ACS Webinar on Climate Change: Part II

by Judith Curry

A very interesting session yesterday, I now have links to  the ppt presentations.

Richard Lindzen:  Climate v. Climate Alarm [ACS-2011 lindzen]

Ross McKitrick: The influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data. [mckitrick_acs_august]

Bob Carter:  The geological context of climate change as a basis for policy [carter acs]

Judith Curry:  Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster [uncertainty monster acs]

I don’t have a copy of Shaviv’s post, we are discussing his work in the context of the Cosmic Ray thread.

Peter Bonk will make available the podcasts within a few days.

JC reactions to session:  I really enjoyed the diverse perspectives in this session, for a lawyer, an economist, and astrophysicist, a geologist, and two atmospheric scientists. It isn’t often that you get such diversity in a single session.  I’m not sure what the chemists in the audience made of this, since several of the presentations were pretty technical.

With regards to the technology, it enabled people from 3 continents to participate in the session at no cost (other than the webinar fee).  I definitely appreciate not having to travel for that (although I leave for Denver/Boulder later today).  I found it a little bit disconcerting giving my presentation in this way, i don’t think my verbal presentation was up to my usual (moderate) standards.  Although I think my slides were good, honed by comments from the Denizens :)

ACS Session on “Empowering Tomorrow’s Climate Super Heroes”

In the tradition of the AGU and AMS, the ACS had a session on science communication that looked “interesting,” WUWT has written a cynical post. But I doubt there was anything there that met the standards of the talks by Greg Craven at AGU and Kevin Trenberth at AMS.

Stephen Schneider Climate Change Symposium

Almost concurrently with the ACS meeting, the Stephen Schneider Climate Change Symposium was held in Boulder 25-27 August.  The website for the Symposium is [here], along with the program and list of attendees and abstracts for the talks.  The climate “glitterati” was well represented, with Nobelists and the media, with a letter from Al Gore who couldn’t attend.

I’ve googled to see what has been written on the actual symposium itself (not before the symposium), and I haven’t spotted much.  Michael Tobis has a post on Uncertainty, Uncertainty, Uncertainty, which wonders why I am complaining about uncertainty treatment by the IPCC since so many talks at the Schneider Symposium were about uncertainty.

Well, an answer is provided by an email sent to a colleague that was forwarded to me, a brief anonymous excerpt:

I was disturbed at the way the words “risk”, “probability”, and “uncertainty” were used; almost as if they were synonyms.

Also, apparently my in press paper “Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster” was mentioned.

In any event, I hope that we hear more about this Symposium from somebody, but with all the media people in attendance, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more.

Trying to beat down the uncertainty monster

I just spotted this over at skeptical science, looks like the uncertainty monster is upsetting people :)   My paper “Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster” is in press at the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, December issue, preprint should be ready before that.

118 responses to “ACS Webinar on Climate Change: Part II

  1. Dr.J.CI don’t have a copy of Shaviv’s post, we are discussing his work in the context of the Cosmic Ray thread.
    The EIKE’s presentation by Shaviv
    as in many other cases, the inconvenient (very relevant) facts relating to the Earth’s magnetic field changes
    are ignored (not a single reference) !
    Dr. Leif Svalgaard (solar scientist-Stanford University) says:
    Furthermore, the solar modulation of cosmic rays is much smaller than that stemming from the Earth’s magnetic field.
    I hope that he does better this time.

    • I enjoyed Dr. Shaviv’s presentation, in part because we share a common view of the Earth as a tiny ball of dirt orbiting close to a variable star.

      My only complaint was the absence of any mention that cosmic rays – that cause ionization and nucleation of water droplets in air – might come from the pulsar at the core of the Sun!

      In preparing documents (pdf & doc) for the ACS webinar:

      I belatedly realized that all of the papers that former students and associates wrote pointing out flaws in the SSM (Standard Solar Model) of Earth’s heat source as a giant ball of hydrogen for the last four decades (1971-2001) – might be considered attacks on the cornerstone of AGW !

      That was not certainly not our intent! AGW was not yet public. Coauthors of our first paper on the Sun’s influence on Earth’s climate (2002) – two distinguished chemists – surprised them:

      As support for AGW seems to be waning, I am pleased to note a decline in support for SSM among physicists

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Professor Curry for your talk and for making me aware of the ACS webinar.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      • Vukcevic,

        Are you or anyone else here aware of graphs of the cosmic ray flux on Earth over solar cycle(s)?

        Here are quotes from one of several intriguing reports that suggest nobody actually knows the direction of the source of most cosmic rays:

        “A major factor affecting the path of cosmic rays is that they are charged and therefore swerved by magnetic fields. This most definitely affects any attempts to locate sources.”

        “The Sun has a strong magnetic field carried out well beyond Pluto by the solar wind and known as the Heliosphere. This field slows and tends to exclude lower-energy particles (E 10^19 eV) may come to us more or less directly from the source, giving us a smoking gun, if we can but see it.”

    • Paul Vaughan

      Vukcevic, is this a recent modification?
      (signifying a change in your conception?)
      “Geomagnetic field may be only an indicator but necessarily not the originator of the Arctic temperature change. One possible explanation for this phenomena could be as outlined below. […] Stratosphere Influences Winter Weather […]”
      I note your graph with detrended ArcticT & GMFz.
      Perhaps you’ll also add a non-detrended AMO graph?

      • Hi Paul
        1. Stratosphere case is clear, ionised atmosphere and charged particles are under direct influence of the Earth’s field.
        With ocean currents (Beaufort gyre in particular) and the geomagnetic field, it is a bidirectional affair, and until someone manages to turn one off, it is a guessing game.
        2. Have you a link for the non-detrended AMO data?

      • Just use North Atlantic SST (without detrending).
        (Don’t forget about KNMI Climate Explorer if you have trouble finding the data from other sources.)

    • vukcevic,

      you point to Dr. Svalgaard’s statement:

      “Furthermore, the solar modulation of cosmic rays is much smaller than that stemming from the Earth’s magnetic field.”

      as indicating a small solar involvement in modulating cosmic rays. What is the effect of the Solar wind and Magnetic Field on the Earth’s magnetic field??

      Do we see a funneling effect by the earth’s magnetic field of the GCR’s towards the poles?

