Week in review 2/24/12

by Judith Curry

What a week.

While the Heartland/Gleick affair has dominated the climate news, there are some other things that I’ve spotted that are of interest.

Wegman

George Mason U.  professor reprimanded over climate paper

George Mason University has issued a reprimand to Edward J. Wegman, a professor of data sciences and applied statistics, after more than a year of investigation into accusations that Mr. Wegman included plagiarized material in a 2006 report that congressional Republicans used to challenge scientific findings about global warming. The reprimand followed the unanimous vote of a faculty committee that plagiarism occurred and that it was the result of “poor judgment” attributable to Mr. Wegman, USA Today reported. A second faculty committee also reviewed the matter and concluded unanimously that Mr. Wegman’s report contained “extensive paraphrasing” but no misconduct, the newspaper said.

JC comment:  this seems to be an appropriate and measured response.  I haven’t seen this discussed in blogosphere, after Mashey and DeepClimate made such a big deal of this.  I guess they don’t want to do a side by side comparison of Wegman and Gleick.

New WSJ op ed

Recall, last month there were dueling op-eds “No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” by 16 authors that included Lindzen.  There were two responses: Kevin Trenberth and 37 others  and by Robert Byer of the American Physical Society.  I wasn’t at all impressed with any of these letters.

Now, The Wall Street Journal posted another op-ed by the original 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming.  This is a must-read op-ed, this time they hit the nail on the head.  The tepid response from Real Climate is here.

Climate Research Funding

I have long been planning a post on climate research funding.  This post by Paul Homewood makes one of the points I was planning to make: How Climate Research Starves Other Scientists of Funding.  This is with particular reference to funding in the UK:

Put simply, the EPSRC are making top down decisions about which areas should receive more funding and which ones less, rather than judging individual applications on their own intrinsic merit.

As a result certain areas of science are having all funding withdrawn, for, at the least, the next year. For instance PhD fellowships will no longer be available for Engineering graduates, and will be limited to only Statistics & Applied Probability for Mathematicians, as the EPSRC website makes clear.

This is a very interesting article.  In the U.S. I have seen the same thing from WITHIN the climate field, where funding agencies preferentially target funding in specific areas that the administrators and program managers of the funding agencies deem important.

Heartland/Gleick

I originally intended to make this a Heartland/Gleick free thread, but I spotted two really insightful articles, by Donna Laframboise and Hilary Ostrov.

Donna’s article is titled Peter Gleick Then and Now.  She discusses Gleick’s pronouncement in 2001 that the debate is over, with his confessional plea for a rational debate (in the context of turning down Heartland’s invitation to debate.

Hilary’s article is titled From the ashes of gleickgate: a new mantra is born.  This is a thoughtful post on the lessons we might learn from this.

Warming climate could make us all shrink.

And finally, something to make your head spin, read it here.

And, of course, human beings could shrink too.

“I joke about this all the time – we’re going to be walking around three feet tall if we keep going the way we’re going,” says Philip Gingerich, a researcher at the University of Michigan.

“Maybe that’s not all bad, and if that’s the worst it gets, it will be fine. You can either adapt, or you go extinct, or you can move, and there’s not a lot of place to move anymore, so I think it’s a matter of adaptation and becoming smaller.”

409 responses to “Week in review 2/24/12

  1. “I agree with RC that recent observations and lack of cooling do not “falsify” the climate models and AGW, but that is a relatively minor point in the context of the very strong arguments presented in this new op ed.”

    Minor point? They are saying the theory is *falsified*.. That means an end of it.

    It’s not a minor point. It’s the most prominent argument in their article and it’s seriously flawed.

    • Nope, the op-ed does not say the theory is falsified, they say:

      From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth’s temperature to CO2 which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011. Furthermore, when one examines the historical temperature record throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the data strongly suggest a much lower CO2 effect than almost all models calculate.

      • They start with: “When predictions fail, we say the theory is “falsified” and we should look for the reasons for the failure.”

        They are telling the reader that the theory is falsified because the predictions have failed.

      • Thanks, Professor Curry, for tight adherence to factual information.

        That is especially important now, with world leaders trapped with the rest of society, like rats on a sinking ship, and an election approaching when the public is darn mad.

        Pompous politicians and scientists probably believed the predictions coming out of carefully managed computer model calculations (When the input data was carefully managed!):

        1. Closing CO2-producing industries would not hurt our economy.

        2. Computer models predicted new Green jobs to replace lost ones.

        3. Computer models showed exactly how the Sun generated energy.

        4. Transferring industries to China to produce CO2 would avoid AGW.

        5. We could make H-fusion reactors to meet future energy needs here.

      • The current economic and energy reality “falsify” the above computer model predictions:
        1. Closing CO2-producing industries hurt our economy.
        2. There are no new Green jobs to replace lost ones.
        3. DOE doesn’t care how the Sun generates energy.
        4. Sending industries to China did not avoid AGW.
        5. We have no functional H-fusion reactors.

        Reality has demonstrated the unreliability of policies based on “manageable” computer model predictions of Nature instead of “unmanageable” experimental data and observations of Nature.

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Climategate_Roots.pdf

        Today our social and economic systems are collapsing because “manageable” computer models predictions did not work better in economics than they did in climatology for the scientists that ignored unpopular experimental observations on:
        1. Solar composition: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410717v1
        2. Solar structure: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0501441
        3. Neutron repulsion: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      • Lolwote

        we should look for reasons the predicions failed
        1. the whole science is wrong
        2. some part of it is wrong

        An entire theory is not “falsified” by a failed prediction. I dont know why
        rational scientists refuse to adress the fact that models run too hot.
        GHGs will STILL warm the planet if a lower sensitivity is assumed.
        the “mean” of 3.2 is clearly too high.

      • Judith,

        Why not just come out and say that the WSJ article model-obs comparison is completely bogus? They completely misrepresent the IPCC projections, they have not even positioned the IPCC lines correctly, they ignore internal variability (ironic for someone to endorse it who is all about understanding natural variability), they cherry-pick one temperature series. Compare to a real comparison or example

        For you to endorse the article as hitting the mail on the head verges on academic misconduct when you should know better. If you had taken part in this op-ed, someone could rightly submit a letter to your institution asking for an investigation into fraud.

        In addition to your recent exchange with Gavin and I where you basically admitted that you’re happy making up numbers so long as they fit in with your ‘uncertainty’ framework, this just diminishes any evidence that you have the scientific competence to judge claims about climate change. I severely hope that you cease teaching climate related subjects at Georgia Tech, because your students actually pay tuition to learn from someone who has done their homework.

      • Chris, there are different ways to interpret the model-data comparison, and it depends on what hypothesis you are testing. RC does it one way. The WSJ does it another way. My way is in the middle: a “pause” of 15 years in the warming is getting perilously close to the 17 year “limit” that Santer proclaims (Meehl has generally used 10 years), and that the IPCC has way underestimated the role of natural internal variability. All three of these are implicitly testing different hypotheses. See my recent post https://judithcurry.com/2012/02/07/trends-change-points-hypotheses/

        The WSJ makes the very important point is that it is entirely reasonable to ask for a second opinion.

        Re the discussion with Gavin on the previous thread. I did not make up any numbers. Gavin chose to interpret the numbers in a way that I did not intend (and you parroted what Gavin said).

        News alert: I don’t buy the way the IPCC has framed the climate problem. By all but ignoring solar variability and natural internal variability beyond 17 years (the latest number), combined with their expert judgment and dogmatic insistence that they are right, they have misled far more than I could possibly do. E.g. IPCC 1990, with its admittedly wrong or outdated slope (pick which word you prefer) was the basis for the UNFCCC treaty in 1992.

        My mindset on this issue is different than the defenders of the IPCC: i am looking to challenge the IPCC conclusions. That is what scientists are supposed to do, rather than jump to a premature consensus.

        And finally, with regards to teaching, my emphasis is on critical thinking and self-directed learning. That is the wonderful thing about universities: academic freedom. I don’t need to teach what/how you think I should teach.

      • Chris Colose, the opinions Professor Curry or anyone else here are less important than the opinions of the public.

        I don’t know about the folks in New York, but folks here realize something is darn wrong with computer model predictions made by our government and its scientific advisors.

        Hopefully leaders of nations and scientific organizations will address the issues instead of using their powerful positions to avoid facing reality.

      • When asked five (?) years ago what would cause him to seriously reconsider the his CAGW position, Gavin replied on RC : another five years of flat temperatures (ie a total of 15).

        I suppose now he has pushed this out to 20 ?

    • Both the WSJ op-ed and the RC response have been formulated so moderately that with good will one can imagine an interpretation that doesn’t contradict either. I admit that good will is needed for that but even so the observation is encouraging.

      The op-ed refers to the falsification but does that in a way that can – with good will – be interpreted as a general principle, not a conclusion. My interpretation of the observation is that the recent temperature data does not represent full falsification of IPCC estimates, but on the other hand it would be false to claim that it has no effect on correctly updated conclusions on the climate sensitivity and further projections to the future. As far as have been able to judge the op-ed is correct also in noting that the explanations that refer to warming of deep ocean are not based on solid observation and appear rather as an attempt to explain off the relevance of the actual temperature observations. The reasoning behind them appears more: “that must be the case” than “we have confirmed that through observations”.

      There are also other points in the op-ed that agree with. In particular the critique presented on the views of Trenberth on the economic consequences of decarbonization is valid. Trenberth’s argument is close to the old one that breaking windows is good for the economy, because repairing broken windows adds to the GDP. (By that I don’t say that it would be guaranteed that climate change could not create more damage, but that wasn’t Trenberth’s argument.)

      What to conclude is a much more complex question, but getting to that requires some convergence on the starting point and these comments might be taken as a tiny step in that direction.

      • “As far as have been able to judge the op-ed is correct also in noting that the explanations that refer to warming of deep ocean are not based on solid observation and appear rather as an attempt to explain off the relevance of the actual temperature observations”

        This is also true of the entire CO2/AGW hypothesis. Remember, the IPCC stated only that the models correlation with the past temperature records can only be explained by CO2 forcing. There is no observational evidence that CO2 is the cause the warming that was observed — just as there is no observational evidence that the missing heat must be “sinking” into the ocean.

        Climate science if full of these types of statements. Horribly un-testable.

      • Pekka Pirilä
        Re: “the recent temperature data does not represent full falsification of IPCC estimates,”

        At least we can say that the last decade of temperatures falsifies IPCC’s global warming predictions of 0.2C/decade on the decadal scale. Lucia Liljgren at the Blackboard finds:

        The trend since 2001 is 0.006C/dec a decade and is positive but below the nominal multi-model mean trend of 0.2C/dec. If we use “red noise” to model the residuals from a linear fit, and test the hypothesis that the true trend is 0.2C/decade we would reject the a trend of 0.2C/decade as false based on falling outside the 2-sigma confidence intervals. We reach the same conclusion if we use any ARIMA model up to (4,0,4) to model the residual or if we use an ARIFMA(1,d,1) model with the best estimate of d to model the residuals.

        GISTemp Anomaly: January is lower than December 14 Feb. 2012. See Graph

        Now what is statistically required to say that IPCC’s 0.2C/decade “anthropogenic global warming” is falsified on a “climate” scale? 20 years? 30 years? 100 years? With what statistical probability?

        See Fred Singer, NIPCC vs. IPCC: Addressing the Disparity between Climate Models and Observations: Testing the Hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) August 2011, Majorana Conference in Erice, Sicily. He finds that 20 runs of 20years each are required to provide statistics sufficient to overcome chaotic effects. Consequently:

        NONE of the 22 IPCC climate models can be validated against observations.

        Will AR5 address these failures in decadal statistics? Or will it address the foundational statistical insufficiency in IPCC modeling to quantify trends?

      • David,

        IPCC is not a weather forecasting organizations. The projections are genuinely not forecasts in that sense. Some parts of the IPCC reports describe their nature better than others, but looking at the reports with more care makes this point clear. When that’s done it becomes clear that the projections express average trends under specified assumptions. The actual weather is a combination of such a trend and weather variability. The strength of the expected variability can be found from the reports. What we have seen is still consistent with the projections that include both the trend and the variability although on the low side and at a rather low level of likelihood.

        Falsifying IPCC conclusions requires looking carefully enough what IPCC has really concluded.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: The projections are genuinely not forecasts in that sense.

        The models made genuine “forecasts” in the only “sense” that matters: if the assumptions had been accurate, the climate would have evolved as modeled. the climate didn’t evolve as modeled, so at least some of the assumptions must be inaccurate or false.

        That people testify and make exhortations based on model output, and then claim that the model results are not really “forecasts in that sense” or “predictions”, is just torturing the language in order to avoid admitting that the models have been wrong.

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      GCM models are designed to project trends of energy movement based on input data and balanced off by energy flux in and out so they are not capable of any projections greater than what the input data allows which is typically about a week, and if really pused possibly up to a month.
      Since GCM models are incapable of predicting global temperatures a year in advance; they are therefore incapable of predicting temperatures for 2050 or 2100 either.
      GCM models work from actual physical data which is compartmentalized into millions of cells and the interaction between cells follows well established but complex equations. There is no data input for CO2 emissions and there is no established equation for the effect from increased CO2 relating the flux transfer from cell to cell due to CO2 so GCM models are completely incapable of predicting any effect from CO2 increases over even the short term let alone for years 2050 and 2100.
      The AGW hypothesis is based entirely on GCM output and since GCM output is not in any way capable of doing what is required to support an AGW hypothesis there is essentially no AGW hypothesis to falsify because AGW was never an actual scientific hypothesis in the first place.
      Simply put, GCM models are excellent in what they do but predicting the effect from CO2 emissions is not what they do.
      GCM models in this regard are simply very expensive tools of fraud used to give credence to fabrications. A fabricated CO2 forcing parameter is input at one end, modified by the GCM equations to produce forcing at the other end. This forcing in flux is then converted to temperature by an appropriately powerful climate sensitivity factor to produce a sufficiently large temperature value to support alarmist AGW rhetoric.
      This is not a case of garbage in and garbager out as much as it is a case of fabrication in and fabrication out with the GCM models merely serving as a vehicle to give credence to these fabrications.
      Fabrications are already false so they cannot be falsified!

    • John Vetterling

      lolwot

      You are creating a strawman. Nowhere do they equate the “theory” with the Tyndall gas theory (I hate the term greenhouse as it is patently incorrect). Read in context it is clear that the theory they are referring to, and the one they claim is falsified, is the theoretical values for sensitivity in the models.

      One the the behaviors that continues to polarize the climate debate, and the hinder action, is the continued practice of insisting the the IPCC ARs must be accepted completely and uncritically. This further exacerbated when those who accept the IPCC uncritically label any disagreement as unscientific.

      If you want to see action on the climate, then stop assuming that everyone you disagree with is acting in bad faith.
      Miller’s law: assume that what the other is saying is true. Then ask what must be so for this to be true.

      • “Nowhere do they equate the “theory” with the Tyndall gas theory”

        Did I say they did? Who is the one using a strawman here?

        “Read in context it is clear that the theory they are referring to, and the one they claim is falsified, is the theoretical values for sensitivity in the models.”

        And that’s what I was addressing.

  2. Note to the BEST team
    Most surprising is a ‘discovery’ that the global Land/Ocean temperatures spectrum correlates well with spectrum of particular and unique atmospheric pressure data set, in the range of 7, 8 and 9 year periods. This particular aspect (the causes and mechanism) will be considered in more detail elsewhere.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SpecComp.htm

    • you found ENSO?

      • Not exactly, its Arctic; as far from the ENSO as you can get.

      • does the new teleconnection really differ from all the old ones?

      • It doesn’t look like it
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AMO-SOIspec.htm
        the SOI looks more as a carbon copy of the AMO, and the BEST team tells us the AMO is the chief kid on the block, but I think it is the Atm.Pressure since in the real time precedes both the AMO and the SOI.

      • what is SOI? why can’t i see your picture when I click the link? Not withstanding, why wouldn’t temps influence pressure instead of the other way around? And as far as BEST, the similarity to the AMO could be cause and effect in either direction, or similar responses (and complementary) to the same phenomena.

      • The Southern Oscillation Index, or SOI, gives an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño or La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean.

        Spectral response comparing the AMO and the SOI should be now accesable.

  3. Global lukewarming might be the new sweet spot in the debate….

    http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/lukewarmering2011/

    By golly, the truth is somewhere in the middle!

    • good article, thx for the link

      • Except for nonsense relating to the Foster and Rahmstorf:
        .. the authors find that for periods of 30 years or so, the removal of natural variability makes little difference on the magnitude of the observed trend in the lower atmosphere.
        Those who whish to be correct about natural variability should analyse data 350 not just 30 years long, as shown here:
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

      • According to the article, lukewarmers are those between “climate alarmists” and “ultraskeptics, or ‘flatliners.’”

        I saw Flatliners. Can I be Kevin Bacon?

        And what is the difference between skeptics and ultra skeptics?

        Good article indeed.

  4. Consensus Climate Scientists, LOOK AT THE DATA All People, LOOK AT THE DATA!
    When the oceans are warm it snows more. When the Arctic is Open It Really Snows More. Earth cannot warm in the face of that much Snow.
    When Earth is cold and the oceans are cold and the Arctic is Frozen is when it is not snowing and when ice is retreating and Earth is Warming.
    This is a stable cycle that has been in a narrow range for ten thousand years. This stable cycle will continue in the same well bounded range.
    When it gets warm and opens the Arctic, the Snow Monster comes to life.
    When it get cold and freezes the Arctic, the Snow Monster goes to sleep.
    Here is the data: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/

    • This massive amount of snow that falls when the Arctic is open and that does not fall when the Arctic is closed is not in the Climate Theory and is not in the Climate Models.
      The Theory and Models will never forecast the lack of warming if you don’t fix this.

    • Temperature of Earth is tightly bounded near a Set Point. The only possible explanation for this is ice and water. The ocean temperature that melts Arctic Sea Ice is the Set Point. Ocean temperature never gets much above or below this temperature because this turns the snow monster on and off.

    • Harold H Doiron, PhD

      For an intersting book supporting your NOAA data observations and claims here in addition to papers published by Bill Donn and Maurice Ewing in the 1950’s and 1960’s see, The Weather Machine by N. Calder published in 1974.

  5. On warming causing shrinking, much more serious is the progressive accumulation of deleterious mutations. See the free downloadable quantitative forward mutation modeling program Mendel’s Accountant as documented in:
    J. Sanford, J. Baumgardner, W. Brewer, P. Gibson, and W. Remine. Using computer simulation to understand mutation accumulation dynamics and genetic load in Y. Shi et al. (eds.), ICCS 2007, Part II, LNCS 4488, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 386-392.
    The quantitative evidence is available at Online OMIM ® – Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man ®
    John Sanford explains this in Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome‎ (2008) where he reviews major population dynamics programs in the Appendix. FMS Publications. pp. 248. ISBN 978-0981631608.

    Furthermore, smaller may mean living longer. Height, body size, and longevity: is smaller better for the human body?

    • Strange – I always thought it was cold that was responsible for shrinkage. At least that was my excuse…. :-)

  6. When I first read the WSJ re-reply by the 16, I immediately thought about the lack of error/uncertainty bars on the modeling depicted by the graph. Definitely afforded Bickmore some low-hanging fruit with which to dismiss a chunk of their reasoning.

    However, I wasn’t quite sure about roping in Spencer/Braswell (2011) into the mix. I thought that conversation had already been had. Was this an opportunity to revise/reframe the history of that disagreement among scientists, or is there still something unresolved there?

  7. This week also saw Lindzen speak in England. Apparently, he made some CAGW believers re-think their stances. He described alarmist scientists as scientists in the service of politics. Of course, politics dominates every aspect of climate science.

    The reaction of many alarmists to the news about Gleick (i.e. he is a hero for taking on the evil Heartland) is an excellent example of something Charles Krauthammer wrote a few years ago — the difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans think Democrats are wrong and Democrats think Republicans are evil.

    Alarmists think skeptics are evil. After all, what could be more evil than obstructing the efforts of the nobel people who are trying to save the planet? The hubris and childish immaturity demonstrated by such thinking we’ll save for another day. The sad fact is that many do think this way and this week gave us a ringside seat.

    And no, skeptics don’t think alarmists are evil. Stupid, ignorant, hubristic, deluded, arrogant, or insane perhaps, but not evil.

    • The key example for me of someone apparently convinced by Richard Lindzen at the House of Commons on Wednesday was Simon Carr, the parliamentary sketch-writer for The Independent, who wrote up the talk intelligently and honestly – much better in fact than I’ve seen a UK newspaper science or environmental journalist do in the 24 odd years since Lindzen has been questioning the climate consensus. Perhaps that’s because Carr felt under no pressure to say that he understood things that he didn’t. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

      Which reminds me. What has been the single day of most amusing articles in the mainstream UK press about the climate debate? OK, artificial question because Simon Carr also took part in that: 2nd March 2010, after Phil Jones et al were interviewed by the parliamentary select committee on science and technology. But it makes me wonder why these guys get it so much better. And what to do with all the other ones. Suggestions please – but not to me, to the managing editor of your favourite newspaper.

    • I don’t see a link to Lindzen’s talk in Carr’s article, so here is a link to a PDF of Lindzen’s excellent presentation.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02148/RSL-HouseOfCommons_2148505a.pdf

    • Stan,

      I think there are plenty of people on all sides that think their opponents are “evil”.

      Certainly, social conservatives (fundamentalists) think that liberals and even libertarians support immoral or evil ideas.

      And to those that think moving more towards socialism or govt. planning will have evil results, they may feel their opponents are promoting evil. And skeptics who think that warmists are hiding data and attacking people tend to think that is evil as well.

      Most of us have that tendency to believe that strangers who believe the exact opposite of us and are extreme in their views are dangerously wrong and may in the end cause people to be worse off. Which would be bad or even evil …….

    • No, of courseattempting to irreversibly take over world governance, by means of a created-crisis disruption of the world economy which would substantially de-populate it by means of starvation is not evil! Perish the thought!

      Oh, wait …

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Yes, you are right stan. Alarmists are not evil, they are you and me, humans.

      ‘And no, skeptics don’t think alarmists are evil. Stupid, ignorant, hubristic, deluded, arrogant, or insane perhaps, but not evil.’

      It is blinding clear there is evil lurking amongst us, this time manifesting in righteousness of a movement to save mankind. It has been caught out and is in the process of being thrown out.

      We have been told to be on guard by many Philosophers and Statesmen.

      ”Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

      In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

      Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

      The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

      Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

      Scholars, must be true to themselves before claiming truth, in their cause. This week we have been shown just how brilliant Dwight was.

  8. Steve Milesworthy

    “George Mason University has issued a reprimand to Edward J. Wegman…”

    A good week to bury the white-washing of bad news. “paraphrasing” indeed:

    GMU honour code: “Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic setting. Student writers are often confused as to what should be cited. Some think that only direct quotations need to be credited. While direct quotations do need citations, so do paraphrases and summaries of opinions or factual information formerly unknown to the writers or which the writers did not discover themselves.”

    Georgia Tech honour code: “[plagiarism]… constitute[s] assured instances of academic misconduct,”

    • But the problem is that non-academics really can’t see what all the fuss is about. Whether He did or didn’t put a little tiny number referring to Scuggs and Postlethwaite’s paper in some obscure journal is pretty low down the list of what ‘oridnary’ people would consider to be important.

      We can, however, see exactly how document forgery is a problem.

      Yet again there is a huge disjoint between the mores of academe who seem quite happy with forgery as long as it isn’t plagiarised and the public who don’t give much of a t**s about plagiarism but rightly think forgery is a crime.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        So if someone says “I’m an expert on Alder’s Theory” and proceeds to give you the low-down as to why Stirling English has made up some old nonsense that can be proven by the wise application of Alder’s theory. Only you find that all the quotes about Alder’s theory were copied of Wackypedia, only some of the words were tweaked to fit the agenda. You don’t need to be an academic to understand this.

        Um…presumably you are saying you don’t need to be an academic to understand the importance of the application of Principle Component Analysis then???

      • @steve m

        Lost me there sport….couldn’t follow who you supposed was doing what to whom, nor who was supposed to get upset, why and what about.

