Now that climate science is ‘settled’ . . .

by Judith Curry

Climate science is being gutted in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article Climate science to be gutted as CSIRO swings jobs axe.  Excerpts:

Fears that some of Australia’s most important climate research institutions will be gutted under a Turnbull government have been realised with deep job cuts for scientists.

Fairfax Media has learnt that as many as 110 positions in the Oceans and Atmosphere division will go, with a similarly sharp reduction in the Land and Water division. Total job cuts would be about 350 staff over two years, the CSIRO confirmed in an email to staff.

The cuts were flagged in November, just a week before the Paris climate summit began, with key divisions told to prepare lists of job cuts or to find new ways to raise revenue.

In the email sent out to staff on Thursday morning, CSIRO’s chief executive Larry Marshall indicated that, since climate change had been established, further work in the area would be a reduced priority.

“Our climate models are among the best in the world and our measurements honed those models to prove global climate change,” he said. “That question has been answered, and the new question is what do we do about it, and how can we find solutions for the climate we will be living with?”

Dr Marshall indicated some people might be able to find new skills for priority areas.

The cuts were not the Turnbull government’s doing, but were “an operational decision of the CSIRO”, a spokesman for Science Minister Christopher Pyne said. “After an extensive review, the management of the CSIRO have stated the need to reorganise the organisation to better fulfil its mission as outlined in its strategic plan.”

While the government may be trying to distance itself from the CSIRO move against its climate division, one of the Coalition’s most outspoken climate-change deniers, Dennis Jensen took to Twitter to support the move.

From the opposition party: “Under the Liberals Australia’s pollution levels are going up, and Malcolm Turnbull’s answer is to sack the experts who are working to cut pollution and find the innovations in renewable energy that will help create the jobs of the future in Australia,” he said.

A senior scientist also questioned the government’s claim that the CSIRO was acting independently, noting the government had picked the CEO who then chose the board. “Our biggest customer is the government – they have to approve all this,” the scientist said.

It is understood just 30 staff will be left in the Oceans and Atmosphere unit and they will not be working on climate issues related to basic data gathering.
Remaining climate staff will focus on mitigation – cutting greenhouse gas emissions – and adaptation to warming impacts rather than gathering basic science.

It is understood IMOS – the Integrated Marine Observing System – will be maintained with “some remnants” of climate work remaining in Hobart, one scientist said. The scientist said the cuts to climate research were part of a pattern of environmental science cutbacks across many fields in Australia.

Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of NSW, said the scale of the cuts was “jaw-droppingly shocking”.  “It’s a catastrophic reduction in our capacity to assess present and future climate change,” Professor Pitman said. “It will leave us vulnerable to future climate change and unable to take advantage of any positives that result.” The impact will extend not just to the science being conducted in and around Australia but also to the ability of the country to retain and attract scientists, he said.

The cuts had “the potential to devastate climate science in Australia”, Todd Lane, president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, said. “Not only does CSIRO play a key role in climate monitoring, it underpins all of the climate modelling activity in Australia,” Associate Professor Lane said. “If that is cut significantly, it will set us back at least a decade and will undermine our ability to predict future climate risk.”

JC reflections

Somehow, this isn’t all that surprising.

Back in 2001, when Al Gore was running for President, I spoke with with many scientists that were concerned by how climate science would fare under a Gore administration.  Because of Gore’s ‘science is settled’ activism on this topic, the concern was  that funding for basic climate research would be redirected to impacts assessment and mitigation research.  In fact, there has been a rough rule of thumb over the last few decades regarding U.S. climate science funding – funding for is better under Republican administrations (who want more research, rather than to implement politically undesirable solutions).  An exception to this is the NASA budget, whereby Republicans send more funding to extraterrestrial subject areas and Democrats send more funding to Earth monitoring.

With regards to Australia and CSIRO.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s, CSIRO was the word leader on atmospheric boundary layer research.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s, CSIRO was a leader in atmospheric physics research, producing such scientists as Graeme Stephens and Peter Webster (who both  left Australia for the U.S. in the 1980’s).  Since the 1990’s, CSIRO has done important climate monitoring, and has also done climate modeling research, participating fully in the various CMIP and IPCC exercises.  One has to wonder whether the health of climate science in Australia would be better if they hadn’t bothered with global climate modeling and playing the IPCC games, but rather focused on local climate issues and the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere.

Now that the UN’s community of nations has accepted a specific result from consensus IPCC climate science to drive international energy and carbon policy, what is the point of continued heavy government funding of climate research, particularly global climate modeling?  I have argued previously [e.g. link] that we have reached the point of diminishing returns from the current path of climate modeling.  That said, we still don’t understand how the climate system works on decadal to centennial time scales, and have very little predictive capability on these time scales, particularly on regional scales.

To make progress, we need to resolve many scientific issues, here is the list from my APS Workshop presentation:

  • Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects)
  • Multi-decadal natural internal variability
  • Mechanisms of vertical heat transfer in the ocean
  • Fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate)

See also my previous post The heart of the climate dynamics debate.  It is critical that we maintain and enhance our observing systems, particularly satellites.  And we need much better data archaeology to clarify what was going on in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also some more serious paleoclimatic reconstructions (that avoid Mannian tree ring ‘science’.)

Looking forward to a new U.S. President next year, whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power, I don’t expect a continuation of the status quo on climate science funding.  The Democrats are moving away from science towards policy – who needs to spend all that funding on basic climate science research?  Global climate modeling might be ‘saved’ if they think these climate models can support local impact assessments (in spite of widespread acknowledgement that they cannot).  If the Republicans are elected, Ted Cruz has stated he will stop all funding support for the IPCC and UNFCCC initiatives.  That said, he seems to like data and basic scientific research.

In any event, I don’t think the current status quo regarding scientific research will continue.  We will undoubtedly see many climate scientists redirecting their research, or leaving research positions for the private sector.  Ironically, circa 1990, the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program [link] was seeded by retreading nuclear scientists and engineers from the DOE labs to radiation and climate science.

JC message to climate scientists advocating for more funding at the same time they are claiming ‘settled science’ [e.g. Marcia McNutt]:  you have been hoisted on your own petard.  You are slaying climate science in the interests of promoting a false and meaningless consensus.


209 responses to “Now that climate science is ‘settled’ . . .

  1. Let’s think positive.
    Imagine how useful it will be for hundreds of scientists to actually do something useful for a change.

  2. “We finally figured out that only a dozen or so of these guys were working on actual science, and the rest just sat around all day posting nasty comments about ‘deniers’ on internet sites.”

  3. There’s a pretty big difference between “the science is settled enough to start making policy changes” and “the science is completely done”.

    Climate science is an active field, with thousands of papers being published every year. There’s no justification for saying that all the research is done.

    Skeptical Science puts it thusly:

    Science is never 100% settled – science is about narrowing uncertainty. Different areas of science are understood with varying degrees of certainty. For example, we have a lower understanding of the effect of aerosols while we have a high understanding of the warming effect of carbon dioxide. Poorly understood aspects of climate change do not change the fact that a great deal of climate science is well understood.

    • I guess “settled” is a lot like the the word “equal” in our grand progressive new world.

      All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

      • /shrug. Context is part of language, and we sometimes use the same word to mean different things in different contexts.

        E.g.: All people should be treated equally under the law, but obviously not everyone has the same talents or abilities. So: equal, but not equal.

        The same goes for “settled science”. Settled by what metric? Settled enough for rough policy? Enough for regional predictions and planning? Or enough that scientists are bored and have moved on to other subjects?

      • Windchaser
        I say …
        Context Equality Now!

    • The SS says we have a high understanding of the warming effects of CO2. Yet carbon cycle research is the largest program in the USGCRP. See At the same time there is zero research on dec-cen natural variability, such as Dr. Curry describes, but which NSF claims does not even exist.

      Reducing or restructuring the $2.5 billion per year pro-AGW US Global Change Research Program is long overdue.

      • The state ususally did not directly determine what scientists could or could not say, but it did significantly influence the selection of who would do the “authoritative” talking in a field….

        Taken as a whole, it is unlikely that communication research could have emerged in anything like its present form without regular transfusions of money for the leading lights in the field from U.S. military, intelligence, and propaganda agencies….

        Put most simply, they saw mass communications as an instrument for persuading or dominating targeted groups….

        Entrepreneural academics modeled the scientific tools needed for development of practicial applications of communication-as-domination on those that had seemed so successful in the physical sciences: a positivist reduction of complex phenomenon to discrete components; an emphasis on quantitative descriptions of change; and a claimed perspective of “objectivity” toward scientific “truth.” With few exceptions, they assumed that mass communication was “appropriately viewed from [the perspective of] the top or power center,” as Steven Chaffee and John Hochheier put it, “rather from the bottom or periphery of the system.”….

        Laswell and Lippmann advocated not just order in an abstract sense, but rather a particular social order in the United States and the world in which forceful elites necessarily ruled in the interests of their visión of the greater good. U.S.-style consumer democracy was simply a relatively benign system for engineering mass consent for the eliites’ authority; it could be dispensed with when ordinary people reached the “wrong” conclusions. Laswell writes that the spread of literacy

        did not reléase the masses from ignorance and superstitions but altered the nature of both and compeled the development of a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda… [A propagandist’s] regard for men rests on no democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests. The modern propagandist, like the modern psychologist, recognizes that men are often poor judges of their own interests… [Those with power must cultivate] sensitiveness to those concentrations of motive which are implicit and available for rapid mobilization when the appropriate symbol is offered… [The propagandist is] no phrasemonger but a promoter of overt acts.

