Assessments, meta-analyses, discussion and peer review

by Judith Curry

There is an unfortunate knowledge monopoly in climate science and policy – the IPCC and UNFCCC.  As a result there is insufficient intellectual and political diversity in assessments about climate change.  To break this monopoly, we need identify new frameworks for encouraging, publishing and publicizing independent and interdisciplinary ideas and assessments.

The publication of Jim Hansen’s new paper, discussed previously [here], has raised a host of issues that are apart from the actual content of his paper.  Some of these are discussed in Revkin’s two posts:

Here is my take on why we need to rethink how we deal with  consequential policy relevant science and its publication and publicity.

Diversity versus knowledge monopolies

What do I mean by a ‘knowledge monopoly’?  This term was coined by Richard Tol (in the context of climate, anyways), see this previous post IPCC as a knowledge monopoly.  Andy Revkin’s recent posts  on the controversy surrounding Jim Hansen’s paper included this quote from Richard Alley that succinctly describes the climate knowledge monopoly:

For those focused primarily on the broader implications of the science, the logical path is to start with the authoritative assessments from the US National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, the I.P.C.C., etc. Science by its very nature celebrates attempts to overthrow established results, which unavoidably makes our work look “noisy” and confusing to a non-specialist, obscuring for those outside a field what is actually well-founded inside the field. To overcome this difficulty, governments and the broader society have established assessment mechanisms in which the full range of scientists, volunteering in the public eye for the public good, provide up-to-date information on what is solid, what speculative, and what silly. The assessment results are inefficient at generating headlines, he-said/she-saids, and “clicks” on web pages, but the assessment results are far better than the latest press releases at generating reliable, useful, policy-relevant understanding.

(Full disclosure: I have been [I.P.C.C.] or am [N.A.S., R.S.] a member of the groups I’m praising here.)

Well, I find that these government sanctioned assessments don’t adequately account for the broad range of relevant publications and don’t include minority perspectives.  This concern has been raised multiple times by me, by John Christy in his push for a team B or red team, and by the existence of the NIPCC report (not to mention many others).

These negotiated government sanctioned assessments don’t adequately account for the very substantial disagreement about climate change that arises from:

  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence (e.g. models)
  • 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

All this leaves multiple ways to interpret and reason about the available evidence.

A previous post Importance of intellectual and political diversity highlighted the problems with lack of diversity in climate science and assessments.

John Christy’s ‘red team’ idea is a good one, but then who sanctions/selects the red team?  A previous post Institutionalizing dissent discusses these issues.

This post is targeted at the individual scientist, or science team, that wants to publish dissenting assessments of climate science or produce meta-analyses of aspects of climate science or major interdisciplinary research, outside of the establishment government sanctioned organizations (e.g. IPCC, WCRP, etc). In other words, non-institutionalized dissent.  Dissenting scientists can write a book, or take to the blogosphere, or hook up with an advocacy group/think tank and publish reports.  You can judge for yourself to what extent writing books or blogging or think tank reports influence the scientific and public debate on climate change.  Academic research scientists don’t get much credit for publishing in such venues and – the mainstream media is focused on ‘peer reviewed’.  But what are the options for a scientist that wants to publish such analyses in the peer reviewed literature?  There aren’t many.

Where to publish a lengthy interdisciplinary, comprehensive analysis?

Nearly all journals have page limits for their articles – for Science and Nature, the page limits are quite stringent.  Then general work around is to carve things up into multiple papers – this strategy works well for scientists in that their merit is often assessed by number of papers and citations (which is inflated by writing a large number of shorter papers). But these short papers don’t really meet the needs of writing an assessment or meta-analysis or comprehensive interdisciplinary study, which necessitates a more lengthy paper.

So what is the motivation for a scientist or science team to write a lengthy paper on an assessment or meta-analysis or comprehensive interdisciplinary study or new pathbreaking research?  Perhaps because they think that the establishment assessments got it wrong, or the scope of their analysis requires a lengthy paper. Senior scientists have the luxury of not worrying about their paper count, and can focus on more comprehensive publications.

Reviews of Geophysics allows for lengthy papers, but the papers are invited and it is intended for reviews (including synthesis and assessment), not for edge-pushing new research.  Dissenters would be be unlikely to be invited to write such a review.

Some online journals are allowing for more lengthy papers, since they are unbound by the limits of paper publication.  One example is the open “discussion” journals, including Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions (ACPD), which is where Jim Hansen submitted his paper.

Policy relevant science and the need for information yesterday

Scientists wishing to publish an important paper on a topic of policy relevance desire a high impact journal with a quick turnaround on publication,  and would most likely seek to publish the paper in Science, Nature, or PNAS.

Nature, Science and PNAS have stringent word count limits on articles (say 2000 words for most contributions).  These venues obviously don’t work for a lengthy paper such as Hansen’s.

There is a more insidious problem with publishing policy-relevant papers in these journals, particularly Science.  You may recall my recent post The beyond-two-degree inferno, I raised a concern about Chief Editor Marcia McNutt’s advocacy editorial in that it would introduce a bias in the selection of papers sent out for review.

Sure enough, the next week I received an email from an economist  I had been communicating with about his draft paper, that is highly policy relevant in context of the forthcoming Paris meeting.  The paper not only addresses a very important topic and has an important result, but is solidly done and its methodology and results are not likely to be controversial.  The paper was submitted to Science.  The author received the following response:

“Thank you for submitting your manuscript XXX  to Science. Because your manuscript was not given a high priority rating during the initial screening process, we have decided not to proceed to in-depth review. We are therefore notifying you so that you can seek publication elsewhere. We now receive many more interesting papers than we can publish. We therefore send for in-depth review only those papers most likely to be ultimately published in Science. Papers are selected on the basis of discipline, novelty, and general significance, in addition to the usual criteria for publication in specialized journals. Therefore, our decision is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your research but rather of our stringent space limitations”.

In other words, maverick papers that do not support the policy preferences of the Chief Editor will not be published.  Once this paper is eventually published (hopefully sooner rather than later), I will do a blog post on it.

Discussion journals, with instant ‘publication’ of the discussion paper, can provide a  venue for getting policy-relevant papers rapidly into the public arena.

How to peer review complex, integrative policy relevant papers?

Lets say an author has managed to overcome the hurdles of identifying a journal that will publish a lengthy assessment or interdisciplinary paper, has a reasonable impact factor, and has a fast turn around for publication.  How can this paper most effectively (and fairly) be peer reviewed?  Too often, reviewers cheer for their ‘home team’, even if not explicitly a pal review.

Normally, an editor sends a paper out to three reviewers (unless the author is a ‘skeptic’; their papers usually receive the ‘courtesy’ of additional reviews).  For a complex interdisciplinary paper such as Hansen’s, three reviews aren’t sufficient – there are too many subtopics associated with discrete expertise.

In the case of policy relevant papers, I have an interesting example to relate.  Recall the Webster et al. paper on hurricanes and global warming [link], that created quite a media storm given its publication shortly after Hurricane Katrina.  Well, 6 months later we published a follow up paper [link], that strengthened the link between % cat 4-5 and SST [link] .  Because of the intense media interest surrounding the first paper and the continued fascination with the topic of hurricanes and global warming, in advance of the embargo journalists sent the paper to over a hundred scientists, statisticians and mathematicians, conducting a far more rigorous peer review than the journal did.  The involvement of statisticians and mathematicians was important given the novel analysis technique used in the paper.  We saw a version of this for the Hansen et al. paper, with numerous scientists commenting on the paper after a journalist provided them with a copy of the paper and solicited their opinions.  The media plays a very important role in the peer review of headline worthy research papers.  And also follow on analyses by blogs.  For science of high consequence, rapid peer review is crowd sourced by the media and blogs.

But again, the other more insidious issue is reflected in this tweet regarding Hansen’s paper:

When climate peer review is a closed shop, what’s a radical to do ?

Bottom line:  on a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, controversial paper, traditional anonymous peer review (say with 3-5 reviewers) isn’t very useful.  The spate of dubious papers published in Nature Climate Change, many of which don’t survive their press release before being debunked, is a case in point.  Crowd sourced reviews and Discussion papers seem much better to me, although scientists wanting to enforce  the knowledge monopoly don’t seem to like this.

Advantages of a discussion journal

A discussion journal such as ACPD allows for lengthy papers, rapid publication, and extensive reviews by peers and the public.

From Revkin’s post: Ken Caldeira is not a fan of the discussion journals that publish both a discussion paper and the final archived/accepted version of the paper:

The continued circulation of the non-peer-reviewed draft can act as a kind of pollution of the scientific literature, as it is often unclear to the uninitiated what it means to be published in an EGU “Discussions” journal. By publishing papers that are not peer reviewed, EGU journals such as ACPD are contributing to the noise of science, when the role of the editorial process should be to help readers find the rare nuggets of important high quality signal amid the abundance of excess noise.

I really disagree with this.  We need more diversity of published science, not less.  Let the assessment process (with the diversity caveats mentioned above) sort out what is noise and what is not. That ‘noise’ is the potentially important findings that establishment gatekeepers would prefer to see ignored since they don’t align with the prevailing paradigm. Caldeira’s perspective acts to reinforce knowledge monopolies.

It will be very interesting to see how the review process plays out for Hansen’s paper.  I have experience with two controversial papers submitted to APCD – one paper on which I was first author (link ) and the other one which I was a reviewer (Makarieva et al, discussed here at CE).  Both were very controversial as evidenced by the reviews (although neither was associated with a controversy that was relevant to the media); after about 2 years, both papers were finally accepted for publication in the archival journal APC.  APC does not move quickly to make editorial decisions.

Publicizing new ideas outside of the knowledge monopolies

If a scientist has survived the process so far, and has a policy relevant paper that they would like to publicize, the usual process is for the university (or govt lab), funding agency or the journal to issue a press release. But what about retired or independent scientists? And for scientists whose universities won’t issue a press release? E.g., Georgia Tech declined to issue a press release on Lewis and Curry; the paper was publicized on my blog and by the GWPF. In Hansen’s case, presumably NASA or Columbia could have issued the press release. But probably not including Hansen’s most alarming statements and policy prescriptions.

So,  is issuing a press release and making a big media push for his discussion paper prior to peer review ‘kosher’ in academic circles?  (Recall, Richard Muller also did this with the Berkeley Earth papers). Revkin’s post includes this comment:

The result here, just two days after posting, reinforces the danger in making too much of a brave new narrative before that open process has taken place. That point was reinforced in a comment sent Friday by Bárbara Ferreira, communications manager for the European Geosciences Union, endorsing what others have said about the dangers of publicizing research before it has been peer reviewed: “Our policy at the European Geosciences Union is to not advertise research submitted to our journals before the paper has been accepted and published in its final, peer-reviewed form – which, in this case, wouldn’t be for at least another three months, possibly more.”

But what about policy relevant research, where the need for information is yesterday?  Especially when there is a looming policy decision deadline (December in Paris).

The IPCC AR5 was published 2 years ago.  Several subfields have undertaken mini assessment updates.  Apart from wanting the most up to date information, usefully informing policy makers requires that they have input from multiple perspectives.  Revkin makes the following point:

But in the public sphere, with consequential science, the result can be whiplash, at best, and confusion and disengagement at worst.

Whiplash is what you get in controversial and highly uncertain science, if you fail to provide adequate context and address uncertainties.  Apart from this, the way to get around the whiplash problem is to get rid of the mindset and decision analytic framework whereby policies are based on a most likely outcome (with an uncertainty range), determined from a negotiated consensus about a highly uncertain topic.  My numerous posts on decision making under uncertainty [link] speak to this issue.

And finally there is the issue of Hansen’s use of a professional marketing/lobbying firm to handle the press release and media strategy. I can understand that universities or funding agencies are not the right venue for this kind of a media strategy.  Another option is think tanks/advocacy groups (e.g. GWPF, Cato, Environmental Defense, etc.), but they may not want to promote reports that do not originate from their organization, although  GWPF seems open to this sort of thing.  This issue needs some thought, and hopefully some non partisan organizations with expertise and experience will be identified to support this kind of communication.

The art of integration and assessment

Individual research papers push forward the knowledge frontier; it is for this kind of research that scientists get ‘credit’ and recognition.  Synthesis, integration and assessment require different skills than frontier research.  Scientists who have some broader perspectives may be invited to write News and Views for Nature (which is not regarded as a peer reviewed publication, so a scientist doesn’t get much ‘credit’).

More comprehensive synthesis and integration efforts are needed in climate science, with different perspectives (e.g. logical frameworks, weighting of evidence, assessments of unknowns).  When searching for quotes for my No consensus paper, I stumble on this statement by Galileo, which is very apt:

“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” 

The reasoning of an individual about a complex topic is very valuable, in the sense of providing a complete (and hopefully consistent) logic.  This is different from, say, the IPCC assessment, which is largely a dump (or consilience) of information, with inconsistencies between working groups and chapters, that is cemented by expert judgment.

Who are the individuals that are inclined to conduct such syntheses and integrations, particularly in context of policy? In climate science, there are increasing numbers of hybrid voices, scientists that are engaging or speaking out about policy (in an advocacy role or not).  Revkin’s post has a relevant statement:

Hansen has become a hybrid voice. That’s always complicated. In a Facebook discussion of my Thursday article, Steven A. Leibo, a professor of international history and politics at The Sage Colleges in upstate New York, put it this way:

It strikes me that Jim Hansen is playing a somewhat different role these days, rather like that of Paul Krugman — the fully qualified Ph.D. scholar who does not have a peer reviewed process for every commentary he writes, and of course this study is in so many ways going to go through a fast, crowd-sourced peer review fully in time to be ready as we move closer to Paris.

I have found blogging to be an excellent vehicle for broadening my scope and promoting efforts at synthesis and integration.   The art of writing effective Congressional testimony is an example of synthesis and integration.  This is a valuable skill that should be nurtured in scientists, especially senior scientists – instead we are implicitly told (in terms of salary increases, etc) that such activities that take away from discovery research aren’t really worthwhile, although lip service is made in support of outreach activities.

JC conclusions

We need more maverick climate scientists that devote time to looking at the big picture in an integrative way.  And that is why I applaud Jim Hansen for what he has done, in spite of not finding much in his paper to be very convincing.  We need to figure out ways to nurture and reward this kind of scholarship, suitable publication venues, and accepted and effective straggles for publicizing this.

Journalists have been well trained to be dubious of non-peer reviewed papers.  However, on a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, controversial paper, traditional anonymous peer review (say with 3-5 reviewers) isn’t very useful.  Crowd sourced reviews (coordinated by journalists and bloggers) and Discussion papers seem to me to be a much better way to approach this.

 

440 responses to “Assessments, meta-analyses, discussion and peer review

  1. In traditional “peer-reviews”, you provide a list of potential reviewers. You can even suggest those you do not want to be a reviewer. Bit of buddy-buddy in this. The editors were then relieved of having to find reviewers. Not sure how much editors deviated. But that is the initial process for submitting a paper now.

    • i forgot to mention the institutionalization of pal review by many if not most journals. You are asked to suggest 5 reviewers, and any reviewers that you don’t want (you need to provide a reason; simple disagreement won’t work; not i can legitimately claim that Mann shouldn’t review my papers because of public statements he has made about me)

      • So for Lewis& Curry did you (or nic) suggest a list of reviewers that you thought would give you an ‘easy ride’? At least maybe non-hostile? It would seem like a perfectly natural thing for somebody to do.

      • Climate Dynamics does not do the ‘pal review’ thing, which is where Lewis & Curry was published. Climate Dynamics and APCD are my preferred journals, at this point. Good editors and fair review process.

  2. “There is an unfortunate knowledge monopoly in climate science and policy – the IPCC and UNFCCC. As a result there is insufficient intellectual and political diversity in assessments about climate change.”

    This IMO is among the best topics and opinions posted since I started following Climate Etc.

    To date those representing the “knowledge monopoly” have looked at our beautiful round world and have in essence said, “by god we’re going to drive our square peg into this round world come hell or high water.” “Hell and high water” evangelizing is a driving force for many different sects of faithful.

    • Well, the problem is they are wrong.

      If they are free and honest with the facts it will be obvious to anyone that they are wrong.

      Therefore they are not free or honest with the facts.

      Then you have to remember that they use Alinsky’s rules:
      * RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

      They have no motivation to accurately measure, model, or bound CO2 forcing, warming harm, or climate variation since doing so is against their interests. It would make global warming small and real instead of undefined, uncertain, and terrifying. They want a threat instead of a defined problem.

      • Yes you’re right, PA. If I didn’t know better I’d swear that Alinsky was still alive and the tsar behind Obama’s climate policy. Unfortunately rules for radicals are indelibly etched in leftist orthodoxy.

        Hillary wrote her thesis on Alinsky and was good friends with him, so the “book” isn’t going away anytime soon. His teachings are corrosive to democratic ideals because tyranny is fostered from them leading to a breeding ground for sycophants who become entrenched in policy bodies. There’s always someone else in the wings to exploit the doctrine when their needs aren’t met no matter how left governance becomes, thus the cycle invites a perpetual state. The tactics of Alinsky are antithetical to deliberative bodies of democratic give and take.

      • Well, the climategate thing actually proved it.

        The UEA in one instance destroyed the raw data so only their processed data was available and in another instance moved data to a laptop and purged the data from their servers – just to avoid FOIA.

        And then they complained about the FOIA requests chewing up their time. They spent 10+ times as much effort to hide from FOIA as it would have taken to dump the data to portable media.

        Also the government is involved and the government follows the Max Weber maxim:
        Bureaucratic administration means fundamentally domination through knowledge.

        Hiding data and misinforming the populace is a trait of the bureaucratic species.

      • Something there is in groups
        that loves a wall,
        in science you’d think not
        but there it is, walls
        and gate-keeping, some call
        them paradigms, it’s all
        the same, anathema
        to Nature, and to nature
        of evolving knowledge
        by discovery, that relies
        on open society
        and like Einstein says,
        a single experiment
        that refutes all the rest.

      • “They have no motivation to accurately measure, model, or bound CO2 forcing, warming harm, or climate variation since doing so is against their interests. It would make global warming small and real instead of undefined, uncertain, and terrifying. They want a threat instead of a defined problem.”

        Well said PA. There is a reason for this lack of motivation. See my post “The Subversion of Science by Green-Left Politics”.

        http://blackjay.net/?p=237

  3. Go write a review of Hansen’s provocative paper. It’s pretty obvious anybody who clicks on send will have their brilliant shredding of the paper published.

    Let’s see if skeptics of climate science can mount an effective offensive instead of just being offensive. Right now they’re off to a rousing wall splattering.

    • JCH, I did. It was posted last week as a reply to reviewer Archer’s fawning comment, which was simply false it two material respects that suggest the Hasen paper is likely just wrong. And there has already beeb one comment comback by someone who ‘believed’, and did not read the incorporated by reference published essays that backed up my critique.
      The APCD process is working.
      PR on a paper not yet through the process and accepted for the ACP archive is a problem, but typical of Hansen and many of his fellow travelers. ‘Science by press release’ isn’t science. Especially when the PR misrepresents. Marcott’s hockey stick, NOAA/PMEL on oysters and ocean acidification, and NASA/JPL on the Amundsen Embayment and PIG are vivid examples in previous CE guest posts.

      • It’s not over with yet, so you have not done it… yet. Right now people who are not authors are replying. It seems like that only goes so far.

      • David Springer

        ristvan | July 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Reply

        “JCH, I did. It was posted last week as a reply to reviewer Archer’s fawning comment, which was simply false it two material respects that suggest the Hasen paper is likely just wrong. And there has already beeb one comment comback by someone who ‘believed’, and did not read the incorporated by reference published essays that backed up my critique.”

        Interesting racket you got going there, pud. You make an argument that includes by reference an essay published in one of your ebooks. If the person on the other side doesn’t purchase your $8 ebook he loses the argument due to the fact that he didn’t read your argument.

        Funny stuff, pud. How many people fall for it?

    • Go write a review of Hansen’s provocative paper.

      Would you agree that global warming will cause less intense storms?

      • I should have said comment. Write a comment. You guys are smarter than Hansen et al. I know you can do it. Go shred him.

      • No, that’s the thing, there’s a lot in the Hansen paper, but one of the big things lost in the shuffle is the following.
        The models indicate, by Hansen’s reasoning, that storms should be less intense with global warming (kinetic energy decreases ), unless there’s glacial ice collapse. When was the last time you hear less intense storms?

      • Would you agree that global warming will cause less intense storms? …

        I think he’s talking in the in the context of mid-latitude storms as the section is about slowing/stopping the AMOC.

      • TE, the figure you show indicates the increase in storms that Hansen is talking about. More eddy kinetic energy is more storms, and the melt case has more because the gradients are enhanced. This much is clear.

      • TE, the figure you show indicates the increase in storms that Hansen is talking about. More eddy kinetic energy is more storms, and the melt case has more because the gradients are enhanced. This much is clear.

