Pseudoscience (?)

by Judith Curry

Climate science is sometimes characterized by skeptics as pseudoscience.   Here are the arguments for why climate science is not pseudoscience.

From the Wikipedia:

Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

Gary Taubes on pseudoscience

Gary Taubes has a very interest post entitled Science, Pseudoscience, Nutritional Epidemiology and Meat.  Excerpts:

Back in 2007 when I first published Good Calories, Bad Calories I also wrote a cover story in theNew York Times Magazine on the problems with observational epidemiology. The article was called “Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?” and I made the argument that even the better epidemiologists in the world consider this stuff closer to a pseudoscience than a real science. I used as a case study the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, led by Walter Willett, who runs the Nurses’ Health Study. In doing so, I wanted to point out one of the main reasons why nutritionists and public health authorities have gone off the rails in their advice about what constitutes a healthy diet. The article itself pointed out that every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong. Not most times, but every time. No exception. Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000.

Science is ultimately about establishing cause and effect. It’s not about guessing. You come up with a hypothesis — force x causes observation y — and then you do your best to prove that it’s wrong. If you can’t, you tentatively accept the possibility that your hypothesis was right. Peter Medawar, the Nobel Laureate immunologist, described this proving-it’s-wrong step as the  ”the critical or rectifying episode in scientific reasoning.” Here’s Karl Popper saying the same thing: “The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.” The bold conjectures, the hypotheses, making the observations that lead to your conjectures… that’s the easy part. The critical or rectifying episode, which is to say, the ingenious and severe attempts to refute your conjectures, is the hard part. Anyone can make a bold conjecture. (Here’s one: space aliens cause heart disease.) Making the observations and crafting them into a hypothesis is easy. Testing them ingeniously and severely to see if they’re right is the rest of the job — say 99 percent of the job of doing science, of being a scientist.

Well, because this is supposed to be a science, we ask the question whether we can imagine other less newsworthy explanations for the association we’ve observed. What else might cause it? An association by itself contains no causal information. There are an infinite number of associations that are not causally related for every association that is, so the fact of the association itself doesn’t tell us much.

The answer ultimately is that we do experiments. Before we get around to doing the experiments, we must rack our brains to figure out if there are other causal explanations for this association beside the the meat-eating one. Another way to think of this is that we’re looking for all the myriad possible ways our methodology and equipment might have fooled us.  The first principle of good science, as Richard Feynman liked to say, is that you must not fool yourself because you’re the easiest person to fool. And so before we go public and commit ourselves to believing this association is meaningful and causal, let’s think of all the ways we might be fooled. Once we’ve thought up every possible, reasonable alternative hypotheses (space aliens are out on this account), we can then go about testing them to see which ones survive the tests: our preferred hypothesis (meat-eating causes disease, in this case) or one of the many others we’ve considered.

This is why the best epidemiologists — the one’s I quote in the NYT Magazine article — think this nutritional epidemiology business is a pseudoscience at best. Observational studies like the Nurses’ Health Study can come up with the right hypothesis of causality about as often as a stopped clock gives you the right time. It’s bound to happen on occasion, but there’s no way to tell when that is without doing experiments to test all your competing hypotheses. And what makes this all so frustrating is that the Harvard people don’t see the need to look for alternative explanations of the data — for all the possible confounders — and to test them rigorously, which means they don’t actually see the need to do real science.

JC comment:  I think the nutritional epidemiology example is a good one, whereby correlation analysis, particularly in the presence of multiple confounding factors, and in the absence of physiological mechanisms, arguably qualifies for the pseudoscience mantle, as suggested by Taube.

Climate science vs pseudo science

So, how should we evaluate the science of climate change in this context?

Any theories for climate change that rely solely on correlation (e.g. celestial motions) that do not posit a physical mechanism may qualify for the pseudoscience mantle if they overinterpret the significance of the results.  The result (correlation) may be scientifically interesting if leads to hypotheses about actual physical mechanisms that can account for the correlation.

In the case of main stream climate science, the physical mechanism for climate change is clearly posited as arising from external forcing:  solar, volcanoes, anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols.  However, climate scientists have not racked their brains anywhere near hard enough to come up with other causal explanations.  The main outstanding causal explanation that has been neglected is internal natural variability of the coupled ocean/atmosphere system.

When people say that the hockey stick and paleoclimate analysis of the last 1000 years isn’t an important part  of the climate change argument, well it should be.  We have been seduced by the relatively flat blade of the hockey stick into thinking that natural internal variability isn’t important.  With improved proxies and analysis methods, we may find out that natural internal variability is significantly larger than is indicated by the Mann et al. reconstructions.

Experiments to test our theories and hypotheses are conducted by the Earth itself.  For each day and for each annual cycle, we demonstrate that our understanding and climate models are generally correct in simulating the warming and cooling (although getting the diurnal and annual cycle of precipitation correct is much more difficult).  Volcanic eruptions serve as another useful experiment; climate models do simulate the expected cooling, but the simulated cooling is often too large for a short duration whereas the observed cooling is shallower and spread over a longer period.   Changes in greenhouse gases provide another experiment.

The concern that I have that insufficient attention is given to developing climate models and conducting climate model experiments to explore the other hypotheses, particularly solar variability and natural internal variability.

However, this concern only implies that  climate change science is far from complete in terms of being able to understand and predict climate change on decadal to century time scales.  It does not imply in any way that climate science is pseudoscience.


604 responses to “Pseudoscience (?)

  1. I’m not sure I’d call it pseudo science so much as corrupt science.

    • Climate science is only a small part of the corrupt system of government science (astronomy, astrophysics, atomic, cosmology, climatology, nuclear, particle, planetary and solar science) that has been seriously compromised since world leaders secretly agreed to unite nations against “global climate change” in ~1971 in order to save themselves and the rest of the world from the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation.

      http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

      They are not at fault for trying to end nationalism and save the world. But they failed to serve the people and unwittingly made people their servants.

      Society has lost confidence in their leadership for obvious reasons. Now we desperately need to find a solution to this dilemma that will not cause further damage to society.

    • Pokerguy, maybe it’s pseudo becaue it’s corrupt.

    • I would call it political science.

    • pokerguy,
      Bingo. Corruption is rampant in climate science, and frankly all science in this age of big science.
      It is the AGW movement that is pseudoscience.

    • John from CA

      What’s in the word?

      If one were to define pseudo-science as almost, approaching, or trying to be science then it fits nicely. The corruption, depending on how you wish to define the term, is largely unintentional yet profound based on the policy decisions associated with the current state of the science.

      Can put the policy decision makers on a timeout to give the science a chance to mature is the question?

      • John from CA

        Dr. Curry,
        It would be refreshing if you posted an article requesting everyone to list the positives.

        We, for various reasons, harp on the negatives but its absolutely amazing to consider Climate and the state of the planet in relation to the things we can all share in common. IMO, this is one of the reasons for complete disgust with the UN and its IPCC fop, they completely blew the best opportunity to bring us all closer.

        The reasons for the failure are largely irrelevant if we have a chance to rescue the important aspects.

        There are so many positive aspects to the effort that has been dedicated to Climate Science and a world view of our planet. It would be tragic if the infant science and our opportunity is thrown away with ignorance.

    • Pokerguy,

      your rigorous analysis has failed to convince me.

  2. Climate science as a whole is not pseudoscience, but parts of paleoclimate, most notably the hockey stick nonsense, are.

    • You have no idea what you are talking about. Get your head out of the blogosphere and read some of the actual literature and then make an actual coherent argument. Just because something is hard, and just because something has many sources of uncertainty does not make something pseudoscience. Nor does your personal dislike for specific people.

      • Do you know who you are talking to?

      • Brilliant !! … I don’t think Joe will show up again too soon.

        Some advice, Joe, if the OP’s signature is a live link go and have a look there first to find out who that person and what their knowledge is.

        It is important for us laypersons to get a proper perspective of the credibility of commentators.

      • Having scanned Jonathan Jones’ excellent credentials, I request his comment on a 1996 peer-reviewed paper in Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics (RQE) that undercuts AGW story:

        V.A. Kotov, “A pulsar inside the Sun?” RQE 39, 811-814 (1996) http://www.springerlink.com/content/j549440457107v36/

        “The Crimean observation of solar oscillations in 1974–1982 showed that the basic period of pulsation of the Sun hidden in its deep interior was equal to P 0=160.0101±0.0001min. More recently, the period was changed to the new value P 1=159.9662±0.0006min, which almost coincided with the annual sidelobe of the former period P 0.

        The amplitude of the P1 oscillation has increased considerably over 1994–1995. We substantiate the hypothesis that
        a) The change in the period was caused by the interaction of the P0 oscillation with the rapid rotation of the solar core and that
        b) The latter has the form of a compact, highly magnetized object like a neutron star rotating with sidereal period P1.

        Translated from Izvestiya Vysshikh Uchebnykh Zavedenii, Radiofizika 39, no. 10, pp. 1210–1214 (October 1996).

        Thank you, Jonathan, for taking the time to consider the possibility that Earth’s heat source may not be a steady H-fusion reactor.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo
        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

      • @ Streetcred | March 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

        Streetcred, do you realty think that; anyone confusing the big / small CONSTANT climatic changes with the phony GLOBAL warmings, has any creditably?!?!?! This is a ”sandpit job” On one side the Warmist – on the other side of the sandpit, the fake Skeptics. Wrrrrm wrrrm wrrrrrrrrrrmmm!! With their little fire trucks and water pistols, cooling the planet, wrrrrrmm!!! You can see the ones that use too often their water pistols = need constantly diapers replaced.They are asking for censorship to anybody disagreeing with them… They think that climate debate is almost as important as plying bingo

        Which person are you referring of having ”credibility”? Not credentials, as in papers; but ”credibility”. So, we can ask him: if climatology is a pseudoscience, if the Pope is a catholic, if Bin Laden is a Muslim; that is the question. If he starts arguing; he is not different than Vaughn Pratt, WebHubTelescope, Jim D, Vukcevic and few others.

        Streetcred, extra heat in the earth’s atmosphere is NOT accumulative. They are not even plying on the sandpit, but on Hansen’s rubbish dump

      • Read literature from the pseudo-scientists, to agree with everything they want you to know. The truth is referred as extreme, by the extremist. ”Closed parashoot brains” is receipt for disaster.

      • Er, yes, he’s talking to a guy with an NMR textbook to sell.

        And what pray has NMR got to do with radiative equilibrium or atmospheric dynamics??

      • JJ got more on de ball dan a fadeaway.
        =================

      • Steve Milesworthy

        It’s obvious to me that “Joe” knows who he is talking to. It’s an apt challenge. It’s all very well for people like “pokerguy” to make throwaway unjustified comments in an attempt to beat Manuel to the “Post Comment” button. “Joe” perhaps expects something a bit more substantive from a clever chap from Oxford.

      • Strike Two.
        =======

      • Umps blind!. Joe, Russell, and Steve, down swinging. RTFM(rulebook) at the Bish’s and the mining assayer’s.
        ==============

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        The mining assayers must have a nasty verbal habit
        And from the all the talk, they’re always going adit

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        ^ couldn’t help it, it just rhymed.

      • ‘to whom’.

        Thanks, Ma.
        =======

      • “read some actual literature”

        Joe: How about MM03 and MM05(GRL) and MM05(EE)? Would those be actual literature?

      • ‘Just because something is hard’

        Converting tree ring widths into some sort of annual temperature average for a region is not hard, it is quite clearly bogus. It is bogus on many levels but the BEST data provides a further statistical argument for their intrinsic ‘crappieness’. The BEST analysis shows during a sustained period of ‘Global’ and regional heating a large fraction of stations show little warming or even cooling. If Mosher is to be believed,and I see no reason to disbelieve him, there is at the moment no way, a prior, to know if a particular local is heating, even if nearby sites are.
        One cannot there for predict if a location where ‘thermometer’ trees have been growing has had the same temperature environment as close by, for distant, weather station records. The BEST station frequency vs temperature change slope means that there is a huge amount of centrality involved in just calibration of ring width with any temperature scale.
        Of course one cannot ever use tree ring density, as recorded using X-Ray images, given the changes of lead in the environment.
        Trees deposit heavy metals, which are very good at absorbing X-rays, in their wood. Indeed, tree ring are analyzed using X-Rays to monitor the levels and history of heavy metal contamination in environmental studies.
        The introduction of tetraethyl lead.into gasoline began in the 1920’s, peaked in the mid-70’s and then disappeared in the 90’s. Typically heavy metals are deposited in hardening wood and so appear in trees rings that pre-date the exposure. This is normally 4-10, depending on species.
        Of course no one would use X-ray density to estimate a temperature signal without measuring the levels of heavy metals, would they?

      • Steven Mosher

        Interesting take on what I’m showing.
        Basically, if you look at long records with great coverage (99%) you will find that roughly 10-15% have statistically significant cooling trends.
        1. I know I need to rework the Confidence intervals to account for autocorrelation. That will probably drive the % down.
        2. Then I have to eliminate non climate related causes.

        At that point, you might have an interesting phenomena to discuss.
        I don’t think it has any bearing on AGW, but reconstructions might be a different matter. usually a recon will use a grid box to calibrate against.
        That’s always been an interesting question in my mind. what temp do you use?

      • Mosher, your frequency vs rate plot is very interesting with regard to reconstruction. Either moving an equal distance either side of the mean mean rate gives us positions that are as likely to be sampled, but generating different slopes.
        When you are selecting a very small number of tree cores, and then joining them together to generate a long time series, you do not know where each tree sits on the distribution. Stitching together trees on either side of the mean will completely screw the series, as you are applying an homogenized temperature profile to a heterogeneous population. Thus, one not only has to worry if individual trees respond to an uniform temperature signal in different ways, w.r.t. tree ring deposition, but you also have to know the range of possible temperature changes that may exist in a group of trees that are separated by distance.
        I suspect, but do not Cassandra-like prophetize, that the distribution of rates will be greater in areas that are high altitude and in areas furthest from the equator.

      • These are the BEST stations cooling at 10 year intervals in the box Latitude 25N to 70N and Longitude 160W to 60W.

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/cooling-weather-stations-by-decade-from-1880-to-2000/

      • US County population growth (or shrinkage) correlates with cooling stations reasonably well.

        It may be that any warming above the natural warming is just UHI.

        http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/county-population-statistics-and-coolingwarming-stations-since-1900/

        1956 Stations with data in 2011 and 1900.

        1320 were warming and 636 were cooling.

        1213 of those I could match to the table of US Counties.

        1089 distinct counties.

        562 of those counties had more warming stations than cooling.

        496 had more cooling stations than warming.

        31 had an equal number of cooling and warming stations.

        Warming Counties had a mean temperature change of .0692C/decade.

        Warming counties had a mean population increase of 174,361.

        Warming counties on average grew by 648% from 1900 to 2011.

        Cooling counties had a mean temperature change of -.0573C/decade.

        Cooling counties had a mean population increase of 39,060.

        Cooling counties on average grew by 194% for 1900 to 2011.

      • Steven Mosher

        Unfortunately bruce.

        1. The QC data is not the FINAL QC, so you again are not being very careful. If you want to use the QC data you have two choices
        A) apply the FINAL QC flags in the flags.txt file
        B) run the matlab code and extract the data after scalpel.

        So, again, you are using data without understanding what you are doing.

        2. “cooling” like “warming” requires that you calculate a UNCERTAINTY
        for the trends. You don’t do that.

        3. Complete coverage in the records. The presence of cooling and high rates of warming is sensitive to having complete records. So, As I’ve pointed out before in your attempts to cherry pick, you need to apply sound methods.

      • Mosher, I compared the trend of QC to the trend of Seasonality Removed. Miniscule changes so far for 1900 to 2011 trends.

        There are huge UNEXPLAINED changes from SV to QC Singel Value) though.

        I am NOT cherry picking. I am using YOUR data and looking at trends based on County Population changes over the last 110 years.

        If the data is crap, its not my fault.

      • Steven Mosher

        Further bruce, you cannot use county population data. The empirical studies that exist on UHI all indicate that population DENSITY in the local area is the variable that has significance. In fact, in the china study one had to go down to the neighborhood level. Moreoever, the real determinate is the transformations that dense population makes to the landform. There is a reason why you will find no literature about the relationship between county population and UHI in cities. And there is a reason why all studies look at the population where the measurements are actually taken. Thats because the population density drives changes to the landscape where the temperatures are taken.

        Some research you might read before fooling yourself some more

        “Quantifying urban heat island effects and human comfort for cities
        of variable size and urban morphology in the Netherlands”

        “Land-use and meteorological aspects of the
        urban heat island”

        Assessment with satellite data of the urban heat island effects in Asian mega cities
        Hung Trana, , , Daisuke Uchihamab, Shiro Ochib, Yoshifumi Yasuokab

      • Mosher: “you cannot use county population data”

        I can and I did and there was a significant trend difference.

        Warming counties were the ones that grew the fastest. Cooling ones were the ones growing slowest.

        Humans have an influence. Buildings, industry , roads, vegetation changes, waste heat from all those changes.

        Yes, DENSITY is probably the key. If a county is the same size in 2010 as it was in 1900 and the population is 600% higher, the DENSITY of people, buildings etc has changed.

      • @ DocMartyn | March 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
        Doc, agronomist and lumberjack will tell you that: 101 factors affect the density of individual tree. But those professions are honest. In one orchard, many trees have different thickens rings – they get same amount of water and fertilizer. In nature is pure luck for every individual tree. The trees in mid Pacific, where water is 3-4km deep, are ignored; even though Pacific is 30 times larger than California + England combined.

        Just the ”attempt” to use tree rings for temperature is a proof of pseudoscience. Teacup reading is much more reliable and less harm done. For a start, tree gets bigger rings when is milder climate, more H2O present, not hotter planet. Ask the trees in Sahara and Brazil – trees don’t tell lies, climatologist doo. Top daily temp in Amazon basin is much lower than in Sahara are those two places on different ”globes”. Briffa and Mann are still on the lose. Climatologist like them legalized extortion

      • Thanks for the junk comment—it had as much informative content as the average warmmonger rant…

    • Exactly my thoughts reading the article.

      Climate science as a whole is not pseudoscience. There are individuals within climate science who do practice pseudoscience. This isn’t unusual; pseudoscience practitioners may choose many fields. But such people would be called out quickly in other fields.

      My biggest complaint would be the “silence of the lambs” as Steve McIntyre puts it: the refusal of the wider climate community to speak out against activist pseudoscience within its own community, and to brand criticism as pseudoscience even when valid grounds exist for those criticisms.

      Although if there were more Judith Currys, Pielke Srs and Hans von Storchs climate science would be a better place I think :-)

      • And what is “climate science as a whole”? IPCC’s claims, or are you including anything any “denier” scientist may bring on a paper?

      • I mean the entire field of climate science. I thought that much would have been obvious, no?

      • @ plazaeme | March 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm

        Mate, you don’t need to be a climatologist, to know which is bad or good climate. You don’t need to be a bird, to know if the egg is rotten – climatology is rotten to the last dollar. There is on many places good climate, on other is bad climate – all you need is eyes, common sense and some honesty; to know what controls the climate. Trees around Kyoto city, with 1000% more CO2 are healthier, with bigger rings; than in Australian desert. Do you need to wait 100 years, to be able to see that?!.

    • Jonathan, I tend to agree. There is a great deal of over confidence in parts of the field that over rides curiosity.

    • I would argue that no science can be reasonably described pseudo-science unless the balance of its practice is pseudo-scientific or if those within the subject, who do not practice pseudo-science, do not rally to reject the pseudo-scientific findings of those who do.

      I agree that climate science is not itself pseudo-science but there surely was a deafening silence from within the subject when facile pseudo-scientific practices were exposed by Climategate. For whichever reason one might ascribe, this failure by the scientific community en masse to cut out this cancerous growth has done nothing to remedy, and has arguably served directly to further diminish, climate science’s descent into the realm of pseudo-science.

      Just as the wildly pseudo-scientific health-beneficial claims of the British Chiropractic Association were insufficiently refuted by its collective membership – even though one surely knows there are many chiropractitioners who knew absolutely that these claims were suspect, but remained silent to enjoy the financial benefits of busy waiting rooms – far too many within the climate science community have failed in their duty as scientists to reject pseudo-scientific practices within their ranks.

      Obviously, and notably, some have rightly spoken out against the practices which have been uncovered – Judy and Richard Muller being the most obvious to point out – but, rather than the ideologically motivated politicians and CAGW policy supporters on the ground, it is the labelling of scientists like these as heretics and “deniers” by climate scientists (and the abject failure of the climate science community to respond to these labels) which ultimately condemns climate science and earns it the label pseudo-science.

      If climate science really is a swan, when is someone going to take issue with it walking and talking like a duck?

    • Ah yes, the arrogance of physicists. As one told Myanna Lahsen
      ——————————-
      they think they know everything, because they’re smart. What they don’t understand is that yes, it is true, actually meteorology is a branch of physics. And so you take a physicist, like me, and you can sit him down, and in 2 or 3 years, they could learn meteorology. But physicists confuse being smart and having the ability to learn everything with actually knowing stuff!
      —————————–

      which, of course, goes double for paleoclimate. Jones, could, of course, talk with the folk in the Atmospheric and Climate groups at Oxford.

      • The arrogance of climateers is a bigger problem. Knowing stuff and pretending to know stuff are quite different. There are altogether too many folk pretending to know how nature works and then nature just goes and contradicts them all the time. You don’t need to understand any science to be able to quite plainy see:
        ,predictions of neverending droughts a year before the floods come.
        .predictions of increasing hurricane intensity just before a huge reduction of same.
        .predictions of long hot summers that precede record cold, wet summers.
        .predictions of warm winters that precede record cold winters.
        .linking weather events to warming with no backup theory whatsoever and ignoring real data that contradicts the assertion.
        .predictions of ever rising temperatures that then stall and doggedly refuse to rise.
        .dismissal of natural variation as declining, just prior to having to use it an excuse for why a prediction turned out wrong.
        .etc, etc.

      • Eli Rabett said| March 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
        Ah yes, the arrogance of physicists. As one told Myanna Lahsen they think they know everything, because they’re smart

        Bunny, is lying, jihadism smart; that is your interpretation of ”smartness”

        Yes, everything in nature is controlled by the laws of physics; physicists and engineers should be the ones to clear the mess. Unfortunately, only fanatics are involved in the phony GLOBAL warming blogosphere. You, as a ”Methane Jihadists”. was the best example: scaring the people that: cows are firing methane into the stratosphere – is turned into water ”wetting the stratosphere and then that water escaping the earth’s gravity off the edge of the stratosphere = because of the evil methane, earth is losing water” Panic, BOO!!!

        The Fake Skeptics love lies, not one of them would point that: -”the moon has much, much smaller gravity pull; but against a bigger earth’s gravity – makes a mess of the water in the sea – therefore, if a water molecule is on the other side of the moon; the earth with much more powerful gravity would have puled those water molecules back to here. By me pointing that: 300-400km up, if it wasn’t earth’s gravity – the satellite’s gyroscope wouldn’t work. I have being blacklisted by both camps, for pointing out the truth all the time. Because both camps suffer from ”truth phobia” same as fungi and mildew suffers from the sunlight.

        Bunny, you should stop hating so-much people that enjoy a nice, fat, thick, juicy, blood dripping stake. Don’t feel sorry for you surviving on lentils and mung beans sprouts, as a wind bag. If your ancestors were omnivore, you survive on rabbit food by choice and stupidity; don’t hate other omnivore human . Physics is brilliant knowledge – used by nature and engineers; but that knowledge is guillotined by fanatics like you; thanks to the ”Fake Skeptics” They ”pretend” to correcting the Warming’s misleadings = clime moral high ground… in reality, they are the most morally depraved people. The only thing they have proven is: that human can get lower than the snake’s belly. they will be the story / joke for 100years.

        Eli, tell the Fakes that: for a big grunt given, you will be supervising a research how can bulls fire rockets instead of methane, out of the troposphere; for the military. Fakes cannot live on Ian Plimer’s crap only, monotony is boring in the cuckoo’s clouds

  3. It was a close call though wasn’t it? :)

  4. Pseudoscience lies in the use of the results. Misapplication of valid research is also a great problem. We can show that CO2 can effect the transmission of infrared radiation through air. Concluding that CO2 is a major driver of the Earth’s climate simply because its concentration change can show a correlation to a slight shift in an averaged temperature trend is not itself pseudoscience. It is merely a guess to be tested. Applying a guess but unvalidated by physical measurement in the climate system to engineering practice and economic planning makes is the aspect we must call pseudoscience.

    Note here that multiple runs of multiple modeling programs can only serve to tune your guess about how things in the real world work. They cannot be claimed to test the validity of the guess. (Claiming the models reproduce historic trends does not prove they have predictive ability. A tenth order polynomial could likely produce as good a fit but would trend to positive or negative infinity within a few years after then end of the available historic data.)

    • Gary you have it exactly. The first proposition is that CO2 is a GHG, then that it has increased in the atmosphere and the natural forcings we know about don’t explain the rise in temperature, so it must be caused by CO2. I don’t suppose that can be described as pseudoscience unless the scientists saying it started out with the belief that CO2 has caused recent warming and stopped looking once their beliefs were confirmed. Isn’t that what they’ve done?

      One thing I do regard as pseudoscience, apart from agreeing with Jonathan Jones on the hockeystick, is the gathering of worldwide temperature data and telling the public that you have produced a global temperature anomoly from them.

  5. Pielke Senior would say that models are not experiments, they are hypothesizing (sp?) tools, so getting on with model development is really not doing a Feynmanesque “experiment”

  6. Judy, you may want to correct the typo in your title. Psuedoscience is pseudo-pseudoscience, not the real thing. :=)

  7. John Kosowski

    I saw an interview with Michael Mann wherein he talked about the evidence that supports AGW. He restates the hockey stick conclusion that the recent warming is unusual, but then goes on to state about the evidence that the warming is our fault: “that conclusion has actually been established by taking models, theoretical models of the climate and subjecting them both to natural factors like volcanic eruptions and changes in behavior of the sun and human factors of increasing ghg concentrations, and what those more recent studies show is that you can’t explain that anomalous recent warming from natural factors, we can only explain it when we include the effect of humans on the planet.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3454652.htm
    at 2:40.
    So the scientific “consensus” is completely based on models and the inability of such to explain recent warming based on natural factors? We don’t know what else is causing the warming, so it must be the CO2?
    Are the people reconstructing the temperatures for the hockey stick “neutral” or do they have strong ideological beliefs about human caused climate change? What about those creating and running the models?
    Is that “science?” Or is it “curve fitting?”

    • It would be curve fitting, it they were using real data. This is something much different from Science and much different from curve fitting.

    • Doug Badgero

      I don’t understand how someone with a PHD can make such a fallacious argument. Isn’t a basic understanding of logic a requirement to get that degree?

      • Dr. Curry said “However, climate scientists have not racked their brains anywhere near hard enough to come up with other causal explanations… The concern that I have that insufficient attention is given to developing climate models and conducting climate model experiments to explore the other hypotheses, particularly solar variability and natural internal variability.”

        So I think she gets that, and I guess many other climate scientists have similar feelings. On the other hand, I don’t think this is so much a failure of logic as a failure of imagination, curiosity, will and possibly funding. I think the empirical inductive logic always falls short of strict deductive logic. The problem is insufficient attention to the obvious elephants in the room, not the logical possibility that mice may always lurk there also. There would be no end to the latter.

      • Trust me Doug, a PhD is no gaurantee of being able to perform science.

    • Mann was pretty confident that there was no global MWP. Just a little regional hick-up.

      There appear to be some in the paleo community that may believe otherwise. It is nice to see some of the time series that run full length. Trees may not be good thermometers, but there is some information that they may contain.

    • Mann’s “reasoning” is bogus because the Hockey Stick itself is bogus. Mann uses the Hockey Stick as something against which to hold up the value of models. Purporting to show the value of something using a pseudo scientific construct is hutzpah, if nothing else.

      How many times do we need to remind ourselves before we acknowledge that this construct which remains at the heart of “climate science”, a construct which, all its other fundamental flaws -discussed ad nauseam- aside, demonstrably contains an entire data series spliced into it upside down so as to fit the “message” of the graph, is not science. It’s at best pseudo science on par with homeopathy and astrology, and in scientific disciplines such physics or the bio sciences would be dismissed as such.

      In the private sector the Hockey Stick would be treated as the deliberate manipululation and distortion of data and information in order to obtain desired outcomes – as e.g. in the Enron accounting or Vioxx clinical trials cases- and procecuted as fraud. In both those cases, those responsible are serving jail sentences ranging from 25 to 40 years.

      I have often wondered how long “scientists” like e.g. Mann, Hansen and Jones would continue with their dishonesties if they knew that they potentially faced the same penalties as in the Enron and Vioxx cases. Arguing that the same rules don’t/shouldn’t apply because we’re somehow dealing with “science” and “academic freedom” is twisted thinking and simplistic nonsense in light of the fact that in most developed economies today multi-billion dollar policies with profound socio-economic consequences are being implemented on the basis of their kind of pseudo scientific fraud.

      • “I have often wondered how long “scientists” like e.g. Mann, Hansen and Jones would continue with their dishonesties if they knew that they potentially faced the same penalties as in the Enron and Vioxx cases.”

        Difference is, Mann, Hansen and Jones have government funding agencies backup to flaws. If they were punished, so would be the government agencies and therefore they were all safe to flaws, pseudoscience practices and promoting pseudoscience such as the EPA.

    • @ John Kosowski | March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      John, if you believe that is a GLOBAL warming, don’t blame Michael Mann. You chose to believe in their lies, that IS a GLOBAL warming. Saying that: ”is a global warming” is loaded / misleading comment. Mann didn’t force you, to believe and spread lies. GLOBAL warming is inside your head, not outside the door. Extra heat in the troposphere is not accumulative; laws of physics say so. You have chosen not to believe in the laws of of physics; what that does make you?

      John. look at their GLOBAL temperature charts. They all look as the Richter seismologic charts – one year warmer than the next, by how much?! They know by a thousandth of a degree the GLOBAL temp; is monitored on only 0,000000000000000001% of troposphere ESSENTIAL to know the temp overall. Briffer and Mann are still on the lose, because of gullible ignorants like you. Have a heart for people that don’t believe, but are paying billions of $$$ for your stupidity

  8. This is an easy one. Climate Science is unable to establish any verifiable information. And that is the way it’s currently intended to operate: that no future possibilities can ever invalidate it’s theories. Pseudoscience.

    Andrew

    • Good point, after all the “science is settled”.
      By making the claim that the science is settled, you are effectively transforming climate science into pseudoscience.

  9. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Climate models are incapable of either incorporating the effect from increased atmospheric CO2 or predicting temperatures into the future beyond a week or two. The AGW hypothesis is based on climate models using a fabricated CO2 forcing parameter which has not been justified to any scientific standard and the output in W/m^2 is converted to degrees C using another fabrication in the form of a climate sensitivity factor which also has never been justified to a scientific standard.
    All three scenarios of Hansen’s 1988 model projections used by the IPCC have been wrong and for the past decade the world has been cooling when the climate models say it should be warming.

    Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

    Climate science based on actual physical data is valid science but when climate science is based on fabricated output from models which are not even capable of making such predictions it is not science!

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      I agree Norm that what comes out of models is garbage but it is a big call to pronounce the possibility that climate science is pseudoscience. Of course it’s not, it is the understanding of a physical phenomena not a theoretical construct.

      “”All three scenarios of Hansen’s 1988 model projections used by the IPCC have been wrong and for the past decade the world has been cooling when the climate models say it should be warming.””

      The development of models has nurtured sets of powerful analytical programs and with the correct effects regarding irradiation of atmospheric gases they could become useful tools.

      It is interesting when you compare Hansen’s doubling Co2 sensitivity against that of Venus. Hansen would comment that it is the temperature change that is important, but nevertheless, I think it is curious that the ratio of CO2 in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth is actually 965,000ppm to 393.63 ppm (http://co2now.org/) this equates to 2,451:1. This means it would take 11.3 doubling of CO2 to equalize concentrations.

      Taking the IPCC’s ‘best estimate’ of 3.degC doubling (AR4), the corresponding effect on Venusian temperatures should be ~33.9K;
      Now place Earth in Venus’s orbit and you can surmise the surface temperature as; 288*(1.91^0.25) = 338.7K. Add 11.3 times Co2 doubling being 33.9K = 372.6K. Observed surface temperatures on Venus are actually 738K.

      If it is the composition of the atmosphere and not mass under pressure that drives temperature why the difference in observed surface temperatures when compared this way?

      :-)

      • scepticalWombat

        As a first guess to your question about Venus I would say that the concentration is not the important thing – the important thing is the total amount of CO2 in the two planets’ atmospheres. So you need to multiply the concentrations by the total mass in each case to get comparable figures -and since the mass of the Venusian atmosphere is much greater than that of Earth the discrepancy should be somewhat reduced.

    • @ Norm Kalmanovitch | March 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Norm; your ”world cooling since 99” is same LIE, as Hansen’s GLOBAL warming. Blaming Hansen, but not yourself – only your hypocrisy stench increases. Before 98 the planet wasn’t getting warmer – they lied that it does = after they had to show that warming increases by unprecedented increase in CO2. Because there is no such a thing as ”GLOBAL warming” Warmist have to rely on vermin like you, to keep them on the center-stage. Give one GENUINE single proof that ”the planet is cooling, that the planet is cooler today, than in 98. You get your proofs / evidences of GLOBAL warmings / coolings as Hansen, Mann; from thin air.

      Sorry Norm, nothing personal, just I’m occasionally pointing sick hypocrisy to secular people that are visiting climatic blogs occasionally, without commenting; just surfing. It’s as much of them, maybe even more; than the permanent fanatics from both camps, that comment regularly. For the secular believer / skeptical; to know that: your PHONY cooling is much more harmful, than Mann’s warming.

  10. For the most part ‘global warming’ is a hypothesis, and it is all pretty vague when it comes to actual definitions and from there tests that would refute it. Like, how many more years do the temperatures have to remain flat before the hypothesis is considered to be wrong?

    So to debate whether it qualifies as pseudoscience, which is also pretty vaguely defined and lacks any form of test, is pretty much pointless in the same way. It is a test of whether a person is hostile to the idea of it, that’s about it.

  11. Willis Eschenbach

    When you advance your claims without first establishing and then falsifying the null hypothesis, that’s pseudoscience in my book, and much of climate “science” falls squarely in that category.

    When you repeatedly claim that model results are evidence, that’s pseudoscience in my book, and much of climate “science” falls squarely in that category.

    When a number of the leading scientists in a field are caught with their hands in the cookie jar and very few scientists in the same field complain or even comment, that’s not pseudoscience … but it is concrete evidence that the field is severely corrupted.

    Climate “science” is one sick puppy, and since most practitioners keep insisting that everything is just fine and dandy, I have little hope for an early return to health.

    w.

    • Willis:

      This is the line from the thread that caught my attention:

      “conducting climate model experiments”

    • “When a number of the leading scientists in a field are caught with their hands in the cookie jar and very few scientists in the same field complain or even comment”

      Ay, that is the key to people not taking it seriously regardless of it’s merits. There was no shortage of people crying foul when it came out that Hwang Woo-suk faked his cloning research. He was fired, faced criminal charges, and is no longer a voice in that field.

      Climate science is full of ethical lapses and data corruptions – no problem, but why are those same voices (and their studies) still leading the way? That points to a larger corruption, be it bullying or collusion, making the whole thing damaged goods.

      • “Climate science is full of ethical lapses and data corruptions – no problem, but why are those same voices (and their studies) still leading the way?”

        Their cause, their mission, is to help create a world government. They still have a way to go yet. In time we will all see how far they got after all.

      • “when it came out that Hwang Woo-suk faked his cloning research. He was fired, faced criminal charges, and is no longer a voice in that field”

        Actually it went way deeper than that. They did a whole deep scrub, getting rid of a lot of biological scientists who matched a particular ‘type’; a lot of the old guard were kicked out.
        They also bought back a lot ‘clean hands’ Koreans who were senior post-Docs or junior faculty in the US. A friend of my who had just got a post at Cornell was offered an very nice senior position back home.
        The age profile of the biology based departments underwent a big drop.

      • @ robin | March 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

        Robin, brilliantly said. You should be on the jury; when time for ”truth and reconciliation” comes. Imagine if that was happening in medicine, what the self proclaimed ”climatologist experts” are doing…

  12. My wife reads several of those healthy living magazines and is always trying to get me to do this or that change to my diet.

    My grandfather, who was a coal miner, who started smoking at about 12 years old and probably drinking not long after that, lived to 93. My other grandfather, who didn’t have half as hard of a life, died at 53 (I never knew him, as my mom was 13 at the time). I’m convinced that genetics is the over arching factor in health. Everything else is just playing around at the edges.

  13. When a hypothesis is unfalsifiable, that renders it pseudoscientific. Therefore if, when any weather event occurs, it is claimed by climate scientists to be “consistent with” climate change, such a comment gives weight to the claim that the hypothesis is unfalsifiable, and therefore not properly scientific.

    Has anyone heard a climate scientist say, EVER, that a weather event is inconsistent with the hypothesis of AGW?

    http://auscm.co/FPzgLU

    Simon
    Australian Climate Madness

    • When a hypothesis is unfalsifiable, that renders it pseudoscientific. ….

      Example:
      Eh? … Can you speak louder, I’m not (listening to …) hearing you!

      ‘Subjectivity’ is selective listening … or rather … confirmation bias

      As for “unfalsifiable hypotheses”? … I like to call that ad hominem dismissive … or rather … We don’t have to listen to you. Ignorance is our prerogative … It is a deliberately blinded “awareness” … or rather … (AGW) ‘denial’
      ___________

      I am deliberately playing multiple sides to the argument. (… that is how it is to be (subjective) selective

      Is being ‘selective’ right or wrong? :-)

    • @ Simon From-Sydney | March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

      Have you ever heard any of those self-proclaimed Nostradamuses saying: climate is changing, will be more rain in Sahara and in the center of Australia = that will improve the climate?! It’s not their fault; the Urban Sheep doesn’t want to be fleeced, when everything is good ahead, therefore, it’s people’s fault. I speak in Climatologist’ defense.

  14. In the case of climate science, one major flaw is that most mainstream climatologists have started with a working hypothesis (namely, GHG cause global warming) and all their efforts thenceforth have been directed to support that hypothesis, and to turn it into an alarming prospect of very much global warming, e.g. by adopting a relatively high value for climate sensitivity. No major attempt has been made in mainstream climatology to falsify the original hypothesis, or to seriously explore the possibility that perhaps sensitivity is much lower. The certainty of model projections has been grossly exaggerated (or their uncertainty consistently understated, to put it in a gentler way). The magnitude of adverse effects has been generally overstated, even to the point of making scary predictions for the near future that –so far– have failed to materialize at the established deadline, or are not going at the pace required to meet the projections. A number of unexpected results have been emerging, but all the efforts are directed at reducing their significance as in the case temperatures not rising for more than a decade in spite of increasing CO2 concentrations (the missing heat might be hidden in the deep oceans); or tree rings not showing enlargement but shrinking for half a century after 1960, in spite of observed warming (one may use some innocent “trick” to hide the decline, such as not using the unwanted data).

    No serious attempt at falsification, no career devoted to that purpose, at least not in mainstream climate science. Only some solitary voices, from elderly professors and the odd Nobel prize winner, and a host of amateurs in blogs. Most young and energetic climatologists just follow the trend. It seems like Max Planck upside down. Planck famously said that a theory gets superseded not by persuasion but by the demographic process whereby old timers that believe in the old theory are gradually replaced by younger minds that adopt the new theory. But in this case it seems to be running backwards: older physicists and climatologists do not participate in the confirmatory effort around climate change models, while their younger colleagues do. Neither does the required Popperian work of trying (and trying hard) to disprove the mainstream theory, the former because they are mostly retired, the latter because their whole careers are invested in the opposite direction.

    Besides the non existence of sustained efforts towards falsification, another important constraint is that most of the issues are not about experimental results but about model projections, which are based on scenarios and are, by definition, not falsifiable. So the task of any falsifier would be hard. Many model parameters are hardly written in stone: most are rough estimates that have wide uncertainty margins, and even those estimates and their uncertainty margins are themselves based on debatable assumptions (e.g. estimates of climate sensitivity) and poor or incomplete understanding of the processes at play (e.g. clouds).