        Laswell and Lippmann favored relatively tolerant, pluralistic societies in which elite rule protected democracies from their own weaknesses – a modern form of noblesse oblige, so to speak….

        “In all of the intelligence that enters into waging of war soundly and the waging of peace soundly, it is the social scientists who make a huge contribution,” Brigadier General John Magruder of the OSS testified during Senate hearings in ealry November, 1945….

        Looked at with the benefit of hindsight and what came to light during the Watergate-related invesitgations, the pages of Public Opinion Quarterly during the first decade after World War II illustrate several important features of the alliance that emerged after 1945 between a select group of academic entrepreneurs and the government’s psychological warfare agencies….

        In fact, at least one-third of POQ’s editorial board can be identified today as financailly dependent upon psychological warfare contracting….

        “The primary nexus between the government and social science is an economic one,” write Albert Biderman and Elisabeth Crawford of the Bureau of Social Science Research. It is “so pervasive as to make any crisis of relations with the government a crisis for social science as a whole.”….

        For the first decade after 1945 – which is to say, the decade in which communication studies crystallized into a distinct academic field, complete with colleges, graduate degrees, and so on – U.S. military, propaganda and intelligence agencies provided the large majority of all project funding for the field. The earliest cumulative data concerning government funding of social science is provided by the National Science Foundation in 1952; that report shows that over 96 percent of all reported federal funding for social science at that time was drawn from the U.S. military…

        Funding for the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University appears to have been more diversified….

        By fiscal year 1950-51, BASR’s annual budget had reached a new high, some 75 percent of which consisted of contracts with the U.S. miliatry and propaganda agencies….

        Taken as a whole, the evidence thus far shows that a very substantial fraction of the funding for academic U.S. research into social psychology and into many aspects of mass communicaiton behavior during the first fifteen years of the cold war was directly controlled or strongly influenced by a small group of men who had enthusiastically supported elite psychological operations as an instrument of foreign and domestic policy since World War II. They exercised power through a series of interlocking committees and commissions that linked the world of mainstream academia with that of the U.S. military and intelligence communities….

        This was not a “conspiracy,” in the hackneyed sense of that Word. It was rather precisely the type of “reference group” or informal network that is so well known to sociologists. The informal authority exercised by these networkd reveals a distinctly centrist ideological bent: Projects that advanced their coneption of scientific progress and national security enjoyed a chance to gain the financial support that is often a prerequisite to academic success. As is discussed more fully in later chapters, projelcts that did not meet these criteria were often relegated to obscurity, and in some cases actively suppressed. One result of this selective financing has been a detailed elaboration of those aspects of scientific truth that tend to support the preconceptions of the agencies that were paying the bill…

        This orientation reduced the extraordinarily complex, inherently communal social process of communication to simple models based on the dynamics of transmission of persuasive – and, in the final analysis, coercive – messages.

        CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON, Science of Coercion

    • Upon what reliable information do you conclude that the “climate” is changing positively or negatively?

  4. It’s down to an engineering problem now :)

    • You are probably kidding, but you are correct. The science is clear and it is about as good as it is going to get. Pouring more billions will only incrementally reduce uncertainty. Climate science analysis paralysis is just a scab picking exercise at this point, benefiting a small cadre of academia, their cheerleaders, jeerleaders and the politicians who use them as foils and shields to win other political battles.

      The most bang for buck is to stop spinning on minutae and spend money on removing the mass input side of the equation. First, start with real air pollution like NOx, SOx, VOCs, Ozone, PM2.5. The reduction of CO2 is a longer play, and will come from zero carbon energy technologies like nuke, wind, solar, ???

      • Anyway you slice it, if the science is deemed dire and settled it is an engineering problem. In that case it would make work and challenges for engineers.

        If the problem is dire and immediate – and we could address it using our best understandings of technology and put forth efforts that really addressed the problems (flawed thought they may be) that would be a real win for engineers. Who would want history to pass them by when they could instead make useful contributions and be well rewarded for it?

        At the other extreme if the problem is not so dire and we are forced to use the favored “green” approaches that can’t do much, it might be lucrative and interesting, but many would not find that rewarding.

        Engineers are one group of people (and I hope there are many others) that for the most part don’t get excited about personal gain if it doesn’t come with a societal benefit.

        I hope the world is not facing near term climate doom. But if so the last thing I would want is to minimize the risk so that we fail to address it. Mostly I just try to talk about the engineering challenges and costs. For some climate scenarios they are worth it, in others not so much.

      • Horst Graben (@Graben_Horst) | February 4, 2016 at 3:17 pm |
        The reduction of CO2 is a longer play,

        Although there may be many reasons to quit burning coal and oil, I don’t believe there is agreement that reduction in atmospheric CO2 is one of them. Many believe that higher levels of CO2 would be beneficial.

      • aplanningengineer: If the problem is “dire and immediate”, then we end up a day late and a dollar short… that’s not planning, that’s reacting. The air pollution problem in India and China is dire and immediate because the West has exported manufacturing to these countries who do not have the same pollution control requirements. In your planning model, how many Asian children is it acceptable to die per laptop or smartphone that is obsolete within a year?

        This is why so many folks are recommend attacking the toxic air pollution side of the problem first. The basic engineering is well understood: boiler-plate, off-the-shelf, shovel-ready technology that does not require R&D above some minimal tweeking. Reducing toxic air pollution is a two-fer with climate and human health benefits. Since most of the humanity impacted are only a couple billion people in Asia, it may be difficult for some engineers to see the “societal benefits.”

        My second suggestion for moving energy decarbonization to a longer-term back burner status is because climate is not dire and immediate. However, the potential solutions require a significant amount of R&D time to develop, test, scale and deploy. Even though there are uncertainties associated with future climate impacts, we are also facing potential limits on available cheap fossil fuels in the future. Again, not dire and immediate. Perhaps planning engineering requires dire and immediate to become motivated to start planning, but that sounds pretty irresponsible to me.

      • Horst – you’ve changed the discussion from the topic of climate and CO2 mitigation to general pollution. Ignoring CO2, US plants are pretty clean for all the good they do and people they serve. Our best technology should be pushed into the third word, but the CO2 obsession is stunting that.

        I don’t appreciate the emotional lap smart phone top Asian children death drama as part of the discussion. I think the third world needs clean conventional modern technology. I think modern technology and the benefits reduce death, misery and poverty.

      • Additionally -you seem to be looking for disagreements where we may have none, for me immediate is when we have to start planning. You seem to agree we are not there with climate. I have never argued argued against addressing any third world mitigation needs with workable technology. (I would rather see all of Africa electrified with good conventional technology, than 1/5 of it with renewables. I’d like to see the third world particulates reduced, but I don’t plan for them. I just argue, as you seem to as well, that they should employ good existing tchnology.

      • PE, I didn’t change the discussion, you are the one who missed the bus that left port years ago. It really sounds like you are blowing a smoke screen to cover your unfortunate statements implying we lack immediate dire societal benefit, etc. triggers for actions. General toxic air pollution is a first order climate forcing which may be as strong as CO2. Many serious climate guys, including
        the father of modern climate modeling, recommend attacking general pollution first. This is part of a no regrets policy.

        Also, I’m not looking for a disagreement with you, I riffed off of your “clever” sarcastic post to express my more correct and justifiable opinions. I really don’t care what you think. Either you agree with me, have a better idea or you are wrong.

        Take your Africa point. Sounds wonderful on paper but African governments can’t keep copper phone wires re-strung faster than the scrappers can tear it down for the recycle value. This is one of many reasons why “they” think solar is a better fit rather than conventional, centralized power. There are some interesting aid programs in India where they make the locals do all the work build small water and power system themselves using equipment, parts and tools that are locally available. Don’t know if this is sustainable, but it speaks to the difficulties in reforming entrenched poverty in the development challenged nations.

      • Horst,

        You are starting to make some sense! Just kidding about the ‘starting’ part. Many serious evironmental issues have been ignored due to the hyperfocus on AGW and ‘sustainable’ energy. I would include issues like soil erosion, water pollution, and deforestation. Public health problems like indoor air pollution and poor, or missing, waste treatment also need attention in the third world.

        You are correct about manufacturing – the US imports manufactured goods and exports manufacturing, jobs, pollution, and labor exploitation. However, if you have a job, you can buy lots of stuff cheaply here, if you have a job. It’s good to be rich.

        Hey, did you read the article about barred surfperch fishing off SC beaches? I know you are a boat (kayak) guy, but I thought I would ask.

      • David Springer

        Horst Graben (@Graben_Horst) | February 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm |

        “In your planning model, how many Asian children is it acceptable to die per laptop or smartphone that is obsolete within a year?”

        Don’t be an idi0t. Life expectancy is rising in China. If there’s anything worse than a drama queen it’s a stupid drama queen.

      • Except that wind and solar are not possible without fossil fuels – from cradle to grave. Fossil fuels are required at every step of the process – from the energy source needed to power the machinery used to mine the raw materials, to manufacture, to transport, construction, maintenance, and for backup when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. Renewable energy is simply an oxymoron.

      • Horst- who are “they” who think solar is better for Africa because of theft associated with conventional generation, That sounded fishy, I could find nothing to confirm, just things like this.

      • This too on wind.

        I suppose if you don’t know much about the technology, or if you don’t know much about theft or if you don’t know much about either you could speculate that green solutions fit Africa better because of the third world theft problem. But just a visit to a solar facility could show a casual many things easily stolen and as with any sort of copper theft, result in a pennies gain to desperate people with big financial losses for the owner. It’s outlay a meth crime here or opportunity when metals costs are high, but crushing poverty works as well as would the ability to sell expensive distributed components.