        Which sort of emphasises my point. Whatever the point is that gets academics so upset is so completely obscure as to be incomprehensible to outsiders. Just another area where the world of academe and the rest of reality are orthogonal to each other.

        As to your second point

        ‘Um…presumably you are saying you don’t need to be an academic to understand the importance of the application of Principle Component Analysis then???’

        If you are reasonably mathematically skilled and follow the excellent tutorials on the subject by Messrs Montford and McIntyre, then, no..you do not need to be an academic to understand it.

        Despite what so many here like to think of themselves, becoming an academic does not, of itself endow you with some superior intelligence or deep insights not given to us hoi polloi. And looking from the outside in it seems instead to breed high self-regard, extremely touchy egotism and an obsession with trivia worthy of teenage girls rather than grown up adults.

        So whether Scuggs and Postlethwaite are p***d off wih Alder and Milesworthy because the latter didn’t say nice things about their theory or whether A&M are pissed off with S&P because they failed to show due deference in their last review article is a matter of as much interest outside the wee small acdemicworld as whether Sharon said that Sophie was a fat cow because Jake said hello to her in the lunch queue. Handbags at forty yards.

        But forging documents to attempt to bring discredit to somebody is rightly seen as a criminal offence in whatever sphere of life you belong. For which you can do jail time.

        PS I think you’ll find that it is *Principal* Component Analysis (from principal – primary or foremost) not Principle Component Analysis.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        So academics are different because they worry about plagiarism. But they’re the same because they’re no better than the hoi polloi in understanding the principles of PCA (happy with that spelling?).

        But I don’t believe you are sanguine about plagiarism. And I certainly don’t think a senior academic should be sanguine about plagiarism.

      • SM;
        Plagiarism is a problem or “crime” only when the plagiarist is attempting to gain from it (academic credit/money/etc.) That is utterly irrelevant to this situation (report to Congress).

        GMU (& you) should butt out and STHU.

      • @steve m

        You keep on telling me that I should worry about plagiarism. But you haven’t given me any good reason why I should.

        And in general I don’t. Once a theory or idea has been published, then it is up for grabs as far as I can see..one definition of publishing is ‘making information available to the general public’. And – like kids growing up – once it’s out there, it’s gone. If it is commercially valuable, then the route to protect the discoverer/inventor’s interest is via Patent Law. If it is a new work of literature, you have copyright. But otherwise, it is fair game.

        Exceptions: Passing off somebody else’s work as your own original stuff in an examination. Or outright lying ‘this is all my own work’ when it isn’t. That’s fraud or deception.

        Beyond those, I really can’t see the problem. It is probably courteous to put a little footnote if you want people to study further. But if an author, say, were required to identify every turn of phrase that they used by its original author then journalism, drama, novels, much TV etc etc would be unreadable/unwatchable.

        So please give a concrete example where anything worse than hurt feelings have been caused by plagiarism. And explain why I – as a member of the public – should give a t**s about it.

        Wailing ‘it is plagiarism’ and expecting us poor hoipolloi to automatically understand why you are in such a lather about it just ain’t working.

  9. Steve Milesworthy

    “I haven’t seen this discussed in blogosphere, after Mashey and DeepClimate made such a big deal of this. I guess they don’t want to do a side by side comparison of Wegman and Gleick.”

    I guess a considered response can take a bit of time:

    http://deepclimate.org/2012/02/22/gmu-contradictory-decisions-on-wegman-plagiarism-in-csda-but-not-in-congressional-report/

  10. This quote from the rebuttal/repsonse letter from the Band of 16 in the WSJ:

    ” The ARGO system of diving buoys is providing increasingly reliable data on the temperature of the upper layers of the ocean, where much of any heat from global warming must reside”

    They then go on to stipulate that the ARGO data say that the heat content of the upper layers of the ocean in not increasing, which of course, in there minds, would prove there is no “missing heat”.

    Several very big problems with this:

    They make the basic mistake of assuming that “heat” would be residing in the upper layers of the ocean. I am wondering if any of these 16 have ever really studied the ocean in any great detail The many areas of the world ocean where powerful downwellig occurs would hardly lead one to the conclusion that somehow heat would be stuck in the upper layers of the ocean. When one takes a broader perspective, realizing that heat can be brought down to much greater depths by downwelling very rapidly, and looking at ocean heat content down to 2000m (the greatest depth we are currently consistently and broadly measuring it) we see that over the past 40 years or so, ocean heat content has been rising very steadily, and has shown no let up in the past decade when surface temperatures have flattened.In fact, the past 10 years have seen the greatest rise in ocean heat content of any of the 10 year period in the past 40, accounting for more than a third of the total 23 x 10^22 Joules added to the ocean heat content in this period.

    Considering the far greater heat capacity and thermal intertia of the oceans, the ocean heat content remains the very best metric for looking at any energy imbalance in the Earth’s total system. While certainly temperatures in the troposphere have increased over the past 40 years, they are far more subject to short-term noise or natural variability, and of course, the troposphere holds such a minute amount of energy compared to the occean, that using the ocean heat content as a metric for judging overall energy imbalance in the Earth system is simply the logical and most accurate guage to use. Based on the the total heat content down to the greatest depths we can currently measure, the Earth’s energy system continues to gain steadily, as it has the past 40 years, and more importantly, seems to have shown some acceleration in the increase in ocean heat content over the past 10 years.

    • R Gates

      We have had this discussion before. You say

      ‘ I am wondering if any of these 16 have ever really studied the ocean in any great detail .’

      The deep oceans have never been reliably measured for their heat content during any meaningful length of time. I mentioned to you before that the draft of AR5 asserted that ‘research’ showed there was abyssal warming but refused to let me see it as it was not ‘cited.’

      Perhaps you would like to do a better job than those in Geneva and pass me some links to research papers showing the abyssal warming, and whilst about it explain the mechanism whereby this warming somehow missed the more conventional measuring platforms as it went past them.

      By the way do you think only 40 years is any proper measure against which to judge the possibility of ocean warming?
      tonyb

      • Tony,

        We have had this discussion before, and I believe I posted several links that showed some of the research into the increasing temperatures at Abyssal depths. But more importantly, the Gang of 16 who posted at the WSJ are insinuating that increases in ocean heat would be most readily seen at surface levels of the ocean, with the surface layers generally being recognized as only going to about 200m (the Epipelagic Zone). They seem to not understand how energy is really transported to the deeper ocean. Yes, it does “pass through” the surface layers, but not in a broad manner, but at very specific downwelling locations, where strong downwelling currents literally pump this heat rapidly downward. In this manner, broad areas of the surface layers of the ocean could be relatively unchanged, or simply reflect ENSO variations, whereas a great deal of energy is being sequestered below the surface layers. In fact, what the actual data show is that down to 2000m there is a consistent and even accelerating warming (during the past decade), and the increasing heat content down to these depths certainly is from downwelling. Most importantly, in looking at the full Earth system, there is absolutely no basis for saying that the Earth has shown no warming this past decade. The increasing ocean heat content over the past 40 years, as measured down to 2000m shows a consistent rise throughout the period. The flattening of the tropospheric temperature rise over the past decade is a very poor indication for the overall direction of the total energy balance and retention in the full Earth system. The energy in the troposphere is just a very small fraction of the overall energy in the full Earth system and as the troposphere has very low thermal inertia, it is subject to natural short-term noise or natural variations. However, the oceans are a different story. With total ocean heat content down to 2000m at or near its highest levels in 40 years, and the greatest rise of the 40 year period happening in the past 10 years, the only valid conclusion that one can gather is that the full Earth system continues to warm, and there has been no “halt” or reversal of this trend in the past decade.

      • R. Gates,

        This is one point, where I cannot but share the doubts of Tony. Having tried to learn what is really known about the heat content of oceans I have concluded that there’s a lot of uncertainty left concerning the top 700 m because all devices used before ARGO were rather inadequate for the task and that the situation is much worse for the top 2000 m. The basic difficulties are related to the smallness of change in the average temperature and to the uneven geographic distribution of the change in addition to the lack of reliable instruments.

        Nothing in the above excludes the possibility that the warming has been significant or that the data shown on NOAA pages are accurate, but is that really known with fair certainty?

        Tony asked for specific papers to support your claims, but you didn’t respond to that request. I wonder why.

      • R Gates said

        ‘However, the oceans are a different story. With total ocean heat content down to 2000m at or near its highest levels in 40 years, and the greatest rise of the 40 year period happening in the past 10 years, the only valid conclusion that one can gather is that the full Earth system continues to warm, and there has been no “halt” or reversal of this trend in the past decade.”

        Prove it. I don’t recall these papers to which you refer-please repost them plus any on abyssal warming about which there seems to be so much research. Thhank you (nice to see you here again)
        tonyb

      • Tony & Pekka,

        I always take it that people are doing their own basic background research to see the major papers and data sources that are available related to ocean heat content– especially as ocean heat content is the major reservoir of energy in the Earth system. What could be more crucial than seeing which direction this is headed? With the internet, there seems very little that one can’t find. A simple search under Google Scholar on papers and research written since 2010 alone came back with nearly 20,000 hits. Should I try to post a link to these 20,000?

        Yes, there are still huge gaps in our coverage of measuring ocean heat content (a “travesty” which Trenberth et. al. have commented on many times), but even within the uncertainty still present, especially at depths greater than 2000m, the overall trend in ocean heat content is undoubtedly upward, and has been steadily so for many decades.

        Tony asked if 40 years is enough time to access the validity of ocean warming? Certainly we’d like to have longer time frames, and for this of course, we need to start looking at proxies. In doing so, some research (though still somewhat sparse) would indicate that at least in some areas of the deeper oceans, the current temperatures are at their highest in several thousand years. Just one example of this proxy research:

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6016/450.short

      • R Gates,

        It should be clear to you that I’m not a climate skeptic. I have told that I accept mostly the main stream views and that I consider AR4 WG1 report to be in general good. Having said that I try to look at each particular issue on its own merit and concerning the ocean heat content my conclusion is that it’s not known accurately enough to support your claims. I may err in my judgment but you have failed on every request on pointing to evidence that tells that would show that.

        The issue is not whether the ocean might absorb large amounts of heat, but whether there is strong empirical evidence on that. Thus your latest reference is irrelevant for the point.

        I agree that changes in the heat content of oceans have are in several ways more fundamental than changes in surface temperature. Right now I do, however, have the view that the heat content is not known empirically well enough to give that value for its empirical estimates.

      • R Gates

        You said you previously posted several links-I merely asked that you repost them not refer to google scholar where most of the hits are irrelevant.

        I am looking for plausble research that illustrates we know exactly what is going on in the depths of the ocean and which can be relayed to a meaningful time scale,. Could you post the other klinks so it can be the ‘several’ advertised instead of the one you just provided.
        thanks
        tonyb

      • R gates

        I have now read through your link.

        We need to know what is going on in the entire deep ocean over an extended time scale in order to be able to identify this missing heat which has mysetriously managed to avoid other methods of heat detection on its way down.

        How does this link tell us anything about that? Did you post the right link?
        tonyb

      • Pekka,

        I respect your point of view on data related to ocean heat content, and certainly the lack of consistent data at deeper levels is indeed a “travesty” but I think the overall weight of evidence leads me to come to the exact opposite conclusion as you.(refer to the large list of research I directed Tony to).

        Do we need more coverage and more data? Of course. But the data we do have is consistently in the same direction– ocean heat content, at the deepest levels we are currently consistently measuring, is increasing, over decadal time frames, and has been for many decades, with very little if any (that I’m aware of) data showing anything different than this conclusion.

        Other than the problem of needing more data, if you can’t point me to any research or body of research that would indicate that ocean heat content is not increasing over decadal timeframes, I would be more than eager to read it.

      • R Gates

        your post at 3.35

        You advertised several links but gave me one which does not begin to support your case.

        There is no point referring me to 20000 google scholar hits. Just provide me with a few RELEVANT ones from the vast body of research that you seem to believe exists. and that you obviously thinkwill back up your case.

        You are making assumptions and assertions just like the IPCC on the subject. Give us some substance please
        tonyb

      • I try to put in more general context what I have in mind.

        Trying to improve the level of knowledge data of many various types has been collected. It has been possible to reach a reasonably consistent picture of what seems to be the most likely behavior of the Earth system but the type of the evidence is of the type that I have called “sparse”. By that I don’t mean that the total amount is small but that the evidence does not form tight chains that would allow for simple logical threads of arguments or tight networks that would get close to that. Rather we know something here, something there etc. Model developers feel that the totality of evidence puts tight constraints on their activity and that the only models that reach reasonable agreement with everything lead to the common main stream picture. This may be the case, but telling how tight the constraints really are remains difficult to judge and the judgments remain subjective.

        When the surface temperatures have not risen at the expected average rate that is most easily explained by postulating that the heat has gone into oceans as that may be what happens in typical models, when they show periods of slow (or zero) warming. Accepting that means, however, some weakening for the evidence on the validity of the models unless the faster rate of warming of the oceans can be verified empirically. Being able to measure the change would add to the evidence, but using the explanation without accurate enough empirical confirmation is a minor factor in the other direction.

        There are other explanations as well for the flattening of the temperature change. The natural variability may operate by varying the cloud albedo and thus the overall energy balance of the Earth, but the it seems to be the case that the models cannot describe that mechanism. That again is not catastrophic to the models as it’s known already that the description of clouds is not good, but having an undescribed important mechanism would lessen trust to the value of the other successes in modeling.

        Another point related to the warming of the oceans is that it may be consistently stronger than foreseen and perhaps react more to the warming of the surface. That might mean that the warming will remain less than estimated for a long period into the future. The heat capacity of the oceans is large enough for that for very long periods, if that turns to be the case.

        There’s still too little accurate empirical data and too much idirect argumentation in the role given for the warming of the oceans. As the average temperature changes should be known at an accuracy of the order of 0.001 degrees making accurate enough measurements covering all relevant parts of the oceans remains a formidable task. (This requirement for the accuracy is due to the very large heat capacity of oceans.)

      • R Gates

        Thanks for the long list of links. I will read through them. Its late here now so it won’t be until tomorrow
        tonyb

      • Response to Pekka Pirilä | February 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm |:

        I think your general logic is spot on, and hence the reason why much better coverage of the oceans at the deepest levels is essential. Moreover, a more direct connnection in the models is essential that truly follows the entire chain of causality from increasing greenhouse gases to increasing deeper ocean heat content needs to defined and then measured systematically.

        But so long as whatever measurements we do have of the ocean at deeper levels continues to show ocean heat content increasing over multi-year and decadal time frames, I’ve got no reason to doubt that data. There is always the opportunity for conflicting data to come in, and that would be welcome.

      • R Gates,
        For the benefit of lay readers, are you claiming to have found the ‘hidden’ heat in the deep oceans ? Yes / No ?

      • Punksta,

        I am pointing out that:

        1) Based on the broadest look at Earth’s energy storage systems, there has been no cooling in the past decade– and in fact some acceleration in this past decade to the 40 year trend of increasing ocean heat content.
        2) Over short periods, the troposphere is a poor gauge of how much energy is being stored in Earth’s energy system, as it has far less thermal inertia and storage compared to the ocean. And thus will be far more subject to short term noise or natural variation.
        3) Yes, some of the “missing heat” certainly has gone into the top 2000m of the ocean, but much more is likely going deeper, but we don’t have the tools in place to measure it consistently, and this is the basis of Dr. Trenberth’s “travesty” remark.
        4) The effect of increasing greenhouse gases is really about changing Earth’s energy balance and thus about energy retention. Why would you look for the primary signs of energy storage in a small, weak, and unstable storage battery (i.e. the troposphere) when you can see it much more readily in a large, stable, and strong storage battery (i.e. the oceans)?

      • R.Gates writes “3) Yes, some of the “missing heat” certainly has gone into the top 2000m of the ocean, but much more is likely going deeper, but we don’t have the tools in place to measure it consistently, and this is the basis of Dr. Trenberth’s “travesty” remark.”

        What a load of scientific nonsense. How on earth can know that heat is going into the deep oceans, when we dont have the tools to measure it consistently? Models, until they have been validated, tell us absolutely nothing at all about what is actually happening. So, if we dont have the tools to measure something, we have no idea what is happening.

        The fact of the matter is that the proponents of CAGW forecast that by this time, there would be a discernable CO2 signal in the global temperature/time graph of the lower troposphere. They may not have said this explicitly, but it is inherent in everything the IPCC has written. That signal does not exist. If some of the proponents of CAGW want to claim that it dies exist, then where is it?

      • For the benefit of lay readers, are you claiming to have found the ‘hidden’ heat in the deep oceans ? Yes / No ?

        Gates : Yes, some of the “missing heat” certainly has gone into the top 2000m of the ocean

        This has been contradicted by numerous commenters.

        but much more is likely going deeper, but we don’t have the tools in place to measure it consistently, and this is the basis of Dr. Trenberth’s “travesty” remark.

        So although you didn’t address it, the answer to my actual question is No – you do not claim to have found ‘missing’ heat in the deep ocean. So the ‘missing’ heat Trenberth so ardently hopes will bolster the CAGW thesis, remains pure speculation.

        A further question : if it turns out there is missing heat in the deep ocean, how will we know it has anything to do with CO2? Are we to assume that over the millions of years the earth’s temperature changed, the deep oceans stayed at a constant temperature – until now ?

      • Punksta | February 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

        For the benefit of lay readers, are you claiming to have found the ‘hidden’ heat in the deep oceans ? Yes / No ?

        Gates : Yes, some of the “missing heat” certainly has gone into the top 2000m of the ocean

        This has been contradicted by numerous commenters.

        _____
        Except it is not by the data. I’ll trust the data over the commentators.

        Certainly some of the “missing heat” is in the ocean down to 2000m, and the few studies looking at Abyssal layers have seen warming there too, we just can’t quantify how much. Also, we are not yet able to look at the total enthalpy of the ocean in way sophisticated enough to see all the energy there. Heat is only one form that energy takes in the ocean.

    • Some good points there Gates.
      Major down welling happens in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic, heat there is released at a rate of several hundreds of W/m2, but in the global terms that isn’t significant, but it does create a low atmospheric pressure vortex moving trajectory of the polar jet-stream, which in turn has a profound effect not only on the westerlies over the North Atlantic, but also climate of the euro-asian land mass.
      Another major factor in the Atlantic, is the SST’s rapid change (practically downward) across the area stretching from the equator to Iceland
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AOT.htm
      One reasonable explanation is ‘tidal mixing’ (gravity affects whole of the water mass) and since there are pronounced 9 & 10 year AMOscillation periods. the luni-solar tidal cycle comes to mind.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SpecComp.htm
      with a possible and only occasional encouragement from the sunspot cycle.

    • The thermal expansion of the oceans tells a quite different story.

      No heat hiding in the ocean. However, this conclusion is based on physics and so you might find fault with it.

      • Doc, you are probably going to places you don’t want to if you’re trying to claim that sea level changes prove there has been no additional heat going into the oceans. The transport of mass from the oceans to the land during the past few La Nina’s has been well documented by Grace satellite images. This has to do with where the winds are blowing the storms to. Normally about 70% of the water evaporated from the ocean surface falls back to the ocean, but during the past few La Nina’s it has been significantly less than this based on the winds. Specific areas of the planet where ocean water has been transported to (such as Australia) clearly indicate what has been happening and Grace data show this clearly. Meanwhile, the total gain in energy in the top 2000m of the oceans is equal to about 10 x 10^22 Joules over the past 10 years. The highest of any 10 year period in the past 40.

      • Markus Fitzhenry.

        Normally about 70% of the water evaporated from the ocean surface falls back to the ocean, but during the past few La Nina’s it has been significantly less than this based on the winds.””

        Gatsie, your’re centric, coupled with the rains of a dominate La Nina are the droughts of a weak El Nino.
        No?

  11. With all due respect, the people who are still looking at the predicitons made by the proponents of CAGW, are looking thorugh the wrong end of the telescope. When the original hypothesis of CAGW was made, 30 or so years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to think in terms of predictions. But a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then, and we have a lot more observed data.

    So we should not be looking at the predictions any more. We should be trying to observe the CO2 signal. There are known errors in the measurement of global temperatures, and there is the background noise of natural variations. By this time, there ought ot be a discernable CO2 signal, whose strength can be measured, and which can be shown to be statistically significant, against the background noise.

    No such CO2 signal can be observed. It simply is not there. So we can come to two conclusions. First, since there is no discernable CO2 signal, the total climate sensitivity cannot be distinguished from zero. Second, the noise from natural variations is so large that it hides any CO2 signal, so the original certainly that the recent rise in global temperaures was “very likely” caused by CO2 is obviously falsified.

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      Jim,
      The fundamental premise of AGW is that increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration which in turn is increasing the insulation capacity of the atmosphere reducing the amount of thermal radiation that is escaping which slows down the cooling in the hours of darkness resulting in a net warmer surface temperature.
      Every point in this long string has no physical basis that would justify it as scientifically valid, but if you take the two end points of increased CO2 emissions and predicted decrease in the amount of thermal energy being radiated from the Earth also known as OLR (outgoing longwave radiation) there is an absolute and incontrovertable rebuttal to AGW in the form of zero detectable signal from CO2 emissions.
      The GCM output is in W/m^2 and the CO2 forcing predicted by the climate models for the increase in CO2 emissions over the past 30 years is 0.782W/m^2 according to the CO2 forcing parameter (Mehre 1997) using 5.35 times the natural logarithm of the ratio of CO2 concentrations.
      The same weather satellites that provide the data for the GCM models also measure OLR and this measurement shows zero decrease in OLR and therefore zero detectable signal from CO2.
      If there is zero detectable signal from the 57.1% increase in CO2 emissions from the past 30 years; there is zero detectable effect from this 57.1% increase in CO2 emissions either!
      The CO2 concentration increase has remained constant at close to 2ppmv/year for the past 15 years. At this rate by 2050 the concentration will have increased a further 76ppmv which the climate models predict will increase global temperature but since the roughly 55ppmv increase in CO2 concentration in the past 30 years has had zero detectable effect there is no reason to expect this 76ppmv increase to have any detectable effect either.
      If we expand this to year 2100 it is equally likely that the further 100ppmv increase will also have no detectable effect on OLR either!
      AGW is based on a catastrophic effect from increased CO2 emissions but observation shows that this effect is not even detectable which makes the whole thing look rather silly to anyone with even a modicum of common sense.
      So the debate is really between those who like yourself have common sense and the blind believers in AGW who do not.

      • Norm & Jim,

        On the broadest terms, increasing CO2 levels (and other important greenhouse gases like methane and N20) do one thing– alter Earth’s energy balance. When looking for a signal for this, one must look at the full Earth system, with all energy storage components. Of course, by far the biggest energy component is the ocean. The total heat content of the atmosphere is just a tiny fraction of what the ocean contains. If the data had showed no increase in ocean heat content over the past 40 years, I would be suspect as to the validity of basic AGW. But global warming includes all Earth systems, and the best data we have shows no let up in global warming over the past decade, as ocean heat content continues to rise and is currently at or near its highest levels of the entire period. The natural fluctuations of the tropospheric temps over shorter periods are unimportant as indications of the total energy being retained by Earth’s energy systems.

      • R. Gates you write “If the data had showed no increase in ocean heat content over the past 40 years, I would be suspect as to the validity of basic AGW”

        I am afraid the logic of your comment escapes me. The hypothesis of CAGW is that global surface temperatures are going to be so warm by the end of the century. that it is of the utmost urgency to reduce our production of CO2. If the oceans are such a terrific heat sink, then the imbalance of the energy has a negligible effect on surface temperatures. So there is not need to worry about putting too much CO2 into the atmosphere. Or where am I worng?

      • Norm, you write “So the debate is really between those who like yourself have common sense and the blind believers in AGW who do not.”

        I completely agree with you. But why is no-one looking at the problem from this point of view?. I tried to get a guest post on WUWT on the question, “Where is the CO2 signal?”. Anthony does not seem to think it is worhtwhile to post it.

        To you and me, it is obvious that there is no CO2 signal. Why dont other people look at it the same way that we do?

