IPCC discussion thread

by Tony Brown

Posts in the thread on uncertainty guidance for the IPCC have raised a basic question regarding the credibility of the IPCC as the world’s foremost source of information on climate, and hence its future relevance.

Unfortunately, the various post-Climategate discussions of the problem to date have framed the issue as one of the poor behavior or practices of a few over-enthusiastic individuals, thus skirting the question of whether or not the underlying problem could lie with the consensus process of the IPCC, itself.

Some critics have used the word “corrupt” in conjunction with this process, in suggesting that it has corrupted climate science by introducing bias to support a preconceived agenda or premise.

But regardless whether or not “corrupt” is too strong a word to use to describe this process, there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks. In turn this has followed through into greater scepticism by some parts of the media and created a greater awareness of the role and importance of the IPCC.

A report by the influential Times of London in February 2010 cited an opinion poll, which found that the “proportion of the population that believes that climate change is an established fact and largely man-made has fallen from 41 per cent in November to 26 per cent.”

IPCC supporters have been quick to close ranks in support of IPCC in spite of the revelations, in some cases couching the perceived problem as one of poor communication skills, or the inherent difficulty of explaining something as complex as climate science to policy makers looking for black and white answers or to a generally scientifically illiterate public unable to grasp the complexities.

These rationalizations miss the point, namely that there has been a loss of trust in IPCC in recent years and that their credibility and relevance has been called into question.

While the IPCC and its supporters had hoped that the independent inquiries following Climategate would re-establish public trust, this was not the case, as many saw these investigations as attempts at whitewashing rather than comprehensive, objective or diligent investigations.

As a result the questions arise:

  • Can the IPCC regain the trust of the general public?
  • If not, can the IPCC still maintain its relevance after this loss of credibility?
  • Would climate science be better off if it were divorced from the IPCC?
  • Should the IPCC, as is, be disbanded and replaced with something else and, if so, with what and how?

Nature solicited the views of 5 past IPCC contributors in an article entitled “IPCC: Cherish, Tweak or Scrap?” (unfortunately behind paywall).  The article was discussed at Pielke Jr’s site andinsights from Mike Hulme were described at YaleClimateMediaForum.

Some introspection is required in order to arrive at suggested answers to these questions.

It has been said that trust is the hardest thing to gain and once it is lost it can never be regained.  Roger Pielke, Jr. has raised the question of loss of trust, suggesting that IPCC needs major changes if it hopes to survive. This was written a short time after Climategate and the subsequent revelations of sloppy work and exaggerations in IPCC reports were revealed, but there have been no major changes to IPCC since then.

It is generally known that one can only change if one wants to do so.  And it appears that the IPCC does not want to make the major changes that would be required in the hope of regaining the lost trust.  If IPCC is unable or unwilling to make the drastic changes required in order to regain public trust, where does this leave us?

It seems very unlikely (to use IPCC parlance) that IPCC can maintain its relevance after this loss of credibility, so it is very likely that climate science would be better off if it were divorced from the IPCC, as painful as such a divorce would be.

In other words, the climate science community itself should look for post-IPCC alternates to re-establish the general public trust in climate science.

These could involve setting up some sort of a group of scientists as an objective review board for all climate studies, which (like IPCC in the past) issues periodic summary reports on the findings.

However, there must be one key difference: the group must not be a politically based or influenced committee under the auspices of the United Nations like IPCC, but rather a small group of theoretical scientists, applied scientists, engineers and economists, who are active in a related field and represent a variety of different viewpoints in the on-going scientific debate regarding our climate.

The group must also have the brief not to restrict itself to the investigation of human-induced climate change, as was the case for IPCC, but to include naturally induced changes as well.

And there needs to be an oversight committee of genuinely independent auditors who will ensure that there is no consensus process in place, which could lead to the introduction of bias, as was the case with IPCC.

Will IPCC disband and self-destruct automatically?  Probably not without some shouting.

But it can be made redundant first by defunding it and second by setting up this alternate group which will have more credibility than the organisation it would replace.

This will be no easy task.  But it will be a necessary one, if we want to rehabilitate climate science and turn it into a useful, neutral tool with which to investigate the causes for our ever changing climate.

721 responses to “IPCC discussion thread

  1. The monstrous coupling of the WWF with the IPCC is a wild beast with two backs. Untangle that unnatural act, first.
    ===========

  2. The goal should not be to “Understand Climate Change”

    The goal should be to “Understand Climate”
    That would include, but not be limited to “climate change”

    • I agree. Thinking about it, the very term “change” applied to an always changing, dynamic, very complex non-linear system forces our perceptions, and therefore research focus, into paths not justified for such a system. “Change” implies a “starting position” that is notionally static, which is almost certainly not true of climate, and most assuredly should not be the “default hypothesis”.

      • Herman Alexander Pope.

        i think that is a very perceptive comment-

        As Ak then remarks, including the word ‘change’ implies a starting position which then distorts the need to understand all the many nuances of climate.
        tonyb

      • It’s called “framing”.

        Another bit of framing is talking about “climate” in the singular. There are many climates – plural. There are polar climates, tropical climates, desert climates, temperate climates.

      • Good point , Jack. Chapter 3 of the Hewitt and Jackson (eds) 2003 reference tome ‘Handbook of atmospheric science’ is entitled ‘The earth’s climates’ (in the plural). There is no single global climate.

      • As Jack notes, “framing” is intentional, and serves to preclude unwanted conclusions and “beg the question”. In fact, the entire thrust and warrant of the IPCC is to beg the question. I.e., in practice it is trying to make the focus, “How fast is mankind ruining global climatological stability?”

        Count the assumptions built into that! I makes “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” look soft and simplistic.

      • typo: It makes …

    • Herman Alexander Pope 10/06/11, 3:27 pm, IPCC discussion

      HAP: The goal should be to “Understand Climate”. That would include, but not be limited to “climate change”.

      What you ask is little more than having IPCC report temperature instead of temperature anomaly. Just add 14ºC to the anomalies. The key parameter, climate sensitivity, doesn’t change at all.

      The charter problem is fundamental, but different. IPCC chose not to follow its original charter, which was

      The IPCC was established by UNEP and WMO in 1988 to assess the state of existing knowledge about climate change: its science, the environmental, economic and social impacts and possible response strategies.

      http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=43&ArticleID=206&l=en

      Instead, it revised its own charter to read,

      The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. Bold added.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

      IPCC thus redirected itself away from the science of either climate or climate change, and instead (a) to the RISK in climate change, based on (b) the ASSUMPTION that AGW exists.

      Accordingly, IPCC rejected science supporting natural causes and effects, while falsifying evidence exaggerating CO2 as a cause of global warming. Abundant examples available on request. Meanwhile its authors concealed evidence, and hid behind the peer review process it was manipulating in climate journals, all to reinforce its unethical (at a minimum) enterprise, and to suppress criticism.

      So IPCC set about to create GCMs that showed AGW not so risky that it would be invalidated before several political cycles (a notable, expensive failure), but scary enough to show AGW to be an irreversible, life-threatening risk in the lifetime of our grandchildren, well worth dislodging the equivalent of the World’s GDP from the First World nations.

    • Spot on!

    • This comment exhibits a key misunderstanding of the IPCC that seems to be shared by many who frequent this blog.

      IPCC reports are not meant to be a textbook about planetary climate. If you want one of those there are plenty around, but you are not the audience for the IPCC.

      The purpose of the IPCC is to look at the relevant scientific literature in order to provide guidance to policymakers and other interested parties about a specific question: how will climate change over the next century and what effects will that have?

      • @Paul S…

        The purpose of the IPCC is to look at the relevant scientific literature in order to provide guidance to policymakers and other interested parties about a specific question: how will climate change over the next century and what effects will that have?

        Actually, my understanding (of the documents authorizing the IPCC’s formation) is that the question applies only to the anthropogenic component of “climate change”.

      • That may be the case, though in practice the particular formulation doesn’t make much of a difference:

        1) For analysis of past climate change you have to quantify natural forcings to detect anthropogenic effects.

        2) For projections of future climate change, anthropogenic forcings are the only relatively predictable variables, albeit with a range of potential scenarios. Whereas we really have no idea what might happen with the Sun, volcanoes, cosmic rays or anything like that, and there’s nothing we could do about them if we did (remember, this is guidance for policymakers)

        Realistically a ‘climate change’ scope wouldn’t produce anything vastly different from an ‘anthropogenic climate change’ scope. There’s also the danger that widening the scope blurs the focus, leading to confusion and bloating of an already large document. Nevertheless in AR5 I suspect Working Group I may well look at some popular natural forcing scenarios, such as the effects of a Maunder Minimum return and other events (Supervolcanoes?).

      • @Paul S..

        I get the impression you’re making the implicit assumption these “forcings” can be separated like the waves from different pebbles dropped into the same pond. AFAIK that’s not a valid assumption for non-linear systems.

      • Paul S. I think we know more about climate and what’s predictable than just the anthropogenic forcings. I think the problem is we don’t know enough about climate to tell the difference between natural and anthropogenic forcings on generational time scales.

  3. Go Dr Judith Curry! It has to be time.

  4. As a CLA for WG2, I see little appetite for change in the IPCC. The 0th order draft of AR5 makes many of the same mistake as AR4: Selective citation, gray literature, a tendency alarmism. The conflict of interest policy is a farce. Although there are forces in the IPCC that want to change this, there are other forces that do not.

    The IPCC may have lost the trust of some or even many, it seems to continue to enjoy the confidence of the majority of its clients. Many of the IPCC member states are autocracies, who could not care less about what you write on a UK or US blog. Other member states are democracies, but the IPCC delegates are faceless bureaucrats, with a limited understanding of the new media.

    At the end of the day, the IPCC is a UN bureaucracy serving the needs of national bureaucracies. Mutterings on the internet will not affect those needs and how they are served.

  5. The IPCC is supposed to represent the gold standard. It appears with the many incidents of poor science, poor judgment and poor conclusions they have lost that position and probably are doing more harm than good to the on-going debate over climate change.

    • goodspkr,
      The IPCC may represent the ‘gold standard’ (thanks for reminding me of that oft-used description of thee IPCC).
      But the client states and political hacks sho use the IPCC to push their idiocratic policies are not on the gold standard.

    • More like the quartz (“fools’ gold”) standard.

  6. Norm Kalmanovitch

    One has to remember that the IPCC was formed 23 years ago with the single mandate of determining human contribution to observed global warming. So far they have failed to meet thisd mandate but with all five global temperature datasets showing no global warming since 2002 in spite of the 26% increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels mother nature has met their mandate for them.
    As they are now without a mandate perhaps it is best that the IPCC disband
    and we can send them off with our gratitude for wrecking the economy and creating the global food, crisis.

    • 2002 was a solar max and an el nino. Ie you are cherrypicking

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        This is a best fit linear trend. If I was cherry picking I would use the el nino spike of 1998 and state no global warming since 1998.
        The best fit linear trend ignores spikes and one year peaks like the la nino of 2008 and the el nino of 2010. Arguments such as yours only expose ignorance

      • Except the following statement is false.

        all five global temperature datasets showing no global warming since 1998

        because at least one of them show a warming trend since 1998

      • lolwot

        You write to Norm Kalmanovitch:

        2002 was a solar max and an el nino. Ie you are cherrypicking

        There was also no warming if you take the full decade starting January 2011, lolwot.

        And there was no warming of 0.2C per decade, as projected by IPCC, despite increase of CO2 to record levels.

        That;s why Trenberth referred to this “lack of warming that cannot be accounted for” as a “travesty”.

        Max

      • Sorry for typo. Should be January 2001, of course.

      • The amount of warming since 2001 is going to be determined roughly by:

        greenhouse gas contribution + solar contribution + ENSO/PDO contribution = observed warming

        If we assume an IPCC greenhouse gas contribution of 0.2C and put in the hadcrut observation of 0.05C cooling then we get:

        0.2C + solar contribution + ENSO/PDO contribution = -0.05

        You are arguing that the data proves greenhouse gases aren’t warming the Earth. Yet it’s not impossible. The equation clearly can be balanced if the solar and ENSO/PDO contribution provide enough cooling since 2001 (roughly 0.25C between them).

        On what basis do you assume that ENSO/PDO and solar influence since 2001 hasn’t had a 0.25C cooling effect since 2001?

        I could understand someone like Gavin Schmidt arguing against it based on theory (TSI changes x climate sensitivity), but I can’t understand how skeptics can argue against it. Skeptics have been the ones playing up the influence of the deep solar minimum and the PDO switch and expecting large cooling.

        I would think you guys, if you were objective, would be the first ones to realize the warming trend continues given that you expected large cooling and yet it hasn’t happened.

      • Hey, lolwot, you are falling into the trap:

        my prediction was correct except for…”

        (add in any unforeseen event).

        This is the classical cop-out of those making silly predictions that don’t come true. (see Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan).

        To myopically focus on one small part of the equation while ignoring all others when making predictions will almost always backfire (as it did for IPCC this time).

        Max

      • ENSO and the solar cycle cannot be forecast.

        Fortunately though that doesn’t matter. In the longterm they have hardly any impact. But if you are going to look at a particular 10 years (eg 2001 onwards) then they can, and in fact 2001 onwards is a particularly bad 10 years to pick given solar activity drops over it and so does ENSO.

        The IPCC didn’t make a prediction for 2001-2011 for this reason.

      • lolwot: I would think you guys, if you were objective, would be the first ones to realize the warming trend continues given that you expected large cooling and yet it hasn’t happened.

        So what conclusion re: cloud feedbacks do you attribute to “you guys” ? Or are you doing the Team thing by just trying to pretend it isn’t an issue?

      • The question is why you assume less than 0.1C cooling due to the solar minimum

  7. Mike Edwards

    Richard Tol has said it clearly above: IPCC is a UN bureaucracy established at the behest of a set of governments, who are its ultimate clients. It is fundamentally a political organization and not a science organization. It must be given the same level of trust as other political organizations. In my opinion: very little trust.

  8. there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks.

    Do you have some evidence that proves that claim of attribution?

    “proportion of the population that believes that climate change is an established fact and largely man-made has fallen from 41 per cent in November to 26 per cent.”

    It seems that there you have provided some evidence of correlation, but no evidence of causation. There may be any number of other variables that could be at play – for example, cold weather.

    From the BBC write-up on the poll you referenced:

    All of this happened against the backdrop of many parts of the northern hemisphere being gripped by a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures.

    However, 73% of the people who said that they were aware of the “science flaws” stories stated that the media coverage had not changed their views about the risks of climate change.

    “People tend to make judgements over time based on a whole range of different sources,” Mr Simmonds explained.

    Do you have evidence of what % of the public that have changed in their view of climate change are familiar with the “many disclosures following the Climategate links?” Do you have evidence regarding what factors they attribute to their shift in position? Further, your statement refers to a condition in October of 2011. Do you have evidence about current public opinion on the relationship between “Climategate” and views as to whether climate change is an established fact and/or largely man-made?

    Wouldn’t your statement of their being “no question” about causation, suggest that you have some direct evidence of causation?

    BTW – it appears that your link to the poll is broken. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8500443.stm

    • Yeah it’s a myth.

      The only people who have “lost trust in the IPCC” never had it in the first place. The whole thing is basically a tactic by deniers.

      If they crow long enough that the public has lost trust maybe those darned scientists will just shut up the IPCC shop and go home.

      • Keep sticking your head in the sand, lolwot.

        Max

      • I assume, then, you have evidence of the asserted causation?

        Would you remind posting a link?

      • Sorry – mind, not remind.

        I find it quite amazing that people who focus much of their time on examining whether claims of causation are sufficiently supported by the evidence make claims, repeatedly, of causation that aren’t supported by evidence.

        It’s bizarre, actually. So since that wouldn’t apply to you, why don’t you provide some evidence?

      • Link posted below (TonyB also posts another link in his lead post, if you look).

        Max

      • Tony’s link shows no evidence of causation.

        What other link are you referring to?

      • steven mosher

        causation is unobservable Joshua.

      • Joshua

        This is becoming repetitive (and boring).

        You keep asking for links, I keep posting them, you keep ignoring them…

        I’ve already posted this to lolwot below, but will repeat for you one more time.

        This analysis by the AMS starts off:
        http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper184847.html

        A recent analysis of poll results by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication confirmed the expected: the controversy surrounding the CRU emails has resulted not only in a drop in belief in anthropogenic global warming, but also in a significant decline in trust in climate scientists.

        The study cited by the AMS report is linked here
        http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/Climategate_Public%20Opinion_and%20Loss%20of%20Trust(1).pdf

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • The only people who have “lost trust in the IPCC” never had it in the first place. The whole thing is basically a tactic by deniers.

        lolwot: YMMV. Not true of me.

        Also, every time I see the term denier applied to people like myself, it strengthens my assessment that I’m not dealing with people who care about science or the planet or reason, but are simply advocates, and nasty ones at that, who have a political agenda and an axe to grind and don’t care how low they have to stoop.

      • Also, every time I see the term denier applied to people like myself, it strengthens my assessment that I’m not dealing with people who care about science or the planet or reason, but are simply advocates, and nasty ones at that, who have a political agenda and an axe to grind and don’t care how low they have to stoop.

        Taking your explanation of your experience at face value (I have no reason not to), what do you think about people that make claims about attributing changes in general public opinion to “Climategate” without having evidence that shows causation?

        Would it suggest to you that they have an axe to grind, or are arguing on the basis of motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc.? I wouldn’t make assumptions about how “low they have to stoop,” but it does give me pause. How about you?

      • steven mosher

        Joshua, what would count as evidence of causation? think carefully, your argument might come back to bite you.

      • It seems the answer is……..silence!

      • Joshua: You are comparing a possibly mistaken argument with smearing a group of people with a heavily loaded term of abuse.

        That’s a category error. It’s like one person claiming an arguable point about affirmative action and a second person using the N-word. Not the same.

        This is the silliest of your equivalence arguments I’ve read so far.

      • whatever, I’ll describe things as I see them. Im not going to beat around the bush.

        I’ve read enough skeptic blogs and the commenters of those blogs to know the “skeptics” are largely actually deniers. When they cheer along astounding incompetence and error on those blogs yet act (and act is the word) outraged at some scientist making a minor irrelevant error, tells me all I need to know about the “skeptics”.

      • Your problem is that you haven’t a clue as to what a scientist is. Those you cite as “scientists” are Lysenkosist frauds who blatantly and deliberately violate the Scientific Method.

        Your “scientists” keep their raw data, computer codes, algorithms, etc., secret as POLICY – they are not scientists.

        Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit for years – even before Climategate – exposed this policy by the leading lights of the CAGW movement: Michael Mann and the Hockey Team, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Lonnie Thompson, and all the core IPCC “lead authors”.

        The reason for the policy of secret data and methods has become clear when they are discovered (like Mann’s “CENSORED” ftp directory) or forced out (like Briffa’s Yamal data by a Royal Society publication) – the raw data is cherry picked, then massaged with phony statistical methods, or just literally turned upside down. Phrases like ‘short-centered PCA’, ‘Yamal’, and ‘Upside Down Tijlander’ are infamous among those who have dared take an honest look behind the “climate science” curtain.

      • Keeping stuff secret . Everyone does it. Last time I checked Roy Spencer hadn’t released the UAH source code or raw data. Does that make him a “Lysenkosist fraud who blatantly and deliberately violates the Scientific Method”?

        Perhaps you think so. I do not. I can understand that a scientist would perhaps not have the time to put it all together and release it and might weigh up the benefit of doing so given they have other work to get on with. For example it’s unlikely that releasing the UAH source code will provide much benefit given that we already have another team, RSS, doing the same work. But that’s a judgement call.

        Yes there will be mistakes in any complicated work. It can take many versions to improve and there can be disagreements about what constitutes a mistake (eg Mann would disagree that an “upside down” proxy was a mistake). The science is driven forwards usually by multiple researchers producing their own results.

        It’s possible to compare various reconstructions of temperature for the last 2000 years and I see the difference between them isn’t massive.

        Can’t see what all the fuss is about.

      • UAH source code? Last I saw Spencer and Dessler had released data to McIntyre. I’m sure he has it available somewhere.

        Doesn’t mean AGW ain’t real.

      • steven mosher

        Lolwot. I believe Spencer in fact did sit down with RSS and go over his source code. RSS, well they are commercial. In the end as a friend of mine went in search of the on board software for these vehicles we ran into that nasty beast known as ITAR.

        Again, its good to get your facts right before you misinterpret them.

        When it comes to code release I would say all of the requests ( save those made of spenser/rss and a couple others ) are made for code that funded by government dollars, or was code that supported findings in a journal that REQUIRED archiving this information.

      • lolwot

        steven mosher has stated to Joshua (who has the same denial problem as you on loss of trust in IPCC resulting from Climategate:

        causation is unobservable Joshua

        This is generally true (at least in theory). But let me give you a practical exception.

        You observe that someone is being hit squarely in the eye.

        You then observe that this individual develops a “black eye”.

        The causation of that “black eye” is (almost certainly) the hit in the eye, which you observed.

        The world has observed the crooked behavior of :IPCC lead authors and key supporters in “Climategate” plus revelations of IPCC exaggerations and phony data. Following this, several independent polls observe and document that IPCC has ended up with a “black eye” in public opinion.

        The causation of that “black eye” is (almost certainly) the hit in the eye from Climategate (as steven has written in a detailed blow-by-blow book on this subject) even though (as steven wrote) causation itself is never directly observable.

        Max

      • whatever, I’ll describe things as I see them. Im not going to beat around the bush.

        lolwot: As far as I’m concerned, you and your ilk are welcome to keep using the “denier” label. It makes you sound shrill, close-minded, and bigoted.– just the qualities you want when trying to persuade the majority of people in the middle that you are high-minded, rational types trying to protect the planet.

        What the climate orthodox don’t seem to realize is that their efforts to consign the skeptics to the crackpot category have failed. Skeptics are everywhere at all levels of society and are making their voices heard. Calling them “deniers” won’t shut them up and won’t persuade others not to listen to skeptic positions.

        Last night I was reading the comments to a Mother Jones article on climate change and noticed that about a third of the commenters were skeptics. When Rolling Stone printed that Al Gore polemic a few months ago, likewise.

        Calling us deniers won’t fix that problem. My bet is that it will further alienate the people in the middle, who probably know a “denier” or two. So party on, Garth.

      • Re steven mosher:

        “Lolwot. I believe Spencer in fact did sit down with RSS and go over his source code. RSS, well they are commercial. In the end as a friend of mine went in search of the on board software for these vehicles we ran into that nasty beast known as ITAR.”

        That’s fine by me, what I draw attention to is the double standards of skeptics. Double standards which I believe expose unsavory motivations beneath their costume of “concern” for the science.

        The double standard is that skeptics moaned loudly about GISTEMP and HadCRUT source code being released, but are content with UAH source code not being released.

        Would Hansen have been allowed to just sit down with someone at NOAA and go over his source code? Ha no way.

        Would he have been allowed to say he was in the process of releasing it, as Spencer is I believe, but that process takes over a year with no end in sight? No way.

        Dare I say, skeptics exploited the period before source code was released to imply that the lack of release was evidence of something wrong with the source code and the record itself was in doubt because of it. I don’t think they really wanted the source code at all (at least the bright ones must have realized it wasn’t going to contain the fraud that the stupid ones were led to expect). It was just a convenient stick to bash Hansen and AGW with.

        “I would say all of the requests ( save those made of spenser/rss and a couple others ) are made for code that funded by government dollars, or was code that supported findings in a journal that REQUIRED archiving this information.”

        Personally I find such rules to be human whim. The question is whether we need the source code. As far as I am concerned we don’t need the UAH source code. But then I don’t think we needed the GISTEMP or HadCRUT source code either. That need doesn’t depend on what rules are in place at a journal. Can we take the GHCN data and follow Hansen’s methodology to check his results? Yes. Do we need his source code to do that. No.

        Sensibly that’s all there is too it. But no skeptics had to go and play on the “scientist REFUSING to hand over source code” line.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot acknowledges the facts of the situation, yet still claims there is a double standard: It’s very strange.

        That’s fine by me, what I draw attention to is the double standards of skeptics.

        What is this double standard? Skeptics expect different things from government funded projects and scientific journals with stated archiving policies than they expect from private entities…I’ll paraphrase:

        How dare you guys expect those who have stated rules to follow those rules? You don’t expect those people with no stated rules to follow the same ones!

    • Joshua

      To TonyB’s statement”

      there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks.

      You ask:

      Do you have some evidence that proves that claim of attribution?

      I’ve already posted this to lolwot below, but will repeat for you.

      This analysis by the AMS starts off:
      http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper184847.html

      A recent analysis of poll results by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication confirmed the expected: the controversy surrounding the CRU emails has resulted not only in a drop in belief in anthropogenic global warming, but also in a significant decline in trust in climate scientists.

      The study cited by the AMS report is linked here
      http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/Climategate_Public%20Opinion_and%20Loss%20of%20Trust(1).pdf

      Hope this helps.

      Max

      • Thanks,

        First, Goodwin’s abstract makes a claim about what can be concluded from the poll, but offers no explanation for the claim. An explanation is also not supplied in the linked manuscript: it mentions “Climategate” three times, twice in references and once in this sentence:

        “….Polling by the CCCC, for example, found that among Americans who had followed the “Climategate” story, close to 70% thought that scientists thought that scientists had misrepresented their results in order to make global warming appear worse

        There is no quantification of how many Americans followed the story closely. There is no quantification of whether among that group, reaction to “Climategate” caused a change in their view of climate change, or a “loss” of credibility or trust. That’s the evidence for a “massive” in the general public as Tony asserts?

        Really?

        And this is from the other link you provided:

        The loss of trust in scientists, however, was primarily among individuals with a strongly individualistic worldview or politically conservative ideology. Nonetheless, Americans overall continue to trust scientists more than other sources of information about global warming.

        So – Americans continue to trust scientists more than other sources of information about global warming – and arguably a large % of scientists think that the evidence supports the notion that GW is 90% likely to be happening and more than 50% attributable to A CO2 emissions.

        Yet “Climategate” caused a “massive” loss of trust and credibility?

        Really?

        Further, note – from the second link:

        Their analysis found that 29% of Americans had followed the story of “Climategate” at least a little, and that 29% of that 29% that said they were “much more certain” that climate change was not happening as the result of “Climategate” – and most of them “individuals with a strongly individualistic worldview or politically conservative ideology.” A plurality of that 29% (41%) said the story did not affect their view of climate change and 11% said it made them somewhat more very much more convinced about climate change.

        You consider that evidence of a “massive” lost of trust and credibility as the result of “Climategate?”

      • Please note – “much more certain” implies that those “conservatives” were already certain to begin with.

        Would that be evidence for Tony’s conclusions about a “massive loss of trust and credibility” by the general public as the result of “Climategate?”

        Really?

      • Denial is a wonderful thing, Joshua. It makes “bad facts” simply go away.

        Faith-based denial (such as you are demonstrating here) is hard to beat.

        Max

      • Joshua: it mentions “Climategate” three times …

        The quote marks being symptomatic of Climategate Denial.

    • steven mosher

      I seriously doubt whether climategate had any direct effect on people’s opinion. However, It has taken the team off message. It will continue to take them off message. That is hard to quantify, but the precautionary principle argues that you should attend to it

      • I’m not sure what the cause of it is, but there is a general opening of people’s minds on this subject. 2 examples:
        1. The ACS meeting in Denver where there was a range of talks.
        2. The upcoming Los Alamos conference.
        I do suspect but can’t prove that climategate played a role. Scientists in other fields I think took it seriously and they are sometimes in charge of conference agendas, not the team. They also generally tend to be influential on a personal level with their friends and colleagues.

      • steven mosher

        Well the scientists I have listened to got the message. they dont want to stick their tender parts in another light socket. If they listen to Joshua and Mann they will.

      • they dont want to stick their tender parts in another light socket

        Well put, steven, but I would add for Joshua:

        Caution! That hole in the sand you are about to stick your head in has got a buried hot light socket inside it.

  9. As I see it, the problem with the IPCC is that it has got the fundamental physics of how the atmosphere works, just plain wrong. It is comparatively easy to show that as we add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, this disturbs the radiative balance of the atmosphere. However, the physics presented by the IPCC that claims that one can estimate the change in surface temperature as a result of this change in radiative balance, is just plain wrong. Various people have looked at this issue from different angles, and have all come to the same conclusion.

    So the IPCC has not established that adding more CO2 causes anything more that a negligible effect of surface temperatures. And the hard data that has been collected shows that there is no detectable signal from adding CO2, which can be distinguished from the noise of natural variations.

    • The IPCC doesn’t come up with any physics, they report on it.

      No climate model backs up your claim. If the fundamental physics didn’t show significnat warming from a doubling of CO2 then climate models wouldn’t show it either.

      • I don’t know that it’s a “myth.”

        But I do tend to question someone’s analysis of science when they make conclusions about causation without supplying evidence that proves their conclusion.

        If it is a matter of simply not providing evidence of causation that exists, that’s one thing – easily remedied by providing the evidence.

        But repeatedly making facile conclusions when there isn’t sufficient supporting evidence does not exactly qualify as a “skeptical” approach to science, IMO.

      • If the fundamental physics didn’t show significnat [sic] warming from a doubling of CO2 then climate models wouldn’t show it either.

        That doesn’t follow. If the assumption that CO2 causes warming is built into models, that’s what they’ll feed back. Is it? I dunno. I’ve actually read some of the papers describing how the models handle feedback parameters, and I still dunno.

        Prof. Curry mentioned “circularities” in Curry & Webster (2011), perhaps this was one of those circularities they meant.

      • No such assumption is built into models.

      • @lolwot…

        You haven’t exactly demonstrated an understanding of the GCM’s that justifies that assertion. If Professor Curry says it, I’ll believe it. If Michael Tobis says it, I’ll accept it provisionally, with a grain of salt. When you say it, I just blow it off. I don’t even ask for ref’s, because you’d probably just waste my time with something irrelevant.

      • I am just telling you a fact – no assumption that CO2 causes warming is built into models. There’s no code in there fudging it. The warming follows from the physics and theory, which are implemented to the best of available knowledge.

        The reason why all models from simple to complex, to old to recent, show significant warming from CO2 is because any competent job implementing available knowledge into a model results in a model that exhibits that result.

      • Like the “fact” that humans are evolved from “ape like ancestors”? Spare me.

      • Australopithecus are ape-like.

      • Riiiiight. I doubt that’s what most people would think of when you say ape. I mistrust your semantic games, so I need to see proper peer-reviewed documentation behind your assertions. And even then, there’s plenty of peer-reviewed junk out there.

        And just what are the parameters controlling cloud “feedbacks” in, for instance, CCSM4? Why does it fail to replicate the observed non-response to two volcanoes? (Gent et al. 2011)

        Gent, P.R., G. Danabasoglu, L.J. Donner, M.M Holland, E.C. Hunke, S.R. Jayne, D.M. Lawrence, R.B. Neale, P.J. Rasch, M. Vertenstein, P.H. Worley, Z.L. Yang, M. Zhang (2011) The Community Climate System Model Version 4. J. Clim., doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI4083.1 Draft

      • lolwot, the climate models show what they are programmed to show. Nothing more, nothing less. GIGO.

        Max

      • The modelers for the most part cannot control what the models end up showing. The models are built from knowledge about how the climate works on small scales. What emerges from that at large scales is largely out of the control of the modelers.

        The output just happens to show a doubling of CO2 causes significant warming. And that’s a robust result. Doesn’t matter whether you use simple models or GCM level models, they all show that.

      • lolwat you write “The output just happens to show a doubling of CO2 causes significant warming. And that’s a robust result”

        I challenge that. The climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 doe not come from the GCMs. It comes from an estimation, called the “Plank” method, which assumes that “the atmospheric structure and all other factors remain fixed”.. In other words it assumes the lapse rate does not change. There is no justification for this assumption anywhere in the peer reviewed literature, and so far as I can tell, it is just plain wrong. So there is no physics to support the idea that doubling CO2 will cause a change of 1.2 C in surface temperature, without feedbacks. That is the crucial estimation, and there is no proper physics to justify it..

      • randomengineer

        The output just happens to show a doubling of CO2 causes significant warming.

        So, models that were designed to examine climate based on the notion that Arrhenius was correct (and yet ignoring Svensmark) seem to presume CO2 as a primary modulated by feedback mechanisms and just happen to show warming as CO2 increases.

        Astonishing.

        Who knew?

      • climate sensitivity does come from GCMs.

      • Yes, feedbacks are built into the code.

      • “So, models that were designed to examine climate based on the notion that Arrhenius was correct (and yet ignoring Svensmark)”

        The model is built up from small scale processes, which includes knowledge of how CO2 absorbs infrared. That knowledge is not dependent on Arrhenius being correct. It’s dependent on modern observations of CO2 absorption properties being correct.

        A cosmic ray cloud affecting mechanism hasn’t been demonstrated yet so there’s no way it can go into climate models. If we didn’t understand anything about CO2 absorption that wouldn’t be able to go into models either.

        Also cosmic rays would represent an additional forcing, not a feedback. So it wouldn’t affect climate sensitivity or the effects of doubling CO2.

      • climate sensitivity does come from GCMs.

        Which of course have pinpointed cloud feedback effects to 99.99999’% certainty.

      • well no, but then that’s part of the reason why climate sensitivity from models is uncertain. There’s a range, not a specific value.

      • climate sensitivity does come from GCMs.

        Which are full of fudge factors, mystery parameters, and who knows what external feeds representing “best guesses” of external forcings. The very act of parameterization builds in the assumption that these “parameters” are constants, when there’s not really any good reason to think they are. AFAIK.

      • “Which are full of fudge factors, mystery parameters, and who knows what external feeds representing “best guesses” of external forcings. The very act of parameterization builds in the assumption that these “parameters” are constants, when there’s not really any good reason to think they are. AFAIK.”

        So do all the models by chance contain the same fudge factors and mystery parameters? What stops a modeling team from doing it right without fudging it?

      • @lolwot…

        So do all the models by chance contain the same fudge factors and mystery parameters? What stops a modeling team from doing it right without fudging it?

        AFAIK (and I admit I haven’t been able to dig through the peer-reviewed literature to verify it), the parameters are chosen so as to make the model do what it’s expected to do. Different parameters working in different ways for different models, but even as late as IPCC AR4 the CCSM3, for instance, was trained on the 20th century. That is, it was set up with its parameters tweaked to duplicate the 20th century relationship between CO2 and climate (AFAIK). It was unable to duplicate 1870 without fudge factors. (Gent et al. 2011) CCSM4, hopefully to be used for IPCC AR5, was trained on 1850 and ended up unable to duplicate the 20th century, especially the period from 2000 – 2005. (Gent et al. 2011)

        As for doing it without parameters (including fudge factors): The models can’t duplicate reality!

        Ref:

        Gent, P.R., G. Danabasoglu, L.J. Donner, M.M Holland, E.C. Hunke, S.R. Jayne, D.M. Lawrence, R.B. Neale, P.J. Rasch, M. Vertenstein, P.H. Worley, Z.L. Yang, M. Zhang (2011) The Community Climate System Model Version 4. J. Clim., doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI4083.1

      • I am using a data-driven approach and modeling from first principles to see how far I can get in duplicating changes in our environment. I made a start in the link on my handle, but I am working it again from scratch with everything documented in a series of blog posts at http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/

        My initial thrust is getting the CO2 rise well explained. I use a first-principles derivation for the CO2 diffusional sequestration described here:
        1. http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/derivation-of-maxent-diffusion-applied.html
        2. http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/missing-carbon.html
        of which I applied it to fossil fuel emissions and modeled the Mauna Loa rise here with a convolution-based approach:
        3. http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/fat-tail-impulse-response-of-co2.html

        The only adaptable parameters were baseline CO2, which I took as 290 PPM and a single parameter disordered diffusion coefficient.

        What I also gather is that some of the CO2 rise is caused by a warming of the global temperatures, which I documented here with a control-systems-based proportional-derivative model:
        4. http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/sensitivity-of-global-temperature-to.html
        After identifying a convincing cross-correlation ent , I measured that the rate of change of CO2 concentration with temperature anomaly is about 1 PPM per degree change.
        Since we have reliable temperature records from as far back as 1850, I could integrate the temperature anomaly and estimate the CO2 rise forcing function due to positive temperature feedback effects.
        This time I modeled an impulse response function which matched the IPCC Bern CC/TAR standard (http://unfccc.int/resource/brazil/carbon.html) very accurately.
        The results are documented in this post from last night:
        5. http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/10/temperature-induced-co2-release-adds-to.html

        So I used a single parameter that matches the standard IPCC impulse response and a single parameter for the baseline CO2, 290 PPM. Everything else is data driven or comes from solid first-principles physics modeling (i.e. Fokker-Planck, convolution, conservation of matter). The leap that I made in the latest model is that I assume that an elevated global temperature anomaly will cause a continuous outgassing of CO2, following Henry’s Law and until the ocean catches up with the temperature. Since the ocean is slow to respond, the CO2 releases corresponding to the temperature change and stays in the atmosphere for the adjustment time just as fossil fuel emissions do.

      • steven mosher

        Climate sensitivity is estimated by various methods.

        1. Long term paleo: LGM about 3C
        2. Observations: volcano response, modern temperature record etc
        3. models
        4. Shorter term paleo

        The spread is really big. but it aint lower than 1C.

      • You are missing the point. Steve Mosher has it right. Look a the Paul Williams presentation. There are large numerical errors in the models and there is some effort to address that, but I’d be careful about assuming that the models are within a factor of 2 of the real system.

        I tried to get some responses on RC on this issue. I hate to say it, but I’m not sure they understood the issues. I saw that some people who do understand are trying to improve the models, but there was a reluctance to say what the literature clearly shows regarding the errors. Anyway, at that point, the hyenas moved in and started the attacks. I now know how it feels to be a sceptic in this community. It must be very discouraging to be in this field.

      • The IPCC is interesting: when they get caught making mistakes, they are never significant.
        Even though there is obvious conflicts of interest at many levels, no one does anything about them, and the reports are somehow still credible.
        The IPCC does no research, but they are cliamed to be the gold standard.
        the IPCC is controlled by a very small number of people and is demonstrated to skew its results and work, but the AGw community holds it out as infallible.
        The Catholics could learn how to rebrand the Church’s authority from this.

      • steven mosher

        “The IPCC doesn’t come up with any physics, they report on it.”

        Lets see.. wanna bet? its a climategate issue.. Jones and Trenberth invented stuff to counter Ross McKittricks paper out of whole cloth.
        We can go down that rabbit hole if you like. You wont like the smell.

        Guess the author.. no googling allowed

        “These restrictions are, to some degree mutually exclusive, so trying to apply them
        simultaneously leads to the very problems that have engendered criticism of IPCC
        assessments. For example, it is logically impossible to avoid subjectivity when developing
        conclusions from the deliberations of small groups of experts. The biases inherent in such
        activities, and attempts to overcome them, are so well documented that, by ignoring this
        literature (Morgan and Henrion 1990; see Morgan paper this issue), IPCC itself offends the
        principles on which its work supposedly stands”

        The restriction against original research is inherently impossible to uphold while at the
        same time avoiding subjective judgments. The reality is that the literature is full of gaps and
        it is simply not possible to provide a meaningful assessment without occasionally
        attempting to fill those gaps. Even the very act of organizing an assessment frequently
        creates a new conceptual framing of an important issue or topic; and so a new assessment
        is, in itself, a new contribution to the literature. For example, recall the following examples:

        The partial (and largely unsuccessful) attempt by WGI to estimate potential changes in the
        dynamical ice sheet contribution to sea level rise in the AR4 (IPCC 2007d). The final result
        has confused users and scientists alike and confounded the application of AR4 sea level
        rise scenarios to subsequent assessments of risk to coastal zones around the world for
        years. (Oppenheimer et al. 2007; Nicholls et al. 2011)

      • Exactly right. The problem is the politizatino of this issue by the likes of Mann, Trenberth, and Jones. I see Mann is giving a political talk at the meeting in Minneapolis this coming week asking who “has the back” of climate scientists. I think the answer to this question is “obvious to the most casual observer.”

  10. I’m sorry, but “trust”? Why on earth would anyone trust a political organisation? You watch this sort of quango very carefully, and if they say “water is wet” you get it independently verified…

    • Trust, but verify; then stop trusting or be shamed.
      ========

    • The IPCC reports summarize well the state of knowledge in the field.