      • Effect of the solar wind & CMEs on the Earth’s magnetic field is strongest at poles and is recorded daily:
        see green line for Z (vertical component, blue = horizontal, red = declination), usually far less then 0.5% ( 50-100nT vs 52,250 nT) and in case of magnetic storms it can get to 1% but it is short lasting, 3-4 hours around midnight, and then returns to the within 0.01% or less of the normal; there is also a semi-annual change.
        You are correct, the CR are strongest at the poles (due to shape of the magnetosphere) and if the CRs form clouds,that is the area to look at, but in the polar regions they have positive (warming) effect on the global temperatures:
        -.Albedo there is high (ice and snow) so effect is only on the open ocean surface which is significant only during 2-3 summer months.
        -. For the most of the year insolation is very low and in the winter nonexistent, the area is covered with even more ice and snow, so cloud albedo is irrelevant, but clouds act as a blanket, preventing heat escaping, so winter temperatures would be somewhat higher than in a case of the cloudless skies.
        Hence: falling intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field, more CRs at the poles, more clouds, less cold winters, less ice formed in the winter, larger ice-free areas in the summers, and possibly higher global temperatures; exactly the current scenario.
        Finally: the GCRs count is so low that any of the above hardly makes any difference.

      • vukcevic,

        have there been any studies looking for direct interactions between the changing Solar Magnetic Field with the Earth’s? Solar Wind and CME’s are easier to measure, but, there should be real interaction directly between the sun’s large field and the earth’s. As the sun’s appraently has dropped substantially during the instrument record, I am wondering if there is anything to see in the decrease?

        It has supposedly dropped by about 10% since the 1850’s. This would allow more possible effect by HE GCR’s comparatively. Could this be in response to the sun’s weakening field?

        This article talks about an area even weaker in the South Atlantic. This would seem to be a good area for comparisons as to how HE GCR’s may make a difference.

        I would point out that the CLOUD experiment describes nuclei being created by natural GCR’s while purging the chamber and before turning on the beam. At altitude there would obviously be more interactions. I think you may be overstating the protective effect of the magnetic field from HE GCR’s.

        On my own inanities, I always wondered about how the molten core of the earth could cause a large magnetic field. I mean, generators need insulation between moving parts to create the differential. My own thought is more in the direction of the earths core, a spinning blob of metal, moving through the sun’s magnetic field. As the sun’s field changes the strength of the generated field on earth should change. How wrong am I?

      • Energies:
        Solar wind up to n100’s of MeV
        Cosmic rays 1+ GeV
        Solar magnetic field lets through CRs with less than 1 GeV
        Earth’s magnetic field stops CRs up to 10 GeV, except at poles where even 1GeV CRs and solar particles may get through.
        Despite weakness of S. Atlantic magnetic anomaly protection is highest in the equatorial regions.

      • vukcevic,

        Svensmark seems to be looking at energies above 12.9GeV. You say that up to 10GeV is stopped.

      • That link doesn’t work.

      • There is the clue, GCR flux above 10GeV is isotropic and unchanging, and not modulated by the solar field(only occasionally swept away by strong CMEs), hence of no interest in respect of the cloudiness variability due to the GCRs modulation by the solar magnetic change.

      • vukcevic,

        his chart number 2 shows a cutoff at 3GeV to demonstrate the fluctuation with the solar cycle. number 11 and table 3 is the 12.91GeV. I think I need to do some more reading on Svensmark!!

      • BTW, “get through” needs qualification. From the PDF:

        GCRs interact with the Earth’s atmosphere through nuclear collisions producing
        secondary particles (protons, neutrons and muons) which can penetrate deeper into the atmosphere; these undergo further collisions, which leads to a cascade of particles. The cascade ends when the nucleonic component i.e., neutrons and protons, have reached energies that are too low for further particle production. The primary energy spectrum results in a maximum production rate at about 16 km. [10 mi.] Below 16 km, the charge particle intensity drops off and it is mainly the muons and electrons, products of very high-energy GCR collisions, which contribute to
        the charged particle intensity at low altitudes (Lal and Peters, 1967; Herman and Goldberg, 1978).

  2. Thanks, Dr Curry, for relaying this account so promptly. I too suspect that some of the chemists may have found some of the contributions rather technical. However I’m sure some of the audience will have been alert enough to notice that Ross McKitrick (on his slide 55) accuses the IPCC of ‘fabrication’ in its 2007 WG1 report. Wikipedia (which is usually reliable for definitions of simple terms) has this definition: “Fabrication, in the context of scientific inquiry and academic research, refers to the act of intentionally falsifying research results, such as reported in a journal article. Fabrication is considered a form of scientific misconduct, and is regarded as highly unethical. In some jurisdictions, fabrication may be illegal. ” Will the IPCC respond?

    • Coldfish

      I assume from your comment about Ross McKitrick that you are unaware of the unsubstantiated and untrue claim [the actual words used on the slide] made by the IPCC. If you check out Ross McKitrick’s website at and scroll down News Items you will get to Book Chapter on Gatekeeping. Read either of the references there for the story. No the IPCC has not responded.

      Just as interesting is the fight RM had to get his paper published. The “team” pulled out all the stops to stop him.

    • Coldish, if you mean by “IPCC” the 195-member panel of government delegates that are supposed to provide oversight, then no, they have not responded, nor do I ever expect them to do so since they are uninformed and largely useless even at simple tasks (as evidenced by, among other things, the near total lack of government participation/review in processing the IAC recommendations and Task Group reports).

      If you mean by “IPCC” the Bureau in Geneva that controls the Assessment Report process, I have not asked them to respond since they are the ones implicated in the accusation. Even if the IPCC Bureau is the appropriate agency to submit such a complaint to, I would not waste my time asking the Bureau to investigate itself and its closest colleagues.

      If you mean Phil Jones personally, in his capacity as Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Report, then yes, he has responded. I submitted detailed statements of evidence to the UK House of Commons Inquiry into Climategate and to the Muir Russell inquiry (see The House of Commons never investigated the issue, but the Russell inquiry did, sort of. In my MR submission I explained that to conclude an effect is statistically insignificant requires a statistical test and, specifically, a p-value. I asked them to ask Jones what was the p-value of the test and where was it published. Jones was asked, inter alia, “No justification is given for the claim of statistical insignificance, which has a
      precise meaning. Do you have a p value that justifies this statement, and if not, what does it mean?” (see Jones’ reply (pp. 4-5) restated the claim in the IPCC report, and added:

      “There is no need to calculate a p value for a statement that is based on the laws of physics.”