        Right, but there hasn’t been an ice sheet collapse we’re on the left hand case, not the right hand case, so the next time someone blathers on about intense storms and global warming, you set ’em straight, ok?

      • More eddy kinetic energy is more storms, and the melt case has more because the gradients are enhanced.

        No.

        The non-melt water case has NEGATIVE anomalies of kinetic energy.
        ( less intense storms ).

        That’s what the model indicates.

      • The left panel just gives you more rain or snow in the storms that occur because of higher water vapor amounts. It is not necessarily any better. The current climate and sea level is better than both of these options.

      • TE, if the AMOC stops, their maps show that Atlantic temperature gradient is enhanced over what we have now, because the fresh cold meltwater and sea ice comes much further south and tightens the gradient. The Atlantic surface temperature gradient is important for storms in Europe.

      • What the models indicate is that in the absence of glacial ice collapses, storminess ( as indicated by kinetic energy ) decreases. This was predicted by the early Manabe models because greater polar warming and greater global water vapor reduces baroclinicity and the motions necessary to restore balance.

        Since the ice sheet collapse are not demonstrated, global warming as modeled means less intense storms.

        That’s what the model indicates.

    • JCH, I have offered alternative reasons why/how the climate may change going forward. Thy are superior to what you subscribe to.

      If you choose not to believe them it is your problem not mine or other skeptics that put forth alternative theories.

    • Hansen has been wrong on every prediction, he is obsolete.

      • See, only you know that; nobody else does. You can expose him. He’s left an opening big enough for a Mack truck. You can drive that Mack truck, but not here. Has to be over there, where is latest wrong and obsolete is on full display.

    • JCH, Hansen and your beliefs about the climate are obsolete.

      End of story.

    • Every prediction has been wrong and only manipulation of the data is keeping it half way alive.

    • Well, it is ok for him to propose some blue sky ideas.

      But there doesn’t seem to be a way to produce a sea level rise that doesn’t ramp up.

      His assertion that the Eemian was only 1°C warmer doesn’t seem accurate.

      Unfortunately the reviews of his paper are making things worse:
      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/27/3684564/james-hansen-climate-danger-hyper-anthropocene

      “The natural state of the Earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 70 feet higher than now.”
      And a 2009 paper in Science showed that the last time CO2 levels were this high, it was 5° to 10°F warmer and seas were 75 to 120 feet higher.

      Statements like this are indefensible. They confuse cause and effect. The last time the CO2 level was this high the continental configuration was different and the planetary heat flows were significantly different.

  4. In 2011 I published an article called “Why I Am Not Having A Screening Mammogram” in Science 2.0. For those of you unfamiliar with the issue, in 2011 it was about in the state of climate science today. My article was highly personal one aimed at the general public and explained my doubts about the efficacy of screening mammography. It resulted from my concerns about unethical pushing of a highly questionable screening method on unsuspecting women by a powerful lobby that was acting without the benefit of proper science and without properly informed consent. There was a lot of jumping on the bandwagon behind them by well meaning people taking the position “Well we haven’t got anything better”. Last time I checked over 75,000 people read that article and there was even a publication put out by one of the lobby groups entitled “Why You Should Have a Screening Mammogram” (and avoid reading garbage on the internet) that was a point by point refutation of my position without acknowledging my article based on both smearing me and authoritarianisms like “only read peer reviewed article in reputable journals”. I also got a lot of hate mail and a lot of “You’re going to cause women to die of breast cancer, how dare you!” and “My sister’s life was saved by a screening mammogram, you evil liar!” kind of messages. I also got a lot of private messages quietly thanking me for coming out and saying it. I am still stunned by the impact Science 2.0 had. I kept all my doubts to myself until I retired and it was only then that I finally got up the nerve to publish how I felt. Before that I kept quiet, thinking “It’s really not my field.” “I don’t really want to get into this.” “This is not worth wrecking my career over.” “People I respect and don’t want to alienate will disagree with me.” “I could never get this published.” I think a lot of that kind of thing is going on among scientists today about climate change is like that.

    • v. interesting story. I suspect that blogs have a bigger influence than is often credited

      • Don’t tell Mosher- he will have a fit. LOL

      • Steven Mosher

        Love it.

        folks to do stuff and actually publish!!!

      • I suspect that blogs have a bigger influence than is often credited

        And an even bigger one if they were kept open for comments longer than three days. (I won’t be able to comment further here for a few more days because of an upcoming deadline. Furthermore the more contemplative readers may wish to think about the issues being raised for a few days before rushing to judgment.)

      • David Springer

        Rob Starkey (@Robbuffy) | July 29, 2015 at 11:23 am |

        “Don’t tell Mosher- he will have a fit. LOL”

        Just because Mosher gets annual mammograms it doesn’t follow that he will have a fit over an article criticizing the practice.

    • ==> ““This is not worth wrecking my career over.” ”

      You do realize that there have been numerous peer reviewed papers, and many, many media articles, calling into question existing mammogram protocols, right?

      The reactions on both sides of this issue are quite strong. Can you point to anyone’s career that has been “wreck[ed]” as the result of expressing opinions on this issue one way or the other?

      • I was referring to my local career in the milieu I was in, where most of my colleagues were pushing to have a province wide screening mammogram program set up. The physicians I worked with, worked on a fee for service basis not for a salary and, to be very very blunt, they personally needed the money a huge screening program would result in.

      • I don’t want to get into a debate on the merits or lack thereof on mammograms. My biggest beef with the system is lack of properly informed consent. If a woman examines the facts and understands the risk/benefit ratio and chooses to get a mammogram anyway I am absolutely fine with that. But the kind of heated debate and personal attacks and polarization that goes on in this debate has a lot of parallels with the current AGW climate debate.

    • A mammogram is typically cited as 400 µS and takes 2-3 seconds applied to 2-3 kilograms. The mammaries receive the equivalent of a 10 mS whole body dose. 3.6 mS is typical whole body annual dose people receive..

      LD 50 is 4-5 sieverts, so you won’t get a radiation reaction. But applying 3 times the annual background radiation dose to any part of your body in a 2-3 second interval can’t be good.

      Somewhere over 200 mS/y there starts to be a cancer risk – because the cell repair mechanism gets overloaded. 400 uS in 2-3 seconds is the equivalent of a scary annual dose.

      I’m no expert but I can’t see how mammograms can have a positive outcome. Further while the sensitivity is around 84% after 10 mammograms you have a 50% chance of a false positive.

      • Plus 5% of the population have gene variants that mean their DNA repair is not as good as it could be and therefore they need a lot less radiation to cause a problem. And if you are having yearly mammograms in the age bracket of 40-50 that false positive rate is actually even higher meaning by the time you are 50, the false positive rate is 65% due to breast density. No it isn’t a pretty picture. I wouldn’t be bothered if women having the exam knew these things and decided to do it anyway. My issue is how women are typically not told these things. They are treated like mushrooms and our tax money pays for it.

  5. For those of you unfair with the courtesy of more reviews, if an editor does not want to publish something, (s)he just has to send it out for more and more reviews until someone finally comes back with a negative review and then they can justify rejecting the paper. I had one paper reviewed 11 times and it was rejected on the basis of the one bad review by someone who had lifted entire paragraphs of a grant application I had written and then submitted as their own and then used (since they were on the committee I had applied to) to get the grant. The peer review system is based on the idea that all of us are decent honest and fair and we will act objectively in the interests of science. Mostly I would say that is true but if even a small percentage are not acting that way, the system gets horribly skewed.

  6. In many ways I appreciate the publishing constraints that have limited sweeping meta-analyses. Although meta-analyses have their place, I have found most climate related meta- analyses totally obscure critical regional effects and then by mashing many confounding factors falsely attribute a given phenomenon to climate change. The Kerr 2015 paper suggesting bumblebees are caught in a climate vice is the most recent example discussed here http://landscapesandcycles.net/bumblebees-and-climate-change.html

    The bigger the meta-analyses the more difficult it is evaluate the relevance and validity of each contributing data set. In the 2003 IPCC paper “A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.” Changes in species range and abundance were all attributed to Co2 climate change, but a thorough examination of each data set revealed false attribution due to limited historical context, cyclical changes due to ocean oscillations and landscape change. Their example of their models ability to differentiate between landscape change vs climate change, falsely attributed climate change to a species that had expanded due to well documented conservation efforts discussed here http://landscapesandcycles.net/hijacking-conservation-success-in-the-uk.html

    • There is another problem with meta-analyses, selection bias. For example in AR4. For example WG2 on species extinctions, where you have particular interests and expertise. Covered that particular example in guest CE post No Bodies.

  7. I found this very insightful:

    “There is an unfortunate knowledge monopoly in climate science and policy – the IPCC and UNFCCC. As a result there is insufficient intellectual and political diversity in assessments about climate change. To break this monopoly, we need identify new frameworks for encouraging, publishing and publicizing independent and interdisciplinary ideas and assessments.”

    “Bottom line: on a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, controversial paper, traditional anonymous peer review (say with 3-5 reviewers) isn’t very useful. The spate of dubious papers published in Nature Climate Change, many of which don’t survive their press release before being debunked, is a case in point. Crowd sourced reviews and Discussion papers seem much better to me, although scientists wanting to enforce the knowledge monopoly don’t seem to like this.”

    Hear, hear!

    I’m less inclined to think the press helps the process than you are, though. I tire of them quoting “sources” as opposed to thinking critically about what the sources are saying. I also tire of them cherry picking their sources so that we only hear one side of the argument. Or, alternatively, they cherry pick an opposing source that they can bully into acting out on camera, regardless of the quality of his criticism. I’ve seen this a lot when the press covers climate issues.

    I’ve given up watching television news and I limit my radio listening. I just don’t think I’m getting any useful information from these sources anymore.

    • “I’m less inclined to think the press helps the process …”

      Relative to politically charged topics like climate science I completely agree with you.

      Is Soon a maverick? Or simply paid off by the oil and gas lobby? All skeptical science is paid off by the oil and gas lobby; this is the overarching theme by proponents of AGW. It’s part of the sculpting process for the “how to” create a monopoly relative to climate science. “How to” stigmatize the climate debate; “how to” craft messaging; “how to” enforce policy; “how to” organize; “how to” win; “how to” for climate science is politically polished industry.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Is Soon a maverick? Or simply paid off by the oil and gas lobby? ”

        Maverick? no
        paid off? no
        correct? no

        your first two questions set up false choices. bad argument.

        in general it is bad to argue using questions.

      • Steven, I’m describing political science communication that’s used to answer the rhetorical questions I posed as related to the topic couched by andy; “does the press help the process”. You are agreeing with me that the press doesn’t help the process, that the press lies; because as you state Soon isn’t paid off. The preponderance of press states that he has been paid off however; therefore the press isn’t helping the process.

        Is solar science settled as it relates to climate? Another question; your answer seems to suggest yes, therefore Soon isn’t a maverick, he’s just a bad scientist. Or if you don’t think solar science is settled as it pertains to climate you may feel Soon’s solar variability work was just bad science in whatever capacity you wish to describe. I leave that question open to you and others relative to Soon’s work, I don’t know. However, generally speaking there’s many that believe Solar variability plays a much bigger role then the orthodoxy suggests. But we come full circle because the questions posed are rhetorical framing questions relative to the way the media skewers those outside orthodoxy and how they don’t help the process.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | July 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm |

        “Is Soon a maverick? Or simply paid off by the oil and gas lobby? ”

        Maverick? no
        paid off? no
        correct? no

        Does Mosher have a PhD in solar physics? no
        Is Mosher credible in saying solar physicist soon is incorrect? no
        Is Mosher credible at all? no

    • +100

      I don’t watch TV news either. I read the news on line from newspapers , select web sites (American Interest, GWPF) and several blogs.

  8. Curiosity is what gives diversity. Climate science pretty much stamps it out owing to being organized and funded. The funding causes the organization.

    The curious guys choose to be curious about something else, given the bureaucratic organizations occupying the climate science field, meaning both sides.

    You can’t have a science with science in the name.

  9. Pingback: Assessments, meta-analyses, discussion and peer review — Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | Taking Sides

  10. Science, by its very funding source is political. What every administration abhors is a minority report. That is why one doesn’t see minority reports from government agencies. Everybody has to sing by the same hymnal or get out and shut up. The piper calls the tune.

    Dwight David Eisenhower was right in warning about science funding guiding research priorities and especially what is publicized.

    To get the broad strokes “big picture” item published there use to be Scientific American, National Geographic and like newsy magazines which had the space and readership to put forth an idea “to be considered.” SA has long ago become a puppet of syncopaths in the climate change cabal so one gets the same bias as in most other publications. Nothing new although I admit I no longer pick up SA even in the barbershop.

    I believe you, Judith Curry are a cutting edge publication and information source through your “blog light” moderation. Lots of people reading lots of stuff sending lots of already filtered news and view and things to consider provide the fodder for the rest of us to chew on. Duration is the criteria by which to evaluate relevance and CE endures. “People come and go speaking of Michelangelo” and then there times when one finds nuggets someone has left lying around. All one has to do is be observant, bend down and pick them up. Of course one has to be wary of fools gold; but that is just like everywhere else in life.

    Like it or not, you have become a genre in and of yourself, somewhat eclectic I might add. Most times there is something for everyone.

  11. Pingback: Assessments, meta-analyses, discussion and peer review | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  12. Update to Revkin’s post:

    AddendumAddendum, July 29, 11:30 a.m. | Some climate bloggers,led by “Tamino”, have harshly criticized me for thinking I am qualified to post a review comment pointing to studies that appear to contradict the “superstorm” argument in the paper. Here’s some of what he wrote:

    What the hell is going on here? If those geologists want to raise objections or contribute comments, great, let them do so — but second-hand, hearsay “reporting” from a reporter who lacks the knowledge base to make his own comments, does not constitute valid review.

    In my initial reply, I said:

    As I wrote on Dot Earth, with a sweeping multi-disciplinary paper like this one, it’s great to do review on an open platform. Does it matter if a journalist or scientist points to relevant published literature? If the papers are relevant, they should be considered.http://nyti.ms/1LG4JR9

    He didn’t agree:

    What a crock. It sure as hell matters whether or not the comment comes from the commenter. Second-hand hearsay perverts the process. Scientific review is for those who *know the topic* to comment, and it’s abundantly clear, that ain’t you.

    I figured it’s worth checking on the journal’s definition of “the scientific community” (the journal’s description of those who can comment) through the European Geosciences Union media officer, Bárbara Ferreira.

    Here’s her full note on the journal’s review policy on discussion papers:

    The short answer:
    In practice, anyone (scientists and non-scientists) can comment on the articles undergoing public discussion, but we mention “the scientific community” in the guidelines because typically scientists (in the broadest sense of the word) are the ones interested in commenting on the articles. Hansen’s paper is very much an exception, not only because it was publicised to the media prior to peer review, but also because it is driving discussion from outside the scientific circles.

    So it’s not an issue at all that you posted a comment, regardless of whether or not you could be considered part of “the scientific community”.

    The longer (informal) answer:
    As you noticed when you commented on Hansen’s paper, you had to create an account with our publisher Copernicus (who manage the day-to-day running of our journals) by providing your name and email.

    Back in 2001-2003, in the early days of ACP, new user accounts “were put on hold and we applied a check for affiliation, etc. In those days, people had to provide all details when creating an account (affiliation, address, etc.). then, we checked the institute website whether this person is really there, etc. Unfortunately, this slows down the process and especially referees are disappointed. They get a referee call, have no account, and then wait a day to get their account to start their report. Therefore, we switched to quick logins (name and email only). ” (this is from a Copernicus representative)

    Checking user accounts is even more unfeasible now that the EGU, through Copernicus, publishes 17 peer-reviewed open access journals (the vast majority have interactive public peer review, as is the case with ACP). This amounts to thousands of papers published each year, and thousands of users commenting on the journal discussion forums.

    My impression is that, even if Copernicus were still doing the checks for new users, you would be considered part of the broad scientific community, if for nothing else because you have an academic appointment and a profile at the Pace University website. But, as mentioned in the short answer, that doesn’t matter anymore because anyone who creates an account with our publisher can comment on a paper.

    One last thought. Perhaps Tamino can step out from behind the shield of anonymity (which too often fuels vitriol) and confirm if he is indeed Grant Foster (quoted on Climate Central), as some have suggested. Foster has published quite a bit on climate, including with Stefan Rahmstorf, a leader of that 2014 review of experts on sea-level rise that is a far cray from what the new paper is projecting.

    And we are both musicians, it seems. Although that perhaps doesn’t go well with the rigor “Tamino” requires in paper reviewers.

    • curryja quoting tamino: Scientific review is for those who *know the topic* to comment, and it’s abundantly clear, that ain’t you.

      The comment is more important than the commenter. People define “those who ‘know the topic’ ” to include only those who are in agreement with them, not people who are knowledgeable and insightful — it is a way to avoid addressing legitimate criticism and minority viewpoints.

      Even those who know the topic well can be called “not in good faith” when their arguments are clearly irrefutable or at least insightful. That is basically just another way to ignore criticism and close down thinking.

    • When I registered with Copernicus to comment on Archer and Hansen, they sent a temp password. The process of making that permanent requires disclosing affiliation and more. It gives ACP a way to sort out the bonafides of comments and commenters if they choose to do so.

    • David Springer

      That’s bona fides not bonafides. Bona is Latin for trust. Fides is the Roman goddess of trust.

      • David Springer

        Sorry. Bona is Latin for “good”. Note to self: proof read before posting not after. heheh

    • David L. Hagen

      By using coercion of public intimidation , Tamino undermines the scientific method. It took an innocent child to expose the fact that the Emperor had no clothes. All the rest were bowing to the politically correct “understanding”!
      Thus the Royal Society chose its

      motto ‘Nullius in verba’ [which] roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment

      Tamino – Uphold the scientific method – sift the wheat from the chaff – or look for diamonds in the coal dust. It only takes one fact to nullify your politically correct theory.

  13. Here is an example of just one confidential e-mail that was sent to me. it illustrates that even with open reviews, maverick scientists have other hurdles besides which journals to publish in

    “Roger, You have a one person fan club, who is constantly in awe of your ability to calmly bring reason to an awful situation. I truly wish I could publicly be more supportive, but I don’t have the job security to allow me to do so. Please understand how much I appreciate the thankless role you have carried forward.”

    • > Here is an example of just one confidential e-mail

      Here’s another:

      After watching Dr. Pielke repeatedly cite Stephens et al. 2015 this way, I asked Dr. Stephens if his paper contradicted the IPCC AR5 attribution statements. He responded:

      “It doesn’t contradict it in the sense that IPCC stated that ‘the feedbacks we know of are most likely positive’ and doesn’t thus rule out the existence of negative feedbacks – it’s just at that time the authors weren’t able to identify any negative feedbacks that seemed credible in the recorded literature – my albedo paper is merely suggestive that negative feedbacks might exist – at least wrt albedo which is only part of the story.” [Dr. Stephens, 2015-07-22 email]

      https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-59395

      Still no answer from rpielke, to a question asked more than ten times, over a month.

      • Willard – Graeme wrote his reply to you diplomatically. Did you even read their paper? See these extracts from http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf

        “Models fail to reproduce the observed annual cycle in all components of the albedo with any realism, although they broadly capture the correct
        proportions of surface and atmospheric contributions to the TOA albedo.”

        “The significance of these shortcomings is not yet fully known, but model studies of hypothetical slab-ocean worlds suggest that interhemispheric changes in albedo can grossly affect the climate states of those worlds, shifting the ITCZ [Voigt et al., 2013, 2014; Frierson and Hwang, 2012] and altering the amount of heat moved poleward [e.g., Enterton and Marshall, 2010].”

        How can one do an accurate attribution evaluation if the models have these flaws? Graeme answered you in a diplomatic tone but he is reporting on what their paper found.

        You are also being disingenuous. I discussed in length my views on your questions. Interestingly, you failed to answer mine. .

        Roger Sr.

      • > Graeme wrote his reply to you diplomatically.

        He wrote to Dumb Scientist, actually.

        ***

        > I discussed in length my views on your questions.

        There was one question, to which you replied, shall we say, “diplomatically.”

        ***

        > Interestingly, you failed to answer mine.

        Denizens can read how rpielke threw these squirrels in a way to deflect from answering the question:

        Since you can’t even explicitly agree or disagree with the IPCC’s attribution statements after being asked many times over many weeks, there’s no reason to play squirrel with you. You already played this trick earlier in the thread, when instead of answering Dumb Scientist’s question, you switched to your ever favorite NRC 2005 and a textbook. A textbook usually implies a division of labor where an author could insert his own pet ideas without the other authors minding much. It’s just a textbook, after all.

