Call for an ethical framework for climate services

by Judith Curry

The urgent need for an ethical framework is heightened by the recognition that negative consequences can arise when climate services are not used to robustly translate science into the decision-making context or when services are deployed in ways that (implicitly or explicitly) bias an outcome.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has prepared a draft document Call for an Ethical Framework for Climate Services, with highlights at this [link].

Clarification:  Rob Wilby emailed me that the document is not a WMO initiative but something that emerged from the community of practice.

Excerpts:

Climate services have the potential to contribute to human security by improving our ability to enhance societal benefits, and reduce losses, related to climate.

Climate services offer tools, products and information to help users anticipate and address the immediate, intensifying and potentially dangerous impacts of climate variability and change. Developed in collaboration between information users and providers, climate services are built on human relationships that open the process to a range of ethical conundrums. Climate information providers and the scientific products they generate operate from a position of trust and should be held to the highest ethical standard. Climate service providers that do not consider the consequences of their actions and information may implicitly contribute to poor decision-making and to maladaptation, with all the attendant implications.

This being said, the rapidly developing domain of climate services lacks a cohesive ethical framework to guide its development and application.

The urgent need for an ethical framework is heightened by the recognition that negative consequences can arise when climate services are not used to robustly translate science into the decision-making context or when services are deployed in ways that (implicitly or explicitly) bias an outcome. The need is intensified by the growing pressure from development investors and implementing agencies to operationalize climate research, which is driving a range of evolving practices of dissimilar rigor. This increases the scope for misuse, malpractice and maladaptation.

An Ethical Framework for Climate Services

We propose an ethical framework based on integrity, transparency, humility and collaboration.

Integrity is about conduct in practice. All too often integrity and honesty can become suppressed in the contexts of personal interests, commercial pressures and competitive practices aimed at gaining advantage. Integrity is essential to ensuring that climate services do not, through perplexity or exaggeration of knowledge, contribute to the disadvantaging of those they seek to serve. It warrants mention that honesty about ones ignorance is central to integrity.

Transparency lies at the heart of building trust between communities. Opaqueness about a climate service provider’s methods, sources or approaches to interpretation can contribute to inflated perceptions of the value of information. Over time, this can lead to a breakdown of trust in the individual climate service provider, and within the broader services community.

Humility here means presenting information as no more or less than it is, not promising more than can be delivered, nor obscuring an underlying reality of uncertainty. Humility thus reflects a commitment to present the true value of a product, process or service as honestly and transparently as possible. This raises the challenge to the purveyor of a service to be cognisant of its strengths and limitations.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of climate services. Openness to collaboration entails listening to user needs, allowing for their input and engaging in a process of co-production of climate services to ensure that the outputs of this process address real-world problems, decision contexts and capacities; it also ensures that climate services are based on state-of- the-art products and the exchange of best practices.

Principles of Practice

Climate service providers should communicate value judgments – Value judgments are an implicit but often unacknowledged part of risk analysis. Values inform our choices of data sets, models, methods and analysis techniques. They play a central role in the decision to engage in risk analysis; they condition the sorts of risks examined, the kinds of data considered relevant and valid, the risk management techniques considered, and the optimal response options in the context of other non-climate stressors. Ethical climate service providers should clearly and explicitly give the rationale for value judgments so users can both understand the basis for decisions made, and appropriately assess the extent to which those judgments are consistent with their own worldview or ethical standards.

Climate service providers should engage with their own community of practice – Climate services are rapidly developing, which imposes a responsibility for practitioners to continually update their skills and knowledge – including reaching out to their own community to learn about new methodologies and techniques.

Climate service providers should engage in the co-exploration of knowledge – Providers will not have experience in the particular context of every user, nor will they understand the challenges that each user faces or the circumstances that inform their decisions. To accommodate this, climate information providers should be open to learning from users in order to understand the context in which they work and to operate as equal partners in improving user capacity for effective decision-making.

Climate service providers should understand climate as an additional stressor – The risks associated with climate variability and changes are part of a multidimensional suite of threats facing states, businesses, communities and individuals at any one time. Good climate service providers will understand this, embedding a holistic sense of climate-in-context into their analyses and speaking honestly about it when presenting their products. This increases the likelihood that any action taken as a result of the service will maximize benefits and increase resilience to multiple climate/non-climatic pressures.

Climate service providers should provide metrics of the skill of their products – Climate service providers should provide information that allows users to assess the relative usefulness of the product in the users context. Metrics may include information on the skill, bias, and/ or uncertainty associated with each product (including contradictions with other sources). The producer should also attempt to illustrate the potential added value of using a product in context, including the implications of choosing one source of information over another.

Climate service providers should articulate processes for refreshing and revising their products and information – Scientific understanding is always evolving – new methodologies are developed, errors corrected and new data are made available. It is imperative that providers engage in sustained development of products to enhance information content, and address inadequacies and inconsistencies as and where the evolving science supports this.

Climate service providers should declare any conflicts of interest and/or vested interests – Climate service providers should declare any potential conflicts of interest, so that users can understand motivations of their information providers. This may include justifying the dissemination of certain datasets and/or methodological techniques, being transparent about circumstances where providers may stand to gain financially, professionally or otherwise from the decisions that the climate services inform.

Principles of Product

Climate service products should be credible and defensible – Information on which climate service products are based should be properly sourced, and the provenance of that information must be made clear and easily accessible. The analyses that underpin climate services should rely on appropriate and well-documented methodologies; tools and methods should be justified and comparative analyses should be undertaken and made available when appropriate.

Climate service products should include detailed descriptions of uncertainty – Uncertainty in climate services may derive from different sources, including from technical issues such as initial condition uncertainty, which defines the starting point of a system; structural uncertainty, which reflects inadequacies or design attributes in tools, methods, and models; knowledge uncertainty, which reflects a lack of knowl- edge regarding the physical mechanisms that condition the climate system; or parameter uncertainty, which includes uncertainties regarding model inputs and boundary conditions. It is essential to describe the size and sources of such uncertainty as best as possible in terms that are meaningful to the intended user, and to be honest about related knowledge gaps.

Climate service products should be documented – It is critical that climate services document the information and the methods on which they are based, allowing products to be reproduced and verified by independent third parties. Meta-data and version history are important components of product documentation and should be clearly accessible in all climate service products. It should not be presumed that the best information is the latest product version.

JC reflections

This is a very good document, and I would like to thank co-author Rob Wilby for pointing me to this.  Its not often that you see the words integrity, humility and transparency bandied about in context of climate information – instead, you hear shrieks of ‘denier’ if a scientist (e.g. moi) talks about uncertainty, or god forbid, ignorance.

Climate service providers may be academics, in the private sector, or part of national meteorological or hydrological services.  However, international agencies such as the IPCC can also be regarded as providing climate services to a global organization of decision makers

My company Climate Forecast Applications Network is in the business of providing weather and climate services.  Most of our clients are interested in 1-15 day weather forecasts.  If you are not following these principles of practice and products for weather forecasts, you will quickly lose your customers (of course you will also lose your customers if your forecasts are frequently wrong, or poorer than market).  The daily evaluation of the forecast by users, and communication of ‘busted’ forecasts to the forecast providers, provides continual feedback to both evaluate and improve the forecast products.

Seasonal forecasts are trickier, since the feedback cycle is slower.  For example, if  your decision making is influenced by the winter seasonal forecasts, it takes a number of years to decide whether a particular forecast product is useful (or alternatively, a single busted forecast during the the first year may result in prematurely dropping a good forecast product).

On the climate time scale, users (apart from global mitigation policy makers) are interested in regional climate variability and change on timescales  out to ~2050 (i.e. much more interested in decadal timescales than century time scale).  On these timescales, climate services often takes the form of a one-off report or workshop that includes future scenarios.  Thus far climate service providers operating on decadal time scales haven’t had the opportunity for feedbacks on their forecasts.

For two examples of how to approach this, I refer you to Part V of the UK/US Workshop, which highlights presentations by Rob Wilby and myself.   (As a sidebar, my first climate scenario projection in 2009 was for the WorldBank [link]).

Now for the IPCC, how would we grade them based on these criteria?

  • Integrity: seriously downgraded for exaggerated confidence in their conclusions and failure to adequately account for minority perspectives on the importance of natural variability
  • Transparency:  massive failure, as highlighted by the IAC review of the IPCC.  Does anyone have any idea how the ‘extremely likely’ etc. conclusions are reached?
  • Humility: IPCC has massively oversold climate model projections
  • Collaboration:  What if the IPCC had collaborated with energy companies in the early days, on developing scenarios and assessing opportunities for cleaner energy?

Kudos and thanks to the WMO committee for addressing this issue and preparing this report.

241 responses to “Call for an ethical framework for climate services

  1. I endorse this effort.

  2. Judith, off-topic but a distant relative. This video “ICTP 2015: Jagadish Shukla (COLA, George Mason U., USA) – Model Predictability / Model Fidelity ” has just popped-up on youtube:-

    from July 13-17, 2015. Trieste, Italy.

    • good find. This follows the dictum that it is ok to talk about uncertainty when discussing with other scientsts, but the U word shall not be mentioned when talking with the media or policy makers

    • Wonderfully eye-openning. The question is why is this guy not a denier?

      • Because if you wander over to Climate Audit, you find that the lead Rico20 signatory has for over a decade violated the NSF 9/2 rule and double dipped (together with his wife and daughter) from government grant money something like $750,000 per year. Follow the money.

      • I was hoping the consensus believers here would answer the question. Why JC might be considered on the dark side but this guys science is OK.

        I dont care about his financial arrangements.

      • Contrary to what alarmists will tell you about their Saint Steven Schneider, the man gave some very bad advice. The man should go down in history for the collosal fool that he was and the grave disservice he provided to society.

    • This is indeed a good presentation showing lack of skill for regional climate and hitting the big challenge in modeling tropical convection. I disagree a little with the higher fidelity = more skill point However.

      Isn’t this the same Shukla who is double dipping on his salary?

  3. I apologize in advance to the OT comment. I’m not sure what post this should go to, but I think it would be of interest. From the article:

    In September, German scientist Gangolf Jobb announced on his website that researchers in eight European countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom, were no longer allowed to use Treefinder, which builds phylogenetic trees from sequence data. “I am no longer willing to support with my work the political system in Europe and Germany,” Jobb wrote. “In particular, I disagree with immigration policy. Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people. Whoever invites or welcomes immigrants to Europe and Germany is my enemy.”

    http://news.sciencemag.org/europe/2015/11/paper-retracted-after-scientist-bans-use-his-software-countries-welcome-refugees

    • Sounds reasonable, as a means of peaceful protest.

      • I should add, I ran away from Cuba, without my family, when I was 14 years old, and was placed in a UN financed refugee camp for minors located in Madrid. I don’t share his general hostility towards immigrants, but the current flood is destabilizing society and likely includes hidden terrorist cells.

      • I don’t mind legal immigrants, we should have some immigration. But we are talking overwhelming numbers of illegal immigrants. They will immediately get welfare in the EU countries. Many of them who come to the US will get welfare. And instead of insisting they learn English and our culture, the schools just add teachers who can speak a gazillion different languages at tax payer expense. Plus, 80% will vote Dimowit, a huge downside!!

      • Well said Jim2 I agree 100%.

      • It’s odd that the two highlighted countries are Germany and UK. They have very different approaches to immigration.

      • Numbers can be important and concern about terrorist/potential terrorists is valid. Just want to highlight that an occasional terrorist and even attack is basically inevitably, but for every one there is also probably dozens of assets .

      • Stoop lower Jim2, this dimowit is not insulted yet.

        In the EU, we are talking about Climate Change refugee/immigrants.

        In my opinion, the Arab Spring was caused in part by climate change, causing a drought in Syria and failed harvests in Russia, Syria’s trading partner.

      • I stubbed my toe yesterday. I am pretty sure that climate change had something to do with it. One of my wife’s patients has recently started to converse with a sewing machine that lives in her her finger. Climate change, again.

      • Bob droege

        Some 6 years ago Syria suffered one of its periodic droughts that was nothing out of the ordinary. What was unusual was That since the last drought the population has ballooned from some 4 million in 1960 to around 22 million before the mass migration.

        The lack of water would not have been that serious if the farming infrastructure had kept pace with the population growth but it hadn’t and it meant that the farmers migrated to the cities. The under lying tensions between religious groups and sects and rural and less conservative city dwellers culminated in a civil war exacerbated by outside groups.

        The climate would have had to have changed to an unprecedentedly wet one for there not to have been problems.

        You might also like to check the populations of Afghanistan Iraq and Ethiopia, they can not possibly grow enough food to support their escalating populations unless the climate changes to one far more benign than it has ever been in those parts, augmented by the infrastructure to make use of it.

        Tonyb

      • bobdroege | November 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm |
        “In my opinion, the Arab Spring was caused in part by climate change, causing a drought in Syria and failed harvests in Russia, Syria’s trading partner.”

        Well in my opinion, the Arab Spring was caused by Obumbles disrupting the dictators in the Middle East and signaling to the militant Muslims there that the US will do nothing if they revolt. There’s your problem, right there!

      • Yesterday’s terrible events in Paris threatens to derail the climate talks.
        I imagine that might give some cause for many people to re-examine some of their views about the perceived causes of the Middle East problems.

      • Especially now in the light of the fact that IS has just claimed responsibility for the attacks.

  4. Climate service providers should be willing to debate without whining about false balance, framing, gish galloping, the Koch brothers, the Heartland Institute, big oil funding, the climate denial machine .. etc. In fact, they should willing to debate even with whining about all these things.

  5. Uncertainty: Massive failure to recognize and comply with the only international guideline on the expression of uncertainty.

    International guideline – adopted by many international organizations:
    “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement”
    https://www.oiml.org/en/files/pdf_g/g001-100-e08.pdf

    IPCC´s own attempt – made up in a hasty way:
    “Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties”.
    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf

  6. This would seem to fall into the category of stuff ‘that goes without saying’. Climate service providers who have been operating without an ethical framework are not likely to worry too much about this thing. Who is going to be in charge of policing climate service provider ethics?

    • The basic problem is that global warmers have zero integrity and control the grant process.

      Ethics rules will be waved for fellow global warmers and just used to club skeptics.

      You need an honest and objective broker to enforce the rules – and that excludes bureaucrats and academics, who are the default people assigned to enforce the rules.

      • Thanks for bringing us down to earth, sarc. For a moment there I was hoping that a code of conduct might succeed in bringing warmists and skeptics closer together.

    • PA is very likely correct. It’s naive to think that the momma of the IPCC has suddenly discovered an urgent need for an ethical framework that will hinder the shenanigans of the IPCC:

      https://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/international_ipcc.php

      “One of the most important principles of the IPCC, is to be policy relevant but not policy prescriptive. Other important factors are scientific integrity, objectivity, openness and transparency, achieved through a rigorous review process for all IPCC reports and an adoption and approval process that is open to all member governments.”

      As you can see, the IPCC was created with an ethical framework. They allegedly got principles.

      The reality is that the WMO and the IPCC are hand in glove and this urgent ethical framework BS is directed at uncertainty monsters.

      • There are a number of global warmers who seem to practicing climate science in a “Dr Murry Salby” style who have not gotten the “Dr Murry Salby” .treatment.

        It would be interesting to find the list of debarments from government grants and split them into “warmer” and “non-warmer”.

        Since we know that virtually all papers support global warming – any more than 0 (zero) climate skeptics on the debarment list would be evidence of unfair application, and we know the number of skeptics on the debarment list isn’t 0 (zero).

      • shenanigans of the IPCC

        It must be a conspiracy..

        But I want to know who the real puppet masters are. The IPCC must be getting “direction” from some other source. Find out who that is and will you have the magic key to everything, Don.

      • Playing the old conspiracy card again, yoey. You are a tedious little joker.

      • “As you can see, the IPCC was created with an ethical framework. They allegedly got principles.”

        I think the intention was greater than the ability.

      • Don, you nailed it.

        After 20+ years of IPCC shenanigans the WMO is now waking up?

        With numerous “learned” societies issuing alarmist warnings, where is the WMO?

        The document is all motherhood and apple pie. It looks like a typical “mission statement” that gets published and then put in a drawer to be forgotten.

      • To Sci of Fiction: I don’t think it was “intention greater than ability.” but rather, a script to fool the unwary. The mother of the IPCC was the UN.