      It’s that state of knowledge that deniers have a problem with.

      This really is a case of shooting the messenger.

      • lolwot

        If the “messenger” has been shown to “skew” the “state of knowledge” in order to get his personal “message” across, he deserves to be “shot”.

        Max

      • AR4 is the best report out there conveying the recent state of knowledge about the climate. Skeptics don’t like that knowledge, so they go after the messenger. Scrapping the IPCC is really censoring the inconvenient science.

      • er, no. Some skeptics want both. Doesn’t mean it’s the same.

      • “AR4 is the best report out there conveying the recent state of knowledge about the climate.”

        lolwot, what all of us non-Warmers understand is that you have no experience or knowledge that informs you of what the state of the science is. You can’t tell if any report is good, bad, or insignificant. Yet you act like you know something.

        Andrew

      • Suggest you read the report of the IAC Review of IPCC’s processes and procedures. The body of this report is the most damning documentation of malfeasance I have seen in 25 years of government employment.

        http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/report.html

      • AR4 is the best report out there conveying the recent state of knowledge about the climate

        This would be the ‘state of knowedge’ based on hiding data, hiding declines, pal-review, refusal of FOI, all buttressed by phoney investigations of Climategate. Makes astrology seem rock-solid, and ponzi schemes pure innocence.

      • Those are just excuses. The fact is that AR4 WG1 is a fine document conveying current knowledge of different climate subjects in the field.

        This is very educational for example:
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-1-1.html

        and this, all the recent changes in gases in the atmosphere:
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-3.html

        That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Find me a report that goes into that much detail at a layman level to summarize the field. In fact find me a report that does that for *any* scientific field.

      • Right, so to get to the truth it is necesasry to ignore the following piffling se ‘excuses’
        – hiding data
        – hiding declines
        – pal-review
        – refusal of FOI
        – phoney investigations of Climategate.

        In that case. I have a not-to-be-missed special on snake oil, ends Friday.

        Get a grip lolwot.

      • like I said those are excuses. Refusal of FOI has nothing to do with the IPCC report for example.

        Here’s some more IPCC report, what’s so wrong with this that it must be scrapped:
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-2-2-2.html

        or this:
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-2-2-3.html

      • Lolwot: So refusing to believe someone who has been shown to be lying to you, is just an ‘excuse’ now ? And to you, an ‘excuse’ is a rational reason you do not want to accept.

        How can those reports you mentionbe trusted, if we know the authors have no moral scruples, and are just working towards some politically correct conclusion, no matter what the facts. Given their overall dishonesty, how can we know what inconvenient truths they have conveniently left out or hidden ?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’d like to clear up some misinformation from lolwot:

        like I said those are excuses. Refusal of FOI has nothing to do with the IPCC report for example.

        One of the most famous e-mails found in the Climategate dossier is from Phil Jones where he requests the deletion of e-mails currently subject to an FOI request. That request was specifically tailored to cover secret communication between Keith Briffa and Eugene Wahl outside the official IPCC channels which was used to modify the IPCC AR4 to be more favorable to Wahl’s work.

        Contrary to what lolwot would have you believe, the refusal to properly handle FOI requests does have something to do with the IPCC report.

      • The Climategate emails summarize the ethics of the IPCC far better than the IPCC summarizes the “state of knowledge”:

        Michael Mann to Phil Jones: “it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back.”
        http://www.di2.nu/foia/1054736277.txt

        Jones to Mann, Bradley, and Hughes (MBH) – “PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !”
        http://www.di2.nu/foia/1109021312.txt

      • Yea, I suggest you look up Lindzen’s eye witness testimony about how the “summary” is arrived at. “Trenberth came around to the head of our chapter and started complaining. Ray PierreHumbert had to defend his environmental credentials and was shaking. And I believe he like me did not participate in the 4th.” This is not science!!

    • The IPCC is much, much more than messenger. As part of the UN its central mission is to push CAGW, which it does by carefully selecting what does and does not go into its reports.
      So forget messeger of science. It deserves to shot as a traitor or deserter.

      • no it’s central mission is not to “push CAGW”.

        It’s funny how you fellers just feel you can make stuff up while bemoaning gold standards of others.

      • Wrong, wrong, wrong. How about the scandals in AR4? The Himalayan glaciers will be gone in 30 years. That’s just totally wrong and if that’s the “summary” of the science, its rather strange.

      • No [the IPCC’s] central mission is not to “push CAGW”.

        Oh, right – like the UN’s central mission isn’t to push central governance. Which CAGW doesn’t argue for anyway.

      • Is this going to be like how it’s impossible to win an argument with Alex Jones?

      • lolwot, what reason do I have to give your views any credance?

      • The Governing Council… Mindful of the need to improve expeditiously scientific understanding of climate change, its causes and its consequences, as basis for formulating appropriate policy responses at the global, regional and national level,… Urges the Executive Director to respond positively to the decision by the Tenth Congress of the World Meteorological Organization requesting its Secretary-General, in co-operation with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme to explore and, after appropriate consultation with Governments, to establish an ad hoc intergovernmental mechanism to carry out internationally co-ordinated scientific assessments of the magnitude, timing, and potential impact of climate change;

        From the 14th meeting (of UNEP?) on 17 June 1987.

        THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL… CONSIDERING FURTHER that there is an urgent need to evaluate to what extent a climatic change can be delayed by appropriate national/international actions,… AGREES that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should be established, AGREES FURTHER: (1) That the activities of the Intergoverrunental Panel on Climate
        Change (IPCC) should be aimed at (i) assessing the scientific information that is related to the various components of the climate change issue such as emissions of major greenhouse gases and modification of the Earth’s radiation balance resulting therefrom, and that needed to enable the environmental and socio-economic consequences of climate change to be evaluated; and (ii) formulating realistic response strategies for the management of the climate change issue,

        From WMO resolution 4, 1988 (?). My bolding. Make of it what you will, or better yet, do your own research, and provide links and excerpts, rather than just throwing “facts” around.

        I found the links above at the IPCC site, here.

    • Rik Meucci

      Well said, though you go not far enough, and no doubt lament much of the commentary of those souls who believe they are agreeing with you.

      Trust is not a positive value in science. It is not earned, nor treasured, sought after nor useful.

      Science advances by the funerals of the trusted.

      The sooner any science body earns distrust, the better it has done the work of public relations that inspires independent verification and validation.

      Skepticism — evenhanded, complete, plodding, eager ever to say “a plague on both your houses,” guided by reason, elements of mathematical understanding, and the humility to accept that some things may never be knowable — that is the right approach to all science.

      As to political organizations.. why listen in the first place to what they say?

      Listen to what is said of real things, and then in passing if you happen to come across political reaction, commentary or spin, take it into account if it is of any value, but if you don’t know water to be wet by the time you are hearing it from politicians, you’ve been leading a sheltered life of ignorance.

      Which is pretty much the gauge of the sort of people who allow themselves to be led by their political organs.

      Which would be why I tend to reject the assertion of a predominantly political nature of the IPCC — .the interpreters and critics, handlers and commentators, sure, they’re political, but the output of the IPCC includes statements I can independently verify and validate, and take or leave as I deem by objective measure based in science.

      Since I already take nothing on trust, I — or any real skeptic — just can’t trust those who call anti-scientifically for a trusted authority of their choosing to replace the IPCC.

      • Exactly. Trust. Faith. Belief. These can be dirty words where science (or software) is concerned.
        Every finding should be verified, tested to destruction (if possible). Doubt is your friend :-).

  11. Given the IPCC’s dogged resistance to both integrity and change, it should without any doubt be summarily defunded and scrapped. This can be done independently of devising one or more replacements.

  12. As a professional scientist but not a professional climatologist, my understanding of the field has come about through a grounding in basic sources combined with a dedicated following of the literature on a monthly basis. This has allowed me to become knowledgeable in the subject without reaching the expertise level of those who do climate science for a living. My education has been little based on the IPCC, whose reports I began to read only after I already knew something about the subject.

    Viewing the IPCC from this perspective, my own conclusion is twofold. First, the IPCC has been an extraordinarily valuable resource to the international community that needs to be maintained and improved rather than marginalized or scrapped. Second, and probably more importantly, most of the reliable contributions have come from WG1, whereas WG2 and WG3 have suffered from significant problems that warrant a re-evaluation to determine how they can be recalibrated to more dependably serve public needs.

    WG1 is of course the group reporting on the scientific basis underlying climate change. Having read its reports from a background of independent understanding, I have found them to be accurate and informative in almost all respects. This is not to say that no parts have been controversial. In AR4, for example, questions have been raised about the shape of pdfs chosen as Bayesian priors in probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity, but these are judgment issues rather than examples of misinformation. A recent thread here also linked to an issue of Climatic Change discussing how uncertainty can be better addressed in AR5, but it would be a mistake to assert that uncertainty has been neglected in AR4. In my view, there have been some tendencies by critics to overstate uncertainty, but again these are judgments that can be dealt with professionally. (The TAR, of course, suffered from the hockey stick controversy and the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct, but AR4 is not similarly tainted). All in all, the many thousands of individual conclusions that have emanated from WG1 provide an excellent overview of climate change science in my view. I believe that disagreements on WG1 conclusions should be devoted to individual items rather than sweeping generalizations. Equally important, such disagreements, to deserve serious attention, should come from individuals with detailed knowledge of the science. If that happens, I hope WG1 authors will pay heed.

    I believe that WG2 and WG3 are where the main problems lie. If the IPCC is to be significantly changed rather than merely refined, it is here that the changes should be made. These include much better documentation of the basis for conclusions, particularly those not derivable from the peer-reviewed literature. They also include more scrupulous devotion to objectivity so as to balance findings in one direction with those of equal merit in a different direction. This has been particularly important for WG3 assessments of mitigation strategies that have often appeared to represent idealized rather than realistic scenarios. I make these statements about WG2 and WG3, however, based on comments from others who seem well informed in these areas, because my own understanding is much less here than it is on the scientific basis covered by WG1.

    My overall suggestion then is that a discussion of IPCC reform should separate approaches to WG1 (which can be improved but needn’t be radically restructured) from those directed to WG2 and WG3, which may require a more severe revision.

    • Fred

      It’s nice to know that there is still at least one loyal “believer” in the IPCC.

      Max

    • Fred, you write “WG1 is of course the group reporting on the scientific basis underlying climate change. Having read its reports from a background of independent understanding, I have found them to be accurate and informative in almost all respects.”

      I find this interesting. I have read the WG1 repors, and I find the physics to be absolute garbage in the really vital parts; e.g. the estimation of climate sensitivity from change in radiative forcing. I suppose that is what makes the ball game.

      • But Fred’s right about this part:

        Second, and probably more importantly, most of the reliable contributions have come from WG1, whereas WG2 and WG3 have suffered from significant problems that warrant a re-evaluation to determine how they can be recalibrated to more dependably serve public needs.

        Whatever WG1 may be, it only goes downhill from there.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Fred Moolten, it would help if you didn’t make bold statements without having the knowledge to justify them. You say:

      (The TAR, of course, suffered from the hockey stick controversy and the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct, but AR4 is not similarly tainted).

      This is nonsense. In actuality, AR4 has more known issues of what you refer to than the TAR (whether because it is worse or the increased scrutiny I don’t know). For example, in the TAR, the hockeystick was given undue attention due to self-promotion by the authors of it, but at least one could argue the work wasn’t known to be wrong. That defense cannot be used for what happened with the hockeystick In the AR4. Again, self-promotion was a problem, but now reviewer comments were made which raised issues, and often were completely disregarded (or responded to with false claims). For example, when a reviewer (Steve McIntyre) said adverse data should not be omitted from a graph, his comment was rejected with nothing more than:

      Rejected – though note ‘divergence” issue will be discussed, still considered inappropriate to show recent section of Briffa et al. series

      Adverse data was willfully withheld with no more explanation than it would be “inappropriate to show” it. For an issue not regarding reviewer comments, we can look at what I consider one of the most ridiculous issues regarding the IPCC, one which few people who support the IPCC (if any) have condemned. After the final round of reviews for the AR4, text discussing work by Steve McIntyre was significantly changed in order to be more favorable to the “Team,” a change not suggested by any reviewer comment. This change was based entirely upon the work of Wahl and Amman.

      So how did the change happen? Keith Briffa, lead author of the chapter, was in secret communication with Eugene Wahl in direct subversion of IPCC guidelines, and he used the suggestions of Wahl to change the IPCC report to be more favorable to Wahl’s work. Later, when David Holland filed an FOI request which would cover this communication, Phil Jones sent his now infamous e-mail requesting the deletion of e-mails which were subject to a current FOI request, in direct violation of the law.

      There is a lot more to that story, and there are other stories, but my point here is simple. I have no idea what makes you claim the AR4 “is not similarly tainted” by “the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards,” but it is not any sort of actual knowledge. Even the slightest familiarity with the controversies surrounding the IPCC should be enough for anyone to know your claim is false.

      If you want anyone to agree with your attempts to defend the IPCC, you are going to have to admit obvious truths rather than hand-wave them away.

      • Brandon – I don’t know what has happened to you in your personal life over the past few months, and it’s none of my business, except that it has affected your participation in this blog. At one time, it was my impression that you made substantive comments. In recent months, you have substituted disparaging remarks about others (many others, mostly not including me), the substance has disappeared, and many of your comments have simply been wrong or devoted to quibbles about peripheral issues. Your comment above isn’t really responsive to my earlier comments, which focused almost entirely on the scientific validity of WG1. Whether there were still issues about temperature records of the past millennium is peripheral to that point, but they were more of a TAR problem than an AR4 problem, because the the concept was more central. AR4 scientific validity was not significantly affected, regardless of what one thinks about judgments made by individuals about how the temperature record should be handled. Whether you approve or not, that is why I believe it’s reasonable to consider TAR more tainted by the hockey stick issue. In other words, it’s about whether the WG1 report offered an accurate picture of the science. The answer is yes, with minor exceptions.

        I hope you reconsider the way you participate in this blog if you want once again to make useful contributions.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fred Moolten, your response here is nonsensical. Before I get to that though, I want to address something. If you, or anyone else, is interested in my personal life, I’m happy to discuss it. However, it hasn’t affected (or at least, hasn’t changed) how I post on here at all. I am posting in the exact same manner as I ever would. Intentional or not, you are simply making things up. It’s peculiar, and I’d be interested in discussing it further. If that’s not acceptable to you, I have to ask you to stop saying these things. I don’t mind criticisms, but if you’re going to level criticisms against me, I deserve the opportunity to answer them. Otherwise, you’re just insulting me. I’ve directly disputed this same point when you’ve raised it before, and you refused to engage me on it then. I hope you won’t do the same now.

        With that said, let’s turn to your response. You say:

        Your comment above isn’t really responsive to my earlier comments, which focused almost entirely on the scientific validity of WG1

        This is a nonsensical remark. It doesn’t matter what your comment was “focused almost entirely on.” I responded to one specific thing you said in it. Whether or not it was part of the main thrust of your comment, it is something you said, and it was perfectly appropriate for me to respond to it. You also say:

        [T]hey were more of a TAR problem than an AR4 problem, because the the concept was more central. AR4 scientific validity was not significantly affected, regardless of what one thinks about judgments made by individuals about how the temperature record should be handled. Whether you approve or not, that is why I believe it’s reasonable to consider TAR more tainted by the hockey stick issue. In other words, it’s about whether the WG1 report offered an accurate picture of the science. The answer is yes, with minor exceptions.

        Whether or not the AR4 WG1 “offered an accurate picture of the science” in general has no bearing on what I responded to, or what I said. I responded, very specifically, to this comment of yours:

        (The TAR, of course, suffered from the hockey stick controversy and the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct, but AR4 is not similarly tainted).

        There was no context or caveat which would indicate you were saying the AR4 “not similarly tainted” because the hockeystick had less focus in the AR4, as you now say. If that’s your position, so be it, but that isn’t what you said. It’s ridiculous to criticize me for responding to what you said rather than something I could only read if I were a practitioner of telepathy.

        Since I’m not psychic, I have to respond to what you post, and I did exactly that. If you err in what you post, that’s your mistake, not mine. You could have easily responded by saying, “That comment of mine was unclear. I didn’t mean to say the AR4 has better behavior than the TAR, but rather, that any such bad behavior was located in less central parts of the report.” You didn’t. Instead, you falsely claimed my comment was non-responsive. You didn’t indicate any way in which I had misinterpreted your words, and you didn’t show any way in which my logic was flawed. You simply hand-waved away what I said while changing your stated position. Oh, and you talked at length about me and my personal life.

        If I misinterpreted your words, I’ll be happy to admit my mistake. I hope you’ll do the same if it turns out you didn’t say what you meant to say.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I seem to be incapable of using blockquote tags properly, and I don’t know why. Sorry for messing that up.

      • Brandon – I think the tone of your recent postings has been altered by something – whether your personal life or something else I can’t know – and the comments are more combative but less credible than previously. Everything else I have to say is already stated in my earlier comment. If you have something useful to contribute about the scientific validity of AR4 WG1 beyond a repetition of how that particular temperature curve was handled, that would be of interest. I find the value of WG1 scientific assessments to be an important element of the IPCC process, and I have no reason not to repeat my conclusion that those scientific assessments are highly accurate, regardless of disagreements on individual points.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fred Moolten, this exchange started when you made this comment:

        (The TAR, of course, suffered from the hockey stick controversy and the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct, but AR4 is not similarly tainted).

        I responded by discussing examples which showed a “failure of some of the leading participants [of the IPCC AR4] to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct.” I indicated these examples made your comment unsupportable. This was a clear and simple disagreement. You said one thing, and I directly responded by saying why (I felt) you were wrong.

        Your response to me did not address this simple disagreement. You did not attempt to show my interpretation of your words was wrong. You did not indicate any errors in the logic I used within my comment. Instead, you said was my comment was non-responsive. You claimed my response to you did not address the main point of your comment, an irrelevant point as my response was directed at one specific remark you had made, not your comment as a whole. You also made a comment which seemed to indicate your initial remark did not say what you had meant it to say.

        I responded again, explaining the above. After showing your response did not address the actual disagreement we were having, I showed how said disagreement could have stemmed from nothing but faulty wording on your part. Having made the situation quite clear, I offered to admit being wrong if you could show such.

        You’ve now responded by ignoring what I said. Your latest response in no way addresses anything I said on the subject of our disagreement. Instead, you’ve chosen to avoid engaging me on an issue after making false claims. In doing so, you let those false claims stand. Given what I know of your intelligence, I can only see this as dishonesty on your part. Either you are somehow deluding yourself into thinking you’ve suitably addressed the disagreement we’re having, or you are knowingly refusing to retract false claims. I do not make claims of dishonesty lightly, but I do not see any explanation which is more favorable (if someone offers me one, I’d be happy to go with it instead).

        If things are left as they stand, there is no point in continuing this exchange. The disagreement is simple for any readers to understand it, and you’ve indicated you won’t make any effort to resolve it. Given this, I can see no room for progress. As for the issue of me and my personal life, you’ve offered nothing but vague remarks completely unsupported by anything, and I’ve denied those. I find them offensive, and since you apparently won’t engage me in any real discussion, you’re doing nothing more than repeatedly attacking my credibility without any basis.

        I think it’s unfortunate things have reached this point, but they have, and there is nothing I can do about it. I’m still open to a reasonable discussion about our disagreement, but unless you change your behavior, that won’t be possible.

      • there is no point in continuing this exchange

        I’m glad we agree.

      • This non-exchange exemplifies the debate. Fred ducks. Brandon wins.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Wojick, all it takes to win an argument is to refuse to admit mistakes, refuse to address what your critics say, and level baseless criticisms at any who dare disagree with you. Fred Moolten is just taking his cues from the playbook of the IPCC and related parties.

        Obviously it’s a good idea. I mean, it’s worked so well so far.

      • Brandon Shollenberger 10/07/11, 4:17 pm, IPCC discussion

        Fred Moolten 10/7/11, 6:05 pm, wrote,

        FM: Brandon – I don’t know what has happened to you in your personal life over the past few months, and it’s none of my business, except that it has affected your participation in this blog. At one time, it was my impression that you made substantive comments. In recent months, you have substituted disparaging remarks about others (many others, mostly not including me), the substance has disappeared, and many of your comments have simply been wrong or devoted to quibbles about peripheral issues. Your comment above isn’t really responsive to my earlier comments, which focused almost entirely on the scientific validity of WG1.

        Here’s a second opinion. Nothing adverse can be deduced about your personal life from your writings. Your criticism of Fred’s post of 10/6/11 at 4:26 pm was accurate, and reserved. You might have gone even further. Specifically, IPCC neither retracted nor removed Mann’s Hockey Stick in AR4, as FM wrongly suggests.

        IPCC retained the original Hockey Stick, but buried it in a manufactured spaghetti graph. This was an unconscionable and unprofessional attempt by IPCC to make Mann’s Hockey Stick appear to be as good as any of the contemporary reductions, suitable for showing modern warming is unprecedented and caused by man.

        Mann’s reduction is quantitatively different. The average of the other 11 reductions show a weak Medieval Warming Period and some signs of a weak, shortened, and delayed Little Ice Age. The signal-to-noise ratio in Mann’s reduction is so poor that he could not detect either of these major climatic events. The others do, tending to validate that the tree ring method actually contains some temperature signal.

        IPCC failed to detect the weak signal in the data set, but it routinely fails to detect signals in its data (e.g., solubility effects in atmospheric CO2, and the puny climate signals in the El Niño/La Niña events, have a profound effect on humanity, and in Svensmark’s solar wind/GCR model.). IPCC authors fail to demonstrate the most rudimentary skills in signal analysis. Instead of using the other reductions constructively, IPCC shifted their means and scaled their variances to mask Mann’s work, and to justify retaining it.

        These traces also show that IPCC blended data from its proxy sources into the modern instrument record. It created similar hockey sticks for methane, nitrous oxide, and sulphate.

        Expecting measurements of the same quantities from differing instruments and proxies to match is incompetent. To calibrate them to match is problematic, and deceitful if the calibrations are not made public and obvious to the reader. To show only the result of dry-labbing (arithmetically blending) data from different sources into a smooth result is fraud. These manufactured diagrams are not to solve the riddle of climate, but to fool the public into thinking the impossible: that man is dangerously altering climate. It is all directed to weaken economically successful nations, to dislodge grant money, and for personal power and recognition.

        Such actions by a contractor for the US government are likely to result in jail time. No such restrictions burden government and university laboratories. Fred Moolten’s claim that AR4 is not similarly tainted is preposterous. Every IPCC author should recognize these methods as deceitful, unprofessional, and unethical.

      • What you attributed to me, Jeff, is inaccurate. There are also other factual inaccuracies in your statement regarding the science itself that have been addressed in response to previous comments in this blog.

      • Fred Moolten 10/08/11, 12:40 pm, IPCC discussion

        FM: What you attributed to me, Jeff, is inaccurate. There are also other factual inaccuracies in your statement … .

        For example?

        Empty accusations suffice for nothing.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’m not going to touch on most of what you discuss, but for the record, I don’t agree with your usage of “fraud” here. While you may have an argument for their approach being wrong, perhaps seriously so, there is nothing to support calling it a fraud.

        As for the disagreement Fred and I had over the IPCC AR4, you are right to suggest there is much more I could have said. As your first link shows, the IPCC had no problem including MBH’s graph in the AR4, but it’s even worse in this figure. In that figure, one of the eight proxies displayed is MBH’s PC1, despite the fact it is known to be flawed. In fact, the NAS panel explicitly said it shouldn’t be used, but the IPCC used it anyway. It’s as though the IPCC just didn’t care what anyone thought. I remember reading Steve Mcintyre’s blog post about this when he first posted it, and it was then I gave up on the IPCC.

        Anyway, this is all a sideshow (as are all the other things I didn’t discuss) if I’ve interpreted Fred Moolten’s contradictory comments correctly. It would seem his view is the hockey stick didn’t matter as much for the AR4, so therefore any corruption or misbehavior involved in it wouldn’t matter much. Of course, this isn’t what he originally said, at all, but that apparently doesn’t matter to him. As for me, I don’t see how one can seriously argue the flagrant dishonesty and stupidity shown in chapter six of the AR4 is unimportant. If the first section of the IPCC report which received much scrutiny had that many issues, why would anyone to believe the rest was fine?

        In the same way, can anyone honestly tell me they read the exchange between Fred and I and came away thinking Fred was a trustworthy source? If he posts comments which are that irrational/dishonest/whatever, and he stands by them, doesn’t it make you pause and wonder every time you read anything from him?

      • Brandon Shollenberger 10/08/11, 4:31 pm, IPCC discussion

        BS: I don’t agree with your usage of “fraud” here. While you may have an argument for their approach being wrong, perhaps seriously so, there is nothing to support calling it a fraud.

        Fraud. An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right. Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.

        Human’s have had no measurable effect on climate, a truth IPCC perverted, for example, but not exclusively, with regard to human emissions of CO2, NO2, S2O, and CH4. It did so by calibrations, smoothing, shifting and scaling of data, and arithmetically altering data, all in secret and all intentional, so that different ancient sources for these gas concentrations in the atmosphere would blend together with modern instrument data, suggesting that the present concentrations were unprecedented, and hence attributable to humans since the industrial era and the introduction of modern instruments.

        IPCC addressed their perversion to “PolicyMakers” in various governments so that they would cut back their use of fossil fuels, a thing of value, and to surrender their right to the prosperity gained from exploitation of those fuels.

        You may not agree that human’s have no measurable effect on climate, but if so, that would be your lack of knowledge. Earth’s climate, as measured by IPCC’s best estimate of global surface temperature, follows IPCC’s best solar model with an accuracy comparable to IPCC’s best smoothed estimate for global surface temperature over the entire 140 year history of thermometers. Click on my name for the analysis. Human’s obviously have not affected the Sun very much.

        On the other hand, perhaps you have an IPCC-friendly definition of fraud. Won’t you share it?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh, I forgot to mention something Jeff Glassman. You are wrong to say Fred Moolten suggested the IPCC “retracted [or] removed Mann’s Hockey Stick in AR4.” He didn’t do that.

        I imagine this is what he was calling inaccurate about your comment, but since you attributed several things to him, and his response to you was rather oblique, it’s hard to be sure.

      • Brandon Shollenberger 10/08/11, 4:36 pm, IPCC discussion

        BS: Oh, I forgot to mention something Jeff Glassman. You are wrong to say Fred Moolten suggested the IPCC “retracted [or] removed Mann’s Hockey Stick in AR4. He didn’t do that.

        I imagine this is what he was calling inaccurate about your comment, but since you attributed several things to him, and his response to you was rather oblique, it’s hard to be sure.

        FM: (The TAR, of course, suffered from the hockey stick controversy and the failure of some of the leading participants to adhere to appropriate standards of professional conduct, but AR4 is not similarly tainted). 10/6/11, 4:28 pm; quoted by Brandon Shollenberger! 10/7/11, 4:17 pm.

        What exactly is Fred Moolten suggesting here? He says the TAR was tainted by A (the Mann’s Hockey Stick) AND B (professional misconduct), but not AR4. So AR4 has the property of either ~A OR ~B. It couldn’t be ~B because the same professionals, guilty of professional misconduct in time for the TAR, contributed again to AR4 (e.g., Phil Jones, Mann, Briffa appear for both Reports), and they could not be rehabilitated by anything said or done in AR4. Therefore, Fred Moolten SUGGESTS (he can’t quite be definite) AR4 was not tainted by the appearance of Mann’s Hockey Stick. IPCC must have removed or retracted it.

        In fact, IPCC did neither. IPCC preserved it and falsely masked it, all to emphasize it.

        Your imagination has run wild. Moolten’s suggestion is plain on its face.

      • Jeff – I doubt that too many people are paying attention to this, but as I already mentioned, you misrepresented me. My main point, made much earlier, is that AR4 WG1 is a valuable resource that provides an accurate picture of the state of climate science, despite a few areas of controversy, while WG2 and WG3 are less commendable. Of the few problem areas in WG1, the most significant in my view for accurate scientific interpretation is the choice of the shape of pdfs used as Bayesian priors for climate sensitivity estimates, but this is a judgment issue rather than a case of identifiable error. Any concerns about the hockey stick are trivial by comparison and were peripheral to the point I was making.

        Regarding the hockey stick, AR4 has appropriately given it much less emphasis than the TAR – this is appropriate because a small Northern Hemisphere temperature difference between now and one thousand years ago is of very marginal scientific interest. This removed an important vulnerability that characterized the TAR. AR4 also conceded that because of the divergence between proxy and recent measured data, proxy data from earlier times could legitimately be questioned as well. This statement in AR4 has not always been acknowledged by critics, but it further reduced the significance of the issue – again appropriately. Those who claim that curve itself should have been redrawn are correct, in my view, but I also believe the entire controversy had been relegated to a low consequence event by then. Ironically, the significant overhyping of the HS associated with the TAR was matched by overhyping by critics later, when deficiencies in the process came to light along with evidence for inappropriate interference in the process by Phil Jones and a few others. All of these points are consistent with a view I have held for some time regarding WG1. You are welcome to a different view, but unless I see evidence that other readers want to see this argument continued, I probably won’t respond.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        This is hilarious. Fred Moolten just told Jeff Glassman,

        Jeff – I doubt that too many people are paying attention to this, but as I already mentioned, you misrepresented me.

        He then spent over 300 words without actually saying a word about how Glassman supposedly misrepresented him. Instead, he used it as a springboard to jump off on some other subject. He made an accusation in 20 words, then spent 300 words discussing anything but the accusation.

        It’s dumbfounding.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        And again, I prove I am terrible with blockquotes. Sorry about that. I really don’t know why it keeps happening.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jeff Glassman, Fred Moolten didn’t say the TAR was tainted because it included Mann’s hockey stick. He said the TAR was tainted by the hockey stick controversy. While related, these are two different things. A report could include Mann’s hockey stick while not being tainted by the controversy (by not supporting it’s results, but perhaps pointing to it as a historical reference). A report could also be tainted by the hockey stick controversy without including Mann’s hockey stick, perhaps by including other papers with the same flaws (such as Mann’s 2008 hockey stick). I know this distinction is small, but it is a real one, not just a product of my imagination.

        Of course, given how small the distinction is, one could argue Fred Moolten did suggest what you claim he suggested simply because it would be unreasonable to expect people to catch the distinction. In that case, what you said could be considered accurate, but unclear. I’d have no problem with that position if it’s what you intend, though it isn’t the impression I got from your comment.

      • Brandon Shollenberger 10/08/11, 7:23 pm, IPCC discussion

        BS: Fred Moolten didn’t say the TAR was tainted because it included Mann’s hockey stick. He said the TAR was tainted by the hockey stick controversy.

        The TAR, Climate Change 2001, was indeed tainted as you describe, but after the fact. The controversy tainted the TAR only because the TAR not just published but prominently featured Mann’s Hockey Stick. McIntyre and McKitrick exposed and debunked Mann’s opus in November, 2003.

        IPCC gave that HS construction top billing among all its work in the TAR. It appears as Figure 1(!) of its Summary for Policy Makers, page 3. It appears as Figure 5 of IPCC’s Technical Summary of WGI, page 29. It appears most completely as Figures 2.20 and 2.21 of TAR Chapter 2, page 134.

        IPCC appeared to drop the hockey stick reconstruction, with some discussion in AR4, Climate Change 2007, where IPCC rehabilitated the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. AR4, ¶6.6.1.1 What Do Reconstructions Based on Palaeoclimatic Proxies Show?, page 466, and see Figure 6.10, p. 467. However, as described above, the HS still resides in AR4, validated by making it falsely appear to be unresolvable among 11 other such reconstructions, all of which surge into the modern temperature record, accompanied by the magical disappearance of instrument noise.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jeff Glassman, I’m not I understand the point of your response here, but it sounds like you’re accepting the distinction I pointed to (and which you originally considered a figment of my imagination). If so, great. If not, I don’t think it’s worth pursuing the point.

        For what it’s worth, I do largely agree with what you’ve said in this comment, and I vigorously disagree with what you said in this one. I don’t intend to pursue either issue though, largely because your attitude is obnoxious and the subjects of our disagreement bore me.

  13. John Whitman

    Tony Brown,

    Before I launch into the discussion and questions you set up so nicely, I thank you for a well written kickoff post.

    You made it easy to grab many essential points about the IPCC’s past, present and future.

    John

  14. I wrote in February about my thoughts on, how IPCC should change on my own blog.

    I concluded that it’s not any more reasonable to publish WG1 material regularly in book form. The activity could be replaced by a web-based continuous process, which would cover literature more widely.

    Of the WG2 and WG3 coverage a fraction could follow the same approach, while most should be taken totally off from an organization that has essentially the same nature that IPCC has now, because there’s too little actual science behind those activities. Instead there’s gray literature, which is highly biased, and direct conflicts of interest on many issues.

    • Pekka

      Attempts to rehabilitate IPCC by changing the approach it uses in publishing its reports might once have been a good thing, but they miss the basic point, to which Judith has also alluded in her paper cited on the “uncertainty” thread.

      The IPCC “consensus process” has introduced bias in the selection and presentation of the reported science..

      Add to this the fact that it is the brief of the IPCC to report on human-induced climate change, its impacts and possible mitigation steps.

      Quite logically, if there is no perceptible human effect and no potentially deleterious impact, then there is also no need for any mitigation steps and no need for IPCC to continue its existence.

      IOW the premise of potentially alarming human-induced climate change is existential for IPCC.

      This has spawned the need for the “consensus process” (i.e. groupthink) and for the bias in this process, which IMO has ultimately been a principal cause for the loss of confidence and trust in IPCC.

      Max

      • Max,
        IPCC didn’t initiate the worry about climate change. The basic evidence that led to the worry has a longer history. Nothing has reversed that evidence. People due argue on the strength of the evidence, but it’s most certainly stronger than it was, when IPCC was created. There’s no possibility that anybody could prove now or in foreseeable future that the risk is not real. Thus there’s neither any possibility that an unbiased IPCC would prove that it’s not needed due to that lack of risk. There are uncertainties, but the uncertainties are such that serious damage from AGW is a real possibility.

        Political decision makers continue to need information about the climate change. So far IPCC has been the most central provider of that information. If IPCC is dismantled, the governments must find some other method for obtaining that information. That might proceed through several national bodies that collaborate with each other rather than one international IPCC.

        My preferred solution would be a different IPCC, where the new continuous process of maintaining a data base on climate related scientific results would be built with a more flexible multilayer set of criteria for the papers to be included. That should be done in such a way that the critical views have a better channel for being voiced. What that would mean in practice requires further work.

        The other change would be that areas where real science is seriously immature or totally lacking would be excluded from that model. Science gets mature, when several independent groups have published on closely related issues and in that provided independent verification of earlier work. One single paper that has somehow managed to get published in a peer reviewed journal doesn’t make that and gray literature even less. This means that much of the WG2 could not be written at all.

        Similarly should such areas as the development of renewable energy solutions be excluded, because that area is throughout dominated by direct economic conflicts of interest.

        Policy issues are very important and should be analyzed by several competent bodies, but that’s again an area that cannot be handled properly by the IPCC model that has been built to apply properly only to relatively mature fields of science not too directly connected to actual decision making. The declared IPCC principle: “policy relevant but not policy prescriptive” cannot be applied to work with a direct connection to policies.

      • Pekka,

        Similarly should such areas as the development of renewable energy solutions be excluded, because that area is throughout dominated by direct economic conflicts of interest.

        If I understand you correctly, you think that analysis of the policy implications of renewables should not be part of the purview of the IPCC.

        How, then, given that such analysis is inherently related to global manifestations of energy consumption, and inherently linked to the scientific analysis of climate change, do you think that such analysis should be organized?

      • steven mosher

        Joshua even supporters of the IPCC have suggested different approches for the science ( WG1) and the other working groups. IN fact I would argue that the new RCPs are designed to divorce the “science” of emissions and energy consumption from the science of climate change. But you won’t know an SRES from an RCP if it hit you in the head. IDJT

      • Actually, steven, I largely agree with Pekka’s suggestions – and said so earlier in the thread. But don’t let that reality get in the way of your false conclusions about what I do and don’t think, based on your false categorizations of my viewpoint, and false interpretations of my motivations.

        Why should you stop with any of that at this point?

        My question to him was about how he suggested organizing analysis of the cost and benefits of renewables on a global scale. Try actually reading what I write, next time, before responding.

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        Joshua-

        Pekka’s opinion is succinct and brilliant. Your response is noise pollution. It does not deserve Mosher’s faint praise of (CLVR) IDJT.

        To re-cap my read. Pekka establishes that it is sufficient for the IPCC to concern itself with only solid climate science. He asks the speculative question of whether or not the biased claims of renewables companies and supporters qualify as solid science. You ask the rhetorical question: How then does he propose to deal with the scientific analysis of the policy implications concerning the biased claims of renewables companies and their supporters. And you weren’t joking.

        Slow down. Your friend, BlueIce.

    • Pekka

      Whoever is doing the publishing, it makes sense to have a continual online asessment process rather than publish a ‘book’ every few years .
      tonyb

  15. Right Joshua, just like Climate-gate didn’t weaken the alarmist position in the eyes of the public. Talk about denial.

    As to the recommendation that we turn this over to independent scientists in related fields with no particular climate axe to grind, it’s a good idea but it ain’t gonna happen.

    In any case, I’m troubled by the premise. In the last analysis I don’t want to be told what to think by some sort of designated science super-committee. When did the notion arise that the public has to be spoon fed information they can go out and get for themselves…?

    • Right Joshua, just like Climate-gate didn’t weaken the alarmist position in the eyes of the public. Talk about denial.

      It seems that you think that claims about causation re: the impact of “Climategate” on significant changes in public opinion are supported by evidence.

      Would you mind supplying a link to your evidence?

      • Joshua has a point in that confidence in the IPCC was already disappearing before Climategate – due eg to comments like Jones’s “Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll just try and find something wrong with it”, ilustrating the the IPCC’s contempt for / ignorance of for the process of science

      • Actually, Punksta, there were changes in the public view of climate change prior to “Climategate,” and there appear to have been changes subsequent to “Climategate” – the most recent of which suggest greater belief that AGW is taking place. Which is why I”m asking for evidence of causation rather than facile conclusions based on correlation.

        But back to the claim made by Tony in this post, and to the related question that I’ve asked that manacker and you have, apparently,m ducked.

        Do you have any evidence for the claim of causation that, apparently, you think is supported by data? Maybe you aren’t ducking the question, and you do have evidence.

        To show that’s the case, could you please supply a link or give an explanation of the evidence that you think exists?

        Is that really so complicated?

      • Joshua,
        Neo-Eve, the first humanist to feel the wind of Fall?
        What’s next?
        Leaves, many more yet to feel the clinch, that comes with the end of the growing season.
        The Red Fall?
        Eye for one, can hardly wait to see.

      • Eh?? No, your criticism is what is facile. That Climategate isn’t the only cause, doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause at all. Obviously.

        Here, again, is what Tony wrote:

        there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks.

        So – there has been “massive” loss of trust and credibility as a result of “Climategate,” but it is only one cause – the rest of which Tony somehow neglects to mention?

        lol!

        So, where’s that evidence to support that “massive” change as the result of “Climategate?”

        Still waiting….. You duck, manacker ducks, Tony ducks.

        You guys are such die-hard “skeptics.”

      • That Climategate isn’t the only cause, doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause at all. Obviously.
        >
        Here, again, is what Tony wrote:
        there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks.

        Here, again, is the answer you duck : That Climategate isn’t the only cause, doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause at all. Simple matter of logic.

        So, where’s that evidence to support that “massive” change as the result of “Climategate?”
        Still waiting….. You duck, manacker ducks, Tony ducks.

        So you really think confidence didn’t drop any faster when Climategate happened? What’s your evidence?

      • Roy –

        Mostly older polls – none of which have anything to do with measuring the impact of “Climategate.”

        It really is interesting how when I ask for evidence for Tony’s statement about the “massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as the result of Climategate,” what I get in response is not evidence of Tony’s conclusion.

        It might make one think that “sketpics:” believe that no such evidence exists, and yet, they are unshaken in their belief that conclusions like ?Tony’s are justified.

        Look – I don’t know what the impact of “Climategate” is – that’s why I”m asking for evidence. If you don’t have any, just say so.