        If you want to “debate” things, you might wish to debate Richard Betts on this matter, since we already know that he does not disagree with any attribution statement made by the IPCC:

        I can’t think of one that I disagree with (in the form in which they have been very carefully written, to account for uncertainties and also a full range of anthropogenic influences not just GHGs).

        Either this means your assumption is wrong, or Richard Betts is wrong. As far as I am concerned, your assumption presumes that we need to faithfully model on regional scale before modelling stating anything on a global scale, something I call the meteorological fallacy, in your honor of course.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-59292

        Diplomacy starts home.

      • The issue is this, as far as I can see. Graeme Stephens is not an expert on attribution, hence he doesn’t want to deal with implications of his results on attribution

      • > The issue is this […]

        Ze issue, again.

        ***

        > Graeme Stephens is not an expert on attribution […]

        Compare and contrast:

        The comment is more important than the commenter.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/29/assessments-meta-analyses-discussion-and-peer-review/#comment-721469

      • David Springer

        Willard is quoting hearsay from an anonymous blogger “Dumb Scientist” on ATTP. Take it for what it’s worth ($0.00).

      • The comment is more important than the commenter.

        Well, this sort of ignores the difference between an informed opinion and an opinion.

        The power discussions really illustrate this with aplanningengineer et. al. vs renewable advocates.

        I’m not in aplanningengineer’s league but at least I have integrated solar power into off-grid systems and have some other power systems exposure, and it was pretty obvious whose viewpoint was closer to reality.

      • > quoting hearsay

        Just when it started with:

        Here is an example of just one confidential e-mail that was sent to me.

      • > this sort of ignores the difference between an informed opinion and an opinion.

        Unless the opinion carries its own information, in which case it stands on its own, and needs no authority to support it.

        When Denizens are being reminded that their favorite viewpoint has very little approval rate among established scientists, they play the nullius non verba card. Yet Denizens castigate established scientists and institutions daily. Heck, they even let their incredulity guard down when they hear pseudonymous autorities singing to their tune.

        Go team!

    • “I truly wish I could publicly be more supportive, but I don’t have the job security to allow me to do so.”

      Definitely a free society.

  14. David L. Hagen

    Re Galileo, Albert Einstein retorted:

    If I were wrong one [author] would have been enough

    When he heard that “100 Authors against Einstein” had been published. Quoted by Stephen Hawking, & The Ultimate Quotable Einstein p 170

    No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

    Quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Quotable Einstein (1996), 224

  15. So what is the motivation for a scientist or science team to write a lengthy paper on an assessment or meta-analysis or comprehensive interdisciplinary study or new pathbreaking research?

    The first and simplest step would be for the granting agencies to put all funded grant proposals on line for everyone to read. They have longer literature reviews than are permitted in nearly every journal, and they intelligently review gaps in knowledge that require expeditious research, usually citing the most influential and most recent research. I think it was John Ziman who first wrote that the major form of research synthesis now was the grant proposal. Papers reporting research supported by grants are required to list the grants, which permits outside parties to compare the actual research to the proposed research, and to compare the report summaries to the summaries in the published papers.

    • VERY GOOD POINT. I like reading grant proposals for this reason (also Ph.D. theses)

      • curryja: I like reading grant proposals for this reason (also Ph.D. theses)

        Another good point. Are not all PhD theses, once defended and bound, stored in a publicly available archive at the University of Michigan? I seem to recall paying a fee for that after I defended mine.

    • Personally, I think using grant applications to determine the latest and best is the result of the perversion of the entire system. Dang it all anyway, it used to be the publications that provided that! We need to read grants to find stuff today? What a waste of good intellectual energy grant writing has become.

      • Grant proposals provide an assessment of knowledge gaps, which doesn’t generally appear in published articles (and is deeply hidden if present in assessment reports like IPCC). This is a problem of the word limitations imposed by journals, which seem pointless in this era of online publications.

      • curryja: This is a problem of the word limitations imposed by journals,

        That problem has now been overcome, at least in part for some journals such as Nature, Science Magazine and The Annals of Applied Statistics, by the provision of “Supporting Online Materials”.

    • If the tax-payers are paying for it, why shouldn’t they be allowed to read the proposals for what they’d be paying for?

      • I dont know about other fields, but in mine and my sister’s a graduate level proposal or a research grant proposal can be a gold mine. Those have to be kept under wraps because some individuals like to plagiarize or steal contents.

        In my case I sat in a technical committee reviewing yearly budgets for a fairly large research outfit, and every budgeted project was preceded with a large amount of leading edge information. In some cases I had our models cranked up to duplicate the model work they had done, to figure out if I should vote for a specific line of research. And ALL of that work has to be kept separate from our daily routine to avoid contamination (meaning we can’t show any results to others outside the organization). I can see how a lot of confidential material can leak when one has to undergo the budget reviews.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK
        Some contain innovative confidential material that can be used to file patents and start up /extend a company. e.g. see NIH on confidential material in SBIR applications.

      • IMO the whole issue of tax money paying for research associated with IP needs to be clarified/revisited.

        I’m not saying that it should never happen, but one of the main original aspects of patents was disclosure. A more important question is, why should the government be paying for research that’s still too secret for patent filing? For that matter, why/when should research paid for by the government lead to patents at all?

        Perhaps most research paid for from tax funds, especially if the “overhead” is taken from the grants, should end up in the public domain. That way, anybody who wanted to use it could. And anybody who wanted proprietary IP could fund their own research.

    • Well…

      All the NSF or EPA RFPs should be online.

      The actual grant proposals …

      Perhaps the best approach is to require the entire paperwork chain (grant proposal, data, methodology) be put on-line at the completion of any government funded study.

      This would make one of the sources of research manipulation (deviating from the study plan) pretty obvious.

      Any propriety/contamination/etc. issues are over at the completion of the study and there is no reason not to make all the information available.

  16. “Monopsony” might be less sexy:

    A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity (this contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity’s control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly which consists of a few entities dominating an industry). Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the existence of a high monopoly price well above the firm’s marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit. The verb “monopolise” refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors. In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices. Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly. A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry (or market).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

    INTEGRITY ™ – Monopoly, monopoly, monopoly.

  17. We had an extremely unusual event in Manitoba on Monday. We had a large tornado form and stay on the ground for 2.5-3 hours. It had multi vortex stage with seven separate tornados, a wedge shaped stage over a kilometre wide, and a thick stovepipe stage. Damage estimates are F4-F5 by the professional chasers. (Environment Canada is still investigating.) By a miracle, the storm missed all urban centres and only wrecked a single farmstead and there were no injuries or fatalities except for post event hoarseness of the professional storm chasers. The new and long over due Canadian multi media alert system got a good workout and did its job remarkably well. Naturally, on the AGW side of the debate there is screaming this is proof of global warming even though if you look at the history of tornados in our province and our location at the top end of tornado alley, this is not all that uncommon an event and it has occurred about once every twenty years or so. I have been very pleased to note all the local media has been reporting the facts of the event without a word about AGW. The AGW alarmism has been limited to the comments sections but it is particularly vociferous there.

    • My next post will be on the 47/97 thing, v. interesting.

      • Also, the SkS deniers list is just a disgrace.

      • Steven Mosher

        The quotes used to prove Muller id a misinformer are silly.

        https://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Richard_Muller.htm

      • Dr Curry,

        Pretty much everything about sks is a disgrace.

        A circus tent where every act is nothing but clowns.

      • I look forward to reading it. I don’t understand why this result of the survey was not identified earlier. If not in peer review, than by one of the readers in this highly-rated journal.

      • Re the SkS “climate misinformers” list.

        Note the massive amount of work to create these pages on 40 people, each with dozens of links and rebuttals. I don’t believe any skeptic website rivals it in the quality of its design or the depth of its content (not just hundreds or thousands of poor indexed articles in a box).

        While I agree with Professor Curry and Steve Mosher about the quality of the SkS “analysis” (i.e., smears), the reality is that these pages have been up for years. They have influenced thousands of readers — with almost no rebuttal from the climate activists (ethics!), climate skeptics (hang together or hang separately), or journalists (this is a good story).

        It’s a wonderful case study of the poor quality of the climate change debate. So much chaff in the air that nobody can see the sun.

      • well i don’t see what any of us can do about the SkS situation. They are impervious to ethics (not to mention the complexity of climate science.)

      • Prof Curry,

        We can never stop people saying bad or false things. But they can be called on them.

        SkS has made a career of smears. Their allies should have called them out on this, in a better world.

        Skeptics should have called them out for these pages on SkS, if they had any awareness of the situation they were playing in. Instead they act as Lone Rangers, often ignoring outrageous attacks on other skeptical scientists.

        Steve McIntyre talks about “the team” of scientists advocating for action on climate change — which is how they play, and why they’re winning inside the institutional structures of the West.

      • > i.e., smears

        Examples would be nice.

      • Steven Mosher

        > i.e., smears

        Examples would be nice.

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

        That’s a wonderful invitation to due a long post on whether or not calling someone a climate misinformer is defamatory.

        Thanks for the idea !!!

      • > Thanks for the idea !!!

        Considering all the mud slinged at SkS and the established viewpoint here and elsewhere, Denizens might beware their wishes.

        Some might even argue that the “monopoly” label used in the current editorial contains a smear.

      • Concerns about a systemic problem affecting a field of scientific research is very different from smearing individuals

      • Whatever their difference, both individuals and institutions have a reputation, and therefore can be subject to smears.

        Also note that this difference is problematic in cases where an institution can’t be separated from the related individuals, e.g. SkS.

        Since the Internet consists of dogs, it’s easy to hear what’s being whistled behind these concerns.

      • Anyone who thinks the use of ‘denier’ is a coincidence should educate themselves:

        http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/179755/how-communist-left-killed-free-speech-west-paul-gottfried

      • Steven,

        “whether or not calling someone a climate misinformer is defamatory.”

        Do you believe it is not a smear (when falsely done)? That explanation would be interesting to see.

        Although having the same meaning, “defamatory” has a sense of being legally actionable — which is different than using “smear” in a lay sense.

      • David L. Hagen

        curryja
        Consider it an climate science honor roll of those whose facts and models cannot be rebutted. SkS descends to gutter journalism of illogical ad hominem attacks.
        e.g. see Paul vs sons of Skiva. They will each receive their come uppance.

    • Steven Mosher

      good quotes there

      “Kuhn’s work shows that a paradigm cannot be disproved, only replaced (details here). Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates — the climate science debate and the public policy debate about climate change (they’re distinct, although often conflated).”

      gosh.

      • Steven Mosher: Kuhn’s work shows that a paradigm cannot be disproved, only replaced (details here).

        Do you believe Kuhn?

        For a fuller account, read “Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World” by Abraham Pais. Kuhn’s most cited work is short and as schematic as a cartoon. The basic concept of “paradigm” is undefined. Also worthy are Pais’ biographies of Einstein and Bohr.

      • > The basic concept of “paradigm” is undefined.

        Of course it is. Many definitions can be read in his Structure. Dozens of them. To leave it as a primitive (one sense of “basic,” BTW) may have been better.

        Search for “disciplinary matrix” for a more mature concept.

      • Steven Mosher

        Do you believe Kuhn?

        what part of “good quotes” has you confused?

        do I believe Kuhn? he said a lot.

        I was not even interested in the appeal to Kuhn. I liked this line

        “Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        Kuhn? I can take him or leave him. he is not essential to the argument.

        “Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        More of a fact than an argument

      • “Kuhn?”

        “in general it is bad to argue using questions.”

        A guess at the author?

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher: good quotes there

        What makes the quote good? Is Kuhn to be credited or not? If you can take him or leave him, how is a reference to an insubstantial claim by him good?

        For a specific criticism of Kuhn’s attempts at simplicity, from a perspective of great knowledge (by a man who did his own science, no less), read pp 129 – 131, in Inward Bound, and note end note 3 on p. 130 (140). According to Pais, Kuhn’s mistake derived from not reading enough of the primary literature.

        Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates — the climate science debate and the public policy debate about climate change (they’re distinct, although often conflated).

        Right now, the public policy debate is dominated by the people who oppose divesting the energy economy from fossil fuels. Call them (or us) what you will, they (or we) have hardly budged since about 2 years after Gore and the IPCC were awarded their Nobel Peace Prizes. California is investing in solar and wind farms, but outsources a great deal of its electrical production (to “large” hydropower that the state officially does not recognize as “renewable”; and to fossil fuel) — and Californians show little inclination to reduce their liquid fuel consumption. If all this non-movement away from fossil fuels resulted from “minor players”, what could “major players” have accomplished? Expansions of Australian and American coal exports? Increased coal consumption in Germany, Pakistan, and Japan? A revolution in fracking?

      • Steven Mosher

        Matthew

        “What makes the quote good?”

        It contained a sentence that I thought was good for people
        to think about— skeptics need an alternative theory if they
        want to be major players: Example: Lewis. Example: stadium wave

        Is Kuhn to be credited or not?

        He is not credited. He is used to explain. However, he is unnecessary
        as I have made the SAME argument without reference to Kuhn.
        he is disposable.

        If you can take him or leave him, how is a reference to an insubstantial claim by him good?

        never said the reference to him was good, I said the quote was good.
        The reason is clear. It made a a good argument that doesnt depend on Kuhn or his views.

        Not interested in criticisms of Kuhn. Not one bit. Nothing I think
        rests on his ideas.

      • Willard: Search for “disciplinary matrix” for a more mature concept.

        Why? I was responding to a quote that included the word “paradigm”.

      • Steven Mosher

        andrew..
        Note the diiference
        between repeating a question for clarity and then answering it and leaving a question un answered.

        Lets be a bit more precise. using unanswered questions is a poor way to argue because you are shifting the burden.

      • > Why? I was responding to a quote that included the word “paradigm”.

        Because that’s how the concept of paradigm evolved, cf. his Second Thoughts.

      • Steven Mosher: It made a a good argument that doesnt depend on Kuhn or his views.

        there was no “argument”: it was an assertion that you agreed with.

        Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates — the climate science debate and the public policy debate about climate change (they’re distinct, although often conflated)

        That has an unsubstatiated and in fact insubstantial presumption, namely that skeptics are minor players in the debates (note plural in the original). The people who have prevailed in the policy debate so far are the people opposed to divesting the energy economy from fossil fuels, as fossil fuel use continues to rise. Even California is not actually reducing its fossil fuel use, merely outsourcing its fossil fuel use: every car sold in California spewed CO2 into the air during its manufacture or transport to CA, or both.

      • “If you can take him or leave him, how is a reference to an insubstantial claim by him good?”

        ““in general it is bad to argue using questions.”

        Another guess at the author??

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher: Note the diiference
        between repeating a question for clarity and then answering it

        What would the divestiture of the economy from fossil fuels look like if the opponents had been “major” players? I suggested some possibilities. Do you want to take a crack at answering, or let us all work to provide more answers for you?

      • willard: Because that’s how the concept of paradigm evolved, cf. his Second Thoughts.

        Whose second thoughts? Not the author of the quote I was responding to. He was fixated at the stage of “paradigm”.

        If you want to know more about the disciplinary matrix of 20th century physics, Kuhn’s topic, I recommend the book by Pais over anything written by Kuhn.

        For the disciplinary matrix of climate science, no one source is sufficient, but it should include some of the books I have commented on before: “Modern Thermodynamics” by Kondepudi and Prigogine; “Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere” by Ambaum; “Thermodynamics, Kinetics, and Microphysics of Clouds” by Khvorostyanov and Curry (that is a thick, dense, tough slog, let me warn you!); and “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Dijkstra. I have more, but that is a start. Then there is that cute paper by Romps et al that I refer to a lot.

        If you go with “disciplinary matrix” instead of “paradigm”, there is no need for skeptics to overturn anything: all the information is right there, but the promoters of rapid divestiture from fossil fuels ignore most of it.

      • > Whose second thoughts?

        Kuhn’s. An article he wrote. You can find it in a book called The Eternal Tension.

        ***

        > That has an unsubstatiated and in fact insubstantial presumption, namely that skeptics are minor players in the debates (note plural in the original).

        Not at all. Inference to the best explanation applies to everyone.

      • Steven Mosher said ““Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        More of a fact than an argument”

        If skeptics are more than 50% of the voters than this is not a fact.

      • I have come up with a comprehensive theory which is better then what mainstream has come up with.

        The problem Steven ,is not how good alternative theories are (which are superior to AGW theory as mine is) but rather a theory such as mine is a threat to AGW theory and that is why it is ignored.

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher: “Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        Disingenuous…as usual.

        One doesn’t need to be a cowboy to recognise the smell of bullshit.

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher: “Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        Disingenuous as usual.

        One doesn’t need to be a cowboy to recognise the smell of bull droppings.

      • Willard: Kuhn’s. An article he wrote. You can find it in a book called The Eternal Tension.

        It is called “The Essential Tension”.

      • > It is called “The Essential Tension”.

        Good. You can also find the article online. What’s its name again?

      • Steven Mosher

        MatthMatthew
        What would the divestiture of the economy from fossil fuels look like if the opponents had been “major” players? I suggested some possibilities. Do you want to take a crack at answering, or let us all work to provide more answers for you?

        $#$$$

        It would be more directed at ng and nuclear.

        U suggested nothing.

        I don’t trust you to do the work. You can’t even tell
        When a quote is good.

        I see you dropped the kuhn bits. Wise choice.

        Next up. Don’t argue with questions.

      • Steven Mosher: Don’t argue with questions.

        I did not argue with questions, I question with questions. When I want to argue, I state propositions, mostly.

        For example, you (or anyone) can learn more by reading Pais than by reading Kuhn. Or, the present stagnation in the march to divest from fossil fuels looks like the “minor” players (or so it was alleged of them, unnamed) have defeated the “major” players (whoever they may be) in the policy aspect of the climate debate. I put in a few particulars that have not been disputed (e.g. places where coal production and fossil fuel consumption are up.)

        When anyone evades questions, readers draw diverse conclusions. Asking questions may not “in general” be a good way to make a case, but it does “often” draw attention to areas of ignorance, shared or one-sided. That is especially so when a well-formulated (in someone’s judgment) question goes unanswered.

        Consider the question: Accounting for all the energy transport processes, how much faster will energy be transported from the surface of the Earth if the surface warms on average 1C? This is the kind of climate science question that you have called a “side issue”, though the answer is integral to answering one of your favorite questions: Granting that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, how much warming can result from and increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration? Perhaps you are unconcerned with the surface, and want to know an average integrated through the depths of the atmosphere and ocean? But a lot of other people (including Al Gore who did not follow your admonition to do his own science, yet earned a Nobel Peace Prize), draw attention to changes at the surface.

        That’s 3 questions in 1 paragraph. Do you want to evade them all? It is your right. But whatever your answer, could you include some solid (or at least published) climate science in its support? In case you lost count, that’s 2 more questions. Is there anybody who is interested in your insights and information on these matters? Do you want to let them down?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Unless the skeptics form a theory, they’ll remain minor players in the debates”

        More of a fact than an argument

        Minor players in the debates but maybe not in the outcome. Dragging things out plays into the agenda of not a few for whom policy is all that matters.

      • David Springer

        @Bad Andrew

        When Mosher wrote it was generally bad practice to argue using questions what he really meant was that he wanted exclusivity arguing using questions. Protecting his turf in other words.

        Nice catch.

    • Don Monfort

      Is Muller the only target of those goons that you will defend, Steven?

      • Steven Mosher

        I havent looked through all the quotes they use to support their case.

        DO YOUR OWN DAMN WORK

      • Don Monfort

        Don’t shout, Steven. Did you look through all the quotes they used to attack Muller, or did you just defend him reflexively? Did they misquote, or misrepresent your mentor?

      • Steven Mosher

        I read through all the quotes.
        The only one that comes close to being questionable is the polar bear one.

        Don’t ask questions. You don’t do it very well

      • Steven Mosher

        Did they misquote, or misrepresent your mentor?

        The page is devoted to CLIMATE misinformers.
        So yes they did misrepresent.
        Next question.

      • Don Monfort

        Why you getting so angry, Steven? Is it really because I don’t know how to ask questions? You have the right to remain silent…

      • Don

        You will remember Mosh getting irritated at me for asking questions. Personally I think its a good way of getting answers and thus moving the debate forward on the basis of more knowledge.

        I really don’t know why certain people here have a problem with questions.
        tonyb

      • Don and Tony B,

        And me. Mosher doesn’t take kindly to having his beliefs challenged or the basis for his beliefs questioned.

      • “Mosher doesn’t take kindly to having his beliefs challenged or the basis for his beliefs questioned.”

        That’s because if you go off AGWScript, he’s worthless.

        Andrew

      • Don Monfort

        Tony:”Don

        You will remember Mosh getting irritated at me for asking questions. Personally I think its a good way of getting answers and thus moving the debate forward on the basis of more knowledge.”

        Well, he got irritated at me for asking those particular questions because I intended to cause him to squirm. I poke him once in a while to remind him that he has changed, since he got taken under the wing of that publicity hound Muller. Poor guy is diminishing his cred-DO YOUR OWN DAMN SCIENCE!-and it’s sad to see.

