What is there a 97% consensus about?

by Frank Hobbs (franktoo)

At the Senate Hearing on “Dogma and Data”, dogma about the 97% consensus went unchallenged. Democratic Senators constantly recited the phrase “97% consensus”, but it is not clear whether they – or their Republican opponents – had the slightest idea what the phrase meant: 97% of what group support a consensus about exactly what?

The objective of this post is to provide some useful information about this dogma – data on the dogma, so to speak.

The most recent study claiming a 97% consensus is Cook et al, Environ. Res. Lett. It was voted the most influential ERL paper of 2013 and was downloaded far more than any other ERL paper. The authors examined the abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 1991 and 2012 to determine the level of scientific consensus for the position “humans are causing global warming”. Unfortunately, the key issue is not whether anthropogenic GHGs have caused any increase in global temperature – the issue is how much global warming have they caused.

Quantitative estimates attribution are much more meaningful – such as the IPCC AR4 statement that anthropogenic GHGs are “very likely responsible for most global warming”. To understand why, consider the possibility that exactly 50% of global warming has been caused by the rise in anthropogenic GHGs (This is the usual threshold for statements asserting that ‘most’ or ‘more than half’ of the warming is caused by anthropogenic GHGs. ) The remaining 50% of global warming would have been caused by naturally forced variability (solar or volcanic) or unforced (internal) variability. If 50% of warming had been forced by GHGs, climate would be far less sensitive to GHGs than if 100% had been forced.

Otto et al. (2013) studied the relationship between forcing and warming during 1971-2010, a period when this relationship was not significantly perturbed by a change in anthropogenic aerosols, and solar and volcanic forcing was being monitored. (This paper was co-authored by more than a dozen authors of the IPCC chapter dealing with attribution and climate sensitivity.) Assuming that all of the observed warming were attributed to rising GHGs, these authors concluded that the best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity was 2.0 degC (with a 95% confidence interval of 1.2-3.9 degC).

If only half of the observed warming were due to rising GHGs (and the rest to unforced variability/chaos), the best estimate for ECS would be 1.0 C. Even under the IPCC’s worst-case scenario – a tripling of the pre-industrial CO2 concentration by 2100 the best estimate for total global warming would be only 1.5 C. For all but the most extreme advocates of the precautionary principle, the rational for immediate and massive cuts in CO2 emissions would be fatally weakened. (Extreme concerns could be eliminated by postulating that 40% or 30% of observed warming could be attributed to anthropogenic GHGs.) Consequently, a dramatic difference exists between attributing an unspecified fraction of global warming and attributing most global warming to anthropogenic GHGs.

Recognizing the importance of attributing at least 50% of global warming to humans, Cook et al evaluated abstracts on a scale from 1 to 7 based on how clearly they endorsed or rejected this conclusion. Abstracts in category 1 were supposed to “explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming”. Endorsement levels 2 and 3 covered explicit and implicit endorsement of the position that anthropogenic GHGs caused an unspecified amount of warming. Categories 5, 6 and 7 endorsed the opposite position. However, Cook (2013) disclosed only the combined results for categories 1-3 and 5-7.

The ratings by Cook et al can be accessed from the Consensus Project website. Entering “a” as the search term and then choosing a “level of endorsement” provides access to 12,280 rated abstracts in the project database, with the categories 4a (no position) and 4b (uncertain) combined. (I first encountered this strategy for obtaining raw data at Paul Homewood’s blog.) Cook (2013) discusses only 11,944 abstracts, 3% fewer than the project database currently contains. The results in Table 1 therefore represent near the same set of data as used by Cook (2013).

Table 1. Level of endorsement.

Slide1

After discarding the abstracts that were judged to have taken no position, Cook (2013) reported a 97% consensus that anthropogenic GHGs were causing global warming. However, three-fourths of that consensus was judged to be implied and more than 98% of the agreement was expressed non-quantitatively. Consequently, no widespread consensus exists in these abstracts that humans are responsible for most of the global warming; only that humans are responsible for an unspecified amount of global warming. This consensus on non-quantitative attribution is too vague to be useful in developing policy – though it is relentlessly cited by nearly every Democratic policymaker including the President.

The Consensus Project found 65 abstracts endorsing and 10 rejecting quantitative attribution, an “87% consensus” – assuming their ratings were accurate. The small number of abstracts involved should not be surprising. Only a few experts are doing the difficult studies needed to quantitatively distinguish between unforced variability and at least four types of forced change: anthropogenic GHGs and aerosols, solar, and volcanic. Quantitative statements about attribution don’t belong in the abstract of papers on other subjects. Abstracts exist to report key findings in context. They are not public opinion surveys.

A tremendous amount of research on climate change has been published during the two decades reviewed by the “Consensus Project”. As can be seen in Table 2, the IPCC’s statements about the role of anthropogenic GHGs in global warming became increasingly quantitative and confident over this period.

Table 2. IPCC statements attributing global warming to anthropogenic GHGs.

 

FAR (1990) “The size of this warming [0 3°C to 0 6°C over the last 100 years] is broadly consistent with predictions of climate models, but it is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability.”
SAR (1995) “The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.”
TAR (2001) “Most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
4AR (2007) “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
5AR (2013) It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

The Consensus Project’s database was analyzed to see if the ratings produced by Cook’s volunteers reflected a similar trend in quantitation and confidence over the two decades considered. The results in Tables 2a and 2b show a constant level of confidence and quantitation. Three hypothesis can be advanced to explain this result: a) The raters may have exhibited a constant bias when categorizing abstracts. b) The authors of the abstracts may disagree with the IPCC’s stronger attribution statements. c) The views of the authors can not be reliably discerned from abstracts.  As discussed above, human attribution was usually discussed or implied in the vast majority of these abstracts only to provide context, not to endorse a position. The ratings given to abstracts published by skeptical scientists (discussed below) support this hypothesis.

Table 2a. Change in Endorsement with Time.

Level of Endorsement 1991-1995 1996-2001 2002-2007 2008-2011 1991-2011
(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification 1.2% 1.2% 1.9% 1.7% 1.6%
(2) Explicit endorsement without quantification 21% 22% 23% 24% 23%
(3) Implicit endorsement 74% 75% 72% 73% 73%
(5) Implicit rejection 2.3% 0.9% 3.1% 2.1% 1.3%
(6) Explicit rejection without quantification 1.2% 0.6% 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%
(7) Explicit rejection with quantification 0.2% 0.0% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2%
Total abstracts endorsing a position 431 667 1174 1839 4011

 

Table 2b. Change in Percentage of Papers Endorsing a Position.

Level of Endorsement 1991-1995 1996-2001 2002-2007 2008-2011 1991-2001
(4) No Position or Uncertain 56% 64% 70% 68% 67%
Endorsing or Rejecting

(1)+(2)+(3)+(5)+(6)+(7)

44% 36% 30% 32% 33%

Any abstract written before AR3 (2001) quantitatively attributing most global warming to humans would have gone far beyond the IPCC’s existing position that the human influence on climate was “consistent with natural variability” or barely “discernable”. (Section 8.6 of the SAR addresses the question: “When Will an Anthropogenic Effect on Climate be Detected? The phrase “a discernible influence” was a late addition.) Before 2007, use of the phrase “very likely” would have indicated more confidence in human attribution than the IPCC believed was warranted. At least two raters in Cook (2013) independently reached the conclusion that five abstracts published between 1991 and 1995 explicitly endorsed the position that anthropogenic GHGs were the primary cause of global warming. These abstracts illustrate ratings misjudgments that might be present elsewhere in the study.

1) Schlesinger, Michael E. and Ramankutty, Navin, “Implications for global warming of intercycle solar irradiance variations”, Nature (1992) 350 (6402), 330-333, [link]

Abstract. Following earlier studies, attention has recently been directed again to the possibility that long-term solar irradiance variations, rather than increased greenhouse gas concentrations, have been the dominant cause of the observed rise in global-mean surface temperature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Friis-Christensen and Lassen report a high correlation (0.95) between the variable period of the ’11-year’ sunspot cycle and the mean Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature from 1865 to 1985. The Marshall Institute report concludes that ‘…the sun has been the controlling influence on climate in the last 100 years, with the greenhouse effect playing a smaller role.” Here we explore the implication that such putative solar irradiance variations would have for global warming. Our results provide strong circumstantial evidence that there have been intercycle variations in solar irradiance which have contributed to the observed temperature changes since 1856. However, we find that since the nineteenth century, greenhouse gases, not solar irradiance variations, have been the dominant contributor to the observed temperature changes.

The warming influence of GHGs was found to dominate changes in solar irradiance, but this conclusion certainly doesn’t demonstrate that GHGs were responsible for more than half of global warming. The possibility of unforced variability (and volcanoes) needs to be considered.

2) Roeckner, E., “Past, Present and Future Levels of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere and Model Projections of Related Climatic Changes.” Exp. Bot. (1992) 43 (8): 1097-1109 doi:10.1093/jxb/43.8.1097

Abstract. Ice core analyses of polar ice reveal a high correlation between climatic change and variations in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) over the last 160 000 years. Although the resolution of the data is not sufficient to determine the phase relationship between the respective variations, it is generally believed that climate change occurred first as a result of the quasi-periodic variations of the Earth’s orbital parameters. However, data and model results are consistent with the hypothesis that climate and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases interact via a positive feedback loop.

The more recent increase in greenhouse gases since pre-industrial times can be related to human activities. Climate models predict a significant global warming of several degrees within the next century if the industrial emissions increase unabated. On the other hand, accelerated policies on emission control will significantly reduce the warming after a response time of a few decades.

This abstract endorses concerns about global warming, but says nothing about quantitative attribution of recent warming.

3) Hansen, J., A. Lacis, R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and H. Wilson, 1993: How sensitive is the world’s climate? Natl. Geog. Soc. Res. Exploration, 9, 142-158.

Abstract. We estimate climate sensitivity from observed climate change on time scales ranging from the 100000-year periods of major ice ages to brief periods of cooling after major volcanic eruptions. The real-world data indicate that climate is very sensitive, equivalent to a warming of 3±1°C for doubled atmospheric CO2. Observed global warming of ~0.5°C in the past 140 years is consistent with anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the dominant climate-forcing in that period. But interpretation of current climate change is extraordinarily complex, because of lack of observations of several climate forcings as well as an unpredictable chaotic aspect of climate change. Climate change during the next decade may help confirm knowledge of climate sensitivity, if global climate forcings are accurately observed.

This abstract says that observed global warming is consistent anthropogenic GHGs being the cause, but that attribution was impossible at that time due to lack of information about several climate forcings (presumably aerosols) and the possibility of unforced variability.

4) Tol, R. S. J, ” Greenhouse statistics — time series analysis: Part II”, Theoretical and Applied Climatology (1994), 49 (2), 91-102.

Abstract. The analysis of part I is supplemented, updated and refined, and the resolution bound of simple statistical analysis is tentatively explored. The main conclusion of part I, the hypothesis that the anthropogenically enhanced greenhouse effect is not responsible for the observed global warming during the last century is rejected with a 99% confidence, is reconfirmed for the updated sample period 1870–1991. The slight decrease in the global mean temperature between 1940 and 1975 is attributed to the influence of El Niño and the volcanic activity. The influence of sunspots, or the length of the solar cycle, is found to be small and unlikely to have caused the observed global temperature rise. The analysis of a number of alternative records lowers the significance of the influence of the enhanced greenhouse effect to 95%. The temperatures on the northern hemisphere rise a little faster than the southern hemisphere temperatures; this distinction is not significant but in line with the larger amount of land at the northern hemisphere. Some indications are found of an unexplained four year cycle in the temperatures of the northern hemisphere. Winter temperatures rise fastest, summer temperatures slowest; this is more profound on the northern than at the southern hemisphere. The difference is not significant; it could be due to the influence of anthropogenic aerosols. The analysis of monthly temperatures confirms the conclusions above, and shows that the models used here are close to being too simple to be used at this resolution.

This abstract does explicitly endorse the position that anthropogenic GHGs are responsible for most global warming. In response to a recent Parliamentary Question, the Chief Scientist of the British Meteorology Office issued several statements explaining why time series analyses (like this one) should not be used alone for attribution, or even detection, of warming: There is no valid way to select a statistical model for the noise that is present in chaotic systems.

5) Mitchell, J. F. B., Johns, T. C., Gregory, M. J., Tett, S. F. B., “Climate response to increasing levels of greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols”, Nature (1995) 376 (6540), 501-504; doi:10.1038/376501a0

Abstract. Climate models suggest that increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere should have produced a larger global mean warming than has been observed in recent decades, unless the climate is less sensitive than is predicted by the present generation of coupled general circulation models1,2. After greenhouse gases, sulphate aerosols probably exert the next largest anthropogenic radiative forcing of the atmosphere3, but their influence on global mean warming has not been assessed using such models. Here we use a coupled oceaná-atmosphere general circulation model to simulate past and future climate since the beginning of the near-global instrumental surface-temperature record4, and include the effects of the scattering of radiation by sulphate aerosols. The inclusion of sulphate aerosols significantly improves the agreement with observed global mean and large-scale patterns of temperature in recent decades, although the improvement in simulations of specific regions is equivocal. We predict a future global mean warming of 0.3 K per decade for greenhouse gases alone, or 0.2 K per decade with sulphate aerosol forcing included. By 2050, all land areas have warmed in our simulations, despite strong negative radiative forcing in some regions. These model results suggest that global warming could accelerate as greenhouse-gas forcing begins to dominate over sulphate aerosol forcing.

This abstract indicates concern about GHGs and future global warming, but doesn’t make any quantifiable or explicit statements about past global warming.

Finally, the Consensus Project Database was queried to determine whether the views of prominent skeptics were reflected in the ratings given to their abstracts. The scientists in Table 4 came from a list of “climate misinformers” posted at John Cook’s website and all have some publications relevant climate change. The results in Table 4 show that opposition to the “consensus” on climate change cannot be clearly detected by rating abstracts. Several explanations for this result are possible: a) Some skepticism arises from an appreciation of uncertainty – especially with regard to unforced variability. Abstracts reflecting this position don’t belong in not category 7. b)

The search terms used by Cook (2013) missed many articles by skeptics. Professor Lindzen has written about 20 articles on climate change in the last two decades: The database does not contain his work on the Iris hypotheses nor his two recent articles on low climate sensitivity: Lindzen, R.S. and Y.-S. Choi, “On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data” GRL (2009), 36, L16705 and Lindzen, R.S. and Y.-S. Choi, “On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications” Asian Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science (2011) 47, 377-390. c) The fact that the latter paper, which rebutted criticisms of the former, appeared in a minor journal is a sign that gate-keeping may be preventing articles from skeptics from appearing in the journals used by Cook. Lindzen’s articles published in Energy and Environment were not in the database either.

Table 4. Abstract ratings for prominent “skeptics” and James Hansen.

Slide4Finally, Cook (2013) is often misinterpreted by policymakers and the press as a 97% consensus among climate scientists – rather than abstracts. Combining abstracts from Hansen and Lindzen produces an 86% “consensus” (19 to 3 abstracts) from this “community” of two influential climate scientists. In categories 1 and 7 – the only ones relevant to policymakers – there is a 100% consensus – because at least two of Lindzen’s papers weren’t included.

In summary, Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.

JC note:  As with all guest posts, please keep your comments civil and relevant.

388 responses to “What is there a 97% consensus about?

  1. Why doesn’t some congressional committee have a hearing solely on this 97% bafoonary? Expose one thing at a time. These dolts are not capable of chewing gum and walking at the same time, let alone understanding how the scientific method works. Science by consensus is not science.

    • What part of “political slogan” do you not understand? These people are not stupid, in fact they are quite cunning, which is a form of intelligence.

      • David Springer

        “In summary, Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.”

        They didn’t want a meaningful number. They wanted a misleading bullet point. Given the latter goal the execution was brilliant.

      • The dolts that I was referencing were the congressional committee members.

      • “These people are not stupid, in fact they are quite cunning, which is a form of intelligence.”

        Sadly true. They’ve played their pitifully weak cards brilliantly. The refusal to debate because skeptics are so blatantly wrong…and so manifestly dishonest that they don’t even deserve to be given a hearing, the name change from global warming (in the absence of you know, some actual warming) to the irrefutable “climate change,” the “denier” epithet, the hottest month, year, day claims, the 97 percent consensus….all brilliant.

        It was very hard to watch the recent hearing in which the 97 percent lie went unchallenged. T

        (aka pokerguy)

      • “What is the 97% consensus about?”

        97% of the scientific community can find, adjust and/or manipulate experimental data to yield apparently “scientific evidence” for almost anything if the price is right.

    • The problem with such hearings is that most senators give mini speeches then ask only those who agree with them if they agree with them, ignoring the others. The recent “Data or Dogma” hearing (which I watched live) was a classic example in which only Mark Steyn was brave enough to push back and demand that he and Dr Curry be heard, especially when Dr Curry’s integrity was maligned.

    • Given that most expressions of agreement with the physical reality of radiative forcing by anthropogenic gases is rarely explicitly quantified, a more accurate usage might be “everybody in their right mind.”, albeit that<a href="http://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2015/12/militarizing-microagression-for-climate.html&quot;. seldom adds up to 97%.

  2. Excellent questions to raise.

    Global warming may be
    very real in principle, but at the same time
    very much a hoax of exaggeration.

    Those exaggerations can be of
    1.) the extent of warming
    2.) the effect of warming on climate ( warming is not that significant to climate )
    3.) the impacts on human beings
    4.) the exaggeration of detriment and ignorance of benefit.

    All four aspects appear to be occurring.

    And 97% agreement with global warming principle is misapplied by those suffering from Climate Anxiety Disorder to justify the other fallacies.

  3. Pingback: What is there a 97% consensus about? | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  4. Who’s Frank Hobbs, and is he John Galt?

    • “He serves as a highly individualist counterpoint to the collectivist social and economic structure depicted in the novel, in which society is based on oppressive bureaucratic functionaries…”

    • Willard: Since I’ve never been able to finish “Atlas Shrugged” (too depressing), I’m not John Galt. If I took inspiration from anyone in writing this post, it would be Steve Mosher – who once advised others stop complaining and do something. He certainly has done so. (His obscure comments on blogs certainly are annoying.) And from ScienceofDoom, whose physics has survived all the challenges I have made. However, there is nothing in his climate physics that demands a high climate sensitivity.

      Listening to the repeated comments about the 97% consensus at the recent Senate hearing finally prompted me do someithing – after years of hearing the same thing from Obama, Kerry, etc. And I thought I would be taken more seriously if I used my real name. After commenting as Frank elsewhere, I was forced to adopt another name here and I chose “franktoo” in a hurry to distinguish myself from another Frank. A bad choice.

      I would prefer to be dealing with purely scientific issues rather than the consensus. But the fundaments problem is that non-quantitative attribution doesn’t justify an particular policy. To see why, you need to travel from quantitative attribution to ECS and then to a policy relevant to that ECS.

      • Thank you, Frank Hobbs. Your name doesn’t ring a bell, and just knowing your name doesn’t tell me much. Usually Judy writes a blurb to present her guest bloggers, and you may consider my comment as a roundabout way to ask for it.

        Since you answered, I’ll take a look at your article if I have a minute. I must admit I spent so many time on it that “my eyes glaze over it,” as the Auditor once said of something else.

        As a first remark, however, I can say this. I don’t think a non-quantitative attribution justifies a particular policy either. To assume that attribution justifies a particular policy would fall into what is (mistakenly) called the linear model. So if that was your reason to write this, I don’t think it was well spent.

        We already know enough to act upon the risks associated to AGW. We already act upon it anyway. Denizens are just here to rehearse Beckett’s Endgame.

        You might like this short video:

        Thank you for responding,

        w

      • A clarification, Frank.

        When I say “I must admit I spent so many time on it,” the “it” refers to the episodes on C13, not your article.

        Two years already. Can you imagine?

      • ” The Importance of Being Frank.”

      • Willard

        No, Denizens are NOT here to rehearse Beckett’s ‘Endgame.’ They are here to provide bon mots for my exclusive publication ‘Read Harder! The exciting wit and wisdom of Denizens’.

        The 2015 version is available exclusively through me at a very reasonable price (well, not at all reasonable If the truth is told) and makes an ideal Christmas present that will give hours of enjoyment throughout the festive season.

        A merry Christmas to you Willard.

        tonyb

      • I saw the movie The Fountainhead years ago and I’m still unable to even pick up an Ayn Rand book. I wish conservatives would stop trying to come up with their own guiding-light authors, artists and intellectuals. If we were really into all that we’d be leftoids. (Watching an early period J C Van Damme tonight.)

        Advice to Repubs. Stop saying “Reagan” (you’re not him), “Ayn Rand” (even if you pronounce it properly) and “murderous Assad regime” (you’ve funded much worse, and may have to again). Just kick the Clintons and the climatariat and you’ll be fine. They’re so kickable.

  5. ‘Quantitative estimates attribution are much more meaningful – such as the IPCC AR4 statement that anthropogenic GHGs are “very likely responsible for most global warming”.’
    I don’t think it is useful. The total warming isn’t made up of contributions known to be positive. It is quite possible that the natural component provide net cooling – what to say then? AGW caused 150% of observed warming?

    The fact is that humans have been putting CO2 in the air, which can be expected to cause warming. Warming is observed. Speculating about fractional contribution doesn’t help. If you can actually estimate the amount of realised anthropogenic warming directly, then just say what it is.

    • The key policy relevant issue is whether human or natural causes is dominant. If human causes aren’t dominant, then reducing fossil fuel emissions won’t have much impact on the climate’

      We can play Gavin’s game of humans causing 169% of the warming or whatever. But we are back to the meaning of ‘most’ or ‘more than half’. If the AR5 meant 100%, they wouldn’t have said ‘more than half’. The statement is ambiguous, and their whole analysis doesn’t adequately amount for natural caused warming, i.e they have no consistent explanation (with any confidence) for substantial warming 1910-1945. There was only a small human contribution to that warming (CO2 concentration increased 10 ppm). So until the early warming is explained, there is little confidence in the 100% or > 100% estimates of human caused warming since 1950.

      • > But we are back to the meaning of ‘most’ or ‘more than half’.

        More specifically, we’re back to January 2015:

        But I totally forgot the Law of Curry: “It’s worse than you think, even when you account for the Law of Curry”.

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2015/01/more-than-all.html

        Just one of the reasons why the audit never ends.

