Week in review 3/2/12

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

The climate wars have continued this week, aided and abetted by the Gleick affair.

Climate warriors

An op-ed in Physics Today: Climate Scientists Not Cowed by Relentless Climate Deniers.  Read the whole thing.  Some excerpts:

Fossil-fuel interests, says Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher at NASA, “have adopted a shoot-the-messenger approach. It’s been a very successful strategy. They have created a chilling effect, so other [scientists] won’t say what they think and the conversation in public stays bereft of anyone who knows what they are talking about.” Schmidt cofounded RealClimate.org, a forum for climate scientists to “provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.” Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a vocal opponent to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, is suing NASA for the release of Schmidt’s personal emails.

One new development is the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, which features more than 140 climate scientists plus a few historians and economists on call to provide information to journalists and lawmakers. Trenberth, a member of the team, says, “[We] provide rebuttal, response, and clarification” to misleading reports in the media.
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This past September, rapid response team cofounder Scott Mandia and others launched the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. The nonprofit group raises money for climate scientists embroiled in legal battles. As of December, it had raised more than $20 000 for Mann, who is fighting Freedom of Information Act demands by the American Tradition Institute think tank for 5000 pages of his email correspondence. The fund also offers informal counseling to harassed climate scientists and plans to hire a staff attorney to offer quick and experienced help. “Many scientists think they can win by blocking punches. You have to throw them,” says Mandia, who teaches physical sciences at New York’s Suffolk County Community College. “The main thing is that the world understands there is a group that will defend climate scientists who are being harassed.”
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JC question:  I assume this went to press prior to the Heartland/Gleick affair?  And what is it that scientists are trying to ‘win’?  By the way, Ben Santer has the closest thing to sensible comments in this essay.
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The LA Times has a lengthy article on Michael Mann’s new book:  The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.  Has anyone read this yet?  I read the 2+ chapters available for free at amazon.com.  The LA Times review reads like it could have been written by Michael Mann himself.  Until you get to the last few paragraphs, which I reproduce here:

Mann ends his book on a prophetic note with a chapter titled “Fighting Back.” He expresses hopefulness that he and his fellow scientists can turn the tide of public opinion not by remaining unbiased observers on the sidelines, as they have done traditionally, but by taking a more active role in the debate. After many of his colleagues stood up for him during a witch hunt by Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, who was demanding every email, record or document related to Mann during his time as a professor at the University of Virginia, Mann was inspired to believe that scientists working as a team could make a difference. “Something is different now,” Mann concludes. “The forces of climate change denial have, I believe, awakened a ‘sleeping bear.’ My fellow scientists will be fighting back, and I look forward to joining them in this battle.”

That’s something Mann might want to rethink. Peter Gleick, a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient for his work on global freshwater challenges and president of the Pacific Institute, admitted earlier this month to borrowing a page directly from the denialists’ playbook. Posing as someone else, he obtained internal documents from the Heartland Institute and distributed them to journalists, a tactic little different from the hack attack at the University of East Anglia that has been decried by environmentalists. Gleick’s activism has ravaged his own reputation and given further ammunition to climate deniers, who won’t have to look far to find a climate scientist whose political opinions have seemingly overcome his better judgment.

That’s why Mann’s conclusion is the only sour note in an otherwise highly readable and intelligent book, and why his own growing profile as an activist might come back to haunt him. Scientists, like journalists, really are more credible when they stick to the evidence, report the facts and let society come to its own conclusions. You handle the science, professor Mann; we’ll handle the punditry.

JC comment:  Bravo for the last paragraph.

———

Climate Science Watch has a post entitled Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: Support Michael Mann. Excerpts:

Funds are needed to:

1.     Fend-off the American Tradition Institute’s demand to take Dr. Mann’s deposition, which is a blatant attempt to harass and intimidate him for exercising his constitutional rights by petitioning to intervene in the case.

2.     Defeat ATI’s attempt to obtain Dr. Mann’s email correspondence through the civil discovery process, which essentially is an “end-run” around the scholarly research exemption under the Virginia FOIA law.

3.     Prepare for summary judgment on the issue of the exempt status of his email correspondence under the Virginia FOIA law

JC comment:  The date of this post is Feb 28.  Only Michael Mann is mentioned.  Looks like Gleick is being thrown under the bus by this group?  I don’t envy Gleick’s lawyer bills.

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The (dis)loyal opposition

Check out this WSJ video interview of Joseph Bast, President of Heartland Institute.  Its about 8 minutes long, but well worth a watch.  His statements about climate science sound pretty lukewarm.

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Ben Pile has a hard hitting article with subtitle ” the inconvenient truth for greens is that there is no denialist conspiracy blocking climate change action.”  His closing paragraph:

The environmental movement is as promiscuous with its ‘ethics’ as it is with ‘The Science’. You can make stuff up, apparently, just so long as you do so in order to ‘save the planet’. And this is why sums as paltry and insignificant as $1,000 are so important to their perspective. It is only by amplifying the trivial that the myth of ‘networks’ of ‘well-funded deniers’ can be sustained. It’s only when you lose a sense of proportion that a few million dollars can stop global action on climate change. Trivia, vanity and mythology allows environmentalists to turn ordinary facts of politics – funding, associations of people, and campaigning organisations – into secret conspiracies to explain their own failure to create a popular movement.

Keeping score from the sidelines

The Columbia Journalism Review has an article Heartland, Gleick and Media Law.  A very interesting but long article.  The punchline:

It’s hard to imagine, then, that after answering the three big questions about deception—Is it legal? Questionable. Is it worth it? Questionable. Is there another way? Probably.—that a news outlet would have acted as Gleick did.

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Donna LaFramboise asks the following question: Where do Gleick’s apologists draw the line?  Excerpts:

Climate change is a strange beast. When it enters the room, even ethicists lose the ability to think straight.

It will be fascinating to see how this story develops. In the meantime here is a question for all of the above apologists. Where do you draw the line?

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I get it. Lying and stealing and misleading are OK so long as they help advance a good cause. What else is acceptable? Old fashioned burglary? Arson? Car bombs?

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Where is the line?

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Megan McArdle has an  interesting article in the Atlantic entitled Why we should act to stop global warming and why we won’t.   Read this paragraph and be amazed:

I’ve basically outsourced my opinion on the science to people like Jonathan Adler, Ron Bailey, and Pat Michaels of Cato–all of whom concede that anthropogenic global warming is real, though they may contest the likely extent, or desired remedies.  
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JC comment: these are her preferred experts, and they have convinced her of global warming.
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So why do I still support action–especially, climate skeptics demand, when the science is so uncertain?
 
Well, because we’ve only go the one climate.  I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix.  The risk of a catastrophic outcome may be small, but it would be pretty darn terrible to find out that hey, we hit the jackpot!
 
Of course, in some sense, this is a cheap belief, because I don’t think that we’re going to do anything about it–nay, not even if Megan McArdle spends all her time advocating for such an outcome.  The forces arrayed against action are just too powerful–and no, I don’t mean the Cato Institute.
 
Indeed, I think that this is where Peter Gleick went off the rails.  As much as I disagree with Heartland on global warming, they may influence a bare handful of people.  What really influences people is contemplating their own lives with doubled or tripled electric bills and $8 a gallon gas.  To paraphrase Chesterton, serious belief in global warming–the kind that makes you stop climbing aboard $@#! planes to climate change conferences in scenic and distant locales–has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult, and left untried.
 
Even if he’d found something much more damaging than he managed to fish out of their confidential files, it wouldn’t have meaningfully altered the global warming policy debate.  That debate really isn’t much about whether this is happening, because most people don’t have the scientific background, the intellectual ability, or the interest to determine whether this is happening.  (I am speaking now of both sides: the average person who drips contempt for those mouth-breathing climate deniers has exactly as much personal knowledge about climate change as some talk radio host arguing that global warming is a crock because hey, it snowed last week!) 
 
No, the debate is about how unpleasant it would be to prevent it–which really isn’t much of a debate, either, because the obvious answer is “very, except maybe for DINK urbanites”.  And that’s where the discussion pretty much stalls out.

654 responses to “Week in review 3/2/12

  1. Barry Woods

    Wow.. sceptics sure have had bad pr in the USA..

    Mouth breathing climate Deniers!

    Maybe Megan could take a moments pause for thought on why she said that, and about who exactly?.. Mcintyre, Ben Pile, Donna?, A Watts, Andrew Montford, etc, etc, me?

    I thought Megan’s articles amongst the best reporting on the Gleick affair. His,Trenberth, Mann’s, etc attitude is why she thinks sceptics are like this..

    Anyway I’m a lukewarmer myself

    • Barry Woods

      I did like the bit about getting on planes to attend climate change confetrces ;-)

      • Is Megan awakening to reality? She doesn’t mention crumbling Western economies but admits “And I’ve seen no evidence that the Chinese, or the Indians, plan to do much of anything to reduce their emissions in the near-term.”

        Megan admits that China’s “carbon output already surpasses ours and Canada’s combined.”

        There is great unease in our society now, and late on Friday I learned that NASA has been repeatedly hacked. More information is here:

        http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/nasa-hacked/

    • Barry,

      Megan is a member, not even the most pathetic member of the progressive media arm and disinformation narrative around AGW.

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/03/la-times-flunks-basic-journalism-to.html?m=1

      How old is this “journOlist” meme? 20 years +??

      Food for thought as we head bang into the usual restricted talking points here.

    • Barry, I know it’s hard to credit in a journalist of McArdle’s stripe, but I read her “mouth-breathing deniers” as a bit of welcome parody.

      Now if she could only get over her fondness for the Precautionary Principle….

      • Exactly: she’s putting words in the warmist’s mouth, not her own!
        But she doesn’t grok the economics of the “very” unpleasant measures, which would exceed by far the costs of enduring the consequences of warming in a century or so. (That’s about the right time scale, because that’s how long mitigation would take to shave a fraction of a degree off the postulated warming).

        Completely aside from the historical evidence–reams of it–that warming and CO2 increase are both benign, and actually much to be desired. (I sort of wish warmists and lukewarmists were right about the efficacy of “backwards de-radiation”, or whatever it’s called. But they’re not, of course.)

      • Brian and Tom,

        Megan isn’t a simple act. She claims to be “libertarian” but she does so in the same way David Brooks chooses to be “conservative”. Generally both of these movements would be better off if they just defected to the left. Warmists might say the same about Dr. Curry and Lomborg.

        McArdle and Brooks are both “straws” regardless if they hit a voice of reason on occasion. They are only their to flatter leftist perceptions of how a libertarian or conservative should be in their own narrowminded views. It’s how fake debates and discussions get subsidized in the MSM.

      • Brian H: “Completely aside from the historical evidence–reams of it–that warming and CO2 increase are both benign”

        What evidence is this?

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        I’d like you to go over to JoNova’s, Lowlo, and try and leave your slime on her there.

        She moved, stealthy, crossing patches unseen, one determination, one enough
        A dagger of gold, a pen of wit, nothing did not she question, everything to be known
        Blithely engorged on feats of slather, they grew rump, their song and dance she purloined, for her nest
        On a night when the fire burned high, she took her swill, with power and might of will, the dagger did she plunge
        Not one of them could defend, not one of them could survive

        The truth she held up high, the crown upon her head
        They of ill repute, will forever fear

        Jonova

      • A physicist

        Brian H means the gigantic sharks that swarmed over Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina during previous—… uhhh —… CO2 “optima.”

        Optima for megalodons, that is—… not for humans. :( :( :(

  2. If the climate has warmed, as Bast seems to admit, but it has warmed primarily from natural variability (as Bast also asserts), what it a plausible “natural” cause for the simultaneous warming of ocean and atmosphere, as well as concurrent massive ice to water phase changes? No intra-climate system heat transfers (ENSO, PDO, AMO, etc) would fit this scenario. What are the options?

    • There are many options as far as I know. I disagree that the oceanic/atmospheric oscillations are independent from the other so called external forcings. It’s all coupled.

      IMO, the best relation is with the solar sunspot frequency or solar cycle length (inverse). I can only speculate what the actual mechanism could be, but there is some physical plausibility in higher frequency (rotational speed) causing more power. Some kind of frequency modulation.

      • If the atmosphere warmed, for example, by a net transport of heat from the ocean, we should see cooling of the ocean. A continued heating of all elements of the climate system (ocean, land, atmosphere, ice) means an global energy imbalance must exist. Measurements of TSI show a drop in solar radiation over the past 30 years or so. If not the enhanced greenhouse effect, what is causing the global energy imbalance?

      • Owen, like I said I can only speculate what is the physical mechanisam for the energy imbalances on differrent time scales. It doesn’t have to be the TSI. I only talk about correlation here. So, I speculate.

        It could be some kind of wavelength modulation of the TSI. Or indirect solar (clouds…), orbital, tidal, magnetic… Who knows? Furthermore, maybe the real imbalances (variations in internal energy) are not really known and don’t correlate with the estimated global temperature anomalies.

      • Edim,

        Quite frankly, you seem to choosing uncertain speculation over a well-researched theory. I can only ask why?

      • When a hypothesis fails, further speculation is a common step.
        ==================

      • Because the well-researched theory doesn’t seem to be well-researched at all. It looks like the excelent example of a paradigm paralysis. And the nature’s phenomena seem to disagree with it. “CO2 the knob” theory is not plausible to me, for many reasons.

      • Well-funded doesn’t mean well-researched – it’s often the opposite.

      • Kim the hypothesis hasn’t failed.

        What Owen is quite rightly pointing out is that the weight of evidence is on the side of the recent warming having a mostly greenhouse gas contribution.

        Dare I say that the reason people go against that is because they are either ignorant, unable to weigh up evidence competently, or they are ideologically biased against the theory (generally it’s a political bias)

      • Three times in the last century and a half temperature has risen at the same rate, and only in the last of these was CO2 rising. Phil Jones heself told me that.
        =============================

      • That’s like saying 3 murders and only in one of them was a man covered in blood holding a knife over the body so therefore he didn’t do it.

      • @ lolwot | March 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

        lolwot, GLOBAL warming is inside your head, not outside your house. There is no GLOBAL warming! But to make you feel good, here is a complete list of things already caused by global warming, that suppose to happen / ‘’may happen’’ with 90% possibility, in 100 years http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

      • What are you really doing by posting that link? Telling me that a lot of things could go wrong if we continue to meddle with the climate in an unprecedented fashion.

        I already knew that.

        In fact I could produce a far longer list of things that could go wrong than that. Think about all the systems in the world affected by the carbon cycle and/or temperature and/or ocean pH. Then think about how those things in turn affect others.

        It doesn’t take all of those things to happen for there to be a disaster.

      • @ lolwot | March 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm

        climate that can / maybe will get warmer in 100y, already produced lots and lots of damages, BOO!!! Those ”damages” expose the lies of the Swindlers as yourself. Read and see in what camp of shameless liars you belong. Global warming is zero, will be zero in 100y, proven all, now.

        Here is a complete list of things already caused by global warming, that suppose to happen / ‘’may happen’’ with 90% possibility, in 100 years http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

      • stefan you call me a liar and a swindler, but then you are the one claiming that behind that link are things which have 90% possibility.

        Where did you pull that number from?

        If you addressed the numberwatch list fairly without bias you’d realize that it’s a list of potential problems, not all of which have to happen for there to be a problem.

        Half the issue is people like you don’t understand the significance of what humans are doing with the CO2 level of the atmosphere.

      • Lolwot,

        And you have absolutely no sense of the ridiculous.

      • Peter while a lot of items on the list are ridiculous, and a lot are only small effects (eg archaeological sites threatened), a lot of items on the list are significant risks. Even behind some of the sometimes ridiculous headlines are serious potential disasters. We could remove all the trite items and we’d still be left with an impressive list.

        And it’s the tip of the iceberg.

        It’s amusing that climate skeptics think by producing a long list of potential impacts of CO2 rise they have made a case against the CO2 rise having an impact!

      • Lolwot,

        I have this bridge I’d like to sell you.

      • No lolwot, your analogy fails. It’s more like three people died in a house fire and saying that a man covered with blood holding a knife over one victim was the cause of his death.

        And thanks for the malaprop analogy. I’d not thought of this one without it.
        ===========

      • Really you think your initial illogical argument:

        “Three times in the last century and a half temperature has risen at the same rate, and only in the last of these was CO2 rising [implying that CO2 hasn’t caused the warming]”

        can be analogized as:

        “It’s … like three people died in a house fire and saying that a man covered with blood holding a knife over one victim was the cause of his death.”

        No wonder I have problems getting through to “skeptics”. They can’t reason competently.

      • @ Owen | March 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

        Owen, my friend; many things happen in nature – there are legitimate reasons for everything, and there are Warmist and fake Skeptic’s hallucinations. 1] in the atmosphere extra heat is not accumulative; because of INSTANT expansion of O+N, when warmed, for ANY reason. Warming overall of the whole troposphere for more than few minutes is the ”mother of all lies”. 2] Because the oceans don’t have the luxury of direct contact with the unlimited coldness in the stratosphere – oceans can and do warm up for 2 reasons

        1] submarine volcanoes and hot vents warm up the water on the bottom – currents distribute that heat. Because the earth’s crust is much thinner on the bottom, 99% of the volcanoes are submarine – and there are 100’s of hot vents for every volcano on the bottom. Movement of tectonic plates makes more activity on one part of the oceans / El Nino – then follows the other, La Nina = like you move the left leg, than the other, when you walk – earthquakes increase during tectonic spontaneous activity.

        2] the other reason the seawater is getting warmer, that every scientist ignores, is: with the increase of population and wealth > more olive, canola oil, fat from pork, chicken, beef and industrial oils end up on on the surface of the sea – they spread as invisible film > prevent evaporation. Evaporation is a cooling process. In the past, self-regulation applied – when water gets warmer > evaporation increase = cooling + creates extra clouds – clouds are the sun umbrellas for the sea / land- then clouds bring down extra coldness with rain. Now those oils / fats decrease evaporation = warmth increases in the sea.

        Owen, the truth is light years away from what both camps promote. People that are constantly telling, but never listen (the ”closed parashoot brains as the Warmist) can only confuse you. You are using my grandma’s advice better even than me; She used to say: ”you have two ears and one mouth / should listen twice as much as talking. Person can talk for 24h and not learn a single thing – people that do that, cannot be relied on” If you can use the word ”why” you will know much more than them

        Owen, go to my website and see that; all the proofs can be replicated now, no need to wait 100y and see that Warmist / Skeptics are wrong on every subject. Cheers

      • Lolwot,

        Neither you or kim are sounding particularly apt with analogies.

        Try this:

        It is like having 3 murders, one of which apparently involves a man holding a bloody knife and standing next to the victum, and then concluding that not only is said man guilty of murdering the victum he’s standing next to, but is responsible for all three homicides.

        It could be that he murdered the third victum, but not the other two.

        It could be he murdered all 3.

        It could be he is not a murderer at all.

        He could have been the first on the scene and picked up the knife.

        He could have been attacked by the “victum” and simply defended himself.

        The victum could have been murdered in front of a butcher shop and the man with the knife is the butcher.

        In otherwords, while there may be an apparent cause and effect between a dead body and a man holding a bloody knife, even one with a fairly decent probability of being factual, it isn’t proven until more evidence is produced. Earlier warming, without the same apparent evidence of CO2, is an indication that more than one factor may be involved, just as it is possible that there is more than one murderer.

    • John Kannarr

      Gosh, maybe scientists ought to really try to find out what caused the end of the LIA, or each of the past Ice Ages. I mean, really try.

      • Scientists can explain the end of the LIA and the end of past ice ages through solar and volcanic contributions. Neither of those things fit the recent warming episode.

        The biggest problem is trying to explain the recent warming without a strong contribution for rising greenhouse gases as Owen points out.

      • The biggest problem is finding a CO2 signal in the temperature record. Billions have been spent looking, so far to no avail.
        ================

      • John Kannarr

        lolwot:

        Yes, Muller and MacDonald demonstrated remarkable corellations of astronomical cycles with the last million years or so of ice ages, http://www.amazon.com/Astronomical-Causes-Springer-Environmental-Sciences/dp/3540437797/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330735379&sr=8-1-fkmr0, though I don’t recall them needing to use volcanic contributions.

      • lolwot:

        The biggest problem is trying to explain the recent warming without a strong contribution for rising greenhouse gases

        Allow me to rephrase that to make it closer to the truth:

        The biggest problem is trying to verify our hypothesis without a strong contribution from rising temperatures – which we will tease out of the masses of extremely noisy and disjointed data we have, even if it kills us.

      • …or rather, even if we have to redefine what statistical analysis is.

      • so you are denying the world has warmed now?

      • lolwot,

        Stop trying to put words into other people’s mouths

      • peter317, you seem to be overlooking that vital part of post-normal science : even if it means redefining peer-review.

      • lol, are you denying temperatures have flatlined now ?

    • David Springer

      @Owen

      You mistakenly state that TSI has declined over the past 30 years. Try again.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      The option is cloud changes – especially in the marine stratocumulos regions and these are inversely related to sea surface temperature. We can see this in Earth Radiant Budget Satellite data and in the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data.

      So there are problems with earlier satellite data? Well it is rocket science. More recent data is better but of limited duration.

      The ARGO data shows warming from 2003 to 2008 in the deep ocean. Atmospheric temperature is all over the place in 2003 to 2008 because of the relativity low thermal inertia and the fast response mostly to ENSO – cold in a La Nina and warm in an El Nino – due to ocean atmosphere energy transfer.

      We can see that solar activity declined in the period.

      So where did all this extra energy come from if the Sun was temporariily cooling – because the energy budget must balance.

      Energy in – Energy out = d(S)/dt – where d(S)/dt is the change in global energy storage.

      This is perfectly true for all time scales – 1 day or a hundred years.

      What does CERES – clouds and Earth’s radiant energy budget say?
      This shows energy leaving the planet –

      The ‘net’ at the bottom of the graph shows an upward slope which – by convention – means a warming trend. The IR line is flat – which doesn’t say anything about greenhouse gases. If nothing else changes but IR you would expect a flat line because the planet heats up and emits more energy. The energy budget must balance. This latter is the major reason for expecting a less than proportional temperature response from exponentially increasing greenhouse gases as the emission temperature term has a fourth power exponent.

      But all things are not equal. The reason the planet warmed in the 203-2008 period was as a result of the line of reflected short wave trending down as a lower Earth albedo reflected less of the Sun’s energy. Clouds!!!!

      You might say that this is a short period – and that is so. But it is a theoretically exact reckoning – a day or a hundred years makes no difference to the accounting method. It relies only on energy and heat content. The big change was in clouds – which – as I said – is inversely related to sea surface temperature in the marine stratocumulus regions.

      Robert I Ellison

      • how confusing. I thought clouds were supposed to reflect more sunlight as the Earth warmed in a negative feedback…

      • Captain Kangaroo

        numbnut,

        The special case of your confusion is hardly going to surprise anyone. This is related to the general propensity to trip over your own feet while chewing gum. Can you even read a graph?

    • Owen said, “What are the options?” There are longer internal cycles yet to be discovered. Since the AMO appears to have a 220 year pseudo-cycle, the deep oceans should have a secret or two to reveal.

      • Yes, but Capt. Sir, if atmospheric warming is due to ocean to atmosphere heat transfer on any length cycle, the ocean should be cooling (you know, conservation of energy).

    • Owen- If you haven’t seen it, Isaac Held has a relevant blog item – Heat Uptake and Natural Variability. You can also find quantitative ocean heat uptake data from NOAA showing more than 10^23 joules added since the 1950’s.

      • what the hell how come i didnt hear about that blog

      • Fred,

        Thanks for the link to Issac Held. The argument that any sustained atmospheric warming process could be due to natural variability (which I read as intra-system heat transfers), while still allowing simultaneous warming of all climate system components, is looking more and more untenable. I am a confirmed skeptic of such claims.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        There is a severe form of cognitive dissonance surrounding natural variability. That clouds change in response to seas surface temperature is shown in study after study. This means that clouds – who’d of thunk it – are fundamental to the global energy budget. Oh – yeah right – albedo.

        ‘The increase in low cloud amount appears to favour the location where SST is less increased. After removing the background mean SSTincrease due to doubled CO2, the results show a clear negative correlation betweenthe change in low cloud and the SST change. An analysis based on the simple atmosphericmixed layer model demonstrates a thermodynamic reason for such a change. The increasein the above-inversion atmospheric stratification due to doubled CO2 tends to reduce the mixed layer depth in the areas with a small temperature increase, which helps to trap the moisture within the mixed layer, thus, favors low cloud formation.’

        Zhu, P., J. J. Hack, J. T. Kiehl, and C. S. Bretherton (2007), Climate sensitivity of tropical and subtropical marine low cloud
        amount to ENSO and global warming due to doubled CO2, J. Geophys. Res., 112,

        What effect has this had on recent ocean warming?

        ‘Willis et al. (2004) provides new estimates of annual global ocean heat storage for 1992–2002 using a combinationof improved in situ temperature profile sampling and constraints on thermal expansion from satellite global ocean altimeter observations. The major advantage of this dataset over previous ocean estimates is the use of global altimeter data to supplement sparse in situ sampling in the Southern Hemisphere oceans. On a global annual scale, the change in TOA net radiation and ocean heat storage should be in phase and of the same magnitude. This is due to the fact that
        all other forms of heat storage in the earth system are factors of 10 or more smaller than ocean heat storage (Levitus et al. 2001).’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI3838.1

        Now – I have already stipulated the oceans warmed in the ARGO period to 2008, the SORCE TSI decreased to 2008 or there abouts and is now at or near the cycle peak, and CERES shows that all the warming from 2003 to 2008 happened in the short wave – and provided links to graphed data.

        It goes in one ear and out the other. There is no possibility of a discourse with these people as they are trapped in the groupthink. It is just loony tunes loopily dressed up in the language of science.

        A special call goes out to numbnut – you can see from the Zhu quote that there may indeed be both a sea surface temperature (without a doubt) inverse cloud correlation and a negative global warming cloud feedback.

        Kindest Regards
        Captain Kangaroo

    • I kinda like Herman Pope’s idea: Arctic Ice oscillation is a negative feedback that swings the planet within a band.
      herman@popesclimatetheory.com

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        And a recent PNAS article
        Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall (Abstract) concurs.

        While the Arctic region has been warming strongly in recent decades, anomalously large snowfall in recent winters has affected large parts of North America, Europe, and east Asia.

        We conclude that the recent decline of Arctic sea ice has played a critical role in recent cold and snowy winters.

      • scepticalWombat

        Hi Judith
        I think that BlueIce2HotSea refers to the paper you coauthored. Any chance of a non paywalled copy of the full article, or for that matter any comments that you would like to make on it?

      • I have a post prepared on this paper, last week my coauthor Jiping Liu was swamped with media and email queries, and I was on travel. One of us should have time this week to field queries. So it is coming . . .

    • lolwot: “In fact I could produce a far longer list of things that could go wrong than that. Think about all the systems in the world affected by the carbon cycle and/or temperature and/or ocean pH. Then think about how those things in turn affect others.”

      Is it not curious that among the putative effects of ‘global warming’, now well over 600 and climbing rapidly according to reports in the press and scientific journals, NONE are cited as examples of ‘things going right’?

    • All of this debate about climate might have been avoided if world leaders had the latest invention to silence skeptics in mid-sentence:

      http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/scitech/science/030212-japan-invents-speech-jamming-gun-that-silences-people-mid-sentence

      This stun gun may speed up the great social engineering experiment that was adopted during the Cold War to:

      1. Avoid the threat of mutual nuclear destruction;
      2. Unite Nations against Global Climate Change; and
      3. Fuse us into one single peace-loving community, guided by post-modern science and politically-correct attitudes.

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

  3. The aggressive behaviour of the activist wing – talking of throwing punches – is quite worrying. One can only hope that it hastens their demise.

    Bast comes across as remarkably reasonable – not the evil liar Heartland are sometimes portrayed as. I like his term ‘rooster’ for people like Gleick!

    • David Springer

      Has Santer been talking about beating the crap out of even MORE people?

      ← Scientist “appalled” at debate
      Morning paper stirs rage →
      Climategate one-liners
      Posted on July 7, 2011

      It’s been over a year and a half since climategate gave us some disturbing and at times hilarious insight into some of the world’s most noted alarmists. Below is a list of some of the most priceless climategate quotes.

      “They would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible.” – Adam Markham, WWF

      Political activist involvement with scientific discussion already? Who’d have thought at this point that Greenpeace would end up writing an IPCC report?

      “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” – Phil Jones

      Maybe this divergence in proxy data with real temperatures indicates that your reconstructions are duds. Just maybe. Why would they hide this?

      “I simply would not like to see you write a paper that puts out a confused message with regard to the global warming debate…I am totally confident that after a day’s rephrasing this paper can go back and be publishable to my satisfaction by Science.” – Keith Briffa

      Shouldn’t the opposing views be encouraged?

      “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.” – Michael Mann

      Part of Mann’s campaign to delegitimise the journal Climate Research and by extensions, any doubt over his side of the debate.

      “It would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “Medieval Warm Period”.” – Michael Mann

      The medieval warm period, an inconvenient truth.

      “So, acceding to the request for this to do the review is setting a very dangerous precedent.” – Phil Jones

      Yeah, for you.

      “In an odd way (the death of John Daly) is cheering news!” – Phil Jones

      What a lovely character insight(!)

      “Personally, I wouldn’t send (Stephen McIntyre) anything. I have no idea what he’s up to, but you can be sure it falls into the “no good” category.” – Michael Mann

      What preoccupation and paranoia with someone just checking up on his work.

      “Mike Mann refuses to talk to these people and I can understand why. They are just trying to find if we’ve done anything wrong.” – Phil Jones

      His work is involved in policy-making worldwide. It is astonishing he does not grasp this and as such the need to ensure his research is reliable.

      “We also have a Data Protection Act, which I will hide behind.” – Phil Jones

      Why would an innocent man hide?

      “If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.” – Phil Jones

      Another character insight.

      “The others who could be added (to this email list) at this early stage are Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes, your “co-conspirators”—and perhaps Phil Jones, Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn.” – Tom Wigley

      “Conspirators”, their terminology.

      “In our discussion of possible participants in Bern…the last two on the list (with question marks) would be unwise choices because they are likely to cause conflict than to contribute to consensus and progress.” – Michael Mann

      Why are scientists trying to work towards consensus rather than encouraging debate?

      “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith regarding the latest (IPCC) report? Keith will do likewise…Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?…We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.” – Phil Jones

      Mann actually confirmed he would comply with this request.

      “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.” – Ben Santer

      • David Springer

        Sorry – there’s many a slip between the cut and the list. I only meant to cut the last couple of lines quoting Ben Santer wanting to beat the crap out of Pat Michaels.

      • Alpha Tango

        “If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.” – Phil Jones

        Chiling. I could forgive him his corruption if he had acted for a “Noble Cause” – but this guy just wants to be “proved right, regardless of the consequences”

      • Dr Phil Jones isn’t corrupt. What you read is a man who is all about the science and understands it.

  4. Not that long ago people looking for government money and charity figured something out. Everyone knew ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’, but the whole truth is the squeak is due to the friction between the wheel and axel – you need an axel to make a loud squeak. Maybe it isn’t new, maybe just more ‘dragons in the hills’, but it is expertly applied these days.

    Both sides wildly exaggerate the size and skill of the ‘enemy’, and use baiting language with every communiqué. It all becomes fossil-fuel henchmen and eco-terrorists that hate freedom. What the movement really wants to squelch is reasonable voices, regardless of allegiance.

    If you accept that starting point, it follows that for every post that we respond to emotionally, our tax dollars are being diverted to fund both sides – and by this logic more will go to the side you disagree with.

    The real rebels here are the ones that try to make peace with the other side, so hats off to you madam Curry.

    • @ robin; Everyone knew ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ first…

      But if the wheel keep squeaking, always gets replaced

    • “our tax dollars are being diverted to fund both sides ” If only! Please, find and point out some sources and recipients of money for skeptical research. No one else has been able to name names or amounts; your discovery is important!

      Heh.

      • I don’t think much of any of it goes to actual research. Oil has had plenty of subsidies with the ‘running out of oil’ boogy man, and then the ‘risk premiums’ due to instability in the ME etc. The more people that fear we’ll end up penniless and freezing in the dark if the greens get their way, the easier they have it. By easier, I mean direct subsidies tax breaks and grants, not just easier permits and reduced restrictions.

        The military uses ‘terrorism’, finance uses ‘depression’, churches use ‘hell’, greens use CAGW, the prison system uses ‘surging violent crime’, politicians use everything they can reach. Heartland etc definitely use ‘eco freedom haters’ to raise money (and they don’t pay tax), but no argument they are less successful by many orders of magnitude than the green side.

        I’m just saying it is easier to get resources with controversy, so a lot of that is generated. Not sure how physicists have pulled it off all these years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they discover some unprecedented-impending-doom(TM) when looking to finance the next large collider : ).

      • (specifically, the reason there is no funding for ‘skeptical research’ the goal of industry is to have private enterprise subsidized – climate research doesn’t help them much. You have to look at the subsidies they get to compare, how they use them doesn’t matter. I think you can go category by category – research, exploration, development, infrastructure, etc and you will find it pretty gigantic on both sides).

      • Say what? You’re conflating all the geological research and exploration of the oil companies with skeptical science?

        What a desperate rationalization.

      • hey, as long as you’re ok paying for it…

      • In Britain and Australia, the electronic media spends big millions, to promote the Swindler’s propaganda. No show gets on air unless ” climate change, climate change” is repeated many times. TV is the most efficient in brainwashing the ignorant.

  5. Another noteworthy article is by Dr Robert Brown in the comments sections of WUWT, promoted to full post.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/02/why-cagw-theory-is-not-settled-science/

  6. Regarding the first entry; “Climate warriors” the message board I think says it all and likely better. One gem;

    20 February 2012 09:09
    Consider yourself severly harrassed for writing this hypocritical one sided self piteous sludge. Your allegiance is to the cult, not to science.

    //////////

    This is all text book progressive as a victim meme. AGW is largely a progressive politics creature and the activists (leftist) involved posing as scientists are old hat. The board would be more interesting if Dr. Curry acknowledged the basics. I’ll try to be nice about it today, being Friday and all. I can think of many nefarious reasons why we endlessly play out this politcally correct protocal of Dr. Curry’s. I’ll just skip it today.

    As For Megan McArdle;

    “So why do I still support action–especially, climate skeptics demand, when the science is so uncertain?

    Well, because we’ve only go the one climate. I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix. The risk of a catastrophic outcome may be small, but it would be pretty darn terrible to find out that hey, we hit the jackpot!”

    This is what 150 years of fear based progressive politics do when you consider the total loss of science reason associated to AGW and the greater progressive movement captured in this “reasoning” if we must call it that. In the U.S. alone that 2 million people died in the industrial revolution (1870-1920) in accidents and very premature illness deaths, 1.2 million or more war dead and we’ve produced and entire class of elite who can afford and are inclined to worry about almost nothing as long as it helps reinforce a common fear based political culture dressed in good intentions (Progressivism) as a mask for selfish ones. If we are to use such irrational standards as McArdle why aren’t we building a planetary defense system just in case a really big one (not large enough to overcome our investment of course) might be detected in space and we could do something about it say 80 years from now?? This all falls under the Euphemism of the “Precautionary Principle” that is generally steep in leftist fear based politics and codes. All more than worthless and should be rejected. A hypothesis requires proof to become a “theory”, it hasn’t even met that test regarding AGW. This is a million miles from buying the extra large snowblower if you live in Maine as a “Precaution”.

    McArdle is far from the worst but alas, she is a pinhead with the usual condescending straw arguments about “weather” and “talk radio”. She is a walking talking example of “DINK urbanite” progressive culture who still read the Atlantic Monthly like it’s cutting edge.

    • “If we are to use such irrational standards as McArdle why aren’t we building a planetary defense system just in case a really big one (not large enough to overcome our investment of course) might be detected in space and we could do something about it say 80 years from now??”

      Because we can calculate the chance of that happening. The odds are very small we’d be hit in the next 80 years when we haven’t been hit for millions.

      On the otherhand with the geoengineering CO2 experiment we are unwittingly performing we have no way of calculating the repercussions so simply.

      “This all falls under the Euphemism of the “Precautionary Principle” that is generally steep in leftist fear based politics and codes.”

      Everyone understands and applies the precautionary principle where applicable. It has nothing to do with “leftists”.

      The ongoing CO2 rise is only a non-issue to you because you don’t understand the significance of what is actually happening.

      • The Precautionary Principle has nothing to do with odds, only absolutes. If it ain’t absolutely safe, it stops, right now until you can prove otherwise. That’s the problem! And we don’t use it all the time, It seems to me that it is only invoked, generally by those left of center politically, to stop some kind of progress, like an increase in the supply of food, energy, wealth or well-being.

      • lolwot,

        Unwittingly performed geo-engineering projects is are a common concern of everyone.
        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/045110/pdf/1748-9326_4_4_045110.pdf

        There are quite a few witting, geo-engineering projects that can be performed safely, cost effectively and reversibly. These do not required turning the global economy upside and can also be very effective it verifying or falsifying the theory of CO2 global warming.

        There are also responsible methods of utilizing fossil fuels while more “sustainable” energy options are developed. Better ways to build global coupled models, measure surface temperatures, ocean heat content, construct paleo-climate reconstructions and in general, do business.

        That is the problem with the “progressive” mentality. There are more ways to skin catfish than the idealistic progressive methods.

        Try to keep up.

      • “The Precautionary Principle has nothing to do with odds, only absolutes. If it ain’t absolutely safe, it stops, right now until you can prove otherwise.”

        All the precautionary principle means is you don’t perform an action until sufficient evidence has been supplied that the action is safe. Only in the most extreme version would absolute proof be demanded.

