Nic Lewis vs the UK Met Office

by Judith Curry

Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the UK Met Office,   has responded to Nic Lewis’ critique of UK Met Office’s report on the pause.

On September 14, Nic Lewis posted his critique on this thread Nic Lewis on the UK Met Office on the pause.   Julia Slingo has responded, the letter is posted [here].

Nic Lewis has written a detailed response to Slingo’s points, which is reproduced in its entirety below:

Response by Nicholas Lewis to a letter dated 24 September from Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the UK Met Office,  responding to my comments on the Met Office July report  “The recent pause in global warming (3): What are the implications for projections of future warming?”

The tone of Julia Slingo’s letter is restrained and it contains reasoned discussion of scientific points. That is very welcome. However, the arguments made in the letter do not refute, as they set out to do, the main point I made in relation to the Harris et al (2013) study, namely that it is unsatisfactory since it effectively rules out from the start the possibility that both aerosol forcing and climate sensitivity are modest, the combination that – according to a number of peer-reviewed studies – recent observations are supporting.

Before commenting on what Dr Slingo’s letter says, I will point out what it doesn’t say. In my commentary on the 3rd Met Office July report, I made a number of allegations that it contained a variety of misrepresentations and erroneous and misleading statements. Dr Slingo’s letter barely touches any of those points, save that concerning methods of estimating transient climate response (TCR). In effect, the Met Office has implicitly accepted those criticisms. Yet I have seen no sign that it proposes to correct or withdraw that July report.

I have some detailed comments on particular statements (italicised) in Dr Slingo’s response letter:

1. Firstly, one of your main concerns appears to be that we chose to focus our discussion on the results from Otto et al (2013) for the full period, 1970-2009, rather than the most recent decade of 2000-2009. In fact the report does show the results for each of the periods in Table 1; it would be misleading to just give the result for only one of the decade of analyses, particularly one which for which there is increasing evidence that natural decadal variability has been the major determinant for recent global mean surface temperatures, as we discuss in the second report in our series.

My complaint was not the inclusion in Figure 1 of the report (estimates of TCR) of the Otto et al (2013) results for the 1970-2009 period, but rather that its primary results, those for the 2000-2009 period, were not also included. I did not, as Dr Slingo’s letter hints I did, suggest that the report should just have given the result for the 2000-2009 period. And while internal decadal variability is obviously a larger factor when considering results from a single decade,  the Otto et al uncertainty ranges allowed for that fact.

2. You refer to ‘observationally based assessments’, but these methods employ a model for Earth’s energy balance and make certain assumptions, such as there being a linear radiative feedback.

Furthermore, in order to determine the radiative forcing from carbon dioxide alone, these assessments have to calculate the forcing from components other than carbon dioxide again using results from models.

Whilst I do not disagree with these points, it was the Met Office in their July report who said: “TCR can be estimated in a variety of ways. These include estimates from simulations made with climate models, estimates made from observations, and estimates made by combining climate model and observationally-derived values.” I was following their use of language.

3.      I do need to comment on your third key point, the interpretation of the results in Harris et al. (2013). You rightly point out that the results are based on the perturbed parameter ensemble (PPE) approach using the HadCM3 model, though you omit to mention that results from alternative (CMIP3-generation) climate models are also used with the ensemble to form the probabilistic projections that underpin UKCP09. This is a key component that adds sampling of structural uncertainties in model formulation to the methodology.

I did not mention the use of results from the CMIP3 ensemble because that is not relevant to the main points I made. Use of the CMIP3 ensemble results does not enable the HadCM3 model to simulate a climate system with modest aerosol forcing and modest sensitivity. The effects of the CMIP3 ensemble results, reflected in discrepancy terms, appear to be minor in any event: doubling the standard discrepancy factor changes the TCR best estimate and bounds only by about 1%.
Incidentally, this paragraph reveals some confusion. Although parameters are perturbed in PPE, the acronym actually stands for perturbed physics ensemble.

4. Having said that, it is true that the relationship between historical aerosol forcing and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) depicted in your Figure B1 is based only on the PPE. But we disagree with your assertion that the results from HadCM3 are fundamentally biased. It is certainly the case that versions of HadCM3 with low climate sensitivity and strongly negative aerosol forcing are incompatible with the broad range of observational constraints. But the key point is that the relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS is an emergent property of the detailed physical processes sampled in the PPE simulations.

This is a key paragraph, which in effect concedes that my main criticism is valid.
I don’t dispute the point that in HadCM3 – and very possibly other models – the relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS is an emergent property. That is precisely why HadCM3 is not suitable for a PPE study in which, supposedly, “uncertainty in the response of the climate system to CO2 forcing is comprehensively sampled”. To achieve that, it must be possible, by varying the model’s input parameters, to obtain all combinations of aerosol forcing and ECS that are to any extent plausible. That is the case, for instance, for the quite complex 2D MIT climate model used in Lewis 2013. But it is not possible with HadCM3 and at least some other complex 3D climate models. One senior climate scientist who used to work on PPE studies told me that he basically agreed with me: his group had soon worked out that they were of limited use. With the model he was using, it proved impossible even to get ECS down to 3°C by perturbing its parameters. He thought the Met Office were a bit stuck in the mud about their ensembles, due to some combination of corporate image and sunk costs of ensemble creation.

5. It is not surprising that such a relationship [between aerosol forcing and ECS] might be found, given, for example, the key role played by clouds in simulations of both climate sensitivity and aerosol forcing.

True, but irrelevant since the mere existence of such a relationship would say nothing about the form of the equation between aerosol forcing and ECS representing that relationship or the values of the coefficients it contained. There is no reason to think that the effective relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS in HadCM3 (as represented in Figure S2 and equation S9 of Harris et al 2013) reflects the real climate system. A study involving HadCM3 and another model[1], co-authored by one of the Met Office’s own scientists, found substantial differences in the nature of the cloud-ECS relationship between the two models, so there is clearly not an accepted standard basic-physics relationship between them. The key point I made remains untouched: if there are no parameter combinations that achieve low aerosol forcing and low climate sensitivity in HadCM3, the PPE study cannot sample that region.

6.     A key strength of the Harris et al. approach is the application of multiple observational constraints designed to measure the detailed physical credibility of the simulations.

That strength cannot overcome the basic problem that HadCM3 cannot sample low aerosol forcing, low climate sensitivity combinations and is therefore an unsuitable model for this PPE study.

7.     You have questioned the correlation between aerosol forcing and ECS in the PPE through a comparison with several other studies based on simple models and observations. From this you infer that HadCM3 cannot support low values of ECS. This is not correct. Firstly, we do explore a wide range of ECS values, as Figure 2S in Harris et al. shows.

I never claimed that the HadCM3 PPE study did not explore low ECS values, but it only does so by using its statistical emulator to extrapolate beyond the lowest ECS value achieved by HadCM3 itself, and only in combination with highly negative aerosol forcing. My point was that the HadCM3 PPE did not explore combinations of low aerosol forcing and low ECS values. That is evidently because even by perturbing 31 key main atmospheric parameters, and subsidiary aerosol module parameters, HadCM3 was unable to do so. I give Glen Harris and his colleagues credit for trying hard to explore uncertainties, but in this respect they were unable to overcome structural rigidities in HadCM3.

The statements also show a slightly unusual view of what constitutes low climate sensitivity. The reference is presumably to Figure S2 in Harris et al, since there is no Figure 2S. That figure shows that the lowest ECS value directly achieved by HadCM3 is circa 2.1°C; Figure 1a shows the same. An ECS of 2.1°C is not particularly low; all four of the recent observationally-based studies I cited gave best estimates for ECS of below 2.1°C.

8.     Secondly there is good evidence that we explore a more appropriate range and distribution of aerosol forcing than the simple model and observational constraint studies you highlight. Indeed, there are numerous recent aerosol forcing estimates that suggest the possibility of large negative aerosol forcing which you do not show.

These two statements are respectively invalid and irrelevant, and reveal a worrying ignorance about statistical inference. In observationally-constrained studies, what is important is that all values of the climate system properties being estimated that are not effectively ruled out by the observations used should be sampled. Since the Harris et al PPE study did not explore low aerosol forcing, low ECS combinations in the region which several fully observationally-constrained studies found to be quite probable, it clearly did not fully explore the appropriate range of combinations of aerosol forcing and ECS.

For all the studies I highlighted that estimated aerosol forcing from observational constraints, it appears that the inferred values were not affected by any lack of sampling of large negative aerosol forcing values: they were anyway ruled out by the observations used. The observations concerned were not of aerosols, but rather of temperature – particularly of differences in surface temperature evolution between the hemispheres or latitudinal zones. It is standard in studies like these to derive (inverse) estimates of aerosol forcing from such data. Since in Harris et al the PPE was constrained by similar surface temperature observations, it is highly likely that those observational constraints would also strongly contraindicate possible highly negative aerosol forcing values that were not ruled out by the model and reanalysis studies cited.

Moreover, in order for inferred probabilistic estimates for those climate system properties to be realistic, it is also important that the weighting given at each possible combination of their sampled values should reflect how informative the observations are about the climate system properties at those values. That is to say, an objective Bayesian approach (as in Lewis 2013), rather than the subjective Bayesian approach used in the Harris et al study, should be used. This point was made in a presentation given at the recent European Meteorological Society Conference in Reading, and the use of subjective Bayesian methods in UKCP09 adversely commented on.

9. The fact is that the differing relationships between aerosol forcing and ECS found by Harris et al. and (say) Otto et al. reflect fundamental differences in methodological approach: Harris et al. seek emergence of behaviour from detailed physical processes, and then explore the consequences of the historical climate record, going way beyond just surface temperature, in shaping the joint space of plausible outcomes.

It is certainly the case that Harris et al only reflects the ‘joint space’ of model (almost purely HadCM3) and observational plausible outcomes. However, because the HadCM3 PPE has such a strong bias (100 times or more) against the low aerosol forcing, low ECS region, and the observations do not have a high signal-to-noise ratio, the region of outcomes considered least implausible is dominated by the characteristics of HadCM3, not by the observations. Since the modelling of detailed climate system physical processes is a young science, with many processes poorly understood and/or impracticable to model from basic physics, and others perhaps overlooked, it seems totally inappropriate to let model characteristics dominate over observational evidence. To my mind, doing so represents a major failing in climate science in general, and of the Met Office in particular.

Moreover, although Harris et al was able to use a large variety of climate variables, it in fact reduced these down to just six composite variables when comparing the model output with recent mean climate at the key first stage. None of the thousands of observational variables going to make up the six composite variables represented sub-surface ocean layer temperatures – a surprising omission given that observational studies tend to find such ocean observations to be of critical importance in constraining ECS estimates. In addition, at a later stage the study used four variables relating to historical changes in climate, all of which actually represented surface temperatures.

10. In contrast Otto et al. assume no prior physical understanding of any relationship, and treat aerosol forcing and ECS as independent parameters to be varied in seeking to fit historical surface temperature changes as well as possible.

This shows a misunderstanding of Otto et al. That study did not treat aerosol forcing as an independent parameter to be varied in seeking to fit historical surface temperature changes. Otto et al in fact used aerosol forcing as represented in an ensemble of CMIP5 models, although it made an adjustment to the mean aerosol forcing used, in order to reflect the estimated excess of CMIP5 model aerosol forcing over satellite-observation derived estimates. Dr Slingo’s description is more accurate in relation to the other three observationally-based studies that I cited (Aldrin et al 2012, Ring et al 2012 and Lewis 2013), although those studies estimated effective ocean vertical diffusivity (and other variables in the case of Aldrin et al) as well as aerosol forcing and ECS, and their estimates were based on historical observations of ocean layer as well as surface temperature changes.