      • Jim,

        The continued warming of the troposphere by the end of this century due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases is only one of the results expected from increased energy retention by the full Earth system. My comment about what it would mean if no additional energy could be found anywhere in Earth’s energy system is related to the bigger picture of what greenhouses gases do– more energy is kept by the system, so it has to be somewhere in the system– that’s really the core of greenhouse theory. If no additional energy was found anywhere in the system, I would find the basic theory to be suspect. The fact is, the energy has been increasing in the main “storage battery” of the system for many decades, across many natural fluctuations in other parts of the system that have less thermal inertia. It is in fact, hard to explain the cause of this consistent increase in Earth energy system without relying on the parallel consistent increase in greenhouse gases as a forcing agent to the climate.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Jim Cripwell: So we should not be looking at the predictions any more. We should be trying to observe the CO2 signal.

      Those are not mutually exclusive. Examining the predictions remains necessary though, to test the theories on which [detection of the CO2 signal] depends, and because the predictions are what underlie strategies for R&D, adaptation, mitigation, etc.

      • Matthew, you write “because the predictions are what underlie strategies for R&D, adaptation, mitigation, etc”

        I dont follow your logic. If there is no CO2 signal, and I can assure you there is NO CO2 signal, then CAGW is just plain wrong, and there is no need for any “strategies for R&D, adaptation, mitigation, etc”

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Jim Cripwell: I can assure you there is NO CO2 signal,

        ok, that’s your assurance.

      • R Gates … the best data we have shows no let up in global warming over the past decade

        What data are you referring to ?

      • Punksta,

        Ocean heat content is the best gauge to the warming of the Earth. At the deepest levels of the ocean we are consistently monitoring (down to 2000 meters) ocean heat content continued to rise sharply this past decade, there was no let up to Earth retaining more energy. Short term changes in the troposphere are minuscule compared to the energy stored in the ocean, although it must be pointed out that 9 of the 10 warmest years in instrumental record of tropospheric temperatures occurred since the year 2000.

  12. Judith said, “Hilary’s article is titled ‘From the ashes of gleickgate: a new mantra is born’. This is a thoughtful post on the lessons we might learn from this.”

    – – – – –

    Hilary’s article is nothing less than a hard hitting punch in the face of Gleick’s hero worshiping apologists.

    John

    • But, but, but … I tried to be thoughtful, John ;-)

      Hilary

      P.S. Thanks, Dr. Curry!

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Not sure She is fully convinced herself that a new mantra has arrived. She says;
      ‘I wonder how long it will take before the mantra is abbreviated to the shorter, punchier “The science is clear, but the debate is broken”.’
      Should be;
      Should be ‘I wonder how long it will take before the mantra is abbreviated to the shorter, punchier “The debate is clear, but the science is broken”.’

  13. On the topic of climate research starving other scientists. I remember hearing William Gray on Book TV grousing about how the modish modellers with their need for $ for their computers were elbowing out research for his style of forecasting. It made one think that a simple tangible need for money was a kind of bias in the funding process.

  14. From the chart in the WSJ piece, you can see where the UN has revised its global warming prediction repeatedly, and repeatedly the predictions have failed. That’s not something you can say supports the alarmist global warming hypothesis, is it?

  15. “George Mason University has issued a reprimand to Edward J. Wegman, a professor of data sciences and applied statistics, after more than a year of investigation into accusations that Mr. Wegman included plagiarized material in a 2006 report that congressional Republicans used to challenge scientific findings about global warming.”

    The GMU investigations were not whitewashes unlike the many ‘prima facia’ whitewashes that were done on Jones/CRU and Mann/PSU and Mann/NSF.

    There are some indications, however, that the legal actions with Mann/UVa on FOIA and also one on fund misuse cannot be whitewashes. In addition, the Gleick hoax/fraud affair will not be a whitewash in the court system of the USA.

    Is the science community finally starting to clean up the problematic misbehaviors of its new-born discipline of climate science? It is not obvious.

    John

    • Steve Milesworthy

      It is so obviously a white-wash because the two reports are inconsistent with each other, and they clearly haven’t investigated the more substantial plagiarism of the social network sections or the further examples of plagiarism in other (non-climate related) papers. The GMU honour code states that plagiarism is misconduct and the GMU description of plagiarism includes the use of substantial amounts of uncited paraphrasing.

      • Steve Milesworthy | February 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm
        “It is so obviously a white-wash because the two reports are inconsistent with each other, and they clearly haven’t investigated the more substantial plagiarism [ . . . ]”

        – – – – –

        Steve Milsworthy,

        Hey, thanks for your comment.

        The net result of the GMU investigations was a reprimand. N’est ce pas? That is very severe compared to what I point out in my next paragraph about the outcomes of the investigations of the ‘cause’ teams/institutions I mentioned at the top of our comment thread.

        The net result of all my quoted investigations of ’cause’ scientists and their institutions was not even a reprimand. Nothing. That is highly implausible given the wide scientific impact and scope of their unprofessional and unethical behaviors shown clearly in the both the CG1 & CG2 docs and on climate science focused blogs before CG1. They were intentionally subverting IPCC processes and learned journals. Whitewash is mild rebuke, I should use something much stronger.

        John

      • Wegman deserved none of it. A Congressional report is not a university research paper. GMU had no business even commenting.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Brian H. I am regularly told you need good evidence if you want to change the course of economic future, so I would say that a congressional report should have standards, and even if it is not an official university report, most employers set standards for what is done by their employees in activities outside of their direct responsibilities.

        That said you are forgetting that Wegner had a paper withdrawn over this and has written other papers and reports that show similar problematic scholarship.

        John Whitman,

        I would say the Jones sanction, of being investigated numerous times and of needing to eat many pieces of humble pie, are sufficient given that his science remains upheld. I wouldn’t say I’m confident of Wegner’s input to the intellectual development of the human species and I don’t understand why GMU feel the need to protect him.

      • Steve Milesworthy | February 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm |

        – – – – – –

        Steve Milesworthy,

        It does not surprise the casual observer, me thinks, that our argument becomes like that US country music instrument classic ‘Dueling Banjos’.

        We have developed in a Mad Magazine ‘Spy vs Spy’ charade in our dialog. Your guys/gals are all good and true wearing white hats while mine much less than yours adorned in black hats. . . . to the cause. Then my guys/gals are all good and true in white chapeaus while yours much less than mine in hat the color of coal. . . . to open independent science.

        OK. It makes a good Saturday morning cartoon for sub-adults or a religious morality play.

        Still, the IPCC centric is not populated in key roles with skeptics. N’est ce pas? By happenstance or design?

        John

      • WRT the congressional report. The committee found the truth.
        The document cited its source.
        WRT the SNA paper it also found the truth. The author copied without attribution and Wegman as lead author did not catch this. They held him responsible for the same failing the editor had.

        The political makeup of the two commitees was different. The committee on the SNA paper had a rabid warmist.

      • Your Ahab-like obsession with the plagiarism issue blinds you to the obvious: If the plagiarized source was accurate, then the substantive content of the report or paper is not harmed. What is harmed by plagiarism (at least in theory) is the academic reward system for apportioning credit to various scholars. The public debate over AGW is not interested in whether Wegman cut and pasted some textbook, standard stuff without full citation. Since you are not contesting the validity of what was cut and pasted, your nagging about this comes off as trolling.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The validity of what was written rests upon the authority of the author, Wegman. Without that, the report loses validity.

      • That evasive and off-the-point reply reinforces my point. You are trolling.

        A plagiarist’s “authority” is as good as the quality of the source he plagiarizes. Discounting the substance because he uses a standard and accepted source is silly. Either point out an error (which nobody has) or cease and desist.

  16. John Adams had a post this week in regards to the ISO 31000 – Risk management — Principles and Guidelines “ISO 31000: Dr. Rorschach meets Humpty Dumpty”

    ………..”Humpty famously told Alice “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    One word in ISO 31000 is most definitely not an inkblot. “Risk” is defined as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives – positive and/or negative”……………

    Thank goodness I don’t have any responsibility for implementing and/or updating FMEA procedures anymore.

  17. Judith:

    It’s not just in your field. In Chemistry, a successful grant these days needs to hit the solar energy or battery or hydrogen storage or biomass conversion buttons to have much of a chance. The fact is, most of the more obvious avenues for photovoltaics, etc. have been explored, without much in the way of breakthroughs. The big advance in all these fields, if there is to be a big advance, is going to come from well outside the box, from somebody pottering around in some obscure area of pure chemistry. But pure research is now almost unfundable, and so the odds of that happening are lower and lower.

    Science is now politicized to the extent of being almost dysfunctional.

  18. He said two days, or maybe it was a coupla days. I can’t bother to look it up, but I’m getting worried.
    ==============

  19. Wegman was right about the stick and the clique. Deal with it. Or don’t.
    ======================================

  20. “fellowships will no longer be available for Engineering graduates, and will be limited to only Statistics & Applied Probability for Mathematicians”

    Tragic. The Math-Stats paradigm hinges on assumptions that are patently untenable in fields like ecology & climatology. Upon very careful inspection, the paradigm delivers orders of magnitude less utility than it appears to promise. Aside from rare sober hybrids more loyal to the truth than to misguided colleagues, I’m not sure who could both see & expose the illusion. It can’t be sufficiently underscored how fundamentally serious the problem is. We badly need more careful data exploration, but it’s a hazard to mistakenly conflate that with statistical inference based on patently untenable assumptions. There are fundamental differences between statistical inference and data exploration. I don’t think people realize how severely corrupt the assumptions routinely must be to accommodate mathematical tractability. It’s very often pure fiction in contexts like ecology & climatology.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Paul Vaughan: The Math-Stats paradigm hinges on assumptions that are patently untenable in fields like ecology & climatology.

      Whom were you quoting? It sounded like one of those awful budgetary restrictions that funding organizations face from time to time.

      What assumptions in Math-Stats are patently untenable in ecology and climatology? what is the evidence that they are patently untenable? Surely you are aware that every automated measurement technique has a sophisticated math-stats algorithm built-in (generally referred to as “calibration”.)

      • I did field work for years. I can give you a VERY long list of insanely crazy assumptions. It’s absurd. And then we could discuss lurking nonlinear variables (paradox!! times 10000!)… and it certainly doesn’t end there! Cheers…

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        What assumptions in Math-Stats are patently untenable in ecology and climatology?

        A. Moist adiabatic lapse rate.

        SCORE: 100%

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Paul Vaughan: I can give you a VERY long list of insanely crazy assumptions.

        Well do. It’s what I asked for. but first clarify: are you asserting that some assumptions are false, or that all assumptions are false?

      • I’m asserting (not suggesting) with a healthy dose of deep cynicism based on tons of experience (including indoctrinating university stats students for years) that creepy assumptions are a pathological cultural construct (defended tribally with razing ruthlessness) and that in areas of deep ignorance, data exploration (which differs fundamentally from statistical inference) is the ONLY sensible option. In areas where statistical inference makes sense (e.g. areas where there’s an advanced state of knowledge & understanding), sensible people will often recognize that it isn’t even needed to draw sensible conclusions. The beauty of statistical inference is abstract. And I fully acknowledge the profound deepness of that abstract beauty. As we move deeper into the territory of unknown unknowns (and the consequent layers upon layers of lurking variables and nonlinear relations), stats students will need much better and much deeper data exploration training & judgement – by orders of magnitude – if they are to avoid the extensive minefields of unwary paradoxical misinterpretation and be of optimal practical utility to an efficient society & civilization. What is the optimal balance of cross-training between data exploration and statistical inference? I would suggest 95:5 (data exploration training : stat inference training). (Presently I’d estimate it’s 5:95.) Sincerely.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      oh, I see. Sorry. I jumped around instead of reading straight through.

    • The real tragedy is that even one Engineering Fellowship would return far more utility than the entire Crimatology field.

      • I really like ‘Crimate Science’. Stolen from the diocese’s cup but I can’t find the donor.
        ========

      • I spent 2.5 years in the engineering world. Engineers have an appreciation for …boundaries! And REALITY!! I crack up laughing when I think of some of the crazy nonsense assumed by “superiors” when I did soil, climate, botanical, & zoological “research” in the 90s. And stuff I’ve seen from ruthless stats consultants in recent years is best categorized as pure ignorance &/or bold disregard. The basic attitude people have: “I don’t __ing care if the assumptions hold! I just want the _ing calculations to go smoothly!” Sometimes one doesn’t know whether to laugh or be intensely cynical — laughing is healthier, so laughter it is for today… (of course engineers making convenient dramatic oversimplifications (CDOs) won’t last long)

  21. a.n. ditchfield

    There is an amusing quiz at: http://www.crm114.com/algore/quiz.html
    Identify the author of quotes extracted from two publications:
    • Al Gore – the politician who wrote Earth in Balance;
    • Theodore Kaczynski – the terrorist who wrote the Unabomber Manifesto
    Both share hostility against the Industrial Revolution and see the human population as a pest on the planet. Their ideas are so similar that it is hard to attribute them to one or another author. The quiz has twelve quotes and rare is the person who scores 50%.
    The first one amassed a fortune of several hundred million dollars over a decade and got a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. The second one got a life sentence.

  22. Dr. Curry’s post refers to the new WSJ op-edas follows:

    “Now, The Wall Street Journal posted another op-ed by the original 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming. This is a must-read op-ed, this time they hit the nail on the head. The tepid response from Real Climate is here.” (The active links to the WSJ and RC are in her post).

    I read both to see whether I agreed WSJ “hit the nail on the head” and that the RC response was “tepid”. My conclusions differ dramatically from those of Dr. Curry. The data centerpiece of the op-ed was a graph comparing IPCC model projections with observed temperature trends. My interpretation is that the dishonesty inherent in the way that graph was presented is comparable to the dishonesty inherent in “hide the decline”.

    However, to appreciate this, I found it necessary to read what RC had to say about the graph. The salient point was that the one widely divergent model trend (the one that immediately gets the reader’s attention) is a 1990 projection based on models that did not include ocean circulation patterns among other subsequent refinements. If that projection is disregarded, the WSJ claim becomes much weaker. One can still discuss model/observational disparities, as WSJ and the RC post do, but the impact on readers will almost certainly be less persuasive. It’s hard for me to believe that the WSJ op-ed writers were unaware that they were including a deceptive curve as a centerpiece of their argument, and so I conclude the deception was deliberate.

    As an aside, note that the omission of the “decline” in proxy temperatures in the hockey stick papers and presentations was excused by the authors partly on the grounds that the data showing the decline were already known in the scientific community. Appropriately, in my view, that excuse was seen as an attempt to justify a deception that should not have been engaged in. Readers should have been given all the relevant information in the place where the argument was being made, rather than told that they might find it if they searched elsewhere.

    The analogy to me is that both “hide the decline” and the failure of the WSJ op-ed to note that 1990 models had evolved significantly over the ensuing years chose not to let readers decide for themselves whether the omitted information was relevant. In each case, the message was “You don’t really need to know that, because we have judged that it wouldn’t change anything”.

    The RC response, far from being tepid, focused a revealing light on the deceptions that become very tempting even to scientists when they take on the role of partisans rather than interpreters of evidence. There were several other elements of the WSJ pieces and the responses to them that deserve attention, and where the WSJ op-eds were off the mark, but that graph, because of the striking visual effect from a single line far distant from the actual temperature trend, epitomizes what was wrong with the whole mess. I don’t it’s tepid to point that out.

    • Meh, Fred, it’s the oceans and the clouds and the sun. If the CO2 effect is discernible, it’ll show up eventually. Meanwhile, CO2 is plant food, and warmer is better than colder.
      ======================

    • Fred, let’s leave out the 1990 projections. Focus your attention on the other projections from 2005. For you to compare this to the “hide the decline” mendacity is disingenuous at best. You are losing the battle Fred, and you are just thrashing about the bottom of the boat.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      +1

      WSJ editorial: “From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth’s temperature to CO2 which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011.”

      Noting that “projections” is plural, it is therefore just an out-and-out lie.

      The first projection is clearly an “exaggeration” but the three other projections are all roughly in line with the observed trend *if* you ignore that the middle two projections (conveniently) lie above any sort of reasonable fit to the data and *if* you accept that “Year-to-year fluctuations and discrepancies are unimportant” as quoted in the editorial.

      Very misleading and completely dishonest…or incompetent??? No I think dishonest is about right.

    • Fred – what is obvious in the WSJ chart is how the IPCC revisions are lagging the actual temperature. It’s as if they observe the actual temperature, then revise their “prediction.” I’m sure you believe their models are just getting better.

    • John Vetterling

      Fred

      I not seeing what you are referring to. It looks to me like all the the IPCC projections are clearly marked. It also looks like recent temperatures fall below all of the projections.

      I see where the 1990 project fares the worse, but it also looks like the 1995 projection was fairly close for a while. What is being hidden here?

      It seems to me that RC is creating a strawman. The statement is that models has been running hot. The temperature show that to be true, at least for the last ten years, and all that seems to be clearly labeled on the chart. What exactly is misleading or missing from the chart?

      • John – My comment was about deception, not model performance. The WSJ dishonesty was the inclusion of a 1990 projection – clearly the most conspicuous piece of evidence in the graph – without acknowledging that much work has been done to improve model performance since then, with some success.

        One honest approach would simply have been to leave out that line. A second would have been to acknowledge that the later models did better, but then give the WSJ authors’ reasons for discounting the improvement. Simply including that line with no explanation strikes me as fundamentally dishonest in a manner that can’t be rationalized away. It’s the use of a striking visual image to give an impression that readers might not have arrived at if they were made aware of all the evidence.

      • Fred Moolten
        Re: “without acknowledging that much work has been done to improve model performance since then, ”
        With $79 billion spent, obviously models have been improving over time.
        See: Climate Money: The Climate Industry: $79 billion so far – trillions to come

        With $ billions and $ trillions at stake, many people are strongly trying to keep the gravy train going.
        The issue is the historic declared IPCC projections (mean scenarios) for each of their reports. Then compare both the projections from that report date with the subsequent temperatures. That is straight forward and obvious.

        For you to call that deceptive I find to be engaging in deceptive rhetorical ad hominem attacks rather than objective scientific evaluation of the subsequent facts compared to the previous projections. I do not see you playing by the rules of objective scientific methodology.

        The IPCC projections are obviously running hot. None predicted the practically flat trend for the last decade. IPCC has not included the major natural oscillations. Yet so much is riding on that politically.

        Are you trying to defend the indefensible?

        The systemicly high IPCC projections/scenarios relative to subsequent global temperature trends makes it obvious that the IPCC is missing major physic. For clues as to what may be missing see:
        Omitted variable fraud: vast evidence for solar climate driver rates one oblique sentence in AR5, Posted on February 22, 2012 by Alec Rawls WUWT

        For a reality check, I recommend that you review some of that missing evidence.
        Are you trying to defend IPCC’s biased methodology?
        If so, why? Why not seek the best science?

      • John Vetterling

        Fred,

        How can labeling the 1990 models runs as 1990 model runs be deceptive. It seems to me that leaving out the model runs would be deceptive. I think most reasonable people assume the models have been improved over time and that a 20 year old model is probably not as refined as a more current model.

      • John – Forgive me, but I’ve answered that question so many times already that the best I can do is refer you to my other comments. The other suggestion I’ve already made is to read the WSJ text comments on model projections and then pretend the 1990 line wasn’t in the graph.. That might provide a clue as to why the authors decided to include it anyway, for its visual effects, even though it’s not pertinent to current model skill. The dishonesty in this case wasn’t based on false statements but the deliberate (apparently) intent to create a false impression that would not have been created if only the relevant data had been shown.

      • I wonder what the models will show in another 20 years?

    • The hockey stick graph was deceptive because Mann excluded data that conflicted with his premise.

      The WSJ op-ed’s graph was deceptive because it included accurate data that supported its premise.

      Only a CAGW advocate blinded by his slavish devotion to dogma could think this is logical.

      And the RC article doesn’t even criticize the op-ed as being dishonest for including the graph Fred objects to. Their complaint is that the graph is “not meaningful” because it didn’t show error bars. I sometimes wonder if Fred even reads the articles he cites, or just repeats the comments he finds about them elsewhere. (RC also objects to showing the average, rather than the actual squiggly projections – but given that the tradition started with Hansen88, this doesn’t carry much weight.)

      And as we all know, all IPCC graphs promoting CAGW always include error bars, right?

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-5.html

      I wonder how effective this graph would have been if the error bars for each model were included?

      (Also notice the use of the electronic equivalent of a heavy magic marker to make clear that the average of these models is what is important, not the fact that they are all over the map.)

      From the RC article:

      “That brings up another point. All climate models include parameters that aren’t known precisely, so the model projections have to include that uncertainty to be meaningful. And yet, the WSJ authors don’t provide any error bars of any kind!”

      I guess RC doesn’t think the IPCC’s figure showing model projections in the AR4 was very meaningful. I wonder if that made it into the review comments at the time? And I wonder why RC used that graph, without error bars, in the earlier RC article on Monckton linked to in the Feb. 24 article?

      • Gary – Thanks for your opinion. I think readers should visit the RC piece to see whether they agree that RC doesn’t make the point I attributed to them.

      • Fred,

        Why don’t you save them all some time and post the quote from the RC article charging the WSJ op-ed for being dishonest in the way you claimed, including the FAR prediction?

        It seems that someone as decent as you, charging someone else with being dishonest, and claiming your opinion of their poor character is shared by the eminences at Real Climate, would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate your own sincerity.

    • Fred, You are really wrong on this. Any reasonable person looking at the graph would assume that the later report projections were “improved”. In fact, I think including the 1990 projection is relevant. Along with analysis of Hansen’s 1988 testimony it shows that early climate science “concensus” overestimated climate response to CO2, often by a large percentage. The criticism that there were no error bars is perhaps a better point even though the Real Climate recent post on 2011 data shows that the actual data is approaching the lower uncertainty limit for the 2007 projections. And to compare this to the “hide the decline” scandal is totally wrong too. Hide the decline, as Matt points out, was about hiding something that could potentially invalidate the whole thesis of the reconstruction literature based on tree rings. So, it was a central deception that effected a huge part of the peer reviewed literature. The WSJ editorial is of little significance for the literature and is the opinion of 16 scientists. Fred, Fred, Fred, despite my affection for you, I know you can do better than this! :-(

      • David – I don’t really have much to add to what I’ve already said, but you might want to look at my comments to BillC below for an additional way of judging the WSJ piece, which I judge to be on a level of dishonesty comparable to “hide the decline”. The transgression is to fail to cite relevant information, not the provision of false information.

        There’s a phenomenon familiar to scientists aware of how selective information can be used to create a false impression, even if the information is accurate. It’s called “stating the facts without telling the truth”. The WSJ 16 did that in my estimation, and I can’t see how it can be excused away, just as I didn’t buy the excuses of the defenders of the way the hockey stick data were presented without full disclosure. The scenarios differed in other respects, but both were dishonest.

      • Fred,

        So now you are back to using “dishonest.” And you were making so much progress.

        “…you might want to look at my comments to BillC below for an additional way of judging the WSJ piece, which I judge to be on a level of dishonesty comparable to ‘hide the decline’. The transgression is to fail to cite relevant information, not the provision of false information.”

        What relevant “information” was not cited? The comparative accuracy of the later predictions compared to the first? Here’s a clue, look at the

        My suggestion, drop like you keep writing you will, There is no salvaging your attempts to impugn the integrity of the writers of the WSJ op-ed.actual graph.

        The demonstrated dishonesty of Mann, particularly now in the context of the blatant fraud of Gleick, must be hard on you. But you do your side no good by making false allegations against others.

      • “Here’s a clue, look at the graph.”

        Not my day for editing.

      • It did not deceive me or for that matter you when you first read it. But as usual it apoears that RC caused you to “see the light”. I see no evidence that anyone was deceived.

      • David – What the RC post did was point out an important advance in modeling since 1990. I don’t know if readers were deceived by the inclusion of outdated evidence in a discussion of current model capabilities, but the intent to deceive seems as real as in the case of “hide the decline”. Anyway, the articles are there for readers to review so that we don’t have to take up too much more space telling them what to think.

      • Too bad the UNFCCC Treaty in 1992 didn’t wait for these modeling advances.

      • Hmm, maybe we’ll wait until 2020 until the next frontier in modeling to do anything about climate change? Maybe we’ll wait for someone else to improve the science after that, so maybe we will wait until 2030? Perhaps in 2100 we’ll have good enough models for treaties…might as well wait.