      • UNEP is the baby daddy and WMO is the baby momma:

        “In 1988, through a United Nations General Assembly resolution entitled “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind” WMO and UNEP established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the goals to:”

      • Well, Don, “shenanigans” implies that people are acting cooperatively with an intent to deceive. I am just curious about who is ultimately behind these deceptive practices. It is a serious question..

      • In 1988, through a United Nations General Assembly resolution entitled “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind” WMO and UNEP

        Oh so it’s baked into the charter to deceive and engage in “shenanigans” I must have missed that part.

      • You are confused, yoey. Shenanigans are not necessarily a group project. Por ejemplo, you have been observed engaging in shenanigans right here all by your lonesome. You often look like you are teaming up with yimmy, but we assume that you are just two random anonymous kooks, who share a religion. The IPCC is a bunch of random apparatchiks, who share a religion.

      • @DM: Por ejemplo, you have been observed engaging in shenanigans right here all by your lonesome.

        ¿Vive cerca de la frontera, Don?

        Might explain a lot. Recuerde el álamo.

      • No doc, I am in the S.F. bay area. Closest I lived to the southern border was a couple of months I spent getting repaired at Brooke Army Hosp., Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio. First thing I did when I got ambulatory was a visit to the Alamo to pay my respects to the fallen.

      • The IPCC is a bunch of random apparatchiks, who share a religion.

        A lot of wild speculation about their motives there. You make it sound like the IPCC has attracted a bunch of sociopaths.

        And I don’t recall any religion requiring you to deceive other people and even if they were individually trying to deceive wouldn’t the other members know about that?

      • So when people make wild allegations about the IPCC I think it is appropriate to ask for more evidence and to question that evidence. Am I wrong, Don?

      • Little yimmy is a lot smarter and more personable than you, yoey. Why don’t you let him handle your business here? That’s all the time I have for you.

      • @DM: No doc, I am in the S.F. bay area.

        Hey, we’re neighbors! I’m in the Monterey bay area just now, at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station, but will be in the S.F. bay area next week. Care to hang out? My email’s easy to find.

    • My reaction too. A “cohesive ethical framework” based on honesty and integrity should be inherent.

  7. I applaud the WMO for the effort, though decades late. At the two universities where I worked the words integrity, humility, and transparency would trigger a puzzled look from my fellow academics.

    • I hear that sort of thing a lot in academia. My response is always, I’d like to hear your fellow academics back you up on that.

      More than ever today the currency of academic dissension is the strawman argument where you accuse your colleagues of something they simply didn’t say!

      Let them speak for themselves.

  8. Judith

    Wouldn’t the “Principles of Practice” preclude making ANY forecasted change in the climate as a function of changes in CO2 levels?

  9. Declare any conflicts of interest and/or vested interests:
    Massive failure. IPCC was politicized from the very beginning:

    Ref: Report of the second session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 28 June 1989.
    https://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session02/second-session-report.pdf

    “In welcoming the delegates to the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) Headquarters … The Executive Director of UNEP, hailed the fruitful alliance between WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP. The firm commitment of prof. Obasi, the Secretary-General of WMO, coupled with the determination of UNEP leadership, has resulted in a partnership which is helping to unify the scientific and policy-making communities of the world to lay the foundation for effective, realistic and equitable action on climate change. ”

    “The Executive director stated that the impacts of climate change and global warming would have serious consequences for humanity.”

    “It would be desirable for the Panel´s report to be ready by august 1990 for presentation to the Second World Climate Conference and to the United Nations General Assembly. It should be born in mind that both the governing council of UNEP and the executive Council of WMO expected the first report of IPCC to form the basis for international negotiations on a global convention on climate change. ”

    “The issuance of the report would only be the beginning of a far more arduous task. To tackle the problem of climate warming effectively, radical changes would be necessary in international relations, trade, technology transfer, and bilateral and multilateral strategies. The panel´s continued work would be the only guarantee of the concerted response to the global threat of climate change”

    “In his opening remarks , Prof. Bolin said that the primary objective of IPCC, in making its first assessment, is to produce a document which could provide guidelines for the formulation of global policy and which would enable the nations of the world to contribute to this task”

    “IPCC´s first report will contain the 20-page summaries for policy-makers to be produced by the working groups and an overall integrated summary of these placed in perspective. Professor Bolin suggested that the integrated summary be written by a drafting group consisting of the officers of IPCC and the chairmen of the Working Groups. He asked that this plan of his be enforced by the panel.”
    ————

    Imagine the pressure to comply with the prejudice of the leaders. Leaders who had already made up their mind.

    • Bolin was (relatively) a good guy in all this

      • I like to think they all were good guys, honest individuals having a strong will to do good for humanity. But honesty is closely related to truth, and truth is not readily available to us. There are many possible pitfalls in the quest for knowledge about the mechanisms in nature – Inductivism, justificationism and group think to mention a few. Each and every one of us steps into these pitfalls every day.

        I think that is why the the mindset of the researchers is so important for the outcome, why the method for research is so crucial, why the integrity of the process to search for these mechanism must be treated as a fragile piece of art. And this is why the theories must still be exposed to the fiercest struggle for survival – to eliminate the false ideas.

        And that is why I think it went wrong. Why even the most conscientious among us might step wrong. The result became more important than the integrity of the process – consensus became more important than to eliminate false or biased ideas, to unveil the mechanisms in nature.

      • Thx fer yr thoughtful comments, Science or Fiction:

        ‘There are many possible pitfalls in the quest for
        knowledge about the mechanisms in nature –
        Inductivism, justificationism and group think to
        mention a few. Each and every one of us steps
        into these pitfalls every day.’

        I guess, as a compass forestalls the traveler walking
        in circles, the scientific method of testable hypotheses
        checks human bias. And curiosity, the desire to
        genuinely understand, acts as a kind of moral compass
        in science to keep in check other human motivations.

        Re applied research with clear feedback to the public,
        hammurabi rules are more the thing.

      • Nice put Beththeserf

        I further think the reason so many get it wrong is that the scientific is counterintuitive.

        A theory is corroborated and merited by the severity of the tests it has been exposed to and survived. And not at all by inductive reasons in favor of it. Hence, in addition to creativity in coming up with the theory, a skeptical attitude is required to design and conduct proper tests.

        Those who get it wrong are easily revealed as a consequence of the method being counterintuitive. Any proponent of the United Nations climate theory who calls their opponents “skeptics” demonstrates a lack of understanding of and respect for the scientific method.

        “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”
        – Freeman Dyson

        “… 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 … exposing them all to the fiercest struggle for survival. ”
        – Karl Popper

      • Popper’s (and Einstein’s) demarcation btw
        science and assertion, btw test and trust me.

    • Science or Fiction | November 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Reply
      IPCC was politicized from the very beginning:

      Not sure it was politicized from the very beginning but it is now.

      Greenpeace and the WWF have a presence at the IPCC meetings, participate in the press conferences, have provided some of the “scientific literature”, and drafted some of the language.

      The only way to save the IPCC and climate science is to simply ban the activists from participating in government funded science programs because they aren’t honest and they twist the science.

      People from groups such as Greenpeace, the WWF, the Sierra Club, Earth First!/People Last!, Friends of the Earth/Enemies of people, Union of Concerned Scientists, the AGU and other activist organizations should be placed on the government permanent debarment list for NASA/NOAA/NSF/EPA funding and banned from IPCC participation.

      • “ban the activists from participating in government funded science”

        Nice thought. Big problem though. How many climate scientists do you know of that are not involved with some environmental activist group? Very few I believe. The way it seems to me, cli sci is like a religion, with a core set of beliefs and ideology. I suspect for over 90% of cli sci grad school applicants, their motivation to join that field of study comes from pre-existing beliefs or feelings that fossil fuels are messing up the earth. Getting the advanced cli sci degree is a form of activism, with the intent that they will use the degree to further their activist goals.

        I do agree with banning activists from grants. That likely means federal funding drops by over 90% for cli sci. That actually sounds pretty good to me. Think of all the howls of protest from the career rent seekers.

      • I omitted one section from the report of Report of the second session of (IPCC) 28 June 1989:

        “The panel invited interested UN organizations, regional or global intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and private institutions that wish to to contribute in the matter, to collaborate with appropriate analyses. …. The panel invited the contribution from these organizations in order that its own work may be improved.”

        It seems like IPCC had a strategy from the very beginning to welcome the contribution from non-governmental organizations – activist organizations. The risk for biased research because of that strategy doesn´t seem to have occured to UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program), WMO (World Meteorological Organization) or IPCC.

        Do you happen to have a link to some further information about: “Greenpeace and the WWF have a presence at the IPCC meetings, participate in the press conferences, have provided some of the “scientific literature”, and drafted some of the language.”

      • Science or Fiction | November 13, 2015 at 1:04

        Do you happen to have a link to some further information about: “Greenpeace and the WWF have a presence at the IPCC meetings, participate in the press conferences, have provided some of the “scientific literature”, and drafted some of the language.”

        http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/01/23/leaked-un-climate-report-slammed-for-citing-wwf-greenpeace.html

        http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/23/how-the-wwf-infiltrated-the-ipcc-–-part-1/

        https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/greenpeace-in-the-ipcc-part-ii-2/

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-scandal-deepens-ipcc-ar4-riddled-with-non-peer-reviewed-wwf-papers/

        It is what it is. Nonsense like the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 comes from grey literature.

        If you look at the bibliographies of the IPCC reports there is always some WWF literature cited

        https://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/full-report/
        There may be an easier way to find the citations, but downloading the full AR5 reports and doing a search for WWF and Greenpeace turns up references that aren’t on the “citations” list. The actual citations list doesn’t match the document.

      • @TS: The way it seems to me, cli sci is like a religion, with a core set of beliefs and ideology.

        I am not a climate scientist. (Ok, I realize that on Judith Curry’s blog that’s like Nixon saying “I am not a crook.” But if you insist on that analogy then either you are unfamiliar with the legal principle of “innocent until proved guilty” or your threshold for “reasonable doubt” is roughly that of a lynch mob.)

        I first encountered this so-called climate debate back in 2007. While I considered physics one of my strengths (I placed 8th in the state of New South Wales in the external high school physics exam in 1961 and double-majored in pure maths and physics honours at the University of Sydney in 1966), geophysics was way above my pay grade and I had no idea who was right in the very passionate arguments that I found quite puzzling.

        Prior to 2007 I’d been completely focused on designing and building beltworn x86 computers to specs given the company I owned, Tiqit Computers, by SEAL Team Six, aka DEVGRU, based in Virginia Beach. With the assistance of a score of contractors in various parts of the US and China we built 40 prototypes which worked great, delivering 36 to DEVGRU. However a prior change in DEVGRU’s management resulted in those specs and hence Tiqit’s design falling by the wayside.

        Had there been any likelihood that the new DEVGRU management would last longer than the old I’d have been more than happy to try again. Since that seemed unlikely, and there seemed to be many other ways of saving the world besides supporting DEVGRU, I turned my attention to this climate debate stuff, in particular who was right.

        It quickly became obvious that the science of those claiming rising CO2 presented no serious problem was laughably bogus. Their case consisted merely of a mixture mostly of unsupported assertions sprinkled with a few pseudoscientific calculations and supporting statistical analyses and graphs comprehensible mainly to their authors.

        It also became obvious that the IPCC reports updated every six years or so were so long-winded as to be indistinguishable to the casual eye from what the opposition was offering. The several hundred peer-reviewed papers cited by each chapter of each of the three working groups should in theory have helped. However from a practical standpoint that’s tens of thousands of papers. Who has the time to fact-check that many papers?

        Ideologues on either side of the debate could therefore easily point fingers at the other side’s supposedly bogus arguments, while at the same time accepting their side’s arguments (“+100”) without feeling any obligation to fact-check them first. On the IPCC side, TL;DR, on the other, abysmally lax standards of verification.

        This raised a question that I found very interesting. Is there any way to resolve this Mexican standoff?

        That’s my current project. Anything I write here or elsewhere should be interpreted in that light.

        Those convinced they’re in the right here could do worse than consider Matthew 7:3-5: “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye”.

      • There’s no proof CO2 will cause “global warming”. There’s no proof it won’t.

        Efforts to evaluate the probabilities usually get lost in ideology and confirmation bias.

        Better, IMO, to talk about the risk. Unless you (somebody) can come up with a good scientific demonstration that adding enough CO2 to the system to increase the atmospheric pCO2 to levels not seen in many million years won’t increase the probability of rapid, unexpected, and unprecedented, state changes, it’s necessary to recognize the risk that it will.

        But risks of increased probability of low-probability events simply don’t justify urgent, immediate, action. It becomes necessary to consider the costs of such actions. And such costs are primarily value judgements.

        For instance, setting up a world-wide regulatory bureaucracy with strong enforcement teeth, semi-independent of any political control, would seem to many as an ancillary benefit. To others, including me, the existential risk of such an act would be far greater than anything proposed as from “climate change”.

        20 feet sea-level rise by 2100? Even 20 meters? Piffle.

      • AK | November 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm |
        There’s no proof CO2 will cause “global warming”. There’s no proof it won’t.

        That’s is all true.

        The only proven fact is that CO2 and global warming will be exploited by opportunists to bilk the American taxpayer and utility consumer.

      • @AK: There’s no proof CO2 will cause “global warming”. There’s no proof it won’t.

        While it’s certainly not the same thing, a strong argument can be made that the warming during the 83 years 1900-1982 was caused by phenomena whose combined contribution increased in direct proportion to CO2 forcing.

        One can argue this by removing all fluctuations in HadCRUT4 with a period of 65 years or less simply by filtering them out (65-year HadCRUT4), then removing solar forcing simply by subtracting it, and lastly plotting what remains against CO2 forcing (the x-axis used by Shaun Lovejoy in his recent EOS article) defined as log(CO2). (Neither the units of CO2 nor the base of the log changes the outcome other than linearly, and R2 not at all.) With units of 280 ppmv and base 2 logs, the result is the red curve in this figure.

        This curve fits a straight line (the green trend line) with an R2 of 0,9989, meaning that the residual (the difference from the trend line) has a variance relative to that of the red curve of 0.0011 (0.11%).

        TSI needs to be subtracted explicitly from 65-year HadCRUT4 (the blue curve) because the rise in TSI during 1900-1950 is too slow to be removed by a 65-year filter, which can only remove rises shorter than 33 years. If that step is skipped the variance of the residual is ten times as large!

        I don’t subtract TSI directly but first convert it to an anomaly, taking its mean value during 1961-1990 as the reference. Since Earth’s surface is 4x that of the disk intercepting the insolation I divide the TSI anomalies by 4. I then multiply by 1-A where A is Earth’s albedo. And I further multiply by 1.1 as an estimate of solar climate sensitivity taking feedbacks etc. into account (the no-feedback value λ is usually taken to be around 0.8) in order to convert shortwave radiative heating in W/m2 to temperature rise in degrees C.

        What is particularly striking about this graph is that after stripping out enough “high-frequency” noise, the warming in 1900 is no different from that in 1982. This is contrary to the common understanding that the strong warming since 1970, however caused, was qualitatively different from that prior to 1950.

        To implicate CO2 itself one would need additional information, such as

        1. Rising greenhouse gases and vapors can warm the Earth’s surface.

        2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

        3. CO2 is not dominated by some other warming agent whose forcing effect is directly proportional to CO2 forcing, known to grow as the log of CO2 concentration.

        4. …and perhaps other information, though finding fault with 1-3 is all I can think of for now by way of undermining the claim that rising CO2 is responsible for much of that warming.

        1 was observed by Tyndall in his Fragments of Science Vol. I, namely that the ground at night is cooler when the air is drier. He used this observation to explain why Earth’s surface was far warmer than could be explained by its distance from the Sun.

        The only property of water vapor that Tyndall made use of in this explanation was that it absorbed infrared. One would therefore expect that any gas or vapor with that property would have the same effect, otherwise his explanation would be wrong, or at least incomplete.

        2 was observed by Tyndall in his laboratory, for water vapor, CO2, and a score of other gases and volatile vapors. The logarithmic dependency on absorption by CO2 was observed by Arrhenius several decades later, using Langley’s bolometer to measure absorption of the Moon’s IR radiation at different altitudes of the Moon above the horizon and subtracting an estimate of the proportion of IR Rabsorption attributable to water vapor.

