems are of our own doing.

    They sell what gets bought.

    Under-confidence doesn’t get bought. Neither does boring.

    We create the monster we are.

    • Alistair Riddoch | July 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Reply
      “Under-confidence doesn’t get bought. Neither does boring.”

      Not sure about that Alistair.

      We don’t know everything, aka uncertainty, therefore we can’t do anything, seems to sell quite well in some circles.

      • The proportion of newspaper stories that say, this is likely, or this will happen, is higher than the stories that say, we don’t know, we don’t have a guess, we are all of different opinion. I think. That’s what I meant by confidence sells.

      • David Springer

        I dunno about can’t do anything but you can’t predict the magnitude of Arctic ice loss, the polarity of Antarctic ice change, increasing or decreasing severe weather, rate of global warming… what the hell can you predict Michael?

      • I think after we get a better handle on gravity fluctuations, we will be able to predict ice melt better.

        The gravity on greenland bounces in response to solar cycles, and within that seasonally. We know from opening cold pop bottles, the effect of the release of pressure on very cold water.

        I STRONGLY suggest viewing the variations at GRACE’s data mapping web site here: http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

        And pay attention to Greenland throughout 2002, 2008 and 2013. To see the impact of solar cycles on gravity, on pressure, one the earth. I prefer a smoothing radius of 25km to show the maximum of what is really going on.

        I believe you will not be disappointed.

      • I predict, with high confidence, that barely a day will go by without off-topic comments attacking other posters by David Springer

      • “We don’t know everything, aka uncertainty, therefore we can’t do anything, seems to sell quite well in some circles.”

        Do everything you do. Just state the uncertainty, describe it, explore it, and keep it out of the political arena and cut the propoganda.

      • David Springer

        Michael | July 3, 2014 at 8:50 am |

        “I predict, with high confidence, that barely a day will go by without off-topic comments attacking other posters by David Springer”

        The one attacking you wasn’t off topic. So you’re wrong there too. I must therefore ask again what have you been right about?

      • Lack of certainty does not mean a lack of action. However the need to push the idea of certainty to spur action is sometimes a tell.

    • Some taxpayers aren’t buying their confidence. Perhaps overconfidence is hurting sales. It’s happened before. I don’t think people want that much confidence. Confidence can get a salesman that first sale. If the customer isn’t happy with the results, replaying that confident tone to the customer is going to probably lose the next sale. With an apology, they might make the second sale.

  49. Mora and his co-authors’ overconfidence isn’t that of climate scientists…their disciplines are ecology and geography, and actual climate scientists corrected their mistakes.

  50. Alistair: “We” didn’t create it. They did! By “they” I mean those cloistered and protected in Academia who sold their soul to the almighty dollar. The flower children of the 1960’s created what we see now and some of them are still in charge and as we see now they have become 10x worse than “the establishment” they protested. At least that is the way it seems to this guy that was born in the 50s.

    Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps the same endless nasty bickering went on about every subject under sun in a given field in the ivory towers for as long as there have been ivory towers. But that was before the internet and the 24/7 news cycle. That was before public and outrageous declarations of doom in the obvious quest for some notoriety went around the world in seconds as we see now by some people with Doctorates. But I sure didn’t notice this while a student of IU in Bloomington which was back in the 70s it’s own little Berkley in southern Indiana.

    As far as I am concerned, and I doubt that I am a minority in this opinion; Academia lost any claim to having class long ago and it has been Climatology that has led the way in creating that perception.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      rah postulates [correctly] “Perhaps the same endless nasty bickering went on about every subject under sun in a given field in the ivory towers for as long as there have been ivory towers.”

      rah, your postulate has been correct for the past two centuries and more. From The Herschel Partnership, as Viewed by Caroline (2003)

      To: King George III
      From: William Hershel
      Date: 1785

      “In a letter which Sir J. Banks laid before his Majesty, I have mentioned that it would require 12 or 15 hundred pounds to construct a 40-ft telescope, and that moreover the annual expenses attending the same instrument would amount to 150 or 200 pounds.

      As it was impossible to say exactly what some might be sufficient to finish so grand a work, I now find that many of the parts take up so much more time and labour of workmen, and more materials than I apprehended they would have taken, and that consequently my first estimate of the total expence will fall short of the real amount.

      ——-

      Biographer Michael Hoskin comments  “Not for the last time in the history of astronomy, an astronomer seeking support had been modest in his initial demands, knowing that the funding body, confronted later with a choice between writing off all the money spent so far or coughing up more, would cough up.

      rah, it is a pleasure to assist your appreciation that we are all of us living in a fallible-yet-golden era of 21st century science!

      \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}

    • But Earthlings get themselves in a tither, without the help of scientist in some cases. There were people actually wondering about 2012, the Mayan sun calendar, the galactic plane. There were stories in newspapers, and then motion pictures.

      And some people, for some period of time, really, actually, questioned/wondered/feared.

      That’s what I meant by “we create it”. What we “want” creates it. Not all global scares are from academics.

      Although the biggest and most costly ones, they seem to.

      And I think it is not all science, or all academia that has a bloody nose, just the alarmists, and associated politico’s. And I think it is just starting to bleed.

  51. Judith –

    ==> ” Climate scientist (Mann) using court to silence skeptics”

    If I recall, correctly, Mann does not sue any “skeptic” for whatever they say, but that his pursuit of legal recourse is related to a rather specific aspect something a specific “skeptic” has said.

    Now I’m not a particularly a fan of Mann’s rhetoric or approach to exchanging views with “skeptics,” but it does appear that in your zeal to exchange Jello-flings with Mann, you have displayed overconfidence on your own part.

    The overconfidence monster would like to speak to you, Judith, and she isn’t pleased.

    • Joshua, that comment assumes that Mann has only made a single attempt to use the courts to answer a single specific critic. A quick search shows there are at least two specific critics who have had court action by Mann against them, namely Canadian climatologist, Tim Ball and Mark Steyn. It is therefore entirely correct to state that Mann uses the courts to silence critics, plural. It would be interesting to know if there are others out there who were similarly threatened but chose not to pursue the matter and quietly withdrew or apologized for their comments instead to avoid legal action.

      • FTTW –

        OK. I’ll modify what I wrote:

        If I recall, correctly, Mann does not sue has not sued any “skeptics” for whatever they say have said, but that his pursuit of legal recourse is related to a rather specific aspects of something a specific “skeptics has have said.

        Let’s see if a miracle occurs, and I get those HTML tags right.

        I’m really not trying to defend Mann – but to point out that Judith is overconfident in her presumptions about Mann’s motivations. Drama queening about “silencing critics,” seems like more same ol’ same ol’ to me – because it ignores the specific nature of the types of criticisms that Mann has responded to with legal action. In the end, such mischaracterization/conflation on Judith’s part winds up looking (IMO) like a defense of tribalism (identity aggression) from “skeptics.”

      • Yeah – got them wrong, but I’m thinking that you can figure out my intent – to adjust my earlier comment to reflect that Mann has pursued more than one legal action.

        My point being that:

        ==> “It is therefore entirely correct to state that Mann uses the courts to silence critics, plural.”

        Looks like you are over-confident, as is Judith, in your interpretation of Mann’s motivation. Maybe it’s better to stay away from confident statements about the motivations of others? Judging motivations tends to be kind of tricky. Is Mann trying to silence critics, or trying to take legal recourse against a particular type of criticism?

      • Minnesotans for Global Warming did comply with Mann’s cease and desist demand, taking the “Hide the Decline” video down from their YouTube account and webpage. The No Cap and Trade Coalition unveiled a new video they’re calling “Hide the Decline 2,” however. It was screened at a press conference on April 20th and is available on YouTube and NoCapAndTrade.com.

        “I hope Dr. Mann does sue us,” Said Davis, “The legal discovery process would give us an opportunity to expose Dr. Mann’s research – or lack thereof to public and legal scrutiny.”

        Speaking at the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition press conference was M4GW spokesman “Chicken Little,” a man in a chicken suit who goes to rallies crying “The globe is warming, the globe is warming!”

        When asked about the situation, Chicken Little said, “I used to believe in global warming — of course, I used to believe the sky was falling too, but Elmer set me straight.” Chicken Little went on to say, “I think it’s horrible that Elmer had to take down the video. Can’t a person have a little fun on YouTube anymore? Those Global warming guys sure don’t have any sense of humor.”

        At the press conference, the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition handed out a historical review of the hide-the-decline controversy entitled, “Michael Mann: Defamed or Defined by Hide-the-Decline?” as well as mini-hockey sticks that read “Mann-Made Global Warming: Why We Should Be Worried About the Intellectual Climate.”

      • David Springer

        Hah. That video just never gets old. Thanks.

      • Joshua, the normal way to silence those who call you nasty names like “fraud” in science is to present the data in full so anyone who cares to can see it and be available to explain all the steps in the analysis and allow others to try to replicate the results for themselves. The debate then becomes reduced to “I may not like how you did the analysis but I do see how you got the result you did”.

        Dr. Ball called Mann a fraud (or some such thing to which Mann took great offence.) Therefore Mann should have used standard methodology and simply released all the data and clearly explained all the steps in his analysis. We all get to see who is or is not a fraud and who is or is not a libeller and the money saved can be used for further research instead of paying lawyers.

        Yet, the British Columbia lawsuit by Mann against Dr. Ball is stalled and apparently has been stalled for three years now, reportedly awaiting such a full disclosure of the original data and a proper explanation of the analysis. Dr. Ball has even had to file a countersuit for damages done to him by the original Mann suit and the current inaction on it. Poor Dr. David Suzuki has spent untold sums of money he could have been using to save the polar bears from their imminent extinction paying Mann’s legal bills instead and may now have to pay Dr. Ball’s expenses as well.

        Other comments here today indicate there are indeed other people who were silenced by the mere threat of a law suit such as the Minnesotans for Climate Change. It is therefore, in my opinion, entirely reasonable, and not the least bit over confident, to state Mann prefers to use the threat of court action to silence critics rather than the more usual scientific methodology. I admit Judith probably should have added “rather than the more usual scientific methodology” but I understand there is a word limit when “twittering” so I am prepared to excuse her for that.

        Caveat: I freely admit I am not a lawyer and I am basing my understanding of the legal action against Dr. Ball and Mark Steyn on second hand reports. I have, however, published a few scientific papers that required some complicated statistical analyses and I developed (with another colleague) a new technique for determining statistical significance in very large datasets requiring some rather complicated computer programming. I have had to explain myself on every step in the method of analysis, all the individual programming steps, and fully disclose all steps in the acquisition of the original datasets. The explanations had to be understandable for microbiologists, biochemists, computer programmers and geneticists which meant crossing multiple disciplines. My own experience suggests that it is trivial to do so, mainly a matter of keeping good records and speaking clearly. Not one of the scientists I have ever disagreed with has ever needed a lawyer to assist in the process nor have I ever hired one to assist me, no matter how heated the debate got.

      • The lawsuits by Mann have, and will have, a silencing affect on skeptics; the cost of defending oneself cannot go unnoticed. This silencing affect may be a reason for Mann’s lawsuits.

    • When asked about the case Mann commented “its time to quit the fake debate” which to me is pretty telling that he would be plenty happy if he can silence critics.

      Jealous of the Dolomites….

    • Joshua; “I’m really not trying to defend Mann-but that Judith is over confident in her confidence in Manns motivations.”

      I believe what you said regarding Mann but I’m not so sure Judith is overconfident about his motivation. Mann has been very explicit about his motivation to silence skeptics and has been very vocal and public about it. But if you have any doubt just read what he has said in the climategate emails:

      Mann; “it seems to me that this “Kinne” character’s words are disingenuous, and he probably supports what De Freitas is trying to do. It seems clear we have to go above him. I think the COMMUNITY should, as Mike H previously suggested in this eventuality, terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels-reviewing, editing and submitting and leave it to wither away into oblivion and disrepute.” Thanks, mike

      http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/12/2003-michael-mann-on-what-community.html

      “…Gavin and I have been discussing, I think it will be important for us to do something on the Thompson et al paper as soon as it appears, since the naysayers are going to put the contrarian slant on this as soon as it appears.
      Would you mind giving us an advance copy. We promise to fully respect Nature’s embargo (I.e., we wouldn’t publish an advanced article until the paper goes public) and we don’t expect to be in any way critical of the paper. We simply want to do our best to make sure the right message is emphasized. Thanks in advance for any help! mike

      http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/12/email-4927-michael-mann-and-phil-jones.html

      “…While it was easy to make sure the worst papers, perhaps certain ones Tom refers to, didn’t see the light of day at J Climate, it was inevitable that some would slip through the cracks …”

      http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/11/2003-emails-mccracken-suggests-that.html

      That is just a small sampling, but I’m sure you get the idea. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that Mann’s primary motivation is to shut up the critics and all his consensus buddies are on the same page with that, starting with Al Gore and working your way down.

    • Just observing the public comments of Dr Mann and Dr Curry is enough to place a good bet on who is the arrogant twit and who isn’t. That may not say anything about the science, but I have to wonder if Dr Mann is so good at what he does that being an obnoxious jackass is excusable.

  52. Judith –

    BTW.

    => “The TAR was overconfident in its statement regarding the recent warming relative to the past 1000 years.”

    If an event that falls outside a 95% CI occurs, it does not logically imply that the scientists who made that probability estimate were “overconfident” – as the CI specifically allowed for possibility of that event occurring.

    Does adjusting a CI over time imply overconfidence? Perhaps that’s a philosophical dilemma, a bit of a koan, perhaps. But more relevantly, it would seem to me that trying to score political points over adjustments of CIs over time would be counterproductive w/r/t “building bridges.”

    Just sayin’

    • Don Monfort

      I think you hit all the notes in your little anti-Judith song, except the big boy pants thing, joshie. Will you be singing that tired refrain for us, before we retire for the evening? You tedious little runt.

    • Ah, yes.

      Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up. – Chris Colose

      An Archi Man ‏@HalJoneser Jun 28
      @curryja @MichaelEMann Judith you seem to be as uncomfortable with the law as you are with clinate science? Both evidence based I suppose.

      Michael: “Overconfidence happens all the times, when individual researchers are convinced they are correct.” – JC. Judith being a case study in the problem.

      Michael: “No, I meant that Judith is prone to making strident claims, sans evidence, and when challenged to back them up, typically delivers crickets.
      Overconfidence in the correctness of her own views appears to be at play.”

      Building a bridge to nowhere…

      • Tom,

        Apologies. I forgot that Judith is above crticism.

        All’s well when she makes evidence free-assertions of malfeasance against other scientsist in the most broad, sweeping (and cowardly, IMHO) way possibly, but it’s simpy beyond the pale to point out the Queen’s new clothes…..

        Though I agree that Joshua is mistaken about ‘building bridges’ – Judith was really never interested in that (just as the “cutting edge e-salon” was just a passing thought). She had an axe to grind (personal and career) and has been madly flailing about with it, caring litlle who she hits.

      • Michael, you need a better team of monkeys. I hear the ones from Wizard of Oz haven’t had much to do lately… And if they can drag a scarecrow around I’m sure they can bang away at a typewriter.

        You’ll get there. I’m very, very confident.

      • I’m cut to the quick.

        Judith, please protect me from Tom’s rapier wit!

      • Michael,

        it isn’t a case of Judith being above anything. It is one of corralling the braying donkeys and middle school adolescents.

        Leaving the science aside, it is clear who exhibits class and who doesn’t between Mann and Curry.

      • Steven Mosher

        michael and Joshua dont get that by criticizing Judith they disprove Chris’ “point”

        In fact, Joshua continually reminds us how over confident Judith is.
        same with Micheal.
        in short, Judith’s wrongness on so many points shows us Chris is wrong

      • Steven Mosher

        its a lovely paradox.

        now of course the quibbling will commence.

      • steven –

        ==> “michael and Joshua dont get that by criticizing Judith they disprove Chris’ “point””

        Of course Chris was wrong. What’s pathetic is that Judith thinks a one-off and silly, and obviously wrong tweet, is a worth subject for a post. Why would she be so excited about something so trivial?

      • Josh,

        “The science is settled.”. “The debate is over.”. 97% consensus. 95% confidence levels.

        certainty has always been a major topic in this discussion.

      • CAGWers are the Beethoven of the Logical Fallacy of Authority.

  53. Matthew R Marler

    Gotta love Pidcock’s phrase ‘a right old scientific ding dong.’ Acknowledging that disagreement exists and that disagreement is what moves the science forward, is too rare in climate science – kudos to Hawkins and Sutton. And kudos to Pidcock for grasping the essential significance of this disagreement particularly as it relates to overconfidence.

    Oversimplification of complicated climate science and overconfidence in conclusions does no one any favors.

    Good post.

    I believe I have also come across overconfidence among skeptics, that is, people who write as the the hypothesized CO2 warming effect can’t be there at all. AT WUWT I once challenged (if that is the right word) Christopher Monckton of Brenchley on this point, and iirc, I have challenged Bob Tisdale at the same blog.


    • I have challenged Bob Tisdale at the same blog.

      It’s easy to dunk over Tisdale. No challenge at all. He’s no Wayman.

      • nottawa rafter

        For as many times as you are wrong, that was a good one. :) The sad thing is that we have to be pretty old to enjoy it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTisdale: It’s easy to dunk over Tisdale. No challenge at all. He’s no Wayman.

        His posts are very informative. My challenge to him, and to Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, was on the narrow issue of whether the seeming stepwise increase in global mean temperature was evidence against CO2-induced warming. It isn’t because empirical and computational non-linear dissipative systems can show rapid increases (and decreases) like jumps and square waves.

        As I have with you, I encouraged Bob Tisdale to submit his work to a science publisher like Springer. That way it would be displayed to book-seekers at the relevant scientific gatherings. I bought and downloaded his pdf “Who Turned on the Heat”.

        In the topic of this thread, overconfidence, you certainly provide an example of overconfidence on the warmist side.

    • Marler:

      I believe I have also come across overconfidence among skeptics

      I’m confident you’re right :)

      It might be good to list possible areas in which we may be overconfident. Here’s three that come to mind:

      1. Little/no impact of CO2 emissions on temperature
      2. Little/no chance of negative consequences like more extreme events
      3. Large economic costs of CO2 mitigation efforts.

      Mosh will I’m sure be able to help. Others may also think they can.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Richard Drake: 1. Little/no impact of CO2 emissions on temperature
        2. Little/no chance of negative consequences like more extreme events
        3. Large economic costs of CO2 mitigation efforts.

        Why so one-sided?

        1a: Hansen-like warnings of large increases soon.
        2a: History of histrionic warnings such as snowless winters in Great Britain and New England; baseless claims that specific events (Hurricane Katrina) have resulted from warming.
        3a: Belief in effectiveness of large-scaled reductions in fossil-fuel burning; ignorance of opportunity costs of (possibly ineffective) energy re-investments.

      • It was only one-sided because you had mooted the possibility of overconfidence among skeptics and I was responding to that. I find the head post from Dr Curry convincing on the overconfidence endemic in ‘consensus’ climate science, driven by the IPCC process. Take in ‘folk climate’ as you do here (an analogy drawn with Folk Islam) and the overconfidence multiplies, to the detriment of reasoned and reasonable debate.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Richard Drake: It was only one-sided because you had mooted the possibility of overconfidence among skeptics and I was responding to that.

        ok. I get it.

      • Richard,

  54. David L. Hagen

    Overconfidence on Antarctic

    WorldWatch 2000

    Antarctica’s vast land ice is also melting, although there is disagreement over how quickly. The massive Antarctic ice cover, which averages 2.3 kilometers in thickness and represents some 91 percent of Earth’s ice, is also melting. So far, most of the loss has occurred along the edges of the Antarctic Peninsula, on the ice shelves that form when the land-based ice sheets flow into the ocean and begin to float. Within the past decade, three ice shelves have fully disintegrated: the Wordie, the Larsen A, and the Prince Gustav. Two more, the Larsen B and the Wilkins, are in full retreat and are expected to break up soon, having lost more than one-seventh of their combined 21,000 square kilometers since late 1998-a loss the size of Rhode Island. Icebergs as big as Delaware have also broken off Antarctica in recent years, posing threats to open-water shipping.

    IPCC TAR 2001

    There has been a marked warming in the Antarctic Peninsula over the last half-century. There has been no overall change in Antarctic sea-ice extent over the period 1973-1996.

    IPCC AR5 2014

    Even if Antarctica were to warm in the future, its mass balance is expected to become more positive: The rise in temperature would be insufficient to initiate melt but would increase snowfall (IPCC 1996, WG II, Section 7.4). Little change in Antarctic ice sheets is expected over the next 50 years, although longer-term behavior-including that of West Antarctic ice-remains uncertain, and some instability is possible.

    Another Antarctic sea ice record set – but excuses abound 2014

    Today Cryosphere reports 2,112 million km2 more sea ice around Antarctica than normal. Reality is that we right now have an area matching the size of Greenland of extra sea ice floating around Antarctica.

    Tim Ball writes: IPCC Scientists Knew Data and Science Inadequacies Contradicted Certainties Presented to Media, Public and Politicians, But Remained Silent

  55. Confidence, a statistics or psychology term, here probably used in the statistics sense. Overconfidence, see also ‘faith’. No matter which definition is used, examples of over-confidence in climate science are common.
    Also related to ‘con-man’.

  56. A fan of *MORE* discourse
    “rah, it is a pleasure to assist your appreciation that we are all of us living in a fallible-yet-golden era of 21st century science!’
    ======================================
    Golden? A NASA that seems more worried about creating numbers to back a political/social agenda than about getting a telescope on the dark side of the moon? Please, as great as the strides in astronomy and robotic exploration and other sciences have been recently I would certainly not call it “Golden”. Especially for this country that can’t even send a people to the ISS but sent them to the moon almost 45 years ago.

    The Trieste touched down in the Challenger Deep 4 years before I was born but no one has been back since and I’m a grandpa. And still over 90% of the largest ecosystem on this planet in the deep oceans remains unseen by human eyes.

    Golden? Maybe for the ivory towers, but not for science.

  57. Comparing TAR
    “New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years.
    to AR5
    “For average annual NH temperatures, the period 1983–2012 was very likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 800 years (high confidence) ”
    if there is any backing off I find it very subtle. The latter statement even used high confidence. Their confidence is as high as ever on this.
    Regarding sensitivities, we don’t yet know whether it was overconfidence, because it may prove to be the right range, in which case it was justified confidence. AR5’s change will then be regarded as overcautious in retrospect.

    • Don Monfort

      Their possibly overcautious overconfidence is as high as ever on this. Thanks for your reassurance, jimmy dee. We were beginning to worry that you all had tempered your smug, dogmatic alarmism.

      • Premature to say either. Time only will tell whether it was overconfidence or justified confidence. You can only prove overconfidence in retrospect, and we are not there yet. Overcautious is more likely and the range can be narrowed with better satellite and ocean data and longer surface records.

      • Don Monfort

        I am with you on this one, jimmy dee. Yes, overcautious is more likely. Mucho more likely. The most likeliest. No doubts here, folks (assuming our “private” emails don’t leak). We say that to make them believe that we are uber-confident. Mustn’t let them see us sweat. Right, jimmy.

  58. As one weigh’s how confident they are in their own beliefs, here’s a very excellent article about controversies in science in the past as old paradigms and beliefs were changing:

    http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/64/10/10.1063/PT.3.1295

    • Don Monfort

      Someday soon, we will be reading excellent articles in the science press on how the pause killed the cause. The old paradigms are a changin.

      • You keep telling yourself that Don, but meanwhile, the Earth climate system continues to accumulate energy. Your myopic focus on the tropospheric “hiatus” reveals more about you than about anything related to climate.

      • Don Monfort

        I just been watching the news, gatesy. They are talking about the pause. It’s killing the cause. Not my fault.

      • ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades…’ http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/02/overconfidence/#comment-603986

        It seems odd indeed that they can’t understand this. Or indeed understand what the implications of associated shifting albedo is.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=122

        It is more psychological aberration than overconfidence.

      • “Don Monfort | July 3, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        I just been watching the news, gatesy. They are talking about the pause. It’s killing the cause. Not my fault.”
        —–
        Maybe you should pull yourself away from “the news” and read and study more of “the science”.

      • Skippy Ellison seems to be suffering from overconfidence that the pattern of each succeeding decade being warner than the previous will somehow be broken. We have no evidence of this, and the odds are very good in fact that 2010 to 2019 will be warmer than 2000 to 2009, despite the so called “pause” supposedly starting in 1998.

      • Don Monfort

        You are losing, gatesy. Wake up and smell the doo-doo. The paradigms, they are a changin. The pause is killing the cause. The alleged climate science is sucking wind. Nobody cares. When will you get the message, gatesy? The public does not read the pal reviewed crap you are peddling. If they did, they still wouldn’t believe it. Did I mention that the pause is killing the cause?

      • Gates: The link you provided “Science Controversies Past and Present” states “..as evidence continues to accumulate confirming long standing warming predictions..”
        This article was published in 2011, by physicstoday. Looks like overconfidence gone awry.

      • ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

        A few decades of cooling, two and a bit decades of warming and now non-warming from 2002 – or even cooling – again for decades. They don’t get it – it’s bizarre that they don’t.

    • Comparing climate alarmists to the likes of Einstein and Copernicus?
      Really, Gatesy?

      • You seem to have missed the point.

      • Let’s see now, great controversy surrounded some of the great scientific discoveries of the past, ergo the climate alarmists are right.
        Which part of that point did I miss?