        The precautionary principle is widely used in everyday life where we delay an action until we can be sufficiently confident that it’s safe. From the driver who stops to check his car because he hears a strange noise coming from the engine and won’t start it up again until he can assure himself it’s OK, to the regulations that demand drug companies test their drugs before they can sell them. Political orientation has nothing to do with it.

    • In that gem, please elucidate:
      Do you suppose that “severly” is the adverbial form of “several”??

      ;p

  7. A physicist

    The coming decades will see great advances in our observations of climate change, and in our scientific understanding of those changes, and in our ability to predict future changes.

    One thing is certain: no matter how our understanding evolves, a whole lot of folks’ opinions will be proven wrong, and to the degree that they behave rationally, they are going to have to retract the opinions they hold today.

    The certainty that many folks will have to retract strongly-held opinions is why it was astounding and dismaying to see the Climate Etc. post a link, via the WSJ, to the views of the Heartland Institute’s executive officer Joe Bast.

    It is Joe Bast’s strongly-held opinion, sustained through several decades, and still to be found on the Heartland Institute’s web site even today, that:

    “A fourth lie is that even moderate smoking is deadly … smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects.”

    Here Bast’s assertions are factually wrong, and his demagogic language (specifically, that those who disagree are willful “liars”) is morally wrong.

    Most folks appreciate that the narrative &ldauo;First they took away our right to smoke tobacco, then they took away our right to burn carbon” is a potent meme for demagoguery.

    Therefore, Dr. Curry, perhaps your post creates grounds for concern that Climate Etc. may be perceived as harmfully becoming allied with persons and institutions whose record is suggestive of a continuing and irresponsible disdain for scientific fact, admixed with a regrettable predilection for demagogic language.

    • A physicist

      Hmmm … here is (hopefully) a verifying link to the Heartland Institute/Joe Bast’s factually wrong, demagogically phrased, and still-on-line claims that:

      Five Lies about Tobacco: A fourth lie is that even moderate smoking is deadly … smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects.”

      • you are pretty hung up on this smoking thing. Smoking is a risk factor, not a definitive cause. If tobacco itself was a “cause” then the risk of smoking cigars would be about the same as smoking cigarettes.

        You brought up bladder cancer and “tobacco” in another thread. The main risk factors for bladder cancer are, increased age, being white, male and living in a developed country. You listed a study from 1992 about bladder cancer. There have been a number of studies since then, and the main risk factors for bladder cancer are still increased age, being white, male and living in a developed country. In one recent study links, processed meat products, hot dogs, deli meats etc. but not cured products, like bacon, thankfully,is listed a a risk factor for bladder cancer. Another recent study links cigarette additives, not the tobacco, but the additives.

        If you will note, Joe Bast’s title is “Five Lies about Tobacco:” not “Five Lies about Cigarettes:”

      • It is definitely true that a whole of opinions will be proven wrong. The real question is whose. Unfortunately, I do not feel as many will retract their opinions as to give excuses as to why their opinions were wrong, or more likely, how their opinions are still correct, just being overwhelmed by other forces.

      • A physicist’s faith requires that Naomi Oreskes be as right about climate science as she was about tobacco. He’s erecting the control tower and preparing the landing field for the arrival of her flight.
        ===================

      • A physicist

        It’s simple, Captain: quibbling is wrong. In brief:

        Honor is not a complicated system of ethics, but merely honest dealing. Quibbling, evasive statements, or the use of technicalities are not tolerated. (details here)

        The strongest climate science, and the strongest climate skepticism, alike embrace this plain-and-simple honor code. It is very regrettable that the quibbles we hear from Peter Gleick and Joe Bast suggest that neither of them has a solid appreciation of it.

      • Keep drumming. It’s a bird, it’s a plane….. No, it’s a bird.
        ========================

      • A P,
        You are the on quibbling.
        You claim quibbling is wrong.
        You have lots of trollish chutzpah to seek to turn yet another thread into a tobacco thread.
        Deal with tthe topic at hand, or be seen as just a cheap repalcement for Joshua.
        Do you work for the NCSE, by the way?

      • But “Quibbling” appears to be the law of the land. The greatest risks for cancer are aging, genetics and eating too well. Without the advances of science and industry we would not be concerned with cancer. Also the quibblers would be occupied with survival rather than having the luxury to quibble.

        Freedom of choice is the main reason there are groups such as the Heartland and having the right to “quibble” with the quibblers is something I respect.

        One reason I am a Lukewarmer, is that I have noticed that typically the most vocal quibblers are wrong. But hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion, I just get miffed, when a quibbler’s opinion starts interfering with my freedom of choice.

      • Hmmm. Of the five “lies” mentioned by Bast four of them seem reasonable, but the one you cited on moderate smoking is something of which I know nothing. Can you supply something other than salacious outrage on this point?

      • a quote from “Merchants of Doubt:

        “…Singer was promulgating an old adage: that the dose makes the poison. Where did this come from anyway? The answer is Paracelsus, a Renaissance medic who dies in 1541. Singer and Jeffreys were challenging the EPA with a five-hundred year old aphorism.”

        Oreskes is clueless

      • A physicist

        Bob K. asks: Hmmm. Of the five “lies” mentioned by Bast … the one you cited on moderate smoking is something of which I know nothing.

        Bog, this Climate etc. thread supplies plentiful medical references. Together with some prime specimens of quibbling, abuse, and just-plain-ranting!   :)

      • A physicist.

        Yr. “Mike, was the essay Juvenalian?”

        No, physicist the “essay” was not “Juvenalian” and it was not “Swiftian” and it was not some screw-ball undergrad prank. Rather, the “essay” was as serious as a “dead baby”. But don’t take my word for it:

        -In our exchange on this issue of killing babies, in one of the threads attached to this blog’s “JC Interview” post, I provided you two references from newspapers about the baby-killing article.

        -Let me also refer you to an editorial that stoutly defends the baby-killing article by the editor, Julian Savulescu, of the “Journal of Medical Ethics”. That last is the journal in which the article was published. (Google: “journal of medical ethics liberals are disgusting”).
        In that editorial, you’ll learn that killing-babies is not a new idea, but is an idea that’s been on the eco-elites’ mind for quite some time (wonder what other categories of expendable useless-eaters our intrepid cull-master wannabes have in mind?–behind closed doors, of course).

        -Again, let me also refer you to Julian “Philosopher KIng” Savulescu’s bio (Google: “Oxford Centre for Neuroethics Julian Savulescu”). This guy is a big-bopper in greenshirt, “sustainability” circles. Not some goofy kid on a lark or a “nut-case” crank.

        -And after you’ve read the above references, physicist, perhaps you’ll then be of a mind to provide us your view of those who advocate baby-killing without regret.

        As far as Hansen’s predictions go. Well, I’ve bought into them this much, physicist. I’ve strongly advocated that UN conferences on climate change/sustainability/”green economy” (like the up-coming Rio+20 confab) be video-conferenced–thereby, saving both a wad of taxpayer dough and a carbon-foot print that one newspaper described as comparable to the annual carbon emissions of a small African nation (that in reference to the poorly-attended Durban IPCC conference).

        But so far the carbon, pig-out party wing of the Big-Green hustle has won out and so this year, for example, private jets, bullet-proof limousines and yachts will be flitting about Rio, shuttling our carbon-swine eco-betters between their 5-star luxurious accommodations, their conference sites and, most importantly, their after-hours blow-out bashes. Maybe you can do something from your end, physicist, to end these UN sponsored carbon-atrocities that your greenshirt pals seem to regard as their fun-in-the-sun, turn-at-the-trough right. Even as their urge carbon-austerity on the rest of us, of course.

      • physicist,

        My above, 3 March, 9:03 a. m. comment was intended to be a reply to your 3 March, 5:28 a. m. comment in the next sub-thread down (the one that begins with Latimer’s 2 March, 2:24 pm comment. Sorry for the mix-up and confusion I have caused.

      • “My above, 3 March, 9:03 a. m. comment was intended to be a reply to your 3 March, 5:28 a. m. comment in the next sub-thread down (the one that begins with Latimer’s 2 March, 2:24 pm comment. Sorry for the mix-up and confusion I have caused.”

        I wonder why I even comment here on the Climate Etc blog. The larger topic of uncertainty quantification in the natural sciences perfectly intersects my regular interests in applied math. And there are enough interesting ideas from commenters that I can squeeze the occasional bit of useful insight to keep me going.

        But then again, the majority mindset of the commenting population is totally whack. Here we have Mike who apparently goes ballistic on some poor guy because of hints of sustainability issues. This is a big enough deal to Mike that he has to clarify to everyone that he has misplaced a rant in the thread. No matter that the rant has no meaning to anything practical and it serves only to show how one can go off the rails on any topic.

        So that also kind of intersects with my secondary interest of “Why people believe weird things”, which is also the name of one of Michael Shermer’s books. I consider Shermer a disciple of Martin Gardner, who was one of the original writers on healthy skepticism. At the end of his book, Shermer lists several rationales for why people believe in weird stuff:
        1. They believe because they want to, and it makes them feel good.
        2. Immediate gratification (which I think is an outgrowth of #1)
        3. “Simple explanations of a complex and contingent world”
        4. To provide morality and meaning that the scientific and secular systems can’t provide.

        Shermer links all these rationales together in his own belief that humans are “forward looking species always seeking greater levels of happiness and satisfaction”. So I would suggest that this is really not skepticism at all but something else. I think it is often a misplaced issue posing as skepticism.

        Shermer understands the implications of all this because he points out that he regularly receives mail “from people obviously offended by our existence”. In this thread, the Physicist is obviously the misplaced target of some deep-seated animosity that Mike holds.

        So this is all very entertaining to watch these belief systems play out on a topic that is interesting but fairly dry without the occasional fireworks.

        Elsewhere in this thread Ross Cann wrote:

        “The ignorance displayed by most of the comment posts on this site is staggering. There is less understanding here of science, and especially physicis, than is taught in high school. I bid you adios.”

        I totally agree with Ross’s sentiment and realize that the possible reason for me to keep reading is for the immediate gratification (superiority complex?) of trying to understand why people are stir-crazy when it comes to these topics. By my commenting on this topic, I doubt I have pulled away any kind of veneer — people are going to believe in what they believe no matter how I apply Shermer’s thesis to the AGW topic.

      • WebHub,

        At least to the extent your last comment refers to me, your above comment is stupid. Just a stupid comment, content wise. Otherwise, it’s implications are profoundly repugnant, my friend.

        Let’s see, WebHub, rants about second-hand tobacco smoke, designed to discredit “deniers”, or any of the other totally OT digressions that appear daily on this blog don’t push any buttons with you or cause you to wring your hands and reflect on the worth of your participation on this blog. But raise the subject of baby-killing and you come out of your hole all full of sputtering indignation and life crises.

        I realize now, WebHub, I’ve really touched a nerve with you greenshirts with this baby-killer business. So what was that article in the “Journal of Medical Ethics” all about Web? A trial-balloon? A launch of a “green economy”, sustainability campaign to mainstream “ethical” baby-killing? Something more?

        Fairly inept push-back, WebHub, but your heart’s in the right place, I can see. So your hive-masters will, at least, be pleased that your sensitive antennae have picked up the hive-vibe that “ethical” baby-killing is the trendy new hive agenda item. What a guy you are, WebHub–room for improvement, of course, but what a guy!

      • What is weird is that Shermer and Gardner originally practiced skepticism as a form of debunking crazy stuff. Now fake skepticism is being used to deliver an agenda, as a kind of framing and projection technique. The framing is that you are heirs to the skeptical throne, so you must be the smartest ones. The real skeptics see through that facade.

      • John Carpenter

        WHT says ‘I wonder why I even comment here on the Climate Etc blog.’

        Yeah, that makes two of us. Look, if your going to comment about how your think one persons rant is totally off topic…. then be sure your not off topic yourself. ‘Why people believe weird things’ I find has next to nothing to offer this thread. At least mike’s comment is relevant to one of the topics JC lists above… ‘Where do Gliecks apologists draw the line?’ That article deals with ethical behavior and how far people are willing to go for ‘the cause’… where do you draw the line? Answer that question and you’ll be back on topic yourself.

      • The entirety of the blog comments section is filled with “why people believe weird things”. From the sky dragons, to the trendologists who think they can make predictions based on 10 years of data, it is all very odd. What motivates all this weirdness?

        Remember this question falls under the quote in the top-level post:

        Fossil-fuel interests, says Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher at NASA, “have adopted a shoot-the-messenger approach. It’s been a very successful strategy.”

        I think it is all based on FUD — Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. And the uncertainty in FUD is not the one that is easily quantifiable. Quantification of uncertainty is the major theme of this blog, and no one will ever make any progress unless this kind of FUD is reduced.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Hey Webhead – bang bang – you have no possible relevance to any possible policy outcome. We are really, really tired of you and your stupid moralising. You have a message and no one is listening? Now you know why. Shoot the messenger? Any time – any place because you are such an idiot. No one is spreading FUD but you. We’re making progress. We are going in exactly the direction we want to go in. No progress at all along the – what is your agenda? World socialism? Limit’s to growth? Lentils and sandals? Whatever it is – we don’t give a rat’s phallus.

        Captain Kangaroo

      • John Carpenter

        WHT, I see no connection between ‘why do people believe in weird things’ and Gavin’s ‘shoot the messenger’ argument. Those seem like two totally different ways to approach the debate.

        Gavin is a very good scientist, no doubt about it. But his meme that fossil fuel industry’s employment of a ‘shoot the messenger’ tactic (if there even is one) as the reason why CAGW can’t seem to get off the ground with the common folks is total crap. That argument is not why the ‘the cause’ has stalled. The common folk merely look out the window. End of story. The majority are not concerned with what might happen 100 + years from now. They are concerned with more trivial aspects of life, like earning a living to pay for food and shelter. In the third world it may be even more trivial like how they are going to survive to see next week. Only the elites of the world have the luxury of worrying about what might happen in a future they will never live to see. You, me, Gavin and probably most of the commenter on this blog I would put in that category. But we are the vast minority population on the planet.

        ‘Why people believe in weird things’ is not a ‘shoot the messenger’ argument. True, people believe in lots of weird things, heck, as an avid sports fan myself I believe lots of weird reasons why my teams can never seem to win. But again, people believing in weird things is not the reason ‘the cause’ can’t get airborne. The reason why so many people (and by people I mean the elites who have the time to study and think about such things) don’t get on board is because most of us understand enough about science and engineering to know this very complex problem called ‘climate’ simply cannot be reduced down to one component, CO2, as the only reason why we have seen a moderate warming in the last few decades. You, as someone capable of understanding the statistics, math, physics and science tools used to ‘model’ the climate should know this to be true.

        The sensitivity knob is still a big unknown. It appears to me that our attempts to model the climate in order to determine the gain on that knob results in answers on the hot side. They don’t appear to match the real word data coming in… yet. I understand decadal timescale results may be no indicator of any models long term predictive ability… but it’s what we know at this time… so we have to consider the models may not be accurate. If we are not considering that idea, we are ignoring what we do know about the data coming in and can add ourselves to the group of people ‘who believe in weird things’.

      • They all read from the same handbook of how to talk like a skeptic without applying any deep analysis. It’s essentially shotgunning with FUD.

        Here is a non-comprehensive synopsis of Climate Etc over the last year:

        “It’s not man-made warming, it’s not even warming, and even so, the chaos makes it impossible to figure anything out, while the code is too complicated and its full of bugs with numerical approximation errors, and lefties are running things anyways, and besides, it’s actually cooling, and its impossible for cool objects to heat warm objects, and its really all about natural variation and how bad could it be anyways, and they say bad things in emails, and people are burning books to stay warm, and the earth has different velocities, and temperature can’t be averaged, and maybe if I throw some poetry in there and reference Feynman people will believe I am serious.”

      • John Carpenter

        WHT, that’s pretty funny… who wrote that? Did you write that? I want to know who wrote that.

      • Of course I wrote that. All the skeptical arguments are like a Bose gas — they rattle around and into each other until they become uniformly indistinguishable.

      • Peter Davies

        WHT. Your description of the various arguments put forward on this blog is most amusing. The fact that they have been put together like you have is very much reminiscent of the lack of context such arguments have been put to us in the first place.

        While I understand your (and Ross Cann’s frustration at what appears to be a lack of traction of your POV’s on this blog I don’t think that anything can be gained by insulting the intelligence of many who find the time and enthusiasm to continue to contribute to this blog and who are in the process of formulating their take on AGW.

      • kim,

        or maybe it’s Superman.

        Ah, never mind, just some guy running around with his underwear on outside his clothes and wearing a cape. Scott Mandia perhaps?

    • Latimer Alder

      Explain to me why Joe Bast’s views on tobacco have anything to do with his stance on climate?

      If you wish to criticise him for his views on climate, please do so. But guilt by association or whatever you are trying to prove are pretty unconvincing.

      • A physicist

        The issues are associated to a regrettable predilection for scientific irresponsibility disseminated via demagogic obloquy.

        Which ain’t cool no way, eh? :)

      • A Physicist, “The issues are associated to a regrettable predilection for scientific irresponsibility disseminated via demagogic obloquy.”

        Like using questionable statistics to indicate significance where none exists :)

      • Latimer,
        Think of how far we got asking Joshua, Martha or any of the other trolls to actually be topical oor responsive. Like most trolls, he is now projecting his quibbling and accusing those whom he dislikes the most of doing what he has been doing now for two threads.

      • Latimer Alder

        @ a physicist

        ‘The issues are associated to a regrettable predilection for scientific irresponsibility disseminated via demagogic obloquy.’

        I’ll wait for the English version, thanks

        (But I don’t think you know what ‘obloquy’ actually means. Perhaps when you translate your statement into ‘understandable’ you will modify it appropriately, innit?).

      • A physicist

        Latimer, we all of us recognize obloquy when we encounter it! :)

      • I come to my views on where the climate is going, and what are the causes, mainly on my own. I don’t take seriously anyone who doubts that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer and accelerates (in many, not all, for genetic reasons) cardiovascular disease. If someone can’t get science straight on something this simple, I won’t pay much attention to what they have to say on other issues.

        In contrast, Pat Michaels, whether he turns out to be mostly right or mostly wrong, always argues from a solid scientific grounding, so I always listen to him and consider what he has to say.

        Many of my viewpoints on climate are derived from as much data as I can got, so that I can compare current reality with what the model outputs say.

      • A physicist

        Hmmm … it appears that the forum parser has a tough time recognizing “obloquy” … perhaps fans of American history can do better? :)

      • Latimer Alder

        @A physicist

        Even if the page you linked to weren’t ‘not found’, I do know what obloquy means. I just wonder how you can make the sentence

        ‘…scientific irresponsibility disseminated by demagogic obloquy’ and expect it to mean anything at all. How do you disseminate irresponsibility (which is a quality, not an idea)? Equally how do you disseminate obloquy, demagogic or not? And how would i recognise ‘demagogic oboloquy’ if it were (capable of) being disseminated in my – or some other – general direction?

      • A physicist

        Latimer, in regard to “irresponsibility disseminated by obloquy”, please let me commend to you Trish Roberts-Miller’s boldly conceived and well-written essay Characteristics of Demagoguery, in particular the sections titled “Polarization”, “God and Devil Terms”, and “Motivism.”

      • A physicist

        In regards to Mike’s post, please let me commend to Climate etc. readers those sections of Dr. Roberts-Miller’s on-line Characteristics of Demagoguery that have the following titles:

        • “Rhetoric of Hate”,
        • “Personalizing of Criticisms”,
        • “Eschatalogical Metanarrative”,
        • “Denial of Responsibility”,
        • “Tendency Toward Conspiracy Theories”, and
        • “Anti-Intellectualism”.

        The prevalence of and tolerance for these grievously harmful demagogic themes on Dr. Curry’s weblog is difficult to justify … and can serve only to impede what must inevitably come to pass, sooner or later: the joining of strong science with responsible skepticism.

      • physicist,

        Still tryin’ to grab hold of and control the “narrative” aren’t you, guy. Tobacco-scientist/Heartland smears, Koch brothers funded denialism conspiracy theories, quibblers who don’t care about the kids when it comes to life-and-death issues of grandmothers, etc. All that sort of thing is the stuff of the concerned greenshirt, nobly looking out for future generations, and, therefore, despite its “demagogic” morphology, a narrative that enjoys a greenshirt-special double-standard exemption from the “demagogic” label. Right, physicist?

        But then the essence of the CAGW-scam has always been bold duplicity and in-your-face double-standards and carbon-piggy hypocrisy.

        And, oh by the way, physicist, did you ever get around to denouncing baby-killing and the associated, rhetoric-of-love, intellectual-to-a-fault, life-affirming doctrine that declares babies to have no right to life? Last time I checked, physicist, you were so busy with your tobacco-fueled, flunky-troll thread-jacking that you hadn’t yet declared your position on baby-killing.

        You know, physicist, I’m beginning to get the idea that baby-killing has become an item of greenshirt solidarity and that to condemn baby-killing is to be seen as betraying “the cause.” Bet that’s it, right, physicist? But I could be wrong. Why don’t you prove me wrong, physicist and condemn baby-killing?

        P. S. For those readers puzzled by my above references to baby-killing, two Australian professors have published an article in a prestigious ethics journal, edited by an Oxford professor, which takes the “ethical” position that babies have no right to life. And since defenseless babes have no right to life, their precious, tiny lives, at the very moment they are taking their first breaths and, in their new-born, helpless need, are seeking their mother’s first caress and embrace, can be snuffed out without any moral qualm by our cull-master philosopher kings and queens of the sustainability”-minded eco-left. Amazing stuff!

        And even more amazing is that self-righteous little eco-prigs like physicist, with their urgent, “for the kids” sermonizing instantly at the ready, when “kids” can be usefully employed as a propaganda tool for “the cause”, fall strangely silent when it comes to condemning baby-killer advocates. I mean, of course, those baby-killer advocates who are, at the same time, physicist’s distinguished fellow hive-mates.

      • A physicist

        Mike, was that essay Juvenalian? Perhaps you completely misunderstood that the essay was not serious, but rather satire? Supposing that you did grasp everything backwards, such that your anger was utterly misdirected, perhaps you should apologize?

        And there is a lesson here for climate skeptics. Supposing for example that Jim Hansen’s predictions prove true, then those expressing anger toward him will owe him a heartfelt apology. It is well to keep this probability in mind, as a shield against the embrace of demagoguery.

      • physicist,

        My apologies, my comment in reply to your last is misplaced in the previous sub-thread–it’s my 3 March 9:02 a. m. My last comment clarifies that the baby-killer article was not “Juvenalian” or “Swiftian” or the work of an undergrad prankster or a “tin-foil hat” crank.

      • Physicist,

        This is getting too hard–my previous post was 9:03 a. m. not the erroneously cited (by moi) 9:02 a. m. comment so I’ll just repeat it here:

        A physicist,

        Yr. “Mike, was the essay Juvenalian?”

        No, physicist, the “essay” was not “Juvenalian” and it was not “Swiftian” and it was not some screw-ball undergrad prank. Rather, the “essay” was as serious as a “dead baby.” But don’t take my word for it:

        -In our previous exchange on this issue of killing babies, in one of the threads attached to this blog’s “JC interview” post, I provided you two newspaper articles about the baby-killing article.

        -Let me also refer you to an editorial that stoutly defends the baby-killing article by the editor, Julian Savulescu, of the “Journal of Medical Ethics”. That last is the journal in which the baby-killing article appeared (Google: “journal of medical ethics liberals are disgusting”). In that editorial, you’ll learn that baby-killing is not a new idea, but an idea that’s been on the eco-elite’s collective mind for quite some time (wonder what other categories of expendable, useless-eaters our intrepid, wannabe cull-master have in mind?–behind closed doors, of course).

        -Again, let me refer you to Julian “Philosopher King” Savulescu’s bio (Google: “Oxford Centre for Neuroethics Julian Savulescu). This guy is a big-bopper in greenshirt, “sustainability” circles. Not some goofy kid on a lark or a nut-case crank.

        -And after you’ve read the above references, physicist, perhaps you’ll then be of a mind to offer us your views on those who advocate killing babies without regret.

        As far as Hansen’s predictions go. Well, I’ve bought into them this much, physcist. I’ve strongly advocated that UN conferences on climate change/sustainability/the “green economy” (like the up-coming Rio+20 confab) be video-conferenced–thereby saving both a big wad of tax-payer dough and sparing us a carbon-footprint that one newspaper compared to the annual emissions of a small African nation (that in reference to the poorly attended IPCC Durban conference).

        But so far the carbon, pig-out party wing of the Big Green hustle has won out, and so, this year, for example, private jets, bullet-proof limousines, and yachts will be flitting about Rio shuttling our carbon-swine eco-betters between their 5-star luxurious accommodations, their conference sites, and, most importantly, their after-house blow-out bashes.

        Maybe you can do something from your end, physicist, to end these UN sponsored carbon-atrocities that your geenshirt pals seem to regard as their fun-in-the-sun, turn-at-the-trough right. Even as their urge carbon-austerity on the rest of us, of course. Yes, indeed, I hope you, physicist, can succeed where I’ve failed–I mean, it’s for the kids, you know. And the grandmothers.

      • andrew adams

        mike,

        before you go around smearing the left as “baby killers” you might want to check out who said this

        [A] parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also … the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.

      • Andrew,

        So a gent named Murray Rothbard defends “baby-starvers.” I guess that’s supposed to burst my bubble or something. Since I’ve at best vaguely heard the name of Murray Rothbard, and have never read a word he wrote, prior to the quote you provided, I’ve managed to not fall out of my chair when my Google search produced his name.

        Regardless, Rothbard sounds like another baby-killer advocate, albeit with a slightly different twist on the justification. But I can’t imagine anyone I know defending Rothbard’s views, and that entirely because it could (and would, if put into practice) lead to the death or severe neglect of children. So let me utterly and vehemently denounce Rothbard’s inhuman views of the duties of parents to children over which they have custody and authority and any other repellent creep that holds his views in this matter.

        O. K., now, Andrew, ol’ sport, instead of playing tit-for-tat with dead babies, could you join me and offer up your own denunciation of Rothbard’s monstrous views and, oh by way, while you’re at it, denounce those greenshirt, advocates of baby-killing without regret as well.

        For your futher edification, check out the editiorial by Julian Sulvalescu (Google: “journal of medical ethics liberals are disgusting). You’ll see that “ethical” baby-killing has been a warmly considered topic by a number of greenshirt cull-master wannabes for a number of years and is stoutly defended as a reasonable ethical viewpoint by the “distinguished” editor of one of the world’s leading baby-killer friendly “ethics” journals .

        And you know, Andrew, the left didn’t used to be into “thinking-big” about killing-babies (though mass murders by the tens of millions was routinely defended by the left when in service of the cause–all within living memory). Baby-killing for the “ethical” is entirely a product of the recent infiltration of the left by the eco-eugenics crowd with their ideas of Gaia, CAGW-scams, sustainability, and the “green economy”.

        Good Lord! Can’t you even get worked up, Andrew, about mainstream “ethicists” writing in the most prestigious publications in that field currently promoting the view that babies have no right to life? Rothbard, I see has been dead for more than 15 years. The greenshirt baby-killer menace is here and now. So stop playing games and denounce such monstrous baby-killer notions if you have shred of decency Andrew! We are talking about KILLING BABIES, Andrew.

      • WebHub; why needs 10-17 years for conclusion? They changed from ”Nuclear Winter” into ”GLOBAL warming” in a span of 2years. They were confident – now they talk about the ”missing heat” There is no missing heat – extra heat in the atmosphere is not cumulative. That ”decadel do-do” is for buying time. Multiply zero by 10 or 100, is still zero. Forget about waiting another 17years. By then, if the judge is lenient, you might be getting out on parole.

    • Actually, if in 50 years were are another 1.5 degrees warmer in the atmosphere, and the heat content of the ocean has continued its unabated rise, and land and sea ice melting has accelerated with severe costal flooding, it will change nothing.
      The warming will be “natural variability”, it will be the sun (somehow), it will be loss of albedo (of course the warming has by that time will have caused further loss of albedo), it will be the unexpected release of tundra methane due to the natural-variability warming. In the end it will be just the continued attempt by liberals to scare us into giving up our freedoms, spending trillions on a giant red-herring, and causing the world’s poor to starve by taking away their fossil fuels.

      • Owen,
        And if in 50 years none of that happens, as is the likely case, can we then say that this incredibly expensive fear mongering was by a bunch of irresponsible lefty twits who pushed apoclayptic claptrap to help impose their corrupt policies?

      • @ Owen | March 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Actually, if in 50 years were are another 1.5 degrees warmer in the atmosphere…

        Owen, your hypothetical is giving oxygen to the Warmist. They know that: if warming doesn’t happen – they will blame the sun – the ignorant opponents will believe in any crap. GLOBAL warming is zero – will be zero in 50-100years also / already proven. But your hypothetical sounds exactly as:.”if” grandpa grows those things in future… Correct answer: if he grows those things – he will not be a grandpa, he would be a grandma; but he is, and always will be a grandpa!!! GLOBAL warming is ZERO!!!

        Owen, don’t be like the sissy ”physicist” use your brains. They were lying that the planet will warm up – now they are in damage control – they love when a Skeptic starts to blame solar / galactic influences.

        Bottom line: CO2 has increased much more than anybody predicted; GLOBAL warming is not happening – crime shouldn’t pay! Oxygen + nitrogen are regulating the temperature, by the laws of physics, not CO2 – same laws of physics will be in 50-100-150years as today. Same laws of physics were 150 years ago. Now they are monitoring on 0,000000000000001% of the atmosphere – 150 years ago was monitored on much less places. 3] Troposphere is not as human body – when is warmer under the armpit by 1C – the whole body is warmer by that much. In the atmosphere the temperature is different on every 100m3, and is changing every few minutes. Nobody knows what is overall the temperature in +/- inaccuracy of 3C, to save his life. When one states that is warmer year / decade by 0,15 – he is not talking about the temperature, but about himself > admitting that he is a shameless liar – looking for B/S customers / consumers. Owen, B/S is not a healthy diet. Look at the sun, see the size of it; temperature doesn’t go up and down as a yo-yo. The whole ”GLOBAL warming swindle” is concocted and is effective as much as there are ”bull-dung consumers” Cheers

      • Stephan, sir. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. It’s so easy to fall into the warmist traps – I find myself gazing at the beautiful data, mesmerized by those warmist fabrications, and in my bliss I forget from whom that data came. In the future, I will try to keep my eyes averted and my mind focused on the truth.

    • A physicist

      With respect Captain, your post’s assertions are factually wrong: for heavy and even moderate smokers, the risk of cancer associated to smoking dominates all other cancer risks.

      As for the risk R_{\text{CAGW}} that the causal chain GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW \Leftrightarrow CAGW extends to completion, it is no part of rational science or rational skepticism to assert that this risk resides substantially outside the range

         20\% \lesssim R_{\text{CAGW}}  \lesssim 80%

      As Judith Curry’s Climate etc. columns have correctly noted, our present understanding of climate physics is too uncertain to impart confidence in estimates substantially outside this range, in either direction.

      • A Physicist. The risk of lung cancer has a much higher risk associated with cigarette smoking, not all cancers and not cancer in general. Depending on what is termed, “moderate smoking” there is a lower but significant risk of lung cancer.

        For climate change, the risk of CAGW by all methods has decreased since the original predictions. One link you seem to miss is the land use relationship with GHE. The GHE does not create energy it only returns energy and it is limited by both the energy it can receive from the surface and amount it can cool the tropopause. One area of the globe that is still pretty much rural, is Antarctica. Since 1979 when satellite measurements began, it has been cooling.

        This chart, http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/comparisionofAntarcticSurfaceandMid-TroposphereTempratures.png

        Compares the mid-troposphere temperature from RSS to the GISS surface station average temperature. If your causal link were correct, there should not be a decrease in temperature in the Antarctic mid-troposphere for the statistically significant period of over 30 years and there should not be acceleration in that negative trend for the also statistically significant past 17 years.

        It is your right to believe what you wish, but sometimes skepticism is extremely valuable because believers tend to over state their cases.

        The truth does lie in the middle most of the time :)

      • @ A physicist | March 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

        As a physicist, may be shocking to you to find out that: climatic changes are constant – some big, some not; they never ever have anything to do with any PHONY GLOBAL warming! No need for GLOBAL warning, the climate to change. Sahara V Amazon basin is the best example. You can fly from one place to the other in a day; did your GLOBAL warming happened in that day? Start using your brains / eyes and common sense’ stop confusing climatic changes with the phony global warmings / coolings. They are not and cannot be GLOBAL; that’s what the laws of physics and my formula say: Extra Heat > Atmosphere Expands > Extra Coldness Intercepts (or extra heat releases) Physicist, ”extra heat in the atmosphere overall is NOT accumulative”!!! Today the sun will produce tremendous amount of heat here – none of it will be left for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be as warm as yesterday – because the god Lord inserted a thermometer in every atom of oxygen and nitrogen – to expand when warmed – to shrink when cooled. Those two elements are 998999ppm. Can 270-400ppm of CO2 prevent them off expanding? physicist

        If you know anything about physics – you should know that: oxygen + nitrogen expand INSTANTLY, when warmed up > troposphere expands upwards… do you know the temperature just above the troposphere? Nuclear mushroom can teach you what happens to even part of the atmosphere when warms up. Talking about the whole troposphere getting warmer for more than few minutes, is the most ignorant / precursor of all evil that comes from the propaganda machine. Start to believe in the laws of physics, not in the destructive cult. As soon as it gets warmer > the vertical winds increase – those winds can increase to the speed of a nuclear mushroom – actually, that’s what nuclear mushroom is – vertical winds, made from O+N + CO2 + some dust for convenience to be viable. You cannot see the plutonium in that mushroom.

    • A physicist

      Hmmm … let’s try the \text{\LaTeX} parser again:

      As for the risk R_{\text{CAGW}} that the causal chain GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW \Leftrightarrow CAGW extends to completion, it is no part of rational science or rational skepticism to assert that this risk resides substantially outside the range

         20\% \lesssim R_{\text{CAGW}}  \lesssim 80\%

      Rationally, this one will work! :)

      • Captain Kangaroo

        The risk of catastrophic climate change over a long enough period is unity – the risk over 100 years from anthropogenic influences at current rates is miniscule. Although ruling out abrupt and non-linear natural variability seems premature. Rationally – you are an idiot.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Er, Cap’n Kanga, with would be A physicist, you just might be confusing idiocy with lunacy.

      • A physicist –

        “Mr. Kangaroo, I’m an idiot in very distinguished company!”

        I just know I`m going to regret this, but I have to ask:

        In what possible way could linking to your admiration of Benjamin’s architectural ideas be considered a rebuttal of CK’s first two sentences? No disparagement intended (really!), I’m just trying to see the connection between architectural theory and CAGW.

      • Scott Basinger

        My null hypothesis trumps your silly assertion.

  8. “The forces of climate change denial have, I believe, awakened a ‘sleeping bear.’” MIchael Mann

    Freudian slips abound in the “climate science” community.

    • Latimer Alder

      Thought the bears were all dead. Drownded because they couldn’t swim. Some fat american geezer inconveniently told me when he wasn’t inventing the internet..

      Or did he tell some porkies?

  9. “Well, because we’ve only go the one climate. I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix. The risk of a catastrophic outcome may be small, but it would be pretty darn terrible to find out that hey, we hit the jackpot!”

    This could use just a little re-working and fairly represent the skeptical position.

    Why do skeptics not favor decarbonizing the economy even though there might be a miniscule risk of thermageddon?

    Well, because we’ve only go the one [economy]. I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix. The risk of a catastrophic outcome [is] [huge], [so] it would be pretty darn [stupid] to find out that hey, we [ruined the economy for nothing]!

    • Speaking of looming catastrophes, will there be enough oil consumption to cause “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”? See:
      The World Oil Supply: Looming Crisis or New Abundance?” The video of the University Of Wisconsin February 17, 2012 is now online. Ex-Shell CEO & Peak Oil Researcher Face Off over America’s Energy Future. Posted at “Citizens for Affordable Energy

      This is the best presentation by experts that I have heard of stating the major future transport fuel choices.
      Dr. Tad Patzek, incoming president of the Association of the Study of Peak Oil, and Chair of UT’s Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering.
      John Hofmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil Company and domestic drilling proponent with Citizens For Affordable Energy
      For followup details:
      Hofmeister wrote Why We Hate the Oil Companies Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 He advocates an independent energy regulatory agency equivalent to the Federal Reserve Bank.

      Tad W. Patzek, Exponential growth, energetic Hubbert cycles, and the advancement of technology Archives of Mining Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2008

      • “Steven Mosher | March 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

        The problem is acting too early with solutions that are not ready. sunk cost. money wasted now on solar and wind is money you are not able to spend on adaptation or say nuclear….”

        I would say it is a problem. There are many other problems.

        For example:
        Imagine if the government had decided back in the time when we learned how to fly, to support air travel in the same way that governments are currently supporting wind mills and solar energy.
        Does anyone think that would have helped air travel?

        Now the government did various things which help air travel- I shall not list them, but they didn’t pay for people to fly on air lines.

        What government is doing in regard to wind and solar power has never worked, though it’s somewhat similar to subsidies provided to railroads- and whatever “good” came doing that is somewhere debatable. One could argue that created monopolies and monopolies had certain advantages, standardization, maybe created railroads faster. But what better known, is the huge amount government corruption it begat.And I believed if weighs all the consequences, it wasn’t worth it.

        With that said, perhaps some ask what could the government do?
        To which I am suggesting there is answer- the technology is not ready
        could be answer, but it’s also side stepping the issue.