      • “The key policy relevant issue is whether human or natural causes is dominant.”
        The key policy issue is whether human caused warming will cause harm. It’s key because we can do something about it. The fact that natural changes might also cause trouble doesn’t change that.

        But my point is mainly that, as a matter of arithmetic, it’s a poor way of quantifying. To express something as a fraction of a total makes sense if you are adding positive things. Otherwise not. What if they add to zero?

      • “It’s key because we may be able do something about it.”

        surely.

      • Nick Stokes | December 20, 2015 at 2:47 pm |
        The key policy issue is whether human caused warming will cause harm.

        No, it’s How Much Harm it will cause. No sense amputating a leg for a bunion.

        It’s key because we can do something about it.

        So, “Hack away, Dr. Sawbones?”

        The fact that natural changes might also cause trouble doesn’t change that.

        If natural causes are significant, then climate sensitivity is low, then there’s no significant problem, and we can wring our hands about something else.

      • Climate doesn’t have a different sensitivity to anthropogenic and natural causes. If natural causes are significant, it should be easy for that to be shown, just saying that there might be significant natural variations isn’t enough, you need to go out an get the research done. There surely is money out there for that, try 1-800-PEABODY.

      • No Dr Curry, you are wrong because you will never be able to answer that question. The bottom line is that we know CO2 has a warming potential, we should decarbonize in a manner that respects a broad range of political views, technical limitations and economics. Being an unwitting shill for Ted Cruz does not help accomplish this.

        “You people” (I’m including the CAGW warmists like Willard here) are stuck on analysis paralysis.

      • ” The bottom line is that we know CO2 has a warming potential”

        The bottom line is that we think CO2 has a warming potential

      • “The key policy issue is whether human caused warming will cause harm.”

        Yes,yes,yes.

        And there’s certainly no 97% that says what specific level of warming is harmful, and how. The nice round numbers of 2.0 or 1.5 are just made up politician points.

        It would be helpful to identify what’s actually believed to be a risk for harm, though.

        And to accept benefits – one way we know that bias has crept in is that people don’t even discuss a net of risk/benefit.

        Additional CO2 should cause continued warming – 97% would include me.

        Global warming is not a significant term of climate would also include me.
        Global warming has risks and benefits would include me.
        Global warming has been less than modeled would include me.
        Global warming is decelerating would include me.
        Global population will likely peak before 2050 would include me.
        Global population is more significant to the environment than fuel choices.
        That would include me also.

      • Bobdroege wrote: “Climate doesn’t have a different sensitivity to anthropogenic and natural causes. If natural causes are significant, it should be easy for that to be shown, just saying that there might be significant natural variations isn’t enough, you need to go out an get the research done.”

        You are failing to distinguish between “naturally-forced variability” – measured in W/m2 – and “unforced or internal variability” – where the forcing is 0 W/m2. ENSO is unforced variability, as are the AMO and PDO. My guess is that no one knows how much of the LIA, MWP etc. represent naturally-forced variability and how much represents unforced variability. From what I’ve read, the weak sun during the Maunder and Dalton minimums amounts to no more than -1 W/m2 of forcing in terms of TSI. (See the discussion at ClimateDialogue.)

      • > I’m including the CAGW warmists […]

        Of course you lukewarmingly do, Krigging King. Every thread offers the opportunity to do so. Part of the meme’s charm.

        You must be new here.

      • ” The bottom line is that we know CO2 has a warming potential, we should decarbonize in a manner that respects a broad range of political views, technical limitations and economics. ”

        That is not ‘a policy relevant issue’ that is a policy statement. Dr. Curry doesn’t do policy statements. Your post is incoherent.

      • Climate doesn’t have a different sensitivity to anthropogenic and natural causes.

        Wrong!

        Pace DonDon, I don’t just mean you’re wrong due to the unforced variation mentioned above, I mean you’re wrong about changes to the Solar constant necessarily having the same effect as changes to GHG’s.

        It’s possible that the effect is so similar to be indistinguishable. Not likely. And you certainly aren’t warranted to assume it.

      • Bob Droege,
        “Climate doesn’t have a different sensitivity to anthropogenic and natural causes.”

        Climate has a sensitivity to CO2 that you can define. Sensitivity to natural causes is hard to pin down (can you suggest how to calculate it?) but it is unlikely to be the same (if a number can be found at all, and units will differ).

        But the question is, how much warming has AGW caused? If you knew that exactly, a lot could be said about sensitivity. But we don’t, and trying to put a % without knowing that doesn’t help. It could be 50, could be 150. All we really know is that there are strong physics reasons to expect added GHGs to cause warming. We added GHGs and got warming. It may take a while to get the attribution precise, but the observation is in line with the physics.

      • ” It may take a while to get the attribution precise, but the observation is in line with the physics.”

        Assuming that we have correctly identified any long term natural ‘cycles’. Don’t you get the worrying feeling that this might all be down to ‘too little weighting on the ~65 year known ‘cycle’ in the equations?

      • Franktoo,

        The way I see it, the PDO, AMO, ENSO and the rest are all part of the climate and you have those whether or not the climate is being forced.

        For those, whatever goes up must come down and are not causes of long-term warming or cooling.

        Those are all short term variations about the mean and different from forced changes. In my opinion the little ice age and the medieval warm period were mostly caused by increased and decreased volcanism.

      • bobdroege wrote: “The way I see it, the PDO, AMO, ENSO and the rest are all part of the climate and you have those whether or not the climate is being forced. For those, whatever goes up must come down and are not causes of long-term warming or cooling. Those are all short term variations about the mean and different from forced changes.”

        How long can “short-term variability” last? Decades? Centuries? You may want to read the post below or the Lorenz paper itself. The key section is only two pages long and it is not behind a paywall. The author was writing before most of the hype about global warming

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/10/13/words-of-wisdom-from-ed-lorenz/

      • The key policy issues are twofold:

        1) is the earth cooking (and is that bad for us)
        2) if yes, what can we do about it

        The first requires us to forecast the best we can what is going on (and as part of that the influence of increased GHGs) and the consequences.

        The second requires us to understand the relative contribution of the various levers we have at our disposal, and how hard they are to pull (eg can we push the earth a bit further from the sun:)).

        In the case of 1) the important point is that it is the attribution to (say) CO2, not humans, that we need to know. GHG sensitivity is important because it helps to sort out what the drivers are, but equally we need to understand the contributions of other things (+ve or -ve), not to mention the feed backs. The thing about low CO2 sensitivity is not what it says about what we humans have done, but what is likely to happen in the future.

        And in the case of 2), even if GHG from humans is the big problem, it might actually be easier to block other sources of natural variation or enhance negative feed backs (as some have suggested).

        Whether humans are to blame is a bit secondary to all the above.

      • Nick Stokes: “To express something as a fraction of a total makes sense if you are adding positive things. Otherwise not. What if they add to zero?”

        I understand your argument but the zero sum game works both ways. If you don’t know enough to know that the natural component was negative you don’t know enough to say that it doesn’t account for most or all of the warming.

      • nick stokes, “But the question is, how much warming has AGW caused?”

        That is a question and if you reduce the problem to A question you are implying there is A solution. The reality is that AGW could be 50% of warming and that AGHG effect could be 60% of the AGW contribution and that coal may be 30% of the AGHG effect contribution. If that is the case a lower cost carbon eating plant approach would be about three times as effective as the kill coal approach.

        It doesn’t matter if you get the numbers just right as long as you understand there may be more than one approach to reducing the problem if it actually exists. If 2 C is a magic number, the problem may not even exist relative to other problems. Other problems do exist, there is a finite supply of fossil fuels that are inexpensive to access, 30% of the arable land is significantly degraded, some cultures didn’t get the population bomb memo, ground water is being grossly over used, people get extremely grumpy when they are starving, people get almost as grumpy when they die because healthcare is inaccessible, and some people still think the easiest solution is killing other people (which is probably the most cost effective “solution”, always has been).

        To make an informed decision you have to be an expert on physics, biology, economics, political science, sociology, religion, warfare, history and marketing for a start. Having a crystal ball and a solid statistical background would also help. ,

        At least that is my observation.

      • “The bottom line is that we know CO2 has a warming potential”

        Butterflies flapping their wings have the potential to cause hurricanes – according to the chaos theory, so we need to get rid of butterflies.

      • Franktwo asks how long can short-term variability last?

        You have to measure it, isn’t that obvious, you look at ENSO and the AMO or any other topic and measure the length of the cycle. The PDO seems to have a cycle of no more than 60 years.

        based on this quote from Lorenz

        “Provided, however, that the observed trend has in no way entered the construction or operation of the models, the procedure would appear to be sound.”

        Run some of the models pair-wise one with CO2 forcing at 400 ppm and one with CO2 at 280.

        Calculate the mean temperature for each with 95% confidence intervals and if the confidence intervals do not overlap you can conclude that the two means are different and that CO2 is the cause of the change.

    • I think little nicky is right here:”The fact is that humans have been putting CO2 in the air, which can be expected to cause warming. Warming is observed. Speculating about fractional contribution doesn’t help. If you can actually estimate the amount of realised anthropogenic warming directly, then just say what it is.”

      What we want to know is how much ACO2 is likely to contribute to warming in the future. Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be. NV could contribute to warming. NV warming+ACO2 warming could be a problem.

      Judith is also correct: “So until the early warming is explained, there is little confidence in the 100% or > 100% estimates of human caused warming since 1950.”

      So nicky and his crowd have got work to do. If you can actually estimate the amount of realised anthropogenic warming directly, then just say what it is, nicky.

      • Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be.

        Wrong!

      • Your Mosher imitation is amusing, AK.

      • Wrong?
        That is a puzzle too far.

      • We should be grateful for the uncharacteristic brevity.

      • That is a puzzle too far.

        Assuming mythical phenomena like “forcing” can actually contribute to predictive models, “natural variation” can likely be divided into two categories: non-anthropogenic “forcing”, and unforced variation.

        Even the former cannot be assumed to combine in a linear fashion with the anthropogenic “forcing”. So the “natural variation” from this source won’t necessarily be additive with the result of anthropogenic “forcing”.

        And this goes double for unforced variation. This might be said to constitute the results, at time Ti, of the evolution of the entire system from its state at time T0. Moreover, the relative sizes of “cause” (difference between two comparable states at time T0), and “effect” (difference between two comparable states at time Ti), aren’t limited. IOW, a small “cause” can have a large “effect”: stuff doesn’t “cancel out”.

        A good example of this is discussed by Tamsin Edwards:

        We looked at two scenarios of human activity – business-as-usual (called A1B) or strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (E1) – and the results were quite surprising. Strangely the second scenario seems to have more sea level rise.

        […]

        So in this study mitigation gives a couple of centimetres sea level contribution from Antarctica by 2100, and five or more by 2200; business-as-usual gives about a centimetre by 2100, and one to five by 2200.

        Of course this only applies to the sea-level rise contribution from one mechanism (Antarctic response to modeled warming). And it does so for what is simply another model, albeit a much more faithful one. And…

        This extra clarity comes at a price: we can only simulate part of the ice sheet at a time, because the calculations are so slow. The study looks at four parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet: above is a simulation of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, with the two great ice streams Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier. The large dividing lines are 128 km (80 miles) apart, roughly the distance from Bristol to Reading, so that’s about how wide the mouth of Thwaites Glacier is now. [my bold]

        But it does give you a flavor of how real-world hyper-complex non-linear systems work.

      • We should be grateful for the uncharacteristic brevity.

        That’s right: a short comment — “you didn’t explain”.

        A long comment — “tl:dr“.

        Isn’t that called a “catch-22”?

      • But, AK. As I customarily do when I see one of your interminable comments with a lot of italics, links and whatever, I skipped it. Still, I can state with virtual certainty that you did not make a case that this is wrong:

        “Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be.”

        To demonstrate that incontrovertible statement is wrong, you would have to show us why we should believe that:

        “Natural variation will not be whatever it’s going to be.”

      • Don Monfort” If you can actually estimate the amount of realised anthropogenic warming directly, then just say what it is.”

        Frank Hobbs (aka frank/too): Since Cook’s 97% consensus doesn’t specify the amount of realized anthropogenic warming, don’t use it to justify any particular policy.

        Don continued: “What we want to know is how much ACO2 is likely to contribute to warming in the future.”

        Frank: Exactly. The past warming attributable to aCO2 can be used to roughly project the warming likely to follow future increases in aCO2. Defining “most” to include 50% means that your projections include the possibility of an ECS of 1 degC! Defining “most” to mean greater than say 80% still doesn’t get you anywhere near the ECS displayed by most climate models. Even statements attributing “most” global warming don’t endorse any particular policy. Fear of the unknown is driving policy.

        Cook (2013) chose to define most as greater than 50%, but (if I remember correctly), they didn’t discuss the 87% consensus they found on this subject.

      • But, AK. As I customarily do when I see one of your interminable comments with a lot of italics, links and whatever, I skipped it.

        I know. You don’t understand and don’t want to understand. You just want to make snarky comments that discredit real skeptics by association.

        I can state with virtual certainty that you did not make a case that this is wrong:

        “Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be.”

        To demonstrate that incontrovertible statement is wrong, you would have to show us why we should believe that:

        “Natural variation will not be whatever it’s going to be.”

        You want to play Willard-style games then?

        In some contexts you’d be right. Not this one.

        The whole issue of “how much ACO2 is likely to contribute to warming in the future” is in the context of whether and how much to do (and spend) to control the “ACO2”.

        But changes to “ACO2” will probably produce differences in unforced variation. Which is an arguably large part of “Natural variation

        So, while technically “Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be”, it probably won’t be whatever it would have been with different “ACO2”. Which was implied in your statement, even if not specifically stated.

      • I will help you just this one time, AK.

        “So, while technically “Natural variation will be whatever it’s going to be”, it probably won’t be whatever it would have been with different “ACO2”. Which was implied in your statement, even if not specifically stated.”

        No, dummy. That wasn’t implied in my statement. Whatever warming there is in the future will consist of two parts (1) natural (2) caused by humans. Whatever influence that ACO2 might have on natural variability will be (watch this) caused by humans.

        If you want to speculate on what natural variability would look like in the absence of the ACO2 that we know is going to be there, waste your own freaking time, but leave the rest of us out of it.

      • I will help you just this one time, AK.

        And do I need help from a probable warmist flying false colors?

        No, dummy.

        Pot:kettle:black

        That wasn’t implied in my statement.

        It certainly was likely to be inferred by any normal reader.

        Whatever warming there is in the future will consist of two parts (1) natural (2) caused by humans.

        Wrong!

      • You are not very bright, AK. Thanks for reminding me why I skip your comments. I just made the mistake of reading that silly one word deal. Please don’t do that again. Stay true to form, you boring little rascal. Now go right ahead and continue to embarrass yourself without my participation. I prefer to waste my time on yimmy.

      • > In some contexts you’d be right. Not this one.

        The only context in which it would not be right to “skip” AK’s comments is when it mentions my name.

      • You are probably right about that, willy. And I just realized that I slighted you in my previous comment to the dummy. I should have said I prefer to waste my time on yimmy and willy.

    • Is it the putting of CO2 in the atmosphere or the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere? Land use accounts for about a third of the CO2 “put” in the atmosphere and could account for close a third of the CO2 remaining in the atmosphere due to reduction of longer term land sinks.

      Coal use right now is about 25% to 30% of total global energy use (~39% of electrical power generation) and close to 1/3 of that is used in steel production. In order to avoid fossil fuel use, conserved land and forests are being converted to fuel farming and a fairly substantial area somewhat arable land will be covered with utility scale solar projects when the area of already impermeable surfaces is more than adequate to produce the same solar energy capture. Since hydropower is considered renewable, quite a few wild tropical and subtropical river systems are going to be converted into hydro-electric projects which will increase access to more tropical forests. Those reservoirs appear to be net emitters of GHG while the forests are net sinks in most cases. In several instances that renewable hydro is being demolished because the environmental costs were higher than expected.

      The consensus should be that increasing atmospheric CO2 levels are likely bad (97% consensus). Then let the people work from that instead of demonizing something that might just lead to greater demons or recommending something outside of your field of expertise. Who was it said, “never miss a good opportunity to keep your mouth shut?”

    • Yes, and that cooling could continue for decades or centuries. I sure hope we produce enough GHGs to keep food productivity up to adequate levels.

    • You scenario implies that variability is far greater than assumed and thus forcing is less important to climate impacts on society.

    • This is often put forward as a reason for caution, and since we don’t know, it is reasonable to put it the other way as well – what if 99% of the warming is natural and 1% due to anthropogenic influences (all anthropogenic influences, not just GHGs)? In that case, no CO2 mitigation strategy, no matter how successful, will do very much temperature-wise, but will certainly cause economic detriment in terms of lost opportunity costs, and most likely this will have a disproportionate affect on the poor, for whom energy will be more difficult to procure and more expensive than it otherwise would.
      Regardless of that, all policy choices create winners and losers. For a society that believes in fairness, equality and freedom, surely policy that skews the playing field (such as subsidies etc) – if seen as desirable at all – should be designed to assign “winning” to whose are least able to afford it, and “losing” to those most able to afford it? For example, subsidising child care should target single parents working two jobs for minimum wage, not CEOs earning multi-million dollar salaries, and GHG mitigation policies should target those with 000’s of frequent flier miles, not those with a 10 year old car they are struggling to keep on the road in order to keep their family fed. And yet all the mitigation effort, supported most vehemently by the loudest supporters of fairness, equality et al, appear to be doing the exact opposite – tax breaks and energy subsidies for those who can afford the $00,000s to install solar PV, for example, or refusal to loan money to poor countries to help create infrastructure vital to life saving healthcare and basic foodstuff transport because it relies on fossil fuels, while the current “cheap” factory location for the western world mobile phones and other toys is allowed to increase fossil fuel use 100’s if not 1000’s of times as much.
      Is that because the people responsible don’t know?(ignorance) Or maybe they don’t care?(sloth) Or maybe it’s deliberate so as to line their own pockets? (greed)

      • Don’t forget the state and federal subsidies funded by the rich tax payer at the bottom of the economic scale to those poor folks buying $80,000 Teslas.

    • Nick wrote: “It is quite possible that the natural component provide net cooling – what to say then? AGW caused 150% of observed warming?”

      Frank Hobbs (aka franktoo) replies: You are right, Nick. aGHGs could have caused 150% of observed warming. Combining that hypothesis/assumption with Otto (2013), produces an ECS of 3.0 degC. The logical consequence would be to make policy appropriate for an ECS of 3.0 degC. aGHGs could have caused 200% of observed warming; implying policy based on ECS of 4.0 degC.

      When one hasn’t decided what fraction of warming that has been caused by aGHG, then your unspecified attribution can’t be used to support a particular policy. Which is quite frustrating, because the 97% consensus is the first thing every Democratic legislature mentions as the reason we need to take legislative action.

      When one endorses a percentage or minimum percentage of warming that is due to aGHGs, then there are policy implications that flow from the ECS that is implied. One can’t say that attributing an unspecified amount of warming to aGHGs provides support for any particular policy. The right policy could be one appropriate for an ECS of 1 or 4 degC. There is no policy appropriate for both. YOU may wan’t to ASSUME some probability distribution encompassing both 1 and 4 degC and make a policy recommendation based on that pdf. Cook (2013) provides no information about such a pdf.

      You can obtain a pdf from climate models, but Cook’s 97% consensus is not about models, It is a statement about the past, not the future. FWIW, it is not appropriate to abstract a pdf from the output of climate models either. AR4 recognized their climate models as “an ensemble of opportunity” didn’t explore parameter space and the full range of future climate consistent with climate physics.

      https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-1.html
      https://judithcurry.com/2013/06/30/how-should-we-interpret-an-ensemble-of-models-part-ii-climate-models/

    • Warming is observed. Speculating about fractional contribution doesn’t help. If you can actually estimate the amount of realised anthropogenic warming directly, then just say what it is.
      ########

      +1

      • Speculating about fractional contribution doesn’t help. Especially unhelpful are the clowns who speculate that it’s >100%.

        +1 to myself

      • Steve: Warming is observed. If you don’t know how much warming was caused by aGHGs, you can’t draw any useful conclusions from the warming that was observed.

        I speculated about how much warming might have been caused by GHGs to illustrate why quantitative attribution is critical, and non-quantitative attribute useless for developing a sensible policy. Speculation about motives is dangerous and non-scientific. However, the facts are that Cook asked his raters to distinguish between quantitative and non-quantitative attribution (and between explicit and implicit endorsement). Then they lumped all endorsements into one category. Why?

        According to Schneider, “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts.” On the other hand, Schneider explains that other standards apply to making the world a better place – to politics, Is Cook (2013) science or politics?

      • Especially when you don’t see the adverse effects that should have been clearly evident over a decade ago.

  6. JC: Typo near the end (delete “not”?):
    “Abstracts reflecting this position don’t belong in not category 7. b)”

  7. I think is very likely that both sensitivities decrease as the temperature rises. Water and convection and biosphere probably play a dampening roles. Wouldn’t be supersized if sensitivities fall below 1 in the next couple of decades.

  8. This sort of logical precision is completely lost at the political and journalistic level, more or less deliberately so. (I cannot quantify the more or less.) As I have pointed out before, the terms “global warming” and “climate change” are typically used to mean AGW and ACC. In short, attribution is built into the concept, into the very language, so it is not a scientific question at that level. This sort of sloganeering is a normal part of political rhetoric.

  9. In all honesty, this whole controversy shows what happens when non-scientist activists get involved. It is probably not that important what the exact percentage of abstracts that agree with a very vague and by itself unimportant proposition is. It is also true that 97% of scientists agree that driving automobiles is a dangerous activity. Whether its actually 80% or 99% doesn’t make any difference to most people. But politicians can always be counted on to be the champions of simplistic and misleading propagandistic statements. What is more disturbing than that a former cartoonist can be lead author on such a flawed study, is that it was the most downloaded paper for a journal that I assume has wide exposure. Perhaps, Markey had a staffer create 10,000 user id’s and use each one to download the paper. That’s the kind of thing politicians do these days. Perhaps the pre-planned by Cook favorable Amazon book reviews of Mann’s book is indicative of the strategy used.

  10. 97 percent of all Enron employees believed Enron was a great company…. 97% of all economists believed that central planning was a rational form of economic organization a half century ago …. Etc.