    • Rob Starkey

      Gates
      Don’t you see that a HUGE difference is that those “climate scientists” today that argue that “they are highly confident” that the CO2 released by humans today will result in a dramatically worse environment for humanity.

      They are so confident that they demand that the rest of humanity alter their personal behavior and reduce their personal lifestyle based on these beliefs. Isn’t it true that the entire case for CO2 mitigation activities is based on the rate of temperature rise that scientists were so confident of in AR4?

      Do you have any similar examples historically where this has occurred.

      • Rob,

        Quite simply, we need to assess if we can feed 7+ billion people and growing on a planet with Pliocene like warm conditions and much higher sea levels. It may very well be that we can, or it is possible that that we can’t. The HCV is a great experiment we are conducting on the planet with an accelerating rate of change in the climate only now being seen, but to continue for many centuries. When experts say there is potential danger in this experiment and have reasonable data and science to back that up, it probably makes sense to listen.

        If there was a 1% chance of your child dying as the result of something they were about to do (imagine them playing Russian roulette with a hundred chambered gun and a bullet in just one), would you allow them to do it, or would you take action to prevent it? What percent chance is there of catastrophic climate disruption by the massive influx of greenhouse gases caused by human activity? If it is only 1%, then the scientists who believe it is this high or higher are doing what they ethically feel is right by at least warning of potential calamity ahead. Are they at times overconfident in their projections? Absolutely. They are also at times proven to be too conservative in their projections (think of sea ice projections before the 2007 dragon king event). Uncertainty and over/under confidence cut both ways.

      • “If there was a 1% chance of your child dying as the result of something they were about to do (imagine them playing Russian roulette with a hundred chambered gun and a bullet in just one), would you allow them to do it, or would you take action to prevent it?”

        Here, let me help you with that.

        “If there was a 1% chance of your child dying as the result of something they were about to do, and cutting his right arm off might stop it, if all the other children in the neighborhood have their right arms amputated too, would you cut his arm off? Oh, and the guy telling you your son needs an amputation, has made similar predictions in the past, all of which turned out wrong. And he is paid by the local orthopedic surgeon.”

        There, that’s better.

      • Steven Mosher

        R Gates,

        Skeptics are far too confident that science is wrong to have any discussion with you, or attempt to understand

      • Gates,

        Once again – if feeding people is a concern, work on reducing waste and spoilage, not emission controls.

  59. I am 97% certain that obama will blame arthur on global warming and that the media will obediently hype the story for him.

  60. David Young

    Of course overconfidence is very common in science. It is rampant in fluid dynamics in all application areas.

  61. It’s hardly surprising that the overconfident do not recognise that particular trait in themselves.

  62. See groupthink:

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

    Type I: Overestimations of the group — its power and morality
    *Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
    *Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.

    Type II: Closed-mindedness
    *Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
    *Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.

    Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
    Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
    Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
    * Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”
    * Mindguards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

  63. Time to take your hemlock pesky skeptick.

    By order of
    The Royal Society of Consensual Science.

  64. nottawa rafter

    My favorite. “..Tebaldi told us today she thought her work had been taken ‘absurdly out of context’ “. …an egregious case of “citation out of context”.

    This happens every day in the MSM. Journalists using the latest study and trying to please the editor looking for key phrases to catch the attention of the public and voila another case for CAGW. Who cares what the entire study said, or the qualifiers, or the conditions, just run with the most hysterical interpretations. If the public had all the data placed into historical context, they would be even more cynical than they are now.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      nottawa rafter asserts  “If the public had all the data placed into historical context, they would be even more cynical than they are now.”

      You are entirely correct nottawa rafter!

      Fortunately, in coming months this trusted dude will be affirming a broader historical context!

      *EVERYONE* appreciates *THIS* emerging science-respecting common-sense historical context, 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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Fortunately, in coming months this trusted dude will be affirming a broader historical context!

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THIS* emerging science-respecting common-sense historical context, eh Climate Etc readers?

        This references an organization that put Newton’s works on the list of forbidden books, a mistake that was gradually corrected over a time span of hundreds of years. With that as a part of the broader historical context, I think we can expect that organization to gradually approach the truth of the matter over the next couple centuries.

  65. The elephant in the room is surely Gore announcing “the science is settled”. I must have missed the scramble at the time by scientists wanting to emphasise how much uncertainty still existed.

    Allowing others to publicly assert certainty on your behalf without correcting it amounts to the same things as doing it yourself.

    • The deafening silence of the assembled ranks of obedient grant-funded climos over the ‘misbehaviours’ (sic) of Climategate tells the same sorry tale.

      Is Judith the only climo with enough cojones to speak out?

  66. I’d say Ed hawkins is overconfident when he claims there has already been a time of emergence for a CO2 signal in some regions. The only region that would have to warm faster than what they have decided is noise levels is the Indian ocean. All the rest of the regions can be explained by heat transport from that region as per Lee et al 2011. Perhaps there is a reason that co2 only warms the Indian Ocean but it isn’t an obvious one.

  67. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    rah bemoans  “The Trieste touched down in the Challenger Deep 4 years before I was born but no one has been back since.”

    There is good news for you rah! Deep Argo is coming … and it will show us an oceanic world that even Trieste never could … further affirming (as ARGO has affirmed) or contradicting (improbably) the deep-oceanic contribution to James Hansen’s energy-balance world view. The dream is alive!

    Alistair Riddoch notices  “Not all global scares are from academics.”

    GaryM froths “[Save Reagan], every president elected during my life time has been a fan of big government … democracy is being destroyed from within, without the majority even having a clue.”

    Pure comedy!

    Democracy would work *SO* well … were it not for those dang voters!

    Climate-science would work *SO* well … were it not for those dang climate-scientists!

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Further corrections:

      rah bemoans  “The Trieste touched down in the Challenger Deep 4 years before I was born  but no one  and now James Cameron has been back since.”

      Observation  The accelerating capabilities of 21st century global-scale energy-balance scienceb> (including the new Deep Argo floats) and the heroic personal adventures of James Cameron *BOTH* are commendable!

      Conclusion We are living in an age of planet-science that is turbulent-yet-Golden  just like every previous scientific Golden Age!

      This is 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}

  68. Overconfident Climate Scientists are those who insist that there are no aspects whatsoever of GCMs that require independent Verification, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification. That the several independent domains of each of models, methods, software development, applications procedures, and user expertise can be simply lumped into one gigantic ball of string and the crank-of-computing turned, at high speed.

    Overconfident Climate Scientists are those who present calculated numbers from Un-Verified and Un-Validated GCMs in so-called peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Overconfident Climate Scientists are those who proclaim that the standard processes or model, methods, and software development, and which is used in all scientific and engineering software, when applied to the GCM development process magically results in Verified and Validated software.

    • The codes dont need to be verified. They compile, after all.
      Besides there arent any code verifiers that work on punch cards.
      Ship it!!!

      • Reminds me of the old parody on Unix:

        “We stopped when we got a clean compile on the following syntax: for(;P(“\n”),R-;P(“|”))for(e=C;e-;P(“_”+(*u++/8)%2))P(“| “+(*u/4)%2);

        At one time, we joked about selling this to the Soviets to set their computer science progress back 20 or more years.

        http://www.stokely.com/lighter.side/unix.prank.html

  69. ‘Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up’

    Sure, Chris. Course it is. Every climos prediction has always been right.Every single one. But just not this one:

    ‘http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    Or the ‘0.2C per decade’ arming predicted in’ the world’s most thoroughly researched climate bible’

    Staffed by saints in human form, immune from all the vices of our sad fallen species, shielded form any thoughts other than the objective truth, we know that (with this teensy little exception, and maybe 2035 others) they are truly infallible.

    And we need only read the Climategate e-mails to know how highly they rate scientific and personal integrity on their list of qualities.

    As I believe they say in the USA ‘Go Climos!’

  70. whatscientistssay

    Keith Briffa wrote

    Mike was certainly not the best collaborator , and in some aspects of his work , not sufficiently aware of the characteristics of some of the data with which he worked. This would not be bad in itself , were allowance made and advice sought and accepted from a wider circle of colleagues or specialists than he was inclined to consult. There was a certain , apparent , overconfidence in his work which bordered on seeming arrogance and this has led to SOME EXTENT to a degree of unnecessary conflict with researchers and some members of the wider public , as regards the validity and certainty of some of his (and the IPCC) conclusions.

  71. There’s a statistical mistake with confidence – an implication that cannot be reversed is reversed.

    The confidence value (say 95%) represents the number of times we’d be wrong if the probability distribtuions act as we assume they do, that is, the number of times the observations would pass our test “at random” and we’d be wrong.

    But the distributions may not act as we assume, in which case the confidence means nothing.

    In the case of climate science, the distributions depend mostly on the sociology of groupthink, which is more of a lemming effect than a coin toss.

    So the confidence estimates are certain to be useless.

    You always have to restore that condition – how likely are the distribtions to be what we want to assume. That depends on what you’re involved in, sociology being important.

  72. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Latimer Alder deplores “the deafening silence”

    With respect, it ain’t the silence that’s deafening, Latimer Alder! And it ain’t the science either!

    What’s deafening is

    Trained militias linked to the Koch brothers who spam and troll climate-science on-line. This leaked footage shows armchair generals getting trained to make the public doubt …”

    Gosh-golly, this leaked footage of intensive large-scale denialist training-sessions is mighty impressive, eh Latimer Alder?

    \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}

    • What a load of baloney! If there are a bunch Koch funded astroturfers out there (something I find extremely doubtful), they are no more effective than Al Gore’s or Bill McKibben’s armies of vapid airheads. What drives climate skepticism are bloggers and commenters who are genuinely interested in whether draconian mitigation efforts are worth it and whether scientists, who try to sweep crap science like Mann’s hockey stick under the rug and won’t even admit there has been a pause, can be trusted.

  73. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Latimer Alder deplores “the deafening silence”

    With respect, it ain’t the silence that’s deafening, Latimer Alder! And it ain’t the science either!

    What’s deafening is

    Trained cohorts linked to the Koch brothers who [deafen] climate-science on-line. This leaked footage shows armchair generals getting trained to make the public doubt …”

    Gosh-golly, this leaked footage of intensive large-scale discourse-blocking training-sessions is mighty impressive, eh Latimer Alder?

    \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}

    • Cherry-picking hypocrite FOMD chooses to ignore the multi-millions being spent by Tom Steyer promulgating climate propaganda to political hacks, eco-fascist green NGO’s, and other climate rent-seekers.

    • What an extraordinary reply from Fannie. Even by his pretty tenuous ability to stay even roughly on topic, it has nothing to do with overconfidence by climos. I suspect its only saving grace is that he doesn’t mention the ‘H-person’, in the usual acolytic tones Fannie adopts when discussing the sacred name.

      And while you’re there Fannie old bean, , how’s your answer to my remark of a coupla days back coming along? http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/30/consensus-angst/#comment-603347. No doubt you’ll recall that you’d produced a reference ‘in support’ of some fantasy or other of yours. And when I bothered to check it was nothing of the sort. Not even close.

  74. Overconfidence. Religious zeal. Arrogance.
    I’d say thats pretty much hitting the mail on the head.
    It seems to be an easy trap in multidisciplinary studies since its a lot easier than trying to communicate with other scientists (face it, not the groups strong suit).

  75. Chris Colose is, if possible, even more of a blind fanatic than he has previously demonstrated by his remark. Or possibly he just does not understand what he reads and writes.
    Fan, thanks for showing that you are a conspiracy kook. Your Youtube faux source is a real hoot.

  76. son of mulder

    From Today’s Times

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4136848.ece

    “Action to save coral reefs in the Caribbean has been delayed by the misapprehension that climate change is the primary cause of their decline, a leading scientist said.”

    I guess they were previously a bit too confident. Blind belief in science is a dangerous thing.

  77. Judith,

    They are never wrong or overconfident. They just change their mind. Some of them, of course, are quite belligerent towards any “skeptic” who does not follow the party line. But then, when they change their estimates to a value closer to what the skeptic was saying, they rarely apologize or admit their mistakes. The scientific “consensus” has merely shifted and they are righter than ever.

  78. Of late it has little to do with “confidence” but more with end of regime insecurity. The Obama Greenshirt goose-stepping are coming to a crashing halt. The water carriers in “science” academia are no exception to the rule.

    Fanatical phases always burn out in this fashion, like the riots in the later 60’s after nearly of a decade of absolute political peer control not seen since the 30’s. Since the underlying policy goal itself is failure and less freedom at the same time ultimately America will reject the ideology.

    It’s just a matter of time.

    • Thought for Today:

      ‘Seldom, very seldom, does the compete truth belong to any
      human disclosure, seldom can it happen that something is not
      a little disguised, or a little mistaken.’

      Ht/Jane Austin.

  79. Craig Loehle

    Richard Feynman famously warned against overconfidence as a widespread human failing. I have seen a famous ecologist in a seminar state with absolute confidence something the opposite of his own textbook. In any famous controversy from the past from any scientific field, the proponents of opposing views were/are equally confident that they were/are right. Clearly someone is being overconfident. It is not evil, it is just human nature. The upright thing to do is to fix your mistakes when pointed out, but sadly many scientists will never admit to making mistakes–it is part of their history of being so smart.
    Another example (and forgive me for not reading all 200+ comments so far) is the absolute confidence with which climate scientists shouted down as idiots anyone who dared to point out the “pause” a few years ago, including yours truly (Loehle, C. 2009. Trend Analysis of Satellite Global Temperature Data. Energy & Environment 20: 1087-1098).

  80. Of course warmunists are confident they are not overconfident. Just another proof of their self delusion. Other proofs include models trumping reality, the MWP not existing, ice sheet ‘collapse’, and 97% consensus with 95% confidence.
    The battle is not really with Mann, Venema, Colose, or others who did not join this particular twitter farce such as ‘ clouds feedback r2= 0.02) Dessler or ‘missing heat’ Trenberth. Like religious zealots, they won’t listen. Mother Nature herself is proving how deluded and wrong they are. The real battle is with the politicians and policy makers who bought in to the pseudoscience, and the now entrenched special interests (wind, solar) who benefited.

    Hopefully in the US Obama’s KXL punt and unilateral war on coal will be enough to keep the House and capture the Senate. The the Clean Air Act can be simply amended, the EPA suitably curtailed, model funding diverted to real as opposed to pretend research. Maybe we can even get real temperature records back.

    • Rud Istvsan,

      “Hopefully in the US Obama’s KXL punt and unilateral war on coal will be enough to keep the House and capture the Senate.”

      Unfortunately, about 40% of the US public gets its information from the see no evil,hear no evil, speak no evil progressive “press.” They get only filtered news,nothing that might endanger the progressive movement.

      The only real hope is that alternative media step up and shine a light under the progressive rock in a way that forces public attention on what is actually being done.

      Keystone and the war on coal are important, but the overt politicization of the IRS and Department of Justice dwarf them in importance. Because both go to the very nature of our government. Don’t hold your breath for any actual reporting on any of these issues by the Dems PR subsidiary – NBCABCCBSNYTimesWashPostCNNMSNBCTime They know what is at stake, and are in full protective mode of the government they are supposed to be a check on.

      I wonder if the founders would have written a first amendment, if they knew how the vast majority of the press would ultimately become supporters and defenders of ever more centralized government control?

      • Period. Or not.
        =====

      • “progressive rock”

        Love it. Yes, Rush, ELP… all of ‘em.

        Hey, it’s almost the weekend.

        Andrew

      • We are definetly in dangerous territory. Unfortunately, part of the “alternative” media includes the likes Jon Stewart, Colbert, and Bill Maher who have succesfully dumbed down the news to a point where progressives think they can understand. To me, that is the real danger since the media wil take any ill thought out comment by conservatives and magnify it into some rallying cry, while burying, or even celebrating truly idiotic or vile statememnts made by the left. I fear we are going from AFU to FUBAR very quickly and am not sure that simply electing more conservative cowards to the Senate will do much to change the direction.

      • Andrew: Can’t get near the progressive rock unless you’re a progressive; it’s a closed community.

    • @ Rud Istvan

      “Hopefully in the US Obama’s KXL punt and unilateral war on coal will be enough to keep the House and capture the Senate. The the Clean Air Act can be simply amended, the EPA suitably curtailed, model funding diverted to real as opposed to pretend research. Maybe we can even get real temperature records back.”

      I’m with GaryM on this one; I think that we have gone too far to ‘vote ourselves’ out of this mess.

      And example, not related to climate science, but indicative of where we are, is the VA marriage amendment, limiting legal marriages to opposite sexes. It was passed overwhelmingly by the VA legislature and ratified, 57% to 43% by the electorate, but a judge, who quoted the wording of the Declaration of Independence instead of the Constitution in her ruling, said, ‘I don’t think so, suckah’s.’, and declared it ‘unconstitutional’.

      By the same token, no matter what the Congress says we now have in place a ‘sue and settle’ loop. The EPA (for example) desires to implement a policy which has little or no chance of getting throughCongress. An organization or group of organizations, often funded in part by the EPA, takes the EPA to court to force it to implement the policy, carefully arranges to have the hearing in front of a ‘progressive’ judge, and has the court ‘force’ the EPA to do what it wanted to do all along. Hence CO2 is now officially a ‘dangerous pollutant’, subject to MANDATORY regulation by the EPA.

  81. “Call out climate change deniers

    As long as more than 130 members of the U.S. Congress are still publicly in denial about climate change, it’s difficult to truly tackle this critical issue.

    It’s time to expose climate change deniers — add your name, and join the team that’s calling them out, one by one.”

    http://www.barackobama.com/stand-with-science/?utm_content=20140701_bo_stand-with-science_ccaddyourname_1&utm_medium=socnet&source=socnet_fb_CC_20140701_bo_stand-with-science_ccaddyourname_1&utm_source=fb&utm_campaign=CC&awesm=ofa.bo_q05T

    Unfortunately (for the thinking liberal) they are going to take a great political party (democrat) and my favorite religion (science) down with them when their zealous overconfidence finally gets its comeuppance…

  82. JC: “The TAR was overconfident in its statement regarding the recent warming relative to the past 1000 years.”

    Well, they are heading back in the correct direction. A few more AR’s, and we’ll be right back to having high confidence in what we knew to be the case long before this IPCC re-invent of history began – it was warmer then, and it remained warm for hundreds of years longer than it has so far during this very comfortable warm cycle.

  83. Matthew R Marler

    Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up. – Chris Colose

    Maybe he has his own definition of “overconfidence”, something entailing an even greater overconfidence than his own or Hansen’s.

  84. Colose has an article I really liked about the climates of Kepler 62e and f. and he sure sounds like a pretty smart young man. However, it seems to me he should have been taught these quotes:

    “Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” Simon Newcombe, 1902

    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” Lord Kelvin, 1895

    “Success four flights Thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind starting from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds (sic) inform Press home Christmas.”

    Orville Wright, December 17, 1903

  85. Doug McNeall has a good post on Mora/Hawkins papers

    http://dougmcneall.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/bca/

  86. Ed Hawkins has a new post, replies to Mora’s response

    http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2014/on-mora-reply/

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Scott Powers’ summary Nature News and Views, Climate science: Expulsion from history,” nicely reconciles the (correct) mathematics of Mora et al. with the (valid) concerns of Hawkins and colleagues.

      Powers’ clear-and-concise summary is highly recommended (by FOMD) for its well-balanced assessment of *BOTH* heads of the “two-headed uncertainty monster.”

      Thank you for drawing attention to these fine works, 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}

    • “Firstly, the disagreement with Mora et al. is essentially about how to quantify the best estimate and uncertainty of climate emergence. That the signal of climate change will emerge in the tropics first, and has already been seen to emerge in some places, is well known, robust and not under discussion. These changes will be in regions of high biodiversity.”

      Since the signal of interest (SOI) is presumably defined as the signature of warming produced by ACO2, which is what this ongoing controversy is about after all, is it really true that such a signal has been seen and unambiguously confirmed to be a direct consequence of ACO2? And the SOI is well known, robust, and not under discussion? I. e.: The science actually IS settled?

    • “The real world only has a single realisation. The uncertainty in emergence time in the real world cannot possibly go down because we produce more simulations, which is what Mora et al. are effectively claiming. Otherwise, with an infinite ensemble Mora et al. would claim there was zero uncertainty in emergence date – clearly implausible.” – At the Mora link above.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Ragnaar quotes Ed Hawkins, who claims [utterly wrongly] “The uncertainty in emergence time in the real world cannot possibly go down because we produce more simulations, which is what Mora et al. are effectively claiming. Otherwise, with an infinite ensemble Mora et al. would claim there was zero uncertainty in emergence date – clearly implausible.”

        A trivial example establishes that Hawkins’ stated reasoning is (mathematically speaking) just plain wrong.

        Let \sigma(n) = 1/(1+n) be the uncertainty \sigma as a function of the number of simulations n. Then \sigma(n) is a (trivial yet explicit) example of how a monotonically decreasing function can none-the-less have a nonzero limit: \lim_{n\to\infty} \sigma(n) = 1.

        In contrast, Scott Powers’ conclusions are fair-and-balanced:

        Important conclusions of Mora and co-workers’ original paper remain valid.

        Expulsions are indeed expected to occur under business-as-usual scenarios over wide areas before 2100.

        These will tend to occur sooner under scenarios involving higher emissions, and are more likely to happen soonest in regions that include biodiversity hot-spots and many low-income countries.

        It is a pleasure to assist your (and Ed Hawkins’) mathematical reasoning, Ragnaar!

        Summary  Ample scientific grounds exist to respect *BOTH* heads of the “two-headed uncertainty monster”.

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, 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}

      • Never mind that the papers pretty much assume the model is perfect or near perfect and that there are no numerical errors.
        These papers remind me why I got out of the whole scene….

      • ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…’

        Here we are talking about a spread of results in a perturbed physics ensemble – and certainly not the spread in an ensemble of opportunity.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not y . et know how to make this assessment with confidence.’

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

        Assuming that the multi-model ensemble has a mean that represents reality is a nonsense that leads to great nonsense.

        The limits of FOMBS equation is – btw – zero. Just another example of the trivial incompetence and wild distractions with which he approaches the issues. Little understanding and much blather.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison catches a typo: “The limits of FOMBS equation is zero.”

        Thank you Rob Ellison! Climate Etc readers can verify for themselves that the fix 1/(1+n)\to 1 + (1/(1+n)) restores the argument — which makes essentially same point as Scott Powers’ Climate Science: Expulsion from History — to full rigor and vigor!

        Math-and-history-minded Climate Etc readers may further enjoy learning that, in the context of random walks, the mathematical analysis of stochastic phenomena such as “expulsion”, and related phenomenon such as “escape” and “repulsion”, were pioneered in substantial part by none other than the polymath Freeman Dyson!

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

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Ragnaar quotes Ed Hawkins, who claims [utterly wrongly] “The uncertainty in emergence time in the real world cannot possibly go down because we produce more simulations, which is what Mora et al. are effectively claiming. Otherwise, with an infinite ensemble Mora et al. would claim there was zero uncertainty in emergence date – clearly implausible.”

        A trivial example establishes that Hawkins’ stated reasoning is (mathematically speaking) just plain wrong.

        Let \sigma(n) = 1/(1+n) be the uncertainty \sigma as a function of the number of simulations n. Then \sigma(n) is a (trivial yet explicit) example of how a monotonically decreasing function can none-the-less have a nonzero limit: \lim_{n\to\infty} \sigma(n) = 1.

        I agree that the example is trivial. Ed Hawkins claims that an approach to 0 uncertainty is clearly implausible, and you start the mathematical development with a clearly implausible assumption.

        Consider the mean square error of an estimate (say the estimated date at which AGW is indisputible):

        MSE = bias^2 + variance.

        With an infinite number of simulations, the variance of the estimate (if you take it to be the mean of the estimates from the simulations) might decline to 0, but the MSE would not decline to 0 unless the bias were 0, an implausible assumption. Indeed, the mean estimate converges very reliably to the wrong number. Any account of uncertainty should consider, at minimum, both the bias and the variance of the estimator.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You know, you’re absolutely right, Matthew R Marler …

        … and so is Scott Powers’ “everyone is right” conclusion in Climate Science: Expulsion from History!

        Welcome to “the two-headed uncertainty monster” consensus, Matthew Marler!

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

      • ‘The limits of FOMBS equation is – btw – zero.’

        That’s right focus on the btw – rather than the substance. The ‘fix’ btw is presumed to be a limit state equation – poorly expressed and bizarrely unmathmatical. The limit as n approaches infinity of:

        is not unity except in FOMBS strange alternate reality.

        We then go on to some hugely irrelevant distraction that he likewise shows no inclination to understand or argue for relevance. We may as well simply randomly link pages.

        The substance of my comment remains if utterly disregarded by the utterly inconsequential FOMBS.

      • Insert function:

        sigma = 1/(1+n)

        Extract self.

  87. Tom Scharf

    Extreme events are chock full over over-confidence:

    AR5: “Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated”

    Remember the 2035 glacier retreat with high confidence?

    They have also walked back predictions for hurricanes, climate refugees, crop yield declines, and species extinction.

  88. Curious George

    Does anybody know how are confidence levels in AR5 determined? Is any mathematics involved? Or is it by a vote in a committee?

  89. Schrodinger's Cat

    Is it overconfidence or bullish, arrogant behaviour?