11. The slope found in Otto et al. and related studies, is an unsurprising consequence of these chosen prior assumptions and observational constraint. All use a paradigm based on much simpler representations of climate system physics, and using less information (based only on gross characteristics of post-industrial climate change) to provide an observational constraint. So it is not surprising that the results are different.

The distribution of the varying central aerosol forcing and ECS estimates along the sloping curve shown in the figure in my response to the Met Office Report, and the elongation of their contour regions along that curve, simply reflects the fact that relative uncertainty in aerosol forcing changes dominates relative uncertainty in global surface temperature change, combined with the forms of the basic physical and mathematical relationships involved.

It is unclear that these four studies used less important information than Harris et al 2013, even though they used a lesser number of climatic variables. The inclusion in these four studies of a variable for ocean layer temperature is arguably of more importance than the fact that thousands of other climate variables contributed towards the six mean climate (not change in climate) variables used in Harris et al.

The difference in the results of these observational studies from Harris et al’s results almost certainly reflects much more the failure of the HadCM3 PPE to explore the region of low aerosol forcing, low ECS combinations that the four observationally-based studies show to have substantial probability, than differences in the observations used to constrain the estimates.

12. We support the approach of synthesising the different lines of evidence in an even-handed way, as in the assessments of ECS and TCR provided by the IPCC.

What this “even-handed way” means in practice is that estimates from unconstrained simulations by complex climate models are given similar, perhaps more, weight than observational evidence in the assessments of ECS and TCR by the IPCC. That may have been unavoidable prior to the last decade, as the signal of anthropogenic influence was only just emerging from the noise of internal climate variability. But that signal is now strong enough, and observational methods have advanced enough (due in particular to satellite-derived estimates and, recently, the deployment of the Argo network of deep ocean buoys) for a much higher weight to be put on estimates that are fully constrained by observations, even though still involving some use of models. Indeed, it is unclear to what extent estimates by complex models that are not constrained by observations, or only very loosely so constrained, should be considered valid scientific evidence at all.

13. In addition, the fact that the final projection ranges used in UKCP09 also include information from the other available CMIP3 models provide the evidence that we have not inappropriately ruled out important areas of the forcing/ECS space, and, more importantly, that our experimental set up gives a credible estimate of future climate change.

As explained in point 3, the inclusion – via discrepancy terms – of information from other CMIP3 models in the Harris et al study, and hence in the UKCP09 projections, provides no evidence whatsoever that important areas of the aerosol forcing/ECS space have not been inappropriately ruled out. Hence it provides no evidence that the UKCP09 experimental setup gives a credible estimate of future climate change.

All the inclusion of information from other CMIP3 models, and the resulting minor discrepancy terms, shows is that by suitable variation of its input parameters HadCM3 is able to produce similar simulations of climate change to that produced by the other CMIP3 models in their standard configurations. As combinations of low aerosol forcing and low ECS supported by observations are not represented by those configurations, that does not address the fundamental shortcoming in the Harris et al study, and hence in UKCP09, that I have identified.

14. As I said we appreciate your contributions to the literature on these topics; but the implications of climate change are so profound that it is essential that scientific debate takes place in the appropriate forum. With this in mind I think it is appropriate that further discussion be subject to proper peer review, through the scientific journals.

This appears to represent an attempt to stifle reasoned scientific debate. I am perfectly open to review by my peers. Anyone with expertise in climate science is welcome to try to pick holes in my critique of the Met Office July report (3) and, in particular, in what I say about the Harris et al study. The Met Office has singularly failed to do so, and in the course of  its attempts has displayed worrying misunderstandings by its most senior scientist on several important topics. The limitations of peer review are shown by the fact that the fundamental weakness of the Harris et al study – and its sister study Sexton et al 2012 – was evidently not focussed on by the peer reviewers. And as has been commented on elsewhere, persuading a journal to publish a critical comment about a paper it has published is not easy – maybe particularly so when the paper is by scientists at the Met Office, a major source of journal papers.

Peer review certainly has its place. However, often peer review gives a veneer of respectability to work that conforms with a consensus, but is in fact deeply flawed. Conversely, good work that contradicts the consensus may be kept out of the peer-reviewed literature, or at a minimum delayed, by gatekeepers defending consensus positions. The profound potential implications of major climate change, the huge costs involved in mitigation attempts, the unsettled state of scientific understanding of many of the key climate processes involved and the need for members of the public – particularly those with scientific or technical expertise – to place trust in the climate science involved surely all point to the need for an open scientific debate alongside the publication of peer reviewed studies. When protagonists refuse to provide reasoned and convincing defences to non-peer reviewed technical criticisms of their work by other researchers with established expertise in the area involved, that is a signal not to trust their work, irrespective of it having been peer reviewed.

In conclusion, Dr Slingo’s letter effectively concedes my main criticism of the Harris et al (2013) HadCM3-based  PPE study, that it fails to sample low aerosol forcing, low ECS combinations that several recent observational studies indicate have a substantial probability of representing the real climate system. In effect, her view seems to be that it doesn’t matter what the observations imply, because the models rule out  the possibility of low aerosol forcing, low ECS combinations. I am reminded of a famous line by Bertold Brecht to the effect of: “The people have failed the government. The government must elect the new people.” But the Met Office can no more replace the real climate system with one that agrees with the models than a communist government could replace the people with one that satisfied its ideology.

25 September 2013


[1] Yokohata, Tokuta, Mark J. Webb, Matthew Collins, Keith D. Williams, Masakazu Yoshimori, Julia C. Hargreaves, James D. Annan, 2010: Structural Similarities and Differences in Climate Responses to CO2 Increase between Two Perturbed Physics Ensembles. J. Climate, 23, 1392–1410. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009JCLI2917.1

JC comments:  Well this is a very interesting exchange, looks to me like Nic Lewis wins this round.  But kudos to Slingo and the UK Met Office for a response that was both serious and polite.

205 responses to “Nic Lewis vs the UK Met Office

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It is concerning that Nic Lewis adamantly rejects peer-review *and* (apparently) has no coauthors; as a result, Lewis’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. The history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.

    Regrettably, the solo author is generally the very *last* person to appreciate the need for critical checks-and-balances.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • He’s put it here for anybody who wants to criticize. Why don’t you tell us what’s wrong with his science rather than trying to defend a clearly broken peer pal review system?

      • You go first, AK:

        Fan made a claim. The claim is public. Anybody can criticize it.

        Including you. Go for it.

        Use your Kuhn fu.

      • Lewis’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever.

        By bringing his comments to the attention of readers here he invites criticism that could well constitute checks and balances. If qualified critics choose to pay attention, rather than waste time on side issues. Of course, I don’t know that Fan is a qualified critic, but I don’t know that he isn’t. Same with you I guess.

      • David Springer

        There’s very little that Creepy Willard doesn’t miss. He reads it but without comprehension.

      • Do you think AK’s 6:28 comment is justified by his 6:43 comment, Big Dave?

        Do you think Nic sent an invitation to Harris & alii to come here and debate with him?

        What about the otter authors of Otto & alii?

        Judy, perhaps?

        Will this be subject to a mediation effort?

        Will this lead to an official publication that could be cited as non-grey literature?

        ***

        You could be Chuck Norris, Big Dave.
        And yet you’re not.
        What could be offers no guarantee
        As to what is.

      • @nevaudit…

        Do you think AK’s 6:28 comment is justified by his 6:43 comment, Big Dave?

        Of course it is. My original comment was clearly a criticism of Fan’s claim that “Lewis’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever.” Since you were so deliberately obtuse as to (pretend to) not see this, my subsequent comments (6:28 & 6:43) were simply clarifications. And don’t think all the regulars here aren’t aware what you’re up to.

        Do you think Nic sent an invitation to Harris & alii to come here and debate with him?

        So there you have it: you’ve in effect admitted that my comment was a criticism of Fan’s by answering it. Your answer is also invalid, because Fan was referring to the error-checking and balancing of peer-review and/or co-authors. Neither needs to involve the target of the criticism he’s making, any more than semi-random blog commenters do.

      • That Nic’s work could be subjected to checks and balance somewhere in the Internet does not entail that it is, AK.

        This argument of yours has no merit.

        And this is not the only one that is weak in your overall stance. That Nic does right now belongs to politics more than anything else. Pretending otherwise, as you did in your first comment above, is misleading, to say the least.

        Thank you for your concerns about my motives.

      • That Nic’s work could be subjected to checks and balance somewhere in the Internet does not entail that it is, AK.

        That Mann’s work could be subjected to checks and balance somewhere in the peer pal review system does not entail that it is. That Hansen’s work could be subjected to checks and balance by credulous young “scientists” hungry for publication as co-authors does not entail that it is.

      • ” Lewis’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. ”

        ” Lewis’ speculations were subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever”

        I point out two words: “are” “were”

        If FOMD means “are” as he wrote, then he is clearly wrong, since he himself has subjected the speculation to a check. That check is a meta check, but a check nonetheless.

        if FOMD meant “were”, then he is arguing by assertion and assuming that just because no other authors are listed that Nic piece was not reviewed by other people.

      • That Nic does right now belongs to politics more than anything else. Pretending otherwise, as you did in your first comment above, is misleading, to say the least.

        “All warfare is based on deception.” Sun Tsu

        And “Climate Science”, IPPC style, is the continuation of policy by other means.

      • > That Mann’s work […]

        Look, a shrieking squirrel!

        In effect, AK has implicitly accepted that Nic Lewis wrote a political hit job, just like his other op-ed.

        ***

        > That check is a meta check, but a check nonetheless.

        Not every criticism is a check, just like not any check is a mate.

        Checkmate.

        ***

        > [J]ust because no other authors are listed that Nic piece [does not mean that it] was not reviewed by other people.

        Not acknowledging feedback might very well be suboptimal.

        Feedback does not replace other kinds of checks and balance which are the ones Fan had implied.

        Among these we find the mediation effort of writing joint papers.

      • In effect, AK has implicitly accepted that Nic Lewis wrote a political hit job, just like his other op-ed.

        In effect willard “has implicitly accepted [admitted] that” Michael Mann “wrote a political hit job“.

      • > In effect willard “has implicitly accepted [admitted] that” […]

        While the pragmatic ability to admit implicitly may deserve due diligence, it does not refer to Nic’s formulation:

        In effect, the Met Office has implicitly accepted those criticisms.

        Note that an implicit acceptance rests on some kind of commitment, commitment which I don’t have regarding AK’s “yes, but Mike”.

        Whatever commitment Nic has in mind regarding implicit acceptance, he may need to apply it to his own response. To that effect, sentences from Dr. Slingo’s letter he might have implicitly accepted will be emphasized.

    • It is concerning that Dr Slingo adamantly rejects peer-review *and* (apparently) has no coauthors; as a result, Slingos’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. The history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.

      Regrettably, the solo author is generally the very *last* person to appreciate the need for critical checks-and-balances.

      • steven –

        Of course, our resident slimebag, approves of FOMD. go figure

        I think I should warn you, my friend, as Judith had this to say:

        Senseless sniping with each other is senseless and boring….After this i will start naming names, and then put people on moderation.