        Horst/Graben – you make some good points that would likely be more effective if you did not try to force them along with needless attacks and cocky dismissiveness. But maybe your “clever” name suggests you are more not upheaval.

    • “I hope the world is not facing near term climate doom.”


      What does the science tell us?


    • “It’s down to an engineering problem now”

      Not even that. In the mind of the green community, the engineering has also been done. Solar and Wind are dirt cheap and can fully provide humanity’s energy needs. And in the cases where they can’t, an itsy amount of judicious conservation will fill in any gaps. It’s just a matter of where to run the wires.

      How do they reconcile their beliefs with the fact that it is necessary to bribe people to build out green power generation? They don’t seem to. When asked, they change the subject and/or call names.

    • Planning Engineer

      Anyway you slice it, if the science is deemed dire and settled it is an engineering problem.

      I agree. If you want a job done, you define the scope, schedule and budget (based on engineers estimates) and assign it to engineers.

      “Put a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade” (1970), give it to engineers.

      Want to salvage a sunken Russian nuclear armed submarine from the centre of the Pacific Ocean without anyone knowing, give it to engineers:

  5. uber

  6. Is this the “restart” button proposed a couple of days ago?

    • Sounds like it for Australian climate scientists at least.
      I am not celebrating though, science is not settled. What’s the best estimate of ECS ? Is ECS approximately = TCS ? Antarctic ice estimates go down with Grace, then up with Zwally and the workings for that are very difficult.
      I was very impressed with Australian coral reef research that showed that overfishing was the top threat to reefs (they did not go with the acidification meme).

      • I am celebrating. You don’t need Billions a year to further research the questions you identified.

        You need Billions to study the effect of climate change on the mating rituals of the three fearhered black nose toad and the consipracy ideation of deniers and all that other useless research that is going on!

  7. Oh well.

    Such dogmatic men as Dante and Plato are farthest from me and perhaps thereby most fascinating: men who dwell in a trimly built and firmly believed house of knowledge….

    It requires a completely different strength and flexibility to keep hold of oneself in an incompleted system with free, unbounded vistas, than in a dogmatic world.

    — FREDERICK NIETZSCHE, Nachgelassene Werke

  8. I say again:
    The term “settled science” is an oxymoron used by real morons to manipulate their fellow morons at the expense of everyone, moron or not.

  9. At least we can all agree this is a bad move. We need more climate research. I am sure the scientists that work there are unhappy with this development.

    • So I think it is a good move. We do not need more pro-AGW research, which is all that is being funded. If they refuse to do the right research (climate variability) then they should not do any.

    • Joseph,

      By “we” are you referring to you and the frog in your pocket?

      • Joseph,

        RE: “You mean we don’t need more science that finds AGW is a potential problem and explores potential impacts? ”

        On this I could see agreeing with you. Man=inly because to date we have almost zero science that supports the finding AGW is a problem. The fact you have to include “potential” is pretty much proof of that.

        As for impacts, I step on a butterfly and I can “potentially” change the world. (At least that’s my takeaway from watching Heroes Reborn.)

      • Curious George

        NCAR scientists do not worry about potential problems:

      • I think he is saying it i the wrong type of settled. ;-)

    • David Springer

      I think it’s brilliant!

      Great work guys. We have what we need to make a decision regarding climate change. Best of luck in your next line of work. Thanks again.

  10. I hope for a republican congress to continue post November 8 with a “sceptic” republican president. Smith & Cruz in prominent positions. The setting up of strong scientific committees manned with unbiased views and a strong scientific record which will go through GISS and NOAA surface temperature records and trawl through the models that divert more and more for all the temperature records. I am certain that if that is done properly climate science post US elections will look differently (not only in the USA, but worldwide). Once US Canadian, Australian and European politicians (and the people) discover they have been duped, the Copenhagen/Paris $100 billion per year may turn out to have been a fata morgana.

    • MAX_OK, Citizen Scientist

      John Peter hopes for Republican President.

      You might as well hope for a winning lottery ticket or a date with Miss America. All possible, but none likely.

      I’m with you on your call to set up scientific committees to evaluate surface temperature records, but you didn’t mention satellite-based records, which I believe also should be evaluated. Hopefully, the results would put the controversy over global temperature records to rest.

      • David Springer

        Hillybilly and Bernie Slanders are the wrong color. They haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell.

  11. If the Republicans are elected, Ted Cruz has stated he will stop all funding support for the IPCC and UNFCCC initiatives. That said, he seems to like data and basic scientific research.

    I could see Republicans attempting to cut funding not increase it on new initiatives like you suggest.

  12. daveandrews723

    After they have been claiming that “the science is settled” for years, I don’t want to hear the warmists argue that “science is never settled” just to keep their grants flowing. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    • Some aspects of science are settled, while others are not.

      That the Earth is round: settled.
      The exact topography of the Earth: not settled. People are still mapping the seafloor.

      • daveandrews723

        Most aspects of science are never settled. That is why it is so infuriating to have to listen to the warmists argue that “the science is settled” aout the impact of CO2 on global temperatures. The fact is nobody knows.

      • Most aspects of science are never settled.

        Many parts of science are settled enough that we can start making plans based on them. This is how our society has advanced so much in the last few hundred years. Not through a perfect understanding, but through a good-enough understanding, for whatever problem is at hand.

        Take the health risks of tobacco, for instance. There’s work to be done; we still don’t know the exact biological/chemical mechanisms for how it causes cancer. But the fact that smoking causes cancer is indisputable.

      • Windchaser
        the earth is spherical
        were the science on the actual construct of the physical universe “settled”
        but alas
        it is not

        (round is two dimensional for those of us who strive to use precise language)

      • davideisenstadt

        Not to be too pissy, but the earth is an oblate spheroid….almost spherical, but not quite.

      • davideisenstadt:
        The Earth is actually a bumpy oblate spheroid. Not quite an oblate spheroid.

        We’re actually still discovering its exact topography. And at small enough scales, between erosion and uplifting and tectonic activity, the Earth’s topography is constantly changing, so we’ll never perfectly know the shape of the Earth.

        The science is not settled!

        …but really, it’s settled enough for most purposes.

      • davideisenstadt
        thank you
        not pissy at all
        (oh dear, I hope that the somewhat irregular,and possibly evolving shape of the planet doesn’t have any Impact on climate, gosh, will this never be settled?)

      • “Some aspects of science are settled, while others are not. ”

        Some paradigms allow for “good enough” predictions, even if they are later shown to be wrong. The current dominant paradigm in climate science does not appear to make such “good enough” predictions, as even IPCC rely on expert opinion to “correct” predictions/projections, and as the worsening divergence between model projections and observations demonstrates.

      • “round is two dimensional for those of us who strive to use precise language”

        I still remember our science teacher showing us that going from “flat earth” to “round earth” meant you were just cutting off the corners.

  13. “that divert more and more for all the temperature records.” should be “from” rather than “for”. Apologies.

  14. Judith, at the meeting of the (right) Royal society where I had the pleasure of meeting you, it was also my very strong perception that climate extremism was far more strong amongst the mitigation crowd – i.e. those clueless about actual climate than amongst the real scientists who were in the know.

    So, perversely if the redundancies are as described it will remove those least extreme in their views. However, as the biggest problem is that those in the know have been keeping quiet about the real issues they faced such as failed models unfit for purpose for policy makers – perhaps the long term effect will be to strongly encourage the less extreme to speak up and stop letting the very extreme speak for them.

  15. In a sense Australia is right. Not that the science is settled as to how warm it will get if CO2 rises any given amount. Not that we can predict the global impacts of any particular rise in CO2. But there is enough evidence to indicate that significant warming might occur. Some of the impacts of significant future CO2 emissions could well be injurious. Only severe measures to reduce future emissions would reduce the probability of such an eventuality. Trying to pin down future temperature rise vs. CO2 and impacts of a rise seem to be an effort in futility. There has been little progress these past 20 years. That being the case, we can simply accept that we need to reduce emissions even though much of climate “science” is very uncertain. But the people of the world need affordable energy. So the challenge is how to provide this energy while reducing emissions. In that sense Australia is right. Stop estimating future T rise. Stop making unsupportable claims about impacts. Think about how to provide the world with energy with less emissions. The rub is this. If reducing emissions requires financial (and other) sacrifices, how much sacrifice should we be willing to make, considering we don’t know the extent of the probable injury due to rising CO2? So there is no simple answer.

    • David Springer

      Increasing CO2 is beneficial. The modest warming engendered is relegated to higher latitudes where it serves to extend growing seasons and increase precipitation. The earth is getting greener because of it. Stop drinking the Koolaid. Wise up.

      Geophysical Research Letters
      Volume 40, Issue 12
      28 June 2013
      Pages 3031–3035
      Regular Article

      Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

      Randall J. Donohue,
      Michael L. Roderick,
      Tim R. McVicar,
      Graham D. Farquhar


      Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the “CO2 fertilization” effect—the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels—is yet to be established. The direct CO2 effect on vegetation should be most clearly expressed in warm, arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth. Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analyzed to remove the effect of variations in precipitation, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Donald Rapp – “Only severe measures to reduce future emissions would reduce the probability of [an injurious outcome].”

      An injurious outcome will result if we only use emissions reductions to reduce the probability of severe warming.

      Why must the most abusive solutions be the first and only choice? Sensible planning, zoning, pollution controls (not CO2) and engineering(!!) have nearly 100 years(!!) to get vulnerable areas ready for potential “injurious” warming.