      • David Springer

        climatereason | July 30, 2015 at 4:22 am |

        “I really don’t know why certain people here have a problem with questions.”

        By “certain people” do you mean the english major trying to masquerade as a scientist?

    • It’s always interesting that the prevalence of shared opinion among climate science experts is irrelevant/antithetical to valid science/an appeal to authority…

      … until it isn’t.

  18. A very useful review comment on whether WAIS had a rapid collapse in the Eemian:
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/15/C5284/2015/acpd-15-C5284-2015.pdf

    • He’s a PhD student who studies Antarctica, and it’s the best comment by far so far. I think the paper either has to back off or fail altogether on this line of attack.

    • The WAIS “instability” is a bit curious. About 30% of the ice mass is below sea level and locked in a basin created by its own mass. Until about 90% of its mass is below sea level it isn’t going to “float”. Then if it does float, it is still somewhat contained in the basin. The geothermal energy under the WAIS somewhat explains why there isn’t any ice older than about 130,000 years. The WAIS is pretty similar to Greenland in that respect.

      If the volume of the WAIS is 2.2 mkm^3 only about half would contribute to sea level rise so a complete melt could result in about 3 meters of sea level rise. However, since it cannot abruptly break up and float away, a complete melt should take at least a few centuries if it is possible at all. That doesn’t fit what I consider “instable”. Since there is going to be considerable refreezing every winter I would think it is remarkably stable for a marine glacier.

      I really don’t see how Hansen and crew can believe abrupt sea level rise of over a meter or so is plausible.

      • Danny Thomas

        Capt.
        Hope you weren’t responding to JCH as he doesn’t see any concerns relating to WAIS and geothermal activity.

        I, however, think it’s an area which needs more study and is further indication of the Antarctic and it’s contribution to climate/slr (or not)/ and the state of the science being settled.
        (Were I a bigger man, I woulda let his cheap shot at me in an earlier thread go, but I’m not).

    • I stumbled on this forum googling around the Eemian WAIS collapse theory:
      http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php

      • The “Walking the Walk” topic area is kind of interesting, including the thread “Eating Beef Causes Global Warming” or something like that. A substantial portion of the rainforest in Brazil is burned to convert to cattle ranches. The other two crops that lead to forest burning are palm oil and soybeans. So, don’t eat beef, tofu, or consume anything containing palm oil.

    • is there an ‘antarctic expert’ in the author list of the Hansen paper?

  19. I have difficulty calling Hansen a Maverick.

    Yes, the paper is interesting but very speculative with unmeasured processes
    ( cold water over warm can only be ‘stable’ for very strong salinity anomalies – I still believe in buoyancy ).

    And yes, this paper opposes some of the IPCC orthodoxy ( orthodoxy always needs questioning if not opposition ).

    But this is the same Hansen who told the press that ‘half of all species could go extinct’ from global warming. Clearly, at least in these comments, he indulges in motivated reasoning. And it shows in this paper. Use of the word dangerous alone, ‘Super-storms’ ( channelling Sandy? ), ‘CO2 as control knob’, and opening paragraphs invoking CO2 indicate he’s more concerned with CO2 than the actual processes of ice collapse. As any human being, he is irrational, no matter how intelligent or studied.

    This paper seems an attempt to explain two very obvious and criticized errors of the models: An increase in Antarctic sea ice and cooling in the Southern Ocean.
    But it does so by a more complicated series of inter-related largely unmeasured processes, ignoring simpler explanations.

    Rather than a Maverick running free, I see Hansen as very much bridled – bridled by his own emotion.

    • > I have difficulty calling Hansen a Maverick.

      Judy’s a Maverick.
      Jim has been criticized.
      (Judy’s like Jim, in a way.)
      Ergo, Jim’s a maverick, like Judy.

      It’s not that complicated.

      • opluso, the sea-level rise associated with that event is unlikely from Patagonia unless that also had a big glacier at that time, which I am not aware of. As to whether the transition to an interglacial is still relevant, yes it is. There are still glaciers left, and we may be in a transition beyond the interglacial to a “non-glacial” that removes the final 1/3 of Ice-Age glaciers which have mostly stuck around in the last few interglacials. These glaciers (Greenland and Antarctica) are just like the large Scandinavian and Canadian ones that melted out before.

      • JimD
        (trying to respond to Patagonian ice sheet comments)

        Today it is mostly mountain glaciers but during the LGM the Patagonian ice sheet was quite extensive. From its peak until approximately 15k years ago it was shedding major amounts of ice — I recall one source suggesting it was sufficient to raise sea level by perhaps a meter.

        The decline of the PIS was likely triggered by a shift in the prevailing winds resulting in warming temperture and decreasing precipitation.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3698495/
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010PA002049/full

        Weber, et al., actually show the estimated LGM extent of the Patagonian Ice Sheet on their Figure 1. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v510/n7503/fig_tab/nature13397_F3.html
        As I said before, I don’t know how they handled the potential cross-contamination question but the timelines overlap with the collapse of the Patagonian ice sheet. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v510/n7503/fig_tab/nature13397_F3.html

      • Ultimately, Hansen’s theory is an additional explanation for why the massive continental ice sheets melted. That would include the Patagonian ice sheet.

      • JCH:

        Hansen, et al., discussed a paper (Weber) that drew conclusions based upon an analysis of iceberg-rafted debris accumulations in the area between Patagonia and Antarctica. If Patagonian debris were also deposited at one or both core sites selected by Weber, et al., it may have thrown off their estimates for Antarctic ice sheet calving (particularly for the first few thousand years). I was curious how Weber, et al., controlled for that possibility — for example, there may be distinct geologic markers in the respective source rocks.

        An alternative hypothesis, consistent with at least some of the “known” paleo-parameters would be that the same shift in prevailing winds that doomed the PIS simultaneously drove PIS-sourced icebergs toward the core points in the Scotia Sea and delivered increased moisture to the Antarctic Pennisula, thereby expanding its ice sheet.

        I assume that the experts in this field have considered these possibilities but the Great Paywall of Science makes it difficult (i.e., expensive) to find the answers to fairly simple questions.

        Kent

      • JCH:

        The earlier Weber paper provides an excellent analysis of their methods for using an automated, objective system for identifying annual laeyrs in marine sediments. However, the age and location do no not overlap with the later paper. The image you provided (same as the one I gave a link to) is from the more recent Weber paper and shows, in the upper left-hand corner, the estimated extent of the Patagonian Ice Sheet as well as presumed southwest wind direction. Taking those two together is what raises, in my mind, the question over potential contamination of cores in the Scotia Sea (as contrasted with the southeastern Weddell sea examined by the earlier Weber paper).

        Why this could be important in the context of the Hansen hypothesis is that if the late Pleistocene sea level rise was driven mostly (or exlusively) by ice sheets that no longer exist (e.g., Laurentide, Scandanavian and Patagonian), then Hansen’s hypothesis of accelerating sea level rise is much weaker, IMO. That is one reason Hansen, et al., cited Weber and Fairbanks in the first place.

    • I think people who give their somewhat confident opinion on such a complex paper should be scrutinized for irrationality.

      • I think people who give their somewhat confident opinion on such a complex paper should be scrutinized for irrationality.

        Yes! Objective data trumps claims for everyone. Like everyone, I’ve got biases.

        But, do you have a specific point?

        Hansen’s Figure 22 is one nutshell of his ideas:

        You could note that it is a hand drawn schematic and not based on observations but concepts.

        You could note that it contains contradictory statements, even from what’s depicted: decrease in AABW formation, but it is AABW formation which is the only output in the schematic to allow for input warmer water ( as conceived ). If AABW decreases, so too must incoming waters.

        Also, the concept is that the Southern Ocean is cooler and that warmer water intrudes beneath the cooler waters to melt glacial ice. Unless there is a great salinity difference, cooler over warmer is unstable and quickly mixes. This is not complex or complicated.

        There are no long term, regular, wide spread measurements of temperature profiles or trends for ocean waters beneath the sea ice. Supposedly, there are Argo floats which will navigate beneath the ice, scheduled for deployment soon, and we will be informed to see the results. But without observations as a basis, there is much speculation.

        Is there anything specifically that you disagree with here?

      • Eddie how familiar are you with the research on Antarctic ice melt and causes? How can you have an informed credible opinion when you don’t really know the science?

      • And Eddie I haven’t read the research. I think it’s wise to withhold judgement based on one paper. But I am really skeptical of non-experts claiming they can evaluate the research adequately.

      • catweazle666

        Joseph: “How can you have an informed credible opinion when you don’t really know the science?”

        Heh!

        There is an old saying about inhabitants of glass houses and stones.

        Are you familiar with it, Joseph?

      • I think people who give their somewhat confident opinion on such a complex paper should be scrutinized for irrationality.

        You seem rather confident that your level of ignorance is universal. I suggest you scrutinize alternative possibilities.

      • TE, there is a big salinity difference which was the point. The water on top is meltwater which is fresh and keeps the saline warm water from reaching the surface, so the warmth is just trapped against the below-surface ice which it melts even more in a feedback loop.

      • JimD, “TE, there is a big salinity difference which was the point. The water on top is meltwater which is fresh and keeps the saline warm water from reaching the surface, so the warmth is just trapped against the below-surface ice which it melts even more in a feedback loop.”

        I believe there CAN be a big difference in salinity but with higher surface winds the difference can be not so much. The shifting wind patterns though can change the Ekman pump creating subsurface temperature up to 4 C warmer that expected based on models.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/index/news-app/story.97/title.rapid-subsurface-warming-and-circulation-changes-of-antarctic-coastal-waters-by-poleward-shifting-winds

        What is interesting though is that shifting westerlies are not particularly related to CO2 forcing, at least in the past.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/jrt0901.pdf

        I believe Hansen said something like that is impossible without CO2 forcing. I find the GFDL stuff interesting, GISS not so much.

      • TE, there is a big salinity difference which was the point. The water on top is meltwater which is fresh and keeps the saline warm water from reaching the surface, so the warmth is just trapped against the below-surface ice which it melts even more in a feedback loop.

        Slight problem – lack of evidence that this has occurred.

      • The expanded Antarctic sea ice is an observational sign that it has already started occurring.

      • Jim D:
        So if the Antarctic sea ice was contracting, the ice sheets would slow down I suppose if we follow Hansen’s logic. How does this same thing work during a glacial period? I’d say the ice sheet expands vertically and slows horizontally and sea ice expands in both directions and traps warmth in the ocean. Reversing all terms above for an interglacial, the ice sheet shrinks vertically and speeds up horizontally and sea ice contracts in both directions and releases warmth from the ocean. I like consistency across timescales. So what is most logical sea ice area for the Southern Ocean for both glacial and interglacial periods? Still it’s possible sea ice has different behaviors in different temperature ranges. That sometimes cold means growth and sometime it means loss, a Z or S curve behavior.

      • Ragnaar, check into meltwater pulses (MWPs). These happen during warming periods as glaciers melt and can lead to sea-level rise rates of 4 m per century. If it has happened before, it can happen again. The freshwater layer increases sea ice albedo and offsets or reverses the temperature change, but the sea level rises faster. These pulses only last a few centuries before normal warming resumes with a reduced glacier mass. This looks like the kind of thing Hansen is thinking will happen soon.

      • Jim D | July 30, 2015 at 12:33 am |
        Ragnaar, check into meltwater pulses (MWPs). These happen during warming periods as glaciers melt and can lead to sea-level rise rates of 4 m per century.

        It would be useful to cite these meltwater pulses. Please cite several that occurred in comparable conditions.

      • Hansen refers to them in this way “They identified eight episodes of large iceberg flux, with the largest flux occurring ∼ 14 600 years ago, providing evidence of an Antarctic contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A, when sea level rose an average of 3–5 m century−1 for a few centuries (Fairbanks, 1989).”

      • JimD:

        Hansen refers to them in this way “They identified eight episodes of large iceberg flux, with the largest flux occurring ∼ 14 600 years ago, providing evidence of an Antarctic contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A, when sea level rose an average of 3–5 m century−1 for a few centuries (Fairbanks, 1989).”

        The “they” above refers to Weber, et al., (2014) and not Fairbanks (cited for Meltwater Pulse 1A). Weber, et al., used iceberg rafted sediments in the Scotia Sea (between South America and Antarctica) to estimate Antarctic Ice Sheet melting between 20,000 and 9,000 years ago. I don’t have a copy of the paywalled Weber article but I wonder how they distinguished Antarctic-sourced iceberg debris from the contemporaneous collapse of the Patagonia Ice Sheet?

        Given that calving Patagonia glaciers were far more sensitive to climate fluctuations than western Antarctica, and given the likelihood that paleo sea-ice extent around Antarctica deflected iceberg drift from present pathways, it would be helpful to know how they confirmed the respective continental sources of any dated sediments.

      • Hansen refers to them in this way “They identified eight episodes of large iceberg flux, with the largest flux occurring ∼ 14 600 years ago, providing evidence of an Antarctic contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A, when sea level rose an average of 3–5 m century−1 for a few centuries (Fairbanks, 1989).”

        That’s not comparable conditions.

        That was glacial transition to inter-glacial. In fact, once global temperatures rose but more importantly, Northern Summer temperatures rose to higher temperatures than today ( for some 5,000 years ), no such pulses are evident ( the flat part of the SLR curve ):

      • None of them are “comparable” conditions. You sort of miss the point.

      • None of them are “comparable” conditions. You sort of miss the point.

        True, and to that extent, neither is the Eemian that Hansen wants to invoke ( notwithstanding the questions about whether an Antarctic collapse actually occurred for the period in question ).

        But the HCO did encounter higher temperatures for millenia without a collapse.

      • JCH, “None of them are “comparable” conditions. You sort of miss the point.”

        High sensitivity estimates require starting at a glacial maximum. Since the majority of sensitivity is related to feedbacks not initial forcing, all conditions are “comparable”, just the comparison might not be useful for some and required for others. If you want scary you need all the improbable conditions.

      • Captain

        Could you repost that graphic you showed some months ago of the indo pacific warm pool and whose paper was it based on?

        Tonyb

      • tony b,

        Skeptics version of the past 2000 years.

        Skeptics versus alarmists.

        Of course paleo doesn’t matter to alarmists unless it happens to be convenient.

      • The huge meltwater pulses 16,000-8000 years ago coming out of an ice age are asymptomatic of current climate.

        There have been at least 3 periods in the last 6000 years warmer than today and the MWP is comparable or warmer.

        It would be helpful for adherents of the meltwater pulse theory to point out an occurrence in the last 6000 years.

      • tonyb, I kinda like this one that uses Oppo et al plus a few other higher resolution tropical reconstruction with the Marcott tropical reconstructions.

      • Captain

        Thanks for the graphics

        Tonyb

      • I see a “masterwork of scholarly synthesis, modeling virtuosity, and insight, with profound implications” has not melted the resistance… perhaps melting is linear after all.

      • I see a “masterwork of scholarly synthesis, modeling virtuosity, and insight, with profound implications” has not melted the resistance… perhaps melting is linear after all.

        Except when a “creative and intellectual volcano” erupts – that’s non-linear.

      • JCH, Turbulent Eddie: None of them are “comparable” conditions. You sort of miss the point.

        True, and to that extent, neither is the Eemian that Hansen wants to invoke

        Indeed, every era has unique characteristics that potentially make it incomparable with all other eras. Every attempt to learn or substantiate an empirical relationship requires judgments about which of these differences can be ignored.

  20. Re: Assessments, meta-analyses, discussion and peer review 7/29/2015:

    There is an unfortunate knowledge monopoly in climate science and policy – the IPCC and UNFCCC. As a result there is insufficient intellectual and political diversity in assessments about climate change. To break this monopoly, we need identify new frameworks for encouraging, publishing and publicizing independent and interdisciplinary ideas and assessments.

    What is unfortunate is not the monopoly, and the insufficiency of diversity, but the fact that the models don’t work. Climate science is being held to a standard alien to its acceptance framework. Peer review, publication in certified journals, and alleged consensus support amongst certified practitioners never required the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity actually measure >1.5ºC with 90% confidence, >2ºC with 83% confidence, or >3ºC with 50% confidence. Moreover and perhaps more importantly, those criteria never required actually measuring a change in temperature lagging an increase in CO2 per the definition. What is observed today is luckily a change of less than 1ºC, but almost certainly leading a proportionate increase in atmospheric CO2. The models don’t have the sign right.

    The triply-subjective framework of peer review, publication, and consensus has failed the science. Left in its wake is a stubborn assessment framework and a failed climate model. Reconstructing these three standards must overcome an immense cultural hurdle, but in the end the effort will be futile because what is needed are strictly objective standards for the models of any science.

    What is needed is to rediscover and implement the standard that models must make novel, nontrivial predictions (hypotheses) which are subsequently validated by measurement (theories). This is not an ordered procedure – a recipe (per Paul Against Method Feyerabend) – but a logical organization of facts. Predictive power is the essence of the scientific method, and surprisingly a growing segment of the public is now instinctively holding climate science to that standard.

  21. “In other words, maverick papers that do not support the policy preferences of the Chief Editor will not be published.”
    That sure does seem to be “other words”. I don’t see how you extracted that from the bland “your paper is quite nice but we have too many nice papers so sorry” that was actually quoted.

    • blueice2hotsea

      The time for debate has ended. – Marcia McNutt, editor of Science

      In other words, “your paper is quite nice but …”.

  22. “John Christy’s ‘red team’ idea is a good one, but then who sanctions/selects the red team?”

    Red team/institutionalized dissent will be made more possible if the red team-haha- wins in ’16.

    Get some luke warm scientists and give them some office space at the EPA. Separate elevators to avoid awkward situations.

    • Steven Mosher

      The red team can’t be fielded. Narrow bench

      • Yeah a narrow bench with different scientific agendas. Like herding cats..

      • I was trying to think of all the “skeptics” that do research on Antarctic ice melt.

      • Joseph

        Sceptics looked at all the warmist’s ships getting stuck in the Antarctic ice and decided there was no point in joining them.

        Abstract from our scientific paper;

        ‘Lots of ice in Antarctica.’

        I look forward to it being cited numerous times.

        tonyb

      • “I was trying to think of all the “skeptics” that do research on Antarctic ice melt.”

        Joe–Why?

        If someone is skeptical that the proposals for mitigating CO2 will result in improved weather is it not necessary for them to be an expert on Antarctic ice.

      • Joseph—Please show your evidence that mitigating CO2 emissions that will result in better conditions. Try not to again claim that the IPCC reports show this because they don’t

      • As a taxpayer, all I have to do is demand that any alleged bad consequences of ACO2 be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Jim
        “As a taxpayer, all I have to do is demand that any alleged bad consequences of ACO2 be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

        Jim–
        That is not true on multiple levels. As a taxpayer you do not have the right to not pay a tax you don’t like.

        Alleged bad consequences in a particular location, regardless of how dramatic; do not mean that conditions have changed overall in a net negative manner.

      • “As a taxpayer you do not have the right to not pay a tax you don’t like.”

        Likewise, governments do not have the right to impose unreasonable taxes.

        Andrew

      • Rob, scientific questions are decided by actually doing science, not by pontificating on a blog. You agree with that, right?

      • Rob – you are just wrong. The fact that I’m a taxpayer means I have a stake in the process. I have representatives that I contact fairly frequently. You are wrong.

  23. The internet is breaking down the knowledge monopoly in at least to ways. It is searchable, making primary information more accessible to ‘nonexperts’. And via blogs, it has brought forth expertise outside the ‘information monopolies’. A powerful example is McIntyre on paleoproxies. For example, his most recent post on Raymond Bradley and upside down varves.

  24. Hansen’s paper meticulously describes what to expect **IF** the planet warms further. He asserts that increased CO2 causes increased temperature. This is wrong. A simple proof that CO2 has no effect on average global temperature, and identification of what has driven climate change for at least the last 400 years is at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    CO2 has been more than 150 ppmv for the entire Phanerozoic eon. As determined by an understanding of the relation between mathematics and the physical world, if CO2 had any effect on average global temperature, life as we know it would not exist.

    • Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Over Phanerozoic Time by Robert A. Berner

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/249/4975/1382

      Somebody please read it and explain it to me! :)

      • Justin Wonder,

        This is mot an explanation, but just a comment. Extract from the Abstract:

        A new model has been constructed for calculating the level of atmospheric CO2 during the past 570 million years. A series of successive steady states for CO2 is used in order to calculate CO2 level from a feedback function for the weathering of silicate minerals. … The model results indicate that CO2 levels were high during the Mesozoic and early Paleozoic and low during the Permo-Carboniferous and late Cenozoic. These results correspond to independently deduced Phanerozoic paleoclimates and support the notion that the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse mechanism is a major control on climate over very long time scales.