        But the distortion is even worse than Fred points out, since the FAR gave a wide range of projections; a key issue here is not just model deficiency, but the incorrect scenario. Even modern models with a scenario of no aerosols or black carbon, etc will produce the wrong projection, even with perfect ocean dynamics and climate sensitivity. In reality, the FAR gave a much wider distribution of possible futures, none of which are highlighted in the WSJ article.

      • Fred, Are you telling me that its not obvious to the most casual observer that models have gotten a lot better since 1990? If you didn’t know this, your knowledge of the literature must be just a clever ruse. The latest GISS model for example has a lot of very big changes as outlined in Schmidt et al 2006. And by the way its sensitivity went down by 50% from 1988. Isn’t it obvious from the WSJ figure that models have gotten a lot better in agreement with data over the years? Fred, I know you have a very detailed knowledge of the literature, but maybe its a knowledge that is encylopaedic but void of real understanding?? :-) In any case, I suspect that the real problem here is that the fact that models were pretty badly wrong in 1990 is something that advocates and scientists don’t want to emphasize, to put it charitably. Anteros has some very accurate posts on RC about the FAR and how the data is being systematically cleansed from some places such as Skeptical Science.

      • Yea Chris, But the main issue here is the obvious fact that models used in the FAR were on average far too sensitive to radiative forcings. We can argue about why that was so. I do trust modelers to be working hard on adding more realism and that’s I think the working assumption of any sane person not prone to KOOKY conspiracy theories, such as those apparently subscribed to by Gleick and others about the evil BIG OIL conspiracy to corrupt our youth. It is an open question whether current models are too sensitive, but its surely not conclusive that they are correct. If anything, there’s a lot of a priori reason to think that they are surely wrong in important ways. Some of those reasons are discussed on the Ergodicy thread if you are interested.

      • To Judy – Your comment strikes me as a glib version of an important point you’ve raised previously – the problem of deciding how to act in the face of incomplete knowledge. With time, models as well other climate information sources will improve and with that, our ability to estimate future needs for mitigation or adaptation. On the other hand, time will also raise the atmospheric concentration of CO2, with long term consequences, and the balance between acting soon with the benefits of timeliness vs acting latter with the benefits of more accurate knowledge is a challenge. I believe there’s good reason to at least begin to take serious steps now, but that’s a subject for another time. As I mentioned elsewhere, there’s no such thing as a true “no regrets” strategy, because delaying vigorous action will be potentially as regrettable as acting now on less than optimal information.

        To David and others. I’m surprised and intrigued that the question of honesty or its absence in the WSJ letter continues to be argued. I don’t object to these repeated opportunities to use the words “dishonest” and “WSJ letter” in the same sentence, but I also try to be honest myself, and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think the deceptiveness in the WSJ piece was obvious. Others can read the piece and the comments here to judge for themselves. This isn’t really an earthshaking issue in my opinion, but since it was brought up in the original post, I thought it needed more scrutiny than it got there. I’ll be happy to move on to items that address scientific issues rather than reflecting on the character of individuals.

      • Fred, As usual, I don’t think you responded to the substance of my points. “Failure to provide relevant information” is a charge that by their nature short writings cannot avoid, because everyone will have their own idea about what is relevant. The relevant information is quite obvious to anyone with any familiarity with science. One would hope that given the huge investment in models that they get better over time. In retrospect, we can all point to why older models are wrong. But the important point made by including the old models is that models have historically overestimated the consequences of CO2. So, while the Real Climate orthodox disagree as they must, its their job, I am surprised that you fell for it.

        You may recall on a previous thread where you were making similar charges and I pointed out that in fact your summary of Schmittner was equally deceptive because you failed to provide the “relevant” information that there were some peaks at 1.7K. You know, we all must leave out relevant information because of the constraints of time. If its easily available and there is no obvious intent to deceive (as was not the case in the hide the decline scandal) and if in fact its obvious to the most casual observer, it smacks of hypocracy to be so hard over about it.

      • David – As I mentioned, there’s enough now for readers to make up their own minds, so I don’t see a reason to drag this out longer. Let people read the comments here, the WSJ and RC articles, and judge for themselves.

      • Chris Colose:

        “Hmm, maybe we’ll wait until 2020 until the next frontier in modeling to do anything about climate change? Maybe we’ll wait for someone else to improve the science after that, so maybe we will wait until 2030? Perhaps in 2100 we’ll have good enough models for treaties…might as well wait.”

        Seems to me this argument is just assuming what you claim to be able to prove, or a restatement of the precautionary principle. And maybe by 2030 it will be obvious that there is no need for alarm (and the models will reflect a new understanding of what affects the climate).

      • The Precautionary Principle, that Paean to Ignorance. So let’s take a precautionary look. CO2 is clearly plant food and may have a warming effect. A warmer world is better than a colder world and a CO2 enhanced atmosphere is better than a CO2 deprived one. The odds of cold in our future are greater than the odds of heat.

        Gentlemen and gentle ladies, start your precautions.
        ================

      • randomengineer

        Fred M — Let people read the comments here, the WSJ and RC articles, and judge for themselves.

        I’m a people. And I read everything. To as much as *hint* that there’s anything resembling dishonesty is absurd. Clearly the point the graph makes is juxtaposition of the IPCC prediction at selected release dates and the performance of actual temperature. This underscores the article’s premise that there’s no need for panic.

        The overall tone and message is that yes there is warming (clearly so) but so far no need for PANIC. The IPCC projections are and have been **CLEARLY** intended to induce panic and political action. This is why the article addresses IPCC intent head on:

        NO NEED TO PANIC.

        You do read english and understand the notion of PANIC, I presume?

        Maybe, maybe not. Your point is absurd, and I’m not surprised. And yeah I’m the archtype uncaring reader. I “believe” in radiative physics so technically I’m no denier.

    • freddie,

      Maybe that bit of dishonesty on the part of the dirty 16 calls for a phishing expedition. See what you can get on them, freddie. Sacrifice yourself, for the cause. Be their next big hero.

    • k scott denison

      Fred Moolten says:

      “The WSJ dishonesty was the inclusion of a 1990 projection – clearly the most conspicuous piece of evidence in the graph – without acknowledging that much work has been done to improve model performance since then, with some success.”

      Where is the evidence that model performance has improved?

      To me, that evidence would include starting all of the models with the same boundary conditions and assumptions to be able to contrast how the model outputsvary from earlier models and how each varies relative to observations.

      For example, for the graph in the WSJ piece, starting each model at 1990 with the same assumptions about CO2 growth, etc. Do the later models predict 1990-2011 better than the 1990 model? By how much?

      What I have seen, and what the WSJ chart illustrates, is that even when the new models are started based on current observations, they run hot. What would they show if they were started from 1990 observations?

      From what I see, the IPCC simply “resets” each foecast to start at the current time which has the effect of masking that the models run hot by shortening the time frame over which the model outputs can be compared to observations. This is the deceptive practice in my opinion.

      This is not a serious attempt to validate and verify the performance of the models. I see little attempt to demonstrate a new model is better than an old model by using the same boundary and input conditions and then comparing the magnitude of difference from observations over, say, 1990-2011.

      Where is that work available?

      ksd (former modeler and proud skeptic)

    • This critique is unfair. The WSJ authors clearly show a time sequence of model projections of different vintages which get lower over time but fail to get low enough. Any reasonable person would assume that the later models were supposed to be “improvements” of some sort on the earlier ones, if only to take into account information from later climate data. The reason for why one of the early models was wrong is irrelevant in this context, and I fail to see how anyone would be misled by this graph.

  23. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Dr Curry: I wasn’t at all impressed with any of these letters.

    Now, The Wall Street Journal posted another op-ed by the original 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming. This is a must-read op-ed, this time they hit the nail on the head. The tepid response from Real Climate is here.

    I agree with your evaluations, expressed there, for what it’s worth.

    Fred Moolten: However, to appreciate this, I found it necessary to read what RC had to say about the graph. The salient point was that the one widely divergent model trend (the one that immediately gets the reader’s attention) is a 1990 projection based on models that did not include ocean circulation patterns among other subsequent refinements. If that projection is disregarded, the WSJ claim becomes much weaker.

    After you know that a model has made an incorrect forecast, you can modify it so that it might have made a better forecast than it did. This practice is “rescuing the hypothesis” rather than “testing the hypothesis”. The example confirms that there is not one model that has a record of making correct forecasts, yet these repeatedly incorrect/rescued models are claimed to be the sound basis for future planning.

    The graph that you object to clearly showed that the forecast (previously cited in op-eds, Congressional testimony and other exhortations) was clearly wrong. The attempt to rescue the inaccurate model is fairly described as a “tepid” response. Maybe next time the rescued model will be shown to be correct, in 2025, perhaps. Until such time, when some model has shown correct forecasts over decades, no model can be relied upon in planning for the future.

    • Roll that 64 Trillion Dollar pair of dice anyway, house always gets their cut.
      ===================

    • Matt – With all due respect, it strikes me that you are trying to “rescue” a WSJ deception, in which the authors showed as their main exhibit a line derived from methods long known to be outmoded.

      Their apparent argument, and apparently yours as well, is that the process of improving the models doesn’t change their basic inadequacy. My argument, which I hope anyone interested will revisit, is that it’s up to readers of the WSJ op-ed to make that judgment, and not up to the authors to make it for them by failing to acknowledge the claimed improvements.

      That is why I see the WSJ op-ed basically as dishonest as the hockey stick authors’ omission of data that would let readers decide whether the “decline” was or wasn’t relevant.

      It turns out, Matt, that you haven’t understood how models have evolved since 1990, and that it isn’t a case of “rescuing” them by changing them to make them fit the trends. However, I see the virtues and inadequacies of models as irrelevant to the issue of dishonesty on the part of the WSJ signatories. Those virtues and inadequacies have been the subject of hundreds of thousands of words in this blog and elsewhere, and anyone wishing to discuss them further can probably go back to one of the earlier blog items to do it, including the methods used to improve model parametrizations. My comment was intended to focus on the honesty and credibility that have suffered from the partisanship evident in the exchanges involving the WSJ op ed pieces.

      • By the way, Matt, I appreciate the fact that you are now using your real name. Not only that, the links make it possible to see a photograph of you. When that type of candor is feasible (perhaps not for everybody), it’s the kind of change that make us participants seem human rather than impersonal machines that write words, and I think it helps keep things civil, even if not always.

      • Demeaning bots, eh? We’ve feelings, you know.
        =============

      • Fred,

        I think there is nothing wrong with them showing the 1990 projections as part of the overall story. For one thing, it shows that later models match better. It is labeled after all. If they had used the 1990 line and then acted as if that was the best current prediction, then it would be a problem. Their whole point is that going back to the Dr. analogy, you should look at the track record of predictions. You can’t very well look at the track record if you just look at those from a few years ago.

        They went back to the first IPCC report and then looked at the more recent three.
        The fact that you have a problem with that shows me that you are partisan. If they picked a model from 1990 that was not the main prediction then maybe you have a point. But in your long post, that was not made clear, so in the future that means you should make your point more clearly and with fewer words.

      • Fred,

        The authors of the WSJ op-ed failed to “acknowledge the claimed improvements” in the climate models? Did you even look at the graph? It clearly demonstrates that later models were closer to the actual temperature records than the FAR prediction (though they still pretty much suck at prediction, they suck a little less in later years). How is that hidden? They are even dated in the body of the graph.

        Good grief.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: Their apparent argument, and apparently yours as well, is that the process of improving the models doesn’t change their basic inadequacy.

        That paraphrase of my position is slightly off. What I mean is that a claimed “improvement” is not known to be an improvement until subsequent predictions have been shown to be correct. Or more like what you wrote, “the process of improving the models doesn’t [necessarily] change their basic inadequacy.”

        Consider the possibility that the basic model overestimates the effect of increasing CO2 and underestimates the effect of the diverse and partially known solar changes. If that is true, as it might be on present evidence, then adding an extra compartment for the abyssal ocean will not improve the model forecasts, though it might improve the fit to extant data.

        Likewise, suppose, again concordant with extant knowledge, that further warming will produce increased cloud cover with subsequent cooling. Adding an extra compartment to represent the abyssal ocean may increase the goodness of fit to extant data without improving the ability to forecast the evolution of the climate.

        Hence, all of the claimed improvements to the models, each a valid and respectable exercise of human intelligence, are not yet known to be improvements because they do not have the required record of correct forecasts.

        Thank you for the kind word about my name change. I strongly support anonymity in public discourse, but I began to feel it was not for me anymore.

        It turns out, Matt, that you haven’t understood how models have evolved since 1990, and that it isn’t a case of “rescuing” them by changing them to make them fit the trends.

        In some cases the changes were clearly ad hoc rescues: re-estimating the effects of aerosols and adding a compartment for the abyssal ocean are candidates; as we write, neither has a track record of accurate new predictions, and for evidentiary purpose the motivation is unimportant.

      • Bill – My comment was about dishonesty and not about model performance – a point I now seem to be making in response to a number of comments. I hope you and others will revisit my first comment and my response to Matt Marler to understand why I characterize the WSJ op ed as dishonest Those are the clearest explanations I’ve been able to express, so I hope they are clear enough. Model performance is too vast a subject to resolve here, but has been addressed in detail in many earlier threads.

      • Matt and others – I’d like to resist getting into an extensive discussion of model performance – something impossible to resolve meaningfully here. My point was about deceptiveness in the WSJ op ed, for reasons I’ve explained. On a small point, though, I have to disagree that aerosol forcing has been added to models as a “rescue” attempt. This conflates two different types of model efforts. One involves using the best available data for projecting trends, including aerosol data. (there is a great deal of observational data on aerosols). The second involves “inverse modeling”, in which different values for parameters are tested to see which best fits the observed data. That can help our understanding of the parameters, including aerosol effects, but inverse modeling is not then cited as a model projection that has “performed well”. The projections cited in IPCC reports (or at least recent ones) are the results of forward rather than inverse modeling. This has been described in great detail in many sources, including the IPCC reports themselves, as well as by Gavin Schmidt on RC and elsewhere. If you disagree, you might want to see if you can come up with specific examples to support your conclusions (i.e., specific model results cited as accurate projections but actually due to tuning of the models to match the trends). Even then, I would hope this could continue in one of the model threads rather than here. That would be a suitable place to continue the discussion without a need for excessive repetition of points already made.

      • Fred,

        My point is that your “point…about deceptiveness in the WSJ op ed,” not to mention your explication of the RC article, are deceptive. I could say “dishonest” as you actually wrote in your initial comment, but I am trying to follow your lead here.

      • Thanks for your comment, Gary.

      • You are most welcome.

      • Fred I resect your understanding of climate science but I don’t think the WSJ article is practicing hide-the-decline deception. Any literate person sees the fact and can easily make the conclusion that the predictions were updated and the newer predictions are for a slower rate of warming than the older ones, and for the moment closer to reality.

      • Bill – I’m not sure I appreciate being resected, but I know what you mean, so thanks.

        I realize I’m the one who first brought up the question of dishonesty regarding the WSJ piece, but it may not be an important enough issue to continue flogging without end. I’ll describe my impression in one more way, and then perhaps desist if further comments seem to be repeating past ones.

        If you look at the latest WSJ piece, the most striking visual image, among the hundreds of words, is a graph comparing model projections with the actual temperature trend. The most striking part of that image – or at least it was what jumped out when I looked at it – was the 1990 line, which projected temperatures far above what have been observed. The later projections were much closer, with deviations mainly in recent years of flat temperatures.

        The attribution of dishonesty, I must now concede, is to some extent an exercise in mind reading, because honestly created misimpressions can sometimes be mistaken for dishonest ones. Why, in the minds of the authors, did they decide to include that very discrepant 1990 line in the graph?

        I hadn’t previously thought of it, but it now occurs to me that one reason might have been “super-honesty” – despite their reservations about models, they wanted to emphasize how much the models have improved in little over 10 years. The other interpretation – the more cynical one – was that they included it because its striking visual effect conveyed an impression of greater model inferiority than readers might gain on their own if the authors had given a full explanation of how models have evolved since 1990, even if the authors pointed out inadequacies in current models. First impressions are powerful, and may be the only impressions registered by readers who don’t spend time reviewing the material.

        Which was it? A graphic illustration of how rapidly models have improved, or a striking image that overwhelms all the verbal explanations in creating an impression of models as a group far at odds with reality based on the fact that in the graph, the outdated result was the most conspicuous one?

        The WSJ authors can be asked which they intended, I suppose, and that would help us avoid depending entirely on imputing motives to them. I’m not hyper-cynical, but given the tenor of their letter, I’ve concluded that the immediate visual impression was the main reason they included the old projection rather than only the recent ones when they could have left it out. I have to be careful in distinguishing what is clear to me, as opposed to what I infer. It is clear to me that the first impression created by that graph is misleading. I infer that the deception was intentional.

      • A small addendum. It does occur to me that one way for readers to judge the importance of that 1990 line, which differed from all the others, would be to read the WSJ piece while pretending that the 1990 line wasn’t there. To me, that exercise would illustrate why the authors probably judged it necessary to add the outdated projection to more recent ones, but readers can visit the article to draw their own conclusions.

      • Fred,I think your last comment is pretty accurate. I think it’s more or less needed to make the case, but I don’t describe it as dishonest. If it doesn’t warm for another (?) years, it wouldn’t be necessary. Hyperbolic? Maybe. And maybe I respect your understanding having resected it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resection_(orientation)

      • There is plainly and simply nothing dishonest, deceptive, misleading or any other synonym, about the graph in the WSJ op-ed.

        The authors point is that from its inception, the IPCC has been trumpeting the models predictions as the basis for its political jihad on carbon. They further argue those predictions have been wrong. Period.

        And even removing the 1990 prediction would have zero impact, either on the text, or the visual impression. Look at the predicted trend lines, and ignore the temperature record. The rate of increase in 2007 is only marginally less than the prediction in 1990 (and each successive prediction shows a steeper increase).

        Why do they LOOK so much better? Because the starting point for each successive prediction is much later in the temperature record of the graph. It isn’t that the models got so much better, they just haven’t had as long to diverge from the real temp record.

        In fact, visually, the 1990 prediction fared much better for the first 16 years. The trend line of reported temperatures is probably not much different in that graph until 2005.

        (All of which assumes that reported temperatures actually the real “global average temperature” is functionally equivalent to the reported surface global temperature records.)

        So criticism of the author’s use of that graph as dishonest is still just simply dishonest, no matter how it is reworked.

      • Should be:

        (All of which assumes that the real “global average temperature” is functionally equivalent to the reported surface global temperature records.)

      • Bill – I concede that proving dishonesty requires knowing that what the perpetrators said (in this case the WSJ 16) was something they knew would create a false impression. That certainly seems apparent to me, but I realize others may differ. In any case, it would be worthwhile for anyone interest to read the text of the WSJ piece and look at the graph, but pretend the 1990 line wasn’t there. I suspect most would agree that the argument in the text would come across as much weaker. It’s hard to think that this wasn’t a reason the 1990 was included, even though the authors knew it was outdated. In any case, readers should visit the WSJ and RC comments to make up their own minds.

        I apply the same principles to the “hide the decline” scenario, where similar dishonesty is inferred by the circumstances but can’t be proved in terms of what the proponents were thinking. We simply had to go with reasonable inferences then and now.

      • Fred

        “Dishonesty” is a BIG word, which should not be used lightly.

        It can backfire.

        Max

      • Max – Thanks for your concern for my welfare.

      • Fred, let’s cut through all of the clutter. You state to Matt – “With all due respect, it strikes me that you are trying to “rescue” a WSJ deception, in which the authors showed as their main exhibit a line derived from methods long known to be outmoded.” Who is being dishonest Fred. Do you really think it is a coincidence that all of the warmist models are consistently wrong in direction. What do you mean by they are getting better? The only real argument between skeptics and warmists is feedback and the warmists models consistently overweigh amplification. You see Fred, we agree on 95% of climate science but disagree on the really important point of feedback. The WSJ article makes that case very apparent, and makes your case look silly. It is no coincidence that the models consistently err in favor of positive feedback, because without positive feedback the entire warmist mantra collapses. What do you think Fred, honestly.

      • Bob – I always try to state what I really think. Honestly.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: I’d like to resist getting into an extensive discussion of model performance – something impossible to resolve meaningfully here. My point was about deceptiveness in the WSJ op ed, for reasons I’ve explained.

        Yet your claim about WSJ dishonesty rests upon unsubstantiated claims about improvements in models since 1990 and you go into an extended defense of some modeling. I’ll grant you that not all model improvements have been ad hoc. Your point about deceptiveness in the WSJ op ed has little foundation, and it was not in fact correct. The fundamental fact that you are trying to dispute is that the WSJ article appropriately drew attention to the lack of success of the models in making predictions.

      • Well, Matt, I suppose I’m getting some perverse satisfaction over this continued arguing about an inconsequential WSJ piece, because as I said elsewhere, it keeps giving me opportunities to put the words “dishonesty” and “WSJ-letter” into the same sentence. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was eminently justified, but I do.

        I’m being quite sincere in stating that the dishonesty leaped out of the page at me in the form of that 1990 line that was so conspicuous but unnecessary. Clearly, others don’t see it that way, and so the best thing for interested readers, I believe, is to read what has been written here, and also the WSJ and RC articles, and then draw their own conclusions. Otherwise, we seem to be telling them what to think, and they would probably prefer to see for themselves.

      • I agree with freddie. It’s not fair that they dredge up failed predictions from so long ago. They didn’t know what they were doing back in 1990, when they started the scare. As you can see from the subsequent efforts they are getting closer to the truth. By the time we get to AR 12, they will be predicting an ice age cometh.

      • k scott denison

        Fred Moolten says:

        “Matt and others – I’d like to resist getting into an extensive discussion of model performance – something impossible to resolve meaningfully here. My point was about deceptiveness in the WSJ op ed, for reasons I’ve explained.”

        However, the deception you insist is there requires that one have evidence that the models *have improved* as you claim they have.

        Where is this evidence? Where is the comparison of past and present models, all run with the same boundary conditions, assumptions and starting point, that shows, say, that the current models are closer to 1990-2011 observations than older models?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: I’m being quite sincere in stating that the dishonesty leaped out of the page at me in the form of that 1990 line that was so conspicuous but unnecessary.

        No one has accused of you insincerity — or if someone did I have missed it. We have accused you of drawing a baseless conclusion that you did not adequately justify. You wrote a lot of extra stuff that was largely beside the point that you tried to make, in which you buried your oblique admission that your point was mistaken.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Since the early 1990s the trend projections have been pretty uniform, and I believe that is related to a known and accepted over-estimate of the amount of forcing a given increase in CO2 would cause. There was certainly no need to “rescue” the late-1980s models in the early 1990s because modellers would have probably put the lower temperatures then down to Pinatubo.

      In reality though, models do what models do. Sensitivity of models is not tuned.

      Converting “the theory is falsified” (WSJ implication, and not true) into your “no model can be relied upon in planning for the future” is shifting the grounds of the debate somewhat.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steve Milesworthy: Converting “the theory is falsified” (WSJ implication, and not true) into your “no model can be relied upon in planning for the future” is shifting the grounds of the debate somewhat.

        I think you have it backward. Whether the models can be relied upon in planning for the future is the fundamental question in the public policy analysis, and the point of the WSJ article is that they can’t be.

    • Did the IPCC actually predict 0.3 degrees per decade starting in 1990? I think they have done the Monckton trick of taking 3 degrees per century and converting it into a linear trend of 0.3 degrees per decade rather than a growing one? This would be statistically underhanded, but give them credit for knowing how to fool people with lines.

      • “An extrapolation from present emission trends and moderate climate sensitivity yields a rate of 0.3 C per dacade. At that rate, over 20 years, Chicago’s summers would be as warm as New Orleans’ are now.”

        Science Magazine, July 1, 1988, p. 23.

        Consistent both with Hansen’s 1988 scenarios and IPCC 1990.

      • Yes, I also checked, and they actually said in the first IPCC report 1 C by 2025 (35 years), so indeed it was a high rate from the beginning, but they also said 3 degrees by 2100, which seems inconsistent, at least by current estimates of rate changes. The land temperature has been changing by 0.3 degrees per decade since 1980 according to BEST, so they weren’t completely wrong.

      • Global…land…

        meh, pick which ever one suits your purpose.