      • Apparently, you, like 99% of those who respond on this blog, know exactly what is happening and what to do about it. Poor me, I am befuddled by uncertainty. I don’t really know what is happening or what to do about it.

  16. “redirected to impacts assessment and mitigation research. ”

    Mitigation is my field of expertise although in the information technology security space. To effectively mitigate, you need to clearly identify the threats and thoroughly assess the vulnerabilities. So I feel that at this time focusing on mitigation would make things even worse (as far as doing anything effectively). I.e., the threats and vulnerabilities have not been sufficiently quantified. And this is a case where the Precautionary Principle would certainly fall flat.

    What I would do is shift the focus of research from CO2 to natural variability. I believe in the short term climate scientists were caught off guard recently by natural variability slowing down warming and on longer scales it’s quite plausible for them to be caught with their pants down, underwear included.

    Finally, in my field, when we implement mitigations to vulnerabilities we carefully measure their success. It’s called verification and validation. And that’s necessary to judge if it is adequately safe to proceed. I still haven’t be able to figure out how this could be accomplished for climate policy mitigations.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Your logic and reasoning were going OK until your belief that an unforeseen natural climate variation recently slowed CO2 induced warming.
      Objectively and without the influence of belief, there is no current or past known method to distinguish anthropogenic heat effects from natural. So your belief is rather horribly wrong.
      OTOH, if you know of an agreed, accurate, scientific way to make the distinction, you might let us have the reference.
      It might also be handy to reference any paper that has an agreed, accurate, scientific way to estimate a quantitative relation about how much atmospheric heat affects CO2 concentration. Or the reverse.
      (From an Australian scientist who once enjoyed working with CSIRO before lust for private enterprise science prevailed. The type of science that has “accountability” at its core.)

  17. Well, then, if one of the very few remaining contrarians agrees it’s now settled, all’s good. Let’s accelerate that move to a low-carbon or even carbon-free economy over the next 30 years. And we can just wing the fiddly details of the rapidly-changing climate as we go.

    (Or was Dr. Curry just having a cheap smirk at those still conducting the scientific research she no longer does?)

    • C + O2 —-> 1 CO2 + 1 “quantity of heat” thermodynamics

      so which would you consider the problem: CO2 or heat or both
      Alternatively: where does all that heat go? Non-CO2-generating sources still create heat. If creating heat is the problem (if there is a problem), then converting to other sources to generate the same amount of energy that is now associated with CO2 generation will not solve anything. CO2 be good for producing the food we eat! Current or higher CO2 levels are needed to feed the great population of the earth. Very Low (pre-industrial) CO2 levels be BAD as long as population remains high or grows!

    • Rapidly changing huh Magma?

      Here is a hint. TV weather broadcasts are not science. Whenever possible they are meant to hype attention to their broadcast and they know that one of the all time top attention grabbers are “extreme” weather events. For most normal people that is your hurricane, tornado, big snow event, anything that involves flooding. You know, the stuff that looks cool for the camera. That they have learned adding phrases like “record” and “extreme” and “unprecedented” helps sell the weather news does not mean they are at the leading end of science.

      Because if you are serious in thinking climate is changing at a rapid pace, that would be the only source you can reference without people laughing at you.

  18. I sincerely hope someone will help me better understand.

    Climate models currently can not support local impact assessments. There is no reliable tool or model to tell us how the climate will change in any specific location-particularly as a function of changes in CO2 concentrations.

    Upon what reliable information does one conclude that the “climate” is changing positively or negatively?

  19. I would fully expect mass defection and high visibility whistleblowing as part of the funding/employment cuts. Get the popcorn ready.

  20. Interesting development. Has apparently already unsettled Australian climate scientists enough that suddenly the science isn’t settled.
    As for US climate research spending, it could probably be cut considerably without harming actual useful research. Climate models demonstrably do not work. Cut back sharply. NOAA produces both surface and satellite based estimates. NASA produces only surface, with that still based on NOAA GHCN. Cut NASA surface duplication (i.e. GISS goes). JPL is studying Antarctica on the ground (Rignot) while USGS has been leading the US Antarctica program since 1947. Cut back JPL. McIntyre shows again and again that dendroclimatology (treemometers) is a) pretty useless and b) scientifically bankrupt. Defund completely. Not rocket science to get rid of waste and redundancy.

    • A big obstacle to cutting “failed” or duplicative science funding is that so much of it supports universities and labs with local — and vocal — political constituencies. Climate example: It doesn’t really cost very much to rework old CMIP5 data into the latest scary scenario. But keeping dozens (hundreds?) of computer labs open is expensive. Even Republican politicians like to deliver the goodies.

      As then-Senator Phil Gramm admitted many years ago:

      “If we should vote next week on whether to begin producing cheese in a factory on the moon, I almost certainly would oppose it … On the other hand, if the government decided to institute the policy, it would be my objective to see that a Texas contractor builds this celestial cheese plant, that the milk comes from Texas cows, and that the Earth distribution center is located in Texas.”

      Hard to imagine a CSIRO-like house cleaning in America. Especially if it is contingent on electing Ted Cruz.

    • “(i.e. GISS goes)”

      GISS spends roughly 1/4 of a man year on the temperature record.

      The code is freely available. anybody can run it.

      • Huh. And here I thought Gavin Schmidt was full time and supervised more than himself. In fact, according to the on line GISS phone directory, 31 on the NASA payroll directly, not including those with other affiliations like Columbia.

      • Curious George

        “Climate models demonstrably do not work. Cut back sharply.” Do not run idiotic models again and again in a vain hope that you could map a climate system’s chaotic attractor – you are only mapping a model’s attractor. To quote Gavin, “If the specific heats of condensate and vapour is assumed to be zero (which is a pretty good assumption given the small ratio of water to air, and one often made in atmospheric models) then the appropriate L is constant (=L0).”
        In 2012 there was no analysis of the impact of this assumption. I supplied my own – that it limited the model to no more than 80 hours:
        No one has ever shown it to be wrong.

        Develop better models instead.

      • What exactly does that mean Steven? What is a “man year” in dollars?

      • MAX_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Steve Mosher says GISS spends roughly 1/4 of a man year on the temperature. The code is freely available. anybody can run it.

        Hard-core climate contrarians may not care how little GISS costs when it keeps telling them what they dislike. I think they would favor spending a lot of money on a study in an attempt to discredit GISS. And if such a study failed to discredit, I would expect them to complain it was flawed.

      • Instrumentation?
        Data gathering?
        Data analysis?
        Press releases?

        1/4 of a ‘man year’? Got a link?

    • “GISS spends roughly 1/4 of a man year on the temperature record.”

      That’s a significant waste of time.


    • As for US climate research spending, it could probably be cut considerably without harming actual useful research.

      Yeah, Rud, the best way to understand the climate system better is to cut research funding related to it.

      • “the best way to understand the climate system better is to cut research funding related to it”

        Yes. If you don’t have research funding you can’t do ANYTHING like study the climate. There’s prolly no point in even getting out of bed in the morning, I reckon.


      • Joseph, what part of specifically wasteful is either: 1. a hopeless fools errand (essay Models all the way Down, my guest post on equivalent model deficiencies at WUWT), or 2. redundant (meaning unnecessary duplication) did you not understand? I call out your selective quotation of only the first part of my comment. Why not address the other half also.

        I think it scandalous that the TOA Pacific equatorial buoy system is in growing disrepair thanks to lack of maintenance funds, while we pour equivalent $millions into a redundant NYC GISS center that has strayed far from its original founding mission. Now mainly duplicating NOAA NCEI using the base NOAA NCEI station data. Wasteful spending.
        I am for more genuine novel climate research, and in more areas than Judith has identified. For example, coral reef responses to ocean temperature and pH. (Hint, it appears epigenetics can play a major role in adaptation–Lamarck evolution resurrected via DNA methylation. And so far there is exactly one paper, and that in a natural but unusual situation.) Rather than funding ‘research’ papers that compare impossibly parameterized climate models to other impossibly parameterized climate models. (You know, the computational scale and inherent parameter attribution problems written about elsewhere, two such noted above.)

        You obviously never lived in the business world, where these kinds of decisions are mandatory and very frequent in order to maximize returns. You don’t, you get fired, or the company goes under and you lose your job anyway. The real world, not the government bureaucracy/ spend other peoples money until it runs out world.

      • Joe is just trolling for troll’s sake but it’s still nice to see his round (errrrr, spherical) little melon belted out of the park.

        Arguing that money spent is automatically money well spent is a hoot.

  21. The ebb and flow of Government funding for most science is dependent upon which constituency needs to be catered to. With the current scandal of the Flint water crisis, we see that EPA and subsequent Departments of Environment Quality are and have been concerned with windmills and fracking and all sorts of carbon mitigation issues. Yet, the greatest impacts of regulation and monitoring is in public health, which, wasn’t performed to expectations.

    If EPA had not descended into the realm of CO2 as a toxin, the EPA budget would languish and EPA administrators’ efforts would be looking at whether the water flowing into homes was safe for consumption.

    If NASA were not sending rockets (two rockets since one failed to deploy appropriately and was lost) to monitor CO2 production as a step in the compliance for the IPCC mitigation agreements, there may have been money to explore space a little bit more, or the sun, or Mars, or….

    If NOAA were not focused upon doing the President’s bidding to provide an excuse to make promises at COP21, maybe a little more efforts would have been thrust at understanding “natural variation”.

    These are just some things I am contemplating during today’s snowfall as I had expected less snow and a much warmer winter given all the hot air that seems to be around.

    • “Here I go again….” in moderation again, I don’t believe I have been immoderate again, yet here I am.