    Given the “Team” activities as disclosed in CRU emails, the “pal” review of papers, McCarthyism when punishing colleagues who do not toe the line and the general aggression shown to anyone who disagrees with CAGW it could be more to do with reinforcing the mindset and the alarmist claims than a matter of overconfidence. In other words, if it supports the agenda then drive it hard.

    Given the pause, the failed forecasts, the flawed models, the quiet sun and the fact that even the temperature datasets are suspect, I can’t see what these people can be overconfident about.

  90. I once got into a protracted conversation with Colose; and the only reason I involved was because of exaggeration/over-confidence. This statement:

    “The projections for future climate change presented by the IPCC are often questioned because they are based on models that include many uncertainties. But it is quite revealing to look at the projections made by the IPCC and what has actually happened since the starting point of those projections, 1990. We have in fact followed the upper end (the most pessimistic scenarios presented by the IPCC) regarding carbon dioxide emissions, sea level rise and global mean temperature increase. Hence these scenarios are by not means alarmist or exaggerated, but represent very real and possible future pathways for humankind.”

    http://blog.timesunion.com/weather/engaging-in-a-climate-change-discourse/2086/

    • Jack Foster: I looked through the discussion at your link and thought you handled yourself admirably both in tone and substance. Good links too. I’ve saved that page to my Evernote.

      I liked that the discussion stayed civil, though there was a constant condescension to skeptics. However, I was struck that none of your interlocutors, Colose included, really addressed your concerns head-on. Mostly they quibbled about side-issues and disdained your sources and your imagined sources.

      The nut of your concern was this claim in the blog article:

      We have in fact followed the upper end (the most pessimistic scenarios presented by the IPCC) regarding carbon dioxide emissions, sea level rise and global mean temperature increase.

      I share your surprise. Given the Pause, I don’t see how we are following the most pessimistic scenarios of climate change either unless the error bars for those scenarios are huge.

      In response Colose seered:

      Unfortunately I don’t really have the time or will to defend documentaries, play “he said/she said” games, or respond to conspiracies. If you’re getting much of your information from secondary sources and blogs (especially the ones you seem to be getting a lot of your info from)…

      You pressed him a bit further and he dismissed you with technical handwaving:

      Several of the papers you refer to report the transient climate sensitivity (i.e., the instantaneous temperature response after 1%/yr increase in CO2 until a doubling), not the equilibrium response which I was referring to above (i.e., when the net radiant energy flux into the planet is zero). See the table in AR4 section 8.6.2.3 here . The TCR is smaller than the equilibrium value, by a factor usually between 0.4 to 0.8.

      This doesn’t seem to address your concern about the paused temperatures and the most pessimistic IPCC scenarios. If it is a technically correct response, it is a truly dire example of poor communication between a scientist and a layman.

      • ‘not the equilibrium response which I was referring to above (i.e., when the net radiant energy flux into the planet is zero).’

        This situation can never occur as the Earth’s orbit is elliptical with an annual 7% swing and it spins on a tilted axis.
        The man is clueless.

      • Thanks for your comments, Huxley . ..

  91. Hockey Stick

    I don’t see much of a difference between AR4 and AR5.

    Sensitivity

    We won’t know what the actual sensitivity value is until sometime in the future. So how can you say “they” are overconfident now?

    Near term projections of warming

    A projection is not a prediction and allows for natural variability to influence the outcome. Nor, as you noted, did they assign any confidence level to that projection.

    And who exactly are you accusing of being over confident? The IPCC only reviews the science and draw conclusions. So I don’t think you can accuse them of being over confident.

  92. I was encouraged a few months ago when reading the transcript of APS Workshop on Climate. The participants were all scientists behaving like scientists; no signs of overconfidence that I detected. Hopefully the workshop will influence a new APS Statement on Climate.

    • I am very curious to see how the APS process plays out; i’m not expecting a revised statement before the end of the year

      • Judith

        I don’t know if you noticed John Kennedys address was ‘micefearboggis’

        Being naturally curious I googled it and saw that my new best friend Richard Betts -also of the Met Office-also makes reference to this

        Now, can anyone tell me what it actually means as it seems to have some significance in the climate world. Come on Judith-do you fear Boggis as well?

        Tonyb

      • i don’t get the Boggis thing, is this Farmer Boggis?

      • Judith

        I have no idea what it is about but it obviously means something to the Met office. I suspect if we can decipher it that will cause the climate debate to come to an end- rather like throwing the one ring into the volcano defeated Sauron….

        tonyb

      • Here’s the Boggis reference:

      • A Boggis reference, that is.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Attractor structure is simple Judy:
        SAM & Sun
        Overcomplicating isn’t helpful.

      • Few believe the Hadley sea ice extents prior to 1979.

      • bogGISS maybe.

        Bog
        The process of refusing to believe any logical thought/reasoning and create a theory based on no hard facts. The theory is usually based on a forum post or a paragraph someone once read which was meaningless and untrue.

        Just a guess.

      • Doug mc Neal references ‘boggis’ but more interesting is that the article mentions the global warming slowdown and has a comment from Victor from this time last year which says that a model run should be considered an ‘experiment.’

        http://dougmcneall.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/could-we-make-prediction-a-reserved-word/

        I think to label models in this way puts them in their proper perspective

        Tonyb

      • Paul Vaughan

        curryja | July 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm | wrote:
        “Few believe the Hadley sea ice extents prior to 1979.”

        To make sure we’re not misinterpreting/misunderstanding:

        Nowhere am I saying I believe them (…especially about SAM/Sun relations).

      • Will the draft APS Statement be available to the public?

      • I don’t know. They did make the previous info available to the public, so maybe

      • Paul Vaughan

        Hadley Global Sea Ice estimates match the Sunspot Integral better than the CO2 record.

        That’s an easily illustrated fact to help direct sensible attention towards SAM/Sun relations that can’t be competently ignored.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Sunspot Integral & Southern Annular Mode (SAM)

        We’re going to learn something about the integrity of the APS.

      • Paul Vaughan

        _
        http://s24.postimg.org/cfbs6lxd1/Seasonal_Cycle_Map_ERA40.gif = map animation: surface temperature seasonal cycle amplitude / phase (slowly alternating maps)

        climatology animation:
        ocean MLD = Mixed Layer Depth = function of insolation-driven equator-pole spatial gradients:

      • Steven Mosher

        “Hadley Global Sea Ice estimates match the Sunspot Integral better than the CO2 record.”

        The ice records nobody believes matches the integral of Sunspots, which is known to wrong, and somehow this is a point?

        here’s a hint. dimensional analysis first

      • Matthew R Marler

        Paul Vaughan: Sunspot Integral & Southern Annular Mode (SAM)

        Another post-hoc model selection fit to much-analyzed data. Not yet any test against out of sample data.

      • Judith, et al.,

        Could it be just that Boggis is the prime antagonist of Fox?

      • Richard Betts and John Kennedy are giggling on twitter over our efforts to figure this out. Wonder if they will clew us in

      • Judith

        Now we have their attention perhaps they would like to sign up for the magical mystery tour of nearby dartmoor where they can see evidence of warmer times during the Holocene. pub lunch included. They pay. Over dessert they can also spill the beans on operation boggis…

        Tonyb

      • Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006) Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

        There is a growing literature on the potential for stratospheric influences on climate (e.g. Matthes et al 2006, Gray et al 2010, Lockwood et al 2010, Schaife et al 2012) due to warming of stratospheric ozone by solar UV emissions. Models incorporating stratospheric layers – despite differing greatly in their formulation of fundamental processes such as atmosphere-ocean coupling, clouds or gravity wave drag – show consistent responses in the troposphere. Top down modulation of SAM and NAM by solar UV has the potential to explain otherwise little understood variability at decadal to much longer scales in ENSO – and therefore in climate variability.

        I would link solar activity to SAM and NAM and to ENSO.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v431/n7012/fig_tab/nature02995_F2.html

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SAMreconstruction_zps43215773.png.html

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=178

      • Paul Vaughan

        This forum is corrupt.

      • Boggis is the cat – presumably because it is a fat cat.

      • Boggis was my cat. She went by many names in her long life, but Boggis seemed to suit her best.

      • John Kennedy

        We had run all the data through a robust computer model and had decided that Boggis was the name of a Hebridean island you had holidayed on as a child. Just goes to prove that not all computer models are of any value.

        Keep up the good work-although we might not necessarily agree with it of course. :)

        best regards

        Tonyb

    • Only if we all come together can we expect to survive under the threat of a prolonged hiatus.

  93. Will the draft be available to the public?

  94. Is boggis like bodmas?

  95. I’m sure others have said this but no time to read all the comments.

    I would say a good example of overconfidence (and a recurring inability to admit error) is the whole issue of the pause. First it was there is no pause, that it would take 13 years w/o warming to have major doubts, then it was 16 years, then 17 years, etc. Then all of a sudden there are 20-30 papers in major journals the last few years with about 15 different reasons for the pause (or arguing that it’s not really a pause). Where were all these possible reasons for a pause or things that only look like a pause ten years ago? Where were the acknowledgements that If the heat went into the DEEP ocean, it could look like a pause, or that more coal burning might mask a warming or any of the other dozen speculations now put forth?
    What some (Mann, Colose) fail to admit is that when they refuse to put the correct amount of emphasis on the possible errors or uncertainties, this is the same as being over-confident. They underestimated all the potential errors/uncertainties and said there would not be a pause or anything that looked like one. Not enough recognition of uncertainty looks an awful lot like being too certain which is essentially the same thing as overconfidence.

    • The whole effort smacks of post hoc rationalisation. Incorporating disparate elements into an inadequate framework is bound to get a little laboured.

    • Bill, don’t forget invisible aerosols from tiny volcanoes, which only appeared recently.

  96. John Vonderlin

    I was just reading the Yale 360 interview with Mora and left the following comment that insinuates that in attempting to express more confidence in your findings than you know they deserve, you may give your true feelings away with small tells.
    Comment:
    I wonder what Sigmund would say about his summarization of “climate departure?”
    “Basically, by the year 2047 the climate is going to move beyond something we’ve never seen in the last 150 years.”
    I assume he means ever rather than never. If it wasn’t paradoxical, moving beyond something you have never seen means returning to something you have seen. While this may have been a typo by the interviewer, I suspect, because of my harsh opinion of his paper, that there is a repressed part of his brain that has a different opinion than his paper’s assertions. Clarification of his word choice or my understanding of the English language would be appreciated.

  97. Schrodinger's Cat

    I’m not sure that a model run can be equated to an experiment. A proper scientific experiment is in the real world. A model run is a computer game, just virtual reality and its relationship with the real world lies with the skill, knowledge, honesty and objectivity of the programmer.

    • Or, make the real world match the model by putting official thermometers by various sources incidental heat energy like tarmac, cars, air conditioners, jet engine exhaust…

    • David Wojick

      A model run is just the solving of selected equations using inputs that are usually somehow based on observations, often via much interpretation. This is not what “experiment” means, unless it is a “thought experiment.”

      • These are typically referred to as numerical experiments

      • With the deepest respect Judy, what other field runs a a computer program, trained to a higher degree than a circus seal, and calls it an experiment?

      • If you start confusing a model of something with the thing itself, you’ve crossed into “stupid”.

        Andrew

      • Unless you can show that the model is an adequate representation of the real thing.
        But you often find that there’s some obscure little detail that’s being missed, which makes the model’s behaviour diverge from that of the real world.

  98. Schrodinger's Cat

    Further to my comment above, GCM model runs don’t exactly match reality as we all know. On the other hand, it seems to be fashionable to believe the models and doubt the credibility of observations.

  99. Interested Bystander

    Overconfidence, model building, and model use are frequent companions. Much of this week’s Econ Talk podcast is on this topic (link below). The podcast is an interview with Lars Hansen the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics who is a noted model builder. Russ Roberts is the host. (BTW Roberts interviewed Judith Curry a while back.)

    A point raised that is relevant to this topic is the fact that models, because they simplify reality, are always wrong. Of course, this introduces an uncertainty the level of which is difficult to assess. Many of the arguments that arise on this blog can be attributed to this uncertainty. Another problem is that there are usually multiple model to choose from, creating the chance of error by either selecting the wrong model or improperly weighting the predictions of multiple models. Finally, models typically predict an array of possible outcomes with associated probabilities of how likely each outcome is, introducing yet again another error source. These three sources of uncertainty invite overconfidence.

    As asides, two other topics covered by the interview seem to apply to climate models. The first relates the reaction by Frank Knight (1885-1972), an economist well known in the profession, to a quote by Lord Kelvin:

    “I often say that when you can measure something that you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of the meagre and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter might be.”

    Knight’s response was, “If you cannot measure a thing, go ahead and measure it anyway.” Was Knight talking about economics or climate science or both? By the way, the Kelvin quote is carved in stone on the social science building at the University of Chicago where Knight taught.

    Finally, a pet peeve of mine is calling climate modeling a science. While the models are based on science, building and utilizing of the models more closely resemble what goes on in a sausage factory. Frederick von Hayek, another Nobel Prize winning economist, asserted that modeling the economy is faux science, giving the illusion of science. Climate science is no different except to the extent that it may pose more of a problem.

    The Hansen interview can be found at:

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/06/hansen_on_risk.html

  100. There is a body of literature about the ”well known” tendency of overconfidence among experts. See for example some of these.

    overprecision is the excessive certainty that one knows the truth. Among its documented consequences are … excessive conviction by individual climate scientists that they know the future trajectory of climate change (Morgan & Keith,1995; Zickfeld, Morgan, Frame, & Keith, 2010).

    If Colose is right that ”not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated” and these actual scientists studying overconfidence just keep making it up, then their conclusions are way overconfident.

  101. It’s like a game of clue, and people keep saying things like,

    The humans, did it, with CO2, in the cities,
    The volcanoes did it, with sulfur, in the tropics,
    The sun did it, with insolation, in the 80’s
    The ice did it, in Greenland, with a candle stick.

    And then we wait for someone to open the envelope, and tell us the right answer.

    List of suspects,
    The universe
    The sun
    The moon
    The earth’s geology
    The earth’s biology (non-human)
    Human’s

    List of Weapons
    Gravity
    Light (Electro Magnetic Radiation)
    Tidal cycles
    Natural greenhouse gases
    Solar-Geo Magnetic variations
    400 part per million of CO2, a portion of which are anthropogenic
    Ice distribution
    Water distribution
    Radioactive Decay
    Energy interference patterns in the local interstellar cloud
    Angular momentum energy

    And Location
    Pacific-Atlantic
    Greenland
    Universal
    Solar System
    Upper Troposphere
    The Mantle

    If anybody chooses humans, I just want to point out (I have before), that all of humanity, (7,000,000,000 @ 75kg each), fit in a box, that is less than one cubic kilometer. And for this reason the odds are set at 100:1, if knowing this, you are still willing to choose them, your prime suspect!)

  102. THUD… a gauntlet hits the floor,

    Learned friends, ladies and gentlemen.

    Anyone want to play a little game.

    (an appropriately located demonstration of self confidence)

    Alistair’s 2014

    I HAVE A “CLUE” About CLIMATE, Or I’ll “EAT MY WORDS” Challenge!!!
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==

    The cheapest test of confidence.
    Free to play. Free to lose. Everyone Welcome.

    Instead of telling us what we say wrong, or where our information is flawed, we allow anyone to “take their best shot, without fear of condemnation”.

    Tell us what you think, with the only caution is, be prepared to eat your words if you state a high degree of confidence and get proven wrong.

    A cheap confidence tester. A lesson in “positive only” contribution, to encourage brainstorming, and reduce idea squashing.

    Allow freedom of thought and expression and see who is willing to add their two cents, instead of cheap-shotting.

    See post above for list of suggested culprits, weapons, and locations, or make up and add your own.

    :-D

    ALISTAIR’s VOTE: The Sun, with energy interference patterns, in the Heliopause (driving variations in insolation and magnetic influence from the sun to earth, which drive interference patterns in the gravitational field, which drives local pressure and climate).

    I am 99.8% sure.

    And I’m willing to date it, lick it shut, and eat it if I am wrong!

    Good luck. :-)

    • Mostly (a lot more than 51%) natural internal variation on scales ranging from sub-annual to millennial. And while there might be some effect from GHG’s, that effect combines with natural internal variation in a highly non-linear fashion.

      Also, any single-dimensional indicator, such as “Global Average Temperature” (whatever form of “average” you use) will turn out to produce highly deceptive “understandings” and “predictions”.

  103. Overconfidence is an interesting concept, but it may be somewhat ambiguous. I’ll treat it here not as a personality trait but as a measure that compares conclusions with later evidence that confirms or refutes them. In this sense, Chris Colose may exaggerate if, in the context he intended, he implies that no climate scientist has ever been overconfident. In the larger realm of IPCC conclusions, though, I’m not sure whether he might not be correct. It seems to me to be a claim that is testable, and I wonder whether anyone has tested it.

    Consider a large number of IPCC conclusions drawn with 90% confidence that have since been conclusively confirmed or refuted. If more than 10% of those have been shown conclusively to be wrong, then the IPCC has been overconfident. If fewer than 10% were wrong, it has been, if anything, conservative. The same test can be applied to conclusions at a lower confidence level. What is the evidence on this point? It’s my guess, and only a guess, that such an analysis will show the IPCC to have been innocent of the claim of overconfidence – at least so far, with the realization that many of their conclusions are still awaiting verification. During such a waiting period, levels of confidence may go up or down as new data emerge, but this doesn’t tell us what the final answer will be.

    The important point, in my view, is that “overconfidence” should not be confused with “not being right 100% of the time”, except for individuals or groups claiming never to be wrong, or asserting specific conclusions with 100% certainty, which I don’t think the IPCC does. It also seems to me that Dr. Curry’s assertion of overconfidence is not based on the kind of rigorous definition of the word that is subject to testing, but rather is anecdotal in character. I also have some questions about specific points she raises, but I’d rather save those for a different discussion.

    • maksimovich


      It also seems to me that Dr. Curry’s assertion of overconfidence is not based on the kind of rigorous definition of the word that is subject to testing, but rather is anecdotal in character

      There has been little rigorous debate on the logical constraints of both the definition of climate under external conditions,and the infinite (finite) dimensional problems eg Werndl

      Climate as ensemble distribution (including concept E1 and E2) has the undesirable
      consequence that it
      depends on the initial uncertainty about the climate variables
      .
      Some might reply to this that there is no such dependence because for the true evolution of the climate variables the memory of the initial values washes out over time.That this reply is not always adequate is illustrated by our simple climate model, where simulations show that the distributions (both under constant and varying external conditions) depend on the initial uncertainty. Still, there are independence results for the infinite versions of climate (both for constant and varying external conditions) (for the finite version no such results exist)

      http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/5/683/2014/esdd-5-683-2014.pdf

      In the infinite case you can predict when your prediction becomes unstable ie the temporal horizon.

    • Hi Fred,

      Good to see you here. Perhaps some points of clarification, in what was probably a poorly worded tweet (and ill-timed given the Hawkins et al demonstration of Mora et al overconfidence, etc). C’est la vie.

      Indeed, I did not mean to imply that no climate scientist has ever been overconfident, in the same way an individual in any discipline may express overconfidence in their own points of view. Hopefully that is self-evident and we can agree that there is no distinction between climate and anything else in this respect.

      The particular problem I had in mind was whether or not a pervasive culture exists within the collective climate science community (or if you like, the IPCC) to express overconfidence in their results. Judith has frequently attacked the IPCC as a collective group in this respect, and it is on this basis that I think she is completely wrong. In fact, right after my tweet she tweeted “[Overconfidence] Ok for individual scientists, but egregious for an assessment report” so hopefully we are on the same page.

      One can presumably write a thesis on what ‘overconfidence’ means and how we should quantify it in this respect, but the IPCC does a very good job developing a calibrated language, and with the best evidence available at the time, making thousands of statements across several chapters– each statement with varying levels of certainty attached to them. One can pick apart individual statements and argue that the IPCC was “overconfident” or “underconfident” in a particular claim (there are cases when I would suggest they should make stronger statements). Reasonable people will disagree on such things, and this is also why the IPCC has several draft reports that open up for commenting. In fact, my impression from attending meetings and reading these reports, is that climate scientists are no different from any other scientist, and tend to be conservative in their statements. But it is just wrong to think that a collective mind exists within the IPCC to make too strong of statements- Indeed, several former IPCC contributors were part of the Hawkins et al. paper. It is this whole “groupthink” and “dogma” stuff that Judith has made up out of thin air for years and created a reputation out of.

      Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone who comes up with this stuff has ever read an IPCC report clearly. The entire reports are filled with uncertainty brackets, caveats and nuances, an expression of likelihoods, etc

      So how do we demonstrate a pervasive bias toward overconfidence? That’s a tough question but we can begin by discussing how you don’t demonstrate it. I’ll touch on what you mentioned and Judith’s method of demonstration, namely, surveying the several 1000+ page IPCC reports and finding claims that turned out to be wrong or revised in later reports:

      a) There are a lot of issues here, including whether the statement was actually wrong within uncertainties, whether or not we should call it ‘overconfident’ if the IPCC said it was “likely” to happen but then didn’t, etc (since the definition of “likely” allows for a non-negligible possibility otherwise), or if the IPCC previously expressed uncertainty and then expressed greater uncertainty in later reports (I am utterly unconvinced by Judith’s examples using climate sensitivity that re-opened the 1.5 to 2 degree range from AR4 to AR5, nor does not electing to provide a “best estimate” mean that they were overconfident in a report that did provide one). Conversely, if the IPCC was right about a claim that they expressed low confidence in, do we then give them a point for previously being underconfident? Do we grade different erroneous claims the same if they work in different directions (e.g., if IPCC says sea level will rise by x +/- 5 inches and it actually rises by x+6 inches, with Judith blog about it with the same fury that she would if it were actually x-6 inches?). This all leads toward a windy road of silliness and games, with the ability to make unfalsifiable claims about the IPCC mindset, and accusations that can never be verified or refuted.

      b) The IPCC is an assessment report and needs to assess based on evidence, and that assessment procedure includes the uncertainties (which by definition are known unknowns in this context). We cannot quantify unknown unknowns or make up artificial uncertainties, or indeed just make up new physics or place obviously wrong ideas on a pedestal, just for the sake of “playing it safe.” We cannot quantify future observations that have yet to be revealed to us. Indeed, many people think Judith has hyperinflated uncertainty where little exists, and I absolutely agree with this.

      c) If every field were labeled as “overconfident” when a prior claim evolved based on future knowledge, we’d have Judith blogs running rampant all over the place. This actually isn’t a sensible way to discuss uncertainty.

      The real take-home here is that the statements like “IPCC are overconfident” or the Curry tweet “Scientists & policy makers misled by IPCC overconfidence & failure to adequately account for uncertainty & ignorance” are meaningless at best, at least without substantial qualification.

      Finally, you don’t get points for standing on the sideline sniping and pointing out changes between assessment reports ex post facto, saying “see I told you they were overconfident! They changed their confidence interval!!” You do get good points for demonstrating overconfidence yourself with clear, well-thoughtout arguments and logic, as for example Hawkins et al. did. If you think there’s a deeper uncertainty that needs to be communicated, make a compelling case for it, not just waving your hand and claiming that it must exist just cuz.

      • CC, “So how do we demonstrate a pervasive bias toward overconfidence? ”

        By looking at the condensed version, the statement to policy makers. I think Judith gave some perfect examples.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chris Colose: Finally, you don’t get points for standing on the sideline sniping and pointing out changes between assessment reports ex post facto, saying “see I told you they were overconfident! They changed their confidence interval!!” You do get good points for demonstrating overconfidence yourself with clear, well-thoughtout arguments and logic, as for example Hawkins et al. did. If you think there’s a deeper uncertainty that needs to be communicated, make a compelling case for it, not just waving your hand and claiming that it must exist just cuz.

        “just cuz” is the reason that there are proposals to spend $ trillions in re-investments. What Prof Curry has been working on for a few years on trying to bring greater awareness of the uncertainties (working against “overconfidence”, so to speak) before action is taken that may be at best useless and totally wasted.

        I am glad to see that you and Fred Moolten are now on the side of thorough evaluation of proper confidence before proceeding on such a course of action. But I admit, that was not exactly what you wrote. You seem to have written as though the IPCC confidence in its recommendations has been demonstrably accurate all along.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas: CC, “So how do we demonstrate a pervasive bias toward overconfidence? ”

        By looking at the condensed version, the statement to policy makers. I think Judith gave some perfect examples.

        I agree: recommendations to block publications, attempts to remove editors, an attempt to revoke a PhD degree, advocacy of criminalizing dissent, jokes about criminal assault and murder, extravagant claims that the effects are upon us now, forecasts of winters without snow, the analogy with “Holocaust denial”. It isn’t that hard to come up with a long list, a very long list, with citations, of deliberate and off-the-cuff expressions of clear overconfidence. This list, though an adequate “ostensive definition” of overconfidence, is, as noted by Fred Moolten, post-hoc; but we can make a long list of such actions and remarks and tally them in the future.

        Here is one from Real Climate that strikes me as “overconfident”: The idea that ‘any supply side contribution’ will be ‘minor’ seems pretty bizarre to me. Given that we need to be nearly emissions-free in just a few decades, and that we will need to feed 9-10 billion mouths in that time frame, we clearly need to substitute for a whole lot of fossil fuel capacity, no matter what we do on the demand side. (Though to be sure, demand is extremely important also.) The alternative, seems to me, is a huge population crash–difficult, traumatic, dangerous and surely violent and unjust to boot. Avoiding that requires the full palette of mitigation measures.