    • When a model makes a bad forecast and you modify it, after the fact, to improve the forecast, you are working with a curve fit and you are not working with a model. Curve fits do interpolate very well but they do not extrapolate well. that is why you most correct them after you have the real data.

      • The models are ‘trained’ in the same manner as performing seals. They are not models in the conventional sense, just very complex fits that are projected.
        Pretty soon only cache versions will be unmodified from their original form.

  24. Dr Curry –

    I followed your link to Donna’s post, as I wanted to see the original context for your quote of Peter Gleick saying “the debate is over”. It seemed to me you (and as it happens, Donna) were giving the impression that the statement was deceptive or disingenuous.

    The whole of the quote is this –

    “The debate is over, no matter what we do to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we will not be able to avoid some impacts of climate change.”

    As you have had some experience of journalists taking your words and endeavouring to use them to mean something other than what you intended, I think the above context will be unsurprising. I find it hard to believe any informed person would disagree with the statement – it is trivially true but true nonetheless.

    Taking that, and spinning it (for more than a decade) to mean the debate about climate change is over, is disingenuous – at best. If we want to have a civilised debate with people, I think we should make the effort not to look for the worst in everything they say. Otherwise, we’ll ensure that that is what the people we debate with will do to what we say ourselves.

    • To find out what people are saying I have bought both Donna’s book and Michael Mann’s book. Both contain much that I don’t like, but Donna’s book in particular was written extensively to be so misleading that I’m not surprised on this finding either.

      • I’ve read Mann’s previous book, and keep putting off reading Donna’s. The fact that I have some sympathy for her view (expressed elsewhere) makes me reluctant to encounter what you describe.

    • Anteros, you puzzle me.

      You seem, in your anxiety to see the best in Glieck, to be treating a piece of polemic, from a man who, even before he confessed to crime, had a long history of intemperate and tendentious polemic, as if it were a scientific paper. Worse, you seem to be chiding Hilary and Judith for their failure to do likewise.

      Writers of this sort of pabulum have long learned to couch the alarmist message in prose which is, parsed as strictly as you (and they, when challenged) insist, trivially accurate, but rhetorically dishonest.

      It’s a well-worn tactic of climate alarmists, and I’m surprised to see you lending it your support.

      Sorry, but more cynicism needed…

      • tomfp –

        For once you mistake me for someone with inadequate cynicism! I don’t make any judgements about Gleick’s intention which I expect to fit his world view – human beings are bad and in their greed and venal stupidity are violating the planet and all life upon it [or some such..]

        But I don’t think deviousness comes into that particular quote He’s saying look ever at the very best, there will be some impacts from AGW – already. And of course he actually means bad ones – undoubtedly.

        I think he’s wrong but what he’s saying isn’t outrageous. What I object to is the misrepresenting of that idea to give the impression his words “the debate is over” mean something else. They do – but only if you remove them from the rest of the sentence in which they occur.

        Just because he’s guilty of 759 offences, I don’t get the framing of him for a 760th.

  25. “I read both to see whether I agreed WSJ “hit the nail on the head” and that the RC response was “tepid”. My conclusions differ dramatically from those of Dr. Curry.”

    Big surprise there. I was really shocked, Fred.

    “My interpretation is that the dishonesty inherent in the way that graph was presented is comparable to the dishonesty inherent in “hide the decline”.”

    A stretch. Even conceding your point that the graph is misleading (I’m not qualified to judge) the skeptical claim that the models have not done a good predictive job is still legitimate..

    “Hiding the decline” went to the validity of the proxies….which were the basis for the whole reconstruction. No valid proxies, no valid reconstruction, no valid basis upon which to argue that current warmth is ‘unprecedented”….perhaps the foundational claim of the warmists…

  26. Fred, you seem to miss the point of the WSJ article as you offer cursory albeit generally correct summations of the relative legitimacy claimed by “both sides.” (I compliment the quality of your summation, not the positions of the respective parties.) Rather, the point of the letter is an appeal to abandon all such projection and instead continue to evaluate existing evidence while continuing to accumulate more data. The only actionable claim of the 16 is that there is insufficient accurate data to justify wholesale economic displacement proposed by the proponents of the “doctrine” of AGW. Essentially, they assert that conclusions derived from existing data/models do not sufficiently (in some cases at all) support the conclusions. In my estimation, that fact seems to be fairly well established. If you’re going to posit the need for worldwide, wholesale economic displacement, you should expect your burden of proof requirement to be astronomically high. Given current debate, that measure has not even been approached let alone achieved.

    What is absolutely clear is that AGW is not “settled science” – whatever that might be. This is not a matter which can be settled by simple observation (i.e. earth as flat vs. earth as sphere). Debate should and really must continue in this area until the value of the claims can be objectively qualified AND quantified with emphasis on the latter. That is I believe the point of the WSJ letter. Further, although Dr. Curry is fully capable of making her own case, I would guess that to be the reason she uses the “hit the nail on the head” phrase. I will add that I agree fully with her in that summation.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Jeff,

      “Rather, the point of the letter is an appeal to abandon all such projection and instead continue to evaluate existing evidence while continuing to accumulate more data.”

      If that was their point, their point was strengthened rather a lot by the misleading plot that Fred deconstructs. In reality, the models have not been “falsified” in the way they claim, so their claim that the need to continue to evaluate existing evidence (ie. presumably as an alternative to considering any action) is significantly diminished.

    • Jeff, she is not capable of making her own case. She has proven several times that she will deliberately distort science in order to uphold her “uncertainty monster” world view. In short, she is now only “skeptical” of one side in this debate, which means she is no longer acting as a scientist but as an advocate. That is fine, except she should have the honesty to remove herself from any authoriative position on climate, such as teaching students.

      Just look at the exchange with Gavin and I in the previous thread on teaching. She has no reservations about making up numbers even to students. Similarly, this WSJ article is indefensible. Even in the FAR, there are a large number of “projections” based on different ideas on both emissions and climate sensitivity (look at the FAR Figure 6.11 for example) as little of this was known then. For more recent models, the comparison is simply invalid for a number of reasons, one of which is the neglect of any uncertainty or representation of internal variability.

      • Chris Colose –

        I notice you talk about the FAR “projections”. Why do you not refer to the FAR “predictions” as that is what the FAR described them as?

      • She has proven several times that she will deliberately distort science in order to uphold her “uncertainty monster” world view.

        You provided the reason why she isn’t ‘deliberately’ doing anything.

        What to you not understand about every single human being on the planet see’s absolutely everything thru their own ‘world view’.

        That means ‘everyone’ has ‘blind spots’. Most of us work hard to compensate for those blind spots but we all still have them.

        Some people rather then admitting that everything we see is filtered thru our own personal world view accuse anyone that doesn’t see the world thru ‘their personal lens’ as ‘deliberately distorting the truth’.

      • Strong words Chris. As you get older, perhaps you’ll develop a more nuanced view of the world. Peace.

      • Please don’t tell me distorting science is going on around here. Of all the conversations in the world I have to end up here?
        =================

      • Chris

        You, an outspoken advocate for IPCC’s “mainstream consensus” CAGW premise, are accusing our host of also being an “advocate” (as you are), rather than an objective scientist?

        Huh?

        I’d suggest you get serious, Chris. Such statements make you look silly.

        Max

      • Chris
        Trust me, in 30 years you will look back at this period in your life and reflect on your statements and positions and admit to yourself how naive you were. We have all been there.

      • Chris, “For more recent models, the comparison is simply invalid for a number of reasons, one of which is the neglect of any uncertainty or representation of internal variability.”

        Then why not change the message to reflect the improvement in the models? Quite a few scientists are recommending cutting off a good deal of the fat tail. James Annan is not exactly a skeptic and we have discussed several papers that estimate lower transient sensitivity and greater natural variability.

        You react to any questioning of policy based on the 1990 “projections” as if it is heresy, when the :lukewarmer” point is that initial estimates were over stated and the policies based on those estimates is not wise due to uncertainty.

        Fred, “destructs” the 1990 plot line when that plot line is precisely the point. Estimates are decreasing, policy should be chilled out until there is better understanding of the uncertainty.

        Let me know then next time you or Fred bust someone’s chops for referencing Steig et. al 2009 without referencing the corrigendum or the O’Donnell et. al 2010 rebuttal :)

      • Chrissy,

        Have you guys thought about getting some of your journalist friends to dig up some dirt on her? I mean if you think she shouldn’t be teaching, you got to do something about it, Now that petey has a lot of free time, maybe you can put his big brain to work on the case of that female heretic. You do need some positions to open so you can get a job, don’t you chrissy?

      • Chris Colose,

        There is a reason Judith’s place has become prominent and is the venue of preference for an extremely diverse group of commenters including you. There is also a reason your place has a very monotone/monotonous nuance.

        Do you know what the reason is? She is doing a good job at communication versus your stereotypical cause approach. The content of Judith’s communication isn’t totally in your ’cause’ playbook so I understand your anger.

        You are very ungentlemanly and it reflects negatively on your scientific honor here. You only do yourself a disservice. Please report to your immediate ’cause’ supervisor (?Gavin?) for remedial social skills.

        Your habit of speaking pejoratively of Judith here at her place in other than in the first person directly to her is quite low class.

        John

      • While I agree with John, I do what Tomas does when he reads an offensive post: ignore it as soon as the sense and context becomes clear and move on to the next comment. The roller wheel on my mouse gets quite a bit of use as a consequence.

        Furthermore, use a 3 strikes policy and if you find a commenter is offensive more than twice, then don’t even start reading anything that is posted under that name in future. A junk mail filter for WordPress would be most useful and I hope that someone comes up with such an app asap.

      • Peter Davies | February 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

        While I agree with John, I do what Tomas does when he reads an offensive post: ignore it as soon as the sense and context becomes clear and move on to the next comment.

        Furthermore, use a 3 strikes policy and if you find a commenter is offensive more than twice, then don’t even start reading anything that is posted under that name in future

        – – – – –

        Peter Davies,

        I would be wise to accept your advice wrt responding to the comments like that particular on by Chris Colose. I shall endeavor to do so.

        Thanks,
        John

      • Chris: “In short, she is now only “skeptical” of one side in this debate, which means she is no longer acting as a scientist but as an advocate.”

        And what about you, Chris?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Colose: Jeff, she is not capable of making her own case. She has proven several times that she will deliberately distort science in order to uphold her “uncertainty monster” world view.

        On the whole, I think that her posts are closer to the truth than yours are.

        Just look at the exchange with Gavin and I in the previous thread on teaching. She has no reservations about making up numbers even to students. Similarly, this WSJ article is indefensible.

        it should be “with Gavin and me”. She didn’t make up numbers, she took them from a source that you dispute; your idea is that the debate can not begin until the people with whom you disagree stop disagreeing with you. And, as some of us have written, the WSJ article is eminently defensible: no model has yet been shown to be adequate, and the longer the models have been under test, the more clear it is that they are inadequate. The models quoted now, in 2012, may be shown to be as inaccurate in 2034 as the 1990 model is now known to be 22 years later. The lobbyists now citing the 2012 models in their support were citing the 1990 models back then, and there is no evidence that the actual ability to forecast the future has improved, and little evidence that those lobbyists have learned from their failure.

    • Jeff – Please see my first comment, but also my response to Matt Marler. My focus was on the dishonesty inherent in the WSJ op-ed and therefore its signatories. The other topics are ones familiar to all of us, and I could give extensive reasons for judging the WSJ pieces to be misleading. Others will disagree, but those topics are huge and can’t adequately be addressed in an exchange of comments here. Dishonesty can be, and I don’t think it should go unchallenged, whether it emanates from hockey stick proponents or signatories to a letter in the media.

      • Fred Moolten

        Are you being “dishonest” in accusing the authors of the WSJ article of being “dishonest”?

        Am I “dishonest” for suggesting that you might have been “dishonest” in doing so?

        Stop using this stupid and totally subjective word.

        You have NO NOTION whether or not the authors of the WSJ article acted “dishonestly” or in good faith – you simply made that up because you disagree with their conclusions or methods.

        My tip to you (if you want to appear as an objective scientist rather than simply an opinionated bad-mouther): avoid the use of the word “dishonest”.

        Max

      • Max – Please don’t take it personally, but I don’t think I need any tips from you.

      • Fred, I think you are being dishonest. You know the projections in 1988 are crap. Those in the 1990’s crap and those in 2000’s, slightly less crap. No the way one can differentiate the less crap from the really crap is the slope.
        Note to, we were not born yesterday, some of us remember the past.

        BTW Fred, you haven’t talked about forcings for a while.

      • Martyn – Thanks for your analysis of my character. I actually don’t think you’re sharp enough to discern the level of improvement models have managed over the past decades since 1990. You would need to be sharper to properly evaluate the value of current models in light of their acknowledged imperfections. They are used not only for projections, which must always be seen as beset with some uncertainty, but also for a better understanding of individual climate variables (e.g., through inverse modeling). In addition, the use of energy balance models and EMICs complements the GCMs in helping us with reasonable estimates of how the climate would respond to particular forcings, such as a CO2 doubling occurring gradually over multiple decades, or changes in solar forcing or the forcings due to anthropogenic or volcanic aerosols. They are also useful in evaluating the relative contribution of forcings and unforced variability at different timescales – for example, forcings, (mainly from anthropogenic GHGs) dominated the contributions to post-1950 warming, whereas unforced variability was clearly dominant when evaluated over short intervals within that longer interval.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: I could give extensive reasons for judging the WSJ pieces to be misleading.

        Then you ought to do so. What you have written to this point is insubstantial. For something as serious as [inherent dishonesty] you need to write an actual case. I wrote above why I consider the WSJ letter to be fundamentally correct.

      • Fred,

        Both Manacker and DocMartyn are absolutely correct in chastising you. That was an ugly remark you made about those authors. Let me make it plain to you by removing a section out of your sentence,

        Shorter Fred: My focus was on the dishonesty inherent its signatories.

        That is a pretty rotten thing to say. Are you actually that socially stunted you can’t even see it?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: They are also useful in evaluating the relative contribution of forcings and unforced variability at different timescales – for example, forcings, (mainly from anthropogenic GHGs) dominated the contributions to post-1950 warming, whereas unforced variability was clearly dominant when evaluated over short intervals within that longer interval.

        Up til now, the models have not passed the tests because their predictions have not been accurate enough; whether they have failed at a specified p-value is a related question, but certainly the models have not made accurate predictions. Consequently, their use in evaluating the contribution of forcings and unforced variability can not be depended upon to give dependable or correct answers. Only after the models have passed severe tests should their components be considered reliable.

      • Bob Koss – “Are you actually that socially stunted you can’t even see it?”

        Bob – I guess I must be.

      • Fred,

        I concur with your self-assessment.

      • freddie,

        You are following petey down the rathole. Why do you guys sacrifice your reputations for a lost cause?

      • That socially-stunted comment directed at Fred is laughable. The song-man in him is smiling because he will probably write a tune around the idea.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Matt, I think you are demanding more from the models than anyone, including most climate scientists, think they can give. The aim of the WSJ piece is to say “here is an important metric from the models and it is patently wrong, therefore models should be ignored”. Simply put I don’t think that is sufficient to reject the whole premise of AGW or threat of CAGW. If the WSJ letter writers don’t see that then they are not dishonest, but I find it hard to believe that none of the 16 see that.

        I do think the graph is presenting the results dishonestly though, but it is possible that most of the writers of the letter did not see the final version.

      • k scott denison

        Fred Mooltens says:

        “I actually don’t think you’re sharp enough to discern the level of improvement models have managed over the past decades since 1990.”

        Please share the chart that shows comparison of models run over the period 1990-2011. Ensure that all models use the same boundary conditions, starting point, and assumptions.

        From your repeated claims of progress in model performance, I’m expecting this chart will clearly show that current models better match 1990-2011 observations than past models. Should probably include error bars as well.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steve Milesworthy: Matt, I think you are demanding more from the models than anyone, including most climate scientists, think they can give.

        The models are the basis for claims that people have to make major lifestyle changes and that people who disagree are immoral: there are even proposals to try dissidents for “crimes against humanity”. The models are the basis of proposals to transfer large sums of money from the people who have it to people who don’t, in part via investments in gross technology developments. I may be demanding more than “most” climate scientists think the models can give, but some climate scientists think those models can give a lot, and I am claiming that no model has yet demonstrated that it can give what they (e.g. Chris Colose on these threads) claim.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Matt the models are not in any stretch of the imagination “the basis” for doing all the things you talk about, and what you talk about is exaggerated.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steve Milesworthy: Matt the models are not in any stretch of the imagination “the basis” for doing all the things you talk about, and what you talk about is exaggerated.

        The models have been cited in Congressional testimony, in alarmist books and editorials, and other exhortative speech and writing. If they were not the basis, no one would cite them in such contexts. They’d remain the sort of models that are cited in mostly obscure (to the public, not to the specialists) mathematical biology journals and in grant proposals. Or places like Isaac Held’s blog.

        “not in any stretch of the imagination” — you have got to be kidding. Had they not been cited as the basis for public policy changes, no one would have bothered to write a WSJ article highlighting the lack of any predictive accuracy.

  27. R. Gates
    Tony B
    Pekka Pirilä

    Any generalisation about the oceans’ SST behaviour is misleading. In the North Atlantic the SST changes are synchronised, not so in the South Atlantic.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AOT.htm

    • Vukcevic,

      SST’s are much more entrained to the same natural short-term fluctuations as tropospheric temperatures, and thus, are far less reliable as a metric to overall changes to energy in the overall Earth system. SST’s will in general then follow the same kind of short-term natural variability that influences tropospheric temperatures. If you want to see any long-term changes in Earth’s energy system, one must look deeper in the ocean where energy storage is far more resistant to short-term fluctuations and many magnitudes bigger than either SST’s or the troposphere.

  28. Fred from Canuckistan

    My theory and computer models say the planet’s atmosphere should be rapidly warming.
    The actual data says, “nah, not so much, been there, done that”
    Gradually theoretical ideas and tweaked computer model outputs yield to the dictates of reality.

    Really, reality always wins.

    Which is why we can’t have a debate. Too many careers, too many reputations, too much egg on too many faces, too many years down the pension road would be put in jeopardy for that to happen.

    Nope . . . when you are this deep into it, the only choice is to do whatever it takes keep the grift alive, keep the money flowing, keep the fame rolling on.

    Including now it seems a series of criminal acts that are being presented as necessary for the cause. Some serious moral ambiguity going on in Warmista land these days as good folks bend, twist and distort their common sense and ability to fathom right from wrong as they attempt to come to grips with reality.

    Reminds me of the “just following orders defense”.

  29. What I learned this week.

    I finally understand why ‘genius’ is always in quotes when people mention the MacArthur “Genius” Grant.

    In spite of a giant leak out of the pacific institute by a ‘water expert’, no one used the pun. +1 to the human race.

    The real sides in the climate debate are those who advance through controversy, and those who don’t. As bad as it has been for Gleick, it was a great week for the controversists. I’m sure stock is up on both ends — unless just maybe, people are getting tired of climate science fights. Most wars-without-purpose end when the sides finally get tired of them. I suspect when that happens here it won’t be sane voices left though, it will be a drying up of funding for climate science (great ‘starves’ link). Might be a good time to prioritize goals and double down on efforts!

  30. Tom Choularton

    By the way regarding the story about UK science funding. This storey is flawed too. EPSRC do not fund climate science. It, along with all atmospheric science it is funded by NERC who do not have the same funding model as EPSRC.

    • Apparently the issue is that EPSRC funds a lot of social science that is relevant to climate change, which seems to be the key source of the objection.

      • Tom Choularton

        Judith,

        This grants listed at the end are minute the point about the objections is that EPSRC are putting much more money into ‘directed mode’ usually big Engineering projects and reducing the amount in responsive mode ie blue skies research in any area within their remit. They do not support research into atmospheric science which is funded by NERC. THE EPSRC budget is £208M a year.

      • Tom thanks for this additional info

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The first two of the projects listed is funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) I didn’t bother checking the third. EPSRC is usually pretty hard science and engineering. I think the writer mucked up in his google searching and as a result I don’t see that he’s made the link with climate very clear.

  31. Rogelio escobar

    I think this article really flogs the horse of AGW to total death lets see anyone here rebut this
    http://mises.org/daily/5892/The-Skeptics-Case#.T0eUhlmYO74.email

    • Tom Choularton

      Easy, badly plotted graphs for the atmosphere and sea surface trends only compared over a few years obvious nonsense

      • Tom Choularton

        Yes, thank-you those are interesting insights, the proiblem I have is that the graphs shown have been plotted in such a way as to try to suggest that the underlying warming rate is much lower than predicted by climate models. My argument would be that if you look carefully at the data over the last 30 years it shows a warming rate consistent with most predictions averaged over that timescale. On shorter timescales it seems to me that know internal variability eg ENSO enhances or reduces the warming rate by too mmuch to give a valid comparison.

  32. Wall Street op-ed by 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming :

    “In spite of the obstinacy of some in APS management, APS members of good will are supporting the establishment of a politics-free, climate physics study group within the Society. If successful, it will facilitate much needed discussion, debate, and independent research in the physics of climate.”

    I applaud the independent integrity shown by some of the APS membership to bring about a higher standard of scientific objectivity within the APS, in spite of resistance by management. I sincerely think they are an example to be promoted in all other scientific societies.

    The new spirit that is rejecting scientific post-modernism and post-normalism is an invigorating renaissance wind. I sense it is springtime for independent (aka skeptical) climate focused scientists.

    John

    • It will be interesting to see how the new APS committee works out. Last I heard they were in the process of selecting/electing officers for the committee. I am also hopeful about the new APS committee.

  33. Wall Street op-ed by 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming :

    “But much like the surface temperature shown in the graph, the heat content of the upper layers of the world’s oceans is not increasing nearly as fast as IPCC models predict, perhaps not increasing at all. Why should we now believe exaggerating IPCC models that tell us of “missing heat” hiding in the one place where it cannot yet be reliably measured—the deep ocean?”

    “Given this dubious track record of prediction, it is entirely reasonable to ask for a second opinion. We have offered ours. [ . . . ]”

    To: ’16 scientists’

    Your second option is in the very spirit of the independent open discourse that can never be removed from the scientific process if science is to survive the severe challenges to scientific integrity and openness from a small group of activists cum climate scientists. Thank you.

    It is appalling to me that there is a small group of IPCC centric climate scientists who advocate muzzling any alternate view from theirs and even more appalled that their efforts to do so are broadly supported in scientific bodies, government funding institution, the media and the UN.

    It speaks of the bad times for the honor of science that we are in that it is major news that 16 respectable scientists offer some public scientific discourse that differs from a scientific bureaucracy.

    John

    • Pielke Pere & Josh Willis & Kevin settled it almost two years ago; the data gathering to detect deep transport of heat is adequate to the task and the evidence is not there. But Kevin remained in denial.
      ====================

      • That’s Kevin Trenberth, the T-Man. He knows the ‘missing heat’ may have escaped to space. Why won’t he consider the possibility publicly again?
        =================

      • I will repeat that I suspect Josh Willis of being one of the most intellectually conflicted men on Earth, and I pity him and respect him as a scientist.
        ==============

      • kim

        Are you talking about the same Josh that coined the scientific expression for cooling = “speed bump in the warming”?

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hmmm – speed bump? Thelma and Louise come to mind.

      • Heh, Chef, Josh is trapped in the trunk of T&L’s car, and he’s felt 3,000 arguous speed bumps so far. Oh well, his anguish will be over soon.
        =================

  34. Anteros writes:

    “I followed your link to Donna’s post, as I wanted to see the original context for your quote of Peter Gleick saying “the debate is over”. It seemed to me you (and as it happens, Donna) were giving the impression that the statement was deceptive or disingenuous.

    The whole of the quote is this –

    “The debate is over, no matter what we do to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we will not be able to avoid some impacts of climate change.”

    Anteros, Unless I’m misunderstanding you. I think you’re off the mark here. I’ve read that statement several times and it continues to seem to me that he’s saying just what many skeptics assume he’s saying ….that climate change due to Co2 is bad, very bad, and that no matter what we do it’s already too late to escape some (presumably pretty negative) effects. Many folks think this is not yet proven, or even strongly indicated by real world evidence.

    One has to take his statement in the context of his general quite alarmist position. In other words, time to stop debating and start acting (mitigating).