  22. Like I wrote over at JoNova, I find some comfort though in the way the overcertainty started with defining half climatology away, the paleo-side, so it is now spared. The front-end was overpopulated, its science declared settled (purportedly covering the whole), and now finally its ‘lab’ logically should be cut down. Only meanwhile, in other quarters, the original half works on, Holocene paleoclimatology – Astronomy, not _that_ much affected by this.

  23. Lautreamont lists rains of frogs and the broken look sticks in water as the urgent scientific matters to be settled.

  24. Of course science is never settled, but some are arguing that we know enough such that the policy implications are clear. So the question from that perspective is how much more resources need to be invested in the basics of climate “science”? The question isn’t do we need climate science or not, but at what level of funding.

    There are a near infinite topics of scientific study that might provide benefit. from increased scientific attention. They span major areas as diverse as transportation, energy, oceanography, food production, health, climate, materials, physics… and each of these support many varied levels of sub topics. How does one determine the “proper” resource level for one scientific endeavor as opposed to another. (It’s challenging enough just within the field of medical research.)

    With that understanding and the assertions that the findings of “climate scientists” are clear and unified in suggesting unambiguous policy actions – one should ask why do we need to continue with high levels or resources and attention devoted to climate science. Under such conditions it makes sense to put our resources in other research areas or in dealing with the problems identified. If those within the fold agree it’s time to move on in terms of focus, resources and attention.

    Certainly some are feeling a little schadenfreude at the prospect that some who have been waving the sword of settled science have been cut by the other side of the blade.

    • Upon what reliable information does one conclude that the “climate” is changing positively or negatively? Worldwide or regionally?

    • You’re forgetting one thing: if the models are the “settled science” and the observations are below what the models expect, then the next step is to simply declare victory (we solved it, see how we kept below those numbers!).
      If anyone wanted an engineering solution to the issue, there would have been one by now. Nobody wanted one- least of all the warm. That’s because they don’t like the obvious engineering solution. Remember, AGW is bad enough to talk about ending economic growth, capitalism, even democracy, but it’s not bad enough to build a nuclear power plant.

    • PE – did you see this? Any comment or maybe another CE post on it?

      • Jim2 – quick scan, I don’t know quite what to say. Maybe they have done a good job, maybe they have left a lot out. It’s typical in these type studies to put in the large transmission lines but leave out the extensive costs of the underlysing system needed to support it. I’m not sure it’s a single grid or still three grids with extensive HVDS for imports and exports between them. Probably the later which really isn’t anything that new. Outfits get all excited about DC and announce all kinds of plan to move big power, but they fizzle. there were four or five in the works a few years ago for wind, I haven’t checked lately but don’t know of much up now.

        Have they done a good job accounting for losses, local support of the grid needed to go with the imports? Most don’t -maybe they did. I suspect it’s really just at the level of matching loads and resources, reaping the benefits of diversity among them and throwing in some costs for big interconnections. It may be wrong of me to presume guilt by association from previous stuff of this type, but I would not expect you could get the bang for the buck you need for their proposal to work when all costs, challenges are considered.

        On the one hand we hear the green revolution is going to make the grid obsolete through microgrids, on the other it drives a bigger giant super grid. Split the difference and we have our grids with maybe some loss of load and some increases in technology, infrastructure and export/import capability – not quite so headline grabbing but what us more pedestrian thinkers would predict.

      • aplanningengineer said:

        On the one hand we hear the green revolution is going to make the grid obsolete through microgrids, on the other it drives a bigger giant super grid.

        Environmentalist = lobbyist for wind and solar

        It’s pure special interest pleading.

        There is no consistency in the environmentalists’ arguments, other than to say whatever is necessary to justify subsidies for wind and solar, and to eliminate competition for wind and solar.

        Here’s an example verdeviewer commented on from the last thread:

        In the great North, from Hudson Bay south to the tributaries of the St. Lawrence River, there is the world’s largest hydroelectric power system: Hydro Quebec….

        Whether it should be even bigger is the subject of a surprisingly vigorous debate in Connecticut, as environmentalists, who might have been thought to be on the side of electricity produced by rushing water, are pitted against the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection [DEEP]….

        At issue is legislation allowing the DEEP to alter the mix of energy it’s using to reach a goal of having 20 percent of all its power produced by renewable energy sources by 2020.

        Up to this point, the DEEP has considered those renewable energy producers to be things like solar, wind and burning biomass. It now wants to add hydropower to that mix….

        [H]aving more hydropower in the state means a more competitive energy market — if hydropower companies want to sell electricity here, Schain said, they will have to price their product low enough to make it attractive. That holds the promise of lower rates for consumers.

        Schain said the electricity produced by solar and wind installations can be intermittent — a cloudy day, a still day, and they can’t produce power. Hydro stations can, he said.

        Environmentalists…balk at hydropower, produced at giant stations, displacing electricity produced by renewable sources [wind and solar]….

        “We’d rather keep the renewables local,” said Roger Smith, executive director of Clean Water Action….

        The project, which environmentalists in New Hampshire generally oppose, would build a 180-mile transmission system from the U.S.-Canadian border through New Hampshire, carrying 1,200 megawatts of power to New England. The line would link to the existing New England power grid at Deerfield, in southern New Hampshire….

        Energy consultant Joel Gordes faults the additional use of hydropower from Quebec for another reason.

        The big storms and the huge disruptions of power in the state grid over the past two years showed that a decentralized system, with many smaller sources of power, might best serve state residents.

        Gordes said the state wants to change its energy portfolio by importing power from Quebec, hundreds of miles away — a place that in 1998 saw its grid almost totally shut down by a massive ice storm.

      • I would be happy if Obama were taxed $250,000 every time he signs his name. That’s a pittance compared to the damage the man has done.

  25. Andy Pattullo

    This rout of the climate science program in Australia is a blunt tool, but I suspect the ultimate outcome, just as Dr. Curry has theorized for the US, is wedded to political outcomes. A major downsizing of all our government funded research programs could create a stagnation of our knowledge of climate dynamics and prevent the further research Dr. Curry advocates, or it could allow a new political team to set more rational priorities and provide stronger rules of objectivity and transparency in government funded and consumed research. This latter is somewhat of a utopian dream given typical political behaviour, but I for one am glad for the house cleaning.

    I think in fairness to the scientists we need to acknowledge that in many cases the research they did, and often the outcomes they claim are exactly what policy makers were not just asking for but often demanding. Trying to swim against that political riptide is not much of an incentive to do better as Dr. Curry can attest.

    There’s the real problem to solve. How do we ensure that not just climate but all other publicly funded research can go forward without being tied to the agendas of various activist groups whose agendas for social, political and economic changes, they wish to impose through non-democratic processes using “science” as justification?

  26. One article said the Prime Minister and his advisers discussed “double dissolution”. Maybe Australians can explain what that is, and why they are considering it.

    • … sigh

      1) nothing to do with the crux of this thread. Some people may try to conflate a DD with this but that’s just shallow politics

      2) if a DD is called (and the ability to do this is subject to strict prior requirements – which currently *have* been met), then a returned Govt may call a special Joint Sitting (ie. both Houses of Parliament together) in the expectation that it will have sufficient numbers to pass legislation that had been previously blocked, generally blocked in the Upper House (Senate)

      3) Rare, and risky for the incumbent. The biggest risk is that the blocked legislation may not be popular or even generally understood so the incumbent is left fighting an election campaign on policies that the public spurns

      4) the current Govt is trying to push various cost-cutting and industrial legislation through a recalcitrant Senate. Threatening a DD is a political ploy (which the nay-saying Senators are ignoring). No one thinks that it is a serious option – too risky for our current narcissistic Prime Minister – heavens, he may lose

    • If our Senate refuses to pass legislation approved by the Representatives the Prime Minister can request the Governor General to dissolve both houses of Parliament and call an election including a full Senate election. This is called a double dissolution (DD) Following a DD, the trigger legislation can be put to a joint sitting of all members. The Senate is half the size of the House of Reps, so it would be expected that the legislation would pass.

      At present our opposition leader is so unpopular that the Government would expect to win a big majority easily after a DD based on Labor’s rejection of legislation to challenge union corruption in the building industry, but they would look scared to face the people if they went before bringing in a new budget, due in May. Also, by another Constitutional quirk, if the result was declared before 1 July, another half-senate election would be needed in under two years.

      However, Labor has a new rule that the leader can only be replaced by a popular vote of all party members and a weighted vote of elected representatives, and this whole process would take about six weeks. If Labor sets this process into train, expect a DD to be called about two weeks into the process. An election campaign usually takes about five weeks (nominations, ballot printing etc) so Labor wold be leaderless throughout most of the campaign, and the new leader would be tainted by a loss early in his/her incumbency.

      DDs aren’t common because voting is compulsory in Australia and occurs on a Saturday. The people don’t like having their weekend disrupted and tend to vote against the government which demands it.

  27. These days I’d say that more than half of all government funded research falls into the category of an employment program for people who spent a lot of time in school. (Note: I have 3 degrees and would be a professional student, were someone willing to pick up the tab.)

    My favorite federally funded research topic of all time? Determining what happens when you fall off a bike. The summary report? You are likely to hurt yourself.

    Granted, the grant was under $1 million, which isn’t even pocket lint to the federal government, but I still think it stands as a good example to the willingness of some people to spend other people’s money. Particularly when it means they get to keep a day job.

    • One of our divisions once spent $100,000 for a river study and were accused by a cantankerous State Senator of concluding only one thing: that water runs downhill.

    • MAX_OK, Citizen Scientist

      timg56 just posted a whopper about the results of a bicycle study.

      Not to be outdone, cerescokid then posted a whopper about a river study.