        And we certainly know that Judith wouldn’t be selective about senseless sniping causing moderation.

        And BTW, (since you seem to reserve your most angry insults for me) you’re wrong.

        Again.

        I think Fan’s argument was weak.

        Nic’s arguments stand or fall on their own merit.

      • Fan’s argument about sole-authorship is clearly a logic fail:

        We should judge the arguments on their merits. If they fail on that ground, we can start delving into theories (e.g., sole authorship) for why they failed at that point.

      • And… what Joshua said.

    • http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2007/20070810_LightUpstairs.pdf

      It is concerning that James Hansen damantly rejects peer-review *and* (apparently) has no coauthors; as a result, Hansens’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. The history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.

      Regrettably, the solo author is generally the very *last* person to appreciate the need for critical checks-and-balances.

      Hansen, J.E., 2007: Scientific reticence and sea level rise. Environ. Res. Lett., 2, 024002, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/2/024002.

      Hansen, J., 2007: Climate catastrophe. New Scientist, 195, no. 2614 (July 28), 30-34.

      Hansen, J., 2007: Why we can’t wait: A 5-step plan for solving the global crisis. Nation, 284, no. 18 (May 7), 13-14.

      Hansen, J., 2006: The threat to the planet. New York Rev. Books, 53, no. 12 (July 13, 2006), 12-16.

      Hansen, J.E., 2005: A slippery slope: How much global warming constitutes “dangerous anthropogenic interference”? An editorial essay. Climatic Change, 68, 269-279, doi:10.1007/s10584-005-4135-0.
      Hansen, J., 2004: Defusing the global warming time bomb. Sci. Amer., 290, no. 3, 68-77.

      Hansen, J., 2003: Can we defuse the global warming time bomb? naturalScience, posted Aug. 1, 2003.

      Hansen, J.E., 2002: A brighter future. Climatic Change, 52, 435-440, doi:10.1023/A:1014226429221.

      and Hansen, J.E. (Ed.), 2002: Air Pollution as a Climate Forcing: A Workshop. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

      Hansen, J.E., 2000: The Sun’s role in long-term climate change. Space Sci. Rev., 94, 349-356, doi:10.1023/A:1026748129347.
      Hansen, J.E., 1998: Book review of Sir John Houghton’s Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. J. Atmos. Chem., 30, 409-412.

      Hansen, J., 1993: Climsat rationale. In Long-Term Monitoring of Global Climate Forcings and Feedbacks, NASA CP-3234. J.
      Hansen, J.E., 1985: Geophysics: Global sea level trends. Nature, 313, 349-350, doi:10.1038/313349a0.
      Hansen, J., 1980: Review of Theory of Planetary Atmospheres by J.W. Chamberlain. Icarus, 41, 175-176.

      Hansen, J.E., 1971: Circular polarization of sunlight reflected by clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., 28, 1515-1516, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1971)0282.0.CO;2.
      Hansen, J.E., 1969: Absorption-line formation in a scattering planetary atmosphere: A test of Van de Hulst’s similarity relations. Astrophys. J., 158, 337-349, doi:10.1086/150196.
      Hansen, J.E., 1969: Exact and approximate solutions for multiple scattering by cloud and hazy planetary atmospheres. J. Atmos. Sci., 26, 478-487, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1969)0262.0.CO;2.

      Hansen, J.E., 1969: Radiative transfer by doubling very thin layers. Astrophys. J., 155, 565-573, doi:10.1086/149892.

      • I was going to reference FOMD’s idol but Mosh beat me to it.

      • Chuck L | September 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        I was going to reference FOMD’s idol but Mosh beat me to it.

        ###########

        Well I’ve been waiting for this ever since FOMD asserted that you can judge the science by counting the authors, looking at their age and inspecting their genitals. Of course, our resident slimebag, approves of FOMD. go figure

      • > […] and Hansen, J.E. (Ed.), 2002: Air Pollution as a Climate Forcing: A Workshop. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

        Hmmm. Big hmmm.

      • still wrong Joshua, I’m not making the argument you think Im making.

        Try again.

        Although beware of your motivated reasoning.

      • Could we read the private correspondence between Otto and Lewis, pretty please with some sugar on it?

      • > […] and Hansen, J.E. (Ed.), 2002: Air Pollution as a Climate Forcing: A Workshop. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

        Hmmm. Big hmmm.

        #################

        yup write up there with blog posts and letters back and forth.
        I was hoping some idiot would say “hey that first thing you posted of hansens wasnt science” and I would smile. Thank you for obliging al beit with another reference. There are a couple in Gavins as well.

      • “willard (@nevaudit) | September 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        Could we read the private correspondence between Otto and Lewis, pretty please with some sugar on it?”

        ########################

        Let me amuse you with a story.
        The other year I had two pieces of wood that I wanted to join.
        I put them together and grabbed a nail and a hammer.
        I put the point part of the nail against the wood and hit the flat part with the hammer. The nail went through the wood.
        A mentally defective guy was watching my every move.
        I did it again.
        He watched the whole thing
        I did it again
        And wrote notes about what I was doing
        He watched the whole thing.

        Today I walked by him in the park. He had two pieces of wood.
        He held them together. they fell apart.
        He said “please stay together”
        they fell apart.

        I watched. and smiled. I asked him. Didnt you watch me nail the wood together?
        Yes
        Did you see how I did it?
        Yes
        He handed me the wood. “Make them stick together.”

        I declined.
        There is some saying about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish.
        And of course some people never learn.

      • > I was hoping some idiot would say “hey that first thing you posted of hansens wasnt science” and I would smile.

        Too bad all you got was: “hey, but should we not conflate editing with authoring?”

      • How do you do that? Amazing

      • Steven Mosher | September 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm
        How do you do that?

        Strange threading

      • > There is some saying about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish.

        I’ve heard more sayings about a man and fishes than about a man and FOIAs.

        Nic Lewis might protest a bit too much for anyone to assert Nic’s making a scientific contribution with his previous response and his response.

        Fan may have a point in saying something like that. Whereas the relevance of his allusion would be refuted by citing Otto & al and by O’Donnell & al, both to which Nic collaborated.

        There was no need to drag James or Gavin into this.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | September 25, 2013 at 10:53 pm |

        “The other year I had two pieces of wood that I wanted to join.”

        You live in San Francisco so that’s a given.

      • “Too bad all you got was: “hey, but should we not conflate editing with authoring?”

        really who said that? link please

        not that it matters, but who trusts a single editor? after all a single editor is not subject to checks and balances

        next.

      • “I’ve heard more sayings about a man and fishes than about a man and FOIAs.”

        Then you havent listened very well. You know what a good teacher makes? he makes kids read read read. So, no willard you may not be excused to use the bathroom you are just being lazy. Go back and re read.. or listen harder. You’ve seen how its done, go do it.

        ###################################

        Nic Lewis might protest a bit too much for anyone to assert Nic’s making a scientific contribution with his previous response and his response.

        ###################
        And monkeys might fly out of your bo utt. What Nic might or might not protest to is not really the classroom topic willard. you may not be excused to go to the bathroom, get back in your seat and read.

        ############################

        Fan may have a point in saying something like that. Whereas the relevance of his allusion would be refuted by citing Otto & al and by O’Donnell & al, both to which Nic collaborated.
        ##############

        Since this has been pointed out to FOMD before, I will choose the mode of instruction employ with the student who refuses to learn or read.
        Further I dont think that FOMD actually believes what he wrote.

        ######################################
        There was no need to drag James or Gavin into this.

        To make the point that I wish to make it was vital to bring Hansen in.
        That point is this: FOMD doesnt actually believe that single authorship is a problem. Its a tactic he chooses to use against Nic or anyone else he disagrees with. But he doesnt actually believe it. Hansen is vital to that demonstration. Gavin, is also vital to the follow on argument should anyone choose to make the counter point i suspect a smart person might.

        I actually used three examples. Each to illustrate a specific point.

      • Mosh

        Thanks for your information on Fans second favourite person (or if I include the Pope, the third favourite)

        I am afraid that I still don’t see the attractions of Wendell Berry who seems very home spun and not that profound. Perhaps its an American thing

        tonyb

      • > You’ve seen how its done, go do it.

        This reminds me of this story:

        [A, to C] Give me all your emails.

        [B] Isn’t that a bit lame?

        [A] I have the right to do so! RELEASE ALL THE EMAILS!

        [D, on another bat channel] C’s colleagues are wrong and C’s a serial misrepresenters.

        [B] Have you corresponded with any of them, D?

        [C] God B you’re lazy and stupid. Do as I did. RELEASE ALL THE EMAILS!

        [B] I thought I just told you I found it lame. And this won’t help mediate anything.

        [C] Here’s a story about a man and fishes where I conclude that you’re lazy and stupid, B.

      • > FOMD doesnt actually believe that single authorship is a problem.

        Fan’s point does not entail all the sorts of authorship, but the one that leads to real scientific advances. Half-baked Laframboisian hit jobs don’t undermine this claim.

        Including a citation where Jim was an editor might not be the best way to “hint” at the fact that Jim is a Steppenwolf, as editing usually implies some kind of mediation between all sorts of people.

        Next.

    • Luckily for us all, the AGW tribe is NEVER obsessive and/or idiosyncratic and is ALWAYS objective.

    • It is concerning that Gavin Schmidt adamantly rejects peer-review *and* (apparently) has no coauthors; as a result, Schmidts’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. The history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.

      Regrettably, the solo author is generally the very *last* person to appreciate the need for critical checks-and-balances.

      Schmidt, G.A., 2012: Climate sensitivity – How sensitive is Earth’s climate to CO2? PAGES News, 20, no. 1, 11.

      Schmidt, G.A, 2010: Enhancing the relevance of palaeoclimate model/data comparisons for assessments of future climate change. J. Quaternary Sci., 25, 79-87, doi:10.1002/jqs.1314.

      Schmidt, G., 2010: Does science progress? Glibert Plass redux. Amer. Scientist, 98, no. 1, 64-65, doi:10.1511/2010.82.58.

      Schmidt, G.A., 2009: Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. In Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments. and V. Gornitz, Ed., Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, 696-700.

      Schmidt, G., 2009: Wrong but useful. Phys. World, 13, no. 10, 33-35.

      Schmidt, G.A., 2009: Spurious correlations between recent warming and indices of local economic activity. Intl. J. Climatol., 29, 2041-2048, doi:10.1002/joc.1831.

      Schmidt, G.A., 2007: The physics of climate modeling. Phys. Today, 60, no. 1, 72-73.

      Schmidt, G., 2007: Clouding the issue of climate. Phys. World, 20, no. 6 (June 2007), 44-45.
      Schmidt, G., 2004: La fulgurante ascension de méthane. La Recherche, no. 378 (September 2004), 48-53.

      Schmidt, G.A., 1999: Error analysis of paleosalinity calculations. Paleoceanography, 14, 422-429, doi:10.1029/1999PA900008.

      • Steven might have missed the specifically highlighted “*and*”.

        Hmmm.

      • Steven might have missed the specifically highlighted “*and*”.

        Actually, I highlighted a word that was not included in the reference.

        Something an editor would put between brackets.

        An editor, not an author. Or an author that edits a quote.

        An editor, which we identify with “(ed.)”.

        Citing the work of an editor as a solo job might be suboptimal, unless that editor is the sole author of the edited book. But in that case, we don’t put an “(ed.)”.