        For 3, there might well be something stronger than CO2 that is warming Earth’s surface in direct proportion to CO2 forcing, but if so it has yet to be identified. A number of greenhouse gases are known to do this, but their combined contribution is estimated to be about a quarter of that of CO2; that is, to the best of our knowledge CO2 alone accounts for about 80% of all known greenhouse gas warming. (Rising water vapor contributes relatively little, not because it is not a strong absorber but because it is not rising much.)

        This is the extent of my understanding of the possible causes of all warming during 1900-1982 slower than the slow TSI rise of 1900-1950.

        What might happen to 65-year climate during this century is a whole nother story. The cause of the 1900-1982 warming, whatever it might be, might change drastically up or down, or merely cease to be an influence, or become a stronger influence. A large meteor might knock 10 °C off the temperature. Somewhat more likely given the statistics on meteor strikes, IS might master hydrogen bomb technology. Etc. etc.

      • “@AK: There’s no proof CO2 will cause “global warming”. There’s no proof it won’t.”

        Allow me to jump in. Obviously, you know that’s not how science works.
        You propose the theory. You prove a causal relationship. you dont get to claim it as true and then we nod our heads and disprove what you havent proved.

        So if man made CO2 is responsible for this ever so slight warming, what caused the much higher previous ones of the past 5000 years … blacksmiths ?

      • Incidentally all MATLAB code and data for reproducing the above graph can be seen and downloaded at http://clim.stanford.edu/SeeForcing/ . The code is considerably simpler and cleaner than its predecessor at http://clim.stanford.edu/Clim60 (the nonlinear x-asis was a bit of a learning curve for me), and should therefore be easier both to understand and to translate into R, Excel, etc. It runs almost perfectly under octave except for the line colors: for some reason octave doesn’t handle ColorOrder the same way as MATLAB (probably isn’t recognizing NextPlot ReplaceChildren) so if you want colors you’ll have to put them in each of the four plot commands yourself (lazy me).

        h/t to Shaun Lovejoy for his forcing x-axis. It was the first time I’d seen that neat trick, though I’ve since run across it elsewhere.

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 14, 2015 at 11:56 pm |

        While it’s certainly not the same thing, a strong argument can be made that the warming during the 83 years 1900-1982 was caused by phenomena whose combined contribution increased in direct proportion to CO2 forcing.

        Well, I could buy that there is some effect that caused warming when the CO2 level took off in the late 1950s and that it saturated around 2000.

        As a side note – emissions increased about 50% since 1999 and the annual CO2 increase has only changed 7% (2.06 to 2.2 PPM/y). Before 2000 the two rates of increase were neck and neck.

        Something changed around 2000. Perhaps increased plant growth has a cooling effect.

      • @PA: Well, I could buy that there is some effect that caused warming when the CO2 level took off in the late 1950s and that it saturated around 2000.

        I think you’re letting yourself be taken in by short-term fluctuations, PA. Those are completely irrelevant to likely climate in 2100. Consider looking at the bigger picture.

      • While it’s certainly not the same thing, a strong argument can be made that the warming during the 83 years 1900-1982 was caused by phenomena whose combined contribution increased in direct proportion to CO2 forcing.

        Unfortunately, that approach depends (AFAIK) on a linear assumption: that the effects of “forcing” can be assumed to combine in some linear fashion. (Not necessarily simple addition, perhaps addition of logs, or exponents, etc.)

        But the problem with hyper-complex non-linear systems is that that assumption is not warranted. That doesn’t mean is certainly isn’t true, but it does mean it can’t be assumed to be true.

        As far as I can tell, most people who actually study complex non-linear systems are a lot more skeptical of the whole “forcing” thing than most others who study climate. Certainly I am (not that I’m an expert).

        For “forcing” to be something more rigorous than a myth, the effects of, say, added CO2 would have to be relatively additive for all the various regions of the Earth. If, for instance, the effect on the Tibetan Plateau were several orders of magnitude more important than over most of the Pacific, the situation would be entirely different.

        Such an effect would not, of course, manifest as added heat. Rather, it might (just as examples) involve a substantial increase to the Monsoon effect, or changes to the way the tropical easterly jet interacts with other regional and global-scale phenomena of the Pacific and the Eurasian and African land masses.

        Based on my admittedly amateur understanding of complex non-linear systems, my intuition is that any coarse metric such as “global average temperature” would be primarily determined by the combination of a number of such different regional effects of added CO2 (or other well-mixed GHG’s), each of which would be stronger than any supposed general global heating effect. Some positive, some negative, most involving more important effects than overall temperature averages.

        Other people, with other backgrounds, might have other intuitive models. I would guess that the actual observational data would be roughly consistent with most such models, meaning that the biggest effect would be confirmation bias.

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 15, 2015 at 2:32 am |
        @PA: Well, I could buy that there is some effect that caused warming when the CO2 level took off in the late 1950s and that it saturated around 2000.

        I think you’re letting yourself be taken in by short-term fluctuations, PA. Those are completely irrelevant to likely climate in 2100. Consider looking at the bigger picture.

        You still have to explain why Chinese emissions aren’t accelerating the the atmospheric CO2 increase. My personal theory is the Chinese burn “smart coal” that doesn’t stick to the atmosphere. Unless Chinese emissions start sticking to the atmosphere they are irrelevant.

        You haven’t put a number on how much “smart plants” that grow with more CO2 and displace desert have cooled the planet. Dirt/Desert emits 50 W/m2 more than ground cover.

        And if the CO2 level keeps increasing at 2 PPM/Y, the 2100 forcing increase will be equal to the forcing since 1900.

      • @PA: You still have to explain why Chinese emissions aren’t accelerating the the atmospheric CO2 increase.

        But they are accelerating it!

        If you compare the PRC’s total CO2 emissions with the world’s total emissions (use the data at the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center for both of those) you’ll see that in 1988 the PRC was emitting 8.5% of the world total, rising to 18.7% by 2008 (CDIAC data for PRC only goes up to 2008).

        Now in 1988 atmospheric CO2 was rising at 1.45 ppmv/yr. By 2008 it was rising at 2.23 ppmv/yr.

        Had China’s emission grown at the same pace as the rest of the world, remaining at 8.5% throughout 1988-2008, atmospheric CO2 would only have been rising at 2.15 ppmv/yr in 2008. The additional 0.08 ppmv/yr is due to China’s increase relative to the world.

        Not that I needed to explain it, since nothing I’ve written elsewhere on this page makes any assumption about the cause of CO2 variability, which for all I care here could be a purely natural variation.

      • @PA: You haven’t put a number on how much “smart plants” that grow with more CO2 and displace desert have cooled the planet. Dirt/Desert emits 50 W/m2 more than ground cover.

        I don’t need to because that effect is already included in the atmospheric CO2 and global climate. What would be much harder would be to separate it out!

        And if the CO2 level keeps increasing at 2 PPM/Y, the 2100 forcing increase will be equal to the forcing since 1900.

        On the contrary, the annual increase is far from constant. In 1988 it was increasing at 1.45 ppmv/yr, in 2008 at 2.23 ppmv/yr, and today at 2.58 ppmv/yr. If CO2 continues to track RCP8.5 it will be rising at 9.2 ppmv/yr by 2100, smart plants and all.

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 15, 2015 at 2:01 pm |

        On the contrary, the annual increase is far from constant. In 1988 it was increasing at 1.45 ppmv/yr, in 2008 at 2.23 ppmv/yr, and today at 2.58 ppmv/yr. If CO2 continues to track RCP8.5 it will be rising at 9.2 ppmv/yr by 2100, smart plants and all.

        1998 2.93
        1999 0.93
        2000 1.62
        2001 1.58
        2002 2.53
        2003 2.29
        2004 1.56
        2005 2.52
        2006 1.76
        2007 2.22
        2008 1.60
        2009 1.89
        2010 2.42
        2011 1.86
        2012 2.63
        2013 2.06
        2014 2.17

        Today is 2.58? Really? On which planet? In 2013 it was 2.06. In 2014 it was 2.17. Two year average of 2.115.

      • @PA: Today is 2.58? Really? On which planet? In 2013 it was 2.06. In 2014 it was 2.17. Two year average of 2.115.

        How about we split the difference? 2.36. :)

        The total carbon cycle has a flux each way of over 200 GtC or around 100 ppm. Whatever additional contribution of China due to growing faster than the rest of the planet (from 8.7% of world emissions in 1988 to 18.7% in 2008) is certain to be lost in the noise of natural variability of the carbon cycle.

        It’s actually possible to come up with an estimate of the natural noise in the carbon cycle, namely by using the monthly Mauna Loa data. For any given year, form a vector of 12 differences, one for each month, representing the year-over-year gain for that month. That is, subtract last year’s January figure from this year’s, likewise for February and so on. The mean of that vector is the same as the difference between the two means of those two years, so this technique doesn’t change that. However the standard deviation of that vector is information not available if you compute the mean of each year first before taking differences. The red curve and its 2-σ error bars in this plot illustrate this.

        Your differences are in blue. They’re not exactly the differences of consecutive annual means of Mauna Loa, though there’s a fair correlation and both show about the same variability. More to the point, your differences are all within the error bars, showing that the difference between your blue curve and Mauna Loa’s red curve is statistically insignificant. And although the two are very different in 2013, they’re essentially the same in 2014.

        This is what I meant about natural variability dwarfing the sort of thing you’re looking for.

        To do any better you’d have to iron out the noise somehow. Here are two methods.

        1. RCP8.5 somehow smooths rising CO2, giving differences that fluctuate less. This is the brown curve in the plot. It gives 2.58 as the difference between 2013 and 2014. (But that’s now I arrived at 2.58.) I don’t know how this happens, in particular I don’t know to what extent RCP8.5 takes China’s growth into account. Without that information RCP8.5 doesn’t really answer your question.

        2. Use Hofmann smoothing of the CO2 data. This fits an exponential to the excess CO2 over 280 ppm. Hofmann’s 2009 formula is

        36.2*exp(0.693*(y-1958)/32.5) + 280

        This is essentially the same as saying that this excess over 280 was 1 ppm in 1790 and its CAGR was 2.155% thereafter (1789.68 and 2.1552% to be more precise but Hofman’s parameters aren’t given to that precision). 225 years later (2015) the excess over 280 has grown to 120 ppm. 2.155% of that is 2.58, which is where I got that from.

        But the starting year and CAGR in Hofmann’s formula were chosen to fit the entire Mauna Loa curve, which isn’t adequately sensitive either to China’s remarkable recent growth or anything else that was different about the last couple of decades. I didn’t take that into account when I applied it.

        However Hofmann’s formula generalizes nicely to a method of smoothing any given region of the Keeling curve. Subtract 280 from that region, take the natural log, fit a trend line, exponentiate its values, and add back 280. For a region with one or two datapoints this changes nothing, but for longer regions it smooths it out nicely while still reflecting changes within that region such as China’s growth.

        When you Hofmann-smooth the 1998-2014 region you get the green curve, whose value in 2014 is 2.36.

        By that criterion at least we were both wrong by the same amount. In that case splitting the difference is not only fair but technically justifiable.

      • vp: (But that’s now I arrived at 2.58.)

        –> (But that’s not I arrived at 2.58.)

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm |
        @PA: Today is 2.58? Really? On which planet? In 2013 it was 2.06. In 2014 it was 2.17. Two year average of 2.115.

        How about we split the difference? 2.36. :)


        When you Hofmann-smooth the 1998-2014 region you get the green curve, whose value in 2014 is 2.36.

        By that criterion at least we were both wrong by the same amount. In that case splitting the difference is not only fair but technically justifiable.

        You can Hoffman smooth all you like. The processes driving the CO2 level are non-Hoffman.

        For example. The last really strong El Nino left a 2.93 PPM/Y CO2 rise. The all time record. 17 years ago. Over a 50% rise in CO2 since then.

        This year should be 4.4 PPM/Y. It is going to be around 2.3 PPM/Y.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
        October 2015: 398.29 ppm
        October 2014: 395.95 ppm

        2.34 PPM current difference. The way ESRL computes it the annual result could be between 2.1 and 2.4.

        I was expecting something close to 3.0 given the El Nino. Didn’t happen. 2016 or 2017 should be really low (less than 2.0) when the La Nina comes through.

        We’ll see. People have been posting about it hitting 2.6-3.0 for a couple of years now and they have been wrong.

        This is sort of important. If the annual CO2 increase is 2.3 PPM/Y or less in 2020 global warming (CAGW) has been called off regardless of what else happens. Can’t have catastrophic warming without catastrophic forcing. There is only a 75 year supply of fossil fuel (and dropping). My prediction of a 500 PPM peak (or less) looks more solid every year.

        700 PPM requires a 3.6 PPM average for the remainder of the century. Not going to happen.

      • @PA: You can Hoffman smooth all you like. The processes driving the CO2 level are non-Hoffman.

        Yes of course. The natural fluctuations in that 100 ppm/yr flow in each direction aren’t at all smooth or we wouldn’t be seeing all that variation.

        The point of Hofmann-smoothing was only to get a sense of the general direction being taken by CO2, which for more than a century has been rising, with the excess over 280 growing in direct proportion to fossil fuel emissions, with about 40-42% remaining in the atmosphere.

        However one doesn’t need to smooth the CO2 to answer your question:

        You still have to explain why Chinese emissions aren’t accelerating the the atmospheric CO2 increase. My personal theory is the Chinese burn “smart coal” that doesn’t stick to the atmosphere. Unless Chinese emissions start sticking to the atmosphere they are irrelevant.

        The explanation is simple: what the accelerated growth of Chinese emissions is adding in the way of additional growth in CO2 is less than one percent of the natural fluctuations. That makes the Chinese contribution undetectable. Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate – don’t multiply entities beyond necessity. Especially novel entities like teflon CO2.

        But as I said, nothing I said on this page before you raised this sinological question depends on the answer, since my analysis assumed nothing about the origin of the rising CO2.

      • Vaughan Pratt: “the general direction being taken by CO2, which for more than a century has been rising, with the excess over 280 growing in direct proportion to fossil fuel emissions,”

        So what?

        Correlation DOES NOT imply causation.

        Has no-one ever told you that?

      • catweazle666 | November 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm |
        Vaughan Pratt: “the general direction being taken by CO2, which for more than a century has been rising, with the excess over 280 growing in direct proportion to fossil fuel emissions,”

        So what?

        Correlation DOES NOT imply causation.

        Has no-one ever told you that?

        Actually the “growing in direct proportion” is obviously untrue. The emissions are an exponential growth curve (which will cease being exponential shortly).The rate of CO2 increase is following a logarithmic like growth curve. It is impossible that the two are in direct proportion.

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Global_Carbon_Emissions.svg

        ln (x)/exp(x) doesn’t have a linear plot. They are not in direct proportion.

        The claim that the atmospheric CO2 level is increasing in direct proportion to the level of fossil fuel emissions is simply false.

        This is a plot of ln(x)/exp(x) and demonstrates the nonlinear relationship.

      • Correlation DOES NOT imply causation. Has no-one ever told you that?

        Two weeks ago in this comment about a preliminary version of the above graph, I wrote “Note that this only establishes correlation, not causation.” I then went on to discuss criteria for causation. Searching for the six occurrences of “causation” on that page will turn up more discussion of causation, by both Shaun Lovejoy and me.

        So I wouldn’t say causation has been entirely neglected in this context.

        The good reasons to expect causation are only strengthened by improvements in correlation, which is what recognizing the Sun’s contribution in the above graph accomplished. After all if you had terrific reasons to expect causation but found zero correlation then those reasons wouldn’t be terribly plausible!

      • @PA: The rate of CO2 increase is following a logarithmic like growth curve. … ln (x)/exp(x) doesn’t have a linear plot. They are not in direct proportion.

        I hereby nominate PA for the 2016 Hugo Award for Science Fiction or Fantasy in the Best New Author category. His argument that atmospheric CO2 grows logarithmically while emitted CO2 grows exponentially combines the very best elements of science fiction and fantasy.

        It is very easy to download CDIAC’s data for annual fossil fuel emissions since 1751, and to accumulate them (using MATLAB’s cumsum function for example), which I did starting in 1900 (but earlier dates could also be used).

        As for rising atmospheric CO2, before 1958 there is the Australian Law Dome data, and after that the Mauna Loa data. Google will take you straight to all of the above.

        So, how does atmospheric CO2 depend on emitted CO2? That’s easily answered: just plot the latter on the y-axis against the former on the x-axis. Here’s the result.