      Despite the fact that the statement in question refers to statistical insignificance, which does require calculating a p value, this answer appears to have impressed the Muir Russell panel since they dropped the matter in their final report (p. 76). Despite failing to get a p value from Jones, or any other statistical evidence in support of the statement, they concluded “we see no justification of the view that that [the claim of statistical insignificance] was invented.” I fail to see how they could reach this conclusion on the facts of the matter, but maybe it’s obvious to everyone else.

      • p values can vary. Even if they have one they need to explain how it was arrived at and why it was chosen and if should be chosen before the results are known. Surely the p value calculations were kept by someone.

      • Kermit – “kept”? They were never computed. Neither Jones nor Trenberth nor any other IPCC author computed a p value before writing the statement.

        After seeing the IPCC report I was the one who did the calculations, see

      • This is the first time in my reading of this and other blogs that we have an example of 2 skeptics converging on a single topic. It may be that I have not read enough Lindzen, I have read McKitrick. Lindzen in his presentation refers to problems with the surface temperature record in the context of lapse rate. On slide 17:

        “However, the temperature trends obtained from observations fail to show the hot spot.

        The resolution of the discrepancy demands that either the upper troposphere measurements are wrong, the surface measurements are wrong or both. If it is the surface measurements, then the surface trend must be reduced from ‘a’ to ‘b’.

        Given how small the trends are, and how large the uncertainties in the analysis, such errors are hardly out of the question. In fact there are excellent reasons to suppose that the error resides in the surface measurements.”

        The last sentence, presumably referring to issues along the lines of those identified by McKitrick.

      • My first sentence above should be more like “2 prominent skeptics independently converging…”

        I don’t know that the convergence is independent.

        But it is noteworthy to me.

      • Thanks Ross and John, I was aware of the story, but wondered if there had been any recent follow-up. As there hasn’t been (apart from Muir Russell’s weak defence of Jones) it seems that IPCC (in whichever guise) is not disputing Ross’s charge of fabrication. That seems to me an important development and one perhaps worth drawing wider attention to.

      • Great work, Ross. Please keep it up. Of course one cannot determine statistical insignificance, or significance for that matter, from the laws of physics (as Jones well knows). Wouldn’t it be interesting if mathematics could be deduced from physics? Might be a sci-fi novel in such a concept. But then some physicists probably secretly believe it. They think physics is both the Queen and the King.

      • To Ross McKitrick –

        Ross, I’ve followed some of this saga from time to time, and though I don’t remember all the details (and may have misremembered some of them), I can appreciate your sense of having been unfairly treated, particularly by Phil Jones. As I recall, the M&M paper was eventually referenced against his wishes, but with an interpretation you reject.

        I don’t want to judge the behavioral aspects of all the interactions, but I’d like to comment briefly on the significance of M&M. I hope I can be forgiven for first summarizing my conclusions by stating that to me, the paper was characterized by excellent statistics (McKitrick) and poor climatology (Michaels). If the statistics were challenged, that was probably bad judgment, although my level of statistical sophistication is inadequate to be dogmatic.

        If the larger question is whether the paper offers insight of great importance in understanding climate dynamics, I would have to say it does not. This thread may not be the place to rehash all of the arguments, but I can briefly summarize main points.

        1. Global warming is mainly ocean warming. This is due to the predominant role of the oceans in long term temperature trends. Even if current estimates of land warming were reduced to match ocean warming, the effect on global temperature anomalies would be small.

        2. Forcing land warming to match ocean warming, however, would significantly bias the results downward. It has been known for many centuries that when climate is changing, land temperatures rise or fall more rapidly than ocean temperatures. This is due to the greater heat capacity of the oceans and the evaporative cooling that is observed over water surfaces. We can therefore conclude that ocean warming will be accompanied by a more rapid land warming that is real rather than artifactual.

        3. The above two points are probably the most important. Additionally, however, some of the interpretations of the M&M results are questionable without further evidence. In particular, a correlation between recorded temperature anomalies and SES is not in itself clear evidence of a “warm bias”. To conclude the latter, one would have to show that the SES results do not reflect true regional climatologic variation due to land use changes, changes in soil moisture, or a variety of other factors that reflect true rather than spurious alterations in climate behavior (with the IPCC-suggested role for atmospheric circulation changes not necessarily the critical factor). In fact, this distinction might well be something other than an either/or phenomenon, with both effects playing a role to different extents.

        In the above, I’ve tried to distinguish between the question of whether IPCC AR4 fairly dealt with your good work (and the less good work of Pat Michaels), as opposed to the significance of the M&M results. In my view, the latter is sufficient to deserve mention but insufficient to alter general conclusions about the role of true climate variables, including changes in greenhouse gas emissions, in mediating observed global temperature trends.

      • There seems to be a deep confusion here between mathematics and physics. Climate itself is a statistical concept. This is why so many of the debate issues are about statistical analysis, especially trends. Fred, however (and Jones presumably) keeps referring to climate dynamics and I wonder if the concept of climate dynamics even makes sense? Averages do not have dynamics. Statistics per se do not have dynamics, but the various processes that give rise to these statistics sometimes do.

        So there seems to be a confusion here. Ross is talking about climate while Fred is talking about something else, I am not sure what.

    • Coldish
      Some sunlight onto hidden methods can reveal “surprising” results.

      The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition conducted a Statistical Audit of the NIWA 7-Station Review July 2011 It found that:

      show that NIWA did not follow the Rhoades & Salinger method correctly. We also show that had NIWA followed Rhoades & Salinger correctly, the resultant trend for the 7-station temperature series for New Zealand would have been significantly lower than the trend they obtained.

      See: New Zealand Temperature Record Trends (1909-2009)

      • Fred-

        “As I recall, the M&M paper was eventually referenced against his wishes, but with an interpretation you reject.”

        You are trivializing this whole issue, making it sound like a mere subjective difference of opinion. Jones&Trenberth wrote that our results were statistically insignificant. That statement has only one meaning scientifically, that a p value was computed that exceeds 0.10 (0.05-0.10 is termed marginal significance). It is not that I merely reject their interpretation, what they said was untrue on its face. They never provided a supporting p value, since they never computed one. I have separately shown that their conjecture about atmospheric circulations does not hold up, but even if I had not done so, their claim was a pure invention. There is no subjective wiggle room here: the claim in the report was a fabrication, not just an alternative interpretation.

        “the paper was characterized by excellent statistics (McKitrick) and poor climatology (Michaels).”