        Personally, I think most of the regular contirbutors there are over-confident. But that’s now. And I am biased. Perhaps a thorough tally going forward will support a different conclusion.

      • Chris,
        Given the 17 year surface temp pause and simultaneous increase in IPCC confidence of temp increase from 90% to 95% based not on math but judgement, what would overconfidence look like?

        Scott

      • I’m not a scientist but I find this nomenclature debate to be very unscientific. I learned iin anthropology 101 that the scientific method goes something like: observation, hypothesis, testing, theroy and law. Using words like confidence seems very ambiguous and open to interpretation. What is that cofidence based on, a vote? Uncertainty may also have its own interpretation and not be very well suited as a scientific term either. In any case it seems to me that the language has gotten off track and causes unnecessary debate.

        If I were calling the shots I’d go by the book. Now the IPCC is using a computer model to test the hypothesis that x amount of CO2 causes y amount temperature rise. It supposedly enters data pertaining to solar and other natural variables, but it doesn’t for instance say x amount of solar causes y amount of temperature rise. UV B in the stratosphere is at this point little known so the testing does have faults such as this (uncertainty or unknown). I don’t know how that would be quantified and communicated but perhaps I’m a little off track. Anyway, using the scientific language I learned, I would think you would look at your testing instrument and say okay x amount should cause y. If it is off by z amount then at that point x+/-z=y and it could be evaluated how far off the the model is at any given moment. If it was completely out of range the model would seem to be quite faulty. In this manner one could quantify the testing and reevaluate the hypothesis. It shouldn’t hurt any feelings or cause unnecessary debate it just is what it is. Perhaps Judith may be wrong in using such ambiguous language but it seems to me the IPCC is even more misleading and should know better than to use such ridiculous nomenclature.

      • ordvic | July 4, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        “I’m not a scientist but…..”
        …let me lecture scientists on how to do science, while simultnesouly demonstrating that I don’t really have much idea of even the basics.

        Overconfidence. Boo, hiss!

      • Michael, when your ready to use a real argument (rather than ad hominem attack) I will gladly reply.

        under confident?
        Boo Hiss

      • ordvic,

        “ridiculous nomenclature”

        Have you even bothered to look it up to see exactly what the IPCC means with its terminology?

        Doesn’t seem like it, so excuse me if I’m rather sceptical of your goodwill in this matter.

        And you need to look up what ad hom is.

      • Michael, thanks for asking on both counts the answer is yes. IPCC is trying to use common language and ad hominem is an attack on the individual instead of the subject. I think I’m justiified in questioning both as I did and I don’t think it requires qualification for either.

      • Ordvic,

        If you have read the IPCC definitions, then I’m having trouble understanding your point/question, especially wrt “ridiculous’ .

        Could you rephrase it?

      • Michael,
        It seems very simple to me. The IPPC is relying on language that relates to evaluation by scientists not scientific measure. For instance, James Hansen made a straightforward prediction based on what he knew at the time. His hypothesis was that based on the amount of human caused CO2 that was going into the air a,b or c so much temperature rise should occur. Perhaps the temp is stair stepping and has been flat for awhile but in any case the temp is now below c that was supposed to be a reduction of CO2. So at this point his calculation seems to be in error or off by the amount that it is. He could admit the mistake and recalculate or claim it is too soon and want to wait for more time and data to come in. In other words the hypothesis needs to be reevaluated and adjusted or trash binned because it didn’t hold up. The scientist said one thing the calculations say another. The science speaks for itself.

        Conversely, the IPCC puts a confidence level based on the evidence presented by the scientists (not the data itself). Ed Hawkins pointed to the data and shows the ‘high confidence’ projections are not holding up. What does the IPCC do it adjusts it’s confidence level. To me that is where the ambiguity lies. At this point, if you if they were using the data and strict scientific measure they would have to make a choice. They could say Climate change is a long proposition and we need more time and data before we adjust the hypothesis. They could simply say well we were off a little and adjust the hypothesis. Or they could say we’ve seen enough and scrap the hypothesis. Simply lowering the confidence level is ambiguous and doesn’t really tell us anything.

      • This energy budget diagram appeared in the IPCC TAR report (2001), from Kiehl & Trenberth 1997;

        Heres the update 12 years later; Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl (2009), Earth’s global energy budget, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 90, 311–323

        Back radiation increased by from 324 to 333 W/m2 (+9), the atmospheric absorbed solar radiation increased from 67 to 78 W/m2 (+11), whereas thermals transported 24 W/m2 in 1997, but only 17 W/m2 in 2009 (-7).

        Now what does NASA say about today’s energy budget?

        Atmospheric absorbed solar radiation; 67 W/m2 in 1997, 78 W/m2 in 2009 and now 77.1 W/m2.

        Back radiation; 324 W/m2 in 1997, 333 W/m2 in 2009 and now 340.1 W/m2. (the decimal point is a nice touch)

        Now we all KNOW that increasing CO2 increases radiative back radiation and people like yourself are sure that they can measure, accurately, the influx and outflux of radiation at the top of the Earths atmosphere and observe that there is an ‘imbalance’ of fluxes.

        Personally, I think that people who state such nonsense should be treated with the level of contempt their intellectual shallowness deserves.

      • Chris,
        Using a defense based on talking the argument to death instead of defending your points is not going to work out so well. Just admit that you are wrong. Otherwise you risk looking as stupid as a President pretending that opposition to his apocalypse based policy disasters makes someone a flat earther.

      • Michael,
        I might also add that the OCO-2 was just launched this week. It will measure CO2 in the atmosphere and identity how and where the sinks work. That will all be scientific measure. The fact that they need to do that shows there must be some uncertainty right there. I think that is much more exciting work and perhaps will tell us more about how CO2 works in the atnosphere. Using murky language to evaluate evidence based on papers has only led to confusion. I sometimes wonder if that is purposeful, but I’m sure it was just a poor attempt at relating research to policy makers. I just don’t know why they can’t use regular scientific language to communicate. I understand that when greek letters and mathematical formula is used lay people wont understand but I don’t think that is necessary either. Just show graphically what the evidence suggests I wouldn’t that that would be very hard.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Fred Moolten: Consider a large number of IPCC conclusions drawn with 90% confidence that have since been conclusively confirmed or refuted. If more than 10% of those have been shown conclusively to be wrong, then the IPCC has been overconfident. If fewer than 10% were wrong, it has been, if anything, conservative. The same test can be applied to conclusions at a lower confidence level. What is the evidence on this point? It’s my guess, and only a guess, that such an analysis will show the IPCC to have been innocent of the claim of overconfidence – at least so far, with the realization that many of their conclusions are still awaiting verification. During such a waiting period, levels of confidence may go up or down as new data emerge, but this doesn’t tell us what the final answer will be.

      I like the approach. It fits, imo, with my idea of computing the IMSE and bias of every quantitative prediction throughout the next two decades to assess their accuracy and fitness for planning purposes. Two decades worth of score-keeping should provide a much better basis for planning and investment than what we have now. It would surely be overconfident to base the investment of $ trillions to reduce CO2 concentrations without solid quantitative evaluations such as you and I have proposed.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Fred Moolten’s described test is actually pretty much useless. He suggests we test for over confidence by “comparing conclusions with later evidence that confirms or refutes them,” but this wouldn’t work. There are many problems, but I’ll focus on the first two which come to mind:

      1) Over confidence is an issue of confidence in an analysis based on the information available. That an answer is right does not inherently mean confidence in it was justified.

      2) Conclusions which can be confirmed/refuted are not a random subset. The answers to some questions are far easier to confirm or reject than the answers to other questions. It’d be practically impossible to look at confirmed/refuted answers and translate their ratio to the population of all answers. It’s quite likely the answers which could be verified sooner would have been easier to predict in the first place, meaning their results could be biased high compared to the rest of questions.

      Put simply, checking if people got the right answer is not the same as checking if they did their work correctly.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: . That an answer is right does not inherently mean confidence in it was justified.

        With respect, I disagree. I think Fred Moolten’s test for “overconfidence” is reasonable. If the projections (by whatever name, with confidence intervals) are matched by the outcomes, then the claim of “overconfidence” (where this thread began) is not justified.

        Note the inversion of the burden of proof. If the claim is that warmers are “overconfident”, then some measures of confidence and overconfidence are justified.

        I think there is plenty of evidence for overconfidence. Here is one: http://www.feem-project.net/limits/docs/04.%20cce%20limits%20special%20issue_paper3.pdf

        Here is a quote from the abstract: Our study
        provides insight into several critical but uncertain areas related to the future investment environment, for example in terms of where capital expenditures may need to flow regionally, into which sectors they might be concentrated, and what policies could be helpful in spurring these financial resources. We find that stringent climate policies consistent
        with a 2°C climate change target would require a consider able upscaling of investments into low-carbon energy and energy efficiency, reaching approximately $45 trillion (range:$30-75 trillion) cumulative between 2010 and 2050, or about $1.1 trillion annually. This represents an increase of
        some $30 trillion ($10-55 trillion), or $0.8 trillion per year, beyond what investments might otherwise be in a reference scenario that assumes the continuation of present and planned emissions-reducing policies throughout the world. In other words, a substantial “clean-energy investment gap” of some $800 billion/yr exists – notably on the same order of magnitude as present-day subsidies for fossil energy and electricity worldwide ($523 billion). Unless the gap is filled rather quickly, the 2°C target could potentially become out of reach.

        That is the abstract. I think the text itself has many examples of doubtful propositions toward which the authors express overconfidence, not least the near certainty that the recommended investments would.have the desired outcomes.

      • I tend to agree with Brandon that tests along the lines proposed by Fred are not possible in practice. Too few of the results presented in the IPCC report allow for such comparison in foreseeable future to judge whether there has been on the average overconfidence or not. Furthermore it’s unlikely that the chapters are uniform in that respect due to different authorship and results of highly varying nature.

        Even if the testing is not possible in practice, the comment of Fred was very useful in stating clearly, what overconfidence and too conservative mean.

        The few examples as presented by Judith in the post prove nothing. Some kind of randomized study where an independent group of experts picks a representative set of results presented in the reports and scrutinizes carefully the rationale behind the conclusions might offer better hope for reaching meaningful results on that.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pekka Pirilä
        The few examples as presented by Judith in the post prove nothing. Some kind of randomized study where an independent group of experts picks a representative set of results presented in the reports and scrutinizes carefully the rationale behind the conclusions might offer better hope for reaching meaningful results on that.

        I agree: the examples provided by Prof Curry are evidence, not proof, that the universal denial by Chris Colose, and his claim that she makes stuff up, are false. Evidence, but not proof. I think that a thorough, unbiased evaluation of whether writers and political bodies have too much, too little, or just the right amount of confidence, would be an excellent idea going forward.

        We could start with this document, perhaps:http://www.feem-project.net/limits/docs/04.%20cce%20limits%20special%20issue_paper3.pdf

        and Willis Eschenbach’s commentary here:http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/03/the-price-tag-of-renewables-part-2/

        Is Willis Eschenbach’s price estimate of $3.5T per year closer to the actual cost of replacing the energy equivalent? Are the authors of the paper appropriately confident that the cost can be paid without detriment to the poor? Would the investment either (a) reduce atmospheric CO2 by the desired amount or (b) have an effect on global mean temp?

        But that would be just a start. A thorough evaluation of the claim by Chris Colose that no one has ever been overconfident in warning of CO2-induced global warming would be worth the effort. Well, let me rephrase: Prof Curry has made a good start, and a good followup effort would be worth the effort. And FOMD has helpfully provided links to some of James Hansen’s alarming predictions.

        Once we have a thorough evaluation of how much confidence to invest in all of the many propositions and warning, we might begin a discussion about policy.

      • Matthew R Marler

        oops. Sorry I forgot to close the italics. They should close right before “I agree”.

      • > I think that a thorough, unbiased evaluation of whether writers and political bodies have too much, too little, or just the right amount of confidence, would be an excellent idea going forward.

        We should ask Goldilocks, the authority on thorough and unbiased evaluations of stories based on the Rule of three.

        Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate questions asked and questions begged with all these concerns.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): We should ask Goldilocks, the authority on thorough and unbiased evaluations of stories based on the Rule of three.

        Chris Colose: Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up.

        You prefer that Chris Colose’s comment stand without examination?

      • > You prefer that Chris Colose’s comment stand without examination?

        Of course not, and I appreciated Judy’s proof (not just evidence, but proof) that Chris Colose said something that, taken at face value, was false. I also appreciated that she provided evidence that it might have been hyperbolic crap.

        On the other hand, I fail to see how this justifies you or anyone to play some kind of pea and thimble game with some kind of Goldilocks who’d have the Maxwellian power to sneak in every subtext published everywhere and determine what’s conveyed in a not enough confidence voice, a voice confident enough, or overconfident.

        Not everything that is voiced with probity should be taken srsly, MattStat. I can clarify what I mean by that if you please.

        Thank you for asking.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit) ok, but about these:

        We should ask Goldilocks, the authority on thorough and unbiased evaluations of stories based on the Rule of three.

        Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate questions asked and questions begged with all these concerns.

        They illustrate your idea of “probity”? I interpreted them as mockery.

      • I appreciate the many comments on my suggestion for evaluating overconfidence. I agree with much of what has been said, but to some extent, I believe my comments were overinterpreted. I was not suggesting a general method for future application under a multitude of circumstances, but rather a specific means of evaluating Dr. Curry’s claim that the IPCC as an organization has been overconfident (note the past tense). The burden of proof, I would argue, is on the person making the claim. If the claim is correct, I suggest the proof would lie in evidence that the IPCC, on a statistical basis, has asserted conclusions at a higher level of certainty than borne out by the results to date, such that conclusions with 90% confidence have proved wrong more than 10% of the time. If that claim can’t be substantiated, then the charge that the IPCC has shown overconfidence is unwarranted – at least at this point. Again, note the past tense in the description of the point I was trying to make.

      • Steven Mosher

        In Fred’s universe if you went to your doctor and he did a series of tests
        say 100 tests, and 99 were correct but one was wrong he would not be over confident.

        how does that work if the one thing he is wrong about causes your death?

        The IPCC as a whole say many pedestrian in consequential things.
        Suppose they get them all right.
        Suppose they are only wrong about sensitivity?

        The key isnt counting how many right and how many wrong.

        The key is.. is the IPCC over confident on the most important questions

        1. How much warming has occurred and WHY (attribution)
        2. How much warming will occur int he future

        Two questions. Nothing else much matters.

        I can pass a fred Molton test by issuing millions of inconsequential correct statements. bad metric Fred.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | July 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

        “I can pass a fred Molton test by issuing millions of inconsequential correct statements.”

        Indubitably. Passing the Fred Moolten test is your forte.

      • > They illustrate your idea of “probity”? I interpreted them as mockery.

        You interpreted right. For probity, you’d need to return to the first quote I commented:

        I think that a thorough, unbiased evaluation of whether writers and political bodies have too much, too little, or just the right amount of confidence, would be an excellent idea going forward.

        Surely you must be joking, MattStat!

        If not, I’d like to know more about what you have in mind for a “thorough, unbiased evaluation” of writers and political bodies’ confidence in their statements, and perhaps also why this would be an excellent idea.

        Perhaps you ought to tackle smaller problems first. I suggest peace on Earth.

      • Steven Mosher – You misread what I wrote. Since others may do the same, I’ll try to restate my point succinctly as follows:

        1. If someone claims a group has been overconfident, the burden of proof falls on the person making the claim to substantiate it. It is not my obligation to prove the group has not been overconfident.

        2. Making mistakes at times is not the same as being overconfident. Making mistakes is universal. Overconfidence is not. To demonstrate overconfidence, one must show that the group expressed confidence its conclusions will have a error rate less than the observed error rate.

        3. Dr. Curry claimed the IPCC has been overconfident. She offered as evidence a specific list of items she claims substantiate her claim. This is insufficient to show that criterion 2 above has been met, nor does it even acknowledge that a criterion for overconfidence exists beyond showing that mistakes have been made. Since the burden of proof was on her (criterion 1), her claim is unsubstantiated.

        That’s the long and the short of it, Steven. There is no universal “Fred Moolten” test I was touting, and no prediction about how unresolved claims will turn out in the future. If you disagree with any of my three points above, please explain what you find wrong with them.

      • Fred, i have no idea what this statement means?

        one must show that the group expressed confidence its conclusions will have a error rate less than the observed error rate

      • Judith – Sorry if I was unclear. If I state a conclusion with 90 percent confidence, what I’m saying is that if I do this for a hundred different conclusions, I expect no more than 10 of my conclusions will turn out wrong. My main point was that confidence, or overconfidence, has to be judged by how often one is wrong compared with how often that individual or group acknowledges it might be wrong for a particular set of conclusions. Being mistaken (or alleged to be mistaken) is not by itself a sign of overconfidence.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit) : Surely you must be joking, MattStat!

        We have had 3+ decades of overconfident disaster warnings by James Hansen, Stephen Schneider, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and others. Now we have recommendations that calling these warnings “overconfident” is inappropriate (or something) because (sort of) not everything IPCC itself wrote was overconfident — even though AR5 now clearly says that AR4 had overconfident assertions. Chris Colose said that there was never any overconfidence, that Prof Curry makes them up. Chris Colose is wrong on that. In case there is any doubt remaining on that point, I think that a thorough review of overconfident predictions over the past decades (“snow free winters” and such) would clarify the issue.

      • > We have had 3+ decades of overconfident disaster warnings by James Hansen, Stephen Schneider, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and others.

        Marvelous! And others too!

        Now please show how you got your thorough, unbiased evaluation of too much confidence.

        Also note that you still miss representatives of too little, or just the right amount of confidence. Don’t forget to include how you got thorough and unbiased evaluation for these too.

        In the right direction at last!

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): Now please show how you got your thorough, unbiased evaluation of too much confidence.

        Examples of overconfidence have been provided. You asked if I was joking to suggest that a thorough unbiased assessment might clarify matters. Chris Colose was clearly in error to assert that there were no examples ever of overconfidence and that Prof Curry made them up.

        Do you have a point?

      • Matthew R Marler:

        With respect, I disagree. I think Fred Moolten’s test for “overconfidence” is reasonable. If the projections (by whatever name, with confidence intervals) are matched by the outcomes, then the claim of “overconfidence” (where this thread began) is not justified.

        This isn’t true. Suppose I offer predictions for the next three times a coin is flipped, calling heads for each. SUppose I also say I’m 95% certain of my prediction. Finally, suppose Mr. X says I’m over-confident in that prediction.

        If the first coin flip is heads, does that make you think Mr. X is wrong? What if the second flip is also heads? How about if all three coin flips are? There’s a 1/8 chance of me getting my prediction right by pure chance. Are you saying if I happen to hit that chance, we can’t conclude I was over-confident?

        Now let’s consider a possibility I didn’t delve into. Suppose I made two predictions, saying I was 10% and 50% certain they’d come true. Now suppose the first came true and the second did not. Was I over-confident? We can work out the math, but it won’t matter. The evidence could have actually showed the 10% prediction had a 99% chance of coming true. By understating my certainty on that prediction, I’d be able to inflate my eventual success vs. prediction rates. I could downplay my certainty on one prediction then exaggerate my certainty on a dozen others, and Moolten’s test would say my overall certainty levels were spot on.

        There are an untold number of confounding factors in using success rates as a proxy for over/under confident measurment. It might be possible to control for them enough to make the proxy useful, but it’d be incredibly difficult to know you managed to.

      • > Do you have a point?

        No, I have at least three.

        My first point is that providing examples is not the same as providing an thorough, unbiased evaluation of these examples. Showing how a thorough, unbiased evaluation proceeds might be needed before appealing to such desideratum. This is the very first thing I underlined.

        My second point would be that Chris Colose has been proven wrong. To claim that he was overconfident is just a psychological interpretation of that fact. Arm waving “overconfident” around does not add much.

        My third point would be to say that most interesting claims for which we need a thorough, unbiased evaluation do not have this luxury of having been proven wrong. Interpreting a claim as “overconfident” is independent from its truth. It should depend more on how it says what it says than what it says.

        I could add more points, but until MattStat acknowledges that his thorough, unbiased evaluation has yet substantiated, it might be more prudent to consider that this appeal belongs to the usual Goldilocks storification that we can observe here and in other contrarian outlets.

      • Well Colose’s statement that I am making things up in this regard is clearly false

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: This isn’t true. Suppose I offer predictions for the next three times a coin is flipped, calling heads for each. SUppose I also say I’m 95% certain of my prediction. Finally, suppose Mr. X says I’m over-confident in that prediction.

        Your point is that overconfidence is possible even with successful predictions. I agree. My point was that a claim of “overconfidence” is “not justified” when there are mostly successful predictions.

        I’ll close out my contributions to this thread by reposting an example of overconfidence that I put up a few weeks ago, namely an email I received from Alan Leshner, Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Dear Colleague:

        Based on the evidence, about 97% of climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a large fraction of this country’s population and policymakers can’t seem to accept the fact that the climate is changing. It’s time to shift the debate from whether human-caused climate change is happening to what we can do about it.

        We need to make it clear that scientists believe that doing nothing now is extremely dangerous and could result in abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on future generations. And we need your help.

        As you may know, AAAS recently launched a new initiative to expand the dialogue on the risks associated with climate change. At the heart of the initiative is the “What We Know” report, an assessment of current climate science and impacts that emphasizes the need to understand and recognize possible high-risk scenarios.

        But to have the greatest impact, we must do more than issue a report. We must continue to get the word out about the urgency of this issue. Will you join us?

        As members of the science community, we need to change the conversation from whether the earth is warming to just how we are going to work together to alter the course our planet is on. We have to reach out to the American people, to policymakers, and even to other countries about what science is showing about the dangers of climate change and the severe outcomes that could occur through inaction or continued resistance to change.

        We must prepare for the future. And, as the world’s largest multi-disciplinary science association, AAAS is uniquely positioned to mobilize the science community to lead this charge. Your gift will help us play a pivotal role in shifting the debate.

        This will be an ongoing, intensive effort in the weeks, months, and even years ahead. I hope you will lend your support and make a gift today.

        Alan I. Leshner
        Chief Executive Officer and
        Executive Publisher, Science

        He even opened with that execrable 97% figure. Possibly he does not qualify as a “scientist” in Chris Colose’s claim, but the AAAS document “What We Know” was written by “scientists”, and it also opened with the execrable 97% figure, and made other overconfident statements.

        Chris Colose’s two assertions are just plain false. Examples of overconfidence by scientists abound, and Prof Curry did not make them up.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): My second point would be that Chris Colose has been proven wrong.

        I am happy to end with that point of agreement.

      • > I am happy to end with that point of agreement.

        I’m glad you now agree, MattStat, for you previously said:

        I agree: the examples provided by Prof Curry are evidence, not proof, that the universal denial by Chris Colose, and his claim that she makes stuff up, are false. Evidence, but not proof.

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/02/overconfidence/#comment-604383

        This was the sentence just before the one mentioning the “thorough and unbiased evaluation” chimera.

      • Regarding the AAAS, you have to distinguish confident claims, which they are, from overconfident claims, which is a subjective judgement that may not be shared by others.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit), quoting me: Evidence, but not proof.

        Yes. I was wrong. Examples disprove such universal statements as Chris Colose wrote.

        I was confusing the issues of whether there existed overconfident statements (of which there are plenty) with the issue of whether someone might be called “overconfident” on the whole (the many IPCC 90% claims, where the widths of the confidence intervals in AR5 might be taken as indicating doubt; versus the serial alarmism of Hansen, Schneider, Ehrlich and Holdren, whom I take to be overconfident on the whole.)

      • Matthew R Marler:

        Your point is that overconfidence is possible even with successful predictions. I agree. My point was that a claim of “overconfidence” is “not justified” when there are mostly successful predictions.

        Which is wrong. A person can make “mostly successful predictions” and be overconfident. A person can make “mostly successful predictions” and be shown to be overconfident. That their predictions are “mostly successful” may make it more difficult to show they are overconfident, but it in no way prevents one from justly saying they are.

        Determining whether or not a claim of overconfidence is justified depends entirely upon examining the evidence offered for that claim. If the evidence offered is success rates, then “mostly successful predictions” can disprove the case. If the evidence is something else, like a thorough examination of the underlying evidence, then “mostly successful predictions” can’t disprove the case.

      • > the serial alarmism

        Don’t be shy, MattStat: show enough confidence to speak of the execrable claims proffered by the serial alarmists.

        Bye for now,

        w

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: A person can make “mostly successful predictions” and be shown to be overconfident.

        I don’t see how you could show that someone who was usually right was overconfident. Perhaps betting too much money and losing everything on the rare wrong occasions.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): Don’t be shy, MattStat: show enough confidence to speak of the execrable claims proffered by the serial alarmists.

        You seem confused. I used the word “execrable” with respect to a specific oft-repeated claim; independently I listed 4 serial alarmists. I suppose that you could say Paul Ehrlich’s earlier proposal for poisoning municipal water supplies was “execrable”; but it was a proposal, based on his serially wrong claim that we shall almost all perish in the next decade, or run out of resources — it wasn’t itself a claim.

    • Fred –

      ==> “Consider a large number of IPCC conclusions drawn with 90% confidence that have since been conclusively confirmed or refuted. If more than 10% of those have been shown conclusively to be wrong, then the IPCC has been overconfident.”

      That might work as some kind of an aggregate metric, but I’m not sure how valuable it would be.