        Space travel is similar situation. Though more specifically sub-orbital travel replacing current air travel could even more similar to wind and solar replacing conventional power generation.
        One thing similar is it’s somewhat common for people to say the space travel [or sub-orbital] is not technologically ready. But it’s not true.
        The problem with sub-orbital is lack of market for what suborbital can provide that conventional travel can not provide.
        Or if the was more demand for traveling half way around the world in about an hour, rather than 12+ hours. If there was market, technology would be developed, but without a market technology will probably be no closer to being develop today as it would be in 50 or 100 years. Or sub-orbital travel could be developed 40 years, just easily as it can be today.
        So though strictly speaking the technology for sub-orbital travel is not ready at this point, but the road to doing this is having market which drives this technology- it’s about markets rather than the technology.

        So with solar panel for solar energy there is same problem- a lack of market. Once realize it’s market rather than technology- things which obvious become more obvious. You start with question who needs solar power? One answer is obvious- the guys that made solar panels need solar panel [that why they first made them, duh]. There could others that also need solar panels- I am not arguing that, I just saying that satellites maker made solar panels because they needed them.

        So who else might need solar panels. Obviously people who aren’t on a electrical grid. People that need to move to locations where other sources of electrical power are difficult to get. Military is one. Outdoor concerts. And whatever.
        Another aspect is one wants to use solar panels where one can get higher solar density. The more sunlight the cheaper solar panels are in comparison to other power sources. South western US is example.
        But also Sahara Desert is area where you get lots of sunlight. And most of Australia. Though of anywhere is space better than any of these.
        I am saying these are the answer, merely that it is obviously the correct direction.

    • “Well, because we’ve only go the one [economy]. I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix. The risk of a catastrophic outcome [is] [huge], [so] it would be pretty darn [stupid] to find out that hey, we [ruined the economy for nothing]!”

      Your rewording introduces a critical error. Changes to the economy are not one-way experiments. We have many mechanisms of tweaking the economy – we’ve seen just how many of them have been employed over the recent financial crisis for example (not that I think they’ll work), plus any decarbonization policies can themselves be tweaked over time in response to any problems.

      The same cannot be done with the climate. If we run into trouble at 500ppm we can’t suddenly turn the CO2 back down to 400ppm. Anything happening to the climate has a long delay built in as well as a large scale. I think of the deep water horizon incident and how long it took to plug that problem and then imagine a problem on an even larger scale.

      • There is some truth to that. If you accept all of the worst case scenarios of CAGW, and all of the assumptions about tipping points and catastrophes, and all of the assumptions that the Earth’s climate would not self regulate as cloud formation and other unquantified and unknown processes responded to any warming, and you assume that mankind will suddenly become stupid and stop adapting to climate, then the thermageddon that might conceivably result would not be immediately reversible.

        On the other hand, maybe only tens of millions of people would die (mostly in third world countries of course) before even progressives begin to realize that decarbonizing the global economy was a really dumb idea. So if we don’t throw the bums out in 2012, there are always later elections.

        The central problem is that we know for a certainty that progressives screw up every economy they get their hands on. And the chances of thermageddon are probably about the same as a massive asteroid hit. Not that anybody on the planet is actually capable of computing the actual risk of CAGW

        So on the whole, I think I will vote for not engaging in the willful and certain destruction of the economy, and take the miniscule risk that we will fry before we get smashed by an asteroid.

      • “If you accept all of the worst case scenarios of CAGW and all of the assumptions about tipping points and catastrophes”

        It’s the other-way round. You assume that none of them will happen.

        I accept that they could happen and realize there are a lot of them and only one has to happen for there to be a disaster.

        “and all of the assumptions that the Earth’s climate would not self regulate as cloud formation and other unquantified and unknown processes responded to any warming”

        Again it’s the other-way round. You assume the Earth’s climate is self-regulating.

        There is no reason why it should be. Unless the climate is sentient (some kind of gaia theory) or God has an active hand in the climate, there’s no reason to expect the climate will react to “help us” in response to our CO2 emission.

        “you assume that mankind will suddenly become stupid and stop adapting to climate”

        It’s the other-way round, you assume man will cope. I don’t. I remember how many weeks of scrambling around it took mankind to plug the deep water horizon leak.

      • Steven Mosher

        The problem is acting too early with solutions that are not ready. sunk cost. money wasted now on solar and wind is money you are not able to spend on adaptation or say nuclear. driven by fear we have squandered billions that can not be recovered. optimizing investments under uncertainty requires more thought than u are capable of.

      • As Steven Mosher points out, climate mitigation is nowhere near ready for policy decisions and extremely uneconomic. See the Copenhagen Consensus 2008 where leading Nobel Laureates in economics rank global warming mitigation dead last among the top 30 major humanitarian projects

      • lolwot,

        RE Deepwater Horizon – notice how it isn’t talked about much. Life moves on, the world still turns and doomsday is no closer than it was the day before that particular well head blew.

  10. Mann concludes. “The forces of climate change denial have, I believe, awakened a ‘sleeping bear.’ My fellow scientists will be fighting back, and I look forward to joining them in this battle.”

    There is very little climate change denial. In the skeptic side of this, most of us are aware of climate change. It has always been with us. For the consensus side to say we deny climate change is stupid. I tried to think of a more polite word, but I could not think of one. The sleeping bear did not wake up because of climate change. With climate change, he sleeps a little more north or south, depending on the changes in temperature. The sleeping bear is awake and upset because the alleged causes of climate change are distorted and exaggerated.

    • Give them a paper bag and a flashlight and tell them to wait patiently for a climate change denier. And then others perhaps can then engage in a more serious discussion.

      • Snipes be nymbul, snipes be slick,
        Snipes jump over the hockey stick.
        ====================

    • Herman Alexander Pope
      Re: “For the consensus side to say we deny climate change is stupid.”
      It can be equally said that catastrophic global warming alarmists are “climate deniers” – for they deny natural causes of climate change.

      For “a more polite word”, try “equivocation”.

      the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). . . .The fallacy of equivocation is often used with words that have a strong emotional content and many meanings.

      Such equivocation is commonly combined with applying the Politician’s syllogism

      To improve things, things must change
      We are changing things
      Therefore, we are improving things.

    • “In the skeptic side of this, most of us are aware of climate change.”

      What Mann means by the forces of climate denial are all the people who deny what the science actually says and promote lies. Whether out of ignorance or malice is hardly the point.

      http://nailsandcoffins.blogspot.com/2012/02/wuwts-solar-omission-fraud.html

      • lowot
        Re: “deny what the science actually says and promote lies. Whether out of ignorance . . .”

        We do not know “what science actually says” when alarmists like Mann are biasing the results to get “hockey sticks”, by sampling non-representative trees, explicitly leaving out most of the data (See Yamal), and inventing “statistical” methods that give the results they want. e.g.,

        The four Tiljander proxies are heavily weighted, as is the nv512 bristlecone series. The two Curtis sediment proxies and the Dongge speleothem are flipped upside down from the other case.

        Note: “promote lies . . .out of ignorance” is an oxymoron. You can only lie if you know the truth.

        On “lies”, Gleick appears to have committed wire fraud. See McIntyre reviewing 18 U.S.C. 1343

        It is not necessary that Gleick himself profited from his actions; it is enough that Gleick intended to harm Heartland.

        Wire fraud (18 USC 1343) and the closely related mail fraud (18 USC 1341) are workhouse U.S. federal crime clauses (google “wire fraud” for dozens of cases).

        “Science” seeks objective truth in nature, not “1984” type “climate speak.”

      • “We do not know “what science actually says” when alarmists like Mann are biasing the results to get “hockey sticks””

        Check the link. deniers aren’t even trying to get it right. They seem to be trying to get it wrong.

      • lolwot

        You appear to be replacing objective science with alarmist politics.
        Can you no longer even tell right from wrong?

        Hate evil, and love good,
        and establish justice in the gate;
        Amos 5:15 ESV

        So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. Romans 14:16 ESV

      • @ lolwot | March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

        lolwot, real Skeptics don’t promote lies – they correct Warmist lies. The Fakes, pretending to be Skeptics; but believe in more GLOBAL warmings than the Warmist, they are delaying the end. The result is obvious: Swindlers predicted GLOBAL warming; CO2 increased more than anybody predicted… time to go on a witness stand, under oath.

        Instead, the Fakes are stuck into sunspots / sun- flares and other drivel. Sods with no libido get stuck into albedo. The sunlight reaches in 8 minutes from the sun to here, proven that is no changes in temperature. Why delaying the inevitable? My formulas have proven that extra heat is not accumulative. 2] big climatic changes can happen without ant PHONY GLOBAL warming. 3] most of the bad damages can be prevented or minimized… unfortunately, the Fakes are creating ”back-door” exits for the Warmist…

        Warmist will not admit guilt voluntarily; until more people on the street are informed of the real facts / proofs – people that only occasionally visit global warming / cooling blogs. They are the ones, the 90% of the people that are interested in the naked truth. It’s time for the ”truth and reconciliation” The Fakes are more guilty than Swindlers like you lolwot. Swindlers are like crocodiles, nobody blames crocodiles for eating people, it’s their job. But on false pretense assisting the ”Swindlers with predator’s genes”, are guilty as hell

  11. Mann & pals are doing such a good job in ‘fighting back’ against skeptics that they have dispensed with their moral compass, their historical literacy and their consciences.
    Mann is to communicating climate science what Bernie Madoff was to investing strategy.

    • If only…
      When Madoff’s ponzi scheme was finally unwound every one seems to have got their money back (though not adjusted for inflation aiui).
      I doubt we will be so lucky with Mann and Co’s none-science.

  12. Mann concludes. “The forces of climate change denial have, I believe, awakened a ‘sleeping bear.’ My fellow scientists will be fighting back, and I look forward to joining them in this battle.”

    There is very little climate change denial. The sleeping bear did not wake up because of climate change. With climate change, he sleeps a little more north or south, depending on the changes in temperature. The sleeping bear is awake and upset because the alleged causes of climate change are distorted and exaggerated.

    2011 was cooler than 1998. I read somewhere that it takes 17 years to prove warming or cooling. I guess we need to wait a couple more years. My opinion is formed. CO2 goes up and up and Temperature does not. I do believe that the one molecule of manmade CO2 for every ten thousand molecules or other stuff is not making a significant contribution.

    • Adam Gallon

      And when the 17 year period ends, with no warming, we’ll be told somewhere, that it’s 20 years, etc, etc!

  13. This week I became aware of just how much it can cost to believe in CAGW. I live in Otttawa, Canada, and this story is from Sydney, Australia, so my apologies to any Aussies if I have got some of the details wrong. My grand-daughter moved to Sydney, about 4 years ago, to do her Masters there, and came across something she had not experienced before; water restrictions; we have lots of water in Ottawa. Australia was in the middle of a drought.

    The story from the proponents of CAGW, was that this drought was such that, because of CAGW, it would continue almost indefinitely. So, Sydney was persuaded to build a desalination plant; at a cost of just under $2 billion (with a b). It started up in June 2010. Water from the plant costs about 7 times as much as water which Mother Nature rains into the reservoirs.

    Over the last few years, the reservoirs for Sydney have gradually been getting fuller, till by the start of 2012, they were nearly 80% full. Then there came a lot of rain, with the last few days producing well over 100 mms. The reservoirs are now over 90% full, and the largest, Warragamba, is completely full, and water is flowing over the dam. Sydney has lots of water.

    But the agreement for the deslaination plant is that it would stay in operation for the first two years. So they cannot mothball it until June this year. It is producing an absolute minimum of fresh water in the meanwhile, to try and keep costs down. What the plan is that the plant is to be mothballed when reservoir levels exceed 80%, and will not come back in to operation until the level falls below 70%. So there is every likelhood that the plant will close in June 2012, and heaven knows when it will open again. With the PDO negative, and CAGW being non-existent and having absolutely no effect, it could be years before the plant reopens.

    So, because of a mistaken belief in hoax of CAGW, the residents of Sydney will have a $2 billion white elephant sitting doing nothing, for who knows how long. Dont believe anyone who tries to sell you on the idea of the precautionary princilple as it applies to CAGW.

    • Jim, when CAGW gives you lemons, make lemonade. The de-sal plant can now start selling bottled water to the eco-nuts and maybe Foster’s can use it to make a beer than actually tastes okay :)

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Capt. Dallas,

        I am going to buy into this discussion – as in a previous job I did work experience an east coast Australian hydrologist. I just have to go to the shops now before they close. But just thought I should mention that no Australian actually drink’s Foster’s – that’s just for the tourists so we can keep all the good stuff ourselves.

        Best ragards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • I know that captain chief. It is good for cooking a beer butt turkey though, since the can fits :)

      • @ capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | March 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

        capt. the 2 billion bucks SEWAGE filtration plant for drinking water in Brisbane has alcohol in it. The gunk ferments before they succeed to filter it – alcohol gets easier trough the filters than water. That’s why they decided the filtered water to pump it back up into the dam – the alcohol to evaporate… otherwise people can get drunk on water from the kitchen tap. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

        That state has the first carbon sequestration plant finished 2y ago. Didn’t sequestrate one molecule of CO2 so-far; and never will – but produced lots of CO2 to build it. During the Brisbane floods; they started the other; the desalination plant for 2 days, to justify for building it. I’m not born Australian, but am a proud Australian citizen. Apart of that, they are draining the distilled floodwater into the sea/ buying irrigation’s permits; people not to be allowed to use that water… after is mixed with the saltwater – will be desalinating that same water. Australians are leaders in environmental lunacy – they are even proud off it. Cheers.

        Interesting to know how proud you are; for the government spending 9 billion to buy people’s water permits – because their small dams improve the climate a bit. When that water is flushed into the sea – no extra humidity inland / more dry heat created, for much bigger bushfires

      • Based on what stefan is saying, I’m of the opinion that $2 billion dollars is a great investment …

        … if it is adding alcohol to my tap water.

    • Same for the de-sal plant in Brisbane. Mothballed a year now.

    • Pretty accurate, Jim

      The real irritation is that the cost of producing de-sal water is built into the domestic price charged for using water from the now completely-filled dams, and this impost will remain until (if) the de-sal plant is mothballed. We now have lots of pissant stories in the MSM telling us how useful de-sal plants really are, so one knows for sure that the cost issue is hurting the AGW advocates

      McArdle’s final comment from the opening post:

      “No, the debate is about how unpleasant it would be to prevent it–which really isn’t much of a debate, either, because the obvious answer is “very, except maybe for DINK urbanites”. And that’s where the discussion pretty much stalls out.”

      Mosher is wrong – people do act in their own perceived self-interest. Pielke Jr’s Iron Law. AGW advocates know this. It is the primary cause of the constant bombardment of hyperbolic scary-bear stories in the MSM outlets – the “need” as they see it to overcome the populace’ self-interest by constantly trying to scare them

      • The three three rule of thumb is three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food equals death in each case.
        Having the ability to supply water to a city in case of rare weather events appears to me to be a reasonable long term investment.
        Assurity of supply of water, food and power to a city seems to me to be a quite important function of government.
        If you treat it as insurance, then it seems to be quite reasonable. Spending money on research into sculpting and towing icebergs into coastal harbors/reservoirs is also reasonable.

      • Steven Mosher

        Learn to read

    • Andrew Simpson

      Hi Jim. You are spot on.

      The other problem in Sydney is that our politicians have not built a new dam for Sydney since the 1960s. In the meantime, Sydney’s population has more than doubled.

      A new dam was planned for Sydney, however, there was so much public outrage by green groups and the “urban elite”, the dam was stopped and the area made into a national park so that a dam could never be built.

      Rather than build a new dam, we have got a desalination plant that uses heaps of coal fired electricity to produce water. I have trouble working out the logic in this whole mess.

      It’s a circus down here…

    • In 2008, Australia’s CSIRO published its “Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report” predicting increased drought due to catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
      In 2008 David Stockwell found the CSIRO models not only had not been validated but that:

      While the frequency of drought appears to have decreased in the last 100 years, the (CSIRO’s) models showed a significant increase.
      Sydney residents got stuck with a $2 billion plant because politicians listened to climate alarmists instead of seeking independent evaluation like that of Stockwell, and by failing to demand verification and validation of the climate models.
      How many trillion dollars will “We the People” be forced to bear because of climate alarmists?
      We need a well funded skeptical “red team” to test the climate alarmist “blue team’s” results.

      “Kick the tires”!

    • @ Jim Cripwell | March 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

      Jim, the truth is much worse than what your daughter told you. East coast of Australia was flooded for the last two years. Not just Sydney; Melbourne has desalination plant – Brisbane has desalination plant + filtering sewage water for drinking (last flood in Brisbane 10 billion dollars damages…) Australia is the driest continent – it’s illegal to build a dam since mid 80’s. The con artist that imposed ”water embargo on Australia” is a leader of the Greens, senator Brown. He made himself a name by making building dams illegal. Because dams improve the climate + extra dams prevent floods and droughts.

      To make it more weird, if dry land / continent get more moisture – trees start growing. Australia is the smallest continent; surrounded by the biggest mass of water on the planet. Clouds don’t go far inland, because are repelled by the DRY heat. New trees have positive effect in absorbing CO2; Amazon jungle is CARBON NEUTRAL. The amount of CO2 all the rain-forest absorbs in a calendar year — same amount of CO2 releases; by the fungi rotting leafs, twigs, branches, logs and roots. New trees can grow in Australia, but not without regular moisture inland. Their pretense of worrying about CO2 is much more sick than you think. Keep Dr. Suzuki home, we have worse fanatics. Water vapor has being declared bad for the climate, by the cult…Same people on this blog that are worrying about CO2 are part of that same fanatic cult. Crime shouldn’t pay!!!.

    • Jim, the story is a bit more complicated than that, although you have got the essentials right. Kudos.

      The desal plant contract was stupid – it cannot be mothballed without taxpayers having to cough up a lot of $$ in compensation.

      But rest assured, there will be another drought and it will be needed. And by the time that drought hits, it will be too late to start thinking about building one (as happened last time).

      One of Australia’s best loved poems includes the lines:

      I love a sunburnt country,
      A land of sweeping plains,
      Of ragged mountain ranges,
      Of droughts and flooding rains.
      (“My Country”, Dorothea MacKellar)

      We are currently in a ‘flooding rains’ phase, but it will not last.

      The real problem for Sydney is that in a period when the population has doubled, environmentalists’ opposition has prevented the building of any significant new water storages since 1960. So the next time we have a few dry years, Sydney is going to run very low on water again.

  14. Can someone define the statistical boundaries of climate, what is stable, and what counts as significant change. I thought the WMO said it was based on 30 year averages. We only have 30 year’s of high quality measurements. Why are statisticians noticeably absent from climate research (compared to other fields)?

    • blouis79,
      Apparently that is a very subjective call. If the team had actual evidence of significant and dangerous change, they would not be behaving as they do.

    • Climate is not a scientific concept so there is no operational scientific definition. It is just a vague ordinary language concept. The lack of a scientific definition of climate and/or climate change is the greatest confusion causing factor in the debate, by far.

  15. The ignorance displayed by most of the comment posts on this site is staggering. There is less understanding here of science, and especially physicis, than is taught in high school. I bid you adios.

  16. Equating Glieck’s name with that of Daniel Ellsberg is totally inappropriate, because Ellsberg did not fabricate any information; whereas, Glieck most likely did, a very unethical act.

    • John Vetterling

      Also, arguably Elsberg acquired the Pentagon Papers legitimately in the course of his work. He actually was a whistleblower.

  17. “After many of his colleagues stood up for him during a witch hunt by Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, who was demanding every email, record or document related to Mann during his time as a professor at the University of Virginia, Mann was inspired to believe that scientists working as a team could make a difference.”

    I see Cucci lost his case.

    • “Today, the court effectively held that state agencies do not have to provide state-owned property to state investigators looking into potential fraud involving government funds.”

      Andrew

      • That was their reason for dismissing the case with prejudice. That meant they did not rule on the lower courts much broader reasons for rejecting the case, which still stand.

    • Nick,
      That is an amzingly bizarre and dangerous result. AGW is eating America, science and the law. that result, if it stands, is an open invitation for corrupt practices to fester unchecked by those whose job it is to protect the citizens.
      All to protect a science theory that has proven to be unreliable, to say the least.

  18. I have read Mann’s book, not every word of it but from the beginning to the end skipping text that doesn’t appear to add anything substantial.

    I can’t say that I would particularly like the book. The spirit of the book is along the lines of the Physics Today article. Mann is accusing opponents of harassing first Santer and later himself as well as other climate scientists. My impression is that he sees all kind of attacks and even milder counterarguments as a part of organized attack by a united opponent funded by energy companies. I can’t tell that there were not some organized attacks, but certainly not as the totally dominant part of the skeptic movement as he seems to think – and my impression from reading the book is that he really feels that way.

    He commits naturally a fair part of the book on the Hockey Stick and later multiproxy studies. I would say that he succeeds in telling that some part of the work is well confirmed by a number of independent enough studies. The big problem is that he doesn’t discuss the limits of validity of this conclusion. To be more precise he concentrates in his arguments on the rather recent part of the history and leaves out of discussion the additional uncertainties that apply to the earlier part including MWP. He skips conveniently also some other questions were he might be on weaker ground. Furthermore the certainty of the influence of a well organized opposition affects strongly also the discussion of the proxy analyses.

    Some of the arguments that he presents on the multiproxy analyses appear, however, rather strong and contrary to common claims. Those arguments did raise my curiosity and led me to think that perhaps I should have a closer look on what I really think of the work. The book is at no point technical enough to really open any of the issues.

    • Pekka

      Did you read “Mein Kampf”?

      The author also:

      – had very strong views on “good and evil”
      – knew what was needed to save the world
      – thought he was being attacked by the evil forces
      – thought the battle was so existential that the end justified the means.

      The book was (and is) trash, of course, but it is a rambling account showing how a borderline paranoid with a fanatical belief in a cause can work himself into justifying almost anything.

      Max

    • Scientists who do medical research using animals are hounded by well organized and well funded groups to stop them. Sometimes this leads to terrorism, where by researchers and their suppliers have been physically assaulted. The work of medical researchers is misrepresented as are the results.
      Mann bitches because people think is he is “economical with the actualité”, whereas he has it easy.

  19. Relentless Climate Deniers = I like it!

    Andrew

  20. steven mosher

    Where will they draw the line?

    They certainly won’t throw Gleick under the bus to save the planet.
    They will let this incident, like climategate, cast a pall over the science because, above all else, they fear a bogey man–big oil; and they don’t believe that a rational public presented with solid evidence will act in its own self interest.

    • Hi Steven
      humour on RC is no, no, no.

    • steven,
      I am starting to think that your interpretation of their pattern of choosing the low road is too optimistic.
      Trenberth’s, as well as Lacis’ rationalization of Gleick is chilling in its implications: how many other ‘stunts’ have been performed and simply not detected yet?

    • You sure it is not a rational public that they fear?

    • The fear now is that previous confidence was overweening. I smell the bones of a tipping point, whether it is before, now, or later, my nose knows nought.
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Naw, that ain’t right!
      ============

    • steven mosher

      You know what’s going on here a lot better than most.

      For that reason, your post sends a chill up my spine.

      Here we have a heavily (taxpayer) funded elite handful of scientists actively supporting cheating and lying to the very public that is paying them out of an irrational fear of a self-conjured up “big-oil anti-climate science bogeyman”, because “they don’t believe that a rational public presented with solid evidence will act in its own self interest”.

      How paranoid can it get?

      If that’s the way it really is, there appears to be only one solution: get these bums outa there!

      Max

  21. Once you’ve convinced yourself that the fate of the planet is in your hands, it’s extremely easy to rationalize all kinds of bad acts. Don’t be surprised if we see even crazier things than Gleick’s foolishness going forward. I hate to say it out loud, but they shoot abortion doctors. How much easier in the mind of some nutcase to shoot a notable global warming “denier” who by his actions is endangering all of mankind?

  22. Judith Curry

    After reviewing the LA Times op-ed and your comment on the final statement:

    Scientists, like journalists, really are more credible when they stick to the evidence, report the facts and let society come to its own conclusions. You handle the science, professor Mann; we’ll handle the punditry.

    JC comment: Bravo for the last paragraph.

    I’d agree 100% with both.

    However, the rest of the op-ed strayed from this premise a bit too far to be credible – it was more like a cheering section for the keepers of the dogma.

    As for the write-up on the “Climate Science Rapid Response Team” co-founded by Gavin Schmidt, you are right: this must have been written before the Gleick affair – and the “rapid response team” was just not “rapid” enough to pull it. Talk about bad timing!

    Didn’t President Nixon have a “team” like that back in the Watergate days?

    Max

  23. In the body of the post, Prof Curry writes:

    > The LA Times has a lengthy article on Michael Mann’s new book: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars. Has anyone read this yet?

    Sometime Climate Etc. commenter Brandon Shollenberger worked through Prof Mann’s book, and posted an informal review as a series of comments at an open thread at Lucia’s Blackboard. It begins at Comment #89786.

    One small matter where I am familiar with the technical issues concerns the use of the Tiljander data series as proxies in Mann08 and Mann09. Shollenberger quotes page 190, as Prof Mann describes his version of events, including the controversy surrounding McIntyre & McKittrick’s short letter to PNAS, and Mann et al’s rejoinder.

    Prof Mann’s account of this matter appears to be misleading and self-serving. I explained the basis for this opinion in Comment #90427.

    • steven mosher

      You will note that Mann tries to finger McIntyre for climategate because of time zones

    • Sometime Climate Etc. commenter Brandon Shollenberger worked through Prof Mann’s book, and posted an informal review as a series of comments at an open thread at Lucia’s Blackboard. It begins at Comment #89786.

      Thanks for posting this link, AMac. I’ve just finished reading all Brandon’s posts in that thread – which I had missed while it was still open and current.

      As I was reading Brandon’s posts, I began to lose track of the number of times the thought occurred to me that Mann is well on his way to becoming known as the David Irving of climate science.

      For those who may not be familiar with his name – or his record – Irving is probably the most prolific and prominent Holocaust denier in the English speaking world. His favourite mode of “doing history” includes “add a word here, change a word there”, citing sources (in the hope that few, if any, will bother to check) which completely fail to substantiate his assertions – along with manipulation of data and obfuscation in presentation.

      And those are the least of his “scholarship” sins. Mann also seems to share with Irving an arrogant – and unwarranted – high opinion of himself.

      In fact, I’ve often wondered if the myth of the “big oil funded lobby” was a derivation of Irving’s outlandish fantasies of a “big Jewish/Zionist lobby”. But I digress ..

      The most ironic thought that was running through my mind, as I read Brandon’s posts, was that much of the “content” of Gleick’s notorious “review” of TDT could quite aptly – and accurately – reflect an honest – albeit brief and equally unsubstantiated – review of Mann’s latest opus.

      Perhaps Gleick – not the most careful of posters – had mistakenly pasted in his impressions of a draft of Mann’s work. This would certainly explain his inability to substantiate his claims regarding TDT, don’t you think?!

      Seems to me that – just as the German publisher of Irving’s Dresden opus had added the subtitle, “A Novel”, to their publication – perhaps, in the interest of truth in publishing, this work of the “wily Cub Scout” wannabe should be re-titled Portrait of the Artist as an Aggrieved Mann: A Novel

      Notwithstanding all of the above, perhaps Dr. Curry would consider inviting Brandon to provide his full review of Mann’s work as a guest post here. I believe it would be a most enlightening tour de force.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        hro001, providing a full review would be impossible in a blog post. Even without covering the technical issues in Mann’s book, I nearly reach 6,000 words. Even worse, while I can discuss the topics in a way people could easily understand, to provide a useful resource for anyone not intimately familiar with the controversies surrounding Mann, I would need far more space than a blog post can reasonably offer. There have simply been too many issues involved in the hockey stick debate to be able to coherently convey it all in a single post, and it would just create confusion if I picked and chose which topics to discuss.

        I think the best approach to the technical aspects would be to just create an “alternative chronology.” I’d basically go through the history of the hockey stick debate, showing how things evolved. I’d then compare and contrast what Mann says in his book as it comes up in my chronology. Of course, depending on the level of detail I went into, that could be anywhere from 10 pages to 100. It’s a kind of overwhelming idea.

        Anyway, thanks for the support! It’s good to know people might benefit from my effort.

      • Brandon,

        Sounds like a book idea. Considering the number of people who think Dr Mann runs around with his zipper down, you may out sell him.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, thanks for the encouragement, but I really don’t see something fewer than 40 pages long working out well as a book. I certainly can’t imagine charging people for something so short.

      • Brandon:
        Call it “The Hokey Prick Illusion”.

        >:)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        steven mosher:

        No brandon it’s wrong.

        I explained why I disagree. If you want to convince me my explanation is wrong, you’ll have to give me a reason. Simply telling me I’m wrong, over and over, won’t accomplish anything.

        As for AMac’s comment, I made two comments at Bishop Hill which are relevant to it. I won’t repeat myself here, but it’s worth mentioning Michael Mann agreed with me about the first point o’Dwyer raised. That means Mann and I agree, but o’Dwyer disagrees.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      AMac, it’s funny you bring this up now. I’ve been working off and on collecting (some of) what I posted into a single document, and just a few hours ago, I finished it. It’s not a “masterpiece,” and I left out a lot of stuff, but I think it’s still a pretty good read. My biggest regret is I couldn’t find a way to include any of the technical stuff in it. I’ve actually written up part of a technical section, but there just didn’t seem to be a way to make it work, so I’ve left it out. Because of that, a lot of issues get missed, including the Tiljander one.

      I’m not really sure what to do with it, but for anyone interested in reading it, here’s a link. For anyone wanting to know my what to expect, here’s a sentence from my opening paragraph:

      The book contains many mistakes, contradictions, fabrications, nonsensical statements and even a libelous claim based on an obvious misrepresentation.

      Pretty much everything else is a discussion of that claim.

      • Nice one, Brandon.

      • Brandon Shollenberger –

        As it happens, I’ve just this minute finished reading the thread at Lucia’s. Without having read the book, I was impressed by your thoroughness and clarity.
        I’m glad that you don’t hold your punches although I have the same reservations as Carrick about the ‘lie’ accusation. Maybe it’s my upbringing – it seems a bit like saying a man is guilty before a trial. For some reason it feels very different to all other accusations, because as Carrick says, you’d have to know someone else’s mind to be in a position to know whether or not someone has lied.

        Perhaps that’s an emotionally based reaction – don’t let it detract from my admiration for your analysis.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thanks Peter317, Anteros!

        For what it’s worth, I decided to avoid any accusations of lying when I collected my comments into that single document. I still think it’s a fair accusation, but I don’t think it is important to focus on, so why bring it up? All it can do is create a distraction. For a casual discussion, I don’t mind that, but if I’m trying to convey a specific message, it seems like a bad idea.

        Though for the record, I don’t believe one needs to be absolutely certain of an accusation in order to fairly make it. The more serious an accusation, the more certain you should be of it, but there’s always a limit to how sure you need to be.

      • Brandon, nice job. I assume the auditors will audit your audit, but your analysis seems to me to be correct.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thank you curryja!

        As for my work being audited, I tried to limit myself to only the clearest problems in Mann’s book, so that should be easy to do. I don’t think it would even be necessary to own Mann’s book because of how extensively I quoted it (though obviously it’d be good for them to). All it should take is reading some simple sentences and seeing which ones make sense.

        Given my experiences, I’m not going to get my hopes up, but maybe I’ll be surprised.

      • It should be noted that this notorious denier has made an egregious error in the attribution of the quote on the top of page 10. As any fan of the canon would know, that quote is not from the great man himself, but rather from the lesser minds of scriptwriters trying to imitate his style!

        Such shoddy research on the part of Mr. Schollenberger must, of course, call his entire thesis into doubt – and thereby demands a retraction of the entire work!

        This thereby leads us to the appropriate conclusion that the great Dr. Mann has again triumphed over the vast conspiracy of oil-funded creationistic pro-tobacco denialism!

        He wins again!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        kch, blame my high school yearbook for that. My quote in it in my fourth year was set as that, me having had no say in it. I’ve never actually seen Peter Sellers in anything.

        Or, we could just say your entire comment is invalidated by the fact you added a “c” to my last name. Hah!

      • Brandon –

        Sorry about the spelling error – I’m usually more careful. Damn, now I have to retract myself…

        I do hope that a /sarc tag wasn’t necessary for anyone.

        And yes, a good thorough review. Thanks for taking the time.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        No problems kch. People misspell my name all the time. It just means I’m better than you. Er, I mean…

        On a serious note, you’re welcome!

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Brandon Shollenberger: I’m not really sure what to do with it, but for anyone interested in reading it, here’s a link.

        Thank you for that. If you do add a technical section, please let us know.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        MattStat, glad to!

        By the way, I do want to write about the technical issues in Mann’s book. I just have to figure out how to structure it. It’s hard to figure out how to cover what he says when he only selects a handful of issues out of all the ones which have been raised. If I try to respond like I did in this document, readers may understand the individual issues, but they won’t grasp the “big picture.” If I try to discuss the “big picture,” it’ll be hard to tie it in well to Mann’s book.

        I’ll try to figure something out, but no promises. I guess if nothing else, people can refer to the link Amac provided to see what I’ve left out.

      • John Vetterling

        Brandon

        I believe Don Montford is planning an update the HSI. You might forward this to him. The two of you might make a great team.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Vetterling:

        I believe Don Montford is planning an update the HSI. You might forward this to him. The two of you might make a great team.

        I don’t know much about him, and I’ve never had any interaction with him. In fact, I’ve never even read his book (I would if I had a copy, but it never seemed worth ordering one since I know the material he covers).

        That said, I did use the Contact form on his site a couple days ago telling him about this effort of mine. I haven’t heard anything back from him yet, and since I don’t know his e-mail address, I’m not sure what more I ought to do right now. I suppose I could post a link on his site, but that seems to be the limit of what I can reasonably do at the moment.

        For what it’s worth, I’m not sure what sort of collaboration I could be involved with with him (or anyone else), but I’d be more than happy to work with other people.

      • Mann’s very first sentence is wrong. See the prologue

      • Brandon, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a review copy of HSI…

      • John Carpenter

        Brandon, nice work…. easy to understand and clears up Mann’s many obfuscations.

      • Brandon, thanks for creating such a timely summary of your critique. I have taken the liberty of featuring it (along with an excerpt) on my blog.

        Sunday shocker: Michael Mann misrepresents … again

        Readers might also be interested in Hu McCulloch’s post at CA wherein he discusses additional examples of Mann’s misrepresentations.

        Hu also notes in a comment that your discussion of l’affaire Steig overlooks the fact that “Mann himself was one of the co-authors of the Steig et al paper and Corrigendum, and therefore co-responsible for their contents!”

      • It is way past high time that Nature and Science both confront the instances of plagiarism documented by Hu McCulloch and Steve McIntyre.

        Both journals have soul searching about climate to do if they want to save themselves from becoming objects of ridicule, and shame.
        =======================

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        steven mosher:

        Mann’s very first sentence is wrong. See the prologue

        Offhand, I don’t think it was wrong. I think it was unfounded, but that’s a different matter. He obviously couldn’t know the e-mails were “hacked,” but that doesn’t mean they weren’t. Things like that are common in his book, and I didn’t focus on them. Am I missing a more serious error?

        John Carpenter, hro001, thanks! I’m glad to see people are finding it helpful. I wasn’t sure how useful it’d be since I left out pretty much all the discussion of technical issues.

        Ken Coffman, thanks for the offer. I’d take you up on it, but I don’t know your e-mail address. If you could direct me to it, I’d happily send you an e-mail. Alternatively, I use gmail with my name just separated by a period, so you can e-mail me there if you’d like.

      • Brandon, Hu McCulloch has a post on CA that you should read. The Steig/Mann et al 2009 Antarctic not really warming issue is a gift that keeps on giving.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        capt. dallas, thanks for the recommendation, but I actually read that post just before posting the comment I made right above yours. You were about half an hour late.

        I actually even made a comment on that page before coming over here, but it got caught by moderation.

      • Its wrong Brandon. The mails were not made public until the 19th.
        WUWT got them on the evening of the 17th.

      • Brandon,

        Good. While you are looking compiling all this, make sure to look at the GIStemp Antarctic temperatures. Mosher has all the stuff to check, but it looks to me like the surface stations are still over estimating because of poor quality Tmin and similar smearing of peninsular temperatures that where shown by O’Donnell and gang. In fact, Antarctic temperatures should decrease as average global radiant forcing increases.

        If Nick Stokes uses obliques spheres instead of concentric spheres in this simple model, http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2012/02/miracles-of-2lot.html he should be able to explain why.

        At least, that is what this fisherman thinks.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        steven mosher:

        Its wrong Brandon. The mails were not made public until the 19th.
        WUWT got them on the evening of the 17th.

        The e-mails were available from the set uploaded to the RC servers on the 17th (a link to which was posted on ClimateAudit). Even if they were never made available anywhere else after that point, Mann’s statement would still be justified. It doesn’t matter when the files were available through WUWT or Jeff Id’s blog.

        If that’s the only other error you can point to, you have no significant basis for saying Mann was wrong.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        capt. dallas:

        Good. While you are looking compiling all this, make sure to look at the GIStemp Antarctic temperatures. Mosher has all the stuff to check, but it looks to me like the surface stations are still over estimating because of poor quality Tmin and similar smearing of peninsular temperatures that where shown by O’Donnell and gang.

        The problem with what you suggest is it would require “new research,” and I’m mostly interested in trying to summarize what is already known. If there weren’t so many things to cover with clear answers, I’d be much more inclined to work on solving “puzzles.”