        Anyway.

      • The first reference leads to a one-page introduction to climate sensitivity in PAGES News:

        http://www.pages-igbp.org/download/docs/PAGES%20news%202012-1(10-11)_Climate%20sensitivity.pdf

        As Donna Laframboise might say: hmmm, big hmmm.

      • No access to the second reference.

        ***

        The third reference leads to an article that revisits Gilbert Plass’ 1956 article:

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Schmidt_2.pdf

        Hmmm.

      • The fourth reference leads to an entry for the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences.

        An encyclopedic entry.

        Ahem.

      • We have no access to the fifth reference, but it does seem to make an argument for modelling.

        http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/2009/oct/01/wrong-but-useful

        Hmmm.

      • The sixth reference is a commentary on de Laat and Maurellis (2006) and McKitrick and Michaels (2007):

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1831/pdf

        Big hmmm.

      • The seventh reference leads to a brief that appeared in Physics Today:

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_04/

        Ahem.

      • The eight reference leads to a review of The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder:

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/sc02300a.html

        O, Donna.

      • The next reference leads to a vugarization effort in a popular science magazine in French.

        Fan must be referring to this kind of article.

      • We do not have access to the last reference.

        Donna’s helpers should take the hint.

      • Willard,

        Was the Met Office report Lewis responded to peer reviewed?

        I see a link to a pdf published by the Met Office itself. But not to any published version.

        If it wasn’t peer reviewed, is there any legitimate reason to complain that Lewis’ response was not?

      • GaryM,

        Do you think that Gavin’s reference list provided here counters Fan’s claim?

        How do you think Donna would react when reading such a sloppy job?

        ***

        Answer these questions and I’ll answer yours, in a subthread where it would be more appropriate to do.

        Many thanks!

      • willard,

        I wasn’t talking about the weakness in Fan’s claim pointed out by Mosher with the Schmidt and Hansen lists. I was pointing out what looks like another one. So whether I agree that they are good examples showing how meaningless Fan’s comment was is not really relevant.

        But since you ask, yes I do. Particularly if. as appears likely from your reluctance to answer, the Met Office report was not peer reviewed itself, which makes the glaring double standard exposed by Mosher even more obvious.

      • Heck, how many of Einstein’s most important papers had co-authors??

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_by_Albert_Einstein

        In fact, was he even peer reviewed???

        http://www.spacebanter.com/showthread.php?t=173211

        Now, which argument am I making Moshpup??

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • > I wasn’t talking about the weakness in Fan’s claim pointed out by Mosher with the Schmidt and Hansen lists.

        I know you were not, GaryM. And yet you pop in a subthread where this is the topic under discussion. That’s very interesting.

        What’s even more interesting that you have the audacity to presume (in the quote above) and then to claim that the Schmidt list undermines Fan’s claim that “the history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.”

        Give a break to your conservative genes and think for a second. Showing the Schmidt list does not undermine Fan’s claim. Even showing a relevant list would not either.

        All it shows is that Donna would not be proud of such reference list.

        ***

        Now, since you did answer one of my question, I’ll answer yours:

        > Was the Met Office report Lewis responded to peer reviewed?

        I have no idea, as I have not checked. But I can guess you will tell me it was not, as it was a rhetorical question.

        What I am sure to have checked is that Harris & alii (2013) was peer-reviewed, and if Nic’s main criticism pertains to Harris & alii (2013), then Slingo’s suggestion seems warranted.

        I don’t think Nic could claim that his main criticism pertains to Harris & alii (2013). And yet it does seem that it is what he’s suggesting. If that’s the case, then we might have a clear case of misrepresentation.

        ***

        Now, since I answered your question, I will ask you another one: do you think Nic asked Otto to caution his analysis of the Met report?

      • lets see if we can upack FOMD argument

        It is concerning that Nic Lewis adamantly rejects peer-review *and* (apparently) has no coauthors; as a result, Lewis’ speculations are subject to no checks-and-balances whatsoever. The history of science shows plainly that uncriticized solo authorship is fertile ground for obsessive and/or idiosyncratic cognition.

        1. Nic Rejects Peer review
        2. Nic apparently has no co authors
        3. Therefore Nics speculations Are not subject to Checks
        4. Therefore Nics speculations Are no subject to balances
        5. The history of science shows plainly that solo authorship is fertile ground for crankery

        Now,

        The subject at hand is a response to a letter written by Slingo.
        That letter is a response to a blog post, which is a response to
        a MET report.

        None of these documents are peer reviewed in fact its doubtful that there is any venue which would even accept them for review.
        Imagine if nic wrote a love letter, does the fact that he writes something
        that is not peer reviewed, entail 1? Nope. Does the fact that the MET and Slingo wrote things that were not peer reviewed entail 1. Nope.
        Does the fact, that Hansen writes things that are not peer reviewed, entail that he rejects it? nope. Does the fact that gavin writes things that are not peer reviewed, entiail that he rejects it.nope. In fact, if we look at their list of works we can find all sorts of examples where they write things that are not peer reviewed. But when they want to be publsihed as authors of science, they submit themselves to a system.

        Nic apparently has no co authors. both 2 and 1 lead FOMD to have concerns about checks and balances. Are these well founded?
        Well, we can look at some other examples. There are many cases where checks and balances are judged to be of less importance.
        Examples; symposia, posters at AGU, editing, commentary, opinion,
        You will find a list of good examples of various genre where co authorship is not a requirement. In fact, you’ll find situations where you dont want to have multiple people splitting up the work.

        ONto 5

        FOMD hasnt established 5. Even if he were to establish 5, he hasnt shown that Nic’s writing falls into the genera of science. Put another way,
        Nics response is more akin to Slingos letter, and Hansens solo jobs and gavins solo job, that it is akin to a science piece. in fact, the absence of co authors is one of the first signs that this might not be a piece of science. While one cant tell if something is science by counting authors, it is an indicator. For example, if I see multiple authors, I am probably going to rule out the genre of “love letters” for the work. Since genre’s are messy fuzzy objects, however,
        making hard and fast rulz is tough.

        Finally, Before one addresses the canonical status of a work, whether it should be inside or outside the canon, you first have to decide the genre.

        If you want to study the genre and argue for generic boundaries it helps to read around. It helps to look at some examples.

        The next job for willard is to actually read the articles and then
        propose some boundaries for genre’s

        The bottom line of course, is can we apply the “history of science”
        lessons, to love letters.

      • > 1. Nic Rejects Peer review […]

        … when writing this response, just as when he wrote his op-ed.

        > 2. Nic apparently has no co authors […]

        … when writing this response, just as when he wrote his op-ed.

        Try to complete your sentences by identifying the relevant adverbial (!) phrase. Then rework your argument. Next.

        ***

        Fan’s point can be rephrased in a very direct way: with his op-ed against the Met Office and his response to a formal letter, Nic Lewis indulges into petty politics which have no appearance of mainly (our main theme for this thread) pursuing a scientific endeavour.

        We can even add: imagine all this bickering when the planet’s at stake.

        Et cetera.

        Fan may be going a bridge too far, but his basic point has merit.

      • kuhnkat:

        Now, which argument am I making Moshpup??

        +10

    • FOMD.

      As you can see from the examples I presented there are many cases of people both you and I respect who choose to publish by themselves.

      have a look through the lists and you will see some of the governing principles behind these choices. Also, If you look at Nics published papers you will find that sometimes he chooses to publish alone and sometimes he chooses to publish with others.

      In short, you cant tell anything about the science by looking at the authors.
      You actually have the read the damn text.

      And finally, neither nic nor the met are DOING SCIENCE in these papers back and forth, so applying your stupid standard doesnt even apply

      • Nic may or may not being doing science, but surely he is correcting it.

      • Bob | September 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        Nic may or may not being doing science, but surely he is correcting it.

        ######################

        I hold a pretty strict definition of what I mean by science. Consequently, I also hold a strict definition of what it takes to correct science.

        The original MET report was not a piece of science. It was a report, a perspective, an interpretation, of science, but it was not science itself.
        Consequently responses to it are not science and cannot be science.

        Nics response doesnt correct science. It cant. One might point out a problem, or question an interpretation, but only science corrects science.

        Understand, The Otto paper that nic co authored is an advertisement for science. the actual science is the data and code. the actual science is the behavior the scientist engages in. Do X, and you will observe Y.

        the paper is not science, it is a report about the science behavior engaged in. Reports on your science behavior are subject to certain publishing guidelines. we like to see peer review. We like this because we dont want to have to repeat the science behavior. We want to trust the report on the behavior.

        The METs text is a report on a advertisement for science. Its so far removed from science that its more like a love letter. ( I love hyperbole ). Nics response is a report on their report about his report of science behavior.
        Slingos letter is a report on a report that reports on a report about science. and Nics final response is a report on that.

        On short they are talking about their talk about science. They are not doing science or publishing science or correcting science.

        Of course FOMD and others can look at a love letter and call it science.
        Humpty dumpty world.

    • (+(-1)^0.5)*1000

  2. But kudos to Slingo and the UK Met Office for a response that was both serious and polite.

    Just curious, how polite is it to claim that someone “tacitly” approves of (implied deliberate) mis-use of data and findings?

  3. First, I point at one use of the word “main”:

    Dr Slingo’s letter effectively concedes my main criticism of the Harris et al (2013) HadCM3-based PPE study […]

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/25/nic-lewis-vs-the-uk-met-office

    (Like the word “vs” in the title, BTW.)

    ***

    Second, I point at another usage:

    Firstly, one of your main concerns appears to be that we chose to focus our discussion on the results from Otto et al (2013) for the full period, 1970-2009, rather than the most recent decade of 2000-2009.

    http://niclewis.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/response-to-your-comments-on-met-office-july-reports.pdf

    (Interestingly, no link to that letter has been provided in the op-ed above.)

    ***

    That is all.

    • concern
      concerns
      appears

      I point out three words

      • Let’s point out three other words:

        > [T]he main point I made in relation to [X].

        Let’s hope that X was the main point of Nic’s criticisms, or else auditors might be witnessing a misrepresentation.

      • we might be witnessing many things. we can always make a case.
        I point to your comments here and witness misprepresentations.
        there I made a case.

      • Nic Lewis refers to his main criticism of Harris & alii 2013.
        Dr. Slingo refers to Nic’s main concerns.

        Nic’s main concerns do not include his main criticism of Harris & alii 2013, and yet presents the vindication of Harris & alii 2013 as the crucial point of the exchange.

        Just imagine if Mike did that to the Auditor.

  4. I don’t believe that the “objective Bayesian approach” of Lewis et al is any more objective than the subjective Bayesian approaches of the others. Nic has just not understood where the subjectivity is hiding.

    I discussed that point in the previous thread based on his critique of the Met Office report.

    • Pekka,

      Do you know how objective Bayesians interpret the question “”what is the probability of rain tomorrow”?

      Many thanks!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Shakespeare – ‘

        “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened,
        Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
        Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds,
        Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”

        Matthew 16: 2-3 –

        ‘When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’

        Wee willie chimes in with another cryptic, eschatological dirge.

      • Was Shakespeare an objective Bayesian?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Only when he was predicting rain.

        ‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
        You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
        Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
        You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
        Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
        Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
        Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
        Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once,
        That make ingrateful man!’

        Here ‘the rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.’ – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

        But some would hold that rain for good reason falls more on the just than the unjust.