    On top of all that, there is a wide and powerful current of ideological persuasion and policy advocacy underlying research on climate change. Many non-scientists display strong activism for or against any particular proposition in climate science, and scientists are themselves, more often than not, clearly engaged on one side or another in the political controversy surrounding the climate. The dispassionate approach of science, which looks only for the truth, is difficult to adopt in such environment.
    All this does not turn the whole of climate science into a pseudoscience, but many of the classical components are there, and probably some specific fields within climatology have been more heavily affected by pseudoscientific influences. It is time for climate scientists to distance themselves from the fray, and put their act together in a more sensible way.

  15. I agree that

    “insufficient attention is given to developing climate models and conducting climate model experiments to explore the other hypotheses, particularly solar variability and natural internal variability.”

    Pseudoscience is too strong a characterization. However, from my peanut gallery perspective, it appears that many global warming advocates (aka “climate scientists”) exhibit an unusual frequency of such “pseudo science” characteristics in many in their “claim(s), belief(s), or practice(s)”. e.g., using characteristics from the definition above:

    does not adhere to a valid scientific method
    Will the IPCC/”catastrophic anthropogenic global warming establishment” correct their models when tested against how well they match the evidence compared to competing theories? e.g. see Scafetta prediction widget update March 2012 and Graph through Jan 2012

    lacks supporting evidence
    Is there any evidence supporting regional decadal climate models?
    Roger Pielke addresses:
    Climate Science Malpractice – The Promotion Of Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Model Projections As Skillful
    Pielke Sr., R.A., and R.L. Wilby, 2012: Regional climate downscaling – what’s the point? Eos Forum, 93, No. 5, 52-53, doi:10.1029/2012EO050008
    Pielke notes: “There is an informative news article that illustrates why multi-decadal regional predictions of changes in climate statistics are of no valueNews Article “Global Climate Models ‘Need Regional Sensitivity’” by Christine Ottery In SciDev.Net

    cannot be reliably tested
    Can the IPCC/GWMs be “reliably tested”? Or are the models continuously tuned to fit the evidence to date? With more than 100 parameters, can the models ever be validated or dissproven? e.g. see discussion at Climate model verification and validation etc.

    exaggerated or unprovable claims,
    Does Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth represent Climate Science?
    See: 35 Inconvenient Truths – The errors in Al Gore’s movie

    an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation
    Judith Curry observed re Lindsen & Choi Part II:

    potentially important papers by skeptics get “special treatment”, whereas unimportant and often dubious papers by consensus scientists slide right through.

    Compare some evidence against predictions:
    Dr David Evans: The Skeptic’s Case

    “It’s 20 years now, and the average rate of increase in reality is below the lowest trend in the range predicted by the IPCC.”
    “The ocean temperature has been basically flat since we started measuring it properly, and not warming as quickly as the climate models predict.”
    “In reality there was no hotspot, not even a small one. So in reality there is no amplification – the amplification shown in Figure 1 does not exist”
    etc.

    a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts
    Phil Jones

    ‘why should I share my data with you, you’ll just try to find something wrong with it?’

    a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.
    Does “climate science” have any systematic process to rationally distinguish between cause and effect in climate? See: CHICKEN OR EGG QUESTIONS (FALL 2009 AGU PRESENTATION)

    Spencer argues that scientists can’t measure feedbacks the way that people have traditionally tried to do it. “My question to them was, ‘How do you know it wasn’t fewer clouds that caused the warm years, rather than the other way around?’ It turns out they didn’t know. They couldn’t answer that question.”

    In Self-organizing model of the atmosphere October 17, 2011, Frank Lemke observes:

    no direct influence of CO2 on global temperature has been identified for the best models. . .If we believe them, it is the sun, ozone, aerosols, and clouds – and possibly other forces not considered in this model – that drive global temperature in an interdependent and complex way. . . .
    This alone makes it an ill-defined modeling problem . . .
    there is a serious methodological problem in climate modeling.

    I look forward to “climate science” joining the “hard sciences” with full objective transparent unbiased verified models which give clear predictions that have been validated. Climate science will really have come of age when at least a third of the budgets are given given to “red teams” commissioned with trying to refute the models and “kick the tires.” Popularly, this will be shown when “believe” in “climate change” is no longer used as an equivocation for “believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. “Believe” in this context is a political or religious and not a scientific statement.

    I especially look forward to the capability to differentiate between “cause vs effect” and discovering whether warming causes fewer clouds or fewer clouds cause warming, and whether increased CO2 causes warming or warming causes increased CO2 (or both).

    Temperature lagging forcing appears to be one key differentiator. See David Stockwell’s Solar accumulation theory.

    • Policies to control global warming proceed despite the lack of validation of models. e.g. see: EU climate chief braced for backlash

      Ms Hedegaard has also taken a hard line against oil derived from tar sands – a stance that has attracted far less attention than the airline row, but which has threatened a pending EU-Canada free trade agreement.

      Poland vetoes EU emissions plan

      long-term plan to reduce emissions by more than 80 per cent by 2050. . . .
      we must redouble our efforts in explaining to Poland that shifting to a low carbon economy is part of long- term growth in Europe,” Mr Davey said.

  16. ‘How many parameters? Give me four parameters and I’ll draw you an elephant: give me five and I’ll waggle its trunk.’ attributed to Linus Pauling

    Atmospheric and oceanic simulations cross the line into psuedo-science when they are used to ‘project’ temperature into the far future. That they are then defended as ‘boundary problems’ that converge on an average climate state is far less mathematics than wish fulfillment. The mathematics of climate models insist that solutions diverge chaotically as a result of small differences in both initial and boundary conditions.

    Even in the shorter the proper purpose of models is – perhaps – exploring causes and couplings. Although it seems that a ‘full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

    Solutions in both cases are chosen based on the behaviour of the solution after the fact. Non-unique inputs result in solutions that are arbitrarily distant to a degree that is not known. So we have results that are based on arbitrary choices and models that from consideration of fundamental mathematical principles can’t possibly provide the results on climate or attribution that are claimed?

    ‘Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.’

    How are AOS not pseudo-science?

    • “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with
      four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can
      make him wiggle his trunk.”

      Quote from Enrico Fermi

      • Yeah I thought that was von Neumann too. But it’s amazing to me, how often it happens this way: I look up a quotation thinking I know who said it first, and it turns out otherwise, or even apochryphal. Sigh.

      • You may be right – I had heard it and googled to get the exact quote where it was attributed to Pauling. Where are we if we can’t depend on the internet to be accurate?

      • “We’re doomed! Doomed!” –Dr. Smith

  17. There’s a bit of either/or fallacy in the idea that climate science is “either” pseudo science “or” it’s not. I believe it muddies the water a good bit to leave the formulation of the issue there.

    It is universally true that any predictive science has a degree of uncertainty associated with it. Therefore, the value (formal inductive sense of the word) of an argument or proposition is dependent on the degree of probability with which it can be held. i.e. “There’s an 80% chance of rain tomorrow.” Actually what that statement says is that there’s an 80% probability that a binary formulation (rain or no rain) will tend to manifest in one of the possible binary states rather than the other. (Understanding this helped me to get over my loathing of the evening TV weather people.)

    In this case, we would evaluate the quality of the weather person’s predictions by seeing if his/her predictions mapped to being correct 80% or better of the time. Sadly, I’ve done this casually in our area (central coast CA). It actually bears out…for awhile that is. Typically, predictive quality persists until a major, ongoing weather pattern changes. The most notable recurring events in our area seem to be El Nino and patterns that develop in the Gulf of Alaska that yank the jet stream north and south. When either, both or other substantial regional weather patterns occur, the weather people look like absolute blithering loons until their spreadsheet models catch up to current state. (Typically, if the change resulted in unexpected rain, the 10 day forecast will show rain continuing until forever, until such time as the spreadsheet stabilizes.) In short, when I hear about a major weather pattern changing in the winter, I keep a damn jacket in my truck all the time.

    The point is with a few very profound exceptions (JCurry being first among those in my experience to date), the “climate” debate hinges on both sides claiming degrees of certainty that the nature of the problem does not support. I propose that it furthers the argument when the Joe Friday approach is used in place pejorative labeling, i.e. “Just the facts ma’am.” While it might be tempting to call something that looks ridiculous pseudo science, it’s probably better just to focus on looking at the details that seem to support a particular conclusion rather than spouting over arching indictment. (As a corollary, the idea that “But he started it!”…think IPCC…isn’t helpful either.) We can leave the commentary, name calling and rebuttal to talk radio, politicians and all others who know all and are unselfish enough to share their brilliance persistently and incessantly with the rest of us.

  18. Regardless the vast uncertainties at play, climate science as such isn’t pseudo (nor is the CO2-hypothesis). It is humans that make it pseudo, e.g claiming its results as robust and unquestionable.

    Climate science is for sure infested by some people having a hard time differing the ethos of science from ideology. And that’s the main root of (climate)pseudoscience.

  19. Leonard Weinstein

    Judy,
    I read the Wikipedia definition of pseudoscience carefully, and it seems to me to fit the more strongly quoted AGW and CAGW claims almost perfectly. I could go through each part in more detail, to show this, but I think you also understand this. However, you and others seem to keep confusing what the skeptics are skeptical of. We do not disagree with recent global warming (and cooling, and other climate variation), and we do not disagree that CO2 and other human caused activity adds some to the warming. It is the magnitude and future trends we are in general disagreement with, based on reality.

    • Leonard, I do not know who your we is. Some of us certainly do question these things. There appears to have been no recent warming. Nor is it clear that humans have had anything to do with any warming that may have occurred. These are precisely the kind of unfounded claims that are giving climate science a bad name, or rather bad names, including pseudo.

    • ” we do not disagree that CO2 and other human caused activity adds some to the warming”

      Lack of energy sense? Or lack of CO2 physical property knowledge?

      • @ SamNC | March 21, 2012 at 3:57 am | said:
        ” we do not disagree that CO2 and other human caused activity adds some to the warming”

        Yes, we do disagree, SamNC; HUMAN ACTIVITY DOESN’T CONTRIBUTE TO ANY global WARMING, not one bit!!! Human contributes in changing the climate – for better and for worse; but human has NOTHING to do with the phony GLOBAL warmings! Climatic changes a natural phenomena; GLOBAL warmings are a phenomenal LIES!!! Don’t be part of that lie Sam. There are mild and extreme climates – lack of water = extreme climate / regular water available = mild climate. GLOBAL warming is same as Santa – inserted into the immature’s heads. Only Santa is for good, the sick propaganda is for destruction and anarchy

    • @ Leonard Weinstein | March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Yes Leonard, we do disagree that is any GLOBAL warming. Should be fair, if you state that: you as one of the ”Fake Skeptics” believe 101% in the PHONY GLOBAL warmings. Those GLOBAL warmings are inside your heads, not in the environment. Lying that is a GLOBAL warming, doesn’t make it for real. The GLOBAL warming inside your heads is crapogenic, not anthropogenic. Truth: localized warmings / coolings happens all the time; otherwise wouldn’t be any winds. B] extra warming of the WHOLE planet is impossible – the laws of physics don’t permit that. Pseudoscience prospers, only when there are B/S consumers, believers in lies. Cheers

  20. Can we all agree…the bandwagon around climate change science IS pseudoscience. Start from Numberwatch if you think otherwise.

  21. Willis Eschenbach

    jbmckim | March 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply

    … It is universally true that any predictive science has a degree of uncertainty associated with it.

    Surely you can’t be talking about climate science, because the number of falsifiable predictions made by climate scientists is approximately zero. They don’t do predictions, they just deal in projections and scenarios … so much easier to backpedal from, don’t’cha know …

    w.

  22. You say: “It does not imply in any way that climate science is pseudoscience”
    I read what Wiki says about this.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscience

    Actual data does not show warming that agrees with the theory and models.
    What else do you need?

    This does very strongly imply that climate science is pseudoscience.

  23. Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method CHECK

    , lacks supporting evidence or plausibility CHECK

    , cannot be reliably tested DON’T KNOW

    , or otherwise lacks scientific status. CHECK

    Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation DOUBLE CHECK

    , a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories. CHECK

  24. Judith,
    It is wrong to label pure Climate Science as a pseudo-science as long as it is separated from the debacle that is Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). Ocean currents, hurricanes, tornados, climate patterns, etc. are all important topics of study, and had climate scientists stayed within the areas of expertise, the science would be progressing apace with less controversy.

    However, it is fair to call to task climate scientists that embraced without question pseudo-scientific studies that assumed CAGW as a starting point and then proceeded to develop outrageous scenarios and catastrophic results. I offer as a prime example “An Inconvenient Truth.” The whole climate science community stood by applauding while the people that prepared the film were awarded the Nobel Prize. And it isn’t just that film. Even now, Wikipedia has the same article about the validity of the “Hockey Stick” as they did several years ago, defending the not only the work and its conclusion, but discounting as unimportant the criticisms against it.

    Stay with the science, avoid the opportunists, and you’ll do fine. By the way, how much of this pseudo-climate science issue would you attribute to aspiring academics yearning to publish but not having the ability to actually add something to the science?

  25. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    “The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.”

  26. Here is a good example:
    M 7.6 earthquake hits Mexico near Acapulco.
    one more strong earthquake in the wake of the recent solar storms.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EQM7.htm
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

    • vukcevic, it has been shown that 95% of people with gunshot injuries that present at Hospital survive, does it therefore follow that if you are shot in a hospital then you chance or survival is 19/20?

      • I’m convinced. If I ever get terminal cancer I’ll have someone shoot me. Better survival chances.

      • Bill, I salute your statistical analysis! Even better then my own.

      • Shotgun therapy works when all tumour cells are excised by the projectiles and blast.
        ===================

      • it has been shown that 95% of people with gunshot injuries that present at Hospital survive, does it therefore follow that if you are shot in a hospital then you chance or survival is 19/20?

        Yes. Precisely so.

        It doesn’t matter whether one is shot in a hospital or 20 miles away. If you die before making it to Emergency Triage, it’s game over.

        It even works if the person gets shot undergoing treatment in Emergency. The fortunate patient *still* needs to live long enough to re-present at Emergency Triage

  27. Contrary to some comments here, a field of research, or research program, is not pseudoscientific because its conclusions are false. In fact, many times in the history of science it was the case that two competing and incompatible theories coexisted about the same phenomenon: BOTH such theories could be scientific in the sense of being formulated and researched through the scientific method. Even while one of the theories is in a Lakatosian “degenerative” course while the other is “progressing” (enlarging its empirical basis, formulating and explaining new problems, successfully predicting novel facts, etc.), both may still be “scientific” insofar as neither has been definitely discarded.

    The concept of pseudoscience refers to theories and propositions that are claimed to be scientific, and may indeed have some scientific content, but lack some essential component of the scientific method. One key such component is falsifiability. Besides, they should be able to accurately predict (or post-dict) known facts, to predict novel and yet unobserved facts, to explain known facts that (for rival theories) constitute “anomalies” that cannot be explained. They should strive to expose themselves to the most severe tests of falsification (and survive); as Popper put it, they should “put out the neck” by formulating the most detailed and precise predictions they could formulate, and being able to survive when those predictions are tested against reality. Scientific theories survive and prosper when (a) severe falsification attempts are possible, AND (b) once carried out, those attempts fail to refute the theory; when (a) more and more new facts corroborate the theory and (b) those facts cannot be more easily explained by a rival approach.

    A frequent ingredient of pseudoscience (or pseudoscientific practice) is the presence of fallacies, such as arguments from authority, ad hominem or ad populum, and a quasi-religious commitment to its propositional content and to the practical or normative precepts derived from it. Adherents of pseudosciences often believe that their pseudoscientific beliefs mandate certain behaviors that are seen as morally right or commendable, and they are prone to criticize dissenters on moral grounds, and not only for being scientifically wrong.

    • Just some data you can see for yourself of the lunar declinational tidal effects on global circulation;

      Higher definition global circulation video showing the lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere, three cycles from 10 degrees North of the equator to max North,then back through the cycles to the same point again. Christmas of 2009 through March 8th 2010.

  28. Climate Science can be fixed, just get rid of the pseudo-scientists.

  29. Most threads on Climate Etc have some balance between the Consensus Side and the Skeptic Side. This one, seems to be very strongly biased toward the Skeptic Side. That works for me!

  30. Climate science is sometimes characterized by skeptics as pseudoscience.

    I don’t agree with the above statement.

    What I agree is with the following statement:

    Man-Made Global Warming theory is a pseudoscience because it is not supported by the data as shown in the following graph=> http://tinyurl.com/8535ut2

    • Steven Mosher

      Huge scatter there.
      The AGW theory has nothing to do with the chart.
      1. C02 is increasing:
      2. Human activities contribute to this increase:
      3. More C02 will, all other things being equal, increase temperatures
      over time.
      4. How much? rather uncertain. somewhere between 1.2C and 10C per
      doubling.

      Your chart doesnt touch a single one of those statements.

      • How does this “all other things being equal” work? Do you imagine, for example, a vacuum layer between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere so that the surface can cool only by radiation?

      • 1. Facts.
        2. ?
        3. False
        4. ?

      • Both Mosh and I are luke-warmer skeptics (if I can speak for him). He is an author on some of the BEST papers under review right now. I am a physical scientist.

        1 through 3 are true. 3 is based on “simple” physics.

        4. This is the real question although I think 10C is a stretch. All the unknowns about clouds, cosmic radiation, water vapor, and other feedbacks will determine how much the planet warms and how much is due to GH gases.

      • The problem with 3 is that all other things don’t remain equal. Has anyone conclusively shown that increasing CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere results in warming? I’ve seen claims both ways; that is, increasing CO2 results in a positive/negative feedback, resulting in warmer/cooler temps.

      • Temps always cool after CO2 goes up. Post Hoc, er, haven’t I heard that somewhere recently?
        =====================

      • Physical Scientist should know the physical properties of CO2, N2, O2, H2O in the atmosphere. Show me some calculations of the energy required to warm up 1 degree C of each gas in the atmosphere. This is very fundamental. If you assume CO2 warms up the air, do some some calculation how much energy is required from the CO2 to heat up air by 1 degC. The Sun heats the air some 20 degC, the ground/land some 40 degC, almost does not heat up the ocean in the daytime and the Earth radiate the energy absorbed by the Sun. We have the Earth orbits the Sun in an eliptical path to receive different energy each day on each spot on the Earth. With the Sun’s energy does most of the evaporation works of H2O and 3/4 of the daily Sun energy is absorbed by water and retained that energy in the air and when night time comes where the atmosphere energy is radiated back to the space and cool down water in the air and form dew droplets to help trees, plants and grass grow. The Earth’s temperature has nothing to do with CO2. CO2 absorbs radiation better than O2 and N2 and it also radiate out energy better than N2 and O2, but compared with the latent heat of H2O, CO2 is nothing. It does not retain heat and energy like H2O. H2O is also evaporated by the Sun on the land, rivers, trees, plants, animals etc. H2O at sea, in the atmospherregulates the main temperature regulator of the Earth, CO2 is nothing.

      • Bill,

        I’m a physicist: I agree.

        A lot of the criticism of global warming is nonsense by people who do not understand basic physics. Yeah, anthropogenic CO2 warms the earth (compared to what it otherwise would be).

        But how much??? That is the real question. And that depends on complex feedback loops that no physicist can possibly calculate from “first principles.”

        Which validates Judith’s constant point: how can you test that your models are actually any good?

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • Veritas wrote:
        >>increasing CO2 results in a positive/negative feedback, resulting in warmer/cooler temps.

        No, the expected effect of negative feedback is to reduce the warming effect of CO2 but not to actually produce a net cooling.

        Can someone produce a complicated dynamic model where the end result really is net cooling? Oh, maybe — fool around with oceanic circulation or something. Is that very plausible? No.

        Almost always, negative feedback reduces the initial effect, but does not completely eliminate it, much less reverse the sign from positive to negative.

        If anyone can think of a simple example to the contrary, I would certainly like to see it!

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • In chaotic systems negative feedbacks often produce counter intuitive behavior.

      • David Wojick wrote:
        >>In chaotic systems negative feedbacks often produce counter intuitive behavior.

        Perhaps.

        But Veritas implied that the general effect of negative feedback is to reverse the sign of the initial disturbance. That is simply not true. There are numerous examples — Le Chatelier’s principle, feedback loops in electronics, etc.

        Dave

      • I see no such general claim in his statement, such as you allege. You on the other hand made some very strong general claims about the entire universe of negative feedbacks. You might want to be more careful, as there are logicians about.

      • Dave Miller is talking nonsense and my conclusion is he is a non-sense unqualified Physicist.

      • David Wojick wrote to me:
        |>I see no such general claim in his statement, such as you allege.

        Well, David, Veritas did write:
        >>positive/negative feedback, resulting in warmer/cooler temps.

        No, there is no reason to think negative feedback is “resulting” in cooler temperatures. That is an error.

        DW also wrote:
        >You on the other hand made some very strong general claims about the entire universe of negative feedbacks. You might want to be more careful, as there are logicians about.

        No, I in fact acknowledged that in some very complex systems very funny things can happen. I merely noted that what scientists and engineers do generally see in many, many systems is that negative feedback diminishes the initial disturbance but does not reverse its sign. Yes, you can probably come up with exceptions; no, they are not very common.

        As to logic, I very much doubt there is anyone here who knows more about it than I, happens to be a hobby of mine (Boolena-valued models of ZFC anyone?).

        Look: there is a tendency among skeptics to assume that rejection of climate skepticism is due simply to politics, etc. Yes, that is part of it. But, when many skeptics, as we see in this thread, make statements that go against very, very well-established principles of physics, well, it is understandable that many people use that to discredit all climate skeptics, just as Gore’s silly statement about the core of the earth has been used by to skeptics to discredit consensus climate science.

        Sauce for the goose / sauce for the gander.

        Dave

      • Steven, I would edit your points as follows:
        1. C02 is increasing…is the overall effect positive or negative? We have no idea.
        2. Do human activities materially contribute to this increase? We don’t know. Human emissions are far smaller than “natural” emissions. Generally, tails don’t wag dogs.
        3. We have no idea if more C02 will contributes to increasing or decreasing global temperatures, but any effect is small and probably immeasurable.
        4. How much? This is uncertain. Somewhere between -1C and +1C per
        doubling.

      • Mosh, number 4 is obviously wrong. You are only considering a positive feedback. If you want to be more accurate you need to state that a doubling will result in anywhere from 0C to 10C. Since negative feedbacks are much more common the odds of the temp change would be much more likely as less than 1.0C, 1.0C being the increase caused by increased CO2 alone, so negative feedback would reduce that.

      • Hum,

        There is a basic sort of negative feedback built into the basic radiation law (Stefan-Boltzmann law): the climate modelers know this and it is taken into account — this is why they do not get an infinite increase in temps! (I owe this point to my fellow physicist, John Baez.)

        That being said, I share your “gut feeling” that the negative feedbacks as a whole outweigh the positive feedbacks.

        But, “gut feelings” are worth very little. *We just don’t know.*

        It is no more productive to be a dogmatic denialist than a dogmatic catastrophist. Only evidence counts.

        And, there is not yet enough evidence.

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • It is a good gut feeling though. The specific heat of CO2 changes considerably between 200K and 330K, compared to N2 and O2, buffering a portion of the radiant impact.

      • Capt. D,

        I doubt the specific heat has much effect. A lot of people here seem to think that heat storage is the major issue. It isn’t. The issue is how the earth system adjusts so that, long term, the energy input and energy output are in approximate balance. CO2 tends to reduce the output, until of course the earth warms up enough to pump more infrared radiation out through the CO2, so that energy input and output are again balanced. But that warming produces more clouds, which may reduce the input of heat to the surface from the sun. And, on and on, one feedback loop after another.

        Some people here seem to think the climate modelers are guys who flunked frosh physics. They’re not. Their understanding of the underlying physics is not wrong. They are simply overly arrogant in thinking that it is easy to correctly account for all of the very complex physical processes.

        (And, yes, as a physicist myself, I will concede that arrogance is an occupational hazard of physicists!)

        Dave

      • Dave, you’re, it isn’t much, but it doesn’t look to be insignificant. That implies that the radiant impact of CO2 is at the low end of estimates. Be nice if the data was better, but the higher than expected rate of convection in the tropics and the lower than expect increase in Antarctic and mid-troposphere temperatures may be evidence of the other non-radiant impacts of increased CO2. My best guess, they are on the order of 80milliWatts/m-2. That is over 10% of the estimated radiant imbalance.

        Kind of interesting.

      • Dave “Their understanding of the underlying physics is not wrong. They are simply overly arrogant in thinking that it is easy to correctly account for all of the very complex physical processes. ”

        I have characterised this elsewhere as “the perverse extension of uncontroversial science”. Do you agree?

      • tomfop wrote to me:
        >I have characterised this elsewhere as “the perverse extension of uncontroversial science”. Do you agree?

        Yeah, I think I do.

        Some people on this thread have made unjustified, negative comments about physicists based on their own ignorance of science.

        But, yes, there is a tendency for physicists — especially not very good ones — to over-reach. (This is, incidentally, much, much less true of the brightest physicists I have known personally — e.g., Dick Feynman and Luis Alvarez.)

        We physicists have good reason to believe that we know all of the underlying laws that describe the behavior of the everyday physical world (I exclude consciousness, which I, at least, certainly do not understand!). When we take classes, we do homework/exam problems in which the situation is very well-defined, in which extraneous influences can be ignored, and in which we can make “reasonable” assumptions (ignore the mass of the string, the friction of the pulley, etc.).

        There is an understandable tendency for many physicists to treat the real world as if ti were an exam problem: just assume solar forcing does not matter, or that the simplest models for cloud formation are acceptable, etc.

        We learn these enormously powerful techniques in class, and, well, most of us have some sense of humility. But, the urge to misapply these tools to try to something “important” in the real world is understandable, even if the results stray so far from the scientific method as to start to slide from science into pseudo-science.

        I’d bet it is less politics than just guys who want to be important (there is a Youtube video of Feynman discussing this point, by the way — he is very critical of wanting to be important versus just honestly seeking understanding).

        Dave

      • I like your talk, PhysicistDave, and haven’t noticed your handle on this blog before. If you are new, welcome!

      • “less politics than just guys who want to be important “. Nicely phrased, and thanks for your reply.

        I think there’s a lot of this in CAGW alarmism, and it ranges from the urge to self-aggrandise you see in some scientists right down to the sense of belonging and purpose felt by the earnest little lay person living a carbon-virtuous life. The politics arises from the complementary, mutually-reinforcing nature of these motives. When the rent-seeking associated with wind-farms and the prospect of trading in a fiat commodity are added, you have a perfect storm. So while your vainglorious physicist-turned-‘climate-scientist’ may not have politics on his mind all or any of his working time, he is most certainly part of a political shyte-storm.

        When I acquired my modest scientific education in the 60s I was taught Physics by a man who, although the operation of Moore’s Law was already discernible, insisted that the climate system, being nonlinear and sensitive to initial conditions, could never be skilfully modelled in our lifetimes, let alone his own. I think he was right. And of course in 1968 we didn’t have Climate Science, we had Physics, Chemistry, Climatology, etc. ‘Climate Science’ was a branding exercise, to legitimise the relaxation of scientific rigour in ways which would never have been tolerated in the traditional fields which preceded its coinage.

      • @ tomf0p | March 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm

        Corection; climatology started couple of millennias ago: if you don’t obey what they say, and pay to the bishop 10% from what you earn, St Peter will get angry = you will get hailstorms, floods and droughts. But if you do, all will be perfect. Nothing has changed in climatology science, only the beneficiaries.

        This time, most of the Urban Sheep didn’t pay – but GLOBAL warming is not happening = the Swindlers are in trouble… if the suckers did pay – the swindlers would have declared that it didn’t happen – because people obeyed, as their proof = must continue to pay and obey.

        Now is time for the swindlers to pay back the spoils, with some modest interest. Unfortunately, the fake Skeptics are doing the Warmist dirty job; creating backdoor exits for the leading Warmist. Thanks to the fake Skeptics, Mann, Hansen, Al Gore are saving themselves millions of $$$ on toilet paper

      • Welcome physicistdave as I haven’t seen any posts from you previously and as for NW I like what you have written. Your quote “I’d bet it is less politics than just guys who want to be important” hits the nail on the head for me. You strike me as one scientist who has sufficient humility to carry out your science correctly, with an open mind.

        I had previously written up thread that these guys extrapolated far too much from the models that they were using but privately continued to wonder why did they do this? Its all about egos and obtaining access to limitless research funding, isn’t it?

      • tomfop wrote to me:
        >>So while your vainglorious physicist-turned-’climate-scientist’ may not have politics on his mind all or any of his working time, he is most certainly part of a political shyte-storm.

        Yeah, academics tend to lean to the left politically, more so than the general population (not invariably, of course — I am not suggesting that the academic world is one grand left-wing conspiracy). So, when carelessness, career ambition, etc. pushes an academic in a direction that gets him support and applause from his political allies, well, it reinforces his bad behavior. (Again, this is not invariably the case — some of the more honest voices on CAGW are actually liberals.)

        tomfop also wrote:
        >>When I acquired my modest scientific education in the 60s I was taught Physics by a man who, although the operation of Moore’s Law was already discernible, insisted that the climate system, being nonlinear and sensitive to initial conditions, could never be skilfully modelled in our lifetimes, let alone his own. I think he was right.

        I don’t know. It is hard to predict the future of science. The discovery of plate tectonics, for example, (paleomagnetic reversals and all that) was quite unexpected. I think the GCMs are interesting and probably worth-while science, *if used correctly.*

        Right now, the main value in GCMs is probably in pointing out topics that need further detailed examination, examination not by physicists like me but by real hands-on climatologists. Perhaps, this is what Judith is getting at: i.e., GCMs can be interesting and useful, if used properly.

        The problem is when extravagant claims are made, when the models are considered as substitutes for observations and experiment, etc.

        Incidentally, the problem is not unique to climate science. The ongoing “superstring wars” (the “landscape controversy,” etc.) show that this can happen even in elementary-particle physics, the field in which I got my Ph.D. (The leading figures in that controversy, for anyone who wants to google it, are Peter Woit, Lubos Motl, Lenny Susskind, and Joe Polchinski, all of whom are acquaintances of mine, either in the real world or via the Web..) There are eerie similarities between the two controversies: the one big difference, of course, is that string theory has no significant political/economic impact, unlike CAGW.

        Dave

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Huge scatter there.
        The AGW theory has nothing to do with the chart. Score 100%

        1. C02 is increasing: Score 100%

        2. Human activities contribute to this increase: Score 50%

        Comment: Human activities make a minor contribution to this increase:

        3. More C02 will, all other things being equal, increase temperatures
        over time. Score 50%

        Comment: Possibly a fuller explanation was needed here. Co2 does not increase temperature, its molecules have more heat capacity than most atmospheric gases. Co2 absorbs energy and heats more atmosphere, inversely, diurnally, Co2 also emits energy and cools more atmosphere, as with all matter Co2 conserves its energy.

        H2o absorbs incoming solar, unlike Co2, and absorbs outgoing thermal radiation at lower and equal wavelengths as that of Co2. The emissions from the stored thermal energy of Oceans controls the irradiative lapse rate of the atmosphere, the force of pressure makes its diffusion uniform. The composition of the atmosphere and its irradiative effects is overwhelmed by these two climate drivers.

        4. How much? rather uncertain. somewhere between 1.2C and 10C per doubling.

        Fail. The increase in emissions scenario does not relate to real world observations for more than the last decade whilst the most advanced and accurate measuring devices were used.

        5, Your chart doesnt touch a single one of those statements. Score: 90%

        http://tinyurl.com/8535ut2
        Comment: It does somewhat show Dr Nicola Scarfetta’s 61 year cycle and very recent cooling.

  31. Well to me “pseudoscience” is obviously used by both (or the many) sides in the Climate Wars. If it is claimed to be only used by skeptics, I’m suprised. For example, here’s a link to a post at SkepticalScience, where the concept of “pseudoscience” is associated with Roy Spencer, Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Essex, McKitrick and Andresen, McLean, deFreitas and Carter, Lindzen and Choi,

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=991

    The word “pseudoscience” is clearly not restricted to the skeptical side. And given the inflationary effect, it is now mostly reduced to just another “free” or “easy-to-use” ad-hom, with little meaning left for laymen like me.

    Much like “denier” and the like. :)

  32. EastTexasRed

    Tell you what, why not just leave the stupid, lying AGW proponents to it and let the issue die, which it will, and concentrate your scientific credentials on the greater threat to humanity which is genetic modification? Monsanto is the single greatest threat humanity faces and I don’t need to be a scientist to figure that one out. GET A GRIP

    • East Texas Red,
      It is interesting to see your demonstrating that being pretty much on track about AGW still allows someone to be a complete kook regarding genetically modified crops.

  33. On balance I tend to agree that the current practice of climate science falls within the purview of pseudoscience not because of any shortfall in the application of scientific method; but because (most) of the mainstream climate scientists themselves have extrapolated far too much from what has been modelled.

    Judith compares the some of the excesses from the field of nutritional epidemiology and it is this context that similar degrees of extrapolation can be seen to have occurred in climate science. Furthermore the comparative lack of effective peer review that is problematical in nutritional epidemiology is also most evident with respect to mainstream climate science.

  34. The practice of pseudoscience is the only thing can can explain why Dr. Gray was compared to a Holocaust denier because he deigned to challenge the superstition and ignorance of the cult of global warming alarmism. Science authoritarians are lying to the people.

    The boffins of Japan compared climatology to the study of the ancient science of astrology.

    “[The IPCC’s] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an improvable hypothesis.” ~Kanya Kusano

    “We should be cautious, IPCC’s theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis.” ~Shunichi Akasofu

    “Before anyone noticed, this [AGW] hypothesis has been substituted for truth… The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken.” (Ibid.)

    We do not need to go to Japan or even outside Western civilization to learn that global warming is nothing but a hoax and a scare tactic. “The fact is that the `null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer

    Look what the science establishment did to Galileo, Socrates, Einstein and the Jews. It is easier for some IPCC-approved AGW government-funded scientists to go quietly insane rather than to admit they were wrong about global warming and worse, face up to the fact that they have been a party to the merciless pushing of an anti-humanist climate porn agenda on a level comparable to a hate crime — for money.

    • They say I’m harsh?

    • @ Wagathon | March 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

      Wagathon, the proofs of ZERO GLOBAL warming exist; has being proven ‘beyond any reasonable doubt” (on my website and in my book). Unfortunately, because both camps were duped to believe in the phony GLOBAL warmings = they don’t want to admit that: both of them are infected by the Warmist dysentery. It’s very hard to say: mammy, mammy I poop myself. So, both of them are covering up the original lies – with many more lies; blaming the sun and galactic dust for cooling the planet; when the EXTRA warming didn’t show up. In reality, there wasn’t any GLOBAL warming in the first place. Wagathon, you are starting to talk as a ”dissident” I hope you have a savage dog in your backyard. I’m ;;the GLOBAL warming Infidel” / but I know that human can affect the climate

      Telling the truth to Warmist and fake Skeptics, will get you in a crossfire. You will be hated by the nutters from both camps. Same as Galileo was hated by extreme fanatic Christians and Muslims. The biggest nutters will demand for you not to come close to their sandpit. When they really realize that Santa is not for real – psychiatrist will be the beneficiaries from the biggest swindle. Get some REAL PROOFS from my website – tell the truth and see how they all run for cover as cockroaches, when you turn the lights on.

      Instead of pointing if I’m wrong or correct on different issue – they pick on my misspelling. Tell them on proper English: the game is over boys – the longer is avoided the truth = more crimes are committed. Crime shouldn’t pay. Wagathon, question is: do you have enough honesty, to smother them with the truth? DO YA?!

      • stephanthedenier,

        On your website I think you missed the ~10,000 ppm Argon that is also in the atmosphere.

      • @ bwdave | March 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

        Mate, thanks for pointing to me regarding argon. You say that argon is 10000ppm in the atmosphere – I put it conservatively to about 950ppm, that’s why I state that oxygen + nitrogen are 998999ppm.

        It was long time ago,since I learned about argon, cannot remember exactly; but I think that argon was about 920ppm, or something close. But since Edison found use for it – after that, used in industry – for that argon is separated from the fertilizer soils – then of course released in the air. But I’m prepared to have a bet that couldn’t have increased to more than 950ppm… your knowledge of 10 000 ppm is far too much. Only one of us two can be correct; that must be me. If it was 10 000ppm in the air – you would be having difficulty to start a fire – argon is good fire retardant gas. Doesn’t have any influence on climate, anyway; not worth mentioning it

  35. “Science is ultimately about establishing cause and effect. It’s not about guessing. You come up with a hypothesis — force x causes observation y — and then you do your best to prove that it’s wrong.”

    When have CAGW activist scientists ever done this? Ever?

    “The answer ultimately is that we do experiments.” Ditto. What experiments? When?

    “Climate science” as the term is used today is not a pseudo science. It is not a science at all. There are no “climate change scientists.” There are lots of scientists who study discrete aspects of climate: radiative physics, aerosols, solar radiation, ENSO, etc. There are other scientists who attempt to construct models that incorporate the work of other specialists. But there is not a scientist anywhere in the world who studies the climate in its entirety, let alone the economic aspects that are at the core of the CAGW movement.

    “Climate science” is merely a euphemism for CAGW activism, just like “climate change” is a euphemism for “global warming,” which is itself yet another euphemism for CAGW.

    If climate science was a science, no one would hire a railroad engineer to head the most influential proponent of “climate change” – the IPCC.

  36. This is a Kiehl-Trenberth energy flux diagram

    This is quite clearly pseudo-science and cargo-cultism. It has all the attributes of science, and yet it is wrong on every detail.
    You note the he has the atmosphere radiating 333 W/m2, so at a temperature of 276.9 K, 2 km up, which is below about 80% of the Earth Clouds.
    Why Trenberth chose 2 km up is classical pseudo-science, he could have chosen any altitude, but it didn’t fit in with his magic numbers. This style of box model underpins all the ‘Thermogeddon’ fantasies and is quite clearly bollocks. No wonder he can’t find his missing heat.

    • AMS is the culprit. AMS did not know Trenberth’s lacking knowledge of Thermodynamics, Radiation and physical properties of gases!

      • Or his apparent inability to use Excel OR ANY OTHER GRAPHING PROGRAM to fit a straight line and get the slope!!

        I have not seen this disputed anywhere. In the e-mails released a few months ago he was at work (in 2009?) and said he could not fit some very simple data as everyone had gone home and he was terrible with Excel. I mean, really! How can you be in a field where you interpret and have opinions on scientific data and not be able to work with it? I have at least 3 programs on my Mac I could use to fit a straight line, plus a calculator, plus another 3-4 programs in my lab on a PC I could use.

        Even if I did not know how to use a brand of software (or in my case I have never actually used my calculator for this purpose) I could learn how to use any program, even in Spanish or German, neither of which I am fluent in and graph it in 2-10 minutes. Does not inspire confidence in me that he knows much at all.

        Looks like his degrees may be more Environmental “Science” as opposed to say Env. Chemistry or Biology.

        We have an Env. “Science” program at my university (as do many schools) and they require almost no real science courses. And also don’t teach people how to use Excel to fit a line.

      • The comment above about the excel spreadsheet applies to Phil Jones, Ken Trenberth, is the “two index finger hunt and pecker” typist. As seen on a couple of his videos…

      • ‘Trenberth, is the “two index finger hunt and pecker” typist.’

        Seriously?

      • Trenberth is a lot worse than just a typist. He misled teachers, studants in believing his back radiation junk. Causing huge harm than an unqualified 2-finger typist. With grants in hand, he used middle finger to type in front of the poor souls of the tax payers.

    • Most of the tropics would have in excess of this even in clear skies. It is the water vapor that does it, so 333 is realistic for a global area average, and this is a quantity that is easy to measure.

      • ‘so 333 is realistic for a global area ‘

        Would that be 333 W/ms emitted in all direction and evenly distributed?
        I would be very interested to see your onion radiative transfer model of radiative flux, atmospheric temperature, gas density.

  37. “Experiments to test our theories and hypotheses are conducted by the Earth itself”

    We have real-time satellite images of the Earth from the near uv to the far IR, we are also monitoring the solar output. We have measurements of sea and surface temperature, and also satellite MSU coverage.
    We know that the Earths orbit is an ellipse, and that the distance between farthest/nearest solar distance.
    The starting point of any model of the Earths temperature should be the ability to accurately model the ground and sea temperature in summer and winter, when the solar flux is different by 6.5%. This is an obvious internal control. If you cannot model this, give up.
    The second internal control is to model, then measure, the change in temperature and of radiative fluxes, up, down and sideways, in the umbra of a solar eclipse. Use tracking aircraft, balloons, ships, the whole kit and kaboodle. This will be especially useful when the eclipse occurs during the noon time period. Want to know if clouds have an overall cooling or heating effect? Then measure the damned effect.