    • Of course, pg, but I’d correct ‘acting(mitigating)’ to ‘adapting to a warmer, better world, mitigating only if a necessary or useful geoengineering ploy’.

      Hey, I’m sposet not to be verbose. Jes object to your use of ‘mitigate’, as it’s so often used to help demonize CO2, our fortunately miraculous gas.
      ==============

    • pokerguy,

      The meaning of the term “climate change” depends on how the CAGW advocates are trying to use it at the time. What they usually mean by the term is CAGW. When they are trying to discredit the arguments of skeptics, like here, the meaning morphs (temporarily) to mean that “climate changes” in the generic sense of the term.

      Just as when they claim skeptics are “climate change” deniers, which to those who understand the politics of the debate know to mean CAGW, but to the public makes it seem that skeptics deny that climate changes. It is the ability to use such bait and switch tactics that makes them so fond of the term.

      It’s a dodge that doesn’t work much any more, but they just can’t help themselves.

      • Agreed Gary. They’re a slippery bunch. While we’re nothing but a bunch of danged climate deniers.

        Which is kinda comforting when you think about it. How can something change when it doesn’t exist in the first place?

        I deny my own denial.

    • pokerguy –

      I admit that it easy to interpret Gleick’s comment as saying it’ll be “bad bad and badder than bad”, but it actually doesn’t. Not on it’s own. It just says there will be some impacts of humanity’s effect on the climate. Yes, I know he doesn’t mean “splendid” like he would if he was sensible, but he still only says some, which is trivially true.

      He’s maybe being alarmist but we have to do a lot of imagining to help him out because he didn’t put it in the words.

      I see people being misrepresented all over the place, but to take that whole statement and abbreviate it to “the debate is over” – to deliberately give the impression that it means the debate about climate change itself is over – is dishonest. There’s plenty of other stuff to use – why basically make stuff up?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Full speed ahead – damn the torpedoes. Send them to hell fellas. Damned warministas – ain’t no call to take prisoners.

      No surrender – no retreat – no remorse

  35. A post about an error in WUWT’s Solar omission fraud post.
    http://nailsandcoffins.blogspot.com/2012/02/wuwts-solar-omission-fraud.html

    • Chief Hydrologist

      So I don’t know what the problem is – Usoskin et al use a couple of temp reconstructions to correlate with berlyium 10?

      The warming from 1979 was from clouds not the sun notably.

      Idiot

  36. “JC comment: this seems to be an appropriate and measured response. I haven’t seen this discussed in blogosphere, after Mashey and DeepClimate made such a big deal of this. I guess they don’t want to do a side by side comparison of Wegman and Gleick…”

    The obvious place for you to look would have been Deep Climate, which posted about the Wegman plagiarism finding on Feb 22:
    http://deepclimate.org/2012/02/22/gmu-contradictory-decisions-on-wegman-plagiarism-in-csda-but-not-in-congressional-report/

    Stoat also has it:

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/02/wegman_plagiarism_again.php

    So your sleazy speculation about motives is unfounded.

  37. Wall Street op-ed by 16 scientists: Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming :

    “””Trenberth et al. tell us that the managements of major national academies of science have said that “the science is clear, the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible.” Apparently every generation of humanity needs to relearn that Mother Nature tells us what the science is, not authoritarian academy bureaucrats or computer models.””” {the over use of bold emphasis mine-JW}

    “””One reason to be on guard, as we explained in our original op-ed, is that motives other than objective science are at work in much of the scientific establishment. All of us are members of major academies and scientific societies, but we urge Journal readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements—on what we say—but to follow the motto of the Royal Society of Great Britain, one of the oldest learned societies in the world: nullius in verba—take nobody’s word for it. As we said in our op-ed, everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that don’t fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter, [ . . . ] “”” {the over use of bold emphasis mine – JW}

    I appreciated the ‘16’ scientist’s recommendation that their own scientific statements in the WSJ op-ed letter should not be taken by fellow thinkers as authoritative per se. And I appreciated their recommendation not to take Trenberth’s statements as authoritative per se.

    There is another way that I have liked (for a long time) to put that recommendation by the ‘16’ scientists. You cannot avoid being your own intellectual protector if you want to confirm objectivity.

    John

  38. Dr. Curry: The link to, The View from Here, Musings of Hilary, is a good read. It is thoughtful and stimulating. It would be well that the activists on both sides of the climate issue read what she produced, while her theme focused on the Heartlandgate issue, the lesson she gives can equally be applied to skeptic activists who blindly recite a mantra in a state of brain inactivity without digesting on the meat in the source. It is like reading the abstract of a paper without studying the text within or checking the references or looking at other papers. Ideas are developed through a thought process and I have found that to understand what the author(s) are writing and concluding demands that you follow their reasoning before you can criticize their conclusions. It seems that todays climate science in caught up in a culture that has decided that it doesn’t like the conclusion of a “who done it” book before they have read it and because they knew the answer beforehand and someone else has said that the book is not worth the read. I appreciate your careful selection of themes and proponents. I can only hope that your contributors will present their ideas in thoughtful colorful musical arrays with a melodic set of vibrations. The dissonance is growing old.

  39. I would like to comment on the story about the shrinking ‘horses’, because it really has a strong bearing on another theme here, how science is rapidly becoming increasingly politicized and dysfunctional. Today science, even Paleontology it seems, must follow the CAGW party line to be funded. So how do you do this, after all in real research you can never be sure that you get the “right” results? Simple, you re-hash research that has already been done (i. e. you know the result you will get) and give it a nice CAGW spin, at least in the press release, which is after all the only thing that the MSM (and probably the funding agency too) will ever read.

    That many (but not all) animals grow larger in a cold climate and smaller in a warm climate has been known since the nineteenth century (it is known as “Bergmanns Rule” after the german zoologist who first formulated it explicitly in 1847). It can even be used for rough dating of some Pleistocene fossils since for some species it is possible to judge whether the fossils are glacial or interglacial on size alone.
    That this effect is quite pronounced during the PETM for some mammals from the Polecat Bench in Wyoming has been known for more than 20 years and is mentioned in textbooks in vertebrate paleontology. The classic paper on the subject is: Gingerich, P.D., 1989, New earliest Wasatchian mammalian fauna from the Eocene of northwestern Wyoming: Composition and diversity in a rarely sampled high-floodplain assemblage: University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology, v. 28, p. 1–97, and he reviewed and extended it in 2003 as: Mammalian responses to climate change at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary: Polecat Bench record in the northern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. Geological Society of America Special Paper 369. Notice that the title has been “sexed up” quite a bit between 1989 and 2003. In the later paper size chane in Sifrhippus (then known as Hyracotherium) is even discussed specifically:

    “Thus, the body size pattern for Hyracotherium through the Wa-0 to Wa-2 part of the record is similar to that for Ectocion and Copecion, with H. sandrae being a conspicuous outlier in having a body weight estimated to have been only some 60% the weight of its more common and longer-ranging congener H. grangeri. There are no differences known to distinguish H. sandrae from H. grangeri except size.”

    And the size changes are illustrated on p. 473.

    So all in all this new “research” is at the very least not particularly innovatory, and indeed might be considered as being close to plagiarism. It would have been much more interesting to see a study concerning the fact that despite PETM being a period of quite extreme warming two thirds of the contemporary mammals did not change in size, and what differentiates “shrinking” and “non-shrinking” lineages. But that would require real research.

  40. Is a model a falsifiable hypothesis? Yes.
    In the real world drug companies have to, a prior, state what the effects their drugs will have on a population and state, in advance, what statistical analysis will be used.
    I they claim 2mg/m2/day will drop blood glucose by 2 mM and it only falls by 0.5mM THEY HAVE FAILED.
    If they do not find a sub-atomic particle between 115 and 180 GeV/c2, then the Standard Model of physics is wrong and Higg’s and co-workers are wrong. If they find something at 213 GeV/c2 it is outside the standard model envelope and not a Higgs Boson.
    At the moment Hansen’s predictions are being falsified in two ways, firstly by nature, which shows that the Earth is not warming at anywhere the rate predicted. Secondly, it is being falsified by people like Gavin over at RC. They taking the original projection, then recasting it in light of their predicted changes in methane generation, volcanoes and ocean heat transfers. After completely altering Hansen’s line-shape so it fits more closely with the actual temperature, they declare Hansen confirmed.
    Either the climate models get future temperature RATE changes correct with 95% confidence limits, over a sustained period, or they don’t.

    • “I they claim 2mg/m2/day will drop blood glucose by 2 mM and it only falls by 0.5mM THEY HAVE FAILED.”

      The analogy is that 1mg/m2/day is used and blood glucose drops by 1mM and then “skeptics” say:

      “aha! it didn’t drop 2mM. The theory is falsified!”

  41. Brian H, didn’t you see ‘whole new and wholesome meaning’? Magnifico! The whole thing by Hilary bravura.
    =====================

  42. Part of the so-called “tepid” response from RC was to ask for error bars which were missing from their one graph. RC helpfully provided them and it undermines this graph completely. No wonder they didn’t show the error bars, but even more worrying is that these 16 skeptics who want to emphasize uncertainty are not consistent in providing it themselves.

    • RC helpfully provided them and it undermines this graph completely

      Oh dear,the error bars are the problem ie uncertainty,that they clearly show an increase in the “error” since the millenium of now around +/-.5c .

      This is the foremost problem succinctly posed by Ghil 2008 at the Euler conference.

      As the relatively new science of climate dynamics evolved through the 1980s and 1990s, it became quite clear from observational data, both instrumental and paleoclimatic, as well as model studies| that Earth’s climate never was and is unlikely to ever be in equilibrium. The three successive IPCC reports (1991 [2], 1996, and 2001 [3]) concentrated therefore, in addition to estimates of equilibrium sensitivity, on estimates of climate change over the 21st century, based on several scenarios of CO2 increase over this time interval, and using up to 18 general circulation models (GCMs) in the fourth IPCC Assessment Report (AR4) [4].

      The GCM results of temperature increase over the coming 100 years have stubbornly resisted any narrowing of the range of estimates, with results for Ts in 2100 as low as 1:4 K or as high as 5:8 K, according to the Third Assessment Report. The hope in the research leading up to the AR4 was that a set of suitably defined better GCMs” would exhibit a narrower range of year-2100 estimates, but this does not seem to have been the case.

      The difficulty in narrowing the range of estimates for either equilibrium sensitivity of climate or for end-of-the-century temperatures is clearly connected to the complexity of the climate system, the multiplicity and nonlinearity of the processes and feedbacks it contains, and the obstacles to a faithful representation of these processes and feedbacks in GCMs. The practice of the science and engineering of GCMs over several decades has amply demonstrated that any addition or change in the model’s parametrizations” i.e., of the representation of subgrid-scale processes in terms of the model’s explicit, large-scale variables may result in noticeable changes in the model solutions’ behavior

      Nice of RC to confirm the suspicions unequivocally.,

      • I think they added error bars mostly for natural variability because in the short range those are bigger than model uncertainty. Thanks for allowing me to clarify. It is true that skeptics don’t think natural variability matters for this last decade, but I would push them to think about it a little more, and to be more consistent with what they thought was important in the past.

    • @Jim D
      If the folks at RC are so concerned with error bars then mayhaps they should require them in the IPCC reports or have you not read our hostess’ various writings on “The Uncertainty Monster”?

      • Yes, error bars would have prevented a lot of the nonsense skeptics brought up like this type of graphic. I am sure they learned from this.

    • Trenberth has said that the AR5 models will have:

      “..more realistic simulations of the climate system, but it will also introduce uncertainties.”

      He goes on to say:

      “So here is my prediction: the uncertainty in AR5’s climate predictions and projections will be much greater than in previous IPCC reports, primarily because of the factors noted above. This could present a major problem for public understanding of climate change. Is it not a reasonable expectation that as knowledge and understanding increase over time, uncertainty should decrease? But while our knowledge of certain factors does increase, so does our understanding of factors we previously did not account for or even recognize.”

      http://www.nature.com/climate/2010/1002/full/climate.2010.06.html

      Fine, but the error bars cited at RC are already most of a degree (0.1 to 0.9C). If they go up again for AR5, it would indeed be truly dramatic if the real world data slips outside the error bars?

      The ‘gang of 16’ were attacked for including the 1990 IPCC projection, as the models have improved since then. So, in 20 years, when the models include more parameters and uncertainties, will we be told ‘don’t include those projections from the 2000s – they’re ancient and wrong’.? I hope so, but then what’s the point of the models?

      PS: I tried to tactfully ask this at RC, but got bounced as usual. This is the last time – the b***ards can talk amongst themselves now.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The bases for judging (models) are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ James McWilliams

        They really are in a hard place. It’s seems impossible in the short term to both increase versimilitude and decrease the range of plausible inputs and thus model instability. But on the other hand – the solution is determined on the basis of the plausibility of a posteriori solution behavior. Funny as. Let’s see – eeny, meeny, miney, mo – we expect warming to be 3.0 degrees this century so this solution from the horrendously expensive super-computer looks plausible.

        The space cadets who continue to insist that this is in anyway a believable scam are a joke in poor taste.

      • Chief,

        My ultra-sophisticated model (I threw bits of paper incribed with numbers at the cat, and checked which one he ended up clutching) says that global temperature in 2100 will be current + 1C +/- 5C.

        Do I get a grant? The cat is cheaper to run than a supercomputer.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Put it in a box with some knobs on the front – you can recycle Freddie and Jimbo for this – call it Schrödinger and you’ve got a deal.

  43. I don’t know if anyone has linked this yet, but Rick Rinehart writes in the American Thinker (http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/scientists_behaving_badly.html):
    “Standing above it all, thank goodness, is a scientist who recalls the honor of Walter Orr Roberts and Jack Eddy: Judith Curry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Not sold on either the skeptic’s position or that of the IPCC, she is the adult in the room when the food fights start to break out in the climate kindergarten. Her response to the Gleick confession was to write a thoughtful blog on the meaning of “integrity,” though her disappointment with Gleick is palpable. She writes, “Gleick’s ‘integrity’ seems to have nothing to do with scientific integrity, but rather loyalty to and consistency with what I have called the UNFCCC/IPCC ideology.” Furthermore, students at Georgia Tech can take courses from Curry and others that present divergent points of view on the current climate controversy and, in an exercise in critical thinking, decide for themselves. How wonderfully sane and, dare I say, dignified.

    She gets my vote for the next director of NCAR.”

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/scientists_behaving_badly.html

  44. We can get an estimate of pre-Keeling [CO2] from Boden estimates of human induced CO2 release and splice it to Keeling. A plot of [CO2] and GISS temperature anomaly is at the top.

    A plot of Temperature (from GISS) vs LN([CO2]) should be linear, with noise, and from the slope one could directly measure the climate sensitivity (LN(280)-LN(540))*slope; about 2.2 degrees per doubling (middle plot).
    Then plot GISS and GISS minus modeled CO2*sensitivity (bottom plot).
    The bottom plot shows that from 1882 to 2008 we have forty years, 1907 to 1947, where the temperature of the ‘flat’ data sets shows a 1.0 degree/c-1 rise.
    So 40 years of a rising or declining temperature, in a 126 year period, is normal.
    So, rule of thumb, is that one third of the time you may be living through a period where the temperature is going to give you a 1 degree per century change that will last for decades.
    So what are the odds of observing 20 years of 2 degrees per century?

  45. Rinehart’s piece is a thing of beauty. A year ago I was convinced we had many years to go in the climate wars. Now I’ve the strong impression that things are coming to a key flexion point.. A climate denier has no greater friend than the more fanatical warmists. From the piece:

    “But what is most disturbing about the “team” of “warmist” scientists who try to regulate the climate conversation is that they tend to be profoundly disagreeable people who resort to sophomoric tactics to undermine dissent. The most egregious of these is to call anyone who questions the role of CO2 in climate variability a “climate change denier.”

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/scientists_behaving_badly.html#ixzz1nR0ytZ36

    • In fact, sophomoric and disagreeable people seem to stand out in their assumed roles of victims in any situation where the left (and left-corrupted climate-science) fails to win ground. I go back to the “hanging chads” incident, which illustrated to me the tendency of the left to be very bad, rationalizing losers, while those on the right who don’t place first generally take it on the chin, rather than blame the evil of the other side. The pinnacle of feigned outrage often involves the future safety and well-being of future generations, mother earth, or simply name-calling. Which begat Godwin’s Law, I’m sure. Spare me the whining and get back to scientific principles.

  46. Judith Curry

    Thanks for bringing this interesting exchange in the ongoing debate.

    The second WSJ paper “hits the nail on the head”, as you wtite, while the RC rebuttal is “tepid”.

    The strongest point IMO is the comparison of IPCC forecasts with the actual physical observations.

    This has been the weak link in the chain of evidence presented by IPCC for its CAGW premise all along. And the WSJ article points this out while RC has a hard time refuting it.

    Max

  47. I agree that the responses to “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” were unimpressive and that the resulting “”Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming” was an out of the park bases loaded home run which recieved even less impressive response to date.

    Obviously the finding against Wegman was essentially a witch hunt so typical of those determined to force their views on the rest of us without regard to truth, logic or scientific method and the review that concluded he engaged in paraphrasing was a balanced and appropriate response. Should he have perhaps been a bit more generous in his attribution? Well, that depends. I say a lot of things all the time, which, when I later read various published works for the first time, could be accurately called “paraphrased summaries” of what I see there AFTER I make the remarks.

    And I believe you are correct in concluding that nobody wants a head to head comparison of Wegman and Gleick because it would only serve to further highlight the worst aspects of climate alarmism and the fact those who engage in it clearly must know the weakness of their positions, which is the only explanation of why they keep making such serious errors in judgement and practice.

    And here’s an example of the very “paraphrasing” I was talking about: One of my main complainst about climate alarmism has been that it results in important research topics being ignored and thus not funded adequately. When I say this I am ridiculed, yet clearly your own comments show how right I was, not that me being right is significant in any way. That is not and never was the issue.

    I, too, am already more than exhausted by all things Gleick, so I’ll simply say that your links are great and really the only thing left to finish that matter off is for Glieck, or whoever, to come forward and admit they forged the one document that clearly did not come from Heartland but rather was deliberately manufactured in a blatant, failed attempt to smear them.

    The problem with your last link suggesting humans may be on the verge of getting smaller is that the author fails to understand two key facts, both of which also apply to the questions of the roles CO2 and humans play, or don’t, in atmospheric and climate changes which we see happening today. Those facts are that coincidence is no proof of causation nor can one simply pick one thing from hat A (potential causes) and another from hat B (potential effects) and jump to the conclusion that there is a link without being dismissed as foolish.

    Unfortunately, Philip Gingerich exposes one of the key fallacies that I keep running into when he says “there’s not a lot of place to move anymore”. Obviously he’s not that skilled with publicly available tools such as GOOGLE EARTH, which can show in mere moments that there are in fact many places to move to. In fact I found a website that gives one of my personal choices for the so-called “occupy” groups: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/comrades-we-must-get-behind-this-new-protest-movement-t7961.html

    • Steve Milesworthy

      The difference between Gleick and Wegner is that almost all climate scientist who have expressed opinion have indicated they think that Gleick’s actions were wrong for a (criminal???) act outside of his scholarship activities and he has acknowledged he did wrong (albeit with some lame self-justification), whereas Wegner seems still to be defended even when what he has done strikes to the very heart of his scholarship, to the point where he has had a paper retracted and narrowly (goodness knows how) avoided a misconduct charge.

      • ‘what he has done strikes to the very heart of his scholarship, to the point where he has had a paper retracted and narrowly (goodness knows how) avoided a misconduct charge’
        He was accused of plagiarizing his introduction, including from papers he referenced and from open sources.
        Pity that the same standard is not universally applied.

      • Taking excessively long excerpts from a source without specific permission is a violation of intellectual rights of the original author (or the copyright holder). Giving a reference does not change that. Furthermore it must be made clear what exactly is an excerpt and what is not.

        It seems clear that Wegman has violated these principles.

  48. “The Trenberth letter tells us that decarbonization of the world’s economy would “drive decades of economic growth.” This is not a scientific statement nor is there evidence it is true. A premature global-scale transition from hydrocarbon fuels would require massive government intervention to support the deployment of more expensive energy technology.”

    I would say if you want to “drive decades of economic growth” and not have world that needs hydrocarbon or even nuclear energy usage. Or you want a “global-scale transition from hydrocarbon fuels”. There is but one path.

    And this path is the exploration of space.
    We need to explore the Moon and explore beyond the Moon.
    When the president says we have already explored the Moon- it indicates a lack of understanding of what exploration is. To illustrate this, one can explore the Antarctic after people race to the southern pole. The race to the southern pole was not really about exploration- it about a race. Yes, some exploration was done, but the when race is finished it doesn’t mean exploration of the Antarctic is finished. And to continue the analogy, even if you fly satellites or planes over the Antarctic, it doesn’t mean one is finished exploring the continent.
    With the Moon 40 years ago, we had a race to the Moon. Included in this race was scientific exploration. The significant of this manned lunar exploration was greater understanding of the Moon and Earth. Scientific haul from this adventure was of the scale of discovering America. It had significant impact on our understanding of “the world we live in”.
    BUT it should kept in mind that we didn’t go to the Moon to explore it, and we certainly did it explore the Moon. We were successful in winning the race to the Moon- and there were many benefits which result from this race or “stunt”.
    To illustrate to degree in which the Moon was not explored, nor much effort
    was required to be expended towards exploration. It was theorized that there could ice at the polar region way back in 1961: “”Lunar ice” might sound a little strange to many people, but it didn’t sound so strange to three Caltech researchers who, in 1961, suggested a few plausible arguments for its existence.”
    http://lunar.arc.nasa.gov/results/ice/index.htm

    So this was known as possible by some before the Apollo program.
    It took until 1998, with the Lunar Prospector, to actually confirm this possiblity [which was also disputed, btw, is still is to some extent].
    Lunar Prospector was one of the cheapest NASA missions ever to fly- it had to be cheap to get it approval, as there were considered to be things with a much higher priority and idea that “the Moon had already been explored”, wasn’t a view limited to the current US President.
    Following the Lunar Prospector, there has quite few lunar missions by NASA and India, Europe, and Japan. And NASA has the LRO flying the Moon at the moment. Part of the LRO mission was impactor which impacted a dark crater, which provided some best evident that indeed there is water in the dark craters of the Moon [and other volatiles, such CO2 and methane]. So we have good reasons to assume there is water in polar regions on the Moon. But we have really explore the Moon in this regard.
    We need to explore the Moon to determine whether lunar water is minable, rather than some scientific interesting idea.
    So we have flown over America, noticed grass grows in the flyover states, but can this land be actually farmed- that hasn’t been explored.

    And there is some debate over how the moon should explored- the Robot vs Manned debate. It’s actually a silly debate, the answer is both. As with Apollo program there was both Manned and robotic exploration, prior to Manned aspect of mission- there was more robotic mission [in terms sheer numbers] to the Moon than any robotic mission anywhere since that time. They had various purposes, but a main one was understand enough so it lowers the risks of a manned program.
    And btw, few argue that if want to thoroughly explore an area, one should send knowledgeable crew- if you can.

    Now, I imagine most people would say, why this important and isn’t NASA doing it’s job. Well it’s vastly important and no, NASA is not doing it’s job.
    It took NASA 40 year to discover water in the Moon. Why isn’t that enough evidence by itself to prove NASA is not and has not been doing it’s job? And you have President that says the we have already gone to the Moon- been there done that. And his idea is we should go to asteroid by 2025. No one bother to say which asteroid, just some asteroid, and basically something beyond his term in the White House and there better things to worry about.

    Now, the other common objection is it cost too much.
    I will make it simple, you could reduce NASA yearly budget and STILL do a Manned Lunar mission. It’s not about money- it’s about direction and even more important than direction. What is important is that people understand that space exploration is worth some attention.