        ‘The rain it falleth every day
        Upon the just and unjust fella;
        But more upon the just, because
        The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.’

      • David Springer

        Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors forewarning.

        Write that down.

      • “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors forewarning.”

        That shows a mid latitude bias to forecasting. :)

      • Nic Lewis has completely missed the mark by ignoring the observational science.
        Take the SOI and consider its trendless set of wiggles. This is just noise that one can lay on top of a monotonic trend of warming, The result is this http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/3476/ejab.gif

        What fluctuations are left appear to match very nicely the known large volcanic disturbances.

        Real science is so cool and I can only strive to do it justice.

      • Web seems to have ignored Nic Lewis. People(folks!), go read the Bish’s column on this matter. Great Britain’s Chief Scientist(yes, it’s in caps), is greatly abandoning the scientific method. Embryonic, Albionic, woe.
        ====================

      • Alzo, enjoy the Bish’s cackling over the BBC linking both his blog and Antnee’s Watt’s Up. Just another BRIC in a crumbling wall.
        ========

      • It seems lil kim, the smallest rapper, is suggesting I am ignoring Nic Lewis.

        That sounds like an outstanding suggestion !

        And like Julia Slingo, I can only offer constructive criticism to Nic Lewis. Stay away from climate science as you can not compete with the elite. If the glove don’t fit, I suggest you quit.

      • > Only when he was predicting rain.

        Perhaps we should call what made Bayes famous the Shakespeare theorem and backtrack its creation date a bit, a MIT more than 100 years.

        That it came this late always was a mystery anyway.

    • Pekka dont you find it interesting that questions about the fate of planet come to rest on disagreements about various forms of statistics– debates that have kinda raged on for a while.

      Funny how people scramble to find foundations.

      • post normal science

      • Pekka dont you find it interesting that questions about the fate of planet come to rest on disagreements about various forms of statistics– debates that have kinda raged on for a while.

        Interesting how steven gets to decide where debates about the fate of the planet rest.

        He has been getting a lot of promotions lately.

      • > Steven was trying to have an adult conversation with Pekka, joshie.

        Not at all. He used Pekka to speak to me.

      • Can’t tell daffy from daffodilic.
        =====================

      • bill_c | September 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        post normal science

        ##################

        BINGO we have a winner.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Its funny to see how people scramble for interpretations when i make a cryptic comment. actually its fun.

        yes Bill. As I have pointed out before climate science is so interesting because, for me at least, it opens up philosophical questions again.

        When Ravetz asked me what my interest was in his work, I basically told him that I had assumed that philososphy was dead. That we were in a post philosophical world. And that I was pleased to see climate science bring some old questions back to the conversation.. While I’m well past actually doing philososphy again, it is pleasing to see the queen of the sciences back in the house.

    • Pekka dont you find it interesting that questions about the fate of planet come to rest on disagreements about various forms of errors – debates that have kinda raged on for a while.

      Funny how people scramble to find misrepresentation.

    • “Nic has just not understood where the subjectivity is hiding”
      I know, it’s in the deep ocean. Am I right?

    • Say, now I know who Lear reminds me of, James Hansen. )

    • “Objective Bayesian inference” is not fully objective. Nic Lewis discusses this point in his paper and agrees on that as far as I can see. The main difference between objective and other Bayesian inference is in the way the prior is determined. In “Objective Bayesian” approach so-called noninformative priors are searched for, but genuinely noninformative priors do not exist and many alternatives may be claimed to be noninformative. In many cases those alternatives give very different results. Thus choosing any of the alternatives is a subjective choice, never an objective one.

      In many cases everyone would choose priors that give essentially the same outcome. In those cases objective Bayesians and other Bayesians would get the same results (and so would frequentists), and no controversy on the results arises. As soon as so called expert priors start to give different results from noninformative priors we have entered a situation where subjectivity cannot be avoided. A particular noninformative prior is a subjective choice as clearly as an expert prior.

      In the particular case studied by Nic Lewis in his paper, the way he presents the results may look convincing. It would, however, be possible to define new variables for describing the same data. Repeating a similar objective Bayesian analysis using these new variables would lead to totally different conclusions. As long as the data does not make it relatively easy to agree on what it really tells, the data does not allow either for testing the validity of any particular approach. When the data is poor, it’s poor independently of the method used in drawing conclusions from it.

      (The problem is, indeed, hiding in the deep oceans as the most important subjectivity in Nic’s approach is in the way he handles ocean diffusivity.)

      • I can’t believe there is poor data going on around here.
        ===========

      • “(The problem is, indeed, hiding in the deep oceans as the most important subjectivity in Nic’s approach is in the way he handles ocean diffusivity.)”

        He actually goes out of his way to marginalize diffusivity. That is what produces a 50% increase from a TCR number to the eventual ECS (which is reached on land more quickly).

        So the current best estimate of TCR of 2C based on observational evidence is increased to a 3C ECS based on the known thermal capacity and diffusional properties of the ocean.

    • Perhaps you can link to it, as what you’ve written here seems like a rather tepid criticism.

      • It seems that my previous comment was in some other thread as I couldn’t find it now.

        The main point is that “Objective Bayesian inference” is objective only by name. The subjectivity is not brought up as openly as when expert priors are used.

        My own preference is that subjectivity is not hidden, but discussed openly, because it’s there in every approach (also in the frequentist approach). When it’s discussed openly, it’s influence on the results is more understandable to everyone.

        I don’t claim that the approach chosen by Nic Lewis is less justified than other Bayesian approaches, I claim only that it’s equally subjective and therefore not any better either.

        I think that I did discuss the nature of the subjectivity in the handling of heat transfer to oceans a little more in the earlier comment that I mentioned, but I cannot verify that as I don’t find it myself. Basically the issue is related to the same problem that’s discussed right now in another thread: the uncertainties in the amount of heat transferred into oceans is badly known, but it does affect essentially the estimate of the climate sensitivity obtained by the method used by Nic Lewis and several others. No mathematical trick can improve objectively the accuracy of the estimate. The “Objective Bayesian approach” is just one of the mathematical tricks that affect the resulting value and may appear to improve the accuracy through subjectively set constraints.

  5. Pay attention everyone: I’ve just deleted several dozen comments that have been made in the last few hours. Senseless sniping with each other is senseless and boring. After this i will start naming names, and then put people on moderation.

    • You have much better things to do. Unfortunately it is still your blog, so your to do. I volunteer to pay part (what part to be negotiated) of an admin to deal with this stuff for you. So you can continue to speak truth to xxx.

    • Judith

      That’s right.

      Do it like in the Marine Corps: take names and kick a..

      It’s your show and the children must learn to play according to the rules.

      Max

    • David Springer

      Interesting. Not the least way it’s interesting is me being in absentia all day yesterday thus the cretins were emboldened to be especially cretinous.

      That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

    • Senseless sniping with each other is senseless and boring

      Er… Not really. Don’t forget that many of the less scientifically qualified defenders of the “consensus” have a stake in confusing casual readers. As the debate heats up, and you get more exposure in the MSM, there will be ever more visitors who are generally unfamiliar with the subject, or the positions of the usual suspects. IMO manipulating the impression such readers get is high on the agenda of the snipers.

      Endless “auditing” or veiled (or not-so-veiled) accusations of “motivated reasoning” may seem like a repetitious waste of time to the regulars, but it could well give casual visitors the impression that those who question the consensus really don’t have a case. It makes sense from that perspective. IMO that’s why they do it.

  6. If, “HadCM3 PPE has such a strong bias (100 times or more) against the low aerosol forcing,” and given that the models are incapable of actually capturing the real world, the models may well predict no climate change ever, given that all of us are 100% sure the climate will always change.

  7. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘…there is increasing evidence that natural decadal variability has been the major determinant for recent global mean surface temperatures…’

    It is increasingly evident by the nature of decadal variability that there is centennial to millennial variability. It is also evident that natural variations added to warming between 1976 and 1998 – even if you simply remove the ENSO end states from the record and then calculate trend. You can safely project the resultant through for several decades to get a result that isn’t all that scary.

    The real problem with this is that climate is nonlinear – it shifts at decadal and longer periodicities to emergent states dependent on the interplay of control variables and sub-systems.

    In such a system sensitivity becomes sensitive dependence and we don’t know what that is. The sensible answer for climate sensitivity is …. wait for it… γ in the linked diagram.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    Michael Ghil (2013), A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or, How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability?

    Unless we can do both – and in a coupled non-linear context – it is simply wrong. Beam me up Scotty – we’re gonna need a whole lot more more teraflops of computing power.

  8. Steve Fitzpatrick

    This is a case where a literature based exchange might actually be better…. assuming no journal editor acts as a gatekeeper for an open and frank exchange. I credit Slingo for actually addressing some of Nic’s arguments, though I think more formal presentations would give readers a better chance to weigh the arguments. I am just not sure there exists a more formal venue which would not interfere with the conversation via a combination of review requiremens and word limits.
    .
    If climate scientists want more public credibility, then they need to find an open forum where people like Nic get a fair shot at consensus views. I do not see that such a venue exists….. It should.

    • Steve

      IF it wasn’t for certain denizens who continually bicker and squabble it should be THIS forum where scientists and sceptics could debate matters.

      Perhaps Judith could have a special invitation only premier e-salon once a month where a scientist could debate only with those sceptics with a knowledge of that subject. Other denizens could observe but not comment.

      tonyb

      • Tony, good suggestion. Perhaps there is a case, as Steve suggests, that “a literature based exchange might actually be better.” But it doesn’t exist, and even if it did, it would be too slow a process compared to blog exchanges in a fast-moving area of knowledge on which major policy decisions are constantly being made and challenged. Nick’s approach and contribution should give pause to policy-makers – see my post below.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Tonyb,
        I think there is some merit to limiting comments, at least in a case like this, until those presenting the opposing cases get a couple of rounds of exchanges completed. This is not to suggest that others may not have substanitve contributions to make… only that those may be better stated after the arguments have been more completely laid out.

        Judith: I am positively thrilled that you cut off the nonsensical bickering by the usual suspects. Were it me, they would all have been muted long ago. I do not care to hear any more how GHG’s can’t plausibly warm the Earth, nor how every prediction of catastrophic warming is bound to be correct. Noise needs to be filtered if one wants any chance to hear signal.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick, tonyb,

        Dr. Curry engaged in a discussion with Gavin Schmidt some years ago at Keith Kloor’s site, Collide-a-Scape. As I recall it was not moderated, took place over several days, and the commenters, even some of the typically more aggressive ones, were quite civil. Schmidt agreed to take pretty much any question from anyone. And he answered quite civilly.

        He was, shall we say, perplexed at the end of the discussion when he saw that he had not changed Dr. Curry’s mind. He seemed genuinely surprised that their disagreements were not the product of ignorance or confusion on Dr. Curry’s part, I personally think that is why he has not engaged in any such debate since.

        The problem of trying that here would not be the commenters. The problem is that the consensus sees nothing to gain from a debate. They see no gain to be made on their political agenda by engaging with skeptics. They don’t expect to convince anyone. But by engaging in a debate, they lose ground by treating skeptics as worthy of debate. Worse yet, they lose control of the discussion, which can lead to inconvenient admissions that could be used against them by skeptics in the political debate.

        “Why should I debate you” is not functionally any different from “why should I give you the data.”

        I would love to see it, and would sit quietly by and read the interaction with great interest if that were required. But it ain’t gonna happen.