    • +10 Doc.

      Except the final two sentences… Because, if the clouds are endogenous variables, we’ve got a problem there.

      Yet the other things you mention… I think you are exactly right. Getting the climate system responses to variations in strictly exogenous variables correct should be square one. Those are the true “natural experiments.”

  38. Stephen Singer

    You started your article with question about climate science and ended talking about climate change science. I subscribe to climate science as expounded by Dr. Pielke Sr. of the University of Colorado which is clearly not psuedoscience. Anthropogenic climate change science has to many characteristics of psuedoscience to suit me. The main issue with anthropogenic climate change science is testability comes down to we must wait 100 years to find out the answer.

    I think after following this issue for several years that the number of factors driving climate change are many orders of magnitude larger than the dozen or so main green house gases and at least as important. Couple that with what seems to me to be large uncertainty about how much effect the added CO2 is really having being that CO2 is such a very small percentage of the atmosphere and feedback’s are still a large issue.

    I think that when one looks at the advances in science and engineering in the last century they suggest that if we conclusively determine there is a problem we’ll develop appropriate solutions.

  39. “Pseudoscience” is a tough thing to label on an entire field of science study. Certainly there are pseudoscience players making bold and politically driven conclusions who can be fitted to the label. Again, there are people away from the headlines making serious science inquires. It’s a large enough space to hold both real and phony science.

    As it’s been used (climate science) it’s much closer to a soft science like psychology then a hard one like Chemistry when come to these sweeping conclusions regarding co2 in particular. It’s hard that some serious science people will get tarred for someone staring at tree rings like it’s a Ouija Board but there you have it. Pseudoscience will remain an ad hom for either side but again it’s the climate establishment that has the most to hang it’s head in shame for bringing us here.

    Dr. Curry really shouldn’t be lecturing on the nature of pseudoscience since she panders to the very establishment that offers safe harbor pseudoscience players and practices regardless of virtues she has brought to the debate. It’s simply a comparative relational failure to measure her alone against say Gavin Schmidt or Michael Mann and conclude she is reformer against bad science let alone pseudoscience practices. What she omits in discussion goes to the very core of the real drivers of AGW advocacy of which this topic is merely a subset. I consider these omissions
    subsidizing bad science and pseudoscience practices in the field. That she isn’t the worst apple off of a tree really misses the point. It took many serious people to sit on their hands to allow pseudoscience to advance to the Al Gore/Sierra Club/Greenpeace/Joe Romm/Michael Mann/Phil Jones/JimHansen levels.

    Climate science is a lesser field than many others. It’s too much to label a whole field pseudoscience but it’s too little to gloss over how the establishment behaves to leave exactly that impression. The broader point is that key debate points are obfuscated and Dr. Curry absolutely contributes to that process regardless of what good she brought to the table as well. Another day, another example right before our eyes and the wuss skeptics will attack the messenger yet again. Certainty this thread will lead nowhere discussing pseudoscience even among skeptics? About 100% as it is framed and the limits prebuilt into the board protocal.

    That’s a shame and only adds years more to the climate war that should be over already.

  40. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Dr. Curry: However, this concern only implies that climate change science is far from complete in terms of being able to understand and predict climate change on decadal to century time scales. It does not imply in any way that climate science is pseudoscience.

    I agree with you there. And there is much more in climate science than CO2 effects and long-term global warming.

    But what are we to make of people who claim that the important science concerning CO2 and long term global warming is both complete and accurate?

    To me climate science looks like chemistry around the time of the first formulations of the periodic table, when what we see now was mostly empty, the inaccuracies caused by isotopes were not understood, and most chemists did not accept the atomic theory.

  41. There are important parallels and links between the pseudoscience (in this case, pseudo-epidemiology) exemplified in the infamous Nurses’ Health Study and contemporary climate science.

    One is data mining and data generation for the propagation of particular external agendas. The Nurses Health Study, like CAGW research, has produced ‘studies’ which pertain to just about every aspect of human existence, and push just about every barrow known to humanity. There is quite a bit of overlap – we are told that eating meat is bad, that modern life is unhealthy, that disease is a result of ‘bad’ lifestyles or modern ‘toxins’ and so on. These neatly fit into the ideological preoccupations and neuroses of the ‘worried well’ and green activists across the board. The underlying themes of prosperity being bad for us and even worse for our putative grandchildren come up again and again.

    A striking parallel is that long term health studies and a lot of climate science has as the null hypothesis that nothing should ever change. If we get sick, or die, there must be a ’cause’, which should be addressed. The same goes for climate – change must have a malevolent ’cause’ that we have to do something about. It only takes a moment’s thought to realise how absurd that is, in either case. Yet, it is the unstated assumption behind a great deal of the research.

    Finally, it is worth considering that both medical research and climate studies are vast, interdisciplinary fields. Medical research involves chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, computer science, statistics and demography, to name just a few. Climate studies are the same. But at least reputable medical researchers do not claim to have come up with the final, over-arching answers to everything because they are described as ‘leading medical researchers’. Unfortunately, some high profile figures in the climate studies field have no such qualms.

  42. While isolated aspects of climate science are quite bona fide, it is the headline-grabbing, extravagant claims of masterful knowledge by the most prominent “climate scientists” that deserve the label of pesudoscience. Those claims rest on little more than unverified model results and buggered data presented in a highly tendentious way.

  43. Man-Made Global Warming theory is a pseudoscience because it is not supported by the data as described below.

    IPCC says the global warming rate is about 0.2 deg C per decade, when the actual warming rate is less than 0.1 deg C per decade as shown below:

    http://tinyurl.com/7p963ez

    The data shows:

    One oscillation cycle from 1884-1944 with cooling followed by warming (P1-V1-P2) => 0.06 deg C per decade warming rate

    One oscillation cycle from 1910-1970 with warming followed by cooling (V1-P2-V2) => 0.06 deg C per decade warming rate

    Two oscillation cycles from 1884-2004 that each have cooling followed by warming (P1-V1-P2 & P2-V2-P3) => 0.06 deg C per decade warming rate

    http://bit.ly/GFjIXr

    In addition, at the moment the global warming rate is flat => http://bit.ly/fuo1YL

    Yes, there is no doubt that Man-Made Global Warming theory is a pseudoscience because it is not supported by the data.

  44. I have to ask myself the question “Why has our hostess broached this problem?” I am not sure I know the answer. But I can always hope. There is no question in my mind that CAGW is either pseudoscience, or worse. That it is not science at all, but a hoax.

    If there really is no science behind CAGW, then in the end, the hard, measured data will prove that it is wrong. Unfortunately, this could take a long time before it happens. In the meanwhile, here in Ontario, Canada, our provincial government is trying to get rid of a huge deficit, while at the same time, it is squandering billions of dollars on “green” energy in the mistaken belief that science has proved that CAGW is real.

    I read in Dr. Curry’s last paragraph.

    “It does not imply in any way that climate (change) science is pseudoscience.” (my insertion of “change”)

    Dare I hope that this is the reason she broached this thread in the first place. That our hostess WANTS to believe that this sentence is just plain wrong. The overwhelming evidence is that, indeed, CAGW IS pseudoscience, as most posters have already clearly demonstrated.

    • “That it is not science at all, but a hoax.”
      ———————————————————
      Right, a worldwide conspiracy of liberal climate scientists from almost all developed nations are trying to scare us into giving up our freedoms. Sending up all those satellites with fake instruments at public expense just to dupe us. Any good common-sense American would know right away that a trace component of less than 0.04% in the atmosphere could in no way affect our climate. What do they take us for? Idijits? Pseudoscience at its worst.

      • Owen, the scientists are just part of the story and under their paymasters which are largely government or state interests. It’s all about a long held desire to rationalize regulation and authority. I don’t think “conspiracy” is a proper word for the event at all.

        The Allies and Central Powers in WWI all behaved in concert to a largely predictable result, were they all part of a “conspiracy”?? I don’t think that’s the right word to describe it either. AGW is just an extension of 60’s eco radicalism and what it evolved to in academia with a good dose of wealth redistribution and central planning ideology (U.N.) converging on a common goal. Media operative and polls assist on a common line of rational; green agenda setting. There all sorts of ways this takes other similar forms on other issues as well. Converging isn’t a conspiracy.

        Why there is large scale bias in certain fields is interesting but the first step is to own up, something Dr. Curry only does in indirect and coded ways.

        Why is that should be the first question out of every skeptics mouth here but it isn’t. Many skeptics are in fact torn by a similar political association and almost idiotic desire to debate null science theory on the merits alone.
        AGW is 90% motive and 10% facts. Pretending otherwise is what gives it the pseudoscience feeling and why so many deadends are reached.

      • Sounds like it’s to be just another Osterman Weekend, for US. They were just friends spending time together. Like minded too. And then…

    • Because she saw a few interesting articles she liked and is tired of people on both sides throwing out the term “pseudoscience”??

  45. Curry: Climate science is sometimes characterized by skeptics as pseudoscience. Here are the arguments for why climate science is not pseudoscience. …

    Yah but, it’s the skeptics who are usually characterized as ‘creation science’ style pseudo scientists by ‘climatological’ theists.

    Thus the ‘Psuedoscience (?)’ topic is set up as an exercise in hitting on ‘pseudo rationality’.
    __________________

    Mocking fundamentalists for their irrational justification of their beliefs is a dubious exercise which casts doubt upon the credibility of the hecklers.

    Yes, ‘objective’ people are saying that ‘subjective’ people are stupid. … The emphasis being that “objective” climatological theists are emotionally (and subjectively) asserting that (climate change denier) ‘atheists’ are subjective and thus stupid.

    This is akin to the pot calling the kettle black. We can argue about it until the cows come home but all it amounts to is claiming that subjectivity is stupid and that one side is being more subjective than the other. (Hint: Both sides are being ‘subjective’)

    Using rational arguments to show that irrational thought is stupid is dumb. It goes nowhere beyond revealing that ‘objective’ people are clueless about subjectivity. Credibility is lost by way of trying too hard.

    If the purpose is to seek intelligence in ‘subjectivity’, it might be more easily accomplished by calling it ‘heuristic science’ rather than ‘pseudo science’.

    Of course, those who tend to favor ‘subjective reasoning’ do so for deliberate (and intelligent) self-motivating reasons. This explains why ‘Intelligent Design’ makes for naturally appealing justification

    You can claim that ‘subjective reasoning’ is ‘confirmation bias’ at your peril. Any ‘subjective thinker’ who didn’t strongly embrace such a bias would be behaving in an irrational manner.

    “Raving” doth protest too much, methinks

    • The vast majority of people are not research scientists. Even research scientists have to ‘believe’ in the authority of other when they venture outside their field. People know what they ‘know’ based on which authority they chose to believe, so some people would rather trust the authority of the Torah, Bible or Koran than evolutionary biologists and geologists.
      However, just because people wish to invest their trust in a particular holy book to explain part of the universe, does not mean that all their beliefs and analyses
      Monsignor Georges Lemaître developed the theory of creation, now know by Fred Hoyle’s pejorative “Big Bang Theory”.
      He was helped by the work of the chief Harvard ‘Computer’ Henrietta Leavitt a devout Congregationalist.
      Gregor Mendel was a Augustinian Abbot who combined inheritance and statistics, we do not reject genes because of his ‘fundamentalism’, nor pasteurization and vaccines because of Pasteur’s devout Christianity.
      So why do arguments from people termed ‘fundamentalism’, get short shrift?
      Why are people, including me, who are skeptical about the postulated AGW dismissed as ‘fundamentalist creationist?
      Who are these special people who not only know what the ‘real authority’ is, but dutifully incorporate the real authorities missives into their world view?
      How come they all know, well everything?
      I am happy to state that I have hardly scratched the surface of my field.
      I don’t know how neurons work.
      I don’t even know if a cell is living or dead, as I don’t know how to strictly define the two states.

      • +1

        I don’t even know why somes people choose a coin toss between $10 and nothing over a sure $6, while others choose $4 over the same coin toss.

        And I’ve been puzzling over this for close to 20 years.

      • Or why the same person does both on different trials. But it’s a living…

      • neverendingaudit

        > [W]hy the heterogeneity in human populations, and how best to account for it in terms of conceptual categories that generize well across decision making contexts?

        I see two questions there.

        The first question is a why-question, so it can’t be purely descriptive.

        Neither is the second one, since it includes the evaluative “how best”.

      • What you’re saying is that people’s decisions should align with expected values. If you’re tossing a coin many times this makes sense, because the EV is the long-run average gain. But if you’re tossing a coin only once this might not be useful. If the person needs $10 “right now” to cover taxi fare and nothing less will do, a sure $6 doesn’t do much good.

      • “What you’re saying is that people’s decisions should align with expected values.”

        No ‘should’ implied; the interesting question is ‘why the heterogeneity in human populations, and how best to account for it in terms of conceptual categories that generize well across decision making contexts?’ That’s a purely descriptive question.

      • You should have a look at utility theory, then.

      • neverending audit and Bob K., thanks for your input.

      • So why do arguments from people termed ‘fundamentalism’, get short shrift?
        Why are people, including me, who are skeptical about the postulated AGW dismissed as ‘fundamentalist creationist?

        Debate concerning theism atheism and agnosticism is revealing …

        The vast majority of those who would call themselves ‘theists’ do so for subjective reasons (Faith, spiritualism, blind trust). When push comes to shove, some would resolutely insist upon ‘theism’ in the hard literal meaning of deity.

        The hard core people who call themselves ‘atheists’ are also motivated to do so for deep personal subjective reason. (autism). For these atheists, the mere act of considering the possibility of deity or ‘subjective’ theism is an insult to their objective world view.

        Most people who would fancy to consider themselves as being (pseudo) ‘agnostic’ have a big problem. Neither theists, nor atheists, nor hard core agnostics take kindly to fence sitters. … It’s an Are you or are you not a member of the communist party? Just answer with ‘Yes or No’ please … sort of thing.

        I call myself a ‘disinterested agnostic’. It means that I adamantly refuse to consider the question. There is insufficient desire to gore myself on the horn of the dilemma that would result by casting my awareness in that ‘needing to decide’ direction. It isn’t that I CANNOT DECIDE, nor is it UNDECIDABLE, nor am I … being pushed or not being pushed … to decide by social pressure. My choice is to remain deliberately IGNORANT. and just not go there because it isn’t important enough for me and going there causes an unwelcome mess to things that do interest me.

        In essence I respect and appreciate both ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ viewpoints. They both have veracity yet each has mean different meaning.

        I am no longer prepared to be suckered into adopting a rational viewpoint so as to emphatically perceive ‘irrationality’ as being stupid and meaningless. … I ain’t that dumb any more :-)

  46. Psuedospelling?

  47. Enough climate science is tarnished by enough scientists who in turn are ignored by enough scientists to consider the entire production a sham. If the problem is not worth solving from within then it is worth defunding from without. Nowhere was this made more clear than the polarized but impotent response to the Gleick project.

  48. In 1979, the National Academy of Sciences produced a number, now known as the Charney sensitivity, of 3 degrees C for doubling CO2 with an uncertainty range of 2-4 degrees. This could have been used as a prediction. If they had known that by now we would have 17% more CO2, they could have predicted a temperature rise of nearly 0.7 degrees from 1979-2012 just from CO2 alone, probably less because this was the equilibrium sensitivity. The most important aspect of a theory is predictive skill, and this is what it had, and it has not been shown wrong in its prediction yet. Sometimes the most obvious theory just works regardless of what the skeptics want to believe.

    • Steven Mosher

      The doubling number is not a TRANSIENT response.
      Nobody who understands the sensitivity number would predict a temperature rise of .7C in THE SHORT TERM from a ECR sensitivity of 3C.

      well you did, but you dont understand what sensitivity is. Neither TCR or ECR

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks for that information, Steven. Since you seem quite sure of yourself in this question, I’m sure you can answer a question that I’ve been unable to get an answer to …

        If the equilibrium sensitivity is X°C, how much of that should we expect to see in say years, 1, 5, 10, and 20?

        I ask because my analysis of the CCSM3 model results gives a time constant tau of only three years or so … but when people like you talk about it, the implication is often that the time constant is much, much longer.

        w.

      • I said the doubling number is an equilibrium response, and the actual response would be less. The observed rise of 0.5 C would be consistent with a 3 C doubling ECR. I think you are saying it wouldn’t be, but I didn’t get whether you think ECR should be higher or lower to account for it.

      • Steven, on the urban warming of the newer urban areas, “It turns out that land-use changes, right up to about 1950 or even 1970, were as large a player as fossil-fuel emissions were,” he says. “And even today they are not trivial.”
        http://www.nature.com/news/forecasters-look-back-in-time-1.10215

      • Well Mosher, given the daily and annual change in (Tmax+Tmin)/2 is far greater that 0.7C, for all intents and purposes the response should be instantaneous.
        Moreover, as the postulated effect of CO2 is simple is is easy to model. The effect should temporally slow cooling and advance warming, in the daily and annual cycles. We should observe a line-shape change in the diurnal cycle and annual cycle.
        Antarctica would provide the best place to look for both these changes at one. The temperature has been measured daily in various places since the 60’s. During the winter night the Antarctic should be now cooling much more slowly before it attains its Tmin steady state and its rate of warming during the day/summer should be much more rapid.
        The line-shape of the diurnal cycle should move to the right in the presence of CO2, moreover this effect should be amplified in places were their is high water vapour. Thus, comparing the line-shape of a pair of single stations in a continental desert with a pacific island should show the shift in line-shape in both places; give the CO2 sensitivity and the potentiating effect of water.

  49. Indeed there has been a lot of pseudo science in the radiative anthropogenic global warming “explanations” by IPCC & Co.

    The Second Law can be illustrated with a hose used as a siphon to empty a swimming pool, for example. It works if the other end of the hose goes down a slope and is significantly below the bottom of the pool.

    The water flows and entropy increase because we have a single process. The SLoT requires a single process, as is obvious in everyday life.

    If you cut the hose at the highest point you now have two processes, and the water no longer goes upwards from the pool.

    Any heat flow from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface is a single completed process. The energy is not constrained to return by radiation or to do anything in particular. It could be conducted elsewhere in the surface for example.

    Because it is a single process from atmosphere to surface, there is no justification fro saying that any subsequent process can create a net effect and thus excuse the violation of the Second Law. It would be like water flowing uphill to the town’s water tank on the basis that it would subsequently flow further downhill through pipes into houses. But there is no constraint enforcing this, as there was with the siphon before the hose was cut. After all, the tank might leak.

    Hence, thermal energy cannot transfer spontaneously from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface. Fullstop.

    See my publication Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  50. Paul Vaughan

    “(although getting the diurnal and annual cycle of precipitation correct is much more difficult)”

    There’s the key.

    WUWT recently ran an article on hydrology insights from GRACE: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/gravity-is-climate-wtf/

    Key quotes from that article:

    ““Many processes in the climate of our planet are accompanied by large-scale water mass redistributions, which are made visible in the gravitational field,” adds Flechtner.”

    “Another scientific objective of the GRACE mission is to derive about 150 globally distributed vertical temperature and water vapor profiles from GPS data on a daily basis.”

    “The observation of surface and deep currents, which – in combination with the sea surface topography derived from satellite altimetry – brought about a much better understanding of the global ocean circulation and thus the heat transport from the equator toward the poles.”

    GRACE data don’t go back very far, but we have EOP.

    =
    “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — N.S. Sidorenkov
    =

    • Paul Vaughan

      “The main outstanding causal explanation that has been neglected is internal natural variability of the coupled ocean/atmosphere system.”

      Large-scale water motions are recorded in EOP. They relate to lunisolar & solar factors. They indicate global constraints on the COLLECTION of local/regional processes. Everyone needs to recognize this as a constraint of the form a+b+c+d+e=1. EOP are of fundamental utility for dramatically smashing down the set of permissible models.

      I can agree with Dr. Curry’s statement here with the exception of the adjective “internal”. Some consider lunisolar factors internal, but not usually solar. Certainly there are internal factors, but they are NOT free from solar & lunisolar constraints indicated CLEARLY by EOP.

      Regards.

  51. Climatology can be a very interesting science, unfortunately has being built on a quick sand. If the word ”pseudoscience” didn’t exist, they would have invented that word specifically for climatology. I have the proofs, that can be all proven now. Contemporary climate science consists of two extreme religious sects. Contemporary ”climatology” is 100% misleading, destructive for humanity. In the genesis of climatology, they wrongly put the big / small climatic changes with phony GLOBAL warmings in the same basket. That made a domino effect – everything added to be wrong. Discarding / silencing whatever doesn’t fit the pseudoscience = is not a science, but indoctrination in baseless fanaticism.

    1] not taking in consideration the ”self adjusting mechanisms” is a con.
    2] declaring water vapor as bad for climate = pseudo-lunacy
    3] applying same rule and criteria for wet and dry continents is = to same size shoes for 7 billion people = proof of basic ignorance
    4] using unreliable data as factual shouldn’t be a ”legal rime”
    5] disregarding that oxygen + nitrogen are controlling / regulating the temperature, not CO2, is the ”mother of all crimes”! The truth will win / My formulas will win: EH -> AE -> EHR (Extra Heat -> Atmosphere Expands -> Extra heat Releases)
    EC -> AS -> LHR (Extra Coldness -> Atmosphere Shrinks -> less Heat Releases) Horizontal winds cool your french-fries / vertical winds cool the planet. Fact: when gets warmer than normal close to the ground – those vertical winds increase speed / strength. Same as self adjusting speed of a convayer belt.

    B] when gets warmer troposphere than normal , VOLUME increases.of the troposphere – where the extra volume expands, is minus -90C. C] when air in a ”normal greenhouse” warms up, 20-30% out the door. I.e. volume stays the same / quantity of air DECREASES… compare with the ”pseudoscience’s phony greenhouse gases in the troposphere” in which, volume increases + CO2 +H2O increase quantity of the troposphere. Verdict: H3O + CO2 are a ”shade-cloth effect gases” NOT greenhouse effect.

    C] oxygen + nitrogen are transparent (same as glass roof of a normal greenhouse) they let the sunlight to the ground. When the sunlight produces heat on the ground – 30km thick blanket of oxygen + nitrogen; as PERFECT INSULATORS, slow down cooling – same effect as from the glass roof of a normal greenhouse. The ”pseudoscience’s greenhouse gases” are actually a shade-cloth effect gases .

    D] CO2 does absorb extra heat than O+N; but also CO2 absorbs more COLDNESS at night than O+N. If a scientist thinks that ALL of the troposphere is 24h on sunlight (flat earth believer) if a scientist doesn’t want to know that: Sahara and Brazil have different climates; because it doesn’t fit their ”sunspots and galactic influence” on the climate fairy-tales – should be declared as a big crime; if possible, retrospective

    If one believes that: human can deteriorate the climate – should believe that human can improve the climate also. Because H2O controls the climate / more water on land = milder climate / less H2O on land = more extreme climate… declaring water vapor as bad for climate is a ”premeditated mass murder” I CAN PROVE EVERYTHING, now, no need to wait 100y and see that the pseudoscience is all wrong and back to front. OSTRICH TACTIC, IS A SYMBOL FOR PSEUDOSCIENCE

  52. Rick Santorum wrote a remarkably accurate perceptive overview of the state of Climate Science:
    “The Elephant in the Room: Challenging science dogma”
    As with evolution, the ‘consensus’ on climate change has become an ideology.” Feb. 22, 2012

    Climate change’s Pharisees reassure us that the global-warming science is still settled. Never mind recent revelations of gross misconduct on the part of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit. Never mind its repeated refusal to release vital climate data. And never mind the legitimate questions that climate-change skeptics have been asking for some time. There’s nothing to see here; move along.

    Yet we all know that the world has been both much hotter and much colder than it is today, and that temperatures have changed dramatically over the millennia for a multitude of reasons. And there is so much we don’t know about this complex field, which is made even more difficult by our inability to make predictions and test climate hypotheses, except with computer simulations that have questionable assumptions built in.

    Given this uncertainty, I think most Americans find the experts’ cocksureness unsettling. Despite the bravado and billions of dollars in media hype supporting the climate alarmists, only 37 percent of respondents agreed that man is causing global warming in a recent Rasmussen poll.

  53. Here in Australia / on the driest continent on the planet, is illegal to build a dam and save extra storm-water for dry days. Because dams prevent floods and droughts – dams improve the climate. But the ”voodoo” climatologist’ science says that water vapor is bad for climate. Billions of birds and animals die from starvation and get mummified without water in dry seasons. On 70% of the land is no trees, because of lack of H2O / water storages / topsoil moisture and water vapor.

    The green people blame Brazilians for cutting forest for farms. But cannot see the empty barren land in Australia; because the Green People imposed Water Embargo on Australia. Trees are screaming in OZ for more CO2 + H2O. Instead, they built the first carbon sequestration plant on the planet, that will never be used.

    Distilled water from the sky flushed into the sea during floods – then they build desalination plants, to desalinate that same water after mixes with salty water in the sea. Plus filtered sewer water for drinking. Australians are leaders in environmental lunacy; they are even proud of it…Only if pseudo-climatology can get sanity back; human can improve the climate. Unfortunately, Australian Ian Plimer goes around the world; to brainwash the people that suppose to stand up for the truth; with his own ”climate pseudo-science”

    The ”voodoo” science, stopping the climate from changing with carbon tax; the instigators should face some kind of Nuremberg model court of justice – never ever similar organization to be able to inflict similar damages. Because now with electronic media and instant communication around the planet; multinational organized crime is easy to flourish. Human is genetically preprogrammed to believe in collective lies

  54. Chad Wozniak

    Whether climate science is pseudoscience depends on whose “climate science” you’re talking about. AGW is pseudosscience, not to mention dirty politics.

    Mr. Stefanthedenier, you are absolutely spot on in pointing out how ungreen the greens are. AGW is only one element in a complex of insanities that will grievously damage the environment.

  55. Man made global warming is pseudoscience because its proponents calculate the warming trend of about 0.16 deg C per decade just for the warming phase of a cycle (1970-2000), instead of for the complete two cycles of about 0.06 deg C per decade (1880-2000).

    • @ Girma | March 21, 2012 at 1:56 am

      Girma, harvesting results from thin air is pseudoscience. On over 99,9999999999% of the troposphere is not monitored – where is monitored, is collected only for the hottest minute of the day, everyone of the other 1439 minutes are just as important – and they never all go up; when the hottest minute goes up…. talking about 0,16C, 0,06C, will help you to get ”the straight-jacket award” competition, from both sides is getting lower

      In 1970 they were promoting Nuclear Winter for year 2000. CO2 was supposed to produce enough dimming effect = to cool the planet. By the way, if they predicted then, the nuclear winter in 100years, instead of 2000 – all the shonks that are promoting now GLOBAL warming; would have being delivering now proofs of GLOBAL cooling.

      3] Talking about temperature in 1880’s and stating 0,06C; is not a pseudoscience; it’s just a proof that: if one believe in it, it’s same as failing the psychiatrist test.

  56. Here’s my take on this. It is sympathetic, from a non-neighboring “science” with many of the same problems–economics.

    Like economics, climate science’s main target of interest is an ongoing, highly complex natural process. Although the target gets occasional exogenous shocks (or at least, arguably does), almost all of the interesting causal variables are also outcome variables. That is, almost everything is mutually endogenous, with causality pointing every which-way.

    Like economics, climate science can look at some things with true experiments, in labs, but there are limits to this and there is always some question of external validity. It is even worse in economics, since the things under examination (people) may wonder why they are being examined (in the labs), and may behave differently as a result.

    I’ve been at this damnable “science” (economics) for awhile and have come to the following main conclusion.

    Hypothesis-testing, as such, is a relatively uninteresting activity under these circumstances. The problem is as follows: There will always be circumstances under which any theory of these complex, almost wholly endogenous systems fail to work. The horse collapses before it reaches the finish line, each and every time.

    A one-horse horserace is boring to begin with. If the horse always collapses before finishing the race, it is both depressing and boring.

    An N-horse horserace becomes more interesting: We can at least ask, which of the N horses went the furthest before collapsing. But that is still limited to the particular track the N horses ran on.

    Here is what becomes truly interesting: Call it scientific handicapping. We observe how the horses behave on different tracks, and from that, we try to predict which of the N horses will go farthest (before collapsing) on a new track (different in some important respects from the previous tracks).

    So the question is not hypothesis-testing per se. Rather, it is what Jerry Busemeyer (a psych friend) calls the “generalization criterion.” Suppose I take explanatory contexts X1, X2,…XM and estimate the parameters of theories T1, T2,…,TN from observations in those M explanatory contexts. Some of these parameters could be old and well-established, others new and controversial. Now I take a new explanatory context M+1, and try to use the estimated parameters (from the previous M contexts) to make predictions about what will happen in this new context M+1. The theory that wins–in the sense of predicting best–gains in status from this, while the others lose status.

    What impresses me most, empirically, is a prediction made by estimation with one kind of data, that outperforms competitors in prediction with a new kind of data. In the case of climate science, I think Dr. Curry hints at what is required. We’d like to estimate all relevent parameters of a model from one set of observations, and (from those) predict what happens in another (disjoint) set of observations. Dr. Curry’s observation that the precipitation outcomes aren’t right, or that the temporal pattern of volcano outcomes aren’t right, tells us where to look. But to me the real question ought to be: If we estimate several different models without using the precipitation outcomes or the temporal response to volcanos, which of those models then predicts those unused outcomes best? That is the generalization criterion. Rather than asking what model is not rejected by some isolated test (all of them will fail some test), we instead ask which model generalizes (in its predictive content) best across the most phenomena.

    Note that this is not the classical “test hypothesis, reject theory or provisionally accept theory” definition of “science.” It is much more akin to a horse race, or a sports league, in which we draw judgments about a horse, or a team according to its success relative to other horses or teams.

    I think that in the sciences of complex systems, the generalization criterion is a more sensible epistemic test. Under that criterion, there is no demarcation between science and pseudoscience. There are only relative winners and losers.

    • Like economics policy inputs are largely driven by political ideology by various expert “camps”. Pro-free market vs. statist establishments, very much like climate science divides.

      • Yeah I try not to do policy. Would you ask a physicist to fix your refrigerator?

      • If climate science was done honestly there would be no issue or concern. You could never recommend anything based on what we don’t know. Society accepts how political and useless most economic arguments are but that is what is obfuscated by the climate community itself. They want to be treated like engineers building something real. That’s a pseudoscience leap of faith if ever there was one.

        If they were honest the employment situation of course would drop be 90% in the field. Human nature doesn’t want to fund null fields that get you nowhere. We might as well fund poets or deep space research. It all gets back to the mothership of taxing and regulating carbon for the “common good” and it’s a pipedream dating long before AGW was ever conceived.

      • cwon said “Society accepts how political and useless most economic arguments are…”

        Sometime before getting the 1995 Nobel prize, Bob Lucas said: “If I were appointed to the Council of Economic Advisors, the first thing I would do is resign.” Sometime before that he said: “When it comes to the prediction business, we economists are in way over our heads.”

        I’m with Party Bob.

  57. This post has it backwards. The pressing question climate scientists are being posed isn’t the cause of observed climate change. It’s what will happen if we put 3000 Gigatons of Carbon in the atmosphere, as we’re on track to do (we’ve burnt about 350 Gtons so far).

    The hypothesis is that the temperature will rise (a lot). So scientists rack their brains to try to disprove that. They look at the climate record so far. It has warmed. No disproof there.

    Now it’s just possible that natural warming can’t be ruled out. That doesn’t help us. Uncertainty won’t disprove the hypothesis. It wasn’t based on past temperature observations.

    • Er.. what?

    • Nick,

      I think the concern runs like this:

      1. That excess climate sensitivity (to CO2) still needs to be estimted from historical observations (if you are Web then maybe you don’t think so, but I think there is disagreement with the idea that this can be estimated purely from well-known physical constants and first principles);

      2. That, during the period of good historical measurements, the increase in CO2 may be strongly positively correlated with some other variable Z that rose during the same period (e.g. something in natural cycles and/or solar phenomena);

      3. That estimation of excess climate sensitivity, with Z omitted, will thus result in a positve bias in the estimate of CO2 sensitivity (standard omitted variable bias), using the historical data;

      4. That if Z follows a low frequency cycle, it will not be positively correlated with CO2 in the future;

      5. And so, in the future, that estimate of excess climate sensitivity will be too high, at the same time that the omitted variable Z begins to become negatively correlated with future CO2 as Z goes into the down phase of its long cycle;

      6. So the model overpredicts the temperature rise due to the CO2 rise.

      At least, this is my understanding of why Dr. Curry and others worry that flawed past “attributions” will bias future predictions. It isn’t the possibility of sampling error or the existence of uncertainty: It is rather the possibility of substantially biased estimation.

      • NW,
        Yes, that makes sense. But I don’t think that people really rely on the multi-decade trend to estimate climate sensitivity. Maybe volcanic events etc.

        I’m pretty much with Web there.

      • We hope, Nick, that the warming effect will be enough to keep the globe warm. We doubt it, though.
        ===============

    • I see no attempts to disprove it:

      If the models don’t agree with the obs they say the error band is so large that it can clip the error spread of the obs so the models are not disproven. They just try to adjust the obs to match the models. Bearing in mind that all the alarm comes from the model extrapolations, not from any obs.

      When the IPCC say the AGW signature is a cooling stratosphere with a hotspot in the troposhere yet the stratosphere fails to cool since 1995 and no hotspot is evident in the troposhere somehow this still doesn’t disprove the hypothesis.

      When they say the ocean is the heat sink for all the the excess heat but the sea surface is not warming as it should then this isn’t a disproof either. Instead they propose a fantasy hidey hole for the “missing heat” by ignoring heat transfer basics.

      When an increase in the rate of sea level rise is predicted and the rate reduces this is not a disproof either.

      So what the heck is required as a disproof? Judging by the ice-age scare, only a sudden cooling will change the consensus. But what kind of crap observational science is that? And since all apparent cooling in the obs is always doggedly adjusted out then perhaps even a cooling won’t change these determinedly fixed minds either.

      Give us a real metric and stick to it!

  58. I actually have a question regarding the recent claims of future sea level rise. It is long so please bear with me.

    Many recent studies (e.g. Hansen & Sato) have claimed that future rise in global average temperature (GAT) will create a much greater effect on sea level than e.g. IPCC predicts. They use paleo proxies to make comparisons with the present. For example, Hansen & Sato argued that since GAT during the Eemian (last interglacial before the present) was only slightly higher (< 1 degree C) and sea levels 4-6 meters higher, a 2 degree rise in GAT in the near future will result flooding very quickly.

    The Eemian warming was due to higher solar insolation than today ( 13%) on the high northern latitudes during NH summer (SH winter). A recent study on the GIS melt during the Eemian argues that temperature rise alone produced 55% of the melt and the rest was caused by higher solar insolation and feedbacks. See link below:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n10/full/ngeo1245.html

    However, increase of solar insolation in the high latitudes did not warm the tropics and so GAT rose relatively little. Most studies argue that there was tropical cooling compared to the present.

    Today the situation is different since we have less solar insolation up north but more on low latitudes. Furthermore, CO2 is supposed to warm the planet more uniformly so will get temperature increases also on lower latitudes and the equator. GAT will probably rise much more than during the Eemian.

    Despite these differences in forcings and their latitudinal distribution, climate scientists continue to argue that the past ratio of arctic temperature rise and GAT, as well ice sheet melt rates, will also be valid in the future. See the link below:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110000405

    Based on all this, I think future GAT rise and arctic amplification will be less than in the past. What do you think?

  59. Title Edit:
    “Psuedoscience” is pseudospelling.

  60. The subject of Climate Science, as presently practiced, is a chimera. Climate is the regional pattern of weather. “Global” climate is a nonentity.

  61. Interesting and VERY leading article. I’ve not been posting for a while (though still reading) due to work pressures, but have a bit of time now to delve into this one.

    First off we need to de-couple climate science from itself, as it were. Climate science in this context is the analysis of every contributing factor to the climate. There are a LOT of very discrete fields involved here each with it’s own operating procedures. The vast majority of which operate well and above board.

    It’s the ‘top line’ viewpoints and a few discrete scientists IN this whole ensemble (who are unfortunatley in ‘driving’ seats) that are the ‘target’ here.

    I agree with a few of the points already made- verification and falsification is key. If you can’t falsify your hypothesis, then you have no way of knowing if it’s right. Further, if you can not test the theory to destruction, then it’s not a theory.

    It often amuses me that ‘climate scientists’ get defensive when people try to disprove their theories, but i digress.

    The biggest pseudo aspet of this whole ensemble is the models, which to my mind i cannot see as anything other than wholly undefensable, scientifically (or from an engineering perspective).

    Until they’re sorted, then i’m afriad the pseudo tage will follow the WHOLE field around. Which is unfortunate.

  62. True Climate Scientists should recognize these quotes from their seminal literature.

    “The procedure of convective adjustment is to adjust the lapse rate to the critical lapse rate whenever the critical lapse rate is exceeded in the course of the numerical integration of the initial value problem. The observed lapse rate of temperature is approximately 6.5 deg km-1. The explanation for this fact is rather complicated. It is essentially the result of a balance between (a) the stabilizing effect of upward heat transport in moist and dry convection on both small and large scales and (b), the destabilizing effect of radiative transfer. Instead of exploring the problem of the tropospheric lapse rate in detail, we here accept this as an observed fact and regard it as a critical lapse rate for convection.”

    “The empirical technique, unlike the semiempirical technique, does not treat the convective process explicitly. Instead, the effects of convection are included implicitly by assuming that convection maintains a critical lapse rate within the convective region. The critical lapse rate is the lapse rate at which the atmosphere is in a neutral state, i.e. neither stable nor unstable with respect to convective processes. … The empirical technique considerably simplifies the procedure of solving the thermal structure of the atmosphere.”

    Climate Science has been teaching, without question, this perversion of physical reality for a half century. “An observed fact”, “empirical”, “convectively neutral”, “pseudo-equilibrium”, gibberish phraseologies quite sufficient to define a pseudo-science. The true pseudo-scientists are not those who wrote this nonsense, but those who have been uncritically propagating it ever since.

    Yes, Climate Scientists have made some worthwhile advances in the interim, but their bread-and-butter remains CAGW. “But, we did do some good things as well ..” is hardly adequate.

    pdq

  63. To call nutritional epidemiology a “pseudoscience” is clearly erroneous. Epidemiology is a well established field. It does not claim to identify cause and effect. Epidemiology has always been about correlation, not causation. its methods are valid and it results are testable and falsifiable.

    Climate science has a poorly founded epistemology with weak roots in physics and geology, poor links to astrophysics and astronomy, poor comprehension of statistical methods and mathematics, and a fascination with a single observable entity. Notions of proper experiment are foreign. Generalizability is non-existent. Correlation is accepted with contempt for proper statistical methods.

    I think of climate science as a weak science, which could be improved if climate scientists wanted to. Clearly, there are some very good scientists doing very good scientific work in climate science, but this is not the “mainstream” view which is more politics than science.

  64. As Jonathan Jones and David Hagen and Leonard W say, there are some aspects of climate science that fit the definition of pseudoscience very well.
    “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. “

    When a journal editor writes to a reviewer asking for a rejection (as Briffa did twice) that’s not adhering to the scientific method of objectivity.

    When the timescale for comparing models with observations keeps gets pushed backwards (10 years? 17 years? 30 years?), they can’t be reliably tested (see Labmunkey’s comment).

    When people cut off data when it doesn’t fit with their theory, that’s pseudoscience.

    As for “vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims”, the IPCC has plenty of these, eg “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”, “The frequency of heavy precipitation events has increased over most land areas”, and the stretching of climate sensitivity estimates that has been described here previously.

    • 1+, that’s a convincing argument. What can you say about all those in the study of the serious and mundane who aren’t directly attached to outrageous claims??

      That they sat around and mumbled while this all happened because of their common political, anti-carbon and green culture bias should be a given. Does that still make their valid work a Pseudoscience??

      A case can be made against pseudoscience claims but it can’t me made against the broad political culture that is the core of the AGW agenda but is always and religously denied by “advocates” as Dr. Curry mislabels them. We’re being steered down another distraction topic.