      • And Roy,

        Even further still, why would you offer polls that don’t give evidence to support Tony’s conclusions, even as you tell me that you place no confidence in polls?

        I honestly don’t understand how that makes any sense, unless the explanation is that you feel a reflexive need to defend the conclusions of someone like Tony – so much so that in response to my questioning, you’d offer basically irrelevant data that you think is meaningless anyway.

      • That Climategate isn’t the only cause, doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause at all. Obviously.

        It may be just me, but I see quite a difference between that statement, and the one that I’ve been questioning:

        But regardless whether or not “corrupt” is too strong a word to use to describe this process, there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks.

      • So when I agree with you that public confidence in th IPCC was NOT just caused by Climategate, you ask me to subtantiate thet public confidence WAS caused by Climategate. Eh ???

        It (and belief in CAGW generally) has of course been steadily declining for years. I cannot see any reason for this other than the revelations of undeniable systemtic dishonesty in the CAGW camp. Can you?

      • OK – so you don’t think that “Climategate,” only, caused a change in general public opinion. Therefore, you agree that Tony’s claim of causation is facile, and not based on data, or at least not qualified as precisely as it should be. I am sorry for misinterpreting your opinion.

        I cannot see any reason for this other than the revelations of undeniable systemtic dishonesty in the CAGW camp. Can you?

        I think that there is too much noise in the data to discern an overriding trend. It depends, of course, on the start dates and end dates of your analysis. My sense is that there aren’t enough data to determine a trend with confidence. What will general opinion be in 15 years? I suspect it will have virtually nothing to do with “Climategate,” and much to do with the weather, as distinguished from climate, during that period of time.

        Accordingly, if your assertion is true that an overall downward trend is discernible, then yes, I could think of another possible reason: After initially believing in the theory based on reports about climate change in the media, many people are doubtful about long term trends that run counter to their short-term experiences. As such, when we had a spate of clearly warmer summers, belief in the theory of AGW ran higher. After a period of colder winters, belief diminished. (That would be consistent with a recent spike in belief after a spate of extreme weather that received a lot of public attention.)

        Another factor might be that people are largely not aware of the % of scientific experts who agree with, versus disagree with, the “consensus” view on climate change. This could also be largely attributable to media exposure – and efforts by the rightwing mainstream media (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Ingraham, Bennett, Savage, Alex Jones, Fox News, Medved), and rightwing politicians (Inhofe, Perry, etc.) that have been very public in asserting that AGW theory is supported by only a minority of politically or financially driven scientists. That potential causality is supported by polls which show that a high % of the public thinks that support for AGW in the scientific community is lower than the available data show (although causation there remains to be proven).

      • OK – so you don’t think that “Climategate,” only, caused a change in general public opinion. Therefore, you agree that Tony’s claim of causation is facile

        Eh?? No, your criticism is what is facile. That Climategate isn’t the only cause, doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause at all. Obviously.

        And you think the public will slowly just forget what a buch of liars and crooks the IPCC are. Well I suppose that is what you precommitted alarmists hope for.

      • “I think that there is too much noise in the data to discern an overriding trend. It depends, of course, on the start dates and end dates of your analysis. My sense is that there aren’t enough data to determine a trend with confidence. What will general opinion be in 15 years?”

        We’ll make an AGW skeptic of you yet Joshua, if you keep thinking like this!

      • Jim S.

        We’ll make an AGW skeptic of you yet Joshua, if you keep thinking like this!.

        I am a born skeptic, born into a long line of skeptics, and raised on skepticism.

        Despite wrong being called a “believer” at this site many times, I am an “AGW skeptic.” I see reasons to doubt AGW theory. However, I am not well-versed enough in the science, nor intelligent enough, to evaluate the technical details. That’s why I look, to the best of my abilities, at the arguments on the different sides to see if I can find “motivated reasoning.” I have seen some evidence of motivated reasoning and tribalism on the “pro-consensus side.”

        And when Tony Brown writes the kinds of statements that I read at the top of this post – saying that there is “no doubt” that
        “massive” loss of trust and credibility in the general public about climate change can be attributed to “Climategate” – and then so-called “climate skeptics” sign on to defend such a claim of causation when neither he nor they are able to supply sufficient evidence to support such a claim, despite being asked repeatedly to do so, then I am “skeptical” about what motivates their reasoning as well.

      • Maybe we see how skeptics like it.

        Wattsupwiththat recently made incorrect predictions about arctic sea ice recovery. As a result the public have lost trust in the skeptics.

        What is Wattsupit going to do to regain trust with the public? Should it be reformed or scrapped?

      • got links?

      • steven mosher

        Perhaps we should ask the governments who fund people to work on WUWT? opps.

        You don’t make a good case for the IPCC by pointing out that there are worse cases. Joshua would call this telling mommy that they did it first or they did worse. where is the fairness cop? ah IDJT must of missed this

      • Joshua

        This analysis by the AMS starts off:
        http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper184847.html

        A recent analysis of poll results by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication confirmed the expected: the controversy surrounding the CRU emails has resulted not only in a drop in belief in anthropogenic global warming, but also in a significant decline in trust in climate scientists.

        The study cited by the AMS report is linked here
        http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/Climategate_Public%20Opinion_and%20Loss%20of%20Trust(1).pdf

        Max

      • steven mosher

        What would count as evidence? You keep demanding to see evidence of causation and causation is unobservable. There are lots of theories why trust plummeted in some surveys post climategate. What’s yours?

      • What would count as evidence?

        Something that would show causation, rather than correlation. In other words, data on why their beliefs changed, rather than simple measurements of their beliefs.

        For example, polls where people are questioned about the factors that go into their beliefs, rather than simple observations about whether they think that the climate is changing anthropgenically. In fact, manacker offered a link to a poll that does look at causation, as opposed to the poll that Tony linked that only shows some uncontrolled variables that correlate.

        In the poll that manacker linked, we see that 8% of the public (a minority of the minority that followed “Climategate” at least a little), say that they are more convinced that AGW isn’t happening as the result of “Climategate.” (In fact, a plurality of those who followed “Climategate” closely reported that it had no significant impact on their views. And surprise, surprise, the poll also shows that the majority of people who fit into that category are “conservatives.”

        That hardly supports the assertions being made on this thread, among hundreds of threads in the “skeptical” blogosphere, about attributions (claims of causation) as to the impact of “Climategate” on public opinion.

        As for other factors that correlate, and that might be explanatory for causation:

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/06/ipcc-discussion-thread/#comment-119063

        I have no problem with speculation about causation based on the observation of correlated variables. My problem is when scientifically literate people claim causation when the data are lacking. It makes me wonder about what would cause them to make such a basic error. Your comments about how causation is unobservable should not be directed at me, they should be directed at people who claim causation without supporting data, such as Judith.

        As for trust “plummeting.” That description is hyperbolic, and not accurate.

  16. John Whitman

    I do not support continuation of the IPCC in any form.

    However, for the IPCC to survive we need several steps to test its integrity.

    Step 1 – The IPCC should indefinitely postpone AR5 for there to be any chance of the IPCC to prove integrity given its current rather untrustworthy and insufficiently credible stature. Before the AR5 preparation restarts, we must set up, in parallel, a double blind climate science assessment to verify its questionable integrity. Based on that double blind climate science assessment we could decide the fate of the IPCC.

    More steps to follow.

    John

    • Step 1 – censor the science. Make sure the public and politicians are kept in the dark.

      • John Whitman

        IPCC says it does not do science. So, no science is censored.

        John

      • That’s what your “climate scientists” do as policy.

        “CENSORED” ftp directories, anyone?

        “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”
        – Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes, 18 February 2005

      • lolwot

        You write:

        Step 1 – censor the science.

        Hey, IPCC is already doing that with its “consensus process”.

        Max

      • Step 1 – censor the science.
        Hey, IPCC is already doing that with its “consensus process”.

        Perhaps we should now call it the climate concensorship

    • Nope, step 1 is – defund those known to be frauds. Let them tell future lies with their own money. This will help stop the public and politicians being kept in the dark.

      • John Whitman

        Punkstat, I do not disagree. However, I am trying a step by step deconstruction based on offering very difficult thresholds needed for the IPCC to successfully cross before it would be allowed to continue. I do not expect it to meet the thresholds, but I am offering.

        John

    • John Whitman

      Again, as stated in Step 1 above, I do not support continuation of the IPCC in any form.

      And again, however, for the IPCC to survive we need several steps to test its integrity.

      Step 2 – Expose to the open unrestricted public all FAR, SAR, TAR, AR5 and AR5 emails, letters, meeting notes, assessment documents, reviews, conflict of interest forms, memorandums and anything else used for those assessments. This will at least show it is willing to come clean and begin with lessons learned from any possible past violations of its own processes.

      Note: It has been suggested very recently that the IPCC, in response to its negative exposure from climategate, has requested its AR5 authors and reviewers not to use email for their assessment processes.

      John

  17. The Left has proven it handle the truth and feels impelled to hide it and from it and their Utopia has become pessimism of all humanity where there no longer is any care about the human condition. Unlike real scientists rather than sharing in the optimism of individuals transcending mediocrity government science authoritarians are obsessed with glorifying weakness.

  18. Perhaps one of the issues is that there is just a single multi-national organization that is accepted as reporting factually on all things climate science.

    Take economics for example, The Keynesians and the Austrians are permitted to publish their polar-opposite conjecture, modeling, analyzation, and the like in peer-review journals– there is no blackout.

    However, it appears that thought/research/analysis that goest against the understanding of the IPCC is guarded and re-run through an inequitably higher standard filter for accuracy (but a standard that should, in fact exist, though for all). In some cases, it seems work that goes counter to the results of the IPCC is outrightly rejected for no other reason than that it conflicts with IPCC-supported results.

    Why can the field of economics subsist properly, while climate science cannot? Is it because economics is not ‘science’? Economic models not sophisticated enough?

    • economic models depend on human psychology. I would imagine economics is a lot harder to model.

      • Economics is a lot easier to model, we have non-chaotic systems with many well-established relationships based on a wealth of data. The models don’t depend on pyschology but on revealed behaviour.

    • At the risk of being Captain Obvious…

      The IPCC is an agency of the UN, and the UN is not without it’s own political orientation and agendas, so why would anyone expect them to be an honest broker?

      • P.E.

        You should discuss that opinion with David W., who has asserted that viewpoints on the politics of the UN “have nothing to do with this,” and steven mosher, who seems to think that viewpoints about the functioning of a UN agency are unrelated to political perspectives about the UN.

      • P.E. (a.k.a. Cap’n Obvious)

        IPCC is an agency of the UN (as you write), which has been specifically set up to investigate human-induced changes to our climate, their potential impacts and possible measures that should be taken.

        No significant human-induced changes to our climate OR
        No potential negative impacts MEAN
        No need for possible measures AND
        No need for IPCC to continue its existence.

        IOW the premise that human-induced climate change is having a significant effect with significant potential negative impact for humanity and our environment is an existential prerequisite for IPCC.

        Is there any wonder that the “consensus process” was formed and that “bias” was introduced, as tonyb writes?

        Max

    • Salamano

      There is another summary report with a different scientific viewpoint from that of the IPCC: the NIPCC report.

      This document is published at a small fraction of the “all-in” cost of the IPCC report. It is still a much smaller report, but has become more comprehensive and impressive as time has gone on.

      It has not gotten anywhere near the same amount of ballyhoo and hype in the media – nor has it enjoyed anywhere near the level of acceptance – as the IPCC report.

      But it is out there as an alternate view.

      Climate Etc. has run a thread on the most recent version:
      https://judithcurry.com/2011/09/01/nipcc-discussion-thread/#more-4758

      Max

      • Max,

        I guess I was more talking about the existence of two polar-opposite, competing, yet scientifically substantiated frames of reference, each permitted cohabitation within the peer review literature (and the field in general).

        There are many other examples of this (in medicine, for example), but the economics came to mind in light of the current state of affairs. The economics example is also a good example because of the policy implications based on the understanding.

        The idea that one understanding must necessarily trump all others to the point where the others cannot be permitted entry into the high IF peer-review based on disagreement with that understanding is troubling. It doesn’t even have to be the ‘winner’ .. it at least should be an ‘also-ran’.

        Who knows, within the field, decades from now, we might have another scientist story akin to the present Nobelaureate in Chemistry…Or perhaps like those currently researching in astrophysics that are generating ideas that ‘question all that we know’ without fear of being rejected from publication because it disagrees with ‘all that we know’.

  19. I wonder if the IPCC would have attained their current position as the highly influential purveyor of climate infiormation to governments if it had not been for Dr Manns hockey stick?

    I can not think of anything as lasting and iconic as this graphic device..
    tonyb

    • tonyb

      Following up to your question, the critical importance of Mann’s hockey stick to the IPCC notion that 20th century warming is unusual (and therefore largely anthropogenic) cannot be overstated.

      That is certainly why IPCC embraced it so eagerly for the TAR (without doing much “due diligence” on its validity), giving it “centerfold” prominence in its “Summary Report for Policymakers” with an impressive add-on of model derived future warming projections shooting up to the top of the page, in order to make full impact.

      Sure. It has since been comprehensively discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick, as confirmed by the Wegman report to US Congress and validated by the NAS panel under oath before the same congressional committee.

      As a result, IPCC has taken it out of its latest AR4 Summary Report. Yet the conclusion reached by Mann that

      the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years

      lives on in AR4 SPM, as do several “copy hockey sticks” buried in the backup report.

      Like the hydra, it keeps growing new heads as old ones get chopped off…

      Max

    • Mann-made global warming!

    • I wonder if the IPCC would have attained their current position as the highly influential purveyor of climate infiormation to governments if it had not been for Dr Manns hockey stick?

      Given that he IPCC attained that position before the “hockey stick” was published then the answer to that would be “yes”.

  20. Judith writes in the post: “In other words, the climate science community itself should look for post-IPCC alternates to re-establish the general public trust in climate science.”

    I don’t foresee this happening as long as the climate science community continues to rely on climate models that have little to no bases in reality. (Many of the CMIP5 hindcasts and scenario projections are available online at the KNMI Climate Explorer for those who wish to confirm it for themselves.) The models have been digitally crunching conjecture for a number of decades, and they’ve become more complex with time, but they still cannot reproduce many facets of the global surface temperature record since 1850, or 1900, or 1950, inclusive of many of the natural variables that have multiyear and decadal and multidecadal impacts on global and regional surface temperatures.

  21. Harold H Doiron

    First I would ask, “Who trusts the UN General Assembly to act in the best interests of the United States? If you can get enthusiastically behind the efforts and goals of the UN’s General Assembly, then you might think that the IPCC and its leadership will act in the best interests of the USA. Why does climate science need the UN anyway? Other technical fields of research have international professional organizations to guide their members and their ethics. I just don’t look to the UN for ethical or scientific leadership, and I don’t understand why US climate scientists would either…. Especially when the IPCC is first a political, and not scienitific, arm of the UN.

    Personally, I am embarrased for US climate scientists who have been seduced by the special interest research grant funds available to make them focus a narrow theory of AGW, and who have allowed the IPCC to put a political agenda slant on the findings of their research. As a result, US climate scientists have given poor advice to our US political policy makers that could cause our nation great economic harm. Its time for US climate scientists to close ranks and focus on research that is in the best interests of the USA. If you don’t think we are in a global competition for climate understanding and technology that can best serve one’s own nation, then think again.

    A recent post at Climate, Etc. reviewed the social and political upheavals of the last 1000 years related to climate change, and they were significant. I’m afraid our Chinese competitors are snickering at what has transpired in US climate science over the last 20 years, and are somewhat disappointed that we failed to pass the critical Cap and Trade legislation that would have given them a greater economic advantage than they have now. I am confident they are wisely charting their own course with more objective and truth seeking science. The nation that understands climate best, has an important political and economic advantage. That should be our goal, and the UN is the last organization I would pick to lead us in that endeavor. I trust the USA more than any other nation on earth to use its knowldege about climate to help the rest of the world.

  22. The WWF has taken notice of the success of the Yakuza’s infiltration of Governments and done the same with the IPCC.

    Donna has some of the details.

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/

  23. Joshua,

    Be a little more disingenuous what don’t you? In light of the Himalayan glacier claim and all the rest of their by now well documented bogus predictions, , in combination with Pachauri’s pathetic response re voodoo science, it’s more than reasonable to suppose that the IPCC’s credibility has been damaged.

    Now, concerning your relentless sophistry being tiresome in the extreme, I confess I don’t have any links. But we can take a poll if you’re really in doubt.

    • pokerguy

      I have posted the links requested by both lolwot and Joshua (see above). (TonyB has posted some in the lead article, as well).

      Joshua is simply hyperventilating.

      Max

    • Be a little more disingenuous what don’t you? In light of the Himalayan glacier claim and all the rest of their by now well documented bogus predictions, , in combination with Pachauri’s pathetic response re voodoo science, it’s more than reasonable to suppose that the IPCC’s credibility has been damaged.

      You’re straying from the topic again, pokerguy.

      We could certainly examine the impact of the claims about the Himalayan glacier, or about Pachauri’s impact (what % of Americans do you think have any idea who he is?), but once again – my point has been all along that Tony has not provided evidence to support his claim that there is “no doubt” that there has been a “massive loss of credibility and trust” as the “result” of “Climategate.”

      But thank you for acknowledging that you do not, in fact, have evidence to support his claims. I’m not exactly surprised.

      • randomengineer

        But thank you for acknowledging that you do not, in fact, have evidence to support his claims. I’m not exactly surprised.

        Me neither. But that’s because your demands are absurdity on stilts.

        Basic polling data in the US showing decreasing public trust in climate science and increased skepticism in AGW have been presented in many places. This correlates to other studies on media reporting that has noted a changed tone since climategate.

        Demanding peer reviewed studies of john q public having been convinced by climategate is just dumb. Doesn’t work that way and everyone but you seems to understand this. John q public is influenced by media and the cognescenti; Dr Curry when she started this blog seemed to be of the opinion that the degreed skeptical denizens herein were representative of this influence in that the degreed skeptics were often expert enough within their own circles to influence opinion within said circles.

        That the influence of climategate is largely indirect hence not easily measured is taken as a given by most observers (at least those who are observing and not merely looking for new grindstones for their axes.)

        OBVIOUSLY climategate had a measureable influence in the public opinion otherwise the poll data would reflect differently, even if the public had never heard the term.

  24. Latimer Alder

    Have there been any significant scientific breakthroughs since the last report?

    Leaving aside the predictable ‘it’ll be even worse than we said last time’, have they anything worthwhile to say?

    If not, why bother at all? Unless it will be to highlight the unanticipated lack of significant warming since last time?

    • randomengineer

      Have there been any significant scientific breakthroughs since the last report?

      Yes, the CERN study showing svensmark to be correct says that modelers are even more clueless regarding feedbacks than the most vocal skeptics would have imagined.

      • You underestimate our imaginations. We consider that they have medaciously and with malice aforethought reversed the signs of most feedbacks. Exhibit #1 is H20 and albedo feedback.

      • typo: mendaciously

  25. Since 2004 the WWF has systematically recruited Climate Scientists into a Climate Witness Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), some 78 of those recruits have been and/or are review editors, coordinating lead authors, lead authors, contributing authors and expert reviewers for the IPCC AR4 and upcoming AR5.

    The draft for the Synthesis Report (the summary that busy people read) of the 2007 AR4 was produced by 40 IPCC ‘authors’, 8 of whom were non scientists (IPCC employees, a lawyer and a medical doctor) leaving 32 ‘scientists’. 11 had public links with environmental advocate groups such as Greenpeace & the WWF.

    Source – http://bit.ly/q2efX6

    Are individuals with such an obvious conflict of interest likely to be impartial when selecting/reviewing/contributing information for inclusion in ‘advisory’ reports?

    Should individuals with employment/membership/association of/with such NGOs be prevented from contributing as authors to a supposedly independent report providing guidance to national governments?

    Suspicion would rightly fall on any contributors with such links to the fossil fuel industry, are we supposed to believe that environmental activists are somehow likely to be less influenced by the source of the butter for their bread?

    • Albert Gras

      Your analysis of the affiliations and qualifications of the contributors to the 2007 AR4 SPM report is very interesting. It confirms the “bias” in the IPCC “consensus process”, as pointed out by our host here on the earlier “uncertainty” thread.

      You mention that “suspicion would rightly fall on any contributors with such links to the fossil fuel industry” (and you are correct), but the truth of the matter is that some members of this industry have hopped on the bandwagon and are actually financing a big-money campaign in support of taxpayer-supported “green energy” solutions, which they hope will generate profits for their shareholders.

      And then there’s GE, who paid no US corporate taxes at all but has spent millions on “green energy” ads (to support its taxpayer-subsidized turbine business), as Steven Mosher points out in his book on Climategate.

      Follow the money trail (as you write).

      Max.

    • Joshua/Lolwot
      What about a comment on this? You always have an interest in bias.

      • RobB –

        I am “suspicious” of motivated reasoning in virtually everyone involved. What I find curious is that anyone would claim that motivated reasoning is inherently more characteristic of one side as opposed to the other.

      • For example of such – see manacker’s contention that “…some members of [the fossil fuel industry] have hopped on the bandwagon…”

        Really now, what is that supposed to mean? Does that mean that the fossil fuel industry isn’t in line to reap hundreds of billion dollars in profits from continued use of (and growth of) fossil fuels? Does it mean that the fossil fuel industry spend tens of millions of dollars yearly to lobby politicians? Does it mean that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t receive tens of millions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies (such as hundreds of billions that go towards policies that lower end-user prices or access to under-priced resources)? Does it mean that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t spend huge sums on PR campaigns to promote the continued use of fossil fuels?

      • Yes, yes, all very interesting, but what do you think about the IPCC being infiltrated by environmental groups like WWF and Greenpeace? Does that increase your confidence in IPCC judgements?

      • Josh

        LOL–Do you believe that those who run the major oil companies are worried for even a single second about loosing revenue due to cocerns over AGW? The answer is no. (and I have talked to the president of one of the companies recently on an aiplane)

        They know that they will sell their product over the long term regardless. They have no reason to fight those who believe as you do at all.

      • RobB –

        Does that increase your confidence in IPCC judgements?

        No. I think that there are valid reasons to separate the analysis of the science from influences of those who are policy-oriented advocates.

        That said, I think that there does need to be a mechanism for evaluating the input of policy-oriented advocates (from various perspectives), on a global scale.

      • Rob Starkey –

        LOL–Do you believe that those who run the major oil companies are worried for even a single second about loosing revenue due to cocerns over AGW? The answer is no. (and I have talked to the president of one of the companies recently on an aiplane)

        Not particularly. I have also talked to people within the fossil fuel industry, and I am well-aware that they see concerns about AGW as a vehicle for revenue generation. On the other hand, they also see continuation and expansion of the burning of fossil fuels as a much more lucrative vehicle for revenue generation. That’s why I dismiss the notion that they’ve “jumped on the bandwagon.” They’ve got a finger or two on the “AGW bandwagon,” and two feet firmly planted on the “fossil fuel” bandwagon.

      • Joshua

        “That said, I think that there does need to be a mechanism for evaluating the input of policy-oriented advocates (from various perspectives), on a global scale”

        Now that is interesting and guaranteed to attract the attention of the libertarians like Rob Starkey. Do you have a model in mind? What global forum would sort through the policy? Presumably the UN? Would it have some kind of executive authority? How would you seperate the policy from the science?

      • Do you have a model in mind? What global forum would sort through the policy? Presumably the UN? Would it have some kind of executive authority? How would you seperate the policy from the science?

        No, I don’t really have a model in mind. I think that the Hartwell Paper represents an interesting approach – although I don’t know that it is sufficiently representative. As for a mechanism for how to implement policy recommendations of an entity like those contained in the Hartwell Paper – it really is a conundrum. There is obviously dysfunctionality in an organization like the UN – but I’m not a binary thinker, and so some disfunctionality does not, in and of itself IMO, rule out a UN-like organization. I don’t think separating the science from the policy is possible – but I do think it is possibly to do a better job of separating the science from areas of debate that are inherently more policy-oriented. I look to reasonable discussion about better ways forward.

      • The Hartwell paper can be found here.

      • … there is no evidence that, despite vast investment of time, effort and money, the “Kyoto” type approach has produced any discernable acceleration of decarbonisation whatsoever: not anywhere; not in any region.

        From the Hartwell paper.

      • Joshua,
        I find it hard to imagine any supranational organization that could unpick this and achieve a policy consensus, and to be honest, as I don’t recognize CAGW as a problem, I don’t see any need for centralized decsion making anyway. But setting aside ‘need’ for a moment, I think it is idealistic to imagine that any policy consensus could be achieved or even discussed sensibly (look at how the matter is discussed currently!). All discussions will be affected by national and vested interests. There are always going to be winners and losers and the losers will not lie down and take their medicine for the benefit of everyone else. The science will just be used as ammunition. That’s why the various UN climate conferences are pie in the sky. Just my (realist) thoughts.

      • Rather than being a discrete problem to be solved, climate change is better understood as a persistent condition that must be coped with and can only be partially managed more – or less – well.[31] It is just one part of a larger complex of such conditions encompassing population, technology, wealth disparities, resource use, etc. Hence it is not straightforwardly an ‘environmental’ problem either. It is axiomatically as much an energy problem, an economic development problem or a land-use problem, and may be better approached through these avenues than as a problem of managing the behaviour of the Earth’s climate by changing the way that humans use energy. That is reflected in the radical reframing which we employ for this paper.

        From the Hartwell Paper.

        Ref 31: E. Malone & S. Rayner, Human Choice & Climate Change, Vol. IV, ‘What have we learned?’, Battelle, 1998; M. Hulme, Why we Disagree about Climate Change, CUP, 2009, pp. 359-364.

      • Climate change was brought to the attention of policy-makers by scientists. From the outset, these scientists also brought their preferred solutions to the table in US Congressional hearings and other policy forums, all bundled. The proposition that ‘science’ somehow dictated particular policy responses, encouraged – indeed instructed – those who found those particular strategies unattractive to argue about the science.[36] So, a distinctive characteristic of the climate change debate has been of scientists claiming with the authority of their position that their results dictated particular policies; of policy makers claiming that their preferred choices were dictated by science, and both acting as if ‘science’ and ‘policy’ were simply and rigidly linked as if it were a matter of escaping from the path of an oncoming tornado.

        From the Hartwell Paper. My bold

        Ref 36 D. Sarewitz, ‘Curing climate backlash’, Nature, 3 March, 2010

      • steven mosher

        whats the motivation in finding motivated reasoning? Pretty simple. you cannot assess the science. you refuse to learn. you dont even try. Because you are ignorant and refuse to learn, you fall back on analysis that is less scientific than the science you are asked to evaluate. You look for motivated reasoning because you think that will tell you something about the people and the science. It wont. It cant. In fact you are trying to use a tool that has never been tested, and only is useful to the extent that it keeps you from engaging on the science. Head meet sand.

      • @steven mosher…

        Pretty simple. you cannot assess the science. you refuse to learn. you dont even try. Because you are ignorant and refuse to learn, you fall back on analysis that is less scientific than the science you are asked to evaluate.

        MT told me to learn the subject a few years ago, but even though I’d already studied partial differential equations (a long time ago), and chaos theory, it was a bit of a stretch getting around even the basics. For most people, you’re talking about at least a 2-year college stint.

        While I don’t agree, I can personally sympathize with those looking for a shortcut.

      • steven mosher

        AK.

        Ya its taken me about 4 years, so I have no patience for IDJT. If he is unwilling to devote the time to understand the science issues he should just shut up. Everything thing he says to defend the science is LESS CERTAIN than the science he tries to defend. It’s such an abysmally transparent epistemic fail.

      • steven mosher

        AK.. let me demonstrate: here is Joshua

        “However, I am not well-versed enough in the science, nor intelligent enough, to evaluate the technical details. That’s why I look, to the best of my abilities, at the arguments on the different sides to see if I can find “motivated reasoning.”

        I don’t understand high school science and college math. I’m an IDJT. Therefore, I use that same broken brain to look at what I think I can understand. Even better, I cannot understand the physical world which is measurable so my solution is to try to plumb the motivations of people. I run away from a discipline governed by methods and rules and numbers for the comfort of my arm chair unfalsifiable clap trap about motivated reasoning.

        I’m too dumb to understand subject A, so I’m to to focus on subject B, and nobody has even shown that.. “B” is related to A, that “B” can be addressed with out most powerful form of reasoning ( science) and that Im any better at B than I am at A.

        IDJT.

        I have a hammer ( motivated reasoning), your problem has to be a nail.

      • While I don’t agree, I can personally sympathize with those looking for a shortcut.

        According to one view of information theory, when something becomes complex enough, instead of getting more complicated mathematically, it simplifies. This is one of the principle ideas behind statistical mechanics, and the scientist Murray Gell-Mann extended the concept when he wrote his book “The Quark and the Jaguar”. You might find this attitude surprising because Gell-Mann is also the co-founder of the Sante Fe Institute which is one of the prominent scientific labs devoted to chaos theory — which most people would think of as diametrically opposed to simple reduction. Not the case if you read their research papers, and they are finding that the key ideas are entropy, superstatistics, and information theory, interweaved with system constraints and mean values.

        This is one of my main motivations to try to simplify the math of climate science. I have had good success elsewhere with the math and am making a push in this direction. You can always call it a shortcut, but everything that you can do with paper and pencil then classifies as a shortcut.

      • @WebHubTelescope…

        Actually the shortcut I was talking about (and AFAIK Steven Mosher also) was one of judging the people giving the testimony rather than the testimony. This actually seems to work most of the time in face-to-face communication, perhaps because most people have a “built-in lie detector” that can give them a good “intuitive” guess whether the person telling them something believes what they’re saying. Somebody lying or BS’ing would raise a red flag in this “lie detector”, as a result of subliminal cues such as tone (and stress) of voice, body language facial features and sweat conditions, and perhaps pheromones.

        I doubt such a process could be made to work over keyboard media like email and comment threads, but I can see how many people might try it. Questions about motivation would fit this category.

        As for simplifying the math of climate science, or any other system showing spatio-temporal chaos, I’m certainly not going to rule the possibility out, but I’m going to be very skeptical of it. The biggest problem with such efforts at simplification is the enormous opportunity it offers to build in pre-conceptions based on linear systems. Which systems our brains were evolved to handle (e.g. the complex swaying of branches of a tree), and the early education most people get in our current culture reinforces.

        I suspect a better idea for simple modeling of the climate would involve looking for “coherent” phenomena, like vortexes in turbulence. (Things such as ENSO, PDO, etc. might be examples.) IMO the best approach at this time to such a search would be using very large neural networks with complex learning capacities at each node. Train them on observed climate then go digging in to see how they do their calculations.

        You’re not going to convince me, however, with any 0-dimensional model, or even 1-dimensional. Not unless the relationship between the variables involves very complex functions, and even then I’d be skeptical. Very skeptical.

      • The biggest problem with such efforts at simplification is the enormous opportunity it offers to build in pre-conceptions based on linear systems.

        Fair enough. But don’t forget that non-linear systems can easily enter trajectories that essentially map out the ergodic space. When that happens, bingo, you get something close to a weighted random number generator that will likely follow maximum entropy principles. You may not buy into this approach but that is the general tact that I am planning to apply.

  26. Donna Laframboise pointed out in a recent blog that 34% of the IPCC’s core writing team for the 2007 report were publicly affiliated with the WWF and Greenpeace. According to Greenpeace’s 2010 annual report it raised €226 million in donations and WWF had revenues of $224 million. One has to wonder at how neutral the report really can be with so much riding on it both in terms of political influence and potential revenue for the environmental NGO’s

  27. apologies to Gras Albert , I need to read the comments in their entirety in the future before posting

    • randomengineer

      Doesn’t matter, it needs to be repeated regardless. Green NGOs are pulling the strings for their own reasons, and anyone who can’t see this isn’t paying attention. Disbanding the IPCC for inclusion of NGO grey literature alone would be reason enough for me; I don’t even have to go so far as to look at the unethical ties to scientists.

  28. To all:
    Really folks percentages and polls mean little in the real world of science. Either the science works or it doesn’t. We can find people from all sides that will create percentages that support your view, but once again, this is not science.

    The real questions:

    Is the IPCC useful? No, they have a conclusion which they are searching for facts to support.

    Does CO2 cause an increase in temperature? Yes, all other things being equal.

    Are all things equal in climate? No, the idea that there is one “climate sensitivity” is somewhat absurd in that when one thing changes, others change as well.

    Are we warmer and/or will we get more warm then the Medieval Warm Period or Holocene Climatic Optimum? Unknown, but appears we are at or slightly below those periods.

    Is warming bad for humans? Does not appear to be. During periods of increased warmth in the past we have thrived, not faltered as we seem to during cold periods.

    Will increased CO2 end the world? Well no, humans are a small percentage of the life on this planet. She has survived extinctions before, and will likely continue to do so in the future.

    Is increased CO2 the end of Human life? Seems quite unlikely. Warmer temperatures seem to moderate extreme weather and provide more stable growing seasons. If sea levels rises, we adapt as do the Dutch everyday. In point of fact, the UN believes the growth of human population will decrease as people have access to more resources, as they have in Western countries. This ‘should’ lead to a leveling off of human population growth as we enter the midpoint of this century. By all appearances plants grow larger, and provide more energy to life when the CO2 levels are higher. Where is the net loss of this? Dinosaurs grew so big because they had ample vegetation to subsist on. Are we afraid of having larger humans?

    All else appears to be fantasy or ‘hopeful’ notions of failure.

    Roy Weiler

    • Nicely summarized.

      An interesting side comment on your mention of big dinos: there were also big pterosaurs and pteranodons. Which almost patently couldn’t fly and maneuver and feed themselves. WUWT? In a posting some time ago (will search and get back if I can find it*), an analysis of wing loadings and optimum design was done for various barometric assumptions. [*Got it: http://levenspiel.com/octave/dinosaurs.htm. Also explains how long dino necks could function without multi-ton hearts and Kevlar arteries.]

      It seems that the pteros were flying in atmosphere at about 3.5X BAR. And I wouldn’t be at all surrounded if CO2 levels deduced from geochemistry weren’t even higher than the nearly 1% presently believed, if the thicker atmosphere was plugged in. Maybe even several percent (10,000 ppm = 1%). That would certainly explain much of the huge plant biosphere at the time.

      Another side comment on plant/jungle biogenesis of fossil fuel beds: jungles actually have very thin soils, since turnover of organics is so fast-and-furious, at least in today’s atmospheric mix. Perhaps higher density, much of it CO2, would be sufficient for such buildup.

      And a final speculation: what if one of the effects of the K-T asteroid were to blast significant portions of the atmosphere off the planet, thereby thinning it below the levels needed for the dino-ptero-jungle ecosystem?

      Just sayin’.

      • Brian:
        “And a final speculation: what if one of the effects of the K-T asteroid were to blast significant portions of the atmosphere off the planet, thereby thinning it below the levels needed for the dino-ptero-jungle ecosystem? ”

        That is an interesting idea. We humans always seem to assume the nature of the Earth is consistency, but an examination of the past indicates this is not the case at all. Instead of adapting to changing conditions, we always want to ‘force’ them back to where we think they should be. Examples: building levees to ‘contain’ the Mississippi, beach replenishment of barrier islands on the East Coast of the USA (the barrier islands are supposed to move). I find the wisdom of the Ancient Egyptians superior to our own in this respect. They did not or could not force the Nile to do anything, so they lived with it. Plant food in the fertile flood plain, but do not build your house there!

        There is a lesson to be learned there if the ideas about the effects of climate change are true. Stemming the tide of human progress, is a far cry less attractive then applying wisdom into how we deal with the possible effects. Do not try to change the course of the river, learn how to live with it’s changes.

        Roy Weiler

      • @Brian H

        Another side comment on plant/jungle biogenesis of fossil fuel beds: jungles actually have very thin soils, since turnover of organics is so fast-and-furious, at least in today’s atmospheric mix. Perhaps higher density, much of it CO2, would be sufficient for such buildup.

        The major coal depositions are usually attributed to the Carboniferous. No pterosaurs or such then, IIRC. They’re also usually attributed to swamp conditions rather than drained-soil rain forest.

        OTOH, a higher atmospheric density wouldn’t have been needed for a larger concentration of CO2, which could have driven a much faster coal deposition. It’s been suggested that there was a higher (absolute) partial pressure of oxygen during the Triassic-Cretaceous, which could have driven the faster metabolisms of the dinosaurs. However, AFAIK their superior respiratory systems are really all it takes to explain their larger size relative to the largest land mammals.

        In theorizing about things like this, don’t forget that there’s a specific driver of the ratio of O2 to CO2, depending on the details of how different plants do photosynthesis, and thus deal with photorespiration. AFAIK all the evidence points to C4 photosynthesis evolving after the early Miocene (~20MYA), with substantially higher ratios of CO2 to O2 prior. (The direction of causation of those two events remains a fascinating mystery.)

  29. This will be no easy task. But it will be a necessary one, if we want to rehabilitate climate science and turn it into a useful, neutral tool with which to investigate the causes for our ever changing climate.

    I expect that you are correct. What would work would be to scrap IPCC completely and form an entirely new and independent group in about 2020. With as many other groups as there are, with compendia and conventions of every stripe, IPCC is useless, because their reports add no value.

    I read all of the posts by Willis Eschenbach on the previous threads: I think he was basically sound in his specific points and in his abrasive tone; that is, I think his abrasive tone represents well the disdain with which most American swing voters view the IPCC. If he is correct, as I think he is, then the only way forward with a governmental review panel is to start over.

    • I had a pertinent late post at the tail-end of an earlier thread:

      The IPCC issue might only be resolved by a US Republican government telling it as it as and withdrawing all support, financial and otherwise. Given the burgeoning emissions in China and India, which will dominate total emissions over the next several decades, withdrawal of support by the US would render the IPCC irrelevant. It would be hard (but sadly not impossible) for countries such as Australia to persist with absurd emissions reductions in those circumstances.

      • randomengineer

        Correct. The IPCC presumes that member governments are socialist (i.e. dictating terms to their subjects) by definition, else there would be no verbiage regarding central governance (e.g.) simply because in a republic like the US the concept itself is at odds with the founding documents. Sadly it appears that only the republicans can recall this aspect.

      • In a way, it would be good if the US did withdraw all support from the IPCC, and anyone else paid by the US government, who has dared say that allowing CO2 levels to increase in an uncontrolled fashion is a dangerous course of action. Judith may well be included! Better that, than to support scientific studies and yet do nothing about Co2 emissions.

        It will show quite clearly that the US doesn’t like the message and therefore it’s shot messenger!

      • Quite justifiable if the messenger concocted the message en route, and continues to confabulate under questioning. As clearly appears to be the case.

        >:)

      • TT: In a way, it would be good if the US did withdraw all support from the IPCC … It will show quite clearly that the US doesn’t like the message and therefore it’s shot messenger!,

        Where the message in question emerges from from a process known to be fraudulent, and against which virtually no supposed climate ‘scientist’ is prepared to speak, what other course of action would you recommend? Just swallow the BS whole?

      • Punksta,

        You ask “what other course of action” I would recommend.

        Not just for you, but I would recommend to all those who are currently rejecting the scientific position on AGW, that they should at least consider the possibility of the scientific advice being correct.

  30. Manacker,

    On a previous thread I suggested that it may not be such a bad thing for the IPCC to be disbanded. The IPCC has done well so far but, it could be argued that it’s already made its point and if the world’s governments don’t want to listen there is little point in continued repetition. This sort of international organisation is not a normal part of science, and it is probably the right time for science to get back to normality, so why not look at what the world’s leading universities, and research institutes say about climate, and rely on them, instead ?

    You replied;

    “Ouch! The political leadership of these organizations (viz. Paul Nurse, etc.) has already sold out to the politically correct “consensus” position, so will be of no help in correcting the broken process.”

    So, are you saying that there is no scientific organisation (university, research lab etc) that you’d trust on the climate question?

    If so why pick on the IPCC? Your quarrel isn’t with them, is it? It’s with the whole of science. Shouldn’t you be advocating closing down all these organisations too?

    • randomengineer

      If so why pick on the IPCC? Your quarrel isn’t with them, is it?

      In the US we don’t want the DoE run by Texaco or DoD run by Walmart (who would be low bidder) and similarly we don’t want the EPA run by greenpeace. Here, the citizens decide; they are not simply dictated to. The IPCC is a political body with starting assumptions that are counter to US values.