      • The e-mails were available from the set uploaded to the RC servers on the 17th (a link to which was posted on ClimateAudit). Even if they were never made available anywhere else after that point, Mann’s statement would still be justified. It doesn’t matter when the files were available through WUWT or Jeff Id’s blog.

        If that’s the only other error you can point to, you have no significant basis for saying Mann was wrong.

        Brandon, we only have Gavin Schmidt’s unsubstantiated – and ever-changing – story about this alleged “upload” to RC on the 17th – and no evidence of which I’m aware that anyone had even noticed the link on Climate Audit (let alone “downloaded” from RC via that link) until after the emails became public knowledge.

        Apart from the fact that such an alleged “upload” made (and still makes) absolutely no sense – and could well have jeopardized the “mission” of “The Saint” (as I prefer to call “FOIA”) – it was completely unnecessary.

        And does it not seem in the least bit odd that Schmidt (and/or Mann) did not report this alleged “hack” for the purpose of “uploading” to the appropriate authorities? Or that despite their known willing media “partners”, they maintained “radio silence” – instead of trumpeting to the world this “evidence” of such a dastardly deed by the evil skeptics. complete with great and glorious “graphics” from the RC (and/or their ISP)’s server logs? Talk about a “hockey-stick” with indisputable data to support it!

        Surely if events had transpired as Mann now claims, this would amount to the Greatest (and, for once, “true”) Story Never Told about the Evil Skeptics. It was a perfect PR opportunity missed, was it not?

        If one accepts Mann’s “reconstruction” of the details of Nov. 17/09, then one can only conclude that Schmidt must have been utterly dishonest in his E-mail to Lucia on Nov. 19. Unless it was Mann who discovered the alleged “upload” on the 17th – and he failed to advise Schmidt. In which case, neither Schmidt’s Nov. 20 “official story” nor his Nov. 23 “reconstruction” can be believed.

        YMMV, but in light of their respective words – which is the only “evidence” we have – I fail to see how their accounts can both be correct. Not to mention that Mann’s claim of “thousands” of emails is far from accurate.

        Perhaps “wrong” may have been a poor choice of words on Mosher’s part; but at the very least, Mann’s opening paragraph is a deliberately deceptive conflation. And that, IMHO, is probably far worse than “wrong”, It does, however, put him well on the way to becoming the David Irving of climate science!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        hro001:

        Brandon, we only have Gavin Schmidt’s unsubstantiated – and ever-changing – story about this alleged “upload” to RC on the 17th – and no evidence of which I’m aware that anyone had even noticed the link on Climate Audit (let alone “downloaded” from RC via that link) until after the emails became public knowledge.

        The “ever-changing” story you refer to seems consistent enough to me. There are no major contradictions, so I can excuse a few minor changes. It was a hectic time, and Gavin was probably learning new things as time passed. Besides which, other links were posted later the same day on at least one other site (Jeff Id’s). I don’t see why one would think Gavin lied when all it would do is mean the e-mails were available ~14 hours earlier.

        As for PR purposes, it makes perfect sense RealClimate would have kept quiet at first. The first rule to any sort of crisis management is to not act until you have a plan, and plans take time.

        If one accepts Mann’s “reconstruction” of the details of Nov. 17/09, then one can only conclude that Schmidt must have been utterly dishonest in his E-mail to Lucia on Nov. 19.

        There was nothing dishonest in that e-mail. Your claim is based on the fact Gavin said he didn’t see a particular link, which was true. The fact Gavin had a copy of the material doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not he could find a particular link.

        Perhaps “wrong” may have been a poor choice of words on Mosher’s part; but at the very least, Mann’s opening paragraph is a deliberately deceptive conflation. And that, IMHO, is probably far worse than “wrong”,

        I’m trying not to claim anything is deliberately done since that requires knowing the thought processes of another. For all I know, it could be incompetence rather than dishonesty that causes many of the problems in Mann’s book.

      • Peter Davies

        Brandon’s critique was well written and now, in contrast to the work of Michael Mann, is open for review by Brandon’s peers. He has nothing to fear from this process.

      • Brandon,

        I’ve taken a crack at a rebuttal to your review here:
        http://frankodwyer.com/blog/2012/03/06/mann-shollenberger/

        So far I’ve only addressed 5 of your claims in detail, but to be honest I’ve read the others too and don’t find them much better. As I say, I will come back to those.

        Still, Kudos to you for actually reading the book and taking the time to put together a clearly laid out argument.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Frank O’Dwyer, I see no value in responding to your “rebuttal.” You clearly believe I’ve misrepresented things on such a basic level that it’s obvious. I obviously think otherwise. Since we both appear to think our conclusions are “obvious,” there’s no reason we could expect to clarify them for each other. Instead, I’ll leave it to readers to determine for themselves which of us to believe.

        In fact, I will encourage anyone who sees this comment to follow your link and read your first point. I will happily submit that as a litmus test. If anyone thinks you are right about it, I suggest they dismiss anything I’ve said in my document. Beyond that, I suggest they then tell everyone I am completely and utterly full of it, and explain why.

        I don’t think you’ll find many people willing to do that, and I’m confident you’ll find fewer who will listen, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.

      • Agree with diogenes. But your concentration on the word “of” is pointless. Grammatically and syntactically the wording means the same with and without it. It’s a common “elision”, and is not important.

      • Brandon

        I have read Frank’s “rebuttal”. Quite frankly it is astonishing how creatively he misreads and misinterprets the evidence. You are wise not to waste your time in argument with his drivel.

      • Re: Frank O’Dwyer (@fodwyer) | March 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

        Frank O’Dwyer has a direct writing style that makes for a clear, enjoyable read. My impression from his linked review is that he’s a smart, knowledgeable guy, and thus some of his points are likely to have merit.

        I don’t like the personal nature of so much of the Climate Wars, but all parties can benefit from issues-oriented criticism.

        As he proceeds to tackle additional aspects of Mr Shollenberger’s review, I invite Mr O’Dwyer to critique my comments on the treatment of “Tiljander in Mann08” in Prof Mann’s book. I haven’t read it, and thus relied on Shollenberger’s quotations. With that caveat, my remarks are in Comment #90439 in the already-linked open thread at The Blackboard. Here’s a link to Shollenberger’s immediately-prior Comment #90427, which quotes the relevant text.

        Tiljander can be seen as an obscure technical matter. However, as I try to make clear, in my opinion it is also a “for want of a nail” issue. Without Tiljander, some of the main claims of Mann08 (PNAS) and Mann09 (Science) fail. “Main claims” as set forth by the authors in the papers’ abstracts and in accompanying press releases. So (again, in my opinion), it’s worth paying attention to how the book handles this question.

      • No brandon it’s wrong.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        This nesting is getting way too long. I misplaced a comment here.

  24. The “sleeping bear” is in hibernation – until 2030? (Or will it be 2050?)

    (Or maybe he passed away in his sleep…)

    Even young Michael may be long departed before we know the answer to that question.

    Max

  25. Dr. Curry, I commend an essay by Dr. Robert Brown, a Duke University physicist, to your attention. It appears at WUWT. It is one of the most rational commentaries on The Great Climate Debate I’ve ever encountered and should be required reading for every Congressperson and member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/02/why-cagw-theory-is-not-settled-science/

  26. Markus Fitzhenry

    ‘That debate really isn’t much about whether this is happening, because most people don’t have the scientific background, the intellectual ability, or the interest to determine whether this is happening.’

    What debate are you talking about Dr Curry, the one that the scientific activists are waging, or the debate on the atmosphere?

    The most interesting aspect of the week for me was the new study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology that provides (further) evidence of a relationship between melting ice in the Arctic regions and widespread cold outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere. Inherent in the findings are more understandings of seasonal snow and temperature anomalies across northern continents.

    Our personal relation with physics is our immediate realisations, idolisation of man and his ability to interact globally with a planets nature bodes a poor reflection on humility.

    Why would science chase the sensitivity of a refraction of a small amount of energy back to surface that generated it with scant regard for the causation of the climate by the absorbed energy of the Earths surfaces?

    Hubris? Polliwoffles, pollicracks, polliwinkles? Misanthropic?

    I am simply flummoxed at the simplicity of the climate and the complexity of scientists in explaining it.

    Consider a steaming gaseous sphere, a malleable hydraulic surface, electro-magnetised, spinning, variation in insolation, unknown galactic parity violations, with rotating magnetic poles and the forces of pressure on its atmosphere.

    As the study ‘Arctic Sea Ice Decline May be Driving Snowy Winters Seen in Recent Years’ shows there are decade changes to heat distribution as the sphere overcomes the forces of gravity as the same forces causes a informality of heat distribution within it. Dynamics!

    How does one reconcile the relativity of the composition and volumes of Co2 and its atmospheric emissivity as a sensible cause of climate change, compared to the enormity of the Earth composition and volume?

    You said, “Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, the circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents.”

    Many scientific papers in this dispute, subjected to a fair static analysis are just noise, adding nothing to the greater meaning of climate change. A rhetorical focus on mans use of fossil fuels as a driver of climate change was a death trap for climate science, in the process of good science, a philosophical dead end.

    Do your studies simulations show that diminishing Arctic sea ice induced by significant surface warming in the Arctic Oceans, is caused by a semi decadal multi latitude distribution of heat in Earth and atmospheres?
    And cooling effect over northern North America, Europe, Siberia and eastern Asia also as the models also showed above-normal winter snowfall in large parts of the northern United States, central Europe, and northern and central China, further evidence of the musicale climate sensitivity forcing of global Co2 emissivity?

    A am perplexed the science community would consider a virtual model possible of organising such complex micro systems with unknown pieces, into a global atmospheric edict. The reality of how the climate works is far from known, let alone the unknown wisdom needed to manage it.

    Professor Robert Brown offers great perspective on the evolution of scientific theory and it’s the abuse by the climate science community.
    The debate that will rage this academic year is that there is scientific plausibility that climate science principles are not correct. I wouldn’t suggest not all of the science needs to be ‘shitbinned’ just Co2 causation modelling as a predictor.

    Optimistically, the dispute of what is science, and what is not, will be relaxed by the year end with a definition of when scientist crosses a political tipping pint. I have no prediction of what points the political debate will attract.

    As that courageous Kangaroo, Robert I Ellison alludes,

    ‘From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’

  27. To non-American readers, in McArdle’s article DINK stands for Dual Income, No Kids

  28. Megan McArdle

    …the [climate] debate is about how unpleasant it would be to prevent it–which really isn’t much of a debate, either, because the obvious answer is “very, except maybe for DINK urbanites”. And that’s where the discussion pretty much stalls out.

    There has not been any warming for 15 years ( http://bit.ly/ySIpNW ), and this is expected to continue for another 15 years. No need to worry about global warming, as the projected 0.2 deg C warming per decade has not happened. As a result, nature has given us another decade for free to check whether man made global warming is true or not.

  29. I attempted several times for a discussion on the following Latif’s paper

    This paper interprets the global mean temperature pattern as:

    The global surface air temperature record of the last 150 years is characterized by a long-term warming trend, with strong multidecadal variability superimposed.
    http://bit.ly/wCsZym
    http://eprints.ifm-geomar.de/8744/

  30. “That’s something Mann might want to rethink. Peter Gleick, a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient for his work on global freshwater challenges and president of the Pacific Institute, admitted earlier this month to borrowing a page directly from the denialists’ playbook.”

    I don’t think there is actually playbook for denialists.

    If denialists were recipients MacArthur “genius” grants
    they might actually have a playbook.

    A playbook is naturally useless if known by your opposition. The word playbook is analogous to the planned and practiced moves of a football team- you can’t have it known- or your opposing team can plan
    against these plays.

    Generally if you have a team, it might a good idea to have a playbook, but without a team it doesn’t make any sense.

    Naturally if one spends time observing a team play you can learn about their playbook.

    It seems to me that “the team” common tactic is projection. They throw lots of hail marys- it seems their play of choice.
    It seems that denialists are [at least] lacking discipline in following a playbook- apparently going in various directions and arguing endless with each other.

    Naturally since “the team” are constantly projecting- they seemingly do idiotic things like accuse denialists of not only having a playbook, but indicate they know some of it’s pages.

    Leading one to suppose that “the team” know all about the non-existence playbook of the denialists. But I suppose literally saying what this page of the playbook is, would be counterproductive. Meanwhile, they getting their butt kick by the denalists- of whom their playbook is apparently known.

    As we are well aware “the team” does have a problem of being too noble [often stated as one their greatest weakness]. Perhaps since the are such enlightened creatures, they actually are fully aware of the non-existent playbook, but it would demeaning to use this knowledge to actually win the game?

    Now far as the team playbook, another common play is not to talk much- and debating is bad idea- as there are still some people who have the impression that the “science is settled” and very act of debating may unnecessarily confuse these gentle creatures.

    • Oh, I should mention that the team leading the attack [the offensive side] using a playbook, whereas the defensive team reads what the offensive team is doing.

    • “I don’t think there is actually playbook for denialists.”

      Here it is:
      http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

      • “I don’t think there is actually playbook for denialists.”

        Here it is:
        http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

        It’s called a handbook, but it’s fair to say this is also a playbook, as it has a game plan:
        Four points, which can summarized as keep to the issue of whether CO2
        is actually harmful and insist those arguing present evidence regarding this issue. And ensure one maintains the focus of this main aspect of the debate.

        Basically, it saying don’t confuse AGW with CAGW.
        The possibility that doubling of CO2 could increase global temperature by 1 C is not sound argument for massive governmental intervention which inhibit freedoms.

        A possibility of 1 C increase over period of 1 century- is beyond boring and is a pointless concern. Such issues as energy concerns, wars, poverty, and increase of economic prosperity of billions people are far more significant factors in regards to world problems.

        But this is something anyone who knows anything is aware of. Such handbook is useful if engaged in discussion with a poor public school education- people who think everyone must ride a bicycles and have solar panels or face extinction of all life of this planet, or similar nonsense.

        But if this was the playbook referred to- I don’t see how CAGW believers would take “a page out of it”.
        Appealing reason, will get them no where, they must try to cause unwarranted fear. Get people as irrational as they are.

      • The Almighty

        You are on tender ground son.

      • Scott Basinger

        Who put Jo Nova in charge?

        (ps: She isn’t.)

      • unfortunately people like Jo Nova end up representing you whether you like it or not

  31. Beth Cooper

    Jim Cripwell 2/12 @ 3.10pm.

    Costs of salination plant’s a travesty:

    Earth is the water planet,
    All its great continents shifting
    In a world awash with seas,
    Crested waves rifting its shores.
    Noah’s flood is with us yet,
    Its opal waters inundate the land
    With mirrored pools.

    Water planet,
    Viewed from space, like a snapshot
    From the gods, a shimmering orb
    Netted in a cloud haze.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Nice one Beth,
      with the flavor of Oz. –

      For eternity it will traverse
      In speechless awe of wonders
      A bed of beauty, encumbrance of life
      Yet with wide brown lands
      Of flood and drought

      Strong love of grey-blue distance
      Brown streams and soft dim skies
      I know but cannot share it,
      My love is otherwise.

      Earth is the water planet,
      All its great continents shifting
      In a world awash with seas,
      Crested waves rifting its shores.

      Water planet,
      from the gods, a shimmering orb
      Netted in a clouded haze

    • @ Beth Cooper | March 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Beth, dam is a lake – mirror effect / reflects the sunlight better than white ice on the polar caps. In Australia is more sunlight to reflect than on north poll. Why did Bob Brown imposed Water Embargo on Australia???!!! Extra dams improve climate – increases trees density and size. In Australia, you have to climb on a tree, to see where the next tree is. Shame, shame!!!

  32. Beth Cooper

    Thx for some added lines, Markus, they fit.
    I actually wrote a different opening but I think I like yours is better. This is what I wrote.

    Drifting shadows brush the plains
    With fugitive mist. Distant
    Mountains, ridges of lapis lazuli
    Rim the sky that lifts
    Across latitudes from sombre
    Indigo to brilliant azurite.
    … etc.

    Hey Marcus, maybe we can compose an anthem for the freedom fight at the barricades. LOL. Something in the style of Leonard Cohen. Hope you like his music.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      I see how it is – turn my back for 5 minutes and you’re making sweet poetry with another cowboy.

      You should know the sort of man you’re dealing with though. There are very few bars in the world where a cowboy can drink, swear, spit and ride bulls at the same time. One is in Rockhampton (home of rocks) – my home range – and the other is in Texas. I love America. Markus had the lying gall tell me there was another in Miriam Vale. That’s right – Miriam as in the sister of Moses and vale as in pissant valley.

      Miriam Vale is not far from Rocky as the northern crow flies and I intend saddling up Shibboleth and heading south for a showdown.

      Best regards
      Captain Kangaroo

      • @ Captain Kangaroo | March 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm
        Captain, Rockhampton is the ”methane capital of Australia” beef + coal produce lots of CH4, what’s your opinion on methane?

  33. Beth Cooper

    Hmm, come on folks, show what your made of, let’s take up a collection for Michael Mann’s Freedom of Information Fight :-)

  34. Richard S. Lindzen

    According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons and ozone), and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far, even if all the warming we have seen so far were due to man. This contradiction is rendered more acute by the fact that there has been no statistically significant net global warming for the last fourteen years. Modelers defend this situation by arguing that aerosols have cancelled much of the warming, and that models adequately account for natural unforced internal variability. However, a recent paper (Ramanathan, 2007) points out that aerosols can warm as well as cool, while scientists at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Research recently noted that their model did not appropriately deal with natural internal variability thus demolishing the basis for the IPCC’s iconic attribution (Smith et al, 2007). Interestingly (though not unexpectedly), the British paper did not stress this. Rather, they speculated that natural internal variability might step aside in 2009, allowing warming to resume. Resume? Thus, the fact that warming has ceased for the past fourteen years is acknowledged. It should be noted that, more recently, German modelers have moved the date for `resumption’ up to 2015 (Keenlyside et al, 2008).

    Source: http://bit.ly/2X21Vg

  35. Continued…

    Climate alarmists respond that some of the hottest years on record have occurred during the past decade. Given that we are in a relatively warm period, this is not surprising, but it says nothing about trends.

  36. Don’t Gavin and Mann understand that every time they repeat these lies about deniers funded by fossil fuel companies they just continue to wreck their credibility and cast doubt about their competence as scientists? Assertions unsupported by evidence reveal them to be reckless and eager to slander. Not good for credibility or competence.

  37. A Perspective on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability
    Latif, Mojib and Keenlyside, Noel (2011)

    …..

    3. Potential decadal predictability

    Climate prediction has been to date mostly considered on two different time scales: seasonal and centennial. Seasonal prediction is primarily an initial value problem, i.e. the evolution of the system depends on the initial state (e.g., Palmer et al. 2004). Whereas centennial-scale prediction is normally considered a boundary value problem, i.e. the evolution of climate depends on external changes in radiative forcing, such as anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition or solar forcing (IPCC 2007). What class of problem is decadal prediction: initial value or boundary value? As suggested by observations and models decadal climate variations, global and regional, may arise from internal modes of the climate system and be potentially predictable (i.e. an initial value problem). On the other hand, projections of future climate indicate a rise in global mean temperature of between 2 and 4°C by 2100, dependant on emission scenario and model. This translates to an average rise in global mean temperature of order 0.3°C per decade. This is large compared, for instance, with the observed increase of about 0.7°C during the last century, and argues that decadal prediction is also a boundary value problem. Thus the prediction of the climate over the next few decades poses a joint initial/boundary value problem.

    While the predictability of internal fluctuations on seasonal timescales has been intensively studied for more than twenty years, decadal predictability has been systematically investigated for only a few years. Lack of understanding of predictable dynamics at decadal time scales and shortness of observational records are two main reasons that prevent us from studying decadal predictability in a systematic way. Another reason for this is the much longer timescale, which requires rather long model integrations and which is therefore closely related to the availability of large computer resources.

    One distinguishes between potential (diagnostic) and classical (prognostic) predictability studies. Potential predictability studies (e.g., Boer 2000 and 2004; Boer and Lambert 2008) attempt to quantify the fraction of long-term variability that may be distinguished from the internally generated natural variability, which is not predictable on long timescales and considered as “noise”. The long-term variability “signal” that rises above this noise is deemed to arise from processes operating in the physical system that are assumed to be, at least potentially, predictable. Decadal potential predictability is simply defined as the ratio of the variance on the decadal timescales to the total variance. As such, it does not discriminate among variability arising from a zero-order stochastic model (red-noise process) or higher-order models. Fitted linear inverse models or constructed analogues provide more discriminative estimates of diagnostic predictability (e. g., Hawkins et al. 2010; Teng and Branstator 2010). Classical predictability studies consist of performing ensemble experiments with a single coupled model perturbing the initial conditions (Griffies and Bryan 1997a, b; Grötzner et al. 1999; Collins 2002; Collins and Sinha 2003; Pohlmann et al. 2004). The predictability of a variable is given by the ratio of the actual signal variance to the ensemble variance. This method provides in most cases an upper limit of predictability since it assumes a perfect model and, very often, near-perfect initial conditions. A third method compares the variability simulated with and without active ocean-sea ice dynamics.

    Those regions in which ocean-sea ice dynamics are important in generating decadal-scale variability are believed to be regions of high decadal predictability potential (Park and Latif 2005).

    All three types of studies yield similar patterns of decadal predictability (Latif et al. 2006a). In contrast to seasonal to inter-annual predictability potential decadal predictability is found predominately over the mid to high-latitude oceans (e. g., Boer and Lambert 2008). The potential decadal predictability decreases with increasing timescale but appreciable values exist up to multidecadal timescales, especially for the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean (Figure 8). In the North Pacific, the decadal predictability potential is considerably smaller, but probably still useful. It should be mentioned that these results strictly hold only for the internal variability. Results obtained by including externally driven variability such as that related to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations yield rather different results (Hawkins and Sutton 2009). This can be easily understood by considering, for instance, the North Atlantic. AMOC-related decadal variations are strong in this region and appear to be predictable. In contrast, the expected anthropogenic weakening of the AMOC may not be well detectable for many decades due to the existence of the strong internal variability. So, predictability will critically depend on the lead time. On short lead times of a decade, the internal variability may dominate. On long lead times of a century, the weakening in response to changing external forcing may prevail.

    4. Limiting factors on realizing decadal predictability

    The recent scientific literature provides convincing evidence that climate variations on time scales up to decadal are potentially predictable (e. g., Latif et al. 2006a). Smith et al. 2007, Keenlyside et al. 2008, Pohlmann et al. 2009, and Mochizuki et al. 2010 describe prediction studies and provide some real forecasts for the next years. These studies, however, should be considered as pilot studies, as both the climate models and their initialization can be much improved. The models suffer from large biases. Figure 9 depicts the typical size of annual mean SST and, over land, SAT errors in the ensemble of IPCC-AR4 models shown in Randall et al. (2007). Typical errors can amount up to 10°C in certain regions in individual models. Hotspots in this respect are, for instance, the eastern tropical and subtropical oceans exhibiting a large warm and the North Atlantic and North Pacific generally suffering from a large cold bias. The latter are of particular importance here, occurring in regions of relatively high decadal predictability potential (Figure 8). Likewise significant discrepancies to observations exist concerning the variability. Many models, for instance, fail to simulate a realistic El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO, see e. g., Latif and Keenlyside 2008 for a review). Thus it cannot be assumed that current climate models are well suited to study the dynamics of decadal variability and to realize the full decadal predictability potential. Conceptually, future work required to realise decadal predictability can be categorized into the following four focus areas.

    Mechanisms of decadal variability
    The mechanisms leading to decadal-scale climate variability are not well understood and differ largely from model to model. This is apparent from the discussion above on the origin of decadal variability in the mid-latitudes, and further illustrated by simulated variability in the AMOC (Fig. 10; Schmittner et al. 2005): First, there is a huge range in the simulated mean strength, with several models outside observed estimates, and some models exhibiting significant long-term drift. Second, simulated variability differs vastly among models, with some showing primarily inter-annual variability and little or no interdecadal variability, while others exhibit pronounced decadal variations. Third, the response of AMOC to global warming is also quite uncertain. All this indicates that different mechanisms are active in different models.

    A key question is how sensitive the mid-latitudinal atmosphere is to anomalous SST and sea ice conditions. It has been shown in the past two decades that the extra-tropical atmosphere is sensitive to Tropical Pacific SST in the context of ENSO. However, the atmospheric response to Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean SST anomalies is less clear. AGCM experiments indicate winter NAO variations may be partly forced by Tropical Atlantic SST (Okumura et al., 2001), while other studies indicate a significant influence on the East Atlantic Pattern (Pohlmann and Latif, 2005). Decadal changes in the NAO have also been linked to tropical (Hoerling et al., 2001), and specifically Indian Ocean SST (Bader and Latif 2005). Yet, much more work is needed to better understand the extra-tropical response to Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean SST anomalies.

    Most importantly, however, a much better understanding of the atmospheric response to extra-tropical SST anomalies is in order. Evidence for an atmospheric sensitivity to local SST anomalies even in cold temperature regions is described by Xie 2004. Kushnir et al. 2002 argue that the large-scale extra-tropical atmosphere does respond to changes in underlying SST although the response is small compared to internal (unforced) variability. Two mechanisms were mostly described in the literature. One is an eddy-mediated process, in which a baroclinic response to thermal forcing induces and combines with changes in the position or strength of the storm tracks. This process can lead to an equivalent barotropic response that feeds back positively on the ocean mixed layer temperature. The other is a linear, thermodynamic interaction in which an equivalent-barotropic low-frequency atmospheric anomaly forces a change in SST and then experiences reduced surface thermal damping 24 due to the SST adjustment. Both processes contribute to an increase in variance and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric anomalies and may thus be important to decadal predictability. Recent studies indicate a prominent role of stratospheric processes in determining the atmospheric response to both tropical and extra-tropical SST anomalies. This rather new development is further discussed below.

    Resolution

    Many climate models are forced to employ relatively coarse resolution given the limitations in computing power. Several studies show that enhanced horizontal and/or vertical resolution helps to improve model performance. This applies to both the mean state and the variability. A recent example is the study of Minobe et al. (2008) who show the importance of high horizontal resolution in the simulation of the climatology, specifically precipitation, over the Gulf Stream region. The sensitivity of the atmosphere to changes in SST may be also enhanced if higher horizontal resolution is used. This may be relevant to predictability, as coupled modes may have a relatively high predictability potential (an example is ENSO). This issue is the subject of current research, and preliminary work indeed indicates that the atmospheric sensitivity to time-varying SST increases with higher resolution over the Gulf Stream region. Similar processes likely act over Kuroshio/Oyashio Extension.

    Another aspect of model bias concerns the impact aspect. We show in Figure 11 an example from hurricane research which highlights the importance of model resolution. Hurricane statistics are known to coherently vary with changes in tropical SST, especially in Tropical Atlantic SST. The latter may be related in climate models to AMOC and thus might be potentially predictable. Despite the large SST biases described below current climate models do reasonably well simulate the decadal-scale SST 25 variations in the Atlantic. However, tropical storms cannot be well simulated in coarse-resolution models, which are typically used in studies of decadal variability and predictability. A series of model integrations with the ECHAM5 AGCM was conducted by varying the horizontal resolution by Bengtsson et al. (2007). A strong sensitivity of tropical cyclone statistics was found in this set of experiments. Obviously and consistent with observations, the tail of the wind speed distribution extends to much higher wind speeds at high horizontal resolution, and the character of the Global Warming response considerably changes as the resolution increases. The high-resolution models simulate more frequent extreme wind speeds in response to Global Warming, although the total number of storms decreases. The increase in extreme wind speed frequency is not simulated in the coarsest-resolution model (T63).

    The QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation), a major mode of inter-annual variability in the stratosphere, provides another example of how an increase in resolution can change model behaviour. Giorgetta et al. (2002) described the first successful QBO simulation in MA-ECHAM5 (middle atmosphere version of ECHAM5) which was run with 90 vertical levels. The standard version of ECHAM5 employs only 19 (31) vertical levels at a horizontal resolution of T31 (T63) and does not allow a simulation of the QBO for several reasons. There are many more examples of how better resolution helps to improve the simulation of the time-averaged circulations and variability in climate models. Many coarse-resolution ocean models, for instance, fail to simulate a realistic path of the North Atlantic Current, which gives rise to rather large SST biases in the North Atlantic when they serve as oceanic component in climate models (Fig. 9). As described by Bryan et al. (2007), improvements in the simulation of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation appear to represent a regime shift in the dynamics of the simulated flow as the horizontal resolution decreases to around 10 km. Such high resolution cannot be afforded in global climate models for the next years.

    One final example is given in the following and concerns the role of mesoscale eddies in the ocean. While baroclinic eddies in the atmosphere are well resolved due to their large characteristic horizontal scale even in coarse-resolution AGCMs, they are not resolved by the ocean components used in most IPCC models. Biastoch et al. (2008) show in a modelling study that explicit simulation of Agulhas Current eddies affect the Atlantic AMOC and enhance its decadal variability. They used a two-way nest to increase horizontal resolution in the Agulhas Current region. Böning et al. (2008) find evidence that the Southern Ocean eddies may have stabilized the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in the presence of intensifying winds during recent decades. Stronger westerlies over the Southern Ocean are projected by many not ocean eddy-resolving climate models in response to enhanced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and the ACC generally speeds up in these simulations, which may have profound implications for the oceanic carbon uptake. The explicit simulation of ocean eddies may considerably change the response. In summary, resolution matters when addressing model biases in both climatology and variability, which is a prerequisite to enhance the skill of decadal climate predictions.

    Source: http://eprints.ifm-geomar.de/8744/

  38. A Perspective on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability
    Latif, Mojib and Keenlyside, Noel (2011)

    …..

    3. Potential decadal predictability

    Climate prediction has been to date mostly considered on two different time scales: seasonal and centennial. Seasonal prediction is primarily an initial value problem, i.e. the evolution of the system depends on the initial state (e.g., Palmer et al. 2004). Whereas centennial-scale prediction is normally considered a boundary value problem, i.e. the evolution of climate depends on external changes in radiative forcing, such as anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition or solar forcing (IPCC 2007). What class of problem is decadal prediction: initial value or boundary value? As suggested by observations and models decadal climate variations, global and regional, may arise from internal modes of the climate system and be potentially predictable (i.e. an initial value problem). On the other hand, projections of future climate indicate a rise in global mean temperature of between 2 and 4°C by 2100, dependant on emission scenario and model. This translates to an average rise in global mean temperature of order 0.3°C per decade. This is large compared, for instance, with the observed increase of about 0.7°C during the last century, and argues that decadal prediction is also a boundary value problem. Thus the prediction of the climate over the next few decades poses a joint initial/boundary value problem.

    While the predictability of internal fluctuations on seasonal timescales has been intensively studied for more than twenty years, decadal predictability has been systematically investigated for only a few years. Lack of understanding of predictable dynamics at decadal time scales and shortness of observational records are two main reasons that prevent us from studying decadal predictability in a systematic way. Another reason for this is the much longer timescale, which requires rather long model integrations and which is therefore closely related to the availability of large computer resources.

    One distinguishes between potential (diagnostic) and classical (prognostic) predictability studies. Potential predictability studies (e.g., Boer 2000 and 2004; Boer and Lambert 2008) attempt to quantify the fraction of long-term variability that may be distinguished from the internally generated natural variability, which is not predictable on long timescales and considered as “noise”. The long-term variability “signal” that rises above this noise is deemed to arise from processes operating in the physical system that are assumed to be, at least potentially, predictable. Decadal potential predictability is simply defined as the ratio of the variance on the decadal timescales to the total variance. As such, it does not discriminate among variability arising from a zero-order stochastic model (red-noise process) or higher-order models. Fitted linear inverse models or constructed analogues provide more discriminative estimates of diagnostic predictability (e. g., Hawkins et al. 2010; Teng and Branstator 2010). Classical predictability studies consist of performing ensemble experiments with a single coupled model perturbing the initial conditions (Griffies and Bryan 1997a, b; Grötzner et al. 1999; Collins 2002; Collins and Sinha 2003; Pohlmann et al. 2004). The predictability of a variable is given by the ratio of the actual signal variance to the ensemble variance. This method provides in most cases an upper limit of predictability since it assumes a perfect model and, very often, near-perfect initial conditions. A third method compares the variability simulated with and without active ocean-sea ice dynamics.

    Those regions in which ocean-sea ice dynamics are important in generating decadal-scale variability are believed to be regions of high decadal predictability potential (Park and Latif 2005).

    All three types of studies yield similar patterns of decadal predictability (Latif et al. 2006a). In contrast to seasonal to inter-annual predictability potential decadal predictability is found predominately over the mid to high-latitude oceans (e. g., Boer and Lambert 2008). The potential decadal predictability decreases with increasing timescale but appreciable values exist up to multidecadal timescales, especially for the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean (Figure 8). In the North Pacific, the decadal predictability potential is considerably smaller, but probably still useful. It should be mentioned that these results strictly hold only for the internal variability. Results obtained by including externally driven variability such as that related to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations yield rather different results (Hawkins and Sutton 2009). This can be easily understood by considering, for instance, the North Atlantic. AMOC-related decadal variations are strong in this region and appear to be predictable. In contrast, the expected anthropogenic weakening of the AMOC may not be well detectable for many decades due to the existence of the strong internal variability. So, predictability will critically depend on the lead time. On short lead times of a decade, the internal variability may dominate. On long lead times of a century, the weakening in response to changing external forcing may prevail.

    4. Limiting factors on realizing decadal predictability

    The recent scientific literature provides convincing evidence that climate variations on time scales up to decadal are potentially predictable (e. g., Latif et al. 2006a). Smith et al. 2007, Keenlyside et al. 2008, Pohlmann et al. 2009, and Mochizuki et al. 2010 describe prediction studies and provide some real forecasts for the next years. These studies, however, should be considered as pilot studies, as both the climate models and their initialization can be much improved. The models suffer from large biases. Figure 9 depicts the typical size of annual mean SST and, over land, SAT errors in the ensemble of IPCC-AR4 models shown in Randall et al. (2007). Typical errors can amount up to 10°C in certain regions in individual models. Hotspots in this respect are, for instance, the eastern tropical and subtropical oceans exhibiting a large warm and the North Atlantic and North Pacific generally suffering from a large cold bias. The latter are of particular importance here, occurring in regions of relatively high decadal predictability potential (Figure 8). Likewise significant discrepancies to observations exist concerning the variability. Many models, for instance, fail to simulate a realistic El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO, see e. g., Latif and Keenlyside 2008 for a review). Thus it cannot be assumed that current climate models are well suited to study the dynamics of decadal variability and to realize the full decadal predictability potential. Conceptually, future work required to realise decadal predictability can be categorized into the following four focus areas.

    Mechanisms of decadal variability
    The mechanisms leading to decadal-scale climate variability are not well understood and differ largely from model to model. This is apparent from the discussion above on the origin of decadal variability in the mid-latitudes, and further illustrated by simulated variability in the AMOC (Fig. 10; Schmittner et al. 2005): First, there is a huge range in the simulated mean strength, with several models outside observed estimates, and some models exhibiting significant long-term drift. Second, simulated variability differs vastly among models, with some showing primarily inter-annual variability and little or no interdecadal variability, while others exhibit pronounced decadal variations. Third, the response of AMOC to global warming is also quite uncertain. All this indicates that different mechanisms are active in different models.

    A key question is how sensitive the mid-latitudinal atmosphere is to anomalous SST and sea ice conditions. It has been shown in the past two decades that the extra-tropical atmosphere is sensitive to Tropical Pacific SST in the context of ENSO. However, the atmospheric response to Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean SST anomalies is less clear. AGCM experiments indicate winter NAO variations may be partly forced by Tropical Atlantic SST (Okumura et al., 2001), while other studies indicate a significant influence on the East Atlantic Pattern (Pohlmann and Latif, 2005). Decadal changes in the NAO have also been linked to tropical (Hoerling et al., 2001), and specifically Indian Ocean SST (Bader and Latif 2005). Yet, much more work is needed to better understand the extra-tropical response to Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean SST anomalies.

    Most importantly, however, a much better understanding of the atmospheric response to extra-tropical SST anomalies is in order. Evidence for an atmospheric sensitivity to local SST anomalies even in cold temperature regions is described by Xie 2004. Kushnir et al. 2002 argue that the large-scale extra-tropical atmosphere does respond to changes in underlying SST although the response is small compared to internal (unforced) variability. Two mechanisms were mostly described in the literature. One is an eddy-mediated process, in which a baroclinic response to thermal forcing induces and combines with changes in the position or strength of the storm tracks. This process can lead to an equivalent barotropic response that feeds back positively on the ocean mixed layer temperature. The other is a linear, thermodynamic interaction in which an equivalent-barotropic low-frequency atmospheric anomaly forces a change in SST and then experiences reduced surface thermal damping 24 due to the SST adjustment. Both processes contribute to an increase in variance and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric anomalies and may thus be important to decadal predictability. Recent studies indicate a prominent role of stratospheric processes in determining the atmospheric response to both tropical and extra-tropical SST anomalies. This rather new development is further discussed below.

    Resolution

    Many climate models are forced to employ relatively coarse resolution given the limitations in computing power. Several studies show that enhanced horizontal and/or vertical resolution helps to improve model performance. This applies to both the mean state and the variability. A recent example is the study of Minobe et al. (2008) who show the importance of high horizontal resolution in the simulation of the climatology, specifically precipitation, over the Gulf Stream region. The sensitivity of the atmosphere to changes in SST may be also enhanced if higher horizontal resolution is used. This may be relevant to predictability, as coupled modes may have a relatively high predictability potential (an example is ENSO). This issue is the subject of current research, and preliminary work indeed indicates that the atmospheric sensitivity to time-varying SST increases with higher resolution over the Gulf Stream region. Similar processes likely act over Kuroshio/Oyashio Extension.