      If the IPCC says that it is 95% likely that most recent warming is caused by ACO2, the actual amount of ACO2-warming would be relative (to the total warming), so how would overconfidence be proven? Seems that couldn’t be done unless someone were able to prove, mechanistically, what accounts for 100% of the warming.

      If the IPCC attaches a 95% CI to a range of warming, even if the actual warming winds up falling outside that range, you still wouldn’t be able to support a conclusion of “overconfidence,” because it wasn’t a 100% CI; the estimate allows for a 5% chance of events outside of the CI. Again, if you want to prove overconfidence, you need to show, methodologically, why the probabilities were overestimated. Either that, or we would need to go into the wayback machine and run it a bunch of times and see if the actual warming fell outside the estimated range more than 5% of the time.

      This seems to me like a silly argument in response to a silly tweet. This is another climate war ink blot. People see what they want to see. But sure, if Judith wanted to substantiate that the IPCC is, in balance, “overconfident,” measuring the range of accuracy across all IPCC claims might be somewhat instructive. It doubtful, however, that any “skeptic” will take on that challenge. Argument by assertion is far easier, and apparently for some folks, more satisfying.

      • Joshua

        Weird to see you in virtually the same time frame as me.

        I am going to be in Verona in a week or so to see Placido Domingo at the Roman Arena. I know you are some way from the city but if you get the opportunity, go watch an operas production there. It is as glorious as watching the sun set on the Dolomites.

        Now, why are you there? You were engaged at one time. Not a honeymoon?
        tonyb

      • It is actually quite simple. The question revolves around whether there is sufficient support for confidence expressed. High confidence that most recent warming was CO2 when the data available says otherwise for instance.

        The absurd charade of models leading to impossible prognostications for another.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR 14.2.2.2

        So perhaps they used to be right – but have much given up on perturbed physics models. To pretend they are right now seems less overconfidence than a psychological aberration.

      • Tony –

        Passed through Verona yesterday (after hiking at Seiser Alm – the largest high alpine meadow in Europe, just incredible), then stopped in Bologna for dinner before a late arrival in Firenze – headed on Sunday to an agriturismo in Umbria for a few days before some time in Cinque Terre and then Nice before heading back to the U.S… Verona is a beautiful city – and I wanted to stop there but if you try to do too much it gets crazy.

        Heh. Engaged? On a honymoon? That would be news to my partner. Not sure how she’d take it, exactly. Probably with mixed emotions – particularly if she were I to find out that I am engaged to or on a honeymoon with someone else. ;-)

      • ==> ” To pretend they are right now seems less overconfidence than a psychological aberration.”

        Yeah, yeah. Anyone who disagrees with you is evil and deranged. I got it. Thank god you’re around to station your keyboard and protect the world from their malevolent designs.

        ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • It is so unbelievably deluded – there has to be an explanation for rampant post hoc rationalisations.

        When Joshua and Co. are not whining on with the latest trivial complaint about deniers in general and Judy in particular.

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        And showing the how rational, scientifically credible and even handed he is.

    • Fred,
      Since we are approaching 18 years of “pause” and the consensus promoters are still arguing about whether to deny the pause or pretend it was their idea or hide the heat someplace, it is reasonable to sum up their position as “over confident”. As to the list of other things the IPCC has gotten wrong….let’s see: OHC, OA, polar bears, Tibet, sea level, storms, droughts, coral, floods, winter, summer, you get the idea.

  104. “JC comment: The bottom of the ‘likely’ range has been lowered from 2 to 1.5oC in the AR5, whereas the AR4 stated that ECS is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC. It is also significant that the AR5 does not cite a best estimate, whereas the AR4 cites a best estimate of 3oC. The stated reason for not citing a best estimate in the AR5 is the substantial discrepancy between observation-based estimates of ECS (lower), versus estimates from climate models (higher). AR4 was overconfident in its conclusions regarding climate sensitivity.”

    Reconciling AR4 and AR5 does seem to be a problem for the IPCC.
    unfortunately the IPCC has failed to recognise the on/off nature of climate change. They do not recognise the singularity of 1940, perhaps because it is below their horizon. Before 1940 temperature (global) sensitivity was 0.15C/decade, immediately after it went negative at about the same value. If such a sharp reversal is not a singularity, I don,t know what is.

  105. ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ TAR 14.2.2.2

    While the atmospheric physics of greenhouse gases suggest warming of the atmosphere – this has taken place against a backdrop of abrupt climate shifts in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001. The amount of surface warming from the ocean and atmospheric circulation state between these shifts is problematic. The available satellite data – the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf) and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html) – are consistent and say that most of it was cloud changes in the period. Moreover – it creates the expectation of several climate shifts this century with even an approximate timing and scope for change that is unknowable with present day science.

    Prognostications are based on fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of climate change – and are thus fundamentally misguided.

    Abrupt climate change is a theory that has emerged this century in climate science. The old theory says that climate evolves slowly under the influence of climate ‘forcings’. The new theory says that climate changes rapidly as a result of interacting sub-systems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful mechanisms. Climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Thus – in climate data – there is large warming or cooling in as little as a decade in the shifts between glacial and interglacial periods. On a smaller scale there are shifts between planetary warming and cooling trends – along with alternating changes in global rainfall patterns – with a period of 20 to 30 years. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

    Any notion that the evolution of climate this century can be predicted is overconfident by definition. The failure to see this is a psychological aberration related to groupthink.

    • “On a smaller scale there are shifts between planetary warming and cooling trends…”
      —-
      Except for the past 50 years or so, which have been all warming, except for brief cooling by volcanic activity. As we all know by now, measuring “planetary” warming or cooling through tropospheric sensible heat is both inaccurate and lacking in solid scientific basis.

    • Most of the recent warming – 1976 to 1998 – was changes in cloud cover. Which I think I may have mentioned somewhere.The change in ocean in the latter part of the last century was consistent with changes in net toa forcing changes – which I rather think is the point.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=236

      There is little anyway to suggest that the oceans have warmed in the past decade or so.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ARGOGRACE_Leuliette2012_zps9386d419.png.html?sort=3&o=22

      Steric sea level rise – 0.2mm +/- 0.8mm/yr?

      There are some problems with GRACE in this graph – inconsistent with Argo salinity – but the Argo heat content seems about right. Small change and huge error bounds that make it impossible to draw any reasonable conclusion. That doesn’t even slow them down.

      Argo salinity suggests that ocean mass is decreasing – or at least not changing all that much. .

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/OceanSalinity_zps1ac25cd9.jpg.html?sort=3&o=11

      The underlying point – however – is that climate shifts unpredictably three or four times a century. This makes climate unpredictable.

      Randy’s case is made entirely on narrative – a very limited one at that suited to his limited scientific background. It shares the quality that makes this such an entrenched bias amongst the chattering classes. Not so much overconfidence in my view but cognitive dissonance.

      • “Argo salinity suggests that ocean mass is decreasing – or at least not changing all that much.”
        _______
        A completely incorrect interpretation of the data. Really Skippy, have you made it your mission to completely fabricate your own custom interpretation of data to suit whatever fictitious narrative you are creating in your own mind? By every measure, ocean mass is increasing consistently over the long-term, as more glacial mass melts and the bulk of which is transferred to the ocean. Multiple modes of confirmatory data tell us this and tell us clearly that your statement “ocean mass is decreasing” is so blatantly incorrect that you should be ashamed to post such erroneous dribble.

      • Skippy said:

        “There is little anyway to suggest that the oceans have warmed in the past decade or so.”
        _____
        Again, yet another piece of completely erroneous dribble. There is plenty of confirmatory data to suggest the oceans have warmed quite robustly in the past decade. Does anyone believe your nonsense?

      • Poor R. Gates stuck on stupid like a broken 8 track, and depending on knowledge about as up to date as that old 8 track.

      • nottawa rafter

        Gates
        How does the warming of the oceans for the last decade compare to the warming of the oceans for the decade of the 1930s?

      • ‘The Global Marine Argo Atlas makes it easy for users to look at Argo data and compare it to other global data sets in one free program. The Atlas, made to view gridded netCDF datasets, particularly Argo, Reynolds SST and Aviso altimetry, comes with the data already included and can be updated monthly to receive new data as it becomes available.’ http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/Marine_Atlas.html

        By all means Randy should download the data into Excel and produce a trend line.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/map3_zps6226a166.jpg.html?state=replace

        It is really very bizarre that narrative trumps with these people. Mass must be increasing because ice is melting? It is really so far from a nuanced understanding that it descends to the level of caricature – a travesty of groupthink science.

    • http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ARGOGRACE_Leuliette2012_zps9386d419.png.html?sort=3&o=22

      Steric sea level rise – 0.2mm +/- 0.8mm/yr?

      Obviously NOAA believes this – even if it doesn’t compute in Randy’s cognitive dissonance.

  106. “Chris Colose ‏@CColose 14h
    @curryja @HalJoneser @MichaelEMann Yet not once has overconfidence by actual scientists been demonstrated. You just keep making that up.”

    Chris may have a point. If they KNOW they are lying it isn’t exactly overconfidence now is it.

  107. After the discussion of the various problems and unknowns in the various surface instrument records, who could be so confident the this last May was the hottest ever?

    The satellites used in UAH temp series sample much more densely and uniformly than surface instrumentation and the data is processed the same way for each month. I believe the poles aren’t covered, but it’s still a whole lot better coverage that the surface measurements. It’s high enough to avoid topographical issues. So, if I had to hang my hat on a record, for the same month compared between years, UAH or RSS would be it.

    So for May:
    1. 1998 0.56
    2. 2010 0.46
    3. 2014 0.33

    For June:
    1. 1998 0.51
    2. 2010 0.38
    3. 2002 0.31
    4. 2013 0.30
    5. 2014 0.30

    • If the surface temperature reconstructions (constructions?) are reflective of the actual temperature, one would expect to see the month to month comparisons display at least the same relative order. For example, they should show the same pattern as the UAH patterns for May and June. The absolute differences would be different, but the year order should be the same.

    • ‘Moist enthalpy hereafter referred to as equivalent temperature (TE), expresses the atmospheric heat content by combining into a single variable air temperature (T) and atmospheric moisture. As a result, TE, rather than T alone, is an alternative metric for assessing atmospheric warming, which depicts heat content. Over the mid-latitudes, TE and T generally present similar magnitudes during winter and early
      spring, in contrast with large differences observed during the growing season in conjunction with increases in summer humidity. TE has generally increased during the recent decades, especially during summer months. Large trend differences between T and TE occur at the surface and lower troposphere, decrease with altitude and then fade in the upper troposphere. TE is linked to the large scale climate variability and helps better understand the general circulation of the atmosphere and the differences between surface and upper air thermal discrepancies. Moreover, when compared to T alone, TE is larger in areas with higher physical evaporation and transpiration rates and is more correlated to biomass
      seasonal variability.’ http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/nt-77.pdf

      Measuring atmospheric heat content by temperature alone at 2m is utter nonsense. The tropospheric record is so much more suitable for climate purposes it renders the surface record obsolete.

      • Rob – I was addressing the recent declaration that this last May was the warmest on record. I suspect John Kennedy was overconfident, and have outlined a line of reasoning why.

        Like you, I think the satellite record is generally more robust than temperature series derived from instruments on the ground (or on the sea). I was especially shocked to learn in the ” NCDC responds to concerns about surface temperature data set” discussion that instrument malfunctions weren’t included in the station record. If it is that way in the US, what of the rest of the world? Who knows? No one knows would be my guess.

        As to using various measures of heat content, it’s a good metric for climate science. But as a human, I’m more interested in the actual temperature change of the atmosphere in which I live. The postulated warming of the atmosphere due to increasing CO2 is what some climate scientists are way overconfident about.

      • Hi jim2,

        I specifically pointed out that we couldn’t say with certainty that this May was the warmest on record. That was the whole point of what I said.

        The MSU instruments used by UAH and RSS do not measure near-surface temperature. They measure upper-air temperatures. I was talking about near-surface temperature. They’re different things.

        Cheers,
        John

      • Hi John, I realize you just did a drive-by, but JSYK, I have pointed out the differences between UAH and surface temperature constructions.

      • And thanks for the explanation, John.

      • Hi jim2,
        Thanks for the clarification. I try not to drive-by, but usually by the time I come back to a thread it’s old news.
        Cheers,
        John

      • The surface record is running too hot because of the moist enthalpy problem. The surface record (@2m) is far from a complete metric.

  108. isn’t the general problem that the consequences are high. it’s the oppenheimer thing. we have to react because it’s the end of civilization. oppenheimer was wrong in the large sense that putting the bottle on nuclear understanding could stop the catastrophic consequences. the understanding still emerged, and the world so far has managed them.

  109. ‘Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 s 3.4.4.1

    Surely it is overconfident to insist on a different attribution in spite of the evidence?

  110. “In 1992, it was thought that volcanic degassing released something like 100 million tons of CO2 each year. Around the turn of the millennium, this figure was getting closer to 200. The most recent estimate, releasedthis February, comes from a team led by Mike Burton, of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology – and it’s just shy of 600 million tons. It caps a staggering trend: A six-fold increase in just two decades.”

    http://www.livescience.com/40451-volcanic-co2-levels-are-staggering.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+%28LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed%29

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/7/4/gassing.html

  111. Tanglewood

    Oversimplification of complicated climate science and overconfidence in conclusions does no one any favors.

    Wrong.

    It does an obvious and monumental favor to the state – the monopoly funder of climate science, which has a monumental interest in alarmist conclusions, since these justify an expansion of its empire – more taxes, more bureaucrats, more regulation.

    Flowing from this, it therefore also does a huge favor to to those with totalitarian political leanings, who rejoice at every new supplanting of freedom by state controls.

    And it also does a favour to scientivists whose grants are linked to the prevailing alarmism.

    That such overconfidence in alarmist oversimplications are massively harmful to the world’s people as a whole, is of absolutely no interest whatsoever to the abovementioned beneficiaries.

  112. Don’t know if anyone else has posted this – classic moment from the UK Met Office as Vicky Pope goes totally off piste – and uses the P word – yes in 2007 the MO ‘predicted’ 0.3C rise by 2014. Well Vicky we are still waiting. Of course, Chris Colose would not characterise this as overconfident. Enjoy

      • Vicki and the Met clearly had the best non-Kardashian model, totally wiping out the Amazon rainforests. Other models couldn’t quite get there. I always say: go with models of British design and manufacture (except the Morris 1100).

    • Julia Slingo attributed the storms that wrecked our local railway line to agw but was slapped down by her colleagues at the Met Office.

      tonyb

      • Amazing how 1953’s storm and surge did it without help. Couple of thousand deaths in UK and Holland, weren’t there?

        And that storm which took the top off Westminster Abbey and killed up to 15 thousand back in 1703. Look ma, now AGW!

        Maybe the climate is worse than we thought. Or maybe Julia Slingo is worse than we thought.

      • let’s not forget the 1944 summer gales in the North Atlantic, both around June 5 and then even worse on June 19-21….

        These have often been referred to as the worst summer storms in 40-50 years, and had they wrecked the Normandy invasion (as nearly happened) we would have had catastrophic effects with no assistance from CO2…. yeah yeah we know, weather not climate….. that is always the refrain whenever the facts don’t help the narrative of the “cause” —

        http://www.usmm.org/felknordday.html

        The Storm

        Bad luck, in the form of a ferocious summer storm, the worst June gale in 40 years, blew in on June 19 (D plus 13). It came from the north, the worst possible direction, piling up the seas against the beaches, creating a barrier of surf no landing craft could penetrate intact.

        In three days of unrelenting fury, it all but demolished the American harbor, tossing smaller vessels athwart the causeways and creating general wreckage. The spuds were ruined, and most of Mulberry A was left good for nothing but repair parts for the British harbor. The British port sustained heavy damage too, but, partly sheltered by the Calvados Reef, it was much less damaged than its American counterpart and it was quickly restored to service.

  113. Attribushun’s a … well you know …

  114. No, the uncertainty doesn’t cut both ways. The climate is either naturally varying or not. Increasingly hysterical projections of manmade warming are very obviously decreasingly likely even before you consider the clear evidence that all projections failed to match reality anyway. Even the IPCC knew this basic logic by showing skewed distributions with the mode closer to 1 degree than the canonical 3 degrees. Of course 3 degrees was never even the median, mode or mean of any statistical distribution: it was originally arrived at by a show of hands. This is the main trouble with the warmists and pause-deniers; they routinely use innumerate and illogical opinions then obtusely present them as facts.

  115. Speaking of overconfidence….

    Here’s a funny example – a red-blooded American “conservative” (Senator Brandon Smith from Kentucky), who is standing up to the tyrannical intent of Obama’s maniacal EPA:

    “As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

    Thanks God that Brandon Smith has confidence in his technical expertise. Maybe Judith can ask him to wrote a guest post?

    • Read a comic and have a laugh.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/227500/alinsky-administration/jim-geraghty

      Take some more time off and enjoy your meal. We are still celebrating Independence Day here.

    • agreed Joshua, that is a bad one

      But more “interesting” and significant than some obscure US Senator is this one from a formerly obscure (and ignorant) US Senator in the midst of a successful campaign to become President of the USA:

      [whose overconfidence matters more, one minor US Senator or a President of the USA??]

      “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.”

      — Barack Obama —

      June 4, 2008

      [upon winning Democratic primaries]

      • Then there was the former Veep and presidential candidate who had just written a book on geothermal and informed us how it was millions of degrees down there. No wonder they need those “special drill bits”.

        Of course, Vice President Drill Bits was immediately pilloried by the MSM and climatariat and hasn’t been heard from since.

        And, to be fair, the president did appear to slow the rise of the oceans very slightly. Thanks, Andrew Johnson. That scowly face must have done the trick.

    • Senator Smith sounds like a fan of Faux News. Perhaps that’s where he gets his understanding of science,

      • Predictable as sunrise.

      • so what is Barack Obama’s excuse?… Does he have any idea of how “overconfident” he is about both science and policy? …. and has he stopped sea level rise, climate change, and healed the planet? Does he even possess any accurate conception of how to attempt such things?

        Why bother flailing against one obscure Senator while not even attempting to educate the President of the United States of America?

      • “Why bother flailing against one obscure Senator while not even attempting to educate the President of the United States of America?”
        ____
        Neither is probably that open to actually being “educated”.

      • R. Gates, re: education of politicians

        yes, and the views and policies of any POTUS matter vastly more than same for any one Senator or Representative. Yet, the public sneers and gnashing of teeth over mis-statements always seem to focus upon the latter if is possible to revile someone not marching in lockstep with the Cause. Why is that?

    • Joshua: Most of your comments seem to be examples of the “Tu Quoque” fallacy, followed by snarky jabs directed at Dr. Curry.

      Tu quoque — Latin for “you, too” or “you, also”) or the appeal to hypocrisy is an argument that intends to discredit the opponent’s position by asserting the opponent’s failure to act consistently in accordance with that position. It attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. This attempts to dismiss opponent’s position based on criticism of the opponent’s inconsistency and not the position presented. It is a special case of ad hominem fallacy, which is a category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of fact about the person presenting or supporting the claim or argument. To clarify, although the person being attacked might indeed be acting inconsistently or hypocritically, such behavior does not invalidate the position presented.

      Wikipedia

    • ” I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

      Shows how scrambled the logic of the deniers can get. The Kentucky state congressman was trying to say that the Mars temperature was increasing, and because there is no anthro-CO2 on Mars it can’t be a GHG effect. But he completely messed up the logic … which isn’t surprising, because he is a stooopid denier.

      • First I thought it was only Rohrabacher who was that confused, and that was a few years ago, but it seems that the Republicans have a core of these “Mars” people and it is still going strong.

      • Don Monfort

        When the Demo-crats commit a faux pas like that, it is said they “misspoke”. Your dim Vice President does it all the time. The media ignore his foolishness. V.P, Dan Quayle was labeled a dunce, because he misspelled one word. Sarah Palin was labeled a fool for things she didn’t even say. It was a Sarah Palin impersonator on the freaking telly. Welcome to the progressive world of demonization and marginalization of political opponents. Webby and jimmy dee are but amateur practitioners of the smearing arts. Small time smearers. Anonymous hacks.

      • Misspeaking is different from revealing a deeply flawed belief system that just shows complete isolation from reality and a kind of belief inbreeding.

      • Don Monfort

        That’s what I am talking about, jimmy dee. When progressive, politically correct Demo-crats make fools of themselves, they misspoke. All is forgiven. The rest of us can’t catch a break, because we are adherents to a deeply flawed belief system that just shows complete isolation from reality and a kind of belief inbreeding. Like in that movie “Deliverance”. Right, jimmy. And you know this because one of us misspelled the word potato, decades ago. You are a hack, jimmy dee.

      • I agree with JimD, in that we are pointing out how strange the belief systems are. Belief systems like this don’t exists unless there is a significant “consensus” behind them.

        The way to get insight into these belief systems is to listen to radio programs such as Coast2Coast and right-wing radio talk shows. This belief is not always written, but is communicated by like-minded people sharing their views. That is where all the “inbreeding” takes place.

        So in the case of the congressman, he probably listens to his constituents and like people trying to pass facts by whispering to one another, he completely messes it up in the end.

        Certainly there are democrats that do the same thing, like Hank Johnson who said that Guam would capsize from too many people living on it:

        http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/guamtip.asp

        But was he kidding and just trying to be funny or sarcastic?

      • Don Monfort

        What a surprise! One hack agrees with the other hack. You two hacks are free to ascribe to a class of hundreds of millions of people whatever belief systems you choose to dream up in your pointy little heads. That’s how small time hacks amuse themselves. But let’s give Demo-crat pinhead Congressman Johnson a break. He could have been kidding. I really appreciate you two hacks illustrating my point so clearly. Keep it up.

      • http://www.msnbc.com/the-ed-show/watch/lenar-whitneys-solved-climate-change-293546563764

        Another example of a cracked belief system revealing itself through politicians.

        Lenar Whitney solves climate change by holding up a mercury thermometer.

  116. Alhazen, who has been described as the father of modern optics, ophthalmology, experimental physics and scientific methodology and the first theoretical physicist, also known as simply The Physicist in medieval Europe, said it very nicely:

    “The duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and,.. attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.”

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

  117. Here you go, he saw the future and is accurate.

    He is a scientist of the world.

  118. This post is as much about the complete lack of confidence the skeptics have in any of their alternative ideas. They look at confidence and feel inadequate. It’s just a sad reflection on their own state. We can let them brood.

    • Cry me a Rivers.

    • Don Monfort

      We are supremely confident that the pause is killing the cause. You are so overwrought, jimmy dee. Get a grip.

    • son of mulder

      “Jim D | July 4, 2014 at 10:07 am
      This post is as much about the complete lack of confidence the skeptics have…..”

      No it’s not. If a theory’s predictions don’t match the data then the theory is wrong. That’s not a lack of confidence on the part of a sceptic, that’s a lack of skill on the part of the theory.

    • The thing about the satellite temperature record is that is shows a step change at 1998. This has been pointed out before, but it certainly isn’t a linear function of CO2 concentration. All one can say that the step change was an increase in temperature. What ocean cycle, or any other phenomenon, can account for this step change? Why before and after the 1998 El Nino is the trend basically flat? I can’t see how the CO2 hypothesis can account for any of this.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/uah

      • “Why before and after the 1998 El Nino is the trend basically flat? I can’t see how the CO2 hypothesis can account for any of this.”
        ——
        Trying to find the fingerprint of long-term forcing in short-term natural variability is a bad approach, and begs the question as to why you would want to.

      • Ah but Gates, part of the C in CAGW is the idea that CO2 is increasing faster than ever. I guess you didn’t get the memo that it’s fast forcing, not a long term one.

      • And also, you didn’t answer any of my questions.

      • And that’s because you can’t.

      • Jim2,

        If your questions honestly made any scientific sense I would be more than glad to discuss possible answers. The fact that the warmest decade on instrument record occurred after 1998 seems not to interest you and you make no potential association between that and to the highest GH gas levels in millions of years.

      • Nice dodge, Gates. You just don’t have any bullets, do you?

      • Jim2,

        I have plenty of “bullets” but am humane enough not to shoot them at crazy or confused ideas or people.

    • Jim D,
      Thanks for demonstrating the reactionary ignorance the climate obsessed so succinctly.

    • I am just so over with this thread. Recently we have also had threads that complain that there are too many people on the other side (consensus), and that the people making the judgments are qualified (expertise), and now we have that they are too sure of the scientific evidence that they have used (overconfident) while also complaining about observational data keeping (NCDC). It is just complaints on complaints..

      • you are “over with this thread” but you help to prolong it….

        that is funny

      • Jim D,

        As the evidence for the multitude of effects from the HCV continue to mount, expect the die-hard faux skeptics to whine louder and find more and more “look squirrel!” distractions away from the central point of the energy imbalance being created in the climate system. The whining and distractions form the basis for much of the noise found in some of the blog echo-chambers. It’s all they have.

      • Steven Mosher

        the over confidence of skeptics does get irritating.
        there is almost no point in talking to them any more.
        they seem determined to refuse any kind of progress toward understanding. the door isnt even open any more.
        I look back on the 6 years of time I volunteered.. and wonder.

      • I think the phrase ‘faux skeptics’ is important. It means more than one thing to me. I’ve never been tempted to self-identified as anything other than sceptic, despite Lindzen’s critique. Lukewarmer no. But I think we should begin by admitting that we are policy sceptics. Scientific poses result from this, sometimes stupid ones. That’s where lack of teachability begins. But blog echo chambers, aided by pseudonymity as right rather than privilege, make the problem worse.