        There is very little climatology in the paper, but if you think there is a problem in the contents then be specific-don’t just make generic disparaging comments.

        “If the larger question is whether the paper offers insight of great importance in understanding climate dynamics, I would have to say it does not.”

        It also doesn’t provide much insight into how to cook an omelette. What’s your point? We set out a very clear, testable hypothesis and tested it. Who says we have to explain climate dynamics? We are saying something about the quality of data others use in such studies. Don’t change the subject.

        As for your points (1)-(3), from the very outset I have encountered people who gloss over what my results actually show, offer a spontaneous back-of-the-envelope theory to explain it all way, and then go whistling on their way as if they have disproven my findings. Sorry, but empirical research actually requires a bit more work than that. What you do above is similar to what the IPCC did, and equally meaningless. Actual empirical findings count for more than casual theorizing, at least where I work.

      • Actually you are not correct. A p-value is the likelihood of getting the results observed (or stronger) given a null hypothesis. That can change radically depending on what one thinks the appropriate null is. For instance, assuming that there was no spatial correlation gives a particular null (and p-value), while taking that into account gives another. Assuming that there can be no spatial structure to surface trends other than that seen in the MSU records is one null, but assuming that spatial structure exists as produced by individual simulations of climate models would be another. My guess is that simply the AR4 authors have a different idea of the appropriate null than you.

      • Neil – I’m glad you brought that up. I considered raising a similar issue, but I thought it would distract from where I think the main emphasis should lie – on the limited climatologic significance of the correlations that were found to be statistically significant by M&M. I don’t know whether Jones or Trenberth explicitly addressed a different hypothesis (with a non-significant p value) or simply made an undocumented assertion. In the latter case, that would have been a mistake.

      • Neil, read my JESM article We go through the SAC issue in great detail. It is not relevant to the AR4 discussion. Indeed, read the Boulton letter to Jones that I linked to. Boulton picks upon the point that Jones seemed ready to abandon the conjecture in the IPCC report when he provided the softball review of Schmidt’s paper for the IJOC, in which he jumped on board the idea that it was all down to SAC, even though he had taken a different tack in the IPCC report.

        “My guess is that simply the AR4 authors have a different idea of the appropriate null than you.”

        We’re we supposed to read their minds? They said what they said. How about we deal with that first. Let’s not defend what they actually said by supposing that maybe they had some alternative argument in their minds that would have been valid had they actually made it.

      • The way AR4 presents its critique is not quite satisfactory. That formulation would need quantitative analysis to support it. On the other hand it’s true that drawing conclusions of the type presented in the M&M or the 2010 paper of McKitrick would require that all other potentially contributing reasons for cross-correlation are controlled for, and the papers do definitely not satisfy that requirement.

        All the correlation are obtained using models that cannot take into account the location of the continents and oceans or the economically most active regions on the continents. While I don’t have any quantitative evidence on correlations based on such geographic factors, it’s not the task of the critics of these papers to show that such factors are important, it’s the task of the authors of these papers to show that the effects are small.

        The papers are attacking earlier work claiming that it may be erroneous, but the analysis of these papers is not strong enough to give much support to such claims. Every map based presentation of data related to the warming trends indicates with first sight that the geography is important. That is true also for the Figure 1. of the 2010 paper of McKitrick. Therefore no statistical analysis of the type presented in that paper proves anything on the role of economic activity. The possibility of spurious correlations is all too obvious. To reach stronger conclusions a much more complete and well verified model of the atmosphere and oceans is needed.

        The point that the text of AR4 was trying to tell may have been the same, but the formulation was too specific in the way that would require specific support from quantitative analysis.

      • Ross – I’m disappointed in your response to my comment, which seems more focused on defending the validity of your accusations than the significance of the M&M conclusions. Although I haven’t followed the statistical debate in detail, I’m prepared to agree that your claim appears justified if no evidence is offered to refute it. That was not the main point of my comment, however, which was the climatology.

        I agree with you that there is little climatology in the paper. That was the point that I think deserves emphasis. In my comment, I cited substantial reasons why the interpretations in the paper were of limited significance, although I don’t claim them to be “meaningless” – the term you applied to my comment. I would argue that my conclusion is valid regardless of whether the particular IPCC AR4 lead authors handled the matter appropriately. Readers can review what I wrote about ocean warming and accelerated land warming based on climate dynamics to make their own judgments.

      • Fred,

        I am disappointed in your comment. You appear to be knee-jerk defending the indefensible, attempting to distract, and in so doing, defaming the excellent work of Mr. McKittrick who, through much difficulty has brought to the fore one of many disgraceful episodes in the IPCC’s reign over Climate Science.

        You and other apologists are the ones who make this whole ordeal so painful. You can never admit the disgusting actions of those “in your corner” and, as i already mentioned, are insulting those attempting to clean this Aegean Stable created by the IPCC. Do you seriously want your name on the list of those who supported this distasteful scam abusing the nations of the earth??

      • kk I agree with all you say, but unless you are talking about somewhere they keep sea-horses, I think you may mean “Augean Stables”.

      • Then Hercules didn’t rinse them in the Augean Sea?? 8>)

        Thank you for the spelling correction.

      • timetochooseagain

        From your comments I think you have sufficiently little understanding of Ross’s work to throw into doubt whether you have even read his paper. Let’s look at some your so-called “points”

        First, you flatly state that the parts of the paper I guess you don’t like are the work of Pat Michaels. Your basis for this? Unless you were one of the authors there is no way for you to know who contributed what.

        You also really don’t explain what exactly it is that you think Pat Michaels contributed that was so bad.

        The next argument you make:

        “Global warming is mainly ocean warming. This is due to the predominant role of the oceans in long term temperature trends. Even if current estimates of land warming were reduced to match ocean warming, the effect on global temperature anomalies would be small.”

        The implication here is that the surface land trends were forced to match the sea surface temperatures, or that doing so was somehow the goal. Neither of these things come close to describing what was done. But in any case, why would it matter if the impact was “small” anyway? One simply wants to determine if bias exists in the data. If the impact of that bias is “small” it might impact what you could conclude from it, but it would have zero significance for the results themselves. At any rate I am unsure whether the confidence and certainty you place on the magnitude of sea surface temperature trends is quite warranted. In particular, I believe over the tropics there are serious differences in the trends of sea surface versus air temperatures. Over land we only measure the near surface air temperatures really, not global ground temperatures, and yet these two are combined, nonphysically, because…Well, I don’t know why. At any rate I’ve seen that there are slightly different analyses of sea surface temperature that vary a little amongst one another by a few hundreths of a degree per decade, which is the level of bias we are talking about already.

