Curry versus Trenberth

by Judith Curry

At the Conference for World Affairs, in Boulder Colorado.

This past week, I’ve been participating in the Conference on World Affairs. The panels I participated on are listed [here].

Today Kevin Trenberth and I participated in a panel entitled Climate Change: It’s About the Data. We each gave 15 minute presentations, then there was time for a few questions.

For some background on previous Curry versus Trenberth ‘matches’, see:


After our NPR interviews were aired, I received this in an email from Kevin:

We have got to stop “meeting” like this.

So it was interesting to have a face-to-face session.

Here are links to the ppt presentations:

Nothing new in my talk; I focused on the data, why scientists disagree, and emphasized that there was a lot of disagreement inside of the so-called 97%.

Trenberth’s slides don’t do justice to his presentation – it was forcefully delivered, evangelical even.  About 40% of it was about politics.

A few things of interest that came out in the questions/discussion:

Trenberth was asked if he regarded me as a ‘denier’.  He hemmed and hawed, and asked me if I regarded myself as a denier.  I said I was a scientist, and regarded myself as included in the so-called 97%, whatever that means.

I said that I disagreed with about 85% of Trenberth’s presentation.  I don’t have the energy to debunk it here, see my recent Congressional testimony

I said I regarded presentations like Trenberth’s to be propaganda

When Trenberth answered a question citing a bunch of ‘facts’, I said that there are very few facts in all this; there are incomplete and ambiguous observations, theories and hypotheses, and models that don’t work very well.  Trenberth responded “That’s rubbish.”

The majority of the audience (an older audience, unfortunately few students) were in Trenberth’s court – not unsurprising given that this is Boulder.  But there were a substantial number of people that seemed pretty hungry to sort out the scientific issues.  Hopefully I made them all think, at least a little bit.

All in all, an interesting session.  But the session was too short; only 50 minutes.  Next time (hah!) we each need 30-40 minutes for a presentation, and then we should be questioned by Russ Roberts of EconTalk.


431 responses to “Curry versus Trenberth

  1. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “Trenberth was asked if he regarded me as a ‘denier’. He hemmed and hawed, and asked me if I regarded myself as a denier. I said I was a scientist, and regarded myself as included in the so-called 97%, whatever that means.”

    Cowardly on Trenberth’s part as he knows damn well you’re not “denying” anything. It kills me how shameless these people are.

    Your answer was great, Judith, though it would have been interesting if you’d held his feet to the fire on this question..

    • Trenberth is, by the definition in the dictionary, the real ‘denier’: He denies the scientific process, he denies the evidence, and he denies the difference between his politics and science.

    • Indeed , at the core of critical analysis, which is a corner stone of science , is the idea that you looking for errors hence critical .
      People like Trenberth with, his demand to reverse the null hypothesis due to the weakness of his argument , are only critical of views they do not approve off . For those that do approve, they leave their critical abilities at home . Which is why they are no scientists hence the heavy use of politics.

    • pokerguy, Dr. Curry’s answer was far less than “great” because she maintains the very formality as if the warming advocates are within political reason to begin with. Effectively, by absence, Dr. Curry preserves the dead-end logic that AGW isn’t a political narrative and legitimizes the nonsense that this is a “science” debate when in fact that is a tiny minority of the substance.

      It’s about statism, Greenshirt/Marxist expansionism through cultural alliances in media, government, academia and pop cultural influences. Trenberth is a leftist ideologue and Dr. Curry should just admit the truth that this is the core driver of “consensus” warming theory and policy.

      Time to put the spaghetti charts down and start with the core facts about the debate. Days are over for hinting, vague acknowledgements, “communication” etc. etc. The 97% is an absurdity and totalitarian in intent, it should be denounced at all times for the thuggery and anti-science dishonesty and shouldn’t be pandered to “I include myself?”. Of course she does, these are her political peers she sticks pins into but at the same time she doesn’t deliver the honest truth directly. In part, she legitimizes the parties she is criticizing so weakly.

      Always ten years or more behind where the debate should be. We should be talking about a massive social and academic outcry to punish those responsible for the political fraud motivations behind the AGW movement. When Dr. Curry finally gets there she can explain why she didn’t realize the obvious 25 years ago and condemn “consensus” for exactly what it is, a Progressive politics loyalty oath.

    • @ewon 11:14 am
      and condemn “consensus” for exactly what it is,
      a Progressive politics loyalty oath.

      Wow! +5

    • cwon,

      What do you have against politeness? Or professionalism? Just because you are some angry guy doesn’t mean we all have to get as worked up as you are.

      Dr Curry comments that 40% of Trenberth’s presentation was “political” and that she disagree’s with about 85% of it. Where I come from, Judith is telling us she thinks he was full of crap. She’s just too professional to state that. And she shouldn’t have to. The audience here should be decerning enough to read between the lines.

      We all know that much of the energy pushing the alarmist viewpoint is political. Dr Curry is, by her own words, a scientist. Not a politician. Quit berating her for not fullfilling responsibilities which are not her’s to begin with and recognize that she is swimming upstream as it is. Why you feel the need to toss grenades in the river is beyond me.

    • @timg56 at 12:50 pm
      ewon has a point about the “97%”. To say “I am a member of the 97%” is to give legitimacy to an illegitimate statistic.

      The first 97% was a 77 of 79 “climate scientists” flagrantly cherry picked from an original population of over 11,000 scientists and engineers responding to a survey in a master’s thesis. The second 97% was the Cook publication where abstracts were considered at a rate of 8 minutes per abstract delivering irreproducible results that disagreed with the authors’ own judgments.

      97% and Climate Consensus, two phrases that need delegitimization:

      To paraphrase ewon:
      Climate Consensus: a Progressive politics loyalty oath as a prerequisite to continue to suck at the teat of government funding and to better pass peer review.

      97% — “of white-coated propagandists.” – Krauthammer, Wash Post, Feb. 20, 2014.

      97%: Greater than the diversity of opinion you’d get on the Origin of Species at a Fundamentalist Chautauqua gathering.

    • A debunking of 97% in Ciandella, Jan 23, 2014 Newsbusters, referring to James L. Powell

    • timg56 | April 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

      You are missing the toady harm that Dr. Curry’s approach has inflicted in the debate. If she spoke honestly Trenberth would go missing from the table at once and in fact that would be progress.

      Dr. Curry creates false equivalency that preserves the post normal attributes about the debate itself. “Science” is Orwellian word destruction and in her own way Dr. Curry has contributed to the decline by her disposition. Instead of vague comments about “politics” or “activists” why doesn’t Dr. Curry just directly address the leftist cabal that makes up most of the core Greenshirt and AGW academic movements directly?

      You are dead wrong, she had a responsibility and she shirked it. The goal in life isn’t to be the least worst person in the climate community unlike Mann, Trenberth, Hansen or P.Jones some of whom should be in the dock. This is the failure of comparable relational judgements in an age of outright scheming and manipulation of “science” for Soviet styled goals. Her equivocation on the core of the AGW debate exceeds reason to a degree to be considered a straw dissident. She only talks withing the constraints of the contrived consensus political thuggery to a point that she is helping it at the same time she claims to oppose it.

      Dr. Curry is adding time from the eventual complete collapse of this evil invention. Better she spoke honestly and stopped being included in the phony, hanging on, authority of “climate science”. Dr. Curry still views the underlying nature of government authoritarianism of AGW (and almost any thing else) as well intended which in her case accounts for the tepid admissions of the extremism all around the climate community.

    • Stephen Rasey | April 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm |

      Dr. Curry’s response regarding “97%” matters are typical, rather than address directly the absurdity of the claim directly and list about 5 simple facts of evidence the repudiate such nonsense she affords it rationality in an affirmative fashion with just enough snark to satisfy the weak kneed “skeptics” resigned to consensus authority over the talking points.

      “The “97% consensus” is a fraud statistic as well as an anti-science acknowledgement” would have been a simple enough statement and very easy to defend.

    • Well, yeah, cwon, but consider where we’d be without Judy. No recent clown show by Kevin, for one.

    • Kim,

      Consider where without Dr. Lindzen. Dr. Curry is as much a speedbump as anything else.

      Regulars here are stuck on false choice stupidity.

    • Danley Wolfe

      Re Ewon14, “You are missing the toady harm that Dr. Curry’s approach has inflicted in the debate. If she spoke honestly Trenberth would go missing from the table at once and in fact that would be progress. Dr. Curry creates false equivalency that preserves the post normal attributes about the debate itself. “Science” is Orwellian word destruction and in her own way Dr. Curry has contributed to the decline by her disposition.” Ewon – while I agree with your views on the debate I must support Judith’s approach in walking the fine line in order to keep things civil, avoid being totally trashed and therefore excluded from all future debate probably including congressional testimony. Your anger with the entire situation matches my own and the entire rhetorical strategy and style and propaganda / jingoistic approach being used is awful. See my post at the bottom of the page.

    • Danley Wolfe | April 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm |

      “while I agree with your views on the debate I must support Judith’s approach in walking the fine line in order to keep things civil, avoid being totally trashed and therefore excluded from all future debate probably including congressional testimony.”

      There’s always an excuse when power is exercised and those that conform. Luckily many haven’t caved and pandered, many aren’t tainted by the dreadful political views that in fact Dr. Curry shares. She’s a statist and an authoritarian even if she dissents from extremists from her general group. She supports the science authority paradigm at the core. So while she is dissenting from a particular view, say Trenberth and his version of consensus, she supports the basic central planning inclination of “experts” executing the policy.

      She is fruit of the same poisoned tree. No “third way” is required, simply the complete and utter destruction of the evil that is the core of the Greenshirt establishment and the complete marginalization of the “consensus” acceptance of their own authority.

    • Danley Wolfe

      Ewon14, You and I are talking about a different Judith Curry than the one I a familiar with. And you make very broad and strong characterizations without actually knowing the person or having her defend against your critique. Curry and Pielke Sr and Jr. are good defenders of real science and IMO have better reputations in front on congressional committees than Lindzen and Spencer who have been branded as just more of the same deniers … it’s about science but also policy with propagandist manipulation deeply involved.

      • @Danley Wolfe

        it’s about science but also policy with propagandist manipulation deeply involved.

        It is also about who you let set the rules. By your own admission, you are letting the non-scientists set the rules. Today Spencer and Lindzen, tomorrow Curry, and Pielkes. Spencer and Lindzen are more than qualified – and objective – to present their case and testify. It is only when you allow the little “goebbels” to define the opposition that you fall into that trap.

    • Danley Wolfe

      PhilJourdan, I think we are generally on the same page but probably both of us are short of a very good strategy to win the day. I would like to see someone with better stature and standing than any of the names mentioned. I agree that Lindzen and Spencer have record of actual hands on climate science “doing.”. As I understand Judith Curry is not “doing” climate science in the sense of “creating data” and is more like Pielke Jr who focuses analysis and policy (which is an important role). The IPCC and (especially) Al Gore being awarded the Nobel Peace prize was a great joke on mankind (as were ones given to some US presidents for talking but doing nothing, accomplishing nothing). I think screaming doesn’t get you far and agree with Curry and Pielke Jr interpretations, positions and approaches. My sense is Lindzen and Spencer do not have respect and do not overcome the mainstream dismissal of being denialist. More and better is needed. E.g., a bone fide Übermensch of Science that transcends all propagandistic jingoistic trashing from the left greatly supported by the mainstream media like ABC/CBS and NYT etc. I do believe that IPCC is losing credibility. I also think more needs to be done to educate the youth on what Science is and what the climate science is.

    • philjourdan | April 17, 2014 at 10:21 am |

      Yes, to a degree Dr. Curry is straw dissent. The NPR definition of a “reasonable” “Republican” by contracting David Brooks as a representative. She’s a tool to frame the limits of what the Greenshirts are even willing to discuss. The meaningless “Pause” concept another framing limit of the “consensus”.

      The “97%” was a slow pitch right over the plate to be hit out of the park through Trenberth’s weaseling mouth and you see where it ended up. “I’m a 97% member…whatever that is”.

      • @Cwon14 – The 97% point seems to be a major point of contention for many, and I know full well that either of the 2 papers proclaiming the numbers are worse than bad science – they are garbage and should not be used. But in this instance, Prof. Curry wanted to make a stronger point, so did not contest the erroneous claim.

        As for what the greenshirts will accept, that goes to an issue of creeping incrementalism. They first seek to cut out of the “herd” those easily identifiable. As Danley indicated, Spencer and Lindzen. Once those are accepted as “non people”, they will come for the Currys and Pielkes. The goal is to not get to that later point. So the culling of Spencer and Lindzen have to be stopped, or the Currys and Pielkes will not be safe for long.

        That is my point. Martin Niemöller said it best, over 70 years ago:

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist.
        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.
        Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

        The time to speak out is before they are coming for you.

  2. Ah heck I wish I’d known about this. I’d have driven down from Ft Collins.

  3. Truth will out ’tis said,
    even maybe in Boulder
    later,Trenberth’s young followers
    perhaps when they are older
    will come to see truth’s
    hidden in a deep well
    and not in missing heat
    at the bottom of the sea.

  4. At the Conference for Word Affairs

    indeed,much to be gained by said freudian slip,ie it imparts more information then any abstract.

  5. Dr. Curry, your open paragraph needs some editing.

  6. Morgan Wright

    Here’s one of the audience members.

  7. Kudos to Steve Mosher for being part of your presentation!

    But I think you are too kind with your summation that Trenberth’s presentation was “40%” political. There is precious little data in it, and virtually all politicking.

    But probably most telling is that Trenberth’s presentation looks more like something Al Gore would produce than would a scientist. Virtually no facts, and a lot of hype.

    • Steven Mosher

      We need to fix that Judith asked me for charts, I think Robert Rohde of “climate art” fame actually produced the final chart.. Zeke did some I did some.. So I passed them on to her. If you see a nice looking chart chances are Rohde did it.

    • “40%” political, indeed generous.

      It’s basically all hype. About the only truthful bit is “Selective use of “facts” is used to reinforce one’s initial position.”

      It’s ironic that he puts that up just after his attempt to link individual weather events to climate and uses a classic science deniers trick of steam output shot against the setting sun to make it look dark and followed by a caption claiming “carbon dioxide pollution”.

      For someone with his qualifications there are two possibilities : either he is being intentionally misleading ( Schneider’s effective vs honest dilemma aka noble cause corruption ) or else he’s part of a cult and needs “help” with deprogramming.

  8. And yet, even though the parties are in agreement, and the science is settled, Nature refuses to cooperate.

    In spite of our best efforts to generate surface warming by generating prodigious amounts of heat in the name of progress, temperatures fail to rise. A pause, I hear you say? Oh yes, you have examined the future, and see warming. I examine the present and the past, and I see no rising temperatures, globally.

    Nor do you. Reject Nature’s reality, and substitute your own. If it brings contentment and peace, why not? It’s the only sane and rational thing to do, if you prefer your reality to reality.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  9. Dr. Curry’s presentation was far more detailed then Dr. Trenberth’s and certainly more to my liking in that regard. I would have liked to have been there to gauge the audience reactions to both. I do disagree that an El Niño in 2014-15, even a strong one, will prove anything about AGW, though some will make great noise to that effect should it occur and cause a short-term spike in tropospheric temperatures. AGW is a long-term proposition. One year in the troposphere or small group of years mean nothing as tropospheric sensible heat is such a small low thermal inertia part (and ocean dependent) part of the overall climate energy system.

    Curry focused on Uncertainty, Trenberth on Consensus– so what really is new here?

    • Trenberth is an expert in El Nino

      and probably could have showed how ENSO does nothing to the climate but provide a zero-sum game of natural variability. In practice the model for ENSO is likely a very simple periodic modulation:

      But instead Trenberth takes the tact of toying with the deniers, engaging by offering up some red meat discussion regarding climate extremes. That seems to be where the interest lies these days

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) says: “Trenberth is an expert in El Nino
      and probably could have showed how ENSO does nothing to the climate but provide a zero-sum game of natural variability…”

      I suggest you study Trenberth’s recent discussions of El Ninos causing “big jump[s]” in temperature, up to “new level[s]”, like a “staircase”. That’s not a “zero-sum game”.

    • Pierre-Normand

      The ENSO contribution is zero-sum. The underlying trend is relentlessly up. The superposition of the two (effects from ENSO and the external forcing) yields something that looks like a rising staircase. I am unsure why you can’t seem ever to so much as fathom this as a possibility when it is the most straightforward and parsimonious interpretation of the surface temperature data.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Even spelling it out for them does little good Bob.

      The oceans can at times soak up a lot of heat. Some goes into the deep oceans where it can stay for centuries. But heat absorbed closer to the surface can easily flow back into the air. That happened in 1998, which made it one of the hottest years on record.

      Trenberth says since then, the ocean has mostly been back in one of its soaking-up modes.

      “They probably can’t go on much for much longer than maybe 20 years, and what happens at the end of these hiatus periods, is suddenly there’s a big jump [in temperature] up to a whole new level and you never go back to that previous level again,” he says.

      You can think of it like a staircase. Temperature is flat when a natural cool spell cancels out the gradual temperature increase caused by human activity. But when there’s a natural warm spell on top of the long-term warming trend, the story is dramatically different.

      Of course the period is 20 to 40 years – and cloud radiative effects are involved not merely ocean/atmospheric energy flows.


      But the real question is – what happens when we are at a 1000 year El Nino and solar peak – likely related – and there is a yet cooler turn?

    • Pierre-Normand,
      Yes, ENSO appears to be zero sum, as does the past half million years of climate.
      On some of the shortest and longest times scales, the climate changes and then it cancels out.
      Phew! Thanks for the enlightenment.

    • Yes, people like that think adding a staircase to an incline will magically create an additional rise. It’s the “magical staircase” effect, like a magic carpet ride. Why do these people believe weird things?

    • Trenberth adjusts his arguments according to the temperature data just like Hansen. He argued that ENSO was not at all significant when skeptics argued that the climate shift leading to a peak at 1998 was due to ENSO. Now that skeptics are proven correct he changed his tune to say ENSO is important and there will be another increase after this pause. In doing so he stole the clothes of several skeptics hoping they wouldn’t notice.

      The real point is that there is nothing unnaturally rapid about the overall trend when you remove the staircase effect. It is still a steady recovery from the little ice age of 0.6K/century. The best mathematical treatise is still from Swanson and Tsonis who seem now to believe the overall trend is natural when previously they said it could be either natural or manmade.

      If Trenberth had actually predicted the hiatus instead of predicting a parabolic rise then he might have some standing as an ENSO expert. Alas he was dead wrong, as he usually is, and now is backtracking in the hope we all have short memories. Well treehuggers like wht do but true skeptics don’t.

    • A model like my CSALT incorporates SOI and can predict the pause. Nyah, nyah.

    • “I suggest you study Trenberth’s recent discussions of El Ninos causing “big jump[s]” in temperature, up to “new level[s]“, like a “staircase”. That’s not a “zero-sum game”.”
      Because there is greater latent and sensible heat flux during an El Niño, with more net energy being transferred from ocean to atmosphere, of course new tropospheric records are set during El Niño, and the entire ENSO cycle is set to a higher baseline as tropospheric temperatures warm over the long-term from increased GH gases, thus even La Ninas will see warmer tropospheric sensible heat readings.

    • “The ENSO contribution is zero-sum. The underlying trend is relentlessly up. The superposition of the two (effects from ENSO and the external forcing) yields something that looks like a rising staircase. I am unsure why you can’t seem ever to so much as fathom this as a possibility when it is the most straightforward and parsimonious interpretation of the surface temperature data.”
      The fake skeptics would like to believe in some as yet undiscovered external forcing, natural variability, or really anything but increasing GH gases to explain this underlying rise– even though anthropogenic GH gas external forcing is the most simple and straightforward explanation and matches the data exceptionally well.

    • And fake-alarmists would have you believe that the greenhouse effect didn’t exist before the 19th century.
      They would have it that any additional heat flux brought about by El Ninos etc used to just magically dissipate into space instead of hanging around for years, as it apparently now does.

    • “fake alarmists”? Would that make them actual skeptics?

    • Not unless your “fake-sceptics” are actually alarmists

    • “They would have it that any additional heat flux brought about by El Ninos etc used to just magically dissipate into space instead of hanging around for years, as it apparently now does.”
      This doesn’t even make sense, besides being outright wrong. Even a simple basic energy flow analysis tells you that some of the energy released by an El Niño flows to space, and some goes into other parts if the climate system. It is never an all or none proposition. This is exactly why it only makes sense to talk about “global” warming from a full climate energy system perspective. What is the total energy in the climate system and how is it changing over the long-term?

    • “Not unless your “fake-sceptics” are actually alarmists
      The opposite of a fake-skeptic is a real skeptic, as fake skeptic is a kinder and gentler term for denialist.

    • And “fake alarmist” a kinder and gentler term for ___ (fill in the blank according to your own prejudice)

    • It is never an all or none proposition.

      Exactly, but that’s what you’re trying to make it.
      A small enhancement of the greenhouse effect doesn’t result in such a huge increase in the length of time that the effects of an El Nino persist for.
      And if such effects persist for so long, then why aren’t the effects of negative forcings of similar magnitude, such as volcanic eruptions, felt for similarly long periods?

    • “It is never an all or none proposition.