        What caused the increases in CO2 concentration after the periods of low CO2 concentration (which were the three cold-house periods we’ve had in the past 570 million years of which the current one is only the third)?

        It seems the increases must be due to plate tectonics and to a reduction in the amount of weathering? What caused a reduction in weathering – given that the trend over the period was an increasing area of continental crust?

        What correlations have been found between CO2 concentration and plate tectonics and/or the positions of the plates, and/or land area exposed/ and or vegetation cover?

        What explains the past increases in CO2 concentration?

        Related issue: how was the productivity of plant life in previous periods of high versus low CO2 concentration?

  25. Hansen has been proven to be completely wrong in all of his predictions and that is all that matters which Judith Curry and others do not seem to understand.

    • SdP, there are at least important three issues here. Hansen having been habitually wrong before is not one of them.he has been banging on about SLR ‘forever’ and is almost certainly wrong here again. BUT process:
      1. Peer/pal review has manifestly failed, and not only in climate science. Is Hansen’s APCD process a viable replacement?
      2. Long complex analyses like this new Hansen paper cannot find homes in traditional word limited science journals. Is the eventual APC archive (if this paper survives that process a solution?
      3. Premature/misleading ‘science by PR’, as clear here. What to do?

      • The only thing to do is put forth alternative theories that will predict why/how the climate may change and see if they are correct and then proceed to the next step.

      • I think the main reason why alternative theories are not given much attention is because they are a threat to AGW theory and with the climate on hold for now mainstream will not budge unless and until the climate moves against them ,and even then I expect further excuses.

        At that time despite this I think alternative theories will start to receive much more attention.

        The greater the climate deviates from AGW theory the better for alternative theories.

    • David Springer

      Right you are, Salvatore. Hansen being completely wrong in all of his predictions is all that really matters. Completely unreliable. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Chicken Little. We try to teach children this lesson with stories like those. I guess it doesn’t sink in with some children.

  26. The ONLY thing that really matters is whose climate predictions going forward are correct and for the correct reasons.

    Peer review is meaningless since so many incorrect papers pass peer review.

    Climate science today (mainstream ) is a disgrace and is all political motivated and not truth motivated.

    From manipulation of data, to not owning up to wrong predictions , to changing the facts to make it appear correct ,to basic atmospheric processes being predicted 100% in opposition to the way they have happened, to ignoring past historical climatic data.

    I say bring it on and my theory is a 1000 x better then what mainstream has come up with as far as why/how the climate has and will change, and time will prove this to be correct going forward no matter how much spin and manipulation mainstream keeps applying to the climate going forward.

    It is sickening how Hansen can be relevant, then again this is not about science this is about agendas.

    • SDP I am with you and rowing in the same direction.

      Over 80% of our science study money is flushed on studies that are not reproducible.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/

      It sort of is what it is. As I interpret the above article, if the study group deviates from the original plan and tinkers with the data in any way the study doesn’t have a lot of value.

      Most of the causes of study reproducibility problems seem preventable or punishable.

      There is no reason that we can’t set the rules for “statistically significant” so that independent parties have a 95% chance or reproducing a statistically significant study. If independent parties don’t have a 95% chance of reproducing a statistically significant study, the study wasn’t statistically significant.

      Also – all government funded studies should be required by law to archive their raw data, final results, and methodology on a government server.

      • One thing you have to consider about climate science is that no other field is getting the same amount of interest from governments, media, and members of society. Every major finding is scrutinized as fully as possible. I think it also makes it more difficult to intentionally falsify results because of all of the scrutiny

      • Don Monfort

        Nice try, joey. Most of the government and media interest is in making sure that climate alarmism rules and that findings that contradict alarmism get debunked, by hook or by crook.

        For example, this will never make headlines in the mass media and it certainly won’t be discussed at the Paris junket:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/31/european-renewable-energy-performance-for-2014-fall-far-short-of-claims/

      • Joseph, It’s parroted in the media and government, we seem to have lost the ability to “scrutinize” anything except in a small handful of places. The social sciences provide another example- every “study” goes on the front page and only later found to have serious holes in it (see college stats on r@pe).
        Attention is a double-edged sword. When you create awareness, people gather ’round to look at what you’ve got. This is why it’s been so interesting to watch Judy Curry over the years. Climate Science created awareness (come look at this!) that she assumed really was “scrutinized” by the journals and the press. And then she looked at what they had and here we are.
        IMO, global warming alarmists (as well as GMO and nuclear alarmists) are a subset of people who either haven’t looked at the issue because they assume someone else has, or haven’t scrutinized it because they don’t want it scrutinized.
        Contra Mosher’s insistence that no skeptic has “done their own science” there is plenty of evidence, in the peer reviewed literature, done by climate scientists and skeptics that debunks alarmism. And, also contra Mosher, it’s winning- 10 years ago, Hansen could have published that New York would be underwater by 2020 and it would be on the front page of the NY Times (which oddly wouldn’t be planning to move) and RC would be tripping over themselves to bobble-head in agreement and cast aspersions on anyone who wanted to run the numbers. That isn’t happening today because everyone now knows the latest paper hasn’t actually been scrutinized, and there is a price to pay in credibility when you parrot.

      • I think it also makes it more difficult to intentionally falsify results because of all of the scrutiny

        Huh? I can’t address the media but they don’t seem all that honest.

        But being spitting distance from DC I do know something about the government. A government bureaucrat who just deals with bureaucrats, policy wonks, and beltway bandits (government contractors/vendors), can go days or weeks at a time without running into an honest man.

  27. I will end with this. Let us see going forward who is correct and who is correct for the correct reasons.

    End of story.

  28. John Christy’s ‘red team’ idea is a good one, but then who sanctions/selects the red team? A previous post Institutionalizing dissent discusses these issues.

    That’s easy. You pick engineers who understand the technical issues but don’t have a career interest in the outcome. They can’t be members of Greenpeace, WWF, the Sierra club, Earth First, the AGU, or any other climate advocacy group.

    You also hire professional statisticians.

    You pay the team a 50% bonus for disproving the paper and a 100% bonus for finding evidence of misconduct.

    Go Red Team Go!!!

    • Steven Mosher

      There once was a red team that did a temperature series.
      An engineer and a statistician.
      Both skeptics.
      Skeptics ignored the work.

      • There once was a couple of Warmists who wanted in on the AGW gravy train.
        They ran a fairly simple false flag operation and convinced a few skeptics that should have known better that they were really open minded and wanted to do honest science.
        They got their funding and produced their ‘it’s worse then we thought’ press releases and heavily adjusted ‘new, but same a the old’ Temperature Series. (In that order)
        No one (on ether side, or even in the middle) ever trusted anything they said ever again.
        This caused at least one of them to go off the rails, endlessly trying to gain some respect by trolling climate blogs with his ‘witty and insightful’ comments.

        And they never produced another useful thing ever again. The End

      • Yes, BEST was a red team. The “skeptics” bailed when they saw it wasn’t going the way they hoped and turned into critics. A similar thing happened with APS, where again “skeptics” are bailing from the process and turning into critics. This will happen with any red team that comes to the warmist conclusion, you will see a mass bailout and criticism of the process. That doesn’t seem like it will solve this mainly because the “skeptics” left now are too self-invested and self-identifying with their view to be swayed by anything including a resumption of global warming and continued melting.

      • The work was not ignored. It’s just that the work was trivial and meaningless in the context of trying to understand climate. It didn’t matter that they exploited the name Berkley and tried to ride the fame of Muller.

      • Here is Berkley’s funding history:

        http://berkeleyearth.org/funders/

        * Note: All donations, except for the Energy Foundation grant, were provided as unrestricted educational grants, which means the donor organizations have no say over our activities or what we publish. All of our work and results are presented with full transparency.

        The Energy Foundation grant was not provided as unrestricted educational grant, which means the donor organization has a say over BEST activities and what they publish. All of BEST’s work and results are presented with full transparency, mostly.

        Energy Foundation http://www.ef.org/
        A partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy.

        Anonymous Foundation ($250,000) is their biggest supporter.

        If you google “Anonymous Foundation” you find they give a lot of scholarships but it is hard to determine their political orientation or goals: It is like “Anonymous Foundation” was a number of different groups instead of a single entity. https://www.unigo.com/scholarships/all/anonymous-foundation-scholarship/1003531

        Anonymous Foundation 1 ($250,000) is just as mysterious.

  29. No one should follow the link to the OpSatansSunrise site in the comments.

    It looks like a hacker with nefarious objectives.
    Scott

    • Usually when there is a blitz of postings like that there is a possibility it done to drive some comment off the recent comment list (by basically clearing the slate) so it didn’t get much notice.

  30. Re: Willard

    Readers of Climate Etc who have not visited ATTP with respect to my post with the Editor of that website

    [https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/]

    should be aware of Willard’s (and other commentators at that site) tone and avoidance of constructive debate. He uses wording such as

    “A drive by at Judy’s”:

    “Your dog whistling is unworthy of your reputation”

    to frame his responses.

    To move towards a more constructive interaction, I asked him to answer this question from his perspective

    “Willard – Show me how you answer this question

    Can the models provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales?”

    Among his answers he wrote

    “What you call “constructive debate” is actually an invalid form of elenchus. It is invalid because I have no commitment regarding the actual question.”

    I asked him to debate offline (as I did courteously and successfully with the webmaster of ATTP)

    and this is what he wrote

    “My main communication objective is quite minimal: I seek a public and quotable response from you regarding the IPCC’s attribution statement. A simple “I agree (or disagree) with the IPCC’s attribution statement” would suffice. For everything else, I can manage with your blog.”

    I do not even know who this person is. However, the term “troll” fits for how this person operates. This definition of “troll”

    “A troll usually flames threads without staying on topic”

    fits. This is an example of the sorry state of climate science discussion.

    Roger Sr.

    • Re: rpielke’s abuse of the concept of “constructive debate,” Denizens may note that rpielke refuses to endorse his own commitments and burdens others with commitments they don’t have. For more on the importance of commitments in dialogues (a technical term in argumentation theory):

      A dialogue is an exchange of speech acts between two speech partners in turn-taking sequence aimed at a collective goal. The dialogue is coherent to the extent that the individual speech acts fit together to contribute to this goal. As well, each participant has an individual goal in the dialogue, and both participants have an obligation in the dialogue, defined by the nature of their collective and individual goals.

      In some dialogues, the goal is to prove something, and in this type of dialogue, a primary obligation is the burden of proof. A burden of proof is a weight of presumption allocated, ideally at the opening stage of the dialogue, set for practical purposes to facilitate the successful carrying out of the obligations of the participants during the course of the dialogue. The device of burden of proof is useful because it enables discussion to come to an end in a reasonable time.

      One important type of dialogue is the critical discussion, well described by van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984), which is a type of persuasion dialogue, meaning that the goal of each party is to persuade the other party to accept some designated proposition, using as premises only propositions that the other party has accepted as commitments.

      http://www.dougwalton.ca/papers%20in%20pdf/92typesolog.pdf

      Unless and until we have an explicit commitment from rpielke on the relevant attribution statement by the IPCC, rpielke’s contributions were those of a quarreler more than anything. Therefore, to brandish yet again that “but constructive debate” dud.

      ***

      Along the years, at Judy’s and elsewhere, rpielke’s drive-bys have become legendary.

      • Willard:Re: rpielke’s abuse of the concept of “constructive debate,”

        You didn’t make a case that rpielke abused the concept of constructive debate. Asking questions is a way of trying to find out whether we do have any shared propositions.

        This is a good question: Can the models provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales?

      • > Asking questions is a way of trying to find out whether we do have any shared propositions.

        Asking questions can also be a way to evade the question at hand, which was related to the IPCC’s attribution statement, a statement Richard Betts over which neither Betts nor Stephens disagreed with. More so when we already know rpielke’s answer on the subject:

        Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.

        https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/main-conclusions-2/

        If this question implies that rpielke disagrees with the IPCC’s attribution statement, let him say so explicitly and be done with it. A simple “I disagree with the relevant IPCC’s attribution statement” would suffice.

        Asking leading questions begs their relevance and shifts the burden of proof on the interlocutor. This is far from being constructive. Besides, rpielke’s modus operandi usually comprises concerns about tone:

        First, the “anonymous!” card. […] Second, the “rude!” card. […] Third, the “colleague!” card […] Fourth, the “not me!” card […] Of course Senior would never stoop at the level of personal attacks. Fishing out quotes from AT’s about page, whining about anonymity and rudeness, wowing, bitching about AT’s, and questioning his interlocutor’s competence based on silly word games are just normal activities in a scientist’s life. Nothing personal there.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/forcings-and-feedbacks-2/#comment-57037

        ***

        I’ve asked many questions to rpielke a few months ago, e.g.:

        He did not reply much.

      • > Asking questions is a way of trying to find out whether we do have any shared propositions.

        Asking questions can also be a way to evade the question at hand, which was related to the IPCC’s attribution statement, a statement Richard Betts over which neither Betts nor Stephens disagreed with. More so when we already know rpielke’s answer on the subject:

        Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.

        https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/main-conclusions-2/

        Why is this supposed to matter for the IPCC’s attribution statement is far from being clear. If rpielke’s position on this question implies that he should disagree with the IPCC’s attribution statement, let him say so explicitly and be done with it. A simple “I disagree with the relevant IPCC’s attribution statement” would suffice.

        ***

        Asking leading questions begs their relevance and shifts the burden of proof on the interlocutor. This is far from being constructive. Besides, rpielke’s modus operandi usually comprises concerns about tone:

        First, the “anonymous!” card. […] Second, the “rude!” card. […] Third, the “colleague!” card […] Fourth, the “not me!” card […]

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/forcings-and-feedbacks-2/#comment-57037

        ***

        I’ve asked many questions to rpielke a few months ago over Twitter, e.g.

        He did not reply much.

      • Willard: Why is this supposed to matter for the IPCC’s attribution statement is far from being clear.

        Cute. You insert a question into your objection to questions.

      • Don Monfort

        Nice work, willy.

        “elenchus”

        Very few trolls could sling that word around and not be embarrassed.

      • > You insert a question into your objection to questions.

        Incorrect. My objection to leading questions. That leading question begs its relevance and may very well what I call the meteorological fallacy.

        Do you think GCMs can predict the next NFL season, MattStat?

      • Since you like the T-word, Don Don:

        The tone argument is to dismiss an opponent’s argument based on its presentation: typically perceived crassness, hysteria or anger. It is an ad hominem attack, used as a derailment, silencing tactic or by a concern troll.

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tone_argument

        Thank you for your concerns.

      • Willard, “Do you think GCMs can predict the next NFL season, MattStat?”

        Complex coupled climate models attempt to “project” regional conditions but don’t attempt to “project” the next NFL season. Climate models are also used on regional scales in attempts to figure out way climate models don’t perform well on regional scales.

      • > Climate models are also used on regional scales […]

        That’s an interesting usage of “also,” Cap’n. Also, your “climate models” may conflate Global Climate Models and regional models:

        A key limitation of Global Climate Models (GCMs) is the fairly coarse horizontal resolution. For the practical planning of local issues such as water resources or flood defences, countries require information on a much more local scale than GCMs are able to provide. Regional models provide one solution to this problem.

        http://www.climateprediction.net/climate-science/climate-modelling/regional-models/

      • Stephens’s paper pretty clearly points out that models don’t reproduce the close NH/SH albedo match and the ensemble has about 3.5 times too much interannual variability.

      • > Stephens’s paper pretty clearly points out that models don’t reproduce the close NH/SH albedo match and the ensemble has about 3.5 times too much interannual variability.

        That fact alone does not suffice to reject the IPCC’s main attribution statement. It’s quite clear that rpielke’ “but regional models” amounts to a One Single Proof argument:

        “One single proof” is a deceptive rhetorical flourish used primarily by denialists designed to apparently negate a preponderance of circumstantial evidence by claiming that without a specific key proof, the whole argument is invalid. The effectiveness of the technique is dependent on a sort of distortion of Occam’s razor whereby any evidence that does not provide the whole answer is ignored.

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/One_single_proof

        Considering rpielke’s modus operandi over the years, raising concerns about constructive debates might very well be suboptimal.

      • Willard, “That’s an interesting usage of “also,” Cap’n. Also, your “climate models” may conflate Global Climate Models and regional models:”

        I think you should read more and comment less. Since the “pause”, “hiatus”, “slowdown”, or “standstill”, “global” climate models have had regional temperatures re calibrated (tuned) in order to try and simulate natural variability like ENSO, AMO etc. You could try Googling some examples or just search Climate Etc. which has discussed a number of examples.

      • > “[G]lobal” climate models have had regional temperatures re calibrated (tuned) in order to try and simulate natural variability like ENSO, AMO etc.

        And your point is, Cap’n?

      • Willard | July 30, 2015 at 11:13 am |

        That fact alone does not suffice to reject the IPCC’s main attribution statement. It’s quite clear that rpielke’ “but regional models” amounts to a One Single Proof argument:

        Huh? If the models don’t get the albedo right that is pretty crucial. The albedo influence is much stronger than CO2 forcing.

        People in the strong warming camp think you can make useful long term climate predictions from seriously flawed models.

        No you can’t. If the models are broken the predictions are wrong – it is just that simple. The 20th century model performance as bad as it is, is a miracle of tuning.

        Further, the forcing for CO2 is set 3 times or more too high and that makes accurate emulation of the real climate impossible.

      • > If the models don’t get the albedo right that is pretty crucial.

        Complete your sentence, PA: “crucial” in the sense that unless you get albedo right, you would disagree with the IPCC’s main attribution statement?

        If that’s the case, then “getting albedo right” might need some specification.

        ***

        > People in the strong warming camp think you can make useful long term climate predictions from seriously flawed models.

        Sure, and Denizens conflate predictions with projections all the time. The main difference between the two is that Denizens are not made of straw. A variant on this contrarian meme is the one according to which unless models are predictive, they’re worthless.

      • Willard: Do you think GCMs can predict the next NFL season, MattStat?

        No.

      • > No.

        So says Grumpy the Cat too, although he might be biased.

        Do you think GCMs can forecast the impact of water usage from animal agriculture in Texas for the next 50 years?

      • Willard: A variant on this contrarian meme is the one according to which unless models are predictive, they’re worthless.

        What do you think of the somewhat more refined meme? Unless models are predictive, they are of little value in guiding energy policy.

      • > What do you think of the somewhat more refined meme? Unless models are predictive, they are of little value in guiding energy policy.

        I think it is interesting. A first reading makes me think it’s a mix of this level:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/no-best-practices/

        and this other level:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/do-not-panic/

        Do you have a citation I could add to the Matrix?

      • Willard: Do you think GCMs can forecast the impact of water usage from animal agriculture in Texas for the next 50 years?

        No. So far they have demonstrated extremely poor accuracy at the regional level.

      • > So far they have demonstrated extremely poor accuracy at the regional level.

        Not sure what you mean by “extremely poor accuracy” or even if accuracy’s what we’re looking for, MattStat.

        In any case, do you think this fact alone is enough to disagree with the IPCC’s main attribution statement regarding the global trend?

      • Willard | July 30, 2015 at 12:03 pm |

        If that’s the case, then “getting albedo right” might need some specification.

        I don’t believe it is possible at the current time. The models don’t get clouds right at all and the albedo errors are mostly cloud related.

        Which raises another subject – clear sky land albedo. All studies seem to indicate that surface albedo is decreasing. The clear sky land albedo change is a measure of UHI/land use change. It only takes a 0.3% change in clear sky land albedo to equal the entire GHG land forcing increase since 1900 (about 1 W/m2).

        Perhaps someone can point me to a clear sky land albedo study so I can run the numbers.

      • Willard: Not sure what you mean by “extremely poor accuracy” or even if accuracy’s what we’re looking for, MattStat.

        The inaccuracies of the GCMs for regional effects have been discussed here often. A refresher course is not needed for today.

        Who are “we”? I am looking for accuracy in the fit of model results to out-of-sample data. It does not matter much what label is given to the comparison with out-of-sample data; when the data are to be collected in the future, “prediction” is the most common label. I don’t want to put words into your mouth so I’ll ask straight out: Are you looking for accuracy in the comparison of model results to out-of-sample data? You ought to be, because it is one of the most common standards for judging models.

      • > Are you looking for accuracy in the comparison of model results to out-of-sample data?

        I’m looking for the specification of the concept of accuracy, and more importantly the criterias according to which a model shows “extremely poor” accuracy.

        ***

        > Who are “we”?

        Those who have a commitment regarding the claim that GCMs have “extremely poor accuracy,” and those who are interested in studying that question. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I don’t think this fight is of any relevance, except for rpielke’s ClimateBall performances. See below.

        In the current context, this question matters because of its purported relevance regarding the IPCC’s main attribution statement. The implicit premise in rpielke’s rhetorical question is that regional modelling is necessary for global modelling. This assumption conceals what I referred earlier to as the meteorological fallacy.