        “Forcing land warming to match ocean warming, however, would significantly bias the results downward. It has been known for many centuries that when climate is changing, land temperatures rise or fall more rapidly than ocean temperatures. This is due to the greater heat capacity of the oceans and the evaporative cooling that is observed over water surfaces. We can therefore conclude that ocean warming will be accompanied by a more rapid land warming that is real rather than artifactual.”

        This is, again, irrelevant. Near Surface land temperatures were not forced to match sea surface temperatures.

        “In particular, a correlation between recorded temperature anomalies and SES is not in itself clear evidence of a “warm bias”. To conclude the latter, one would have to show that the SES results do not reflect true regional climatologic variation due to land use changes, changes in soil moisture, or a variety of other factors that reflect true rather than spurious alterations in climate behavior”

        Well, that’s an interesting thought. The implication is surely that the spatial pattern associated with economic development correlated with temperature trends would also occur in physical models that include estimates of the impacts of land use. Perhaps if you had read Ross’s more recent building on his original work, you would see that he has also analyzed the spatial patterns in climate models. They don’t show the same relationship to economic development.

      • Timetochoose – I think that if you reread my comments, you’ll see that you misrepresented what I stated. In any case, that global warming is determined largely by ocean warming is well established by comparing the datasets, as is the principle that land warming rates must exceed ocean warming rates – for them to be the same would be a hypothetical contrary to fact, and I know of no-one who would claim anything else.. The surface/air temperature differences don’t change these principles.

        Ross McKitrick was the statistical expert and Pat Michaels was the climatologist on the paper. I gave Ross credit for accurate statistics and Michaels the discredit for bad climatology, but if that’s the wrong attribution, I’m not sure it matters very much. The main point I felt needed making is that the conclusions of the paper add little information to our understanding of climate dynamics, even if the statistics are sound. I believe readers familiar with the global and ocean statistics as well as the principles underlying land/ocean differences will be aware of the above principles. I’m not aware of contradictory evidence.

      • timetochooseagain

        I think you are the one who is misrepresenting things. You argued that Ross’s findings are wrong/irrelevant because the sea surface temperatures “prove” that the land surface record must be pretty good. I explained that your comments were irrelevant and wrong, and they still are so.

        My point with regard to the sea surface versus near surface air was that, if the global sea surface temperature trend overestimates the true near surface air temperature trend (as it appears to do in the tropics) then it could easily be the case that land near surface air temperature trends are significantly overestimated, while maintaining the sacred land-sea difference (indeed, that uncertainty in sea surface temperature data alone is enough to allow for this). But here is something else to consider: if the land sea differential is a signature of any temperature change, Why does land minus ocean only really jump off the page since 1970?

        Image from Bob Tisdale.

        If land variations are just sea surface variations times a scaling factor, then why don’t the differences behave that way? They show almost no change until 1970.

      • I believe your statements about trends are simply wrong, as can be seen from the datasets Sea surface temperature and marine air surface temperature differ slightly but trend the same way over the course of decades – see, for example AR4 WG1 Chapter 3,Fig. 3.4. The land/sea difference is not a question of different temperatures but of a more rapid rise on land than on the sea when both are warming, for reasons that are well understood – mainly ocean heat capacity and evaporative cooling.

        The main point is that ocean temperature trends (including marine air surface trends) match global warming trends well, and the contribution of a faster rise on land makes only a small difference. The relevance of some of your other points is unclear to me, although there was only a flat temperature (no warming) between 1950 and about 1976, so that an accelerated land warming wouldn’t be apparent in the absence of global or ocean warming. That’s somewhat of a diversion from the main point in any case.

        I don’t have a quarrel with Ross McKitrick’s statistics, but the Pat Michaels contribution is unconvincing, and for reasons already cited, would make little difference in attributing the causes of global warming or in quantifying the warming, even if the interpretation is correct, which it probably is not.

        I tend to doubt that the climatologic significance implied by the authors of the paper can be rescued. However, at this point, it might be best to leave it to readers to review these comments to draw their own conclusions.

      • See also Figures 3.1 and 3.6, as well as the text descriptions for more details.

      • “I believe your statements about trends are simply wrong, as can be seen from the datasets Sea surface temperature and marine air surface temperature differ slightly but trend the same way over the course of decades”

        The two types of data do indeed agree well in most places, but not evidently in the tropics. The IPCC did not discuss this, for whatever reason.

        To my knowledge, actually, not much work has been done to sort out the differences between the two variables, which can be significant.

        Another point is that the uncertainty in SST timeseries is sufficient to allow for the possibility that they too are significantly overestimated by some groups.

        “although there was only a flat temperature (no warming) between 1950 and about 1976, so that an accelerated land warming wouldn’t be apparent in the absence of global or ocean warming.”

        Yes, but for whatever reason you ignore the fact that before 1950 there were significant temperature changes over land and ocean, such as a warming from 1910-1940 of about the same magnitude as in the last thirty years, and the land and ocean series did not diverge from one another as strongly as they have since 1970. Indeed they don’t seem to have diverged at all during that time.

      • “The two types of data do indeed agree well in most places, but not evidently in the tropics. The IPCC did not discuss this, for whatever reason.”,/i>

        These data and other potential sources of bias are discussed in the IPCC chapter 3 linked to above as well as the supplementary material to the chapter. Bias corrections are also discussed. Although uncertainties remain, the overall relationships between ocean data and global data do not appear to be strongly affected, as seen in the various Figures that accommodate the adjustments. In particular, comparisons of Figures 3.1, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 indicate that global warming trends differ little from either global SST or global marine air surface temperature trends, despite much faster land air surface warming in the decades since 1979. To recapitulate points made earlier, global warming trends are rather insensitive to small variations in land warming.

        To return to as slightly different aspect of this overall discussion, one interesting observation is the lack of reported land warming between 1950 and 1980, an interval also characterized by a lack of global or ocean warming. To me, this is much more consistent with a land temperature behavior that reflects global climate variables rather than spurious warming due to socioeconomic biasing of the data. Presumably, SES changes were occurring during 1950-1980, but appeared to have no discernible effect on the reported temperature trends. This does not preclude very small effects, but further argues against the notion that the overall trends were strongly biased at later intervals. As mentioned earlier, accelerated land warming is an expected concomitant of global warming in general.