  11. The quick response to give to those 97% claims is, “The consensus is about AGW, but the debate is about CAGW.”

    Another one is, “And they’ve been 97% wrong.” (Actually, not quite that yet.)
    ====

    The paper of Cook’s is a great opportunity to counterpunch the 97% meme with an accurate survey of a representative sample. It should count only (or separately) “attribution” papers, it should poll authors about the degree of their alarmism (i.e., AGW or CAGW), and it should ask them if their degree of alarm has mitigated in recent years, as new less alarmist papers have come out. George Mason U. should be given a grant to conduct a new survey of members of the AGU and AMU. It’s been about eight years since the last one.

    This George Mason Univ. poll, run for them by the Harris polling organization in 2007 at http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union. It did not cherry pick the respondants who gave them the answer they wanted, and it asked more sophisticated questions [than the Doran and Anderegg surveys]. Under its “Major Findings” are these paragraphs:

    “Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.

    “Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest [11%] are unsure.
    “Scientists still debate the dangers. A slight majority (54%) believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is NOT “within the range of natural temperature fluctuation.”

    “A slight majority (56%) see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius or more during the next 50 to 100 years. (The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites this increase as the point beyond which additional warming would produce major environmental disruptions.)

    “Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.”

    IOW, 59% doubt the “catastrophic” potential of AGW. I suspect that number would be higher now, after eight more mostly flat years.

  12. This is a very good ‘technical’ post. An addendum is that Tol has published on how the Cook methodology was flawed from the gitgo.
    But, it is very problematic as a political counter soundbite. And the battle is now political. The trick is simplifying what more than who:

    There is probably better than 97% consensus among scientists that AGW exists, since there is so much reseach money to be had. And that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, known since Tyndall in 1849. And that the world has warmed since the LIA; London no longer has ice fairs. And that natural variability exists, since the warming from ~1920 to ~1945 could not have been CO2 caused–not enough CO2. Nor the cooling from 1945-1970.

    But there is no such consensus on much else. Only about half of professional meteorologists (AMO survey) think warming since 1975 is mostly anthropogenic. Why? 1/3 of the Keeling curve increase in CO2 occured this century (since 2000), a period in which 4 weather balloon and two satellite datasets show there has been no warming at all. Observational sensitivity is about half that in climate models. Weather extremes are not increasing, as even IPCC SREX said. Sea level rise is not accelerating. Polar bears are thriving, since their feeding depends on spring ice, not the silly ‘Al Gore consensus’ late summer ice. Which, by way, is cyclically recovering rather than disappearing as the ‘Gore consensus’ had it.

    97% of true scientists are not foolish enough to continue backing failed projections. Only 97% of those whose careers and funding are built squarely on a belief in CAGW.

    • +100

      Totally agree.

      Your 2 paragraphs can be converted into a very clear and simple 5-10 viewgraph Ppt and should be included in future congressional testimony by skeptical scientists.

    • ” (since 2000), a period in which 4 weather balloon and two satellite datasets show there has been no warming at all. Observational sensitivity is about half that in climate models. Weather extremes are not increasing, as even IPCC SREX said. Sea level rise is not accelerating. Polar bears are thriving, since their feeding depends on spring ice, not the silly ‘Al Gore consensus’ late summer ice. ”

      doom was predicted
      didn’t happen
      moreover, those that predict doom react to the the lack of doom by predicting more doom

      nothing will stop this until a real existential crisis shows up

      my money is on the one that that President Obama was busy expressing faux toughness about this last week

    • Maybe I’m a low example of the human kind, but to keep a job or stay out of trouble or make a sale or show loyalty I’ve been guilty of going along with all sorts of doubtful stuff.

      Or maybe I’m too self-analytical now, and most people are just like me. Maybe 97% are like me, whether they know it or not.

      Even rebellion can have its rewards. Lots of people calculate their defiance and frankness to how much the market will stand. There are those free spirits who “speak truth to power” when they know the “power” can’t do much to hurt them and that the applause and attention will far outweigh any penalty. (They’ll spit and swear in a church, but take their shoes off and stay quiet as little mice in certain other centres of worship.)

      Yet being a shabby fellow myself, I still most admire the likes of Semmelweis, who investigated, who observed, who contradicted, who defied, who was right and who paid a huge price. We are but stewards of his excellence.

      For all my tendency to sarcasm I’m not much of a hater. I really don’t think the consensus is doing anything worse than what a salesman might have to do to feed his family. It’s just that the cost of the climatariat is comparable to the cost of a major war. It’s not forestalling disaster, it IS disaster. We can’t afford their conformism and fudging. If they were just writing the text for labels on energy drinks or explaining the wonders of freeze-dried axolotl liver I’d leave ’em alone.

      • Moso, merry christmas from up over to down under. Your ruminations on my comments are welcome at any time either hemisphere. You are a hero in my view. I am a mere former lawyer business guy slaving toward energy truth, who accidentally stumbled upon CAGW along the way. May you progress towards politically potent soundbites.

      • Merry Christmas, Rudyard.

      • Generalissimo (aka ATTC),

        Thanks for this post. I was unfamiliar with Semmelweis and spent a couple of hours this morning getting educated.

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

        A fascinating history with many learnings.

        The climatariat must be defeated. With any luck their foolishness and lack of integrity will lead to self destruction.

    • “But, it is very problematic as a political counter soundbite. ”

      It isn’t a serious statement, so in politics the mistake is to deal with it seriously. It requires an equally outrageous response. Preferably a complete non sequitur. Move the debate to the process rather than the content.

    • Unfortunately, much of what Richard Tol has said about this paper is misguided, if not completely false. Even now he continues to say things about the paper he either knows are false or at least knows he has no basis to claim are true.

      For instance, when Cook et al added abstracts to their database, some got duplicated. That’s a common enough problem when adding data to a database, and John Cook did what anyone else would do – he deleted the duplicates. This had no effect on anything save to leave some gaps the index number for the papers. Because the data files for the paper used those index values, the data files had some gaps in the index numbers that were caused by this.

      Since discovering this unremarkable fact, Richard Tol has repeatedly claimed it proves there were more papers in the Cook et al data set than they acknowledged. He has never had any basis for this, and even after being told what the real explanation is, he has continued to repeat his claims as fact. This sort of behavior is wrong and dishonest, but as far as I’ve seen, no skeptics have called him out on it. Nor have they called him out on a number of other false criticisms he’s raised.

      Ironically, if Richard Tol were conducting a false flag operation, he couldn’t possibly do a better job. His actions have allowed John Cook and his associates to pretend to address the criticisms of their paper by addressing weak arguments by Richard Tol (and Christopher Monckton, and a couple others) while ignoring the central issue which this post focuses on. That issue was discovered within a day of the paper being published, and it is by far the most damning issue with the paper, but for some reason, skeptics have allowed tons of other talking points to muddy the waters so nobody pays attention to it.

      If skeptics want to do well, they need to stop promoting stupid arguments as being equal, or even superior, to good arguments. Until they do, people like John Cook can get away with anything just because they can count on skeptics to say tons of stupid stuff that’s easy to rebut and make a spectacle of even as they studiously ignore the real problems.

      • > Ironically, if Richard Tol were conducting a false flag operation, he couldn’t possibly do a better job. His actions have allowed John Cook and his associates to pretend to address the criticisms of their paper by addressing weak arguments by Richard Tol (and Christopher Monckton, and a couple others) while ignoring the central issue which this post focuses on.

        Yet Frank repeats Richard Tol’s 3% claim:

        Cook (2013) discusses only 11,944 abstracts, 3% fewer than the project database currently contains.

        Perhaps Brandon missed that mention?

        Other unsourced mentions of RT’s arguments might be present elsewhere in the post.

        ***

        Moreover, if the “central issue” is Brandon’s, it has been addressed many times, e.g.:

        Over at Lucia’s, Brandon Shollenberger […]

        The 97% is arrived at by adding up categories 1 to 3 and taking that as a percentage of all categories except 4. This percentage is actually 98% using the numbers above, but these are obtained via a shortcut.

        Of course, various other fractions could be calculated from this list, each with a slightly different meaning. E.g. of those abstracts making a statement about the quantitative contribution of human activity to the warming, 87% (65/75) endorsed dominant human causation. And of those abstracts expressing an explicit position on the cause of global warming, 97.6% (999/1024) endorsed human causation.

        Any way you slice it, a strong consensus it is.

        https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/

        I’d rather say that Frank’s main contribution is to have produced five abstracts that he believes have been misindentified, with the rather unsubtle “these abstracts illustrate ratings misjudgments that might be present elsewhere in the study” dogwhistle.

      • Willard: I drew no conclusions from the extra 3%. I simply wanted to acknowledge the existence of a difference that I assumed was irrelevant to my analysis.

      • > I simply wanted to acknowledge the existence of a difference that I assumed was irrelevant to my analysis.

        You have not cited where you got that 3%. Neither have you said that you found this 3% irrelevant in your analysis.

        You’re using the “I’m just noting” trick to stack up your deck. I find that suboptimal.

      • @Brandon
        The discrepancy in Cook’s sample size was never properly explained. I have seen only seen Sou Hotwhopper paraphrasing an email from John Cook. That explanation hinges on Cook having manually downloaded the data from the Web of Science in small chunks of uneven size. While implausible, it does also explain why his data cannot be reproduced in later queries.

      • While implausible, it does also explain why his data cannot be reproduced in later queries.

        No, it simply means that a Professor of Economics is incapable of realising that given that they defined social science papers as “not climate related” that they used the Science Citation Index in Web of Science only. If you restrict your search in this way, you can indeed largely reproduce their data. Of course, it’s not exactly the same, since any search done now will include a few abstracts that were added after the paper was published. Most would realise that no study can be expected to include data that was only introduced after the study was complete. It seems that a Professor of Economics also doesn’t understand that time travel is still not possible.

      • ATTP,

        No, it simply means that a Professor of Economics is incapable of realising that ….

        It seems that a Professor of Economics also doesn’t understand that time travel is still not possible.

        Why do your feel you need to make such rude replies to someone who has done so much for quantitative analysis of what is actually relevant for rational policy analysis and decision making? Do you really think such rudeness boosts your stature, or is it just an ego trip?

        Happy Christmas Richard Tol, and everyone else, (even those who are deniers of the relevant facts).

      • Peter,

        Why do your feel you need to make such rude replies to someone who has done so much for quantitative analysis of what is actually relevant for rational policy analysis and decision making?

        I’ve no idea why you think you’re in a position to comment on other people’s supposed rudeness. Is it only others who are expected to be polite?

        The real reason I posted the comment in the manner that I did is because this issue is so absolutely trivial that someone of Richard’s stature should be embarrassed to ask the questions that he’s asking. If he doesn’t like this being pointed out, maybe he should stop asking stupid questions.

      • David Springer

        If I had a dog with face like Ken Rice I’d shave its ass and teach it to walk backwards.

      • Springer,
        Oh no, Peter’s going to be very upset that you’ve been rude…..oh, hold on?

      • David Springer

        I thought you needed company. It appeared you were the only assh0le in the thread. Merry Christmas dopey.

      • @wottsy
        SSCI v SCI does not explain the discrepancy. WoS does retain when an entry was added to the database, so while time travel is not possible, you can reconstruct historical queries.

      • SSCI v SCI does not explain the discrepancy.

        I did a search in May 2013 that returned 12547. Cook et als original – completed in May 2012 – returned 12465. If I do the search today I get 12605. Seems pretty consistent to me. I’m pretty sure you’ll disagree.

        WoS does retain when an entry was added to the database, so while time travel is not possible, you can reconstruct historical queries.

        This appears to not be true. I have tried to do this myself, unsucessfully. I’ve also asked you how to do this and you have yet to explain. You could always do so. If you’re right you could also go back and do a search using Science Citation Index only for May2012 and see what you get. You haven’t done so.

      • @wottsy
        12547 – 12465 = 82 > 64

        64 is the number of Category 1 papers by Cook.

        In other words, if Cook’s missing papers are missing for any other reasons than his clumsiness in downloading data, then his headline result would be substantially different.

        It would therefore be good if Cook could explain the discrepancies in sample size.

        Note that they were alerted to this a long time ago, and have ignored the matter.

      • Richard,
        (12605 – 12465)/3.5 = 40. So, that would suggest that WoS has added on average 40 per year. Hence, at least 40 of the difference between the search in May 2012 and May 2013, were added after May 2012 and can’t reasonably be expected to have been included in Cook et al. (given that they could not – in May 2012 – have know that these would be added). Also, given that one might expect more to be added in earlier years, than later years, it’s probably more than 40 between May 2012 and May 2013. Therefore, they cannot have left as many as 82 out, given that at least 40 were added after May 2012. Seriously, you can’t be this dense, can you?

        In other words, if Cook’s missing papers are missing for any other reasons than his clumsiness in downloading data, then his headline result would be substantially different.

        This would only be true if he explicitly left out papers with a specific rating, which seems very unlikely, given that it wouldn’t have made much difference. So, come on, make the accusation. Get it out there. Stop beating around the bush. Could it be that you know that what you’re saying is ludicrous and that it’s easier to just ask questions, than to actually say what you’re implying?

        Note that they were alerted to this a long time ago, and have ignored the matter.

        I really don’t think you’re in a position to criticise other for ignoring people who alert them to problems with their paper.

    • Funny, last monster el nino flipped the PDO toward a negative phase.

      Positive index /= positive phase.

      Now imagine something really catastrophic. Upwelling Kelvin wave reinforces eastern pacific upwelling by February, el nino heat dissipates out to the northern pacific and then west (spiking the PDO up to even higher positive numbers). Westerly winds weaken and become more southerly than westerly. We see more pacific storms reach the arctic. Tropospheric temps spike upward as heat is belched out to be radiated away. Alaska and Canada can’t handle the storms and we have to rescue many communities (and maybe need help of Russians). Russians temporarily move into the relatively abandoned territories just for the fun of it. By end of 2017 surface temps are back where they were in 2013.

    • JCH:

      You can no longer use the “C” since aTTP pointed out it is unscientific and utterly subjective.

      https://judithcurry.com/2015/12/13/a-closer-look-at-scenario-rcp8-5/#comment-751215

      • Continuing Anthropogenic Global Warming!

        Aaron – 2013 is tied for the 5th warmest year in the record

      • Yeah. What, do you expect cooling within two years? I think we might see a lot of latent heat release (ie, big increase in snow and ice, if not this year, within 10), that will raise troposphere temps. There’s a lot of heat in the ocean surface now. It will take time for it to radiate away. I don’t really expect warming or cooling over the next 5 years or so.

        If we don’t see an upward step change after this el Nino, likely hood global warming will be anything but beneficial is pretty much nil.

      • Whoa! 1910 to 1940! Every time I see that graph I wonder what gramps was up to.

        Maybe gramps was in the pay of Big Paraffin. Archduke Ferdinand threatened to blow the whistle on the climate destroyers who were undermining renewable whale oil. Then some Serb with a loaded FN Model 1910 just happened to spot Ferdinand’s cortege. Yeah, right.

      • Mosomoso,

        You don’t need to see the 1910-40 rise.
        That isn’t the rise you are looking for.
        You can go about your business.
        Move along.

    • Great link. Here’s a comment on it there by “Mike R”:

      It is important to note that 80+% is a very high percentage, and 97% is a very high percentage.
      Nevertheless, the pro-AGW activists are constantly pushing 97% (see the wikipedia page for how many times they try to get it in) for a very good reason. 80+% means that 20% of solid research scientists don’t agree: it’s still an _open question_. 97% means that no one but crazies disagree. That is the impression they are trying to give. No True Scientist.

  13. Cruz should introduce a bill to tell the NSF to give grants to survey knowledgeable scientists (in climatology or related disciplines) and to ask sophisticated questions. (Cruz could include a few examples.) Who could object and be believed that he wasn’t covering up? If the Dems vote it down, they’ll look as though they’re hiding something.

    If it turns out that only 67%, or 50%, of such respondees are alarmed, that would take away an alarmist talking point, relieve pressure for action NOW, and tarnish the credibility of the alarmist camp for exaggerating their case so loudly and by such a wide margin.

  14. Table 2 makes an error — one that is commonly made, and revealing about the sloppy nature of discussion about climate. It gives the wrong attribution statement about GHG in AR5, and so implies that the IPCC finding has become more confident about GHG.

    “Table 2. IPCC statements attributing global warming to anthropogenic GHGs.”

    The finding from AR5 listed in table 2 concerns all anthropogenic forcings; previous ARs had no equivalent findings. The relevant finding in AR5 (Chapter 10, page 884) is almost identical to that in AR4 (emphasis added):

    “We conclude, consistent with Hegerl et al. (2007b) {i.e., chapter 9 of AR4}, that more than half of the observed increase in GMST {global mean surface temperature} from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in GHG {greenhouse gas} concentrations.”

    The widespread belief that the IPCC has become more confident about the effect of GHG supports policy actions such as Obama’s Clean Power Plan. How sad that it is false. How sad that this falsehood is so widely believed, even by climate scientists.

    • Additional note: by “IPCC has become more confident” I referred to the barrage of such statements after publication of AR5. Only a few noted that the attribution statement about GHG was unchanged.

    • The first version of this post I submitted to Judith Included the next paragraph from the AR5 attribution state, which I considered trying to discuss when I pasted it. The whole post was on the long side, so this part was trimmed. AR5’s attribution isn’t critical to a discussion of the IPCC’s changing views on human attribution that one might expect to be reflected in the results in Cook (2013). The next paragraph is interesting for other reasons.

      Dealing with the ambiguities created by attribution to humans and to aGHGs was difficult. I tried to discuss attribution to aGHGs, since this provides the most straightforward path to policy relevant. Cook discusses both, apparently interchangeably. If I started with the perspective that anything modern man has changed is a bad thing,I would reach a wider audience discussing attribution to humans.

  15. 97% consensus is a political statement to influence policy makers on a global decarbonizing agenda. Bandwagons, and to be sure politicians are keenly aware of getting on the right bandwagon at the right time, are a necessary driver of social change whether for good or evil.

    Frank Hobb’s deconstruction of Cook (2013) lends perspective to the numbers used and how they were aggregated to produce Cook’s sausage. Nevertheless, the “Big Lie” is an effective technique for public manipulation.

    “A big lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” (Wiki)

    The “Big Lie” is no less an effective political device today as yesteryear. The colossus, that man is the instrument of the destruction of earth’s habitability by burning fossil fuels, fuels an agenda to impede man’s evolution and progress.

    By articulating that there is such an agenda to a greater public is good way of deconstructing the “Big Lie”, relegating the “Big Lie” to other past efforts of controlling mankind.

    • Coud the Big Lie be exposed for what it is? Suppose a Senator mentioning the 97% consensus were challenged about his use of this phrase. The witnesses for both sides could be asked to submit written testimony for the record the implications of attributing 50% or 100% of observed warming to GHGs using Otto (2013). (Or asked to explain why Otto (2013) wasn’t the appropriate framework.) Then the press is tipped off when the written testimony is published by the committee.

  16. Anyone who has acknowledged a positive imbalance, and this includes the sensitivity papers such as Otto and Lewis and Curry, has implicitly given a >100% attribution. The positive remaining imbalance means that all the warming so far has not counteracted the forcing, and the forcing in these papers is dominated by GHGs. So, if I was evaluating a paper, and they acknowledge both that heating is still in the pipeline and that the forcing until now has been dominated by GHGs, then they have implicitly given a majority of the attribution to GHGs.

    • I cannot understand your first sentence. It makes no sense, as stated.

    • The entire predicate and iron clad assumption is that 2100 will be warmer than today. But let’s take a flyer and say it is not. Assuming it will be 1 degree C cooler, then apportioning the causes becomes purely academic. It seems the effective temperature change is the only metric that is important. If it plays out this way then the phantom effect of CO2 is just a topic for sewing bees.

    • In Lewis and Curry delta Q is the warming in the pipeline, a positive number that indicates the imbalance left over from the warming due to the forcing so far. Its existence as a positive imbalance says that all the warming so far still has not offset the forcing change. Furthermore, they acknowledge that GHGs dominate the forcing change so far. Therefore >100% attribution follows. GHGs dominate forcing. All the warming so far is still insufficient to cancel the forcing. Not only Lewis and Curry, but Lindzen and Monckton have made implicit assumptions of this forcing dominance when they calculate their sensitivities from temperature changes and forcing.

      • a positive imbalance says that all the warming so far still has not offset the forcing change.

        But CERES ( the basis of Trenberth’s budget ) says it has:

      • stay tuned for a new post on energy balance – two new papers forthcoming, and one of the authors will do a guest post

      • TE, the fact that the ocean heat content is rising is more certainly known and it says that there is a positive imbalance, so this agrees with Lewis and Curry, and surprises no one, except perhaps you.

      • TE, the fact that the ocean heat content is rising is more certainly known and it says that there is a positive imbalance, so this agrees with Lewis and Curry, and surprises no one, except perhaps you.

        You believe that ocean data because it tells you want you want to hear.
        You like the CERES data as long as it tells you what you want, but run from it when it contradicts you.

      • Lewis and Curry used OHC for their evidence too, plus the fact of sea-level rise rates over the century. They are hardly motivated towards this result but find it compelling enough to put in their paper.

      • So, there are questions about the OHC ( what is the total OHC? how might transfers from sub 2000m or otherwise have afected the numbers? what is the OHC of the polar regions which are largely unsampled? ). But assuming they are correct, and assuming that the OHC uptake represents anthropogenic heat, that means global warming is limited because it will necessarily take a long time ( centuries after population declines ) for heat to emerge and it will emerge very slowly, meaning, as we know, that the oceans tend to moderate earth temperature.

      • Possibly interesting to do a comparison between CERES and UAH

      • It’d also be really good to look at CERES in the el Nino regions and look at radiative data for the 90s and compare to 2000s.

        I’m really curious what wind, cloud cover, and precip do during this el Nino and following year and compared to 97/98. Didn’t 97 start with a la Nina burst to charge the warm pool and this one instead started off with the remnants of last years failed el Nino still in the north pacific? Suggests very different dynamics are likely to play out. There’s also the upwelling kelvin wave that could snuff out el Nino and give us an even bigger warm blob.

      • A La Nina ended in March 1996. From then on it was ENSO neutral until the 97-98 El Nino started.

      • Right, no 2014 La Niña, intact it was near El Niño conditions, followed up with warm blog residue. This is El Niño is not as strong and not as east and there is an upwelling kelvin wave headed its way. North Pacific is already charged by 2014. Interesting couple of years ahead.

      • Richard LH,

        FWIW, I was a little curious, so I looked at the detrended, centered 11 month means of NCDC sfc temp versus CERES LW,SW, and NET.