    Another aspect of model bias concerns the impact aspect. We show in Figure 11 an example from hurricane research which highlights the importance of model resolution. Hurricane statistics are known to coherently vary with changes in tropical SST, especially in Tropical Atlantic SST. The latter may be related in climate models to AMOC and thus might be potentially predictable. Despite the large SST biases described below current climate models do reasonably well simulate the decadal-scale SST 25 variations in the Atlantic. However, tropical storms cannot be well simulated in coarse-resolution models, which are typically used in studies of decadal variability and predictability. A series of model integrations with the ECHAM5 AGCM was conducted by varying the horizontal resolution by Bengtsson et al. (2007). A strong sensitivity of tropical cyclone statistics was found in this set of experiments. Obviously and consistent with observations, the tail of the wind speed distribution extends to much higher wind speeds at high horizontal resolution, and the character of the Global Warming response considerably changes as the resolution increases. The high-resolution models simulate more frequent extreme wind speeds in response to Global Warming, although the total number of storms decreases. The increase in extreme wind speed frequency is not simulated in the coarsest-resolution model (T63).

    The QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation), a major mode of inter-annual variability in the stratosphere, provides another example of how an increase in resolution can change model behaviour. Giorgetta et al. (2002) described the first successful QBO simulation in MA-ECHAM5 (middle atmosphere version of ECHAM5) which was run with 90 vertical levels. The standard version of ECHAM5 employs only 19 (31) vertical levels at a horizontal resolution of T31 (T63) and does not allow a simulation of the QBO for several reasons. There are many more examples of how better resolution helps to improve the simulation of the time-averaged circulations and variability in climate models. Many coarse-resolution ocean models, for instance, fail to simulate a realistic path of the North Atlantic Current, which gives rise to rather large SST biases in the North Atlantic when they serve as oceanic component in climate models (Fig. 9). As described by Bryan et al. (2007), improvements in the simulation of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation appear to represent a regime shift in the dynamics of the simulated flow as the horizontal resolution decreases to around 10 km. Such high resolution cannot be afforded in global climate models for the next years.

    One final example is given in the following and concerns the role of mesoscale eddies in the ocean. While baroclinic eddies in the atmosphere are well resolved due to their large characteristic horizontal scale even in coarse-resolution AGCMs, they are not resolved by the ocean components used in most IPCC models. Biastoch et al. (2008) show in a modelling study that explicit simulation of Agulhas Current eddies affect the Atlantic AMOC and enhance its decadal variability. They used a two-way nest to increase horizontal resolution in the Agulhas Current region. Böning et al. (2008) find evidence that the Southern Ocean eddies may have stabilized the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in the presence of intensifying winds during recent decades. Stronger westerlies over the Southern Ocean are projected by many not ocean eddy-resolving climate models in response to enhanced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and the ACC generally speeds up in these simulations, which may have profound implications for the oceanic carbon uptake. The explicit simulation of ocean eddies may considerably change the response. In summary, resolution matters when addressing model biases in both climatology and variability, which is a prerequisite to enhance the skill of decadal climate predictions.

    Source: http://eprints.ifm-geomar.de/8744/

    • @ Girma, climatic changes have nothing to do with your phony GLOBAL warmings. Warmings are localized, NEVER global !!! Unless you separate the imagined GLOBAL warming from the REAL climatic changes – you will be disappointed a lot some day soon. You are wasting your life by being a megaphone for the propagandist. When somebody tells you that the planet is warmer by 0,15, he is actually telling that he is a liar; nothing to do with the temperature. When somebody tells you precisely the number of grains of sand in Sahara – without counting them = he is a liar. Nobody monitors the temperature in the whole troposphere – temperature is different on every 5m3, same as the size of the grains of sand. Grow up

  39. Stefan@ 3/12 12.01

    Yep! Bob Brown has his own agenda, ‘guilt and maidens,’ (H/T Kim.)
    Water will be rationed and cost HEAPS.

    There are lots of trees where I live, Stefan. I guess I’ve planted a small forest myself. Sheokes whisp’rin in the wind, magpies chortlin in the eucalypts
    ‘and
    the goat footed
    balloon man whistles
    far
    and whee.’

    (e.e.cummings.)

    • The last time I passed Brown’s office, on the Hobart waterfront, I took the opportunity to boo loudly. Didn’t change the world, but I enjoyed it.

    • @ Beth Cooper | March 3, 2012 at 12:56 am

      Beth, please do it next time for me; you will get a bottle of Queensland’s wine. Green senator Brown is doing more damages in Queensland than in Tasmania

  40. UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Research recently noted that their model did not appropriately deal with natural internal variability thus demolishing the basis for the IPCC’s iconic attribution (Smith et al, 2007).

    http://bit.ly/2X21Vg

  41. Megan McArdle : I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix.

    So she would therefore oppose legislatively entrenching more government to force the world onto vastly more expensive and inconvenient energy – thereby greatly impoverishing and politicising the world – in case it turns out CAGW is a myth.
    If not, I can only suppose that, in common with many on the Left, it’s the lurch into totalitarianism that she is actually trying to promote.

    • Punksta, I wouldn’t characterize McArdle as “left.” She is the biz and econ correspondent at the Atlantic and is very frequently right-center in opinion. If you put your hypothetical to her, I suspect she’d say “I don’t relish that idea either.”

    • I hear you NW. But I didn’t actually say she is Left though. There are totalitarian strands on the right too, people who want governments force decisions on people as much as possible.

  42. Mango Chutney

    Fossil-fuel interests, says Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher at NASA, “have adopted a shoot-the-messenger approach. It’s been a very successful strategy. They have created a chilling effect,

    I knew BIG OIL was responsible for the recent cold winters!

  43. LA Times : “Michael Mann and his fellow scientists … [are] unbiased observers on the sidelines”

    Right …

  44. Mango Chutney

    “Many scientists think they can win by blocking punches. You have to throw them,” says Mandia, who teaches physical sciences

    Was Toni Feder taking the p!$$ out of these people when he wrote the article?

  45. Vaughan Pratt

    Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a vocal opponent to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, is suing NASA for the release of Schmidt’s personal emails.

    Cool. I’ve been dying to know whether he’s actually serious about his faith in paleoclimatology. Either way he should turn in his AGU Climate Communication Prize. There is no room for religion in science.

    • Have you started to acknowledge the wrong doing in climate science?

      If so, welcome!

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Vaughan Pratt: Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a vocal opponent to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, is suing NASA for the release of Schmidt’s personal emails.

      Are those personal emails, or is the suit over emails sent via government owned communications equipment?

      You were quoting someone else, but I don’t know whom. Some of the government-funded scientists seem still not to recognize that the emails sent from their workplaces are not “personal”.

  46. An interesting excerpt right now from RealClimate:

    Unforced Variations: March 2012 (this is the top/current thread on RC)

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    3 Mar 2012 at 1:09 AM
    Current theory says there will be a steady increase in average global temperatures over the longer term (30+ years). In the short term though (10+ years) there has been a levelling off. What is the maximum number of years of no increase that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink ?

    Q : Is this question really so explosive that it needs moderation ??

    And in the the following comment , #84

    84 CM says:
    3 Mar 2012 at 2:08 AM
    Mike Mann, congratulations on a tinpot inquisitor quashed …..
    [Response: Thank you so much CM for these most kind comments. Means a lot. -mike]

    So my (dead-simple and straight, I think) question is too hot even for Mann to handle ??
    Curiouser and curiouser …

    Anyway, can anyone here step in to help RealClimate/Mann out please ?

    • Florrie –

      If your comment is awaiting moderation, it just means it is sitting there like every other comment – they all get moderated.

      And if the comment is awaiting moderation, nobody else will have seen it – so the comment can’t have been about you [unless your comment passed moderation and therefore wasn’t quashed]

      I know – I’ll pop over and have a quick butcher’s! :)

    • Thanks Anteros. But as you see there are comments that came AFTER mine that are already there, and so got moderated BEFORE mine.

      • Good point.
        a) life isn’t fair
        b) there may be an innocent reason for the ‘stuck in moderation’ thing. It happens
        c) maybe they indeed really don’t like your question and are scratching their heads [there’s no good reason to send it to the bore hole]
        d) :)

      • That is relevant, thank you, but kind of the answer to the inverse of my question. ie How long before you can see a signal?

        But I’m kind of asking : How long before you give up looking? ie realize there is no signal ?

    • Florrie –

      Your comment isn’t in the bore hole, so it hasn’t failed moderation.

      And the comment about the tinpot inquisitor was about Ken Cuccinelli.

    • The comment on RC led me to look, what’s there right now, and that further to the article of William Nordhaus

      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/why-global-warming-skeptics-are-wrong/

      That article presents well how badly distorted the WSJ op-ed of 16 signatories was.

      I made myself more understanding comments based on some details of the op-ed which were justified, but Nordhaus brings back the big picture and in the big picture the WSJ op-ed is, indeed, very severely distorted.

      • I don’t have much problem with what Nordhaus actually says, but i think he misrepresents the arguments of the skeptics. So there is an element of knocking down straw dogs, IMO.

      • Of course he does. The first question is nonsensical. What time scale?

      • OK, i correct myself. At the end he says:

        “The finding that global temperatures are rising over the last century-plus is one of the most robust findings of climate science and statistics.”

        Trivial. A typical century-plus.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        curryja:

        I don’t have much problem with what Nordhaus actually says, but i think he misrepresents the arguments of the skeptics. So there is an element of knocking down straw dogs, IMO.

        It’s worse than just that. Several times in that he offers a position then offers something to “contradict” it even though it doesn’t do anything of the sort. For example, he quotes the reasonable position:

        The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause.

        How does he “contradict” this claim that models exaggerated warming? He says:

        In reviewing the results, the IPCC report concluded: “No climate model using natural forcings [i.e., natural warming factors] alone has reproduced the observed global warming trend in the second half of the twentieth century.”

        It makes no sense. Skeptics claim models exaggerate warming, and he responds by acting as though they say there will be no warming. He’s not just creating straw man arguments, he’s flagrantly misrepresenting the very argument he quotes.

        And don’t get my started on his first figure…

      • Furthermore, the alleged AGW started in the ~mid 20th century. Before that was only “natural”. What’s the difference? Natural cooling factors? Not much of a knob, the carbon.

      • We see all the time, how different people read the same texts differently. The differences of opinions get still much wider when people start read between the lines interpreting what the text is telling on top of the most narrowly defined content. A related issue is trying to figure out how other readers of the text are supposed to interpret it.

        We have very many texts that are not particularly controversial when they are interpreted as narrowly as possible, but may be a source of violent disagreement as the result of all layers of interpretation.

        Some people write purposefully articles that are formally true, but give an impression that goes far beyond their narrowly taken content, some others are just not careful in formulating their texts.

        Looking at the personal animosities from distance (both geographic and based on own field of science) I cannot be but amazed by their strength. My impression is people involved in these animosities perpetuate and aggravate them by interpreting time after time the words of their opponent as worse than they are intentioned. Controversies centering on Michael Mann are one example of that but the phenomenon appears to be much more widespread.

      • Edim
        … the IPCC report concluded: “No climate model using natural forcings [i.e., natural warming factors] alone has reproduced the observed global warming trend in the second half of the twentieth century.”

        So, the story then is that
        – till the mid 20C, the models correctly reproduce temperatures, using only the natural forcings , which are the only ones thought to be operating at that time.
        – that being the case, it means the models’ understanding of natural forces is correct.
        – and should still be correct now.
        – so any divergence from what the models say is natural, is therefore manmade

        So

        EITHER
        (a) man first pushed temperatures up, till about 2000; and then man levelled them off (offsetting CO2 with new aerosols, or something)

        OR
        (b) the models have failed to accurately understand natural forces.
        In which case we cannot deduce that man is responsible for the late 20C uptick.

      • Pekka, you might get an insight into the controversy around Mann, and derivatively the whole CAGW mess, by noting that Mann has been comprehensively debunked, that the elite in climate science knows it but he is still defended, and that his hockey stick from Hell is the single most iconic current image of human guilt and catastrophe.
        =================

      • Kim,

        There are countless claims floating around this site and stated as definite truth. Based on various arguments I know for certain that something in the range 90-99% of those “truths” are not really true. many of them have been repeated so many times that most of those who do repeat them may, indeed, think that they are true.

        Why should I believe any particular claim that you make?

        Mann is not my hero and he has certainly not acted in a way that I would offer as a model for scientists. At the same the accusations that have been made against him are not in even nearly all cases convincing.

        Whatever is true about Mann doesn’t make any significant difference to climate science. They are questions about one person, not the science.

      • You don’t address the point, Pekka. Mann is debunked, defended, and iconic for guilty catastrophe. CAGW is debunked, defended and iconic for guilty catastrophe.

        Sure CO2 has a radiative effect. It is also plant food, and probably tugs the earth a little in the warmer direction in the earth’s eternal tug-o-war between cold and warm.

        Now, re-adjust your policy spectacles in the light of this vision.
        ============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, I’m curious about your judgment in regard to accusations made against Michael Mann. You say:

        There are countless claims floating around this site and stated as definite truth. Based on various arguments I know for certain that something in the range 90-99% of those “truths” are not really true. many of them have been repeated so many times that most of those who do repeat them may, indeed, think that they are true.

        Why should I believe any particular claim that you make?

        I have been a critic of Mann on this site before. Indeed, I’ve offered some of the most detailed criticisms of him you’ll find here. Given that, I’m curious how you “know for certain” at least 90% of the things said about him on this site are not true. I suspect I am responsible for at least 10% of the claims made about him on this site, so it sounds like you’re saying I’ve been wrong about some of those things.

        Given this, I have a request and a comment. First, would you clarify if you think I’ve said untrue things about Michael Mann? Second, I posted a document upthread which shows a multitude of untrue claims made by Mann in his recently published book. If you read it, I think you’ll find that percentage you listed is rather off.

      • Pekka, I am starting to suspect that you are more than a bit disingenuous in your comments.

        In the Energy Policy Discussion thread, you posted some platitudes and then disappeared when I put up some facts and numbers about windmills, which disproved your suggestions that they are economically viable in Australia. Unlike my posts, you had no facts and figures, just arm-waving about factors that might not have been taken into account. When I put the rubber on the road, you were gone from the discussion.

        Like the unlamented Josh, you pretend to be the voice of reason – but after much reflection, with a heavy heart, and no matter what the evidence – your ‘tentative’ conclusions are eerily predictable.

        Still, you are better than the C-team, of which A Physicist is currently the leading member. As Anthony has finally had enough of his shenanigans from under a bridge, he seems to have infested this site instead.

      • Fertilizer and warmth. Sounds like Spring. C’mon, Pekka what’s not to like about a little more of the wondrous gas?
        =====================

      • “As Anthony has finally had enough of his shenanigans from under a bridge”

        Is this the same anthony who spreads misinformation about sea ice?
        http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/how-fake-skeptics-fool-themselves/

      • Skeptic blogs sweep the awards. Something is happening here and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr lol?
        =====================

      • Pekka Pirilä posts in the big picture the WSJ op-ed is, indeed, very severely distorted.

        Pekka’s assertion is entirely correct, as Nordhaus documented.

        What is equally remarkably is how vividly the above Climate etc. comments upon Pekka’s post illustrate Trish Roberts-Miller’s Characteristic of Demagoguery.

        Specifically, the Climate etc. comments illustrate:

          •  deliberate polarization,
          •  ingroup/outgroup thinking,
          •  a rhetoric of hate,
          •  scapegoating,
          •  motivism,
          •  rejection of the reciprocity,
          •  synecdochic rhetoric, and
          •  eschatalogical metanarratives.

        Folks needn’t take my word for it … everyone can verify for themselves that these characteristics of demagoguery are becoming normative for many Climate etc posters.

        Considerable numbers of folks here on Climate etc. are ardently embracing this emerging culture of demagoguery … it appeals to impulses deep inside them.. Other folks reject it, on good grounds it seems to me.

        In either case, thiis emerging culture of demagoguery deserves to be called “denialism” rather than “skepticism” … for the simple reason that demagoguery forms no part of rational skepticism, eh?

      • A physicist,

        I’ve been saving up this little zinger for a while and now seems as good a time to use it up as any. Ready?

        That last comment of yours, physicist, qualifies you as a de-oxy oxy-moron.

        Zing!

      • Johanna,

        I don’t agree with your interpretation of the discussion. I considered the issue closed and that we both had made the points that we could make given the limitations of the information available.

        I could have clarified that the conclusions on the specific case of King Island (if I remember correctly) would require in my view more knowledge on the whole project and the status of the network before and after the project, as it appears clear that the question was not solely of the power plants.

        More essential was perhaps in any case the fact that my main point was more general and that I just happened to pick Tasmania as the example based on some oral information that I had once heard.

      • Brandon,

        My reply was to a three line comment by Kim and my thoughts about percentages refer principally to 1-3 liners.

        We have had one lengthy fight about Mann before. I have no interest in initiating another. It’s unlikely that we would be any closer now than we were then. Our ways of thinking and using information appear to be so fundamentally different.

      • Mike, your pun leaves me anispeptic, frasmotic, even compunctious!   :)

      • Pekka, why don’t you try Fred’s trick when he’s third and long in his own territory and ask your correspondent to privately email you for further discussion?
        =====================

      • Nordhaus misrepresents the skeptics, mis-states the central claims fo the climate consensus, and ignores evidence he does not like.
        Sounds like a sound argument to me. Not.

      • These straw dogs, Judith … is this some sort of man-bites-dog idiom ?

      • Heh, Pekka, my comment was six lines and one sentence. Nits on one hair, nits on them all.
        ==============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä:

        My reply was to a three line comment by Kim and my thoughts about percentages refer principally to 1-3 liners.

        It’s good to hear you didn’t have me in mind when you made that remark, though I will note you didn’t actually answer my question.

        We have had one lengthy fight about Mann before. I have no interest in initiating another. It’s unlikely that we would be any closer now than we were then. Our ways of thinking and using information appear to be so fundamentally different.

        I haven’t made any effort to start a “fight” with you, and there’s no reason anything I’ve said should do so. I provided you a link to a discussion of simple sentences because I thought you might find it interesting. That’s all.

        I honestly don’t know what you’re trying to say here. It seems to be some sort of insult, but I’m not sure. You seem to not be responding to anything I say while simultaneously responding to things I’ve never said. I suppose it’s possible “[o]ur ways of thinking” are “so fundamentally different” we can’t agree on the meanings of simple sentences, but I’d like to think that isn’t the case.

      • Brandon,

        What I was trying to tell that we had an earlier lengthy discussion that I called a fight because it turned into that in my judgment. I didn’t like that discussion, and I told what was my judgment about the nature of our disagreement that led in such discussion. Please, don’t read from my comment things that I haven’t said.

      • Pekka Pirilä | March 3, 2012 at 11:32 am |

        Johanna,

        I don’t agree with your interpretation of the discussion. I considered the issue closed and that we both had made the points that we could make given the limitations of the information available.

        I could have clarified that the conclusions on the specific case of King Island (if I remember correctly) would require in my view more knowledge on the whole project and the status of the network before and after the project, as it appears clear that the question was not solely of the power plants.

        More essential was perhaps in any case the fact that my main point was more general and that I just happened to pick Tasmania as the example based on some oral information that I had once heard.
        —————————————————————
        Pekka:

        You are not going to get away with this sophistry – or as we call it in Australia – bullsh*t.

        I provided the available information on the project, with links. When the information did not support your assertion, you now tell us that you ‘considered the issue closed’ – meaning that you disappeared from the discussion. You did not come back and make the point that you now claim since you have been called out. You just went away and refused to further engage.

        ‘If I remember correctly’ – so you are relying or your memory of posts of a couple of days ago to sustain an argument? Why not look them up? It is, to say the least, unusual to rely on memory in a discussion about posts that are easily checked. I’ve checked. Why haven’t you?

        ‘My main point was more general’ and ‘I just happened to pick Tasmania based on some oral information that I’d once heard’. This is just like the crap that we hear every time an IPCC pronouncement is found to be false – the main point is unchanged, and if a bit of anecdata slipped in, so what?

        You’ve been unmasked, Pekka. Once again, it was the coverup that finally undid you.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä

        Please, don’t read from my comment things that I haven’t said.

        You don’t have to worry about me reading too much into your comment when I explicitly say, “I honestly don’t know what you’re trying to say here.”

        However, if you’d like to safeguard yourself against such, there is a simple thing you might try. It’s called answering what is said to you. In my first response to you, I asked you a simple yes or no question. You answered with neither. In the same way, when I recommended something for you to read, you could have simply responded to the recommendation. Instead, you explained why you didn’t want to have a particular discussion with me, even though I wasn’t trying to have that discussion.

        You could easily have said something like, “No, and thanks for the link though I don’t think I’ll get around to reading it.” That would have ended the exchange, and we’d both have understood each other perfectly. Instead, you apparently felt it necessary to comment on things like my thought processes.

        Or to put it simply. Responding to what people say = Clear. Not responding to what people say and bringing up irrelevant things = Not clear.

      • Brandon,

        There may be formally exact answers (yes or no), but even, when there are they may be highly misleading. Therefore I try to explain my thoughts. Sometimes the response seems to indicate that I have succeeded with some readers sometimes the evidence is the opposite.

        If the simple question is also simple to answer and the answer is likely to be understood, I’ll certainly try to give the answer. In other cases perhaps not.

        It’s not common that people demand answers when good answers can be given. In those cases they may perhaps ask for them, but demands are presented mostly, when any short answer can be misused.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä:

        If the simple question is also simple to answer and the answer is likely to be understood, I’ll certainly try to give the answer. In other cases perhaps not.

        I’m hard-pressed to see how my question wouldn’t be simple to answer. All I asked was if you think I’ve said untrue things about Michael Mann. You could have said yes, no or that you were unsure. Instead, you just explained you weren’t referring to me when you said people say untrue things about Mann. That’s not clarifying anything. That’s just not answering the question.

        You then “explained your thoughts” as to why you wouldn’t have a discussion nobody was asking you to have. Again, that isn’t clarifying anything. It’s just talking about things which aren’t relevant to what I said.

      • I would love someone with a good understanding of economics to explain the costs he gets for waiting?

      • Brandon:

        Reading through this thread, your problem is just like that of people who attempted to jelly-wrestle with Josh, or engage with the Tar-Baby.

        As you will see above, this guy is not genuine. He throws out assertions and can’t back them up. He pretends to be reasonable while sending everyone on wild goose chases.

        You are not going mad.

        It’s not you, it’s him.

      • You are right, Johanna, but be careful. Pekka is without doubt one of the brightest bulbs in this tanning booth. He’ll be a very powerful skeptic of catastrophe one of these fine days.
        ======================

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        A Physicist: Folks needn’t take my word for it … everyone can verify for themselves that these characteristics of demagoguery are becoming normative for many Climate etc posters.

        My sense is that those characteristics of demagoguery characterize few Climate etc posters.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: Based on various arguments I know for certain that something in the range 90-99% of those “truths” are not really true.

        You should list those, substantiate the claim that the untruths constitute 90-99% of the “truths”, and tell us how you know “for certain” that they are untrue.

      • Matthew,

        Perhaps that comment deviated too much from my typical style, but I thought that everyone understands that the estimate was not meant to be taken literally.

        There are, however, really many short messages that present as factual such statements that are at best opinions and at worst unfounded prejudices. Such statements may be about the physical Earth system, but they are often also about people and organizations.

      • David Young

        I tend to agree with Judith. Nordhaus’s list of the 16’s claims is itself not correct. He states it as “is the globe warming?” as if anyone said it as not. Then he discusses the temperature record which Lindzen shows all the time. Lindzen explicitly ways that the globe is warming and that mankind is contributing to it. Likewise his discussion of whether or not cllimate models overpredict warming cites a reference that has little relevance to the question.

        It looks like to me Nordhaus is angry at being cited by the 16 and is at great pains to distance himself from them and just misrepresents their arguments.

        In any case, Pekka is probably right that this a case “failure to communicate.” At least Lindzen generally correctly characterizes what his opponents are saying. Not always, but generally.

        This shows just how politicized this scientific controversy has become. Who is to blame? Almost certainly the usual suspects like Hansen et al who have deliberately politicized it.

      • Kim – bring it on. The brightest or the dullest bulbs in the tanning booth can equally be extinguished by a well-aimed stone from a slingshot. If the egregious dickh*ead (see, I speak both languages) we are discussing wants to keep posturing, he may find the odd pebble from the Murrumbidgee River in his eye.

        It seems that slippin’ and slidin’ his form. Ha! I have many years of experience dealing with politicians who would cut his grass and eat his lunch before he got out of bed (these are metaphoric terms).

        Pekka, it’s over, sport. You can wheedle away pretending to be reasonable, like Josh used to, but you have been picked like the proverbial left nostril.

      • David,

        I guess you are right about his motive, i.e. he dislikes being quoted in a article with clearly skeptical content.

        When I wrote that he brings up the big picture I meant that he doesn’t comment on the specific details that the 16 had chosen. His choice was to use the six detail points as a list of subject areas, and then discuss the arguments that he considers most central for those areas. He implied that the op-ed presented cherry picking and he declined to comment on the cherries.

        This is the way I expected that my comment on the big picture had been understood without further explanations like this message.

        As I also wrote, my own first comment on the op-ed was more favorable, because each of the cherries had some real juice.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: There are, however, really many short messages that present as factual such statements that are at best opinions and at worst unfounded prejudices. Such statements may be about the physical Earth system, but they are often also about people and organizations.

        I still think you should quote some statements that you think are false, and tell us why you are certain that they are false. Otherwise what you write is not informative. In my opinion.

      • I’m not going to list any specific messages. My comment was perhaps more an expression of frustration caused by the numerous cursory comments that express much more certainty than warranted. Such comments should be easy to spot by everyone who would give any weight on my view anyway.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        johanna:

        It’s not you, it’s him.

        Thanks for the support, though I’m not sure I agree with everything in your comment. Pekka Pirilä:

        I’m not going to list any specific messages. My comment was perhaps more an expression of frustration caused by the numerous cursory comments that express much more certainty than warranted. Such comments should be easy to spot by everyone who would give any weight on my view anyway.

        From what I’ve seen, this description fits your claim perfectly.

    • Mango Chutney
      • Florrie asks: Am I dreaming?

        No Florrie, the technical term is “cherry picking.” Namely, you have picked one particular year, and one particular measure, to support a thesis that your heart already favors. Continued refusal to consider the climatological evidence as a integrated whole is called “denialism”. And the findal embrace of ingroup/outgroup thinking, synecdochic cognition, angry rhetoric, and scapegoating (etc.) is called “demagoguery.”

        As the scientific evidence for climate change becomes steadily stronger, there is a countervailing (and very human) temptation for one’s thinking to evolve through a five-stage sequence:

           • (skepticism) \Rightarrow
           • (quibbling) \Rightarrow
           • (denial) \Rightarrow
           • (slogan-shouting) \Rightarrow
           • (demagoguery)

        The discussion here on Climate etc. suggests that some folks are progressing through this five-stage sequence pretty rapidly.

      • OK Physicist, you go ahead pick a non-cherry year to start then.
        And a period of non-increase that would falsify the CO2-knob thesis.

        A simple enough question, for which a simple enough answer should be possible if the thesis has any scientific basis.

      • A physicist

        Florrie, here is a visual answer to your question. A Google search for the exact phrase “”Did global warming stop?” will find plenty more data.

      • So, Physicist you have no simple answer to my simple, non-trick question. So for you too then, the CO2-knob thesis is not scientific in any sense.

      • It is pathognomonic that he responds with propaganda from the SS, Florrie.
        =================

      • A physicist

        Florrie asserts: You have no simple answer to my simple non-trick question.

        Florrie, for an answer that’s “as simple as possible, but not simpler” (in Albert Einstein’s celebrated phrase), please see Foster and Rahmstorf “Global temperature evolution 1979–2010” (2011).

        Simple Answer: Global warming, globally assessed, globally continues.

      • Yet again you duck the simple question, Physicist, so I repeat it :

        How many years of non(-significant)-warming would it take to falsify the CO2-knob thesis?

      • You can, if you wish, in a separate comment explain how the flatlining of temperatures means there is still warming.

      • A physicist

        Florrie asks How many years of non(-significant)-warming would it take?

        Your question is like asking “How many cigarettes would it take to give me lung cancer?” How many frost-free days does it take for me to be sure I can plant tomatoes?”

        Seventeen years of flat temperatures (barring volcanoes, etc.) would rattle a lot of scientific’ confidence. Because looking thirty years in the past, scientists already appreciate that there has there is no significant evidence that the global temperature rise has flattened in recent years.

        Does that answer your question, Florrie?

      • why adjusted data?

      • A physicist

        A physicist posts: Florrie, for an answer that’s “as simple as possible, but not simpler” (in Albert Einstein’s celebrated phrase), please see Foster and Rahmstorf “Global temperature evolution 1979–2010” (2011).

        Simple Answer: Global warming, globally assessed, globally continues.

        Edim asks: “Why adjusted data?

        Per the Foster and Rahmstorf abstract:

        “When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced”

        Confidence that the warming physics is valid is why James Hansen and his colleagues have made seven key AGW predictions in the last year, all relating to high-quality NASA satellite data that will be collected all through the coming two decades:

        ——————-

        Seven Key Predictions of Climate-Change Science

        Prediction 1 Satellite altimeters will affirm the prediction of accelerating sea-level rise, and

        Prediction 2 Satellite gravitometry will affirm the prediction of accelerating ice-mass loss, and

        Prediction 3 Satellite photography will affirm Arctic ice-cap loss and poleward biome migration,

        Prediction 4 Satellite radiometry (solar) will affirm the prediction of stable solar output, and

        Prediction 5 Satellite radiometry (terrestrial) will affirm the prediction of radiative energy imbalance, and

        Prediction 6 Satellite telemetry (from ARGO) will affirm the prediction of warming oceans, and

        Prediction 7 Satellite spectrophotometry will affirm the prediction of a warming particle-laden atmosphere.

        ——————-

        Assuming the NASA satellites function as planned, and a solid understanding of the Earth’s energy budget is achieved, and all seven of Hansen’s climate-change predictions prove correct …, well, then the quibblers and demagogues among us will become pretty dizzy from ”spinning“ the data! :)

        Because hey, no amount of science convinces quibblers! :)

      • @Physcist
        Right…..now we’re getting there. So 17 years of a non-warming trend ought to rattle confidence with CO2-knobbers who have any science in their veins.
        And Yes, of course we haven’t yet had 17 flat years really, probably only 12 or so if we rightly ignore the 1998 cherry. Another five, though, and we’ll be able to separate the scientists from the ideologues.

      • Those seven CO2-knob predictions of Hansen’s seem like a worthy test. If they all come to pass, there will indeed start to be some reason to have confidence in the theory.

        But why is Hansen already confident, ie before the test results are in ?? Does rather have the ring of ideologue about it. (And was it Hansen or someone else who predicted New York would be under water by now?)

    • I am happy to report that RealClimate has now allowed my question:

      Current theory says there will be a steady increase in average global temperatures over the longer term (30+ years). In the short term though (10+ years) there has been a levelling off. What is the maximum number of years of no increase that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink ?”

      No answers though. Neither there nor here for that matter. Is it such a silly question?

      • Easy answer but a cynical one Florrie. There is no maximum number of years of no increase unexplainable by true believers. And ‘prompt a rethink’ has already happened. It’s called skepticism.
        ==================

      • I hear you Kim :-)
        But of I course I want to know how long the avid CO2-knob adherents like Schmidt and and Mann would wait before having a serious rethink ?
        It’s been about 15 years, so can’t be much longer now, surely.

      • Florrie asks What is the maximum number of years of no increase that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink?

        Florrie, the rethinking of theory goes on all the time. The article to which Mango Chutney linked provides a summary of a very large literature, and its full text is available on-line, free-as-in-freedom: “Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: the importance of timescale.”

        Elevator summary: Fluctuations on 10-year time-scales are very commonly observed, both in nature and in simulations. Conversely, if no secular increase were seen for at least 17 years in the overall global heat balance (as contrasted with cherry-picked individual or local measures), and no extenuating factor were evident (for example, increased aerosols from volcanic eruptions and/or coal-burning) then this would be be regarded as a strong challenge to existing theories of AGW.

        This prediction of an overall CO2-induced warming trend accompanied by substantial decadal noise extends equally to the past and the future. Looking at the past, we see that it is well-fulfilled. And James Hansen and his colleagues have made a number of specific predictions, extending into the future, that if born out in the coming decade or two, will largely eliminate rational grounds for skepticism.

        Of course, no amount of evidence convinces quibblers!   :)

      • Well, Physicist A, certainly we lay people like to think scientists rethink all the time. But – does that actually happen in the CO2-knob camp much ? For those wedded to the cause, no amount of no warming will shake them.

        But OK, a figure 17 years is cited – a straight answer to my question, for which I give thanks. There was a peak in 1998, so if there is no more warming for another 2-3 years can we expect to hear some rumbles of rethinking from Hansen, Mann, Schmidt, the whole IPCC caboodle ? Al Gore ?

        Or am I dreaming ?

      • Mango Chutney

        Or am I dreaming ?

        Fantasising may be a better word ;)

      • Florrie,

        I think you’re on to something with your “CO2-knob camp” locution. So like when, physicist starts using hate-language terms like “quibblers” we can righteously respond: “Well, A “demagogue” physicist, we may be what you call “quibblers”, but at least we’re not a bunch of “knobbers” like you and your pals!” And, then, when physicist fires off another one of his brain-dead, tedious-tedious-tedious comments we can say things like: “Hey! more slobber from the knobber!” You know, that sort of thing.

        What do you think?

      • A physicist

        Florrie, see above.

      • Florrie @ 11:15 AM. It no longer matters when Mann or Schmidt or any of the alarmist elite pause to reconsider. They are trapped in an eddy off the turbulent flow of history.
        ===============

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        A Physicist: And James Hansen and his colleagues have made a number of specific predictions, extending into the future, that if born out in the coming decade or two, will largely eliminate rational grounds for skepticism.

        Probably so.

        And if not born out, that will eliminate rational grounds for continued belief.

      • David Young

        I think there have already been some predictions that have been falsified, namely those of Hansen in 1988 and those of the FAR. In that era, models seem to have pretty badly overpredicted warming. And don’t give me the nonsense about scenarios. Hansen’s failure to predict what percentage of emissions would remain in the atmosphere is part of his overall prediction.

        It is too early to tell if AR4 overpredicts warming, but it doesn’t look very good right now, but that can change. You can find this data on RealClimate in a recent post. The actual temperature is about halfway between the median prediction and the lower error bar.

      • A physicist

        David, folks can check for themselves that the predictions that James Hansen and his colleagues made in their 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” have proven to be impressively accurate.

        Nowadays Hansen and his colleagues have the benefit of far stronger theories, immensely more powerful computers, orders of magnitude more data, of far higher quality … and thirty years of experience pulling it all together.

        So when scientists like Hansen make concrete predictions, it’s rational to take those predictions seriously.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        A Physicist: David, folks can check for themselves that the predictions that James Hansen and his colleagues made in their 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” have proven to be impressively accurate.

        Which of their predictions and scenarios do you consider to be impressively accurate? Much of the paper discusses the divergent effects of different assumptions, and the model predictions in figure 7 are way too high.

      • A physicist

        A Physicist posts Folks can check for themselves that the predictions that James Hansen and his colleagues made in their 1981 article “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” have proven to be impressively accurate.

        MattStat asks: Which of their predictions and scenarios do you consider to be impressively accurate?

        For me, it’s Hansen’s bold prediction (right in the abstract!) of “the opening of the fabled Northwest passage”.

        Who (except Hansen!) could have imagined that by 2012, the once-deadly Northwest Passage would be melted wide-open in the summers, open to commercial shipping, wealthy yachtsmen on vacation, and Russian hipsters in home-made rubber boats!

        “Absolutely fascinating. I’ve never seen the likes of it in my life,” said Constable Rolland Lavoie, who’s with the RCMP in Clyde River. “I would expect that a trip of this sort to be on a huge cruise boat, something huge, but this is something out of Gilligan’s Island, for crying out loud.”

          :)   :)   :)

      • David Young

        This prediction about the Northwest Passage is very minor. On the important questions such as rate of temperature increase, etc. his testimony in 1988 was very badly wrong. Even Real Climate admits this but has various rationalizations about the scenarios. Hansen’s prediction about what percentage of emissions would remain in the atmosphere was also wrong.

      • Hansen’s 1981 prediction was that 2010 would be 0.4 degrees warmer than 1976, and the warming rate through 2020 would be about 0.15 degrees per decade with his middle sensitivity. Turned out he was right. I don’t know what Matt is looking at.

      • A physicist

        Jim D posts: Turned out he [Hansen in his 1981 predictions] was right. I don’t know what [MattStat/MatthewRMarler] is looking at.

        Jim D, your post is verifiably correct on-the-facts. Whether MattStat’s assertions to the contrary have any factual basis, is similarly unclear to me as it is to you. question   :?:

      • A physicist, I have found skeptics tend to disappear when I have mentioned this paper in the past. It is kind of like a crucifix to vampires because it tends to destroy their idea that anyone predicted the current warming 30 years ago, before it was even noticeable and before it became political in 1988. He also correctly predicted that the CO2 signal would only become a significant 2-sigma deviation in the 1990’s.
        By the way a free link to the Science paper, which is very readable and ages well, is at
        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha04600x.html

      • “Hansen’s 1981 prediction was that 2010 would be 0.4 degrees warmer than 1976”

        I have looked at Hansen’s papers from 1981 to 1985 and he covered lots of ground with a minimal amount of data. He also described the “heat in the pipeline” effect back then as a transient incorporation of heat into the ocean .
        No one can deny that his early predictions actually compare very well with what we are currently observing, and you can see where the 0.4 degree warming since 1976 fits in:
        http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg85/scaled.php?server=85&filename=hansen1981gis.gif&res=medium
        Look at the temperature data prior to 1980 and you can see that he did not have much to go on.