      These are supposed to be intelligent people. timg56 boasts about having three degrees. I’m sorry readers who come here for series discussions have to put up with such nonsense.

      • Max,

        I don’t take to being called a liar. Particularly from a jackass like you. The story is true. More than a couple decades old now, but true.

        Also, you should have stopped at “I’m sorry..” No need to talk about series discussions, which is unlikely to be a typo, as you have rarely engaged in any serious discussion here at CE.

  28. The greatest fraud and con is the belief that OECD countries could do anything about the mitigation of their so called CAGW. According to the US govt’s EIA at least 90% of new co2 emissions until 2040 will come from the non OECD. ( China, India and other developing countries)
    In fact OECD countries emissions will nearly flat-line ( like now) until 2040, while non OECD emissions will soar. Lomborg, Christy, Carter etc understood this very simple truth years ago. The idea that western countries are taking action on so called CAGW is nonsense.

    • I should have added above that even their chief alarmist Dr James Hansen called the Paris COP 21 agreement a fraud and BS. Lomborg’s PR study showed that temp change by 2100 would be an unmeasurable 0.05 C, even if every country followed COP 21 to the letter for the next 84 years.
      So how many tens of trillions $ will be flushed down the drain to achieve this zero result?

  29. Well, this is what happens when you politicize an area of science. It’s sad because it is not healthy for research when there are wide swings in funding depending on who is in office. But these people are just reaping what they’ve been sowing.

    I’ve thought for some time now that the level of CAGW research funding is far too high in the US….essentially creating an army of grad-school advocates for the cause. I suspect that a GOP POTUS and Congress might address this.

  30. Our ageing society and fairly generous entitlements will continue to squeeze in the US:

  31. Regarding you list over significant issues:
    – Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects)
    – Multi-decadal natural internal variability
    – Mechanisms of vertical heat transfer in the ocean
    – Fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate)
    I think that long term (centennial) natural variability / trends might deserve to be on that list.

  32. ==> “Now that the science is settled.”

    Some straw men never get old, eh?

  33. Could you expand on this: “Global climate modeling might be ‘saved’ if they think these climate models can support local impact assessments (in spite of widespread acknowledgement that they cannot).”

    Can’t local impact assessments be imformed by high resolution regional climate models, with their boundary conditions supplied by GCMs?

  34. Now, CSIRO won’t have to burn the midnight oil worrying about whether
    we will ever again feel the kiss of winter’s frosts on our cheeks again or if children will ever know snow or if the next generation will think of the Alpine winter sports industry as they do about the phonograph record –i.e., an interesting anachronism.

  35. An example of the climate industry getting candid: Our biggest customer is the government – they have to approve all this…”

  36. Even supporters of current climate models must conceed that some 100 odd models might be over doing it.

  37. JUDITH!

    It’s as simple as this to PROVE that the radiative forcing greenhouse conjecture is wrong, so you need to consider the alternative paradigm I have developed from correct physics …

    The Trenberth, IPCC and NASA energy budget diagrams very clearly imply that back radiation (324W/m^2) can be added to solar radiation (168W/m^2) and then, after deducting non-radiative losses (102W/m^2) the net total of 390W/m^2 supposedly explains the mean surface temperature of 288K using Stefan Bolzmann calculations, which anyone can do if they Google “Stefan Boltzmann calculator” and select the one at In fact, because the solar flux is variable, a mean of 390W/m^2 would not produce a mean temperature much above freezing point.

    Now, if you use the assumption that back radiation can be included to determine the mean, then you must apply this concept for every point on the globe. There are, however, places receiving not the mean solar radiation of 168W/m^2 but over 800W/m^2 of solar radiation. This is because the solar constant is actually about 1366W/m^2 and, without clouds on a clear day, less than 40% is absorbed or reflected, thus leaving at least 819W/m^2 in tropical regions where the Sun passes directly overhead at about noon. So, instead of the 24-hour global mean of 168W/m^2 we have an extra 651W/m^2 to add to that 390W/m^2 which is the net mean. But the Stefan Boltzmann calculations for what is now 390+651 = 1041W/m^2 is 368.1K which is about 95°C.

    Hence there is something very seriously wrong with the radiative forcing greenhouse conjecture, and that is because radiation reaching the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus is not the primary determinant of the surface temperature. A totally different paradigm explains reality and the required thermal energy is supplied by non-radiative processes as is explained on my website and in my linked papers, video and book.

  38. Is it wrong to revel is the misfortune of others?

  39. Meanwhile the fairy tale modelled world shows little similarity with the planet we live on.

  40. “Our climate models are among the best in the world and our measurements honed those models to prove global climate change,” he said.

    Right. Their measurements honed the crap out of those babies. I feel so reassured.. :-)

    (aka pg)

  41. What’s that saying again? ‘Be careful what you wish for…’

    The would-be world-savers that flocked to get education and employment in environmental sciences wanted an international climate agreement. It’s completely toothless, but they got it…

  42. Steve Sherwood, ARC Laureate Fellow and Director, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales

    Larry Marshall surely has a point about rejuvenating organisations and solving new challenges, but I worry about his statement that there is no further need after the Paris climate summit to understand climate change since we now know it is real. Effective action requires detailed understanding. For example, Marshall speaks of contributing to the proposed agricultural development of the Northern Territory, but we don’t know for how much longer this region will still support agriculture or even human habitation as the Earth keeps warming, nor how much drying (if any) Australia’s existing agricultural regions will experience. The groups that would help provide answers are the ones he says we don’t need any more.

    • I’m aware of your proclivities, however:

      this is likely standard politics. Whenever a bureaucracy is threatened with funding cuts, it goes straight to the media with the most politically sensitive “losses” it can muster – in the expectation that aghast public opinion will cause the threatened funding losses to be reversed

      We have form for this from about 18 months ago with our publicly funded media organisation (commonly known as the ABC). Threatened with funding cuts, its’ management went public and threatened to kill childrens’ cartoon programmes – cute, eh ?

      But that’s how leftoids work

  43. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    Excellent concluding sentence with which I agree

  44. The world, mostly OECD, is wasting $1.5 trillion per year on the ‘climate industry’. No one has shown that this is reducing climate damages now or is likely to in the future.

    Insurance Journal: ‘Is Climate Change Now Its Own Industry?

    Climate Change Business Journal ‘Climate Change Consulting Industry</i<'

    • David Springer

      “$1.5 trillion per year on the ‘climate industry’”

      That figure of $1.5 trillion from “The Climate Change Business Journal” is ridiculous on the face of it and so is anyone who’d quote it.

      • Unsupported assertion. Show the errors in the figures, not just hand-waving and statement of your opinion.

      • David Springer

        No, your assertion via CCBJ proclamation is asinine and has been uncritically repeated in several the usual less responsible right-wing conspiracy websites and nowhere else.

        It includes green buildings and hybrid cars among other things. Those are not part of the “climate change” industry. Electricity and gasoline price in constant dollars here in the US is the same as the average price over the past 100 years. In other words energy doesn’t cost any more or less now than before the global warming brouhaha got started.

        I own a hybrid because it’s a fuel efficient marvel of modern engineering. A mid-size that gets 43 mpg city, does 0-60 in 7 seconds and has a top speed of 122 mph. I have a green home because it’s energy efficient and saves me a ton of money on electricity for heating and cooling.

        Get a clue.

      • David Springer

        The “error” is in the 9 industries and 38 sub-industries included to get to that ridiculously inflated figure.

        The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal.

        The San Diego, Calif.-based publication includes within that industry nine segments and 38 sub-segments. This encompasses sectors like renewables, green building and hybrid vehicles.

        Before I’d quote anything from a single nondescript source like this obscure subscription newsletter I’d find at least one reliable second source. That’s because I’m responsible and diligent in fact checking which are virtues you sorely lack, Lang.

      • David Springer,

        That figure of $1.5 trillion from “The Climate Change Business Journal” is ridiculous on the face of it and so is anyone who’d quote it.

        It seems that figure might be an underestimate. I guess you are not as smart as you like to try to tell everyone.

        Then there’s the matter of those escalating climate-premised EPA regulation costs that are killing businesses and jobs under cover of the Clean Air Act. These rampant overreaches are being justified by the agency’s Endangerment Finding proclaiming CO2 to be a pollutant. … The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year — about 12%-14% of GDP, and half of the $3.456 trillion Washington is currently spending. The Competitive Enterprise Institute believes the annual cost is closer to $1.8 trillion when an estimated $55.4 billion regulatory administration and policing budget is included. CEI further observes that those regulation costs exceed 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.436 trillion; tower over estimated individual income taxes of $936 billion by 87%; and reveal a federal government whose share of the entire economy reaches 35.5% when combined with federal 2010 spending outlays.

        A U.S. Energy Information Administration economic forecasting model indicates that a proposed 70% cut in CO2 emissions will cause gasoline prices to rise 77% over baseline projections, kill more than 3 million jobs, and reduce average household income by more than $4,000 each year.

        I guess it is you that is the “ridiculous” one here, “on the face of it” :)

      • David Springer

        Keep digging, Lang. Your last quote was from an opinion piece by Larry Bell. His sources are no longer available. He quoted some study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute with a link that is dead. He just made an empty claim of something the SBA supposedly said.

        No one should be surprised. Lang’s sources are crap. Hell Larry Bell even quoted blogger JoNova like that’s a reliable source. No due diligence.

      • Springer, The article is in Forbes which is a hell of a lot more authoritative than you (as demonstrated by your irrational ravings about nuclear energy and solar what nots). The link was to US government site.