        Here is the comparison with LW:

        Appears more correlated than either the net, or the SW:

        I’m not at all versed in these types of analyses, the data is quite noisy, and I’m not at all claiming significance, but interesting none-the-less.

      • Jim D: I fail to see your calculation to get >100%. If half of the warming since time X is natural (internal oscillation or unaccounted-for external forcing) then there is not a positive imbalance (if I understand you) and the anthropogenic forcing should be based on the temperature rise after subtracting the natural component. There is no excess.
        The way you get >100% is like Gavin has done, by saying there is a cooling component due to for example aerosols, which the warming has had to overcome.
        If however, you use the total forcing from IPCC, that includes the cooling forcings already, so that still does not make sense.

      • If you stopped adding CO2 and baked in the current level of forcing, the temperature would still rise by the difference between TCR and ECS, amybe up to half a degree. This is commonly referred to as the “warming in the pipeline”.

    • has implicitly given a >100% attribution.

      Lewis and Curry TCR 1.33°

      Now let’s do some math for post 1900 warming:
      2000: 1.33 * ln (370/296)/ln(2) = 0.43°C
      Today: 1.33 * ln (400/296)/ln(2) = 0.58°C

      It depends on whether you use the high or low estimates of warming.

      However, the L&C TCR (1.33°C) and ECS (1.64°C) give less than 2°C further warming even for CO2 levels as high as 800 PPM.

      At the likely 500 PPM peak global warming becomes a joke (about a 0.53°C temperature rise ECS).

  17. Frank-

    Interesting post. Thank you for doing this.

    To make sure my perspective to everyone at Climate Etc is clear, We accept that hypothesis 2a in

    Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/r-354.pdf

    is robust. Each of the co-authors is an AGU Fellow.

    This hypothesis reads

    “Hypothesis 2a: Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including,
    but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

    The other two hypotheses, including the one promoted by the IPCC, is rejected as given in our examples. The rejected hypothesis 2b reads

    “Hypothesis 2b: Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and are dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse
    gases, the most important of which is CO2. The adverse impact of these gases on regional and global climate constitutes the primary climate issue for the coming decades.”

    Thus, being labeled by John Cook as a “climate misinformers” is grossly inaccurate. This is equally true of my son whose book

    The Climate Fix [http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/publications/special/climate_fix/]

    makes his views cyrstal clear.

    Roger A. Pielke Sr.

    • Thanks you for pointing it out. I hope this may lead many others who have been misrepresented by Cook to speak out too.

      Perhaps the majority have been misrepresented. Perhaps all except Skeptical Science’s 12 apostles (John Cooks friends who reviewed the papers for him) will state they’ve been misrepresented. :)

    • The IPCC forcing is this. This makes 2b the clear winner. I have yet to see a version of this diagram that supports 2a, making that statement surprising to say the least. What were they thinking?

      • justanotherpersonii

        What were they thinking? Maybe if you had read their paper you would’ve seen that they took this position because of the NRC report they cited, which summarizes the peer-reviewed literature: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11175/radiative-forcing-of-climate-change-expanding-the-concept-and-addressing.
        Dr. Pielke was on the committee which devised that report, the Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate, and Dr. Curry on the Climate Research Board at the time of that report’s publishing. If you want to know why the authors chose 2b, read the whole paper then read the NRC report.

      • justanotherpersonii

        Excuse me, I should’ve said, “the peer-reviewed literature on this topic:”

      • ANT is anthropogenic local warming which is unaffected by GHG changes. It could be interpreted that ANT causes warming and the other effects play tag with each other.

        If OA is less than GHG has to be less.

      • PA, no, ANT is total anthropogenic which is itself dominated by GHGs as in hypothesis 2b. We need to see the hypothesis 2a version of this diagram to make sense of what Pielke is asserting, so if someone can bring that up, we can talk about it.

    • Roger: Thanks for your kind comment. To avoid confusion, I want to say that I chose Cook’s list of “climate misinformers” simply to avoid any claim that the names I analyzed were cherry-picked to produce a particular outcome. My personal list of “climate misinformers” would be quite different.. It takes integrity to stand up to the consensus. FWIW, I asked my college-age son (who is interested in both technical analysis and government) to read “The Honest Broker”. (I’d like to apologize for any misunderstanding.)

      It is interesting to note that your amazing publication record wasn’t picked up by Cook’s search terms. I didn’t look into this issue.

      • > It takes integrity to stand up to the consensus.

        It’s far from clear Senior stands up to the consensus on attribution:

        Speaking of failures to respond, the following have yet to be answered:

        (1) [H]ow exactly is figure ES-2 from your 2005 NAS link any broader than the 2013 IPCC figure SPM.5?

        (2) [C]ould you please say if you think this is a scientifically robust perspective: “More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.”

        (3) Has the perspective been submitted as a formal comment to the IPCC?

        Let’s add this other one:

        (4) In what way can we infer that what has not been refuted is robust?

        Silence would imply revelation.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-58536

        Incidentally, Senior cites the very same op-ed he cited in that thread, that op-ed with a book chapter and an old NRC report which does not even say what he pretends it says.

        INTEGRITY ™ – That’s What It Takes

  18. The trouble with Cook’s consensus does not end there. See
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421514002821

    See also
    http://richardtol.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/nonsensus-ctd.html
    That paper has been accepted for publication by ERL, but they are in no hurry to publish. Note that the answers to the questions are known. Cook will have avoid answering the questions, lie, or undermine his work. Recall that, in response to Dean’s question, Cook opted to answer frankly (inter-rater reliability is low) and attack decades of statistical theory on reliability testing.

    • Congrats on acceptance, finally. It needs to get published in ERL and ‘soundbitized’

    • Richard: I’m glad you are having some success. However, I’d prefer an unchallenged consensus on non-quantitative human attribution that is acknowledged to be irrelevant to policymaking to a dubious consensus being used to create polciy.

    • NONSENSUS is the right word. Cook’s cooking is junk.

    • Richard,

      Note that the answers to the questions are known. Cook will have avoid answering the questions, lie, or undermine his work.

      If you know the answers, why are you asking? It’s almost as if – after publishing hundreds of papers – you still don’t understand the concept of academic scholarship and the whole point of publishing papers; it’s not normallying to just ask questions. As I may have suggested before, rather than simply JAQing, you should explicitly make your accusations against Cook et al. and allow them to defend themselves.

      Also, it’s somewhat ironic that you would suggest that Cook might lie, given that – unless you’ve changed it – your new paper has at least one, if not more, claims that are untrue, and that you know to be untrue.

      • @wottsywotts
        As you well know, I first try to critique Cook, but the powers that be at ERL proclaimed that criticizing methods is not what academics do — perfectly illustrating the sorry state of the environmental sciences.

        Ben Dean showed that asking pseudo-innocent questions is allowed, so that’s what I did:

        Dear Mr Cook,

        Your excellent paper has an unfortunate omission. You collected data during two distinct periods. Please reassure the reader that no one involved in the second period data collection had the opportunity to inspect the results from the first period. Your paper would be so much stronger if you could take away this minor concern.

        Yours sardonically,

        Richard Tol

      • Richie Rice,

        As you well know, I first try to critique Cook, but the powers that be at ERL proclaimed that criticizing methods is not what academics do — perfectly illustrating the sorry state of the environmental sciences.

        Yes, I realise, hence my comment. Hasn’t crossed your mind that maybe they’re correct? If you really have an issue with a piece of published research, you – ideally – do it again properly, not spend years whining about it. I can just imagine the editorial meeting where they discussed what to do about your continual complaints: “maybe if we let him publish a response, he’ll go away?”. Of course, they are presumably completely unaware of your super-human powers of persistence.

        I note that you haven’t commented on my point about your own paper containing claims that you know to be untrue.

      • That was meant to be “Richie Rich”, of course :-)

      • There are indeed two interpretations. Either my concerns are frivolous and unfounded, or authors and editors reckon they can brazen this one out.

      • There are indeed two interpretations. Either my concerns are frivolous and unfounded, or authors and editors reckon they can brazen this one out.

        No, there is at least one other interpretation: you are intentionally trying to undermine a study, the result of which you know to be roughly correct, because it undermines the narrative that you would like to promote. I note you still haven’t responded to my point that your own paper contains claims that you know to be untrue.

      • Can you tell us in your own words what result of Cook et al. is roughly correct., kenny?

        What is the consensus that they found?

      • You can have it in Richard’s own words

        The consensus is of course in the high nineties. No one ever said it was not. We don’t need Cook’s survey to tell us that.

      • Richard, keep ignoring aTTP, it’s obviously driving him bananas.

      • What is the freaking consensus, kenny? Show some integrity for a change.

      • Don Don,
        Do your own homework for a change. It’s not freaking complicated.

      • The indefensible piece of crap Cookie paper is a test of moral and intellectual integrity for you alarmist clowns. You fail, Dr. Prof. Little Kenny Rice.

      • @wottsywotss
        As you know, I am not interested in the accuracy of Cook’s finding. It is unsurprising to anyone with a superficial knowledge of the climate literature, and it is irrelevant to climate policy.

        I am, however, interested in the validity of Cook’s work, and I find it wanting. Because of that, the (in)accuracy of his finding is irrelevant.

      • Richard,

        I am, however, interested in the validity of Cook’s work, and I find it wanting. Because of that, the (in)accuracy of his finding is irrelevant.

        Yes, I know; you’ve said this before. I will, however, repeat; you have at least one claim in your recently accepted paper that you know to not be true and knew before it was accepted. Given that, quite why you think you are in a position to question the validity of someone else’s work is utterly bizarre. Of course, that you would find Cook’s work wanting, probably raises it’s credibility. Also, your continued attacks on consensus studies probably actually helps to spread the consensus message. A bit ironic, possibly?

      • Also, your continued attacks on consensus studies probably actually helps to spread the consensus message. A bit ironic, possibly?

        Ah, consensus worship, the science equivalent of a “cargo cult”.

      • > I am, however, interested in the validity of Cook’s work […]

        Another interest of RT has been in the validity of Frank Ackermann’s work:

        Richard Tol, an economist at the University of Sussex, has waged a relentless campaign to convince the world that one of my published articles is illegitimate and must never be mentioned. (Frank Ackerman and Charles Munitz, “Climate Damages in the FUND Model: A Disaggregated Analysis,” Ecological Economics, 2012.) He has written to my employers and publishers, accusing me of libel for writing this technical article. This is a false accusation of a serious offense, no longer just an academic disagreement. It has gone far beyond the bounds of acceptable debate.

        http://frankackerman.com/tol-controversy/

        Imagine what an asthmatic Emporor could do with an army of RT:

    • > inter-rater reliability is low

      RT omits that inter-rater reliability usually measures the rating of the same object. (Hint: ABSTRACTs are not PAPERs.) This undermines his Kappa stuff, which might explain why RT hid it under loads of academese in his latest version RT also omits to mention that what he found indicates a conservative bias. RT also omits that hise error rate might have been a but farfetched.

      Not that RT has never been caught misrepresenting consensus studies before:

      https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/richard-tol-misrepresents-consensus-studies-in-order-to-falsely-paint-john-cooks-97-as-an-outlier/

  19. The provided link is for an essay titled: “The Evolution of International Cooperation in Climate Science”.

    Although the intent of this piece was to serve up an apolitical chronological history describing the roots of climate science, it also illustrates the path leading up to how the scientific method became hijacked. One can readily see in this essay how consensus building and standardization in science began and how it evolved to cooperate synergistically with politics, including persuading governments to spend billions on research. It describes sciences direct role as a facilitator to; “reinforce the ideals and methods of democracy”. It in essence indirectly describes the genesis of the 97% meme.

    It’s interesting that the number of scientists dedicated full-time to research on the geophysics of climate change in the 1980s numbered only a few hundred worldwide, and that these scientists are responsible for the policies driving global governments to spend trillions today.

    A few excerpts from essay:
    World War II greatly increased the demand for international cooperation in science…In the late 1960s, an environmental movement was everywhere on the rise..

    Fostering transnational scientific links became an explicit policy for many of the world’s democratic governments, not least the United States. It was not just that gathering knowledge gave a handy excuse for creating international organizations. Beyond that, the ideals and methods of scientists, their open communication, and their reliance on objective facts and consensus rather than command would reinforce the ideals and methods of democracy. As political scientist Clark Miller (2001, 171, passim) has explained, American foreign policy-makers believed the scientific enterprise was “intertwined with the pursuit of a free, stable, and prosperous world order.” Scientists themselves were still more strongly committed to the virtues of cooperation. For some, like oceanographers, international exchanges of information were simply indispensable for the pursuit of their studies. To many, the free association of colleagues across national boundaries meant yet more: It meant advancing the causes of universal truth and world peace (e.g., Hamblin 2002, 14).

    Study of the global atmosphere seemed a natural place to start. In 1947, a world meteorological convention, arranged in Washington, D.C., explicitly made the meteorological enterprise an “intergovernmental” affair—that is, one to which each nation appointed an official representative. In 1951, the International Meteorological Organization was succeeded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an association of national weather services. The WMO soon became an agency of the United Nations. That gave meteorological groups access to important organizational and financial support and brought them a new authority and stature.

    All the organizational work for weather prediction did little to connect the scattered specialists in diverse fields who took an interest in climate change. A better chance came in the mid 1950s, when a small band of scientists got together to push international cooperation to a higher level in all areas of geophysics. They aimed to coordinate their data gathering and—no less important—to persuade their governments to spend an extra billion or so dollars on research. The result was the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58.

    Scientists expected in the first place to advance their collective knowledge and their individual careers. Some government officials, who supplied the money, while not indifferent to pure scientific discovery, expected the new knowledge would have civilian and military applications. The U.S. and Soviet governments further hoped to win practical advantages in their Cold War competition. It is a moot question whether, in a more tranquil world, governments would have spent so much to learn about seawater and air around the globe. For whatever motives, the result was a coordinated effort involving several thousand scientists from sixty-seven nations (Needell, 2000, ch. 11; Greenaway, 1996, ch. 12).

    http://journal-iostudies.org/sites/journal-iostudies.org/files/JIOSfinal_5_0.pdf

  20. The ‘97% consensus’ meme is purely a political tool.

    Frankly, I find it quite useful. Anybody who quotes it approvingly is either ignorant, or politically motivated. We should thank Cook and his team for being so stupid.

    • Exactly. Anyone who uses it is either a climate hack or a political hack. One or the other.

    • John: I find the ignorance appalling and blame the scientific allies of both sides. I don’t believe in Schneider’s “ethical double bind”: If you’re a scientist, act like one – with all the caveats. If you are a scientist who feels compelled to tell scary stories, warn you audience that you are speaking as an extremely well-informed advocate for a particular policy.

      On the other hand, I haven’t been required to do this in a Senate hearing (:)).

  21. This is a good post but the trouble is that 97% is a terrific and easily remembered sound bite designed for the masses, including politicians and the media

    Countering it with a lengthy technical post is all very well But can it be condensed to an easily remembered slogan for the same audience of just a few bullet points?

    Tonyb

    • Tony,

      I would suggest –
      “The 97% figure comes from a study undertaken by political activists, who rated scientific papers in an absurdly biased way. Several authors of the papers have since publicly stated that the study misrepresented their conclusions.”

      • Jonathan

        Pretty good. An extra mince pie for you. However, how many authors were there in the first place and how many disagreed? And what would have been the conclusions if they hadn’t been misrepresented?

        Tonyb

      • JA, only abstracts. Rated using an inconsistent scheme with admitted low rater reliability. Junky ratings inconsistently bucketed so that the 97% consensus cannot mean what the paper said it meant.

        As Tol posted, Cook’s 97% consensus is nonsensus.

      • Here is how to do it:

        The 97% consensus figure doesn’t compute. They analyzed 12,000 papers and found a grand total of 65 that named humans as the primary cause of recent global warming.

      • Don

        You win the mince pie, a glass of sherry and a Christmas cracker with a bad joke inside it.

        That’s the succinct sort of message that needs to go out in Oder to combat the very powerful 97% meme.

        Tonyb

      • Yeah Tony, Don’s good at getting down to the fundamentals. He may even get a new sherrif’s badge from me for Christmas. He’s probably lost the old one.

      • Is that mince pie like a Jamaican beef pattie, Tony? I am making empanadas for my Spanish themed Christmas dinner. Some other tapas, paella, crema Catalan etc.

        Another, for another mince pie:

        The methodology of the 97% global warning consensus survey is the same as the 9 out of 10 dentists recommend “X” toothpaste BS.

      • The mince pie/Jamaican pattie reminded me of this. I had to watch it again:

      • Don

        In dickens time mince pies would have used minced meat. Now the ‘ mince meat’ is savoury.

        Here is nigellas take on them

        http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/STAR-TOPPED-MINCE-PIES-5238

        Yum!

        Tonyb

      • And I bet the mince pies aren’t bad either.

      • I don’t think I would like her mince pies, but that is a nice looking woman.

        The ingredients remind me of the junk my wife puts in her Christmas fruitcakes. Uses up many bottles of my good port making two or three cakes. I figure her cakes costs at least $100 ea. She gives two of them away. Last year I brought home a nice looking fruitcake at Costco that $15 bucks and suggested she take a break from baking. It was a cold Christmas for Donnyboy.

      • Cook, Obama et Al, masters of arithromancy,
        mathematics of duplicity.

      • “The 97% consensus figure doesn’t compute. They analyzed 12,000 papers and found a grand total of 65 that named humans as the primary cause of recent global warming.”

        I like it. To let that ridiculous claim go unchallenged in the recent congressional hearing was a huge mistake.

        To actually change some minds however, I might like to see some sort of challenge…10,000 dollars say, to anyone who can successfully defend this so-called “study” on statistical grounds. For a judge, I suggest some highly respected statistician with no known connection to the climate debate.

        (aka pokerguy_

      • David Springer

        “To let that ridiculous claim go unchallenged in the recent congressional hearing was a huge mistake.”

        How many people do you imagine cared enough to have listened to that committee hearing?

        I sure didn’t care enough.

      • There’s such thing as good port?

      • It’s an acquired taste, aaron. When I started drinking at 13 the fortified wines were the best bang for the buck. Gallo was the dominant brand around the liquor store. Thunderbird or Wild Irish Rose to get the evening started and the port style wine-can’t get well without Muscatel-was for dessert. That stuff was aged for about 3 days, in transport. I have a friend who lives in Portugal and Brazil who sends me a case of 30 year old porto vinho whenever he is on the continent. I drink a little now and then to be polite. And it goes in my wife’s fruit cakes. She’s not allowed to get near my Scotch.

      • Don’s comment also applies to the Doran study where about 12,000 or so initial survey questions were sent and the end result of the 97% meme was based on the selection of 79 responses. So, the math (not to speak of the methodology) in 2 of the studies is just a bit flawed.

    • It is certainly easy for the arithmetically challenged journalists. My experience is they most likely continued to count using their hand, even into journalism school. 97 is an easy number since they have retained getting there by counting backwards from 100 and stopping at the unmentionable digit.

  22. And, till vast increases in observations and info, how sensible is it to talk with too much precision about “global” warming, cooling or pausing? The “globe” doesn’t work like a fridge or an oven. It works like a planet.

    – And Then There’s Cloud (or just call me ATTC)

  23. Obama’s Tweeter statement follows “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. Read more: OFA.BO/gJsdF 7:48pm – 16 May 13”

    Wearing my senatorial political cap I respond:

    “Mr Obama exaggerated when he Tweeted that most scientists agree all climate change is man-made and dangerous”

    “Furthermore, as your Senator I have to weigh the potential benefits and costs of Mr Obama’s proposed measures. He says he wants to control the Earth’s temperature, but I’m not sure his solution will accomplish his goal, and it may cause enormous economic harm”.

    You all can reward that if you want, but the key is to point out he was bsing and his solutions do need a lot more scrutiny (I think they are inefficient, wasteful, and could lead to very negative outcomes).

    • Obama tweet rebuttal soundbite on climate change:

      Real, sure. Has and will. Man made? Not much, since not true in the past. Dangerous? The next ice age definitely yes. AGW? Probably not. The world is greening from the additional CO2, temperature not rising this century, polar bears thriving, Arctic ice recovering, sea level rise not accelerating …

      49 words if counted correctly.

    • Obama hasn’t got his facts straight on much of anything else, why do you expect him to get climate change right.

      His biggest credential is he is a failed community organizer.

  24. When the likes of Obama et al. wrongly quote 97% of scientists, rather than of studies, mightn’t one equally take them to be referring to the Doran & Zimmerman 2008 survey, which did indeed count scientists ?
    While eliminating more than 97% of the 3146 Earth scientists who bothered to respond they wrongly portrayed just 75 agreeing out of 79 remaining as 97% .

  25. I think the consistency of the position statements by almost all of the relevant scientific organizations leads me to believe that there is a pretty strong consensus around the general findings of the IPCC (how can so many get it so wrong). And if there were significant disagreement you would see more papers arguing against their conclusion or scientists speaking out (if the findings were obviously flawed). But I don’t see too many of those or at least there are just a small number of scientists who are doing this work.

    • The obvious answer:lots of scaredy cats. I wouldn’t want to share a foxhole with many.

    • I think the consistency of the position statements by almost all of the relevant scientific organizations leads…

      …Me to believe that they have been contaminated by activist political animals:

      Scientists do science…

      Activists pursue their ideological/political agenda.

      And if there were significant disagreement you would see more papers arguing against their conclusion or scientists speaking out (if the findings were obviously flawed).

      See here:

      All models underestimated the supercooled liquid water content by at least a factor of 2. Models with the most sophisticated microphysics (separate prognostic variables for liquid and ice) performed worst, having least supercooled liquid of all models.

      […]

      Despite their potential radiative importance, cloud at mid-levels in the atmosphere tends to be underestimated by both numerical weather prediction (NWP) models [e.g. Illingworth et al., 2007] and climate models [Zhang et al.,2005] suggesting a deficiency in the representation of mixed-phase clouds. An absence of these mixed-phase clouds would likely result in excess solar radiation reaching the surface and excess longwave emission at the top of the atmosphere [e.g.Hogan et al., 2003] which could result in a warm or cold bias at the surface depending on the time of day. The net cooling effect may not be captured by current models and this would constitute a missing negative feedback on the climate system in these models (as reported by Mitchell et al.[1989]) if the amount of polar and extra-tropical mid-latitude cloud increases as suggested by some studies [e.g. Tsushima et al., 2006]. Cloud feedbacks are the largest single cause of inter-model variability in predicted climate scenarios during Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) [Bony et al., 2006; Dufresne and Bony,2008] and CMIP5 [Andrews et al., 2012] and this is despite the mixed-phase cloud feedbacks likely being under-estimated in many climate models. [my bold]

      Also, from the paper linked in Week in review:

      Many weather and climate models to call their radiation schemes only every 3 h, which we show can lead to a stratospheric temperature overestimate of 3–5 K and wavenumber-8 fluctuations in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) net shortwave flux around the tropics of amplitude 1.6Wm^-2.