        And the following is a chart showing the unrealized warming going into the ocean which he produced in 1985:

        The following figure is my understanding on how the unrealized warming will crossover eventually. Think in terms of the amount of heat that is required to go into the ocean for it to increase its temperature as fast as the atmosphere and land.

      • David Young

        Yes, but Hansen’s 1988 testimony is far more important. And it badly overestimated warming and its consequences. Models change over time and GISS is now much lower in sensitivity. That’s fine with me, but it does illustrate how we should be skeptical about model results.

      • Paleo data is always available for analysis. I noticed that both the CO2 concentration and the log of temperature anomaly follows an extremely uniform random temperature range for the Vostock data.

        The following two figures show an interesting view of the random walk character of the Vostok CO2 and temperature data. A linear, non-sigmoid, shape indicates that the sampled data is occupying a uniform space between the endpoints. The raw CO2 shows this linearity while only the log of the temperature has the same linearity. They both have similar correlation coefficients so that it is almost safe to assume that the two statistically track one another with this relation:

        ln(T-T_0) = k [CO2] + constant
        or
        T = T_0 + c e^{k [CO2]}

        This is odd because it is the opposite of the generally agreed upon dependence of the GHG forcing, whereby the log of the atmospheric CO2 concentration generates a linear temperature increase.


        Rank histogram of CO2 excursions shows extreme linearity over range, indicating an ergodic mapping of a doubly stochastic random walk. The curl at the endpoints indicate the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck barriers.


        Rank histogram of log temperature excursions shows extreme linearity over range. Again the curl at the endpoints indicate the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck barriers.

      • Hang on here Web, I see in the 1981 abstract that “this corresponds to 0.4K in the last century.” This must mean the 20th century. To say that he predicted 0.4K from 1981 to 2010 is so far as I can see totally unfounded. I can’t access the full paper, but I need more evidence. This 0.4K is of course at least a factor of 2 lower than his 1988 testimony. So, according to Weby, Hansen was wrong by a factor of 2 in at least one instance. Which one was it or does it really matter? The 1988 testimony is much more important because it was presumably under oath and was I suppose designed to influence public policy.

      • David Young, I posted a link to the paper. it is in Figure 7 that the temperature rise near 0.4 C is seen between 1976 and 2010. He states the sensitivity as 2.8 C for that model, which is basically a single-column model while his later work was based on the one of the first 3d GCMs used for climate. He also brackets it with 1.4 C and 5.6 C sensitivity.

      • Jim D, It is a fascinating topic, notice that Hansen predicted the opening of the Northwest Passage in that paper?
        I am not so much interested in the numbers over the course of a few years, but more in how to analyze the growing amounts of data in a comprehensive fashion.

      • WHT, I meant to ask you about the crossover you showed above. I would have expected land temperatures to continue to lead ocean temperatures under increasing forcing conditions, and can’t visualize a mechanism where they would reverse.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/

        Folks…I have to say, and lot of this discussion is tedious. There will always be ex-post reasons why any theory wasn’t correct in its predictions. Some will be about instruments, others about events (volcanic eruptions, etc) that were held constant at the time of the prediction and so on. Get real. There’s no logical end to this. All you can really say, is that if a particular theory has to escape falsification repeatedly by these sorts of dodges, then it starts to smell like old fish, that is rotten. See in particular the distinction between “progressive” and “degenerating” research programs here:

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

      • The crossover is really in terms of heat content. The ocean will continue to capture heat long after the atmosphere or land reaches a quasi steady state. In the future, should any cooling occur, the latency will be such that the ocean will stay warm. The temperature differences reflect the heat content once the heat capacities are included. The conservation of energy math works out just the way that Hansen draws his graphs, given that one assumes a diffusional path from the ocean/atmosphere interface.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        A Physicist, the exact quote from the abstract of the article is this: Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.

        Is that an exact prediction? Has it proven to be “impressively accurate”? It looks to me like one out of 3 vague predictions is more or less true (depending on what was meant by “opening” of the Northwest Passage, at a time when vessels were frozen in unusually in the waters off eastern Asia and in the Baltic.)

    • Scott Basinger

      Don’t expect much from RealClimate and you won’t be disappointed.

  47. Explanation of the Pause in global warming according to the Met Office

    The Met Office explains the leveling in the global mean temperature as follows:

    Over the last 10 years there has been a small tendency for the Met Office – CRU data to be in the lower half of the predicted range of temperatures. It would appear that the limited number of observations in the Arctic may have led to this tendency.
    http://bit.ly/ytNrHc

    However, 12 years ago the following was predicted:

    The last time the oscillation was in its present state, from about 1945 to about 1976, a global warming trend that had begun early in the century leveled off.

    http://nyti.ms/lVpyNW

    It is sad that the Met Office is going to change their data instead of acknowledging the recent plateau in global mean temperature is due to the flipping of the PDO.

    Extremely sad.

    • Let’s get something straight, global warming is produced by an energy imbalance that causes heat accumulation in the ocean, land, and air, and the excess thermal energy drives the ice to water phase change as well. Oceanic heating accounts for ~90% of the thermal imbalance. The heat accumulation in the 0-2000 meter zone is in an unabated rise, sea and land ice are still melting and Greenland ice melting is accelerating (GRACE). There is no way anyone can reasonably claim that warming has stopped. It’s nonsense.

      • Numerous commenters have flatly contradicted the claim that the shallow oceans have been warming. Hence too Trenberth’s lament about the heat he so desperately hopes to find hidden in the deep oceans, whose temperature we are as yet apparently unable to measure.

        Arctic ice may be melting, but there are factors such as winds and current to consider there.

        There is thus no way anyone can reasonably claim there is still warming.

      • Owen,
        It may be straight toyou, but you are making al list of faith based claims, and not evidence based claims.
        But if they give you some sort of comfort, there is value in that. Just not scientific, and hopefully not policy forming.

      • andrew adams

        hunter,

        It may be straight toyou, but you are making all list of faith based claims, and not evidence based claims.

        Rubbish, he made specific reference to several lines of evidence which you are able to check out and verify (or otherwise).

      • Hunter,

        No faith involved at all. The physical evidence is patently clear. The rise in ocean heat content from NOAA is unbated (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/02000mohca.jpg/ ), the Greenland Ice melting is accelerating (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Basic-overview-melting-ice-around-globe.html ), the atmosphere is warming (http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/plot/wti/trend), and sea ice is melting (http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20111004_Figure3.png). All components of the climate system are simultaneously accumulating heat. The evidence from careful measurements shows continued, unabated global warming. No blind faith is involved in that conclusion.

      • Owen, your “patently clear” data is actually a maze of inconsistencies and uncertainties. For starters, never cite SS as a reliable source. They are a one sided joke in progress. Then too, your temp data is a woody composite index that masks the inconsistencies among the various datasets. And even it clearly shows a step-function regime change masked as an upward sloping trend line. If you present shaky, contentious data as patently clear do not expect to be taken seriously.

      • David Wojick demonstrating why he shouldn’t be allowed to teach kids on this subject.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        lolwot | March 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
        David Wojick demonstrating why he shouldn’t be allowed to teach kids on this subject.”

        You don’t even know what the subject is, flip.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        ‘Let’s get something straight, global warming is produced by an energy imbalance that causes heat accumulation in the ocean, land, and air, and the excess thermal energy drives the ice to water phase change as well.’

        Energy imbalance?

        Are you talking about physics here or some cooking show?

  48. A physicist

    Edim asks: What time scale?

    Nordhaus is using the time-scale of America’s founders. And so Nordhaus’ time-scale seems well-justified to me — by history, for sure.

    Edim, we all appreciate that there exists a dividing line between reasoning and demagoguery. Are you entirely confident that calling Nordhaus’ time-scale “nonsensical” is rational?

    • I corrected myself above. He does say a century-plus. Still trivial. And misleading too. Of interest is only AGW (~1960 – present) compared to, let’s say a century plus. Nothing extraordinary.

  49. A physicist

    Edim asserts: Of interest is only AGW (1960 ~ present) (2012–2248).

    Edim, I have adjusted the time-frame of your assertion to match the foresighted time-frame of America’s founders, and specifically to match the duration of our American nation … a time-frame that (obviously) has ample historical precedent, and that to millions of Americans is “wonderfully extraordinary” :)

  50. WORLD and CO2
    – Cold water has ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere at higher rate and volume than warm water.
    – Ocean currents transport heat from the tropics to high latitudes, deep currents to modulate the amount of energy moved.
    – The oceans contain 40,000 GtC of dissolved and living forms of carbon.
    – The land contains 2,200 GtC of carbon.
    – The atmosphere contains only 750 GtC of carbon.
    – The oceans hold 50 times more carbon than the air.
    – The cold deep water in the ocean contains by far largest amount of portable CO2
    1GtC = 3.67 Gt CO2
    Locked carbon in carbonate rocks, marine shells, coral etc is not included.
    -Total amount of new carbon put into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution is 150 GtC
    – Amount of carbon re-cycled by the marine life is estimated at 35 GtC/annum; total industrial carbon ever released is recycled by the marine ecosystem in less than 5 years.
    – 50% of currently released CO2 is immediately absorbed by the world oceans.
    – Land biomass absorbs majority of the rest.
    Global scenarios:
    – Global warming – oceans absorb less CO2, but plant life would benefit from warmer climate, more humidity (precipitation) and more available CO2, proliferation of plant life and agriculture in the northern latitudes of Canada and Siberia, re-growth of tropical forests.
    – Global cooling – oceans absorb more CO2 depriving plant life of sufficient quantity, while drop of temperatures and humidity (precipitation) would decimate agriculture across all latitudes , causing starvation and mass migration.
    Which one you would choose?
    Ocean currents will determine the outcome, unfortunately humans have no choice.
    Ergo: Gleick is a fool.

    • A physicist

      vukcevic asserts: “Gleick is a fool.”

      Vukcevic, the commendable effort that you put into your post regrettably exerts little net effect, in view of the post’s (1)&nbsplinitial neglect of climate-change science, and (2) concluding embrace of demagogic abuse.

      A stronger grounding in history, mathematics, and science, and a more scrupulous attention to avoiding the forms of demagoguery, surely would give rise to a more vigorous — and indeed immensely beneficial — variety of climate change skepticism!

      • Heh, A physicist wants more variety in climate change skepticism.
        ===================

      • Do excuse my obvious ignorance, I have often very little idea what I am talking about, let alone what the others may say, so sadly you erudite comment is wasted on this occasion. Wish you more success elsewhere.

      • Vikuvic, anyone interested in ocean currents and climate, who compares and contrasts your narrative with the American Institute of Physics narrative regarding ocean currents and climate, will learn much about the history of key ideas in climate science, and also about the reasoning of a certain variety of skeptical subculture.

      • A Physicist,

        Demagoguery is in the eye of the beholder. The reason the debate is heat is because there is a lot at stake and alternate explanations of both the natural cycles and cause of the majority of the perceived warming.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/03/thermohalide-cycles-and-antarctica.html

        There are several physical cycles, internal and external, that are poorly understood in our non-linear dynamic world. None of the data or models have the accuracy required to “solve” such a complicated problem so theory and belief in a particular theory drives the research. Some theories are a little more complicated than CO2 done it.

      • Perhaps you should ask the American Institute of Physics to correct their narrative, as it happens my granddad was a well known storyteller.
        regards
        Vik u Vic

      • A physicist | March 3, 2012 at 10:57 am |
        Vikuvic, anyone interested in ocean currents and climate, who compares and contrasts your narrative with the American Institute of Physics narrative regarding ocean currents and climate, will learn much about the history of key ideas in climate science
        Perhaps you should ask the American Institute of Physics to correct their narrative, as it happens my granddad was a well known storyteller.
        regards
        Vik u Vic

  51. I have read the book – all of it, in the Kindle edition – you can see my review here . It wasn’t as bad as I expected (though my expectation was not high based on his earlier book – “Dire Predictions”). There even seem to be one of two coded admissions that he got things wrong – the inverted lake sediments for example,

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Ron Manley, I’m afraid you got some things wrong in your review. For example, your comment here suggests Mann may have admitted he made a mistake with the Tiljander series, saying:

      In one of comments on this Mann says “one of our methods didn’t assume orientation, while the other used an objective procedure for determining it”. This appears to be an admission that the orientation might not have been correct though elsewhere he says that this record did not change the overall conclusions.

      Mann claimed the orientation didn’t matter for his reconstruction(s), and somehow, you take this as him saying he may have been wrong about the orientation.

      You also say some misleading things. For example, you say Mann deals with “the use of the word ‘censored.’” It’s true Mann deals with the choice of words, but the word “censored” never mattered. What mattered is what the censored directory showed. Namely, Mann calculated verification statistics without bristlecones, found his reconstruction failed without them then hid the results despite the fact it directly contradicted his paper’s conclusion.

      Still, your review is leaps and bounds above most I’ve seen, so thanks for sharing it.

      • Alzo re Tiljander: ‘though elsewhere he says that this record does not change the overall conclusions.’ Ron has fallen into a carefully laid trap which even Gavin Schmidt avoids. The Piltdown Mann’s iconic reconstruction fails before 1500 AD unless split bark bristlecones or upside down sediments are included.
        ================================

      • Ron, Brandon has nailed your two misconceptions, and they are important ones. Perhaps you’ll reconsider your conclusions?
        ======================

    • The review represents my objective appraisal of the book. I accept that I may have got some things wrong. Rather than changing what I have written to take account of comments here I ask you to make your comments on the site so those who read my review can see that alternative interpretations are possible.

      • How about simply changing your mind about the ‘censored’ directory and Tiljander and then speaking it?
        ====================

      • Ron, the exercise is to show you how you, relatively sophisticated, were fooled by the Piltdown Mann, and to get you to act on that betrayal.

        You do know that he’s been on sabbatical for research into climate science communication, right?
        =================

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Ron Manley, I’m not interested in posting on every random site which gets things wrong about Michael Mann’s book. I’m not even interested in posting on each of those sites I’m linked to from a blog I do post on. It simply isn’t worth the time or effort, especially since I’ll feel obliged to revisit the site to check for responses.

        I’m happy to help people figure issues out, but posting on more sites is a way to get spread too thin. I’d much rather stick to posting on a few blogs I like and dealing with anything else through personal communication.

  52. Paraphrasing the LA times: “You manipulate the science, professor Mann; we’ll handle the propaganda.” Yeah, buddy, leave it to the professionals!

    • Gary, when I read that, I had the same reaction.

      Translation – you scientists don’t know how to manipulate public opinion – just leave it to us. The notion that science should be construed in that way is how we got into this mess in the first place.

      Don’t forget that the LA Times quoted Mein Kampf in a recent editorial supporting CAGW. This is their idea of the use of literary metaphor.

      • That was the editorial that said I want to teach lies to children. The Mein Kampf allusion is priceless. Their goose-steps give me goose-bumps.

  53. Brandon Shollenberger

    I have a question. Can anyone tell me why I keep seeing reviews of Michael Mann’s book say it will be published soon (some specifically say in March)? I got my copy of it over two weeks ago.

    • The Kindle edition was published on 24 January. The hardback edition will be published in the USA on 6 March and on 30 March in the UK.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        That would answer my question, except it doesn’t. I currently have a hardcover copy of the book sitting just three feet from me. I’ve never owned or even looked at an electronic copy.

      • That was the information I got from the Amazon web sites. It may not apply to all booksellers.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Huh. I actually bought mine on Amazon.

      • Usually when we get confused about something we try to pin it on a communist new world order conspiracy.

        Could it be that lizard people sent you the book?

      • Ron, you need to be more concerned about the shenanigans around the ‘censored’ directory and how Michael Mann deceived you than about the publishing date.

        Obviously, Brandon is in possession of a disinformational copy of Mann’s book. Explains all.
        =============

  54. andrew adams

    So Donna Laframboise is asking where Gleick’s supporters draw the line. Well it’s a fair question, but then it’s one which has been much discussed on “warmist” blogs, with a whole range of thoughtful opinions being expressed. Planet 3 for example has devoted at least three pieces to the subject.
    Of course one also has to wonder where supporters of the climategate hacker/leaker draw the line, given that his or her actions were almost certainly unlawful and possibly constituted a serious criminal offence (computer hacking).

    • Andrew Adams, if you have evidence that the climategate mails were hacked / stolen, please immediately provide the details to Norfolk Police who have been looking for evidence for over 2 years. I’m sure they’d appreciate that. If the ails were leaked by an insider who had access, it becomes an issue of a whistleblower which is not a criminal issue.

      The fact that no evidence has been found till today for a hack suggests that it was a leak.

    • Your line appears to allow you to support the creation and dissemination of a forged document while bemoaning the exposure of legitimate (and damning) emails showing malfeasance by those you seem to support. Nice of you to define that.

    • And Climategate was information that was publicly funded, so should never have been denied to the public in the first place.
      A line would be drawn revealing military or police secrets, but clearly none of that applies here.
      There is thus no comparison whatever with fake/gleickgate.

      • andrew adams

        Punksta,

        The fact that climategate was information which was publicly funded might make a difference to the moral arguments about the release of the data, although one could argue that Heartland’s charitable status should also be taken into account.
        But that has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether the hacker/leaker’s actions were lawful.

    • andrew adams

      Venter,

      I have no particular evidence of computer hacking, you have no particular evidence of a leak by an insider, so we have to consider that both are possibilities.
      If the emails were in fact released by an insider that wouldn’t necessarily make it lawful and you would have to stretch whistleblowing legislation to its absolute limits and beyond to make it apply in this case.

      • It occurs to me that there’s probably more evidence that the climategate emails were hacked than there is for gleik having faked the memo.

        analyze people’s opinions on both matters in light of that as you will

      • andrew adams

        lolwot,

        Indeed, and there seems to be as much reason to believe that, whatever one thinks of the ethical issues, Gleick’s actions may have been lawful (at least if we believe the CJR article) as there is to believe that the hacker/leaker’s actions may have been lawful.
        Of course as Gleick actually stood up and admitted what he had done we will find out in his case.

      • andrew adams, you write “I have no particular evidence of computer hacking, you have no particular evidence of a leak by an insider, so we have to consider that both are possibilities.”

        There is, of course, a thrid possibility, which I think will turn out to be the right one. That is that the file was collected by people trying to evade FOI. Hide the information somewhere, and delete it from where people will look for it. Then when the crisis blows over, put it all back. What happened was that they left the file unguarded somewhere, and someone found it.

      • The Muir Russell inquiry into CG produced as one of its’ conclusions that the CG email leak from FOIA was most likely an inside job (see the many CA posts on this, especially those by David Holland)

        That conclusion was censored from the initial Russell Muir publication and found later, ironically, through the use of the FOI Act to extract all of the Muir Russell report

      • Andrew Adams,

        Better understand what you talk about before posting If it was released by an insider it is a whisteblowing leak as it exposes fraudulent behaviour by people on Government funded projects, on official time and e-mails. If you have any doubt, consult a lawyer.

        If it is a hack, by all means bring the hacker to justice, if you have evidence. I doubt it is a hack. The way the mails were stored and released and put in order shows clearly somebody who was n insider.

        And Heartland correspondence showed no smoking gun That’s why the fake memo was produced.

        But go ahead, build strawmen and show how weak your position is. The AFW movement is collapsing by the behaviour of it’s own proponents and supporters.

    • andrew adams

      Mark F,

      I have never said I supported the forging of documents. As for the emails, my point is not about whether the information contained in them was or wasn’t evidence of malfeasance, or indeed that it must necessarily be wrong to condone their release. My point was about whether those who supported their release are willing to condone unlawful actions by the person responsible.

  55. Yes Andrew Adams, interesting.
    But far from all hard-core libertarians go along with Murray Rothbard, and not only on not supporting one’s offspring.

    • andrew adams

      Punksta,

      I’m sure that’s true, just as virtually no-one on the left would go along with the views of those two nutters who said it was ethical to kill babies. Which is my point.

  56. If the oceans really are warming, why are the cagw die-hards like Trernberth not proclaiming this from the rooftops?

  57. I think its interesting that Megan McArdle thinks that she disagrees with Heartland on global warming, but then lists Ron Bailey and Pat Michaels as the basis of her opinion on the matter.

    Listening to the interview with Best on the WSJ, he seems pretty lukewarm. Looking at Bailey’s and Michaels’ wiki pages, their positions seem to mirror Best’s pretty closely. There has been warming, human have contributed some uncertain amount to that warming, catastrophe not likely.

    I wonder if she’s sat down to consider her own position and how it differs from Best’s? Because from where I’m sitting, Best, Bailey, and Michaels seem to be on nearly the same page.

    • I don’t know in this case, but I can imagine why someone would. If you follow Michael’s, etc arguments on the science it’s all about uncertainty. How we just can’t know.

      Heartland uses that to argue that we shouldn’t reduce emissions.

      Megan on the otherhand might be bright enough to realize that doesn’t follow. If the data and models are uncertain and we we go back to square 1 then various “reassuring” upper limits provided by the data and models get thrown out too.

      • I think characterizing Heartland’s position as “we shouldn’t reduce emissions” would be similar to arguing environmentalists “want to destroy Western economies.” Neither is an accurate portrayal of the general position, but it makes for an excellent talking point.

      • You are confusing two different kinds of uncertainty, as warmers are wont to do. Uncertainty over sensitivity is an internal AGW issue. The range of sensitivities does indeed growcwithbthis uncertainty. Uncertainty that sensitivity even matters is very different. The greater the latter the less reason do do anything serious based on supposed sensitivity. This is the difference between “How bad is it?” and “Is anything wrong?”

  58. Lolololwot writes: “It occurs to me that there’s probably more evidence that the climategate emails were hacked than there is for gleik having faked the memo.”

    Let us have this evidence, sir. I have a beloved blue cap that I got last time my wife and I visited Key West with the idea of buying something before the next ice age kicks in. If you can back up your above statement in a credible way, I promise I’ll take a big bite out of it, chew it, and swallow it. I’ll also send 100 dollars to your favorite charity.

    • In the case of the dog which didn’t bark, it meant that the dog didn’t see a stranger.
      Where are the email exchanges between the PI’s and the Post-Doc’s and Ph.D. students?

  59. I don’t really know where this would fit in the best. So here goes.

    I have been accused of Cherry Picking. I do that. All the different sides of the Climate Issue do Cherry Picking.

    Due the growth benefits of CO2, we have more Cherries and they are Bigger.

  60. All this climate debate might have been avoided if world leaders had this new invention that silences skeptics in mid-sentence:

    http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/scitech/science/030212-japan-invents-speech-jamming-gun-that-silences-people-mid-sentence

    The great social engineering project adopted in ~1971 would have:
    1. Avoided the threat of mutual nuclear destruction;
    2. United Nations against Global Climate Change; and
    3. Fused the world population into one single peace-loving community, guided by post-modern science and politically-correct attitudes.

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

  61. Captain Kangaroo

    They keep taking it back to uncertainty. Uncertainty has a place in science – as sadly neglected as that is. Other than that – there is no uncertainty in the esential information needed. It has warmed a little recently – there were a variety of contributing factors – the warming has proceeded at a modest pace of less than 0.1 degrees C/decade – worst case scenario is that this continues.

    Hmmm…business as usual seems more than justified until someone comes up with a dozen or two good alternatives.

    Best case scenario? It doesn’t warm for another decade or three and these guys get funnier and funnier. I would put the probability of that at 99%. Damn near would bet my horse and my boots on it.

    We don’t think that there is as yet a serious problem that can’t be fixed with a bit of human ingenuity. What I can’t figure out if how these guys imagine hat they are at all relevant.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    • no worse case scenario is that this is the lull before the storm.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        boy oh boy numbnut – you don’t know how to read a graph – you’re stuck in some sort of warminista alternate universe – but you have a list of stuff that might go catastrophically wrong and no one is listening because – well – you know – we’ve heard it all before.

        But really this is a deliberate policy position. No right or wrong here – just values. We think you are a bunch of pissant progressive w..kers in sandals and eating lentil burgers and have just stopped listening. It has long ago ceased to be a debate and I have in fact stopped reading and reply from a list of standard responses from a pre-prepared libertarian declaration. I notice you do the much the same but from a warminista manifesto.

        From our side we have the enlightenment heritage freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. You have limits to growth in a world that desperately needs economic growth. You are as I say irrelevant in the real world. I suggest you go away and come back when you grow up.

        Kind regards
        Captain Kangarooo

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        ‘no worse case scenario is that this is the lull before the storm.’
        Well that’s all science to you, Lolwot, isn’t it?”

        Right now, there is a lull before the storm. A lull caused bty rthe shocking revelations of the insensitivity of the Warmist movement, of which you seem to ingratiate yourself with.

        It may seem quiet but very soon this lull will end up with something very unpleasant happening. Enjoy the storm when it hits, Lowlot.

  62. The Climate Wars.

    The problem the alarmists had, was that there was never anything substantial to hit back at. They had the equivalents of the big guns and the massive air support but there never was a skeptic HQ to be pounded, no big central organisation, no massed ranks of skeptic soldiers or even any third-party backing the resistance. Every one of the skeptics was a lone volunteer guerilla fighter, who needed absolutely no logistical support of any kind to continue the fight indefinitely. The alarmists never understood this, preferring to think that there simply had to be some massive hidden organisation orchestrating the resistance. While they wasted time and effort attacking targets that only existed in their head, each of the guerillas chewed on them mercilessly in their own particular way.

    http://bit.ly/xkoGnJ

    • The alarmists claimed, “accelerated warming” (http://bit.ly/b9eKXz ) when there was none (http://bit.ly/wzkYvi).

      We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other
      experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you
      were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll
      disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some
      temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation
      as a scientist
      if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind
      of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to
      fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the
      research in cargo cult science.

      Richard Feynman

    • A physicist

      Girma, to their credit James Hansen and his colleagues have gone on-record with Seven Key Predictions of Climate Science.

      So in the spirit of Feynman, please let me ask, which of the Hansen-style seven predictions, which in essence all depend upon the climatological physics chain GHG \Rightleftarrow GHE \Rightleftarrow AGW \Rightleftarrow CAGW, do climate-change skeptics think are wrong?

      Even more severely, to the extent that there is no consensus among climate-change skeptics as to which of the seven predictions are wrong, then how does climate-change skepticism differ from a “cargo cult of guessing”?

      The main point being, that no amount of scientific evidence convinces cargo cultists or climate-change quibblers!  :)

      • A physicist

        Sigh … the \text{\LaTex}‘d physics chain is:

           “GHG\Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW \Leftrightarrow

      • That looks about right without the CAGW on the end :)

      • A Physicist

        Logic 101

        Axiom=>Climate always warms and cools. (http://bit.ly/zOBuuw)

        Conclusion=> The fact that climate warms and as are result the seas rise, ices melt, glaciers recede etc is not evidence of the cause is man made.

      • A physicist

        Oh blast, Captain … \xxxx … still twenty cents short! Now I’ll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company!

          :)   :)   :)

      • Captain Kangaroo

        ‘Prediction 1 Satellite altimeters will affirm the prediction of accelerating sea-level rise, and’

        Oceans will cool for a decade or 3 in the current global cool mode – http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3428-sea-level-rise-not-accelerating-new-study-finds.html

        ‘Prediction 2 Satellite gravitometry will affirm the prediction of accelerating ice-mass loss, and’

        Arctic sea ice will increase in the current cool mode – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=arcticice-1.gif

        ‘Prediction 3 Satellite photography will affirm Arctic ice-cap loss and poleward biome migration,’

        ditto

        ‘Prediction 4 Satellite radiometry (solar) will affirm the prediction of stable solar output, and’

        Within some limits of course – but CERES has confirmed much greater changes in albedo.

        ‘Prediction 5 Satellite radiometry (terrestrial) will affirm the prediction of radiative energy imbalance, and’

        Now I am not really sure – is this downwelling radiation at the surface – irrelevant – or upwelling radiation at the TOA – again irrelevant in respect of greenhouse gases. The Earth warms (is warmer as carbon oxidisation is highly exothermic) and emits at a higher rate of flux – hence no imbalance at lest from this cause. One of the things that does change most is – eh – albedo. Most recent warming was the result of albedo change.

        Tell me – a f…kwit – do you have any data that saya any different?

        Prediction 6 Satellite telemetry (from ARGO) will affirm the prediction of warming oceans, and

        Ditto – cool global mode

        ‘Prediction 7 Satellite spectrophotometry will affirm the prediction of a warming particle-laden atmosphere.’

        Ditto – cool global mode.

        If the ocean influence is removed (incompletely) from recent warming there is perhaps 0.1 degrees C/decade warming. We don’t think this is a problem even if it were all anthropogenic. We might get back to mid Holocene conditions – but abrupt cooling seems much more likely.

        Look it’s not as if I give a rat’s phallus about what either you or Hansen says. As far as I am concerned you are just cognitively dissonant space cadets waiting for the AGW equivalent of the space ships to arrive. We are a bit beyond wanting to discuss science with you as it just goes in one ear and out the other.

        Let me say it clearly enough for you – we have decided that greenhouse gas emissions is not a problem that needs to be fixed any time in the next 50 years and that climate models are pointless nonsense. So, really, nothing else to say to you that is worth my laptops carbon footprint. We will just get on with the busines of feeding the world and of marginalising carbon space cadets like you. Savvy?

        Kind regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain kangaroo

        If the ocean influence is removed (incompletely) from recent warming there is perhaps 0.1 degrees C/decade warming.

        Let me support your statement with the data!

        http://bit.ly/wurhqT

        At the bottom of the above graph, when you click “Raw data”, this is what you get for the global warming rate at the bottom of the page:

        #Data processed by http://www.woodfortrees.org
        #Please check original source for first-hand data and information:
        #
        #—————————————————-
        #Data from Hadley Centre / UEA CRU
        #http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
        #For terms and conditions of use, please see
        #http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/terms_and_conditions.html
        #—————————————————-
        #
        #File: hadcrut3vgl.txt
        #
        #Time series (hadcrut3) from 1850 to 2012
        #Selected data from 1880
        #Selected data up to 2000
        #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00513159 per year
        1880 -0.483548
        2000 0.132243
        #Data ends
        #Number of samples: 2
        #Mean: -0.175653

        The above result shows, the global warming rate is 0.0051 x 10 = 0.05 deg C per decade.

        Captian knagaroo, according to the data, the actual warming rate is HALF of the 0.1 deg C per decade you mentioned.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Girma,

        If you had paid any attention you would see that I had supported it with a graph showing not one but 2 graphs from peer reviewed studies. I do not need or want your nonsensical and obsessive, and let’s face it, embarrassing fiddling with the surface temperature record. You’re best efforts do the cause of scepticism a disservice. Please desist.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain Kangaroo

        I just believe what the data says.

        The long-term global warming rate is 0.05 deg C per decade, not 0.1 deg C per decade.


        #File: hadcrut3vgl.txt
        #
        #Time series (hadcrut3) from 1850 to 2012
        #Selected data from 1880
        #Selected data up to 2000
        #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00513159 per year

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Bullsh_t Girma – there is no trend at all that extends beyond a decade or 2. It is simple minded examining the entrails of the surface temperature record – do you never wonder why? As I say – you are an embarrassment.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Bullsh_t Girma [Please play the ball, not the man] – there is no trend at all that extends beyond a decade or 2.

        Please read the following article by Latif, which states

        The global surface air temperature record of the last 150 years is characterized by a long-term warming trend, with strong multidecadal variability superimposed.

        http://bit.ly/wCsZym

        http://eprints.ifm-geomar.de/8744/

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Girma,

        I have read the Latiff review. I will probably ignore it – I don’t believe it at all. Climate shifts at all scales – with very many interacting factors. Why the hell should this result in a coherent trend? How the hell can trend mean anything if there are multiple and some large neglected factors at play. You might at least use a multiple linear regression a la Lean – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=lean_2008.gif – although not mentioning albedo seems very un-Feynman like.

        Play the ball? Really – your nonsense has been commented on routinely. It consists of playing with your graphs. As I say – you are an embarrassment to sceptics everywhere. Please try to desist from plastering this graph at every opportunity.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Never.

        I will keep on showing the graph each time they claim of AGW.

        You can not tell others what to post.

        Bye.

      • You cannot tell others what to post as long as it is not personally abusive.

  63. Considerate Thinker

    Captain Kangaroo (CH) enjoy your contributions.

    As an Australian, I wonder at our Governments strategy to embark on a huge new carbon tax, to somehow stop our planet warming, by on the one hand stopping fossil fuel burning in Australia while at the same time on the other hand, encouraging our coal exporters to send 500 years of coal reserves overseas to be burnt in India and China at an accelerated rate. Is this really a form of geoengineering climate by stealth to gain the opportunity to extract more tax from gullible Australians?. What are the likely scientific consequences from such a strategy.? Maybe I need to get a blue horse too!!

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Dear Thinker,

      Thank you for your kind words. I don’t quite understand what the government is about. It is a total mystery because they are not really stopping emissions here – but will allow emitters to buy cheap carbon credits from supercritical coal powered generators in China and India. At the same time they build in high tariffs by subsiding expensive and ineffective generating capacity. I suppose this must be about right if the intention of the government is to screw industry agriculture coming and going.

      Kind regards
      Captain Kangaroo

    • A correction of accuracy here (seemingly minor, but of some import):

      Aus exports very little thermal (lower priced coal) to China, which has sufficient thermal resources of its’ own. We export higher priced coking coal (steel making) in quantity because China has very little high quality coking coal resource deposits of its’ own. The point of that is when China is finished building infrastructure and no longer needs as much steel as it currently does, Aus exports will start to drop. When will that happen ? How long is a piece of string ? China is busy building modernised cities for 1.3bn people

      India will purchase as much of both thermal and coking coal as we can reasonably supply. India too is short of high quality coking coal deposits, and through corrupt mismanagement has managed to set on fire a goodly part of its’ thermal coal field deposits.

      A letter in The Australian newspaper yesterday (Saturday) from Bob Brown, Head Greenie, complained that Indian-owned mines in Aus will pay “our tax collectors” neither the CO2 tax, because the coal is burnt in India, nor the mining “super profits” tax of the size he had hoped for. This letter of itself answers your question – Bob just wants the money. So does Gillard

  64. Re Megan McArdle. Unfortunately, Ms. McArdle has bought the “Precautionary Principle”. She may wish to read further. Here is a couple of gems from Cass Sunstein, the current regulatory czar.

    Sunstein, Cass R. “Throwing Precaution to the Wind: Why the ‘Safe’ Choice Can Be Dangerous.” Opinion. Boston.com – The Boston Globe, July 13, 2008. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/13/throwing_precaution_to_the_wind

    Main point: “Yet the precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent. It is of course true that we should take precautions against some speculative dangers. But there are always risks on both sides of a decision; inaction can bring danger, but so can action. Precautions, in other words, themselves create risks – and hence the principle bans what it simultaneously requires.”

    “In the context of climate change, precautions are certainly a good idea. But what kinds of precautions? A high tax on carbon emissions would impose real risks – including increased hardship for people who can least afford it and very possibly increases in unemployment and hence poverty. A sensible climate change policy balances the costs and benefits of emissions reductions. If the policy includes costly (and hence risk-creating) precautions, it is because those precautions are justified by their benefits.

    “The nations of the world should take precautions, certainly. But they should not adopt the precautionary principle.”

    • DP, the “Precautionary Principle” is deeply rooted in carbon regulatory ambitions and eco-folklore from the 70’s at least. It use to go like this;

      “We may wrong about climate impact but some good will come from regulation anyway.”

      This was a foot-in-the-door standard long before “settled science” which really means “no prisoners” and “shoot anyone looking sideways” against green authority. It’s no surprise with this extreme stalled it’s back to soft-soft green of the “Precautionary Principle” where it all began decades ago. It incubates the AGW myth while it can’t advance and saves face and authority for the green operatives for another day.

      McArdle is a useful green idiot of the highest order.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Pooh old chap,

      This is of course the crux of the matter – we have what is not any sort of risk over a matter of decades. Yet the risk to economic systems – barely understood by the sandals and lentils brigade – is very real.

      Ggreat swathes of the human race lack the freedom and wealth we take for granted – they lack clean water and sanitation, health care and education. They yet lack these essential advantages that come from the great society built on the principles of freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. If we forget that heritage – as ideologues of the left and right have now and in the recent past – then we risk it all.

      Best regards
      Captain Kangaroo

  65. Sunstein, Cass R. “The Paralyzing Principle.” Regulation 25, no. 4 (2002): 32–37

    Definition and Appeal
    The Precautionary Principle enjoys widespread international support. But what does the principle mean or require? There are numerous definitions, and they are not all compatible with one another. We can imagine a continuum of understandings. At one extreme are weak versions to which no reasonable person could object; at the other extreme are strong versions that would appear to call for a fundamental rethinking of regulatory policy.