      Exactly, but that’s what you’re trying to make it.
      A small enhancement of the greenhouse effect doesn’t result in such a huge increase in the length of time that the effects of an El Nino persist for.
      And if such effects persist for so long, then why aren’t the effects of negative forcings of similar magnitude, such as volcanic eruptions, felt for similarly long periods?”
      Each forcing on the climate has a unique signature based on the physical principles involved and the total effect on all parts of the climate system. An El Niño is a release of more net energy than average from ocean to atmosphere. Some of that energy is sensible heat and some is latent. Some goes instantly to space as radiation and some gets translated into various other forms of energy such a gravitational potential or kinetic.

      Regarding volcanoes, these are interesting because they can both cool and warm the planet, with the sulfates initially cooling until being washed out of the atmosphere but the CO2 released potentially causing longer-term warming. The size, location, and mix of sulfates versus CO2 means that each volcano (like each El Niño) had a unique signature on the climate, even though generally speaking El Niños are not external forcings on the climate whereas volcanoes are.

    • We’re talking about Trenberth’s staircases, or, more properly, step-changes.
      They either happen or they don’t.
      If they didn’t happen before, then a small change in radiative forcing is not going to make them suddenly start happening. They may change the shape slightly, but that’s it.

    • “We’re talking about Trenberth’s staircases, or, more properly, step-changes.
      They either happen or they don’t.”
      There are pulses or large fluxes of energy put into the troposphere from El Niño, but these do not represent “step changes” to the underlying rate of energy being accumulated by the climate system. It is simply a transfer of energy from one part if the system to another part or to space. If anything, there is a bit of net energy lost by the system during an El Niño, but during the passage of some of that energy through the troposphere on the way to space or other parts of the system we myopically measure the sensible heat spike and exclaim “step change!” Pure foolishness.

    • Gates, I agree it is pure foolishness to believe that step change in OHC in the 2002-2003 time frame is anything other than a calibration error.

    • The ‘staircase’ is how KT explains the current hiatus.
      You may call it pure foolishness, I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • steven | April 12, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      Gates, I agree it is pure foolishness to believe that step change in OHC in the 2002-2003 time frame is anything other than a calibration error.”
      Pulses of energy from one part of the system to another (such as we see during El Niño) are not calibration errors nor are they step changes to the underlying external forcing to the system caused by the Human Carbon Volcano.

    • “phatboy | April 12, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      The ‘staircase’ is how KT explains the current hiatus.
      You may call it pure foolishness, I couldn’t possibly comment.”
      50% or more of the energy in the troposphere comes from latent and sensible heat flux from the ocean. You need to grasp the significance of this to understand any “staircase” metaphor Trenberth may be employing.

    • So 2002 – 2003 all the energy went from the troposphere to the ocean? Must have been really really cold. Step back non believers or the heat may never come. Gates, you beat the drum.

    • “steven | April 12, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      So 2002 – 2003 all the energy went from the troposphere to the ocean? Must have been really really cold. Step back non believers or the heat may never come. Gates, you beat the drum.”
      Of course there was a moderate (not at strong as 1998) El Niño in 2002-2003, and 2003 only ranks 4th (tied with 2013) warmest year on instrument record. As higher than average heat was flowing from ocean to atmosphere during 2002, we did see a slight decrease in OHC, but then the OHC rise quickly resumed as the El Niño ended. The Human Carbon Volcano never sleeps and the external forcing from the GH gases it emits have been adding energy to the climate system for 60+ years– without pause.

    • This isn’t rocket science. Are you arguing that the step change in OHC in the 2002-2003 time frame is real or aren’t you? If you are and you are arguing there can’t be step changes then where did the heat come from? I happen to think it very unlikely that it is anything other than a calibration error but you seem to want to argue that there can and can’t be step changes. If you wish to argue that the troposphere should show an equal but opposite effect we can compare colder and warmer years tropospherically to see how that hyp[othesis hold out.

    • R Gates, you haven’t really heard a word I’ve said, have you?
      I don’t “fail to grasp the significance” of anything – in fact, I understand only too well.
      When someone disagrees with you, it might just be that you’re not quite right – not that your opponent is necessarily deficient in the intellectual department.

    • “Are you arguing that the step change in OHC in the 2002-2003 time frame is real or aren’t you?”
      There was no “step change” in the OHC in the 2002-2003 timeframe. The El Nino during that period meant a bit more than average amount of energy went from ocean to atmosphere and thus there was a small dip in OHC. As soon as the El Nino was ending, the OHC continued upward with the longer term rise it has been seeing for many decades. This effect is even more pronounced when you specifically look at the OHC source of energy for El Nino tropospheric warming– the IPWP. It has been warming steadily since the 1950’s at least, dipping only during El Nino years as a bit more energy than normal flows out to the troposphere.

      There is no “step change” going on– just a constant (and potentially even accelerating) gain in the overall energy in Earth’s climate system for many decades.

    • So when about half of the OHC added since 1980 comes in only 2 years that isn’t a step change. I guess you are right, Gates. There are no step changes. Nothing qualifies as one.

    • “So when about half of the OHC added since 1980 comes in only 2 years that isn’t a step change”
      You have to get past the annual, and sub-decadal fluctuations in OHC, and look at the steady, longer-term trend. Since the 1950’s, one of the major (if not THE major) repository for ocean heat, the IPWP has been gaining energy, through both expansion and warming. Some of this energy fluxes out to the atmosphere on annual and sub-decadal time frames, mainly based on ENSO cycles, but this doesn’t affect the longer-term energy gain, and there is no “step change” to the constant external forcing to the system. GH gases never sleep.

    • I have to do what? Get past the data to the narrative?

    • Why do you say “then” when you mean “than”?

  10. Dr. Curry, with respect, re: your slide #2, Bullet #3;

    “Carbon dioxide and other so-¬called greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet”

    So here we are 100 years plus after Arrhenius postulated this hypothesis (specifically that the average temperature will rise) and there is STILL NO PROOF that this is the case.

    Arrhenius predicted (whoops, I meant projected, whoops I meant guessed) that folks would be farming in Greenland by now. Dr. Hansen predicted much larger temperature rises than have been observed. How many more predictions must we hear before the climate science community goes back and erases everything from the blackboard and starts over from scratch ?

    Yes it’s painful, I’ve been on years long engineering projects that where summarily executed (with lots of employment pain) since they clearly could not meet the original performance specifications.

    It’s about time the climate science community had a little house cleaning.

    You all need to start from the basics and demonstrate in the lab that so called “back radiation” does indeed increase the average temperature of the Earth (or a simple farm greenhouse). FROM SCRATCH. All this other testimony before our elected representatives and caterwauling about all the evils that await us is doing the climate science community great harm.

    You should be aware that there are several experiments that demonstrate that an IR opaque “layer” (i.e. plastic film) above a soil surface heated by the visible light from the Sun has no additional discernible effect (WRT temperature) than an IR transparent layer.

    Referring again to your bullet #3; the “warming effect” does indeed exist, BUT it travels through the Sun/Earth/Atmosphere/Universe System at very nearly the speed of light in a vacuum. This is by all accounts quite quick. The missing heat left long ago; in fact it is “Gone With The Sunset”. That might make for a catchy movie title, what do you think ?

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Steven Mosher

      “So here we are 100 years plus after Arrhenius postulated this hypothesis (specifically that the average temperature will rise) and there is STILL NO PROOF that this is the case.”

      1. there is no proof in science
      2. The theory that predicts warming is based on physics used in everyday engineering.

      you need to read more and write less

      • David Springer

        The theory that predicts climate warming you mention, simple radiative transfer theory, doesn’t account for hydrologic effects on a water world. Duh.

    • KevinK,

      Yes. do as you’re told. Steven Mosher knows all. Read more, write less – follow the lead of Steven Mosher. What would you know, anyway?

      Don’t you realise that world leaders listen to Steven Mosher, and do what they are told? How dare you disagree! Next you’ll be saying that CO2 doesn’t warm anything!

      Away with you, sir!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Be sure you can’t tell the difference between weak hypothses, and there are many in the “science” of global warming, and strong theories with lots of confirmation like Newton’s laws. Mosher can’t tell one from the other.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mike Flynn.

      They don’t listen to me. But some do write nice letters after reading the book and the papers. go figure.

    • Steven Mosher,

      I’m sure some people write you nice letters after reading your book. Erich von Daniken got lots of nice letters from his readers. I was asked to write not books, but technical manuals and procedures, and advice to senior bureaucrats and Government Ministers.

      I have to admit, sometimes they didn’t like the answers, but they kept asking for more. Obviously men of rationality and discernment.

      I obviously haven’t read your book, so I cannot offer an opinion one way or the other. I hope you make a potload of money.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • @KevinK

      I’m with you at this point. Since measuring GHG effects on earth require too much equipment for lay people, I have moved on to temperature of spheres in space. While people seem to think it impossible it appears that a black sphere in space and a shiny metal sphere in space can equilibrate at the same temperature. Black absorbs and emits more, shiny absorbs and emits less, but equilibrum temperature can be the same dependent only on shape (projection factor). Data supporting this was presented in a slide show on satelllite temperature quoting a reference source. The author of the slide show still doesn’t believe what is in his own slides.

      So if the “colour” or absorptivity does not change the temperature of a sphere, then it is rather unlikely that a GHG which make a very small difference to absorptivity/emissivity will make much difference either.

      I will probably take a well publiclized and well conducted experiment in space to demonstrate this convincingly. All it will take is someone who has access to spacecraft to want to do the experiment.

      • David Springer

        Your argument is utter crap and is easily disproven by any layman in a parking lot on a sunny day. Put your hand on a black car then on a white car and see if you can detect a difference in temperature.

        Or try walking barefoot down an asphault road on a hot sunny day. Try walking on the white line painted on the side of the road then on the unpainted tarmac.

        The stupidity here, it burns. And you’ll have second degree burns on your feet if you stray off the white line for long.

    • Dr Curry, I would like to also see the paleioclimate perspective as part of the argument. IPCC still has paleoclimatology and a nice graph showing measured long-term climate cycles. I understand the GCMs do not model paleoclimate cycles. Based on available data, we are near the peak of a cycle and headed for a long cooling lasting for thousands of years.

    • @BLouis. ” Data supporting this was presented in a slide show on satelllite temperature”

      Interesting. A link would be great.

    • Steven Mosher:

      there is no proof in science

      No, but there is disproof

    • Spartacusisfree

      IPCC Climate Alchemy is a massive scam with no temperature predictive capability. Here’s why: conservation of energy applied to material and EM worlds gives qdot = – Div Fv; qdot the monochromatic rate of heat generation per unit volume of matter, Fv the monochromatic Radiation Flux density. Heat flux is the negative of RF change; most people forget this.

      Precision optical pyrometers cool the sensor (bolometer, photo-resistor) and measure the difference of source and sensor ‘Radiation Fields’, the latter set by low temperature so effectively zero. Their output is temperature.

      Climate Alchemists use ‘pyrgeometers’, an inferior sensor whose signal is converted to the atmospheric RF. The Alchemists wrongly assume it’s a real heat flow they lump with others as ‘Forcing’. In reality, it’s the potential energy flux the atmosphere would emit to absolute zero, NOT A REAL FLUX.

      The ‘Forcing’ idea works for SW because the Earth is cool compared with the Sun, but it cannot work for IR. The Earth’s 16 deg C (mean) surface reads 396 W/m^2 RF on a pyrgeometer but net surface IR flux is the difference of UP and DOWN RFs, 396 – 333 = 63 W/m^2, just 1/6th of a ‘black body’.

      ‘MODTRAN’ predicts this and internally sets mean total surface flux to 160 W/m^2 Solar SW thermalised at the surface. 63 W/m^2 net surface IR gives that 16 deg C consistent with SW energy IN = LW energy to Space.

      Because RFs interact as vectors, as CO2 rises, net surface IR falls. Surface temperature would rise to a new equilibrium with higher convection but other processes ensure real CO2 ‘Climate Sensitivity’ is probably <0.1 K.

      To purport 'Thermageddon', the Alchemists triple surface to atmosphere flux, take off half by another major error at ToA, leaving 40% more than reality, then quietly use double low level cloud albedo in hind-casting to pretend the modelling is not based on a perpetual motion machine of the 2nd kind.

      They MUST stop cheating and change teaching, textbooks and models. The present approach is wasted investment. No professional scientist or engineer can accept the IPCC's incorrect heat transfer and IR physics.

    • As a computer guy, I don’t want to start over with the basic physics. I wonder if there has been a global static simulation of radiative physics at an instant in time that accounts for surface characteristics atmospheric density, day-night. The stage one simulation would ignore everything except the radiative components.

      My gut feel is applying the Boltzmann Arrhenius analysis to a real planet would lead to a less than 1.2 K impact to a doubling of CO2 due to radiative only effects. Wikipedia may be agreeing with me:

      What is the effect of this assumption: “:For longwave radiation, the surface of the Earth is assumed to have an emissivity of 1 (i.e., the earth is a black body in the infrared, which is realistic).” Is “realistic” an emissivity > .9 or .99.

    • Spartacusisfree

      Reply to RobertinAz:

      MODTRAN is very good at simulating the planet IR balance. This is because it was derived from the correct physics; 160 W/m^2 mean surface thermalisation. Because it’s proprietary, it can’t be ‘altered’. The IPCC climate model heat transfer is a scam, based on assuming the surface IR is at the 396 W/m^2 black body level, plus the convection and evapo-transpiration.

      They then put in fake cooling from the top by incorrectly claiming you can apply Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation to the semi-transparent atmosphere. When the 40% residual extra energy has produced imaginary extra water evaporation and ‘positive feedback’, they offset it in hind casting by exaggerated low level cloud albedo.

      The planet has ~0.97 IR emissivity, used in MODTRAN.

    • Curious George

      Spartacus – you seem to be familiar with MODTRAN. Has it been used in climate models? Does it handle clouds? Does it correctly predict daily surface temperature variations – a) in Sahara, b) in Kansas, c) in the Amazonia?

    • MODTRAN is a radiative transfer model intermediate between the most accurate models and the models used in GCM type climate models. The most accurate models are line-by-line (LBL) models. LBL models are also based most directly on empirically verified data. They are, however, computationally heavy and are used in calculations, where the model is not needed repeatedly very many times. MODTRAN uses data that has been preprocessed to allow much faster calculations, which are accurate enough for particular practical purposes. It’s accuracy has been verified through comparisons with LBL models.

      The version of MODTRAN that can be used on the UChicago site is not the newest one, and it has been set-up to give results good enough for educational purposes with minimal use of computer resources.

      GCM type models use radiative transfer models that have been optimized for such use. They are computationally very efficient, and only as accurate as the models need. They are again verified by comparisons with LBL models.

      Clouds can be included in the models. When the properties of clouds are given adding them is not difficult, but knowing what kind of clouds to include is another matter. The UChigago MODTRAN allows for including a few types of clouds.

      Calculating changes in surface temperature cannot be done with radiative transfer models alone. A model of other forms of energy transfer is needed as well, i.e. some kind of circulation model, which need not be a full GCM.

    • Curious George

      Pekka, many thanks. You have covered a radiative transfer in the atmosphere very nicely; I did not know that MODTRAN could handle (some) clouds. A part of my question about daily temperature variation (I mean a day-night variation) was about an inclusion of a thermal capacity and a thermal conductivity of the ground. And possibly about an effect of an intermediate layer of tree leaves. Do you know of a model that does that, or of a work showing that these effect have a negligible impact?

    • CG,

      I don’t know about any such models. I would imagine that a one-dimensional model of the atmosphere would suit the purpose. Such models can describe the vertical structure of the atmosphere at one location when the general state of the atmosphere is given. Essentially the only thing I know about such models is that they do exist and that they can used for purposes similar to this.

    • @JMartin

      The satellite presentation was pointed out to me by someone here.

      See slide 32 compare sphere shape black body and sandblasted Al both equilibrate at 5degC.

    • KevinK,

      What Climate ‘Science’ is doing wrong is assuming that the surface/atmosphere is like a closed glass box. If you heat the bottom of such a box and let the top lid absorb some of the resulting outgoing IR, warming the lid, then you will make the temp gradient away from the heated bottom surface less than if the lid 1) weren’t there or 2) did not absorb some of the outgoing IR, making less energy move from bottom to lid per unit of time, with the incoming energy flux held constant, ultimately resulting in a warmer bottom surface.

      So in this experiment, the posited ‘greenhouse effect mechanism’ works. There are however (at least) two problems when trying to directly transfer this result to the real earth surface/atmosphere system: 1) there is no rigid (immovable) top lid in the free atmosphere warming from absorbing more outgoing energy, thus making the temperature gradient away from the surface less steep than if it weren’t there, and 2) in the closed box, convection is not able to transport the accumulated energy away; in the open atmosphere it is and it does so automatically and instantaneously.

      As soon as there’s an atmosphere placed on top of a solar-heated surface in space, the temperature gradient away from that surface will be reduced, because the atmosphere will start warming, having energy transferred to it from the surface. The energy transfer from surface to atmosphere would occur primarily through convective processes.

      The atmosphere is able to warm. Space isn’t. Hence, the outgoing energy flow from the surface (as described by both the conductive/convective and radiative heat transfer equations) will be less WITH an atmosphere present than WITHOUT. At the same temperature level. This is a trivial point.

      What the promoters of the idea that radiative gases in the atmosphere (the so-called GHGs) warm the surface of the earth will have to argue (and show), however, is that by putting these gases into this atmosphere, their radiative properties will make this temperature gradient away from the surface EVEN LESS STEEP.

      And here they have a problem …

      Do the radiative gases in our atmosphere by their radiative properties work towards reducing or steepening the temp gradient from surface to tropopause? Do they by their radiative properties reduce the temp gradient from surface to tropopause below what it would be without their presence?

      Of course not. Putting radiative gases into an atmosphere will (in purely radiative terms) tend to significantly cool the surface underneath it by 1) enabling that atmosphere to shed the energy it would receive from the surface either way (mostly through convective processes (conduction/convection/evaporation)) effectively to space, steepening the tropospheric temp gradient and thus enhancing convective heat loss from the surface, and by 2) preventing (by atmospheric reflection and absorption) a major portion of the solar heat input (about 45% in fact) from ever reaching the surface.

  11. Next time (hah!) we each need 30-40 minutes for a presentation, and then we should be questioned by Russ Roberts of EconTalk.

    I hope you have a debate with Trenbert on Russ Robert’s podcast.

  12. My take was that the audience was very impressed by your polite, logical, and well explained delivery – and quite put off by Trenberth’s aggressive and angry politics.

    You had already shot down his 97% claim before he made it the basis of his attack. Bottom line was that you appeared to the audience as a thoughtful and respectful scientist, and he came across as an angry politician.

  13. Trenberth gets a mention in today’s …

    (copy to Prime Minister of Australia)

    11 April 2014

    Attention: Paul Ryan
    Director Climate Change Science Team
    Department of the Environment
    GPO Box 787
    CANBERRA 2601

    Dear Sir

    Your reply PDR: MC 14-009992 is far from satisfactory.

    You refer primarily to climate change, not the issue I raised, namely that standard physics can be used to prove beyond doubt that all the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has no warming effect. Likewise, water gas, water vapour and suspended water droplets in Earth’s atmosphere result in cooler surface temperatures, not warmer ones as the IPCC would have the world believe.

    The IPCC has a political agenda emphasised by Al Gore. Australia has failed in its duty of paying due diligence to proper analysis of the physics involved. Climatologists are not physicists. The issue relating to the effect of carbon dioxide is deeply entrenched in the physics of radiative transfer and thermodynamics. Would you go to a medical practice to have your teeth filled? Why then do you consider climatologists (who have very limited knowledge and usually mistaken understanding of physics) to be suitable peers of a physics-related matter?

    Here is what a retired physics educator said about my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all”:

    Essential reading for an understanding of the basic physical processes which control planetary temperatures. Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it. John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons); Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

    In your reply you do not even cite a single paper that you think proves that standard physics shows carbon dioxide causes warming. Yes I know there are some, but I can rebut every single one.

    For example, one of the problems involves incorrect understanding of the process described in modern statements of the second law of thermodynamics which states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy. The process described explains why gravity induces a thermal gradient in any planet’s atmosphere, crust and mantle, just as we see evidence thereof in a Ranque-Hilsch vortext tube which you can read about in the article talk pages on Wikipedia. This thermal gradient would produce surface temperatures about 10 degrees hotter on Earth than we observe, but fortunately water molecules in the atmosphere reduce the magnitude of the gradient so that the supported temperature at the surface boundary is cooler. Studies show this to be the case. If the IPCC were correct about their “greenhouse effect” of water, then moist rainforests would be expected to be about 20 to 30 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar altitudes and latitudes. That is not the case, and so the IPCC greenhouse effect is fiction.

    Another major problem is that the IPCC authors assume that back radiation can help the Sun warm the oceans. But it is well known that back radiation from a cooler atmosphere does not penetrate water, whereas the solar radiation reaches down into the ocean thermoclines. But, the very fact that solar radiation does penetrate several metres into the oceans, means that over 99% of it is transmitted right through the thin surface layer which could be considered perhaps just 1 centimetre in depth. But a black or grey body is not transparent, and, in any event, there is no adjsutment in the models and NASA / Trenberth / IPCC energy budget diagrams that reduces the intensity of solar radiation by 99% or more for the 70% of Earth’s surface that is ocean. So they use Stefan-Boltzmann calculations quite incorrectly to “prove” that their combination of back radiation and solar radiation supposedly raises the surface temperature by 33 degrees from an isothermal state. Even that assumption of an isothermal state is wrong because it is not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with no unbalanced energy potentials. It would have unbalanced energy in that it would have more gravitational potential energy per molecule without any compensating reduction in mean kinetic energy per molecule – that is, without a reduction in temperature at the top.