  65. http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/roy-clark-where-it-all-went-wrong-with-climate-science/#more-5431

    Most people, including many scientists, have been fooled by the pseudoscience that is hidden in the climate models. Every single result produced by the use of radiative forcing is invalid. The results from all of the models that use the empirical radiative forcing constants given by the IPCC are fraudulent.

    There has to be a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we describe climate and climate change. There is no climate equilibrium on any time scale and all of the energy transfer processes are dynamic, not static. The sun only shines during the day. Sun wind and water need no help from CO2 to set the Earth’s climate.

    Sol Invicto Comiti

    • Interesting. Sun wind and water. Plausible too. Earth is an evaporative heat exchanger, a “boiler” fired by solar radiation (and geothermal flux) with empty space being a radiative heat sink. Ice is important too.

  66. Professor Bob Ryan

    Is climate science more like Freudian psychology than Einstein’s relativistic mechanics? This problem of demarcation between science and pseudo-science is nothing new. Arguably, the best contribution to the demarcation debate was made by the great Imre Lakatos, a student of Karl Popper. Here is a transcript of one of Lakatos’ last lectures before his premature death in 1974 http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/About/lakatos/scienceAndPseudoscienceTranscript.aspx and for a bit more about this great thinker here is the Wikipedia article which is a fair description of the man and his ideas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Lakatos. If he was alive now I suspect Climate Science would be a favourite case study for him. I doubt he would dismiss it as pseudo-science, indeed he might regard it in a rather charitable way as a new research programme which had not got its full empirical legs – it’s still crawling, not yet walking. It might get up one day, but then it might not. However, I recommend these links to his work for anyone who is seriously interested.

    • Theo Goodwin

      “This problem of demarcation between science and pseudo-science is nothing new.”

      This is a Red Herring. No one would claim that you can engage in science yet have no specifiable logical or methodological relationships between your climate model and your data. Climate science has none. Therefore, any claims that have been based on climate modeling are pseudoscience.

  67. This is a cousin of the “science” vs. “Anti-science” ad hom. While it leads nowhere it’s interesting Dr. Curry would link it while ducking more obvious politically driven questions that call climate science into question.

  68. I think anyone who assumes that correlation equals causation is indulging in pseudoscience.
    I have been involved in the area of kidney transplantation for many years. As regards a drug called cyclosporine , we know
    1. It helps reduce the incidence of rejection
    2, It often knocks the transplanted kidney around, reducing its function.
    Because of point 2, if the function of a transplanted kidney goes off, an almost universal reaction is to reduce the cyclosporine dose.
    The manufacturers produced observational studies showing a correlation of good transplant outcomes with high cyclosporine doses.
    The reason for this observation was that only patients with good kidneys could tolerate high cyclosporine doses !
    Randomised control trials sorted this point out,
    Now if planet earth is our patient …and we have one patient …how do we design a randomized controlled trial?
    Jim Petrie

    • That’s the point. You can’t do experiments, let alone controlled experiments. That’s true of aspects of many scientific disciplines. Geology for example. Economics is another one. Climate science falls into this category of observational science, and along with others, it suffers from the temptation to ascribe causation to correlation, and from serious difficulty testing hypotheses. These types of academic pursuits often lead to quite belligerent behavior by their practitioners, who become very enamored of their pet theories. Anthropology happens to be my favorite example of this. It’s full of passionately argued “just so” stories that can never be refuted. There’s much less conflict in fields where experiments can be conducted and repeated to generate evidence.

      • GeneDoc,

        Economists can do controlled experiments. I do them. The real problem for us is finding “invariant conceptual objects”–that is, things like fundamental constants, or even distributions of constants, that can be counted on to be stable across experiments–much less externally valid (stable between laboratory and field contexts). Without this we can’t generalize point predictions from one explanatory context to another.

  69. World leaders secretly agreed to unite nations against “global climate change” in ~1971 in order to save themselves and the rest of the world from the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation,

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

    They guided astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, climatology, planetary and solar science by manageable computer models of reality, in order to hide evidence that the Sun’s core is like the core of the uranium atoms that vaporized Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and the centers of all galaxies, stars and heavy atoms (mass > ~150 atomic mass units): Neutron-rich and energized by neutron repulsion !

    Neutron repulsion is recorded in the rest mass of every atom whose nucleus contains two or more neutrons ! This information, repeatedly reported in peer-reviewed scientific literature after being presented at the 32nd Lunar & Planetary Science Conference in early March 2001

    http://www.omatumr.com/lpsc.prn.pdf

    E.g., Journal of Fusion Energy 19, 93-98 (2001)
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts/jfeinterbetnuc.pdf
    Journal of Fusion Energy 20, 197-201 (2001)
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts/jfeinterbetnuc.pdf
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x1n87370x6685079/  

    Was obvious to intellectually curious students as young as the late James-Alan Holt Powers http://tinyurl.com/89arzjf

    The rest of this sad story was captured by CSPAN on 7 Jan 1998:

  70. Climate science is science, good bad or corrupt. Lately a lot of corruption.
    The AGW movement is pseudoscience, pushing worthless treaties, rent seeking and obsessed on apocalypse by way of CO2 and the delusion that we can regulate the climate.

  71. “…conducting climate model experiments…”
    If one uses the word ‘experiment’ to describe activities like running a computer model, one will then need a new word or expression to refer to those sorts of activities that have traditionally been known as experiments – such as testing theories against results in the lab or against observations in nature.
    I don’t see why climatologists (or anyone else) should claim the right to hijack this well understood term and subject it to an entirely different usage. Unless, that is, they want to be regarded as pseudoscientists.

    • The jargon used is a large part of the problem. “experiment” instead of simulation. Climate “sensitivity” instead of sensitivity to carbon dioxide.

      The worst is the changing goal posts. HADCRU5 now has 2005 and 2010 as the “warmest” years. That is thanks to including a sparse coverage area in the Arctic. The Antarctic and the southern oceans have a lot of sparse coverage areas not included. If you incorporated satellite readings for the sparse coverage in the SH, 1998 is the “warmest” year again. Kinda funny when billions of dollars invested in state of the art technology is avoided in favor or a couple of Russian surface stations to produce a new “warmest” target to shoot for to CYA.

  72. Has anyone done a “Psuedoscience = Phoney Leather Science” yet?

    Cue Elvis. ;)

    Andrew

  73. Matt Ridley’s Angus Millar lecture laid out a good case for why it has become pseudoscience.

    • A transcript can be found here.

      Personally, I would class science/pseudo-science as more of a continuum than a black/white distinction.

  74. The inhuman forces acting upon climate science have metamorphosed it into absurdity.
    ========

  75. A. C. Osborn

    I agree with Hunter, there is some really great Climate Science that has been and is being done.
    But it is ruined when it has to conform with “it is CO2″ driven”, even when the science shows exactly the opposite.
    Where the pseudoscience really rears it’s ugly head is in the “Headlines” and not just in the MSM, but also in the scientific institutes with their “biggest”, “worst”, “unprecedented” proclamations

    • A.C. Osborn,
      Thanks. The disconnect between climate science and the social movement taht uses it is the interesting area to watch. The frontier between the two is very porous- scientists becoming true believers (Hansen & gleick), true believers pretending to be scientists (gore, etc.).

      • hunter,

        “Climate Science” was a brand name created to dignify the relaxation of scientific rigour, and the abandonment of the null hypothesis.

        I’m sure you are right when you say good things have been done in the name of Climate Science but, of the accomplishments to which you refer, did any fall outside the fields of climatology, geology, physics, etc which were well established, and already doing rigorous work, before “climate science” was invented?

        My own belief is that if you subtract from “climate science” all those pre-existing disciplines, what you are left with is, indeed, pseudoscience.

  76. Not sure I’d take too much advice on psuedoscience from the ‘good calories, bad calories’ guy.

  77. Whoa, linked by Instapundit. Not bad for a Husky.

  78. The quote by Karl Popper, (henceforth to be referred to as the sainted Popper,) that science proceeds as ‘bold conjecture and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.’ seems to have been misinterpreted by Mann and his Hockey Team to read ‘ ingenious and severe attempts to *support* them.’

    Anybody interested enough in the debate who bother reading Ross McKitrick’s April 04, 2004 paper, ‘What is the Hockey Stick about.’ cannot fail to see the manipulation of data from Mann’s ‘Censored’ File and legally obtained by Steve McIntyre. Here for all to see are the Team’s ingenious manipulation of data, selection of pre 1450 ” one tree” data selection. ( a big ‘no’ in dendrology,) omission of data and concealed splicing of data to get a Hockey Stick and hide the Medieval Warming Period.

    And in the Climategate emails the Team are condemned in their actions , (and of gatekeeping,) by their own words. It’s pseudo science.

    ( Jest hafta stop using brackets.)

    • Beth

      I think the element that disappoints me most about the Hockey Stick (about which I wrote ar great length in ‘The Long Slow Thaw’ is that Dr Mann was not met wth stunned incredulity from other scientists when he proposed that such an inherently unreliable measurement as Tree rngs- that is totally unsuited for the task for which it was employed- should be used as a key measure of temperature reconstruction.

      Similarly, where were all the scientists when sailors throwing buckets over the side of a ship 150 years ago and scooping up water in a random fashion was deemed to be good enough to be the basis of another key measurement?

      Both series of measurements should never have become the iconic statement they have become over the last decade or so.
      tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      The quote by Karl Popper, that science proceeds as ‘bold conjecture and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them’ isn’t true

    • Kuhn’s point against Popper is simply that the journals are not full of falsifications. They are full of explanations. Under Kuhn’s model of science there are two kinds of progress. Normally progress means developing explanations under a paradigm, that is a body of accepted theory and practices. Periodically it means overthrowing the paradigm. (The problem with climate science is that CAGW is an ideologically motivated paradigm. This is outside of the Kuhnian model, which simply assumes that paradigms are accepted for good scientific reasons.)

      Incommenserability is a technical problem. Kuhn, who was an historian not a logician, observed that during revolutions scientists with different paradigms talked past one another. Analytical philosophy of science said that the meaning of theoretical terms was determined by their theories, from which it indeed follows that theoretical statements in different theories cannot contradict one another, because the same words have different meanings. I think the problem is not fundamental, but in fact we see a lot of talking past in the climate debate.

      • “David Wojick
        Kuhn’s point against Popper is simply that the journals are not full of falsifications. ”
        They are if designed, written and review properly. Pretty much every figure I present has a positive and a negative control. Sometimes the controls are are in previous papers, as when one point has been taken as established it is generally resilient.
        So Mitotracker Red is a proxy for membrane potential, MitoSOX is a monitor of mitochondrial superoxide. By adding X to cells with one or the other, comparing the output of the, we are falsifying a wide range of hypotheses. Typically not all hypotheses are presented, but MT up Sox down is completely different from the other three combinations.
        I think Popper was right on with pretty much everything he wrote on scientific methodology, the history of science and the philosophy of science should be taught to science undergraduates.

  79. Tssk, edit why don’t you? ‘bothers’

  80. Typo in the headline. Please fix.

  81. Michael Larkin

    I’m going to post a link to a YouTube film that cropped up on another discussion on a forum in an entirely different subject area. By posting it, I am not declaring for one side or the other, but I think it’s interesting because the controversy about AIDS has much in common with that about CAGW, and dissenters in the former are offering a similar perpective that the orthodox view is pseudoscientific.

    The parallels between how dissenters in both areas view the orthodoxy is eerily similar, but I don’t really know of a film (certainly not one available on YouTube) that goes as deeply into the dissenting case for CAGW as this one does for AIDS:

    • Michael,
      So is it tobacco that causes global warming or is it AIDS?
      Or are you unable to respond to the skeptical critique of AGW, so you are forced to distract from the topic?
      Just wondering,

      • Michael Larkin

        Hunter,

        Can you read English? Can you write it?

        I am a sceptic of CAGW. Judith referred to nutritional epidemiology, and I referred to the AIDS orthodoxy as another possible example of pseudoscience.

        Taking a look at a controversy in another area may make it possible for some to see how orthodox views they hold are seen by those who disagree with them. People get so tied up in their orthodoxy or dissent re: CAGW that they often lose the ability for dispassionate examination of issues, and to at least understand where the other guy is coming from.

    • Micheal, that’s too controversial. I support HIV/AIDS skepticism too, but this is probably not a place for that. There must be other forums/blogs.

    • Michael Larkin, I am quite prepared to take a bet.
      I will inject or snort the postulated trigger identified by the ‘HIV-not cause of AIDS’ crowd, as long as I get to inject HIV into their blood stream.
      Then we see who gets AIDS. Fair enough?

  82. I’m so please to see this article — I’ve been digging deep into low-carb diet literature (Taubes and others) in recent months, and I quickly began to see all the many parallels between mainstream climate science and mainstream nutrition. Not so much that they are both pseudoscience (a loaded judgment call), but that the defenders of the mainstream dogma seem to behave in precisely the same reactionary, unscientific close-minded way.

  83. Constitution First

    The climate has done nothing BUT change for billions of years. Climate is never static, change is the major aspect of climate that makes it so interesting to study. The very concept of “stopping climate change” revels fools & hucksters for what they really are.

  84. We believe in climate change because it is not verifiable therefore any effort to disprove it will fail. Luckily, once the dangers of cooling are understood,we may save ourselves from our own stupidity. Coology is the science that studies the disruption caused by the earth’s cooling.Coologists are discovering horrendous impacts of possible coldness in the future.

  85. Theo Goodwin

    The first duty of climate scientists who make claims that are based on climate models is to explain the logical relationships between the model and the independently verified data. The second is to explain the methodological relationships between the same. The Taubes article states Popper’s version of the methodological relationship. No climate scientist has attempted to show that models meet the standards set forth by Taube.

    In physical science, theories consist of well confirmed physical hypotheses and they can be combined with statements of initial conditions to yield predictions that can be tested. The logical relationship is very clear: the combination of hypotheses and initial conditions imply the future events. No one in climate science has even attempted to specify a logical relationship between a model and its data.

    One can only conclude that climate modeling, as used by climate scientists, is pseudoscience.

  86. Is not it pseudo science or even worse to calculate trend in an oscillating pattern (http://tinyurl.com/7p963ez) from valley to peak instead of peak-to-peak or valley-to-valley (http://bit.ly/GD9Aye)?

  87. tetragrammaton

    It must have been ten or fifteen years ago that there were newspaper reports about a fairly senior Anglican clergyman, attending a convocation in (I think) Canterbury. He was chatting with a group of his fellow churchmen and made some comments to the effect that “we all know” the New Testament is just a bunch of made-up stories. The shocked response from his fellow clergymen probably revealed to him that, even if some of them shared his atheist beliefs, they were not about to reveal this fact.

    The point isn’t whether the clergyman was a fool or a knave, honest or dishonest, in his assumption that he was an insider in a conspiratorial pseudo-religion group.

    The point, rather, is how others viewed him based upon their own positions as insiders, outsiders, onlookers, or whatever.
    Devout insiders probably viewed him as a fool, while considering themselves honest.
    Other “closet atheist” insiders likely viewed him as a knave, while considering themselves dishonest but smarter.
    Lay churchgoers viewed him as a knave.
    And so on.

    Turning to climate science and pseudoscience, I find it interesting to apply some of the same perspectives on scientists, skeptics, and indeed on some of comments of estimable denizens of this blog. Are we dealing with:
    Knaves who consider others within their group knaves?
    Fools who consider others within their group honest?
    Knaves outside the “climate science insiders” group who consider they are dealing with fools?
    Fools outside the group who consider the insiders to be knaves?
    And so on.

    Viewed from this perspective, a great many of the Climategate emails reveal foolish and knavish goings-on.

    Much of “climate science” turns out to be pseudoscience. One would have to be a fool to believe otherwise!

  88. Scientific method requires that the work be available to be checked by others. Climate science doesn’t operate on that basis. Since pseudoscience is defined by a failure to adhere to the scientific method, it seems pretty clear that climate science falls neatly into the definition.

    • Replicability is not about checking someone’s work. It means if you do the same work you should get the same results. It is a theoretical condition, not a requirement for sharing.

      • David,

        Argue with Einstein. “If I were wrong, one would be enough.” If Einstein had made it impossible for anyone to be able to show that he was wrong, he’d have been using the same approach presently used by climate scientists.

        Review the long, sordid embarrassment of the science establishment in trying to hide Briffa’s magic tree. Then get back to me on whether transparency is a part of the scientific method.

      • Stan, one does have to explain what one did in enough detail for someone else to try to replicate it. That is very different from checking your work. As far as scientific method goes the requirement is pretty minimal. People who are trying to use the scientific method as a rallying cry for data sharing, so-called transparency, and other ideological movements, are off the mark.

      • Yes but…if there is only one instance of earth’s atmosphere, there is no opportunity to independently verify unless one shares core data.

        Otherwise, one would have to accept that without repeatability it is impossible for any properly scientific inquiry to occur in climate science and therefore climate science cannot be a science.

      • Blouis, I have no idea what core data you are talking about, in the context of replication and the scientific method. The scientific method, which is 400 years old or more, is simply not about sharing data. Trying to make it so is rewriting history for ideological purposes.

      • [Earth] Climate science…one earth…no experiments…one set of earth data…n=1…doesn’t stop scientific inquiry on one universe…but stellar observations have to be independently verified. Why don’t earth observations have to be independently verified?? Because the historical data *can’t* be independently verified, unless the observations are made open. Simple.

      • David,

        I’m not interested in playing a game of semantic BS. Let’s take terms like ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘anti-science’ et al and view them throught the lens of a concept of “good scientific practice” or even just honest science. And because climate science is inherently political from its inception, let’s consider the minimum requirements of science to serve society to insure that fundamental human rights don’t get trampled.

        Secret evidence that cannot be ‘cross-examined’ has no place in policymaking in a free country. Assertions have to be capable of being checked. Scientific claims have to be available for inspection so that those who stand to be harmed by the policy can avail themselves of the opportunity to defend themselves. Truth matters. Or it should.

        Science which is produced for the purpose of influencing policy should follow good scientific practices. Transparency is an absolute necessity. Replication isn’t possible without it.

        With that baseline, let’s go back to Briffa’s magic tree. That’s a great example of pseudoscience. In every particular, he fails to employ good scientific practices. The study is pure garbage. But because of his secrecy and the failure of the scientific establishment to insist on transparency, efforts to ‘check’ his work are rebuffed for a decade following its publication.

        If scientists want to claim that the magic tree study followed the scientific method, but was not good scientific practice, I don’t think they are going to improve the public perception of scientists. In my mind, and I would assert in the minds of most of the public, the scientific method is synonymous with good scientific practice. Trying to find space between the two is likely to be a losing proposition for any who try it.

      • I’ve a hunch that the blatancy of Briffa’s magic tree pseudoscience, once tendered by the Royal Society and pounced upon by Steve McIntyre, was part of FOIA’s impetus.
        ===================

      • “one does have to explain what one did in enough detail for someone else to try to replicate it”

        One of my mentors told me about a Japanese scientist who carried a bottle of NaF with him when ever he visited any ones lab.
        The thing was he could also get an unusual fluoride metMyoglobin complex if he used that bottle of NaF.
        No one else could reproduce it, nor could he if he got some NaF from Sigma. It was his ‘special bottle’.
        Climate science is like that, ‘special’ trees, ‘special’ proxies, ‘special’ data transformations and ‘special’ statistics.
        Its a bit like the Radiohead song, we are Creeps and you are all so F**king special.

  89. Coolologists have now shown that a little ice age may once again threaten mankind.

  90. Global cooling threatens to cripple Russian and Canadian agriculture, according to recent climate modeling studies.Only coordinated efforts by all the world’s economies make forestall famines caused by potential cooling trends. Coolologists warn that the sun may be less understood than we thought.

  91. The problem isn’t that climate science is a pseud-science. The problem is that confidence in the ability of GCMs to predict planetary surface temps a century out is not based on rigorous scientific practice. Climate models have perfectly good contributions to make to science, but the idea that we can bet the (planetary) house on them is silly. Until you have full knowledge of all possible elements of natural variability, you can’t begin to rely on a model of the system for reliable predictions. I can’t imagine that such knowledge has been demonstrated.

  92. Michael Crichton nailed this years ago:

    ‘Aliens Cause Global Warming’
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122603134258207975.html

    • I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

  93. Using the term “greenhouse gas,” as you do, is an excellent indicator of pseudoscience, Judith. Carbon dioxide traps radiant heat (photons at certain discrete energy levels). It was well established before 1900 that greenhouses warm not by trapping radiant heat but by limiting convective and conductive heat loss. Real scientists avoid the term “greenhouse gas.”

    Also an indicator of pseudoscience is the failure of any effort to explain why the theory being proposed surpasses previous theories in explanatory value, something I’ve never seen in any pro-AGW article. Back when I was a young science editor in the 70s, I pursued a book from two paleo-climatologists based on their article that neatly explained the more highly variable weather we are experiencing now versus then–seems we were due for a return to Normal Holocene Weather following a sixty-year period of the most moderate weather in the last 11,000 years. That theory had a lot of currency forty years ago, and the lack of of explanation why AGW works better is pure pseudoscience, on par with dismissing the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm with gloss-overs rather than argument.

    I don’t doubt there are those studying AGW theory with scientific rigor, but what we get from the usual suspects is pseudoscience.

  94. SM: Popper formulated his theory of scientific knowledge in the context of Einstein’s challenge to Newton and argued that we are never able to establish the truth of any scientific theory. However by conjecture and refutation involving tests we sometimes falsify a theory and replace it by another theory that is more explanatory or yields more accurate predictions, and through critical language our theories can become independent of their creator.

    Thomas Kuhn agrees w Popper that we are deductive learners burt disagrees that science advances through falsification and replacement of theories by more explanatory ones. His ‘normal’ science occurs w/in the paradigm of a dominant theory and its practitioners solve ‘puzzles’ not ‘problems.’ If a test fails its a personal failure not a truth issue. ‘Revolutionary’ science in which one theory overthrows another is a rare occurence.Kuhn suggests that while he does view scientific knowledge in the natural sciences as advancing,( Lakatos) “We must explain why science- our surest example of sound knowledge- progresses as it does…” he is unable to hypothesise how this occurs,, offering ” My impression, no more than that, “that a theory or paradigm will only be abandoned when it solves almost all the puzzles of its predessor.He then seems to argue against scientific progress, however, claiming a replacement theory belongs to a different universe of discourse to its predecessor, which means they are incommensurable, no theory can be said to be better than another. I think a critical response to this is John Watkins argument (in Lakatos) that incommensurability cannot apply to rival alternatives because they are logically incompatible, the Ptolmaic system is logically incompatible w Copernican, Newton’s theory is logically incompatible w Relativity and therefore it’s possible eg by devising critical experiments, to make a rational choice between them.
    Of course Steve Mosher, as Popper said, somewhere,’I may well be wrong. ‘

    ( This has been a major thinking effort by me and you’ll probably make mincemeat of my argument but its 4 am in the morning and I have to go to bed.)

    • Well how about this. Popper and Kuhn are both right. So’s a broken watch 2x a day or something to that effect.

    • This got posted in the wrong place, so here it is again. Kuhn’s point against Popper is simply that the journals are not full of falsifications. They are full of explanations. Under Kuhn’s model of science there are two kinds of progress. Normally progress means developing explanations under a paradigm, that is a body of accepted theory and practices. Periodically it means overthrowing the paradigm. (The problem with climate science is that CAGW is an ideologically motivated paradigm. This is outside of the Kuhnian model, which simply assumes that paradigms are accepted for good scientific reasons.)

      Incommenserability is a technical problem. Kuhn, who was an historian not a logician, observed that during revolutions scientists with different paradigms talked past one another. Analytical philosophy of science said that the meaning of theoretical terms was determined by their theories, from which it indeed follows that theoretical statements in different theories cannot contradict one another, because the same words have different meanings. I think the problem is not fundamental, but in fact we see a lot of talking past in the climate debate.

  95. Coolology is not a pseudo-science. Coolology is based on real evidence such as frozen animals found in Siberia. Coolologists have proven that ice in the past covered much of the earth.

    • “As to the warmer periods, they used to be called ‘climatic optima’ before climatology became a ‘political’ science in the last decades. One of them was the Medieval Warming Period between the 11th and 13th centuries, when the average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were up to 2 °C higher than today. The term derives from the verifiable fact that not only the biosphere but also Mankind have adapted more comfortably to warmer periods than to the cooler ones like the eight ice ages of the last 800,000 years. These glacial periods have lasted some 90,000 years each and were separated by eight inter-glacial periods lasting between 10,000 and 10,500 years in average. Civilized Mankind has been existing entirely in the current 10,700 years inter-glacial called the Holocene.

      “Hence, instead of being scared to death about warming, climate-concerned people should rather think again. Without pressing the panic button, it doesn’t need an actual ice age; a mere drop of 1-2 °C in the average temperatures (many scientists who study the cosmic-solar influence on the climate expect a cooling for the next decades) would spell a lot of troubles for the world agriculture, e.g. an increase of killer frosts and droughts. (7) This would be particularly dangerous for a WTO-world where national food security is labeled ‘market distortions’ and has became greatly dependent on a few big food exporting – and geographically vulnerable – countries like the U.S., Canada, France, Argentina, Brazil and Australia.”

      ~ by Geraldo Luís Lino

    • I thought I had an advanced degree in Coolology when I was nineteen. 8-) Now, not so much.

  96. Richard Feynman on pseudoscience:

    • The part about “I know how hard it is to know something” is right on the money, I am sorry and ashamed to say.

  97. Theories (or settled science) based entirely on computer models all have one thing in common: GIGO.

    Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Especially with so much money pushed at anybody willing to call themselves scientists, specifically to prove the conclusion interested parties want to advance, the models are tweaked until the desired results are obtained.

    Any “science” that survives scrutiny by avoiding it is a pseudoscience. Blacklisting skeptics, threatening critics, hiding declines, deleting emails, hiding methods, erasing data, and otherwise obscuring what goes on behind the curtain of settled science, is all the evidence I need to conclude that Global Warming, er sorry, Climate Change, is the most egregious, multi-trillion-dollar scam to ever defraud the world out its money, and a disgusting power grab by the various multi-national networks of ethically challenged charlatans.

    A James Bond villain would be hard-pressed to conjure a more atrocious plot. Men have hanged for less damage that these disingenuous fakes have caused.

  98. The dream of taxing carbon predates AGW, I hope most people understand this and I’m dating myself by pointing this out. It predated iceage fears of the 70’s as well.

  99. WTH, as long as there is “political science” and no one looks askance at someone who calls himself a political scientist, why should anyone be arguing whether “climate science” is or is not science?

  100. Here, NW (https://judithcurry.com/2012/03/20/psuedoscience/#comment-187005) brings up “omitted variable bias”. As I understand(?) it, this is omitting alternative factors when correlating with observations. The alternative(s) may fully explain, or may be a partial contributor to, the correlation.

    Below, Rawls calls it fraud. I suggest there a lot of alternatives to “fraud”: schedule, money, lack of data for alternatives, lack of understanding of climate mechanisms, commitment to existing modeling methods, etc. But it may be worth a read.

    Rawls, Alec. “Omitted Variable Fraud: Vast Evidence for Solar Climate Driver Rates One Oblique Sentence in AR5.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, February 22, 2012. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/22/omitted-variable-fraud-vast-evidence-for-solar-climate-driver-rates-one-oblique-sentence-in-ar5/

    • PD, thanks for posting this, I had not seen it before. I’m with you about the language. If you want to convince the undecided, or even the opposite side, using hot words like ‘fraud’ isn’t very diplomatic. A teacher of mine once said you should always begin an attack by saying what great scholars you are attacking, how swell they are. Not simply to pump up your own reasonableness, but to pump up your own achievement: Where’s the big achievement in showing that frauds and/or idiots are wrong?

  101. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

    You quote this at the top, then say climate science doesn’t look like this? HELLO?!?

    This is the EXACT experience the vast majority of people have had when trying to dig into climate “science”.

  102. Schrodinger's Cat

    What part, if any, of the Wikipedia definition does not perfectly describe climate science?

  103. Dr. Curry,

    As you so aptly point out, even perfectly valid science can be conducted in a pseudo-scientific manner by certain individuals or institutions. This is certainly true of the Harvard School of Public Health and its ongoing, rather crazed search for ‘what’s killing us’ in the Nurses Health Study database.

    One could posit that some practitioners of climate science or some institutions of climate science are prone (lean towards…) one or more–and valid examples could be found of many that almost certainly are guilty of a fine mix–of the following points:
    1. do not adhere [strictly enough] to a valid scientific method
    2. make claims or support hypotheses that cannot be [or simply are not] reliably tested
    3. Often make use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable [or only predicted to occur in a distant future] claims,
    4. Exhibit an over-reliance on confirmation and/or confirmation bias
    5. Make no or few attempts at refutation
    6. Exhibit a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, withhold or deliberately obfuscate data and methods to prevent such
    7. Show a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop [potentially alternate] theories.
    The above is about 7 out of 10 of the Wikipedia’s list of the features of pseudo-science.

    The science itself is not a pseudo-science, but it’s practice might in its current state, be viewed as partially so.

    • Consider an addition to your list:
      8. The use of fallacies in arguing the point. For example, “Ambiguity” and/or “Affirming The Consequent”.
      To me, either or both of these is a clue that the game is afoot. :-)

  104. ahhhh, the defense of Climate Science as science. The massive stumbling block, which Curry handwaves, is experimentation.

    “The Earth conducts experiments”.
    No, it doesn’t. What the Earth does is not repeatable, in the experimental sense. The Earth has no interest in controlling variables. The Earth fails to isolate the condition being tested.

    If it’s not repeatable, not testable and not controlled, it’s not an experiment.
    IF you choose to build theories and compare them to masses of untested, uncontrolled, unrepeatable observations, that’s fine. That’s much of what’s done with geology, evolution, etc. Just take care to NOT call the collection, categorization, organization, and evaluation of the observations “experimenting.” These activities with knowledge/data can be useful and informative, but they aren’t experiments.

    If you call your psuedo-experiment an experiment, and base your science on it, you have what’s known as “psuedo-science.”

    Pretty simple actually.

  105. Judith Curry

    What is it?

    Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

    Let’s first make a clear distinction between:

    – “Climate science” as an academic scientific discipline

    and

    – The CAGW “consensus” premise of the IPCC.

    The former may well qualify as “science” as opposed to “pseudoscience”, but let’s examine the latter, since that is the REAL issue here.

    Does it “adhere to a valid scientific method”?

    The theoretical physics supporting the greenhouse theory may well ”adhere to the scientific method”, but IPCC’s “consensus process” definitely does not, as it systematically closes out all viewpoints, which dissent from its “CAGW premise” This is not how the “scientific method” is supposed to work: it openly includes ALL viewpoints and challenges. The stated premise (in this case CAGW) must be falsifiable and must have successfully withstood attempts at falsification before it can be considered a corroborated hypothesis. This is not the case. IOW, the CAGW “consensus” premise of the IPCC does not “adhere to the scientific method”.

    It also ”lacks supporting evidence”, where “evidence is clearly defined (according to the scientific method) as empirical data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation. This is lacking for the CAGW premise of IPCC. It is only supported by theoretical physics and model simulations; but these provide no “supporting evidence” as they are only as good as the input assumptions that have been fed into the models.

    The CAGW premise of IPCC ”cannot be reliably tested” (or, at least, has not been so far.

    ”Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories”. With the exception of the last sub-phrase, this all applies directly for the CAGW premise of IPCC. Whether or not ”systematic processes to rationally develop theories” applies for CAGW is a moot point.

    Conclusion:

    Climate science = “science”

    IPCC’s CAGW “consensus premise” = “pseudoscience”

    Seems pretty clear to me.

    Max

  106. Perhaps Feynman’s “cargo-cult” science would be more appropriate than “pseudoscience”.
    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_science

    Feynman cautioned that to avoid becoming cargo cult scientists, researchers must first of all avoid fooling themselves, be willing to question and doubt their own theories and their own results, and investigate possible flaws in a theory or an experiment.

    I get the impression from my biologist friend that “cargo-cult” science is rife as part of the publish or perish culture. Proper scientific questioning is suspended since nobody will notice if the method is slightly flawed but the answer is what we expect. Climate science could therefore be considered the pinnacle of the modern cargo-cult science.

  107. Is not it pseudo science or even worse to claim there is man made global warming when what the data shows is a constant uniform warming of ONLY 0.06 deg C per decade since record begun 162 years ago (http://bit.ly/GE647f)?

    Row Data => http://bit.ly/GDptbi

    • Girma, to play a devil’s advocate, they simply say that without the human CO2 (and other stuff), the “natural forcings” are ~negative/flat since ~1960s. Something like this:

      • I am comparing the above 0.06 deg C per decade warming with the following statement of the IPCC:


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

        http://bit.ly/9pwVyH

        The global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade is less than the 0.1 deg C per decade for the case for CO2 kept constant at 2000 level.

        Is this not a pseudo science?

  108. It is a pseudoscience if you go out of your way to stop collecting data that disproves your theory.

    in 1986, 291 stations in Canada collected Bright Sunshine data.
    in 1996, 221 stations in Canada collected Bright Sunshine data.
    in 2006, 29 stations in Canada collected Bright Sunshine data.
    In 2010, 7 stations in Canada collected Bright Sunshine data.

    • More like cut the funding and the program dies

      • Well … billions have been squandered on the big global warming con. Those con artists claimed the science is settled. Why bother collecting data. Especially tree ring data after 1960. That was just embarrassing.

      • Cut the funding – GLOBAL warming will disappear… GLOBAL cooling will start again. Predators will always invent something new. For the last 120y, they predicted seven GLOBAL warmings / six GLOBAL coolings and a Nuclear Winter for year 2000. Predators are running out of inspirations…?

        Before 1990, it was on a small scale and entertaining. The day the Berlin Wall has fallen down – western Reds realized that they cannot take control of democratic west by Kalashnikovs – they put a green topcoat on – the real madness started. The Reds became carbon / methane molesters / jihadists; Eli Rabbet is one of them

  109. The main outstanding causal explanation that has been neglected is internal natural variability of the coupled ocean/atmosphere system.

    I would venture to say that this system is not the only remaining place to look for energy fluctuations. The Earth’s magma stores energy in two forms, heat and rotational. To dismiss it as a possible contributor to climate is to overlook that the energy stored in either one of these forms is many orders of magnitude greater than in the coupled ocean/atmosphere system. Moreover the temperature is far from uniform, varying greatly with depth. It would be very surprising if the heat sloshing around in a spinning magma ball had no discernible impact on global temperature.

    My current guess is that the various ocean oscillations of period 30 years or more have no causal explanation above the crust but are simply the first few harmonics of a single periodic behaviour in the magma. The role of the oceans is simply as translucent portholes into the interior of the Earth. The Earth’s crust is a good thermal insulator, but is thinner beneath the oceans, which convect heat very effectively between the surface and the thin crust on which they rest and which they cool to keep it strong despite its thinness.

    • That is another fine mess. Changing glacial mass would change wobble which could change the internal dynamo which could change the geomagnetic field and volcanic activity cooling the surface renewing glacial build up. So the geomagnetic field could be an indicator of change.

      However, the changing geomagnetic field could change atmospheric chemistry expanding or contracting the ozone hole, changing polar vortex intensity, creating more or less glaciation. Volcanic activity could be an indicator of change. Then the 30 year cycle could be purely thermodynamic lag between poles and not a part of the longer cycles. I am leaning toward the 30 year cycle being internal thermodynamic making it a red herring for the cyclomaniacs.

    • Vaughan


      It would be very surprising if the heat sloshing around in a spinning magma ball had no discernible impact on global temperature.

      Isn’t the bottom of the nearly freezing?

    • Vaughan


      It would be very surprising if the heat sloshing around in a spinning magma ball had no discernible impact on global temperature.

      Isn’t the bottom of the sea nearly freezing?

      • Girma | March 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        Girma, ”nearly freezing” is not cold. On the moon, 1km deep down is close to ultimate zero /kelvin. Nearly freezing is a proof that conduction of heat is good. Thanks to the magma heat; 1km deep down in a mine-shaft is +40C – earth crust is 5% iron ore + other metallic ores, perfect in heat conduction. Because is a big surface area on earth – tremendous amount of heat is released into the atmosphere – outer space, every day; not one of the shonks takes that heat in consideration. Because CO2 has cooked your brains

    • Agree, geothermal flux (and its variation) is significant. The average geothermal flux is not only the heat conduction (which is low), but also a lot of convection (vents…).

  110. Tonyb @21/3 10.23
    Tony,
    Karl Popper was critical of the ‘Bucket ‘Theory of knowledge, Inductivism. :-)

  111. “Any theories for climate change that rely solely on correlation (e.g. celestial motions) that do not posit a physical mechanism may qualify for the pseudoscience mantle if they overinterpret the significance of the results.”

    Even if it posits a physical mechanism then it may qualify as pseudoscience. Lack of mechanism is often taken to be a sufficient condition to claim pseudo-science, but it is never a necessary condition. Some alternative therapies that posit a mechanism are still pseudo-science, even if the mechanism is plausible, if the testing of the hypothesis is not scientific.

    Reading Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World I kept coming across comments on pseudo-science that reminded me of climate “science”, so I posted on it
    http://my-own-doubts.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Carl%20Sagan

    I do know, by the way, that Carl Sagan did believe in catastrophic AGW. However he did not live long enough to see the evidence for it collapse.

  112. I disagree that climate science is pseudo science. There are fundamental laws that cause ice ages and climate optima (like the one we are at now) and studying and understanding them is extremely fascinating and very useful for a civilised and rational society.

    What is pseudoscience is the presentation of climate change (weather averaged over 30 years) as follows:

    http://bit.ly/7bx26A

    Instead of as follows:

    http://tinyurl.com/7p963ez

  113. Message T shirts have arrived!

    Co2’s cool.
    Wage, wage war
    Against the lying and
    the fright.

    ( white on black. H/T Kim.)

    AGW is a Death Star.
    CO2 is Cool.

    (black on white. H/T cwon14)

    Now inter the streets :-)

  114. Oh.

    Not sure how long this will stay up, and there’s a language warning necessarily.. however..

  115. Good link Bart. Penn and Teller are always good to watch.

  116. Coincidentally, my local PBS is re-running the Frontline on “The Vaccine War” tonight.

  117. JC

    Volcanic eruptions serve as another useful experiment; climate models do simulate the expected cooling, but the simulated cooling is often too large for a short duration whereas the observed cooling is shallower and spread over a longer period.

    Your description agrees with the behavior of the global mean temperature trend plots for the 1883 Krakatau volcano where its effect is clearly visible for the25-years trends but completely disappears for the 35-years trends.

    http://tinyurl.com/8535ut2

    • Steven Mosher

      Still using the old data mate. get with it.

    • Greg Goodman

      Girma , please try to understand , you are basically doing running means here. Running mean is a crap filter whose result depends strongly on the similarities (or differences) of the variations in the data and the filter window length. Do you even realise you a using a filter ?

      Your observation that “effect is clearly visible for the25-years trends but completely disappears for the 35-years trends.” should be enough to demonstrate this to you.

      What you are seeing is totally the result of a crap filter, not any property of the data.

      You need to get beyond running mean.

  118. THIS TRUTH WILL SHOCK THE SKEPTICS:

    Science that comes from Mann, Hansen & Co is wrong. BUT, because they are heavily scrutinized, they have to think what they say / lie ; for the last 25years.

    On the other hand, people in the past that concocted the phony GLOBAL warmings; what Skeptics use, to disprove the Warmist – were concocted without any scrutiny. They were not getting the funds what climatologist get now; they had to make bigger lies, to get the attention and funds..