        Finally, regarding pre-1940 intervals, there is some evidence of a divergence, but more importantly, ocean data (and to some extent land data) were less comprehensive and accurate than later, making trend comparisons less reliable. Some of this was discussed in an earlier thread on SST trends.

      • Apologies for the italics problem. I hope it’s fixed.

      • One other interesting small point about the time around 1940-1945 when land temperatures were not rising faster than ocean temperatures. This was an interval with a spike that appears to have reflected ENSO and possibly PDO/AMO changes. Probably the one circumstance in which land warming would not be expected to exceed ocean warming is one in which the warming originates in the ocean rather than the atmosphere or in changes in solar irradiance.

  3. Some of the funniest issues with the uncertainty monster is trends, predicting a trend change and cherry picking. If you are trying to predict a change in the trend that may be the result of a climate shift you are cherry picking because you select a data range that illustrates the possible change point. If you compare the impact on instrumentation change on a trend you are cherry picking. But if you have a wager on a future value, you can pick any portion of a data series and you are evaluating the odds.

    So I guess more skeptical analysis should be stated in the form of a wager?

    • Good points. My guess is Jesus, for example, probably predicted the fall of the Roman Empire and his forecast was based on a lot more than mere fact: He had inside information..

  4. Paul Vaughan

    Was recently impressed by:

    …but now reversion back to [mis]labeling it “uncertainty”?

    As they say in the song:
    “Hit single don’t last long,
    Save your money man,
    Save your money…”
    – Cypress Hill

  5. Judy:
    Was Lindzen’s presentation as provocative as it appears?

  6. On Lindzen’s 9th slide he shows the profiles of lapse rate expected with an enhanced GHE. I had asked on a previous thread if this info was available and seeing it does not surprise me. Figure (c), the re-equilibration is exactly what I would have expected to see though I realize it does not apply to all situations. This is where all the greenhouse dragon talk has been leading me. To me it looks like all the fun is in the magnitude of the horizontal arrows at the surface and at altitude, as shown in (c).

    Do I have this wrong?

    • You put your right arrow in,
      You take your left arrow out.
      Do the hocus-pocus
      And dance and shout.
      That’s what it’s all about.

  7. How nice of Dr. Mulkey to provide that gratis psychological evaluation of you, Christy, and RP Jr. at Skeptical Science.

    Someone should notify Unity College to add “Clinical Psychologist licensed to practice in Georgia, Alabama, and Colorado” to his profile.

    • Gene:
      Nice catch. I just looked again at the FIeld/Pielke discussion on BBC. Dr. Mulkey wrote in his comment that you highlighted:
      “A recent example of this is a British television interview of Chris Field and Roger Pielke, Jr. It is very apparent in this interview that Roger’s feelings are hurt and that he is harboring deep resentment. “
      After watching it, I see absolutely no basis for Dr. Mulkey’s assertion as to the nature of Dr. Pielke’s feelings. Indeed, if anything it is Dr. Field who appears significantly discomforted as the interchange continues.

      Others are free to look at the evidence and evaluate the accuracy of Dr. Mulkey’s assertion.

      It is noteworthy that this is the only proof point he offers for his essentially ad hominem attacks – his disclaimers notwithstanding.

  8. To Joshua:

    You should repost here what you posted at SkS. And the response. It’s not different than stuff you’ve said here, just more summative. We’d have a good discussion.


  9. Norm Kalmanovitch

    In 1988 the IPCC was formed under a scientific mandate to determine if human activities were affecting climate and if so to what extent. Today over two decades later they have yet to determine this.
    Over the past 23 years the climate has changed from warming sometime between 1995 and 1998 (depending on data and statistics used) and there is now an overall cooling trend that started after 2002.The question for the IPCC is still the same; are humans responsible for the climate change from warming to cooling that took place under the IPCC watch?
    More importantly the issue plaguing the world with 6.5% of the world’s grain supply being used as feedstock for ethanol production to reduce CO2 emissions to stop global warming is whether causing global starvation in this way is actually necessary.
    When the IPCC formed in 1988 CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were 22,052 million metric tonnes and when global warming had ended by 1998 emissions had grown by under 2.5 Gt to 24,531million metric tonnes over the decade of warming.
    From 1998 to 2010 there was no warming as CO2 emissions increased to 33,158 million metric tonnes by 2010 whichn is over three times as much CO2 emissions increase as had occurred when the Earth was warming from 1988 to 1998.
    All science aside, the moral question facing the world is whether it is necessary to continue to cripple the world economy and cause global starvation through ludicrous schemes to reduce CO2 emissions to stop global warming which actually ended over a decade ago?
    This of course is predicated on the critical scientific question of when will global warming return and if it does will it be beneficial or detrimental to the planet?
    Perhaps in this now cooling world the IPCC will finally turn away from supporting the climate change fraud and return to their scientific mandate by answering these questions that should have been answered long ago

    • Yes according to all indicators available here

      It cooled from 1960 to 1976.
      It cooled from 1973 to 1985.
      It cooled from 1981 to 1992.
      It cooled from 1990 to 2000.
      It cooled from 1997 to 2010.

      It’s been cooling since the 1960s.

      What me worry?

      • I like to link to realclimate –

        One wonders which bit of ‘warming interrupted’ is not understood. You are pursuing a loser argument.

      • So, you agree with RC that multi-decadal variability means squat?

      • bob droege

        So, you agree with RC that multi-decadal variability means squat?


        If you agree that the warming seen during the IPCC “poster period” (1976-2000) also “means squat”.


      • You know I like GISS because it shows continued warming post 2000.

      • The GISS 2005 result is not statistically different from 1998 – anything else is rhetoric.

      • Multi-decadal variability shows one important thing – most of the ‘recent warming’ happened in 1976/77 and 1997/98. Most of the rest was associated with cloud cover changes.

        Recent work identifies abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        This involves ENSO variability – which varies over decades to millennia.
        So what happens next is uncertain.

  10. Norm Kalmanovitch

    You should worry because all indications are that this cooling is going to get far worse over the next two decades and while global warming is pleasant global cooling is actually quite miserable

  11. The global warming alarmists essentially have sunk to the lowest level of immoral pandering by suggeting to the simple-minded that the Left can actually STOP climate from changing if it is given control over energy and by extension all factors of production in what once was referred to as a ‘free economy.’