    Then the IPCC uses 1980’s assertive statements from books which claim there is a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus. Well, the temperature of any location on the equator of Venus falls by 5 degrees at night (so Venus could have cooled right down by now) but it then rises by 5 degrees in the four-month-long Venus day. How does the required energy get into the surface? The radiation from the Sun has been measured and is less than 20W/m^2, whereas about 16,000 W/m^2 would be required to cause the temperature to rise. No radiation from the colder atmosphere can do so.

    Then you may wish to turn your attention to the nominal troposphere of Uranus where it is hotter than Earth’s surface at the base thereof, even though there’s no surface or solar radiation.

    So I hope you now understand, Sir, that there is no science reviewed by suitable peers which can be correct if it concludes that back radiation from carbon dioxide (one molecule in 2,500 other molecules) is causing Earth’s surface to be warmer than it otherwise would have been.

    In the field of medicine, Australia does not tend to lap up results of Amercian research. In the field of climatology, such “science” is blatantly corrupt, as revealed in Climategate emails. There has been no warming since 1998 and this period of slight net cooling will be about 30 years in duration. There is no reason to assume that the long term 1,000 year cycle of warming and cooling by about two degrees will not continue, being regulated by planetary prbits, and it is due to start 500 years of cooling within the next century or so.

    You must, by now, realise that there are serious errors in the radiative greenhouse conjecture. I quote from the website of Principia Scientific International (representing hundreds of scientsists who know the “science” is faulty) …

    Dutch Professor Richard Tol has resigned from the Climate Panel of the UN. Professor Tol disagrees with the biased negative conclusions of the latest UN climate report. The consequences of climate change are being systematically over-estimated, according to him. “The Panel is directed from within the environment lobby and not from within the science.”

    I attach a plot of up-to-date temperature data from Dr Roy Spencer’s website showing the double peak of the 60 to 65 year cycle in 1998 and 2003, and I also attach the cover of my book.

    Australia has not exercised due diligence in this matter and the responsibility would appear to rest solely upon your shoulders to rectify the situation.

    If I do not receive a satisfactory response covering specifically all the issues raised herein and supposedly rebutting the hypothesis in my book (the text of which was previously supplied in my earlier correspondence) then I shall most certainly take this matter further via the Government Ombudsman and possibly the media, even if in paid advertisements which I can comfortably afford.

    Yours sincerely
    (signed DC)

    • Spartacusisfree

      Agreed: see my post above. No professional scientist or engineer can accept the IPCC’s incorrect physics. The hiatus is the norm. We did have AGW from the aerosols produced by Asian industrialisation reducing cloud albedo, but it saturated about 15 years ago

  14. I just wasted my time reading Dr. Trenberths presentation; it ends with a quote from the Lorax……

    REALLY, are you (multiple expletives deleted in the name of common decency) kidding me, first off that seems like blatant copyright infringement (those of us that produce real intellectual property are offended by that), additionally after 3 decades of this “climate science” funded on the backs of the US taxpayer (directly or indirectly via the UN) the best we get is; “Think of the Lorax”………

    Dr. Curry, I have the utmost respect for your work, but the whole “climate science” community has become a bad joke amongst those of us more “based in reality”. Perhaps the next plane I design should just be compelled to fly safely based on; “Thinking of the Lorax”….

    I know some good folks in real engineering professions; perhaps I could put in a good word and get you a real job….

    Cheers, Kevin.

  15. Interesting contrast in presentations. My eyes are still burning from the reds in Trenberth’s and ending with a children’s cartoon pollyanna message seems inappropriate for a talk claiming to be about science and not politics. Very condescending to his audience too, or maybe not considering where it was. In any case Trenberth has convinced me he is beyond science and not a source of reliable information.

  16. Judith seems quite willing to continue to debate with Trenberth notwithstanding that they rarely talk on the same page and this is symptomatic of almost all debate on climate change that I have seen.

    People like Fred Moolton, Pekka Perrila and Vaughan Pratt engage more with sceptics than most and for this reason they are all the more credible IMO.

    What seems really needed is for a group of respected scientists from a wide cross section of disciplines to review the present state of climate science and determine whether it is too closely aligned to political policy issues to be truly objective.

    • Sorry Pekka Pirila for mispelling your name.

    • Oh common, this CE blog commenting area is a dank backwater of discussion. If people of any scientific caliber wanted to engage here, they would make mincemeat out of the deniers. As it is, the only ones motivated to “debate” here are the ones that have an interest in pseudo-science as described by Robert Park and by Michael Shermer, who tries to answer the age-old question, “why people believe in weird things”

    • You tell ’em WHT…regular commenter at the CE blog as you are, you should know.

    • Yes, the topic of pseudo-science is an interest of mine, Robert Park was my advisor’s advisor and I have been following this topic ever since I picked up Martin Gardner’s books, such as Fads & Fallacies, when I was a kid.

      This place is swarming with believers in weird things. I tend to stay here and not engage in more krackpot leaning places such as WUWT, because this CE site has the veneer of academic integrity, which makes the pseudo-science discussion even more bizarre.

    • The group of scientific experts need not and preferably not undertake such discussions on a blog. There’s too many kranks here on CE and other blogs which IMO tends to obscure rather than highlight areas upon which agreement between sceptics and warmists might be reached as far as data is concerned. Politics have no place in this debate.

    • Web saysIf people of any scientific caliber wanted to engage here, they would make mincemeat out of the deniers. As it is, the only ones motivated to “debate” here are the ones that have an interest in pseudo-science as described by Robert Park and by Michael Shermer, who tries to answer the age-old question, “why people believe in weird things”

      Oh really? What I see looking at the comments is a lot of people asking for more science from Trenberth and using thought processes that scientists are supposed to be known for. Web, as usual you have not proven your case and the finger pointing you engage in is starting to turn on yourself.

    • If people of any scientific caliber wanted to engage here, they would make mincemeat out of the deniers.

      Well why don’t they then? Put all us nasty deniers in our place, once and for all?
      And it begs the question – why do you engage here?

    • Why would the credentialled scientists come here and engage with the equivalent of climate trolls?

      The old adage is to ignore the trolls. Let them scream into an echo chamber all they want.

    • I seem to remember that some have indeed come here on occasion – and didn’t exactly leave any mincemeat behind.

    • The old adage is to ignore the trolls

      Then why don’t you do just that?
      Why then is such a huge amount of time and effort expended in fighting the trolls? Why not just let them be, in their own little world?

    • Cuz I study the trolls and their sociopathology.

      Oftentimes the more they deny a particular scientific finding, the more truth they reveal. Witness their squealing about ENSO and that nothing can be revealed about its inner workings. It’s really the last vestige of a magical trump card that they think they can play.

      The fact that I can come here and hang out would be unheard of if this was a forum such as the Rush Limbaugh talk show. That would be the Belly of the Beast and this is a close approximation.

    • You seem to have a strange way of studying things.
      Do you also poke wasp nests with sticks in order to study wasp behaviour?
      What makes you so different from the many evangelical souls with inflated self-opinions trying to impose their beliefs on others?

    • Spartacusisfree

      Exactly: get physicists and engineers to weed out the non standard physics. This is not that difficult now the climate models have failed

      The alternative is that Climate Alchemy by sheer weight of money will continue its corollary of Gresham’s Law; bad science driving out good.

    • Web,

      ‘Why people believe in weird things’

      Isn’t that suppose to be your mantra?

      Thomas Friedman quoting Joe Romm in an effort to convince people global warming is still on:

      Point one:
      “Avoid the term “global warming.” I prefer the term “global weirding,” because that is what actually happens when temperatures rise and the climate changes. The weather gets weird. The hots get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous. ”

      I would think that would adequately explain why you in particular should believe in weird things.

  17. Once you realise that Trenberth seems to be one of those experts who have ways of agreeing that the public don’t understand, it all makes sense.

    The only thing the public needs to do is just stop complaining and give more money to the scientists. They have agreed that the public is stupid, and cannot understand that climatologists are the keepers of the sacred knowledge.

    Facts are whatever Trenberth and the rest of the motley climatological crew agree on. You wouldn’t understand. Trenberth says so.

    If you are happy with this, just keep sending them money. They need it, because they can’t get real jobs! I’ll keep my money, and let you pay my share. Thanks.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  18. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Seriously, Dr. Curry — and without regard to technical differences of opinion — please allow me to express my exceedingly great admiration for your enduring commitment to good science and the open, respectful discourse that sustains it.

    Semi-seriously, here are two dynamical “models” of your and Trenberth’s work:

    Consensus Synchrony, versus
    The Stadium Wave.

    These are enjoyably played with sound volume turned-up!

    Thank you, again, for your committed science, and for your fine teaching, and for sustaining an outstanding weblog.

    \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}

    • Mosher writes-

      “Further the predictions of warming are correct”

      My response- which predictions, there have been so many they can’t all be correct?

      What is unknown but frequently speculated is how much warming and what other things will happen as a result over timescales of importance to human policy making ( 50 years or so). In complex systems people often think they understand the impact of “key variables” only to subsequently determine the impact was different than originally thought.

      That can be difficult to accept when someone has a political agenda based on the initial speculation. It appears that as the science supporting conclusions of the initial agenda is demonstrated to be flawed, those that supported these position become ever more aggressive in claiming that anyone not agreeing with their conclusions to be denying idiots.

      Over time the truth becomes difficult to deny. We will see and humans will adapt. The “huge fears” would probably be pretty funny if considered by someone from 1850.

  19. Steve Mosher Wrote;

    “1. there is no proof in science
    2. The theory that predicts warming is based on physics used in everyday engineering.”

    Ok, they you will be quite pleased to know that the next airplane I design will not have any proof that you might safely make it to your destination.

    After all if there is no proof in science, why bother with it in engineering, it is after all quite costly and time consuming.

    The HYPOTHESIS that predicts warming has failed after 100 years of observations. Those old boys the Wright Brothers managed to match their predictions (a heavier than air machine can indeed fly) just over 100 years ago, after all the “experts” predicted (whoops I meant projected, whoops again, I meant MODELED) that it was impossible.

    Thanks for your considerate advice regarding my reading/writing proportionality ratio, I will of course take than under advisement.

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Ok, they you will be quite pleased to know that the next airplane I design will not have any proof that you might safely make it to your destination.

      After all if there is no proof in science, why bother with it in engineering, it is after all quite costly and time consuming.”

      Gosh you did airplane design too! Here’s a clue. There is no proof that a plane is safe. Proof is for logic and math.

      Further the predictions of warming are correct.

    • michael hart

      “Further the predictions of warming are correct.”
      …and the proof will be along shortly.

    • Proof is for logic….

      And deductive reasoning. What a pesky thing, when inductive reasoning is so much simpler. There is the fault line,and in a nutshell how the two sides see the issue. Throw away that nasty deductive reasoning…..NOW!

    • “Further the predictions of warming are correct.”
      Predictions are only correct after the prediction occurs. Thus, predictions of future tropospheric warming are likely to be proven as correct would be more in keeping with the scientific perspective. But all this misses the bigger context with this incessant myopic focus on sensible tropospheric heat- the sensible heat is highly dependent on ocean to atmospheric heat flux, and for the oceans, there has been no “pause”.

      Thus, the better and more accurate perspective is that further warming of the climate system is likely to continue, as it has been doing, for the past 60+ years. Moreover, this warming is very likely to be the result of the Human Carbon Volcano.

  20. When I saw this in one of his slides:
    “Selective use of “facts” is done to reinforce one’s initial position” it came across as projection.

    I knew before reading that his argument would be one of arm waving and use of selective facts himself. It is so easy to shoot down his examples of extreme weather having been caused by AGW that many already have Why does he still have credibility? It is noted that his position is significantly different to that of IPCC. Does that make him one of the dreaded “d word” or is he outside the 97%?

    • Nothing infuriates the pro-AGW crowd as when a skeptic says he is part of the 97%.

  21. A very robust (mathematically and scientifically) rebuff to AGW skepticism just published:

    • Robert I Ellison

      This has of course already been dredged up. Multiple linear regression one presumes. Replication has it’s place in science – except where errors are replicated endlessly.

      Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

      Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

      It is hard to imagine bad science without warmist cognitive dissonance.

    • “This has of course already been dredged up.”
      When you are in over your head Robert, all you have left is regurgitated nonsense.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Don’t be an idjit – everyone from lean to webby has done multiple linear regression. Gee that’s hard. All of them missing the obvious discussed on the NASA page I linked to. NASA obviously isn’t credible unless they are regurgitating warmist spew.

    • Shaun Lovejoy adds another detailed analysis supporting consensus climate science. It is very tough to find any evidence that overturns an ECS of 3C and TCR of 2C.

    • Giving OLS to people used to laboratory data is like giving whiskey and carkeys to teenagers (apologies to PJ).

    • Of course, if one uses arbitrary sinusoidal waveforms to fit via OLS, one can fool yourself. But take complicated waveforms such as SOI and volcanic data and the puzzle pieces start locking together nicely. Linear combinations of complex waveforms will not easily compose unless there is an underlying physical justification.

      Physicists understand this pattern and take advantage of it to discover underlying attribution. Tough luck that the pseudos are mystified by all this.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The warming from 1944 to 1997 – let’s exclude 1998 – is 0.401 degrees C or 0.049 degrees C/decade. Perhaps it has escaped their attention but we are almost halfway to doubled CO2 – so the ‘sensitivity’ is some 0.1 degrees C – however nonsensical that is in a chaotic system.

      Gee it is difficult to imagine what comes next as the Sun cools from a 1000 years Grand Maxima – and we cross the threshold of Bond Event Zero.

      I quote NASA – amongst many others – and they still waffle on about a scientific consensus. It seems more like a Borg collective than an actual rational position.

    • Lovejoys uses the older model of Krivova .It needs to be updated to incorporate the recent solar minimum.Hence we have an increase in the amplitude to around 1.5 wm^2 for the reconstructions.

      the paper will require an adjustment

    • That’s what the superficios say.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘Sensitivity’ of 1 degree C – lost a decimal point.

    • Webby

      It is very tough to find any evidence that overturns an ECS of 3C and TCR of 2C


      And it’s just as hard “to find any evidence that supports an ECS of 3C and TCR of 2C”

      There just is no empirical evidence that supports any value for 2xCO2 ECS or TCR. Too many uncertainties.


    • A CAGW warmist “scientist” has used statistics to demonstrate a 99.9% likelihood that recent warming is not the result “natural variability.”

      Somebody needs to call the IPCC and have them retract the WGI portion of the AR5 for so vastly overstating uncertainty of attribution.

      “…a theory can effectively be disproven by a single decisive experiment.”

      Statistics is not an experiment. Statistics is even less of an experiment than computer models. These magic statistical analyses are getting old.

      Is S. Lovejoy a statistician in addition to a physicist? His listing on the McGill website does not indicate that. And I saw no acknowledgement in the paper of contribution by, or consultation with, a statistician. With the right assumptions you can prove anything.

      “it’s more certain than we thought” is the new “it’s worse than we thought.”

    • Naw.

      The new motto is:

      “It’s less uncertain than we thought…(maybe)”

    • “Shaun Lovejoy adds another detailed analysis supporting consensus climate science. It is very tough to find any evidence that overturns an ECS of 3C and TCR of 2C.”
      Yep, cold statistical analysis bites the hind quarters of fake skeptics pretty harshly.

    • From the NASA page Chief Hydro linked to:

      “Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation.”

      We all know this, it is the exact same thing that Trenberth is saying, and part of the dynamics behind the so-called “pause”. It might even be the biggest part, but certainly volcanic and solar forcing are factors as well.

    • Lovejoy has a strong argument. He evaluates the magnitudes and frequencies of natural variability from pre-industrial proxies, and also shows a high (0.9+) correlation of log CO2 with global temperature in a range of lags from 0-20 years. He shows that natural variability is unlikely to account for the global temperature rise curve, and the function is consistent with equilibrium sensitivities of 3 C per doubling if a 10-year lag is used. Unless natural variability can be made to be proportional to log CO2, it doesn’t have much chance of explaining the temperature rise’s shape. From the AGW viewpoint, the paper is a statement of the obvious, but helps to quantify the level of obviousness, and perhaps there are some data-centered skeptics who may be interested. Let’s see what McIntyre says, if anything.

    • “From the AGW viewpoint, the paper is a statement of the obvious, but helps to quantify the level of obviousness.”
      It indeed is, but more importantly (much like Mann’s recent paper) it really puts a death nail in notions that some natural cycles or quasi-periodic fluctuations like stadium waves could be at work in terms of late 20th Century warming– simply and mathematically put, it was anthropogenic forcing. Furthermore, rather than the AMO leading to warming over the period, it naturally would have lead to cooling were it not for the modulation by GH gas forcing. The claim that uncertainty is high or natural fluctuations are a big part of any recent warming stands on very very thin ground.

    • George Turner

      Is that the recent Lovejoy paper where he states (and requires) that the error in the Earth’s average temperature measurement is less than 0.03C since 1500 for his conclusion to be valid?

    • The PDO has been fluttering lately, and it has been going negative since ~1983, so it’s most likely destination in the near future is positive, and maybe for the next 20 or 30 years. haha.

    • George Turner, no, read the paper, not Monckton’s distortion. That 0.03 K is the level of disagreement between historical records, and is a measure of how much error you can attribute to them when coming up with analysis error margins based on them.

    • This should be music to any true skeptics ears:

      “whereas no theory can ever be proven to be true beyond a somewhat subjective “reasonable doubt” – a theory can effectively be disproven by a
      single decisive experiment. In the case of anthropogenic warming, our confidence is based on a complex synthesis of data analysis, numerical model outputs and expert judgements.”

    • “George Turner, no, read the paper, not Monckton’s distortion.”
      Someone is paying any attention to Monckton regarding climate? Oh my…

    • R. Gates, he goes on to contrast his approach with this, saying.
      “In comparison, our approach makes no use of numerical models nor experts, instead it attempts to directly evaluate the probability that the warming is simply a giant century long natural fluctuation. While students of statistics know that the statistical rejection of a hypothesis cannot be used to conclude the truth of any specific alternative, nevertheless – in many cases including this one – the rejection of one greatly enhances the credibility of the other.”

    • Did you find a clear statement of the hypothesis they rejected at the 99% level? I did not, but I did not read it carefully.

      How does the assertion that natural variability is stochastic over the period of analysis effect the result? I think this is the primary point of contention. If the planet is in a secular long term warming trend that might even take us to the levels experienced earlier in this interglacial period or even in the prior interglacial, than the stochastic assertion fails.

    • George Turner

      Jim, the historical records don’t even agree with themselves to 0.03C, because in the past decade they’ve been repeatedly adjusted more than that. Heck, just in the past 15 years the 1930’s have cooled far, far more than 0.03C (Thermodynamics proves that all isolated systems cool over time, so of course the past will continue cooling).

    • George Turner, this is why you have to look at what the 0.03 K means in context in the paper. Search for 0.03 in the file.

    • RobertInAZ, the warming was 3-5 times the standard deviation of natural variability, as defined from that over the preindustrial few centuries from proxies. He tried fat-tailed distributions for natural variability too, that didn’t help much. You would have to assume that natural variability is starting to do something new that mimics the log CO2 rise, coincidentally when the CO2 rise started.

    • George Turner

      I went to check for that, Jim D, but the number of unsupported assumptions he was making distracted me, as did citing himself nine times. I need to understand his paper because it’s techniques could obviously prove beyond doubt that the planet’s recent glaciation cycles are so far outside the range of natural variations (vastly larger than the recent warming) that the odds that they’re not caused by nefarious reptiloid aliens must be a billion to one.

    • OK, let’s put it this way. What Lovejoy showed is that if natural variability is causing a secular warming it is doing a pretty good impression of a log CO2 behavior, in that
      – the secular behavior only started at the same time as the CO2 started rising
      – the acceleration with time also follows CO2
      – the correlation of warming with CO2 is 0.9+, so it did not disrupt the correlation, therefore
      – the secular behavior has a strong coincidental correlation with CO2.

      A secular behavior with such a correlation to log CO2 cannot be independent of it with much probability at all. This is the corner the skeptics would be painted into.

    • “A secular behavior with such a correlation to log CO2 cannot be independent of it with much probability at all.”
      Yes, something like 0.1% chance of it being the stadium wave or some other natural variability. 99.9% chance of it being the Human Carbon Volcano.

    • Matt Briggs is wrong. He didn’t set out to reject the null hypothesis. He rejected the hypothesis that a century-long natural fluctuation could lead to the warming. The amplitude of the warming is about four standard deviations of the natural variation, which, in a nutshell, is why it is so unlikely to be natural to any significant degree.

    • Jim D,

      “Tglobe is the measured mean global temperature anomaly, T anth is the
      deterministic anthropogenic contribution, T nat is the (stochastic) natural variability (including the responses to the natural forcings) and ε is the measurement error. The latter can be estimated from the differences between the various observed global series and their means. It is nearly independent of time scale [Lovejoy et al., 2013a] and sufficiently small (≈±0.03 K) that we ignore it.”

      There is no other way to read this than the claim that “the measurement error” is “±0.03 K” and that therefore “we [can] ignore it.”

      From proxies. Over 100 years. ±0.03 K.

    • Jim D,

      “Matt Briggs is wrong. He didn’t set out to reject the null hypothesis.”