        ***

        There are other implicit premises that may be hidden behind the “unless models predict, they can’t be used for policy” meme. An important one is that we need predictive models for policy, which should remind Denizens of the linear model. Another one is that they should be used for prediction. The latter one is rather jejeune, considering that they rely on economic models, and that economic models are far from being predictive.

        As far as I am concerned, GCMs are good enough at projecting scenarios.

      • Here is a funny. Kevin Cowtan appears to have discovered that “modeled” “surface” temperature isn’t comparable to the “observed” “surface” temperature since the “observed” is a combination of land based (Tmax+Tmin)/2 and SST measured somewhere between the surface and a few meters below the surface. Once you adjust the models to match the adjusted “surface” a large portion of the discrepancy between models and observations disappears. Kevin allegedly says it is like comparing apples and oranges.

        However, if you compare regions like the hotter portion of the tropical oceans, there is still a bit of a discrepancy and even a hypothesis as to why the discrepancy may exist, convective triggering temperature which just one on many model “parameterizations” (SWAG).

      • Don Monfort

        Your comments would be more tolerable if you didn’t include a link or two and a copy-pasted definition or two in nearly all of your yammerings. Try to use your own words, willy. Don’t be a copycat.

      • I’ve included one definition in this thread, Don Don, which befits the part of rpielke’s modus operandi that he’s relying here again. (Another one is using his own idiosyncratic definitions, incidentally.) Considering the comments I made on this thread, I’d say your “nearly all” might be a bit pessimistic.

        Thank you nevertheless for your concerns.

      • > I’ve included one definition in this thread,

        Make that two, if we add the one about monopoly. Both concept might need some revision.

      • Willard:I’m looking for the specification of the concept of accuracy, and more importantly the criterias according to which a model shows “extremely poor” accuracy.

        Those who have a commitment regarding the claim that GCMs have “extremely poor accuracy,” and those who are interested in studying that question. I don’t have a dog in that fight.

        As far as I am concerned, GCMs are good enough at projecting scenarios.

        Which is it? (a) you need a specification for the concept of accuracy? (b) You don’t have a dog in the fight? (c) GCMs are “good enough” at projecting scenarios?

        As a start toward specifications of accuracy, recall that the consensus group are earnestly and energetically seeking explanations for the lack of accuracy over the past 15+ years. Now, the consensus that the GCMs have failed might be of no more importance than the consensus that the predictions for the early 21st century were dependable — consensus is merely a widely held opinion. But the experts are expressing a need for improvement. I once proposed a standard of an imse of 0.25C over a 30 year record of out of sample data with a bias of 0. I only propose that as a start of the discussion. To date, no paper in the peer-reviewed literature that I know of has included a proposal for the required accuracy of any model/scenario/projection/forecast/etc. Those I have seen do not even give more weight to the out-of-sample data than to the in-sample data.

      • Willard: In any case, do you think this fact alone is enough to disagree with the IPCC’s main attribution statement regarding the global trend?

        You have asked a new question without acknowledgment of my answer to the previous question — not to mention thinking about it.

        In short, No: what undermines the IPCC main attribution statement is the global misfit over the past 15 years.

      • Steven Mosher

        matthew

        ‘As a start toward specifications of accuracy, recall that the consensus group are earnestly and energetically seeking explanations for the lack of accuracy over the past 15+ years. ”

        The accuracy you propose ( .25c ) has ZERO basis in practical matters.

        Accuracy requirements cannot be divorced from USES.

        For example. When you are dropping munitions on targets you have
        a estimate of how close to the target your release algorithm will get you.
        the algorithm may say that the munition will land within 50ft CEP.

        50 feet is close enough because you have a specific use in mind. you want the munition to destroy the target.

        The accuracy required is not decided on out of a use context.

        With GCMs you have two primary use cases.

        A) using a GCM to “understand” the climate system… purely scientific
        B) using the GCM to set a policy– say to determine potential flood
        prone areas and set development standards.

        In the first case of course pure science will want the accuracy to be high, you will want vanishing error.

        In the second case, a policy maker is the end user and they are not bound by the demands of science. They can even ignore the accuracy issue all toghether and simply accept the best that people can do.

        The same goes for out of sample bias. there is nothing wrong with Bias in the policy arena. We used biased estimation all the time.

      • matthewrmarler | July 30, 2015 at 6:26 pm |

        Which is it? (a) you need a specification for the concept of accuracy? (b) You don’t have a dog in the fight? (c) GCMs are “good enough” at projecting scenarios?

        It is easy. Adopt a standard. A model must have a 0.9 or greater correlation with real world data to be used for predictive or other purposes by the government or by any funded project.

        This takes the models off the table and ends the foolish game that is being played. Models that can’t hindcast can’t forecast.

        This is perhaps why the real world data is being incrementally adjusted to look like the model output – they are probably afraid this idea will occur to someone.

      • Accuracy? We don’t need no stinking accuracy. We have phone and pen… for now.

        Adjustment? Yeah, we do need those from time to time :)

      • PA, you don’t need models. Observations show a correlation near 0.9 for CO2 and temperature. This should be made use of for projections even if you don’t believe in models.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I guess we can just cancel all that climate research funding since you have told us all we need to know. Didn’t I read once something about the correlation between the number of pirates and temperature showing it to be the real cause, tho?

      • A 90% correlation over a 60-year period is hard to attribute to dumb luck, especially as there is a perfectly valid explanation. The “skeptics” prefer to think that it is just a lucky fluke that AGW seems so right. When someone says you need a 90% correlation to prove a model, and you show it, they back off and say except that case. It’s the way it goes here. I know the game.

      • JimD, That correlation is kind of interesting. First, the data ends in 2005 last time I checked my watch it was 2015, so there is some out of sample data available. The correlation of that missing monthly data is 22%. Second, the chart uses annual anomaly when monthly is available. The correlation of the monthly data from 1958.17 to 2015.25 comparing only valid data is 75% with 681 data points. I read somewhere that smoothing prior to calculating a correlation could have some issues.

        Since I did a correlation for the out of sample data, I went ahead and did a sequential correlation for the whole period using that time frame. The average ~10 year (120month) correlation is about 30% which might be interesting to some, it has a roughly 11 year pattern to it which cyclomanics tend to like.

        However, since “ACCURACY” of your model isn’t really important any more that maintaining up to date graphs, the nearly 90% must be a good thing in your opinion.

      • Steven Mosher: The same goes for out of sample bias. there is nothing wrong with Bias in the policy arena. We used biased estimation all the time.

        I could live with a bias that was shown not to be too great over the testing interval. My imse criterion of 0.25C would mean that the errors were only greater than |0.5| about half the time. That’s pretty lenient.

        And your standard would be what? I only meant mine as a starting point for discussion. As with cusum charts in quality control, it’s unlikely that we are going to get an appropriate standard at first try.

      • stevenreincarnated

        So I can’t take just any two variables with each exhibiting a linear trend and produce a high correlation? I wonder why? Seems like I could.

      • captd, since we don’t expect a monthly correlation due to the annual CO2 cycle, try doing it just for annual averages of T and CO2 in any period you choose and report back.
        steven, a simple model that says 2 C per doubling would have done a really good job of predicting today’s temperature at 400 ppm given initial conditions in the 1950’s. You call it just luck, do you? Not even a small chance of 2 C per doubling actually being right or at least a central estimate in a distribution? Some can’t face up to 60 years of evidence.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I have a reconstruction of the gulf stream that shows a 1000 year correlation between it and temperatures. So I guess I’ll see your 60 and raise you 940.

      • steven you consider your Gulf Stream correlation just dumb luck too, I guess, or maybe perhaps there is a reason for it that you refuse to accept.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, they might both be dumb luck. They might both be meaningful contributors. I’m not the one saying a single correlation is all you need to know. You are. Remember?

      • JimD, “captd, since we don’t expect a monthly correlation due to the annual CO2 cycle, try doing it just for annual averages of T and CO2 in any period you choose and report back.”

        Expectations would lead to comparing temperature to the ln(CO2) relationship theorized to exist, not an anomaly. A 75% correlation with 24 times the data points should actually be stronger evidence and more “objective”. Ignoring out of sample data that happens to go contrary to your “position” may not be very “objective” either.

        Now if you were wanting to “test” your theory, which includes an ln() relationship in addition to an exponential growth rate, some might consider that more “robust”. You could also test a number of other potential climate factors and different builds of the data like Tmax, Tmin, SST, OHC, etc. since there might be some that question what is causing what. I believe that is called being thorough.

      • > Which is it?

        How to confuse commitments in one single step. The situation should be quite clear by now:

        – rpielke refuses to commit to an explicit disagreement regarding the IPCC’s main attribution statement;

        – rpielke interjects his usual “but regional models” (paraphrasing) as a leading question;

        – You, MattStat, claim that regional models show “extremely low accuracy”;

        – You now switch to da paws, after having tentatively introduced the idea that models need to be predictive to be of use for policy matters.

        If you want me to discuss with you your judgement about the accuracy of the regional models, then you sure need to be more accurate regarding that criteria. The onus is on you to come with one. You’re the one who should tell me what would be accurate enough for you.

        As far as I am concerned, GCMs are “good enough” at projecting scenarios, and all this “but regional models” amounts to a smokescreen to obfuscate rpielke’s failure to explicitely commit his agreement disagreement regarding the IPCC’s main attribution statement.

        It’s not that complicated.

      • Steven Mosher

        Matthew

        “I could live with a bias that was shown not to be too great over the testing interval. My imse criterion of 0.25C would mean that the errors were only greater than |0.5| about half the time. That’s pretty lenient.”

        You are missing my point. it doesnt matter what you think or what I think.
        you cant just pull numbers out of a hat. Given the complexity of the system I think 1C is fantastic!!! Its easy to pick a number and call it lenient or fantastic

        The only what I know how to set a boundary is to work backward.
        from a specific use case.

        And your standard would be what? I only meant mine as a starting point for discussion. As with cusum charts in quality control, it’s unlikely that we are going to get an appropriate standard at first try.

        My standard doesnt matter. What matters is the end users requirements. So, the start of the problem is actually the damage function. If you are trying to avoid damage ( or inflict it) you start
        with that.. As an example, You would start with a damage versus
        SLR metric.. depending on the shape of that curve you then can
        assign a cost to the error.

      • JimD

        Here is a quick and dirty monthly anomaly vs. monthly CO2 (HI). Do you like it? The solid line is is simply a fit 4th degree polynomial I imposed in the a spirit of parsimony to illustrate trend in a general way. Nive curve, huh?

        quickAnomalyVsCO2monthly

        BTW both the anomaly and the CO2 have uncertainty. Hence using SLR is open to debate. Also the confidence band in the figure is of no use in the prediction of future individual observations, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. I would recommend however that you put it in reverse and back out of there.

        I haven’t read thru all this yet…too busy with quick-cipher. Anybody chant “correlation is not causation” yet?

        Regards,
        mwg

      • steven, I take the correlation as evidence in favor. Maybe you see it that way too. I don’t know.

      • captd, yes, I prefer relation to log CO2. It was harder to find but here is an example. Also Lovejoy’s paper on the odds of a 4-sigma T perturbations establishes 2 C per doubling. Vaughan Pratt got a really close fit within 0.1 C to a smoothed temperature in his AGU poster.

      • mwg, yes, correlation is not causation, but it is evidence for a particular theory.

      • So, JimD. You subscribe to the idea that CO2 outgassed from the ocean follows global temperature?

      • JimD, “Vaughan Pratt got a really close fit within 0.1 C to a smoothed temperature in his AGU poster.”

        I believe it was 0.001C and didn’t include most of the “pause” due to smoothing. In a few more years perhaps he will provide an update. Of course he used the old Hadcrut temperature data and not the C&W version, so it cannot really be taken seriously since there are so many “superior” products out now.

      • jim2, there is outgassing, but only about 10 ppm per degree of warming. It happened mostly after the last Ice Age which is how we got to 280 ppm, but most of the rest is us. Surprised or not?

      • captd, no, VP had a residual natural variation of about 0.1 C with about a 60 year time scale, and he only got a millikelvin left after removing that small variation. His natural variation is something like the AMO/PDO/PMO that Mann got by removing the CO2 signal, which itself has an amplitude of about 0.7 C and dominates this natural variation.

      • willard: It’s not that complicated.

        I’ll let you have the last word.

      • Steven Mosher: it doesnt matter what you think or what I think.

        That is a good place to stop.

      • Jim D | July 30, 2015 at 8:44 pm |
        PA, you don’t need models. Observations show a correlation near 0.9 for CO2 and temperature. This should be made use of for projections even if you don’t believe in models.

        Why thats nice. However we know that 22 PPM caused a 0.2 W/m2 change in downwelling radiation. Or a forcing coefficient of 3.46 (not 5.35) or 1.05 W/m2 since 1900.

        Thats why I’m look at albedo studies. UHI/Land use will manifest itself as two effects:
        1 Lower albedo.
        2. An increase in sensible heat and a decrease in foolish heat.

        Comparing the urban sites to nearby virgin wilderness would provide assurance the change in the heat balance was local. Comparing urban to rural areas to estimate UHI is absurd. You have to compare urban areas to virgin wilderness.

        The sum of the two effects (albedo and heat loss) I believe is greater than the GHG forcing influence mostly due to CO2, but is going to have a similar trend.

        Someone has to have done a study of this, it is just too frickin’ obvious.

      • JimD, “captd, no, VP had a residual natural variation of about 0.1 C with about a 60 year time scale, and he only got a millikelvin left after removing that small variation.”

        VP’s filter was about 22 years wide to remove the solar cycle so his end point basically didn’t include the pause years. So, in another 5 to 10 years we can extend his model and see how skillful it might be.

        Now his SAW is the unexplained. You can guess that it is AMO/PDO/ENSO or Mickey Mouse, but since it is pseudo-cyclic it isn’t all that easy to nail down.

        A weakly damped recovery curve is just as valid an explanation, actually better IMO. and a lot more entertaining.

        Now since we were on CO2 correlation, would you expect CO2 to have a higher correlation with ERSSTv4, BEST Tmax or BEST Tmin? Which of those three should ln(CO2) have the strongest influence on? Would ERSSTv4 correlate better than v3 or HADSST? There are lots of way to test your faith er.. theory.

      • @cd: In a few more years perhaps he will provide an update.

        Approximately annual updates on my understanding of climate are in reverse chronological order at top left of my home page, cap’n. A few months after my sawtooth model of the AMO (i.e. mid-2013) I concluded that the mechanism I suggested in column 4 of that poster, namely seismic interference at the core-mantle boundary, CMB, would be too strongly damped to yield any sort of reliably oscillatory behavior, and my 2013 talk at AGU FM makes no mention of any oscillation except the 20-year magnetic Hale cycle, which can be seen clearly even in CET back to the end of the Maunder minimum. For the AMO I ended up joining those who see a correlation between the AMO and length of day, still linked to CMB interference but with the mechanism more fleshed out. I wrote about that in 2014 (more bones than flesh) and will be further fleshing it out in the next few months.

        As far as skill of these sorts of models go, I’ve been systematizing the approach of using data only up to year Y (e.g. 1915, 1935, etc.) to determine the parameters of a model and measuring how well it forecasts the future (which of course we know today). Among other things I was surprised to see that Arrhenius (who died in 1927) could have foreseen the hiatus using data only up to 1925 had he known which geophysical data then available to take as most relevant to future climate.

        I also don’t limit myself to 20-year smoothing as I did in 2012, but instead measure skill as a function of extent of smoothing (anywhere from 5 to 60 years), number of parameters, etc. using the above technique.

        Can’t write much now, more on this later.

      • Steven Mosher said ” What matters is the end users requirements.”

        Who is the end user?

        Is that an elected official?

        Is that a scientist?

        I don’t know who you mean when you talk about end users and am interested in who you think that might be and why.

      • VP, No one needs to forecast a “hiatus” just provide a reasonable range of uncertainty that would include the hiatus. If the range happens to be useful, so much the better.

        The “oscillation” is better explained by recovery of ocean heat content.

        You need one kick butt ocean model to show that, but that will come with time.

      • Yet another inept analogy by Mosher.

      • Jim D | July 30, 2015 at 8:44 pm |
        PA, you don’t need models. Observations show a correlation near 0.9 for CO2 and temperature. This should be made use of for projections even if you don’t believe in models.

        Well, gee, I used to correlate the temperature and CO2 level starting from 1998 and got .3 to -.3 correlations depending on the year.

        Overall I doubt the correlation between temperature and CO2 is much over 0.3 or 0.4.

        If I get chance I’ll check the “since 1900” period and see and get back with you on a number. The general trends run in the same direction so the correlation will be positive but not very strong.

      • Steven Mosher | July 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm |
        For example. When you are dropping munitions on targets you have
        a estimate of how close to the target your release algorithm will get you.
        the algorithm may say that the munition will land within 50ft CEP.

        50 feet is close enough because you have a specific use in mind. you want the munition to destroy the target.

        This brings to mind an article (probably from an engineering journal) about accuracy of US nuclear weapons. The Russians only had to get within 90 m of a US silo and the US had to get within 70 meters of a Russian silo.

        If you on on the receiving end you increase “close enough” by hardening the target. If you on the other side you decrease the accuracy requirement by increasing your yield.

        You only have to get within about 1 mile of a jackrabbit with a 500 kiloton weapon to kill it. The mach effect commences about 1 mile out with an airburst detonation at optimum height (1745 m. or 5725 ft – almost a nautical mile).

        Anyway, the models should have a high correlation perhaps 0.9 or 0.95 for what the IPCC is using them for – and they should get the average temperature of the earth right. A model that has a high degree of correlation but thinks the earth is 2°C warmer than it is has issues.

      • @cd: You need one kick butt ocean model to show that, but that will come with time.

        The quality of a model depends on who you ask, which in turn depends on whose butt the model kicks.

    • Roger, some of us have learned to skip longish threads in which the name “Willard” appears regularly.

      • genghiscunn

        The ATTP thread referred to is quite good to read. It starts of in a civil fashion with good rapport and then slowly degenerates into the attack mode of Willard {and others who are worse} who decide to play the man and not the ball. Roger bails out understandably and the blog finishes with triumphant tribalism.

        ATTP , to give him credit did talk to Roger and get him onside at the start.
        Yet, Deja Vu, it reminded me of a savaging he gave Richard Toll in March who also tried to interact with him, when ATTP just wanted to mock his work.

        …and Then There’s Physics says: March 26, 2015 at 10:21 am “Persistence”

        Richard,
        I wasn’t sure whether to post your comment or not, since I was still waiting for you to back up earlier claims. However, I thought this another good illustration of the power of persistence. Say something deceitful and objectionable and simply ignore those who request that you either withdraw it or back it up. They’ll eventually just give up and you can carry on regardless.

        Needless to say Richard had to give up, just like Roger. Advice, Roger should read it.
        ATTP is quite aware of morals and manners but enjoys the Schadenfreude -not realizing the possible long term consequences and regrets if he has a change of heart.

      • > who decide to play the man and not the ball.

        See who wrote this:

        see who the authors are.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-58378

        Besides handwaving to his own publications, rpielke mainly played the man in that thread. As usual.

        ***

        > Roger bails out […]

        At the beginning of the thread, actually:

        I do not intend to debate this in these comments.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-58486

        This did not prevent rpielke from epiloguing on constructive debates. He still does it in his current drive-by, while playing the man, of course.

        Go, team Denizens!

      • Willard, while reading through your comments it occurred to me it’s been a long time since I hurt your feelings by telling you I almost always skip over your comments.

      • JCH: Willard, while reading through your comments it occurred to me it’s been a long time since I hurt your feelings by telling you I almost always skip over your comments.

        I also skip most of comments and rejoinders to them, but once in a while I think that a long engagement is worthwhile.

      • The hitman whines for mercy. ‘He did it too!’

      • JCH rates a +1 for irony.

      • In accounting Ragnaar will sometimes annualize an interest rate. So let’s “decadalize” this:

        .056 per year over a 54 month span is .56 per decade, or… 2.8 times the IPCC rate of .2C per decade.

        .095 oer year over the last 18 months is .95 per decade, or… 4.75 times the IPCC rate of .2C per year.

        So my theory is wrong. I’ll take wrong. Lol.

    • Don Monfort

      willy, willy
      Scrolling through the thread I see a lot of blue links that I always skip, italicized copy-pasted references that I always skip, and crap reproduced from twitsville that I always skip. That doesn’t leave much of yourself, willy. You can be interesting when you are not overdoing the trolling. Try to go easy on the canned BS and do more original work, willy.

      • Whenever I start to have some doubt regarding my skeptical views, I just load up on some of Willard’s tedious and predictable comments and all those reasons for my skepticism cascade back into my mind giving me great comfort I have made the right choice.

      • Little willy doesn’t do well on the road. He needs to play with the home team at kenny’s echo chamber. It also helps to be the umpire.