      • “I think the phrase ‘faux skeptics’ is important.”
        ______
        I consider myself a skeptic in the general sense– as that is the basis of the scientific perspective. A faux-skeptic is someone who really is not analyzing data or ready to alter their perceptions or positions, but someone who holds a position for other than scientific reasons (be they political, personal, or whatever).

        Thus, I am skeptical about anthropogenic climate change (and always will be)– and continually read the latest research to find reason to increase that skepticism, but on the other hand, based on many decades of analysis, I have a high degree of confidence in the reality of it.


      • the over confidence of skeptics does get irritating.
        there is almost no point in talking to them any more.
        they seem determined to refuse any kind of progress toward understanding. the door isnt even open any more.
        I look back on the 6 years of time I volunteered.. and wonder.

        Don’t get too down Mosh. They still provide many chances for collecting “own goals”. Get what you can out of them. You know this as well as anybody that some of them will work hard to prove that AGW is not happening and because of some factor they miss, one can use their work as evidence to argue just the opposite.

      • Don Monfort

        If skeptics are really as pathetic as warmists and certain lukewarmers claim them to be, the debate should truly be over. Why is it that only a very small minority of folks are worried about the alleged GAGW? The alarmists must really be inept.

      • Oh please Mosher stop talking. All you ever do is repeat the nonsense you are told by your new friends in the climate clique.

        The only progress being made is that more climate scientists now doubt the models – as they should have done in the first place.

      • the over confidence of skeptics does get irritating.
        there is almost no point in talking to them any more.
        they seem determined to refuse any kind of progress toward understanding. the door isnt even open any more.
        I look back on the 6 years of time I volunteered.. and wonder.

        Hard to visualize a real skeptic being “overconfident”. What’s easy to visualize is a bunch of people who are following principles they learned only a little by rote, and failing to understand how those principles don’t apply. But the same can be said for most of the alarmists.

        Consider the overconfidence of somebody who says “we know CO2 warms the planet, we just don’t know how much”. Yeah, it might seem intuitively obvious that CO2 probably warms the planet, but there’s certainly a chance it doesn’t, based on all we know of hyper-complex non-linear systems, and we don’t really know how big that chance is. This strikes me as pretty much the same as the “skeptics” who are accused of such “over confidence”.

    • In a more-enlightened time, free of hysteria, true scientists would look at 0.6K rise per century and say ‘gee isn’t it remarkably stable’. There is no problem here to solve! Get it?

  119. My favorite example of overconfidence was the statospheric cooling being the fingerprint of AGW. It isn’t a very good fingerprint when it stops and causes a variety of hypotheses as to why it stopped to appear. Certainly something that is a fingerprint should be well understood.

    • yep, and the tropical mid-tropospheric hot spot which is the finger print of the water vapor feedback to agw. Nothing really phases the faithful though.

    • CO2 should give faster initial warming over the land and polar areas, and that is where it is seen. It is hard to find another mechanism where the land, especially continental interiors, warm ahead of the oceans. When the land warms, it is a measure of the forcing because it has little effective heat capacity. There is no type of natural variation where the land warms first. This is a clue directly from physics.

      • Land and ocean trends for comparison (30-year smoothing applied) where we can note that the divergence started around 1970 and continues.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120

      • JimD, “This is a clue directly from physics.”

        Did the physics change between AR4 and AR5?

      • What some fail to realize is that the warming over land is a minuscule part of the overall energy being stored or accumulated in the climate system. The warming over land is a direct and immediate effect of higher GH gases, but not the main effect which is energy accumulation in the ocean. Sadly, many faux-skeptics believe that warmer oceans somehow mean the energy is being safely sequestered away– never to come back and affect weather or climate. Nothing of course could be further from the truth.

      • R, Gates, “Sadly, many faux-skeptics believe that warmer oceans somehow mean the energy is being safely sequestered away– never to come back and affect weather or climate. Nothing of course could be further from the truth.”

        There should internet Wellington boots available for some of this nonsense. The warming of the ocean isn’t coming back it is just there. Less than a degree rise in the “average” ocean temperature over 400 years is what that warming is producing.

      • You will also notice that the 30-year trend did not change during the “pause”. You can mull over why that is. The current climate is defined by these trends.

      • The less the ocean warms, the more the land has to warm to make up for it. No comfort there. It may delay the water vapor feedback, but that is no good if the land is warming at nearly 4 C per doubling (as it is currently) in responding to the forcing by itself.

        Imagine the extreme case where the ocean doesn’t warm at all (no water vapor feedback). For the no-feedback global-average 1 C per doubling to be achieved just by the 30% of the land area, it would be 3.3 C per doubling there, but at least the coasts would stay cool.
        Our current situation is somewhere between the case where the ocean warms as fast as the land and where all the warming is over land. In this case the relative humidity and cloud cover over land would reduce, possibly withe a positive feedback there too.

      • JimD, “The less the ocean warms, the more the land has to warm to make up for it. No comfort there.”

        2/3rds of the warming is supposed to be due to water vapor feedback which would require the oceans to warm. The land and lower troposphere cannot retain enough energy to maintain a warmer surface unless the “surface” warms and stores the energy. For that reason “subsurface” temperature is a better metric than land and/or lower troposphere temperature which is precisely why the focus has shifted to ocean heat capacity.

      • captd, 2/3 would be water vapor feedback in the equilibrium state. In the transient state, that is not necessary and is generally unlikely. The ocean can’t keep up with the forcing change, and an imbalance develops to which the land can respond faster. The analogy everyone understands here is summer where land warms more and faster than the ocean in response to seasonal forcing changes and the ocean lags, so we are seeing that effect on a longer time scale.

      • “The warming of the ocean isn’t coming back it is just there.”
        ____
        Surely you are smarter than this captn. A warmer ocean affects the atmosphere and cryopshere immediately and continually. We see this in everything from a more vigorous Brewer-Dobson circulation, expanding tropical tropopause, increased intensity and frequency of Sudden Stratospheric warming events. greater melting of Greenland and Antarctic glacial ice, etc. The ocean is the climate driver of the planet, and you simply can’t add more energy to it without affecting the climate!

      • R. Gates, “Surely you are smarter than this captn.”

        You have a tendency to overly complicate things. The rate of change of ocean heat content is excruciatingly slow. With a heat capacity 1000 times that of the atmosphere, the atmosphere certainly does respond to the oceans. However, the average effective energy of the oceans is ~334.5 Wm-2 which is balanced by the effective DWLR of ~334.5 Wm-2. It will take hundreds of years for average effective energy of the oceans to increase to 334.5 plus 3.7 Wm-2.

        Now you can come up with some cute little sound bite, but that’s the way it is :)

      • bit chilly

        ye, the antarctic temperature is really rocketing these days.

      • Jim, there is no type of natural variation where the land warms first? What about first thing in the morning? I suspect the daily cycle is still considered natural?

      • Captn,

        You seem to assume that energy is homogenous or well-mixed in the ocean, when in fact it naturally concentrates based on wind and currents, downwelling and upwelling areas.

      • R. Gates, “You seem to assume that energy is homogenous or well-mixed in the ocean, when in fact it naturally concentrates based on wind and currents, downwelling and upwelling areas.”

        In general, assuming that the average ocean temperature is somewhat stable is a very reasonable assumption since there is a 4C thermocline.

        That 4 C thermocline is as close to “fixed” as any climate metric can be.

      • steven, we would count the sun as a forcing in that case, not natural variation in the sense usually meant. Yes, land warms faster when the forcing changes. This is what is happening. The only long-term natural variations are from the ocean, but these would not cause the land to warm ahead of them the way it is observed to as I showed above.

      • Captn:

        For you and others who would like to see large and concentrated regions of ocean heat content in motion see:

        http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=-74.65,33.07,2537

        or

        http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=-222.48,29.33,1540

        These currents are huge parts of the weather and climate of the planet and represent concentrated ocean heat and energy that both advects energy toward the poles, but also above these regions a great amount of energy is moved from ocean to atmosphere as sensible and latent heat.

      • R. Gates has mad skills, when it comes to debating straw men.

      • R.Gates, I have a tad of experience with ocean currents particularly the Gulf Stream. The 4 C thermocline is infinitely more stable than the upper 300 meters of the oceans and the “average” temperature of the oceans is closely related to average salinity and the depth of the 4 C thermocline. That should be considered in one of the three real laws of thermodynamics, Frame of Reference which helps meet the first real law of thermodynamics, Keep It Simple Stupid.

      • Ok Jim, so the comment as you made it is wrong. You should have argued it has to be a change of forcing regardless of the source since you agree changes of forcing can be natural. So what makes you think a change in currents which would affect weather patterns couldn’t do this? When you change cloud cover you change the forcing also.

      • steven, if you can come up with some way to warm the land faster than the ocean without external forcing, go for it. The one that makes most sense to me so far is the increasing CO2, which does just that, but that is only because of radiative physics, which you probably won’t count as an explanation even though it quantifies the change correctly.

      • The land isn’t warming faster – the surface has dried out over the past decade or so and the proportion of latent heat lost at the surface is diminished. The land/sea contrast is an artifact of surface temperature measurement. As latent heat emerges in the troposphere – it doesn’t impact the average tropospheric temperature.

      • Rob Ellison, I only say that the land is warming faster because the data shows it (see my 12:46 pm post above). However, a drying out may be starting to help it. This is a feedback from the fact that the oceans are not warming as fast.

      • Captn,

        The semi-stability of the thermocline is not the most interesting part of the ocean as heat is still be moved around vertically and horizontally throughout the global ocean, impacting energy flux from ocean to both atmosphere, and cryosphere:

        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n3/abs/ngeo1391.html

      • On the contrary Jim – the surface (@2m) appears to be warming faster only because the latent heat flux isn’t part of the measurement. Which makes the surface record inherently unreliable.

        e.g http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/nt-77.pdf

      • R. Gates, A good frame of reference is not interesting, it is stable. Then from that frame of reference you can determine how interesting other things are with respect to energy flow.

      • Jim D and Skippy Ellison:

        Worthy of your attention regarding actual surface atmospheric energy over land::

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL048442/full

        The short-term flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere is dominated by the ENSO cycle. Given that the majority of latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere will occur over the ocean, temperatures over the ocean will be impacted even to an greater extent by ENSO.

      • Rob Ellison | July 4, 2014 at 10:36 pm |

        The land isn’t warming faster – the surface has dried out over the past decade or so and the proportion of latent heat lost at the surface is diminished. The land/sea contrast is an artifact of surface temperature measurement. As latent heat emerges in the troposphere – it doesn’t impact the average tropospheric temperature.

        Have you ever read anything this aggressively wrong and passed on as information?

        Just try to image a class in atmospheric sciences and the professor was lecturing the class with these kinds of ridiculous assertions. I would imagine the prof would start getting pelted with rotten tomatoes after awhile.

      • RG said:

        “The short-term flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere is dominated by the ENSO cycle. Given that the majority of latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere will occur over the ocean, temperatures over the ocean will be impacted even to an greater extent by ENSO.”

        Right on. Applying that scenario, I tried to set up an algebraic solution to the problem of partitioning the excess heat transferring from ocean to atmosphere and then to land.

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

        This is one of those homework assignments that I can imagine being given in a class on atmospheric sciences.

      • I guess we are used to such puerile and fact less comment from the usual suspects.

      • Skippy Ellison amazingly said:

        “As latent heat emerges in the troposphere – it doesn’t impact the average tropospheric temperature.”
        _____
        Come again? When latent heat “emerges” it becomes sensible heat, and sensible heat is precisely what we measure when we measure temperature. When water vapor condenses to cloud or rain or snow flakes are formed, latent heat “emerges” or more accurately is released, becoming sensible heat, and impacting tropospheric temperature immediately.

        What is Skippy up to?

      • A characteristic feature of global warming is the land–sea contrast, with stronger warming over land than
        over oceans. Recent studies find that this land–sea contrast also exists in equilibrium global change scenarios, and it is caused by differences in the availability of surface moisture over land and oceans. In this study it is illustrated that this land–sea contrast exists also on interannual time scales and that the ocean–land interaction is strongly asymmetric. The land surface temperature is more sensitive to the oceans than the oceans are to the land surface temperature, which is related to the processes causing the land–sea contrast in global warming scenarios. It suggests that the ocean’s natural variability and change is leading to variability and change with enhanced magnitudes over the continents, causing much of the longer-time-scale (decadal) global-scale continental climate variability. Model simulations illustrate that continental warming due to anthropogenic forcing (e.g., the warming at the end of the last century or future climate change scenarios) is mostly (80%–90%) indirectly forced by the contemporaneous ocean warming, not directly by local radiative forcing.

        file:///C:/Users/Robert/Documents/Technical/Climate/dommenget.land-ocean.jcl2009%20(1).pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/DIETMARDOMMENGET_zps939fe12e.png.html?sort=3&o=124

        Webby is very confident but doesn’t seem capable of understanding the simplest ideas. On the other hand solving climate with a line of algebra is audaciously simple minded.

      • Latent heat emerges as the molecules condense – as accurately as anything. As the heat emerges somewhere in the troposphere it is accounted for in tropospheric measurements.

        Latent heat is not accounted for in surface measurements of temperature.

        I spell it out – reference it – and they still get it wrong.

      • How else do you solve these problems? By imaging the solutions?

        I worked out a set of equations that conserve the flow of energy.
        Certainly more latent heat of evaporation occurs over the ocean and that gets dispersed to land.

      • Here’s the reference – http://users.monash.edu.au/~dietmard/papers/dommenget.land-ocean.jcl2009.pdf

        You work it out with theory that explains data – you know the scientific method. Not absurdly simplistic algebra.

      • Mr Ellison, Mr Gates,

        Maybe what I should have said, is.. all these back and forths… you must both feel strongly.

        I therefor worry I am missing something, but it’s all so technical, and numbers and references.

        I might enjoy some of the information, if I could absorb it.

        Can either/both of you, laymen terms/simplify your position(s), so I can understand better where you each are coming from??

        I am interested in altering viewpoints and opinions, when not too much infighting is muddying the waters.

        Cheers,
        Alistair

      • Jim, a small change in cloud location and quantity could do just about anything you were looking for. Your insistance that continental interiors can only be changed by increasing or decreasing external forcing cries out for a reference since not all continental interiors appear to be bahaving exactly the same. Have a reference?

      • Only one pole is warming, The other is cooling. Just another refutation of the hypothesis to add to all the rest.

      • the poles of the sun switch sides every eleven years and our magnet is always pointing slightly askew from it. just saying. :-)

      • Jim, I wasn’t aware that just because land was warming more than SSTs it automatically made the rest of your far reaching hypothesis true. Do you have a reference that states natural variability can’t cause land to warm faster than the oceans or not?

      • steven, that is what the observations show, and skeptics need to figure out why. I don’t have any ideas of how that could happen except for forcing where it is a natural consequence. How about yourself? Any ideas? Land has short time scales because of its low effective heat capacity. Maybe you can imagine some scenario where the heat is welling up from below?

      • Jim, everything near the Arctic circle could easily be explained by a reduction in sea ice:

        Quantifying the Influence of Atlantic Heat on Barents Sea Ice Variability and Retreat*

        M. Årthun and T. Eldevik

        “Based on the simulated ocean heat budget it is found that the heat transport into the western Barents Sea sets the boundary of the ice-free Atlantic domain and, hence, the sea ice extent. The regional heat content and heat loss to the atmosphere scale with the area of open ocean as a consequence. Recent sea ice loss is thus largely caused by an increasing “Atlantification” of the Barents Sea.”

        That is unless you also have a hypothesis that the air the water warms is for some reason stuck above the water where it gets warmed up. As for the rest I already invoked the magical properties of clouds. I could have said changing ocean currents may change wind patterns. There are plenty of reasons why a change in heat transport could warm land more than SSTs.

      • Jim, here you go. I knew I had seen this reference but I didn’t bother to save it since I never expected to be having this argument:

        Oceanic influences on recent continental warming
        Gilbert P. Compo, Prashant D. Sardeshmukh

        Abstract
        Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. The oceanic influence has occurred through hydrodynamic-radiative teleconnections, primarily by moistening and warming the air over land and increasing the downward longwave radiation at the surface. The oceans may themselves have warmed from a combination of natural and anthropogenic influences.

      • steven, I have seen that Compo and Sardeshmukh paper, but I don’t think it has a convincing reason especially for the last 30 years where the land warming rate is twice the ocean rate. You can look at their plots and see that they chose to downplay some significant continental warming that their test did not explain. What they are really testing is the greenhouse effect of the water vapor change alone, which is significant over continents, no argument, but not the only thing.

      • Jim, Chief linked a reference saying pretty much the same thing but for different reasons. Like I said there are numerous possibilities for why natural variation could warm land faster than oceans. For a consensus science guy you sure aren’t too prone to go with the consensus on this issue.

      • The consensus is that the land is warming faster, and that was expected to continue from the IPCC projections if you look at them, but perhaps to a lesser degree. However they also expected faster tropical ocean warming and less Arctic warming than seem to be occurring. The distribution of the expected warming has been a difficult thing to predict. Will land continue to warm at nearly 4 C per doubling (especially NH land) while the ocean warms at 2 C per doubling? Hard to see how that could be sustained, but I don’t see a consensus on what happens next. Having one number for global warming misses all these nuances of distribution that in the end are what really matter.

      • Jim, I thought the paper I quoted on arctic warming was explanatory enough for the Arctic but we digress. Do you agree that changes in heat transport can warrm land faster than ocean now or will you stick with your unreferenced gut feeling against published literature? I may decide to call you a skeptic and take up the mantle of a mainstreamer if this keeps up.

      • steven, if you want to call a quote from one paper mainstream, go ahead. I might dispute that mainly because no one has supported it. I would also say that anyone who has talked about natural variation, outside that of the sun or volcanoes, has been referring to ocean variations, and no one, until you. has even suggested that there a land source for it. It is somewhat obvious that the land should warm faster in response to positive forcing, and that is what we see in the temperature record. This is all very straightforwards. The Arctic with its sea-ice feedback is even more sensitive than land, with some estimates recently as high as 1 C per decade as you get nearer the north pole.

      • You’ll have to show me where I said there was a land source for ocean warming to see if I mispoke or you misread. You seem to be getting frustrated. Take a time out and come back with a reference that supports what you have been arguing: natural variation can’t warm the land faster than the oceans.

      • steven, from what I can tell, you are suggesting that some change in the ocean currents has melted the Arctic sea ice causing far-reaching effects over the northern continents. You might be asserting that this change is natural and would have occurred without global warming, but maybe you prefer to neglect that a higher ocean heat content, which can only come from long-term positive forcing, has contributed, or you want to neglect that an in situ longwave radiative balance change in the Arctic affected the surface budget there which also affects sea ice. Is this a correct interpretation of your view?

      • Jim, this particular discussion is if natural variability can warm the land faster than the oceans. Once we are done with this discussion I will be happy to show you why you can gain both global temperatures and ocean heat content by changing ocean heat transport, but can we finish one discussion before we go on to the next so you won’t be making the same erronous argument in the future? I am still waiting for you to support your argument or concede the issue.

      • steven, let’s say that the land near the Arctic can warm naturally faster than the global oceans if you found some natural way to warm the Arctic Ocean area faster than the land neighboring it. Is that a clearer starting point? Currently the Arctic warming rate is 1 C per decade. I don’t think that is natural. Perhaps you do. In any case, the land can’t warm faster than its surroundings naturally, and as I showed, the land warming is far more extensive than the Arctic area anyway so it is not just proximity. There just is no unforced mechanism for that.

      • Jim, I thought the paper I quoted about the Arctic was pretty clear on how it works. I’m not sure how I could expand upon what is a rather simple explanation. Perhaps you should find a reference claiming what they said isn’t possible regardless of right or wrong. We are still on the argument of is it possible or not and I am not moving until that has been resolved.

      • steven, this a long way from forced land warming, which is what I commented on. Anyway, a factor in this current is its added warmth, possibly? You can also check

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00382-013-1821-x#page-1

        where they say that added warmth in the Atlantic is a factor. This is not surprising, of course, because the Arctic gets a substantial amount of water from the Atlantic. This process will continue going forwards and AGW would be a factor in it. It is just another mechanism by which sea ice is lost.

      • Jim, if we are a long way away from you claiming that natural variability can’t cause the land to warm faster than the ocean it is because you keep straying off topic. Logic and the literature tell me you are wrong. You insist you are right. I think we are at an impass.

      • steven, if you know any physical unforced mechanism by which land can warm faster than its surroundings over a period of 40 years, say it. Specifically, just as a reminder, we are trying to explain this, where you will also note that the land significantly leads the water too, as would be expected from the standard thermal inertia arguments under forcing. There is no mystery why it does this. Is it “overconfidence” or just obviousness?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120

      • Jim, are you now switching your argument to say that it could be due to the oceans warming the land even if the land warms faster but the oceans had to have warmed from a change in forcing? If so we are making progress. If not, we aren’t.

      • steven, no, and that is a very weird interpretation. The same kind of forcing drives both the ocean and land simultaneously, but the land with a lower thermal inertia responds quicker. This also happens in the morning in a diurnal cycle, and in the spring in an annual cycle. Land always responds more quickly to a forcing. It’s the thermal inertia effect, known to meteorologists, and doubted by few. A fairly easy explanation of the temperature behavior since 1970.

      • Jim, No more the world according to Jim. There are two perfectly good references that explain how the oceans made the land warmer than it it had warmed and another perfectly good reference explaining why the area around the Arctic warmed in this string. Refute them with literature or we are done with this topic

      • steven, I have no doubt that the Arctic is warming. Heat transport from the Atlantic is important to this area and will only increase with AGW, as the reference I gave you said, and perhaps that has already started as your reference said, where both temperature and current changes were important to the Arctic trend.

  120. ilmastotiede

    What the IPCC means with “confidence” has been carefully spelled out in the reports and guidance documentation. It doesn’t refer to a pervasive culture or hidden cognitive states. So the derived term “overconfidence” in the IPCC context doesn’t seem that ambiguous.

    It was shown here that as of AR5 the confidence in a number of things is lower than previously. In other words, in the panel’s current view the previous reports were too confident (overconfident) in those things (and “underconfident” in some others – but I’ve understood that should be the preferred default in science).

    The IPCC’s current view regarding its own past confidence is a matter of record, not something you have to determine with complex experimental designs or calculations in the distant future. If other IPCC judgements are valid arguments in today’s debate, I don’t see why the same wouldn’t apply to these self-reported cases of overconfidence.

    The assessment reports are supposedly carefully reviewed by thousands of experts and reflect the collective view held by the scientific community. According to this view the previous reports were overconfident in several aspects, far from Colose’s “not once” claim.

    • You are correct- the issue here, poorly worded in my tweet (as I mentioned in my comment before and tweeted a clarifying statement), is whether or not Judith’s concern about the IPCC tending toward overconfidence in a systematically biased fashion has any substance. It doesn’t.

  121. Upthread, Jack Foster drew our attention to a 2012 blog exchange he had with Chris Colose with particular regard to the article claim:

    We have in fact followed the upper end (the most pessimistic scenarios presented by the IPCC) regarding carbon dioxide emissions, sea level rise and global mean temperature increase.

    Like Jack Foster I notice that in spite of the Pause, the climate orthodox are more convinced than ever their most pessimistic fears about climate change are being realized.

    I don’t understand. I get that depending on interval bracketing and error bars the Pause does not (yet) invalidate the IPCC scenarios. Still we are emitting far more carbon now than in the nineties, yet the thermometer has barely budged. This would not seem to be a ringing validation of the worst IPCC scenarios in terms of temperature.

    Yet Chris Colose can’t be bothered to explain other than to sneer at Jack Foster’s sources then mumble some extremely technical gibberish back at him as though it explained everything.

    Frankly I think Colose was not being intellectually honest in that exchange. He seemed to be bluffing, gliding over a sticky point he couldn’t justify.

    Possibly I am mistaken. Perhaps the climate orthodox here can clear this up.

    • My best guess about the claim, “We have in fact followed the upper end (the most pessimistic scenarios presented by the IPCC),” is that it’s another bait-and-switch.

      The naive reader likely assumes the claim means temperatures are going up with carbon emissions as in the most pessimistic IPCC scenarios.

      However, perhaps the orthodox are only saying that carbon emissions are following those pessimistic scenarios — which is true — but never mind that temperatures aren’t following the increased emissions.

      If so, it’s just another rhetorical sleight-of-hand from the climate orthodox, more bad faith debate.

  122. Don’t know if this is a case of overconfidence or just a blind reliance on “scientific” models, but it’s a fail any way you slice it. Of course, they’ve come up with a new catastrophic interpretation – gotta keep the funding rolling in.
    From the article:


    Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.

    If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”

    Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. Most of this ends up in landfills or waste pits, but a 1970s National Academy of Sciences study estimated that 0.1% of all plastic washes into the oceans from land, carried by rivers, floods, or storms, or dumped by maritime vessels. Some of this material becomes trapped in Arctic ice and some, landing on beaches, can even turn into rocks made of plastic. But the vast majority should still be floating out there in the sea, trapped in midocean gyres—large eddies in the center of oceans, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/06/ninety-nine-percent-oceans-plastic-missing

    • I saw that article too. I love the final takeaway:

      Best-case scenario for the fate of the missing plastic? It’s sinking from the weight of organisms sticking to it or in animal feces and getting buried on the ocean floor, Law says. “I don’t think we can conceive of the worst-case scenario, quite frankly. We really don’t know what this plastic is doing.”