        ‘US Government Accountability Office’

        Springer, you are just a troll:

        In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

  45. Alan Longhurst

    I think that most of the serious research being done globally on JC’s absolutely correct four research priority areas is still going great guns, and will continue to do so. If you look at the titles of what is currently being published in the most serious earth science journals the majority does not come from government research labs but from all over the place. It’s tough on those Australians individually, and their long-term observations will be missed if they are closed down – but its the penalty you may have to pay for working in a government lab. Something similar hit Canadian federal oceanographers, limnologists and fishery scientists in the not-too-distant past, and for comparable reasons.

  46. This goes to show the dangers of scientists going to bed with politicians. The champagne and cocaine are great but then they are used and feel abused when afterwards they are shown the door.

    What good is to be a scientist if you are not smart enough to know that? You better leave politics for politicians and stick to science. Try to be famous only between other scientists and students. And claim only what you can demonstrate.

  47. daveandrews723

    Saving the world requires a lot of research and a lot of money. Tracking endangered polar bears and glaciers is not cheap.

  48. “Climate science is being gutted…”

    Given what’s been coming out relative to what’s been going in, that sounds reasonable.


    [E]nvironmentalism, like every other ism, has the potential for dogmatic zeal and obsession. Do we really need one more humorless religion? ~Stephen T. Asma, ‘Green Guilt,’ The Chronicle (2010)

  50. Capitalism and Democracy work after all. Socialism and Environmentalism will ultimately fail.

  51. A couple of points of clarification:
    In Australia, the ruling conservative Party is called the Liberal Party of Australia. The opposition is principally led by the Labor Party and supported by some minor parties such as The Greens. So when referring to anything political in Australia, please do the currency conversion…Liberal=Conservative.

    Secondly, the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is a long standing Government owned research group. An esteemed organisation that invented WiFi among others. (

    However in the past 10 or 15 years, it’s level of esteem has been severely lowered, I think due to being hijacked by lefty and green ideologists. This once great institution is now widely regarded with suspicion and agenda driven. Sad really.

  52. Well that’s a good way to end the debate. Gets rid of those pesky skeptics as well.

  53. “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” ~Phillip K. Dick

  54. But we are still stuck with this. From the article:

    TPP Signed Off, Marking the Beginning of the Final Fight

    So, what’s next? The final step of TPP implementation is ratification. It’s the only step remaining before the agreement becomes law. It’s likely that citizens are only going to ramp up pressure to try and have the deal rejected in their respective countries. Unfortunately, stopping the TPP dead in its tracks may be an uphill battle from now on. Provisions in the agreement legally oblige the signatory countries to ratify the provisions in the agreement within a certain time frame. Which provisions and which countries this affects varies, but deadlines do exist within the TPP to force countries to carry through on their promises all based on their signatures. Still, killing the deal isn’t entirely impossible either.

    From a technological perspective, the trade deal would bring in a host of restrictive copyright laws. As we earlier examined, the trade deal would force countries to ratify many other copyright treaties including various WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaties, kill Internet privacy for domain name registrants, create a so-called “TPP Commission”, extend the length of copyright, add criminal liability to the circumvention of a DRM, effectively institute statutory damages for non-commercial infringement, mandate government spying on the Internet for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement, possibly add unlimited damages for copyright infringement, allow “destruction” orders of any product circumvents copy protection, allows authority to enforce copyright laws even when infringement hasn’t taken place (ala “imminent” infringement), seize personal devices at the border for the purpose of enforcing copyright law (and destroys your property and forces you to pay if a border guard believes you have copyright infringing content on your personal devices), institute traffic shaping and site blocking for the purpose of allegedly enforcing copyright, implement a notice-and-takedown regime, force ISPs to install backdoors for others to enforce copyright law, and force ISPs to hand over customer’s personal information without court oversight or compensation to the ISP. So, in short, the TPP is a major crackdown on civil rights on the Internet.

  55. Geoff Derrick

    Text of letter to the Editor today

    To the Editor
    The Australian

    With looming job losses in climate science, the CSIRO is now wedged between a rock and a hard place. It has claimed that ‘the science is settled’, but faced with oblivion they now say that there is still so much uncertainty about the climate, they need to do more research. This situation is a product of their own making, when years ago the much respected CSIRO decided to nail its scientific colours to the apocalyptic warming mast, saying that ‘consensus’ had been achieved, and that climate change was real. Dr Church of CSIRO speaks highly of CSIRO models, but around the world climate models are universally derided as being unreliable and unable to replicate actual observations from balloons and satellites. Even Dr Church’s claims of sea level rise do not match the actual observations from tidal gauges in Sydney Harbour showing sea levels have risen by about the height of a matchbox, or not at all, along the Sydney shoreline for at least the past 140 years.

    G M Derrick
    Sherwood Qld

  56. Well said Geoff. We need a “LIKE” button here. Well maybe a CONCUR button.

  57. Yet another part of climate science that is not settled very well is the correlation between cumulative fossil fuel emissions and surface temperature shown here:

    This correlation is spurious because it can be shown that “cumulative” values of random numbers tend to be correlated. Accumulation creates correlation out of randomness.

  58. Hot off the griddle from PNAS:On the relationship between aerosol model uncertainty and radiative forcing uncertainty by Lindsay A. Lee, Carly L. Reddington, and Kenneth S. Carslaw PNAS 2016 ; published ahead of print February 4, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1507050113

    Abstract: The largest uncertainty in the historical radiative forcing of climate is caused by the interaction of aerosols with clouds. Historical forcing is not a directly measurable quantity, so reliable assessments depend on the development of global models of aerosols and clouds that are well constrained by observations. However, there has been no systematic assessment of how reduction in the uncertainty of global aerosol models will feed through to the uncertainty in the predicted forcing. We use a global model perturbed parameter ensemble to show that tight observational constraint of aerosol concentrations in the model has a relatively small effect on the aerosol-related uncertainty in the calculated forcing between preindustrial and present-day periods. One factor is the low sensitivity of present-day aerosol to natural emissions that determine the preindustrial aerosol state. However, the major cause of the weak constraint is that the full uncertainty space of the model generates a large number of model variants that are equally acceptable compared to present-day aerosol observations. The narrow range of aerosol concentrations in the observationally constrained model gives the impression of low aerosol model uncertainty. However, these multiple “equifinal” models predict a wide range of forcings. To make progress, we need to develop a much deeper understanding of model uncertainty and ways to use observations to constrain it. Equifinality in the aerosol model means that tuning of a small number of model processes to achieve model−observation agreement could give a misleading impression of model robustness. [my bolding]


    • Understanding the chain of causality still leaves a lot to be desired. To be settled, disentangling cause and effect would be a good first step.

      Then there are the psychological dynamics that may be hampering even the current inadequate efforts toward answering these questions This study adds some legitimacy to concerns about how uncertainties are being addressed by climate scientists and how peer pressure, or the perception of such, influences studies.

      • cerescokid. from that abstract;

        ” Asking scientists about their readiness to publish one of two versions of a fictitious research finding shows that their concerns weigh heavier when a result implies that climate change will proceed slowly than when it implies that climate change will proceed fast.”

        They should poll scientists to take the Mosher bet except extend it to 2025, 2030, 2050 2100.
        Do sort of a Nate Silver FiveThirtyEight survey. It would probably tell us a lot more than John Cooks BS.

    • thanks for the link, i have been waiting for this paper

  59. JC message to climate scientists advocating for more funding at the same time they are claiming ‘settled science’ [e.g. Marcia McNutt]: you have been hoisted on your own petard. You are slaying climate science in the interests of promoting a false and meaningless consensus.

    Thank you Judy!

  60. What’s amazing is that the new and very green Turnbull government seems to be right behind these cuts. Can it be true? When a head-tilting Fairfax journo writes a mournful peace quoting the whinings of someone from one of those “Centres of Excellence” you have to wonder.

    Turnbull has been propped up by the luvvie media to an extraordinary degree. If he is now spending some of his cred to flush away these hysterics and activists posing as scientists then I might have to vote for him! Even if he just doesn’t want to spend the money I might have to vote for him.

    Sadly, if the MSM and luvvie media turn on him and start to highlight Turnbull’s waffle and play up his inability to even finish a sentence, they’ll also start to lobby again for Labor’s brand of Posh Left politics. (They’ve just discovered that Clive Palmer is a tosser. A worm could be turning against rich guy sellouts who aren’t needed any more.)

    And waiting to take Turnbull’s job in yet another palace coup is yet another sly and narcissistic “supporter”, one who’ll happily tip money into any bottomless green hole to get power. He who lives by the leak dies by the leak, Malcolm. Watch the starved-looking sheila with the gym body. Julie would never do anything to annoy a Centre of Excellence. You just did.

    • One of the articles indicates both the spending and the headcount will remain the same, though there is also talk about finding some funding from industry, which seems doubtful. So maybe if JA Church can shift from SLR to selling dikes, he’ll still have a job.

      • Aw. So it was just an opportunity for a Fairfax journo to do one of those pathetic head tilts.

        Anyway, let us know when you find some juicy SLR. You always make those things sound so exciting, JCH.

  61. Everyone knows why it is warming, and how much it will warm globally for a given added GHG input, but there are many remaining questions, mostly on regional impacts. These relate to impacts on and changes in water, food, health, security, glaciers, storms, floods, droughts, heatwaves. If climate change continues through a weak or failed effort, these questions become increasingly important as planning has to be based on scientific knowledge, and these areas have to advance because the knowledge is not there yet. CSIRO’s move is odd because resources need to be diverted towards climate change impacts, not away from it, and their government will be flying blind if they are not funding studies about the impacts on Australia in particular because other national climate efforts will focus on their own areas. The past is no guide to the future when looking at probabilities. Scientifically informed guidance is needed.