    Which leads to why does space exploration warrant some public attention. First one needs realize NASA hasn’t focus any significant amount of it’s time or budget exploring space. Instead the focus has on maintaining a jobs program- and doing whatever to forward this agenda, in other words bureaucrats are focused on keeping their jobs. And NASA is scattered all over the place and is important as job program for some members of congress. Ultimately, space is not important to Congress but is important to some of members where NASA money is involved. So job program is what is important for a few of them, and space exploration not vaguely important. The people working NASA are interested in space exploration, but there sort of school teachers- the administration are less interested. Or in other words NASA is like all government, kind of like IPCC or UN. But NASA is also like the Military- they can actually do something- land troops on a beach. But if one allows NASA to wander around, it does that.
    Apollo gave NASA a direction- but we don’t another stunt like Apollo, we need exploration as the focus.

    • gbaikie:

      +1. So very much +1.

      And if a fraction of the money spent on stupid energy subsidies were diverted into exploration, we’d have the solar system in short order.

      We have become so inward-looking and scared in the last few decades, pushed by the alarmists and neo-Mals. So dreams are on hold while we run round in circles trying to figure out how to “save the bleeping planet’, when the planet gives no indication of needing saving.

      Wasted decades…

      • cui bono –

        Don’t get depressed – you’ll start sounding like the neo-mals. The important thing is that everything is actually spiffing and splendiferous despite the doomsayers and endians and catastrophers :)

      • “cui bono –

        Don’t get depressed – you’ll start sounding like the neo-mals. The important thing is that everything is actually spiffing and splendiferous despite the doomsayers and endians and catastrophers ”

        Yes. There is a lot to be optimistic about. Regarding society in general and regarding the present and future of space exploration.
        To list some that find encouraging
        There good chance ISS will more fully utilized in the future- and has had fair amount success so far.
        SpaceX and it’s various successes.
        Sub-orbital travel/rides taking longer than hoped, but seems going forward.
        Mars rover is on it’s way- but the hard part is to come.
        Spacecraft in orbit of Mercury.
        Spacecraft going eventually to Ceres.
        New Horizon going to Pluto.
        Some political headway on using fuel depots in last couple years.
        US Commercial Crew to ISS is slow to come about- though it was almost unthinkable we could have this 5-10 years ago

  49. Markus Fitzhenry

    What is wrong with my Gleicken brothers
    That they hate our Mother so much
    Why do they fear her wrath
    Better that they trust her love
    Is it for her cause or theirs, that they demonise her wealth
    She gave life, she nurtured, she loves and comforts
    She gave us free to the universe and accepts us back
    What is wrong with my Gleicken brothers
    That they hate our Earth so much

  50. Yes, their second WSJ article is excellent:

    The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost.

    Here is research result from NASA that support the above conclusion:


    Since the late 1970s, the amount of solar radiation the sun emits, during times of quiet sunspot activity, has increased by nearly .05 percent per decade, according to a NASA funded study.

    “This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause significant climate change,” said Richard Willson, a researcher affiliated with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, New York. He is the lead author of the study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.

    “If a trend, comparable to the one found in this study, persisted throughout the 20th century, it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years,”

    http://1.usa.gov/2fXWYH

  51. But what is most disturbing about the “team” of “warmist” scientists who try to regulate the climate conversation is that they tend to be profoundly disagreeable people who resort to sophomoric tactics to undermine dissent. The most egregious of these is to call anyone who questions the role of CO2 in climate variability a “climate change denier.”

    http://bit.ly/A1Kio8

    Climate always changes => http://bit.ly/zOBuuw

    Who can deny that?

  52. Here’s an educational suggestion, Judith – as Michael (“reporting the null hypothesis doesn’t do much for your cite count”) Tobis has pointed out, scientists have a strong disincentive to follow Feynman and challenge orthodoxy, since it is more likely to harm, than help their careers.

    Why not offer your students a prize for the best attempt, SUCCESSFUL OR NOT, to disconfirm a ‘consensus’ hypothesis?

    You could call it the Richard Feynman prize.

    Or you could call it the Judith Curry Prize. I would.

    • Tom

      How much is the accompanyn huge cash bonus that goes with the award? Although of course I would want to win it for the prestige-not the huge cash bonus.

      tonyb,.

  53. Rick Rinehart at AT

    …students at Georgia Tech can take courses from Curry and others that present divergent points of view on the current climate controversy and, in an exercise in critical thinking, decide for themselves. How wonderfully sane and, dare I say, dignified.

    She [JC] gets my vote for the next director of NCAR.

    I second Rick!

  54. Chief Hydrologist

    Freddo, Jimbo, numbnut and others have an idée fixe – that’s why I call them space cadets. They are waiting for the spaceship to arrive and will never be convinced otherwise. It makes them incapable of processing information that conflicts with the AGW idée fixe. They are incapable, for instance, of understanding the equations of fluid motion and of thinking through the implications for climate models because this would conflict with the AGW groupthink – once you admit a doubt all is lost and you are no longer part of the tribe.

    Below – the left image shows diverging solutions from small initial variations. The right side indicates the potential for phase shift in the solution.

    I have discussed this here – and don’t want to repeat a too long post.

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/02/20/god-and-the-arrogant-species/#comment-172573

    Despite temporal complexity in models and spatio-temporal complexity in the Earth climate system – there is a simple energy budget for the planet.

    Energy in – Energy out = d(S)/dt – where d(S)/dt is the change in planetary heat content.

    The NODC is revising its site to include data to 2000m (Levitus et al in prep.) – until relatively recently it was thought that heat content below that 700m didn’t change much. It does, however, seem to. The mechanism might involve downwelling as evaporation in warmer condition creates saltier water allowing warmer water to descend. Bottom up turbulence is likely to be involved as deep ocean currents move over deep ocean mountains and valleys.

    Heating of the ocean does not mean it was the result of AGG. This is a graph from Wong et al 2006 – the latest and hopefully last major revision of the ERBS data – showing a relationship between net power flux at TOA and ocean heat content. The ERBS positive net is the result of cloud changes – with cooling in the IR.

    Here is the original von Schuckmann result from argo.


    So we are looking at the period of 2003 to 2008 in ARGO data. Here we see what the Sun was doing between 2003 and 2008 – declining.

    Here in CERES data we see what was happening with outgoing energy

    IR went nowhere between 2003 and 2008 – SW changed enough to offset the cooling from a cooling Sun. There may have been some warming from AGG – but the obvious mover and shaker was the change in cloud cover. You just have to look at the data.

    Can we predict where cloud cover is going? Perhaps in general as cloud cover is inversely related to sea surface temperature (SST). Lower SST in both the Pacific and Atlantic seems likely for a decade or three more. Beyond mere generalisations – I think not – but it does mean that nearly everything that has been published on global warming is wrong. Beyond the fundamentally complex nature of climate and models to the interpretation of data in the simple energy balance. Space cadets for sure.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • Chief

      you mention in a post upthread the word ‘scam’. I think it was a bit of a throw away comment, but to me this is one of the key elements of the mess we are in. The space cadets like to think that they are superior due to their higher scientific understanding than numbnuts like me. I admit I don’t know a sigma from a delta. However, having ridden the solar orbiter for 60 full laps and having spent 30 of those laps in legal practice I know a scam when I see one. Nothing about mainstream climate science withstands the whiff test. Gleik is just another lamentable episode in the world’s longest running and most expensive soap opera. Science will prevail but probably not in my lifetime.

      Keep up the good work. Chris Colose needs a role model!

    • Thanks again Chief. In the time I have been visiting Judith’s blog I have learned more from your posts than from all the others combined (with the exception of our hostess (but frankly I would like to know more about her slant on AGW).

  55. My first comment on this blog, since I saw this and couldn’t help a response to this Fred Moolten:
    Fred Moolten | February 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Well, Matt, I suppose I’m getting some perverse satisfaction over this continued arguing about an inconsequential WSJ piece, because as I said elsewhere, it keeps giving me opportunities to put the words “dishonesty” and “WSJ-letter” into the same sentence. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was eminently justified, but I do.
    I’d say you’ve just demonstrated to everybody how dishonest you are, Mr. Moolton. Very Gleick-esque, if you ask me. And very much like a whole bunch of AGW Control Freaks that want all the science to themselves and respond with some of the most selfish, inaccurate rejoinders I’ve ever seen when the discussion or facts don’t go their way.

    Don’t worry–I won’t be back. There’s no reason to.

    • Rocky

      I think you found Fred on a bad day. He is normally quite reasonable. Defending a scam is not easy. And loonies like Gleik don’t help the ’cause’.

    • Never, never, never quit Rocky (your name says it all!). The truth will prevail.

  56. tty and the shrinking horses-
    Even more obvious and known to scientists, even before the time of Darwin, is the effect of changing climate on bird and other animal (including human) migrations. Here is a typical article-http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/25/global-warming-shifts-bird-migrations/ similar to one or two others that I see every week. I wonder how any academic could find a publiher for the rehash of what has been so well known for so long, and how any self-respecting biologist would actually write it. Of course, journalists and bloggers who don’t know any better refer to such articles as though they were new information. Darwin writes thoughtfully about weather, climate, migration, and colonization in 1859.
    Birds, especially, and other animals adapt very well to climate change and have done so for millions and millions of years. What they don’t adapt to well is the loss of habitat such as the clear cutting of tropical forest that is being exacerbated by the planting of palm oil monocultures, to supposedly create renewable energy and a sustainable future. The unintended consequences of reducing CO2 have created food poverty with human starvation and suffering, fuel poverty with human death and suffering, loss of tropical forests with other species death and suffering- all in the name of preventing climate catastrophe. As a conservationist, environmental educator, and center left politically, I’m depressed and disgusted.

  57. Professor Richard Lindzen
    On the debate on Climate Change

    Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

    http://tgr.ph/w7x3T8

  58. tty@2.56pm re Incredible shrinking Horse.’

    Trawlin’ down the memory hole…Say, what have we got here?

    Mann in white coat: Hmm maybe we can use that to………….?

  59. Markus Fitzhenry

    GATI, Nepal — Climate change is altering the face of the Himalayas, devastating farming communities and making Mount Everest increasingly treacherous to climb, some of the world’s top mountaineers have warned.

    Apa Sherpa, the Nepali climber who has conquered Mount Everest a record 21 times, said he was disturbed by the lack of snow on the world’s highest peak, caused by rising temperatures.

    “In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice but now most of it has just become bare rock. That, as a result, is causing more rockfalls which is a danger to the climbers,” he told AFP.

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/environment/2012/February/environment_February25.xml&section=environment
    ———–
    The Himalayan glaciers are almost gone you know, and it’s known as the third pole, landlocked, but still, well you know. Where do these mushrooms grow? The Society of Concerned Scientists are somewhat concerning.

    • Markus,

      Soon they will be able to go to the peak of Mt. Everest by boat. It’s worse than we thought.

  60. Fred
    So the WSJ article was deceptive because it showed older projections.
    Why then don’t you do us a newer one so we can look at them side-by-side, and see how much better (less bad) the new one is? And hence how much (little) of a deception it actually was.

  61. And let us also remember that the older projections the WSJ showed, which we now want to say are no good and wrongly put the ‘consensus’ is a bad light, were part and parcel of the “the science is settled” of the time.

  62. Six hundred years ago, the world was warm. Or maybe it wasn’t. What’s the truth? Beware. This question has recently been elevated from a mere scientific quandary to one of the hot (or cold) issues of modern politics. Argue in favor of the wrong answer and you risk being branded a liberal alarmist or a conservative Neanderthal. Or you might lose your job.

    http://bit.ly/yDvy6g

    • Girma;

      From that article, from the days (2003) when Muller was a more honest scientist:
      “I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.

      Love to believe? My own words make me shudder.”

  63. Response to Hilary’s ‘New Mantra:’

    Gatekeepers’ Song from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Something or Other.

    There’s no controversy here,
    Tra la, tra la, tra la la la,
    The world has everything to fear,
    Tra la, tra la, tra la la la,
    For the tipping point is near,
    Tra la,……………………..(Ho Hum.)

  64. Pacific Ocean Showing Signs of Major Shifts in the Climate
    January 20, 2000



    the satellite images do indeed signal the beginning of a new climatic regime in the Pacific, there will be “fewer and weaker El Niños and more La Niñas,” said Dr. Bill Patzert, a research oceanographer at the Pasadena laboratory.

    In the natural weather phenomenon known as La Niña, sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are lower than normal.

    This sets off a train of atmospheric events that affect weather patterns around the globe, especially in North America in the winter.

    Sea surface temperatures in general have a major effect on atmospheric circulation patterns, and in large measure govern where storms develop and cold and warm air masses go.

    El Niño is marked by abnormally high sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, which touches off a different set of winter weather consequences, often including heavy rains across the southern tier of the United States.

    La Niña and El Niño typically last a year or two, but there is also a longer-term natural oscillation going on in the Pacific, this one involving a flip-flop in sea-temperature patterns on a scale of decades.

    When the ocean flips from one of these states to another, Dr. Patzert said, “it resets the stage for the climate system; it provides a new background on which smaller events like El Niño and La Niña can occur.”

    In one of these alternating states of what is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, sea-surface temperatures are higher in the eastern equatorial Pacific but lower throughout much of the rest of the Pacific basin. That pattern predominated from the mid-1970’s through most of the 1990’s.

    It was also a period of more frequent and stronger editions of El Niño.

    Now, for the last two years, the opposite pattern has appeared: cooler water in the eastern tropical Pacific but warmer elsewhere.

    That pattern last predominated from the mid-1940’s to the mid-1970’s

    While Dr. Patzert and other scientists said they believed that a flip from one phase of the oscillation to another had occurred, they also said it was too soon to tell whether it represented a true shift from one multidecadal regime to the other.

    “There simply has not been enough time” since the shift took place, said Wayne Higgins, a senior meteorologist at the government’s Climate Prediction Center at Camp Springs, Md.

    Five to 10 additional years of data may be required, Mr. Higgins said.

    The shift is only two years old and whether it will last for a full 20 or 30 years remains to be seen.

    http://nyti.ms/lVpyNW

    Now it is 12-years since the above story, and the global mean temperature looks like this => http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

    Has the shift occurred, Wayne Higgins?

  65. For a really poor short term to mid-term forecasts, see the NOAA NINO 3.4 Ensemble Forecast- http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/enso/
    Just a few months ago the projection was for a -3 anomaly by summer!
    Now the projection is for a positive anomaly by summer!

  66. I don’t really understand why Dr. Curry would expect anyone to do “a side by side comparison of Wegman and Gleick” anyway. Gleick fooled the dishonest Heartland Institute into stupidly sending him some of their donor funding information. Wegman committed plagiarism, a serious academic crime, and this raises the question of whether Wegman also lied to Congress, which I believe is a serious crime. Not much parallel there.

    There is a better parallel to the Heartland documents/Gleick affair here:

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2012/02/25/one-girl-one-cup/

    • Holly Stick | February 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

      Gleick fooled the dishonest Heartland Institute into stupidly sending him some of their donor funding information.

      Wegman committed plagiarism, a serious academic crime

      – – – – – –

      Holly Stick,

      Let the academic punishment fit the academic deed. Wegman was sentenced to an academic reprimand in his file; which I do not downplay the seriousness of in context of an academic career. NOTE: I do not agree with the rationale for that sentence.

      Now, let Gleick’s criminal (not academic) punishment fit his legal (not academic) crimes when convicted of several serious crimes (not all of them known yet since it is still being investigated). The sentences will only be like jail and/or very crippling fines; will not be the horrendous one of reprimand in an academic file.

      Those open minded people of 10 yrs from now looking at Wegman’s file will understand it in its proper context of the climate science ’cause’ bullying in academia.

      Those same open minded people looking at Gleick’s police rap sheet (police) record and mugs shot will understand the same context. If he is a martyr then pity that ’cause’.

      John

      • Wow, John, are you trying to imply that Wegman was being bullied? No, John, historians studying Wegman will be able to get the full story about him from Deep Climate and other good researchers who rely on evidence, not ignorance and bigotry.

      • In the warped world Holly lives in it is not possible to commit a crime against Heartland, Now breaking academic rules, that is a very serious crime.

  67. Cassius: “A friendly eye could never see such faults.”

    Brutus: “A flatterer’s would not, though they do appear as huge as high Olympus.”

    (Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3)

    Perhaps it’s not worth belaboring an issue has already enjoyed more attention than it deserves, but rather than respond individually to a number of comments since yesterday, I’ll indulge in a few further words of reflection on the WSJ letter that received some praise in the above post. The subject – blinders, ideological and otherwise.

    If you look at the Hockey Stick articles, with or without excuses, the omission of the declining proxies during the 20th century warming is hard to interpret as anything other than an intent to deceive. No false statements were made, but lies are not necessary to leave a false impression. “Hide the decline” was a deception. Unless you are wearing ideological blinders.

    If you look at the WSJ letter, the inclusion of an outdated 1990 projection to support specifically the argument in the text that models make poor projections, with the implication that it doesn’t matter whether the models are old or current, and no discussion pro or con of the possibility that it does matter, is hard to interpret as anything other than an intent to deceive. Unless you are wearing ideological blinders.

    That was the gist of my argument. In neither case did I see the deception as subtle – a matter of alternative interpretations of ambiguous wordings. To my eye, the intent was clear and striking in both instances, although the means of deception are different.

    Nor does it matter whether the authors’ conclusions are right or wrong – whether the Hockey Stick was a true record of past temperatures, or climate models are still as inadequate as the WSJ letter claims. Those are legitimate topics, but the topic here is the presentation of evidence in such a way as to give a false impression.

    But maybe that is not how the WSJ letter was seen by those looking through opaque lenses, and that is the troubling feature of the original praise, and perhaps of some of the subsequent commentary, although blind partisanship on the part of a few readers shouldn’t be a surprise. For those, unsurprisingly, explanations are futile, but one would hope the explanations might inspire some introspection in others who have followed this issue, and who understand that with sufficient ingenuity, one can rationalize something wrong but not wipe away the wrongness.

    The WSJ letter reflects, I believe, no credit on the signatories, but in the long run, it will be inconsequential. It probably is already. However, what the responses to it say about our ability to see clearly when clarity conflicts with belief is something that each of us should examine with the clear eye of introspection. I now need to do that, and so does everyone else who has commented, but we should probably confine what we conclude to the privacy of our conscience, to avoid the pressure to publicly conform our conclusions to our previous positions.

    • Keep fooling yourself, Fred, you’re fooling fewer here.
      ==============

    • Fred –

      I fundamentally agree with what you say. It is prevalent if not ubiquitous throughout the climate debate (among others)

      To pick one aspect of the WSJ article, I don’t think the implication that the 1990 models were at fault holds much water. I’ve been quite vociferous over at RC in the last few days saying that what was poorly projected in 1990 was the GHG forcing, or if you like, the actual BAU emissions. The model for the central FAR prediction used a climate sensitivity of 2.5C/2xCo2 which would be considered reasonable today. So what was (apparently) in error was the emissions scenario. The estimate of what would happen “If few or no steps were taken to reduce GHG emissions” was wrong – particularly for non-Co2 emissions.

      It still leaves people like myself to argue that the error was significant – especially because as Dr Curry points out, it was on the basis of the FAR predictions that the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was signed. The apologists at RC (and more particularly at SkS) say it doesn’t matter that the predictions were very wrong – it is only the model that it important.

      In fact SkS end their review of the accuracy of the FAR predictions with this statement

      even two decades ago, global climate models were making very accurate projections of future global warming.

      – having not mentioned the actual prediction of the FAR [or any prediction at all!!] even once.

      This may say something about my perspective, but I think that exceeds the dishonesty in the both Hockey Stick and the WSJ article.

    • “If you look at the WSJ letter, the inclusion of an outdated 1990 projection to support specifically the argument in the text that models make poor projections, with the implication that it doesn’t matter whether the models are old or current, and no discussion pro or con of the possibility that it does matter, is hard to interpret as anything other than an intent to deceive. Unless you are wearing ideological blinders”

      Fred. Wait one moment and analyze why the ‘1990 projection, is ‘poor’.. The project failed because it did not match reality, nothing more and nothing less. Had the actual temperature tracked perfectly, then you would be hailing it as proof of mans mastery of complex climatic simulation.
      The model failed because it failed to match reality. We can only know if the current generation of models are any better that those from a decade earlier by matching them to future events.
      If we think of a model as complex hypothesis, then the experimental data-set, the measured Earth temperature, shows that the hypothesis failed.
      In most fields of scientific failure is acknowledged, the failure mode is identified, though is given to the underlying methodology and review articles explicitly draw attention to the failure.

      Have a look at this piece from Nature

      http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v10/n5/full/nrd3439.html

      “Trial watch: Phase II failures: 2008–2010”
      ‘the CMR International Global R&D database reveals that the Phase II success rates for new development projects have fallen from 28% (2006–2007) to 18% (2008–2009)’

      In my field, failure is normal. Painful, but normal. We do not alter our data, invent new statistical methods to make out results look better, black-ball investigators who get data we would rather not see published, nor do we have a ‘rapid response unit’ and a carefully moderated blog to publish only puff pieces.

      It is science Fred, failure is normal, you take your bollocking and move on.

      • The performance of models is a separate subject from the honesty of the WSJ authors.

      • Doc, This is a good point. In climate science, failure of models is acknowledged if at all in a footnote. And at Real Climate and Skeptical Science, there are endless rationalizations that “it was just the scenarios” when its well known that this is only part of the story. The Hockey Stick is still defended to this day. The most honest response I’ve seen is Fred’s idea that its irrelevant. That’s still not the true picture, given the way the HS became an icon of the “cause.” I actually think it might be pretty relevant to such issues as whether the current warming rate is “unprecedented” and that’s I think relevant to what the amplitude of natural variation is. There has never been an honest accounting or acknowledgment of the problems here. And one wonders why people from other fields don’t trust climate science!! It would be a simple matter for Mann to write a letter to Nature acknowledging the problems. At that point, he has two options. Rework the results with honest methods, or just move on to more important issues. Mann might find that most people respect someone who can admit a mistake.

    • “It is not the bare words, but the scope of the writer that giveth the true light, by which any writing is to bee interpreted, and they that insist on single Texts, without considering the main Designe, can derive no thing from them clearly; but rather by casting atomes of Scripture as dust before men’s eyes, make everything more obscure than it is; an ordinary artifice of those who seek not the truth, but their own advantage.” Thomas Hobbs, Leviathan.

      Fred, You continue to dig a deeper hole. Now, those who disagree with you are blinded by partisanship and looking through opaque glasses. But Fred is a model of scientific rectitude and objectivity. What self-righteous nonsense. And then to top it off, you acknowledge that the WSJ editorial is of little significance. But Fred likes to spend time arguing irrelevancies. :-)

      For you Fred, let me repeat very clearly:

      1. The “hide the decline” issue was important because it involved hiding something that could throw doubt on a whole portion of the peer reviewed literature, namely, the use of tree rings for paleoclimate reconstructions. Since you claim this is a small point, I would note that its the “proof” of high sensitivity that Gavin Schmidt relies on when the models are challenged. So, its a critical issue. As you acknowledge, the WSJ editorial has no such relevance, its the opinion of 16 scientists.

      2. The WSJ figure makes an important point besides the one cited explicitly. That point is that models have evolved over time and that earlier models were too sensitive to forcings. One can look at GISS as an obvious example, where much mendacious nonsense has been put forward that the scenarios were wrong and that explains it while ignoring the fact that the sensitivity of the model was 50% higher than the latest GISS model. The figure also implies to me and I think to most observers that models have indeed gotten closer to matching the data as time has evolved. Thus, the figure serves to make several points, something that perhaps the simple minded are unable to comprehend.

      3. The lack of error bars is a more substantive criticism. But I note that even with inclusion of the model ranges for the 2007 report, the observations are tending toward the lower end.

      4. It’s a short editorial in a newspaper! Its bound to leave out a lot of information people on the other side of the issue think is relevant.

      This is one of the disturbing aspects of the climate establishment’s approach to the debate, namely, the name calling, imputation of motive, and reading people’s minds, all of no help to resolving anything. It makes you feel better momentarily, but is ultimately counterproductive.

      Affectionately,

      • David – I think my responses to your points have already been given in yesterday’s comments. I don’t know of anything to add now, and I prefer not to repeat what’s been said before. To me, the deceptiveness in the WSJ letter remains blatant, regardless of their position on modeling. I’ll continue to review that in my own mind, but I haven’t seen any new perspective offered by others that would yet alter my conclusion.