    They were not even climatologist; but failed geologist that cannot get regular work in mining + few retired meteorologist + some paleontologists. When one finds some imprint of warmer than normal on some place – instead of looking for real reasons why – to make it important and interesting – he was declaring that: the whole planet was much warmer – without using the guidance of the laws of physics / chemistry. Without any scrutiny; he was preaching to the students = ended up in the education books = became official. The lies of Paleocene, crapocene, Holocene and similar; as GLOBAL warmings / GLOBAL ice ages – was the BIGGEST PSEUDOSCIENCE ever. That was the precursor for today’s phony GLOBAL warming. If those people were doing correct job; today Hansen & Co wouldn’t be able to tell lies. They can only lie, because the honest people informed by Ian Plimer’s collection of crap, or brainwashed in university of those ”LOCALIZED” big climatic changes; but flogged, as GLOBAL. Without realizing that: the laws of physics don’t permit extra warming of the WHOLE planet / or cooling of the Whole PLANET

    The leading Warmist know that; PAST big / small climatic changes were not GLOBAL – as long as the Fake Skeptics are using them as GLOBAL; they only admitting that: the ”fake Skeptics”are not mature and are born losers. The biggest pseudoscience from the past has paralyzed ”Skeptic’s” brains, they cannot win with the truth – Warmist are rewarded for their much smaller pseudoscience. The ”imaginary GLOBAL warming” made the skeptical people as a ”collateral damage”… They are putting the fire off, with petrol = creating ”backdoor exits” for the Warmist Swindlers. Will be remembered in history as ”Plimer’s Zombies”

    Just compare the funds the ORIGINAL Warmist were getting; with the cash the contemporary swindlers are getting. 2] Compare the scrutiny the contemporary Warmist are getting; with the scrutiny the original Shonks were getting. Then clear the desk, and start scrutinizing the original crap inserted in your brains. Dozens of global warmings and ice ages was predicted in the past 150 years; by the shonks that damaged Fake Skeptic’s brains. That’s why I feel as Galileo, when he was hated by extreme Christians and Muslims; for saying that; the WHOLE WORLD is not spinning around the earth. My proofs / facts and formulas will win. Most of the people on the street are secular believers and secular skeptics. More and more of them will be yelling: -”THE KINGS ARE NAKED” Will look interesting to see the ”Fundamentalist from both camps” being the last to realize that: GLOBAL warming is impossible / the universe is not spinning around them – GLOBAL warmings are inside their heads, not outside. MAY THE TRUTH WIN!!!

  119. David Springer

    “Experiments to test our theories and hypotheses are conducted by the Earth itself.”

    In other words control of variables is out of your control. That makes it something other than an experimental science, Doctor.

    • David Springer

      The basic problem with climate science is a number of practitioners want the most consequential conclusions to be accepted like those conclusions were the result of real experiments when in reality those conclusions are the result of thought experiments. The earth doesn’t conduct experiments. You have a sample size of one, inability to replicate, and inability to isolate variables. That’s no experimental science and without that ability it won’t become an experimental science. You and your colleagues must come to grips with the fact that climate science is a soft-science with imminently escapable conclusions. Everyone not so desperate to be taken as seriously as a heart attack knows the difference between climate forecasting and chemistry.

      • Agreed, these are observations, not experiments, except metaphorically. Climate science, like astronomy and geology, is an observational science, not an experimental science. But hypotheses still get tested, by new observations, including of the past. I personally believe the UAH satellite observations are sufficient to falsify AGW, as they show no GHG warming.

      • Latimer Alder

        But there are plenty of experiments that could be done by climatologists that they either run away from because they might not give the answers they want, or are too experimentally naive to think of them.

        It wouldn’t be very hard to conduct an experiment to see if treerings really do make good thermometers. Might take 20 years, but the results would be very valuable. But have any ‘paloeclimaytolgists’ even suggested it? I fear not. We must just trust them that the trees do what they believe they do.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh.

        The observations cannot distinguish causes. causes are never observed, dope.

      • But observations can show lack of causes, as well as behavior that is inconsistent with causes. The only warming in the entire UAH record is a step function coincident with the big ENSO cycle. There is no provision for such a pattern in GHG warming theory.

        Dope?

      • We observe causes all the time. This morning I observed a gas flame boil my water. This afternoon I saw my dog break a stick with it’s mouth. We observe hundreds of causes a day, because we know how things are supposed to work. We also observe supposed or hoped for causes not being there. Observation is theory laden, as they say.

        Of course if AGW is consistent with all observations, as it sometimes seems to be, then it is not falsifiable by observation. But that is certainly sufficient for it being pseudoscience. I prefer to think that AGW is falsifiable, such that, as I understand it, it is falsified by the UAH record. See? Of course you may understand it differently.

      • Yes, I agree with Mosher. If the sun comes out and it warms the area the cause of the warming is never ascribed to the sun by climate scientists … they are too busy trying to get a grant to claim the warming was caused by CO2.

      • Sunshine, I think you do not understand the issue between M and me.

      • I think you may have lurched a bit too far with that statement.

      • I don’t think Mosher understands claimate at all if he says things like: ” causes are never observed, dope”

      • David Springer

        Well David your personal beliefs are wrong. UAH satellite observations showing no warming are not sufficienct to falsify AGW because the variables in question have not been isolated. In an experimental science you run controlled experiments to isolate variables. In this case we would want to hold everything else constant and have one earth with more CO2 and one with less CO2. That’s how it works in hard sciences. If you can’t isolate variables like that then you’re dealing with a soft science. Evolutionary biology and climatology are both soft sciences desperately seeking the authority of hard sciences in pursuit of ideological agendas. I suppose there are more examples but these two are the most well known and egregious.

      • David, this is not an experimental science so falsification has to be based on observation. All of environmental science is like this. UAH falsifies AGW. It is very simple in its way. Science is like at, when it works.

      • David Springer

        David Wojick

        Now you’re arguing against a straw man. I didn’t say climate science was not a science. I said it was a soft science. I didn’t say soft science hypotheses were impossible to falsify. I said the hypothesis that anthropogenic activities cause possibly catastrophic climate change could not be falsified by satellite observations.

        When you lose a point try just admitting it next time. That’s how you gain respect AND knowledge.

  120. Judy: “Experiments to test our theories and hypotheses are conducted by the Earth itself. For each day and for each annual cycle, we demonstrate that our understanding and climate models are generally correct in simulating the warming and cooling (although getting the diurnal and annual cycle of precipitation correct is much more difficult). Volcanic eruptions serve as another useful experiment; climate models do simulate the expected cooling, but the simulated cooling is often too large for a short duration whereas the observed cooling is shallower and spread over a longer period…. ”
    First, I do agree that the Earth itself does experiments. But it does not follow that your models are generally correct in simulating the warming because you have not eliminated alternate ways of getting the same result. And worse yet, climate scientists do not even accept the possibility that an alternate explanation might exist. This, however, is not specific to climate science. In my senior year at Dartmouth I had an open slot for a science elective and I chose to take geology. I had read about Alfred Wegener and hoped to find out more about his theory of continental drift. But once the course got going I realized that I would learn nothing about it because he was talking about land bridges and island chains that explained faunal similarities across the oceans. For a hands-on experience we had a class outing to the Catskills where we mapped the boundaries of the Kaaterskill limestone to produce a geological map of it. There was a place called “Garden of the Gods” where you paid 10 cents to go in and view fossils on a limestone cliff that weathering had brought out in relief. I went in and found that the chain corals exposed in that cliff face were identical to the ones I had found as a high school kid in Estonia. Those had also been brought out by weathering of a stone fence that the farmers had constructed at the edge of their field. These chain corals are called Halysites and are found in Ordovician and Silurian limestones. But if they were identical this implied that the Catskills and the eastern shore of the Baltic had to have been near each other at one time, as Wegener’s theory told us. I thought about telling this to the professor but decided not to because of all the hostile remarks he had made about Wegener. You don’t want to flunk a course in your senior year. It was over ten years later when plate tectonics became accepted and the contiguousness of Fennoscandia and Laurasia in Paleozoic became apparent. Which brings out the question of why Wegener’s theory was suppressed by main stream geologists for more than 30 years. It wasn’t for lack of contrary observations, it was simply a doctrine that it is impossible for one piece of solid crust to move through another piece of solid crust. It seemed like an iron-clad argument against him until plate tectonics surfaced with an end run around it. Global warming science is very much in the same situation today as geology was in the fifties with respect to Wegener. Greenhouse theory that carbon dioxide is warming the world is dominant despite the many exceptions to it that are known. You can’t question it, we are told, simply because the physics as expressed by Arrhenius and others in the nineteenth century is unassailable. Even many critics of AGW admit that there is some greenhouse warming because there seems to be no way around it. To deny Arrhenius today is equivalent to telling a geology professor that solid rock can move through solid rock. But that, as you should be aware of by now, was not what continental drift was about. And the Arrhenius law similarly is not what global warming is about. I do not deny that carbon dioxide absorbs long-wave radiation as Arrhenius said, I simply deny that that this causes warming. How do I know this? Because of the work of Ferenc Miskolczi. And also because after having examined all temperature records for the past century I cannot find any warming that can be called greenhouse warming. Miskolczi used NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 to determine the transparency of the atmosphere in the infrared and found that it had been constant for the previous 61 years. At the same time carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. This means that addition of this amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. If you are now wondering why the Arrhenius theory did not work it is simple: Miscolczi measured the entire atmosphere, not just carbon dioxide alone. Crucially, this includes water vapor, the chief greenhouse gas of our planet. It follows that climate models that incorporate carbon dioxide greenhouse effect to predict warming are invalid. And since carbon dioxide does not do any warming even if you double it the temperature sensitivity to doubling is exactly zero. And if you are still not satisfied with this, just consider its well-known behavior in ice core data. There is actually no physical evidence that CO2 has done any warming anytime, anywhere, even in geologic time. And the Venusian analogy that is periodically thrown at us by Hansen is simply false. The atmosphere of Venus was never like ours because Venus does not have plate tectonics. On earth radioactive heat from the interior is constantly vented by plate boundary volcanism. Absent plate tectonics that radioactive heat on Venus just builds up and undermines the crust until it weakens enough to break into pieces that sink into the interior. Judging by the impact crater density a new crust forms on Venus every 300 to 500 million years. You would think that a former astronomer on the Pioneer Venus project would know all this but no – Hansen just keeps bringing up Venus as a scare tactic.
    Now to volcanic eruptions on earth. I am sorry to say that climate science is entirely on the wrong track with them. There is no record of any volcanic cooling in global temperature records at any time. What are commonly called volcanic cooling incidents are a misidentification of La Nina cooling periods of ENSO that accidentally followed a volcanic eruption. But to talk of La Nina cooling periods requires that you should first know how to find them. In ground-based records El Ninos are the tips of the sawteeth and La Ninas are the sharp valleys between them. Where these records overlap with satellite data the locations of these ENSO phases match well. One of these erroneous volcanic coolings is a misidentification of the 1992/93 La Nina cooling as Pinatubo cooling. There are papers written about it that are nothing but complete BS. What actually happened is that Pinatubo erupted exactly when the 1991 El Nino had just peaked and temperature was beginning to drop to the La Nina valley that followed. It is possible to pinpoint this timing because of the high resolution of satellite records.The original error is due to Best who thought in 1996 that “Pinatubo climate forcing was stronger than the opposite warming effects of either the El Nino event or anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the period 1991-93.” Unfortunately there was no climate forcing and no cooling that overwhelmed an El Nino plus an imaginary anthropogenic warming at the same time. But just to say this you need to understand what an El Nino is and where it comes from. In trying to solve this Pinaubo cooling problem I was confronted with the fact that no satisfactory theory of ENSO existed.This forced me to work it out myself and you will find it in “What Warming?” on pages 17-29. Briefly, ENSO is a side-to-side harmonic oscillation of ocean water powered by the trade winds. Trade winds pile up warm water near the Philippines and New Guinea. Periodically this piled up water is carried east by an El Nino wave along the equatorial countercurrent. It runs ashore in South America, spreads north and south, and warms the air. Warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, mixes with global circulation, and we notice the arrival of an El Nino. But any wave that runs ashore must also retreat. When the El Nino wave retreats water level in its wake drops half a meter or more, cold water from below wells up, and a La Nina has started. The temperature segment in the satellite record below 1997 is a wave train of a series of El Nino peaks with La Nina valleys in between. There is no doubt that the so-called Pinatubo cooling is part of this ENSO pattern, not a place where an El Nino is missing. But to really clinch the case you have to bring in another volcano, and that other volcano is El Chichon. After pontificating about Pinatubo cooling Best muses that surface cooling by volcanoes is “…clearly documented after some eruptions (Gunung Agung, Bali, in 1963) but not others – for example, El Chichon, Mexico, in 1982…” This was getting interesting. Could I find out what is different about El Chichon that prevents it from cooling the atmosphere? Checking the satellite records showed me that El Chichon erupted exactly when a La Nina cooling had just bottomed out and a new El Nino was beginning to build up. In other words, just because of random timing the eruption of El Chichon was followed by an El Nino warming instead of a La Nina cooling as happened in the case of Pinatubo. It was now clear that there is no such thing as volcanic cooling and that simply random timing with respect to ENSO phase explains the variations of perceived degree of cooling by volcanoes. Clearly this had to be tested for other volcanoes. And testing was made possible because the locations of all the El Nino peaks and La Nina valleys back to the nineteenth century are shown in existing temperature records. I plotted seven volcanoes but could not get the data on cooling for all. Checking Gunung Agung that supposedly did have cooling showed that its eruption was indeed followed by a La Nina valley as expected. I was satisfied that the hypothesis worked with the examples from Best. There are many more volcanoes out there that someone with a desire can use to check the hypothesis further. I suspect they will find just what I found if they can get the data an cooling.

    • Arno, while I found your post difficult to absorb due to lack of paragraphing, i find most of your points to be intuitively feasible and worthy of further investigation.

      The key to good science is curiosity followed by a willingness to think outside current paradigms. The paradigm behind CO2 based AGW has no right to exist because it has been derived through junk science.

      • Thanks for the kind words, Peter. You are right about the paradigm behind CO2 based AGW. Unfortunately their propaganda machine is able to suppress mention of any competing explanations. Take Miskolczi for example. His peer-reviewed paper that I cite has been out for more than a year now. No peer-reviewed articles opposing it have appeared, presumably not for lack of trying. And yet the press pays no attention to him despite the fact that his work demolishes the global warming dogma they push. Or take my paper on Arctic warming. I proved that it was warm water, not greenhouse effect that warms the Arctic but they are still babbling on about anthropogenic warming in the Arctic and the new temperature curves just out do the same.

      • Because you know the physical properties (in particular, heat capacities of matters) of water and air. Alarmists (Hansen, Trenberth, Jones, Gore, …) have no idea of them at all, drill on the tip of a leaf, ignorants of the forests.

      • @ Arno Arrak | March 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm

        Arno, Arctic gets warmer / cooler; same as any other place; nothing to do with any GLOBAL warming. Salty water below zero centigrade can melt the ice. The amount of ice depends on two factors:

        1] the different SPEED of the currents below the ice. Ice sacrifices some of itself constantly – turning in freshwater – to have distance between the salty water and the ice. When the currents increase (reasons why, is on my website) more and more ice melts. B] 80% of Russian rivers drain into the arctic – spreads on the top of the heavier salty water and protects the ice – less water rivers bring = less protection + that deficit is topped up with warm / salty water from north Pacific, ice disappearing – all the shonks scream GLOBAL warming

        2] because of constant melting – needs replenishing every winter. Winds from north poll Siberia blow down to Asia miner for weeks and months – that’s millions of cubic km of dry / cold air. To avoid vacuum – lots of warmer / moist air goes from Atlantic goes there – if brings enough moisture = plenty ice – if Sahara growing increases destroying that moisture during summer in north Atlantic = less raw material for ice. ++++ few other influences. Bottom line: Arctic has enough coldness, to create another 11km of ice on the top of the existing one – if it was enough raw material for ice coming. Q: what is that raw material? B] when is less water on arctic covered with ice = the area becomes COLDER, NOT WARMER! CLIMATOLOGY IS NOT ONLY WRONG, BUT IS BACK TO FRONT, ALSO.

      • Just blink periodically, PD.
        ==============

  121. Perhaps the entire climate science field is not pseudoscience, but a lot of prominent climate scientists are acting like pseudo scientists, by doing things like:
    1. Not publically releasing the raw data and computer algorithms that go into making their computer models, thus not allowing replication of that model data, and not allowing other organizations to examine and criticise any possible invalid assumptions that might have been used to manipulate the data and produce the model results.
    2. Answering criticisms by invoking authority, concensus, or name calling (calling any critic a climate change denier), rather than actually addressing the specific facts of the criticism.
    3. Actively working to suppress publication of papers from critics.
    4. Publishing many positions on the UN panel that were based on articles from partisan groups, rather than a valid study, or misrepresenting the views of real scientists (eg: the bogus UN paper on the Himilayan glaciers)
    5. Publishing visually alarming results, that are based on questionable assumptions (like the infamous hockey stick).
    6. Not sufficiently examining alternative explanations, like solar variability, instead of manmade warming.
    7. Constantly incorporating positive feedback mechanisms into models, that make the results look more alarming, with weak justification for those feedback mechanisms, and not looking hard enough for negative feedback mechanisms, that would make future predictions less alarming.

  122. The entire climate science field is not pseudoscience yet, but by selectively eliminating any researcher whose renewal proposal is not mainstream, US government funding agencies managed to turn major fields of science into propaganda generators for the politicians that support research funding for that research agency (NSF, DOE, EPA, etc.).

    Dr. Marvin explains in detail how anonymous peer reviews were used to corrupt major fields of science in the United States.

    http://nuclearplanet.com/corruption.pdf

    Herndon’s report begins with this quote from Galileo Galilei in 1623:

    “That man will be very fortunate who, led by some unusual inner light, shall be able to turn from the dark and confused labyrinths within which he might have gone forever wandering with the crowd and becoming ever more entangled.

    Therefore, in the matter of philosophy, I consider it not very sound to judge a man’s opinion by the number of his followers.”

    om: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

  123. Climate science is not a pseudoscience, indeed it is not a science *at all*. It is a mental construct akin to math, that may be self-consistent, but there is no way to relate it to the real world. Just like science can not study God, it can not study climate, because like God the climate only exists as a single entity, which no experiment could be conducted upon whatsoever because it takes too long of a time. I am talking here of course about climate science as a whole. Local atmospheric physics like precipitation physics, motion physics, *greenhouse* effect (radiative transfer) physics are indeed scientifically tractable. But when you integrate those locally physical equations, you leave the realm of physical science ad enter the realm of mental, mathematical ‘science’. And for as long as the earth is the only planet we can study, as long as humanity not visit other planetary systems, climate study shall remain a non-science. In fact, would be honest to rename climate science into climate studies, akin to women studies, gender studies and so on.
    —-
    Does my opinion make sense? Is it wrong?

    • I would say it makes no sense, because the climate is not an entity. A big problem here is that there is in fact no scientific (that is, operational) concept of climate. It is a vague, ordinary language concept. But in any case it is a statistical concept, not an entity. Perhaps you mean to refer to the physical system, of which climate is a measure, sometimes called the climate system. Another confusion, alas. That too is not an entity, except in so far as it can be named. Try again.

      • It is nonlinear so there is no way to split it in parts and make statistics that makes sense, and even so no testable predictions can be made because it takes longer to test them than generations climate ‘scientists’ live. Climate science is not a science, it an elaborate computational math, nothing else.

      • The math of physical systems is still science, even if the system is nonlinear. Nor do we need long term predictions to study long term phenomena. We study ice ages and tectonic motions, using retrospective predictions.

      • The math is not science. Science is concerned about studying real world, math is just shuffling of symbols and numbers. math can describe real world, but it need not to. And in the case of climate science, there is no way to test it, *even* if the model is correct. Paleoclimatology? Just 20 years ago they said cretaceous tropics were cool, and now they conveniently ‘discovered’ diagenetic ‘adjustment’ that magically proved that current greenhouse mainstream consensus got it right and 100-ton dinosauri did live in climate where temperatures regularly skyrocketed to over 40C. Amazing retrospective prediction, ain’t it? And still, no model could consistently explain warm poles. And yet, they call it science. Are you serious? It is not. The models exist on their own, and their link to real world is feeble at best. Now, I am just an internet crackpot of the anonymous variety that roam forums, and I know I am most certainly wrong, but I have a feeling that people today put too much trust into theoretical ‘science’. The science is firs and foremost about real world, and if it is not it is just a math. Applied math. May be correct, may make sense but need not describe anything real.

      • Now, I am just an internet crackpot of the anonymous variety that roam forums […]

        I guess that means you’re not Bora then?

      • David Springer

        David Wojick

        You have some strange ideas about science. Math is not science. Math is a language used to describe things. It’s no more science than French or Latin is science. Is it interconnected with science? You bet. It’s our most compact precision language we have for science and engineering. Especially engineering because accuracy and precision is needed in engineering or people die. If an academic is wrong there’s no real consequence unless an engineer takes him at his word and builds something from a mistaken verbal or mathematical explanation of the real world. Fortunately that doesn’t happen often because engineers actually test the theories and discard those found wanting hopefully with no more wasted than the cost of the test.

        Imagine an airliner that was constructed and tested entirely inside a computer then built and before anyone knows if it performs as predicted is loaded up with 500 passengers for a maiden flight from SanFran to Tokyo. The rationale being that the model can be made to work so that some known aircraft have their flight characteristics partially predicted by the model.

        That’s pretty much the state of the climate prediction business. I’m not getting on their plane. Nodoby in their right mind would.

  124. “However, this concern only implies that climate change science is far from complete in terms of being able to understand and predict climate change on decadal to century time scales. It does not imply in any way that climate science is pseudoscience.”

    For climate science to not be a pseudoscience, it must be testable. I’ve seen no proof that that it is or will be testable in any meaningful way. in the foreseeable future except in trivial ways..

  125. “Science” versus “pseudoscience” – there have been a number of posts debating this topic.

    The IPCC position on CAGW can be summarized as follows:

    Most of the observed global warming since 1950 can be attributed to human GHG emissions (primarily CO2); these represent a serious threat to humanity and our environment unless they are curtailed drastically.

    Is this premise supported by “science” or by “pseudoscience”?

    Let’s accept the definition of “pseudoscience”:

    Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

    Rather than appealing to “supporting evidence”, following the “scientific method”, a “confirmation” by an “appeal to authority” (RS, NAS, IPCC, “all the world’s climate research organizations, all the world’s universities, all the world’s top scientific bodies”, etc.) is frequently invoked to support the CAGW premise.

    This is, of course, a logical fallacy, as Wiki tells us:

    Appeal to authority is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.

    But is it true that CAGW does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status ?

    An essay “An Introduction to Science” discusses the application of the “scientific method” as follows:
    http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/readings/schafersman94.pdf

    The scientific method is practiced within a context of scientific thinking, and scientific (and critical) thinking is based on three things: using empirical evidence (empiricism), practicing logical reasoning (rationalism), and possessing a skeptical attitude (skepticism) about presumed knowledge that leads to self-questioning, holding tentative conclusions, and being undogmatic (willingness to change one’s beliefs). These three ideas or principles are universal throughout science; without them, there would be no scientific or critical thinking.

    The scientific method involves four steps geared towards finding truth (with the role of models an important part of steps 2 and 3 below):

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
    2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena – usually in the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
    3. Use of the hypothesis to quantitatively predict the results of new observations (or the existence of other related phenomena).
    4. Gathering of empirical evidence and/or performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments, in order to validate the hypothesis, including seeking out data to falsify the hypothesis and scientifically refuting all falsification attempts.

    How has this process been followed for CAGW?

    Step 1 – Warming and other symptoms have been observed.
    Step 2 – CO2 and other GHGs have been hypothesized to explain this warming.
    Step 3 – Models have been created based on the hypothesis and model simulations have estimated strongly positive feedbacks leading to forecasts of major future warming
    X Step 4 – The validation step has not yet been performed; in fact, the empirical data that have been recently observed have demonstrated (1) that the net overall feedbacks are likely to be neutral to negative, and (2) that our planet has not warmed over the past several years despite increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, thereby falsifying the hypothesis that AGW is a major driver of our climate and, thus, represents a serious future threat; furthermore, these falsifications have not yet been refuted scientifically.

    Until the validation step is successfully concluded, the CAGW premise remains an “uncorroborated hypothesis” in the scientific sense. If the above-mentioned recently observed falsifications cannot be scientifically refuted, it may even become a “falsified hypothesis”.

    So the flaw of the CAGW hypothesis is NOT that several scientific organizations have rejected it, NOR that it is not based on theoretical physics, it is simply that it has not yet been confirmed by empirical evidence from actual physical observation or experimentation, i.e. it has not been “reliably tested” and validated following the “scientific method” .

    And this is a “fatal flaw”, because it puts the CAGW premise into the category of “pseudoscience”, rather than “science”.

    Max

    • I agree with you Max.

    • I like very much your description of the CAGW premise, but take issues with Step 1. Given the paucity of data for time history and for global extent, and given the quality of that data as indicated by the many adjustments, and given that the tendency to use sensor data with little thought to isolate GHG contributions from other trend setting sources, it isn’t clear to me that warming has been observed,

      The failure to isolate GHG contributions from other trend setting sources also affects Step 2 and subsequent steps. While Step 2 is as you say, the proper CAGW hypothesis as they use the data should be ” Step 2 – CO2 and other GHGs have been hypothesized to explain part of this warming, with the rest of the warming explained by land use changes, etc.”

      Validation will not be possible without a set of data of high quality not needing adjustment (at least not with adjustment unconfirmed by measurement) with spatial distribution designed to isolate GHG from other trend setting temperature sources.

  126. True enough, climate science is not necessarily pseudo.
    But that doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of climate pseudoscientists / climastrologists out there.

  127. Des da Moaner

    physicistdave | March 23, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    Yeah, academics tend to lean to the left politically, more so than the general population

    Academia are mostly government-funded, and will understandably have a bias in favor of their funder. Their selection of people and projects will unavoidably be biased
    in favor of those that support more or bigger government (ie a more totalitarian society), and
    against those that support less or smaller government (a freer society).

    Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming consensus from government-funded climate scientists supports the case for more government. Far from this being a conspiracy, it would require a conspiracy for this to not be the case.

  128. Des da Moaner

    Moderators: please zap the earlier version/s of this with the markup ballsup.

    physicistdave | March 23, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    Yeah, academics tend to lean to the left politically, more so than the general population

    Academia are mostly government-funded, and will understandably have a bias in favor of their funder. Their selection of people and projects will unavoidably be biased
    in favor of those that support more or bigger government (ie a more totalitarian society), and
    against those that support less or smaller government (a freer society).

    Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming consensus from government-funded climate scientists supports the case for more government. Far from this being a conspiracy, it would require a conspiracy for this to not be the case.

    • Except… Judith Curry is at a government-supported university, right? And, she is critical of much of the scientifically irresponsible work in climate science.

      I understand your point: it is standard “public-choice” economics (Buchanan, Tullock, et al.). And, “public choice” analysis often can explain quite a lot.

      But not everything. Human beings do not blindly respond to incentive structures — they think, they make choices, they often exhibit moral integrity when incentives do not encourage it. (Think of Soviet Russia, where a surprising number of people did show moral integrity, despite the system.)

      And the point of the scientific method is to make deception (especially self-deception) harder and moral and intellectual integrity easier. But, of course, most people (at least most Americans, and especially most politicians!) do not understand the scientific method. And, alas, even bright people can convince themselves they are following the scientific method when they are not: the fact that these people really do know a great deal of science and that their models are very complex and a great deal of fun to play with, all that makes self-deception all the easier.

      I don’t have a magic solution: maybe we should just pull the plug on government funding (sorry, Judith!). I will simply say that historical experience in science has been that, in the end, it works itself out: Bright young people, uncontaminated by the misdeeds of their elders, enter the field, and get rid of the bad science.

      But, it can take a while. Sometimes, decades.

      Dave

    • Des da Moaner

      @physicistdave
      “Except… Judith Curry is at a government-supported university, right?”

      There’s no “except” about it Dave. We’re talking about an overall institutional bias here, not a no-exceptions/individual iron rule here.

      “Human beings do not blindly respond to incentive structures — they think, they make choices, they often exhibit moral integrity when incentives do not encourage it. “

      What makes you think moral integrity is not part and parcel of incentives ?

      And if the root cause of the sustained bias, is monopoly funding of climate science (in this case by the state), and this monopoly funding continues to be the case, what makes you think even a long period of time will allow a correction to take place ?

      • DdM wrote to me:
        >There’s no “except” about it Dave. We’re talking about an overall institutional bias here, not a no-exceptions/individual iron rule here.

        >What makes you think moral integrity is not part and parcel of incentives ?

        Fine, we agree on those points, then.

        DdM also asked:
        >And if the root cause of the sustained bias, is monopoly funding of climate science (in this case by the state), and this monopoly funding continues to be the case, what makes you think even a long period of time will allow a correction to take place ?

        I think it is already happening: there is more and more discussion about the problems with the “consensus view”: “Climategate” was big news, most Americans are skeptical of the unsubstantiated claims, etc.

        I’m not unsympathetic to your political points: do you know Thoreau’s “Essay on Civil Disobedience”? Those are pretty much my own political views.

        But,. one of the nice things about Thoreau’s essay is that he emphasizes that we never have had a perfectly just, sensible, or sane human society: for better or worse, we have to live in the one we have. That’ is also true for science:: there has never been a time when science consisted solely of people with the scientific integrity of Einstein, Darwin, Feynman, etc. The history of science is littered with fools, charlatans, and con artists.

        But, the scientific method is so powerful that, in the end, it always triumphed. I think it will again. I’ve lived through and observed up-close-and-personal the plate tectonics revolution, the collapse of behaviorist dogmatism in psychology, the recognition by my fellow physicists that Bell’s theorem is true and shows how weird quantum theory is, etc.

        There will always be fools, charlatans, and con artists. But we have a tool now that did not exist throughout most of human history: the scientific method.

        I think that in the end, science proves too powerful to resist.

        Incidentally, I’d make a similar point about the totalitarian horrors the human race suffered through in the twentieth century: hundreds of millions died, and the evil lasted far too long. But, in the end, Communism collapsed almost peacefully.

        In the end, reality wins out.

        But, yes, I know that it can take a frustratingly long time.

        Dave

      • Des da Moaner

        DaveThePhysicist:
        Points of agreement noted.

        But as regards “I think that in the end, science proves too powerful to resist” :
        that optimism of course assumes that enough people are actually doing science. But as long as climate science remains funded from a single source with huge vested interest in a “finding” of CAGW, it is going to be heavily biased towards coming to just that “conclusion”, no matter what it takes (as we see in Climategate).

        I cannot see the passage of time changing this impetus. The difference with the other cases you cite – like quantum theory – is that the funder (again government) didn’t have a huge and obvious vested interest in the argument/”consensus” going one way or the other.

  129. Doug Cotten said “Hence, thermal energy cannot transfer spontaneously from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface. Fullstop.”

    That isn’t what is happening. When a molecule radiates energy it has no prior knowledge of the characteristics of the environment it radiates in to nor intelligence to make choices. It cannot know and is not influenced by the fact that a warmer surface exists at some particular vector. It simply radiates. That radiated energy strikes what it will. What happens to that energy next depends. At the illuminated objects it will be absorbed and re-radiated, or it will be reflected, or degrees of both will occur. There is nothing about a CO2 molecule that gives it the ability to avoid radiating in all directions including toward warmer surfaces. The surface of the earth, being a handy target, is free to absorb and re-radiate, or reflect as it will. The energy from an object does not vanish just because it strikes the surface of a planet that is warmer than the radiating object nor can the energy radiating from a cooler object be pre-emptively prevented from leaving the cooler object because of the inconvenient presence of a warmer radiating object. The critical point is the energy keeps moving, transferring from one place to the next until the next place is the dead blackness of space at which time it leaves the system.

    This is not the same thing as saying a cooler object warms a warmer object. Back radiation does not require that.

    • Waters are muddied. Backradiation is misleading too. The energy budget at TOA (100% radiation) is dependent on the energy budget at the surface (ocean/land…), which is multi-modal (evaporation/radiation/convection). Atmosphere radiates and the radiation is called atmospheric radiation – no need to call it back anything. The “source” of the atmospheric radiation is not only the surface radiation, but also the directly absorbed solar (plus by clouds), the latent heat from the surface and the convective flux, also from the surface. At the surface, the net radiation (Rn) goes into the balance calculation…

      • Back radiation as a term is an attempt to describe that part of radiated energy that is directed toward the surface and which, if the source is withing the extinction range of the energy spectrum being discussed, actually illuminates the surface and where it is re-emitted. Less than 50% of radiated energy emitted from a point above the surface is capable of being “back radiation”, but back radiation happens and is unavoidable. Because the extinction range exists it can take the energy a long time to leave the immediate area. Rather like photons leaving the core of the sun though taking nowhere near hundreds of thousands of years, it is absorbed and re-emitted again and again as it follows the mathematically certain path away from our planet.

  130. Clear exposition thx Max @ 22/3 8.18pm
    Is it that you can see far because you are standing on a Swiss mountain? )

  131. Keith Battye

    I rather thought the Wikipedia definition of Pseudoscience was quite apposite regarding the CAGW camp of Climate Science. It is all inferred and completely untestable over any meaningful time frame.

    Almost daily we read articles about glaciers, animals, coral, fish, rain, drought etc. all connected to the human CO2 output . This really isn’t science it’s just activism by people with, probably, good intentions of saving the world from the “cancer” that is humankind.

    That isn’t science at all.

  132. After all these comments, no one has pointed out the obvious.

    The practitioners of pseudoscience are all the Klimate Klowns who regularly insert their own insane theories to this site. They have commented to this thread, without a hint of self-awareness as to how ridiculous they appear.

    I noticed that Curry teaches climate courses. Can you imagine if these clowns sat in these classes and interjected their own theories incessantly? What would the instructor do? The standard approach would be to tell the disruptors to shut up, and then wait for finals so they can flunk themselves out of the course, and hopefully that field of study.

    But this blog is not real-world academia. This is partly circus, providing entertaining insight into why people believe weird things, which is what pseudoscience is all about, and partly an idea forum, where a few people can engage in fruitful discussions.

    All the agenda-driven skeptics would rather not have this rather obvious state of affairs pointed out, as FUD and a circus atmosphere serves their own goals quite effectively. Point to actual climate scientists as the pseudoscientists, wnen the real pseudos sit in their midst. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • <blockquote.WebHubTelescope | March 24, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply

      After all these comments, no one has pointed out the obvious.

      The practitioners of pseudoscience are all the Klimate Klowns who regularly insert their own insane theories to this site. They have commented to this thread, without a hint of self-awareness as to how ridiculous they appear.

      Including what you’ve just said. You claim with this statement that there are such things as stupid questions, among other things. One of the things I learned early in my teachings is that I can be assured of getting a far more meaningful response if I ask a question or make a claim I know to be faulty than if I state obvious truths. If one is prepared to accept the ridicule of the narrow minded then one can learn much by discussing not what they know but that which they are unsure of.

      Regarding the label “pseudoscience”, I think that is too narrow a term as it does not indicate the larger problem of dishonest science and of course scientists. It has a place, though, just not at the top tier of appropriate labels to describe the shady science and scientists of the climate change industry.

    • “real-world academia”… now there’s an unusual expression!

      • ‘ “real-world academia”… now there’s an unusual expression! ‘

        NW, I take it that you never went to engineering school. A good department will weed out about half the budding majors by flunking them out.

        Is that real-world enough for you? Half the students anticipating a professional career carefully laid out for them and then having their hopes dashed, because some professor is asked to weed out the non-performers.

        Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here, as no one ever gets a failing grade for pushing some nonsense pseudoscience on this commenting board.

        As Lacis said below, the most you get is some clucking from all the chickens if some feathers are ruffled.

      • Web, no, not engineering school. It is true, however, that about two-thirds of my entering PhD program class never finished, so I know what you mean.

        At any rate, that was my comic reaction your “real-world academy” phrase, juxtaposed in my mind to the usual public stereotype of the academy, which contrasts theory with practice, ivory towers with real worlds, etc.

        Even some in the academy admit to some truth in the stereotype. I still smile when I think of Frederick Crews’ description of the academy as “a sort of heaven for ideas that have slipped their earthly moorings.” He was thinking of the Humanities, being a literature professor himself.

    • @WebHubTelescope | March 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Climate science “real-world academia” are characterized by dishonesty – hiding data, hiding declines, subverting peer-review, etc etc – and working to an alarmist agenda that boosts the fortunes of their political paymaster by justifying more taxes and government controls (including world government).

      Imperfect as they are, blogs such as this are a response to this corruption and one-sidedness. So Yes, we can end up with Clowns taking on Liars. But do you have any better real-world answers ? Should Judith start flunking out some of the Clowns?

      • NW,
        My point is merely the obvious one – he who pays the piper calls the tune. Government will preferentially favor people and projects that advance its own interests, which in this case is alarmism over global warming, since this means government can justify expanding itself.

        Your response though completely ignored the point, going on instead about ideology … ??

      • Erica,

        All I can do is relate some personal observations about program directors at NSF. I know several people who have been program directors for the NSF Economics program. They have all been pretty distinctive people, as far as their particular biases and prejudices go (I mean, comcerning what constitutes valuable or important research). Frankly, I can’t detect any differences across their tenures in what sorts of proposals got funded. After all, they are at the mercy of reviewers, who they recruit from the general population of researchers. They have to depend on reviewers, because they can’t possibly manage the flood of proposals they receive themselves. It would be cognitively impossible for them to exercise control over all, or even most, of these outcomes. They are at the mercy of a distributed parallel processing of the proposals they receive: The very notion that the processing is hierarchical and coherent with any kind of agenda is ludicrous.

        When I was a new assistant professor, I made friends with a very smart young political scientist. Among his teaching duties, he taught an “Introduction to Public Policy” class. Like me, he was a heavy smoker at the time. One of his standard lecture gags was to pull his cigarettes out and say to the class: “Did you know that the Federal government has a ‘grow it but don’t smoke it’ policy?” It was his way of illustrating that the government is a highly fractured, inconsistent mess of conflicted processes and outcomes. How could a behemoth like the US Federal government be otherwise?

        Who is this “He” who pays the piper? He? It? By what resoning do you ascribe coherent, unitary agency to the Federal government, or any of its arms like NSF or NASA? I’m sorry, but this kind of talk is preposterous.

      • Erica, I think It’s a little more subtle than that. A scientifically illiterate paymaster may not realise that he is encouraging counterscientific behaviour. Nevertheless, an UNSPOKEN assumption exists than when he pays a scientist to do some research, he, because he’s a scientifically-illiterate politician delivering funding for scientific research – or a scientifically-illiterate journalist reporting its outcome, doesn’t expect the recipient of the grant to come back, grant spent, and report a null finding, no matter how strongly the Scientific Method ought to compel him to do so. So, as I have put it elsewhere, the Null Hypothesis disappears from view, behind a wall of statistics.

      • NW,
        Quite the contrary – it is your denialism of the state being self-interested that is preposterous. Being large and fractured can certainly lead to conflicts over which branch of government should dominate society in a certain area, but overall they generally all work towards advancing government as a whole.

      • tomfop
        I agree with your comments about government funding agencies being prejudiced against a null hypothesis. And that this might be unwitting in some cases.
        But the bottom line is still : government spends (our) money mostly to advance its own interests (and this is true not only of government institutions, it’s a basic human tray). CAGW is a political/leftwing dream come true in this regard.

    • WHT makes a case for the pseudoscience label to be applied to many sceptics themselves that have an agenda. This is not to say that all sceptics are to be tarred with this brush, because in the case of many of the more moderate mainstream climate scientists, such as our hostess, are they to be labelled as practictioners of pseudoscience as well?

    • Erika,

      I have some sympathy for what you are saying, but not this:

      “working to an alarmist agenda that boosts the fortunes of their political paymaster”

      I sometimes joke that “We are all Marxists now.” This statement of yours is a very good example: It is, in its essence, a Marxian doctrine that “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

      Look at Dr. Curry’s vita, specifically the section that lists her current grants. They are almost all from NSF and NASA. According to the vulgar Marxist theory, Dr. Curry should be no different in her beliefs and ideology than anyone else who accepts money from NSF and NASA.

      This is incredibly ridiculous. The amount of variance in people’s beliefs and positions that we can ascribe to their material interests is very, very small. The vulgar Marxist theory of ideology and belief is simply a very bad theory of ideology.

    • @ WebHubTelescope | March 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Wen Hub, gang bullying is a pseudoscience. If everybody believed like you what Hansen, Mann say; why bother debating?

      Silencing the truth is Marxist doctrine – when you try to silence it = stinks much more, after. You and few others that are demanding censorship; must be getting lots of sleepless nights, from fear that the truth will spread like bush-fire all around the world = your lies will be exposed.. My tiers will not help you much, if you silence the truth on one website – surfaces on 10 others, instantly.