      The quarrel is the politics and corruption. It has always been thus.

      Remove the politics and get to the science? Perfect. What is needed in the US is a revival of the Bell Labs concept, where Bell was at one time the R&D division of the human race.

      • randomengineer:

        Remove the politics and get to the science? Perfect. What is needed in the US is a revival of the Bell Labs concept, where Bell was at one time the R&D division of the human race.

        You obviously don’t know the history. If Bell Labs was still in place, they might have continued to put out instructive 8-mm films like the following:
        http://vodpod.com/watch/2081166-1958-global-warming-its-not-newly-known
        That film was from 1958 and I don’t remember that in particular, but I must have learned something watching Dr. Baxter years ago and it motivated me to eventually end up at Bell Labs much superior competitor across the Hudson :)

        The point is that these organizations (IPCC, Bell Labs, etc) exist because groups of people decided to disseminate scientific research for the common good. If what they find out is unpalatable, that’s your problem and you can set up your own shop.

      • If what they find out is unpalatable, that’s your problem and you can set up your own shop.

        Skeptics already have – they have the “non-political” Heartland Institute.”

      • Joshua

        As a Brit I am very uncomfortable with Heartland and its politics (which is not to say that some of the NIPCC stuff isnt interesting)

        They certainly don’t speak for me, but perhaps they do for US sceptics

        tonyb

      • As a Brit I am very uncomfortable with Heartland and its politics (which is not to say that some of the NIPCC stuff isnt interesting)

        They certainly don’t speak for me, ..

        Fair enough, Tony. But while skepticism about the political, or other partisan influences on the IPCC should be scrutinized, so should the political, or other partisan influences on the “skeptical” side of the debate. In that regard, I would suggest that the Heartland Institute is far from unique w.r.t. political or other partisan influences in the “skeptical” community.

        As is often the case, IMO, Pekka nails it.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/06/ipcc-discussion-thread/#comment-119278

      • the political, or other partisan influences on the “skeptical” side of the debate

        Merely a response to the obvious and overwhelming political nature of the alarmist side.

      • Merely a response to the obvious and overwhelming political nature of the alarmist side.

        Ah yes, the old “Mommy, mommy, they did it first” gambit.

        Now where have I seen that before?

      • ‘Mommy’, the electorate and the poor, heard the ruckus start up and knows perfectly damn well who started it and who screamed the loudest.
        =================

      • Ah yes, the old “Mommy, mommy, they did it first” gambit.

        No, it’s the old “mommy look at what they’re doing”. Pointing out the blatantly obvious partisanship of the climate science establishment is not itself an act of partisanship.

      • Joshua asks, in a moment of self parody, “Ah yes, the old “Mommy, mommy, they did it first” gambit.

        Now where have I seen that before?”

        Hmmmm…..we see it nearly daily when Joshua runs out of things to say, that’s where.

      • No, they have an institution that agrees with them. They do not own it or dictate what it says. Big difference.

      • Stirling English

        I have rarely heard of the Heartland Institute in UK. Nor the Cock Brothers. They mean nothng over here.

      • steven mosher

        here joshua, go track down some other example of whining to mommy

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/06/ipcc-discussion-thread/#comment-119181

      • … they have the “non-political” Heartland Institute.

        Outspent by the “non-political” politically-funded ‘consensus’ by how much – a factor of 10,000 100,000 ? More ?

      • … they have the “non-political” Heartland Institute.

        Outspent by the “non-political” politically-funded ‘consensus’ by how much – a factor of 10,000 100,000 ? More ?

        I don’t get paid by anyone, punk. Why don’t you come after me?

      • Don’t follow, webby, what exactly would you like ?

      • WHT,
        Are you a bit touchier than usual, or are you late to the pharmacy?
        Maybe you heard about another big oil find?
        Or perhaps you will think of how skeptics are so often falsely accused of being paid, and how it is as outrageously untrue for us as it is for you.

      • Outspent? I’m not sure that all the figures are available to be able to say that.

        However, spending by scientific rejectionists is almost entirely on promoting their own interpretations, or misinterpretations, of the scientific data, whereas with scientific spending. it is almost the opposite. That is doing all the hard work in the first place.

        So, even if the figures were available, would they make for a valid comparison?

      • randomengineer

        If what they find out is unpalatable, that’s your problem and you can set up your own shop.

        Do not presume to address me in a manner suggesting I have made a comment regarding the science, which appears to be the correct vector. My comment is limited to the politics and corruption.

        Your commentary I think is “exhibit A” in the ongoing debate where you and those like you are wholly unable to distinguish between those who get the science and are against the IPCC politics and “deniers” (for want of a better term.) As such I think you’re self-disqualified from commenting because you have identified yourself as a sheeplike critter regurgitating team-speak on command regardless of external stimulus.

        Thus me saying “The IPCC is corrupt” yields “Do your own science, denialist” which is utterly non-sequitor and little more than knee-jerk tribal idiocy as well as a useless thread contribution.

        Next time, think first then type. If you have something useful to add I’ll pretend to listen.

      • Next time, think first then type. If you have something useful to add I’ll pretend to listen.

        OK, so you won’t be much of a source for my footnote material.

      • Well if you’ll promise to pretend to listen, we’ll promise to pretend to think you have the intelligence to understand it!

    • tempterrain

      It looks like randomengineer has answered your (loaded) question from the standpoint of a US citizen.

      But let me give you my answer.

      My “quarrel isn’t with the whole of science” as you try to frame it..

      It is with the corruption of science through politics, which has occurred as a direct result of the IPCC consensus process, which has unfortunately been corroborated by the politically correct hopping on board of the political leaders of many once-revered scientific organizations, such as Paul Nurse of the RS.

      An independent, non-political, objective group of theoretical and applied scientists, engineers and economists engaged in a climate-related field, such as Tony suggests, would be a much better group for assembling new scientific studies on our climate from time to time.

      Other bloggers here have opined that climate science would be better off without any such group, but I believe that something would be required to fill the vacuum now that IPCC has lost public trust for being too biased and alarmist.

      Unlike IPCC, this group should be composed of an equal mix of those who have concluded that AGW could become a potential threat, those that have come to an opposite conclusion and those who are still undecided, with activists from either side excluded.

      The group should not install a process whereby a “consensus” is desired, as IPCC has done; all scientifically based dissenting views should be given equal consideration.

      This group should report on all climate studies without myopically focusing on anthropogenic climate change alone, as IPCC has done..

      It should avoid publishing any model-based predictions for the long-range future, as IPCC has done, as these are far too imprecise to be meaningful (as the temperature lull of the past decade has shown) and, in the past, have simply served to foster fear-mongering.

      The group should be under the oversight of an independent group of auditors (composed of individuals such as Steve McIntyre, who have shown that they can ferret out the truth), whose job it is to ensure that the “bias” problem, which occurred as a result of the IPCC “consensus process” does not creep in.

      With such an approach, climatology can make a slow return to being a true “science”.

      I would agree with Tony that under IPCC this will not be possible, for the reasons he cited and our host has alluded to in the “uncertainty” thread.

      Hope this has answered your question..

      Max

      • My “quarrel isn’t with the whole of science” as you try to frame it.. It is with the corruption of science through politics,

        Yes, the issue essentially breaks down into those like temperrain, lolwot and Joshua who support the corruption of science, and those who oppose it.

      • Latimer Alder

        It’s more than just ‘support’ – it is ‘actively defend’.

        In the unlikley event that any of them were ever sceintists, I hope they enjoy spending their thrty pieces of silver.

      • randomengineer

        Yes, the issue essentially breaks down into those like temperrain, lolwot and Joshua who support the corruption of science, and those who oppose it.

        Jane Goodall hat is on…. it’s simpler than that. These people are simply convinced of their own mental superiority. If you question the science it’s not due to a valid point, it’s because they reckon you’re too stupid to understand it.

        The ultimate example of enlightened types looking through their noses at simpletons is the invocation of Oreskes variations where she breathlessly reports that over 95% of the peer reviewed literature is in support of the “consensus” and is too flaming vapid to grasp the concept that funding dictates what is investigated (and found, assuming additional funding is to be sought.)

        This is why you see the constant haranguing of “denialists” by these mental giants to the effect of “yeah well where’s YOUR peer review?” knowing that there’s very little — as if somehow this is the proof that what they reckon as correct is proven.

        If you’re stupid enough you simply ignore funding magic and assume that paper counts indicate absolute Trvth, then you treat all other POV’s as benighted ignorance. Sooner or later you get to thinking you’re pretty damn smart. (i.e. you start believing your own press.)

        And so it goes.

      • “If you question the science it’s not due to a valid point, it’s because they reckon you’re too stupid to understand it.”

        Deniers don’t question the science though, they assert they know it’s all a myth. It’s not that they are too stupid to understand it, they don’t want to, hence when they do justify their position it’s with clueless arguments like “the planet warmed before and there were no SUVs back then!”

      • Oreskes … breathlessly reports that over 95% of the peer reviewed literature is in support of the “consensus” and is too flaming vapid to grasp the concept that funding dictates what is investigated (and found …

        Vapid or disingenious ? You’d really need to have an IQ of about 80 to believe funding doesn’t shape science.

      • randomengineer

        Vapid or disingenious ? You’d really need to have an IQ of about 80 to believe funding doesn’t shape science.

        Vapid.

        Historians are always crap where it concerns the effects of technology on politics and human intercourse. They tend to focus on everything but the technology and/or implementation thereof.

        Libertarian bent historians (e.g. austrian economics school of thought) carp about Abraham Lincoln arrogating power during the civil war and don’t seem to grasp the concept that the laws of the day were incompatible with the use of the recently invented telegraph which allowed the commander in chief to react in comparative realtime. This had a major effect but do you think historians recognise this? No. They don’t know how technology works and don’t grasp the transformational nature.

        Oreskes is just the latest example of a historian laser focused on a small aspect of something and isn’t seeing the big picture. The big picture would have included the nature of how funding is done, which influences papers. Rather than prove a “scientific consensus” Oreskes merely reflected the funding.

        What’s more interesting to me is the number of people regurgitating her rubbish without thinking or understanding. After all this too is academic therefore real and true therefore uncontestable. They recite the papers funded to discover a problem (and finding it, unsurprisingly) and corroborate these with Oreskes (or similar) as if this comprises some sort of grand truth. Unfortunately it’s a vortex of predetermined conclusion papers and paper count feedbacks all swishing in a porcelain bowl.

      • Randomengineer,

        You’d really need to have an IQ of about 80 to believe funding doesn’t shape science.

        Yes, if you look at the way the private corporations fund their research. Someone mentioned Bell Labs recently, and that indeed was, in the 50’s and 60s, an honourable exception. You don’t get that degree of openness any longer from the large private corporations. You have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they’ll give you the time of day!

        Democracy isn’t perfect but it’s there to make sure that the results of taxpayer research are, outside of the military area, fully available. It seems to me that NASA, NOAA, the Australian CSIRO etc do a pretty good job. What you don’t like is the verdict on the AGW issue, not the methodology behind it.

        In any case if your theory was correct Governments would never had funded, or released the finds of, research into smoking. They have at least as large a financial interest, through the taxes they collect, as the tobacco companies.

      • those like tempterrain, lolwot and Joshua who support the corruption of science

        It’s part of the the whole “tribal” issue as Judith originally framed it. Classic Team-think, where incovenient truths are studiously ignored, and one never ever criticises any argument if it has the ‘right’ conclusion.

      • one never ever criticises any argument if it has the ‘right’ conclusion.

        Unlike you guys! It would be so easy, wouldn’t it to embrace any and every argument against AGW! Even if they had been disproven many times over and were self-contradictory. Like any of the 171 in this list:
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

        But you guys wouldn’t do that would you? You’re such sticklers for scientific accuracy :-)

      • Max,

        The reason of existence of any such body is to transmit best possible information to the decision makers on issues where the decisions may matter. The specific issue, where decisions may matter (but may also be powerless) is the human influence on climate and risks from climate change. Therefore at issue is not all climate science, but only human influence on climate.

        The human influence cannot be studied without studying the climate processes more widely, but all of that is not policy relevant. The climate science in influenced also by other sciences like physics and chemistry, but nobody would propose that all of physics and chemistry should be included in the work. It’s totally logical to limit the work to issues that are most specifically relevant to the human influence on climate and its consequences.

        The analysis didn’t start from the observation that climate is changing, it started from the observation that the CO2 concentration is rising, which was concluded to be caused human action, and which was judged to lead to the possibility of severe consequences through climate change. This was the historical starting point for the climate issue and this remains the logical basis for the climate issue. That means that it’s logical to define the task of IPCC or its replacement to be limited to the risk caused by human actions that affect climate.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        The specific issue, where decisions may matter (but may also be powerless) is the human influence on climate and risks from climate change. Therefore at issue is not all climate science, but only human influence on climate.

        The human influence cannot be studied without studying the climate processes more widely, but all of that is not policy relevant.

        As phrased, and AFAIK as interpreted by the IPCC, this seems to have a couple questionable built-in assumptions:

        That the “climate” wouldn’t and/or won’t change to the same extent, or in the same general way, absent human CO2.

        That the “human influence” can somehow be separated from what the “climate” would have done otherwise.

        From a policy perspective, a much safer answer would be “the climate’s probably going to change sooner or later regardless, so why don’t we focus on adaptation and forget the IPCC”. It is the nature of bureaucratic organizations to put the highest priority on their own survival, prosperity, and growth (personal observation), so it’s easy to see how hiding the fact that adaptation is the best response is likely to be at the top of the IPPC’s agenda. All the bureaucratic activity, with meetings in popular vacation resorts wouldn’t be needed without the “justification” that “we” can somehow stop climate change by stopping anthropogenic CO2.

        And if the most valid scientific conclusion was that human activity didn’t really make a difference to the risk of upcoming climate change, and governments were well advised to focus on adaptation, would the IPCC admit it, or hide it like they (some of them) tried to “hide the decline”? In view, that is, of their demonstrated corruption?

      • AK,

        All your interpretations on implied assumptions are wrong at least as far as the assumptions are made consciously.

        The only starting point is that the human influence may lead to severe consequences and that it’s not excluded that something can be done to improve the future outcome. That doesn’t imply anything specific about simultaneous natural variability.

        The task of IPCC was and is to collect information on the possible role of human influence. The natural variability makes the task more difficult. If the human influence turns out to be much less than the natural variability, then the conclusion is naturally that nothing needs to be done.

        The conclusion that the human influence may be large was based analyses that predate IPCC. That was only a possibility, which was considered significant enough for creating UNFCCC and IPCC. While the original task of these bodies was not to prove that the risk is serious, it’s certainly due that the internal logic of human organizations leads to some bias. People committed to certain views and approaches tend to gain influence and support each other, and that has happened.

        A body like IPCC may be useful in transmitting scientific information, but it’s fundamentally problematic for the science itself. Finding out consensus views may be of value for decision makers, while scientists should not be influenced by the consensus, but remain open to all reasonable ideas. Even without bodies like the IPCC scientists are too much influenced by the prevailing views of other scientists, and a body that tells, what’s the consensus, is likely to make the situation worse. Now we have still a third layer, which is due to the politicization of the issues and the peer pressure related to the politicization.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        All your interpretations on implied assumptions are wrong at least as far as the assumptions are made consciously.

        I’ll provisionally agree. But IMO unconscious assumptions cause a great deal more trouble, because the implications aren’t really considered until somebody drags them into the light.

        This goes multiply for linear assumptions WRT to a massively complex, massively non-linear system such as the climate (and associated marine and terrestrial ecologies). While climate experts may be well aware of the questionable nature of linear assumptions (such as the ability to separate human influence from internal variation), I suspect the majority of people working on even the technical IPCC reports aren’t. And as for the majority of their policy-maker custormers…

      • AK,
        I had naturally something in mind, when I added the words “as far as the assumptions are made consciously” to my message.

        The problems of IPCC are mainly due to normal human behavior rather than willful attempt to mislead.

        There was a perceived and perhaps well justified need for IPCC, but many of the unavoidable problems of such an organization are not widely appreciated even now.

      • Peeka

        I suggest that the IPCC is an organization that has taken on advocacy of a set of beliefs as its goal vs. the reporting of scientific data. I acknowledge that is my opinion only, but the IPCC acceptance of the outputs of the current GCMs seems to make such a conclusion reasonable. Can you think of any other precedent where models were accepted for the implementation of government policy when the models had not been validated by real world observations?

        I ask you to re-look at what you have written.

        You wrote:
        “There’s no possibility that anybody could prove now or in foreseeable future that the risk is not real.”

        Pekka- Would it EVER be possible to not have future risk from weather? Of course not. What is the actual evidence that shows that a world with higher atmospheric CO2 will have more severe weather that it has historically exhibited.

        You also wrote-“If IPCC is dismantled, the governments must find some other method for obtaining that information.”

        In the US there is an established means for our Congress to obtain information and it is certainly not necessary to have a political body such as the IPCC to provide information.

      • Rob,

        I have always problems, when IPCC is discussed as an organization that has taken some action, because IPCC has a very special structure.

        Pachauri may speak on behalf of IPCC, but he cannot really decide much as he’s only the chairman of the complex organization, not a boss, who can decide. All people paid by the IPCC have only little influence on the outcome, which is produced by the working groups. Which individuals finally are influential and in which ways is very complex and often difficult to judge.

        Formally the decisions are made by the panel that consists of government representatives, but the decisions of such bodies are certainly influenced by people who are preparing the material for the meetings. Here again the real logic and the role of various individuals is difficult to know, and I believe that it’s difficult to know even to those involved in the process.

        Looking at the working group reports carefully tells that each chapter is done differently, because the lead authors are different and they have most of the influence on that level. In some chapters other authors are more independent, while the role of lead authors may be stronger in others.

        It’s really a mistake to think that IPCC is a centralized and uniformly behaving body.

      • Pekka,

        So the IPCC produce the best possible scientific report, the politicians dutifully absorb the information, and design the best possible policy response accordingly. A total separation of science and policy. Dr Brian Schmidt, who’s just won the Nobel prize, was saying just this week that’s how it should all work.

        It’s a nice idea. But, a politicians main priority is to win their next election and their second priority is to deliver policies their financial backers like. AGW isn’t going to change much between one election and the next. So, I’m just wondering if this might just be a slightly too idealistic view of the way our political systems actually work?

      • TT,

        You are right. Democracy is terrible. But what are the alternatives.

        I have noticed that the most vocal opposition to democratic decision making has often come from the ecological side. They seem to believe sincerely that they are the right elite that should be given dictatorial rights.

        Is that your choice?

      • “dictatorial rights?” No

        But I would say that democracy shouldn’t just be considered to be the marking of a cross every few years. After all, democracy itself wasn’t won through the democratic process. I sense that President Obama would like to do something about climate change but even if he wins the next election the non-democratic forces ranged against him will try to prevent that.

        So he may need a bit of help at street level.

    • tt,
      What lack of mental ability or character would let you confuse the skepticism people have with AGW with a problem with science as a whole?
      That is such a mindless bit of drivel on your part. You typically do better.

      • Hunter,

        So you’re saying that you don’t have any other problems with any science other than on climate research? You’re totally happy with everything else?

        Somehow climate science has attracted a whole bunch of untrustworthy people? But all other scientific fields only attracted the honest types?

  31. It has been interesting to watch the transitions this blog has taken. The IPCC is a government organization which claims to be scientific. There is no more use in this world for scientific governance than there was for Marxism. Of course we may need to experiment for some additional centuries to notice there is little difference.

    • huh? what’s scientific governance? if it’s any implementation of rules, regulations etc. that are based on any sort of science, that seems pretty extreme. The usual argument is we don’t want WORLD governance, and maybe the EPA overreaches, and regulations aren’t properly subjected to cost-benefit, and bureaucracies exist to make themselves bigger, etc. etc….

      but you mean, like, Congress shouldn’t pass any safety laws based on testing or anything?

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        Bill-

        “Scientific governance” – in the context of the prior comment – would seem to mean political control of the scientific process. That would be a tail wagging the dog situation, mostly useless, unless one defines political corruption as useful.

        As a good example, see the Inspector General’s ruling on the EPA’s endangerment finding. The EPA was required to use science as justification for decisions, yet the process for evaluating the science was governed by politics. Result = useless.

        BlueIce

  32. Tony Brown

    Thank you a million!

    But it can be made redundant first by defunding it and second by setting up this alternate group which will have more credibility than the organisation it would replace.

    Defund the IPCC and save climate science and Science in general!

    The Climategate emails have demonstrated the anti-scientific methods of the IPCC as described by Dr Costell below.


    Why Climategate is so Distressing to Scientists
    By John Costell, PhD (Physics)

    The most difficult thing for a scientist in the era of Climategate is trying to explain to family and friends why it is so distressing to scientists. Most people don’t know how science really works: there are no popular television shows, movies or books that really depict the everyday lives of real scientists; it just isn’t exciting enough. I’m not talking here about the major discoveries of science—which are well-described in documentaries, popular science series, and magazines—but rather how the week-by-week process of science (often called the “scientific method”) actually works.
    The best analogy that I have been able to come up with, in recent weeks, is the criminal justice system—which is often depicted in the popular media. Everyone knows what happens if the police obtain evidence by illegal means: the evidence is ruled inadmissible; and, if a case rests on that tainted evidence, it is thrown out of court. The justice system is not saying that the accused is necessarily innocent; rather, that determining the truth is impossible if evidence is not protected from tampering or fabrication.

    The same is true in science: scientists assume that the rules of the scientific method have been followed, at least in any discipline that publishes its results for public consumption. It is that trust in the process that allows me, for example, to believe that the human genome has been mapped—despite my knowing nothing about that field of science at all. That same trust has allowed scientists at large to similarly believe in the results of climate science.

    Until now.

    So what are the “rules” of the scientific method? Actually, they are not all that different from those of the justice system. Just as it is a fundamental right of every affected party to be heard and fairly considered by the court, it is of crucial importance to science that all points of view be given a chance to be heard, and fairly debated. But, of course, it would be impossible to allow an “open slather” type of arrangement, like discussion forums on the Internet; so how do we admit all points of view, without descending into anarchy?
    This question touches on something of a dark secret within science—one which most scientists, through the need for self-preservation, are scared to admit: most disciplines of science are, to a greater or lesser extent, controlled by fashions, biases and dogma. Why is this so? Because the mechanism by which scientific debate has been “regulated” to avoid anarchy—at least since the second half of the twentieth
    century—has been the “peer review” process. The career of any professional scientist lives or dies on their success in achieving publication of their papers in “peer-reviewed” journals. So what, exactly, does “peer-reviewed” mean? Simply that other professional scientists in that discipline must agree that the paper is worthy of publication. And what is the criterion that determines who these “professional scientists” should be? Their success in achieving publication of their papers in peer-reviewed journals! Catch-22.

    It may seem, on the surface, that this circular process is fundamentally flawed but, borrowing the words of Winston Churchill, it is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Science is not, of course, alone in this respect; for example, in the justice system, judges are generally selected from the ranks of lawyers. So what is it that allows this form of system to work, despite its evident circularity?

    The justice system again provides a clue: judges are not the ones who ultimately decide what occurs in a courtroom: they simply implement the laws passed or imposed by the government—and politicians are not, in general, selected solely from the ranks of the legal profession. This is the ultimate “reality check” that prevents the legal system from spiralling into navel-gazing irrelevance.

    Equivalent “escape valves” for science are not as explicitly obvious, but they exist nonetheless.

    First, a scientific discipline can maintain a “closed shop” mentality for a while, but eventually the institutions and funding agencies that provide the lifeblood of their work—the money that pays their wages and funds their research—will begin to question the relevance and usefulness of the discipline, particularly in relation to other disciplines that are competing for the same funds. This will generally be seen by the affected scientists as “political interference”, but it is a reflection of their descent into arrogance and delusions of self-importance for them to believe that only they themselves are worthy of judging their own merits.

    Second, scientists who are capable and worthy, but unfairly “locked out” of a given discipline, will generally migrate to other disciplines in which the scientific process is working as it should. Dysfunctional disciplines will, in time, atrophy, in favour of those that are healthy and dynamic.

    The Climategate emails show that these self-regulating mechanisms simply failed to work in the case of climate science—perhaps because “climate science” is itself an aggregation of many different and disparate scientific disciplines. Those component disciplines are extremely challenging. For example, it would be wonderful if NASA were able to invent a time machine, and go back over the past hundred thousand years and set up temperature and carbon dioxide measurement probes across the breadth of the globe. Unfortunately, we don’t have this. Instead, we need to infer these measurements, by counting tree rings, or digging up tubes of ice. The science of each of these disciplines is well-defined and rigorous, and there are many good scientists working in these fields. But the real difficulty is the “stitching together” of all of these results in a way that allows answers to the fundamental questions: How much effect has mankind had on the temperature of the planet? And how much difference would it make if we did things differently?

    It is at this “stitching together” layer of science—one could call it a “meta-discipline” —that the principles of the scientific method have broken down. Reading through the Climategate emails, one can see members of that community—usually those with slightly different experience and wisdom than the power-brokers—questioning (as they should) this “stitching together” process, particularly with regard to the extremely subtle mathematical methods that need to be used to try to extract answers. Now, these mathematical and statistical methods are completely within my own domain of expertise; and I can testify that the criticisms are sensible, carefully thought-out, and completely valid; these are good scientists, asking the right questions.

    So what reception do they get? Instead of embracing this diversity of knowledge—thanking them for their experience (no-one knows everything about everything) and using that knowledge to improve their own calculations—these power-brokers of climate science instead ignore, fob off, ridicule, threaten, and ultimately black-ball those who dare to question the methods that they—the power-brokers, the leaders—have used. And do not be confused: I am here talking about those scientists within their own camps, not the “skeptics” which they dismiss out of hand.

    This is not “climate science”, it is climate ideology; it is the Church of Climatology.
    It is this betrayal of the principles of science—in what is arguably the most important public application of science in our lifetime—that most distresses scientists.

    http://bit.ly/qGdw23 (pdf)

    • Fine screed, but going from justice to the peer review process, you forgot to carry the idea that the climate-gate emails would be inadmissible in court.

      Besides the fact that you are tarring an entire branch of science based on the behavior of a few, whose work has been verified by others not tainted by the climate-gate non scandal.

    • Besides the fact that you are tarring an entire branch of science based on the behavior of a few, whose work has been verified by others not tainted by the climate-gate non scandal.

      That’s the non-scandal of hiding data, hiding declines, turning graphs upside-down, pal-review …

      And it’s not merely the fraud of a few, it’s the deafening silence from virtually all the others, who are thereby also tainted.

  33. “lolwot | October 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    climate sensitivity does come from GCMs.”

    Reference please. So far as I am aware, the way the IPCC arrives at a change in surface temperature for a change in CO2 concentration is as follows.

    1. Estimate the change in radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2.

    2 Estimate the no-feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 by using the “Plank” or some other method.

    3. Estimate the total climate sensitivity by the use of GCMs.
    GCMs cannot accept a change in radiative forcing as an input. Instead, the IPCC estimates the no-feedback climate sensitivity, and uses this as an input to the GCMs. If I am wrong, where am I wrong?

    • um, you’re completely wrong. the no-feedback sensitivity is a benchmark. you can use a GCM to get it if you disable all the feedbacks, a sh*t cr*p pile of work, but could be done. it is true like lolwot or someone said that the models develop the sensitivity. it is not input to them. doesn’t mean they’re right.

      so to expand, a model takes a parcel of air with x ppm CO2 and uses radiative transfer codes to figure out how much of the outgoing IR is intercepted, based on surface emission profile (how much at what wavelength), where it’s at in the atmosphere, what is absorbed and emitted below, etc. etc.

      this absorption/re-emission becomes the basis of the generation of the feedbacks (vis a vis increase in air temp).

      doesn’t mean they’re right, I’m just saying.

      • OK, but how are clouds handled? Are there parameters that determine the proportion of cloud at each level in a cell, based on temperature, surface temp, surface type (land vs. sea), etc.? Then more parameters that determine the effect of x% cloud on radiation?

      • sounds about right but I have to punt that up to more knowledgeable peoples.

    • steven mosher

      Wrong.

      “1. Estimate the change in radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2.

      2 Estimate the no-feedback climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 by using the “Plank” or some other method.

      3. Estimate the total climate sensitivity by the use of GCMs.
      GCMs cannot accept a change in radiative forcing as an input. Instead, the IPCC estimates the no-feedback climate sensitivity, and uses this as an input to the GCMs. If I am wrong, where am I wrong?”

      Sensitivity is estimated by 3 or 4 lines of evidence. Paleo (LGM) observation, and finally models. The models give a range of 2.1 to 4.4C.
      The observation work and paleo work ranges from ~1.5C to 6C+
      GCMs work by taking in concentrations of emissions over time. The radiation codes calculate fluxes dependent on the constituents in the atmosphere. These codes are band model RTE. tested and verified agaist observation ( see ARM)

      • & to clarify w/r/t what I said and Mosher’s more intelligent explanation, I think we are in absolute agreement that sensitivity is NOT an input to the models, it is an outcome, but I failed to mention that yes it can be otherwise derived or estimated.

        Also even the “no feedback” sensitivity as estimated by a model is still going to depend quite a bit on its handling of convection effects on the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) which I am going to guess are not as ironclad as the treatment of band-level radiative transfer equations..

      • In the no-feedback case, the only assumption about convection would be that it maintains the lapse rate much as it is, which connects the troposphere temperature change to a surface temperature change.

  34. I am with joshua and his fellow travelers on this one. I firmly believe that the IPCC should stay the course, just carry on with their dishonest and feckless efforts to peddle their hysterical alarmist propaganda. (Don’t tell joshua, et al, but It ain’t working.)

    • Stirling English

      When your opponents are in a deep hole, it is bad strategy to advise them to stop digging. Let us encourage the IPCC go down as far as they like.

    • steven mosher

      haha, ya. keep doing what they are doing.

  35. The question is whether IPCC has outlived its usefulness.
    The IAC Review made a number of recommendations for improving IPCC’s processes and procedures. If IPCC had any genuine desire for self-improvement it would have exhibited considerable effort and enthusiasm to achieve those reforms. Instead, what we see is tardy, reluctant, selective, partial movement, a tinkering at the edges to give the appearance of acknowledging its many problems. Its conflict of interest policy is farcical; instead of improving transparency it has embraced ‘confidentiality’. To date there seems to be no genuine effort to address selection bias. The whole attitude seems to reflect its reluctance to respond to critical review comments. Defunding would be a good first step.
    IF the international community were serious about reducing CO2emissions we would see the likes of China, India, USA, Canada etc. rushing to ‘save the planet’. Instead, we see piecemeal endeavours (by a minority) which are not merely environmentally ineffective but also economically damaging and which thereby threaten to compromise our capacity to adapt to whatever climate change consequences are in the pipeline.

  36. Tony Brown

    Well done!

    For those who lack Tony’s style, competence and good sense, look to what he posted here at the top of the thread for an example of the right way to defame in writing without exposing oneself to the charge of libel.

    See how he uses allusion to others’ derogatory writings to say the same thing without the ugly resort to the clumsy words and kludgy reasoning.

    Look how a specific, identifiable group, while clearly intended, is not actually named in such a way that a formal libel has been committed. A skilled circumlocution that stand shy of actually offending while getting the offense public in all its barely veiled glory.

    See too how strings of nearly-related concepts are strung together to seem to form a logical premise without the premise actually being stated directly.

    Bravo.

    This is like a textbook for how to call people you don’t like nasty names without giving them any recourse to defense from the damages you do.

    Takes notes, folks.

    Some of you could use it.

  37. The European economy is on the verge of a Lehman like collapse. The U.S. economy is taking on debt faster than the Titanic took on water. Both are “too big to fail”‘ But both are also too big to bail out. In this disastrous economic climate, the IPCC is still pushing for decarbonization, which could turn a potential global depression into a global economic collapse.

    In the real world, there is now zero chance that the IPCC’s policy recommendations will be implemented (any more than they have to date) at any time in the foreseeable future. And unless there is a drastic change in the political tides, the idiotic attempt to regulate “carbon” will be rolled back, regardless of what any scientist or group of scientists says.

    But as a conservative, I must say that I hope that the IPCC continues on its merry way because the only harm it is likely to do from now on is to the cause of progressivism and its drive toward centrally planning the energy economy. Changing the rules of the IPCC at this point would be like changing the sheet music of the dance band on the Titanic. It might sound a little better, but it’s not going to make the slightest difference in the outcome.

    • But what if the IPCC are right, but for whatever reasons their recomendations can’t be implemented?

      So that’s just too bad is it?

      • Retired man, trying to convince his wife to let him invest all their assets with in the latest Ponzi scheme:

        “What if Bernie Madoff is right, but for whatever reason I don’t invest all of our money according to his recommendations?

        So that’s just too bad is it?”

        Not a terribly convincing argument. A virtually guaranteed economic collapse, vs. Greenpeace generated scare scenarios with vastly inflated levels of certainty. Those of us not blinded by our politics will be glad to take our chances.

      • But, we know that you’re wrong. You probably are too old, so you yourself won’t suffer from the effects of advanced AGW. There’s no justice in the world is there?

      • tempterrain

        You probably are too old, so you yourself won’t suffer from the effects of advanced AGW

        Nor will my grandchildren (or yours), tempterrain, because the whole computer-fed, IPCC-led AGW scheme will have collapsed long before they are old.

        The collapse has already started with the lack of warming over the first whole decade of the new millennium.

        It is continuing as we “speak”, as pointed out by Tony Brown in the lead article.

        Between now and 2100 the climate will continue to do exactly what it wants to do, regardless of anything we try to do about it.

        Max

      • We’re getting awfully tired of the ‘grandchildren’ gambit. Our grandchildren will be better off in a warmer world however it happens, and far worse off in a colder world.
        =============

      • “We know that you’re wrong.” Somebody didn’t get the memo. Absolute certainty hasn’t worked very well in pushing your agenda. You are supposed to pretend to recognize at least a miniscule possibility of error.

        As for my future grandchildren, I will entrust their future to me, and my children (their future parents), rather than you, Michael Mann, James Hansen, Rajenda Pachauri, and Al Gore, thank you very much.

      • tt,
        After all of this time, all of this evidence to the contrary, you stick to your noxious bit of sophistry that skeptics just don’t care?
        What a shallow, derivative fact-free and ignorant position you take.
        Are you even serious?

      • “After all of this time, all of this evidence to the contrary, you stick to your noxious bit of sophistry that skeptics just don’t care”

        Climate skeptics certainly care about the price of gasoline, their right to carry guns and their ‘freedom’ to drive SUVs that’s for sure. But what else do they care about? In which other scientific topics do they, or have they ever shown, anywhere near the same level of interest as in the climate?

      • tt-
        Ask yourself, if you are able, the same question regarding AGW believers:
        Beyond posturing about ‘the climate’, what good has your community done?
        Nothing at all.
        The skeptics who post here- engineers, scientists from other fields, geologists, interested lay people, are all involved with building futures for their families and delivering goods and services that actually help people today.
        The AGW community wants to stop much of that, and rob the future of cheap, abundant energy in the name of some model results which are agreed to be highly imperfect.
        The sorry argument you lurch into over and over like some staggering drunk is the same disgusting argument the eugenicists used in their heyday, and just as empty.

      • “rob the future of cheap, abundant energy”

        Not at all. There is abundant energy but not in the form of fossil fuels. Besides the CO2 emissions there’s lots of other nasties in there too.

        http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/blogs/fossil-fuels-deadlier-than-nuclear-radiation

  38. “Would climate science be better off if it were divorced from the IPCC? ”
    A better question: is any area science better off by having an organization serve as a knowledge clearing house between scientists and policymakers? The answer to this question is no. These organizations thrive by exploiting ignorance among non-scientists of how science works. Many if not most people in the non-science world think that scientific knowledge is validated through consensus-finding as expressed by professional societies where members get to vote for the officers who make these pronoucements. It is a plausible way for many to think because it mirrors the democratic process in at least a superficial way, and it conjures pleasant fantasies of “ideal societies” governed by toga-clad learned elders. But scientists are people too, with political beliefs and as much a desire to “do well by doing good” as anyone else. Trying to hybridize science and politics as the IPCC has done ends up producing bad science and bad politics.

  39. IPCC
    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.

    OBSERVATION
    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    Where is the acknowledgement by the IPCC for its wrong “accelerated warming” claim?

    It must be disbanded, for causing needless worldwide panic.

  40. First, it is misnamed. It is not an Inter-governmental panel, it is an extra-governmental panel, well beyond the influence of any people I elected. Its entwined interface with NGOs makes it, in my opinion, hopelessly compromised, especially after discovering their use of gray literature. Second, it is a tool of activists. The summary for policy makers of its reports being released prior to the conclusion of the scientific portion shows which is first, and it is not the horse. Third, it is completely hypocritical, enthusiastically embracing all the ‘bad’ behaviors it wants the hoi-polloi to be prohibited from. Its run by a railway engineer and NGO insider, and steered by a small number of gatekeepers. The one and only bright spot of the financial crisis is that it leaves no money to advance the IPCC’s agenda. The IPCC is hopelessly lost in my opinion and needs eliminating – and as quickly as possible.

    • Chip,

      The people you elected signed off on every IPCC assessment report. Furthermore the “railway engineer and NGO insider” was the personal choice of your last president.

      • hastur,
        Just more evidence that good people make msitakes.

      • Pretty clever of Dubya to put Pachauri Jones in the engineer’s seat, drivin’ that train. Is there no limit to his wickedness?
        ===============

      • Pachauri’s singular appeal at the time of his inauguration was that he was not Dr. Watson. And that’s it.

      • Also, you say elected officials signed off on the document. Can you name any who actually signed it?

  41. I got bored again and did a little counting. Two separate sub-threads here, both diverted to discussion about the earth shattering issue of whether anyone can “prove” that climategate caused a change in public opinion, totaling 40 comments out of 178 at the time of writing this.

    On a post directed to what if anything should be done about the IPCC.

    Can you say filibuster? ….. I knew that you could.

    Quick, someone write something about asymetry.

    • steven mosher

      Joshua is like a skeptic who sees C02 go up and sees temperature go up and demands to “see” the causation.

      • Er… Which way was that causation going again?

      • “a skeptic who sees C02 go up and sees temperature go up and demands to “see” the causation”

        I see the temperature go up and down all the time. And I’m still waiting for the evidence that C02 has anything whatsoever to do with it.

        Andrew

      • Steven,

        Isn’t causation essentially a question of probability? OK we consider that CO2, CH4 etc are GH gases, we then increase their concentrations, we see it get warmer and think its very likely that the situation is indeed one of cause and effect.

        On another matter: I’ve just looked at the graphs on your website: http://stevemosher.wordpress.com/

        Like the one right at the bottom of the first page:

        You may be of the opinion that its not necessary to explain to people who are as smart as you are, just what the red, blue and black lines actually represent, but I’ve always thought it was good practice to indicate this information anyway.

      • @tempterrain…

        Isn’t causation essentially a question of probability?

        No it isn’t, not in the sense you’re asking it. leaving aside the fact that cause/effect as we normally understand it is an artifact of how our brains work, GHG’s either do or do not “cause” warming, and warming either does or does not cause increased CO2. What’s a question of probability is our best guess about what’s actually happening.

        I’m not just nit-picking here. It’s important when dealing with science to recognize that there’s a real world out there, presumably acting according to real “principles”, and science is about discovering those principles. But one of the fundamental assumptions of all real science is that those principles will operate the same way whether we understand them or not.

        A second point to understand is that, to begin with, each of these “cause” relationships, if they exist, occur with a certain “strength”, which AFAIK we call “sensitivity”. Following on, causation is not necessarily an either/or situation. Each could cause the other, under appropriate circumstances, resulting in the potential for positive feedback relationships, including “runaway” conditions.

  42. GaryM

    I suggest that Joshua writes his own article and submits it to Judith on the subject of ;
    ‘ Everything in the IPCC garden is lovely-Climategate proven to restore trust in climate science.’

    The object of my article was to determine what- if anything- should be done about the IPCC and it would be good if he focused on that.

    The climate is important to us and perhaps there is a need for an objective central body to coordinate research into it by looking at the past and present natural and human influences.

    This would include a more thorough look at the basic data and also the research that has gone before.

    With regards to basic data there is no better example than SSTs that I wrote about here. It is scary to think our governments are partly taking decisions based on bored sailors throwing buckets over the side of a ship 130 years ago in order to extract sea water samples with which to measure temperatures .