    The most cautious and weak versions suggest, quite sensibly, that a lack of decisive evidence of harm should not be a ground for refusing to regulate. Regulation might be justified even if we cannot establish an incontrovertible connection between, say, low-level exposures to certain carcinogens and adverse effects on human health. Thus, the 1992 Rio Declaration (UN) states, “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

    And

    Guidance: In those cases, what guidance does the Precautionary Principle provide? It is tempting to say that the principle calls for strong controls on arsenic, genetic engineering of food, greenhouse gases, threats to marine mammals, and nuclear power. In all of those cases, there is a possibility of serious harms, and no authoritative scientific evidence suggests that the possibility is close to zero. If the burden of proof is on the proponent of the activity or processes in question, the Precautionary Principle would seem to impose a burden of proof that cannot be met. Put to one side the question of whether the principle, so understood, is sensible; let us ask a more fundamental question: Is more stringent regulation really compelled by the Precautionary Principle?
    Opportunity Benefits:
    The answer is that it is not. In most of the cases above, it should be easy to see that in its own way, stringent regulation would actually run afoul of the Precautionary Principle. The simplest reason is that such regulation might well deprive society of significant benefits, and for that reason produce risks and even deaths that would otherwise not occur. In some cases, regulation eliminates the “opportunity benefits” of a process or activity, and thus causes preventable deaths. If that is so, regulation is hardly precautionary.
    Substitute risks: Sometimes regulation would violate the Precautionary Principle because it would give rise to substitute risks in the form of hazards that materialize, or are increased, as a result of regulation….
    Regulatory costs: A great deal of evidence suggests the possibility that an expensive regulation can have adverse effects on life and health simply by reducing income….

    • And

      Paralysis Examples The most serious problem with the Precautionary Principle is that it offers no guidance – not that it is wrong, but that it forbids all courses of action, including inaction. To understand that point, it will be useful to anchor the discussion in some concrete problems:
       One of the first controversies faced by the current Bush administration involved the regulation of arsenic in drinking water. There is a serious dispute over the precise level of risks posed by low levels of arsenic, but in the “worst case” scenario, over 100 lives might be lost each year as a result of the 50 part-per-billion standard that the Clinton administration sought to revise. At the same time, the proposed 10 ppb standard would cost over $200 million each year, and it is possible that it would save as few as six lives annually. (See “The Arsenic Controversy” special report, Fall 2001.)
       Genetic modification of food has become a widespread practice. But the risks involved are not known with precision. Some people fear that genetic modification will result in serious ecological harm and large risks to human health. Other people claim that genetic modification will have significant health benefits.
       Scientists are hardly in full accord about the dangers associated with global warming, but there is general agreement that global warming is occurring. It is possible that global warming will produce, by 2100, a mean temperature increase of 4.5 degrees C; that it will result in well over $5 trillion in annual monetized costs; and that it will also produce a significant number of deaths from malaria. The Kyoto Protocol would require most industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to between 92 and 94 percent of 1990 levels in an effort to reduce the degree of warming. Such reductions would impose substantial costs.
       Many people fear nuclear power on the ground that nuclear power plants raise various health and safety issues, including some possibility of catastrophe. But if a nation does not rely on nuclear power, it is likely to rely on fossil fuels, and in particular on coal-fired power plants. Such plants create risks of their own, including risks associated with global warming. China, for example, has relied on nuclear energy as a way of reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollution problems.
       There is a possible conflict between the protection of marine mammals and military exercises. The U.S. Navy, for example, engages in many such exercises, and it is possible that marine mammals are threatened as a result. Military activities in the oceans might well cause significant harm, but a decision to suspend those activities might also endanger military preparedness.

      In those cases, what guidance does the Precautionary Principle provide? It is tempting to say that the principle calls for strong controls on arsenic, genetic engineering of food, greenhouse gases, threats to marine mammals, and nuclear power. In all of those cases, there is a possibility of serious harms, and no authoritative scientific evidence suggests that the possibility is close to zero.

      If the burden of proof is on the proponent of the activity or processes in question, the Precautionary Principle would seem to impose a burden of proof that cannot be met. Put to one side the question of whether the principle, so understood, is sensible; let us ask a more fundamental question: Is more stringent regulation really compelled by the Precautionary Principle?

    • And

      Strong version The weak versions of the Precautionary Principle are unobjectionable and important. Every day, people take steps (and incur costs) to avoid hazards that are far from certain. We do not walk in moderately dangerous areas at night; we exercise; we buy smoke detectors; we buckle our seatbelts; we might even avoid fatty foods. Because the weak versions are sensible, I will not discuss them here. Instead, I will understand the principle in a strong way, to suggest that regulation is required whenever there is a possible risk to health, safety, or the environment, even if the supporting evidence is speculative and even if the economic costs of regulation are high. To avoid palpable absurdity, the idea of “possible risk” will be understood to require a certain threshold of scientific plausibility. To support regulation, no one thinks that it is enough if someone, somewhere, urges that a risk is worth taking seriously. But under the Precautionary Principle as I shall understand it, the threshold burden is minimal, and once it is met, there is something like a presumption in favor of stringent regulatory controls.

      In 1982, the United Nations World Charter for Nature apparently gave the first international recognition to the strong version of the principle, suggesting that when “potential adverse effects are not fully understood, the activities should not proceed.” The widely publicized Wingspread Declaration, from a meeting of environmentalists in 1998, is another example of the strong version:
      When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not established scientifically. In this context the proponent of the activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. Unlike the weak version of the Precautionary Principle, the strong version is not limited to threats of serious or irreversible damage and reverses the burden of proof. Belief in the strong version of the Precautionary Principle is not limited to any particular group. All over the world, the idea has been a staple of regulatory policy for several decades. In the United States, both Congress and the federal courts, without using the term explicitly, have built in a notion of precaution in some important cases, allowing or requiring regulation on the basis of conservative assumptions. The Precautionary Principle has played a significant role in international documents, to the point where it has become ubiquitous.

    • You will note that actions required by ‘The Precautionary Principle’ are ALWAYS an incremental advancement toward a government under which everything not commanded is forbidden. It NEVER results in increased autonomy for the individual.

  66. Beth Cooper

    Re comment @ 3/2/12 11.04 pm

    There’s someone here keeps giving himself promotion – but now he’s hit the glass ceiling!

    ( We all know who you are. Hi ho Shibboleth.)

  67. A must read article on Pachauri in the Quadrant: The Fictive World of Rajendra Pachauri

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2012/3/the-fictive-world-of-rajendra-pachauri

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Not.

      • Care to explain why?

      • I agree with Rattus. So what if Pachauri lied under oath in affidavits and in testimony on order to increase his share of profits from a contract? Who cares if he has been a serial liar about the supposed peer reviewed purity of the IPCC’s assessment reports? Who cares if he lied to try to destroy the reputations of those who pointed out the Himalayan Glacier propagandistic “typo” in AR4?

        What is important is that, like Gleick and Mann and Jones, his dishonesty is justifiable because of the terrible conduct of (always unnamed) climate change deniers who file FOIA requests and ask for data and code and such.

        The fact that his dishonesty so often redounds to his own financial benefit is just a happy coincidence.

    • Patchy, Patchy watch the glaciers grow.

      There was one quote missing that I always found interesting,
      http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/55556/title/IPCCs_Himalayan_glacier_mistake_not_an_accident

      “We thought if we could highlight it (glacier melt by 2035) it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

    • It must be pretty frustrating for people wanting to do real science to be mixed up in this mess. Since the Stieg et. al 2009 still gets a prominent consideration in the zero draft at least, that tends to divert attention from the GMT that still has the Antarctic warming at a healthy clip. Since Al Gore visited the Antarctic recently, I would imagine that Antarctic cooling is probably accelerating :)

      I would be willing to bet a few quatloons, that if the Antarctic temperatures were correct, the GMT would be slightly negative for the past >17years. Anyone know how to get a hold of Harry?

    • Yes, “must read”.

      A total indictment of green wealth redistribution culture (eco Marxism) and what Pachauri represents. That’s what the “cause” is after all.

      Rather than just read it Dr. Curry why not endorse the broad point of the content directly?

  68. On the questions of government action and responsibility which often arise, herewith Judith Sloan (a good economist) in the Weekend Australian:

    “In what was an important speech delivered at the Press Club at the end of January, Tony Abbott favourably quoted Abraham Lincoln – “government should do for people what they can’t do for themselves and no more”.

    This proposition is a very good starting point for any government, because to do more is to undermine the self-reliance of individuals and families, to undercut the rewards from work and to crowd out business activity.

    In practice, however, there are different views on what people can’t do for themselves. Lincoln helpfully listed what he thought people can’t do for themselves – roads, bridges, police, law-enforcement, providing for “the helpless” and schools are the items on his list. It is a view of limited government in which the provision of true public goods is its dominant role.

    Fast forward a century and a half, the prevailing view of the role of governments is that there are very many areas in which people cannot look after themselves, or only with significant government assistance. And a confected depiction of market failure has led to calls on the public purse and regulatory favouritism which are nothing more than unjustified hand-outs to noisy rent-seekers in particular industries.”

    Well said to another Judith.

  69. Government looked on as a vast public utility, and its ever encroaching.

  70. Florrie and Scott, Ray answered at RC only a few comments below you,

    Hank Roberts says:
    3 Mar 2012 at 11:45 AM
    > Florrie says: 3 Mar 2012 at 1:09 AM
    > Current theory says there will steady increase

    Not quite correct; ups and downs are expected

    > in average global temperatures over the longer term (30+ years).
    > In the short term though (10+ years) there has been a levelling

    Nope, wrong in several ways, see below

    > off. What is the maximum number of years of
    > no increase

    Same mistake there, ‘no increase’ is wrong

    > that still does not challenge the theory or prompt a rethink ?

    You’ve missed a basic concept about how statistics is used to look at something that varies and say whether there’s a slow change over time, or just variation around some constant amount. (Where did you get those ideas?)

    The link below is to a blog written at high school math level.
    That linked page explains how your question can be answered — the answer depends on which data set you want to evaluate.

    It’s basic ‘Statistics 101′ arithmetic. He gives examples of how to decide:

    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html

  71. Captain Kangaroo

    Dear Beth

    I have put aside my peaceful pursuits of arts, letters and natural philosophy and taken up a martial calling. It is a necessity – the times and the climate wars demand it.

    In another time and place there were tea and oranges that came all the way from china.

    ‘Beth takes your hand now
    And she leads you to the river
    She is wearing rags and feathers
    From Salvation Army counters

    And the sun pours down like honey
    On our, our lady of the harbor
    She shows you where to look
    Among the garbage and the flowers

    There are heroes in the seaweed
    There are children in the morning
    They are leaning out for love
    And they will lean that way forever
    While Beth holds the mirror’

    The battle requires new tactics and it seems that the times are the making a cowboy.

    Best regards
    Robert I Ellison

    • I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
      I love the country but I can’t stand the scene.
      And I’m neither left or right
      I’m just staying home tonight,
      getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
      But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
      that Time cannot decay,
      I’m junk but I’m still holding up
      this little wild bouquet:
      Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

  72. Beth Cooper

    Jeez, Chief, you must have second sight! I played that Cohen song yesterday!!
    And ‘Sail on….sail on…..’

  73. Mann … expresses hopefulness that he and his fellow scientists can turn the tide of public opinion not by remaining unbiased observers on the sidelines

    Sigh, if only everyone was as unbiased and on the sidelines as Mann.

  74. A NEW RECONSTRUCTION OF TEMPERATURE VARIABILITY IN THE EXTRA-TROPICAL NORTHERN HEMISPHERE DURING THE LAST TWO MILLENNIA

    by Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist


    A new temperature reconstruction with decadal resolution, covering the last two millennia, is presented for the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (9030N), utilizing many palaeo-temperature proxy records never previously included in any large-scale temperature reconstruction. The amplitude of the reconstructed temperature variability on centennial time-scales exceeds 0.6C. This reconstruction is the first to show a distinct Roman Warm Period c. ad 1300, reaching up to the 1961-1990 mean temperature level, followed by the Dark Age Cold Period c. ad 300800. The Medieval Warm Period is seen c. ad 800-1300 and the Little Ice Age is clearly visible c. ad 1300-1900, followed by a rapid temperature increase in the twentieth century. The highest average temperatures in the reconstruction are encountered in the mid to late tenth century and the lowest in the late seventeenth century. Decadal mean temperatures seem to have reached or exceeded the 1961-1990 mean temperature level during substantial parts of the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. The temperature of the last two decades, however, is possibly higher than during any previous time in the past two millennia, although this is only seen in the instrumental temperature data and not in the multi-proxy reconstruction itself. Our temperature reconstruction agrees well with the reconstructions by Moberg et al. (2005) and Mann et al. (2008) with regard to the amplitude of the variability as well as the timing of warm and cold periods, except for the period c. ad 300800, despite significant differences in both data coverage and methodology.

    http://bit.ly/xb9GBG

    • If the above result is confirmed several times, AGW is scientifically dead.

      • How come?

        As I see the results of Ljungqvist’s two recent papers they appear to add to the evidence of a significant AGW.

      • Because the MWP was approximately as warm as the current warming as shown here => http://bit.ly/z9gusg

      • So what?

        MWP is an almost irrelevant little factor in relevant argumentation.

      • This exchange illustrates a basic issue that is little discussed, namely that the weight of evidence is subjective. Reasonable people of good will can look at the same evidence and draw opposite conclusions.

        This means that citing the weight of evidence is a theoretical claim, a hypothesis to be argued for, not an observation. Yet the weight of evidence is often treated as an observation, that is, something that exists independent of the observer.

        This is exactly what the IPCC does. But when the evidence is complex the claim should always be along the lines of “as I see it the evidence says X”‘ never simply ” the evidence says X”.

        For the record I agree with Girma. If the MWP was as warm as today that seems to me to be very strong evidence for the hypothesis of natural oscillation and against AGW. Thus I cannot understand Pekka’s position.

      • Surely it’s not so complicated, gents.
        If today’s temps are unprecedented, AGW is looking good for the culprit.
        If they aren’t (eg MWP), it could be either natural or AGW.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Florrie | March 4, 2012 at 6:37 am |
        Surely it’s not so complicated, gents.
        If today’s temps are unprecedented, AGW is looking good for the culprit.
        If they aren’t (eg MWP), it could be either natural or AGW.”

        You have interpreted the structure that the argument could take in a biased way. It does somewhat reflect how emotionally charged climate change is. Your selective reasoning leaves out 2, amongst other possible circumstances.

        If they aren’t it could just be natural.
        If today’s temps are unprecedented, the culprit could be AGW or some other phenomenon.

      • Agreed, Markus. Just thought they were implicit and so obvious. My bad.

      • To get beyond purely subjective gut feelings on what evidence is the question must be stated more precisely.

        If the question is, whether present temperatures are unseen over some specified period evidence that the past has been warmer than previously thought weakens that point.

        That’s, however, not the question about AGW and most climate scientists have all the time considered other evidence much more important.

        Looking at the results of Ljungqvist it can be seen that many different approaches give the consistent message: The Northern Hemisphere temperatures have had a smooth decreasing trend up to the 19th century, but that trend is broken dramatically by the 20th century. Accepting the interpretations of IPCC reports the early 20th century was already warmer but without AGW the rise of temperature would have stopped and the average of the 20th century would have been moderately warmer than the 19th century. Such a moderate increase had not been a dramatic change of the earlier behavior, it would have been a deviation but not dramatic.

        Now the papers tell that something changed. If that’s not evidence for AGW then what is?

        In balance the direct evidence for AGW is in these papers much stronger than the loss of indirect evidence related to MWP.

        By that I don’t mean that the new results by themselves would prove anything, but I repeat: The new evidence is predominantly supporting significant AGW.

      • Pekka,

        I think the main point is that the MWP was a NH phenomenon and “Global” warming appears to be a northern hemisphere phenomenon or the MWP was a global phenomenon and “global” warming appears to be a northern hemisphere phenomenon.

        Since the A part is primarily northern hemisphere, that reduces the impact of the “Global” radiant impact of CO2.

        There is obviously warming in the NH that appears to be related to man, but it is not obvious in the SH or the tropics.

        Fred referenced Issac Held on the OHC, Held specifically stated that he skeptical of the spatial distribution of natural and force variability being the same. “But consider the two limiting cases: either the forced response dominates the half-century trend or internal variability is dominant. If both of these limiting cases are going to be viable, then they both have to have the same spatial structure, that of the observed warming. (In actuality, I am very skeptical that internal variability can create this spatial structure, but I am suspending this skepticism for the moment.)”

        It would appear he is right in his skepticism. Without proper temporal and spacial consideration, the “global” average is a crock. Conclusions based on a “global” average are a crock, which is the reason that normal statistical approaches will never come close to determining the impact of CO2 forcing versus the abundant other forcings and feedbacks.

        Chief Hydrologist is pretending to be a cowboy but I think he should be a farmer if he wants to impact climate.

      • Capt. Dallas,

        Warming can be considered in several ways.

        Perhaps the global heat content would be most fundamental, but it’s difficult to measure even now and there’s very little historical data on that.

        The average surface temperature (AST) of the whole world can be estimated better and over longer periods, and it’s a global measure at one level – the surface level. The surface level is of particular importance because we live on surface and are not directly influenced by heat in deep ocean layers.

        The Northern Hemisphere AST can be estimated better than global AST and most people live in Northern Hemisphere. Thus it’s in some ways even more relevant than global AST, while in other ways less. There’s nothing wrong in discussing NH separately.

        The papers of Ljungqvist are about NH. Thus it’s natural to limit discussion to NH when they are discussed.

      • Pekka, even limiting the discussion to the NH has issues. Comparing the Central England temperature to the central agricultural belt of Siberia would lead you to a different conclusion than comparing CET to the Pacific North West. This is no reliable method to compare the short instrumental period to the longer internal cycles. Whatever approach you take will lead to personal bias.

        Smaller regional approaches seem to help remove some of the bias and possibly can provide information of long term internal variability, but any way you look at it, we are in a natural warming cycle with some anthropogenic warming that is limited to the larger land masses. That is not a signature of primarily GHG forcing. The fit to agriculture is at least twice as good as the fit to GHG.

        Once there are more regional models and reconstructions it will be obvious, but I kinda thought the idea was predicting, not stumbling onto, future climate.

      • Subjective does not mean a gut feeling, in fact it can be the result of the most exhaustive reasoning. The point is that one draws upon one’s full knowledge, experience and belief, which can be very different for different people. A proper theory of reasoning has to account for this. But there is a mythology that goes back to Locke, or even Socrates, that reasoning must lead to agreement. This is not true for inductive reasoning, which includes scientific reasoning, as well as decision theory.

      • @Pekka Accepting the interpretations of IPCC reports the early 20th century was already warmer but without AGW the rise of temperature would have stopped and the average of the 20th century would have been moderately warmer than the 19th century.

        A case of simply assuming what they need to prove ?

      • Florrie,

        Starting from the idea that extrapolation of past trends has some value in predicting the future we may try to imagine, what people could have forecasted in 1900 having all the data of Ljungqvist up to that point. They would see the almost linear cooling trend, but they would see also certain amount of fluctuation around that trend. Based on that they produce a PDF for the average temperature of the 20th century. The expectation value would perhaps be a little colder than 19th century but the upper tail would allow modest warming with a non-negligible probability. Such a temperature rise that IPCC reports propose as result of natural variability would be somewhere in the upper tail, but it’s obvious that what we have seen is far outside of the range seen as plausible.

        That is exactly what evidence is: An observed development clearly outside expectations is evidence for the influence of something new. As AGW is a prime candidate for that the conclusion is clear. The data provides evidence for AGW as a major factor in 20th century warming.

        The logic is solid, but still even strong evidence is not proof. Thus this is just one argument that adds to the balance of evidence.

  75. All these harassed scientists and all the death threats against them? Every dictator and shyster in the world creates imaginary bogy men. From Hitler’s annexation of the Sudentanland to our Gav’s squeals about big oil?
    Next time one of these squealers talks about death threats, ask for the name of the investigating police officer. I can assure you now you won’t get a name because of course there has been no death threat.

    • A physicist

      Stacey, even here on Climate Etc., and also on Anthony Watts’ site WUWT, threatening language is commonplace:

      “So sharpen up your troll act and real quick-like, guy, or you’re likely to find yourself under a bus faster than you can say “St. Peter!” No kidding!

      That Judith and Anthony and their moderating teams are presently taking no effective steps to curb abusive, violent, and threatening language on their forums is, obviously, one of the primary qualifying symptoms that Trish Roberts-Miller teaches us to watch for, in her celebrated essay Characteristics of Demagoguery.

      Elevator Summary: Students in need of a thesis topic will find abundant material to support the thesis “Climate Change Skepticism is Descending into Demagoguery” at skeptical websites like Climate etc. and WUWT.

      • A Fizz;
        You can’t be that thick! (Though maybe that sick.) “Under a bus” is a cliché metaphor for “discarded and sacrificed by your supposed patrons”. It’s a friendly warning that your declining usefulness to the CAGW cabal may be putting you at risk of the horrors of Abandonment and Ostracism.

        Fail.

      • it would be helpful, AP, if you could find an example that actually supports your assertion. It’s not the skeptics that will throw an ineffectual activist troll under the bus, it’s the bureaucrats and climate activists who will discard useful idiots when they are not useful anymore.

      • A physicist

        Postscript:

        (1) fact-free denialist assertions (like Stacey’s), plus
        (2) explicitly threatening language (like Mike’s), with
        (3) the tolerance of moderators (like Judith’s and Anthony’s),

        together provide exemplary material for a thesis that might be titled The Synergy of Denialist Memes and Hate Speech in 21st Century Climate-Change Demagoguery.

        This is evident to everyone, eh?

      • The link is well worth reading, but the title of the article is Characteristics of Demagoguery http://www.drw.utexas.edu/roberts-miller/handouts/demagoguery

        Read the article again, you seem to have seriously misunderstood it. Here is a quote;

        “Demagoguery is polarizing propaganda that motivates members of an ingroup to hate and scapegoat some outgroup(s), largely by promising certainty, stability, and what Erich Fromm famously called “an escape from freedom.” It significantly undermines the quality of public argument for reasons and in ways discussed below. In the most abstract, the reason it is so harmful is that it creates and fosters a situation in which it is actively dangerous to criticize dominant views, cultures, and political groups. It makes discourse a kind of coercion, largely through rousing and appealing to hate. Thus, the very people who make the decisions cannot hear all the information they need. Historically, demagoguery is a precursor to the ending of democracy—that is, when demagogues succeed, their first move is almost always to restrict the power of the people or parliaments in favor of some kind of tyrannical or totalitarian system.”

        Now, who are the demagogues? not the tolerant blog moderators, that is for sure!

      • There is no moderating team at Climate Etc. I personally moderate the blog several times per day, and with an average of 500 comments per day, this is no small feat. Nearly all of the commenters are adults and behave like adults; a few do not. If someone finds something objectionable in the comments, send me an email and I will take a look. People who come to Climate Etc just to sling insults and nonsense don’t last long here. However, i have not yet placed anyone into moderation or banned them from the site. In terms of insulting comments, I am far stricter with those when the target of the insult is someone posting here under their real name and comment seems to have no other purpose than the insult.

      • Brian H,

        No, AP’s not thick, just a believer.
        And believers rewrite their personal scripts to justify their beliefs.
        Just like the woman who, when told that her new love was an axe murderer, replied, “So what if he’s an axe murderer – he’s my axe murderer!”

        And no, AP, I’m not trying to glorify axe murderers – just in case you misunderstood.

      • AP, you should try reading the very articles you link to sometimes.
        Doing so might stop yourself from falling into your own traps:

        People often use “demagoguery” simply to mean effective discourse that they don’t like, or they assume that demagoguery is rhetoric used on behalf of a bad cause.

      • A physicist

        Judith, on forums where abuse and violent imagery are not tolerated, I always post under my own name (as you can easily verify).

        Very regrettably, our family has experienced encounters with strangers, whose mental status was questionable, and whose behavior was worrisome, that requires us to regard abusive and violent language seriously, as indicative of a substantial risk that the violent language precedes violent actions.

        If and when the time should come that normative behaviors here Climate etc. evolve to be more civilized, then I shall be pleased to post under my own name. Until then, concerns for my family’s personal safety — the same concerns whose legitimacy Stacey’s post denies — require otherwise.

      • AP, neither your personal experiences nor your apparent inability to distinguish idiom from violent and abusive language, justifies your use of frankly insulting language.

      • John Carpenter

        A physicist, tell me… you really have never heard of the phrase ‘thrown under the bus’? Check it out…

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

        if you are raising this type of common idiom to threatening language status, then I fear you suffer more from paranoia than from common sense.

      • John “if you are raising this type of common idiom to threatening language status, then I fear you suffer more from paranoia than from common sense.”

        Seems to be a lot of that going around :)

      • It’s good policy to speak honestly, John, and thereby “shame the devil!”   :)

        Question: What intent shall we impute to statements like “[You will] find yourself under a bus faster than you can say “St. Peter!” No kidding!”.

        Three Hints: (1) The poster was referring to his own skeptical faction, not scientists. (2) Of what domain is “St. Peter” master? (3) In what sense is the poster telling us that he is “not kidding”?

        In answering, John, please keep in mind that quibbling is a prime hallmark of demagoguery; a hallmark that is plainly evident to pretty much everyone … except the quibblers themselves!

      • John Carpenter

        A physicist… mike is a master of sarc. The sooner you understand that about mike, the sooner you can rid your fears of being run over by a bus.

      • LOL … John, it’s evident in your posts that legalistic quibbles too are in abundant supply here on Climate etc!   :)   :)   :)

        The common-sense fact is that most folks recognize abusive and violent language when they see it. Political forums often tolerate this language, but scientific forums rigorously exclude it (and rightly so). See MathOverflow’s “Where’s the rule that says I have to wear pants?” for a concise explanation of scientific norms in this regard.

        So a key question is, do skeptical forums tolerate (and thereby implicitly encourage) abusive and violent language? And if so, why do they do this?

      • Sorry, there is no violent or abusive language here. If throwing someone under the bus is regarded by you as abusive, you do not understand american colloquialisms. Occasionally someone’s comments become overly florid and snarky, these comments are not deleted unless the comment is otherwise content free. The lack of moderation here is a direct antidote to the heavily moderated blogs such as RealClimate. So, the better question is why do people try to smear blogs such as CE and WUWT by accusing them of encouraging abusive and violent languague?

      • John Carpenter

        A physicist, you should understand Climate etc… is a salon, a place of many ideas, some scientific and some political. Look, you appear to suffer from the same fears a certain ‘Robert’ used to have. ‘Robert’, like you, was afraid to use his real name because all the hate filled ‘deniers’ were ready to take up their pitch forks and hunt him down. Unless I am unwittingly speaking to a nobel laureate, you need to get over your self importance.

      • “Of what domain is “St. Peter” master?”

        The Pacific Institute.

      • John Carpenter, your post is exemplary of what Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay on demagoguery describes as “Ingroup/Outgroup Thinking”, thus Judith Curry’s recommendation (above) that Roberts-Miller’s essay is “well worth reading” applies in this case.

      • AP, Yes, TRM’s article is well, worth a read – you should try reading it sometime.

      • Dr Curry, you say “there is no violent or abusive language here”

        I suppose this isn’t at all abusive? https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/19/week-in-review-81911/#comment-102610

        This whole site is a joke and the abuse that people such as Martha, Joshua, Andrew Adams, Lolwot, I and others have been on the receiving end of are driving any voices other than the rabid deniers away.

        Enjoy your site and your sycophants, I’m out of here.

      • There are definitely some stupid and tasteless comments on this blog, from people across the spectrum in this debate. Many of them are directed at me personally (including from the people you defend). So blaming tasteless comments only on the “deniers” is not justifiable.

        There is a choice between freedom to pursue serious dialogue on controversial topics, versus some sort of politically correct cleansing of every conceivable word or phrase that somebody (from a multitude of different cultures) might find objectionable. There are numerous ways to interpret various phrases, and if you choose to interpret something as violent or abusive, that is your perogative. Serious people ignore the nasty/snarky content free comments. I try to weed these out when I spot them, but I don’t spot everything. On the few occasions when there has been a seriously abusive comment, i hear about it via email.

        With regards to “abort”: you apparently interpreted this as pregnancy termination. As per the wikipedia, there are numerous other definitions and connotations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abort. In the context of a blogospheric exchange, the following interpretation may be the most likely: “Abort (computing), to terminate a computer processing or data transfer activity.” Some people find the word ‘denier’ as offensive as you apparently find the word ‘abort.’

        Anyone who comes here to discuss and debate is welcome. There is bound to be a certain amount of pettiness in the discussion. People that gripe about the pettiness tend to be major contributors to the actual pettiness.

      • Peter317 says: “TRM’s article is well worth a read.”

        Peter 317, that everyone posting on Climate etc. agrees upon the outstanding merits of Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay Characteristics of Demagoguery amounts to that rarest of elements in the climate-change debate: CONSENSUS!

           :)    :D    :lol:

        Perhaps we should all of us practice our enjoyment of this consensus. Because in the long run, as Feynman famously said, “Nature cannot be fooled”, and so we can all of us embrace a shared confidence that the stormy courtship of strong science and rational skepticism will culminate in an enduring and happy marriage.

           :)    :D    :lol:

      • Louise says: Dr. Curry, you say “there is no violent or abusive language here.” I suppose this isn’t at all abusive?

        Louise, everyone on Climate etc., except for the haters and quibblers, appreciates and acknowledges that you are entirely in the right (and shamefully for this forum). :(

        The key point of Trish Roberts-Miller’s Characteristics of Demagoguery is that the voices of haters and quibblers are not the important voices. To be heard, their voices require the shield of demagoguery. And that is why it is essential for everyone — scientist and skeptic alike — to speak out against demagoguery.

      • Dr Curry I don’t think you are stupid so when you say:

        “With regards to “abort”: you apparently interpreted this as pregnancy termination. As per the wikipedia, there are numerous other definitions and connotations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abort. In the context of a blogospheric exchange, the following interpretation may be the most likely: “Abort (computing), to terminate a computer processing or data transfer activity.”

        it is obvious that you are being disingenuous as Bruce cleary states “Are you offended easily by legal medical procedures?”

      • Blah, blah, blah. Tribalism and sophistry didn’t work for Joshua and demagoguery isn’t going to work for you because you project. Reflect on the actual record of demagoguery on the alarmist blogs.

        You are right about the presence of a richly fertilized academic field. I used to estimate ultimately hundreds of doctoral theses in the history and philosophy of science over this Affaire de Carbon. Now it’s in the thousands as the Augean Stables spread over all disciplines.
        ===========================

      • Dang, ‘spread over all fields’.
        ==============

      • A physicist, the demagoguery thing is getting a bit played. You specifically brought up vague references to statistical studies that you imply have some significance. In one, you listed a hazard ratio of 0.69 which would indicate that there is a significant 31% increase in risk. If the initial risk is 0.4% then the 31% increased risk would bring the total risk to 0.524% There is still 99.476% risk by other causes. You grab on to something that appears significant yet is trivial when all risk is compared thinking you have hit on some dire possibility requiring precautionary action. If you are one pound over weight, there is greater risk. If you use strenuous exercise to reduce weight, there is even greater risk. You need to place things in perspective as I mentioned, herbal tea consumption does have a statistically significant risk involved based on your standards.

        This is the same linear no threshold model standard used by the risk analysis impaired to over regulate nuclear, food preservatives and if Ralph Nadar has his way, Ajax cleanser (because it contains… silica!).

      • Readers of Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay Characteristics of Demagoguery will recognize in the preceding exchange a quibbling legalistic defense by (what TRM’s essay calls) members of the Climate etc. “Ingroup” of polarizing hate-speech directed against “the Outgroup” … in the persona of Louise.

        Summary The quibbling defense of hate-speech is a diagnostic trait of demagoguery that, as the scientific evidence of climate-change becomes stronger, is becoming deplorably more prevalent on skeptical forums.

      • Ah, now i see where the disconnect is, you have misidentified the ingroup vs outgroup. The ingroup is defined by the 97% of scientists basically supporting the IPCC’s findings, and even a majority of the public agreeing with various aspects of this. As pointman eloquently pointed out, there is no cohesive group of skeptics, only “lone volunteer guerilla fighters.” The whole ingroup/outgroup thing in the climate debate is defined by the ingroup of IPCC supporters, who calls anyone who disagrees with them as deniers. So if there are demagogues in the climate debate, it is pretty much by definition on the side of IPCC supporters.

        In terms of this specific blog, there is no specific in group, since the spectrum of opinion reflected here is so broad. On any given day or any given topic, the center of mass of the commenters opinions can swing from side to side.

      • Peter317 says: I’m sorry about what I said earlier on.

        Peter317, your regrets are sincerely appreciated. If only all skeptical forums would refrain from:

        • ingroup/outgroup thinking,
        • a rhetoric of hate,
        • scapegoating,
        • motivism, and
        • rejection of reciprocity

         … then everyone’s longed-for, happy, and fruitful marriage of strong science with rational skepticism would be at-hand, eh?

             :)      :D   :lol:

      • By the way, for the past week, you top all commenters at Climate Etc. with a total of 49 comments. In CE history, this isn’t all that large, Joshua would commonly top 90 comments per week. Over the course of the last few months, when wordpress has been providing stats on commenters, individuals on the warm side of the debate have almost always been on top in terms of number of comments.

      • Louise,

        You know, Louise, I normally discreetly refrain from ever mentioning a lady’s indiscretions that might come to my attention, but I mean, like given the discussion in this sub-thread, and all, maybe I could, just this once justify a lapse in my wonted gallantry. Tell me what you think.

        Louise, weren’t you the one, not so long ago, who showed up at this blog in your leather boots and with a bottle of Speckled-Hen (never heard of it but sounds good) in one hand and a whip–yep, I think it was a whip, Louise!–in the other? And then there was some sort vague reference you made to the desires of your countryMEN behind closed doors, and all–dropping the arch hint that it was a “Brit thing” or something like that.

        I mean I didn’t really know what to think of all that whip and boots business, Louise–except to say that Latimer told you you shouldn’t be commenting on blogs when you’re drunk (“pissed” I think was his word). But then I’m an American.

        At any rate, I kinda thought all that closed-doors/whips/boots/possibly excessive Speckled Hen-consumption business sounded like it might be, just kinda, you know, a form of abusive, violent imagery, and all. I mean, at the very least, I know the show you put on that night scared the freakin’ bejesus out of me!

        But you know the really weird thing, Louise? Ol’ ceteris (or whatever his name is) seemed to really get into the whole deal–I mean, it like seemed to work him up into some sort of fevered-pitch of rutish excitement, and all. Like I said–really weird stuff!

      • David Young

        This whole complaint by A physicist is silly. We don’t know who you are or have any way of verifying what you say. We do have evidence from the proprieter of a very large climate bog that you aren’t particularly civil yourself and are often a severe distraction. Being thrown under the bus is a common phrase in America. I think it was first used by Al Sharpton in a rhetorical context as in “Bill Clinton is throwing blacks under the bus.” It just means ignoring or not listening to someone.

        You are in serious danger of never having your comments read by me again.

      • A physicist

        With reference to TRM’s discussions of ‘Motivism’ and ‘Personalization’ — as everyone here on Climate etc. agrees, TRM’s essay is terrific!  :)  — by the natural metric of public discourse, my posts on Climate etc. have served reasonably well:

          \displaystyle(\text{thoughts provoked})\times \frac{(\text{responses elicited})}{(\text{words posted})}

        Therefore, I hereby accept Judith’s assurance that these posts are not not regarded as TRM-style evidence of membership in a demagogic “Outgroup.”

      • Good Lord! physicist. You’ve established the benchmark “New Nadir” for greenie, knob-job trollery. Pure, unadulterated knobber-slobber. Congratulations!

      • Jarrett Jones

        @Louise

        You object to the lack of civility in a post mentioning “mass murder” and then conclude by calling those with whom you disagree “rabid denialists”.

        Seriously?

      • Kim, are you sure the HPS folks are doing dissertations on climate stuff? Some time ago I checked the Philosophy of Science Association database of member interests and only 3 indicated an interest in climate. Those folks tend not to concern themselves with current affairs, which is why I left the field not long after getting my Ph.D. In HPS.

      • Peter Davies

        Judith has explained her approach to moderation and while she has taken on a big task just to keep track of all comments coming in every day, I have found very few offensive comments getting through.

        We need to understand that people from many cultures, educational level (and to be honest – intelligence levels) contribute here and the language they use are often not understood in the correct context or common meaning that can be attributed by the reader.

        In short A Physicist and Louise, in particular, need to lighten up and drop their self importance in favour of genuine engagement with everyone, regardless of whether or not support their POV. If they do this, I’m sure that their experiences at Judith’s place will be more positive and worthwhile.

    • A physicist

      Ken Coffman asks: It would be helpful, AP, if you could find [other examples].

      Ken, there is no shortage of them.

      • Latimer Alder

        @A Physicist

        Grow up. You have been leading far far too sheltered a life.

        The English language is a vigorous and lively tool. People use it that way. Tough.

        The world is full of things that you might find unpleasant. You can either deal with them or hide away in a corner holding your nose and covering your ears.

        But the latter strategy will never change anything.

    • AP, I’m sorry about what I said earlier on. I’ve now realised that you truly are thick.
      This is my first and last insulting comment to you – in fact it’s my last comment to you.

    • A physicist

      Stacey began this thread: All these harassed scientists and all the death threats against them? Every dictator and shyster in the world creates imaginary bogy men. … [thread continues]

      As this thread winds to a close, perhaps all participants might pause to reflect upon Dr. Curry’s recent request to Climate etc. posters:

      Research ethics training
      by Dr. Judith Curry (November 22, 2011)

      Students will be reading this. Keep your comments thoughtful and constructive, and keep the noise to a minimum, please.

      To the extent that any principle of climate-change debate has been universally advocated by all participants, it is that Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay Characteristics of Denialism tells us what traits and actions we should all strive to avoid in our debates, which include:

          • ingroup/outgroup thinking,
          • a rhetoric of hate,
          • scapegoating,
          • motivism,
          • synecdochic rhetoric, and
          • rejection of reciprocity

      So please allow me to commend TRM’s principles to any and all students, who have been following the posts on this topic, and learning from those posts.