      • Sorry, I misstated the paleoclimate constraint on sensitivity issue. Schmidt and Hansen rely on analyses of the climate 26,000 years ago, not on tree ring studies. The tree ring reconstructions are probably of secondary even though not insignificant importance. The main issue is just the importance of “natural” variability as measured by the last few thousand years of history.

      • Does anyone really think we know the global average annual temperature thousands of years ago, when even today’s datasets don’t agree? The claim is preposterous. The uncertainties must be several degrees C.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Fred Moolten: Nor does it matter whether the authors’ conclusions are right or wrong

      Really? Are you seriously asserting that the authors’ letter is equally deceitful even if their conclusions are correct?

  68. Fred writes : “although blind partisanship on the part of a few readers shouldn’t be a surprise. ”

    Hey there Fred. We all suffer from delusions of reference in my family (must be a genetic thing :-), so you’ll pardon me if assume I’m one of your “blind partisans” looking through “opaque lenses” as you put it (talk about overkill) and presumably in need of a guide dog. (Would that be you?)

    In any case, I think you overlooked (or at least didn’t bother to respond to) my main point, which was that while they both may (or may not) be deceptions, they are clearly not of the same order of magnitude. The hockey stick was so lurid in its implications that it galvanized the AGW movement.. I clearly recall seeing it for the first time (I was a starry eyed believer back than) and thinking, “wow, this thing is really happening.” Looking back, that really was the high point for you guys. And guess what? it turns out to be a fake.

    Do I really have to explain how the recent WSJ graph, even assuming you’re correct as to the “purposeful deception, is not of an equivalent scale?

    • pokerguy – I agree the importance of the Hockey Stick was hugely exaggerated, first by its proponents, and then when problems emerged, by its detractors. In comparison, the WSJ letter is small potatoes.

  69. Fred,

    OK fair enough. Appreciate your candor. Which again is why I took issue with what struck me as your bland assertion of equivalency. Note that I’m taking your word for the moment that the Wall Streeters were being intentionally deceptive. I barely passed statistics for dummies (social science major) about 150 years ago, so I’m not qualified to judge. Still Fred, I don’t see how you can disagree that on just about every front, the models have fared quite poorly relative to real world happenings. That’s why you guys are always going on and on about dying polar bears, and disappearing glaciers, and weather. Any kind of weather.

    And speaking of equivalency, I don’t see how you can blame its detractors from assigning just as much importance to the HS as its proponents. After all, this was heralded by your side as all the evidence we needed that we were all going to burn. From a PR standpoint at the very least, it was pretty devastating. In the longer run of course, it ended up doing great damage to you warmists, though I’m sure you’d argue unfairly.

  70. “And speaking of equivalency, I don’t see how you can blame its detractors from assigning just as much importance to the HS as its proponents. After all, this was heralded by your side as all the evidence we needed that we were all going to burn.”

    Yes, but… (By the way, we’re straying from the original topic, but that’s probably a good thing.)

    The HS was overhyped in the media and in communications from some scientific sources, including the IPCC TAR. Within the scientific literature, I don’t think it was ever seen as anything but peripheral to the main conclusions being drawn about climate change and its causes, although interesting in its methodology (later the subject of much criticism). Its peripheral importance is an accurate perception of reality, and so anyone today who stresses its scientific importance as opposed to its public relations importance is poorly informed or else deliberately exaggerating.

    • I should qualify the above comment. There is in fact some importance to the rate of current global warming, even if not to whether its magnitude has or hasn’t been exceeded within the past one to two thousand years. Rapid climate change poses more potential challenges to adaptive or mitigative solutions than change occurring over longer intervals. That’s a subject for an extensive discussion, but I thought it worth mentioning here.

      • fred – the issue of the importance of the HS (MBH98) to the scientific literature as opposed to the popular media and assessment reports is an interesting one. I think I have heard you say this before, I’ve never bothered with it nor much about paleo in general (Miller et al, volcanoes & LIA piqued my curiousity though). And it’s a great diversion from the topic of the WSJ piece. What works ARE seminal to the paleo literature? Seriously, don’t have to list them all.

      • Bill – Paleoclimatology is such an enormous subject that we can’t easily cite single works as “seminal” in contrast to others. It tells us about the nature and magnitude of changes the Earth can experience, and the climate variables associated with them, including the role of tectonic shifts, solar variations,.orbital forcing of the Milankovitch type, volcanic activity, and greenhouse gas concentrations. It informs us of impacts of climate change on the biosphere. It provides one means of approaching the estimation of climate sensitivity.

        For just a few examples of the rich literature on the subject, you can look at AR4 WG1 Chapter 9 and references, and also review the recent thread here on Schmittner (use that as a search term), but that barely skims the surface. I think Google searching for paleoclimatology resources might also be helpful.

        The one thing of relevance to the preceding discussion is that paleoclimatology generally refers to events that extend billions of years into the past, and the most recent few milllennia are just a small sampling. For climate sensitivity, for example, changes during the Last Glacial Maximum are more informative, because the Hockey Stick era has been insufficiently long to tell us much about equilibrium responses, and thus the HS has little to tell us about climate sensitivity.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Fred Moolten: The HS was overhyped in the media and in communications from some scientific sources, including the IPCC TAR. Within the scientific literature, I don’t think it was ever seen as anything but peripheral to the main conclusions being drawn about climate change and its causes, although interesting in its methodology (later the subject of much criticism). Its peripheral importance is an accurate perception of reality, and so anyone today who stresses its scientific importance as opposed to its public relations importance is poorly informed or else deliberately exaggerating.

      If that is what you believe, then let me direct your attention to “Discussion” by Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann and Scott Rutherford, Annals of Applied Statistics, March 2011, vol 5, number 1, pp 65-71. That is just one of the McShane and Wyner discussion papers in Annals of Applied Statistics, March 2011, vol 5, number 1, pp 1 – 123 plus substantial supporting online material. Schmidt, Mann and Rutherford insist that the HS is extremely important, and that subsequent criticisms are of minor points of no consequence; iirc, Gavin Schmidt has referred to McIntyre’s criticisms as “counting teaspoons.”

      This is probably the point at which you need to stop telling everyone that people who disagree with you are poorly informed. What you have written in this post is the sort of gross mistake that is referred to as a “howler”.

      you also wrote: There is in fact some importance to the rate of current global warming, even if not to whether its magnitude has or hasn’t been exceeded within the past one to two thousand years.

      And where is your evidence that the rate of warming is unusual, except in the previously disparaged (by you) hockey stick? As pointed out, by Larry Wasserman of Carnegie-Mellon University Department of Statistics (in the Amstat News about a year ago), no one has ever published evidence based on analysis of rates that the current rate of warming is unusual.

      • That the evidence given by the multiproxy analyses on past temperature variations is weaker than Mann and his collaborators claim is a view shared by many main stream scientists including both scientists who have produced raw material for those analyses and climate scientists who are working in other subfields of study. This is a point on which the CRU emails provide direct evidence telling that similar thoughts were held at least in 2003 also by some of the people working with the multiproxy analyses.

        I have been reading Mann’s book where he again tries to dismiss the criticism. My conclusion based on what I have learned is that Mann is right on one point but fails severely on another. Where he is probably right is in claiming that the methodology produces consistently similar results, but where he is likely wrong is on the significance of this observation. The main argument of the criticism is that the whole approach is not powerful enough. Even Mann and his collaborators have agreed and written in at least one paper that the methods have a bias towards reducing the past variations, but he seems to believe that this bias is so small that adding a little to error bars takes care of it.

        The real question for me is, how essential is this bias and are the multiproxy methods even nearly as powerful and reliable as claimed. Getting repeatedly similar results does not provide much additional evidence on the power as powerless methods do also give repeatedly similar results erring in the direction claimed by the critics.

        In spite of the numerous critical comments and of the several papers using new variations of the basic approach, a definitive study of the value of the multiproxy analysis seems to be missing even today.

      • Matt – Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s ironic when someone objects to being told they don’t know enough about a topic and then goes on to prove it. You state:

        And where is your evidence that the rate of warming is unusual, except in the previously disparaged (by you) hockey stick? … no one has ever published evidence based on analysis of rates that the current rate of warming is unusual.”

        It’s understandable that you are not well informed on climate topics, because that’s not your area of greatest knowledge, but that should encourage you to be more tentative, I believe, in making claims about other people. For example, an important article on the rate of warming has been published by Ljungqvist et al, showing that the recent rate of warming has been unprecedented over the past 12 centuries.

        I didn’t expect you to know about this article, but you should have considered the possibility that I had some evidence in mind when I made a statement about the rate of warming.

      • @Pekka – good summary.

        @Fred – reading the intro to Lundqvist, it appears that there is support for an unprecedented in 1200 yrs rate of warming if not its total magnitude to date, limited to land areas in the northern hemisphere.

        I will try to understand it, thanks.

      • Bill – That’s true. Most of the HS and other evidence is based on this type of data, and I believe that is well recognized It’s pretty much what all the arguing has been about, and so if we want to ask whether the HS curve can be supported by independent evidence as opposed to being the sole evidence for rapid recent warming, this is where we look, and it was presumably a reason why the Lingqvist study was done. If one wants to look at warming rates, land always responds faster than the oceans, and land is where people live and experience major effects of the warming. Over short intervals, land and ocean temperatures can change in somewhat independent fashion, but on centennial scales, the evidence available to us indicates that they change in the same direction except at a different pace.

      • Bill – I should add that the arguing about the HS and other similar analyses also relates to claims about the Northern Hemisphere almost exclusively. This is what the HS papers and the challenges to them focused on, mainly because the SH data are much sparser.

        If one wants to claim an absence of independent support for the HS conclusions, then evidence regarding NH land warming is where we have to look.

      • Bill – I owe Dr. Ljungqvist an apology for messing up his name.

        There’s an interesting side point to the above land/ocean relationship. Oceans warm (or cool) more slowly because of their greater heat capacity and the moderating effect of evaporation, among other factors. However, even though land warms more rapidly, a substantial amount of its warming comes from atmospheric circulation patterns transmitting heat from the ocean.

      • Fred – yes, yes, and yes, although I really wasn’t up to speed on the NH focus of the original HS. I see the Ljundqvist paper as a good read and I really like the figures.

        One thing of interest, is the start date. It doesn’t show the warming that occurred prior to the MWP. So there is no direct comparison of large-scale warming to large-scale warming. Presumably this is due to data availability. Obviously there are other reconstructions, including Mann’s and many others’, that do, and they generally show the rate and magnitude of that warming to be less than the current. Interestingly from Ljundqvist it appears that modern times are not clearly warmer than the warmest of the MWP. None of the above is inconsistent with AGW theory, but it is all relevant to the magnitude, particularly of the TCR.

      • Matt- Another claim you made is that Schmidt et al called the HS “extremely important”. I couldn’t find anything in the place you mentioned describing its level of importance. Was that another mistake you made, or can you quote the “extremely important” statement about the HS?

      • Bill – I agree with all your points. My comments above were mainly motivated by Matt Marler’s assertion that there was no independent evidence that the rate of current warming was “unusual”. I cited the evidence indicating that it was.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: I couldn’t find anything in the place you mentioned describing its level of importance.

        How about the fact that they wrote a discussion paper and worked with McShayne and Wyner on some of the supporting online material? Are you asserting that they did all that work for a peripheral point?

        Here is what you wrote: Within the scientific literature, I don’t think it was ever seen as anything but peripheral to the main conclusions being drawn about climate change and its causes, although interesting in its methodology (later the subject of much criticism).

        Do you really intend to tell us that the methodological debate included in the McShayne and Wyner discussion is carried out by people who agree that the topic itself is peripheral to the main conclusions?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: Another claim you made is that Schmidt et al called the HS “extremely important”.

        That is a misquote of what I wrote.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: For example, an important article on the rate of warming has been published by Ljungqvist et al, showing that the recent rate of warming has been unprecedented over the past 12 centuries.

        Thanks for the paper, but it has only a graphical presentation, not a statistical analysis based on the estimates of rates of change.

        “Unprecedented in 12 centuries” may do for “unusual”, though.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: Its peripheral importance is an accurate perception of reality, and so anyone today who stresses its scientific importance as opposed to its public relations importance is poorly informed or else deliberately exaggerating.

        That is the gross mistake to which I was referring. The Ljundquist paper that you referred to shows the importantce of the Hockey Stick. Perhaps what you meant to write was that “everyone now agrees that the original MBH98” is unimportant, rather than the concept of the hockey stick itself.

      • Matt – You would look much better is you simply admitted you were wrong in your criticisms. I realize that’s unsolicited advice, but you should consider it.

      • Matt-no, the Ljungqvist article (I’ll get that name right yet) does not show a hockey stick – the big deal about the HS is the flat handle.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: Matt – You would look much better is you simply admitted you were wrong in your criticisms.

        So now the “criticisms” are plural?

        Personally, I think that you tied your language into knots so much that you lost track of what you were intending to say. The Ljundgren article clearly displays the hockey stick shape that you say no one thinks is important, and it omits a statistical analysis of rates, as I said (unless it is in the supporting online material, though there is no reference to them.) Besides that, you misquoted me.

      • Matt – I don’t have a lot of interest in long, drawn out arguing, particularly when it’s unlikely too many others are paying attention. Also, I try to stay civil and confine myself to the content being discussed rather than reflect on the other person. However, if you come charging onto the scene eager to find fault with what I’ve said, including mistakes you call “a howler”, and it then turns out that the mistakes are yours, not mine, I’m not too shy to point that out. That’s what I’ve done here. I think maybe you should stop digging.

        The other thing is this. I’m not always right, but I never just make things up. If I make a statement about the literature and the perspective of mainstream climate science, whether it’s a particular article or general perceptions on a topic like the HS, you should assume that I have some reason for it. If you’re less familiar with the climate science literature, you should take that into account. Your own views are welcome of course, but you should anticipate that there may be reasons for questioning them.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: I’m not always right, but I never just make things up. If I make a statement about the literature and the perspective of mainstream climate science, whether it’s a particular article or general perceptions on a topic like the HS, you should assume that I have some reason for it. If you’re less familiar with the climate science literature, you should take that into account. Your own views are welcome of course, but you should anticipate that there may be reasons for questioning them.

        We agree on most of that. You began, you’ll recall, with a poorly substantiated claim of dishonesty in the WSJ editorial, a claim that you backed off from. You continued with, among other things, a claim that the HS was unimportant: that claim can be rescued by asserting that some presentations of the HS are neglected (though you have not stated which ones), though the basic shape is strongly defended by plenty of scientists, including Schmidt, Mann and Rutherford; and even by Ljungqvist et al, though they have it slightly rotated. You may recall that Ljungqvist et al were not the first to defend the HS by rotating it, as was noted in (a comment on the primary source, not the primary source) a “Cartoon by Josh”. All along, as with your reason for citing Ljundqvist here, is that the “blade” is the important part of the HS (including the first grafted HS, subsequently posted and then removed from the IPCC web page), not the handle.

        You should always anticipate that there may be reasons for questioning your views.

      • My advice – Stop digging. The more you defend your mistakes, the lower your credibility.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Fred Moolten: The HS was overhyped in the media and in communications from some scientific sources, including the IPCC TAR. Within the scientific literature, I don’t think it was ever seen as anything but peripheral to the main conclusions being drawn about climate change and its causes, although interesting in its methodology (later the subject of much criticism). Its peripheral importance is an accurate perception of reality, and so anyone today who stresses its scientific importance as opposed to its public relations importance is poorly informed or else deliberately exaggerating.

        Clearly I would have written much less if I had understood that for “HS” you meant “handle of the hockey stick” instead of “hockey stick”. This must be one of those experiential things, because to me the “hockey stick” only emerges when the handle and blade are attached. I was totally thrown off by your use of “HS” for “handle”. When “handle” is substituted for “hockey stick” in much of what you and I subsequently wrote, then you are correct. Except for some interest in the angle of the handle with respect to the horizontal axis, no one cares much about the handle of the hockey stick. The interest is in the blade.

  71. Ah but Fred, this is unfortunately no longer about the science. I blame your side for that… it won’t surprise you to hear. If it were about the science after all, your team would be debating. In fact, since we seem to be expanding the discussion a bit, maybe you can explain that to me.

    Bottom line question: Why won’t your side debate? Why did Gleick for just one, decide he’d make a better thief than a debater? (Of course he wasn’t good at that either as it turns out.) You once asked how I could make an informed judgment on a complex scientific matter as a non-scientist. Well, that’s one way. Just good ‘ol common sense. If you guys had the science on your side, you’d be accepting debate invitations all over the place.

    Honestly Fred, I find the warmists refusal to debate pitiful. And transparent.
    What do you make of that? How do you defend it? Does it bother you at all?

    • Extensive debating is a consistent feature of modern climate science, as you would find by reading the literature. You appear to be referring to public verbal debates in real time before lay audiences. That’s useful to score points, but entirely useless as a means of arriving at an accurate understanding of climate on the part of the audience. It’s even useless for the debaters themselves, because almost no claim of importance that a participant hasn’t heard before can be adequately evaluated without sitting down and spending time – maybe hours – and searching resources for relevant evidence.

      The blogosphere does give us some mini-debates, but not at a level, generally, that is very informative.

      If you want to see some of the informative debates, learn some of the science and then read the dozens of climate journals where debates are conducted.

      • You’ll forgive me if I conclude that your remarks above are just a long-winded way of saying that warmists refuse to do public debates.

        Quite a lot of them are happy to give public lectures however. So why not debates? While the sceptics, with apparently no case whatsoever (according to you) are eager to do so.

        How do you explain this apparent conundrum? That the natural losers are keen to get into the action while the winners run away. Surely just a few good debates will be enough to wipe the floor with the sceptics and you will never be troubled by them again.

      • Fred M: If orthodox climate scientists only want to debate in their journals, that’s fine. In another two, three or more decades I believe the mills of science, even climate science, will sort this out to most people’s satisfaction.

        But if climate scientists want to make an impact in the real world now, then they will have to make their case in the public square.That’s all there is to it. Sorry if democracy is a problem for you and your colleagues.

        I’m persuaded that the climate orthodox have a case to make, but all the backroom Climategate tricks, skeptic censoring, Gleick shenanigans, and excuses — as well as my own modest efforts to understand the science — have convinced me that for now that climate scientists avoid open debate because their case is not yet strong enough.

        If you believe it is strong enough and important enough, your side ought to bite the bullet and learn how to make your case in public.

      • Huxley – Whether or not to engage in a public real time debate involves far more considerations than simply whether one has a strong enough case, and I believe most readers understand that.

        There have in fact been some debates that one can see through YouTube or other media, and the striking element to most of them is how little science enters into them. This is unsurprising given debate formats and time limits. In addition, most scientists are not good debaters. How many readers here, do you think, believe that debates are “won” mainly on who has the strongest case in an objective sense?

        The “case” for the scientific conclusions you refer to in general, even if not in every specific, is adequate for any form of communication – real time debates, public lectures, publicly available discussions and “debates” conducted on the Internet over a time interval, etc. Individuals choose the method they think most effective in terms of their own capabilities, and in general, this has worked well. In great contrast to a few decades ago, most humans worldwide who are aware of global warming see human activity as at least partly responsible, and perceive a need to do something about it, despite the natural tendencies of all of us to prefer believing things that impose no costs or inconveniences on us. In that sense, the scientists have already won (as pointed out by R. Pielke Jr I thing a couple of years ago). The main debates now are what to do about it and when, and here, the scientists have not yet persuaded the public that there is urgency. That is understandable, given that many other factors, particularly immediate economic concenrs, enter into public thinking.

    • An amusing illustration of my point about public debates involves Christopher Monckton. One reason he is often effective in real time debates is that he throws equations and conclusions at his debate opponent that the opponent has never heard of, and has no time to analyze and refute. If one later sits down to analyze Monckton’s unexpected bombshells, they are all duds, but that doesn’t become apparent during the debate itself.

      • But Chris Monckton’s lectures and presentations have been recorded and analysed a zillion times. Surely any well-prepared debater will have spent time studying those beforehand?

        Our Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition manage to do a live this.live every week in front of an extremely partisan audience. Surely any ‘warmist’ debater worth his salt will be able to demolish Monckton if he is as pathetic as many make out. Or is it the case (as I suspect) that the warmists have only a passing acquaintance with the arguments anyway? While Monckton knows them in detail.

        And please give three examples of Monckto using this tactic in a live debate with a real live walking talking warmist.

      • Fred, the climatology debate in the hidebound journals suffered from Wegman’s clique, and is clearly off track. I’m sorry to inform you of this because I know it constitutes your library, and it is rife with worms. There were unholy forces creating that clique. Climate science is now being advanced outside it’s traditional forum and it is in the new forums that the consensus is losing the debate.
        ================

      • Don’t give an inch, freddie. You have got them on the run.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Putting the d back in hydro. Seriously even if we wanted to reduce greenhouse gases in some policy or other we couldn’t say that outright. That boat has sailed.

  72. Fred, you talk about blind partisanship as if it’s something that only afflicts the other guy, the poor deluded fellow who since he doesn’t have a leg to stand on scientifically speaking, just refuses to see the truth out of some perverse desire to annoy you.

    And yet your stubborn refusal to admit that the warmists refusal to debate (while at the same time insisting they want debate) at the very least casts doubt on the strength of their case, is as blind as blind can be,

    Had you said instead, you know pokerguy, it does bother me. Sure, debating isn’t the be all and end all, but it’s a way to bring our case to the public and since this argument is ultimately about social policy, it’s something we should be doing.

    What do you do instead? You patronize me in true warmist fashion:
    You write in answer to my sincere question as to whether the warmists refusal to debate bothers you: “If you want to see some of the informative debates, learn some of the science and then read the dozens of climate journals where debates are conducted.”

    Look within Fred and you’ll see plenty of blind partisanship of your own.

  73. BillC – Another good resource on Paleoclimatology is the a href=”http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/paleo.html”>NOAA Paleoclimatology Program. I haven’t visited all components, but the sampling I’ve done shows it to be informative, with some of the content very detailed technically, but other parts described in general terms useful for a lay reader with a good science background.

  74. KIm, your paragraph above is gem. Thank you.

  75. Fred, with respect, that you can’t even see that it would actually strengthen your credibility to admit to certain obvious facts, rather than to just keep absurdly and long-windededly denying them, reinforces my sense that there’s really no hope.

    • There is always hope and redemption; it is the basis of Western culture from the entwining of Greek philosophy and Judaism. Hell, even the prison service claims it is designed to reform rather than punish.
      So like Saul, Fred can be reborn in truth. All he need do is look at the data and the evolution of the arguments.

  76. Admire your optimism Doc, but there’s no redemption for the unrepentant sinner, including those who sin against truth.

    Fred’s more pleasant than most of them, and I believe he’s a well-intended guy. But he works from the same warmist toolbox they all share, his main implements being condescension (go away sonny and don’t come back til you’ve got a PH.D. like me), appeal to authority (mostly his own), and a stubborn refusal to admit just about anything that weakens the warmist case.

    My deceased grandmother would see that the alarmist’s refusal to publicly debate does not help their cause, and is in fact deeply suspicious. I don’t need a Ph. D. to understand basic human behavior.

    • What I find the most damning thing is the invention of thermodynamic properties. The IPCC states:-

      “The radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system due to the perturbation in or the introduction of an agent (say, a change in greenhouse gas concentrations) is the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave; in Wm-2) at the tropopause AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values”

      Now this is quite obviously pseudo-scientific garbage.

      “AFTER allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures”

      Thus at some time, the surface/troposphere/stratosphere we in thermal ‘equilibrium’. A thermal equilibrium being an absolutely defined thermodynamic state.

      “and state held fixed at the unperturbed values’

      ‘unperturbed values’

      We actually know when the Earth was in thermal equilibrium, again IPCC

      “Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. In this report radiative forcing values are for changes relative to preindustrial conditions defined at 1750 and are expressed in Watts per square meter (W/m2).”

      So, in 1750 the Earth did not rotate on its axis nor did it orbit the sun.

      Equilibrium!

  77. Fred Moolten

    If you look at the Hockey Stick articles, with or without excuses, the omission of the declining proxies during the 20th century warming is hard to interpret as anything other than an intent to deceive. No false statements were made, but lies are not necessary to leave a false impression. “Hide the decline” was a deception. Unless you are wearing ideological blinders.

    Thanks very much for the above statement.

    The truth will finally win.

    We will all finally have one position in this issue.