    With regards to the latter-research- we seem to be constantly reinventing the wheel-a good example is the last thread on climate 500 years ago which delivered us the news that crop prices change in relation to the prevailing climate-a subject that Hubert Lamb wrote about in great detail 40 years ago.

    Over the years the IPCC has developed in ways that were probably never intended, just as the EU has developed way beyond what most of us had expected.

    There is a politicisation of the process which has perhaps become more important than the science. I doubt if the IPCC can be rehabilitated as its inherent dysfunctional processes are so embedded, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good practices that could be carried forward to a new organisation under different leadership..
    tonyb

    • Over the years the IPCC has developed in ways that were probably never intended, just as the EU has developed way beyond what most of us had expected.

      There is a politicisation of the process which has perhaps become more important than the science.

      Occam’s Razor suggests a more robust presumption and conclusion: it was born deformed, and grew monstrous by design.

    • tonyb

      “that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good practices that could be carried forward to a new organisation under different leadership.”

      That part of your comment presents what is really the central issue of the question you raise. What type of organization is best able to carry out and improve on “good practices” over time?

      WebHubTelescope inadvertently stumbles across the answer in a comment above.

      “The point is that these organizations (IPCC, Bell Labs, etc) exist because groups of people decided to disseminate scientific research for the common good.”

      The fact is that Bell Labs was not formed “to disseminate scientific research for the common good.” Nor was the IPCC. Bell Labs was formed to make a profit off of science and engineering, with the happy result of a great deal of research that redounded to the common good.
      The IPCC was formed to further a political agenda (Which is why I disagree that it is dysfuntional or corrupted – it is working precisely as it was designed to work.), with the unhappy consequence of perpetuating bad science and bad scientific practices.

      In Bell labs, when an idea or process failed, it had to be discarded because the goal was to turn a profit, and it was a waste of the owners’ money to keep alive something that doesn’t work. A line of research that ended in a dead end, or a researcher who refused to learn from his mistakes, was discarded.

      In the IPCC, since the goal is the accumulation of political power (both for the IPCC itself and its political sponsors), the correctness of the science is irrelevant. That which supports the case for more control is supported, no matter how thoroughly debunked, because it doesn’t matter if the science works, what matters is whether it supports the agency’s true agenda. (Blatant errors like disappearing glaciers and Amazon forests are only corrected when the fallout from such debacles threatens the agency’s authority.) They are spending the money of tax payers, who have no say in how they go about their work.

      When science follows a capitalist model, mistakes will still be made, but when they fail, they go away, either through the decision of the owners, or bankruptcy if they do not see the error of their ways. When the government controls the science, errors are perpetuated, like the East German Trabant.

      If Michael Mann were working for a private company when he produced the shoddy work that gave us the hockey stick, he would have been fired. But since he works for, and is funded by, government, and because his work contributed (for a time) to advancing the progressive agenda, he has prospered.

      The IPCC isn’t going anywhere any time soon, There is too much of our money already in the pipeline. The only thing we have to worry about is well intentioned moderates/independents/default progressives trying to reincarnate it as another government controlled arbiter of science.

      • WebHubTelescope inadvertently stumbles across the answer in a comment above.

        “The point is that these organizations (IPCC, Bell Labs, etc) exist because groups of people decided to disseminate scientific research for the common good.”
        The fact is that Bell Labs was not formed “to disseminate scientific research for the common good.” Nor was the IPCC. Bell Labs was formed to make a profit off of science and engineering, with the happy result of a great deal of research that redounded to the common good.

        The only problem was that only a few corporations out of thousands were willing to set up research labs that gave their scientists freedom. Contrary to your opinion, during the peak years, the scientists could work on stuff that had nothing to do with their products. Jeez, I just gave you a link to a Bell Labs film on global warming from 1958 — what does that have to do with the telephone system? Bell Labs, IBM Watson, Xerox PARC and a couple others were not the norm back in the day.

        Nowadays, they aren’t what they were then either. Bell Labs is split up into several pieces and PARC split from Xerox.

      • Web,

        The only reason those scientists had the luxury of following some of their own interested, was that their work for Bell Labs provided sufficient profit to do extraneous work.

        But yes, private labs today just aren’t what they used to be. Innovation stopped decades ago. I can show you right here with a Google search on this nifty phone I have that can do more than the computers NASA had to send men to the moon. Let me move my Kindle out of the way first, as soon as I am done talking to people around the globe, virtually for free. And my flat screen TV might be a little too loud to hear you, so let me turn it down too. I’ll record our internet conference and post it on Youtube for the entire world to see. Here, have some chips while we talk, they’re made from the most abundant farms in the history of mankind. And don’t get me started on all the medical devices and medicines that will probably keep me alive til I reach 100 (perish the thought).

        Ahhhh for the good old days before evil capitalist corporations got involved with research..

      • Yes, capitalist organisations do their own research but now it hardly ever gets released into the public domain. Ever heard of intellectual property? Ever heard of NDAs? Non disclosure agreements? Everyone has to sign those now even to be allowed access the most mundane of corporate information. The ethos of Bell Labs is well and truly a thing of the past.

      • tempterrain,

        Oddly enough I have heard of intellectual property. Without it, you wouldn’t have most of the technology we have today.

        Ahhh for the good old days when the altruistic progressives at Bell Labs rejected the evils of capitalist concepts like intellectual property – as demonstrated by their 26,000+ patents.

        http://www.pbs.org/transistor/background1/corgs/bellabs.html

      • GaryM,

        There is nothing wrong with patenting inventions. Yes, the scientists and engineers at Bell were allowed to do that, and they considered that to be enough protection. They were allowed much more freedom to write up their work in scientific journals than they would be now. Pick up any journal these days and you won’t find much if anything from the private sector which isn’t written as a marketing exercise.

        Patenting inventions is one thing but I’m not sure about the patenting of human genes, 20% of which have been patented:
        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/10/1013_051013_gene_patent.html

        In fact if it wasn’t for the intervention of President Clinton in 2000 the whole of the human genome would have been patented and now been in private possession.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genome_Project

        Is that what you guys would have wanted?

      • Web,

        The only reason those scientists had the luxury of following some of their own interested, was that their work for Bell Labs provided sufficient profit to do extraneous work.

        I can show you right here with a Google search on this nifty phone I have that can do more than the computers NASA had to send men to the moon.

        Stop with the patronizing attitude. I worked at IBM Watson for awhile and know innovation. I shared an office with Bob Dennard, the inventor of DRAM and developer of the scaling theory that allowed most of the miniaturization that amuses you so. The indoctrination I got when I was there was to pick an interesting topic and plug away.

      • tempterrain,

        You have now moved the goal post all the way to another stadium. The issues regarding patenting genes are much more complex than it is worth going into on a climate blog. I am ambivalent on the issue anyway.

        Suffice it to say, your visceral antipathy for capitalism does not translate well into rational arguments regarding economic history. You and Web are so far off base a quadriplegic catcher could pick you off first. (No offense to quadripegic catchers intended of course.)

      • Antipathy for capitalism? Not at all. My view is that it is a necessary and even a desirable part of a modern liberal democracy. However, every company or corporation should be accountable to a wider section of that democracy than just its own shareholders. It’s also important that no particular one becomes too big – certainly not so big they can’t be allowed to fail.

      • Mann is satisfying his customer. Pretty simple, really.

    • As a former sailor tasked with taking regular sea water temperature readings, I take offense that one would suggest that sailors do not take their work seriously, even if it is quite boring.

      Other than that, since the IPCC doesn’t do any science, why disband it.

      Especially since they seem to be getting the right answer.

      • Claiming the IPCC is getting the ‘right answer’ is a nice illustratin of the golden rule for bureaucracies:
        “He who has the gold writes the rules.”

    • It might be better if Judith invited people who were qualified in Climate science to write a blog or two occasionally. Chris Colose, perhaps?

  43. GaryM is spot on.
    This site continually raises interesting and challenging topics and issues in a reasoned and mature way, but often a few “contributors” take topics off down the line of – deniers blah blah, show me the proof blah blah, big oil blah blah, … After a short while, it gets a bit like the Monty Python argument sketch. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y
    I seems that every time an interesting topic is being discussed some people do not want the facts and challenges to get in the way of a good dogmatic status quo argument.
    As for the subject of this thread – for me it is clear that the IPCC cannot be trusted to give unbiased and considered advise and any IPCC contributing scientist with a modicum of self respect would have to question the methods and means for obtaining the “it’s worse than we thought” propaganda that the IPCC is best known for. As an engineering graduate I worked this out all by myself based on simple application, investigation and common sense.
    The climategate issue was only a small piece of a much larger story of deceit and statistical manipulation. It would be nice to see some of the key figures from the IPCC actually addressing the issues rather than ignoring them. I guess it is also fair to say that some of the posters on here are operating in the same way as the IPCC.

    I am just amazed that with all of the big oil money on the side of the sceptics how more (or any) news space cannot be bought to promote the alternatives to the IPCC alleged truth, it sort of suggests that maybe the big oil story is yet another example of a flawed theory that some choose to accept without question or deviation from the one true way.

    So to Dr Curry I’d like to say thanks for giving people the chance to understand the issue on both sides and to those few posters mentioned above I’d like to thank them for confirming what I already knew.

    • Shytot

      Thanks for a nice post.

      • Shytot

        Thanks for a nice post.

        Not really, he/she is a phony. Girma at least you put some ridiculously naive little graph up, and sign your name to it.

        Check this:

        As an engineering graduate I worked this out all by myself based on simple application, investigation and common sense.

        Shytot, If you are going to act like you are some great savior, you might actually want to point to your actual arguments. Otherwise, your arguments are self-servingly hollow. I suggest you do what I do, and try to build up a scientific chain of arguments, and make it available for anyone to try to refute. Just like I did elsewhere in this thread:
        https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/06/ipcc-discussion-thread/#comment-119155
        Climate research is a classic multi-physics domain and I am not expecting to finish it one big bite, rather to build up from a foundation of first-principles where I can properly propagate uncertainties and try to make sense in my own mind (and hope to get some feedback). For all I know, you can be doing this as well, but we all get kind of tired by these assertions of authority, in your case from “an engineering graduate” …. please, sheez.

      • Thanks for confirming what I already know

      • Thanks for confirming what I already know

        We have no idea what you know, that is the problem!
        You are just like a lot of people that cast aspersions and deal with innuendo without really arguing the scientific evidence, apart from some line of fallacious reasoning, in your case, an assertion from authority.

      • This is a rude and unreasonable remark. Shytot seems to be a first-time commenter and you have no reason to regard him/her as a ‘phony’. Nor does he/she claim to be ‘some great savior’. I agree with Shytot’s comments.

      • I don’t think he/she is actually a “shy tot”. These people should be able to take it, once they cast aspersions of “deceit and statistical manipulation” on others.

      • Thanks PaulM
        @ webhubtelescope – I guess that is your real name?
        You seem to have interpreted my comments and jumped to some conclusions …. as you are entitled to.
        I was merely giving an opinion on the quality and direction of some posts and also on what I believe wrt the IPCC which was the original purpose of this thread.
        I used the engineering graduate part to confirm that I have some scientific abilities and am therefore happy to take in the various facts and think for myself or to put it another way I don’t like to be spoon fed fallacious arguments or innuendo or aspersions….
        As for what I know – I know that a lot of shoddy data and statistics have been used to perpetrate a convenient lie. I know that several people have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and avoiding any open discussion on the quality of their data and calculations. If you don’t see that or believe it then that is your right but I don’t feel I have to justify it to you in minute detail.
        Since I thought that most people participating on this thread will have some prior knowledge and will have various sources I am not going to resurrect all of the threads and all of the evidence supplied by much more capable people than me.

      • C’mon WHT

        No need to get all excited and surly.

        Shytot expressed a personal opinion, which many of us here may share but you obviously do not, namely

        for me it is clear that the IPCC cannot be trusted to give unbiased and considered advice

        Instead of attacking shytot’s motives, why not simply list the factual reasons for your viewpoint to show that shytot’s viewpoint is not sound, namely why the IPCC can be trusted to give unbiased advice?

        Emm..or do you not have any factual reasons for your viewpoint to present?

        Max

      • Manacker, you aren’t helping either by putting data tables with bad data points out for people like me to wrestle with. You know what I am talking about.

        The fact is when confronted with someone like me with some energy and clear logical thinking willing to wade through the data, then we have to wheel in the fainting couch.

        Instead of attacking shytot’s motives, why not simply list the factual reasons for your viewpoint to show that shytot’s viewpoint is not sound, namely why the IPCC can be trusted to give unbiased advice?

        Geez. I just linked to an analysis that I did which completely verified and validated (ooh, that will get some people excited) the standard IPCC CO2 impulse response curves. This is derived completely from first-principles and can be used by anyone to explain and rationalize the huge adjustment time of CO2 in the atmosphere. But obviously you don’t want to argue that, and instead you want to support someone with a bruised ego.

        The perhaps sad fact is that I thrive in this kind of environment. You can throw stuff at me and tell me where I am totally wrong, and I will just adapt, learn from that and make some other advance. Doesn’t matter to me how it gets done, just that we move the sticks downfield. Science is a contact sport. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a footnote :)

      • WHT,
        You mean if Shytot doesn’t buy into your Malthusia bs he/she is not entitled to an opinion?
        You seem more rude than usual.
        Are things OK on the home front? Is there an illness in the family?

  44. Hi Joshua

    My apologies-I am on a very flaky connection (which took a minute just to upload the ‘leave a reply’ form) so its been difficult to follow the discussions on the main point of the article- the future of the IPCC- as well as the sub thread you have been busily developing, which seems to be about climategate, which caused someone to refer to your ‘endless sophistry’.

    With respect, I would remind you of what I wrote;

    ” But regardless whether or not “corrupt” is too strong a word to use to describe this process, there is no question that in many people’s eyes the IPCC has suffered a massive loss of credibility and trust by the general public as a result of the many disclosures following the Climategate leaks. In turn this has followed through into greater scepticism by some parts of the media and created a greater awareness of the role and importance of the IPCC.”

    Some context here is important as I was in part qualifying my DEFENCE of the IPCC (see climatic change-special issue” thread) as regards a charge of ‘corruption,’ by pointing out that they are not the voice of authority or command the respect- that they perhaps once did.

    I said that ‘in many peoples eyes’ the IPCC had suffered a massive loss of respect and credibility. MANY people is not ALL people Joshua . It means ‘great in number’ or ‘numerous.’ Obviously ‘Many’ people continue to hold them in great regard but not ALL people do.

    Undoubtedly there are other causes for changes in perception about the IPCC and climate science, of which the nature of any severe weather in the previous year will undoubtedly play a part. Positive or negative coverage by the media will also have an impact.

    The topic is not about climate gate but the IPCC. I am sure you have something interesting to say about that latter topic. If so I would be pleased to read it. (connection permitting)

    tonyb

    • Hi Tony –

      I said that ‘in many peoples eyes’ the IPCC had suffered a massive loss of respect and credibility. MANY people is not ALL people Joshua . It means ‘great in number’ or ‘numerous.’ Obviously ‘Many’ people continue to hold them in great regard but not ALL people do.

      Thanks,

      I did consider that your argument might not be that there has been a massive lost of trust and credibility on the part of the public, but that “many people” think that such has taken place. I had trouble parsing that sentence, and went with the alternative interpretation.

      As such, now that you’ve clarified, I apologize for my confusion about the point that you were making. But given your clarification, I am now confused by this other statement:

      Obviously ‘Many’ people continue to hold them in great regard but not ALL people do

      Here, again, you seem to be conflating references to those who think that there is a “massive” loss of credibility among the general public, and there being a “massive” loss of credibility and trust among the general public.

      Regardless, going with the idea that “many people” think that there has been a massive loss of trust and credibility among the general public, I still have to ask you what you feel qualifies as “many people?”

      My guess is that a relatively tiny % of people think that “Climategate” has caused a massive lost of trust and credibility among the general public. Now, a tiny % of the planet’s population, or even a tiny % of people who live in countries and circumstances where they are likely to have access to information about climate change, could, in an absolute sense, be considered to be “many,” but I don’t think that “many people” is an accurate descriptor – given that it is likely a tiny % of people who live in countries and circumstances where they are likely to have access to information about climate change. Even in the U.S., according to the one poll that manacker linked, 29% of the 29% of the people who at least somewhat follow the debate about climate change are more skeptical about climate change as the result of “Climategate” – and most of them have “conservative” leanings. My guess is that many of that 8% of the public did not have trust in the credibility of the IPCC prior to “Climategate,” and so whether “Climategate” actually “resulted” in a “massive” loss of trust and credibility – even among that 8% – IMO, is highly questionable.

      But even if it were, what do you think about the possibility that they would be holding that belief even though there is insufficient evidence to support their conclusion? I would say that those “many people” are more than likely driven by motivated reasoning in forming their views about climate change.

      What say you?

      As for the IPCC:

      The topic is not about climate gate but the IPCC. I am sure you have something interesting to say about that latter topic. If so I would be pleased to read it.

      I think that the IPCC process has been flawed in many of the ways that we have seen discussed in these and other “skeptical” blogs. Not the least among them are insufficient processes for controlling for potential conflicts of interest, or motivated reasoning among the IPCC participants. I do not think, however, that the IPCC is particularly unique, as a large institution, in those regards. That doesn’t mean that I think that corrections should not be implemented, or that a slowness in implementing those corrections is not troubling. But at the same time, I find that the types of categorical denouncement of the IPCC that I have often read -often times infused throughout with political speculations and not infrequently infused with reasoning based on conspiratorial logic – to be worthy of a high level of “skeptical” scrutiny.

      What say you about that?

      As to whether I think that the IPCC should be disbanded, or has lost its usefulness: The existing problems notwithstanding, it is my belief that without a viable alternative in place, the IPCC plays an important function as a clearinghouse for existing expert input on climate change. That said, I think that “skeptical” scrutiny of their output – of the type that we have seen provided by our gracious host at Climate Etc., plays an important role as well. The problem for me is that unfortunately, IMO, the “skepticism” that we see sometimes is of dubious quality, because it is insufficiently controlled for political influences, motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc. It is impossible to completely control for those influences, but when people reject the notion that such influences even need to be controlled for on one side of the debate (but that the other side of the debate is fatally flawed due to those influences), or when people argue that there is some inherent “vast asymmetry” in the influence of such biases – then there is no place to even start to control for the biases on both sides.

      • Joshua, a year ago my tire guy knew the scare was exaggerated, and knew it was ruining business. Maybe you should get out more.
        =============

      • They call this a filibuster. You are a trip joshua. Please stop the pedantic blubbering. You are not doing your cause any good. Thank you.

      • Thanks for reading, Don.

        It’s nice to know that I can count on you.

      • I find you somewhat amusing, joshua. If only your type could harvest the energy in the surfeit of hot air that you generate. How did Copenhagen work out for you? You are right about Climategate. No problem for your team. You should have more of them.

      • Stirling English

        The OCD/autism isn’t improving then? Shame.

      • Don –

        You are not doing your cause any good.

        For the most part, I don’t have a “cause.” I think that vast majority of the participants in this forum are largely fixed in their perspectives. I will admit that to the extent that isn’t the case, I hold on to the very remote possibility that discussing facile reasoning among “skeptics” will help to convince somebody that assumptions about “vast asymmetry” in the climate debate are ill-founded. But admittedly, I assume that at best, only the tiniest of fractions of the people reading this blog might be so persuaded.

        Mostly, I participate on this blog to help develop my own perspective. The fact that my participation elicits so many insults is not the least bit unexpected to me. I’m a big boy. I can take it. And so comments such as yours have no discouraging effect – in case you thought that maybe they did.

      • I am not insulting you, joshua. I am ridiculing you. Just trying to help you develop your perspective, and I am starting with your distorted sense of your own worth.

      • Joshua

        You are flogging a dead horse parsing sentences.

        Tony has expressed himself very clearly on the general public loss of confidence in IPCC and its predictions..

        He has cited references showing this loss of trust.

        He has conceded that there might be several people who still have trust in ICC despite this trend.

        If you are either unwilling or unable to understand what Tony and others here are telling you, so be it.

        This all just makes you either appear like an obstinate idiot, even if you really aren’t one, or that you are trying to fog up the issue in a filibuster to distract from the painful facts, as another blogger has noted.

        You are in the hole – stop digging..

        Max

      • He has conceded that there might be several people who still have trust in ICC despite this trend.

        lol!

      • Joshua

        As regards the first part of your reply to me Shytot posted this;

        “GaryM is spot on.

        This site continually raises interesting and challenging topics and issues in a reasoned and mature way, but often a few “contributors” take topics off down the line of – deniers blah blah, show me the proof blah blah, big oil blah blah, … After a short while, it gets a bit like the Monty Python argument sketch. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y
        It seems that every time an interesting topic is being discussed some people do not want the facts and challenges to get in the way of a good dogmatic status quo argument.”

        It is worth watching Joshua.

        As regards the second part of your post, I think there is a lot of sniping at- or defending of-the IPCC, because people have an entrenched position which might be political/ideological or for other reasons.

        I do not like it when people accuse the IPCC of corruption or a hoax or a conspiracy (see the other thread) and am sure that most of those working within it have the pursuit of scientific excellence as their prime motivation.

        However they pronounce a level of certainty that appears to be based on false assumptions. SSts are a good example of turning base metal to gold-the historic records are hopeless. Similarly Manns Hockey stick has proved to be (arguably) the single most iconic piece of work
        iused by the IPCC but it is difficult to agree with its findings. My own view is that Dr Mann was over eager to release it-or the IPCC was over eager to use it-as it remains a flawed analysis of climate and the spaghetti derivatives can’t udo the harm the stick has dpme to reasoned discussion..

        i think the IPCC has outlived their usefulness, they are too big, there are too many entrenched views and the process is dysfunctional.

        Look forward to discussing your viewpoint on the IPCC but I don’t intend to have a £5 argument with you (see the link above) :)
        All the best
        tonyb

      • It seems that every time an interesting topic is being discussed some people do not want the facts and challenges to get in the way of a good dogmatic status quo argument.”

        Not much to say in response to that, Tony – except that if that’s your conclusion about what I “want,” you are wrong. What I “want” is to discuss my perspective on the issues, and how it relates to the perspective of others. You wrote what I consider to be a facile conclusion into your post at the top of this thread. I questioned you about that conclusion, and after your response, I believe that your logic was still flawed. If your conclusion from that exchange is that I “don’t want the facts and challenges to get in the way of a good dogmaatic status quo argument,” you are certainly entitled.

        I do not like it when people accuse the IPCC of corruption or a hoax or a conspiracy (see the other thread) and am sure that most of those working within it have the pursuit of scientific excellence as their prime motivation.

        That’s all well and good, and I take that statement at face value. However, my question to you was what do you think about people who reach conclusions about the impact of “Climategate,” despite the lack of supporting evidence. There’s nothing I can do to get you to answer that question if you don’t want to answer it. So be it. I will continue to look to see if you want to respond on that point.

        i think the IPCC has outlived their usefulness, they are too big, there are too many entrenched views and the process is dysfunctional.

        I’m not sure that I disagree – which is why I linked you earlier to Pekka’s reasonable post on that point. I look forward to reading your response to Pekka’s post if you choose to do so.

      • Oh! Oh! Ask me! Ask me! I will help you, joshua. The impact of “Climategate” has been an outpouring of sympathy for the scientist victims of email theft, a much increased awareness that climate kills, and an almost universal recognition that action must and will be taken to save our planet from the evil, well-funded denialist conspiracy. However, there is absolutely no evidence to support my conclusion. But, I came up with the answer you want. Didn’t I, joshua ?

      • Hi joshua

        You come over as a thoughtful and likeable person and if you are ever in the Southwest of England i would be pleased to have a drink with you and we can spend a pleasant few hours parsing each others meanings.

        However, that is difficult to do through the interface of a nested blog and the subtleties and nuances of your highly parsed discourse, especially on climategate, are difficult to follow, let alone reply to so lets leave it for the pub.
        I am interested in your views on the future of the IPCC and which post of Pekkas are you referring to?
        tonyb

      • You come over as a thoughtful and likeable person…

        You obviously haven’t been talking to steven mosher.

        lol!

      • Oh, and Tony –

        Here’s the link to Pekka’s comment:

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/06/ipcc-discussion-thread/#comment-119278

      • steven mosher

        Supporting information:
        Q161. How much do you trust or distrust the following as a source of information about global
        warming?

        Scientists May 2011 June 2010 Jan 2010 Nov 2008

        Strongly trust 21 26 22 28
        Somewhat trust 55 55 52 54
        Somewhat distrust 19 15 19 14
        Strongly distrust 5 4 7 4

        Theory: after climategate “trust” declined. does the data above support
        this theory?
        1. strongly distrust jumped 2 months after climategate.
        2. somewhat distrust jumped.
        3. somewhat trust stayed about the same.
        4. strongly trust dropped.

        So, the data is consistent with the hypothesis. No casual link can be established, causal links require physical testable theories. The real question is “what other untestable explanation do you have to offer

    • tonyb: With respect, I would remind you of what I wrote;

      Nice try.

      • Joshua

        Thanks for the link to Pekkas post where he says;

        “People due argue on the strength of the evidence, but it’s most certainly stronger than it was, when IPCC was created.”

        I’m not sure I would agree with that-you surely must have asked him for the evidence that supports that contention?

        We have learnt more about certain things but still have glaring gaps in our knowledge and what we do know is not necessarily robust-such as SSTs.

        As for much of the rest of Pekkas very good post there’s little I would violently disagree with.

        As for Mosh, he’s positively tame compared to what he used to be like, I think he must like you :)

        tonyb

  45. In my opinion, the IPCC has become too big. The reports are too long (the 1990 was 2cm thick). Based on the stolen CRU emails, contributing scientists seem to be spending too much time writing the reports, pondering whether something is “likely” or “more likely” to occur. The GCMs cannot give us more detail without further research and this is where the energy should be spent. The IPCC has served the purpose of assessing the science of climate change and making public the results. The program should be ended.
    Rose

    • Based on the stolen CRU emails

      Can you show the evidence that the emails were “stolen”?

      • Girma and rmdobservations

        I believe the accepted word now is “leaked”, rather than either “stolen” or “hacked”.

        But ask steven mosher – he wrote a book on it.

        Max

      • steven mosher

        The investigation is still open. More shall be revealed.

      • Mosh 3.19

        Here? Tonight? i’ll get the popcorn.

        tonyb

      • steven mosher

        no. sorry

      • I thought a while before I used the word “stolen”. My reasoning is, if I saw MY emails in published form without my permission, I would have considered them stolen.

        What about the IPCC? I thought that was the topic.
        Rose

      • Are they “yours”?

        The emails that were leaked were the property of various institutions, including, for some of Michael Mann’s, the State of Virginia.

        A 20+ year old rule of thumb is “Do not put into an email anything that you would not want the whole world to find out.” More recent rules are included in the terms of use that employees of an institution sign when they are permitted to use the IT system.

      • Yes, they are my emails because they contain my writing. I started email’ing in 1990 or so, probably before rules had been established, including your “rule of thumb”. At some point since then, I started seeing disclaimers in the emails I received from others, stating that the writers views did not necessarily reflect the views of the institution from which the email was sent. Some agreement must have been made about those emails. The rules and regulations have been evolving. Now, what do you think should be done with the IPCC?

  46. “steven mosher | October 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |

    Climate sensitivity is estimated by various methods.

    1. Long term paleo: LGM about 3C
    2. Observations: volcano response, modern temperature record etc
    3. models
    4. Shorter term paleo

    The spread is really big. but it aint lower than 1C.”

    I simply do not believe your 2. What are any references? If you look at the numbers for total climate sensitivity that Girma routinely posts on Climate Etc., derived from recent hard measured data, the number is significantly less than 1 C. So far as I am concerned, it is simple Physics 101, that I was taught over 60 years ago in Cavendiash Labs; ALWAYS believe hard measured data when compared with hyypothetical estimates.

  47. Note to all above (and below):
    This is a guest posting by Tony Brown, not JC’s own words (or opinions).

  48. WebHubTelescope

    Girma at least you put some ridiculously naive little graph up, and sign your name to it.

    It is the case of the emperor has no cloth.

    Definition:
    “The Emperor Has No Clothes” is often used in political and social contexts for any obvious truth denied by the majority despite the evidence of their eyes, especially when proclaimed by the government.
    http://yhoo.it/qnruy2

    Did not the IPCC projected for a warming of about 0.2 deg C per decade?

    Did not the IPCC projected for a warming of 0.1 deg C per decade had greenhouse was kept at the 2000 level?

    If you have not seen the above claims, here they are:
    “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.”
    http://bit.ly/caEC9b

    IPCC’s prediction graph:
    http://bit.ly/cIeBz0

    The correct interpretation of the data (like the child who said the emperor has no cloth) are the following:

    Past Global Mean Temperature (GMT) Observation (A global warming of only 0.06 deg C per decade):
    http://bit.ly/ocY95R

    Current GMT Observation (A global cooling of 0.1 deg C per decade)
    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

  49. Yet another example of why the UN, and its evil step-child the IPCC, should go.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/279493/un-sticker-shock-new-building-will-cost-least-five-times-previous-estimates-brett-d-sc

    Polar bears are drowning in the sweltering heat of the Arctic, and these geniuses want to spend between 1.97 and 2.42 billion dollars on a pretty new building.

    Of course, these poor dear public servants need the new manse because there are only about 4,003,043 square feet of vacant office space available in New York City at the present time.

  50. As many have said, it’s highly unlikely that the IPCC will reform.

    What we have seen since Climategate and other controversies is that the climate orthodoxy has mostly doubled down across the board. Pachauri still heads the IPCC, the Team is still in place, orthodox blogs run still their comments in an authoritarian fashion, Climategate has been whitewashed, the climate change headlines have intensified (“Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates”), and the propaganda has become more strident (the 10:10:10 video, “The Inquisition of Climate Science”).

    There have been a few constructive efforts. Dr. Curry’s blog and her work strike me as attempts to reform the orthodoxy and the IPCC. There was also Matthew Nisbet’s Climate Shift report in which he urged a deeper reconsideration of the climate debate from an orthodox position. Needless to say, the orthodox pilloried both Curry and Nisbet for their modest attempts at reform.

    It looks more like war than policy debate and wars don’t end until one side gives up. I don’t see the IPCC giving up.

  51. Jim Cripwell and steven mosher

    “Paleo shmaleo”

    Let’s look at historical records

    Temperature increased by 0.7°C from 1850 to 2011 (HadCRUT3).
    IPCC tells us that 93% of the past forcing was from anthopogenic components and that all other anthropogenic factors other than CO2 cancelled one another out
    So warming from CO2 = 0.93 * 0.7 = 0.65°C

    IPCC tells us that the atmospheric CO2 content in 1850 (C0) was around 290 ppmv (oops! This is not a measured value, but comes from an ice core).

    Mauna Loa tells us it is 390 ppmv today (C1).

    IPCC tells us the relation is logarithmic
    C1/C0 = 1.3448
    ln(C1/C0) =0.2963
    ln2 = 0.6931
    dT (2xCO2) = 0.65 * 0.6931 / 0.2963 = 1.5°C

    IPCC concedes that its “level of scientific understanding” of “solar forcing” is “low”. Several solar studies have concluded that half of the past warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.

    If we use these estimates, instead of the one from IPCC we have.

    DT (2xCO2) = 0.35 * 0.6931 / 0.2963 = 0.8°C

    So the observed data tell us that a doubling of CO2 should cause between 0.8°C and 1.5°C warming.

    Max

    • “DT (2xCO2) = 0.35 * 0.6931 / 0.2963 = 0.8°C

      So the observed data tell us that a doubling of CO2 should cause between 0.8°C and 1.5°C warming.” I would say that statement is 100% correct.

      • The two cool things are that the CO2 increase is likely not the cause of much of the warming and the sun is the likely cause for more than half. Too cool, I mean.
        ======

    • *cough* thermal lag

      • *cough* thermal lead. The ocean data is pretty horrendous, but it appears, the ocean shift lead the atmospheric shift. Odd that :) Eh Kim?

      • “thermal lag”?

        Do you mean the “hidden in the pipeline” saw?

        Fuggidaboudit, lolwot. It’s a computer-generated myth based on circular logic.

      • Although the “pipeline” metaphor is not well chosen, the scientific rationale underlying it is impeccable. When it is challenged, I tend to think it is because the challenger has misunderstood what the “pipeline” refers to.

      • steven mosher

        No the lag arises for a different reason entirely. Once you understand how GHGs raise surface temp, it’s apparent. Over time as you add more GHGs to the atmosphere the opacity to IR increases. The result of that is eventually the height at which the earth radiates back to space is raised.
        as that height is raised to cooler regions, the surface warms. slowly over time admist hills and valleys of other variations the altitude of re redation to space is raised. The effect is not immediate. Its not large, but over time it amounts to enough to make a difference

      • This is a really good description of what is happening and readers here should try and understand it. It is difficult to find in undergraduate texts and journal papers skip over it, as something already known. I asked a modeller a similar question (about the statosphere) and,even though it cleared up my confusion, I have never seen his explanation in print.

    • Max, you write “IPCC tells us that 93% of the past forcing was from anthopogenic components and that all other anthropogenic factors other than CO2 cancelled one another out”

      Thanks Max, but I have no idea where the IPCC gets the 93% from. I agree completely with what you are getting at, which seems to me is that EVEN IF WE BELIEVE WHAT THE IPCC IS SAYING, then the sensitivity MUSTbe less than 1C. Obviously if the 93% is wrong, then the sensitivity is even lower that 0.8 C. Until we know precisely what the contributions of the various natural variations are, all these calculations are little more than guesses.

      I prefer Girma’s approach, of using the recent data that we really know what it means. During the past 10 years or so, CO2 concentrations have gone up, and global temperature anomalies have gone down, so the actual climate sensitivity would seem to be negative. I agree that this is impossible. Climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 must be positive. So all we can say is that there is no reason to believe that the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is signifantly different from zero.

    • steven mosher

      Max

      1. You have to look at total forcings. The climate is not driven C02. C02 plays a role, as does methane, TSI, aerosols, If you wanted to do the analysis your way you would FIRST have to subtract for the effects of about 14 other forcings. no cookie for you.
      2. Its mots of the warming since mid century. ya screwed that part up.
      3. you’d need to do a lagged regression since the response lags the cause by decades.

      no cookie. If AGW were that easy, Joshua would understand it

      • steven mosher

        I’m not looking for a cookie.

        Just pointing out that we do not need to grasp into carefully selected periods of the far distant past for doubtful data which we can then subjectively analyze to give us the answer we were looking for in the first place.

        We have a set of temperature and CO2 data since 1850. Let’s use that.

        IPCC has given us the estimate a) that natural forcing represents only ~7% of the total past forcing and b) that all other anthropogenic forcings other than CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, land use changes, etc.) cancel one another out.

        So we have enough data points to make a ROUGH calculation of the observed temperature impact of CO2 and hence the temperature impact one could expect from a doubling of CO2. This comes out at 1.5C

        Since IPCC has conceded that its “level of scientific understanding” of solar forcing is “low”, we should look elsewhere for this information. Several solar studies tell us that roughly half of the observed warming (rather than only 7% as assumed by IPCC) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.

        If this is true then the 2xCO2 impact is only 0.8C.

        So we can say that the physical observations on CO2 and temperature since 1850 would point to a a 2xCO2 warming effect between 0.8 and 1.5C, depending on how much of the warming is attributed to natural forcing components..

        Realize that this is a very simple calculation, but often it is the simple things that make most sense, even in a very complicated system.

        Occam, anyone? (I need a shave.)

        Max

      • steven mosher

        Manacker. with 160 years of data you can at best estimate the TCR and not the ECR. If you dont understand the difference between those two quantities or what the terms stand for, then you cant continue the discussion. Further, If I tell you the speed of a car is due to
        1. drag
        2. horsepower
        3. wind speed
        4. wind direction
        5. friction.

        and I show you a curve of speed over time and focus only on the friction term, how good do you think that analysis is? similarly the climate is driven by many forcings. those forcings all change over time, you cannot diagnose ECR by SIMPLY looking at C02 and temperature. You need more variables, you need a model of the physical process, and in the end you get out the TCR.. from TCR to ECR is a whole other set of equations.. So you can get a wag at ECR .. but not the way you are doing it, not even close. your method is wrong.

      • Steve, who is dhogaza on RC? He’s being ignorant again.

        David Young

      • Just to repeat, steve, you say “Max

        1. You have to look at total forcings. The climate is not driven C02. C02 plays a role, as does methane, TSI, aerosols, If you wanted to do the analysis your way you would FIRST have to subtract for the effects of about 14 other forcings. no cookie for you.
        2. Its mots of the warming since mid century. ya screwed that part up.
        3. you’d need to do a lagged regression since the response lags the cause by decades.

        no cookie. If AGW were that easy, Joshua would understand it”

        Back earlier on this thread you wrote
        “steven mosher | October 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
        Climate sensitivity is estimated by various methods.
        1. Long term paleo: LGM about 3C
        2. Observations: volcano response, modern temperature record etc
        3. models
        4. Shorter term paleo
        The spread is really big. but it aint lower than 1C.”

        When I challenged you on your 2, I got no reaponse. Apparently you believe that it is possible to derive climate sensitivity from the “modern temperature record”, but when Max does precisely thi,s you claim he has done it wrong. Ok, let us call you out. You say it can be done but Max has done it wrong. What is the correct way of doing the calculation to get climate sensitivity from the modern temperature records?

        Or are you going to do what you did when I tried to discuss Forbush Decreases with you? Just disappear. Are you going to put up this time, or are you one of these people who is all bluster, with no substance to support their wild claims?

      • steven mosher

        Jim see the papers cites I left for you

        “When I challenged you on your 2, I got no reaponse. Apparently you believe that it is possible to derive climate sensitivity from the “modern temperature record”, but when Max does precisely thi,s you claim he has done it wrong. Ok, let us call you out. You say it can be done but Max has done it wrong. What is the correct way of doing the calculation to get climate sensitivity from the modern temperature records?”

        It is possible to get the TCR and from a TCR you can get to a range of ECRs. But you cannot do it the way Max tries. the reason you cant is there are other variables involved that you have to correct for, If you want an example of how it can be done, see schwartz, or see any of the papers I cited above for you when you asked the question.

        “make your way through the summary articles and then through all the source material

        http://www.usclivar.org/Pubs/Hegerl042006.pdf

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-6.html

        http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7087/abs/nature04679.html

        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.167.859&rep=rep1&type=pdf

        Here is a nice one that Monktopus cited.. then it was pointed out that in a subsequent paper the value was revised to 1.9C

        http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapacity.pdf

        There are more, lots more.. GIYF”

        Finally, When I finish what Im working on I’ll return to the Forbush data. But you need to come up with a TESTABLE hypothesis and you need to agree to change your mind if your hypothesis fails

      • “It is possible to get the TCR and from a TCR you can get to a range of ECRs.”

        Steve – I think this is a critically important point, particularly since TCR (transient climate response) estimates are both more reliable and more practical for estimating how the climate will behave during the rest of this century. In my view, a recent thread here on Probabilistic Estimates of Transient Climate Sensitivity was one of the most important in the recent history of this blog. It’s worth revisiting. I summarized some of the content in my Comment near the end of the thread. You might find it informative, but it’s the whole post and thread, including the referenced articles and the attention to uncertainty, that is particularly valuable.

  52. When the IPCC set up shop as a purveyer of hockey sticks, what can you expect but hockey sticks all the way down?

    • I ran across a claim a while back that Michael Mann was the lead author on the chapter that first used the hockey stick. Anybody know it that’s true?

      • Michael Mann was one of eight lead authors of the Chapter 2 Observed Climate Variability and Change of the Third Assessment Report. The eight doesn’t include the two co-ordinating lead authors C.K. Folland and T.R. Karl. Another among the eight lead authors of that chapter was John Christy.

        There were also roughly 150 contributing authors for that chapter.

      • Thanks, Pekka. Amazing how a meme can get distorted while being passed around isn’t it?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As a follow-up, it’s certainly true Michael Mann wasn’t the only lead author of the chapter, but that shouldn’t be taken as meaning any particular part of the chapter was 1/8th his responsibility. It’s common for a single author to write part of a chapter while the others just “look over” it. It’s a common way to divide labor, and it’s why the other lead authors are rarely mentioned in relation to the inclusion of his work in the IPCC TAR.