        So, how linear is the dependence? Well, if you fit a trend line you get an R2 of 0.998.

        I’d call that pretty linear.

        Certainly more linear than the dependence of ln(x) on exp(x).

        PA is without question far more creative than Mike Flynn, who could never have come up with that fantastic exp(x):ln(x) relation between emitted and retained atmospheric CO2. PA fully deserves a Hugo award for that.

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 18, 2015 at 7:50 pm |
        @PA: The rate of CO2 increase is following a logarithmic like growth curve. … ln (x)/exp(x) doesn’t have a linear plot. They are not in direct proportion.

        I hereby nominate PA for the 2016 Hugo Award for Science Fiction or Fantasy in the Best New Author category. His argument that atmospheric CO2 grows logarithmically while emitted CO2 grows exponentially combines the very best elements of science fiction and fantasy.

        Please send a copy of the nomination. I want to frame it.

        A plot starting from 1959

        I keep telling you that the relationship started going south in the mid-90s and you don’t listen. CDIAC emissions, Mauna Loa CO2.

        I will note that plotting annual emissions against annual increase looks pretty squirrelly.

      • Vaughan Pratt: “So, how linear is the dependence? Well, if you fit a trend line you get an R2 of 0.998.

        I’d call that pretty linear.

        So what?

        Are you saying that linear dependence implies causation now?

        You can call it whatever you like, we’ve already established correlation DOES NOT imply causation, nor does linear dependence, even if we get an R2 of 1.00000000000…

        You just can’t help yourself, can you?

      • You can call it whatever you like, we’ve already established correlation DOES NOT imply causation, nor does linear dependence, even if we get an R2 of 1.00000000000…

        I think you’re missing the point of demonstrating a correlation. The point is that if there is no correlation then that’s pretty good proof of no causation, which is used all the time in this debate.

        All I’m doing here is pointing out that you can’t use the absence of correlation to imply the absence of causation because there is indeed a correlation. I’m not using it to prove causation because it doesn’t, as you point out, and as I’ve pointed out in recent previous posts.

        Causation has to be proved some other way. For example if I run water into a bathtub and the water level doesn’t rise, then there’s no evidence that putting water in the bathtub causes the water level to rise.

        But if I think to put the plug in, and I then observe a highly linear correlation, R2 = 0.999, between amount of water going in and the level in the tub, I think, aha, I bet there’s some causal relation between running water into the tub and the rising level of water. Someone standing next to me then pipes up and says “But correlation doesn’t prove causation”. My reply to that is, “conservation of mass of water says that there is an obvious causal relation between running water into a bathtub and rising water level”. Because denying a causal relation creates not just one but two hard problems: where did the tap water go if not into the bathtub, and where did the water in the bathtub come from?

        Substitute the atmosphere for the bathtub and emission of some gas into that atmosphere for the running tap and you have exactly the same situation. Conservation of mass of any gas says that there is an obvious causal relation between dumping that gas into the atmosphere and seeing the level of it rise in direct proportion. Denying this requires explaining (a) where the gas went to if not into the atmosphere, and (b) where this increasing amount of CO2 came from.

        If it were mercury being steadily dumped by the EPA into a river and such a very high correlation with mercury level in the river were pointed out, would you just stand idly by and say “the EPA is doing nothing wrong because correlation does not prove causation”? Or would you ask (a) where else could the mercury have gone if not into the river, and (b) what could be the origin of this puzzling rise in the level of mercury if not the mercury dumped by the EPA, and proceed to sue the EPA for raising the level of mercury in the river?

        Why should CO2 be any different? After a million years of no humans dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, and the CO2 never going about 300 ppm in all that time, all of a sudden humans start dumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and the level of CO2 starts tracking it with astonishing perfection.

        And yet you refuse to accept that there could be any connection between the two!

        So (a) where did the CO2 go if not into the atmosphere, and (b) what explains a rise in atmospheric CO2 that has not been observed for well over a million years?

        I find your approach to science very puzzling.

      • catweazle666 it is worse than that.

        I plotted all the available data (new chart)..

        At 50,000 cumulative emissions (from 1750) which is 1940, the CO2 level actually starts declining until the end of the 40s.

        The climb from 280 to 311 PPM had nothing to do with emissions but was driven by ocean heating.

        It wasn’t until 1951 (when the temperature leveled off) that the CO2 level started rising again.

        The new chart makes humor Ar! Ar! of the R2 claim.

      • @PA: the CO2 level actually starts declining until the end of the 40s.

        Very odd. The Law Dome cores show a steady rise in CO2 since the early 19th century. Perhaps you might care to (a) show us your chart showing declining CO2, (b) explain why it contradicts the Law Dome data so strikingly, and (c) tell us where one can find the data on which your chart is based in order to duplicate your results.

        Science is full of results that no one could duplicate afterwards. Remember cold fusion?

      • I just noticed jim2’s comment below:

        Until all climate scientists reveal all code, data used and not used, and all other aspects of a study; ethics is out the window.

        Since climate skeptics are expected to take the opposition position from climate scientists, that apparently applies to their code and data too: ethics would be out the window for them if they revealed it.

        I was a bit taken aback the first time I saw a climate skeptic make that argument. Eventually I was able to accept its underlying logic in terms of a need-to-know basis. If climate skeptics decree that I have no need to know how they arrive at their conclusions who am I or anyone else to argue with that?

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 20, 2015 at 12:45 am |
        @PA: the CO2 level actually starts declining until the end of the 40s.

        Very odd. The Law Dome cores show a steady rise in CO2 since the early 19th century. Perhaps you might care to (a) show us your chart showing declining CO2, (b) explain why it contradicts the Law Dome data so strikingly, and (c) tell us where one can find the data on which your chart is based in order to duplicate your results.

        Science is full of results that no one could duplicate afterwards. Remember cold fusion?

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ghgases/Fig1A.ext.txt

      • Incidentally, PA, if you’re referring to this graph

        it is showing that the amount of CO2 that has been added to the atmosphere since 1959 is 325000*44/12 = 1,190,000 gigatonnes, or 1.19 petatonnes.

        Since the entire atmosphere only weighs 5.148 petatonnes, don’t you think that’s a little excessive for a mere 56 years?

        CO2 is sufficiently toxic for both the animal and vegetable kingdom that if even 1% of that amount had remained in the atmosphere, pretty much all land life on Earth would be dead by now. Marine life, animal and vegetable, would last a little longer, but not much. After that only the mineral kingdom would remain. ;)

        But of course I’m not allowed to see your data. But that’s ok since I’m dead now.

        As are you.

      • Heh, CO2 seems practically to condense and rain out. That’s a metaphor, Vaughan; don’t get too worked up.
        ==============

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 20, 2015 at 1:22 am |
        Incidentally, PA, if you’re referring to this graph

        But of course I’m not allowed to see your data. But that’s ok since I’m dead now.

        I was going to smack you, then realized you made some relevant points.

        1. The data.
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2011.ems

        There are some CDIAC xls spread sheets that have a couple more years and 2014 is estimated to be the same as 2013.

        2. Due to the recent Chinese disclosure we know the Chinese emissions were lowballed by about 0.273 GT. When CDIAC releases the 2016 version of their Full Global Carbon Budget I’ll replot the graph and the 21st century divergence from the slope will be greater.

        3. Yeah the numbers are in megatons.

        4. No, those are emissions – not the amount that went into the atmosphere. The CO2 level and carbon emissions are at best 2nd cousins. They are weakly related. Only a fraction of the CO2 goes into atmosphere – since 1751 403 GT of carbon has gone into the atmosphere. About 40 PPM is due to ocean outgassing. The remaining 80 PPM took 170 GT of emissions or 42 percent, and the remaining CO2 did whatever leftover CO2 does.

        Anyway have at it.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        You wrote –

        “CO2 is sufficiently toxic for both the animal and vegetable kingdom that if even 1% of that amount had remained in the atmosphere, pretty much all land life on Earth would be dead by now. Marine life, animal and vegetable, would last a little longer, but not much. After that only the mineral kingdom would remain. ;)”

        Obviously, we’re not dead. Luckily, CO2 is plant food. More CO2, more plants. CO2 removed from the atmosphere. Sequestered in the form of plant hydrocarbons, perhaps?

        It may have escaped your notice that CO2 levels dropped to historically low levels comparatively recently, resulting in a diminution of plant life compared with previous eras where CO2 was much more available.

        Already, as CO2 levels are rising, the regreening of the Earth is occurring. Apparently verified from space, but you probably wouldn’t believe that either! Have you no idea at all about the necessity of CO2 to maintain life on Earth? Are you one of the lunatics who wants to remove all CO2 from the atmosphere, or do you just believe that keeping CO2 at a level decreed by yourself will stop the climate from changing, win the war on poverty, and cause a massive outbreak of world peace?

        Silly, silly, silly. Foolish delusion, but you are entitled to your fantasy. By the way what level of CO2 in the atmosphere do you advocate? What would be the demonstrable and proven advantages? You haven’t got a clue, have you? Carry on, but try to keep calm.

        Cheers.

      • The sun and the biome conspire to almost irreversibly sequester carbon. Somebody had to do something, else the world was headed to Plant(thus Animal) Kingdom death. And what we’ve done is a drop in the bucket.

        Eventually, we’re gonna have to figure out another way to unsequester carbon.
        ==================

      • @PA:
        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ghgases/Fig1A.ext.txt

        Thanks for that data, PA. On the assumption that this was what you’ve been taking to be atmospheric CO2 since 1850, I’ve plotted it for 1900 onwards against the CDIAC’s estimate of emitted CO2 since 1900, and fitted a trend line with associated R2, as follows:

        Looks pretty straight to me: R2 = 99.78%. What makes you think otherwise?

        The MATLAB/octave code producing this correlation with emissions can be downloaded from here.

      • @PA: I was going to smack you, then realized you made some relevant points.
        1. The data.
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2011.ems

        Thanks for that. Since it’s the exact same emissions data as I used in the immediately preceding graph (except I had 2012 and 2013 as well which is at CDIAC), we should be cool there.

        2. I’ll be surprised if the Chinese disclosure makes any difference even in the fourth decimal place of R2. We’ll know shortly.

        3. Right, I figured you had to mean megatons. (Note to self: cut people more slack.)

        4. “No, those are emissions– not the amount that went into the atmosphere.”. What is an emission that didn’t go into the atmosphere? You’ve given me two links, one obviously what’s in the atmosphere, the other obviously what’s been emitted, and my graph immediately above plots the former against the latter.

      • http://powerpoints.wri.org/climate/tsld001.htm
        http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/co2/siple.html

        Thanks VP, I’ll run the mathlab code when I get a chance.

        I put a placeholder at 276 to show the 1751 CO2 level.

        Your serve.

      • @PA: Only a fraction of the CO2 goes into atmosphere – since 1751 403 GT of carbon has gone into the atmosphere.

        PA, according to your emissions data at
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2011.ems
        the total fossil fuel emissions between 1751 and 2011 sums to 373.729 GtC. Is that what your 403 GtC is referring to?

        Now in 1751 atmospheric CO2 was at about 280 ppmv or 280*2.13 = 596 GtC. That’s pretty much all natural CO2, hardly anything to do with mankind.

        Between 1751 and 2011 atmospheric CO2 rose by about 111 ppmv or 111*2.13 = 236.5 GtC. This is about 63% of the 373.7 GtC of emitted CO2.

        How much of the 400 GtC of emitted CO2 has not stayed in the atmosphere but has since been absorbed by the planet below?

        Based on conservation of CO2 gas I would guess 400 − 236.5 GtC.or around 165 GtC of CO2 somehow returned to earth.

        What would you say?

      • @PA: I put a placeholder at 276 to show the 1751 CO2 level.

        Ok. Any chance we can see the code that plotted that red line?

      • ‘somehow being returned to earth’ is the mystery being valiantly ignored by climate science. Is it any wonder that the sequestration rises as the CO2 level rises? But what previously undercounted, or unknown, mechanism is doing so.

        Could be little critters in the sea; the sun and the biome conspiring.
        ==============

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 20, 2015 at 4:09 am |
        @PA: I put a placeholder at 276 to show the 1751 CO2 level.

        Ok. Any chance we can see the code that plotted that red line?

        Oh… I eyeballed it.

        But since the start of the plot looks like a boat hook we know what we are plotting isn’t linear although it may be short term linear.

        Further, in the 60s to 90s period the CO2 increase was about 60% of emissions Given the Chinese 0.272 GT/Y underestimate the current ratio is about 40%. If you plot the current data on a line through the 60s and 90s you are doing something wrong.

        Lets look at where the line intersects the curve. 60 GT and 220 GT. Let me go to my table…let’s see… 1950 to 1991. There you go.

        1986 1.48
        1987 2.29
        1988 2.13
        1989 1.32
        1990 1.19
        1991 0.99
        1992 0.48
        1993 1.40

        In 1992 the curve would take a distinct jog “the year with no increase”.

      • @kim: Is it any wonder that the sequestration rises as the CO2 level rises?

        Quite right, kim. You are a poet and a scholar, sir. :).

        But what previously undercounted, or unknown, mechanism is doing so.

        An excellent question, and one that is still not completely answered, though much is now known. (Though not much of it by me, my empirical knowledge of all this is only second or third hand and my understanding is more that of a rationalist.)

        What is known is that somewhere around 55% of rising CO2 “leaks” into land and sea, like a leaky bathplug. What is less well understood is in what proportion. Oceanographers have traditionally claimed the greater share, but the “landographers” have recently come off the ropes to challenge that claim.

        Uptakes by sea and land are by different mechanisms and therefore need to be considered separately. This can be tricky, as can be seen by considering sea uptake.

        The leaky bathtub analogy is helpful here. What happens to the water that goes down the drain? Does it just disappear into a sewer line? Or is there a second bathtub beside it with the drains connected?

        In the former case you’d expect that leakage would increase with increasing pressure as the water level rises. In that case a plot of rising level against incoming water should not be linear but should curve downwards.

        In the latter case the water in the second tub would also rise, creating back pressure. If the tubs are equal and their connection allows sufficient flow, the two levels will rise at the same rate. At all times the volume of water in the first tub will be half the volume that came from the tap, because the other half is in the other tub. In that case a plot of rising level in the first tub against incoming water will not curve down but be perfectly straight, and moreover have a slope of one half.

        Now if the second tub is in another room, you might not know which of these two cases you have (assuming those are the only possibilities). How to tell?

        Simple. Measure the curvature of the plot. If it’s straight, aha, the drain is connected to a second hidden tub, the level of water in the two tubs will be the same, and the slope will be the ratio of the surface area of the first tub (assuming vertical sides) to the combined surface areas of both tubs.

        If curved downwards, your tub is draining into something generating less back pressure than with a second tub, perhaps a sewer line, or your neighbor’s borehole to China, or a wormhole to Andromeda.

        If curved upwards on the other hand then suspect something like a hidden tub with a sealed lid, one whose back pressure increases faster than the pressure in the drain is increasing. The level in the first tub will then rise faster than in the second as the pressure in the air above the water in the second tub increases. If the tubs are the same size, the plot will start rising with slope one half. As the second tub fills the plot will curve up asymptotically to a slope of one in the limit (and if the first tub is tall enough and stronger at the bottom than the second tub the latter will eventually burst under the pressure and you’ll need a new bathroom).

        At this point the rationalist sits back and applies pure reason to determine which case we have. The empiricist, thinking to critique pure reason, instead smugly measures the curvature of the plot.

        Since we have some understanding of what’s in the ocean and a plot we can play either part.

        Rationally we would observe that the ocean is a very big tub and therefore the plot should curve down with rising partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2, like pH).. But then there is the point that in the absence of convection CO2 can only diffuse down. The Oceanic Mixed Layer (OML) has convection so the CO2 can easily be stirred into that volume, but will leak much more slowly into the abyss below the main thermocline. So maybe as the OML fills up with CO2 (or whatever the CO2 might react with) it won’t curve down so strongly.

        There is the further point that the terrestrial scientists might have gained the upper hand and shown that more CO2 is going into the land than the ocean. In that case the plot might curve down even less.

        In fact if the land is more like a sealed tub, then whatever is going into the land will push the curve up. And if the land and sea curvatures cancel we might end up with a straight line.

        But in that case we could not tell from the graph whether the atmosphere was simply draining into a huge sink or was doing something more complicated like the above.