      No, Matt Briggs set out to demonstrate that statistics is not science. Statistics are to climate scientists what grand jury are to prosecutors in the US.

      It is a well known aphorism that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

      Well, it appears “climate scientists” can get pretty much any data set to indict mankind for CAGW.

    • The Lovejoy paper is contrived propaganda, a la hockeystick, 97% BS consensus, etc. It will become another icon of the CAGW dogma. The faithful will contort themselves into comically obscene poses to defend it. Watch jimmy, gatesy, et al go!

    • Curious George

      Does anybody know how well models predict simple situations – let’s say daily variations of surface temperature in Sahara?

    • re lovejoy, long ago I suggested here that it would be better to use total fossil fuel co2 emissions (call this aco2) as an instrumental variable for total atmospheric co2 (call this tco2), since global temperature (T) is both caused by aco2 and causes aco2. I also suggested that analyzing the data in first differences might be a plausible and, for some reasons, better thing to do.

      This was thought risible by the usual suspect.

    • Ooops, that should have been “global temperature (T) is both caused by tco2 and causes tco2.” (Wish we could edit posts.)

    • George Turner

      So have atmospheric CO2 levels been flat for the past 17 years (or did they perhaps go up by some statistically insignificant amount) to maintain the relation between log2(CO2t/CO2pre) and temperature? I’m sure that’s addressed somewhere in his paper.

    • Doug Badgero

      From the Briggs post, it should be carved in stone.

      “The global temperature (as measured operationally) has certainly changed since the 1800s. Something, or some things, caused it to change. It is impossible—as in impossible—that the cause was “natural random variation”, “chance” or anything like that. Chance and randomness are not causes; they are not real, not physical entities, and therefore cannot be causes.”

      There is only the climate response in the presence of anthro impacts and without those impacts. I find it curious that anyone thinks we can understand one without understanding both.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Increase regional temps and the variance doesn’t change because both minimum and maximums change webfake.

  22. Stephen Segrest

    Dr. Curry makes a statement, presented as a FACT: Modeled pauses longer than 15 years are rare; the probability of a modeled pause exceeding 20 years is vanishing small.”

    Two requests: (1) For us laymen, can Judith explain the term “modeled” versus “historical data” (and is her statement still appropriate using the term historical data?); (2) Can someone like Steve M. comment on Judith’s Fact statement on the Pause. Thank you.

    • Stephen Segrest

      (1) For us laymen, can Judith explain the term “modeled” versus “historical data” (and is her statement still appropriate using the term historical data?

      Dr. Curry may answer your question directly but I believe that the answer is:

      “Modeled data” are simply the outputs of climate models; these reflect the model input assumptions directly, whether these are based simply on theoretical deliberations based on “first principles” or contain one or two subjective interpretations of paleo proxy data from carefully selected periods in our planet’s distant past, using an “argument from ignorance” (“we can only explain X if we assume Y…”), or even contain some input data from actual physical observations.

      “Historical data” are actual physical observations from the past.


    • Stephen Segrest

      Max — thank you but this data issue is still confusing. For the general public, the “Pause” has been made HUGE, where we are asked choose between people like Muller or Judith on whom to believe. In her Denver presentation, Judith used the term “modeled” (not historical data which Muller uses) and this piqued my interest. I’m just trying to understand what Dr. Curry is telling us as to the significance of the “Pause”. Muller tells us that using historical data, the “Pause” is statistically irrelevant (noise). But Judith doesn’t get into a “historical data discussion” to refute Muller types. She uses a “modeled” data set. But climate models have a hard time (A) predicting the future; and (B) explaining the past. In making her “Pause” argument, why is Dr. Curry using “modeled data” (15 year and 20 year simulation) rather than “historical data” (like Muller does)? Thank you.

      • The significance of the pause is the disagreement with climate model projections. Under conditions of AGW, a pause of 15 yrs is not expected, and the probability of a 20 yr pause is vanishing small. This raises questions about using climate models to infer attribution of the warming from 1975-2000, and climate model projections of future warming.

    • I don’t think that anyone would claim that the climate models can describe correctly the natural variability. Some arguments have certainly been presented that the amount of internal variability would be roughly right, but even in that case the nature of the variability is not caught.

      Some estimates of the strength of the real natural variability and on the autocorrelations and quasiperiodic properties of the variability may be inferred from the empirical data, but such estimates are very imprecise.

      In view of the above it’s not really possible to draw well specified conclusions the pause. As we knew already that the variability is not reproduced well, even 20 years is perhaps not so unlikely. Accepting that the models cannot reproduce details of variability correctly has naturally also other implications. Some apparent successes lose evidential power as well.

      Having a period of temperatures that are lower than expected is always evidence to the direction that models run too hot. A short discrepancy is very weak evidence that has little power in comparison with other evidence. The longer the deviation grows the more significant the related evidence gets, but giving particular importance for 15 years or 20 years does not appear well justified. Rather every additional year adds a little new evidence.

      One problem for drawing conclusions on the power of evidence is that rules of statistical testing disqualify all tests that are formulated to test something that’s already observed. That kind of tests are always biased, and therefore difficult (or impossible) to interpret.

      Hopefully the additional data will help also in improving the capabilities of the models in describing internal variability. Real tests of the models concern the total set of predictions the model makes. Those predictions include both the cumulative warming over lengthy periods and statistical properties of variability, as well as many predictions that concern other quantities than GMST. Fingerprint test are part of that.

    • Pekka

      The models were the basis for the conclusions that the rapid warming would cause disastrous changes to “other conditions” important to humans and that these changes justified the CO2 mitigation actions. Well if the models poorly represent how and when conditions will actually change, what is the basis for concluding that these “other conditions” will change in negative ways over timescales that imply that CO2 mitigation actions make sense?

    • “Under conditions of AGW, a pause of 15 yrs is not expected, and the probability of a 20 yr pause is vanishing small.”
      First, instead of “under conditions of AGW”, it is more accurate to say under certain GCM scenarios, taking into account the forcing from AGW.”. One would have to believe those GCM’s are modelling the fluctuations in latent and sensible heat from ocean to atmosphere correctly– an assumption which is obviously false.

      The actual base physical effect form the forcing from GHG’s is about energy accumulation in the full climate system, not specifically about sensible heat in the troposphere. But since the “pause” was only a measurement of sensible heat in the troposphere, it’s value in establishing climate sensitivity, or actually, saying anything meaningful at all about the net forcing from anthropogenic GH gases is very minimal. Looking at the widest measurements we have of total energy gain/loss in the climate system (a direct measurement that has gotten significantly better over the past 10 years) we see that there was no pause in this net energy accumulation, only a fluctuation in the net flow of sensible and latent heat from ocean to atmosphere. The very best multi-proxy measurements we have over longer periods indicate the system has been gaining energy for 40 to 60 years or longer– without pause. If one must use the very narrow proxy of sensible tropospheric heat to gauge the energy accumulation in the climate system, then a decadal average is the only reasonable way to do so– and of course, in doing that, again, there is no pause.

    • Gates- All you are writing is an attempt to rationalize why the models performed so poorly in matching observed conditions. Maybe your guess at why is correct or maybe not. What is undeniable is that the models currently perform poorly in representing the actual system and conclusions based upon those models are highly suspect.

    • “Some estimates of the strength of the real natural variability and on the autocorrelations and quasiperiodic properties of the variability may be inferred from the empirical data, but such estimates are very imprecise.”
      The elephant in the room for discussions of natural variability, especially when one wants to invoke notions of AMO, PDO, or stadium wave effects, is the role of increasing GH gases in modulating those supposed purely “natural” cycles. Like him or hate him, Mann recently made a very strong case for the modulation of the AMO by increasing GH gases, such that, sans the increases we’ve seen over the past 50 years, the AMO would actually be cooling, rather than in a warming mode. Accurate or not, the point is that the assumption that there is some “natural” (untouched by any effects from anthropogenic forcing) cycles seems a weakly based assumption. The only exception to this would presumably be solar variations.

    • “Gates- All you are writing is an attempt to rationalize why the models performed so poorly in matching observed conditions. Maybe your guess at why is correct or maybe not. What is undeniable is that the models currently perform poorly in representing the actual system and conclusions based upon those models are highly suspect.”
      First, I take it as given that the models are wrong. They are simply not capturing the variability of sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere very well, and considering that over 50% of the energy in the troposphere at any given time comes directly from this flux, that is a big dynamic to not capture accurately. But what the models have captured well is the overall gain of energy in the climate system as GH gases continue to accumulate. Thus, the models biggest failures are how this energy is being distributed in the system– not in the net energy accumulation in the climate system that will occur as the Human Carbon Volcano continues to erupt.

    • Rgates

      Your 1.39

      When we have our dinner, you can regale me with how you corrected Dr Curry today. Certainly a tale to dine out on.

      Did you ever see my reply to you on the other thread last week when I corrected YOU on the warming event of the1730’s?


    • Tony,

      Please provide a link to your correction of my other post regarding 1730’s. when you have time. Also, if you come out here, I’m just down the road from Boulder, so we can visit NCAR and maybe even stop in a say hi to Kevin T., eh?

    • R Gates,
      It’s impossible to exclude the possibility that AGW has already affected significantly some internal processes, but I’m more inclined to accept the thinking Isaac Held presents in his latest blog.

      Even without the most recent history we have similar signals of variability from the past. Thus the point is not essential in my view.

      If additional CO2 is behind all this, we are led to ask, is the effect a change in variability or a more persistent negative feedback. I don’t really think so, but I mention this possibility just as a warning against taking recent unconfirmed proposals too seriously.

    • “It’s impossible to exclude the possibility that AGW has already affected significantly some internal processes, but I’m more inclined to accept the thinking Isaac Held presents in his latest blog.”
      Of course you can’t exclude the possibility that AGW is affecting natural variability and “internal processes”. More likely it is is, than isn’t. It would be quite entertaining to have Mann and Held debate this– especially in light of Mann’s recent findings related to the effect of AGW on the AMO.

    • We measure heat transport. Mann doesn’t have much time on this one. He should have stuck with proedictions 100 years out.

    • RGates

      Your 2.15. Wasnt it Kevin you weere trying to arrange a meeting with a couple of years ago over at WUWT?

      Here you are regarding the 1730 material;;

      ——- ——–

      R. Gates | April 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm |

      I think you’re over-selling the 1730′s warming compared to the late 20th century a bit too much Tony. The period might have represented true LIA recovery, but hardly compares to the late 20th century:

      Tonyb | April 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm |


      Please see figure 4

      You can not compare a 50 year centred novel proxie with an annual instrumental record, the latter shows the variability and peaks and troughs that the paleo proxies miss


      Tonyb | April 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm |


      Here is my comment quoting Phil jones that the 1730′s was the warmest decade until the 1990′s and that natural variability might be underestimated.

      It’s ok, apology accepted

      ——– ——–


    • Stephen Segrest

      I fail to see why you are confused about the difference between “historical” and “modeled” data.

      As far as the “pause” is concerned, it is “historical” data.

      When it actually started, whether or not it is already “statistically significant” today, or when it would become “statistically significant” if it continued is a statistician’s guessing game. Muller may have one guess, while someone else might have another. But all guesses are simply guesses, because there is no empirically based definition of “statistical significance”.

      Santer once opined that this would take 17 years of no warming despite unabated human GHG emissions.

      By his (somewhat arbitrary) definition, I’d say we are not quite there yet, but getting close.


    • Stephen Segrest

      Further to my comment above, I believe Dr. Curry has answered your question in her earlier comment.


    • Tony,

      Yep,Dr. Trenberth was ready to do a personal presentation on climate issues and climate modelling to the entire WUWT family including a Q & A session. I was all set to even pick up Anthony from the airport here and drive him to Boulder. It took quite a bit of work on my part to set it up, but it was even going to be recorded for playback on the internet. Then Anthony cancelled. Pity.

      Anyway, regarding the 1730’s warming from the low point of the LIA. Is your contention that the period was a warm as the current period or that the rate of warming was (at least on the CET record) as fast as the late 20th century? I know there are some conspiracy blogs that like to point to this period:

    • Rgates

      Why do you equate this period with conspiracy blogs.? I am by no stretch of the imagination a conspiracy theorist but someone who believes in cross referenced historic records and that the climate didn’t start in 1880

      The warming was faster than the modern one and as prof Phil jones observes the 1730’s decade was the warmest until the 1990’s. He wrote an interesting article on this that I got from the. Met office.

      as well as ships logs there are other records. It is a well documented period. As warm as the present period? I don’t know. It certainly started from a much colder low spot so was remarkable.

      Yes, shame about that meeting. I thought it seemed a genuine effort to bridge the gulf between what have become two entrenched sides each with their fingers stuck in their ears?

    • “Why do you equate this period with conspiracy blogs?”
      I don’t equate the 1730 warming period with anything in specific. When I did a quite google search of “1730’s warming” the Prison Planet site was the first site I found.

      It would be an interesting period for me to look into I am sure. What was the IPWP doing? How about the sun? Volcanic aerosols? ENSO? etc.

      In no way and in no manner at all would I ever want to imply that your hard historic climate research work is related to conspiracy sites. You are making a valuable contribution, and I look forward to your analysis someday of the period around 1453-1458.

    • Pekka, I mostly agree with your assertions about models not getting internal variability right. The question then is if the trajectory is quite wrong through the space, why do we assume that the long term statistics will be right. I think its a question that is by no means settled and in fact, I’ve seen no convincing evidence on this question. What I have heard is “every time I run the model, I get a reasonable climate.” That’s not evidence in my book. It may be the best we can do at present, but its quite unsatisfying.

    • David,
      If the boundary conditions determine the average behavior, it’s perfectly possible get that correctly enough while variability around that is worse off.

      Naturally that’s an assumption, whose validity has to be tested using comparisons with all kind of empirical data that can be compared. The comparisons are not straightforward enough to be fully objective, but obviously many climate modelers do think that the evidence is strong enough to make also projections to the future meaningful. I’m sure that the level of trust varies greatly even among active modelers.

    • From what I have read climate models make no attempt to get natural variability right. It’s nearly impossible. The only real attempts are people like Keenlyside and Smith et al. Those are not climate models. They’re decal forecast models, and they’re among the very first attempts at doing what is described as being nearly impossible.

      So I don’t think people claiming climate models don’t do well at fitting the unpredictable pathway of natural variation is much of a criticism.

    • JCH,
      A good climate model should get the statistical properties of the variability right. Those include the typical amplitude, various spatial and temporal correlations, including possible quasiperiodic behaviors.

      In absence of that the model does not tell anything about the likelihood of a pause of 15 years or any other duration.

    • JCH

      That’s probably correct (that models make no real attempt to get natural variability right).

      Problem lies when “natural variability” occurs in longer time cycles (muti-decadal or even centennial) – as we all know it does.

      It then screws up attempts to attribute actual past change to anthropogenic forcing – which it has (as is being borne out by the current pause).


    • If global models can’t do big El Ninos like 1998, they probably can’t get pauses like the current one. These things have been closely connected, and sight should not be lost of that.

    • “Problem lies when “natural variability” occurs in longer time cycles (muti-decadal or even centennial) – as we all know it does.”
      Trying to create complicated “long-term” cycles built up out of all sorts of epiphenomenon is also a potential problem, as is thinking that “natural” variability can’t be influenced by anthropogenic forcing. The simplest explanation is that anthropogenic forcing is now the major influence in the climate system.

    • Pekka said “A good climate model should get the statistical properties of the variability right. Those include the typical amplitude, various spatial and temporal correlations, including possible quasiperiodic behaviors. In absence of that the model does not tell anything about the likelihood of a pause of 15 years or any other duration.”

      +1 to all of that. I’d add that you could think about bootstrapping the expected future variability off of differences between model runs and actual observations. That would be a part physics, part computational statistics thing.

      And my impression is that some of the modelers do that. Would that be right Pekka?

    • “Jim D | April 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
      If global models can’t do big El Ninos like 1998, they probably can’t get pauses like the current one. These things have been closely connected, and sight should not be lost of that.”
      It all comes back to the rate ocean to atmosphere latent and sensible heat flux. It is always strongly from ocean to atmosphere, but sometimes it slows a bit or surges (i.e. ENSO) and this causes the sensible heat it the troposphere to flatten or spike.

    • Pekka – they have to get the longterm average of NV right: zero. Along the way it might be skewed positive or negative. Not much yet to get excited about. A period where the record high is tied and pierced multiple times? Not exciting.

      Give me cooling. Real cooling. Then I’ll get excited. Because something would be wrong with the theory if there were to be real cooling. Right now, I can’t see that anything is wrong with the theory.

    • I do not understand all the focus on the 1998 El Nino. Its effect largely vanished: both atmosphere and ocean.

      It’s the back-to-back El Nino events in 2002 and 2004 that jacked the SAT, and the prolonged La Nina starting in 1998 and ending in 2001 that jacked OHC.

    • JCH, the 1998 El Nino anchors the pause. Without it, there would have been none to speak of.

    • Eeyore Rifkin

      RE Santer’s claim. Since he wrote it up, there’s not much wiggle room for him now that 17 years of RSS data–a data source he accepted–show no trend in warming. By his own reasoning, the models he was defending are rubbish.

    • “It’s the back-to-back El Nino events in 2002 and 2004 that jacked the SAT, and the prolonged La Nina starting in 1998 and ending in 2001 that jacked OHC.”
      These fluctuations in the rate of flow in sensible and latent heat from ocean to atmosphere don’t change the long-term constant and steady accumulation of energy in the system. They are mainly internal fluctuations in the flow of energy between parts of the system, contrasted against true external and steady forcing on the whole system from continually riding GH gases.

      But I do like your use of the term “jacked”.

    • “… the 1998 El Nino anchors the pause. Without it, there would have been none to speak of.”

      Take out the El Nino’s of the last 50 years, and CAGW goes poof! Without the spurious increase in “global average temperature” that results from intra-climate transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere in El Ninos, all the scary graphs used by CAGWers to show “unprecedented” warming would not exist,

    • GaryM, you want to take out El Ninos and leave La Ninas? Hmmm, that would surely cool. Better to take both out with ten-year moving averages, and you see that the rise occurs more steadily. These are just noise on a background rise.

    • Pekka, I agree that modelers do seem to believe that the “doctrine of the attractor,” broadly speaking that eventually you get sucked into the attractor.

      1. But there is very convincing evidence for example for the Lorentz system that this is only true in some cases because of bifurcations. There is an excellent long video on this showing numerical simulations by a professor at the University of Vermont. The web site is called one happy bird.

      2. There is also a lot of evidence in turbulent fluid dynamics where there is a lot more high quality data that the common methods used to “average out” the sub scale variations are fundamentally flawed and do not perform reliably across a broad range of conditions. This is actually a consensus position that pretty much everyone will acknowledge.

      3. I also believe there is some evidence that these objections to climate modeling were raised by some of the reviewers of Hanson’s early proposals. There is a passing reference to it on Real Climate.

      I am not sure if the models run too hot or not. The only evidence I’ve seen is from Hawkins that shows that we are getting to a point where that hypothesis cannot be confidently rejected.

      My main point is simply that running models is not the way to make progress in this area. I am a big believer in simple models that can be well constrained by data. These simple models seem to show that the GCM’s have ECS’s that are too high. But what we need is more work like what I pointed to earlier with simple nonlinear systems where you can actually do the calculations to settle some of these questions.

    • R-Gates – I agree on the accumulating energy.

      But the atmospheric heat of the 1998 EL Nino vamoosed off to space in a humongous hurry, taking a big chunk of ocean heat with it. That elevator ran out of shaft.

      The earth walked across the hall and got on the elevator to the 2000 floors.

    • JCH said:

      “But the atmospheric heat of the 1998 EL Nino vamoosed off to space in a humongous hurry, taking a big chunk of ocean heat with it. That elevator ran out of shaft.”

      A colorful way of looking at it, as indeed, evidenced by these charts that show where a very big piece of that El Nino energy actually came from:

      But only a portion that energy lost from the IPWP during the 1997-98 monster El Nino was lost to space. (Remember it just passes through the troposphere where we get a chance to measure a portion of it as sensible heat). Much of it went to other parts of the climate system, from melting ice to something as obscure as the kinetic energy of raindrops falling over the Andes. More importantly, also as evidenced in charts at the link above, is that energy rapidly begin to build back in the IPWP, as it continued on its 60+ year long-term rise. Also, as seems likely, the sheer magnitude of that pulse or flux of energy passing from ocean to atmosphere altered global winds (also of course, another form of that same energy), leading to a cool phase of the PDO to ensue, and hence, the the beginning of the so-called “pause” in “global warming”- which was really no pause at all.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Nothing but a really, really odd narrative for gates.

    • I guess when the science and data run against your rather odd notions Robert, you resort to pulling out one of your equally odd and unrelated charts from your archives. You might want to pull yourself away from studying the dogs wagging tail or worse, flees on that tail, and take a look at the ocean dog itself. As a Chief Hydrologist from down under it’s actually quite interesting you’ve not been talking about the long-term energy gains of the IPWP. What’s up wit dat Robert?

    • Robert I Ellison

      The data on IR is shown – all nicely labelled.

      As for the IPWP – I think it is another crazy, overblown narrative loosely linked to decadal changes in extent due to ENSO variability and based on something you read and poorly comprehended once.

      Reality is as usual far different to wildly speculative narratives.