      • GaryM,

        the reaction of Schmidt is typical of people who are in an echo chamber and have not had to exist in the “wild” where they are exposed to disagreements and differing ideas.

      • Tony, great idea. I am all in. Gosh, should have thought of that myself. Brilliant. Bravo.

      • so tony –

        Now you said only once a month (and I’d actually like to see what you suggest), but I do want to point out that you’re asking for a review process where only people judged expert (by whom?) could participate, with a “gatekeeper” to keep out those deemed non-expert.

        i

      • The entrance ticket has always been curiosity about the climate, and not curiosity about the debate, nor attention to the narrative.
        ===============

      • >Perhaps Judith could have a special invitation only premier e-salon
        Great idea – I like reading this blog as there are many smart people here, and it would be good to have a few threads which were not hijacked by the usual idiots.

      • Josh

        In this case Bouncers would probably be more useful than merely gatekeepers.

        Seriously Josh, it does get something of a bun fight here at times and what with the ad homs it is not an environment that serious academics want to venture into The end result is that we all miss out on either participating with noted scientists or at least observing the scientific process at work.

        An ‘invitation’ thread once a month for those with something to say would be no hardship to other denizens who would still be able to comment on existing threads. For example I have no competence to contribute to this current thread but am happy to watch others doing so. I would not expect an invitation to participate therefore,.

        I know Richard Betts turned up here a few weeks ago but quickly left.

        BTW I often enjoy the hurly burly and banter here but regrettably it often goes too far and that becomes a bar to serious discussion.
        All the best

        Tony

      • > I know Richard Betts turned up here a few weeks ago but quickly left.

        Do you recall if he got an answer, TonyB?

      • Can he be as appalled at Julia Slingo as the rest of us? May he be?
        =================

      • Willard

        He may have turned up on nicks previous thread but there was so much shrapnel flying around between denizens that I don’t think many people noticed him

        Tonyb

      • tony –

        As an idea, I’m all for it. As a practical matter, I think it’s more difficult. It is very difficult to find some objective line that distinguishes the science from ad homs or create an environment where serious academics wouldn’t want to engage. Look at Nic’s posts and Rud’s. They are implicitly (to borrow Nic’s terminology) partisan within the climate wars battlefield, and political (at least Rud’s – they always are). I’d guess that most who are targeted with assertions of being misleading or outright deceptive (as Rud often charges) would not be interested.

        Similarly, the distinction between those who are expert and those who aren’t, and who would be the judge, is also difficult.

        There is that website that Judith has participated in, where working scientists are invited to discuss a subject and the comments are moderated on the basis of relevance. I’m sure you must be aware of it. It’s a good site, but certainly there are complaints about the moderation and as I recall “skeptics” feel that they are underrepresented.

        And so it goes.

      • TonyB,

        Thank you for making a sentence with “Richard Betts” in it, but I don’t think it answers my question.

        My question is if Richard Betts’ question got answered. For you know that he asked a question the last time he commented here, right?

        Please jog your memory.

        Many thanks!

      • “climatereason | September 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
        Steve

        “Perhaps Judith could have a special invitation only premier e-salon once a month where a scientist could debate only with those sceptics with a knowledge of that subject. Other denizens could observe but not comment.”

        Or other-denizen comments could be restricted to an area in the lower half of the screen. Comments from the lower half of the screen can be addressed by upper-screen participants if they choose. That’s the way it’s handled by that site established by the dutch govt. that, every few months, hosts debates / discussions between invitees selected by a three-person (IIRC) group of curators. (I forget the site’s name, but surely many commenters here are aware of it.)

        The technical problem would be how to copy their split-screen technique.

    • @ Steve Fitzpatrick “If climate scientists want more public credibility, then they need to find an open forum where people like Nic get a fair shot at consensus views. I do not see that such a venue exists….. It should.”

      Excellent comment. Dr Slingo should have realised that the only true climate change debate is on blogs like CE (some other blogs are not level playing fields) and that the scientific forums on climate change have some fundamental issues with their peer review processes.

    • A debate between scientists where one of them refuses to admit the ‘hockey stick’ is scientific fraud is productive of what? And, if admitting that is the price of admission, is the price for the skeptical side to admit that the role of the Sun is de minimus?

  9. Nic attacks, Julia parries but doesn’t’ riposte. Nic lands the point.
    In fencing terms , Nic gets awarded the hit.
    In realpolitik, the loser wins it all!

  10. Just read the Nic Lewis letter.

    I am now convinced the science is settled.

    • ….settled as far as orthodox climate science is concerned? If so, there is a lot of work to do! If not, there still is a lot of work to do but it will take less time in unlearning wrong principles.

      • Peter Davies,

        I meant that the science is clearly settled in every possible way you want to look at it. All that is left to do now is to increase the precision (like that statement some time ago that we now understand everything there is to know about physics and all that’s left to do is to refine increase the number of significant figures [or something like that]).

  11. “Indeed, it is unclear to what extent estimates by complex models that are not constrained by observations, or only very loosely so constrained, should be considered valid scientific evidence at all. …

    “The profound potential implications of major climate change, the huge costs involved in mitigation attempts, the unsettled state of scientific understanding of many of the key climate processes involved and the need for members of the public – particularly those with scientific or technical expertise – to place trust in the climate science involved surely all point to the need for an open scientific debate alongside the publication of peer reviewed studies. When protagonists refuse to provide reasoned and convincing defences to non-peer reviewed technical criticisms of their work by other researchers with established expertise in the area involved, that is a signal not to trust their work, irrespective of it having been peer reviewed.”

    Quite so. There are serious grounds for not taking costly policy action based on clearly imperfect modelling.

  12. “Peer review certainly has its place. However, often peer review gives a veneer of respectability to work that conforms with a consensus, but is in fact deeply flawed. Conversely, good work that contradicts the consensus may be kept out of the peer-reviewed literature, or at a minimum delayed, by gatekeepers defending consensus positions. The profound potential implications of major climate change, the huge costs involved in mitigation attempts, the unsettled state of scientific understanding of many of the key climate processes involved and the need for members of the public – particularly those with scientific or technical expertise – to place trust in the climate science involved surely all point to the need for an open scientific debate alongside the publication of peer reviewed studies. When protagonists refuse to provide reasoned and convincing defences to non-peer reviewed technical criticisms of their work by other researchers with established expertise in the area involved, that is a signal not to trust their work, irrespective of it having been peer reviewed.”

    I have mixed feelings about peer review. Having done many peer reviews in mostly classified defence science. Doing peer reviewes is a good way to lose friends, I remember once doing a peer review of a paper whose outcome I totally opposed. But the writer was obliged to accept uncritically some inputs to his study. But there was cientific merit in his work. Years later, everyone knew he was wrong and I was right, but I approved his paper, with some qualifications which were ignored. at the time

  13. The government climate change fearmongers finally discovered that the Earth has been the site of previous warming periods, all without any help from humanity. The ‘hockey stick’ has been cracked. Shouldn’t all Climatists admit that before we take them seriously?

  14. Phillip Bratby

    It looks like the Met Office is going to give up the press releases and propaganda on its website, since they are not peer reviewed.

    • Julia Slingo and/or her sidekick Vicky Pope occasionally graces our UK TV screens to assure a worried public that we can absolutely 100% cast-iron copper-bottomed guarantee be sure that whatever the weather story du jour may happen to be, it is definitely caused by Global Warming.Hot, cold, wet, dry, dull, sunny, snowy or windy – it’s all down to AGW.

      And, as far as I can recall, nobody has ever questioned her. Just the usual dumbed-down awed acceptance of the word of a Chief Scientist.

      But since these appearances can influence millions, who peer-reviews them beforehand? Few care much about an obscure paper in an unheard of academic journal. But families munching their Weetabix on their way to work are different.

  15. Possibly the biggest scientific fraud in History since this paper: 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf (published in ‘Science’)

    Para 2; incorrect IR physics where they claim CO2 blocks IR in the range 7-14 microns (two small bands at ~ 10 microns).

    Para 4; the 33 K ghe claim fails to account for the loss of cloud and ice albedo if ghgs were taken from the atmosphere, giving 43% SW energy increase: real ghe ~ 11K; 3x positive feedback wrong from the start.

    This passed peer review hence this IPCC mantra is shown up to be ‘Believe us because we conned you in the past.’.

  16. “I never claimed that the HadCM3 PPE study did not explore low ECS values, but it only does so by using its statistical emasculator to extrapolate beyond the lowest ECS value achieved by HadCM3 itself, and only in combination with highly negative aerosol forcing. My point was that the HadCM3 PPE did not explore combinations of low aerosol forcing and low ECS values.”
    just had to fix that spelling mistake.
    The HadCM3 PPE study must be influenced by the U K Met Office.

  17. The recent treatment of the issue by the BBC has been a bit softer, and this article is much less biased than I have seen in the past and pretty accurately characterises skeptical positions:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24233643

    I was interested to read the Dutch approach to the skeptics, actually funding them to create balance and thus ‘normalise’ climate science. That to me is what I mean by progressive.

    I think the met office could learn a lot from that experience, and seems already to have a similar ad hoc relationship with Nic Lewis.

    I just find it extraordinary on such an important issue, with such far reaching societal implications, that criticisms such as Nic’s would not be examined forensically. This surely goes beyond whether your beautiful and expensive computer model works or not. Surely Nic’s remarks qualify as peer review in the historic sense?

    • Agnostic,

      +1.

      However, not just Nic Lewis’s critiques need to be “examined forensically”. What is even more important is to “examined forensically” the work by the IPCC and climate scientists. Before governments can justify the huge expenses being proposed to spend on mitigation, we need the most thorough possible forensic examination of the arguments to justify such expenditures. We need adversarial cross examination where the funding and resources provided for the prosecution (sceptics) is at least as great as that for the defense (of the CAGW hypothesis)

      • @ Peter Lang

        What you’ve suggested has been suggested in the 1970s, but unfortunately failed to gain the necessary traction. It was proposed that there should be a “science court” (google for it) where critically important scientific disputes could be hashed out, including cross examination. I hope the idea will be revived in coming years.

    • I just find it extraordinary on such an important issue, with such far reaching societal implications, that criticisms such as Nic’s would not be examined forensically. This surely goes beyond whether your beautiful and expensive computer model works or not. Surely Nic’s remarks qualify as peer review in the historic sense?”

      Great comment Agnostic. Most sensible thing that has been said on this blog for months.

  18. Julia Slingo says “it would be misleading to just give the result for only one of the decade of analyses, particularly one which for which there is increasing evidence that natural decadal variability has been the major determinant for recent global mean surface temperatures”.

    Why is natural variability the cause of most of the non-warming in a non-warming decade, yet not the cause of any part of the warming in a warming decade?

    • Man warms, nature cools. Simples.

    • Is career climate modeler turned Met Office Chief Scientist, Julia Slingo, a political hack of the multi-billion dollar CAGW industry or a serious climate scientist searching for the truth?

      You decide.

      • The thread at the Bish’s is pretty sardonic about her. Here’s hoping willard can read it with understanding. In models she trusts, and pal review.
        =======================

      • As someone pointed out over there, Slingo seems to be going with the aerosols rather than deep ‘missing’ heat. Heh, both explanations are occult, but when the Chief Scientists has such pals, what better can you expect?