        With the realization of this possibility the empiricist looks a little less smug. Yet the curve must be examined so as to rule out at least some of the possibilities.

        This is why oceanographers and terrestrial scientists need to collaborate on climate questions, and likewise rationalists and empiricists.

        How many specialists does it take to study where CO2 goes? Even if you only have one of each kind, 2×2 = 4 is the bare minimum.

        But you can economize if you can find a good generalist. If not a poet and a scholar, at least a rationalist and an empiricist on the one salary, or an expert empirical oceanographer who is also expert at reasoning about terrestrial uptake, etc.

        But expertise takes time to acquire, making it hard to be truly expert across multiple disciplines. And there is also the point that having more eyes on a situation reduces the chances of error. Science is not well served by the false economy of having just one decider.

      • Very nice explication, Vaughan, and thanks. Your ‘whatever CO2 might react with’ may need neither convection nor diffusion, but maybe only silting by gravity.
        ==========

      • @PA: If you plot the current data on a line through the 60s and 90s you are doing something wrong. …. Let me go to my table

        Whereas I’m plotting CO2 itself, your table is diff(CO2) (consecutive differences) at annual resolution and your discussion focuses on small regions of diff(diff(CO2)) (you compare adjacent values of diff(CO2)) as though it were a real thing.

        Although small regions of diff(diff(CO2)) are meaningless, the statistics of the whole of diff(diff(CO2)) can however be meaningful, in particular the mean. This is because diff(diff(-)) amounts to taking the second derivative, a constant if CO2 is well modeled as a quadratic (doesn’t have a significant cubic or other term), and so the mean estimates that constant. This gives one way of measuring curvature of a quadratic, namely by extracting the coefficient of the x^2 term, which differentiation doubles.

        Here’s what MATLAB produces.

        mean(diff(diff(CO2)))
        0.022364

        Since the result is positive we infer that CO2 curves upwards.

        Alternatively we could have fitted a quadratic to CO2:

        y = (1:length(CO2))’;
        polyfit(y, CO2, 2)
        0.012094 0.80614 312.43

        That is, the best-fit quadratic is 0.012094*y^2 + 0.80614*y + 312.43 where year y runs from 1 to 57. The second derivative is the constant 0.024188. Again we see that CO2 curves upwards.

        While 0.024188 is not identical to 0.022364, the ~10% difference is because CO2 is not perfectly modeled as a quadratic.

        But as I said, small regions of diff(diff(CO2)) can’t tell you much, it’s too noisy. The considerable noise makes that small ~10% difference much larger for small regions!

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 20, 2015 at 11:09 am |
        @kim: Is it any wonder that the sequestration rises as the CO2 level rises?

        Quite right, kim. You are a poet and a scholar, sir. :).

        But what previously undercounted, or unknown, mechanism is doing so.


        What is known is that somewhere around 55% of rising CO2 “leaks” into land and sea, like a leaky bathplug. What is less well understood is in what proportion. Oceanographers have traditionally claimed the greater share, but the “landographers” have recently come off the ropes to challenge that claim.

        You are over complicating something that is pretty simple. And it is closer to 60% but used to be only 40% (40% is the commonly quoted figure not 55%)

        The sea absorption is proportional to the difference from the equilibrium partial pressure:
        Ks = 0.02469
        Sea Absorption in GT/Y =Ks*(Xco2-280)

        There is a lot of talk of a drivel constant or something reducing this or that, but the ocean absorption seems to be accelerating if anything so who cares.

        The land absorption is roughly linear from 300 to 600. The CO2 absorption will double. A linear fit to the data staring in 1959 is:
        Kl = 0.0158
        Land Absorption in GT/Y =Kl*(Xco2-316)+1.7

        There are several factors in the land absorption: rate of photosynthesis is increasing, the amount of plant growth increasing, the amount of green area (like the deserts) is increasing, and the ground itself is absorbing CO2 directly. There is room for improvement over a linear model.

        Now the constants were based on the CDIAC data – but we now know the Chinese lied so I will have to rework the constants when the CDIAC 2016 Full Carbon Budget comes out. The two equations provide reasonable fits with the current data.

      • Yes, the percent sequestration seems to be accelerating, though barely perceptibly at present. If this phenomenon is real, the worries are over.

        Everyone can go home, then.
        ================

      • I’m already home. This nonsense was over as a debate once the Greenland ice cores showed much higher temps over the past 5000 years. Any other debate on CO2, methane, polar bears, ice sheets, rising seas and whatevah are tools of the con meant to engage you in a debate that never should have taken place in the first place. Well meaning scientists take the bait … er … well .. because their politeness is easily baited.

        At this point, since the madness shows no end in sight, I’m beginning to think there are those who will have reliable power and those that don’t. The rich will be able to afford stand alone generators for reliable energy no doubt paid for in large part from the alternative energy investment and class action lawsuits scams.

        http://fortune.com/2015/11/02/goldman-sachs-clean-energy/
        http://www.westernlaw.org/article/washington-state-youth-win-unprecedented-decision-their-climate-change-lawsuit-press-release

        The rest of the plebes will scrounge for cheap, legal forms of power.

      • This a 3% cumulative growth curve with a switch from 60% to 40% at 100.

        Now because there is ocean noise, the fact it is a gradual shift etc. etc. on the real data you have justified treating the “bend” as noise. That isn’t a bump, that is a point of inflection.

      • Vaughan Pratt: “I find your approach to science very puzzling.”

        Yes, I’m sure you do.

        That’s probably because I trained and was employed as a chemical engineer, so unlike you I had to be very sure that my grasp of the science involved was as faultless as possible, or else I could have ended up with a big smoking hole in the ground and a substantial body count, leading to a big expensive lawsuit and my ejection from the profession, and probably substantial penalties including imprisonment.

        That sort of thing tends to concentrate the mind slightly more than just preparing a prospectus for next year’s grant application, you see.

        Tell me, would you let your children fly on an aeroplane that was based on the maths and physics of climate “scientists”?

        No, for some reason I didn’t think so!

  10. Until all climate scientists reveal all code, data used and not used, and all other aspects of a study; ethics is out the window.

    • My position exactly, Jim. Hopefully my immediately preceding link to http://clim.stanford.edu/SeeForcing/ lives up to your standard.

      Of course if you insist on knowing the name, rank, and serial number of the sailor who pulled up each and every bucket of water to measure its temperature then you’d be setting a rather high bar. In every science a reasonable line needs to be drawn.

      • Heh, NOAA has drawn a line about emails. But we needn’t limit ourselves to NOAA. Climate science is rife with mysteriously arrived at consensus.
        ======================

  11. Scientists communicating with the public have a long history of downplaying uncertainty, perhaps in the belief that discussing the uncertainty in their scientific claims leads to confusion and befuddlement.

    And it might. But by downplaying uncertainty, science has lost much of its credibility with the public and presented it with a distorted picture of how science works.

    Scientists have no real option but to present an honest depiction of their results — uncertainty and all — and trust the public to follow along. The authors of the above document seem to understand this.

  12. I wonder if this document will reduce the tendency to blame global warming for every bit of weather that passes through.

    Probably not.

  13. The underlying message:

    “Climate information providers and the scientific products they generate operate from a position of trust and heretics should be held to the highest ethical standard. Climate service provider Merchants of Doubt that do not consider the consequences of their actions and uncertainty monsters may implicitly contribute to poor decision-making and to maladaptation, with all the attendant implications for their careers, personal freedom and safety.”

    • Well, since biodiesel is leading to illegal deforestation and the diesel auto initiative is leading to more emissions related deaths in gay Pariee with no significant cut in CO2 emissions, there should be a sequel, Merchants of Dumb.

  14. Ironic that this would come out contemporaneous to the special BAMS edition purporting to find that 17 of 29 studied 2014 regional extreme weather events were global warming related. Not yet practicing what they newly preach? Actions speak louder than words. The new alarmist BAMS edition, just in time for Paris, is a climate DISservice.

  15. seriously downgraded for exaggerated confidence in their conclusions and failure to adequately account for minority perspectives on the importance of natural variability

    Who decides what has been “exaggerated?” And what minority perspective were ignored?

    • If you would read AR5 WG1 and WG2, and then the climate portion of my latest ebook Blowing Smoke, foreword by Judith, you would have many concrete answers to both your questions. Illustrated specifics, with references. Do some homework rather than pose rhetorical questions. You would be well served in this instance by Churchill’s dictum about it being better to remain silent and be though a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

    • IPCC used circular reasoning to exclude natural variability. IPCC relied on climate models (CMIP5), the hypotheses under test if you will, to exclude natural variability:

      “Observed Global Mean Surface Temperature anomalies relative to 1880–1919 in recent years lie well outside the range of Global Mean Surface Temperature anomalies in CMIP5 simulations with natural forcing only, but are consistent with the ensemble of CMIP5 simulations including both anthropogenic and natural forcing … Observed temperature trends over the period 1951–2010, … are, at most observed locations, consistent with the temperature trends in CMIP5 simulations including anthropogenic and natural forcings and inconsistent with the temperature trends in CMIP5 simulations including natural forcings only.”
      (Ref.: Working Group I contribution to fifth assessment report by IPCC. TS.4.2.)

      If we now take a look at the following comment at realclimate.org – it becomes quite clear that the 40 000 who are about to gather in Paris to has one thing to do and that is to not go. There is only one right thing to do – and that is to suspend judgement, suspend agreements and to suspend action.

      17
      Mark says:
      3 Nov 2015 at 6:41 PM
      Apparently Roy Spencer’s CMIP5 models vs observations graph has gotten some “uninformed and lame” criticisms from “global warming activist bloggers,” but no criticism from any “actual climate scientists.” Would any actual climate scientists, perhaps one with expertise in climate models, care to comment? http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/11/models-vs-observations-plotting-a-conspiracy/

      [Response: Happy to! The use of single year (1979) or four year (1979-1983) baselines is wrong and misleading. The use of the ensemble means as the sole comparison to the satellite data is wrong and misleading. The absence of a proper acknowledgement of the structural uncertainty in the satellite data is wrong and misleading. The absence of NOAA STAR or the Po-Chedley et al reprocessing of satellite data is… curious. The averaging of the different balloon datasets, again without showing the structural uncertainty is wrong and misleading. The refusal to acknowledge that the model simulations are affected by the (partially overestimated) forcing in CMIP5 as well as model responses is a telling omission. The pretence that they are just interested in trends when they don’t show the actual trend histogram and the uncertainties is also curious, don’t you think? Just a few of the reasons that their figures never seem to make their way into an actual peer-reviewed publication perhaps… – gavin]

      – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/11/unforced-variations-nov-2015/#sthash.eIH9lMBG.dpuf

      (Gavin Schmidt is Climatologist, climate modeler and Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York).

      Has anyone told the 40 000 participants in the Paris idiocracy that:
      The refusal to acknowledge that the model simulations are affected by the (partially overestimated) forcing in CMIP5 as well as model responses is a telling omission.

      • Science or Fiction: Has anyone told the 40 000 participants in the Paris idiocracy that:
        The refusal to acknowledge that the model simulations are affected by the (partially overestimated) forcing in CMIP5 as well as model responses is a telling omission.

        Good question. The model outputs seem to be acceptable to Dr Schmidt and others for warnings about future warming, but not acceptable for model testing.

        I read Dr Schmidt’s comment when he first put it up at RealClimate, and I was struck then by its superficiality and inconsistency with the use of the models for policy. This was a good place for you to put it into discussion.

    • Joseph: Who decides what has been “exaggerated?”

      “Who decides?” is always the bugaboo following statements of principles and ethics. It’s as general and problematic as “Who guards the guardians?” If the job of deciding which people and which practices did satisfy and which did not satisfy the principles were assigned to a group like the RICO20 there would be no improvement over what we have now. Obviously no one would seriously consider the board of directors of ExxonMobil or SwissRe. Select specialists from the US Patent and Trademark Office? The National Academy of Engineering?

  16. Collaboration is something environmentalists have been working to re-write the history of for some time. While in the past there was most certainly debate, spats and compromises made it has never been unachievable by any stretch of the imagination to create and improve environmental legislation. The US Clean Air Act and all of the subsequent additions are living breathing proof. Not only that but many of the same industry actors would have been at the table.

    Why exactly has our present environmental push to regulate Greenhouse Gasses failed so terribly? Well, when certain activist and NGO stakeholders metaphorically spit in the face of other major actors like entire industries or a huge number of the sitting politicians of course things don’t go smoothly. Many of these groups have created a hyper-partisan, aggressive atmosphere for negotiations then complain when they get push back. Look at Exxon or Shell, you think they want to play nice with you when you are drumming up conspiracy theories with the sole intent of trashing their corporate image? How many organizations that do play nice only do so in order to avoid similar treatment?

    Take a look in the mirror environmentalists, effective, reasonable regulation is plenty possible. Now you just have to address the reasons you are so terrible at actually getting progress… And it probably isn’t a big conspiracy theory.

    • @Bored: when certain activist and NGO stakeholders metaphorically spit in the face of other major actors like entire industries

      No longer necessary, Bored, now that Exxon Mobil has taken on that job. They spit with an authority NGO’s can’t hope to match.

      or a huge number of the sitting politician.

      No need for that understatement either, Bored. Not merely a “huge number” but, at least in the US, the majority of both the House and the Senate.

      Although given that each side of the aisle essentially speaks with one voice on such matters, it’s unclear whether there’s really any significant numerical difference between “huge” and “one”.

      As in “one party”.

      It does make it easier to aim the spit.

  17. Nice Article
    Thanks Dr Curry

    To summarize

    1. Design your experiment to test the causal relationship you theorize..
    2, Make all your raw data available or please go away.
    3. Define quantitative uncertainty

    IF your credibility will be challenged because of funding
    include in your proposal an independent (agree between the two sides on one) execution of the experiment.

    These are Daubert factors/standard which used to be relied by the court to evaluate expert opinion. Courts are currently a mess concerning the use of this standard.

    A new requirement should be anyone who gets an advanced science degree should be required to complete risk communications courses, and have a periodic requirement to demonstrate you know how to communicate the risk with acumen. The old saying that with great wealth comes great responsibility is true. What should also be true is with great knowledge comes a great responsibility to clearly inform.

  18. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    It’s a great statement but will it work? In my experience, I found ethical standards of scientific and commercial practice were far higher than in academe or governmental agencies. Why? As Judith Curry pointed out, customers will avoid you if you aren’t.

    • George Devries Klein: Why? As Judith Curry pointed out, customers will avoid you if you aren’t.

      I was thinking that this statement of principles would have more effect if put out in a “Buying Guide for Purchasers of Climate Services” by the BBB, Consumers Union, Chamber of Commerce, or organizations like that. Organizations have an annoying tendency to pat themselves on their backs about what a great job they are doing, but customers make informed choices based on their satisfactions with the products.

  19. The authority of science is grounded upon our trust in its honesty. Our trust has been lost.

    How do we call for more truthfulness and more integrity and expect from those who have so far only dishonored science? Is asking them to take a course in ethics going to restore their credibility?

    The experts have overstepped their knowledge. I know it but worse, they know it but don’t care: government experts have no love of truth. It’s all politics.

    Nothing will change until the scientific community begins to reward skepticism and stops denying nature. Freeman Dyson says, “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”

    The global warming hoax will persist so long as the alarmists succeed in treating scientific skeptics like the church treated Galileo, the Greeks treated Socrates and German academia treated Einstein and the Jews.

  20. Climate services are a booming industry now for obvious reasons. Everyone by now realizes that the status quo is not going to last forever, so the past is no guide to the future, hence the need for these services, not just actuarial-type statisticians. The really hard part is that climate in the future now depends so much on policy. Anything from 2-5 C rises over preindustrial levels are possible depending on policies or lack thereof. It is a tough task, and honest climate services would have to recognize the full range in their projections. The primary uncertainty factor is the long-term policy. For a given policy we can probably narrow the range below a degree, but climate services can’t predict the policy so they have to account for the range.

    • Little yimmy knows what WMO is talking about:

      “Anything from 2-5 C rises over preindustrial levels are possible depending on policies or lack thereof. It is a tough task, and honest climate services would have to recognize the full range in their projections.”

      There you have it. Honest and ethical climate services have to recognize the rise of 2-5C, in their projections. Now, climate services won’t get dinged if they go higher than 5C, but they will be called out as unethical and dishonest deniers/heretics/uncertainty monsters/Merchants of Doubt/serial disinformers, if they stray below the 2C party-line.