    • RG said:

      I guess when the science and data run against your rather odd notions Robert, you resort to pulling out one of your equally odd and unrelated charts from your archives. You might want to pull yourself away from studying the dogs wagging tail or worse, flees on that tail, and take a look at the ocean dog itself. As a Chief Hydrologist from down under it’s actually quite interesting you’ve not been talking about the long-term energy gains of the IPWP. What’s up wit dat Robert?

      Well said.

      And copy&pasted in honor of the Chief Aussie.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Funny – I didn’t read it the first time.

      I wondering to respond another mad webnutcolonoscope comment. ‘The variance increases with mean – write that down you lardboy bunch of neanderthal deniers.’

      Let’s deconstruct it. An unsupported assertion followed by gratuitous bloviation.

      ‘The question of whether variance per se has been changing (or is projected to change) has received much less attention than whether extremes are becoming more common. This is partly because changes in variance are harder to measure than shifts in means or increases in extreme events. But an interesting analysis by Donat and Alexander in GRL sheds some light directly on the variance question. They looked at the distribution of daily temperature anomalies for two 30-year time periods: 1951-1980 and 1981-2010. The figure below from their paper maps the change between the two time periods for three parameters of the distribution (mean, variance, and skewness), both for minimum (left) and maximum (right) temperature.’

      Let me cut and paste yet again from – if not science – then a discussion of actual, relevant science.

      So if want some actual data – or any depth of refection – conduct in good faith or just less ‘trash talk’ – I would suggest not bothering with either webby or gates. On the other hand – if looking for mad narratives and blowhard bloviation – go for it.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Sorry… that’s ‘… freak, neanderthal deniers.’

    • The mean increases, the variance increases.

    • Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution: the mean increases, the variance increases
      Fermi-Dirac distribution: the mean increases, the variance increases
      Bose-Einstein distribution: the mean increases, the variance increases

      The normal distribution as counting statistics : as the mean increases as N, then the variance increases by N, and the standard deviation by sqrt(N).

    • Robert I Ellison

      Increase regional temps and the variance doesn’t change because both minimum and maximums change webfake.

    • BoBo the clown denies statistical mechanics.

    • Robert I Ellison

      web has zilch credibility – he runs off at the mouth making ridiculous claims and then playing the denier card – in this case statistical mechanics in a new height of absurdity – to distract from scrutiny. Always accompanied by crude witlessicisms.

      With temperature there are a number of outcomes a priori possible with an increased mean.


      With temperature data – the results were linked to above.

  23. George Narcavage

    I wamt to thank Judith Curry for coming into the political lions den of Boulder, CO. I have lived in Boulder 35 years and have an engineering and business background. The WAC she attended over the years has had very few people willing to come and challenge with data the “beliefs” of the people like Trenberth who typically present at WAC.
    The session she was in today was listed as being a presentation by her on “Climate Change: It’s About the Data, Not the Politics” and Trenberth involvement was listed as a “discussant.” I think, maybe because Curry was viewed as a threat with her objective data presentation, the powers at be converted it into a meeting where they did not allow her to even finish her presentation. Trenberth was not a “Discussant” instead he deliver an alternative political presentation “sermon”. He epitomizes the “political advocating scientist.” There was no “discussion” by Trenberth of the data and thoughts presented by Curry. I felt like I was watching a sermon delivered by Trenberth similar to what the leaders of the Catholic Church during the time of Galileo would have delivered.
    George Narcavage

    • Jakehearts the accountant

      My impression was after both presentations were made that the audience was mostly split and very respectful of both presentations. When Kevin T made some rousing comments meant to stir up the audience only a few people were clapping in approval. This was a week long conference. Judy was a panelist on three other discussions – I attended one of them. The audience was much livelier then. She was the only climate scientist on the panel. The other three were a landscape architect, an anthropologist and a political operative. The political operative was much more impressive communicating her thoughts on climate change then KT. I think she and Judy feed off each other very well. I’d like to see them both back next year in Boulder.

  24. Stephen Segrest

    FYI — Dr. Curry is referred to a lot in a new article by Kerry Emanuel of MIT:

    • Stephen Segrest

      The article by Kerry Emanuel, which you cite, is rather silly.

      In discussing “tail risk”, it uses the example of the 8-year old girl crossing the road.

      Any sane adult would take the action of helping her do so, not “giving her advice about her tail risk”.

      The whole discussion of “tail risk” in climate science is foolish.

      Life is a series of “tail risks”.

      You just have to be astute enough to avoid (or plan for) the real ones and ignore the imaginary ones.


  25. Steve Mosher wrote “The theory that predicts warming is based on physics used in everyday engineering.”

    My response is in this comment above.

  26. jonathan sawyer

    I was the person who asked Trenberth the denier question. I prefaced it by saying that my views are pretty much the same as Dr Curry but in Boulder I am called a denier. I asked Trenberth if he thought Dr Curry was a denier and if so should she be censored. He hemmed and hawed at length until I interrupted him and repeated the questions. At that point he said to ask her. Trenberth’s presentation was far more political than his slides. He even mentioned that denialists also reject Obamacare.

    • Jakehearts the accountant

      I was extremely impressed the way you wouldn’t let Trenberth wiggle out and not give an answer, even after the moderator tried to move on.

    • “He even mentioned that denialists also reject Obamacare.”

      Don’t you love it? Up thread Web made his usual observations about skeptics and let me make mine about warmists. They are all joined at the hip. They can’t help themselves and given enough time they are exposed for what any reasonable person knows what they are. Look at the nature of Trenberth’s presentation, short on data and long on appealing to the emotions with the pictures of recent local weather events, all presented to shock. Do those events prove anything about the relationship between CO2 and climate? Of course not, but who cares. It is truly all about politics and Trenberth did his best to carry on that tradition.

    • So Denialists reject Obamacare? I guess that makes a majority of Americans denialists. By almost 3-1.

  27. I don’t suppose there’s a video of the two presentations, is there?

  28. It sort of depends on what agree means amongst the 97%, that man is irresponsible, that there are some signs that might be indicative of something happening. Or that man done it guv? As a statistician I refer back to the null.

  29. jonathan sawyer

    The one critical thing I should say about Dr Curry’s presentation was her use of “so called” in one slide. I was confronted by several people who are Trenberthians who focused on her use of that term and ignored everything else she said. It made it easy for them to dismiss her as a denialist. Judith what were you thinking?!

    • Maybe I was one or more of those several people. “other so called GHGs” seems to imply that Dr Curry does not think other gases are involved. In fact the military figured out a long time ago that heat seeking missiles need to look through windows in the absorbsion spectra of atmospheric gases. I trust that Dr Curry does understand the GHE but puts these sound bite words in her presentation for the benefit of Fox News.

    • George Turner

      I think the term “so called greenhouse gases” should be the actual scientific term for now because greenhouses don’t rely on IR, they rely on reducing convective heat transfer. You can easily buy greenhouses with IR transparent glass or make your greenhouse out of Plexiglass or Lexan, which are both so IR transparent that they’re often colored black and put in front of your IR-remote’s receiver and transmitter to make your entertainment gadgets prettier. So the “real” greenhouse effect lies in reducing convection, not radiation, and we’re using a word that comes from a complete misunderstanding the physics of a phenomenon.

      That’s okay, and astronomy is full of grandfathered orbital terms that come from the discredited concept of epicycles and celestial spheres stacked around the Earth, but astronomers don’t worry that someone in the audience will pipe up with “but the solar system must be geocentric or you wouldn’t still use terms like mean-anomaly and retrograde motion!” because nobody in their audience still thinks the Earth is the center of the solar system. But scads of people, even many the greenhouse industry selling IR transparent greenhouses, still think a greenhouse works via radiation, so it must gnaw at any scientist who strives for accuracy to use a term that is both incorrect and perpetuating a fundamental misunderstanding of the physics. Thus the term “so-called greenhouse” is used, to show that the speaker knows how a greenhouse actually works, which has nothing to do with the radiation physics being discussed.

      Long ago we should have renamed it the Fourier, Tyndall, or Arrhenius effect.

    • I was also struck by that phrase. Certainly nobody here would think that Dr. Curry disputes the radiative properties of gases, nor should anyone at Boulder have.
      Upon thinking it over, my best guess is that Judith was trying to express that “greenhouse gases” is a term of art, and should not be taken as literally those gases found within a greenhouse. The term is in such wide use in forums such as these that nobody here would doubt its meaning, but with a wider, less technical audience it might be helpful to make this explicit.

  30. Can we avoid Trenberthians, I prefer travestyians.

  31. Since the subject was data, Trenberth was more on topic. He talked about what has happened in climate and some recent weather events that he would attribute, not about models or projections. Judith’s focus on models and projections in a data talk seem offtrack. It is about data.

    • Jim D I agree not only with you on this thread but that the whole climate change debate is about data and its interpretation. IMO multiproxy data is insufficiently reliable for statistical inference about climate trends to the next millenium. By then, we will have sufficient modern satellite data to be able to hind cast back to our time period and to draw valid conclusions about future climate scenarios.

    • Trenberth’s slides make the simple connections for a general audience. The emission rise causes an accelerating CO2 rise, and the 120-years CO2 rise causes a, by now, significant temperature rise. Record temperatures now are causing major impacts in the US (wildfires, storms, floods, droughts). Very linear in its organization: good for an overview talk.

    • I should add that Trenberth’s slides ended with the psychology and politics that are a major diversion on these blog sites, so he mentioned that too, and finally his perspectives on the needed future action.

    • So fires are caused by AGW are they Jimmy. Look at the historical record. Look at the advice the professional loggers give. Look at the forest service information. Look how the fire acreages are decreasing and less than 10% of 50 years ago.
      But then what do they know compared to a climate scientist?

    • ChrisM, I don’t know if Trenberth said that. The slides didn’t. He was just talking about data here. These are data points for his audience to piece together themselves. They were local events that many of the audience could connect to.

    • Jimmy, are you in a parallel universe? What is the point of Trenberth’s Slides 12 & 14 if not to link AGW to more forest fires. Why did you say ” Record temperatures now are causing major impacts in the US (wildfires,…”.
      My point was that the data does not show there are more fires. In fact it shows the opposite. Even with the relatively new philosophy of letting the fires burn if people or significant property aren’t at risk.
      By giving examples that people can link to and which the data doesn’t support, do you mean that he is playing politics and disregarding the data? He has form for that.

    • Jim D


      Look at the slides again.


    • Jim D, you really should not explain Trenberth’s slides when they are posted here to read for ourselves. You would do well in the future to follow Churchill’s dictum: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
      You left no doubt here.

    • I don’t know if Trenberth said that.

      Perhaps he left that to people like you to do.

    • Looking at the slides, he does not list wildfires as an effect. He mentioned them because the local audience is all too familiar with recent wildfires and would already have a sense that they have increased in Colorado. He’s playing with home field advantage here.

    • I rest my case.

    • Trenberth is well known for attribution statements. If the press wants an attribution statement for a severe weather event anywhere, he is a person they first think of going to. He had some very prominent press statements on Katrina and the Australian floods some years back, and I expect he said something about Haiyan. Sometimes he goes further than the “consensus” would in these statements. His argument is usually that there is an underlying warming, or sea-level rise, beneath all events, so it has a effect. I am not surprised by these wildfire slides, but if this was a scientific conference, he would have needed more supporting data to show them.

    • Jim D,

      “Record temperatures now are causing major impacts in the US (wildfires, storms, floods, droughts).”. Wonder what the IPCC has to say about this?

      I expect you interpret these extreme event slides were about something other than linkage to climate change?

      Probably a good idea to quit while your behind here…

    • Tom, even if Trenberth didn’t put this link in writing, I would be surprised if he did not make this link verbally. That is all I am saying. I am assuming he did. People who were there will know how he justified putting wildfire slides in. Just before that he was talking about record hot years and droughts. It’s an easy lead-in.

    • JimD, are you certain you aren’t the latest reincarnation of the unlamented Joshua or Michael? They used to spend all their time deconstructing statements, arguing black was really white and the meaning of “the”. Us plain old unenlightened folks just take stuff as written.
      All the evidence, and what you even admit, is that Trenberth plays fast and loose with the facts. Basically, he is a loose cannon with a lot less credibility than the media or his acolytes bestow on him. He might be good for a money quote, but as a serious credible scientist, forget about it. He is in the Al Gore failed prophet class.

    • “Trenberth plays fast and loose with the facts. Basically, he is a loose cannon with a lot less credibility than the media or his acolytes bestow on him..”
      This is pure crap. Dr. Trenberth is one of the most recognized, ‘bestowed on” climate experts in the world. His publication record, list of scientific awards and achievements is lengthy and impressive. If educated people find what he has to say credible and worth listening to, then perhaps they know his lengthy list of honors:

    • RG
      That is an argument from authority. We have established that the wildfires aren’t increasing. He says they are. He says the weather is getting more extreme. Even IPCC says it isn’t. The missing heat is going into the deep ocean by some unknown method where it can’t be measured according to him. Need I go on?
      Getting awards doesn’t show skill, it just shows good PR. Look at the recipients of the Nobel peace prize over the past 50 years for example.

    • Wildfires are increasing especially in the west.
      and also see AR5 WG2 Chapter 26 on North America. It is established. Trenberth isn’t making this up.

    • Jim D re wild fires. Show us your chart of wild fires for the past 1000 years. Thanks in advance.

    • JimD.Is that the best you can do? A single paper by a geographer that is so full of weasel words like “could” or “might”, that it is consistent with everything. That is pathetic. If that was the proof for any real science test,
      it would be a complete fail.
      Look at the actual fire data, acres burned and number. Overlay that with the change in forest management policies, first to stop all fires, then to allow them to burn, then to starting them to remove the understory. It is a lot different story than the one you are spinning.
      And don’t quote WG2, go back to WG1 where at least there was a semblance of hard science. The TS had this:
      “While the AR4 concluded that it is more likely than not that anthropogenic influence has contributed to an increased risk of drought in the second half of the 20th century, an updated assessment of the observational evidence indicates that the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in hydrological droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported. Owing to the low confidence in observed large-scale trends in dryness combined with difficulties in distinguishing decadal-scale variability in drought from long-term climate change, there is now low confidence in the attribution of changes in drought over global land since the mid-20th century to human influence”.
      Or how about “• There is low confidence in an observed global-scale trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall), due to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and choice and geographical inconsistencies in
      the trends.”
      Sounds like the science isn’t backing your story

    • ChrisM, why not use WG2? It is about impacts, and wildfires are impacts, not climate. I chose the first article I found on increased western wildfires. It is easy to find many of these from Google searches, and people living in the region would be somewhat skeptical of your claim that nothing is changing. Some of this increase is from spreading bark beetle in the region that dries out large areas too by killing trees.

    • JimD, it isn’t my claim. It is the NIFC hard data. That isn’t the plural of anecdotes like the one Trenbarth used. I used WG1 because before you can get an impact, you have to have a change and IPCC says they have low confidence that a change is occurring.
      You aren’t now claiming that bark beetle infestations (which also are from lack of fire burning out the understory) are AGW, are you?

    • ChrisM, I didn’t even claim that wildfires were AGW, only that there is evidence of increasing frequencies in the west over recent decades. Maybe Trenberth did, but I don’t know. Some say that the lack of really cold winters allows bark beetle to spread north too. It’s all just evidence, not proof. You could also look at this one on the numbers of large fires.

    • You are going around in circles, Jim. Are you now claiming only Trenberth said fires are increasing – you are agnostic on the idea? Acreage is the important factor- not their number . All the forests were adapted to regular understory fires – if they don’t have them, the forests are unhealthy and prone to problems. Some of the single fires prewar were orders of magnitude bigger than the total acreage burnt nowadays.
      I thought bark beetles are a big problem up BC way and have been moving south with the unhealthy forests. If that is the case, what do the lack of cold winters (how does this marry with increased snowpack?) have to do with it?

    • There are two steps in the logic, which I find very compelling even in absence of direct empirical evidence:
      – Hot spells get hotter when the average summer temperature of the region goes up,
      – Hotter hot spells increase the risk of wildfires.

      It’s not wrong to remind of this logical connection as one expected consequence of warmer summers in regions prone to the risk of wildfires during hot spells.

    • Pekka, could it not be the case that higher average summer temperatures are measured as a result of the occurrence of heat-waves, rather than the other way around?
      After all, AGW is theoretically supposed to have much more effect on the coldest temperatures than on the warmer ones.

    • Rather then Jims inept analysis of Trenberths pictures (an absence of reference leads to incorrect assumptions) it is better approach to review what the literature ie experts in the field suggest ( and of which Trenberth is not one, in forest ecology)

      Stephens 2007 suggest that prehistoric wildfires are greater ( at least pre European ) then present.

      there is still an anthropogenic component unrelated to the present assumptions.

    • Besides which, forested areas in regions which experience hot, dry summers are at high risk of wildfires even when the summers aren’t exceptionally hot. It’s the dryness that counts, and that’s more because of lack of rain than air temperature.
      The wind also has a profound effect on the spread of wildfires, and wind does not feature strongly in the presence of the blocking highs associated with heat waves.
      As to the cause of wildfires, all it needs is something like a carelessly-tossed cigarette butt, or a bolt of lightning

    • And what a polymath Mr Trenberth is. It seems he knows even more than the State Foresters.
      The poor unenlightened foresters have the temerity to believe that the fire risk is from the overabundance of vegetation because previous fires were suppressed.

    • The mean goes up, the variance goes up. This is one of those statistical rules-of-thumb that is applied widely. It most certainly holds for climate as well.

      The LardBoys of the world appear comically clueless in trying to deny this statistical rule.

    • At any moment high latitude winters cover only a fraction of the surface. Thus their warming may exceed strongly the global average, while the warming of the rest of the globe is only a little less than the global average. It’s an observed fact that also the mid-latitude summers have warmed significantly.

      The number and severity of wildfires depends on many things. That it depends also on temperatures is obvious.

    • Only if the mean is increased by increasing the max. If the mean is increased by increasing the min you get less variance.
      But of course you already knew that, didn’t you!

    • My previous comment was for webphut, not Pekka

    • The LardBoys of the world don’t hold any scientific principles. They just like to argue.

      Look at how hot the sun is. Now look at how much the sunspots, a statistical variation, can change the local temperature. The amount is enormous and that is only because the sun is so hot to begin with. This is a statistical rule-of-thumb that physicists learn early through their studies of statistical mechanics, etc.

      The variance goes up with the mean. Repeat 10 times.

      Give me a case where that does not occur and a man-made feedback controller, e.g. laser, is not involved.

    • Pekka, it’s not obvious at all. Look up the ignition point of wood.
      It may be true that mid-latitude summers are becoming warmer, but the word is warmer, not hotter, and also probably more due to a change in the level or distribution of minimum temps rather than an increase in maximum temps.

    • phatboy,

      Think again. You might realize that the ignition temperature of wood is not part of the obvious argument.

    • Well, let’s just heat up the Earth by a few tens of thousands of degrees then, shall we?
      Stop comparing apples with oranges.

    • Pekka, once again my previous comment was not meant for you.
      Please explain how it’s obvious, because it doesn’t seem very obvious to me.

    • Webphut, you’re right. The variance is a lot more with the planet’s temperature being 288K than it would be if the temperature was 144K. /sarc off
      Or we can start talking about actual surface temperature variations rather than your mythical ones.

    • A very small change is a very small change, and in most cases not directly observable. In some cases we have good reason to believe that there are causal relationships, and also good reasons to expect some particular strength in that relationship. These cases include:

      – A small to modest addition in the average local summer temperature is likely to result to an roughly equal addition in the temperatures of hot spells. The coefficient may differ from one, but is not likely to differ much for small changes.

      – Higher temperatures of hot spells are likely to make local drought more severe in areas where droughts have always been linked to hot spells.

      There are many other similar relationships that are typically true, and can be assumed true as guides for decision-making until shown wrong in that particular case.

      We should not accept every proposal about potential links between warming and extreme weather. In many cases some mechanisms have an effect in one direction and other mechanisms of comparable power in the opposite direction. Then we should wait for further evidence before declaring conclusions. The connection between warming and certain classes of wild fires seems, however, fairly solid whether it’s unambiguously detectable from empirical statistics or not.

      The problem with statistically strong detection is that in many cases the variability is so large that a lot of extra damage has time to accumulate, before statistical significance is reached. When that happens it’s no consolidation that statisticians cannot confirm the reason of the damage. Therefore other arguments must be applied, when they are strong enough.

    • Pekka, at the risk of appearing flippant, you can also increase your height by putting a piece if paper in your shoes.
      Sure, a small increase in the baseline summer temperature will also tend to increase the maximum by a similarly small amount, but I question whether such small increases significantly affect the incidence of wild fires, when there are other factors which have hugely more profound effects – like drought and mismanagement of undergrowth.

    • Pekka, the link between drought and temperature is not at all clear-cut either.
      There is commonality in that both are also associated with clear skies and windless conditions, but which way does the arrow of causality point?

    • The LardBoy doesn’t understand that first-order physics is about applying interpolations to known ranges. This is what supports intuition on these matters.

      So to LardBoy, the rhetorical arguments are the only game left.

    • Webphut, it’s also about knowing where interpolations work, and where they don’t.

    • LardBoy, There are plenty of things you can argue, but statistical mechanics isn’t of them.

      See? I can play your game too. Ain’t this fun arguing with a waste of space such as yourself?

    • So we’re down to the level of ad-homs now.
      Can you go any lower? Surprise me.

    • “A small to modest addition in the average local summer temperature is likely to result to an roughly equal addition in the temperatures of hot spells. The coefficient may differ from one, but is not likely to differ much for small changes.” – PP

      What’s even more interesting is the effect on probabilities by a relatively modest change in the mean; move the mean higher by around 20% of a SD, and the chance of events above the 3 SD mark double.