    • Which is why the IPCC members should be polled publically on their political backgrounds. The topic doesn’t have much to offer as a science agrument. If you don’t believe in “climate equilibrium” and the “all else equal but co2” fallacy which I don’t all the talk gets rather dull on the science. If the left wasn’t talking about massive state controls this thread wouldn’t exist.

      I don’t mind the science side topic, I do mind the make believe that AGW was always a serious science conclusion first when it was always contrived with a political goal. I do mind the pandering of the science elite who admit as much in private but want to hide at some nuanced level from tough political questions as Dr. Curry and generally most of the “consensus” does. The process of “settled science” was really more about avoiding the obvious humiliation felt by the consensus under the weight of questions of their motives rather than who has the best charts and arguments. Who likes being told they are corrupt? Most are eco-green activists if only in their thoughts. Regardless, after so many decades of tactics some should come forward and ownup to what was the glue driving the consensus.

      • cwon14

        You may be right about polling the “mainstream consensus scientists” about their politics, but I think it is more important to concentrate on weeding out the BS in the IPCC “nonsensus” message.

        Judith politely calls it “uncertainty” and has also referred to it as “ignorance”.

        IMO BS by any other name is still BS.

        And I don’t really care all that much whether it is intentional BS, accidental BS or just plain stupid BS (although I’m sure there’s a bit of all three in the IPCC reports).


  12. David Stockwell may stir up the uncertainty pot even more with his paper:

    David R.B. Stockwell Accumulation of Solar Irradiance Anomaly as a Mechanism for Global Temperature Dynamics
    Stockwell shows that accumulative solar energy alone explains the global temperature better than CO2.

    In Phase Lag of Global Temperature Stockwell shows the
    Phase of Solar Forcing and HadCRU.

    Direct solar irradiance is almost uncorrelated with global temperature partly due to the phase lag, and partly due to the accumulation dynamics. This is why previous studies have found little contribution from the Sun.

    Accumulated solar irradiance, without recourse to GHGs, is highly correlated with global temperature, and recovers exactly the right phase lag.

    May the best model win!

    • And, the usual SOP is the scientific method–e.g., has the null hypothesis of AGW theory ever been rejected?

      The answer is, “No, the null hypothesis that all global warming is natural has never been rejected.” And, that is why the witchdoctors of academia proffer obiter dicta instead.

  13. Dr. Curry, your anonymous quote regarding the (mis)use of the term uncertainty is correct. AGW proponents often use it to refer to the sensitivity range, especially the high end. Uncertainty used in this way is a euphemism for “how bad will climate change be?” This sense of uncertainty is suggestive of great risk.

    • In fact this ambiguity is a fine example of people with different basic beliefs talking past one another. Skeptics mean uncertainty about AGW, while proponents mean uncertainty within AGW.

  14. The link to the Schneider symposium seems to be missing. Sounds like fun.

  15. Judith

    Thanks for posting links. Very interesting.

    Am looking forward to seeing Nir Shaviv’s presentation on latest CLOUD results and implications.


  16. Judith,
    thanks for the PowerPoints, they give a real sense of the variety, and the coming together, of the specific debates and I can see how the key blogs (yours and climate Audit etc) are really providing useful feedback that is informing the debate (but note to Richard Lindzen – your PPT is a bit too Old Skool – I’ll read the whole paper only if I need to!).

  17. My thanks too for making the work of Linzen, McKitrick, Carter and your own available. All in all I felt rather pleased that there is some hope that all is not doom and gloom on the future climate front. What I can’t understand is why everyone doesn’t feel the same, I mean what isn’t to like about not having to spend gazillions on mitigation and all the rest?

    • Stirling English

      What isn’t to like????

      If there’s nothing really to worry about, what future career options are there for a thirty-something climatologist? Climatology funding will go south and their reputation will be so tarnished as to be unemployable in any scientific field which values integrity above activism and exaggeration

      Like a Ponzi scheme coming to the end of its life they are having to work harder and harder just to keep the pot boiling.

      • Stirling English

        The outcome you describe is quite likely, but I would think that those climate scientists that distanced themselves from the hype, exaggerations and massaged data early enough (like our host here and a few of the other presenters at ACS) will be the survivors, who can bring new credibility to and breathe new life into climate science after the inevitable fall of the consensus clique.


  18. A thought provoking article in USAToday on uncertainty and belief in religion, science, and politics:

  19. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20thcentury is very likely [>90%] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” (IPCC AR4 WG1)

    97% of climate experts agree with this statement (Anderegg et al. 2010)

    Here’s one that doesn’t (Stockwell 2011):

    Here is presented a novel empirical and physically-based auto-regressive AR(1) model, where temperature response is the integral of the magnitude of solar forcing over its duration, and amplification increases with depth in the atmospheric/ocean system. The model explains 76% of the variation in GT from the 1950s by solar heating…


  20. David L. Hagen

    Just see that you have also cited the Stockwell paper.

    As you point out, this underscores Judith’s “uncertainty monster” as far as the IPCC claim is concerned that most of the warming since the mid-20thcentury is very likely [>90%] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.


  21. Regarding Lindzen’s slides, I have no idea where he gets that evaporation increases as much as 5.7% for each degree of warming. He gives no reference for that number. It is critical to his negative feedback because it implies evaporation increases by more than 4 W/m2 at the surface for a 1 C warming. In his simple model, the radiative forcing at the top is canceled by only this latent heat flux increase. This approach is even simpler than the no-feedback approach as it doesn’t consider the radiative effect of a change in the atmospheric profile of temperature with his assumption that the increase in surface latent heat flux somehow translates to an equal increase in radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere when in fact the other neglected terms both increase at the surface and in the atmosphere to contribute to the top radiative flux. I would be skeptical of this simple model.

    • Jim – Lindzen got his figures from the Wentz reference. This was later criticized by Takahashi et al for unwarranted assumptions about the constancy of surface/air differences and humidity. However, even if Wentz is correct, the values refer to hydrologic changes due mainly to short term ENSO changes, which involve temperature changes arising regionally in the ocean and have little relevance to long term forcing originating in the atmosphere from CO2 or other climate drivers. This extrapolation from ENSO to CO2 has been a consistent feature of Lindzen’s approach, and is a severe limitation in my view.