    • The promulgation of the soporific notion “that climate in the future now depends so much on policy” is prima facie evidence of empty pretension, if not outright fraud in “climate services.” To borrow from Charles Richter’s caveat about earthquakes, only fools, charlatans and fortune tellers predict the future climate.

    • “Anything from 2-5 C rises over preindustrial levels are possible depending on policies or lack thereof.”

      Drivel.

    • Jim D: The primary uncertainty factor is the long-term policy. For a given policy we can probably narrow the range below a degree,

      If you were a purveyor of climate services, instead of a purveyor of opinions, I doubt that a reputable body of evaluators would call that an ethical statement of the uncertainty. It’s not justified by anything in the peer-reviewed literature. Just the “climate sensitivity” has more uncertainty than that.

    • The difference between a thief and a Climate Service Provider is you aren’t contractually obligated to the thief and don’t help him haul away your assets as a cooperative venture.

      Climate Service Providers are a subspecies of beltway bandit.

    • You continue to stretch the envelope for idiotic, fact free statements.

      In a way it is sort of impressive Jim D.

    • So far the skeptics have been fact-free which is why I haven’t responded. We can quantify this by seeing what temperature difference they think there is between, say, 1,000 GtCO2 and 10,000 GtCO2 further emissions over the next century or so, and noting that both ends are possible just based on policy paths and how further fossil fuel resources are exploited. Mainstream estimates would say that this gives a 2-6 C range. The point again is that the primary uncertainty comes from policy, which far dwarfs anything the sun and volcanoes have been doing. Having said that, we should not forget tipping points like major Greenland meltwater episodes that would modify the local climate, and that, of course, have increasing probabilities with increasing forcing changes as we push further into unknown forcing territory.

      • Jim D,

        Fact free huh?

        Identify the fact from the fiction:

        Climate change refugees – 50 million / zero

        Islands which have disappeared beneath the oceans – several / none

        Projected level of sea level rise by 2100 based on current rates – 10 ft to 10 meters / less than 10 inches

        Number of species gone extinct the last 50 years – possibly hundreds / none

        Average residence time of CO2 in the atmoshere – 1000’s of years / 6 years

        The last time our children saw snow – several years ago / last week

        The only “facts” you present are XBox fantasy numbers. And even then you have to refer to tipping point scenarios to make it sound remotely scary.

      • Deflection from the actual question I asked, but anyway, as expected.

      • @timg56: Identify the fact from the fiction:

        timg56’s skill at his own game —100% / 0%

  21. Accurate fortnight-out calls on weather? Could be handy. Only, of course, if the forecast has to stand as a fortnight-out call. (Otherwise, why make a fortnight-out forecast? Anyone can check current maps, sat and radar these days for short term prospects.)

    The expert gets to be right or wrong on a difficult and critical matter, or more often right or more often wrong, and his rep stands or falls accordingly. He uses plain language to confess uncertainty (rather than the faux precision of numbers to bewilder) and he is also allowed the dunno or can’t-say option. He can’t give frequent and learned explanations for wrong forecasts, because he has hung out a shingle claiming an ability to forecast. He is paid to forecast, not to justify. If he can’t forecast, that’s fine…but down comes the shingle!

    All of this seems fair. Our expert just needs to be more right than wrong more of the time and he gets the money. And money is a fine thing.

    But I still think we need to obliterate the climatariat. Yeah, sure, we could aspire to an ethical climatariat, but everyone says they’re ethical, or gunna be ethical…

    Nah, in view of the trillions already frittered on those white elephants, best to have no climatariat at all. What you dunno, you dunno. We can keep meteorology and the stuff that works, find out even more – but out with all the bathwater!

    Ta-ta, climatariat.

    • Regarding obliteration of the climatariat. I find it very difficult to see how United Nations Environmental Program and United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can be refurbished.

      No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
      – Albert Einstein

      • Yes. Best to burn their huts and crops, fell their trees, salt the earth etc. Complete obliteration of the IPCC and UNEP is the only way to go.

        I’m sure some of the fugitives will pop up again as corporate board members, Olympic officials, sustainability consultants or dirty novelists…but you should always let a few go to warn the others.

      • @SoF: No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
        – Albert Einstein

        That doesn’t even make sense, SoF. You’re driving down a street. Problem: you forgot your wallet. Damn. Solution: U-turn.

        How was that remotely like a change in “level of consciousness”?

        Society is beset by people quoting eminent philosophers like Popper and physicists-turned-philosopher like Einstein with no ability to see how ridiculous those quotes are.

        The general form of that argument seems to be, you and I aren’t geniuses but Popper and Einstein are, therefore you’re wrong.

        Brilliant.

      • (I hope all the links will pass moderation, in my view they are all relevant to the argument.)

        Vaughan Pratt | November 15, 2015 at 1:50 am |
        “Society is beset by people quoting eminent philosophers like Popper and physicists-turned-philosopher like Einstein with no ability to see how ridiculous those quotes are.”

        That is a problem with quotes. A quote is never a proper argument. A quote is more often an improper argument, a tool to manipulating feelings or appeal to authority. That is, if the quote isn´t followed by a proper argument which conclusion it summarize in a neat way.

        Therefore, allow me to elaborate my thinking behind putting up that quote. The hypotetico – deductive method is perhaps the best understood theory of scientific method:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetico-deductive_model

        The man who developed the hypotetico – deductive method was Karl Popper. Karl Popper described and elaborated the method In his book “The logic of scientific discovery”. First section contains the essence.
        http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

        Now – there are two documents which are very fundamental to the works by United Nations – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
        “The principles governing IPCC work”
        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf
        “Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on
        Consistent Treatment of Uncertain”
        https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf

        I will say that these two documents define the level of consciousness of IPCC. They are descriptive of the organization culture within IPCC.

        The problem is that there are very fundamental methodical problems with the principles and guidance of IPCC. I identify the problems here:
        https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/does-the-intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change-endorse-a-scientific-method-from-the-renaissance/
        and here:
        https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ippc-does-exactly-what-should-be-avoided-in-objective-science/

        If we add to it that IPCC was biased from the very beginning – as identified here:
        https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/ipcc-was-heavily-biased-from-the-very-beginning/

        Then – from my point of view – it has then been established that there are very fundamental problems with the level of consciousness, the organization culture in United Nations IPCC. I think that it is also evident that the problem caused by this level of consciousness cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness.

        Further to this, the following definition of organization culture helps to understand how difficult it will be to change the level of consciousness:
        An organization culture is a way of perceiving, thinking and acting – which has been learned, developed or discovered by an organization while learning to deal with its internal and external challenges – and which is being taught to it´s members as the right way of perceiving, thinking and acting.

        I add to it that organization culture, level of consciousness can become inherent to an organization. Further it is extremely difficult to change an organization culture. As United Nations or IPCC clearly isn´t aware of it´s fundamental problems I really cannot see how the problem identified above can be solved, how the level of consciousness of IPCC can be changed.

      • @Vaughan Pratt

        To leave no doubt about my position, these are my hypotheses:
        1 IPCC is endorsing inductivism and justificationism
        2 This endorsement is the root cause for biases and flaws in the assessment by IPCC
        3 This is also the root cause of the lack of trust in IPCC
        4 Critical rationalism will the best way to avoid bias and flaws
        5 Inductivism and justificationism has become inherent in the organization culture of IPCC
        6 An inherent organization culture is extremely difficult to change
        7 IPCC will not be able to switch endorsement before IPCC has switched endorsement – which isn´t possible

        That is why I find the quote by Einstein relevant and meaningful.

    • Mosomoso, do you have my contact information? I will be there when you mobilize the militia to overthrow the climatariat.

      I’m old, but I still have a few rounds left in me.

      • Some cannon fodder is always handy, Mark. Age no barrier. Just stagger forward when ordered, shouting ‘sic semper warmistis!’.

      • Mosomoso

        Shouldn’t we be using serfs as climate fodder. I just happen to know a source of them..

        Tonyb

      • Yes, tonyb, it’s much nicer, less pain. Serfs don’t have fully developed nervous systems. They’re more like fish.

        But since the likes of Burbank, Ford, Edison, Westinghouse etc it’s been a challenge to breed enough serfs. Perhaps weaker power grids and more expensive electricity could help revive the species.

  22. In regard to IPCC. “Does anyone have any idea how the ‘extremely likely’ etc. conclusions are reached?”

    WR: As far as I know according to the statements of IPCC no controlable research has been done on the opininon of all IPCC scientists. In the case that this is correct, the statements of IPCC which are suggesting to represent a [high] percentage of scientists that supports IPCC statements (“very likely”) are not based on a scientific enquiry. And are not peer reviewed either. Or, even controlable…..

      • @Science or Fiction
        WR: Great link you gave about Karl Popper, science and objectivity: https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ippc-does-exactly-what-should-be-avoided-in-objective-science/

        Karl Popper:
        “We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part… No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl R. Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”
        (….)
        “Moreover we debar ourselves from granting any favoured status to statements which describe experiences, such as those statements which describe our perceptions (and which are sometimes called ‘protocol sentences’)”

        Comment Science or Fiction: “Judging by the works of Karl Popper, The Guidance Note on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties by IPCC – is largely incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

        WR: I would like to admit some statements of Scafetta: “In a famous lecture Feynman reminded us that scientific models must predict physical observations.”
        http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Blog-Nicola-Scafetta-def.pdf

        And another:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/21/scafettas-new-paper-attempts-to-link-climate-cycles-to-planetary-motion/
        UPDATE 3/22/2012 – 1:15PM Dr. Scafetta responds in comments:
        “Moreover, I believe that many readers have a typical misconception of physics.
        In science a model has a physical basis when it is based on the observations and the data and it is able to reconstruct, hindcast and/or forecast them.”

        WR: When, looking at the satellite temperature data and the (IPCC) models, the models for (too) many years are not able to forecast the right data, no other conclusion can be drawn that “climate science is not settled”.

        IPCC should be clear about that.

      • @Science or Fiction
        WR: Great link you gave about Karl Popper, science and objectivity: https://dhf66.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ippc-does-exactly-what-should-be-avoided-in-objective-science/

        Karl Popper:
        “We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part… No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl R. Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”
        (….)
        “Moreover we debar ourselves from granting any favoured status to statements which describe experiences, such as those statements which describe our perceptions (and which are sometimes called ‘protocol sentences’)”

        Comment Science or Fiction: “Judging by the works of Karl Popper, The Guidance Note on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties by IPCC – is largely incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

        WR: I would like to admit some statements of Scafetta: “In a famous lecture Feynman reminded us that scientific models must predict physical observations.”
        http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Blog-Nicola-Scafetta-def.pdf

        And another:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/21/scafettas-new-paper-attempts-to-link-climate-cycles-to-planetary-motion/
        UPDATE 3/22/2012 – 1:15PM Dr. Scafetta responds in comments:
        “Moreover, I believe that many readers have a typical misconception of physics.
        In science a model has a physical basis when it is based on the observations and the data and it is able to reconstruct, hindcast and/or forecast them.”

        WR: When, looking at the satellite temperature data and the (IPCC) models, the models for (too) many years are not able to forecast the right data, no other conclusion can be drawn than that “climate science is not settled”.

        IPCC should be clear about that.

  23. To be honest; I don’t believe any policy decisions should (or could) be made on climate alone. Weather sure; weather is where the action happens, not climate.

  24. In this thread, can people give specific examples (names) of a Climate Services Provider? In the context of this blog, would climate services providers be mostly private companies?

  25. It would be ethical for forecasters at any scale – daily, monthly, decadally. . . – to mention the accuracy of the naive persistence forecast somewhere.

    As an example, predicting tomorrow’s maximum temperature to within plus or minus one standard deviation at my location based on today’s temperature, gave around 92% + accuracy, as I recollect.

    This may appear surprising, but it is what it is, for the region of the tropics where I live. I invite you to download your local weather records for the preceding 12 months, and create the appropriate spreadsheet. I believe an average accuracy figure for naive prediction of maximum temperature is around 85%.

    Wind power forecasts using naive persistence methods are widely used, although some companies selling forecasts claim to be able to perform better than a 12 year old child with a straightedge and a pencil.

    So, if a weather forecaster claims 85% accuracy in regard to temperature, keep your money in your pocket. I would expect a competent skilful forecaster to do at least 10% better than an unskilled 12 year old. Wouldn’t you?

    Guessing the future is easy. Convincing people to pay you for your guesses is not so easy. Unless you are a climatologist, trying to convince politicians to give you money. Then it seems all too easy – a fool and his money are easily parted.

    Cheers.

    • The only prediction you’ll get from forecasters concerning the amount of snow we can expect this winter in Massachusetts is not as much as last year and in line with historical averages. What’s happened to global warming — has it become acceptance of the fact that our best estimate of the future is nothing more than what happened in the past?

  26. John Lyly’s (1579): All’s fair in love and war. People in love and soldiers in wartime are not bound by the rules of fair play.

    The climate wars are no exception, only, the love seems to be the love of one’s self-righteousness, knowing “I have taken the correct path.” And war? well, the soldiers like Gavin, and Michael, James and .. well there seem to be so many soldiers fighting to preserve the holiness of CAGW a belief system that rivals the Holy Roman Empire.

    Dr Curry. You seek Integrity in the machinations of Karl et al. It is not there. You seek transparency, but Michael surely has no such intentions. You seek humility and Gavin has none. You seek collaboration, and there is in reading and recommending each other’s papers passing for peer-review.

    There is more at stake than science, it is after all, the survival of the human race and such an enormous burden falls to the few enlightened, those willing to do whatever it takes to cry the message, for it is right, it is pure, it is without exception, the only voice to be heard.

    • unaligned intentions
      +10

      As long as CO2 remain a pollutant that you can sue for, the science will be of little concern. Here’s a top legal website …

      http://www.climatelawyers.com/default.aspx

      • richard verney

        I did not open any of their articles, but the page that loaded showed about a dozen articles, and listed the number of comments to each article at zero.

        So they do not appear to be generating much interest in the environmental news, but no doubt are generating large amounts of revenue for the partner’s pockets which ultimately is being paid for by the tax payer and the consumer. Another set of bottom feeders.

      • Indeed

        The link is meant to provide awareness.
        It’s unwise to assume that numbers of comments equals interest or relevance. Validity of the site is also rather neither here nor there as it is a reference, not a case law repository.

        And they are hungry. Class action lawsuits using CO2 as the basis for disparate impact are being targeted. Since this is political, the target groups are also voting blocks. If you dig deeper you can find many local NGOs near industrial zones aligning themselves with an interest in class action lawsuits using C02. The Murphy Oil case was a failed attempt, but much is learned from failure both in science and law.

        Of course, I’m disappointed that the science is considered settled because this then means that the above pov accelerates. I know skeptics joke about the lack of causal relationship to global warming, but the Supreme Court has made a determination that the regulatory agencies need to develop attainment criteria.

        Unless the CO2 determination by the Supreme Court is successfully challenged or regulatory attainment criteria are suspended, the tail will wag the dog.

  27. Prof. W.R. Church

    Within an article entitled ‘Warming set to breach 1C threshold’, the BBC
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34763036 ) provides a link to the report ‘The SPM Summary for Policymakers ‘ put out by the IPCC Working Group 1 – Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis
    ( http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf )

    The SPM Summary for Policymakers states that:
    “The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998 to 2012 as compared to the period 1951 to 2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from natural internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that natural internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of natural internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols). {9.4, Box 9.2, 10.3, Box 10.2, 11.3}

    Interestingly the article seems to go out its way to address the problems raised in this thread re- ‘certainty’, and ‘ settled science’, and goes out of its way to underline in the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ that the following summary terms are used to describe the available evidence:
    limited, medium, or robust;
    and the degree of agreement as: low, medium, or high;
    whereas level of confidence is expressed using five qualifiers: very low, low, medium, high, and very high, and typeset in italics, e.g., medium confidence.

    “For a given evidence and agreement statement, different confidence levels can be assigned, but increasing levels of evidence and degrees of agreement are correlated with
    increasing confidence (see Chapter 1 and Box TS.1 for more details).”