      The souls of hose 600 people that did freeze to death in winter coldness, will haunt you in your sleep… why do you want even colder planet… colder = using more fossil fuel people to warm up. Solar panels covered by 3 feet of snow warms up only the swindler’s pockets… 600 of them ghosts, will be coming under your warm blankets; I hope you have a large bedroom…?

  133. “Including what you’ve just said. You claim with this statement that there are such things as stupid questions, among other things.”

    The pseudoscience circus in the Climate Etc comments section runs the gamut from stupid, to delusional, to agenda-driven. I can give documented examples of all these. However, the last time I mentioned any of these commenters by name, some other commenters wanted me to apologize (if you can believe that).

    Overall it is a fascinating look at how the agenda-driven work to protect the tools that provide the pseudoscience FUD.

  134. Berényi Péter

    “insufficient attention is given to developing climate models and conducting climate model experiments to explore the other hypotheses”

    The concern that I have is the very concept of “climate model experiments”, that is, running computational climate models on a computer and call them “experiments”.

    In pre-postmodern science “experiment” used to have a very specific meaning, which is muddied beyond repair by this novel usage of the term.

    In the traditional inventory of science it was “gedankenexperiment” (thought experiment) which fell most closely with this non-standard trait, but there is still a big difference: thought experiments were never meant to be related to reality per se in any way, they were developed to reveal the internal structure of a theory, that is, to promote understanding. In some cases they could lead to actual experimental setups, which would either falsify the theory or not by comparing some of its consequences to the behavior of external reality, but that’s entirely another matter.

    On the other hand, these computational “experiments” don’t even facilitate understanding: we can take it for granted there is no living person in the world and never will be who could come close to understanding a million lines of computer code. Even worse, the outcome of these code runs is not only seldom compared to reality, but they are not even compared to each other. The very concept of “ensemble average” is sick. In a sane world you can not calculate the average behavior of “theories” inconsistent among themselves and expect to retain any meaning.

    Even worse, we do know from the beginning that there is no way to construct a computational model of 3D turbulent flows from first principles using analytical methods: that follows from the mathematical nature of Navier-Stokes equations. Still, folks attempt to accomplish exactly that impossible task by developing GCMs, and expect to be taken seriously.

    • BP wrote:
      >there is still a big difference: thought experiments were never meant to be related to reality per se in any way, they were developed to reveal the internal structure of a theory, that is, to promote understanding.

      Yes, and that is why the GCMs are not per se “pseudo-science.” They could be very useful as a means to pinpoint areas of uncertainty, to investigate sensitivity of results to various assumptions, etc.

      The problem comes when the researchers think they do not need to check the models against the real world by making testable predictions that are statistically significant.

      Having done my Ph.D. work in elementary-particle physics, I thought it pretty likely that the Higgs particle was real. But, still, the guys in Geneva had to do the actual experiments to check the theoretical models of guys like me. And, even though it looks as if they have found it, they are still being careful to make sure their results pass standard tests of statistical significance before they claim real success.

      GCMs are not pseudo-science, as such. The extravagant, untested claims that have been mistakenly made on the basis of the GCMs, yearh, that does border on pseudo-science.

      Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • Yes, and that is why the GCMs are not per se “pseudo-science.” They could be very useful as a means to pinpoint areas of uncertainty, to investigate sensitivity of results to various assumptions, etc.

        The problem comes when the researchers think they do not need to check the models against the real world by making testable predictions that are statistically significant.

        Beep! Beep!
        The problem, as you just about stated/realized, is that thought experiments (including GCMs) are not designed or appropriate for checking against the real world. To do so is to implicitly and sneakily promote them to actual scientific hypotheses. Which is just trying to have your Gedanken and eat it, too.

      • Brain,

        The GCMs can be what we physicists call “toy models” aimed at clarifying understanding and yet also be real hypotheses that can be tested by observation and experiment.

        I myself rather doubt that existing GCMs are good enough to stand up well to observational tests. But the modelers certainly have the right to challenge my doubt by making statistically significant predictions and showing that their predictions turn out right (or wrong, as the case may be). Doing that would be perfectly valid science, not pseudo-science at all.

        Dave

      • Brian,

        Sorry for labeling you “Brain”! Truly was a typo (I’m horrible at transpositions and generally fail to catch them if the spell checker misses them.)

  135. “Pseudo science” is what the IPCC peddles.

    They say low frequency radiation can warm anything, including a surface which is warmer than the source of the radiation.

    If this were so, low frequency radiation in a microwave oven (equivalent to a very cold source) would melt ice which is much warmer than the equivalent source. But it doesn’t.

    • Doug,

      If ice is “much warmer” than the microwaves, then liquid water, which is warmer than ice, must be “much, much warmer”! Yet, the microwave oven most assuredly does warm water.

      You are missing the point on multiple levels. Perhaps most important is that the microwaves are not thermal radiation. The process of heating in a microwave oven is, in the final analysis, converting work (in electrical form) into heat. Nothing in thermodynamics forbids that.

      But, anyway, no one is claiming that atmospheric CO2 is the ultimate source of the heat. The sun is. The heat is re-radiated by the earth, some is absorbed by atmospheric CO2 and re-radiated back to the earth, and this slows the earth’s net radiation of the heat into space. Since energy keeps pouring in from the sun, the earth heats up, until it is hot enough to punch enough heat through the CO2 to balance the energy input from the sun.

      It is simply not true that a cold object cannot radiate some heat to a warm object. The Second Law merely says that the *net* effect must be more heat going from hot to cold than from cold to hot, but heat goes both ways.

      Forget the words you learned from some pop-pop science book or poorly written textbook and actually think about the physical process: Put a cold object next to a warm one — both will radiate thermal radiation. Some of the thermal radiation from the cold object will indeed hit and be absorbed by the hot object. It obviously must happen.

      And it does.

      If there were not a source of new energy for the earth, the CO2 could only slow the cooling, not reverse it. But there is a source of new energy: the sun.

      Try thinking about how a thick overcoat slows your cooling off in winter: The coat is not a net source of heat: it is in fact cooler than your body. But it does re-radiate some of the heat back to your body and thereby slows the cooling of your body. Combined with the net heat production coming from metabolic processes, you do get hotter.

      Your argument is much like the Creationist claim that the Second Law prohibits evolution: such claims come only from those ignorant of the Second Law.

      The climate alarmists are not morons who flunked frosh physics. Rather, they are people with real knowledge of science who have greatly oversold their very, very preliminary results.

      Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • “But, anyway, no one is claiming that atmospheric CO2 is the ultimate source of the heat. The sun is. The heat is re-radiated by the earth,..”

        Only a small part is re-radiated, the bigger part is transferred to the atmosphere by non-radiative heat transfer (evaporation and convection) and of the re-radiated part, a percentage is radiated directly to space. The atmosphere on the other hand cools exclusively by radiation and CO2 can enhance that.

        Interestingly, according to this energy budget, the atmosphere absorbs slightly more of the incoming solar energy (16%) than it does of the surface radiation (15% of the incoming solar). All in all, CO2 either cools or it does nothing.

      • Edim,

        I take it you are not technically trained?

        You write:
        >Interestingly, according to this energy budget, the atmosphere absorbs slightly more of the incoming solar energy (16%) than it does of the surface radiation (15% of the incoming solar).

        Sorry, irrelevant. It simply does not follow that “CO2 either cools or it does nothing.”

        Look: you are thinking like a political pundit, searching for some key word or phrase to play “Gotcha!” with — like the Romney aide’s “Etch-a-sketch” moment that his opponents had such fun with. This is why so many people flunk frosh physics (or should flunk, except that the instructor has mercy upon them).

        The physical world is not like that. You need to get beyond playing word games and actually try to understand what is happening with the atoms bouncing around, etc.

        Before significant anthropogenic CO2, the atmosphere was already absorbing some solar radiation, reflecting some back to the surface, etc. We want to know how the additional CO2 changes that.

        The scientific claim is that the additional CO2 absorbs more of the IR radiation from the ground and re-radiates some of that back to the ground. You doubt that? Your doubt is relevant, unless you have actual data justifying your doubt.

        And, as a little bit more of surface heat does not immediately go back into space, the earth heats up, and keeps heating up until it is hot enough to produce enough extra radiation to punch through the CO2 and balance the incoming radiation from the sun.

        You doubt that? Yes, because you have more faith in words than in physical reality — which is why you should be flunked out of frosh physics. To be blunt, you are thinking just like the typical anti-scientific illiterate who unthinkingly condemns nuclear power, vaccines, GM foods, etc. with no knowledge of the underlying reality

        Of course, while the warming as a result of anthropogenic CO2 is very real, the initial warming produces many secondary feedback effects — increased water vapor, changes in cloud cover, etc. And, that is the problem, those feedbacks can be both positive and negative, and they are very, very difficult to model accurately.

        Which is why a number of us who did very well indeed in frosh physics are nonetheless skeptical of some of the claims of the climate catastrophists — they have far, far more faith in their models than they have any right to.

        But, the issue cannot be resolved by spouting anti-scientific nonsense as you did. You need to get beyond trying to play “Gotcha!” word games and instead try to understand actual physical reality.

        Dave

      • Dave, I am technically trained.

        ‘Sorry, irrelevant. It simply does not follow that “CO2 either cools or it does nothing.”’

        I agree, it does not follow from that. Like I said, interesting. I am just curious about it. But to get back to my point. Take the Earth’s atmosphere for example. I will use the energy budget from NASA above. The unit is incoming solar energy (100%). The atmosphere is gaining energy by directly (and by clouds) absorbed solar (19%), latent/sensible (evap/conv) heat flux from the surface (30%) and radiative heat flux from the surface (15%). This radiative surface flux is allegedly being reduced by the increased atmospheric CO2. OK, I’m convinced of that. But global warming does not follow from this. The multi-modal heat transfer at the surface needs to be solved properly to calculate the net effect of CO2 here.

        At the TOA, the atmosphere is losing energy exclusively by radiation (64%). If anything, at this side CO2 can only help cooling. Overall I don’t know, I would bet on insignificant/irrelevant to VERY minor cooling effect. Vater vapor controls the surface and atmospheric radiation and evaporative flux.

      • Any statements about radiation affecting energy movement inside the atmosphere make me cringe. Heat energy flow simply follows the second law. To think otherwise is not pseudoscience, it is non-science. The presence or absence of radiation as a mode of heat energy transfer doesn’t change the direction of heat energy transfer, despite that one can measure temperature by IR emission.

      • Edim wrote:
        >Dave, I am technically trained.

        No, I honestly do not think you are. Perhaps you managed to get someone to give you a piece of paper saying you are technically trained. But that is not quite the same thing.

        Edim also wrote to me:
        |>Overall I don’t know, I would bet on insignificant/irrelevant to VERY minor cooling effect. Vater vapor controls the surface and atmospheric radiation and evaporative flux.

        Well, most of us here who are technically trained are making the point that anthropogenic CO2 certainly does result in warming of the earth, but the quantitative level of that warming depends on many complicated issues — basically the signs and magnitudes of the various feedbacks. Maybe the warming is tiny, maybe it is huge — I frankly doubt anyone knows for certain.

        At any rate, your statement “All in all, CO2 either cools or it does nothing.” really does suggest, for reasons that I and others have explained in detail, that you have never received a decent education in science.

        Aside from that, I do not think I wish to get stuck on the tar baby of trying to further dissect your post.

        Dave

      • Dave, CO2 could have a significant warming effect on the surface if there was a vacuum layer between the surface and atmosphere, so that the surface was forced to cool exclusively by radiation. However, the surface is free to cool by the non-radiative modes (evaporation and convection). If you want to reduce the cooling flux at the surface, you have to reduce the overall heat transfer coefficent (U). Reducing only the radiative heat transfer coefficient may not do the trick. The analogy is parallel resistors.

      • Edim wrote to me:
        >The analogy is parallel resistors.

        Except that if you do increase one of those resistors hooked up in parallel, you will indeed increase the total resistance! So, your analogy makes my point.

        Look: I have said again and again that I know that the full analysis is complicated and that the GCMs probably do not do a good job of capturing all of the relevant physical effects.

        Again: the only point I am making is a very simple one — the effect of more CO2 is indeed to cause the earth to start warming. That is very, very, very simple physics.

        How much does the earth end up warming? That, alas, is not simple. Not simple at all.

        Dave

      • Dave,
        Actually it is the majority of “climate scientists” arguing with words, failing to describe a real physical process, debunked by Gerlich and Tscheuschner and Kramm and D’Lugi, failing to demonstrate the “undescribed” effect by experiment, still arguing with words and analogies and models.

        Let’s all “meet” in someone’s physics lab and settle the reality of the science in the time-honored manner.

      • blouis79 wrote to me:
        >Actually it is the majority of “climate scientists” arguing with words, failing to describe a real physical process, debunked by Gerlich and Tscheuschner and Kramm and D’Lugi, failing to demonstrate the “undescribed” effect by experiment, still arguing with words and analogies and models.

        I’m the first to acknowledge that there are *huge* problems in much of what the “consensus” climate scientists have been presenting as established science. Judith Curry has explained in detail in past posts why they are not following the scientific method, and I have been making the same points (though less eloquently than Judith) for years.

        But, very, very basic results in thermodynamics and kinetic theory, which is all that is needed to show that increased CO2 results in the earth’s warming, is not the problem. This stuff has been confirmed in so many millions of lab experiments that testing it again is absurd, like sending another mission to the moon just to assure ourselves it is *really* not made of green cheese!

        Again, even a moment’s thought illustrates that, for example, some thermal energy does flow from colder to warmer objects — picture the objects with their little atoms jiggling around, picture their atoms kicking out photons, and, well, if you do that, you will also picture some of those photons from the colder object hitting the warmer object. That sort of picture is the essence of modern physical science, and anyone who refuses to accept that picture, or who is unable to conceive it, is ignorant of science and will not get respect from competent scientists.

        Anyone who tries to deny this very basic science either didn’t pass frosh physics or passed only by an unwise act of mercy on the part of the instructor. Serious scientists are not going to spend time rechecking frosh physics any more than they are going to recheck the fact that the earth is not flat.

        Dave

      • blouis79 wrote:
        >Any statements about radiation affecting energy movement inside the atmosphere make me cringe. Heat energy flow simply follows the second law.

        Well… the point at issue is whether atmospheric CO2 can slow the rate at which energy flows from the earth into space, which has the effect, combined with the ongoing influx of energy from the sun, of warming the earth.

        Of course, it is really the incoming solar energy that produces the warming. But, the fact that the earth is losing energy a bit more slowly is the cause of the imbalance between input and output that results in an increasing temperature of the earth.

        Please note: I am *not* saying it is a huge increase. It depends on many complex factors, and I do not think anyone knows how large the increase is.

        As a physicist, I’m just making a simple point about physics.

        Dave

      • “Insulation” slows heat flow but does not change equilibrium temperature. Insulation slows heating of a cooler body. Insulation slows cooling of a warmer body. So how does the magical CO2 “radiative insulation” work like a heat pump enhancing warming in the daytime and slowing cooling at night?

        Still waiting to see a coherent description of the supposed physical mechanism.

      • blouis79 wrote to me:
        >So how does the magical CO2 “radiative insulation” work like a heat pump enhancing warming in the daytime and slowing cooling at night?

        I and others have explained that again and again and again and again. The sun is continuing to dump energy on the earth. If the rate of radiation from the earth is slowed down even slightly by the CO2, then you have an input/output imbalance and the earth has to start heating up.

        Yes, as feedback loops then kick in, things get very complicated, and I am doubtful that the GCMs correctly account for all those feedback loops — not because I suspect some grand conspiracy, but simply because the feedback loops are very, very complex.

        But, the basic mechanism that I and others have explained repeatedly is very, very simple. If you cannot grasp it, well, as I said earlier you need to start thinking in terms of atoms, radiation, etc. as real things and stop focusing on word games. I know that is hard: throughout most of human history, and even today, “education” has consisted mainly of learning how to manipulate words so as to control, manipulate, and deceive other human beings.

        But, the physical world just does not behave that way — the natural world is mechanistic, simply particles pushing and pulling, bouncing into each other, etc. Start thinking that way, and you should be able to see it. And, yes, I know that that is very difficult for most people.

        Dave

      • Again and again and again and again I ask for proof in the physics lab, but all I get back are words in argument.

        I want to see:
        1. proof that CO2 molecules can delay IR transmission (if that’s what is postulated now) and cause warming
        2. proof that changing the molecular composition of a blackbody can change its radiative equilibrium temperature
        3. proof that anything purported to change earth temperature can do it independent of solar input and albedo.

        Surely physicists can still do experiments?

      • David Wojick

        Dave, the problem is that having n molecules of GHG cannot create an imbalance, otherwise we would have continued warming, for any n. Supposedly the GH effect per se is a steady state, not an imbalance.

        You might want to argue that going from n to n+x causes a temporary imbalance of y, leading to a new equilibrium temp of z, but that is a much more complex argument. It basically ignores the dynamics of the climate system, especially the feedbacks and the independent forcings. In short, the GH effect per se and the enhanced GH effect are two very different physical problems. This difference is where most of the debate lies.

      • David Wojick wrote to me:
        >Dave, the problem is that having n molecules of GHG cannot create an imbalance, otherwise we would have continued warming, for any n. Supposedly the GH effect per se is a steady state, not an imbalance.

        Yes, you *do* have a continuing imbalance and a continued warming — until the earth heats up enough that it produces enough extra radiation to punch through the CO2: Stefan-Boltzmann and all that. *That* is the primary point.

        And, yes, we all agree — even the most crazed of the climate catastrophists agree! — that, as the heating starts, other effects kick in, both positive and negative feedbacks. And, the end result depends on the net effect of those feedbacks, and external driving forces such as volcanoes, variations in the solar constant, etc.

        But the initial effect of the increased CO2 is indeed to start warming the earth. That is the *only* point I am trying to make, and anyone who cannot grasp it really should not have been allowed to pass frosh physics!

        Dave

      • ” atmospheric CO2 is the ultimate source of the heat”. You failed physics miserably! Radiation from the Earth surface is the ultimate source of heat after the Sun energy is absorbed. Atmospheric air was heated mainly due to conduction and convection. Atmospheric air release heat content with their respective gas component of Specific heats. CO2 miserably -> 0!

      • SamNC wrote:
        >” atmospheric CO2 is the ultimate source of the heat”. You failed physics miserably!

        Sam, I think you may be confused by nested quoting. Those words are from me, but what I actually said was made the exactly opposite point: “But, anyway, no one is claiming that atmospheric CO2 is the ultimate source of the heat. ”

        Dave

  136. A good article on the subject was in Scientific American last September.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-pseudoscience

  137. Jim, I read this and thought it basically said “science is what scientists do,” which seemed kind of question-begging. Indeed the last couple of paragraphs beg all kinds of questions. It’s hard to see how Shermer’s summation could rule out almost any growing collection of people who share a way of knowing things. Chefs, for instance. Is cooking science?

    • The other aspect is that it has to have a falsifiable hypothesis, so cooking fails at that one, unless your hypothesis is tuna and custard tastes good. However, he suggests that the hypothesis that ET life exists is not falsifiable, but may be regarded as scientific. AGW’s hypothesis is that increasing CO2 leads to a certain amount of warming. Observations may be consistent, but this is not proof. However the hypothesis is falsifiable by a more extended period of future data, in theory, making it scientific, not pseudoscientific.

    • Shermer said this:

      “Science is a set of methods aimed at testing hypotheses and building theories. If a community of scientists actively adopts a new idea and if that idea then spreads through the field and is incorporated into research that produces useful knowledge reflected in presentations, publications, and especially new lines of inquiry and research, chances are it is science.”

      Note that this is not about arguing about whether a microwave oven can actually melt ice by someone that can’t face the fact that he has gone completely bonkers.

      That is not begging the question, but pointing out that a lot of Klimate Klown pseudoscientists inhabit this comment board.

      • WHT quoted Shermer as saying:
        >If a community of scientists actively adopts a new idea and if that idea then spreads through the field and is incorporated into research that produces useful knowledge reflected in presentations, publications, and especially new lines of inquiry and research, chances are it is science.

        The problem with that view is it allow a community’s beliefs to be self-validating, without reference to the real world. Astrology produced a whole lot of new lines of inquiry, presentations, etc. But, astrology is still pseudo-science, not science.

        For that matter, our friends who are obsessed with ice and microwaves, who think that no energy can flow from a cold to a hot body, etc. also seem to have produced new lines of inquiry, publications, etc. But, it is still pseudo-science.

        Dave

    • Jim and Web,

      Do you guys cook?

      Chefs share a set of methods for producing dishes; great chefs form new classes of recipes they think eaters will like; some of those classes of recipes catch on and spread to other chefs, who then riff on them, producing new recipes that eaters like. Great chefs write books. There are journals and magazines through which ideas are spread.

      I submit that Shermer’s little essay is a throw-away bit of writing to deadline, not philosophically or scientifically or intellectually interesting. In a word, crap.

      • Falsifiable hypotheses make a science. Some are only in principle falsifiable (like ET). Even Lindzen and Spencer had a falsifiable hypothesis that seems to already be falsified by the data.

      • Jim,

        I’m hip to the falsifiability bit, and think that has something important to do with what science is, but I think Shermer is equivocal about it.

        Nevertheless, “tuna custard will be praised by 90% of my clientele” is falsifiable, and there is a straightforward experimental procedure for testing the hypothesis.

        I am not trying to be perverse, really. There’s just a deep conviction in my heart that demarcation is very tricky, and that a short 2000 word essay doesn’t cut it, and all I have done here is what any philosopher of science would do: Try to think of counterexamples that seem to fit the proposed criterion for demarcation, that do not fit our intuition. It is a standard method used throughout analytical philosophy.

        At any rate, I don’t think falsifiability alone quite cuts the mustard because of the Duhem-Quine problem:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis

      • This is a much better essay on the Duhem-Quine problem. The Wikipedia entry is pretty lame, actually:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Shermer thinks Al Gore has all a da science. Really.

  138. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-41585

    You’re all making it far to complicated, and getting lost. The whole of the fisics of the CAGW/AGW claim is pseudoscience because it is all based on an imaginary, fictional, world.

    That’s the simple truth here.

    It’s a far, far bigger scientific fraud than the Piltdown man..

    What you ought to be doing, is deconstructing it to see how the sleights of hand have been achieved, not taking any of the basic physics of its claim seriously.

  139. Dr. Curry, I must respectfully disagree with your statement that “For each day and for each annual cycle, we demonstrate that our understanding and climate models are generally correct in simulating the warming and cooling (although getting the diurnal and annual cycle of precipitation correct is much more difficult).”

    The climate modelers have done no such thing, and frankly, intend not to even try to falsify their model’s predictions against reality. The models talk about statistical skill, and ignore real-world accuracy.

    All our experience with weather models indicates that the further out the prediction, the less likely it is to be correct. Climate modelers amazingly assume the exact opposite, refusing to be held falsifiable for short term inaccuracies, but then doggedly refuse to concede that even less certainty should be the assumption for looking further into the future.

    Models won’t ever establish cauality under the current regime of processes. Their authors must be willing to falsify them with some objective standards. They must learn and admit that statisical skill doesn’t equate to causality.

    This is why so many people think their “science” is bogus.

  140. richard verney

    The definition from Wikipedia suddenly seems to fit climate science to a T.

    Where to start!!! I guess that the flavour can be seen from one simple observation, namely that you do not have to look any further than the various data sets based upon the land based instrument record to see that climate science is a pseudo science. Given that issues relating to energy imbalance are fundamental to the understanding of climate science it is noteworthy that the various data sets do not even measure the correct metric!

    If climate science was a genuine science, step 1 would be to set up a new high quality system of measurement free of all adverse siting issues and proper spatial coverage and one which actually measures energy (not temperature).

    That task should have been undertaken back in the 70s or at any rate latest within the 80s and had that be done at least we would by now have about 30 years worth of good quality data.

  141. peterdavies252

    I agree. There needs to be many thousands more weather stations around the globe and many, many more on the oceans (in the form of GPS self centering buoys) in order for effective short term local area and mid term regional forecasting and for long range climate trend studies.

  142. richard verney

    DocMartyn | March 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply

    …. This is a Kiehl-Trenberth energy flux diagram….”
    ////////////////////////

    The K & T diagram shows that some of the solar is reflected by the surface.

    Interestingly. there is no suggestion that any of the DWLWIR is reflected by the surface.

    In reality the DWLWIR is not striking the surface at the same angle of incidence as is the solar.

    Has any thought been given as to whether at some angles of incidence, the oceans simply reflect some of the DWLWIR?

    If any one has any views on whether the oceans may reflect some part of the DWLWIR and if so the effect of this, I would be interested in reading these views.

  143. Pseudoscience, Through The Looking Glass With Alice Science Fiction.

    The AGWScienceFiction energy budget (K&T), is describing a different world, not the one we live in, but a wholly fictional world. Its fisics is impossible in the real world.

    The direct, beam, thermal infrared from the Sun has been excised from this – this fantasy world has no direct heat from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface.

    Please, do pay attention here. It claims that the heat direct from the Sun we actually feel while at the Earth’s surface, doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface.

    The heat we feel direct from the Sun is the longwave thermal infrared. It is invisible, we feel the heat because this is heat, thermal energy. It is this heat which warms us up, which is capable of heating land and oceans.

    AGWSF has instead given the property of thermal energy from the Sun to visible light, this is ridiculous. Light is not hot, it is not a thermal energy, it cannot heat land and oceans.

    It is the thermal energy of the Sun, which is heat, which is thermal infrared, that has the power to move atoms and molecules into vibration and heat them up.

    Visible light from the Sun cannot heat land and ocean, not least because water is a transparent medium for visible light, it is transmitted through without being absorbed.

    AGWSF leads to the absurd teaching from this that the heat we feel from an incandescent bulb is visible light. An incandescent bulb radiates around 95% of its energy as heat, thermal infrared, and around 5% as visible light.

    The heat we feel from the Sun, direct, beam, is the invisible thermal infrared. Visible light cannot warm you up…

    “Shortwave in longwave out” is clearly nonsense because the “longwave in” direct from the Sun is missing.

    This energy budget, you’re all arguing about as if the real physical world around us, is a joke.

    Whoever created it is having a great laugh at your expense…

    But the joke begins with AGWSF excising the whole of the Water Cycle!

    Think deserts.

    The Earth with our real atmosphere, our heavy ocean of fluid gas mainly nitrogen and oxygen, but without water, so no water cycle, would be around 67°C. Water cools the Earth by 52°C.

    There is no AGWSF claimed ‘33°C greenhouse gas warming from minus 18°C to 15°C’ – it doesn’t exist, it’s an illusion created by taking out the water cycle.

    It’s an imaginary fisics of an imaginary world you’re all arguing about.

    With its imaginary atmosphere of empty space, based on descriptions of ideal gas which is an imaginary construct, no real gas obeys ideal gas law.

    Why not? Because real gases have volume and weight and attraction, subject to gravity.

    An ideal gas has no properties, it is a hard dot travelling at great speed diffusing through empty space bouncing off other non-existant ideal gas molecules and so ‘thoroughly mixing’.

    There is no sound in this imaginary AGWSF world – because the molecules have no volume or weight or attraction, there is no medium for sound to travel through.

    The clouds appear by magic because of the above and because it is taught gases aren’t buoyant in air. Of course they’re not buoyant in air in this imaginary world – it doesn’t have any air.

    In the real world air is a heavy fluid gas ocean above us, weighing down on us a ton on our shoulders. In AGWSF this is empty space.

    That’s why there’s no convection in AGWSF, there’s nothing to convect!

    It’s even taught that water and carbon dioxide don’t mix. All pure clean rain is carbonic acid – this can only be in the real world where molecules have attraction.

    Carbon dioxide can’t ‘stay up in the atmosphere accumulating for hundreds and thousands of years’ in the real world where molecules have weight and attraction.

    Carbon dioxide is one and half times heavier than air, it will always displace air to sink to the ground, it cannot spontaneously rise and diffuse into the atmosphere as in the ideal gas AGWSF description. And, it joins with water vapour to come down as rain, as fog, dew, because real gases have attraction.

    In the real world gases separate out because they have volume and weight relative to each other. Carbon dioxide will always sink unless work is done to change that, methane is lighter than air it will always rise. Water vapour is lighter than air, that’s how we get our weather in the real world.

    Do you see? There is no real basic physics in any of the AGWSF energy budget, it is describing a fictional, imagined world.

    And some who know this, who created it, are laughing their socks off at their cleverness in duping the lot of you.

    Laughing at our expense; stealing our money, stealing our freedom.

    Wake up.

    • Ver correct that the alarmists just don’t understand light spectrum and ignored the long wave IR spectrum from the sun and wrongly interpretted as back radiation. These are non-sense from Hansen, Trenberth and the rest of the alarmists. What a joke they were when they didn’t even know the complete light energy spectrum.

    • By far most of the IR measured at the earth’s surface comes from the atmosphere, even clear skies. How can you tell, you ask? You can look at its spectrum. This shows emission lines at the wavelengths of H2O and CO2. Is there any H2O and CO2 on the Sun. No, it is too hot for the molecules to stay together. In earth’s atmosphere? Yes. This should be proof enough, but there may be a skeptics’ storyline (a pseudoscience, if you will) on this somewhere on the Internet.

    • Myrrh wrote:
      >>AGWSF has instead given the property of thermal energy from the Sun to visible light, this is ridiculous. Light is not hot, it is not a thermal energy, it cannot heat land and oceans.

      Hmmm… so you’d be willing to let us zap you with a few teraJoules of energy from a bunch of nice, really big, powerful red lasers — all visible light, no IR? Alas, willful manslaughter is, I hear, illegal in most of these United States!

      Seriously, you’d fry.

      It is not the case that heat is radiated only in the IR; it just happens that the thermal radiation from objects around room temperature are largely in the IR. But, heat things up, and you can get plenty of thermal radiation in the visible and beyond (UV, etc.). And, it can fry you.

      This is very elementary physics — you are supposed to have learned it in grade school or middle school, quite independent of global warming (I myself did learn it as a kid, long before global warming was an issue).

      Before you derisively ridicule people who know far more science than you do, you might consider learning a bit of science, science well-established decades or even centuries ago, yourself.

      Dave

      • @ physicistdave | March 31, 2012 at 3:03 am

        Dave, you talk as climatologist; not as somebody who knows about Physics. The person, Myrrh is trying to inform you, instead, you are ridiculing him, with your empty talk.

        Myrrh is saying: the light that you can see ”photons” doesn’t burn you, or produce heat. I.e. you cannot get sun-burnt from the torch light, or from the headlight of your car. The headlight of that truck didn’t run you over and brake your bones, but the truck behind the headlights, that you didn’t see. Radiation / radio-waves are most of the time as the truck and the headlight – from same source / travel together. Same as man / woman; but they are not a same thing; one builds, the other damages. Lights let you see, but infrared, UV, gamma, microwave ”radiation” is naughty. ”Speed of light” is travel of the photons . radiation is the thing that you cannot see, Can you dig it Dave?! Arrogance and ignorance are one and the same thing. Knowledgeable person knows that: nobody knows everything / everybody knows lots of things. Arrogant person like you doesn’t know even that most basic thing,

        Davo, fo climatologists was given mixed gibberish to learn; i was reading, I think was on this blog ”climatologists” confusing photons with radiation. They are stumbling in a darkness about every subject; Otherwise, they would have known that: big / small CONSTANT climatic changes have nothing to do with the PHONY GLOBAL warmings, or with CO2. Physics is simplifying things — climatology is to create confusion; so to appear that they are talking science (sandpit job). Predicting weather / climate for more than 5-6 days, is voo-doo science. You Dave are using climatologist lingo = talking crap. Stick to physics, you will know / recognize truth. You are very articulate; my English vocabulary is limited – go to my website and get the truth / reality. Dave, you repeating ”climatologist gospel” of: radiation, wavelengths, albedo, negative / positive forcing ++++ is making you a disgrace to physics!!!

      • stefanthedenier wrote to me:
        >Dave, you talk as climatologist; not as somebody who knows about Physics.

        You are mistaken: I have a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, 1983.

        As to the rest of your post, may I suggest that if you wish people who are far, far better educated than you to respond seriously to your posts you might try learning to be polite?

        David H. Miller, Ph.D. (physics, Stanford, 1983)

  144. physicistdave | March 31, 2012 at 3:03 am | Reply Myrrh wrote:
    >>AGWSF has instead given the property of thermal energy from the Sun to visible light, this is ridiculous. Light is not hot, it is not a thermal energy, it cannot heat land and oceans.

    “Hmmm… so you’d be willing to let us zap you with a few teraJoules of energy from a bunch of nice, really big, powerful red lasers — all visible light, no IR? Alas, willful manslaughter is, I hear, illegal in most of these United States!

    Seriously, you’d fry.”

    This pseudo response is sooooo boring. Strawman. Zap yourself with your remote control or ten million of them…

    Near infrared is not hot, like visible it cannot heat you up. Visible light is not hot, you cannot feel it.

    “This is very elementary physics — you are supposed to have learned it in grade school or middle school, quite independent of global warming (I myself did learn it as a kid, long before global warming was an issue).

    Before you derisively ridicule people who know far more science than you do, you might consider learning a bit of science, science well-established decades or even centuries ago, yourself.”

    You know nothing about science from your response, let alone the physics of matter and energy. This is what children used to learn before the AGWScience Fiction meme producing department began its brainwashing:

    NASA: “Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.

    Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

    Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.

    Infrared light is even used to heat food sometimes – special lamps that emit thermal infrared waves are often used in fast food restaurants!”

    You don’t know the difference between heat and light. So, prove that Visible blue light as from the Suncan heat water.

    Go on, show me a real physics explanation of how blue visible light as from the Sun can heat all the water of the ocean in the K&T.

    Your claim, you show and tell.

    Standard, traditional physics says water is a transparent medium for visible light – it is not absorbed, it is transmitted through. See the well known tried and tested basics from Optics, where you will find explanations of refraction, etc.

    Absolutely ludicrous that anyone in a science department at a university could teach any of the fictional fisics of AGW. That they don’t know that the invisible heat one feels from a fire is thermal infrared. That this is the what we feel from the Sun: the Sun’s heat radiating out to us, warming us up, warming up the land and oceans..

    Absolutely ludicrous that all these supposed science masters at universities follow the comic cartoon energy budget which has eliminated this from its fantasy fiscis world. Masters of what when they haven’t even noticed it’s missing? Haven’t noticed the water cycle is missing, haven’t noticed that it has different molecules in a different atmosphere.

    “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

    Shortwave of the K&T comic cartoon cannot heat land and oceans. Show how they can or take them out of your energy budget.

    This pseudoscience is science fraud.

    So go on, show me a real physics explanation of how blue visible light as from the Sun can heat all the water of the ocean in the K&T.

    Your claim, you show and tell.

    • Myrrh wrote to me:
      > You know nothing about science from your response, let alone the physics of matter and energy.

      Well…let’s see. I had a 4.0 GPA when I got my bachelor’s in physics from Caltech; I then went on to get my Ph.D. in physics from Stanford (1983). I of course did all the requisite hands-on lab work as a student. I’ve also worked for pay on some very large-scale, real-world experiments. I’ve earned various patents on computer and satellite-communication systems. I have worked with forms of electromagnetic radiation ranging from microwaves through UV and on to gamma rays.

      And your own experience in physics consists of…?

      Does the fact that I truly am an expert in physics and you most certainly are not prove that I and other physicists are necessarily correct and you are wrong?

      Well… there certainly are academic disciplines – I have in mind theology and post-modern literary theory – in which being an expert consists mainly of studying other experts and getting their approval and certification, without any necessary validation by external reality.

      But, physics is not like that. We create, design, and *build* stuff based on our knowledge of the physical world, amazingly useful stuff that actually works. You use a great deal of that stuff in your daily life – just to give one small example, the lasers used in CD and DVD players are based on physicists’ understanding of the interaction of radiation and matter, knowledge towards which you have expressed the utmost contempt.

      Now, I know that you are articulate enough to respond with another eruption of verbiage about how you are still right and we physicists are all nincompoops.

      But, have you considered the possibility, just the possibility, that just maybe we really do know something you do not know, that just maybe we have proven this through very practical, empirical successes, and that, before you treat our hard-won knowledge with such contempt, you might actually consider learning some of what we know about the physical world?

      Just a thought.

      And, by the way, if you want people who actually have real, verifiable scientific knowledge to take you seriously, you might try being polite to them.

      Just a suggestion.

      David H. Miller, Ph.D. (Physics, Stanford, 1983)

      • Willis Eschenbach

        physicistdave | April 1, 2012 at 1:28 am

        Myrrh wrote to me:

        > You know nothing about science from your response, let alone the physics of matter and energy.

        Well…let’s see. I had a 4.0 GPA when I got my bachelor’s in physics from Caltech; I then went on to get my Ph.D. in physics from Stanford (1983). I of course did all the requisite hands-on lab work as a student. I’ve also worked for pay on some very large-scale, real-world experiments. I’ve earned various patents on computer and satellite-communication systems. I have worked with forms of electromagnetic radiation ranging from microwaves through UV and on to gamma rays.

        And your own experience in physics consists of…?

        Dave, thanks for your very genteel yet overwhelming response to Myrrh. Unfortunately, in my experience you’re wasting electrons on him. There’s not many folks whose posts I simply skip over, I figure I can learn from just about anyone, and if not, perhaps they might learn something as well.

        But after many attempts by many people including myself to get through to Myrrh, I gave him up as just another lost egomaniac. These days, I just skip right over his claims that he has the inside track and is smarter than every physicist on the planet.

        It’s actually quite freeing to just skip his nonsense. It leaves me much more time, I don’t waste effort, and it doesn’t raise my blood pressure.

        Because it’s true what they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you’re not gonna get him to do the backstroke …

        All the best,

        w.

      • Yeah, you’re probably right, Willis. But I seem to have this ineradicable urge to *try* to communicate with people who are willfully ignorant of science. I admit is has never succeeded. But hope springs eternal!

        The funny thing is that I have long been outspoken in criticizing some of the excesses of the “consensus” climate scientists, pretty much along the lines Judith herself has discussed in this blog. And, of course, that gets me labeled as a “denialist” by the anti-scientists on the other side of the debate!

        At any rate, all of this is an instructive exercise in studying human psychology.

        Dave

      • Isn’t it just.

        What’s the psychological take on those who promote themselves as scientists and use an energy budget that excises the actual direct heat from the Sun? And don’t even notice it’s missing..

        The direct heat from the Sun is missing.. can you hear that?

        And then claim that shortwave, for fks sake!, shortwave light energies heat land and oceans! Nope, they don’t understand the exclamation marks, because they think this is real, but whenever asked to prove it, to show and tell, they produce nothing. Nothing. Except ad hom. What kind of scientists you are is very clear here.

        Scientists in your own minds.

        Visible light is transmitted through water without being absorbed in the real world, this is your main claim to heating land and oceans, and you don’t see any disjunct? A scientist would.

        What’s the psychological profile of those who promote themselves as scientists and use an energy budget that excises the actual full water cycle which cools the Earth, think deserts, if you’re capable of imagining that, and not only haven’t noticed it’s missing, but take the sleight of hand of the 33°C difference between no atmosphere at all and 15°C as ‘greenhouse gas warming the Earth’? Scientists? In your own minds.

        What kind of scientist pontificating about ‘climate change’ can’t get his head around gravity?

        One that lives in an atmosphere of empty space with ideal gas molecules zipping away at great speeds diffusing under their own steam and so thoroughly mixing in their empty space by bouncing off each other without weight or volume or attraction that they claim carbon dioxide is capable of staying up in their empty space for hundreds and thousands of years. Of course it can in their fictional world through the looking glass with Alice where impossible fisics can be any reality they choose, because for them it has no weight so it doesn’t defy gravity. But they don’t have to concern themselves with that because they have no gravity because they have no air.. They think air is empty space so their radiation rules in the vacuum in their minds. Nor has their version of carbon dioxide attraction, they don’t have rain because there’s no way their carbon dioxide can join with water vapour, that’s why they don’t have the complete water cycle.., why they don’t notice it’s missing.

        Don’t give me your bs about how clever you are and how high your iq or how many exams you’ve passed and how many years you’ve worked in ‘science’ – that you can’t understand what I’m saying shows you know nothing about this subject. You can’t even get clouds to form in your comic cartoon energy budget empty atmosphere without gravity or attraction! Your clouds appear by magic.

        Come on now, don’t be shy, tell us what you’ve done with the heat direct from the Sun which you say doesn’t reach the surface and plays no part in heating land and oceans.