      • OK, thanks, Fred. Yes that number looked suspiciously like a Clausius-Clapeyron response, but while vapor should increase by that amount, C-C says nothing about the evaporation rate (and therefore precipitation) having to also increase proportionately. Even if it did, having more evaporation falls short of saying how the radiation balance is changed, because if it leads to more vapor, the positive H2O feedback would show up.

  22. Lindzen is wrong. The misrepresentation of facts in the tobacco denialist propaganda is especially relevant because several of the denialists in that instance later became global warming denialists. Religion is about certainties. Science is about gathering information, comparing findings and arguments and trying to reach agreement. Ninety-seven pct.has not been refuted.

  23. Computer modeling is one way to test hypotheses, especially so when one is predicting future conditions. So far, the models have in the main been accurately predictive. Bottom line–when it comes to deciding who to believe, 97 pct of the scientists researching, publishing, and reviewing the work of one another.

  24. There are several categories of denialists. The most dangerous is the corporate think tank propagandists. The second is a libertarian mindset that ipso facto believes government ought not to regulate private business. The third are the dunderheads who find it exciting to think they know more than “intellectuals.” All of them would be less problematical if global warming didn’t present serious economic,social, political, and environmental challenges

    You can’t name ONE accredited scientific body disputing the reality of anthropogenic global warming.

    If you’ll read Naomi Oreskes’ “Merchants of Doubt” you’ll learn that many of the AGW denialists are the same “scientists” who pushed the idea that “well, there’s no proof that tobacco is as bad as the liberals are saying. And, “government is the problem” and regulation are bad….

    • The silliest AGW believer is the conspiratorialist, who thinks there is a huge cabal of cynical evil people who will spend huge sums of money to undermine the good wholesome scientists promoting AGW.
      it is easy to recognize the infantile conspiratorialists by theri reliance on bigotry and name calling. They are particularly fixated on ‘denialist’ as some sort of root word.

      • Some comments from Dr. Naomi Oreskes re the denial of AGW:

        ‘Politics Overtaking Science in Global Warming Debate’
        “But the debate over global warming science must be fought on a level playing field, insists Oreskes. Science is not about opinion, she says, it’s about evidence. If a research group claims global-warming is not real or human caused, she says, then they should prove it.

        “The burden should be on them to come up with the evidence to show that. And if journalists would demand evidence, what they would find is these people either have no evidence at all in many cases or the supposed evidence that they have is actually distorted. It’s taken out of context. It’s misrepresented or in some cases they are arguments that were published 20 to 30 years ago that have since been refuted.” ”

        Read more:

      • Great. Her opinion and a $1.75 will get you a small coffee.
        Politics has driven the AGW community from the very beginning.
        Skeptics have pointed this out, accurately, for many years.
        Did you have another point to make?
        BTW, the sad inversion of the the evidentiary method the AGW community depended on for so long to push their socialagenda no longer works.
        Good luck finding another way to suppress the discussion.

      • If you had read the book, Oreskes’ point is not that tobacco smoking is global warming but that (a) in both instances a deliberate propaganda campaign existed–in global warming, “exists”–to deny and/or cast doubt on scientific findings, and at a minimum delay loss of profits as long as possible. And (b) that several of the very same “experts”were involved in both situations. You will of course avoid seeing that by not reading the book.

      • cosmos,

        You’ll go a long way once you realize that regurgitating the opinions of others is not “intelligence”. It’s regurgitation.


    • Minitrue speaks again.

  25. Judith,

    On slide 14 you list some hypothetical reasons for “Why is there such strong belief among scientists in the IPCC attribution statement?”

    The most straightforward reason that I can come up with is missing though:

    Because the the body of evidence taken as a whole (*) supports the attribution statement.

    (*) including but not limited to basic radiative physics, fingerprints, other explanatory mechanisms fail under scrutiny, observations of increased IR retainment both from ground and from satellite, paleo (role of GHG), physics based modeling, statistical modeling (curve fitting), coherence of explanation.

    • Bart Verheggen,

      “Because the body of evidence taken as a whole (*) supports the attribution statement.”

      That sounds suspiciously like a fallacy. Ignore that the details may disagree with the theory, the general tenor of the total research leads us to this conclusion. Of course, the research has been driven by the idea that humans DO cause the warming and Scientists STILL do little reasearch into natural variation and the IPCC was specifically chartered to look into Anthropogenic contributions, so, the conclusion has been fixed.

      • The “conclusion” was “fixed” as the “starting point”.

        IPCC’s job was to find scientific “proof” to support the “conclusion”, rather than look for scientific “truth” to verify or invalidate it.

        {PS. Bart is fully aware of this, but is just playing coy.}

      • Oh please. The IPCC was set up to assess the scientific evidence, because a consensus had emerged that the climate may be due to human influences.

        It needs quite a conspiratorial mindset to read into that whay you seem to.

      • Bart,

        “Oh please. The IPCC was set up to assess the scientific evidence, because a consensus had emerged that the climate may be due to human influences.”


      • Sorry Bart. Sometimes it just comes out.

        OK, seriously, where is the section on natural variations in AR4 or the previous reports?

  26. And Svensmark’s theory is already dead. . . it does not match past paleo events, the current GCR data, etc.

    The CLOUD research is to help the aerosol modelers.

    • cosmos,
      Are you simply hoping if you claim up is down it will be true?
      How hard you must work to so miscontrue reality.

    • cosmos

      Svensmark’s theory is already dead


      Did you read that CERN release?

      Pull your head out of the sand, or folks will think you are a “denier”.


  27. Re Krugman’s point about future climate projections.

    ‘Must-Read Krugman: GOP is Now “Aggressively Anti-Science, Indeed Anti-Knowledge,” Which Should “Terrify Us.” ‘
    “In a AAAS presentation last year, the late William R. Freudenburg of UC Santa Barbara discussed his research on “the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge“:
    New scientific findings are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.” “

    • Using Krugman as a credible source for policy discussions is like using a tuna to tune a piano.

  28. I saw this gem at SkepticSci:
    “Denial pushes people towards increasingly radical positions, such as the rejection of science simply because of a lack of trust in ‘experts.’ ”

    I was struck by the word ‘trust.’ Synonym for ‘faith.’ This criticism of Dr. Curry is a paraphrasing of thousands of years of religious dogma.

    • Carol Gebert attacks the messenger, and all of the scientists worldwide who provide the arguments used at SkepticalScience

    • Carol simply points out how out of control the AGw movement is, and the defenders of the faith get testy.
      Not very surprising.