    • stevenreincarnated

      “Everyone knows why it is warming,…”

      Yes, ocean heat transport. It seems the way to mitigate it would be to hire the unemployed climate scientists to get in row boats and paddle the warm water north or south depending on if we want it to be cooler or warmer.

    • These relate to impacts on and changes in water, food, health, security, glaciers, storms, floods, droughts, heatwaves.

      If you study the atmosphere, you will learn that motion determines weather, and weather determines climate.

      Fortunately, the physics of atmospheric motion do not include any influence from global average temperature, so it was right the first time: “Global Warming” is real, but “Climate Change” is largely a false narrative.

      You will also find, if you could manage to open your mind, that most of the adverse impacts you imagine above are also false, many for the reason that global average temperature does not ’cause’ climate change.

    • Jim,

      You are drifting into the delusional. Witness this comment: “Everyone knows why it is warming, and how much it will warm globally for a given added GHG input”

      The first part can get a pass, because many, of not everyone, at least believe they know why it is warming. As I have often stated, I’m more than willing to accept the hypothesis of human induced warming. It is the second part of your statement which slides right into never neverland. If we know “how much” it will warm, then why can’t a 100 different models accurately predict that?

    • “Everyone knows why it is warming, and how much it will warm globally for a given added GHG input”

      No Jimbo, they know nothing of the sort.

      Stop making stuff up.

      Nor – by any stretch of the imagination – can you be considered everyone

      Very much the opposite, in fact.

  62. Geoff Sherrington

    On 15 Feb 2006 – 10 years ago – our national newspaper, “The Australian”, published a letter from me.
    The letter caused protest from people of many backgrounds. I was encouraged to feel ashamed.
    The letter –
    “THERE is an excellent argument for curbing the public statements of scientists like those from CSIRO, a former employer of mine.
    “Scientists, like the public, cover a spectrum of beliefs, some of which are based on emotion rather than science.
    “There are greenie scientists in CSIRO and there are honest ones. Human nature being what it is, there are private agendas pushed by CSIRO people that would make your jaw drop. An example is the selection of Australian weather recording sites used to construct the temperature measurements of the continent, which play a big part in southern hemisphere weather models. From the beginning, most sites that showed little or no temperature rise or a fall from, say, the 1880s to now were rejected. The few sites selected to represent Australia were mainly from capital cities and under suspicion for “heat island” effects.
    “I could give example after example as it was one of my employment functions to distil the best results from the bogus on many matters related to energy/greenhouse/nuclear etc. I found few truly objective submissions among those masquerading as science.
    “Geoff Sherrington.”

    In hindsight, I was partly wrong because the CSIRO people did less than BOM with the early temperature records, but subsequently CSIRO have not, to my knowledge, called the work out as suspect and dissociated themselves.
    That has been one of the problems. Good science requires that you debunk poor science. It requires that you do not simply ignore it. More particularly, it requires you to avoid selective use of parts of poor science to promote your personal beliefs in government/academic work.
    In the main, CSIRO science has been an excellent investment for the nation. In the past, as now, its managers needed to refocus and prioritise. This happens in many aspects of work and life.
    Let us hope that the good scientists continue in work to contribute to the national/global effort.

  63. I can’t believe the Australian gov have said “science is completed” no need to carry on.

    In 2015 to see such thinking is SCARY. Its as if they don’t know anything about the hundreds of years of scientific history and the important lessons learnt

  64. Australia is in deficit with declining mining income and rising costs due to a Medicare system like America is trying to introduce and now a national disability scheme we cannot afford.
    The cuts are purely to save money though the area targeted is part of a larger green police climate policy that the previous Labor government installed and the Senate is refusing to dismantle.
    The poor scientists are paying the price for keeping an equally large climate change authority alive and well.
    If it had been sacked the scientists would more likely have kept their jobs.
    I’m all for more science when affordable as long as it is fine in the normal unbiased scientific way.

    • Angech
      I don’t know anything about the Australian budget but if it resembles the US, I imagine the cut is insignificant compared to the total. The US budget of $4 Trillion this year breaks out like this: Social Programs (SS, Medicare, Medicaid, etc) 73%, Defense 15%, Net Interest 6%, Everything Else 6%. This kind of program would be a small part of Everything Else.

  65. Harry Twinotter

    Just when I thought JC could not sink any lower.

  66. AK, Mosomoso, Mark and anyone interested in Australia …

    Firstly I draw your attention to my earlier comment here which demonstrates how easy it is to prove that the whole radiative forcing paradigm is false. Basically, if we use the algorithm that Hansen used (and all the energy budget diagrams unmistakably imply) we get absurd surface temperatures like 95°C for Singapore (where it rarely goes above 33°C) and also below -100°C at night just about everywhere. The whole paradigm is false, and it is not radiative processes at all that are determining the surface temperatures of planets like Earth and Venus. That can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, with evidence confirming the probability of being wrong as millions to one against.

    Now, the above linked comment is one of a series of over thirty that have been sent to the Australian Prime Minister, over 100 politicians and several climate organizations and scientists. I’m hoping to organize a major class action against the Australian government funded by large companies who are affected financially by the fraudulent science – and there’s no other word for it, because it’s just so obvious to us with an understanding of physics that it is totally wrong and carbon dioxide and water vapor cool rather than warm the surface.

    The above politicians have been warned that the above class action may well be underway within a year or two, and I believe many are starting to realize the science is settled the other way. One might even say the sackings are a “precautionary” measure.

    • Nobody cares what you think C0tt0n.

    • Your interpretations of physics are irrelevant. Only the impacts matter for policy analysis, and that’s all that counts.

      As I recall, you’ve been whipping your dead horse for 10 years at least, and in all that time it’s never got up and run, not once. Even your name change won’t bring it to life. Eventually, you need to accept it’s dead. :)

    • David Springer

      C0tt0n is another wackadoodle Australian. You should get along famously with him, Peter. Birds of a feather and all that…

    • Springer is displaying his xenophobia again. :)

  67. blueice2hotsea


    Your preferred topic is curious interesting and sometimes beautiful. However, your presentation is repulsive, intrusive and OT.

    Have you considered assembling your ideas into a more educational, less vomitous format? You could post a link when on topic.


  68. Activist climate scientists are their own worst enemies, episode 73.

    Related to the “settled science” meme is this paper saying that the scientists who talk to the media tend to be those who downplay uncertainty and present the science as settled.

    In public controversies on scientific issues, scientists likely consider the effects of their findings on journalists and on the public debate. A representative survey of 123 German climate scientists (42%) finds that although most climate scientists think that uncertainties about climate change should be made clearer in public they do not actively communicate this to journalists. Moreover, the climate scientists fear that their results could be misinterpreted in public or exploited by interest groups. Asking scientists about their readiness to publish one of two versions of a fictitious research finding shows that their concerns weigh heavier when a result implies that climate change will proceed slowly than when it implies that climate change will proceed fast.

    This study shows that the more climate scientists are engaged with the media the less they intend to point out uncertainties about climate change and the more unambiguously they confirm the publicly held convictions that it is man-made, historically unique, dangerous and calculable. Little is known about the exact mechanisms, however. Is it journalists’ preference to contact climate scientists who make certain, clear and unambiguous claims about climate change? Or are climate scientists the more encouraged to contact journalists the more their expert judgements fit journalistic needs and public convictions? Are climate scientists aware of journalists’ preferences? And how do political, monetary, or other interests explain scientists’ media activism?

  69. I am coming late to this discussion and not as a climate scientists but as someone responsible for creating predictive data models. I am totally bewildered at the comments made by Prof. Curry. Let us look at some simple facts. First, we are talking about a global phenomenon. Second is that we are creating models of change based on the rapidly changing data. Third, it is the new and rapid change that is altering the circumstances globally. Fourth, all models created in this field are dynamic, global and hopefully predictive, otherwise they are useless to policy makers. If the purpose of CSIRO research was to convince politicians that we are in depth trouble then perhaps we should start shutting down the entire group of scientists at CSIRO. However if the aims of the work undertaken by CSIRO is in creating new understanding about global phenomena taking place in rapidly shifting circumstances, where the local policies taken today will be invalid tomorrow, then I am afraid the work is far from done. The only way to progress in such situation is to collect data globally, create models of global change with local impacts, predict long term and short term actions, implement these actions globally and locally, monitor and constantly refine the models. We will certainly be proven wrong whatever understanding we are able to implement today based on the data available to us today.

  70. retrograde-orbit

    I agree. And even if don’t take any significant policy action, further study is more important than ever.. Because we are performing a global climate experiment and we should at least document and study the results of that experiment.

  71. retrograde-orbit

    I feel that JC really makes an effort to add insult to injury with this post.

  72. “….maybe the RESTART Forum might be re-purposed as a Mission Review Forum….in my opinion, a failed mission that has left so many of the foundational questions of climate unanswered, failed to answer even the basic questions posed by the CO2-Induced Global Warming Hypothesis (how much, how fast, beneficial or harmful). Heck of a time to quit in my opinion.

    Maybe those Climate Scientists left standing after the pink-slip bloodbath should get their heads together as I suggested.”

    [from my post-script to ]

  73. William Palmer

    Is it true that the ASR and the OLR are always 239 watts/m^2 no matter how much CO2 is in the air?. And, do any re-radiated CO2 photons reach the surface directly or are they all going off into space? Does the lapse rate keep these photons directed toward coolth and prevent their going downwards towards warmth?
    —a biologist asks