    • Michael,

      There’s a reason for my unwillingness to discuss the probabilities. The reason is that all the values given are likely to be really badly exaggerated. They are derived either by assuming a Gaussian distribution, which is a really terrible assumption for extreme events, or they are based on the erroneous paper of Hansen et al. Both are so bad that’ it’s better to avoid them to keep with something that can be supported.

    • I was thinking temps’ mostly – is there any reason to think that the temp distribution isn’t roughly Gausssian?

    • Michael,

      Yes, there’s strong reasons to expect that the distribution of local temperatures has fat tails, meaning large deviations like more than 3 standard deviations are much more common than the Gaussian distribution would give. The serious failure of the Gaussian distribution in the far tails is really common. It’s better to assume that the tails are fat until strong arguments are given to prove that the issue being considered is one of the exceptions where Gaussian gives correct results.

      In most cases some specific mechanisms dominate in the tails. That makes the distribution of these specific mechanisms determine the tails, while the Gaussian distribution is based on the assumption that the variability results from the sum of very large number of small contributing factors.

      The situations where extreme temperatures occur are typical for the dominance of factors that lead to fat tails.

    • Pekka,

      I’m aware of some studies suggesting this, but is the evidence really that strong for assuming non-Gaussian distributions??

    • Michael,

      I believe that the number of outliers gives direct empirical proof of fat tails, while the data is probably insufficient for telling quantitatively what the distribution of tails is. One single 4 sigma event is enough to provide strong evidence against normal distribution.

      To give one example. The heat waves of 1930s were probably enough to prove the existence of fat tails. (I haven’t checked the actual facts, therefore “probably”.)

    • I had a look at the data that I can find most easily, historical data on past temperatures at some Finnish weather stations. It immediately clear that the tails are very fat in comparison with Gaussian.

      Gaussian distributions kill almost totally all outliers, but the data has very clearly the nature of a central peak and several outliers. No further analysis is needed to be sure about the conclusion. I’m sure almost every local temperature series shows clearly the same effect.

    • Michael,

      My original point was that using Gaussian is not justified without strong support for that, because the natural expectation for that kind of data is not Gaussian. Therefore the evidence must be presented by those who present a conclusion based on a Gaussian distribution, not by those who are not convinced. That should be clear always when conclusions are presented from statistical analysis.

      Monthly data is not optimal for this issue as a heat wave that covers most of a calender month is not typical. On the other hand the standard deviation is also reduced in averaging over a period as long as a month. Therefore it’s difficult to say with confidence, what the effect of using monthly averages is. Monthly data is, however, the only that I have readily available and even for that I had only two datasets fully ready, one for Helsinki and the other for CET. I picked from both datasets July averages for periods which excluded the recent decades that show clear warming (from CET I picked 120 years, from Helsinki 150, the values were not based on any particular argument except that I didn’t want to include very old data from CET). In both cases the warmest 6% months in the data had temperatures which were expected for 2% of months based on the assumption of normal distribution (this means that the cutoff was close to 2σ, but influenced slightly by my choice of bins). In both cases the warmest months of all occurred in the early part of the 20th century. In neither case the most recent decades of the datasets contributed much to the result.

      The observation is not statistically very strong as the total number of hot months observed was only 16, while the expected value was about 6. The effect was thus clear, but actually somewhat less than I expected.

    • More precisely the ratio of 3 was not less than I expected at that point, but where the data differed a little is in that none of the months was as clearly an outlier as I expected to find on same occasion.

    • Pekka,

      One article I recall seeing recently looked at this issue and came to the conclusion that around half of the temp series it looked at, had a non-Gaussian distribution.

      Their advice was rather sensible – look at the distribution when doing analyses.

      Tamino looked at the Russina heat-wave and came to a similiar conclusion – was a non-Gausssina distribution requiring extreme value analysis which made it a less unusual event statistically, but still extreme.

    • Michael,

      Looking at the data works only, when conclusions are limited to what data can tell. What it cannot tell is the fatness of far tails at a level, where even a typical fat tail would give very few events and a Gaussian tail would have a high likelihood of giving zero events. Absence of events there does not confirm the validity of the Gaussian, not even give significant support for it. It’s common that only most extreme types of fat tails can be excluded based on data.

  32. Where are these data? Are they actually relevant, or are they that something happens that might be indicative of something else – ie pure conjecture. I as a statistician need to see proper data, otherwise as always I accept the null. Please indicate where these definitive data are?

    • JCH

      I don’t need to “figure out what the old travesty was”.

      Trenberth told us (and he’s never wrong*).

      But, don’t worry, JCH, it got “drowned in the deep blue sea”.

      Trenberth told us (and he’s never wrong*).

      (* even when he’s wrong)


  33. Any leads on the travesty?

    • Eunice

      Any leads on the travesty?

      It drowned.

      In the deep blue sea, where no one will ever find it.



      PS The “Hockey Shtick” also died. But it was beaten to death rather than drowned.

    • The new travesty is Max can’t figure out what the old travesty was.

    • JCH

      (this got misplaced)

      I don’t need to “figure out what the old travesty was”.

      Trenberth told us (and he’s never wrong*).

      But, don’t worry, JCH, it got “drowned in the deep blue sea”.

      Trenberth told us (and he’s never wrong*).

      (* even when he’s wrong)


  34. Trenberth’s slides don’t do justice to his presentation – it was forcefully delivered, evangelical even. About 40% of it was about politics.

    To all the religious fervor and Leftist politics, add a pinch of government science and you have the makings of a benign despot.

  35. Can anyone tackle the fact that any human effects are confounded with time, with natural effects? How on earth are we to unravel the confounding?

    • Consider that the ‘human effect’ you’re thinking about is measured in parts per million compared to a single solar flare that has enough energy to fulfill our our power needs for a million years.

  36. PLEASE keep using the term “so-called” in referring to the 97%. It’s one of the most abused terms in alarmism, which is really saying something.

    This attempt to nitpick while Trenberth is trotting out everything from FOX News to Obamacare to somehow convince an audience that that man and his contribution of CO2 is destroying civilization despite the divergence of observation from models is microscopically small.

    If someone in the crowd ignores everything based on that term then his/her mind has already been subjected to the lather/rinse/repeat of the thought police.

  37. “The Conference for World Affairs?” Really? This reminds me of the joke exam question “Trace the development of human thought and compare it to any other kind of thought.”

    But seriously, Dr. Curry, what sort of conference was this? Were there a lot of reporters there? It’s hard to imagine why someone like Trenberth would give a presentation of the kind you describe at a real research conference. I’ll leave it by saying that Toyota and California Pizza Kitchens don’t sponsor the kinds of conferences I go to. “Everything conceivable” indeed!

    • I’m not sneering at your participation. In fact, given my brief skim over the CWA conference offerings of the past four years, having someone sensible raising the flag at such a confab is a good thing. I’m not sure I’d have the fortitude for it.

  38. Trenberth’s presentation is utterly disgusting, with the intellectual dishonesty squirting out from all sides. One scarcely knows where to begin. The 17 year gap in rising temperatures is nowhere portrayed in his “gotcha” chart of Temp/CO2. Guess its hockey sticks, hockey sticks, all the way down for him. The Sandy reference is contemptible exploitation of human tragedy, without an iota of evidence that warming had anything whatsoever to contribute. No mention of stable to declining Global ACE since 1970, or mention of the 1938 and 1944 East Coast Hurricanes that dwarfed Sandy in intensity.

    If you want to just stick to statistics, take a look at the NOAA adjustments to the raw temperature data. Adjustments to the raw data are reportedly needed to eliminate inhomogeneity, time of observation, missing data etc. (none for UHI, however). As of July 2012, the raw data record had been adjusted for 329 consecutive months. The adjustments in each of the 329 months has been toward higher temperature. Not even one single negative outlier. What are the odds?

    “The cumulative effect of all adjustments is approximately a one-half degree Fahrenheit warming in the annual time series over a 50-year period from the 1940’s until the last decade of the century.”

    In addition, temperature records compiled before 1940 have been systematically adjusted colder, intensifying the differential in the temperature time series.

    How is it even remotely possible to trust the longitudinal climate record when it is ‘maintained’ and subjected to regular adjustment by people like Trenberth who readily substitute a steaming pile of agitprop in place of anything resembling scientific debate, The irony of Trenberth’s two quotes is indescribable: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” “You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.” Trenberth can only measure temperature in one direction and cannot even distinguish anecdote from data. The presentation distinguishes Trenberth, now and forever, as someone who cannot be considered a responsible scientific authority.

    The Warmists are now cheerleading the next super El Nino, hoping that it will pull the AGW fat out of the fire. Except that basing one’s temperature predictions on an ocean cycle discredits the fundamental premise that a minute percentage of CO2 has transformed the entire atmosphere.

  39. Wow, Doc. You got gooooood at this.

    Mosher owes you a black hat.

    • Typically one uses the highest title, which as Dr. Curry has a full professorship, is Professor or Prof., and not Dr. or Doc.

    • Just call me Esquire.

      Err, no. Don’t.

    • DocMartyn | April 12, 2014 at 11:09 am |

      I don’t typically use honorifics at all, unless a person has expressed a marked preference, as in your case. However, were one to follow your precept, it would be Chairperson.

      “Wow, Chair. You got gooooood at this,” lacks the same panache.

      Also, you can correct my spelling of good, if you like, and observe that I slighted Vice President Mosher in an arguably more serious degree of accord of courtesy.

      Did you have anything relevant to add?

  40. Guenter Hess

    Trenberth claims it is about facts, but he only made claims.
    In my opinion his talk is propaganda and politics.
    So, he contradicted his first slide with his own talk.
    Climate change is about politics not about the data.
    Thank you Dr. Curry for spelling this out clearly.
    Guenter Hess

  41. I had some email correspondence with Kevin Trenberth that was reasonably friendly, to his credit, as at the time he was being castigated by some sceptics after an article by WUWT.

    We are our own worst enemies in making things too personal and coming up with all sorts of unlikely theories.

    in turn people like Trenberth- and many other scientists – have firmly ingrained ideas they vigorously defend, and their apparent disregard for the scale of natural variability and the historic record reinforces their viewpoint.

    The Hockey stick version of events that climate varied very little until the modern era is still alive and strong and underpins our myopia that co2 is the overwhelming factor, when the evidence appears to show it is merely one of the passengers in an overcrowded climate change coach.


    • Tony B +1. I just wish that more people like you put their POV’s forward because you and some others are truly open minded, with no particular political or environmental axe to grind!

  42. The error that Trenberth makes is explained here in the paragraph discussing the transparent surface layer of the oceans..

  43. For paleoclimate, see IPCC AR5 Ch 5 page 5-111, fig 5.3. According to the data, we are near the peak of a 100,000 year cycle. So which climate scientists don’t believe the paleoclimate data?????

  44. I dont know how the contrast in presentations could be any more stark. One was filled with data and charts using logic and detached objectivity. The other filled with emotions and political philosophy.

    Is there any doubt why there are so many questions and such dissatisfaction with the theory of AGW?

  45. The Curry/Trenberth slideshows pretty much tell the story.

    Curry stuck with climate science and the data, with an emphasis on the uncertainties that remain in the science itself today

    Trenberth tossed in too much stuff on extreme weather (suggesting without presenting any evidence that these events were caused by AGW) and politics (“tragedy of the commons”, bad Republicans taking bribes from the oil industry, Dr. Seuss and the need to act now, etc.)

    Objective science versus an emotional (hysterical?) call for action.

    Trenberth blew it IMO.


    • Max,
      + 100%
      Trenberth had a forum and opportunity to move beyond unknown heat increases in the ocean to what evidence he can provide.
      Because the pause is moving to 20 years, the issue is transforming to heat instead of surface temperature land records.

      Lots of data needs and observations improvements which climate establishment ignores and seem to be moving in the direction of more models while the platforms for measurement deteriorates. I think the surface buoy’s in the pacific are reduced by 1/3 while ARGO is trying to measure down to 700m.

      Where are the logical response to uncertainty being addressed?

  46. Data is soooo in/con-venient, tsk!

  47. From an op-ed by columnist Charles Krauthammer:

    “Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. … The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences … upon those who refuse to be silenced.”

    The “science is settled”?


  48. Had I had advance notice, I would have been in the audience (in Denver now, after 20 years in Boulder), too. This means two trips to Colorado for you Judith, in a mere three months. Is this degree of travel here typical for you?

  49. Pingback: Calentamiento global: la hereje y la propaganda. |

  50. If 97% of accredited scientists agree on the science, then 3% of accredited scientists disagree on the science.
    Who are these 3%, and why do they disagree?

  51. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Trenberth, in his slide 15/20, should have improve that Sept. 2013 flood by inserting in the picture a little wet sad dog (oh!, no, wait!. I can see this dog below the pink umbrella: thus, I have to admit that Trenberth’s presentation is complete).
    Curry’s “Stadium wave” is an arguable hypothesis. My humble advice is that Curry and Wyatt should review their paper. Is temperature anomalies accuratelly enough measured around the 1750 (or 1850)?, could these uncertainties invalidate C&W’s hypothesis?.

  52. The majority of the audience (an older audience, unfortunately few students) were in Trenberth’s court …

    Like many things in science, engineering and politics, change will occur only when the next generation takes over.

  53. @ Mushy peas
    “1. there is no proof in science
    Are you being deliberately stupid or does it come naturally ?
    Einstein postulated that light is bent by gravity. Mitchell and Morley proved this to be true. I could go on but just like you it would be pointless

  54. There was no DATA in Trenberth’s slides that explicitly link climate extremes and climate change to the increasing concentration of CO2. While the Mauna Loa data together with temperature anomalies and fossil fuel use provide some evidence for anthropogenic climate change, they certainly do not constitute a “smoking gun.” Trenberth’s slides present no compelling evidence of a direct linkage unless one is already inclined to “believe” in that linkage.

  55. Noted in passing:
    Both ppt presentations are worthy of a 3rd grade audience. One is positive and passionate. The other expresses but doubt and uncertainty. Which carries the day with the audience?


  56. A large bathtub holds about 200 litres of liquid. If this were earth’s atmosphere, man’s carbon contribution to the tub equals about 3 tablespoons. Is it reasonable to think this addition of CO2 would raise the temperature of the tub by 3C?

    • Add three tablespoons of ink to your bathtub and what do you get?
      Having said that, the water wasn’t too clear before the addition of that bit of ink.

  57. Jim Cripwell

    The mind boggles. I thought this was supposed to be a discussion of data and CAGW. I wont comment on Trenbeth’s presentation; I might write something I will later regret. Our hostess, mindful, I am sure, that she has already “fallen on her dagger”, was so politically correct that her presentation was painful to read.

    What was NEVER mentioned is that there is NO MEASURED DATA to show that, as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels, this has ANY effect, whatsoever, on anything to do with weather or climate or whatever. Zero, nada, zilch. Every single numerical value of climate sensitivity, however defined, is nothing more than a guess.

    Luckily, there is “data”, that is not under scientific control. There is a political crisis in Ukraine. Germany’s “energiewende” is in tatters. Angela Merkel, and all the other European leaders, are starting to realise that energy security is infinitely more important than “going green”. And the fastest way of reducing European dependence on Russian energy is ….. COAL.

    We deniers have done all we can. The best thing we can do, now, is to pray, fervently, that the NW passage does NOT open up for navigation this year, without the aid of icebreakers.

  58. David Wojick

    It sounds like the session did the job of conveying the fact of their being a big scientific debate. But given the conference is on world affairs the focus is the policy issues, which are decided by the political system, not the science system, so Trenberth’s political component may be justified. Moreover, given that the policy issue is about the future, it is not all about the data. Data does not make policy.

    • The title of the session selected by conference organizers was “Climate Change: Its about the data, not politics.” Which is why I focused on the data, and why scientists disagree and draw different conclusions

  59. Bernd Palmer

    I read the 2 presentations: Curry’s is factual, Trenberth’s is emotional and political. The fact that Trenberth puts the “97% of scientists” alone gives his position away, as he says himself: you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

  60. Kevin Trenberth has provided an accurate self-description of his presentation in Slide 18:

    Selective use of “facts” is done to reinforce one’s initial position [He used “facts” as shown here]

    Slides 11-16 contain illustrations of one-off events for which, so far as I know, it has not yet been demonstrated with empirical data that occurrences of such events are influenced by changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    I think the Decrease in: Cold Temperatures, when applied to the USA alone as done in Slide 11, is probably not correct following the record-setting Winter of 2013-2014. All-time record cold temperatures were still being set in early March 2014 in the USA. Although not related to increasing CO2 concentrations, if you’re going to present lists of one-offs, they should reflect reality.

    All-in-all an alarmingly shallow presentation. Basically, in my opinion, Trenberth has made a contribution to the traditional Bumper Sticker Science approach to Climate Science.

  61. Thanks for sharing Dr. Curry. Job well done under the constraints at hand.

    I must say Trenberth’s presentation reads like a cheap tabloid. The Lorax,,,, really?

    Embellishment seems to be one of his proficiencies!

  62. We need to revisit the definition of propaganda, and how to identify its techniques, what they are and how they are used.

    For its irony value alone, there is no better online definition of propaganda perhaps than

    “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”

    Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, 4th ed. Sage Publications, p. 7

    The key elements of propaganda are:
    1. Deliberate intent with aim or agenda to support an ulterior motive;
    2. Systematic action lacking impartiality or balance;
    3. use of specific techniques to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behaviors to influence an audience to a specific synthesis and an altered point of view facilitated by emotional manipulation and fallacy that can be reinforced through ongoing propaganda and group dynamics furthering the desired intent of the propagandist.

    It isn’t enough just to persuade or even lie; propaganda aims to propagate its interests over an audience, and in that sense is a viral act, and two key elements of propaganda are thus recruitment and paradigm shifting. As identifying ulterior motives is an at best speculative pursuit easily denied or defended by any propagandist, and questions of balance are moot when one takes a position in defense of a cause however personally neutral, it isn’t until the third element, the use of fallacy to recruit, that we may adequately distinguish propaganda from other techniques of persuasion.

    It isn’t enough to just communicate to inform or take a side in a debate and ably argue it honestly; propaganda abuses the trust relationship of speaker and audience to indoctrinate and deceive.

    Propaganda is (almost) always disguised, a Trojan horse attack, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and is thus an enemy of Science in that scientific communication relies so heavily on clarity, precision, singularity of meaning and purpose to further the cause of Scientific truth.

    Explicit in that enmity is how propaganda violates the four foundational principles of Science pertaining any explanation of phenomena: simplification of assumptions, parsimony of exceptions, universality of application to produce the explanation that is deemed accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observation require amended explanation.

    So we have a simple preliminary test for propaganda in Science: does it conform to and advance all four fundamental principles, or not? If not, while it may or may not be propaganda, it isn’t Science. If, however, it injures any of the four fundamental principles, it may be deemed anti-Science, which is a special interest of any scientist where propaganda is concerned.

    Thus, the right question isn’t “propaganda or no?”, it is “anti-Science propaganda or no?”

    So we may proceed to look for fallacy or injury to the four principles of Science in both Trenberth and Curry to settle the propaganda question.

    • I was there. This was a political debate. On both sides. In two other panels that I attended this week at the Conference on World Affairs, Dr. Curry strongly advocated that scientists should not advocate. The irony seems lost on her. And probably many of the commenters on this blog. Dr. Trenberth never pretended that he was doing anything other than advocating that we need to take action, individually and collectively to halt the increase in GHG levels in the atmosphere.

    • Dr. Curry advocates good science. T. advocates BS. Huge difference in advocacy.

    • And the difference seems lost on P.C.

    • John Carpenter

      “Dr. Curry strongly advocated that scientists should not advocate. The irony seems lost on her. ”

      It’s easy to say someone else is advocating whenever they take any position on anything. What did she advocate scientists should not advocate about? You don’t have to tell me, I have heard and read her position. KT is a model example of the type of advocating Curry advocates scientists should not do. The question becomes, do you trust the source of scientific information presented has not been influenced by personal bias? And if it appears so, was it formed by careful observation and analytical analysis or was it merely an exercise of confirming of what they believe to be already true? Both KT and Curry claim they have a scientific basis for their positions. Scientists are human, they have opinions and bias views…. should those views be a part of the discussion or not? Should scientists present their conclusions tone neutral or not? KT displays behavior that says yes, Curry advocates no. A debate within the debate. How do you like information to be presented to you? Emotions on or off? Does it matter?

  63. Dr Curry,
    Kevin Trenberth refers to IPCC AR4 in discussing extreme events. Did anyone in the audience challenge him why he did not use the more recent IPCC AR5 report? AR5 is less alarming in this regard.

    • Unfortunately, insufficient time to get into Trenberth’s ‘travesty’ of attributing hurricane Sandy, wildfires, etc. to AGW

  64. Ironic that Trenberth’s presentation started with it is “About the Data”, and yet Curry’s was the one with the bulk of the data.

    Although I’m not surprised by Trenberth’s presentation, it sure seems it could have presented a much better story for the pro-AGW side. The decision to unambiguously tie all these recent extreme events to AGW is pretty sketchy and definitely falls into the pure propaganda view. This can be easily enough refuted by the consensus viewpoint in AR5:

    The extreme events meme seems to be totally about political expediency, the it’s happening “here and now” and must be stopped in its tracks. Seems pretty risky given the facts on the ground.