      • 97% of all climate models say the stratosphere should be warmer than observations say it is. Observations are clearly “deniers”.

    • how can so many get it so wrong

      The IPCC AR4 did lay out some predictions:

      2C per decade warming for the next few decades,
      1.8C per century low end rate.

      But people defend a consensus rather than hold it to account.

    • Sure not every paper is going to support every conclusion and some conclusions may have to change in future, but in general they support the conclusions and the statements by organizations related to those statements.

    • TE, I was referring to the various statements made by the scientific organizations. How could they all get it wrong?

    • Curious George

      “the consistency of the position statements by almost all of the relevant scientific organizations leads me to believe that there is a pretty strong consensus.” You are right, the rot is spread very wide.

    • Inspired by Dr. Curry, I had wondered out loud whether the climate consensus police (CCP) had indeed infiltrated the various scientific organizations and turned the leaders into mere mindless mouthpieces for the “climate consensus.” I think it does sound intriguing though.

      • David Springer

        No. The federal funding police turned the leaders of various scientific organizations into mindless mouthpieces. We could run an experiment to confirm. Take away all government funding for climate science projects for ten years and then see how much interest remains..

      • Take a look at the behavior of the activists in charge of the committees devoted to writing climate change position statements for the APS and the AGU in the last year or so. Contrarians were sidelined highhandedly. The people on the CC committees are volunteers. And who volunteers?–Warmists. That pattern is likely found worldwide. And/or they decided to trust IGPOCC and rubber stamp its position.

      • The people on the CC committees are volunteers. And who volunteers?–Warmists. That pattern is likely found worldwide. And/or they decided to trust IGPOCC and rubber stamp its position.

        I don’t think you “know” it’s likely going on at the APS much less worldwide. It’s the problem with such explanations for behavior. Almost all of it is pure speculation. We can’t know a persons motivations or decision making process unless we actually know something about that person. So to make generalized conclusions that they are all likely motivated by “activism” with any degree of confidence is very difficult.

      • We can’t know a persons motivations or decision making process unless we actually know something about that person. So to make generalized conclusions that they are all likely motivated by “activism” with any degree of confidence is very difficult.

        We know this much: that they choose to spend time on such “volunteer” activity that they could (in theory) be spending on science.

        Real scientists aren’t going to give up time they could be spending on what they love just to engage in politics unless they feel strongly. Which makes them activists.

        There may well be another population of people being paid as “scientists” who would prefer, or are encouraged by their paymasters, to spend time on politics.

      • How much time are we talking about giving up? And I am still not following the leap from volunteer to activist.

      • There is a book you may have heard about – “the delinquent teenager…” – maybe you should read it to get an idea of the ccp methodology.

    • David Springer

      “And if there were significant disagreement you would see more papers arguing against their conclusion or scientists speaking out”

      What happens to scientists who disagree?

      What happened to the host here?

    • Joseph: I have literally file drawers full of science papers finding things wrong with the IPCC climate models (wrong jet stream, wrong clouds, wrong precip, on and on), forecasts of harm, etc. The only activists who get media attention are the ones crying doom.

  26. Table 1 of the post shows 11,944 abstracts in the second column labeled “Description”, corresponding to a sentence in the third paragraph of the text that says,

    The authors examined the abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed journal articles…

    But the column labeled “Abstract” incorrectly shows 12,280 abstracts. The database includes a total of 12,280 papers, but of these, 283 of these are classified as “Not climate related”, 39 as “Not peer-reviews” and 7 as “No abstract”. All 7 of the “No abstract” papers took “No position” on AGW. Removing the “Not climate related”and “Not peer-reviews” papers leaves 11,958 papers.

    The table shows 65 abstract that were assigned endorsement level of “Explicitly endorses and quantifies AGW >50+%”, but one of these was classified as “Not climate related”, so there were only 64 abstracts that were climate related and explicitly quantifies AGW>50+%. The paper that was not climate related but quantifies AGW>50% was titled “Now What Do People Know About Global Climate Change? Survey Studies Of Educated Laypeople”. This is just a survey that found that “many individuals in 2009 still” did not know the increasing CO2 caused some warming.

    Several of the 64 abstracts are very skeptical of AGW. The September 3, 2013 news release for a paper by Legates et al says.

    Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it.

    For example, the paper abstract “Phenomenological Solar Contribution To The 1900-2000 Global Surface Warming” by Scafetta, N and West, B states

    We estimate that the sun contributed as much as 45–50% of the 1900–2000 global warming, and 25–35% of the 1980–2000 global warming. These results, while confirming that anthropogenic-added climate forcing might have progressively played a dominant role in climate change during the last century, also suggest that the solar impact on climate change during the same period is significantly stronger than what some theoretical models have predicted.

    “Might have” is not “explicit endorsement”. If unforced chaotic climate change, AMO, ENSO, black soot on snow, UHIE, lower volcanic forcing also contributed to 20th century warming, greenhouse gas emission may have contributed much less than 50% to the 20th century warming.

  27. Hmmmm

    “The buying power of wages is also reduced by all of the other laws and regulations that hold down the production and supply of goods in general and thus keep up prices. And again, there is a compounding effect. Environmental legislation deserves an especially prominent place in any list of such laws and regulations. Already, because of the restrictions it has imposed on the production of oil, coal, natural gas, and atomic power, it has served to raise the price of energy to unprecedented levels and to deprive many wage earners of the ability to buy gasoline for their cars or trucks and heating oil for their homes. To the extent that wage earners are able to pay energy prices reflecting a $100-per-barrel price of oil, their ability to buy other goods is correspondingly reduced. If the environmental movement’s agenda of radical reductions (up to 90 percent) in carbon dioxide emissions is imposed, meeting it will require absolutely crippling cutbacks in the production and use of oil, coal, and natural gas, which must result in corresponding reductions in production, increases in prices, and absolute devastation for real wages.

    The negative effect on production here is again a cumulative one, inasmuch as lack of energy supplies hampers the ability to find and exploit further supplies of energy. The more abundant and cheaper energy is, the greater is man’s ability to move masses of earth and to process them, thereby developing further energy supplies. Thus, government intervention that reduces energy supplies reduces the ability to find and exploit further energy supplies.”

    https://mises.org/library/credit-expansion-economic-inequality-and-stagnant-wages

  28. The Left is absolutely clear on one thing: that there will be no consequences for lying to the people. It requires a willing suspension of disbelief to think it is all just one big innocent mistake and not a hoax and scare tactic to blame humanity’s co2 for foul weather, killing the polar bears and raising the level of the sea.

  29. David Springer

    “As discussed above, human attribution was usually discussed or implied in the vast majority of these abstracts only to provide context, not to endorse a position.”

    Yup. And the context is “I’m one of you, so you can approve this paper for publication”. A gratuitous acknowledgement of AGW in the abstract is the moral equivalent of a secret handshake.

  30. David Springer

    “As discussed above, human attribution was usually discussed or implied in the vast majority of these abstracts only to provide context, not to endorse a position.”

    Yup. And the context is “I’m one of you, so you can approve this paper for publication”. A gratuitous acknowledgement of AGW in the abstract is the moral equivalent of a secret handshake.
    .

  31. David L. Hagen

    Streetlight Fallacy
    An excellent example of the “Streetlight Fallacy” of selective biased data evaluation rather than full examination of all the data for the truth.

  32. It’s fairly likely that 100% of people sharing a common delusion will agree with each other.

    An example of such a delusion might be where otherwise sane and rational people believe that radiation absorbed by CO2, resulting in heating of the gas, is somehow multiplied and retransmitted, resulting in more energy exiting the gas than was absorbed. The deluded resort to all sorts of physically nonsensical justifications to account for ignoring the laws oh thermodynamics.

    For example, they will say that radiation from the ground, say, provides additional energy, which is perfectly true, and perfectly misleading. They purposely forget to mention that when the ground loses energy, its temperature drops.This is demonstrated in practice at night. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, where energy is concerned.

    Attempts to confuse the issue by using terms such as Transient Climate Sensitivity or Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, merely serve to reinforce the delusional thinking. It will be noted that climate is the average of weather, and, as such, is not sensitive to anything other than weather history, being a mathematical average of something which has already occurred.

    One might as well claim authority for the existence of phlogiston, the aether, or the indivisibility of the atom, based on majority acclamation for these ideas.

    Maybe the concern about the percentage of people believing in this fantasy, or that fantasy, is misplaced. One cannot cure psychosis by rational discussion, regardless of the impression given by TV shows.

    Maybe we’re all destined to death by slow boiling, but after four and a half billion years of sunshine falling on the Earth without it heating up at all, the prospect looks unlikely to me.

    Cheers.

  33. Many of the young people are being brainwashed in alarmism.
    https://www.climate.gov/teaching/climate-youth-engagement-events
    The 97% is a tool used in the alarmism.
    Please help stop this madness.

  34. Greater than 100% attribution doesn’t return much from a Google search beyond hits from here, ATTP and Real Climate. Seems to be a new idea. A related question is what about efficiencies greater than 1? That may bring some problems with some important laws.

    50% represents natural factors:
    <<>>

    Now remove the natural negatives:
    <<>>

    Naturals turn positive:
    >>>50%—-|100%|—-50%>>>

    Seems natural factors are defining man made ones. Two partners operate an income tax preparation business. All units are in tens of thousands of dollars above. In the second case one partners gets all the money. In the third, they split it evenly. In the first case, one partner keeps all the money and the other partner gives him $50,000. A partner paid out $50,000 in refunds for errors made but otherwise billed nothing. The net income is still $100,000. The successful partner got his $150,000 but there was only $100,000 earned. How do we allocate that income to the partners? One answer is and $150,000. Say the bad partner never existed. Our answers are then $150,000 with 100%, $100,000 with 100% and $50,000 with 100%. Replace the bad partner with a good partner clone. All percentages are now 50%. In no cases does the original good partner get any more or less then he earned himself. But his percentages are defined by his partner. In my example above, the bad partner netted to zero overall. And adding up all 3 scenarios means that on average, the good partner’s percentage was 100%. So when natural variability cancels out in the long run, the long term percentage is 100%. In the last case, the partners kept no records of who did what, forgot what happened and only know there’s $100,000 in the bank account and it’s time to divide up the money. We know in theory one partner should’ve made so much as he has the plaques on the wall to prove it.

    • Greater than 100% just means there is still warming in the pipeline.

      • The pipeline was killed by obama. There is no warming in the pipeline.

      • And if the pipeline is backed up and no warming shows up for 1000 years, a reasonable person would call in a new plumber and find out why it is all clogged up. The current mindset is so blinded by dogma, that kind of investigation is not even considered a possibility. And therein lies the fundamental weakness with climate science, everything is seen in such short time scales that nothing is ever put into context.

      • “Neither is this heat going to come back out from the deep ocean any time soon (the notion that this heat is the warming that is ‘in the pipeline’ is erroneous).” – Schmidt.

      • The difference between TCR and ECS is the warming in the pipeline, and no it doesn’t come back out of the ocean, but it is the delay built in by the ocean absorption. There is a subtle difference. We have an imbalance only because of the ocean delay, but it does catch up gradually as we go from our current out of equilibrium state towards a final equilibrium. This is why the ECS is larger than the TCR. Currently the earth emits less than it absorbs by the imbalance, estimated to be about 0.5 W/m2. This leads to surface warming until the fluxes are balanced again.

      • Warming in the pipeline is future sunlight interacting with the earth GHG-enhanced climate system of the future – decade by decade; century by century.

        Gavin’s quote fully supports what Jim D is saying.

      • The difference between TCR and ECS is the warming in the pipeline, and no it doesn’t come back out of the ocean, but it is the delay built in by the ocean absorption. There is a subtle difference. We have an imbalance only because of the ocean delay, but it does catch up gradually as we go from our current out of equilibrium state towards a final equilibrium. This is why the ECS is larger than the TCR. Currently the earth emits less than it absorbs by the imbalance, estimated to be about 0.5 W/m2. This leads to surface warming until the fluxes are balanced again.

        Currently the earth emits less than it absorbs by the imbalance, estimated to be about 0.5 W/m2.

        For the last decade or so, the earth has emitted about as much as it has absorbed:

        Now, there is a huge amount of uncertainty with that data.
        But never the less, the 2000-2004 CERES data is what Trenberth used, and the longer time span of that data indicates something pretty close to equilibrium.

        The problems with OHC estimates are many but here’s one:
        Even if you have some inkling that 0-2000m contains more heat, you don’t know what’s going on below 2000m. So it could be possible to have an increase in 0-2000m OHC and still have a decrease in total ocean heat content.

        And the processes of convection to greater depths would appear to be faster and stronger than diffusion:

        And further, those processes occur within sea ice masses where no measurements are taking place!

        But even assuming OHC is increasing, that’s a good thing!

        It means 500 years from now, after CO2 has fallen ( it plants and oceans seem to like to consume it and they won’t stop ), some very small forcing will continue to moderate temperatures.

      • An increasing OHC is a sign of a positive imbalance, and doesn’t by itself remove it. What removes it is an increase in surface temperature.

      • Are you saying the warming in the pipeline, is the oceans not absorbing so much in the future?
        “‘warming in the pipeline’ generally refers to ‘committed warming’ minus ‘warming to date’. That is, it’s how much more the surface must warm up for the planet to reach a new radiative equilibrium, given the forcing from what we’ve already emitted.- RC discussion.
        So some of it’s in the oceans and is not coming back. So it’s future sunlight bringing us to equilibrium. Like your future wages during a cash shortage. So we lost some money gambling, and we know what our level of wealth should be in the future. No matter how irresponsible we are about losing heat, we’ll still get to the correct temperature. Radiative equilibrium may be less important than the ocean’s vast reserves of mass. I think we should be asking first, what are the oceans going to do?

      • The changing forcing is resetting the equilibrium point in the temperature like raising a thermostat. The imbalance means we are still below that reset thermostat point, and the heating system won’t go off until we get there. As it is, emissions mean we are still moving that thermostat dial, but even if we left it alone, it takes a while for the house to get to that point.

      • The only way to get heat back out of the oceans is to have a negative imbalance – period of time where a negative imbalance is persistently more prevalent than a positive imbalance.

        Trenberth’s missing heat:

        1. reflected back to space
        2. went into the oceans
        or
        3. GMST observations in error on the low side side, as in: Karl 2015

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, there is nothing that isn’t consistent with someone’s version of what will happen as we increase atmospheric CO2. What is that they say about a theory that can explain everything?

      • Yes, but this is specifically about the consequence warming in the pipeline has for attribution percentage.

      • Jim D | December 21, 2015 at 9:50 pm |
        Yes, but this is specifically about the consequence warming in the pipeline has for attribution percentage.

        There is no pipeline into the sky. The warming is either:
        1. Obvious and measurable.
        2. Not happening and rejected into space.

        The warming isn’t getting stored anywhere. Going by LOD it isn’t happening much anymore. The “global warming boogy-man is growing and will attack us in our sleep” story is fine for scaring children but adults know better.

        Late 2016, and 2017, will be dark days for warmunists.

      • The surface temperature either immediately responds to the forcing (n0) or is partially delayed by thermal inertia (yes). TCR is not equal to ECS, and no one claims it is (except perhaps Monckton).

      • TCR is not equal to ECS

        Well… the only empirical measurement over 11 years should be close to the TSR and it is only about 1/3 of the TSR. It is only 2/3 of the IPCC direct forcing.

        The global warmers have to explain why the empirical measurements of forcing are so low.

        The empirical measurements would seem to refute the no-warming theory. But they aren’t a ringing endorsement of CAGW either.

        The warmers at this point can’t construct a realistic scenario of problematic warming.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim D, you can’t assume you can attribute the warming of the 20th century and you can’t assume you can attribute the warming in the pipeline. The evidence supports a change in ocean heat transport the strongest so it likely caused the bulk of the warming.

        BTW, the 100% plus didn’t come from warming in the pipeline. It came from claiming negative forcing from both natural sources and aerosols.

      • steven, it is just the logic. If there is warming in the pipeline, all the warming we have had so far hasn’t been enough to overcome the forcing change because there is some imbalance left over. This leaves no role for natural variation that matters.

      • A mystic pipeline in a pipe dream and a partridge in a pear tree. Try to curtail the alarmist angst for the Christmas season, yimmy. Look what it’s done to little willy.

    • Seems there was a formatting problem and my post made even less sense than normal. This is a little more clear:
      https://chaosaccounting.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/greater-than-100-attribution/

    • Let’s assume Schmidt’s number is 110% of the cause. I still want to get back to a total of 100%, so everything else would be -10%. What is -10% of the cause? Say Schmidt’s number was 90%, that would leave 10% for everything else. What are the differences between -10% and 10% of the cause?

  35. The scientific or factual basis of the 97% figure is irrelevant. The “97% consensus” meme has gained considerable traction in the main stream media over the past couple of years.
    Consensus is not a valid concept in science. However, you need to stop and think to appreciate the point. The vast majority of people have neither the time nor the inclination to stop and think.
    The Cook et al paper, although junk science, was a triumph of propaganda.

    • “Consensus is not a valid concept in science. However, you need to stop and think to appreciate the point. The vast majority of people have neither the time nor the inclination to stop and think…a triumph of propaganda.”

      Good post.

      The challenge for skeptics, Lukewarmers or anyone challenging consensus, is not simply quantifying and debunking what is represented by the 97% meme. Putting together good media sound-bites that garners traction in the media is only an important beginning. If a “red team” were able to make inroads in defeating propaganda it would initiate an immediate damage control response from AGW pundits, redefining ”sh*t hit the fan”. We would see more hearings in Congress, but no longer would they bypass guest speakers as they did in the recent hearing. Hearings and media would launch an assault towards discrediting all scientists challenging CAGW directly.

      So while it’s true that consensus building is not a valid concept in science it’s important to be able to maneuver arguments using the provenance behind consensus building in climate science; to illustrate how big money influenced cooperatives early on. The link I posted earlier clearly demonstrates the mindset establishing consensus building and why big money was appropriated by governments, there’s a lot of ammunition there.

      In future hearings one must be able to provide historical vignettes that illustrate how the power of group think became manifested in the science in context. It’s not good enough to just debunk the 97% meme, you have to describe the mechanisms as to why it has so much power. It’s an uphill battle. I still believe it’s the politicians that have to educate themselves on all these things, they must do the heavy lifting so that the scientists can focus on science instead of defending themselves IMO.

  36. Ye serfs of the field find
    predictions of CO2 un-
    precedented-positive-
    feed-back-warming non-
    alarming, puzzling e’en,
    considering from w-a-a-y
    back those see-saws of
    warm and cold, warm and
    cold, o-o-o-h, a-a-a-h, so
    clever of ol’ homeostasis Mother
    Naychur , do you know or care
    weather warming’s au naturel
    or made by Mann?

  37. Pingback: Climate of Fear (pt 1.) | Kali Tribune English

  38. My evidence to the UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee in December 2013 is I suggest relevant and may be of interest:

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidenceHtml/4191

    • Robin wrote in his brief: “In any case, its main finding “that humans are causing global warming” is almost valueless: does it mean all the warming, most of the warming or some unspecified proportion of the warming? The paper is unclear about this. (Compare that with the clarity of AR5’s “dominant cause … since the mid-20th century” finding.)”

      Cook’s database shows an 87% consensus (of abstracts) that “most” global warming can be attributed to humans. However, attribution 50% of global warming to humans isn’t enough to justify expensive mitigation programs.

      “The Cook finding of a 97% consensus that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that mankind’s emissions have warmed the world to some unspecified extent is one with which many, possibly most, sceptical scientists would agree.”

      The disagreement concerns policy relevance of this statement.

  39. markdwilkinson

    “The objective of this post is to provide some useful information about this dogma – data on the dogma, so to speak.”

    …In my area of research (data/information science), we’d likely call that… “metadogma” :-)

    …hehe… I just coined a word I’m to going to use frequently!

  40. > [I]t is not clear whether they – or their Republican opponents – had the slightest idea what the phrase meant: 97% of what group support a consensus about exactly what?

    It is not clear that Denizens would either after having read your post, Frank.

    Wasn’t it the objective of your post?

    • Let’s look at the original 97% survey.
      http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/global-warming-97-percent-consensus-actually-76-people/

      1. “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

      2. “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

      Of the few survey participants who could actually claim to be “climate scientists”, 76 of 79 answered “risen” to the first question and 75 out of 77 answered “yes” to the second.

      What is the consensus.
      1. It is getting warmer
      2. People are helping make it warmer.

      I think it is getting warmer. I’m pretty sure people are helping make it warmer.

      But I’m not a global warmer. More warming has been historically good. The forcing from CO2 measured empirically is less than claimed by the IPCC. The level of CO2 increase predicted by the IPCC is far too high.

      • PA said:

        What is the consensus [from the original paper].
        1. It is getting warmer
        2. People are helping make it warmer.

        I think it is getting warmer. I’m pretty sure people are helping make it warmer.

        … More warming has been historically good. The forcing from CO2 measured empirically is less than claimed by the IPCC. The level of CO2 increase predicted by the IPCC is far too high.

        I agree with all that.

        However, I believe the uncertainties about how much contribution humans have made to warming is huge, and they haven’t reduced much in 30 years of enormously funded research.

        I think the uncertainties in how much net-damage or net-benefit GHG emissions are causing or will cause may be an order of magnitude or more greater than the uncertainty about the projections of future average global temperature changes.

        I don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good. We only hear about the projected harm. We hear little about the benefits, including the reduction in the risk reduction of the next abrupt cooling event – which is due any time now because we are past the peak of the current interglacial and on the bumpy downhill run to the next glacial maximum, some 80,000 years ahead.

      • I don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good. We only hear about the projected harm. We hear little about the benefits,

        The temperature annually varies by over 2°C. On years with average precipitation demonstrate crop failure due to temperatures being 2°C more than normal. It isn’t hard. The US was on average 1.57°C warmer in 2012 and we had record or near record harvests.