        If one wants more insight on how Michael Mann’s position influenced the inclusion of his work, there’s a decent amount of information to be found in the Climategate e-mails.

    • I seem to remember reading that Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph was only one of a large number of similarly shaped graphs. Anyone know if that’s true?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        It isn’t.

      • tempterrain

        Read Montford’s book for more detail on the Mann hockey stick saga and followup, but here is a general answer to your question.

        The original hockey stick was given “center fold” stature in the TAR Summary Report, even embellished with several lines of “future expected warming” grafted on and shooting up to the top of the chart (like in Al Gore’s scary AIT film).

        After the HS was comprehensively discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick, confirmed before Congress by the Wegman committee and validated by a NAS panel under oath before the same committee, one would have thought that IPCC would drop it (and the conclusions of unusual 20th century warmth, which were based on it) like a hot rock.

        Nope. Instead it got moved to oblivion inside the main report along with a whole bunch of newly sprouted “spaghetti copy hockey sticks” and the conclusion of unusual warmth remained in the new version of the Summary Report.

        Check Montford’s book, tempterrain. It’s a good read, chock full of facts.

        Max

  53. Looks like we have all italics again.

  54. John Kannarr

    Something amazing happened at CERN recently: Scientists asked other scientists to try to replicate their experiment, just in case they might have made an error. Tell that to the guys at IPCC and the Climate Science establishment!

    • wait what?

      I thought the denier position on science was very simple: When observations disagree with theory you always throw away the theory. Yet here we have scientists at CERN looking for problems with the experiment rather than just tossing the theory out.

      Wow I guess deniers don’t have a clue how science works afterall.

      • Since when did you start calling Michael Mann and Phil Jones deniers?

      • Wow I guess deniers don’t have a clue how science works afterall.

        C’mon lolwot. You got it wrong again.

        Validating experimental results by asking other scientists to replicate the results is part of the scientific process. That is how science is supposed to work.

        Max

  55. “Stirling English | October 7, 2011 at 11:35 am ”

    Their name is pronounced Coke and spelled Koch. In case you hear something that does not fit the softdrink. ;)

  56. The IPCC and its follower have become cult like. They do not work the way other scientists do. They are highly political. They abuse consensus, peer review, and uncertainty. They say the science is settled. Their followers encourage civil disobedience. They deny any mistakes. They vilify anyone with a dissenting opinion.

    • How cults apply to the IPCC followers

      Most experts agree, though, that whether the joiner is young or old, certain predisposing factors may facilitate attraction to a cultic system, the success of recruitment and indoctrination efforts, and the length and depth of involvement. These factors include:

      -A desire to belong
      -Unassertiveness (the inability to say no or express criticism or doubt)
      -Gullibility (impaired capacity to question critically what one is told, observes, thinks, and so forth)
      -Low tolerance for ambiguity (need for absolute answers, impatience to obtain answers)
      -Cultural disillusionment (alienation, dissatisfaction with the status quo)
      Idealism
      -Susceptibility to trance-like states (in some cases, perhaps, due to prior hallucinogenic drug experiences)
      -A lack of self-confidence
      -A desire for spiritual meaning
      -Ignorance of how groups can manipulate individuals

      from
      http://www.apologeticsindex.org/265-who-joins-cults-and-why

    • Yes I’ve heard they all have pictures of Che Guevara on their wall and are all members of the Socialist Workers party. They start off the day with a rounding rendition of the Internationale. I guess we might be able to forgive that but they all eat yoghurt and meusli and then cycle to work too. How un-American is that?

  57. SETTLED SCIENCE


    X) … to argue that the observed global mean temperature anomalies of the past decade falsifies the model projections of global mean temperature change, as contrarians have been fond of claiming, is clearly wrong. but that doesn’t mean we can explain exactly what’s going on. there is always the danger of falling a bit into the “we don’t know everything, so we know nothing” fallacy. hence, I wanted to try to clarify where we all agree, and where there may be disagreement,

    Y) Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes? Where did the heat go? We know there is a build up of ocean heat prior to El Nino, and a discharge (and sfc T warming) during late stages of El Nino, but is the observing system sufficient to track it? Quite aside from the changes in the ocean, we know there are major changes in the storm tracks and teleconnections with ENSO, and there is a LOT more rain on land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino), so how does the albedo change overall (changes in cloud)? At the very least the extra rain on land means a lot more heat goes into evaporation rather than raising temperatures, and so that keeps land temps down: and should generate cloud. But the resulting evaporative cooling means the heat goes into atmosphere and should be radiated to space: so we should be able to track it with CERES data. The CERES data are unfortunately wonting and so too are the cloud data. The ocean data are also lacking although some of that may be related to the ocean current changes and burying heat at depth where it is not picked up. If it is sequestered at depth then it comes back to haunt us later and so we should know about it.

    X) …we can easily account for the observed surface cooling [http://bit.ly/pMHO76
    ] in terms of the natural variability seen in the CMIP3 ensemble (i.e. the observed cold dip falls well within it). So in that sense, we can “explain” it. But this raises the interesting question, is there something going on here w/ the energy & radiation budget which is inconsistent with the modes of internal variability that leads to similar temporary cooling periods within the models. I’m not sure that this has been addressed–has it?

    Y) How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!


    http://bit.ly/mSKXiF

  58. Ya know, if the IPCC could get the value of the atmospheric effect correct, maybe more people would listen to them.

    The effective temperature of the atmosphere due to greenhouse and solar absorption is equal to the sum of the total energy absorbed by the atmosphere, 195Wm-2. The surface fluxes, reguires correction for the 0.825 emissivity of the atmosphere, 24+79+51=154, the total combined surface flux absorbed per the NASA data, with 65 solar absorbed, 10 by the clouds at low altitude and 55 absorbed by the upper atmosphere.

    For the surface, 154/.825=187Wm-2 plus 10 absorb by clouds plus approximatey 50% of the upper atmosphere absorbtion, 27.5, felt in the lower atmosphere, yields 187+10+27.5=224Wm-2, the equivalent greenhouse radiative effect. The effective temperature of the greenhouse radiative effect is 250.7K at 3800 meters, based on the dry adiabative lapse rate. Per the Poisson ralationship, a parcel of air at 250 and ~600mb(equivalent to 4Km) is equal to 289.7K. Considering the approximation of 4Km instead of 3.8Km, rounding errors in the data and the approximation that 50% of the upper atmospheric absorption, that is pretty close. Kinda neat :)

    • Dallas,

      Your concepts don’t make sense. You may think that this is nitpicking, but you cannot really make any correct statements before you get this kind of details right.

      What means: The effective temperature of the atmosphere due to greenhouse and solar absorption is equal to the sum of the total energy absorbed by the atmosphere, 195Wm-2. How is the temperature equivalent to that energy?

      You use sometimes 0.825 as a dimensionless coefficient, but you have also stated that 0.825 = 3.3/4 where 3.3. is W/m^2 and 4 dimensionless. Thus 0.825 has the unit W/m^2. Which is correct: dimensionless or W/m^2?

      Similarly little that you discuss in your second paragraph has been defined clearly. Thus they are essentially numbers without well specified meaning. That means that also the equations lack real meaning.

      If you want to get something out of that, you must define the concepts accurately. When you have done that, it’s possible to discuss the equations. Until that’s done your message doesn’t mean anything.

      • I believe that 0.825 should be dimensionless. The 3.3Wm-2 was used by SoD which he called called it but 3.3Wm-2 /4Wm-2 is the value I am using, Sorry, I did not include the units to show they cancel.

        Effective temperature is a new term, It really should end up being effective temperature and altitude. Months ago, I was trying to describe it as the average location of all the energy in the atmosphere in order to make a ball to ball model. If you take a column of air from the surface to TOA, the altitude where the average energy can be approximated is the effective altitude and the temperature due to that energy, the effective temperature. Still working on that.

      • Dallas,
        Trying to describe the atmosphere by some average or effective temperature is very likely to lead to errors. The properties of the atmosphere are in an essential way dependent on the wide range of temperatures and trying to use just one temperature for any purpose is very not likely to give correct results. When it’s done for one effect at the time it can be done, but the effective temperature would be different for each effect. Thus the effective temperature cannot be used in any formula that relates two different variables to each other.

      • For a dynamic system you are correct, this only provides an estimate at assumed equilibrium. However, being able to model the dynamic system with a sum of points could be useful.

      • Even for the equilibrium the use of an effective temperature is questionable or worse. We have seen so many papers where that approach has been used to obtain false results. Some specific calculations may turn out to be right, but that’s of no value, because the correctness has to be verified by a more complete calculation.

      • True, I have no idea how effective it maybe. It does look like a good approximation if properly handled. Satellite monitoring of that that approximate level should be much better in determining changes due to GHE, since they have a very large range of pressures to average. This may be the reason I was getting a much better correlation of the mid-trop with strat that the upper trop with strat. Interestingly, the mid-tropo to strat appears to indicate the climate shift started in 1994-1995, not 1998. That analysis is way over my head, but just eyeballing it plus this latest stuff, it may be worth a look.

      • Dallas,
        One problem with an effective temperature is that it may weigh various altitudes differently, when the conditions change. That applies to changing the CO2 concentration, as an example. When the definition has such ambiguities, it’s difficult to use the value in any meaningful formulas.

        The effective blackbody temperature of the Earth as seen from space is well defined, but that’s nothing more than one way of expressing the total IR radiation emitted by the Earth system. It’s not the temperature of any particular level of the atmosphere or an average or effective temperature in any other sense than in specifying the total power of OLR.

        The other potentially well defined concept is the average surface temperature, when we have defined, what we mean by surface temperature under various conditions. Determining that average accurately may be difficult, but it can certainly be defined.

        Defining average atmospheric temperatures is more difficult. The satellites produce some values, but these values are strictly speaking defined by the detailed procedure that’s used in calculating them from the raw data. The definition tells only in rough terms, how the value is related to the actual temperatures of lower troposphere or some other concept used to name the calculated value.

      • The satellites are calibrated to the surface, so while the absolute value may be off the anomalies should reasonably accurate. this is also not in my job description, but the 250K temperature relative to the 4Km height should be a region of interest. If I am right, the 250K altitude is the general transition from mainly conductive and latent to significant radiative. No all, radiative, just significant, I have been trying to find that point for a year or two.

      • Why should that altitude be of particular interest. It’s true that the net IR heat transfer becomes larger than convection and latent heat transfer at some altitude in the troposphere, but that’s a smooth transition and there’s nothing special at that altitude, whatever that is. The first real change is at troposphere, where the convection stops.

      • Tropopause.
        =======

      • I’m not sure any altitude would be particularly meaningful, but if you want to analogize with the “mean radiating altitude” corresponding to a temperature of 255 K and an OLR of 239 W/m^2, it would be an altitude with a temperature corresponding to a downwelling longwave IR flux of about 330 W/m^2 – this temperature can easily be calculated via SB, and an altitude assigned, approximately, via lapse rates. I’m not sure what value this would have, however.

      • Its complicated. The current understand of the greenhouse effect is a touch off. CO2 actually increases surface heat loss by enhancing conduction., but increases heat retention in the atmosphere. Where the conductive heat flux transitions into radiative is the point of interest, not the latent boundary. That is why CO2 lags temperature drop in the transition to glacial and leads the transition into interglacial. Basically, it is an iso-conductive boundary, I know this is way too theoretical, but that is what the equation indicates, with of course, the coefficients I had to add.

        It would be nice if someone would drop their preconceived notions of the GHE and take a look at the equation.

      • Fred, you are absolutely right only on small thing, K&T blew a sign in their calculation. The boundary is at -23C currently.

        With the right value for downwelling it all makes sense.

      • Dallas – It’s you who has referred to yourself as a “crackpot”. I haven’t said it – yet – but don’t tempt me and others. Why don’t you actually try to learn something about the greenhouse effect? I say this sincerely, not sarcastically, because it’s clear you’re interested, and equally clear that you don’t have the foggiest notion of what you’re talking about.

      • The radiative heat transfer, convection and latent heat transfer operate in parallel. The strength of radiative heat transfer is determined by the temperature gradient and GHG concentrations. The sum of all is determined by the OLR from the top of atmosphere (the solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere has also influence on that). The adiabatic lapse rate (applicable moist rate) is also important, because the net radiative transfer depends on the temperature gradient.

        When we know the sum and radiative components the rest can be calculated as the difference and that’s the way its strength is indeed determined in the atmosphere. The share of latent heat in that depends on the moisture level.

        There’s no particular transition from one form to another, only the basic trend that increases the share of IR until it’s 100%.

        My precondition is that physical processes are explained by physics, not by some meaningless equations. The full physical explanation exists, and there’s is nothing, which would contradict it. Of cause there’s still much to be learned about cloud formation, but that’s another issue.

      • Pekka, so CO2 would not increase the conductivity of a mixed gas?

      • “Amongst
        molecular gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) mixed with
        hydrocarbons, such as CH4, have a number of
        advantages over argon based gas mixtures. The
        enthalpy and thermal conductivity of CO2/CH4
        plasma is considerably larger than argon plasma
        (Figure 1). This is due to the fact that molecular
        gases must dissociate before ionization. Thus, they
        require much higher energy to become partially
        ionized. The larger energy input translates into”

        http://mpserver.pst.qub.ac.uk/sites/icpig2011/511_TOP_Mostaghimi.pdf

        That is what the equation says. I didn’t know that until I complete the equation, Kimoto is a whack job too.

      • The concentration of CO2 is so low that it has practically no effect on thermal conductivity. The absorptivity/emissivity of CO2 is large enough to have a major effect, but the difference between conductivities of various gases is so small that only main components matter (N2, O2 and H2O, when moisture is high).

        Your reference is on plasmas and considering temperatures of more than 2000 K. That’s totally irrelevant for troposphere (some effects typical for very high temperatures can be important also in ionosphere, where the density of gas is so low that ion lifetimes are long).

        It’s amazing, how far you can err in your random picking of papers that have nothing to do with atmosphere.

      • Pekka, Since you speak several languages, have you ever seen the second Arrhenius estimate of climate sensitivity paper? I am nearly positive he discover this a hundred years ago, but since it didn’t cause the ice ages, in his opinion, blew it off.

        If he and Angstrom had mot been in a cat fight, this would have been finished a century ago, with slide rules :)

      • Dallas 3.06

        Are you referring to the Arrhenius 1907 paper in which he substantially lowered his original estimates? The 1907 paper which never gets quoted?
        tonyb

      • I know, I have been searching for years, no luck. But he did issue a retraction so to speak of 1.6 (2.3) with water vapor which is nearly dead on. I can’t use what I have without doing a lot of nasty, time consuming and boring research and proofs. With all the nonsense in the AGW debate, it would be easier to modify the Milankovitch theory than tackle the team. Not in my job description!

      • I have a copy of Arrhenius’ 1906 paper ‘Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen’ (The probable causes of climate changes). On p 4 he writes ‘…I estimate that a halving or doubling of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere would correspond respectively to a temperature decrease of 1.5 degrees C or a temperature increase of 1.6 degrees C. In these calculations I have totally disregarded the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. ‘ (my translation).
        Arrhenius goes on to point out ( if I understand him correctly) that disregarding water vapour works in 2 ways: on the one hand water vapour reduces the outgoing radiation in a similar manner to carbon dioxide, so that a larger fraction of the earth’s radiation would be absorbed by carbon dioxide if the water vapour was removed from the atmosphere, while on the other hand the temperature increase consequent on an increase in carbon dioxide (itself) causes an increase in the water vapour content which further increases the temperature.

      • Arrhenius goes on to point out ( if I understand him correctly) that disregarding water vapour works in 2 ways: on the one hand water vapour reduces the outgoing radiation in a similar manner to carbon dioxide, so that a larger fraction of the earth’s radiation would be absorbed by carbon dioxide if the water vapour was removed from the atmosphere, while on the other hand the temperature increase consequent on an increase in carbon dioxide (itself) causes an increase in the water vapour content which further increases the temperature.

        Inertial changes in CO2, water vapor, and snow/ice albedo all reinforce a temperature increase or decrease to first order. That was the original thinking that has prevailed over all these years.

      • Actually, web, you may want to look at this, I have to start from square one.

        http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/10/beginning-of-proving-trenberth-is-wrong.html

      • Dallas,
        I haven’t searched for his papers (there are more than two), but in any case he didn’t have sufficient data for making reliable quantitative estimates. The temperature profile of the atmosphere was understood much later. The usual reference for that is the 1966 Manabe and Wetherald paper, and that’s not the only important detail that Arrhenius didn’t know. The range of his results of various papers and its near overlap with the present IPCC range is evidence on the fact that the final result is not very sensitive on the details, but I think that there was also luck involved in the fact that he got that close to the same values as the present scientists.

        It’s interesting to note that he concluded correctly that the dependence is approximately logarithmic over the relevant range although that’s not at all obvious without detailed knowledge of the absorption spectrum.

      • It is very interesting. When did Poisson publish his work? If Arrhenius had that, he may have made the connection.

      • To expand on why he may have made the connection. At the surface, conductive heat flow dominates. I know I know, too much at one time. But the reason the e is so ridiculously high, is that CO2 and H2O absorb great but emit poorly at the surface. It is like putting mixed gas conductivity on steroids. that is an effect that Arrhenius may have been able to deduce.

      • I was going to save this for later, but since I can’t write for crap anyway, one of the most interesting things in the modified equation, is the relationship between the e coefficient and the a coefficient for conduction. Added greenhouse gases increase both coefficients, not decrease one and increase the other. So more GHGs actually improves conductive heat lost from the ocean to the atmosphere. If you use the correct value for DWLR you should see that relationship. I haven’t checked that, it is only predicted by the equation.

      • a,e IOU
        sometimes why, don’t doubt UU.
        ===================

      • What’s so interesting in e?

        Why is 0.825 ridiculously high?

        What’s the theory that gives any real meaning for that number?

      • Pekka said,

        “What’s so interesting in e?’ e is a function of both a and b the atmospheric window. Very complex relationship so far.

        Why is 0.825 ridiculously high?

        As CO2 increases, e approaches 1, If I am interpreting things right, 1 is the upper limit, However, the atmospheric window should keep e from ever reaching 1. That appears to limit warming to 1.21C or make the sensitivity non linear. So 0.825 appears to be close to saturation. I would love for someone else to do some what if’s to make sure I don’t have a common mistake somewhere.

        What’s the theory that gives any real meaning for that number?

        There is the rub. Only the initial value is implied from the S-B relationship. and somewhat verified by the “benchmark” value of 3.3 per 1. It makes sense once you consider the ratio of greenhouse flux to green house temperature and include average surface emissivity. For steady state at surface 288K and for a doubling of CO2 it implies ~1K warming, close to the estimate of 1.2.

        What all this implies is just a small decrease in sensitivity which is a good match for most of the estimates. I have to double check my calculations, but instead of 3C it was ~2.55C, but that was not considering the atmospheric window which may limit the sensitivity.

        Since I am not sure how to attack the equation for e, I have been looking at other relationships, the Poisson is the most interesting and the flat lining of OHC is remarkable considering the relationship to conductive flux. So far, everything seems to confirm that 0.825 is the correct initial value. I keep expecting something to blow the equation out of the water, but nothing so far, other than I am supposed to assume that 321 is the correct figure for down welling.

      • 321 is probably a slight underestimate for DLR. The TFK 2008 paper discusses the many sources of information on this in detail, but one additional interesting reference is at Surface radiation. The annual mean at this one German site varied from 315 to 328 W/m^2, but since the air temperature at this site – 10.8 C – was less than the global average of about 15 C, the recorded values probably underestimate the global average.

      • Thanks Fred, I have looked at few of the ground measurements. A lot a fluctuations. I am trying to set up a spread sheet using the full S-B to make sure that is not part of the difference, however, the 24Wm-2 difference between NASA and K&T seems to be it. They could both have errors, so maybe splitting the difference?

      • Fred, there is a pretty good change in emissivity looking up and looking down, that inflates the down welling depending on the source, i.e 155Wn-2 TOA Yields 33C, but 220Wm-2 at 3800 meters yields 33 because the emissivity increases from 0.61 TOA to 0.825 surface. I was trying to get an estimate of the emissivity looking down from the tropopause which would help verify one or the other.

      • Fred, If K&T used TOA emissivity that would be most of the problem. The average altitude of the DWRL should be used not the TOA. 321 TOA times 0.61=195 and with the ~24Wm-2 missing in the atmosphere that brings it back to 220. They should have shown the DWLR toa with the reduction for emissivity. Surface DWLR have to be calibrate for ambient temperature, so if they are calibrating for TOA as well, that would explain everything.

        In other words, a TOA balance inflates the effective DWLR.at the surface.

      • Dallas – That is complete nonsense. Why don’t you think before you click on submit? Your comments are bizarre.

      • Dallas – I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable responding to you. I’ve done so because you appear more interested in understanding the greenhouse effect than some other participants, but at the same time you are hopelessly confused and your calculations amount to little more than gibberish. If you want to understand something, you have to consult reliable sources rather than throw arithmetic around. Have you tried any of these? If you made only one or a few errors in what was otherwise a rational argument, it would be easy to identify the problems, but when there is nothing rational in the argument, the only thing I can advise is for you to scrap the argument, start with learning some basics, and work from there. I truly wish you luck, as I would with anyone struggling to understand something.

      • Fred, I am sorry you fell uncomfortable.

        There are several ways to describe the greenhouse effect, The simplest is just show a line up and a line down at the surface each valued at 155, Second is to show two huge lines up and down from the TOA to the surface at 321Wm-2 The best why in my opinion is to show a broad line in the atmosphere narrowing at the surface and a broad line up narrowing at the atmosphere. The third option shows the impact of the greenhouse effect. The net is zero in all three cases. The calculations I have been doing are based on the points of origin of the fluxes. Not a cartoon version to scare little kids.

        While K&T shows 321Wm-2, the impact is still zero, it is a balanced flow. The interaction between the surface and the lower level of the atmosphere is the green house effect. Every method I have used shows the impact. 155Wm-2 impact from the sky is initiated as a 220Wm-2 source. The effect is a reduction in air density, the dry adiabatic lapse rate. This corresponds with the Poisson equation, that is a verification of the effect.

        The 55 Wm-2 absorbed in the upper atmosphere only has 50% impact at the surface because some of it is lost as cooling and the rest is attenuated by the emissivity, warming the atmosphere increasingly as it descends.

        I am sorry this is so confusing, but to determine the impact, the amount of the source, location of the source and the emissivity from the source to the sink need to be understood. I think far too abstractly for many to follow, but it is the only way to visualize the inner workings of the system, it is complex.

        Now that I realize what K&T were doing, I think it is a travesty. This is exactly why most engineers work in net fluxes, not gross fluxes. You see 321 Wm-2 actually warming something, physically warming the surface. It is not warming the surface, it is maintaining balance with the surface which is a warming effect. It does have a real effect, it increases the altitude of the tropopause.

        If you work with the large nets like on the K&T,

    • “if the IPCC could get the value of the atmospheric effect correct, maybe more people would listen to them.”

      Well maybe it would be worth a try. Maybe you could help them and we’ll hear people like Wagathon then make posts along the lines of:

      Finally the IPCC have got something right. Previously, I must admit that I was firmly convinced the IPCC was part of an internationally led Marxist, New World order conspiracy to implement World government and subvert the US constitution. But now thanks to these new figures I’m now completely convinced they have been right all along. Thanks IPCC. Thanks Dallas!

    • Dallas: The effective temperature of the atmosphere due to greenhouse and solar absorption is equal to the sum of the total energy absorbed by the atmosphere, 195Wm-2.

      Either you are wrong or you meant something different from what you wrote. It might be time for you to disengage from the pointilistic approach of blogging and write out your ideas in detail and at length, and submit them for publication to see what the reviewers think.

      I believe that atmospheric science is too full of inaccurate approximations and cavities, but after reading your exchange with Pekka Pirila, I think that your presentation is incoherent. If you are correct, approximate, have a good idea, or other wise on to something, you need to rework your presentation. Amateurs are making important contributions to the climate change debate. Perhaps yours is an important contribution, but you need to rework it.

      • Thanks Mattstat, I am trying to do that now, the situation is pretty overwhelming, but I honestly believe I am on to something.

  59. A quick follow-on to my earlier post, after reading what has followed. I do not expect the IPCC to be disbanded. I expect it to “adopt reforms”, and then to continue to make the mistakes and biased reporting that have lost it credibility. I am put in mind of a producer who loses its reputation for quality (anybody remember Schlitz), and then tries to rescue its declining market share by advertising. IPCC will not lose its share of funding. But it will continue to lose its share in the “marketplace of ideas”.

  60. Who says there is anything wrong with the IPCC? Only a bunch of vainglorious Koch-heads running around pretending there is something wrong in the hope they might be taken seriously. I doubt they will be taken seriously and the IPCC will remain the leading authority on AGW in the same conservative and plodding way it always has.

    • Alas (for you) we are taken seriously. Try again.

    • Who says there is anything wrong with the IPCC?

      Only those naive, outdated souls who think fraud shouldn’t be part of science.

    • randomengineer

      Only a bunch of vainglorious Koch-heads running around pretending there is something wrong in the hope they might be taken seriously.

      Yes, the Aussie contingent of skeptics and the downward spiral in IPCC confidence as per Aus poll data is — drum roll — the Koch brothers, natch.

      Where’s the “this is so dumb it needs an eyeroll” icon when you need it?

    • You must be kidding.

  61. This is somewhat off topic, but not really. The US clone of the IPCC, the USGCRP (with a budget of $2 billion/year, compared to the IPCC’s $9 million) is asking for comments on its pro-AGW Strategic Plan: http://strategicplancomments.globalchange.gov/

    Have fun. Research into natural variability would be nice. Be sure to read between the lines.

    • Interesting. You know what word doesn’t appear anywhere on that page? Wonder what they’re running away from?

  62. Dallas

    Do you need a copy? I think I might have one in my archives.

    tonyb

    • Heck yeah! This equation is very enlightening and Arrhenius could very well have predicted what he did and changed his prediction due to the counter intuitive relationship of conduction and radiation at the surface. The old guy was right for the wrong reason.

  63. How can the IPCC reform or be reformed?

    Within the IPCC and aside from the Working Groups there are the IPCC Panel, the IPCC Bureau and the IPCC Secretariat, which appear to steer the ship, although from the IPCC website, I’m not entirely clear how. Nor am I clear how members are selected.

    If the IPCC were to reform, where would that process start and how it would such decisions be made?

  64. It is interesting to examine the theme of this post in light of the results of Gallup Polls cited by Roy Weiler above.

    Globally, most respondents who have heard of global warming believe there is a human contribution. Of these, almost half consider it at least somewhat of a threat. More interestingly, the number who see a human influence in the warming has increased by 5 percentage points between the 2007-2008 and 2010 surveys. The number of those who perceive a threat has been stable (up 1 percentage point).

    From these numbers, it’s clear that worldwide, public acceptance of anthropogenic climate change has not declined, and in fact has probably increased slightly, although the change is not large enough to demonstrate an unequivocal effect. On the other hand, the increases have occurred principally in less developed regions of the world, while acceptance has declined in the U.S., Europe, and other developed regions. Global warming receives a lower priority than other environmental issues in the views of most Americans.

    I find it hard to assign any single cause to either the change over the time, or the regional disparities. Presumably, the multinational economic recession has played a role in discouraging the view that global warming should be worried about right now, and it would be hard to conclude that Climategate has been totally irrelevant. On the other hand, it is also likely that the IPCC has been instrumental in shaping attitudes, and so the global increase in acceptance of anthropogenic warming is difficult to reconcile with a conclusion that the IPCC has been widely discredited on a global basis. I don’t know of global polling results on the IPCC per se, however, so this must remain speculative.

    Based on the above, I see as unlikely a mass movement to disband the IPCC if it as seen as still an importance force in international opinion. – at least until some comparable process emerges on an international level. Reasons for reforming the IPCC have been described here and elsewhere, and I expect and hope they will proceed. AR5 will also proceed, and I expect the same will be true for either AR6 or some improved alternative of similar magnitude

    • It’s the difference between going from having no opinion to having one compared with having one and changing it.

      There’s math involved if you like.
      ===============

    • Fred M: Just to be clear about those polls you are referring to:

      In U.S., Concerns About Global Warming Stable at Lower Levels
      Water Issues Worry Americans Most, Global Warming Least
      Fewer Americans, Europeans View Global Warming as a Threat
      World’s Top-Emitters No More Aware of Climate Change in 2010
      Worldwide, Blame for Climate Change Falls on Humans

      The first three polls show drops in concerns about global warming among Americans and Europeans. The fourth shows statistically significant drops among Japanese and Americans, and statistically significant increases among Russians and Indians. The fifth shows a modest increase in acceptance of AGW worldwide.

      So I’d agree that on an international level it’s unlikely that there will be a call to reform the IPCC, especially since the developing world stands to benefit from climate mitigation measures.

      However, I would say that the drops in concern about AGW in America and Europe ought to be worrisome to those hoping to have more impact than the regular issuance of IPCC reports. Without the cooperation of America and Europe there can be no successful treaties or programs for climate change. Since these are democratic countries, climate change will go nowhere without more popular support.

      Arguably, reforming the IPCC would be one way to increase support for climate change in America and Europe. One could also argue that if climate change were such a serious threat, then the science ought to be done impeccably so its results were as solid as possible for policy decisions and to head off criticism.

      But that’s not what we see from the climate orthodoxy or the IPCC, which leads me to question their priorities. Is it really to save the planet or is it to maintain their privileged status quo?

      • Huxley:
        You win the prize for succinctly summarizing my thoughts! Though I still think the change in the approach of governments to ‘fighting’ climate change is more telling then polls. Cap and Trade dead in the USA, CO2 market dead in the USA, CO2 market in the EU in it’s last death throes, etc.

        Roy Weiler

    • Fred Moolten: On the other hand, the increases have occurred principally in less developed regions of the world, while acceptance has declined in the U.S., Europe, and other developed regions.

      That is intriguing. I can guess at least 2 things at work: 1. The developed nations have a higher percentage of their populations who are technically trained and capable of independent critical scrutiny of the evidence — people like Steve McIntyre. These are the people leading the charge; 2 everybody expects that CO2 remediation will result in net flows of wealth from developed to non-developed nations — you might expect more of a challenge from the people who are charged with paying.

      I expect that you are right about the eventual appearance of AR5 and AR6.

      • Matt:
        You may be correct. That is like a cost benefit analysis!

        Roy Weiler

      • Two points, MattStatt. First, I think your surmise may be largely correct about developed nations, but there are certainly exceptions. Notably, Canada remains far above the U.S. in its acceptance of the reality of global warming and its threat potential. Why requires an explanation beyond technical expertise.

        Second, and speaking of Canada, you mentioned Steve McIntyre as “leading a charge”, but against what? He can correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’ve interpreted his past statements correctly, he accepts as highly probable the reality of anthropogenic global warming and at least the possibility that it may constitute a threat. This would put him among the majority worldwide who hold those views. His skepticism has been directed to individual claims rather than basic principles or some of the important generalizations derived from them.

      • Fred M: Canada has about 1/25 the population of the US and EU. It may be an exception but it’s not a substantial.one. I’m not sure why you bring it up.

        As to what Steve McIntyre might lead a charge against…My rough guess is that at least 1/3 of the skeptics posting at CE, including myself, accept the reality of AGW as probable, and consider it possibly a threat. That’s not a high bar. You would be mistaken if you believe such skeptics are on-board with the IPCC.

        Speaking for myself, I am pushing for scientific integrity and open societal debate on climate change.

      • My rough guess is that at least 1/3 of the skeptics posting at CE, including myself, accept the reality of AGW as probable, and consider it possibly a threat.

        My rough guess would be that you’d be lucky to count 1/10. 1/3 seems far too high.

        What do you think, Wagathon?

      • Like you, Steve has issues with WG3. I think you’re going to find that when you get past the posturing, that’s what really motivates most people. Everybody has their ideas about what the energy economy of the world should/will look like in 2100, and most such opinionated people are not just wrong, but in Pauli’s words, not even wrong.

        There’s a reason why so many critics of the climate establishment are engineers, and I tend to believe that even if they don’t realize it, the real fundamental objections are policy ideas that are technologically and economically naive.

      • Sounds about right to me. But they should challenge the policy ideas, and stop polluting the science.

      • Bart

        My problem (as one of those silly engineers) is pretty simple to explain.

        1. I do not believe we really understand the rate of warming that additional human released CO2 might cause. The are several issues that make this not resolved.

        2. I do not believe the results of the GCMs that have been used to predict atmospheric conditions many years into the future. The models used to date have failed the most critical test-demonstrating the ability to accurately predict the criteria important to policy development (temperature and rainfall)

        3. I do not trust the forecasts of the future worldwide conditions that were based upon the fundamentally flawed GCM’s. As bad as these models are, many have taken the results of these models to predict a future that is worse for humanity overall. When you read through these papers almost all of the analysis looks at potential harms and do not include an analysis assuming basic planning and construction of infrastructure.

        I could write a paper showing the tremendous harms of the automobile and if presented in 1900, without a reasonable analysis of benefits; reasonable people reading my paper would conclude that the automobile should be banned. When it comes to global warming the analysis seems based upon bad models and deeply flawed analysis.

        That stated-some people still support the IPCC conclusions in spite of knowing that the models from which the conclusions are based are almost without merit. (they are good to learn from for future models)

      • PE

        It’s not just the “policy ideas” (which are totally screwy, futile and self-destructive in themselves), but it is the “science” leading to these “policy ideas” (both in WG2 and WG1).

        That is where the problem starts.
        http://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/ipcc

        Max

      • Fred Moolton: Second, and speaking of Canada, you mentioned Steve McIntyre as “leading a charge”, but against what?

        Not against, but for greater accuracy, transparency and accountability in climate science. His critiques have been directed against poorly substantiated exaggerated claims, and against blatant selection of favorable cases in high dimensional multivariate modeling. He has also pointed to disparities between what writers have put into “supporting online material” and what they have written in subsequent papers and blog entries.

        Canada is increasing its production of oil and coal about as rapidly as any nation on Earth. Only a few Canadians oppose that. It is incorrect to say that “Canada … and its threat potential”. Most Canadians actively or passively support increased fossil fuel use.

        The really large and important exception to my generalization is China: much industrial development in China was financed by European carbon credits because it is a “developing” country; yet few Chinese, few Chinese scientists, and few Chinese environment ministers support the idea of AGW.

    • Fred

      As a point of interest and how polling information can mislead you- Fred wrote:

      “most respondents who have heard of global warming believe there is a human contribution. Of these, almost half consider it at least somewhat of a threat. ”

      I would agree with that statement, but would completely disagree that it is a proven threat…HUGE DIFFERENCE.

      Many AGW “faithful” are pushing for changes in spite of of the VERY weak evidence to support their fears. The evidence for harm to humanity is very weak

      • Yes. Even I consider AGW “at least somewhat of a threat”, and I think that the scientific case for AGW is risible and full of holes. I want substantial government investments in relevant scientific research on AGW related topics, and continued R&D on alternative energy supplies — in case it turns out to be worse than I think. Kyoto-type policies, and the policies that died in Copenhagen would be a disaster.

  65. How many readers would trust a committee the examined the Exxon Valdez spill and then issued a 1,000 page report that completely exonerated Exxon if the public became aware that any individual chapter was written by a group that included between 20% and 35% who were employees of Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Aramco and that 11 out of 40 in the “core writing team” were also affiliated with these companies?

    I suggest that a quick reading of the last 6 posts on Donna Lafromboise’s blog in which she documents the WWF (Wildlife, not Wrestling) and GreeenPeace connections of what would, in a rational world, be an embarrassing number of lead authors, etc. Her posts may be found at
    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/

  66. “.. a basic question regarding the credibility of the IPCC as the world’s foremost source of information on climate..”

    Is the IPCC credible as the world’s foremost source of information on climate?

    There are no near contenders.

    As a distant second tier, the various important relevant national and science bodies themselves find the IPCC not merely credible but authentic and central. Not an ‘unquestioned’ nor ‘unassailable’ nor ‘undeniable’ authority as a religious or constitutional body, which would be an unscientific stance after all, but an organization influencing the field of climate science toward central collection of information, improving standards of inquiry, and pushing out information to the public and to governments at a rapid rate with efficiency and a concern for improvement in its own processes.

    “..skirting the question of whether or not the underlying problem could lie with the consensus process of the IPCC, itself..

    Is there an underlying problem with the consensus process of the IPCC?

    Sure, though it could hardly be the major problem, considering the size of the challenge of climate ignorance, the poor data collection before the age of satellites and information networks, the recalcitrance of national and international actors, the ill-will and audacity emergent coming out of the vocal opponents of the IPCC and its parts.

    Intrinsic to the major underlying problem is we haven’t been collecting good data on anything like the scale required to formulate and legitimately test the sort of hypotheses the public routinely cry out for.

    Ergo, the underlying problem is ignorance, either in the raw data we might collect but do not, or in the expectations of those who demand answers of climate science that no amount of data could produce.

    “Some critics have used the word “corrupt” in conjunction with this process, in suggesting that it has corrupted climate science by introducing bias to support a preconceived agenda or premise.”

    Is “corrupt” a fit term?

    It’s an idiotic term, ambiguous, inaccurate, proven time and again incorrect, dear to the hearts of those who seek by rhetoric to inflame passions rather than motivate discussion and seek agreement.

    Applying this criminal charge of corruption to the IPCC is just the desperate act of a tar-and-feather-minded babbler.

    “..into greater scepticism by some parts of the media and created a greater awareness of the role and importance of the IPCC..

    Greater scepticism by parts of the media?

    Parts of the media have been so science-hostile for so long, it’s pretty hard to determine the truth of such a claim. And pointless, really, as ‘media scepticism’ amounts to salesmen glibly smearing whatever product isn’t their own.

    It’s unimportant, and a discerning reader already dismisses such behavior.

    Have a massive number of people lost faith in the IPCC?

    Pfft. Good on them if they have, however looking closely at the various polling and surveying, the contention is dubious at best. 41% to 26%?

    More people in America believe and trust in UFO’s.

    “IPCC supporters have been quick to close ranks in support..”

    Have IPCC supporters closed ranks in support quickly?

    What a fact-free assertion. The week after the Climategate leak saw pronouncement after pronouncement varying from, “Not in the spirit of science,” to “if true, extremely serious.”

    ..as many saw these investigations as attempts at whitewashing rather than comprehensive, objective or diligent investigations..

    Where the responses to Climategate whitewashing, or are the charges of whitewashing ill-founded slurs by ‘many’ unqualified and biased commentators?

    In response to Climategate, the head of the CRU was found to have not met the standard of care with regard to FOI, was demoted and was relieved of responsibility for tasks involving FOI. This is hardly a whitewash.

    In response to Climategate, a British inquiry was held and made a report that — while it did not find the science itself affected, it did sternly rebuke the bureacracy of the CRU for administrativia.

    In indirect response to Climategate, a hostile American inquiry was held, and ultimately found nothing despite the vigorous and enthusiastic attentions of politicians who could at best be described as anti-science zealots.

    The charge of whitewash is ludicrous, and repeating it is an unfounded slur.

    So, on the whole, not a proud foundation on which to base important decisions, Tony. Maybe seek peer-review before blogging, from someone conversant with the facts?

    • Peter Wilson

      Bart

      One can only wonder which universe you inhabit, it surly isn’t this one. Your defense of the IPCC process is utterly unconvincing, especially to those of us conversant with the whitewashes you laughably refer to as inquiries (which one could you possibly believe to have been hostile, I wonder?).

      You dismiss challenges to the IPCC’s integrity as ” just the desperate act of a tar-and-feather-minded babbler”. Can you then explain the incestuous relationship between the IPCC and various green NGO’s, most notably WWF and Greenpeace, as comprehensively documented by Donna Laframboise. So you see nothing untoward in all this, I presume.

      Is there no level of bias, incompetence and mendacity that consensus supporters will not excuse or ignore?

    • In response to Climategate, the head of the CRU was found to have not met the standard of care with regard to FOI, was demoted and was relieved of responsibility for tasks involving FOI. This is hardly a whitewash.

      Bart R: If you are talking about Phi Jones, he voluntarily stepped aside and was later reinstated to a new position which the university insisted was not a demotion.

      • huxley

        University didn’t publicly call it a demotion, but it was a new position with less responsibility.