    “In this Summary for Policymakers, the following terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood of an outcome or a result: virtually certain 99–100% probability,
    very likely 90–100%, likely 66–100%, about as likely as not 33–66%, unlikely 0–33%, very unlikely 0–10%, exceptionally unlikely 0–1%.
    Additional terms (extremely likely: 95–100%, more likely than not >50–100%, and extremely unlikely 0–5%) may also be used when appropriate. Assessed likelihood is typeset in italics, e.g., very likely (see Chapter 1 and Box TS.1 for more details).”
    ____________________________

    This seems to cover the idea of ‘Humility’, leaving Integrity (including Conflicts of Interest), Transparency and Collaboration still to be dealt with! Neverthless, could it be that at least a minimal degree of rapprochement is taking place between IPCC and its critics, and vice versa? Just saying! – notwithstanding that while I am a Natural Scientist and can very much relate to problems of integrity, prejudice, collaboration, funding, coteries, quarrels, the publication and criticism of published findings and conclusions, etc, I have no expertise in the particular area of climate change modelling other than a research interest in the concept of very ancient ‘snowball earths’. I am just curious as to who is closest to the truth, if anybody, in this lively argument.

    There is also an interesting interview given by Gavin Schmidt at http://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-interview-dr-gavin-schmidt/
    (also reprinted by the somwhat scurillous blog http://skepticalscience.com/interview-gavin-schmidt.html ).

    • “Interestingly the article seems to go out its way to address the problems raised in this thread re- ‘certainty’, and ‘ settled science’, and goes out of its way to underline in the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ that the following summary terms are used to describe the available evidence:
      limited, medium, or robust; and the degree of agreement as: low, medium, or high; whereas level of confidence is expressed using five qualifiers: very low, low, medium, high, and very high, and typeset in italics, e.g., medium confidence.”

      If IPCC had any humility, then someone in IPCC would have used Google and found:
      “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement.”
      https://www.oiml.org/en/files/pdf_g/g001-100-e08.pdf

      United Nations – IPCC failed to recognize this international guideline. They made up their own in a hasty way. The guideline by IPCC is a largely a joke called: “Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties”.
      https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf

      IPCC makes 2 gross mistakes in this guideline:
      – 1´st mistake by IPCC is the failure to recognize, and comply with, the “Guide to the expression of uncertainty … ”
      The 1´st mistake leaves IPCC´s quantification of uncertainty more or less useless. (Except for the fact that this mistake falsifies the idea that IPCC express uncertainty in accordance with an internationally accepted guideline.)

      – 2´nd mistake by IPCC , is to try to standardize the expression of subjective probabilities e.g. summary terms or level of confidence.
      This 2´nd mistake is a huge scientific mistake.
      See Karl Popper for a proper take on that: “The logic of scientific discovery”; Section 8; Scientific objectivity and subjective conviction
      http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf
      —-
      Quote from Karl Popper: “a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, … within science it can play no part except that of an object of an empirical (a psychological) inquiry. No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”
      —-
      So to your hypothesis:
      “could it be that at least a minimal degree of rapprochement is taking place between IPCC and its critics” ?
      I can´t speak for any other critics than myself, we are not a group. The only thing I can say for sure is that the degree of rapprochement between IPCC and me is zap, zilch, zero.

    • From my argument above it follows that the “Guidance Note for Lead authors on consistent Treatment of uncertainty is actually” is actually guiding IPCC authors to produce a report full of subjective statements. The guidance note does not guide IPCC authors to proper formulation of objective statements. As your comment show, this is contrary to what many believes. Ref.: “Interestingly the article seems to go out its way to ….”

      Partly because of the Guidance note for lead authors, the IPCC assessment report is a large collection of unscientific statements. In particular it contains two forms of unscientific statements about uncertainty:
      – Subjective qualitative statements; subjective statements about summary terms and degree of agreement
      – Flawed quantitative statements; uncertainty statements which are not expressed and documented in accordance international guideline for expression of uncertainty

      Interesting questions will then be: is it even be possible to write an assessment report containing objective scientific statements of uncertainty and how should objective statements of uncertainty be formulated?
      If I now switch from a critical mode to a constructive mode, I will suggest that quantitative statements of uncertainty should be formulated in accordance with “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement”. Hence, in short, the result of an estimate should be reported by:
      – give a full description of how the measurand Y is defined
      – state the result of the measurement as Y = y ± U and give the units of y and U
      – give the approximate level of confidence associated with the interval y ± U and state how it was determined;
      (Ref. section 7.2.3 in Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement)

      It should here be noted that the level of confidence referred to in that Guideline is very different from the qualifiers, the level of the confidence, defined by IPCC.

      Further to this, Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement provide some General guidance on the expression of uncertainty:

      «7.1.4 Although in practice the amount of information necessary to document a measurement result depends on its intended use, the basic principle of what is required remains unchanged: when reporting the result of a measurement and its uncertainty, it is preferable to err on the side of providing too much information rather than too little. For example, one should

      a) describe clearly the methods used to calculate the measurement result and its uncertainty from the experimental observations and input data;
      b) list all uncertainty components and document fully how they were evaluated;
      c) present the data analysis in such a way that each of its important steps can be readily followed and the calculation of the reported result can be independently repeated if necessary;
      d) give all corrections and constants used in the analysis and their sources.

      A test of the foregoing list is to ask oneself “Have I provided enough information in a sufficiently clear manner that my result can be updated in the future if new information or data become available?” «

      To summarize, my first proposal to IPCC would be to abolish their own document «Guidance Note for Lead authors on consistent Treatment of uncertainty». My second advise is to avoid subjective statements in the form of summary terms and degree of agreement. My third advise is to express uncertainty in accordance with the internationally accepted guideline: «Guide to the expression of uncertainty.»
      This, I believe, would increase the level of rapprochement between IPCC and it´s critics significantly.

      (Additional info about «Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement»: This is the only broadly recognized guideline on the expression of uncertainty. The following seven organizations* supported the development of this Guide, which is published in their name:
      BIPM: Bureau International des Poids et Measures, IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission, IFCC: International Federation of Clinical Chemistry **, ISO: International Organization for Standardization, IUPAC: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, IUPAP: International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, OlML: International Organization of Legal Metrology ”. )
      Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement is freely available:
      https://www.oiml.org/en/files/pdf_g/g001-100-e08.pdf

  28. To people who argue that we “can’t predict” the future climate, understand this: people are doing it. They are providing climate services.

    The reason they can do this is that skeptics lost the debate.

    Put another way, nobody is asking skeptics for their climate services.

    Doubt is a tool. In the end you have to build better climate services or you have nothing.

    • Of course you can predict the future.

      However to this point the global warmers have been pretty much incorrect across the board.

      There is a difference between predicting the future and predicting the future correctly. This fine distinction is lost on global warmers.

      Paying someone to misinform you about the future doesn’t seem like a wise investment to me but you seem to have a different viewpoint.

      • “Paying someone to misinform you about the future…” perfect PA.

        Mosher’s comment reveals the ‘climate service provider’ business-model (which doesn’t exist but he seems to think so let’s roll with it) is the same model as astrologers and tarot card readers.

      • @PA: However to this point the global warmers have been pretty much incorrect across the board.

        Instead of denying, PA, how about affirming how brilliant a job the climate deniers have done in predicting future climate?

        Without that you can’t show that your predictions are any better than tossing a coin.

        If even that given your confirmation bias.

        Your claim that scientifically made predictions have not been borne out have been borne out only by demonstrably unjustifiable techniques.

        Let’s try to have a little more scientific rigor here, shall we?

      • richard verney

        Another rather silly comment by Mosher, which at the very least is premature.

        Presently, the powers at be (aided by MSM) have shut off the debate, but there will come a time when that debate is heard, and at that point it is likely that Skeptics will win the day. Namely that the world is not heading for catastrophe, and that we are not observing any real and significant climate change, by which I mean change outside the bounds of natural variability; those bounds being bordered by the MWP and the LIA.

        IF (and this is only an IF) there is no long lasting step change in temperature coincident with this current strong El Nino similar to the step change in temperatures which was coincident with the Super El Nino of 1997/8, then it is likely that come the following La Nina by 2019 the satellite temperature anomaly will be back down tracking along the 2001 to 2003 anomaly level, and the ‘pause’ will be over 21 years in duration during which time almost 40% of manmade CO2 emissions will have taken place with no statistical rise in temperatures, such that Climate Sensitivity (if any at all) will be seen to be approaching no more than the no feed back scenario of circa 1.2 degC.

        One can expect in this scenario to see many peer reviewed papers being published in 2017/18/19, discussing Climate Sensitivity and as the ‘pause’ continues and extends the figure put on Climate Sensitivity must decrease. Already the recent papers are coming in with a figure of circa 1.5 or less, and with a lengthening ‘pause’ the figure will come down to ~1.2 (or less).

        Let’s see how the IPCC deal with AR6 and the lengthening ‘pause’ and the increasing divergence from the models so beloved by Mosher and his ilk and those who offer ‘climate services’

      • Richard

        Did you see my reply to you on the temperature thread at WUWT regarding the source of the 2 thousandths of a degree comment?

        tonyb

      • Vaughan

        I might have greater confidence in some of these catastrophic predictions if I hadn’t read the same things 50, 75, 100 and 125 years ago. Different masthead, different font , different reporters but always, always, the same story. If unprecedented is to have any cache, maybe deep sixing some of this evidence from long ago would be the right strategy. There you go, a new cottage industry – revisionist climate historians. Oh wait, been there, done that.

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 13, 2015 at 1:43 am |
        @PA: However to this point the global warmers have been pretty much incorrect across the board.

        Instead of denying, PA, how about affirming how brilliant a job the climate deniers have done in predicting future climate?

        Well… It isn’t my place to defend deniers…

        But the Himalaya glaciers will still be here in 2035.

        The CO2 level probably won’t ever exceed 500 PPM and the rate of increase in the CO2 level which hasn’t changed much in 40 years will continue to not change much in the future.

        Still ice in the arctic, and increasing – was supposed to be gone by now.

        Antarctic sea ice still at record levels instead of disappearing.

        Antarctic land ice is adding 80 GT/y not losing ice by 50 to 200 GT/Y, as claimed by skeptical science and global warmers to the point of nausea. They are probably lying about Greenland as well, and I look forward to honest reports on Greenland.

        The temperature increase is still 3 times lower than model predictions.

        The deniers claim warming isn’t happening. The global warmers claim that it is happening 3 times faster. The deniers are 100% wrong the warmers are 200% wrong. The deniers are only 50% as wrong as the warmers or the warmers are twice as wrong as the deniers – take your pick.

        The problem is the global warmer predictions are so much worse than guessing I don’t see how they help people prepare for the future.

      • davideisenstadt

        only because Mosh is the one getting paid….

      • Vaughn,

        I’ve repeatedly asked people who like to ue the denier term to explain exactly what it is I’m supposedly denying. Never get an answer.

        Same as when I ask them to provide evidence in support of their claims for impacts from a changing climate. Nothing.

        You are smart enough to already know that when a party is calling for action(s) to be undertaken, the burden of showing those actions being justified is on them. All on has to do is review the history of the EPA on their determination of CO2 being a pollutant and on their justification for the CPP. I still have trouble believing that anyone would produce such obvious crap from a patently rigging process.

      • “Of course you can predict the future.”

        Tell that to Mike Flynn

      • Vaughan Pratt: Instead of denying, PA, how about affirming how brilliant a job the climate deniers have done in predicting future climate?

        “Climate deniers”? When did you go over to the Dark Side?

      • @PA: There is a difference between predicting the future and predicting the future correctly.

        Looking at the respective records of climate scientists and climate deniers, who’s been doing a better job at predicting likely global mean surface temperature in 2100? And on what basis?

        @cerescokid: I might have greater confidence in some of these catastrophic predictions if I hadn’t read the same things 50, 75, 100 and 125 years ago.

        Ok, you win. I wasn’t even alive 125 years ago. :)

        If you kept any of those things, or have links to them, I’d love to see them.

        If not I guess we just have to take your word for them, as standard for scientific rigor in your circles.

      • Catastrophic predictions predate the use of language.
        ============

      • Skeptics have a greater range of predictions about climate in 2100 so (one) are more likely to have guessed correctly, when the cents go rolling in.
        =================

      • Vaughan Pratt | November 14, 2015 at 10:10 am |
        @PA: There is a difference between predicting the future and predicting the future correctly.

        Looking at the respective records of climate scientists and climate deniers, who’s been doing a better job at predicting likely global mean surface temperature in 2100? And on what basis?

        I covered that once.

        The deniers say it isn’t warming. The Warmers position is represented by the models that are 3X reported warming and 4X or 5X actual warming (actual warming = reported – CGAGW). We’ll just use the noncontroversial 3X overshoot.

        So the warmers are 200% (300%-100%) too high. The deniers are 100% too low (0%-100%).

        200%/100% = 2X. The warmers are twice as wrong as the deniers.

        Since the deniers are twice as accurate as the warmers a smart person listens to the deniers and only a foolish eco/regressive would insist we listen to the warmers.

    • Mosher, completely wrong.

      No wonder you believe in warming – you’re so easily duped.

      “Climate service provider” means:
      – a business entity
      – providing services related to climate,
      – operating in the private sector,
      – receiving commercial reward from customers desiring the service provider’s deliverables
      – subject to the laws of contract, tort (including breach of warranty and negligence) statute
      – bearing the regulatory cost of conducting business incl insurance, premises, staff etc etc
      – able to operate without government sector financing or subsidy.

      No one is providing commercial climate predictions in the private sector.

      You must think that because an occasional idiot at Munich Re had to use his external advisor budget up, so he hired KPGM or PriceWaterhouse to prepare a climate change ‘report’ that was actually just a stream-of-consciousness conjectural high-level briefing note, that somehow “people” are “predicting climate”.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Astrologers provide astrological services. They offer predictions for a fee.
      Psychics also predict the future for a fee.

      The reason they are able to do this is that there are many people prepared to pay. Astrologers and psychics receive more money for their services than the combined total of private climate service providers.

      In the end, if you can find someone trusting enough to pay you for your guesses, it doesn’t matter whether your guesses are good or not. There’s another sucker just around the corner.

      Maybe you should help the British Met Office to lift their game. They might be able to tender for provision of forecasts to the BBC with more chance of success.

      You are right. You have nothing. Climatologists have nothing. Debate all you want – it won’t change the facts.

      Cheers.

    • Lost the debate, but still winning the war for hearts, minds and wallets:

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/are_voters_willing_to_pay_to_combat_global_warming

      “Thursday, June 04, 2015

      Most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything, to fight global warming, but a slightly higher number are willing to spend more for the cause.

      A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are willing to pay nothing more in higher taxes and utility costs annually to to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. But that’s down from 48% last August and the lowest level measured in regular tracking since January 2013. Another 24% are willing to spend only $100 more per year, unchanged from earlier surveys. Twenty-six percent (26%) are ready to spend $300 or more a year to combat global warming, with six percent (6%) who are ready to spend at least $1,000 more annually.”

      Not a good issue for the greeny Democrats. Keystone pipeline rejection is another nail in their coffin. When the Donald gets a hold of the pen and the phone, the coal trains of death will roll again.

      • richard verney

        It surprises me that as many as 6% have a $1000 to spare. Even more surprising that they would wish to waste that money, and cannot find a better use for it.

      • It surprises me that as many as 6% have a $1000 to spare.

        They don’t. If their utility bill was suddenly raised by a $100/month surcharge for “global warming mitigation” heads would roll.

        The “willingness” to “fight global warming” is typically perceived as a luxury good. If an economic model does not include “revealed preference” (i.e., how you actually use your limited resources) then everyone can “demand” expensive luxury goods without sacrificing anything else.

        “Willingness to pay” surveys are difficult to conduct properly. Telephone surveys of WTP are garbage in, garbage out.

      • Opluso

        “If their utility bill was suddenly raised by a $100/month surcharge for “global warming mitigation” heads would roll”

        Thanks Opluso. This is a number I spend a fair amount of time dwelling on. What is the point of pain that causes the silent majority to be mad ?
        Is the 100/month a gut feeling ?

      • The questions frame the responses. Why not ask: If the mounting evidence proves that CAGW was a scientific hoax, should the world be entitled to ‘claw back’?

      • Evidence. New Rules: New Game, futerra. Picking the right messenger, Egg-head scientists…2035… etc.

      • Knute:

        What is the point of pain that causes the silent majority to be mad ?