        Three witches around a cauldron; heh, their prognostications were more accurate.
        ==========

  19. Pingback: Nic Lewis and the UK Met Office | Wotts Up With That Blog

  20. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    THE STORY SO FAR

    weak skepticism  single-author, non-peer-reviewed, “Bayesian”, polemic,

    plus mediocre science  large-scale dynamical models of complex system, and

    equals:  meh.

    and furthermore:

    ♪ the performance of decadal-scale dynamical models is improving, but only decadally, and furthermore

    ♪ the models mainly affirm what we already appreciate from Hansen-style energy balance analysis, and

    ♪ it appears that ‘the pause’ may have ended already.

    meanwhile:

    ► Earth’s energy balance continues, and

    ► Earth’s sea-level rise continues, and

    ► Earth’s ice-mass loss continues, and

    and so in summary:

    ☼ it looks like John von Neumann’s 1955 climate-change worldview has proven to be basically right,

    Which is is why:

    🌝 Pope Francis is getting kinda concerned about the whole situation

    —————-

    It’s not complicated, Climate Etc readers!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fanny

      Regarding the current pause in warming, which has lasted at least 12 years, you write:

      ♪ it appears that ‘the pause’ may have ended already.

      and then attach a map by NOAA’s NCDC showing land and ocean temperature percentiles for the month of August 2013.

      Get serious, Fanny.

      Max

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Manacker remarks upon “Land and ocean temperature percentiles for the month of August 2013.”

      Manacker, by what fraction has the Earth’s (ongoing) 2013 surface-temperature heat-wave increased your personal Bayesian prior probability for the postulate James Hansen’s 1981 climate-change worldview is broadly correct

      • 0% chance that Hansen is right, versus
      • ~20% chance that Hansen is right, versus
      • ~50% chance that Hansen is right, versus
      • ~80% chance that Hansen is right, versus
      • 100% chance that Hansen is right.

      The first and last of these Bayesian priors are obviously nutty, eh Manacker?

      What is your “Hansen is right” Bayesian prior, and how much has it shifted in recent years, the world wonders!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  21. Fanny

    You write:

    Pope Francis is getting kinda concerned about the whole [sustainability and CAGW?] situation

    Huh?

    Let’s let the Holy Father (or Billy Graham or any other leader “of the cloth”)take care of saving the souls of his flock, rather than worrying about the new buzz-word of “sustainability” (or the dying, old saw of “CAGW”).

    Max

    • Say, let us not fergit Galileo. Amen.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Beth Cooper says  “Say, let us not fergit Galileo …”

         … whose friend Pope Urban VIII placed Galileo under a protective house-arrest to shield him from the Inquisition.

        Lesson-Learned  Popes take the long view, eh Beth? Pope Urban VIII (like all educated people of his era) understood perfectly well that Galileo’s scientific views were correct, and moreover he understood too that Galileo’s scientific finding would endure in the long run, regardless of Church actions. That’s why Urban VIII undertook the pragmatic measure of house arrest, in order to ensure Galileo’s personal safety. And indeed Galileo died … of old age.

        It *was* complicated, Beth Cooper!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        So you are promoting as a role model a Pope who practised nepotism, corruption and military adventures? He also built up many debts. Doesn’t sound very far sighted to me.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barberini_family

        The ancient Greeks knew of the scientific truths that Galileo knew but they were then lost for many centuries.

        tonyb

      • Heh, the Church only officially conceded Galileo’s point in the 19th Century. Don’t you love fan’s concern for Galileo’s personal safety? fan makes a great personal safety officer; we are in good hands.
        ===============

  22. A career climate modeler named Slingo
    Brayed the “dire human climate change” lingo
    Till a bright guy named Nic
    Made her numbers look sick
    And exposed the bamboozzlement – Bingo!

  23. Francis the Pope
    Ain’t no dope
    Took the climate biz
    And made it his

    Amen

  24. Judith, me apologies fer a repeat url when it was supposed to be something else!! No irreverence intended.Please delete.

  25. I’m not sure why all the fuss. All that has been identified is that the Met Office use aerosols as a deus ex machina. But they always did this; a) to fit the mid-century hump and b) to counter the massive positive feedbacks in the models to reflect reality. Then you just remove the aerosols and get thermageddon. All they have done now is extend the end of the aerosol influence by another 20 years, after which you still get thermageddon.The huge uncertainties with aerosols allow these plodders to make up any story they like and pretend it’s real science.

    • USA credulously feels mystic deep heat, Great Britain wisps Gods from machines, and Germany goes with propaganda; it’s all occult, not even shadows on the wall of the cave.
      ==========================

      • Webster, “The oscillations are definitely buried in the rest of the noise, as I have yet to see the 11-year period of sun-spot activity show up as 11-year periods in global temperature readings.”

        Of course you don’t. There is lots of noise plus complex lead/lag relationships. This is just the ENSO region SST and 300 meter HC compared to TIM composite solar.

        Lots of stuff going on, but there is a strong indication of solar impact.

    • “. But they always did this; a) to fit the mid-century hump and “

      The mid-century bump is partially explained by an ENSO spike

      But it is wide on both sides of the spike. That span that covers the WWII years and remains perhaps the only major feature not explainable by a combination of accelerating GHG warming, ENSO fluctuations, and volcanic disturbances.

      It would be odd if it was just that people felt HOT during those tail-end depression and WWII years and so it perhaps got reflected in biased temperature readings. Some evidence for a hump or plateau in CO2 and methane as well.


      Also some evidence for a change in SST readings and the way that they recalibrated from using buckets of sea water.

      “Samples were collected in either a wood or an uninsulated canvas bucket, but the canvas bucket cooled quicker than the wood bucket. The sudden change in temperature between 1940 and 1941 was the result of an undocumented change in procedure. The samples were taken near the engine intake because it was too dangerous to use lights to take measurements over the side of the ship at night.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_surface_temperature

      There is also a much more pronounced hump in NH than SH.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vnh/mean:120/plot/crutem4vsh/mean:120

  26. > I did not, as Dr Slingo’s letter hints I did, suggest that the report should just have given the result for the 2000-2009 period.

    And yet here’s what Dr. Slingo says:

    Firstly, one of your main concerns appears to be that we chose to focus our discussion on the results from Otto et al (2013) for the full period, 1970-2009, rather than the most recent decade of 2000-2009.

    Here’s the relevant paragraph from Nic’s op-ed:

    Figure 1 does not use the Otto et al primary TCR best estimate of 1.3°C and 5–95% range of 0.9 to 2.0°C, based on data for the decade 2000–09. Although caution is required in interpreting results for any short period, arguably – as stated in Otto et al – the estimate based on the most recent decade’s data is the most reliable since it has the strongest forcing and is much less affected by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Accordingly, showing in Figure 1 only the (wider) TCR estimated range based on 1970–2009 data for Otto et al for comparison with other estimates is misleading.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/

    Dr. Slingo’s characterization of Nic’s position seems fair to me.

    On the other hand, Nic’s characterization of Dr. Slingo’s “hints” does seem to misrepresent what was said in the end of the paragraph:

    In fact the report does show the results for each of the periods in Table 1; it would be misleading to just give the result for only one of the decade of analyses, particularly one which for which there is increasing evidence that natural decadal variability has been the major determinant for recent global mean surface temperatures, as we discuss in the second report in our series. It is widely accepted that there are advantages to using a longer period of observations to minimise the impact of natural variability and that there are risks in focusing on too short a period to draw fundamental conclusions about trends in global mean temperatures; indeed the original Otto et al. (2013) paper makes these points.

    The emphasized bit has been omitted from Nic Lewis’ response.

    This is misleading, as Dr. Slingo justified the Met Office’s choice of taking 1970-2009, whereas Nic Lewis bases his response solely on “hints” he injects in the response

    ***.

    Does it mean in effect, Nic Lewis has implicitly accepted those arguments?

  27. From the letter: ” Indeed one could argue that models provide a more physically consistent representation of the real world than spatially sparse and poorly sampled observational data. ”

    That’s like the weatherman saying it’s going to rain, and refusing to look out the window at the sunny day.

  28. Pat Michaels v. the IPCC:

    “Over the years, the IPCC has behaved like a treed cat. Instead of closing its eyes and scurrying to the ground, it climbs onto even higher and thinner branches, while yowling ever louder. How does it back down from a quarter-century of predicting a quarter of a degree (Celsius) of warming every decade, when there’s been none for 17 years now?”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/359556/ipcc-political-suicide-pill-patrick-j-michaels

  29. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    In an essay I will place soon in internet, everyone will be able to understand that:
    (a) deduction of climate sensitivity value is basically science fiction,
    (b) the observed increase in global average temperatures cannot be ascribed to be man-made
    This second (b) point is based in (a) but also in the fact that IPCC manipulate scientific results (by means of the cherry picking fallacy) in order to obtain their politicaly suited result:
    “attributing the RF value 1.6 [0.6-2.4] (W·m–2) as being man-made is a scientific non sense: it is an abuse of Monte Carlo techniques as they cannot be applied to uncertainties with such a lack of understanding” […] “In fact, [Bo01] could have added many more scenarios from their fig. 1”.
    With [Bo01] being: Boucher, O. & Haywood, J; 2001, On summing the components of radiative forcing of climate change, Climate dynamics, vol. 18, p. 297-302.

  30. A limit to bickering could be achieved without censorship by merely limiting any individual to 4 or 5 (or n) comments on a given post. That is sufficient to make your points known but prevents food fights from lasting very long. Don’t know if WordPress can handle that or not but it would be an easy rule for a moderator to follow without being biased.

    • Technical threads can result in more than 4 or 5 comments, assuming there is a substantive back-and-forth. Technically oriented, lower comment count blogs tend to have long running threads with a few people, and very substantive content in the comment section.

      I don’t run a blog and don’t ever want to run a blog, but if I did, I’d use some type of comment throttling (number of posts per day per thread), black list some (restrict length of posts for people prone to inventing new physics) and white list others .

  31. Onto the second point:

    > Whilst I do not disagree with these points, it was the Met Office in their July report who said: “TCR can be estimated in a variety of ways. These include estimates from simulations made with climate models, estimates made from observations, and estimates made by combining climate model and observationally-derived values.” I was following their use of language.

    Here were the points, with an emphasis on what Nic omitted to quote:

    Secondly, you make some strong statements about different methods for estimating climate sensitivity. Language is getting in the way here. You refer to “observationally based assessments”, but these methods employ a model for Earth’s energy balance and make certain assumptions, such as there being a linear radiative feedback.

    Furthermore, in order to determine the radiative forcing from carbon dioxide alone, these assessments have to calculate the forcing from components other than carbon dioxide again using results from models. Observations alone cannot provide that information. I will return to this point later.

    Nic may be tacitly accepting the claims expressed in the emphasized sentences.

    ***

    Unless I miscalculated, there are more than 30 occurences of “observ” in Nic’s op-ed:

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/

    The most intriguing occurences may be in Nic’s kicker:

    It has also been shown that estimates based on perturbing parameters in the Met Office HadCM3 model, as exemplified by Harris et al 2013, do not sample combinations of ECS and aerosol forcing located in the region most supported by several recent observationally-based studies, and so cannot be regarded as properly reflecting observational evidence. That is of concern since these same techniques, using the HadCM3 model, represent the basis on which the official UK Climate Projections were constructed.

    Nic provides an interesting interpretation of “following their use of language”.