    The pro-AGW seems to keep fighting a fight nobody is fighting, namely that temperatures are going up and CO2 is partly to blame. They appear to then attempt to construct an argument that since they are right on this, they are obviously right about the fact it is cl;ear and present danger and know where the climate is going.

    It’s sad that calling scientists a denier to their face has gone mainstream now, it happened in the BBC interview and Trenberth apparently finds it useful for his purposes. Not much to do but wear it is a badge of honor and let it reflect poorly on the speaker of such blatant disrespect.

    Comic Sans is soooooo 1990. Obviously Trenberth does his own slides.

    • George Daddis

      But, but……Comic Sans is my favorite typeface. It makes me look…….how shall I say it …….more authentic.

  65. Judith
    “Trenberth was asked if he regarded me as a ‘denier’. He hemmed and hawed, and asked me if I regarded myself as a denier. I said I was a scientist, and regarded myself as included in the so-called 97%, whatever that means.”
    A bit nonplussed here. I would have preferred if you said you were one of a majority of scientists who believe in some AGW and leave the 97%’s to Cook et al.
    97% of what?
    concerned people with various levels of expertise but definitely an interest?
    climate scientists?
    I understand that Mosher is a lukewarmer and that you are a mild AGW but the percentage of scientists who believe in AGW is not 97% as evinced by a study conducted by an ardent warmist who, at has best, in a poorly designed study, could only dredge that figure up by massive assumptions.
    A possible figure would be around 80% and will never be truly known due to the consequences of not fitting in with the majority view as in ‘the book thief” etc.
    97% is a tragic, no go area of speech that should be avoided except when you are really an ardent AGW.

    • well, in context of this audience, they were all keyed to the 97% thing. I made it clear in my presentation that all this was rather fatuous, the 97% basically refers to temperatures increasing in the 20th century, and humans contributing to warming the planet. I also mentioned when asked specifically whether the professional members of the American Meteorological Society thought that MOST of the warming was caused by humans, that only 52% agreed.

    • Thanks, I hoped as much.
      I wish you could get some more people prepared to be open and scientific along with you soon.

  66. Warmistas have developed a foaming-at-the-mouth hysteria to the point they blatantly look stupid – and they don’t seem to care.

  67. His words (a verbatim quote):

    “…The data are of mixed quality and length…”
    -Kevin Trenberth, Ph.D.

  68. Jim D,

    I know all of the really smart people say there was no little ice age and so we cannot be in a centuries long secular warming trend. They seem to say that long secular trends disappeared sometime between the Holocene climate optimum and the non-existent medieval warm period.

    Color me skeptical.

    • “I know all of the really smart people say there was no little ice age…”
      Please name of those “really smart people” or significant climate scientist who would say there was no LIA. Just one.

    • Most the climate scientists I’ve met or read their publications seem pretty smart to me. I can’t think of one of them who denies the existence of the LIA.

    • R. Gates

      Please name of those “really smart people” or significant climate scientist who would say there was no LIA. Just one.

      All those who believe in Mann’s infamous hockey stick (which shows only marginally colder temperature in the 17th-19thC than today, rather than a “Little Ice Age”).


    • “Most the climate scientists I’ve met or read their publications seem pretty smart to me. I can’t think of one of them who denies the existence of the LIA.”

      My comment was tongue in cheek. The point (we agree on!) is there have been long trends in the past exceeding the length of the temperature record. IMHO we have competing “simplest explanations”:
      Yours – the trend is now dominated by anthropogenic effects.
      Mine – the trend continues to be dominated by natural effects.
      The arguments (and tactics) on both sides border on religious wars. I believe the greater religious hysteria is demonstrated by the extreme elements of the alarmist camp. That element unfortunately gets a lot of media coverage.

      Sadly, neither will be fully resolved in my lifetime. A resumption of warming is not definitive. Continued pause or cooling is highly indicative, but not definitive.

    • RobertInAz, the paper simply assumed that there aren’t any natural effects that look so much like log CO2, that you can’t separate them from feedbacks. By taking out the log CO2 part of the signal you are left with natural effects that look like the pre-industrial ones, and these have a standard deviation about a quarter of the warming seen in 125 years (0.2 C versus 0.8 C).

    • “By taking out the log CO2 part of the signal you are left with natural effects that look like the pre-industrial ones,…”

      Right – they assume away the contraindications.
      1. I was not satisfied with their analysis of pre-industrial temperature effects
      2.The log CO2 signal has a natural and anthropogenic component if we are in secular warming trend.

      Per the LIA discussion – there was a secular warming trend. When did it end?

    • The log CO2 signal accelerates the warming the later you get. This is its distinguishing feature that makes it unnatural. They include solar and volcanic effects as natural variation, which enhances the internal variations, and so this would include the LIA as part of their natural variation, being as it was solar, and maybe partly volcanic in origin. They gave natural effects as much help as they could in this way.

    • R. Gates

      The “corrected” Mann hockey stick (correction by McIntyre and McKitrick)shows a drop of around -0.7C from the latter part of the MWP to the depths of the LIA. The drop is even more (over -1C) from the maximum warmth of the MWP, a few centuries earlier

      The “uncorrected” shtick does not show this.


    • “The log CO2 signal accelerates the warming the later you get. ”

      We continue to be in radical agreement. The CO2 element of the signal should accelerate as CO2 increases. That still does not eliminate the possibility of a secular warming trend. The assertion that is CO2, all CO2 and nothing but CO2 is derived from conviction, not mathematics.

      The elimination of a secular trend from the recent temperature record is an exercise in increasingly precise arithmetic with vanishingly small error bars.

  69. Please name of those “really smart people” or significant climate scientist who would say there was no LIA

    Are they mutually exclusive?

  70. jonathan sawyer

    Paul Culman: “I was there. This was a political debate”. What??? Give us examples how JC’s presentation was political. Your perspective, to me, is so beyond what happened I cannot fathom how you got there.

  71. For those who missed them, two nicely done stories by NPR on both Dr. Curry and Dr. Trenberth. I’m sure neither was fully satisfied with their story, but they do at least give a nice contrasting perspective:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Today’s Slashdot discussion topic Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty amounts to a referendum regarding Trenberthian-confidence versus Curryian-skepticism.

      Result  Among the Slashdot technorati, Trenberthian-confidence dominates Curryian-skepticism by ten-to-one (or more).

      Conclusion  The ending of the troposphere-heating pause, and the continued rising sea-level, heating waters, and melting ice — without pause or evident limit — spells near-term extinction for climate-change skepticism … scientifically, economically, and politically.

      That’s plain-but-sobering common sense, eh 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}

    • “Conclusion The ending of the troposphere-heating pause, and the continued rising sea-level, heating waters, and melting ice — without pause or evident limit — spells near-term extinction for climate-change skepticism … scientifically, economically, and politically.

      That’s plain-but-sobering common sense, eh Climate Etc readers?”
      Logic, science, data, physical effects, statistics, etc. never will alter religious and political beliefs (often one and the same), especially those memes that are tied to perceived threats to money and self-identity. Hence, Faux News is the only “news” channel allowed for many households.

    • Rgates

      Your 3.46

      What on earth do you believe my religious and political beliefs to be! that they are so affecting my scientific belief as regards AGW?


    • I don’t know you well enough Tony to know your specific political or religious beliefs. But certain memeplexes are not compatible with each other.

    • Religous and political beliefs, R.Gates? So many examples of
      non-science comments from the believers. Stephen Shneider
      for example interviewed in Discvover magazine, 1989:
      ‘To capture the imagination of the public we have to offer up
      some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements
      and hide mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us
      has to decide the right balance between being effective and
      being honest,’

      And there’s this, on the record too.

    • R. Gates

      “Nicely done stories”.

      But a bit slanted, don’t you think?


  72. Looking at slide 3 from Judy and slide 9 from Kevin, I would call it a draw, as to whose presentation was the most alarmist.

    Sorry, but it looks to me like the skeptic position was not well represented.

    Seems like models can’t reproduce the warming without greenhouse gases, but we’ve known that for a while.

    Where is the temperature anomaly at now, is it 0.3, 0.6 or 0.8, all your graphs seem to disagree.

    The 1946 to 1964 trend was 0.055 +/- 0.121 C/decade by HadCrut, GISS is 0.89 +/- 0.110 C/decade are we calling that a pause?

  73. Robert I Ellison

    It is not true the AMO shifted to warming in the mid 1990’s. See Figures 1 and 2 here.

    The mechanism involves an increase in north Atlantic bottom water formation in the mid 1990’s – north Atlantic SST increase and global cooling as energy moves north.

    The dual phenomenon – Pacific and Atlantic conditions which dominate natural variability – added to warming between 1976 and 1998 and are cooling the planet since. This is an observable reality – and is related to change in cloud radiative effects. The phenomenon are connected in the global system.

    ‘First we construct a network from four major climate indices. The network approach to complex systems is a rapidly developing methodology, which has proven to be useful in analyzing such systems’ behavior [Albert and Barabasi, 2002; Strogatz, 2001]. In this approach, a complex
    system is presented as a set of connected nodes. The collective behavior of all the nodes and links (the topology of the network) describes the dynamics of the system and offers new ways to investigate its properties. The indices represent the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North
    Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) [Barnston and Livezey, 1987; Hurrell, 1995; Mantua et al., 1997; Trenberth and Hurrell, 1994]. These indices represent regional but dominant modes of climate variability, with time scales ranging from months to decades. NAO and NPO are the leading modes of surface pressure variability in northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively, the PDO is the leading mode of SST variability in the northern Pacific and ENSO is a major signal in the tropics. Together these four modes capture the essence of climate
    variability in the northern hemisphere. Each of these modes involves different mechanisms over different geographical regions. Thus, we treat them as nonlinear sub-systems of the grand climate system exhibiting complex dynamics.’

    The globally interconnected climate system – the stadium wave – is a reality – it simply can’t be any other way. The implications include non-warming – or even cooling – for decades at least.

    • “…global cooling as energy moves north.”
      Nonsensical and completely unscientific. The “globe” cools as energy “moves north” on the globe. Gibberish.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There is enhanced cooling of warm water it moves north in increased transport. North Atlantic warming increases IR losses to space. Your utter rudeness combined with spectacular silliness is astonishing.

    • “The globally interconnected climate system – the stadium wave – is a reality – it simply can’t be any other way. The implications include non-warming – or even cooling – for decades at least.”

      I don’t even think Judith or Marcia have the “can’t be any other way” certainty of belief in the stadium wave. You are indeed a True Believer.

      Regarding cooling– the climate system had been gaining energy for decades and there is absolutely no sign that forcing is about to stop.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Each of these modes involves different mechanisms over different geographical regions. Thus, we treat them as nonlinear sub-systems of the grand climate system exhibiting complex dynamics.’

      I quoted the original synchronized chaos paper by Tsonis et al for a reason. The stadium wave attempts to trace the temporal connections – but that they are nodes on an underlying complex, dynamic system is an obvious idea that is numerically and logically irrefutable. It is just one of those ideas that is obvious after someone defines it. It may of course not be obvious to dinosaurs.

      To continue to claim that the world is currently warming as a result of greenhouse gases misrepresents – or misunderstands – the details of global energy dynamics. We have discussed this before and I have no intention of further buying into your spectacular misconceptions.

    • “Nonsensical and completely unscientific. The “globe” cools as energy “moves north” on the globe. Gibberish.”

      When I look at the Arctic temperature anomaly maps summarized at WUWT with the original is here: a warmer anomaly tells me additional IR is radiating into space. Am I wrong?

      This map strikes me as running cool compared to last year.

      The Gaia hypothesis would consider the planet to be self regulating. Maybe that is why Lovelock has become a bit of a CAGW skeptic these days.

    • “To continue to claim that the world is currently warming as a result of greenhouse gases misrepresents – or misunderstands – the details of global energy dynamics.”
      Except of course that sea level rise, OHC gains, basic physics, net global glacial ice mass loss, Brewer-Dobson Circulation enhancement, stratospheric cooling, tropospheric tropopause expansion, permafrost melting and long-term Arctic sea ice decline would all strongly disagree with your assessment.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Another litany of ill-informed dogmatism.

    • Robert I Ellison

      None of these things are unequivocal – ice may recover, oceans may not be warming, temperatures may fall, ‘basic physics’ is nowhere near sufficient, toa radiant flux varies by 2 orders of magnitude more than decadal changes in greenhouse gas forcing – the data is neither long enough or accurate enough to be sufficient to distinguish anthropogenic from natural variability. The world may not be warming in the current interregnum.

      ‘Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global
      climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

      How complicated? Very. Space cadets don’t seem to get this.

    • From Loeb’s abstract: ‘CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Nina conditions and a net cooling influence during El Nino, but the magnitude of the anomalies varies greatly from one ENSO event to another.’

      Ah, smells like team progress.

  74. I think KT chose the wrong Dr. Suess quote. This one would have been better, “In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”

  75. To Trenberth. Just where do the pro Globaloney folks get THEIR funding? The Climate Change Fairy?

  76. Dr. Curry, you referenced your Congressional testimony in which you claimed increasing Antarctic sea ice calls into question AGW. I tried before, unsuccessfully, to ask why increasing Antarctic sea ice is a question mark on AGW specifically and not GW in generally. Could you explain? Thanks.

    • The same models that project increased SAT,predict a decrease in antarctic seaice.The use of changes in O3,which was used as a get out of jail card also increase the rate of SH seaice.

      That the models have worsened cmip3-cmip5 in both SH sea ice and under perturbation experiments for singularities such as volcanics is a significant constraint on expectations.

    • Thanks for the reply maksimovich, but your response doesn’t address what I asked. Why is increasing Antarctic sea ice specific to AGW and not GW in general? I can not find a reason why.

  77. Judith Curry:

    You and Trenberth are still both constricted to the radiative forcing fictitious paradigm brainwashed into you in the early 1980’s by IPCC authors et al.

    You need to break out into the world of real physics. I can help you and you can start with this comment.


  78. Kevin From above
    “Carbon dioxide and other so-¬called greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet”

    So here we are 100 years plus after Arrhenius postulated this hypothesis (specifically that the average temperature will rise) and there is STILL NO PROOF that this is the case.
    Absolutely correct: The lukewarmers (Will not name here but they are the majority of so called skeptics) are actually doing a great disservice to science by hanging onto a non-event (AGW) when it is already known that the Arrhenius effect is a LABORATORY EXPERIMENT with Positive vapor heat feedback ect. There is no living component. Most serious Atmospheric Scientists ie Lindzen know that in The living Atmospheric Earth that any C02 warming effect induces NEGATIVE feedback in all cases. Heat lost through the mainly the tropics into space. My bet is that this effect may be amplified when most of the minor atmospheric gases goes over a certain level to cause cooling not heating. How do we explain that during the ice ages apparently C02 was over 3000ppm (stand to be corrected on this)

  79. From R Gates above
    net global glacial ice mass loss,
    What unmitigated BS!

    Even from your AGW friends site *unable to “adjust” (CT today) LOOK and learn something!

  80. Russ Roberts isn’t at his best in live audience and debate format.

    One on one conversation is his greatness. It doesn’t translate.

  81. Trenberth’s slide 10 uses conclusions from AR4, not AR5. AR4 says hurricanes (and other extremes) have been getting worse, AR5 is more circumspect on both hurricanes and extremes.

    Judith, did you call him out on using the more alarmist, and also outdated, AR4?

  82. Judith: Have you ever looked at Extended Data Table 1 from Kosada and Xie (2013). It says that the unusual warmth in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific (EEP) INCREASED warming by 0.14 degC between 1971 and 1997, and the highly publicized unusual coolness decreased warming by 0.20 degC between 2002 and 2012. The abstract and all but one line in the text ignores the increased warming between 1971 and 1997. The temperature anomalies in their graph that you showed in your presentation are with respect to 1980-1999. The better agreement (less warming) between observations and POGA-H (model constrained by actual SST’s in EEP) is readily apparent during the pause, but unnoticed during the earlier rapid warming. If temperature anomalies relative to the 2000’s had been used, the enhanced warming predicted by POGA-H would clearly have been better aligned with observations than the control model.

  83. Remembering that just because something is propaganda doesn’t necessarily invalidate its scientific accuracy, let’s review identifiable techniques of propaganda and relate them to anti-Science, briefly.


    Repetition: Techniques that enhance recruitment and behavior modification through iteration and multiplication or echoing. EG: Reposting opinions across multiple blogs or repeating the same false conclusion without new evidence.

    Ad nauseam: Specifically tireless repetition of an idea contrary to the principles of Science. EG: “AGW Pause” or “Gaia’s anger”.

    Big Lie: A repeating complex narrative to justify anti-Scientific action. A Big Lie narrative merges elements of truth with fabrication to supplant accurate perception of the underlying events. EG: “A judge found nine errors in An Inconvenient Truth” or “oil companies pay scientists to lie”.

    Slogan: Brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. Although slogans may be enlisted to support reasoned Science mnemonically, in practice they tend to act mainly as emotional appeals. EG: “The Pause Killed the Cause”, or “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    Fallacy: Always anti-scientific, as fallacy invalidates any inference, the use of fallacy often goes hand-in-hand with anti-scientific propaganda, and almost inevitably will become necessary to sustain any propaganda as its evidence and scientific basis are examined and discussed.
    Appeal to invalid bases: Using persuasive but irrelevant or otherwise invalid causes to support an argument.

    Authority: Citing a prominent figure or institution to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action based on anything contrary to the four principles of Science, as distinct from citing a well-reasoned argument based on data. EG “The bible says we have a covenant with God that He will never again destroy the world with flood”, or “I didn’t read any of the IPCC reports, but they say they’re backed by thirty two out of thirty three scientists, so the IPCC must be right as an authority.”

    Fear: Instilling anxieties or panic in the audience to cause an emotional rather than logical response to evidence. EG “Mitigating AGW will ruin the economy.”

    Prejudice: Using loaded or emotive terms to attach unscientific value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. EG: “Costly socialist mitigation policy”, or “Greedy irresponsible corporate pollution”.

    Bandwagon: As in ‘jump on the’; recruitment appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is doing,” irrespective of scientific principles. EG: “I’m with the GWPF”, or “I’m in the 97%”.

    Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those on the road to certain victory irrespective of Scientific truth. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action. EG: “Calculations of Climate Sensitivity by people who dispute AGW are trending lower and lower,” or “The AGW Consensus has grown from 93% to 97% in just one year.”

    Join the crowd: reinforces people’s natural desire to be on a winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join regardless of Scientific truth. EG: “The NIPCC and GWPF have wealthy backers and professional political speechwriters; you’ll want to be with them,” or “two thirds of Americans believe in AGW and think the politicians and the corporations are lying.”

    Black-and-White fallacy: Presenting a false list of choices unsupported by Science, to force decisions not based on evidence, excluding or mischaracterizing scientifically supported options. EG “It’s only either the Sun or the ‘Stadium Wave’”, or “It’s all either CO2 or methane”.

    Disinformation: Creation of false, alteration of real, or deletion of information from scientific records, or cherry picking or intentional omission for the purpose or to the effect of biasing the conclusions of Science. EG: “Phil Jones faked his data using Mike’s Nature trick”, or “GCMs predict future weather”.

    Half-truth: A half-truth is a deceptive statement that includes some element of truth. It comes in several forms: the statement might be partly true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utilize some deceptive element, ambiguity or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, or misrepresent Scientific conclusions. EG: “Sunspots can be correlated with global temperature”, omitting “up to 60 years ago”, or “the deep ocean warming explains part of the missing heat budget”, if also omitting “but there is very limited data yet to support this conclusion”.

    Exaggeration/Minimization: ( hyperbole) amplifies or diminishes aspects of a true statement to support a conclusion or rationalize in a situation where denial is implausible beyond what observation and inference from the simplest assumptions, most parsimonious exceptions and most universal application sustains. EG: “Runaway global warming will melt the Antarctic and raise sea levels by seventy meters in our lifetime”, or “runaway global warming won’t harm the economy for another fifty years”.

    Intentional vagueness: Feeding an audience such an imprecise exposition intentionally so that it may supply its own incorrect interpretations. Moving the audience by use of undefined phrases, without analyzing their validity or attempting to determine their reasonableness or application may cause people to go away with their own emotionally satisfying but unscientific interpretations rather than an explicit idea. EG: “The globe is cooling,” in place of “There has been a cooling trend since 2007, similar to other sub-decadal cooling trends on the fastest rising global temperature period in the two century long instrumental climate record”, or “If Greenland melts, sea level will rise 20 meters”, while omitting the uncertain but likely century-to-millennium timespan involved.

    Oversimplification: Favorable generalities are used to provide simpler answers than can explain more complex questions in Science. EG: “Natural variability”, or “CO2 control knob”.

    Out of Context: Selective use of data without metadata or additional known data that can change outcomes. EG: Choosing 1998 as the start year of a global climate trend, or presenting the Hockey Stick graph without notes explaining how it was derived.

    Unstated assumption: Omission of assumptions, especially on purpose where the assumption would make the argument seem less credible if explicitly stated, generally by implication, ambiguity, or repetition.

    Euphoria: The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale, generally abetting confirmation bias. EG: “My presentation at the seminar really had a lot of support from the audience!” or “It’s been a hot summer, so people are readier to believe in AGW.”

    Glittering generalities: emotionally appealing words presenting no concrete argument or analysis. EG: “Skeptical science tells us not to buy into the hype,” or “Gaia teaches the wise to be wary of industry.”