      • > Whenever I start to have some doubt regarding my skeptical views […]

        There goes skepticism.

    • rpielke

      Very nIce post. My sincere apologies for biting on a sidebar in this thread. I will be more careful.

  31. Good post Judith. One editorial note though, your auto corrector seems to believe that strategies should be spelled straggles. The fundamental point of this topic is the problem we all have with the assessment process in climate science and the inherent bias that emanates from being politically correct.

    • Peter, I like the sound of “accepted and effective straggles” though, I’d like to see some.

      • Since straggles are in fact groups of people who are dawdling far behind their leaders it seems that one only needs to look as far as the sceptical denizens on this blog to find some. /humour off

  32. Willard, Pielke Sr has just adequately established your bona fides. Checked a few to make sure for myself. Best if you just now buggered off, as the Brits would say. My own Wisconsin farmer language would be considerable less polite. Debate is welcome here. IMO not your style. Track you back upthread for ample evidence.

    • Thank you for your concerns, Sir Rud.

      • rpielke | July 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Reply
        Re: Willard

        Readers of Climate Etc who have not visited ATTP with respect to my post with the Editor of that website
        I asked him to debate offline (as I did courteously and successfully with the webmaster of ATTP)
        and this is what he wrote
        “My main communication objective is quite minimal:

        “This is not your main communication objective, it is not a communication objective at all. It is a statement, no element of a communication objective, just a demand to toe the party line.

        You say, “I seek a public and quotable response from you regarding the IPCC’s attribution statement.”

        Yet you state “we already know rpielke’s answer on the subject

        “Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.”
        You already have your public and quotable response and you “know” it.

        A simple “I agree (or disagree) with the IPCC’s attribution statement” would suffice.
        R Pielke clearly says, I disagree with the IPCC’s attribution statement.
        I will reprint it for you even though you have stated you “already know rpielke’s answer on the subject”

        “Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.”
        Happy now?

      • > Happy now?

        Only if you are Senior’s sock puppet. Are you?

      • Why would Roger follow you here? Take the quote.

  33. Judith says “You can judge for yourself to what extent writing books or blogging or think tank reports influence the scientific and public debate on climate change.”
    Yes, this has been very effective at getting almost 100% Republican denialist support in the US Congress. They only need some thinktank to write a document that they can quote and bingo, no need to evaluate the science themselves, just the spoonfed, cleansed, version from the thinktank. It serves its purpose and gives them cover. It doesn’t work well with the public who are allowed to go with the consensus if they want, but it doesn’t need to. Scientists, too, would mostly see the thinktank reports as very thin on actual science.

    • Seems very similar to the EPA calling carbon dioxide a pollutant, based on IPCC reports, instead of the EPA doing their own evaluation of the science.

  34. Great post by Judith, pretty good discussion. Given that there is an orthodoxy, well defended by professional journals and organizations, government money, media and (to a lesser extent, although it is something with the boomers) public opinion–how to have a debate about evidence, with openness to various points of view? Judith to her credit welcomes Hansen’s new approach, even though she disagrees with much of his argument.

    Mosher, if I understand him, keeps saying: the orthodox (I don’t know if he would say “warmists”) have an up-and-running theory, complete with models from super-computers, academic credentials, etc., and by the way: political decision-makers–the real powers that be–asked for all this, funded it, and got what they asked for. That is the real world, etc. Skeptics will fail unless and until they come up with something similar of their own.

    Lots of truth to this, but there is also something to be said for intelligent people reading and thinking. Is there really a good analogy between AGW on the one hand and “smoking causes cancer” on the other? Evolution? Isn’t it rather the case that famous papers turn out to be questionable, and the evidence is all much sketchier than we are generally led to believe?

    I don’t think I’m breaking rules by arguing by means of questions.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Mosher, if I understand him, keeps saying: the orthodox (I don’t know if he would say “warmists”) have an up-and-running theory, complete with models from super-computers, academic credentials, etc., and by the way: political decision-makers–the real powers that be–asked for all this, funded it, and got what they asked for. That is the real world, etc. Skeptics will fail unless and until they come up with something similar of their own.”

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

      Yup. Let me give you my history. I started in the debate as someone who believed in the general theory but was skeptical about these aspect.

      1. Paleo work
      2. The temperature record
      3. The sensitivity estimates
      4. Future scenario development.

      In the begining I thought criticism was enough. But the more I looked at it the more it became clear that mere criticism did not move the science.
      BAD SCIENCE has a way of sticking around until it is removed by better science. In part this is because one bit of science builds on another bit.. and the prospect of tearing it all down and starting over is rather daunting.
      A good analogy is this. Suppose I am writing a paper on sunspots and temperature. I have to make a choice. Do i accept the curent records as GIVENS as foundations and then build on that… or do start at ground zero and do my own sunspot record and temp record. Do I start at ground zero or do I build on what others have done? Most people take the easy way out.

      So I started to look at examples of bad science, of how mistakes happen and how hard it is for science to self correct

      A good early example I looked at was the actual history of the Piltdown Man. That started as a joke for me ( Piltdown Mann ) but as I looked at it a few things became clear. I considered Mann’s work to be flawed but not a fraud. And the question was “how does flawed work not get fixed? In business this would never do. in engineering it would never do. But in science the movement toward self correction can be slow. In the case of piltdown there was 40 years of foot dragging to take a hoax out of the science, so in light of that I wasnt surprised that getting mann’s flaws removed was hard. I dont want to go on about why it is hard to remove flaws in science, i suspect if there was MORE MONEY in science that
      the flaws would come out more quickly. I know personally that there are flaws I would like to remove in the stuff I worked on, but its incredibly slow work. Fixing a foundation that others have already built on is not popular work. its grunt work.

      With that as a backdrop I realized that trying to remove the flaws by mere criticism doesnt work. Sure in a debate one side can say “you havent proved it” but in science thats always the case. What rules the day is the best explanation we have today. People build on that best explanation. they start to take it as a given. the only way it gets replaced is with a BETTER explanation. To get there you have to actually do science. So I started to work on the temperature series. Folks can go look at all my old posts and comments.. critic critic critic.. But you cant build an explnation on a critcism.
      you actually have to build something. To do that you have to focus.

    • “Skeptics will fail unless and until they come up with something similar of their own.”

      Demonstrably wrong. That ignores the fact that it’s the alarmist-consensus crowd that has been failing for decades to persuade the people of the world to engage in meaningful CO2 mitigation. The difference between doing nothing and what the alarmists have accomplished in the way of mitigation is next to nothing. Wake up and smell the dookey, gentlemen.

      • David Springer

        Not demonstrably wrong. Not the right tense. Demonstrated wrong.

      • Are you still mad over that ID foolishness, springy?

        Adv. 1. demonstrably – in an obvious and provable manner; “his documentary sources are demonstrably wrong”
        incontrovertibly, provably

        Get over it.

    • Well….

      Assuming the following graphic is correct BEST is better than nothing.

      If BEST doesn’t continue to mutate like the other temperature sets it will have made a positive contribution.

      A very important contribution would be a temperature set with all the land surface non-GHG (UHI/land changes/etc. which I call UHI+ or UHIP) influence removed. increased IR emission, decreased albedo, and change in the sensible/latent energy loss profile, in urban/rural areas with respect to “pristine” areas is unrelated to GHG. This effect should be identified and treated separately.

      GHG is not going to influence the UHIP. GHG is not due to UHIP. GHG affects pristine areas and oceans, UHIP does not. Determining the extent and trend of UHIP would be helpful because measures to reduce UHIP are unrelated to GHG measures.

      Also the ocean warming will be unresponsive to the portion of anthropogenic influence that is UHIP.

  35. Judith, you wrote that “Synthesis, integration and assessment require different skills than frontier research” and that “We need more maverick climate scientists that devote time to looking at the big picture in an integrative way.” These skills were part of my strength as an economic policy adviser, given that I had a very broad concern with drivers of economic growth rather than a narrow speciality, and were applied to a diverse range of issues, including CAGW. Being policy-specific skills, you are probably more likely to find them in that field than amongst those with a narrower purview in a particular science. Although not a modeller, I used and directed a lot of modelling and at times was the sole non-specialist invited to modelling fora. So you would need to look beyond “maverick climate scientists” for these skills. [Not at me, though, I’m very de-skilled now, and my relevant capacity is very low.]

    CAGW/climate change are only important to the world at large if they genuinely require a major policy response which conflicts with other significant goals. If that is the case, the integrative and policy approach cannot be left to climate scientists, but must involve those outside the field with appropriate analytical and integrative skills.

    Faustino

    • So you would need to look beyond “maverick climate scientists” for these skills.

      Indeed. You need to look beyond scientists–period. The fundamental currently relevant questions are ones of policy and not science…policy necessarily made with incomplete scientific understanding and uncertain time sensitivity.

    • Excellent points by Fastino and mwgrant, both of whom provide some of the best policy relevant contributions on CE (along with PE Rud Istvan, tony B and some others).

  36. Geoff Sherrington

    Have you devoted enough consideration to the dimension of time in relation to the spread of scientific knowledge?
    While it can be managerially magisterial to produce results ahead of time and below budget, is it important in climate science except for the ego?
    Much of the complexity about which you write is caused by deadlines, particularly the regular conferences of parties (COP21 in Paris, December) and the 5-6 yearly IPCC major reports. One bad effect of the timetable approach leads authors to submit papers that are incomplete, just to make the deadline, even to the point of giving a conclusion that represents subordinate parts of the work but deals ineffectively with what might have been a good advance in the main conclusion, had they reached it. Just to make the deadline.
    It will take years to get away from this deadline problem, but the more people who are aware of it, maybe the sooner there will be improvement. That improvement would see the main publishers (if they are still part of the structure by then) putting their effort in publishing breakthrough type papers of major importance, of which there are few each year on any topic of science.
    Apart from the fundamental scientific advances of the breakthrough papers, there is an hierarchy of classes of lesser papers, along the lines of those which –
    • Confirm or deny the main thrust of a breakthrough paper by arriving from other angles
    • Provide an alternative or improvement to the main findings of breakthrough papers
    • Contribute more observation to the breakthrough paper and discuss its relevance
    • Seek to set a complementary base for a breakthrough in a related aspect of science
    • Report the views of a clutch of authors about a topic they deem to have political importance
    • Ditto for educational importance
    • Write papers that are knowingly lacking good science to place authors in one camp or another
    • Lambast an author or authors for being on the ‘wrong’ side of a polarised topic
    • Perform meta analysis
    Etc. There are more types than this. I am setting a scene with these examples by suggesting that for many classes,
    (a) Time to publication is hardly important
    (b) The topic is too incomplete to warrant publication until complete (that is, the original, stated hypothesis has been tested and a result derived).
    (c) The topic is of such little importance that changing occupation to taxi driver (a customary Australian solution from some decades back) is more productive for the would-be scientific author.
    In short, in the last 50 years there has been an excess of junk papers that should have been smothered at birth. Sadly, I think that many guilty authors already know this, but continue.
    All of this is well known, but different scientists put emphasis on different classes. They can show this by pre-publication releases, by strong suggestions that something big is about to break, etc.
    My personal view is that as a whole, we are not coping well with the transition to the electronic era. We have now a system less useful than the time-honoured rules of strict silence before publication, peer review by anonymous experts chosen by others, fewer word length restrictions, fewer time restrictions, more studious looks at references cited and so on. As this thread on Climate Etc indicates, we have now a system in some need of repair, but no clear plan of how to repair it. Peer review, which has long rested on the grace of experts to give freely of their time, is in particular danger as materialism grows. Maybe we will soon have a Union of Peer Review Workers, to set terms and conditions.
    Maybe a start can be made by making a more formal classification of that hierarchy of papers and have rather more separation of publishers and reviewers for each class. Why not have, as in the medical world, specialists as separate from GPs as separate from homeopaths? Readers can make personal choices as to how the quality of papers from each group will aid their learning. The distribution of reader/writer numbers should (but might not) weed out the time wasting pop-science authors-to-be who might revert to ‘Popular Mechanics’ or ‘Scientific American’ or something with ‘Roswell’ in the title.
    The processes available for a newcomer to discover what is best for her/him to study is too fragmented, vague, dominated by non-science material and a self-important press working way beyond its group intellect.
    I would be forever grateful to the bright person who could devise a successful structure to allow selection of educational material in science to be presented in an honest, neutral and useful way to newcomers (plus oldcomers who have lost their way and need a sharp jab of honesty revitalisation).
    Prof Curry, once again you are inspirational in dissecting problems like these. You are in the handful of candidates who might just influence society to reward genuinely good scholars and to demonstrate the failures of the multitudes of also-rans, particularly the ones who know they are wrong and misleading but persist with the drivel in this surreal world that calls itself climate science. Thank you.

    • Interesting comment, thank you

    • Steven Mosher

      “Much of the complexity about which you write is caused by deadlines, particularly the regular conferences of parties (COP21 in Paris, December) and the 5-6 yearly IPCC major reports.”

      somebody wrote a post about science under deadlines

      • Dead-lines? Genu-ine
        Dead-lines? Like approaching
        Typhoon, Drake’s – drum, coming
        Spanish Armada invasion? Nope ,
        Gai – Paris – Belgium – Bureaucrat
        – Deadlines – a – la -Saul Alinsky –
        Ffffffffttttttttt !

  37. angech2014 Thank you for your comment. I initiated the offline communication with the host of ATTP once I found out who he was and could e-mail him directly. In that forum, we were able to communicate courteously and effectively. We closed on an agreed to post.

    I was hoping that this constructive debate would carry on in the comments on ATTP, and, indeed, for a short time they did as you notd.. But than Willard and others jumped in (troll is a good description) and polluted the debate.

    The webmaster does not have the interest and motivation, unfortunately, to police ATTP. Thus it falls into the frame of an type SKS weblog which is just an advocacy venue with a failure to permit, courteous, constructive and informative debate.

    Roger Sr.

    • Roger Sr.
      Thanks for keeping the informative and civil discussion going. As others said, many skip Willard’s comments. But yours are appreciated and informative. One cannot control the environment but only contribute to the positive aspects.

      The models and predictions are short term failures but we are left with the issue of the long slow thaw that may or may not be effected by CO2 or natural variability. Winnowing out the impacts and magnitudes of the contributions does not seem to have progressed far in 30 years.
      Scott

    • Don Monfort

      Little willy is the police on kenny’s blog. Must keep an orderly echo chamber.

    • Danny Thomas

      Quite late to this party, but of note to me was how strongly W. supported his views with this: “Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference.”
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/29/assessments-meta-analyses-discussion-and-peer-review/#comment-721686
      From there…..why bother.

  38. From JC Conclusions:

    We need more maverick climate scientists that devote time to looking at the big picture in an integrative way. And that is why I applaud Jim Hansen for what he has done, in spite of not finding much in his paper to be very convincing. We need to figure out ways to nurture and reward this kind of scholarship, suitable publication venues, and accepted and effective straggles for publicizing this.

    I agree with the first sentence. Hansen has done it for the orthodoxy, but how can the mavericks do it? How can they achieve the same publicity as Hansen? I would expect there would be five times as much funding for the maverick researchers as for the orthodoxy? Why not? Isn’t that how science is supposed to work – most effort goes into trying to replicate and disprove theories and hypothesies?

  39. “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”

    This is a wonderful statement.

    It is exactly the focal point of the leftist attack.

    “I remember when I was a young man, every personnel department was looking for leadership qualities. What was sought was a man’s capacity as an individual to achieve new things. Today that is not even considered by personnel departments in their “employment policies. They ask, instead, if the man “gets along” with everybody. They do not ask what is his individuality; they ask how he conforms. When we raise a young man to believe that at all costs he must get on with everyone, we have put him into a state of mind that almost guarantees, if he falls into the hands of an enemy such as the Communists, that he will react as he had been raised, to try “to get on,” because he must not be “antisocial.” Being “antisocial” has become the cardinal sin in our society. We have to again go back to characteristics of ours which made us, as individuals, say that what is right is right, and whether or not it is antisocial makes no difference. The young man who broadcast for the Red Chinese was simply “getting along” as he had been taught to do by our educators.”

    http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/Congress.htm

  40. Online journals unbound, punny.

  41. I don´t think mavericks is what we need the most (Maverick: Someone who refuses to play by the rules. he/she isn’t scared to cross the line of conformity.)

    I really think what we need more of is scientists who conform with the modern scientific method – the empirical method as developed by Karl Popper. We need more scientists who endorse, practice and defend robust scientific methods. We need more scientists who dare to call unscientific claims for fiction when they deserves to be.

    I think we need to remind each other about the modern scientific method – the empirical method. Here presented in a simple form:
    1 A hypothesis is proposed. This is not justified and is tentative.
    2 Testable predictions are deduced from the hypothesis and previously accepted statements.
    3 We observe whether the predictions are true.
    4 If the predictions are false, we conclude the theory is false.
    5 If the predictions are true, that doesn’t show the theory is true, or even probably true. All we can say is that the theory has so far passed the tests of it.

    Hence a hypothesis, a theory, an idea or whatever is merited by the attempts of falsification it has stood up to.

    Too many seems to endorse inductivism, a 500 year old scientific method. A method Karl Popper demonstrated to be utterly flawed.

    • Science or Fiction

      I am afraid you are trying to separate what scientists should do and their paycheck. Follow the money applies to scientists and bricklayers alike. When the paycheck is predicated upon espousing a particular and very tightly held belief system, then one gets: Eugenics as the “science” paradigm. If you follow the history of Eugenics and make a side-by-side comparison to Climate Science, you will see for yourself the parallel, only taking place in the late 20th and early 21st Century: Fewer people on the planet; better people that are left; and, as an overriding imperative of course, the few who are designated to decide.

      Climate Science of the late 20th and early 21st Century = Eugenics of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century

      You are asking scientists to go against a social movement. Academia nor Government Labs are safe-haven for such Karl Popper following brave souls.

      • However – we can never stop fighting against inductivism in particular and unsound scientific methods in general.
        The empirical method should eventually gain terrain over inductivism because it is more robust, and in the long term more economic – since it is more likely to provide reliable results.
        I like to think that most researchers are decent people – unfortunately our educational systems seems to have failed to some degree since so much research is based on inductivism alone.
        (PS – I am at an airport now – goes offline for a day)

    • Should probably distinguish.

      Many of the ‘revolutionary’ ideas are really evidence which overturns previous accepted assumptions.

      For example earth as the center of the solar system was consistent with limited observations. But ideas ( geometry ) and instruments ( telescopes ) provided observations that improved the accuracy of the model.

      So these maverick advancements didn’t violate scientific method – they epitomized it.

      And we definitely need those that question the assumptions over which lie insufficient observations.

      It is a problem that the more socialized thinking becomes, the more these assumptions exist.

      My problem with ‘Maverick’ applied to Hansen is the motivated reasoning he has exhibited.

      1. Giving a political speech immediately after receiving a quarter of a million $ award from a politician ( John Kerry ) and immediately before an election. Politicizing the science?

      2. Telling the press that ‘half of all species could go extinct’ from global warming. Which is certainly not in his field but ridiculous for anyone with even a passing knowledge of evolution and earth’s past climate and/or carbon dioxide states.

      3. Writing that “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue” which is basically a justification for telling ‘white’ lies .

      4. Public activism protests, calling coal transport ‘Death Trains’, arrests, et. al.

      Science is about cold, dispassionate objectivity. But there lies the contradiction – How is one motivated toward that about which one is dispassionate? The passion must come from genuine curiosity which seems to have fewer biases than certainly saving the world or political activism.

      Hansen may be aware of his biases, which would be worse than if, like most of us, he continues blithely. But it’s clear his past actions beg even more scepticism of his works because of his clear motivations. That doesn’t mean he can’t have true new insights, but they demand no less proof than any other theory. And from what I see is certainly the ‘creative’ volcano that seeks to create rationalizations for his motivating need for climate change to be catastrophic.

      • May I pinpoint that in accordance with the empirical method, insight´s does not need proof. Because theoretically you can´t provide such kind of proofs. Contrary to proof – possible new insights need to be rigorously tested. Hypothesis, theories, ideas or whatever are merited by the severity of the tests they have stood up to. What good researchers do, is to design clever and rigorous tests – to which they expose their own, and others, ideas.

        The scientific method may be be regarded as a ladder which may raise our understanding, from fiction towards knowledge.I am quite sure that Hansen took the first step of this ladder:
        1 A hypothesis is proposed.

        But did he attempt to climb any further, by exposing his ideas to severe testing?:
        2 Testable predictions are deduced from the hypothesis and previously accepted statements.
        3 We observe whether the predictions are true.
        4 If the predictions are false, we conclude the theory is false.
        5 If the predictions are true, that doesn’t show the theory is true, or even probably true. All we can say is that the theory has so far passed the tests of it.

