by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
Scott Denning on Changing the Climate Culture
Scott Denning has a thoughtful essay at Yale Climate Media Forum:
A respected climate scientist, in the aftermath of an ‘ugly’ billboard posting campaign, reflects on the merits of … and need for … continued efforts to engage climate ‘skeptics’ in order to seek-out approaches to what he labels ‘one of the great themes of human history in the Third Millennium.’
Denning, a speaker at the last two Heartland Conferences, was ‘shocked and deeply disappointed’ by the billboards. Denning is not attending next week’s Heartland Conference owing to a schedule conflict.
The new phrenology: how liberal psychopundits understand the conservative brain
We are entering the age of the psychopundit (we can thank the science writer Will Saletan for this excellent word). Thomas Edsall, for example, is a veteran political reporter widely admired by people who admire political reporters. He has become very excited by social science, as so many widely admired people have. Studies show—as a psychopundit would say—that Edsall is excited because social science has lately become a tool of Democrats who want to reassure themselves that Republicans are heartless and stupid. In embracing Science, the psychopundit believes he is moving from the spongy world of mere opinion to the firmer footing of fact. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical.
Psychological origin of the narrow view of the IPCC
Kiminori Itoh has an interesting guest post at Pielke Sr’s blog, the whole post is well worth reading. Some excerpts:
Model “A” where only one cause is connected straightly to only one result is evidently too simple to show characteristics of the variations in the climate system. The problem is, rather, why such a simple diagram came to govern the view about the climate changes.
As a matter of fact, “simplification” is one of key features of the Western mentality according to recent studies of social psychology. Therefore, it is my guess that the very simple picture of climate change exactly has fit the Western mentality. Thus persons with a typical Western mentality tend to be fond of the simple global warming theory because it is psychologically comfortable for them.
Simplification and idealization are necessities in modern science. Thus, there is no wonder that the Western mentality has been suitable for constructing modern science. However, such simplification and idealization sometimes do not work in the real world because of its complex nature. The climate change issue is, to my feeling, a typical example. The Eastern mentality which tends to view complex objects as they are may be suitable to deal with complicated issues such as environmental problems.
In this sense, recent ideas employed in Pielke et al. and in The Hartwell paper may be more Eastern rather than Western. In fact, Roger Pielke wrote in an e-mail to me “I agree; I have a more oriental mindset on the climate issue, which, in my view (and I assume yours) is what is really needed. The IPCC, in contrast, is almost an extreme view of a western mindset in that it is so 0ne-dimensional and linear.”
Ahhh, more phrenology: the eastern vs the western brain.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
Dotearth has several interesting posts that originated from responses to Jim Hansen’s recent op-ed. Marty Hoerling provided an extensive critique, focused on extreme events. Hoerling is then critiqued by Dan Miller. Kerry Emanuel then provides the money quote:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Emanuel’s quote is spot on; it is rare to see ignorance acknowledged in context of the climate debate. However, I can’t help wondering about the implications of this statement in the context of the precautionary principle.
During the last two week, two important papers have been published regarding glaciers and sea level rise. See discussion at:
Scafetta’s new paper
Scafetta’s previous paper Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications was criticized on a previous thread for the absence of a physical mechanism. Scafetta’s latest paper hypothesizes a physical mechanism to explain the celestial connection.
Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation
Abstract. Numerous empirical evidences suggest that planetary tides may influence solar activity. In particular, it has been shown that: (1) the well-known 11-year Schwabe sunspot number cycle is constrained between the spring tidal period of Jupiter and Saturn, ~ 9:93 year, and the tidal orbital period of Jupiter, ~ 11:86 year, and a model based on these cycles can reconstruct solar dynamics at multiple time scales (Scafetta, in press); (2) a measure of the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter reveals quasi 11.07-year cycles that are well correlated to the 11-year Schwabe solar cycles; and (3) there exists a 11.08 year cyclical recurrence in the solar jerk-shock vector, which is induced mostly by Mercury and Venus. However, Newtonian classical physics has failed to explain the phenomenon. Only by means of a significant nuclear fusion amplification of the tidal gravitational potential energy dissipated in the Sun, may planetary tides produce irradiance output oscillations with a sufficient magnitude to influence solar dynamo processes. Here we explain how a first order magnification factor can be roughly calculated using an adaptation of the well-known mass-luminosity relation for main-sequence stars similar to the Sun. This strategy yields a conversion factor between the solar luminosity and the potential gravitational power associated to the mass lost by nuclear fusion: the average estimated amplification factor is A~4:25 x 10**6. We use this magnification factor to evaluate the theoretical luminosity oscillations that planetary tides may potentially stimulate inside the solar core by making its nuclear fusion rate oscillate. By converting the power related to this energy into solar irradiance units at 1 AU we find that the tidal oscillations may be able to theoretically induce an oscillating luminosity increase from 0.05–0.65 W/m2 to 0.25–1.63 W/m2, which is a range compatible with the ACRIM satellite observed total solar irradiance fluctuations. In conclusion, the Sun, by means of its nuclear active core, may be working as a great amplifier of the small planetary tidal energy dissipated in it. The amplified signal should be sufficiently energetic to synchronize solar dynamics with the planetary frequencies and activate internal resonance mechanisms, which then generate and interfere with the solar dynamo cycle to shape solar dynamics, as further explained in Scafetta (in press). A section is devoted to explain how the traditional objections to the planetary theory of solar variation can be rebutted.
The full paper can be found [here].