      • A physicist,

        And while students evaluate this little exchange, at your urging, physicist, they might note that Dr. Curry, herself, in the post at the head of this thread employed a certain figure of speech:

        “Looks like Gleick is being thrown under a bus by this group.”

        My comment (which I see is now deleted, alas), that has caused physicist such pretend angst, employed the same figure of speech to suggest that if A physicist didn’t improve his troll act, his hive-betters would “throw him under a bus” (i. e., fire him). All this obvious from the context of the comment, which, again, is unfortunately no longer available.

        And the “St. Peter” business? Well the “St. Peter” term derived from an earlier comment of mine where I referred to Peter–repeat, Peter–Gleick as “St. Peter” in anticipation of his canonization by the left as a martyr for the cause (a theme that was, indeed, subsequently offered up for a time by his hive-mates as a “spin” on Gleick’s little misadventure with Heartland).

        So physicist’s goofy claim that I “offered explicit threatening language” to him with my “under the bus” comment is perfectly preposterous on the face of it.

        At the same time, astute students reading this blog might profitably note that physicist’s transparent, phoney-baloney, hyped attempt to play the victim-card is a standard cynical ploy of the greenshirt hive. And the victim-card, adroitly played, can be a “slick” propaganda maneuver–though the “trick” is not nearly so effective when employed by someone with physicist’s ham-handed lack of basic card-game skills, as I’m sure the vast majority of you students couldn’t help but notice.

        And students reading this thread might further note that A physicist and his good comrade buddies prefer as an audience, for their agit-prop and street-theater, young men and women whom they judge to be impressionable enough and lacking enough in life-experience to see through their machinations. Of course, that audience of young men and women is most prime when a captive one of students within a college classroom with a coercive, intellectually bullying professor at the lectern.

        Naturally, the smart young men and women who think for themselves are never fooled by physicist’s sort of claptrap. But lefty youth masters are philosophical about that–I mean they don’t really want to recruit smart, independent-minded young men and women to “the cause”, anyway. Too questioning, too lacking in slavish loyalty, the smart ones, you know. No!–physicist and crew rather bait their hooks and dangle their “lines” for your not-too-bright classmates. And you know who those easy-mark dummies are.

        Fortunately, for the most part, even the most gullible of your classmates, should they fall for a while under some lefty youth-master’s spell, will ultimately wise-up and become dis-illusioned with their left-wing flirtation and get on their lives–but only after their youth-master has callously used them in the meantime.

        That’s how this CAGW-scam is played, guys! The greenshirt youth-masters always going after the most vulnerable youth. Pretty sicko, huh?

      • A physicist

        Mike, I appreciate and respect your explanation of your figures of speech.

        Perhaps there is a general lesson here, that rather than push against boundary of what might be considered abusive and/or threatening language, it is common sense, and good manners, and therefore a good idea for everyone, to stay well clear of that boundary.

      • Ah, physicist, ever the Pecksniff, aren’t we? Thanks but no thanks.

      • Ha ha guys. Pnysicist, Mike, Judith… Ya had me going there for awhile. Nice bit of satirical soap-drama blog-parody.

        “Throw under the bus” is threatening. Ha ha.

        No it isn’t.

        Yes it is.

        I’m sorry your five minutes are up. I can’t argue unless you’ve paid.

  76. “discarded and sacrificed by your supposed patrons”…

    Sorry mate, They prefer the term ‘fellow travelers’ from what I have herd and been told, I sounds much better than ‘a mob’.

  77. Beth Cooper

    I am moved by your words, Chief. No better fight for a cowboy than
    the fight for a more open society. No better cowboy for the fight than you.

    ‘Ring the bells that still can ring.
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack in everything.
    That’s how the light gets in.’

  78. Let me start again on the drougth/flood situation in Australia. And I remind readers I am a Canadian, living in Canada. Doc Martyn writes “If you treat it as insurance, then it seems to be quite reasonable. Spending money on research into sculpting and towing icebergs into coastal harbors/reservoirs is also reasonable.”

    I have no objection to this thought at all. However, and there is always a however. If politicians came to me and said we needed a de-sal plant, at cost of $2 billion as an insurance policy for times of drought, and then went on to say that we need it because we politicians are not going to allow you to build any more storage dams, that would be one thing. If the voters then went along with this idea, then this is democracy at work.

    But if a bunch of charlatans came along and said that putting CO2 into the atmosphere is going to change the climate so that droughts in Australia are going to be much more severe in the future, and we need to spend $2 billion for the routine supply of water, that is a different issue. If it turned out that CAGW is a hoax, as it undoubtedly is, then I would be as mad as hell at the politicians who tricked me into spending $2 billion of taxpayer money, building what has turned out to be a very expensive white elephant..

    • scepticalWombat

      It is perhaps a little early to call the desal plant a white elephant. Let’s see what the next few El Ninos bring. As far a building more dams is concerned, there are not a lot of undammed rivers in the vicinity of Sydney.

      Personally I would have preferred the money to be spent of recycling of storm water or waste water – but experience has shown that that is very difficult to sell to the public.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        The Pacific multi-decadal pattern involves modulation of the frequency and intensity of the ENSO. This can most easily be seen in the multivariate ENSO index (MEI) of Klaus Wolter . A bias is seen towards La Niña (blue) conditions prior to 1976/77, a shift thereafter to an El Niño (red) bias and a subsequent shift after 1998 back to a cooler bias. The MEI is based on six observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure, zonal and meridional components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature, surface air temperature, and total cloudiness fraction of the sky.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

        Verdon, D. C., and S. W. Franks (2006), Long-term behaviour of ENSO: Interactions with the PDO over the past 400 years inferred from paleoclimate records, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L06712, doi:10.1029/2005GL025052.

        Tsonis (2009) observed in a sediment record a ‘chaotic bifurcation’ from La Niña to El Niño dominated conditions 5000 years ago. This resulted in the drying of the Sahel and changed the path of human cultural development. Professor Jonathon Nott of James Cook University was interviewed by the ‘The Australian’ newspaper in the tense day before cyclone Yasi hit. Cyclones in Australia are much bigger and much more frequent in La Niña years than otherwise. He said that ‘what the record shows is we go through extended periods, hundreds of years, of high activity and extended periods of little activity.’ The past 150 years have been a period of little activity. There is little to suggest that we have more than skimmed the surface of Pacific Ocean variability.

        Flooding is the issue over much of Australia for the next decade or 3.

        Stormwater is relatively easy – legislate for rainwater tanks in new construction as has been done in Queensland – quite cheap and effective as it builds resilience into the system. Sewerage can be recycled locally and used on parks and gardens – and the technology is available quite cost-effectively. Desal is a quite useful addition to the mix – it is cheaper than to RO sewage and then send it on a 400km round trip. But I have always suggested running small plants and running them hard and over a long period well before needed. Small plants reduce the the brine stream problem as well.

        Kind regards
        Captain Kangaroo

        xx

  79. Bob Ludwick

    Re: Hansen’s seven predictions.

    Interesting, although it does occur to me that NONE of the data required to confirm or reject the predictions is provided directly by the satellites; all require that the raw sensor data be extensively processed to DERIVE the parameters of interest. And that Hansen et al are the ones who will be doing the extensive processing.

    • Take a close look at Hansen’s vertical scaling. It’s the annual RATE, the derivative. Be careful when comparing to absolute temps.

    • Bob, have you noticed how the CAGW crowd have starting complaining that the satellite data must be wrong?

      • Captain,

        Care to provide references? It would help me in discussions with a pal.

      • References Trenberth and Dessler for a start. Trenberth uses models instead of data because the data just don’t appear good enough. Dessler used balloon data to challenge Spencer since the satellite data didn’t match his concept. Eli Rabbet had a nice post on his questions about ARGO since ARGO doesn’t match his concept.

    • Bob Ludwick says: Re: Hansen’s seven predictions … Hansen et al. are the ones who will be doing the processing.

      Bob, every space-faring nation in the world will see the changes, and so quibblers and conspiracy theorists will have to expand their theories to an all-nation & every-scientist scale.

      Since no amount of evidence convinces quibblers and conspiracy theorists, we can be entirely confident without regard for whether Hansen’s predictions come true, the quibblers and conspiracy theorists will be with us, always.

      • Bob Ludwick

        AP: “Bob, every space-faring nation in the world will see the changes, and so quibblers and conspiracy theorists will have to expand their theories to an all-nation & every-scientist scale.”

        I am not a scientist and I am certainly not in the business of predicting ‘climate’ or anything associated with it. So for all I know, Hansen may well be correct in his assertion that in the next two decades sea level WILL continue to rise and its rate of rise will accelerate (Prediction 1). In other words, the plot of sea level vs time WILL be concave upwards.

        I also know that actual data shows that in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries the sea level rate of change has been essentially linear. Except that in the past few years it has actually ceased to rise or declined, according to satellite data. RIGHT NOW, the plot of sea level vs time is concave downwards.

        But, que sera, sera.

      • A physicist

        Bob, the sea-level pages of PIK are respectfully commended to your attention:

        Welcome to the sea-level pages of PIK

        We love the sea and the coast.  … Our research is publically funded and the insights should be of use to all. On these pages we thus provide comprehensive information about our sea level research. You will not only find the results, scientific papers and popular articles, but also input data and computer codes which allow colleagues to reproduce our calculations, verify them or develop them further.

        It is good that PIK’s researchers are providing concrete open foundations for strong climate-change science to unit with rational skepticism.

        Based upon observed past acceleration of sea-level rise, PIK predicts future acceleration of sea-level rise. In this regard, the sea-level predictions of Hansen and his colleagues are not immoderate.

      • Bob Ludwick

        AP: I agree wholeheartedly, another publicly funded institute supporting the IPPC projects future sea levels roughly equivalent to Hansen’s projections. In the future. From your link: “Future sea level rise primarily depends on our future greenhouse gas emissions.” An axiom. In fact, THE climate science axiom. (Just as a matter of curiosity, have they ever published the function that shows how historical sea level changes were related to historical greenhouse gas emissions?) You are certainly not alone in your enthusiasm for PIK. For example, from the PIK website: “Media interest is likewise high: BBC and CNN reported in their TV news broadcasts about our research, the weekly magazine of the british Financial Times in 2009 had a cover portrait of Prof. Rahmstorf as “Mr sea level rise”, and the New York Times prominently presented our results in a major cover story on sea level rise.” Certainly trusted sources of climate change info, so PIK obviously gets a bump in ‘creds’.

        On the other hand, http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/GW_4CE_SeaLevel.htm simply provides a bunch of data as to what sea level HAS been and what it IS. What they SAY, and I am unqualified to question, (although is doesn’t seem unreasonable based on the data presented) is that the observed history of sea level rise is uncorrelated with CO2 (but appears to my untrained eye looking at their graphs to be HIGHLY correlated with the sun cycles), has been rising at a linear rate for well over a hundred years, and has recently ceased rising or declined slightly. As measured, rather than projected. They aren’t big on projections, although they do say that they consider most of the model projections to be unrealistic. It also includes: “The IPCC stated in the Third Assessment Report (2001) [http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/425.htm]: “There is no evidence for any acceleration of sea level rise in data from the 20th century data … Mediterranean records show decelerations, and even decreases in sea level in the latter part of the 20th century”.”

      • Mediterranean? Middle of all that land?
        ========================

      • A physicist

        Bob Ludwick, please let me commend to your attention the common-sense facts that (1) much of Germany and all of the Netherlands are low-lying, and (2) the national identity of these regions extends back 1000 years and more.

        So does it make sense to you that these European nations prefer to remain above sea-level for the coming millennium?

        You see, the short simple questions are the best to ask.   :)   :D !

      • AP: I am certainly sympathetic with the desires of the Dutch and the Germans to remain above sea level, but I don’t see how that translates into a requirement that they ‘do something right now’ about a problem which currently exists only in the outputs of computer models which are designed to produce such outputs.

        If I were Dutch or German and faced with the option of making policy based on the outputs of computer models specifically designed to produce scary outputs which say that our only salvation is for the human race to essentially cease using combustion to produce energy, or make my policy based on actual, empirical data showing that the rate of sea level rise has been constant for at least a couple hundred years, unnoticed by anyone except some academics who have made it their mission in life to notice such things, is uncorrelated with atmospheric CO2, will pose no threat if it continues at the historical rate for the next couple hundred years, and in fact is not rising at all at the moment, my reaction would be to ‘go with the data’. Especially since the actual data implies that establishing an official climate policy which says ‘Take no actions based on the climate predictions of computer models.’ has no obvious down sides and has the twin upsides of costing nothing and removing the justification for establishing a worldwide, omnipotent government presiding over the 10 to 40 percent of the human populace that they chose not to cull.

        Here is what I see as the ‘climate change debate’ in a nutshell.

        Postulating for a moment that AGW is real (with no empirical evidence to support the postulate, but postulating anyway) and caused by CO2, that the climate models are accurate, and that the ‘temperature of the earth’ will rise gradually by 2-3 degrees over the next couple of hundred years if we do nothing, but the temperature of the earth can be stabilized at roughly current levels by establishing a world body with absolute authority over every aspect of energy production and consumption, whose stated immediate objective is to reduce civilization’s combustion products by around 80-90 percent, what to do? Since there are historical precedents for both warmer climates and omnipotent governments and noting that warmer climate was if anything salutary, while noticing that the politics of those urging the establishment of omnipotent government to ‘save the planet’ pretty much match the politics of those who provided the most recent empirical examples of omnipotent governments, which do I consider the more plausible existential threat?

        So far, the human toll due to climate change can only be established by a lot of dubious statistics that include a good number of steps commented as ‘Then a miracle occurs.’, while a stated ‘essential but not necessarily sufficient’ condition for meeting climate control objectives is to reduce the number of humans by 60 to 90 percent, depending on which climate expert’s recommendation is adopted.

        So we have a predicted human toll in the millions based on computer models and worst case projections if we do nothing, and a promised human toll in the multiple billions if we implement the amelioration policies of the climate experts.

        Those are the options if we POSTULATE AGW as modeled. Canceling the postulate and reading blogs such as Dr. Curry’s and others, and quite separate from the question of ‘What to do about it?’, where ‘it’ is AGW, there still seems to be a hot scientific debate between competing herds of PhD’s as to whether ‘it’ actually exists or is in the noise of normal climate fluctuations, but with the express position of the ‘climate science community’ that questioning either CO2 driven AGW or the direness of its threat is prima facie evidence that the questioner is anti-scientific, incompetent to have an opinion, in the thrall of ‘big carbon’, or all the above. (Dr. Dyson, for example, would fall in the ‘all of the above’ category, based on published commentary by climate scientists about his ‘climate science’ opinions.)

        I’m sure that you will have no trouble deducing that it is my opinion that the threat posed by Climate Change Amelioration is more nearly existential than that posed by ignoring the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ and getting on with life.

      • Bob, most scientists are not as sanguine as you.

        Because the data leave them little grounds to be sanguine.

      • Bob Ludwick

        AP: “Because the data leave them little grounds to be sanguine.”

        Would that be the data that shows that sea level has been rising at a linear rate since we started monitoring it, or the data that shows that within the measurement error, sea level has remained constant or fallen slightly in the last couple of years?

        I looked at the chart that you provided that represents the predictions of ‘most scientists’ and found that the predicted sea level rise in the next 88 years was one meter.

        What measures do the scientists recommend to prevent the one meter rise?
        How much would they cost?
        How would they impact our standard of living?
        What is the predicted efficacy of their recommendations?
        If their recommendations were implemented and were 100% effective, would the rise in sea level be halted, or would it continue to rise at the linear rate of around 20 cm/century that it has risen for the last 150-200 years and that we have dealt with with no discernible problems over that period?
        If nothing is done and we experience the predicted one meter rise, what catastrophes would we suffer that we would not suffer if the rise were confined to 20 cm?
        If we do nothing to halt the additional 80 cm rise in sea level, what will it cost?
        How will the extra 80 cm of anthropogenic sea level rise impact our standard of living?
        Are the benefits expected by staving off an 80 cm anthropogenic rise in sea level worth the financial and societal costs necessary to achieve them?

      • A physicist

        Bob, we may have to eat some mighty sour cherries.

      • Bob Ludwick

        AP: “Bob, we may have to eat some mighty sour cherries.”

        Well, we have come full circle.
        I started out by questioning the likelihood that one of Hansen’s predictions would be realized, given the historical data and recent trends, and, after multiple iterations during which your only response to anything I said was to quote the predictions of climate authorities, culminating in your citing of Hansen’s prediction yet again as rebuttal of my post. A classic circular argument. Literally.

        Of course you did have the satisfaction of proving me to be a fool, as I continuously repeated the same process while expecting a different result. Apparently the old adage, “Live and learn.” does not apply universally.

  80. Inspector Blakey

    I work on the buses.

    If ‘A Physicist’ has the temerity to get himself thrown under one of mine, he should know that we will sue.

  81. Judith Curry @ 4/12 919am.

    ‘Historically demagoguery is a precursor to the ending of democracy.’

    Thank you for your wise observation and for the open forum you offer for the many diverse views, arguments, papers presented here on Climate Etc.

    (Sometimes there is a lot of ‘etc.’)

  82. Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay Trish Roberts-Miller’s essay Characteristics of Denialism

    Does she have another vastly larger another tome Characteristics of Alarmism ?
    – or is she just another state-funded politically-correct blinkered alarmist bigot in the Gleickian mold ?

  83. Based upon observed past acceleration of sea-level rise, PIK predicts future acceleration of sea-level rise.

    So the logic here, is that what happened yesterday will happen again tomorrow ? Once a trend starts, it can never stop or be reversed. Neat, obviates the need to study all the pesky underlying physics of the matter.

  84. And “a physicist” continues his Big Lie campaign, staying true to his “Be First with the Baseless, Slanderous Accusations and Repeat Them Over and Over Again in an Attempt to Derail the Conversation.” strategy.

    (As I read the comments and realized “a physicist” was seriously trying to claim that the idiom “throw someone under the bus” was a violent death threat, I laughed so hard my drink came out my nose. How could anyone be stupid enough to genuinely believe such a ludicrous claim is true, or be so brazenly dishonest that they try to pass it off as true?)

  85. A physicist

    Punksta asserts: “[PIK does not] study all the pesky underlying physics of the matter.”

    Punksta, with respect, your assertion is mistaken: PIK takes great care to make theory, data, and computer codes openly accessible to citizens, skeptics, and scientists alike.

    PIK’s exemplary public commitment to full-disclosure professionalism merits the appreciation and thanks of everyone — on this we can all agree.

    Students, take note! :)   :D   :lol:   !!!

    • @Phycisist
      Well I am pleased to hear PIK has broken ranks with the ‘community’ and eschewed IPCC-style data-hiding, making all materials available to scientists, the public, alarmists, etc etc.
      But you didn’t elaborate on their logic of theirs you cited, which says sea levels will rise in the future because they rose in the past.

      • A physicist

        Punksta says: But you didn’t elaborate on their logic of theirs you cited, which says sea levels will rise in the future because they rose in the past.

        That logic was your assertion, not PIK’s or mine.

        Just to be clear, the physics chain

        \text{GHG}\Leftrightarrow\text{GHE}\Leftrightarrow\text{AGW}\Leftrightarrow\text{CAGW}

        drives the sea-level rise chain

        \displaystyle\begin{array}{@{}rl} \text{cumulative GHG} &\Rightarrow\\[0.5ex] \text{cumulative GHE} &\Rightarrow\\[0.5ex] \text{accelerating warming\quad}\\ +\ \text{onset of polar ice-cap melting}&\Rightarrow\\[0.5ex] \text{accelerating global sea-level rise} \end{array}

        Therefore, it seems (to me) that PIK/Hansen predictions of accelerating global sea-level rise are solidly grounded upon non-mysterious, entirely rational, open scientific grounds.

  86. David Wojick | March 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    Owen, your “patently clear” data is actually a maze of inconsistencies and uncertainties. For starters, never cite SS as a reliable source. They are a one sided joke in progress. Then too, your temp data is a woody composite index that masks the inconsistencies among the various datasets. And even it clearly shows a step-function regime change masked as an upward sloping trend line. If you present shaky, contentious data as patently clear do not expect to be taken seriously.”
    —————————————————–
    Skeptical Science simply plotted that data from the University of Colorado study using GRACE data. You can view that same plot from the Jet Propulsion Lab which shows the same data in their video on Greenland ice loss (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/animation/PIA13955 ). You don’t like the Wood for Trees index? Then use Roy Spencer’s UAH data (http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend). The entire climate system is warming and both sea and land ice is melting. The scientific data is absolutely clear on that issue.

    • Owen,
      You maintain “the entire climate system is warming….The scientific data is absolutely clear on that issue”.

      Does that include over say 10 years too, or the more conventional 30 ?

      • Florrie,

        The entire system has been heating for the past 30 years and past 10 years. The ocean (0-2000 depth) as measured by the ARGO floats show significant heating in the past 10 and past 30 years (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/02000mohca.jpg/). Melting of both sea ice and, more importantly, land ice continues unabated (see JPL video at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/animation/PIA13955). Atmospheric temperatures over the past 10 years have leveled off, but 2010 was the second warmest year on record, and we are now in a 2-year La Nina. 90% of the total forcing goes into the ocean, and the ocean strongly indicates continued warming.

    • Owen. UAH shows no warming from the beginning (1978) until 1997. Then we had the big ENSO which of course has no trend. Then from 2001 until now there is also no warming, but this flat period is higher than the prior flat period. This is a one shot step function, not 30 years of warming. Moreover there is no provision for such a step in AGW. I think UAH falsifies AGW.

      • David,

        I’m not terribly concerned about level regions in the atmospheric temperature record as we have had them in the past – but only because the ocean temperature still is climbing, and ice is still melting. The ocean, with its enormous heat capacity, is really the best barometer of warming (ala Pielke, Sr) as it absorbs almost all of the energy imbalance. The preponderance of the data says that the Earth is still warming

      • Owen,
        Ocean heat content is not rising as predicted, workdwide pack ice is not shrinking, slr is not doing anything unusual.

  87. Punksta : But you didn’t elaborate on their logic of theirs you cited, which says sea levels will rise in the future because they rose in the past.
    Physicist : That logic was your assertion, not PIK’s or mine.

    No, it was definitely yours. From above:

    Physicist | March 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

    Based upon observed past acceleration of sea-level rise, PIK predicts future acceleration of sea-level rise.

  88. Pekka : … An observed development clearly outside expectations is evidence for the influence of something new. As AGW is a prime candidate for that the conclusion is clear. The data provides evidence for AGW as a major factor in 20th century warming.

    This would also depend on the soundness of the expectations. What if any reason is there to say the 20C warming did not have natural causes? Are we really so sure of the effects of natural forces, that we can just subtract them from the measurements to reveal with confidence what then must be the anthro ones ? (The ‘what else could it be?’ bedrock of AGW thinking, that avoids the huge difficulties of the physics).

    • Punksta,

      I repeat: This is no proof, but this is evidence. Evidence is always something that must be related to the existing state of knowledge.

      It’s true that we might and perhaps should compare to the state of knowledge just before these papers were published. At that time we had many different reconstructions of the temperature trends over the same period of time. They all indicated a relatively smooth earlier history with a warmer MWP than LIA. It was also known at least from instrumental records that we had rapidly rising temperatures in 20th century.

      The criticism concentrated an a few points:

      – the data is too strongly dominated by very few proxies, in particular a few cases of tree ring data series,

      – there was a disagreement with the observed temperatures in 20th century (hiding the decline)

      – the methods reduced the strength of the signal for MWP

      The Ljungqvist data tells clearly that similar results are obtained from many different proxy series.

      The Ljungqvist data tells that the warming of 20th century is present in all different types of proxy. The analysis does not tell about the details, where the decline is directly visible, but it tells that the overall picture is not changed by this.

      The relative temperature of MVP is probably a little higher in Ljungqvist results than in earlier results, but the difference is small in comparison with the Kaufmann et al paper on Arctic temperatures as an recent example of work by main stream authors. Comparing the results is not quite straightforward as the later Ljungqvist paper that I consider more important does not present temperature reconstructions and also due to the low time resolution of the Ljungqvist paper. The results seem, however, rather similar.

      The main support that the temperature time series give for AGW comes from the combination of the large overall change in a century and of the rapid rise of last decades of 20th century. In other words it comes from the observation that a rapid rise was still possible after the first step that made the period 1950-70 significantly warmer than the 19th century. Variability produces sometimes changes like those of the period 1880-1950 with a dip around 1910, a peak around 1940 and a more persistent change from 19th century to middle 20th century, but normal variablity is much less likely to add to that another step like we have seen since 1970. There’s clearly something exceptional in that and the Ljungqvist paper provides supporting evidence for this conclusion by telling that the overall picture of the earlier history is not based on a single type of data.

      There may be disagreement with some particular proxy reconstructions, but not on anything essential for more general main stream views of past climate.

    • Pekka
      Yes, I am with you on evidence versus proof. And all the now-exposed problems along the way.

      But you haven’t really addressed my question, here repeated :
      What if any reason is there to say the ‘exceptional’ 20C warming did not have natural causes? Are we really so sure of the effects of natural forces, that we can just subtract them from the measurements to reveal with confidence what then must be the anthro ones ?

      • Punksta,

        As we are not presenting proofs, we need not be sure of the inputs. We must have valid reasons for choosing the assumptions, but we need not be sure of them.

        In this case the role of the Ljungqvist et al work is in telling that the history has been rather smooth with a certain typical range of variability for long. That’s not a proof but that’s a valid reason for concluding that nature is not likely to produce so much warming in one century.

      • A physicist

        Pekka Pirilä says History been rather smooth with a certain typical range of variability for long …

        … and yet, the present combination of secular solar warming on a scale of 10^8 years, accompanied by unprecedented human-caused jumps in CO2 levels, is taking us far outside the physics regime where history is a reliable guide to climate.

        About these two facts, there is no controversy, eh?

      • Yes, if history has been smooth, and then suddenly it isn’t smooth, man’s role is certainly something to look at. I’m sure no-one doubts that.

        But as I understand it, the early 20C warming is not blamed on man, and is of a similar order of magnitude to the late 20C warming, which is blamed on man.

        So is our grasp of the natural forcings really as good as this implicitly assumes ?

      • A physicist

        Punksta, if our present understanding of the human-altered elements of climate physics is correct, then Hansen’s seven predictions will come true.

        More broadly, it is no part of rational skepticism to believe “there’s zero chance that Hansen’s physics is correct,” given the considerable body of evidence that the physics is correct.

      • Punksta : if history has been smooth, and then suddenly it isn’t smooth, man’s role is certainly something to look at. I’m sure no-one doubts that.
        > Physicist : it is no part of rational skepticism to believe “there’s zero chance that Hansen’s physics is correct,” …

        Here grandma, suck on these nice eggs … ?
        (ie curious as to why you thought that response was somehow apposite)

        > Physicist : … given the considerable body of evidence that the physics is correct.

        The “evidence” will be if and when the predictions transpire.

    • Federoff’s wrong; Gleick’s act has been very helpful. I note Eilperin doesn’t disclose Gleick’s role at the AGU and the only skeptic she interviewed was our wise hostess, heh.
      ==============

      • Of course, she sees the ‘dark forces’ in a wonderlandish looking glass, but that will clarify.
        ============

    • A physicist

      Dr. Curry, doesn’t American history teach us plainly that Common Sense, thoroughly embraced, is profoundly radical?

      Every man is a proprietor in society and draws on the capital as a matter of right. …

      Every man is a proprietor in government and considers it a necessary part of his business to understand. …

      When men think of what government is, they must necessarily suppose it to possess a knowledge of all the objects and matters upon which its authority is to be exercised.

      To obstruct the interventions of government, by demagogically muddling and obscuring the public appreciation of its responsibilities, has become a primary tactic of 21st century political opposition to the Common Sense of climate change science.

      Which is bad for liberty, for our nation, and for our planet.

      And this is simply the Common Sense of our 21st century, eh?

      • ‘by demagogically muddling and obscuring the public appreciation of its responsibilities’. Where is the real Joshua and what have you done with him?
        =============

      • What Physicist really means of course, is that the widespread and unrepentant dishonesty that is the backbone of the whole alarmist movement, would be better left uncommented on, since commonsense would obviously frown on it.

      • A physicist

        Kim asks Where is the real Joshua and what have you done with him?

        Kim, it is well to consider Tom Paine’s well-considered and plain-spoken warning against the motivism and personalization of demagogy:

        Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the doctrine itself, not the man. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

        Hopefully Mr. Paine’s vigorous prose has made the point more clear, than my own less graceful expressions! :|   :)   :D

      • A physicist –

        Wrong again: It is the interventions of government that are “…bad for liberty, for our nation, and for our planet.”

        The Soviets and their client states being, of course, the best examples of this. I would recommend that you read PJ O’Rourke’s ‘All the Troubles in the World’. A little outdated, perhaps, but full of good observations on this subject.

      • Kim, please let me commend to you the 1955 essay by the mathematician and scientist John von Neumann (who invented, among things, the computer):

        Can We Survive Technology?
        by John von Neumann
        Fortune Magazine, 1955

        The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by industry’s burning of coal and oil—more than half of it during the last generation—may have changed the atmosphere’s composition sufficiently to account for a general warming of the world by about degree Fahrenheit. …

        Intervention in atmospheric and climatic matters will come in a few decades, and will unfold on a scale difficult to imagine at present.  …

        Such actions would be more directly and truly worldwide than recent, or presumably, future wars, or the economy at any time.  …

        All this will merge each nation’s affairs with those of every other, more thoroughly than the threat of a nuclear or any other war would have done.

        Isn’t it fun to verify for yourself, Kim, that the first person to warn the world of AGW — decades before James Hansen and Al Gore — was the world’s top-ranked mathematician and scientist and an ardently anti-Soviet political conservative?

        History teaches many useful lessons, eh?   :|   :)   :D

      • A physicist

        Nonsense-Neumann did not invent the computer. That honour goes to Babbage who was married at a church within sight of my house here in Southern England

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage
        tonyb

      • Wow! – someone who spoke of AGW, but didn’t hide data, sabotage peer-review, say one thing in public and the opposite in private, hide declines………………truly amazing.

      • If you are a physicist, what would you believe in: the culture of nationalism or the homogeneity of globalism? Two tribes, in a Darwinian struggle. It is directed from behind a screen, the script is red. AGW is nothing but wallpaper, that is all, it helps set the tone of the act taking place on stage. What does a physicist really think? Why do they constantly dance around the obvious? Because it is all they have, Left.

      • Tom, reality must take precedence over politics, for “Nature cannot be fooled”, and her scripts are neither red nor any other color of the political rainbow.

        That sober reality is why John von Neumann was a mathematician and scientist first and an ardent political conservative second.

        Which was wise, eh?

      • A physicist,
        You should re-read von Neumann’s letter. He also over stated the risk. His prediction was for a ‘few decades’. It has been over five decades and historical statistics of extreme and dangerous weather or either unchanged or declining.
        Now small groups of activists are trying to merge international affairs, but they are driving this movement, not the reality of CO2’s impact, so even that is different from what von Neumann was referring to.

      • ‘The Hidden Dancers Of The Rainbow’
        Constance Cumbey
        1983

        There is nothing new under the Sun.

      • I was incorrect…

        “The Hidden ‘Dangers’ Of The Rainbow”
        Constance Cumbey
        1983

      • Tom, as a co-inventor of the thermonuclear bomb and the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and as an ardent anti-Soviet conservative, John von Neumann as about as far from a stereotypical “Rainbow Activist” as can possibly be imagined!

        Dr. von Neumann was, however, an expert in the mathematical physics of energy transport, and that is why he was among the first to appreciate the sobering planetary scale of AGW risks.

        In so doing, he put math and science ahead of politics.

        As Nature requires of us humans, eh?

      • Von Neumann’s team performed the world’s first numerical weather forecasts on the ENIAC computer; von Neumann published the paper Numerical Integration of the Barotropic Vorticity Equation in 1950. Von Neumann’s interest in weather systems and meteorological prediction led him to propose manipulating the environment by spreading colorants on the polar ice caps to enhance absorption of solar radiation (by reducing the albedo), thereby inducing global warming.
        Source: Wikipedia

      • A physicist,
        Your invocation of Thomas Paine to call for skeptics to be quiet is odd and misplaced. Paine, of all of the founding fathers, was not for silence in the public square.
        Your assertion that we are facing a global climate crisis is disputed by cliamte scientists, geologists and meteorolgists. It is informative to see the pattern of discussions by AGW beleivers ending in the same place:making arguments from authority for skeptics to be quiet and let the alarmists have their way.
        All while the AGW believer (you, this case) misrepresents his facts his history and the positions of skeptics.

      • A physicist

        Skepticism should (1) accept the discipline of Nature (as did Paine), and (2) reject the willful ignorance of demagoguery (as did Paine), which opens the door to (3) embrace the political philosophy of Paine.

        Hunter, isn’t that plain “common sense”?

      • A Physicist,
        Your repeating your point while still ignoring mine does not make your argument stronger.
        – you are misrepresenting Thomas Paine and his writing and his cause
        – you have failed to make a convincing case that the threat of cliamte change/ AGW/ global warming / the climate catastrophe is in fact an existential threat requiring skeptics to be silent.
        You cannot even respond to the point that von Neumann, as wise as he was, made an incorrect prediction regarding the threat of CO2.
        I find it interesting that your case, while more eloquent than many, still boils down to something to the effect of “skeptics shut up and let us do what we want because it is really important to us”.
        As to your frequent reliance on quibbling, it seems that really you are the one engaged in just that.
        So anyway, I think the resistance to AGW policy demands by many people who have sincerely looked at the claims of AGW should not be set aside just because you would like us to.

      • A physicist

        Hunter, the list that you supply as reasons, amounts (as it seems to me) to what America’s home-grown scientist Thomas Jefferson called “quibbles, chicaneries, perversions, vexations, and delays.” Surely rational skepticism can do better!

      • A physicist,
        You seem to wander from quibbling about tobacco in an attempt to blame Heartland for Gleick’s crime to quibbling over (and massively reinterpreting)Thomas Paine, a revolutionary pampleteer, writer and thinker into some sort of definitive philospher regarding your desire to have skeptics be silent. And then blend all of that with your still unsupported conclusions about a climate crisis.
        It would be great to ‘play the ball not the man’, but all you actually do is talk a big game and never actually show up to play, as it were.
        Your brushing off the well documented points offered by skeptics and reliance on repeating your points over and over..and over, etc. is a great way to avoid skeptics but now so good engagement.
        As to the speculations that you are sort of a Josh v2.0, I think the similarities are striking- the obsession with a few terms, the inability to listen to skeptics, the well practiced thread jacking, etc. But at the end o fthe day you can troll on like you are as long as you want and the climate will not care, and you will simply raise more questions in people as to how real AGW as a whole is, since so few of you believers can communicate rationally?

    • The politically correct protocal is maintained, “activism” is an undefined euphemism for what most readers of WP or here know. AGW is a left-wing, Green fringe movement and the Gleick, TEAM and core members reflect that reality.

      In this regard the article is a white wash piece of minimization for true believers who need their delusions confirmed in the MSM. Dr. Curry is a willing and ready tool in the process.

      “Activism”, please!

      You wonder why every thread here is circular? Zero honesty on what is essential to know. The article is also insulting in describing left-wing science advocacy as “recent”. Gleick and Climategate highlighted to many of the less interested public but there is nothing “recent” about Green political activism and AGW. Another bill of good being sold to mitigate the “cause” when reality is quite different.

  89. Next, AGW scientists will blame everything on their eye-patch problem.

  90. “Skepticism should (1) accept the discipline of Nature (as did Paine), and (2) reject the willful ignorance of demagoguery (as did Paine), which opens the door to (3) embrace the political philosophy of Paine.

    Hunter, isn’t that plain “common sense”?”

    Had I come across this statement without having any idea where the commenter stood re AGW, I’d have instantly recognized it as the work of a true believer. What gives it away? Its nauseating vapidity of course. I swear to you believers have elevated the ability to say nothing at all to a high art.

    • pokerguy,
      It seems that all too frequently AGW belief requires one to not only toss away their moral compass, but significant levels of their critical thinking as well.

      • Indeed Hunter. I see that over and over again. Were I a social scientist I’d like to do a study to tease out the character/personality traits that lead to global warming belief vs skepticism.

        There’s no doubt in my mind that some of these guys just use the “consensus” as a license to not think. Lolwot is a prime example. Of course I could name many others.

  91. SHould read “I swear to God”

    • Anent nothing whatsoever, didja hear the one about the dyslexic insomniac neurotic agnostic? He lay awake abed every night, worrying about the existence of Dog!

      ;)

  92. manicbeancounter

    Megan McArdle’s following comment is worth considering

    “Well, because we’ve only go the one climate. I don’t like running large one-way experiments on vital systems we don’t know how to fix. The risk of a catastrophic outcome may be small, but it would be pretty darn terrible to find out that hey, we hit the jackpot!”

    There is a third option that also needs to considered. Spending a lot of money on totally ineffective policies, without reducing the risks. If economic
    growth is reduced, you may make future generations more exposed if something catastrophic does happen.


  93. Garbage in, garbage out. If we don’t expose the dodgy models and predictions of the global warmists (http://bit.ly/xG4lkN) , we will continue to make these terrible mistakes. And we will continue to see massive amounts of water flow to waste in the sea – water we will need when the next drought inevitably comes.

    They built no dams, but they build desalination plants. Houses are flooded because there were no dams to protect them. Now this water will flow to the see and be just wasted. If we had dams, we could use the stored water when the next draught returns.

    How sad.

    How very sad.

    The environmentalists are to blame => they hate dams.