        Show that being 2°C above average (which is actually a high 1.33°C above average because GHG is 2/3rds at night). harms crops and reduces yield. Not a big request.

        The number kicked around for benefit is 60% more growth since 1900. The 11% more growth CSIRO study from 1982-2010 is confirming the obvious. Their models only predicted 5% more growth,.a 120% error.

        Why are global warmist doctrine/models off by 100% or more?. Perhaps they are numerically challenged.

      • PA,

        Thanks for you reply. I am not sure I properly understand what you are saying with your somewhat abbreviated sentences. I also wonder if your example for a single year of US grain harvest is of much value. We also know that crops and agriculture practices adapt relatively quickly to climate changes.

        I like to try to understand the outer limits, then narrow down. If there is evidence of sudden breaks in the trend between the outer limits I’d like to understand the reason for them.

        So, I begin at one end, the ice-age temperatures. We know that life struggled when the temperatures were colder. Much of the planet was dry, barren land. Vegetation productivity was way down. We are very much better off now. We are much better off now than even the Little Ice Age.

        At the hot end of the scale – Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary – life thrived.

        So the overall trend from cold to hot is established – life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder. Life does better as the planet warms.

        We also know, at temperatures close to current, vegetation productivity is improving as the planet has warmed 1C over the past 200 years or so and as CO2 concentrations have increased.

        It seems to me, the overall trend suggests warming planet and increasing CO2 concentrations are more good than bad.I don’t see p[ersuasive evidence suggesting it is likely we will reach a temperature where the trend reverses while we remain in the current coldhouse phase – and that won’t stop until tectonic plate movements separate N and S America.

        It seems to me there is less risk from warming than there is from cooling and our GHG emissions are, to some extent, mitigating the the risk of cooling – i.e. delaying the next abrupt cooling event and reducing the magnitude and rate of change.

        Unfortunately, I am no aware of much research being done to properly evaluate all the probabilities and consequences of both possibilities, warming or cooling.

      • 1. somewhat abbreviated sentences
        I generally use too many unabbreviated sentences.

        2. CO2 increases the temperature for peak photosynthesis and reduces water loss (it makes plants more heat and drought tolerant). Further – until it hits the point it is too hot the plant is going to grow faster. Further – the tropics doing double crops (farming year around) now. Given that relatively little land is in the tropics and most of the land is in the temperature region the whole “crop reduction” theory is a lie for virtually all of the inhabited areas. Farmers can drive 120 miles further south (mean GHG 2°C temperature increase), or toward the equator if they are Oztralian, buy seed and drive back home. The point is that they really have to demonstrate crop reductions related to actual heat damage that can’t be fixed with a different crop. The deserts in the tropics are starting to bloom from more CO2 so it is pretty obvious there will be food crops that will grow. The record temperature in the Sahara is 136F and the average summer temperature is 115F (46C).

        Further places Mujui dos Campos or Sao Felix do Xingu in the tropical zone have a high between 25°C and 28°C year round. Arizona gets hotter than much of the equator.

        3. Then we have the issues that the forcing is so weak (from empirical measurement) and the peak CO2 increase so small (500 PPM) that the whole global warming thing is a mute point.

        4. I am no aware of much research
        The eco-terrorists (global warmers) that have infiltrated the NSF are the source of the problem. They don’t solicit proposals (RFP) for grants to study and monetize benefits from more CO2. The language of some of the NSF grants and especially EPA grants is so global warming biased it jaw dropping. The NSF used to (pre-2000) have grants to study the growth effects of CO2 on plants and that is where most of the glowing CO2 reviews come from. Plus the eco-terrorists (as described in the climategate emails) have infiltrated the journal peer-review boards.

        People don’t ask questions if they know they won’t like the answers. And some people block or bury answers they don’t like.

      • PA,

        Thanks you. Now I understand, yuou are actually agreeing with what I said, not disagreeing, right?

      • Thanks you. Now I understand, yuou are actually agreeing with what I said, not disagreeing, right?

        Well…

        We are getting 42% of our food from past carbon emissions.

        The CO2 forcing as measured by real scientists in the field, not fake scientists on a computer, is only 1/3rd to 2/3rds of what was expected.

        The CO2 levels this century will rise less than 25% of RCP8.5 if we do absolutely nothing but let the good times roll.

        Global warmers based on LOD (length of day) can’t even demonstrate sea level rise at last century levels.

        If this is where you are coming from we are in sync.

        The CO2 forcing is so weak and the CO2 rise so low that even a linear projection (not logarithmic) of the measured forcing trend in the first decade puts us at 0.5°C for the century.

        We need to put standardized sensors in pristine areas and make that the official temperature record or over half the warming could be via bad siting or computer.

      • PA,

        If this is where you are coming from we are in sync.

        Well, the list of points you raised in your last comment is broader than what I was asking about. All my questions have been trying to understand what you meant in your replies to my first reply to you. You quoted this bit from my first reply to you:

        I don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good. We only hear about the projected harm. We hear little about the benefits,

        and then gave an answer that wasn’t clear as to whether you agreed with me or not, especially about the benefits..

        Your latest comment covers many points that we could discuss. However, I hope you can start each response to me with a clear statement of whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve said and then make whatever points you want to make including an explanation of why you disagree if you do.

      • I don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good. We only hear about the projected harm. We hear little about the benefits,

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96GB00470/full
        This is one of “those” questions. 0.9 to 1.2 megatons of N2O from agricultural land in the US. Obvious more from other lands. This could be more NOx than from power plants. When you toss in forest fires and weather generated nitrogen oxides, power plants create a minority of the NOx emissions and the current limitations are overkill.

        So NOx isn’t an issue.

        Sulfur dioxide is a plant nutrient. At the current levels it arguably does more good than harm. Natural sources are decay, volcanoes, sea spray, forest fires, etc.

        That leaves us with CO2 and water.

        Human emitted CO2 is responsible for 42% of current food supplies, and forest products.

        Known harm from CO2 at the 400 PPM level??? The answers tend to be Zohnerism. I am unaware of any proven harm from 400 PPM CO2.

        Now there are some folks out there that are opposed to CO2 and are perfectly happy to starve people just to be fashionable

        These people would rather have the new expensive stylish but unreliable renewable energy, rather than reliable and cheap fossil fuels because they have more money than brains…

        and view potentially starving millions of people as a feature not a problem.

      • PA,

        When you have time could you please lay out how you calculated this, give the inputs and the source for each:

        The CO2 levels this century will rise less than 25% of RCP8.5 if we do absolutely nothing but let the good times roll.

        I just want to understand the basis for this statement as a starting point.

      • Peter Lang | December 24, 2015 at 1:50 am |
        PA,

        When you have time could you please lay out how you calculated this, give the inputs and the source for each

        The CO2 environmental absorption is rough 0.050 * (CO2ppm – 280).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_coal
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_gas
        Peak fossil fuel:
        China coal: 2030
        Peak global coal: 2027-2048
        Peak oil is essentially here but we will put it at 2030
        Peak gas: 2020-2030

        Between 1998 and today emissions increased 50%, yet the fraction going into the atmosphere is declining. Environmental absorption has increased almost 2 GT/Y over the period.

        Look at the numbers and form your own opinion. Remember that in 1940-1950 the percent of emissions going into the atmosphere was zero and emissions had to hit 1.6 GT/Y at 312 PPM before the CO2 level started rising (0.050*(312-280) = 1.6 GT/Y).
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/Global_Carbon_Project/Global_Carbon_Budget_2015_v1.1.xlsx

        The RCP8.5 has a 940 PPM CO2 level in 2100. Ignoring the fact that fossil fuel will peak then declined in mid-century the current 2.2 PPM/Y CO2 increase would put us at 587 PPM.

        But lets be real and assume emissions will plateau then slowly decline after peak fossil. The absorption will keep rising after peak fossil fuels (2040 = 455 PPM, with absorption = 8.75 GT/Y) it won’t be long before absorption meets emission. CO2 atmospheric peak will be somewhere between 455 and 500 PPM (500 PPM = 11 GT of absorption).

        From 400 PPM to 500 PPM, vs 940 ppm (IPCC). 100/540 = 18.5%.

      • As a side note, China is responsible for almost 1/2 of the world’s coal fired CO2 emissions. They have less than 30 years of coal reserves at CURRENT consumption. There is 200 MT of Chinese reserves that are unminable and since the Chinese use underground mining by and large their net recovery rate from reserves will be around 60%.

        From wiki 2014
        world emissions 35,669,000
        China emissions 10,540,000

        When 2030 passes almost 29.5% of the worlds emissions (virtually all the 21st Century increase) will rapidly disappear. The consumer of 47% of worlds mined coal will go away. Hence the nuclear boom in China.

        It is very hard to construct a scenario with significantly higher emissions than today.

      • PA,

        Thanks for explaining this. I understand what you are doing. But I am not sure I believe it. My BS meter tells me to not take much notice of predicted ‘Peak fossil fuels”. I understand there is some 6000 Gt of C in fossil fuels that may be recoverable in the future, but not economic or accessible with current technologies. But technology has been changing rapidly during the past century and no doubt will continue to change this century unless there are cheaper alternatives that meet requirements. Therefore, I am not convinced there is a limit to fossil fuel supply that will seriously constrain emissions growth this century.

        We know nuclear power is potentially a much cheaper and better option at meeting all the requirements of electricity and possibly for producing transport fuels too. However, progress has been and is being retarded by environmental NGO’s, public fear of nuclear power and politics. So there is a potential solution, and I think it is almost inevitable it will happen. That is the reason I believe emissions will be nowhere near RCP8.5 this century, not because of limits of fossil fuels.

        I also saw you follow up comment about coal reserves and consumption in China, but my same concern applies – i.e. you are assuming current extraction practices and costs continue. But that is not what history shows.

        Can you give me a link to an authoritative references that states the case you are making – i.e. that it is virtually impossible to reach even a small percentage of the IPCC projected RCP8.5 CO2 concentrations by 2100? I am very keen to understand this and be able to provide a single succinct reference to support any statement I would like to make on it.

      • Peter Lang | December 27, 2015 at 3:51 am |

        But that is not what history shows.

        Can you give me a link to an authoritative references that states the case you are making – i.e. that it is virtually impossible to reach even a small percentage of the IPCC projected RCP8.5 CO2 concentrations by 2100? I am very keen to understand this and be able to provide a single succinct reference to support any statement I would like to make on it.


        Saudi and Texas conventional oil well production costs about $10/barrel.

        The same thing is happening in coal. When Indonesia (%6 of global exports) runs out in the next decade, export coal prices will increase significantly. Further – as someone discussed on the blog, the quality of coal is declining which effectively is a price increase.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29601644http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/co2-making-deserts-bloom.html

        The problem is that the CO2 modeling drastically underestimates plant CO2 absorption.

        What you find are two camps both of which are looking askew at the issue:
        1. CO2 will go moonward.
        2. 700 PPM is better for plants.

        Perhaps some other poster is aware of an authority making the “CO2 can’t go that high” argument.

        If I find an authority I will update. If you can find someone who disagrees with my analysis – bring it.

        Just a note – RCP8.5 (what emissions are closest to), written in 2011, updated 2013, predicts a 3 PPM/Y average CO2 increase between now and 2020, and for it to be increasing. This year is probably the only year we will get in the 3.0 PPM range because of the biggest El Nino since 1998. Either 2016 or 2017 is going to be the inverse (much lower than 2.0 PPM). I expect the increase in 2020 to be 2 to 2.2 PPM/Y

      • PS,

        Thank’s for your reply. However, it doesn’t address the question I asked you. My point is that technology keeps improving – history of the past 100 and 200 years clearly demonstrates that. Current prices are irrelevant to predicting prices and the status of extraction technology decades from now. Therefore, I am not persuaded that the amount of fossil C available will be a limit on the amount of fossil C that can be burnt this century. There may be other constraints, but so far you have not ;provided a convincing reply to the substance of my question. And you haven’t provided a link to an authoritative paper that supports your argument and and clearly and succinctly explains it.

      • https://books.google.com/books?id=Rg3f18iMUpAC&pg=PT122&lpg=PT122&dq=realistic+estimate+of+2100+Co2+level&source=bl&ots=_UuZNzJKj1&sig=QNl6isr8LEswaFDilVqqXk0IAls&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjX_9qkrY_KAhUD5iYKHZpABW4Q6AEIRjAG#v=onepage&q=realistic%20estimate%20of%202100%20Co2%20level&f=false

        Producer limited estimates are in the 450-460 PPM range.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/is-this-the-latest-tactic/
        “Even RCP2.6 has roughly 2x coal consumption in 2100 compared to 2010, albeit coal with CCS”

        The IPCC actually postulates significantly higher oil production in 2100 than today for some scenarios.

        Anyone who thinks we will be burning more than half as much fossil fuel in 2100 as today is cra-cra.

        The RCP consumption estimates are so deluded it isn’t even a starting point for a conversation.

        If you assume 2100 fossil fuel consumption will be 1/2 of the current consumption the CO2 level will be declining in 2100..

        http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0704/0704.2782.pdf

        They really don’t believe that the CO2 level will be that high. They don’t want any increase because that will worsen the non-existent net Antarctic melting. The 500+ PPM estimates are a fraud.

        Bottom line is we don’t need to do anything. If the Antarctic were really melting the earth would be slowing down – and it isn’t. Until we have to start adding leap seconds at more than the 20th century rate there isn’t even a problem and we are at less than half of the 20th century rate – only added 4 leap seconds this century.

      • PA

        If you assume 2100 fossil fuel consumption will be 1/2 of the current consumption

        What would be the basis fore such an assumption? It seems totally ridiculous to me. Unless there is a cheaper alternative, fossil fuels use will increase roughly in proportion to population growth, energy intensity of GDP, GDP growth – see Kaya Identity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_identity

      • Peter Lang | January 4, 2016 at 12:37 am |

        What would be the basis fore such an assumption? It seems totally ridiculous to me. Unless there is a cheaper alternative, fossil fuels use will increase roughly in proportion to population growth, energy intensity of GDP, GDP growth – see Kaya Identity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_identity

        More cra-cra. If their buddies weren’t doing the peer review some of these people would never publish.

        Global warming is a bunch of conjectures, hypotheses, and theories.

        The Law of Supply and Demand is THE LAW.

        If you repeal the law of supply and demand and eliminate all alternative power sources there might be more than 50% of current emissions in 2100. NOT.

        There is going to be little oil or gas consumption and China (half of today’s coal consumption) will be burning little or no coal.

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china–nuclear-power/
        150 GWe by 2030…400-500 GWe by 2050…1400 GWe by 2100
        What and who are going to be doing the burning? The huge transport costs of coal make it a mostly indigenously burned product.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_floating_nuclear_power_station
        China is going to be nuclear – that is very clear. India is going nuclear as well and is working on thorium prototypes. If China is putting in 15+ reactors a year they are going to end up producing a modular unit that is less than 1/2 the cost of current reactors. A thorium reactor is a soup kettle on top of a larger soup kettle. The Indian equivalent of LFTR could be dirt cheap. The pre-1970 reactors in the US cost less than $ 1 billion/ gigawatt in today’s dollars. There is no reason to believe China’s installed cost won’t drop to that level with the current reactors and a pour and drop module will be cheaper.

        Worrying about proliferation is a joke and a sick one. China, given the need to develop a mass produced reactor, or India with its thorium reactor, will be the suppliers of choice. The US won’t be able to stop China/India from selling them and won’t even be able to compete for sales.

        Indonesia, 6% of coal exports, is almost out of coal. When it is done the coal export market will tighten significantly. 1/3 of the worlds coal is just going to be sat on since it it in the US.

        Then we have renewables that greenies is claiming are “almost” at parity with fossil. Either they are contemptible liars or renewables will steal a fraction of power generation that isn’t taken by nuclear.

        For countries without indigenous supplies coal is expensive. There will still be coal being burned in 2100 by countries with indigenous supplies.that are local to a power plant. It probably won’t even be clean coal. It certainly won’t have CC because that is stupid. Generating more CO2 is a desirable side effect of fossil fuel consumption.

        And we haven’t discussed development of other sources. Organic solar with organic batteries will certainly be in the mix by 2050. Putting energy generating glazing or siding on your building is almost irresistible. Not to mention cold fusion or hot fusion etc.

        Once we hit peak fossil and fossil fuels reach multiples of their current price then nuclear and other sources will take over power generation, if they haven’t already.

      • PA,

        When you start with nonsense lie this, there is no point me reading any further:

        More cra-cra. If their buddies weren’t doing the peer review some of these people would never publish.

        Global warming is a bunch of conjectures, hypotheses, and theories.

        The Law of Supply and Demand is THE LAW.

        If you repeal the law of supply and demand and eliminate all alternative power sources there might be more than 50% of current emissions in 2100.

        This sort of comment is unhelpful, silly and unprofessional. Why don’t you just answer the original questions I asked you with straight, quantitative, relevant answers to the actual question and with authoritative link and quote that addresses the actual question.

      • The question I asked was:

        “Thank’s for your reply. However, it doesn’t address the question I asked you. My point is that technology keeps improving – history of the past 100 and 200 years clearly demonstrates that. Current prices are irrelevant to predicting prices and the status of extraction technology decades from now. Therefore, I am not persuaded that the amount of fossil C available will be a limit on the amount of fossil C that can be burnt this century. … you haven’t provided a link to an authoritative paper that supports your argument and and clearly and succinctly explains it.”

        Please answer this question. If you don’t have a link to an authoritative source that addresses it, then just say so.

      • 0 years clearly demonstrates that. Current prices are irrelevant to predicting prices and the status of extraction technology decades from now.

        I can’t help you. That viewpoint isn’t correct. Since peak oil in the US energy prices have been rising and will continue to rise in “real dollars”. There is no indication technology has stopped that.. It has made more oil available at a higher price. Simple supply and demand. If the price gets higher there will be more supply. But a higher price reduces demand. At some point the price reaches the cost of synthetic production. Then it is no longer fossil fuel that is consumed.


        Fracking has created a temporary hiatus in the relentless increase in natural gas price. But the EIA doesn’t expect that to continue.

        http://fortune.com/2015/02/02/doe-china-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor/

        DOE is basically helping the Chinese build LFTR reactors. Either their breeders or LFTR (both under development by China) will sharply cut nuclear costs. The 25% of power plant reactor costs due to refueling just don’t exist for LFTR. Since a reactor that can’t have an emergency doesn’t need emergency cooling the capital costs for LFTR should be significantly lower.

        When this cheap nuclear power becomes available it lowers the production cost of synthetic fuel and caps potential fossil fuel price increases (and consumption), and will blunt renewable penetration. Low-capital-cost nuclear out competes coal except for where the plant is basically co-located with a mine.

      • The missing chart from my previous post.

        Oil prices in current dollars. From:
        futureeconomicsdotnet2.files.wordpress.com

  41. “In summary, Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.” I should have added that whatever consensus exists is not relevant to making policy about climate change.

    • The Met Office is scenarioin’ 2016 will be the warmest year in their record, and by quite a margin. So 2014 by a narrow margin. 2015 by a wide margin. And maybe 2016 by a wide margin. You’re melting… 3%, 2.9%, 2.8%, etc.

    • > “In summary, Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.”

      This doesn’t answer the question I asked, Frank. I was asking if your objective was to determine “if there was a 97 consensus about what.” Both questions can be answered by reading C13’s abstract and introduction. Yet your post shows no evidence you would need to read those.

      Which means your post meandered into something else. I can turn to that something else.

      ***

      > I should have added that whatever consensus exists is not relevant to making policy about climate change.

      By chance you did not, because that would be false.

      • You are new here, Frank. We don’t take willy seriously.

      • Isn’t a bit early to be majestic, Don Don?

        Here’s the abstract:

        We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.

        http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024/pdf

        I think both of the questions asked in the title can be answered by “the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

        Or AGW.

      • That looks just like an AK comment, willy. Italics, bold, link. I skipped it. Nothing personal. It’s my policy.

      • Willard: Cook et al managed to get a peer reviewed paper published reporting the existence of a 97% consensus. It exists. However, it is:
        1) Non-quantitative attribution, which does not justify reducing emissions.
        2) Cook (2013) chose not to disclose the 87% consensus they found attributing “most” global warming.
        3) Flawed, incorrectly finding abstracts interpreted as supporting quantitative attribution before that became possible.
        4) A consensus of interpreted abstracts, not climate scientists. Cook’s methodology is not impacted by abstracts from prominent skeptics.

      • Frank,

        You already said all this. Proofs by assertion are boring.

        Your first point has not been substantiated by your implicit review of the usual contrarian points contra C13. Furthermore, it implies the linear model. Even honest brokers acknowledge that we already know enough to take action.

        Furthermore, your own argument can be used to refute this claim. If only half of the observed warming were due to rising GHGs leads to us to conclude that the best estimate for ECS would be 1.0 C, and if most actual best estimates for ECS are above 1.0 C, we may very well presume that those who work on ECS should believe there’s more than half of the warming due to GHGs.

        I’ll turn later to “your” other points. Your (2) and your (4) should start with an adjective, which seems to be the whole point of your exercise.

        Flawed, flawed, flawed.

    • Frank

      “I should have added that whatever consensus exists is not relevant to making policy about climate change.”

      Of course it is relevant.
      You dont get to decide what is relevant.

      • Steve: Would you make the same policy if you knew that ECS were 1 degC or 4 degC? I wouldn’t. As I pointed out above – and hasn’t been challenged – attributing half of global warming to aGHGs is equivalent to an ECS of 1.0 degC. Therefore, a consensus that man has caused some global warming is not useful for making policy. A strong case requires attributing at least 150% of global warming to aGHGs.

        Suppose the geology surrounding a city on a river shows clear evidence of flooding in the past. Should this evidence be relevant to policymaking? No, first one should establish whether the city is threatened by a “once-every-25-years flood” or a once-every-1000-years flood. The economics of investing in a levee (or gradually adapting to the threat) are very different for these two situations. If fear-mongering causes society to waste resources in the latter case, we won’t have the resources to invest where they are needed. (New Orleans, in the past).

        Other sources of information besides Cook (2013) provide information indicating that rising aGHGs will cause significant future harm. The real question is whether the cost of trying to prevent rising aGHGs from causing harm is greater than the future harm itself. Policymakers who recite “97% consensus” as a reason for mitigation are fear-mongering and demonstrating their ignorance of the complexity of the problem.

        History is full of irresponsible leaders who have sold policies on the basis of fear-mongering. WMD and the invasion of Iraq provides a recent example. The aura of fear that surrounded this issue even distorted the judgements of the experts who were charged with providing policymakers accurate intelligence about Iraq.