      Booga-booga!

    • My worst-case scenario nomination for all the plastic missing from the ocean is that it has collected in a deep trench off the coast of Japan. Meanwhile radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident has mutated the plastic into a giant translucent green monster which any day now will emerge from the sea and attack Tokyo, sending thousands of Japanese to flee into the streets, screaming.

  123. Suposedly carefully reviewed doesn´t mean there´s action taken to remedy problems the reviewers find. The IPCC reports aren´t put through a peer review process such as I would put together for such an important document. However, the whole IPCC process and work flow is very flawed. I would toss it in the dustbin of history together with Marxist thought and the Noachian Flood.

    What we need is a much more streamlined process carried out by professional teams which publish results on specific topics.

    We also need to eliminate the editorial power of outfits which own some of the high level publications, because it sure gives me a pain in the intestines to find information paywalled, and in some cases the editorial bias is just too much (an example would be Michael Mann´s article in Scientific American, which happens to be owned by Nature).

  124. I apologize in advance for the OT post, but the techies will appreciate this. The Chinese have done something really cool.

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9249532/3D_printer_constructs_10_buildings_in_one_day_from_recycled_materials

  125. If the “pause” doesn’t reveal to the warmists their over confidence, nothing will.

    At best, it shows that “global average temperature” based on surface temperatures (that they had been using for decades to define “global warming”), is a terrible proxy for, well, global warming.

    Next, even if they are correct in now claiming that the heat is hiding somewhere in the oceans, it shows that they did not understand that fundamental, and huge, element of the Earth’s climate. Oceans store heat, in this case for at least 17 years +/-. You would think if they understood the climate in this mature scientific field as well as they claim, someone would have figured that out rather than denying the “pause” for 15 of its 17 years.

    And most importantly, in a combination of the two, it shows that they don’t have a clue how to model the climate in a way that will predict future surface temperatures with any degree of accuracy, let alone within tenths of a degree per year/decade/century.

    Not only did none of this cause them to lower their confidence levels; these geniuses used this clear evidence of their ignorance as an excuse to increase their confidence level in the AR5.

    Somewhere in this thread Mosher says something about how it may not even be worth talking to skeptics any more because they are so closed minded.

    I would laugh if it weren’t so….

    Nope, I’m just gonna laugh.

    • “At best, it shows that “global average temperature” based on surface temperatures (that they had been using for decades to define “global warming”), is a terrible proxy for, well, global warming.”
      ______
      I agree with you Gary… imagine that. But there is a history and legacy of using tropospheric sensible heat as a proxy, and legacies are hard to change. Ultimately anthropogenic GH gas forcing is about energy, and the forcing to the system that causes it to accumulate more energy. We are tropospheric dwellers, and thus, using tropospheric sensible heat as a proxy for energy gain was the easiest thing to do, but was never scientifically the best or most accurate.

      • R. Gates,

        “…was never scientifically the best or most accurate.” That can be said about so much of the “science” of CAGW.

        Actually, part of me suspects that many climate scientists understood all along that the oceans might well store more heat than they were telling the public. But the consistently rising reported surface temps were just too good to resist for PR.

        But then I remember human nature, and I see the hubris in all the CAGW papers, and I figure they just didn’t have a clue. I doubt they would have hitched their wagon so firmly to surface temps, if they knew how fast they could go south from their predictions.

        They can’t model clouds.
        They can’t model water vapor.
        And the “pause”shows they can’t model the retention of heat by the oceans.

        Yet their models just keep on churning out press releases.

      • Oh,and there is a “history and legacy” of using surface temps as evidence of “global warming” because CAGW activists, starting with Hansen, intentionally made it so.

        The hokey stick for example, due to which so much damage was done to the political consensus, is even more irrelevant that skeptics claimed.

        If we cannot even understand the size and duration of heat storage (aka ocean heat content) in the present with all our modern measurements, then how the heck can tree rings tell us anything about the global heat content of the past?

      • It’s valid to be sceptical both of the claim that the whole system is accumulating more energy due to increases in GHG concentrations, because that’s so hard to measure, and of the claim that such increased energy will cause net harm, taking into account the fertilisation benefits of increased CO2. Such a complex system. Such astounding stability for four billion years. Anyone’s guess. :)

      • Gary

        I think you are right. It’s easier to tell people that the world is warming when they can point to surface temperatures that everyone can relate to rather than ocean heat content which is altogether a much more difficult concept to put over?

        Ocean heat content will only gain traction if both poles melt together whilst such events as severe hurricanes increase.

        Tonyb

      • Ocean heat content is indeed a difficult concept for the general public to get very excited about. It seems so removed from their lives, even though of course the truth is quite the opposite. Melting polar ice or hurricanes are just the extreme examples. In truth, the heat content of the ocean is the major driving force of much of the daily weather and related to the longer-term climate. Moreover, the alter the heat content of the ocean over the longer-term, only an external forcing can do that.

      • R. Gates,

        “In truth, the heat content of the ocean is the major driving force of much of the daily weather and related to the longer-term climate.”

        The heat content of part of the ocean, it’s surface, certainly has a massive effect on “daily weather.” But if you mean total, global heat content, you need to pass the joint.

      • TonyB,

        I am afraid “ocean heat content” will gain traction when there is another El Nino of any size. At that point, the alarmists will cry “SEE!?! The heat was in the oceans and IT’S COMING TO GET US!.

        And if the El Nino is strong enough, and summers hot enough for a year or two, they will have another chance to tell the voters that weather is climate. That portion of the electorate who get their news from progressive “journalists” will never hear how the same people were just recently claiming that surface temperatures were a terrible proxy for “global warming.” All the news that’s fit to filter.

        Richard Drake,

        Shoot, I’m not only skeptical of the accumulation of heat, and it’s danger, but I also don’t think the consensus even can actually estimate the “global average temperature” or total global heat content, with anywhere near the accuracy they would need to plot the trends they claim.

        I’m a denier, of the hubristic claims of climate scientists, and proud of it.

      • Gary M. should come to Colorado. He said:

        ” But if you mean total, global heat content, you need to pass the joint.”
        ____
        Of course, actual science tells us that super-Typhoons, such as the one that struck the Philippines last fall are made into super-Typhoons by churning up heat from deeper ocean depths, far below the surface. Of course, the heat has to be there to churn up in the first place, and we know the ocean heat content in this part of the global ocean has been growing steadily for many decades. See:

        http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/MediaDetail2.php?MediaID=1452&MediaTypeID=1

        Stick with the actual science folks– it’s your friend.

      • R. Gates,

        That article is using the term “deep” in a comparative term, not in the sense of the “deep ocean.”

        “Deeper, warmer pools of water are colored purple….”

        They don’t explain there just how deep they claim the pool of heated water extends, but it clearly does not extend to the depths at which the increase in heat content is measured at tenths of a degree. Which is, of course, the vast majority of the oceans.

        Changes in total global oceanic heat content is irrelevant on a local short term scale. Changes in localized pockets of heat, in the oceans or atmosphere, are a different matter.

        You might as well have pointed to El Ninos. But then your sleight of hand (mouth? fingers?) would have been more obvious.

      • “Changes in total global oceanic heat content is irrelevant on a local short term scale.”
        ____
        So faux-skeptics would have you believe. It is all part of the same pool of energy with constant upwelling and downwelling of that energy. The oceans drive the global weather patterns and global climate over the long-term. You cannot increase the energy in the ocean without afffecting both local and global climate– it’s all from the same pool of energy. The notion that it will “come back some day”– which I’ve heard from all sides of the issue is just silly. It’s a pool of energy, always moving vertically and horizontally and fluxing to the atmosphere driving the weather and dictating the course of the climate.

      • “You might as well have pointed to El Ninos.”
        ____
        El Nino’s represent a higher level of flux of latent and sensible heat from ocean to atmosphere and do not represent any net addition of energy to the overall system– and if fact, because the energy is moved to the atmosphere where it can more readily escape to space, we might actually see a slight decrease in overall energy in the system during an El Nino. But because that energy passes through the troposphere and some of it can be measured as sensible heat in the troposphere, and because sensible tropospheric heat is foolishly used as a proxy for overall heat in the system, the spike in tropospheric temperatures that inevitably comes from an El Nino is foolishly considered as a proxy for “global warming”.

      • R.Gates,

        To the extent there is any confusion, it is because warmists like you intentionally muddy the debate. There are no measurements of deep ocean heat content that cover enough area to give anything like a picture of the total OHC at depth.

        But the reported averages of those areas that are measured, have not been enough to “locate the hidden heat.” So warmists like you say it is total ocean heat content, including those areas of the ocean that are not measured.

        When confronted with the il-logic of claiming that heat in the deep ocean can warm the atmosphere on any time scale that can be considered weather, you respond with “pools of energy” and “always moving vertically and horizontally and fluxing to the atmosphere driving the weather and dictating the course of the climate.”

        The first term is not scientific at all, and says nothing about the size or location of the heat. The second also avoids talking about the actual issue raised, heat that is supposedly contained in the deep ocean.

        You can’t point to where it is at.

        You can’t say with any truth what amount of heat is stored there.

        And you can’t describe a mechanism where deep ocean water at 0.5C can heat at atmosphere at 30c.

        So you resort to obscurantist terminology that clouds the issue.

        You don’t know.

        But you won’t say you don’t know for political reasons.

        No big deal, just don’t expect anyone else to buy it.

      • “and if fact, because the energy is moved to the atmosphere where it can more readily escape to space, we might actually see a slight decrease in overall energy in the system during an El Nino.”

        Please show me any data or “science” that supports your claim that the loss of heat from the climate system during an El Nino is “slight.”

        Other than your CAGW prayerbook.

      • Regarding increasing ocean heat, Gary erroneously reported:

        “You can’t point to where it is at”
        ____
        Of course we can. Do you suppose that the position of ARGO floats are not known exactly?

      • Argo floats measure to 1800 m; the inference of deep(er) ocean heat sequestration is based on models.

      • Dr. Curry,

        The current ARGO floats go down closer to 2000m I believe:

        http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/About_Argo.html

        But of course, that’s not nearly deep enough and yes, the inferred abyssal ocean warming is partly model and partly research:

        http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~klinck/Reprints/PDF/purkeyJClim10.pdf

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL059923/abstract

        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013EGUGA..15.1640J

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JPO-D-12-0182.1

        But certainly the deeper ocean data is something we greatly need, and is the highest priority:

        http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/Deep_Argo_AST15.pdf

        and just a few weeks ago some of the first deep ARGO floats >5000m began being deployed:

        http://cpo.noaa.gov/Home/AllNews/TabId/315/ArtMID/668/ArticleID/72606/Deep-Argo-floats-deployed-in-Pacific.aspx

        Am I skeptical the deep oceans are warming? Yes. Do I believe it is likely they are? Yes. Am I skeptical the oceans at all depths are warming? Yes. Do I believe it is very likely they are? Yes.

      • thx, the deep ocean argo floats are critical to sorting this out. I think it is equally likely that changes in cloud distributions have reflect additional sunlight, and little to no deep ocean heating

      • Dr. Curry said:

        ” I think it is equally likely that changes in cloud distributions have reflected additional sunlight, and little to no deep ocean heating…”
        ______
        Or some combination thereof. It does not have to be an all-or-none proposition, just like the “hiatus” is probably not just one thing, but a combination. I think Purkey’s research on abyssal ocean warming is pretty solid. Additionally, if cloud distributions have reflected additional sunlight then the warming of the oceans down to 2000m have to be explained by some mechanism, assuming the past 10 years of ARGO data is even reasonably accurate. But overall you’re right– Deep ARGO data is critical and will really begin to tell the story, but any meaningful data from that is 10 years out at the earliest and probably more like 15 to 20.

      • An increase in aerosols could cause an increase in reflection, both through its effect on cloud reflection and by clear-sky reflection. This would seem much more probable than a spontaneous cloud increase by itself. We need satellites to sort this kind of thing out. Unfortunately NASA’s 2011 failed Glory satellite would have helped out with this.

      • http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Earthshine-1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=161

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

        It seems in fact far more likely that cloud cover changed significantly after the 1998/2001 climate shift.

        Argo steric – caused by warming – sea level increase a modest 0.2mm+/- 0.8mm/yr?

        Of course any modest warming last decade was entirely SW cloud radiative forcing – which has since turned around.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS.gif.html?sort=3&o=206

        Of course – this data can’t possibly be right they are confident. Actually – it seems more likely that they are incapable of processing it due to cognitive dissonance.

      • Rob Ellison, look at the trends, not the wiggles. It will drive you insane, and perhaps has, trying to explain every wiggle with the inadequate data that we have. The general behavior is this. Much easier to see what is going on.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120

      • Jim D,

        You have given helpful and practical advice to Skippy. It is indeed the long-term trends that matter in regards to the long-term forcing from increasing GH gas concentrations. Solar variability, the ENSO cycle, the PDO, the AMO, and all the rest of so-called “natural” variability is just noise on this now dominant long-term signal caused by the overwhelming forcing from the highest GH gas levels in millions of years.

      • The ENSO cycle, the PDO, and the AMO are driven by the system as a whole. A thunderstorm, a colder than normal winter, a heavy are not examples of noise.

      • The point was divergence of the records.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1979/plot/uah-land

        Caused by changes in latent heat loss at the surface. Land is not warming faster – it is an artifact of drying. It all just goes around in circles.

      • This would seem much more probable than a spontaneous cloud increase by itself.

        Yes look at the trend.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=130

    • GaryM, don’t forget the sun too. Many skeptics have long thought that solar variations affect climate, and now that the pause seems to demonstrate this, you would think they would be all over it. But no, we don’t see this. They prefer to blame models and say that the CO2 effect has somehow stopped dead rather than looking at the rational explanations, and the fact that the solar activity is at its lowest in a century.

      • “Many skeptics have long thought that solar variations affect climate, and now that the pause seems to demonstrate this…”
        _____
        Only a portion of the “pause” is likely related to solar variation– maybe somewhere between 10 and 25%. Bigger drivers seem to be the cool phase of the PDO with less net latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere, and a moderate increase in natural aerosols. Be that as it may, the net dynamic during the “pause” is that the oceans continued to increase in net energy, but gave off a bit less to the atmosphere.

      • I think as much as 0.1 C could have been due to the sun’s own pause, its long minimum and weak maximum in the last decade. This could have made a large dent in the decadal trend.

      • Jim D,

        No offense, but that is incoherent to me.

        1. Skeptics don’t “blame” models for anything. Models don’t issue press releases, my crack above notwithstanding. Skeptics do say that the models do not accurately reflect the climate, for purposes of predicting future temps, because the modellers don’t understand the climate enough to model it.

        2. I am unaware that anyone, skeptic or CAGW advocate, claims that the “pause” “demonstrates” that the sun is the cause of the pause. I have read many who think it might, the weak solar cycle coinciding with the pause in reported temps, but just as hypotheses. We leave it to the consensus to “get all over” weather phenomenon as proof positive of their theories regarding climate.

        3. This skeptic has always believed that solar variations have a strong effect on climate, because RealClimate told me so. When I first began following the debate, I went through much of the RealClimate archive, including their articles on ice ages. Which according to them are caused in large part by “wobbles” in the Earth’s orbit. How do those wobbles have such a huge impact? By changing the amount of solar radiation.

        At least that was the explanation in the earlier articles on RealClimate. With the collapse of Copenhagen, and the rise of skeptics looking at the prior claims, the position has undergone some serious “editing.”

        The first article I read stated flat out that ice ages were caused by Milankovitch cycles. When Gavin Schmidt was taking questions at Keith Kloor’s blog some years ago, I asked him about that earlier article. His response was that they had gotten better at “writing” since then. Not that there was new research or evidence, just that they had learned to frame the issue better.

        I can’t find that article there any more. The latest articles increasingly diminish the import of Milankovitch cycles and, shockingly, increase the importance of CO2. But just because the consensus has decided that the sun as partial cause is politically inconvenient, does not mean I have to buy into it.

      • JimD, skeptics ARE all over it! CO2 effect has somehow stopped? Where do you get all this? By the way, lukewarmists are not skeptics.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/solar/

        http://joannenova.com.au/

        http://notrickszone.com/category/solar/

        Yes, the solar activity is at its lowest in a century and we’re gonna cool because of it. The cooling actually already started, but it needs some time to get going (and to overcome the exaggerated temperature indices). By ~2020 it will be undeniable.

      • It certainly could be as high a 0.1C effect from a sleepy sun, which would be typical for the top to bottom of a solar cycle anyway. Overall, these natural variations are being drowned out by the Anthropogenic forcing, but even within that forcing there is positive (warming) and negative (cooling) going on, but of course the warming is stronger.

      • GaryM, skeptics have used the pause to blame models, not knowing that these models did not have the solar lull or PDO-type variation at the right time. The 30-year trend has not changed during the pause, and the models predict this longer-term warming well. The sun could have had as much as a 20% effect on the 30-year rise (0.1 C out of 0.5 C), which is significant, but not much in the big picture. It makes the difference between 0.2 C per decade and 0.167 C per decade (which is what we have). To skeptics, blaming the models for having 0.2 C per decade does not account for these other factors in the past 30 years that could have added up to 0.1 C cooling and brought the average down to what it is.

      • Jim D,

        “blaming the models for having 0.2 C per decade does not account for these other factors in the past 30 years that could have added up to 0.1 C cooling and brought the average down to what it is.”

        First of all, you are not using “blame” in any of its conventional uses. But that aside….

        “Could have” is exactly the point. Lots of things “could have” happened. Lots of thing “could have” caused what did happen. They just don;t know enough to model the climate.

        The models almost uniformly predicted steady, inexorable warming. It is not a matter of not predicting the timing of the “pause.” You have to get initial conditions right to model a system, and you have to understand how that system works.

        The “pause” doesn’t show what is wrong with the models, but it does show rather conclusively that they are wrong, as to the predictions for which they are claimed to be useful – future temps.

        It is simply a matter of being wrong about future temps, to such a large degree, over such a long period of time. You can all downplay the fact that the consensus’ own reported temps make their own GCMs look ridiculous. But it is what it is.

      • “The cooling actually already started, but it needs some time to get going (and to overcome the exaggerated temperature indices). By ~2020 it will be undeniable.”
        ____
        I am reminded of those sports fans who year after year support a losing team, and after each losing season say;

        “Just wait until next year!”

        Meanwhile, we are seeing the warmest ocean and atmospheric temperatures on instrument record, the greatest decline in total global glacial ice in thousands of years, and many other signs of a strong net continued increase of energy in the climate system.

        But for you faux-skeptics: “Just wait until next year!”

      • R.Gates,

        “Meanwhile, we are seeing the warmest ocean and atmospheric temperatures on instrument record….”

        Here, let me help ya with that again.

        “Meanwhile, we are seeing the warmest ocean and atmospheric [‘and atmospheric’ seriously? I didn’t know you were a pause denier] temperatures in areas where we have virtually no instrumental records.”

        There, that’s better.

      • And leave my Chicago Cubs out of it. It’s not my fault I grew up 5 blocks away from Wrigley Field. And have paid for it ever since.

      • The skeptics make a lot of the difference between 0.2 C per decade, and the actual 0.167 C per decade that has been the warming rate since about 1980. I don’t think much can be made of this difference when you consider the sun, PDO, added aerosols as negative factors that the models didn’t have.

    • “Next, even if they are correct in now claiming that the heat is hiding somewhere in the oceans, it shows that they did not understand that fundamental, and huge, element of the Earth’s climate.”
      ______
      I agree that the oceans have not been fully accounted for in climate models, nor have clouds. To a large extent, the failure to account for ocean processes is a reason why the models prior to the 2007 dragon-king event failed to predict how rapidly the Arctic sea ice would decline. Equally so, the models failed to fully appreciate the changes going on in the southern ocean with the warming there and with the counter-intuitive increase in Antarctic sea ice. Underlying all this is the obviously incorrect belief that you can keep adding somewhere around 0.5 x 10^22 Joules of energy to the ocean every year without large impacts on various parts of the climate system. Additional “heat” is never hiding in the ocean, but goes to work (as all energy does) immediately in altering the climate system.

      • You keep on talking about the supposed effect on Antarctic sea ice, but never attempt to explain it.

      • R. Gates,

        “Underlying all this is the obviously incorrect belief that you can keep adding somewhere around 0.5 x 10^22 Joules of energy to the ocean every year without large impacts on various parts of the climate system.”

        You simply don’t know that. No one does. There are no measurements of heat into and out of the oceans that are accurate enough to make that as a statement of fact.

        That is one of the biggest advantages of the CAGW consensus in the political debate, and its greatest weakness in the scientific debate – conflating opinion with fact. In a strong second place is conflating political views with science.

      • phatboy,

        I’ve addressed the very interesting and counter-intuitive Antarctic sea ice expansion many times. Counter-intuitive because overall increased energy in the system can actually cause Antarctic sea ice to expand. Here’s just one article for you to read and follow up with your own readings on related research:

        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/full/ngeo1767.html?WT.ec_id=NGEO-201305

      • Sorry, no one actually understand the variance in sea ice, between the Arctic and Antarctic either. There are theories, lots of them. But that is of course another example of what the models can’t get right.

        And it is no wonder that the GCMs get so much wrong. If they don;t even understand factors with as massive influence as clouds, water vapor and ocean heat storage, how can they model anything else. If you don’t understand the individual components of the climate, how can you possibly model it’s local impact?

        Not local weather, that can be modeled with some decent short term accuracy. But how can local effects of long term climate be modeled, when you can’t model it’s major components?

        Add to the list of what cant be modeled.

        Clouds
        Water vapor
        Ocean heat storage
        Sea ice
        Oceanic oscillations
        Solar influence

        Yet we are supposed to believe models with such glaring weaknesses can predict future global surface temp averages to within a degree, over a century, with such confidence that we should remake the global energy economy.

        When you stop and actually think about the big picture of what passes for the consensus, you have to wonder how they even believe it themselves.

      • So a surface layer of summer melt-water from the ice shelves happens to find its way intact over thousands of miles of some of the roughest seas on the planet, in order to increase the extent of the winter freeze?
        And that’s in addition to the ‘normal’ (before AGW) melt and freeze.
        Am I close? (bearing in mind that the article you linked to is pay-walled so I’m not going to get to read it)

      • Here’s another one for you phatboy–not paywalled:

        http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/Zhang_Antarctic_20-11-2515.pdf

        The upshot of all this is that it is far better to look at net energy in the system than just one metric (or proxy) when trying to ascertain the full scope of effects from an external forcing to the climate system. The fundamental effect of any external forcing is to either increase or decrease net energy in the system– so always go back to that and everything else is just filling in the very interesting and sometimes counter-intuitive details.

      • The model shows that an increase in surface air temperature and downward longwave radiation results in an increase in the upper-ocean temperature and a decrease in sea ice growth, leading to a decrease in salt rejection from ice, in the upper-ocean salinity, and in the upper-ocean density. The reduced salt rejection and upper-ocean density and the enhanced thermohaline stratification tend to suppress convective overturning, leading to a decrease in the upward ocean heat transport and the ocean heat flux available to melt sea ice.

        While I don’t agree with their findings that a decrease in sea-ice growth leads to an increase in sea-ice growth, the parts which I bolded appear to contradict what you’ve being saying.

      • Glad to see you actually read the article phatboy. Very encouraging to me.

        Zhang’s research actually is talking about a different dynamic than the first link I gave you, but the net result is the same. The result is that a fresh water “cap” at the surface near the southern ocean forms leading to a more rapid sea ice formation when conditions are favorable (winds coming off the glacial ice from the continent mainly). Less salty, fresher water freezes more easily. Additionally, the freshwater “cap”, suppresses upwelling of warm water from below and the subsequent release of heat to the atmosphere, and so even less sea ice can melt, and we actually see the deeper water get warmer as that energy is not released. This warmer waster leads to greater glacial melt (as most of it is melted from the ocean water), which freshens the water even more, and so a bit of a positive feedback loop is created. So it is important to note that the expansion of the sea ice in the Antarctic is a counter-intuitive example of greater energy in the system leading to expanding sea ice through the process described above. The vastly different dynamics related to the formation of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic lead to confusing analysis and of course provide great fodder for faux-skeptics who would rather use these differences for their propaganda value, rather than a point for true scientific inquiry.

      • What a horribly tangled web you’re trying to weave.
        But I suppose we can’t really help what we believe.

      • bit chilly

        i would take the advice of garym and pass that joint man.it sures looks like you are about to fall off that seat.

    • “Such a complex system. Such astounding stability for four billion years. Anyone’s guess. :)
      ______
      Well, let’s consider the nearly complete extinction of all life on the planet during several occasions as well as the ice-planet Earth periods. There are extremes the planet goes through when systems break down rather rapidly at times, and in their place, new systems arise over tens of millions of years.

      • …extinctions caused by things like meteor strikes and supervolcanoes.

      • Indeed phatboy, both those examples represent external forcings to the systems, much like the rapid increase in GH gases caused by the HCV.

      • In particular, note that these are abrupt changes that cause extinctions, while gradual changes just cause evolution and migration. What we are beginning now is as abrupt as an extinction-level event. The Ice Ages were very large climate changes, but a hundred times slower than what we are doing now. They did not cause much extinction due to their slowness.

      • “What we are beginning now is as abrupt as an extinction-level event.”