        To me it looks more like Hansen operated largely in the following way
        (As warned about by Karl Popper):
        “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system could ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”

        As you point out the past actions beg even more scepticism of his works. To me – the unscientific actions Karl Popper warned about seems to be modus operandi by Hansen (and also by IPCC).

        To deal with the ad hoc maneuvers to avoid falsification, Karl Popper ruled out the ad hoc maneuvers above from the empirical method, and further stated that:
        “the empirical method shall be characterized as a method that excludes precisely those ways of evading falsification which… are logically possible. According to my proposal, what characterizes the empirical method is its manner of exposing to falsification, in every conceivable way, the system to be tested. Its aim is not to save the lives of untenable systems but, on the contrary, to select the one which is by comparison the fittest, by exposing them all to the fiercest struggle for survival.»

        (I am sure Karl Popper would agree that if we have several systems – which are all falsified – it would be utterly stupid to select any of them.)

        To me it does not seem like Hansen (and IPCC) follows a modern scientific method – the empirical method.

        Please enjoy some soothing writings by Karl Popper:
        http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf
        I recommend all to read some Karl Popper – first part is easy reading.

      • SOF:

        I assume you are contending that Hansen takes the first step on the scientific ladder, breakdances to celebrate his achievement until he gets tired, then wanders off to perform yet another good deed?

      • Telling the press that ‘half of all species could go extinct’ from global warming. Which is certainly not in his field but ridiculous for anyone with even a passing knowledge of evolution and earth’s past climate and/or carbon dioxide states.

        So what percentage of “all species” went extinct during the Permian–Triassic extinction event? What role did CO2 play? What’s the uncertainty of your answers?

      • What Hansen has is a testable hypothesis. You have to wait a long time to test it as with most things in climate science, but it is a hypothesis and you are allowed to publish hypotheses. As evidence, he has past cases of this happening, and signs of the beginning of the new case already being seen. He has a model that shows what can happen when there is enough meltwater to stop the AMOC and spread southwards, and he shows a range of scenarios to give the sensitivity of this process to melt rates. It is all part of the scientific method: hypothesis and past and present evidence.

      • JimD: If we have to wait a long time, then the hypothesis is not testicle. However, I dispute your assertion. An oceanic monitoring system could be designed to testes Hansen’s theocracy in real time. I’m all for more ocean data because the fascination with arm-waving on missing heat, rapid SLR, bad acid trips, etc. are quite boring.

      • Horst, you have an awesome autocorrect there. Does it base that on words you use commonly?
        Hansen is talking about doubling times of the melt rate. This can only be evaluated over time. So far the doubling time is on target, but we have only had about 12 years of data.

      • JimD: it’s the machinery that can be proved now, not the widgets. All the widgets are beyond our grasp, so we must focus on the machine.

      • So what percentage of “all species” went extinct during the Permian–Triassic extinction event? What role did CO2 play? What’s the uncertainty of your answers?

        There are many unknowns, but it would not appear that extinctions:
        http://figures.boundless.com/20663/full/figure-27-04-06.jpe
        nor the marine extinctions you cite,

        are at all correlated with CO2:

        Making groundless claims about 50% extinction from global warming is shameless and frankly embarrasing, but scary enough that you are asking me about the uncertainty more than uncertainty in Hansen’s ridiculous claim.

      • Making groundless claims about 50% extinction from global warming is shameless and frankly embarrasing, but scary enough that you are asking me about the uncertainty more than uncertainty in Hansen’s ridiculous claim.

        Hansen’s “ridiculous claim” was posed as a possibility. Your denial was posed as an assertion. An incorrect assertion.

        I have much more than “a passing knowledge of evolution and earth’s past climate and/or carbon dioxide states.” and I don’t find Hansen’s “claims about 50% extinction from global warming” to be “shameless and frankly embarrasing”. Unlikely, maybe, but plausible. IMO anybody really familiar with the relevant sciences would say the same.

        The broadly averaged CO2 levels you cite are far less relevant to the realities of fossil changes than shorter-term variations that, AFAIK, can’t (yet) be derived from the data.

      • Hansen’s “ridiculous claim” was posed as a possibility.
        Unfortunately, the public, to whom the message was sent, is not so discerning or skeptical of authority. It’s possible that the New York Yankees winning the world series could trigger a mass extinction but that idea is just as ridiculous, and just as unobserved as making up claims about extinction and global warming without any evidence.

      • “Unfortunately, the public, to whom the message was sent, is not so discerning or skeptical of authority.”

        TE, I think much of the public generally gets the politics behind AGW, which is why alarmism in the press gets ever more “ridiculous”. Although it’s true that much of the public still has a hard time quantifying the degree of cooperation (monopoly) between the political pundits and the scientists providing the work that sustains the politics, and the media.

      • Turbulent,

        “..Hansen may be aware of his biases…”

        Possibly, but if I read Kahneman correctly, we are all about equally unaware of our own biases. I have been looking for my own biases but I can’t find any. I might be the exception – an outlier rather than an outright liar or outcast.

        Mann, I’m confused. Do you ever feel like you are just going round and round and just can’t break out?

      • JimD

        I think you’ve been punked by Horst.

      • Jim D | July 31, 2015 at 8:36 pm |:
        “What Hansen has is a testable hypothesis. You have to wait a long time to test it as with most things in climate science, but it is a hypothesis and you are allowed to publish hypotheses.”

        Of course, Hansen is free to publish his hypothesis, the peer review process may slip through whatever – and it does, magazines are free to publish whatever – and they do, governments are free to accept whatever, and they do, United Nations are free to accept whatever – and they do.

        However, Popper did foresee your kind of answer a long time ago, in his brilliant work on the modern scientific method, “the empirical method” – in his book “The logic of scientific discovery”:

        “Inter- subjectively testable experiments are either to be accepted, or to be rejected in the light of counter-experiments. The bare appeal to logical derivations to be discovered in the future can be disregarded.”

        Hence, I disregard your appeal that we will “have to wait a long time to test it as most things in climate science”. Scientific minds comes up with brilliant tests – that is what good scientists do. Ideas are merited by the severity of the tests they are exposed to. As phrased by Popper:
        “This shows that it is not so much the number of corroborating instances which determines the degree of corroboration as the severity of the various tests to which the hypothesis in question can be, and has been, subjected. But the severity of the tests, in its turn, depends upon the degree of testability, and thus upon the simplicity of the hypothesis: the hypothesis which is falsifiable in a higher degree, or the simpler hypothesis, is also the one which is corroborable in a higher degree.”

      • PA | July 31, 2015 at 6:28 pm |

        Yes – indeed I do. :)

      • Just as Hansen is free to publish his hypothesis, skeptics are free to post their own dissenting views on the science. So far Nabil Swedan has given it your best shot at ACPD. See if he states your opinion. Others are just picking around the edges.

      • The brilliant means is called a computer model. The laboratory is the earth. There is one of them.

    • SoF: You are definitely spewing fiction: There is no method, only results.
      You are neither. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill

      • I think you are partly right in stating that there is no method. There is no single method on how to arrive at your idea, hypothesis, theory or whatever. You can do whatever you like, including and most likely inductive reasoning. The empirical method is about precise definitions, avoiding ad hoc maneuvers and severe testing. There is an infinite amount of good ideas out there. Many countries has quacksalver legislation to avoid that the enormous amount of good ideas do harm to people.

      • Oh – I nearly forgot – on the other things you are dead wrong.
        I´m not spewing fiction and I´m not an errand boy. I am just a guy that has become aware of some unscientific approach within this area.
        By the way, you forgot to test your link.

  42. Monopoly on climate knowledge? Hmmm, let’s track down a major monopolist. Could be worth shaking down.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, that greedy guy will have intricate knowledge of the atmosphere, the sun, other extra-terrestrial influences, orbits, the deep hydrosphere and all of earth beneath its crust. Our monopolist will have definitive explanations for the Younger Dryas, the 2200 BC cooling/drought, the great monsoon failures of eg 1770s, 1790s, 1870s, the great pluvials of eg Genghis Khan period, Peru AD 1100…and all other major climate shifts within the last few thousand years. Don’t let that monopolist hoard his knowledge. Call Trust Busters!

    Or was that a monopoly on authority rather than knowledge we were talking about? Maybe just a pre-Xmas Paris accommodation monopoly?

  43. This is marginally OT, but so over the top. This article from CNBC is now comparing people who don’t drink the global warming Kool-aid to people who support the idea of the Confederacy. This from an alleged business news outlet. It is a child of NBC after all. This is every bit as disgusting as the “denier” angle. From the article:

    Just as a few states in the 1800s wanted their citizens to maintain the right to own slaves and formed a Confederacy that seceded from the United States, several governors are proclaiming their intent to defy the EPA: Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (both declared 2016 Presidential candidates) plus Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Mike Pence of Indiana, and Greg Abbott of Texas. The USEPA gives states wide latitude in finding ways to comply with the law, but apparently these governors don’t think their businesses and residents are smart enough to find the most cost-effective, money-saving options. Other states don’t seem to have the same blind spot.

    Read MoreWhy Ted Cruz called Mitch McConnell a liar

    California, which leads the “union” states in carbon-reducing policies, cut emissions by 1.5 million metric tons in 2013 (compared with 2012); at the same time, its economy grew at a faster pace than the national average.

    Nine northeastern states created a carbon-trading market, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It added $1.3 billion to the economy, created more than 14,000 new jobs and saved $460 million in electricity and heating costs between 2012 and 2014, according to a recent report from the economic-consulting firm Analysis Group.

    Although not a declared member of the Carbon Confederacy, New Jersey Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie balanced his first state budget with revenues from this program, but then seceded from it when conservative politics trumped economic common sense.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/28/carbon-confederacy-new-war-brewing-over-clean-air-commentary.html

  44. What is a maverick exactly as it relates to climate science? Is it one at the edges of orthodoxy? Hansen’s work goes beyond orthodoxy but the ramifications of his work drives the CAGW issue in the direction that CAGW forces want it to go, therefore I wouldn’t classify him as being a maverick; his work pushes the bounds of orthodoxy in a desired political direction. Hansen’s risk to reputation are measured and probably non existent frankly. A maverick isn’t a rebel outside of orthodoxy either, simply denying AGW for example. I believe maverick status is achieved when bravery and convictions push outside of the mainstream; better described as someone outside the orthodoxy with reasoned scientific views that haven’t been adequately explored, that push against the grain. Some of the science that relates to solar effects on climate appears to fall in this category, as example only.

    Peer reviewed science is a major quiver in the arsenal of political and media evangelizing because it offers the leveraged assumption of unassailable argument to buttress the global CAGW campaign. It fits in the quiver alongside crafted push polling; demographic analysis and education crafted by identifying hot button motivational issues that stand to foment an affirmative response to change. These things manifest themselves in tailored and universal messaging, an example; “Hell and high water” messaging is an easy sell because it’s already apparent in belief systems and therefore can be exploited.

    “…what we need more of is scientists who conform with the modern scientific method – the empirical method as developed by Karl Popper… Too many…endorse inductivism, a 500 year old scientific method. A method Karl Popper demonstrated to be utterly flawed.” —Science or Fiction

    There’s no incentive to conform stringently with the modern scientific method; how does that advance the CAGW narrative? It doesn’t. Therefore don’t change anything is the political force that science is up against.

    Much of peer review today is manufactured for the purpose of political argument; not scientific argument. If there’s a hole in any AGW argument then special forces science take off their lab coats and put on a ghillie suit to plug the hole; a new paper is birthed. A case study is represented in the construct of the highly censored Skeptical Science site that’s used to funnel the uninitiated into it like a manifesto meat grinder; churning out links of evangelists.

    • + 1, and:
      Rather than being precise on theory and predictions
      I see ad hoc maneuvers to add hypothesis and change definitions.

      For example: Exactly what is supposed to be warming?
      Is it: The troposphere, close to the surface air temperature, sea surface temperature, the temperature of the deep oceans ???
      It matters, because the amount of energy accumulation which may warm the atmosphere by 1 K (K = Kelvin, same as Celsius) is only enough to warm the oceans by about 0.001 K.
      So is the theory precisely defined?
      No!
      What about the various temperature products which estimate global temperature then, do they take into account the different heat capacity of water and air?
      No!
      Has they predicted a range of observations which would falsify their theory?
      If not – that is a pity – because the theory will then not be falsifiable.
      Karl Popper stated:
      “Thus it can be said that the amount of empirical information conveyed by a theory, or its empirical content, increases with its degree of falsifiability.”

      I searched through the IPCC report to find these definitions, but did not succeed. (Ref: the contribution from working group I; On the scientific basis; to the fifth assessment report by IPCC). Hypothesis are added and definitions seem to change over time. But it´s hard to tell that it is changing – since global warming is not precisely defined. The IPCC report is a grand monument over inductivism, and to some degree justificationism. Well documented, ready for phsycological enquiry – ready for those who wish to do some scientific work on contemporary attempts to do science.

  45. More reasons to doubt Hansen’s latest.

    The paper espouses the idea that AABW formation is declining ( though there are no giant flow meters around the continent to actually verify such an idea ) but that expanding sea ice is also occurring. But this is contradictory! AABW formation is positively correlated with sea ice formation.

    Here is a brief satellite animation of katabatic flow off of Antarctica ( from 2014 ). In it is obvious high wind event as well as the tell tale leads through which ocean heat escapes, AABW develops, and additional sea ice forms.

    Further, Hansen postulates increased baroclinicity from the various processes. Perhaps, but if so, increased AABW events would seem likely to occur.

      • Interesting, but also consistent.
        Trend of reduced BW formation in Wedell Sea,
        and trend of reduced sea ice concentration for sectors of much of the the Wedell Sea:

        Hansen sez just the opposite.

      • Further, ( and it’s obvious this not entirely within my most frequent reading set ), here is a Wiki assessment from the papers below.

        “Evidence indicates that Antarctic bottom water production through the Holocene (last 10,000 years) is not in a steady-state condition[3], that is to say that bottom water production sites shift along the Antarctic margin over decade to century timescales as conditions for the existence of polynas change. For example, the calving of the Mertz Glacier, which occurred on 12–13 February 2010, dramatically changed the environment for producing bottom water, reducing export by up to 23% in the region of Adelie Land.[4] Evidence from sediment cores, containing layers of cross-bedded sediments indicating phases of stronger bottom currents, collected on the Mac.Robertson shelf [5]and Adelie Land [6]suggests that they have switched “on” and “off” again as important bottom water production sites over the last several thousand years.”

        So, it’s evidently not unusual to see natural variation.

        [3]Broecker, W. S., Peacock, S. L., Walker, S., Weiss, R., Fahrbach, E., Schroeder, M., Mikolajewicz, U., Heinze, C., Key, R., Peng, T. H., Rubin, S., 1998. How much deep water is formed in the Southern Ocean? Journal of Geophysical Research, 103 (C8), 15833-15843.

        [4]Kusahara, K., Hasumi, H., Williams, G.D., 2011. Impact of the Mertz Glacier Tongue calving on dense water formation and export. Nature Communications 2.

        [5]Harris, P.T., 2000. Ripple cross-laminated sediments on the East Antarctic shelf: evidence for episodic bottom water production during the Holocene? Marine Geology 170, 317-330.

        [6]Harris, P.T., Brancolini, G., Armand, L., Busetti, M., Beaman, R.J., Giorgetti, G., Prestie, M., Trincardi, F., 2001. Continental shelf drift deposit indicates non-steady state Antarctic bottom water production in the Holocene. Marine Geology 179, 1-8.

      • The reference is from the paper.

        You really need to commenting over there. It does no good to comment here.

      • You may comment here as much as you please, T.E.

      • Obviously, but the editors of the journal will probably pay it no attention at all.

      • Of course they will ignore it – no way to make a buck off it.

      • BS. They’ll ignore it unless it is submitted as a comment on Hansen 2015.

      • Hansen 2015 will pass pal review regardless of the devastating criticism. You know that.

      • Not if TE and others add add their highly persuasive comments to those of Istvan, Revkin, de Rougemont, and Swedan.

        Hansen has stepped out from behind the apron, and Mommy can no longer protect him from the devastating arguments of the brilliant denizens.

      • The paws Denizens take in writing comments is killing your cause, Don Don. Let’s make this happen.

      • heckle and jeckle

  46. How good is your understanding of the physical world? Above is a graph showing a relation between CO2 level and temperature anomaly. Do you understand what a forcing is and what the effective thermal capacitance of the planet is and how that relates to what is possible? Do you understand this well enough to recognize that it is absolutely impossible, even if CO2 was a forcing, for it to cause the temperature to change so quickly? The reverse, however, is easily explained, and explains the correlation. On this, and similar graphs, the cause and effect are reversed. At present CO2 level, temperature change contributes to CO2 level change.

    Proof that CO2 is not a forcing doesn’t even require experiment using the ‘scientific method’ because the data already exists. Proof that CO2 has no effect on climate and identification of the two factors that do cause reported climate change (sunspot number is the only independent variable) are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com (now with 5-year running-average smoothing of measured average global temperature (AGT), the near-perfect explanation of AGT since before 1900; R^2 = 0.97+).

  47. God’s will?

    Today: “The air felt like an exceptional 163 F (73 C) in Bandar Mahshahr, Iran, on Friday, and no relief is expected in the foreseeable future… Bandar Mahshahr registered an apparent temperature of 154 F (68 C) on Thursday. ‘That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world,’ stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.” ~Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist

    • http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/l/IRKZ2400:1:IR

      http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/no-foreseeable-relief-after-ir/51091128

      “The combination of an actual temperature of 115 F (46 C) and a dew point temperature of 90 F (32 C) pushed the apparent temperature to 163 F (73 C) Friday afternoon local time. This reading would have been even higher if a breeze was not blowing, a factor in the calculation of the apparent temperature.”

      The official temperature was 115 F (46 C). One would not have guessed this from the reporting. I’ve been in Phoenix when it was about 1°F hotter and am not impressed.

      The most extreme reading was 56.7 °C (134 °F) at Furnace Creek Ranch (formerly Greenland Ranch), in Death Valley, California on 10 July 1913 according to Wiki.

      There was a local guy named Decker training for the Death Valley marathon who put a couple of 5000 watt halogen lights, a space heater, floor heaters, and a treadmill in a storage shed. In a Gazette article I believe he reported that he would crank it up as high 150°F.

      That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world,
      This guy doesn’t get out much and needs to broaden his horizons.

      If this is “God’s will” he was a little bored and not trying very hard.

      • “The most extreme reading was 56.7 °C (134 °F) at Furnace Creek Ranch (formerly Greenland Ranch), in Death Valley, California on 10 July 1913 according to Wiki. ”

        Yeah but, it was a dry heat…

      • Wagathon

        The range of natural variability is far greater than officially recorded. For example on July 6, 1949, according to local observers, a thermometer near Lisbon, Portugal, registered an incredible 158 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 seconds.

        The Portuguese example is a well authenticated one from 1949 that occurred during a heat wave which enveloped most of Europe. The temperature is said to have risen some 50F in two minutes then abated.

        http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1949/07/08/page/4/article/portugal-gets-slight-relief-from-heat-wave-that-killed-20

        I contacted the WMO just last week about these heat pulses or bursts. They agree they happen but can be officially rated unless authenticated by more than one station. This rarely happens due to sparseness of stations and the narrowness of the heat burst.

        tonyb

  48. When climate peer review is a closed shop, what’s a radical to do ?

    How difficult would it be to start and fund an independent and open-minded journal as an alternative to those bound by the closed shop gatekeeping ?

  49. I think you are partly right in stating that there is no method. There is no single method on how to arrive at your idea, hypothesis, theory or whatever. You can do whatever you like, including and most likely inductive reasoning. The empirical method is about precise definitions, avoiding ad hoc maneuvers and severe testing. There is an infinite amount of good ideas out there. Many countries has quacksalver legislation to avoid that the enormous amount of good ideas do harm to people.

  50. As Brandon Shollenberger highlighted recently, BEST is SMOBAR (Smoothed beyond all recognition).

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2015/07/a-timely-release/

  51. You might have made a falsifying observation. Watch out for the following response:
    “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system could ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”
    (Ref.: Karl Popper, in: The logic of scientific discovery)

  52. David Springer

    Mosher,

    There is no theory of climate. Therefore there is nothing for skeptics to replace.

    Duh.

  53. David Springer

    Mosher,

    There is no theory of climate. Therefore there is nothing for skeptics to replace. Duh.

  54. I thought I’d coined the phrase “knowledge monopoly” in an article in a rather obscure journal in 2004: “Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge
    Monopolies and Research Cartels”, J. Sci. Explor. 18: 643-60; https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/56983081/21stCenturyScience.pdf.
    I used it also in a less obscure book, “Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth”, Jefferson (NC): McFarland 2012; see http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/KnowledgeMonopolies.html.
    The salient monopolies described there are global warming, HIV/AIDS, and Big-Bang cosmology, but lesser ones are described as well.

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