    • ==> ” should have added that whatever consensus exists is not relevant to making policy about climate change.”

      Which, of course, explains why you spent so much time focused on the topic of quantifying that “consensus.”

      Because it isn’t relevant.

      In fact, it explains why (tens of?) thousands of comments have been left on hundreds? of posts in the “skept-o-sphere” devoted to the subject.

      Because it’s irrelevant.

      It’s also why “skeptics” so often refer to “consensus” w/r/t economic outcomes from climate change (and mitigation thereof).

      It’s also why, when testifying before Congress, Judith says that no serious experts doubt the GHE.

      You know, because it doesn’t matter.

  42. Going to lunch today with a friend, and we will probably talk climate. Here are my responses on the 97% and multiple lines of evidence:

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/talking-climate/

    • Excellent material.

      A couple of things to keep in mind for lunch. Argument against MWP is that it is not global. Just a minimum of research shows many papers identifying warming in locations across the globe. Reading newspapers from 100 years ago documents concerns about Greenland, Antarctica and numerous glaciers. The same kind of concerns expressed today. Many of the localities with higher SLR have extensive subsidence problems. There is too little known about the dynamics of the oceans to declare anything with confidence about future SLR. Evidence for any unprecedented trends for climate issues simply does not exist.

      • Yes, the MWP was not absolutely global or even. There were cooler sections and the warming only occurred in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the polar regions.

        Sounds terribly like the Modern Warming…except our arithromancers and theologians aren’t explaining away the Modern Warming.

        As for the LIA, they’re rounding up the usual volcanic suspects now. Those cones and vents can come in handy for explaining away stuff. But then you have to change the subject very quickly before some smartie wants to talk about long recognised active volcanism in Western Antarctica.

        As for the Roman Warming, we should offer a prize to whoever can sail a boat into Ephesus or Ostia Antica, or whoever can come ashore where the Claudian invasion arrived in Britain. No amphibians allowed!

  43. Here is an analogy that may be useful. Most economists believe in the “law” of supply and demand and a “consensus would probably support the position that raising the minimum wage will decrease the number of workers employed at minimum wage jobs – if the minimum wage were raised high enough. Does such a consensus justify a policy of not raising the minimum wage. No. The appropriate question is: How much will a raise to $10.10/hr (now $12/hr; $15/hr in Los Angeles) reduce minimum wage employment. Historically, when the minimum wage has been raised a modest amount, observations show that employment has sometimes increased, not decreased. (That could be interpreted as unforced variability, natural variability, or evidence that the law of supply and demand doesn’t apply to employment.) Policymakers shouldn’t respond to non-quantitative generalities about the relationship between the minimum wage and employment of workers at the minimum wage. To make sensible policy, legislators need to know how many jobs will be lost (or gained) with a raise to $10.10 or some other rate.

    The Congressional Budget Office surveyed the literature and reported an expected loss of 0.5 million jobs at $10.10. THey noted paucity of useful data on raising the minimum wage by this large a percentage and were concerned the loss of jobs could be higher. That information is relevant to making policy. Generalities about the law of supply and demand are meaningless.

    If aGHGs were responsible for 50% of observed global warming, Otto (2013 implies 1.0 degC of total warming for a doubling of CO2. If aGHGs were responsible of 100% of global warming, 2.0 degC. If they were responsible for 150% of observed global warming, 3.0 degC. Worst-case scenarios call for a tripling of CO2, but so far we only added 120 ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere and tripling requires adding 550 ppm more.

    Some climate models attribute 200% of observed warming to aGHGs

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995

    • > Policymakers shouldn’t respond to non-quantitative generalities about the relationship between the minimum wage and employment of workers at the minimum wage.

      While a more fitting analogy with AGW may be the regulation of the tobacco industry, the history of how minimum wages might deserve due diligence:

      By the early 19th century, the Statutes of Labourers was repealed as increasingly capitalistic England embraced laissez-faire policies which disfavored regulations of wages (whether upper or lower limits). The subsequent 19th century saw significant labor unrest affect many industrial nations. As trade unions were decriminalized during the century, attempts to control wages through collective agreement were made. However, this meant that a uniform minimum wage was not possible. In Principles of Political Economy in 1848, John Stuart Mill argued that because of the collective action problems that workers faced in organisation, it was a justified departure from laissez faire policies (or freedom of contract) to regulate people’s wages and hours by law.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage#History

      No numbers have been harmed in Mill’s argument.

      Caricatures of strawmen are quite meaningful, but perhaps not about C13.

  44. Re: all forcings are the same. They are not. The effect of cosmic rays on clouds is hypothesized to be dominant at mid-high latitudes where there are moderate clouds. In the tropical rain belt–already saturated with clouds. In the tropical dry zones (like Sahara) no way to get any clouds. Changes in ultraviolet should have main effect in polar regions. There is also an Earth electric field effect due to the solar wind and Earth magnetic field which would affect atmospheric circulation, thunderstorms, and clouds. Even the CO2 effect does not operate uniformly on the globe due to different water vapor saturation, clouds, atmospheric depth with latitude and region. The calculation of climate sensitivity simply from change in total forcing is a simplification rather than a “law” like gravity.

    • “The calculation of climate sensitivity simply from change in total forcing is a simplification rather than a “law” like gravity.”

      Some would say it’s an oversimplification. It trivializes the wickedness of the climate problem.

  45. I don’t understand why the number of abstracts written is a relevant measure in the first place. Are these articles having unique authors, or is there replication in the authoring of multiple extracts? Wouldn’t it be more relevant to develop some criteria by which authors would be credentialed, and then categorize the positions taken by each author in order to determine the level of consensus?

    • There is a historical case in which a people went back through a book, discussed the references therein and came to a consensus on what they thought was fact. This, in fact, was written down in another book and accepted as fact by all generations after.
      Hint. It was not the Greco Roman tradition but another which had a very strong influence on the Western way, although previously only in the religious circles. Now in science as well, apparently.

  46. If I may quote what I said some two years back:

    If we use the system’s search feature for abstracts that meet this requirement, we get 65 results. That is 65, out of the 12,000+ examined abstracts. Not only is that value incredibly small, it is smaller than another value listed in the paper:

    Reject AGW 0.7% (78)

    Remembering AGW stands for anthropogenic global warming, or global warming caused by humans, take a minute to let that sink in. This study done by John Cook and others, praised by the President of the United States, found more scientific publications whose abstracts reject global warming than say humans are primarily to blame for it.

    The “consensus” they’re promoting says it is more likely humans have a negligible impact on the planet’s warming than a large one.

    Dana Nuccitelli and others criticized me for this comparison, saying it isn’t appropriate to compare Category 1 to Categories 5-7, but rather, you must compare it only to Category 7. It turns out this was extremely deceptive of Nuccitelli as he himself had created the categories with the intention of allowing comparisons like the one I had made, and what I did was almost identical to what he had originally suggested should be done.

    Leaving that aside, it’s trivially easy to see a paper which rejects or minimizes humans’ role in global warming must take a position contrary to the idea humans are the dominant cause of global warming. That makes the comparison I did completely appropriate: Cook et al’s results show more papers were rated as minimizing human influence on global warming or saying it doesn’t exist than actually said humans are the dominant cause of global warming.

    I agree with what this post is saying. I just wish it wasn’t two and a half years late. There are a number of interesting aspects to the Cook et al fiasco that build upon what this post is saying, like how Cook et al intentionally obsfucated what their results showed then later published documents which directly lie about those results. It’d be nice if more people had been writing posts like this two years ago so we could be discussing those other issues now. Instead, people have been focusing on the incredibly weak criticisms of people like Richard Tol.

    For people who want to see further discussion of some of the other points I refer to, I suggest this recent post of mine. I think it gives a pretty decent overview of where things stand.

    • On December 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm, Brandon writes:

      His [RT’s] actions have allowed John Cook and his associates to pretend to address the criticisms of their paper by addressing weak arguments by Richard Tol (and Christopher Monckton, and a couple others) while ignoring the central issue which this post focuses on.

      On December 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm, Brandon writes:

      Dana Nuccitelli and others criticized me […]

      when Brandon discussed the very same “central issue.”

      No wonder then that Brandon can say that he agrees with what this post is saying. Except for the fact that this post recycles RT’s 3% point. We have enough evidence to believe that Brandon may not agree about that.

    • Brandon,

      Who cares what Scooter Nuccitelli says about you or anything else. He’s a wanna be who apparently thinks he’s a climate scientist because he yaps loudly about the topic. Based on his work history and education background he’s no more of a climate scientist than I am. Hell, I may even have course work more applicable to the subject than he has from his Physics MS.

      • timg56, Dana Nuccitelli was the second author of this paper, and he was the one who came up with the categories used for the rating system used to come up with these results.

        I’d say that makes his comments about me, made because of my criticisms of the rating system he designed and paper he co-authored rather relevant. When one of the main drivers behind a project has said the same things his critics say, and thus has to contradict himself to defend his work, that’s kind of important.

      • My apologies then. I wasn’t paying attention to the context.

        I still think that Scooter’s being a co-author is evidence of how scientifically lacking the Cook paper is. But then Cook is no more of a scientist than Nuccitelli. Another wanna be who has leveraged his web site efforts into attention for himself. Spiffy uniform and all.

      • > I wasn’t paying attention to the context.

        Neither did Brandon in this thread, which gives his comments their usual armwaving charm:

        [Brandon]’s argument rests on at least two dubious assumptions:

        (A1) AGW requires that A > 50%
        (A2) If A <= 50%, then A is "negligible".
        (A3) We should ignore all the abstracts that take AGW for granted.

        https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18745

      • Brandon’s thoughts on the Cookie paper are a little scattered, but Greg Maddigan nailed you clowns on that thread. Por ejemplo:

        https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18794

        Bottom line is, out of 12,000 papers a very scant tiny little grand total of 65 papers explicitly endorsed the proposition that humans have caused >50% of the recent warming.

        You fail the Cookie test, willito. Defending that piece of crap paper exposes a total lack of moral and intellectual integrity.

      • > Por ejemplo:

        That comment wasn’t even addressed to me, Don Don.

        Try a bit later:

        Perhaps looking at the rating process as an algorithm can clarify matters.

        First, you read an ABSTRACT. Does it mention AGW? Yes, they all do.

        Second, you ask: does it say or imply anything about AGW? If yes, go to the third step; if not, put it into (4a).

        Third, does it say something that the issue regarding AGW is uncertain or indeterminate? Put it into (4b).

        Fourth, does it say something quantative? If yes, put it into (1) or (7).

        Fifth, does it minimize AGW? If yes, put it into (5) or (6).

        Sixth, does it endorses explicitely AGW, If yes, put it into (2).

        Seventh, does it work assumes AGW? If yes, put it into (3).

        Eighth, you loop back another time for each article.

        Ninth, you arbitrate ratings conflict.

        Tenth, you validate with the authors of the ABSTRACTS themselves.

        If you look at the whole classification, instead of finding new words to minimize what has been done, you should see that if an ABSTRACT expresses its endorsement regarding AGW, it is not by saying that “yeah, but AGW is an unspecified part”. That could very well go into (4b), if the rater does not see an endorsement.

        There’s a judgement call there that can’t be solved by pushing the limits of justified disingenuousness.

        https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18920

        Chris did not recover very well from that algorithm. He went on ad hom mode, which he should have left to you, You’re simply in your line of protection services, Don Don.

        However you slice it, C13 is good enough for what it did. Sure, there are things that they could have improved. I made many suggestions myself. No, I won’t tell you which ones, and yes, Frank missed them all. Speaking of whom, if you read that comment thread at BartV’s, is issue about papers before AR4 has been addressed.

        Don’t forget to close by saying that C13 doesn’t matter anyway. It’s always nice to see Denizens invest so much time in something that doesn’t matter.

      • > You’re simply in your line of protection services, Don Don.

        You’re simply the best, that is.

      • You are pathetic, willy. No moral or intellectual integrity. Audit yourself.

  47. So here we are, still focussed on the UN-generated mythical powers of allegedly human-generated CO2. In a few instances, there have been passing nods to other UN-generated allegedly “dangerous” elements in our atmosphere, just for good measure – if not to keep those UN spawned and dedicated bodies spinning, ad infinitum in the background.

    Meanwhile back on the UN-ranch, still somewhat quietly riding to the forefront, via the new, improved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s for short) – of which “climate action” gets one solitary mention at No. 13** – is yet another UN-generated organization. Quelle surprise, eh?!

    [** See: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2015/09/24/undp-welcomes-adoption-of-sustainable-development-goals-by-world-leaders.html%5D

    But, just for the fun of it, let’s take a little trip down memory lane …

    During the course of the hoopla surrounding the 2010 “birth announcement”, IPBES was declared – by the UNEP’s head honcho, Achim Steiner – to be a new “gold standard” body before it had actually produced a single report, or even a facsimile thereof!

    But IPBES is, in effect, a younger sibling (or clone, you may take your pick) of the IPCC. This relatively new kid on the environmental block, i.e. the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, came with its very own – and very thinly disguised – multi-volumed, money-grubbing “bible” (aka TEEB).

    IPBES and TEEB had made their simultaneous – but very green-tinted – debuts circa October 2010 [i.e. on the virtual heels of the 2009 Copenhagen COP-flop], as I had noted at the time of their respective “birth” announcements:

    Move over IPCC … here comes IPBES

    See also my follow-up observations and speculations at the time: Of COPs, MOPs and a global battle of duelling doomsayers

    Is it possible that by keeping our eyes focussed on this (failed) CO2 UN money-grubbing prize, we are missing what may turn out to be the latest and greatest EnviroEco grab, as it makes its way to the forefront?

    Well, once the UN’s much belated interest in the fate of the millions of refugees it has created – with more than a little help from Obama’s “leadership” – and ignored for far too many years, fades as a fundraiser. Not to mention serving as yet another example of the UN’s (unstated) motto in action: Let’s you and him fight!

    • Sorry keep forgetting that WordPress requires a space twixt end of URL and any closing bracket. My [**See: …] link above should be:

      http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2015/09/24/undp-welcomes-adoption-of-sustainable-development-goals-by-world-leaders.html

    • The U N … now there’s white elephant giganticus! 17
      specialized agencies, secretariat departments
      employing more than 40,000 bureaucrats, many paid
      more than US civil servants. The US, its largest
      contributor forking out more than $7.691 billion in 2010
      … Latest figures not forthcoming, seem to have gone
      missing within the UN labyrinthian hive.

      http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/09/15/how-much-does-the-un-cost-us/

      • Bravo. Now the focus is on the correct center mass and its legacy.

        The 97% meme debunking is like complaining about a spot on a rotten apple; it’s only the important first step in describing the rot of the whole thing.

        Truth to the masses requires political action, where proactive education by scientists is directed at those that can make a difference on policy by means of their connections to a larger audience; politicians do this. From my perspective, that’s what a red team would represent if it were created. There is a blue team, much of it’s leadership is in the UN.

        Unfortunately, simply focusing on the veracity of science, or lack of it, represents waging a losing battle against a sea of sycophants beating the shores of a new world order.

      • Actually, it’s even worse than you thought, beth. From (believe it or not!) the U.K. Graun via dennisa:

        “Even accounting for inflation, annual UN expenditure is 40 times higher than it was in the early 1950s. The organisation now encompasses 17 specialised agencies , 14 funds and a secretariat with 17 departments employing 41,000 people.

        Its regular budget, which is agreed every two years and goes to pay for the cost of administering the UN – including mouthwatering daily allowances which result in many of its bureaucrats being far better paid than American civil servants – has more than doubled over the past two decades to $5.4bn. But that is just a small portion of the total spend. Peacekeeping costs another $9bn a year, with 120,000 peacekeepers deployed mostly in Africa. Some missions have lasted more than a decade.

        And then there are the voluntary contributions from individual governments that go to fund a large part of disaster relief, development work and agencies such as Unicef. They have risen sixfold over the past 25 years to $28.8bn. And yet even at that level, some agencies are warning that they are operating on the brink of bankruptcy.”

        Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/what-has-the-un-achieved-united-nations

        And considering that the source is the Guardian, I would not be at all surprised to learn that today’s numbers are, in fact, even higher at the oh-so-transparent UN.

      • Thanks, Hilary, facts and figures to broadcast against
        the spread of this bureau T.Rex myth maker and
        destroyer of the wealth of the west.

        ‘ To feel creep up the curving east
        The earthly chill of dusk and slow
        Upon those under lands the vast
        And ever climbing shadow grow..’

        ‘You, Andrew Marvell’ Archibald MacLeish.

  48. Climate and Punishment
    Dr Christopher Essex
    But be assured that it is for our own good, because… ninety-seven.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/28/climate-and-punishment/

    Global Warming Is Now A ‘Women’s Issue’ Due To ‘Ecofeminism’
    http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/global-warming-is-now-a-womens-issue-due-to-ecofeminism/

  49. Consequently, no widespread consensus exists in these abstracts that humans are responsible for most of the global warming

    I think one way to go about doing this is to ask relevant scientists whether they agree with the IPCC conclusion you cited above; It’s an easier question to answer than giving various intervals of warming to choose from.

    It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

    • Given Judith’s earlier comment I think it is worth stressing your quote in the following way

      It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

      It might be also worth stressing what the IPCC says about these attribution studies (Chapter 10, page 878)

      Attribution results are typically expressed in terms of conventional ‘frequentist’ confidence intervals or results of hypothesis tests: when it is reported that the response to anthropogenic GHG increase is very likely greater than half the total observed warming, it means that the null hypothesis that the GHG-induced warming is less than half the total can be rejected with the data available at the 10% significance level.

      • Sorry, that would be the 0.5 hypothesis. The null hypothesis is that the ghg-induced warming is zero.

      • That’s actually quite good. I am, of course, assuming that you are actually joking :-)

      • Let’s assume the vague IPCC BS means that they are proclaiming that humans are responsible for all the recent warming. Why don’t they mention in that statement their best estimate for the amount of warming caused by fossil fuel use?

      • ATTP noted: The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period. (AR5)

        The IPCC was unable to make this statement until AR5. In the FAR, they said “observed warming is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability”. Cook (2013) deals with a non-quantitative attribution over the two decades from the FAR until just before the 5AR. Non-quantitative attribution was not useful for policymaking at the time of the FAR. According to Cook, scientists have been explicitly and implicitly endorsing non-quantitative attribution to the same extent ever since the FAR. Those endorsements are as meaningless for policymaking today as they were in 1991.

        To make sound policy, legislators need to know HOW MUCH of observed warming can be attributed to aGHGs. To a first approximation, climate models with an ECS of 3, attribute roughly 150% (!) of observed warming to aGHG’s – with aerosols negating the extra 50%. One could make policy on the basis of these models. However, 97% of the climate science community has not endorsed these models or a statement attributing 150% of observed warming to aGHGs.

        Cook (2013) judged that 65 abstracts endorsed and 10 rejected attributing MOST observed warming to humans. This didn’t constitute a 97% consensus. For the earliest five endorsing abstracts, their judgment appears dubious – at best – in four or five cases.

      • To make sound policy, legislators need to know HOW MUCH of observed warming can be attributed to aGHGs.

        As I think Steven Mosher has pointed out, they don’t. To make sound policy they simply need the best information available at that time. Of course it would be wonderful if we had a better understanding of this than we currently do, but that’s a simplistic truism;. it’s an ideal that we can probably never actually achieve. However, that doesn’t change that sound policy is based on the best information that is actually available, not the information that we’d like to have available.

      • > To make sound policy, legislators need to know HOW MUCH of observed warming can be attributed to aGHGs.

        So here’s where Frank’s strawman “others keep repeating that attributing most global warming to aGHGs is useful information for policymakers” comes from: his own mind.

        Then he’ll proceed to disagree with his own claim at the end of this thread.

        You just can’t make this up.

    • Since global warming is really a reduction in global cooling, a best estimate is the change in the average lowest temperature during a year.

  50. Trying to pin down if anyone said caused more 100%, I don’t think that happened.

    “The probability density function for the fraction of warming attributable to human activity…” – Real Climate
    Above the number indicated is 110%.

    “Since 1950, the authors find that greenhouse gases contributed 166% (120-215%) of the observed surface warming (0.85°C of 0.51°C estimated surface warming).  The percentage is greater than 100% because aerosols offset approximately 44% (0.45°C) of that warming.” – SkS

    That greenhouse gases come with aerosols is like revenues coming with their related expenses. Revenues for a year are 100% of what they are. I cannot think of an exception. That I have related expenses that year doesn’t increase revenues percentage above 100.

    “Q1. What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human-induced increases in atmospheric GHG concentrations? Quantitative answer options in percentage ranges of GHG contribution. Answer options included >100% (i.e., GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosol cooling) and 100% according to the paper.

    Attributable, contributed and caused. 100% of this year’s revenues allowed us to pay out 35% of revenues to cover the related expenses. That caused us to clear and pay to ourselves 65% of revenues.100% of revenues is attributable and contributed to our net income. This years revenues were 100% of what they were. What they appear to be doing is setting net income to 100% and saying revenues are some greater percent of that 100%. Net income $65k (100%). Expenses $35k (54%). Revenue $100k (154%). When we say expenses were 54% of something, we think of revenue. But that’s not the case in my above example of what they appeared to do. What they are doing is confusing and not what is the long time accepted practice for reporting net income. The accountant’s job is to provide information that is useful management. I don’t believe the scientists in this case are doing that.

  51. The “Data or Dogma” hearing bugged me too, especially Dr. David Titley’s misleading snark and the Markey-Schatz 97% amen chorus. I post a short review here: http://www.globalwarming.org/2015/12/21/climate-change-hearing-lessons-from-data-vs-dogma/

  52. Many laypeople seem to think the 97% is about scientists insisting we have to act immediately and dramatically. They’ll loop Watts, Curry, etc, as “deniers” in the 3%. Then they’ll bash Fox News, the Koch brothers, or Exxon. It’s like a programmed response from some “how to debate skeptics for dummies” book or something. So many of them know absolutely nothing about what’s being debated.

  53. Let’s be clear:

    1. Only 0.5% of the 12,000 abstracts reviewed (not 97% of scientists) “explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of global warming“.

    2. 97% of the abstracts that mention cause explicitly state (23%) or imply (74.3%) humans are causing some warming but we don’t know how much.

    3. The 0.5%that “explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of global warming” is overstated because of ratings misjudgements.