        Doesn’t get through your greenhouse full of empty space with ideal gas hard dot molecules bouncing of their container walls… :) Maybe one day you’ll see how funny that is.

        So, enough. Cut out the ad hom and cut out the superior know-it-all attitude and prove you’re scientists- Show and Tell. Show exactly how visible light direct from the Sun heats land and oceans, or quit gabbling your fictional fisics pretending it’s the real physical world around us.

      • Myrrh replied to me:
        >Scientists in your own minds.

        And the minds of Caltech (B.S.) and Stanford (Ph.D.). Where did you say you got your degree in physics, Myrrh?

        Myrrh also wrote:
        >One that lives in an atmosphere of empty space with ideal gas molecules zipping away at great speeds diffusing under their own steam and so thoroughly mixing in their empty space by bouncing off each other without weight or volume or attraction that they claim carbon dioxide is capable of staying up in their empty space for hundreds and thousands of years. Of course it can in their fictional world through the looking glass with Alice where impossible fisics can be any reality they choose, because for them it has no weight so it doesn’t defy gravity. But they don’t have to concern themselves with that because they have no gravity because they have no air.. They think air is empty space so their radiation rules in the vacuum in their minds.

        Nothing I could say about you could be as damning as that.

        The prosecution rests.

  145. So let me see if I have got this now : cooler bodies can radiate heat to warmer ones. But that doesn’t mean they warm them, because the warmer ones radiate back an even greater amount.

    • Yes. But cooler bodies can for whatever reason get less cool (warmer) and therefore reduce the net radiated heat from warmer bodies to cooler ones. This will warm warm bodies. Here an example from a Heat Transfer textbook:

      “Open the freezer door to your refrigirator. Put your face near it, but stay far enough away to avoid the downwash of cooled air. This way you cannot be cooled by convection and, because the air between you and the freezer is a fine insulator, cou cannot be cooled by conduction. Still your face will feel cooler. The reason is that you radiate heat directly into the colder region and it radiates very little heat to you. Consequently, your face cools perceptibly.”

      Now to your face to a bit warmer (but still colder than your face) wall.

    • No. You get it wrong. Its a basic fundamental physics that only hotter body can radiate energy towards colder body. Alarmists are deniers of radiation fundamentals, thermodynamics, physical gas properties, latent heats … They don’t understand these basic physics. Its a shame those universities gave them degrees. Its a shame the governments had not the ability and no knowledge and let the general public fallen victims of these crooks.

      • That’s clearly wrong. You disagree with the standard explanation of radiant heat exchange? Maybe it’s only a question of semantics and you mean something else.

      • No. You don’t understand the fundamentals of radiation.

        “You disagree with the standard explanation of radiant heat exchange?”

        You are in a mess. Do you really understand the fundamental of radiant heat exchange?

  146. TURN your face

  147. Edim: “The reason is that you radiate heat directly into the colder region and it radiates very little heat to you. Consequently, your face cools perceptibly.”

    Prove that it radiates any heat at all to you. Show the mechanism which you claim makes it a net flow from hotter to colder.

    Punksta – heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder. Unless they can show a mechanism which gives them this net from their claimed heat flowing from colder to hotter, then a biiig fridge has no way of not heating the warmer, breaking the 2nd law.

    [And by the way, the fridge doesn’t ‘radiate cold to you’ either, you feel cold because of the heat flowing out of you. When you pick up a snow ball it isn’t its coldness cooling your hand, it’s the the heat spontaneously flowing out of your hand to the cold snowball sucking it out.]

    • It’s from A Heat Transfer Textbook by Lienhard (third edition). I don’t have a problem with this terminology. What do you find controversial about the standard explanation of radiant heat exchange? I see nothing controversial. The consensus Earth energy budget on the other hand is very controversial, for many reasons.

      • Because there’s no mechanism which gives the net from hotter to colder, which is the claim that it doesn’t break the 2nd Law.

        When I’ve asked for this I get fobbed off either by ‘statistical mathematics’ or ‘quantum level photons’.

        Statistical mathematics takes as its premise the 2nd law of heat flowing from hotter to colder, excises the spontaneous, and creates an imaginary scenario that there’s heat flow from colder to hotter and this gives the net from hotter to colder, how?

        Quantum is total obfuscation as in ‘it’s all too quantum clever for you to understand’.. Since at a quantum level you can’t tell where anything is as to place, speed and direction, how can this prove that heat flows from colder to hotter?

        Have you got any more variations on that theme? That there isn’t a proper physics described as capable of giving this process, of colder flowing heat to hotter, nor any mechanism which would stop the colder doing so to give the net from hotter to colder, doesn’t seem to be a problem.. If this is ‘so well known’, ‘go read physics text books’, then, please, go fetch this, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere explained rationally nor any proof from the industries around us that any such phenomenon exists..

        The “net” has been interpolated into the 2nd Law by this AGWSF meme, it is out of place. The 2nd Law is that heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder, it takes work to change that direction.

        The only ‘net’ flow involved is in how heat flows from hotter to colder, how long it takes to warm something up, say for example, in a hot liquid being poured into a cold. As the hotter gives up heat to the colder and in turn is heated up by the hotter liquid still being poured in, and the molecules first heated up though not as hot as the origin heat liquid will pass what is has on to the colder next to them, in turn itself giving up the heat gained. It’s the net of heat exchanges in the individual events before equilibrium is reached.

        The “heat flows from colder to hotter” is not shown, anywhere, and the explanations given make no sense, and, no answer forthcoming to give the mechanism by which the colder stops flowing heat to give the ‘net’. There is nothing to stop there being sufficiently colder heating a smaller hotter. And you end up with the perpetual motion of Spencer’s scenario.

        It’s the ‘pictures’ that come with these so called explanations which are truly bizarre. I’ve been told that eskimos can go out hunting leaving behind a lump of raw meat and after a few hours when they return, the meat which begins hotter than the ice will have been cooked by the back radiation from the ice..

        And my favourite re shortwave heating the Earth, “shortwave in longwave out”, that the visible light we see from an incandescent lightbulb is what we feel as heat.. [An incandescent lightbulb radiates around 95% heat, which is longwave, the invisible thermal infrared, and around 5% visible.]

        You really need to compare actual world physics with the imaginary fisics from AGWSF to see how amusing the world described. It really is a comic cartoon energy budget.

        And it’s been indoctrinated through the education system. Of course applied scientists can tell where it’s nonsense in their own field, but often take something else produced by AGSF as being real world.

        My favourite here, and this is something I found early on investigating and didn’t bookmark it, is the scientist who was determined to prove that “gases are well mixed as per ideal gas diffusion” when he was confronted with the real world physics that molecules have weight relative to air and so can separate out, layer. He took his team into a mine which someone had given as an example of place where methane being lighter than air will rise to layer in the ceiling. He introduced methane and then couldn’t understand why it didn’t spontaneously diffuse into the atmosphere of the mine, but did in fact layer at the ceiling. He sent his team to hunt for an additional source which he thought must be there and somehow interfering with the diffusion of these meme high speed molecules zipping around. He couldn’t find any other source, but instead of getting his head around real weight molecules and gravity, decided that they had missed it in their search.

        And that’s a phenomenon noticed all the time here, those who really believe that the physics they’ve been given is real world have a very difficult time coming to terms with how much this is nonsense in the real physical world around us, and so will find some ‘explanation’ to keep on believing the impossible.

        So, the basic physics of the imaginary AGWSF world is not proven on any level, in any of its parts. When you do know real physics about these different claims, you can see how this has been tweaked to give the memes. Which is how I worked out they got their empty space atmosphere with no convection where radiation rules, simply by calling their molecules ‘ideal gas’, which itself is a purely imagined entity created by stripping real gas molecules of all their properties and being able to junk gravity, ideal gases are not subject to gravity.

        http://mcat-review.org/phases-equilibria.php

        “Ideal gas
        •definition
        An ideal gas consists of pointy dots moving about randomly and colliding with one another and with the container wall. The ideal gas obeys the kinetic molecular theory of gases and has the following properties.
        ¦Random molecular motion.
        ¦No intermolecular forces.
        ¦No (negligible) molecular volume.
        ¦Perfectly elastic collisions (conservation of total kinetic energy).
        You can treat gases as ideal gases at:
        ¦Low pressures
        ¦High temperatures

        Deviation from the ideal occurs at high pressure and low temperature. At these conditions, the gas molecules are “squished” together. When the gas molecules are so close together, they experience intermolecular interactions. Also, the molecular volume becomes significant when the total volume is squished down so much. The intermolecular attractions will cause collisions to be sticky and inelastic. At the extremely high pressures and low temperatures, gases cease to be gases at all – they condense into liquids.
        Ideal gases behave according to the ideal gas law. ”

        Real gases don’t..

        That’s why there’s no sound possible in the AGWSF empty space ideal gas atmosphere – hard dots without volume, weight and attraction do not give a medium for sound to travel.

        In the real world, this medium is the heavy fluid gas Air. Molecules can’t zip through this “spontaneously diffusing at great speeds of empty space in the container..”.

        All the basic fisics claims in the cartoon energy budget need serious examination.

      • Myrrh wrote:
        >Statistical mathematics takes as its premise the 2nd law of heat flowing from hotter to colder, excises the spontaneous, and creates an imaginary scenario that there’s heat flow from colder to hotter and this gives the net from hotter to colder, how?

        No, that is a falsehood.

        The Second Law is a *consequence* derived in statistical mechanics; it is *not* a premise. See any decent book on stat. mech. — e.g., Frederick Reif’s “Statistical and Thermal Physics.”

        Instead of wasting your time stating blatant falsehoods like this, why not spend your time more constructively by actually reading some real textbooks on statistical physics?

        I am seriously beginning to consider the possibility that you are a plant whose purpose is to make critics of the climate “consensus” look foolish.

        What on earth are you up to?

      • Dave denied the hotter heat flow to the colder body and promoted colder body heat flow from colder to hotter body. This is exactly psedoscience that agwers are promoting in the education system.

      • SamNC wrote:
        >Dave denied the hotter heat flow to the colder body and promoted colder body heat flow from colder to hotter body. This is exactly psedoscience that agwers are promoting in the education system.

        I just saw this comment.

        No, I did not say that, Sam.

        You are just making it up.

        Accusing other people of saying things they did not say is very bad, Sam.

        Bad boy, Sam, bad boy!

        Go wash your mouth out with soap.

      • Dave denied the hotter heat flow to the colder body and promoted colder body heat flow from colder to hotter body. This is exactly psedoscience that agwers are promoting in the education system.</i?

        What Myrrh and Sam still don’t seem to have grasped, is
        (a) since radiation occurs regardless of what other bodies are in the vicinity, some energy can indeed flow flow from a cooler body to a warmer one
        (b) this doesn’t mean cooler bodies heat warmer ones

    • Unless they can show a mechanism which gives them this net from their claimed heat flowing from colder to hotter

      Isn’t the the basic idea that (virtually?) everything at > 0 degrees absolute is radiating ? Or do we want to say radiation is something that only happens between between a warmer body and a colder one ?. IOW, if everything was at the same temperature, radiation would cease ?

      • “Isn’t the the basic idea that (virtually?) everything at > 0 degrees absolute is radiating ?”

        Correct as long as its neighbouring temperature is lower. But then if the neigbouring body has a higher temperature, no radiation occurs from the colder to the hotter. This is fundamental radiation which Hansen, Trenberth, the alarmists, the warmists and Edim are too thick to understand.

    • ‘Radiation only occurs from a warmer body to a cooler one’.

      So if another sun very slightly cooler than our own sun, moved really close to our sun, our sun would start to cool faster than it is presently cooling ?

      • Only the energy flows to the direction towards the cooler Sun is reduced. Hence the hotter Sun radiates less energy out. Its wrong to think that the colder Sun heats up the the hotter Sun.

      • Sam, I think you (and other from the team “cooler bodies cannot warm warmer bodies”) are just muddying the waters and not helping at all. It’s not controversial at all that cool bodies CAN warm warmer bodies if they’re less cool. The theory of heat exchange is not controversial and you can TEST it. Open your freezer and turn your face to it. Now turn off your freezer and feel the warmth of the still “cooler than your face” freezer, coming over your face.

        The “cooler bodies cannot warm warmer bodies” team is helping the CO2 dogma, by muddying the waters.

      • Edim,

        You are a hopeless warmist. You are hopeless in understanding radiation, heat exchange. If I were your professor, I would fail you without a 2nd thought. Hansen and Trenberth were muddying up radiation and heat transfer and a lot of other subjects. You are a victim of these idiots. Your mind has been damaged and your brain is not functioning at all.

        I advise you go back to the fundamentals of radiation and heat transfer. Have a better grasp and understanding them and then come back. Do real thinking and be not an ill-educated victim of Hansen and Trenberth.

      • SamNCV wrote to Edim:
        >If I were your professor, I would fail you without a 2nd thought.

        But you never will be a professor — they usually do not let guys who have not studied physics, such as yourself, become physics professors!

      • Those professors like Dave Miller giving away science degrees to those people like Hansen, Trenberth, those GCM modeling frauds wasted billions of dollars of public funds caused huge harms to the world via the AGW propaganda.

        Dave, with your misconception of radiation and energy knowledge I wonder how you manage to get your science degrees. That university awarded your degrees were really messy.

      • “If you decrease the cooling rate of a body, the body will get warmer.”
        Edim, you vie with Myrrh for the Extreme Silliness Award. The very premise of your statement – ‘a cooling body’, contradicts its conclusion ‘the body will get warmer’. It can’t be BOTH a body with a rate of cooling (however small) and a body warming. Geddit?. Meet Wittgenstein. Your statement is self-contradictory – I’m tempted to say oxymoronic, but that would expend two too many syllables.

        repeat until absorbed – “Radiation is not Heat”. When you’ve grasped that, you might go on to repeat “Temperature is not Heat” – something a lot of warmists seem to neglect – but first things first.

      • With all due respect, Edim, you can take two iron balls heated to the same temperature and place them where ever you like and you’ll never get one to increase in temperature. Sure, you can modulate the cooling rate, but that’s not heating. And, you can’t get higher and higher record temperatures from small, short modulations of cooling rate. Sorry, but that’s an AGW FAIL, dude.

      • Ken Coffman

        So.. you’re saying the Sun is one iron ball, and the Earth is another?

        While this “Iron Sun” theory sounds familiar, I can’t quite place my theory on where else I may have heard it.

        Though your variant, the claim that the Earth is the same temperature as the Sun, does seem novel.

        I guess that terrestrial equisolar temperature discovery is a real Skydragon win.

      • Bart, I’ve read some ignorant posts, many of them, but yours is world class. Why don’t you make yourself useful and address what I said and not delusional, strawman horse manure? I made three points. Pick one. Refute it and redeem yourself. Good luck.

      • Ken Coffman | April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

        It’s still before noon, April Fool’s day, somewhere in the world.

        But you claim three points?

        1. ..you can take two iron balls heated to the same temperature and place them where ever you like and you’ll never get one to increase in temperature.

        Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you mean the two spheres are kept close together in near-ideal conditions and the temperature of “where ever you like” is lower, all other things held equal and so forth, but as you don’t say so, and have demonstrated in the past that you don’t know so, you’re just doing it wrong.

        2. Sure, you can modulate the cooling rate, but that’s not heating.

        So, if one sphere cools at twice the rate of the other, the warmer sphere won’t at some later time warm the cooler one? How homeopathically voodoo.

        3. And, you can’t get higher and higher record temperatures from small, short modulations of cooling rate.

        Uh.. Who’s arguing a straw man, now?

      • If one object is ever warmer than the other, then sure, it can warm the cooler object. Is that the mechanism you want to point to that increases the Earth’s surface temperature by an average of 33C?

      • 6.0221*10^23

        The average number of objects in 22.4 liters of air at standard temperature and pressure.

        Not quite as many objects reside on the solid or liquid surface immediately below that truncated cone of air stretching from the surface up to the top of atmosphere, but it’s still a high enough number.

        A fair portion of objects in each of those two spaces will be warmer or colder than the average of each. One believes the number is roughly half. 3.01105*10^23 objects hotter than the average temperature of the atmosphere per 22.4L cone.

        Some of these half of the objects will be quite hot. Care to guess how many will be at least 33C warmer than the coldest half of the molecules on the surface beneath them?

        Sure, the conic model isn’t exact, but applying ‘all things being equal’, it’s good enough to illustrate the point. Which is what the authors of the original two iron balls model meant to do. Illustrate a point, not lay down a claim that any real thing behaves like ideal things.

        Since we’re discussing radiative physics of real things, not ideal objects of undifferentiated substance, then yes, Ken, absolutely I’m good with that mechanism. It’s roughly 3*10^23 better than yours.

      • I’m perfectly willing to allow my thermometer (or my skin) to act as integrator for all those wild variations of individual molecular temperatures just like the grand integrator Mother Nature does (via collision). It doesn’t surprise me, Bart, that you like double entry accounting. Sure, you’re a millionaire, Bart, if we ignore the million bucks you owe Big Vinny. Anyway, I’m ahead of you with my theory called Little Carbon Dioxide Suns. I’m curious, Bart. Do you consider yourself an intelligent person?

      • Ken Coffman | April 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

        Back to front?

        I appear to have fallen into the trap of discussing Thermodynamics with a Skydragon Slayer, so there’s certainly plentiful evidence I’m not as intelligent as the person who doesn’t waste their time in such pointless pursuit.

        As we’re going back to front, does this mean I’m now ahead of you? At what? “Ahead” requires a direction and a magnitude, and so far as I know, a corkscrew is not a vector.

        Simply, you’ve fallen afoul of the only real rule of April Fool’s Day.

        Past noon, if you haven’t stopped pranking, then it’s you who’s the Fool.

      • “Sure, you can modulate the cooling rate, but that’s not heating.”

        Sure, if you’re wanna play semantic games. If you wanna increase understanding, then you try to clear the waters, not muddy them.

        If you decrease the cooling rate of a body, the body will get warmer.

      • “If you decrease the cooling rate of a body, the body will get warmer.”

        See how Edim spread misinformation! Edim is unable to tell the difference of ‘warmer’ and ‘less colder’ just like all alarmists and warmists. Really mess, Edim.

      • Edim,
        Slowing the rate of cooling is slowing the rate of cooling.
        Now if you slow the rate of cooling while energy is still being applied, you can get a net-warming result.
        But it takes the application of more energy to avoid cooling.
        An insulated pipe moving a product at a given temperature will be warmer if the pipe is insulated than if it is not. But it will not be warmer unless there is a heating element wrapped around the pipe.Otherwise it will be cooler.
        Read a bit on insulation and get back to us. I have posted on this, with links, before. Confusing insulation with warming seems to be fairly common.

      • “Slowing the rate of cooling is slowing the rate of cooling.
        Now if you slow the rate of cooling while energy is still being applied, you can get a net-warming result.”

        Well, of course hunter. We’re talking steady states here, not transient states. If a body only has a cooling rate and not a warming rate, it will cool transiently.

        Again, in a steady state, a body is warmed on one side and cooled on the other side. The rates are constant so that the body has a constant temperature. Now, if you decrease the cooling rate, the body will be warmer in the new steady state.

        The same with insulation. More insulation, less cooling rate, higher temperature (at the delivery end of the pipe).

      • Edim,
        Very little is ever in a steady state. And delivering a warm product at the end of a pipe is not the same as warming the product in the pipe.
        Warming something requires energy. Period.

      • Hunter says:

        “Very little is ever in a steady state. And delivering a warm product at the end of a pipe is not the same as warming the product in the pipe.
        Warming something requires energy. Period.”

        I don’t understand this. We’re talking steady states and changes (and factors influencing them) between different steady states. The questions and controversies are not about transient states (and responses) inbetween. The CO2GW argument is a purely steady state argument.

        The word warming obviously has a few slightly different meanings in many languages (English, German, all Slavic languages), probably in all. There is this widely accepted and not controversial meaning of the word warming that simply means to make warmer compared to a previous state, irrespective of the means by which warming was achieved (either actively by increasing the warming rate, more fuel for example or passively by reducing the cooling rate, closing the window for example).

        When I say,
        – The room will warm up, after I close the window.

        Am I crazy to expect that the room will warm up, without increasing the heating rate?

    • Edim: The reason is that you radiate heat directly into the colder region and it radiates very little heat to you. Consequently, your face cools perceptibly.

      Myrrh: Prove that it radiates any heat at all to you. Show the mechanism which you claim makes it a net flow from hotter to colder.

      By the same token, show the mechanism which makes heat radiate from hot to cold. If this mechanism is photons, then it must indeed also be possible for (some) heat to radiate from cold to hot. If it is not photons, then what is it ?

      • Punksta,

        Hope you studied fundamantal radiation. You would not post those questions after studying radiation.

      • “You would not post those questions after studying radiation.”

        iow, you have no answer.

  148. ” if everything was at the same temperature, radiation would cease ?”

    Thats correct radiation concept. Radiation stops at the same temperature of the bodies. The universe is a large heat shink at absolute zero temperature. All those bodies have the same temperature of their surrounding bodies do not radiate with respect to each other. Even though they stop radiate to each other, they all radiate towards colder bodies absolute zero temperature bodies having maximum radiation.

    • David Wojick

      Not sure what you mean by radiate with respect to each other. One needs to take the quantum mechanical view. Radiation occurs when a molecule jumps to a lower energy state, emitting a photon. When this happens, and the direction of the emitted photon, are independent of the molecule’s surroundings. How often it happens is a function of how many collisions and photons the molecule encounters, among other things.

      Note too that temperature is a statistical concepts. When a body is at a given temperature its molecules are at many different energy levels, emitting and absorbing photons. Especially if the body is a gas, but also true for liquids, solids and plasmas. All this radiative activity would not stop if everything were at the same temperature level, unless that means every molecule is at its lowest energy level.

      • OK with quantum view, there is electron orbital change (gaining or loosing) accompanishing an energy change. Not neccessary photons will be emitted and photon could be part of it only at high enough energy level changes but usually not at atmospheric temperatures in the atmosphere. Ordinary IR radiation does not accomplish emission of photons, just IR radiation.

      • David Wojick

        Surely IR radiation is in the form of photons. All electromagnetic radiation is by photons.

      • This is a misconception that IR radiation must accomplish with emission of photons. Only at very high energy state jumps to a very low energy state to emit photons. neighbouring electron orbital jump does not emit photons, just IR energy.

      • David Wojick

        Sam, my understanding is that the photon is the quantum particle of all light, including all IR. It does not matter how big the jump is. All radiation is by photons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon

        I am beginning to think that you have your own physics. If so, that may explain why no one can understand you.

      • David,

        So according to your wiki link, photon was one of the concensus adopted products in the 1930s. Sounds weird naming that black radiation energy were packets of photons adopted by MOST Physicists at that time and SOME did not agreed. OK, with the benefit of doubt, you win and thanks for the link.

  149. When particles are present in high temperature industrial systems (such as fluidized beds or coal furnaces) there is a distinct possibility that radiative transfer by the particles may be important.
    M. Quinn Brewster, Thermal Radiative Transfer and Properties, p 230

  150. Punksta | April 1, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply Unless they can show a mechanism which gives them this net from their claimed heat flowing from colder to hotter

    Isn’t the the basic idea that (virtually?) everything at > 0 degrees absolute is radiating ?

    The AGWSF meme is that everything above 0 K radiates heat. That is usually followed by ‘even an ice cube radiates heat’. 0 K is minus 273°C. Gosh, what a lot of heat… No wonder they think an igloo with a lump of raw meat in it will cook the meat.

    Visible light is not hot, UV is not hot, near infrared is not hot, these are not thermal energies, which means ‘of heat’; that’s why they are in the collective category of Light.

    Light meets matter on an electronic transition level, and although the AGWSF meme is that ‘all absorption creates heat’, it clearly doesn’t, as in for example photosynthesis, this is visible light converting to chemical energy in the plant creating sugars, it is not converting to heat.

    UV for example, doesn’t heat your skin, it damages the DNA if too intense for your body’s defences to stop ‘burning’, but it’s your body’s defences which create the ‘burning’. This is not UV moving the atom or molecule into vibration which is what it takes to heat the skin.

    It takes energy moving the whole atom/molecule into vibration to heat it. Heat energy can do this with matter. That’s how we heat matter, we apply heat to it. Radiated heat direct from the Sun is thermal infrared, it is the Sun’s thermal energy on the move. This is heat, a body at 1K is not radiating heat. It takes a hot body to radiate heat.

    These AGWSF memes are deliberate misdirection. The effect is seen in these arguments where heat energy has been given to visible light from the Sun, which is not hot and working on an electronic transition level does not move the molecule into vibration.

    The same kind of misdirection is in play in the term ‘aborbed’. AGW confuses the general term used to describe the phenomenon of light attenuation in the sea and the actual technical use of the word in energy meets matter. So we have the AGW’s claiming that ‘visible light heats the oceans and blue light because it goes deeper before it is ‘absorbed’ is heating the ocean further down’.

    So, when confronted with the fact that water is a transparent medium for visible light where the correct use of the term absorbed is necessary to understand what is happening, that visible energy isn’t absorbed neither on the electronic transition level nor on atomic/molecular vibration, but transmitted through, AGW’s can’t understand it. They’ve been programmed with the meme that the ocean ‘absorbs visible light and therefore that means it heats the water.’

    The other AGW misdirection is the meme of their greenhouse atmosphere being transparent to visible light – but in the real world the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen do absorb visible energy..

    So of course, this to them means that it must be heating the atmosphere.., so why isn’t that in its energy budget?

    Or do we want to say radiation is something that only happens between between a warmer body and a colder one ?. IOW, if everything was at the same temperature, radiation would cease ?

    ‘Radiation’ is another word played around with by the AGWSF department in creating is fisics narrative for its comic cartoon world, misappropriated from the world of thermodynamics where radiation means heat radiated as distinct from heat conducted or convected.

    AGWSF has the meme that ‘all electromagnetic energy is the same’ and ‘it only converts to heat on being absorbed’, so all this undifferentiated ‘electromagentic energy is radiation is therefore a heat energy’. That’s how they get their visible light and shortwaves either side to be ‘thermal’ therefore capable of heating matter’. Though they can’t come up with any mechanism in matter which takes this ‘undifferentiated all electromagnetic energy is the same’ to convert it to visible light, or gamma rays, or radio waves.

    So in the real world a distinction has to be made between ‘radiation’ of light energies and radiation of heat energy. Heat energy radiated is only thermal infrared, it is not and cannot be visible light. These have different properties, different processes. Near infrared is not thermal, it is not hot for example, it is reflected as light, so the near infrared cameras.

    So yes, if ‘everything’ is at the same temperature then there is no heat radiation, or any heat transfer by conduction or convection either, when equilibrium is reached, but, that is within the ‘everything’ and if there’s a something outside of it colder then heat will flow to it – but bear in mind that this equilibrium isn’t a state that will prevail for any length of time, you can’t keep your coffee at the same temperature you put it into your thermos, it will lose heat. Our weather exists because of continual changes in temperature/pressure, heat transfer is a dynamic system.

    Their claim is that heat flows from colder to hotter. They have not shown this, nor have they shown how it stops to give their claim that it doesn’t break the second law because they can’t produce the mechanism which gives them their ‘net’.

    They can’t explain this on any level, nor by any description, photons or waves makes no difference. If they want to call them photons, let them, but then they still have to acknowledge that not all photons are the same – a photon of light is not a photon of heat.

    Their meme is that ‘photons radiate out in all directions’, they haven’t shown how this relevant, for example, light and heat from the Sun travels to us in straight lines..

    …’radiating out’ doesn’t mean there’s a jumble going on in that.. Or for them it must mean that water flowing downhill must be a net of all the water molecules also flowing up hill.

    Best thing, I’ve found, is not to take them too seriously. It’s a little difficult to do so when they give picture memes of thermal blankets to explain the ‘driving warming of carbon dioxide’, when that blanket is practically 100% hole in our atmosphere. They’re prone to losing sense of scale and logic when they rabbit their memes…

    • Myrrh | April 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

      Not that I want to touch this one..

      But an igloo is made from snow, not ice.

      When it’s 60 below outside an igloo, it’s near freezing inside.

      When it’s 60 below outside an ice cave, it’s near 60 below inside.

      • Point taken, but shrug – the point remains. In the picture memes given to explain these fictional fisics claims is that an eskimo can leave a piece of raw meat in his igloo when he goes off to hunt for a few hours and when he comes back his dinner is cooked. That’s a logical conclusion from ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’, and repeated without any awareness of its nonsense shows the power of these memes to brainwash – no doubt they cook by putting food into their fridges.

        And AGWSF shows internal incoherence here too, not only can’t they explain exactly how backradiation works, how heat flows from colder to hotter, they don’t have the same story line – with and without ‘net’ and all muddled up with radiation becoming something different from heat. A complete an utter garbled mess.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/
        http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

      • Myrhh, you have been corrected innumerable times by denizens from both camps in this dispute, many of them far better equipped to do so than I, with my tired old A-level in Physics c1968, yet you persist in conflating, and thereby confusing, flow of heat with flow (or flux, I believe) of radiation. Until you learn to distinguish between these separate (if related) phenomena, you will continue to draw well-deserved derisive fire. My only reason for posting this – I almost never post on matters of science – is to ask fellow denizens that henceforth this derision be silent – this has gone on long enough. Stop feeding the troll.

      • Cold body radiate heat to the hot body is pseudoscience. People like you promote pseudoscience, not science.

        Mirrh is correcting your pseudoscience. You are a troll not Mirrh. Stop your pseudoscience.

      • Myrrh : these fictional [physics] claims is that an eskimo can leave a piece of raw meat in his igloo when he goes off to hunt for a few hours and when he comes back his dinner is cooked. That’s a logical conclusion from ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’

        From my vantage point in the physics peanut gallery, this looks like a completely garbled version of the issue; and ‘Heat flows from colder to hotter’ is just a strawman, implying as it does a net flow.

        There seems to me nothing inherently nonsensical in the notion that heat radiates from all bodies at > absolute zero, in no particular direction, and towards no particular destination, by means of photons. It’s just that hotter bodies radiate more than cooler ones, giving a net result of heat flowing from hot ones to cold ones.

    • I am glad that Myrrh posted this bit of pseudoscience.

      As I said earlier (when I thought that this thread was winding down) the actual pseudoscience is in the crackpot theories that commenters submit to this site. There is a huge amount of projection that goes on amongst the skeptical readership — the projection is in the framing of their own scientific inadequacies onto the qualified scientists trying to understand and quantify the climate system.

      Projection is a devious rhetorical strategy. It is an offensive as opposed to defensive approach. It catapults the propaganda from one of doubt on the skeptical side, to an apparent uncertainty on the mainstream science side. This adds FUD to the debate. As in politics, by attacking the strong points of your opponents argument, you can actually make him look weaker. Everyone realizes how effective this is whenever the audience does not have the ability to discriminate nonsense from objective fact.

      The key to projection is to make sure that the confidence game is played out according to script amongst the participants, both those in on the game and those unaware of what is happening. The shills in on the game have it easy — they just have to remain silent, as it appears that no comment is condoning the arguments. The marks are the readership that gets suckered into the pseudoscience arguments, and are not sophisticated enough to be aware of the deception.

      The antidote to this is to not remain silent. Call these confidence tricksters, including Myrrh, out on their game. Do it every time, because a sucker is born every minute. On the street corner, the 3-Card Monte hucksters will just move to another corner when they get called on it. Fortunately, there is no place for the tricksters to relocate on this site.

      Ultimately, science has the advantage, and as the objective of Climate Etc is to work out uncertainty objectively, not by confidence games, you all should know about the way to proceed. Sorry if this bursts any bubbles, but when it comes to an aggressively nonsensical argument as that relayed by Myrrh, someone has to keep score.

      Then you have a kook like StephanTheDenier, where he actually tries a thinly veiled psychological threat against me, by saying (“The souls of hose 600 people that did freeze to death in winter coldness, will haunt you in your sleep…”). What can I say but that threats are even more preposterous than projecting via lame theories.

      ———-
      And in reading Bart’s rebuttal, I just want to add:

      Outside of a sled dog, an igloo is an Eskimo’s best friend.
      Inside of a sled dog, it’s too cramped to sleep.

      • WHT wrote:
        >As I said earlier (when I thought that this thread was winding down) the actual pseudoscience is in the crackpot theories that commenters submit to this site. There is a huge amount of projection that goes on amongst the skeptical readership — the projection is in the framing of their own scientific inadequacies onto the qualified scientists trying to understand and quantify the climate system.

        Indeed.

        The funny thing is that the net effect of these guys is to make it easier to smear people like Judith who have routine, perfectly legitimate scientific questions about how well the GCM models have been tested, how well we understand sources of error, whether (real) alternative causes have been ruled out, etc.

        I wonder if maybe that is the real goal of Myrrh and her friends — to make it easy to smear legitimate scientific questions from legitimate scientists like Dr. Curry by making it look as if she is somehow associated with the likes of Myrrh?

        Dave

      • Yes I’m afraid it’s inevitable that just as the ‘consensus’ will inherently host frauds and yes-men, skeptical groupings will host some fruitcakes. Such is the hurly-burly of the blogosphere. Still better than leaving in place the false impression that the frauds and yes-men represent some sort of dispassionate objectivity.

  151. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply Edim: The reason is that you radiate heat directly into the colder region and it radiates very little heat to you. Consequently, your face cools perceptibly.

    Myrrh: Prove that it radiates any heat at all to you. Show the mechanism which you claim makes it a net flow from hotter to colder.

    By the same token, show the mechanism which makes heat radiate from hot to cold. If this mechanism is photons, then it must indeed also be possible for (some) heat to radiate from cold to hot. If it is not photons, then what is it ?
    ===========

    You’re getting confused here – I’m not disputing that heat radiation is photons…

    What I’m saying is be careful as it is used for misdirection, because they claim ‘that photons radiate out in all directions’ they give this as ‘a reason’ why for their claim ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’.

    Light is also a wave, and photons are particles. Heat and light travel in straight lines – electromagnetism. Stand in front of a fire, the heat you feel radiating out is the invisible thermal infrared, you can feel it warming the side facing the fire and you can’t feel it on your back. Check out a page on Optics, that light travels in straight lines is basic physics; angles of refraction, reflection of these straight lines are very well known.

    Their ‘photons travel in all directions’ is irrelevant to answering the question ‘how does heat travel from colder to hotter’. They still have not given any show and tell how photons of heat travel from colder to hotter.

    The mechanism for heat always travelling spontaneously from hotter to colder doesn’t apply – the 2nd Law states that is always spontaneously does; it has never been shown not to, it has never been observed not to. What the law says is that it takes work, a mechanism, to change that direction.

    They pretend that it breaks down ‘on a photon level’, but have no logic or real physics to support this.

    As for the sudden ad homs directed at me – notice that the response is in lieu of dealing with any of the points I’ve made. This is a typical reaction. It isn’t easy to take on board that this cartoon energy budget really is fictional fisics in its basic claims.

    What I’m showing is some of the sleights of hand, the tweaking of real physics by giving properties of one thing to another, by taking laws out of context, by taking out stuff out completely and so on. The fact remains, their energy budget is of a comic cartoon imaginary world and this can be seen more clearly when these tweaks are put together.

    Just remember, it begins by them taking out the Water Cycle completely. The claimed ’33°C greenhouse gas warming’ is a sleight of hand created by taking out a section of the process, the 52°C cooling by the greenhouse gas water vapour in the water cycle.

    Not that you’ll ever find any explanation of the 33°C claimed warming – all they do is keep repeating the meme, that’s it.

    As Latour gives an example in his “No Virginia..” response to Spencer, http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still – they keep citing their own memes as proof without ever proving the memes:

    “Spencer imagined a physical situation and claimed what would happen; a radiating plate would get warmer if another colder, non-radiating plate were introduced, with no supporting physics or evidence. Then he claimed it was correct because he claimed it to be so. This is a circular argument, an invalid tautology; claim something and use it to prove the claim. Logic shows this proves nothing. Circular arguments should be avoided in a court where the judge and jury understand and reject invalid tautology.”

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    • Myrrh:The mechanism for heat always travelling spontaneously from hotter to colder doesn’t apply

      “Doesn’t apply” ? ie we don’t know what it is …

    • Steve Milesworthy

      So, myrhh, SamNC and others, suppose you sit in front of an electric bar heater and feel its radiation. Then you turn off the heater. As the heater cools, you continue to feel the radiation.

      What you appear to be saying is that as soon as the heater temperature cools to below the skin temperature of your face, it stops radiation towards you.

      But if you are holding an ice cream, it continues to radiate towards the colder ice cream.

      So what happens if you have the ice cream in front of your face and then quickly move it aside? Do photons emitted by the heater towards the ice cream turn back if they have not yet reached the ice cream, or do they continue and hit your face? Perhaps you could explain at a quantum level what goes on.

      What about photons emitted from a cold molecular cloud somewhere in the Milky Way and travelling toward an infrared detector on Earth. If the even colder night side of the moon intervenes between detector and molecular cloud, do the photons that were emitted many thousands of years ago turn back? Or would we find that they were never emitted in the first place?

  152. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply Myrrh:The mechanism for heat always travelling spontaneously from hotter to colder doesn’t apply

    “Doesn’t apply” ? ie we don’t know what it is …

    ==

    It’s real physics….

    That’s why it is correctly called a LAW. It is nowhere observed to be broken.

    If you’re claiming that it is broken, that heat travels from colder to hotter, then damn well prove it. Because you have broken a basic law of universal real world physics.

    Wake up at least to what you’re claiming.

    Enough of this nonsense. Prove it or stop repeating it.

    • Myrrh you need to realise that obviously noone denies the law.

      We know that it happens; the point is we perhaps just don’t know why or how. And if indeed it does work as per the photon idea, this may well mean (some) heat can flow from cold to hot.

      • Rubbish, that pigs might fly. We know very well how heat always travels from hot to cold*. The claim is that it can flow from cold to hot – prove the claim or stop making excuses for it.

        * http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/thermal/1-how-does-heat-move.html

        Heat is a form of energy, just as visible light is a form of energy, just as radio waves and gamma rays are a form of energy. These different forms are entities in their own right, they are DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER.

        The main misdirection from AGWSF in this is ‘that all energy/radiation is the same and all converts to heat’, patent stupidity. It is falsified in every description from real physics, visible converting to chemical energy etc. This cartoon world has reduced everything, energy and molecules, to be without properties or form – and so the different process can’t be grasped. This is done deliberately to create confusion, and to dumb down science knowledge for the oiks.

        So we have ‘all energies/radiation’ creating heat and so the claim that shortwave heats water isn’t questioned. Do you realise how, just how, stupid that is in real life? I can show you from real physics why it can’t, give the real world explanation as I’ve given above, but the crux of the matter is that these basic fisics memes need to be seen for what they are, fiction, to grasp just how real physics has been tweaked to create this cartoon impossible world.

    • I asked you how heat travels from hot to cold. You provided a link that simply stated that it does. Which noone disputes. Lacking an explanation of the mechanism by which heat flows, you are in no position to criticize those who suggest that some photons can also flow from a cold object to a hot one.

      I have no idea how the issue of different wavelengths (visible, gamma etc) crept into the present discussion. They seem quite irrelevant to me.

      What is AGWSF please?

      • David Wojick

        Heat is not a form of energy, it is a manifestation of energy. As Tyndall famously put it in 1867, heat is a mode of motion, specifically molecular motion. As such heat only travels in the sense that the location of the motion changes. Suppose a molecule in a relatively cool body reduces it’s energy level by emitting a photon, which travels and is absorbed by a molecule in a warmer body, raising it’s energy level. The heat has traveled from the cooler body to the warmer.

      • David,

        Now you are muddling terms. I hope your educational (lesson topics) effort be validated before you publish or send them to schools.

        A cooler molecule emitting IR energy (or your photon) cannot be absorbed by a warmer molecule simply because the electron of the warmer molecule is high above the low energy level of your photon. Electrons of the warmer molecules only absorb energy with the same level or above to get excited. A cooler IR energy packet cannot warm any warmer electrons of the warmer molecule. Your understanding of electrons absorbed low energy photons is misconcepted.

      • Sam, molecules are neither warmer nor cooler, they just have different energies. Warm and cool are gross statistical terms applied to bodies which contain huge numbers of molecules. Just because a body is at a given overall temperature does not mean every molecule in it is at the same energy level, far from it. In fact the energy levels of individual molecules are constantly changing, stepping up and down the quantum levels.