  32. Onto the third point.

    The discussing about CMIP3 (followed by a nit) omits two full paragraphs from Slingo’s letter:

    I agree with your comment that “In science, it is standard to test the validity of theoretical models by comparing their predictions to observational data”. This is fundamental to the way in which we conduct all our research. Climate models are rooted in physical theory and draw heavily on observations from field experiments, satellites and other observing platforms to understand and represent the myriad of processes that make up the climate system. And the model‟s performance is comprehensively tested against the real world. Regarding HadGEM2 and its projections of future warming, it is true that it is one of the most sensitive models within the IPCC AR5, but we also know that it is also one of the most skilful in terms of simulating many aspects of the mean climate and its variability.

    What you omit to say is that observations of the real world, including those you need to compute TCR and ECS are themselves seriously incomplete and therefore inherently uncertain. Indeed one could argue that models provide a more physically consistent representation of the real world than spatially sparse and poorly sampled observational data. This is why we should look across all estimates and not claim that one method is superior to another. IPCC has correctly used all the evidence to set the range.

    I do need to comment on your third key point, the interpretation of the results in Harris et al. (2013). You rightly point out that the results are based on the perturbed parameter ensemble (PPE) approach using the HadCM3 model, though you omit to mention that results from alternative (CMIP3-generation) climate models are also used with the ensemble to form the probabilistic projections that underpin UKCP09. This is a key component that adds sampling of structural uncertainties in model formulation to the methodology.

    Nic Lewis omitted two full paragraphs, one of which offers an argument that undermines his empiricist (or objectivist) outlook on the subject matter. “Following their use of language” does not suffice to show that Nic omits that if “it is standard to test the validity of theoretical models by comparing their predictions to observational data”, the converse is also true. Not only is the converse true, but it is crucial in cases where the data is scarce and uncertain.

    ***

    Holding that data is independent from theory and therefore acts as the final arbiter is one of the last dogmas of empiricism.

  33. Question for Nic Lewis (or anyone else competent): Using Bayesian statistics, how much does each additional single month of flat temperatures bring down estimates of climate sensitivity? How much CO2 reduction does it equal, in terms of the same temperature non-rise?

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  35. Onto #4, so far the only paragraph Lewis quoted entirely:

    Having said that, it is true that the relationship between historical aerosol forcing and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) depicted in your Figure B1 is based only on the PPE. But we disagree with your assertion that the results from HadCM3 are fundamentally biased. It is certainly the case that versions of HadCM3 with low climate sensitivity and strongly negative aerosol forcing are incompatible with the broad range of observational constraints. But the key point is that the relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS is an emergent property of the detailed physical processes sampled in the PPE simulations. It is not surprising that such a relationship might be found, given, for example, the key role played by clouds in simulations of both climate sensitivity and aerosol forcing.

    Since Lewis agrees that “the relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS is an emergent property”, and considering his logic of concession, we could say that Nic agrees with the Slingo’s main argument and therefore accepts the Met Report’s interpretation.

    ***

    Note that Nic’s “key criticism” does not appear in his TL;DR:

    These comments constitute a response to erroneous statements and misrepresentations made in a report published by the Met Office in July 2013: “The recent pause in global warming (3): What are the implications for projections of future warming?” (the Report).

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/

    This criticism seems important enough to only be discussed in the introduction (8th para) and the conclusion.

    Ignoring a cue that starts with “we disagree with your assertion” does not seem like a good way to mediate an argument.

    ***

    The key issue seems to pertain to the fact that “uncertainty in the response is being comprehensively sampled” is transformed into “all combinations that are to any extent plausible can be obtained”. Notice three big modalities:

    > [I]t must be possible, by varying the model’s input parameters, to obtain all combinations of aerosol forcing and ECS that are to any extent plausible.

    In other words, if we accept as plausible low values for both ECS and aerosol forcing, then so much the worse for the model that integrate the most comprehensive theory of climate we have. This begs the question: how plausible are low values both for ECS and aerosol forcing? Choosing between ditching an elaborate model or values based on a plausibility argument is not that clear to me.

    It may seem that the note about empiricism underlined in #3 may have some impact in that discussion.

  36. Willard, I am not following this. The suggestion is not to ditch the model. It is a simple statement: a model that cannot allow low ECS, low aerosol forcing, cannot be used to test a hypothesis that includes them. That seems pretty obvious to me.

    • Willard likes belaboring points that only he seems to see or understand.

      • All one has to do is to read, kuhnkat. Even you can do it.

        You can proclaim who wins the round without paying much attention to what is being written, if you prefer.

      • Actually Willard, I cannot read or comprehend. I just intuit and run on knee jerk bias like you leftards do!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        I don’t need to see who is winning on this or any other forum. I have the climate outside and the observations to tell me you are full of it. No need to thank me, just continue with what you are doing.

      • Thank you for your concerns, kuhnkat.
        Please do continue.

    • miker,

      Here’s what I call ditching the model:

      > HadCM3 is not suitable for a PPE study in which, supposedly, “uncertainty in the response of the climate system to CO2 forcing is comprehensively sampled”.

      If I tell you that your drill is unsuitable to drill holes, do you think is implied? There are other hints in this text and his previous op-ed to justify to speak of “ditching the model”. For instance:

      > That is of concern since these same techniques, using the HadCM3 model, represent the basis on which the official UK Climate Projections were constructed.

      https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/14/nic-lewis-on-the-uk-met-office-on-the-pause/

      Some “concern” indeed. (See also below.)

      Do you have an alternative reading of what Lewis suggests?

      ***

      Showing that a model is wrong is a pretty trivial thing to do. They’re all wrong. The fight is over what should be considered “comprehensive” [1].

      To argue that regional data may lie outside the state space questions as much the regional data as the model. There are choices to be made, notwithstanding Lewis’ “key criticism”. In other words, Lewis’ op-eds do not contain the KO argument he advertizes above:

      I am reminded of a famous line by Bertold Brecht to the effect of: “The people have failed the government. The government must elect the new people.” But the Met Office can no more replace the real climate system with one that agrees with the models than a communist government could replace the people with one that satisfied its ideology.

      (I emphasize one word to justify my use of “ditch”.)

      As you can see, what we should infer from Lewis’ point is not express in a very formal way. Lewis does not say much more than that. Readers therefore have to satisfy themselves with what is being conveyed.

      By chance, what is conveyed by Lewis’ op-eds is not that tough to read, with some experience.

      Hope this helps,

      w

      [1] As an aside, you might enjoy this:

      http://www.philosophybro.com/2011/08/mailbag-monday-inscrutability-of.html

  37. “Alfred Korzybski remarked that “the map is not the territory”, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself.”

    • My above reply was to willard’s 8:29 pm post.

      • Yes, and more generally:

        Seeing is an experience. A retinal reaction is only a physical state […] People, not their eyes, see. Cameras, and eye-balls, are blind […] there is more to seeing than meets the eyeball.

        — Norwood Russell Hanson

        ***

        Please tell that to those who fail to acknowledge that observations of the real world, including those you need to compute TCR and ECS are themselves seriously incomplete and therefore inherently uncertain, Ragnaar.

        Unless their lack of acknowledgement conceals an implicit acceptance, of course. But is it the case?

  38. Onto Lewis’ 5th point, in response to the last sentence of the paragraph we said was quoted in full:

    Having said that, it is true that the relationship between historical aerosol forcing and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) depicted in your Figure B1 is based only on the PPE. But we disagree with your assertion that the results from HadCM3 are fundamentally biased. It is certainly the case that versions of HadCM3 with low climate sensitivity and strongly negative aerosol forcing are incompatible with the broad range of observational constraints. But the key point is that the relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS is an emergent property of the detailed physical processes sampled in the PPE simulations. It is not surprising that such a relationship might be found, given, for example, the key role played by clouds in simulations of both climate sensitivity and aerosol forcing.

    There is two parts of Lewis’ response. First, there’s the rejection of emergence properties (with our emphasis): “There is no reason to think that the effective relationship between aerosol forcing and ECS in HadCM3 […] reflects the real climate system.” Second, there’s a repetition of the main theme of Lewis’ response: “The key point I made remains untouched”.

    Instead of demonstrating that his key point refutes the explanation offered by Slingo, Lewis assumes that Slingo must refute his key point for Met’s position to stand. This assumption has yet to be justified. Furthermore, how Lewis’ “key point” may help reflect the real climate system has not been established.

    Lewis’ real climate system might be connected with his insistence on observations. That idea connection has not been made explicit in Lewis’ response. Lots of cues have been found that it may be the case, though.

    One does not simply reverse the burden of proof into Mordor.

  39. Onto Lewis’ sixth point, which mainly serves to hammer his main claim:

    A key strength of the Harris et al. approach is the application of multiple observational constraints designed to measure the detailed physical credibility of the simulations. This enables the performance of different model variants to be tested in a more physically comprehensive manner than could be achieved by relying exclusively on a few criteria derived only from historical changes in global or continental-scale surface temperature. This reduces the risk that certain model variants could erroneously receive a high weight because they happen to match historical changes due to a fortuitous cancellation of errors in the effects of different physical processes. One of the important results of the paper is the demonstration that the greater the range of observational constraints, the more uncertainty in the ECS and future projections can be reduced.

    Again, an whole paragraph is being omitted.

    The fact that “more models are better” is not being discussed, nor the idea that a greater range of observational constraints can reduce uncertainty. The former idea deserves due diligence, as it is counter-intuitive, already reported in formal the literature, and decisive against Lewis’ argument.

    Also notice the notion of weight, which reminds us of the pussyfooting over the choice of medians over means.

    • Two addenda:

      An whole paragraph is being omitted, except for a sentence.

      The fact (i.e. the formal result) that “more poor models are better than a few good models” is not being discussed.

  40. Onto the seventh point, which is a response to half a paragraph from Slingo’s letter:

    You have questioned the correlation between aerosol forcing and ECS in the PPE through a comparison with several other studies based on simple models and observations. From this you infer that HadCM3 cannot support low values of ECS. This is not correct. Firstly, we do explore a wide range of ECS values, as Figure 2S in Harris et al. shows. Secondly there is good evidence that we explore a more appropriate range and distribution of aerosol forcing than the simple model and observational constraint studies you highlight. Indeed, there are numerous recent aerosol forcing estimates that suggest the possibility of large negative aerosol forcing which you do not show.

    See how the misrepresentation game works: while it is true that Lewis “never claimed that the HadCM3 PPE study did not explore low ECS values”, but that “HadCM3 PPE did not explore combinations of low aerosol forcing and low ECS values”, issuing this correction does not respond to the claim in the first sentence. As if that was not sufficient, Lewis also tries to undermine Slingo’s first argument (identified with “firstly”) that the models explore a wide range of ECS values by speaking of “statistical emulator”, “structural rigidities”, and “slightly unusual view of what constitutes low climate sensitivity”. These claims beg the question Lewis asks (i.e. low ECS and low aerosol is assumed to be plausible) and indirectly responds to Slingo’s second argument (identified with “secondly”), unmentioned so far.

    In any case, the requirement invoked in #4 that “all combinations that are to any extent plausible can be obtained” becomes quite crucial for Lewis’ position to stand. It is therefore a pity no engineer-level specification of such requirement has been offered so far.

    ***

    Finally, recall that Lewis did not develop this point in his open letter, but only mentioned it at the end of his intro and in his kicker. This is understandable, since it had little to do with his litany of misrepresentations, misleading statements, or errors he advertized. If this point suddenly becomes crucial, a letter in which it takes the main part might have been more circumspect.

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