    4. Many papers by sceptical climate scientists are not included in the 12,000 abstracts.

  54. Wishing Judith and the denizens a 97% ( at minimum )
    Joyful Christmas and New Year. bts.

  55. And to you Beth! :)

    Enjoy you nice mild 33C in Melbourne tomorrow. :)

  56. Say Peter, krige us some of yr cool Canberra temps
    fer Xmas why don’cha? Here down south we’ve had
    hot, hot, hot. Tsk! Whether is so variable. Ask tony b.

  57. Why are y’all worrying about a Good Thing?

    Patrick Moore made the telling observation that Canada is bigger than the USA, but has only 1/9th its population. And that New Yorkers go to Florida for vacation, not Newfoundland.

    Warmer is better.

    The way you guys carry on you’d think it was better to be in an Ice Age or living under a glacier or something?

    Is it coz you all live in expensive Florida beachside properties and are worried about 1 foot per century SLR?

    And more CO2 plant food is better.

    This is simple plant physiology that y’all should have learnt in Nature study before you were 10.

    Just sayin’

    • This is simple plant physiology that y’all should have learnt in Nature study before you were 10.

      This explains a great deal. Thanks.

      • Always happy to help your general scientific education, Ken. Think of it as my Christmas present to you.

        You’ll no doubt recall form chamistry and biology that plants are formed of carbon (and hydrogen and oxygen) and that their only source of carbon is CO2 from the atmosphere. They have no other place to get it from. CO2 starved plants don’t grow well. Plants with easy access to CO2 grow a lot better.

        And here’s a lovely image that will help you remember this truth:

        A plant grown at double the CO2 is about twice as big.

        Simples.

        Merry Christmas

      • and Then There’s Physics: Indeed.

        The evidence collected to date supports the claims that plants will grow better at higher CO2 concentrations, or be more drought tolerant, or both. You are unwilling to admit that straight out, aren’t you? You can’t dispute it with reference to the peer-reviewed literature because it is true, but you won’t admit that it is true, will you?

      • Matthew,
        I am indeed not an expert on this. Ranga Myeni, however, is – I think – an expert on this. In response to Matt Ridleys’s claim that

        based on multiple thousands of experiments, that if you add CO2 to the air, you increase the growth of plants.

        he said

        This is an inaccurate statement. Nearly all the CO2 enrichment experiments show enhanced plant growth only in the first few years after which the plants acclimatise. The fertilisation effect disappears because other factors (mainly nutrients) become limiting.

        So, unless I’m misreading this, it’s not quite as simples as some would have you believe.

      • So kenny, if we are growing crops like tomatoes, corn, soy beans, rice etc. after a few years added CO2 doesn’t make any difference? You should go back to stalking Anthony Watts, kenny. You do better when you are focused.

      • ‘The fertilisation effect disappears because other factors (mainly nutrients) become limiting’.

        So?

        To use a human analogy: You only worry about being hungry if you aren’t dying of thirst. And you only worry about vitamin deficiencies if you aren’t already starving.

        At 300 ppm many plants are starved of CO2. (Below 200 they all die). So letting them loose to grow properly shows exactly the effect I describe.

        Ref: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plants-Ladybird-Natural-History-Series/dp/0721401228

      • ATTP: Many factors can limit growth of plants: sunlight, CO2, nitrogen, phosphorus, water and micronutrients. Limiting access to any of these raw materials will prevent extra CO2 from causing more growth, so one won’t always see a “fertilization” effect from enhanced CO2. However, farmers can provide all of these nutrients besides sunlight and CO2, which is why they add CO2 to some greenhouses to stimulate growth. Moreover, the use of CO2 and water are tightly linked – most water vapor is lost via the stomata that let CO2 enter. To conserve water, plants shut their stomata at night and when water is in short supply. An increase in CO2 will certainly help plants grow while using less water.

      • I grew up around intensive farming. My father owned an ag-based business. If farmers did not make money, he did not make money. I’ve heard farmers pray for rain; I’ve heard them discuss the miracle called anhydrous ammonia; I’ve heard them talk about bug killers in glowing terms; I’ve never heard a farmer say “CO2” once in my entire life; my Grandmother used to tell us to acidify her soil.

        We fed the world. Nothing suffered from CO2 starvation. This is just insipid nonsense. Is there a period of the day in a cornfield when growth can stop because ambient CO2 goes to a low level? Yes, but only after a butt kicking growth session. LMAO.

      • O Christmas Tree.
        https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/got-wood/
        ‘… throughout much of evolutionary history, plants had
        a much higher level of co2 to work with, punctuated by
        periods of depressed levels near our recent ‘historical’
        starvation levels.’

      • The little alarmist trolls get all emotional when any benefit of increased CO2 is mentioned. Can’t have any of that. Doesn’t fit the “OMG! It’s worse than we thought!” meme. They get the screaming meemies. I don’t think the ineffectual chumps will ever get meaningful mitigation. A 97% consensus and all they get is the Farce d’ Paris. Pathetic.

      • Don Don,

        The little alarmist trolls get all emotional

        Were you being intentionally ironic, or not?

      • Except in the lab and ag models, CO2, temperature and precipitation, let alone soils and soil building cannot be separated. There were a number of sessions at AGU on this. Suffice it to say what you gain in crop yields on CO2 you lose on the others more or less.

      • eli rabbett,

        You wrote –

        “Suffice it to say what you gain in crop yields on CO2 you lose on the others more or less.”

        So, of course, you can provide the optimum level of CO2 for plant growth? Or is it more, or less? Or does it depend on the others?

        Typical Warmist tactics. Deny, divert, obscure.

        Suffice it to say, you are completely clueless when it comes to providing facts to support your fantasy. I’ll ask again, as you appear to be saying that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are somehow harmful, what is the optimum level for the well-being of humankind?

        If you are a follower of “Death Trains” Hansen, you are probably opposed to the use of coal, rather than CO2 concentration per se. It’s hard to tell with Warmists. By the time one digs through the deny, divert, obscure, tactics, it is just about impossible to figure out what Warmists are really trying to say.

        It generally doesn’t matter, of course. Delusional fantasy, supposedly supported by strident assertion, with nary a fact to be found.

        Suffice it to say, you haven’t a clue! Fact or fiction, I leave to others.

        Cheers.

      • Don’t be frightened, kenny. I haven’t committed mayhem without legal sanction, since I was 19.

      • Thank you for your BS opinion on the more or less, prof. rabbetticus halpernicus. How do your hapless students get their sleep while they are on holiday, dr. bunnyboy? Do you phone them? Maybe texting em works.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Eli, they didn’t simulate projected drought conditions did they? I agree completely that increasing CO2 will not help plant growth if you deprive them of water.

      • eli rabett (@EthonRaptor) | December 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm |
        Except in the lab and ag models, CO2, temperature and precipitation, let alone soils and soil building cannot be separated. There were a number of sessions at AGU on this. Suffice it to say what you gain in crop yields on CO2 you lose on the others more or less.

        We really want to push the CO2 level to 700 PPM. We would get more productivity and higher temperature tolerance.

      • JCH says

        ‘And it was of no concern to farmers in the 19th century’

        Sure. I wouldn’t have expected them to worry about it.

        Any more than they were concerned about there being 365 days in a year, the seasons, or that the atmospheric concentration of oxygen is about 210,000 ppm.

        Because from their perspective such things, including the CO2 concentration were constants. They could not influence them in any meaningful way so just lived with them and did the best they could within the constraints they were given.

        But over geologic timescales, these weren’t constants at all. We are at a geologically low level of CO2 as shown here.

        So – from a plant perspective – which is the ‘optimum’ CO2 level? The 400 ppm we have now or the much higher levels we experienced in the past?

        Please justify your answers.

      • Eli wrote: “Except in the lab and ag models, CO2, temperature and precipitation, let alone soils and soil building cannot be separated. There were a number of sessions at AGU on this. Suffice it to say what you gain in crop yields on CO2 you lose on the others more or less.”

        How about addressing this from a fundamental chemistry perspective? What is the rate-limiting chemical step in the growth of plants. Usually RuBisCo, meaning that more CO2 leads to more growth. If growth is limited by the availability of nitrogen or phosphorus or photons, this generality won’t apply. Farmers add nitrogen and phosphorus via fertilizer, instead of “soil building”. Water is mostly lost through the stomata that let CO2 in, so higher CO2 may allow growth using less water.

      • and Then There’s Physics: The fertilisation effect disappears because other factors (mainly nutrients) become limiting.

        Yes, it’s the same with nitrogen-rich fertilizer: once you overcome the growth-limiting effect of insufficient nitrogen, the growth-limiting effects of other restricted nutrients become more prominent. So farmers add potassium and phosphorus, where those are limited. Yet, without sufficient water, you still have little growth, because water is also necessary. Plus there has to be sufficient warmth, so fertilizing and watering in winter don’t have much good effect before spring. CO2 can not by itself overcome every limit to plant growth, but increased CO2 has a net beneficial effect on plant growth wherever it has been studied.

    • Eli Rabbett: Suffice it to say what you gain in crop yields on CO2 you lose on the others more or less.

      What does that mean? No one has claimed that CO2 is the only nutrient. Are you saying that increased soil fertility will lead to reduced crop yields when CO2 increases?

  58. This comment from a discussion of the phony Cookie-nutticelli 97% consenus on Bart V.’s blog sums it up nicely (watch little willy squeal):

    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18825

    Chris Maddigan Says:
    May 21, 2013 at 04:22

    NealJKing sys:

    I don’t believe they are stated in the article itself.

    No they weren’t, nor were the figures on each level of endorsement. I am not sure they ever would have if someone else hadn’t done the analysis and produced them. They are, after all, very embarrassing.

    Be that as it may, what is the relevance of even looking at papers that are not relevant to validating the consensus position? Much is made of the fact that these papers are peer reviewed, but the peer review has nothing to do with the question of whether humans are causing global warming. The peer review is about the engineering or the biology which says nothing whatsoever about the consensus.

    If Cook et al had accurately represented their findings they would look something like this:

    “97% of a mixed bag of climate scientists, engineers, teachers, biologists, public relations aficionados, and political commentators most of whom have no expertise whatsoever in the field, endorse the proposition that humans have made at least some non-trivial contribution to global warming”

    That isn’t an attempt at sarcasm. It is an accurate representation of what they found. The paper though is written in such a way as to almost invite misrepresentation. Take a look at this statement from the paper.

    “We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).”

    1) The paper does not examine the level of scientific consensus (ie consensus amongst the relevant scientists) but the degree to which some people, many without qualifications in the area, accept it.
    2) Note that the definition of “the consensus” here is much more precise and stronger than stated elsewhere and, as has been demonstrated, is incompatible with the 97% claim. Only a tiny fraction of the papers clearly endorse this position, but of course Cook et chose not to publish the figures that would make this obvious.

    Cook et al make no bones about their aim to influence public opinion. They got the effect they wanted; headlines around the world saying “97% of climate science papers agree mankind is the cause of climate change.” We get Barack Obama tweeting “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Neither of these claims is supported by the actual research but the way the paper was written encouraged it.

    Papers like Cook et al really get up my nose. Not because I think the result is necessarily wrong – I have little problem with the proposition that most climate scientists believe mankind is largely responsible for climate change – but because I abhor agenda driven pseudo research. Papers like this are the bane of the climate change debate; deeply flawed methodology, misrepresented results and foregone conclusions. For every headline they gain they lose droves of thinking people who conclude the people pushing climate change are dishonest.

    All this paper has done is give very deadly ammunition to the other side. Brandon Shollenberger’s analysis of this paper is logical and correct. His attack is fatal.

    It took me many years to move from a skeptical position on climate change to one where I accept a large part of the consensus. That journey was made difficult by the fact that so many advocates were distorting the facts and refusing to accept valid criticism. They still are.

    It doesn’t matter that the other side was even worse. Non-orthodox positions always attract their fair share of charlatans, egotists and the tin foil hat brigade.

    If you want to convince people that science and reason is on your side then you must act in a way that is consistent with it.

    • ‘If you want to convince people that science and reason is on your side then you must act in a way that is consistent with it’.

      Climategate: The gift that goes on giving. That shows what a tawdry little bunch of smug shysters are at the heart of ‘climate science’.

      Merry Christmas (nearly) everybody.

    • Don wrote: “It took me many years to move from a skeptical position on climate change to one where I accept a large part of the consensus. That journey was made difficult by the fact that so many advocates were distorting the facts and refusing to accept valid criticism. They still are.”

      What large part of the consensus do you accept? The consensus advocates for an 80% reduction in emission of GHGs by 2050. It doesn’t take much of a bias in the pillars of this policy to change from prudent to foolhardy: 1) Overestimating ECS, particularly on the high end of the pdf. 2) Underestimating the GMST at which warming ceases to be beneficial (today’s temp or +1 degC). 3) Overestimating rate at which damages grow with temperature. 4) Applying an artificially low discount rate for government borrowing, when investment in low-carbon energy is made mostly by businesses that charge their customers a much higher cost of capital. 5) Counting world-wide benefits against national costs of mitigation. 6) Underestimating adaptation. Given the distortions you acknowledge, how can you be sure the social cost of carbon dioxide emission is high enough to justify mitigation?

      • > Applying an artificially low discount rate […]

        I think you should revise where low discount rates lead, Frank.

      • Willard: Mitigation means spending money today to avoid losses from high temperature in the future. A lower discount rate leads to a much higher net present value for future benefits from mitigation.

    • Since out of sudden you seem to appreciate quotes:

      > Brandon [‘s] analysis of this paper is logical and correct. His attack is fatal.

      Arguing by assertion about a conclusion that has been refuted in the thread many times now, for instance:

      You are attempting to change the question to “exactly how much endorsement”, and in the process applying a very one-sided criteria – that rejection of the consensus is always rejection, but endorsement is somehow not always endorsement.

      https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18785

      does not bode well for someone who wishes to express genuine concerns.

      https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18826

      Thank you for your concerns about the hordes that join the bandwagon you’re fight because of C13, Don Don.

    • It is Christmas and good squirrels should be with their families consuming nuts. This whole Cook controversy has very little to do with science and deals more with the activist agenda. That it has consumed so much blog and journal time and been downloaded so much speaks to the arboreal rodent contingent of the climate debate and their interest in irrelevancies. Please stick to Russell’s decalogue and other things more relevant to the life experience of squirrels.

    • That was a comment made by Greg Maddigan, on Bart V’s blog. Like I said, and provided link. I don’t do italics and I didn’t think quotes were necessary. I’ll be more careful.

      Anyway Frank, if the consensus is defined as humans contributing more than half of the recent warming, I ain’t arguing with that. But I am not convinced it’s 160%, or that it’s going to kill our children, or do serious harm.

      Except for when I was a criminal in my misguided youth, I have been fighting for truth, justice and the American way. If the alarmists are right, I want them to convince me and I will man the barricades with them and show them how to fight. But they have been dishonest, inept, incompetent and ill-tempered. They don’t seem to be serious people. See willy, kenny, yimmy, yoey, the putz with the unmentionable pseudo-nym et al.

      Please tell willy I don’t have any time for him.

      Merry Christmas!

  59. Steve Mosher and others keep repeating that attributing most global warming to aGHGs is useful information for policymakers. Yes, attribution is useful for fear-mongering – but not rational policymaking based on cost-benefit analysis. Cost benefit analysis must begin with ECS (or TCR) – the amount of warming expected from a rise in GHGs. No one has challenged the heart of my argument – attributing 50% of observed global warming to aGHGs implies an ECS of 1 degC. Do you really believe that an ECS of 1 degC justifies expensive mitigation?

    Or do you believe that statements attributing “most” global warming to aGHGs are equivalent to attributing 150%-200% of global warming to aGHGs – the type of attribution consistent with an ECS of 3-4 degC, which is currently being used to drive policymaking?

    • > Steve Mosher and others keep repeating that attributing most global warming to aGHGs is useful information for policymakers.

      I thought they were simply saying that consensus matters for policy making, and that gerrymandering on “most” did not.

      Strawmen are suboptimal.

      • Willard wrote: “I thought they were simply saying that consensus matters for policy making, and that gerrymandering on “most” did not.”

        Thus the title of this post: “What is there a 97% consensus about?” Answer: Nothing relevant to policymaking. The abstracts that attributed “most global warming” – were only 0.5% of those rated – “gerrymandering” produced by Cook’s rating system, not mine. Even if attribution of “most” global warming to humans were equivalent to a prediction of future catastrophic global warming – which it is not since 50% attribution is an ECS of 1 degC – 97% of these 0.5% didn’t endorse “most”.

    • franktoo,

      Thank you for exposing that only 0.5% (actually less as you pointed out) of the 12,000 abstracts attribute more than half the warming to human causes. What a difference from the claimed 97%, eh.

      It’s also great to see this exposed: 97% of the abstracts that made any statement about attribution said, in effect, man is having some effect on the climate but we don’t know how much. I also understand we don’t have a handle on whether human caused GHG emissions are net-harmful or net-beneficial. The uncertainties are enormous.

      Thank you for exposing this. It must be very hard for the die-hard alarmists to accept it, let alone acknowledge they’ve been so wrong.for so long.

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  61. Does Cook et al claim that over 97% of abstracts explicitly claim that over 50% of observed warming is anthropogenic? I think that “only 0.5% (actually less as you pointed out) of the 12,000 abstracts attribute more than half the warming to human causes” is a straw man argument.

    The distinction between attribution and estimation is consistently blurred in these discussions.

    Nobody claims that the over 100% number is certain or even demonstrated in a frequentist sense (attribution), only that it is more likely than not, which by a narrow margin appears to be the case (estimation). That is, it is more likely than not that the net anthro forcing is over 100%.

    It is however likely that the net CO2 forcing is over 100% and nearly certain that the net greenhouse forcing (including other gases) is well over 100%.

    Three different questions to start with – net anthro, CO2 only, and CO2 plus other GHGs. Another question is what the baseline period is. And then there’s the question of attribution (approaching certainty) vs estimation (best bet.)

    A lot depends on what question you ask and who you ask it of.

    The bottom line for policy is where the risk spectrum lies, which is fundamentally a probabilistic estimation problem. It would be nice if people didn’t think this was a tug-of-war but actually a risk estimation problem.

    There are people huffing and puffing and pulling on the rope on both sides. It’s tedious to be sure.

    The important fact is that those emphasizing uncertainty weaken attribution arguments for strong policy but strengthen the more appropriate risk management arguments for strong policy. I have been among those trying to explain this confusion for a long time.

    If you want to tug on the rope for delaying or avoiding greenhouse emissions policy, and you emphasize uncertainty, you are actually pulling the wrong way. Uncertainty is not your friend.

    • We can all see that now, mt.

    • mt wrote: “Does Cook et al claim that over 97% of abstracts explicitly claim that over 50% of observed warming is anthropogenic? I think that “only 0.5% (actually less as you pointed out) of the 12,000 abstracts attribute more than half the warming to human causes” is a straw man argument.”

      Cook (2013) tells us that the vast majority of the scientific community believes that human activities are responsible for some observed “global warming”. That was true in 1950-1970 and the 2000’s, when the temperature was flat or falling. Obviously the amount warming caused by humans can be insignificant at times and possibly have negligible implications for policy-making. Above I wrote: “Unfortunately, the key issue is not whether anthropogenic GHGs have caused ANY increase in global temperature – the issue is how much global warming have they caused.” The amount of warming attributable to aGHGs we have experienced in the past is the best indicator of how much warming we will experience in the future. Cook recognized this fact (it is not a straw man argument) and chose to address it when rating abstracts and then ignore it when publishing his results.

      Only a few research groups in the world are qualified to do the difficult work of attributing warming to aGHGs (as opposed to naturally-forced or unforced variability). Their work is inherently probabilistic and highly uncertain (as you note in your comment). Presenting work of this type in terms of a “97% consensus” is absurd.

      Cook (2013) statement is relevant only for the scientifically illiterate who are incapable of understanding the GHE.

      mt wrote: “A lot depends on what question you ask …”

      I agree. Unfortunately the politicians and activists who repeatedly refer to the 97% consensus are demonstrating their complete lack of understanding of the complexities you describe above. (I was prompted to write this post after listening to the Senate hearing Judith attended recently. Perhaps a politician would be justified in over-simplifying the meaning of the 97% consensus when talking to the public, but there was no excuse in doing so when talking to climate scientists.)

      To avoid the complications of aerosols, I discussed the amount of warming attributable to aGHGs, not humans. Cook and others don’t bother to discriminate between aGHGs and humans.

      One key point I hoped to make is that attributing 50% of warming to aGHGs implies an ECS of 1.0 degC and 100% an ECS of 2.0 degC. Neither non-quantitative attribution nor attribution of “most warming” support the policy position that future climate change will be catastrophic if emissions aren’t reduced by 80%. That requires attributing something like 150% or more of observed warming to aGHGs.

      My second point was that rating abstracts was a lousy way to assess the opinion of the climate science community.

      mt wrote: “It would be nice if people didn’t think this was a tug-of-war but actually a risk estimation problem.”

      I’ll happily agree with this statement, as long as you include the risks/costs of mitigation. On the whole, I think alarmists tend to ignore the fact that the estimated social cost of carbon (and therefore the cost-benefit analysis of mitigation) depends dramatically upon the assumptions that go into the calculation. Should we use the pdf for ECS (centered around 3 degC) obtained from climate models (which don’t properly explore parameter space and technically shouldn’t be used for this purpose)? Or should we use the pdf from Otto (2013) did (ECS central estimate 2.0 degC)? How should the low probability that ECS might be greater than 4 degC be handled?

  62. Pingback: The 97% Consenus Myth | dagonswift

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  64. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    More info on the 97% nonsense.
    Executive Summary: Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.

  65. My, my , my, so much argumentation over such a minor point. The 97% thing is like how many dentists agree that brushing your teeth is a good idea. The point is that every year is the hottest global atmosheric temperature on record, there was no hiatus, only a slowing in the rate of increase in global temperature, permafrost and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising. The increase in heat storage in the atmosphere and the oceans is irrefutable and coinincides with the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions. The relationships between anthropogenic CO2 emissions and changes in the atmosphere and oceans are predictable from all known physical and chemical laws.

    It matters not how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or agree that climate change is real and is human caused. Data beat opinions.

  66. Herb,
    Did you enter the wrong “church” thinking you were going to preach to the “choir”? Or rather to utter “fire and brimstone” from this free dais to those you must perceive as uneducated posters? Sorry, but lots of the posters here see the data in a different light than the tenets you profess!