        Which is pretty much the definition of a demotion, then, isn’t it?

        Funny how people can look at something waddling like a duck and quacking like a duck, isn’t it?

        Peter Wilson believes I’m _defending_ the IPCC. Meh. I’m attacking libel of the IPCC where there are distortions of fact used in defamation, so I suppose that sounds like defense, sure. However, I’d think one might see me as more anti-slander than pro-IPCC.. since I’ve said some pretty nasty true things about the IPCC.

        Peter thinks himself conversant with whitewashes. Conversant is a funny word. I know people who converse regularly about topics they get wrong every single time, and I think them merely inane. Still, he does not flatter himself and those as conversant as he; while a whitewash is a form of duplicity, and Peter is clearly comfortably competent at duplicity in more forms than mere whitewash, he ought boast of his polymath prowess in the field more mightily.

        To compare the IPCC’s relationships as incestuous might invite the balanced and evenhanded approach of investigating the relationships between industry and government research. Oh, look what I found in Google news from just this past week: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/lobby+pipeline+federal+scientists/5510585/story.html

        A government that muzzles its scientists from speaking to the public at all (some transparency policy there) makes a direct pipeline between those same scientists and oil company lobbyists.

        Now, I can see this mud-slinging on both sides is fun and all, but I’m no more convinced of a worldspanning conspiracy by WWF or Greenpeace or the Boy Scouts than I am of one by Big Oil. The difference being, the oil lobbyists are getting the benefit of tax dollars spent that — in the case of Canada — the ordinary citizen is denied, while I don’t recall hearing of WWF or Greenpeace turning away ordinary citizens seeking to join up.

        So, yes, I see nothing untoward about a public agency set up to collect and distribute information collecting and distributing information to interested concerned citizens. Do you see something wrong with lobbyists for private corporations having a free pass on the taxpayers’ dime to the fruit of government funded research denied to every citizen?

  67. “How many readers would trust a committee the examined the Exxon Valdez spill and then issued a 1,000 page report that completely exonerated Exxon if the public became aware that any individual chapter was written by a group that included between 20% and 35% who were employees of Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Aramco and that 11 out of 40 in the “core writing team” were also affiliated with these companies? ”

    I would trust it, if it involved scientists and engineers.

    But 1000 page report sounds like political document, and Exxon accident wasn’t anything to do with technical matters- it was a pilot error.
    So a political document isn’t something I trust regardless of the type of politicians and political documents which written by scientists I trust less
    because scientist aren’t skilled as politicians- tend to be even more amateurish than the standard pol.

  68. Joshua

    You may not have noticed what is going on out there, but many of the fossil fuel guys are hoping to cash in both ways. Why not? AGW has become a multi-billion dollar big business and there is money to be made being “green”.

    Is this a bad or evil thing?

    Of course not. It’s business.

    Max

    • “You may not have noticed what is going on out there, but many of the fossil fuel guys are hoping to cash in both ways. Why not? AGW has become a multi-billion dollar big business and there is money to be made being “green”.

      Is this a bad or evil thing?

      Of course not. It’s business.”

      That what a mob member could say:)

      It’s business if involves selling product in a free market.

      If “cashing in” means getting subsidies, favors related to relating government regulation, waivers, etc- then cashing in is crony capitalism
      and government corruption. Is working the government with legions
      of lobbyists “business”? It is. Because government made it part of business.
      And the public allow the government to made it part of business.
      And this shakedown from government is quite similar to Mob business.

  69. Bart says “In response to Climategate, the head of the CRU was found to have not met the standard of care with regard to FOI, was demoted and was relieved of responsibility for tasks involving FOI. This is hardly a whitewash.”

    However he was subsequently reinstated

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/

    As someone pointed out in a previous post “Maybe seek peer-review before blogging, from someone conversant with the facts?”

    • Arthur Dent

      Check again.

      He stepped aside, and was reinstated to a new position with diminished responsibilities.

      See the difference?

      Demotion. Look it up. Use a dictionary. Or a Speak-n’-Spell.

  70. It appears that, with a few exceptions, most posters here seem to have concluded that IPCC has outlived its usefulness. Some have stated it should be replaced while others feel no replacement is necessary or desirable.

    Again, with the same few exceptions, most bloggers here have concluded that IPCC has introduced bias into climate science and that its consensus process is a major part of the underlying problem. “Selective citation, gray literature, and a tendency to alarmism” were cited by one blogger.

    Many felt that it had politicized climate science too much and that it should not have been set up under the UN, a political organization with its own set of agendas. Some stated that its very charter was the underlying cause for its myopic fixation on human-induced climate change and rejection of science supporting natural causes and effects.

    Climategate and the ensuing revelations of IPCC exaggerations and sloppy work were cited as reasons for a general loss of credibility and trust in climate science. As far as a loss of trust in climate science by the general public, this seems to have been substantiated by several independent polls taken after Climategate and cited here.

    Others mentioned the forecasts of warming that have not occurred.

    In addition to those made in the lead article by Tony Brown, a few suggestions have been made on how a post-IPCC world should look.

    These have included a requirement “ for the IPCC to require a minority/skeptical section on each chapter as a balance to the consensus view.

    Most have agreed that IPCC will neither change its way of doing business drastically nor fade away silently. One blogger opined:

    IPCC is a UN bureaucracy serving the needs of national bureaucracies. Mutterings on the Internet will not affect those needs and how they are served.

    A few IPCC supporters disagreed with most of the above, and some even denied that there was a problem of credibility or general loss of public trust. One or two opined that IPCC is doing a good job.

    I’m sure that Dr. Curry was not looking for a “consensus” in response to this guest article by Tony Brown, but just “testing the waters” among the Climate Etc. posters.

    I believe that it is safe to say that within this group there is little trust that IPCC will become an objective collector and summarizer of all aspects of and viewpoints on climate science, as a result of the factors cited above.

    We are not going to reorganize the world on this blogsite, as many posters have stated, but it has been interesting to read the comments here so far.

    Max

    • We are not going to reorganize the world on this blogsite, as many posters have stated, but it has been interesting to read the comments here so far.

      Don’t be too sure. The “social democracy”/consensus approach to doing science, or more properly interpretation of science, has been partly discredited (by its manipulation by the climategate team). You never know what might replace it. An idea or opinion floated in a thread like this might find its way into some high-level policy recommendation via a process nobody even envisions today. The world is changing very fast.

      • “Don’t be too sure. The “social democracy”/consensus approach to doing science, or more properly interpretation of science, has been partly discredited (by its manipulation by the climategate team). You never know what might replace it. An idea or opinion floated in a thread like this might find its way into some high-level policy recommendation via a process nobody even envisions today. The world is changing very fast.”

        So we should preserve the IPCC- we could get something worse.
        For instance we could get a IPCC which vaguely competent and reasonable.
        People might trust it.
        Good kings are overrated.

      • No, the IPCC needs to go. But what replaces it might actually have people who mine blogs like this for good ideas, or what they might think are good ideas.

      • “We could get a IPCC which vaguely competent and reasonable. People might trust it.”

        Good point. That’s not what we want at all, is it? We don’t want anyone to trust the IPCC, even if they have got their science right, do we?

      • Stirling English

        @tempterrain

        Trust is a very fragile commodity. Hard to gain but very easy to lose.The IPCC has lost a great deal of credibility by its own actions over the last few years. Self-inflicted wounds

        Loudly shouting

        ‘but we are the IPCC..we are right..we demand that you trust us’, as you are doing, will have exactly the opposite effect that you hope. It will only convince more people that there is something very didgy going (‘methinks they doth protest too much’ – Hamlet)

        Trust will only be regained if it can demonstrate that it has genuinely understood the reasons for its decline, has taken robust action to reform itself and can show that those reforms are working.

        I guess a 15-25 year process and the retirement/defenestration of the old guard will be needed. Step 1 is to get rid of the disastrous Pachauri as the figurehead.

        Until then you can shout and scream and stamp your feet as much as you like, but it will make no difference.

        Tough? Maybe. But that’s how the world of public opinion works.

      • “even if they have got their science right”

        Temp,

        You don’t know if they “have got their science right” so your hypothetical is meaningless.

        Andrew

      • Stirling English: But the IPCC has only lost the trust of some people — not an insignificant number of people, but only some. The orthodox are continuing their strategy to marginalize skeptics so they don’t have to reply to their positions.

        This website is so crowded with skeptics because other orthodox websites simply attack, censor, and ban skeptics until there are no more skeptics.

        Sometimes shouting down the other side wins. That was essentially the Democrats’ strategy against the Republicans from before the Iraq War to the election of Obama. At the time I thought that strategy would boomerang, but it worked marvelously well, at least until now when Obama and the Democrats have discovered that it’s harder to lead the country than to complain about and shout down the other side.

        Unfortunately for the climate orthodox, they are not competing with the skeptics about who runs things, the orthodox are trying to persuade an effective majority of Westerners that climate change is not only real, but requires sacrificing a noticeable percentage of everyone’s income for the rest of their lives.

        Skeptics don’t have to win the debate, they just have to prevent the orthodox from achieving that effective majority.

        So the orthodox must decide whether to engage with skeptics and convince enough to join that majority, or continue to shout down skeptics and hope that skeptics fall by the wayside over time. The latter sounds unlikely today, but if the climate went really wonky, the character of the debate could change quickly.

        Dr. Curry has decided the right and effective thing to do is to engage skeptics. The rest of the orthodox have mostly chosen to shout down skeptics and hope for the best. I don’t how conscious the latter choice is or whether it’s just easier to keep doing what they have been doing.

    • manacker,

      “…most bloggers here have concluded that IPCC has introduced bias into climate science…” and “… Many felt that it had politicized climate science too much and that it should not have been set up under the UN, a political organization with its own set of agendas.”

      I think this misreads many of the comments here. I think it is fair to say that conservatives do not feel that the IPCC introduced bias, or politicized climate science. I for one believe the IPCC is simply a manifestation of the politicization that already existed.

      It was created by western progressive political leaders (including progressives in the U.S. Republican Party like George H.W. Bush), under the auspices of an existing creation of, and engine for, progressivism – the UN. Its task from the start was to provide justification for the already existing “consensus,” among progressives, that western capitalism was harming the globe and should be stopped. It was conceived, governed, staffed, and funded by progressives.

      Anything that replaces it, that is designed by government or NGO progressives, will be designed for the same purpose and have the same flaws.

      The core problem of the IPCC is not that it has somehow gone off the rails, but that it functions exactly as those who created, funded and control it want it to. They are getting exactly what they are paying for, with other people’s money.

    • manacker

      “most posters here seem to have concluded that IPCC has outlived its usefulness”

      Almost equally true, most posters here think the government’s leftist agents would be reading their thoughts if not for their tinfoil hats.

      What do the IPCC’s most direct stakeholders — which most posters here are not — think?

  71. Climate Sensitivity

    The question is whether the long-term global warming rate is about 0.06 deg C per decade shown below:
    http://bit.ly/nEUMsQ

    Or whether it is about 0.16 deg C per decade as shown below.
    http://bit.ly/oEJHAk

    If it is 0.16 deg C per decade, the corresponding climate sensitivity is IPCC’s value of 3. If it is only 0.06 deg C per decade, the corresponding climate sensitivity is only about 1.1 (=3×0.06/0.16)

    We will find out the correct value from observation in this decade.

    From the observed data in the last decade (because the short term global warming rate is –0.1 deg C per decade http://bit.ly/pMHO76 ), it appears that the long-term global warming rate is only about 0.06 deg C per decade. Therefore, climate sensitivity appears to be about 1.1 deg C for doubling of CO2.

    • …we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

      This statement indicates that the assumption of a long-term global warming rate of 0.16 per decade may be wrong.

      • I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

        Leo Tolstoy

    • The most brilliant description of man made global warming in 10 minutes

      http://bit.ly/q2jglF

    • Why use the last decade though when we can use the decade 1987-1997?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:1997/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1987/to:1997/trend

      no warming for 10 years. Even though CO2 rose 4% in that period.

  72. Haven’t read thru the 453 comments……. but I have two questions based on your post Judith.

    1. Why would the divorce betweeen climate science and the IPCC be painful?

    2. Why do we even need an IPCC or an alternative review board in the first place?

  73. “2. Why do we even need an IPCC or an alternative review board in the first place?”

    Think of it as very well paid prison.
    Or an introduction to Hell.

  74. Stirling English

    Lets leave the science aside for a bit and look at the IPCC as an organistaion. If it is indeed corrupted, then its governance must have allowed/encouraged it to become so. So here are a few corporate governance type questions. I’m sure that many more will occur to others.

    1. How are authors chosen? Who by? On what grounds? What qualifications are needed? How does one become a Lead Author rather than just any old Joe Soap?

    2. Very few parts of climatology are totally uncontentious. Who ultimately decides the published content? What qualifications do they have? How are they appointed? To whom are they responsible? How does that resonsibility manifest itself.

    3. When it all goes wrong (eg Amazongate, Himalayagate), who takes responsibility? How does that responsibility manifest itself? eg resignation/demotion

    4. Who pays for it all? It is usually a good idea to follow the money to understand how a large and diverse institution functions. How are budgets set and monitored?

    5. How/by whom is the Executive appointed? To whom are they responsible? How does that responsibility manifest itself?

    6. What are the typical personal/professional characteristics of those who contribute to the IPCC? Of those who run it?

    7. Climatology is a field with many links to large sums of money and political influence. How are conflicts of interest handled? In theory? In practice?

    8…etc

    9…etc

    These are the sort of questions one would need to ask to understand any organisation regardless of its mission.

    I think I know part of the answers to some of the questions, but value filling in the many blanks. Thanks for your input

  75. There has been some loose talk on this blog about people losing confidence in the IPCC.

    Don, Max, TonyB et al

    Can any of you provide any evidence that you have actually ‘lost’ confidence. In other words, can you show that any of you ever had any to start with? I’d say not – any you may have had would have evaporated the moment you realised what their report was saying.

    • TT: what your loose reading has missed, is that the thrust of declining confidence in the IPCC relates primarily to the general public, not posters here.

    • Latimer Alder

      When I first started looking at climatology about three years ago, my starting point was that such an august body must actually provide the Gold Standard of Science…up there with Einstein and Newton and Maxwell.

      And I started reading their stuff because I wanted to understand exactly what great experimental and theoretical breakthroughs had been made to allow people to so confidently say ‘The Science is Settled’

      But my trust lasted a very short time…the more I read, the more disillusioned I became. There had been no theoretical breakthrough. Still less any convincing experiemental evidence.

      And then there was Climategate. Whoch exposed shoddy ‘science’ and dirty dealing among the leading participants. Repeated refusals to furnish data and method sufficien to allow independent verification of anything at all only added to the complete breakdown of any residual trust I mught have had in climatology, the IPCC and most climatologists.

      The beautiful irony is that these are all self-inflicted wounds as another commentator remarked. Seems like they vastly overplayed the alarmist hand for about ten years…with AIT, Nobel Prizes, Kyoto, The Hockey Stick etc. It will take another five or so to unravel it back to any real basic science that is actually there…and many careers in climatology, politics and lobbyng will be ruined along the way.

      But (at risk of becoming Toynbee-esque) this is the inevitable consequnce of an organisation and its leaders getting too big for its boots. The Grreks called it ‘hubris’ and it is frequently followed by nemesis.

      IPCC is on the slippery and steepenign slope from the on to the other. Tough. It’s all their own work.

      • ” Still less any convincing experimental evidence.”

        What sort of experiments can you suggest? Apart from increasing the GHG levels until the Earth warms up, perhaps?

      • Latimer Alder

        Fine. So it’s a difficult problem to demonstrate. Fair enough. Lots of problems have been difficult to work on over the course of scientific history. Some have been fixed, others remain outstanding.

        But climatologists don’t even try. They just throw their hands up and say ‘too hard for us, mate, take it on trust..we are expert climatologists after all and we know’. Yeah right…from the guys who unplogetically brought you Amazongate, Himalayagate and Climategate – trust is an unlikely outcome. You lied to us before, why should we trust you now?

        *You* are the guys who wish to persuade us that there is a big big problem out there. *You* work on providing the evidence. If you can’t do so, ‘sorry – its a hard problem’ is just a weak and pathetic copout.

      • LA ,

        Its not a question of giving up. However, you do need to realise that science and the scientific method does vary according to what is possible. Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the process.

      • Latimer Alder

        @tempterrain
        I meed to realise that

        ‘experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the process’.

        Fine. Back to frigging Aristotle.

        Sit in a chair and think about what you’d like the answer to be. Declaim it loudly to universal acclamation. For example, Earth, Air, Fire, Water

        End of process. Complete. The Great One has Spoken.

        Here’s some experiments you can do…use your models (theories) to make some concrete short/medium term predictions about how climate will change over the next five to ten years. Publish the predictions in advance. Be prepared to stand by them….if the predictions match reality, that’s a tick in the box for the models…if not then you need to reork the models (theories).

        The climatologists copout ‘the weather is consistent with our models’ does not cut the mustard.

        And finally – before I explode with rage at your patronising and ignorant tone – I don’t f…g need to understand anything from you matey – can you just explain what you think science is if experimentation does not play a central and fudamental role?

      • Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the scientific method. And experiments aren’t the same thing as observations,

        Climate science, like some others you may like to think of, isn’t experimentally based.

      • So true temp, the old guys did use experimentation to validate things though.

        But theory can be pretty compelling.

        http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/10/ipcc-down-welling-radiation-violates.html

      • Latimer Alder

        @tempterrain

        ‘Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the process’

        So how do I distinguish between astrology and climatology?

        Or nearer to home, how do I decide whether climate sensitivity is 1 or 6. Toss a coin? Summon up the great god Beelzebub and ask him? Or just go with whichever number most suits my star sign?

        I know – I’ll ask a modeller…they must know. Becasue their models are tested against reality – aren’t they? And then I;ll ask the modeller what will happen in the future ..because they make predictions and test them against reality (experiment) regularly don’t they.

        But you’re certainly right that climatology is not an experimental science. And – because of that – I give it exactly as much credence as all the other non-expermental ‘sciences’

      • Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the scientific method.
        And experiments aren’t the same thing as observations,

        Observation is nothing but a part of an experiment. And is itself experimental – trying out various instruments with which to observe, figuring out which ones are best, how to adjust observations, etc.

        Climate science … isn’t experimentally based.

        Ever heard of John Tyndall ? The current CLOUD experiments at CERN ?

      • Latimer and Tony

        It looks like the experience you both had with IPCC, while different in detail, was similar enough to mine.

        I also first took it for granted that the IPCC findings and conclusions were correct. The GH theory was certainly plausible and the concept that increasing CO2 emissions could alter our climate seemed to make sense.

        I followed the developments with interest, pretty much accepting the message of the IPCC. As far as I was concerned, there was no compelling reason to believe that IPCC was introducing any bias into its reports.

        I saw Al Gore’s “AIT” film in the fall of 2006, when it came out and concluded that there might be some exaggeration but that much of the film seemed to make sense. The 450,000-year CO2/Temperature chart was an impressive bit of evidence that CO2 has driven temperature in the past (only later did I find out that the CO2 actually lagged the temperature by several hundred years).

        Several scientists issued statements criticizing the film for its scientific errors and exaggerations, which raised my suspicion that maybe it was more of a propaganda film than anything with scientific merit.

        The Mann hockey stick in TAR (also in Gore’s film) was a first eye-opener, which got me to checking things out a bit more. How could it be that all the historical records, etc. could have been wrong about a warmer MWP and a colder LIA? What about the Vikings and Greenland? Living in Switzerland I had read about mass settlements of higher altitude alpine regions during the warm Middle Ages, which later had to be abandoned as it turned colder and the ice advanced. The past theories of a warmer Roman period followed by a colder Dark Ages with mass migrations (usually headed south) also seemed to point to something other than a flat hockey stick.

        When the HS was finally thoroughly discredited, I thought, “OK, IPCC made an error in accepting this one piece of evidence too quickly in its desire to get a message of unusual 20th century warmth across, but now it can correct this and everything will be OK”.

        But IPCC did not concede that the HS had been scientifically discredited in its new (AR4) report. Instead it moved the HS out of centerfold prominence but maintained its story of “unusual 20th century warmth”, which was now backed by a bunch of “spaghetti copy hockey sticks” that had amazingly sprouted up like mushrooms after a spring rain. This seemed fishy to me, so I checked further.

        I found a site called CO2Science, which had just published a list of studies from all over the world on the MWP. This list has grown since then, but I was amazed to find that there were independent studies from all over the world, using different paleo-climate methodologies, which all pointed to a slightly warmer MWP than today, yet very few of these studies were even cited by IPCC.

        I then saw a report on the Greenland Ice Cap by a European team led by Johannessen, which showed that ESA satellite observations had shown a net growth of the GRL Ice Cap over the 10-year period 1993-2003. Yet IPCC reported that GRL Ice Cap lost mass over exactly this same period! So I checked this out further. I found a followup study by Zwally et al., which converted the Johannessen et al. satellite findings to mass gain and added the marginal regions not captured by satellite, truncated one entire winter season from the data and STILL showed a net mass gain over the period 1993-2003. IPCC, on the other hand, ignored these reports, basing it’s claim of ice mass loss on several spot studies covering only a small portion of the whole time frame or a small portion of the entire surface area.

        By this time, the media were ballyhooing the AR4 report, Al Gore had already gotten an Oscar and he plus the IPCC had received a Nobel Peace Prize. “Alarming AGW” was “in”. In fact, it was the only “politically correct” view on climate. The “science was settled”.

        I then saw how IPCC managed to convey a message of accelerating sea level rise, in effect by manipulating the data, i.e. by comparing one set of data measuring one scope over one period of time (tide gauge records at selected coastlines prior to 1993) with another set of data measuring a totally different scope using a totally different method (satellite altimetry over the whole ocean except coastlines after 1993) to claim an acceleration from the first to the second time period. This was clearly more than just “bad science”, it was willful manipulation of data to prove a point.

        So I became rationally skeptical of the IPCC.

        The more I have delved into the IPCC claims since then, the more holes I have found. A (now defunct) thread over at Climate Audit was dedicated to gathering many of these exaggerations, fabrications, distortions and omissions and PaulM, a poster there, gathered these all and added some more in a handy summary:
        http://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/ipcc

        It is clear to me now that IPCC is not a neutral body dedicated to gathering and summarizing climate science, as Tony’s article also points out.

        That was my “journey” from passive acceptance of IPCC to rational skepticism to open suspicion.

        And it has absolutely nothing to do with any other political views I may have.

        It’s simply: “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

        Max

      • How could it be that all the historical records, etc. could have been wrong about a warmer MWP and a colder LIA?

        http://bit.ly/oaumwH

    • TT

      I had no reason at all to doubt the IPCC at first. Why should I?
      The doubt for me came when the Lamb type graph of temperature-derived from a lifetimes analysis by probably the leading climate scientist of his day-was supplanted by the evolving thesis from a newly minted phd-Dr Mann.

      History does not follow the story that Dr Mann weaves and there are lots of gaps and problems-such as those with ‘global’ temperatures to 1880, SST’s, sea levels, arctic ice etc.

      What I once believed in-the objectiveness and rigour of the IPCC- I do not believe in any longer. Undoubtedly the world is warming (in most places) but it has been happening for over 300 years, from the trough of the LIA.

      Despite your best efforts over the years to prove otherwise there is no poitics involved on my side

      tonyb

      • Yeah it never ceases to amaze me how deniers will take the Lamb graph at face value.

        Well actually I am not surprised. They’ll accept mainstream science as long as it backs their position. Supposedly Lambs work was settled science and Mann was wrong to dare challenge it.

      • But you can’t show any evidence of when you’ve posted a pro-IPCC comment? Before 2009 perhaps?

        Your trust in Lamb is very selective anyway. You only pick out the bits you like. Lamb certainly considered the possibility that the MWP wasn’t a global phenomenon – his theory was that the polar vortex axis had shifted making the North Atlantic warmer than average, but the North Pacific cooler. That theory is now not thought to be correct, but nevertheless it is quite consistent with Mann’s later result.

      • Latimer Alder

        I’m inrigued to know what purpose your line of questionning serves.
        Three of us tony b, myself and manacker report similar trajectories of disillusionment. From believer to doubter. But even if another hundred were to post that they never had any faith at all, what difference would that make.

        That there is little faith in the competence and integrity of the IPCC is the key issue. How, and from what starting position, that lack of faith was arrived at may be of interest as a historical footnote, but has little bearing on the problem at hand.

        Whether the sentence should read ‘have lost faith in the IPCC’ or ‘have no faith in the IPCC’ is really irrelevant.

        The faith ain’t there. That is the problem. Period.

      • tempterrain

        But you can’t show any evidence of when you’ve posted a pro-IPCC comment?

        This is a strawman argument, tt, and (I think) you know it.

        The fact that one has not openly posted pro-IPCC blogs does not provide any evidence whatsoever that one may not have been fully neutral on IPCC, in effect passively accepting everything it claimed.

        This was my position before late 2006 / early 2007.

        I only began actively following the blog sites after then.

        Max

      • Max,

        You seem to have had a remarkably rapid transition from a rationalist to a ranting denialist in early 2007. You went from being ” neutral on the IPCC” to claiming amongst other things:

        “Forget all the self-righteous calls for action by power-hungry politicians. Use your common sense. It [AGW] is all a hoax.

        See last comment in: http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/03/16/climate-change-denialists-why-do-they-do-it/

        You seemed to have calmed down a bit since. Were you experimenting with illegal substances at the time?

      • Dipping into the ‘censored’ file.
        ===========

      • But you can’t show any evidence of when you’ve posted a pro-IPCC comment?

        Shorter manacker answer to that question = no.

        And it is a funny coincidence also that he’s a strong political political ideologue (conservative) – just like those in the poll he cited – who were coincidentally “conservative’ and much more certain that climate change isn’t happening after “Climategate.” In other words, in contrast to the plurality of those who followed “Climategate” at least somewhat, “conservatives” were certain that climate change wasn’t happening, but were “much more certain” because “Climategate” shook their trust in climate scientists that they didn’t trust to begin with.

        Funny coincidence, that.

      • Arrrgghhh. Did I italic the thread?

        Sorry.

      • LA,

        You ask “what purpose [my] line of questioning serves.” ?

        Joshua has it right when he says you are playing the old creationist trick of saying something like ‘ Yes, at first, we accepted the scientific evidence, we were intrigued, but a on closer scrutiny …. etc etc etc ”

        In fact what happened was the instant you first heard about AGW and realised the implications you rejected it out of hand. There was never any acceptance at all. Jim Cripwell makes the same point himself in his denizens entry:

        ” When I first heard about CAGW, maybe 12 years ago, I knew it was wrong. In the intervening years, I have learned a great deal, and everything I have learned, confirms my initial reaction.”

        You’d expect better of a Cambridge educated Physics graduate. But, maybe he’d skipped the lecture course which explained that you can’t just “know” something in science!

        So if Jim can’t get it right maybe we can forgive everyone else who also decided they just “knew”. It makes me wonder why he bothered learning anything about the subject later. But I guess that’s necessary to justify his pre-judgement to others.

        Its really just self confessed prejudice against the IPCC at its worst.

      • Actually, I take people at face value when they talk about the etymology of their belief about AGW. Without evidence to doubt their descriptions, I have no particular reason to do otherwise. For example, huxley’s description of his experience seems credible.

        But I don’t doubt, also, that some people may conveniently (perhaps unintentionally) edit their recall due to motivated reasoning or other biasing factors.

        However, sometimes evidence does surface that seems relevant. For example, when I found a quote from kim, from back before the election, where he’s apparently obsessed about Obama being a Muslim (in other words, obviously someone inclined towards conspiratorial ranting that has no factual basis), I think there’s valid reason to question whether their view on AGW might be biased by their political partisanship. The quote you proved from manacker (it really was him, wasn’t it?) also seems to suggest that their more to the juxtaposition between his political orientation and his views on climate change than mere coincidence would explain.

      • Latimer Alder

        Where did I ever say that I rejected AGW out of hand? I don’t. Please don’t attribute to me statements I have never made nor necessarily agree with.

        Your question was about the IPCC – a quasi scientific and political human construct. I have no faith whatsoever in this body. It stinks. From the governance structures, to its opaque appointment methods. From its politicisation of conclusions to is (lack of) CoI policy. It stinks from top to bottom.

        As to a ‘creationist trick’, as a lifelong atheist I find your words deeply offensive. I read The Seflish Gene probably before you were born … and find that its ideas make a good way to analyse the world and its history. I have no need for a belief in a ‘creator’ of any sort. That you can only characterise anyone who disagrees with you as a ‘creationist’ shows the limit of your vision and your understanding.

        You may never have read much history. But if you had, you might recognise that mis-characterising your opponent and his strengths and weaknesses is one of the big strategic mistakes. Youfall into this error bigtime when you equate criticism of the IPCC with rejection of AGW out of hand.

        I’m content for you to continue in your myopic and profundly mistaken worldvew that everything about the IPCC is perfect, that climatologists stand second to nobody in their commitment to honesty, integrity, openness and the pursuit of objective truth. That anyone who criticises either is a knuckle-dragging creationist being paid by Big Oil to bring the planet to a fiery and terrible end.

        But most of all I am deeply comforted by a confirmation of the depth of your ignorance from your remark

        ‘Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the (scientific) process’

        Says it all really and a beautiful one sentence summing up of why climatology should be treated as nearer astrology than as a true science. The key to science is experimentation..to find out how the world actually works…rather than how we might imagine it works. Simples!

      • Latimer Alder

        I am no creationist and take great offence at being called one.

    • “Can any of you provide any evidence that you have actually ‘lost’ confidence. In other words, can you show that any of you ever had any to start with?”

      Yeah it sounds a lot like the ol’ creationist trick of pretending to have accepted the science until taking a closer look at it, when really their opinions of what they wanted to believe were formed before taking a look at it. The only reason for such a pretense is as a weird form of argument-from-self-authority, ie “an objective look at the science by Me found it flawed”

      • lolwot

        There is probably a formula out there to quantify this phenomenon, but it is clear that the more outrageous a doomsday prediction becomes the greater the number of rational skeptics of this prediction grows.

        IPCC has ignored this basic fact of life.

        And, lolwot, the posters here all appear to have the necessary IQ and common sense to “smell a rat”, without any “weird form of argument from self-authority”, as you put it.

        Sorry. No sale. You’re blathering again.

        Max

      • Max,

        I’m not sure why you need a certain IQ to “smell a rat”. If there are rats about they’ll be busy gnawing away at whatever they can find to try to undermine the scientific case. Nasty little creatures.

      • Lolwot,

        I think I accidentally credited Joshua with your argument, Sorry about that.

        Anyway its spot-on IMO

    • “Can any of you provide any evidence that you have actually ‘lost’ confidence. In other words, can you show that any of you ever had any to start with?”
      Well I have have little confidence in the UN for quite awhile, but I used to regard IPCC as different [not very rational, I suppose] but bought the idea that there scientists involved with making the literature. I suppose I imagined that they had high respect for scientists, and such respect would overwhelmed their political views.
      But this confidence had been eroding over the last decade or so. I would say I thought it was legitimate before 1998 though it probably wasn’t as much as I thought it was- but I also wasn’t paying it much attention to it.

      But by time of climategate, it didn’t change my mind- it confirmed what I thought was likely- and climategate in some ways added a little confidence. And the fact that probably someone in the inside leaked it- reassuring.
      And don’t forget they were at giving some effort with the computer code: Harry Read Me. And this indicates the wheels weren’t completely off.

  76. Job announcements for scientific research in climate usually emphasize ability to attract outside funding and one’s publication record. This might be part of the answer.
    Rose

    • Latimer Alder

      So Penn State was not unique in its view that because Mike Mann brought in lots of grants he must be a jolly good scientist? That a man’s scientfic worth is measured in dollar bills?

      This does not sound to me like a system tha values Black Swans and dissenters from the consensus. Rather one that institutionally reinforces it.

      The more I learn about the actual machancis of acdemia, the more there is a nasty smell in my nostrils.

      • lol and here I thought one of the complaints against Mann was that he “removed the MWP”, a MWP that was supposedly the “consensus” before his dastardly act. Ie he dissented from the consensus.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        I don’t believe that history records Mann being treated as a heretic and an apostate for breaking the consensus. More, instead as a Saviour…who had produced that which the Climate Establishment most wanted – an opportunity to get rid of the MWP.

        And the total lack of any critical examination of his work – which flies in the face of huge amounts fo archaeology, artefacts and written records – shows that his ‘work’ slotted neatly into the consensus. Not until McIntyre patiently probed the deatils did the full extent of his deception become clear. But the climatology establishemnt were fat dumb and very happy with the previously obsucre MM.

        Climatology wanted an end to the inconvenient MWP..and when he seemed to have provded it he was feted as a hero. Now – alas for him – he is rapidly approaching a zero once more.

      • lolwot and Latimer

        The hockey “shtick” is dead.

        It has been comprehensively discredited by M+M, confirmed under oath by the Wegman committee, which was validated by a NAS panel under oath, as well.

        Let it “rest in peace” along with the notion of “unusual 20th century warmth”, which it was intended to prove before being discredited.

        Read Monckton’s book for the gory details (no pun intended).

        Max

        PS The issue is not the “shtick”, but a) how quickly IPCC embraced it, b) how it gave it “centerfold prominence” in TAR, c) how IPCC has yet to concede it was a piece of “bad science” and d) how IPCC still clings to the conclusion of the “shtick” that “20th century warmth is unusual for at least 1,300 years”

      • Latimer Alder

        @manacker

        Thanks. I have my well-thumbed copy of Andrew’s book here on my bookshelf where it has been since the day of publication. It remains an excellent patient and meticulous history of the destruction of the hockey stick idea and a great primary source of the lengths of disingenuousness the cliamtology establishemnt were prepared to go to prevent this Inconvenient Truth from becoming public knowledge.

      • I agree that the “hockey stick” is dead, if that refers to the 1999 reconstruction. Mann has published reconstructions since then, eg in 2008, which seems to fit well with others out there:

      • Split bark bristlecone
        And upside down Tiljander.
        lolwot ought to look.
        =========

      • lolwot ought to wonder at the effort, and the deceit, required to magically bring hockey sticks out of the hat of time.

        Here’s the irony, lolwot, those subsequent sticks, depending upon inappropriate proxies to recreate the hockey stick, are proof of intent for me. Your mileage is invariable, because your tire is flat.
        ===========

      • “PS The issue is not the “shtick”, but a) how quickly IPCC embraced it,”

        First Northern hemispheric temperature reconstruction and the IPCC have a section on paleoclimate? Not surprising really. That’s a bit like wondering why the IPCC might quickly embrace the vostok ice core data when it came out.

        “b) how it gave it “centerfold prominence” in TAR”

        Because of the novelty of having a temperature record stretching back that far, even if it was only for one hemisphere, and what it was saying about the fast rise in 20th century temperature relative to the temperature changes over the previous 900 years.

        “c) how IPCC has yet to concede it was a piece of “bad science””

        I don’t think being wrong makes it bad science. AR4 showed other better reconstructions, not just Mann 1999. Mann 1999 probably won’t even be graphed at all in AR5 as the reconstructions have moved on since then.

        “d) how IPCC still clings to the conclusion of the “shtick” that “20th century warmth is unusual for at least 1,300 years””

        AR4 says the 20th century is likely to be the warmest in the past 1,300 years. I think that is an accurate summary of the reconstructions of the time and even the ones that came after AR4. It looks like AR5 is going to be able to extend that conclusion back 2000 years.

      • If wishes were hockey sticks, lolwots would giddyap.
        ==============

      • kim, if you think these reconstructions are all wrong due to incompetence, are you not surprised that they generally agree so well?

        And are you not curious what result someone gets if they “do it properly”? I would be.

        And what’s the evidence for the Earth being much warmer than present during the medieval warm period if you dismiss temperature reconstructions?

        It seems to me there are several common positions on what temperature of the past 1000 years means.

        1) relatively flat temperatures since 1000AD, so the 20th century warming is unusual.

        2) a MWP much higher than today (several degrees higher?), so we’ve already lived through a much warmer period and therefore AGW isn’t a problem.

        3) a MWP likely lower than today, but perhaps a little higher. Future warming will punch right past that. Recent warming still unusual, but not as unusual as in #1.

        Many skeptics argue #2, the Mann 1999 hockey stick argues for #1. The actual situation I think is #3.

      • The flying spaghetti monster has dropped insight in your eye.
        =============

      • I’m sure that its every scientist’s ambition to break the consensus. There often a Nobel prize it , over a million dollars plus international prestige. But Michael Mann didn’t do that. There are lots of other similarly shaped hockey stick graphs.

        Previous ideas of the MWP largely rely on the work of Hubert Lamb. However, he wasn’t saying that it was entirely global and proposed a theory that the polar vortex had tilted causing the North Atlantic to temporarily warm and the North Pacific to temporarily cool.
        https://sites.google.com/site/medievalwarmperiod/Home

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, did you really just say Mann didn’t break the consensus, there are many other hockey sticks? If so, can you explain that one? How exactly does the state of science more than a decade after a paper show the paper didn’t break a consensus?

        And for the record, just how many do you consider to be “lots”? I mostly ask because I find it peculiar you claim there are lots of similarly shaped temperature reconstructions when just yesterday you asked whether or not there were. I’m curious just how many you found in 24 hours.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        (To be fair, you did say “was” in that comment. If you were asking about reconstructions that existed in the 20th century, that wouldn’t necessarily indicate a lack of knowledge of ones which have been published since.)

      • Max,

        I just wondered if you lie awake at night chanting “The hockey stick is dead. It has been comprehensively discredited by M+M, confirmed under oath by the Wegman committee etc etc ”

        And if you’ve said it so often you’ve come to believe it?

        Maybe you need to balance things up a bit with:

        “Since the hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick conclusion: the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.”
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=3&p=2

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, your stated position is Mann did not break the consensus with his paper because papers which were published after it agreed with him. I pointed out the absurdity of this position, yet you didn’t respond to it. Given this, it would seem you are either unable or unwilling to resolve our temporal issues. This is fitting as you say there are eight hockey sticks in your source, yet just looking at the graph shows that is untrue. One of your supposed hockey sticks only goes back to 1600 while another stops at 1500. Obviously neither of these can be considered similar results to a reconstruction whose primary conclusion lies prior to 1400.

        I can only explain your comments here in one of two ways. The first possibility is perhaps you are simply unaware of basic concepts of time, such as causes preceding effects. Perhaps you are so unaware of these concepts you view all periods of time as happening simultaneously. The second possibility is you were just extremely lazy with your responses to me.

        Either way, before continuing this exchange, I think we need to resolve two simple points. First, we need to be able to agree that the state of any consensus view in the present day does not somehow prove Mann’s original hockey stick over a decade prior did not break a consensus (due to basic temporal principles). Second, we need to be able to agree your source did not show eight similarly shaped hockey sticks. If you’re willing to modify your position to agree with those two points, I’d be happy to discuss things further. If not, I’m afraid we won’t be able to have a meaningful discussion.

      • Maybe you’re right about Mann. Perhaps he was the first. I did think there were other similarly previously shaped hockey sticks – I’ll have to look into that a little further. Maybe he does deserve his Noble prize after all!

        Anyway you think I’ve short changed you on my claimed 8 graphs?

        There’s a few new ones in this link.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=3&p=

        How many would you say that was now?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I have an addendum to my second point. In my above comment, I only discussed the fact two of the supposed hockey sticks ended prior to the period relevant to Mann’s original paper’s conclusion (Oerlemans and Huang). In actuality, three of them end prior to the relevant period. I didn’t mention the other one as its endpoint is not immediately obvious in the figure. However, I think it’s important to get it on the record. Briffa 2001 ended in 1400, so it is obviously is not confirmation of Mann’s original hockey stick.

        It also only appears to be a hockey stick because the post-1960 data was omitted because it goes down instead of up. It is only by hiding this adverse data the graph appears to support the conclusion that graph wants you to draw.

        So not only is that supposed hockey stick not relevant to the issue at hand, it is a dishonest presentation.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        tempterrain, I don’t care about the number right now. What I care about is your apparent inability to make a reasonable argument. You claimed eight graphs supported your conclusion, yet two obviously did not. You couldn’t possibly have examined the figure you presented and concluded what you did. I can accept that it was some sort of mistake, most likely due to laziness, but if you won’t admit it, we cannot have a reasonable discussion.