        Moreover, I am pretty sure that a molecule at a high energy level can absorb a photon and go to a still higher energy level. This is completely independent of the energy level of the emitting molecule. For example photons from earth are absorbed by molecules in the sun. What is the alternative, that they pass through the sun?

      • David,

        You have the misconception of the photons are being equal. The problem is not all photons are equal especially those low level photons (I prefer them to be IR energy packets and leave the visual spectrum to as photons) cannot excite a higher energy level photons. The alarmists, the warmists and the AGWers have ability to tell the differences and muddle the world’s perception of photons.

      • David,

        Correction:
        “The alarmists, the warmists and the AGWers have NO ability to tell the differences and muddle the world’s perception of photons.”

      • “Just because a body is at a given overall temperature does not mean every molecule in it is at the same energy level, far from it. In fact the energy levels of individual molecules are constantly changing, stepping up and down the quantum levels.”

        This is a moot point. Maybe there are a few molecules among trillions of molecules doing the way you think the majority of the molescules doing.

      • Thanks Sam, my minimal physics did though at least include the concept of quanta. So back to my still-unanswered questions :-

        Q1: So given multiple energy levels then, is it possible for the highest level electron in a cool body, to be at a higher level than the lowest level electron in a warm body?

        Yes/No

        Q2: If not, why not?

        Q3: If yes, is it then not possible for a photon to go from a cool body to a warm one ?

      • Punsta,

        Q1 answer: No.
        Q2 answer: The low energy level photon has not the correct energy level will pass thru, deflect, defract as it simply has not the required energy to be absorbed.
        Q3 answer: is not a valid question see Q2 answer.

      • “A cooler molecule emitting IR energy (or your photon) cannot be absorbed by a warmer molecule simply because the electron of the warmer molecule is high above the low energy level of your photon. Electrons of the warmer molecules only absorb energy with the same level or above to get excited. A cooler IR energy packet cannot warm any warmer electrons of the warmer molecule.”

        This seems to suggest molecules (atoms?) have their electrons at one energy level only, not at many levels. Is that correct though ?

      • Wrong. Electrons of an atom occupy different levels according to their internal energy levels (energy content) specific to their atomic structures.

      • So given multiple levels then, is it possible for the highest level electron in a cool body, to be at a higher level than the lowest level electron in a warm body?
        If not, why not?
        If yes, is it then not possible for a photon to go from a cool body to a warm one ?

      • Punsta,

        “So given multiple levels then, is it possible for the highest level electron in a cool body, to be at a higher level than the lowest level electron in a warm body?” Only true if the cool body can emit energy equal or higher (impossible) than the loweset electron energy level of the warmer body.

        “If not, why not?” see explanation above.

        “If yes, is it then not possible for a photon to go from a cool body to a warm one ?” No. As explained above.

      • Sam
        You have simply asserted that a cool body can never emit energy equal or higher than the lowest electron energy level of a warmer body.

        You have thus explained nothing. You merely assumed what you were asked to prove.

      • Punsta,

        To understand electron energy levels better, can only advise you to read articles about electron orbital jump energy absorption and emissiion. Have a productive day!

      • Right, so you have no actual answer then Sam.

      • Punsta,

        I suggested you to read the artcles because you don’t know much about electron level jumps and the energy level required to make it happen. To excitate a electron from one energy level to the next level there is a predetermined minimum energy available from the photon. Low level energy photon just simply unable to make that happen. A pump can discharge 20m head cannot deliver water at 40m above the pump, just that simple.

      • “Heat is not a form of energy, it is a manifestation of energy”
        That surprises me, David. I think you may mean that temperature is a manifestation of heat, but I have always been under the impression that Heat was indeed one of the forms of energy, along with Kinetic, Potential, etc.

      • Tom, this is true at the engineering level. But heat is not a substance, so it does not flow in the way people have been talking about it. If you look at a vibrating molecule there is no heat. There is the vibration, and the energy level of the electrons.

      • David, with respect I think you may be confusing yourself.

        Axiomatically, no form of energy – is a ‘substance’ – neither heat, nor potential, nor kinetic energy. And yes, in strict terms “flow” is a metaphor, liable to mislead unless recognised as such – I believe the proper term is “flux”.

        But none of this demotes “heat” from its status as a form of energy to the status of a mere “manifestation” of energy, as you claimed.

        Heat is a form of energy. Temperature is a manifestation of heat.

      • David,

        “this is true at the engineering level.” Think again. Why is it true at the engineering level not at the science level? Or science can be pseudoscience vs engineering can be pseudoscience?

      • Fine Tom, I was intervening into a discussion that was taking the metaphor of heat flow seriously. There is an engineering level at which one can think of heat as a fluid and they seemed to be stuck there, getting the physics wrong as a result. I just wanted to introduce the quantum view, where heat per se does not exist. It is energy that moves around in quantum packets, not heat.

      • “I was intervening into a discussion that was taking the metaphor of heat.”
        Then perhaps you should have avoided such a schoolboy howler as “Heat is not energy”, which is untrue at any level, engineering or otherwise.

        I would rather like to see this absurd thread brought to a conclusion, not stoked by the introduction of false distinctions which are bound to generate, er, more heat than light. I would expect better of a would-be educator!

        The sensible world does not turn itself upside down just because one has grasped the rudiments of quantum physics.

  153. Myrrh & SamNC
    You’ll need to pardon my school-level physics, but do you accept the notion of photons being emitted in response to changes in energy states ?
    If so, do you maintain these photons carefully avoid hotter bodies and target only cooler ones?

    • Punsta,

      “do you accept the notion of photons being emitted in response to changes in energy states ?” I accept only energy released in response to changes in energy states.

      Since high energy electrons are high above low energy level photons. There are no way for these low level photons to reach the high energy electrons. Or put in your language, high energy level electrons ignore the presents of low level photons. The situation is like that a giant is thrown with a dust particle, it did not reach the giant at all. Get it?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        A simple analysis of individual electron transitions in an isolated atom gives you distinct quantum transitions such that it is all but impossible for a low energy photon to instigate a high energy transition.

        However, it is wrong to extend such ideas to more complex materials such as the air or the land.

        For example, analysis of the water vapour spectrum is highly compex because water molecules interact with each other, and during their interactions their spectra (the photons they are prepared to absorb or emit) vary, leading to continuum spectra over some ranges of wavelengths.

        Also… random google (high temperature spectra – coincidentally a CO2 paper from 1966 is the first link): This is a paper about the measurement of the spectrum of CO2 at high temperature:

        http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?id=53227

        Note the references to 15 micron emission. Kirchoff’s theorem tells you that a gas emitting at 15 microns will also absorb at 15 microns.

        Yet 15 microns is a normal wavelength of emission of the land, water vapour and CO2 in our current atmosphere, so a 15 micron photon emitted from our cold atmosphere *could* be absorbed by CO2 at 1000-2300K according to the paper.

        Both the paper I link to and Kirchoff came before AGW was a concern.

      • Steve,

        “For example, analysis of the water vapour spectrum is highly compex because water molecules interact with each other, and during their interactions their spectra (the photons they are prepared to absorb or emit) vary, leading to continuum spectra over some ranges of wavelengths” I know that water has many spectral lines of different wavelengths, so how is low energy level photons absorbed by water at a higher energy level?

        The paper you linked is behind a pay wall.

        “Yet 15 microns is a normal wavelength of emission of the land, water vapour and CO2 in our current atmosphere”. Majority of the land is made up of sand (silicates) and Calcium carbonates. Do you have any link that ‘land’ is mainly 15um? It seems to me that you think that the photons from the Earth only emit at 15um, can you elaborate the rest of the spectral lines energy intensities?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Sam, I only read the abstract. But that’s enough as it summarises the fact that the hot CO2 emits 15 microns. As it emits, so it must absorb (Kirchoff’s theorem).

        Land doesn’t emit “mainly 15 microns” but its emission spectra is similar to a black body spectrum for a body of the same temperature – so land, water vapour and CO2 all emit and absorb at 15 microns at all layers of the atmosphere despite the differing temperatures. Here are some satellite images from a range of wavelengths:

        http://satftp.soest.hawaii.edu/space/hawaii/vfts/oahu/rem_sens_ex/rsex.spectral.1.html

        I know that water has many spectral lines of different wavelengths, so how is low energy level photons absorbed by water at a higher energy level?

        The spectral line is a reflection of the *difference* between two energy states of an atom, molecule or (often in the case of water vapour) a collection of molecules. It says nothing abot the actual energy state of the molecule (and certainly nothing about the temperature). So there is no reason why a molecule excited to a high energy state cannot absorb a low energy photon.

        The simplest atom is the Hydrogen atom. The Lyman series of lines are excitations of Hydrogen from its lowest energy state. The Balmer and Paschen series are excitations of hydrogen already in an excited state. The latter lines relate to absorption and emission of lower energy photons than for the Lyman lines even though the Hydrogen atom is in a more excited state. See here, and note that longer wavelength (higher number of nm – nanometres) means lower energy:

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

      • Water vapor in the form of clouds actually reflect almost all high energy level photons above them and also reflect all low energy level photons below them even though these photons are at 15um.

    • Like CO2 is the dust energy and the atmosphere is the giant energy and get a better sense of energy magnitudes.

  154. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply I asked you how heat travels from hot to cold. You provided a link that simply stated that it does. Which noone disputes. Lacking an explanation of the mechanism by which heat flows, you are in no position to criticize those who suggest that some photons can also flow from a cold object to a hot one.

    Nope, the law as it stands is enough. that’s how it became a law, it works on all levels and is not shown anywhere to break down at any level – unless the claim is proved that heat flows from cold to hot at ‘photon’ level, then that is breaking the law. I don’t have to prove the law, you have to prove that it is broken.

    You can’t do a Trenberth’s wanting to get rid of the null hypothesis and still claim you’re talking science..

    You say it could be, then please, do show exactly how it could be. But the claim is that it is, not that it ‘could be’, so come back with their explanation for how ‘this is’ and empirical proof that it is, or stop gabbling nonsense in supposed defence.

    I have no idea how the issue of different wavelengths (visible, gamma etc) crept into the present discussion. They seem quite irrelevant to me.

    All these are electromagnetic radiation, which it is claimed to be ‘all the same undifferentiated’ which is ‘like thermal infrared that is only heat when it meets matter’. Which is also used as an excuse for claiming that visible heats land and oceans. So if ‘thermal infrared is just radiation and doesn’t become heat until it meets matter’ then what is the mechanism that turn this nondescript radiation into gamma rays or radio waves on meeting matter?

    What is AGWSF please?
    AGW, the conjecture “Anthropogenic Global Warming’ and SF, Science Fiction.

  155. Punksta I asked you how heat travels from hot to cold. You provided a link that simply stated that it does. Which noone disputes. Lacking an explanation of the mechanism by which heat flows, you are in no position to criticize those who suggest that some photons can also flow from a cold object to a hot one.

    Myrrh : Nope, the law as it stands is enough.

    ie, you too have no explanation of the law, no deeper understanding.

    As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown that heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown that heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level. All we all have is unexplained observations.

    I have no idea how the issue of different wavelengths (visible, gamma etc) crept into the present discussion. They seem quite irrelevant to me.

    You provided no RELEVANT response to this.

    • I agree with PhysicistDave, Myrrh must be a plant trying to give skeptics a bad name :)

      • That’s the impression.

      • Just like in politics, it consists of an entire hierarchy of crackpots, each one occupying a specific level of pseudoscience.

        The more moderate skeptical crackpots point to the most extreme crackpots and point out that “at least I am not that bad”, not realizing that their ideas are just as unworkable, but not as obviously outrageous.

        This leads directly to the pseudoscience of the false compromise. In this case, it is that Myrrh is way off base, and so is “blah blah” at the other extreme, with the compromise that Edim is probably closer to the truth. No way will an experienced scientist fall for this false argument, but unsophisticated audiences will.

        All these ploys, from Myrrh’s FUD to the false compromise are part of the pseudoscience framework. For some background, I recommend reading any of Michael Schermer’s work or Robert Park’s “Voodoo Science” or Park’s long-running What’s New column to pick up on these tricks of the trade. Professor Park was my advisor’s advisor and is someone to really look up to if you want to consider yourself to be a serious scientific skeptic. This is a skeptic in the tradition of Martin Gardner, not the crackpots who hang out here.

      • Web, all I ask for here is a record of the relative forecast success of different models. I have no aversion to models in general, whether simple or complex. All I’d like to see is one-month, or one-year, or one-whatever time series of one-period-ahead forecast errors of various models. Without changing the underlying measurement of the target time series.

        Is that too much to ask? Are these available?

        The “skeptics” should do this as well. My view–as always–is that you cannot kill any model with facts. You need an alternative model that predicts the facts better. End of story, full stop. If skeptics will not put up an alternative predictive model, they should STFU.

      • NW, you were the one writing this kind of math elsewhere in describing the difficulties in coming up with one-month or longer weather forecasts:

        “There are many dimensions or characteristics to the weather. Let’s list them as a vector of random variables X = (X11, X12,…, X1n, X21, X22,…,Xm1, Xm2,…Xmn), where there are n types of events and n regions.

        Let n and/or m get large, and some component of X must occur at a level outside of CIij = mean(Xij) plus or minus 2*standard deviation(Xij).

        All of this talk is total trash unless the events and regions are determined in advance and tracked over time for the number of events that fall outside of CIij. And that’s being very generous, without considering spatial and time autocorrelations across i and j.”

        That kind of analysis may work in the soft sciences, but it doesn’t necessarily follow in the hard sciences. What you consider independent random variables may all follow a common energy constraint, in which case they will cluster more tightly or balance each other than with the assumption of independent randomness. So over more than a few seasons, all the violent seasonal changes start to balance and we are left with the longer-term energy balance.

        So the ultimate tracker is the overall energy balance. All the GCM’s are really just for show, as Lacis has indicated. What really matters is how much that global imbalance grows with time. All the seasonal noise will eventually cancel out and we will be left with the shift in average levels.

        So what again are you asking? I assert that you will never see the skeptics lay out the argument like I just did, without the extra stuff that you layered on to the problem. When you say that you want to see “one-month, or one-year, or one-whatever time series of one-period-ahead forecast errors of various models”, I argue that is the wrong question for climate change.

      • Web, I am not moderate, I am radical/fundamental (to the root/origin). I also don’t care what’s outrageous or not. I just thought that some of the misunderstanding is a question of semantics. I like the waters clear.

        By the way, I think I am closer to the truth than the warmists. Is that outrageous?

      • Edim, I would not hire you or work with you. That is based on what you write on this blog, which is all hand-waving and equivocation. Point to something substantial and I might change my mind.

      • ” If skeptics will not put up an alternative predictive model, they should STFU ”

        Sure, just as soon as they get anything like the tens of $billions governments have poured into alarmist models and propaganda.

        Or should people with minimal funds also be denied the right to criticize and falsify the models of those those who have massive funds ?

      • “Sure, just as soon as they get anything like the tens of $billions governments have poured into alarmist models and propaganda. “

        With the plural, I assume that you are talking about ALL of the world’s governments.Your ‘tens of $billions”s’ spread out over the last 30 years amounts to a few dollars per year if we just consider the citizenry of the USA. This is easily less than a dollar per year invested by every person in the world not stricken by extreme poverty. And those dollars go into an understanding of climate AND weather, which is well spent considering how important it is to understand our environment. The fact that we will have to rely more on renewable energies that are very sensitive to climate, such as wind and solar, supports the fact that this research money is not entirely squandered.

        I like to point this out because many of these pseudoscience arguments are driven by an underlying agenda that is not always immediately visible. Here the agenda seems to be sour grapes about a perceived imbalance in funding. FWIW, I haven’t received any funding in the several years I have spent blogging about energy and the environment.

      • Both Edim and Punksta would not feed you on this dollar/citizen calculation. My god a Grade 4 will not make that mathematical mistake! Gee, go back to grade 3 and start your mathe again. ever

        I am not surprized all alarmists and warmists have misperceptions of AGW. They all made calculation mistakes, fake data, whitewash AGW crimes do whatever propaganda to make sure to stay on the gravy train.

      • Alarmists and warmists have no sense of energy magnitudes, especially CO2, orders of magnitudes wrong.

      • SamNC is another one of these cats likely kicked out of some tech school for not being able to pass muster.

        Read again the quote that I found pointless:

        “Sure, just as soon as they get anything like the tens of $billions governments have poured into alarmist models and propaganda. ”

        This is tens of billions of dollars poured into climate research I presume over the last 30 years by governments around the world. When you multiply the numbers out and assume that “tens” means 30 billion, that means the investment is about $4 per person per year in the USA. But since climate science is a worldwide activity, let’s put it at $1 per person per year around the world. Weather forecasting alone is a billion dollar a year industry, and obviously the climate modeling supports forecasting (cuz they use some of the same models), agriculture/fisheries, renewable energy research, fundamental research, as well as climate change research.
        This is an obvious investment in research that does have the potential for payoff.

        Compare that with oil production of the last 30 years, and this is a 1 or 2 trillion dollar per year industry. Instead of every person on the planet that can afford investing $1 dollar per year to contribute to risk mitigation, they spend 1000 times as much money just on oil.
        Isn’t that an amazing stat?

        The skeptics are complaining that the governments of the world should not invest 1/1000 of that amount to important research that will be used to find ways to replace a finite resource. Give it us instead, they say .. yea that’s the ticket.

      • Webby : Read again the quote that I found pointless:

        “Sure, just as soon as they get anything like the tens of $billions governments have poured into alarmist models and propaganda. ”

        This is tens of billions of dollars poured into climate research I presume over the last 30 years by governments around the world.

        Cute euphemism that, climate “research”.

        Yes Webby, governments have spent tens of $billions (of citizens’ money) on climate “research” to bolster the case for more government, ie advance their own interests. While perhaps tens of $millions (of their own money) has been spent by private organizations questioning it. And of course people like McIntyre spend untold $fortunes don’t you know …

        So as a first estimate then, CAGW alarmism has had three orders of magnitude more money spent on it than the arguments questioning it. There’s the ‘consensus’ for you right there.

      • Webhubub > … blah blah … not the crackpots who hang out here.

        Other than yourself obviously and Myrrh, who were you thinking of?

      • Perfect example of projection. The person least willing to lift a finger and do a deep analysis is the first to criticize.

      • Well, c’mon then, put us out of our misery – who were you trying to project onto ?

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby

        Sometimes you write very silly nonsense.

        Funds are expended by individual governments and not some mystical worldwide entity so doing a comparison to the number of people on the planet is without merit. 10’s of billions have been spend on the issue of AGW in the US alone and a very large percentage of that has been mispent and wasted on developing models that have only been proven to be of virtually no practical value except for propaganda

      • Hey Ringo!
        A pseudo-engineer makes an appearance. We’re saved.

      • Rob Starkey

        And once again webby writes something stupid that fails to address the prior comment. He/she is predictable

      • Webby is incapable of civilized communication. Its a shame in the AGW camp.

      • We will probably end up wasting a lot more money as we have yet to be able to find a replacement for crude oil that has anything close to as good an energy return on energy invested.

        But that is the nature of research, as there is no guarantee of achieving a successful outcome.

        Lots of people are still clueless that climate science is being transformed into a more broadly defined effort directed at sustainability. Curry sees the writing on the wall, but a lot of the commenters aren’t well versed yet.

        “10′s of billions have been spend on the issue of AGW in the US alone and a very large percentage of that has been mispent and wasted on developing models that have only been proven to be of virtually no practical value except for propaganda”

        Well, you are putting words in my mouth. The other commenter Punksta said 10’s of billion dollars was spent so far by the worlds governments, not the USA yearly, and so you are completely changing the premise. He thought this was an exorbitant amount and I simply corrected him by pointing out the math works out to be a relative pittance.

        Go ahead and manipulate the numbers to your advantage. That is apparently all that you are capable of doing. What is wrong with you, Ringo? Can’t you reason very well?

  156. Jerome Ravetz

    The definition of pseudoscience may now become a political issue along with all the others. Some years ago I considered the issue of quality in science, from the best to the worst, and came up with the idea of ‘immature and ineffective’ sciences. (Psychology was a good example then). As presented (in my book Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems) the idea was rather immature, and it didn’t prove very effective at the time. But it could be useful in helping us avoid pejorative terms like ‘pseudoscience’.

    • Climate science may well be immature (whatever that means) but given its dominant role in public policy it is hardly ineffective. The combination is the problem.

      But in science the term mature, applied to a narrow field, often means there is little left to learn. Immature the thus good, roughly analogous to emerging. This is certainly true of climate science, especially with regard to natural variability and feedbacks. But such a use does not seem to be making the same point as the pejorative pseudoscience. What do you mean by immature?

  157. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply Punksta I asked you how heat travels from hot to cold. You provided a link that simply stated that it does. Which noone disputes. Lacking an explanation of the mechanism by which heat flows, you are in no position to criticize those who suggest that some photons can also flow from a cold object to a hot one.
    Myrrh : Nope, the law as it stands is enough.

    ie, you too have no explanation of the law, no deeper understanding.

    As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown that heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown that heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level. All we all have is unexplained observations.

    What BS. The 2nd Law has nowhere shown to be broken.

    The AGWSF claim breaks it. Is that logic so difficult to follow? It does not accept the 2nd Law, it has changed it.

    They have interpolated into and claim a “net” including colder to hotter.
    They have broken the law and have not shown a) that it is broken by their claimed ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’ and b) to compound the ridiculousness of their claim they can’t show any mechanism for stopping the colder to hotter. So leaving a lump of raw meat in an igloo to cook by backradiation is perfectly logical in their claim.

    It’s stupid. Anyone who can’t see how stupid that is shouldn’t be in any field of science.

    Let them and you question the law in your own time, stop foisting such utter crass stupidiity onto us.

    I have no idea how the issue of different wavelengths (visible, gamma etc) crept into the present discussion. They seem quite irrelevant to me.

    You provided no RELEVANT response to this.

    It makes sense in context of what I have been posting here. If you have a problem with comprehension, as you obviously have with simple logic, then go through what I’ve written and let me know what is unclear to you.

  158. Ah, sorry mods, there should be a close italics at the end of the third para, after “..have is unexplained observations.”

  159. capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | April 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply I agree with PhysicistDave, Myrrh must be a plant trying to give skeptics a bad name

    Edim | April 2, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply That’s the impression.

    ====

    When you can show how your magic carbon dioxide pseudo molecule can drive global warming c800 years before it starts rising, do let us know. Until then you are touting a belief system, faith, not science. That you are confused as to who is a sceptic shows you don’t understnd the difference.

    • Myrrh, I only speak for myself, but I am pretty sure that CO2 cannot drive global warming. I am very skeptical about any official AGW science, it’s compromised, corrupted and polluted to the core (paradigm paralysis). I say it’s pseudoscience. I think the consensus Earth’s energy balance calculation/analysis is wrong, but I am not aware of any serious dispute about the standard heat exchange theory as explained in heat transfer textbooks.

  160. As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown that heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown that heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level.

    > What BS. The 2nd Law has nowhere shown to be broken.

    As I’ve said maybe a half-a-down times now, noone here is questioning the law. Why do you keep pretending they are?? Please just address the issues put to you, don’t keep wandering off.

  161. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown that heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown that heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level.

    What you’re failing to grasp is that the claim itself is questioning the Law! I don’t have to show it! They have to show that the law breaks down on their claimed level.

    There are countless applications using that law in applied science, if any had found such a thing we’d all know about it… It would be an historic moment in Science. Surely you can’t be that unaware?

    There is no “net” in the law, there is no heat flows from colder to hotter. That has been added.

    The Law is that heat always, always, flows spontaneously from hotter to colder. They have changed that. They have changed that without providing any show and tell. It is a fraudulent science claim.

    If you cared about science you would be appalled by that, not wriggling around trying to justify bad science practice.

    • As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown how heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown how heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level.

      What you’re failing to grasp is that the claim itself is questioning the Law!

      ??
      (a) There is no claim in the above
      (b) Attempting to understand the underlying issues in a law, is not questioning it.

      There is no “net” in the law, there is no heat flows from colder to hotter. That has been added. … They have changed that without providing any show and tell. It is a fraudulent science claim.

      They have advanced a theory of heat transfer. Your claim of fraud is therefore itself a fraud.

      If you cared about science you would be appalled by that, not wriggling around trying to justify bad science practice.

      Oh boo-hoo – for heaven’s sake do stop this self-preening gibberish.

  162. Punksta | April 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply “As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown how heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown how heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level.”

    What you’re failing to grasp is that the claim itself is questioning the Law!

    ??
    (a) There is no claim in the above
    (b) Attempting to understand the underlying issues in a law, is not questioning it.

    They have introduced it and teach it and it is the basis of their AGWSF backradiation which they claim is consensus science.. That’s science fraud.

    There is no “net” in the law, there is no heat flows from colder to hotter. That has been added. … They have changed that without providing any show and tell. It is a fraudulent science claim.

    They have advanced a theory of heat transfer. Your claim of fraud is therefore itself a fraud.

    BS. They claim it exists. They teach it as science fact. That is science fraud.

    If you cared about science you would be appalled by that, not wriggling around trying to justify bad science practice.

    Oh boo-hoo – for heaven’s sake do stop this self-preening gibberish.

    That you’re not appalled is telling. Thank you for the discussion, goodbye.

  163. Punksta: As repeatedly pointed out, no-one is questioning this law, merely trying to dig deeper into it. And just as others have not shown how heat can flow from cold to hot at the photon level, you have equally have not shown how heat flows from hot to cold at the photon level.

    Myrrh: What you’re failing to grasp is that the claim itself is questioning the Law!

    Punksta: (a) But there is no claim in the above.
    (b) Attempting to understand the underlying issues in a law, is not questioning it.

    Myrrh: [incoherent babble on some tangent completely ignoring the points put to him. As usual.]

    There is no “net” in the law, there is no heat flows from colder to hotter. That has been added. … They have changed that without providing any show and tell. It is a fraudulent science claim.

    It is a theory with a logic. And you have advanced absolutely no argument that rules out a “net” effect. Your bald claim that there is no “net” effect, is thus vaccous.

    I think the Cap’n and the others must be right. You are a CAGW puppet trying to make skeptics look like the fruitcake you present as.

  164. Dave Miller in Sacramento wrote:

    “Can someone produce a complicated dynamic model where the end result really is net cooling?”

    I can try, but it’s very simple. According to this:

    in average, the atmosphere is warmed multi-modally and pre-dominantly by the non-radiative flux (evap/conv) from the surface, but cooled exclusively by radiation. On the face of it, CO2 will maybe reduce the net radiative cooling of the surface, but even more so the radiative cooling of the atmosphere. Overall, the atmospheric CO2 will act as an atmospheric radiative coolant.

    In other words, the atmosphere is heated mostly by direct contact at the surface, while CO2 radiates to space (and cools) all the time. The effect of CO2 is larger at the TOA than at the surface, where the heat transfer is multi-modal. Overall, the outgoing energy flux from the surface is increased.

    • To clarify, by multi-modal, I mean combined (convection/conduction or sensible plus radiation plus evaporation or latent heat). In general, I don’t think that CO2 has any significant effect. It sits in the back.

      • Edim wrote:
        > In general, I don’t think that CO2 has any significant effect. It sits in the back.

        But my point that you tried to address was whether there was any simple model in which CO2 has a net cooling effect. No “significant effect” is not at all a net cooling effect.

        Maybe the negative feedbacks do so dominate that, even though the CO2 does have a net warming effect, that effect is so small as not to be significant.

        I myself lean a bit in that direction, but, in all honesty, I really do not know, and I am pretty sure no one else does either. In any case, the CO2 in simple models does not have a net cooling effect, to the best of my knowledge.

        Dave

    • Edim wrote:
      >On the face of it, CO2 will maybe reduce the net radiative cooling of the surface, but even more so the radiative cooling of the atmosphere.

      You are misreading the NASA graph. It simply does not say even a single word, not even one single word, about “CO2” and “the radiative cooling of the atmosphere.”

      But, aside from making that obvious point that anyone can check for herself, I think I shall let Judith or one of the other climate scientists dissect your errors in more detail, if they should so choose.

      Dave

  165. punksta;
    I’ve concluded that once you consider that a hot atom “bounces” photons from cooler atoms because of their lower frequency and energy level, you can get real stubborn like Myrrh and Dougie. Whether the phenomenon exists is perhaps not a settled question, but trying to justify it by appeal to the bulk-matter 2nd Law is of course inane. And tiresome. So M. is pretty much scroll-by, unfortunately; his opinions on some other matters (excluding the pooling of CO2 at the bottom of the atmosphere) are worth reading.

  166. The paleophrenologists get a good and thoroughly well deserved kicking here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/03/proxy-science-and-proxy-pseudo-science/

  167. Brian H | April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply punksta;
    I’ve concluded that once you consider that a hot atom “bounces” photons from cooler atoms because of their lower frequency and energy level, you can get real stubborn like Myrrh and Dougie. Whether the phenomenon exists is perhaps not a settled question, but trying to justify it by appeal to the bulk-matter 2nd Law is of course inane. And tiresome. So M. is pretty much scroll-by, unfortunately; his opinions on some other matters (excluding the pooling of CO2 at the bottom of the atmosphere) are worth reading.

    =====
    The claim is used to brainwash the AGW meme of “backradiation” of heat from a colder atmosphere to a hotter Earth’s surface.

    Damn well prove the law is broken on any level.

    Simple rational thinking has that the reason heat always flows from hotter to colder is because it does so from the smallest level up – hence spontaneous in the 2nd Law. It takes work to change that.

    The claim from the AGWSF (ScienceFiction) meme production department that heat flows from colder to hotter is not just not proven it is stupid logic, creating the perpetual motion of Spencer who has no way of stopping colder heating hotter, or the idiocy of those claiming there is a “net” of hotter to colder but unable to explain how. Unable to explain how because they have not only no evidence that their claimed colder to hotter exists, but they cannot explain it in real world physics at that level so are unable to come up with a method of stopping colder taking over and heating the hotter.

    Do you understand how ridiculous this is? It is simply claimed without any logic, not in physics nor in joined up thinking.

    “Whether the phenomenon exists is not a settled question” is irrelevant here. The claim is made that it exists and explains “backradiation” from the atmosphere. Effin prove it.

    You can’t even provide any rational explanation of how it could be possible – that might well be fine with you lot, it isn’t with me. I don’t have to buy into such idiotic fisics, made up and then claimed real through repetition, repetition, repetition. It doesn’t make any difference how much you repeat the fictional fisics meme, it still doesn’t exist because it has never been seen to exist in any industry or in any science field.

    it still doesn’t exist because it has never been seen to exist in any industry or in any science field

    Have I made that clear? It’s a FICTION.

    Just like “shortwave in longwave out” – excising the direct heat from the Sun, the invisible thermal infrared, and giving its properties to visible light and neighbours. FICTION. Shortwave isn’t capable of heating land and oceans. These are Light not Heat.

    Just like your “empty space atmosphere” without sound because it’s full of hard dots of the imaginary ideal gas description without weight or volume or attraction bouncing off each other at great speeds unrestricted by gravity, because you have no gravity with your imaginary molecules without volume or weight or attraction! FICTION.

    IN THE REAL world, gases are buoyant in air, heavier gases will separate out, like carbon dioxide pooling on the floor of a brewery..

    Just like the fiction of taking out the Water Cycle to give the FICTION sleight of hand “33°C ‘greenhouse gas warming’ – the Earth would be around 67%deg;C without the main greenhouse gas cooling it 52°C down to 15°C, the water cycle.

    Utter codswallop fictional fisics. All the basics have been tweaked to create it. Carbon dioxide defying gravity to stay up in the atmosphere for hundreds and thousands of years accumulating, makes sense when you realise the AGWSF comic cartoon world doesn’t have gravity! It doesn’t have gravity because its molecules aren’t real.

    It doesn’t have a water cycle because its molecules aren’t real but the fictional ideal, so there’s no attraction between water vapour and carbon dioxide in your empty space ideal gas molecules bouncing off each other and the greenhouse container at huge speeds.. Even if you had a way for water vapour to rise in the empty space atmosphere it couldn’t form into clouds… All your clouds appear by magic, you have no real physics to explain how they come to be in your comic cartoon world.

    FICTION is what it is. Your basic fisics has been created in someone’s mind. Very clever, could have been a fun fantasy children’s story through the looking glass with Alice, but impossible in the real world.

    IMPOSSIBLE.

    That’s why you all fail to come up with any explanations that make sense and are reduced to distracting, and strawmen and ad homs. Do yourselves a favour, see it for the fiction it is and move on.

  168. SamNC
    You have categorically stated that it is not possible for the highest energy electron in a cool body, to be at a higher level than the lowest level electron in a warm body. (A)

    This seems to suggest that all the electrons in a body are at the same level, with all those in the warm body at a higher level than those in the cool body.

    But is that correct? Is it not rather the case that in any body, there is a spread of different levels (contradicting (A) above) ?

    • Punksta,

      ” Is it not rather the case that in any body, there is a spread of different level” Thats always true. Lowest level electron of warmer body does not absorb highest level photon from the colder body as specific energy levels must be matched for absorption to occur.

    • OK, so it’s accepted then that in any body, there is a spread of electrons at different energy levels; some higher, some lower. And the highest level in a cool body can quite possibly be higher than than the lowest level in a warm body.

      And I take your point above to be : that for a photon to be absorbed, it is not sufficient that the energy level be high enough; it is also needs to be of a specific size (X quanta?), that corresponds to an actual difference in energy levels found in both the emitting and receiving bodies.

      This presumably applies regardless of whether the body that emitted the photon, is warmer or cooler than the one the photon encounters.

      Which suggests it should then be possible in principle for a photon to go from a cooler body to a warmer one.

  169. Punksta wrote:|
    >And I take your point above to be : that for a photon to be absorbed, it is not sufficient that the energy level be high enough; it is also needs to be of a specific size (X quanta?), that corresponds to an actual difference in energy levels found in both the emitting and receiving bodies.

    Great Newton! Someone who is actually trying to talk about *real* physics!

    Punksta, although the introductory textbooks treat the energy levels as if they have a single definite value, that is actually only an approximation. There is really a spread of energies, sometimes fairly narrow but sometimes quite wide, corresponding to a “single” energy level.

    More than that, *any* interaction at all tends to widen this spread of energy levels. In a dilute gas, interactions are fairly infrequent, and the widening is not large. As the gas gets more dense, eventually becomes a liquid, and finally solidifies, the energy levels get wider and wider until they eventually merge into a continuum.

    All this has been studied in enormous detail for many, many decades, both experimentally and theoretically. It is quite well understood, although, of course, experts in these fields can tell you of difficult cases they are still working on. There are numerous books on all this in any good university library and an untold number of journal articles.

    For obvious reasons, this is not discussed in the sort of poorly-written pop-science books that the anti-scientists here are (barely) able to read. And, it is also hardly touched upon even in serious introductory textbooks. But it is long-established physics, nicely confirmed by experiment.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • Dave, for some reason this all reminds me of the graffiti found on the wall of an Oxford lavatory in the 60s:

      “Heisenberg probably Rules, OK!”

      Possibly works best with UK readers…

      • Probably.

        Incidentally, much of what is going on is actually a time vs. energy version of the uncertainty principle (the usual uncertainty principle is position vs. momentum).

        Dave

  170. Everyone,

    I think there is a very simple means to test whether Myrrh in particular is intentionally posting falsehoods or not.

    Myrrh wrote earlier:
    > >>AGWSF has instead given the property of thermal energy from the Sun to visible light, this is ridiculous. Light is not hot, it is not a thermal energy, it cannot heat land and oceans.

    So, does Myrrh *really* believe that absorbed visible light cannot turn into heat?

    I submit that nearly all Americans who are not mentally retarded learn the following as kids:

    1) Dark substances are dark because they absorb much of the incident light that falls upon them.
    2) The absorbed light energy cannot simply disappear (conservation of energy).
    3) The absorbed light energy in fact turns into heat.

    The conclusion, quite obviously, is that, yes, visible light energy can and does turn into heat.

    At least when I was a kid, children learned all this in grade school. Furthermore, it is an obvious facet of everyday life: I will not go into all the obvious examples that everyone knows from personal experience, such as clothing, car upholstery, etc.

    Now, is there anyone who *really* believes Myrrh does not know this, even though it is common knowledge among kids????

    I think the answer is obvious and shines a great deal of light on the game Myrrh is really playing here.

    Dave

    • peterdavies252

      Dave, its best to conserve your energy and only expend it when something or someone engages you and is listening to what is being said or written. There are some who simply will not or can not engage and its the scroll wheel for them! ;)

      • Peter Davies, You are the definition of a concern troll. It’s not for you to decide how people waste their time.

        Notice how the comments to this post have transformed from discussion of whether professional climate scientists practice pseudoscience to the realization that the amateur wackos and crackpots commenting here are the true pseudos. It has always been this way.

      • peterdavies252

        Sure. I am a concern troll because when people waste time there are many others who should not be wasting their time as well reading this stuff. Sure its only my opinion and I accept that not all will agree with it.

        You will find that engagement is the key to effective communication and that listening ability is central to this. I agree with you on many things but find your posture on scepticism to be offputting because your brand of scepticism is supposedly more pure?

        I realise that you have worked hard and long to reach the position that you are in today (especially in respect of oil and gas reserves) and I respect this, but how well do you think that you are engaging with other sceptics on this blog and do you think that you just might be wasting your time as well?

      • Ah, but one of *my* real interests here is in understanding psychopathology, particularly pathological mendacity.

        So, you can see why Myrrh actually is of special interest to me.

        Dave

      • Dave, You and me both. That interest spurred Michale Schermer to title one of his books “Why do people believe in weird things?”
        Schermer would have a field day on this blog.

  171. Folks

    Could you please check my results?

    I think I have now successfully developed a GMT model (http://bit.ly/HRvReF) from the 30-years GMT trends (http://bit.ly/HjXkTC ):

    Thanks in advance.

  172. A necessary condition for the methodology of a study to be “scientific” is for it to reference a statistical population. Climatologists have not yet felt the necessity for providing one.While they dither, their field will remain pseudo-scientific.

  173. I do not use the term, pseudoscience, but I would like to post for comment an open message sent today to members of the Space Science & Technology Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives:

    The United States House of Representatives
    Committee on Space Science and Technology
    Washington, DC, USA

    Greetings,
    RE: Open Message on the Corruption of Science:
    The Destruction of Inalienable Rights of Citizens

    Concern for our increasingly unstable society and for those trying to prevent it’s violent eruption by destroying basic constitutional rights of citizens would benefit from your active investigation and support, if confirmed, of one indisputable fact

    1. Supported by the best available scientific measurements and observations on rest masses, abundances and half-lives of atoms and elements in the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, meteorites, Mars and Jupiter;

    2. Consistent with the spiritual teachings of every major religion; and

    3. Hidden from the public after 1945 out of fear this information might be used to destroy life on Earth by nuclear annihilation:

    The core of the Sun is a pulsar that made our elements and gave explosive birth to the Solar System five billion years (5 Gyr) ago. Its source of energy – neutron repulsion – is the same energy that vaporized Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug 6 and 9, 1945 (and frightened world leaders into forming the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 to save the world from nuclear annihilation). The Sun’s core is made of neutrons (n). An expanded neutron form – hydrogen atoms (1H) – pours from its atmosphere. Hydrogen and Helium are by-products of the production of solar energy. The most abundant atom in the Sun, iron-56 (56Fe), is the most stable combination of neutrons and hydrogen atoms. Other mixtures of neutrons and hydrogen atoms comprise every atom in the Solar System, as shown on the front cover of the Proceedings of the 1999 ACS Symposium on the Origin of Elements in the Solar System organized with help from the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg:

    http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Elements-Solar-System-Implications/dp/0306465620

    Half-life measurements at Purdue suggest that other than gravitational, electrical, nuclear and magnetic force fields invisibly connect every atom to the pulsar and to each other over vast regions of space (greater than the combined volume of ten billion, billion Earths) that filled with debris from the explosive birth of the Solar System five billion years ago.

    Our fate and Earth’s constantly changing climate depend entirely on the pulsar that government scientists hid from the public after 1945.

    Copies of this message will be sent to individual members of Congress and to others concerned about the tension between US citizens and the US government, the corruption of government science, and the loss of basic constitutional rights of US citizens.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    PhD Nuclear Chemistry
    Postdoc Space Physics