        Seriously?

        Seriously?

      • You are right Jim D. We are in the beginning stages of the 6th Great Extinction event– another signature of the Anthropocene.

      • I think I’ve just wandered into Hyperbole Central

      • The rapid increase in CO2 (and Methane and N2O) represents the biggest single jolt to the climate system since the Younger-Dryas cooling, only this time, it is a postive, or warming event. We are massively disrupting both the carbon and nitrogen cycles. You’d probably have to go back 55 million years, to the PETM event to actually find a similarly large increase in GH gases. In that case, it was a one-two punch that caused the warming, with a rapid increase in CO2 (but not as rapid as now) leading to an rapid release of methane from methane hydrates in the ocean. Overall, a very big change for the climate at that time.

      • There are some in denial abut the consequences of high CO2, and I only mean that in the Kubler Ross sense of “this can’t be happening”, lest people get sensitive.

      • k scott denison

        Gates, how do you know it’s a jolt and not a response?

      • So R. Gates is predicting a massive, sudden change in climate, over a period of about a decade. (Well he’s not really saying it, he’s just implying it, so no one can hold him to such a silly comment.)

        Since our human carbon volcano started at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and has accelerated since; perhaps you can share with us your vision as to when this massive, sudden, shift in climate should be expected?

        And by sudden you mean….?

        According to that scientific documentary The Day After, we should be in an ice age already, as a result of global warming.

      • “So R. Gates is predicting a massive, sudden change in climate, over a period of about a decade.”
        ____
        Uh, no, I’ve not “predicted” any such thing, so best to stop making stuff up and simply have a dialog free of lies.

        “And by sudden you mean….?”

        Relative to the geological time scale, the alteration of the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels is extremely rapid— overwhelming natural feedbacks. With such a rapid change that overwhelms feedbacks, you can expect dragon-kings (rapid changes to new climate regimes). We are already seeing this occur in the Arctic. As the Arctic is the most sensitive region to climate change, these are just the beginning stages of Anthropocene climate disruptions that will go on for centuries without humans turning off the HCV or committing to major geoengineering efforts to draw down GH gases from the atmosphere.


      • k scott denison | July 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm |

        Gates, how do you know it’s a jolt and not a response?”
        _____
        Clearly the rapid increase in anthropogenic GH gases is a external forcing to the system, and not a response to some change in the system– unless of course you want to get a bit philosophical and suggest that the HCV erupted because of the better weather during this interglacial as one species (i.e. humans) took advantage of the better weather to develop civilization the led to the eruption of the HCV as an advancing civilization need new concentrated forms of energy (i.e. fossil fuels) to evolve.

        Thus, if you want to suggest that the HCV and the external forcing from the HCV was a biologically based response to the interglacial– I’m okay with that.

      • “According to that scientific documentary The Day After, we should be in an ice age already, as a result of global warming.”
        ____
        Gary, calling “The Day After” a scientific documentary is like calling the Cubs a Perpetually Great Baseball Team. Both statements are quite the hyperbole. Sorry…”Wait Until Next Year!”

      • “R.Gates,

        Uh, no, I’ve not “predicted” any such thing, so best to stop making stuff up and simply have a dialog free of lies.”

        Take the time to read the very next sentence before calling me a liar please.

        What you actually wrote:

        “The rapid increase in CO2 (and Methane and N2O) represents the biggest single jolt to the climate system since the Younger-Dryas cooling, only this time, it is a postive, or warming event. We are massively disrupting both the carbon and nitrogen cycles.”

        Surely you know that the Younger Dryas is believed to have been a rapid change in climate that took place over approximately a decade. And your comparison to the present wasn’t a prediction (as I explicitly stated), but it was an implication.

        And this comment was in the sub-thread in which you agreed with JIm D as follows:

        Jim D – ” What we are beginning now is as abrupt as an extinction-level event.”

        You – “You are right Jim D. We are in the beginning stages of the 6th Great Extinction event– another signature of the Anthropocene.”

        Then later you make your comparison between the present and Younger Dryas.

        If you want to play Chicken Little, don’t get upset when someone points out your feathers.

      • Can’t imagine what caused my response to R. Gates to go into moderation, but maybe it will surface tomorrow.

      • David Springer

        Any word containing the character sequence L I A R triggers moderation.

    • The point was divergence of the records.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1979/plot/uah-land

      Caused by changes in latent heat loss at the surface. Land is not warming faster – it is an artifact of drying. It all just goes around in circles.

  126. How much confidence should one place in climate models that:

    Have the ocean absorbing 100% of the natural mix of CO2 emissions but only half the flux of the manmade mixture? Or

    Have atmospheric humidity increase with surface temperature but not cloudiness? Or

    Keep cloudiness constant instead of burning off with Total Solar Irradiance in the morning Sun? Or

    Keep cloud albedo constant when it increases slowly with surface temperature and decreases rapidly with TSI? Or

    Zero natural fluxes of temperature and CO2 after 1750, when those fluxes varied substantially over the half-million year paleo record? Or

    Have the natural climate in equilibrium when no part of Earth’s climate system is in thermodynamic equilibrium? Or

    Apply carbonate equilibrium equations to the surface layer when no part of Earth’s climate system is in thermodynamic equilibrium? Or

    Ignore and defy Henry’s Law of Solubility for CO2 in water? Or

    Linearly add incoming radiation over time or space when radiation adds nonlinearly? Or

    Claim CO2 causes global warming when CO2 lags global surface temperature? Or

    Claim to have found the fingerprint of manmade CO2 in the atmospheric by adjusting graph scale factors to make anthropogenic carbon emissions appear to match the change in CO2 isotopic ratio? Or

    Claim to have found the fingerprint of manmade CO2 in the atmosphere by adjusting graph scale factors to make CO2 concentration appear to counter the decline in atmospheric O2 concentration? Or

    Predict a lower bound on climate sensitivity greater than all estimates? Or

    Claim the climate is in chaos when the models are in chaos? Or

    Deny making any predictions at all?

    Any confidence is over-confidence.

  127. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
    Post by Climate Revealed.

    I am hoping this will let the pictures I posted on facebook show up here. Sorry if it does not. :-)
    Alistair

  128. Not quite, but if you follow the link “Post” or go to this address above, and look at the fourth picture with the three maps of the globe, you will see the impact of the pole reversal of the sun, on Greenlands gravity. IT REVERSES. That should be a significant indicator to some, of the impact of the Sun on the Earth that is not quite understood by too many yet.

    Seeing the maps for yourself at: http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html
    is better, but this makes it fast and easy. :-)

    Alistair.

  129. R. Gates,

    Somewhere on this or the prior thread, you claimed that only a “slight” amount of the heat released from the ocean by an El Nino is radiated out to space.

    I asked you what data or “science” (ie. published papers) you could cite to in support of that claim.

    Care to provide cites? Or are you, dare I say it, over confident in that claim?

      • It is a precise formulation from 1st principles. Very useful for analysing causes of warming and cooling if you were Randy were at all capable.

        The fact remains – as I originally said – that all incoming energy in eventually goes out again. Oceans warm and cool on a regular basis.

        He really never knows much at all – and is content to shoot of his mouth for the sake of it with simplistic observation and obnoxious snark. Unbelievably tedious.

    • Gary M,

      The higher than normal flux of energy from ocean to atmosphere during an El Nino would do what all energy does following this path– be changed to other forms or lost to space. Thus, the higher tropospheric temperatures tell you immediately that more energy is being lost to space than normal, but so too, more than normal is being moved to other parts of the climate system, such as the cryosphere in latent heat of fusion, or to geopotential energy or kinetic energy, etc. Some of course even goes back into the ocean.

      Regarding Skippy Chief Hydro Rob Robert Ellison’s comment that all of it was lost to space, of course this is impossible and I hope he is just kidding– but you never know from the man with a thousand names.

      • David Springer

        Does the moderator here approve of Randy Gates Simpson using the term “Skippy Chief Hydro Rob Robert Ellison”?

        Personally I find it offensive.

      • Google chrome signs me in as Rob Ellison – decided to go with it. Randy warminista skeptical gates is of course wrong again – and likes to be as noxious and repellent as possible along the way.

        Ultimately of course if the oceans are not warming and the atmosphere is not warming – then there is no radiant imbalance at toa. The energy gained from the Sun is equal to the energy radiated.

        In a thermodynamically nonequilibrium system such as climate there are extensive properties that mean that there is no guaranteed equilbrium at any particular time – but over time there must be an equlibrium.

        One thing is guaranteed is that energy will flow from the Sun to the oceans to the atmosphere and back out to space. These tedious little asides show one thing only. Randy has such a negligible regard for anything but silly little warminista narratives and obnixious snark. It is as boring as heck.

      • “In a thermodynamically nonequilibrium system such as climate there are extensive properties that mean that there is no guaranteed equilbrium at any particular time – but over time there must be an equlibrium.”
        ______
        Over time there is never an actual equilibrium either, and the direction of the net energy in the system (gain or loss) over any period dictate the climate of the period. It is always the case that external forcings cause the system to gain or lose energy and the direction of the gain or loss can be summarized by the sum of all external forcings over any period you want to consider. When the system loses a bit more than it takes in, we get cool periods, such as the LIA, when it loses a lot more than it takes in, we get glacial advances. When it takes in more than it loses, the system and climate warms such as during interglacials or during our current high GH gas period. Thus, there never is, nor ever “must” there be an equilibrium but constant short-term or longer-term oscillations or periods where the climate system is losing or gaining energy.

      • The system is in equlibrium when:

        d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s) = 0

        W&H is work and heat.

        Tedious and simplistic distraction from gates – precise 1st order differential equation by Ellison.

      • A splendid bit of theoretical math there Skippy Ellison, but it would only be a very brief, momentary, and irrelevant point in time when energy in just happened to equal energy out. Equilibrium is a nice theoretical concept but not actually meaningful in reality. The climate is always cooling or warming, severely or mildly, or long or shorter periods– all based on the sum of all external forcings with related feedbacks over any period you want to consider.

      • Put it in the right place.

        It is a precise formulation from 1st principles. Very useful for analysing causes of warming and cooling if Randy was at all capable.

        The fact remains – as I originally said – that all incoming energy eventually goes out again. Oceans warm and cool on a regular basis.

        He really never knows much at all – and is content to shoot of his mouth for the sake of it with simplistic observation and obnoxious snark. Unbelievably tedious.

      • So, going back to Skippy’s nice bit of theory:

        “The system is in equlibrium when:

        d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s) = 0″
        ___
        Again, the problem is the system is never (or exceptionally rarely) in equilibrium and energy in therefore rarely equals energy out. More interesting therefore is the great majority of the time when one can add or sum all the forcings and find our exactly which way the system is moving– to accumulate or lose energy.

        Additionally, yes, eventually all solar energy will go back into space, even though the time frame may be anywhere from seconds to millions of years, as eventually this universe will go into inevitable maximum entropy or heat death. So what?

      • Hi R Gates,

        You seem very serious about ocean temperatures and movements, with good cause, I believe.

        I also believe I can add to the pile of information you can draw upon in your estimations/thoughts.

        I strongly suggest you go to: http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

        And look at monthly anomolies, smoothing radius 25km and pick ANY month in 2002, any month in 2008 and any month in 2013. Add to that the polarity flip of the sun, and then look at the gravity anomolies on Greenland in those three years. It goes from dark green outside and grey inside, to grey inside and dark green outside.

        I think you asked before about ocean area gravity anomolies, and it doesnt look like it, it is all white over water.

        There are “geoids” (or some such), that look like whole globes that may provide some visual information. I don’t know where they be viewed in different time periods. You can search the pottsdam potato.

        Sorry if this is not new to you, but I believe you will find the information fascinating, if you weren’t aware of it already.

        Are the oceans part of the equation, I think you will be found correct. I think they recieve more heat from the equatorial mantel during some periods of the solar cycle. The off peak, radiance speaking. Meaning they would oscillate on a 5.75 year or perhaps half of that (if the double bulge of the moon caused tide, is an indicator of half cycles). So depending on the time frame between el ninos/ el ninas average cycle, gravity phase change may be an part of the picture you are painting. :-)

        Hope this is helpful, and not redundant.

      • That equation by itself does not allow one to solve any problems. It functions only as a security blanket to someone not qualified to dig any deeper.

      • The system is frequently in equilibrium. That it is also dynamic is pretty much the point.

        I suppose there might be some energy sequestered somewhere for millions of years – fossil fuels for instance .
        But we were talking about ENSO and not nonsensical distractions.

        The accounting is statistical – and the globe warms and cools from the oceans to the atmosphere to space.

      • Mr Ellison, Mr Gates,

        May I perhaps ask?

        Your back and forth, at it’s root, is???

        One believes in CO2 as a cause, one doesn’t??
        One believes in the oceans as a significant trigger, one doesn’t??

        I haven’t read all your stuff, back and forths get tiresome to me, when I see no headway.

        Maybe you could both consider. (I find you both bright / level headed)…
        I think one says, oceans don’t change the amount of earths energy?
        but friction from tides does. and that changes as the gravity of the earth shifts back and forth, equator, pole, equator/pole.
        And ice has special properties to consider to do with freezing and unfreezing. (hot water really does freeze faster, and pure water at -25 wont form ice, but smack it and it does, or stir it and it does. weird stuff with ice, heat trapping and releasing. the glaciers in greenland can suddenly have a mile thick melt internally, and it can suddenly refreeze again.

        Also clouds contain ice, where lightning forms. lightning is significant energy transfer and almost unquantified/tracked as far as I can tell. Lightning also creates GHG, and affects local magnetic and gravitational field strengths.

        I’m saying there’s lots of mysteries to go around. But you two seem stuck on arguing over trees in a forest.

        More time spent researching, and less time spent bashing and refuting and we probably have the brain power and political acumen in this crowd, to actually make some knowledge progress and do a good thing.

        Or we can chew each others butts, and clog the blog with mostly personal, limited purpose stuff.

        Can’t we just all get along?? Respect that we haven’t walked a mile in each others shoes? We don’t know what each other know, only what we manage to put into words, in an imperfect language, deprived of tone and hand gesture. Sometimes that can be a tough go.

        Perhaps forbearance could be considered virtuous, in the interests of a brainstorming modus, and more productive??

        Cheers
        :-)
        Alistair

      • It is quite simple really. Anomalies are changes in forcing and are remarkably accurate.

        Energy in – http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

        Fluctuation of some 0.25W/m2 at the surface in the 11 year cycle. Constant average.

        Energy out – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed28_anom_TOA_Net_Flux-All-Sky_March-2000toFebruary-2014_zps77052344.png.html?sort=3&o=7

        Interannual variation – but no trend.

        No warming in the period? If only only we had the ocean data to confirm it.

        You can break down the outgoing into SW and IR – which is quite interesting.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=200

        webby call what he does digging deeper? A matter of interpretation. I call it homeopathic math and freaky physics culminating in dodgy curve fitting.

      • The back and forth is about the ill-informed and ill-mannered with constant drive by abuse. Their intention is not to understand but defend the groupthink. They are dedicated progressive activists.

        I occasionally get bored with it – and answer back.

      • Thank you Rob. I see and at least partially hold a similar view, we are almost a closed system. Energy in, energy out. And ocean oscillation, I believe count on it. I believe driven by gravity and magnetism fluxes, within the solar cycles (but off phase) as the root cause of the phenomena you observe. And the oceans as the transport medium for the increase/decrease in subaltern heat coming up at the equator. Maybe that matches you ideas or only part I don.t know. But I see no reason to doubt what I think you would expect to see with more ocean info, thinking along your lines. :-)

        re: “webby call what he does digging deeper? A matter of interpretation. I call it homeopathic math and freaky physics culminating in dodgy curve fitting.”…..
        I’ll give fair notice that I would describe myself as mostly possessing homeopathic physics, freaky math, cluminating in visual conceptualizations that some may describe as dodgy situation fitting. :-D

        but I’ll not hold your thoughts on the matter as relating to me, since I self associate. :-)

        I don’t know how Webby feels on the subject, but I for one, have never, EVER, thought to try to be “normal”, where are the odds in that? or the fun, for that matter. :-O

        Cheers,
        Alistair

      • I am going to burn another bridge here. I have a fairly strict interpretation of science. Science interprets data and ultimately makes powerful predictions.

        Special relativity was for instance based on the Michelson Morley experiments.

        e.g. http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module3_M&M.htm

        It depends not at all on atomic clocks and satellites – given the dearth of such in 1905. The Lorentz transformation between inertial frames of reference predicts time dilation given constant relative c. .

        Here’s an experiment with optical clocks.

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5999/1630.abstract

      • Rob, small but important correction. ‘Science interprets data
        and ultimately makes powerful falsifiable prediction.’
        bts

      • Alistair,

        Oceans are the key to climate on this planet– of that there is very little uncertainty. And it is the flow of energy from sun to ocean to atmosphere to space that creates weather and climate. The climate is never in equilibrium, or perhaps exceptionally rarely only for momentary instants. It is the movement of energy in the attempt to reach equilibrium that creates the dynamic of climate and life itself. If the Earth ever reached equilibrium for any extended period of time it would cease being a dynamic, living planet. The closest you can see locally is the moon– it is in near equilibrium. Energy nearly constantly equals energy out. A dead world. If you want to see what equilibrium looks like, you need to travel into interstellar space, beyond the galaxy even. in that great vast and dead darkness, which forms the majority of this universe– it is all at equilibrium– heat death. Truly it is the flow of energy that creates life, and that flow can only happen when there is not equilibrium. Thank goodness for the little islands of disequilibrium in the vast darkness of the universe– islands we call galaxies and stars and planets. Thank goodness our climate never reaches equilibrium– though it has come close a few times during the ice planet periods where a much greater amount of energy in immediately went back out.

        On a larger scale, though most rarely think about it, gravity is really a key to the flow of energy and disequilibrium. It is the tug of war between gravity and dark energy (very likely anti-gravity, see: http://phys.org/news/2012-01-repulsive-gravity-alternative-dark-energy.html) that allows for the creation of galaxies and stars and life. So even at the largest galactic scale, we need the constant disequilibrium between gravity and dark energy to bring about galaxies and ultimately life.

        So enjoy the fact that your body is not in equilibrium and the climate is not in equilibrium. For it is truly the dynamic attempt to reach equilibrium that allows for life to exist at all.

      • The Earth is an open, non-equilibrium system.

        From the first law of thermdynmics – and recognising the dynamic nature of climate.

        d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

        W&H is work and heat. If the Earth is warming – energy in is less than energy out and vice versa.

        Equilibrium is at the the points of inflection between warming and cooling. These happen annually at least.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/OceanHeat_zpsb71f0636.jpg.html?sort=3&o=18

        All energy returns to space – and El Nino enhance this with more heat moving from the oceans to the atmosphere.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=167

        Randy’s long winded cosmic rant notwithstanding.

      • I have noticed Skippy Ellison that you essentially say the exact thing I do, except I do provide a bit more context. Perhaps you should stop being the parrot and try some Vogon Poetry? I promise not to follow you down that path.

      • Hi Judith,

        Have you had a chance to look at the gravity maps from GRACE? I am interested in knowing if you see:

        Firstly, ripples and nodes (an interference patter)
        Phase change (most obvious in greenland)

        and had any comments.

        I am thinking and hoping, gravity anomaly knowledge will help a few people.

        also any recommendations on posting a pic on this blog??

        Cheers,
        Alistair
        :-)

      • The difference is being succinct and precise rather than long winded and irrelevant.

        A pedestrian and clumsy rant on cosmology suggests that you have very little to commend you as a literary critic – so my best response is to ignore the mean spirited snark – this one tedious the first dozen times around – that is your stock in trade.

        It serves only to distract – yet again – from the fact that your original statement was narrative nonsense. Nothing new there – it is par for the course for a scientifically naive and uneducated fanatic.

  130. I’ve had some discussions with Chris Colose on Facebook, some years (5-6?) ago. He, at the time, seemed competent and well read, but was on the “other side” of the debate that I was at the time. Since then I’ve come towards the “other side” and would call myself a lukewarmer as many others here are. However, he clearly still has a bit of a need to put down the kool-aid if he is still in “true believer” status as regards Mann and his work. Hope you read this Chris and consider that some of us are on board with 50-90% of IPCC findings but know that Mann is a bad apple…

    • He probably has a grant that will be reviewed soon and wants to get some street cred with potential reviewers. In the near future, I hope this strategy actually hurts people’s chances of getting a grant. Cozying up to a malicious ass (and poor scientist) like Mann should not be looked upon favorably by other scientists, in my opinion.

    • Colose seems to be an eternal student.

  131. “institutionalization of overconfidence”.

    Sums it up nicely.

    But misses WHY this is happening – which is of course because it is all politically supplied funding being applied to make political correctness trump scientific correctness.

  132. Take a look at early July of 2012 and now. The drought area has decreased a lot.

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/MapsAndData/MapArchive.aspx

    • In fact, harvests of corn, soy beans, and wheat are predicted to be very healthy.

    • Droughts come and go, ebb and flow. Natural variability. So what?

      • Right Gates. You CAGWers love to tout drought when it’s going according to your narrative. Well, let’s take a look at it now, how about?

      • Gates,

        The point is alarmists keep saying drought and flooding will increase, bringing with them issues with agricultural production . Weren’t you talking about how to feed 7 billion people?

    • Corn and soybeans prices plunged in the wake of USDA’s Acreage report, released June 30, that showed USDA expects soybean acreage to shatter all records.

      http://www.agweb.com/article/complete_coverage_of_june_30_usda_reports_NAA_AgWebcom_Editors/

    • We could get into things like the disruption of the nitrogen cycle that has allowed for all the wonderful food crops, but this would just be more evidence for the Anthropocene, and you would not like that, I’m sure:

      http://www.realclearscience.com/2010/10/07/nitrogen_cycle_disruption_is_major_ecological_threat_237816.html

      http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/8996/9132.aspx

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

      You like your meme, and far be it from me the separate a man from his meme.

      • OMG – Gates has found another Anthropogenic Catastrophe. When I look outside my window, I’m just not seeing the disaster. A minor disruption perhaps, but nothing to get twisted over.

        If you haven’t noticed, the environment is getting better, not worse.

      • The disruption of both the carbon and nitrogen cycle, happening simultaneously as the result of anthropogenic activity is indeed a unique hallmark of the Anthropocene. Whether one or both of these lead to catastrophe (i.e. civilization collapse or extinction) remains to be seen, but one or both of these could indeed be answers to the Fermi Paradox and its association with the Great Filter:

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

        Ironically, every day that goes by that we discover more potentially habitable planets, but do not discover intelligent life beyond our own planet increases the odds that the Great Filter is the answer to the Fermi Paradox and that it is quite close ahead:

        http://theconversation.com/habitable-exoplanets-are-bad-news-for-humanity-25838

      • R.Gates: Oh come on.

        We’ve got a sample size of 1 for intelligent life. The development of life and intelligent life is hardly well understood in our own case. We’ve been scanning for intelligent life and habitable planets for only a handful of decades. Yet you want to draw breathtaking conclusions — which just happen to favor your propensity for alarmism — that intelligent species kill themselves off and we are near due for this sad end.

        Sure. Both are possible. But it’s a big ole universe out there and we understand very little of it. Your notion that you can call the odds on such a complex, poorly understood phenomenon is breathtaking and entirely congruent with what seems to me to be the intellectual arrogance typical of the climate change orthodox.

        There are many alternative scenarios that might allow for the evolution of intelligent life to occur multiple times without either catastrophic self-destruction or glaringly visible evidence.

        — Wiki

  133. @WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 3, 2014 at 1:40 am |

    Aldous, Ehrlich was right and Julian Simon was wrong. Look at how many countries have significantly depleted their non-renewable crude oil reserves the last few decades. Ehrlich made simple statements that you can find in any earth sciences textbooks, such as non-renewable resources will not renew . How can one not win that bet?
    *****
    In another blow to Peak Oil prognosticators, Chesapeake Energy has found a way to prevent the “diffusion limited” production decline WHT is so fond of.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/06/30/chesapeake-energy-is-realizing-that-its-best-well.aspx

    • A fool and his money are soon parted.

      The overconfident investor that believes every corporate white paper and presentation deserves what is coming to them.

      BTW, I am more interested in crude oil from shale and not natural gas. Figures that you don’t read hard enough to tell the difference.

    • WHT obviously hasn’t talked to fossil fuel energy investors. They’re a happy lot.

    • The kind of condensate produced by gas wells is the same sort of stuff that was sometimes used to fuel gasoline powered cars, back in the day. And for some reason, a rent in time-space?, Obama has allowed that it can be exported as a refined product. Go figure, but it’s a very valuable product.

      At any rate, I predict technology will be developed that retards the relatively quick production decline from shale plays. It’s just a matter of time because the people and the money are there and, hey, it ain’t rocket science (or cancer or fusion science.)

  134. David Wojick

    The proper term where AGW is concerned is false confidence, not over confidence. False confidence is a fallacy in inductive logic. Here is an item I wrote about false confidence in the IPCC TAR:

    http://www.john-daly.com/guests/un_ipcc.htm

    and again for the AR4:

    http://thewashingtonpest.blogspot.com/2007/02/ipccs-artful-bias.html

    It never stops.

    • Good point. False confidence is half of the story. The other half is not acknowledging ignorance, i.e. if you have 5 pieces of evidence for and 1 piece of evidence against there is a failure to acknowledge that the evidence in hand is woefully inadequate for drawing a conclusion