        Instead of addressing a simple point which would require you admit you were wrong, you simply and mindlessly threw up another link. There is no indication you put any more effort into examining this link than your former link, and it seems likely you didn’t. For example, you didn’t bother to mention the fact the the only relevant thing in that link is this figure, You also didn’t mention that of the 16 lines in that figure, two are instrumental records and one is Mann’s original hockey stick. Obviously none of those are relevant, but you are silent about this. You also didn’t mention the fact that of the remaining 13 lines, six are obviously the same as in your previous figure, and a seventh is the same with a slightly altered listing (Huang). You also don’t mention one of the new lines in that figure clearly ends in 1500, being disqualified for the same issue I raised with the previous figure.

        This means you provided a link to a source which is approximately six pages long despite the fact only one figure in the source was relevant and over half of what that figure shows is an obviously meaningless addition to this exchange. All of this would be found by a simple examination of your source, yet you didn’t say a word about it. The only two possibilities is you didn’t put any real effort into understanding the source you provided, or you willfully misrepresented it. Either way, you’re making it impossible to have a reasonable discussion with you. If you want to participate in such a discussion, you need to admit your earlier mistake in regards to the number of hockey sticks and admit the extremely limited value of the source you just provided.

        As a final comment, I want to discuss those five remaining lines for a moment. Four of those are from the same paper, Mann 2008. The flaws of this paper have been discussed extensively, but for the moment, the point is just that this is one new source. The only other new line is Mann 2003. This means the grand sum of this new link is to say two papers written by Mann agree with Mann’s original conclusion.

        Of course, you didn’t bother to say this. You just let your source sound like it was something far more than it actually was. Either through ineptness or dishonesty, you’ve greatly overblown the value of your source.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Finally, one more comment. For those who want to keep score, and in answer to tempterrain’s question:

        How many would you say that was now?

        I have a list of the graphs in question. They are:

        Jones 1998
        Crowley 2000
        Esper 2002
        Moberg 2005
        D’Arrigo 2006
        Mann 2003
        Mann 2008

        That puts the number up to seven. As a matter of interest for some, of these seven, three are by original authors of the hockey stick (Mann and Jones).

      • Brandon,

        I’ve said eight hockey stick graphs, you’ve said there are seven, but Wikipedia claims there were “more than a dozen” in 2005. That is more than a dozen graphs which “showed the basic finding that late 20th century temperatures significantly exceeded previous temperatures during that period.” [600 -1000] years
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

        Latimer claims that these graphs are about abolishing the MWP. They aren’t. They are more about determining if the MWP was a local or a global phenomenon, although that is only part of it.

        The MWP, or Medieval Warm Epoch, was a term originally coined by the respected Climatologist Hubert Lamb in the 1960’s. AGW wasn’t then considered to be a serious problem so his opinions at the time can truly considered to be impartial and free from any accusations of political prejudice.

        Did he consider the MWP to be global? He wasn’t sure, but he tended to the view that it wasn’t. You can read what he actually wrote in these two links:

        https://sites.google.com/site/medievalwarmperiod/Home

        https://sites.google.com/site/medievalwarmperiod/Home/p171–172-of-lamb-s-climate-history-the-modern-world

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’m afraid to say I have to back out of this exchange tempterrain. Given your behavior, I don’t think a reasonable discussion is possible. You are either unable or unwilling to meet even the most basic requirements for meaningful communication. For example, your latest response to me in no way responds to anything I said, discusses things completely irrelevant to my comments, and gives a false portrayal of my position. To demonstrate the latter:

        I’ve said eight hockey stick graphs, you’ve said there are seven, but Wikipedia claims there were “more than a dozen” in 2005.

        Your listing of numbers here ignores the issues which were raised regarding those numbers. Namely, you gave as examples things which obviously did not support your claims. This was so obvious it would be impossible for you to have examined the sources you offered in any meaningful sense and have come to your conclusions honestly. You dismiss this highly damning criticism of you by acting as though you and I simply disagree about a number (you also misrepresent what I said about the number being seven).

        Given your behavior, I don’t think a reasonable discussion on this topic with you is possible, and thus I’m going to withdraw from the exchange. I don’t know what caused you to behave as you did, but I think it’s unfortunate, and I hope to get to have a real discussion the issue with somebody in the future.

  77. Eric Ollivet

    I take the opportunity of this thread for proposing a small exercise regarding variations of CO2 concentration vs. variations of T° and PDO index, just using a convenient tool and data set available on the Net.

    Proceeding
    Step 1: go to woodfortrees site (http://www.woodfortrees.org)

    Step 2: for each of the 3 parameters (HADCRUT3 variance-adjusted global mean / ESRL CO2 / JISAO PDO Index) apply following treatment:
    a) From time… to time…. : select a ~ 20 or even 10 years period to get sufficient accuracy
    b) Mean(Sample) => 12 (months) : to get rid of seasonal variations, especially for CO2
    c) Derivative : provides the variations of the parameter w.r.t time
    d) Mean(Sample) => 12 (months) : for “smoothing” the output signal
    e) Normalize : to get comparable outputs’ scales.

    Step 3: repeat the exercise using a 3 years (36 months) and a 11 or 13 years (132 or 156 months) averaging (here you can use the full [1958 – 2011] available data).

    Results

    [1970-1980]

    [1974-1994]

    [1990-2010]
    3 years’ averaging

    13 years’ averaging

    Discussion
    Main outcomes are the following:
    1) All variations follow a similar pattern showing a roughly 3 years’ quasi-periodic cycle, likely to correspond to El Nino oscillation (ENSO)
    2) [CO2] variations are following T° variations with about 6 to 12 months lag…
    3) T° variations are generally following PDO index variations with a shorter lag (about 0 to 6 months)
    4) By increasing the averaging time scale you remove “high frequency” cycles (i.e. ENSO) but put in evidence some larger scale cycles such as :
    a) Solar cycle (11 years) using a 3 to 4 years averaging
    b) PDO cycle (60 years) using a 13 years averaging.

    5) Indeed, at any time scale you’re looking at, the conclusion remains unchanged :
    PDO variations are preceding T° ones, which are themselves preceding variations of [CO2],

    Conclusions
    1) Earth’ climate is not driven by CO2 concentration but by complex Oceans (thermal) Oscillations, Oceans’ being of course main heat reserve & inertia wheel of Earth climate system.

    2) Variations of CO2 concentration are actually following these Oceans (thermal) Oscillations and subsequent Ocean’s degasing rate + global temperature variations.

    3) IPCC claims that human use of fossil fuels causes global warming are not funded and formally falsified by comparison with observational data. AGW theory is fully based on flawed and formally invalidated models.

    4) IPCC has promoted alarmist propaganda and dangerous policies, only based one this junk science: for that reason IPCC has definitely lost its credibility and shall therefore be dissolved.

    • Eric

      Thanks for an excellent and very interesting analysis.

      I have never seen this presented so effectively and convincingly.

      Max

    • Eric

      PDO variations are preceding T° ones, which are themselves preceding variations of [CO2],

      Eric is saying the emperor has no cloth!

      Definition:
      “The Emperor Has No Clothes” is often used in political and social contexts for any obvious truth denied by the majority despite the evidence of their eyes, especially when proclaimed by the government.
      http://yhoo.it/qnruy2

  78. My impression is that Mann and his colleagues wanted to be able to say in the IPCC report, with certainty (“very likely”), that the 20th century was the warmest in 1000 years (or something like that). This meant that they had to downplay the warming period. With further research and improvement of their analysis, the MWP no longer had the highest temperature. The IPCC provided the motivation for this.
    Rose

    • Yes, Rose.

      I would agree that you have the sequence and the motivation right.

      What is disturbing to me is that IPCC, even after the Mann HS has been thoroughly discredited, still clings to its conclusion that:

      the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”

      when there are dozens of independent studies from all over the world using different methodologies, which show a MWP that was warmer than today.

      Max

    • “My impression is that Mann and his colleagues wanted to be able to say in the IPCC report, with certainty (“very likely”), that the 20th century was the warmest in 1000 years (or something like that). This meant that they had to downplay the warming period. With further research and improvement of their analysis, the MWP no longer had the highest temperature. The IPCC provided the motivation for this.”

      Well that’s wrong for a start because you are claiming there were existing northern hemisphere temperature reconstructions before Mann’s. That’s a common skeptic error – to think that before Mann the temperature reconstructions showed a warmer than present MWP and Mann “removed it”. They never did because there were no nh or global temperature reconstructions covering that timescale before Mann.

      Mann was the first (or close to) to produce a temperature record of the northern hemisphere for the last 600 (and then 1000) years.

      AR4 concludes that the 20th century was likely the warmest in 1300 years from studies that post-date Mann 1999.

      • Eric Ollivet

        lolwot,
        That’s a common skeptic error – to think that before Mann the temperature reconstructions showed a warmer than present MWP and Mann “removed it”.

        Sorry but you’re wrong.

        “Skeptics” claim is referring to IPCC FAR chap 7 page 8 where one can read :

        The late tenth to early thirteenth centuries (about AD 950-1250) appear to have been
        exceptionally warm in western Europe, Iceland and Greenland (Alexandre 1987, Lamb, 1988) This period is known as the Medieval Climatic Optimum China was, however, cold at this time (mainly in winter) but South Japan was warm (Yoshino, 1978) This period of widespread warmth is notable in that there is no evidence that it was accompanied by an increase of greenhouse gases…

        IPCC is also referring to Holocene optimum as warmer than current period:

        There is growing evidence that worldwide temperatures were higher than at present during the mid-Holocene (especially 5 000-6 000 BP), at least in summer, though carbon dioxide levels appear to have been quite similar to those of the pre-industrial era at this time

        IPCC claims that current warming is unprecedented are just falsified by its first report, as well by further analyses, as reported by Max.

      • You get a reading comprehension Fail

      • I used the word “impression” intentionally. I really like Mann’s attempt to reproduce the temperature record from tree rings. There are very few data sources for this time range and I think the more tree rings analyzed, the better. What bothers me is that, in order to be able to say something “with confidence” for the IPCC report, the statistics were “improved” until they could say with honesty that the 20th century was the warmest in 1000 years. I feel the IPCC process has had a negative influence on climate research.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        rmdobservations, you say you “think the more tree rings analyzed, the better.” I agree wholeheartedly. However, I think you miss the bigger problem here (statistical issues are serious, but not as serious). Generally speaking, temperature reconstructions reuse a lot of the same data sets, especially certain key ones which give the “desired” answer. It’s only by giving a small amount of data undue weight that answer is achieved. As for the statistical issues, most of them are little more than people finding ways of giving that select data undue weight.

        Effectively, firm conclusions about the relative temperatures of ~1,000 years ago are based entirely upon cherry-picking, even if it only happens subconsciously.

      • Brandon,
        That’s why we need some independent studies using the same or similar data set. It’s true, CRU invested a lot of energy and money in obtaining the tree ring data and were reluctant to give it away. Given the importance of the conclusions, it seemed logical that someone check their results.

      • It’s true, CRU invested a lot of energy and money in obtaining the tree ring data and were reluctant to give it away.

        CRU invested a lot of PUBLIC money in tree-ring data, and were reluctant to ‘give’ it to the PUBLIC.

  79. PeKKa, Fred, Kim,

    What the equation says, it that 24W/m-2 conductive up is not equal to 24W/m-2 radiant down. The 24W/m-2 of conductive would create the 24W-2 of radiant down in the region of its flow, which is not the same as 24Wm-2 being balance by 24Wm-2 that the top of the atmosphere.

    While energy is fungible the work energy does is not. It appears the three fluxes must be treated separately for the correct answer.

    • I understand this is a completely new visualization of energy in the atmosphere. It appears to be a truly groundbreaking discovery or I am completely nuts.

      • My money’s on groundbreaking, if only for the fact that it helps explain why CO2 seems to have so little effect.
        =========

      • Sorry, Kim CO2 has two effects that roughly balance. More CO2 change the balance. This is a small effect until a point is reached. I can’t find that point until I solve all of the coefficients. It may be good, it may be bad, or it may be nothing, I would like to find out what is will truly be.

        One thing the equation says, is that if there were not greenhouse gases, there would still be a dry adiabatic lapse rate and a tropopause located 3800 meters above the surface, the wet adiabatic lapse rate is due to radiant energy flux interaction with greenhouse gases, and the tropopause temperature is the result of the combined surface radiant flux and the conductive flux to radiant transition.

        It is remarkable simple, but impossible for me to explain. For the atmosphere, the potential energy created by conductive must be separate from that create by radiant energy. Too simple to communicate.

      • I work backwards from ‘Trenberth is missing something’ to ‘maybe this is it’. Deus is in the details ex machina, and here the details descend into turbulent maths and are obscured by the fuzziness of observations.
        ==========

      • So start with the biggest hurdle first? I don’t know if that will work since he has two errors and one appears to explain the other. Now I realize that his main error is commonly accepted physics, I would be really butting heads with the entire world of physics.

        I will try that as a starting point, but I need a truly open minded physicist, and not a Postma, be cause his math is worse than mine, to help :)

    • Dallas,

      Your comment is not any more meaningful than anything else that you have written.

      You must tell much more precisely, what your numbers and words refer to. So far my interpretation is that they do not refer to anything well defined. Therefore almost all calculations that you have presented are so open to interpretation that it’s impossible to even start to discuss them intelligently.

      • Unfortunately that doesn’t help. You use concepts in a way that doesn’t make sense, and not only at one point but throughout the text. There’s no reason to start from a inconsistent mixture of concepts and to try to correct that, when the only reasonable way is to just forget all that and start from the real physics.

        Your formulas appear to be in the area, where reliable basic textbook knowledge is applicable. Thus I can see only one reasonable way to proceed, and that is starting with a textbook mathematical description of the atmosphere and checking, how your formulas are related to that. That requires defining precisely the variables and conditions, where the formulas should be used. As long as you haven’t done most of that, nobody else can understand well enough, what you have in mind.

      • Pekka, that is were I need help. What is the proper starting point? Energy is assumed fungible, evidently it is not in our atmosphere in both directions. Do I start with no greenhouse gases to prove the Poisson relationship? That’s been done. Do I prove that radiant interaction with GHG increases the lapse rate, not just water vapor? I think that has been done. It is the boundary between the dry and wet that this explains which should be common knowledge, I understand, I just don’t know what others don’t. There is no proof of the unified field theory, so there is no proof of a unified flux theory. This is way beyond my abilities to explain, since there is a missing proof, at least to missing to my knowledge.

      • Dallas,

        It’s necessary to first learn, what’s happening in the real atmosphere, or in a simplified, but still realistic enough idealization of it.

        Basically that means understanding basics of radiative heat transfer and most relevant thermodynamics. The use of mathematics must start from a description of these true phenomena. The phenomena are local in the atmosphere, but there are boundary conditions at surface and at the top of troposphere (I would stop there, because the stratosphere is different and not so essential for the understanding). Any summary, average or effective variable must be carefully defined and it’s relationships to the local variables explained.

        The most important phenomena in understanding the atmosphere are:

        The heat and moisture transfer at the surface, which leads effectively to two things: the atmosphere near surface has approximately the same temperature as the surface, and the amount of moisture is dependent on the surface temperature following basically the Clausius-Clapeyron relation although the details are not so simple.

        Radiative heat transfer, which depends on the wavelength in a way that allows both for conduction-like transfer within the atmosphere and transfer over long distances or directly to space. It’s important to notice, how these two parts are affected by the concentration of GHG’s

        The convection of moist air that leads to the adiabat that’s appropriate for the actual moisture level.

        The energy balance at tropopause and the related condition for the altitude of the tropopause: At the tropopause the radiative processes balance each other without any contribution from convection, while there’s some convection all the way up to the tropopause.

        The only approach that I believe is to express all the above mathematically and to derive all other formulas from that. Trying to jump directly to some summary formulas is bound to fail.

        All the details of the correct description can be handled at different level of accuracy. Some of the approximations lead to qualitatively valid description, while quantitative accuracy requires rather detailed modeling even in the case of one-dimensional model of the atmosphere, where the spatial (horizontal) differences are excluded from the analysis. Such an one-dimensional model may be built for some particular location or for “an average location” that’s suppose to give results close to the global average.

    • Dallas, submit it to a journal and see what the reviewers say. I can not figure out what you mean.

      Cite references for ideas and data; make all assumptions clear and explicit.

      A completely new visualization of energy in the atmosphere requires substantiation.

      • I was afraid you were going to say that. What if I blow off what it really means and just use the odd coincidence that everything fits. I mean ohms law for the atmospheric thermal balance is pretty trick, don’t ya thinK?

      • Mattstatt, Pekka, Fred and Vaughan,

        I am just beginning to understand what you all don’t understand about the equation.

        DWLR is real energy and energy has the same physical constraints, DWLR cannot be transferred to the surface at 100% efficiency. Just as any thermo problem, frame of referrence is required to solve the problem, If the solution does not work in all frames of reference it is not correct. The equation is just a simplified special case of relativist heat conduction in Earth’s atmosphere. The solution I have is not perfect, but very close to actual values of the coefficients.

        Look again at the atmospheric effect inverted pyramids. That is the simplest visualization in two dimensional space.

  80. The IPCC is yet another organisation, set up to
    a) provide jobs for the boys
    b) give a platform for politicians to do a bit of grandstanding
    This grandstanding will preferably be somewhere nice & warm (So we’ll never have another meeting in Northern Europe in winter!)
    So, in answer to Dr C’s questions.
    ■Can the IPCC regain the trust of the general public?
    ■If not, can the IPCC still maintain its relevance after this loss of credibility?
    ■Would climate science be better off if it were divorced from the IPCC?
    ■Should the IPCC, as is, be disbanded and replaced with something else and, if so, with what and how?
    No
    No
    Scientifically yes, financially no (Thus making for unhappy universities, who’ll get less money)
    Yes, replaced with nothing.
    As to when this disbandment will occur, shortly after a few revolutions ensuing from the collapse of the EU and the election of a proper President over in the USA.

  81. Lolwot

    I cannot understand how you could accept AGW as a fact when the pre-eminent expert in the field says the following:


    …we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

    And the globe is cooling
    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    • Credit must go to the Climate Research Unit for daring publish data that contradicts the 0.2 deg C per decade warming projections of the IPCC.

      • the globe is warming

        It did also warmed 100 years ago, before widespread use of fossil fuels.

        http://bit.ly/bx3Ebh

        It is warming does not mean that the cause is human!

      • Eric Ollivet

        lolwot,
        The very inconvenient truth is that, besides El Niño peaks and La Niña hollows, there has been no statistically significant warming since september 1997 i.e 14 years…

        Tendency since 1997

      • correct it for ENSO then you’ll see warming. Analyzing such a short period of time and not correcting for ENSO is IMO inexusable in this day and age. In fact I am surprised the climate community doesn’t release an official monthly-updated ENSO-removed temperature record.

      • “my prediction was correct, except for…”

        (add in any unforeseen “Black Swan” – in this case the fact that it cooled, maybe because of ENSO).

        IOW:

        “We had a continued warming trend, except for the cooling, which we believe was caused by ENSO”.

        Huh?

        “We won the football game, as predicted, except for the two goals our opponent shot in the last 10 minutes”

        Etc.

        Max

      • lolwot

        I am surprised the climate community doesn’t release an official monthly-updated ENSO-removed temperature record.

        How about “an official monthly-updated CO2-and-ENSO-removed temperature record”?

        Max

      • Eric Ollivet

        With RSS data you even get a slight cooling.

      • Or take UAH 1980-1996 (a longer series that is flat). I can cherry-pick like the rest of them.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1980/to:1996/plot/uah/from:1980/to:1996/trend

      • Jim D

        Yes. I have seen the 7-year “mini-blip” 1987-1994, which you cite. The difference is that we now have an almost 11-year “blip”, which shows no sign of reversing, and there were no past “blips” of that length.

        If current temperature continues for another several months, we will have a net cooling trend that started back in January 1998.

        By then, the “blip” will have become a “maxi-blip” of 14 years.

        And, if it continues another 3 years, the “maxi-blip” will have become a “statistically significant trend”.

        So let’s wait and see what happens.

        If Girma is right (and history repeats itself), we will have a prolonged period of no warming to slight cooling.

        And nobody knows the answer to what is going to happen – least of all IPCC who already missed the past decade with its 0.2C per decade warming prediction that turned out to be a flop, begging the question: “if they couldn’t get a 10-year prediction right, how can we trust them to get it right for the next 100 years?”

        That’s the problem here, Jim.

        Max

      • #1 – No one, from Mann to Jones, says it is a fact.
        #2 – 3 years is not a trend. It is an extended season.

    • Girma,

      Yep. Judith Curry thinks so too.

      “However, whether atmospheric gases such as CO2 (and H20, CH4, and others) warm the planet is not an issue where skepticism is plausible.”

      https://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/

      • tempterrain

        You will probably find few posters here who would disagree with Judith’s point that CO2 warms the atmosphere through the GHE.

        The question is: “how much”?

        And, as Judith has stated many times, the jury is still very much out on that question.

        If it is a theoretical 0.8C to 1.5C for 2xCO2, as the past record shows, then there is hardly anything to worry about.

        If it is 3 to 4 times this amount, as the IPCC model simulations estimate, there could be a potential long-term problem.

        So whom do you believe: the past record or the IPCC model predictions?

        I’d say many rational skeptics have more faith in the past record (despite all its known warts and blemishes) than in the IPCC model predictions.

        And THAT, tempterrain, is where the disagreement lies, not in the basic GH theory.

        Max

      • manacker 10/09/11, 6:51m, IPCC discussion

        m: You will probably find few posters here who would disagree with Judith’s point that CO2 warms the atmosphere through the GHE.

        I’ll disagree.

        But first, did Dr. Curry really say that? While it’s colloquial, it’s a punk position for any scientist to take. For those all-but-a-few readers who would agree with that position, GHEs are not a source of energy to warm anything. The Sun does nearly all of it. GHEs work to keep Earth from cooling. It’s well described as a blanket effect, rather than either a greenhouse effect or a warming effect.

        Second, the question is incompetent. The objective question is not the trivial question of what warms the planet, but what regulates its temperature. The answer is really not much more difficult: it’s Earth’s albedo. It’s a modeling problem; a problem in systems science.

        Judging strictly by IPCC’s band of authors, training in climatology and oceanography seems to steer a scientist wannabe away from the ordinary skills of science.

      • I don’t recall making a statement like that. The earth and atmosphere have higher temperatures with CO2 in the atmosphere than without it. The physical mechanisms associated with the infrared absorption and emission of CO2 have been discussed on numerous previous threads.

      • curryja 10/09/11, 10:52 am, IPCC discussion

        JAC: I don’t recall making a statement like that. The earth and atmosphere have higher temperatures with CO2 in the atmosphere than without it. The physical mechanisms associated with the infrared absorption and emission of CO2 have been discussed on numerous previous threads.

        I didn’t think so!

        Your blog is a bit of a national treasure, and I hope it enjoys a long and happy life. You are due some special kudos for allowing it to exist in its minimally moderated form. Your tolerance is amazing.

        Still, discussions, as important as they are, by themselves are never enough. On the subject of infrared absorption and emission, posters here still argue over the proper atmospheric lapse rates, and quibble about the mechanisms of molecular absorption, oblivious to the fact that these are microparameter irrelevancies in a macroparameter problem, and that science models are scale sensitive. People still think that the Beer-Lambert Law does not apply, or that it is only valid for monochrome light. And they hold that equilibrium is appropriate to the radiation budget.

        Contributors discuss beliefs, like IPCC’s subjective confidence and Bayes analysis, as if they had a legitimate role in science. They regurgitate IPCC’s position that water vapor feedback is uncertain, hovering around zero, when IPCC omits entirely water vapor’s role in variable cloud cover. They have no problem with IPCC modeling the ocean surface layer in equilibrium to create acidification, and to make the Revelle Factor conjecture work. Or, simultaneously for IPCC to model the surface layer in disequilibrium to compute CO2 dissolution. The list goes on.

        Yes, we’ve had discussions here and there, but by themselves they converge on nothing. The reason may be that this is not an appropriate medium to chase down details to the degree science demands.

        Climate Etc. serves to expose a hodge-podge of misconceptions, including elementary concepts of linearity, feedback, and thermodynamics, most of which carry over into the subject of this thread, IPCC’s performance, meaning its incompetence and its malfeasance.

  82. The monthly global mean temperature anomaly for August is out, and it is 0.444 deg C, 0.17 deg C lower than its maximum record of 0.616 deg C in 1998 (13 years ago!).

    http://bit.ly/gWkyz5

    Where is this man made global warming?

  83. The IPCC needs to make it’s merger with the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace official. Just imagine what Pachauri could do with the combined budgets. Oh, the junkets! If any funds are leftover, they could mount an expedition to find the missing heat.

  84. Girma: I’m not a fan of Dr. Pratt, but I thought he provided a good enough demolition of your cherry-picked curves last week. Since 1850 the planet has overall warmed, though that rise has been marked with warming and cooling periods.

    It’s a problem for global warming that during the past decade temperatures have gone sideways — a little up or a little down depending on the selected endpoints. But if in the next few years the temperatures took off on a steep warming jag like in the nineties, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    • Huxley

      But if in the next few years the temperatures took off on a steep warming jag like in the nineties, I wouldn’t be surprised.

      That would be contrary to the global mean temperature (GMT) pattern for the last 160 years!

      The GMT pattern shows it has an upper boundary line that it touches but NEVER crosses for long as shown in the following graph.

      http://bit.ly/qGcD9M

      As the current GMT is near its upper boundary line (BLUE), in the next couple of decades, the temperature must cool further until it reaches the lower boundary line by about 2030s.

      There is a paper that Mann was a co-author that describes this cooling to be due to thermohaline circulation cycles.

      http://bit.ly/nfQr92 (pdf)

  85. huxley

    But if in the next few years the temperatures took off on a steep warming jag like in the nineties, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And if they flattened out for the next decade or two (as they have the past decade despite CO2 reaching record levels) I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And if the whole record continued to show a gradual warming trend of 0.04 to 0.05C per decade, as it has since 1850, I wouldn’t be surprised, either

    This would simply be a continuation of the multi-decadal warming and cooling cycles of around 30 years for each half-cycle, all on a slightly tiled axis, which we have seen since the modern HadCRUT3 record started, as Girma has correctly plotted.

    Max

    • Max: As Iv’e said elsewhere, I’m a skeptic of the orthoodoxy, but not of the possibility that increasing CO2 will put us into new warmer climate territory. However. I wouldn’t be surprised if continued sideways or leveled off either.

      I just don’t know, but I disagree with Girma’s repetitious graphs as though it disproved global warming.

      • Huxley

        I just don’t know, but I disagree with Girma’s repetitious graphs as though it disproved global warming.

        The repetition is to counter the repetitious AGW scar mongering.

        It does not disprove global warming, but it challenges IPCC’s claim of 0.2 deg C per decade warming. The global warming rate is only about 0.06 deg C per decade, not 0.2 deg C per decade.

        Again this is like the Emperor has no clothes.

        Look at the following graph and answer me the next question:

        http://bit.ly/qGcD9M

        Has the global mean temperature in its 160 years records ever exceeded the upper boundary line for long?

        In a technological world, are we going to ignore what our observed global mean temperature pattern is telling us?

  86. Not that anyone will get this far down this thread but it needs to be said that the IPCC’s response to the legitimate input they’ve received from multiple bodies citing the need for fundamental reform is very telling. The IPCC has rejected or disregarded all calls for true reform in areas from conflict of interest to representing alternate views. The net result of their “new” policies leave the situation virtually identical to the old situation. Let’s look at the facts

    1. Anyone paying attention has seen how the IPCC staff and insiders (many associated with green NGOs) have abused their position of power to rewrite sections of the summaries at the last moment with no transparency and disregard with no justification the legitimate scientific concerns submitted by expert contributors.

    2. These same IPCC staff, insiders and leaders are all now well aware that the IPCC’s credibility has been damaged with the mainstream populace. Without fundamental reform, any new reports will be doubted and easily dismissed and thus be much less effective. If the IPCC adopted true reform, it’s likely that future reports might have real influence and impact in changing minds of the undecided or skeptical. Regaining credibility should be a high priority goal among the alarmists and beneficial for their cause. So why wouldn’t they take the obvious and easy steps to implement that?

    It seems evident by their behavior that the IPCC insiders know that without the ability to rig the process behind the scenes they *can’t* get a report supporting the pre-determined view they desire (high confidence prediction of catastrophic man-made warming). Hence, they’ve decided that a low credibility, controversial report that supports their position is better than undergoing reform and releasing a credible report that wouldn’t support their position. Thus, they’ve already revealed through their actions that they themselves believe that a truly transparent and unbiased report would not support immediate action to curtail man-made CO2. Interestingly, they are the only ones who really know just how much spin they’ve had to inject so far to “guide” the process. Apparently it’s been far more than a little nudge.

  87. Did some moron really say that experiment / observation isn’t a mandatory part of climate science ? Or did I miss a joke somewhere…?

    • Up thread tempertantrum typed

      “Experiment isn’t a mandatory part of the scientific method. And experiments aren’t the same thing as observations,

      Climate science, like some others you may like to think of, isn’t experimentally based.”

      So one would assume he thinks climate science is based upon faith rather than experiments or observations..

    • Punksta

      experiment / observation isn’t a mandatory part of climate science ?

      Of course not. Who needs it?

      – We’ve got a solid gold theory, which goes way back to Arrhenius!

      – We’ve got computer models that can be front-loaded with our theory plus some hypothetical assumptions on feedback and will spit out appropriately alarming predictions for the next decades or even centuries!

      – And (as icing on the cake), if we look hard enough, we can reconstruct some paleo-climate data series from carefully selected periods of our geological past, which we can interpret suitably, in order to prove our theory and the hypothetical assumptions!

      So who needs actual real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation?

      (Besides, these can be a real bother and the results might not prove our theory and hypothetical assumptions.)

      Max

  88. TT
    Mann’s only real contribution to climate science is incompetant statistics, fraud, and secrecy. But yes, that probably does warrant a Nobel Prize for Political Correctness such as Gore got.

    • Punksta

      Look at the bright side.

      Mann’s contribution to climate science was that it ultimately (and indirectly) exposed a dark side of the IPCC “consensus process”.

      It took McIntyre/McKitrick to expose it, Wegman, North and Bloomfield to confirm it under oath before a US congressional committee and Montford to chronicle it in detail.

      But without Mann, this dark side would have gone unexposed.

      Max

      PS The cockroaches scramble when the light is turned on.

  89. Given the issue behind Hiding the Decline, Mann’s hockey stick is without question discredited. As are all the other dendro-based hockey sticks, shown by McIntyre to be using the same/similar ‘adjusted’ dataset.

  90. Fred Moolten

    Back to our earlier exchange on Judith’s “winners and losers” theme,

    I’m sure you will be pleased to read that it appears that crop yields will be a “winner”, not only in the arable regions at northern latitudes as discussed earlier, but also in the Sahel region of Africa.
    http://thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/mueller-sahel.pdf

    This report, which refers to several scientific studies, cites the increased rainfall resulting from changing weather patterns as a possible contributing factor, along with the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    This report is getting media attention. I just read a German translation in the Swiss press.

    But then, to get back on topic, we had the IPCC prediction, which was unsupported by scientific research, that, in many African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture would be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020 as a result of global warming.

    Is it any wonder that IPCC is suffering from a lack of credibility?

    Max

    • Max – With small increases in CO2 and temperature, there will be regional winners and regional losers. Overall, the evidence to data (see the Science paper) suggests a net detriment. If one adds in loss of arable land from saltwater encroachment (see the two papers on that subject), the prospect of net loss increases over time. I don’t see the point, though, of your repeating the assertion that some regions will benefit, at least in the short run, since that conclusion has never been disputed.

      • Fred Moolten

        The “Science” paper you cite is no more valid than the papers I have cited on regional “winners”.

        The general conclusion of these studies is simply that a slightly warmer climate with higher CO2 concentrations will be generally beneficial for crop growth, while a slightly cooler climate with lower CO2 concentrations will be generally detrimental.

        Your paper does not in any way refute this conclusion, regardless of what you might think.

        But I believe we have beaten this dog to death, both here and on the :climate crises” thread. I simply wanted to share with you some recent evidence that this conclusion apparently also holds for the Sahel region of Africa, and not just for the arable regions at northern latitudes, as discussed previously

        Max

      • “The “Science” paper you cite is no more valid than the papers I have cited on regional “winners”.

        The Science paper reports a net global detriment associated with recent warming. The papers you cite report benefit in certain specified regions. There is no conflict.

      • Fred Moolten

        Citing a Science article, you wrote:

        The evidence to date indicates that globally, the recent warming has been associated with a reduction in crop yield

        The actual record shows that this is totally false.

        Global grain production trends are shown here:
        http://bigpictureagriculture.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-does-need-to-double-world-crop.html

        Before moving forward, let us look at what has happened to grain production over the last 40 years. In 1970, the production of corn, milled rice, and wheat was 788 million tonnes. By 2010, the production of those three grains was 1.912 billion tonnes, an increase of 142 percent.

        Looking at the grains individually, corn production increased from 268 million tonnes to 814 million tonnes, an increase of over 200 percent. The production of milled rice increased from 213 million tonnes in 1970 to 452 million tonnes in 2010—an increase of over 110 percent. Wheat production, the largest of the three grains in 1970, was 307 million tonnes. By 2010, wheat production had increased by over 110 percent to 648 million tonnes.

        For all three grains, the 40-year increase was over 140 percent.

        In addition, soybean production was 42 million tonnes in 1970. By 2010, world production of soybeans had increased to 258 million tonnes—that’s a whopping 513 percent increase.

        Citing data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a separate report on global rice production tells us:
        http://irri.org/knowledge/publications/rice-today/rice-facts/seven-billion-and-counting-what-does-this-mean-for-global-rice-food-security?print=1&tmpl=component

        During this period, global paddy rice production more than doubled from 312 million tons in 1970-71 to 677 million tons in 2010-11.

        This is an increase of 117 percent, similar to that shown in the other report.

        Fred, you cited a model study in Science, which showed other figures, presumably the paper by Lobell et al.
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6042/616.abstract

        My advice to you: Do not blindly accept anything you read, just because it happens to suit you. Go back to the data source to find out what is really going on.

        Max

  91. Bottom line no AGW no IPCC , and turkeys are not know to vote for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Its very much in the IPCCs’ interest to find and prove AGW , there is nothing in disproving AGW for them. With those types of loaded dice you can see why people suspect anything that comes out of it . Meanwhile given its claims of ‘foremost source of information on climate’ you think that expecting it to meet the standard expected for any undergraduate on a science degree would actual be a rather low standard , and yet currently in some areas they fail to match even that.
    Meanwhile there is still no COI in place for the IPCC nor any clear plans for one while its seems clear some people with the IPCC are highly conflicted , so even ignoring its academic shortcomings its procedures are still way below the expected standard of such an organization.

  92. To steve, max and girma. These are some thoughts on estimating climate sensitivity from measured global temperature data. If we oserve a temperature rise, either an absolute rise or a rate of rise, it must consist of two components. There is the alleged CO2 signal, and there is the residual of the effects of natual noise, which must be present if the time over which the observed increase in temperature is measured, is short (centuries or less). In some cases, the value of the residual noise may be known, but until we have a complete catalogue of all natural variations, and their numeric values, there will inevitably, be an unknown component of the residual noise of natural variations. Therefore, the alleged CO2 signal must be a maximum value, and we cannot get a true value until we know all there is to known about natural variations.

    So the values calculated for climate sensitivity by max and girma must be viewed as MAXIMUM values, not true ones. If I am wrong, where am I wrong?

    • Jim Cripwell

      My calculation was based simply on the observed records on temperature and atmospheric CO2 from 1850 to today.

      These data may be suspect in themselves, but they are the best we have. All but one are based on actual physical observations. The exception is the atmospheric CO2 level in 1850. This is an IPCC estimation, based on Vostok ice core data.

      Then come the assumptions regarding other forcing components beside CO2.

      IPCC tell us that the CO2/temperature relation is logarithmic in this range.

      IPCC (supposedly the experts on anthropogenic forcing) tell us that all other anthropogenic forcong factors other than CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, land use changes, etc.) cancel one another out.

      IPCC also tell us that natural (i.e. solar) forcing was only 7% of the total forcing, conceding, however, that their“level of scientific understanding” of “solar forcing” is “low”.

      This tells me that I should look elsewhere for this information. I find several solar studies, which tell me that roughly half of the warming, rather than only 7%, can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years). [I can give you links to these, if you are interested.]

      So I now have all the data to calculate the 2xCO2 warming effect, based on past observations and these two estimates of natural forcing.

      This gives me a range of 0.8 to 1.5C.

      The calculation is very simple (maybe too simple for some). It does not include any hypothetically derived notions of energy “hidden in the pipeline” waiting to reach “climate equilibrium”, but simply takes the past observations to arrive at a 2xCO2 warming impact.

      Is it an “upper limit”? I would say that the 1.5C figure certainly appears to be an upper limit.

      The 0.8C figure is probably more realistic, if one concludes that the many solar studies are correct.

      But that’s just my opinion.

      Max

      • PS “Natural noise” (i.e. temperature swings caused by short-term “variability”) are ASSUMED by IPCC to cancel out over the long-term record. Is this logical? (I cannot answer that question, but it seems sort of like a scientifically unfounded “leap of faith”).

      • max. By definition, all random noise averages out to zero if the integration time is long enough. As to whether there is a effect from random noise that has not been cancelled out, that depends on the integration time, and the time constant of the random noise.

      • Jim

        You’ve hit the nail on the head.

        The entire time frame considered by IPCC is from 1750 to 2005 or 255 years.

        If there is “random variability” with a longer integration (or cycle) time than this, then it has not been cancelled out and its impact is therefore not zero.

        IPCC has assumed that there is no such random variability.

        We do not know whether or not the IPCC assumption is correct.

        So I guess we agree.

        Max

  93. Comparison of the two global surface temperature data (NASA versus University of East Anglia)

    http://bit.ly/qVFEv7

  94. (Modified)

    Comparison of the two global surface temperature data (NASA versus University of East Anglia)

    http://bit.ly/nw52EP

  95. Dr. Curry,

    I am sorry you find this discussion offensive, Isn’t the theory of relativity just as valid as the theory of global warming? Do the models even consider that the emissivity of the atmosphere varies with height? That energy must be conserved? You cannot find a perfect media for the transport of any form of energy, including radiant energy. Isn’t just slightly possible that Einstein, Plank, Angstrom, Poisson and Arrhenius, could be right and Trenberth wrong?

  96. t0nyb

    The response to the question about the IPCC has begun to die down here, but here is a (pre-Climategate) essay listing ten reasons why the IPCC should be disbanded.
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/mclean-disband_the_ipcc.pdf

    Max

  97. Hi Max

    I had a read through the report and felt item 5 was especially good, it’s headed “many ipcc authors have vested interests”

    i have been re-reading Manns work for an article I am writing. I think he is much maligned (yes really) his methodology and research are intriguing and competent but when all is said and done he is proclaiming that slices of tree are able to tell us the temp of the globe back 1000 years to fractions of a degree. Scientists such as him can’t admit that their science has such huge amounts of uncertainties that the accuracy claimed is highly contentious.
    tonyb

  98. tonyb

    Yes. I believe that is what Judith was referring to as introduction of “bias” resulting from the IPCC “consensus process”.

    In a murky (and highly political, multi-billion dollar) business, such as climate change has become, it is easy t see that this becomes a principal driver of the process.

    It appears to me that the conclusion is clear: the IPCC needs to go if climate science wants to regain public confidence and trust.

    I would like to see a thread on how a post-IPCC world should look. I’m sure many scientists would have some ideas, and maybe such a thread could get some good suggestions out there.

    Who knows? Some of them might even get implemented.

    Max

  99. Coincidentally a new book detailing the alleged shortcomings of the IPCC has just been published so it is worth adding here;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/14/donna-laframboises-new-expose-book-on-the-ipcc/

  100. genealogymaster

    Are Joshua and lolwot here for comic relief? I really hate the term denier can’t Joshua and lolwot come up with something better, an attack like that does nothing to make me want to read them.

  101. I repeat a prior post. The IPCC problem is by design.

    UNFCCC. 1992. United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change. United Nations.
    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf

    Article 2: OBJECTIVE
    “The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, 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.” emphasis added

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