        Good question. The answer undoubtedly varies with subject, timing, family income, ideology, and other circumstances. The fact that a significant number of respondents chose “zero” WTP suggests they feel economically strapped or simply don’t consider climate change worthy of their daily concern.

        EPA fell in love with WTP surveys years ago and still uses variations on that theme to justify environmental regulations today.

        I think they should be required to change the name to “Willingness to Feel” since psychic enjoyment is just about all they are measuring. How much would you be willing to pay to increase visibility at a National Park by 10 percent? No need to limit the survey to actual Park visitors since almost everyone could potentially visit one day (and you thereby massively increase the $$ amounts). How much would you be willing to pay today to prevent 6 inches of sea level rise for your grandchildrens’ grandchildren? GIGO.

      • If the mounting evidence proves that CAGW was a scientific hoax, should the world be entitled to ‘claw back’?

        Let’s say for the sake of argument that every additional degree rise in global temperature costs the world a trillion dollars. (Maybe it’s a thousand trillion, maybe a mere billion, the exact amount is beside the point, though it should be pretty obvious that a fifty-degree rise is going to cost the world serious bucks so divide that by 50.)

        Now let’s suppose that the theory that rising global temperature is due to humans is wrong and the warming turned out to be due entirely to natural causes.

        What exactly could the world ‘claw back’? From nature? Trump? Who?

        Certainly not from taxpayers. Thanks to governments that don’t believe climate is changing, no serious money has been spent to date on combating climate change, or even researching it to determine whether there is in fact a problem. And so far there is no evidence any serious amount ever will be spent. Instead the assumption is that there is no problem and hence no point in spending money researching this non-problem.

    • Maybe if the doubt tool were used by other people it wouldn’t be so accessible to sceptics.

    • Dr. Curry is skeptical and people most certainly DO ask for her predictions.

    • Steven, did you see the post at Nova’s about the sensitivity of a thermocouple vs a glass bulb thermometer? This should have been “obvious” but the glass bulb and liquid have a thermal inertia greater than that of a thermocouple – at least that’s the case discussed there.

      This is a real bias since the thermocouple records higher peak readings. So, as thermocouples replace thermometers, one would expect a warming bias.

      • Oh yeah like that any of that matters.
        Wake me up when temperatures begin to exceed prior warming periods … ya know, the ones before man made CO2 influence was even a possibility.

        It’s so sad, we could of all gone on to more productive things with this one little fact.

    • Steven,

      Who is using these services you describe?

      I strongly suspect that the climate services being used by commercial users are not the ones predicting dangerous impacts in 2050 or 2100. More likely to be services in the vein that Judith and Joe Bastardi provide.

    • “To people who argue that we “can’t predict” the future … understand this: people are doing it.”

      And so did the oracles of Delphi provide prediction services as interpreted by the priests of the cult of Apollo. They were eventually swept aside as useless.

      Modern skeptics may be wise to illustrate the cultish behavior of some warmists, press members, and opportunistic technocrats. The illustration of past false prognostications is certainly one way to do so.

    • Steven Mosher: The reason they can do this is that skeptics lost the debate.

      Which skeptics lost which debate? The big topic at the Paris climate conference is going to be how they can have more political impact than they have had so far. What has been reported so far are a bunch of non-binding “commitments” to start making changes in the future.

      Lots of meteorologists who sell their services are skeptical of claims of long-term global warming caused by CO2. Prof Curry is one of them.

    • Steve- rarely have I found you to be so completely wrong. You wrote:
      1. “To people who argue that we “can’t predict” the future climate, understand this: people are doing it. They are providing climate services.”

      My response- Someone providing a service is not evidence that said service is of any actual value. There are many who will read your palm for a few dollars, but does that mean their predictions are reliable? The key in assessing a forecast of the future climate of any particular area is what is the forecast based upon and how reliable has that data been.

      2. “The reason they can do this is that skeptics lost the debate.”

      My response- Wrong again. The debate is about what should be done in response to a set of conditions. Little has bee done and little is likely to be done.

      3. “Put another way, nobody is asking skeptics for their climate services.”

      My response- A really silly comment on your part. Anyone who can demonstrate that they have a reliable model that will accurately forecast the future climate for a particular area will have a marketable service. People who buy the services from someone else are also likely frequent services like Palm readers to predict the future.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Steven M,
      You have the wrong sequence.
      A group of people ‘alarmists’ claim the Earth is facing climate dangers.
      Others ‘sceptics’ disagree.
      It is not up to these sceptics to take the data behind the alarmist model, rework it, maybe arrive at different outcomes.
      These sceptics have a different main task. It is to provide data and interpretations that question the science being promoted.
      The main task of the alarmists is to back their alarm with scientifically tight data and interpretations, including responses to sceptics.

      In this, the alarmists have failed – they have not even passed Step One, to establish a quantitative relation between GHGs and atmospheric temperatures in the real world as opposed to the modelled world.
      There is not even agreement about which of these two, GHGs and temperature, is the dependent variable.

      There can be no significant progress until a method is evolved to clearly distinguish between natural change (that should have been studied first) and man-made change, if it registers.
      Geoff.

    • @SM: The reason they can do this is that skeptics lost the debate.

      News to me, Steven. Were the judges in that decision certified free of bias? That’s an important criterion.

    • Steven Mosher: “To people who argue that we “can’t predict” the future climate, understand this: people are doing it. They are providing climate services.”

      So what?

      People are also providing horoscopes – and getting paid for it.

      And a very large chunk of the public believe in it too.

      Does that make astrologers as legitimate as climate “scientists”?

      According to the Gospel according to Mosher, apparently it does.

  29. davideisenstadt

    Uh mosh…guys like joe bastardi make their livings from their services, no?
    Not from grants, from private customers.
    Also, dont be an idiot; practice the act off charitable interpretation, that is, assume that the people you are arguing with are rational and sensible.
    The reasonable interpretation of the argument “that we “can’t predict” the future climate” is that we cant predict future climate with any useful accuracy.
    Geez Mosh…doesnt playing the equivocation card get tiresome for you?
    Your doing so does for the rest of us.

    • “The reasonable interpretation of the argument “that we “can’t predict” the future climate” is that we cant predict future climate with any useful accuracy.”

      You know what is funny?

      Every time I tell that to people they object and say.. NO you simply cant predict the future.. usually they throw in the word Chaos

      Next.

      When they DO admit that “Use” and Purpose have a role to play..
      They cant get over the fact that THEY are not USERS
      That THEY dont get to decide what is USEFUL.

      You dont use climate services. You dont get to decide what is useful or not.

      • I don’t use climate services because they are in urgent need of an ethical framework. I eventually stopped using escort services for the same reason.

      • @DM: I eventually stopped using escort services for the same reason.

        I thought you said you lived in the SF Bay area, Don. You were unable to find ethical escort services in the area? Have you complained on Yelp?

    • Climate has repeated the same cycle for ten thousand years.
      The future is going to repeat the same cycle. That is not really difficult.
      There has been some variation, that is harder. We are warm now and we will get cold. That is easy. I do not know exactly when, it might be 200 or 300 or 400 years from now, that is hard.

  30. Steven Mosher,

    You are right. Climate services are useless. They have nothing. You have nothing. Debate all you want – the facts won’t change.

    Climatology, astrology, phrenology – variations on a theme. There’s a ready supply of gullible people prepared to believe.

    Psychics take in more money than providers of “climate services”! Got any evidence to the contrary? I didn’t think so.

    Cheers.

  31. What’s troubling about this WMO community paper, or whatever it’s status is,
    are the opening pars:

    “Climate services have the potential to contribute to human security by improving our ability to enhance societal benefits, and reduce losses, related to climate.”

    Srsly? “The potential to contribute to human security.” Not the ability to contribute. Just potential. Might contribute, might not and all points imbetween. Who knows! And “the ability to enhance societal benefits related to climate”. Not enhancement. Just the ability to enhance. And srsly, what ‘societal benefits related to climate’? Breathing? Who knows!

    It’s just boilerplate academic climate alarmist verbiage, means nothing, can’t stand up to any scrutiny.

    And then this:
    “Climate services offer tools, products and information to help users anticipate and address the immediate, intensifying and potentially dangerous impacts of climate variability and change. Developed in collaboration between information users and providers, climate services are built on human relationships that open the process to a range of ethical conundrums. Climate information providers and the scientific products they generate operate from a position of trust and should be held to the highest ethical standard. Climate service providers that do not consider the consequences of their actions and information may implicitly contribute to poor decision-making and to maladaptation, with all the attendant implications.”

    More dreadful writing. But boil it down and it means this:

    ~Climate services deliver information to enable users to anticipate climate variability and to address it in the context of their business. Information accuracy is the foundation for the supply of climate services to a paying customer-base. Inaccurate information relied on by customers to their determinant will result in litigation.~

    • richard verney

      Makes you wonder how we 9and businesses) managed to do without this guff in the past.

      The claims are very pretentious and for the main part, people and business are interested in weather not climate.

    • Inaccurate information relied on by customers to their determinant will result in litigation.~

      How do you sue climate scientists? What does happen is after they are dead.

      Oops, in New York they have gone after Exxon Mobil before anything even happened. I do wonder how you go to court with nothing. But, again it is the government.

      This ethics thing is most likely something that will distract us while they take more of our money and gain more control of everything we do. The whole ethics thing is based on the idea that the CAGW is totally correct. Honest ethics would go back and question CAGW first before moving forward. I do not see that as part of this.

  32. It might be a good idea to explain to the readers what the trendy term “climate services” stands for. There seems to be some confusion about it.

  33. John Costigane

    Judith,

    ‘Busted’ forecasts are part of the learning experience in many aspects of life including the scientific pursuit of knowledge. UK cold winters can be November/December and/or January/February/March/April periods. it is therefore too early to write-off my own El Nino inspired choice.

    November has been characterized so far by a ‘constant’ jetstream stasis over the UK, leading to mild, wet conditions. I use Metcheck for this and its related pressure chart. Anyone can do this and I recommend this to any daily contact when the weather comes into conversation.

    As for the election campaign, I used to think, as a young man, that the American system leading to Presidential Election was bonkers, ‘all sound and fury signifying nothing’. Now, I find it utterly fascinating. I hope that you can be part of the process, having already shone at hearings.

  34. Just a lot of hot air.

    A waste of time.

    Probably a pleasant talking shop for those involved.

  35. Climatology, phrenology, astrology. Take your pick.

    Barring evidence to the contrary, people will willingly part with money for at least two of the three. Guess which two?

    The key word is willingly.

    Cheers.

  36. NOAA just released a study that climate through AGW effected 14 weather events in 2014. Did NOAA abide by the discussed “ethical framework”?

    On this Blog — The most vocal skeptics will probably argue no. Conversely, if one went to a “warmist blog”, most comments would probably be yes.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/11/05/climate-change-global-warming-extreme-weather-events-2014/75227084/

    • Tail waging the dog

      Warmists want an industry based on CO2.
      Class actions will eventually institutionalize the business end.
      Climate Psychics will sell you protection strategies you don’t need.

      Hmmm, maybe the cost of doing business in a nonattainment zone is to have a Climate Change Preparation Strategy. Banking then gets involved because you cant get a loan unless you have one. Maybe even bonding.

      Fascinating.

    • SS, the BAMS issue attempts to show that most 2014 local/regional extreme weather events were AGW related. This fails on three counts. First, there has been no AGW, in fact no GW, for almost two decades. Second, climate is defined by WMO as weather parameters over 30 years or more. In the written records going back to the beginning of the 20th century, there is no identifiable increase in either the number or the severity of ‘extremes’. Third, almost all the papers used downscaled climate models to make their assertions. GCM’s don’t downscale well; there is a whole literature on that. The basic issue is computationally feasible resolution.

      So, I think that issue of BAMS, newly out, does not abide by the “ethical framework”. Using models that don’t work rather than historical records to assert that a climate that has not been changing caused extremes that are historically not more extreme is the opposite of ethical.

    • Human-caused climate change and climate change are used as if they are not different.

      Data does show that there is more rain and snow during warm times.

      Data does not prove humans caused the warming. We warmed the same as during the Roman and Medieval times, whatever caused those warm times caused this warm time.

  37. If the physicists who dominated climate science research, in particular the modeling sector, had been exposed to and trained in the ethical norms found in human subject research, there might be much less animosity and tribalism in the climate arena. Most of the points in this ethical framework are addressed by or similar to topics covered in materials at the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative https://www.citiprogram.org/ as just one example of a resource for self-regulating the proper conduct of research. All researchers, whether working with human subjects or not, can benefit from understanding the ethical context of their work. Ethical behavior goes way beyond merely knowing the degree of discomfort one is allowed to impose on a subject.

  38. Looks like a little group of bored big thinkers working for various non-profit organizations riding the AGW bandwagon/gravy train discovered back in 2012 that “climate service providers” were running wild and urgently needed to be reigned in with some kind of BS ethical framework:

    http://www.climate-services.org/working-groups/ethics-working-group/

    “White Paper

    The Working Group met in June 2012 to draft a white paper that was later presented at ICCS 4 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

    The white paper is available here: CS Ethics White Paper Oct 2015

    Endorsement. The white paper has now been endorsed by organizations including the Global Framework for Climate Services, the Climate Knowledge Brokers, the START Secretariat, the Red Cross Climate Centre, and the Climate Change Agriculture & Food Security Theme of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.

    Feedback. It has also been released for comment, which will be accepted until December 14, 2015. The white paper is available for download here. Comments will be accepted using a template available here: Ethics White Paper Comments Template.”

    This “climate service provider” anarchy thing has become worse than we thought, so the urgency has increased exponentially. Please get behind this noble effort and provide your supportive comments, by December 14, 2015. If we still haven’t received any comments by then, we will extend the comment period to December 14, 2016. Right on!

  39. Climate service providers should declare any conflicts of interest and/or vested interests – Climate service providers should declare any potential conflicts of interest, so that users can understand motivations of their information providers. This may include justifying the dissemination of certain datasets and/or methodological techniques, being transparent about circumstances where providers may stand to gain financially, professionally or otherwise from the decisions that the climate services inform.

    They must continue to scare people so that their services will always be required and make their job necessary.

    Now, under these new rules, they would be required to tell us that.

  40. So … all those jokes about the French are true! From the article:

    in the Paris airport of Orly, a system called DECOR — which helps air traffic controllers relay weather information to pilots — is running on Windows 3.1. That program suffered a glitch recently that grounded planes for some time. The airport actually runs on a variety of old systems, including Windows XP and UNIX. Maintenance is a problem. There are only three people in Paris that work on DECOR issues, and one of them is retiring soon. Hardware is also an issue. “Sometimes we have to go rummaging on eBay to replace certain parts,” said Fiacre. “In any case, these machines were not designed to keep working for more than 20 years.”

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/11/13/1540248/windows-31-glitch-causes-problems-at-french-airport—-wait-31

  41. This is not:
    Call for an Ethical Framework for Climate Services

    This is:
    Call for an UN-Ethical Framework for Climate Alarmism

    To be ethical, you must question the consensus first.

  42. Ethics, both business and personal, are fabulously important, and almost entirely left to chance in scientific and business education. What education there is generally consists of how to avoid being discovered in your ethical failings — how to avoid outright conflict of interest (by declaring the possible conflict as opposed to ensuring that one’s findings are not in reality biased by one’s conflict) and how to make sure potentially embarrassing emails are deleted or only occur on personal, non-official, servers (like a recent President and a recent Sec. of State).

    At least this group is talking about and promoting ethical behavior.

  43. “Transparency: massive failure, as highlighted by the IAC review of the IPCC. Does anyone have any idea how the ‘extremely likely’ etc. conclusions are reached.”

    This has been my ongoing criteria for judging the IPCC transparency. I have attempted to directly obtain an answer on this topic and failed.

    The IPCC states that the groups must make available their methods in determining the “likely” categories. I thought that meant for interested parties such as me. I was wrong and thus the IPCC gets a failing grade for transparency from me.

  44. Only in a non-science which is trading in being a science can ethics come up as a question.

    Taking a real-life example from old times, when the phenomenon you’re (not me, in real life) studying numerically is found to come from feedback from the graphics package into the simulation, you don’t hide it from the source of your funding.

    But that’s not a scientific question. It’s just character.

    Climate science seems very uncurious about numerical artifacts.

    The person in question above just started studying something else, having tracked that down.

    I think chaos theory is the only example of artifacts developing into anything useful.

  45. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #205 | Watts Up With That?