    Rationalization: Using favorable generalities to rationalize questionable acts or beliefs by fallacious reasoning. EG “The climate has always changed”, or “The ends justify the means”.

    Transfer: Also known as Association, projects positive or negative qualities (praise or blame) of a person, entity, object, or value (an individual, group, organization, nation, patriotism, etc.) to another to make the second more acceptable or to discredit it. It evokes an emotional response, which stimulates the target to identify with recognized authorities. Often highly visual, this technique often utilizes symbols , EG book covers or caricatures.

    Beautiful people: Using celebrity or depicting attractive, happy people associated with an unscientific idea. EG: “Math genius and climate expert, millionaire Steve McIntyre audits the hockey stick”, or “Actor Kate Mulgrew narrates geocentric universe movie”.

    Common man: A “‘plain folks'” or “common man” approach attempts to convince the audience that the propagandist’s positions reflect common sense above scientific principles. Often designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience and exploit misunderstanding of jargon, using ordinary language and mannerisms this technique subverts the scientific literacy of the audience. EG: Lord Monckton dressing as a pink cowboy in Texas criticizing “Mike’s Nature trick” while complaining about the chilly winter, or Barack Obama dropping the hard consonants at the end of words when “speakin’ about Global Warmin’ while sweating on a hot summer day”.

    Demonizing the enemy: Portraying parties who support an opposing viewpoint appear to be less worthy of respect in Scientific discourse, worthless, or immoral through suggestion, or false or irrelevant accusations. EG: “Alarmist public servants faking their results to get more government grants”, or “why should I share my data with you, when your only aim is to find something wrong with it?”

    Flag-waving: An attempt to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic, or in some way benefit a group, country, or idea. The feeling of virtue this technique attempts to inspire may seek to supplant scientific principles of rational examination of the matter in question. EG: “Global Warming plays to Democrat strengths, so resisting AGW science will defend the Republican Party,” or “Science plays to Democratic Party strengths”.

    Name Calling: Practices that seek to forward an ulterior motive by word selection in place of impartial language, to bias audience perception and expected consequent behavior , generally ad hominem. Propagandists use name-calling techniques to incite fears and arouse prejudices in their hearers in the intent that the bad names will cause hearers to construct a negative opinion about a group or set of beliefs or ideas that the propagandist would wish hearers to denounce. The method is intended to provoke conclusions about a matter apart from impartial examinations of facts. Name-calling is thus a substitute for rational, fact-based arguments against an idea or belief on its own merits. EG: “Warmist” or “Denier”.

    Labeling (Euphemism/Dysphenism): Unbalanced substitution of words to alter the perceived quality, credibility, righteousness, or credence of a particular idea or parties (marks) associated with that idea by creating an unscientific ‘label’, ‘category’, ‘division’ or ‘faction’. Labeling can also exploit ‘Guilt by association’, another logical fallacy. EG: “Oil Exploration” for “Oil Drilling” or “Serial Misinformer” for “Witness”.

    Stereotyping : Portrayal (often anectodal) of an object as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. EG: “Leftist” or “Australian”.

    Loaded language: Specific words and phrases with strong emotional implications are used to influence the audience. EG: “Catastrophic” or “Polluter”.

    Obtain disapproval: A technique to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. Thus if a group that supports a certain policy is led to believe that undesirable, subversive, or contemptible people support the same policy, then the members of the group may decide to change their original position. This is a form of bad logic, where it is said that A ∈ X and A ∈ Y, therefore, X=Y. EG: “Democrats support AGW”, or “The Tea Party opposes AGW”.

    Red herring: Presenting data or issues that, while compelling, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument. EG Demonstrating that a policy argument (supporting an evidence-based case) is propaganda without demonstrating that the evidence is not the best supported by Science, or showing that the doctrine of the major religions favors conservation in custodianship of the environment when evaluating the accuracy of the evidence of AGW.

    Testimonial: Quotations or narratives, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited. The testimonial places the official sanction of a respected person or authority on a propaganda message. This is done in an effort to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority’s opinions and beliefs as its own. EG: “William Gray has been America’s leading hurricane expert for four decades, and he sees no persuasive difference between some aspects of hurricane frequency when he was a boy and now;” or Barack Obama sweating in the sun on a hot day giving a speech on the huge scale of AGW’s harm to the US economy.

    Damaging quotation: A quote out of context or given disproportionate importance to damage the argument of a mark. EG: ‘Why should I share my data with you, when your only aim is to find something wrong with it?’ or ‘Our wealthy friends are funding the GWPF anonymously’.

    Virtue/Devil words: Words in the value system of the target audience that produce a positive/negative image when attached to a Scientific case. EG: “Skeptic” or “Progressive”.

    There may be more techniques, and certainly other ways to categorize propaganda, however where we’re discussing evidence-based policy, and the evidence is scientific, this list should suffice.

    • Is that really you, Bart?
      I’m impressed.

    • phatboy | April 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

      You’ll never see the real me, or the real anyone, in blog comments.

      All you can hope for is real evidence and real inference.

      The rest is trash.

  84. So, proceeding in alphabetical and posted order, let’s go page by page, starting from:

    The title page contains the implicit message of a balanced debate between two equal parties, with IPCC AR5 WG1 in the position of the scales in the middle ground. This seems fair enough, notwithstanding the argument that the right hand side (as one faces the audience) of the slide embodies the argument of some 97% of the scientific mainstream (to refer to the Daubert test). After all, in a discussion of policy, even evidence-based policy, one can hardly argue that the split is anything like 32:1 in favor of the scientific mainstream position. Oh. Wait. Yes one can and must argue in evidence-based policy that the scientific mainstream position ought be given over thirty times the attention of the views of those who dispute it.

    Hence, we must deem Dr. Curry’s title page anti-scientific, propaganda of misinformation/half-truth/exaggeration.

    Further, Dr. Spencer’s title itself contains anti-scientific propaganda in its cover art and words; Dr. Hansen’s title contains propaganda, too. What hysteria? What bad science? For Dr. Spencer’s book cover it’s hard to dismiss pandering politicians or bad policies or harm to the poor, but false attribution of causes of these (as politicians have ever pandered, policies are demonstrably bad due mainly lobbying by opportunistic special interests in industry, and hurting the poor is practically the national pastime) is a fallacy.

    Dr. Hansen most certainly exaggerates as to our chances to save humanity, and even if the catastrophes Hansen demonstrates evidence for failed to materialize, the negative economic impacts of continuing bad action are more than sufficient reason to adapt better policy.

    All in all, a poor herald of things to come, depicting a weak representative of one side, and an antiscientific representative of the other.

    • jonathan sawyer

      Bart, frankly your marxist deconstruction of JC slides, is bs. First you werent there and thus do not have the context on how the slides were presented. Second it is clear that you insert your viewpoint in creating strawmen points rather than impartially analyze the evidence. Third you throw out technical legalities (come on the Daubert test?). I can go on but for the other readers I should describe what was the context of this slide. JC presented examples of the two extremes in viewpoints within the scientific community. She also said that both of these scientists consider themselves part of the 97%. And what is the agreement of the 97%? Its listed on the next slide. Both Spencer and Hansen agree with those points.

    • jonathan sawyer | April 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

      The ironic hilarity of using devil words, testimonial, argument from invalid bases, and half truths to criticize an analysis of propaganda aside, what do you contribute with this comment?

      Pretending Hansen or Spencer’s positions are adequately represented by agreement, or that either of them would consider themselves in the same 97% as the other, is frankly Frank Luntzian. We cannot construe Dr. Curry as an honest broker, nor as someone so unsophisticated as to have accidentally employed so many techniques of propaganda so aptly, given that she has testified before Congress about her expertise in the field of agitprop.

      That you find the Daubert test inappropriate in discussion of policy appears short-sighted. Almost all policy, and especially climate policy, finds itself challenged in court in litigious America. If Daubert doesn’t apply within Science (it most definitely does not), it still applies in policy administration.

      You shouldn’t form policy in America that won’t withstand court challenge. Arguing to form indefensible policy is therefore moot.

  85. Page 2:

    •  Globally averaged surface temperatures have increased since 1880
    •  Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
    •  Carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet

    •  Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    •  How much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    •  Whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    •  Whether we can afford to radically reduce CO2 emissions

    There are a number of unstated assumptions opening the discussion. Who is in agreement and disagreement? Is it the mainstream and some collective of disapproving mavericks? One side of the policy argument and the other? One political party and another? (Mysteriously convenient if each exactly aligned.)

    Likewise, oddly vague generalities smooth over salient points, and what could be seen as misrepresentation or shading of positions.

    The implicit separation of the argument into ‘sides’ ad hominem instead of cases or hypothesis clearly employs Transfer.

    Is the net effect of this propaganda anti-scientific? One would have to say yes, cautiously, pending clarification of the points raised.

    • As we saw from the comments here, Judith already lost half her base from her Agreement statements. She speaks for a moderate skeptic in these slides, but yes, there are grey areas. “Humans are adding carbon dioxide…” is a little soft compared to “the increase in carbon dioxide is human-caused” which I would have preferred to have seen, but she might have lost more of her base with that one. The slide treads a line, for sure. It’s not two sides, but grey shades between on all these issues.

    • jonathan sawyer

      Again the agreement points were those of the 97%. In the points of disagreement JC made clear the last two points were not scientific issues but ones of values and politics. She then limited herself to those scientific disagreements. BTW the only comments about political parties were by Trenberth

    • “Judith already lost half her base”

      Baloney, unless by “base” you mean people who already disagree with her. Half the commenters (more in my opinion), are hardly what I would call Dr. Curry’s “base.” You can’t lose someone who disagrees with almost everything you say.

      I disagree with her on many political issues, and some in climate science, but I find nothing in her Agreement statements, or anything else I have read from her recently , that would lessen my respect for her. And I have read nothing in the comments here that suggest anyone who shares that respect has written anything to the contrary below.

    • GaryM, yes, the point is that the lukewarmers like Judith may be fewer in number than the hard skeptics, and are deniers in name only (DINOs) from the perspective of the majority of them. I draw this comparison with RINOs of the Republican Party, and, no, this is not a serious comment. I like the term DINO.

    • Jim D,

      I agree. With the exception that, while RINOs are indeed a minority in the GOP as a whole, as lukewarmers are in the climate debate, the RINOs are overwhelmingly in the majority among the GOP “leadership.” (They have spent the last 6 years tightening their control over the party, and the nomination process, just like the good little progressives they really are.) Whereas lukewarmers, your DINOs, really have little power at all politically, RINOs at the national level run the GOP. Which is why they have been able to do so much more damage to the country.

    • GaryM, DINOs are the only ones that get invited to give congressional testimony, so I would say they actually have more power than the D majority.

    • Trying to comb through the propaganda in the slide shows is like trying to hold back the sea by putting a finger in a nonexistent dike.

      About a third of Trenbeth’s saga is propaganda at its dullest, which at least has the happy consequence of being less likely to propagate with an audience, thereby being less like propaganda and more like grade school Civics class diorama.

      Pretty much everything but the last page of Professor Curry’s epic is well-paced, nicely turned propaganda so subtle and classy as to have a connoisseur standing up on his seat applauding. I know I nearly did.

      And then, this:

      Why do scientists disagree?
      •  Insufficient observational evidence
      •  Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence
      •  Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
      •  Assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance
      •  Belief polarization as a result of politicization of the science

      That’s embarrassing.

      Scientists are human beings, they disagree largely for the same petty reasons as humans always disagree: envy, jealousy, anger, hatred, fear, gluttony, sloth.. Oh. Wait, those are just the deadly sins. What could they possibly have to do with Science?

      Sciences have plentiful means to measure the relative sufficiency of observational evidence, and so far as I can tell only the most math deficient have much dispute at the detail level of the relative sufficiency of any particular set of observations as observations. While more observation is always desired by scientists, Science isn’t about waiting for tomorrow’s evidence forever, but about the accurate or most nearly true inference from the available evidence today. We’re certainly at the level where we can rely on the evidence to shape the profiles of Risk and attribute sources of damage.

      The two lines about ‘disagreement’ are superfluous, and misleading, mattering only if one rejects the most fundamental principles of Science, and even then not very much.

      While it’s nice that Professor Curry wants to quantify the unquantifiable and disambiguate everything she hasn’t ambiguated yet, and all, again these have no role in policy or science discussion, but are the stuff of late night tankard philosophy in the local tavern.

      And that final line is little more than a string of devil words, ‘belief’, ‘polarization’, ‘politicization’ that do more to self-fulfill the prophecy than to counteract it.

      Long and the short of it is the test of final causes. While both slide shows are propaganda (albeit Judith Curry’s is the far better, more nuanced and more sophisticated representative of the breed), the test is which until new observations require amendment is most nearly true, or accurate, universal, parsimonious of exception, and simplest in assumptions based on inference from current observations?

      That goes hands down to Trenberth. Dr. Curry’s not only fails to land anywhere in the ballpark of scientific truth, but also squarely shows the clench-jawed determination to say anything it takes to score points for a cause that is not Science.

  86. Trenberth: “97% of scientists agree”

    Are there only 77 scientists in the world?

  87. The majority of the audience (an older audience, unfortunately few students) were in Trenberth’s court

    That’s a good thing. No sense preaching to the choir.

  88. Trenberth’s presentation bespeaks questionable trustworthiness. He must know very well that all of his links between recent weather and ACO2 have very little support from even the latest IPCC reports. His willingness to suggest such linkages to an audience likely ignorant of that lack of support does not reflect well upon him. All of his statements now must be parsed carefully as to context, audience, etc., as the mask may sometimes slip enough for him to be non-deceptive, but probably not when he expects the great unwashed to be listening.

    In a way he has dotted the i and crossed the t on Judith’s critique of scientists engaging in policy advocacy–he has shot his credibility with anyone not already in agreement with his policy preferences (and anyone who does agree with him but is sophisticated about the state of the science). At this point, only “statements against interest” from him can be trusted, i.e. accepted without detailed checking to find out how whether and how he might be fudging.

    As it becomes clearer that no serious limits are going to be placed on global greenhouse gas emissions, the partisanship over the science will likely decline. Future debates will be about adaptation and resilience actions, many of which will be within the purview of private or local actors who have to bear the consequences of their own choices. At that point, the sincerity of forecasting will rise, for the same reason that investors usually put aside ideology in deciding where to put their dough: “Markets are often wrong but rarely insincere.”

  89. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy news Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  90.   D  C o  t t o n 

    The fact that solar radiation penetrates the thin surface layer of the ocean (say the first 1 centimetre) means that the IPCC, NASA and Trenberth are wrong in assuming that they can determine the temperature of the ocean surface using Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.

    As best I can ascertain, only two persons (myself and another – independently) have discovered (back in 2012) how “heat creep” functions in planetary atmospheres, crusts and mantles etc.

    So take away the surface and the direct solar radiation and what would you expect the base of the nominal Uranus troposphere to be? Hotter than Earth’s surface, even though it is 30 times further from the Sun? You see, there is a big “something” missing in your paradigm of radiative forcing.

    Climatologists are not physicists, and what they arrogantly write is a travesty of physics – as I can easily prove.

  91. I cannot speak as a climate scientist but, judging from the slides alone, in my view Professor Curry won easily. Trenberth’s presentation consisted nearly entirely of recycled media clippings, most of which appear to have little or no real scientific support.

  92. I think the alarmist mindset is defined in Trenberth’s 4th slide where he talks about the job of the scientist is to present the “facts” about the science and the “likely” outcomes. The alarmist elite have decided that they need to make their opinions appear as facts, indisputable by all except the evil or the idiotic, so that the “policy makers” have no real choice other than to adopt the choices that the elite have embraced.

  93. I think the alarmist mindset is defined in Trenberth’s 4th slide where he talks about the job of the scientist being to present the “facts” about the science and the “likely” outcomes. The alarmist elite have decided that they need to make their opinions appear as indisputable facts, so that the “policy makers” have no real choice other than to adopt the choices that the elite have embraced.

  94. Mosher,

    there is no proof in science

    Then falisfiability is a myth. Right?

  95. Professor Curry,

    The Pulitzer committee has awarded American journalism’s highest honor to Britain’s The Guardian and to The Washington Post for their ongoing coverage of Snowden’s bombshell revelation of the scope of domestic and international U.S. government spying:

    That is an encouraging indication that the Climategate scandal will soon be coming to conclusion too.

    • Danley Wolfe

      Omanuel said “this is encouraging indication that the Climategate scandal will soon be coming to conclusion too.” As I read it Climategate has nothing to do with Snowden’s dumping US national security information to the WashPo and Guardian. Euro-humanoids are more inclined that US citizens to regard that as being a good thing but in the US people also recognize that a lot of sensitive security information was given to people who would like to damage our country. The award does nothing to vindicate the climate scientists who were caught / shown to be doing unethical things to push their political agenda, e.g., to fudge data (Mann) and tether dissenting views, i.e., limiting the ability of scientists to publish results and opinions that did not meet their political objectives. Tell me how the Snowden NSA leaks or WashPo and Guardian involvement or reporting affects what the East Anglia and other climate consensus members had been doing revealed in the Wikileaks disclosure of Climategate emails.

      • Euro-humanoids are more inclined that US citizens to regard that as being a good thing but in the US people also recognize that a lot of sensitive security information was given to people who would like to damage our country.

        Danley, you should qualify your statement. While the leaders of the US are in near unanimity as you describe, that does not apply to the minority members of one party, nor the majority of regular, non-brain damaged (i.e. non politicians) citizens of the US.

        Manning did a very bad thing. Snowden did a good thing. He exposed the corrupt government and why it could not catch a terrorist if it tried! it is not looking for them! Just spying on its own citizens,.

  96. Danley Wolfe

    The pithy comment to Judith by Trenberth serves as an example of how most liberals conduct what should be adult discussions or debates, that is by coming back, tossing off personal trashing ad hominems, attempting to discredit those with opposing viewpoints while avoiding to respond on the points with data and facts. This falls under Oxford historian Norman Davies’ Five Rules of Propaganda in his “Europe – a History,” Oxford Press, 1996, pp 500-501):
    • Simplification – reducing all information to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foes’, ‘Virtue vs. Evil’
    • Disfiguration – discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies
    • Transfusion – manipulating consensus values of the audience for one’s own end and point of view, to achieve one’s own objective
    • Unanimity – presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people; appealing to “star- performers,” use of social pressure and ‘psychological contagion’
    • Orchestration- endlessly repeating the same message in different variations
    Note that the much used tactic of referring to the 97% of climate scientists agree argument falls under points 3 and 4: a) agree on what?, b) who are the 97% – this would include thousands of climate scientists who study such things as the mating characteristics of the Canadian titmouse in the northern Rocky Mountains or changes in coral reefs off the coast of Australia. The issue is attribution and whether manmade AGHGs are the predominant cause (now said to be 95% certain (a subjective ‘hand polling’ made by none other than the very people making this claim the main policy pushers, i.e., Kevin Trenberth … ).

    But the real point of my comment is this. The current push by the climate community supported by liberal media (now front page articles almost daily in the NYTs) … following release of the IPCC AR5 WGX reports are becoming more and more urgent need to push harder and harder for drastic change more quickly …. etc. The real reason was alluded to in Judith’s comments in her face off with Kevin Trenberth. “The hiatus now is > 15 years running and not many plateaus in the past century lasted > 15 years.” If global mean temperatures continues to flatline much longer even activist supporters will begin to write off the climate community as wrong headed and self serving. Just as they did the to Club of Rome. We should Let’s start referring to the IPCC as “Club of Rome II.” So time is running out, but it is running out on the climate activists, not on “the urgent need to have a global policy that remakes the entire economies of the developed economies of the world.”

    • Danley,

      When Climategate emails surfaced in Nov 2009 nobody thought this might lead us back to a decision to deceive the public about nuclear energy sixty-four years earlier, in Oct 1945 !

      Is there another viable reason why consensus scientists refuse to step forward and openly address nine pages of precise experimental data (pp. 19-27) that FALSIFY post-1945 consensus models of stars and heavy atoms?

      Here’s a summary of the standoff between deception and reality:

  97. This has to be an embarrassing debate on the causes of global warming (climate change) by Trenberth. Has he no information to support his hypothesis? Pictures of disasters at local points on the globe are supposed to imply increased atmospheric carbon dioxide caused these events. Everything portrayed happened in the past when carbon dioxide increases were of no consequence. What caused the disastrous hurricane hitting New York in 1938? An informed audience should have booed him no matter where they stand on the issue. This presentation was a waste of time and a display of ignorance for all in attendance.

    Prof. Curry’s remarks were polite as they should be.

    James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering

    • Danley Wolfe

      Jameshrust, Trenberth is a leading public outreach spokesperson for the IPCC. HIs message is 100% political, aimed at trying to influence public opinion. He will not debate the critical issues on attribution, e.g., uncertainty and whether / how much increase in the global mean temperature is “caused by” manmade greenhouse gases. The official storyline that man is the primary cause of global warming is in their opinion unassailable but in my opinion is being avoided and based on “data” is not addressed. The hiatus is not addressed rather called a temporary blip however the projection from today of damages assumes the same ol’ same ol’ radiative forcing ramping back onto the old assumptions of forcing of temperature increasing. The next major assembly that will attempt to forge a global treaty of all nations is scheduled for December of 2015 (just after the midterm elections). Therefore, watch the oratory unfold in great earnest during the next year on salvation of planet earth to save mankind. The storyline is getting a little worn at this point.

    • Who will knit up this ravelled sleeve?